Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The Chofetz Chaim And [li-havdil] Peres

From a "kiruv" website. I will not copy the whole thing but it is a very upbeat and positive piece about the late politician.

.... In September 1993, the day after Yom Kippur, the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Luchins met with Peres who was then Israel’s Foreign Minister. Senator Moynihan had requested the meeting at the behest of Rabbi Ahron Soloveichik, who had a number of questions about the newly signed Camp David Accords.

Peres was eager for the Rabbi's support and gave us detailed answers to every question. 

At the end of the meeting Senator Moynihan thanked Peres for his strong support of the Jerusalem Fellowships, a project of Aish HaTorah that the Senator served as Founding Honorary Chairman. Peres grew animated "Senator, let me tell you why I support The Jerusalem Fellowhips and Yeshivot. Over 60 years ago, when I was 8 years old, I was already an ardent Labor Zionist. I had a religious uncle who was upset by my lack of faith and dragged me to the village of Radin to meet the Chaftez Chaim, the venerable Rabbi Yisroel Meir Kagan."

Peres continued: "The great Rabbi and I had quite a talk. He quoted Maimonides and I responded with Marx, He quoted Talmud and I quoted Ussishkin, The Chafetz Chaim then began to cry and put his hands on my head and blessed me. 'The Aibeshter (God) gave me a long life. He should give you the same. You should go as you wish to Eretz Yisrael.and become a great leader of the Jewish people. But remember mein kind, that you can’t have a Jewish State without the Aibeshter and the Aibesher's Torah!"

Peres became quite emotional. "Senator," he declared, "yesterday was Yom Kippur. I do not fast all day. My wife does. I do not spend the day in synagogue. But every Yom Kippur night I think of what the Chafetz Chaim told me and realize how true his words were... and that is why I support the Jerusalem Fellowships and Aish HaTorah.”


A] It is hard for me to believe that an 8 year old had a philosophical discussion with the Chofetz Chaim and quoted Marx and Ussishkin. I am also struck by the chutzpah of an 8 year old answering back to someone about 90 years older. An 8 year old thinks he knows better?? 

B] If the Chofetz Chaim's words were true - then why didn't he fast or go to shul on Yom Kippur?

C] Is misrepresents Torah and Rav Noach Weinberg to write such a positive piece about somebody who kept no mitzvos. No shabbos, no kashrus, no tfillin, not even Yom Kippur. Anybody who davened on Rosh Hashana with any kavana is pained when people live lives devoid of Malchus Shomayim. Peres was such a person. It is sad and tragic that someone who met the Chofetz Chaim, saw the miraculous birth of the State of Israel, was very close and actually learned with Rav Ovadiah Yosef, could live such a life. 

D] That being said he does have merits. Every Jew does. כפלח הרמון רקתך - אפילו ריקנין שבך מלאים מצוות כרמון. He is probably in the category of people that Chazal had in mind.  

E] I am sad that he died because it is so saddening the way he lived. I am not singling him out. It is saddening the way all secular Jews live. The Rambam in the Moreh Nevuchim, the Maharal, Rav Kook and many others compare people who live G-dless lies to beheimos.  

F] May all Jews be zocheh to come back and recognize the true purpose of life. May we have a share in bringing them back.