Curiosity….Rav Yosher Ber ZTL
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- This topic has 55 replies, 22 voices, and was last updated 12 years, 9 months ago by oyveykidsthesedays.
January 11, 2009 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm #589115yashrus20Member
Im curious to see who everyone thinks were his main talmidim. I have my own ideas but i wanna hear yours first. (No bashing just names!)January 12, 2009 3:18 am at 3:18 am #692360
Probably his son in law R’ Ahron Lichtenstein, followed by R’ Herchel Shachter, R’ Ahron Rothkoff-Rakefet and R’ Menachem Genack.
(Will the moderators allow us to use words like Harav Hagoan and Gedolim in this forum?)January 12, 2009 3:41 am at 3:41 am #692361
Gee, I wonder why on a webite name Yeshiva World News, someone needed to write “No bashing” when referring to a question concerning talmide chachomim? Anyone?January 12, 2009 4:43 am at 4:43 am #692362qwertyuiopMember
first of all welcome 2009, i think because sometimes people tend to forget what website this is and they do bash Talmide Chachamim.January 12, 2009 4:47 am at 4:47 am #692363anonymisssParticipant
Welcome to the CR, 2009! You can get a welcome from more members if you post on the New Members thread.
Things tend to get a little heated here. That’s why yashrus gave a little reminder about not bashing.January 12, 2009 5:06 am at 5:06 am #692364beaconParticipant
2009, don’t like that tone..January 12, 2009 1:42 pm at 1:42 pm #692366
sorry mommy 🙁January 12, 2009 2:36 pm at 2:36 pm #692367blue shirtParticipant
2009, with all due respect, mentioning any names will automatically lessen the stature of others who were not mentioned. I don’t think this is desirable from any point of view. Plus, since many if not all of these people are still alive, I think their permission should be asked before their names are plastered on a web site. Since this by definition is impossible, let’s drop the subject. If you still need to know for curiosity’s sake, just ask around….January 12, 2009 5:42 pm at 5:42 pm #692369beaconParticipant
I’m sounding more motherly by the day.. :]January 12, 2009 7:40 pm at 7:40 pm #692370
I would add Rabbis Aharon Kahn, Mordechai and Dovid Willig, Parnes, Chaim Ilson, Meiselman, and Meir Fulda.January 12, 2009 8:28 pm at 8:28 pm #692371
I did not start this forum nor write any names. But I do disagree with you anyway.January 12, 2009 8:39 pm at 8:39 pm #692372
Let’s not forget the Rosh HaYeshiva shlit”a.January 13, 2009 1:12 am at 1:12 am #692373yashrus20Member
My Picks: Harav Hagoan Meiselman, Harav Hagoan ilsin, and Harav Hagaon shurkin.January 13, 2009 1:49 am at 1:49 am #692374
Right, how could i have forgoten R. Meiselman (the Rav’s nephew) and R. Shurkin. Not familiar with R. Islin though. Is he a Rosh Yeshiva at REITS?
Also, I don’t want to miss R. Shneur Kotler who learned in the Rav’s shuir.January 13, 2009 2:32 pm at 2:32 pm #692376
cantoresq, What kula did he ever give on mechitzas (and coed)?January 13, 2009 2:45 pm at 2:45 pm #692377
Joseph, did you ever see the mechitza in Lincoln Square Synagogue? Additionally, the Rav zt”l did not strenuously object to his talmidim taking a schul without a mechitza, so long as the understanding was that the rabbi would work toward implementing one and his remaining there would be reviewed on a periodic basis. As regards Coed school, the Maimonides School he founded in Boston is and always was coed.January 13, 2009 3:20 pm at 3:20 pm #692378zalmyMember
while i could be wrong, i have never heard that the Rov zt”l allowed/did not object to his talmidim taking pulpits without a mechitza (although this practice was not uncommon some years ago. it is known that Rav Yakov Kaminetzky zt”l did allow some of his talmidim to take such pulpits, under very strict guidelines, i.e. they had to daven b’yichidus before the service, they should sit separately from the mixed congregation, etc.). on the other hand, the Rov’s shitta on hearing shofar on R”H from a conservative/reform shul (better to not hear shofar at all) is well known.
R’ Ilson is not a R”Y at RIETS (i believe he was offered the position but declined). he learned by the Rov for 10-15 years, and he is known amongst the Rov’s talmidim as being one of the most brilliant among them. anyone who spent time in the Rov’s shiur in the 70’s knows that the Rov thought very highly of him. he has his own yeshiva and kollel in meah shearim, so he is not as well known in the US.January 13, 2009 4:24 pm at 4:24 pm #692379
I am a contemporary of many of the younger talmidim. Rav Ilson is an Iluy, not only in his own ability to learn but also in the ability to see greatness where others were unable to do so. What he could read into the words of Rav Alpert z”l was pure genious.
R’ Yoshe Ber z”l was not as lenient as many portrayed him to be. There were times when you had to try to pin him down to explain the sevara of a psak and understand how he thought before many of the apparently contradictory piskey halachah made sense.
I know that he was not in favor of permitting his Talmidim to take mixed-pew synagogues. Those who asked him were told that they may NOT receive any salary as long as the synagogue lacked a mechitzah. They were also required to daven elsewhere but he did say that they must answer Kadish and Kedushah when they heard these in pasul synagogues. I would have to write paragraphs to explain his exact logic.January 13, 2009 5:32 pm at 5:32 pm #692380yossieaParticipant
I am not sure if this was his kulah, but his brother R’ Aharon (IIRC) held that a mechitzah has to be only 39?? inches (for it to be technically at the lowest level, kosher). (The difference is not that you can’t see women, but you have to be separate.)January 13, 2009 6:05 pm at 6:05 pm #692381
Victor Geller, who headed rabbinic placemnet in YU for many years, addressed the issue placing RIETS rabbis in mixed pew synagogues in his book about R. Samuel Belkin. They allowed it under certain conditions and would continue to place rabbis who took such schuls. I assume that the policy was enacted with the Rav’s consent.January 13, 2009 7:07 pm at 7:07 pm #692382gavra_at_workParticipant
agree with yashrus20, especially Hagoan Rabbi Dr. Moshe Meiselman, , but there is such a long span of time that RYB tought, it is hard to “pin down” a specific person.
Many of the American “Rabbonim” have come out of YU, and by extension, are talmidim of RYB.January 14, 2009 3:46 am at 3:46 am #692384TOHIGHSCHOOLGUYMember
Harav Hagoan ilsin has his own yeshiva/kollel in Mea Shearim … guys who are there love it apperantly (sorry, typo, mod please correct)
azi … are you looking for a dif type of convo … we can always arrange for one to be started really easily … in case you haven’t noticed, stirring up contreversy is not exactly the most challenging thing to do hereJanuary 14, 2009 5:46 am at 5:46 am #692385qwertyuiopMember
THSG: i don’t think the mods are gonna wanna keep fixing your posts, and that wasn’t your only mistake.
contreversy is spelled contrAversy.January 14, 2009 5:47 am at 5:47 am #692386
um, i was actually being serious. It is a merit to the Rav that his talmidim and admirers (very few here now, mind you) who hav gathered here are being very respectful. My point was that in another topic which draws other crowds I doubt it would be this way. again: if you understand what i mean.January 14, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am #692387jphoneMember
The Rav Z’l was a Rosh Yeshiva for close to 50 years. It is likely he had thousands of Talmidim, 95% of whom nobody here ever heard of. It is impossible to say who the “biggest”, “greatest” or “best” talmid is/was. Perhaps most popular, but that’s about it. Is it really important who the most popular talmid is?
Does anyone care who R’Shach Z’l most popular talmid is?
I am willing to bet that most YWN bloggers never heard of the “most popular” Ner Yisroel musmach, (nor should they care to – as this person became the head of the JTS) popular in the sense that more people heard of him than probably, lihavdil elef havdalos R” Ruderman Z’l himself. Does it matter, unless you are specifically looking to learn the torah and derech of The Rav Z’l who is most outstanding talmidim are? Are you doing research for a biography?January 14, 2009 3:04 pm at 3:04 pm #692388Yanky55Participant
Anyone heard of R’ Yosef Adler of Teaneck, NJ? He was very close to the Rav (he appears on the video about the Rav) and is known as a tremendous marbitz Torah, in particular that of the Rav ZT”L.January 14, 2009 3:49 pm at 3:49 pm #692389squeakParticipant
THSG: i don’t think the mods are gonna wanna keep fixing your posts, and that wasn’t your only mistake.
contreversy is spelled contrAversy.
Oh is it? Sounds like the pot calling the kettle African-American.January 14, 2009 4:18 pm at 4:18 pm #692390
another squeakism.January 14, 2009 5:13 pm at 5:13 pm #692391
One should be carefull when trying to apply YU policy with the Rav. He did not write YU policy and was not usually part of the policy making group. He came and gave his Shiurim. Dr. Belkin and his staff created YU policies, including rabbinic placement. They were more lenient than the Rav. I once heard him speak and practically chastise Dr. Belkin.January 15, 2009 12:08 am at 12:08 am #692392
Aryehm, as I understand it, the only time the Rav ever publically disagreed with R. Dr. Belkin was over changing the school’s charter to that of a university. Even then the Rav said his concern was not R. Belkin but for the future. Moreover, to suugest that the Rav simply “came and said shiurim” is wrong. He set the curriculum for getting smicha (ref the famous summer when he held a summer zman on Mikvaos and said he would not sign any klaf unless the student passed a bechina in mikvaos). He was and by proxy still is the guiding spiritual authority of the institution.January 15, 2009 12:23 am at 12:23 am #692393
For further reading on this topic there are a lot of interesting books:
Between Berlin and Slabodka (also has a chapter on R Yitzchok Hutner)
The Rav – 2 volumes (R Aaron Rakeffet)
Orthodoxy Awakens (victor Geller)
The Solovetchik Heritage (Rebitzen Meiselman)January 15, 2009 1:09 am at 1:09 am #692394
cantoresq, are you maintaining that R’ YB Soloveitchek was the final arbiter for YU policy?January 15, 2009 1:15 am at 1:15 am #692395TOHIGHSCHOOLGUYMember
sorry azi … couldn’t agree more with you in reality.
was in a sarcastic mood … needed to get it out somehow
sorry :>0 :>)January 15, 2009 4:52 am at 4:52 am #692396Pashuteh YidMember
As some people mentioned, it is a bit sad that we don’t have direct writings of R. Soloveitchik, with very few exceptions. Most of what we have is transcribed, or second hand notes. This has unfortunately led many people to say whatever they want, and attribute to him. We don’t have something like an Igros Moshe where you can look up and see the reasons and parameters in black and white.
Nevertheless, even in the gemara we often see machloksin among talmidim about what their rebbe said, i.e., Rav Huna amar Rav, Rav Chisda amar Rav.January 15, 2009 1:46 pm at 1:46 pm #692397
cantoresq, are you maintaining that R’ YB Soloveitchek was the final arbiter for YU policy?
I did not say that. What I said is that it is wrong to say that all the Rav z”l did was “come and say shiurim.” and that he was the spiritual guide of the institution. As to policy decisions, it is my understanding that the Rav z”l had a say, along with R. Belkin and others in positions of authority. Given his intellect, stature and charisma, i’m sure his opinions carried great weight, far greater than most others who also had a “seat at the table.” I think that vis-a-vis R. Belkin, he was a first among equals.January 15, 2009 5:15 pm at 5:15 pm #692398
I was there. I heard The Rav speak up against YU policy. He did not do so very often, but he did when he felt that he had no other option. Dr. Belkin was the university president and he set all policies. His policies were executed by his minions, such as Harav Israel (Heb. name Ozriel) Miller and others. The Rav came, gave his Shiurim, and returned home. We can see from the fact that his talmidim, such as (yibadlu l’chaim) Harav Herschel Schachter’s and Harav Aharon Kahn’s examples that his derech was much to the right of Rabbi Dr. Belkin.January 15, 2009 5:32 pm at 5:32 pm #692399
A few additional thoughts. I have YU Semichah. I passed five tests in Halachah to get the Semichah and none included even one question on Mikvaos. It would have been a very good idea to require all Musmachim to learn Mikvaos as well as Ksamim which I did learn even though they were not part of the required curriculum.
There was one time when the Rav spoke for 25 minutes at a public meeting in which he took extreme exception to the derech of Dr. Belkin. I recorded it and typed it out. Unfortuantely, I lost it many years ago.
The Rav was very flexible. He tried to stay far away from the university politics and any other Machlokes that he could avoid. Dr. Belkin was a big Talmid Chochom and could give a Shiur. But his funciton was that of University President and only held an honorary title of Rosh Yeshiva. The Rav gave his derech of learning to thousands. Unfortunately, the Rav found himself in many machlokos because of his YU position and some ideas that were attached to him by default.
I remember a Talmid going up to him and asking him if his wife should wear a Sheitel. He responded, “At all times.” When asked about the Rebbitzen, he shrugged his shoulders but did not answer. He held that a shul without a mechitzah had no kedusas beis knesses. He held that one should not etner it, yet he did hold that one may enter near or even in it to hear the shofar if there were no alternatives. Most of the other Gedolim held that one may not enter it even if one would otherwise not be able to hear the shofar. Many of his Talmidim took synagogues without Mechitzos. Therefore many assumed that he permitted it. I only know of a few whom he permitted to take these pulpits and he placed rather difficult requirements. One was that they draw no pay, directly or indirectly from those synagogues. Another was that they had to daven at home, before entering those synagogues. And the third was that there had to be an agreement up front to vote in six months to install a mechitzah and that if the vote was not for the mechitzah, then the rabbi had to leave. This is a far cry from what most think his opinion was.January 15, 2009 6:13 pm at 6:13 pm #692400cherrybimParticipant
“I am willing to bet that most YWN bloggers never heard of the “most popular” Ner Yisroel musmach, (nor should they care to – as this person became the head of the JTS) popular in the sense that more people heard of him than probably, lihavdil elef havdalos R” Ruderman Z’l himself.”
Are you sure about your “head of the JTS” comment? Who would that be?January 15, 2009 7:26 pm at 7:26 pm #692401
I’m not going to argue about wehter the Rav zt”l said something or didn’t. I’m too young and by the time I got to YU he was completely incapacitated. I therefore have no actual knowledge. But Aryehm, brings out the crux of the issue in his designation of only R. Herschel Schachter and R. Aaron Kahn as examples of the Rav’s exemplary talmidim. I don’t discount that they are close and important talmidim of the Rav zt”l. But is R. Heshy Reichmann, someone with a slithgtly more liberal bent, not a close talmid of the Rav? What about the Rav’s grandson, R. Meyer Twersky? Is. R. Yosef Blau not an important talmid? What about R. Shalom Carmy or R. Dr. David Schatz? As I recall it, R. Schachter is against women learning Talmud. Yet the Rav zt”l gave the first Talmud shiur at Stern College. Who’s derech then is R. Schachter following in his stance? What of the thousands of pulpit rabbis who learned under the Rav? Is Aryehm not able to list even one of them as an examplary Talmid of the Rav? But the fact is as I put it. Determining the Rav’s close talmidim depends who you ask and what you want to hear.January 15, 2009 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm #692402
The proper thing is that a Rosh Yeshiva is just that. The ”Rosh” of the Yeshiva, and is the final arbiter.January 16, 2009 12:29 am at 12:29 am #692403
I dont know who he is refering to. but why would you automatically assume it isnt true? That is very naive.January 16, 2009 3:05 am at 3:05 am #692404
The Rosh HaYeshiva was the head of the Yeshiva, R’ Shmuel Belkin. Rabbi Solovetchik was the Rosh Yeshiva, along with R’ Lifshitz, R’ Alpert, R’ Zaks etc. Like a magid shuir in the Mir is a RoshYeshiva but not the head like R’ Noson Tzvi Finkel.January 16, 2009 2:32 pm at 2:32 pm #692405cherrybimParticipant
jphone said: “I am willing to bet that most YWN bloggers never heard of the “most popular” Ner Yisroel musmach, (nor should they care to – as this person became the head of the JTS) popular in the sense that more people heard of him than probably, lihavdil elef havdalos R” Ruderman Z’l himself.”
Cherrybim’s response: Are you sure about your “head of the JTS” comment? Who would that be?
To Azi: I assume that it’s not true because Ner Israel is only around since 1933 and there haven’t been too many chancellors at JTS since that time. So going down the list is a pretty simple m’tzios to verify.
Perhaps, the closest thing to what was claimed by jphone may be that R’ Shaul Lieberman of JTS learned in Slabodke with Rav Ruderman and Rav Hutner.January 16, 2009 6:18 pm at 6:18 pm #692406
OK, good so you made an educated argument. That is allright, I assumed it was a yeshivish jerk-reacton to the realities of history. However, your theory is the best I could come up with also but its very far. R’ Shaul Lieberman wasn’t the chancellor at JTS. Nor would anyone make a connection between someone learing in Slobodka with R’ Ruderman to then, being his student in Marylnand and becoming chancellor .January 16, 2009 7:22 pm at 7:22 pm #692407
and once again the so-called “yeshivish jerk-reacton to the realities of history” turns out to be the truth! Ahh, what a surprise, eh?January 17, 2009 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm #692408
Ya, pretty lucky. Huh?January 18, 2009 2:48 am at 2:48 am #692410
Unterer geshirer, who was the Ner Israel ordinate who had a position at JTS? Hey if YU has to “take credit” for Mordecai Kaplan, the Arukh Laner for Abraham Geiger and Volozhin for C.N. Bialik (among others) New Israel should step up to the plate too.January 18, 2009 3:08 am at 3:08 am #692411
I would rather live without luck.January 18, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am #692412
Kaplan never spent a day in YU. Quoted from an online bio: “He graduated from City College of New York, was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary and received a master’s degree from Columbia University. He served as associate rabbi of Kehillath Jeshurun, an Orthodox synagogue in New York”.January 19, 2009 12:52 am at 12:52 am #692414
Azi, while you are technically correct, you are substantively wrong. You are correct since YU did not really exist in its current form during Kaplan’s student days. He did however study in Yeshiva Etz Chaim, which eventually morphed into YU.
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