I came across a Ohel Moshe on parashas Shemos, where he cites the sefer Bimechitzatam Shel Gedolei HaTorah.

The explanation in both seforim, deals with the posuk in Devarim (31:16) where it says:

And this nation will arise and stray after idols

The Ohel Moshe cites the Bimechitzatam Shel Gedolei HaTorah and says something like that a Rabbi Shlomo Lorincz (political leader of Agudat Yisrael during 1951-1984) visited the Brisker Rav, and was upset. Why? Because recently, a bill in the knesset was rejected, even though the majority told him that they would vote in favor of it. He was upset over the spiritual decline of the people. The member of Knesset was really upset, but the Brisker Rav told him:

Nu, let me show you a posuk in the Chumash, that I used to teach to my son.

He then quotes the posuk in Devarim 31:16 and says that they are not worshipping G-d anymore. They daven, but do not worship G-d when they are together. The Brisker then continues to say that the remedy for this is: "Studying the Torah will be a cure for all deterioration" - the only thing to do is teaching it to B'nei Yisrael.

What exactly does this quote (in full context) mean and does it say that the remedy for the absence of Torah in the knesset, is "to teach them the Torah"?

Full quote of the Ohel Moshe:

נאמר בספר דברים לא טז ויאמר ה' אל משה הנך שכב עם אבתיך וקם העם הזה וזנה אחרי אלהי נכר הארץ סיפר הרב שלמה לורנץ שליט"א בספרו במחיצתם ח"א פעם נכנסתי אל מרן הגאב"ד דבריסק במצב רוח דכדוך עד כדי יאוש היה זה לאחר שבכנסת נדחתה הצעת חוק שהגשתי בדבר איסור גידול דבר אחר חזיר זאת למרות שלפני ההצבעה הובטח לי ע"י רוב גדול כולל חכי"ם חילוניים כי בנידון זה יצביעו אתי

בנידון יצביעו שפכתי את מר לבי לפני מרן על המצב הרוחני הירוד בהסבירי לו בעובדות את המציאות שלכאורה הכל אבוד מרן ענה ואמר לי הבה ואלמד אתך פרשה בחומש כפי שרגיל הייתי ללמד את בני הוא פתח חומש דברים וקרא לפני בפר' וילך החל מפסוק טז ויאמר ה' אל משה הנך שכב עם אבתיך וקם העם הזה וזנה אחרי אלהי נכר הארץ וביאר לי באידיש וזנה אחרי אלהי נכר אין פירושו שלא יתפללו שחרית אלא פשוטו כמשמעו יעבדו ע"ז ואם לא די בזה הרי ממשיך הפסוק ועזבני אין פירושו שלא יתפללו מנחה אלא שלא יעבדו אותי אפילו בשיתוף ואם גם זה לא מספיק הרי המשך הפסוק והפר את בריתי אין פירושו שלא יתפללו מעריב אלא שלא ימולו וכן המשיך בפסוק ועזבתים והסתרתי פני מהם וגו'

נו הרים מרן ראשו אלי ואמר בודאי תסכים שזה מצב גרוע יותר ממה שאתה מתאר לי אבל נלמד הלאה ועתה כתבו לכם את השירה הזאת ולמדה את בני ישראל לימוד התורה יהיה תרופה לכל ההתדרדרות אפילו עד כדי ע"ז והפרת ברית ויחזיר את בני ישראל לתורת ה' צריכים רק לדאוג לענין זה של ללמדה את בני ישראל


1 Answer 1


It is featured in Volume 1 of Rabbi Lorincz series which explores his interactions with the Chazon Ish, Brisker Rov and Rav Shach.

I have the English edition produced by Feldheim - and the story that you mention is brought on pp. 278 -279 and is referring to a vote regarding the prohibition of raising pigs. The relevant excerpt is as follows:

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Please find my translation of the quote you bring:

It is said in Sefer Devarim 31:16: "And Hashem said to Moshe: 'You are soon to lie with your ancestors. This people will thereupon go astray after the foreign gods in their midst, in the land...'" Rabbi Shlomo Lorincz shlita recounted in his book, B'Mechitzam (In Their Shadow) Vol. 1 - Once I entered the Maran HaGavad of Brisk in a depressed mood to the point of despair, after the Knesset rejected a bill I submitted regarding the great prohibition against raising pigs, even though before the vote I was assured by a large majority, including secular members, that they would vote with me on this issue.

With regard to this matter they would vote. I poured out my heart to Maran about the poor spiritual condition by explaining to him with facts the reality that seemingly everything is lost. Maran answered and said to me, "Come, and I will learn with you a Parsha in the Chumash, as I used to teach my son." And he read before me, Parshas Vayeilech, from verse 16: "And Hashem said to Moshe: 'You are soon to lie with your ancestors. This people will thereupon go astray after the foreign gods in their midst, in the land...'". And he explained to me in Yiddish - "after the foreign gods in their midst, in the land" does not mean that they will not pray Shacharis, but rather according to the simple explanation, they will worship idolatry, and if that is not enough, the verse continues, "they will forsake me", it does not mean that they will not pray Minchah, but that they will not worship me, even in partnership, and if that is not enough, then the continuation of the verse, "And break my covenant", does not mean that they will not pray Maariv, but that they will not face it, and also He continued in the verse, "And I left them, and I hid my face from them etc."

"Nu", Maran raised his head to me and said, "Of course you will agree that this is a worse situation than what you are describing to me, but we will study further and now write this song for you and teach the Bnei Yisrael the study of the Torah will be a cure for all deterioration even to the point of idolatry and breaking the covenant and will return the Bnei Yisrael to Hashem's Torah. It is necessary to only worry about the matter of teaching it Bnei Yisrael.

  • As always, shkoyach Dov! Just a thought. If there is spiritual declinement, the remedy would be studying Torah. But what if a group of people, maybe secular people in the Knesset, reject that and they want nothing to do with it... Did the Brisker Rav say something about that? Surely there were great leaders in Agudas Yisrael, did they try to influence the non-observance or secular members of parliament?
    – Shmuel
    Oct 29, 2023 at 13:18
  • I'll have to read the book again @Shmuel! It is a phenomenal series - highly recommend it! :-)
    – Dov
    Oct 29, 2023 at 13:27
  • Thanks. IYH I try buying it next year :)
    – Shmuel
    Oct 29, 2023 at 13:28

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