Monday, September 26, 2005
A common thread....
The three major policymakers in America, Rabbis Pinnes (Kotler), Kamenecki and Ruderman, all had one thing in common, they were taught to totally negate the Chassidic movement as nothing more than a country club for simpletons and boors. This important lesson they learned from their auspicious mentor and teacher.
Nathan Kamenetsky in his magnum opus, Making of a Godol, cannot contain his glee when he writes of the fact that so many of the students at Knesses Yisroel in Slabodka were of Chassidic stock. He quotes Rabbi Ruderman as answering the question of "how is is that a child of a Chassidishe home can turn into such a Misnaged? "he (Der Alter from Slabodka) made us drop all that". Meaning that according to the principles of Mussar, the morality of Mussar, Chassidus was a waste of time.
Rabbi SB Kowalsky, in his memoirs, "From my Zeide's House", describes how he as a student of Ner Israel wanted to go to New York to greet the Frierdige Rebbe who was arriving from war-torn Europe in 1940. The venerable Rosh Yeshivah refused. "It's Bittul Torah." Now here was a young man who "shtammed" from Chassidim, had learned in Tomchei Tmimim in Otwock and was a refugee who had arrived a year earlier, but that was no reason to allow him to go, at least not for RR.
There are many more examples, but we'll leave that for another time.