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by Joel Rich

From Majesty and Humility (R’ Ziegler) Emet L’Amito IMHO – Point 1 describes why The Rav so resonates with me, point 2 why everyone can quote something that supports them, but that doesn’t make it so:

1.Dialectic, complexity, plurality of demands – these are the fundamental difficulties in studying and teaching the Rav; but they also represent his greatness. People are often looking for simple, monochromatic answers to the great questions of life. In his unflinching honesty, the Rav does not, and cannot, provide these, for he does not believe they exist. In his eyes, man contains conflicting tendencies, God sets forth multiple demands, and the world must be perceived under differing aspects.
2.Problems arise when people undertake the opposite process: through a selective reading of the Rav, they pick out those themes congenial to them, and ignore the rest. Although such selective readings frequently result from someone’s personal or communal agenda, they can also be innocent and unintentional. Part of the Rav’s greatness is that he touches a chord in the hearts of many readers. However, while grasping an insight which resonates deep within us, we must not allow it to blind us to other, possibly opposed, strains in the Rav’s oeuvre.

Original post:
are there halachic parameters for this? I assume there is no chiyuv to donate

My Response:
There’s literature on giving up your life for a greater person – seems to start with sefer chassidim 698 and a r’ akiva/ reuvain ben itztrolibi which I cannot trace any earlier. If anyone has earlier cite, let me know please.
The whole rshut/chiyuv/recommended question is fascinating.
Joel Rich

I share it with some chaveirim:
Thought u might find this of interest
One Chaver replies:
What bs. Can’t take it.
I respond thoughtfully
Unfortunately imho a lot of the orthodox world, including MO, buy into this kind of thing.
Chaver responds:
Right. Very unfortunately.

OK – now it’s your turn to comment!

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  • About Joel Rich

    Joel Rich is a frequent local lecturer on various Torah topics in West Orange, NJ and supports his Torah listening habits by working as a consulting actuary.


    1. ” proletariat or did he luck out (hashgacha)?”

      Is it hashgacha that everything happens-hashgacha that Manningham caught the ball an inch from out of bounds etc? I doubt it-I doubt God cares who wins the Super Bowl?

    2. Both of the points that you make about The rav, can be made about Harav (Kook) Somebody will site a passage from Orot where it seems that Harav is all for democracy, and someone else will bring an iggeret where Harav denounces in the strongest terms giving women the right to vote. It is a favorite pastime of talmidey talmidav to speculate-What would Harav said about…for instance exclusion of women in the public domain,or the kashrut controversy about fish parasites. It is for sure that everybody believes that they have Harav Kook on their side/

    3. r’dt,
      not surprising, both were complex thinkers. thanks

    4. “joel rich on March 5, 2012 at 9:35 am
      not surprising, both were complex thinkers. thanks
      and If I recall correctly prof Kaplan has pointed out that both the Rav and Rav Kook have been victims of revisionism.

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