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Land of Israel and Halacha


Rabbi Elchanan Lewis

22 Av 5764
I have studied a decent amount of Rav Kook’s writings and am quite enamored both with him as an individual as well as his overall Jewish philosophy. I also tend to agree with today’s Rabbis who claim to purport the Rav’s beliefs and base their opinions about modern politics on Rav Kook’s ideology. Nevertheless, I fail to understand how many of these Rabbis entirely reject the Halachick rulings of many Gedolai Yisral (including many who are strong Zionists) that claim that land for peace is halachikly permissible. I highly doubt that these Rabbis have made false halachick rulings; that being the case, Rav Kook followers are permitted to disagree with opposing Halachick opinions, but they cannot reject them as going against the Torah. I feel that many of Rav Kook’s followers base their rulings on more mystical concepts, particularly Hatchalat Hamashiach. To base one’s entire ideology on mysticism I find to be quite dangerous. Can you please give a defense of the Rav’s followers.
I'm not sure it has to do with whether you are a Talmid of Rav Kook or not but anyway… The whole Torah world is filled with Halachic disputes – this is only another one. Just like in many Halachic disputes when one Halachic authority is convinced that he has the right view and his opponent is getting it all wrong he can claim that that opinion is against Halacha. This for that matter is just like any other Halachic argument between two valid Halachic authorities, which the Halacha is like one side. Philosophical issues should and do have to do with practical Halacha – there are many examples to show that, as Jewish philosophy or Hashkafa is not less Torah than Halacha. Similarly our Halacha is influenced by the philosophical views and teachings, if one fails to understand the essentiality of Eretz Israel in our communal and national organism, he might not give it the same weight when ruling a Halacha regarding to our land of life.
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