Sunday, January 18, 2015

A call for Shalom למען אחי ורעי אדברה נא שלום בך

Submitted as a comment in a previous post
Dear Chaverim,

I would like to thank the many many people who responded to my email of two weeks ago with such enthusiasm. My friends, a quiet movement was started where the participants of the Yarchei Kallah, and others, voiced their opinions and made their positions clear: We will not be a part of machlokes in any way!  As many of you know by now, this effort has borne fruit. The official position of the Yarchei Kallah no longer represents any hint of faction, but is again as it should be, a completely neutral endeavor, with only one goal, complete immersion in learning Torah for the days that we are zocheh to be in Eretz Yisrael. 
I wish everyone a week of hatzlachah in their learning and real ruchniyus enjoyment!

Chaverim, I should really end here, but my heart pushes me to add one more word of chizuk: 
As an organization we have baruch Hashem succeeded in remaining true to the mesorah of our Gedolim and we are steering clear of all machlokes. Let us be strong and keep to these ideals as individual participants as well.

We know that Eretz Yisrael has so much to offer us and teach us in great levels of ruchniyus, Torah and avodas Hashem – I don’t need to talk about something that all of us know and feel - the special atmosphere and experience of being in Eretz Yisrael.

But there is also a part of what is going on now in Eretz Yisrael that we must take care to avoid. Unfortunately, the choshuve Yidden in Eretz Yisrael are going through serious communal disagreements. As much as we may follow the news of Eretz Yisrael, we do not live there and cannot claim to fully understand the complexity of the situation. Above all, it is clearly not our place to take sides or judge either or both of them. We, as ovdei Hashem in America, must follow the way shown to us by our Torah leaders: to remain out of this kind of machlokes completely.

I fear that during our stay in Eretz Yisrael next week some of us may be approached by well-intentioned people seeking to elicit our support for one side or another. They may ask for financial support. They may seek our ideological support. Or they may simply attempt to steer us in one way or another by bringing us to visit only “their” Gedolim or spokesmen. Again, we do not judge them – they are doing what they can according to their understanding of their mesorah. But we have a mesorah too, and we may not relinquish it. And the path of our Gedolim has always been to remain above the fray in any machlokes among frum Jews.

Let each one of us go to Eretz Yisrael with firm resolve to be blind to any faction or machlokes, to open our hearts and revere all talmidei chachomim, all Gedolim, and all ovdei Hashem regardless of any outside circumstance, and close our ears to any talk of “affiliation,” “allegiance,” or “sides.”

And who knows if perhaps by tenaciously following the way of shalom as set out for us by the Gedolim of America, we may be bring down the berachah of shalom to all of Klal Yisrael!

למען אחי ורעי אדברה נא שלום בך!

Thank you so much for your attention to these words,

Ira Moskowitz

1 comment:

  1. From daastorah blog
    update January 17: Just spoke with someone who discussed with Rav Ahron Schecter his threat to resign from the Moetzes

    Reb Ahron is concerned about a number of issues 1) the dispute in Israel between the followers of Rav Shteinman and Rav Auerbach 2) the fact that certain yeshivos and individuals have been destroyed or messed up as a result of this dispute 3) that it is no longer accepted in Israel that gedolim disagree and that it is legitimate to follow the gadol a person wants 4) the attempt of the Aguda and other American rabbis to take sides in the dispute - when traditionally American gedolim have stayed out of Israeli disputes of this nature 5) his health is not optimal and he doesn't want to squander it in dealing with disputes of this type.