Maccabee's Wars

A venting rage against the ills of our society with some hopeful observations.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Anatomy of A Ban

I am currently in Israel for a wedding and came across a copy of "Anatomy of a Ban" by R' Nathan Kamenetsky, author of "Making of a Gadol."

Though the book goes through all the minutiae of the disgusting actions of those who were in favor of the ostracizing of R' Kamenetsky and the manipulations of those Gedolim who came to be in favor of the ban, I found it remarkable how R' Nathan was able to restrain himself from naming those who had acted most outrageously and grievously towards him and who's names had heretofore not been known to the public at large; all this restraint being shown despite the fact that 'Anatomy' was a limited printing solely given to private individuals and never intended to be sold to the general public.

The sad part for the rest of the world and for R' Kamenetsky in particular, more so than the vilification and humiliation is the fact that in 'Anatomy' he states that he no longer has the will and energy to complete volumes 2, 3 and 4 of "Making of a Gadol."

There is continued dispute, however, as to what certain Gadolim are saying about the original volumes.

R' Kamenetsky continues to assert in 'Anatomy' that R' Moshe Sternbuch has said that there is nothing wrong with the volumes and that it is essentially a 'mitzva' to read MAOG, whereby every yeshiva bochur and G-d fearing person should have the knowledge contained therein.

On the other hand, there are those who have said that R' Moshe Sternbuch never said anything of the kind and that the books are a 'buch' which must be burned and destroyed.

I, however, find the conclusion of 'Anatomy' to be most telling about the author's current mood and temperament.

R' Kamenetsky tells the story of one of his ancestors, I believe it was R' Katzenellenbogen, who 9 generations earlier was instrumental in banning works of the Ramchal. Now the same happens to R' Nathan.

Yet like R' Yonasan Eibushitz, who was eventually vindicated in his battles with R' Yaakov Emden, so the Ramchal and other greats from the previous generations have also been vindicated. Will R' Nathan be vindicated as well?

Do we have a case of whatever goes around comes around?

Is it Mida Keneged Mida as I believe R' Nathan currently perceives it?

Is the entire episode the work of the Sitra Achar as R' Kamenetsky almost explicitly states?

Make of it what you will.