Where is Beis HaTalmud (Lakewood Kollel in Melbourne) on RMG Rabi issues?

I don’t frequent this Kollel, so there may have been a learned treatise published from its Rabbis which address RMG Rabi’s broad-shouldered pronouncements on grave Kashrus issues. I do know that the Rosh Kollel there takes his Halachic advice from Rabbi Heinemann.

I’d like to think that an institution that pays its members to sit and learns all day and is supported by various, actually has an opinion and is ready to publish this somewhere; all other groups have disavowed themselves of RMG Rabi’s Kashrus Business, including the Haredi Adass through Rav A.Z. Beck, Rav Schachter from the OU, Chabad, and leading Haredi Poskim in Israel. There can be no doubt that some of the few who do eat based on Rabi’s supervision attend a Shiur at Beis HaTalmud.

If a place of learning is silent and doesn’t publish halacha, then one has to wonder what the value of pilpul that never ends with a definitive full stop is worth? Many Gedolim, such as R’ Chaim Brisker thought that pilpul was a waste of time, as is well-known.

I will give the benefit of the doubt and assume this isn’t some mysterious case of misplaced diplomacy gone wrong. שתיקה כהודאה?

If anyone has an analysis coming out of that Kollel, I’d be pleased to read it.

Thanks.

Author: pitputim

I'm a computer science professor in Melbourne, Australia. I skylark as the band leader/singer for the Schnapps band. My high schooling was in Chabad and I continued at Yeshivat Kerem B'Yavneh in Israel.

33 thoughts on “Where is Beis HaTalmud (Lakewood Kollel in Melbourne) on RMG Rabi issues?”

  1. I’m not sure that I agree with you – the function of a Kollel is not to issue psak halacha on current issues. It may take those issues up for discussion and learning, but most likely only in the abstract – what are the issues involved, what are the arguments for and against, the sources in Shas, Rishonim, and Acharonim, and so on.
    It is the function of the rabbinic authorities of the community – the rabbonim of the various shules, and maybe the organizations of rabbis or synagogues, to pronounce halacha le’maaseh: Yes, you may eat, no, you may not eat. And sometimes, they need to do so without having to cite chapter and verse before their word is accepted as law. Certainly, they need to be able to explain their decision (and it may be a meta-halachic decision as well as a purely halachic one), but publicizning their reasoning is not an a priori requirement for psak halacha.

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    1. I disagree. This was also the strong view of Rav Kook and many others. Litvaks in particular had very few Poskim because they were happy to wrestle but not come to a conclusion. Ultimately one needs to get to Halocho. In this case, the Rosh Kollel DOES Pasken there all the time, so my question is why are they strangely silent?

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  2. The Kollel acts as a community. As they are funded by many in the greater Jewish community it is the responsibility of the Rosh Hakollel
    (Who wants to be treated as a Rav) to give an opinion when such issues of significants as minimum standards of Kashrus arise.

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  3. From memory, he had a run in with kbh quite a few years ago, re (I think) a tape library. I don’t think he’s been there since. I doubt he’s welcome there, or liked

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    1. This is true. It was a major affair and I understand he was barred from Beth HaTalmud as a result. That was not behind my question. I am asking why a Kollel which has attracted funding from individuals from various satellite shules and I’m guessing (as I haven’t been there for quite some time) still attracts individuals who are not Litvak Lakewooders, and many of whom ask the Rosh Kollel questions of Halacha, has sought to apparently isolate itself and under an umbrella of diplomacy? not issued a ruling on the matter with an analysis. Indeed, I see published Torah from many other groups including Adass, distributed but apart from a ‘made for beginners’ style booklet before Yomim Tovim I rarely if ever see Chidushei Torah or opinion (when it’s required, as it is in this case). It could be that these are printed and I just don’t see them. If so, why aren’t they more widely distributed? There appears to be an insularity which ironically even exceeds Adass!

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  4. {I have received a number of comments like this. I have edited one]

    Beth Hatalmud allegedly received a donation of $50,000 from Rodney Adler some 20 years ago. Unfortunately this donation was allegedly pocketed by M.R. who was involved on behalf of Beth Hatalmud to negotiate the deal.
    They couldn’t get M.R. to allegedly return the money.
    They had to throw him out, apparently.
    Not surprised that don’t want to get involved with Rabi again!

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    1. I am not sure what the connection is to them not issuing Piskei Halocho on issues at hand, and making them known. Are they a community funded organisation of an insular fiefdom? I do not know details of the tape library which was at the centre of that dispute, but I assume there should have been a Beis Din to decide the issue. Was there? Who was the Beis Din, and what was their Psak? Was it followed? If they ruled in favour of Rabi, then there is nothing more to say.

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      1. It’s possible that if they comment, people would think they’re doing it to settle a score, as they could be accused of being nogeah bedovor, from the issue they had previously.

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  5. [Edited by me]

    rabi will never will listen to a beis din, he doesn’t even obey hrav chaim kaminetzky he is smarter than the whole world ,
    i remember when he allegedly stole the money, and was apparently forced out of the kollel

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    1. Assuming you are right, there would have been a Ksav Siruv, and he would be in Cherem, unless the Beis Din paskened he be forbidden to enter there, again. Has anyone ever seen the Beis Din’s Psak on this issue with him. It may be as elusive as the name of the Rav who allegedly gave him Hetter Horoah. I’d be interested to know whether he is following the Mesora from that Rav.

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  6. He allegedly does not have hetter horoah, the kollel case with rabi never got to a din torah they allegedly sent him a letter he was expelled from the kollel

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    1. I am not sure how you can be sure he hasn’t got Hetter Horoah. In respect of the 50K, if true, I expect they may have taken a decision not to expose Larry Adler to an internal scandal.

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      1. Indeed, I wonder if there is a Halacha that a Beis Din, or Bottei Din in a City can summon someone to show their Hetter Horoah, and if they refuse, put them in Cherem? I don’t know the Halocho on this as I don’t know much Chosen Mishpat.

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    1. Nobody has Smicha today. They get Hetter Horoah. I am not sure on what basis you assume he has no such Hetter Horoah, at least for Yoreh Yoreh, which is what this is about. I know him as a school mate. He was smart, arguably glib, certainly opinionated, and I recall meeting him in Israel when he was learning in the Jerusalem chapter of B’eer Ya’akov for a social. I didn’t follow what he did after that. I’m just hoping he didn’t get Hetter Horoah from Rabbi Rudzki, whose family apparently disavow what he has said, let alone his attempt to act as if he was some Memaleh Mokom for Rav Abaranok, whose ankles he will never reach.

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  7. Rabbi Rudzki ob”m was not the first Kashrus provider, nor the second. He dabbled in Kashrus a little but many years later. Not till around 1965. Rabi was a mashgiach at one of 2 venues that had his hechsher. Not everyone accepted his hechsher, and the family of the late Rabbi Rudzki totally dispute the claim that Meir Rabi was asked to continue. In fact the Rabi Hechsher came many years later.

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  8. [Edited by me]

    He was supposedly asked many times about hetter horoah and he would allegedly never produce it, does any one know where he davens?
    He used to have his own minyan in bnei-brith (after the Beis HaTalmud fracas) is there anything left?

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    1. I do not know about him being asked, nor am I aware of anyone who has seen his certificate. As to where he davens, it seems to be a variable thing. I have seen him in all manner of minyan. Mizrachi first minyan on Shabbos morning, Ohel Dvorah on Friday nights early, although I haven’t seen him there for some time. Sometimes at Caulfield etc. What I have personally witnessed though is talking and being asked by the Gabbay to be quiet or leave, after which a back and forth argument took place. I do not know why, but this was in public view.

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  9. I can’t get excited about this. Public piskei dinim are for instances when the public may be misled. I don’t imagine the congregants at BhT will be eating R’ Rabi’s shechita (un-shechita?) anyway.

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    1. I beg to differ. Those who have shiurim there are also Chassidim of RMGR. Quite apart from that, it is a matter of Torah. None of those who wrote on the Torah matter frequent his establishments either.

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  10. (Edited by me)

    The saddest thing here is that so many people who still care somewhat about kashrus are eating these products. How on earth can lord of the fries be kosher? Is there a mashgiach around the clock there while Gentiles are cooking, etc?

    Laffa matzos? OMG don’t even get me started!

    Apart from anything, how are we supposed to trust Rabi and Gradman? Don’t they need to be trustworthy people in the first place in order to be placed in a position of power regarding any kind of kashrus?

    The way ‘It’s Kosher’ handles its kashrus questions is by diverting attention to other kashrus organisations and slamming them for earning money! What on earth?!? Rabi and Gradman are the sole proprietors and therefore sole beneficiaries of any and all money made from ‘It’s Kosher’

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    1. My topic is why the silence in Halacha from Beis HaTalmud? Are they afraid they will lose donations if they are open and erudite? What of Kavod HaTorah? This is not the Mesora of Lita … To be silent, hear no evil, see no evil?

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    2. I should make readers aware that many of the comments are from people who use fake names. I’m not sure what they are afraid of. Is it because they will reveal their use of the Internet? Do they want to play the same childish game that Meir Rabi does, and use fake names? Will it muck up shidduchim for your kids? I often have to edit these comments because they may be defamatory. If it continues I will have to turn on stricter checking of user names. I’m not here to be an editor!

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  11. i AM AWARE THAT THERE IS A LOT OF PRESSURE ON THE ROSH HAKOLLEL TO FINALLY JOIN THE OTHER RABBONIM AND TAKE A STANCE RE THIS FRAUDULENT HECHSHER BUILT ON PURE DECEPTION.

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    1. It isn’t simply about signing on. I’d like to see a learned signed letter giving reasons. Many Rabonim say ‘since Rabbi X signed you don’t need my approval etc so here is my lowly signature’ … I don’t particularly like that practice. We had Rabonim who banned Rabbi Slifkin’s books (which are excellent) and could not read English let alone know exactly what was therein. Rabbi Meiselman did the right thing (in my view) and wrote a book in response. This meant there could be sensible informed discussion.

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  12. benjyy says:
    January 19, 2016 at 12:00 pm
    It’s possible that if they comment, people would think they’re doing it to settle a score, as they could be accused of being nogeah bedovor, from the issue they had previously.!

    sorry benjyy!
    -AND ADASS AND RAV GUTNICK CAN THEN ALSO EXCUSE THEMSELVES AS IT COULD BE ARGUED THAT THEY ARE ALSO NOGEA BEDAVAR AS THEY ALSO HAVE KASHRUS ORGANISATIONS?????

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    1. Let me tell you a true story. When it came to employing a Rav Hamachshir of a well known Kashrus organisation, he was asked whether he wanted a base wage plus commission based on various factors related to products/establishments etc. The Rabbi refused the second model because he wanted to be at a distance and make halachic decisions without financial inducements. This is the correct model. Rabbis are entitled to be paid for their work! BUT just as the finances of the, say, Melbourne Beth Din, were separated from the Halachic arm (they were NOT in the old days) I agree that finance should be completely separate and overseen by Ba’alei Batim. Furthermore in terms of good governance that should include people from OUTSIDE that congregation (if it is a congregation).

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