May 9, 2010

RBS pashkevils against Yeshiva High School

These are the latest pashkevils up in RBS. They were just plastered up this morning.

I am told that Rav Elyashiv himself wrote the text (in Hebrew) for the pashkevil, which was later translated into English, though I don't know who went to him and got him involved and told him what to write....

It is actually more impressive than previous pashkevils thrown around the neighborhood and plastered up. This one at least explains, sort of, what they have against it. It says their success depends on their being able to dedicate themselves solely to Torah and Yirat Shamayim without the influence of secular studies.

By translating it into English, they are obviously going after the new olim who are practically just off the boat and might not notice or understand the Hebrew version. I am not sure how this sign will convince them when they just got here still with the mentality of American (or European) style Yeshiva High Schools being the right way, in order to synthesize the importance of Torah learning with the importance of giving your child the skills and education to eventually make a parnassah....

I wish this school the best of luck. Not everybody is cut out for the Israeli Yeshiva Ketana type of school, and just putting up signs saying that this is the only way to go does not make it so. This is what creates such a polarized community, like the one we have today (not RBS, but the separatist haredim relative to the rest of society) - saying that this is the only way and not recognizing that there are people who don't fit into your classic mold and need other solutions.


  1. The person behind this is R' Perlstein- you can ask him- he's very proud of it and I'm sure he won't deny it.

  2. Parent of Maarava studentMay 09, 2010 12:30 PM

    Notice that the sign does not single out the new school. It clearly says that parents should not send their sons to ANY schools that have Limudei Chol. I haven't heard anyone pulling out of Maarava or Nehora yet. Somehow I doubt they will.

  3. "People still listen to the letters?" - paraphrase of quote from R. Elyashiv

  4. I don't know ANYONE (except perhaps the author of this sign) who is happy with chinuch in RBS. Almost everyone (without either great protexia or a big checkbook) has had a hard time getting their children into school. Almost everyone has had challenging incidents with their children in school.

    This isn't to mention the large number of families who have children out of school.

    Anyone who thinks he's going to appeal that people shouldn't rock the boat and change the wonderful status quo is completely out of touch with what's going on around here.

    Take a walk around on Friday night and see the parks full of teenagers, not exactly acting very frum. They're not driving in, that's every other family having an alienated teen. And much of that alienation comes from the local school system - even those people say aren't so bad!


  5. anon - were you there when he said it? and what was the response by those asking for the letter?

    parent - true, it says nto to send to any of these institutions, but the impetus is the new school being started in RBS, as the beginning of the sign says. If not for that they would not bother with the sign.


  7. I wasn't there when R. Elyashiv said it, and therefore I cannot confirm that he actually did. I believe that it was supposedly said when he was asked why he doesn't publish a letter with his opinion on shaitels (i.e. certain ones are not OK and are erva)

  8. It is clear that Rav Eliyashiv was very involved, as the Yated Neeman came out with a very strong attack against yeshivot tichoniyot a few weeks ago. They don't come out without speaking to Rav Eliyashiv's house first.
    To parent of maarava student: the letter addresses specifically the opening of a new school. And of course Rav Eliyashiv wouldn't write that you shouldn't go to that specific school which would sound like a heter for older ones. Therefore he wrote not so send to such schools as a blanket statement.
    As far as you not taking your son out, that is your perogtive, however it shouldn't copme as a chidush to you that gedolei yisrael have been against such schools for as long as they exist

  9. This pashkevil is not really new news - just a repeat of one from a few weeks ago. Nor is the supposed enmity of the gedolim to the maarava type schools - there are letters from Rav Shach and others that are 20 years old.

    What is news is Meir Balaish supposed statement that Bet Shemesh stops at the Sharrett taxi tachana [see this weeks Chadash et al]. Is the fact that the deputy mayor (with a salary) is happy to discount the views of at least half of Bet Shemesh and say so publicly, not worthy of a blog? I think you would have blogged if Greenberg would have [allegedly] said something similar

  10. Parent of Maarava studentMay 09, 2010 12:58 PM

    When you say "Gedolei Yisroel have been against such schools for as long as they exist" I guess that means that Rav Pam, Rav Moshe and Rav Ruderman (just to name a few) don't count in your book. All of them founded yeshiva high schools with WAY MORE limudei chol than the new yeshiva is going to have. Rav Aaron Feldman is R' Kornfeld's F.I.L.- he's now the Rosh Yeshiva of Ner Yisrael, where they have a high level limudei chol and let the boys go to (gasp!) college. How come that's okay?

  11. parent - we both know he meant to say "the gedolim of eretz yisrael"

    anon - 2 points: 1. I intended to blog about it, but this was better and therefore comes first. 2. Balaish's statement is not new and it is not the first time he is saying he has no interest in RBS and only in BS. He has said so numerous times. It is only natural for him to believe so, as he has basically no support in the new sections of Bet Shemesh considering they are mostly religious and haredi and his support stems mostly from the younger crowd of Old Bet Shemesh (who would mostly be in the Likud if not for him)

  12. So I guess it is okay for mothers to register their sons...

  13. People in this neighborhood should do their part and tear down these offensive signs. Do you really beleive Rav Elyashiv, at 100 years old, met with the new school administration or the parents or has any idea what the new school is all about and knows the story? Someone went to him and told him to sign, for all he knows the new school is planning to teach Bible criticism like Hebrew U. In fact, the new school is a regular kodesh curriculum with a little basic math and English bein hasedarim. People, PLEASE TEAR DOWN AS MANY AS YOU CAN. Show that the nieghborhood does not like to see this waste of time and money.

  14. Too bad the new school is full already, or this would be great advertising! The new school is going to be amazing, and like Maarava, in a couple of years it will just be part of things and nobody will bother with signs. Who pays for these signs anyway, when there are so many poor people in the community?

  15. Rav Shach himself advised pple to go to these kind of schools if it was best for that child, even he publicly did not want to support them when they opened. Ask your local rabbis if kids of 13 need more than Torah all day long - like, anyone ever hear that you are supposed to teach your son parnossa skills?

  16. YES< RIP DOWN THESE SIGNS! They make our town look like a crazy Rama Beis neighborhood, we have to show that threats and things won't work here, whoever wasted time and MONEY putting them up should see that they get taken down right away. Especially because it makes all the boys who go to Maarava etc feel bad - surely an aveira on the heads of those who put up these signs.

  17. People who think that R' Shach et al held that Maarava is assur might find speaking to R' Leff to be very enlightening.

    I can also put you in touch with someone who was told by R' S. Aurebach [an alleged signer] to send his child to Nehora.

    And finally, I don't know if Akiva is completely correct; I'm very pleased with Moriah in RBS. Of course, it's assur, but you know how these things go...

  18. parent at new placeMay 09, 2010 1:32 PM

    Tear down signs and donate money to support the new school!

  19. Many people have been sending to yeshiva k'tana because they have no other options, not because they like it. Is it too late to apply to the new school?

  20. Rafi, can you clarify what you think about these signs? Why do you believe Rav Elyashiv really signed?

  21. akiva,
    there are plenty of schools in the neighborhood that all full (which is why it might be hard to get kids in)
    almost everybody is happy with their schools in general (there are always specific issues with chemistry between teachers and students)
    indeed by sitting on the internet, you might be of the impression that all the bloggers, which if exaggerated will be about 100 people, make up the majority.
    in fact, despite the 100+ comments on the mikva issue, the average folk doesn't even know that there was an issue.

  22. I am sure he signed on these for the same reasons he signs on all signs that have his name. Because a rabbi or askan with a long beard came to him and told him that this or that is destroying our neighborhood ruchniyus and/or this/that is a bad influence and/or this/that is destructive to torah l'amito and we have to stop it.

    Does he know the other side of the story? never. Is he ever given honest truth about why to oppose it? never.

    I think that such schools can and should exist. Not everybody has to go there. If you think your kid needs a yeshiva ketana environment, send to yeshiva ketana. if you think your kid will nto do well in yeshiva ketana and needs this type of a school, send to this type of school.

    There is no such a thing as one correct way. There is room for schools that cater to the needs of other people.

  23. i don't think that the guys hanging around in the park would have been less problematic had they gone to a yeshiva tichonit. in general the curriculam is as demanding as a regular yeshiva and a weak student will just have more subjects to be weak in.
    most of the at-risk teens have suffered from learning disabilities or abuse or family issues that won't be helped learning limudei chol.
    also, if you want to claim that the hashkafa will be different than regular yeshivos, and more tolerable to weaker kids, that is also not true, as they were trying to get rebbeim from the heart of the mainstream chareidi community.
    it is my impression that the main push for these schools are so that the boys will learn limudei chol and be prepared for a life of making a parnassa.
    if that is the case then one may argue for or against but it comes down to a shaylo of bitochon and hishtadlus and the leading gedolim of eretz yisrael have said their opinion that bachurim in their formative years should be concentrating full time on torah learning. one may argue, but he should keep in mind and be clear that he is arguing with the signees of the letter who are pretty big people.
    one last point is that if there are individuals that should go to these schools the option is there and they can go to the existing places, there is no reason to open a new one here in beit shemesh. even when Rabbi Chait opened maarava he went far away from the chareidi neighborhoods

  24. anonymous 1:23
    while RAv Eliyashiv is 100 years old, this school is no chidush. the issue of limudey chol was debated already when Rav Eliyashiv was still a young man.
    (in fact in those days there were people that wanted limudey chol for idealogical reasons and not just as a lack of bitachon.)
    the issue was a big issue when maarava opened and this new place is not planning on being very different that one can say that Rav Eliyashiv is too old to know the facts.
    in fact i am told that he was very interested in the issue and even had some birurim made before he wrote the letter himself- not just signing on a letter that was brought to him.

  25. it may solve the problem for some kids, and for others it might not. Not every kid faisl otu because he didnt learn limudei chol, but some do fail out because they are in school that gives them no other options than one thing that they happen to nt be interested in. So ti might be a partial solution, but I dont believe it will be the solution to kids in the park problem.

    Also, it is not necessarily just an issue of bitachon and giving kids tools and skills for parnassa. Some parents assess their kids as needing such an education now as well. Tou much gemara, with no variety, can be a turn off for some kids. If your kid will do well in yeshiva ketana, and that is your hashkafa that yk is right, then send to yeshiva jetana. but maybe a different parent feels his kid is not cut out for learnign gemara all day and he will fall to the wayside in such an environment. Then by all means he should consider the alternatives. This will be a solution for many kids who have not had solutions until now.

    And Maarava might be great, but they are very limited. So many kids apply and do not get in. there is definitely room for another such school.

  26. also it is wrong to paint this school as being a solution to at risk. You then, by doing so, make it seem like a school for at risk kids and give it a stigma. And that is not true. It is a legitimate derech that some kids need and some kids dont.

    chanoch lnaar al pi darko.

    Those who want this type of school can send here and those who want that type can send there.

  27. News to me about Balayish's comment. If that's the case, then why does Iriyat Beit Shemesh get our arnona?

    Hey Normal, are you saying that R' Perlstein puts up posters in someone else's name? Classic!

    With all due respect to Rav Pam, Rav Moshe and Rav Ruderman, you can't compare Gedolim of chu"l to the ones in EY. I'll ask a better question, since it IS in EY: What about R' Kornfeld's school which also has secular studies? Does that mean he was poretz geder too?

    Or maybe this wasn't really R' Elyashiv. Heck it doesn't even have a signature, not that that would prove anything anyway. And if Anon 12:32 is right, maybe we should follow his advice which is not to follow his advice.

  28. anonymous 1:26
    actually i heard they are not full.
    and if you want to contribute i'm sure rav perlstein would accept your donation
    who is paying for all those nice houses and nice cars all around the neighborhood when there are so many poor people?
    who is paying for all the vacations and pesach hotel stays when there are so many poor people in the neighborhood.
    and last but not least whoi is paying to open a new high school when there are so many poor people in the neighborhood?
    some people feel a nice house is a priority and some people feel that protecting the Olam Hayeshivos is a priority

  29. mikeage
    it is interesting that none of RAv shach's close talmidim ever corroborated Rav Leff's stories and they all feel that Rav Shach was against it.
    interesting that Rav Shach forgot to tell his talmidim what he really feels

  30. Almost as interesting as the fact that R' Leff has put his name and reputation behind it... whereas neither you nor this pashkavel writer are willing to do so.

  31. while nothing will be proven one way or another by making statements here "everybody knows" that privately Rav Shach endorsed it and at times told parents to send kids there.

    Do you believe Rav Leff is lying when he says that?

    Rav Shach did publicly what he had to, but privately he did what was right in every personal situation. His talmidim might not have known what he told people privately. Or maybe they dont have the greatness and broad vision that he had and dont realize or admit that it is sometimes necessary even f public policy must dictate opposition.

    And just because he opposed it, let's say he really completely opposed it, doesnt mean others need follow. He opposed it and perhaps it is really wrong for his talmidim and followers. Maybe for anglo olim it is not wrong. People come from different life experiences, and with different worldviews. His opposition is for people within his camp. Would he oppsoe a chiloni child goign to a religious school that has secular studies? Of course not because where he is coming from that would be great. Other parents coming from other places and backgrounds have other needs that make Maarava and the like to to be desirable.

  32. check yr factsMay 09, 2010 2:37 PM

    To one of the anonymouses -
    "Actually, I heard they are not full" - if that is about the new school, you may have heard, but my kid was AT the orientation, and all the slots for the incoming ninth grade are filled (the plan is to start with a small group of about 12, and they are over that already). Maybe you heard about local kids, but there is a group of boys coming from Yerushalayim.

  33. Rafi, I think your last comment really hits the point.
    The way I read the notice is that they are saying that a yeshiva which incorporates secular does not fit into their definition of a yeshiva.
    If you want to send him to a yeshiva, don't kid yourself that this is a yeshiva.
    But of course there may be situations where a kid is not cut out for yeshiva.

  34. People, please leave "kids at risk" out of this. This school is not for kids at risk, that population needs a school with supportive staff, vocational training and lighter stuff like basketball (and by the way, not all those types have LDs or family issues). This school is for really good boys who want a Marava-type place - high level, black hat learning, with a little basic secular education - but Marava is a)a dorm school, b) very expensive and c) hard to get into.

  35. what is "black hat learning"?

  36. what is "black hat learning"?

  37. In response to the 'fact' that all the Gedolei E"Y have been against schools like this, it is known that Rav Shlomo Zalman zt"l gave support to Rav Chait shli"ta when he opened Maarava and afterwards. Anyone can contact Rav Chait about this.

    Most of the Chareidi Yeshiva Gevohahs accept Maarava graduates (although some like Ponovezh don't). In those Yeshivas, the Maarava graduates tend to do very well, and are sought after. This is partially due to the tremendous emphasis on midddos which is part of the Maarava approach. I hope this new school is similar in that regard. Having more good choices is good for Am Yisroel.

  38. still prefers to remain anonymousMay 09, 2010 6:46 PM

    the writer of the Potshkaville" did put his name - "RAv Yosef Shalom ELiyashiv" if that is an anonymous name to you, ask around - some of your friends might have heard of him

  39. check yr facts said...
    Maybe you heard about local kids, but there is a group of boys coming from Yerushalayim.

    if that is so then move it to yerushalayim since one of the arguments to open a new place is so people don't have to travel to maarava or nehora

  40. I'm having trouble why anyone should give a hoot about what these signs say. If you're a tow-the-line chareidi type then you're not going to send you kid to this type of school.

    If you're a more independent American-type chareidi and you would have send your kid to Maarava then you are defacto ignoring the content of this poster.

    It sounds like this much needed school is getting off the ground. BS is not a "controlled" Chareidi community, not yet anyway.

    Talk to your Rav, or just do what's best for your kid. And just ignore these stupid, ignorant signs.

  41. Mother of a sixth graderMay 09, 2010 7:45 PM

    To anonymous who suggests moving the yeshiva to Y-m: You are obviously not aware of the fact, that no one argues that they don't want to "travel" to Maarava because no one "travels" to Maarava and Nehora- they are dorm only schools. Part of the attraction of this new yeshiva is the fact that it is a non-dorming option. I for one am thrilled about this yeshiva because there's no way my son could survive in a dorm.

    Another thing you may not know is that tuition in Maarava is 32,000 NIS per year- that is way out of reach for many, not to mention that they take only 35 out of almost 200 applicants. We need this option here in Bet Shemesh for our boys.

    This year there is only one class coming out of Magen Avos, but next year there are already parallel classes, and a few years down the road there will also be boys graduating from other talmud torahs in RBS.

  42. Interesting how the local rabbis are 100% OK - even serving as heads of schools - where 8th grade bar mitzva boys learn English and math, but for ninth graders a few months later, the same thing makes them BUMS. I also question why a rabbi would put up these signs to make boys in the neighborhood feel bad - isn't that an AVAYRA? Not to mention the signs were hung on PRIVATE property -i.e. the walls of people's gardens on Shimson and Dolev - where they make the owners scrape at the glue and make a big garbage mess - at the modern high school I went to, they taught us that that too was stealing and against the Torah...

  43. I suspect I've heard of him more than he's heard of these posters...

  44. menachem lipkin said " just ignore these stupid, ignorant signs."
    the sign is not just a sign - it is a letter (or translation of a letter) written by Reb YOsef Shalom Eliyashiv and signed by four other leading gedley yisrael.
    you may choose to ignore it, believe that you are entitled to your own opinion, etc, but i'm not sure why you would refer to such people's letter as stupid and ignorant.
    as far as torah learning goes i doubt they are the ignorant ones and as far as life experience goes, each one is at least double or triple your age (depending how young you are)
    i find it hard to believe they are the ignorant ones compared to those that second guess them.(regardless of whether you agree or not, ignorance is not the issue)

  45. mikeage:
    HE WROTE the "posters"

  46. You put the quotes in the wrong place. Let me fix that for you.

    He "WROTE" the posters.

    Much better.

  47. annonymous @ 8:01
    first of all, no one is calling anybody "bums" they are just reiterating the torahdike approach that has been handed down through the mesora of manhigey hador in eretz yisrael.
    second, many chadarim actually stop limudey chol in 8th grade which is the usual age of bar- mitzvah.
    also, for the same reason that elementary school ends in 8th grade and high school/ yeshiva ketanah starts in ninth grade, whatever reason that is - is the same reason that there is a difference.
    as far as your questioning why Rabbis would put up the signs, i doubt that many actually follow this blog. you are probably best off calling them directly if you really cared for an answer.
    however, i (the am haaretz that i am ) wil try to answer.
    if this is the Rabbis'opinion and the people weren't willing to accept that opinion, and continue to establish the yeshiva tichonit, then one can argue that by opening such an institution which is a kilkul (in their opinion) to the olam hatorah, they create a certain bilbul hadaas in the community and therefore they feel that it is important to express publicly what they feel the proper torah hashkafa is. if any parent which previously sent to a yeshiva tichon, feels that they are not mishoobad to these RAbbanim, then they can explain to their children why they shouldn't feel bad.
    as far as the placing of the advertisement, from what i saw around the neighborhood, they didn't put up the signs anywhere that signs aren't usually put up- the Rabbis don't walk around with glue, they hire a Madbik- the one that hangs up all the signs. if it is good for everyone else than it is good for these signs too

  48. mikeage
    why do you not think that RAv Eliyashiv wrote the letter himself?
    call his chatzer and ask? no one denies it. (i mean that the nusach was his - obviously he didn't type it)
    I was told by someone involved that he actually spent a few days working on the nusach until it was the way he liked it.

  49. it is a letter (or translation of a letter) written by Reb YOsef Shalom Eliyashiv and signed by four other leading gedley yisrael.

    And I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you...

  50. Unfortunately, we have no way of knowing Rav Elyashiv shli"ta's exact opinion on this or anything else, He doesn't write teshuvos. We don't know the facts that are presenred to him, nor do we know HOW they are presented. With a teshuva, we can see the assumptions of the psak and exactly what it is based on.

    The classic example is the Making of A Godol ban. Rav Nosson Kaminetski has documented the exact way Rav Elyashiv shli"ta was misled, and how the other poskim signed on after he was misled. To this day, Rav Moshe Shternbuch shli"ta (and others) publicly support the book. Call him.

    Another example is the withdrawal from Gaza. We still don't know exactly what Rav Elyashiv shli"ta was told and why he said what he said. We know he Bostoner Rebbe zt"l and others opposed staying in the gov't. against Rav Elyashiv shli"ta's opinion. Someone told me that Rav Malinowitz shli"ta said n a public drosho that Rav Elyashiv was misled.

    Therefore, we have no way of knowing whether Rav Elyashiv has been appprised of the situation in RBS as it is. Therefore, the parents have every right to ignore the signs.

    This school is a natural outgrowth of the articles by Rabbis Yakov Horowitz and Jonathan Rosenblloom regarding the importance of chareidim having a basic ability to be part of the job market. I am not saying they would support the school in the face of the opposition of some of the Gedolim. But this school does fit with their approach.

  51. Many people have confirmed that there were definitely signs hung in places where there never have been before- on Shimshon, tons on Dolev etc. There are also never this many- 4 or 5 together- in English and Hebrew. Please do your part to remove as many as you can- let them see that people in RBS won't stand for this kind of intimidation. (Not to mention it's an illegal eyesore!)

  52. you think that this taayna is a new taayna.
    people have been claiming that the gedolim were mislead, never said it, etc, for dozen of years.
    bottom line - for those that don't want to listen there will never be an answer.
    even when Rav Shteinman came to RBS just to tell people to vote for Degel as opposed to Tov, there were people that jumped on ambiguities in his speech to say that he meant to vote for Tov, as if he came all the way to RBS to tell us that. and all the RAbbonim who were involved with speaking to him missed the point.
    there will always be an answer even if they say things straight out.
    besides which, this is an old issue and not much changed so i don't know why it is so far fetched that he actually wrote the letter.
    and besides even if he didn't write the letter but just signed it, it is a pretty straight forward letter.
    you may disagree with the content but RAv ELiyashiv, RAv Shteinman, RAv Lefkovitz, RAv Auerbach, and RAv Karelitz are cholek on you

  53. disgusted:
    most signs were actually taken down already
    if the signs were for lmaan achay or yom yerushalayim would it really bother you that much?
    be honest, the content bothers you not the placing or amount of the signs.
    why should you be so bothered by these signs if you couldn't care less about what the signatories have to say?
    carry on with your life as if they weren't there (they were only there for several hours anyways)

  54. Does anyone really think that Rav ELyashiv, at 100 years old, knows all the details about this community? Do you believe he had a meeting with the parents or administration or guiding rabbis of the new school? He did not personally pass judgment in the Jewish, accepted way. Someone went and told him a story and asked him to sign. Jews do not believe in an infallible pope, even Moshe Rabbenu made mistakes! Judaism teaches "Asei l'cha rav." The new school has rabbis who approve, they are NOT obligated by the Torah to listen to a rabbi who does not agree.
    For those who claim it bothers you that people don't listen to the gedolim, ask yourself why these signs only attack a black hat school with secular studies, but not a kippa seruga school that does the same thing. It is not that everyone is supposed to listen to gedolim, it is that the people close to gedolim have some power issues.

  55. so don't listen. why get all worked up?
    some people choose to listen. for those that do, they say their opinion. what's wrong?
    besides what is so special about this case that is a chidush and should have changed Rav ELiyashiv's opinion?
    and once again, he didn't sign a letter - he wrote his own

  56. If all these rabbanim and askanim truly think the Chareidi system is so wonderful- what are they so afraid of? Their system should speak for itself. Clearly, they are very nervous because they realize that there are many among the Chareidi masses who are extremely dissatisfied, but with no options remain stuck. Once there is a great local option where boys are shteiging all day, and also doing limudei chol bein hasedarim, obviously the fear is that others may realize that it IS possible to learn some limudei chol and still become a godol b'torah.
    After all, Rav Kornfeld and Rav Malinowitz both did.

  57. If all these rabbanim and askanim truly think the Chareidi system is so wonderful- what are they so afraid of? Their system should speak for itself. Clearly, they are very nervous because they realize that there are many among the Chareidi masses who are extremely dissatisfied, but with no options remain stuck. Once there is a great local option where boys are shteiging all day, and also doing limudei chol bein hasedarim, obviously the fear is that others may realize that it IS possible to learn some limudei chol and still become a godol b'torah.
    After all, Rav Kornfeld and Rav Malinowitz both did.

  58. bemused said:
    "Clearly, they are very nervous because they realize that there are many among the Chareidi masses who are extremely dissatisfied, but with no options remain stuck."
    as far as i heard the people who are opening the school is not because of dissatisfaction with the israeli system but rather people that can't give up the American system they are used to.
    also the masses can't even produce one class of 12kids locally - they have to import a group of "dissatisfied" people from Yerushalayim (as per a previous poster's claim)

    "Once there is a great local option where boys are shteiging all day, and also doing limudei chol bein hasedarim" - make up your mind ALL DAY or ALso doing limudey chol bein hasedarim"
    in the yeshivos, bein hasedarim is used to refresh in order to learn better. either your boys are stronger than the regular yeshiva boys (which is surprising since everyone is saying that they need other pursuits to kep them happy)
    or they are not focused as much on the learning.

  59. There are no gedolim today that are in touch with reality because the askonim have ingeniously filtered what info reaches them. I can guarantee you if we got R Elyashiv to come for a shabbos and have a meeting with all sides of these arguments he would pasken very differently. PERIOD. Wake up all you drones. Keep following the shepherd until the ponzi scheme eventually collapses, which will happen very shortly. All we can do is long for the days of R' Sharaga Feivel and R' Moshe, R' Yaakov. And then hope moshiach comes...soon.

    All parents need to think for themselves unless you are fortunate enough to have an open-minded Rav that only has the best in mind for his constituents (few and far between).

  60. I ripped one down this monrning.

    but then I realized - what is the nafka mina.

    normal people won't pay squat to these goat raisins so nothing to los there and tearing them down is only stooping to thier misreable barbaric level.

    OTOH, one can correctly argue that these pashkevils are a form of violence and the non-barbarians also have a right to defend themselves against these broadsides.

  61. Anonymous- it seems that your reading comprehension skills have slipped a bit since you went to high school. I never said that there are masses of Chareidim planning to send to the new yeshiva this year. I simply said the fear is that those Chareidim who are dissatisfied may come to be impressed by a different system (in the future). Nor are any of the boys from Yerushalayim "dissatisfied"- they are boys who are looking for this option l'chatchila.

    Additionally, it was clear that the "shteiging" would be taking place during the time typically alloted for learning limudei kodesh i.e morning seder, afternoon seder and night seder, just like in yeshiva ketana. Is it okay with you to say that in yeshiva ketana the boys do learn "all day" even though they have a break of several hours in which to "refresh themselves"?

    And by the way, the fact that in yeshiva ketana boys "refresh themselves" (sleep usually) during bein hasedarim is most likely due to the fact that they need a break from learning, and are simply not allowed an opportunity to do ANYTHING else during their break such as read a book or play ball. I never napped until I was married and neither did any of my friends. We spent our days in yeshiva- learning kodesh and/or chol except for short recess breaks. What's the big deal?

  62. i ripped down 2 outside the gra and realized the best thing would be to put up fliers supporting the school,
    and the hashkafa behind it,
    we can throw some rabbis in for good measure

  63. Regarding the "Gedolim's" views. Aside from Rav Shlomo Zalman zt"l expressing support for Ma'arava, the first Israeli Gadol to support and encourage Rav Chait to open Ma'arava was Rav Sheinberg shli"ta. Rav Chait has said this publicly on various occasions.

  64. 13 year old boys don't learn all day - so if they learn a little English and play a little ball, they may grow up to not have to worry as much about parnossa and being fat. They can still be ehrliche yidden. Doesn't sound so bad to me, I am sure somebody is just misleading these elderly gedolim who don't know the people or the twon into thinking that the boys are going to devote half their time to learning Greek philosophy and the New Testament.

  65. "they are just reiterating the torahdike approach that has been handed down through the mesora of manhigey hador in eretz yisrael."

    You make it sound like this was the historical tradition since Sinai. Don't you realize that throughout the period of the Rishonim, it was perfectly normal for people to learn a trade (in Ashkenaz) and secular studies (in Sefarad)?

  66. I've said it many times before, but I heard directly from Rav Moshe Shternbuch Shlit"a that the vasy majority of pashkevillim that go up in his name are never even shown to him. I frankly don't believe that any of these 5 rabbonim signed any such statement.

  67. protect the innocentMay 10, 2010 9:44 AM

    Shaul B-
    You got it dead right. I spoke to one of the organizers of this yeshiva high school yesterday. He told me he saw the posters, and phoned up one of the rabbis on the list. Said Rabbi was totally taken aback, said he never signed on any such letter, and said, "Do what you want!"

    I wish I could publish more about who phoned whom but they asked me not to bring their names into it, so I'll respect that. But you can know this - whoever put up those posters had no compunction about forging the name of one gadol hador, and by extension they probably used all five names without permission.

    Those posters are not daas torah, they are sheker v'chazav and brazen chutzpah. They are a mockery of the kavod hatorah. Tear them down, or maybe even take permanent markers to them and write "FORGERY!" "זיוף!"

  68. Face the factsMay 10, 2010 9:47 AM

    I actually read the article in Yated Ne'eman. The main argument given is that historically in Europe, yeshivos never EVER had limudei chol as part of the curriculum. First of all that's not true. If you read the preface to the Rav Aryeh Carmell's English Michtav Me'Eliyahu you'll read all about the yeshiva founded by Rav Simcha Zissel Sieff "himself one of the foremost pupils of Rav Yisrael Salanter". It says "Here besides a full program of Talmudic learning, THE CURRICULUM ALSO INCLUDED RUSSIAN LANGUAGE AND OTHER SECULAR STUDIES, WHICH HE CONSIDERED ESSENTIAL FOR THE EDUCATION...It was in this yeshiva that Rav Dessler's father and uncle learned, but when Rav Dessler was growing up his family had moved far away. However, "in accordance with the pricipals laid down by Rabbi Simcha Zissel, the boy's course of studies included the Russian language and mathematics. His reading also included some selected classics of world literature in Russian translation."

    This was of course not the only yeshiva in Europe to incorporate limudei chol.

    Additionally, what is often missed in these Yated Ne'eman type of articles against limudei chol is the fact that in those years it was almost universal for boys to leave yeshiva entirely by 13-14 years of age to start working. Those who showed truly exceptional abilities might be lucky enough to be sent to learn in yeshiva. A few boys from each village were learning into their teens. So yes, one could say that for these tremendous iluyim, it was a shame to spend their precious time on anything but torah learning. But to claim that for the "hamon am", taking any time away from torah is against the "mesorah" is laughable. There NEVER was a mesorah for all young men from 14-18 to sit learning torah in the way our boys do. The AVERAGE boy today in America and around the world, learns far more torah than the vast majority of boys did even two generations ago.

  69. protect the innocent
    nice try. easy to make up s story of someone said to someone.
    i know for a fact that they all signed and it wasn't just a letter in a stack of papers to sign.
    either you are making this up, or your connection is making up the story.
    there is not one person who signed that you can "just call up" (in fact according to earlier comments, you can't even get to them if you are not a gabbay)

  70. if all you commentators have such a zilzul for the signers of the letter, than why can't you just admit that they signed it and go against what they say?
    why make up a whole shita that there are no gedolim now, or that they have no idea, etc.

  71. shaul b:
    why would you not believe?
    do you have any reason to think that they didn't sign? it is not such a chiddush that they would sign such a letter. it is very much in keeping with the accepted position of where they are associated.
    now if they wrote a letter that it is muttar to open such a place, that would be a chiddush and there might be room for speculation

  72. hobbes:
    what is barbaric about putting up letters?
    are they not allowed to disseminate their opinion?
    was the Netziv Barbaric?
    was the chazon ish barabaric?
    was RAv shach barbaric?
    if do then i would be proud to be barbaric

  73. protect the innocentMay 10, 2010 11:27 AM

    Anon 11:04 -
    It appears we have straight out conflicting testimony. You "know for a fact" that they all signed. I "know for a fact" that at least one of them did not, and was in fact totally tolerant (I won't necessarily say supportive) of the fact that my source wanted to start a yeshiva high school.

    My source is a very, very respected person in the community, and not somebody who would lie about such a conversation.

    What's your source? How do you "know" they all signed?

  74. You people have me laughing out loud!

    A bunch of anonymous commenters arguing about whether an unsigned, ie anonymous, pashkeville is authentic!

    Try picturing yourselves on Comedy Central or SNL with black hoods on having this discussion. LOL

  75. Not bemused anymoreMay 10, 2010 12:29 PM

    Anonymous said: "if all you commentators have such a zilzul for the signers of the letter, than why can't you just admit that they signed it and go against what they say?"

    We will be more than happy to admit that, just as soon as you admit that you are also "mizalzel" those very same rabbanim, by using the internet for non-work purposes. I'd bet any money they'd say what you're doing is worse. Notice that the "carefully chosen words of Rav Elyashiv" donn't say that anyone will become tamei or go to gehennom for learning limudei chol. Going on the internet on the other hand....

    Where do you get the nerve to preach about not listening to gedolim?? Or have you also decided to "make up a whole shita that there are no gedolim now, or that they have no idea, etc."? Or is it just that it's okay to ignore the gedolim as long as no one else will know about it? Let's see now, what was it Chazal say again about which thief is worse- the one who sneaks or the one who does it in broad daylight??

  76. Protect the Innocent: thanks for the confirmation of my suspicions.

    Anon (who seems to believe everything he sees just because it's in a pashkevil): I already told you, I heard personally from R' Shternbuch that the askanim do not consult with him before putting up posters in his name. Why should this time be different?

    Let's just speak this out, though, to prove the illogic of the situation: do you think Rav Elyashiv shlit"a has nothing better to do with his time than to get hot under the collar about someone starting up a yeshiva high school in Ramat Beit Shemesh? Why isn't he also out banging the same drum against Rav Chait and those other "portzei geder" at Maarava? To suggest that R' Elyashiv personally composed the letter is absurd.

    Ela mai - must be some askanim drew up the letter.

    Now, did they actually get haskoma? Well, I guess they could have emailed the letter to the 5 chashuve rabbonim and got back a response from each of them when they logged on during bein hasedarim, right? OK, maybe not. :)

    Ela mai - they must have got into their car and shuttled between Mea Shearim and Bnei Brak to go and sit with each of these gedolim to explain carefully the situation, accurately giving them all the facts so that they could come to a conclusion that really represents daas torah. That's what they must have done, right? Because, in all seriousness, what godol hador would give psak on a situation when they don't have all the facts before them? If you think a godol hador would just reflexively rule on a case without being in full possession of the facts, then you are in effect expressing serious zilzul talmidei chachamim, as if to say that our gedolim are so impetuous that they would rule on a case without serious consideration to the facts.

    And having considered the case, do you think the gedolei hador are such intellectual and moral flyweights that they would just sign on the dotted line under a prepared statement? Do you really think their word is such a trivial thing to them that they would just lend their name to a statement without being medayek on the slighest nuances of the wording? If they have something to express on the matter, they will express it in their own words, crafting their statement to say exactly what they want it to say - nothing more, and nothing less. And as I said before, they have better things to do with their time than protesting against a Torah institution that will allow boys to get a bagrut.

    My rule of thumb is this: Gedolim do not sign pashkevilim, much less write them. Unless maybe it's a matter of critical national importance. Any pashkevil carrying the name of a Rabbi is either forged, or else the Rabbi himself is a political agitator who doesn't have anything better to do with his time than picking fights with everyone who doesn't toe his line.

  77. protect the innocentMay 10, 2010 12:43 PM

    Menachem Lipkin: LOL :) I would have posted non-anonymously (and I usually do), but my source specifically asked me not to bring his name into it, and by association, I have to keep myself anonymous, too.

  78. to Bemused (hopefully again)
    ok i admit. i have a yeyzer harah to keep up on Rafi's latest blogs. i admit it is wrong. i am working on quitting.
    i already quit fox news and cnn.
    i'm close to quitting on bechadrey.
    but yeshiva world and rafi's blog has been the hardest.
    i acknowledge the Gedoim have said not to use the internet for non work reasons.hopefully one day i shall quit completely all non work internet surfing. In the meantime i am aware that I am going directly against what the Gedolim said about internet.
    there i admitted.
    Your turn

  79. I dont know if this makes a difference in peoples suspicions, but someone I trust told me firsthand knowledge that Rav Elyashiv did not just sign a blank paper or stack. he himself decided on the nusach.

    To me that makes no difference, as only one side was presented to him. They told him about the problem, perhaps he got enraged at the pirtza as it was explained to him, and he wrote a letter.

    Perhaps had he been a beis din and heard both sides equally and fairly he would have decided otherwise. In the meantime, he only heard one side fo the story. if you are a follower of those on that one side, then this letter is important to you. if you are a follower of the other side, then this letter is biased and one-sided and irrelevant.

  80. while it may be true that Rav ELiyashiv doesn't have time to come around and find out what is going on all over the country, if a Rav or askan brings a specific issue to his attention then he may choose to deal with it or not.
    howeever, i think there is a premise on which your entire depiction of possible events starts.
    You seem to be of the opinion that the opening of a yeshiva tichonist in RBS is an insignificant issue and not such a big deal.
    If that was true, than yes, Rav Eliyashiv wouldn't take the time nor would any of the other signers.
    However,there is another way of looking at things.
    Beit Shemesh in general takes a very central place in the Israeli Yeshiva World nowadays. Besides being one of the larger concentrations of Litvishe families ourside Yerushalayim Bnay Brak and Modiin ELit, the potential expansion of RBS GImmel and Achuzat Goliventzitz will make it a very central place to the future of the Israeli Yeshiva Community.
    That being said, a majority of the children in Chareidi Chadarim in RBS come from chutznik parents and therefore the issue of Yeshiva Tichonistim has a tremendous potential to enter into the mainstream Israeli Yeshiva World.
    While different commentators have mentioned different Gedolim that were more Parve towards Yeshiva Tichonistim, there were definitely plenty of GEdolim who fought that there should be no change in the tzuras hayeshivos.
    rav shsch was moser nefesh mamash on this idea of not allowing any change into the tzuras hayeshivos hakedoshos.
    While maarava was opened already despite the opposition of Rav Shach, he was succesful in making sure that it was opened outside of Yerushalyim. even reb shlomo Zalman told Rabbi Chait to open out of Yerushalayim- away from the Chareidi centers.
    till this day there is no Yesiva Tichonist in any chareidi center (as far as I know) to open one in Ramat Beit Shemesh would be poretz geder and the gedolim realize it to be a danger to the tzuras hayeshivos.
    if this is one's approach then it is not far fetched that Rav Eliyashiv would take the time to put together a nusach and the RAbbonim and Askanim working to prevent it from opening would have no problem going down to bnay brak three times (even if all three signers couldn't be seen on the same day,) and the signers wouldn't have a problem listening to the details.
    in fact I know that one of the signers has already dedicated several hours to the issue.
    perhaps call Rav ELiyahiv's Grandson Aryeh and ask him who wrote the nusach of the letter. he won't deny that it was written by RAv ELiyashiv himself

  81. So what are the rabbanim saying then- (aside from that we should "just go back to America if we don't like the chinuch here")? L'maaseh these rabbanim DO recognize (privately) that it's not a good fit for our boys to go to "traditional" yeshivos, but at the same time we're not allowed to have non-traditional ones. So is the answer to force boys into yeshiva k'tana knowing it's a very poor choice for them?

    To say "don't open another one, send to a pre-existing yeshiva" is not an answer. Maarava takes a small percentage of applicants and many feel the other existing yeshivas are too modern for their sons. Additionally, many do not want to send their sons to a dorm and/or can't afford 32,000 shekel a year. What should we do with our boys?

    In any case, the kind of system in place in Eretz Yisroel today, with thousands of boys/men learning till forever is not a long standing thing. L'maaseh if it changes, that may be Hashem's plan-for Yiddishkeit to return to what the mesorah was for thousands of years. A small minority who learned and the rest we won't mention.

  82. Everyone should know that when the Gedolim put out a sweeping edict such as this poster, they mean it in a broad sense, for the majority of the population. On an individual basis, they might advise someone to do differently.

    Anon May 10, 1:45 pm, you have made an interesting point I never considered, and it makes it sort of irrelevant whether they really signed the poster or not. (Personally, I think there should at least have been signatures, which there weren't. Not that signatures can't be copied, but no signature at all makes it even more suspect to me.) But here's my point:

    There is a great misconception about RBSA being a charedi center, like BB or K'Sefer. We know this is not true, but if they think it is, and then they hear about this yeshiva bagrut high school, they may think this school is going to attract charedi kids who would have otherwise gone to yeshiva ketana. This they must come out against. They don't want masses of charedim choosing this school over YK.

    (They don't have to speak against a DL school, because a DL school is not a perceived competition with a YK like this yeshiva high school.)

    Now parents who weren't considering sending their kids to YK in the first place, read this poster and get all bent out of shape because they think the poster is addressing them. But maybe in that particular situation, even the Gedolim would agree to send your kid to a bagrut yeshiva HS and that this poster was not intended for them.

    They have to speak in harsh language such as this poster because they don't want a would-be YK kid to go to this school. And as I wrote above, they make it sound so sweeping because maybe they think that's what everyone in RBS is. Maybe that's where the confusion lies. They think it's the majority of the population, but it isn't.

    So does this poster apply to you? Well, if you have any thoughts that it might, if you feel that it is your derech to follow the edicts of R' Elyashiv, but you're not sure whether YK is right in your kid's particular situation, you can do one of 2 things: 1. Go see him and let him clarify for you specifically. 2. Since it's unlikely you'll ever get the opportunity to do that, speak to your own rav and let him tell you whether he think this poster applies to you.

    Since high school years are so formative in your kid's life, it pays to get some guidance on what's right for you. Aseh lecha rav is just for situations like this.

  83. I heard that Rav Perlstein definitely organized this hate campaign agains the school. Just like Tropper tried to advance by trying to prove how fanatical he was, Rav Perlstein does the same. By going on this campaign he hopes to gain more power which he currently lacks since he does not have many followers in RBS.

  84. funny, but I was talking to someone today and he told me he saw the signs and thought it was very strange. he said it felt like Communist Russia. The signs say, without being medayek - just reading it , that you should not send your kids to the yeshiva, they are not allowed to open up the yeshiva in RBS... He said reading it made him wonder if this is like Russia.

  85. It's funny you say that, Rafi, coz for a long time I've had a theory that Jewish attitudes are profoundly shaped by the surrounding non-Jewish cultures from their country of origin. The "typical" Sefardi outlook on life is middle-Eastern, including the emphasis on ornate beauty in their shuls, and a nearly mystical awe of the Rav. East Europeans are much more austere, and seem to have a preference for the Communist style of being told what to do, unquestioningly following authority and sometimes violent retribution against those who disobey. We Westerners are typically more libertarian, democratic and independently minded, and take offense at being dictated to.

    You like my theory?

  86. definitely an interesting theory

  87. Shaul, in some countries you can get shot for saying stuff like that. Or was that exactly your point?

  88. wannasaab
    in general i agree with your understanding, but there are alot of people that are in the middle and if spoken to can be influenced to send to YK instead of YT. in fact i was told by a friend of mine that in one of the local YK two of their best boys almost went to YT and were convinced the last minute to go to yK. it is boys like this that don't know much about the Israeli system (or their parents) and can go either way.
    If a YT is established locally and becomes somewhat of an accepted given, then this can have an adverse affect on those people in the middle which with lack of a local YT would send to a YK.
    Perhaps it is over those families that they are concerned about

  89. That's exactly what I think. They want to keep anyone who would have gone to YK from being lured away to YT. Only other point I made was that the poster made it sound so sweeping as to apply to everyone, and many people got upset. Perhaps the Gedolim think RBS is all charedi (a la BB or KS)where most boys do go to YK. What they may not realize is that RBS has many residents who were not considering YK in the first place. I'm saying that in some situations even the Gedolim themselves may advise differently.

    And that's my main point. I don't think a poster should be interpreted as a p'sak for every individual. They make broad statements b'gadol but individual circumstances may vary. Consult your local Orthodox rabbi if you're unsure whether the poster applies to your particular situation.

  90. How dare u "grade" the gedolom of chu"l and the gedolim of Eretz Yisroel? Who are you to say R'Moshe R' Yaakov and Rav Ruderman are less than the gedolim in EY?
    The bloggers will decide for themselves on your horrible comment.

  91. I can see from what I wrote how you got the impression I was grading them. That's not at all what I meant. I have every ounce of respect for R' Moshe, R' Yaakov, R' Ruderman etc. But they never paskin'ed on chinuch issues in EY, A) because they didn't live here and B) because EY has a different set of norms than Chul. What might be considered to be poretz geder in EY might not be in Chul. That's all I meant.

  92. How can it possibly be, based on your logic, that YHS chinuch which was approved by the American Charedi Gdolim is kosher and ehrlich, but the exact same curriculum (perhaps even a less secular one here in EY)is possul and treif and detrimental to a child's Yiras Shomayim in EY??? This taina is just too hard to swallow!


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