Sunday, March 26, 2023

Rav Soloveitchik and the Lubavitcher Rebbe: An Unlikely Friendship by RABBI MENACHEM GENACK

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:




Rav Soloveitchik and the Lubavitcher Rebbe: An Unlikely Friendship - Jewish Action



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