Our Rabbi & Great Teachers of Israel

Our Rabbi, Ha-Rav Tzvi Yehudah Ha-Cohain Kook

Chafetz Chaim
In the year 5681, our Rabbi traveled to Poland to meet with Rabbis and Chasidic Rebbes to convince them to join the "Degel Yerushalayim" movement which Maran Ha-Rav Kook established to infuse the Zionist movement with Torah and holiness. At that time, the Chafetz Chaim came to Warsaw, and our Rabbi, who yearned to see the splendor of the most righteous person of the generation, went to where he was staying. He found him surrounded by people. After over an hour, our Rabbi approached to take leave from him. The Chafetz Chaim asked: "Are you a local?" Our Rabbi responded: "No, from Jerusalem," and he added: "Your honor was close with Reb Eliyahu David (the Aderet), father-in-law of my father." When the Chafetz Chaim heard whose son was standing before him, his face lit up and he joyfully said: "Your honor is the son of the Rav of Zimel, the Rav of Boisk, the Rav of Yafo, the Rav of Jerusalem? Then why does he speak about his grandfather? Tell me about your father! How is he? We are old close friends."

Our Rabbi related that he heard from the family members of the Chafetz Chaim that during the late hours of the night, not exactly at midnight, the Chafetz Chaim would speak with Hashem relating the Redemption of Israel, saying: "Master of the Universe, I, Reb Yisrael Meir, also want to merit greeting the King Messiah. Please, bring the Redemption," and other such prayers. Our Rabbi would add: "It seems that there is great value in heaven to prayers such as these from great Tzadikim."

Reb Chaim Brisker
Our Rabbi would relate in the name of Reb Chaim Brisker that anyone who is not capable of closing the Gemara in order to perform an act of loving-kindness, when there is no one else to do so, is also not suited to open the Gemara to learn it! (Mi-Toch Ha-Torah Ha-Goelet vol. 4 p. 208. In the book "Gadol Shishuma" p. 15, it is related that our Rabbi said this statement in the name of Rabbi Chaim of Volozhin).

Our Rabbi related that the Netziv's wife travelled to Moscow for surgery. The students approached the Netziv and pleaded that he permit them to stop the learning in the yeshiva so they could recite Tehilim. He reluctantly agreed on condition that it would be exactly for five minutes and not any longer. He stood over them with his watch so it would not be even a half a second too late. "Stop learning in the Volozhin Yeshiva? – Don't heaven and earth exist from here!" (Mi-Toch Ha-Torah Ha-Goelet vol. 4, pp. 207-208)

Nechama Leibowitz
Our Rabbi said that she was a Torah scholar. He praised her greatly for her seriousness and fear of heaven. When she heard about how our Rabbi related to her, she felt immense respect. In contrast, our Rabbi said that her brother (Yeshayahu Leibowitz – a controversial Israeli philosopher) caused damage and was dangerous. (Iturei Cohanim #39)

Ha-Nazir, Ha-Rav David Cohain
In the middle of a class at Ha-Nazir's house, on Rechov Amos in the Geulah Neighborhood, he said to his students: "Stand up, stand up. Reb Tzvi Yehudah is passing by in the street." When they went out to the porch, they indeed saw our Rabbi Yehudah passing the house. This was the deep connection between the two of them.