Sunday, December 27, 2009

Vos Badert Not Brisk?


Rav Isser Yehuda Unterman, (L) with HaRav Yosef Dov HaLevi Soloveitchik

Much has been said about the recent Mishpacha article about the Rav and disciple numero uno, Rav Hershel Schachter. Everybody has his opinion about the article, the revisionism, the implications, and so on. Predictions about the fallout of the article sure to come very soon range from mass cancellations of subscribers in Ocean County, NJ, to mass new subscriptions from the 5T to the UWS. In short, lots of wishful thinking. The way these things go people get excited for a short while to see their hero profiled in a mainstream magazine and may think that the publication is now totally unbiased, until the next story they don't like appears, and there goes the newfound love. In other words, what have you done for me lately. The same goes for the detractors; they get upset that Lubavitch or YU was thrown a bone, and some may even threaten to cancel subscriptions, but by next week, when all is back to normal they calm down and buy it again or forget to cancel. As long as the mainstream Gedolim get their usual coverage all is well in 08701. We do however, need to dissect the current hulla-balloo, why guys like "Not Brisk," who pride themselves on having the purest of Hashkofos, get so upset that someone he dislikes has 15 minutes - or seconds - of fame. Here's my take:

I happen to know who Yitzchok Frankfurter is. Don't ask me how, that's just the way it is. Being a Boro Park kid myself I know him and where he comes from. He's a very out of the box kinda guy, despite his appearance. He puts himself right in the picture at the beginning of the article by recounting his first encounter with Reb Meshulem Dovid HaLevi, aka Reb Dovid Soloveitchik, son of the late Brisker Rov, zt"l, and the preparation for the Brisker world he got at that meeting. To make a long story short he asked him how old he was and he answered "20." RDS told him "he didn't look 20," to which he was gonna pull out his passport and show RDS that he really was, when RDS told him "I didn't say I didn't believe you, all I said was that you didn't look it." This prepared him for the world of the "Tzvei Dinim." Frankfurter then delves into the world of Der Bostoner, Reb Yoshe Ber Soloveitchik, the Rav, and his life and legacy, before expounding on RHS and the work he does, including giving Belsky a plug as well.... דא ליגט דער הונט באגראבן. You want to write about the Rav, meileh, but to include him in the royal lineage of Brisk, which equals real torah MiSinai, this is criminal, and Mishpacha needs to made to pay for that, in the opinion of guys like Not Brisk, the defenders of Brisk.


50 comments:

Fwiw said...

What is it in the water of Monsey or the Vodka at Langeries Drive that makes you talk pure unadulterated rubbish?
Did you always suffer from this type of diarrhea?

briskerchossid said...

Tzig fact is that wether you like the Rav or not,he is diametrically opposed to everything his zeide R Chaim and the Brisker Rav stood for.Lmashal lets say Shneur want to write a whole article extolling the virtues of Barry Gouraryeh, Nu Meileh.Uber lets say in the article he portrays him as the hemshech to the chabad rabistive is demults hut men shoin a problem!Thing is if the Ravs last name wouldnt be soloveitchik the mishpacha wouldnt even think of writing abt him, whens the last time they wrote a fronr page profile on Neryah or anyone of the other roshei Mizrachi Never!So the problem then is your only writing abt him because of his last name at the same time his zeide kert zich iber in kever fun em.Tzig be honest would anyone even know who bereke is if not for his zeide?

yehupitz said...

I think briskerchossid is making the same point as tzig.

Anonymous said...

You do realize Rav Belsky and Rav Schechter work together?

berl, crown heights said...

briskerchossid, one has to be totally brain-dead to compare Barry Gurary (a private citizen with no connection to anything Chabad-related for his entire adult life) to HoRav Yoshe Ber, who's entire life was Teiroh bichelal and his famaly's gang in limmud biferat.

Clearly, the brisker derech is not for your head...

shelo asani chareidi said...

anon 9:02 -- yeah but we don't mention that. As we know anyone who chalilah teaches talmidim in blue shirts is a rasha and am haaretz and would never do anything for the klal. Likewise a "real" RY like R' Belsky would never have anything to do with him.

briskerchossid said...

first of all shiurei Hagrid is as far from the ravs style torah kirachoik mizroch mmariv.Second of all as a chossid brisk you know that there was so much more to brisk then their mihalech in learning ,and it's in that chelek of brisk that i was saying he is everything Brisk was against!Yes in the hashkafah he was FURTHER from Brisk then Barry was from Chabad!

snagville said...

I for one canceled my subscription. I know you will ask why I didn't do so after the Krinsky article, there were personal reason why I didn't do so (vamavin yavin) that had nothing to do with the article itself, but two strikes was too many for my taste. I think i read somewhere on on of the blogs we all read that a wise man said mesora is the opposite of diplomacy or something of the sort. The point is today everything is mixed up since as we know 99% of people called Litvaks are not of Lithuanian descent and the Chasidim today are a mix of all sort of Kreizer the world is totally mixed up to the point where everything has to be acceptable to everybody. Since there is no mesora, eveybody is a diplomat and tries to make everyone friends (good example the R' Yaakov biography which is hailed as one of the best Artscroll had produced, as a Talmid of R' Yaakov told me about the book, after reading the book, "this R' Yaakov sounds like a gadol and a very nice person but had nothing to do with the R' Yaakov I knew. Point being that they had to Kasher the tough R' Yaakov who fought RGS tooth and nail into a nice old man). Although, that obviously was not my reason for canceling, if i was a talmid of RYBS I would be beyond insulted by the article as the article tried to gain approval for him in the Charedi (if you can call Mishpocha charedi) eyes. Why not say he was a nuanced individual that was flawed (in our eyes)? Are the kinderlach not going to be able to handle that you could learn Torah and not be pure? Man, I get more cynical by the day. Fun Alle Kreizer they if they came back today they would fall off their chairs about what today is called litvish, Chasidish, Chabad, MO, the world is so mixed up!

yehupitz said...

Ah what I would give to hear about the Reb Yaakov - RGS story. I don't mean the loshon horo. I mean, what were they arguing about? What were the chilukei deios in Chinuch, Hashkafa, Talmud Torah etc.

Anonymous said...

What is this all the BS about brisk being the pure shomrie hamesorah?
Nobody in orthodox yidishkiet have done so much in creating a new mesora, starting by the derech halimud that the Marcheshes called Alchemy, learning in yeshivahs masechtas that have no relation to halacha, and no respect for Shulchan Oruch and all famous gedolie haposkim that were mekubal in Klal yisroe. and the famous slogan of the family "Mir Zenen Nit Kien Geirim" they have less Mesorah then any simple Hungarian Jew from Bonyad.

yehupitz said...

Don't forget R' AJ Soloveitchik's mantra: Shulchan Oruch iz far yesoimim. Ich hob a tateh."

snagville said...

Yehupitz
It wasn't Shulchan Aruch is for Yesomim it was Minsha berura. And in the Lita I believe they felt that way about all the achronim on the shulchan aruch (aruch hashulchan, mishna berura, and I'm sure Shulchan aruc harav).

yehupitz said...

I could be remembering it incorrectly...

Another YU Guy said...

RE: "and disciple numero uno, Rav Hershel Schachter", While Rav Schachter is definitely on of the top few - there is little question that Harav Aharon Lichtenstein is numero uno, As noted by Rav Aaron Rakeffet (also a well known talimd)

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

YU guy
Rakeffet seemed pretty piffed at the Schachter "crowning."

Anonymous said...

>>"this R' Yaakov sounds like a gadol and a very nice person but had nothing to do with the R' Yaakov I knew. Point being that they had to Kasher the tough R' Yaakov who fought RGS tooth and nail into a nice old man"

But he lost to RGS in both Torah Vodaath and to the world at large. Far more people learn RGS's torah (in hashkafa AND learning) than they do RYK's. They were both outstanding torah scholars and were intellectually brilliant, but history bears out that RGS, although twenty years younger than RYK, was up to the task in every respect.

The machlokes is hard to understand. I dont think Rav Schorr had any personal issue with R' Yaakov, per se. Famously, R' Yaakov said about Rav Schorr that he is modeh that Rav Schorr has outstanding children and that Rav Schorr never said a bad word to R' Yaakov. However, there was no guidance as to who should take over the yeshiva. And so the question as to who is the Rosh Yeahiva after Rav Reuven's passing became more and more pressing as the two had different views as to how to run the yeshiva. Rav Yaakov's TV would have been more like Philly. Rav Schorr's was, in practice, more like Rav Shraga Feivel's yeshiva. My father was in TV when R' Yaakov left and for ten years afterward. He stated that TV was in its prime at the time.

Anonymous said...

Rav Lichtenstein has far less impact on the world than Rav Shachter. And Rav Lichtenstein hates Charedim.

daz said...

Notably, the Mishpacha re-edited the piece in a later edition. The revised version removed the obnoxious anti-Religious Zionism qute from the Holzer book which appeared in the original copies.

Any idea why?

Not Brisk said...

The story with 20 is a shayla in the sugya of yakir if one is ne'eman to say he is 20

Shira said...

Anon: "And Rav Lichtenstein hates Charedim."

Only an Anon could write such a generalization.

No, on the contrary Rav Lichtenstein has said that the DL world has much in common to appreciate the Charedi world, much more than the secular world. Yet at the same time Rav Aharon does not mince words about the shortcomings of the Charedi world. (Nor does he about the shortcomings of the DL world.)

Now you tell me who propagates the rift?

briskerchossid said...

It's impossible to judge Gedolim by how much their torah is learnt ,since their influence could be felt in so many diffrent ways.which is why i woulde have to say that RYK influnce today is far far greater then RGS, since there are many roshei yeshiva and roshei mosdos who are following R yankif's derech in many different areas, R Meir STERN comes to mind. While even RGS own children are very far from their fathers ways.

Anonymous said...

excuse the amaratzus, but who is RGS????

Anonymous said...

scratch that... reb gedalia schorr...

gizt said...

RAL hates chareidim? Please! He is an incredibly loving person. He also happens not hesitate to speak his mind.
It could be that he is not considered talmid#1 of the rav by many because, unlike RHS whos rebbe muvak was always the rav, RAL had another rebbe before he went off to YU - who was none other than the great RYH.
CBT, fill in the blanks please....

Anonymous said...

tzig, for you http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_N61RVdo9I44/SylIhkgO-YI/AAAAAAAAAos/GdBd7j8D-dU/s1600-h/Haskalah+parody+postcard+Rozenfeld,+B.M.gif

RAL as a good liberal loves anything with a pulse especially goyim in africa and animals, charedim are on the bottom of the list.

Anonymous said...

Snagville
" And in the Lita I believe they felt that way about all the achronim on the shulchan aruch ( mishna berura)
Didn't the Chazon Ish from Kieden canonized the Mishna Berura in to the Lishchas Hagozit, Is Kieden in Lita ? or only AJ the great soundbite producer of our generation, I am also charadie but the arrogance and am amariatzas of AJ disqualifies him from commenting on delicate issues like these, His Cousin RAL is clean shaven but a serious Talmud Chochom and Yeria Shomaim.

schneur said...

What is the definition of Brisk. Until Hashkofa started to rule or make its impression on the Yeshiva world, Brisk was a derech in Torah learning in talmudic study, , and I think we can safely all agree that the rav fell into this category.
Now hashkafa that started much later years after Reb Chaim was in eylem hemes, buts lets note that 1 of Reb Chaim's sons Rav Moshe was rosh yeshiva of the Mizrachi Takhemoni school in Warsaw and otehr people with the name Soloveitchik were delving in even stranger things.
So why are we arguing ? in derech halimud the rav is as Brisk as the people in Jslm, in hashkafa he continued the ways of his father and broke new ground, but obviously was different than his cousins in Jslm, so what ? By the way if people are interested in this topic look at the new sefer Kol Brisk (Lashon Kodesh)that appeared in Jslm a year ago published by the children of Rav Ahron Soloveitchik and the hakdoma is worth reading to say the least.
In Lithuania this whole concept of "Brisk" was non existent, Brisk was a derech halimmud, in contemporary times the manhigim were the Chofetz Chaim and Reb Chaim eyzer, Charedim were alligned with the Aguda. I think its not a coincidence that so many of the faithful of Brisk like Rav Schlesinger, Reb Lorencz even R, Meller are not litvishe Yidden.In Lita there was no need for an icon or cults there was Yiddishkayt and thats it.
In order to bring everything together I will add that Barry Gourary told me manytimes "that grandfather respected the rav as the master talmudist"

Anonymous said...

Anon, 1;02
"The machlokes is hard to understand"
what exactly cant you understand, did you ever heard of a concept of "Mi Emolch? definitely leshem shomaim but the war is the same

Anonymous said...

Its clearly funny to hear a Brisker argue for mesorah.

Like not wearing Tzitzis on Shabes is THE mesorah. or starting Friday night from Borchu.

The whole haveh amineh of such an assertion is me'guchech


Even Chabad have jettisoned [no kitel for the seder, no akdomis on shevuous, no sleeping in the sucah, no Yotzros, no Chad Gadyah, no zmiros, no shalosh seudos, no slichos during eseres yemay teshuva, a new mikva setup, the list is endless] important parts of mesorah, but nothing compared to Brisk, who invented a derech halimud and a way of talking that even the Ramoh would never have understood.


Yosef 718

briskerchossid said...

Yosef 718 your farmishing the yoitzros!Not wearing tzitzis on shabbos and many of the other Brisker quirks are chmros in inyonei halocho which hamachmir tavoi alav bracha.Where brisk stresses mesorah is in iyanei hashkafah and thats where they will not change a kutzoi shel yud!

Anonymous said...

אחד מסמני מובהקים של אתם אנשי
בני בליעל שיונקים חיותם מאותו האיש
הוא שנאה עזה כנגד תורה ולומדי'. ובשביל זה כולם נכללים עם כת שונאי השם ר''ל

Anonymous said...

Click here: YU Torah Online : 2009-12-21 Press Conference (Rabbi Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff)

That is the FINAL word on this article.

Fast Forward to 58 minutes

Anonymous said...

Tzig,

You're wrong about this blowing over. I'm no longer bringing Mishpachah into my home [I got tired of all the narishkeit, the Krinsky and RYBS articles were just the straw that broke the camel's back] and I know of a number of others who came to a similar conclusion. I'm sticking with HaModia and that's it.

Mishpachah will always have a readership but they're messing with their loyal readers and will pay the price.

yehupitz said...

It's a 55 minute talk.

Anonymous said...

mishpaca's loyal readers are the inteligent people who know how to read about other gedolei yisroel without feeling threatened. mishpacha's readers read for entertaiment suff that is stricly kosher. if you read hamodia might as well pull out a messilas yeshorim. same level of fun.

Anonymous said...

Yosef 718
I thought that chassidus changed minhogie ashkenaz from top to bottom,take for instance the concept of Tzadikim to take a person as Reb Yisroel Hager or his grandfather the Imrie chaim to be the Manhig of a kehila, to tell for the Rabonim what to do? this size of Kehilahs would take a Manhig as the Lemberger Rov,he can tell a Talmud chochem like Luria and Stienmetz, what to do, this are people that killed themselves for toras hashemm all their lives, I think its a total new mesorah in Yidishkiet.
Chabad has a low dose of Zemiros but eating,dancing and singing a overdose of Zemiros friday nite till the early hours is strange in Yahadus (with all the Varemkiet involved).
BTW, no Mikvah is today built the way it was in the Alte Heim, the Satmar(coming from the Chuster rov) rov has his shiteh, the Chazon Ish has his shiteh the Klausenburger believes all the above are no good, the all sugye of Mikvoes today is started from scratch, nobody has a mesorah on that, the modern world made it possible to add chumrahs that wasn't possible once

Rentsy said...

Rav Lichtenstein is the prize student of the Rav.

Anonymous said...

Yosef 718
I think that most Chasidim don't say Yotzrois, all that belong to Zidichoiv Spinka, Most Poilisher Rebbes,in Visnitz they didn't say the first years, basically its all the what Ari Zal said, some added more some added less

Isaac Balbin said...

This has strayed quite far from the attempt to understand the motives of "Not Brisk".

Mishpacha magazine had a hetter and were influenced by what the Griz did when he published his Milchamto shel Torah with the Rav at the back of his Seforim without naming the Rav :-) but wait ... did the distraught heilige yidden who cancelled their subscription realise that the great Fetter, the Griz, thought his nephew's torah letters were well worth publishing responses to, albeit without using his nephew's name? Perhaps Mishpacha could write about the Rav's greatness after all but should have called him "The Rav" without mentioning his family name?

I know. The Griz liked his Torah but didn't like his Hashkafa. Hold on. I though a bad Hashkafa made the Rav's Teyreh treyf, as well. Seems not. How can that be? The Fetter knew very well how R' Chaim extolled the Rav as his most brilliant eynikel.

As to who was the Rav's "prime" Talmid, this is not sensible. RAL is his own man, as is RHS. They are both so different. This is exactly how the Rav expected his Talmidim to be! This isn't some chassidic dynasty.

Anonymous said...

>>No, on the contrary Rav Lichtenstein has said that the DL world has much in common to appreciate the Charedi world, much more than the secular world. Yet at the same time Rav Aharon does not mince words about the shortcomings of the Charedi world. (Nor does he about the shortcomings of the DL world.)

In light of the fact that no one in the entire charedi world ever heard of RAL, it is quite obvious that he is insulting charedim and saying loshon hara about their leaders without any toeles. He is a hateful man, and a spiteful one at that. Rav Ahron Kotler and other greates do not need to be insulted publicly by some professor with an interest in the Talmud,.

Anonymous said...

Mishpachah is a poorly written magazine with second-rate journalism the rule. It's most shock value articles present little challenge to its readers to think through issues. Couple that with their silly articles like the one on RYBS and Krinsky and there's not much left to pay for.
HaModia is what it is. It's not pretending to be what it isn't. It's got some informative stuff and I can live with the fact that it's not as interesting. At least, it's not confusing and misleading.

Isaac Balbin said...

Anonymous: You clearly haven't heard about the positive relationship between RAL and RSZA have you?

Anonymous said...

It is absolutely disgraceful that anyone would belittle R' Yoshe Ber, ZT"L. He was a gadol, plain and simple. The Chareidim don't hold a monopoly on Torah. I give everyone here the bracha that your children should be as immersed in Torah as R' Yoshe Ber, and as observant in mitzvos as R' Yoshe Ber. Anyone who would deny that bracha for their children, IMHO, is playing with fire with regards to their children. Is R' Yoshe Ber's the only way? Of course not, but it certainly qualifies as a glatt kosher way.

Anonymous said...

>>You clearly haven't heard about the positive relationship between RAL and RSZA have you?

I have head of this alleged relationship . . . have you heard his hateful comments about other leaders?

Isaac Balbin said...

Anonymous: it's not alleged. Have you read V'aleyhu Lo Yibol?

Point me to the source of these "hateful" comments

Anonymous said...

Issac,

You obviously know nothing about RAL if you are asking such questions. He likes to study the talmud, that is nice. But he speaks out against older charedi scholars even though (1) those scholars are never made aware of it; and (2) nothing can be done about it as he is making his comments to a purely DL audience. It is the height of arrogance to assume there is any toeles to his anti charedi rants.

Anonymous said...

Anon,
Stop accusing a godal betorah with alleged "arrogance"
BTW, do the Charadie establishment make a phone call before they ostracize someone? Is the DL community different?

c said...

Kudos to Mishpacha magazine.
While I am a Litvak from 2 grandparents and a Brisker to boot, it was well known among the talmidim that RYBS was a WORLD CLASS Gaon whose Torah knowledge and opinion was sought by some of the Great Gedolim of the last 50 years who acknowledged his Geonus and Yiras Shamayim. It was not only among the Briskers that his Gadlus was recognized. While his Hashkafos were not considered "Yeshivish", his Lomdus was respected except by those whose Hashkofos were different and who had an axe to grind. It is time to finally admit that RYBS was a giant; likely greater than almost any Gaon of his time - although many wished he was more Yeshivish thank he was. Let me remind you of the insight his brother HaGaon RAS said at his levaya regarding the struggles his brother RYBS had in attempting to reach the students of his time and imbue in them Yiras Shamayim. I do not feel that most of those who attack this Gaon come to his knees in Yiras Shomayim - OR Torah. While they repeat what they may have heard, they should be Zahir before attacking one of the Geonei HaDor; particularly in a public forum.

Chaim

Anonymous said...

>>Stop accusing a godal betorah with alleged "arrogance"

gadol b'torah? Please. I would grant that he is an acadmic who appreciates intellectual stimulation. To this end, he does learn.

BTW, do the Charadie establishment make a phone call before they ostracize someone? Is the DL community different?

Not a single child ever spoke out against someone two generations older than him based on statements not even written by that senior, greater talmid chochom. And no one has ever made such pronouncements where it was so obvious that it would do nothing to change the purported views of that gadol because he would never have known about it. DLs always talk about their so called derech eretz. To talk so stupidly about someone who was still alive without so much as a phone call beforehand is at best childish.

Warning said...

Anonymous:

I'm not writing to engage in debate, but to offer a simple warning for your benefit; you can take it or leave it, though I have little doubt you will leave it.

When your time comes and you stand before the Ribono shel Olam ליתן את הדין, you will be brought to task for your invective regarding Rav Lichtenstein. Perhaps you will be able to call to your defense the fact that you never knew Rav Lichtenstein, and thus weren't in a position to realize the depth of your error; but perhaps not. Just don't say you weren't warned.