Thursday, December 11, 2008

Rabbi Emanuel Rackman z"tl

In a tribute to Rabbi Emanuel Rackman z"tl, Rabbi Michael Broyde ends with four lessons he learnt from his teacher:

(1) Jewish law is a truth seeking venture which must live by the currency of logic and analysis, always living in the present and being driven by the data, both Talmudic and scientific.

(2) Ethical people live lives of compassion with the understanding that life is more complex in fact than in theory and are ready to recognize that sometimes people are frailand in need of help. Ethical people are measured by how they show compassion to the weak.

(3) Hard work is extremely important. Torah comes to those who work hard to acquire it, and virtually no one is a natural master of Torah. Regular and intense learning is imperative in being a torah scholar.

(4) Never be too sure of yourself and listen closely to the voices of the wise people around you. Rabbi Rackman once remarked to me that “everyone really needs a mentor, since a mentor serves the purpose of checking that one is not egregiously in error.

(Many thanks to Menachem Yoel Butler for the reference. The full article can be found at Hirhurim, here.)

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