Jerusalem – Rabbi Calls For Dismissal of Rosh Yeshiva After Wedding Fiasco

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    Rav Avraham Yosef, Chief Rabbi of CholonJerusalem – Rav Avraham Yosef, Chief Rabbi of Cholon has called for the ouster of a rosh yeshiva who embarrassed a Sefardi chosson at his wedding by leaving with his talmidim immediately after the chupah, after the chosson refused to follow the Rosh Yeshiva’s Ashkenazi minhagim.

    According to Israeli Hebrew news site Kikar, Rav Refoel Cohen of Tzefas, a relative of the chosson’s explained the events that transpired.

    “The chupah was conducted by the Rosh Yeshiva with the assistance of the chosson’s father who is a Rov in one of the northern communities. The Rosh Yeshiva then instructed the chosson and kallah to go to the yichud room, a minhag that is not followed by Sefardim according to Harav Ovadia Yosef. When it became clear to the Rosh Yeshiva that both sets of parents agreed that there would be no yichud, the Rosh Yeshiva left the wedding, instructing all of his talmidim to leave as well.”

    Rav Avraham Yosef explained that the problem of Ashkenazic Roshei Yeshiva insisting that Sefardi bochurim abandon their minhagim and follow the minhagim of the yeshiva is a common one.

    “The chosson cried, begging the Rosh Yeshiva to stay, but to no avail. This Rosh Yeshiva caused pain and grief to a chosson on his wedding day and does not deserve to be a Rosh Yeshiva. It is forbidden to learn in his yeshiva.

    R’ Cohen gathered a group of Sefardi boys from a local yeshiva to be mesameach the chosson and R’ Yitzchak Yosef, son of R’ Ovadia Yosef, came to the wedding immediately to share in the festivities as well.

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    64 COMMENTS

      • There is no “other side” to the story. It is inexcusable to cause such pain to a choossen and kallah on their wedding day. Shame on those who spoiled the couple’s day.

    1. Amazing how after the Holocaust, Some Ashkenazim can be so racist.
      According to the Psak of Haham Ovadia Yosef it is forbidden to have a Cheder Yichud. Not that you do not have to, it is forbidden!

    2. Who cares!! Why would the Chossen “cry” and “beg” such a rav to stay at his chassanah after the rav has trashed him (and his haskafah). The families should have literally thrown this rav out of the weeding hall and continued with the simcha without him. Somthing is wrong here. No normal person would beg a rav who treated him like this on the day of his chassanah (even if the rav had been masader kiddushim) to hang around after such an insult.

      • You need to ask somebody learned what ‘מעוות לא יוכל לתקון’ means. Not everything could be made whole again with an apology (or anything else for the matter).

    3. This has to be one of the saddest stories I have ever read on VIN. And while there have numerous unspeakable tragedies that have made it on VIN, one has to say what happened here could have been avoided 100%. Whatever this RY intent was even if he meant ‘lesheim shomayim’ he didn’t have to do what he did. The mere fact that he made all the talmidim leave tells me that the RY obviously had an agenda here. I’m not sure that he could ever be mesaken what he did. Most of us hope we only get married once, and what he caused that chosson to go through is in my mind irreversable.

      • “This has to be one of the saddest stories I have ever read on VIN”

        A bit of hyperbole on your part. No one was killed here, no one got sick here, no one was molested here.

      • If this is one of the saddest stories you have read on VIN, you either don’t read much, or don’t understand much, considering the real tragedies reported here, not the arrogant self-righteous behaviour of an am oretz rov.

    4. Something missing is they planned to do the chupa minhag sfard why give it to a ashkenz rabbi??
      The Ashkenazi did the right thing by leaving because according to the ashkenaz minhag the kdishen is not done only if there is yichud.
      I smell a rat maybe they gave it for him to show that sefard is the minhag…………….,,,,,,,,

      • I don’t know what your talking about?an ashkinaz rav is allowed to be mesader kidushin to a sfardi or a sfardi rav for an ashkinazi weather they do or do not have yichud. The reason why this chasson let his RY participate in his chupa was out of hakars hatov to him. But unfortunately the RY couldn’t part from his ego and look past the fact that sfardim have there own minhagim and do not wish to be forced into something they do not follow. Not to mention that he told all the bochurim to leave the wedding as well which is probably considered “shefichus damim”. I hope he asks forgiveness from the chasson.

      • I agree. Did the choson tell the RY in advance that he didn’t want a yichud room and when did he tell the RY (btw,what both sets of parents say is not dispositive-it’s not their wedding)? If the choson didn’t tell him and then insisted on the Sephardic minhag the last minute that is a big embarrassment to the RY.The RY has the right toleave in that case but taking his Talmidim seems like it caused more harm than good but I’d like top know all the facts to.

      • They gave the seder kiddushin to the Rosh Yeshiva because that is the minhag in Eretz Yisroel. Once they decided to give him seder kiddushin, they should have had enough common sense and respect to let him be “mesader” the kiddushin. If they didn’t want him to be “mesader” the kiddushin, they should not have asked him. Unfortunately some of our Sephardi brethren become very heated. Maybe the Rosh Yeshiva was actually right to leave, with his talmidim, after have been publicly insulted and embarrassed by the chosson’s family.

        • Are you deranged? “publicly insulted”? “embarrassed by the chosson’s family”? What was this – an interracial marriage? a marriage to a goy?

          A Rosh Yeshiva is “embarrassed” because other Jews follow Ashkenazi minhagim?

          Just out of curiouslity, not that I believe the RY deserves olam habah anyway after publicly embarrassing someone else, but what will this rov do if Moshiach comes and is ashkenazi? Walk out on him, too?

    5. Lessee…the Yichud room is quite likely a dRabbonon at worst, and a Minhag at best.

      This does NOT trump Malbin Pnei Chaveiro B’Rabim, which is a d’Oraisa.

      Seems to be a basic Alef Beis problem here.

      • According to you the story of kamza bar kamza the rabonon then, did the right thing by not walking out like this rabbi did. Then why wasn’t it right what they did then ?

    6. The Chosen has chosen to be Mechabid his Rosh Yeshivah with “Sidur Kedushin” so he was obligated to follow the “Mesadur Kedushin” no one has forced this upon the Chosen, he was free to be Mechabed a Sfardi Rav

      • Unless the rosh yeshiva told the chasson before that he will be misader kidushin on condition he will have yichud then there is NO reason in the world why he has to follow ashkinaz minhag if he’s sfardi. I highly doubt that’s what happen. Either way rav elyashiv shlit”a and rav shlomo zalman both paskin that its asur for an ashkinaz rav to tell there talmid that’s sfardi not to “swear” by there chupa(the sfardim in EY have such a minhag)so I think that the minhag of yichud should apply as well. It really hurts to hear that the friends of the chasson all left the wedding on one of the happiest days of his life,if I were there I would’ve stayed.

      • You’re obvioulsy NOT the velts talmid chacham. Yichud is not a psak, its a minhag. One that tosfos in Kiddushin Daf 13a calls a minhag mechu’ar. Seems like this ‘rosh yeshiva’ didn’t know it either. So you and him are two knucklehead amaratzim, trying to be big. Stick to posting on VIN, at least you can entertain us by showing us how ignorant you are.

    7. Let’s hear the other side.Does he have a policy not to go to such weddings? Did the chosson lie just to placate the Rov? There is probably more to this story. My Rov didn’t go to weddings if the callah didn’t wear a shaitel to the chupa. If he was duped or lied to, he’ would have left too.

      • I don’t care what transpired, leaving the chassanah is a slap in the face to the chosson and kallah and is plain wrong no matter what the big self-important Rov thinks. And I include your Rov as well….if he is already at the wedding and sees the kallah isn’t wearing a shaitel at the chupa he should sit himself down and stifle his urge to leave and upset the chosson & kallah. They’re the important ones here, not the Rov’s kovod.

    8. No.9 (Think). You’re obviously not thinking. How can you possibly say that the Rosh Yeshiva was right to walk out and take the talmidim with him? If he was asked to participate then he must have been the chosson’s Rosh Yeshiva. He had an obligation to do everything in his power to make his talmid happy on the day of his chasuna.

      • Ironic, that Rabbi Yosef speaks about the preservation of sefardic Minhagim but yet wears the Levush and clothing of Ashkenazi Rabbonim. Not only that but the Sefardi leadership as a whole try as best they can to emulate the Ashkenazi leadership whether it be politically or culturally. Take Arye De’ri for example, he is a Sefardi who named his son Yanky. an Ashkenazi name.

        Unfortunately, today Siddur Kiddushin is another method by which people show off their wealth and social standing. They invite and fly in this Rosh yeshiva or that Gadol and they spend $$$$ to fly them in or put them up. It’s true whether or not the bochur had or has a ‘Shaychus’ to that Rebbi!

        This practice needs to be abolished ASAP. The Chosson should be Mesader his own Kiddushin as is mandated in Halacha. Birchas Erusin is The CHOSSON’s beracha -not the Rosh Yeshiva. It is really appalling that people spend their lifetime in yeshiva ‘sitting and learning’, and yet they can’t make their own Birchas Erussin, or Lein their own Aliya in The Torah, They cannot read a Maftir or Haftora…what a disgrace.

      • I wouldn’t say he is being disrespectful to the chosson’s traditions but why is a sefardi boy learning in an ashkenazi yeshiva? If he is so attached to his customs shouldn’t he be learning in a sefardi yeshiva?

        Question 2 would be if his father is a Rav why did he ask his Rosh to be mesadder kedushin knowing that there was a conflict with the two minhaggim?

        Question 3 would be why if there was a conflict with the 2 minhagim did they not discuss how that would work before the wedding?

        • I thought that you are supposed to follow the minhagim of your father. I never heard that you follow the minhagim of your Rosh Yeshiva. Could you please quote a source for that?

        • Why are any of these issues YOUR business?

          He obviously is learning where he is learning, he obviously had a personal reason to ask the RY, and they obviously didn’t discuss mthis before.

          This is a news report. Why are the participants personal business something you have a right to know?

    9. the rosh yeshiva is right, these stuff are not up to the agreement between mechitunim, the mesader kidishin is the one to pasken the halachah issues, and the parents should have discussed it with him in advance, and could have taken a different mesader kidishin if they don’t like his psak.

    10. If the chosson was goint to go against the RY’s minhag, wouldn’t he have discussed it before? Every chosson talks over the itinerary with the mesader kiddushin before the wedding. If the chosson told the RY he would follow his minhag, and then decided to do differently, it wouls make that the RY would be upset enough to storm out.

    11. Is this story really true?

      Rabbi Avraham Yosef seems to think so, even though he wasn’t present at the walkout.

      Maybe us Americans just don’t realize how polarized things really are over there.

      Maybe it’s not the whole story.

      I’m not ignoring a problem, I just can’t believe that this happened in the dramatic fashion implied.

    12. Why did the chosson ask an Askhenazi rabbi to conduct the wedding, if he feels so strongly about his father’s minhag? In fact why does he follow an Askhenazi rabbi and studies at an Askhenazi yeshiva, why does he not have a Sefaradi rabbi if he feels so strongly about his “identity” (???) There are many good reasons to change a family minhag, and one of them is having a Rabbi with a different minhag.

      We are supposed to find a rabbi we are comfortable with, but then, we are not supposed to treat anyone like that, let alone a Torah scholar and rosh yeshiva. Shame also on the supporters of this bad person.

    13. Clearly this was a case of the chosson wearing contact lenses and his father or some say it was his father-in-law was wearing metal glasses. It was those facts that somewhat forced the Holy Rosh Yeshiva’ s hand in storming out with his contingency.

      If you people don’t understand, don’t judge. We have all kinds of problems in our society such as Kosher Cell phones, metal glasses, contact lenses, and perhaps the worst……DENIM. Oy Gevalt!

      Folks, I am kidding. However, there is a simple lesson for all if we had to read this story:

      Let us strengthen our Ahavas Yesroel and forget about the nonsense. Let us make sure that we always increase our Ahavas Yesroel.

    14. The torah teaches us “al titosh torat imecha” which means that every person should follow his forefathers minhagim. I don’t understand why it bothered this rosh yeshiva that his talmid chose to follow in his fathers footsteps. Imagine a sfardi rav would be misader his daughters kiddushin and would demand there wouldn’t be yichud??? The RY would never agree to that. so I applaud to this chasan that stood his ground in order to follow his minhagim.

    15. “Oy lanu miyom hadin, Oy lanu miyom hatoichacho…”

      Whether it’s a minhag, halacha, deoyraso, derabonon, sephardy, ashkinazy, israeli, american, litvish, chassidish, yeshivish, ffb, bt; who cares what, when, where, and why? That’s the problem nowadays. We have lost all sensitivity.

      Derech Eretz Kadmah L’Torah – a Rosh Yeshiva to do something like what’s mentioned here? Pheh! By who’s standards is he a Rosh Yeshiva?
      “Kol hamisameyach chosson v’kallah zoicheh…” And what if, challila v’chas, some one is not mesameyach, but lihepuch, they are misbayesh a chosson v’kallah? Maybe a ‘Mi Shepora…’

      To the commentor that smells a rat, it takes one to know one; and the commentor that is poking fun at the clothing of R’Yosef because he is a sfardy – be careful you are talking about one of the torah giants of our era; didn’t I see YOU leaving the wedding with the supposed Rosh Yeshiva?

    16. according to the radio interview with r. yosef the chassan told the RY (who was also sefardi) BEFOREHAND that he would follow the RY’s practice of having a yichud room. then after the chuppah he attempted to back out of it. Perhaps the RY overreacted but at least it explains why he was upset. Lesson learned – keep to your word!

    17. “The Ashkenazi did the right thing by leaving”

      “the mesader kidishin is the one to pasken the halachah issues”

      “he was obligated to follow the “Mesadur Kedushin””

      “If the chosson was goint to go against the RY’s minhag, wouldn’t he have discussed it before? “

      All the above is irrelevant and has 0% to do with Torah and Halacha. You see, Torah doesn’t only tell us what is obligated and what is forbidden; the Halacha also tells us how to react when someone does not follow the halacha- or in this case a non-universal minhag of which non-observance is 100% legitimate in the sfardic community. This so-called Rosh Yeshiva did not react in accordance with Halacha.

      רמב”ם הלכות דעות פרק ו
      המוכיח את חברו–בין בדברים שבינו לבינו, בין בדברים שבינו לבין המקום–צריך להוכיחו בינו לבין עצמו, וידבר לו בנחת ובלשון רכה, ויודיעו שאינו אומר לו אלא לטובתו, ולהביאו לחיי העולם הבא.

      חזון איש יו”ר ב:כח
      בהגהות מיימוניות פ”ו מהל’ דעות כתב דאין רשאין לשנאתו אלא אחר שאינו מקבל תוכחה. ובסוף ספר “אהבת חסד”, כתב בשם הגר”י מולין, דמצוה לאהוב את הרשעים מהאי טעמא, והביא כן מתשובת מהר”מ לובלין כי אצלנו הוא קדם תוכחה שאין אנו יודעין להוכיח, ודיינין להו כאנוסין

    18. I thought Jews were to love their fellow man as themselves? It seems to me that this rabbi put the letter of the law above the spirit of the law. He lost sight of the bigger picture that the Torah teaches. This happens often. Just look at Naturi Karta.

    19. It is not as clear as it may sound. If they chose an Ashkenazi to officiate, it was logical to follow his minhagim. There were plenty of Sefardic Rabbis to officiate if he wanted a Sefardic wedding.

      • Are you making this up? Can you cite a single halacha to support this speculation? Can you cite a single halachic source to defend the so-called Rosh Yeshiva’s anti-Torah behavior?

      • Why is it YOUR business who he asked to officiate?

        And what”rov” has the arrogance to embarrass a young man who obviously got caught in the middle of family and yeshiva politics at his wedding?

        Is the great RY’s minhag so important that it justifies embarrassing a choson ‘Berabbin”, in front of all those people, because his own ego was hurt? Is there a worse time he could have embarrassed another person, and a bigger aveirah and Chilul Hashem to do so?

        Sorry to say it, but I cannot believe that Hashem wants us to act this way to each other in the name of religion. Embarrassing a young chosson on the most important day of his life because he has a different minhag cannot, in my moind, make Hashem proud of this RY’s behavior.

    20. There is obviously more to the story. The RY must have been embarrassed and became angry. He was wrong to leave and his students were wrong to follow, but guess what, they are human and can make mistakes. The problem here is not necessarily with the chosen, the RY or students. The problem may be R”L with the direction that we have been taking as a people and the state of being that our religion finds itself in. We have become polarized, separatist, increasingly extreme, intolerant of others, self righteous and the list goes on. Too many RY’s, Rebbe’s, talmidim, youngerleit, Rabbanim, baal Habatim, children etc believe there way, there derech, there RY, their Rebbe is 100% emes to the exclusion of all others. This notion is not only infantile, it is an impossibility as not everyone can have the one true way. We belittle and look down upon those who don’t see the same truth we do whether it be, kemach Yashon, cholov yosroel or the yichud room. Oy, what a sad state we find ourselves in. This sickness among is becoming terminal and will destroy us. I became frum as a child and joined what was once a beautiful way of life. The yiddshkeit that I fell in love with is slowly disappearing and being replaced R”L with something far from what made yiddishkeit beautiful to me. The new way of frum yidden is becoming, “its my way or the highway” with fanatics and extremists forcing their views on other people disrupting even a holy chasana R”L.

    21. Let’s be clear here… this is not a case of anti-Sefardi sentiments. It is a case of Yeshivish Charedi elitism as if their Mesorah and Gedolai Yisrael define Halacha and Mesorah. Case in point, at my friends Chasunah many years ago, Rav Schwab ZT”L was the Mesader Kiddushin. Another Adam Chashuv insisted that the Chason and Kalah face the crowd (Minhag Ashkinaz is to turn away from the crowd, based on a T’shuvas HaRan) Rav Schwab said he will refuse to be Mesader if they turn forward as this is not our Mesorah. The bottom line is that the Yeshiva world has added much to Kllal Yisrael and we are certainly much better off because of it. At the same time they have created an elitist mentality that what they do is “frumkeit” and every other Mesorah that has pre-existed theirs is somehow illegitimate. This must change!

    22. after having read the 46 comments before adding my 2 cents
      can just add theirs a” vertel ” since the machlokus of moshe rabynu and korach their has never been a machlokis where one side is completly right and the other side completly wrong
      it would seem that one can apply the same rule to this unfortunate episode as well
      its obvious that stories such as this defently doesnt hasten the arrival of moschiach
      when will we stop fighting and quibbiling amongst ourselves?? is it not enough that we have to deal with the 70 nations that are constantly seeking our extinction as can be evidenced by history as well as current events

      • what you are saying is false. there have been, and currently are, many many cases of machlokes where one side is completely right and the other is completely wrong.

        of course i agree that we should stop fighting amongst ourselves, but that statement cannot be applied when someone is wronged.

        i would imagine the RY has a really great “argument” explaining why he left. but by walking out of his student’s chasunah, and even worse taking the chosen’s friends with him, he basically ruined the boys wedding, it doesn’t matter what “his side” is, he is COMPLETELY wrong in this “machlokes.”

        being mesameach choson v’kallah is one of the greatest mitzvot we have. imagine how great the sin of making a chosson cry at his wedding and taking away his friends so he has no one to dance with. as R’ Tevya put it so well, “there is no other hand!”

    23. 5 kolot (blessings) one gets for making a chatan happy and for not the punishment is severe. He overlooked it cuz of the litvishe Ego. rosh Yeshivas dont pasken cuz they dont learn Halacha like poskim do.> Rav Shach differed to poskim when he was approached. Chosson domeh lemelch He is Mored bemalchut . Kol hamalbin Chavero Barabim Ein lo cheleck LeOlam Haba only a rasha ur allowed to b Malbin. Theses Charedim in Israel are off the wall. They should learn from religious jews in America how to have derech eretz with Torah learning..

    24. I am with those who think we only got one side of this story, and there is much more to it.

      If a chosson asks the Rav to be Msadeh Kiddushin, isn’t he presumed to defer to his decisions of halochos and minhagim? Also, if the Msadeh Kiddushin is of the opinion that without yichud the kiddushin and nisuin did not take place or were invalid, doesn’t he have an obligation to voice his opinion? And if it is ignored, the obligation to at least step down from his role, if not to leave the place where such travesty is taking place?

      And if the report that Mutti #33 is citing is accurate, then in addition to above, this Rosh Yeshiva was lied to and embarrassed. The people who do such outrageous things think that they can do it with impunity. “Yes, we lie to the Rav to get him to come here, but it’s a chassuna, and he is already here, so he will be ‘civil’ about it.” Should they be able to count on getting away with it?

      Gut Shabbos.

    25. Spoiling a wedding, shaming the kallah and forcing the chosson to make a stand in front of everyone? Shameful. We’re supposed to make the couple happy, not ruin their happiest day by shrieking at them to follow our customs. There was a chuppa, a ketubah, a gift, witnesses and a willing couple. That’s all you need for a kosher wedding. Nowhere does the Torah say you need a self-important loudmouthed jerk to embarrass the families and stomp out with half the guests.

      Congratulations to the chosson for showing he has the baytzim to stand up to this yuntz.

      And congratulations to the kallah. You have a man for a husband.

    26. Howcome none of you reacted when a rov from Bp/Flatbush almost caused a riot and messed up an entire wedding just because Lipa was singing there???????

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