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May 6, 2014

Moreinu HaRav Aharon Lichtenstein shlita in honor of the Israel Prize Ceremony (video)

the ceremony will be later today

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  1. Replies
    1. Really? You have to insult him? And if you know what the word 'moreh' means, then you would know it is quite literally applicable. The man has thousands of students through whom his influence reaches all areas of Israeli and worldwide Jewish society. He has taught and nurtured thousands of students who bravely faced our enemies (and at times fell) in battle, and who went on then to contribute in every area of Jewish society for the betterment of that society. Not least, many of his students are talmidei hachamim in their own right, continuing his legacy of commitment to Torah through intellectual rigor and engagement with the modern world. Can you say anything near the same? Can you claim to contribute directly and indirectly so much to the development of a modern Jewish society and state? You need to demean him just because you have some disagreement with his politics or some other issue? Are you even competent to argue with him; let alone insult him?

    2. RCA member, huh? No brownie points for you!

  2. OOH! Hit a nerve, I see! Demean him, because I rolled my eyes? Oy, gevalt! I rolled my eyes!

    Where do I begin? JEWISH State? To which state would you be referring?

    His politics? (sigh) There are no politics, only Torah, unless you count strategies for conveying a Torah message.

    EVERY aspect of a Jew's life, including how to run a JEWISH government, a JEWISH army, fight wars, and interact with goyim in war and in peace, are touched by the Torah. To say that this is answered with a Torah answer, and this is answered by a political one, is to deny Who is really in charge of our lives, and the ultimately authority to Whom we must answer.

    Because I don't like his politics? You mean I project my hashqafah onto the Torah, and see what I want to see? Quite the opposite in fact, is how approach halakhic matters. Feelings do not enter them. One of the greatest errors of ALL groups of Jews has been to allow hashqafah to lead halakhah. Very disappointing. Halakhah leads halakhah.

    And, pray tell, what makes you think that however great a hakham R' A. Lichtenstein is (and he is), that he does not [inadvertently] do the same? He is just 1,000 times better at supporting his hashqafah with sources than I am.

    Thousands of students? Big deal. Shlomo Aviner has thousands of students, as does Shlomo Riskin. As you can see, numbers are meaningless.

    Interacting with the modern world? Great. I'm all for that. What I am not for is allowing the modern world, and its realities, many of which have been determined by goyim from the West, to lead us, which is essentially what many who identify as Modern Orthodox allow themselves to do,...to be lead.

    Read this, and then tell me how he has improved "Jewish" society.

    Call me when Hakhamim such as Rav Yisrael Ariel and Rav Shmuel Eliyahu win the Israel Prize, those who point out, instead of trying to suppress the countless setiroth which exist between following the Torah vs. following the State, and either risk arrest or whom have already sat in jail simply because they have dared to point out this fact to the public.

  3. You dismissed the issue, and then create a distraction with ridiculous semantics. The issue is that you arrogantly demeaned a talmid hacham, one whose contributions to the welfare of the Jewish people are real in multiple areas of Jewish life. You would do very well to learn Torah and mussar from him.

    As for his qualifications, ability, and integrity in deciding matters of halachah: you cast doubts upon him while the same figures whose names you invoke do not. I suggest it is because you are unable to carry on an actual in-depth halachic debate with the likes of him. I've read some of your writing, and none of it indicates any great depth or ability in the realms of halachah or other areas of Torah learning. And I am quite sure that you didn't study at the feet of the rabbanim whose names you like to cite as if to validate your own thinly supported opinions. I know for a fact you didn't know or learn from Rav Meir Kahane (who I DID know and learn from), because I once challenged you on that. And I can assure you beyond a doubt that Rav Mordechai Eliyahu (whose home I sometimes visited multiple times a week, and who guided me in much of my attitude and understanding about Torah for years) would roundly condemn your treatment of talmidei hachamim like Rav Lichtenstein. Just ask his son, whose name you like to bring up. Do you know him? Do you learn by him?

    When Mori V'rabi Rav Avraham Elkana Kahana Shapira publicly pursued his published, vigorous disagreement with Rav Aharon Lichtenstein, he referred to Rav Lichtenstein as HaGaon Rav Aharon Lichtenstein and as Kavod Torato. But you know better?

    The issue wasn't what politics might be at play in awarding the Israel Prize, or any other prize. The issue was gratuitously insulting a talmid hacham whose contributions to Torah and Jewish society are real and wide-reaching; and then having the cowardice to disingenuously pretend that 'rolling one's eyes' wasn't meant to be demeaning and insulting. Maybe if you had to use your name publicly when you write, and take full responsibility for your words, you would think twice before publishing some of the things you do? Maybe you would have to work at substantiating your opinions and disagreements; and maybe you would find that much of it isn't worth saying in the end and should be kept to yourself?

  4. You didn't read my post, did you? I stand by my words. I'll even take back the rolling of my eyes. I listed Rabbi Lishtenstein's problematic positions, yet still referred to him as the hakham who he is.

    Created a distraction? I answered you. Not only did I answer you, I addressed the big picture. Of course, you can disagree what that is. I know it to be Denial and Suppression of the setiroth between Torah and State. I hold Rabbi Lichtenstein partially responsible, along with the Cherlows and Aviners and Sedans, etc. I would also mention the Riskins and Aharon Binas, but they are simply not as relevant as they think they are.

    Challenged me on whether I knew Rav Kahane or Rav Eliyahu personally? And you did this, and you did that?

    What's the relevance? I have learned consistently with two of Rav Kahane's students. Who cares? His orphaned grandchildren were my next door neighbors. Who cares?

    And speaking of "disagreements," do you recall how Rav Shapira showed his disagreement with Shlomo Aviner? What about how Rav M. Eliyahu showed his disagreement with him?

    You might want to look into it.

    As far as my name publicly, if you put in the effort, you find out who I am. Until then, as long as nutty Mamlakhtim [such as you appear to be, but I can't be sure] exist, you better believe I'll keep my name to myself. When a friend of mine was posting posters, at the behest of Rav Eliyahu's beth hadin in Beth El againt Shlomo Aviner, he was almost killed by these nut jobs, who praised Rav Eliyahu, and so assumed that the signed psaq din was a lie against their precious "rabbi."

    I suppose they were trying to love him to death, as that's all they talk about love for ones fellow Jew. I guess that only includes all Jews, except for when it doesn't. Feel free to continue you this on my site, linked above.


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