Monday, July 25, 2022

Rav Moshe Tendler

 As a son-in-law of the posek hador, Rav Moshe Tendler quickly became a major figure in Rav Moshe Feinstein’s positions on Jewish law and bioethics, writing many articles in prominent medical and Torah journals alike.


 This was a major problem in the yeshiva world as he and his son would assert that a certain view was from Rav Moshe and it wasn't accepted as such.

I once net him at a simcha and said to him,"Since you are the main source of Rav Moshe's knowledge of scientific information Why did Rav Moshe state that Natural child birth  is merely a trick to convince the woman she is not experiencing pain?" He replied that he "was not Rav Moshe's main source and that though he was not aware of this particular tshuva which is in Igros Moshe he agreed fully with it."


When Rav Moshe was niftar I was told that a number of major poskim went to Rav Dovid and asked him to clarify the major disputes regarding Rav Moshe's true views. He replied "let them believe what they want but I refuse to get involved in a public dispute in these matters." I was also told that this was in fact Rav Moshe' own attitude toward public disputes. As a consequence there is still not a clear view on many issues.


  1. Did Rav Moshe in his lifetime consider himself as the Posek hador, or just a regular posek?

  2. Rav Dovid told me he never heard the words daas Torah from his father to justify a psak.
    He acknowledged that he was fallible. See my post on the two approaches he had to psak

  3. I mentioned Rav Dovid statement to Mordechai Tendler

    He disagreed he said at one time his father wanted to make a medical school and Rav Moshe was opposed to the idea
    He said Rav Moshe said since I am recognized as the Posek hador you must listen to me. This was the only occasion he remembered hearing such a statement

  4. Did he give reasons?
    That is in keeping with the hareidi world view. Rav Hutner proposed a Y + U programme, and Rav Aharon opposed it.

    It is understandable - and why should Rav tendler alienate his father in law, just to build another YU, they have one already.

  5. On the other hand - he was only human, perhaps he was talking informally to family, and not about to write a teshuva, so just took a short cut. It is not possible for somebody to never be informal, tired, frustrated etc.

  6. there is no "chareidi: world view regarding college - Rav Aharon definitely was against Rav Hutner's desire for a college program. But I met one of Rav Aharon's talmidim who was a math professor and he said that Rav Aharon told him to go to college. Rav Ruderman also encourage college. While Rav Moshe was against college many of the students at mtj went to evening classes. Rav Belsky refused to get a high school diploma so he wouldn't be tempted to go to college. Rabbi Freifeld told me he wanted to have a frum college and said I could be a professor. In addition he insisted that I finish graduate school so I would have an easier time with parnossa and thus could keep learning Torah. Rav Shach was also against college. Bottom line college is not a clear cut Chaeridi litmus test

  7. Right, but yeshiva-College, ie combining a yesiva with a college, is frowned upon.
    The exception is Rav ruderman. Was he ever attacked by anyone?

  8. It doesn't seem to have had any effect on him.

  9. Rav Shach played an important role.
    He told Rav Leff to be the head of Marava - which provides secular studies at the high school level but he also publicly attacked Maarava. When Rav Leff found out about this he told Rav Schach he was quitting Maarava. Rav Schach responded it's my job to attack it and your job to direct it.
    A similar event happened regarding Pro Leo Levi's sefer on Torah study which had haskoma's from Rav Yakov Kaminetsky. Rav Ovadiah Yosef and the Gerrer Rebbe, While he criticizes certain aspects of the sefer. Rav Nosson Kaminetsky ttold me that Rav Shach called him saying he had written criricism but he wanted Rav Nosson to see it before he released it to make sure it was not viewed as attacking Rav Yaakov

    A similar balancing act was needed regarding Ner Israel and YU

  10. Thank you, previously I've seen the bit about rav leff, but not the rest.

    I thought about the first, and my private conclusions are now confirmed by the rest of what you have written.

    A) rav shach did not have any "daas Torah" (Divine guidance /truth), but acted on his own speculation and calculations.

    B) has misled many into sin, by them following his stratagems too literally, and hating blindly whomever he attacked.

    Did he play a divine role, or one of sin-as chinnam? Many of his chassidim were calling YU reform.

    Oh, one more reason he didn't have daas Torah - you cannot have something that doesn't exist. It's a fiction, like the emperor's new clothes. It benefits the emperor. But look at the churban in ponovezh today.

  11. Wow!
    total nonsense Centrists are truer Jews than chareidim?!

  12. Wow now you are the holy judge of those greater than you! Only Rackman could have said it better

  13. Sir, you said it yourself - gemara that says those who work for a living are greater than those who rely on their bitachon.

  14. Apart from a handful who had privy to these behind the scenes actions, most people were unaware of this game play.
    Greater or not - there are unintended consequences. I'm not suggesting that this does not apply to modern O innovations, it clearly does.
    It applies to all groups.
    You cannot shoot a gun and rely on " it was not me it was my hand" excuse. The Talmud already teaches pseik resha as a law of causality.
    Regarding Daas Torah, nobody has proven its existence. Many hold that it is a myth.

  15. Our sages say in Berachos (8a): Greater is the one who obtains his livelihood through his efforts than one who only fears G‑d.

  16. Some of the points he made are valid. this article is from 1988.
    There is no actual "unity" amongst the various groups who all claim to be "haredi". There is violence even within the yeshivas, between Satmar factions, in the Eda factions etc. And the Hareidi world has gradually accepted that it needs to train more people in careers.

    This does not mean being a centrist or modern is without its risks, it has problems of its own.
    Even if you refer to the articles about Rav Moshe , yes he opposed setting up a new Medical school, but like the great poskim, he had to consult with scientific experts in order to make psak.

  17. Which means that going to vocational school is superior to studying Torah?

  18. As the population grows, so does its economic needs.
    Economy keeps developing. Can diamonds sustain the hareidi boom? There are now synthetic Diamonds, perfect optically, but manufactured, eg by Benny landa in Israel.
    So even frummers may need training to get jobs, eg in computing.
    There are many bt , ex MO,and TIDE haredim with degrees and earning a living from them.
    I read that in ponovezh, the Rav povarsky camp looked upon Rav Shach with suspicion, as his son was an otd professor. So much of his rhetoric was nothing Holy, but just to prove to his rivals that he is frummer than they are.
    Today they do the same, but with chairs, fists, and tear gas.

  19. Truth hurts

  20. Do you think hareidi acceptance of gadol makes him Adam harishon before the fall?

  21. Today, rule by Daas Torah has disappeared. When shmuel aurbach started his rebellion, it ended the era of daas Torah.
    Ponovezh has been unable to produce new gedolim. It has destroyed thousands, but no new gedolim have come out of the process. The young street thugs there are like the Japanese soldiers in the jungle, still fighting a war that is long over.

  22. Wow! What a creative imagination. And you know this how?

  23. It's not about knowing. It's about seeing. This is how I perceive what I see. What do you see?

  24. Was he opposed to setting up new medical schools? Or he was opposed to the idea of his son in law doing so himself?
    If the former, what is the philosophical opposition?

  25. I once net him at a simcha and said to him,"Since you are the main source of Rav Moshe's knowledge of scientific information Why did Rav Moshe state that Natural child birth is merely a trick to convince the woman she is not experiencing pain?"

    Not sure I understand the statement or the shaila based on it. Could you please elaborate on this? What is the claim being made about natural childbirth, and what is the question about this claim?

  26. In other words the woman experiences full pain but she convinces herself that it really isn't hurting.
    My basic questionis that while pain is subjective when relaxed there is less pain so in fact anything which removes anxiety and fear or distracts - will in reality reduce pain

  27. The story seems redundant, as YU had Albert Einstein Medical school. So what exactly would this new school be? Rav tendler was prof of biological science at yu.

  28. but there was no balancing act with YU - it was simply ruled treif in the Rav Shach era.
    Since Rav Elyashiv and Kanievsky ztl , and the rise of Rav Hershel Shachter, YU seems to be half acceptable again.

  29. The leaders of the generation are like dogs. They run in front but keep looking over their shoulders to make sure people are following. If people change direction, they run in that direction too and announce that they're still leading.
    Rav Tender, zt"L, said stuff that "the Gedolim" and their followers didn't want to hear because it wasn't what they thought Rav Moshe, z"tl, SHOULD have said. Oh well.
    (Irony: Rav Moshe,zt"l, more than once dealth with problematic psaks from earlier authorites by announcing they must be forgeries because they didn't fit the pattern he was expecting)


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