Monday, February 23, 2009

How I Spent My Sunday Evening....

It was a difficult choice to make....
Spend an hour ALONE going to a Shovavim lecture on marriage or spend two hours WITH my husband  at a lecture that interested us both.  I decided that spending quality time with my husband was the best way to honor my marriage - so we went together - as one attendee joked - "with all the other apikorsim from our shul" to listen to two fascinating back to back lectures given by Rabbi Natan Slifkin.
I must admit that since I have a background in science, I was a huge fan of Rabbi Slifkin long before he was on anyone else's radar.  I am even more inclined to sympathize with his plight, as I have a relative who is considered a respected member of the chareidi world (a talmid chacham and a scientist) who has written extensively on issues regarding Torah and science and who too has suffered through an attempt to put one of his (surprisingly non-scientific) works into cheirem.
Aside from a very cogent, informative and non-heretical lecture on some very difficult scientific topics as they relate to the Torah, I was impressed with the respect that Rabbi Slifkin continues to give to the gedolei hador who so harshly criticized him and how he tries to explain and even validate their stance against him.  Would that everyone else was that way......

11 comments:

Meir B said...

When one sees and hears Rabbi Slifkin (not by any means an imposing fellow!) one realizes how ironic it is that he of all people was banned.

G6 said...

That is precisely WHY he was singled out for the ban...
The Kano'im perpetrating the ban thought that he was young and weak and would fold easily.
They unfortunately did not realize that he was not quoting any "chiddushim", but rather positions previously held by such luminaries as the Rambam and Rav Hirsch - and that he had their strength behind him.

efrex said...

To call R' Slifkin "not imposing" is to engage in an act of understatement akin to calling climbing Everest "a bit of a hike."

While no expert in the ban, I think it's fairly clear that it was orchestrated with a variety of purposes, very few of which had to do with R' Slifkin himself.

It's not even a question of "chiddushim:" as far as I can tell, virtually everyone who confronts the issues comes to some variant of R' Slifkin's approach; indeed, it's the extreme literal view that needs to be labelled as a "chiddush."

That someone who found a way to combine torah scholarship with a unique set of interests had to go through what he did is a horrible stain on our world.

הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

I think it's partially the fault of people like Rabbi Slifkin and your relative for getting their books banned, because they insist with affiliating themselves with the Chariedim, which suggests that they themselves see little authority in the Modern Orthodox community. No Modern Orthodox Rabbi would ban their books. ..it was a folly for them to have joined such ranks.

הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

....insist *on*..

Jron said...

Interestingly, when my Rebbi, Rav Simcha Wasserman visited our apartment some 21 years ago, he was sifting through my bookcase when he came across your uncle's Sefer. He pulled it out and took some time looking through it. I asked him, "but was it not banned by R' Schach?" He waived his hand and said something to the effect that that was for his Chevrah. He did not appear to be impressed with the ban,... and he kept on thumbing through the book.

You know who said...

Heads up: Your husband appears in a press release about the Berkshire Bank in this week's issue of The Jewish Press.

Anonymous said...

I have to echo Mr. שריקי: I find Rabbi Slifkin's continued respect of the Haredi leadership very perplexing. They demonstrated neither good middos, an affinity for the truth, nor responsible leadership in the whole episode. Sure some of them may spend every waking hour studying gemarah, but their is more to life than that. And as Rabbi Slifkin demonstrates, they such a single minded approach to learning does not give them a better understanding of anything.

Anonymous said...

There is no need to bash any Gedolim. Not everybody agrees with Rav Slifkin. Not everybody agreed with SRH either. Whether you call it ban or we dont agree with and it is wrong is cmat the same thing. People rewrite history. You look up some seforim and you see lot worse.

reject said...

Hi, i was just at rabbi slifkin's blog and efrex referenced a comment here. who is your uncle and which book did rabbi wasserman read?

G6 said...

reject -
Please contact me off blog.
guesswhoscoming2dinner@gmail.com