Guide To The Perplexing – One Point of View

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37 Responses

  1. Ben Waxman says:

    We must strengthen ourselves and our children in our emunas chachamim.

    Does this demand differ from your (RA’s) demand/hope that Daas Torah be returned to its original proportions?

    [YA – You will have to ask him. Good chance that the words mean one thing to him, and something quite different to me. Is that supposed to bother me?]

  2. A bit of Seychel says:

    I am unsure of what the intention of this article is? Are we for or, against? Do we take sides or not? Do we wait for a Rabbi or Rosh Yeshivah to tell us who is right or wrong? How we know which one has Negios and which don’t? are all the wild statements those of the Rabbonim or the so called wicked Gabboim?

    In essence as a newly lapsed Charedi, I am disgusted by the lot and more importantly I note the general state of shock everyone around me is in. Bottom line, where is the accountability, where are the mature members of the community who stand up and say we have ALL gone wrong, from top to bottom! We have been beguiled by the power and the money and we have lost our way? Let us not try and hide from the EMES, this is all about power and money, the more votes, the more money, the more money the more power to get what you want including more votes. This is true not just in Israel but in the US as the Nonjews are starting to figure out and write articles about the orthodox Jewish voting blocks with associated back room deals.

    Coercing signatures, threatening peoples livelihoods and community standings, demanding votes for people based on back room deals that bring in money or buildings. To equate this to arguments in the Gemorah is laughable, Chazal were independently financiallly secure and beholden to no one. They fought over the text to ensure the purity of its transmission, not to garner greater media coverage, a few extra shekels etc…

    What are we supposed to think of the Daas Torah of those who told everyone to vote for the Religous in Bet Shemesh to find out that they may very well have managed to commit every Aviera in the book to hold onto power? Did Daas Torah have a bad day? They can only provide Insights when they are told the truth, but are unable to discern when they are lied to? Or perhaps they agree that the ends justify the means leaving our kids with a clear view that the Macheavelian approach we understand that was employed is the true Torah approach.

    Over the past few years we have seen a degradation of the community with no end of arrests and shenanigans across the board, but this is now coming the absolute top of the chain

    [YA I can commiserate about the pain and disappointment, but not agree with or accept your analysis. I can’t because a) it would be speculation on my part, not having heard from those in charge b) the halachic obligation to judge favorably is elevated in regard to a talmid chacham relative to the rest of the population.

    For dumb advice as to how to survive with the cognitive dissonance of it all, please see my responses to other comments.]

  3. Shades of Gray says:

    I wish the EY community well in solving this issue. In America, the issue of agunos “has been thrust upon us like a clap of thunder on a clear day” . RYG Bechhofer wrote on his blog:

    “Not being a navi, I cannot know why HKB”H is bringing the agunah issue out into the open in a way that is devastatingly denigrating to Torah Judaism, and which flies in the face of manifesting ourselves as an am chacham v’navon. As Am Yisroel in Galus is likened to an Agunah, perhaps we are being told that the Geulah will not come until we deal with the distortions in middos tovos, in values, ethics and morality, that have brought us to great heights of Chillul Hashem.”

  4. dr. bill says:

    the most important lesson concerns the consequence of deeply involving rabbis in the political arena. while there are some rabbis who have been successful, the result is often detrimental to kavod hatorah. the behavior of the rav ztl is instructive; when asked about a non-halakhic issue he would often tell people to consult with mr. X or Y and tell him their reasoning.

    [YA – You may be correct, but it is unfair (and likely impossible) to extrapolate from life in the US to the situation in Israel, where all aspects of life are politicized, and safeguards for the protection of any group are weaker]

  5. Netanel says:

    You speak of unity behind Gedolim, but it so revealing how you speak of a “Torah community”, meaning Chareidim. Are non-Chareidim “non-Torqh”?

    [YA – Chas v’shalom! I’m just reporting the work of others here. I cannot tell you whether the choice of words was deliberate or not. Do keep in mind, however, that “Charedim” would be just as poor, because that term includes chassidim who are not part of this battle. We need a single word to convey the meaning of “non-chassidic charedi Judaism.”]

  6. Eli B. says:

    Bisyata D’Shmaya and with all due respect to Rabbi Rubin, RSA, RCK & RALS:

    “We don’t ask our Rebbe in Yeshiva about orthopedic problems and we don’t have to listen to him. There are Hashkafic sugyos regarding which great people lack expertise! We ask our gemara rebbe a question in hilchos Shabbos and then ask a posek for a definitive answer. It is the latter to whom we listen to the Posek. This does not constitute a slight to our rebbe. On contemporary issues our community relies on a certain set of gedolei Torah. They are the address of last recourse.”

    Does this mean I should ask RALS my othopedic questions? Or are we allowed to posit that he may not be the unbiased (and I specifically use that term) expert here either? (P.S. I’m personally happy with his suggestions regarding the big issue of the draft, as if that makes a difference).

    “What’s the problem with two sides? What happened to Beis Hillel and Beis Shammai? This is patently false. Not every difference of opinion needs to result in two courses of action. In small matters as well as large ones, someone often has to make a binding decision.”

    The “binding decision” was always made on a local basis. The Yekkes, Litvaks, Hungarians, Belgians, etc. always had their own Minhagim and Hadracha (and certainly the US & Israel!) I see no reason why Beni Brak & Yerushalaim can’t have two separate local “hadrachos”. As a related point: they are not suggesting to throw the Briskers out because they didn’t vote at all.

    “The physical attack on RALS is an attack on all of us. The perpetrator was incited; the content and tone of the Eitz spokespeople was disgusting. They are responsible.”

    And saying anyone who doesn’t vote Gimmel is Chayiv Skilah (as reported by Matzav) is not incitement? All of the attacks on the Dati Leumi did not teach the Charaidi followers that incitement is an acceptable tool? The violence in Ponevizch and Beit Shemesh did not teach the charaidim the violence is an acceptable means towards the goal? Perhaps one should look in the mirror before calling the kettle black.

    They are both fully responsible (in my eyes. I can’t speak for the Ribbono Shel Olam, but He can’t be happy either). As far as I’m concerned (and I know it is harsh), “A plague o’ both your houses”.

  7. Ben Waxman says:

    I strongly suggest that anyone capable of reading the original do so.

  8. Dr. Yitzchok Levine says:

    I would add the following to “the paragraph that sums things up.”

    The following is from page 474 of volume 1 of Rabbi Chaim Dov Rabinowitz’s The History of the Jewish People. See for information about Rabbi Rabinowitz.

    “I already said that in the field of Jewish thought there are no hard-and-set
    halachic rulings, and there is no law which dictates that we are supposed to
    think or interpret concepts in a specific manner. If someone enjoys using his
    own logical deduction or that of a sage who isn’t mentioned in the Talmud
    or Midrash, he is perfectly within his rights to do so. Nevertheless, the
    statements of our Sages in the Aggadah contain a depth and breadth which
    was later explained and elucidated by many great people such as the
    Rambam and the author of the Chovot HaLevavot, and other Jewish
    thinkers and philosophers of lesser stature. These two almost never wrote
    anything without first checking for a source in the words of our Sages. I, for
    example, prefer the outlook and interpretations of our Sages to that of other
    interpretations. Even though I’m not qualified to pass judgment, when for
    example a sage such as the Abarbanel takes issue with a view voiced by our
    Sages and disputes it, it appears to me that they are in the right, and I have
    trouble understanding why the Abarbanel differed and preferred his own


  9. Chardal says:

    > We suffer from over-democratization.

    I had a very hard time taking any of the rest seriously after this. In a world where RSA is cast as being on the side of democratic pluralism is one in which the use of language has become so Orwellian that discourse is impossible. This analysis is the product of minds who insist on holding on to the myths of “THE gadol hador” (which R’ Adlerstein challenged in his last post, but which is being advanced by the “moderate” side here) and of daas Torah. I understand that it is hard the the Chareidi world to come to ideological terms with a world where following their gedolim has led to auch dis function and human suffering, but as mature adults, perhaps they should do some cheshvan nefesh not about whether their view of Torah authority has gone to such extremes that it is now just another form of avoda Zara.

    [YA – I’m not sure I read it the same way. I think R Rubin was arguing that each subgroup needs to look to some stellar talmid chacham as the final arbiter, especially on matters of public policy. That doesn’t make him the gadol hador. And while I might have my own misgivings about the way daas Torah has changed its meaning in the past few decades, I would argue that I am not reassured by any competing model. The DL community (about which I find much to like and celebrate) seems plagued by the opposite position, just as the MO community is in the US: the apparent absence of any leadership at all that commands the respect of the majority of the community]

  10. Bob Miller says:

    The system as it exists seems unable to cope with challenges to authority except through suppression of the opposition. Does this work nowadays? Is the process that led to this turmoil sacrosanct?

  11. cvmay says:

    ‘This is virtually non-existent among older people, and among Chassidim, with whom the notion of authority still has meaning’.

    Is the former part of the sentence true? Litvish torah world has never abided by ONE AUTHORITY, not in Europe, not in America….that is a main difference between them and the world of Chassidim.

  12. contarian says:

    Rabbi Adlerstein:

    What made you change your mind. Previously, you wrote that one should stay out of the arguments among gedolim. Now you have jumped in with both feet on one side.

    [YA – I am not taking any side. I offered the synopsis of Rabbi Rubin’s presentation b/c it contained points and emphases far less extreme than what many of us confused folks were imputing to one side. I am neither accepting nor rejecting R Rubin’s position, in whole or in part – other than the last paragraph, which I do embrace, albeit with a more American understanding of some of the terms]

  13. BR says:

    Rabbi Rubin (in your words) says “This might be an irreparable rift with people whom we regarded, until recently, as our closest brothers. Is it all over? Some Gedolim hold that the separatists have to be ushered out of the community. Not as vengeance, but because of the educational repercussions. Klal Yisrael has not experienced this sort of thing for hundreds of years.”

    You then say “I offered the synopsis of Rabbi Rubin’s presentation b/c it contained points and emphases far less extreme than what many of us confused folks were imputing to one side.”

    Far less extreme?

    [YA – Yes!!!!]

  14. S Robinson says:

    Thanks for this, but I still have many unresolved questions. The extremism of Eitz did not come from nowhere. It seems that the rhetoric and now violence has been a growing problem in the Torah community (communities?). When a community’s leaders use incendiary rhetoric against those outside their camp, its almost inevitable that sooner or later its going to be used inside the camp as well.
    But my real problem is with your concept of Daas Torah. There is ONE leader, and thats not Rabbi Auerbach, its Rabbi Shteinman and Rabbi Kanievsky. And what they say goes, because Klal Yisroel has always been led by the Godol Hador. But these Rabbis lead only one part of Torah Jewry. They are not the Gedolim of the Sefardim, or the Chasidim, or the Daati Leumi. So there isn’t one address at all. Your author writes of people ‘guiding the generation’ but the fact is there many different tziburs. We arent talking about a nasi or a Sanhedrin like gadol at all. And I dont think its true that The Chazon Ish and The Brisker Rov saw eye to eye on every issue. More pointedly, Rav Shteinman and Rav Kanievsky are both in their late 90s if not older. And if the next generation is led by Rav Aurbach, does that mean everyone has to stop voting Degel and vote Eitz instead? I mean don’t the issues matter at all? why shouldn’t someone who agrees with Rav Auerbach be allowed to vote Aitz? why should they be booted out of Kollel. OF course I abhor the violence, and to be frank although I care about the Yeshiva world a lot I’m not really part of that machaneh, but I think this approach actually creates problems and does not solve them. what happened to Eilu Vieilu?

    [YA – 1) Don’t shoot the messenger 2) He is not talking about Daas Torah, as it is commonly (mis)used. There are lots of people who would in fact say that there is only one Daas Torah, and that it resides with one person who is part of his subgroup. This is a separate, but related, issue. R Rubin is dealing with hanhagah, in a community that sees itself as a beleaguered minority, and has seen itself that way for well over a century. Because it is not as rejectionist of authority as you or I would be, it does not have so much of a problem in arguing that the tzibur (yes, defined narrowly) is best served by getting behind one platform.That tzibur should be led by its agreed upon leader. The leader of the non-chassidic haredi yeshiva world today is RALS. The argument would go: “Those who wish to follow R Shmuel Auerbach are free to start their own self-defined tzibur, just as there are other such subgroups within the haredi world, such as more flavors of chassidim than Baskin Robbins, Edot HaMizrach, etc. But let them not try to tell us that they are part of our tzibur, and we must listen to their decisions!” I couldn’t live within those parameters and keep my sanity, but this does not sound like an unjustifiable position, even if history doesn’t quite match its claims.]

  15. DF says:

    It is hard to believe that you truly believe any of the things you’ve written or quoted in this post and in the post previous. Do educated people use phrases such as “the prince of Torah?” Do we refer [as you did in response to a comment] to ourselves as “mere mortals” in contrast to certain rabbis, who are, perforce, immortals?

    Depend upon it: Any defense of the charedi world from someone educated invariably rings hollow, because educated people are not part of that world. The best one can do is shrug one shoulder’s, highlight the good in that community, and disclaim any ability to fathom it. Trying to defend it puts one in the impossible situation of picking and choosing between lifestyles of which we ourselves would never choose, and distinguishing between groups that to anyone but the protagonists are all but indistinguishable.

    [YA – 1) I was reporting, not endorsing. Do I believe those arguments? Some I do; some I don’t. You’ll have to guess 🙂 2) Do I think language like “prince of Torah” is appropriate? Yes. מאן מלכי רבנן . “Mere mortals?” אם הם כמלאכים אנו כבני אדם]

  16. Binyamin says:

    It’s seems more than a little disingenuous to say, “Klal Yisrael has a sense of smell as to who is worthy of that” and then go on to say that over 10,000 people that voted for a party led by someone other than the person you follow somehow lack the so called sensitivity that you claim to have.

    I am still at loss at the attempt to coerce this political correctness and have pledges forced upon people at the threat of expulsion from their place of learning and loss of livelihood. As far as I know, this is unprecedented in modern Chareidi history. There was a time when Poeli Agudas Yisrael was viewed as having betrayed the gedolim fighting sherut leumi. Nevertheless, there was no political loyalty test imposed on individuals learning in institutions that were run, funded and led by people that believed with their heart and soul that Sherit Leumi was literally a matter that required sacrificing one’s life for. The issues in play at the time were at least equal to today’s.

    We have a history of serious disagreements within our community regarding who one believes is the one most capable of leadership. To my knowledge, there was never this sense that unless there was absolute fidelity to a specific godol, you could not associate with a person.

    I am curious to know what the reaction of the readers of this blog would be if the so called “black hat” yeshivos would have instituted a takana that someone who looks to Reb Yosef Dov Soloveitchik as their leader must be expelled from Yeshiva.

    Did R’ Aaron countenance such an approach? R’ Moshe? R’ Yaakov? R’ Ruderman?

    The world did not spring into existence this past decade. We know that our gedolim never responded to challenges to their leadership in this fashion. Do we really think that the above mentioned people would not have put a stop to any yeshiva trying to expel someone for not swearing their loyalty to this or that person?

    I am totally at loss on to react to the situation. To me, this scorched earth approach is more causing more damage to my sense of who rightfully should be looked to for the answers to questions that impact all of us than anything else taking place.

    I would love for someone to present a cogent argument for what I am missing. That argument isn’t in the excerpt quoted above

  17. Dumbfounded from Afar says:

    When Rav Moshe Feinstein zt”l was asked how he came to be the most relied upon posek (in that famous piece in the NYT) he answered that he simply answered questions and people liked the answers (and presentation of the sources) he provided and kept on coming back. Eventually word got out and his home became the main addresses for community leaders to get their answers.

    I always thought that Rav Moshe’s answer was the classic explanation to how we choose our leaders. And how leaders emerge.

    But hearing what’s going on in E”Y, where people are told that there must be one consensus, and there is no room for multiple shitos on major matters, it seems that at least in E”Y the people’s views don’t matter as much. The main thing is to follow the leader.

    So what would Rav Moshe Feinstein have to say about the current situation?

  18. Crazy Kanoiy says:

    “RSZA or RYSE, but on klal sheilos they both always said go ask Rav Shach” – This claim as well as many other claims in this summary is simply incorrect. If my memory serves me correctly RSZA refused to publicly back the Degel Hatorah split from Agudah.

  19. Y. Ben-David says:

    History has shown that when verbal violence and harsh attacks that go beyond the limits of reasonable civilized
    discourse among people and groups that have major differences of opinion between them, it has been quite common for this rejection of civilized norms to then be turned against people WITHIN the original camp that is acting this way. If it is permissible to define someone with whom you have a significant political or ideological disagreement, who is otherwise a fellow religious Jew or is a civilized non-religious Jew, as a “rasha” and then conclude all the rules about lashon hara “don’t apply in this case” and that it is legitimate to stigmatize these opponents with epithets used for the worst enemies of the Jewish people, then it is very easy then to turn this on anyone else, even someone acutally quite close to you , and you end up with this situation described in this posting. It is almost inevitable. I hope people draw the proper conclusions.

  20. Crazy Kanoiy says:

    Claim: “But in matters pertaining to the direction that the Torah community takes, there has to be one person that decides.”

    Reality: In the 1973 elections Rav Shach and the Steipler refused to back Agudah (Gimmel) because of their opposition to Agudah running a joint list with PAI(Daled).They backed the Sefardim Chareidim instead. However Rav Chatzkel Abramsky, Rav Chaim Schmulevitz, Rav Shlomo Zalman and Rav Moshe Chevroni all advised to vote Agudah.

  21. Ben Waxman says:

    I see no reason why Beni Brak & Yerushalaim can’t have two separate local “hadrachos”. As a related point: they are not suggesting to throw the Briskers out because they didn’t vote at all.

    To expand on this correct point: 1) Perhaps the yeshvia world needs to do a rethink. It is no longer the small, poor, post-Holocaust community that it was 60 years ago. A different model of leadership may be needed. Just like many chassidic groups split when they get to a certain size, so too the Litvak world may need to split. Does splitting bring with it dangers and problems? Of course it does. But there may be no choice. And having multiple groups also has its own advantages.

    2) Not only did Brisk not vote, but other groups voted for Barkat. Certainly in the last election Gur went with him. The yeshiva leadership may be fooling itself if it really thinks that one answer fits all.

  22. Moshe says:

    “Derech halimud today is to figure out both sides of a machlokes rishonim, but not which one makes more sense! That’s what you need for asukei shmatesa aliba dehilchasah and they have no idea. To make decisions, you need the proper tools. Often this includes accepting authority.”

    I don’t understand this sentence. If I were simply accepting authority, what gives me the right to determine that this rishon made sense over that rishon? In fact, it seems to me that’s one of the reasons talmidim aren’t taught to evaluate which shittos make more sense. We don’t want to sound like we’re not accepting the authority of the rishon. Maybe it’s just me, but in the present climate I would be very hesitant to express a strong preference for one shita over another in yeshiva.
    OTOH, if I do use my critical faculties to determine which side makes more sense, let’s say in a machlokes between RALS and RSA, then I am not blindly accepting authority, I am deciding which one makes more sense to me. Unless neither does…

  23. cohen y says:

    “When Rav Moshe Feinstein zt”l was asked how he came to be the most relied upon posek (in that famous piece in the NYT) he answered that he simply answered questions and people liked the answers (and presentation of the sources) he provided and kept on coming back. Eventually word got out and his home became the main addresses for community leaders to get their answers.

    I always thought that Rav Moshe’s answer was the classic explanation to how we choose our leaders. And how leaders emerge.”

    Rav Moshe Feinstein was being humble

    He knew well his authority came originally from courageous ruling in a shochtim/rabbinic dispute against the rabbis,in which he was told he was henceforth forevermore finished in America.
    And moreso from the nascent yeshiva society which selflesly and voluntarily crowned him.

    “So what would Rav Moshe Feinstein have to say about the current situation?”

    Rav Moshe Feinstein’s threat during during the autopsy saga ,that unless there would a complete halt ,he will prohibit anyone from making aliya,should say it all

    (Rav Moshe Feinstein’s decision to turn down the offer of Chief rabbinate of jerusalem might also say something)

    As per Rabbi Wolbe’s Bitul to Da’as Torah, a close confidant revealed:

    Rabbi Wolbe once had a Din Torah at the Bais Din of Rabbi Nissim Karelitz in Bnei Brak. After hearing the two sides, Rabbi Karelitz made a ruling which ended up in favor of Rabbi Wolbe’s opponent. Rabbi Wolbe accepted the Psak wholeheartedly, said thank you and left without adding one word of “but maybe this or that…” to the amazement of all the participants.

    That incident exemplified his strong quality of accepting the rulings of Torah even if they weren’t seemingly to his understanding.

  24. cohen y says:

    “A talmid chacham spoke about the importance of supporting a charedi mayor in Yerushalayim. Yet it was a non-charedi candidate that the rabbonim originally supported. Being charedi or not was not the essential issue.”

    It was as simple as a little more chillul shabbos or a little less

  25. cvmay says:

    “in a community that sees itself as a beleaguered minority, and has seen itself that way for well over a century”

    Perhaps, Rabbi Adlerstein, this is part of the problem: Get off the battlegear, stop acting and thinking that you are being attacked & beleaguered and join in society.

  26. Moshe says:

    >> If my memory serves me correctly RSZA refused to publicly back the Degel Hatorah split from Agudah. <<

    Excerpt from an interview with R' Shmuel Auerbach, from 1996:

    Question: היו שהרהרו על היחסים שבין אבא לבין הגרא"מ שך. רבינו היה נוכח בפגישות ביניהם

    ההתבטלות של אבא לבהירות דעתו של הרב שך היתה מוחלטת. ללא סייג, ללא שמץ היסוס, וללא צל של ספק. אבא ראה ברב שך בכל פינה מפינות החיים את האיש על העדה, אשר יוציאם ואשר יביאם. אף פעם, לא זכורה לי אף פעם אחת שבה הרהר או ערער אחר הכרעותיו. אבא גם התבטא פעם, כי לא זכור לו מנהיג בסדר גודל עצום כל כך. ואבא הכיר הרבה מנהיגים.

    Question: ההעדרות שלו ממופעים מוצהרים של "דגל התורה"?

    גם בענין הזה חל שיבוש מוחלט. אבא השתמט מסוגיא זו משום שלא ראה את עצמו מוסמך ולא ביקש להביע דעת במקום שהרב שך הביע דעה. אבא בכלל היה אדם שמיעט להביע דעות ככל האפשר. ותמיד השתמט משום מידת דרך ארץ מנושאים שיש בהם מחלוקת, כאשר דעתו אינה נדרשת. כאן הוא גרס שדעתו אינה נדרשת, משום שלאחר הבעת דעה נמרצת כל כך של הרב שך, שוב לא היה צורך בהתבלטות עצמית שלו.

    אבא העריץ את הרב שך הערצה עצומה שאין למעלה הימנה, וסמך את שתי ידיו על כל מעשה דבור ופעולה שיצאו מתחת ידו.

    ההערצה הזו באה לידי ביטוי בכל מפגש ביניהם. נכחתי במפגשים הללו, וקשה לתאר את ההתבטלות המוחלטת שהיתה לאבא מולו.

    They backed the Sefardim Chareidim instead.

    Which Sefardi Charedi party ran in 1973?

  27. Shades of Gray says:

    “Our generation has been fed a diet of militancy and aggression by some of the charedi newspapers. Young men exposed to harsh criticims of the worst kind against great people! No one stopped them. Yated was venomous and aggressive – there was no supervision. People were bound and tied, powerless.
    RALS took it over and was taken to court! This should have happened 20 years ago; now it is too late.”

    How did it happen that “people were bound and tied, powerless”? Either way, it’s a positive thing that this has now been realized.

    R. Shach, according to R. Grylak held as follows:

    “The reason I am mentioning this detail is that in recent times, one of the claims being advanced by all manner of propagandists is that Rav Shach’s position was that the newspaper should be militant and aggressive, in the spirit of the editor who succeeded me in that position; he used his position to pounce, to attack indiscriminately, and to lie. In fact, when we approached Rav Shach for instruction in implementing his vision of a newspaper, he told us to write firmly and clearly, but at the same time, he repeated several times, “Do not attack anyone; just make our views be known.”

  28. Eric Leibman says:

    I have no idea what is going on because everyone keeps talking in vague circles. Will someone PLEASE tell me exactly what is going on here?

  29. Ben Waxman says:

    <Klal Yisrael has a sense of smell as to who is worthy of that.”

    If Klal Yisrael has such a sense of smell, then why threats, the expulsions, the pasuling people as eidim? Suddenly there is no trust in Klal Yisrael and people have to be ushered out of the community?

  30. Chardal says:

    >Which Sefardi Charedi party ran in 1973?

    I think he got confused with the 1984 elections when r shach told his people to vote for a new party called shas. In 1973 he simply told people not to vote for aguda because they joined forces with poalei agudat Yisrael (who were guilty of the great sin of working for a living and doing non-chaeidi things like farming and building yeshuvim ( most of the Dati Leumi communities in my area were founded by PAI and as they became more and more rejected by bnei brak, they came closer and closer to to the religious national camp. So we are forever grateful to r shach and the steipler for oppressing these tzadikim right into our communities. We are much richer for it just as the chareidim lost some of the best people from their camp. It was just the push they needed to see the error of their ways)

  31. Chardal says:

    > “Do not attack anyone; just make our views be known

    The attacks on lubavitch during r shach’s reign. His choice of words during the famous rabbit speech make me doubt the image being painted here of his leadership style.

    [YA Here we part company. I am not going to attack or second-guess R Shach. Would seem to be somewhat risky and reckless, given that mishnah about the glowing coals of the chachamim and all that. I will say that I don’t think your observations talk to the issue. He may have felt that at particular junctures, he had to use strong language. (Even notice how much of a feature that strong language is in rabbinic lit of 2000 years?) That is no contradiction at all to dictating general policy to his journalists that they should not attack people, but simply report their positions.]

  32. Moshe says:

    If Klal Yisrael has such a sense of smell, then why threats, the expulsions, the pasuling people as eidim? Suddenly there is no trust in Klal Yisrael and people have to be ushered out of the community?

    Klal Yisrael smells that this mutinous, dangerous minority needs to be ushered out of the community. Think Korach.

  33. amcha rabbi says:

    As the rabbi of a Kiruv community I must share that I am completely at a loss as to how to deal with the current situation – where major machlokes exists in many “unzere” communities. Suffice it to say it is pervasive. The amount and types of crimes being perpertrated by “unzere” of late is depressing. Compounded by our Gedolei HaDor issuing fatwas etc is the straw that breaks the camels back. What was once private is now public – and the aura of the beauty of a Torah way of life has been severely diminished. May The Almighty bring Moshiach Tzidkeinu BMEHEIRA BYOMAINU AMEN!

  34. Ben Waxman says:

    Klal Yisrael smells that this mutinous, dangerous minority needs to be ushered out of the community. Think Korach

    On the site, the rav said that there is quite a bit of opposition to the expulsions coming from roshei yeshivot who completely support Rav Kanyevski and Rav Schteinmann. These steps are being demanded from the top, not the “klal”.

  35. Reject says:

    1- Since I’m not familiar with the issues that the Rabbanim disagree on, how would I know — but it would be hard to believe — that RSA stepped so far out of line to justify the unprecendented step of expelling people from kollel. And today with the information superhighway, that step must factor also the terrible reactions of people all over the world.

    2- I don’t agree with RYNR; it is depressing to see RYA cite a speech with so many flaws, with a disclaimer, assumed true, that comes too late and too little. Where will RYA’s followers go for an opinion after this? However, Kanoiy’s claim that there was a split back in 1973 is effectively busted. Chardal post dates it to 1984, but at that time RYA, RCS, & RMC were no longer alive.

    3- What is the “educational disaster” in the first point? That educators are at a loss to explain the harshness with which the revered Rabbi B slammed the revered Rabbi A? And this is the revered Rabbi A’s fault?

    4- Regarding BOS’s claim that “more money more votes” — maybe. But certainly more money means higher staff-to-student ratios, bussing children from irreligious neighborhoods to observant schools, and building more Orthodox schools. I judge that to be altruistic. Whoever reads other people’s minds will know for sure if they want money selfishly, altruisitically, or a combination of the two. The rest of us will just have to figure it out with our own minds.

    But the good news is that I and the various segment of Klal Yisrael have a good sense of smell, so we got the picture right….

  36. Reject says:

    I meant “various segmentS”

    @Ben Waxman, again, where (on the web) are RCK’s supporters that are against the expulsion decree?

  37. Crazy Kanoiy says:


    Rav Shlomo Zalman refused to take a public stand in favor of Degel Hatorah in the 1988 elections. This is despite the fact that Rav Shach had just founded this new party and needed as much backing as possible. In the 1992 elections Rav Shlomo Zalman did sign a letter to vote for the joint Yahadus Hatorah “gimmel” list (although here too he had a difference of opinion with Rav Shach regarding the wording of the letter.) If the version of events you describe above is accurate why did Rav Shlomo Zalman sign a letter in 1992? Obviously, this idea that he held that once Rav Shach spoke his opinion was not necessary does not hold up to scrutiny.

    As to the 1973 elections Rav Shach and the Steipler were clearly at odds with the Gedolei Yerushalayim who supported the joint Agudah-PAI list. In the 1984 elections Rav Shach instructed his followers to vote Shas an opinion which obviously was not accepted by the Moetzes of Agudas Yisroel. I am sorry for the typo but the point remains the same.

    My point is that the idea that there existed only one leader for the Chareidi Yeshiva Oilam is historical revisionism.

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