Monday, June 11, 2007

Barukh Dayan HaEmet - Rav Shagar z"l

Today, Rav Shagar passed away. He was a leading light of the Religious -Zionist Torah world. Head of Yeshivat Siach in Efrat, he had previously taught at Yeshivat Hakotel and Beit Morasha. Why was Rav Shagar special? He was an incredible fusion: of Talmid Chacham and philosopher, Mitnaged and Chassid, of Academic and Yeshiva learning, of new-age consciousness and traditional leanings, of the Haredi and Religious Zionist worlds. In his lectures he sort of assumes that one was on the page in shas, in Breslav and Chabad philosophy, in post-modernist thought, and he wove a unique web through all of these.

His book Keilim Shevurim, deals with post-modernist thought in the Religious Zionist world. He understood the unique challenges of today and he grappled with how to navigate it. Recently, his Yeshiva published an unprecedented book on sexuality an intimacy. He instigated a Yom Iyun in Katamon two years ago on the topic of "singles" which integrated theatre into the Yom Iyun format. He was unafraid of treading new ground, grappling with new topics in new ways and was zealous in absolutely honestly trying to find real answers to today's issues.

I genuinely know no one in the Religious Zionist landscape who has the courage, breadth and depth to fill his shoes.

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