About Them O’s

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8 Responses

  1. joel rich says:

    And so, when locals here in the “big city” ask where I’m from, although I have no idea what the reply “Baltimore” elicits in their minds, I say the word loudly and clearly, letting the sound of my voice convey my pride.

    As well you should, but we should all keep in mind that Baltimore, Borough Park, Teaneck….. are all in Galut. If there\’s one thing Jewish history has taught us (in fact imho demands us) to remember, it\’s that we are but temporary residents here( wherever \”here\” is in Galut).

    May HKB\”H have mercy on his people and his land,

  2. Gershon says:

    And not one mention of Rav A. N. Schwartz of TA? Where would good ol’ Balmer be without TA?

  3. Steve Brizel says:

    Baltimore is a great place to visit and raise a family. As far as I can tell, there have always been great relationships between Ner Yisrae, the Park Heights and Greenspring commmunities. R C Teller wrote a beautiful book on the late principal of the BY of Baltimore (R Steinberg ZTL-IIR the name) who IMO exemplified sound chinuch and Ahavas Yisrael in a manner very similar to R M Besdin, the RY of JSS.

  4. mycroft says:

    I am very glad every time Cross Currents gets Rabbi Shafran to publish a piece of his.
    “Baltimore’s formative years benefited from the presence of Torah giants like the founding dean of the Ner Israel Rabbinical College, Rabbi Yaakov Yitzchok Ruderman and the illustrious Rabbi Shimon Schwab; and of an assortment of groundbreaking educators and communal activists”

    Before Rabbis Ruderman and Schwab ZT”L wasn’t Baltimore a comparatively religious city. Rabbi Rice lived in Baltimore more than 70 years before Rav Ruderman came there. Didn’t TA start in Baltimore 15? years or so before Rav Ruderman came there-before there were many day schools in the US.

    A general query it is not politically correct to say this-given the gdolim who came to America and at least lived during my lifetime but could the reason why Rav Ruderman went to BAltimore because Baltimore was not a total midbar. Similar to the reason why Rav A.Kotler ZT”L went to Lakewood because at the time R. Waxman who was a close talmid of Rav Kotlers father-in-law was in Lakewood, and helped support the establishment of BMG there.
    This is not to downplay the leading roles of Ravs Ruderman, Schwab and Kotler in helping bring Torah to the US.
    Of course I note with interest that all the names that Rabbi Shafran mentions are those from the machane of Agudah.

  5. Larry Cohen says:

    With all due respect to Rabbi Shafran, I disagree with the “fact” that Baltimore is better than other cities in that “Baltimore Jews of different stripes and affiliations and levels of observance (or lack of observance) see their commonality before their differences;”. The fact is that today’s Baltimore Orthodox community has little or no contact with the non-orthodox community. You can even say that within the Orthodox community, Jews of diferent kippas/hats don’t have anything to do with each other. With the establishment of the many new day schools, children only go to school with kids just like them. With the establishment of shuls on every corner, adults daven only with people just like them. Some may say “good Shabbos” to people that don’t look just like them, but many ignor others that aren’t dressed like them. But Rabbi Shafran should remember that in the 60’s & 70’s it was at TA that we both graduated from, that gave him the opportunity to go to school with kids who wore a black kipa, knit kipa or kids who didn’t come from a Shomer Shabbat home but went to TA because their parents wanted them to have a Jewish life.
    It was the Baltimore of the 70’s, where Jews of all stripes got along!! My oldest son is a 4th generation TA graduate, so I also have ties to Baltimore as far back if not further that Rabbi Shafran. TA used to be a community school. Batimore once was a Jewish community that lived with each other and respected each other. Today, we live seperately, daven seperately, and even pray for Israel seperately. In the 60’s & 70’s TA, Bais Yaakov, and all the Reform, Conservative, & Orthodox Hebrew schools walked for Israel — TOGETHER. Today, we barely do it seperately. How many non-Orthodox congregations were invited to participate at the Tehillim rally at Shaarei Zion? I bet none were even told about. Do we not think that their prayers count?? I don’t want to say who is responsible for this “wonderful” occurrance. In the 60’s & 70’s Baltimoreans thought we were living in the Yerushalayim of America, Now it’s more like the Mea Shaarim of America. Yes, we have more kosher restaurants, yes there is more Torah learning. It is a shame that with all the Torah learning, we have less love for our fellow Jews. If you want to see how Jews get along with each other, go to a city where the Orthodox community is small. Because then we need the non-orthodox. Sadly, we have become like Boro Park and other “great” Orthodox cities – so full of ourselves that we look down on those not just like us, because our numbers are so great that it allows us to. Not what I would call a Kiddush Hashem, then again I’m just a TA graduate from the 70’s. Larry Cohen

  6. Michoel says:

    Larry Cohen,
    Shalom Aleichem. I don’t agree with you. Bigger communities are always a bit less freindly than smaller ones. People just tend to take the existence of other Jews for granted. I don’t think that it is “l’shem pirud”. My son just told me yesterday that at his Summer camp he has friends from TA, TI and Rambam. When TA makes there annual carnival for the entire community, the entire community comes. Same is true of the P’tach carnival. We sent our oldest to the Montessouri preschool with lots of kids from all kinds of homes including non-Orthodox. He now goes to TI. We are not exceptional. When you have more shuls and more schools, there is less interaction. That is just a fact of life.

  7. Ittzy says:

    I believe Rabbi Shafran is remiss in not mentioning Rav Yitzchok Sternhell Z”TL a spiritual pillar of the traditional Orthodox “olam” who was the “posek” of Baltimore for many years.

  1. August 13, 2006

    Haveil Havalim #82…

    Welcome to the 82nd edition of Haveil Havalim, the best of the Jewish and Israel related blogosphere. If you’re a blogger who’d like to host or participate in the future please check below. Links to previous editions are below. The UN ceasefire agree…

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