Eyes to See is a courageous call by Rabbi Yom Tov Schwarz, a leading ultra-Orthodox sage, for fundamental change in the Torah-observant community.
In it, the author calls for the abolition of a dangerous new phenomenon – the tendency among various Orthodox groups to establish their own insulated networks of schools and other institutions – because divisiveness and discord are a natural consequence of this factionalism within Jewish society. He implores Orthodox Jewry to designate a fast day in remembrance of the Holocaust, as indifference to the greatest tragedy in Jewish history can only sow cruelty and breed immorality. The author also calls upon Orthodox Jewry to re-assess the manner in which we relate both to our non-religious brethren and our non-Jewish neighbors, highlighting the Torah’s command that we be compassionate and honest with all people, and that we strive to glorify G-d’s Name and bring honor to the Torah by the manner in which we behave in even the most mundane aspects of our daily lives.
Eyes to See: Recovering Ethical Torah Principles Lost in the Holocaust was written with the goal of restoring integrity, compassion, unity and Kiddush HaShem to their central role in the observance of Torah and Mitzvos, as Halacha demands. This will serve to correct a number of serious errors and misconceptions of Torah views, values and obligations that resulted from the annihilation of nearly all of the great European Torah leaders in the Holocaust. This destruction left a young generation of bereft and bewildered survivors without the great Torah personalities necessary to educate and impress upon them the absolute centrality of these traditions and laws for correct Torah observance.
Eyes to See is a powerful work, brilliantly woven from Biblical, Talmudic and later rabbinical writings. It paints a magnificent view of traditional Judaism, revealing that morality and ethics, honesty and integrity, and compassion and kindness are so basic to authentic Torah Judaism that they define Jewishness itself.
This work also includes an incisive analysis of how the pre-Holocaust rabbinic infrastructure was destroyed and never rebuilt and lays out a framework for regaining the trust and respect rabbinical courts ought to have. Similarly, Eyes to See presents a blueprint for the arrest and reversal of the frightening decline of great Torah scholarship, despite an ever-growing number of yeshivas and kollels.
About the Author
Rabbi Yom Tov Schwarz was born in Oswencim (Auschwitz), Poland in 1921. Recognized at a young age as a scholar and child prodigy, he entered the famed Yeshiva Chachmei Lublin at the age of fifteen. After miraculously surviving over two years in ghettos and two years in concentration camps, Rabbi Schwarz became the Chief Rabbi of Luneburg, Germany in 1947. He settled in the US in 1951 and has served as the Rav of K’hal Nachlas Yaakov in Brooklyn, NY (previously of Queens, NY) for the past forty years.
Rabbi Schwarz is the author of a number of published scholarly works in Hebrew, the latest of which is the multi-volume collection of responsa Adnei Nechoshes, comprising his halachic decisions on a broad range of the most serious legal issues of our time. Its originality, creativity and clarity, coupled with far-reaching erudition in Talmudic and rabbinic literature, has resulted in the establishment of Rabbi Schwarz as an authority of wide repute, though he is not as well-known outside of scholarly circles.