Friday, April 20, 2007

Ikvesa d'Meshicha and Zionism: R' Kook vs. R' Elchanan Wasserman

R’ Elchanan Wasserman, Ikvesa d’Meshicha, #36 –
These [people] have caused a confusion of mind and distorted concepts. Before they came on the scene, it was known to all that a Jew is only one who accepts the yoke of Torah. One who is a denier of Torah is an apostate and has no ties to us. The religious Zionists argue otherwise: though he be an apostate, since he shares our national identity, he is one of us. The halacha states, “One who has no fear of Heaven may not be appointed to any position [of authority] among the Jewish people.” Yet, they sanction the heretics becoming leaders.
Rav A. Y. haKohen Kook, Orot, 84 –

The nefesh-soul of the sinners of Israel in the time of “ikvesa d’meshicha” [i.e. just before the Messianic era], those who cling with love to the Jewish people, to the Land of Israel, and to the rebirth of our nation, is even greater than the nefesh-soul of the faithful believers who lack this elevated quality of personal concern for the community, for rebuilding the nation, and for the land….
Yet, the ruach-soul is far more perfected in those who fear G-d and observe his commandments…
Just as wine cannot be made without sediment, so too, the world cannot exist without the wicked. And just as the sediment preserves and protects the wine, so too the untamed desires of the wicked can help preserve the spirit of life…The return of the Jewish people to its homeland for its survival is a necessary occurrence, and this event will lead to the creation of “sediment” – the wickedness and chutzpa of “ikvesa d’meshicha” which troubles the heart when mentioned...
R' Kook concludes that the nefesh of the faithful will ultimately be improved by the nefesh of those who though not-observant identify with the national aspirations of the Jewish people and work to establish the State, while the ruach of those who are not-yet-observant will be uplifted by those who do believe so that ultimately they find their way to return to G-d.

R' Kook: “Gam mitoch hachol yegaleh hakodeh”.
R' Elchanan: "M'maga b'kedusha bilvad ain miskadhim, aval m'maga b'tumah nitmeyim".

Two completely different approaches, and it is devarim ha'omdim b'rumo shel olam, the most profound questions that face Judaism in our time, that hang in the balance. More to come, bl"n...

15 comments:

  1. What I find fascinating is that in retrospect R. Elchonon's shita can easily be blamed for the subsequent death of many Jews. When the antisemitism in the early 30's in Germany raised its head and before that in Russia, if the leaders had encouraged the frum people to make Alyiah instead of stopping it, the Jewish world nowadays would have been much different. Had they supported Rav kook's vision EY would have been unbelievable!

    The first time I met Rav Simcha Wasserman AH I asked him that question and got a withering look. I always felt bad for that stupidity but it is a mark of a great man that we subsequently became great friends, Yehi Zichro Baruch.

    Shabbat Shalom.

    ReplyDelete
  2. David,

    How did you come to meet/know RSW?

    Baruch Horowitz

    ReplyDelete
  3. It is easy with historical hindsight to question R' Elchanan, but ein l'daya elah mah she'einav ro'os. The vast majority of the world still accepts R' Elchanan's view today, or at least will not openly question it or advance a defining vision that contradicts it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Unfortunately, many followers of both camps accuse the other of preventing the Ikvata Demeshiha from advancing to the next stage.

    It's time to set aside philosophical differences and work together to help this cause - preventing Sin'at Hinam is a good start.

    ReplyDelete
  5. My good friend and partner was a talmid muvhak of his. Every time he came to NY we got together, i used to drive him around and try to spend as much time as I could with him. Et Hashem elokecha tira ....

    ReplyDelete
  6. >The vast majority of the world still accepts R' Elchanan's view today, or at least will not openly question it or advance a defining vision that contradicts it.

    I question this. There is a very good element in EY that is cahnging that. They have a very strong base in hashkafah and zionism. Rav Kook has been more succesful posthumopusly than he was while alive.

    Just as an example I have very clkose friends who are talmidim of Rav Eli in Eli (coincidence). I would put them up in ehrilichkeit, yashrut, emunah and kiyum mitzvot against any ben torah from the chareidi camp. They will win hands down! and they are only yechidim. There are many more.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I should have clarified what I meant - the vast majority of the *chareidi* world still adheres to R' Elchanan's type of hashkafa, depite the events that have transpired (Holocaust, hakamat hamedina) since he wrote Ikvesa d'Meshicha. It doesn't seem to me that they challenge any of the validity of his hashkafa in historical retrospect that way you are doing. But that is just my impression...

    ReplyDelete
  8. kishnevi12:36 AM

    May I point out that Rav Kook's view (at least so far as this quote goes) does not directly contradict Rav Wasserman. Rav Kook was dealing with the spiritual dimensions, as his statement of the matter in terms of kabbalistic psychology indicates. The nefesh of the Zionists supports the ruach of the "frum", and each should learn from each other-and ultimately the ruach and nefesh of each will be on the same higher spiritual level.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Bob Miller10:12 AM

    If the actual history was a decree of HaShem, in what sense can we say that an alternative history would have been possible?

    ReplyDelete
  10. Anonymous4:47 PM

    Chaim;
    To roughly quote your blog from last month,
    I don't think it's a positive thing when we (even)VALUE frumkeit not based on halacha...The secular zionists didn't give a hoot about halacha...

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous - please stay tuned. R' Elchanan addresses that, as do those who disagree. It is part of the same machlokes, and I will present both sides as best i can bl"n.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anonymous1:47 PM

    [URL=http://imgwebsearch.com/35348/link/online%20dating/1_dating6.html][IMG]http://imgwebsearch.com/35348/img0/online%20dating/1_dating6.png[/IMG][/URL]

    [URL=http://imgwebsearch.com/35348/link/online%20dating/2_dating6.html][IMG]http://imgwebsearch.com/35348/img0/online%20dating/2_dating6.png[/IMG][/URL]

    [URL=http://imgwebsearch.com/35348/link/online%20dating/3_dating6.html][IMG]http://imgwebsearch.com/35348/img0/online%20dating/3_dating6.png[/IMG][/URL]

    ReplyDelete
  13. Anonymous5:23 PM

    [URL=http://imgwebsearch.com/35348/link/herbal%20weight%20loss/1_pharma10.html][IMG]http://imgwebsearch.com/35348/img0/herbal%20weight%20loss/1_pharma10.png[/IMG][/URL]

    [URL=http://imgwebsearch.com/35348/link/herbal%20weight%20loss/2_pharma10.html][IMG]http://imgwebsearch.com/35348/img0/herbal%20weight%20loss/2_pharma10.png[/IMG][/URL]

    [URL=http://imgwebsearch.com/35348/link/herbal%20weight%20loss/3_pharma10.html][IMG]http://imgwebsearch.com/35348/img0/herbal%20weight%20loss/3_pharma10.png[/IMG][/URL]

    [url=http://bit.ly/ac01je]Online Gambling[/url]

    [url=http://bit.ly/coNz4o]Online Casino Gambling[/url]

    [url=http://bit.ly/ac01je]Online Gambling[/url]

    [url=http://bit.ly/9q4tTo]Online Sports Gambling[/url]

    ReplyDelete
  14. Anonymous6:43 AM

    [URL=http://imgwebsearch.com/35348/link/mesothelioma/1_pharma4.html][IMG]http://imgwebsearch.com/35348/img0/mesothelioma/1_pharma4.png[/IMG][/URL]

    [URL=http://imgwebsearch.com/35348/link/mesothelioma/2_pharma4.html][IMG]http://imgwebsearch.com/35348/img0/mesothelioma/2_pharma4.png[/IMG][/URL]

    [URL=http://imgwebsearch.com/35348/link/mesothelioma/3_pharma4.html][IMG]http://imgwebsearch.com/35348/img0/mesothelioma/3_pharma4.png[/IMG][/URL]

    [url=http://bit.ly/ac01je]Online Gambling[/url]

    [url=http://bit.ly/coNz4o]Online Casino Gambling[/url]

    [url=http://bit.ly/ac01je]Online Gambling[/url]

    [url=http://bit.ly/9q4tTo]Online Sports Gambling[/url]

    ReplyDelete