Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Lonely Man of Faith

the life and legacy of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik,

"Lonely Man of Faith deals with the life and legacy of
Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, who arguably was the
most influential leader of the American Jewish
community in the Twentieth Century. Over the course
of his more than four decades at Yeshiva University, he
ordained some 2,000 rabbis – more than any other figure
in Jewish History. Known as “The Rav”, he was a
widely acknowledged Talmudic mastermind, and at the
same time, he was an important philosophical thinker.

Rabbi Soloveitchik spent much of his life trying to
negotiate between the demands of Judaism and the
opportunities of the modern age, and this struggle
became a constant theme throughout his writings and
teachings. He encouraged his community to
accommodate the positive developments of modernity,
while fighting those trends he perceived as negative,
such as increased secularism and excessive
parochialism. Now, over two decades after his
departure from the public scene, Rabbi Soloveitchik’s
impact reverberates even today, as his students, friends,
and family continue to debate his complicated legacy."

Lonely Man of Faith is narrated by Tovah Feldshuh, with
readings by Theodore Bikel.

Pshhhh! Heavy Hitters Indeed.

The Rav gets a bad rap from people claiming to carry on his legacy.


yisroeili said...

speaking of lonely men, I decided to put up this comment here, after it was deleted after 11 minutes from the überblog. It's your call on what to do with it.

Original, unedited text follows:

TA, feel free to delete this comment, as you have deleted my previous ones. This is for you to read.

The issue is not about a culture of quoting vs. one of originating. It is not one of the written word vs. "personal" communication. It is not about any of these cliches, symptomatic as they may be of the real problem. The issue is one of being real. Bela'a"z, of being a mentsch.

You have invented a fairytale world in which you can set the rules of how one should live. In this world, you can decide how the Rebbe should behave, how Jews should look, how Lubavitchers should act, yada yada yada. In which you decry communication by written words - entirely in written medium. In which you castigate those who shy away from personal, real relationships - and feel free to "delete" people at will. In which hypocrisy ceases to be a problem, for it is only in the real world that consistency and integrity matter.

This is why you - TA are, and will forever remain, a confirmed bachelor. The ultimate test of reality, a real world in which you will have to put up - gasp! - with "morons" like me, and will not have the option of virtually banishing them from existence. In which you will have to put up with manipulation incarnate. In which you will, far from being the only voice, not even be able to set the tone of the conversation.

Death to Tzemach Atlas. Long live the real you, you who hunkers behind that name and is enslaved to the "identity" of Tzemach Atlas notwithstanding several attempts at virtual suicide. May freedom and redemption come soon to the real you, who behind it all betrays yourself as one who wants nothing more than to simply establish a bayis ne'eman beyisroeil and get on with the real give-and-take of marriage and child-rearing. Much success and true joy to you, whatever your real name is.

P.S. My original challenge stands: what exactly about my comments drew your ire, name-calling and deletion?
yisroelili | 11.15.06 - 6:40 pm | #

Hirshel Tzig said...


I'm not sure why Davke Rabbi Soloveitchik's thread was Zoche Tto this comment, but I understand your frustration. That's what I went through, so I started my own.

Anonymous said...

2,000 is the most rabbinical ordinations ever? Isn't there a story in Gemara about 30,000 in a day?

Plus, I'm sure Rabbi Yeruslavsky has done a few more than 2,000.

just wondering said...

Why is it so chashuv that he ordained so many rabbis, isnt the more chashuve smicha the one thats harder to get???

Zev said...

You comment about the Russian is 'tzum zach' .He is a very creative person and I honestly love reading his blog.However he is also clearly a manic depressive and has wild mood swings.Your being named a 'moron' puts you in good company (generally)
For some reason he likes lecking the 'teycheser' of Berel and his ilk, I can't figure out why, besides knowing that 'auf a meshugener freygt mehn nisht kan kashes'.What I'm quite sure about is that socially he and the people he lecks are the ones most people cannot stand, due to their anti social behaviour.I want to add that