Thursday, May 28, 2020


Mishpachah magazine has an article by Rav Aharon Lopiansky that includes some truly amazing paragraphs. Someone wrote to me that it looks just like some of my blog posts! Here are some choice excerpts:
We are no longer/not yet a nation in the full sense. A nation is an entity that has a framework whereby it can act as a unit. Without Mashiach, we have no head, no authority, no structure, no enforcement. We can have rousing speeches, ringing kol-koreis, an inspirational Siyum HaShas, and stern admonitions, but we do only what we wish to do. Even for the people who are sympathetic to the values expressed in the proclamations, there is very little specific follow-through.
Yes, thankfully we have our gedolei Torah, but even that seems to be subjective depending on who you are speaking to. For those who point to “The Moetzes” as “leadership,” I would ask, do you mean Agudah’s Moetzes, Degel’s Moetzes, Peleg’s Moetzes, or Shas’s Moetzes Chachamei HaTorah? Is it the Crown Heights Beis Din? And what about Satmar and others who do not subscribe to any of the above? And Centrist Orthodox and Modern Orthodox? And the many Yidden who do not fit into any of those categories?
And this one: 
We tend to think of “ourselves” — the Torah-observant community — as Klal Yisrael, and the others as a reservoir of potential additions. It’s the other way around! Klal Yisrael is the sum total of all of us, and we are missing 90 percent of our “self.”
I used to be fairly close with Rav Lopiansky, and even though he was forced to capitulate in the controversy over my books, I remained on good terms with him. It's good to see him publishing these things in Misphacha.


  1. It's all about what was called at my office "winning the franchise". Once you've established your credibility people listen to you through a halo effect.
    A long, long time ago (HT-Don Mclean) I taught minchat shlomo 1:35
    א כיבוד באכילה ושתיה למי שיודע שלא יברך.

    בהא דצריך כל אדם לשום דרכיו ולכוין מעשיו לשם שמים, חושבני, במי שבא אליו אורח חשוב, אשר איננו שומר תורה ומצוה, אבל עדיין יש לו אהבה לבני תורה, וגם תומך במוסדות תורה וכדומה, ואם הבעה"ב לא יתנהג אתו בנימוס המקובל לכבד אותו במידי דמיכל ומשתי, בגלל זה שמצד הדין אסור ליתן לאכול אלא למי שיודע שנוטל ידיו ומברך (כמבואר בשו"ע או"ח סי' קס"ט סעי' ב'), וכמו כן אם אפילו בצורה מכובדת יבקש ממנו ליטול ידים ולברך, יראה הדבר כפגיעה ועלבון בכבודו, וזה גם ירגיז אותו מאד, ויתכן שבגלל הדבר הזה יתרחק חו"ש ביותר מהתורה, וגם יבוא לידי כעס ושנאה על כל ההולכים בדרך התורה, דבכה"ג חושבני, שנכון באמת לכבד אותו באכילה ושתי', ולא לחשוש כלל לאיסור של לפני עור לא תתן מכשול, משום דאף שאין אומרים לאדם לעשות איסורא זוטא כדי להציל אחרים מאיסורא רבה, ואסור ודאי להפריש תרו"מ בשבת כדי להציל בכך אחרים מאיסור חמור של טבל, מ"מ בנידון זה, הואיל וכל האיסור של הנותן לו לאכול הוא רק עבירה של נתינת מכשול, וכיון שאם לא יתן לו לאכול הרי יכשל האורח באיסור יותר גדול, נמצא דליכא כלל שום עבירה, כיון דליכא הכא שום נתינת מכשול, אלא אדרבה יש כאן הצלה ממכשול גדול מאד ע"י זה שהחליף אותו בקום ועשה במכשול יותר קטן.

    I asked the group, prior to the big reveal of the actual source but after priming them on OO approach to halacha, did it sound reasonable. Guess the response

    1. I don't see the question to start with. If he gives money, he is excused. Who argues with that?

  2. Is there a connection between rationalism and a kelal yisroel perspective.

    Rav Zeev leff has a kelal yisroel perspective. Not much of a rationalist

    Some thoughts of Rav Lopiansky

  3. You seem to have forgotten last weeks sidra. That the Jews made flags and banners. Moshe was against it, but hashem preferred it. He did not want all Jews to be the same. Not everybody is exactly the same so each has to serve hashem with what he has.

    1. Not sure why you bring that up - that is totally different.
      The flags and banners work if each division respects the other divisions. Not if they write them off as not part of the nation. R' Lopiansky is not saying everyone should be the same. He is saying that everyone, as different as they are, should be aware of everyone else as part of Klal Yisrael.

    2. Did you read the article? R. Lopinasky is paraphrasing the Rambam.

    3. that's the point. lots of different groups is fine but it still needs an overall leadership to unite them and prevent unnecessary internal disputes.

    4. newcomer: what is your source for this thought?

  4. The fact that Rabbi Slifkin is still in good terms with Rav Lopiansky bunks any conspiracy theories that Slifkin has a personal vendetta with charedim.

    Yes, I agree with the Rav, too.

  5. Not sure if it's hilarious or horrifying that the author groups himself with the Rosh Yeshiva. Either way, it is definitely delusional (not to mention simplistic and unintelligent) for sure.....

  6. Rabbi Lopiansky is a gem. In his own way, he stands against the Israeli charedization of America, and doesn't just parrot whatever is said in Israel to sound "frum".

  7. Rabbi Slifkin what would have thought of him and the article if you weren't on good terms with him?

    The usual YA


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