Audio Roundup 2020:40

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by Joel Rich

R’ Soloveitchik zt’l writes: “Interesting is that when G-d reveals Himself to Moshe and told him that he should prepare the people for kabalas haTorah, He told him ‘and you shall be unto Me a priestly kingdom and holy nation’, ‘ki li kol ha’aretz (Ex.19:5)’ – because the earth is Mine. What’s it got to do with the election of the Jewish people as the priestly nation? (The answer is that) It says I am electing you as a priestly nation, not only here at Mt. Sinai, not only the Promised Land where I will bring you, but wherever you will be, even on the moon or Mars, it doesn’t matter. Ki Li kol ha’aretz. The (entire) universe is Mine…

“I have said it many times. If I were permitted, I would add a 14th Ani Ma’amin – don’t get scared! What would the content of the 14th Ani Ma’amin be?

“Ani ma’amin be’emunah sh’leimah she’kol ha’Torah kulah y’cholah l’hiskayeim b’chol makom u’v’chol zman. I believe with perfect faith that the entire Torah can be kept in every place and in every time. If you don’t accept that Ani Maamin, what’s the use of the (other) thirteen? If the Ani Maamin is dependent upon geography and chronology, then when the Jews are scattered all over the world… You mean to the moon? Yes. If you want to know about Mars, I can tell you that Mars, too.” (The Rav Thinking Aloud on the Parsha, Bereishis, p.274-278)

From a book review:
You will not find here comparative analyses of the various approaches: “Torah Only” versus “Torah im Derech Eretz” versus “Torah Umadda.” This enhances the book because those arcane discussions have always been more the province of scholars in their ivory towers than that of actual wage earners out in the workforce.

Rabbi Lopiansky instead sets out a model elegant in its simplicity: The time spent in yeshivah is a period in which a young man takes on the role of Shevet Levi—“a stratum of undiluted and uncompromised spirituality with a minimum of interaction with the material world.” These years are “the stratum [that] becomes the core of our being.” The subsequent years in the work world are years in which one must find his role as one of the other shevatim—“to know our mission in life and to realize it.” Such missions must be solidly within the framework of osek b’yishuvo shel olam—“the constructive building and enhancement of the world.”

From me:
Certainly one model-One might argue that looking ahead while one is in Yeshiva would allow a stronger foundation for the subsequent years (e.g understanding real world trade-offs while studying theoretical paradigms, learning skills which will make one more effective in their ultimate mission). This differentiation has some very practical implications. (Besides the psychological considerations of possible feelings about having to leave the Yeshiva) Thoughts?

Please direct any informal comments to [email protected].

About Joel Rich

Joel Rich is a frequent wannabee cyberspace lecturer on various Torah topics. A Yerushalmi formerly temporarily living in West Orange, NJ, his former employer and the Social Security administration support his Torah listening habits. He is a recovering consulting actuary.

One comment

  1. I read that very differently than did the Rav. “And you shall be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation, for all the world is mine” — not only you. We are to be priests and a holy example because Hashem owns the entire world, and that world needs a priesthood.

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