Rav Henoch Cohen, an early student of the Rav, says in his article in Mentor of Generations that when he was at Torah v'Das he met R Wasserman who said, "I don't know why people talk so unfavorably about Rav Yoshe Ber. I was there in Boston and I never saw somebody eat, sleep, and dream Torah as he did." (p. 3)
Sunday, August 6, 2023
Thursday, July 20, 2023
Wednesday, June 21, 2023
Thursday, May 18, 2023
Thursday, May 11, 2023
Tuesday, April 18, 2023
says here that R schneur kotler told him that r aaron kotler sent rav schneur to yU to learn with the rav and the Torah was incredible.
Tuesday, April 11, 2023
To recognize a person means to affirm that he is irreplaceable. To hurt a person means to tell him that he is expendable, that there is no n
Monday, April 10, 2023
LMOF is a great documentary. I have watched it 20 times. It’s very inspiring. But there’s a mistake or two. Here’s one of them. Rabbi JJ Schacter is talking about the Rav’s “complicated relationship with the yeshiva world” and the documentary shows a photo of the Rav with the Lub. Rebbe with whom he did NOT have a complicated relationship and who is NOT in the yeshiva world. (51:39) [Compare to 4:06 in https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0uF44xLM-k] They were old friends who supported one another without criticism. So this is an error. Or it seems to be. Maybe you can say that his support of the Rebbe further complicated his relationship with the yeshiva world and that's what this photo is all about. But I think you'd have to explain that to the audience. So I think it's a mistake. But that aside, wonderful film.
Saturday, April 8, 2023
In the 1948 meeting notes for the Maimonides school, we see the following:
Question was raised of teaching children Hebrew in Hebrew. Mrs. Soloveitchik pointed out that the Hebrew Dept. of the school stressed the religious content so that the Hebrew language had been neglected. However, for the past few years, the Rabbi [Soloveitchik] has asked the Hebrew teachers to use more Hebrew and great attention to the language and grammar is now being paid. (Minutes book of the Maimonides School, May 29, 1948, p. 16 in Farber, An American Orthodox Dreamer, p. 116)
Friday, April 7, 2023
Motzei Shabbos to Sunday, 3rd day of chol moed in Israel, 2nd day in chutz
Some Torah from the Rav:
Wednesday, April 5, 2023
“The slave lives in fear. He is afraid not only of those who are stronger than he or of those who have jurisdiction over him; the slave is afraid of contradicting anyone, of antagonizing even a stranger. The fear might be unjustified, but this fear is the motivating force in his life.” (An Exalted Evening, p. 23)
Monday, April 3, 2023
THURSDAY, APRIL 13
7:00 p.m. at BMTL
(1 Rechov Asher)
Rav Moshe Lichtenstein, Rav Meyer Lichtenstein, and Rav Avishai David
THURSDAY, APRIL 20
8:00 p.m. at OYM
Rav Kenneth Brander and Rav Chaim Ilson
FRIDAY, APRIL 21
9:30 a.m. at Kehilat Nofei Hashemesh
Rav Aharon Rakefet
FRIDAY, APRIL 28
9:30 a.m. at BMTL
Rav Hershel Schachter
THURSDAY, MAY 4
8:00 p.m. at Netzach Menashe
18 רחוב ראובן
Rav Aharon Adler and Rav Dovid Miller
THURSDAY, MAY 11
8:00 p.m. at Beit Knesset Feigenson
Womens Beit Medrash Initiative
BMTL – Rechov Asher 1, Bet Shemesh, Israel 99544
Nofei HaShemesh: Rechov Sitvanit 1
Bet Haknesset Ohel Yonah Menachem 17 Shivtei Yisrael, Sheinfeld, Bet Shemesh, Israel
Netzach Menashe 18 רחוב ראובן, Bet Shemesh, Israel 99544
Beit Knesset Feigenson - Nofei Aviv 29 Hashoshan Street, Beit Shemesh, 99591, Israel
Wednesday, March 29, 2023
Tuesday, March 28, 2023
A new generation or two have grown who “did not know Yosef.” They have certainly heard his name, or have heard about him. They have heard countless teachings in his name; they have been inspired by his students, or by his student’s students, or perhaps even by their students in turn – but they didn’t know him. Of course, I am referring to the towering, undisputed leader of twentieth-century centrist Orthodoxy, Rabbi Dr. Yosef Dov Soloveitchik – “The Rav.”
For the most part, the youngest students in the Rav’s last shiurim in the early 1980s are by now grandparents (including the writer of these lines).
Sunday, March 26, 2023
At first glance, one would think that Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, widely known as “the Rav,” and Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, better known as “the Rebbe,” would not have shared much in common. These two great men were representatives of two opposing schools within Judaism. The Rav was a seventh-generation descendant of Rabbi Chaim Volozhiner, the founder of the Volozhin Yeshiva, the template for all Lithuanian yeshivos. Rabbi Chaim Volozhiner was also the outstanding disciple of the Gaon of Vilna, the leader of the opposition to Chassidism. The Rav’s father, grandfather and great-grandfather were all leading rabbis in the Lithuanian mold, without an ounce of Chassidism between them. Rabbi Chaim Soloveitchik (Reb Chaim Brisker), the Rav’s grandfather, was the innovator of the “Brisker derech,” a method of Talmudic study that seeks to uncover the concepts underlying the halachah, but which never ventures beyond halachah into the realm of mysticism or philosophy. The intellectual and sometimes austere Talmudism of the Rav’s forebears is depicted in his work Halakhic Man:
Saturday, March 25, 2023
Friday, March 24, 2023
Thursday, March 23, 2023
Pesach: Writing a Story upon a People - חג הפסח: כתיבת סיפור על העם
Presented in the 1950's.
To turn on subtitles, click on the gear icon in the bottom right
כדי לראות כתוביות בעברית, לחץ על איקון גלגל השיניים
- : The etymology of the word sipur
- : The Sefer Yetzirah and the creation of writing
- : Closing the generation gap
- : The burden of the prophet
- : The burden of the parent
- : The theme of the seder in B'nei Brak
Tuesday, March 21, 2023
Saturday, March 18, 2023
linked post: notice of his passing: Joseph B. Soloveitchik, Leading Light of Orthodox Jewry, Mourned in Boston
Thousands of students and disciples gathered in Boston on Sunday to pay respect to Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, the central intellectual and religious figure behind American Orthodox Judaism.
The Rav's daughter Atarah passed away recently. I met her in Boston and corresponded with her a bit. She was very gracious to me. I was very impressed by her. She was a very intelligent and unpretentious woman. Article from Arutz Sheva:
Dr. Atarah Twersky, the widow of Professor Isadore Twersky, daughter of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, passed away on Friday afternoon at 90.
Dr. Twersky was the sister of Dr. Tovah Lichtenstein, YU Professor of Jewish History Dr. Haym Soloveitchik, and mother of RIETS (Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary) Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Mayer Twersky, Tzipporah Rosenblatt, and Rabbi Moshe Twersky, who was murdered in his synagogue in Jerusalem by a Palestinian terrorist in 2014.
The funeral in the US will take place on Saturday evening at 8:15 PM at JFK Airport: EL AL Cargo,123 North Hangar Road Jamaica, New York.
The funeral in Israel will take place Sunday at the Jerusalem Municipal Funeral Parlor (Shamgar) 2 hours after the arrival of LY 008, scheduled to arrive at 5:10 PM.
Tuesday, March 14, 2023
Tuesday, February 28, 2023
Mystical philosophers long for immersion in the silence of absolute unity. The Greek philosopher Plotinus and all those who followed him were filled with such secret longings. But Judaism’s goal is not the same as that of the mystics with their via negativa, or negative way. The latter aspired to overcome the variety and uniqueness of man’s personality, recommending the negation of people’s variegated mental and physical existence for the sake of attaining pure, simple unity with no objective content. In denying the ontic independence of human beings, they came to deny their essence as well. They therefore recommended the via purgativa (method of elimination), which leads to unio mystica (mystic unification). The individual must empty out the content of his variegated life and freeze into a focal eternal point, lacking all dimension and context, and confine himself to the One.
But Judaism, directed by the Halakha says, “This is not the way.” First of all, one cannot speak of man uniting with God, but only of man cleaving to God. Second, man does not cleave to God by denying his actual essence, but, on the contrary, by affirming his own essence. The actual, multicolored human personality becomes closer to God when the individual lives his own variegated original life, filled with goals, initiative, and activity, without imagining some prideful insolent independence. Then and only then does the personality begin to have a divine existence. Judaism insists that destroying man’s uniqueness and originality does not bring man closer to God, as the mystics imagined. Man’s road to God does not wind among faraway hidden places – in which man concentrates on a mysterious pyre in which his individuality goes up in flames – but, rather, among the spaces of real being, filled with movement and transformation. (Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik, And From There You Shall Seek, MeOtzar HaRav, pp. 87-88)