Monday, April 30, 2007

YOU'RE learning THAT?

One day a couple of weeks ago I had some spare time in the evening, so I took one of my newer Seforim, the Yismach Moshe, over to shul and perused through it for a little while. Some shmendrick saw me and what I was learning and promptly said, "YOU'RE learning the YISMACH MOSHE?!" I'm sure he was saying that the fact that I'm not anti-Israel, anti-Medina, and certainly not ultra right wing, that it didn't make sense that I was learning a Sefer from the person thought of as the first Satmar Rebbe.

I'd imagine that you may not find a Yismach Moshe in many ultra-Zionist houses, but to me, I don't understand why not. Just because I may not agree with everything or lead my life in a way that a certain Rebbe did, does that mean that there isn't what to gain from his Seforim? I'm sure the Chofetz Chaim, the Chazon Ish, and Rav Moshe would have all disapproved of my having a TV in my living room and watching secular DVD's and listening to secular music. Does that mean that I shouldn't get their Seforim?

I can mentally aside the fact that Satmars are virulently anti-Zionist when I read the Yismach Moshe's insights into the Torah. If he has a beautiful insight, does that mean that I have to discount it because of his personal Hashkafos? Perhaps some cannot fathom learning something from someone who disagrees with his/her lifestyle so much; but to me, that's silly. Oh, and I'm pretty sure the Yismach Moshe wouldn't have approved of ths shmendrick's profession as a lawyer.

6 Comments:

Blogger Soccer Dad said...

Speaking of names of seforim, I noticed that the guys selling the used ones at the Agudah are selling one calles "Ish Matzliach." I try to finish Tehillim once a month, and if I ever wrote a sefer, I'd never call it "Ish Matzliach."

On the main point of your post, I know it can be surprising, but why does one's views on Zionism invalidate his interpretations elsewhere. (Though I suppose I'd give a wide berth to a sefer by a Neturei Kartanik!)

12:33 PM, April 30, 2007

 
Anonymous G said...

"I'm sure the Chofetz Chaim, the Chazon Ish, and Rav Moshe would have all disapproved of my having a TV in my living room and watching secular DVD's and listening to secular music. Does that mean that I shouldn't get their Seforim?"

Backwards logic, the question as it pertains to your point is "would THEY get a sefer of YOURS?".

1:13 PM, April 30, 2007

 
Blogger AlanLaz said...

G - I don't get it. Since when did the Gedolim read seforim written by 23 year olds who spent 6 months in yeshiva?

8:02 PM, April 30, 2007

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

alanlaz- I'm playing Devils advocate here, I agree with you in reality.

Would you learn from seforim written by the head Rabbi of Reform Judaism if he/she "has a beautiful insight"?

7:42 AM, May 01, 2007

 
Blogger AlanLaz said...

Anon - I hear your point. I honestly probably wouldn't ever buy a sefer written by a reform rabbi, but if I heard a nice insight by a reform rabbi I would have no hesitations about saying it over. Now that I think about it, if there was a sefer that was well known for its insights (sans kefirah, of course), I would have no qualms about buying it, regardless of who wrote it. My grandmother's (A"H) funeral yesterday was officiated by a Reform rabbi and I got a lot out of his eulogy.

Similarly, I would have no problems buying Nechama Liebowitz's insights in the Torah, if I didn't find them boring. My reason for not buying her books has nothing to do with her as a female or her hashkafa.

But, again, I do hear your point. That being said, there's a difference between the disparity between my yiddishkeit and a reform rabbi's, and my yiddishkeit and the Yismach Moshe's. In the latter example, we are both Shomer Torah u'Mitzvos.

7:49 AM, May 01, 2007

 
Blogger SephardiLady said...

If we all had to agree with every position of every Rabbi, would we ever learn from anyone?

Just tell the man you prefer to learn Torah and can sift out what you don't agree with just fine thank you.

10:08 PM, May 01, 2007

 

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