MAILBAG: Yasher Koach To Lakewood Rabbonim – Will Other Neighborhoods Do The Same This Purim?

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I have nothing but praise for the Roshei Yeshiva and Rabbonim of Lakewood. They took a bold move and put out strict guidelines for this coming Purim. They cancelled their Purim Mesiba. These decisions were likely painful and hard to make. Yet they did them, and they should be lauded and commended.

The Rabbonim of Los Angeles have released a letter calling on out of towners NOT to come and collect there. It was signed by just about every Rov in Los Angeles.

What about Flatbush, Boro Park, Williamsburg, Monsey, Five Towns, Chicago, Crown Heights etc etc? Will we hear similar announcements from our leadership?

Besides for the sakonas nefashos of even one person getting sick and rachmana litzlan dying, what about the potential Chillul Hashem that will be caused?

Should people celebrate and be b’simcha? Absolutely! Let them do it in smaller private gatherings. Let Shuls have their oilam together in their own Shul. Let people drink and be mikayem the mitzvas hayom. But do it on a quieter scale. There is no reason to allow total strangers into our homes, thus risking our lives.

Please, let’s see some action, and let’s save lives.

Wishing everyone a Freilchen and safe Purim.

Name withheld upon request.

NOTE: The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of YWN.

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25 COMMENTS

  1. Yasher koach to the author of the letter.
    P.S. Am I the only one who finds this stock photo a bit offensive? Do we suspend all the usual norms of tzinius and proper appearances for bnai torah in the name of ad shelo yadah.

  2. I think year after year many people seem to forget what Purim is and what it’s all about. I sense that with each passing year there is more and more Gashmious and less Ruchnious, or more “Bar” than “Mitzvah” as the saying goes. On Purim we have a few obligations 1. Megillah. 2. Gifts for the poor. 3. Shaloch Manos (perfectly halachically acceptable to give a bag of peanuts and pretzels to one individual, and ‘call it a day’). Agreeably, the Seudah has an important framework for the day, which I believe all sense of the Mitzvah often get’s thrown in the garbage. Let me ask others—- is there more sincere Divrei Torah given, or more alcohol for minors and over-the-top for adults? Is there a conscience effort to display a Kiddush Hashem or a Chillul Hashem in the neighborhoods? Do most people have a proper Birkas Hamazon and Mincha/Maariv, or does that turn into a disrespectful display towards Hakadosh Baruch Hu? As we are learning about continuing modestly budgeted weddings in a post-Covid era, perhaps we can take a lesson or two from this upcoming Purim, and actually practice Purim the way it has been for hundreds of years; BEFORE all of the unnecessary Shtick. Call me the Grinch who stole X-Mas.

  3. Does that mean that there will not be trucks and cars playing loud music well into the night?

    Does that mean that we will not be interrupted during Krias Megillah by kids banging their pushkas?

    Does that mean that we will actually be able to fulfill all the mitzvos of the Purim obligations without the resistance of marauding gangs that are dressed like fools and pressuring us for huge donations to their mosdos?

    Does that mean that our children will not be exploited to balance the budgets of their yeshivos?

  4. This all should have been done last year Purim even more so, than this Purim:- Why wasn’t it done last Purim? I thought Rabbonim have such far penetrating insight with their powers of דעת-תורה

  5. @the little i know: You takka dont know much. Why don’t you move to Harlem and enjoy the sound of gunshots night after night instead of the beautiful noise caused by our wonderful wondeful bnei aliyah who are enjoying the wonderous Yom Tov of Purim!
    Really!?The kids banging their pushkas during megillah. I’d like to chk that out. Hasnt happened in any shul but yours…
    “marauding gangs that are dressed like fools and pressuring us for huge donations to their mosdos?” _ You must mean Choshuve Bnei Yeshiva dressed up giving you the greatest mitzvah and oppurtunity. BTW the reason you were given money by HKBH in the first place. Not to buy yourself your ballabatishe lease and go on a five star Cancun/Dubai vacation for 10K or more!?!?
    “Does that mean that our children will not be exploited to balance the budgets of their yeshivos?” Excuse me!? Let us start with this. Did you pay full tution. If you are part of the hamoin am you probably didnt. Now, the children/Bochurim enjoy the collecting on Purim. They have -or should have- unending Hakaros Hatov to their respective Yeshivos. It is their greatest zchus to go around one day of the year and help pay back a tipah she’b’yam of the overwhelming gratitude they have for their mosdos.

    I am sorry but your opinion is tainted by obviously cloudy glasses on your mind. May HKBH send you a complete refuah quickly!!!!!!!!!!

    Happy Purim!!!

  6. This Yasher Koach business is pathetic . This isn’t a matter for me and you to decide what’s right or wrong . You can decide for yourself what to do , but this whole business as if Lakewood did the right thing and who’s fallowing to do it too and not be scared . Who are you to say YASHER KOACH ? Good morning , every Rav can decide themselves what’s right or wrong . Maybe we should say YASHER KOACH TO REB CHAIM KANIEVSKI FOR OPENING ALL YESHVAS IN BNEI BROCK . It’s not our business what klall Yisroel should do . Lakewood did the right thing not because it the right thing only because that was their Dass Torah so for them it’s right no matter yes yasher koach or no . Same with Reb Chaim, he doesn’t need your yasher koach !!!

    But no thanks anyway !!!

    When will come the time that we will all be m’vatel our dass to the manhigay h’dor ? Not because it makes sense only because that’s what they said to do ?

    Ah frailichen Purim

  7. Psak:

    Sorry, but you don’t know me at all. I will not waste my time defending myself. But your accusatory tirade deserves a point by point rebuttal.

    When you try to get some sleep on Purim night, or put your kids to bed around their usual bedtime (with appropriate adjustment for Purim schedule) only to be blasted out of bed by loudspeakers at midnite, do you find it problematic? Or do you rejoice in this new mitzvah of creating noise in the streets?

    Pushkas during megilla. True, I didn’t see it last year. But they were not trained to daven at all, just to disturb anyone else who was davening.

    No, I don’t have a ballabatishe car, nor have ever taken vacations as you insinuate. Nor have I rented costumes or an RV. Tzedokoh for mosdos is as relevant any day of the year, and not special for Purim. Generosity on Purim is wonderful, and all causes are terrific. But making Purim into the campaigns with pressure is unfair. In my neighborhood, the dollar you can afford only triggers greater pressure. That’s not tzedokoh. It has devolved into greed. The only tzedokoh that is a mitzvah special on Purim is Matanos Lo’evyonim. Yeshivas Hineni He’oni is not specific to any day of the year.

    You suggest the Hakoras Hatov is the motivating principle for kids collecting for their yeshivos. I challenge that. It is not. There are some that make incentives for bringing in larger sums. Others mandate minimums, often causing bochurim to prioritize the collecting over mitzvos hayom. I actually encountered several bochurim over the years who missed out on some of the mitzvos because of the pressure imposed by their yeshivos.

    Lastly, I accept your wishes for a refuah shelaimoh with gratitude. You see, I have had some aches and pains lately, and could benefit from the relief coming to me via your brachos.

  8. I really understand the concern of all those Rabunim,Roshei yeshivos.
    My concern is that every year Pirim i managed to raise over $18,000 walking off my foot almost 24 hours and this money went to neighbors and friends and bought them Gift Certificates to buy clothing for their families.
    Those are people who live on the poverty line and they desperate need the money.
    I called one big Bal Tzedukeh who gives me $ 500 every year and he told me due to Covid his business is down 90% and can NOT give any $$ this year.
    Where are all those Rabunim, Askunim when i saw the last few months Large Chasenes,Bar Mitzvehs,Shulks are jammed packed ,No one wears masks in BP,Wmsbg.KJ,Monsey, Lakewood i was by a chasene and only 4 people wore a mask and one man had a shield.
    So Now pirim when thousands of Yidden go collecting for families, anieyeh eretz yisroel, or mosdos tzedukeh this is the place and time we want to protect our self from Covid?
    I understand that we need some form of protection from getting infected, maybe the big bal tzedukeh should sit behind a shield on their table and hand out they money or have envelopes ready and send it to the door.
    Lets NOT forget its a day of Matunes Luevyonim and the Mitzveh of Tzedukeh will shield every yid from any harm.
    Have all a Freilichen Pirim

  9. a few thoughts; corona is not over & the pirud it has made in klal yisroel isnt over .
    purim didnt change , so what did ?in past years , were you happy to see your sons collect in groups , did u go to a mesiba of a rosh yeshiva rebbe or mashpia , did u feel privileged to be a giver on your level and thank hashem vlo al yedei matnas basar vedam…

    the chassidishe neighborhoods will not follow and here are the reasons
    1. umordechai lo yichra.. goyim can well understand ” JEWISH HOLLOWEEN” – in ny metro area the numbers are way down & the local goyim have accepted the fact 1000’s work in the local businesses.. ( to minimise your yomtov because of lomoh yomru hagoyim is a very slippery slope ( out of town is diff. they are more sensitive & the community a more aidel approach as in hatzoloh, shomrim, misaskim…)
    2. the tzedaka is a huge zechus which we desperatly need , adding a line to a kol korei ” to give as other years ..” is easier said than done
    3. yochid verabim; a yochid who feels unsafe or vulnerable has every right to close the door . and daven in a small shtiebel , with few children.. but for a rabbim thats a whole diff story
    4 LAKEWOOD- i made a call to one rav who signed . the rav said as follows that unfortunatly it seems bderech hateva that last year purim was THE SUPER SPREADER its a huge hester panim and neged so much in the seforim about kedushas hayom but it seems “lo zachinu” & there are new strains of covid that have been flying around & no one knows where thats going , the feeling was we can be mekayem the mitzvos hayom w/o safek sakana… i asked this is not AK lobbying for app- that wasnt the ikar, they also felt that as lakewood is moving to other neighborhoods will throw the sitra achara a bone with abig press anouncement

  10. Most yeshivas have not had any protocols in place for covid since elul. Why now, when the bochurim want to have fun do we all of the sudden pretend to care?
    Is it to please the covid crazed people in the neighborhood? The goyim who hate us anyways? The anti yeshivish people?

  11. @the psak
    I wasnt goona write about this issue but you mentioned the Bucherim collecting for Yeshivos i can not with hold not writing me comment:
    Yeshivos put such pressure on teen agers to raise money which i dont have a problem, my children all go collecting for other tzedukahs but to put a number on how much they have to collect is not in line with many parents. My son was given a $300 MUST amount he has to raise other wise I the father has to pay it .
    I live on a very tight budget and barely make ends meet and i pay my tuition every first of the month and i have 3 Bucherim in Yeshiva Ketana paying $750 for each boy and 4 girls in school paying $425 each.
    Now my family is not many who can give more then $3-5 dollars for my kids when they collect so after tramping all day they raised $170-200 . So now do you really feel its fair that i have to come up with the rest to meet the Yeshivas budget. Are my kids the Fundraiser or Talmidim of the Yeshiva?
    and to make the story a bit more real? when my son was in Talmid Torah he had to raise $120 and the boys who brought the money in went on a Trip during time off from school and my son only managed to raise $72 and he included his private mishloach munes money and haD TO SIT HOME by himself with a few other kids who couldnt mee the yeshivas goal and hear next morning from their friends what a good time they had. Is this reall what kidss chinich is all about. We learning now the Parshes of Machtzis Hashekel that the rich and the poor had to give a Machtzis but when it came to Nidves Hamishken every one gave what they could afford. I think its time when parents wake up and protest with their minhal of Yeshivas regarding making our kids Fund Raisers. Yes they suppose to collect but not with such high limits.

  12. To the Psak you sound like Psaki

    who told u why I am wealthy – maybe g-d decide I need to go to the Bhamas and he gave me lots of $$$ so I can

    You guys think its all coming to You
    I forgot only kollel guys can go on vacation.

    a working person need no break – stop being so jealous of us and learn to b happy with what you have

    live and let live its time already

    stop judging people that do something different then you do and you will be a happy camper

  13. the psak, I understand it must be difficult for you to reflect an opposing viewpoint as the Lakewood Rabbonim with regards to Purim. For someone who always says that you never ever question “Daas Torah”, and you just accept it; you should play by the same rules with this ruling. There is no such thing as beautiful noise when it steals the time of others, disturbs the sleep of a child, or blocks traffic. The truth is Purim has gotten out of hand over the past few decades, regardless of Covid. It’s enough with the Chillul Hashem, the out of control alcohol by adults, the abused underaged drinking by minors. There is a time and place for collection of Tzedaka, and believe me— HKBH doesn’t determine anyone’s parnasah on Rosh Hashana based on their viewpoints of screaming and running in the streets for tzedaka during a pandemic. The humble one who partakes in tzedaka by the click of a mouse, or the packing of food for Tomchei Shabbos on Thursday evenings has a tremendous share in the World to Come—- and who would have thought that’s still possible without masquerading in the streets late into the night. Talk about cloudy glasses, unbelievable.

  14. @ eli willner (Rav Eli Willner) – Yiyasher kochacha! Yiyasher kochacha for all three of your comments, and yiyasher kochacha for putting your name to those comments!
    @ 147 – Firstly last year the very non-Jewish governments and most health officials were NOT themselves calling for this. Nonetheless, Rabbonim, numerous Rabbonim, Roshei Yeshiva, Manhigim, etc. were calling fro curtailed Purim celebrations. Sections were made and some degree of social distancing was being requested. These are the SAME Rabbonim who closed the Yeshivos ahead of the Government. These are the same Rabbonim who cancelled all minyanim and then made outdoor minanim under very strick guidelines. I echo Eli Willner’s comments above.
    @ The Little I Know – EXPLOIT our Children! I call that CHINUCH ha’bonim. Certainly FAR LESS exploiting than taking them to Florida for mid-winter, Eretz Yisroel for Succos, Dubai for Pesach, Colorodo for the Summer, . . .A far better message than custom made suits for Bar Mitzvah boys and expensive gowns for girls for their second cousin’s wedding.
    $30,000 brisin? $50,000 Bar Mitzvahs? $100,000 chasunos? And your issue is training the bochri in the chiyuv of hakoras Tov and of hachzokas ha’Torah? Once again, I echo the comments of R’ Eli Willner.

  15. “I have nothing but praise “for people who keep their mouth shut and not project their approvals and endorsements of greater people then them decisions, nauseous, no one needs your opinion on your haskoma of what the gedolim did or did not due keep quite

  16. Wow, looks like ad de lo yoda has reached us early this year. What’s all this nagging and critisizing each other with such fire ? everyone is entitled to his opinion. And as for the rabonim i agree totaly with Eli Wilner that they do not need our haskomo no matter which way they pasken.

  17. It would be worthwhile for intelligent people who care about the Daya of Talmidei Chachamim, to carefully read the Kol Koreh that was promulgated in Lakewood, and to strive to understand the nuanced and balanced approach that the Rabbanim have outlined.

    All would benefit.

  18. shuali:

    Your chutzpah is duly noted. You commented on my earlier comment as follows: “@ The Little I Know – EXPLOIT our Children! I call that CHINUCH ha’bonim. Certainly FAR LESS exploiting than taking them to Florida for mid-winter, Eretz Yisroel for Succos, Dubai for Pesach, Colorodo for the Summer, . . .A far better message than custom made suits for Bar Mitzvah boys and expensive gowns for girls for their second cousin’s wedding.”

    Firstly, the chinuch for tzedokoh is to give, not take. You are clearly not versed in the guidance of the gedolei Yisroel on chinuch.

    Next, I am not an advocate for these expensive vacations, nor for the luxuries of custom made suits and gowns. Insinuating that I am is an exercise in falsehood. Do recall, Midvar sheker tirchok.

    There is a place for some collecting. But it has become a preoccupation, and a mode of pressure. I understand that mosdos are hurting now, with some of their larger donors unable to continue their philanthropy. I also recognize that many fund raising events have been cancelled due to the pandemic. I repeat that tzedokoh for anything but evyonim is a great mitzvah that zero specific connection to Purim. The mitzvos of the day cannot be done at another time. And driving kids and bochurim to meet minimums is bizarre.

    Next, Hakoras Hatov is a fundamental midoh. And like all midos, it is not taught successfully via instruction. It is a feeling one needs to have. No didactic modality can accomplish that. It is taught by example. So, the kid that brings in $200 when the hope of the yeshiva was $300 gets to stay home and be excluded from a class trip. Some Hakoras Hatov being displayed.

    My friend. I would hope you are a bit more aware and informed before you attack. In reality, most Yidden I know distribute far more tzedokoh than they can afford. For myself, I have never been to any exotic vacations, or even non-exotic ones. I take my life of Avodas Hashem and parnosoh very seriously, and there are no breaks. If I don’t go to Dubai, am I still in your crosshairs?

  19. @TheLittleIKnow
    Siman 4285 Siuf 6 I agree with u in banging on pushikis that it’s assur but do u understand the amount of zchusim by giving tzedaka to bachurim and helping them shteig in yeshiva.
    @DavtheKanoi Who cares about the london???