The Agony Of Rabbi Jechiel Yaakov Weinberg

Professor Marc B. Shapiro blogs:

Yet while Weinberg wanted to live as a more modern type of rabbi, one who was a Zionist and academic scholar in addition to being a Torah sage, he wanted to be remembered as a gadol be-Yisrael. At the end of the day, he wanted his Torah works to be studied, and the only place for this was in the great yeshivot. So although he couldn’t live in their world, for posterity he would have wanted his legacy to be with them. However, I must also add the following: When Weinberg passed away all the great yeshivot were in the haredi orbit, so it would be natural that this is where he would want to be remembered. At that time, high level Torah study could hardly be found in the Mizrachi world. However, things are very different now, with the flowering of religious Zionist yeshivot of all sorts. If Weinberg were alive today, he would be able to feel fully comfortable in the religious Zionist world, since he would see the intensive Torah study and openness to secular learning of places like Maaleh Adumim, Har Etzion, and the like. Yet these yeshivot simply didn’t exist in his lifetime.

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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