Tag Archives: Hashkafah

Understanding the Patriarchs II

(The first post on this subject is here.) I found, online, an article mentioned in one of the comments recently: Imitate the Ramban, Not the Professors: An interview with Shalom Carmy from Hamevaser, vol. 38 no. 1 One reason that people shrink the larger than life personalities of Tanakh to pop-psychology size is that they are accustomed to treat themselves ...

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Ingredients of Rabbinic Leadership

TorahWeb once again produces a relevant and significant statement by a respected scholar from the ranks of Yeshiva University-RIETS roshei yeshivah. This week, R. Dr. Michael Rosensweig discusses the elements that make a successful rabbinic leader: The need for breadth of vision in halachic leadership obviously extends to single rabbinic authorities striving to emulate the model of Moshe and the ...

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The Haredization of American Orthodoxy II

Here is a brief summary of R. Berel Wein’s article (mentioned by J.I. in the comments section) attempting to explain the shift to the right in American Orthodoxy: Samuel Heilman posited four reasons for the “shift to the right” in American Orthodoxy: 1. Moral decline of general American society 2. Influence of Haredi teachers in Modern Orthodox schools 3. Decline ...

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The Haredization of American Orthodoxy

Chaim Waxman has an interesting article in the most recent Edah Journal. Below are excerpts in which he offers explanations and descriptions about the apparent “haredization” of the Orthodox Community. Interesting thoughts. (Someone correct me if I am wrong, but I believe this author is the son-in-law of R. David Lifschitz.) Some find it ironic that many of the new ...

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The Limits of Orthodox Theology III

Menachem Kellner reviews Marc Shapiro’s book. I have not yet had a chance to read the review but I’m sure, based on Kellner’s hazakah, that it is correct on almost every minor point but entirely wrong on the big picture. UPDATE: Some first thoughts. Kellner was actually wrong on some minor points as well. Kellner writes: Pre-emancipation Judaism was an ...

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Morality and Brisk

In an article by R. Shalom Carmy cited in the previous two posts, he quotes a former student who wrote to him the following: But in the halakhic world of Brisk does a voice cry out, saying “An Arab too is a gavra, a person”? Do all of these glib distinctions between subject and object teach their discoverers that the ...

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Who is a Gadol?

I came across an online article by R. Shalom Carmy: “Who Speaks for Torah – And How?” (Religious Zionism, 1989). R. Carmy addresses a number of issues in that article, one of which is Rabbinic Authority. In the course of discussing how to determine who is a gadol and if such an evaluation is possible, he makes the following insightful ...

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Principles of Faith

R. Hayim Soloveitchik’s strong stance on the denial of a principle of faith is well known through the writings of R. Elhanan Wasserman. The following is a fascinating confirmation that I found in Making of a Godol (p. 538 – emphasis added): The closest that R’ Hayyim came to coercion according to Toras Hayim was the explanation that he gave ...

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Understanding the Patriarchs

R. Aharon Lichtenstein on how to relate to the apparent sins of our great forefathers: However, although we cannot deny these sins, we must view them in light of Chazal’s overall attitude toward these personalities. Generally, Chazal and the Rishonim relate to Moshe with obvious reverence… Chazal exhibit the same respect and reverence for other gedolei Yisrael, as well, depicting ...

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Some Tough Questions for Modern Orthodoxy

Some insights and tough questions for serious Modern Orthodox people, back from when there was a push to refer to the group as Centrist Orthodox. Unfortunately, this is the kind of self-criticism that may be cathartic but is entirely ignored and unproductive. R. Yitzchok [Irving] Breitowitz, “A Symposium on Divided and Distinguished Worlds” in Tradition 26:2 (1992), pp. 20-21: “[L]et ...

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