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Lakewood, NJ - Rechnitz Removing Himself From Yeshiva Acceptance Issue; Offers Apologies To Some While Continuing To Reprimand “Elitists”

Published on: January 28, 2016 01:26 PM
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Los Angeles philanthropist Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz at his speech Sunday Jan. 24, 2016 in Lakewood, NJ. (Courtesy of TheLakewoodscoop.com)Los Angeles philanthropist Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz at his speech Sunday Jan. 24, 2016 in Lakewood, NJ. (Courtesy of TheLakewoodscoop.com)

Lakewood, NJ - Four days after delivering a scathing speech at a dinner celebrating three decades of chinuch in Lakewood that resulted in unprecedented waves of support and anger within the Jewish community, Los Angeles philanthropist Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz issued a written letter today saying that he is removing himself from the discussion regarding yeshivos and their acceptance policies because of his deep emotional involvement in the highly charged subject.

As previously reported on VIN News, Rechnitz praised the Lakewood community for its dedication to Torah and chesed in his 51 minute speech on educational issues within the Lakewood yeshiva system, but blasted those who pressure schools not to accept certain children as students and threaten them with consequences, leaving an untold number of children left out in the cold.

The speech, which was posted to YouTube by The Lakewood Scoop, garnered over 72,000 hits in just three days.

Watch below Rechnitz entire speech from this past Sunday. Courtesy of TheLakewoodscoop.com

Both Rechnitz’s Sunday speech and this morning’s letter of clarification were passionate and emotional.

Rechnitz began his address Sunday night talking about the desperate medical condition of his father in law, Rabbi Yisroel Belsky, who he described as being in constant, immense pain and noted several times in his oratory that he was speaking at a time that was personally difficult for him. Today’s 1090 word missive began with an admission that it may contain typographical errors given that it was written during a trying time and from Maimonides Hospital, where Rabbi Belsky was transferred several days ago after a stay at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

An emailed Tehillim request sent out yesterday by Rabbi Yitzchok Gottdiener, executive director of Yeshiva and Mesivta Torah Vodaath, where Rabbi Belsky serves as menahel, bore the subject line “Urgent! Urgent!” and described Rabbi Belsky’s condition as “very serious!”

Rechnitz’s letter, which was sent directly to VIN News, included a pledge to continue supporting the mosdos in Lakewood, which he described as a “beautiful Makom Torah.” He also expressed optimism that he would be able to increase his financial support, quoting rabbinic sources who say that those who support individuals who learn Torah are, in fact, being themselves carried by the Torah study that they finance.

Rechnitz clearly stated his intention to refrain from any further commentary on the matter saying, “As I have clearly gotten too emotionally involved, I don’t think I’m the person to deal with the schooling issue. I have therefore decided to remove myself from this Parsha.”
Rechnitz asked forgiveness for not having anticipated that his words could be taken out of context, particularly by those who were looking to further their own agendas, and publicly asked mechila from any roshei yeshiva or rabbonim who were offended by his remarks, offering to visit personally to express his contrition if needed.  He also stated his regrets for not praising Lakewood more in his speech for its many accomplishments and contributions to the Torah world.

“I mentioned that Lakewood is everything right, that there is nothing more beautiful than Lakewood, but they are deficient in just one area,” wrote Rechnitz. “Due to the fact that I wanted to get a point across in the time allotted to me, I clearly did not spend enough time describing my genuine Ahava for Lakewood.”

Rechnitz noted that the importance of speaking up against those who create attitudes and situations that are intolerable and expressed his gratitude to the many askanim who work tirelessly to ensure school placements for those who are rejected by yeshivos.  He repeated his Sunday night statement that it is not the heads of the schools who are at fault for the problem and that he has personally seen their commitment to helping as many children possible but refused to back down on his claim that an elitist society exists within the Lakewood community.

“An Elitist is someone who calls a Mosad, and holds them hostage forcing their will and desires, while clearly harming other children,” wrote Rechnitz. “They are generally of the belief that they are superior or frummer than everyone else. They put themselves on a pedestal and insist on their way or the highway. Instead of viewing other kids as the Aibeshter’s children, they view every child as a potential threat to their child’s reputation.”

Saying that he understood that there are those parents who don’t want their children to be in a class where students come from homes with televisions, internet or other negative influences, Rechnitz said that many have gone too far in their judgment of others.

“If you don’t want your child in a class that has children who’s [sic] fathers work to provide Parnasah for their family, then you are an elitist! The working father can be ehrlich, Kovea Ittim, have all the right Hashkofos, but that’s not good enough for you, because you consider yourself on a much higher Madreigah.”

Rechnitz noted that those who feel their superiority entitles them to make demands on schools are just a small minority, lauding the general populace for their values.

“They are humble B’nei Torah who’s [sic] Zechusim we rely on to exist.  But as in every religion and every culture, the extremists and the most vocal carry the show.  While the elitists are the Mi’uta D’miuta, they’ll cause 90% of the problem. In my opinion, it’s incumbent on all of us, as the silent majority to speak up and not tolerate these attitudes that are the impetus and perpetuation of the problem.”

See below for the full text of the clarification letter.


Dear Readers,

As there is a lot of confusion regarding my speech, I would like to clarify some of my points and my intentions. I apologize for any typos etc….but I am writing at a very inconvenient time from a very inconvenient place (Maimonides). I nevertheless feel it’s important to write now, to avoid anymore potential Lashon Harah.

1. I apologize and ask Mechila for not for seeing the possibility of people using my comments out of context. The point of my speech was to deliver one message, and one message only, and that is to make sure that there is a place in school for all our children in Lakewood.  It was not meant in any way to “bash” Lakewood or its leaders. Anyone using my comments to support their own ulterior agendas are twisting my words. I am not Anti-Lakewood or Anti-Kollel, and if that happens to be your position, I would reccomend you take a tour of the city and its Mikomos Hakdoshim and I assure you, that you will be impressed. Anyone who is somewhat familiar with the substantial financial resources that I’ve invested and will continue to invest in Lakewood, would quickly come to the conclusion that I adore Lakewood, realize how important it is for Torah, Kavod Hatorah, Harbatzos Hatorah and for Kiyum Ha’olam, and how much I need to be a part of it. I consider its inhabitants as my Family, and am proud and thankful that I can be a part of this extraordinary Makom Torah. Besides supporting the Mosdos, I think I’ve proven that I try to do everything in my power to help any Yungerman or their children in a time of need, and IY’H hope to continue to do so, in addition to the rest of Klal Yisroel.

1. I never Chas V’shalom meant to be Mevazeh any of the Roshei Yeshiva or Rabbonim. To the contrary, I spoke of the Roshei Yeshiva’s attempts and involvement in helping children get into Mosdos, only to be turned down. I have heard directly from many Roshei Yeshiva, both from Lakewood and other cities, that they consistently have problems getting children into Lakewood schools. If any of the Roshei Yeshiva or Rabbonim were offended, I hereby ask them publicly for Mechila. If any Rov or Rosh Hayeshiva would like me to come to them personally, I’m prepared to do so. I have, and always had tremendous Kavod for the Lakewood Roshei Yeshiva. Im sure if asked, they will all tell you that I fulfill any and all requests they ask of me without asking any questions. As an Askan, I have never acted without the directive of the Gedolim. In all my Tzedakos, I believe that I’m known to never ever give with strings attached. I don’t discriminate against any person or Mosad even if they’ve done me wrong.

2. If I had to do it again, I would’ve spent the first hour telling people about the greatness of Lakewood. Lakewood has grown by leaps and bounds in population and Ruchniyus. Under the tutelage of the Rosh Hayeshiva, Hagaon Hatzadik, Reb Malkiel Kotler Shlit’a, Lakewood has been more successful than anyone’s wildest imaginations. It’s Talmidei Chachamim have sprouted all over the world, spreading Torah and Yiddishkeit. The city off route 9 that we call Lakewood is merely the “corporate office” for the world over. I mentioned that Lakewood is everything right, that there is nothing more beautiful than Lakewood, but they are deficient in just one area. Due to the fact that I wanted to get a point across in the time allotted to me, I clearly did not spend enough time describing my genuine Ahava for Lakewood.

3. Perhaps I wasn’t clear enough when I specifically said that I don’t place the blame on the Roshei Mosdos, as they’re doing what we’d all do, to protect their Mosdos and not compromise the Chinuch they provide for following years. I also did not want to place blame on them, as every single one of them have bent over backwards to try and help alleviate the problem. I’ve been in communication with most of them, and they’re always trying to place “just one more child”.

4. Let me be clear. I put most of the blame on the Elitists. An Elitist is someone who calls a Mosad, and holds them hostage forcing their will and desires, while clearly harming other children. They are generally of the belief that they are superior or frummer than everyone else. They put themselves on a pedestal and insist on their way or the highway. Instead of viewing other kids as the Aibeshters children, they view every child as a potential threat to their child’s reputation. This happens every year at nearly every Mosad. I can understand a parent wanting a school where all the children come from homes without Internet, televisions or other negative influences, but if you don’t want your child in a class that has children who’s fathers work to provide Parnasah for their family, then you are an elitist! The working father can be ehrlich, Kovea Ittim, have all the right Hashkofos, but that’s not good enough for you, because you consider yourself on a much higher Madreigah.

5. The one point where I should’ve been clearer is that the vast majority of Lakewood are not elitists. They are humble B’nei Torah who’s Zechusim we rely on to exist. But as in every religion and every culture, the extremists and the most vocal carry the show. While the elitists are the Mi’uta D’miuta, they’ll cause 90% of the problem. In my opinion, it’s incumbent on all of us, as the silent majority to speak up and not tolerate these attitudes that are the impetus and perpetuation of the problem.

6. I should have taken out the time to thank all the Askanim who work day and night, trying to get children placed. They Aibeshter should bench them with Shefa and Bracha. Unfortunately, they don’t have the power alone to fix the system.

7. As I have clearly gotten too emotionally involved, I don’t think I’m the person to deal with the schooling issue. I have therefore decided to remove myself from this Parsha. In terms of financial support, I will continue to support this beautiful Makom Torah, and hopefully with Hashem’s help, and your Tefillos, I’ll be able to increase my support.

As the Seforim Hakdoshim write: We’ll never know who is supporting who.

Ha’Aron Nosei Es Noisov. (Yalkut Shimoni)
B’Chavod Rav,

Shlomo Yehuda


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Read Comments (49)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jan 28, 2016 at 01:33 PM boroparker Says:

The original speech was perfect. No apology or clarification necessary. period.

2

 Jan 28, 2016 at 01:34 PM Yoni Says:

The man is clearly under stress but that does not take away from the content of his speech. Apologising was a mistake . someone needs to bring down fakewood. The rebellion has already begun. We the youngsters will rebel and put an end to the corruption and garbag in Lakewood.

3

 Jan 28, 2016 at 01:54 PM harry32 Says:

now there is zero chance of any change happening! the pathetic schools can now keep their borsalinos riding high in the sky

4

 Jan 28, 2016 at 01:56 PM Barsechel Says:

Was a big mistake to apologize its shfichus domim and retzicha what goes on there just a big pity that Rechnitz buckled under big shame
Lakewood should man up and take care of this disgrace!!!!

5

 Jan 28, 2016 at 02:07 PM Maven Says:

As much good as R' Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz does we are starting to step into dangerous territory.

Juts becuase someone is a great Baal Tzedakah doesn't mean we should make him as THE authority on Torah and Yiddishkiet. True,he touched on a sour topic and Mosdos SHOULD better themselves. But come on, so from now on whatever Mr. Rechnitz will say regarding Yiddishkiet we should dance along? this is dangerous ad dangerous can be.

True that today's Rebbiem and Rosh Yeshivas are not as the previous Gedolim but still a Millionaire should not be our leader.period.

6

 Jan 28, 2016 at 02:00 PM Anonymous Says:

As many have pointed out in the nearly hundred posts to the previous article on this issue, Lakewood has become a pluralist society. That means that it must cater for specific groups who do not fit into a regular moisad, and don't want to. It doesn't mean that the educational standards of the others do not match the original ones. It means just that standards of Yiddishkeit are different.
R SYR was so right when he defines elitism as turning away the children of working fathers (or as other posters have mentioned, of parents who do not fit the mold of having adopted the external trappings of benei toirah 50 years ago, but somewhat later - baalei teshuvah, for example) when there is no perceptible difference between this home or any other.
Of course, if there are families or clans who simply consider themselves a cut above everybody else, surely the 'normal' 'hamoin am' families should distance themselves from such people and found their own moisdos.
If there is such a shortage of places in the existing schools, those who feel exluded should be clammoring to found their own, and I'm sure they would garner significant sympathy and support from philanthropists.

7

 Jan 28, 2016 at 02:22 PM harry32 Says:

Reply to #5  
Maven Says:

As much good as R' Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz does we are starting to step into dangerous territory.

Juts becuase someone is a great Baal Tzedakah doesn't mean we should make him as THE authority on Torah and Yiddishkiet. True,he touched on a sour topic and Mosdos SHOULD better themselves. But come on, so from now on whatever Mr. Rechnitz will say regarding Yiddishkiet we should dance along? this is dangerous ad dangerous can be.

True that today's Rebbiem and Rosh Yeshivas are not as the previous Gedolim but still a Millionaire should not be our leader.period.

this is the way its going to be now with President Trump, money talks! now more than ever.

8

 Jan 28, 2016 at 02:35 PM Chelm Says:

Let Rechnitz fund a school which will accept everyone. In order to keep it from being "elitist" he should make sure it give also a good secular education.
To make things even better he should try to make it with little or no tuition required. This would shake up things!

9

 Jan 28, 2016 at 02:35 PM allmark Says:

Wished he hadn't apologized.

10

 Jan 28, 2016 at 02:39 PM Lakewodd Resident with No School Says:

Reply to #5  
Maven Says:

As much good as R' Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz does we are starting to step into dangerous territory.

Juts becuase someone is a great Baal Tzedakah doesn't mean we should make him as THE authority on Torah and Yiddishkiet. True,he touched on a sour topic and Mosdos SHOULD better themselves. But come on, so from now on whatever Mr. Rechnitz will say regarding Yiddishkiet we should dance along? this is dangerous ad dangerous can be.

True that today's Rebbiem and Rosh Yeshivas are not as the previous Gedolim but still a Millionaire should not be our leader.period.

The school situation status quo is unattainable & somebody had to say something - publicly. No one else has done so until now or at least nothing has changed.

I am a "nogaya bedavar" as I applied to five schools this year and received a letter from all five apologizing that they were already full (my applications were sent in as soon as the respective schools started accepting them).

I spent my life in the yeshiva system and learned in BMG for almost 10 years. I come from a good home and make a nice living. I think it's as simple as if you don't apply to a school with "pull" you won't get in. I'm convinced not one of the schools I applied to researched anything about my kid, my wife or myself.

I'm not smart enough to know what the answer is, but as I mentioned before - the status quo can not be maintained.

Thank you R' SYR for shaking the trees. Hopefully the end result will be some leaves falling where they should.

11

 Jan 28, 2016 at 02:41 PM thymely1 Says:

SYR said exactly what needed to be said. He should have gone further because he did not mention how parents are 'held up' by the schools/principals for a LARGE donation if they want their children to be admitted to their schools. Or that some shuls don't allow men who are WORKING to daven before the Omud or if they wear a colored shirt (chas vesholom). He didn't mention the rudeness of yeshivashe drivers, of parking in handicapped spots when they are perfectly healthy. or blowing through a stop sign (because in Lakewood it is considered optional). We know he can't fix Flakewood. No apology was necessary. It just shocks the residents to realize that most people don't think they are as HOLY as they themselves think they are. Time to work on basic Bein Odom L'chaveiro midos.

12

 Jan 28, 2016 at 02:46 PM Anonymous Says:

Unbelievable! I am appalled. How dare they make him buckle under pressure like that? Own up and admit that your situation needs improvement! What a circus! How can he continue to support mosdos who do not practice what they preach!! The poor neshamalach that will be going OTD for this reason will also be your responsibility now Mr Rechnitz

13

 Jan 28, 2016 at 02:54 PM Curiosity Says:

I don't think an apology is necessary. It cannot help, only hurt. Anyone who took Rechnitz's sincere and valid comments out of context or was "offended," is either part of the elitest problem, or has an axe to grind against the religious lifestyle. An apology won't deter either of those types from twisting his words.

14

 Jan 28, 2016 at 02:59 PM OYVY2 Says:

Reply to #5  
Maven Says:

As much good as R' Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz does we are starting to step into dangerous territory.

Juts becuase someone is a great Baal Tzedakah doesn't mean we should make him as THE authority on Torah and Yiddishkiet. True,he touched on a sour topic and Mosdos SHOULD better themselves. But come on, so from now on whatever Mr. Rechnitz will say regarding Yiddishkiet we should dance along? this is dangerous ad dangerous can be.

True that today's Rebbiem and Rosh Yeshivas are not as the previous Gedolim but still a Millionaire should not be our leader.period.

you are so right, first he painted everything with too broad a brush stroke. there are individual cases and reasons. Yes there is always room to fix situations however this was way out of bounds and will accomplish little

15

 Jan 28, 2016 at 03:02 PM Insider Says:

Money should talk. If someone is unhappy with Rechnitz's speech, let them refuse to take his money. Rechnitz will not object.

16

 Jan 28, 2016 at 03:03 PM Inciter Says:

If Rechnitz's donations are refused, he will simply give money to yeshivas that behave themselves. Period.

17

 Jan 28, 2016 at 02:29 PM StevenWright Says:

Reply to #5  
Maven Says:

As much good as R' Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz does we are starting to step into dangerous territory.

Juts becuase someone is a great Baal Tzedakah doesn't mean we should make him as THE authority on Torah and Yiddishkiet. True,he touched on a sour topic and Mosdos SHOULD better themselves. But come on, so from now on whatever Mr. Rechnitz will say regarding Yiddishkiet we should dance along? this is dangerous ad dangerous can be.

True that today's Rebbiem and Rosh Yeshivas are not as the previous Gedolim but still a Millionaire should not be our leader.period.

No, this millionaire with a tremendous heart, is just one of a few who had the guts to say it publicly, and because of his money, was given the forum to do it. Unlike all the regular shnorrers, that would never be given the opportunity, much less listened to.

18

 Jan 28, 2016 at 03:08 PM berylyoseph Says:

The Lakewood community should tell those elitist people, Hashem doesn't need your frumkeit "Veyim titzdak ma titen lo' and he prefers imperfect families with hardships who cling him, "Keilim Shvoorim" , The mitzvos are here to purify you, "Letzaref es habrios" and it's in your benefit, and yes, also for your children benefit to walk in the ways of Hashem,

19

 Jan 28, 2016 at 03:17 PM BLONDI Says:

Such a shame that he said it like it is and then says a retraction..Lakewood boys are told to marry for money so they could sit and learn more but if the girls' parents in Lakewood are learning too, so where does the support money come from???ah, the grandparents!!!! How much can grandparents work? Totally sick.. And then for yeshiva break, the young couple MUST get to Florida and bask in the sun and mooch off the grandparents apartment?!!! What entitlement for Torah learning

20

 Jan 28, 2016 at 03:22 PM benaraonvmoshe Says:

Perhaps the speech given by Mr. Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz touched an open wound and uncovered a timely myth, something akin to the false notion of papal infallibility. We consider ourselves a little smarter than that, and gave it a new name, Daas Gedolim.

Our sages in their wisdom and Kedusha realized the breadth and depth of the Torah Hakedosha, and so we have differing opinions, and gleaned much knowledge from each other. We have a Bavli and a Yerushalmi, and more recently something to which we can all relate. The Chofetz Chaim found it appropriate to quote the Razash, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, author of the Shulchan Aruch Harav and the Tanya. The Torah has seventy faces.

Rashi brings seemingly contradictory opinions on the same verse and reconciles them. The sharp pen of the Rayvad was used freely to criticize and question Rambam , who was beloved by many who recited “MeMoshe vaad Moshe…” .

Differing opinions and approaches to Halachik issues based on Torah true sources has been openly encouraged. We have Nusach Askenaz and Nusach Sefard etc. In the same town we can find Shuls who read different Haftorahs on the same Shabbos, and we find the Aruch Hasulchan, and not a chas

21

 Jan 28, 2016 at 03:31 PM schmaltzy Says:

What a disappointment! Learn from trump. Do not apologize for being right. Mr Rechnitz you were 100% on the mark. I do not want to go into details but I am very connected to the Lakewood community for the last 44 years. I personally experienced everything Mr Rechnitz was talking about with my granddaughter who was not accepted by any yeshiva about 6 years ago because her mother was divorced and her daughter was not a perfect fit. As Rechnitz mentioned, some schools told us that parents threatened if my granddaughter is accepted they will pull out. Today my daughter is BH happily remarried and lives in another town where her daughter attends a Beis Yaakov High school and is class president.
We need more like you Mr Rechnitz. All those who took no action till now should be eternally ashamed. Thank you for being the "Ish B'makom she'ein ananshim".

22

 Jan 28, 2016 at 03:48 PM ayinglefunadorf Says:

Reply to #5  
Maven Says:

As much good as R' Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz does we are starting to step into dangerous territory.

Juts becuase someone is a great Baal Tzedakah doesn't mean we should make him as THE authority on Torah and Yiddishkiet. True,he touched on a sour topic and Mosdos SHOULD better themselves. But come on, so from now on whatever Mr. Rechnitz will say regarding Yiddishkiet we should dance along? this is dangerous ad dangerous can be.

True that today's Rebbiem and Rosh Yeshivas are not as the previous Gedolim but still a Millionaire should not be our leader.period.

"True that today's Rebbeim and Rosh Yeshivas are not as the previous Gedolim" They are Not? Previos Gedolim, the Chofetz Chaim and many more worked part of the Day. They were Tzadikim. Todays Rosh Yeshivas dont work. More time to learn go to Chasenes etc. So Kal Vochajmer. They are even......

23

 Jan 28, 2016 at 03:49 PM Godol-Hador Says:

He destroyed whatever good he accomplished with his fine Speech. (which was excellent on many levels)

now he's just another shmendrik with a few bucks who opens his mouth.
Big deal

24

 Jan 28, 2016 at 04:07 PM Anonymous Says:

This whole story is very sad .What Rabbi Rechnitz said is Emes Yet the powers that be , allow this to continue !!!!

25

 Jan 28, 2016 at 04:11 PM grandpajoe Says:

Is the problem only in Lakewood - or is Boro Park and Williamsburg Free of the malady ?

26

 Jan 28, 2016 at 04:42 PM Esther Says:

Reply to #11  
thymely1 Says:

SYR said exactly what needed to be said. He should have gone further because he did not mention how parents are 'held up' by the schools/principals for a LARGE donation if they want their children to be admitted to their schools. Or that some shuls don't allow men who are WORKING to daven before the Omud or if they wear a colored shirt (chas vesholom). He didn't mention the rudeness of yeshivashe drivers, of parking in handicapped spots when they are perfectly healthy. or blowing through a stop sign (because in Lakewood it is considered optional). We know he can't fix Flakewood. No apology was necessary. It just shocks the residents to realize that most people don't think they are as HOLY as they themselves think they are. Time to work on basic Bein Odom L'chaveiro midos.

The reality is Lakewood has a lot of problems. Many young people have gone OTD or even become ensnarled in addiction. Molestations continue to be covered up. Is this caused by the attitudes you mention, by the need to present perfection, bgahmius and bruchnius?

27

 Jan 28, 2016 at 04:51 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #6  
Anonymous Says:

As many have pointed out in the nearly hundred posts to the previous article on this issue, Lakewood has become a pluralist society. That means that it must cater for specific groups who do not fit into a regular moisad, and don't want to. It doesn't mean that the educational standards of the others do not match the original ones. It means just that standards of Yiddishkeit are different.
R SYR was so right when he defines elitism as turning away the children of working fathers (or as other posters have mentioned, of parents who do not fit the mold of having adopted the external trappings of benei toirah 50 years ago, but somewhat later - baalei teshuvah, for example) when there is no perceptible difference between this home or any other.
Of course, if there are families or clans who simply consider themselves a cut above everybody else, surely the 'normal' 'hamoin am' families should distance themselves from such people and found their own moisdos.
If there is such a shortage of places in the existing schools, those who feel exluded should be clammoring to found their own, and I'm sure they would garner significant sympathy and support from philanthropists.

Philanthropists don't give money to new schools. They need names on buidings. What Rechnitz should do is any new school that opens it doors for all should gte 500k. Old schools firstly can't accpet everyone due to space. And secondly they can figure out how to get money. Its the news ones that swaet the most getting thier feet off the ground that need the money

28

 Jan 28, 2016 at 04:55 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #14  
OYVY2 Says:

you are so right, first he painted everything with too broad a brush stroke. there are individual cases and reasons. Yes there is always room to fix situations however this was way out of bounds and will accomplish little

I bet you never experineced not having a school for your child. Those of us that did think the current situation is way out of bounds

29

 Jan 28, 2016 at 04:56 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #25  
grandpajoe Says:

Is the problem only in Lakewood - or is Boro Park and Williamsburg Free of the malady ?

Basically If you don't belong to a specific chassidus and you want your kids to have a normal education, we have the same problem in Boro Park.

30

 Jan 28, 2016 at 04:58 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #18  
berylyoseph Says:

The Lakewood community should tell those elitist people, Hashem doesn't need your frumkeit "Veyim titzdak ma titen lo' and he prefers imperfect families with hardships who cling him, "Keilim Shvoorim" , The mitzvos are here to purify you, "Letzaref es habrios" and it's in your benefit, and yes, also for your children benefit to walk in the ways of Hashem,

Rechnitz left out something very crucial. The problem lies more with the boro parky parents who need a "nice parent body" in their schools. Nerds are not accepted because they don't fill the void. Your eidla yeshiva guy on 7th street doesn't care nearly as much as the ritzy bal habatsih guys. 75% of the eltiest probelm lies there more than the farfrumta lakewood guys.

31

 Jan 28, 2016 at 04:58 PM Yossi Says:

Mr. Rechnitz. A refuah shelymeh for your father in law. I can promise you if your shver would be in a state of health he would never ever let you apologize for shaking up the Totah community with the Falshkeit they are living in.
I remember for many years I was involved in a moysed where a parent called the principal that if a particularbstudent is not removed from her daughters class she will pull all her kids from that school. The principal was strong enough and told her please do it today and remove YOUR children because I will NOT let a mother bully thousands of Yidishe Neshumes.
I can tell you ten years later the child grew up to be a erliche yidishe mama with 3 kids and a husband who learns every day at least 2 hours and works very hard for parnassah .
Mr. Rechnitz you have NO reason to apologize YOU should continue your avoydes hakodesh. Hashem enriched YOU that you can support those mosdes so you have a dyeh and with this ammunition in your hands hundreds of broken parents are looking up on YOU to save their kids from NOT being accepted in yeshivas...Reb Shlomo...Chazak Veamatz....

32

 Jan 28, 2016 at 05:01 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #19  
BLONDI Says:

Such a shame that he said it like it is and then says a retraction..Lakewood boys are told to marry for money so they could sit and learn more but if the girls' parents in Lakewood are learning too, so where does the support money come from???ah, the grandparents!!!! How much can grandparents work? Totally sick.. And then for yeshiva break, the young couple MUST get to Florida and bask in the sun and mooch off the grandparents apartment?!!! What entitlement for Torah learning

And Flatbush boys in law school believe they are mr hot lawyers and expect the shver to pay tution and costs of living while in law school all while they live ritzy life styles. Its not a Lakewood/ learning thing sorry. Its a 21st century sick entiltement mentality that plays out both in learning and working circles.

33

 Jan 28, 2016 at 05:02 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #25  
grandpajoe Says:

Is the problem only in Lakewood - or is Boro Park and Williamsburg Free of the malady ?

willamsburg is because if you are satmar you are automatically accpeted to the mosod. BP is not unless you are an affiliated chasid

34

 Jan 28, 2016 at 05:34 PM 54321 Says:

Reply to #5  
Maven Says:

As much good as R' Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz does we are starting to step into dangerous territory.

Juts becuase someone is a great Baal Tzedakah doesn't mean we should make him as THE authority on Torah and Yiddishkiet. True,he touched on a sour topic and Mosdos SHOULD better themselves. But come on, so from now on whatever Mr. Rechnitz will say regarding Yiddishkiet we should dance along? this is dangerous ad dangerous can be.

True that today's Rebbiem and Rosh Yeshivas are not as the previous Gedolim but still a Millionaire should not be our leader.period.

You are a true full. You did not true one word he said. You should accept the truth from whoever says it is what our rabbis say.

35

 Jan 28, 2016 at 05:57 PM Heeb Says:

Mesivta ateres yaakov in Cedarhurst did not accept my son because, and i quote the so called menahel yafee, ' i am not accepting sephardim'..... yes exactly what you read!

36

 Jan 28, 2016 at 04:53 PM micha Says:

Paragraph #8 hurts the most.

The obvious reason, because it means that the change won’t happen.

The more personal reason… because the man spoke about being belittled by the elists, had to apologize for it, and ends by belittling himself yet again!

To translate: “I am so sorry I had the chutzpah to spell out to you how deeply the elitism in our community has hurt me and those like me by destroying our egos. So sorry. And as kapparah, I admit that someone like me is not fit to help make things better. Go back to your tzidqus.”

I must confess it broke my ability to continue suspending judgment of our qehillah based on the actions of the kid who had a homeless man pour coffee over his own head for $5. It seems the powers that be do the same thing, but with more finesse and far deeper cuts into the ego. This retraction goes beyond outrageous, it’s Rav Aharon’s second petirah — the dream the Alter of Slabodka nurtured all those years ago is truly dead.

I would like to establish personal contact with a man. I think I found someone with ability, funds, and quite likely a strong desire to revive a Yahadus in which the goal is ehrlachkeit instead of frumkeit.

-Micha Berger

37

 Jan 28, 2016 at 06:00 PM MaidofCH Says:

He made a good point -- not about the elitism, rather the hypocrisy. This is a community where working people are denigrated, yet where do the rabbonim think THEY'RE getting the money? It's a sick society that sends out mixed messages. (The same in Israel.) I am all for supporting Torah learning; however, I do not want to support a system that makes no sense.

As far as elitism -- the issue really is prejudice. We all exclude or discriminate to a certain degree, based on personal values, and we are all entitled to our level of observance or circle of people of similar lifestyles. However, rejecting someone whose parents are divorced or whose lineage is less distinguished is wrong. I believe in meritocracy -- the cream should rise to the top based on abilities or contributions to society, not on someone's grandfather. Many of the Reform/Conservative leaders came from Lithuanian or Chassidic stock. So it wasn't just riffraff.

38

 Jan 28, 2016 at 05:31 PM Anonymous Says:

Mr. Rechnitz sure looks big enough that he need not be intimidated by the corruption and bad midos that are certainly found in abundance in Lakewood. I, for one, believe he needs to stop supporting all the current Lakewood mosdos and open a new school that will do the right thing.

39

 Jan 28, 2016 at 06:39 PM He Failed to be Mekayem "Loy Soguru Mipney Ish" Says:

In Yiddish there is saying:

"Er Redt vegen dem Malach, Uber Er Meint Dem Galach" - that is someone who really means to 'slug it to someone' else, but it's not Politically Correct to do so, openly, so you criticize the Underling, even though you mean the Head.

We all know, the most important qualifier of any Rav, Rosh Yeshiva or other so called "Big One" and that is first and foremost, he must first be able to be Mekayem the Posuk in Chumash:

LOY SOGURU MIPNEY ISH

Because any Rav or Rosh Yeshiva etc. who buckles under the pressure of his Baaley Batim, he is not worth a cent and can't be called a Rav and can't be called a Rosh Yeshiva worthy of his name.

When he originally criticized the "elitist" Baaley Batim, who pressure the Roshey Yeshivos to throw out kids, he made it sound like the blame is on the elitist, who put on the pressure on the Roshey Yeshiva and not on the Roshey Yeshiva, themselves, who fail to be Mekayem "Loy Soguru Mipney Ish".

He was indeed very eidel and very Politically Correct, but we all "understand" who is the one, who is really to blamed.

He himself, now,backed down, because he himself is also not Mekayem the "Loy Soguru Mipney Ish".

40

 Jan 28, 2016 at 06:54 PM CHANA1 Says:

I don't think it's nice to call Lakewood fakewood or flakewood any more than it is nice to call BP, Williamsburg, Kiryas Yoel etc etc by a derogatory name. All these are communities with large Jewish populations and many many good people and ehrilcha jews. The problem is that people are still thinking of Lakewood as a small enclave the way it was years ago when it was a 'small, new city'. Once communities are 'big' cities, they are full of sin - chazal teach us this. So Lakewood is now a big city like all our other big Jewish communities and whatever hypocrisy people say is going on there is to be expected with a large diverse community such as it has become. People should just recognize the new Lakewood for what it is. A large diverse flourishing Jewish community with good ehrilcha Jews and many of the same problems as other large communities.

41

 Jan 28, 2016 at 07:18 PM yaacov Says:

Reply to #1  
boroparker Says:

The original speech was perfect. No apology or clarification necessary. period.

What was wrong with the speech is that it was even too soft. Does anyone know that 3 100% Frum kids from a frum background went to Public school for over a year? and only after Mr Rechnitz gave $10.000 for each one of them and they suddenly got excepted. Mr Rechnitz Please don't apologize and remember what the Kloizenberger rebbe said ''the Rosh Yeshives or principles that don't except kids will have ARICHAS YOMIM since it takes a very long time to built a GEHENOM for them.

42

 Jan 28, 2016 at 07:39 PM berylyoseph Says:

Reply to #35  
Heeb Says:

Mesivta ateres yaakov in Cedarhurst did not accept my son because, and i quote the so called menahel yafee, ' i am not accepting sephardim'..... yes exactly what you read!

They are not accepting Sepharadim and they are correct, If the Sepharadim themselves , including the Shas party leadership in Israel insist on getting accepted into Ashkenazi mosdos, and learning the Ashkenazi way, While putting to scorn their heritage, with the so many Gdolei Yisroel, even in the last generations like the Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh, Ramchal, Rav Chido, Rav Chaim Palagi, Ben Ish Chai, Sdei Chemed, Kaf Hachaim and many others you could look up in Yalkut Yosef, It's a mida keneged mida,

43

 Jan 28, 2016 at 07:50 PM Anonymous Says:

My brother donated 50k cash and still didn't get my nephew in. My brother doesn't work and has 7 kids. What is he to do now with #8 on the way? There just aren't enough schools.

44

 Jan 28, 2016 at 08:12 PM horav Says:

I heard the speech and DO NOT think that he was bashing Lakewood - I heard him clearly! He was bashing the people who think that they are holier than thou and you know what? He said good and he IS RIGHT! And if the Roshei Hayeshivos could actually have some power over the masses, maybe things would straighten out. In the meantime, it is seriously a sad situation there, and I know of many young couples who do not want to move to Lakewood - JUST BECAUSE OF THIS SCHOOL ISSUE! Likewise it is true, too many people are judging their friends and neighbors - turning any slight deviation into total catastrophes... and this attitude only leads the kids to deviate further.... it is time for acceptance! And brotherly love - for one and all. Nowadays in Lakewood - it is a stigma to be a beis student. It is just pathetic what goes on.. and it doesn't end. It's a stigma if the father works... it's a stigma if there is a kid in the family who is not healthy or perfect... and on and on it goes!
Moshiach should save us all and very quickly! Amein!

45

 Jan 28, 2016 at 08:16 PM Benny Says:

Dear Shponi
Lakewood is a beautiful place with a lot of erlech and wonderful people.
We do have our problems, and we can work on them.
And we don't need some bigpocket guys come from out of town and give us musar! We have plenty of Rabbonim to do so!
You want to address an issue - please speak to our Rabbonim.
Don't come to our town and say whatever you like and then give us your apology!
If you are erlech gvir - give all your charities to the gedoilim and let them decide what's good for klal Isroel and what's not.
Because some people got a lot of money - it doesn't mean they got a lot of brains!
And usually they undermine the authority of the Rabonim by increasing the support of the moisdos that follow their "great" (crum) vision!

46

 Jan 28, 2016 at 08:34 PM Tzaddik Vera lo Says:

SYR was correct in both his point, and his apology. Yes. There is a terrible problem of elitism. Yes. Rosh Yeshivos, and Heads of the Mosdos do amazing work for the community.

Here is where he is wrong. 100 percent wrong. The "elitist" issue, like any issue in a big community starts with the top. The leaders are responsible. They are the ones who either actively, or passively, allow or encourage this practice. They may be tzaddikim. The policies of the yeshiva must change though.

How can a yeshiva like BMG, not accept some of the best bochurim who learned in the Mir ?? How do they do it?? Do they not realize the hurt they cause, and have caused ?? The bochurim (rejects) are not "bad influences"!! They are talmidei chachamim, coming out of the great Mir Yeshiva!! This despicable policy, along with other despicable policies (freezer) are all about control, and not at all about Torah.

SYR is worried about c"v embarrassing the Roshei Yeshiva. I get that. He is right. They are big tzaddikim. However, he should continue to attack the policies. These policies are awful!! These policies created the elitist culture in Lakewood. If BMG would give a hug to all new students, and welcome them warmly, (for coming to study Hashems Torah), the local elementary schools, and high schools, and girls schools would follow.

I am going to give the benefit of the doubt and say, these policies originated to avoid maskilim. They are definitely outdated. Today, anyone coming to BMG, wants to study Torah. There is no excuse to distance anyone!!

47

 Jan 28, 2016 at 10:09 PM What??? Not enough schools is Lakewood??? Says:

Reply to #39  
He Failed to be Mekayem "Loy Soguru Mipney Ish" Says:

In Yiddish there is saying:

"Er Redt vegen dem Malach, Uber Er Meint Dem Galach" - that is someone who really means to 'slug it to someone' else, but it's not Politically Correct to do so, openly, so you criticize the Underling, even though you mean the Head.

We all know, the most important qualifier of any Rav, Rosh Yeshiva or other so called "Big One" and that is first and foremost, he must first be able to be Mekayem the Posuk in Chumash:

LOY SOGURU MIPNEY ISH

Because any Rav or Rosh Yeshiva etc. who buckles under the pressure of his Baaley Batim, he is not worth a cent and can't be called a Rav and can't be called a Rosh Yeshiva worthy of his name.

When he originally criticized the "elitist" Baaley Batim, who pressure the Roshey Yeshivos to throw out kids, he made it sound like the blame is on the elitist, who put on the pressure on the Roshey Yeshiva and not on the Roshey Yeshiva, themselves, who fail to be Mekayem "Loy Soguru Mipney Ish".

He was indeed very eidel and very Politically Correct, but we all "understand" who is the one, who is really to blamed.

He himself, now,backed down, because he himself is also not Mekayem the "Loy Soguru Mipney Ish".

#29 is right.

The problem is at the top. If the spiritual leadership would give the proper Daas Torah there could never possibly even exists any "elitist" who do such wrong.

Because if the so called "Daas Torah", would have set the tone that this type of behavior is so wrong and so shameful, then the "elitist" would have been ashamed of themselves to even ask for it, because it would mean, that by the fact that they are even asking for this, it defines them as no longer being "elitist" only dirt instead, IF true that they are going against Daas Torah

So the real root of the problem is with the so called "Daas Torah" - plain in simple - this IS the problem and nothing else.

If Daas Torah would come out to to define such behavior as wrong, it would never have happened to begin with or would be put to an end in an instant.

So why do you think is at the root cause of this problem except for the leadership who refuses to set the record strait.


Kiven Deshosik, Shma Mina DeOda Ley !!!

This shameful behavior is indirectly approved, endorsed and encouraged by so called "Daas Torah".

If "there were not enough schools", (baloney!) they would not fear "lossing" elete

48

 Jan 28, 2016 at 11:56 PM Heeb Says:

Reply to #42  
berylyoseph Says:

They are not accepting Sepharadim and they are correct, If the Sepharadim themselves , including the Shas party leadership in Israel insist on getting accepted into Ashkenazi mosdos, and learning the Ashkenazi way, While putting to scorn their heritage, with the so many Gdolei Yisroel, even in the last generations like the Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh, Ramchal, Rav Chido, Rav Chaim Palagi, Ben Ish Chai, Sdei Chemed, Kaf Hachaim and many others you could look up in Yalkut Yosef, It's a mida keneged mida,

Except that i live on long Island where there are no sephardi schools, unlike EY where there is one on every corner. And besides, how does a yeshiva that accepts donations tell a yid no, because of where his grandfather was born? ?

49

 Jan 29, 2016 at 12:40 AM berylyoseph Says:

Reply to #48  
Heeb Says:

Except that i live on long Island where there are no sephardi schools, unlike EY where there is one on every corner. And besides, how does a yeshiva that accepts donations tell a yid no, because of where his grandfather was born? ?

If there is no other frum school in the area, Rav Elyashiv has already ruled, that the school must remain closed until they accept your son, In the meantime their tfillos and learning go to the' Sitra achra' R"L,

50

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