Saturday, August 22, 2020

85th Yurzeit of Harav Avraham Yitzchok Kook z"l

Recently a good friend of mine suggested I read a book titled 
"Our Man in Jerusalem" by R' Nachman Seltzer that relates great stories from Rabbi Yisrael Gellis who is a tenth-generation Yerushalmi. 

Since I live in Bet Shemesh its not easy to get English Books, and so I decided to go into my local Sefarim store and ordered it ...I paid 122.00 shekels around $36.00.... 
well let me tell you it was worth every penny.

I found a fascinating story in that book on page 152 about Harav Eliyashiv z"l that speaks volumes about the greatness of Harav Kook z"l.

I will quote an excerpt verbatim...:

"During the final years of Rav Elyashiv's life, his sons and grandsons gathered in his succah on one of the nights of Chol Ha'Moed and discussed a specific halachic matter. One of those assembled quoted Rav Avraham Yitzchak HaKohen Kook's ruling, and one of the grandsons responded to the quote by saying dismissively, "Hot ehr gezugt." (This would be translated roughly as "So what if Rav Kook said that...")

His grandfather responded to that line as if bitten by a snake.
"What did you say? he asked his grandson.
"Hot ehr gezugt.." the grandson repeated.
"Leave the succah." Rav Eliyashiv ordered his grandson. "I don't want you in my succah!" 

It was the only time Rav Elyashiv had ever thrown someone out of his succah - and not just anyone, but a grandson.

The grandson had no choice but to obey. He left his Zeide's succah and sat down on the steps outside the apartment, where he cried bitter tears. 

To show true remorse at his remark and to make up for the lack of kavod haTorah he had shown Rav Kook z"l , the grandson established a night kollel in Tiferes Bachrim where the members study the monumental Torah writings of the renowned Rav Kook - the tzaddik and talmid chacham who was so universally respected by the greatest leaders of the yishuv.
After that move, the grandson was forgiven by his illustrious zeide.."

Yehuda Mirsky, the author of Rav Kook, relates that in April 1921, the third Gerer Rebbe, R' Avraham Mordechai Alter, came from Poland to visit Eretz Yisrael and visited Rav Kook. 
The two had a very respectful friendly conversation ... but when the extremists in Yerushlayim heard about the visit ..
they denounced the Gerer Rebbe in the "time-honored" Yerushalyim media .... with disgusting "paskevelim." 
The Rebbe was so taken back by the personal attacks from the "Yerushalmi tzaddikim" that he refused to meet with R' Diskin and R' Zonnenfeld's representatives ... The Rebbe only relented after being placated appropriately. 

During his return voyage to Europe, the rebbe wrote a letter to his chassidim, this letter became the "ultra-Orthodox pronouncement" on Rav Kook.
Contrary to how he has been depicted, the rebbe wrote, 
"Rav Kook was a man of real nobility, learned in all aspects of the Torah, and his admirable loathing of money was unmistakable, his love for Zion is boundless.... "


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