By Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff

In 1906 a talented younger Talmudic scholar
named Bernard Revel got here to the
United States within the wave of mass
immigration from japanese Europe. "As he
looked approximately, he chanced on Orthodox
Judaism in a sorry, pathetic nation of chaos and confusion. The rabbis born and bredin Europe have been realized students and
masters of the spiritual legislation, in all its
minutiae. familiar with deference,
even reverence, as well-known professionals and group leaders, they got here right into a bordering on anarchy in
Jewish non secular lifestyles, in a brand new land of
unprecedented tolerance and freedom.
with no wisdom of the English
language and American tradition, European
rabbis may command no admire and
exert no influence at the young.
Bernard Revel made up our minds to create a
school of Talmudic learn that may also
provide an American collage schooling
to supply American Orthodox
rabbis who may mildew and maintain a possible genuine Judaism within the New World.
This is the tale of the fellow and his
vision, and his fulfillment. From a
modest yeshiva in a synagogue building
on New York's decrease East part, to
imposing quarters at the heights of
Upper new york, Bernard Revel
steered the direction and improvement of
Yeshiva collage, the 1st collage of
liberal arts and sciences lower than Jewish
auspices, until eventually it grew to become a powerful
educational strength, a veritable dynamo, in
American Jewry, that remained
consistently dependable to its New-World imaginative and prescient ofTorah Judaism.

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Extra resources for Bernard Revel - Builder of American Jewish Orthodoxy

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These sermons will open the gates leading our brethren to Reform Judaism. Whoever fears the Lord must protest against these preachers. If one does not have the power to stop this practice, he must leave the synagogue when such a preacher rises to ascend the pulpit. Due to our sins, this practice is now becoming widespread even in Orthodox syna­ gogues. The masses do not realize the graveness of the danger this presents to Judaism. 28 By 1906 Rabbi Bernard Levinthal had already achieved prominence as the leading Orthodox rabbi of Philadelphia, where he had ministered to four congregations since his 1891 arrival.

He also wanted to continue his secular education on a university level. His parents were dead, and a half sister was already living in the United States. He heard much about the country from her, and his visions turned to this land of freedom and opportunity. Released from prison, Dov Revel, using the name Bernard Revel, arrived in the United States in 1906 at the age of twenty-one. Like many immigrants before him, he immediately enrolled in the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, where he knew that the environment resembled that of the kloyzn he had left behind.

The joy of life in Pren ceased when Dov’s father passed away after a short and painful illness in 1897. Dov, then twelve years old, stood on the top of a crate to eulogize his father at the funeral. Rabbi Nahum Shraga was placed at eternal rest next to his beloved friend Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Spektor, who had died only a short time before, on March 6 (Adar 21), 1896. The Jewish communities of Kovno and Pren erected an ohel (joint monumental structure) over the final resting places of their late spiritual leaders.

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