- It seems that in Bnei Brak in the ‘60s, a group of yeshiva people or people from the Chazon Ish Kollel got together and instituted that they want to be like Maimonides and they want to be very machmir and they want to have a negative attitude and they just want to indulge in sex because they have to for procreation. They don’t want to take the concept of sex into consideration and some of the wives went and complained to the Gadol Hador at that time, the Steipler Rav, the famous R’ Yaakov Yisrael Kanievsky. And the Steipler wrote a four-page letter which he didn’t want published but circulated. Every Rosh Yeshiva gave it to a chatan at his wedding and in the four-page letter he tells these yeshiva boys off. He says to them, you think you’re tzaddikim; in reality you’re terrible sinners. You treat your wives like legal prostitutes. That’s the word that he uses. And the women cry; this is not the way to treat a woman. And he goes into rashei prakim simple, sexual knowledge, how to treat a woman. Very famous letter.
The letter was published anonymously years later by Rabbi Nachum Drazin, Rabbi Nathan Drazin, rabbi in Baltimore, the most famous rabbi in Baltimore, a YU musmach out of the ‘20s, a talmid of the Meitscheter Illui and Rabbi Revel. And Rabbi Drazin, among the sefarim he wrote, he wrote a sefer, ‘Marriage Made in Heaven.’ In English the book was not a best-seller because by the 1960s every kid going to yeshiva in America knew the facts of life. He didn’t need anyone to tell him. If he just read The New York Times already, he knew the facts of life. The Hebrew translation of the book, ‘Zivug Min HaShamayim’ became a tremendous best-seller. And here there was a great need for it. And the Roshei Yeshiva explained about the Steipler that b’zman hazeh where everyone knows about sex, we cannot and should not take a negative attitude.
And therefore there’s no question, when we go into the rabbinate, when we go into chinuch, and this is so important, because the spiritual leader shapes attitudes; you can affect children for life by the attitude you can convey to them and it’s important b’zman hazeh to be positive and this is the Steipler. You don’t have to quote Rakeffet and say, ‘What do you expect out of a rotten, vicious, malicious, hideous, heinous, ruthless, depraved, degenerate, surreptitious, malevolent YU graduate?” This is the Steipler Rav speaking! And you have the source in Rabbi Drazin’s book beginning on page 110. It’s right there before your eyes.
UPDATE (10/27/09): I found the book and scanned the letter. You can read it here.