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Jun 11, 2023

Interesting Psak: open a kollel to make up for the disgrace

Behadrei is reporting on an interesting psak issued by Rav Yitzchak Zilbershtein, rav of Ramat Elchonon neighborhood of Bnei Braq.

We are all aware of the brouhaha over Angels Bakery goods in Israel. The Director of the board, Omer Bar Lev, participated in a protest, deemed as disrespectful to one of the gedolei yisrael Rav Gershon Edelstein and a grassroots movement started calling for a Haredi boycott of Angels. This caught on and spread quickly (anyone who thinks Haredim are not on the Internet have been proven wrong - no boycott could possibly spread this quickly and efficiently offline) and there was an unofficial boycott (unofficial because Rav Gershon Edelstein himself never called for it or expressed support for it)..

Since then Rav Edelstein has passed on, and Yaron Angel and Omer Bar Lev together went to pay a condolence call to the Edelstein family and apologized and presented letters of apology (as coordinated and concocted by President Yitzchak Herzog). The unofficial boycott was called off by the same people who initially called for it. Since then, possibly less known, Omer Bar Lev has given an interview in which he walked back his apology saying it was a clarification and not an apology - to which some people have responded saying to renew the boycott, though I havent seen any movement since one way or the other, so some are probably still boycotting and some are done with the boycott.

Some people turned to Rav Yitzchak Zilbershtein for guidance after the apology asking if that was adequate and can/should they go back to buying products from Angels.

Rav Zilbershtein responded paskening that in his opinion the apology was not adequate and they must do an equitable level of tshuva. To make up for the shame brought upon the Torah community they have bring about more respect and honor for Torah. Rav Zilbershtein said Angels should open a kollel using its name and it should support those who learn Torah. This would be a kiddush hashem and would be forgiveness for what they did. (this psak was issued before Bar Lev denied his apology)

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  1. Garnel IronheartJune 11, 2023 10:37 PM

    So if Bar Law has a bit of mischief to him, he'll do this - he'll go to a Reform or Conservative place and offer to open a Reformative kollel.

    1. He doesn't have to go that far. It could be a Chabad or Dati Leumi kollel.

  2. According to at least one report, Angels stock went up as a result of the boycott, as Haredim typically bought primarily price-controlled bread, which Angels sells at a Loss, and Angels stopped providing free bread to various organizations that provide meals for Shabbat.


    Looks like the Haredi market was costing Angels, and the boycott was good for them as they could concentrate on more profitable markets.

  3. “You offended me and I think your apology is inadequate, so I, by the magic powers vested in me, hereby pasken that you must do teshuva and build a kollel for my people.”
    This cracks me up.

  4. So basically another shakedown for yet more money. What a wonderful mindset these people have.

    That they themselves may be a cause of chillul Hashem (which, of course, can only be caused by people claiming to act in His Name) never occurs to them.


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