The Matzav Shmoooze: An Outcry for Respect?


chacham-ovadiah-yosefDear Readers,

We must show derech erech for every person, rov or layman, but I find it interesting that some people and some in the news business choose to express an outcry only when certain people are maligned. When it is Dov Lipman who is castigated, they cry out for “respect” for the Knesset member. When it is Avi Weiss who is called out for adulterating Yiddishkeit, they decry the lack of derech eretz toward the head of Chovevei Torah and the Maharat Institute which seeks to destroy Orthodoxy as we know it.

In those two cases, it is actually a mitzvah to condemn those people’s actions. They have gone their own way, without the support of Torah leaders. But all some people seem worried about is their “kavod.” Pinchos didn’t worry about Zimri’s and Cozbi’s “kavod” when it was time to take action.

In the case of Rav Stav and his desire to be chief rabbi in Israel, I am amazed at how people have come out of the woodwork to cry out for derech eretz for Rav Stav, yet for one of the gedolei hador, Chacham Ovadiah Yosef, you hear nothing.

Now, to be clear, I condemn attacks and assault on Rav Stav that are not directed by Torah leaders. But have these same people who cry out about “lack of respect” also cried out for the kavod of our gedolim?

Where is the outcry for proper kavod for Chacham Ovadiah?

Where is the outcry for proper kavod for our gedolim, who are freely mocked on certain “frum” websites all in the name of “neias“?

Where is the outcry for proper kavod for American roshei yeshiva?

Where is the outcry for kavod to families whose lives are destroyed each day by websites and others who care about no one?

When someone cries out for derech eretz and respect, pay close attention. It isn’t always what it appears to be.

A Jew

Brooklyn, NY

{ Newscenter}


  1. To the author, A Jew: You are absolutely right and you should be commended on speaking out. It is clear that there is an all out assault on not only the chareidi world but on Torah, in general. The problem is that the modern orthodox world has (consciously or sub-consciously) taken on the ways (thinking) of today’s behaviors, but moreso, most Jews haven’t an inkling of what a Jew is and are completely either disassociated from the Jewish community or are its vicious opponents. It is no secret that there is a general war on ‘religion’ and the promotion of secularization is being pushed forward. Because of the lack of any Yiddishkeit, many Jews are easy prey. There is no fear of Heaven, therefore, no respect for our sages, the gedolei Yisrael.

  2. I think that there was a big mistake made. The letter, as it is written, is extremely ambiguous. It isn’t clear whether the insulting sentences refer to HaGaon R’ Ovadia Yosef or to the people who assaulted R’ Stav at a wedding.

    As a Modern Orthodox who commonly speaks to Rabbonim who are members of the RCA, I can’t believe the insults are directed at R’ Yosef. My own Rav often quotes R’ Yosef in shiurim, and has the highest level of respect for him (as do I!)

    I therefore must conclude that the sentences in question refer only to the people who assaulted R’ Stav – and they rightfully deserve those insults!

    I plan on asking my Rav about this letter, to see what he has to say about it. I am confident that he will say the same as what I am thinking. If I am mistaken, and the insults are directed at R’ Yosef, I will ask my Rav (an RCA member) to put in a demand on my behalf for an apology to R’ Yosef.

  3. I assume you were referring to the RCA condemning R’ Stav mentioned on one of the nies websites. Did you read the letter?!? They do NOT personally attack Rav Ovadiah, they do condemn his harsh words about R stav, and wrote that the actions of some to attack R Stav at a wedding as corrupt and repulsive, they do not make any attack of R Ovadiah personally.

  4. I wasn’t aware that the laws or recheilus, loshon hora, and motzei shem ra, did not apply to the Gedolei Hador. I wish to be enlightened.

  5. Hazak Uvaruch to the letter-writer.

    Modern Orthodox, I applaud your efforts in demanding an apology. I also had that Safek, but it seems like it is directed at both. If not, a clarification would have been put forth by now. It’s been a couple days already, and they were already condemned by Kikar Hashabbat. Where’s the clarification? Ela mai, they hold by all their words.

    On my blog, I also demanded an apology.

    Nothing can justify such words. Nothing.

  6. Your quest would go further if you had put Rabbi in front of Lipman.
    Apparently for you, respect is only demanded to you, but not from you.

  7. The point is that it is not our place to stick our personal opinions or comments in on fights that go on between Talmidie Chachomim and Gedolim.

    Most people understand this when it comes to fights between earlier Gedolim Like Yaavetz and RY”E (where the things Yaavetz were saying against RY”E was a whole lot worse then anything being said in these modern fights…)

    I don’t understand why people who claim to respect Talmidei Chachomim think they can stick their heads into modern fights between towering Talmidie Chachomim when it is about Zionisim…..

  8. Guarding your mouth from sin does not include refraining from common sense.
    Who are you to tell any jew that he has no right to question authority and ask for forgiveness?

  9. Great point. When will people stand up for the kavod of gedolim? Parenthetically, why does it seem like Matzav website is the only one who even cares about such things. Very sad

  10. Good article, and absolutely spot on. How can we ever expect Moshiach when we can’t even respect and love each other.

  11. #4,
    in any case they should clarify. Especially since the grammar indicates that the insults were directed at both, (but you never know since there were other grammatical mistakes there…) – and either way, they were totally irresponsible, for “Talmidei Chachamim”, to write it in such a way.

  12. And how about newspapers and websites that call themselves chareidi yet all they promote are the views of the anti-chareidim, they promote the views of Rav Tzav and not Rav Yosef

  13. To #16- That is absolutely false. We are not allowed to mix in! I have a few rayos which are not for such public consumption. I would be happy to write you privately.

    On the topic at hand, I can’t understand that a Gadol HaDor spoke and people don’t seek to understand WHY he took such a strong public opinion.

    We tell our children that they can never contradict us as their parents or their rabbeim.

    What do we do? Go and say that the Gadol HaDor made a mistake. He even spoke lashon hara, chas v’shalom. Ay yay yay.

    It is a sad commentary on our generation that we have all this vocal criticism against and not rock solid emunas chachomim to show our children that what we daven for 3 times a day- al hatzadikim is truly from the heart and not just reciting text.