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Baltimore, MD - Rosh Yeshiva Publicly Retracts Statements Calling Lipman A "Rasha"

Published on: May 9, 2013 09:03 PM
By: VIN News Staff
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Photo Credit: BaltimoreJewishLife.comPhoto Credit: BaltimoreJewishLife.com

Baltimore, MD - R’ Aharon Feldman, Rosh Yeshiva of Ner Israel, issued an apology of sorts to Knesset member Rabbi Dov Lipman, after condemning Lipman for his remarks on revamping the Israeli chinuch system by adding English and math classes.

As previously reported on VIN News, R’ Feldman had been incorrectly told that Lipman had suggested closing any yeshiva that did not offer a basic secular education and responded by calling Lipman a “rasha” and a “shana u’pirush”.  Lipman later clarified that he had been misquoted and had suggested that the government withhold funds from yeshivos that do not teach English and math and had never said that any yeshiva should be closed.

Audio obtained from BaltimoreJewishLife.com of a Yom Kippur Katan shmooze given today by R’ Feldman in Ner Israel has the Rosh Yeshiva retracting his earlier words and publicly acknowledging that while Lipman should not be categorized as a “rasha” he was “definitely wrong and misguided.”

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“The other day I called Dov Lipman…a rasha for supporting this movement,” said R’ Feldman speaking about some of the conflict in Israel. “Since then he wrote me a letter, explaining himself that he means l’shem shomayim, that he is trying to strengthen Torah in his view and therefore, since he is a shogeg, his sincerity came across in the letter, I cannot call him a rasha and I retract my statement and I apologize to him for calling him a rasha and I am happy that Baruch Hashem we have a talmid in our yeshiva who is not a rasha.  But, however, he is extremely misguided.”

R’ Feldman voiced his unequivocal opposition to Lipman’s plan to teach secular courses in Israeli yeshivos, saying that even though the practice may be done in America, it is has no place in Israel.

“Yeshiva ketanas, the high schools in Eretz Yisroel are institutions where teenagers are imbued yomam v’layla, learning Torah, that is the cradle of the gedolei Torah of the future….this is the system, this is the way.  By introducing limudei chol you are destroying the atmosphere of kedusha in these yeshiva ketanas, the total atmosphere of kedusha, even though we do it in America, it is at a cost in America also and it is a different society in America, different reasons and you can’t compare the two societies…introducing limudei chol two hours, or an hour even…will tear down the structure of the yeshiva ketana…when I said that Dov Lipman is trying to tear down the yeshiva ketana because that is what he is advocating.”

R’ Feldman went on to explain that he was misquoted and never compared Lipman to Haman and Amalek.

“Chas v’shalom.  I said that just like all the attackers of the Torah in the past have gone under, so this party will go under also like Haman and Amalek.  They are attacking Torah, they’ll go under, there will be no zecher of them.  Just wait around a little bit and you will see there is nothing left of them…any antagonist of Torah does not have a kiyum.”

R’ Feldman made it clear that despite his apology, he was in no way backing down from his opposition to Lipman’s plan.

“I want to set the record straight on that , but in no way do I with less vigor oppose what he is saying, I just see now that he is mistaken..simple he doesn’t know the facts, he hasn’t thought it through well.”

R’ Feldman criticized Lipman for not seeking rabbinical guidance before making his statement.

” We should discuss these things with gedolei Torah… He is definitely wrong, misguided and very sorrowful that he is engaged in this.  I suggest highly to him that he consult other people, that he resign from the party…  He does mean l’shem shomayim, I saw from his letter.  The best course for him is to consult gedolei Torah, resign from the party and make a big kiddush Hashem.”


The full audio below.

 



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Read Comments (38)  —  Post Yours »

1

 May 09, 2013 at 09:14 PM Anonymous Says:

Chas vshalom that yeshiva students should learn how to support themselves and their families, rather than relying on other people (who, strangely enough, have their own families to support) to pay for them through life.

2

 May 09, 2013 at 09:16 PM Anonymous Says:

sounds like the ruv found out DONATIONS to his yeshiva were about to dry up as well!

3

 May 09, 2013 at 09:21 PM OscarMadison Says:

Yasher koach

4

 May 09, 2013 at 09:21 PM berelw Says:

It irks me and bothers me when rabbonim like rabbi feldman say radical statements. use words like rasha, nazi's amalek and the like, free'ly.. like they are authorized and have a right to shame or curse a second person...when one is filled with torah one speaks with manners, sensitivity and class...the tzibur will loose respect, if this rhetoric continues.

5

 May 09, 2013 at 09:23 PM Aryeh Says:

If a Melech is required to know 70 languages, what is the problem with teaching English? At the least, when they come to America to schnorr for funds, they will be able to plead their case intelligently. And if they know math, they might be able to better manage the Yeahiva's funds. Yosef ha Tsadik was the chief accountant of Egypt. Too much limudei chol?

6

 May 09, 2013 at 09:33 PM woodmerejoe Says:

If the students are not taught math and science, how will they be able to get the education needed to earn a living?
A father is required to teach his son a means of earning a living
Rabbi Lippman was realistic. The chareidi society also needs to be realistic and follow the Talmud which which says that a father must teach his son how to swim and a means of earning a living.

7

 May 09, 2013 at 09:35 PM woodmerejoe Says:

Rabbi Feldman should be proud that his Yeshiva produced a Rabbi Dov Lippman

8

 May 09, 2013 at 09:42 PM Anonymous Says:

Feldman may have apologized to Feldman but he still doesn't provide a coherent or rational explaination as to how the graduates of what he calls the "yeshivos ketanos" in EY will function in society without minimal reading, math and science skills. He obviously understands the talmidim in Ner Yirsroel must have such skills but he shows contempt for the value of those talmidim in EY by saying it would destroy the ruach of the yeshivos to introduce "limudei chol". How is it not abusive to these yungerleit to allow them to graduate as dysfunctional illiterates with no ability to pursue a job and earn a parnassah?

9

 May 09, 2013 at 09:59 PM Boochie Says:

this is becoming a joke - the rabbis should stop listening to the people around them with agendas, and start doing their own due diligence

10

 May 09, 2013 at 10:08 PM Brian Says:

Give him credit for humility.

11

 May 09, 2013 at 10:25 PM inNY Says:

I strongly give credit for Rabbi Feldman for at least being a Mentch and publicly retract his words..How many Rabunim in the U.S. do you know who have ever apologized when they made a mistake??

12

 May 09, 2013 at 10:14 PM righteous Says:

Let me get this straight. The RH issues a public apology - somewhat for calling someone a rasha. The RH clearly admits he was the one mikabel motzei shem rah but he still is keeping the lashon harah part. Is this what our leaders have become? If these are our leaders, how low have we sunk?

13

 May 09, 2013 at 10:38 PM righteous Says:

Reply to #11  
inNY Says:

I strongly give credit for Rabbi Feldman for at least being a Mentch and publicly retract his words..How many Rabunim in the U.S. do you know who have ever apologized when they made a mistake??

i like to think our rabunim don't make mistakes - especially ones in public and especially when one calls another jew an unflattering name. i do not blame the RH for being all up in arms with this issue. however, if we are not careful of the emes, we will never be listened to. i believe the RH is a tremendous talmud chachom and i am proud to have my children go to NY. however, i am tired of people, even holy people, talking before they know the facts based on some person's say so. how would we feel if our RH says we are not talmidim of his yeshiva (that we went to) and we are misguided???? politics is a dangerous game and that is all it is.

14

 May 09, 2013 at 11:03 PM MarkTwain2 Says:

When Dov Lipman reached out to the Charedim during Beit Shemesh protests they repulsed him and spitted on him and the little girls he protected. How then can the Charedi world and R Feldman advise that Dov should seek their counsel!? They rejected him when their own were bullying young school girls.

15

 May 09, 2013 at 11:07 PM Still waiting Says:

Still waiting for the rabbanim to call child molestors "reshaim" and "nazis".

16

 May 09, 2013 at 11:46 PM jack-l Says:

Every generation gets the the leadership it deserves.
It bothers me that a rav was trashed by another rav having either incomplete or incorrect information...........................again.

17

 May 10, 2013 at 12:30 AM lazerx Says:

it takes a big man to apologize, kudos to Rav Feldman, a leader and inspiration to the rest of us who also make mistakes.

18

 May 10, 2013 at 01:01 AM Godol-Hador Says:

1) This is a RY not reknown for pikchuss

2) The hilarious thing is that Ner Israel was one of the few earliest yeshivos that allowed/pushed college level courses. To the point that other roshei yeshiva like R' Aron ZT"L were very upset, to say the least.

19

 May 10, 2013 at 05:05 AM Avi Says:

Chazal knew the math of their day, which included geometry and algebra. Some better than others, but at least they didn't look down on those who took the time to learn it. Members of the Sanhedrin were (are?) required to speak and understand the language of any witness or litigant that came before them. Is this another one of those "they could do it; we cannot" situations?

The modern Charedi Yeshivah system is a joke.

20

 May 10, 2013 at 05:24 AM BarryLS1 Says:

That is a true Godol. Everyone is human and makes mistakes. Hopefully, this will set an example of having a rational discourse on the issues, instead of character attacks and name calling.

21

 May 10, 2013 at 05:47 AM Amazed by the Chutzpah Says:

Interesting how Lipman himself write a letter with humility to the Gaon Harav Feldman and acknowledged that he may be mistaken.
But all the great Chachomim on this board know better than Rav Feldman and Lipman and criticize him in such an aggressive, chutzpadik way.
I don't want to curse a fellow Jew, but when you will have business, health or children trouble I am sure you will go to a Rabbi like R Feldman for a blessing and advice.
You should hope that your invective against such Rabbis will not be held against you in Heaven.

22

 May 10, 2013 at 06:19 AM SandmanNY Says:

Once again - a case of reacting rather than responding. It sadly illustrates the principle of showing "contempt prior to investigation", which is regarded as a formula for perpetuating ignorance.

23

 May 10, 2013 at 06:49 AM Barsechel Says:

Without going into this particular story of Lipman the fact remains that Lipmans stand on geirus is pure Apikorsus and he is the "chazir" the one with the kosher simonim ( by being a "rav") for the yesh atid party and for yair Lapid a rasha ben Rasha.
Lipman will give din ccheshbon in the olam haemesz for being a traitor to his past. Were it only that he himself is a kal it would be bad enough but the fact that the chilonim point to him as tge ' rav hamachshir' for this chilul Hashem he will pay geavy price

24

 May 10, 2013 at 08:39 AM OYVY2 Says:

Reply to #11  
inNY Says:

I strongly give credit for Rabbi Feldman for at least being a Mentch and publicly retract his words..How many Rabunim in the U.S. do you know who have ever apologized when they made a mistake??

And he knows he had to, otherwise no donations to the Yeshiva, that many of the boys went to so they could go to college

25

 May 10, 2013 at 08:50 AM Geulah Says:

The Volozhiner Rosh Yeshivah had no problem closing his doors when the Russians demanded he teach Russian. He had no issue with mesirus nefesh or what would the bochrim do. He had no qualms about standing up for Torah. So the rest of them, if Torah is so the issue, close down and don't let the Vapids of the world get in the way of Toras Emes.

26

 May 10, 2013 at 09:51 AM PrettyBoyFloyd Says:

I guess this Rabbi prefers all the schnorers at Shachris every morning here from Israel, because they don't have the necessary skills to support their families. Pretty loopy.

27

 May 10, 2013 at 09:57 AM benalt Says:

Reply to #15  
Still waiting Says:

Still waiting for the rabbanim to call child molestors "reshaim" and "nazis".

You don't say that to family.

28

 May 10, 2013 at 10:06 AM zeesh-nj Says:

Lipman is a sincere guy and he's clearly trying to save lives, literally. I agree w/ his stance that if schools don't want to follow the gov't edicts, they stand to lose out on benefits. When Begin offered to pay 100% of chareidi tuition, R' Shach zt"l turned it down b/c he said you can't rely on gov't $ since gov'ts change and then we'll be scrambling to keep moisdos open. This is where things are now. Chareidim have greatly benefited w/ outsized representation in Keneset over the years, but it really never made sense for private schools to get such benefits- we certainly don't get anything like that in the US, so here we have a "tuition crisis" & there they have a parnasa crisis. Maybe you can't have it both ways. Where Lipman is making a mistake, in my opinion, is that he didn't ask gedolim (as he's stated explicitly in recorded interviews), although he's said anonymous rabbonim have backed him. This is what RAF is dinging him on- had he asked gedolim, they'd have said no, so he didn't ask. However, trying to bring US values to EY is kind of bass-ackward of what our values should be, I think. Dov is a true mentch, but I think he's being duped & being made a poster boy by libs.

29

 May 10, 2013 at 10:16 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #24  
OYVY2 Says:

And he knows he had to, otherwise no donations to the Yeshiva, that many of the boys went to so they could go to college

R' Feldman inheirited Ner Israel and it's policies when was brought in from eretz Yisroel to be their rosh hayeshiva years ago. Had he been the one making the rules, college may not have been as pervasive as it's perceived to be. As it is, I've heard the yeshiva is less encouraging college than it was before he arrived, but it's there for those who utilize it. If there were no college, I don't know if the donations would dry up or not, but many bochurim would go elsewhere. What's the point having a yeshiva if no one comes? There's a large % of those that don't go to college, but NIRC is a huge place and it'd be a big hit to their size & operating costs (less tuition, not nec. donations) were so many bochurim to go elsewhere. I'm not as cynical as others about donations- maybe I'm naive, but I'd rather judge them fairly.

30

 May 10, 2013 at 10:25 AM Mistahkurtz Says:

Reply to #25  
Geulah Says:

The Volozhiner Rosh Yeshivah had no problem closing his doors when the Russians demanded he teach Russian. He had no issue with mesirus nefesh or what would the bochrim do. He had no qualms about standing up for Torah. So the rest of them, if Torah is so the issue, close down and don't let the Vapids of the world get in the way of Toras Emes.

The Netziv did NOT close Volozhin because of teaching Russian. He closed it because the gov't told him he had to teach secular subjects between 9am and 3pm AND could not teach torah after sundown. That left only 2 or 3 hours for Torah in the winter. THAT'S why the Netziv closed Volozhin.

31

 May 10, 2013 at 10:38 AM Shtarker Says:

Reply to #13  
righteous Says:

i like to think our rabunim don't make mistakes - especially ones in public and especially when one calls another jew an unflattering name. i do not blame the RH for being all up in arms with this issue. however, if we are not careful of the emes, we will never be listened to. i believe the RH is a tremendous talmud chachom and i am proud to have my children go to NY. however, i am tired of people, even holy people, talking before they know the facts based on some person's say so. how would we feel if our RH says we are not talmidim of his yeshiva (that we went to) and we are misguided???? politics is a dangerous game and that is all it is.

" i like to think our rabunim don't make mistakes..."

I have news for you: All human beings make mistakes. No matter how much Torah you learn, you can still make mistakes. Big ones. Our gedolim rightfully deserve our respect, but they're not infallible and we shouldn't treat them that way.

Even after admitting his mistake and making an apology, Rav Feldman is still a gadol b'Torah. I'd like to see other rabbonim admit their mistakes and make apologies. That would be the beginning of the end of our geula.

32

 May 10, 2013 at 11:02 AM fat36 Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

Chas vshalom that yeshiva students should learn how to support themselves and their families, rather than relying on other people (who, strangely enough, have their own families to support) to pay for them through life.

why not if they can get away with it the world is messed up anyways each man for himself.

33

 May 10, 2013 at 11:40 AM SF2K1 Says:

So nu, when is he going to apologize for the way he turned his back on R' Slifkin?

34

 May 10, 2013 at 12:49 PM ShmuelG Says:

We are overlooking the most important quote in that whole article:

“Chas v’shalom. I said that just like all the attackers of the Torah in the past have gone under, so this party will go under also like Haman and Amalek. They are attacking Torah, they’ll go under, there will be no zecher of them. Just wait around a little bit and you will see there is nothing left of them…any antagonist of Torah does not have a kiyum.”

Yes!

Lipman, read and learn.

Gut shabbos.

35

 May 10, 2013 at 01:09 PM yonasonw Says:

If you advocate a functionally proper education for yeshiva students...an education that will enable them to work and earn a living in the modern economy...these days it is up for deiscussion whether you are an anti-Torah rasha whose "real" aim is to destroy the yeshiva system. Just think about this...how intellectually and morally crippled so many of us have become...it's absurd.

We would be much better off if more time were spent planning asifas on earning a living, reporting child sexual abuse, respect for people and business/government grant ethics...and no time on medieval, conspiratorial fears of modernity.

36

 May 10, 2013 at 01:27 PM Anonymous Says:

For me personally, the Rosh Yeshiva's apology kept me from a major shift in my thinking. I had thought: "If this is how a moderate, highly-respected leader in the Charedi camp speaks about one who disagrees, then the entire camp must be viewed, at least in terms of its politics, as having fallen into ugly fanaticism." The Rosh Yeshiva's apology kept me from going there. (I know the other side often fails to show decency, as well, but that is beside the point.)

37

 May 11, 2013 at 04:36 PM RealJew Says:

The Torah tells us that if one dwells in the Land and does not adhere to the Torah, "The Land will spit you out." Where does Rabbi Lipman Live? and where does Rabbi Feldman Live???
If Rabbi Feldman want to have a say on Chinuch in Israel let him move there and join the knesset.

38

 May 13, 2013 at 03:38 PM benalt Says:

I do believe he did not want to leave and asked a shayla to the gedolei Eretz Yisroel at the time regarding the offer and was told to take it up. I don't think that invalidates him from having an opinion because if it did then most of the comments on VIN for the same reason wouldn't have any validity either. Actually....

39

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