Thursday, April 30, 2015

From Rav Aviner on his philosophical opponents - admirable approach!

Religious ANTI-Zionists

Satmar Rebbe
Q: How should one relate to the Satmar Rebbe and Ha-Rav Elchanan Wasserman, who scorned Maran Ha-Rav Kook?
A: They erred severely in this area, but we are still obligated to honor them (Shut Radvaz 4:187.  Ma'amrei Ha-Re'eiyah, p. 56.  See Shut Bnei Banim 2:34).

Satmar Book
Q: I have a Satmar book with quotes against the State of Israel.  Should I throw it in the garbage?
A: No.  It also contains sacred words.  Place it in the Geniza.

Chasidei Satmar and Neturei Karta
Q: How should we relate to the Chasidei Satmar and Neturei Karta who participated in the Holocaust Denial Conference in Iran?  Is there an obligation to hate them?
A: G-d forbid.  One must love every Jew.  But it is permissible to wage war against their opinions.  They are confused and do not represent Satmar Chasidim (One of the current Satmar Rebbes, Ha-Rav Yekutiel Yehudah Teitelbaum, said about these members of Neturei Karta who visited Iran: "These people take the pure name of Satmar in vain! Our Holy Rabbi, the 'Vayoel Moshe' [the first Satmar Rebbe, and his uncle], exaggeratedly said that they cause more damage than the Zionists themselves.  We are working to cast off all these extreme sects.  When these went to Iran, the Satmar Beit Din issued a harsh letter against them."  Mishpachah Magazine.  29 Kislev 5773, p. 24).    

Counting Neturei Karta in Minyan
Q: Is it permissible to count someone from Neturei Karta in a Minyan?
A: Of course!  There is no question here.

Satmar Shul
Q: If there is no other Minyan, is it permissible to daven in a Satmar Shul, even though they are against the State of Israel?
A: Yes.  Do not excommunicate people.

Praying for the Health of a Neturei Karta
Q: One of the leaders of Neturei Karta is very ill and is in the hospital.  Should we pray that he dies?  After all, he has blood on his hands for actively supporting our enemies?
A: We should certainly pray for his recovery.  He is in the category of a confused person.   

Learning the Satmar Rebbe's Books
Q: Does one receive the reward for learning Torah when learning the Satmar Rebbe's books?
A: Certainly.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

L'zecher nishmas Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein zt"l

Back in 1978 I took a bechinah (IIRC, together with my friend Reb Aaron Berger) with Reb Aharon zt"l for Gush (we were both accepted but did not go) and heard several shiurim from him over the years. That is the sum total of my interactions with him. Nevertheless, there is one manner in which I feel a sense of kindred spirit with him, in the question of what secular area is the one most optimal to synthesize with Torah in the pursuit of TIDE/TUM. That issue is the subject of an indirect disagreement between Reb Aharon (humanities) and ylct"a, Rabbi Dr. Yehuda (Leo) Levi (mathematics and hard science). I address it here, also to be found at

Although I tried not to "take sides" in the essay, and there is no "correct" form of synthesis in any event, RAL's synthesis speaks more to my heart. There are, of course, other forms as well. RAL's FIL, RYBS, seems to have held that the optimal synthesis is with philosophy, while RAL Uncle-In-Law, RAS, seems to have held it to be with law.


Friday, April 03, 2015

Divrei Chaim: galus Mitzrayim and the seder story as a lesson in...

Great post by my BIL. On Emunah and questions, see the cited Maharal in:

Divrei Chaim: galus Mitzrayim and the seder story as a lesson in...: It is a very hard week… too much to do all around, little time to think, less time to write.  According to one view in Chazal ( see this p...