Monday, December 12, 2005

The Religious Zionism Debate XVII

Rael Levinsohn translated an interesting letter from the Hafetz Hayim's son-in-law to R. Avraham Yitzhak Ha-Kohen Kook, protesting the latter's being disparaged in a Torah journal.

Here's an excerpt from the letter:

However, when I recently saw that a periodical that has appeared – which arrogantly dares to call itself “meeting place of the sages” – wrote horrible, cursed, and blasphemous words against our teacher Rav Avaraham Yitzchak HaKohen Shlit”a – [words which] are forbidden to even put in print – I find it a holy obligation in my soul not to be silent (as is explicit in the Rambam הלכות ת"ת פ"ו הל' יא-יב). [This is because] someone who disparages a Torah scholar has no portion in the world to come, and is in the category of one who “despises the Word of Hashem” (כי דבר ה' בזה), and we are obligated to banish him. [And this is especially true regarding] this brilliant and pious [rav] – that it is forbidden to remain silent [on this matter] and we must go out and rebuke this humiliation of the Torah, and join ourselves to the protest and great anger of the rabbis and sages of the Holy Land and the exile regarding these words of villainy.
Compare that to the story Frumteens relates:
The Chofetz Chaim, the paragon of Shemiras Halashon, who as far as we know did not publicly or privately declare rav Kook to be an Apikores, responded, when presented with one of Rav Kook's infamous staements about the "holiness" of the chiloni soccer players, quote:

"Kook shmook".

That's from the Chofetz Chaim. Whether you are going to consider him an Apikores for making such statements of not, we certainly reject the statments themselves, in nothing but the strongest terms.
It seems likely that the Frumteens moderator was relating a false story. Ironically, according to the Hafetz Hayim's son-in-law, telling that story makes one into a heretic!

(hat tip, hat tip II)

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