The verbal and even physical assaults against Rabbi David Stav are despicable and should be denounced by one and all, including the chareidi tzibur. Treating a person with respect, especially a rav/dayan is not contingent on following his hashkafa!
While Rabbi Stav’s hashkafa may not be in line with a chareidi lifestyle, the man is unquestionable a talmid chacham, a rav who is dedicating his entire life to kiruv and ahavas chinam, and there is no justification for acting disrespectfully towards him. To his credit, and it can’t be easy, he continues to take the blows while acting as one would expect a talmid chacham to act.
We, regular people, are not expected to nor is it our job to be the interpreter for Gedolei Hador Shlita, and the comments against Rav Stav by Rav Ovadia Yosef Shlita are to be left as they are. We are not electing the next chief rabbi and we do not have a hand in the process, but to speak ill of a Torah scholar is a chilul Hashem and of this there can be no doubt.
Not that it matters, but Rav Stav grew up chareidi, in the Belz community, and has a connection with the Rebbe Shlita. For his own reasons he decided to walk the path of a Zionist rav and he continues to bring people back to the fold. For those who have even a slight clue of the work carried out by Tzohar Rabbis, you are aware that literally thousands of lost souls attend Yom Kippur davening in one of the hundreds and hundreds of Tzohar minyanim around Israel run by dati leumi talmidim and bnei Torah. Tzohar mohels conduct britot on many children that may otherwise not have a Halachic bris, and there is never an issue of money. The Tzohar rabbonim are polite, courteous and never take a dime, always out there to make a Kiddush Hashem. They are not running from one bris to another, but patiently address each case and do their best to involve the tzibur. I have seen this many times and they are to be commended. It is that simple.
One may say Rav Ovadia is against him and that is fine, but to add the negative rhetoric and disparaging comments is simply out of place for an observant Jew. When YWN posted the letter giving moral support to the rabbi from the RCA, readers dared to mock that organization as well. It is high time that chareidi Jews learn there are many faces to Orthodox Jewry as well and Boro Park, Flatbush or Golders Green have not cornered the market on mitzvah observance. Many of the rabbonim of the RCA are talmidei chachamim too and we have no option other than to remain silent or speak of them in a respectful tone. Let’s leave running the world to Hashem and the Gedolim, and while there may be a dispute on exactly who the Gadol Hador is, it is not likely to be one commenting on an internet site, which by the way has been prohibited by Gedolim too.
On an aside, it is humorous how we saw photos of the giant conference against the internet held in NJ, as many chareidim were busy texting and looking at Blackberries and iPhones, but this for one reason or another is acceptable while refraining from badmouthing Rabbi Stav or others like him is not an option. Please, explain this to me.
So my fellow surfers, please hang up your holier than thou attire and get real. Rav Stav’s entire being is dedicated to the Jewish People and while you may not wish to recite Hallel on Yom Haatzma’ut, you do not have a Halachic right to refer to him as “Mr.” or any other way other than respectfully until such time gedolim in Har Nof or Bnei Brak instruct us to do so. There is no benefit to insulting anyone, and no permissibility to level such unacceptable comments in the direction of a rav, a dayan and talmid chacham. Perhaps you are challenged to see one with a knitted yarmulke possibly knowing as much or more than you. I don’t dare pretend to know what irks you, but time to look at the Chafetz Chaim’s sefer perhaps for guidance.
As the Three Weeks approach I think this is the lesson to be learned. Whatever occurs in the Israel Chief Rabbinate race, let Rav Ovadia and the other Torah giants direct us, but for certain, sitting in Israel or elsewhere, it is not our job to act disrespectfully towards any of the candidates.
NOTE: The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of YWN.