I write the following knowing full well that I will once again be accused of bashing Gedolim and/or Charedim. And my protestions to the contrary will not sway my critics. They will once again use this post to “prove” their contention that I am a Charedi basher. And that is truly a shame because by ignoring the content of the post and focusing on me they truly miss out on realizing that there is “something rotten in Denmark”. A situation has developed in Klal Yisroel of major import… that ironically… serves to undermine Torah and Judaism… in the NAME of Torah and Judaism.
I say this with a heavy heart. It starts with the call by Rav Elyashiv to boycott El Al airlines. According to an article to be published in the Yated as reported in the blog, Yeshiva World:
“Gedolim (led by Rav Elyashiv) have called for a boycott of El Al because the airline’s top management did not honor an agreement to avoid flying on Shabbos.
I lamented this fact when it was first reported and commented why I felt that way. But since then, there have been talks and everyone thought that things could be worked out. Apparently, the talks fell through.
But what really bothers me a great deal more, are some comments made in Yeshiva World which I believe to be an essential element that divides… not only Charedim and Modern Orthodox… but even Charedim amongst themselves! Two very distinguished Charedi Rabbanim, both of them in Chinuch and both of them involved with Agudah have privately e-mailed me that they think this boycott is foolish. But, one of these Rabbanim, a huge Talmid Chacham in his own right, went so far as to say it is foolish and sad that many Charedim believe that no one can Paskin against Rav Elyashiv!
Here is the rest of the story.
The Yated article went on further to say that people should cash in tickets they were already holding and buy tickets on other carriers... even if there are penalties. To put it the way Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz put it: "When you cross that threshold into the fuselage, it is if you have taken a Sefer Torah, thrown it on the ground and walked on it for your convenience."
It appears that Rabbi Dovid Cohen of Flatbush, paskened during the past few days, for those who asked him, that if they have already purchased a ticket they need NOT cancel and lose money. They can fly El Al.
Is this great Posek now joining the ranks of Gedolim bashers? According to some people he is! From Yeshiva World:
“If (Rabbi Cohen) did Pasken this way, you can then … ask him why he “succumbed to the level of those that are mevaze Gedolei Hador” …I do have ways to be mevarer... If one hears someone going aginst the Gedolei Hador and he is not moche then he is no better the the one going against the Gedolim. I WILL CONTINUE TO BE MEVARER MORE AND IF INDEED HE DID PASKEN AGAINST MARAN HARAV ELYASHIV THEN HE HAS LOST HIS CHESKAS KASHRUS AND CAN NOT BE RELIED UPON TO PASKEN A SHAILA!! In the Torah Velt today Harav Elyashiv is the POSEK ACHRON WITHOUT QUESTION!!!”
How low some members of Charedi Klal Yisroel have sunk to be able to say this about a Posek of the stature of Rav Dovid Cohen. They have virtually declared Rav Elyashiv to be the pope! …and Rav Dovid Cohen a person who is Mevazeh Talmidei Chachamim!
If this were but one individual speaking his own mind and not representative of a great number of others who think exactly like this, I would not be so sad and not be wrtitng about it. I’d just chalk it up to a lack of intelligence. But I’m afraid that’s not the case. I am saddened and angered by this turn in Charedi thinking… and so too, is a Chashuva Charedi Mechanech par excellence who e-mailed me with similar thoughts. There are far too many people who think one cannot Paskin against Rav Elyashiv, no matter how much Torah knowledge one has.
This is yet another example of the state of brain-washing that going on in parts of the world of Charedi Chinuch.
Alas, this is not the first time such rhetoric has been spouted. It happened in the “Slifkin Affair”. That was the first time I realized how pervasive this kind of thinking is. So many people who believed along the same lines that Rabbi Slifkin believed were told that Rav Elyashiv Paskined” that it is Kefira. And they all left this Hashkafa like rats deserting a sinking ship. I will never forget Rabbi Orlofsky’s letter. He was in Kiruv using arguments similar to Rabbi Slifkin when dealing with educated Jews. When told of Rav Elyshiv’s Psak he dropped those arguments like a hot potato and “got down on his “hands and knees” begging for Mechila! Or at least that’s what he thought Rabbi Slifkin should do.
And this is the mindset. Harav Elyashiv is the POSEK ACHRON WITHOUT QUESTION!
We have a pope!