I have had no time to string together coherent thoughts over the past several days. Thank Gd, I’ve been very busy running Chanukah programs as well as setting up progarms for the rest of winter, but my writing has suffered.
So, instead, I’ll post a list I’ve been contemplating for many months. It’s a list of rabbis who made a profound impact on me, shaping my own way in the rabbinate.
The list first emerged in response to a certain line of questions I’ve often been asked: “Which rabbis shaped your thinking?” “Which rabbis are your role models?” “To whom do you address your own questions?” This was my attempt to answer those questions.
I’m not including rabbis whose seforim I’ve used; this list is limited to rabbis I knew personally.
I’m also not including my friends who are rabbis, although they have taught me a great deal; this list is limited to rabbis I’ve seen in more of a teacher/mentor role.
And, of course, I’ve learned from many who are not rabbis, as well as my own students, but that’s for other lists…
Some of the rabbis on this list taught me to learn, others taught me to teach, others taught me (or tried to teach me) menschlichkeit, others taught me communal involvement and still others taught me counseling.
Some of them taught overtly, others by example.
Some of them taught me just one lesson of pivotal importance, others were my rebbeim for many years.
Rabbi Yosef Blau
Rabbi Benjamin Blech
Rabbi J. David Bleich
Rabbi Michael Broyde
Rabbi Yitzchok Cohen
Rabbi Hillel Davis
Rabbi Armin Hyman Friedman
Rabbi Moshe Fruchthandler, zt”l
Rabbi Shmuel Goldin
Rabbi Chaim Yaakov Goldvicht, zt”l
Rabbi Zvi Koff zt"l
Rabbi Daniel Korobkin
Rabbi Maurice Lamm
Rabbi Haskel Lookstein
Rabbi Pesach Oratz, zt”l
Rabbi Jonathan Rosenblatt
Rabbi Yonasan Sacks
Rabbi Herschel Schachter
Rabbi Boruch Simon
Rabbi Aharon Soloveitchik, zt"l
Rabbi Moshe Tendler
Rabbi Mayer Twersky
Rabbi Noach Weinberg, zt”l
Rabbi Avi Weiss
Rabbi Yosef Weiss
Rabbi Mordechai Willig
One more thought: I publish this list here not only because I find it interesting, but also because I think creating a list of mentors is a good idea; perhaps this will motivate others to create their own.