The Zionist Conspiracy
Monday, October 09, 2006
Rav Soloveitchik, Charedim and Yom Haatzmaut
Contrary to the opinion of many non-charedi observant Jews, few charedim go around referring to Rav Soloveitchik in a derogatory manner. Rather, particularly among the masses in the charedi world, Rav Soloveitchik is largely irrelevant.
Indeed, during my four years in the high school of a major charedi yeshiva, I can recall the name of Rav Soloveitchik being mentioned only one time. It was in May 1989, on Yom Haatzmaut. The following exchange took place in the 11th grade class. (While I am paraphrasing, I can represent that the substance is accurate.)
Rebbi: Okay, let's start the gemara.
Student: Rebbi, can I ask a kasha?
Rebbi: Go ahead.
Student: Why don't we celebrate Yom Haatzmaut today?
Rebbi: What does this have to do with the gemara?
Student: It doesn't have to do with the gemara. I just don't understand ... don't we love Eretz Yisroel?
Rebbi: We need to show we love Eretz Yisroel by keeping a Zionist yontif?
Student: But why davka do we not keep Yom Haatzmaut?
Rebbi: Because the gedoilim said so.
Student: But what about Rav Soloveitchik?
Rebbi: What about him?
Student: He's a gadol and he holds that Yom Haatzmaut should be celebrated.
Rebbi: Is he a gadol? I'm not so sure that he's a gadol. He's ... a big talmid chocham. But I don't know if he's a gadol.
Student: In YU they consider him a gadol.
Rebbi: And that makes him a gadol? Their hashkofas are different.
Student: What about for them, they can keep Yom Haatzmaut and we can't?
Rebbi: No. Let's say he is a gadol. The other gedoilim say we don't hold by Yom Haatzmaois. So we go by the roiv. Now, let's get back to the gemara.