between Berlin and Slobodka

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  • #1819683

    rightwriter
    Participant

    Has anyone heard of this book? Apparently it is out of print and selling for a lot of money on Amazon and other sites. What is so special about it to make it so valuable? Any information?

    #1820798

    A friend on Rechov Ramat Hagolan has a copy. A superb book

    #1820839

    smerel
    Participant

    It is about Rav Hutner and others who straddled the world of Slabodka and Berlin university.

    (Actually that is inaccurate. Rav Hutner is the only one on the cover who learned in Slabodka and according to Berlin University records he was never a student there but you get the picture)

    People pay a lot of money for such books because it is very validating for them to read that Gedolim from the Yeshiva World went to Berlin University along with allegations that they didn’t necessarily agree with all of the Yeshiva World Haskafa.

    #1820857

    rightwriter
    Participant

    Why is it selling at a price of $900

    #1820910

    BMG
    Participant

    Because the crowd that would fall for it would also fall for such a price

    #1820945

    rightwriter
    Participant

    Bmg-“Because the crowd that would fall for it would also fall for such a price”

    So are you saying it’s inaccurate?

    #1820981

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    I doubt any sales have been made at that price. There are millions of books listed on Amazon at huge prices that are never realized. The same book may be listed at $5 and $5000.
    Offered at a price is not the same as having sold. Some sellers that do not own goods list items at high prices knowing that of someone pays it the seller can buy the item for much less, transship and turn a profit

    #1820995

    rightwriter
    Participant

    Ctlawyer- yes but check this book specifically all sellers are selling for this price and even on other sites you won’t find it for less than $300 and take condition into account too. You can search Google it’s either all out of stock or high price.

    #1821102

    DrYidd
    Participant

    the book presents the views (based on facts, stories and myths) concerning a small number of diverse individuals who studied at Yeshivot in Lita (Slabodka being the best perhaps) and in rather different secular environment. The last person, a largely unknown mussarnick like the author, is treated as an equal to a variety of much more world-recognized individuals from Rav Hutner, the Rav, Prof. Heschel (a non-litvish scion of Hasidim) and Prof. Wolfson. the anecdotes are of interest even if untrue in some cases. the author’s insight into these giants can only be described as one man’s opinion and a good dose of chutzpah.

    i have a copy; the first $800 offer will be accepted 🙂

    #1821094

    jewish unity
    Participant

    @ctlawyer, it’s absolutely correct that being offered at a given price doesn’t mean it actually gets sold.
    That said, I’ve been tracking this book for years and whereas there used to be like ~15 copies available on Amazon, now there’s only 8, so some have definitely sold (albeit not at as high of prices, since they used to be under $100, which is still a lot). So I’d guess that’s why now they’ve gotten even higher….

    #1821092

    jewish unity
    Participant

    @smerel, with all due respect that’s not really an accurate description of the book. It’s not a “gedolim book” whose aim is to show that they had human struggles too. The biggest testament that it’s not a gedolim book is that among the 6 transition figures (as the author labels them) it discusses is Abraham Joshua Heschel (who went to JTS) and Harry Wolfson (who became a professor at Harvard). So not exactly a gedolim book.
    Also, Berlin and Slobodka aren’t meant literally–the idea is to look at leading Jewish figures who were steeped in the yeshiva world in Europe and then made the transition to the Western world and engaged in Western culture, and to provide an in-depth analysis of how they each navigated that transition differently, and why some of them remained Torah-true Jews (and did become gedolim) and others less so.
    (anyhow, if I remember correctly, Wolfson and/or Heschel were also talmidim in Slobodka.)

    #1821124

    rightwriter
    Participant

    Jewish unity-just curious why have you been tracking this book for years?

    #1821180

    Milhouse
    Participant

    Smerel Rav Hutner certainly did study at Berlin University; that was the only reason he was in Berlin in the first place. That he was not registered there was because he was a foreigner without the qualifications to be admitted, so like all similarly situated students he officially registered as a student at the Hidesheimer Yeshivah, which had an arrangement with the Berlin University to allow its students to take classes there, much like YU students can take classes at Columbia. But this was just a cover; de facto, these students were full-time university students who occasionally attended a shiur at the yeshivah, not full-time yeshivah students who occasionally attended a university lecture.

    #1821277

    DrYidd
    Participant

    Milhouse, if anyone attended the University because of enrollment in Hildesheimer, their attendance would be recorded. The Rebbe and Rav Hutner, who knew each other and then parted company 20+ years later, audited some classes; they were not students.

    the Rebbe, who may have similarly audited a few classes at the Sorbonne was an average student at a second/third rate technical school in Paris. given his limited background, that should not be diminished

    #1821432

    jewish unity
    Participant

    @rightwriter–was tracking it because I had a strong interest in it, but wasn’t ready right away to buy it at such a high price (~$70 may be less than $900, but it’s still a lot!!) . More recently been tracking it for an older acquaintance who’s interested in it, though it’s looking less likely he’ll ever buy it unless it gets reprinted lol.
    I would definitely agree with @It Is Time for Truth that it is a superb book.

    #1821436

    jewish unity
    Participant

    @DrYidd–I knew your comment seemed rather odd, and now that I got a chance to check my copy for some facts it’s pretty clear why.
    The facts are that there’s over 500 footnotes and even an extensive 45 page bibliography. It’s so incredibly thoroughly researched to a point that almost seems extreme, but which anyhow makes your comment pretty groundless. Sure, one can give a critique, but your language is quite extreme.
    It seems that your insight into the author and his book can only be described as one man’s opinion and in need of a good dose of humility.

    #1821537

    Milhouse
    Participant

    DrYidd, the Lubavicher Rebbe was an enrolled full-time student at the Sorbonne, after graduating from ESTP, which is one of the most prestigious civil engineering schools in France. Since you’re so wrong about that, you’re not reliable about Berlin either.

    What records do you think should exist for Hildesheimer students who took classes at the University? Do such records exist for the dozens or hundreds of other students who did this? And how do you know?

    #1822301

    halklein
    Participant

    Jewish Unity- It is likely you are not familiar with the work nor life accomplishments of Rav. Heschel. If you take the time to carefully review – you will retract the statement inferring he was not a Gedolim because he taught at JTS – Saul Lieberman also taught there and he was arguably the greatest Talmudic Scholar of the last century. I know – I will hear about that one.

    #1822386

    jewish unity
    Participant

    I will agree that he was one of the greatest Jewish figures of the 20th century and he was clearly a talmid chacham as well. His work The Sabbath is timeless.
    That said, most readers on this site would not regard him as one of the Gedolim, and they would have decent cause not to.
    I am definitely no expert by any means, though, so feel free to disagree. We can also agree to disagree.

    #1822738

    halklein
    Participant

    You are likely as is the readers of this site of much of R. Heschel’s work and accomplishments. His Magnum Opus Torah Min Hashamayin is a work that took Heschel only 2 years to create. It wrote it in a Rabbinic Hebrew and he did not take the time to look up actual sources. It took 10 years to translate into English and accurately identify all the sources he called upon. The Sabbath only is a tip of the iceberg of his work. If you look at the most recent Hakirah Journal – an advanced Orthodox work on Halacha and Philosophy – there is an extensive essay sharing many aspects of Heschel’s work and accomplishments relaying reasoning of why he is a giant and needs to be included in the Orthodox conversation. He was enough of a Gedol to be selected to negotiate with the Pope to change the Church’s writings and ceremonies that was questionable to Jews and he succeeded! Noestra Aetate.

    #1822829

    smerel
    Participant

    There is a difference between Lieberman and Heschel as Lieberman was exclusively known as a scholar who wrote on Talmudics.(actually Tosefta) His personal views on Torah, Mesorah and Halacha were less well known and clear giving him more room for those looking to accept him.

    But as Rav Ruderman once put it when he was in his eighties and Lieberman who knew him from Slabodka (according to some they were roommates) wanted to visit him in the hospital, “No! The Alter warned me to stay away from that Bochur!!!”

    Herschel, on the other hand, is even less of an anything in the frum world. No one has a hava amina of taking him seriously. His sociological view of Torah with some Greek philosophy thrown in does not give him a reputation as having been a person that anyone in the frum world has a reason to take seriously.

    Of course, those who want to push the envelope in the frum world are going to claim that Leiberman and Herschel were these great Talmidey Chachomim who actually were 100% frum with a wonderful approach to Yiddishkeit that we should all respect. Um… in the 1950s the proponents of JTS said the exact thing and look where it got them.

    For a change, I’ll actually with those who want to push the envelope in the frum world and say “stop these hagriophies!!!”

    #1822957

    halklein
    Participant

    Smerel – I would say your response is insulting and full of ignorance. R. Lieberman was meticulous about observance – read Marc Shapiro book The Orthodox and Saul Lieberman and how the Gedolim of his day addressed him with reverence. Some, avoided him because of JTS – some used his work and in the footnotes wrote “unknown source.” ON Heschel – not Herschel – he too was meticulous and his work and list of accomplishments for the Jewish world will dwarf most. His mere presence and his work influenced many to become frum and some even to convert.Today, he is experiencing a renaissance here and in Israel, including in the Frum world. Before you make judgements in print know of whom you are speaking.

    #1822958

    halklein
    Participant

    Smerel, your response borders on insulting and one of demeaning ignorance. R. Lieberman was meticulous about the Mitzvot and revered by many. Reference Marc Shapiro’s book The Orthodox and Saul Lieberman to see letters from Gedolim and how they addressed him. Some in the Orthodox movement responded as you did because of his affiliation. There is no higher work on the Tosefta – 12 Volumes tosefta ki-fshutah. Dr Shapiro shares work by some Gedolim that use R. Lieberman (also known as the GRash) and the footnotes read “unknow source.” Heschel not Hershel was also extremely meticulous in his observance. His work and influence is truly unequaled in the Jewish World and is now experiencing a renaissance here and Israel and within the Orthodox Community. R. Weinrib told me that the main work we have today on the Kotsker is from Heschel. Heschel presence and work has also influence countless Jews to become Frum and some gentiles to convert. Prior to your judging people in print or media – know from whom you speak.

    #1823378

    halklein
    Participant

    Also – I failed to mention – R. Heschel was given Smicha at 16 years old by the Aguda in Warsaw and he made his way to Berlin as a result of an examination by Fischl Schneerson – relative of the Rebbe who told Heschel’s mother of the boy’s brilliance and advised to broaden his learning – taking him to Vilna then to University of Berlin where he wrote in German a monumental work The Prophets – then the first biography on the Rambam – attended two Orthodox Yeshivas and wrote countless essays and was involved in starting a Jewish Institute in London which he was a major part of for a short while …. and there is much more. All Jews – all people’s spiritual lives would be elevated by experiencing his being and work. Nuff said.

    #1823536

    smerel
    Participant

    I’m not going to debate Liebermann or Heschel. End of the day they cast their lot with the conservative movement. (Now their opinions aren’t valued even there…)

    Liebermann was childless. Heschel did not raise his only child (daughter) to be a frum woman.

    Given the circumstances they faced and the situation they were in only Hashem can judge them as people and as Yidden.

    But one thing is certain. There is absolutely nothing the frum world should be turning to those people for.

    #1823722

    halklein
    Participant

    Your words are hurtful, demeaning to me, to so many who respect, learn and have grown from R. Lieberman and Heschel -and your type of Judaism has blinders on and destructive.

    #1823760

    smerel
    Participant

    I’m sorry for the pain I caused you.

    That does not take away from my opinion that giving acceptance and an audience to those who were identified with the Conservative movement would be hurtful to Orthodox Judaism as a whole.

    Are you sure that I’m the one who has the blinders on when it comes to accepting Liebermann and Heschel? Do you protest anytime a controversial Talmid Chochom (like the Satmar Rebbe) is written against online? Or is only people like Liebermann and Heschel who you feel shouldn’t be written against? (I attacked neither of them on a personal level)

    Believe me that I feel bad writing this knowing that it causes another person pain. But I still don’t think what I’m saying should be censored.

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