Monday, June 08, 2009

Rabbis Dessler, Hertz, Schechter and Jacobs walk into a bar...

When all else fails, cite an anecdote.
The only occasion I can recall, for instance, Rabbi [Eliyahu] Dessler at the Kolel making any reference to Jewish historical studies was when he was dismissive of Dr. Hertz's Humash. "What can you expect," he remarked, "of Schechter's disciple?"
Louis Jacob's autobiography Helping With Inquiries, pg. 63.

Of course, in fact R. Hertz was not Solomon Schechter's disciple, having graduated the old JTS in 1894, and assuming his first rabbinic position in South Africa in 1898. In 1898 Solomon Schechter was still at Cambridge; he did not arrive at the JTS until 1902. Still, the principle behind the position would hardly change given a reorientation of the facts.

1 comment:

  1. Obviously Dessler was dismissive of Jewish historical studies, and for good reason; he couldn't keep track of what happened thirty or forty years earlier!



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