Speaking at the 200th birthday celebration of Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch this past Shabbos, Khal Adath Jeshurun’s Rav Yisroel Mantel declared that the philosophical credo of Rav Hirsch, Torah Im Derech Eretz, is not viable in the absence of its chief advocate. Rav Hirsch was a 19th century champion of Orthodoxy and the founder of Khal Adath Jeshurun’s parent community in Frankfurt, Germany.
Rav Mantel’s declaration, which angered many in the community, came at a sit-down kiddush at Dr. Raphael Moller Hall in Washington Heights after Shabbos morning services. He said that only Rav Hirsch, a great man who knew the fine boundaries between what is religiously permissible and what is prohibited, could make Torah Im Derech Eretz workable. Our generation, he said, must follow today’s gedolei HaTorah (great Torah leaders). After Shabbos, Dr. Eric Erlbach, KAJ president for over two decades, resigned. The Torah Im Derech Eretz philosophy calls for the active engagement between Torah and culture and society.
Link to Jewish Press Article
My own Brief Comments: