January 7, 2020 11:10 am at 11:10 am #1819683
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?January 7, 2020 5:02 pm at 5:02 pm #1820798
A friend on Rechov Ramat Hagolan has a copy. A superb bookJanuary 7, 2020 8:52 pm at 8:52 pm #1820839
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.January 7, 2020 8:53 pm at 8:53 pm #1820857
Why is it selling at a price of $900January 8, 2020 12:55 am at 12:55 am #1820910BMGParticipant
Because the crowd that would fall for it would also fall for such a priceJanuary 8, 2020 9:59 am at 9:59 am #1820945
Bmg-“Because the crowd that would fall for it would also fall for such a price”
So are you saying it’s inaccurate?January 8, 2020 11:07 am at 11:07 am #1820981CTLAWYERParticipant
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 profitJanuary 8, 2020 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm #1820995
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.January 8, 2020 4:05 pm at 4:05 pm #1821102DrYiddParticipant
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 🙂January 8, 2020 4:17 pm at 4:17 pm #1821094
@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….January 8, 2020 4:17 pm at 4:17 pm #1821092
@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.)January 8, 2020 5:13 pm at 5:13 pm #1821124
Jewish unity-just curious why have you been tracking this book for years?January 8, 2020 6:01 pm at 6:01 pm #1821180
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.January 9, 2020 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm #1821277DrYiddParticipant
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 diminishedJanuary 9, 2020 7:16 pm at 7:16 pm #1821432
@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.January 9, 2020 7:17 pm at 7:17 pm #1821436
@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.January 10, 2020 12:47 am at 12:47 am #1821537
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?January 13, 2020 6:25 pm at 6:25 pm #1822301
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.January 13, 2020 7:03 pm at 7:03 pm #1822386
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.January 14, 2020 3:30 pm at 3:30 pm #1822738
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.January 14, 2020 9:21 pm at 9:21 pm #1822829
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!!!”January 15, 2020 1:29 pm at 1:29 pm #1822957
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.January 15, 2020 1:29 pm at 1:29 pm #1822958
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.January 16, 2020 1:46 pm at 1:46 pm #1823378
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.January 16, 2020 2:17 pm at 2:17 pm #1823536
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.January 17, 2020 8:25 am at 8:25 am #1823722
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.January 17, 2020 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm #1823760
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.January 18, 2020 6:55 pm at 6:55 pm #1823868
Its not pain – its hurtful and really of ignorance what you write. The Rambam wrote – the Truth is the Truth no matter where it comes from In Pirkey Avot – Don’t judge the wine by its flask. Regarding your statement – IF it is something the Satmar said or did that was wrong – I would not protest. You will not be able to find anything the R. Heschel nor R. Lieberman said or preached that goes against our tradition, rather – Someone like Heschel brings you closer – he told an author of one of the many books written about him – the author who was completely non observant – experienced Heschel’s presence and then was set up for a Shabbat with Heschel’s uncle in Brooklyn – the Novominkse Rebbe – The author came back wanting to get more involved – “but Rabbi Heschel – do I really have to put on Tefillin everyday….” Heschel responded – “The only way to enter the holy dimension of existence is through Halacha.” Ponder that, and consider how much you may be missing as well as other “Orthodox” souls with a close mind.. Shabbat ShalomJanuary 19, 2020 1:27 pm at 1:27 pm #1824118
There was only one individual in the book who attended both Berlin and Slabodka.
What was his perception of Heschel and Lieberman?
When one quoted Herschel in Yeshiva , he gave the boy a smack in the face (once there was such a thing)
Half a century ago, everyone in the frum velt considered Heschel and apikores.
But deceitful revisionism posing as “open mind” is de rigueur, eh?
And what of Lieberman? He tried rigorously to dissuade him from taking the job at JTS and told him if he does he will publicly denounce him at every occasion.
When someone asked him if one is allowed to use LIeberman’s published works, his response: “Unter de tisch!”
But halklein of course, “controls the future through controlling the past”January 19, 2020 4:43 pm at 4:43 pm #1824172
I suppose based on your response – you Time for the Truth supported the assassination of the Prime Minister – correct? With attitudes like yours – there is clearly no future to our people as a free nation. – you must be from another religion.January 20, 2020 12:27 am at 12:27 am #1824249
Lieberman referred to kabbala as “nonsense”. In my book that makes him an apikores.January 20, 2020 11:01 am at 11:01 am #1824277
Finish the statement – that was when he introduced Gershon Sholem – he followed with “But the study of it is scholarship” When you all write like that you are in violation of laws Lashon Hora…. are you aware of that? You have no clue the damage you do to our community and yourself. Pehaps this site is not for me….you drive people away rather than bring them in.January 20, 2020 11:02 am at 11:02 am #1824283
tea in china going up or down?
free as in ‘frei’,ahhJanuary 22, 2020 8:50 pm at 8:50 pm #1825317
Halklein, that is precisely the point. He regarded the scholarly study of kabalah as being like someone studying the four humors theory that dominated medicine for centuries, or the four elements theory of chemistry, or the Aristotelian laws of motion, without which one cannot understand classical works rooted in a world where those nonsensical theories were the accepted science of the day. The scholarship is worthwhile, but the subject of the study remains nonsense. And that is how Lieberman regarded kabalah — that it is nonsense r”l, but it is a fit subject for scholarship. Tell me how that does not make him an apikores.January 28, 2020 3:15 pm at 3:15 pm #1826788
hal klein, your worldview may have what to offer the jewish world but not for this mileau. Do a 360 turn and pontificate to those who are less Jewishly intense than you are rather than those who are more.
To be fair Shaul Lieberman when entering an elevator with Mordechai Kaplan refused to look at him stating “asur l’histakel b’pnei rasha”
I actually enjoy AJ Heschel’s works and believe he has what to offer the world.
However, we live beyond ourselves and consider the greater frum velt and worry foremost of every possible detrimental impactJanuary 28, 2020 3:15 pm at 3:15 pm #1826791
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