Aharon Feldman


Aharon Feldman

Aharon Feldman is a rabbi and "rosh yeshiva" (dean) of Yeshivas Ner Yisroel (Ner Israel Rabbinical College), an Orthodox yeshiva located in Baltimore, Maryland. He has held this position since 2001.

He is the son of Rabbi Joseph H. Feldman, (d. 1992) who was the last rabbi to formally serve as Chief Rabbi of Baltimore, Maryland. The Feldman family is a prominent rabbinic family, his elder brother Rabbi Emanuel Feldman is the former editor of "Tradition" and was a prominent pulpit rabbi in Atlanta, Georgia. His younger brother Rabbi Joel Feldman, was the Dean of Talmudical Academy of Baltimore.

A close disciple of Rabbi Yaakov Yitzchak Ruderman zt"l, the founder of Ner Yisroel, he moved to Bnei Brak in his twenties and studied in the world-renowned Kollel Chazon Ish and became close to leading rabbinic personalities such as Rabbi Yaakov Yisrael Kanievsky zt"l (a.k.a. Steipler Gaon) and Rabbi Elazar Shach zt"l, the preeminent leader of Charedi Judaism in the late twentieth century.

In 1994 he spoke publicly against the actions of Baruch Goldstein saying that there could be "no justification," and describing the actions as "way beyond the pale." ["Way Beyond The Pale: Rabbis say Baruch Goldstein's murder rampage", Steve Lipman, "The Jewish Week", March 10, 1994.]

Rabbi Feldman was interviewed in the 2001 documentary film Trembling before God about young orthodox Jewish gay men. ["Trembling Before Gd overreaches", "Deseret Morning News", February 14, 2003.]

In 2003 he penned a public response to a question from Gil Student asking how Orthodox Jews should relate to Chabad messianists. He expresses wonderment at the fact that the "great halachic authorities" have not published rulings on this subject and reluctantly agrees to issue a ruling himself. He makes a clear distinction between what he terms the "meshichists" (those who believe the late Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson is the messiah) and the "elokists" (those who believe he was a part of God or God "clothed in a body"). He rules that it is forbidden to associate with "elokists" under any circumstances due to their heresy and they cannot be counted for a "minyan". He rules it is also forbidden to support the "meshichists" in any way that lends credence to their messianic beliefs though they are not strictly heretics. He argues that although there is a Talmudic source (Sanhedrin 98b) that the Jewish messiah may come from the dead, nevertheless that source indicates that this messianic candidate must be similar to the prophet Daniel; Rabbi Feldman rules that anyone that can believe that the last Lubavitcher Rebbe was similar to the prophet Daniel has entirely compromised judgment and should not be given any leadership position. [http://moshiachtalk.tripod.com/feldman.pdf See also Rabbi Feldman's letter to David Berger:http://www.stevens.edu/golem/llevine/feldman_berger_sm_2.jpg]

In 2005 he was one of 15 Jewish educators invited to an informal discussion on Jewish education in the White House's Roosevelt Room. [Brown, Ellen Schur. "Bush hosts discussion on Jewish education", "Cleveland Jewish News", December 16, 2005]

Rabbi Feldman has authored and translated (from Hebrew to English) several books dealing with Jewish law and life. He wrote a critique of Rabbi Natan Slifkin which in turn generated several responses. [ [http://www.zootorah.com/controversy/ravaharon.html Rav Aharon Feldman's Article and Responses] .]

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