For Jerusalem Day: Thoughts on the centrality of Zion and Jerusalem from the first Chief Rabbi of Israel.
The sages in Eretz Yisrael were furious. True, Hananiah was a great scholar, among the greatest of his generation. But even after he left for Babylon, Hananiah continued to set the Jewish calendar, deciding whether to add a leap month and determining the first day of the month.
The sages dispatched two messengers to Hananiah with the following warning: “If you insist on setting the calendar outside of Israel, then go build your own altar and publicly declare that you and your community in Babylon have left the Jewish people and no longer belong to the God of Israel.” The Babylonian Jews were stunned to hear this message, wailing, “Heaven forbid! We are still part of the Jewish people!”
HaRav Avraham Yitzchak HaCohen Kook zts”l
First Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel, revered and famed Torah sage, philosopher, writer, poet, iconic and beloved leader of religious Zionism and the return to Zion (1865-1935).