Sunday, August 5, 2012

The apartment of Rabbi Aharon Yehudah Leib Steinman


Last Friday, Israel’s most popular daily ISRAEL HAYOM published an article on the great Posek Rabbi Aharon Yehudah Leib Steinman. By the way, the newspaper is only so popular because it is given out for free on a daily basis. I think that a rich American and Netanyahu friend is sponsoring the paper and Israelis love anything what doesn’t cost money.

Just recently, the great famous spiritual leader of the Ashkenazishe litvishewelt, Rabbi Yosef Shalom Eliyashiv, passed away. Right after his death, the quarrel about his successor started and many people consider the 98 year – old Rabbi Steinman from Bnei Brak as a suitable candidate. Who else would be left ? Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky maybe who is the son – in – law of Rabbi Eliyashiv, as he was married to his daughter until she died not too long ago. By the way, all those three Rabbis mentioned so far are related to each other.

There are many Haredim contacting the secular Israeli press and telling various stories to those reporters. As soon as a Haredi is making such contacts, he actually does have a certain kind of policy mind, and the article from last Friday did definitely not come from a fan of Rabbi Steinman. Just the opposite because when you looked at the photos published with the article, you could have got a rather disgusted feeling. At least me as a woman. 

The article was about the Rabbi’s life and marriage. His wife was a Shidduch, he only saw her once and they decided to marry right away. Rabbi Steinman lives a rather poor lifestyle in a neglected apartment in Chazon Ish Street in Bnei Brak. Various pictures of the kitchen and even the Rabbi’s bed were attached to the article and I started asking myself how anyone could take such photos and allow them to be published ? I think that this is just disgusting. 

Moreover the apartment looked totally run down and one couldn’t differentiate between "neglected", "dirty" or "both". This is what also disgusted me as a woman who actually keeps her place tidy and clean. 

I am not accusing the Rabbi of being sloppy but someone should take care of him and not only taking photos. Of course, there was an interest in presenting Rabbi Steinman this way. As the article said, the Rabbi has plenty of opponents who see him as too liberal. He allowed haredi women to work, he supports the idea of Haredim working and he doesn’t necessarily has anything against Haredim joining the army. Rabbi Eliyashiv would have never ever agreed to anything of that but Rabbi Steinman seems to be more realistic in certain ways. 

Whoever spoke to the journalist and wanted the article getting published cannot be such a religious pious person. At least not in my eyes. You may agree with Rabbi Steinman or not but you don’t need to run to the secular media and spread personal information about a 98 – year – old Posek. It is even a miracle that his toilet hadn’t been published.


  1. Isn't this what is called Lashon Harah ?

    To speak bad (true facts) about someone ...

    Or am I mistaken and Lashon Harah is idle/fake gossip ?

    Thank you.

  2. B"H

    It looks like someone had a real interest in making Rabbi Steinman look bad. Maybe someone who was close to Rabbi Eliyashiv, who knows.

    I think it is Lashon Harah. However, I don't necessarily consider the article itself as Lashon HaRah. Okay, it described how the Rabbi met his wife and that he never went shopping himself; what I consider as Lashon HaRah are the pictures. This is a private life matter and, apparently, someone having access to the house has nothing better to do than taking photos and publishing them ?