Chabad lack of perspective: Part 2

I have to acknowledge credit, where credit is due. chabad.org has a calendar which describes auspicious days. I was taken aback to see this entry

Passing of Rabbi Joseph Ber Soloveichik (1993)

On the 18th of Nissan, 5753 (April 9, 1993), Rabbi Joseph Ber Soloveichik, a scion of the illustrious Volozhin-Brisk rabbinic dynasty, passed away at the age of 90.

Rabbi Soloveichik, known to many as “The Rav,” was the Rosh Yeshivah (dean) of the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary at Yeshiva University in New York City. He was a great thinker who authored many volumes on Jewish thought and law, and a great Talmudic scholar and educator.

His regular classes were attended by hundreds, and many thousands still enjoy their recordings. He inspired many students to delve into the study of the Talmud and Jewish law.

Whatever the motive, I was pleasantly surprised and pleased to see someone whose name wasn’t Schneersohn make it into the Chabad calendar. I am happy to be wrong!

My only regret is that I didn’t have an evening of learning in my house on the Rav’s Yohr Tzeit. Next year, God willing, I will organise it and have some guest speakers.

Author: pitputim

I'm a computer science professor in Melbourne, Australia. I skylark as the band leader/singer for the Schnapps band. My high schooling was in Chabad and I continued at Yeshivat Kerem B'Yavneh in Israel.

10 thoughts on “Chabad lack of perspective: Part 2”

  1. My intention is not chas veshalom to be melameid chovah, but I feel that there is often a certain feeling of affinity (for lack of a better word) between elements in the MO world and Chabad, partially because of what they share in common – being ostracized by the charedi world (bifrat Horav shach vekadoimeh).
    On that note as has been pointed out before it is extremely strange that Rabbi David berger is rubbing shoulders with those in the lithunanian world in calling Lubavitchers kofrim or whatever ,when he himself would probaly be categorized as such by those he is rubbing shoulders with, or the very least by Rabom rav Shach.
    Ayin Rashi techils Parshas balak vechulu.

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    1. I don’t think there is much to be gained in fighting Rabbi Berger. You need to understand he is an academic and an איש האמת. He certainly gives as good as he gets. People seem to forget that one of the hallmarks of a centrist orthodoxy is that there is room for a range of opinions. This can be a strength and can be perceived as a weakness. Rabbi Berger doesn’t consult R’ Herschel Schachter before he states his opinions. He is free to write what he wishes according to his understanding of his Torah. I have read his book, and I feel it was written in haste and a little sloppy. That being said, he certainly has legitimate concerns.

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  2. Issac,

    Why are you always on negative end of Chabad?

    Even when you give credit you found it necessary to add “Whatever the motive”. Why are you so intent on showing that Chabad is doing everything for a motive?

    As a long time reader of your blog it seems to me that your basic rantings and tirades against Chabad is they have no consideration for other people albeit themselves.

    Why did you not speak up up and say: Chabad is getting more and more receptive to other sects like Brisk etc….

    Not to mention you header is deceiving beyond words.

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    1. Lazer,
      I’m sorry you feel this way. I don’t think Chabad is generally positive about Brisk. It has however tried to be close to YU and has delivered shiurim there in Tanya for years. YU is an open place. The reason why I wrote “whatever the motive” is because the LR did NOT have the highest opinion of the Rav as I noted in the letter excerpt I posted. I do not know why the LR rose מלא קומתו given the context of that letter. Do you understand it?

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  3. David berger wrote his book over years and years,
    I know pesach celeberates haste but I don’t think that applies to bergers book.

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    1. Yisroel, I didn’t know that. It seemed to me that he had his thoughts in various papers but put the book together in haste. I could be wrong of course.

      PS. He’s either Rabbi Berger or Prof Berger. He does have a right to express his opinions!

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  4. The Rebbe rose מלא קומתו because the Rebbe had great respect for the Rav. What’s so hard to understand about that.

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  5. Isaac: the letter you quoted implied that the Rebbe wasn’t dissatisfied with the Rav’s actual position on things; on the contrary, he wanted the Rav to be more forthright; to speak up more; to get people to listen to him. This is actually a high compliment.

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    1. I felt that it expressed the view that the Rav was wishy washy and prone to change. Those who did not know the Rav could have that view, but as Rav Schachter has shown through many incidents, the Rav made it his business to rarely impose himself. That was his philosophy.

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