A video, which circulated on social media, showing a group of Bochurim removing a certain sign from the bookcases of the Chovevei Torah Zal, prompted the Hanholoh to release a strong statement condemning the video, and clarifying that the matter had already been resolved internally, and that number of the Bochurim in the video had nothing to do with the actions of those few.
Dear Anash שיחיו
Many of you have seen a video circulating, documenting some bochurim removing the lettering of Yechi from the bookcases in our Beis Medrash.
Regardless of where you stand in your belief, witnessing vandalism is always shocking and a reason for concern. We the hanhala condemn such behaviour in the strongest manner – this is unacceptable and should have never happened!
At the same time, we would like to make you aware that the video misrepresents the actual timeline of events, and we would like to clarify a few points:
A. The boys involved in removing the letters are very fine bochurim that do not have any connection with politics and most certainly would never intentionally destroy yeshiva property . On the contrary, throughout the past two years we have first hand witnessed how they have respectfully participated in all events regardless of “party” affiliation.
B. The Yechi letters were not put up by Yeshiva administration, but by fellow bochurim only a few short months ago on Yud Shvat. In keeping with Yeshiva policy not to take a political stand, the Hanholo decided not to take any action that would ‘stir the winds’, and to reevaluate our position at a later time.
The boys involved in the removal, lapsed in their judgement, but did not have the intention of going against the Hanhala or vandalize yeshiva property. They meant it as bochur vs bochur. Bochurim put the letters up late one night and they removed it late one night…
The following day, the boys involved owned up to it and were ready to pay the full amount to compensate the damage. The story should have ended there!
Our Yeshiva has always prided itself in having a warm family relationship between the bochurim built on love and respect – this was a unprecedented mistake. It was corrected. And “מודה ועוזב ירוחם”.
C. Unfortunately, some individuals (primarily outside of yeshiva) decided to take matters into their hands and in unethical and unlawful manners, they took hold of the footage and released it to the public, with drummed up drama of graphics, sound, and subtitles to create a unnecessary Tumult in Lubavitch. This is untruthful and is disgraceful.
Additionally, the video is מוציא שם רע on the older bochurim featured in the video (Hertz, Pearson & Druk) These bochurim had NOTHING to do with the removal of the letters, rather they were learning in the Zal at the time -as they do on many late nights-. Their picture was attached to the video without justification.
In conclusion, this matter was already settled before the video went out. The people who made the video and distributed the video should consult a Rov how to obtain mechila from the people they shamed .ברבים The bochurim who removed the letters have already asked for Mechila in a proper manner.
May this remind us as Anash of the importance of working together, and to ‘once and for all’ learn from our repeated mistakes. Let us rise above our difference of opinion in all matters, even the very dear issues such as the best way to express our Hiskashrus etc…
Let us learn to value and respect those that we disagree with. In the zechus of” נהגו כבוד זה לזה ”, we will rectify the חטא of תלמידי רבי עקיבא and merit the final Geulah when we will sing together הנה מה .טוב ומה נעים שבת אחים גם יחד
p.s. If you have any concerns, feel free to reach out to us at the email address on the top of the letterhead. Thank you.
והאמת והשלום אהבו