Rabbi Yisrael Rosen, president of the Tzomet public research institute, passed away on Wednesday.
Rabbi Rosen was considered one of the most important rabbis of the Religious Zionist community. He founded the Tzomet Institute, which for many years has been involved in halakhic-technical solutions in the public and private spheres in Israel and the entire Jewish world. Among his many innovations, always strictly based on Jewish law, he dealt with technological applications for use in life-threatening situations in the army and in medical situations.
While Rabbi Yisrael Rosen is considered one of the leading lights of Religious Zionism, his brother Rabbi Yigal Rosen took a radically different path. Despite growing up in the heart of the Religious Zionist community and being married to the daughter of Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Hakohen Kook, the father of the Religious Zionism, Rabbi Yigal Rosen is considered one of the more prominent rabbis in the haredi world and is the Dean of the haredi Ohr Yisrael Yeshiva in Petah Tikva.
Rabbi Yigal Rosen alluded to the different paths he and his brother had taken when he eulogized Rabbi Yisrael Rosen on Thursday. "We grew up with the same education and went the same route until we turned 18. Since then, we went in two different directions but both had their roots in our upbringing."
"Yisrael my brother, you went in our father's footsteps. We had many differences but never an argument and this was in his merit."
Rabbi Yigal Rosen is seen as one of the more moderate haredi rabbis in the haredi world regarding the IDF draft, which many ascribe to his Religious Zionist upbringing. Rabbi Yigal Rosen has been openly dealing with the IDF and has even reportedly suggested that his students take an abbreviated IDF training course during vacation.
Members of the radical Yerushalmi Faction have attacked Rabbi Rosen multiple times as a result, including physically beating him during one of his Torah classes and disrupting his Sukkot celebration earlier in October, after which police provided him with armed guards. According to Haaretz, Rabbi Rosen's students were so incensed after one of the attacks that they stripped his assaulters naked before bodily evicting them from the yeshiva.
"They’re spreading lies. Last Friday night there was a protest outside of my house," Rosen had said in a speech blasting the Yerushalmi Faction. "People who are supposed to be Torah students – all this evil, it reminds me of ISIS."