Chief Rabbi of Bnei Brak HaGaon HaRav Moshe Yehuda Leib Landau – a Lubavitcher?

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    Does anyone know how it came to be that the position of Chief Rabbi of Bnei Brak was filled by a widely respected Lubavitcher chosid, HaGaon HaRav Moshe Yehuda Leib Landau z”l?


    Why didn’t he dress the Lubavitcher way? He wore an uphat (shtreimal?), bekeshe, etc.

    Sechel HaYashar

    Rav Landau A”h was a devoted Lubavitcher Chassid, and served as Rosh Yeshiva of Tomchei Tmimim HaMerkozis – Kfar Chabad, until the passing of his father, Rav Yaakov Landau A”h in 5746. He did not wear a Shtreimel or bekeshe, he wore a traditional Rabbonishe hat, the kind many other Lubavitcher Rabbonim wore, and a Kapote.

    He became Rov of Bnei Brak after his father who had previously held the position passed away. Initially he declined to accept the role, and only did so after the Lubavitcher Rebbe pushed him to. He was opposed by many of the Roshei Yeshiva of Bnei Brak due to him being a Lubavitcher Chassid. Some wanted the position to go to Rav Shmuel Wosner A”h, however the latter insisted that Rav Landau become Rov.

    Uncle Ben

    For this you have to go further back in time to the era of the Chazon Ish who convinced Rav Yaakov Landa zt”l to become the Rav of Bnei Brak. Rav Yaakov was a chosid of the Rebbe Rashab of Lubavich. Rav Yaakov in his tzavaah wrote that Rav Moshe should replace him. At that time the Mayor of Bnei Brak, Moshe Irenstein was Chasidish and pushed through the Rabonus of Rav Moshe despite the opposition of the Litvishe tzibur. It is my understanding that Rav Moshe zt”l was not so involved with the last Lubavicher Rebbe until he visited New York in the early 80’s. Despite the opposition to his Rabonus, Rav Moshe harbored no ill feelings to those who opposed him. As a relative I know this firsthand.
    Boruch Hashem there is now an agreement between the Litvish & Chasidish communities as to the future Rabonus of the city.


    Many Lubavitcher Rabbonim wear a traditional Rabbonishe uphat even though the Lubavitcher Rebbe himself did not, and rather wore the same downhat as the vast majority of his Chasidim?


    He was appointed by his father.


    He inherited it from his father, who was also a Lubavitcher. When he was appointed, in 1936, Bnei Brak was a very different place, and there was no reason to be surprised at the appointment of a Lubavitcher rov.

    Sechel HaYashar

    “Many Lubavitcher Rabbonim wear a traditional Rabbonishe uphat even though the Lubavitcher Rebbe himself did not, and rather wore the same downhat as the vast majority of his Chasidim?”

    Yes. The Rebbe wasn’t a “Rov”, he was the Rebbe. Besides, the Rebbe never wore Rabbonishe clothing, before becoming Rebbe he wore a simple hat and jacket.


    Lubavitch was a different Lubavitch before the 7th Rebbe.

    Neville ChaimBerlin

    The better question is, how did there end up being an alternative, Litvish Chief Rabbi appointed along side him this time around?


    I think it was mid-80’s when he was accepted as chief rabbi. That was at height of “machines”.

    I assume he kept all Chabad customs. Yet no one took issue if he didn’t sleep in sukka or had cake before davening. People of Bnei Brak were smart and recognized him as a gaon and yirei shamayim.

    In fact, his hechsher is one of most respected on Israel (despite the various issues people make on various hashgochas).


    As the Av Bais Din of Bnei Brak since 1986, no one dared call this Lubavitcher someone that does not properly keep halacha or not part of klal yisroel. Such a notion would be considered silly. Yet there are plenty on the threads that make such postings on thousands of Lubavitchers, including using terms as avoda zara, apikoros…and “blame” it on a few real Gedolim of our days…how can the two realities co-exist????


    they dont mean it literally. they are saying that focusing on the personality of a man is getting/got dangerously out of line. You have to be a fool not to agree.

    Neville ChaimBerlin

    “Yet no one took issue if he didn’t sleep in sukka or had cake before davening.”

    If he ate cake before davening, he was over an issur. If he didn’t sleep in the sukkah when he could have, he was mevatel a mitzvah. Need to hear me say it again?

    Obviously, everyone was against these practices if he held of them. Silence does not imply approval. And, I don’t think you want to say it does, because then how would you explain the Rebbe’s “silence” on meshichism?


    Uncle Ben – The Chazon Ish himself had great respect for Chabad, even though they did not see eye to eye. A ben bayis of the Chazon Ish, Horav Gershen Henoch Cohen z”l (a famed sofer in Meah She’arim) was married for a long time without children. THe Chazon Ish was like a father to him. In the last year of the Chazon Ish’s life R’ Gershon Henoch cried to 0the Chazon Ish for a brocha for children. The Chazon Ish told him, I cannot help you, but ask the Lubavitcher for a brocha.This was in the early 50’s when the Lubavitcher just became Rebbe. R’ Geshon Henoch told me this story personally when I was once in his shop. He then pointed to his son and said, this is the result of that brocha. He finished by saying that the gedolim knew the value of other gedolim, even when they disagreed with them.


    Someone above posited in a comment that Lubavitch became a totally different entity after the last Rebbe assumed leadership than it was under all the previous Lubavitcher Rebbes.

    Does anyone disagree with that?


    NDC -“If he ate cake before davening, he was over an issur.”

    Who says? Did you learn the MB over there?


    “Does anyone disagree with that?”
    Do you?
    You interested in an answer, or you set already and not interested?

    Doreish HaEmes

    Rebbitzen, are you totally stupid. Are you really saying now, since you found one lubavitcher that was accepted it now gives license to anyone lubavitch to do whatever they want.
    Joseph, 100 percent true, lubavitch for the most part made a wrong turn and many of them today are mixed up in their hashkafos. It doesn’t mean that everyone lubavitch is a kofer.
    I was flying back from EY and sitting across the isle from me was a lubavitch bachur, maybe 15 years old. Before he began ‘davening’ shacharis he took out a picture of the rebbe from his tefilin bag, propped it up on his tray table and began praying (to him).
    Rebbitzen I’m not sure what makes you assume R Landau followed all the controversial customs of chabad. I won’t comment because I dont know, but one thing I do know he did not pray to an image of the rebbe!

    Sechel HaYashar

    “Does anyone disagree with that?”

    All the people who come with that stupidity have never seen anything the previous Rebbeim ever said or wrote. Every single taayne you have on Lubavitch in it’s seventh generation I’ll find you in previous generations. People like LerentNishtTorah get nispoel by Shtreimelach and bekeshes, therefore think the previous Rebbeim were somehow different. In truth, no Lubavitcher Chassidim wore Bekeshes, just regular long jackets, and later on, short ones. They didn’t have the hats of Hungarian and Polish Chassidim, they wore a Kasket. And ONLY Beis HoRav wore a spodik, on special occasions. Sorry to ruin it for you LerntNishtTorah, Joseph, and anyone else.

    Eating Mezonos before Davening is from the Tzemach Tzedek, the third Rebbe.

    Not sleeping in the Sukka is from the times of the Alter Rebbe, the founder of Chabad.

    Shlichus always existed, but in it’s current form is from the Frierdiker Rebbe (6th Rebbe).

    The special Koch in learning Chassidus was always there, and became part of Sidrei HaYeshiva with the opening of Tomchei Tmimim by the Rebbe Rashab, the fifth Rebbe.

    And so on and so forth…


    AsAv Beis Din / Chief Rabbi, accepted by all the residents of Bnei Brak, including those who know halacha very well, yet, they had no issue with him, notwithstanding he was a Lubavitcher chosid that did ALL the hanhogos of Lubavitch, including activities that people “claim” is contrary to halacha.

    Clearly if the Av Bais Din of a frum community would act not 100% according to halacha, he would have been immediately removed from his position.

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