Like the Face of a Dog

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5 Responses

  1. Mordechai says:

    R. Menken – your point is well taken, but I do want to comment on one sentence.

    “R’ Yisrael never lived in a democracy, and probably knew nothing of what was going on in England, France and the United States even during his lifetime (1810-1883). ”

    R. Yisroel Salanter actually lived in France for a time, as well in Germany, in addition to within Lita.

    He was not a stereotypical cloistered scholar, ignorant of the outside world. He was a genius, and Jewish community activist, in addition to a great talmid chochom and tzaddik. A very astute and aware great Torah leader.

    So I think he definitely was aware (within the constraints of the period he lived in and the technology then) of life in other lands and milieus.

    • Yaakov Menken says:

      I’m certain he was very astute and aware, but I did not know he lived outside Lita. Thank you for the correction.

  2. AK says:

    Factual correction – Rav Yisroel Salanter actually lived in Paris towards the end of his life. I don’t think is is correct to say that “R’ Yisrael never lived in a democracy, and probably knew nothing of what was going on in England, France and the United States even during his lifetime”

  3. Eli Blum says:

    From the Jewish Encyclopedia:

    “Toward the end of his life [Rav Yisroel] Lipkin was called to Paris to organize a community among the Russian immigrants, and he remained there for two years.”

  4. Josh K says:

    I’ve seen this particular point thrown around occasionally to attack the non-frum, but it’s not clear to me that the language of the mishna exempts the Torah world or specifies a particular form of government.

    If someone can bring a good proof that it does, please do, but the language appears otherwise on its face and nothing in the famous R’ Salanter explanation gives us any kind of pass either.

     

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