Sunday, September 11, 2011

Rav Moshe Tendler describes how he met Rav Moshe Feinstein's daughter

End the madness symposium at 37th minute


  1. R. Tendler discussed it in this article too:

    The Tendlers lived on Henry Street a few blocks from Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, the leading Orthodox legal decisor in the United States, whose daughter would become Tendler's wife. The couple met at a public library on East Broadway when Shifra Feinstein approached Tendler -- already gaining a reputation for scientific acuity -- to ask a question about chemistry.

    “After that, somehow I managed to come more often to the library to study,” Tendler said.

    It seems to me that it can be taken that Rav Moshe never gave pre-approval of his daughter marrying R. Tendler. By time he got wind of it, they were set on it and there wasn't much he could do about it. Obviously, by nature, he accepted it at that point and he certainly wouldn't make a public stink about it.

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  3. That was very interesting. Thanx for sharing the audio!

  4. Recipients and PublicitySeptember 11, 2011 at 9:48 AM

    Most "shidduchim" among the American Orthodox world up until the growth of the Chasidishe world worked the way Tendler met his wife.

    In fact most stopped being frum, and the few that did, dated the Jewish girl next door, or their sister's Jewish friends, or the Jewish girls they met in public school (yes many Orthodox kids went to public school in those days, the were few real yeshivas and no bais yaakovs) or the Jewwish girls on the block and quite often married their childhood sweethearts and those marriages were good and lasted.

    After the Holocaust, from the 1950s onwards, when frum survivors arrived and Chasidihe Rebbes came to America, such as the Satmar, Bobover, Lubavitcher, and set up real heimishe kehillos in Borough Park and Williamsburg in Brooklyn starting slowly from the 1950s then picking up in numbers in the 1960s through the 1980s they exerted an influence on all the social and cultural aspects of right-wing Orthodox Jewry such as the Yeshiva velt, and then people became frummer, switched to chalav yisroel milk products, glatt kosher shechita, darker clting for men and the growth of beards and peyos, and of course introducing a "shidduch system" that had not reall existed before they arrived in America.

    The rosh yeshivas who came such as Rav Aron Kotler, the arrival of the entire Mirrer Yeshiva, added to the new trend from the 1950s onwards, but the Chasidimm were the main ones to influence the social and community trends. There were many survivors with connections to Chasidus that were among those who sent sons and daughters to Litvishe Yeshivas and Bais Yaakovs as well. Rebbetzin Vichna Kaplan and her Bais Yaakov trained new generations of girls to be frummer. It was all a process.

    So it is pointless to talk about the olden days of Orthodox people who lived in American from the 1900s until the 1950s because they had a different lifestyle and it was a miracle that they remained frum at all when the majority became Conservative and Reform.

    However today's Modern Orthodox in America, like many of the Mizrachi in Israel, still have casual standards about how prospective spouses can meet. In fact they build co-ed modern Orthodox yeshivas where boys and girls are co-equal and mix through high school. They often go to college together and from that come many of their marriages. They do NOT subscribe to, or practice, the yeshivisha shidduch system or the Chasidishe "beshu" pre-arranged marriages.

    Anyone who does not understand these primary differences between the social systems of the Chasidim/Charedim versus the Modern Orthodox/Mizrachi falls into the trap of misjudging huge chunks of Klala Yisroel with their own limited personal prejudices or just sheer ignorance of Jewish history in America in the last 100 years.

  5. What I am waiting to hear from some gadol as to why the system has totally failed our young children in preparing them for marriages.
    The amount of people devorcing is simply not normal.
    I have a daughter who is separated from her husband because of his abusive character, but have not been able yet to obtain a get, and his father is on the hanhala of a certain yeshiva. Where is the outrage among the leaders to try to explain all the gitten going on? Anybody with any good answers?

  6. I always quietly wondered why R' Moshe z"l initially picked a son-in-law who clearly has different hashkafic views than himself.

    Now I understand. Rav Tendler was not "picked". The Shidduch happened. Being that Rav Tendler was and is a serious Talmud Chacham and Ben Torah - Rav Moshe certainly would not protest.

    Thank you for the post.

  7. I said to someone once, "You see, even R' Moshe Feinstein took a son-in-law with the same first name!" ... To which the person responded, "you think R' Moshe really picked DOCTOR Tendler to be his son-in-law?!?!"

    Who are the other son-in-law's of R' Moshe? What was there stature in Torah?

  8. R & P
    Even in the 1960 and early 70, many young man and woman met in the libraries (particularly the 13th avenue branch)- pizza shop or friends of sisters and brothers. The chassidich velt took a long time to infiltrate the frum orthodox kehilla.

  9. In Europe in the Chareidi communities, shidduchim were made with shidduchim rather than in libraries and the like. It was in America that these goyishe behaviors crept into our communities.

  10. typo: were made with *shadchanim*, rather.

  11. Recipients and PublicitySeptember 12, 2011 at 10:47 AM

    "Who are the other son-in-law's of R' Moshe? What was there stature in Torah?"

    His name was Moshe Shisgal, feel free to Google for that name.

    Here are a few points, and there are many more:

    "Rav Eliyahu Moshe Shisgal [Schisgal] (1973). Learned with Rav Shlomo Heiman at Yeshivas Torah V'Daas. He married Faye Gittel Feinstein, daughter of Rav Moshe Feinstein." ( Gedolim Yahrtzeits.)

    "One of the biographies of Rav Moshe Feinstein recounts the gadol’s response to the untimely passing of his beloved son-in-law, Rav Moshe Shisgal, a great gaon and gadol in his own right. Broken in spirit, Rav Moshe rose to eulogize Rav Shisgal and stated regarding his death at such a young age, that “Der vos zogt az er farshteit is a kofer! – He who claims to understand is a nonbeliever!”" ( Dreams: A Chodesh Av Perspective)

    "young man who was marrying out of our faith because he was not brought up in a Torah home, and had no personal connection to Judaism. Although not religious, his father never envisioned this tragic result. In a last-ditch effort, he introduced his son to Rabbi Moshe Shisgal, Z’tl (the son in-law of Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, Z’tl), and they spent a short time together. The recalcitrant young man emerged from the brief encounter and declared: “If we have such a man as part of our people, I cannot marry out.” He then proceeded to become a Torah Jew." ( The Many Opportunities for Kiddush Hashem.)

    "It has been an added privilege for me to have included in this volume a biographical sketch of Reb Moshe's late son-in-law, the gaon and tzaddik Rabbi Eliyahu Moshe Shisgal, zatzal. I am deeply grateful to HAGAON HARAV AVRAHAM YAAKOV HAKOHEIN PAM, SHLITA, Rosh Yeshivah of Mesivta Torah Vodaath, and HAGAON HARAV ELIYAHU S1MCHA SCHUSTAL Rosh Yeshivah of Yeshivah Bais Binyamin, who shared their recollections of their dear friend, Rabbi Shisgal. My thanks also to RABBI PERETZ STEINBERG who provided a major portion of the material on Rabbi Shisgal; and to RABBI YITZCHAK MEIR SCHORR, who contributed as well.
    My deepest thanks to REBBETZIN FAYA SHISGAL for her gracious help, and to REBBETZIN SHEILA FEINSTEIN who graciously provided information on both Reb Moshe and Rabbi Shisgal. My appreciation also to Rabbi Shisgal's brother-in-law and sister, MR. AND MRS. DAVID H. SCHWARTZ and his son-in-law and daughter, RABBI AND MRS. MENDY GREENFIELD." ( Reb Moshe the Life and Ideals of Hagaon Rabbi Moshe Feinstein.)

  12. Recipients and PublicitySeptember 12, 2011 at 11:12 AM

    "Dovid said...In Europe"

    RaP: Which part of Europe? And during which time in history? For sure until Modern Times (in secular historical terms that's from about the 1750s onwards. The French Revolution of 1789, that declared 'Liberty, Equality, Fraternity' made modernity official.) By the 19th century (i.e. the 1800s) Western Europe, meaning France, Germany, Austria, Italy, and parts of Central Europe became mostly secularized under The Enlightenment and the roots of Reform Judaism from the early 1800s took hold. On the other hand what went on in Eastern Europe was a mixed bag. There were no "libraries" and *everyone* was basically a shadchan. It's not a black and white picture. Plenty of people in Eastern Europe were not as frum as their bobbas and zeidas by the 20th century (from the 1900s onwards) as the Jewish Haskalah made inroads.

    "in the Chareidi communities,"

    RaP: There is no such animal as "Chareidi" in Eastern Europe and people never used that term which is a modern day political label. Just as the word Orthodox is a label that was deployed by the Reform to label those who were not like them.

    "shidduchim were made with shidduchim/*shadchanim* rather than in libraries and the like."

    RaP: Obviously libraries did not exist in Eastern Europe shtettels and ghettos. The Yidden were too busy fighting for existence and subsistence and thinking and praying when they could move to America to escape the Pale of Settlement apartheid system imposed on them by the Czars. America was a great place to go to and millions rightly moved! In Western Europe they met at universities already, and like today, it was common for intermarriage to happen from that. Until people like Rav SR Hirsh and Rav Yisroel Salanter and other enlightened Orthodox rabbonim began to build the foundations of coping with modernity not just by living behind a ghetto wall, or throwing stones (actual or metaphoric), and not just by men wearing kappottes and women horse hair sheitels.

    "It was in America that these goyishe behaviors crept into our communities."

    RaP: Wrong! Secularization was already widespread among most Western European Jews and it had influenced and penetrated far and wide into the Jewish communities of Central and Eastern Europe by the time WWII broke out in 1939.

    You need to brush up on your facts and be more accurate and precise when making pronouncements.

  13. Show's..
    Reb Moshe's other son in law was Rav Shisgal. He was a great tzaddik, a magid shiur at Torah V'Daas

  14. There is a letter from R. Moshe Sherrer on Agudah letterhead to R. Tendler that reprimands R. Tendler for misrepresenting the viewpoints of Rav Moshe. The letter was written sometime after Rav Moshe was niftar, but references another such instance when R. Sherrer confronted R. Tendler in front of Rav Moshe for another instance R. Tendler misrepresented the viewpoint of Rav Moshe.


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