Monday, July 29, 2013

Rabbi Dov Lipman Interview Asks Almost Every Tough Question People Discuss Re Chareidi Draft

It would be very worthwhile to see this 43 minute interview between Rabbi Daniel Korobkin (Ner Yisroel musmach and Rav in Toronto) and Rabbi Dov Lipman (also Ner Yisroel musmach and MK in the Yesh Atid party). Rabbi Korobkin gives Rabbi Lipman a platform to address his very strident critics by bringing up almost every serious cricicism/question people generally direct at him. Very enlightening. With regarding to the last question in the interview (how he understands what the current coalition is doing with regard to drafting chareidim to the IDF/sherut ulami and secular studies in yeshiva ketana) notwithstanding the opposition to such policies by almost all of the gedoleim in E"Y, he quasi-sidesteps the question. Nevertheless, the interview is extremely enlightening in getting to know the must-talked-about Rabbi Lipman much better. HT Rabbi Yakov Horowitz.
[Update 8/1/13]: You can click here to see my follow up comments on this interview and the comments on this post.

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Anonymous said...

How can Dov Litman be on koshetube when he is clearly treif. All recognised gedolim, poskim, rebbe's oppose Dov Litman. Giving him any type of platform is clearly not a positive thing, whether in a good or bad light.

He may have learnt in Ner Yisroel but the current Rosh Yeshiva made a clear statement that he has not link to the yeshiva on any level any more and they do not endorse him or his activities in the slightest.

DixieYid (يهودي جنوبي) said...

Anon, although you quoted Rav Feldman, you did not follow his lead. Rav Feldman apologized for calling Rabbi Lipman a "rasha" and "shana u'pireish." He said that he was misguided and a shogeg, but not a rasha. You could have said that what he is trying to do is treif, but instead, you said "he is clearly traif." This is the kind of ad hominum attack that degrades the conversation and creates sinas chinam. Even if you believe that what someone is doing is very wrong, you should still follow the dictum that one should "love the sinner and hate the sin." And as Rebbi Meir learned from his wife Bruria regarding the pasuk "yitamu chata'im min ha'haretz," "chot'im lo ne'emar, ela chata'im." Therefore, I suggest you focus on opposing the ideas he espouses, rather than the person himself.

Also, did you watch the full interview? While he may not sell you on all of his ideas, perhaps by hearing him out, you can bring the disagreement to the level of ideas/policies/action and not condemn the person.

I'm not sure your policy of not even hearing someone out who disagrees with what many gedolim (though not all big rabbonim) say is sound. Perhaps if we listened to each other more, we could disagree on the issues without succumbing to pirudim in klal Yisroel.

Anonymous said...

Binyomin, I love you but you are way off base in promoting Dov Lipman. All Gedolim and Rabbanim are against what he's doing. He has no Rav and he's admitted that in a previous interview. Read this very revealing answer to a question in the 5 Towns Jewish Times how he dodges a very important question:

YH: Is there any matter in which you would seek guidance from a Rav Shteinman, a Rav Shmuel Auerbach, a Rav Chaim Kanievsky?

DL: I would like to think that I would follow their view in pretty much everything, but once again there are others that set the agendas and dictate to them. Unfortunately, they are not as free to say things and they too have been victimized in a sense by people around them.

YH: Theoretically, if Rav Chaim Kanievsky were together alone with you in a place far away from everyone else and said to you in complete privacy, “Reb Dov, I am not being victimized and these are my true and completely legitimate beliefs. Absolutely no one is pressuring me.” Would you be willing to change course?

DL: This is a completely hypothetical case and I don’t think that it could happen, so it is relatively fruitless to pursue this.

Josef said...

This is what Dov Lipman is doing to charedim. Binyomin, you support this????

Forcing, showing a total lack of compassion, blowing Gedolim off, humiliating and airing charedi dirty laundry in public for all to see.

DixieYid (يهودي جنوبي) said...

Reb B (am I right),

I very much appreciate your comment. And the quote you brought from Rabbi Hoffman's interview with him is in line with what he said in the interview above. I would be interested in reading the rest of Rabbi Hoffman's interview. He is great. Do you know where that quote you mentioned can be found where you state that Rabbi Lipman said he does not have a rebbe?

While some elements of the community have been making baby steps, the chillul Hashem and economic burden of our community in general being seen as takers (see my Hamodia piece) cannot continue. It is totally untenable for one who has a picture of the true tzura of klal Yisroel. It's a busha. And every day, the kitzonim take more and more control of the dialogue. Voices within the community who try to bring our way of life back in line with ratzon Hashem and Chazal are physically threatened and silenced just like what happened to Rav Shteinman 10 years ago w/r/t Nachal Chareidi. That will happen to anyone even of similar stature as a gadol.

Perhaps just like our go'eil rishon, Moshe Rabbeinu, had to come from outside the Jewish community (grew up in Paroh's palace), our return to Hashem's idea of normalcy must come from outside our community which is so embroiled in the issues we can't see ourselves objectively.

Josef and Reb B,

Did you watch the interview in its entirety? Did you get the chance to see what this man's really about? I don't agree with parts of what they're doing either. I'm bothered by the rebbe/gedolim question and also by the issue of imprisonment. But I recommend seeing the video to better understand him so we can keep the conversation about the issues and not the person. For the record, Reb B, I think you're already there. Nonetheless, kedai to hear him out even if you still disagree at the end.

Yoel said...

I haven't watched the video yet, will do soon. But there's one question I must ask all those who post negative comments why do you keep saying: "All Gedolim and Rabbanim are against" are Religious Zionist Rabbis not Gedolim and Rabbanim??

Was there a majority at the "World Council of Gedolim Labeling" that voted in favor of only Litvishe gedolim?

In other words if you follow your gadol that's totally cool with me, but don't now make your Gadols view the one and only view all of Klal Yisroel must accept, consider there are other talmidei chachamim & leaders out there, who have a different opinion, respect them even you don't follow them.

Josef said...

Yoel, Dov Lipman claims to be a charedi. If he claimed to be a Mizrachi, your point might be valid. Though I have yet to hear a Mizrachi Gadol who supports Lapid either.

Yoel said...

Josef, as long as Rabbi Lipman doesn't claim to be following the orders of the above mentioned Gedolim my point is standing and valid, the fact that he is charedi, appears charedi, or talks like charedi doesn't automatically force him to follow any gadol.

For example I myself am dressed Chasidic, live in a Satmar community but for the most part I despise their Hashkafah and I align myself much stronger towards the Nationalistic Hashkafah of the religious Zionist class, when it comes to Klal Yisroel, why because that makes more sense to my brain, as a Jew I am entitled and obligated to follow my intuition in Avodas Hashem, the fact that I live, dress or follow a certain culture, doesn't make me one of them (Hashkafah wise).

So this kind of labeling around, frankly is non-sense and does not in any way shape or form give anyone the right to say this guy is bad cause he doesn't follow my gadol.

Bottom line you have to love all Jews, respect all Gedolim, follow your morah derech and leave room for other opinions.

Anonymous said...

See this interview response by Dov Lipman from Times of Israel:

This whole Da’as Torah phenomenon, where the rabbi decides everything in my own life, is something that I think is also foreign. People ask me: which rabbi did I ask before I joined Yair Lapid. I made a decision. I spoke to some people for advice, I did talk it over with some people because I wanted to make sure, but I didn’t ask for a psak [religious ruling]. It’s not halacha [religious law]. Halacha is: is this pot kosher or not kosher? If you don’t know the halacha yourself, you ask the rabbi for that. The idea that the control over our community, and this degree of getting involved in politics — we never had this before.

Isn’t that a much more longstanding issue, though? That’s why communities in Eastern Europe didn’t leave before the Holocaust, because “the rabbi” told them to stay.

In the Hasidic community I think you had it more. If you study history, a lot of this started happening during the Enlightenment, where the Hatam Sofer [coined the phrase] that chadah assur min-HaTorah [the Torah forbids novelties]. That’s where all this originates from, for sure. I just feel that the lack of willingness to study basic history and understand what our rabbis used to be like — the average kid in a Haredi school doesn’t know who the Rambam was. [end of Dov Lipman's comments]

I watched the whole video and was very dismayed when Dov had the chutzpah to respond to the question of 'But the Gedolim are against you' with the question is on them, why they don't support me, not on why I'm going against them.

Your comparison to Moshe in Miztrayim is way off base as well. Please don't compare Lapid or Lipman to Moshe Rabbeinu growing up in Pharoah's house.

All I know is if Rav Shteinman and Rav Chaim Kanievsky are against what Dov Lipman is doing, you should not be promoting him.

I am not Reb B, by the way.

Josef said...

Yoel, Dov Lipman has no moreh derech. That is a very big issue.

Moshe said...

At first, I was upset you posted the video/comments about R'Lipman. Then I realized that I am so warped hearing what I should think from certain people. I realized for a moment that I become for a moment closed minded and against Torah.

Several months ago some of my wife's family from E'Y stayed with us. They live in the same area as Yair Lapid. We discussed a lot. What I realized in the end is talking to a Jew as Jew with a open heart and love is the most important thing we can do. The family stands for many things my wife and I don't but at the end of the day love and dialogue is the most important thing. This brings people closer to Torah as we both know.

I was visiting a former Rosh Yeshiva of mine recently. I asked him about the draft/about why Gedolim don't speak more publicly. He said two things. 1. He (my R'Y) doesn't get involved in the debate because serving Hashem through Torah with Love for Torah and Jews is the most important thing. 2. Gedolim don't speak out because they realize they are dealing with mobs. If they say certain things they realize the mob will go mad.

So keep up the dialogue in your loving way. As we know the Yetzer Hara does everything possible to keep people from Emet. The more controversy the more Emet there is...I am not saying who is right/wrong but respectful dialogue speaking with Emet is the only way.

DixieYid (يهودي جنوبي) said...

Ah Anon 11:45, I guessed wrong. If you could please use your real name or a handle/pseudonym like Josef that would be helpful.

I definitely hear what you and Josef are saying. I hope you understood this, but the comparison to Moshe was not literal. But it's a powerful point. We have a case where we've become self-absorbed in hunker-down mode such that the impetus for change apparantly must come from the outside.

A balanced chinuch preparing especially boys to enter the workforce at some point and a recognition that decades of learning post-high school is not the ratzon Hashem for the majority of people is the ratzon Hashem based on Chazal and the current path where kids are taught that full-time learning indefinitely is the only way for a true ben Torah (notwithstanding a begrudging exception for a few OTDers or "sub-par" kids without a "gemara kop") is not.

As Rabbi Lipman has said when he talked about the rabbbeim he's consulted and Moshe said above, and based on conversations with other Rebbeim I've heard, there are plenty of roshei yeshiva that know that something k'ein what is being done is necessary and a positive development. The violent kano'im and even non-violent kitzonim prevent any of these people from using their names publicly. This is clearly a case of at least eilu v'eilu, though one side does not feel at liberty to stand up for what's right publicly.

Also, to the extent there is opposition to the idea of a rudamentary seculary education, I suggest you see this piece by Rabbi Yakov Horowitz on the subject.

Kol tuv.

DixieYid (يهودي جنوبي) said...

Another thought. To the extent what Rabbi Lipman and others who support this evolution toward a healthy balanced life for chareidim in E"Y in accordance with the ratzon Hashem are indeed acting against "all of the gedolim," I look it as an example of an aveira lishma, like Esther hamalka and Yael, which is praised by the Gemara. Or the mekosheish eitzim. Someone who sacrifices his own ruchnius for the sake of the salvation of the Jewish people.

Yoel said...

I think that as long as people fail to realize that we are in a Geulah process and we are edging towards the final Geulah, all arguments will fall on deaf ears.

The Frum community has already made this tremendous mistake before and now we are repeating it all over again. In the end we will cry wolf just like we did after the secular Zionists captured the land.

Before the holocaust people were also screaming Gedolim Gedolim, but then they didn't realize that the Gedolim themselves were surrounded with people lying to them all the time, if we don't zoom out and see the big picture from a birds eye view, we will fail again and again, please read the "Eim HaBanim Semeichah" it is available online in Hebrew and English.

On the other side of the aisle, you have Rav Eliezer Melamed who bring l'Halacha that its a mitzvah to join the IDF (Peninei Halachah)

מצווה גדולה מן התורה להתגייס לצבא ההגנה לישראל, ושתי מצוות עומדות בבסיס החיוב, וכל אחת מהן מצווה כללית ששקולה במידה מסוימת כנגד כל המצוות. א' להציל את ישראל מיד אויביהם, ב' לשמור על ארץ ישראל שתהיה בידי עם ישראל.

I rest my case

Yoel said...

BTW DixieYid your comparison to Moshe Rabbeinu is amazing and awesomely deep

Josef said...

aveira lishma? seriously? Go ask Rav Weinberger about that one.

Not one Rosh Yeshiva supports Dov Lipman. Originally, Dov Lipman said he has no Rav supporting him. When he saw that didn't go over well, now, he sometimes claims to have some phantom Rav. Even if he is telling the truth, a phantom Rav is no Rav.

Just bec. change may be needed, there's a right way and a wrong way to do it and Dov Lipman has chosen the wrong way.

Moshe said...

Josef, please bring proof for "Not one Rosh Yeshiva supports Dov Lipman". I am not disagreeing but would like to see facts.

DixieYid (يهودي جنوبي) said...


I'm confused! You said you know of a Rosh Yeshiva who is supportive of k'ein the proposed changes. Now you said you're not disagreeing that there are no roshei yeshiva. My brain hurts.

Also, while I don't believe what Josef's saying is emes l'amito, I don't know that it's possible or fair to ask someone to prove a negative. The only way he could do that is by finding affirmative quotes from every Rosh yeshiva in E"Y coming out against what the coalition is doing. And that's certainly impossible even if it were true (which it probably isn't based on your own experience alone).


Love your comments and chizuk. :-)

Moshe said...

Sorry DixieYid. All I mean is there might be some who do disagree. Josef stated not one agress with him. Thats a strong statement that, as you state, is hard to prove.

We are on the same page. Don't worry ;)

Josef said...

As Binyomin said, the opposite needs to be shown. Please tell me one Rav who supports Dov Lipman.

It's not a valid argument to say Dov must have some Rav, when he originally admitted that he did not and then changed his story to having some phantom Rav. No one knows who supports Dov, if any, and literally tens and tens of Gedolim and Roshei Yeshiva have spoken out against what he's doing.

DixieYid (يهودي جنوبي) said...


To clarify, I didn't say that the opposite needs to be shown. I pointed out that it wasn't possible to ask you to prove a negative.

Moshe said...

DixieYid, I just re-read your comment and to clarify my R'Y did not explicitly state his support for such changes. He was advocating all of us to focus harder on Torah learning, love of Torah, and Love of all Yidden. The comments about Gedolim mean that we can't draw conclusions saying they are out of touch or in support/not of a particular debate because of silence.

If we all focused more on Ahavas Yisroel, Ahavas Torah, and Yirah Shimayim instead of bickering like immature children with no derech eretz, just maybe things would be different. (This is a comment on the debate in the klal not to you or the debate here on

Last we should all be reminded as we have this discussion that we learn from Rashi we have to follow the leaders of our generation even if this means right is left and left is right.

Not one of us has the answers. All we can do is increase our learning of Torah, Love of Yidden, and pour out our hearts to Hashem in Tefillah. As R' Nachman says "The primary weapon of a Jew is Tefillah". Lets use our weapon and pour out our hearts to keep us all focused on Emet.

Anonymous said...

Dixie Yid - who is your daas torah, perhaps call the rov and ask if you should give a platform to such a person. Whilst it is right to attack the actions and not the person, there are many gedolim who say in this case, where Lipman attacks the very foundations of Torah and goes against the gedolim, he himself is trief and not only his action - obviously he can do teshuva, but until then....

It's easy for you to sit in america where the situation is no where near as heated as here and be very secure in yourself. but here you see police coming and shouting down mega phones to take choshiver bochurim away, you see people like Dov Lipman sending down modern orthodox kids from the "yeshiva" he involved with to "Look at these animal charedim". You are out of the heat and thus it's easy to say what you want.

Does your Rov suggest posting this video is a good move?

DixieYid (يهودي جنوبي) said...

Anon 8:56:

Your charactarization of Rabbi Lipman as treif on a personal level and "attack[ing] the very foundations of Torah" are exactly why you and others should see these interviews even if you disagree with him and will never agree with him. Instead of viewing him as a monster intent on destroying the Torah, listen to him and hear what's actually motivating him. You can believe he's wrong, gezunte heit, but don't make the mistake of condemning him as a malicious person. Get to know what he's actually about so you can disagree with him on the issues, so you can "hate the sin but love the sinner."

Perhaps you could clarify what you meant in your second paragraph. What did you mean that the police are "coming and shouting down mega phones to take choshiver bochurim away"? The draft has not yet taken effect and even the bochurim who were supposed to be drafted based on the Supreme Court's decision have been deferred till after the new law takes effect, allowing them to now permenantly avoid being drafted to the IDF or sherut l'umi. What were you referring to? Some sort of protest that was broken up?

And what are you referring to, stating that he was sending modern orthodox "yeshiva" kids with whom he was involved to "Look at these animal Chareidim"? I have no clue what you're referring to. If it's the Orot school in RBS, you're sorely misinformed, making it even more important for you to understand the facts, issues, and the other side's perspective. (Though that need exists on all sides.) If you're referring to something else, please let us know what you're talking about.

Kol tuv.

Josef said...

Binyomin, you are giving support to someone who very much does not deserve it, Dov Lipman.

Everyone is l'shem Shamayim in what they do, even Hitler was, if you've ever read Mein Kampf. I'm not chas v'shalom comparing anyone to Hitler, but my point is that everyone thinks they're right and justified, in whatever they do.

So, either Lipman is right to support the removal of thousands of sincere 21 yr olds and older from learning Torah by the force of law or he's wrong. The fact that he's not malicious doesn't make a difference. And if he's wrong, which all Gedolim say he is, then what he's doing will hurt Torah for Klal Yisrael. And b'chlal, who is he to decide on such monumental matters on his own???

Josef said...

You learn a lot from this and while some quotes may not be bad, others are very revealing, esp. the ones about his lack of appreciation for those who learn Torah, and his desire for even less than 400 exemptions, and his desire to be the one to test them?! As if he's worthy of being such a bochen?!

DixieYid (يهودي جنوبي) said...

Please see this follow up post where I expand on some of my thoughts on the issues raised by these interviews.