Audio: Rav Gifter: “Diversity in Orthodoxy” & the Greatness of Maran Rav Shach

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rav-gifter[Audio below.] In honor of Rav Mordechai Gifter’s 10th yahrtzeit, we present one of his classic drashos, titled “Diversity in Orthodoxy.” Noteworthy is Rav Gifter’s uplifting words of admiration for the Rabbon Shel Kol Bnei Hagolah, Maran Rav Elazar Shach zt”l, the greatest oheiv Yisroel of his generation – “the head of the fanatics,” as Rav Gifter says. This is a must-listen. Listen and be inspired. Part 1: Click to listen:

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Part 2: Click to listen:

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{Yossi Newscenter}


  1. there’s a story behind this one, don’t know all the delails, but he was invited to speak in some synagogue about how the Yeshiva started, but when he came he saw on the poster that he was part of a sequence “Diversity in orthodoxy”, and the other speaker (some other night) was one who spoke against Rav Shach.

  2. Listen to the audio and you’ll hear Rav Gifter make a strong statement about Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz.

    When Matzav reported Rabbi Steinzaltz’s recent completion of his Shas, I remember some commenters questioning why Matzav called him “controversial.”

    Well, looks like Matzav has some pretty good company: Rav Shach and Rav Gifter. I’ll stick with Rav Shach and Rav Gifter, as Matzav did.

    All you others can find some other company.

    When our gedolim say something, they know what they are talking about.

    The void left by the passing of these two great Torah giants, Rav Shach and Rav Gifter, is so vast.

    Indeed, these were two of the greatest oheiv Yisroel. They loved every Yid and took every stance purely lesheim Shomayim. How lucky we were to have them.

    Thank you Matzav for your wonderful tributes to Rav Gifter today.

  3. If Matzav can get Chol Hamoed Pesach 1984, now that would be a real treat! One of his best all time.
    “The Cleveland Jewish News says ‘Zionism has cleansed us of the scourge of anti-semtitism.’ When did this happen? . . . I think these people should be put away until they get some sense in their noggins. Because until then, es duchtzach mir, all is empty in the belfry.”

    Or Telshe High School graduation 1953. A parent was honored to speak, and spoke of the greatness of graduating yeshiva high school and going to college. R’ Eli Meir gave Rav Gifter a nudge, and said something like “I can’t respond so well in English. You take care of it.”

    Rav Gifter then got up, without any preparation, and gave a drasha on shitos of yeshiva that were commonly understood in the 1980s and later, but was very novel in 1953.

  4. Moshe Dovid u r correct about the story behind this drasha.
    It wasn’t a poster that he saw when he arrived there but rather the thurs night before it took place Reb M.R. Barkin told him that they are having this series and the next speaker a week or 2 later was haskell lookstein
    Mr thought the rosh hayeshiva will back out once he heard the truth of what they were doing but instead the rosh hayeshiva said he will still except that now he is aware what he needs to say…….
    Btw it was in Taylor Rd syng

  5. #8. I know full well who the parent from Milwaukee was. His sons did go to college, and he was zoche to great hatzlacha from all of them. Even those that went into rabbanus, have college degrees.

    His mehalech, under his watch, and that of his brother in law the Bobover Rebbe, helped his sons succeed. But he was preaching to the hamon am, saying that what worked with his family, who are obviously unique, should be applied across the entire yeshiva world. That was not the perspective of the Litvishe gedolim, neither then nor now.

    Interesting to note, that almost all of the grandsons did NOT attend college. Those same sons who went to college did not put their children through that experience. Yes I know a few did. But the majority did not.

  6. I was there for this famous speech. He spoke at a BT modern orthodox shul. The Rav of the shul simply wanted to present 2 points of view. Rav Gifter was a like a lion. Left a big impression on us. I will never forget “YOU ARE EITHER A TORAH JEW OR YOUR NOT A TORAH JEW.

  7. Thank you, Matzav, from the bottom of my heart for the zechus of hearing the sweet, uplifting words of this pure heart and giant of spirit!

    I am not a Telshe talmid, and I only had the opportunity of hearing Rav Gifter Zt”l speak on a few occasions, but when I now hear this Prince of Torah speak, my heart aches with the realization of how sorely we are missing today, the strength and wisdom-of the great builders of Torah in America,of yesteryear.

    May we all be zoche to dedicate ourselves to Torah study and a Torah life as he wished for all of Klal Yisrael.


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