Thursday, December 17, 2009

We Are Family

There is no doubt in my mind about the Charedi credentials of Rabbi Moshe Grylak, editor in chief of Mishpacha Magazine. He learned in both Kol Torah and Ponevezh. And he was the founding editor of the Yated Ne’eman. You can’t get much more Charedi than that.

He has in the past shown not only a willingness to reach out to others and promote Achdus in Klal Yisroel but has actually done some concrete things in that regard. However nothing tops his most recent accomplishment.

I received the following e-mail from Marty Bluke:

There is a very long positive article about R' Shachter, RYBS and YU. They actually call YU a "fortress of Torah" and R' Shachter is described as "average height but colossal stature". For anyone who learned at YU this article is a must read.I have to say I am stunned that a Charedi magazine would publish such a positive article about a YU Rosh Yeshiva. I can't wait to see the letters in the next few weeks.

I too am stunned. I haven't bought this week's issue yet but I definitely plan to.

*Consider the comments of so many right wing figures that have referred to Yeshiva University (YU) as Treif/Pasul.

*Consider that Rav Elchanan Wasserman would not set foot into YU.

*Consider that some of the right wing's biggest rabbinic leaders have called the Rav an Apikores and former YU president and current chancellor, Dr. Lamm a Sonei HaShem.

*Consider that Yeshiva University has been strongly criticized by past Gedolim like Rav Gifter and current right wing Roshei Yeshiva like Rabbi Chaim Dov Keller.

*Consider all the controversy about Yeshiva University’s curriculum,

*Consider its student housing policies with respect to gays.

*Consider that some right wing rabbis and Roshei Yeshiva say it is Assur to attend YU and that it’s better to go to a secular college.

*Consider that Rav Hershel Schachter has been persona non grata at Agudah events (i.e. he will be boycotted by significant elements of Agudah if he were to be a featured speaker or scholar in residence).

*Consider that YU’s philosophy of Torah U’Mada is roundly rejected - if not outright condemned by most right wing rabbis and Rosehei Yeshiva.

…and those are just some of the controversies at YU - off the top of my head!

*Now consider that even though Mishpacha Magazine is not officially connected to any right wing rabbinic leaders - it definitely does not publish anything that they would generally oppose.

This is truly an amazing breakthrough. If it was done L'Shma for purposes of Achdus – which I believe it was - I applaud Rabbi Grylak for his courage. I do not always agree with him. But Achdus does not mean agreement. It means respecting each other’s differences. I never met the man. But there is no doubt in my mind that Moshe Grylak is all about Achdus and doing the right thing.

Hat Tip: Marty Bluke