Thursday, July 20, 2006

New Lakewood Kollel "Mesiras Nefesh"

(They even put a funny hat and long coat on the Rosh Kollel!)

Read all about it here

Does traveling with a group of ten families to a place that already has schools, a Mikveh, Shuls and kosher food to continue doing the same thing you did till now constitute "Mesiras Nefesh?"

I appreciate the fact that these families decided to leave their comfortable surroundings and travel to far away Australia, but to call it Mesiras Nefesh I think is a bit much, no?

Then again maybe I am biased, prejudiced, full of hate?


Kurenitzer said...

The remarks about the rosh hakollel's clothing are out of line.
In general the word Mesiaras nefesh is over used in modern times.
Traveling 3 hours to get chalav Israel as a chabad shliach described his situation calling it mesiras nefesh . REALLY ?? Mesiras Nefesh is a sitaution described by the chief rabbi of Romania Rav Rosen in the 1980's of a Jewish women standing at a remote rail station in Rumania at Midnight with 2 chickens waiting for a travelling shochet to stop and shecht it.
Yes Mesiaras nefesh is serving in ZAHAL which few if any of our charedim bother to do, after all moving to Australai or travelling 3 hours to get a david Elliot chicken is also mesiras nefesh !

Anonymous said...

It's Mesirus Nefesh once you Passul the Kashrus in the countru and are no longer able to use either of the food or Mikveh. All this with zero Shimmush in Halacha!

Anonymous said...

Oh, and I ought to mention that they won't send their children to the schools either.

Chaim Dov said...

Living in Sydney is considered mesiras mefesh even by Lubavitchers in Melbourne. There is no real school, even for Anash, never mind for Lakewood Kollel people. The atmosphere there is extremely adverse to Yiddishkeit, in spite of all the good pe'ulos Lub has done there over the years.

Sneer said...

So when a Looby does it it IS mesiras nefesh?

Anonymous said...

gidday mate from down under

Sydneysider/insider said...

Two weeks after their arrival there are already rumors spread that the Kashrus Authority in Sydney is completely Traif. They've also made claims regarding the Eruv causing Ir'ur and discord throughout the Kehilla. The Rosh Kollel himself made these claims and did not approach the Rabbonim first. He himself {admittedly} lacks Shimush in Halacha.

The same Kashrus organization also oversees the Mikveh, but that the Kollel is willing to use... Funny how for a few D'rabanans they'll fight the Lubavitchers, but when it comes to Sfek Issur Kares like Mikveh, they don't make a fuss. Or maybe they will... Good thing Sydney has plenty of beaches!

havemeyer said...

its not only the people in melbourne who think 'just living in sydney' is a mesiras nefesh. even the people who live in syd think that

n said...

i read the article thrice and didn't see any reference to mesirus nefesh, so what are you mocking? these young families are going to do something positive for other yidden by going to australia and learning with them rather than stay cloistered in lakewood. isn't this a positive? a step in the right direction? how come lubav doesn't have any nucleus's of 'higher learning'? surely with as big as lubavitch is, we could spare a few shlichus bochrim and have a few clusters of high level learnign bochrim. after all, where do we ever get a rosh yeshiva, mashpiim?

Hirshel Tzig said...


the Mesiras Nefesh reference can be found in other articles reporting on the story.

The idea is to be applauded, yes, although I do not follow the logic behind it, after all what's the idea of sending 10 families to one place when you can send them to 2 or 5 different places? The idea is not "Kiruv", at least not in the greater sense.

SydneyYid said...

It is mesiras nefesh; by the time Kleins ice cream gets to Australia

The flavour has really gone.

Sneer said...

Because 10 families makes a difference to a community, rather than one ginger beard wuth a few bottles of vodka.

n said...

'kiruv' is not a primary goal for these guys. the primary goal for these guys is to learn torah. end of issue. all other benefits to the community are ancillary/incidental. thats not all bad either. The community does benefit and the buzz is fashionable for the yeshiva that sent the boys out in the first place (for raising dollars/good publicity, etc.) If these boys hear the term mesirus nefesh enough perhaps their activities will measure up to this standard?

Anonymous said...


you're a real charmer, what can I say? since when is it our job to make a "difference" in a community, you piece of human debris?

Hirshel Tzig said...


as long as we decided that it's done for fashionable reasons you have my vote. After all, isn't Lakewood all about fashion?

n said...

Consider it a victory. This is an emulation of sorts of lubavitch shlichus; not comparable by our standards, no mesiras nefesh, but they saw what shluchim do now generation after generation and they conclude "this is fashionable". Whats wrong with that? never mind by lubav standards,they have a safe variant that is still about Torah. On its own its a nice thing.


It is mesiras nefesh; because they have no shchita,mikva,school,haskacha,shul,rav,posek that they will use

Anonymous said...

I think the guy with the round felt hat learned in a chasidic yeshiva in his early years.

I wish him good luck

yoshe kalb said...

The first shluchim also went to places that had an intact jewish infrastructure (London,Paris etc).
So why not "farginn" these guys?

berl, crown heights said...

tzig, I think these 'kiruv kolelim' is actually a good thing. Why? Because they forced Chabad to respond in kind and create a valuable new shelichus opportunity for yungeleit that are going to be involved full-time in giving shiurei teiroh. And that’s a good thing. :)

Harbour Bridge said...

I feel that those of you who don't know the situation in Sydney may be misunderstanding Rabbi Silberberg.

He actually took the time and bother to check out the local butcher shop and wasn't too pleased with what he found. He also checked out other food establishments and here too certain people and ingredients are way below standards of similar places in the US. And he was comparing to OU and OK etc not the so-called superfrum charedi/chasidish supervisors. He has not ruled on any matter without first consulting the experts overseas.

Sydney kashrus affairs have for many years been in the hands of a single rabbi - who, while his knowledge of products is excellent, very often must or does cut corners - far more blatantly than any decent US kashrus would.

The eruv is obviously also a concern to him and maybe he will establish anoher covering a smaller area as was done by some chassidim in Melbourne - an eruv betoch eruv.

Regarding the only religious school in Sydney, although it is a Chabad mosad, in true fact it is very modern orthodox - with coed classes, not too many hours of kodesh and official celebrates yom haatzmaut. Can you blame bnei torah from a place like Lakewood, not beeing enraptured by this?

Hopefully they will do their share to improve torah and yiddishkeit here and will be welcomed by the local rabonim in their efforts

70 ways to torah! said...

Sydney is an extremly modern city with very weak Kashrus and the chassidishe chabad women having a dress standard that leaves alot to be desired. Finally a group on 10 families with uncomprising Yiddishkeit are joining Sydney and the head of our Kashrus is already starting to finally treat kashrus standards a little more seriously. It is a pity that some don't appreciate it as the only jews that are appreciated are Chabad chassidim or secular jews!

n said...

dear 70,
every 'chabad' woman or man is not necessarily chassidish 100%. If you have something to say perhaps on a shliach's wife on her level of frumkeit/chasidishkeit, fair enough; make a critique. But if you are making a contrast say between the shliach's wife and the 'uncompromising' new families assuming that the new families are frummer, well my friend, that is certainly loshen hora, and you are probably factualy in error.

Anonymous said...

... What about the Mikveh? Why are they using the Mikveh? It's also under the KA.

As far as Kashrus, Rav Silberberg, talmud chochom that he may be, isn't a Rav Hamachshir, has no Shimush in modern-day food production, and by spreading his "concern" has violated Shulchan Oruch. He didn't speak to Rav Moshe Gutnick directly before and quite honestly he is totally unaware of Australian food production standards. Rav Moshe happens to consult with big Rabbonim overseas regarding every issue and never "cuts corners" just for convenience sake. The fact that so many people in a frenzy, Lubavitchers included, is a very bad thing. The fact that 18 year old girls are now deciding that everythin is Traif shows just how bad its gotten.

Also, regarding the Eruv, most Lubavitchers don't {or shouldn't} use the Eruv because of the very high standards of the AR, but they do not Pasul the Eruv for others, even just in mention.

Harbour Bridge said...

WADR the whole problem with kashrus in Sydney IS RMG. He does as he likes and does NOT consult with other knowledgable rabbonim here at all. Ask him when was the last time he invited Rabbis Braun, Feldman, Ulman, Gurari, Reich etc to a meeting to explain his standards??

Hopefully he will now change his attitude and ways or the new kollel will join wih the other rabbonim and establish a charedi standard kashrus org - just like there is in Melb, where virtually no chasidish Jew relies on the Mizrachi-owned kashrus group.

Hirshel Tzig said...


I appreciate your concerns about the Kashruth situation in Sydney, but this was not the point of the post here. We're discussing whether or not going to Sydney, an established community, constitutes Mesiras Nefesh.

Tanya said...

You can have Mesiras Nefesh any where as chassidus teaches us. Ahavas Yisroel is about finding the maalos of people not faults expecially if they are invented! Whats the problem with the hat and coat of the Rosh Kollel? It all sounds a bit anti semitic to me!

If Rav Silberberg understands to kashrus or not I'm sure he means well and let's stop being negative to help Moshiach come.

Sydneysider/insider said...

I'm not talking about other Rabbonim in Sydney, I'm talking about world-renown Kashrus authorities, people who understand both Halacha and industry standards.

That's besides the fact that he also Passuled some of Rav Beck's products.

The problem is when someone shows up in town and starts introducing his own Chumros, which are Lav Davka Chumros, and saying that what is otherwise Kosher is really not. That is against Shulchon Aruch and against common decency. If there's a particular problem, go deal with the Rav Hamachshar, don't start a smear.

The question is whether this Rosh Kollel himself ever speaks to the Rabbonim Feldman, Gutnick, Ulman, Rogut, or Milecki.

n said...

HT said: "We're discussing whether or not going to Sydney, an established community, constitutes Mesiras Nefesh."

in a comparable historical absolute sence, probably not. Relative to what these guys are used to, probably.

COnclusion: one must admit that this is mesiras nefesh (at some level.

But who is claiming MS for these guys? One of the Kollel guys? their wives? probably a reporter. So you would have a beef with a reporter or two.
or is there a particular anti lubavitch Rov that is promoting the mesiras nefesh of these kollel guys? that could rub you, but understand, your beef is with him, if he exists and not the whole Torah/litvish/lakewood establishment.

Lighten up!

Anonymous said...

the litvishe yeshiva guys have a gerim mentality, they have no mesora in kashrus or anything else since for the last 3 genaration they ate Empire,Hagendais, and shofar hot dogs in base ball fields, and the popcorn in the movies on their dates,so they arrive in a city in a pizaa store they are checking if its yoshon, to declare I am in town, even the mishkanos yakov writes that we dont follow the Gra on yoshon in our towns (meaning lita)all askenazic jews but a few balie nefesh were keeping the heter of the Bach and other poskim, but their Geirim BT mentality has them in your face.then they start with the eiruv,mikva,they are more machmir then the rebbe Rashab of chabad he was busy providing for their grandparents mikvas in russia that most of them didn't give a damm, now his mikva ain't kosher enough,their rabanim like Reb Shlome Miller have no idea what means a godol hador like the Beis Efraim, Reb shlome Kluger,lately they started an issue about mevushal of the grape juice on Kedem unfortunatly Kedem fell to their teror, whatZelemer rov paskened is not good enough for the Geirim

ravina said...

Ok. hold your horses.
Look at these two comments:
"Harbour Bridge" writes: "when was the last time he (Rabbi M Gutnick) invited Rabbis Braun, Feldman, Ulman, Gurari, Reich etc to a meeting to explain his standards??"
In response, "sydneysider/insider" replies: "The question is whether this Rosh Kollel himself ever speaks to the Rabbonim Feldman, Gutnick, Ulman, Rogut, or Milecki".
Did anybody else, aside from me, notice how the names changed. And, that's at the root of some of the problems here.
Rabbis Braun, Gourarie & Reich are ultra-frum, emese yir'ei shomayim and represent the real charedisher olam in town.
That's why RMG would never dream of calling them to a meeting, because he is absolutely certain that they would passel his real liberal kashrus, eruv etc. Rumour has it that they don't eat many of KA products for years.
And the reply from "sydneysider" omits them, because he knows that Rabbi Silbereberg, despite being a litvak, would consult these genuine frum rabbonim, and indeed has very cordial warm relations with all of them, even though some of them are chabad, and - perhaps shpitz chabad too.
"Sydneysider" representing RMG's intesests decided to cloud the issues by substitutuing these names with Rabbis Rogut and Milecki. Sure, The rosh hakolel would never consult them. Rabbi David Rogut is a modern orthodox rabbi, rov of a shul without a mechitza for years, eats cholv akum etc.Rabbi Milecki is indeed a frum Lubavitcher, but his primary interest and focus is his own Modern-orthodox South Head shul. No wonder the Rosh kollel wouldn't consult them.
And, by the way, I highly doubt that Rabbi Milecki, being one of the few open and honest rabbonim in town, would stick up for KA's kashrus.

Milhouse said...

Harbour Bridge, in Melbourne every honest chassidisher person trusts the Mizrachi kashrut just as much as the Adass. Those chassidim who are members of Adass use its hechsher because that's a condition of membership. Adass is based on Oberlander separatism, and it doesn't matter whether their standards are better or worse than the shtotishe; sometimes theirs are better, sometimes they're worse, and most of the time they're about the same, but that's not the point. The main thing for them is that it's "inzere", provided by the kehille for the kehille, just like back in the Oberland where the kehille provided for itself and did not depend on any shtotishe body, because such bodies were all considered tainted by the reform. That's why they need their own chevra kadisha, their own mikveh, their own kashrut, etc, no matter how good the shtotishe equivalent may be.

Harbour Bridge said...

millhouse, you are correct but also not. I understand the Adass separatism issue - which by the way is not exclusively an Oberlander thing. It was pretty much universal in Greater Austro-Hungary- including all chassidic communities of Unterland, Marmaros, Rumania and Slovakia.(I have mishpacha from those areas and I presume so does Tzig)

But had you seen some of the kashrus correspondence floating around here in Sydney, and presumably even more so in Melb, you will realise that separatism is far from the issue here. Speak to any genuine chassidic Anash here and in Melb - including rabanim like Br. Gu, Kiev, vechule and you too may consider turning ''oberlandish''

The rosh kolel has the open support of many from Chabad here.

posheter yid said...

i think people need to check their sorces a bit.mesirus nefesh,we all know the truth, the kollel rabbonim included that what theyre doing does not classify them as saints.however;each person according to his level giving something up, any comfort is a commendable as reporters always do they exaggerated a it literary license if you wish.however about the goings on in the kollel especially the kashrus some of you people really ought to check your sources before you post nonsense.the disagreement with rabbi gutnick has the support of both prominent chabad rabbonim and non chabad ra bbonim in sydney.rabbis gurari and braun from chabad and rabbi blackman.and in regards to the eiruv,rabbi eider supports the kollels involvement 100%(he is the one who made the eiruv)and the one who said lubavitchers shouldnt be carrying in the eiruv anyway obviously never learnt the sa of the ar so i think you people ought to stop making a machloikes chabad and lakewood and review the facts

Anonymous said...

i was at the melave malka welcoming them. every one of them mentioned their great mesirus nefesh. for them it was a great adventure, not a great mesirus nefesh. what is offensive is their sense of superiority, self-righteousness and lack of knowledge of the real state of te sydney community, people resources etc. its also a little insulting to a shliach who gave up ch, to move to yehupetz without anything, to compare to these guys.