Rav Yisroel Neuman Comments on Yesterday’s Letter and NJ Elections

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rav-yisroel-neumanExclusive: Following the release yesterday of a letter written by Rav Aryeh Malkiel Kotler, rosh yeshiva of Beth Medrash Govoha, after his discussion with Rav Aharon Leib Shteinman regarding the elections in New Jersey, a yungerman in Lakewood spoke with Rav Yisroel Neuman, rosh yeshiva of Beth Medrash Govoha regarding the Vaad of Lakewood’s endorsement of incumbent Goevrnor Jon Corzine.  Rav Neuman responded that Rav Kotler asked Rav Shteinman about this, and Rav Shteinman said that one should vote for Corzine.

The yungerman asked Rav Neuman if he knows how the question was presented to Rav Shteinman. Rav Neuman said that the shailah explained that one candidate will sign the marriage equality bill, while the other says that he won’t, but the first one – i.e., Corzine – has done favors for the community. Rav Shteinman responded that there is no lifnei iver with respect to a goy, so it is not assur to vote for Corzine, and since he has been helpful to the kehillah in general, members of the community should vote for him.

The yungerman asked Rav Neuman if there is a question of chillul Hashem when it emerges that religious non-Jews voted against Corzine because of his stance on issues of morality, while the religious Jews seemed to care more about the favors done for them. Rav Neuman said that this point was not asked to Rav Shteinman, and that it is indeed a taynah, but that he is not sure what to say regarding this.

Rav Neuman added that after Rav Kotler spoke to Rav Shteinman, Rav Shteinman called back the rosh yeshiva and said that if Rav Kotler had not yet written a letter regarding this inyan, it is better that it should not be written so that Rav Shteinman’s name would not be on the endorsement.

Rav Neuman was asked what he plans to do himself, and he responded that he’ll probably choose the approach of shev ve’al taaseh.

{Dovid Bernstein-Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. Today is Rav Shach’s Yuhrtzeit-A letter to Lakewood
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  2. “there is no lifnei iver with respect to a goy”

    This has GOT to be a misquote, or a misrepresentation.

    Please see the first Mishnah in Avodah Zarah.

  3. Rav Neuman was asked what he plans to do himself, and he responded that he’ll probably choose the approach of shev ve’al taaseh-DON’T VOTE TODAY AT ALL-STAY IN YESHIVA

  4. The issue of voting for corzine has been explained as a vote for corzine is a vote for Obama
    The entire US has been watching to see if New Jersey will start the defeat of Obama.
    It should be considered a moral obligation to help rid Eretz Yisroel of this menace. Sometimes Moral obligations are more important than money . Even though we need it .
    As I suspected the situation was not presented to rav Shteinman. He was not even informed of the national and international importance of this election . That is what it seems from Rav Neumans own words . The issue is gay rights versus support. The issue is much larger Rabbosai. I can only wonder what Rav Shteinman would have said if the real issue was presented .
    I for one do not know . But since It seems he was presented with only a part of the issue I will not go with thew advice . One has to know what he was paskening on . Was he told that every news broadcaster in the nation says this will be the beginning of Obamas end if he loses New Jersey?
    I anm afraid to vote for Obama rabbosai . I see him as an immediate and real danger to all of us . Not potential danger . real and immediate . I can not sell out to corizine under those circumstances even if I owe him Hakoros Hatov.
    You who vote in Jersey have an awesome responsibility. Stop the evil dangerous anti semetic Obama who supports all the evil against Klaal yisroel or show “hakoras hatov to Corzine
    I guess everyone will live by their own seichel . I just do not gey it at all . How can you not be afraid to squander the best opportunity we have to get Obama on the road to failure . If you vote for corizine you forfeit the right to complain about Obama for ever . Just remember that .

  5. it might not be a mistake
    ??’ ?????? ????? ????? ??’ ?? ??? ?, ???? ???? ???????.

    Any way, this is just another proof how the “Shaylos” are being asked, trying and rooting for a specific “Psak” – if you could call it that…

  6. What was or was not asked, what was or was not said, how it was said etc are all parts of the story that probably there is no way to really know.

    If Lifnei Iver applies to a goy or not is a halachic Shaylo not for any of us to Pasken on.

    What troubles me is two fold. Number 1 – the Aguda and all of our Gedolim have said so many times how critical it is for every Yid to vote and how we have a Chiyuv from our Gedolim of today and of recent past (Rav Moshe ZT”L etc)to vote. Not Chas Vsholom to question the Lakewood Rosh Yeshiva on the decision to not vote but what is the answer? (and the comment that you should learn and not vote is just silly to even write!!! – you missed the boat on that one my friend)

    #2 – I am wondering that with the ability to use the internet to twist things, it could be very bad PR and create a difficult MATZAV for Lakewood should it go Public that the Lakewood Rosh Yeshiva quote unquote said not to vote. This site took a chance that by publishing this story it could hurt Lakewood – no?

  7. So there’s a machlokes between R’ Shteinman and R’ Miller zt”l – R’ Miller held that it is completely assur to vote for someone who supports toeivah marriage. Going against the Vaad of Lakewood is not going against daas Torah, it’s simply following the psak of R’ Miller zt”l.

  8. Rav Shteinman responded that there is no lifnei iver with respect to a goy,

    He must of actually said that this is only M’Sayay Oivrey Avera that indeed doesn’t apply to a goy

  9. Last call, Rabosai! Shuv v al taaseh is the shita of Reb Yudel! At least vote for Meir and Menashe! Once you are standing there to vote, you should vote for Christie too, as shov v al taaseh would no longer apply!!

  10. Rav Moshe Feinstein ZT”L says that one should allways vote – see Igros Moshe.
    So my humble opinion is to vote.
    I already voted last week republican on absentee ballot as we all could & should do.
    Bikovod Rav;
    Waiting for Moshiach!

  11. Political exploitation and abuse of our Gedolim and Tzaddikim has reached an intolerable level. They need to be protected from politically connected machers with hidden agendas.

  12. ” There is no Lifnei Eiver with respect to an Einu Yehudi”,. What??.

    That means that in a hypothetical situation, where it is anonymous, and there is no Kiddush or Chillul Hashem, we are allowed to put a stone in front of a small , Einu Yehudi, kid walking?

    Hashem Yerachem Oleinu.

  13. I’m also a “YUNGERMAN IN LAKEWOOD YESHIVA”,& for some reason I dont believe this.WHY? HARAV SHTEINMAN understands & is pained by the “CHOIMER HA-ISSUR of TOIEIVA” MARRIAGE a million times more than any of us,he’s 3 times our age, he’s one of the GEDOILEI HADOR,he has seen and discussed this issue with many gedoilim … do you chas veshalom think he’s such a “FOOL” and he didnt take into account what the non-religious ragarding CHILLUL HASHEM, & only us smart 25-35 yr.olds understanand and have a deeper insight than him????? bec. we “REALLY” understand??????

  14. This is why Moreinu vRabbeinu HaRav Avigdor Miller z”l refused to join the mainstream ‘Orthodox” Jewish groups. They are clearly more concerned about other things, not the greater issues of Kiddush Shem Shammaim, safety, morality, and defeating socialism. It is a very great AVEIRA to vote for Democrats, especially today’s RESHAIM.

  15. If we are all going to do what R’ Yisroel is doing while he is “shev ve’al taaseh” I would agree “shev ve’al taaseh”. However I don’t believe that is the case.

  16. One of the previous gedolim said unequivically we are NOT allowed to vote for someone who is for the toeivah community.

    If there are two candidates with the same immoral problems then ask a shailoh but in this particualr case the previous gedolim have said it many times and for people to have the chutzpah to mock the gedolim is no wonder why we have kids at risk.

    The meforshim state in parshas Noach that one of the reasons why g-d destryoed the world was there were people who always looked for lumdus as to why to do something and the meforshim say that many times the thinking was actually correct but they were still punished because sometimes you could be right but for the wrong reasons at the wrong time.

    The bottom line is I just don’t understand why people think they know better than the previous generation.We are required to have a rav and do whatever our rav tells us to do wether we like it or not and the only time someone can over rule our own rav is when it comes from a godol b’yisroel and not people with agendas.

    This point was made clear many times at the Aguda conventions and it’s all on audio tape if anyone has questions. (1984-1988)

  17. #15, who exactly should protect them? why can’t they protect themselves?

    #17, of-course he would think of it, but you probebly don’t have much experience in today’s style of “asking”. They believe in “???? ??? – ??? ?????”. puting into the question what asnswer you want to hear. I don’t believe it for sure, but it does sound very familiar…

  18. Ari, I will entertain voting for you after I can feel assured that you acquired a soliod grounding in logical thinking and I am comfortable that you surround yourself with good people that don’t place revenge on their list of priorities. Hatzlocha.

  19. The issue wasn’t lifnei iver anyway. The issue is the ramifications to society as a whole including us if these bills are passed. Chazal mentions that certain societies were not destroyed because Kesuba was not given for alternate lifestyles.

  20. As a matter of fact it has absolutely zero to do with lifnei iver as the lifestyle itself won’t be changed for those who live that way presently and if the question is that the lifestyle will be promoted and expanded among the population further who is to say it is only gentiles that can will involved here

  21. To Mr. or Mrs. “annoyed”:

    Regarding your Comment #26, I heard on a tape of a lecture from Rav Yissachar Frand, Sh’lita, the issue said the other way around. Rav Frand mentioned that the Medrosh says that HaShem finalized the Gezara of the Mabul — G-D finalized the decree of destruction of the world with the flood, when people BEGAN WRITING KESUBOS — MARRIAGE CONTRACTS — FOR TWO MEN!!

  22. To Mr. or Mrs. “annoyed”:

    Your two above comments #26 and #27 are right on the mark!!

    See my comment at http://matzav.com/letter-rav-kotler-speaks-with-rav-shteinman-about-nj-elections, Comment #4, where I explained a little bit about how this terrible problem, Chas V’Shalom, affects ALL OF US.

    In general, Rav Avigdor Miller, ZT’L, very sadly related that, very unfortunately, a lot of the Toeva people are Jews, and very many of the leaders of the Toeva people, and very many of the people who are fighting to get all of these rights for the Toeva people are Jews. All over the country there are “Toeva Synagogues,” led by “Toeva ‘Rabbis,'” who, of course, perform “Toeva ‘Weddings.'”

    Of course, the Chillul HaShem that comes from all of this is Oyim V’Nora. I was there when Rav Miller exploded, and with a voice chocking with anger, exclaimed how in Germany, the secularized German Jews were in the forefront of movements and social actions that broke down and weakened German society. Then, when latter on, Hitler took over and began the propaganda that the Jews were ruining Germany — and the whole world, the German people went right along!



    He thus concluded that it is imperative that every Jewish child must be in a yeshiva and every Jewish adult must be led to observe the Torah. Because if not, the issue is not just that this person will thus not keep this Mitzva or that Mitzva; the issue is that this person will, Chas V’Shalom, become a PHYSICAL DANGER to Klall Yisroel!!

  23. Sometimes I think we could have more time for torah if when people distribute information on how rabbonim advise, or pasken, or just say what they will do, if we did not distribute it unless we are sure the rav in question had the same facts we did. As we know unfortunately some try to get rulings without fully sharing the facts and this misleads rabbonim. After all, we know a psak doesnt always hold if the facts presented were false or incomplete in an important way. Especially, now when many rabbonim who are poskim are not communal ravs, but roshei yeshivas who have spent a life in torah lishmah, they are dependent on others for information of all sorts.

    We have to recognize that we sometimes have askanim who misrepresents facts and cover up that they are nogeish bedavar, or claim that the person with the opposite position is not available. Such people in my opinion, (I can not talk about psak of course) are like false eidim, mamash.

    I know it is unpleasant to talk about these things. But when we dont deal with it we are not being loyal and protective of some of our gedolim, zikanim, bo biyomim. This creates many needless problems and leads to bitul torah for our greats who then have to clarify and streighten out our mess.

    I dont know what to do, but I believe that it would do much to raise up our community if we had a way of dealing with those who misuse their positions of trust with our gedolim and poskim.,


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