We Speak Our Piece (Vol. 6, Issue 10)
The intensity of the pressure that has been exerted to force the appointment of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik to the position of Rosh Yeshiva defies the imagination. One will look far into the history of educational institutions to find any similarity to the unscrupulousness of the campaign now being waged for a candidate.
That a driving force in this tragic affair is the leadership of the Agudath HaRobanim is no surprise. The record of anarchy in “Kashruth,” and the dire danger of a barren future to Torah-true Judaism are eloquent testimony to the hegemony of the Agudath HoRabonim in American Orthodox life.
Its driving arrogance has rendered impotent ever budding and creative force in traditional Judaism, which it has managed to control.
For twenty-five years, Dr. Revel, of sainted memory, fought to the full extent of his limited and precious strength to protect Yeshiva from the suicidal embrace of the leadership of the Agudath HoRabonim. To prevent Yeshiva from becoming the political tool of this leadership required the constant attention of a sainted leader who could have been spending those efforts in the creative realms of Yeshiva life, which American Jewry vitally needed.
The diabolical recognition of the first opportunity in twenty-five years to penetrate the Yeshiva organism should have been expected of this leadership.
The naive might expect the candidate of the Agudath HoRabonim to bear obvious flaws, mirroring the shortcomings of the leadership. Those who have seen the Agudath HoRabonim in action, however, know its tactic of presenting the candidate superficially-admirably suited for the position and yet possessed of that basic character defect which makes him a willing tool or an active partner to its plans.
This leadership consisting of the most able brains, keenest foresight, and the shrewdest political sense makes very few mistakes. Its candidate is its candidate.
This fuehrerschaft is known for what it is. But that the Yeshiva student body should stand by idly in the rape of an institution under the very shadow of death of its sainted leader, is unbelievable.
A student body that has rallied to the defense of its institutions do effectively in the past, despite nefarious schemes to disrupt and confuse it, has within it the vitality to do so again.
The rede herring of brilliance and scholarship will not mislead us. We state the obvious — brilliance is not enough. There must be an ethical basis and direction to learning, the lack of which threatens to doom the world and may just as certainly destroy Yeshiva.
With a vigilant eye towards viewing matters in their objective totality, it is unfortunate that information now being collated — much of which awaits publication — regarding the record and attachments of Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik conclusively points to the inability of that individual to fit into the Yeshiva scene on any basis except that of scholarship — which we reiterate, is not enough. The fact that the Agudath HoRabonim has chosen him as its candidate sorrowfully corroborates this fact to all but the willfully blind. And to top it all, any candidate who is willing to go to lengths of ruining an institution in order to sate his own ambitions, no matter what his qualifications may be, automatically eliminates himself.
We commend the Board of Directors on the magnificent stand which it has taken despite the powerful propaganda issued by the leadership of the Agudath HoRabonim.
We, the student body, may have been dazed and confused, but only temporarily. We see the light.
We shall not permit any attempts on the part of individuals or groups to further their own interests where the welfare of Yeshiva is involved. We will consider it a sacred duty to ourselves to expose such suicidal play.
Yeshiva is not, nor shall it ever be, the personal property of one single family or clique. It is the common domain of Orthodox Jewry, to which no private interest can ever lay claim. And not all the guns of the Agudath Horabonim or of its misguided “Hassidim” shall make us a party to turning the Yeshiva into a hopeless jungle of political intrigue.