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15 Sivan 5761 - June 6, 2001 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Gedolei Yisroel Protest the Appointment of a Rav in Bnei Brak from a Sect with Unacceptable Views
by Yated Ne'eman Staff

Maranan the gedolei Yisroel protested sharply and firmly, expressing the deep shock felt by the Torah world after it learned about the appointment of a rav in Bnei Brak who belongs to a sect with unacceptable viewpoints. This movement is opposed by maranan verabonon of our times. Maran HaRav Eliezer Menachem Shach, shlita, fought it with all his might and made every possible attempt to thwart the forced appointment of such rabbonim on the Torah city of Bnei Brak.

Recently, shock was expressed in all strata of loyal Torah Jewry and the Torah world, after it became clear that an additional attempt to make a rabbinical appointment from that circle in the Torah city, Bnei Brak, had been made. We are referring to the appointment of a rav from that circle to the position of the rav of the Center of Bnei Brak.

The rav in question is the son-in-law of the current rav of the city of Bnei Brak, whose own appointment to his position was forced upon the community at his father's funeral. The Center of Bnei Brak is a large and important region in the city, where thousands of talmidei chachomim, avreichim and bnei Torah live. That area includes two botei medrash as well as chanichei hayeshivos kehillos which are guided by maranan verabonon, the gedolei Yisroel. None of them was consulted about the appointment.

This appointment was received with much shock, as an unfortunate renewal of machlokes in the city of Torah. What has aroused particular anger is that -- in addition to the way the appointment itself was carried out against the well-known position of many who would are in the areas the new rav is supposed to serve -- the appointment was accompanied by publicity presenting the appointment as very meaningful in light of the city's "past, present and future" since the rav is a "perpetuator of the dynasty" of his father-in-law.

For the installation, a pamphlet which contained the blessings of various municipal members was issued. In the explanations to justify the forced appointment it was said: "The rav who was appointed is the son-in-law of the moro de'asra, who is replacing his fathers in the rabbinate of the city of Torah and Chassidus; we must stress his constant shimush of his illustrious father-in-law, the ga'avad of Bnei Brak, in the rabbinate and in the instruction of practical halocho, as well as in the areas of shechita and kashrus, and as one who was deeply linked to and in attendance on the rabbinical dynasty of the rabbonim of Bnei Brak, his father-in-law yibodel lechayim tovim ve'arukim, and his father-in-law's father." In the end, it says: "How suitable and joyful it is that he is now being appointed to the position of rav of the Center of the city, as a natural link in the chain of the rabbinate of the city of Torah and Chassidus, Bnei Brak--an additional level of the greatness of the family of the illustrious rabbinate."

In the wake of this serious development, maranan the gedolei Yisroel said that we must openly protest this appointment, and not rest until it is made absolutely clear that the entire Torah world sternly opposes this dangerous attempt to reawaken the strife, and the efforts to gain control of the city by means of such an appointment. This is especially so since in recent years all have seen the extent of the far-reaching perceptiveness of our chachomim, and the clarity of Maran shlita's vision when he foresaw, from a distance, the end and degeneration of that misleading Messianic sect. The Torah world regards the recent trend as a very dangerous one which thrusts a sword into the fabric of total loyalty to daas Torah as bequeathed to us by Maran the Rosh Hayeshiva shlita.

In light of this, the ga'avad of Shearis Yisroel, HaRav Chaim Shaul Karelitz, wrote a sharp and unequivocal letter of protest from his sickbed. He did so with great mesiras nefesh and with every fiber of his strength, despite his great weakness. This penetrating letter was signed by the gedolei Yisroel and has aroused had a great impact throughout the Torah word.

HaRav Chaim Shaul Karelitz wrote: "All know of the battle of gedolei Yisroel, past and present, against the well known movement, which in our generation deviated from the Torah way, and has undermined the principles of religion and faith, and even produced a false Messiah. In recent years, all have seen all that Rabbenu Hagodol, rosh kol bnei hagolah, Maran the gaon HaRav Eliezer Menachem Shach shlita, who was moser nefesh in this sacred battle, warned against this movement. Maran, as all know, opposed and sternly protested the forced appointment to the rabbinate of the Torah city of Bnei Brak, and the first mission Maran asked me to accomplish was to arouse and organize the community of Shearis Yisroel in order to save the bnei Torah from being bound and subordinated to those in that movement. He saw it as an obligation to organize the bnei Torah as a community built on taharas hakodesh, with superior hechsherim and outstanding rabbonim and morei horo'oh who follow the path transmitted to us from generation to generation, as suits talmidei chachomim.

"I protest the rabbonim and activists who have been continuing, since then, to expand the breach in the city of the Torah and to support the rabbinical appointment of one who is affiliated and linked with that movement which has eliminated the fear of daas haTorah hakedosha instilled in us by Maran shlita, and have openly taken action, as I saw in the newspapers and in the pamphlet which they prepared for the event. In the past, I protested their conduct. Over the first we weep, and woe to us that we have seen that.

"From my sickbed, I hereby call to all bnei Torah and bnei yeshiva who are subservient to daas haTorah and the pure hashkofoh as it has been handed down through the generations, to protest this appointment, which is not in consonance with daas Torah and which also constitutes a strengthening of the original forced appointment, which is like tzelem beheichal. Instead of fostering this appointment, they should strengthen the bnei Torah and chanichei hayeshivos communities as well as the rabbonim and the kashrus built from the foundations of the transmission of Torah in purity, as we were instructed by Maran the gaon HaRav Eliezer Menachem Shach shlita, may Hashem strengthen him and grant him refuah shleima besoch she'ar cholei Yisroel."

The following gedolei Yisroel also signed this letter: HaRav Michel Yehuda Lefkowitz, HaRav Zalman Rotberg, HaRav Chaim Kanievsky, HaRav Shmuel Auerbach and HaRav Meir Tzvi Bergman, the son-in-law of Maran, the Rosh Hayeshiva.

This letter had a great impact in the Torah world. Rabbonim and roshei yeshiva responded to the firm protest of the gedolei Yisroel and called all to join together in this important struggle, for which Maran the Rosh Hayeshiva was moser nefesh.

The bnei Torah communities in Bnei Brak, and especially those in the city's center, will meet in order to plan the continuation of the struggle and to devise the methods to be taken in light of the guidelines issued by maranan verabonon.


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