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Hartman Institute mourns passing of Rabbi Dr. Emanual Rackman, Rabbi Mickey Rosen

David Hartman commented on the passing of two rabbis of significant achievement in the past week

Rabbi Prof. David Hartman dedicated his Dec. 8 Lindenbaum lecture to the memories of Rabbi Dr. Emanuel Rackman and Rabbi Mickey Rosen, both of whom died in the past week.

This is Rabbi Hartman’s statement:

I would like to dedicate this lecture to two very fine rabbis who died this week.
One was a very great man who really was an example to American Judaism of courage and learning – Rabbi Emanual Rackman. He was a former president of Bar- Ilan University, and equally as well was a major figure in my life, because he represented a certain type of orthodoxy, which had courage, had innovative powers and was not frightened to shake the establishment – and he did.
He was the one who opened up a beit din for agunot in America. I know many people who had problems of agunah, but he gave them new life.
The other person is someone who made a major contribution in the city of Jerusalem toward a different understanding of spirituality and prayer, and music in the service. That was Rabbi Mickey Rosen, who was also a good friend of mine, and I had the privilege of davening at Yakar, the synagogue and learning center he founded, for many years until (my daughter) Tova opened up her Shira Hadasha.
Many things in Jerusalem wouldn’t have taken place if he had not first initiated them. I remember I was very moved that before Pesach in his shul you brought your chametz from your house and he distributed it to Arabs, which is not typical of rabbis and above all Orthodox rabbis.
So, I think it would be nice for all of you to reflect on these losses. Rackman was 98, and Mickey was 64 and was ill for many years, but he had enormous resources and courage to make major contributions.
I don’t know if they would agree with what I am going to be saying tonight, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that I am dedicating this talk to them, and if they disagree, they can appear to me in prophetic revelation.

Rabbi Rackman, Dec. 1 in New York at the age of 98. He was chancellor of Bar-Ilan University in Tel Aviv, after having served as its president.

Rabbi Rackman was also provost of Yeshiva University in New York in the 1970s. He also taught political philosophy and jurisprudence at New York University, City University of New York and YU.

A former colonel in the United States Air Force Reserve, Rackman served as president of the New York Board of Rabbis and of the Rabbinical Council of America. He also served as Vice-President of the Religious Zionists of America.

In a statement, the Institute said Rabbi Rackman was "an innovative and courageous Jewish leader whose love for halakhah gave him the strength to demand solutions to pressing moral concerns. Rabbi Dr. Rackman was truly one of the great rabbis of our generation."

Rabbi Rosen, founder of Yakar, a synagogue, learning community and center for innovative religious thought, died Monday, Dec. 8, at age 64. Rosen was a native of London.

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