Menu JTA Search

Opinion: Rabbi Yoel Schonfeld and The Vaad Of Queens V. The Soloveichik Family?

I recently read the widely circulated article concerning the Streits matzo controversy (http://thejewishstar.wordpress.com/2009/04/07/different-from-all-other-years-streit%e2%80%99s-matzo-off-preferred-list-in-five-towns/).

Although I am completely an unbiased reader (I have never met any of the individuals the article gravitates around), I am nevertheless bothered by the glaring fact that there are many deafening, yet completely unanswered questions. After skimming through the comment pages on the numerous websites that discuss the article, I noticed that the masses are bothered by the same simple yet troubling questions.

How can a Rabbinic organization take such severe action (the article extensively describes the harm it caused to R’ Soloveichik) against a respected individual, without even being able to verbalize a complaint against him? The article quotes Rabbi Yoel Schonfeld as saying "He [R' Moshe Soloveichik] just doesn’t swim in the kashrus world … we’re not saying he’s bad; not at all. We just don’t know." What does that mean? Shoot and ask questions later? To put it simply: the whole story just does not add up- there must be politics at play that does not meet the innocent eye.
I decided to search around the web, to see if I would be able to find any articles that R’ Moshe Soloveitchik may have written that would cause him to find disfavor in the eyes of those who attacked his hechsher. It didn’t take too long to find a document that began to crystallize a seemingly sinister and petty plot.

I came across this letter (http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2009/01/r-bomzer-censured-by-vaad-for.html) that was published on a blog called "Daat Torah." One of the Rabbinic signatories on this letter, written in opposition to Rabbi Bomzer’s Geirus protocol, is the Rav Hamachshir of Streits Matzo, Rabbi Moshe Soloveichik. When I "Googled" Rabbi Bomzer’s name I discovered that he has been a long term leading member of the Rabbinical Council of America, the Young Israel Council, and is the President of the Vaad Harabonim of Flatbush(http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/article.php?p=32337) I also discovered that his son R’ Moshe Bomzer, is a prominent member of the Orthodox Union, and serves on the "Rabbinical Council of America’s Executive Committee" (http://www.rabbis.org/about_us.cfm).

To my laymen eyes, it looks like a simple story of underhanded revenge. Quite saddening if true, but all would agree that the real tragedy would be the utter miscarriage of justice if this story were not properly investigated and reported.

NEXT STORY