Thursday, March 15, 2018

rabbi pelvovitz

the following was written by Rabbi Yair Hoffman for the Five Towns Jewish Times:
He was the dean of the Orthodox American Rabbinate. A graduate of Yeshiva Torah VaDaas, and a Talmid of Rav Shlomo Heiman zt”l, he served as the Rav of the White Shul in Far Rockaway for decades. He lived in the Far Rockaway community for six decades. The Torah community mourns the loss of a remarkable Rav – Rabbi Rephoel Pelcovitz z”l.
Rabbi Pelcovitz loved people. He loved his congregants. He loved people that he encountered on a day to day basis.  He was a great Talmid Chachom. He was an author.  He was a translator. His translation of the Seforno is truly a Torah classic and will remain thus for centuries to come. The footnotes in this translation demonstrate his profound erudition and understanding.
Rav Pelcovitz prompted people to think and to re-examine aspects of their lives.  He had a warm infectious smile which helped in this task of his. He was also an accomplished speaker with remarkable content.
I was privileged to see his remarkable Shabbos parsha notes. The published sefer of his drashos are only a small part of it. The unpublished notes are a treasure trove for any Rav.
Rav Pelcovitz always had a tell-it-like-it-is style. I sat with Rav Pelcovitz to hear what he had to say on contemporary Jewish society.  He felt that we are not emphasizing the role of Eretz Yisroel in our Yiddishkeit and our need to support it even more.  He was very saddened that Torah Jews are not taking a greater role in helping combat the BDS movement, for example.  Below are some more of his thoughts:

Rabbonim should increase how they address the area of the Ben Odom lechaveiro.  Who is a frum Jew?  How do you define and how does one reach a point where he is entitled to the title that he is a religious frum pious person?  What are the yardsticks?  The current yardsticks re skewed, wrong or incomplete.  When a secular person asks how could a religious Jew be so unethical, so immoral?  Is it not important to teach ourselves that the simplest answer to that question is that it is wrong.  He is not entitled to that title as a frum Jew.  Keeping Kashrus, tzitzis and Shabbos does not entitle him to be called a religious Jew if in fact he is dishonest or immoral.

The Yeshivos and Bais Yaakovs and other schools – Are the Yeshiva Gedolos today teaching derech eretz to their students?  Can you tell, looking at a young man or woman in public, whether he or she is a Talmid of a seminary or a Bais Yaakov or could he just as well be a student of any college or secular high school?  I have noticed that too many of these young people, especially the boys, lack simple basic fundamental behavior of derech eretz.
Derech eretz to an older person, to a teacher or a Rav and to their companions – their chaveirim.  Some claim that because we live in a relatively affluent society – one of entitlement – where the average youngster has never really been confronted with any kind of challenge when it comes to their lifestyle.. They have never gone hungry been denied a new suit or dress.  They enjoy many of the luxuries which they do not even consider luxuries.. Has this spoiled them and affected their personalities and character?  Are parents sensitive to this lack in their children?  If so, might it be that they themselves are insensitive in this area.  Is the kavod that a student once had for a teacher, fifty years ago or 100 years ago in Europe or in this country – is that still operative today?  It would be interesting to ask this of many Rabbonim and teachers and compare it with what old-timers would say.


  1. Sounds like he we a leading Modern Orthodox Rabbi. Pro-Zionism, opposed to the contemporary Chareidi Yeshiva system, etc.

  2. Can you tell, looking at a young man or woman in public, whether he or she is a Talmid of a seminary or a Bais Yaakov or could he just as well be a student of any college or secular high school?

    Most definitely! !00%!

    There must be something missing from this question, as it is so clear that there is such a marked and recognizable difference between a Bais Yaakov or [real] yeshiva student and a public school student.

  3. You mean because he was machmir on derech eretz?

  4. That was his non-MO side.

  5. It's very sad that you folk use the same language as sonei yisrael. Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran, Isis all share your hatred of zionism, as well as atheist-communists, Russian khielmnecki types, new nazis and white supremacist terrorist groups. You just have to talk about the Rothschilds as well and you become one of their hasidim.

  6. The Ohr Sameach warned against Jews said Berlin is Jerusalem. But I think he must have got this idea from Theodore hertzel.

    Herzl suggest that the Jews are our people and not Germans and he was opposed by orthodox and reform rabbi's. This article also shows he never called for mass conversion quite the opposite.

  7. It's sad you support Zionism like the Evangelical Christians do, for purposes of fulfilling their prophetic beliefs in the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

  8. Some support shivat Zion because they accept the true part of the Bible, but went wrong after divrei hayamim. Zionism was invented by the Neviim, and Ramban was an early Zionist. Orthodox Jews generally accept ramban as a Torah giant.

  9. You have no idea what Zionism is.

  10. oh - Zionism has different meanings. If you ask a Palestinian, they will say it is the mitzvah of Kibbush haAretz, which is why they hate it. If you ask followers of Rav Kook, or Rav Kalischer, it is to return the people to eretz Yisrael, in the vision of Yechezkel. To others it means changing the reality of being slaughtered - and this requires armed force. Some see it as Atchalta D'geula. Unfortunately, The satmar Rebbe whom you speak so highly of, saw it as work of stand and demons, and considered it better to die that to escape Europe "at least for his followers". This is why I mentioned elsewhere Hilchot Rotzeach. The Army, according to your folk is assur. I am not talking about women and women singing and all that stuff, but the basic fighting wars as has been done for 70 years.
    I have always argued that to say we cannot have an army is a denial of Hilchot Rotzeach, since we are commanded to rise up and fight the rodef.


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