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Shabbat Parashat Miketz 5783

Igrot Hareaya Letters of Rav Kook: How to Develop New Approaches in Eretz Yisraels Rabbinate

#137 part II

Date and Place: 12 Iyar 5668 (1908), Yafo


Recipient: Rabbi Yitzchak Isaac Halevi. We have already seen letters between the two on the topic of Rav Kook’s planned yeshiva, but this presentation deserves to be seen.


Body: [Last time, we saw Rav Kook’s contention that to solve the religious problems of the generation, it was necessary to found new yeshivot in the New Yishuv to produce rabbis and laymen who could understand and appeal to the pioneering population of Eretz Yisrael.]

Things will change after we have succeeded with that which Hashem desires [in building new religious institutions]. Through the experience, all will see that the correct way is indeed that which is grand for the person who does it and which others see as grand. The time will come when it will be proved that all the made-up fears, with which the leaders of the old institutions scare people, about the dangers of changes for the better, are incorrect. The changes are actually clearly correct, as seen in the Torah and healthy logic that the fear has no basis. To the contrary, by not making changes, the danger will just become more acute. The danger is because all of those who are educated by those steeped in Torah and fear of Heaven are not prepared for life, neither in regard to their knowledge nor in regard to their behavior and manners. The result is that they become, for the most part, weak people, lacking confidence, and they depend on communal support. Those who follow the path of [religious] destruction use those people’s background and strengthen themselves in their negative activities, even though their end will be total destruction, which is discernable to those who have a watchful eye.

After all of this, I want to point out to your honor that only when [we have made these changes] and will have what to point to [as successes], will the old institutions, whose intentions are for the sake of Hashem, admit to us [that we are correct]. Then the good, new ideas will spread throughout all the religious schools and yeshivot in the Holy Land, and there will be an increase in strength for the Holy Nation. These improvements will last forever, and we will see that the blossoms will bring grandeur in a manner that will bring joy to Hashem and to people.

Therefore, there is no reason to scatter our strength at the outset without gain, by trying to seek a joint plan of action with our special brothers, the German Orthodox Jewish community, in regard to institutions that want to continue operating in their traditional style. It is better that we begin to form a new institution as an experiment. We can be sure that Hashem is before us on our path. When we will succeed, then we will have a proper stake upon which to attach the improvements that are needed throughout Eretz Yisrael.

I spoke briefly with Professor Nathan (a representative of the German Jewish community) about starting a yeshiva here for training rabbis for the New Yishuv. I was not able to explain matters to him more fully, based on his state of mind. Of course, I pointed out to him that the entire internal administration must consist of religious people, and especially people who are insiders, who know intimately about the Land and what it is missing.

I hope that you will honor me with practical responses without too much time passing. Matters are pressing at every moment, as we want to actually begin that which we have been planning for quite a while.


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Nir Rephael ben Rachel Bracha
Arye Yitzchak ben Geula Miriam

Neta bat Malka

Meira bat Esther
Yerachmiel ben Zlotta Rivka

Together with all cholei Yisrael

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Those who fell in wars

for our homeland


Prof. Yisrael Aharoni z"l

Kislev 14, 5783


Rav Shlomo Merzel z”l
Iyar 10, 5771

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Tishrei 9
,5776 / Tishrei 20, 5782


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Sivan 17 / Av 20


Mr. Moshe Wasserzug z"l

Tishrei 20 ,5781


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Rav Carmel's father

Iyar 8 ,5776


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bat RMoshe Zev a”h.

Tamuz 10 ,5774


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Kislev 9 / Elul 5780

R' Meir ben

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Tevet 16 ,5780


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Chana bat Yaish & Simcha

Sebbag, z"l


Rav Yisrael Rozen z"l
Cheshvan 13, 5778


Rav Benzion Grossman z"l
Tamuz 23, 5777


R' Abraham Klein z"l

Iyar 18 ,5779


Mrs. Gita Klein z"l

Av 4


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Tammuz 19, 5778


R' Yitzchak Zev Tarshansky z"l

Adar 28, 5781


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Nechama Osna bat Yitzhak Aharon & Doba

Av 30, 5781


Rabbi Dr. Jerry Hochbaum z"l

Adar II 17, 5782


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Adar II 18, 5782


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Nisan 27, 5782


R. Yona Avraham ben Shmuel Storfer z”l
19 Kislev

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