March 2, 2005

by Reb Yudel
Jewish Unity and Shared Torah Study

An interesting tidbit from Yair Sheleg's Daf Yomi piece in Ha'aretz, reminding us that the reason we have the verse to teach us that Torah sages "increase peace in the world" is that absent the verse, we would observe no such thing:

Ultimately, despite the celebrations, it is also impossible to avoid the political aspects of the event. One of the reasons for the large number of events to celebrate the completion of the cycle is not only the desire to have as many people as possible participate; it is also the fallout from disputes among the followers of various rabbis.

Thus, for example, the rabbi who is called "the Rabbinical Ruler of the Generation," Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, will not participate in the main event this evening at Yad Eliyahu but is in fact expected to participate in an event that will be held next week at Binyanei Hauma. The official reason given is that the elderly rabbi does not leave Jerusalem. However, one of the ultra-Orthodox newspapers relates that the real reason is that "Rabbi Elyashiv does not want to participate in any ceremony with three of the Torah sages who are supposed to participate in the ceremony at Yad Eliyahu: Rabbi Aharon Leib Steinman, whom he considers a reformer (Steinman supported the Tal committee, which encourages ultra-Orthodox men to go to work, and the ultra-Orthodox Nahal unit in the Israel Defense Forces); the admor of Ger, with whom he disagrees about a number of issues, and the Ger Hasidut is considered the main sponsor of the daily page project in the ultra-Orthodox world; and Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef, who disobeyed Rabbi Shach's instruction at the time not to enter the government of the left - Shas joined Yitzhak Rabin's government, and was also a partner in the government at the time of the signing of the Oslo agreements.

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