Schiff Quotes Rabbi Soloveitchik On World Jewry’s Response to Nuclear Threat


rav_jb_soloveitchikVeteran Israeli commentator Shaul Schiff declares that world Jewry has forsaken its obligation to stand up for its nuke-endangered Israeli brethren. A veteran columnist for decades in the now-defunct HaTzofeh and in other publications, Schiff’s latest column in the B’Sheva weekly newspaper is entitled: “The Silence Continues: Why is world Jewry silent in the face of the Iranian threat against the very existence of the country of the Jews?”

Schiff quotes Rabbi Yoseph Dov Soloveitchik as having said that Jews must learn from the Holocaust never to stand idly by while other Jews are endangered. Asked what should be emphasized when teaching about the Holocaust, Rabbi Soloveitchik reportedly said:

“Three things. One, that we Jews in America did not help our brothers when they were being wiped out in Europe – not with emissaries, nor with enough help in the halls of US government and other organizations. Two, other nations are also guilty for not protesting or doing what they could to stop it… And three: that whenever and wherever Jews are in danger and need help, we must do whatever we can to help, using all the tools at our disposal.”

Schiff wrote that he consulted with top political scientist lecturers and asked if it would be acceptable to say that the current U.S. president, deep down in his heart, is interested in having the Palestinian problem and Middle East tension solved via the disappearance of the State of Israel. “They answered that it would not be politically correct to say that,” Schiff wrote, “and that it would be better to simply state that he would not be too upset if Israel would be mortally hurt by Iranian atomic weapons.”

He adds, “Iran is now on the verge of attaining nuclear weapons, and whoever has eyes sees that Obama is not rushing to prevent them, and soon he will say it’s too late to do anything, and that we must consider defensive options – while Hizbullah and Syria threaten us at our borders. Perhaps it is time for world Jewry to wake up from its slumber and adopt the three lessons of Rav Soloveitchik?”

Read a full report at Arutz Shevah.

{Arutz Shevah/Yair Israel}


  1. #1: Why is it relevant to this story whether he said it or not?

    Just to note, R’ Ovadia Yosef says Hallel on Yom Haatzmaut.

  2. It’s unclear; different talmidim have different recollections. R’ Aharon Lichtenstein shlit”a wrote in an article in Alei Etzion that even if he didn’t say Hallel, it was due to technical halakhic reasons – he was still a Zionist and in favor of the State of Israel. He was the president of the Religious Zionists of America for many years!

  3. I recently purchased a book “thinking out loud”. It discusses it there. If I remember correctly, he himself did not, but I have to check again.

  4. To Mr. Kish Ka:

    a) Your comment is totally irrelevant, even a bit cynical.

    b) He absolutely did not. He said in a large public shiur many years ago that “even though I have not become an Agudnic overnight, I am not from who jump to say Hallel every Monday and Thursday”. He was against any changes in davening and followed a very conservative path in Halacha in these matters.

    c) A friend of mine witnessed an incident that a shliach tzibbur said Hallel(on his own initiative) on on Yom Haatzmaut and Rabbi Solovetchik walked out.

  5. Dear Mr. MyTurn,

    Firstly, it’s Rabbi Kish Ka to you.
    Secondly,how can a question as to whether someone said Hallel or not be considered cynical?
    Finally, thank you for your conclusive response.

    Kish Ka

  6. The Rav would not walk out but he stood in the front of the bais medrash facing the wall. Besides, it’s all detaisl, the rav was a religious Zionist who believed strongly in the Jewish State. Read Kol Dodi Dofek and the 5 Letters to see the rav’s shitos on it. The ponovitzcher Rav used to hang out an Israeli flad on YOma haatzmaut b/c he said that we need to have hakaras hatov, but nowadays no one has respect for anything that is not within their delat amos.

  7. While you are all busy deciding if Rav Soloveitchik did or did not say Hallel on Yom Haatzmaut,Iran is in the process of acquiring a nuclear bomb.
    Get your priorities right.

  8. #8: You’re correct, Rav Soloveitchik did not say it at all. However, you’re wrong about R’ Ovadia shlita – he says Hallel without a bracha onYom Haatzmaut.