Monday, December 05, 2005

Rav Hershel Schachter and the Gedolim

I was reading the post below submitted by my esteemed colleague GHassid on the newest chapter in the Slifkin controversy, when the answer to a question that has been bothering for me for some time suddenly became very clear.

I often wondered why truly great rabbinic figures who possess virtually unequalled mastery of Torah and rabbinic source material as well as the middos that truly set then apart from everyone else, don't assert themselves more and rise to a higher level where they can become bigger players in the Torah world. Take Rav Hershel Schachter (RHS) for example. His Torah mind is unparalleled and his middos are on par with his Torah knowledge. I've wondered for many years why he doesn't push himself a little so that his influence can be felt beyond the halls of YU and his many talmidim. Sure, one can say that being a Rosh Yeshiva at YU is what holds him back, but I never believed that. I believed it was something more personal, as if he doesn't want to become larger than he is in the Torah and yeshiva worlds, but I could never figure out why.

Today it finally hit me. Why would someone like RHS want to become part of the fraternity known as "the Gedolim"? He is too good for them. He is too pure for them. He could never lower himself to act in a manner that "the Gedolim" have in connection with the Slifkin controversy. RHS couldn't perpetrate a Chilul Hashem all in the name of fraudulent "kannaus". RHS remains a giant by virtue of not becoming one of "the Gedolim". He stays away because he is commanded to: "m'dvar sheker tirchak".

14 Comments:

At 4:51 PM, Blogger The GHassid said...

The Gabbai makes some fantastic points and reintroduces us to a fascinating man in a terrible conundrum. RHS is an Adam Gadol in Torah with an unblemished reputation for sterling character. That is not disputable. The question is for him become the Gadol we all need him to be, he has to open a door he, and understandly so, is reluctant to walk through. Presently Orthodox Jewry finds itself in a vaccum. That abyss is being poorly filled by 2nd tier (generous), middos-less, ethically challenged people of questionable torah greatness. IS anything to be gained by going to the mat with them in their arena? I feel RHS needs to do this. On the the other hand, the last thing RHS needs, is to do this. Either way we lose.

 
At 10:05 AM, Blogger Gil Student said...

Gedolim don't care about such things as influence. They teach to those who want to learn.

 
At 10:10 AM, Blogger The Gabbai said...

you're correct about true gedolim. not everyday (and most of today's) "gedolim" who only seem concerned with influence.

 
At 12:35 PM, Blogger Mississippi Fred MacDowell said...

Personality is an issue. Not everyone is looking to be "recognized" as a gadol. RHS teaches Torah to countless people each day. I imagine he thinks he's doing his part without playing politics to rise up as a 'Godol,' something which is anyway impossible given his institutional affiliation.

 
At 10:42 PM, Anonymous daaty said...

RHS will never be accepted in the charedi world.As S. stated he is from YU.bUT DOES HE REPRESENT yu'SGOAL OF tORAH u'mADA? hE DID TRY TO REMAKE THE rAV.

 
At 10:42 PM, Anonymous daaty said...

RHS will never be accepted in the charedi world.As S. stated he is from YU.bUT DOES HE REPRESENT yu'SGOAL OF tORAH u'mADA? hE DID TRY TO REMAKE THE rAV.

 
At 8:41 AM, Blogger noyra said...

http://www.noyravkadosh.blogspot.com/

Sunday, December 11, 2005
DID RAV HERSCHEL SCHACHTER REALLY DEFEND Rabbi SLIFKIN? RABBI SLIFKIN MAINTAINS THAT CHAVA DID NOT COME FROM ODAM- RATHER, ITS ALL AN ALLEGORY!....

Rumors on blogs maintain that Rav Hershelk Schachter has defended the content of Slifkins writings.

Rabbi Slifkin holds that the notion of "Chava being created from Odom's body " is just an allegory and that she really didn't "make the break"- literally.

following are Slifkins own words ....
[ blogger: Here is an email i received from someone in correpsondence with R Slifkin.... -----]
"Original Message-----From: [editorial censor of name] Sent: Sunday, October 23, 2005 4:37 AMTo: zoorabbi@zootorah.comSubject:
Hello Hello Rabbi Slifkin, I have been looking at your website and read about the "Controversy" and want to ask if acceptance of evolution would also mean that you would accept that Eve didn't literally come from Adam's rib or side- physically and literally? Thanks for your response ahead of time...

[ Slifkin:] Dear [ editorial censor of name],

It wouldn't necessarily require that, but I do happen to believe that this is not literal (I think that this is by far one of the cases where it is easy to see that it is meant allegorically).

best wishes, Natan Slifkin"
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Is it even REMOTELY conceivable that Rav Hershel Schachter would say that this was acceptable opinion or that it should be taught...even to baalei teshuvos? I cast my bets "no way ". [ it is not even possible to consider that R H S maintains these opinions himself, not to mention wehtehr he maintains it OK for a Jew to have this pinion- I dont mean a baal teshuva almost off the derech if he cant have this opinion- i mean a mentally healthy FFB that asks R H S whether one should believe this position.

 
At 10:49 AM, Blogger The Gabbai said...

vayom--

crystal clear presentation. thanks.

 
At 2:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enjoyed a lot! » »

 
At 1:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is very interesting site... »

 
At 4:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hershel Schachter is nothing but a low life, using his power as rosh yeshiva of YU to make his own Halachas.I know for a fact that he melested a student 7 years ago.

 
At 5:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

to the Gabbai "boy are you misinformed" check out RHS shiurim videos where he reveals his fraud halacha regarding Mesira. RHS is the leader of ORA who are a bunch of reshaim bent on coercing men to give wife gittin shelo kehalocho so they can bed them right away.RHS supports women taking their husbands to court and jailing them if need be where in his mesira shiur (video) he explicitly prohibits jailing a jew where he might suffer needlessly in the hands of inmates as is the case in county and state jails.so you explain to me his hipocrisy in allowing women to jail their husbands.go to mishpattsedek.com to learn more of the ORA fraud!!!!

 
At 5:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you're mythological mind has determined that there is no one on earth who knows more Torah than Rav H Schachter.

How can you be so uncaring for the truth of your own words?

 
At 6:50 PM, Blogger Levi said...

it happens to be that "Anonymous" is a rasha. The problem is that Anonymous is too cowardly to reveal his name. I hope he repents for spreading lason hara and hotzaas shem ra about perhaps the greatest gadol of our generation.

signed non-anonymously

Levi Yitzchok Goldman

 

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