Special Topics

  1. Only For the Sake of the Temple Did They Merit to Receive the Land of Israel -Vilna Gaon on Deut. 26:9
  2. Why the Holocaust ?
  3. Torah Codes by Professor Daniel Michelson
  4. The Task of the Spy, Eli Cohen, H”YD. – A Torah Hint About This
  5. Monotheism Vs. The Outlook That Everything is G-d
    An Article Against The Attempt To Deify The Rebbe Of Lubavitch, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson
  6. Issues Involving The Ascent To The Temple Mount – An Exchange Of Letters Between S. Scheinman and Rabbi Avigdor Neventzal
  7. For a Different Opinion About Prayer on the Temple Mount see: The Historical Background On the Struggle For Jewish Prayer On The Temple Mount: Translated Excerpts from Rabbi Shlomo Goren’s book on Har Habayit
  8. Argaman – An English version of the halachic article that appeared in Techumin, Vol. 26
  9. Why G-d Let Bin-Laden Succeed!
  10. When Is It Permitted to Bow to Men and When Is Bowing Forbidden Intermediary Worship , According to Rabbeinu Nissim

You are invited to visit our blog home page at https://vilnagaon.org/blog/ Below is a sample of our blog posts.

Rabbi Kook Did Not Subscribe to Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef’s “Land for Peace” Ideology Regarding the Temple Mount. The Grandson of Rabbi Kook, Rabbi Shlomo Raanan HY”D Sets the Record Straight.

Post revised 24 Sivan 5782 – June 24 2022


Rabbi Avraham Y. Kook
Rabbi Avraham Y. Kook

Winning the War to Conquer the Land of Israel Overrides the Commandment of Saving Lives

Former Chief Rabbi of British Mandate Palestine, Rabbi Avraham Kook pointed out (Chazon HaGeula p. 222) that winning a War to Conquer the Land of Israel takes precedence even if it means endangering Jews for the sake of victory.

Even for the sake of an Optional War, the Torah recognizes there might be war casualties as part of the price of victory.
Dvarim/Deuteronomy 20:7 ‘Is there any man among you who has betrothed a woman and not married her? Let him go home, so that he not die in war and have another man marry her.’

See also the book of Shoftim/Judges 20:39 as a backup to this concept.

The principle that winning the war to conquer the land of Israel overrides the commandment of saving lives, also explains one of the motivations of my rabbis, to oppose the various “Land for Peace” deals including Trump’s “Deal of the Century” and it also explains why they rejected the Gilad Shalit prisoner swap. I am not saying this is the only reason, just one of the reasons.

My rabbis further added that when Rabbi Kook wrote Chazon Haguela, there was a realistic chance for gaining more land for the Jewish people in Israel by the purchase of land. Therefore Rabbi Kook supported that activity. However, during that period of time Rabbi Kook did not believe, there was a realistic chance for a Jewish army to take the land of Israel by force. That is why he did not encourage the latter option in that period.
In letter 6 in my exchange of letters with Rabbi Neventzal on the issue of the Temple Mount, I bring evidence that Rabbi Kook was indeed on the side of the Religious Zionists that ascend the Mount after immersion in a mikva. I should add, my former study partner, Rabbi Hillel Ben Shlomo prefers adding the stringency of “Haarev Shemesh” (hinted at in Leviticus 22:7).


 Rabbi Kook’s Position

Appendix: From the words of Rabbi Yehuda Kroizer [Yibaneh
Hamikdash, issue 225, page7].
Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook and Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook and Ascent to the Temple Mount
The opponents of ascent to the Temple Mount usually rely on the reply of Master Authority Rabbi Kook, Z.T.L. in Mishpat Cohain (96) that seemingly disallowed entrance to the Mount, however, this is not so. Rabbi Eliyahu Shlomo Raanan, Z.T.L., HY”D, the grandson of the Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook  Z.T.L. publicized the following call and thus he wrote:

I join in this the call of Rabbis who recommend in favor of ascending the Temple Mount, in the permitted areas, for it is a matter without any shade of doubt that my grandfather our Rabbi, Avraham Yitzchak Kook and his son Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda did not forbid ascending to the permitted areas, and certainly it is a big mitzva to conquer the place of the Temple from the hands of strangers, however, only in the permissible manner. Behold I now sign: the grandson of the Master Authority, the honorable Rabbi Z.T.L., Eliyahu Shlomo Raanan Kook (Sefer Hazikaron of Rabbi Shlomo Raanan ,HY”D,
“Neshama Shel Shabbat”).
There also it told about him: Rabbi Shlomo learned the book, Mishpat Cohain, with Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda, Z.T.L.; in the book there is an extensive reply on the matter of the Temple Mount. Rabbi Shlomo understood from Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda, that in our days the conditions have changed, and therefore he ascended the Temple Mount from time to time, to the permitted places.

In letter #4 Topic 12 and Letter #5 to Rabbi Avigdor Neventzal shlit”a I bring further evidence that this was the position of Rabbi Avraham Kook and his son Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook, see there for details.

If this is Correct Why Only about Half of the Rabbis in the Religious Zionist Camp Support Ascent to the Temple Mount?

At the height of the second intifada violence by Muslim fanatics and P.L.O. terrorists, the author of this post asked the head of Mercaz Harav Yeshiva and a former Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of the State of Israel for a Psak Halacha regarding ascent to the Temple Mount. That is to say I asked Rabbi Avraham Shapira.

He told me if he knew where it is permitted to ascend it would be a mitzva to ascend, however, he himself lacked the clarity about the boundaries between the permitted sections and the forbidden sections and therefore told me not to go to any part of the Mount. He did however, at the same time judge those that ascend the Mount for the benefit of the doubt, by saying, “they apparently know”.

The author has written a new extensive article which is still being reviewed by major rabbis of the Religious Zionist world. I bring new archaeological, scientific and historical proof for the location of the Temple which has become available. Therefore it is legitimate to claim that if Rabbi Shapira would still be living today and had the information that we have now, he would have supported ascending the Mount. At least some Religious Zionist Rabbis share my view. I should point out that at this point in time I have not yet received the endorsement that I am seeking, so my viewpoint should be considered at this point in time as just a theory.

The True Western Wall of the Temple Mount

According to my research the true western wall of the Temple Mount is not the Kotel (“Wailing Wall”) but instead was most likely located by the 4 square dots in the picture below. Because rabbis in the past made measurements from the Kotel (“Wailing Wall”) the Temple Mount measurements mentioned in the Mishna did not seem to fit what we observe.

Source: https://har-habait.org/articleBody/30636

True Western Wall

The Arrows in the Image Point to the Remnants of the True Western Wall

For part of the evidence that the Kotel is not the true Western Wall of the Temple Mount, see: New Theory on When Western Wall Was Built

The discovery of a new ritual pool under the Western Wall suggests a new theory that the Kotel was completed later than thought.

For those that read Hebrew, see:
כותל הדמעות המכונה בפני המון העם בכינוי “כותל המערבי” אינו מכותלי הר הבית

There I provide a more extensive explanation why the Wailing Wall (Kotel) cannot be the true Western Wall of the Temple Mount.

In my English post : A Critique of Architect, Tuvia Sagiv’s Temple Mount Theory 

I provide the latest evidence against the theory of Architect, Tuvia Sagiv, who claims the Temple was on the southern side of the Mount Moriah.

Appendix: A Hint for the Scholars.

The map below showing the Temple Mount at the time of Radbaz might help solve a major difficulty regarding what Radbaz meant in his halachic Teshuva Vol. 2, Chapter 691 regarding ascent to the Temple Mount

The above pictures are just an advertisement for my article, when G-d willing, and bli neder, it is published.

Appendix #2 The simplest reading of Radbaz has him placing the western wall of the  sanctified Temple Mount on the upper platform of the Temple Mount (much closer to the rock of the Dome of the Rock) and not at the place of the red circle in one of the maps above. Elsewhere, I discuss both views.

Appendix #3 A small minority of Rabbi Kook’s followers, believe that the normal rules regarding the conquest of the land of Israel do not apply to the Temple Mount. Some rabbis connected to the Har Hamor Yeshiva abide by this minority viewpoint. It fits the interests of Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef to inflate the number of Religious Zionists that belong to this faction.

Appendix #4 – 26th Sivan 5782 The yellow dots in the picture below, is the Temple Mount route (according to https://www.inn.co.il/news/445258 ) approved by Rabbi Dov Lior, for people who have undergone the necessary purification. I do not know if Rabbi Shapira would have approved of the same boundaries, even if he had known about the new proofs against Rabbi Goren’s Theory (who moved the Holy of Holies to the north because he assumed the Wailing Wall, was the Halachic Western Wall of the Temple Mount) and Tuvia Sagiv’s southern theory. I do not take the responsibility to decide such issues.
Rabbi Lior's Temple Mount Route

By Shlomo Moshe Scheinman

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A Light Unto the Nations
Evidence For the Existence of G-d[Hashem]
Book 1: Is G-d a Good Gamble?

Book 2: Interpretation of the Bible

gaonpicB”H Excerpts from An Anthology of the Gaon by Rabbi Moshe Zuriel {Tzuriel}

A Selection of sayings of the Vilna Gaon regarding beliefs, extracted from most of the writings of his disciples, of those faithful to him, and from some of his own writings.


The fact that a person puts off performing a mitzvah until the morrow leads to his not performing it at all, rather, as soon as he has the opportunity he should immediately perform it – to Proverbs 10/8, 14/23, 27/1

If not now, then when?” (Avot I) – the Sages did not say ”if not today”, for even on the same day, one should already now, perform the mitzvah.- to Proverbs 6:9

This Anthology of the sayings of the Vilna Gaon is Not Appropriate For Non-Jewish
Souls. Instead they should scroll up this page to the section A Light Unto the Nations which is more appropriate for a mixed audience.

Anthology Topics:Cruelty  2 Erev Rav  3 Father  4 The First Man  5 Forefathers  6 Heretics 7 The Holy Temple  8 LimbsLove of G-d  10 Man  11 The Nations of the World 12 Prophecy 13 Reproof  14 Reward and Punishment 15 Suffering  16 Swiftness  17 Torah   18 Torah Study  19 The World to Come


Tekhelet Has Been Rediscovered !

For more information on how to get Tekhelet and why you should wear it, GO TO: http://www.tekhelet.com

Here at https://vilnagaon.org/ we also have an article about Tekhelet
Read:   A Solution to Fundamental Problems Regarding Tekhelet

by Shlomo Moshe Scheinman (the author , in the past has written articles with the Haskama of prominent Rabbis , such as, the author of Otzrote Haraaya, Rabbi Moshe Zuriel (Tzuriel) and Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, head of the Temple Institute, מכון המקדש.)