A kol korei has been issued by the Roshei Yeshivah and Menahalim of over 50 yeshivos in the New York area forbidding their students from using limousines, “party buses” and other such vehicles while collecting tzedakah on Purim.
“It’s not good for ruchniyus and it’s not good for the gashmiyus either,” said Rabbi Reuven Jacobs, Menahel of Yeshivas Bais Dovid in Monsey.
“First, this is not the standard that the yeshivos are trying to set,” Rabbi Jacobs said. “We teach pashtus (simplicity) and to be happy with the material possessions that we have. Second, the people who give money don’t like it either. They look and see their money going for limousines. It defeats the practical purpose and becomes an end unto itself.”
The proclamation warns against the use of limousines, party buses, RV’s and other such vehicles.
“It has two negative aspects: for the bachurim themselves and for the situation it helps create,” said Rabbi Shimon Spira, Menahel of Mesivta Karlin Stolin in Boro Park. “It leads to wildness and creates a chillul Hashem. Also, these cars have bars and screens and all the modern dangers.”
“Aside from the specific problems that have occurred from bachurim riding in these cars, this is not something that we want our children to look up and aspire to,” said Harav Yosef Tzvi Bursztyn, Rosh Yeshivah of the Mesivta of Lakewood, a signatory on the petition.
“Just as there are certain ways of dressing and types of music that we discourage because of the spirit they encourage, limousines too are something that our culture should stay away from.”
An accompanying “Open Letter” beseeches potential donors to support those groups that adhere to the kol korei’s directive. The letter also points out that, aside from the spiritual damage it causes, the rental of these vehicles often “leaves very little actual profit for the cause.”