answers hundreds of text message questions a day! Here's a sample:
Forgotten in Cars
Are the 3 tragedies of babies dying from being forgotten in cars a hint from
That we should be extremely careful.
on a Groom's Head
Should one put ashes on the groom's head as a remembrance of the destruction of
Yes.Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim
560.And some are lenient and say that
we remember by breaking the glass.Aruch
Ha-Shulchan and Kaf Ha-Chaim ibid.But
it is proper to put them.Piskei
Teshuvot ibid.And say the verse:
"If I forget you Yerushalayim…".Taz ibid. (During the expulsion from Gush Katif, before Ha-Rav left, he
filled a bag with sand from there.At
weddings, he places both burnt ashes from Yerushalayim and sand from Gush Katif
on the groom's head).
Ha-Rav Tzvi Yehudah Ascending on High
When Rabbenu Ha-Rav Tzvi Yehudah ascended on high was there an obligation for
the students to tear their garments?
If one considered himself a student (And Ha-Rav Yechezkel Greenwald related
that when Rabbenu passed away, this question was asked of Ha-Rav Tzvi Tau, and
he directed the students to ask Ha-Rav, who said that anyone who considers
himself a student should tear.Similarly, Ha-Rav Chaim Kanievski told the yeshiva students to tear
their garments when Ha-Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv passed away, since they were
his students.The booklet "Divrei
Shi"ach, p. 45).
My wife hugs and kisses her relatives.I
spoke to her and it did not help.What
should I do?Ignore it?
Yes.You are not her teacher but rather
of Ha-Rav Chaim Naeh
I heard that the Kiddush cup of the Chafetz Chaim was like the measurement of
Ha-Rav Chaim Naeh and not like that of the Chazon Ish.What is the source?
This is brought by Ha-Rav Moshe Karp as testified by the Chafetz Chaim's
grandson, Ha-Rav Hillel Zacks, the Rav of the Brachfeld neighborhood in Kiryat
Sefer, who inherited the Chafetz Chaim's Kiddush cup.Hilchot Chag Be-chag – Pesach, Chapter 19
note #11 (and also brought in Meged Givot Olam Vol. 2, p. 34).And the author of Einyaim Le-Mishpat, who
inherited the Vilan Gaon's Kiddush cup, also testified that it was the smaller
measurement.Ibid.And I also heard that someone has a Kiddush
cup which was given as a gift by the Or Sameach and it is the smaller
measurement as well.As for the Mishnah
Berurah, he writes that for Rabbinic Mitzvot, one uses the smaller measurement
and for Torah Mitzvot, one should be strict to use the larger measurement.271:8.Biur Halachah ibid.486:1 (and
see Ha-Rav's commentary on Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 43:5.And we can add that Ha-Rav Eliyahu Dessler
used to recite Kiddush with a smaller Kiddush cup as long as his wife was
alive, since she brought the Kiddush cup from her family and he did not want to
insult her.After she passed away, he
began using a larger Kiddush cup.Ve-Haarev Na Vol 1, p. 369-371).
Is there an obligation to believe that Rabbis do not err?
No.It is possible that they err.Moshe Rabbenu erred three times (Sifre Matot
So-And-So Permits it
Sometimes Ha-Rav answers a question: "Rabbi So-And-So permits
it".Does this mean that Ha-Rav
does not permit it, or is there some other reason for Ha-Rav turning the
questioner over to another Rabbi's answer?
It is either because I do not personally permit it or I do permit it but it is
a Chiddush and one needs broad shoulders to allow it (Someone once asked the
Chazon Ish if it is permissible for someone who suffering from sweating to
shower during the 9 Days?He answered:
"Reb Elya Dushintzer holds that it is permissible".Ha-Rav Chaim Kanievski wrote that he asked
the Chazon Ish about this and he said that he does not permit it.Orchot Rabben Vol. 1, p. 375.And see Shut Igrot Moshe, Even Ha-Ezer 4:84.And Ha-Rav Yehoshua Katz – Rav of Maale
Adumim – once asked Ha-Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv a question, and he responded:
"Reb Moshe permits it."Rav
Katz said: "But I want to know Ha-Rav's opinion."Rav Elyashiv said: "My opinion is that
Reb Moshe permits it", i.e. but he does not.And it is related in the book "Oro Shel
Olam" p. 343 about Ha-Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach that a woman once came to
him after the doctors revealed in prenatal testing that there was a chance that
her fetus had a birth defect, and she wanted to have an abortion.It was known that Ha-Rav Shlomo Zalman was
not among those who permitted an abortion in such a case, since he thought that
the chance of the baby having a birth defect was low.When he began to talk to the woman about it,
he said that his words fell on deaf ears.He said to her: "The truth is that I do not understand this matter
so much.I will send you to someone who
understands it much more than me.His
name is Ha-Rav Eliezer Waldenberg…"Rav Waldenberg – the Tzitz Eliezer – permitted abortion in such a
case.See Shut Tzitz Eliezer 9:51,
[Be-Ahavah U-Be-Emunah – Ekev 5773
– translated by R. Blumberg]
impulse is a very intelligent being, and doubly so when it comes to fanning
the evil impulse say?
turns to the Charedim and says, “Look at those secular people! They're the
lowest of the low.How destructive they
are of the Torah and those who learn it, thereby destroying our Nation.” Quite
logical. Quite convincing!
by its success, it turns to the secular: “Look at those Charedim, the lowest of
the low. How destructive they are of the army and the labor force, thereby
destroying our Nation.” Quite logical. Quite convincing!
bounces back to the Charedim, hammering away at their brains, thereby succeeding
in sowing discord between the two groups. It rubs its hands together with
pleasure, and having fanned the flames of discord, those flames spread by independently.
The work of the evil impulse is then carried on by others, leaving it free to
turn to other missions. Truly creative.
those who believe in the Torah, the Nation and the Land of Israel, they are
caught in a heavy crossfire, shot at from both sides, and they, too, take shots
at both sides. That is the doing of the evil impulse, which takes new forms
to mention that within each group the evil impulse also creates illusory
subgroups and fans quarrels between them. So our own internal forces also shoot
at one another. Obviously, the primary division between the Charedim and the
secular is illusory. The whole thing is illusory. It's all nonsense.
might ask: What do you want from the evil impulse when it sows strife? Isn't it
just doing the job that G-d charged it to do? To incite people, to make them
sin, to make them quarrel, both with their fellow man and with their spouse? It
makes them sin, sets them up for the kill, and then slaughters them. That’s its
is an interesting opinion of our Sages in the Talmud that one who slaughters on
the Sabbath is guilty of the work category called Tzove'a. This word Tzove'a here
has the literal meaning of “dyeing”, but the word's root can also mean “hypocracy”.
The evil impulse, which slaughters the sinner, is indeed a hypocritical liar
and a cheat. When it talks to the Charedi, it disguises itself as a Charedi,
talks like a Chareidi, using the distinct accent of the Charedi.
addresses the secular Jew, it speaks lovely, fluent secular Hebrew, proving
very pleasing to them.
it addresses the disciples of Maran Ha-Rav Kook, it talks in the language of
Rav Kook's disciples. Of course that is a bit difficult, but the evil impulse
adapted itself quite quickly, and the followers of Rav Kook do not succeed at
distinguishing between the evil impulse and their master. After all, it learned
in the yeshiva of Rav Kook, Mercaz HaRav! When was he there? He was there
together with us.
must be stubborn with stubborn characters. We'll lay a trap for that scoundrel.
We'll interrogate him up and down in the court of justice composed of both
Charedi and secular judges, but obviously, the chief justice of the court will
be a National Religious Jew. After all, we National Religious Jews are better
than everyone else, smarter than everyone else, more perfect than everyone
else, and we have an official document signed by the evil impulse. Actually,
others, as well, claim that they have a similar document (but theirs’ are
the court, will ask the evil impulse of strife, controversy and quarreling
several incisive questions:
is your name and your address?
A: I am
the evil impulse, a.k.a. the hypocrite. My address is everywhere. I am not
prejudiced. I live with everyone, Charedim and Zionists, religious and irreligious,
Yemenites and Ethiopians, academics and day laborers... I also work with
children and youth.
do you work for? The Charedim, the secular or the religious? Who are you with?
with anybody. I am with evil, but I cheat, and that way I succeed.
do you cheat?
that you are really one Nation, with more in common than what divides you, that
G-d loves all of you, and that all of you face the same trouble from your
enemies, that you are all good people, and that there is only one way to
paragraph of the Hagaddah "Ve-Hi She'amda" can be interpreted as
teaching that when we are not united as one Nation, precisely that is what
rises up to destroy us.
that's not the simple meaning of the words!
my interpretation, and it works...
tell us all this to our face. Are you not afraid that we will expose your
because you are idiots. For thousands of years you have been fighting amongst
yourselves, bringing calamity on yourselves, and you haven't yet learned your
we've got some news for you.
have indeed learned our lesson. Presently there really is a lot of love within
the Jewish Nation.
of love?! Easily disprovable! I have just now organized great quarrels over
drafting yeshiva students into the army, and over yeshiva budgets. It was my
idea, to sow strife, and it has been a resounding success.
failed. We didn't take the bait.
Q: No. A small minority
sinned. Most did not.The mainstream of
each stream did not sin. Only isolated individuals.
Isolated individuals! Yet
even a single dead fly can ruin all the ointment.
wrong. We got confused for a moment, but now we are returning to sanity.
doesn't look that way.
it is that way. You don't see because you are blind. Look how in the army
itself there is love and brotherhood and peace and friendship amongst
everybody. And that sets the tone for all Israeli life. We are going in the
right direction, and we are progressively being healed. Are there differences
of opinion? Yes! Are there divisions of the heart? No! Are there wars over
opinions? Is there a civil war? No! Because we are brothers! One Nation with
one heart. “Who is like you, one united Nation in the Land.”
Q: Is it permissible to wear jeans or a jean
skirt?I heard that some rabbis ruled
that it is forbidden because jeans are not modest.
A: Quite simply, the material itself is not a
problem.This material is durable, not
easily ruined and, as is well-known, quite affordable.This material also does not stick to the
body.A material which sticks to the
body and outlines its contours is not modest for men and, all the more so, for
women.My understanding is that the
rabbis who say that it is forbidden to wear jeans do not do so because of
immodesty, but because they represent a distorted culture.When you wear jeans, you identify with this
culture.The whole problem of wearing
clothing which represents the surrounding non-Jewish culture is called
"Chukat Ha-Goyim – following the non-Jewish practices."It is forbidden for us to wear the same
clothing as non-Jews.This prohibition
only applies, however, if the non-Jews are the only ones who wear a particular
type of clothing.If observant Jews also
wear them, there is no problem of "Chukat Ha-Goyim."This discussion is similar to one regarding
the black suit worn today by many yeshiva students.Originally in Russia, yeshiva students did
not wear suits, they wore all sorts of long coats.What happened?Rabbi Yisrael Salanter once visited Paris and
he saw that university students were wearing suits.He said, "Those who are learning in
yeshiva need to dress like those students.They are students of Torah and holiness."In Lithuania, the students therefore wore
suits.When those students arrived in
Jerusalem, the Sages of Jerusalem excommunicated them.They wrote harsh broadsides that wearing this
type of clothing is a violation of "Chukat Ha-Goyim."One needs a long coat.There is a principle, however, that if people
breach this prohibition and dress like non-Jews, they are in violation, but
once this practice has spread, it is no longer forbidden since this dress is no
longer worn solely by non-Jews.This is
stated in the responsa of the Rashba (vol. 5 #121).It is possible that in the past someone who
wore jeans was identifying with the distorted culture, but today all sorts of
people wear clothing made with jean material, both men and women, including
righteous, G-d-fearing individuals.It
is therefore permissible to wear such clothing.Ha-Rav Moshe Feinstein also has a responsum on this issue in "Igrot
Moshe" (Yoreh De'ah 1:81).He was
asked if there is a requirement to wear the clothing which Jews wore in Poland,
since in America both Jews and non-like dress alike.Ha-Rav Moshe answered that it is permissible
to wear the clothing like the non-Jews since there is no unique type of Jewish
clothing, and even G-d-fearing Jews wear the clothing like the non-Jews.Similarly, there is a story told about a
couple who moved from Hungary to America, and the wife wanted to cover her with
a wig like others in America instead of shaving her hair and wearing a scarf as
had been the custom of her foremothers in Hungary.The husband, however, did not agree and he
went to Ha-Rav Moshe Feinstein to ask about this issue.Ha-Rav Feinstein saw that the husband did not
have a beard.He asked: Did your father
and grandfather have beards?He said: Of
course, everyone had a beard.He asked:
why are you clean-shaven?He said: This
is America!Ha-Rav Feinstein said: If
so, there is no problem for your wife to wear a wig.Everything is dependent on the issue of
modesty.If the jeans and the jean
skirts are modest, they are acceptable.If they are not modest, including having images and decoration which
draw the attention of others, they are not acceptable.In short: It is not a question of the
material, but the piece of clothing itself - as in the case of all other items
Is there are obligation to honor whoever is elected the Chief Rabbi of Israel?
A: Absolutely. What kind of question is that?!
Explanation: One is obligated to honor every Torah scholar and one is obligated
all the more so to honor the Chief Rabbi. This is the story in the Gemara in
Rosh Hashanah (25). Rabban Gamliel, the head of the Sanhedrin – i.e. the Chief
Rabbi, ruled one way and Rabbi Yehoshua ruled another way. Rabban Gamliel said
to Rabbi Yehoshua: "You have to come to me with your staff and your money
belt on the day that you calculated to be Yom Kippur." Rabbi Yehoshua
asked Rabbi Dosa ben Hurkenos if he was obligated to go. He answered: "He
is the Chief Rabbi and he decided. If you question this Chief Rabbi, you have
to question every Chief Rabbi going back to Moshe Rabbenu." If you say,
"How was it that former times were better than these?" (Kohelet
7:10), you are incorrect. You forgot. "Go to the judge that will be in
your days" (Devarim 17:9) – that is the judge you have. And the later
generations should not say that the earlier generations were superior (Rosh
Hashanah ibid.). Rabbi Yehoshua went and Rabban Gamliel stood up, kissed him on
the head and said: "Peace be upon you, my Rabbi and my student. My Rabbi
in wisdom and my student in that you obeyed me." Fortunate is the
generation where the elders – i.e. the greater Torah scholars - listen to the
juniors, and all the more so when the juniors listen to the elders (Rosh
Hashanah ibid.). This is an explicit Gemara. This is the way events occurred
according to divine direction: each time there was a head of the Sanhedrin,
there were greater Torah scholars than him. Certainly the Chief Rabbi of today
is not like the head of the Sanhedrin back then, but the Torah scholars of
today are also not like the Torah scholars back then. Each one according to his
In the book "Chayei Ha-Re'eiyah" (p. 212 and see the talk of Rav Tzvi
Tau on Elkanah in Emunat Itenu vol. 1, p. 85), Rav Moshe Tzvi Neriyah relates
that a Torah scholar who made aliyah from America came to Maran (our revered
teacher) Ha-Rav Kook and complained about the state of Judaism in the Land of
Israel. He was so distressed that he was considering leaving Israel. Maran
Ha-Rav Kook said to him: Doesn't your honor remember the learning of his youth?
The Book of Shmuel relates about Elkana: "This man would ascend from his
city every year to prostrate himself and to bring sacrifices to Hashem, Master
of Legions, in Shiloh, and the two sons of Eli, Chofni and Phinchas, were
cohanim to Hashem there" (Shmuel 1 1:3). Rav Kook asked two questions
about this verse: 1. Why are we told in this verse that Chofni and Phinchas were
there? 2. Our Sages say that Elkana would not only go up to Shiloh, he would go
around and encourage others to do so as well. Why did he have to do this? After
all, isn’t ascending to the Mishkan on the holidays a Torah mitzvah? Why
weren't people following this mitzvah? Rav Kook explains that the first
question is in fact the answer to the second question. The fact that Chofni and
Phinchas were the cohanim in Shiloh caused people not to make the pilgrimage
there, since they were corrupt. People said that if there were Cohanim like
this in this holy place, it was better not to go and see this ugliness and meet
such sinners. Elkana then came and convinced them that despite the sons of Eli
and despite the sins at this holy place, they should not give up on this
mitzvah of Hashem. They should strengthen this holy place. Right now there are
not great people there, but later there will be. Do not give up because of the
difficulties. As a reward for this act, Elkana was blessed with a son, the
prophet Shmuel, who served in the Mishkan. Rav Kook said to the Torah scholar
that the same applies in relation to the holiness of the Land of Israel. Why
are you mad at the Land of Israel? There are problems, therefore exert yourself
and everything will work out. Although there are sinners, this is not a reason
not to make Sliyah and all the more so not to leave the Land of Israel. The
more people committed to the Torah and Mitzvot in the Land of Israel, the more
holiness will be added to it.
There may be problems with the Chief Rabbinate, but you have to honor it. I
have always said that the Chief Rabbinate is the nucleus from which the
seedling will sprout from which the Sanhedrin will blossom. Everyone
understands that it is not the Sanhedrin and it is not even a seedling of the
Sanhedrin, but it is the nucleus and the nucleus is precious. Do you think the
Sanhedrin will sprout from nothing? No, it will appear slowly. The same thing
applies to the State of Israel. Okay there are difficulties, but what do you
suggest? Would you prefer the British, the Turks or the Arabs? The State was
built slowly. The Rabbinate was built slowly. The Yeshivot were built slowly.
Everything is built slowly. If you want everything to be whole from the first
moment, you will not have anything. There are ups and downs. You had Rav Kook
who was a Torah giant and afterwards you had others who were less than Rav
Kook, and so it seems that they will continue to be less than Rav Kook. The
essence is that we must pay attention to the process and not reject something
great when temporary difficulties arise.
answers hundreds of text message questions a day! Here's a sample:
I saw a great Torah scholar with a Smartphone.Doesn't he know that there are forbidden things there?!
No.He does not know.And it once happened that a student asked
Ha-Rav Moshe Feinstein how he walks on a particular street on which there are
forbidden images.He responded: I didn't
notice that there were forbidden images.
How should we relate to a Rabbi who calls Religious Zionist Jews Amalek?
Anyone who does not speak to the heart of a matter, indicates that he has
nothing to say about the matter.In
practice, all segments of Am Yisrael are lacking and together we form a
whole.But certainly no one is Amalek
(see Igrot Ha-Re'eiyah, Vol. 1 Igeret 311.And see Sichot Ha-Rav Tzvi Yehudah – Bereshit, pp. 382-383).
I asked a text message question and received an answer that it was permissible.
For your information, I later saw that a certain Rabbi forbids it.
It is known.But you did not state in
your question that you wanted an answer according to his opinion.Please note this the next time you ask (see
introduction to Piskei Shlomo).
Why are there more Charedi Torah scholars than Religious Zionist Torah
Because Charedi Torah scholars began 2000 years ago, and Religious Zionist
Torah scholars began 100 years ago, but the quantity and quality grows at an
If there is a movie with immodest parts, is it permissible to watch it and not
watch those parts?
It is forbidden, just as it is forbidden to travel on an immodest road, unless
there is no alternative route, and one is therefore forced to travel on
it.But here one is not forced to do so,
since it is entertainment.Baba Batra
I am newly married and I do not know how to tell my husband that he has
extremely bad breathe.
Blame the problem on yourself and tell him that you are very sensitive.
Is it permissible to touch a girl indirectly, such as with a pencil?
The Yetzer Ha-Ra is so creative!As is
written in the Gemara: A person's inclination renews itself each day (Sukkah
One's Garment over Yerushalayim and the Cities of Yehudah
Why don't we tear our garments over seeing Yerushalayim and the Cities of
Yehudah in their destroyed state?
Because they are under Jewish sovereignty.See Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 560, Mishnah Berurah in the name of the
Beit Yosef (and see Kum Hithalech Ba-Aretz #1-2).
or Golden Calf
Which was worse – the Sin of the Spies or the Sin of the Golden Calf?
Each was worse than the other in a particular way.
I am Ashkenazi and Daven in a Sefardi Shul.Should I stand for Kaddish (as is Ashkenazi, but not Sephardi, custom)?
Act as everyone else (see Massechet Derech Eretz, Chapter 5: "A person
should not stand among those who are seated or sit among those who are
Ha-Ra at Work
My fellow workers speak Lashon Ha-Ra against other workers in a foreign
language because they think I don't understand it.Should I tell them that I do understand to
save them from speaking it or refrain since it will embarrass them?
Certainly inform them.It is preferable
to embarrass them a little here than a lot in the World to Come.
answers hundreds of text message questions a day! Here's a sample:
the Grave of Rebbe Nachman to Israel
Is it a Mitzvah to transfer the grave of Rebbe Nachman to Israel?
It is certainly a Mitzvah.See Shulchan
Aruch, Yoreh Deah #363, Pitchei Teshuvah #2.And it is a great Mitzvah (And there are those who opposed bring the graves
of Gedolei Yisrael to Eretz Yisrael.The
Chazon Ish opposed bringing the grave of the Vilna Gaon.Orchot Rabbenu Vol. 1, p. 316.And it is related in Kuntres Reshumei Aharon
p. 24 #37, that the grandchildren of the Chafetz Chaim once came to Ha-Rav
Moshe Feinstein and asked if they were permitted to move the Chafetz Chaim's
grave to Israel, since there are non-Jews in Radin who desecrate the
cemetery.Ha-Rav Feinstein replied that
the basic halachah is that it is permissible to transfer a grave on account of
honoring the deceased, but he didn't recommend it in this case.All of the souls of the Jews of Poland who
are deceased anticipate greeting the Messiah together with the Chafetz Chaim, Ha-Rav
Feinstein reasoned, and if you take his bones to Eretz Yisrael, perhaps those
souls will be upset over it).
I have many troubles in my life.Is
there a Segulah to protect me from them?
"Whoever guards his mouth and his tongue, keeps his soul from
Is it permissible to ask a Rabbi a hypothetical question?
If you inform him from the outset that it is not a practical question, since if
he thinks it is a practical question, the Rabbi will spend much effort and toil
to answer it.It is therefore forbidden
to deceive him (When Ha-Rav Meir Brandsdofer, author of Shut Kene Bosem and
member of the Beit Din of the Eidah Ha-Charedit, was asked a halachic question,
he would often say: "Tell me the truth, is this a practical
question?"When he was asked about
this practice, he explained that when he gives a practical halachic answer,
there is a special Divine help in reaching the truth of Torah.Another time, he said: "A Rabbi is not a
factory to create answers."And he
pointed out that all of the responsa books of the Rishonim and Achronim were
written from questions sent from around the world, aside from Shut Terumat
Ha-Deshen, as brought in the Shach, Yoreh Deah 196:20.The reason being is that if one detail is
different, the ruling can totally change.Heichal Hora'ah, pp. 17-18).
How does one calculate the time of a Pidyon Ha-Ben?
It is 30 days after the birth, which always falls 2 days later in the week than
the birth itself.If the child was born
on Tuesday, the Pidyon Ha-Ben is on Thursday or Thursday night.And if it falls on Shabbat, then the Pidyon
Ha-Ben is on Motzaei Shabbat.
Is it permissible to put a BCC (blind carbon copy) on an email?
Only if it is the desire of the one to whom the email is sent."One who goes along slandering reveals
If I enter a place and see the security guard sleeping, should I report it?
Certainly.It is a life-threatening
for a Long Life
Is there a Segulah for a long and good life?
“Who is the man that desires life and loves days of seeing good? Let him guard his tongue from evil and his
lips from speaking evil.”Tehillim 34:13-
We constantly hear people invalidating
the secular or the religious, the left or the right, government ministers or
the Government. How sad that after 2,000 years of exile, and being
educated through suffering to have Ahavat Yisrael, there are still those who
speak in this manner. Their words are lies, and saying them is considered
lording over others!
We must be extremely cautious
against making generalizations. We live in a world where nothing is
perfect. We must distinguish between one whose only thoughts are
evil and who thinks of ways to destroy the Nation and Land of Israel, and
one whose intentions are good and wants to save the State, but who is
nevertheless gravely mistaken in his path. There is a big difference
between an evil person and a good person who errs. As Maran Ha-Rav Kook
expresses, if we explain to a good person that 2+2 = 4 and not 5, he will be
grateful to us. When someone is mistaken, there is only one way of
convincing him otherwise - and it is not through harshness and insult.
Am Yisrael is not divided in such
a way that one group is completely right and possesses all of the positives,
while everyone else is lacking. There were times like this in the past,
when idol worshipers were completely corrupt and scorned Hashem, but - in our
days - the merits are scattered among the Nation. We even give the
benefit of the doubt to those who divide the Nation: They are idealists, whose
words flow from their heart to defend the Torah and the Land of Israel.
But, with all due respect, they are also mistaken when they cut the body of the
Nation with a sharp knife and use the terms "us" and
Why do these idealists err so
severely? Rabbenu Ha-Rav Tzvi Yehudah explains that the answer is found
in two words: "Kima, Kima" ([the Redemption arrives] slowly, slowly).
In the Exile, the Nation crumbles. But with its return to its Land,
everything is being rebuilt and revived. This process takes time. It
comes slowly, slowly.
It is easy to prove that this is
the State about which the prophets prophesized. After all, the Nation is
returning home and the Land continues to blossom. This is not the
complete Redemption for which we pray each day in the Shemoneh
Esrei, but we must nonetheless be joyous for every "crumb"
of Redemption. The Nation will not be reborn in a day. Israel will
not return to its Land in one day. The Nation will not come to love
Yehudah and Shomron in one day. And not everyone will begin to keep
Shabbat and eat Kosher in one day.
Reality does not have wings like
imagination. We must therefore gird ourselves with patience. Hashem
has incredible patience. He waited 10 generations from Adam to Noach
before destroying the world and another 10 generations between Noach and
Avraham before rewarding Avraham for all of the goodness (Pirkei Avot
5:2). Hashem waited close to 2,000 years before the appearance of Avraham
Patience is not idleness, but
action based on careful consideration of the pace of reality. What we
have accomplished thus far in the State of Israel has great value, and we must
continue on. We must do all we can, without losing our joy
and optimism. We must rejoice over what we have attained up to
this point, in all realms. It is true that there are many complications,
but one who only sees darkness and no light is lacking in gratitude to Hashem.
We must increase Ahavat Yisrael -
love of our fellow Jews - and the understanding that we are one Nation. That which
we have in common is infinitely greater than that which separates us. We
are in the same boat; we are one soul. And - most of all - we must
remember that difference of opinion is permissible, but division of hearts
To Enrich the spiritual life of the English-speaking World through the Torah of Ha-Rav Shlomo Aviner, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Ateret Yerushalayim in the heart of the Old City of Jerusalem. By offering English translations of Rav Aviner’s written and oral Torah, this division of the yeshiva aims to expose English speakers to a powerful, sensitive and poetic voice unparalleled in our time. His unfailing optimism, his tolerance and love all Jews, his guidance for harmony within the Jewish family and his dedication to Eretz Yisrael, the State of Israel and Tzahal will inspire and enrich the lives of all who may now have access to his words.