3/10/2010

A Tale of Two Aarons: Part II

I noted a while ago that Rav Aharon Lichtenstein and Rav Aharon Feldman were actually classmates at TA in Baltimore in the early 1940s, in Rav Bobrovsky's shiur. I heard that tidbit (amongst many, many others) from Rav Yosef Blau.

Rav Lichtenstein notes this connection in a review of Rav Feldman's recent work, The Eye of the Storm: A Calm View of Raging Issues. Rav Lichtenstein criticizes what he perceives to be the angry tone (hardly a 'calm view') of the work, as well as the tendency to view certain ubiquitous phenomena in the Jewish world (such as Zionism) as zero-sum endeavors. He acknowledges that Rav Feldman gives his community a particularly articulate voice, but wishes that the differences that divide two people whose backgrounds and values are so similar would not be so great as to preclude 'mutual fruition'. In a touching coda, R. Lichtenstein recalls that he and R. Feldman were in R. Bobrovsky's shiur together, and that the Feldman boys invited young Aaron Lichtenstein to go sledding with them in Druid Hill Park. R. Lichtenstein asks rhetorically, "Can we ever go sledding again?"

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