Friday, April 28, 2017

Loving The Metzora

The Tolna Rebbe Shlita 

Parshiyos Tazria-Metzora appear in Sefer Vayikra among the discussion of the korbanos to teach that the kohen must descend from his lofty, sacred work in the Beis Ha’mikdash to deal with the lowest aspects of the people’s lives, including those of a metzora and zav. Specifically the kohen, who spends his life in the sacred domain of the Beis Ha’mikdash dealing with the korbanos, is the one whom the Torah commands to lower himself and get involved in all matters relating to tzara’as. 

The Torah emphasizes this point buy instructing that when a person has discoloration on his skin, "he shall be brought to Aharon, the kohen, or to one of his sons, the kohanim” (13:2). Rather than simply require the person to come to הכהן”) the kohen”), the Torah requires him to come to Aharon or one of his sons – emphasizing that the greatest kohanim are the ones who must descend from their lofty heights of sanctity to work with this metzora, who has fallen to the lowest depths of impurity. What’s more, while in the beginning of the process the metzora must approach the kohen, at the end, after the metzora is forced to live outside his city, and his infection is then cured, the Torah (14:3) commands,  the kohen must go “outside the camp” to the metzora. The kohen, who normally spends his days engaged in matters of kedusha in the Beis Ha’mikdash, now leaves the camp in order to deal with the needs of a person stricken with the severest form of impurity. The Torah not only requires the kohen to leave the sacred, serene environs of the Mikdash to work with the metzora, but also requires that he do so joyfully. The aforementioned pasuk continues, ”and the kohen sees that behold, the leprous infection on the leper has been cured”. The Pesikta Zutresa, in a different context (Balak 128a), comments that the word והנה connotes joy, as indicated in the pasuk in Sefer Shemos (4:15),  “and behold, he [Aharon] is also going out to greet you, and he will see you and rejoice in his heart”. The kohen is to feel such a level of closeness to the metzora that he experiences genuine joy over the fact that the person’s tzara’as has been cured. The situation of tzara’as is when the kohen’s love for every Jew is manifest. This love does not come to the fore during normal times, when everything goes smoothly and the kohen is together with his fellow kohanim basking in the glory of the Beis Ha’mikdash, but rather when the kohen leaves the Beis Ha’mikdash and goes outside the camp to work with a metzora. This is when his powerful love for each and every Jew is put on full display.

 Although today we do not have metzoraim, we do have many lost souls whom we must all try to bring back. We must show our utmost, genuine love for these individuals, even for those whom we needed to send away so that they would not cause harm to others. Just as the metzora is sent away to isolation, and others must keep a distance from him, and yet the kohen is commanded to love him. Similarly, we must arouse in our hearts genuine love for each and every Jew, even for those who needed to be distanced. The Gemara (Megilla 12b) teaches that HKB”H treats a person the way he treats others, and thus if we show our love even for those Jews who are far and distant, and work to bring them closer, then HKB”H will, in turn, shower us with His love, until the arrival of Mashiach.

Know What You Are Talking About



The majority of this week’s parsha deals with the laws of Tzoraas (commonly translated as leprosy, which in truth it is not). In several places, the Talmud says that Tzoraas comes as a punishment for a variety of sins. The most commonly quoted exposition is that Tzoraas comes as a result of lashon hara [gossip/slander]. Chazal utilize a linguistic exegesis of the word Metzorah [leper] to teach this idea. They indicate that Metzorah is a contraction of the words motzi rah [he spews forth evil].

The Torah teaches: “If a person will have on the skin of his flesh a s’eis or a sapachas, or a baheres, and it will become a Tzoraas affliction on the skin of his flesh; HE SHALL BE BROUGHT TO AARON THE KOHEN, OR TO ONE OF HIS SONS THE KOHANIM. [Vayikra 13:2]. Rashi states: “It is a decree of Scripture that there is neither impurity of affliction of Tzora’as nor their purification except by word of a Kohen.” In other words, even if the Kohen is not an expert in these laws, and even if he does not know what he is talking about (the laws of Tzoraas are indeed complicated and complex), if the Kohen is told by a scholar what to say and he parrots the words of the Talmid Chochom, the blemish is pronounced tahor [pure] or tamei [impure] based on the proclamation of the Kohen, not on the proclamation of the Talmid Chochom who is not a Kohen.

The Rambam elaborates on this principle in Hilchos Tumas Tzoraas Chapter 9 Halacha 2: “Even though anyone is fit to inspect blemishes, purity and impurity (tumah and tahara) depends on the Kohen. How so? A Kohen who does not know what to look for has a scholar inspect (the blemish) and has the scholar instruct him ‘Say it is impure’ and the Kohen says ‘impure’; or the scholar instructs ‘Say it is pure’ and the Kohen says ‘pure’; or the scholar instructs ‘Put him in a suspended state for another week’ and the Kohen puts him in a state of suspension (masgeero) as it is written ‘based on their mouths shall be every fight and every blemish’ [Devarim 21:5]. And even if the Kohen is a minor (katan) or an imbecile (shoteh), the scholar instructs him and he decides whether the person is definitely impure, pure, or suspended further…”

Based on this Rambam, the Minchas Chinuch speculates whether or not the proclamation (based on direction of a scholar) of a blind Kohen regarding a nega would be effective. The Minchas Chinuch discusses the possibility. However, it is implicit in the Meiri and also from Rashi and Tosfos in Sanhedrin 34 as well, that a blind Kohen CANNOT rule on the status of Tzoraas, even if so directed by a Talmid Chochom. This is learned out from the expression [Vayikra 13:12] “l’chol mar’eh einei haKohen” (wherever the eyes of the Kohen can see). Rashi on this pasuk quotes the Toras Kohanim, Negaim, perek 4:4: “To the exclusion of a Kohen whose power of vision is impaired.” Under normal circumstances, it would be obvious to us that a blind Kohen cannot rule on such matters of visual determination. However, in light of the earlier cited Rambam that even a minor or mentally deficient Kohen can rule based on the guidance of a scholar, the exclusion of a blind Kohen is somewhat of a novelty.

What in fact is the difference between a katan and shoteh on the one hand and a blind Kohen (sumah) on the other? Why must the Kohen see the blemish with his own eyes? I saw an interesting answer to this question from the Tolna Rebbe Shlita. In the Talmud [Sanhedrin 104b], Rava asks in the name of Rabbi Yochanan: Why does the letter “Peh” precede the letter “Ayin” in the third and fifth chapters of Eichah (in which the pasukim are otherwise arranged in perfect alphabetical sequence)? Rava answers that this sequence commemorates the Spies who spoke with their mouths (Peh) that which they did not see with their eyes (Ayin). In other words, they spoke subjectively without basis in what they had actually witnessed.

This teaching is an insight into Lashon Harah in general. Many times, Lashon Harah is a crime of saying something that one has not seen. Typically, with this kind of gossip, a person sees something and then jumps to a conclusion and speaks, not about what he has seen but what he surmises based on what he has seen. Lashon Harah is a crime of letting one’s mouth (Peh) jump ahead of what his eye (Ayin) has seen.

Halevai, we should be able to eliminate all of our gossip. But if we at least accepted upon ourselves to cut back on speaking those things which we have never seen, that would be great progress in our efforts towards Shmiras haLashon [Guarding one’s tongue]. Homiletically, the Tolner Rebbe uses this idea to explain why a Kohen Shoteh can rule on the status of Negaim, but a blind Kohen cannot. We want to send a message that “You have to see it!” If you do not see it, you cannot say “tameh”. A Kohen Shoteh does not have much intelligence, but at least he saw it. That gives him the license to talk about it. A blind Kohen, who does not see the Negah (like most people who speak lashon harah without having seen what they are speaking about), has no license to speak.

[R' Frand torah.org]

Appreciating Shabbos And Yom Tov - Criticizers And Slackers



Dear Dr. Yael,

I wanted to share with you a success story about my life. I am originally from Iran and left with my baby about 30 years ago. At that time Khomeini came to power and there was a danger that my husband would be conscripted into the army. We paid someone to take us out. We were a group of frum Jews who left with an Iranian Jewish driver and we made believe we were going on a family trip. He drove us to the border and we were left in a hole in the ground. We had powdered milk and water for our baby and diapers and clothes, but no food for ourselves.

Late that night, the smugglers came with five camels. We traveled through the night and into the morning. At one point, my husband, who was holding the baby, dropped the water bottles. The smugglers were angry that we had not drugged the baby, but baruch Hashem he slept through the night.

When we arrived in Pakistan they gave us bananas and clementines. I will never forget how delicious that fruit was. We stayed in a disgusting hotel for a month until they sent us on to Vienna. On Erev Pesach we moved into an apartment which we then had to clean for Pesach. We had no idea where we would be for the seder.

Baruch Hashem, today I have a large family with married children and grandchildren. We appreciate all the brachos Hashem gave us. Although Pesach is a lot of work for me, as it is for many women, I have a completely different attitude in regards to the Yomim Tovim. We know what it is to literally have nothing and go into Pesach not even knowing if we will have food to eat. I get upset when people complain about the work they have to do before Pesach or not finding the right outfits for their kids etc. Maybe my letter will inspire people to appreciate what they have.

Anonymous



Dear Anonymous,

Your letter inspired me as I am sure it will others.

As a therapist, I am privy to much of the fighting that goes on during Shabbosim and Yomim Tovim. It is sad that people do not appreciate the simcha they can have with family around. When you are brought up with everything coming so easily to you, it is hard to treasure the fact that we can easily buy the food that we need and sleep comfortably in our homes.

Research has shown that during holiday gatherings people often regress to childlike roles. No matter how mature your relatives may be in everyday life, when thrown together in an old, familiar situation, they regress and their “issues” take center stage. Why? Experience has taught them that this behavior succeeds in getting people to focus on them and their agendas, says Stephen R. Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families.

While you can’t control the actions of your role-playing relatives, you can at least control your own reactions. Here, authorities on etiquette and family dynamics offer strategies for handling a table full of problem personalities. 

The “Constructive” Criticizer

Often heard saying: “When I was in your situation, I knew exactly what I had to do.” The offense: Gives you unsolicited advice about everything from raising your kids to raising your hemline. Your course of action: “The criticizer relies on his ability to bait you,” says Sue Fox, author of Etiquette for Dummies. Don’t take the bait: Thank him, point out facts he may have overlooked, and move on. If he keeps offering barbed comments disguised as advice, Caroline Tiger, author of How to Behave, suggests cutting him off with a breezy, “Don’t worry about me – I’m fine!” 

The Slacker

Often heard saying: “Yup, just a sec… I’ll be riiiight in.” The offense: Refuses to help with the cooking, cleaning, childcare, or anything. Your course of action: “Entertain the possibility that this person doesn’t realize anyone needs help, or perhaps he’s worried that if he were given a task to complete, he’d fail,” says Tiger. Give him precise instructions, something like, “David, it would be a great help if you went ahead and started rinsing the dishes. Let me get you an apron.”

Answering a negative with a positive is a great way to stop someone in his or her negative tracks.

Thank you for your letter and I hope that everyone will be inspired to appreciate Shabbos and Yom Tov.

[Jewish Press] 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Healing Power Of Hugs

Hillary Jacobs Hendel
NYT

One day several years ago, I spontaneously hugged a patient of mine, Gretchen. It was during a moment in which her despair and distress were so intense that it seemed cruel on a human level not to reach out my arms to her, in the event that she might derive some relief or comfort from an embrace. She hugged me for dear life.

Months later, Gretchen reported to me that the hug had changed her. “The motherly embrace you gave me that day,” she said, “lifted the depression I have had all my life.” Could a hug really have such an effect? The notion has stayed with me ever since.

Freud used touch in his early work but later denounced it, citing its dangers in cases of intense transference. Since then, psychoanalysts, lawyers, risk managers and ethicists have advised therapists to avoid touch as part of talk therapy, arguing that it is a “slippery slope.”

The slippery slope argument is well intentioned; no one wants to sanction or encourage inappropriate touching. But the argument arises only because of the lack of a firm theoretical distinction in the psychoanalytic literature between nurturing touch and sexual touch. That distinction is precisely what matters in any thoughtful discussion of the therapeutic use of touch, be it by a psychoanalyst or anyone.

I started thinking about hugs during my psychoanalytic training. Every so often I was assigned a patient who would hug me without warning, either at the beginning or the end of a session. When I talked about this with my supervisors, some suggested that I stop the hug and instead analyze the meaning of it with the patient. Other supervisors suggested the opposite: that I allow it and accept it as part of a cultural or familial custom. Bringing it up, they suggested, could shame the patient.

I remember consulting the ethical guidelines from the National Association of Social Workers and the American Psychological Association. I assumed “Do not touch” was overtly spelled out. I was surprised to discover that those organizations, while expressly prohibiting sexual boundary-crossings, did not expressly prohibit touch.

The nurturing touch is hardly a new idea. In the early to mid 20th century, object relations theorists like Otto Rank, Melanie Klein, Ronald Fairbairn and D.W. Winnicott helped shift the focus of psychoanalysis from Oedipal development to pre-Oedipal development — that of infants and very young children — in which soothing touch plays a critical role. Later on, psychological researchers furthered our understanding of how essential physical touch is to providing comfort and emotional regulation in adults as well as children.

Today, neuroscientists have learned that when humans get emotionally upset, our bodies react to manage the increased energy. These physical reactions bring discomfort at best and at worst are unbearable. What can we do to obtain immediate help when we are distressed so that we don’t have to resort to superficial balms like drugs or psychological mechanisms like repression? What kind of relief is affordable, efficient, effective and nontoxic?

The answer is touch. Hugs and other forms of nonsexual physical soothing, like hand-holding and head stroking, intervene at the physical level to help the brain and the body calm down from overwhelming states of anxiety, panic and shame.

This insight was driven home for me when I underwent training in trauma psychotherapies such as accelerated experiential dynamic psychotherapy (A.E.D.P.) and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (E.M.D.R.). These therapies, which are somatic, or body-related, in emphasis, taught me to make use of my patients’ fantasies and imaginations to help them satisfy unmet needs or regulate their rattled nervous systems. Those fantasies, I have found, are often rooted in physical comfort. I frequently guide my patients’ present-day adult selves to act as their own nurturing mother or father, to offer solace to any suffering “parts” of themselves that need or want hugging and holding.

I also encourage my patients to learn to ask for hugs from their loved ones. A therapeutic hug, one designed to calm the nervous system, requires some instruction. A good hug must be wholehearted. You can’t do it halfway. Two people, the hugger and the “huggee,” face each other and embrace each other with their full bodies touching. Yes, it is intimate. The hugger should be focused on the huggee with purposeful intention to offer comfort. It is literally a heart-to-heart experience: The heartbeat of the hugger can regulate the heartbeat of the huggee. Lastly and very important, the hugger must embrace the huggee until the huggee is ready to let go and not a moment before.

The paradox of hugs is that though they are quintessentially physical, they can also be enacted mentally. I often invite my patients, if it feels right for them, to imagine someone they feel safe with, including me, holding them. This works because the brain does not know the difference between reality and fantasy in many ways.

Gretchen, for example, sometimes feels small and scared. I know her well, so I can tell just by looking when she is being triggered into shame. To help her feel better, I intervene using fantasy. “Gretchen,” I say, “can you try to move that part of you that’s feeling shame right now to the chair over there?” I point to a chair in my office. “Try to separate from that part of you,” I continue, “so you can see it from the eyes of your present-day calm and confident self.”

I gesture with my hands to convey a part of her coming out of her body and joining the two of us on the chair a few feet away. Gretchen visualizes in the chair the shame-filled part of her — in her case, her 6-year-old self. In this fantasy, Gretchen hugs and soothes the 6-year-old. Sometimes, however, that 6-year-old wants me, not Gretchen’s adult self, to hug her. I invite Gretchen to imagine that I am hugging the girl. In this way, I “pretend hug” many of my patients without actually touching them.

I still have my Freudian-trained self sitting over my shoulder, judging the use of “real” hugs in treatment. So even when I think a physical hug would be therapeutic, I continue to rely on fantasy. And ultimately, I believe it better for the patient to learn to self-soothe, and that is an ability that fantasy cultivates.

But sometimes, as in Gretchen’s case, actual touch changes something deep. It seems, at those times, that there is no substitute for the real thing.

Nissan Reuven ben Felice Feiga Gittel

Please daven for him. He has undergone many many very difficult trials. 

The Source Of Parnassa


The last section of Parshas Emor discusses the Mekallel, the man who cursed the Name of Hashem. After describing the man’s crime, the instructions from Hashem for punishment, and the execution of that punishment, the section closes with, “Uvnei Yisrael Asu Kaasher Tzivah Hashem Es Moshe,” “And Bnei Yisrael did according to what Hashem commanded Moshe” (24:23). This seems quite redundant; the Pasuk already described how Bnei Yisrael performed the prescribed punishment of stoning! What does this Pasuk add to our understanding of the story?

Another question arises from a Midrash about the motivations of the Mekallel. The Midrash comments that what drove the Mekallel to “go out” (24:10) and curse the Name of Hashem was the previous section about the Lechem HaPanim. The Torah states that the Kohanim eat the Lechem upon removing it from the Shulchan a full week after it is placed there. According to the Midrash, the concept that the Kohanim were serving Hashem with cold, stale bread was so upsetting that he was moved to commit his crime. This, too, seems very strange – how could such a seemingly small issue drive someone to such a severe offense?

The Tolna Rebbe Shlita answers both questions by explaining the Midrash allegorically. The Mekallel was not upset about bread in the literal sense. Rather, he was troubled by the symbolism of the bread. Throughout Tanach and the Midrash, bread symbolizes Hashem’s providing us with Parnassah, sustenance. The Lechem HaPanim is one manifestation of this symbolism. Indeed, the Gemara (quoted by the Rambam as practical Halacha) states that because the Lechem HaPanim is the vehicle of Hashem’s sustenance to Bnei Yisrael, the Kohanim who remove the old bread must simultaneously slide the new bread on so that there will not be a break in the “conduit.” It was this concept of Hashem’s Parnassah, the idea that Hashem is personally and actively involved with providing for His creations, that bothered the Mekallel. He believed that the bread was cold and stale, i.e. there was no such involved, loving connection with Hashem. What he failed to recognize was that, as Chazal say, the bread stayed warm and fresh from week to week, i.e. this close relationship does exist. It was this philosophical error that caused the Mekallel to commit the offense that he did.

Finally, the Pasuk concludes by saying that “Bnei Yisrael did as Hashem commanded.” Despite the presence of such a strong challenge to the idea Hashem’s influence in the world, Bnei Yisrael remained steadfast in their belief in Hashem.


May we always know where our parnassa comes from!!!

Rabbi Nisson Wolpin z"l



BROOKLYN - Rabbi Nisson Wolpin, z”l, a pioneer of Torah journalism who worked closely with gedolei Yisrael for decades in his position at the helm of the Jewish Observer magazine, was niftar late Monday night, 29 Nisan. He was 85 years old.

When Rabbi Wolpin was initially approached by Rabbi Moshe Sherer, z”l, and Dr. Ernst L. Bodenheimer, z”l, to become editor of the Jewish Observer, he was reluctant to leave what had been a very successful career in chinuch. Yet, when he put the matter before Harav Yaakov Kamenetsky zt”l, the Gadol encouraged him to accept the offer, telling him, “You will still be working in chinuch,” albeit for a different age group. It was with that earnest sense of responsibility that Rabbi Wolpin approached the task of stewarding the magazine, ensuring that its content was professionally presented, engaging, and an accurate reflection of hashkafos haTorah.

“He was an ish emes, who looked for the truth and would not budge from it,” his brother Rabbi Dovid Wolpin told Hamodia. “He had a very sharp mind and was not a naïve person in the least, but he was completely mevatel himself to daas Torah; he accepted what the gedolei Yisrael had to say and accepted criticism graciously because he really meant all that he did l’shem Shamayim.”

Nisson Wolpin was born in 1932 in Seattle, Washington. His father, Reb Efriam Ben Tzion, z”l, a hailed from the city of Pinsk, Belarus, and had studied in Yeshivas Yitzchok Elchonon, then on the Lower East Side, before accepting a position as a melamed in Seattle. His mother, Mrs. Kaila Wolpin, a”h, was born in Ukraine and immigrated to the U.S. with her father who led a shul in Brownsville for many years.

In those days, Seattle did not yet have a Jewish day school, and so the Wolpin brothers attended public school by day and studied in a Talmud Torah in the late afternoon. Despite the limited hours of operation, the Talmud Torah offered a serious atmosphere for learning and catered to many frum families. Among young Nisson’s rebbeim was Reb Baruch Shapiro, z”l, a talmid of the Rogatchover Gaon, zt”l, and the Ohr Somayach, zt”l.

At 15, Rabbi Wolpin was enrolled in Mesivta Torah Vodaath where he spent many years engaged in tremendous growth in Torah and yiras Shamayim. The menahel Harav Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz, zt”l, emphasized hashkafah and duty to Klal Yisrael, and the young talmid from Seattle was deeply influenced. The message and ruach of Mesivta Torah Vodaath played a significant role in determining Rabbi Wolpin’s life’s mission. He also formed long-lasting bonds with both Harav Yaakov Kamenetsky, zt”l, and Harav Gedalia Schorr, zt”l.

In 1952, Rabbi Wolpin joined a small group of elite talmidim of the yeshivah who traveled to Los Angeles to strengthen a mosad that was founded by Harav Simchah Wasserman, zt”l. Upon his return, he joined Bais Medrash Elyon in Monsey where he studied together with many future gedolei Yisrael and prominent marbitzei Torah.

He married Devorah Cohen, the daughter of Reb Mayer, z”l, and Mrs. Yospa Cohen, a”h, who then lived in Ottawa, Canada. The couple spent a short time in Williamsburg where Rabbi Wolpin worked as a dorm counselor in Torah Vodaath and later moved to Scranton, Pennsylvania, where he taught in the local day school.

Knowing Rabbi Wolpin’s merits from his time together with him in Bais Medrash Elyon, and noting his success as a mechanach, in 1958 he was asked by Harav Yehoshua Geldzheler, zt”l, to join Yeshivas Ohr Yisrael, the cheder the latter founded in Forest Hills, Queens.

In 1970, Rabbi Wolpin assumed the position of editor of the Jewish Observer under the auspices of the Agudath Israel of America. “The JO quickly became the flagship publication of the Torah world, and thousands of Jewish families awaited its arrival each month to read the guidance of Gedolei Klal Yisrael, and the thoughts of its many accomplished writers,” said the Agudah in a statement mourning Rabbi Wolpin’s petirah. “Under Rabbi Wolpin’s discerning and demanding eye, the periodical became the archetype of Torah-hashkafah married to excellent writing. That remained the magazine’s standard over the nearly 400 issues it published.”

He gave many long and late hours to the publication working with his staff of writers, editorial board, and gedolei Yisrael with whom he was in constant contact for guidance on the magazine’s content. Writers who worked with Rabbi Wolpin recalled that his editorial comments on submissions were insightful and he found ways to skillfully and subtly emphasize the message of the article.

His prominent position and access to the leaders of Klal Yisrael did not change Rabbi Wolpin’s low-key personality.

“Being an editor is not an easy job, but he was consistently held in high regard and loved by the many people he worked with,” said Rabbi Dovid Wolpin. “He was willing to do what he needed to to fulfill the mission of the magazine. But, as public of a job as that was, he did whatever he could to stay out of the lime light. It’s a very unusual combination.”

The Wolpin home had open doors to many in need of a warm meal, a kind word, or a bed to sleep in. Many individuals and families were touched deeply by the quiet chassadim of Rabbi and Mrs. Wolpin.

Since leaving his position at the Jewish Observer in 2008, Rabbi Wolpin began spending the vast majority of his time in the beis medrash, learning with various chavrusos. In 2010, the Wolpins moved to Eretz Yisrael where several of their children live.

The levayah was held on Tuesday in Yerushalayim and kevurah took place on Har Hazeisim.

Rabbi Wolpin is survived by, ybl”ch, his wife Mrs. Devorah Wolpin; sons, Harav Rafael Tzvi, Harav Moshe Yaakov, and Harav Yitzchok Dovid; daughters, Mrs. Henny Storch, Mrs. Miriam Baumel, Mrs. Rochel Lobenstein, and Mrs. Sarah Bromspeigel; as well as by many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Yehi zichro baruch.

[Hamodia]

-----------------------

Some people only remember only one thing about Rabbi Wolpin - he didn't write a eulogy of Rav Soloveitchik in the Jewish Observer that was befitting a true gadol. 

Of course that is silly. One can't ignore 85 years of life and focus only on one article and to make that a person's legacy. That is small minded. But people often tend to be small minded... 

One other point - Why did Rabbi Wolpin have to believe that Rav Soloveitchik was a gadol? Why does everybody have to accept other people's gadol as being a gadol?? Of course it is forbidden to disgrace a talmid chochom but apparently Rabbi Wolpin believed - as does the most of the Charedi world - that Rav Soloveitchik erred on key isues of hashkafa and therefore was not deserving of the eulogy he would have written for - let's say - Rav Aharon Kotler. Is it forbidden to believe that someone is incorrect if many of the greatest Rabbis of the recent generations disputed him? [They did offer a eulogy for him which is not done for the vast majority of charedi rabbonim who pass on but nobody mentioned that]. 

I am not here to judge who was right [because I am a nobody] although I will say that I  personally am not comfortable with some of Rav Soloveitchik's positions. The position of other great sages are easier for me to swallow on various issues. Does that make me an evil or stupid person? I hope not. 

My point is that we must listen to Chachmei Yisrael but are not obligated to accept the position of every Chacham on every issue. That would be impossible. And if we chose to follow a certain gadol or certain group of gedolim we are not obligated to accept other gedolim as being our guides. So respect - of course. But if someone doesn't accept MY gadol, it is not necessarily a lacking in his Avodas Hashem and I don't have to accept his gadol.    

"והאמת והשלום אהבו!"