Thursday, December 16, 2010

So Bloggers DO run the world

I can't find an unbranded photo
of R. Malkiel so I substitute
 this photo of his
 father R. Shnuer c 1940s
Each year, the four Lakewood Roshei Yeshivot attempt to colonize new areas and raise money by participating in what's called a "Lakewood Shabbos" with each Rosh Yeshiva functioning as something like a scholar-in-residence at one, or more, of the neighbored shuls. Drashot are given, friends are made, and after shaboos, checks are written. Aside from the fact that Lakewood has yet to reciprocate by inviting the Y.U Roshei Yeshivot to N.J for a "RIETS Shabbos" its all good fun. The Roshei Yeshivot get to enjoy the pleasures of a business trip; their groupies get to see them in person and collect autographs or blessings or whatever; and those who wish to be separated from their money are provided with a comfortable bkovidik forum where this can occur as painlessly as possible.

Last year, one of the Roshei Yeshivot, R. Malkiel Kotler, created a commotion during his visit to Flatbush when he made a public speech at the Agudah of Ave L.  in which he associated Modern Orthodoxy with Esav, and heretical sects like the Saduccess and Karaites. As I said at the time, lumping tens of thousands of Torah-observing Jews together with our traditional enemies was a pretty damn evil thing to do. This sentiment was echoed on dozens of blogs, and helped to produce a formal disavowal from the Rosh Yeshiva's spokesman.

Apparently one Flatbush shul, the scene of the original crime, in fact,  is still not satisfied.

According to my man on the Flatbush streets, R. Malkiel Kotler will not be appearing this year at the Agudah of Ave L. [The man on the street says "he was not invited back"; but this is not something I can independently verify.] This is significant because AOL is one of Flatbush's wealthiest shuls, and its members make an excellent demographic match with Lakewood.

Things I still don't know but will attempt to discover:
  • Will one of the other Lakewood Roshei Yeshivot appear there instead?
  • Has some excuse been made for the Rosh Yeshivah's absence? Perhaps the shul's Rabbi has a previous commitment, or perhaps a wealthy member has a simcha planned, and is unwilling to share the spotlight with R.  Malkiel?
Stay tuned. 

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