Reb Yerucham and YU

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In a recent post to the Seforim blog (link), Prof. Marc Shapiro describes how a letter to the journal Or Yisrael quotes R. Yerucham Gorelik’s son as saying that his father never taught Gemara in Yeshiva University; he only taught Jewish thought (hashkafah):

אמנם ×–×” עתה שמעתי מבנו של הגאון ר’ ירוחם זצ”ל ×””×” ש”ב הגאון רבי מרדכי לייב גארעליק שליט”א שר’ ירוחם גארעליק זצ”ל מעולם לא לימד שם גמרא כלל ואדרבה ×”×™’ סבירא לי’ שאיסור חמור הוא ללמוד או ללמד גמרא בישיבה יוניברסיטה אפי’ לשעה קלה ואפי’ ×¢”מ להצילם, ועל אף שבידוע פעל רבי ירוחם זצ”ל רבות בכדי להציל את התלמידים דשם ולהוציא יקר מזולל, מ”מ לא עשה זאת ×¢”×™ שיעורים בגמרא אלא אך ורק ×¢”×™ שיעורים בהשקפה בלבד עכת”ד.

This is blatantly false. While thousands of students can attest to this, there is a published record as well. In the book published to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the yeshiva that became YU, Sefer Yevul Ha-Yovelos, an essay was included from R. Gorelik that consisted of a student’s notes about R. Gorelik’s unique insights into the beginning of Bava Kama. How, one can ask, would a student have notes on Bava Kama if R. Gorelik did not teach Gemara in YU?

Click here to read moreThe brief bio of R. Gorelik and the essay from Yevul Ha-Yovelos is reproduced below: link to download PDF

About Gil Student

Rabbi Gil Student is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of, a leading website on Orthodox Jewish scholarly subjects, and the Book Editor of the Orthodox Union’s Jewish Action magazine. He writes a popular column on issues of Jewish law and thought featured in newspapers and magazines, including The Jewish Link, The Jewish Echo and The Vues. In the past, he has served as the President of the small Jewish publisher Yashar Books and as the Managing Editor of OU Press. Rabbi Student serves on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America. He also serves on the Editorial Boards of Jewish Action magazine, the Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society and the Achieve Journal of Behavioral Health, Religion & Community, as well as the Board of OU Press. He has published five English books, the most recent titled Search Engine volume 2: Finding Meaning in Jewish Texts -- Jewish Leadership, and served as the American editor for Morasha Kehillat Yaakov: Essays in Honour of Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks.

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