The Rav and the Rebbe

Published in Song of Teshuva,  a commentary on Rav Kook’s Oros HaTeshuvah by Rav Moshe Weinberger and adapted by Yaacov Dovid Shulman.

Rav Weinberger tells over the following story (pages 134-135):

When Rav Yosef Ber Soloveitchik went to a farbregen (a Chassidic gathering) on the occasion of the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s eightieth birthday, he was very impressed by the Rebbe’s brilliance and erudition.  But on the the way home, Rav Soloveitchik said that there was one thing with which he did not agreee.  When he offered the Rebbe a l’chaim (a toast), the Rebbe said, “Now the descendants of R. Chaim Volozhiner and the family of the Baal HaTanya have come together.”  Rav Soloveitch said that this was not true.  They had come together earlier, when Hitler had put the Chassid and the misnaged (the opponent of Chassidism) together in the same oven.  That was when we realized that there is no difference between one Jew and another.

It should not take someone who hates and persecutes the Jewish people to remind us that there is no difference between Jews on the level of the soul.  We must appreciate that the sould of every Jew is inseparable from the Congregation of Israel.

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5 thoughts on “The Rav and the Rebbe

  1. Garnel Ironheart

    I agree with your basic point but am troubled by its inevitable corollary: “Well if he/she was Jewish enough for Hitler…”

    Reply
  2. Bob Miller

    In the 1800’s there was already a collaboration in Jewish communal affairs between the Tzemach Tzedek of Lubavitch and Rav Yitzchak of the Volozhin Yeshiva.

    Reply
  3. Neil Harris

    Interesting, especially because I’ve heard (from several shelichim) that the Alter Rebbe was very into having his chassidim/students dress as misnagdim and try to stir things up.

    If I had to guess there is probably a long messorah of different types of yidden helping each other that has been swept under the rug in the name of opposition.

    Reply
  4. Anonymous

    I doubt the story happened this way. The enemies of Klal Yisroel never differentiated between Chasid and Misnagid when they would go on Pogroms. Furthermore, Rav Soloveichik had a connection with the Rebbe going back to Berlin, so why the Rebbe would make a comment like this now, is unclear.

    Reply

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