Okay so Aish does not actually say it overtly. In Aish's dvar torah for Parshat Tzav,, there is this dude, and he is called in the devar torah ''the great Rabbi Elchonan Wasserman.''

Who was Rabbi Wasserman?

''Rabbi Elchonon Wasserman (1875-1941) (Hebrew: אלחנן וסרמן) was a prominent Rabbi and Rosh Yeshiva in pre-World War II Europe. He was one of the Chofetz Chaim's closest disciples and a Torah scholar of note, and well known for being a strong opponent of secular Zionism.''


Understand this. Wasserman did not think that Israel should exist. The wikipedia article said that he opposed secular zionism but he was not much of a religious zionist either. In, it says with bringing a citation in that he rejected any proposal for a jewish state. That is, he rejected any proposal for a jewish army, especially at a time when having a jewish state and jewish army would not have been a particulary bad idea, but rather one of those ''could not have come too soon'' kind of ideas.

In a sick episode of orthodox hypocracy, in an current article ''No Thanks Mr. Ghandi'' (, by Rabbi Shafran, Shafron rightfully condemned Ghandi for suggesting that the jews should follow the independence strategy that Ghandi used against the British. However, Shafran called the same Elchanon Wasserman a ''great Lithuanian Jewish religious leader and scholar,'' Wasserman just happened to be against the state of Israel i.e. jews defending themselves against genocidal enemies.

Am I the only one who sees a disconnect between someone being against Ghandi saying that the Jews should let themselves get killed, and at the time saying that someone who was against a very primary means of jewish self defense, namely the state of Israel, was a GREAT RELIGIOUS LEADER AND SCHOLAR?

Of course probably since Aish is an outreach organization to nonorthodox jews, these Aish articles kinda forgot to mention that Wasserman was antizionist. This amounts to nothing more than sweeping history under the rug by showering praise on ''Rabbi'' Wasserman who would and should otherwise be largely disliked.


Garnel Ironheart said...

Interesting we may agree a bit on this one. this article also appeared on Cross Currents and I commented on in but their new editorial policy seems to filter out any critical reponses to their articles, the better to pretend that everyone agrees with them. Anyway, in response to the paragraph:

In a 1938 essay, Mohandas ("Mahatma") Gandhi, the spiritual and political leader of the Indian independence movement, counseled Jews in Nazi Germany to neither flee nor resist but rather offer themselves up to be killed by their enemies, since their "suffering voluntarily undergone will bring them an inner strength and joy."

I wrote that it's odd because Rav Wasserman, before the war, advised his students to do much the same thing with the result that many who might have escaped remained behind and were consumed in the Holocaust.

Dave said...

"...Rav Wasserman, before the war, advised his students to do much the same thing with the result that many who might have escaped remained behind and were consumed in the Holocaust."

This should come as no shock. Since the Haredi were the Jewish cultural paradigm that ended up getting 6 million of us turned into fertilizer, their denigration of the IDF and those who serve in it's ranks(I was one, I'm proud to say)is understandable. For the orthodox, such comparisons are awkward and uncomfortable. I think that it's also important to note that Herzl's primary inspiration for the creation of a Jewish state was the Dreyfuss affair. It was his hope that zionism would create the sort of Jew that the world would respect out of fear. Unfortunately for the 6,000,000 he was a dollar short and a day late.

Anonymous said...

What's hypocracy?