Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Rav and the Red Sox

Gil reminded us all that Rav Soloveitchik זצ"ל was a Red Sox fan. That's hardly a surprise, given the fact that he lived, and was enmeshed in the fabric of Boston Jewish life for over sixty years.

I once noted in a comment that all of us in Boston knew the Rav was interested in the Sox. Over the years, though, I've encountered two versions of his level of enthusiasm. (I just can't recall the sources, at the moment.)

One story has it that the Rav once started a meeting in Boston with an excited cmment about some recent development with the team (Something like: וואס מיינט איר וועגען די רעד סאקס!).

The other, somewhat milder story, has it that ythe Rav explained his expertise in the team stats by the intense interest in the Red Sox on the part of the members of his family (a fact to which I can attest personally).

Truth to tell, I find this intense interest (and reaction) to the human side of great people and, a fortiori, Gedole Yisrael to be amazing. We almost invariably put them into procrustean beds, and are then amazed at their humanity. I find this regrettable. Great men are alway 3 (or 4) dimensional, not 2.

5 comments:

the chocolate lady מרת שאקאלאד said...

Although it has no real connection to Boston, you might want to celebrate with some Boston Cream Pie
טעם גן־עדן
אָפצולעקן די פֿינגער!
mamesh optsulekn di finger

Anonymous said...

A prerequisite for "gadlus" is intellectual curiosity and that knows no bounds. One should collect and record the varied interests of some of the gedolim of the past generation. For example, I have been told that Rav Yaakov Kaminetzky ztz"l was interested in nature and knew the names of various trees and plants in the park. Rav Moshe Hirshler ztz"l, during his year at RIETS, had his talmidim take him touring - from the Brox Zoo to the Empire State Building to Washington D.C. Anyone have other anecdotal evidence of the curiosity of "gedolim"?
JH

Nachum said...

There's the story of how R' Shlomo Zalman would eavesdrop on the conversations of physics students who sat near him on the bus.

Menachem Butler said...

"That's hardly a surprise, given the fact that he lived, and was enmeshed in the fabric of Boston Jewish life for over sixty years."

Didn't the Rav spend a great deal of his week for several decades in New York City??

mycroft said...

Menachem Butler said...
"That's hardly a surprise, given the fact that he lived, and was enmeshed in the fabric of Boston Jewish life for over sixty years."

Didn't the Rav spend a great deal of his week for several decades in New York City??

he probably spent about 2 nights a week for maybe 35 weeks a year-thus less than 1/5 of his nights were spent in NY.
A reason for trusting the Boston mesorah more than other ones.