Rav Malkiel Kotler Criticizes Orthodox Newspaper for Tribute Publication

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rav-malkiel-kotlerRav Malkiel Kotler, the rosh yeshiva of Beth Medrash Govoah of Lakewood, issued strong words regarding a Jewish publication that recently published a tribute pamphlet about an “adam choshuv.” Rav Kotler’s remarks were made during a drasha delivered at a mesibas preidah for Rav Yehudah Jacobs, a longtime mashgiach at Beth Medrash Govoah who will be moving to Eretz Yisroel. About 500 talmidim of the yeshiva, and others, were in attendance at the gathering.

Rav Kotler quoted an explanation from Rav Tzvi Hirsh of Antislov, a talmid of the Vilna Gaon, on the posuk of Toras Hashem temimah. Torah is temimah, say Chazal, and one who learns Torah bishleimus will merit for it to be meshivas nofesh.

But how can one learn Torah b’temimus, in its entirety? After all, as Chazal say, the Torah’s breadth is beyond our comprehension.

Rav Tzvi Hirsh of Antislov explained that temimah does not mean that one learns the entire Torah, but that Torah is everything and everything can be found in Torah. As Chazal say, “Hafoch boh vahafoch boh dekulah boh.” Everything can be extracted and learned from the Torah. The Torah can dictate the entire derech of a person. Everything – including solutions to problems, eitzos, and hadracha – is found in Torah. This, said Rav Kotler, is the koach that Rav Yehudah Jacobs saw and instilled in talmidim.

Rav Kotler then remarked, “Bederech agav, or perhaps not bederech agav, I feel I must mention that one of the newspapers, one of the frum newspapers, released a special publication about a certain person, an adam choshuv by the way, who founded the ‘dovor behifucho’ of Torah lishmah, the dovor behifucho that was established for heimishe Yidden and bnei Torah to go there in another place and make it kosher. And an entire publication [about this person was published] and if it is read by them is one thing, but it is being read by [those in our community] too. It is presented as if it is a holy thing and a choshuveh thing. Surely one who has hashkofas haTorah…one who is lacking the hashkofas haTorah can surely be unsure what will dictate his life, what is the derech yeilchu boh, what will direct his life, if his life will be led by other things, by college…or if his life will be fully enveloped and dictated by Torah…”

The full-color insert that was referred to in these remarks was dated 18 Tammuz 5770-June 30 2010. It was published by a Brooklyn-based Orthodox Jewish newspaper and features over 50 articles from a variety of writers. The 48-page booklet titled “A Consummate Ba’al Chessed” was included free with the publication’s Parshas Pinchos edition.

 {Dovid Bernstein-Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. I am a big fan of Matzav.com but I hat posts like this. why post something withou telling the name of the paper?? It’s like saying ” Jewish leader embarks on trip to dangerous place to meet evil leader” say something!!!

  2. B”H that true Da’as Torah is speaking out. At the time, all the Gedolim were against the endeavor, and it’s a bizayon HaTorah that they could print such a tribute.

  3. only favorable comments allowed? are you communists? My comment submitted under the name pathetic and sad was not accepted. Are you afraid of dissenting opinions? Show a little courage and show my comment. What could happen..actual discussion?!

  4. I thought there was only ONE frum English newspaper and as far as i had know it had no such insert. Something is strange. Is there some other paper that I don’t know about? Someone please enlighten me.

  5. All Bnei Torah the world over stand behind the Rosh Yeshiva in denouncing the publication. The time has come in America to stand up for Kavod Hatorah.
    Especially when a publication goes to great lengths not to offend any sector of torah judaism, to forget about offending the Torah & Bnei Torah is simply unjustifiable.

  6. This isn’t the first time they’ve wrote things they shouldn’t write. Weather it’s denouncing protests in Yerushalayim that the Gedolim called for or it’s this it’s about time we realize this.

  7. The RY shlita doesnt need our chizuk but I have to say that, I know the MO world is going to scream and all their anti-kolel drivel but he stands firm with his mesora. Gevaldik.

  8. why are my comments still waiting for moderation? I didnt write any deragatory comments. Are you afraid of the truth?

  9. May I ask, why did you not publish the first line of my comment.
    You must know it is true.
    This site sanitizes its articles so not to offend the modern orthodox sector.

  10. their isn’t a chance in the world that you will publish my comments because Matzav does not publish anything that tells the truth

  11. where’s my comment? Wow, you’re so afraid of dissent and discussion it’s unbelievable- crawl back into your Taliban hole- watch out for the grenades!

  12. Attn: 24. Comment from look – Time July 5, 2010 at 4:41 PM

    I don’t know what your comment was, but yes, Matzav, is very much afraid of the truth, if it does not fit their self-serving agenda. They seem to be convinced that they carry the flag of Torah & Emes, but its actually the exact opposite.

    Of course this won’t be posted. because again – its the truth…..

  13. seems as if a lot of comments are not being published, including mine. Afraid of criticism? Afraid of another point of view?

  14. We thank R’ Malkiel for continuing in the steps of his great father and grandfather ZT’L.
    Why is Matzav holding back the name??? According to The Steipler, Rav Shach, Reb Moshe, Reb Yakov ZT’L it was a mitzva to mefarsem the name. Are you more knowledgeable in halocho than them!!!!!!!!!!

  15. All you printed are people’s comments complaining that their comments weren’t printed, well mine wasn’t either. Welcome to the club of non-printed commentators.

  16. What are you guys talking about? My lengthy response to the Matzav article was printed in its entirety. Indeed , just about everything I’ve ever written, critical and all, has been published in their entirety. I am grateful to Matzav for allowing me the freedom of speech to express my views here. Thank you, editor of Matzav. And I’m serious.

  17. Shmuel, check if your comment doesn’t say “waiting for moderation” underneath as it seems your comment wasn’t approved…

  18. Shmuel must work for Matzv. i got this on my last comment..”Thank you for your comment! It has been added to the moderation queue and will be published here if approved by the webmaster.” that was 3 days ago.

    I feel like my comment is only going to get approved 3 month later when the “news”is so old that no one cares anymore.

    but what ever no ones ever gonna read this because matzav will probably tag it as offensive.

  19. In response to #34: the exact opposite is true- as the R”Y said the person is an “adam choshuv”. This was only a clarification of HASHKAFA alone, not an attack against any person at all, this is very clearly the R”Y’s intent!!


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