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Why Did HaRav Edelstein Stop The Kahal From Singing “U’Vchein Tzaddikim”?

In the course of the hakafos shniyos on Motzei Chag on Monday night at Yeshivas Ponevezh, hundreds of talmidim began singing “U’vchein tzaddikim” when the Rosh Yeshivah, HaRav HaGaon Gershon Edelstein began to speak.

However, HaRav Edelstein immediately motioned for the bochurim to stop the song. In a video of the incident [seen below], HaRav Edelstein could be seen explaining his opposition to the song to Reb Leizer Kahaneman.

The incident quickly became a topic of discussion as the Rosh Yeshivah generally does not stop the bochurim from singing for him.

Chareidi journalist Yonasan Birnbaum explained what happened, saying that he asked a member of HaRav Edelstein’s household what the Rosh Yeshivah whispered to Reb Leizer. He said that HaRav Edelstein explained to him that he stopped the song because “it’s not appropriate to sing songs with words from the Yamim Noraim over the course of the year because it arouses the middas haDin.”

One of HaRav Edelstein’s close talmidim told Kikar H’Shabbat that the Rosh Yeshivah has expressed his opposition several times in the past to Yamim Noraim songs being sung during the year.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

8 Responses

  1. elu velu divrei elokim chaim – by rav wolfson shlita neilas hachag he chose 3 rosh hashana songs as the final messg and theme of tishrei – veyada kol paul..,hamamlich melochim.. chamol
    fascinating how gedolei yisroel viewed the ” proper” hashakafa & hagahsa so differently and each tzad can bring marei mekomos galore to back them up
    as the song ends vachassidim berina yagilu

  2. To meir G On Yom tov I saw the pamphlet from Harav Avigdor Miller that’s distributed in shuls. In the weekly question he says its better to sing at hakofos songs with words and as he says, “to knock the posuk’s message into your head.” I found that interesting, because I know that i many chasidishe places they davka sing songs without words. I read somewhere that even zemerois that are placed to words first sing the song and then say the words, so as you said elu velu divrei elokim chaim

  3. This song has been sung in Yeshivos for generations on שמחת תורה Another song is אשרי מי שלא ישכחך. also from ימים נוראים.

  4. @meir_G: I wonder if Rav Gershon would’ve actually agreed to have these songs at a ne׳ilas hachag, because ne’ilas hachag, until havdala, at least some level of kedushas yom tov – and this yom tov so happened to be Simchas Torah, when the minhag in many places is to use the tunes of the yomim nora’im…
    Rav Gershon himself, however, was attending hakafos sheniyos in what was in Eretz Yisroel already actual MOTZA’EI yom tov.
    What do you think?

  5. @roshvrishon: See what I wrote to @meir_G above, if you get a chance.
    Lechoireh the singing of such songs at hakafos, etc., is not objectionable because on Simchas Torah itself the Minhag in davening is to use the tune of yomim noraim (at least for some parts), so you can see that tunes of yomim noraim are not a problem in Simchas Torah and make the extension to songs at hakafos, as well… not so neilas hachag on motzaei Simchas Torah.

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