Enter Rabbi Avigdor Miller, an influential rabbi who passed away in Brooklyn in 2001.
From his Wikipedia article:
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Rabbi Avigdor Miller (1908-2001) was a Haredi rabbi, author and lecturer in the United States. He served simultaneously as a communal rabbi and as the mashgiach ruchani ("spiritual advisor/supervisor") of Yeshiva Rabbi Chaim Berlin and as a teacher in Bais Yaakov for many years.
1.1 Yeshiva University
1.2 Slabodka yeshiva
1.3 Chelsea, Massachusetts
1.4 Mesivta Chaim Berlin
1.5 Yeshiva Gedola Bais Yisroel
1.6 Character and personality
1.8 Awareness of creation's good
Rabbi Miller was born to a non-rabbinical family in 1908 in Baltimore.
At age 17, Miller went to New York and attended and graduated from Yeshiva College and RIETS, attaining a B.A. and rabbinical ordination, respectively.
He was elected the student body president at the time, and was also the baal korei.
Rabbi Moshe Bick, known as the Mezubizher Rav, who arrived in the United States in 1927, was one of Rabbi Miller's early study partners.
At that time in YU he joined a chabura together with five other young men (who all later became notable Hareidi rabbis) to study Mussar from the book Mesillas Yesharim under Rabbi Yaakov Yosef Herman, a pioneer in Orthodox Judaism in America in the early 20th century. Rabbi Herman encouraged Miller to travel to Europe to learn Torah in the prestigious yeshivas there. Miller met Rabbi Isaac Sher, the son-in-law of Rabbi Nosson Tzvi Finkel, who was in New York to collect funds for the Slabodka yeshiva. Although it was during the Depression and he did not raise much money, he later declared this trip to America his most successful, since he was able to recruit and bring such a bright student to Slabodka.
In 1932, at the age of 24, Rabbi Miller arrived in Europe to study at the famous Slabodka yeshiva in Lithuania. There, he studied under Rabbi Sher. While he was in yeshiva, Rabbi Shulman of Slabodka, son-in-law of Rabbi Sher, introduced Rabbi Miller to Ettel Lessin, daughter of Rabbi Yaakov Moshe Lessin of Slabodka. The two married in 1935.
In all the prefaces for all his books and on many of his tapes he says that everything that is un-sourced should be considered the teachings of Rabbi Isaac Sher, who was his primary rabbi.
In 1938, due to the rise of Nazism and the tensions leading up to World War II, Rabbi Miller sought to return to the United States with his wife and two children. Fortunately, the American consul in Kovno at the time was a Baltimore acquaintance of Rabbi Miller's, a public high-school classmate, who speedily arranged passage for Rabbi Miller's wife and children who had not been born in the United States.
Upon his return, Rabbi Miller became the rabbi of a synagogue in Chelsea, Massachusetts. Initially, the community was taken aback by Rabbi Miller's audacious and intense volume of Torah presentations, attempting to restrain his unconventional approach. However, within a few years the community had radically changed their minds, and indeed besought Rabbi Miller to stay longer.
Mesivta Chaim Berlin
In 1944, Rabbi Yitzchok Hutner, rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Rabbi Chaim Berlin, persuaded Rabbi Miller to become its mashgiach ruchani, in which position he served until 1964. In 1945, Rabbi Miller also assumed the pulpit of the Young Israel of Rugby in Brooklyn, New York City. In 1975, with neighborhood demographics changing, Rabbi Miller established the Bais Yisroel of Rugby Torah Center on Ocean Parkway in Flatbush, which served as his main vehicle of Torah dissemination until his passing.
Yeshiva Gedola Bais Yisroel
In 1986, Rabbi Shmuel Miller, Rabbi Avigdor's son, opened Yeshiva Gedola Bais Yisroel in Flatbush, where his father served as mashgiach and rosh yeshiva. Rabbi Miller was also a revered and honored lecturer at many yeshivas and Bais Yaakov schools throughout the years, cherished by his students.
Character and personality
Rabbi Miller was a master orator, having superb command of the English language. His personal magnetism drew students, young and old, from all Jewish backgrounds.
Rabbi Miller also trained himself to demand very little physically. For more than sixty years, he slept on a board.
[END WIKIPEDIA] The rest of the article can be seen here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avigdor_Miller.
Now, this dude slept on a board for over 60 years. Let me ask you, is this normal behavior? Is this something mainstream Judaism should condone or condemn as stupidity in the name of God?
This is one reason why people who are passively orthodox or not orthodox should run from the regular black-hat orthodox. While one may say, oh so its just a different lifestyle, he ain't bothering you, this kind of idiocy gets purported as true authentic Judaism while we are such horrible apikorsousiem for sleeping on normal beds. THERE'S NO RULE THAT SAYS YOU NEED TO SLEEP ON A BOARD TO BE CLOSE TO GOD. THIS IS STUPIDITY IN THE NAME OF GOD!
As an important step in returning sanity to orthdoxy, there has to be a consensus inside the orthodox community that this sleeping on a board for over 60 years nonsense is not a legitamate way of being Jewish, nor are other forms of insane ascetecism.