Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

20 Teves 5763 - December 25, 2002 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Condemnation of the book "The Making of a Godol"

We were appalled to hear from reliable talmidei chachomim about the distribution and sale of a book called The Making of a Godol, which is full of severely debasing remarks, derisiveness, degradation and hotzo'as sheim ra against several figures among gedolei horabbonim, the leading lights of Yisroel in recent generations and the rishonim kemal'ochim whose words guide the lives of all Beis Yisroel, whose elucidations of the Torah we imbibe and whose greatness, veneration and holiness are rooted in the hearts of all Jews with a fear of Heaven. This is what the book seeks to negate, by discrediting, disgracing and debasing their illustrious honor, which is also the honor of Hashem yisborach and the holy Torah, as explained in Rabbenu Yonah, Shaar 3, The Tenth Madreigoh.

Moreover, the book casts doubt and creates confusion by infusing spurious opinions and incorrect hashkofoh regarding certain approaches to Torah study, all in the name of gedolei Yisroel. By so doing it blemishes the proper hashkofoh that we have received from our rabbonim, gedolei hadoros, who raised loud and bitter cries, and wholly dedicated themselves throughout the last fifty years to the task of uprooting the terrible breach of blending external studies together with the pure study of our holy Torah as given at Sinai. Herein lies an awful danger, particularly for the young abroad, many of whom [in any case] face great pressure from their families and their environment in this matter and are liable to fall into the traps set by those who seek to distance them from the eternal springs of devoted Torah study.

Therefore we hereby state our opinion that such an aberration cannot be tolerated in the holy nation of Am Yisroel and therefore this book is prohibited from entering kehal Hashem, whether by bringing it into the home, reading from it or dealing with it commercially, and every man of prudence who wishes to keep his fear of Heaven and purity of heart intact and is concerned to educate his family properly will keep it at a great distance from both himself and his household, with the realization that it poses a great danger to all who have a fear of Heaven in their heart. This is not a book of tales about gedolei Yisroel, but just the opposite. It is wholly filled with a chilling spirit that distances one from the true purpose in life that can have unforeseen and grave consequences.

He who heeds our words will be blessed by Hashem Yisborach, and together with his household will rise to higher and higher levels of Torah and yir'oh, cleaving to the Tree of Life, the holy Torah, and will cover himself with the dust from the feet of gedolei hadoros, the conveyors of Torah, who pass it on for eternity throughout the generations until the arrival of the Messiah speedily, in our days.

Upon this we have signed for the honor of the Torah Hakedoshoh, and the honor of the Chachomim and those who pass it on in purity.

Yom Shlishi, Rosh Chodesh Kislev, 5763


Yosef Sholom Eliashiv

Aharon Yehuda Leib Shteinman

M.S. Shapira

Michel Yehuda Lefkovitz

Chaim Pinchos Scheinberg

Nissim Karelitz

Tzvi Markowitz

Chaim Kanievsky

Shmuel Auerbach

Shlomo Wolbe


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