Powered by WebAds

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

We are all brothers

From An Angel Among Men (Pg. 434-435):

During Rav Kook's tenure in Jerusalem, R. Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld served as the Chief Rabbi of the Eidah HaChareidit. In contrast to the Rav's deep love for the young pioneers, who toiled to rejuvenate the barren land, R. Sonnenfeld was very wary and critical of them.

A close associate of R. Sonnenfeld once came to the Rav's house to discuss current events. In the middle of the conversation, the visitor remarked: "I recently heard a brilliant idea from our master, R. Sonnenfeld, Shlita. In all of Scriptures, we find the word nachnu [a shortened form of the word anachnu, meaning 'we'] only twice: In parashat Matot (BaMidbar 32:32) it says, We [Nachnu] shall cross over armed [chalutzim - which can also mean pioneers]; and in the Book of Eichah (3:42) it says, We [nachnu] have transgressed and rebelled. This hints to the fact that the secular pioneers currently building the Land are considered sinners who rebel against the word of G-d."

Upon hearing these words, Rav Kook's face turned pale, and he exclaimed in an angry tone: "You go tell my distinguished friend, R. Yosef Chayim, that there is a third verse which tips the scales in favor of the chalutzim. It says in beReishit (42:11), We [nachnu] are all sons of one man. This implies that all Jews are descendants of Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov; and the merit of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs stands by their side. Therefore, we must hope that the mitzvah of Yishuv Eretz Yisrael will protect the pioneer builders of our Land, despite the fact that they have - due to prevailing circumstances - temporarily moved away from the rock from which they were hewn (Yeshayah 51:1)