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November 22, 2006



>I personally had heard someting similar from R. Y. B. Soloveitchik and I read the same thing, I think, in the name of R. Yakov Kaminetsky in his ArtScroll biography by J. Rosenblum. They both said that Brisker method was designed to compete with the new developments in the sciences and humanities. R. Chaim wished to present a method of Torah study that would be superior to the brilliance and atttraction of university and evolving the Brisker method was motivated by that goal.

R. Aharon Rakeffet said that R. Soloveitchik told him the same thing in the name of his father R. Moshe.

Micha Berger

The problem I see trying to mesh Brisk and mussar is that Brisk inherently assumes that one can't seek first principles for mitzvos. The old line goes: Brisk asks "vus?" (What?), Telzh asks "fahr vus?" (For what? i.e. Why?)

Brisker derekh is finding an overarching halachic principle for which the case being studied is an example. Not about finding purpose and meaning. Mussar, OTOH, assumes that this purpose and meaning is so central, one should engage in extra-halachic means of inforcing it!


PS: See also my blog entry Brisk and Telzh. http://www.aishdas.org/asp/2005/02/brisk-and-telzh.shtml


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