Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Following in the Footsteps of the "Creative Master" - Part 1

Once upon a time there was a great Gaon named Reb Hirshelle. R Hirshelle was a creative Genius who saw things in the text no one else saw. In Mozart fashion, he published stacks of Torah Chuddushim.
After R Hirshelle was niftar his followers created a movement based upon R Hirshelle's writings and speeches. It became known as "Toras Zvi." Soon Toras Zvi coalesced around a leader name R Sh'maryah. R Sh'maryah's task was to guard R Hirshelle's Torah, Hashkafah, and Minhaggim and to preserve it just as it always was. Soon, a great following emerged completely devoted to this Gaon's teaching.
From another Yeshivah, one of R Hirshelle's acquaintances, was a Reb Velvelle. Reb Velvelle was NOT a devoted follower of R Hershelle, rather he had been inspired from time to time by occasionally attending R Hirshelle's d'rashos.

Once Day, R Velvelle visited the Toras Zvi Centre and was both amazed and disturbed by what he saw.
Reb Shmaryah: Welcome R Velvelle!
RV: Shalom Aleichem. I admire the energy you people have expended in preserving R Hirshelle's legacy......[He went on to recount the intense effort in preserving R Hirshelle's legacy]
But there's an important piece missing here
RS: Really? What is it? We'd love to plug any missing holes
RV: Permit me to address the entire Toras Zvi enterprise after next Shabbos.
RS: It will be done!
RS proceeded to contact the entire movement and booked RV as the featured speaker
RV began his Address -
Rabbosai! I was privileged to know R Hirshelle just a bit! I see that you have collected, collated, and redacted reams of his material. [He proceeded to review the collective works of R Hirshelle for the next 45 minutes.] And what I know is but a tiny fraction of what you have preserved
I would like to add one bit to this legacy which seems to have been unintentionally omitted
You see, R"H Z"L was both a creative thinker, a hashkafic expounder, and a master analyst. What you are preserving is his bottom line, his output, his "Products".
But you have inadvertently neglected his Methods, his Creativity, his Genius for analysis, his "PROCESS" of how to develop another R Hershelle! You have missed his "G-dlike Gadlus" of how he cloned himself by teaching others how to also learn and think like a Gaon. You have preserved what he said, his piskei Halachah, his works on Mussar and Hashkafah, and his Minhaggim, but you've lost his fresh originality and have begun to ossify the Torah of R Hirshelle as if he wrote his creativity in stone. He didn't! He tried to pass THAT legacy on while he was living by inspiring others in his path! Please don't forget that!
RV had created a buzz! No one had even noticed what had taken place. The Fresh innovative Torah of R Hirshelle had become fixed, rote, maybe even stale.
R Ben asked:
"But if we get original and interpret R Hirshelle's Torah as WE SEE it, it becomes OUR Torah, not HIS! W/O being rigidly faithful to what RH actually said, we will dishonestly pass off OUR hiddushim as HIS Hiddushim!"
RV responded: You know you have some good points, give me time to consider this.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The goal should not be to become a carbon copy of the founding leader but to use his insights in developing oneself Jewishly in one's best possible way,