I’m in the midst of finals and have slowed down on posting videos and blog entries. As I was googling on Isaaac Breuer towards a paper I’m writing I tripped upon the article by Zev Eleff in a previous edition of Tradition. The tone would be offensive to a WH person at first, but it must be read on its merits as you would read any scholarly paper.
I am not writing a response here and I believe there is alacrity to everything he writes here. I don’t think he has told the entire story, but the angle he has presented is presented well.
The article deals with the reluctance of both Washington heights instituions to affiliate with the other. In short YU doesn’t need us, and we were founded over 150 years ago on the principle of avoiding them.
That said, there are deeper seeded reasons, in my opinion, that the Breuers strain of Orthodoxy is inherently unappealing to YU thought (outside of an emergant “machmir” strain that have often flourished on Bennett Avenue)- and there are deeper cultural and traditionalist reasons that a Breuers person feels “out of his element” on Amsterdam Avenue.
Some Hirschian’s within YU today have made an argument that Breuers should let go of the Austritt vis-a-vis YU (Rabbi Schiller- a Breuers product himself I believe) and that view was not included in this paper.
in the link are my initial thoughts as starting points in reaction to the article.
These points need to be expanded upon, thought over and annotated. The issue that needs to be addressed in every inflammation of Hirsch- YU debate rhetoric is: The loudest proponents of TIDE today are often really promoting Torah im Parnassah. The flag of the Breuer strain of TIDE is that it is not a hora’as sha’ah. If we take this a step further this means Hirsch did not create a college for students who would attend college anyway and help them integrate their schedule. I assume that Rav Soloveitchik (the latter) didn’t see the ideal behind his college in that light, but ideals are not for the masses. Similarly, the ideal of TIDE is not swallowed by the masses and was often realized as Torah im Parnassah. There are sterling products of the Breuer strain and there are sterling products of YU. Notwithstanding, the president of YU for the past 20 years was a businessman and not an academic, as famously bemoaned on Amsterdam Avenue.
After finals maybe we can discuss at length.
Best to all!