Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Rav Kook on Youth off the Derech

"[to] The great majority of [Torah] scholars in our times it is fitting to abandon those children who have been turned from Torah ways and the faith by the raging current of the time. I say emphatically, that this is not God's way...! R. A. Y. Kook; Selected Letters, Tzvi Feldman, 1986 pp.51-4

Rav Kook is widely known, acutely in the circles of those who claim his discipleship, for being deeply sympathetic towards secular Chalutzim, particularly those who left Torah in their Zionist idealism. He believed emphatically that they were not willful transgressors, but were enticed by ideologies of their day, thoughts of freedom, empowerment, etc. He believed this emphatically - just, as it seems, his loyal opposition believed otherwise empathically...those who left the folds of tradition did so as willful [self-sacrificing, Eretz Israel-rebuilding, charedi-defending...] transgressors. The "Daas Torah" of his opponents...remains Daas Torah does it not? And it was the majority who did not support Zionism or the Zionists, many even the Zionist endeavor -even to the last while the Shoah was going on! Rav Kook - as their disciples would argue (I'm secure in supposing), was a mere daas yachid. His derech was poorly timed, misinformed, starry-eyed...whatever it was, it was simply not in accord with the majority of the Gedolim of his day! have held by him then is to hold by him now - and such is to stand in opposition to those Gedolim - and their ideological descendants today...oh what a world.

More discussion later I"H. More on this era here.


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