Sunday, December 9, 2007
Machlokes claims another victim: Telshe
(Telshe Yeshivah Building Today)
Yehupitz adds to Circus Tent: My Unexciting (early) Life
Telz Cleveland today is a shadow of what it once was, with hardly a Beis Medrash program to speak of,despite the many Talmidei Chachomim who reside there. It is splintered and rendered utterly impotent by machlokes after machlokes and poorly resolved Din Torah after poorly resolved Din Torah.
Hirshel Tzig adds:
Ah, yes, we all knew that Chassidim are the fighters and do everything just for Kovod and power, especially those darned Lubabs. But Roshei Yeshivah? They do it all just LeHagdil Teyreh ULeHadiroh, all for G-d's Torah, with no ulterior motives whatsoever. After all, didn't the Alter of Slabodka send all his best Talmidim away to help start or strengthen other Yeshivos? Well, my friends, times have changed. Gone are the days when it didn't matter who was learning where, as long as M'hut Gelerent. Yes, there were battles about Ideology, whether or not to allow Mussar into Yeshivos, or whether or not to have a certain person say a Shiur there, but never like this, despite what may have happened in Volozhin in the times of Reb Chaim. Here's what I know about this Din Torah after Din Torah situation in Cleveland that Yehupitz mentioned and how it brought down the jewel of American Yeshivos. I'll readily admit that it isn't much, and I welcome any and all corrections.
Telshe in America was founded by Reb Elya Meir Bloch and his former BIL Reb Mottel Katz who were here on a fundraising trip to help the Yeshivah escape the Russians who had just occupied Lithuania, and were therefore saved from sharing the fate of REMB's brother Reb Avrohom Yitzchok the Rov, his wife, his 4 kids, Reb Mottel's wife and 10 kids, and the whole town on Telshe with all Yeshivah Bochurim. So, in 1941 they set out for Cleveland to build what was supposed to be only the original Yeshivah transplanted there. The Yeshivah had a rough beginning, starting with a few Bochurim from Baltimore and some European refugees, but later was quite Matzliach, and a decade or so later had a large student body from all over the United States, as well as from South America, and Sefardishe Bochurim from Morocco and other countries. A major Klap for the Yeshivah came in 5715 with the untimely passing of the founder and Rosh Yeshivah Reb Elya Meir Bloch zt"l at the age of 60, and it wouldn't so far-fetched to say that the passing was the beginning of the end of Telshe.
After Reb Elya Chaim passed away his BIL Reb Mottel was the Rosh Yeshivah until his passing 10 years later. By that time Telshe Chicago was well under way and this blogger's father was no longer in Cleveland. After Reb Mottel's passing we can easily say that Telshe Cleveland was no longer in "Telshe hands." Yes, there was Rav Gifter and Reb Boruch Sorotzkin, but the former was an American boy who traveled to Telshe, and the latter - although an Eynikel of Reb Lazer Gordon of Telshe - a Baranovicher and Kamenetzer Talmid, and that's surely not the same. Since both Reb Elya Meir and Reb Mottel remarried after the war and passed away at a relatively young age they both had no children of age that could replace them after their passing. So, until today there are no Blochs or Katzs in Telshe Wickliffe. (Cleveland) Reb Elya Meir has a son Yosef Zalman, who lives in Monsey, and is somewhat of a character. Let's just say he doesn't go with the flow and was never offered his father's seat on Sherer's MGT. Reb Mottel has a son that runs the Kolel in Cleveland, but no Rosh Yeshivah shtelle. The Kolel is entirely unrelated to Telshe. Word on the street is that while Reb Boruch Sorotzkin was ill, an illness that he succumbed to, he asked Mechilah from Reb Y Z for not putting him into the Yeshivah, but Y Z refused to forgive him.
What's so ironic today is that Reb Boruch's sons also have no Drisas HoRegel in Wickliffe today. Yes, they put Telshe on their resumes, but all that is BeKoach and not BePoel. The best line was about his son Reb Yitzchok's on Wiki: "Rabbi Yitzchok Sorotzkin is regarded as a dean of the Telz Yeshiva, but has sinced moved to Lakewood, New Jersey!" I wonder why.... Until last year Reb Elya Meir's SIL Reb D Barkin was there, but he never knew his Shver and I don't think he had a Shtelle there, at least not as RY. After Rav Gifter's passing the collapse was probably complete. I don't think many alumni could name you any of the current Roshei Yeshiva there, and for a place that had a very strong alumni association that's just plain sad. Wiki tells us tells us that Reb Zalmen Gifter is there today, so it seems like the Gifter takeover is complete. I imagine the Dinei Torah and Machlokes that Yehupitz speaks of is the Sorotzkin clan wanting what they see as theirs, and maybe the Katzs as well. I'm not sure what starting anew will accomplish if the Dinei Torah will continue. I realize now that they still have the Z'kan Roshei Yeshivos, Reb Chaim Stein, but I don't think he has any say in the Bayeles of the Yeshivah.
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