Our Rabbi & Tzahal - Part 2

Ha-Rav Tzvi Yehudah Ha-Cohain Kook

Our Rabbi’s love of the Israel Defense Force and the holy soldiers of the Army was unique, and his students who were in the Army therefore loved to visit their Rabbi when they were in their army uniform in order to give him contentment. The blessing of our holy Rabbi to all of his students, before their departure to the Army, was pleasing and sweet. It once happened that a student came to our Rabbi on the day he was drafted into the Army at an early morning hour. The student who was helping Ha-Rav on that day got up and informed him that there was a student of the Yeshiva who came to receive his blessing before his draft. Our Rabbi got up with incredible zeal and with unlimited joy, recited the morning blessings, quickly drank the cup of tea which he was accustomed to do each morning in order to fulfill the mitzvah of honoring his father who instructed him to do so this, and then the young man entered the room…Ha-Rav kissed, blessed, and encouraged him, and even left his house to escort him. Our Rabbi said that he must always place before his eyes the verse from Divrei Ha-Yamim (2 36:23): "Whoever is among you of all His people - Hashem his G-d be with him, and let him go up!" (Kinyan Torah of Ha-Rav Yosef Elnakveh, 2, pp. 73-74)

Generally, in similar situations, our Rabbi would quote the verse (Divrei Ha-Yamim 2 35:3), "Serve Hashem, your G-d, and Israel, His Nation."

A reporter asked our Rabbi: "If the honorable Rav teaches that the Israel Defense Force is holy, he should close the Yeshiva and not postpone the army service of the students."Our Rabbi responded: "The Army - holy, the Torah - holy of holies."