Brisker Emotions

Parshat תרומה discusses the various items used in constructing the Mishkan. The פרוכת was the curtain that separated the Holy of Holies from the rest of the Heichal.

Rabbi Soloveitchik uses this פרוכת to explain the Brisker philosophy in their being accused of being “cold” and not showing emotion.

The Rav pointed out that his own father never kissed him even as a child. It was as if it was intended that a curtain be placed between one’s outward emotions and internal emotions.

This was a kind of צמצום or constriction, on an emotional level. The Rav argued that such a constriction represents a higher level real attachment than one shown by outward, physical demonstrations.

There was no doubt whatsoever that the Rav’s father, Rav Moshe, deeply loved his son on the highest level of a father-son. There was no need to show this level in a physical, superficial manner. It seemed that the implication of this unspoken, obvious love, was on a higher level than the other.

Whether we agree with Rabbi Soloveitchik’s opinion or not, it certainly gives us insight into the mindset of the great Brisker-Lithuanian scholars. Shabbat Shalom