Monday, June 30, 2008

Telshe Is In Turmoil Since 1979


(Reb Yitzchok Sorotzkin)

A Reader close to the scene writes:

When Harav Boruch Sorotzkin (who had succeeded Reb Mottel Katz as Rosh Yeshiva in Telshe-Cleveland in 1965) passed on to the olam hoemes, Reb Mordechai Gifter lived in Telshe-Stone. (he was there after starting a branch of the Yeshivah there, as well as a Kiryah). When he heard of RBS's passing, he quickly came running back, apparently afraid that Reb Chaim Stein would take over the yeshiva. Reb Chaim Stein wrote to him (and Zalman has the letter) that Rabbi Gifter should not worry, he has no inention of taking over the yeshiva, "take your time moving," Reb Chaim said, "the yeshiva is awaiting you with anticipation and open arms." At some point, Reb Chaim Stein convinced him to throw Yankel Velvil Katz - who was the rightful owner of the yeshiva through his own father's (Reb Mottel Katz, a co-founder of Telshe-Cleveland with Reb Elya Meir Bloch, zt"l.) yerusha - out of Telz. The Katz issue is a side issue because now he sides with Zalman as well as Reb Yitzchok Sorotzkin, surprisingly enough.

VeKach Havoh, The yeshiva awaited him with open arms. He served the yeshiva until his passing in 5761. About a year before than He called up two Rabbanim: Rabbi Moshe Garfunkel And Harav Yisroel Grumer, and told them that "I give everything over to my ben Yochid." In recent age Zalman brought in a maggid shiur from Lakewood named Rotkin, he was not a telzer, and did not qoute Rav Chaim Telzer, but Zalman said that it's no big deal because "my father (Reb Morechai Gifter) did not either." As well it is also known that Telz was always a Mishpochoh and there were no outsiders. Also when R' Dovid Barkin passed away they blackmailed him and told him that this person whoever called does not want him to say a hesped. (I don't get the last sentence, who blackmailed whom? and with what???) There is more, I just can't seem to write it all down in such short time. Rabbanim here are greatly bothered by the going ons there, for the chutzpah that they have caused the most respected Rav in our community (Rav Grumer) pain. It seems that the Roshei Yeshiva do not respect his psak, this is the biggest attack.

ע"כ לשונו

I still don't get where this reader is coming from..... is he angry that Rabbi Grumer's psak wasn't listened to, or is he angry that Katz was chucked? Both, I guess. So, we can safely say that since 1979, when Reb Boruch passed away, Telshe has been in turmoil, despite Rav Gifter being there.

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

don't quite get why you have a picture of Rav Sorotzkin on this subject as he has nothing to do with the post.

Anonymous said...

Rav Gifter has more than one son so what did he mean when he is quoted give everything to my ben Yachid?

Thanks

Not a Telzer said...

Your correspondent has a number of facts wrong.

1- Rav Gifter did not run back after R'Boruch was niftar. In fact, he did not want to come back at all. They called for him to come back. He asked R'Schach, who told him he had to return to Wickliffe. He went with a very heavy heart, unwillingly, earning the eternal scorn of Irving Stone, who had invested a HUGE sum into "Telz-Stone" with the expectation that the Yeshiva in Israel, and the Kiriya named for him would be l'sheim ulitiferes. R'Gifter was very proud of the Yeshiva, wanted to stay in Eretz Yisroel, and ws never the same after he came back. It seems that even though he accepted the "Daas Torah" with his guf, he never accepted it with his neshama. And truth be told, I think it is clear to all that the "Daas Torah" was very wrong. Wickliffe is gornisht and Telz-Stone was abandoned. I think all would have benefited had R Gifter remained to have the Telz-Stone Yeshiva flourish. But that's just my two cents.


2- R' YV Katz's claim on the yeshiva is an old one. He is the son of R'Mottel Katz's zivug sheini in America. According to plain dinei yerusha, it would make sense to claim that the Bloch and Katz yorshim have Baalus of Telz-Wickliffe. But since the boys were two young when they became yesomim, the baalus was given to other Bloch eineklach, Gifter and Sorotzkin. And it seems that some time in the 70's, this was enforced by R'Gifter, R' Sorotzkin and ratified by some sort of Din Torah. I don't have more details, but I do know that R YV Katz is still B'Rogez about it. He is no friend of Zalman Gifter. And that is an understatement.

3- Zalman is not a Ben Yochid. He has brothers and sisters.

4- Yes, R Gifter gave his cheilek in the Baalus to Zalman. Here is where it get confusing: From 1979 to his passing (or illness), was R Gifter the sole "Baal" of Telz-Wickliffe, or was he joint-Baal with R Yitzchok? I don't have the answer to that. Since R Yitzchok decided to spare himself the heart problems by leaving to Lakewood, I don't know if anyone has the official answer to that.

Despite the "ver vos hot di meah hot di deah" line, that doesn't mean "er hot seichel". As I said earlier, other Yeshiva Baalim have the common sense to leave control of the Beis Medrash to the Talmidei Chachomim. It's a tragedy that Zalman cannot bring himself to do this.

Anonymous said...

ben yachid?? the guy in lakewood is zalmans son?? i thought he was a brother. and i think there is a son in new york also.
there are daughters as well.
ur facts about rav gifters return from eretz yisroel to wickliffe are also false. anyone who knew rav gifter knows that the last thing he was ever afraid of is someone taking away ANYTHING from him.
the only fear he ever had was that of forgetting all his torah when he became ill and started forgetting.in fact before the decision was made to close down in eretz yisroel and return to the usa he came for a visit and tried to sett he yeshiva up with reb chaim as the yoshev rosh in his absence and then he returned to eretz yisroel and STILL kept 1 day yom tov.
Indeed it was rav shach and the steipler that were "gozer" (Rav gifters words) on him to return to wickliffe

Hirshel Tzig said...

why would he ask the Steipler in the first place? He had moved to EY and should've stayed there. Would Telz suffer with Reb Chaim and Reb Pesach Stein there?

Anonymous said...

First of all, Rav Gifter was %100 boss over the yeshiva, R'Yitzchok did not have baalus. I guess the ben yochid is wrong, but to my latest knoweledge he only has sisters. obviously they will not admit that Rav Gifter was afraid of his KOvod, so he came running back, Rav Grumer was "blackmailed" by someone who is against Zalman, Rav Dovid Barkin was very supportive of Zalman, R'YV Katz does side with Zalman, not with Rav Chaim, he never liked him, and he only sent his sons to Telshe till Beis Medrish because R'Chaim was not in charge, Rav Yitzchok is as well supportive of Zalman

schneur said...

Perhaps I am naive. You started a blog as an antiZemach blog becuase he was washing the dirty linen of Chabad in public.
Now you pick on Telz, what interest does anyone have in Telz. Does Telz seek to impose its derech anywhere. Are Rabbis Stein or Zalman Gifter national jewish leaders (kvodom bimkomom munach).
What did Telz do to you that warrants this .
And then you take Chaim Berlin and Rav Hutner apart.
And you have tried Tore Vedaas. So its not the derech of Mental blog you despise rather its JUST the subject.
While I am certain every chug today has lashon hore and machlokes , the group in CH mat well be among the leaders. There is enough there to fill volumes of books and blogs.
What is this all about ? is this chassidus Is this the derech of the Rav Baal hatanya ?
So all is kosher except L and anyone who claims to be an L. follower like the Ru family.
Frankly discussion of the activities of the RUb family is much more nogaeh to contemporary events than discussion of Telz. Do'nt you think that wanting to eat kosher meat is an impt issue or should we just trust the baalebos because he is from Nevel ?
Frankly the credibility of the purpose of your blog is at question.

Anonymous said...

Zalman is not the only son. There's another son, Binyomin Gifter who lives in Brooklyn. I was in yeshiva with Binyomin's son's.

Anonymous said...

This anonymous 10:27 is an absolute fraud. Anyone with any basic knowledge of Telz would know that Zalman Gifter has two brothers one in Lakewood and one in New York. To say R' Yitzchok is supportive of Zalman is laughable. He ran away because of him.

Anonymous said...

he has 2 brothers. one in lakewood and one in new york. (the one in new york is the oldest)
what kind of a question is "why would he ask the steipler"?? rav gifter was a person who was mevatel his own deah to the gedolim that were much older then him
besides that he used to always say over how the steipler told him even before he asked that he needs to go back and when he told the steipler that there are gedolei torah there the steipler answered him that even so he must return.
anyone that thinks rav gifter was afraid of his kovod and was running to be boss obviously never learnt in telz. he was the exact oposite of that

Anonymous said...

Rav Yitzchok is as well supportive of Zalman
really??????????
wow i wonder what the sorotzkin clan would say about that!

Anonymous said...

I do not believe that R' Yitzchok is supportive of Zalman.

Anonymous said...

Why is R"Yitzchok suporting Zalman?

Anonymous said...

this is one story that has as many sides to it as there are people involved. which is way too many to count. Why this guys take on it turned tzig on more than all the other 20,000+ versions beats me.

Anonymous said...

Amazing Pic

Anonymous said...

For the two years there was a kollel Youngerman in the Yeshiva who had a job to talk to young bocurim who needed someone to talk to them. it turned out that this youngerman was having explicit sexual conversations with at least six young students over a period of two years. THe Hanhala , the Rosh Mechina and the board of trustees was aware of this at least a year before it became public. Parents of some of these students spoke to the Rosh Menchina but nothing was done about this for months. As usual nobody card about the students, only about the reputation of this Youngerman. When people received antonymous letters about this terrible situation, they contacted Harry Brown . It seems that Mr. Brown told this Hanhalla that they should immediately expel this Kollel Youngerman from the yeshiva. They didnt like his advice and did nothing about this terrible sexual for months.

The Hahalla did not do anything about this terrible situation and then sent this person to another local Kollel. The Bochurim that were involved in this sexual situation are afraid to say anything for obvious reasons.
There is only one common denominator in Telz, they all hate Zalman Gifter and nothing will stand in their way to try to get rid of him. They don't care about the Yeshiva.

Anonymous said...

as to who is suppotiv to who everyone in the telz family is supportiv of zalmon the machlokes bettween zalmon and yitzchok was how to run the yeshiva not if they had right to run it

everyone in the telz family is against what they are trying to do to zalmon they all have no conection to the telz family the biggest prof to this is that they tried to bring yitzchok back as a magid shiur only and not to run the yeshiva he said "who are you" and hung up the phone on them

Yosel said...

I don't know why a blog that according to it's bloghead statement is to defend against attacks against Lubavitch is itself getting mixed into dirty politics that have no negia to the general Orthodox community.
I don't know the politics,for sure do not know who is right (I'm quite sure everybody is somewhat right)all I can add is that I was very friendly with Rav Gifters nephew and he told me, years ago that Rav Gifter was in love with Eretz Yisroel, it had been his dream to live there, so it was with a heavy heart that he returned.

Anonymous said...

IMHO, this whole thing is very sad. I'm a farbrente Lubavitcher chossid from birth who grew up outside CH. Most of my elementary school classmates went to Telz for HS and BM. I fondly remember them coming back for Pesach and summer with a chayus in learning and a love for the yeshiva. Obviously it's not my derech, and "men flegt shparren" over this and that but the love of Torah was undeniable. I also heard a beautiful story from Rebbitzen Chana regarding Telz and the Bloch brothers. BTW, Telz was known for encouraging bochurim to learn Likkutei Torah and chassidus in general. It is so sad to read how it has become a caricature of what probaly was in the 60's and 70's the #1 litvish yeshiva in America, and I say this as a full-blooded Lubavitcher who will IY"H spend this shabbos at Ohel.

Hirshel Tzig said...

who will IY"H spend this shabbos at Ohel.

come say hello...

Anonymous said...

all I can add is that I was very friendly with Rav Gifters nephew
Who exactly is this nephew??
Rav gifter did not have nephews or neices. He had a sister who used to visit ocassionaly but she had no kids.
Are u refering to his rebitzen's nephews?? that would mean you spoke with aron stein since he is the only nephew ( he had a brother who was nifter many years ago)
I doubt aron spent time talking about these things

Anonymous said...

Hirshel,
I'll see you shabbos.
How will I know who you are?
Put on a grey hat, blue shirt and a na nach yarmulka.
BTW, I checked out the maharam shick marei makom in the miller letter. It is pretty damning to the present day nepotism wars that is raging in Satmar, Bobov, Telz, Ponevitz, Klausenberg, and in various Chabad houses.

srul said...

Rebbetzin Gifter has a sister who lives near Haifa, her husband is a rov there, she has kids who are bnei torah and her husband is a big talmid chochom

Anonymous said...

what is the name of this sister near Haifa? and how come we never heard about them? did this sister ever come to the usa?
is the nephew u spoke to from that sister?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Says: Let's face it the fact is the Current Rosh Hayeshiva is Rav Chaim Stein Shlita...I pity all those characters -family or not - who constantly belittle this Makom Toran and Rosh Hayeshiva -family or not- Maybe we should look over Parshas Korach for your answer..after all BEWARE... the ground is opening on Yeshiva property (see the side of the hwy!)

Anonymous said...

To the Gifter-Bloch-Katz-Sorotzkin-Brog Families--- go learn Choftez Chaim's Hilchos Loshan Hora...aren't you afraid of what the Chofetz Chaim says about people who speak against Talmedai Chachami and a Makom Torah? Racman Litzlan aren't there enough sickness, hardships in Klal Yisroel...

Anonymous said...

if you whant to know who the korach is that will be chaim stein and all his followers and anyone who wants to belittel a talmed chacham dont forget who were the Rosh Hayeshivo's before this din torah

"Let's face it the fact is the Current Rosh Hayeshiva is Rav Chaim Stein Shlita"
there is a psak din that he is a nothing in the yeshiva he is not part of the telz family you cant argue on that

"To the Gifter-Bloch-Katz-Sorotzkin-Brog Families--- go learn Choftez Chaim's Hilchos Loshan Hora..."
lets take out or forsure add the following stein-eiseberger-levitansky-goldberg-shapiro-helman-sova-levin-keller-glustein-howowitz...

"Racman Litzlan aren't there enough sickness, hardships in Klal Yisroel..."
let see what will happen because they are not lisening to a din torah there is something called "CHAREM"

Anonymous said...

About 25 years ago Rav Aaron Soloveitch ZTL was in Cleveland Hts for a speaking engagement. Knowing that I was learning in Telshe at the time, he asked me how things were going there. I don't recall what silly politics was going on then, but after relating it to Rav Aaron he wisely remarked, "This is not Telshe. This is Wickliffe".

Anonymous said...

how much more so today

they should offer to buy the gifters out if they think he is the problem

Anonymous said...

For the sake of Darche Shalom...let all the interested families, individuals that have a portion in yeshiva to give in and seek compromise...The yeshiva cannot fuction with individuals/families who are ONLY concerned with their own Kovod, their own children...let's not forget the Bochrim, rebeim, and Mishpochos that are learning today who are not involved with this machloches

Anonymous said...

i heard that rabbi gifter offered for them to buy him out for 3-4 millon and they could have the yeshiva

Anonymous said...

the Truth of the matter is Fact: HoravChaim Stein Shlita and his Hanhala are STILL in charge...The Din Torah did NOT state to throw him out and the Yeshiva is functioning as best as it can whether you like it or not

Anonymous said...

The yeshiva is functioning just fine even though they havent paid the rabbim for almost a year and most of the bouchurim are leaving after chof tamoz i quess it will be anouther churbon over there

Anonymous said...

forget everything about telz or annyone there, im just curious, if Rav Dovid Feinstein and Rav Grumer and Rav Miller, made a psak (which r chaim and levin and all those guys called zalman to beis din) how do you out right ignore a psak beis din??? levine and his boys are all a disgrace to the moetses gedolei hatorah, and a disgrace to orthodox judiasm

Anonymous said...

why is anyone surprised by this turn of events? most students in telz experienced at best callous indifferent treatment by the faculty and at worst abusive behavior.surely there were a few exceptions such as rabbi pesach stein,rabbi eleazar levy, but not many more.why was anger such an important part of the yeshiva's culture as developed over the years by the faculty? why was arrogant harsh criticism of so many persons and institutions such a common feature of the faculty's discourse?and at what point will the truth about sexually abusive older students and the administration's indifference come to see the light of day? some of these now well established men in their sixties and seventies have yet to give an account for their sins and offenses.indeed some hold teaching posts in yeshivas and rabbinic positions in the community.

Anonymous said...

Katz is a true child moLester. That is the reason Rav Gifter aNd Rav chaim knew not to let him lead the yeshiva

Anonymous said...

R. Grumer?
Perhaps this can be clarified or corrected.
Rabbi Grumer participated in a Beis Din around 2006. They ruled for Rabbi Zalman Gifter. The Scheinbaum gang refused to obey.
The Gifters brought in a bigger Beis Din, including from Israel. Still the Scheinbaum gang refused to obey.
...
Rabbi Grumer - are people saying he is or is not corrupt? Thanks.
....
Escapee from Cleveland hts.