I received the following from JJ, a reader, who claims this is an e-mail from R. Ahron Feldman explaining his visit last week to Rabbi Yosef Sholom Elyashiv on behalf of Rabbi Nosson Slifkin. Read correctly, it means that the 'gedolim' will not be standing up to Rabbi Elyashiv anytime soon:
Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, shlit"a. The Black Pope and Herald of the new Dark Ages?
(Photo credit: Hatzolah Israel.)
Rabbi Feldman writes:
My short visit to Israel last week was, among other reasons, to ascertain Rav Elyashiv's reason for the issur on Slifskin's books.
Contrary to rumors, I did not travel on anyone's behalf. [I.e., not the American Moetzet Gedolei HaTorah. This gets the Moetzet off the hook so they do not have to buck Rabbi Elyashiv.– editor.]
Rav Eliashiv felt that the hashkofos of the books regarding Chazal and the age of the universe are forbidden to be taught, and this despite the fact that others, even great people (such as R.Avraham ben HaRambam, Pachad Yitzchok and, in our times, Rav Dessler and R.Shimon Schwab) may have said similar things. "They were permitted to say these things, but we may not," he said. In other words, the halacha is not like them. [In other words, Rabbi Elyashiv has just taken an entire kosher wing of Judaism and made it non-kosher, with no basis in Jewish law for doing so.– editor.]
Most important, Rav Eliashiv said that by his signature on the public announcement regarding the books he did not mean to rule that the author is a min or kofer. [A heretic or a sectarian.–editor.] As far as he is concerned, Rav Eliashiv said, "the author could be one of the lamed vov tzadikim"; the books nevertheless are forbidden to read. [If he had ruled Rabbi Slifkin a heretic or the views he wrote about heresy, Rabbi Elyashiv would have needed to have legal proof and precedent to back up his ruling. But, because no precedent or proof exists, he had to parse his words.– editor.] He was surprised when he was shown that the announcement described the books as kefira and minus. He then dictated a statement to me,in the presence of his secretary, Rav Yosef Efrati, and one of his grandsons, which read as follows:
"My intention when I added my name to the public announcement [regarding the issur] was only regarding that the books should not enter the Jewish community."
The word "only" was meant to specifically exclude the implication that the author is a heretic. [But forever more, the views on Creation expressed by Rabbi Slifkin will be forbidden to the Jewish community. Further, heretic or not, Rabbi Slifkin will not be able to make a living in the haredi world. In effect, he is still treated as a heretic.– editor.]
With best wishes,
Ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the Dark Ages.
UPDATE: Apparently Godol Hador has received the same e-mail and has confirmed it. Please read his take on it here.