jkaplan at tenzerlunin.com
Mon Jul 19 13:40:06 PDT 2021
Micha Berger, in further response to me, wrote, in part:
> Sorry, but I am not sure you do. Let me make sure I was clear enough
> that you are disagreeing with what I actually tried to say.
> What I am adding is that I don't think RYBS thought this reality is ideal,
> or even as close to the ideal as the world R' Chaim lived in. I believe
> RYBS felt our reality was not as condusive for living according to the
> Torah than the world our ancestors lived in before Europe started that
> final collapse from around us.
Now that I understand your reading better (partially your fault since
you could have been a bit clearer and partially mine because I should
have been a more careful reader), I'm not sure. That is, I'm not sure
whether the Rav viewed our reality as a lechatchila or a bedieved. Or,
to be more accurate, I'm not sure he thought in those terms. This is the
only reality we'll live in (or he lived in), so I'm not convinced it was
a part of his hashkafa as to whether it would be better if he lived in
the time of Reb Chaim or, perhaps, Maimonides. But I don't think I know
enough to opine about that. I just don't know.
Where I do agree is that the Rav was not Modern Orthodox as many use that
term today. What's interesting, though, is that it's my strong impression
that the Rav wasn't referred to as MO or the father of MO during his prime
and perhaps not even during his lifetime. I'm not sure when exactly that
started but it was late. Indeed, one of the people who were called by
that sobriquet was a bar pelugta of his, R. Emanuel Rackman.
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