By Rabbi Yair Hoffman for

There is a story in the frum Jewish websites that has many in the Torah world up in arms.  A Mesivta, somewhere in Lakewood, has allegedly thrown out fifty bochurim for having left the Yeshiva to attend the Skulener Rebbe’s levaya in Brooklyn this past Wednesday.  The Yeshiva’s decision has received condemnation from nearly every circle.

The point of this article is to clarify and remove some of the misinformation that is out there.  Hopefully, this will lead to greater Kiddush Hashem and not Chillul Hashem.

  • This Yeshiva is unique in that they have a policy of strict learning. They do not have any Bain haZmanim.  The Zman continues until the day before Pesach.
  • The Yeshiva is very “old school” and will be very strict if rules are not kept.
  • The Yeshiva is open about its strict policies of expulsion if the rules are not adhered to.
  • The Rosh Yeshiva is not by any means, anti-Chasidish. He himself has a chassidish background.  He was also a Talmid of Rav Paller, Rav Beryl Soloveitchik, and Rav Aharon Kotler.
  • The Rosh Yeshiva himself was very close to the Skulener Rebbe zt”l.
  • The Rosh Yeshiva himself fasted taanaisim when he heard that the Skulener Rebbe was ill.
  • The Rosh Yeshiva spoke on Tuesday night about his Rebbe, Rav Aharon Kotler zt”l’s position of not attending a levaya if it is out of town. He cited a Yerushalmi (Psachim 3:7) that the parameters of being mevatel Talmud Torah and going to a levaya (See Kesuvos 17a) are only if it is in town.
  • When Rav Elya Svei zt”l passed away, the Rosh Yeshiva forbade the high school bochurim from attending the levaya when it was out of town.

The Rosh Yeshiva has expelled students in the past for similar infractions.  Some have been allowed back in after they had learned their lesson.  Others were to find other Yeshivos.

There are efforts being made by Gedolei Torah to reach out to the Rosh Yeshiva to allow the Talmidim back in.  The Rosh Yeshiva had already stated that anyone that had davened and fasted for the Skulener Rebbe to have a refuah shleimah should come.

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