Blockbuster Rabbi Movie Opens to Throngs

From the famed Yeshiva University PR Department comes news of a new film that is rocking the Modern Orthodox world. Blogs are abuzz with debates. Is this a "distortion" of the Rav's life as one disciple has been whispering?

Some naive viewers don't recognize the inherent heresy and uncleanness of using film - the same medium that brought to the world "I am Curious Yellow" and "Last Tango in Paris" - to present an account of the life of a sainted holy rabbi. Those are probably the same folks who innocently use the Internet to look up the weather - without caring that on another web page - lurking nearby - is the uncleanness of naked photographs. How sadly uninformed are the householders of this day and age.

But have no fear. This film is replete with the comments and insights of pure and wholesome rabbis.
NY Premiere Screening of Lonely Man of Faith Draws Capacity Crowd

Feb 5, 2007 -- Nathan Lamport Auditorium in Zysman Hall on the Wilf Campus was filled to capacity for New York premiere screening of Lonely Man of Faith: The Life and Legacy of Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik, a documentary about the renowned Talmud scholar and Rosh haYeshiva at Yeshiva University’s affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) from 1941 to 1985. Almost 1,100 people—including students, alumni, faculty, and friends—attended the event on Saturday night, Feb. 3.

The documentary was made by first-time New York City filmmaker Ethan Isenberg with the input and advice of many people connected with YU.

“Making this movie appealed to me because it shows the development of modern Orthodoxy and American Judaism and how we got to where we are today,” said Mr. Isenberg. “I was also fascinated by the Rav as a lonely individual, who prized independent thinking and creativity.”

Featuring historic footage and interviews with people who knew the famous rabbi, the documentary traces Rav Soloveitchik’s life from the small Byelorussian shtetl where his parents lived, to his family’s escape to Warsaw after the Communist revolution, to his studies in philosophy in pre-WWII Berlin, to his life in the United States.

The screening was followed by a conversation among four of the Rav’s students: Rabbi Kenneth Brander, Dean of the Center for the Jewish Future; Rabbi Menachem Genack, CEO of OU Kosher and rosh yeshiva at RIETS; Rabbi Hershel Schachter, rosh kollel at RIETS; and Rabbi Mayer Twersky, rosh yeshiva at RIETS. The rabbis discussed the legacy of the Rav as “a giant in Torah and a towering presence,” said Rabbi Twersky, the Rav’s grandson. Rabbi Genack posited that the Rav preserved Orthodoxy and was responsible for rebuilding American Jewry.

During his 45 years as head of RIETS, the Rav ordained some 2,000 rabbis—a distinction that no sage in Jewish history is believed to have attained.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

"During his 45 years as head of RIETS, the Rav ordained some 2,000 rabbis—a distinction that no sage in Jewish history is believed to have attained."

A silly statement. That should not be anyone's historic claim to fame. Also, I would argue, it is historicly innaccurate . One immediately thinks of Rabbi Akiva's 24000 students. Not to take anything away from Rav Soleveitchik.