Prior to the month of Tishrei Crown Heights held an historic election. Crown Heights held an election for a third Rov, a Rov who would complete the Bais Din to three Rabbonim. The streets were full of hope, hope that once and for all, the Bais Din will be completed and united.
On the ballot there was a little known individual, an individual who flew here from across the world. As the campaign for the position progressed, the campaign, on behalf of Yossi Braun (not confirmed as to the Rabbi Part) took a drastic turn to brutal smear campaign. In his bid for the spot Yossi Bruen campaign unloaded on another respected candidate. To the residents of the community it felt more like the pure hate and disdain was directed at a 40 year respected Rov with Smicha, Dayanus, and Shimush, (I might add).
As the weeks leading up to the election many questions were raised, “who’s paying Braun?”, “who flew him in?”, “salary?”, “home”, etc. At a “Meet the Rov” forum Braun was asked by moderator Tuvia Tatik “A lot of money was spent on your behalf… What is to assure the community that you will not be Shuchad (Bribed) by those who are funding it?” Braun with a smirk on his face quipped “I’m not aware of who is spending money on my behalf…and if it stays that way it will be fine”. To all those who heard these remarks made by Braun scratch their heads in amazement. Is this how a candidate for Rov talks? one community member was heard saying after the forum. Does “Lo Tickach Shochad” mean nothing to Braun? Is this all a joke to him? asked another. One of his greatest supporters the site Jihad.info tried to phrase it well “R Braun: I don’t work for anyone or any group”. Is Braun trying to deceive the community?
Yet, a week later the little known candidate, from across the world, won the election by a Small margin. As the days passed election night one question lingered does Braun have Smicha, and Shimush? During the campaign aides to Braun released a document from Rabbi G. Tzinner attempting to depict a Smicha certification and endorsement for the position. Yet, it did not contain any date as to when he received this document, nor was it the language of a Smicha sheet, it was plainly an endorsement for his then new job in Sydney, Australia. These led to speculation that our newly elected and unknown Rov has never received Smicha and in turn never received Shmush (A vary important aspect in being a Rov). Did Braun intentionally try to deceive the community by presenting false indication that he received Smicha?
How many who voted for Bruan would not have done so had they known the truth?
Had the community been played for fools?
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