Saturday, November 27, 2021

Out to Save the World

Warmly eulogized by the entire Torah world after his passing, in his lifetime he was both ridiculed as “Noach the meshugener” and subject to sharp criticism. Despite being the seminal figure in the modern baal teshuvah movement, he was rarely invited to address the general chareidi public, and a major rosh yeshivah once took to the pages of the Jewish Observer to attack the “religion of kiruv.”

No one who had such a vast list of things he wished to change could have failed to arouse critics. The Novominsker Rebbe, Rav Yaakov Perlow, in his eulogy for Rav Noach — a boyhood friend — hinted at the source of some of that opposition: “Often, those who burn with passion to right every wrong make others nervous.” The Rebbe confessed that in later years he would often cross to the other side of the street when he saw Rav Noach coming to avoid being confronted with questions about what he was doing to solve the problems of Klal Yisrael.



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