By COLlive reporters in Crown Heights
Controversy over the democratically elected third member of the Crown Heights Bais Din continues with two senior member of the Badatz sending contradicting messages to local Jewish residents.
While Rabbi Yaacov Schwei, who supported Rabbi Yossi Braun in the elections, notified he will be attending the “hachtara” inauguration ceremony Sunday night, his colleague Rabbi Avrohom Osdoba is against it.
At the center of the riff is the psak ruling released by Dayan Rabbi Avrohom Rosenberg who said Rabbi Braun’s election was legitimate although he produced a problematic smicha document (which its giver apparently retracted) and refuses to make a second one public.
Rabbi Osdoba has notified he does not recognize the election or the psak, saying it was invalid. He wrote to Vaad Hakohol Chairman Zaki Tamir forbidding him to go ahead with the inauguration until matters are clarified.
On Sunday, 1:15 PM Tamir reported to COLlive.com that he and “a group of yungerleit committed to seeing peace and closure in the community” came unannounced to Rabbi Osdoba’s home.
Tamir alone went in and reported back that Rabbi Osdoba will still not appear, because he is opposed to the hachtorah until there is verification of an original smicha document.
“I asked Rabbi Osdoba for permission to conduct the hachtorah and for me to appear and present the Vaad Hakohol. Considering the difficult position in which the vaad hakohol finds itself – between the psak of the zablo and letter I received last night from Rabbi Osdoba – he granted me express permission to attend the hachtorah and to conduct all of the arrangements associated therewith, in my capacity as Chairman of the Vaad Hakohol.”
Tamir also said that “Rabbi Osdoba also instructed me that I was not to sign a contract until Rosh Chodesh Adar, the deadline established by the zablo, in order to provide for an opportunity to verify the existence of an original smicha document.”
He also asked to note that “since I took office June 13th 2010, I have never taken any steps affecting the Vaad or beis din without consulting the rabbonim in advance.”
UPDATE – Sunday, 3:43 PM: Rabbi Osdoba called COLlive to clarify that “My position regarding the hachtara remains the same being that it has no halachic grounds as outlined by my Motzoei Shabbos letter.” He added that residents should not attend.
Sunday 2:30 PM: All three members of the Vaad Hakohol, Tamir, Fischel Brownstein and Yossi Hackner officially adjourned the last meeting before the hachtorah event.
“Tonight’s hachtorah has our unanimous endorsement,” they said in a statement. “We are unanimous in the decision to retain Shmuel Chanin‘s professional services to provide fiscal management for the Vaad Hakohol.
Sunday, 5:54 PM: Tamir and Brownstein told COLlive.com they are heading to JFK airport to greet Rabbi Braun and bring him to Crown Heights.
Sunday, 6:36 PM: Rabbi Braun is now at the Rebbe’s Ohel and will be heading to Crown Heights in time for hachtara event in 770 set to begin 9:00 PM.
Sunday 7:02 PM: Calls were being made throughout the day to invite Rabbonim and leaders of other Brooklyn neighborhoods to the event.
Sunday 7:56 PM: Rabbi Braun is in Crown Heights and is at the home of his parents in law, Rabbi Sholom Ber and Chana Lipsker. This is his first time in the neighborhood since winning election in September 2010.