The Chazon Ish zt"l
We heard the following fact from HaRav Nosson Zochovsky, one of the roshei yeshiva of Geon Yaakov and Chochmoh Vodaas, as he heard it from HaRav Yechezkel Sarna zt"l.
HaRav Chaim Yaakov Goldwicht, a frequent visitor in the homes of Torah leaders, once asked the following of the Brisker Rov:
"If such a time came when we were asked to run the government according to our principles, would we accept the challenge or not?"
The Brisker Rov replied, "When we are faced with the halachic question of agunah, we must look into the Shulchan Oruch and its commentaries, the responsa of the Chasam Sofer and the like. But with regard to running the country, we have no precedent to study, not even a single paragraph. Certainly not an entire Shulchan Oruch and poskim. Notwithstanding."
The Brisker Rov added, "Even if I were the oberminister, the prime minister, and HaRav Yechezkel Abramsky, the foreign minister or deputy, with Torah leaders serving as ministers, we couldn't handle these matters."
When the same person posed this question to the Chazon Ish, he replied, "Let them give us the chance and we'll be able to conduct [matters] according to the Torah."
Torah leaders tried to reconcile these two disparate answers and found that they were not mutually-exclusive. The Brisker Rov related to decisions regarding to gentile incitement and responding by going out to war, at the time when the State creates a situation of wartime. The Chazon Ish, however, related to policies according to Torah which would eliminate the need for war.
The common ground of their answers was that there is no reconciliation between the State and Halacha but the contrary: the Halacha - yes, the State - no!