Nathan Kamenetsky    MAKING  GODOL A Study of Episodes     in the Lives ofGreat Torah Personalities         Volume I
TABLE OF CONTENTS                                                                                               *         ...
TABLE OF CONTENT5                        4kiib                    NOTES AND EXCURSUSES                                    ...
TABLE OF CONTENTS                                .k                                                                       ...
Qxl,                      Making of   a God01                                                      TABLE OP CONTENTS      ...
.4xii*                  Making of n Godol   Excursus C (n. 11): On studying lhakh in secondary                            ...
understanding of persons whose place in the annals of the spiritual               the sage why he spoke to him "on general...
4xviB.                       Making o a Godol                                    f                                        ...
.alxviiib                    Making of a Godol leave, my father changed his mind and said, "Nu, since youre               ...
-ulxx).                Making o a Godd                                   f                                                ...
itlging for the rest of her working time." Also cf. the definitive                       authors, but I feel that having b...
FOREWORD                                 riXmI.  then-sensitive matters for the reason that when my father talked         ...
FOREWORD                            4 bx i                                                                                ...
.@uviiiD.                  Making o a Godol                                    f  prepared for publication but desist from...
In summary. we cannot judge and evaluate the individual acts of                               PREFACETorah personages of f...
.wxxii@.                    Making of a Godol                                                                             ...
PREFACE                            rbaxvp. .sbaxivp.                    hhiing o a Godol                                  ...
PREFACE                              **uuiW  mispronunciation, such as in Masse&tk" (and even where the                   ...
The Making of a Godol
The Making of a Godol
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The Making of a Godol
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  • LEARN!!! In reality to just try to understand what it means to be one from the Chosen Nation you must listen at least 10 hours of lectures from Ravs that learn all day for many years. Here are some of the best resources: Rav Yosef Mizrachi youtu.be/n0_tgO5Drb8 AND Rav Daniel Cohen torah.fm, torahanytime.com/speakers/speaker-detail-listview/?id=106
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  1. 1. Nathan Kamenetsky MAKING GODOL A Study of Episodes in the Lives ofGreat Torah Personalities Volume I
  2. 2. TABLE OF CONTENTS * Foreword ............................................. xiii 0 Copyright 2002 Preface ..............................................xxxi by Rabbi Nathan Kamenetsky Acknowledgments ...................................... xli 91b Sorotzkin S m t Jemalem 94423, Israel (02)537-1966 THE TEXT ISBN 965-90379-0-2 Chapter 1: The Fmt Decade: Ancestry and Childhood Section 1 . . .......................................... 23 AII rights reserved Section2 ............................................ 26 Section3. ........................ : .................. 28 No original part of this publication may be Section4. ........................................... 3? ranslated reproduced. stored in a relrieval system or mmiued in any form or by any Chapter 2: The Second Decade - A: Minsk means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, Section 1 ............................................3E recording or othcmise. without prior Section2 ............................................ 41 permission from the author Section3 ............................................ 45 Chapter 3: The Second Decade - B: Slabodka Distributors i Section 1 . . ..........................................52 I Section2 ............................................ 5E - Israel U.S.A. - !Hamesorah Publishers - Im Hasefer Yaakov Levitz 1 Chapter 4: The Second Dmade - C: Slabodka YeshivaP.O. Box 5656 1188 E. 18th Street ! Secljon 1 ............................................ 6fJerusalem 91056 Brooklyn, NY 11230 i Section2 ............................................ 71(02)537-0588, 535-6413 (718)377-0047Fax: 535-6361 Fax: 3384068 Chapter 5: The Second Decade - D: Mallch Section I . . . . . . ...................................... 81 Section2 ............................................ 8 : Printed in Ismel
  3. 3. TABLE OF CONTENT5 4kiib NOTES AND EXCURSUSES Excursus E (n. 79): On the thirst for general knowledge displayed by young yeshiva ta1milim .................... 304Chapter 1.1 (Notes 1-12). ............................ 93-101 Excursus F (n. 99): On anendance of R Baruch-BersChapter 1.2 (Notes 13-34). .......................... 101-118 shaiurim by ralmidim of the other yeshiva in Slabcdka ...... 319 Excursus A (n. 26): On the pogmms following the assassination of Czar Alexander ll and the faulty aPEessment of the Chapter 3.1 (Notes 1-67). ........................... 331-583 maskilim.. ........................................ 106 Excursus A (n. 19): On the inception of the Kovno Kolel and the En Pn bulletin distributed to its supporters ............ 343 Excursus B (n. 27): On R ELiyahu Schick and the Schick Family ........................................... 109 Excursus B (n. 22): On R Yisrael Salantefs lhree primeChdpter 1.3 (Notes 35-78). .......................... 119-158 talmidim.. ........................................ 358 Excursus C (n. 53): On anending study sessions in Lithuanian Excursus C (n. 23): On two veritable angels. R Laizer-Yankev cities on Friday nighulearly Shabbm mornings.. ........... 128 Khavas and his son-in-law R Naphtali Trop. .............. 366 Excursus D (n. 54): On our protagonists adherence to Excursus D (n. 24): On the d i s a p m e n t of the Alter of customs .......................................... 132 Slabcdka with his mentor, the Alter of Kelem, and on the Excursus E (n. 65): On young pupils teacher-caused emon and guidance he received from R Yisrael Salanter ............. 370 rhe childrens fantastic ideas for justifying their teachers Excursus E (n. 25): On the =If-negation of baalei w a r , on mistakes - and on becoming better educators as a result.. .... 144 the appointment of fundrsisers for the Kovno Kolel; and on the opposition m the M u m movements e n m ~ h m e n therein .... 379 tChapter 1.4 (Notes 79-103). ......................... 159-175 Excursus F (n. 96): On the unusual title of Minsk rabbonim Excursus F (n. 27) On the i ~ e a s of students in the Kovno e and on some extraordinary nicknames for shtetl dwellen . . . . . 167 Kolels yeshiva section ...............................394 Excursus G (n. 28): On the Kovno Kolel members training toChapter 2.1 (Notes 1-20). ........................... 176-260 Excursus A (n. 15): On Minsk as a city that a p p ~ i a t e s become rashei yeshiva ...............................397 Torah study and R David-Tevil, who appreciates Minsk, and ! Excursus H (n. 30): On t k new methods of Talmud study and on the work of Dr. Max Lilienthal on behalf of the Russian w who the advisors of the Alter of Slabcdka were. ......... 407 Minisuy of Cullure, his visit m Volozhin and later unexpected 1 flight to America ................................... 188 Excursus I (n 32): On R lael Rabimwia in Gorrhd: on R Laivr Gordon reeking to smngmen the Telz Yeshiva; and onChapter 2.2 (Notes 2148). .......................... 260-281 I R$Barwch-BR Leibowitrs relationship to his f a h a and w his Excursus B (n. 25): On reading secular lilemturt and the I teakher ........................................... 423 danger facing bright young people a annuy and more ago. 263... ! Excursus I (n. 33): On the appoinlment of the twoChapter 2.3 (Notes 49-109). ......................... 281-330 I i bromers-in-law R Moshe-Mordlrhai Epstein and R Excursus C (n. 54): On R Yehoshualleh Horodners ... Isser-Zalman Melaer as m k i yeshiva in SlabodLa ......... 433 acbvrhes .......................................... 286 i Excursus K (n. 34): On h e l years of the original m Excursus D (n. 71): On the yeshiwrh R Aaron KoUer anended in his childhood .................................... 297 i Vololhin Yeshiva and on R Hayyim Berlins involvement in i b closing and mmptcd nopning ................... 442 1
  4. 4. TABLE OF CONTENTS .k 4& .,. Excursus L (n. 36): On the backgmund to the Musar ~ i & ! & i . Excursus X (n. 90): On the relationship between the Musarites and on the relations between R Yaaqov Halevi Lipschit2 and their opponents ................................. 608 and R Hayyim Soloveichik ........................... 456 Excursus Y (n. 107): On the trinal educational program in Excursus M (n. 37): On the activities and c h m t e r of R . . ,.? the original Kelem Talmud Torah and in Grubin. and the Zvi-Hbh Rabinowitz, son and sucees~or Rof ....... .... difficulties facing the xhools; on G e m Oahodoxys Yilzhaq-Elhanan Spector of Kovno ........................464 influence on Russian Jewry; and on R Ovadiah Lachmans last years and last will ............................... 620 Excursus N (n. 38): On the Musar Dispute in Kowio and the rabbinic signatories to the denunciatory and supportive Excunus Z (n. I I I): On how extraordinary conflagrations were publicdeclarations .................................. 468 explained by R Yisrael Salanter and R Laib. the hasid of Kelern; on how our pmtagonist viewed dixussions about the Excursus 0 (n. 41): On the backgmund to the establishment Golern and dibbuqim; and on superstitions ................ 641 of the Slut& Yeshiva by R Ism-Zalman Melaer .......... 487 Excursus AA (n. 116): On the functions and character of R Excursus P (n. 45): On the relationship between the names Bereh-Hinh HeUer ..................................692 given to the two pans of the splintered Slabodka Yeshiva a d n the names of Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary in Excunus BB (n. 117): On R Bereh-Hirsh Hellers persona New York and Ner Israel Rabbinical College in Baltimore .... 4% and on his wayward son.. ............................ 700 Encursus Q (n. 47): On R Noson-Zvi Finkels effons in Excursus CC (n. 122): On R Moshe-Mordkhais piety and on building yeshivoth and on his questionable attitude loward the the non-attendance of shniurim in Volozhin ............... 712 Grubinschool ...................................... 505 Excursus DD (n. 128): On how ralmidim viewed the Alter of Excursus R (n. 49): On R Baruch-Bers piety; on the Slabodka and on R Hayjrim Soloveichiks student guidance in Lubavitch article about the study of MasseWeth Bnbhn Q n m ; Volozhin ......................................... 19 7 and on the rabbinical conference in Petersbug in 5670 Excursus EE (n. 132): On R Hayyim Soloveichiks insistence (1910) ...........................................517 on exactitude in the oral and printed word . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 727 Excunus S (n. 58): On R Yisrael Salanters rdmidim who Excursus F (n. 136): On the categorization of gedolim in our F studied in universities and were lost, and on Doctor Binyamin pmtagonists youth and on R Hayyim Soloveichiks challenge Einhom, who stumbled back.. ......................... 553 I of R Yoseph Rozin. the Rogachover Gaon. ............... 739 Excursus T (n. 61): On how the Alter of Slabodka handled the Excursus GG (n. 142): On the attendance of the Alters anti-Musar insurrection in his yeshiva and on his ability to slunvessen by Kneseth Beth Yiahaq InImiiim.. ............ 756 foresee the hture careers of his students.. ................ 564 I I Excrirsus HH (n. 143): On R Baruch-Bers attitude toward Excursus U (n. 62): On the srmggles for Musar ............ 571 Musar.. .......................................... 760 Excursus V (n. 65): On how the Alter raised the respect for i Excumus Il (n. 144): On the relations between the two yeshiva bnhurim ....................................579 I Slabodka yeshivorh .................................. 764 IChapter 3.2 (Notes 68-148). ......................... 583-772 I Excursus JJ (n. 147): On R Zalman Dolinsky, who led vndim Excursus W (n. 78): On the home Life of the Aller of i under the Alter of Slabodka ........................... 769 Slabodka ......................................... 594 I iI
  5. 5. Qxl, Making of a God01 TABLE OP CONTENTS %xi% ** Excursus K (n. 90): On the death of the prominent R LaizerChapter 4.1 (Notes 1-56). ........................... 773-870 Gordon while raising funds in London ................... 953 Excursus A (n. 3): On the Alters knowledge of the halakhic Excursus L (n. 93): On the circumstances which brought about paas of Shns and on his instituting stringencies in the davenen the appoinunent of R Laizer Gordon to the rabbinical post of in he Slabodka Yeshiva that were emulated in other Telz ............................................. 966 yeshivoth ................ :. ....................... 777 I Excursus M (n. 109): On students involvement in Volozhin Excursus B (n. 15): On the Alters stage fright and on R Yeshiva administrative aff*, on R Soloveichiks early Hawel Libshitzs declining to become Rav in Kovno ....... 790 shortcomings as o leader. and on the attempt by R Excursus C (n. 24): On the paternal relationship of the Alter Yehoshna-Heshil Levin to become the Volozhin to his talmidim and their filial relationship to him.. ......... 804 Rosh Yeshiva.. ....................................981 Excursus D (n. 39): On the Alters guidance of R Excursus N (n. 122): On the relationship of he Slabodka and Yehiel-Yankev Weinberg and on how the latter was forbearing Telz yeshivoth before and after the election of R Yosheh-Laib of his tragic l i e .................................... 815 Bloch ........................................... 1004 Excursus E (n. 44): On how the Alter m l e d students and on Excursus 0 (n. 124): On R Shmuel Fundilers difficult task a method he once used in educating the r a h i d he expected of bringing Musar into rebellious Telz .................. 1010 would become the gedol hodor, R Yehiel-Yankev Excursus P (n. 137): On R Aaron Kotler and R Shlomo Weinberg ......................................... 824 Heiman and on R Baruch-Bers closeness to his talmidim ... 1024 Excursus F (n. 45): On the fasting vows taken on by the Alte~ Excursus Q (n. 141): On R David-Tevils rabbinical on behalf of tahidim and on the fast days of his son R candidacies and on R Dovidl Friedmans genius .......... 1030 Laizer-Yudel ...................................... 828 Excursus R (n. 148): On the royal game and on how R Yoseph- Excursus G (n. 50): On the Alters accomplishments in the Shlomo Kahanneman became Rav of Ponivezh and perpetuation of Torah scholarship and leadership, and on its R Moshe-Yomtov Wachtfogel. Rav of Kul .............. 1048 preeminent financial backers in his and in recent times.. ..... 839 Excursus S (n. 156): On the characterization of rebbitzerrr Excursus H (n. 54): On the Mnsarites self-suspicion and on Menuha Frank-Epstein and Basya-Miriam Epstein-Berlin. .... 1061 the joint visit of R Yisrael Salanter and Bamn Guenzburg to R Laizer Gordons yeshiva ........................... 850 Excursus T (n. 163): On the Zeldovich-Pinnes family of Minsk and the Ebins of Slut& and on the disagreementChapter 4.2 (Notes 57-166). ........................ 870-1085 between two prime talmidh of R Hayyim of Volozhin on Excursus I (n. 76): On the attempts to bring Musar into how his son R Iaeleh should be remembered ............ 1068 Volozhin and the confrontation belween R I k l Blazzer and R Hayyim Soloveichik on the problematic students (including Chapter 5.1 (Notes 1-59). ......................... 1086-1192 Hayyim-Nahman Bialik) in the yeshiva; and on R Hayyims Excursus A (n. 1): On the shaving of beards in the Volozhin characer, wisdom and focus of concern .................. 880 and Slabodka yeshivoth.. ............................ 1086 Excursus J (n. 80): On stories R Naphtali Amsterdam told our Excunus B (n. 2): On R Yisml Salanlers mental exertion, protagonist about himself and his friends. and some teachings his shocking m ling on saving his life and his aversion to how of their master, R Yisml Salanter ...................... 940 he eked out his living.. ............................. 1090
  6. 6. .4xii* Making of n Godol Excursus C (n. 11): On studying lhakh in secondary FOREWORD yeshivoth and on the genius of the Vishker nuy .......... 1158 (How lhis Book Was Written) Excmus D (n. 59): On a possible rearon for the Alters recall of our protagonist from Maltch and on how the master A. Idea and Rocess dispensed with truth for falmidims good ................ 1186Chapter 5.2 (Notes 60-85). ........................ 1193-1291 I began working on a biography of my father, zal, shortly after Excursus E (n. 6 ) On the draft of Jews into the czaria 0: his death. At fitst - novice that I was - I thought I could complete army ........................................... 1193 it in three years. As mote time passed and more information piled Excursus F (n. 63): On R Hayyim Soloveichiks unique up, I decided to hand over the collected material to ArtScroll, a re- cognitive faculty and superlative kindness.. .............. 1198 spected publishing company specializing in books of this nature. Excursus G (n. 64): On the genius of R Avrohm-Elya Kaplan which would engage a writer and publish the book. Our family and his untimely death .............................. 1258 was formoate that AttScmll selected R Yonason Rosenblum to do Excursus H (n. 66): On the Rakover nuy and the Maitcheter the work. His depiction of someone whom he had met only by Iluy ............................................ 1264 way of transcripts of interviews with people who had known him Excursus I (n. 77): On R Hayyim Soloveichiks health - which I supplied - was extraordinarily accurate. It resulted seven condition ........................................ 1273 years after our fathers demise, in 5753 (1993). in the inspiring Excursus J (n. 84): On the rabbinic attire of R Hayyim and educational volume Reb Yaakov~. then translated that book I Soloveichik and his attitude toward it ...................1283 into Hebrew, and 3 s nb 7- appeared on Zions horizon in 5756 (1996) to enjoy a warm reception by the Torah community in Is- rael. Not only was Rosenblums job done superbly, incomparablyCbmnology of Excursuses. .............................1293 better than I could have done or even dreamt myself capable ofGlossary ............................................ 1297 doing, but it spared me the uneasiness a son writing in praise of his father might experience. For this R Yonason deserves specialSources .............................................1319 personal gratitude.Index of Persons ..................................... 1347 In my years of interviews and research I assembled much more . . ....................................... 1387Index of C~ttes material worthy of dissemination in the Torah world than was p u b lished in Reb Y ~ k o v Much of it did not pertain ditcctly to my fa- . ther but to great people about whom he talked at length or in pass- ing reference. The book I began writing evolved into something bmader than a biography of my father. It diverged into stories about the great scholars of earlier generations, providing a deeper Meaaah hblications, Bmklyn. N.Y.. 1993 {published by .-urnan rnnon- pan rrwn ,m.u
  7. 7. understanding of persons whose place in the annals of the spiritual the sage why he spoke to him "on general matters ( n n h nmn)" hismty of our Pwple is - unlike that of our contemporaries - al- instead of "m YIT (Torah subjects)". R M e i r - S i a h replied, ready assured. The descriptions of these luminaries which appear "Listen carefully to my general matters because they will serve here are based mainly on pronouncements my father made about you in the future." My fathers narratives were, likewise. ideas them and on my research and extrapolations sparked by his state- about the wisdom and conduct of the world which can serve one ments. My father was famous for the stories he told about earlier well. I transmit them after having studied them thoroughly and generations. Not that he was a mere stotyteller; he would relate his leave it to the reader to apply them to his teality, to season his Life stories in support of ideas he was promulgating or advice he was and behavior with them. It is for this purpose that I have gatheredgiving. His grandson R Paysah Diskind told how he studied with stories my father told on different occasions for various purposeshis grandfather one summer after his rosh yeshiva. R Elya Svei. and have investigated them exhaustively. had told him to make sure to utilize the opportunity to pick up in- Some of the rabbanim I have written about are not well-known teresting stories from the elderly sage. "One time, when I was un- nowadays. R Zev Low r e p o d that after he had read $r!w 7 7 4successful in eliciting a story [mxn] h m my grandfather." R the pithy diary of R Eliyahu-David Rabiiowitz-Twmim (knownPaysah related, "I divulged to him what R Elya had said to me by the acronym Adereth [which means mantle^"]). he noticed thatand asked him directly to tell me a stoty. His reaction was. Akh. dispersed throughout its 95 pages are mentions of 86 rabbanimyou cannot just tell a story! A stoty comes to explain something - whom the diarist had met during three decades of service in thelike salt and pepper which give a taste to focd. Can you sit down Eu~opean rabbinate. R Low asked my father, "Who are all theseand eat just salt or pepper?!" (See Reb yaakovd, and J ~ F gF.1 A rabbanim whom the Adereth mentions. most of whom I hivestatement that R Itzeleh Volahiner, son and successor of R never heard of?" My father replied, "You think like a yeshivaHayyim as head of the Yeshiva of Volahin, made in 5591 (1831) bokher [who is familiar only with the names of a number of rarheiillustrates the point of my fathers stories. He once told one of his yeshiva whose novelhe are repeated in the study halls]. The rab-studentsf. "Know, my son, that all my stories contain comprehen- banim mentioned by the Adereth - they were the really greatsive rules of wise living and proper behavior which will help you scholars, the lions.8 The volume presented to the reader herebyin days to come.9" According to p v r 790 - 7 9 ~ 0 ~ 7 ~similar state a . mentions 779 rabbanim and rashei yeshiva, most of whom werement was made by R Meu-Simhah Cohen almost a century later. Pebruary 4, 1988 / 1-om .o+vn, .pp n a ioia (Also see r?lr3 ,n lrm5o. seein an era much closer to our protagonists. R Meu-Simhah was Ch 4, the fmt p g m p h of B c . L, where arr pmcagmist is lepoRed saying thatvisited by the last Rav of pre-Communist Moscow. the vety tal- "in t h e days, a msh yeshim enjoyed a low- stam than a mv". An attempt wented and wise Slabodka talmid R Yaakov Klemmes, who asked briog "lions" lo public cognizance hw been made lately with the publication of thc IWO volumes ( n - m .rrvn ,&m. .5n5m nnna) a h n mvy which render - - c a m e biographier of 57 grcal Lithuanian mbhim who lived since 5600 (1840)..November 20. 1987 d ~ 29 . 31 f R Modkbai miasberg, who was sfudying . P In the innduction w the Ti1 volume. the editors wile. The great geonln who are in Volozbin w a newly d e d 1 4 y e a r ~ l d 9Bicgtaphic inhoduction by the very famous have bctn included in the series kcwe its purpore is w fill a uuthors son. R YehonaLhan Eliasberg, w a m h n b y iwmn5r m a ,np n l n ! n void, nM to q a l or la serve as an myclopdia." Tiis auuthor has adopted the idea (I-nn ,xmmi), p. vii Published on the f i s t yolrrreir of R Meir olodosh by of pltring maps on thc inride of thc hardcover edition of h i s book from rmm(1" 9 - ,a.5m~? : n pa m a nmnS mn. a-n, p. a m..~hr
  8. 8. 4xviB. Making o a Godol f FOREWORD aXvii%active a 100 years ago and earlier. Some of their names are cur- had perceived of R Yisrael - "even trivial things, such as smallrently known. but there are many whom this book is privileged to talk (phn nwn.) "It seems to me that even h m such things, itintroduce to todays average reader. never happened that I did not gain sublime lessons," R Ziv wrote. Technically, my work consisted of interviewing people in many At the same time, R Simhah-Zissel cautioned his correspondentsparts of the world, listening to tapes. researching in libraries, com- not to think that they knew what R Yisrael was actually like, formitting information to computer, processing the infotmation and "they do not know that they do not know him".publishing it in book form. In addition to the physical labor in- Since my father functioned most of his life, including a l l of itsvolved, there was the emotional strain of listening to cassettes of second half, on the North American continent (except for one briefmy father speaking - virtually " 1 2 ~ 2nix11 mmov (his lips talking visit to Russia and six relatively short visits to Israel), I had tofrom the grave)m3. Working on the subject of ones fathers life leave my home in Israel md travel abroad for most of my inter-posthumously puts one under a burden of sadness. And one should views. Traveling is in itself su£licient to interfere with Torah stud-not think that the sadness is lessened when the father had lived to ies, as Rashi in Massekhefh EruvinP comments, and the arduousthe age of 95, as did my father. On the contrary: When R Yankel work that followed the trips was an even greater obstacle to TorahLeshinsky was sitting Shivah for his own aged father, he relatedn study. I was constantly concerned that I was living in a state of thethat in the spring of 5708 (1948). when R Awohm Kalmanowitz sin of bimtl Torah by squandering time ftom Torah study for longsat Shivah in Erefz Yisrael for his father, who died at the age of periods. In fact, when interviewing R Levi Ktupenias. I was cas-80, he said. "People who think that the passing of an old father is tigated by him by way of the story about his grandfather-in-law Rless somwfd than of a young one are wrong. because a son Baruch-Ber Leibowitz, which is recorded in this book, that in-knows his old father much longer and better, and becomes mote stead of writing a sepher of Torah novellae (mm m ~ n ) ,I amattached to him." My burden of sadness when doing the research spending my time on relatively unimpomt things. I cannot saywas lightened, however, by the enthusiastic and sensitive interest with confidence that I made the right decision in not acquiescingand cordial cooperation offered by those to whom I tumed for in- to his criticism. The only person I could think to ask if what I wasformation about my father which they had for sharing. Though this doing was right or not was the one impossible to ask, my father,brief notation cannot discharge my debt to these fme people, it can zatzol. One story told by R Hayyim Brand to my son R Yosephsrecord my gmtitude for their thoughtfuhess. alleviated my feelings of guilt somewhat. R Hayyim together with I came across some recently published letters by R Simhah- his brother-in-law were present when R Yedael Meltzer came toZissel Ziv. the Alter of Kelemo, which are relevant to the stories interview my father about R Yedaels grandfather in whose ye-conveyed to me about my father. As soon as the news of the death shiva in Slutzk my father studied for a year and a halft, the fa-of R Zivs master, R Yisrael Salanter, reached him, R Simhah- mous Torah scholar R Isser-Zalman Melaer. At fitst, my fatherZissel wrote to some acquaintances (which the publication does told his guest that he was coming down with a grippe, and sug-not name) and asked them to report anything and everything they gested he renun at another time. But as R Yedael was about to I~.Y 1 "n ~ m ~"March23. 1993 2-n ,(>-mn ,pis ,n) 9 4 7 4 n mOr7 w 07 v 9 l P pnno n l ra n-2 TDecember 16. 1987 See p. 522. Cima November 15.pp. rwn-uown 1993 See my upcoming Vol. 2.
  9. 9. .alxviiib Making of a Godol leave, my father changed his mind and said, "Nu, since youre nmm miiwnn 135 ~ D X ?n D ~ D - TL. n5m nnia miv mwx5 m iiii~]." I here already, sit down and well t l . They conversed for about ak" I was definitely enthused by the importance of what I was doing two hours" and then my father remarked. " feel better already be- I and was self-driven to persist in this work for years on end. I felt cause n ~ no m r ~ S n 5 lBlessing follows in the wake of a myself involved in a matter of historic significance - shedding sage]"." My father obviously considered the conversolion and dis- light on earlier generations of rabbanim and rarhei yeshiva. cussion about R Isser-Zalman as hosting a sagew. Likewise. when Pursuant to the worthiness of this type of pmject. I heard from my I was researching the actions and ideas of p t Torah scholars of son R yoseph&in the name of R Meir Zlotowitz about a meeting previous generations, I felt myself in their pmximity, engaged in between my father and a Jewish philanthropist. He had come tothe litaral man T D S ~m w (service of sages), the epitome of To- my father to ask where to lend his support. to yeshivoth or to arah study=, and felt myself purged somewhat of the feared bifful certain ArtScmll publication project. My father, who was an avidTorah. (There was another problem which plagued my conscience. moral suppoaer of AnScroll and had once called that publishingwhich without much discussion I shall mention in passing. The house "a yeshiva without walls", told the philanthropist to lookM e i r i ~proves that a pious b i t [ m n n i ~ l . generally non- through the introduction of the 07.nr7 nx conmenmy on H u m hobligatory, that had been adopted by a father becomes a duty upon "till its end" and there he will find the answer. The philanthropisthis son, and the son is punished for not maintaining it. Thus, dis- laIer returned to my father and said that he was unable to fmd thatcovering splendid haits in ones father leads to new obligations - the onnn 7rx addressed the issue. My father then showed him thatwhich I admit I have not taken on. But a closer reading of the at the very end of his introduction. ~ D Xp o w n 7 thanked fourMeiris ruling leaves room to apply it only to a son who fdls his wealthy Jews for providing him with the funds to print his sepkr.fathers official position, which this son did not. And my soul was My father explained. These four Jews probably supportedsoothed.) yeshivoth too, but who knows what became of that? Due to their AU in all. after undertaking the diff~culttask, I became so in- support for the publication of the o-n,7 7 7 4 the world is privilegedtensely involved in it that I may best describe my state of mind to have this holy tome till this very day.0"with the words the Rambum used in DVW ,n7a=to define the term I was motivated furthermore by the words of Midrash ~ a b b a h d,n n i l milr nen5 (the Spirit of G-d clothed him). and similar Bibli- and Rashiz which make astounding declarations as to whichcal expressions, to wit. "A holy spirit amuses h to a certain act i m mitzvoth are worthwhile doing! The Midmsh sets a highly resttiowhich has great value Fa p 1 w MTDD nhll~5 i 5 urm?wnpn m]," tive standard when it says, "Whoever longs for and is agitatedand "Divine assistance accompanies the person, which amuses and about b ~ n n~in] mitzvoth without establishing any for future ~iimpels him to do a great and valuable goodly act, and he finds generations [mni5 npra?] has no pleosure [nm7].l" But who canstimulation and attraction for it on his own pn5-x im oixn M n i i h"The interviewer. R Yedael, law aurhored the book o m p p n which conrains " 7 k m b e r 19. 1994 See Rrb Ynukov, pp. 371-372. and yp.-1 pp. 457458.mmy of my falhrrs reminiscings in that i n h e w . . a"D m -Cf. Ruhis 1x 2 1 p m n nSn? /1n Ule inhuduclion Io p P #>D p n m n n.p.,comnenmry, ibidrrtt, on Ihe meaning of o m r D k 5 lan. Io w i imxnl r*n u-pnn ~ n.d). Ihe author. IDID wk m cites Lhis Midmsh and declare$ "mi .mtn p 5 . x a%? n mma ITi~errkxe have setsfted this mitzvah (of writing this srphrr nx ma5 IY PP 1 ~ NW 1 ."32 (one who receives [the sage] and hmts him in his home). See YP 1-0 nun. 2-DD m " n m 75:r D ~ D W which will be appmated for gcnemionr lo mme) to bencfit the public]:
  10. 10. -ulxx). Making o a Godd f FOREWORD .+xi&truly know if the effect of a mitzvah he performs will be of lasting Let the reader not be surprised that in my research for a book ofduration? Rmhi, however, in paraphrasing the Midrash broadens this kind I have also used and quoted the works of irreligious writ-the scope of commendable mitzvoth when he writes. "Doing good ers - even non-~ewsh.I have abided by the rule of the Rambarn,deeds even insatiably is of no value unless one of them is specified " m ~ m mm YDV [Listen to the truth from whoever says it]./ I .DDand distinctive [ m m ~DTUD]." Rashi makes it easier for us to attain m s t the reader will also bear with me when I quote an intervieweethe "mitzvah of value" because, unlike the Midrash, he sets no s t i p citing another individual without my having gotten back to that in-ulation as to the good deeds durability; it is enough that the mitz- dividual for conlinnation. This, too, is prut and parcel of my trust-vah be specified and distinctive at the time of its performance. I ing nature;hope and pray that if it so happens that this book does not meet the There may be some stories in this book that are known to somestalldad of the Midrash and will not be "established for genera- readers - and family members of the principals - of which thistions", it will at least be "specified and dislinctive" in our day and author may have a different understanding than they. For example.age. and will provide as much spirihlal "pleasu~e" to its contempo- I was told by my son R yosephL that R Shlomo Fisher told himrnry reading public as it does to its author. how R Yitzhaq Kulitz, Rav of Jerusalem, was incensed with the reaction of a presentday rosh yeshiva" to a story he was toldB. Contents about how R Isser-Zalman Melaer was going up the steps to his - lpcomposing this book. I have generally accepted as authentic house and overheard the cleaning lady singing to herself while washing the floor. R Isser-Zalman went back down to the street stories a b h e a r l i e r generations even when they were not conveyedby my father or some other unusually reliable individual. I was re- and paced the ground for a long while until she had finished her luctant, of course. to rely on reports that emanated from people work. and then he returned home. The rosh yeshiva understood Rwho>frensidered unable to judge events properly, but I did not Isser-ZaJmans action as indicative of how careful he was in avoid-suspect anyone of prevaricating intentionally. Similarly, unless the ing the sound of a singing woman (,mna hp) for the time it wouldwriter was blatantly tendentious, I assumed that printed facts were have taken him to walk from mid-staircase until entering his homecredible. (I have this faith in pwpIe despite a report by R Velvel -when the woman would cenainly have stopped singing. "In actu-KercerY that Rebbitzen Feigel Zaks, the Chafetz-Chaims youngestdaughter, told him, "Eighty percent of what they tell about [my fa-ther] is not true." I cannot help hut assume that in order to bringout bluntly the idea that nor everything told about R Yisrael-MeirKagan, author of Chafet Chaim, is m e . his daughter exaggeratedthe percentage of untruths.) The reason I have consistently cited - ality," said R Kulitz. a Isser-Zalman was concerned that when he would walk into the house, the woman, who enjoyed singing while on the job, wouId be inconvenienced by having to stop .aan lnpj 9-mra "nr naan ui vxxn 53 tun, ? m .xes r u n h . ,m The o in15 n a r m a~ .70m s n-IW 5m .DDW W ? , n beginning of b i inhoducrion t m u mu. Irnr a.55~ ~ 5 mwa .sn -mp.m m lmir I . h x w isx 5w m w .i.othe origin of reports of events and episodes is to give the reader the p m i ) . m r a m ,M x h amnr, mn nps r3n7 n-iwa r r n w m a i r r ,n m w r !: i onin n-m N ~ ,ow 1.m 3.3 nnsnm an,-ID, as .liwln ~a WID,^ mum * P m Wprerogative of questioning my judgment and deciding for himself h m " r nup5 anun] p5pnl p u n i m n " 9 i n r m nimn pjm5 iw 1 ~ x impn 5~whether a story is credibIe or not. wm aw ooin xu+ nnomn nu- ; m nr,+ ?ma as maw m W D ~aixqgapn> oY M m h 19. 1994 .. .: . (.l.mmwa xpm58 -ram m n w n Wr xninxa Circa November 18. 1 9 93 . .
  11. 11. itlging for the rest of her working time." Also cf. the definitive authors, but I feel that having been raised in the home of a distin- biography of R Isser-Zalman Meltzer. onn, 1 7 a where that 9 7 c guished Torah scholar and leader (bmm hlr). my credentials forrzaddiqs grandson records the story as it occurred - and that his proposing extrapolations of stories of gedolim are at least as goodgrandfather himself explained his action without any reference to as anyone elses. I have not only devoted much thought to a lucidm n a h; even has R Isser-Zalman pacing on the porch just out- it understanding of the episodes I have set down, but whenever Iside the door to his house - where he could likely still hear the considered my interpretations moot and open to the readers ownsinging (if he chose to listen)m! R Yitzhaq Kulia was fuming explication, I sprinkled my conclusions bedy with various fomujabout @at rosh yeshivas misinterpretation of R Isser-Zalmans of such verbs as "suggest", "offer". "propose", and "conjecture".motive because through his wrong interpretation, he had missed In his introduction to p 7 v ~ R Barukh Epstein dxlares, .out on R Isser-Zalmans extraordinary consideration for peopIe. In "My thought has always been that not everything which comes tothis case, one mans understanding of an event clashed with anoth- mind should be spoken; and not everything spoken should be writ-ers significantly. In other instances varying ihterpretations may be ten; and not everything written should be printed" R Epsteinof negligible importance. but nonetheless present. Narurally, a claims that he abided by t i dictum in compiling his book. This hsreader. too. mav have an alternate assessment of events to this aphorism is also listed among the sayings of R Yisrael Salantero.c , v ~ w n:inn m - nann m - p. 272 Cf. The Rov: The World of Rabbi Joseph 8. I have found an earlier source for this maxim. in onn p n z m >h S~,b~.rircl!ik, Aaron UefTet-RoIhkoK (KTAV Publishiig Hww. New York. by o > d , the son of the Chafea-Chaim introduces the biography of 1999). Vol. I. pp. 178-179. for a similar story regarding R Yoshch-Lkr of Brisk. his father by quoting him as repeating this aphorism "seemingly in ~.elalrdby R Levi-Yiuhaq Horowie. The same point war brmgbt out by R the name of R RephaeI of Hamburg". the talmid of the m x me. Y;I:~~oY-Yitzchok Ruderrnan in an interview with some Torah educaton. gndualu ul Yrshivath Rabbenu Yisrael Meir Haohen. He n d the speeial s m r Slabodka The Chafea-Chaims son, too. claims to havc been guided hy this Yeshiva put on inlerpemnel relations and told the following story. (It wns apparenl principle when omitting "some of the few stories about (his) fa- il, his tone that he was unsure whaher to tell lhe story to his inlerviewen -bur he thers youth which occasionally slipped out of (his) fathers mouth.did.) In the 56Ws (1930s). he war once invited to spend a Shabbarh at the home al of which are impossible (emphasis added) to cany out into the lof llle Rav of Eliznbeth. New Irrsey. Before the arrival of L e Sabbath. the mv tookhim a i d e for a conlidcntial exchange of words. He lold his guest that he hsd several public domain". I suppose that the reason for being selective indauphlers wting uc the Snbbnth lnble who enjoyed Shobbos by ringing the rrmimrh what to publish stems from the concern lest someones feelings bealong with him. (A! this point in the narrative. R Rudermao intejecled that thRe hurt by uncensored revelations. The Chafetz-Chaims son likely al-were no Buis Ynnkokov vehmls in America at Ibe t i m - indicating that Bnis Y&ov luded to this concern when he wrote that c& stories are impos-prdduutes would know knu thm t do Ibis.) l e mv told him lhst R Bmch-Ber o % sible to &blisb. With regard to my book, however, I must say thatLeibowiU had been n g u m a1 his home sometime earlier, and when h gtls b e g ~ eringing, hc stood up nnd mn out of the room - pemubing lhc S h a b k h f a the girls insofar as this first volume. which deals in matters that muspiredand humiliating their fathw. The host then asked whuher R Rvdaman would do a century ago, I did not give much consideration to concealingthe sane. The guen replied thnt with his Slabodka baekgmund, he wwld not desmythe familys Sabbath spirit or emb- his host; he would remsin silfing and not r m *in, r q .+n nmmn - p. 14 70M3 ~ u(The Mwor mowmenl). pn Fa nlisten lo the girls. My fmmhir docs not have t hun o h m " he concluded A h o (anwn . w b nm m )pp. 3W-310. n.21. A h ree ibid. p. 346. where an ~ i m.se Ch. 1, end of Erc. F; Ch. 3. Ibe saond paragraph of Exc. Z: and fn w on p. example of how R Yirracl followed Otis rule in his writings is,su down. P rn -650. P. 2
  12. 12. FOREWORD riXmI. then-sensitive matters for the reason that when my father talked R Mordkhai Schwab, however, had a negative view of "storytell- about these long-past episodes he specifically applied the verses m ing" when he told me? m e S a W r Rav. R Yoiljsh man iaa nnKlp oi M K ~ W (Both their [the principals] enmity and their Teitelbaum, never told stories [nrwua] because he said. You can- envy are already bygone). - see p. 792 in this volume. In fact, my not educate through lies [ipw]." R Mordkhai agreed with R father considered the passage of only 50 years - a h -(which the r Yoilish in reference to stories intended to glorify their principals Torah labels "ohu5 [forever]") - to have enough of a cumulative while dehumanizing them. R Yoilish echoed a statement by R effect to erase one world and bring a new society in its stead. In Yehoshuaa-YosephRed. Rav of the Lithuanian town of Kmk. In a that vein. I saw no need to repress my thoughts; and rather than 5656 (1896) review of pp 2x1s r n 5 x 1 n r r h published a year ~ allowing R Rephael Hamburgers slogan to block my path. I uti- earlier in Warsaw. R Preil set down the following ethic: "To c r e lized the Biblical verse to clear the way for interesting, learned ate stories that never happened and present them as facts for the and educational disclosures about a world goneby. Undoubtedly sake of teaching morals - woe is to the musar precept built on as the readership of this book includes some descendants of those brittle a foundation as a lie!"^ Even h i d i m , the celebrated story- greats of yore, of blessed memory, mentioned herein. I pray that tellers who are more suspect than others in creating legends about they are intelligent enough to appreciate their progenitors human their leaders (from whom the Satmarer Rav was evidently trying to frailty along with their greatness: stemming from great ancestors, distance himself by his statement), are careful in separating fact they should bet. from fiction. I was told by R Shimon DeutchY that he had asked I came across a striking disagreement between two famous the Lubavitcher Rebbe. R Menahem-Mendel Schneerson, whether brothers on the subject of stories about great men of previous gen- when writing about the arrest and release of his father-in-law, Rerations. R Shimon Schwab in his Selected Writingsu defmes the Yoseph-Yitzhaq Schneerson. he should mention or omit the factdifference between history and "storytelling" in that the first must that R Yoseph-Yitzhaqs secretary. R Hayyim Liebeman, wasbe "truthful, and unsparing of even the failings of the righteous". arrested and released with him. (R Lieberman was opposed to RR Schwab asserts eloquently that "a realistic historic picture" will Menahem-Mendels ascendancy to the Lubavitch throne and didreveal "inadequacies" which will "rightfully make a lot of people not recognize him as Rebbe after he assumed the position.) Rangry" and that "no ethical purpose is served by preserving" such Menahem-Mendel responded. "History must be written mvaa5 o xa picture; he contends that we must "put a veil over the human [ m e to its truth]" - and explained his redundancy: "Chis includesfailings of our forebears and glorify all the rest which is great and not polishing up any word [mim r?l m ~ i x ~ 1 . Also cf. oioh~ ~ "beautiful (emphasis added)". In other words, he favors "storytell- history as it3redlyhappned. u n b i i and wihcut pjudice"; he (husrerrommodaing" over "history". He coins an adage: "We do not need realism: thar w mu-pmphetic writing of "history"be biascd and prejudiced. January 14.we need inrpiration from our forefathers."" That authors brother, 1988 He refulcd h m b y (he hypothesis of some Jewish histmiam that the a Talmudic Sages inveoled the-story of failed revolt by the uibe of Ephraim duringr ? o n h p .iw- n n p.n e n. 1 on p. 20 in this volume. ni Se * F 3p m.IY mil i w x>w w p 3 IraK a p m (I= m m l a a l (ozln) mmm " Mewood, ~ ;; ) -.. - - the EwDtian u i l e in ordrr m d k m m z e rebellion anaina (he R o m of their awn day. See p-nm .p?v1 7 r ) h . , D r y m , r n m~mm o m p. 248. Y Novembcr , 7 - 1988 pp. 233-234 He is consislem wkn swing in an earlier para~raph hisof 76 1997 R &lch off& .: n exsmpk of how the i& l himaelf followedessay, "Only a pmphet mandaled by his Divine calling has the ability lo repon this guideline when he funded h e publication of the &rial tcah for the cily of
  13. 13. FOREWORD 4 bx i x r vD 7omm (The Mzwr Controversy)a, a book about the dispute in the ordination: "Without mascara and without rouge and without late 5650s (1890s) in which most of the great Tomh figures came hairdo, yet a graceful gazelle [ ~ n 5 ~ o r a m x h p>w x h 5na 1151." If i out publicly against the Musar movement. The author, Musar ad- a minor blemish - and on a truly great man it is never more than herent R Dov Katz, tells how many opinions were heard" by him minor - also exists, it does not ruin the grace of the outstanding "that we should avoid the entire affair ( m o Y , but "several Musar personality; he remains a gazelle with a distinctive beauty mark.personalities" including R Yehiel-Yankev weinbergb and R In an article in y ~ ~ byda5 a n ,,nil. I came across a report on ,Hatzqel Sama insisted not only that he should write about the con- my fathers attitude toward misrepresenting historical events whichtroversy, but - as R Sama put it - that "he set down in writing the validates my approach. It imparts that my father approved thefull affair without omitling any detail, be what it may." snubbing of "a book on the Gaon of Vilna by an outstanding I concede humbly that I have followed not R Shimon Schwabs author" because "the author had purposely omitted chapters deal-prescription but R Samas, and have pomayed events and peopIe ing with the Caons opposition to Hasidurh", and that he said.fully and honestly. I cannot subscribe to R Schwabs assignation "It is prohibited to conceal substantive and important issues suchto anyone of a "right" to become "angry" with my revelations. be- as these. Such distortion is tantamount to falsehood." Onthe ques-cause in no way do I consider the stature of the great rabbanim tion of how our protagonist regarded that specific book - it is ob-and rashei yeshiva of yore diminished by describing them as they viously xrhrt run3 px&7 - I submit firstly that its author did notwere. If. due to my untinted description. some reader views some simply ignore the issue of the Caons stance toward the Hasidicgreat man or another as having a slight failing or imperfection - movement. In the introduction to the third editionj, he declares ex-did not the wisest of men declare with Divine guidance ( m p a m3: pressly that he has written chapters dealing with the controversyxun. n h aru a w r ~ w xnm p?? px m n v (For there is no saintly man "which convulsed the House of Israel in those days" and they "areon eanh who does good and never fails)~, pronouncement upon a retained" in his archives. I was also present when the venerablewhich the Cemara bases the halakhah that m a 3m .p.n (saints- author. R Bezalel Landau, held a discussion about this matter[too] require atonemenOd? I personally see a l l the great Torah fig- with my father during the latters 5742 (1982) visit to Israel andures as the Amoro m~ a1 was described when he received his related that a distinguished rosh yeshiva in Jerusalem had accusedYeliaterinoslav-DnepropcMvsk w h m his famcr bad been rnv - in spite of the bmk h m (as did a5 * m a ) of "falsifying (I-) the image of the Gaon" id~wlging one of Ule Rcbbcs bmhus Ulc y0unge.U. Yimcl-Aryeh-Laib, a lluy. Ulal by omitting the issue of the Caons hithnagduth. R Landauwas caught up in lhe H~kaIah Manim and Tmukyim and then mned lo Palestine pleaded with my father. "How can I publicize the Caons prohibi-while far from Tmah and H a h i . and lhc other, Dober. war cmmd in an iosanc f tion on m t e d g e with haridim and possibly cause families to -q l m "and. unmsnied, died in hia dcpmion in Kadhmd ye aktn~rp. wo b d father agreed that the five chapters he had pre-crV5vn ,a,~+n dmw . 5 n m poatmmna5mmwrp. mnm;r) pnwmq p. 119, in an anicle by the d l o r . m a - 1.1 ma, callEd -Pa1 m*. 1 Publbhcd pared be leR unpublished but not destroyed, saying, "Have themr b n ,.rrhml, - pp 19-20 and n. 5 R Weinbag w u e lo him. It is pmpr fa -1-8 1- pn;uo f r m n nun Y (n-bn , o - h , ) "pvo ; u 5a.o n r IOn tbisa historian-auh oor lo c o d ihc opposing sick. it8 opinions and outlmlrs." spcsific argumnt. my fathu remarked - saiously. it yemed - that even among"xurr x5 mr mr p r .ro:n ,r r n b m 5 w r 21 h p d r r 1 pzm. Abo n . n fabiddco maniaga Lhwc an soor lhaL ex post facto, an no1 required lo becf. m n h p nd Lx.. which disnpm mith that gemara. and cf. m r mm m i dissolved (m n5 F o x ) ; and h u e is lherefm no f u r of brrating up Iamiliea,-a il?. a ad , t of ihc,publicutioa of ihc Gmns prohibition.
  14. 14. .@uviiiD. Making o a Godol f prepared for publication but desist from [publishing them] until groom had once been institutionalized in an asylum. A fierce dis- such time as may come when events will necessitate their publica- pute ensued within the community as to whether the tattler was a tion." He explained in veiled terns. They must be ready in case a tzoddiq or a rashu. R Pert asked his father how to view this act. certain someone [vm] should do an ugly thing [lm s,mr*n K]." He and the latter replied. "Fmm this episode, you cannot tell. If his was referring to messianic fantasies simmering i a hasidic circle n - other actions are kindly, he did this out of piety [ n i p ] , and if his in Israel, the adherents of that group had fomented a political feud other actions are vicious, he did this out of malice [ n m ] . " along hosidic-rnithnagdic lines - and my father felt that the even- R Hayyim Sbmulevilz brings out the same motif masterfully6 tual publication of these chapters would help the general hasidic with "definite proof (a3171 nm)" from Mmekheth ~ o m C Tke public shake off the messianics should their fantasy get out of gemara relates that a kohen once stabbed a young man to death hand. As it turned out, my fathers concerns were well founded: a with a Temple knife, and the father of the murdered youth, finding large segment of that hasidic cult did declare irs leader to be the his son in the throes of death, remarked. "My son is yet gasping. Messiah. (The perverse possibility that a decade after his meeting so the knife remains undefded [nm] [not having touched a with R Bezalel, many of the sects members would formulate the corpse]." A penelmling discussion regarding the fathers comment phantasm that its dead rebbe would make a "second coming - follows: Did it reflect a laxity in that generations concern with this is what they believe and are propagating in our day likely - murder while its concern with purity was normal. or was it an ex- never even entered the realm of our protagonists normal, healthy pression of how meticulous that generation was with the purity of imagination. We may therefore conjecture that my father would Temple utensils while its concem with bloodshed was at the nor-have enthusiastically approved the recent publication of ~ ~ 1by ai 7 , mative level? R Hayyim points out that we have an example here[a-own ,o"rpm. ;niaw, nmia- p a ] 1r5x, wherein the Vilna Gaons of how a single act or statement can reveal two diamehcally op-battle against Hasidism is bared.) SO much for the specific issue of posed characteristics. That father might have personified the epit-R Landaus book which, as that conversation disclosed. pertained ome of evil, callous even with regard to the life of his own child.to a situation with cunent consequences. But my fathers statement or he might have been so saintly that in his moment of extremeas repotted by a5 .olio that concealment of issues is "tantamount to anguish he still had the sanctity of the Beth hahiiqdnsh in mind.falsehood" is certainIy valid when passing on information about Likewise, when we speak about Yailings" of great Tomh figures,historical issues that have no bearing on contemporary affairs, as can we state definitely that their actions indicate characterdefi-does this book1. ciencies rather than manifestations of other Wits, uncommon yet There is a more recondite understanding of what seems to be positive? h e n facts about great Tomh personalities.criticism of great Torah figures. R Yehiel Perr told me/of a ques- unusual as they may be, we never can determine unequivocallytion he once asked his father. R Menahem, a peer of my fathers that they demonstrate weaknesses and faults; being that they mayin the Slabodka Yeshiva. A young lady was about to become en- be an expression either of unusual positive qualities or of commongaged when someone divulged to her parents that her intended human weaknesses, we opt for the former when representing great personalities."Also c t n. 5 in the Prologue of mis bmk, pp. 21-22, which q&es o m n n h/November 29, 1988
  15. 15. In summary. we cannot judge and evaluate the individual acts of PREFACETorah personages of former generations - nor for the same reason (How lo Read This Book)cl we resolve our problems in the particular ways they resolved altllzio. To paraphrase the words of the Prophetn: ovniawno x5 *J A. The text of this book is comprised of chapters. each divided::.:mn on.>n inm p p ~ a 7 w i a n ... i r n ~ m n ~h wnuwna o into a number of sections; the book as a whole is divided into two;sr.lawnan avnuwnai (For their thoughts are not our thoughts, nor parts: The Text, and Notes and Excursuses. In the f i t part of the [heir ways our ways; for as the heavens are higher than the earth, book, called The Text, the entire text is printed without the anno-so are their ways higher than our ways, and their thoughts than our tation m r s which may disrupt the flow. In the second pan of the akthoughts). Yet there is much for us to learn from them: not perfec- book. called Notes and Excursuses, the full text is repeated intion - which needs no model and which everyone must try to small type together with note numbers, with the lines of the textachieve in accordance with his own personality - but their motives that are relevant to each of the notedexcursuses printed atop theand ideals, their truthfulness and wholesomeness, their charity and beginning of the respective note and excursus. The repetition oflove of Torah. These serve as beacons on the paths of our lives. the text is made in the exact line-by-line form as it initially a p peared in The Text This has caused some of the lines in The Text to appear sparse, but it enables the reader of Notes and Excursuses to turn back and find easily the particular line of text with which the notdexcursus connects and see it in its greater context Unlike the repetition of the text which is in small type atop the page, the notes and excursuses are printed in the same full-size lettering as is the text in The Text This was done because the notes and the excursuses are at least as important a component of the book as is the text - see the Introduction which deems the notes even more important than the text. The long notes, i.e., the exciususes, are given titles and are listed by their titles in the table of contents. The individually numbered paragmphs in the excursuses are often subdivided for easier readability. I must explain why the format of this book is so unusual that the book requires instructions on how it is to be read. When 1 planned the structuring of my book, I envisioned having the text on the upper pan of each page with footnotes on the bottom. When the notes pmlifented, I thought of putting them at the end of each chapter. or at the end of each section of a chapter. Then. as the notes mushroomed to even greater size. I planned to put all
  16. 16. .wxxii@. Making of a Godol PREFACE .cbouiiib the footnotes at the end of the book. But when they finally bur- sus with one. definite year, I had to decide to which p a ~ of the t geoned to the vast dimensions the reader will kind, I had to come excursus to assign the year, and common sense dictated that it be up with some unconventional format - which also affects the print to its beginning. In some cases, the title of an excursus will indi- size of the notes in relation to the text. I pray that the book is now cate that several (interlocked) themes are included within it; for - to use the modem clichd - reader-friendly. these excursuses, the year assigned is that of the major theme. The book has been structured to be read in the following man- Within the notes and excursuses are Lettered annotations for r t e ~ :f i t , The Text, then the repeated text again, h e by line, to- gether with the Notes and Excursuses.~(It may be advisable to fwmotes in exm-small type a1 the bottom of the page which, if lead The Text chapter by chapter, or, better yet, section by section. skipped, will not interfere with the reading of the main material. It and immediately go on to the N o w and Excursuses on that panic- is advisable, however. to reread the notes and excursuses together with the footnotes for the full appreciation of this book.? ular chaptedsection.) In most cases, the excursuses may be read as separate units, but this is inadvisable because they, like the regular Together with the pmlikration of extended notes, a constant en- notes, were germinated as amplifications of the text and only by a richment of thoughts incidental and exrnaneous to the main flow of linking process grew more elaborate and larger until they bloomed the notes intruded themseIves. In those cases. I have used parenthe- into independent essays; the beginning of each excursus is invaria- ses and brackets freely to mark off the i s r s - but not in accord. net bly connected lo the text. My criterjon for tuning a note into an ance with the sWict grammatical ~ l e of punctuation. What 1 have sexcursus was simply its page length. Although in most cases the done is to enclose ancillary material, first in parentheses, and if lengthening of a note was caused by a divergence into non-textual within that material other incidental remarks evolved, enclose them topics, there were instances in which this was not the case. The in brackets. And if within this bracketed material yet other inciden- latter type of excursus can. therefore, not be understood at all tal matters crop up, those are marked off with parentheses again. In withour a c o n c m n t reading of the text. summary, 1 have used parentheses and brackets in alternation, be- Because the creation of the excursuses came about in this off- ginning with parentheses, going on with brackets. and back to pa-hand manner, they have no internal order. To assist the reader who rentheses, and yet again to brackets, and so fonh. Clarifying wordswants to peruse the valuable historical material within lhem in a inserted into direct quotations are always put within brackets.more organized fashion, especially when reviewing the bookP. I I have not included in this book an element which arouses inter-have made. beginning on p. 1293, a chmnological listing of the est for the common reader, pictures, since I do not anticipate thisexcursuses and marked down the approximate y e . with which book being agpreciated by the general public because of both itseach excursus relates. In most cases, an excursus encompasses e p content and iti fonnat. It will be read, 1 believe, only by the so-isodes that occmed over a period of several years - it may even phisticated students of the suhjecis it explores. This exclusivitycoalesce events from different eras. In order to connect the excur- of readership will not. I daresay, disappoint me because 1 have r Bcfausc rhere is an abundance of cms8-rsfersnces - whieh, in lum, have their own" i 7 n n n ~ o u w xiprrn nn35 n>am 5-n i x n nt anaw an ps, n m m . m p a a t -f n- - I dam suggal that the &have p c i l aod paper hsndy so thatlnrl n7pn o w k p n orpa mom p iwoi ..nms7 ~ P ~ , ? D n * m . m nx5 L,FW J be may j down the spot whcnfmrn he w m l on his Rsding j o w e y through the a.wBnu .mlul P see ~ h 2.. the second parapph of EXC. 6,and h. 1 od loc. highways and byway8 of n o w and fwmow. m that he be able to find his way back lo his s w i n g point.
  17. 17. PREFACE rbaxvp. .sbaxivp. hhiing o a Godol f Hebrew wnsonants use the following respective English counter-followed the prescription of the Rambarn in the section of the parts:Opening (2n.n~)to o?m ,n?a entitled, m i a n n nmW. to wit: "If I no, 2 = vY; i = v; n = h ~ :mu1 * = yy; n ~ 7 = kh, ahave no method to teach the proven truth but in a way which will m a = k 9 = ; am D = ph; x = tz; p = q (except when l :befit one superior individual [ i n n n*gl and not befit a myriad of it is the first letter of a commonly used word which isdolts. I prefer to say it for him and not be concerned with denun- generally written with a " " such as Kaddish); n ~ nl = th. k,ciation by the masses [pa]." The sophisticam bave all seen pic- Yiddish consonants use the following respective English counter-tures of the popular great Torah leaders anyway, and of the other, pm:lesser-known.scholars there are no pictures available. huthermore. ri=v;n=kh;nma=kh;amo=f;x=ts;p=k;in order to appreciate this book, it will have to be read with the am n = s.full concentration (p9) which pictures disrupt. First names of people are generally also transliterated in the same manner. I have not stuck t the rule consistently for people whose o B. When using the Names of G-d (a-ya maw). I use ,n for "the names are commonly spelled otherwise: for example. -x has beenName" of G-d, in Names relating to m+x. a dash is inserted to written Zvi, nM Tzvi; npm, as Rivka, not Rivqa Some peoplesbreak up the Holy 1etters.l names have been given in their Yiddish form, such as Avrohm or Following neither the general custom nor the scientific rules set Avrohom (instead of the Hebrew. Avraham), and Yaakov ordown in the Encyclopedia Judaica*, Hebrew and Yiddish have Yankev (instead of Yaaqov). For names of persons who have hadbeen transliterated to English in the following manner: well-known English books entitled for them, I have used the spell-Hebrew vowel sounds ( m m ) are transliterated according to the ing in the book titles. An "h" has been appended to transliteratedSephardic pronunciationu. The m m has been disregarded. except Hebrew words that end with an unenunciated -8- - except inthat when the juxtaposed English consonants are open to mispro- words like yeshiva and Kabala that are commonly written withoutnunciation, it has been transliterated to the letter "e" (as in the extra letter and in some common names of people. such asMenahem, Nekiv and yeshiva). Malka. Moshe. Rivka. Shlomo and Shoshana. At tirhes, an apos- P. r in Kappah Edition lk wnvasion of lhe r n to a q l p is maccepcabls mphe has been inserted in the transliterated word to avoid d i n g -beaux mirvodrrslandings m y ruulr as I have seen n b 5-r mnvated with good two juxtaposed vowels as a diphthong, such as "gabbairn (pluralinrention a 8hs 5p, which is b l q k - - (7mr ~ 8 d &s 32 1in m w n ) of gabbary. Sometim&s a letter is doubled in order to avoid3-n 2-3. (I have seen similar blasphemy in rrgard to a quowho of x k flp pms, 5p 5v u ~ from a-n .po a w n hn r r m r ) Thc bmk yr pn by R 1 n siddw he edi& ( n m nKn7j 9mtn nrr mrr. I have used bh" for kucrYaaqov HBJevi Liphim (KomSlabo* 1924-1927) m v a u Ule 7-85 ia a n in words in which this l e m is g d y mirpmmunud as a m a ( w h as l - -y l p and scpanm lhe on, leima wilh a qumlioo nmk thus: p n which wps ^lurbhwnh" ant "Bo6ho IQmm]". "V" has been used lor Heh-ew words lhalpmbably lhe m l h d uoed in earlia limcs when Iw uoed f u "tte Ne". But I appar i thc Fnglish diaionsry wilh a b" ant ue p m n o u d wilh a v" muod .believe ihc m o b mder will be mrrs cDmIoMble wilh my muhod Vol. 1. p. (such w ShavuMh" and Tevuh": h s e wads hsve MI ilalieid becaw90 This was dons mt becauoc it is ihc m mmcI syslem ihc Ymstlia l - hey sppear in thc dictiway, but ue vnirtcn wilh vs m h than bs). In hesystem w m - aowo bur h s c it d l c d &wnq ant is popular. The G l q . a da has been placed M o w @ s l a m l indicare lo U e rrader lhal lhe i o nword m p has been m l i - Qahrhim. a l h g h f~ an &fin reacon. mmrt Hcbm pmnuneiation is nwre gurmnl than h e english h". (A dm has also -Sephardim ponouocs it w h i m see p. 6 in thc inhoduaion of k n a b a thc
  18. 18. PREFACE **uuiW mispronunciation, such as in Masse&tk" (and even where the colon or semicolon) punctuates the close of the sources own matching Hebrew letter is without a w ~ i ,as "havver/ havverim"). words, the quotation marks appear afrer the period (or colon1 Generally speaking, non-English words and names are written with semicolon). an eye to correct pronunciation; the author wants to enable the When citing a publication or article. I refer to its author in the reader who is unfamiliar with the foreign words to speak about language with which he is named on the title page of the publica- this book correctlys. tion or at the head of the article, and with the same title (or lack Ilace names which are not well known are also written with an of title) as the printed material designates for him. eye to their proper pronunciation even if this conflicts with the of- When quoting a Hebrew text, in cases where I felt it important ficial (unfamiliar) spelling. Thus the reader will be able to speak for the reader who is able t read Hebrew weU to see the citation o about these places correctly. Occasionally, an apostrophe has been in its original, I have written out the Hebrew, and followed it by - inserted to avoid mispronunciation as in "Khatayevich", for ex- an English manslation in brackets or parentheses (depending on ample. which of the two is in tum, as explained in the middle of p. m i i , Hebrew words that have been naturalized into the English lan- above), for the less knowledgeable reader. When citing in English guage through several decades of usage - I used my 1961 edition a text originally written in Hebrew or Yiddish, I have often of Wcbsrcrs New Collegiate Diciiomry to look up such words - bracketedlparenthesizeda HebrewNiddish word.phrase for which I are sometimes changed From their dictionary spelling to follow the felt my banslation to be inadequate or imperfect ~nwanm 7 1 2S5> above rules of transliterationY. Hebrew words that the English lan- .xSa im a m 3 h u . p nom;l co D?~#B% >N> na XSD guage has adopted a e not listed in the Glossary and are not itali- r Because it is beyond my capability to estimate the caliber of thecized. great scholars and rabbanim and other persons I have met, not toDouble (and triple) names of people, when written in English. say those of earlier generations, and assign them appropriate titleshave been joined together by hyphens=, including names based on - nor did I know which of my inte~ieweeswere ordained dndbooks authored about or by them, such as "Chafe=-Chain". which were poshuteh Jews - I have used "R" uniformly to grace 1 have not followed the rules of English grammat but the dic- the names of all the geonim, rabbis and undistinguished observanttate of logic in the placement of closing quotation m a d s by put- Jews. The reader is requestedto read the "R" abbreviation asting them before the period at the end of the sentence (or the co- haRav-haGaon. Rav. Rabbi, or simply Reb, appmp~iately.~lon or semicolon at the end of the clause) when the quotationmarks are there to focus on a literary form or citation. When quot- C. Halakhir! wnclusions cannot be drawn From what this booking a speakers or writers statement per se, wherein the period (or repons my father to have said or done because, although 1 maybeen ndded in lhe banslilcrarion of TOW.) It is F u Ihiu l h i s n ha an "h" has : have found an interviewees report sufficiently reliable for quotingoRen teen in& aiier an "e" - lo indicate h the "e" is pmnouncd. and, so in in the biography. I cannot give it the full credence that a halakhic I.."gel" - lor example, in W r e h . Faigeh. 1-leh, Yaoeveh and S h n e b Esmi. m erender is invilsd w figurs oul how an English-& would w q l the pmnunciatioo ma&. I have Followed lhe uample of the Vilna S h whue. on & back sideof these mher wmmon words had fhe b" MI been appnded. Y A h see h W. : : 01lhe blirpiar, all the fammcntamrs appelldcd i thal e i i n are titled u n i h n l y n dto i. pabove. .Cf. In. on pp. 425426 in (his volume in R Velvalleh Soloveichiks aa vm (& I pus). i !.

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