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Unread 07-13-2005, 09:32 AM   #1
Yankel Nosson
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The Rebbe and R' Soloveitchik

The relationship between the Rebbe and Rabbi J.B. Soloveitchik

SNS EXCLUSIVE SNEAK PEEK * UPCOMING JEM VIDEO

For several years now, JEM has been working on an oral history project aimed at learning the story of the Rebbes life. The goal is to interview the individuals, from all walks of life, in whose hearts and minds these stories reside.

In conjunction with Gimmel Tamuz, SNS is pleased to bring you this eighth and final exclusive highlight from these interviews. Visit www.jemedia.org/MyEncounter for more information about the project.



New York, 1980

The Relationship between the Rebbe and Rabbi J.B. Soloveitchik, known as The Rav, began when they met each other in Berlin, and continued for many years afterward.

Rabbi Hershel Schachter is a close Talmid of Rav Soloveitchik, who accompanied him to the Rebbe on Yud Shevat 5740.

The Rebbe and the Rav knew each other and had a very personal relationship. He had in his heart a string of his relationship with the Rebbe from Berlin.

We pulled up in front of 770. The car stops and we open the door, and the Rav comes out and I walk with him. And when we opened the door, way, way in the back, and you saw what the crowd looked like, it opened up. The splitting of the Red Sea. It was the most unbelievable I cant describe what it was. It just opened up. And the Rav, and little me, we walked down the aisle toward the platform, and the Rebbe, zatzal, was not by his seat. He did not come out into that vast crowd until the Rav came.

They came up, they shook hands with each other, and the Rebbe motions to the Rav to walk ahead, and the Rav motions to the Rebbe to walk ahead, so the Rebbe walked ahead. And he sat down. There are a million other people piling in around, but in front, right on top of the front table was only the Rebbe and the Rav, zatzal. And I, they wanted to give me a chair, I said, no, no, no, I was standing, as you see on the picture, right behind the Rav, and I did not sit down the whole time.

The Rav listened very carefully to the Rebbe, and he had said hes going to be there only for a half hour. An hour passed, then I myself said to him, Maybe the Rav is not comfortable? He said, No, no, no. I want to stay. I think he was there for close to two hours.

The moment he stood up, the Rebbe jumped up. The Rav didnt wait for the Rebbe to come to him, he went to the Rebbe to shake hands and say goodbye, and I walked with the Rav, right behind. And they talked to each other for a few minutes. Very warm. You could see on their faces that these two men liked each other, they really liked one another.

Those words are not on any manuscript, but I was standing right there, and I heard, this, you can take on my word of honor, that the Rebbe said to the Rav, and hes looking at me He says, Du host, Boruch Hashem, voile talmidim! You have wonderful students. In a hundred years, when I come before the kise hakovod, Im going to remind the Ribono shel Olam of what these two Geonim said to one another.

Its very nice, it was very warm. After two, three minutes they shook hands and we started to walk back. And everybody was standing, even those people who were sitting. As soon as the Rebbe got up, everybody got up. And everybody was standing, until, you can see on the pictures until we, the two of us, walked through.

We walked back to the car, we sat down. I said to the Rav, Nu, what does the Rav say? What do you say about the Rebbe?

Hes sitting in the front, I cant see his face. He hesitated for a minute and he says, Er iz a Gaon. Er iz a Gadol. Er iz a Manhig Yisroel. He is a genius, he is a great man, he is a leader of the Jewish people.

A video from JEM with excerpts of interviews covering the period before the Rebbes arrival in the US is expected out in the near future. For more information about the oral history project or to preorder the video visit www.jemedia.org/MyEncounter.
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Unread 07-13-2005, 04:11 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yankel Nosson
The Relationship between the Rebbe and Rabbi J.B. Soloveitchik, known as The Rav,
Wasn't the Alter Rebbe also known as The Rav? (Or perhaps only in regards to the Shulchan Aruch, "Shulchan Aruch HaRav"?)

If he indeed was, might it confuse people who knew Rabbi Soloveitchik...?
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Unread 08-08-2005, 04:56 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Mekushar
Wasn't the Alter Rebbe also known as The Rav? (Or perhaps only in regards to the Shulchan Aruch, "Shulchan Aruch HaRav"?)

If he indeed was, might it confuse people who knew Rabbi Soloveitchik...?
How right you are Mekushar. The Alter Rebbe is reffered by the world as Rav only regarding his Shulchan Aruch. Otherwise he's always known as the Baal Hatanya (and to us chassidim as the Alter Rebbe). If you mention the name "Rav" to anyone in the Velt, they will assume that you are reffering to R. Soloveitchik ZT"L.
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Unread 06-03-2006, 03:01 AM   #4
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Early life

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...ubavitcher.jpg http://en.wikipedia.org/skins-1.5/co...gnify-clip.png
A photo of Schneerson in his youth


Born in Nikolaiev, Ukraine, Schneerson received mostly private education. He had two younger brothers, Dovber and Yisroel Aryeh Leib. He was enrolled in the secular Yekaterinoslav University for part-time study of mathematics at the age of 16. His father, Rabbi Levi Yitzchak Schneerson, a renowned kabbalist who served as the Chief Rabbi of Yekaterinoslav (Dnepropetrovsk) from 1907-1939, was his primary teacher. He intensively studied Talmud and rabbinic literature, as well as the hasidic view of Jewish mysticism and Kabbalah. He received his Rabbinical ordination from Rabbi Yosef Rosen (the Rogatchover Gaon). He became engaged to Chaya Mushka Schneerson in Riga in 1923 and married her five years later in 1928 after being away in Berlin. During those two years in Berlin his landlord was his distant secular cousin, Dr. Michael Wilensky. He returned to Warsaw for his wedding and in the announcement of his marriage in a Warsaw newspaper in 1928 he was attributed "a number of academic degrees". Following the marriage they went to live in Berlin, Germany, to study mathematics and philosophy at one of its universities. According to Laufer, Rabbi Joseph Dov Soloveitchik of Boston was also studying at the university in Berlin at the time, and he lived nearby. "Whenever he had a question about an academic or religious text, he would stop over at Schneerson's house and consult with him." In a hagiographic biography, Laufer, citing a Rabbi who heard from Soloveichik himself and a Kfar Chabad Rabbi who heard it from associates of Soloveichik, says that "even though Schneerson did not spend much time at his studies, his marks were always higher than Soloveichik's". Moreover, "the Rebbe was known to have received several advanced degrees in Berlin, and then later in Paris." Another witness in Laufers book, a resident of Tel Aviv, claimed that everyone knew the Rebbe was attending university, and that despite his low-key presence, "everyone knew that a unique personality was in town." Professor Menachem Friedman on a trip to Berlin 70 years later, was only able to find records of classes taken for one and a half semesters; his attendance was recorded at the University of Berlin in a "record of the students who audited courses at the university without receiving academic credit." However, he was unable to find any records for the other 6 years that Schneerson was in Berlin.
According to Lubavitch hagiographies, quoting eyewitnesses during his time in Berlin, he forged friendships with two other young rabbis studying in Berlin: Joseph Soloveitchik and Yitzchok Hutner. However, Soloveitchik's son has denied that they knew each other in Berlin, the validity of this source is disputed.

This is Wikipedia's account of their alleged relationship. Any thoughts?
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Unread 06-03-2006, 09:38 PM   #5
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We need "thoughts" about Wikipedia? Do you realize you could change the whole article right now?? In fact, Deutsch is probably the one who wrote it!

Most basic information wikipedia provides is accurate. (e.g. about the Westminster Parliamentary System.) When dealing with anything that is current and relates to a controversial topic, it is totally ridiculous to rely on them, or to be concerned.
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Unread 06-03-2006, 10:18 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Maskil
We need "thoughts" about Wikipedia? Do you realize you could change the whole article right now?? In fact, Deutsch is probably the one who wrote it!

Most basic information wikipedia provides is accurate. (e.g. about the Westminster Parliamentary System.) When dealing with anything that is current and relates to a controversial topic, it is totally ridiculous to rely on them, or to be concerned.
Okay, then let me rephrase that. Why would Rabbi Soloveichick son deny his father's relationship to the Rebbe? Was he perhaps offended by the puffed up accounts of how "our rebbe got better grades than your rebbe"?

Also, scuse my ignorance...who is Duetch?
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Unread 06-03-2006, 10:26 PM   #7
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1) I don't know. And I don't care. I just came up with with two theories on the spot, but why share them?

2) Ignorance is bliss...
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Unread 06-05-2006, 12:11 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by The New Yorker
Okay, then let me rephrase that. Why would Rabbi Soloveichick son deny his father's relationship to the Rebbe? Was he perhaps offended by the puffed up accounts of how "our rebbe got better grades than your rebbe"?

Also, scuse my ignorance...who is Duetch?
Did Rabbi J. B. Soloveichik have a son? Anyone know any details about him?
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Unread 06-05-2006, 12:45 AM   #9
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Yes, Chaim Soloveitchik.
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Unread 06-05-2006, 12:05 PM   #10
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Yes, Chaim Soloveitchik.
Details? did he follow in his father's footsteps? I do know the daughter did.
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Unread 06-05-2006, 08:18 PM   #11
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I don't know what you mean by "his father's footsteps" (and how his daughter is following them). In any case, he is the author of many academic books and articles (do a Google search).
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Unread 06-05-2006, 09:00 PM   #12
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http://hirhurim.blogspot.com/2005/07...arch-tool.html
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