Monday, October 28, 2019

revisionist history

Rav Shmuel wasn’t alone for another reason; he had a partner in the other rosh yeshivah. Rav Elya Svei had been a fellow talmid in Lakewood when the yeshivah in Philadelphia opened, and Rav Shmuel felt he would be the right choice to serve as a rosh yeshivah.
“Rav Elya was a mechanech. He really understood,” Rav Shmuel tells me, and as he remembers Rav Elya, there is a flash of what appears to be sadness, a cloud over the rosh yeshivah’s sanguine features.
Other yeshivos have also had two roshei yeshivah at their head. Not always is the partnership successful, and even when it is, not always does the arrangement work as fruitfully as this one did.
Rav Shmuel must feel like there’s an inherent compliment to him in my comment, so he just shrugs and spreads his hands apart. “It worked.”
But why? I persist: What was the secret?
“You want the secret?” The smile is back. “The secret is that mir zennen gevehn gutte chaverim, we were very good friends. But people see things differently, that’s inevitable, so we agreed early on that if we ever had a real difference of opinion, we would go together and ask.
“The Rosh Yeshivah was gone, and my father was a karov, so he couldn’t decide for us,” Rav Shmuel says, “so we made up that if we had a disagreement, we would go to Queens, to speak with Rav Zelik Epstein. He was a klugge Yid.”
Then Rav Shmuel adds a few more words. “Lema’aseh, we never had to go.”


  1. What is inaccurate about this? I personally have no idea one way or the other, but you're claiming revisionist history - what is false here?

  2. ask someone from Philly about lack of disagreements between the two

  3. Kalonymus AnonymusOctober 28, 2019 at 1:50 PM

    Rav Swei famously called Rav Lamm a sonneh Hashem. He died shortly afterwards.

  4. Michael SchweitzerOctober 28, 2019 at 7:44 PM

    How is a Chareidi publication lying in order to preserve a fictional past news?

  5. what are you talking about?

    He called Dr. Lamm a soneh hashem some time in the late 90s. He died in 2009.

  6. Michael SchweitzerOctober 28, 2019 at 9:46 PM

    Read R' Prof. Marc Shapiro's book on the subject. It's quite a common phenomenon. History as you want to remember it, not as it was.

  7. Isn't he talking about a disagreement that was so severe they couldn't compromise or "agree to disagree." If he says they didn't go, it doen't mean they agreed on everything, does it?

  8. Yes,it's all unpleasant. He was struck down by illness and had to retire, so buy the 2000s, he was sadly Ill and unable to carry on.
    It's all very bad, none of this is good.

  9. I thought you meant that R' Elya was not his original partner in the founding of the yeshiva.

  10. Kalonymus AnonymusOctober 29, 2019 at 3:22 PM

    The very open minded Rav David bar Hayyim explained why he is not chareidi, and not Zionist. On the chareidi side, he says that chareidim tend to pick on one single issue and fixate on it. Now it seems he is quite correct.
    For the past several years, seems this blog cannot go beyond kamenestky, and Trump.
    Even the many good things that Rav kamenetsky has done are mocked.

  11. I have focussed on more than one issue :)


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