Follow-Up: The Danger Of YCT And Its Extreme Left Wing Agenda


chovevei-torahDear Editor and readers,

This is a follow-up to yesterday’s report by that Yeshivat Chovevei Torah graduate Rabbi Simon Livson has officially been installed as chief rabbi of Finland.

On the one hand, it is not such a major feat or breakthrough for the so called ‘Yeshivat Chovevei Torah’ (YCT), for the following reasons: a) It is a small, off the beaten track community, and not that religious either, as far as I know. 2) The fact that the YCT candidate grew up there gave him a giant advantage in getting the job, being a native son of the community.

However, on the other hand, since it is the chief rabbi of a country, that gives the position added prestige, and YCT can highlight it in their PR.

We have to educate people about the dangers of YCT.

Just last week, a member of the YCT faculty, Dr. Marc Shapiro, attacked Moreinu Rav Shmuel Kamenetsky shlit”a on a prestigious blog, for not being as liberal as YCT wants in terms of accepting people who claim toeiva inclinations and affiliation.

The week before, YCT sponsored a program at a leading Modern Orthodox congregation, Lincoln Square Synagogue in Manhattan, to further promote the acceptance of such individuals in the Orthodox community. It featured there other members of its faculty, namely its Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Dov Linzer, Dr. Michelle Friedman, YCT director of pastoral counseling, and Rabbi Chaim Rapoport, a Lubavitcher scholar from England, who flies in to YCT to teach there every year, as well as helping them long distance. R. Rapoport was not just in NY for that event, but he also was spending that week at YCT instructing the students and giving talks on various topics, among them about toeivah and halacha (see Rabbi Linzer’s blog for more info).

Previously, another member of the YCT faculty, Rabbi Nathaniel Helfgott, drew up and disseminated a statement calling for more acceptance of such people in the frum community.

A YCT musmach, a Rabbi Zev Farber, recently published a long piece along those lines as well, at the ‘Morethodoxy’ blog.

What do all these people have in common? YCT affiliation.

It is clear that YCT is a nest of extreme liberalism, which is trying to introduce the relativism and lack of values of the typical college campus into the orthodox community in this and other areas.

This needs to be exposed, the community at large needs to be informed, and they need to be isolated. May Hashem help us keep our tzibbur holy and insulated from the toeivah that YCT wants us to accept.

A Concerned Yid


  1. I agree with the necessity to expose YCT for what it really is. However, I think Matzav itself has also participated in trying to force is to soften our feelings towards the toaiva supporters. Just a couple of weeks ago, Matzav featured an article by a modern orthodox rabbi chiding the rest of us for our harsh treatment of these people. And their was not a single comment ! Why do we have to be more tolerant than the Torah?! I’m sick and tired of the modern community trying to redefine how we should treat these issues. Yes , YCT is beyond the pale, but unfortunately their are others who are so coming dangerously close to the edge as well.

  2. I have no sympathy for YCT or its’ sad misguided agenda. However, I am afraid that Rabbi Rapoport is being mischaracterized here. He is by all measures “Charaydee B’yoser”. He is not merely a Lamdan in the classic Yeshivishe style, but a truely Charaydee yungerman. I’m not sure why he appeared in YCT, but knowing him, I do have a guess. It is more likely that he capitalised on their “Open” policy and used it to bring a perspective with Yiras Shomayim to their table. He is an expeert on that issue, and wrote a sefer on it. He does not advocate ANY compromise in Halocho, Yiras Shomayim, or “agendas”. Read it for yourself. It is not fair or true to mischaracterize him in this article.
    YCT will go the way of all other quasi-Orthodox movements. U’m’seimim B’toiv.

  3. i have heard of rabbi chaim rapport from england, a brilliant man, and as far as i know is very right winged. he wrote against shmuli boteachs kfira immediatly. i think he should be asked about his stance in lecturing at YCT. there must be an explanation or misunderstanding. if i recall correctly he has also written aginst toeiva.

  4. In the heimishe communities that do not count a mechalel shabbos in their minyan, you are correct, but the modern orthodox will often accept mechalelei shabbos and even allow them to daven for the amud etc
    If someone lives a sinful lifestyle but does not actually commit the act of toevah (i.e. he violates issurei d’Oraisa but not issurei skilah, which is the practice among most of the “orthodox” who do this) he is not worse than a mechalel shabbos, and according to most mekoros I can find, even if he did do the toevah he is still not worse than a mechalel shabbos b’farhesia

  5. Fear and loathing never represent Judaism. I will take this article with a grain of salt and you have now driven the idea to me that this YCT may be seeking true liberty versus inexact contentment. I do not offer you the true stature you demand and maybe we will learn in the future of this YCT if it is true to design or just another reform facsimile. Either way, there are injustices in the highest of communities today and I perceive from what little you have written that this YCT may exist to counter some injustice. But thanks for the heads up!!

  6. rav chaim rapeport shlit”a is a massive talmid chochom, and very chareidy. if he lectures in YCT he must have a valid heter, such as that through that he could be mekarev them etc. one who writes against him without hearing his side of the story, may possible be oiver on bizui talmidei chahomim
    ????? ??????!

  7. The only danger is the wedge you are trying to put between other Jews by continuously posting these solaces stories about chovevie instead of ignoring them. There are far more dangers to klal yisrael that you choose to ignore while continuously attacking YTC.

  8. #1
    The cardinal principles of Judaism aren’t important (to you) ?

    If someone is running to be mechalel shabbos you are forbidden to kill him on the spot,
    if is running to do the act of ..
    you are (if feasible) dictated by halacha to kill him on the spot.

  9. #3 & #4
    Look, somehow the same way a secular progressive westener cooperates with blood-thersty muslims, I wouldn’t be surprized that R’ Rapapott, who goes out of his way to defend the Meshichists, and to cool down our rejection of Toeiva in his writings, is cooperating with YCT.

    He has spoken publicly, on many occasions, of his support for those toeivah people who decide to find frum partners to live a halachic life with…

    Because all those who venture away from the beaten path, as different as they may seem, aventually find each other. It can be a “Lamdan with Yeshivish style”, but just remember that a man never stays in one place. It starts with “The Rebbe is Moshiach” and it eds in YCT, and who knows what’s next to come…

  10. No surprise here. Of course, any yeshiva? purporting to be orthodox but is turning the Torah on its head, is, of course, liberal and a mockery. YCT already has that reputation for a long while, so no surprise. But, it is good that the frum and general Jewish public is made aware. Many in the frum world are unaware of what is going on in the general Jewish world, and today, more than ever, it is important to be knowledgable of these things, as we live in a ‘dangerous and farkete’ world.

  11. Rabbi Chaim Rapoport is a nice talmid chacham. Maybe he thinks that he is bringing Torah to YCT, but he is being used by them, at the same time, for their ends. They can point to him and say, how can you be against us, we have a Chasidishe Rabbi teaching us (there is another Chasidic faculty member there too, but he is more low key, and doesn’t go around giving lectures promoting acceptance of toeiva’niks).

    Since the Lubavitcher Rebbe was niftar, there is a hefkerus in Lubavitch. So you have Lubavitcher Rabbis like Rabbi Rapoport and Rabbi Shmuley Boteach going around preaching acceptance of toeiva’niks. Would the Rebbe have agreed? Whatever you hold about the Rebbe and his shitos, and I am not a Lubavitcher, he was in certain ways, an old fashioned Eastern European Jew. Would he have agreed with this new mehaleich of accepting and getting buddy buddy with toeiva’niks (I am not talking about people who keep such things quiet, but rather those that go around and identify themselves as such, and press for total acceptance, no different than any shomer Torah umitzvos)? I have my doubts.

    What we have here is a campaign to be ???? ??? on a massive scale. There are certain gedarim we have. If someone has fallen into improper behavior and wants to do teshuvah, and comes to Shul, he is accepted. But if they come to Shul and declare that they are toeiva’niks, or have inclinations to toeivah, we must keep a certain distance from them. Rabbis like Rabbis Rapoport, Boteach, and their allies at YCT are being complicit with being ???? ???? ????, ?’ ????, by advocating for the toeiva’niks, even if they have good intentions.

    If Rabbi Rapoport has an explanation why he is on the faculty of YCT, he is welcome to inform us about it. There were also Orthodox scholars who taught at the Jewish Theological Seminary in the past. But, at least, I would say that such activity is, at the least, ??? ??? ????? ???? ?????, if it is not something worse, like ????? ??? ????? ?????.

    The issue of our attitude toward people who identify with the toeivah movement is not just a small, local sheila, that any Rabbi can write a book about and pasken. It is a major issue of hadrocho for Klal Yisroel, which gedolei Yisroel need to be consulted upon. Just like with YCT. Maybe technically a strong case can be made for it. But when you look beyond the surface, you see that this is an effort to bring the goyishe values of the college campus, and the decadence of the Western world, to our eidah hakedoshah. And we need to just say no. As it says by Yosef hatzaddik – Vayimoein. He just refused. Same here. All the chochmos and arguments by the YCT chevra and their allies may look okay on paper to some people, ober es shmekt chazer treif – the scent of the unkosher, chazer treif immorality of the outside world permeates it and wafts through, and we don’t want it, it is ???? ??? ????, not for our holy nation.

  12. I doubt you will publish this….but here goes.
    Until then, these idiots from YCT will take over America as well and we have no one but the to blame.

  13. People who live in glass houses should not be throwing stones.
    Maybe, the author of this McCArthy like diatribe needs to first look at how his community deals or does not deal with the issue.

  14. “What do all these people have in common? YCT affiliation.”

    What else do they all have in common? Not afraid to use their real names with whatever they say or write. Where is your courage when choosing to attack them?

  15. the reality is yct is able to reach out to Jews that the others will never reach,
    I am not sure why this so intimidates anyone but yct does much good work in this area. it is sad that you are wasting your time and energy on trying to belittle them.

  16. I don’t know these clowns, but am I to understand this is a group of Jews who for some reason call themselves “Orthodox” while simultaneously allowing themselves the authority to change Torah law? And specifically toeiva? Why don’t they start with allowing trief? They would appeal to a wider group of people. I know I would much rather try a cheeseburger or thriftily feed my family a huge bucket of chicken for under $10, then do anything they are accepting as noted in this article.
    But then again, I suppose something could be said for never having to be concerned about niddah…

  17. YCT claims to use “outreach” as the purpose of many of its activities. Other “outreach” organizations also do some eye-opening activities, though not as extreme as YCT. We, as a community, have fought against television and internet; we have fought to establish limud hatorah as an end in it of itself; we have many bnei torah. That was a small list of our accomplishments. If so, why do we allow this “outreach” ideology to dominate? I am all for outreach that is done properly. However, it is not done properly.

    If we move away from everything is muttar for outreach, we would not have so many self-proclaimed genuises doing these type of things. Therefore, instead on focusing on symptoms of the problem, let us focus on the problem.

  18. The last Lubavitcher Rebbe taught that when doing outreach, one should not bring down the Torah down to the level of the people, but rather the people should be brought up to the Torah.

    Rabbi Rapoport is a Lubavitcher, so when doesn’t he follow this teaching? Let him tell the people who identify with the toeivah movement the true Torah position, that they are chayav in all mitzvos, like all Yidden, and don’t have heterim to do things that others can’t do, based on their imagining that they are some kind of different creatures.