June 26, 2013 1:13 pm at 1:13 pm #609795
I posted in the RCA thread that I spoke with my Rav this past weekend about the letter to Chacham Ovadia Yosef. During our talk, he brought up the issue of Askanim. He didn’t have very nice things to say about them.
Let’s face it. Askanim manipulate people to serve their own ideals. They are even able to manipulate Rabbonim these days. How many times does a psak come out, only for us to hear a few days later that the Rav was told incomplete information from some askan? It happened a few years ago with the concert fiasco. R’ Shmuel Kaminetsky said after the fact that it was a mistake, and the letter was signed due to pressure from an askan.
There are plenty of of other cases. Some never even make it to the public. Very often, it’s not even an active thing on the part of the askan. I had times where there were guys in yeshiva or camp whose parents were askanim, and the kids got away with whatever they wanted, because the hanhalah was scared to do anything which might offend the parent! This goes against what the Torah says regarding judgement – you must be completely neutral, and not take any wealth or lack of wealth into consideration.
My Rav said the partners of askanim is “The Board”. Almost every institution has one, and they sometimes twist the arms of the Rabbonim to say what the Board wants to hear.
Why do we allow this to continue? Askanim need to know that they are no better than anyone else.June 26, 2013 2:39 pm at 2:39 pm #961311
the issue of Askanim
Askanim are a very good thing. Folks that don’t like what the Rabbonim and Gedolim say blame it on the “askanim” since they are embarrassed to admit they are against the rabbonim/gedolim.
Askanim manipulate people to serve their own ideals. They are even able to manipulate Rabbonim these days.
Baloney. You just don’t like what the rabbonim tell you and need and excuse to disregard it. The askanim are a convenient target.
How many times does a psak come out, only for us to hear a few days later that the Rav was told incomplete information from some askan?
It happens excruciatingly rarely.
It happened a few years ago with the concert fiasco. R’ Shmuel Kaminetsky said after the fact that it was a mistake, and the letter was signed due to pressure from an askan.
That is incorrect. The signatories never retracted and they stood by their original ban and statement. And Rav Shmuel never said what you misquote him with.
whose parents were askanim
Please define who you see as these mightly scary behind-the-scenes conspiracy causing “askanim”. Who are they, what are they, how does one become one and how do you know who is one of these scary monsters?June 26, 2013 3:41 pm at 3:41 pm #961312
just my hapenceParticipant
Hi Joseph!June 26, 2013 4:02 pm at 4:02 pm #961313
I am an askan. I have never manipulated a single Rav. I have also been extremely cautious in presenting information to rabbonim, including being brutally honest with information, and never pressuring anyone to pasken or take any action based on my word alone. Yet, I am aware that there are certain askanim that do exactly as is alleged in the OP. I can say, having spoken directly to many rabbonim, that there were many forged or coerced signatures on some of the bans on some things. In the case of Rav Shmuel shlit”a, his signatures were elicited by direct manipulation. he stated so publicly, and I heard it from him directly.
I would not brand all askanim as dishonest, not even a majority. But there are those that give a bad name to rest of us. It’s unfortunate, because many, if not most, of the advances that have happened in Klal Yisroel for the past many years are direct results of the work of askanim.
Have any readers here ever attended a levaya ch”v of someone famous? There is some organization and order, including police protection in place. Just who arranges that? Askanim. There are countless examples I can cite, but will not spend the time now. There is much work to do.
??? ????? ???? ???? ??? ??????? ????? ???????? ????? ????? ???? ???? ???? ????.June 26, 2013 5:05 pm at 5:05 pm #961314
The little I know
zeyer gut gezogt!June 26, 2013 6:12 pm at 6:12 pm #961315
An Askan went to the Vilna Gaon and told him he saw a Chassid eating on Tshia B’av with a female on his lap.
The Vilna Gaon then declared Chassdim Apikorsus and put them in Cherem.
The Askan DID NOT tell the Vilna Gaon the the Female was his grandaughter and it was Shabbos Tsha B’av (When eating is permitted)June 26, 2013 7:08 pm at 7:08 pm #961316
Pardon my ignorance, but what is an askan?June 26, 2013 7:12 pm at 7:12 pm #961317
HmmJune 26, 2013 7:16 pm at 7:16 pm #961318
An Askan is an advisorJune 26, 2013 8:41 pm at 8:41 pm #961319
I don’t believe that this is true. Do you have a real source other than yours or someone else’s imagination?June 26, 2013 9:31 pm at 9:31 pm #961320
Who determines who is an askan? Is it a self determined position?June 26, 2013 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm #961321
Askanim are communal lay leaders, smooth-talking and behind-the-scenes operators.June 26, 2013 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm #961322
In the context of this discussion, an askan is someone who gets involved in various individual or communal issues to try and resolve problems. Here are just a few examples:
Ploni was arrested for driving without his drivers license. He needs to be gotten out of jail, and allow the judicial processes to continue without incarceration.
There is a large affair, wedding, Hachnosas Sefer Torah, asifa, levaya r”l, which will require crowd control and assistance from various government and law enforcement agencies.
Some of the activities of known organizations such as Hatzoloh, Shomrim, etc. are askanus.
Issues in many of the frum communities are addressed by askanim (as opposed to officials of any sort), such as bike lanes in neighborhoods that are offended by such traffic, parking issues, communal locations for burning chometz, the famous islands that obstructed traffic near Maimonides Hospital, etc. These issues are generally brought to authorities, but it is tireless work of dedicated volunteers (a.k.a. askanim) that facilitate these solutions.June 27, 2013 12:27 am at 12:27 am #961323
I think (hope?) that zahavasdad’s story here was a joke.June 27, 2013 10:32 am at 10:32 am #961324
We all know the Vilna Gaon put chassidim in Cherem .
I think we all also know that the Baal Shem Tov was a great Tzadik as were many of the early like Reb Levi Yitzchak of Berdichev. (They were all Tzadikkim)
Have you ever wondered why the Vilna Gaon put them in cherem.June 27, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am #961325
Without getting into the Rav Stav , Rav Yosef affair to far.
I was told a list of controversial poskenings of Rav Stav was published and passed around and out of context they looked bad. However upon further review they were reasonable.
They are murmurings that askanim gave these Pskaks out of context to Rav YosefJune 27, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm #961326
In any community consisting of many people, there are some nice ones and some who are not nice. There are good plumbers, and bad ones. There are good Bnei Kollel, and bad ones. There are good Rabbonim and bad ones. There are good pilots, and bad ones. There are good askanim, and bad ones.
I’ve previously self identified as an askan. I am familiar with many others, and some of us are wonderful people, adhering to very strong ethics and Torah values. And there are some who are “shvitzers” who are only invested in themselves, getting their thrills from being involved in Klal issues. These latter creatures are not among those who we label, every Shabbos, as ?????? ????? ????? ??????. The last word, ?????, says a lot. And it is the difference between those who take ???? ???? out of context to manipulate people, and those who volunteer their personal time to assist others, ???? or ????? to make the world a better place. It is the instruction in Pirkei Avos (1:2):
??? ??????? ?? ?????? ???? ?????? ???? ??? ????
Just as anyone here would investigate a prospective shidduch for a child, or might inquire to know more about a therspist, one should seek references about an askan. The majority, probably an overwhelming one are great ???? ???. Statistically, one might well do well to expect any given askan to be an upright and honest person. But there are exceptions that are newsworthy (dog bites man is not newsworthy, but man bites dog is). It shouldn’t hurt to investigate.June 27, 2013 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm #961327
“Have you ever wondered why the Vilna Gaon put them in cherem.”
How is that an answer? Sara Schneirer was also in cherem (by many of the then gedolei hador) for a period of time.June 27, 2013 1:22 pm at 1:22 pm #961328
You have to stop murmuring in your sleep. Or alternatively, believe those murmurings as much as we believe anything else you say.June 27, 2013 2:11 pm at 2:11 pm #961329
It might be that some askanim do good things
However the possible poisoning of many situations There are others that you can think of that wont be named here have far been worse than any good they might have doneJune 27, 2013 3:09 pm at 3:09 pm #961330
I guess we should just ban askanus.
We’ll let Hatzalah, Bikur Cholim, Misaskim and all like organizations and people who help the klal and rabbonim know to close down.June 27, 2013 4:57 pm at 4:57 pm #961331
Pardon my ignorance, but what is an askan?
It’s Yiddish for Tuna Bagel.June 27, 2013 5:05 pm at 5:05 pm #961332
However the possible poisoning of many situations There are others that you can think of that wont be named here have far been worse than any good they might have done
ZD: You are confusing two groups of people. The first group works with those outside the “orginized community”, and does much good. These are the Misaskim, Hatzolah, Food Pantry, and other org. that do much good for the Klal. It also includes those who interface between the people and the government, such as the Agudah. These groups/Askanim are (IMHO) good for the Klal.
On the other side, you have those who work within the “orginized community”, and interface between the community and its leaders. These are the “Gaboim”, “convincers” and “Hockers”, who push the leaders of the community to do things they would not have done otherwise. They create a layer of separation between the leaders and the people, and those are the problem.June 27, 2013 5:21 pm at 5:21 pm #961333
Most askanim do nice things. Most pilots land their planes safely. Most plumbers fix leaks well. It’s incompetent and plainly dishonest to brand the many who volunteer their own time for the good of Klal Yisroel as anything less than Baalei Chesed, from which you benefit as well as others. Moshe Rabbeinu gave serious mussar to Klal Yisroel (????? ??? ?? ?’ ?”?) when they said ?????? ??? ???? ????? in complaining about the ??, where he called them ????? ???? ??? ????? ????. To reject the extents of chesed done for you is a despicable trait, and there are so many askanim from whom you derive direct and indirect benefit. There are rotten apples in every barrel, and they should be held responsible for their actions. Meanwhile, those ?????? ????? ????? ?????? are recognized in public every single Shabbos, and are given accolades recognizing that they are deserving of ???, as well as ????? ??????, and ?????, for their ??????, above and beyond what they may otherwise earn from their ????? ?????.June 27, 2013 5:51 pm at 5:51 pm #961334
ZD: Learn some history. The Gra put them in Cherem because he held they were the opposite of Tzaddikim…June 27, 2013 5:57 pm at 5:57 pm #961335
GAW I think you decribed it best.
I was always told Hatzalah, Tomche Shabbos and Misaskim were more Tzdekahs not Askans
An Askan as I was told is
On the other side, you have those who work within the “orginized community”, and interface between the community and its leaders. These are the “Gaboim”, “convincers” and “Hockers”, who push the leaders of the community to do things they would not have done otherwise. They create a layer of separation between the leaders and the people, and those are the problem.June 27, 2013 5:58 pm at 5:58 pm #961336
BTW I think the OP was also referreing to
On the other side, you have those who work within the “orginized community”, and interface between the community and its leaders. These are the “Gaboim”, “convincers” and “Hockers”, who push the leaders of the community to do things they would not have done otherwise. They create a layer of separation between the leaders and the people, and those are the problem.
And not Hatzalah, Tomche Shabbos and Misakim
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