Aryeh Leib HaKohen Kagan-Poupko (1861 - 1938)

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Death: Died
Managed by: Malka Mysels
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About Aryeh Leib HaKohen Kagan-Poupko

In his memoirs, Rabbi Aryeh Leib Hakohen Kagan, the son of the Chofetz Chaim, tells the story of how someone once read to his father a newspaper article which expressed the hope that the Jews living in the Land of Israel would emulate the people of Bulgaria, whose people had risen up against the Turks and gained their independence to become a nation like any other. Rabbi Aryeh Leib writes that his elderly father began to weep, and he cried out: “Is this why Jewish blood has been spilled during the past eighteen hundred years - so that we could become another Bulgaria?”

In response to this newspaper article, writes Rabbi Aryeh Leib, his father referred to a passage in the Book of Deuteronomy where Moses prophesied that at the end of our long exile from the Land, we will experience both physical and spiritual redemption. The passage opens with the following words: “It will be that when all these things come upon you – the blessing and the curse that I have presented before you – then you will take it to your heart among all the nations where Hashem, your God has dispersed you” (Deuteronomy 30:1). The Chofetz Chaim specifically mentioned the following verses from this passage which describe our return to the Land and our return to the Torah:

“Hashem, your God will bring you to the Land that your ancestors possessed” (Deuteronomy 30:5).

“You shall return and listen to the voice of Hashem, and perform all His mitzvos that I command you today” (Deuteronomy 30:8).

In the era of our complete redemption, there will once again be harmonious interaction between our “body” and “soul” – the Land and the Torah.

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