Internal politics of the Haredi community

The Lakewood community is too funny.  There are 2 main Haredi newspapers in the United States, HaModia and Yated Neeman.  One would think that while they are designed for different readership, there would be a common desire to see both succeed as a means of promoting “Kosher” news.  Well, this would be mistaken.  At the farewell party for one of the leading Rabbis in Lakewood, Rav Malkiel Kotler, Rosh HaYeshiva of Beis Medrash HaGovoha, made a comment about a “local Orthodox newspaper.”

Rav Malkiel Kotler, the rosh yeshiva of Beth Medrash Govoah of Lakewood, issued strong words of condemnation last night directed at a Jewish publication. Rav Kotler’s remarks were made during a drasha delivered at a mesibas preidah for Rav Yehudah Jacobs, a longtime mashgiach at Beth Medrash Govoah who will be moving to Eretz Yisroel. About 500 talmidim of the yeshiva, and others, were in attendance at the gathering.

Rav Kotler quoted the posuk in Tehillim of “Toras Hashem temimah meshivas nofesh,” and related an explanation from one of the talmidei haGra in understanding the meaning of ”temimus,” completeness, of Torah. Torah, he said, must be exclusive in the life of a Yid.  

Rav Kotler then referred to a publication “brought into Jewish homes” that recently published a memorial insert about a person whose endeavors “were not temimah and not meshivas nofesh,” said Rav Kotler.

The full-color insert, dated 18 Tammuz 5770-June 30 2010, was published by a Brooklyn-based Orthodox Jewish newspaper and features over 50 articles from a variety of writers. The 48-page booklet titled “A Consummate Ba’al Chessed” was included free with the publication’s Parshas Pinchos edition.  {Dovid Newscenter)

The unspoken information is that HaModia published a special piece on R. Bernard Lander, the founder of Touro College.  In Rav Kotler’s eyes, it must be that HaModia is supporting something not kosher, another Yeshiva with a university program.  What Rav Kotler should remember is that much of his donorship is going to come out of institutions like Lander College and Touro College.  However, it might be that Rav Kotler continues in his grandfather’s ways and doesn’t take money from those he considers treif.


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