Sunday, May 02, 2010

Rav Aharon Soloveitchik z"l
With the pictures painted of Orthodox leadership these days, as stalwart, ever-certain and fixed in the knowledge and emunah as their disciples are of them, I have thought it worthwhile to post on this blog examples of different models of leadership. An example from Rabbi Ahron Soloveitchik;

In the summer of '75, Rav Aharon visited NCSY's Camp West in Big Bear, California. He spoke for hours to the teenagers, several of whom spoke of their personal problems practicing Yiddishkeit in not fully observant homes. After the last teenager left the room the Rosh Yeshiva began to cry. When the author asked him what was wrong he said "their courage, their strength - I don't know if I could be as brave as they are."

R. Soloveitchik has inspired and motivated thousands - and he vented tears and voiced doubt at his capacity to maintain faith and observance in the contexts so many have had to live in, the Rosh Yeshiva was empowered and inspired by the endurance of the masses who had so much less experience and knowledge in Torah lifeways, expressed self-doubt in comparison to their struggles. We can be motivated by the efforts of the students and by Rav Soloveitchik's self-consciousness and doubt in the face of the students unawareness of their strength and courage, of which in his scope and depth of lived knowledge of Judaism, he saw must be great to make such an effort.


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