Friday, May 18, 2007

Rav Soloveitchik and Religious Zionism Today

This is the second part of this article. I apologize for the choppy style. The editor couldn't publish 1900 words. If anyone wants the full typescript, write me at

[Update: Now the published article is available online, here.]


Ben Bayit said...

The distinction between the State and the government is a nice formulation, but it says nothing of democracy, the system of government or how the State is meant to be ruled. Thus, ultimately it contains within it the same seeds for fascism that some of the Rav Kook formulations do. I see little difference between this and Eli Sadan's "we have only one State" - which leads to blind obesience to the dictats of the State - as ethically and morally distasteful as they may be. That is why many of Rav Soloveitchiks students supported (or at least would not actively oppose) the disengagement, even though it was - as described by Emmanual Feldman (seemingly a loner in the YU world) recently - "morally repugnant".

What you write about "spirituality" is interesting but my personal experience in joining up with the YU world is that most of RYBS's students were dry, boring "litvaks". So I'm straining to understand where you see a "spiritual" message in RYBS's teachings that will be palatable to the masses of am yisrael if the majority of his students seem to have trouble in giving this over to their students.

Anonymous said...

Random question:
R' Soloveitchik and R' Kook both allow some religious legitimacy for "non-religious" ideas and actions. Do you think there is a fundamental difference between their views on this topic, or are they just using different terminology to express the same idea?