Thursday, May 01, 2008

Rav Soloveitchik, YCT, and the Yated

Once again the Yated has written an article attacking Yeshivat Chovevei Torah (YCT). It can be found in its entirety at This time it is mostly based on Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik’s views as they impact on controversial positions YCT has adopted. Without getting into detail much of what they say is the same as what I have said. It is almost as if much of their article were plagiarized from my blog.

Just to cite one of the Yated’s critiques, Rav Soloveitchik surely would not have approved of interfaith dialogue. As the article points out:

In his 1964 essay Confrontation, Rabbi Soloveitchik banned interfaith dialogue with the Church.

But YCT seems to actively embrace this now - rejecting Rav Soloveitchik’s clear admonition against it. This has led Rabbi Darren Kleinberg - one of their rabbinic graduates - to host combined interfaith prayer sessions with Christians.

This and other rulings by Rav Soloveitchik are used to discredit the entire YCT enterprise. As I said, I have made these same arguments. In short I agree with much – but not all - of what that article says but am not as vehement in my criticism as they are.

But - I resent the fact that they use Rav Soloveitchik only when it suits their own purposes. It wouldn't bother me if they just disagreed with him but still gave him the respect he deserves. But their thinking is more along the lines of that Rosh Kollel / Shidach advisor who thinks we are required to hate Yeshiva University.

They do not value his views at all. But you wouldn’t know that from this article. You would think that Rav Soloveitchik is to be treated as the Gadol he was – even if their own Gedolim did not agree. If that were only true... But as we clearly see time and again that is not the case.

The Yated just uses Rav Soloveitchik as a hammer to make their point here but otherwise they throw him - and his Yeshiva - to the dogs.

If they want to use Rav Soloveitchik as their hammer on this issue or any other issue, it behooves them to first accord him the honor he deserves and apologize for all their past hostility toward him and his memory.