Monday, July 5, 2010
Schism [siz-uhm, skiz-uhm]
Lakewood Rosh Yeshivah Setting "Daas Toyreh"
You may have seen the blurb where Reb Malkiel Shlit"a basically condemned an Orthodox Jewish Newspaper for undermining the importance of limud HaTorah as a full time profession as well as lifestyle. In other words, they glorified one who was at odds with many of the leaders of Torah Jewry, VeChein Lo Yaasu! Who was this terrible man who needed to be condemned posthumously? Dr. Bernard Lander, the man who took thousands of potential full time Kolel Yungeleit and helped them go out and earn a living. (gasp!) We can sit here and argue that fact, or not. We all know that even the current numbers are way overboard. Most of these yungeleit would do a lot better being kovea ittim. Yeah, I know. It's mamesh apikorsus what I'm saying. Whatever. the point is that RMK doesn't really want every yungerman that gets married in America to come live in Lakewood and live out his life earning a kolel check. Not only does he not want it in Lakewood, but Monsey, Flatbush or anywhere else would not serve his purpose either. It's bad enough as it is; he has no real control over his town anymore. It's all min HaSofoh U'Lechutz, lip service B'La"z. Somehow he's gonna save Torah by speaking out here.
I get him, really I do. Reb Malkiel is carrying on the legacy of his zeide who saw himself as the messenger of Torah here in America. To his zeide any guy going to college was a travesty and the person responsible for it the devil, or whatever. I can appreciate that, despite the fact that this is not some kind of chassidishe dynasty here, and it doesn't necessarily need to be his job just because his zeide did it. But I would believe that even his zeide only wanted that the serious ones stay beim lernen forever, he had no real use for stam leidig geyers and shnooks waiting out their kest. Dr. Lander for the most part - at least recently - helped guys like myself, who had no place going to a mainstream college, earn a very respectable living. You had guys from Monroe-KJ shlep in to Flatbush after a day's work and sit there until almost 11pm, before heading back to KJ, to arrive around 1am. Many of them - despite having a 3rd grade Satmar secular education - are today respected professionals earning a good living in the world of Finance. These guys were not shayech to learning all day- especially since it's not their derech at all to live off shnorr and send your wife to work.
So we can safely and maturely agree that Dr. Lander, O"H, was no worse than the founder of Tomchei Shabbos, even if you hate what he did. After all, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. He saved Tomchei Shabbos and countless other organization an endless amount of money. Each one of them should have written an appreciation for him. Correct? Good. Now that we've established that we can sit here and wonder why the fact that the newspaper printed an appreciation of DL is worthy of a condemnation by the R"Y of BMG? This despite all the advertising and free publicity the Yeshivah gets from that paper just to promote Torah and the Lakewood lifestyle! What's that? you say that they could've made less of a big deal about him? They didn't need a multiple page insert dedicated to him? Now that's nitpicking already. I'm sure the paper was compensated for their work, as well they should be, since they have bills of their own to pay, which means that obviously we can agree that there were monetary considerations for the big tribute. But that's what makes the world go 'round. Money. Money everywhere, in the newspaper business as well as at BMG.
We should hear more about this soon, IMHO.