Monday, March 3, 2014

Rav Shteinman stands alone with "common sense"

There is a sefer online that is called Peninim V'hanhagos. It was actually published to show that Rav Shteinman is not a Gadol but some freak of nature that thinks like a "pusheter baal buse.. 

It goes on to list the sayings and customs of various different Rabbonim, and is actually organized by topics, such as Shabbos, Kiruv etc. 

A blogger that calls himself @GroynemOx actually gleaned and translated some of the comments of this sefer that was supposed to denigrate Rav Shteinman...

Read this and see how practical Rav Shteinman actually is!

  1. During the Indian hair wigs situation, when it was learned that hair was used for idol worship, R Shteinman declared that there is no need to worry about this or to change your wig, and about the concern he said, "this is nareshkeit (nonsense)" 
  2. R Shteinman opines that the nusach of the siddur isnt exact and therefor when necessary it can be changed. For 'hataras nedarim' on New Year's eve he authored a shorter version so he could save time on that holy day.
  3. R Shteinman said, "people make a big deal out of the esrog but it isnt l'shem shamayim, esrog is an acronym (in hebrew) for 'al tavuni regel gavah', people search for an esrog for haughtiness and not for the mitzva.
  4. When a young yeshiva student died suddenly, the deceased friends asked R Shteinman  in what matter  they should strengthen themselves as a reaction to the death. R Shteinman responded that it is a normal occurrence that sometimes young people pass away. When the friends asked him about the Rambam who wrote that someone who doesnt mourn death should be worried and investigate what is wrong with himself, R Shteinman replied that the Rambam was referring to major disasters.
  5. At a panel discussing education, R Shteinman said that not everyone is capable of teaching (referring to people who obtain positions through nepotism), "we see Avroham had a son Yishmael."
  6. Regarding the custom of kissing a mezuzah, R Shteinman asked "what is the purpose of this custom? You think just because you touch a mezuza it makes you holy?"
  7. Regarding the statement in Nefesh Hachayim (by R Chaim of Volozhin) that were there to be a second wherein not a single person in the world was learning Torah the world would immediately be destroyed, R Shteinman said that this isnt correct, since fulfilling mitzvos also keeps the world running, even when we eat or sleep it counts since it is done to help in our service of hashem. Its likely that R Chaim of Volozhin was just exaggerating to make a point.
  8. R Steinman added we see from two sources (Avos 6:2 and Sukka 45b) that there were times when no body in the world was learning. 
  9. While speaking to student R Steinman said that one shouldn't be discouraged that their learning is weaker in middle of the year than it is at the beginning, since this is the nature of things. Even the Rashba's essays get shorter as he gets further into each gemora tractate. 
  10. Regarding what it states in Chovos Halevosos and is quoted in Shmiras Ha'lashon that someone who speaks loshon ha'ra acquires the sins of his victim, R Shteinman asked "from where did they get this? there is no source for this idea in tradition and it is very strange and odd to say such a thing."
  11. R Shteinman was asked if it can be repeated in his name that that since all kollel students have cell phones that the phones should be kept off during yeshiva hours. He answered that we cant know why someone has a phone, perhaps his wife needs him to have one....a person can decide for himself how to behave here but under no circumstance should it be to the detriment of his wife. 
  12. Someone asked R Shteinman whether they should avoid kiruv since they will see immodestly dressed women, he responded by quoting the Talmud: "who is a pious fool? someone who sees a women drowning in a river and says it isnt proper to look at her and to save her"
  13. R Shteinman says often that in our time the merit from learning Torah isnt as great as it used to be since we dont learn for its own sake. He added at one occasion, "who says our learning is even considered learning? Perhaps our ideas are wrong"
  14. Unlike how most people feel that the world was created for Torah study, R Shteinman says that the world was created to perform kindness. 
  15. Several yeshiva heads asked R Shteinman whether they should allow their students to travel to Uman for Rosh Hashana. He replied, "im certain that among all the people, there is at least one minyan of people davening properly, so its certainly a merit if they join that minyan"

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