Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Rabbi Grylak's problematic editorial "The Wise will keep silent"

 Update 10/29/13 Mishpacha "How Was That Red Line Crossed?"

Unfortunately Rabbi Grylak has failed miserably to follow his own advice in the editorial that I criticized below.   In his latest editorial at the above link he accuses Nati Grossman of incitement against Rav Steinman with the result he was physically attacked. This outrageous slander is a clear example of someone throwing gasoline on a fire - while proclaiming he is only trying to reduce the fighting. I was told that there will be a lawsuit against Rabbi Grylak as a result of his accusations.

 He writes in the above editorial

Of course, that the deranged individual who burst into Rav Aharon Leib Steiman’s home and attacked him will be presented by the enemies of Rav Steinman (yes, the 100-year-old sage has enemies that go beyond the far-reaching dispute over the leadership of the chareidi community) as a bizarre, mentally unstable individual who acted independently. They will certainly argue, in their own defense, that an entire community cannot be indicted for the actions of a single individual. They will certainly claim that this man does not represent the community of voters who threw their support behind the alternative “Eitz” chareidi party. And I agree with them. Heaven forbid that real bnei Torah could think of committing such a dreadful act. But at the same time, he is not a person suffering from a psychological illness. Rather, he is a person who has been incited to violence. [...]
 My friends, despite the litany of accusations and curses that have been hurled against Rav Steinman, we cannot blame the Eitz voters for this travesty. But there is one person who cannot escape responsibility, one man who has made it his mission in life to besmirch Rav Aharon Leib Steinman’s name. Over the years, he has led a campaign against the gadol hador in various ways and with an assortment of strategies. This past year, he crossed all red lines with a series of slanderous pashkevilim and pamphlets, reaching a nadir that has never been seen in the history of disputes between the gedolei hador. He was totally focused on his goal of defaming this person, this man whose word is heeded by the majority of the Torah world, this man who is a bulwark of support for so many of us, the gadol whose exclusive counsel was sought by Rav Elyashiv ztz”l. [...]
 Yet my successor at Yated, Nati Grossman, made sure to constantly attack anyone who didn’t march to his beat. That is part of his nature. But in his most recent battle, he has sunk to unprecedented depths, to the point that a single avreich, who was affected by his incitement and taken in by his slander and lies, simply got up and committed the unthinkable. May Hashem have mercy on us, on all of us, on the entire Jewish people.
update Kikar Shabbat
התגובה של נתי גרוסמן
פנינו לנתי גרוסמן כדי לקבל את תגובתו לדברים שפורסמו ב'משפחה', אך הוא בחר לחזור אלינו באמצעות פרקליטו, עו"ד אורי הברמן, שמאיים בהגשת תביעת דיבה תוך שהוא מציין במכתבו כי האשמות נגד גרוסמן נועדו להשפילו בעיני הבריות, לעשותו מטרה לשנאה, לבוז וללעג בקרב הציבור החרדי.
עו"ד הברמן מוסיף וקובע במכתבו כי "מעשיו של התוקף נעשו על רקע חוליו הנפשי ועל רקע זה בלבד", ומציין כי "התוקף מוכר כאחד ממעריציו של רה"י הגראי"ל שטיינמן ונמנה בין תומכי יהדות התורה, כך שאין המדובר בתוצר של הסתה".
"אין זה ראוי", מוסיף עו"ד הברמן, "לנסות ולקשור בין מעשה תקיפה על רקע נפשי ובין מרשנו ואין זה ראוי להמשיך לדוש ולהרבות את צערם של בני הציבור ובני משפחתו של התוקף כשזהו הרקע האמיתי של מעשיו". כראיה לטענתו, שטרם הובררה אף בבית המשפט, מצרף עו"ד הברמן מכתב שלטענתו נכתב על-ידי משפחתו של התוקף שמבהירים כי מדובר ב"חולשה נפשית".
עו"ד הברמן מוסיף וכותב כי ייחוס הדברים לגרוסמן, "מעיד, אם נתבטא בלשון מנומסת, על חוסר העמקה וחוסר היכרות עם דעותיו ופועלו. הרב גרוסמן, מעולם לא נקט בפגיעה כלשהיא, בכתיבתו, בפועלו ובכל דרך אחרת, בגדולי התורה ובזקני הדור בכלל ובכלל זה ברה"י הגראי"ל שטיינמן".
 Update see Chareidi World continues to self-destruct    The following is from an editorial that Rabbi Grylak wrote for the Oct 23, 2013 Mishapacha - "The Wise Will Keep Silent". It is in regards to the harsh words that major rabbis said about each other in the recent elections in Israel. Click here for the full text

I found it troubling because he is saying don't act based on what the gedolim are saying. If one major rabbi calls another one a heretic or Amalek  - are the followers of the one critized supposed to remain silent?!  If the gadol you follow makes these criticisms - doesn't this mean that you are to view the person he criticizes differently and act differently towards him?  If Rabbi Grylak is acknowledging the validity of what the gedolim are saying - then how can he tell people not to act on what the gedolim say? Clearly the gedolim said it because that is what they think and they want their followers to take the same view. As far as I know no significant rabbinic leader has said to ignore what gedolim say - so on what authority is Rabbi Grylak saying this? On the other hand if Rabbi Grylak  feels the gedolim are wrong to speak this way - then why doesn't he say that so? In short I find his editorial position unacceptable.
Those in the Torah camp who think they have to take sides in the most recent machlokes - thereby disparaging talmidei chachamim - would do well to remember the fate of those who fanned the flames of the most famous dispute that threatened to tear apart the Torah world two and a half centuries ago. 
Those aware of the raging machlokes over the leadership of the Torah community in Eretz Yisrael might be realizing the irreparable spiritual damage being inflicted on our society in its wake. There is no need to rehash the details of a conflagration that has pitted bochur against bochur, but suffice to say that machlokes is not an exclusively Israeli phenomenon, and even an insular split all too easily spreads across continents. So permit me to share with my overseas readers a story that vividly illustrates the tragic and devastating consequences of machlokes - a story I heard in my own youth and makes me shiver to this day. [...]
It is well-known that in the 18th century there was a deep rift between two Torah giants, Rav Yaakov Emden, also known as the Yaavetz, and Rav Yehonasan Eibeschitz. Rav Yehudah Leib Maiman, author of Sarei Hamei'ah, described the bitter, poisonous fruits of that machlokes. He writes that he was once honored with a visit by Rav Avraham Yitzchak Kook, who wished to avail himself of Rav Maiman's extensive library. As he passed over the shelves of sifrei halachah, he saw that two volumes, Kereti Upeleti by Rav Yehonasan and Mor U'Ketziah by the Yaavetz, stood side by side. His face lit up, and turning to Rav Maiman, he exclaimed, "If this machlokes had been confined only to the inner circle of followers of these two giants of our nation, who were crowned with the glory of the holy and pure, then surely these two geonim would have made peace in their lifetime. But unfortunately, the Satan succeeded in getting the rank and file involved, people of lesser caliber, whose only intention was to provoke a fight, and these people injected poison into the disagreement and expanded the rift." 
Then Rav Kook, with an air of heartbreak, told Rav Maimon the following: "I heard this story from my father-in-law, the tzaddik Rav Eliyahu Dovid Rabinowitz-Teumim, the rav of Yerushalayim, about the sad end of one of those who dishonored Rav Yehonasan:" Rav Kook told his host. "It is a chilling story that underscores the warning of our Sages: Be careful of their glowing coals, lest you be burned, for their bite is the bite of a fox, their sting is the sting of a scorpion, and their hiss is the hiss of a venomous snake ... 
"[... A woman related that she was the daughter of the] apostate who authored a book called Nesivos Olam [not to be confused with the holy book by the Maharal of the same name], a libelous attack on Torah Judaism and its alleged hatred of Christianity [...]"[Eventually]This man did indeed return to his people  [...the following is what he told his daughter]
[...]My father was among those who stood at the side of Rav Yaakov Emden and instigated the war against Rav Yehonasan Eibeschitz, the rav of Altona. Many of the venomous attacks against Rav Yehonasan were written by my father, who was very gifted with words. In fact the book Akitzas Akrav (Altona 5513), which is full of scathing words and mockery against Rav Yehonasan and which is attributed to the Yaavetz himself, was actually written by my father. He finished writing it on the day of my bris, and the joy in our home was redoubled. All the guests saw it as a good omen and predicted a shining future for me. And my father told me that the Yaavetz gave both him and me this brachah: "May your newborn son merit to be raised in the spirit of the sefer you've just completed, and like you, may he too oppose the views and teachings of that man (i.e., Rav Yehonasan) -who calls himself the av beis din of Altona
"'And now you see [...]that the brachah of the Yaavetz, along with the hope and belief of Rav Yehonasan was  fulfilled in me [....] I have sinned and done damage beyond repair, and where am I now going?'[...] 
Yes, a frightening tale. Is there anything to add? 
Only this: Hamaskil ba'eis hahi yidom. One who is wise will be silent at such a time. Very silent.


  1. if 2 acknowledged gedloim have a machlokes. you do not mix in.if I was a talmid of rabbi emden (with the benefit of hindsight) and he asked me to put up a paskvil against tumim. I would say rebbi eni yochil. this was the view of rav kook and aderes

    'are the followers of the one criticized supposed to remain silent'

    best remain silent. certainly not attack the criticizer.

    'If the gadol you follow makes these criticisms - doesn't this mean that you are to view the person he criticizes differently and act differently towards him? '

    maximum do not go to his shiur. certainly do not join in.

    'If Rabbi Grylak is acknowledging the validity of what the gedolim are saying - then how can he tell people not to act on what the gedolim say?'

    maclokes bein gedoloim sha'ni

    'As far as I know no significant rabbinic leader has said to ignore what gedolim say - so on what authority is Rabbi Grylak saying this?'

    rav kook

    ' On the other hand if Rabbi Grylak feels the gedolim are wrong to speak this way - then why doesn't he say that so? big azzus to do so, even if he thinks that, which I doubt he does.

    'In short I find his editorial position unacceptable.'

    he will probably respond. so in that sense good that you raised it.

    1. Rav Grylak growing up was a Bnei Akivanik, so following the advice of Rav Kook is an ingrained hashkafa.

  2. you have not related to his 'evidence'

    1. that the son of one of Rav Emden went off the derech?! Really not sure how this proves anything. There were probably many more than were saved from heretical beliefs because the fuss Rav Emden made.

      This is similar to the statement that the opposition of the Gra was responsible for moving the Chassidim movement into a more productive position.

    2. Do think that the GRA opposition do fire up the Chassidic movement!

    3. The Torah Temima reported that in the name of the Lubavitcher Rebbe

      I also heard tha the Klausenberger Rebbe said that if it hadn't been for the opposition - then chassidis would have degenerated

    4. Well, judging from what many Chassidic courts look like nowadays, some would be forgiven for saying that they DID in fact degenerate!

    5. In fact the book Akitzas Akrav (Altona 5513), which is full of scathing words and mockery against Rav Yehonasan and which is attributed to the Yaavetz himself, was actually written by my father.


      One lesson according to the aderes if 2 gedolim have a dispute, which is now personal and one calls the other apikores

      even if you are the the talmid of accuser. you should not join in and call the other godol an apikores. do you agree or disagree ?

  3. Rabbi SZ Leiman proved decisively that the story of the meshumad could not be correct.

    1. He proves that the "meshumad" from that story could not have been the author of Nesivos olam.

      I don't know how that can discredit the whole story. While there definitely are "babba meises" related everyday, it's hard to definitively add this one to that overflowing heap.

      Much more likely, in my opinion, is that over the years the name of the book the meshumad wrote was changed. People repeating the story in later years assumed incorrectly it was Nesivos olam. They were תולה באילן גדול, להבדיל.

    2. These books didn't disappear into the wind. Each such book exists and the author can be checked with background of the story; simply put, such a meshumad author would have to have been, at the very least, born in Altona during the time period described.

      Also, the author of Akitzas Akrav was none other than R. Yaakov Emden.

      At least some details of such a story - like A book and AN author - will be able to be independently confirmed, or else it has to have the status as a mere legend.

  4. what is so hard to understand,what rav Grylak is trying to convey?,he is just telling us and YOU,
    when two gedolay yisroel have differences,don't get involved and don't fan the flames of machlokes and sinas chinam (exactly like you are doing with your blog),,yes you can have an opinion who is right,but just keep it to yourself and mind your own business,

    1. There is a basic mishna that gedolim are too be careful with their words to avoid unintended negative consequences. If the gedolim chose to say things that they clearly know will upset people - why should you second guess them?

      In short - please show me a contemporary source amongst the higher level rabbonim, poskim or roshei yeshivos - who states such a doctrine. The gedolim are clearly saying those statement for us to act upon - not ignore!

    2. i heard the following in the name of rebbe nachman. i didn't see it inside. take it or leave it.

      when gedolim have an argument, the regular folks have no ability to voice an opinion this way or that way. it isn't that your rav said X, its that the other rav said Y, so who are we to comment?

      if the askanim have an argument, that's politics and the regular folk should simply stay out of it.

      so either way, there is no reason for people to get in involved in these types of arguments.

      like i said, take it or leave it. if the chareidi street decides that a war between machaneh rav schteinman and machaneh rav aurbach (along with machanehs deri and yishai) is what is needed, for the sake of torah, for the sake of hashem, for am yisrael, who am i to interfere?

    3. See the Netziv's פתיחה to בראשית:

      והענין דנתבאר בשירת האזינו על הפסוק "הצור תמים פעלו... צדיק וישר הוא" (דברים לב ד), דשבח "ישר הוא" נאמר להצדיק דין הקדוש ברוך הוא בחורבן בית שני, שהיה "דור עקש ופתלתל" (שם פסוק ה); ופירשנו שהיו צדיקים וחסידים ועמלי תורה, אך לא היו ישרים בהליכות עולמים. על כן, מפני שנאת חנם שבלבם זה אל זה, חשדו את מי שראו שנוהג שלא כדעתם ביראת ה' שהוא צדוקי ואפיקורס. ובאו על ידי זה לידי שפיכות דמים בדרך הפלגה, ולכל הרעות שבעולם, עד שחרב הבית.

      He's talking about leaders, who despite being צדיקים and תלמידי חכמים are lacking the quality of ישרות. Consequently, they maliciously attack anyone who (slightly) disagrees with them- all in the name of יראת שמים. And this eventually leads to murder and destruction. Of course, who today is going repeat the words of the Netziv and say that there are leaders who are the cause of destruction?

      דעת תורה is not a necessary attribute of a leader- it's an imperative!

  5. You guys are all fools if you believe for one second tat reb chsim or reb Aaron ever said anything its all the lies by their henchmen if course reb shmuel argued with them but that's it
    All the crazies making machoas are just bored souls and the media picks up on it like vultures

    1. What is your source that what was reported in the religious media were lies?

  6. Reb Chaim and reb Aaron Leib
    Never said these crazy things against reb shmuel
    And he never either said it its all their crazies running around saying these things in their name

    1. source please? or is this simple wishful thinking on your part

    2. 100% Correct "The real truth"!

  7. Rabbi Eidensohn,

    I apologize, but your questions on the editorial are unfathomable. I'm afraid you totally missed the point and are way off mark. Do you understand the phrase "tone down the rhetoric"? I am well aware your brother is a very sharf person, and he believes he is right in what he says, but from your comments throughout your blog I see you as choshuv and level-headed.

    You ask if the talmidim are just supposed to "remain silent"? Again, not Rabbi grylak's point. There is a LARGE difference between respectfully protesting such a lashon used by another gadol about one's Rebbe, questioning that other Gadol as to why it was said, and understanding the other point of view. That's all fine. Rabbi Grylak's point was not to get involved on a poisonous, scathing, vicious level demeaning other Gedolim in ways one would probably describe a rapist or an axe-murderer or an apostate.

    I respectfully criticize you for making ridiculous assumptions of what Rabbi Grylak said. We all know the power of taking someone's words WAY out of context, and you are quite a smart man Rabbi Eidensohn so it's hard for me to imagine you totally missed his point. No, he is NOT saying to totally remain silent or to disregard what the Gedolim said or is he "rebuking" the Gedolim for saying what they said--that is another topic, not for me or right now. He's simply saying us smaller people should be careful not to get involved in the extremities and rough language and if the Gedolim said it then it's between them. I don't even fathom your premise, how could someone a differing talmid, call another Satmar Rebbe and evil name? How could any young whippersnapper call another Rosh Yeshiva in Ponevezh a profanity or something vile? And how could anyone denigrate any of the Gadolim that are involved in this current machlokes?

    Lastly, in your initial question you asked shouldn't one (a talmid or follower) view the other Gadol "differently" and act "different" towards him? That question shows you understood the sensitive point Rabbi Grylak is making, to tone it down and not get involved, to view the other Gadol "differently," yes, that's fine. "Different" is a sensitive and respectful work to use when disagreeing, and should be employed when Gadolim disagree. But to use such language against another Gadol even if one's Rebbe did? Bad idea.

    1. Please note his words

      "Only this: Hamaskil ba'eis hahi yidom. One who is wise will be silent at such a time. Very silent. "

      That is clearly not what you just claimed he was saying.

    2. Rabbi Eidensohn,

      What don't you understand? First of all, you answered none of my points. Second, to your response to me, fine, assume that you should be SILENT in regards to being mevazeh other Gedolei Yisroel. I was giving you alternative explanations of what Rabbi Grylak meant such as respectfully protesting or questioning. What is so hard for you to understand that if Gedolim use very sharf language about other Gedolim that the rest of us small folk should avoid it like the plague. Your questions are not questions at all, I am answering you, BE SILENT in terms of being mevazeh other Gedolim, what about that "editorial position" do you find unacceptable?

      Rabbi Eidensohn, you write to "the real truth" that you believe in the religious media and question where his source is that they are lying. Oh come on! If you really believe that I have a shiny penny I could sell you for $100. Many gabbaim of Gedolim are crooked, religious media people, reporters, and the like are simply out to make money that's all or they are simply out to spread machlokes for the fun of it. Listen to this shiur from Rav Heinemann when the whole issue of the Sabbath Mode Ovens came about and he publicly said later that he asked Rav Nissim Karelitz personally if he put out a cherem against his ovens and he said emphatically, "NO! And I have no idea what you're talking about, I never said that!"

      So please, I certainly do not believe most of what "they" say whoever "they" are from Rav Elyashiv, Rav Aharon Leib, Rav Chaim, and anyone else. It is b'chezkas sheker until it is written b'ksav or in a psak (which can also easily be forged).

      Lastly, that which you write to Eddie, "one side is correct and therefore the second side needs to be criticized" is the crux of what I was saying earlier. What's wrong with you? Needs to be criticized? You think talmidim of Rashi, Rabbeinu Tam, and Rashbam acted this way?

    3. Joseph what you say is nice - but it is not what Rabbi Grylak said. Furthermore I was not addressing the issue of going beyond the language that was used by the gadol in his criticism.

      you seem to be unaware of the harsh language rabbonim use - e.g., see Chavis Yair cited by the Chofetz Chaim.

      To reiterate - when gedolim use harsh language against others - is it appropriate to follow the view of R Grylak and remain silent? I am saying that you either chose sides or conclude that the harsh language is a mistake. Neither R' Grylak nor I addressed the issues of talmidim going beyond the language of their rabbonim or that reports of what gadolim are false.

    4. Excuse me? You mean the Chavos Yair in Siman 152 who says the following, (I am not bringing the whole teshuvah here and the ellipsis are mine):

      שאלה: נשאלתי אחר דדברי חכמים בנחת נשמעין ונאמר במשנה יהי כבוד חבירך חביב עליך כשלך איך מצינו לפעמים קנטורים וזלזולים בש"ס כענין כד ניים ושכיב רב אמר להא שמעתת' הנאמר בכמה דוכתי וכהנה רבים.

      תשובה יפה שאלת כי ודאי אע"פ שנקראו ת"ח שבבבל חובלים במס' ב"ב לא מצד הריקודים והצעקות גדולות ומרות והכאת כף אל כף כאלו נלחמים זה מול זה... חלילה כי לא על סגנון זה... רק מצד שהם מתנגדים בסברותיהן ובראיותיהן... כולם י"ל שהיו חבריהם וגדולים מהם ולא קפדי כלל...

      I'm not sure what you are quoting from this because it clearly highlights my point, not yours. He says explicitly that they are only arguing in sevara and do not mean to demean the others and they are friends and great people and obviously are not makpid. That teshuvah has absolutely no shaychus here because here we are talking about people (talmidim) actually threatening to kill each other, saying vicious and horrible things about other gedolim that have no comparison to anything ever mentioned in the gemara or poskim. You really think expressions like שיננא or אמי שפיר נאה like in גיטין מא have any comparison to what type of language is being used? None at all.

      Please remember Rav Chaim is quoted as saying that those opposing their party (UTJ) are חייב סקילה. Look at yeshiva world for that quote from Rav Shlomo Kanievsky. I am also completely baffled at what you meant, how about this line "Through the sin of my father, who placed himself between two great mountains, I left the Torah completely." He is clearly saying don't place yourself between the mountains of Torah who lead Eretz Yisroel or anywhere and specifically don't "criticize" them (the other side) which you inappropriately advocated to Eddie. So again, not sure what you don't get, but the story specifically says not to place your small self between mountains and hence remain silent on such a level and no one here, especially not me is even addressing the point of if the Gedolim are making a "mistake." If you understand what I'm saying, which you don't, it is absolutely ridiculous to even ponder that.

      Also, Rav Grylak does mention the idea of pitting "bachur against bachur" in the very beginning of his article so again, please check your facts.

    5. Joseph you clearly don't understand what I am saying. The Chavis Yair is responding to the harsh language in the Talmud. He is claiming that it is to be understood other than what it seems to be.

  8. The nimshal of a spurious legend only serves to obscure the reality which Rabbi Grylak correctly calls frightenting: Whatever other differences were between them, it seems as though Rav Yonatan may have gotten close enough to the thought of (or enthusiam for the hope promised by) the false Messiah of Izmir to get burned and Rav Yaakov Emden did not.

    What should terrify us all about this is that Rav Yonatan and the Yaavetz were both giants, yet one erred about something very important (and despite which Rav Kook did not think that Rav Yonatan's thought was tamei because of his error.) Rav Yonatan and Rav Yaakov Emden were not the only important scholars to fall out on this issue. Natan of Gaza became the apostle of the false messiah, yet his own teacher, Jacob Hagiz, was adamantly on the other side, and of course there were others.

    The lesson I draw from this is not, chas v'shalom that my hashkafa is superior to that of Rav Yonatan's, let alone that my scholarship is even on the same planet as his. Rather, it is to say that Rabbi Grylak is not afraid enough, or of the right things. It isn't so easy as just to "be very silent."

    Hindsight is easy; but clearly things were not so easy in the moment, which really should terrify us: Some important rabbis of the time erred – and took their followers with them into terrible error.

  9. Even though I am a Satmarer Katche-Lab and look who Rabbi Grylak is quoting, still I must say that I agree with his point.

    You say - On the other hand if Rabbi Grylak feels the gedolim are wrong to speak this way - then why doesn't he say that so?

    Rabbi Grylak adds: 'Very silent' He means that we shouldn't even delve into this very discussion, because it puts us in the position of having to answer to what extent we should follow the Rebbe etc. and to this entire subject with all it's aspects it is dangerous territory to utter a word. As the Gemara says 'למה אתם מכניסין ראשי בין שני הרים גדולים כו
    מתירא אני שמא ירוצו גולגולתי

    You say - If the Gadol you follow...

    Who am I to follow one Godol against another? Does the fact that the Hashgocho led me to be a Talmid of one Godol automatically mean that he is more right that any other? If so than this is a contradiction to what the Hashgocho led someone else to be. Is every member of every sect supposed to be so silly as to think that because he is part of that sect that makes his Rebbe better than any other Rebbe. Am I qualified to chose one Godol over another to go as far as Passuling the other gadol entirely.

    So you ask: In that case what does the Gadol expect of me to do? That is an excellent question. In the eyes of this gadol he feels he can Passul the other, and in the eyes of the other, the contrary. Who am I to say anything? What is in the mind of the Gedolim? We are in the age of feeling that we are in the position to understand everything and therefore qualified to judge even Gedolim. But we are not. So what should we do? We should not embark on this route at all. We should remain silent. Very silent. Even to think, let alone to speak.

    I end with a story I once heard in connection to the Machlokes between the Yaavetz and The Rebbe R' Yonasan. R' Yonasan overheard two people discussing the Machlokes. Neither of them had ever seen him so they didn't realize that overhearing the conversation was the Rebbe R' Yonasan himself. He approached them and said

    'Let me ask you a Kasha. In the Chad Gadya The Gadia was innocent so the Shunra was wrong, so the Kalba was right so the Chutra was wrong, so the Maya was right, so the Nura was wrong, so the Tora was right, so the Shochet was wrong, so the Malach Hamaves was right, So the Melech Malchay hamlachim Hakodosh Baruch Hu..... Chas V'shalom! So what's Pshat?'

    They didn't know, so he said

    I'll tell you.
    אויב די שונרא האט א געשעפט מיט די גדיא, דו הונט וואס מישסט דו דיר אריין

    1. Please explain the Yevamos(15b) Come and hear: R. Joshua was asked, ‘What is the law in relation to the rival of one's daughter’? He answered them, ‘It is a question in dispute between Beth Shammai and Beth Hillel’. — ‘But [he was asked] in accordance with whose ruling is the established law’? ‘Why should you,’ he said to them, ‘put my head between two great mountains, between two great groups of disputants, aye, between Beth Shammai and Beth Hillel? I fear they might crush my head! I may testify to you, however, concerning two great families who flourished in Jerusalem, namely, the family of Beth Zebo'im of Ben ‘Akmai and the family of Ben Kuppai of Ben Mekoshesh,15 that they were descendants of rivals16 and yet some of them were High Priests who ministered upon the altar’. Now, if it be conceded that they17 acted [in accordance with their own rulings] it is quite intelligible why he said, ‘I fear’.18 If, however, it be suggested that they17 did not so act, why did he say, ‘I fear’!19 But even if it be granted that they did act [according to their rulings], what [cause had he for saying,] ‘I fear’? Surely R. Joshua said that a bastard was only he who was a descendant of one of those who are subject to capital punishments which are within the jurisdiction of the Beth din!20 — Granted that he21 was not a bastard, he is nevertheless tainted;22 as may be deduced by inference a minori ad majus from the case of the widow: If the son of a widow23 who is not forbidden to all24 is nevertheless tainted,25 [how much more so the son of a rival]26 who is forbidden to all.27

    2. what is the relevance to a machlokes on halachah (above), to a machlokes between gedolim. if anything you should have bought tanur achnai with r. eliezer in cherem

    3. This is the Gemara which I cited.

      We see here that even though the Halacha is like Bais Hillel and therefore the children are tainted, however, since to say so openly would cause tremendous Machlokes, and those whom I am making illegitimate with my ruling will want to crush my head for saying so, therefore I make no official statement.

      So to clarify: Bais Hillel made a statement, as they were obligated to do, to declare the truth of the Halacha, and R' Yehoshua knew that the Halacha is so, yet to avoid trouble, he didn't say. It is truly a Peleh that he didn't rule in such a matter where a ruling is needed. (Maybe he figured that the truth will be known even without him saying so openly.) Al Achas Kama V'kama in our case where. A - there is no clear Hora'ah that anyone knows simply by vitue of him being a Talmid of one of the Gedoilim in this dispute(as there is between Bais Shamai and Bais Hillel, that the Halacha is like Bais Hillel). B - The matter at hand is not of nearly as much importance as the question of Tzaras Habas. It is important, but to be Mevater to act as the opposite opinion would not be a sin like Marrying Chayvei Lavin or Krissus or appointing Kohanim Gedoilim who are Passul.

      Furthermore, the Gemara earlier in that Sugia (14b) brings a Braissoh:
      אע"פ שנחלקו ב"ש וב"ה בצרות ובאחיות כו' ללמדך שחיבה וריעות נוהגין זה בזה לקיים מה שנאמר האמת והשלו' אהבו

      They had serious differences but kept peace and mutual respect and love. They didn't fight likes like Shunras and Klavim.

    4. We agree than that R' Yehoshua was afraid to poskin - not because of increasing machlokes - but because of consequence to him. This is very problematic so I don't know why you are using this as justification for not taking the words of a gadol at face value. Don't see that R Yehoshua was praised for his fear.

      It clearly is not a justification for Rabbi Grylak's views.

    5. Do you really think that the holy Tanna R' Yhoshua was concerned about consequences to himself but not consequences to others? Would he not equally have protected someone else's skull? He was clearly avoiding Machlokes, and speaking in most humble way. Why would you rather see the holy Tanna R' Yehoshua's statement as 'problematic'?

      You say - Don't see that R Yehoshua was praised for his fear.

      I am very disturbed by this statement. Is R' Yehoshua not reliable for you? Are we his colleagues to decide whether on not we agree with him as some people feel comfortable to do to a contemporary 'Gadol'? Unless we find that he was criticized for his position, then he himself is the source, and needs no further proof.

      The words and actions of Tanaim are Torah. R' Yehoshua wasn't just some guy you meet in Shul and agree with or disagree. He was a Tanna Eloki. When in the name of broadmindedness we lose the awe for the Tanaim, it is not broadminded but foolish.

    6. Katche-lab you are misreading the gemora. R' Yehoshua was not afraid of machlokes but rather he was afraid to poskin because of the danger to his life from those who he would be declaring to be mamzerim. This is the language of the gemora.

      He said, Why should you,’ he said to them, ‘put my head between two great mountains, between two great groups of disputants, aye, between Beth Shammai and Beth Hillel? I fear they might crush my head!

    7. We agree than that R' Yehoshua was afraid to poskin - not because of increasing machlokes - but because of consequence to him. This is very problematic
      no disrespect, but how can you criticize rabbi Yehoshua. he knew what he was doing.

    8. Benny wrote: what is the relevance to a machlokes on halachah (above), to a machlokes between gedolim. if anything you should have bought tanur achnai with r. eliezer in cherem

      the dispute with R' Eliezer was also involved halachic issues - that was the original issue. R' eliezer refused to give into the majority view. Ramban said he would have been considered a zaken mamre if this had involved the Sanhedrin. R' Yehoshua said that psak follows majority rule. R Eliezer knew that he was right either from mesora, from ruach hakodesh and miraculous signs or from sevora that the majority couldn't refute.

    9. "We are in the age of feeling that we are in the position to understand everything and therefore qualified to judge even Gedolim."

      No, we are definitely not in that age. In fact, your very next sentences are proof that we are in the opposite state. A state where people believe they are unable to think let alone have an opinion. As you write:

      " But we are not. So what should we do? We should not embark on this route at all. We should remain silent. Very silent. Even to think, let alone to speak. "

      Clearly the problematic era we live in is one where people believe they cannot think, and Rabbi Grylak's article preaches that book 100%. So you and Rabbi E are both right. But not all of us agree that Jews shouldn't think. And I'm pretty sure Rabbi Eidensohn doesn't accept that and that is where he differs from you.

    10. Student V, I just noticed your comment now and I feel obligated to respond.

      We may not think thoughts that are Keneged Hatorah. See Chinuch on the Mitzvah ולא תתורו

      In an earlier comment I wrote:
      When in the name of broadmindedness we lose the awe for the Tanaim, it is not broadminded but foolish.
      Let me clarify:
      Broadminded to the point where all boundaries are broken, does not leave a person with breadth of thought but with a destroyed personality. The boundaries define the object and the bounderies of people define their personalities and a person who is free or 'frei' in his actions or even thought Keneged Hatorah has defined himself as hefker and therefore in bondage to his every whim.
      אל תקרי חרות אלא חרות אין לך בן חורין אלא מי שעוסק בתורה
      Freedom does not mean hefkerous. True freedom is when a person is defined by excellent boundaries - The Torah

    11. Where did I say anything about having thoughts keneged HaTorah?
      Straw man gobbeldy gook.

    12. Student V

      The discussion was about remaining silent from speaking out against Gedoilim. To this I said that it is even dangerous to think. To this you responded implying that we may think. So I referred to the Chinuch. If you would look it up you would see that he says that it is forbidden to think thoughts שהם היפך הדעת שהתורה בנוי' עליו. I would think that to slight a Gadol would be היפך הדעת שהתורה בנוי' עליו so therefore even to think and consider such a possibility is dangerous territory. By the way the Chinuch forbids thinking about it even if it isn't necessarily the person's opinion that these thoughts are correct. Just thinking 'about' though which are היפך הדעת שהתורה בנוי' עליו is forbidden. so why is it Straw man gobbeldy gook to say that to embark on this road even in thought is very dangerous and should be avoided?
      Secondly I didn't call you a straw man or anything derogatory or insulting, did I? So why can't you keep a respectable tone and refrain from insulting?

    13. I just looked up the term straw man because I figured that you probably meant something by it, and I see what you meant. You did not intend to insult, so I take that back. My accusation here was "straw man".

  10. Imho the problem is with the inner circle. There is a problem of not being able to accept difference of opinion and express these differences in a respectable way. It is amazing how the mistakes of the past are repeated .

    1. While there are times when it is a problem of the inner circle - I don't see that is what is happening in the present circumstances.

  11. is the Nesivos Olam available on line. I could not find it on hebrewbooks

    1. Why would the writings of a meshumad be on Hebrewbooks, or any other Jewish site?

    2. Hebrewbooks is exactly what its name implies... Hebrew. Books. There's no hechsher on them.

    3. If you really want it, it's here:

  12. R grylak is certainly posul to dan... Rav ChK sighen an isur against is magazine ie mishpaha

  13. Be quiet.. Months of the newspaper peles saying rav steinman is a reformer with regard to working, draft etc...

  14. DT, you have a point, and so, also , does R' Grylak!

    If we took your point to it's logical extreme, then the followers of RSA shlita, would chas v'shalom justify the acts of the madman who attacked r ' Shteinman shlita, i.e. for being mevazeh their Gadol.
    On the other hand, and I think this is your point - if we take r grylak's argument to its logical conclusion we would discount what all Gedolim say, unless it happens to be the one we individually follow.

    The problem we are seeing is a degeneration of Lithuanian orthodoxy. it is not comparable to to Gra Vs Hassidim or R' Emden vs Eibeschutz.

    Some time ago, perhaps after the demise of R Feinstein, Litvaks had lost true gadlus. At this point, they took on Chassidic style demagoguery, for the short term political advantage, but are now paying the price in terms of the disintegration of the community, the Hassidic style internecine warfare ( look at Satmar for example). This actually commenced with R' Shach's passing. In Ponovezh, there was a similar war that is occurring today. Nobody talks about Ponovezh yeshiva anymore, because it no longer has the prestige it once had.

    There is something in rabbinic history, where you move from Geonim to rishonim, to acharonim, and to Gedolim, the age of Gedolim has also ended. You can speak of gedolim in the old sense, but I don't think anybody holds today's Gedolim in the same esteem as they did a generation ago. R' Elyashiv and R' Yosef were perhaps the end of the gedolim.

    1. Eddie I don't see this a degeneracy but rather a time honored practice. What Rabbi Grylak is saying is to ignore what gedolim say when it involves clearly taking sides. That is simply not acceptable.

      My point is that if you truly view this a degeneracy then it is important to say that the gedolim are wrong - and not just ignore them. In fact however it is more reasonable to say that one side is correct and therefore the second side needs to be criticized

    2. Eddie
      Sadly I think I have to agree with you about the end of the era of Gedolim. The Satmar Rav z"l(R' Yoel) clearly said this that there no longer is any real reliable leadership and every individual must follow his own feeling of right and wrong.

      This Shita can potentially lead to warlike behavior, stemming from the fact that people can be Mevatel any Gadol who holds different from them, as he is, in fact, not a reliable Gadol.

      Or this Shita can allow people to act peacefully and not feel that they need to fight relentlessly to support their Gadol because he's not really a Gadol anyway.

      If we follow our own conscience and our own sense of right and wrong we will not fight viciously to support the statements of or Gedolim.

      The problem is that some people have no Middos and no sense of decency to go by. They need someone to follow and rely upon. They will need to choose a "Gadol" even in our times. As the Rambam explains the Mishna עשה' לך רב' to mean even if he isn't worthy to be your Rebbe. But anyone who has sense and Middos should not join the fight.

    3. Unless I am mistaken, the issue is purely about which political party or candidate to vote for in elections.
      It seems also that there is no basis in Torah for claiming one party or other has divine sanction.
      It is possible that in this specific conflict, the Gedolim are wrong, since they are making up dinei nefashos with no basis, to keep their own political (and monetary fortunes) in power. The same goes with Sefardi Shas party - when R' Yosef - although a Gadol in Halacha, got involved with a highly corrupt money grabbing party, and started giving out edicts that people who do not vote for that party (of ganeivim) would inherit Gehinnom. Again, talking nonsense and falsifying the Torah, for financial gain.

      Mishlei teaches: יט כֵּן--אָרְחוֹת, כָּל-בֹּצֵעַ בָּצַע; אֶת-נֶפֶשׁ בְּעָלָיו יִקָּח.

      Also, the claim that there can only be one Rabbi with Daas Torah is false. It was never the case in previous generations. Rambam did not have universal authority, nor did the Raavad; Chatam Sofer was not the sole authority of his generation, and neither was the Gra.

    4. My point about the Emden/Eybeschutz controversy was that it was not about who is the Gadol hador who has the final say. It was about whether R' Yonasan yes /was or no/ wasn't a secret follower of Shabetai Zvi. Simlarly, Rav Shach's opposition to Lubavitcher Rebbe was not about Litvishers vs chassidim, but was Schneerson a Moshiach Sheker, or was he the real deal. In those cases, it is true, one would need to take a side or a position.

  15. Asher pihem diber shavOctober 27, 2013 at 5:36 PM

    מחזיק באזני כלב עובר מתעבר על ריב לא לו
    I am in agreement with the rabbis article.

    What is Daas torah in this situation ?

    Daas Torah is a generally misused term. we should substitute the word Daas Torah with Halacha. Is the הלכה like Rav AL ? Or like Rav Shmuel ?

    To me it seems that the argument is how we as a community should approach the גזירה against the yeshiva students. Rav AL says to negotiate, Rav Shmuel says יהרג ועל יעבר. Let us assume the הלכה is like one of them, how does it allow us to ח״ו say anything negative about either of them ?

  16. I think R’ Grylak is right. Here’s why…

    I believe the Sefer סור מרע written by ר' צבי מזידיטשוב זצ"ל offers guidelines on how we should approach dilemmas like the current מחלוקת between RCK/RALS vs. RSA:

    I’ll quote his language at the end, but the guidelines seem to be as follows:

    Based on the aforementioned, as applied to RCK/RALS vs. RSA:

    A. I would consider both parties to be included in רב מובהק ומפורסם.

    B. I would consider the issue of whom to vote for in elections as clearly one of שיקול הדעת and סברא and not something clearly found in Halacha (unless one follows the shita of Satmar etc. that all voting is prohibited).

    C. Not withstanding B. above, I would consider the personal בזיונות of either of these Gedolim (even if clearly verified as emanating directly from the other Gadol) as ראית אשר הרב עושה לעצמו איזה דבר שלא כדרך התורה. My reason is: Most Poskim note that today we no longer have the ability to be כופה the מיעוט of Poskim to follow the lead of the רוב, and no Gadol can “force” a united front on other Gedolim on matters of שיקול הדעת like elections.

    D. Based on C. above, are personal approach should be הגם שהרב הוא צדיק ומפורסם לא תעבר אתה על דברי תורה ודברי חכמים ח"ו, and we may not speak ill of any party until עד שתשא ותתן עמו על מה ולמה הוא עושה כן, וכאשר יורה לך טעם על פי התורה ויסביר לך הדבר ויכנסו דבריו באזניך אחר שתחקור בענין. To the best of my knowledge, that “bar”, namely ויכנסו דבריו באזניך that בזיונות of the counterparty are acceptable, hasn’t been reached.

    E. Therefore, each person should listen to the שיקול הדעת of his “Rebbe” insofar as casting his vote, and ignore the part that impinges on the counterparties honor.

    Please note: Had this been a clear issue of Halacha or Hashkafa (and NOT שיקול הדעת like voting in elections) and we had good reason to believe that a Gadol DID NOT DO HIS DUE DILLEGENCE INSOFAR AS VERIFYING FACTS OR FOLLOWING TORAH GUIDELINES OF PSAK, I believe we would be REQUIRED to be מוחה (בדרך כבוד-כך כתוב בתורה) and also be REQUIRED NOT TO FOLLOW THE PSAK.

    One caveat: The סור מרע is probably issuing his guidelines specifically to talmidim with a good grasp of Shas, Shulchan Aruch and Hashkafa, who can therefore properly identify problematic הנהגות of their Rebbe. Not everything that “the street” considers to be a שאלה is really so.

    Therefore, we SHOULD stay very quiet on the personal attacks.

    Here’s his לשון The Sefer is available for free download at hebrewbooks. The passage starts at Page ע"ט:

    בספר סור מרע ועשה טוב מהרה"ק ר' צבי מזידיטשוב זצ"ל (ד"ה עוד בענין נשאת ונתת באמונה): "..אפילו לרב מובהק ומפורסם אפילו יהי' דומה הרב למלאך ה' צבאות לא תאמין ... עד שתדקדק בעצמך בכל תנועה אשר ראית לרבך ותהי' נושא ונותן בדבר מאיזה טעם ושורש מה אשר עשה הרב תנועתו ומעשה זו (ואל תשיבינו מן מאמרם ז"ל אין לך אלא דיין שבימיך זה נאמר על דבר הספק בשיקול הדעת והסברא אבל לא נגד הלכה ברורה מפורש בתלמוד ופוסקים) הגם שהתנועה ועבודת רבך הוטב בעיניך... כי מחמת אהבת רבך יש לתנועה חן בעיניך... אבל אם אתה נושא ונותן והתנועה יש לה טעם מן התורה.. אזי תשכיל ואז תעשה.... ובפרט אם ראית אשר הרב עושה לעצמו איזה דבר שלא כדרך התורה...אפילו זמן סעודת תלמידי חכמים, הגם שהרב הוא צדיק ומפורסם לא תעבר אתה על דברי תורה ודברי חכמים ח"ו, אפילו על תנועה אחת, והרב הצדיק שעושה באפשר הוא בהוראת שעה ואפשר לפי מזג גופו וכחו הוא עושה על פי משקל בריותו, וצריך אתה לדונו לכף זכות וחלילה ח"ו להרהר אחריו, אבל אתה לא תעשה כמעשהו נגד התורה עד שתשא ותתן עמו על מה ולמה הוא עושה כן, וכאשר יורה לך טעם על פי התורה ויסביר לך הדבר ויכנסו דבריו באזניך אחר שתחקור בענין אז תאמין וזולת זה לא תאמין, אפילו יאמר לך שקבל מאליהו אל תאמין לו ולא תשמע לו, וכבר אמרו (יבמות קב.) אם יבא אליהו ויאמר חולצין וכו' אין שומעין לו, ואפילו נגד תקנת כחכמים בלבד לא תשמע לו”.

  17. What might be the sources of the Psak that the סור מרע offers? Why does he tell us NOT to listen to a psak that seems to be against Torah - and even concerning something so minor as זמן סעודת תלמידי חכמים?

    And, if so, why should we still be דן לכף זכות, although we seem to be witnessing somwthing שלא על פי דין?

    On not listening, he himself quotes this Gemara in (יבמות קב.) – showing that even Elyahu can’t change halacha:

    אמר רבה אמר רב כהנא אמר רב אם יבא אליהו ויאמר חולצין במנעל שומעין לו אין חולצין בסנדל אין שומעין לו שכבר נהגו העם בסנדל ורב יוסף אמר רב כהנא אמר רב אם יבא אליהו ויאמר אין חולצין במנעל שומעין לו אין חולצין בסנדל אין שומעין לו שכבר נהגו העם בסנדל

    Another Gemara (ב"ב קל:-קל"א.) with a similar message, but perhaps a bit clearer – stating that as far as Psak, we’re obligated to follow the results of our best efforts to reach the truth, but we should still avoid totally discounting what seems to be an erroneous Psak:

    ב"ב (קל:-קל"א.) אמר להו רבא לרב פפא ולרב הונא בריה דרב יהושע כי אתי פסקא דדינא דידי לקמייכו וחזיתו ביה פירכא לא תקרעוהו עד דאתיתו לקמאי אי אית לי טעמא אמינא לכו ואי לא הדרנא בי לאחר מיתה לא מיקרע תקרעוהו ומגמר נמי לא תגמרו מיניה לא מיקרע תקרעיניה דאי הואי התם דלמא הוה אמינא לכו טעמא מגמר נמי לא תגמרו מיניה דאין לדיין אלא מה שעיניו רואות. פרש"י: פסקא דדינא. שפסקתיו ומסרתיו לאדם להיות לראיה בידו אל תקרעוהו לבטל דבריי: דאי הוה וכו'. ושמא גם אתם תמצאו תירוץ לקושייתכם: ואל תגמרו. לדון מיניה אלא כפי שדעתכם נוטה דאין לו לדיין אלא מה שעיניו רואות כדתניא במס' נדה בשילהי פ''ב (דף כ:) רבי ראה דם בלילה וטימא ראה ביום וטהרו המתין שעה אחת וראהו אור וטימא אמר אוי לי שמא טעיתי ומקשינן ודאי טעה דתניא לא יאמר חכם אילו היה (לא) היה טמא אלא אין לדיין אלא מה שעיניו רואות והוא הדין לדבר התלוי בסברא דאין לו אלא מה שלבו רואהו ובפרק קמא דסנהדרין נפקא לן מועמכם בדבר המשפט עמכם בדבר עמכם במשפט אין לו לדיין אלא מה שעיניו רואות:

    On still being דן לכף זכות, regardless of our own attitude towards a questionable Psak – see (שערי תשובה לרבינו יונה מאמר רי"ח):

    והנה כי תראה אדם אשר ידבר דבר או יעשה מעשה. ויש לשפוט דברו ומעשהו לצד חובה ולצד הזכות. אם האיש ההוא ירא אלהים. נתחייבת לדון אותו לכף זכות על דרך אמת. גם כי יהיה הדבר קרוב ונוטה יותר אצל הדעת לכף חובה.

    So basically - nobody’s perfect - even Gedolim. But we still approach true Gedolim with tremendous respect.


    I’ll repeat the caveat: These guidelines specifically pertain to those with a good grasp of Shulchan Aruch and Hashkafa, who can therefore properly identify problematic הנהגות of their Rebbe. Not everything that “the street” considers to be a שאלה is really so.

  18. I'm with Rabbi Eidensohn on this. Maybe this story was a bubbeh maiseh, maybe it wasn't. But even if it was true, what does it prove? What sin did the father do? Am I supposed to believe this guy became an apostate because of what was said at his bris? Rav emden thought he was doing the right thing, so did the father. R eybeshutz thought of himself as being in the right. Is the point supposed to be that history decided in favor of Eybeshutz?
    For all we know, this apostate turned sabbatean and was trying to deceive the Jewish people with his maaseh- one last insult before his death. Either way, the story is irrelevant imo.

    1. It's true that the story is irrelevant because hindsight doesn't create foresight, but if it happened as it is told here, we all would have predicted that he will turn out this way. It was to be expected after receiving this assurance from both of these great Gedoilim, that so it would be.

      An important point though, as you put Rav Emden and the father in the same bracket as meaning to do the right thing, I must separate them. If a person's son strays R"L he sadly must take action, even punititve action, and even direct adversary action, if he thinks that is what is needed, but he does so with the most broken heart. His pain it endless that his once dear and beloved son, and maybe still dear and beloved, turned out this way and needs to be dealt with this way, and he cries as he takes the necessary action. The flogger, however, is enjoying his work. (That is perhaps why Hashem will Shecht the Satan who was simply doing his job.)

      A Machlokes against another Yid, let alone a Talmid Chochom, let alone A Gadol B'torah, is a tragedy and it is accompanied with endless pain. The Gedoilim who are the parties in such a dispute are in pain endlessly by what's happening and by what measures they need to take and are taking. So that's a Machlokes L'shem Shomayim because they would not do it otherwise. On the other hand the simple man on the street is enjoying the action R"L at the expense of Gedoiley yisroel and the Kavod Hatorah V'Yisroel. Do you think he isn't going to get punished for this?

      Whoever isn't shattered, should remain very silent.

  19. you're working under the assumption that "taking sides" means taking an active, vocal role. why? someone can support one side, send his son to that gadol's yeshiva, vote in the election as his gadol told him to (problematic in of itself but this isn't the place), and go on with his life.

    where in the history of rav emeden and his couterpart do we see mass participation in the struggle (emphasis on the word mass, not just askanim)?

    one other point: rav grlak probably realizes that were the fight between rav aurbach and bnei brak to be limited to a few rabbanim, the story would be interesting, something to talk about during the haftorah, maybe it would warrant a small story in the yahadut section of yediot, but nothing more than that. the way it is playing out now, besides the obvious physical dangers that the fight is generating (yes, don't claim innocence on this one, frum world), the struggle between the sides is simply turning the chareidi world into the laughing stock of the medina. there is actual chillul hashem going on and rav grylak is cognizant of that point.

  20. Any articles appearing in Rabbi Grylak's Mishpacha Magazine, have one purpose and one purpose only:

    To sell magazines.

  21. one other point here: the story about rav emden and the eybeshutz involved a real religious dispute, was the latter a sabbetian or not (according to gershon shalom he was, but that is for another day).

    but the fight between bnei brak and jerusalem is nothing but a turf war, its the sharks and the jets. these aren't my words, this is what the spokesmen for the various sides have been saying all along. there is no religious dispute between the sides, possibly differences in nuances in how to struggle against the draft. the real issue is who gets to decide.

    so in this turf war why should anyone else get involved any more than voting?

  22. In Pesachim 112a, which RDE has cited on a separate post, it says

    "do not dwell in a town whose leaders are scholars"

    So nothing wrong in voting for a secular mayor!


    here is a couple that paskens like the rav: you go with your gadol all the way and you slam the other side, no holding back. in this case it is a married couple that may get divorced because each one voted for a different party.

  24. There is NO DISPUTE between the gedolim HaRav Shmuel Auerbach shlita and HaRav Ahron Leib Shteinman shlita. The ONLY dispute is between a few hothead adherents of each of them.

    The two gedolim regularly sit together at the same functions and meet together on issues affecting the Klal.

    Can ANYONE define EXACTLY what they supposedly have a machlokes about? I mean specific issues that you can backup with evidence that they disagree about. The ONLY one I can find is how to protest the Israeli government. Rav Shmuel says take to the street and Rav Ahron Leib says resist only by refusing to acquiesce to the government's demands. But even on this disagreement both agree it is a simple eilu v'ellu.

    This is all a tempest in a teapot and making a mountain out of a molehill.

    1. Mountains out of molehills have resulted in assaults, death threats, beating up opponents..... Quite a huge teapot with lots of burning and scalding steam!!

    2. yoni, there's been very little of that by less than a handful.

  25. If disputants didn't want their followers to act out, why would they make extreme statements about their opponents in public? Are they that confident of their followers' emotional maturity? Or are the disputants too agitated at the time to make that calculation? Especially in the latter case, I can see why even a hard-core follower ought to opt for self-restraint.

  26. Rav Steinman doesn’t sleep at night because of the threat of the draft; he says Tehillim all day for the decree to be rescinded;


  27. @DT "Rabbi Grylak has failed miserably to follow his own advice in the editorial that I criticized below. "

    Not really - he is avoiding blaming either of the Gedolim, and choosing a rival editor as the scapegoat instead.

    But, he also speaks dishonestly when he says Yated never attacked people - I don't know how long he was editor, but in the 80s, 90s, it was attacking anyone and everyone who did not follow its own narrow path, sowing hatred, and telling exaggerated falsehoods - dividing not only Clal Yisrael, but Orthodox Jewry in particular. Now the hate based Lita world are reaping what they have sown, for he who digs a pit will one day fall into it.


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