Thursday, July 27, 2017

Letter: להחזיר עטרה ליושנה

This is a letter given to me to forward by a very choshuve member of our community that told me he is not ready to speak out publicly yet. He would like these sentiments to be known anonymously.
H. Herskowitz
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Please Take Back Lakewood

It is with a heavy heart and tears in my eyes that I pen these thoughts.
I arrived in Lakewood nearly 40 years ago and never thought that I would ever co have the need to share these feelings with you. I have been a proud member of the Lakewood Yeshivah community for nearly 40 years and sadly what was once a real IHR HATORAH with the ideals and Hashkofos of Reb Ahron ZTL has become a commercialized IHR HATORAH using its very crown and glory to advance monetary gain and financial power. Please don't get me wrong, I am all in favor of financial gain. However I am not a Yeshivah and my job is to grow my business to its greatest potential. The job of the manhigim of BMG is to grow the yeshiva to its greatest heights in Torah and avodas Hashem, while focusing on the great mesorah and Torah Hashkofos of Hagaon Hatzadik Reb Ahron ZTL.
Ironically my suggestion to "Take Back Lakewood" is not addressed to the masses and to those who write in the local blogs.


I am addressing this to the Roshei Hayeshiva who have allowed this great Torah institution to be hijacked by those who do NOT have the TRUE Torah Hashkofos of the rich mesorah that was once Lakewood IHR HATORAH
Certainly those who have tried to use our political system to benefit the yeshiva were with good intention as financial support was needed. However like so many before them they failed to remember the very reason they were involving themselves in politics was only to make certain that our voice was heard and the rights of the Frum community were protected.

Sadly the protectors became opportunists and took advantage of a coalition of votes giving them power to take the very funds and influence meant for the community and use it for their own financial gain. Their personal favors cost us all many possible benefits we could have had, and also placed a huge tax burden on our community.
All this Lmaan Hashem? Lmaan Hatora?

So many controversial issues over the years that have caused irreparable chillul hashem. 
CoGen
Cedar Bridge 
Clifton ave School
Shopping malls 
Oak street corridor 
10th street ball field 

Blue Claws

CHEMED funding
Changing zoning laws and zones to build multi family houses for yourselves and your donors.
Helping the developers to build and destroy the quality of life 
And the list goes on and on 
Are these changes for our benefit?
Have our taxes gone through the roof with the the current leadership? 
Have our streets been paved?

Are the streets even passable most times of the day?
Money has flowed into our community and been used for a select few who have exploited us for their own benefit all while our cost of living has gone up as we subsidized their lifestyle 
Please "TAKE BACK LAKEWOOD" and bring back the glory and crown of Torah that was once OUR IHR HATORAH 

We don't need to help BMG get university status......
It reminds me of Theodore Herzl who wanted the Eretz Hakadosha to be counted as just another nation amongst nations.  
We didnt listen to the insane logic to vote for a Governer who was promoting Toeva marriages with a logic, cloaked as the nochosh did, that it is Hakoras hatov.
I highly doubt that this "Vaad " has the same Hashkofos as the Gaon and Tzadik Reb Ahron ztl. I doubt they ever think about what would Reb Ahron have done?

Just "TAKE BACK LAKEWOOD" and Lakewood will take you back. 

I beseech you all, 
Please don't lose the respect of the very people you are representing in the name of Torah. 




37 comments:

  1. Anyone notice the development being built by the 88 and the tracks has a 6 foot setback? they put up a bunch of houses further in but now have dug what looks like a foundation right up to the curb almost! total disregard of common sense!

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  2. I whole heartedly agree with this letter but with out a name of this chashuva lakewood yid, it is almost meaningless.i cant blame him for not disclosing his name though.

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  3. With all due respect, until "chosheve" people (who truly command respect) are willing to put their names on these types of statements, and name the names of the perpetrators, this will all be laughed at and shrugged off by the people doing these things (while they drive their fancy cars and drink their fancy scotches wearing their crisp white shirts and black hats). A true "chosheve" person is willing to step forward and lead.

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    1. The only chashuva person i know of, from lakewood was thrown out for speaking up but was thrown out of lakewood very viciously and now resides in detroit. You can hear his story on an interview from mr. lichtenstein who runs an online radio station aka podcast.

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    2. if you actually listen to lichtenstein's show he says that he was not "thrown out" of lakewood and says no one acted viciously to him.

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    3. He actually lives in Lakewood

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  4. It's not fair to expect someone to sign their name if you know the history of the culture in town.
    Ask Hershel what happened to him for speaking up. People would not br fearful to speak up and voice their opinions if not for the retribution that has gone on. Newspapers ar ed scared to print articles websites are threatened or bought off. Asking someone to sign his name is suicide.

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  5. It is suicide to sign your name. However , prominent rabbanim who have thier congregation and rashey yeshivos backing him, then there should be very little to deal with.its hypothetical, i know.

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  6. Harold HerskowitzJuly 27, 2017 at 2:00 PM

    I read this letter with tears in my eyes. This said it all. So many people don't remember what it meant to learn in a Yesiva without having a barcode. This generation will not know that shabbos was not about cheesecakes. Shlissel challahs were not a meme. The nine days was not about fish menus and siyums to eat prime rib in a restaurants wine cellar. Purim was not about theme shalach Manos. Chanukah was not about donuts. Jewish magazines were not about every taanug of oilam hazeh And acting as if orthodox Jewry is intimately involved in world politics (remember the Jewish observer?). We have lost our way And we now have leaders to defend it. Rebetzin Richel used to ask that restaurants not have regular seating in order to not create an atmosphere of hefkairus. (Now we have eateries that have chaise lounges where one can relax with their wife and maybe a few of her friends while sipping the latest flavored latte). And askonis had nothing to do with getting yourself and your friends favors at the expense of the common man and creating a chillul hashem.

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    1. Harold HerskowitzJuly 27, 2017 at 2:09 PM

      shavuos was not about cheesecakes. And phones didn't change what you originally wrote

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    2. Lakewood and Klal Yisroel are at a very sad stage. It is depressing when the biggest Yeshiva in America needs to be rebuked by their own talmidim for "going of the Derech"

      This has not been a sudden transformation, but a gradual one until they haave fallen to shaol tachtis. I was around a Gadol Batorah, over 2 decades ago, when BMG honored Guliani, he was extremely upset that the Yeshiva was being oiver on Lo Sachaneim, an issur di'oraysah. Things have only gotten worse since then.

      Yiftach bdoro C'Yehishua B'doro, unfortunately, in America, or at least in Lakewood, there is no Yiftach.

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    3. California swirls !!

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  7. Ah... the good old days....
    Before the Jews came to Lakewood....
    Before the Jews came to America....

    There are no good old days. The world is constantly changing. Jews live in Lakewood. The culture changed.
    Learn to accept it.

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    1. Do you give out iPhones to your children assuming you have, because all their friends have? Do you allow them not to help clean up the house, because none of their friends do? Do do you allow them to talk back to you because that's the Weltenschaung these days? Do you allow your wife to go shopping at Ladi da for $150 baby sweaters, because all of her friends do? Do you drive a fancy leased car because all your neighbors do? Did you get a $2000 bugaboo stroller to push your baby in because that's just the way it is? Or do you secretly long for a simpler, less complicated, more respectable time? Yet, it would seem you're afraid to face your own challenges, so you're telling everyone else to just except their fate, because that's what the times now dictate.

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    2. Anonymous 2:50pm I assume by your post that you are reformed? conservative?

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    3. Dear Ah....,

      Has God changed as well?! I think it's time we amend the ten commandments. Lets start with the fifth verse

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  8. What happened to Lakewood happened to Monsey, Brooklyn, Yerushalayim, let's face it we are a city a Jewish metropolis mot the old Lakewood anymore. Gashmiyus is rampant and societal pressure has invaded our circle. If you want to raise children in a Torah town move to S Fallsburg or to browns mills 30 minutes from lkwd where investors are buying up properties.

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  9. Choshive people do not post anonymous letters to Rosh yeshivas on blogs.

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    1. Harold HerskowitzJuly 27, 2017 at 4:33 PM

      It was sent to me in an email. He wrote it to me and told me I could forward it to others. I don't think he ever read hefkervelt or has internet. He wanted to know what all the tumult was about take back Lakewood. He wanted people to know it is not just overbuilding that is hurting our town.

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    2. Why would someone with no internet email you a question?

      How would someone with no internet access who never read hekervelt know about things like
      CoGen
      Cedar Bridge
      Clifton ave School
      Shopping malls
      Oak street corridor
      10th street ball field

      Blue Claws

      CHEMED funding
      Changing zoning laws and zones to build multi family houses for yourselves and your donors.
      Helping the developers to build and destroy the quality of life


      When I learn in Zicron Schneur I don't hear people discussing it...

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    3. Your probably still wet behind your ears Punkt Farkert anyone who mentions CoGen or the 10th street ball field is an old time Lakewooder. Secondly, the things are public knowledge for anyone in Lakewood its only the younger generation who get their information on the internet. All you have to do is open your eyes and use your seichel and you can easily figure out what goes on. Speak to the olam in Kol Shimshon, in Alumnai. or in Satmar and even in Bais Eliyohu

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    4. Harold HerskowitzJuly 27, 2017 at 8:16 PM

      Every one of those issues were talked about ad nauseam for many years before Hefkervelt. There were articles that i wrote in the Voice years ago discussing most of them. Even the Lakewood shopper wrote about them. I am not sure what the issue is with the Clifton ave. School. But all the other topics have been reid in Lakewood for years. It's nice to see that you are so skeptical. Maybe save it for those that tell you to keep voting for the same people that keep everything status quo.

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    5. Your probably still wet behind your ears ... Speak to the olam in Kol Shimshon, in Alumnai. or in Satmar and even in Bais Eliyohu

      Bais Eliyohu doesn't exist anymore. It was knocked down years ago.

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  10. Move to Passaic. Great location and wholesome, sincere community without the whole lakewood rat race. Everyone is happy with their lot. And no, you don't have to be a BT to live there.

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    1. sure & whats the price of homes there & property taxes? way higher then lakewood. lakewood prices are already way over for any yeshiva man to buy forget about passaic

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  11. I agreed with everything except the foolishness about toeivah marriages. Reb Chaim Kaniyevsky stated clearly it is not our business, and that is common sense. Rabbi Miller was the outlier over here. Nowhere does the Torah demand that we try and affect laws affecting the Goyishe gass. Those who constantly preach about these laws are bringing Goyishe Xtian ideas into our camp. Keep our camp clean and stop making this into an issue.

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    1. Except when the govt. starts saying, "If you want our money, start teaching the rainbow curriculum in your schools."

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    2. Are you serious??? Stop making toeiva marriage into an issue??? When the entire secular world is at our fingertips and our kids are almost completely exposed to it, religious people should not be the last stand of the invasion of toeiva into the culture of this country which automatically seeps into our sheltered world? Rabbi Miller was the outlier here? What universe do you live in??? Do you think you still live in some shtetl in Eastern Europe where the "Goyishe gass" does not enter our lives?

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    3. "If you want our money, start teaching the rainbow curriculum in your schools." - Ministry of Education in Canada and Britain are already doing so.

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  12. Time to relocate to Benzenhurst

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    1. first learn how to spell it.

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  13. I think we should all move back to Lithuania and Hungary. After all thats where most of our zeides and bubbes are from.

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  14. Forget about the past. Lakewood isn't going back in time. Accept the reality and move on.

    If you hate the materialism, either a) buck the trend (as plenty of people in Lakewood still do - yes they exist) or b) move somewhere else.

    There are also many people in town who aren't old school Lakewood but moved here more recently. They are binei aliya who work hard to make a living and serious about yiddishkeit.

    The point is that for every materialistic person in Lakewood, there is another one who is serious about yiddishkeit. So for all the complainers, maybe its time to change your focus.

    Don't think that people who complain are sincere. They are just unhappy people. Its a middah that requires correction. Real binei aliya focus on what they need to accomplish. They are also happy busy people who get turned off by grumblers.

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    1. How disgusting of you erev Tisha Bav to call fellow yidden "complainers" "unhappy people" and not Sincere.
      Nebach that you are so far removed that you cant even comprehend that there are people who are very hurt and it bothers them tremendously by what is going on.

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  15. His comments are on target. Real bnei aliyah are busy working on themselves. They are not busy all day complaining about others. Its not a good midah to complain about others constantly. If we all worked on ourselves to get rid of our gashmius and moisrois then we would influence others a lot more than by complaining on blogs.

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    1. spin spin spin.. just ignore the corruption going on ignore the high taxes ignore the traffic ignore the misuse of taxes put your blinders on while thousands are suffering and then throw around phrases like "bnei Aliyah" to kasher yourself and talk down to anyone that dares to speak out about what has happened to Lakewood.

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  16. just read this weeks Haftorah - it is addressing the Vaad & cronies.

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