[Avodah] RYS and His Son Going to College (was Reading Newspapers and Other secular Literature on Shabbos

Prof. Levine larry62341 at optonline.net
Mon Nov 5 13:36:32 PST 2018

At 02:17 PM 11/5/2018, R Micha wrote:
>HaMagid was an shomer Shabbos *Haskalishe* newspaper. For example,
>they did a piece on Yom Tov Lipman Lipkin's (a/k/a Lipman Yisroelovitch
>Lipkin, as he was registered under) going to college for a degree in
>math, and praising R' Yisrael Salanter for being liberal enough to let it
>happen. (In reality, there is no indication RYS agreed to the decision.
>And the son ends up OTD, so at some point father and son part hashkafic

He did not agree with  nor approve of  his son's decision to get a 
college education.

>> From The Mussar Movement, Volume 1, Part 1 pages 313 - 314.
>>R. Israel, however, was deeply distressed that his son had 
>>abandoned the study of Torah, since the son had excelled so well in 
>>it in his youth. The father derived no comfort at all from the 
>>son's remarkable achievements in the world of science, and cut off 
>>his support during all the son's student years. R. Israel exerted 
>>every effort to restore his son to Torah study. When Hamaggid 
>>reported in 1865, that "Mr. Lipkin was on his way to Koenigsberg to 
>>engage in advanced research, "the editor added that this was the 
>>son of R. Israel of Salant, and that he was "a pride to his saintly 
>>father, the Gaon, as well, may he live, who did not prevent the son 
>>from attending lectures at university, and so to integrate Torah 
>>and science, for the greater glory of the sons of our people." A 
>>few weeks later the same periodical (No. 11) carried a letter over 
>>the signature of R. Israel with these remarks: "Since Truth is the 
>>lamp at the feet of the righteousness that goes about on earth, I 
>>find it my duty publicly to proclaim that no glory accrues to me, 
>>as the slip of your pen would seem to indicate, in respect of my 
>>son. On the contrary, to me this is a 'bitterness of the spirit'. 
>>My heart grieves at the path which my son has wanted to set for 
>>himself. Whoever loves his soul and has the power to persuade him, 
>>to turn his desire not to run counter to my will and wishes, will 
>>do a great favor to one as depressed in spirit as I am today".
>>Nor was there any contradiction between R. Israel's personal 
>>attitude and his simultaneous efforts to spread Judaism in academic 
>>circles. There was nothing in his views to prevent him from trying 
>>to infiltrate Torah inside the walls of the university and to 
>>influence students. Furthermore, he employed every means at his 
>>disposal to guard his son against straying from Judaism. He 
>>journeyed specially to St. Petersburg to extract a three-fold 
>>promise: that his son would observe Shabbat, refrain from eating 
>>trefah food, and not shave. [27] He would say that were he able to 
>>disguise himself as a woman, he would go to work in the restaurant 
>>patronized by his son, so as to supervise the kashrut. He also 
>>requested R. Isaac Blazer, then rabbi in St. Petersburg, by mail, 
>>to keep an eye on the son. [28] In this way, it is said, the son 
>>remained a loyal Jew.
>>[27.] As related by Rabbi A. D. Berkovsky. Presumably this was the 
>>journey to St. Petersburg undertaken that year, 1872, as mentioned 
>>above, in connection with his political activities. R. Naftali 
>>Amsterdam is reputed to have related that, when R. Israel was in 
>>St. Petersburg, several of the university professors remarked to 
>>the son that they would want to see what made his father so great. 
>>The son suggested that they ask his father the most difficult 
>>question in geometry they could propound. They submitted a problem 
>>which had engaged their minds at that time. R. Israel studied it 
>>for a few minutes, and solved it to the astonishment of all the 
>>specialists in the field (told by R. Abraham Braude).
>>[28.] R. Israel's last letter to R. Isaac Blazer concerning his 
>>son's conduct elicited the reply that the son had not tasted 
>>gentile baked bread for the past three months R. Israel understood 
>>this to imply that his son had been dead for three months, since no 
>>other bread was available in the capital.

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