Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Rav Soloveitchik and the Madoff Scandal

I think most readers are familiar with the $50 billion Madoff scandal (if you aren't, read this: link). I don't have much to add about this other than sympathy for those who have lost huge amounts of money in this scam, including Yeshiva University which, according to the NY Times, lost between $100-110 million (link).

R. Dr. Tzvee Zahavy offers some words of wisdom from R. Joseph B. Soloveitchik on matters like this (link):

As a courtesy, when I was his student, I used to drive the legendary Rav J. B. Soloveitchik, the Rabbinic head of the Yeshiva, to the airport on Thursday after he finished his teaching for the week, so that he could return home to Boston.

During one such drive around 1971, with some concern I inquired about what the Rav thought about the serious financial crisis of that time that YU faced. I was surprised to hear both the certainty and the flavor of the Rav's response to me. He said:

"The Yeshiva has survived many serious financial crises for many years and I am sure it will survive many more serious financial crises for many more years."
Ken yehi ratzon.

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