Rav Freifeld z"tl on Mussar in America

The sefer Reb Shlomo tells over the following interesting observation by Rav Freifeld regarding Slabodka’s success in America:


Reb Shlomo once remarked to a talmid that the Novardok style of mussar had never really caught on in America because “to be a gornisht, a nothing, one has to first be a zich, a something, and in America no one believes in his own self-worth.” (page 139)

While the Novardok network of yeshivos was rather extensive prior to World War II, it never was rebuilt as a network.  Slabodka (where Rav Freifeld’s rebbe, Rav Hutner learned) seemed to make more of an impact (just  look at a small list of those who attended Slabodka you’ll notice quite a few names that influenced the major yeshivos in America).  I’ve always wondered why Novardok didn’t really find a place in America.  Reb Shlomo’s insight says much about the Slabodka derech of building up a person and exposing their inner Kedusha.
 
Note:  The wesite Revach L’Neshama posted a brief biographical sketch today of the Alter of Novardok.

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