Volume 7 Number 3

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Avi Feldblum]
Books and Writings of the Rav
         [Jeffrey Woolf]
Rav Aharon Soleveitchik's Hesped for the Rav
         [Seth Lawrence Ness]
Rav and Lubavitcher Rebbe
         [Stuart Richler]
Rav and Philosophy
         [Jeffrey Woolf]


From: mljewish (Avi Feldblum)
Date: Tue, 27 Apr 1993 00:29:16 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Administrivia

This past Sunday there was a hesped (eulogy) for the Rav at YU. I was
not able to go, but did get a copy of a tape made of the speeches. The
quality was quite good, and I've had a chance to listen to Dr. Lamm's
remarks (he spoke first and was introduces as the only person to get
both Smicha and a Ph.D. from the Rav) and Dr. Twersky, the Rav's
son-in-law, who spoke second. The third and last was R' Chaim, the Rav's
son. He is somewhat harder to hear on the tape. I plan to intersperse
mailings on the Rav between regular mailings, as material comes in.
While I know that I do not have the time to try and summarize the three
hespedim (it is almost three hours long, total), I'll add my comments to
some of the things that come in.

Avi Feldblum
mail.jewish Moderator and talmid of the Rav zt"l


From: Jeffrey Woolf <JRWOOLF@...>
Date: Mon, 26 Apr 93 07:45:03 -0400
Subject: Re: Books and Writings of the Rav

I will have some comments on the hespedim later today. However, a few
corrections to Eli Turkel's list:

     1) Professor Twersky, the Rav zatzal's son in law, also delivered a
eulogy yesterday.

     2) The Hiddushei HaGram is from R Moshe Soloveitchik's own Manuscript.

     3) Hiddushei HaGram v'HaGrid presents the Togbuch of Reb Moshe
     Soloveichik reflectibg a forty year havrusa between himself and the Rav.

     4) Yemei Zikkaron is from a Teshuva Drasha, not the Yahrzeit shiurim.

     5) Add to the list: Ish HaHalakha-Galui v'Nistar which includes
U'Vikashtem misham, which the Rav thought his most significant essay.

     6) The collection called Kavod HaRav contains encomia on the Rav from
many Rashei Yeshiva. It was edited by Moshe Sherman and yours truly.

     7) There is another collection of the Rav's essays called:B'Sod HaYahid
v'haYahad which contains Ish HaHalakha; Ma Dodkha MiDod (A eulogy for Reb
Velvel Brisker); Kol Dodi Dofek; Pletat Sofrim (Eulogy for Reb Haym Heller);
Kedushah Geluya v'Kedusha Nisteret (Eulogy for Rabbi Zeev Gold); and Al Ahavat
HaTorah u'Geulat Nefesh HaDor. Torah Culture Dept of WZO.

     8) There are two English translations of Kol Dodi Dofek. One is by
Lawrence Kaplan and appeared in a volume dealing with responses to the Shoah.
It was published by KTAV. The second is in the process of publication and
should be released this year.

                                                         Hag Sameach!
                                                      Jeffrey R. Woolf


From: Seth Lawrence Ness <ness@...>
Date: Mon, 26 Apr 93 16:13:07 -0400
Subject: Rav Aharon Soleveitchik's Hesped for the Rav

Let me add whatever i remember thats not here.

First, R.Aaron actually started by saying that rav shimeon bar yochai
and his son lived in a cave for seven years and wrote the zohar and that
they had one neshama(soul). The rav and rav moshe(his father) also had
one neshama. the only other pair he can think of who were like this is
rav akiva eiger and his son. but only the rav and rav moshe correspond
to rav shimon bar yochai and his son in terms of isolation and privacy.
one pair lived alone for seven years and wrote a secret type of torah
and the rav and rav moshe were also isolated in that like all briskers
they didn't publish their work. Everybody thinks that briskers just
don't like to publish, but this is really related to their entire
philosophy of torah. they don't think torah can just be said and
released, but it has to grow and change and can't be put down right
away.( i didn't entirely understand this) [R' Chaim also touched on the
difference (for the Rav ?) between the spoken word and the written word
in his hesped this past Sunday. Mod.]

> He went on to talk about Joseph's dreams, and his experiences
> living in a pagan land, and becoming an important leader there.

he mentioned that yosefs two dreams, one with the sheaves of wheat and one
with the sun and stars were really the two halves of yaakovs dream of the
ladder, with one end on the ground and one end in the heavens. but i
didn't catch what the point of this was.

> Many people criticized the Rav, R. Aaron said, because he taught philosophy,
> such as the Kuzari, not just teaching Torah in a traditional way. They
> resented him because they were not able to analyze the Torah, to break it 
> up it into many colors (the ketonet passim, Joseph's coat of many colors)
> as he was. But this diffraction of the light of Torah was necessary in
> this time and place, in order to transmit it through an opaque medium to
> the Jewish people.

He mentioned that some people quoted chidushim of the Rav in the name of
Rav Chaim (his grandfather) because of this resentment. he said that if he
was in their place he might have done the same thing.Rav aaron has always
been upset that the Rav didn't get the respect he deserved from certain
segments of the orthodox community. i think he was upset that no one from
these communities was really at the funeral.

> R. Aaron also said something about seeing R. Moshe lying on the floor
> in his tallis. [I hope someone can describe this part of the hesped,
> which I had a difficult time understanding.]

He mentioned the Rav's body lying on the floor in his tallis and the love
in his daughters eyes when she looked at him and how wonderful such a love

> The Rav inherited the "genes" of Volozhin [through his father] and Pruzhin
> [through his mother]. When the second Beit Hamikdash was in flames, the
> pirchei kahuna [young kohanim] climbed up on the roof and threw the
> keys into the flames, whereupon a hand reached out from heaven and took
> them. But, R. Aaron said, the pirchei kehuna should not have done this.
> They should have kept the keys. If only they had kept the keys, the
> Beit Hamikdash could have been rebuilt. The communities of Brisk, of
> Volozhin, of Pruzhin, and all of the learning they contained, were
> similarly destroyed in flames. R. Aaron concluded the hesped by saying,
> almost shouting, "Don't throw the keys of Brisk and Volozhin into the 
> flames! Keep the keys, and help to rebuild!"

I think he was refering to YU here, and telling it and the entire modern
orthodox community not to give up hope and to keep on doing what the rav
worked so hard for.

Seth L. Ness                         Ness Gadol Hayah Sham


From: Stuart Richler <76177.1300@...>
Date: Mon, 26 Apr 93 13:22:30 -0400
Subject: Rav and Lubavitcher Rebbe

Mike Gerver in his article about the Rav mentions:

>The Rav then stood up, said "Ha-makom yinachem..." ["May G-d
>comfort you...", the traditional greeting to mourners] and left. He spoke
>to the Rebbe on the phone several times after that, but never saw him in
>person again.

In fact they did meet again. The meeting took place on the 10'th of
Shvat in 5740. This day marked the 30'th anniversary of the Lubavitcher
Rebbes' (may he have a complete and full refuah shleima) taking on the
mantle of leadership.  The Rav was present at the farbrengen [gathering]
marking that day. He stayed at the farbrengen for about one hour. The
Rebbe greeted him personally and had the Rav sit next to the Rebbe for
the entire stay. As far as I remember they spoke for a few minutes at
that point. The Rebbe then spoke for about 45 minutes. When the Rav left
the Rebbe stood up, they shook hands, spoke again for a few minutes, and
the Rav left. The Rebbe watched him leave, and only after the Rav left
did the Rebbe sit down again.

Shmarya Richler


From: Jeffrey Woolf <JRWOOLF@...>
Date: Mon, 26 Apr 93 09:24:49 -0400
Subject: Re: Rav and Philosophy

I'd like to follow up on Mike Gerver's comments about the hesped of Rav
Aaron Soloveitchik for the Rav....I wholeheartedly agree with his report
of his conversation with Dr. Israel Miller about the attitudes of both
Reb Aaron and (l'havdil beyb Hayyim LaHayyim) mori v'rabi the Rav
zatzal. Reb Aaron holds philosophy and so on to be very much a
concession to exigency. The Rav, however, DID NOT subscribe to such a
position. In ten years as the Rav's talmid in Boston and New York, he
made it patently clear that secular studies are in themselves valuable,
and necessary for Talmud Torah. Whether he agreed with Maimonides that
without Philosophy etc you cannot rise to the heights of Gan Eden is an
open question. But it was definitely not any kind of concession on his
part. In fact, this was the major thrust of some remarks yesterday by
Dr. Lamm and Professor Twersky in their eulogies for the Rav zatzal. As
a matter of fact, this should not even be open to debate. The Rav did
his philosophical work already years before becoming a Rosh Yeshiva.  It
is obvious therefore that so-called secular studies were an integral
part of his weltanschauung. It is my conviction, based on ten years of
active discipleship, that anyone arguing to the contrary is engaging in
an insidious revisionism in order to make the Rav 'religiously correct.'
[Dr. Lamm toward the end of his remarks came out fairly strongly against
any tendencies to "make the Rav 'religiously correct.'" = Mod.]

                                                           Jeff Woolf


End of Volume 7 Issue 3