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Rabbi Shmuel Salant, Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem (1816-1909)

Rabbi Shmuel Salant quotes the law that a wife may force her husband to move to Eretz Yisroel (Kesubos 110b), and then asks why – even according to the Ramban, he says, there is no obligation on every Jew to move to Eretz Yisroel, since this is one of the Three Oaths. He therefore explains that she can only force him to move if she is willing to move even without him. In that case, if he refuses to come along, he is not fulfilling his marital obligations to her, and he must divorce her. But if she wants to move only with him, then he has no obligation to move. In other words, the reason why he must divorce her if she is willing to move to Eretz Yisroel is not because his refusal to move to Eretz Yisroel is considered neglecting his obligations as a Jew. It is only because once she moves, he would be neglecting his obligations as a husband. (Printed in Tzefunos, year 3 issue 1, p. 46)

Decades ago, a certain Mizrachi activist named Yitzchok Nissenbaum came to the Holy City. Like all Mizrachists in those days, he was dressed like a real religious Jew, with a long, flowing beard. In those days, the battle against Zionism had not really begun, so the common people did not recognize these Zionists and Mizrachist for who they really were. At first, this Nissenbaum met with Rabbi Shmuel Salant and presented his request: he wished to deliver a speech at Yeshiva Etz Chaim. Rabbi Shmuel Salant, who was familiar with worldly matters, of course absolutely refused.

When he saw that he was not successful with Rabbi Shmuel Salant, he turned to Rabbi Y. Winograd of Yeshiva Toras Chaim, who, without paying enough attention to who he was, gave him permission to speak in Yeshiva Toras Chaim that Shabbos.

Then Reb Tzvi Michel called his students, Rabbi O. Porush and Rabbi Moshe Semnitzer and others, and sent them to interrupt the speech. And so they did: they called out boldly from the audience and prevented him from finishing the speech. Of course, no one from the yeshiva attended the speech in any case. (Om Ani Chomah, Booklet 10, Tammuz 5729 (1969), p. 262; Mishkenos Haro’im p. 228)