No “Withdrawal”: Rav Shmuel Kamenetsky and Rav Yisroel Neuman Reiterate Stance On Fidler-Storobin Vote


rav-shmuel-kamenetsky-3Unfortunately, there has been significant fallout from irresponsible claims regarding rabbonim “withdrawing” endorsements and the like with regard to yesterday’s race in New York between Democrat Lew Fidler and Republican David Storobin.

As first reported on, both candidates have declared victory, though the race is still too close to call. An unofficial tally from the New York City Board of Elections has 10,756 for Storobin and 10,636 for Fidler, with at least 750 paper ballots yet to be counted. The outcome won’t be known for some time.

“Regardless of the result, however,” an askan told this morning, “it is important for Yidden to have a clear understanding of the views of the gedolim, especially because there was an underhanded attempt by some to misrepresent their views.”

Those who were said to have “withdrawn” endorsement, in the cases known, had actually never issued endorsements, said the askan. What was stated by those individual rabbonim was that they were not sure that one candidate’s hashkafos were preferable over the other, and, in addition, they never authorized their names to be utilized in political ads or literature.

“Those rabbonim did not withdraw anything,” related the askan.

More importantly, gedolei Torah made clear yesterday their stance on the issue of Yidden voting for a politician who supports marriage redefinition.

rav-yisroel-neumanRav Yisroel Neuman, rosh yeshiva of Beth Medrash Govoha in Lakewood, NJ, himself recorded an audio message that was sent to frum Jews throughout the New York and New Jersey area making it clear that rumors that he had retracted his statement in this regard were completely false. Rav Neuman made clear that it is a chillul Hashem to vote for or assist a candidate who does not stand for moral values, such as supporting marriage redefinition.

Rav Shmuel Kamenetsky, rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva of Philadelphia, also made clear his feelings on the matter, stating that one should vote for the candidate who stands for values consistent with the Torah. He added that he hopes that candidate would emerge victorious. Rav Kamenetsky’s comments can be heard by calling 712-432-8533 and then pressing 1.

For those unable to call the number, after the last two paragraphs of the recent p’sak was read, Rav Kamenetsky said, “I signed it, and I still stick to it, and I hope he’ll win.”

The rosh yeshiva was then asked, “And the rosh yeshiva was encouraging people to act on that p’sak not to vote for Fidler, and if indeed Mr. Storobin is endorsing these values that (i.e., then) people should support him…?”

Rav Kamenetsky responded, “Correct.”

In addition, Rav Avrohom Binsky of Kehillas Moreshes Yaakov, who was depicted by some as having retracted his signature against supporters of marriage redefinition, issued a statement making it clear that he had never done so. His letter can be seen here.

And as reported on yesterday, Rav Chaim Krauss and Rav N. H. Rottenberg  emphasized that although they did not endorse a particular candidate, they did not retract their view regarding voting for a candidate who has pledged support for legislation regarding toeivah. Click here to read the statement of Rav Krauss.

{Casriel Newscenter}


  1. Thank you Matzav for sticking with this story & not letting the haters of Torah get away with it! This is a clear battle for Kvod Shomayim. You have a choice, follow emesdika Daas Torah or follow baalei battim with boech svaras! This idea of “we have be practical” is %100 kiferah! These people who are behind fidler aught to be thrown out.

    It’s public knowledge. They put their names on that paper of shame, supporting Fidler! I haven’t seen ONE retraction from any

  2. Thank you Matzav…

    However I don’t recall anyone taking a stand against electing Governor Cuomo, who made it his mission to redefine marriage.

    Please correct me if I’m wrong.

  3. To #4: We now have another chance by voting for Bob Turner for US Senate here in NY. The big test will come for the Mayoral contest down the road unless Lord Mike decides to break the law again & stay in power.