Terribly Missing the Gedolei Europe who built Torah Yiddishkeit in America

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  • #1562642

    slominer
    Participant

    When we were children we lived in the sunset years of the Gedolei Europe who survived Churban Europe and came to America and Eretz Yisroel. We still at the time had them to turn to. We are now lacking that great light. We are bereft children missing our leaders. Our fathers who lived, breathed and became great men of Torah leadership in the old world. A world where there were so many great leaders. A world where our mesorah was strong and passed down from generation to generation, from father to son. A world where Torah was steeped into the ground we walked on and in the walls of our shuls, yeshivos and homes.

    A world that we lost. Today we also have great Torah leaders. While they learnt from the greats who walked the streets of the old world baked into its thousand years of Torah greatness, they aren’t all that was.

    When will we have back what once was? When will the Ribono Shel Olam rebuild our Beis HaMikdash?

    #1562839

    馃崼Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    if i was ever wondering if you were joseph, I think this clinched it

    #1563168

    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    While I’m not sure the Coffee Room was around during the time of the transition from rishonim to the next several millienia of chazal, I’m certain similar nostalgic sentiments were circulated by Slominer’s (aks Joseph’s) ancestors

    #1563132

    Little Froggie
    Participant

    I’m volunteering….

    (Syag, let’s give the benefit of the doubt, a day after Tisha B’av, something retained of the yearning…. the mood of the day… maybe someone means it for real…)

    #1563246

    Haimy
    Participant

    Demeaning to the gedolei Torah of our time. Not appropriate for a public discussion.

    #1563340

    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    Every generation have their own gedolim 讛讻讛谉 讗砖专 讬讛讬’ 讘讬诪讬诐 讛讛诐, 讬驻转讞 讘讚讜专讜 讻砖诪讜讗诇 讘讚讜专讜.

    #1563388

    Toi
    Participant

    It’s not demeaning to our current Gedolim to say they’re not as big as the ones from years ago.

    #1563419

    馃崼Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    Froggie – not sure what your hopping in on. There was nothing anti tisha baav about that post. Nobody said he didnt mean it.

    #1563429

    Little Froggie
    Participant

    I’m sorry. I didn’t realize your intent.I apologize. (I didn’t mean to write that you wrote something “anti Tisha baav”, I just meant that maybe something of tisha ba’av made him reflect as he posted. I know my writing and thoughts always come out so garbled…) Again, I apologize.

    #1563485

    jakob
    Participant

    if we want our gedolei Hador back together with the nevi’im & tzaddikim etc…. THEN WE NEED TO DO TESHUVA & stop living in DENIAL thinking we can fool Hashem that we are not seeing his tragic wake up calls for us to do teshuva together as a nation

    #1563517

    The rav whom I heard speak between minchah and maariv on Tish’ah b’Av
    expressed similar sentiments about the lack of comparable gedolim today
    to those of yesteryear (specifically mentioning Reb Moshe and Rav Elyashiv).

    #1563808

    Redleg
    Participant

    Yiftach b’doro k’Shmuel b’doro

    #1565756

    That’s a rule for how we relate to them, not how great they are.

    #1566694

    skripka
    Participant

    So work on becoming one of them. The Rabbi Miller’s and Rabbi Gifter’s of the world grew up in as alien an environment for Torah greatness as our own, yet they shaped American Torah Jewry. No reason why you can’t

    #1567047

    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    The heading for this thread clearly references those gadolim from the alte heim who B’H were able to make it to the U.S. or EY and were the bedrock foundation of the great yeshivos and mosdos we are fortunate enough to have today through their mesiras nefesh. However, there is no need for “comparison” (aka greater than, lesser than etc) of their gadlus. The rabbonim they inspired with their efforts and constitute the leadership of the tzibur today may result in the same comparisons being made the next generation of CR posters (aka yearning for the gadolim of the 2020s and 2030s).

    #1567023

    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    “It鈥檚 not demeaning to our current Gedolim to say THEY”RE NOT AS BIG as the ones from years ago”

    I see this comment or equivalent words over and over again on postings in various threads. There are also numerous postings seemingly engaging in Trumpian hyperbole about Gadol A being “bigger than” Gadol B. However, no one ever seems to amplify or clarify such comparisons by clearly stating what metric of “gadlus” they are using and what objective standards form the basis for their conclusion. Obviously this is all subjective and I suspect everyone is working off their own metrics but as has been noted here more than once, there is nothing per se that endows either the tzibur of the alte heim and their rabbonim, askanim or minhagim with inherently greater kedushah than those of today. Its all relative and in that regard, subjective. Its borderline mevazeh talmeidei chachamim to paint with such a broad brush and characterize all of today’s gadolim as inferior to those of pre-War Europe.

    #1567190

    Joseph
    Participant
    #1567251

    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    Joseph. Thank you for the link. Some of the comments from 7 years ago seem to resonate with some of the the same points as those here…the futility of trying to “rank” gadolim by any objective metric while simultaneously acknowledging there was something unique and likely never to be replicated with those who were able to keep alive and spread the spark of torah -based yiddeshkeit after the shoah.

    #1772279

    Joseph
    Participant

    It may be that the reason many people cry the hardest during the kinnos written by the Gedolim who survived the holocaust and wrote the kinnus on the Churban Europe in the post-WWII period (Rav Michael Dov Weissmandel, Bobover Rebbe, Rav Shimon Schwab, etc.) is because we are able to most identify with the Gedolim we saw with out own eyes and the survivors who are our grandparents and the victims who are our great-grandparents and great uncles and aunts.

    #1772621

    anonymous Jew
    Participant

    I hate to be the spoilsport but some of these alte heim beliefs don’t hold up under closer examination. The “world that we lost” was already being lost, well before the Holocaust, despite the best efforts of the Gedolim.
    Assimilation had been thwarted in Eastern Europe because government laws kept Jews essentially poor and confined to the shtetl, where they were more easily influenced by the Gedolim to stay frum.
    However, by the end of the 1800’s, more and more shtetl youth, no longer banned by government, were leaving for the big cities, attracted by the isms ( socialism, anarchism, communism, Zionism ) . Assimilation was growing .The communist party and other radical groups were full of Jews who grew up in frum homes. If the Holocaust had not occurred, Eastern European Jewry was well on it’s way to looking like Western Europe. There are many family bare headed on line depicting the generational change going on ( fathers with long beards and mothers with hats; sons who are cleanshaven and bareheaded )

    #1772981

    Joseph
    Participant

    The attitudes and thought habits characteristic of the learning tradition are as evident in the street and market place as the yeshiva. The popular picture of the Jew in Eastern Europe, held by Jew and Gentile alike, is true to the Talmudic tradition. The picture includes the tendency to examine, analyze and re-analyze, to seek meanings behind meanings and for implications and secondary consequences. It includes also a dependence on deductive logic as a basis for practical conclusions and actions. In life, as in the Torah, it is assumed that everything has deeper and secondary meanings, which must be probed. All subjects have implications and ramifications. Moreover, the person who makes a statement must have a reason, and this too must be probed. Often a comment will evoke an answer to the assumed reason behind it or to the meaning believed to lie beneath it, or to the remote consequences to which it leads. The process that produces such a response鈥攐ften with lightning speed鈥攊s a modest reproduction of the pilpul process.

    Life is With People: The Culture of the Shtetl by Mark Zborowski and Elizabeth Herzog. 1962 edition.

    #1772995

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    The changes did not occur in the Shtels, they occured in the cities. When one wanted to go OTD you left the Shtel for either the big city or the US. More than half the jews in Warsaw were not religious in 1939. Other cities were similar. I belive the secular jews held the power in Vilna (Which is why Rav Chaim Ozer never became the chief rabbi of Vilna)

    #1773050

    anonymous Jew
    Participant

    Zahavasdad, the change in the shtetl allowing Jews to leave for the big cities had to happen first. You couldn’t stay in the shtetl if you were no longer frum

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