Rav Meiselman: Yo’atzot to Poskot, Maharat and Rabbah is a “Natural Progression”

Thursday November 4, 2010 3:01 PM - 22 Comments

moshe-meiselmanIn an exclusive and groundbreaking interview in this week’s American Yated Ne’eman, Rav Moishe Meiselman, the rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Toras Moshe, one of the first yeshivos in Eretz Yisroel established to cater to American yeshiva bochurim, discusses a number of pressing topics, including bochurim learning in Eretz Yisroel and breaches in halacha and mesorah proposed by modern day feminism.

Rav Meiselman, a scion of the Brisker Soloveitchik family, also discusses his relationship with the Soloveitchik family and especially his uncle, Rav Yosef Dov Soloveitchik of Boston.

The following are some details from the fascinating interview:

- Rav Meiselman was born and raised in Boston and, in his words, is “perhaps the only rosh yeshiva today who never learned in a proper yeshiva.”

- Rav Meiselman, from the time he was 18 years old until 29, learned with his uncle, Rav Yosef Dov Soloveitchik, bechavrusah, for hours, virtually on a daily basis.

- In 1982, Rav Meiselman established Yeshiva Toras Moshe, named after his grandfather, Rav Moshe Soloveitchik.

Commenting on bochurim learning in Eretz Yisroel, he says, “There is so much kedushah, so much Torah, that a bochur can absorb in Eretz Yisroel. Unfortunately, on the other hand, where there is a lot of kedushah, there is a lot of hefkeirus… If a bochur comes to Eretz Yisroel and lives an unstructured life, not only is he squandering the unique benefits that he could otherwise have gained from being exiled to a makom Torah, but he would probably have been better off staying in America, where at least there is some parental and yeshiva supervision. Today, being a bochur in an unsupervised or loosely supervised atmosphere in Eretz Yisroel constitutes a churban.”

Rav Meiselman also speaks about a book he authored called “Jewish Women in Jewish Law.” and the interplay between feminism and Orthodoxy.

In commenting on the so-called left-wing of Modern Orthodoxy to try creating innovations with regard to women, Rav Meiselman says, that “when it comes to the rabbis and the people who are at the forefront of pushing for these changes so that they can ‘update’ Orthodoxy to conform with today’s ‘progressive’ cultural norm…[the] common denominator between nearly all of them is that they are largely ignorant of halacha and devoid of serious Torah scholarship. If your knowledge of Torah and halacha are limited, then you are not limited by halacha. One is never confined by things that one doesn’t know and never learned!”

Rav Meiselman continues: “Additionally, all of them, even those who do have some degree of Torah knowledge, have no sense of mesorah, of the sanctity of mesorah. They have no innate sensitivity, no feel for what true Yiddishkeit is, nor any hachna’ah, any sense of humbling oneself, before the great poskim - both past and present - who do know something and who do understand what mesorah and Yiddishkeit mean.

“Basically, they are people who conceive ideas of what they perceive that Judaism should allow and blame it on the Torah. As it were, they paint a bull’s eye and then draw the target around it, trying to force the Torah into it and make it fit.

Rav Meisleman was asked about the concept of ‘yo’atzot,’ so-called women rabbinic advisors who rule on some areas of taharas hamishpacha.

If you are an am ha’aretz,” says Rav Meiselman, “you don’t understand why a woman am ha’aretz can’t pasken a shailah. It started with yo’atzot, progressed to poskot, Maharat, and finally Rabbah. It’s a natural progression. When am ha’aratzim with no deep innate religious sense of the authenticity of Yiddishkeit and mesorah implement an agenda-driven innovation, these things are the inevitable outcome…”

Read the full interview in this week’s American Yated Ne’eman.

{Matzav.com Newscenter}

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22 Responses to “Rav Meiselman: Yo’atzot to Poskot, Maharat and Rabbah is a “Natural Progression””

1. Comment from talmid
Time November 4, 2010 at 3:25 PM

Very interesting and strong words from the Rosh Yeshiva Shlita
I look forward to reading the whole interview in the paper

May the Rosh Yeshiva hach koach and gezunt

2. Comment from Ben Torah
Time November 4, 2010 at 3:50 PM

Yasher Koach for relating the godol’s veracious words.

3. Comment from Fresser
Time November 4, 2010 at 5:26 PM

Hazak Ubaruch! Well said!

4. Comment from Yossel
Time November 4, 2010 at 5:35 PM

Rav Meiselman is a true gadol. Chazak. We are lucky to have him.

5. Comment from You Know It
Time November 4, 2010 at 5:48 PM

Rav Meiselman long ago idenitified what the AVi Weiss types want to do.
We need more people like him speaking about this.

6. Comment from ger
Time November 4, 2010 at 6:00 PM

I can’t wait to read the
whole interview.
Here is a rosh yeshiva who truly knows that a bochur needs hadracha, which is so true
and it is also true that Toras Moshe produces outstanding talmidim, credit to the rosh yeshiva

7. Comment from shmuel s
Time November 4, 2010 at 6:05 PM

the progression actually started with R Soloveitchik allowing women to learn gemmarrah. Of course R Soloveitchik felt that was a natural progression from the advent of the Bais Yaakov movement which was sactioned by the gedolei Hador of that time.

8. Comment from Anonymous
Time November 4, 2010 at 6:09 PM

Yoatzot are a disaster. I have spoken to famous rabonim who have ahd to do patchwork bec of the damage of these women rabbis This new invetnion of the rabbah and maharata is a churban.

9. Comment from reconsider
Time November 5, 2010 at 12:12 AM

You headline for this article is really out of context. If one reads only your eye-grabbing headline, he will think that the rosh hayeshivah holds by the opposite of what was actually said.

10. Comment from acharei mos ‘titamu’
Time November 5, 2010 at 12:15 AM

To # 7
Its quite obvious that you have no clue of what R soloveitchik really said.

11. Comment from To #8
Time November 5, 2010 at 12:15 AM

You shouldn’t be motzi shem ra.

12. Comment from Dovid
Time November 5, 2010 at 2:55 AM

wen it comes to yoatzot there are better and worse ones.

13. Comment from GG Jew
Time November 5, 2010 at 5:33 AM

NOTE TO EDITOR: Change the title of this piece! It gives the completely wrong impression that Harav Meiselman AGREES with these people ch’v!

14. Comment from cohen
Time November 5, 2010 at 7:24 AM

TorahMusings.com a center-left website run by Gil Student(who keeps tabs on the frum sites) links its visitors to articles such as this one.The blogs are often not so typical of MATZAV readers.

15. Comment from Yitzchak
Time November 5, 2010 at 10:41 AM

Also, impressive to note that Rabbi Meissleman obtained a doctorate in Mathematics from MIT in 1967.

16. Comment from shmuel s
Time November 5, 2010 at 10:41 AM

To #10
If you read what Rabbi Soloveitchik himself wrote and said you will see that I am correct . His personal writings and transcripts of recordings of his opinions are available. You might disagree but you cant deny.

17. Comment from Simcha
Time November 5, 2010 at 2:50 PM

Is the Rabbi Soloveitchik from Boston related to the Rav Soloveitchik from YU? I don’t see any mention of it.

18. Comment from jewinjerusalem
Time November 6, 2010 at 4:08 PM

to #17- The reason you don’t see anything about it is because the world except for you knows the answer.

19. Comment from Chaya - EY
Time November 7, 2010 at 4:03 AM

Editor: I join those who ask you to change the title. It gives the complete opposite impression of what Rav Meiselman shlita actually says!

20. Comment from Yaakov
Time November 7, 2010 at 4:02 PM

Rabbi Meiselman is a gadol who is both articulate enough to voice his oppinions and courageous enough to not back down. His honesty and candor are truely refreshing.

21. Comment from Sheldon
Time November 7, 2010 at 5:55 PM

To You Know It #5,

What is an Avi Weiss type?

An Ohev Yisroel.
An Ohev Am Yisroel.
An Ohev Eretz Yisrael.
An Ohev Medinat Yisrael
An Ohev Torat Yisrael.
An Eved Ha Kadosh Boruch Hu
A Mekarev Rechokim.

You are correct. We do need more people like the Avi Weiss types.

22. Comment from Jonny
Time November 7, 2010 at 10:39 PM

Yes, Rav Soloveitchik from Boston is the same as from YU

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