Showing posts with label Viet Name War. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Viet Name War. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Part Four of the Yeshivas and Broken Marriages

What happened when all of a sudden going to Yeshiva was popular? This took place in the sixties, after the passing of HaGaon Reb Aharon zt"l. The new generation was a time of great turmoil in America. The Viet Nam War was going full blast.  Americans were going there to die and suffer greatly in the heat and swamps, never knowing when a bullet would fly at them. Victory was elusive, but death and wounding was not. Students who were being drafted rioted. Throughout America, the students and the hippies revolted. Colleges became centers for rebellion against everything sacred. No longer could an Orthodox Jew go to college.  And who wants to go to college and get drafted? A Yeshiva student was exempt. Therefore, Yeshiva became popular.

Someone in Yeshiva could go for a few years on the sums of support demanded for marrying a Kollel fellow, and people were found who would pay it. In addition, the huge sums of the Poverty Programs were enlisted for those learning who had little money. Beautiful buildings went up, lovely families were established, even while the rest of the country wallowed in the agony of rebellion and drugs. Many parents who lost their children in college looked enviously at the Yeshiva students.

At that time, those few students who had learned before the changes, and who had suffered from the privations of the early years, became Rosh Yeshivas. This was a time when the rabbis in America had not supported the Yeshiva movement. There were open wars with Mr. Mendlowitz and America's rabbis. There was even an attempt to isolate Reb Aharon from the rabbis, but it failed and the senior rabbi who initiated it died suddenly, in the middle of his preparations. Thus, the new generation of successful Yeshiva rabbis was one without true rabbinic leadership. Rosh Yeshivas were not trained in halacha and rabbinic services, but now, they were asked questions by their many students and their families, and the general community. But they did not have the preparation to answer many of these questions. Therefore, they initiated the idea called "Daas Torah" meaning, they would say whatever they thought. Rosh Yeshivas now assumed the mantle of Gedolim, without knowing as much as a Gadol should know. Anyone who disputed their findings was considered a rebel against "Daas Torah." There was a vacuum in true halacha, so evident when the major Rosh Yeshivas made invalid Gittin. As a very senior Rosh Yeshiva once said to me, "You know Gittin. Tell me, where does it say about the names of the GET?" I told him where in the Shulchan Aruch it said about how to write the names in a GET. The Roshei Yeshivas had to write Kesubose. But they did not study the laws of Gittin and did not know how to write the names. I once saw a Kesubo and saw that it was invalid. I asked who wrote it, and was told a certain major Rosh Yeshiva.

Let us now return to our original question. Why is there divorce among Torah Jews? And we will now, having prepared the basic ideas, will turn to specifics that cause the divorces and broken families in the Yeshiva world. We turn now to Part Five of the Yeshivas and Broken Marriages