Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Rav Schwab's Defense of Torah Im Derech Eretz

So where did R' Schwab stand on Torah Im Derech eretz? Read the linked article and you will see his unmistakable support for it. Beyond the article, I know from personal experience as he invited me to be a practitioner of Torah Im Derech Eretz after I told him about myself.

He also countered the charge regarding the output of gaonim by Torah Im Derech Eretz by first putting forth the argument that I had thought I invented that Eastern Europe had millions of people (and Frankfurt a few thousand). But he offers others too.

Wisdom from Gentiles: Steve Jobs

“That’s been one of my mantras — focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex; you have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple.”

“Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.”

“My model for business is The Beatles. They were four guys who kept each other’s kind of negative tendencies in check. They balanced each other and the total was greater than the sum of the parts. That’s how I see business: great things in business are never done by one person, they’re done by a team of people.”

“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”

 Steve Jobs

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Never Raised His Voice to a Pupil

"One of them writes: "He conversed with us in our own language, took interest in every blow dealt us by pupils of the Philantropin, checked on the class of the stamps we exchanged, gave a rigorous examination to our footballs-in brief, he was our intimate." Another one relates : "He never raised his voice to a pupil. If he traveled to another city, he would say to him, 'Behave so that they will see you are a pupil of Rabbi Hirsch.' He influenced them by his personality; the look of his burning eyes was engraved deep in the memory of those he had educated.""

Torah with Derech Eretz, Mordechai Breuer

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Grave of the Maharil

"Yaakov ben Moshe Levi Moelin (Hebrew: יעקב בן משה מולין‎) (c. 1365 – September 14, 1427) was a Talmudist and posek (authority on Jewish law) best known for his codification of the customs (minhagim) of the German Jews. He is also known as Maharil - the Hebrew acronym for "Our Teacher, the Rabbi, Yaakov Levi" - as well as Mahari Segal or Mahari Moelin. Maharil's Minhagim was a source of law for Moses Isserles’ component of the Shulkhan Arukh." (Wikipedia)

Jüdischer Friedhof Worms-4243.jpg

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Are You a Yekke?

Have you ever been asked this question? I have been any time I have mentioned my interest in R' Hirsch or R' Breuer or the Breuer's community or R' Schwab. It's automatic - like clockwork. It's strange even, as if all Ashkenazim share a fascination with Yekkes.

They should. We are all Yekkes in a sense. My great-grandparents are from the Ukraine. But whence came their grandparents? Or their grandparents. At some point the answer becomes Germany.  This is where Ashkenazic Jewry started. Our mutual fascination with the Yekkes reminds me of the mutual fascination my cousins and I have with our grandparents. We gravitate to our roots. Whence came your grandparents? Poland? Lita? We are cousins then, you and me. And our shared ancestors were German Jews.

Is it just a matter of heritage? R' Binyomin Shlomo Hamburger of B'nei Brak established an institute dedicated to protecting German minhagim and reminding Ashkenazim that their roots are in Germany. The rabbanim there kept active contact with those in Eretz Israel. The minhagim in Germany are the truest we know of. Maybe we all sense that. It's like my cousins and I wanting to hold on to the memories of our grandparents and all the wisdom they conveyed. It isn't just nostalgia. It's something much more serious. It's our link to Har Sinai.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

R' Yechiel Michel Schlesinger

Born: Hamburg, Germany
Niftar: March 10, 1949 in Jerusalem, Israel
Rabbi, Dayan (in Frankfurt); founded Kol Torah Yeshiva (in Israel)
More photos

Monday, April 14, 2014

Linked Article: Le rabbin Elie Munk zatsal, pilier du renouveau du judaïsme orthodoxe

Le rabbin Elie Munk zatsal, pilier du renouveau du judaïsme orthodoxe

"Il y a 30 ans, le 3 Sivan 5741, disparaissait le rav Elie Munk, rabbin de la communaute orthodoxe de la rue Cadet à Paris et auteur de la célèbre ''voix de la torah''. A cette occasion, Hamodia lui rend hommage.
La scène se déroule en 1972, lors de l’émouvant banquet organisé par la communauté de la rue Cadet à l’occasion du départ en retraite de son cher rabbin. Ce jour-là, dans un discours qui a marqué tous les participants, le rabbin Elie Munk zatsal avait ainsi résumé son action : « J’ai toujours recherché le Chalom ». Celui dont on commémore, le 3 Sivan, le trentième anniversaire de décès, aurait pu parler de ses livres qui lui assuraient déjà la reconnaissance du monde de la Torah. Il aurait également pu insister sur l’influence considérable qu’il exerça durant quatre décennies sur la synagogue de la rue Cadet ou sur son rôle dans la reconstruction du judaïsme orthodoxe français après la Shoah."


Sunday, April 13, 2014

All of Mankind

"The Torah was given to Israel, but it was destined to be universal, in the end of days, like nature and history. 'Israel-man' brings about not only the redemption of Israel but also the redemption of all mankind: 'to set the world aright by the Kingdom of the Almighty.'"

R. Samson Raphael Hirsch

Guardians of our Heritage, p. 292

Friday, April 11, 2014