NYTimes on Rabbi Berenbaum

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Yesterday I noted the passing of Mir rosh yeshivah, Rabbi Shmuel Berenbaum. The New York Times obituary cites the AP as a source, but it’s notably different than some of the other AP versions I’ve seen and seems to have been sloppily edited.

According to the NYT: “The Mir Yeshiva is exclusively devoted to the study of the Torah, the first five books of the Bible.”

In fact, students at Mir probably rarely open the Pentateuch and spend the vast majority of their time studying Talmud.

Then comes this incomprehensible sentence about Mir: “In contrast with other Orthodox and Hasidic traditions, it shuns all music, song and dance in the belief that secular learning is useful only for earning a living.”

What does rejecting music/dance have to do with secular learning and earning a living?

My best guess: two partial sentences (one about music and dance; one about secular learning) were probably, somehow, fused together.

Posted on January 8, 2008

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