Upon visiting Israel, Jews from America are surprised to find that "The Rav" here (even among such notables as Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach) is Rav Kook, and not Rav Soloveitchik. Rav Kook's influential and popular standing for millions of Jews, makes it that much more tragic, that his writings are not known in American or Haredi yeshivot. In the Jubilee of the State of Israel, surveys found that he was the most in-consensus figure among Israelis, and the question is: Why is his Torah and personality so popular? This overview deals with the historic background of Rav Kook, his generation, and his harmonious, holistic synthesizing (rational, emotional and mystical) Torah, which may very well be that which is missing, to be mekarev the masses.
In a previous article we discussed the writings of Rav Yehudah Hachassid, who prohibited or advised against many potential marriages that are otherwise perfectly acceptable according to halachah. But first some background on the chassidei Ashkenaz.
“My husband’s name is Chayim Shelomoh, and an excellent shidduch possibility was just suggested for my daughter. However, the bachur’s name was originally Shelomoh, but as a child, he was ill and they added the name Chayim before Shelomoh. May we proceed with this shidduch?”
Rav Abba Berman once explained that superficial learning is like watching the hands of a clock move around its dial. In-depth learning, which he felt is the goal of all learning, is like “opening the back of the watch to see what makes it tick.”
Rabbi Herzog was very unique, different, out-of-the-box, apolitical, fearless in his views and decisions while at the same time being humble, self-effacing and modest to the extreme in his personal and private life. He achieved the dignity and widespread support of all sections of the Jewish world.
How did Rabi Mordechay Eliyahu ZTL succeed in convincing a Jewish boy not to marry a non-Jewish girl?
" If the mitzvah is the motive, then the words of anyone who has Yirat Shamayim are heard, but the second time your real motive was money, so your words were not heard..."
The seventh yahrzeit of Rav Shlomoh Wolbe, the most published mussar and hashkafah
author of our generation, falls on the 17th of Nissan. I would like to share with our readers
what I wrote at the time:
Rav Shlomoh Wolbe passed on to the yeshiva shel maalah during Chol HaMoed Pesach,
leaving the following tzavaah:
The Torah giant Rabbi Shmuel Eliezer Eidels, better known as the Maharsha, faithfully fulfilled the commandment to delve into the Torah day and night. So when the local Jew-hater planned a scheme against the Jews, he tried to spring a trap on the one night a year that the Rabbi didn't study...