A Reader Writes: The People Who Have Ruined Lakewood


lakewoodDear Editor,

It was with utter dismay that I viewed recent ads directed at the Lakewood community.  I wondered to myself: Who are these people trying to attract?

The truth is that these specific advertisements are actually only a microcosm of what has happened and is continuing to occur in Lakewood. Lakewood is a town that was established with the Yeshivah at its core to accommodate bnei Torah who strived to raise their families in an atmosphere of Torahdike hashkafos and dikduk hamitzvos. A beautiful community was established and bnei Torah were able to live lives that put limud hatorah and kiyum hamitzvos as the priorities without having to cope with the various social pressures of some other places.

But that has all changed. The community of Lakewood has changed. Many of the people who have moved to Lakewood during the last five to ten years don’t have the same ideals as those who had been living in Lakewood before. Lakewood became an ideal place for these people to live largely because of the affordable housing prices and the peacefulness that the town offers. Many people who are completely unaffiliated with the yeshivah have moved into the community and have capitalized on the efforts of those who set out to establish a makom for bnei Torah. The effect has been close to disastrous for many of the families living in Lakewood. The results can be detailed as follows:

  • 1) Because many of these people who have moved to Lakewood can pay slightly higher prices for their houses, the housing prices have gone up. Houses are now priced out of range for most yungeleit who are currently learning and need to purchase a home to accommodate their growing families. Lakewood was established to accommodate the bnei Torah and now the bnei Torah are suffering due to Lakewood’s success as a community. This is in addition to the issue of investors who have bought up houses and lots in Lakewood. The latter issue though has been discussed adnauseam, so I will leave that issue to rest for now.
  • 2) The second result of this phenomenon may even be more detrimental for the future of the Lakewood community. Many of the people who have moved into Lakewood do not share the same hashkafos and outlook as the bnei Torah who lived in Lakewood before them. These people who have moved to Lakewood do not act or dress like much of the Torah community. These people are quicker to frequent the food establishments and clothing stores than the many Batei Medrash located in Lakewood.
  • 3) The establishment of the many sit-down eateries and other stores has changed the face of Lakewood. You hear people say, “Lakewood is not what it used to be.” How true it is. And the people who live in Lakewood aren’t what they used to be either. Many of the people who have moved to Lakewood in recent years have built themselves lavish homes, drive expensive cars, wear expensive clothes, and have completely different priorities than those who associate themselves with the Yeshivah and consider themselves serious bnei Torah.

However, as a friend of mine pointed out to me, a prime catalyst of the change in Lakewood is the creation of the sit-down eateries. Without sit-down eateries, perhaps Lakewood would be like any other hick-town, and perhaps would be less attractive to those who move to Lakewood and think to themselves, “Oh, It’s just like Brooklyn or elsewhere, except nicer, and with cheaper houses.” The sit-down eateries are one of the causes of a more diverse population that is now living in Lakewood, many of whom do not conform to the standards that had been accepted in Lakewood. Luxuries are a necessity. Gargantuan sized houses are the norm. Tznius standards have plummeted. Chashivus for Lomdei Torah has been diminished. 

  • 4) Many of those who have moved to Lakewood don’t even recognize that the Yeshivah is the core of the community. Some of these people can direct you to the bagel store and tell you where ShopRite is, but they couldn’t tell you where the Yeshivah is located! But why should they care? They live in their beautiful new house, they daven in a little shteeble located in their neighbor’s basement, they dress the way they want and act the way they want, and they couldn’t be happier.
  • 5) These people have penetrated the school system in Lakewood, as well. Just as their hashkafos are not necessarily in line with those of the bnei hayeshivah, their children reflect that. Their children don’t dress in accordance with the standards of the bnei hayeshivah. The children may even look down upon their peers whose fathers are learning and are struggling to make ends meet. The peer pressure builds and the results can be catastrophic. Other schools have been established with less rigid standards to accommodate this segment of the community. Is that the answer? Instead of these people conforming to the high standards of the Lakewood community, they have now been accommodated so that they can dress and act as they feel.

I have tried to come to grips with the fact that Lakewood is not what it used to be and that there is not much I can do about it. I have tried to face the fact that there are those who have ruined – yes, ruined – much of what Lakewood had been providing to bnei Torah.  But I can’t let it go. It just bothers me to no end. I have recognized that Lakewood will never return to its full glory. Unless something drastic is done, and it may already be too late, the bnei Torah will suffer and those who have capitalized on the successes of Lakewood will continue to overtake Lakewood until it eventually becomes just another community rather than the distinguished Ir Hatorah that it should be.

I wish I could talk to those who have caused many of the dwellers of Lakewood such anguish. But these people would probably not even know what I am talking about! They will say that they innocently moved to the area and haven’t done anything objectionable. Why, of course not. These people don’t even begin to understand where they are in life and where they really should be. Their priorities are so skewed that they wouldn’t know the real truth if it hit them in the face. But that’s fine. Judgment day will come. Luxuries vs. limud hatorah. Tznuis vs. the newest fashions. Dikduk hamitzvos vs. social pressures. The absolute truth will be revealed to all.

Bothered By the Matzav


  1. this column is all about “yenam”. focus on yourselves. no one told you to eat out. if you have your chevra, be happy with that. Lakewood isn’t run by the Taliban in Afghanistan, and klall yirael is one nation. If you don’t like lakewood, move out.

  2. I think we should transplant the lakewood olam to a to a different state like Arizona or something, where housing is cheaper, living costs are much cheaper, and the property taxes are about a third of Lakewood’s, and viola! you solved most of the problems!


  4. “Many people who are completely unaffiliated with the yeshivah have moved into the community and have capitalized on the efforts of those who set out to establish a makom for bnei Torah”.

    Construction of homes that benefit builders, investors and contractors were an allure for people to move to Lakewood.

  5. You say that these people have ruined Lakewood, yet these are the people who are asked to support the Yeshiva. Which way do you want it? If these people didn’t live in Lakewood, the Yeshiva would be bankrupt.

  6. I have heard the same, BTW, from people who moved to Lakewood years ago who were not necessarily affiliated with the yeshiva when they came. Just want to say that I am sure there are many people who share your feelings who shouldn’t be painted with that broad brush.

  7. This post is emblematic of a typical reaction to any problem at all; i.e. a blunt (and totally random) solution of a nuanced issue. You don’t like certain developments in Lakewood society, and it’s because of…wait for it… sit down eateries! They should make them assur, and that would solve the problems, the way the internet asifa did away with kids at risk.

    You think had a good thing going for a few years. That does not entitle you to have it forever. Lakewood’s attractions are that it’s peaceful, near New York, and, let’s face it, some people, even though they are not in Beis Eliyahu right this second, even if they want to eat take-out every so often, STILL want to live in a makom torah. People discovered Lakewood in part because the Torah community there was successful, and they wanted to join. That’s life. Something that’s cool and unique today, everyone will be wearing tomorrow. Areas that are isolated today will be overdeveloped in a few years.

    Are isolation and simplicity so important to you? Do you long for the days when mesiras nefesh was an everyday reality? Don’t just talk about it. Be moser nefesh. Re-isolate yourself in the midwest or something. But remember not to take along the fancy campus, the fleet of janitors with trucks, the real estate holdings, the rolodex with the numbers of the rich and famous and politically connected, because these things are not what Lakewood is all about.

  8. Who made you better than everyone else. Without working families in Lakewood how would your wives have jobs. Without children that are a little different from yours how would your children learn to get along with others. Frankly if you don’t want to eat in restaurants don’t. I was in lakewood last night and I noticed many young couples in the restaurant that I was in. Maybe you’ll call me modern but they all looked like fine yeshiva couples. It’s a very nice thing to take your wife out you should try it sometime. If you can’t afford it I’ll be glad to spring for it. If you want to live amongst clones of yourself join a cult. Until then enjoy the biggest makom torah in the U.S. (besides brooklyn)

  9. the letter writer seems to be very very sick indvividual and should see psychitaric help and rabbinic counseling. this is not the torah way to act. its not a very humane way either.

  10. Sit down eateries are needed. It’s important for a husband and wife to be able to go out on dates every so often, and restaurants are needed for that. Yes, they can drive somewhere else, but how much would that add to the cost of babysitting?

  11. Orthowatch,

    Thanks for looking out whats best for us. I can tell with a name like yours that you sincerely care about the Orthodox. Your name is simliar to such antisemetic websites as “JEWwatch”

  12. Oh what a true article! And the last paragraph especially explains the mindset of some of the commentators above!

  13. Why does everything have to be about labeling everyone and putting people into little boxes?
    People like this teach their kids to be so intolerant to others it really is no wonder we live in a sick society. Open your eyes a bit and realize that if you only showed a little respect to that baal Habatish neighbor you might just be a bit happier in the long run.

  14. Anon 2:17: Now that you’ve insulted my name, how about posting something intelligent. If you have an argument that actually pertains to the discussion, I’d love to hear it. Insulting my name is just childish, and accomplishes nothing.

  15. I have been living in Lakewood for 35 years. Prices for houses went up long before the outsiders moved in. The “problem” is that the parents of Lakewooders are too rich!
    Who is to say that sit down eateries is a bad thing? The writer may be on the high “madrega” that he wouldn’t eat in a restaurnat, but I do. Who is to say what “ruining” is?
    The writer can move to Yerushalayim if he wants. Of course, he’ll have to pay plenty for a small apartment.

  16. I remember listening to a tape from rav avigdor miller describing the streets of Brooklyn as an ir kodosh were people learn torah, raise yiddisher families to do avodas hashem were girls and boys walk in the streets with unparalleled tzinus. To say anything derogatory of people is assur especially a whole public, to say that people do things that aren’t honorable is a completely different matter. That each yid is special and part of hashem is what we should be focused on. To write an article finding blame with people is not what we or hashem wants. Did the person who wrote this article first speak to gadolim about want needs to be done or just have a knee jerk reaction to a situation that doesn’t agree with them. We were put in this world to set an example and light of what hashem wants. Finding fault will not solve anything except maybe an ego that is bigger then everyone else. The people who are busy with improving and loving their fellow yid are not busy with writing articles as this. If there were more articles describing the chesed and holiness in Lakewood, people would follow suite and live up to those standards. So stop feeling so sorry and defending your self and go out and smile at your fellow yid and show him that he counts and that you love him to, which happens to be a mitzvah.

  17. While the letter writer does make some valid points & as a Lakewood resident, I probably could have written the same letter.

    But…. what gain is there from putting such a letter on Matzav? What good will come out of it? Will anyone change anything by reading your words?

    If you really are bothered by the situation, perhaps a better idea would be to speak to local Rabbanim, Roshe Yeshiva, and askonim. By posting a letter here – you have accomplished nothing!!

  18. Shouldn’t a shtudt like Lakewood have voted in “shiva tuvaei ha’iyir” voted in by the people for the people. It is going in the direction of Chasidim coming in & doing vos zei villen…Yeshiva where is that? I know vhere Bagel nosh is.

  19. When R’ Aharon K came to Lakewood, he did so to be away from it all. he wanted the Yeshiva to be far away from all the gashmius of the city yet not so far as to completely inaccessible. At that time, the drive to Lakewood was much longer and the trip more difficult. So it worked. Things changed. The drive is easier and faster.
    So many who wanted to get out of the city and live in a Jewish area came. It’s the nature of things.
    Like anyone who wants to get away from the hubbub of life, we need to keep moving further and further geographically to accomplish the same thing. So those who say “move to Arizona”, while totally missing the point, have unintentionally gotten the right idea.
    Are those who first came to Lakewood to learn in a Yeshiva that’s far away right to feel put upon? Yes, but that’s how the world is develops.
    Also, if all the chareidim didn’t have so many kids our population wouldn’t have grown and maybe Lakewood could have stayed small. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.

  20. I understand and second “some” of your sentiments. But, why such anymosity? What’s your rating system of how you judge the oilam? If I were the judge and you were the subject who seems to hold that you are elevated beyond any of those lowly “BALEBATIM”!! I’d throw you out on your head for having internet access!! A CHUTZPAH! Do you have a Kosher cell phone? Do you smoke and drink coffee whenever you get the chance to waste a few minutes? If you were serious, you wouldn’t be sitting there bashing others. Love your fellow Jew. Cut the bologna, and sit down and learn some Mussar!!

  21. If only:
    The reason that Lakewood got so big was not only because they had more kids.
    R’ Aharon zt”l only allowed select students into the yeshiva. He intentionally kept it limited to the best of the best.
    When his son, R’ Schneur, took over, he changed that policy. He opened the doors, and was willing to accept anyone. That’s when the yeshiva got really big.

  22. IT IS A BIG DEAL, BECAUSE THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE MOVED HERE to buy big houses in Brook Hill, in Chestnut, in developments etc. DO NOT FOLLOW BASIC LAWS OF TZNIUS AND APPROPRIATENESS. PERIOD. we are not talking about following baby rules. we are talking about people who simply do not follow halacha. People who despise bnei Torah. People who hate yeshivaleit. People who hate what our gedolim stand for.


  23. I’m curious if the letter write has lived in Lakewood his/her whole life. I have. And I can tell you that the real major change that has occurred in Lakewood in the past 10-15 years is how unaccepting the community has become.

    Why does it seem like everyone has forgotten the reason for the destruction of the Bais Hamikdash? I’ll jog your memory.. It was because of sinas shinam. There is so much sinas chinam going on in this town, it’s no wonder mashiach is not here yet.

    Stop worrying so much about everyone else. Work on yourself to love your fellow Jew. That’s what makes us stand out from the other nations.

    When I was growing up in Lakewood, everyone was friends. I didn’t have many frum neighbors in my immediate block, but all the frum families in the area were friends. Yes, even the one who had a TV (gasp) in their house. There were criteria to getting your children into school, but other than no tv and that the mother has to cover her hair, there weren’t any of these crazy things going on like there are today. And I even know people who got in who did not follow those two rules – because there were caring individuals who made sure these Jewish neshamos were not left without a school. I wish you could see what special adults these children have turned into.

    I can go on and on, but I think you get my gist…

  24. As an old time Lakewooder, I can tell you that the Rosh Yeshiva Rav Shneur Zatzal foresaw this all. He firmly advised all talmidim that were going to work to move to New York. He did not want hem to stay in Lakewood.

    The article written touches upon many valid points. It is not an indictment against the people that moved here from other environments if they are interested and willing to conform to the “Lakewood” way of life. However, when these people demand that Lakewood conform to them and have ta’anos that, for example, the schools don’t want to take their children because their wives don’t cover their hair completely as Rav Aron Zatzal paskened, then they should truly move back to where they came from.

  25. Let’s all celebrate tonite at YUSSI’S Grill to show support to such a beautifully written shtikel lomdos. Mammash molei charifos and sinas chinom. I wish you showed up tonite, I’d like to pour the hot stuff onto you Sushi Roll.

  26. Preposterous.

    You may not like it, but these people can move wherever they want. Get used to it.

    Khardassarova Il’evich Zbalen’a
    Advisory Council Member, PAJ
    Place of Birth: Moskva, Rossiya
    Residence: Bloemfontein, South Africa
    E-mail me

  27. Someone should enlighten this individual that there was a thriving Jewish community in Lakewood New Jersey waaay before BMG came along. In fact, many of the people from that community as well as its shuls and institutions still exists. So if anything, the BMG ppl invaded what was already a community of jews (amongst the goyim in the area of course).
    To have the gall and the arrogance to suggest that not only is a shtot theirs exclsuivley – but that it should be so xenophobic and intolerant of other jews/ other FRUM jews? who are not exactly 100% like them according to their silly chitzonioys??? Rachmonah litzlan, this isnt shaping up to be mashiachs tzeitun if this is the kind of person we have bred in this naya dor.

  28. theres a shul in lakewood that has a thriving membership of people which was standing and thrived waaaaaay before the yeshiva community was established and grew

  29. The letter writer shed some interesting light on the situation. As an out-of-towner who recently heard Rabbi Solomon asking for donations to the poor Lakewood, yet has read week in and week out of at least two Hachnasas Sefer Torahs each week in Lakewood I am really confused.

    It sounds like Lakewood has wealth far greater than ANY city in the US. It sounds like there are more new Sefer Torahs in Lakewood, than anywhere else in the world. The pictures of Lakewood mansions are gorgeous. If this is what’s expected by the kollel crowd, why does Lakewood yeshiva deserve any support?

    Please explain WHY Lakewood yeshiva can’t be fully self-supported by their extremely wealthy city?

  30. Have you ever looked back on history? Each and every ‘shtot’ has the same complaints as you.
    There is such a thing as ‘Niskatnu Hadoiros’.
    As time goes on things change, usually for the worse. Meaning, that the older generation thinks things are getting worse; the younger generation has no idea what your talking about.
    Do you remember the old timers talking about “how things were in the ‘alte heim’ “?
    As one era goes into the next era, the same
    situation reoccurs. period. Thats life.

  31. I know someone who moved from Monsey to Lakewood for several reasons. One reason was that Monsey was getting too frum.

  32. How valid and true are some of the writer’s points. As someone who has grown up in Lakewood I coudn’t agree more. 10-20-30 years there were also different sorts of people, some learning, some in Chinuch, and some working families, no-one said that every man has to sit and learn forever, yet no-one looked down upon anybody else, everyone respected each other for who they were. The difference btwn then and now is the respect, or lack of it for the yeshiva and bnei torah. People understood what the town was about, and even if they themselves didn’t agree, or did things differently, they didn’t fashmutz the town with their pritzus and gashmius, and they actually showed a respect and chashivus for those that were learning.

  33. what is written here is not about LAKEWOOD OR LAKEWOODERS, because the people who are doing these things – NO MATTER HOW MANY THEY ARE, are not not lakewooders. they are their own people, from whereever, who moved to lakewood. as a 40-plus year lakewood, i agree that these people should be told that what theya re doind is wrong.
    THE BEST IS WHEN THEY CAN’T GET THEIR KIDS INTO SCHOOL AND THEY WANT TO KNOW WHY. well, i can give you a list as long as your wife’s shaitel.
    I DON’T FEEL BAD fro these people who cant live up to basic standards.
    you moved here on your own volition. you bought a gigantic house on belvedere, on miller road, off the Nine, pine river or whereever. now you don’t have a school because your wife wants to do things her way, you want to act your way, etc. etc. SORRY, BUT YOU WILL PAY THE PRICE.

  34. I cannot believe this letter. The author of it really does need some psychiatric help as suggested by another commenter.
    Who does he think he is?
    to the author: Go make aliyah, you will enjoy israel – lots of Jews fighting with each other there, just like Lakewood.
    When will people realise that they need to tolerate others, not push them away?

  35. my father, a choshuve man has always been against this stuff and can’t look at any newspaper because of their outrageous looking ads

  36. “This is in addition to the issue of investors who have bought up houses and lots in Lakewood.”

    What you mean to say is “House Flippers”. This is a very big problem. These wicked people come to Frum neighborhoods and destroy any chance of a Yungerman/middle income earner being able to afford to purchase a home! It is not only in Lakewood, but also Monsey, Flatbush, Marine Park etc… These house flippers are the worst of the Reshayim! There is a very special place awaiting them in the lowest part of Gehenom!!!

  37. Just get used to the fact that the world is not doing a dance around BMG. Neither is the American city of Lakewood which was established many many years before BMG. Sit down eateries are here to stay. Maybe this venom comes from someone who cannot afford to eat out? Jealousy is often the reason why people want to assur another’s pleasures

  38. thank you for the poignant article. Their were few exagerations and it was missing the spite that others might have resorted to. Judging by the responses from from readers, obviously this is not the proper forum for this article

  39. FREE MOVING SERVICE OUT OF LAKEWOOD : must be a moron that had a problem with the point of view in this article to qualify

  40. I have a great idea. Let all the well to do Balei Batim and working class people pack out in droves. The stores will suffer tremendous losses, the schools will empty out. When the mosdos want to shnorer from the old wealthy constituences they will tell them ” As per this article we no longer feel the need to support you”.
    What a self centered pig feels the need to have this holier than thou attidude. This is the height of sinah and Rishus.

  41. This comment is directed at Okay. Apparently you are the one that decides who goes to Gehinom and how long for. Intereting, i thought it was Hashem that makes those decisions

  42. I guess the letter writer blames the people who moved in for his “yerida” that led to his surfing the internet and writting a post. My friends learning in yeshiva don’t post or read these sites (which are wonderful, but benei torah don’t have internet or time)

  43. It is my opinion that this writer would be better served by making a cheshbon hanefesh with specific focus on his/her Ahavas Yisroel, which may have been the singular deficiency most responsible for the overall tone of this article.

    The Bais Hamikdash was destroyed because of Sinas Chinam and not because of ‘eateries’.

    So too, the Bais Hamikdash will only be rebuilt with Ahavas Chinam.

  44. This article is so sad. Because someone is not the same as I we cannot live together.
    What are you thinking?

    Maybe this is why the ARI Z;L teaches one should preface their morning Tefila with an acceptance of V’AHAVTA ET RAYIECHA CAMOCHA.

    Without being disrespectul to the writer ask yourself maybe Hashem has given you an opportunity in sharing your community with the not-yet -Yeshivaliet. Maybe this is your opportunity to reach out and build bridges. Be a dogma chaiyah of what all frum yidden wish to become. Instead of looking down at these other work on oneself so that other look up to you . You as a Ben or Bat Torah set an example,be someone I envy not avoid.

  45. Why can’t anybody just hear what this guy is saying. This community became desirable because it was a ‘yeshiva’ community – that’s why you wanted to live here – well then don’t ruin it by making it into another ‘community’ the one that you left! This guy doesn’t not have ahavas yisroel – he just doesn’t want his whole lifestyle changed because now his kids are exposed to a ‘non yeshivishe hashkafa’ and yes he might have to deal with it, and yes, it’s being judgmental – but you might as well call a spade, a spade, new elements, modern concepts, untzniusdiga dress and behavior are really not what lakewood stood for and it sure would be nice if people that moved here would adapt to the yeshivishe derech, rather than change Lakewood so drastically. –

  46. Almost sixty years have come and gone.
    Lakewood has gone from a baalabatish Modern, Israel-loving Rav Levovitz kehilla, Regular Day School neighborhood, Biggest NCSY under Cantor Lieber, Little league Shabbos watchers to a chulent pot of thousands of neighborhoods, hundreds of schools, and a range of real estate choices.
    Oldtimers are frustrated, newcomers are frustrated and those who have lived there for a decade or two are frustrated. What does that prove? Jews have a hard time living together.
    R. Aharon started a wonderful yeshiva and built a makom torah in an ordinary neighborhood inhabited by other Jews. The YESHIVA does not have a monopoly on zoning, thought processes, eateries, housing, schooling, shuls, etc. The only community that can enact its own rules & regulations is NEW SQUARE. (a gated and private area)

  47. this article will cause more problems than the things the writer complains about. does he realize that the entire world can read this???

    Get over yourself kid. the world wasnt born when you were.




  49. Monsey isnt what it used to be, Boro Park isnt what it used to be, Williamsburg isnt what it used to be , Far rockaway isnt waht it used to be, Kiryas Yoel isnt what it used to be, Chicago isnt what it used to be, Passaic…. is close to what it used to be.

    But heres a piece of history that the writer is missing. Do ypou know why Reb Ahron chose Lakewood as the city for his yeshiva? Are you ready???
    Because Lakewood back then had many very wealthy resort type hotels where rich people used to come . R’Ahron felt that he can rely on the wealthy reosrt goers to support the yehiva. Did you know that??

  50. sorry to burst your bubble but many who have strayed came from old established families r
    this tkufa is one of the most difficult in the history of klal yisroel

  51. To all the people that complain about this letter, remember one thing.

    I never want to hear you complain about the illegal immigrants in town. That’s life. Things change, and sometimes a town like Lakewood can become Hispanic.

  52. You have made some valid points however I balieve that the problrm is alot deeeper then you write. You see what you failed to leave out is that there ae many Yungerliet who learn a full day and are considered Chasuva Chevrei Hakolel and yet they share the exact same ideology as the people you describe who dont have any shaychus to the Yeshiva. This means that they have pentrated the actual Beis Medrash itself with there Kruma Mhalich Hachaim. Clearly this poses a much greater risk to the values a Yeshiva Man is supposed to live by. I been Mochah Brabim about this issue many times but to no avail. May we merit to see the Geulah before ti is CV too late.

  53. Utopia is on its way, the path of the geula is being paved. Jews, our father in heaven is calling, come on home!!!

  54. THE writer of this letter is so right. the problem is that the response to such a letter is usually hatred toward yungeleit. ANYTIME THAT SOMEONE POINTS OUT HOW PEOPLE breach the standards in the community, the response is, “The yunegeliet are selfish, they are this, they are that, they need the gevirim, etc. etc. etc.” This is all nonsense. It has nothing to do with the yungeleit.
    Most of the old time Lakewooders who are bothered by the influx of these -we-don’t-care-about-your-standards people are not learning anymore. But they have still maintained a lifestyle that is focused on ruchniyus and tries to uphold the ideals of Rav Aharon and Rav Shneur. These people – not the yunegeliet per se – are the most bothered by the newcomers – in the last 10 years – who have introduced ideas and ideals that compromise the high level of shemiras hamitzvos and dikduk in modesty and hatzneiah leches that Lakewood personified.

    so stop lashing out at the Bnei Torah and yungeleit when you read such a letter. It is a foolish and shallow response that doesn’t answer the legitimate issues raised in the letter.

  55. How about the shteiblach and the fringe groups that have formed whose sole goal is to be the opposite of whatever the bnei torah and yeshivaleit represent? are we supposed to say, “Ahavas yisroel. we have to embrace these people whose sole goal is to undermine the bnei torah”?

  56. You know when I gave up? When a so-called Lakewood website “featured” a story on the Blue Claws. Anyone who had any sensitivity to what went on when the stadium was proposed would no how much effort went into maintaining the kedusha of the community
    but now people don’t care.
    also, people see things written by someone about lakewood and think it represents lakewood. not necessarily. there are people who would have you believe that lakewood is about car crashes, fire engines, police officers, and any other video that can take and scandal they can invent.
    but it’s sheker
    Lakewood was and is still about Torah, Torah and only Torah.
    the majority of the community is Torah oriented erliche highly uplifting people who are a nachas to the ribono shel olam and all of klal yisroel.
    there is no place like lakewood. it is so unique and special, and we who cherish it won’t let wanna be journalists try to paint lakewood in any light but a Torah town and a town of those who are mevakshei hashem and are medakdek kechut hasaareh in mitzvos.
    ignore those who don’t conform, and don’t let young tuna beigels try to claim they represent lakewood.

  57. why the hate?
    why the holier than though attitude?
    why the name calling?
    stop blaming the new comers etc…
    if the old timers would have kept up the standards the newcomers never would have settled here let’s look at ourselves where WE went wrong.

  58. dear poster. you have brought out some points that have been bothering me also , however , there are some things that are beyond our control. the restraunts, I can’t stand the scene as much as you, howver that was a decision the leaders of this town made and we have to respect that. and yes there are many people moving here who have no shaychus to the yeshiva and couldn’t get a home in brooklyn and have come to make a liife for themselves. many of these people feel lonely and isolated without their local rov and community they had etc…. yes lakewood is changing , but this is part of our test to make these people feel welcome and not that welreholier than thou because the truth is sometimes we’re not . in addition we also are accepting more and more bochrim in our yeshivos as per rav shach . there are many boys right now who are planning to work within w year or two. there’s nothing wrong with being a ben torahand working let’s not shun them and remember that we are all one family .

  59. Maybe it is time to have a Tzinus campaign- a campaign to bring modesty to thought not just to dress. This letter writer is a sad example of someone who probably dresses Tzinustik to the T, but does not know the meaning of the word modest. He considers his way of life, his dress, his actions far holier than others. Unfortunately, this attitude is far to common.

  60. I live an hour from Lakewood. This letter disgusts me. Are you familiar with the concept of Ahavas Yisrael? It is not possible to have authentic Ahavas Torah with Ahavas Yisrael.

    Maybe it is time to create a new Lakewood – can I suggest Lakewooders move to Scranton?

  61. To all of you choshuva people who obviously have spent precious and time and resources researching this issue and are now sharing your your amazing observations on the subject I say this: PLEASE GET A LIFE!!!! Once you do, hang onto it very tightly with both hands and never let go.

  62. 70 commenters who all know the right answer. Help us, hakodesh baruch who, we are so deep in golus with no anchor.

  63. If anyone does not understand what this writer is saying, you should have driven into the Shoprite plaza when Blockbuster was still there. The sight of “frum” Jews frequenting this place smack in the middle of Lakewood without any shame whatsoever (they could have driven ten minutes away) was enough to rip your heart out. If you don’t understand this, then sadly, my dear brothers, you never will….

  64. Why not think positively about others?
    Blockbuster has many educational tapes.
    Perhaps that is what they were renting.

  65. A poster or two have suggested that the writer of the article make aliyah. Please don’t. You think that you are so very frum there living in Lakewood, but if you come here YOUR children will be the ones who cannot get into schools because you will be considered the shgotzim of the neighborhood and a drain on our frumkeit.

    Sit down restaurants are not your problem there — your problem is that you are living in Amreika and think that you are so very frum carrying around your little Artscroll gemaras and thinking that buying bagels isn’t Jewish enough. When you’ve been frum longer — and yes, it is obvious that you are a BT — you won’t write articles like this one; you will instead be spending your time in the beis medrash learning instead of on the internet with shtuyot.

  66. A positive way to look at the fact that people live lavish lives is that they are using it for good. just because someone lives in a nice home and drives a nice car does not mean that they are ruining the area. they can do hachnosas orchim, they can give rides to people. how do you know they are using it to flaunt their mone? not everything materialistic is negative. it depends how you use it. just a little something to think about.

  67. The City and Temple we will mourn tomorrow allowed all Jews in, not just the most religiously motivated. On the 3 Regalim (Pesach, Shavuos, Succos) all of Israel were Chaverim. The incense burnt on the Golden Alter included “Chelbonah”, to teach us that even the sinners must be included when we pray.

  68. With all due respect, bnei Torah that put limud hatorah and kiyum hamitzvos as the priorities make their homes in Eretz Yisrael, not in Lakewood.

  69. With “all due respect” I wish to add that I’m just as [ongoingly] appalled as the above-mentioned Austrian giyoret, whenever I chance to read the incessant quack-quacking by an ever-increasing chunk of society.

    I should add something which probably most of you weren’t aware of. Long ago, in 1920s, there was an odom godol who built the foundations of yiddishkeit in America. (He, together with Mike Tress, and several others).

    He was a brilliant visionary who kept urging his talmidim to move to far-flung American cities, to build communities in those places. But most of them preferred remaining in safe enclaves.

    This visionary probably realized the complex issues that could eventually arise from too much of a concentration of humanity in one geographic area such as Lakewood, Monsey & so forth.

    But a majority of his talmidim didn’t follow thru. As a result, their descendants are now reaping what their forebears had sewn – by not having taken the “road less traveled” as advised by said visionary. Because had they ventured out on the less-cozy path, the out-of-town locales would have been more built up by now. But with some breathing room, rather than a crowded way (and not a minuscule way either! Thus, there would have been more palatable options for the current crop, with less room (due to decentralization) for the big guys to take advantage of the small guys.

    Bottom line? Some things never change. People failed to heed the neviim of long ago, and the same goes for now.


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