Bnai Brak Is Out Of This World

In his third lecture on Rabbi Joseph Elijah Henkin (the leading posek in America during the 1940s and 1950s) for Torah in Motion, Rabbi Marc B. Shapiro says:

Rav Ahron Kotler was able to squash yeshivas from having secular learning….but this was only for his sons. His daughter was a graduate student at Columbia in Political Science.

Bnai Brak has nothing to do with traditional Lithuania[n Jewish learning]. Bnai Brak could never have developed if people had to work and make livings. It’s an artificial society developed because people are able to live on public funds. Jews were not supported by the government in Lithuania.

You should see the way Lithuanian rabbis wrote about professors (often frum Jews with extensive secular educations). It was always with a sense of respect (unlike the way Hungarian rabbis wrote about professors and maskilim).

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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