On the Second Day of Yom Tov

[Tzvi Kodesh, pp. 59-60]

In his youth, our Rabbi, Ha-Rav Tzvi Yehudah, had difficulty learning without distractions in Eretz Yisrael, since he was the famous son of Maran Ha-Rav Kook. After consulting with his father and Ha-Rav Binyamin Menasheh Levin, he decided "to be exiled to a place of Torah" (Pirkei Avot 4:14 and see Igrot Re'eiyah vol. 2, letter 567 #2). He traveled to learn and teach in Halberstadt, Germany. On the second day of Yom Tov, our Rabbi would act like those who live in Eretz Yisrael regarding Tefillin and Havdalah but he would do so in private (One who is temporarily located in a different place than his home acts according to the stricture of the place from which he left and according to the strictures of the place to which he came - Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 468. He must therefore put on Tefillin in private on his weekdays, and similarly perform Havdalah in private without extinguishing the candle - Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 493 and Mishnah Berurah #13, Chayei Adam 103:4 and see Shut Orach Mishpat #157-159 at length.

Despite all of our Rabbi's efforts to conceal his ways, the matter because known to the youths because of their great interest in him. They were not experts in the laws, and they did not know that there is only one day of Yom Yov in Eretz Yisrael. They were shocked: Ha-Rav Tzvi Yehudah is putting on Tefillin on Yom Tov! He was concerned that the matter could impinge on the holiness of the Second Day of Yom Tov, and he therefore explained to them that there is only one day in Eretz Yisrael. Afterwards he heard them saying: If there is a difference between the Jews of Eretz Yisrael and the Jews outside of the Land, the Jews of Eretz Yisrael are obviously correct because of the abundant holiness of Eretz Yisrael, and we should therefore act like them. Our Rabbi responded: On the contrary, out of the faith of the holiness of the Land of Israel, one must understand that it is not possible to have the same order in Eretz Yisrael and outside of Eretz Yisrael, and there must be two days outside of the Land. The youths were not convinced. Our Rabbi then said that we must know that there can only be definite and clear Judaism in the Land of Israel since there can only be an ordained Beit Din in Israel, while there is doubtful Judaism outside of Israel. The observance of two days of Yom Tov outside of the Land expresses the belief in the holiness of the Land of Israel. One who is satisfied with one day of a holiday outside of Israel and disgraces the Second Day of Yom Tov is a heretic regarding the holiness of Eretz Yisrael. He ended with the strong words at the end of Massechet Berachot (63) that it is impossible to sanctify months outside of Israel and to create an independent Judaism which stands on its own outside the Land.

One young man explained the words of our Rabbis that in Eretz Yisrael one day contains the holiness of both days of Yom Tov outside of the Land. Our Rabbi pointed out that the holiness of the Land is not based upon human, emotional, societal values but upon essential, Divine values, and Eretz Yisrael is the Land of Hashem (from Tzemach Tzvi, igeret 27).

Much later when our Rabbi was with Maran Ha-Rav Kook in Switzerland, he related that on the Second Day of Yom Tov when they davened with the community, his father told him to skip over some of the verses in Hallel based on the statement of our Sages (Shabbat 118b): "Anyone who recites Hallel every day blasphemes" (from Le-Shelosha Be-Elul [Mehadurat 5763], p. 54, #50).