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Dec 24, 2012

Moshe Grylak's Stockholm Syndrome

Moshe Grylak's editorials in Mishpacha magazine are generally one of the best features of the magazine. Even if I don't have time to read the magazine, I will  always try to make time to read his editorial column. Not that I always agree with everything he says, but I always enjoy reading what he has to say.

This past week I just didn't understand Grylak. In one of his smaller editorial spots this past week, Grylak stuck his neck into the ongoing fight between the Yated faction and the "HaPeles" faction, which has now become the "Netzach" political party faction opposing Degel haTorah, of Litvishe haredim that has been percolating over the past 6-8 weeks. Until now he has been pretty silent about it, but now he had to comment on something the "Netzach" spokesman said recently.

Netzach spokesman Yaakov Friedman recently commented, to the media, after the meeting last week between Rav Shmuel Auerbach and Rav Shteinman, that "Bnei Braq will burn, blood will be spilled".

Grylak criticized Friedman, rightfully so as what Friedman said was very inappropriate, but he criticized him with scorn.

Grylak wrote "Blood will spill? that's what the head of the Ashdod faction said when he wanted to describe to the secular media what will happen in unity does not return to the Litvishe community in accordance with the conditions that he sets. Blood will spill! Bnei Braq will tremble!... Without sticking our heads into the argument over nothing being led by a fired journalist, what is this type of speech? what is this - the Black Panthers? Harlem? Hamas?.. "

The Netzach-Peles faction calls themselves the "Jerusalem faction" of the haredi community, led by Rav Shmuel Auerbach, in contrast to the Bnei Braq faction led by Rav Shteinman. Calling them the "Ashdod faction" is scorn rather than criticism for the statement, considering them even smaller and worth-less than how they consider themselves.

No doubt they deserve the criticism, and haredi insiders should be fuming at them for that aspect of the disunity they are  affecting. Though the truth is that Degel, the original Litvishe faction seems to be fighting with everyone - the Jerusalem faction of Litvaks, the hassidim, Shomrei Emunim... so maybe Degel is being too obstinate and responsible for much of the fighting. I don't know. I am not looking to decide who is at fault, but whoever is at fault, causing a split is pretty serious for what is already a small political party that has a lot to lose. So no doubt they deserve to be criticized, both for their part in the disunity and specifically for that incendiary statement made by Friedman.

However, Grylak? Is Grylak really the right person for this task? Even though he was one of the founders of the Yated many moons ago, more recently he himself was the target of a vicious campaign led by the Yated. Yated led a relentless attack against the Mishpacha magazine and it's leadership, with letters signed by gedolim and rabbonim against Mishpacha, pashkevilim, editorials in the Yated about how bad Mishpacha is with no daas torah and the like.. and now Grylak is doing more than criticizing Friedman's statement, he is just about taking the side of the Yated.

I don't know if that is something akin to the Stockholm Syndrome, with the Yated beating on him but he feels the need to support the Yated anyway, but I would have preferred Grylak stay out of it and let them continue "beating each other up" on their own...

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  1. The politicization of Yiddishkeit has become a huge embarrassment and chilul Hashem, as askonim and politicos on each side maneuver for power, all under the guise of daas Torah. Torah and machlokes can't coexist. A pox on both their houses!

  2. Considering that the editor of the Peles is same person who used to be the editor of the Yated – a position he used to vehemently attack anyone who did not confirm to his worldviews – it all makes perfect sense...

  3. If only these guys would just let themselves follow (or play) sports - it would be a much healthier way for them to get their aggression out.

  4. Maybe it has something to do with how they treated him as a writer and editor (and Mishpacha Mag) when they began their 'daily paper'? I think the same person was going after Rabbi Grylak. Maybe it's more of a personal distaste he has for what is going on. He feels the pain.

  5. Rafi, I think you are mistaken when you say that the Yated was bashing the Mishpacha mag. IIRC it was the specifically the Mishpacha newspaper, which isn't affiliated to the magazine that was put in cherem or something of the sort.

  6. I was not referring to the english magazine. I was referring to the Hebrew edition which is bundled together with the newspaper. In addition to that there is now a once a week free newspaper (though the ban preceded the free edition). I was including all that together in the title of mishpacha magazine.


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