Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Eulogy On Rabbi Nisson Wolpin Z’L, Editor Of Jewish Observer, By Rabbi Yakov Horowitz – The Yeshiva World

Rabbi Horowitz' hesped is below the picture, in yellow typeface. These are a very few personal remarks by myself. I first knew Rabbi Wolpin zt"l as a camper at Camp Munk when he was assistant head counselor back in the late 60s to early 70s. Many years late, in 1989, I made his acquaintance again when I began writing for The Jewish Observer. Whatever faults The JO had, it was - largely due to Rabbi Wolpin's leadership - by far the most influential Jewish periodical of its time. Rabbi Wolpin's openness, wisdom, editorial acumen, and refinement made it a pleasure to work with him. He was a great man who captained a great periodical - without self aggrandizement, fanfare or publicity - למען ה' ולמען תורתו. He was a great embodiment of the ever-vanishing and nearly extinct true Agudist.


Eulogy On Rabbi Nisson Wolpin Z’L, Editor Of Jewish Observer, By Rabbi Yakov Horowitz – The Yeshiva World

It is with sadness, fond memories, and a profound sense of gratitude to him that I inform you of the Petira (passing) of Rabbi Nisson Wolpin z’l. Reb Nisson served Klall Yisroel (the Jewish people) in many roles over his rich and meaningful life, but is known best for his role as the Editor of Agudath Israel’s Je wish Observer.

Reb Nisson was brilliant, humble, dedicated, and was an outstanding mentor and role model, when I began writing publicly in 1996. He had a gift for making me feel like he was helping me with my essays, not rewriting my imperfect drafts. It was never about him; in today’s educational vernacular, he was a “guide on the side,” rather than, “a sage on the stage.” In fact, before he started editing my first piece, he asked me for Mechila (forgiveness) in advance and said, “Reb Yankie, to a writer, someone who edits your work is about as popular as someone who criticizes your child to you. I hope our relationship survives this.”

My first piece in The Jewish Observer, An Ounce of Prevention, was about teens-at-risk, a topic that was not discussed in polite company twenty years ago. Reb Nissan recognized the importance of airing this sensitive subject in the pages of Agudath Israel’s publication, and patiently taught a thirty-six-year-old rookie how to soften the edges of the passion that drove the piece, so that the essay would generate constructive light and not destructive flames.

He had a great, dry sense of humor, and I actually began looking forward to his sage critique of my writing, which continued over the years that I wrote in The Jewish Observer. Our paths have not crossed much over the past few years, but I am deeply grateful that I had the opportunity to thank him personally on several occasions for the profound impact he had on my life personally and professionally.

One of the essays I submitted to The Jewish Observer went back and forth between us much more than usual during the editing process. After this had been going on for a while, Rabbi Wolpin called me and said, “Reb Yankie, you are never really done editing. But there does comes a time when you just stop.”

Reb Nissan; you were never done serving Hashem and his people over your lifetime. But Hashem, in His infinite wisdom decided it was time for you to stop in this world and continue in the World to Come.

May your memory be for a blessing.

- See more at: http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/news/headlines-breaking-stories/1262330/eulogy-on-rabbi-nisson-wolpin-zl-editor-of-jewish-observer-by-rabbi-yakov-horowitz.html#sthash.vhZbKINQ.dpuf

1 comment:

  1. This comment appeared on another blog. The post was subsequently removed from the blog, so the comment can't be seen elsewhere. The commenter's pen name is Segel:

    In my younger post high school years I was an out of town boy learning in Borough Park in which I would spend many a Shabbos meal by the Wolpin family. So in addition to my yeshiva learning I gleamed many insights from my time at the Wolpins. I still remember in 1994 standing in their kitchen at the time when R' Nissan, another guest and myself were discussing both the Lubavitcher Rebbes' petira closely following the petira of the Rav the year before. Both were controversies that made it into their Shabbos conversations. It was my impression at the time, that those editorial decisions stemmed less from a conviction of 'emes' and more from a need to appear balanced and fair in the face of strong pressure from the kanoyim. R' Nissan viewed himself as a stabilising spokesman for 'centrist' Chareidim as a kind of buffet against the encroaching zealousness from his right. Ultimately this was an impossible task as conflicting identities and ideologies of puritanism vs moderation do not allow themselves to be reconciled.