י' אייר התשפ"ד
18.05.2024

Exclusive Interview With The Rav Of Meron: “It’s All Because Of The High Court; I Won’t Allow An Affront To The Boyaner Rebbe”

Leading up to the Hilula in Meron, Moishe Wisberg spoke with Hagaon R’ Meir Stern, who has been serving as the Rav of Meron for 60 years, and discussed with him the issue of Chillul Shabbos in Meron

Exclusive Interview With The Rav Of Meron: “It’s All Because Of The High Court; I Won’t Allow An Affront To The Boyaner Rebbe”
הרב מאיר שטרן בראיון ל'בחדרי חרדים'



Exclusive Interview: High up on Mount Meron, close to the Tzion of the Tana R’ Shimon Bar Yochai is the home of the famous Rav of Meron, Hagaon R’ Meir stern Shlit”a. Rav Stern, a Visznitzer chossid, who was mishtadech with various Admorim, has been serving as the Rav of Meron for 60 years already.

The veteran Rav invited us to sit down with him, and in a special interview with “Bechadrei Chareidim” shared with us how he became the Rav of Meron. The Rav also spoke about the loaded topic of the day, the chillul Shabbos that may take place in Meron- since lag baomer falls out on Motsei Shabbos this year.

In the past few days the Rav has been in the eye of the storm, first issuing a letter over the upcoming hilula, and then issuing a clarification letter that he hadn’t intend at all to the Boyaner chasisdus, that traditionally lights the central fire in Meron on Lag Baomer.

In an interview to “Bechadrei Chareidim” the Rav explained what he meant by issuing those letters.

“I came to Meron as a bochur” says the Rav, “after I was tested by Gedolei Yisroel and earned a heter horaha. I came to Meron to daven Mincha-Mariv at the tzion of Rashbi. exactly at that time, in Meron they were looking for a Rav. The members of the religious regional council approached me and started a conversation, eventually, one thing led to the next and they offered me the post of Rav.

Regarding Lag Baomer that falls out on Motsei Shabbos, the Rav explains that, “There were other years that Lag Baomer fell out on Motsei Shabbos, the reason why this year is different, is because of all the tension with the high court that recently ruled that supermarkets in Tel Aviv may remain open on Shaboss - such a chillul Shabbos can break down Shabbos in the entire country.

To us it’s clear, whoever has some brains knows that- Lo Aleinu- they will violate Shabbos in Herziliya, Netanya, and Chaifa, so there was a big ‘hisorerus’ and we thought to make a ‘geder’ and push of the hilula”.

Rav stern explains that such a move is not unprecedented, “We know that a hundred years ago there was also such a Shabbos, and the Rabbonim from Tzfat decided to postpone the hilula and hadlakh to Sunday morning. We see that Rabbonim in the past decided to postpone”.

Regarding the letters that the Rav wrote and then issued a clarification on the matter that he did not intend it for the Boyaner chassidus, the Rav said, “the truth is that chas vechalila… I never mixed in to things here in Meron throughout the years… The letter that I wrote I meant innocently, but after I was told that my words were interpreted against the Rebbe of Boyan, who is to me ‘Kodesh Kodoshim’- I don’t know if I ever saw a Rav with a holy tsura like the Boyaner Rebbe- that is why I put out an explanation”.

I love the Boyaner Rebbe, its ‘malchut Rizin’, the Rebbe visited my home. For me to be at the Boyaner tish brings back good memories, and that is why I tried to rectify the situation and give a clarification.

I thought that the hadlakah should be at 4:00 o’clock in the morning, but if the Rebbe is going to light at 1:15 in the morning, I humble my opinion before him”.

In light of the affront to the Rebbe, I have decided not to deal with this anymore. They asked me to put out more letters, I am not putting out any more letters, it will be worse, we are talking about the Rebbe here, can I tell the Rebbe what to do? Is it my business?

Translated by Eli B.
Meron

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