Nice article by Shmully Hecht

See the original from the Times of Israel (which I reproduce) here. [hat tip MT] I have no issue with Shmully’s thoughts except that R’ Chaim Volozhiner was not an opponent of R’ Schneur Zalman of Liadi. He in fact, while being the prime disciple of the Vilna Gaon, and the person who hand wrote the condemnation of Chassidim (Cherem) did not sign the Cherem! Rav Chaim Kanievsky is not a political person. He sits and learns and does little else. That this boor said “come and I will take you to Rav Chaim Kanievsky” does not mean that Rav Chaim was aware of agreed with the way he spoke or what he said. Rav Chaim is also a Mekubal who knows Kol HaTorah and if you look at what he signs, you will find dear Shmully, that he rarely if ever gives his own opinion. He is a humble man, who mostly says “if such a great person said X,

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With whom do you share more commonality?

Picture the scene. It’s Yeshivat Hat Etzion, known as the “Harvard’ of the Yeshivot Hesder in Israel. It is considered somewhat more ‘liberal’ than the more mainstream/right-wing Kerem B’Yavneh or Sha’alavim. The Rosh Yeshiva, R’ Aron Lichtenstein, a son-in-law of the Rav ז’ל knows Shas off by heart and is a tremendous Talmid Chacham, but he has a PhD in English Literature from Harvard. It’s a press conference, and someone asks R’ Aron “Who do you have more in common with: the Jew from Meah Shearim or the Jew from North Tel Aviv” R’ Aron answers quickly: The Jew from Meah Shearim I’d like to ask the question now of a new Rosh Yeshiva. Let’s take a Rosh Yeshivah from Benei Berak or Kiryat Sefer or Meah Shearim. If they were asked With whom do you share more in common: the Dati Leumi (Nationalistic Religious) Jew or the secular Jew from North Tel Aviv What would they answer? In case you

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This should happen once a month

I applaud R’ Metzger for this initiative, although, I believe that this was originally the journey undertaken by Rav Kook ז’ל in 1913. Bridging gaps is efficacious; spitting and sending to the back of the bus, breeds resentment. Just to name drop, R’ Metzger sat a few rows behind me at Kerem B’Yavneh, although he was in fifth year, as I recall. The story is told of how Rav Kook, upon one of his visits to an anti-religious kibbutz, was approached by one of the leaders who greeted him as follows: “With all due respect Rabbi, you shouldn’t waste your time trying to convince us to be religious. It’s not that we don’t know what Torah is, most of us were raised in observant homes. We know Torah, rabbis, mitzvot and we don’t like them!” Rav Kook questioned,”Why?” The kibbutznik replied: “We simply can’t stand your old-fashioned, meaningless, outdated rituals!” Exclaimed Rav Kook, “I agree”. “What?”, asked the surprised rebel.

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Is this the way to effect kiruv?

Matzav, reports the following story: Rav Shlomo Levenstein, a gabbai of Rav Aharon Leib Shteinman, recently spoke at a bar mitzvah of twin boys whose father was niftar over Pesach. Rav Levenstein related the following incident. A young man who lacked interest in limud haTorah went to Rav Shteinman and asked him, “Would the rov like a steak or ice cream?” Rav Shteinman, apparently not knowing what either of these items are, asked the young man what he meant. The young man replied that these items are delicious foods. Rav Shteinman responded that he doesn’t want them. The young man, with a streak of wit, said to the senior gadol that he is offering him foods that all people consider to be delicious and appetizing and yet Rav Shteinman does not have any interest in them. “If so,” said the man, “I, who have no interest in learning Torah, can feel that way even though everyone says that Torah is sweet and enjoyable. So why must

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