Monday, December 15, 2008


Whisperings from Lakewood

by Reb Akiva at Mystical Paths

Lakewood, New Jersey (USA) is one of the main Torah yeshiva centers of our generation. The large Jewish community in a small New Jersey suburban town revolves around the Beth Medrash Gohova, the largest single Jewish learning institution in the world.

>> The rabbonim in Lakewood are quietly telling their constituents to stock up on food - there will be shortages in the future.

>> At odds with this suggestion, sales at the Lakewood Co-Op (the community Jewish grocery store selling near cost) have been cut down to the minimum for family sustenance, with a few slight splurges for Shabbat. The Co-Op has never seen people buying only the barest minimum of staples and avoiding all normal product selections.

>> A number of children's yeshivot in Lakewood have been on strike for weeks, the latest being the girl's school. They have been behind on salaries going on several months, and the secular teachers were no longer willing to accept it having walked out a while ago. Finally the religious teachers could no longer survive and joined them. At least 2,000 students are on the street.

>> Lakewood community hospital is rumored to be deeply in debt and close to closing. While not part of the Jewish community, the community relies upon it for medical services and as a close facility for the local high religious birth rate.

>> A concerned Lakewood reader to a Jewish religious blog reacted strongly to the blog's statement that a number of rebbe's, tzaddikim and mekubalim (kabbalists) have made statements that it's time for Jews to leave the USA while they still can comfortably, and ran to his rabbaim of Lakewood for an opinion. Is there concern, should he move his family to Israel? He was told that those crazy rabbi's of Eretz Yisroel (the Land of Israel) have no idea what they are talking about.

"Whisperings" - All information presented is yad shniya - 2nd hand, heard from the person who heard it themselves.

Photo credit, the New York Times, 2007.


Anonymous said...
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get real said...
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Leah said...

Rather than being critical, I hope you can explain what you are getting at with this post... if you are mocking something, what is it? I'm honestly confused. I do enjoy your blog.

BE said...

How many warnings did the Jews of Europe have before the Nazis started murdering our families? How many times did the European Jews say you're crazy, it'll never happen? How many life boats does Hashem have to send for you to turn away? How much compassion for His people is necessary in order for us to start listening?

The time is now! The time to leave the galut, your comfortable arm chairs, your comfortable jobs (those who still have jobs), your luzury cars, your ways of the goyim and return to Eretz Yisrael and Emunah.

Shiloh said...

BE, don't forget your pillow and tin cup for sitting on Yaffo street begging for money to eat. Read the Tanach, the prophecy is none too kind to inhabitants of Israel. To put it mildly, they will be hammered.

BE said...

Remember Mida kneged Mida (a turn for a turn), i.e. what happens to Israel will happen to the nations that perpetuate the cruelty. And by the way, I already live in Israel and am proud of it and proud of being a Jew. But if street begging for money to eat is what Hashem has in mind for me, than I will accept it with a smile and praise His name for the opportunity to strengthen my Emunah.

This is what the entire situation boils down to, who has emunah and who doesn't want to give up their idols of gold, silver, money, stocks, comfort of the geulah.

Rabbbi Shalom Arush says it's easier for him to teach an Athiest Emunah than it is a Litvish Yeshivah student. I know why now.

Shiloh said...

BE, in all due respect, It has nothing to do with idols of gold etc. It has to do with surviving. Erev Rav, in my case, ensured I could not work in haEretz. My phone was tapped, my computer was monitored. So, now in the galut working to support my family. My shoes still have holes in them, but thank G-d we can eat. There are prophetic events that took place that I am all to well aware of, but that does not diminish the fact that we have to survive too. It's a complex time of history BE. Its easy to pick something in the Torah and hammer away at people. Since neither you, nor anyone else is following to commandment to conquer the land, one should not pretend they are so pious. I am in the galut because of the will of haShem (using the tool of erev rav), so I am happy for that, for everything is for a reason. Have a wonderful day.

BE said...

Be careful, Shiloh, what you attribute to me or don't attribute to me. The fact is that I am here I do live in the land and I have conquered my part. Is it the will of Hashem that you're there or your avera? And please, don't patronize me with your so called superiority complex. That's what killed the Jews of Europe. They thought they knew better. And you think your phone isn't tapped and your computer is monitored in the US. Think again.

josh said...

The Madoff scandal is supposed to be a big watershed if you want to look at it this way. We like to hate ultra-rich people, but they are the folks that A) spend on luxuries that provide jobs for many, many others B) give to tzedaka sums of money in one shot more than the yearly maaser of many of us.

The economic crisis has started, but it is now only picking up steam. I'm glad that I will be going through it in Eretz Yisrael with other Jews. In the diaspora, the chance of another New Orleans 'every man for himself' is an undeniable possibility.

Shiloh said...

BE, Call me when you have driven out the idoloters and Arabs. So you sit in your living room convincing yourself you have conquered the land. Please. It will get bad in the galut, don't think I am not aware of it, but so to in Israel. 2/3 will not make it, that includes in Israel.

BE said...

Too bad you've burned your bridges, otherwise you could help!

BE said...

To all,
Please forgive me for my Lashon Harah

Devash said...

From my perspective, the Madoff affair, the closure of that slaughterhouse and this report indicate that the American Diaspora is beginning to be dismantled. Nobody knows how long is left, but read the handwriting on the wall. Party's over. Time to go home.

Anonymous said...

I heard simmilar things here in the midwest. Our kosher bakery is now not going to have certification. A Chabad rabbi whose son goes to school in postville said with rubushkin's not giving the community the money he ussually does to support them the tuition rates have to go up.

Shiloh said...

BE, I did my part almost 7 years ago. It's too big for most to comprehend. But I can tell you we are so incredibly a thankless nation. But in our own defense, we cannot blame ones who have no clue to what is happening or what has taken place (this is not directed at you by anymeans) So we can disagree, argue etc, but in the end we will have to stick this thing out together. At anyrate, only the best to you.

Anonymous said...

To Shiloh, BE, and all others who are reading and posting.

We just finished with Sukkhot. Remember what the four species stand for, Baruch HaShem: it is so important. It is critical!

I ask you to not, I beg, infuriate or "cut" upon one another. We are Jews. We all must extend kindness to one another. Shiloh...and BE...I feel the anguish of your hearts, because it is my own.

You both know how important emunah is, and both of you love our people, love Eretz Yisrael. You are both so intelligent, well-read, and experienced. And both of you made excellent points!

I make this one. We Jews are only 15 million in a world of 6.5 billion. We must help one another and be unified in all things.

Please forgive me if I have offended either of you. I dream of the day when we will have unity despite our diversity, with Torah as our banner and our shield...all of us. Treasure each other's honor as if it was your own. As I treasure yours, achim.
Build, do not berate.
Ever is my heart filled with Am Yisrael. Layla tov v'shalom,
Yesha Galluzzo

BE said...

Thank you all for your compassion. May Hashem have compassion on me as well and forgive me of my sin against Him and His people.

Shiloh said...

Yesha, offended, na. Re-read the posts though. We will unite, maybe not the way some have envisioned. A big change will take place. Laila tov.

Micha said...

A small but important point: just dwelling in the Land--yishuv ha'aretz, is a corrolary of the mitzvah. Kibush ha'aretz--conquering the Land, and yishuv ha'aretz, are NOT identical, although intertwined.

Michoel said...

If Rav Arush really said that statement about Litvish Yeshiva bochurim, he shouldn't have. I don't know what heter there could be to say such a thing and I am not m'kabel.

Anonymous said...

sorry, this whole piece is unnecessary and is ch'v like a bad talk about lakewood.

by posting such a piece you are speaking badly about an entire torah community. this is terrible. you are thus speaking badly, ch'v about...

well, you should know the rest and please delete this entire piece.

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