Certainly, you have heard recently many stories and rumors about the Bochurim in 770. It is very important to understand the background and the details to know the truth of the exact process of events that occurred to bring about the current situation.
In the last few days, Rabbi Moshe Meir Gluckowsky, secretary of the administration of the central Yeshivah in 770, decided – on his own accord – to close the kitchen. And so he did. Since Sunday morning, the Bochurim haven’t received food from the Yeshivah. The Bochurim tried their best to continue learning albeit the hunger, and in some situations goodhearted members of the community helped them survive.
Why are they still here? Why didn’t they go back to Eretz Yisroel like ‘everyone did’?
‘Everyone’ did not go back. A group of Bochurim were pressured by their worried parents to travel, which by the way turned out to be a major mistake. A large group of Bochurim, about 200, stayed here. This is what the hanhalah – the Rosh Yeshivah Rabbi Labkovsky, and the Menahel Ruchni Rabbi Zarchi – as well as the Beis Din of Crown Heights, told them to do. This is also common sense, as well as the simple Chasidishe Hergesh.
How did they manage till now?
In the beginning of this sad situation, and after the abovementioned group traveled to Eretz Yisroel, Rabbi Gluckowsky decided to close the kitchen and the 1414 dormitory. After pressure was put by the Beis Din, Hanholoh, and the parents – Rabbi Gluckowsky signed an agreement with the representative of the Beis Din that the dormitory will close, the Yeshivah will pay for alternative lodging for those who need, and the kitchen will continue running as usual, with meals being picked up and eaten elsewhere.
Sounds great! What happened now?!
It actually was great, and that’s how things were for the past while. But now it turns out that two hundred Bochurim, whose only desire is to sit and continue learning, are dependent on the whims of one person, R’ Moshe Meir Gluckowsky, who – without any clear reason – decided to stop paying for the kitchen and lodgings. This is preposterous!! The person who received a large amount in tuition from the parents, major government funding, and is responsible to take care of the needs throughout the year – decided to throw them to the dogs…
And that’s what happened. The last few days the Bochurim were compelled to learn with hunger and worry, and have had to rely upon the good heartedness of a few precious residents of the Shchunah. To travel to Israel is not an option, and the best thing to do now is to sit and learn, but “someone” decided to stop this! He receives money from the government, but evidently the money disappears, and the Bochurim are going hungry for a few days already!
Maybe there is really no reason to take care of the Bochurim? Are they actually learning during this period?
Throughout the past month many Bochurim have kept up a lively Yeshivah atmosphere, and the learning of Nigleh and Chassidus has only been strengthened by Chassidim and all Jews around the world. Rabbi Gluckowsky shouldn’t tell you stories, when the one actually in charge of the learning in Yeshivah, Rabbi Labkovsky, came to the temporary Beis Midrash and gave a shiur in Gemara (with proper social distancing), and the mashpi’im Rabbi Zarchi and Rabbi Golomb held Farbrengens and Shiurim on Zoom, in which Bochurim participated in their respective locations of learning.
Two hundred Bochurim are sitting in Crown Heights, abiding by the guidelines of social distancing, and doing the most natural thing for any Yid to do at this time: learning Torah and keeping up the regular Yeshivah schedule, with the encouragement of the Rabbonim, Hanhalah, and their parents – just like many other Yeshivos throughout the US and the world.
Sounds terrible! What’s happening now?
Since Sunday morning, the Bochurim haven’t received food from Yeshivah. Even after reading this article, you probably still can’t feel the hunger and helplessness they are experiencing. In the meantime, they have received temporary help from different members of the community, and somehow scraped together some food for the last few days. They would like to especially recognize the support of Rabbi Braun of Beis Din, who himself gave a large donation when he heard of the terrible situation.
However, this is only temporary and cannot continue. We hope that Rabbi Gluckowsky will come to his senses and realize that his abuse is wrong. There is a Din Torah being arranged, but judging from past situations, it is not clear that he will comply with the Psak…
So, what can you do?
Firstly, be informed of the situation that is going on here in Crown Heights, right near your house. At the time that the Chabad community worldwide is mourning the deceased of the coronavirus, and there is a major Hisoirerus for Achdus, there is an individual who is starving 200 Bochurim, whose only desire is to continue learning Torah! Baruch Hashem, they never have had to beg for Tzedakah in the past, and this is very difficult for them to ask, but they don’t have a choice. They have to do something for food and a place to sleep! The man is simply ignoring them!
Most importantly, dear resident of Crown Heights: if you have any way to help, to convince him to change his mind, or any other solution to this problem, please help! They have no other options, and they need your help.
In the meantime, a Charidy campaign has been set up to help keep the bochurim fed and able to learn through this unfortunate situation.