Thursday, October 31, 2013

Machlokas between Litvishe "Gedolei Yisroel" intensifies; Students and kollel guys thrown out of yeshivas that supported Rav Auerbach shlita

The widening split in the litvish Torah community, is reality, and a most unpleasant and worrisome one. In line with the reported decision of HaGaon HaRav Aaron Yehuda Leib Shteinman Shlita and HaGaon HaRav Chaim Kanievsky Shlita, many avreichim in kollelim are indeed being compelled to sign a document requesting mechila and pledging future allegiance to gedolei yisrael in Bnei Brak. It has been reported that Rav Avraham Rubinstein’s Kollel Nachlas Moshe is compelling avreichim to sign, as is the kollel of HaGaon HaRav Sholom Ber Sorotzkin and others. According to Kol Berama Radio reports as many as “hundreds” of avreichim may have already been ousted from their beis medrash. Chareidi radio stations are chock full of interviews, presenting spokespersons from both sides, Bnei Brak and Yerushalayim. The situation is not a heartwarming one. The escalating machlokes is evident in many areas, including the chareidi print media. What is clear is that on the grassroots level, talmidim of Rav Shteinman and Rav Kanievsky Shlita along with talmidim of HaGaon HaRav Shmuel Auerbach Shlita are being compelled to select sides. A division is being placed in the machane at this critical time when enemies of Torah Jewry are working tenaciously to stamp out limud Torah in Eretz HaKodesh. While many or most avreichim may be signing there are many who are refusing, adhering to the instructions of their rav, HaGaon Rav Auerbach. A growing number of lomdei Torah are rapidly finding themselves outside the beis medrash and the division is becoming increasingly evident. The Torah HaKadosha, once the uniting force is now being used to divide, all “L’Shem Shomayim”. On the front page of the Yerushalmi faction-affiliated HaPeles is a clear message from Rav Auerbach. “Don’t sign!” The notice adds that a sum of money has already been contributed to serve as a base for a fund to assist avreichim who are ousted, YWN-ISRAEL has spoken with rabbonim and individuals on both sides and some seem to posit that gedolei yisrael shlita are being “manipulated by the powerbrokers that have access to them”. Once again, YWN-ISRAEL is not going there. Others posit that even if this is the case, gedolim shlita must be responsible and their words cannot be discarded by attributing it to askanim and powerbrokers. At this stage it is difficult to predict where this will end. What is clear however is that many bnei torah are confused, concerned and worried as they realize their home, the beis medrash, may now be off limits to them because they remain committed to the instructions of their mora d’asra. Some rabbonim posit that what is really worrisome is that the division will weaken the chareidi tzibur and this will become apparent in the real battle, the battle to induct bnei torah into the IDF and to compel mosdos to accept secular subjects in the curriculum. And on a final note, HaGaon Rav Auerbach is quoted in Thursday’s (27 Cheshvan) HaPeles once again instructing bnei torah not to cooperate with IDF induction officials in any way whatsoever – not to report to induction centers and not to fill out any forms. HaGaon HaRav Shteinman Shlita feels one should report and fill out the basic form requesting identification information and a signature. In directly related matters, Education Minister Shai Piron announced that the ministry will cut funding to any institution that discriminates due to one’s political affiliation. In essence, from a political perspective one can easily argue that Piron is correct since the machlokes surrounds those who voted Bnei Torah instead of Degel. Whatever the case, the minister’s decision will lead to cutting the little funding that remains. from the beis medrash roster and now find themselves without a source of parnasa. Such avreichim are instructed to phone for assistance. The notice is signed by “HaRav Chaim Katz in the name of the Vaad Roshei Yeshivos”.

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