This audio roundup special reviews the Mesoras HaRav Chumash debut event at YU. My continued thanks to all those involved in disseminating The Rav’s Torah—especially to R’Lustiger whose work on the Machzor continues to aid my Yamim Noraim prayers(and of course all the rest of his efforts to disseminate Torar Harav). The Chumash again allows us to get bite-sized insights from an incredible source. My inability to communicate The Rav’s uniqueness and greatness is a source of tremendous frustration reminiscent of my inability to explain the double slit experiment.
My 2 introductory thoughts:
R’ Chaim Volozhiner quote (found in the Rav machzor) that helps get me through the night (and twilight)
“Our purpose is to do, not necessarily to accomplish.”
The Artscroll Yom Kippur machzor has the following comment (I could not find the GRA’s statement in Aderet Eliyahu). “David replies with just two words: “I have sinned to HASHEM.” Nathan answers, “[If so] God has removed your sin and you will not die. ”The Vilna Gaon notes that according to the Masoretic text there is a space after David’s brief confession, even though it is in the middle of a sentence. This implies that David wanted to say more – he felt that he should go into more detail about his sin and the sincerity of his remorse – but was so overcome by remorse that he could not speak. He didn’t have to. Nathan broke in to tell him that he had been forgiven – because his confession, brief and incomplete though he thought it to be – was utterly sincere.”
Me-Do you think this thought coheres with the following insight from R’YBS:
“In response to this Divine verdict, R’Yehudah HaNasi cried, marveling at how some individuals merit the World to Come only after a lifetime of effort, while others acquire such reward after only brief effort. The Rav emphasized that the executioner not only earned a share in the World to Come, but achieved the same level as did R’Chananya in this regard.
“Why did R’Yehudah HaNasi have such an emotional reaction to the afterlife destiny of the executioner? The answer is that although prior to this incident R’Yehudah HaNasi had certainly understood the redemptive power of teshuvah, he had not previously appreciated the redemptive power of hirhur Tshuva, “awakening” of teshuvah. If teshuvah is indeed a multistep process, involving sin recognition, remorse, and resolve, how can an individual possibly be considered righteous after only a moment’s thought? Only through hirhur Tshuva, which is spontaneous, instinctive, and sudden. In one second, an individual can live the jarring experience of awakening from spiritual slumber.”
Me-Was the GRA channeling Kahnemann/Tversky? If so, is it an indictment of those who aren’t at the system II level?
- Rabbi Dr. Ari Berman-Keynote Address Celebrating the culmination of Chumash Mesoras HaRav
The lesson of Avraham and his use of hineni [reflecting commitment to HKB”H (Avraham Haivri) and Yitzchak (Avraham Avi)] is that one does not have to give up one of those commitments at the cost of the other. Similarly, The Rav taught us to be involved in Chesed and emet (build the world/redeem the world). This is his continuing legacy to the YU world.
- Dr. Arnold Lustiger-Achdus Hamaskil Vehamuskal: The Rav and Torah Study
The Rav discussed in Uvikashtem Msham the unity of the individual with HKB”H which presents philosophical challenges but represents The Rav’s actual experience of reflective love (includes some nice sound clips found here:
- Rabbi Mayer E. Twersky-The Grandeur of Torah
The Rav was sui generis as a darshan and Talmid Chacham due to his knowledge/ability/creativity in Halacha, Agadah and Chidush. Whatever you were able to see was nothing compared to his totality.
- Rabbi Menachem Genack-Rambam’s Mishneh Torah: The Significance of its Title
The phrase Mishneh Torah has a number of connotations which have implications related to The Rav. If you read the Rambam’s introduction to the Yad you’ll see he considered himself similar to R’Yehuda Hanassi in transmitting Torah knowledge (as did The Rav). Sefer Dvarim and the king’s Sefer Torah can be seen in a similar vein.
- Rabbi Hershel Schachter-Recollections of the Rav
No such thing as “memories” of The Rav as The Rav is always with us since we live his halachic words (e.g., tfilat hatzibur heicha kdusha . . .). He represented old traditions and the idea of covering all opinions
- Rabbi Julius Berman-Concluding Remarks Celebrating the culmination of Chumash Mesoras HaRav
Marking this auspicious occasion tied to an insight from The Rav concerning the appropriateness of reflecting on the positive results of our activities (based on his talk to R’Lamm et al when YU was in financial trouble). The Rav was a sofer (like Moshe Rabbeinu) writing the Torah on our souls/hearts. (Me – Amen.)