Following intense scrutiny and public backlash, as well as an urgent gathering with thousands in attendance, the foremost Lubavitch authority – the Vaad Rabonei Lubavitch – has come out with a letter prohibiting the attendance of the Call of the Shofar.
This follows the collapse of its last program, which most attendees have pulled out of – leading to its cancellation.
The topic of Call of the Shofar lead to much back and forth in recent weeks, with many defending and criticizing it. One expert on the topic of cults, Rabbi Shea Hecht, has been one of the most outspoken voices calling the program a cult.
This giluy daas [statement] is the first public statement by a widely respected group of Rabbonim and Poskim, who clearly and unequivocally prohibit attending the seminars put on by Call of the Shofar.
Among those signed on the statement are Rabbi Dovid Shochet – Rov of Anash in Toronto, Rabbi Elimelech Zweibel – Posek and Mashpia in Lubavitcher Yeshiva in Morristown, Rabbi Moshe Bogomilsky – noted Posek and Rov in Crown Heights, Rabbi Boruch Alexander Zushe Winner – Rosh Yeshiva of Chovevei Torah and Rov in Brighton Beach and Rabbi Yisroel Rosenfeld – Rov of Anash in Pittsburgh.
“Every word in this statement was carefully weighed and comes following comprehensive and exhaustive research,” said Rabbi Nochum Kaplan, the Menahel of Vaad Rabonei Lubavitch.
The following is a loose and free translation of the statement:
In response to the many questions about attending the program ‘Call of the Shofar,’ we are hereby notifying that based upon the testimony of a number of people who have attended the program, and based upon the testimony of a number of experts, and after reading many documents, it is evident in a clear manner that there are [in Call of the Shofar] things that have been learned from organizations that are foreign to us heaven forbid, and that there are in this program training and speeches that not only are not in the spirit of Torah and Chassidus but moreover are a strange way that has in it a number of forbidden things, which here is not the place to elaborate.
In light of all this, we have come to the conclusion that [Call of the Shofar] is dangerous and all are prohibited from participating in it.
Signed by the Vaad Hapoal:
Rabbi Dovid Shochet, Rabbi Elimelech Zweibel, Rabbi Moshe Bogomilsky, Rabbi Boruch Alexander Zushe Winner, Rabbi Yisroel Rosenfeld
Additionally, CrownHeights.info has learned that a hearing was held – at the request of the founder of Call of the Shofar – before two non-Lubavitcher Rabbonim in Flatbush in recent weeks, and this panel itself also came out against it and said that anyone who would ask their opinion on the program would be told they are prohibited from attending.
More details and a more elaborate article will follow next week.