Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Rav Dovid Eidensohn: Personal lessons from Rav Aharon and Rav Moshe

 Go to  to see three videos, two on Reb Aharon and one on Reb Moshe. Some download and some play.


  1. Yasher Koach Rav Dovid.

  2. R' Dovid - when were you a Talmid by R' Elyashiv? I mean in which years - did he have a Yeshiva?

  3. Eddie,
    I'll try to answer that question somewhat now. I learned by Reb Aharon when I was seventeen and eighteen. I learned by Reb Moshe about fifteen years later in Monsey when he visited his family and I would talk to him for long periods. I then got haskomose from him for my halacha seforim. Later on, probably in the nineties, I became involved in Gittin and in those days there was a crisis of Russian Jews who were becoming baalei teshuva and needed Gittin, but there were no rabbonim there who could do it. I made a Beth Din then under Rav Elyashev and we made Gittin for them and others. I would go to Israel from time to time and speak to Rav Elyashev. One of those times I asked him for his name for my Beth Din and he gave it. My chaverusa was furious at my chutspah and he was right. But all of my dealings with gedolim was chutspah.

  4. some chutzpah is good chutzpah

  5. Eddie,
    Here is chutspah diorayso. When I first started pestering Reb Moshe, I decided to ask him something very difficult that was far beyond my level. How could I wait until I was ready since Reb Moshe was old? That drove me all the time with all of the Gedolim. I asked Reb Moshe what the halacha was when a person is dying and wants to die because there is no cure and no relief from terrible pain. He told me if the person wants to die we may refrain from further surgeries. The video will tell what came next, as I discussed this with other gedolei hador. It is pure chutspah, but what else do I have? Later a major Rov told me that he had this problem and had nobody to ask, and did I rub it into him. Anyway, that's me.

  6. Thank you Moe Ginsburg. I am struggling to put together two more videos. One on Reb Moshe and one on Rav Elyashev. The first video was half an hour and made a lot of problems because it is too hard to work with properly and I had to struggle. Finally, I got it onto my website so that everyone can not only see it but download it and play it on their players or copy or elsewhere. But the size is a problem as it seems I already use the minimum format which is wmv. I may have to make smaller videos or sometimes they split the videos into ten minute slices. If anyone has ideas please let me know.

  7. Did Gedolim that you knew ever have an interest in mundane things, whether football, Coca-cola, politics etc? And at the time, were you in as much awe as we are today of previous generation Gedolim?

  8. I very much look forward to seeing both of them.

  9. Eddie,
    The Gedolim that I saw were so involved in Torah that nothing else meant anything to them. It is said of Reb Baruch Ber that when involved in a Rashbo he was unable to converse with anyone even about important matters for a long time. Politics are important for a Torah leader because safety of our community is at stake. Here Reb Aharon was fully involved with the world but others were not. But nobody played football. That said, the Mashgiach in Lakewood complained that people did not rest up enough or play during a break. In those days, serious learners often got seriously ill. So taking a break was necessary to survive. But few did.

  10. i guess,i can consider myself a talmid of Reb Moishe too,after all i met him twice in the elevator in his building and asked him a shailo,i might even consider myself a talmid muvhak because one summer i spent a weekend at the zuckers hotel where reb. Moishe used to spend his summers,and reb. Moishe called me over as he was sitting under a tree with a mishna in his hands,
    and asked if i would want to learn a couple of mishnes with him,of course i agreed,we learned three mishnas ,still remmember a chidush he was mechadash on one of those mishne's.

  11. Harry you have a serious problem in understanding - and derech eretz . A talmid doesn't mean someone who sat in a class listening to shiurim. Rav Chaim Volozhner was the talmid of the Gra - though the Gra did not have a yeshiva. He consulted with him on issues and received his guidance.

    There are people who do in fact sit in shiurim - but should not be considered talmidim because they absorb nothing and their derech and understanding is not the result of what they heard.

    I am surprised you are ignorant of Pirkei Avos which says "Be a talmid of Aharon"
    (3) משנה מסכת אבות פרק א
    (יב) הִלֵּל וְשַׁמַּאי קִבְּלוּ מֵהֶם. הִלֵּל אוֹמֵר, הֱוֵי מִתַּלְמִידָיו שֶׁל אַהֲרֹן, אוֹהֵב שָׁלוֹם וְרוֹדֵף שָׁלוֹם, אוֹהֵב אֶת הַבְּרִיּוֹת וּמְקָרְבָן לַתּוֹרָה-

    (12) משנה מסכת אבות פרק ה
    (יט) כָּל מִי שֶׁיֵּשׁ בְּיָדוֹ שְׁלשָׁה דְבָרִים הַלָּלוּ, מִתַּלְמִידָיו שֶׁל אַבְרָהָם אָבִינוּ. וּשְׁלשָׁה דְבָרִים אֲחֵרִים, מִתַּלְמִידָיו שֶׁל בִּלְעָם הָרָשָׁע. עַיִן טוֹבָה, וְרוּחַ נְמוּכָה, וְנֶפֶשׁ שְׁפָלָה, מִתַּלְמִידָיו שֶׁל אַבְרָהָם אָבִינוּ. עַיִן רָעָה, וְרוּחַ גְּבוֹהָה, וְנֶפֶשׁ רְחָבָה, מִתַּלְמִידָיו שֶׁל בִּלְעָם הָרָשָׁע. מַה בֵּין תַּלְמִידָיו שֶׁל אַבְרָהָם אָבִינוּ לְתַלְמִידָיו שֶׁל בִּלְעָם הָרָשָׁע. תַּלְמִידָיו שֶׁל אַבְרָהָם אָבִינוּ, אוֹכְלִין בָּעוֹלָם הַזֶּה וְנוֹחֲלִין בָּעוֹלָם הַבָּא, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (משלי ח), לְהַנְחִיל אֹהֲבַי יֵשׁ, וְאֹצְרֹתֵיהֶם אֲמַלֵּא. אֲבָל תַּלְמִידָיו שֶׁל בִּלְעָם הָרָשָׁע יוֹרְשִׁין גֵּיהִנָּם וְיוֹרְדִין לִבְאֵר שַׁחַת, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (תהלים נה), וְאַתָּה אֱלֹהִים תּוֹרִידֵם לִבְאֵר שַׁחַת, אַנְשֵׁי דָמִים וּמִרְמָה לֹא יֶחֱצוּ יְמֵיהֶם, וַאֲנִי אֶבְטַח בָּךְ:

    it doesn't mean that you met him in an elevator or even heard anything directly from him. But it means to learn his derech and approach to things.

    Rav Moshe would not have written about you what he has written about my brother.

  12. what was the chidush?

  13. Rabbi Eidensohn,so you actually agree with me that i can consider myself a talmid of reb. Moishe.LOL

    all kidding aside,you know full well what was bothering me,and i have a suspicion that if rav. David wouldn't be your brother,you would also find it strange that someone calls himself a talmid muvhak of reb.Moishe,reb.Aron and reb Eliashev,just by the fact that he had some halachik discussions with them

  14. @harry you have a serious problem. [btw I don't recall that he said was a talmid muvhak.] There are many rabbonim who consider themselves talmidim of a particular talmid chachom - even though they didn't attend the rebbe's yeshiva. In fact the Steipler said that there is no requirement to visit your rebbe on chol hamoed in these days nor to be concerned about the prohibition of psakened before your rebbe - because all of us are really talmidim of the standard seforim - including also your rebbe.

    Your basic premise seems to be that if you had asked Rav Moshe whether bacon was kosher you would not consider yourself a talmid so you reason that my brother shouldn't either - simply because he asked him some questions. What you refuse to accept - or perhaps it is beyond your comprehension - that my brother not only asked questions but proposed solutions and had these ideas criticized or praised with all these gedolim. Discussions didn't last for the 10 seconds it says to say mutar or assur but for hours over a period of years.

    Having known my brother for many years I can readily say he is a genuine talmid chachom - and not just because he is my brother.

  15. Moe,
    On my site I have now three videos, two on Reb Aharon and one on Reb Moshe. Some download and some play. The second video about Reb Aharon should only be watched when nobody is looking.

  16. Moe,
    I now have the three videos two on Reb Aharon and one on Reb Moshe available to play or download at

  17. Moe,
    Now there are at four videos two for Reb Aharon and two for Reb Moshe. Most of the videos can be played and one can be downloaded.

  18. Thank You very much for the wonderful shiurim.
    Maybe an mp3 file would come out as a smaller file.


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