Thursday, May 5, 2011

Reb Sefer and the Internet

Elsewhere in the Jblogosphere I came across a statement in the name of the Steipler Gaon that {paraphrased} nowadays, due to the fact that we learn from Seforim and not necessarily from a Rebbe, there is no obligation to visit and welcome a Rebbe on YomTov, as the concept of a Rebbe Muvhak no longer exists.

In addition to the fact that today we get much of our learning from the written (as opposed to oral) word, the current Yeshiva system which graduates students every year to a new Rebbe, further distances us from the concept of a Rebbe Muvhak.

Furthermore, many Yeshiva graduates find themselves mentor-less even after leaving the hallowed halls of Yeshiva. I recall an article some years ago in the now defunct Jewish Observer bemoaning the fact that people Daven in one Shul during the week, another for Friday night and a 3rd for Shabbos day. This leaves the family without a Moreh Horaah.

There was a time when acquiring a Rebbe was primarily the only way to learn. But now with the proliferation of Seforim via the online databases, selfhelp tutorials via the world wide web, and thousands of audio and video Shiurim available at the click of a mouse, the Rebbe of yesteryear is well on his way to extinction.

Perhaps the current tuition crisis will eventually take it's toll on the brick and mortar Yeshivos, and replace them with the Virtual Beis HaMedrash. There is also the possibility that terrorism will one day force the Yeshivos underground. But the Almighty, in his infinite wisdom and kindness who always sends the cure before the disease, will see to it .שלא תמוש התורה מפי ומפי זרעי וזרע זרעי עד עולם


  1. Interesting. The current Mishpacha magazine has a picture on page 25 of the Steipler's son visiting his Rebbe over the Pesach yom tov.

  2. Can you kindly post the original source for the statement of the Steipler?

  3. I think he means this link--

  4. Re chiyuv or lack of, of visiting Rebbi on Yom tov nowadays, see Noda BiYehuda II, OC 94.

  5. Thanks TOA. But the NB is not nowadays anymore! :-)


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