Thursday, October 15, 2015

A Public Condolence Call

I have been informed of the Petirah (death) of Rabbi Ysocher Katz’s father. I am not in the habit of offering public condolences.  Although I do occasionally post eulogies, they are done either because of a personal connection or because of my admiration for the deceased. I did not know Rabbi Katz’s father or anything about him. But he raised a beautiful son in R’ Ysocher. I’m sure he was proud of him until his last dying breath.

I am making an exception now because Rabbi Katz has been the recipient of much criticsm here. Which may lead people to think I do not value him. But that would be the furthest thing from the truth. That I often strongly disagreed with many of his Hashkafos, in no way did I ever impugn his religiosity or his intentions. Which are to bring young Jews who might become alienated from their heritage because of the current Zeitgeist - closer to Torah. There is not a doubt in my mind about that being his motive.

Because I have so strongly criticized his views in the past and because by pure happenstance my latest critical post coincided with the death of his father, I feel moved to offer my sincere and public condolences. He deserves no less.

As I have said more than once - I actually admire his journey if not his destination. I admire his courage – even as I disagree with him - in stating what he must know are very controversial views about Orthodoxy .

He is now in mourning for his father and sitting Shiva. My heart goes out to him as a fellow Frum Jew.  May God comfort him amidst the gates of the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem. 

HaMakom Menachem Eschem B’Soch Shaar Avelei Tzion V’Yerushalayim.