web analytics
August 23, 2014 / 27 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



Home » Judaism

An Interview with Rabbi Moshe Zuriel

Yeshiva Merkaz HaRav

Yeshiva Merkaz HaRav
Photo Credit: Kobi Gideon/Flash 90

The First Time in Israel

YM: When did you finally head to Israel and what made you come?

MZ: I came to Israel because I was disgusted with the crime rate and problems in America. As a child we had a television and a night didn’t go by without a report of several murders. So I knew I wanted to get out of there and come to a place that I believed would be more refined.

The first time I came to Israel was in 1958 at the age of 20. My parents were against me coming since they believed it was the “wild west” here, a very dangerous place. They said if you want to be a Zionist, give money to other people who are moving to Israel. They also told me that if I left America I’d lose out. They tried to convince me to stay put in America, become rich, and then donate to other people who are moving here.

YM: Where did you go when you arrived in Israel?

MZ: The Jewish Agency gave me a plane ticket on condition that I study at a Zionist yeshiva, either in Yavne or Mercaz Ha-Rav in Jerusalem. I chose Mercaz Ha-Rav and there I learned for about half a year. I had a chevruta (learning session) twice a week with Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook (Rabbi Avraham Kook’s son): once a week we studied Mesilat Yesharim of the Ramchal (an acronym for Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto) and once a week we studied the Igrot (Letters) of his father, Rabbi Avraham Kook.

YM: Who was studying with you at Mercaz Ha-Rav back in 1958?

MZ: Back then it was a small yeshiva with roughly forty students, still a few years before it blossomed into an “institution” following the influx of hundreds of new students who were graduates of the Bnei Akiva high schools. Nevertheless, there were quite a few students who went on to become very well-known rabbis, for instance Rabbi Eliezer Waldman, Rabbi Dov Lior, Rabbi Yaakov Ariel, Rabbi Tzfaniah Drori, and Rabbi Zalman Melamed.

YM: That’s quite an impressive list. What did you do after half a year in the yeshiva?

MZ: I was uneasy since I wanted to teach so I left the yeshiva and began teaching in elementary schools for a short period. After being in Israel for about a year I headed back to America for two years to finish my degree, once again studying at the Ner Yisrael Yeshiva during the day and at Loyola University in the evenings. In addition to receiving my diploma in “Educational Psychology”, during that same two-year period I served for a short while as a rabbi in a small town called Newark, Delaware.

YM: From whom did you receive semicha (rabbinical ordination)?

MZ: The first time I was in Israel I received semicha from Rabbi Eliyahu Rom.

The Connection to Rabbi Avraham Kook

YM: Okay, so you went back to the states for two years. When and how did you become so connected to the teachings of Rabbi Avraham Kook?

MZ: I was very impressed by Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook, he was an incredible person, warm-hearted and generously devoted to his students, as well as a tremendous tzadik. He told me stories about his father and I was very excited, so when I went back to the States for two years he gave me some of his father’s books. Also in the yeshiva there was a geniza where I found some damaged copies of his father’s books that had been tossed aside so I took these as well to America. During the two years in the States I avidly read and reread all of these books.

I remember being so excited about Eretz Yisrael that when I returned to the States I took some earth with me which I placed next to my pillow so that when I slept at night in Baltimore, Eretz Yisrael would still be close to me!

When I came back to Israel I continued with my studies of Rabbi Kook and through time I felt more connected to the father than to the son. On every page that I studied I wrote a brief summary of what the Rabbi said and his main point. This was the beginning of what eventually became Otrzot Ha-Ra’ayah.

Settling Down in Bnei Brak and The Unexpected Inheritance

YM: When did you “settle down”?

MZ: After I returned to Israel with my degree I began teaching in Hadera. Then I found a nice girl from Romania and we decided to get married. However, there was a hitch. I wanted to stay in Hadera because of my teaching job but she had a brother in Bnei Brak and a sister in nearby Ramat Gan so she didn’t want to live in Hadera. Being a good husband I agreed to live in Bnei Brak.

About the Author: Yoel Meltzer is a freelance writer living in Jerusalem. He can be contacted via http://yoelmeltzer.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “An Interview with Rabbi Moshe Zuriel”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
4 yr old Israeli Daniel Tregerman, murdered by Hamas rocket on Aug. 22, 2014.
IDF: Israeli Toddler Murdered by Rocket Fired Near UNRWA School/Shelter
Latest Judaism Stories
Parsha-Perspectives-logo

Eisenhower understood that motivated men will fight much harder and longer than unmotivated men.

PTI-082214

Who does not want to get close to Hashem? Yet, how do we do that?

Weiss-082214-Beloved

Hashem recalls everything – nothing is hidden from His eyes.

Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

According to Rabbi Yishmael one was not permitted to eat such an animal prior to entering Eretz Yisrael, while according to Rabbi Akiva one was permitted to eat animals if he would perform nechirah.

An interview was overheard in which an Arab asked a Hamas commander: “What’s the problem? Why aren’t you hitting your targets? Don’t you know how to aim?” To which he was answered: “We know how to aim very well. We are experts. But their G-d moves the missiles.”

Discretion
‘Vendors Of Fruits And Clothing…May Sell In Private’
(Mo’ed Katan 13b)

Question: The Gemara in Berachot states that the sages authored our prayers. Does that mean we didn’t pray beforehand?

Menachem
Via Email

If a man sins and follows his inclinations, he will find comfort in this world – but when he dies, he will go to a place that is all thorns.

Nothing is more effective to diminish envy than gratitude.

The first prayer of Moshe was Vayechal, where Moshe’s petition was that no matter how bad bnei Yisrael were, the Egyptians were worse.

“We’re leining now, and shouldn’t be talking,” Mr. Silver gently quieted his son. “At the Shabbos table we can discuss it at length.”

If we regard pain and suffering as mere coincidence, we will feel no motivation to examine our lives

Culture is not nature. There are causes in nature, but only in culture are there meanings.

Rabbinic law is pivotal but it’s important to understand which laws are rabbinic and which biblical.

We give slave gifts? If he wants to stay, we pierce his ear?!

More Articles from Yoel Meltzer
Photo: Naftali Bennett

In less than three months time the Jewish Home Party, formerly known as the National Religious Party (NRP), will be holding its first ever internal primaries.

Ayelet Shaked

The co-founder and former chairman of the MyIsrael (Yisrael Sheli) national movement, the recipient of the 2012 Abramowitz Israeli Prize for Media Criticism and a close associate of Naftali Bennett – the two worked together in the office of Benjamin Netanyahu prior to the 2009 elections – Shaked is raising some eyebrows due to the fact that she, unlike Bennett, is a secular candidate for HaBayit Hayehudi -a traditionally religious party.

On his attempt to hijack an airplane in 1970 to bring attention to the struggle of Soviet Jewry: “Sometimes it happens in your life that you simply feel it’s the right thing to do.”

“We need to work on instilling a good strong Jewish-Zionist identity in all of the children in Israel and not only in the religious ones. In other words we need to stop looking inward and start focusing on all of Am Yisrael.”

Rabbi Zuriel: “With the ingathering of the exiles, we need a Sanhedrin to implement various changes since Judaism is a developing matter; it’s supposed to be dynamic. He showed me in one of his works twenty items that the Tosafot changed. Today however, he added, we’re like the Karaites, we don’t want to change.

For anyone who is sick of the lies and hypocrisy – be it in Israel or the world – and really wants to work for change, it’s not enough to simply stand on the street corner and shout the truth. How something is said or how someone looks while performing an act frequently has more impact than anything else in the eyes and ears of the viewer.

Most Israelis understand that the funding of Israeli organizations by foreign governments is a way to enable these governments to advance their agenda of delegitimizing Israel.

Commenting on the role the sovereign nation-state plays in the western world compared with the Islamic world, the late Samuel P. Huntington, in his classic study The Clash of Civilizations and The Remaking of World Order, wrote: “The structure of political loyalty among Arabs and among Muslims generally has been the opposite of that in the modern West. For the latter the nation state has been the apex of political loyalty.”

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/an-interview-with-rabbi-moshe-zuriel/2012/04/25/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: