3/20/2006

Rosh Yeshiva Asks: Why-U need to make Aliyah?

Me-ander writes about the recent YU Alumni Shabbaton in Israel, inaugurating an entire week of high-profile YU events in Israel. I think YU has great potential in Israel. They potentially bring something to the table which doesn't otherwise exist in the Israeli landscape. Kudos to them, and keep it up.

But this shaleshudis thing should have been avoided. First of all, of all people to address a crowd of American olim, why a yoreid? Their respective life trajectories seem opposed.
Moreover, this particular Rosh Yeshiva (and anyone who knows YU, knows that it can only be one person) was brought into YU because he has a particular appeal. YU is able to produce its own Roshei Yeshiva, the mark of a successful and serious yeshiva; nevertheless, the presence of an Israeli RY, and this RY in particular, certainly contributes to the overall landscape of YU Torah. The novelty of having an Israeli RY, however, is pretty much lost on people who actually LIVE in Israel. They get to see Israeli Rabbis all the time. To my mind, it would've made a heck of a lot more sense for an American YU RY to speak. R' Blau, who doubles as President of the American Mizrahi movement, would've been a good choice. I've heard RHS speak, in Israel (about 5 years ago), on the importance of 'normal' YU-type religious Americans making Aliyah and contributing to Israeli society. He doesn'e have a reputation for being an inspiring speaker, and I don't generally get inspired by speeches, but I was inspired when I heard him speak about that.
Regarding the content of the D'var Torah, well, Me-ander's got it covered.
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