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Monday, January 31, 2005

Cross Post fromCross Currents

The following was posted as an answer to a query re what previous gedolim saw fit to ban in the post war period, one of great advancement in Torah Judaism:
Leapa asks: “What do you think [R. Aharon Kotler] would have thought about the various bans and cherems so popular today?”
I’m not qualified to answer this question on my father’s behalf, but in a previous article, following the banning of Making Of A Godol, he wrote:
“We often point to the life and example of the outstanding Torah personalities who led our community during the formative post-Holocaust years, people of great stature who gave us inspiration and direction. There is a lesson to be learned from how they exercised their vast and essentially unchallenged authority, how they led by example and teaching and not by issuing a constant stream of prohibitory rulings.
“The foremost of these Torah giants was the great Rosh Yeshiva of Lakewood. In the twenty years of his fervent and fevered activity on behalf of the Torah world, he essentially was responsible for just one major prohibitory ruling, it being against Orthodox membership in rabbinical bodies with non-Orthodox Jews. This ruling came more than fifteen years after he arrived on these shores. In that great period of the development of American Orthodox Jewry, the Gedolei Torah were constantly occupied with major issues. They did not shirk their obligation to lead and they did not lead by prohibiting that which perhaps should have been criticized and not prohibited.”

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