Thursday, May 21, 2009

Brisk Battle continues

From this week's Brisk Parsha Sheet.

He who adheres to the root of his neshama, is attached to the Source of his existence, and constantly draws renewed vitality from this Source. All his days are filled with joy and happiness and contentment..

Ish al machaneihu v'ish al diglo..

And in the context of this idea of the importance of acknowledging those who are greater than oneself we want to express our protest against the balabatim that have taken control of Yeshivas Brisk of Chicago. They fail miserably in this task of acknowledging those who are greater than oneself. This why they have stolen the Yeshiva from the children of Rav Aharon. Such an absurd and exaggerated situation was able to evolve only as a result and as an expression of the lashon harah, jealously and systematic ayin ra'ah that has taken place over many years and still continues. Various people were jealous of Rav Aharon because of the extraordinary Torah he was teaching, the great Mesorah that he represented, and the outstanding unparalleled personal example of Tzidkus, Chessed, Mesirus Nefesh that he was.

The target of this jealousy was Rav Aharon's children - gaonim, tzaddikim, mamshichei darko


During the first few years of Yeshivas Brisk there was a group of students within the Yeshiva that in co-ordination with certain members of the staff did extensive harm to the Yeshiva. They were motivated by jealousy of Rav Aharon's children and they created immense ayin ra'ah within the Yeshiva by talking against the Yeshiva and against the children of Rav Aharon. The harm they did to the Yeshiva in those few years is immeasurable. All of this created the sequence of events that caused the stroke and illness of Rav Aharon (which was caused exclusively by external factors) which entailed immense suffering for Rav Aharon and his children for many years.

Rav Aharon's debilitating paralysis was a frightening and glaring testimony for almost twenty years of the jealous and malicious behavior that targeted Rav Aharon and his children.

The balabatim who have presently taken over the Yeshiva were in the early years of the Yeshiva not disconnected and did not stand apart from this group of students that did immeasurable harm to the Yeshiva. Through their past participation in the jealous behavior of this group of students they share in the guilt of what transpired in the early years of the Yeshiva and the ensuing suffering of "their Rebbe" and his children. It is shameful that they continue the ayin ra'ah and jealousy of those early years by persistently refusing to return the Yeshiva to its rightful owners, Rav Aharon's children - gaonim, tzaddikim, mamshichei darko


Where is their remorse for their participation in what caused so much physical suffering and pain to Rav Aharon?! Where is their remorse for their participation in what caused "their Rebbe" to be paralyzed on his left side for almost twenty years? Do they know what remorse and what tikun hameuvas means?! They are continuing the jealousy and ayin ra'ah against the children of Rav Aharon and are creating additional meuvas instead of being mesaken past meuvas. Are they demonstrating their respect and devotion to "their Rebbe" by stealing the Yeshiva from the children of their Rebbe?! Their behavior is criminal and insane, and they humiliate and disgrace the memory of "their Rebbe" in a very blatant way.

Rav Aharon bequeathed the Yeshiva to his very devoted, learned, bright, capable, sensitive and righteous children and not to these balabatim.

And they also allow the ayin ra'ah against the great Torah of Rav Aharon to continue to rage. If they are at the helm of the Yeshiva - how can we expect people to connect to the great Torah of Rav Aharon? They are balabatim and are not talmidei chachamim because they are not involved in learning and they, therefore, are not capable of projecting or disseminating the great Torah of Rav Aharon in any way. They are not connected to the great Torah of Rav Aharon, so how can we expect other people to connect to the great Torah of Rav Aharon? They hijacked the Yeshiva and its premises and are, thereby. destroying the Torah of Rav Aharon by allowing the ayin ra'ah to rage in Rav Aharon's own Yeshiva. They must immediately do teshuva and return the Yeshiva to Rav Aharon's children so that Rav Aharon's children can continue to teach and highlight the great Torah and great Mesorah of their father with even greater strength.

Ish al machaneihu v'ish al diglo..


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A gutten Erev Shabbos from Yerushalayim Ir HaKodesh.


The Way said...

I'm not sure if its exactly kosher to blame people today for someone having a stroke 30+ years ago. Are we sure it was their fault? Science has come far since then. Do we know if R'Ahron was on a daily dose of asprin? What was his salt intake? Family history?
or maybe god was punishing/testing him?

if these people have usurped the yeshiva than why is R'moshe giving shiuriim there and giving them credibility and an unbroken lineage?

I think perhaps the author of the parsha sheet has some leftover issues. Other than talking bad about these people the author does not state what they actually want. Do they want these baalabatiim to not attend R'Moshe's shiuriim? Do they want them to use the eruv on shabbat or stop keeping yoshon? or do they want bigger donations? They just say, "stop hurting R'Ahron's children." as if that means something. As if 40 and 50 year old men can't make up their own minds. Seems like the children of R'Ahron don't deserve to be roshe yeshiva if all they can do is bitch and moan and bad mouth people with wild accusations. Roshe yeshiva should have a solid core of honor and perspective.

The Way said...

New information has come to light. Apparently, there was a bait din and the child(ren) of R'Ahron had a financial complaint and LOST.
All these complaints are nothing more than sour grapes. It seems as if when you have smicha you don't have to abide by the bait din and you can continue to fight the battle in the court of public opinion by bad mouthing your opponents with wild accusations.

Mr. said...

Dear The Way,
Everything in your post is complete sheker and not true. I'm not sure what your source of information was, maybe they had personal incentive in the manner, but there was no such beis din. The only beis din that met was to deal with a severance pay issue of a single rebbe, not related to the Soloveichiks. There has been no beis din that has decided on the overall issue of the yeshiva.

As far as your previous questions, I imagine that any serious questions can be posed to the auther of the parsha sheet at the email you included. If your true intention is simply to bad mouth someone, which may in your mind be some manner of "turn-about is fair play" in defense of someone you care about, then there's not anything anyone can do to stop you.

The Way said...

I am 100% willing to accept your exlanation re:bait din.

And anyone who knows me knows that I don't bad mouth people, whether in defense of people or not.

Regardless, you do not even adress the wild accusations that the author of the parsha sheet addresses, such as the causation of R'Ahron's stroke.
Furthermore, you do not address the disconnect between Brisk complaints and the fact that R'Moshe gives shiuriim there and implicitly negates all the complaints listed by the author of the parsha sheet.
So who is really telling the sheker?

Again, I regret reporting innaccurate info regarding the Bait din, but that is the smallest issue I raised in this and the previous blog on these parsha sheets.

Mr. said...

I did address the issue; I said that if you want answers you should contact the author of the parsha sheet using the email that you posted. The problem is not that you have questions. The problem is that you make a show of posing these question, while being fully aware that those capable of answering them will never see the questions you asked. If you actually want answers, and not just to make a show, ask the right person.

The Way said...

With all due respect Mr. that is a cop out.

When one writes an intellectual paper, an argument, you must address the obvious contradictions and problems against your argument. That is intelectual honesty 101. These parsha sheets have no intellectual honesty to them and it is not my obligation to force honesty upon them.
Furthermore, given that Brisk is a small community and this is a public blog...and I am linked to by a more popular charedii blog, I don't see why you assume that the 'people in the know' will never see this blog. You seem to be well informed, can you answer these questions? or can you pass them on? or are you just a blind follwer of dogma?

Mr. said...

I should start out by saying that I do not have, or claim to have, any inside information. The points I have made are public knowledge known by most chicagoans.

Second, you have not pointed to a single contradiction in the parsha sheet, or between the parsha sheet and the facts, merely posited that they exist. That one of Rabbi Soloveichik's children (who doesn't seem to have any involvement with Yeshivas Brisk of Yerushalayim) still gives shiurim in the yeshiva does not mean that he controls the yeshiva. The claim of the parsha sheet is that the Baal Habatim have taken control of the yeshiva, are interfering with the true mission of the yeshiva, and are damaging the reputation of the yeshiva in doing so.

Regarding Rabbi Soloveichik's stroke: I can not say that I have examined his medical records. However, it is not unusual to know the cause of a stroke. It is not unusual for someone who would have been around Rav Ahron at the time to know what events distressed him greatly. And it is not unusual to still remember these facts twenty-five years later.

These are the only problems you have mentioned with what is written in the parsha sheet. Outside of these you have only questioned the motivations of people in a cynical and distasteful manner. I'm not sure how you expect me or anyone else to answer for the motivation of the author of the parsha sheet. I've offered you a way to find out the answer, it is your choice if you choose utilize it.

As far as your claim that you never bad mouth people, I would reread your comments on this post. Have a good weekend.

The Way said...

I asked questions Mr. If you find those questions cynical and distasteful than perhaps you should try rereading my questions.

First the parsha sheet says that torah is yerusha and passes through the sons. I point out that R'Ahron's bchor is teaching at the building and you say thats not good enough because he is not part of brisk in yerushalayiim. Perhaps the problem is that brisk in israel is not affiliated with brisk in chicago, after all, who is eldest child?
You posit that because they think 30+ yrs ago that they knew the cause of R'Ahron's stroke, that truth remains today, despite our advancments in science. And to top it off they blame people who were poor kids at the time of his stroke

They complain that these baalabatiim took control, what does that mean exactly? they complain without presenting an alternative.

And why now? Who wants control and what would they do differently? who are these baalabattiim holding back from learning R'Ahron's torah from his eldest son, who as you stated is a brilliant and kind man.

Is it cynical and distasteful to question people's motives who make wild accusations without any sense of perspective or pragmatic ism?

Did these people sit down and take control of a yeshiva? or did they in fact sit down on an abandoned shack and rehab it as best they could?

Rafi G. said...

(commented in other thread as well)

the truth is that I have no idea how any of this happened, and anything I posit is simply a combination of playing devils advocate, along with pulling out bits of memories from over the years.

as far as I am concerned I remember at least one of the two baalebatim referred to as being devoted students of RAS. There is no way their (or at least his) "jealousy" or actions way back when were the cause of the stroke (as per the latest parsha sheet) - at the time they were simple bachurim in the yeshiva and totally dedicated to their rav.

As a matter of fact, they were dedicated their whole lives to RAS, and that was even the cause much later of personal family issues, as he always fought to defend his rebbe's (RAS) honor and name, even at the expense of his extended family. Would RAS have held some of what the student held? I think not, and I know from having spoken with sons of RAS and with other talmidim that RAS probably would not have fought like this student did, but the fact isthe students fight was for the honor of RAS.

So it seems strange and even wrong to say that he was jealous of the sons and caused the breakup of the yeshiva, and even more so the stroke which was before these students were anybody.

Rafi G. said...

the previous comments on this post refer to shiurim currently given in the yeshiva by one of the sons of RAS.

am I missing something? As far as I knew, the yeshiva no longer exists. Any shiurim given are to the baalebatim who daven there and open to the community at large.

Has the yeshiva re-opened?

The Way said...

No the yeshiva has not reopened. There is a building that bears the brisk name and R'Moshe gives shiuriim to baalebatimm. but Brisk was a yeshiva and I think it says yeshiva on the sign so lets chalk that up to poetic license or nostalgia. And seeing as Brisk Yerushalayiim is complaining wildly about things that didn't truly occur, but sort of did 30 yrs ago, i guess nostalgia is the right term.

Mr. said...

I'm sorry, there was some confusion about what I said. I did not mean to say that since Rav Moshe is not involved with Yeshivas Brisk of Yerushalayim he is not fit to be Rosh Yeshiva. G-d Forbid. I meant to say that I didn't believe he was involved with the parsha sheet. Every chance I have had to hear Rav Moshe give a shiur or speak has been an absolute pleasure, and I can hardly imagine a more fitting Rosh Yeshiva. This unfortunately seems to be where the problem begins.

I had a chance to speak with someone more involved with the yeshiva. I learned a lot. (The yeshiva is still in semi operation as a yeshiva, Rav Moshe gives shiurim in Gemara to a combination of baal habaatim and yeshiva bochurim, and an additional shiur to bochurim in Yoreh Deah, every day.) Someone does not treat Rav Moshe with kavod. He has set up various rules in the yeshiva without the agreement of Rabbi Soloveichik's children, and on occasions against their will.

The minyan does not operate according to Rav Ahron's psakim. In addition no one outside of this person's family is permitted to daven shacharis from the amud, yesom or not.

This person sold the classrooms and dormitories of the yeshiva, without the permission of the Soloveichik family.

On multiple occasions divrei torah in Rav Ahron's name have been prepared for distribution throughout the city. Many shuls and yeshivas have these divrei torah. Yeshivas Brisk does not. This person literally threw them out, several times, despite protest from one of Rav Ahron's children. I'm not sure how many talmidim of Rav Ahron expected to see the day where Rav Ahron's torah is welcomed into Skokie Yeshiva, and actively removed from Brisk. If bizarre and intolerable aren't the right words, I don't know what is.

Yeshivas Brisk was not a large yeshiva when this person started to take control, but it was a viable one. This viable yeshiva was turned into an abandoned shack, so that it could be saved. Superman complex.

As far as the stroke, which was in 1983, the author of the parsha sheet mentioned the cause of the stroke as stress. If you read the parsha sheet, it does not blame these two, or any other specific talmidim. It says that a main cause of stress was a group of talmidim, and it says that these talmidim did not seperate themselves from that group. Either way, this is a parsha sheet and not a medical journal. Not every detail needs to be mentioned, those curious about them know where they can get them.

Finally, I am sorry that I was unaware of the tasteful connotations of the phrase "bitch and moan." Rest assured it was genuine ignorance.

The Way said...

I appreciate the information you have provided. And while the information is interesting it only confirms that the author of the Parsha sheet is bitching and moaning....which means that they have not dealt with the issue as capable adults and are just bad mouthing and lying. Lying? yes. It is obvious to anyone who has some information that a financial dispute is behind the bad blood directed from yerushalayiim against these baalabatiim. Do either Parsha sheet mention the building/condo development issue? No. The author hides behind criticisms of these guys learning and blaming them for at least contributing to causing R'Ahron's stroke.

And why bother? Financial issues are easily dealt with through the courts or Bait Din? Rather than publicly knocking these guys level of learning why don't they stay quiet and pursue legal action if they feel they have a case?
Or do they not have a case but are jealous of the balabatiim's money? So they bad mouth because they have no leg to stand on in a court or bait din? These are questions that must be asked given the dishonest complaints in the parsha sheets.

Further, if the children of R'Ahron want a yeshiva in Chicao to be open and active they have the right and ability to dedicate themselves to that task. If they don't like the people attending their shiuriim or etc, they have means to deal with the issue.

And if R'Moshe and the other children cannot or will not take any action to defend or pursue their "yerusha" is it fair for them to complain publicly without telling people the real issues?

So while the phrase bitch and moan' may not be tasteful, it is only distasteful if you are behaving like a child and all you are doing is bitching and moaning. An adult who is behaving honestly and pursuing a course of action would not be accused not insulted by the phrase.

The Way said...

Just a thought as follow up... why is this all coming out of Yerushalyim? If these issues are legit than why is not the local and eldest child of R'Ahron, the one who deals with these balabatiim daily, why is he not at the forefront of taking back his yeshiva?

Why doesn't R'Moshe publish a parsha sheet? Why doesn't R'Moshe kick these balabatiim out of his yeshiva? Let him call the cops to remove them. Or if he doesn't have the right legally, depending on the structure of ownership; a legal issue, then why doesn't he leave and start yeshiva brisk himself that he can run however he sees fit. Of course that would mean finding new funding as these balabatiim are pretty much the most active and only financial of the brisk name, but a smart charismatic guy should be able to find funding. And if he can't or wont, if he is taking their money and playing with their bat and ball than who is brisk yerushalyim to bad mouth these guys?

The Way said...


I sent Brisk an email last week and have yet to recieve a reply.

The Talmid said...

Which Brisk did you email - Yerushalayim or Chicago? The Webmaster of Brisk in Chicago has not received anything.

Yosef said...

I e-mailed Brisk Yerushalayim too and got no response

The Way said...

I emailed the address on the parsha sheet.