Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Fie Lifshitz College Fie!!!

I am privileged to know many learned, pious people. One of these is Professor Shmuel Glick. Those of us who know and admire him, know him to be a God-fearing, Jew, a fine Talmid Hakham and a first class scholar.

Recently, Prof. Glick was appointed President of the Lifshitz Teachers College. The latter was always a center for Torah and Jewish scholarship, which boasted such luminaries (many of who with children and grandchildren in Efrat)as Binyamin Klar, Ephraim Urbach, Shraga Abramson, Nechama Leibowitz,Haim Hillel Ben-Sasson, Zelda and (mutatis mutandis)Avraham Grossman.
In recent years, obscurantist Hardali elements have gained an foothold in Lifshitz.

Now, these forces of ignorance have forced the rescinding of Prof. Glick's appointment because he was hitherto employed as the Librarian of the Schocken Library in Jerusalem. The Library is owned and operated as a research institution by the Jewish Theological Seminary. It does not ordain rabbis and it does not involve itself in the Conservative movement. Yet these 'know-nothing' Hardali elements are using this fact to prevent this distinguished scholar from moving the college out of their control.

Let me make this very clear. Prof Glick's research career at Schocken has absolutely nothing to do either with his qualifications or fitness to be the President of Lifshitz. What these rabbis, who wouldn't know a scholar if the fell on one, are doing violates at least a dozen Torah prohibitions and, more to that, drives another nail in the coffin of Modern Orthodoxy in Israel.

I urge everyone who seeks justice and supports our beliefs to protest this nefarious action. Call the college at: 02-5679567 or e-mail them at:


Anonymous said...

The link doesn't work.

Shlomo said...

I agree with you, but you are wrong on the facts. Glick taught Talmud and Halakhah at Machon Schechter. Does that change your mind? Are you comfortable with someone who taught at JTS running an Orthodox institution?

Kalman said...

It's all a question of money. Lifshitz was threatened that if Glick is appointed then certain rabbis will prohibit their students from going there, which would cause them to lose a lot of bucks.

Anonymous said...

according to your link, the late r avraham kahana shapira said r yuval sherlow is unfit to pasken or be a religious leader. does this change your perspective at all?

Seth (Avi) Kadish · אבי קדיש said...

Hi Rabbi Woolf. I am glad you published this, because English-speakers seem not to be aware of it. They are probably also not aware of the entire de-legitimization campaign that has been going on the past week or so with Israeli Torah scholars of a Modern Orthodox bent being dismissed as "neo-Reform". Prof. Glick's story came out exactly the same time and is part of the same phenomenon. You should provide links to both parallel stories.

Torah scholars in Israeli academia tend to be sheltered from this sort of thing most of the time. Unlike some of the rest of us who have suffered this kind of de-legitimization continually for years in our day-to-day lives within our religious communities. Maybe it takes an attack against a fine, well-regarded personality like Prof. Glick in order to draw public attention to the extent of problem and get people to start doing something about it.

A split within in Religious Zionism is called for and much needed. Such a split means having zero tolerance for the paslanim and for their institutions. And it means supporting local communities and institutions that don't tolerate paslanut.

Anonymous said...

reminiscent of the r ty kook and cecil roth at bar-ilan?

Jeffrey Woolf said...

R. Shapira's delegitimation of R. Yuval Sherlo doesn't at all change my mind. On the contrary, he was the rebbe of the Hardalim and set the tone for them.

As for the money issue. Pergaps that's an efficient factor. However, since it's cast as a religious argument it will be absorbed as such and the damage and Hillul HaShem will be the same.

Anonymous said...

David Fachler said...

Certainly you are fully entitled to disagree with R' Shapira's ideology of (what you term) delegitimation, but having known that a person of his calibre is "the rebbe of the Hardalim" is it not a bit much to say that they are "know- nothings...who wouldn't know a scholar if the (sic) fell on one"
You are obviously hurt by what they have done, but undermining talmidei chachamim of such calibre surely violates respect that is due to Torah giants.
R' Shapiro Zatzal's followers are very committed and knowledgeable. The bkiut displayed by Rabbi Shapiro was phenomenal and probably on the level of Rav Soloveichik. I am sure you would not appreciate such comments made of YU or Bar Ilan.
Such pettiness unfortunately confirms the cliche that academics are hypersensitive.