Earlier last month, one of the giants of the Haredi world died: Rabbi Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg.
Rabbi Scheinberg, who was 101 years old, had many claims to fame and greatness. For example, he was one of the last Talmudic scholars taught in the Yeshiva world before the Second World War. As another example, he was not only head of a couple of Yeshivas, but also a member of the prestigious Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah of Israel (Council of Torah Sages).
When he died, the Haredi press lavished praise on him and his life’s work. His passing featured greatly, there. However, the secular (mainstream) press, did not do much more than briefly report his death.
Inevitably, this state of affairs led to criticism of the secular press for almost ignoring the death of a Torah giant, while giving in depth coverage to the passing of people such as Amy Winehouse.
With that background, I commend the following letter from Yonatan Silver (in today’s print edition of the Jerusalem Post) as something to think about:
“The secular media is accused of covering Amy Winehouse’s death extensively and ignoring that of haredi leader Rabbi Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg. How extensively did the haredi media report on the death of Amy Winehouse?”
I wonder what Rabbi Scheinberg would have said about it all?
(One of the ironies of the discussion is that Rabbi Scheinberg was more in touch with women’s issues than many of his fellow giants of Torah learning. But that is another whole can of worms.)