ו' לחודש השני תשע"ד
Tablet Magazine: American-Raised Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein Wins the Israel PrizeLeading Modern Orthodox rabbi and political dove to receive awardYair Rosenberg, February 23, 2014
...Lichtenstein has also distinguished himself on the Israeli scene for his dovish political stances. Together with [Rabbi Yehuda] Amital, he supported the Oslo Accords and subsequent peace process. (A founding father of the religious peace party Meimad, Amital would serve as a minister without portfolio in the government of Shimon Peres.) When several prominent religious leaders in the settlement movement eulogized Baruch Goldstein after he massacred Muslim worshipers in Hebron in 1994, Lichtenstein famously rebuked them.
Drawing on his vast Talmudic and halakhic erudition, he has also defended the right of the Israeli government to cede territory under Jewish law, publicly inveighed against price tag attacks against Palestinians, and refuted the rationales for rabbinic bans against selling Israeli land to Arabs. (ie. against Tzfath Chief Rabbi Shmu'el Eliyahu shlit"a)
The Israel Prize will be awarded on May 6, Israel’s Independence Day.Esser Agaroth (2¢):
I am not going to post the way over the top video
The State of Israel awards one of its loyalists a prize. Big deal.
Like his neighbor, Rabbi Yo'el Bin-Nun, who famously reported those celebrating Yitzhaq Rabin's death to the police, Rabbi Lichtenstein is most definitely a hakham (Torah scholar). Also, like Bin-Nun, he is an expert at reading anything he wants into the sources of our heritage.
And speaking of our heritage...
Interestingly enough, another Rosh Yeshiva from Yeshiva University, Rabbi Tzvi Shachter teaches that the Torah and our Land of Israel are both descried in the Torah as "morashah" (heritage), as opposed to "yerushah" (inheritance). The recipients of a yerushah can do whatever they want with it. But the recipients of morashah cannot. Rather a morashah must delivered to the next generation in tact. (Eretz Yisrael in the Parsha by Rabbi Moshe Lichtman)
The Torah cannot be chopped up, and manipulated as we please, the quintessential trademark of the so-called "Movements of Judaism," claiming the status of religious denominations, just like the Christians. Likewise our Divinely promised Land may not be chopped up, sold, auctioned off, nor otherwise handed over, ie. mesirah to the goyim.
No wonder the State awarded a prize to Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein. Not only does he tow the State's line, he keeps thousands of Jews with kippoth on their head in line for the State. (I was recently informed that he has thousands of students...as if numbers and popularity meant anything.) He even supports this with Torah sources, and does so expertly.
In all fairness, I have heard it said that Rabbi Me'ir Kahane hy'd once heard someone say something disrespectful about Rabbi Lichtenstein. Rabbi Kahane immediately admonished him, and told him never to say such things about his again,...as he supports the cause of the Temple Mount.
Well, I am afraid that I cannot find Rabbi Lichtenstein's opinions regarding the Temple Mount, our sovereignty over it, ascending it, nor rebuilding the Temple itself. If anyone has such information, I would greatly appreciate it, if it were sent to me, or left as a comment below.
All that I could find were Rabbi Lichtenstein's accomplishments, which I have highlighted above in red, all of which occurred after Rabbi Kahane's murder. I wonder what he would say about Rabbi Lichtenstein, if he were alive today.
I have no doubt that Rabbi Lichtenstein has accomplished much good in within Klal Yisra'el. But, does that balance out his apparent denial of the increasing number of setiroth (contradictions) between following the State and following the Torah?
How should I know? I'm not a rabbi.
Oh, and just one more thing: So that you know that I was not singling out Rabbi Lichtenstein, I was just as critical of last year's recipient of the Israel Prize, Rabbi Chaim Druckman.