Mesivta in Lakewood suspends dozens of Bachurim who went to Skulener Rebbe’s Levaya without permission

A Mesivta in Lakewood has suspended dozens of Bachurim for going to the Levaya of the Skulener Rebbe without permission from the school administration, sources told TLS.

The Mesivta, according to sources, told Bachurim they should stay in Yeshivah as a unit and Learn instead of traveling to New York for the Levaya.

However, approximately 50 Bachurim decided to band together and go anyways.

Today, they were told not to come back to Yeshivah. Some will possibly not be allowed to return to the Yeshivah.

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  1. In a time when Bachrim are going to all kinds of sports venues and other events ( fact!) this is the response? Boys going to a gadols Levaya?!?!
    And you are wondering why Bochrim are going off the derech?

  2. Nothing to be Commended! The Gemara says Mevatlin Talmud Torah L’halvoyas Hames especially A Gadol Hador from prewar Europe. That doesn’t mean that he must close the Yeshiva but kicking out boys that felt close with the Tzaddik and wanted to pay they’re final respects is Wrong!! I’m sure for Reb Ahron Kotlers Levaya situation would be different.

  3. . … Then we wonder why todays kids go off the D.

    They went to the levaya of one of the ziknay hador, for goodness sake. They didn’t go to a ballgame or circus, etc.

    • do you know this as a fact? Are you 100% sure they actually went to the Levaya and no place else? Easy to make assumptions but don’t because they are usually wrong.

      The Menahel is very level headed and knows what he is doing. He realizes that people will be questioning him forever if he throws 50 (big number there) guys out cause they went to a levaya of a Tzadik. So, clearly that is not what happened and the whole story is not being reported (for whatever reason)

  4. Its a major liability for the yeshiva for students to just do things like this without reshus. Cant blame the yeshiva for putting thier foot down. Can u imagine if the vehicle or bus they went with got into a major accident on the way?
    Major liability.

  5. I don’t know which yeshiva this is or the type of boys that went, and my initial reaction was the same like the first few comments that said why, they did something good, it’s not like they went somewhere questionable! But after a couple seconds I realized obviously the yeshiva knows what they’re up against. These boys might be constant troublemakers and it’s possible the boys weren’t going l’shem the levaya, rather more l’shem to leave yeshiva. There’s always more to the story than shared. Having said that, I do agree there is no reason for the scoop to publish this news….

    • I don’t know of one yeshiva that didn’t go to R’ Shmuel Berenbaum’s Levaya. Yes, he was litvish. So what? If it was, as was reported, that these bochurim were from a chasidish background, I find it crazy that the yeshiva didn’t let them go in the first place.

      • That is their Rosh Yeshivas decision to make. Once the Rosh Yeshivah made his decision, and the bochurim defied him, their needs to be repercussions.

      • I have a kabbalah from the Mashgiach, Rav Chatzkel that one does not leave seder unless it’s a levaya of one you had contact with.

      • My yeshiva did not go to R’ Shmuel Berenbaums Levaya. we were not happy about it. But that was the rosh hayeshivas decision and we listened over the phone as a yeshiva and went back to learning afterwards.

  6. When a bachur learns in a yeshiva he has to listen to the Rosh Yeshiva (principal)! Rather the Rosh Yeshiva was right or wrong for deciding so that’s a different conversation n none of the bochurim’s business. When your in a ‘Misgeres’ of a yeshiva u GOT TO listen. Simple. No it’s and but’s! If they really wanted to go they should of had their parents call the Rosh Yeshiva n talk to him.
    P.s. I saw the group of bochurim today in a nearby shul, asked why they’re there n they told me, I told them the above. None of them could answer to the above. I feel sorry for them but that should be a Chinuch lesson for them.

  7. Let’s take the opposite scenario; what would be if a chasidishe yeshiva forbids bochrim to go to Reb Elya Svei’s Levaya and then suspending them for going. Everyone would scream chai v’kayom!!!!
    I’m not saying what they did was right or wrong, but the proper thing to do in this case is just look the other way and ignore it – not punish them.

  8. I don’t think they would’ve gotten suspended just for going to the Levaya. They got suspended for clearly disobeying the Hanhala after being told not to go.
    As for why they weren’t allowed in the first place, there are many more considerations besides for Bitul Torah.

  9. In todays generation with some much issues with our youth, so many falling away as they have no geshmak in yiddishkeit, this is the first thing a yeshiva should run to with talmidim, anyone that was there walked away with a life lasting effect is some way ,something he will always give over to generations to come, very sad a yeshiva would focus on fighting such a thing

  10. Reasonable and clear direction and rules, with consequences for disobedience. Sounds like values the yeshiva is supposed to be instilling in our youth.

  11. You can argue if the school was right in not allowing them to go, Once they were told not to go, and they disregarded it, the school correctly suspended them, as they disobeyed authority.

  12. leave the learning for the rabbis! if they say not to go- then dont go-

    if you dont plan to obey the roshy yeshiva- go to a different yeshiva!

    fact is- the ones creating the chaos at the levaya were the youngsters!!!

  13. Before you all judge with knowing half the story, three quarters of the 70 bochurim who went, left before they were told that they may not go. They went with their fathers not their own transportation. FYI by Rabbi Shmuel Birnbaum’s zt”l’s levaya the mesivta provided transportation there. To my knowledge most of those who went would not have gone had they heard explicitly that they may not go. That only came the morning of the actual levaya after they already had left.

    • Why are you an other commenters bringing other levayas into the discussion. That is not the point. the point is that they left Yeshiva without rishus from the R”Y and in some cases, in open defiance of him.

    • I believe you. Most bochurim would not defy the hanhala b’davka. Especially not such a large group of boys. I had a wonderful son in a diff mesivta that got “suspended” once because the hanhalla was not clear – rochel bitcha haketana – and the boys were supposed to be understand on their own. Not every bochur has the maturity to understand that a suggestion is actually a chok v’lo yaavor. I don’t know the scenario here, but I can easily see a father taking a son to a levaya and finding out later that it was not allowed. The only thing to learn is that parents should be in touch with the hanhala to ask rishus first. It’s a shame that in listening to parents, boys are caught in-between. L’aniyas daati, if I was the menahel, I would say that you should not have gone, it’s bitul Torah etc, it’s not a hefker velt, you should have asked rishus, however, if you went with your father, your father is a baal seichel (perhaps talmid chochom) and we respect his opinion, so we’re letting you off with a warning, next time ask rishus. There will be no more warnings.
      And next time there is a mokom for ambiguity (eg. if the 9th grade boys have to be there for Rosh Hashana davening), the hanhala should send out a letter/email to the parents telling what’s expected – early. If yeshivos are concerned about bitul Torah, there’s alot more when the bochurim are out for a few days….

      • Just a Mother… Your suggestion of how t handle it may make sense if it was one or 2 bochurim, but when so many bochurim defy the Rosh Yeshiva, they need to take a strong stance, or they no longer have a Yeshiva.

  14. In regard to ?? ‘s comment, I know some of these boys. They are metzuyanim in every way. Never missed a day, never show up late, and you would be proud to take many of them as a son in law. They were just not told no straight out until it was too late because they had already left.

  15. The fact is true, the Yeshiva did NOT say they can’t go at all until most bachurim had left already. The issue is that they hadn’t asked initially. A Yeshiva has all the rights however to decide how to be michanech it’s talmidim.

  16. Just to add…. even if they were wrong the question is what is the punishment that they should get…. why throw them out or suspend them? Why not force them to learn more mussar on importance of listening to rabbiem.. mussar mussar mussar… more shmuzim…explain why it was wrong… teach the next generation… dont scorn them.

  17. For real?? Lol I’m so laughing! Kick out 50 guys for going to what they thought was positive and good?? Was it his or his levaya? Lol for real? Do we choose who’s levaya is right to go to and who’s is not? They acted as a whole! They went to something they felt was right to go to, what we are taught and what is instilled in us! A great person has left us! Chassidish? Litvish? Sefardic? Who. Cares. Are we not ONE? Maybe, just maybe this is just a little reason why The Almighty doesn’t bring the geula. Because we, between ourselves, can’t find the love to show one from another sect that we are together. Even if it was just one boy that went, how can you take that from our youth? I don’t know how we can last so much longer. Please, Hashem, see you precious children and show us the light.

  18. It’s rather very unlikely the Yeshiva told them in advance not to attend as news of the petira spread after Yeshiva hours and the talmidim had to leave early before Yeshiva started to go to the levaya.

  19. @anonymous…. I appreciate the clarification. As I stated above, I had no idea who or what these boys are, it was just speculation on my part to show that there might be another side to the story. But if what you say is really the case, then I definitely don’t see how it’s fair for the punishment to be so severe. Suspension seems a bit irrational here, especially since you say they weren’t told straight out not to go until they had already left…..

  20. I am sure you all agree that the Skulener Rebbe was a Godol Byisroel an unparalleled leader to both Chasidish and non chasidish alike.
    For a Rosh Yeshiva to actually take the time or effort to forbid Bochurim from going to such a venue is the only problem that exists in this particular situation. The fact that Bochurim attended with their parents permission is not a problem. The fact that they came back that evening to Yeshiva and were allowed in is also not an issue. The fact that they all came to Yeshiva this morning to learn is again not an issue. So the only issue is What makes a Rosh Yeshiva not want them to go?

  21. straightbrain-
    You sound as crooked-brained as they come.
    I am not part of the hanhala of the Yeshiva. Daas Torah doesn’t come from me, or from you.
    The rosh yeshiva said not to go. Period.
    It’s his decision whether a Seder of learning is more important. These are heavy Shailos that are discussed between roshei mosdos and the gedolim, mainly R’ Shmuel Kamenetsky.
    Our job as parents is to look to the hanhala of the Yeshivos we send to, and follow verbatim what they say.
    If the yeshiva hadn’t said no before the parents left, the parents should have asked first. It’s not simple to take off a seder of learning.

  22. When my brother was in Patterson the whole yeshiva went to Reb Noson wachtfogel Levaya with our permission and the same reaction by rabbi swerdloff totally on board

  23. In my Daas Torah, the mesivta is correct. Fifty? That’s a LOT. How can they cause such a rifyon in yeshiva without reshus? Especially if it’s against the hanhala? A bachur must show kavod to the skulener, obviously, but her must also respect rabbeim.

  24. Pizza schrwama cell phones coffee shops

    yeshivas in residential areas all great reasons why a boucher should not be distracted from his learning but to go give kovod to a gadol byisroel is a problem


  25. I “was” talmid of Reb volbe in beer yakov.he did not let the buchrim go to levaya of Reb Chaim Shmulevutz ztl.made buchrim sit on the floor and gave hespid.

  26. When I was a bachur about twelve years ago we had a similar situation as we went to somewhere that we felt we should go and the Roshei Yeshiva forbade us from going. About 40 boys were suspended and only allowed back in after their parents came down to Yeshiva. The Roshei Yeshiva were from the Gedolei Hador and felt very strongly that even though we had a good reason for going but the Yeshiva’s rule must reign supreme!!!!

  27. The fact is that the Buchrim were told the night before that according to one shita they are not MCHUAV to go, thats it!

    So they understood the R Yeshivas position is that they dont HAVE to go,so why in the world they got kicked out for going just does NOT make any sense.

  28. Am I the only one that’s gets the real story here?! There are now 50 openings for mesivta slots in what’s otherwise a crazy tight market. This is actually a benefit for the community at large!

  29. Wow!!! So so complicated. Simple:
    You go to a Yeshiva
    You have a Rosh Hayeshiva
    The Rosh Hayeshiva says not to do something
    You don’t listen
    You get kicked out.
    Wasn’t that complected?
    Let’s see what other bright comments people have on this.

  30. Ps they were also told the night before anyone goes will be kicked out
    Ain onshen ele I’m ken mazeyrem this boys were big shots they went anyway

  31. Maybe the Rosh yeshiva thought that the best way for the bachurim to honor the Skulener Rebbe was for them to learn Torah. Talmud Torah kineged kulam.
    Hopefully the Rosh Yeshiva will allow the bachurim to not be bitul now and will allow them to return.

  32. I have a strange feeling, just judging from word structure and the style of comments, every one who is on the Yeshivas side, has a job of some authority capacity in a school setting or similar and everyone against, doesnt. You gotta have a big Yeshiva to throw out 50 guys and still have a Kol Torah in ur building. I’m also offering to open a Yeshiva for those 50 boys, if their Rosh doesn’t let them back in.

    • Well your hunch would be incorrect. I have already seen quotes from people who heard from R’ Chazkel Levenstien and R’Volbe, that they were told not to go to a levaya in the middle of the Zman unless they personally knew the person. My R”Y, also an Alter Mirrer, would also not have allowed bochurim to go be mevatil a days sedorim in the middle of the zman. There are different mahalchim, If you are in a Yeshiva, you can not have 50 bochurim openly defy the R”Y.

  33. To Yudi,

    NO they were NOT told the night before, only in the morning when they had already left….

    In addition he spoke about it at night and did NOT mention that its NOT ALLOWED to go only that there is no חיוב according to ONE שיטה….

  34. The story was as follows as heard from my brother who learns there.

    The night before the RY Gave a Hesped, he then said which is unusual for him as things are black and white white him.

    I believe the Rebbi would want to honor his memory by learning in Yeshiva during the Levaya.

    The boys had a מחלוקת the night before what that meant.

    Most boys understood that the RY understands that they want to go but he can’t stop them. So he gave his opinion as to what he thinks.

  35. My phone has been ringing off the hook trying to get these boys into another yeshiva. Finding 50 slots is not an easy task by any stretch, even with a lot of pull!

  36. I will say this; the Skulener Rebbe was a very learned man. HE would have wanted the bochurim in Yeshiva learning, instaad of at the levaya.

  37. Kodem kol its bavust that you hear what you wanna hear so anyone wanting to go would have figured out how the Rosh yeshiva really meant to say they should even if he would have said lihedya not to. Veod it’s pashut that when a bachurim go to a yeshiva they are being mekabel on themselves all takanas hayeshiva and the yeshiva can’t function when bachurim think they can do whatever they want which I’m sure is now clear that that’s not the case. Also as far as those talmidei chachamim quoted from the gemara megila there is a chiluk between the same city and an ir acheres they say r chatzkel wouldn’t let the bachurim go to a Levaya if they had to travel from yeshiva to bnei brak unless he was your Rebbe

  38. Kol hakovod to the Rosh Hayeshiva! I have nothing to do with the yeshiva and I have no idea who it is, but some things I do know: it is a big mitzva and kiddish H’ to listen to the Rosh Hayeshiva because to his talmidim he is like Moshe Rabeinu! Those bachrim that didn’t listen deserve what they got. We have to stand up to support the Emes! What do you think R. Avigdor Miller would say?

  39. Are you taking upon yourselves the future of those Bachurim? I appreciate the Chinuch you’re giving, but… Maybe there’s a limit…?

  40. I once was making a wedding for my child and took out my son from Yeshiva to go to the wedding of his sibling . I never dreamed I had to ask permission to miss Yeshiva for 2 days. The wedding was out of town. When I came back the menahel suspended him for not asking permission. I had to beg the menahel to let him in and promise never to do that again. He even asked me what was I thinking to take him out of Yeshiva for two days without asking first.
    The bottom line is if I want my child in that Yeshiva I have to follow orders even if I didn’t know about them.

    • seriously, you never dreamed that you had to inform the yeshiva that you were taking your kid out for a couple days if he was out of town that’sjust insane and if he was in town that’s just willful ignorance.

  41. Let me first say I agree 100% with the Rosh Yeshivas here. If you saw the videos it’s a miracle no one died at the Levaya. Can you imagine something happening to these Bochurim, when at the time is the RY responsibility?

    Are we talking about High School or Bais Medrash Bochurim. If High School then certainly they should be suspended. If Bais Medrash and they are over 18 I hear the argument but agree with the RY.
    Is this Yeshiva in-town or dorm kind of Yeshiva?

    Personally after what happened at this Levaya I think all High School 9-11 grades should ban their bochurim from going. It was extremely dangerous at this levaya. Unless the bochur has a personal connection.

  42. In the era of OTD,
    The kids want shwarma give it to them!
    A new computer, new clothes more food ,new toys ,a vacation more $$$ whatever ,just give it to them.
    don’t ever discipline them,give them ideas demand anything from them, tell them what to do they might just go OTD .

  43. When a bucher is going off the d then the yeshiva is careful with what they do.but any good thing they do and the yeshiva doesn’t like, right away they go with aggressive.
    Wake up and smell the coffee.

  44. The menhaels decision is justified. Has nothing to do with OTD. They were told explicitly not to go and decided to violate his instructions anyways. Doesn’t matter whose Levaya it is. Perhaps he should have allowed them to go but once it was decided that they shouldn’t go, he is in the right.

  45. I’m sorry to say but I do not agree with the menahel’s decision. Children today need love and warmth, not to be controlled and manipulated. A better way to have dealt with it was to speak to the boys and tell them “under normal circumstances you would have a consequence for cutting Yeshivah but how can we punish you for attending the levaya of such a gadol b’yisroel. We hope the hespeidim you heard will have an influence on you to emulate the ways of our gedoloi yisroel.” Aside for the fact that just seeing such a large crowd of tens of thousands of yidden at such a setting has a power to influence a bachur (or any person for the matter) and leave a lasting impression. May we be zoche to follow in the ways of the holy Skulener Rebbe zatzal who was known for his tremendous ahavas yisroel.

  46. I’m not understanding why people commenting here are so bias they don’t even read the comment where it explicitly says that they were NOT explicity told not to go.
    I feel terrible for these boys and their families this was an historic levaya of one of the last gedolim of prewar Europe.

  47. regarding the comment that the rebba would have wanted them to learn rather than coming to his levaya. chazal who understood the chashivus of torah said to be mevatel torah for a levaya. its like a person that goes to simchos during aveilus because the nifter would not want i should miss a simcha. we have to go with shulchan aruch and gedolai haposkim and not make cheshbonos. i am not coming to knock this rosh yeshiva, he has a right to pasken for his talmidim ,but dont blame it on the rebba, when the gemara shulchan aruch and hanhaga of gedolim was to go to levayos of gedolai yisroel, and maybe bittula zu hi kiyuma

    • that chazal is not about a levayah out of town it’s about a levayah passing by the beis midrash that you should stop learning and walk a bit with the procession

  48. I haven’t really formulated an opinion on this topic yet.
    On the one hand, Yeshivas rule should reign supreme,
    On the other hand The Skulener Rebbe was a big Tzadik and if good bochrim wanted to go, they should’ve let them.
    On the third hand , fifty boys will now be on the streets , which will cause a Huge Rifyon and tremendous bitul Torah
    And on the fourth hand, the Yeshiva is getting some unwanted scrutiny worldwide, which would probably give them negative attention.
    I would’ve given them a 3 day sentence and would’ve moved on .

  49. Again they were NOT told they cant go, the fact is in Chasidish world was considered צדיק הדור so they didnt have a הוה אמינה that the yeshiva has a issue with it…

    If the Yeshiva would say בפירוש you cant go then they are correct for suspending for few days.

    The question is if makes even sense to say not to go to his lavayah thats a different debate… but not for buchrim to decide.

  50. A Yeshivah has a Tzurah, its for the Menahel to decide upon that Tzurah.

    Mere analisis will not suffice, in ascertaining the justification of what the Menahel did.

    It would be like judging a a procedure that surgeon took without intimate knowledge of the patient.

    We can trust the Menahel in what he did just as the parents trusted him with their children’s Chinuch.

    They went against the Menhels decision thus they went against tzuras Hayeshivah.

    There is no greater value than Learning Torah How much more so the ‘Chinuch’ i.e. training, to Learn Torah.

  51. Enough already! Since when are we daas Torah? Even if you know all the facts 100 percent u still have no right to talk in place of daas Torah. As to why this story was publicized in the first place is beyond me. Have a good day

  52. When i was a bachur in philly. the whole yeshiva went to the siyum hashas in manhattan and some of us stopped in to kosher delight to get a pastrmi sandwich. Reb Elya was so upset that he gave a schmooze by neila on yom kippur. vehameivin yuvin.

  53. I just gave a ride home to one if the Mesifta boys who was suspended. He was a shpitz aidela bochur and yes he defied the Rosh Hayeshiva by going to the levayeh. He did so because it was the right thing to do.

    A Rosh Yeshiva’s job is inspire the bocherim to do what is right; not to rule by tyranical fiat. The Sekulener Rebbe was an inspiration to all whether they be Chassidim or otherwise, to a far greater extent than this particular Roshe Yeshiva. It is surprising that the Rosh Hayishivah himself didn’t fell compelled to attend the levaye.

    It is very difficult to compose an opinion or critique decisions made by Roshei Yeshivah without transgressing the laws of Loshon Horah, but fifty bochorim constitute a kehilla onto themselves and as such are deserving to be judged l’kaf zechus.

    There is much that can be said in defense of these bochorim, but unfortunately such defenses would require violating loshen horah.

    As to what some posts suggest that a bochor must listen to the hanhola regardless of whether the Rosh Hayeshiva is right or wrong, it seems to me that these posters never attended a yeshiva in Eretz Yisroel. There it is unheard of that a bochur follows his Rosh Hayishva blindly (unless the bocher is an American).

    And this isn’t something that has not occurred in previous generations. Most bochorim completely “feifed uhn” R ‘ Bainish Z’tzal. Even in the “alter mir” there were talmidim of great stature who completely disregarded R’ Lezer Yudel Z’tzal.

    Without violating loshen horah I express my humble opinion that this Rosh Hayishivah, as righteous as he may be, might have found a solution less drastic than suspending these otherwise fine young men.

  54. And take note everyone – the upcoming Siyum Hashas taking place in January – middle of the Zman – unanimously! Let the mayhem begin….

  55. I am sure these Bochurim are good and special and maybe even one day they will become leaders of Klal Yisroel but if their Rosh Yeshiva said not to go then you Dont go period…
    If you are in the certain Mosed you follow their rules that is all .. if not then you don’t belong there ..find yourself a different Mosed where you can follow your own rules .

  56. There seems to be a confusion if the one in charge told them explicitly not to go or just suggested that it wasn’t necessary. Once that’s clarified then I think most people would agree what should be done.

  57. This is an amazing opportunity!!! Some quick thinking yingerman in need of a job (and there are plenty)should quickly find these 50 guys and make a Yeshiva for them!!!

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