Talmud Torah Principals Back Rav Elyashiv’s Call Not to Introduce Any Changes


rav-elyashiv2The Torah-true world is standing firmly behind instructions Maran Rav Yosef Sholom Elyashiv reiterated Erev Shavuos not to accede to repeated financial enticements and other incentives used to persuade principals to introduce various changes in the way things have been run in the past. One of the recent goals of the government officials has been to persuade the schools to alter their status from “exempt” (pottur) to “recognized but unofficial” (mukkar she’eino rishmi). “Recognized but unofficial” educational institutions include the Bais Yaakov schools, the Shas-sponsored Ma’ayan HaChinuch HaTorani, and Chinuch Atzmai schools. They get almost all of their funding from the government (the national Education Ministry and local authorities). Since they compete directly with the free government schools, they generally do not charge tuition, though they do raise funding from private donors. “Exempt” institutions include the talmud Torah chadorim for boys which get a lesser proportion (about half) of their budget from the government. They generally supplement their government income by charging tuition and fundraising. The traditional trade-off is that the exempt institutions received less funding in return for maintaining their pedagogical independence.

Rav Elyashiv’s unambiguous statements regarding the obligation to preserve the traditional form of educational institutions were well received by principals and other institution heads. Rabbonim and public figures said the positive response, which began shortly before Chag Matan Torah, at time when Bnei Yisroel pledged “Boneinu areivim,” heightened the obligation to uphold Jewish education in the age-old form handed down through the generations based on a recognition that “amoleinu eilu habonim,” for our children are the guarantors of the ongoing existence of Am Yisroel and the preservation of the Torah in its unadulterated form since Har Sinai.

Speaking with heads of the Union of Exempt Institutions, Rav Elyashiv said, “We have an obligation to preserve education in its pure form without introducing anything not transmitted to us from ancient times, and there is no dispensation to change the status of talmudei Torah from `exempt’ to `recognized but unofficial.'”

In light of various efforts to foist change on the chareidi education system Rav Elyashiv  found it necessary to reiterate the message he wrote in a letter in Sivan 5764 (1994) and a similar decision reached four months later by the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah.

{Deiah veDibur/Yair Alpert-Matzav.com Israel}


  1. I understand Rav Eliyashev’s message to be that Torah Jews should not compromise Torah values for the sake of governmental money. Hopefully, the kehillah will also heed the message of our greatest Gadol and not endorse John Corzine (a supporter of toeivah rights and pro-choice) in return for the money he pumps into the community.

  2. Avi, of course you are right but…there is peculiarity with bold and bearded guy: as far as I know, his predessesors, including RINO womyn Todd Whiman, ignored Lakewood completely(sizebale Torah Community exists since the days of Maran Reb Scneur, zy’a).B/B guy is not; as “senator”, as “governor”, he always…paid some attention.

  3. You can have it.The system reeks, it’s a joke, a failure, it doesn’t work, it’s based on government handouts, charity raising, chaluka handouts…it’s over. It’s finished. Understand this well.