Sunday, July 12, 2009

EJF - Making peace with R' Tropper


This Shabbos Rav Sternbuch told me about a telephone call he received this week. He said that someone had called him and said that it was time to make peace between R' Tropper and myself. That they were tired of being criticized. He told the caller that he was not getting involved in the matter. The rest of our conversation is not for publication.

The issue in fact is not between me and R' Tropper. It is between R' Tropper and Rav Sternbuch. All that we have been asking for the last two years is the halachic reasoning of their poskim for what they are doing. [The teshuva from Rav Reuven Feinstein is not adequate because it doesn't address their proselytizing efforts] Then Rav Sternbuch either agrees or disagrees with it. If R' Tropper is too shy to make an appointment I will be glad to make an appointment for him. It would be helpful if he would take Rav Reuven Feinstein along. Rav Sternbuch's views have simply served as the justification for me to raise questions and criticize the published descriptions of what R' Tropper is doing. If Rav Sternbuch is satisfied with what they are doing I will be too. If R' Tropper doesn't want to do that, teshuvos from Rav Eliashiv or Rav Reuven Feinstein could serve the same function. This is really the absurdity of the situation. The issue could have been resolved a long time ago with minimum effort.

20 comments :

  1. Halacha is not a business transaction and halachic issues are not resolved by "meeting and compromising" or "making deals". I believe this is how Reform got started.

    You are doing the Jewish world a great service in my opinion by making the halacha regarding the most important issues in Judaism understandable and accessible.

    Thank you.

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  2. Disgusted with EJFJuly 12, 2009 at 12:15 PM

    This EJF initiative is making me sick in the gut. I live in a small Jewish community in Western Canada and it has become a plague. One example is a so called female convert who never in her life kept Shabbos who recently re-converted. Her son is living with his Pilipino shiksa and parades around with a holy than thou attitude. The community calls him up to the torah as levi and has him preaching from the bima all under the auspices of Reb Ruven Finstein. His three non Jewish children go to the so called "frum" day school and it become so bad that my 4 year old son is in a class with 4 goyim from mixed marriages out of 7 kids ; Hashem Yismor. We have no choice but to send him to the secular jewish day school. Every day the two Kollel Yingeleit infected with this EJF sheker are bringing more intermarried in to the shule. In a small community like ours this is devastating. Please comment i could use so Chizuk that i’m not alone here

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  3. Could you provide more details? Are the conversion in your community actually being directed by EJF? Why would someone who doesn't keep Shabbos reconvert?

    In sum, your description leaves out many critical factors.

    Also please don't post anonymously. Pick any name you like except anonymous

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  4. The women I was referring to converted many years ago but never kept shabos (claiming her husband didn’t let her)Recently I believe, she reconverted in E.Y, and is now shomer shabos after her husband died 4 years ago. Her son is still living with his shiksa and we know for a fact she has no intention to really convert but is being pressured by the Rabbonim . This is really the Eriv Rav at work

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  5. The two Kollel yingleit have been studing the Tuchvois prepared by EJF and are recieving a 500-600 stipend (Sochad mesalif enoim )

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  6. Please provide the name of the city and the name convertee and the Rabbis who converted her so that there can be a fair drisha and not a one sided smear campaign.

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  7. nu, what takes so long to provide the names of the rabbi who converted and the name of the converteee so that we can check the second side of the story?


    btw, I would hope that you would have the smae zeal tobbring the HUNDREDS AND THOUSANDS OF cases made by other megayrim who lechatcihla do not ask for any kabblaat hamitvot and they infest small and big towns with goyim gmurim and erev rav in jewish schols!

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  8. Roni said...

    Please provide the name of the city and the name convertee and the Rabbis who converted her so that there can be a fair drisha and not a one sided smear campaign.
    ======================
    Once in a while I agree with Roni. It is important to understand what actually happened as well as to ascertain the role if any EJF played in this case.

    If you feel uncomfortable publicizing the identification information - it still would be helpful to clarify how EJF worked in this case.

    In particular are the problems a direct result of EJF's searching after intermarried couples or whould they have happened anyway?

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  9. Kanoimpogimbo said...

    The women I was referring to converted many years ago but never kept shabos (claiming her husband didn’t let her)Recently I believe, she reconverted in E.Y, and is now shomer shabos after her husband died 4 years ago. Her son is still living with his shiksa and we know for a fact she has no intention to really convert but is being pressured by the Rabbonim . This is really the Eriv Rav at work

    I am sorry but this makes absolutely no sense. Point by point is this,

    1)Women "converted" many years ago in what is now an obviously fake conversion.

    2)She "re-converted" and is now Shomer Mitzvot. Kol HaKavod for her. Where is the problem?

    3) Her son is living with a non-Jew.

    4) While #3 appears to be a problem at first glance unless her son is less than 4yrs old, he is also a non-Jew. So where is the problem? We now worry that goyim are propagating their part of the human race?

    5) Two men in the Kollel like EJF. So what?

    6) You claim they take money from EJF. Please provide proof.

    7) If they do take money from EJF, please also provide some proof that EJF supports and approves their activities. I have known OU affiliated Rabbis who drove on Shabbat. Then when the OU was informed they were no longer OU affiliated rabbis. Thus I want to see proof that EJF/Tropper is both aware of and approving of their various activities... including bringing children from a non-Jewish couple into a frum day school.

    If you cannnot provide proof, at least to the blog owner. Please keep your comments to yourself as slander harms the ability to have actual conversation on the issues.

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  10. Firstly I have emailed many of the details to the blog owner, as I am not comfortable publicly posting them on line.

    In answer to Roni – I have personally seen a contract from EJF - Suffran ,New York - offering to pay a total of $1200 stipend to study the EJS materials, payment is received after a Bechina is completed. I have spent hours with the Kollel yingalait discussing this issue and they claim it’s a Horois Shoa.

    In terms of the case posted the Women let’s say June , never had a valid geries so her son is not Jewish , but they call him as alevi to the torah ....; ( they view it as a possible geries because she wanted to keep shabos but her husband didn’t) the son then marries a phillapino women has 3 kids and walks around as a frum jew , wife with shietal etc and we know for a fact she really does not want to convert but is being pressured by the husband and rabbonim. They are given lot of respect and the Kollel, Rav spends lots of time with them – publicly they are their poster children- many simple Jews are disgusted and turned off...

    Here are some examples of EJF prostelizing in our community.

    1. Grandfather who runs the chevrah Kadisa is furious and crying to me that his 19 year old grand son is dating a non jewish girl. He is furious because he is trying to break it off and the Kollel rabbis are encouraging it and canvassing conversion. This is insane they should be sending him to yeshiva in Israel.
    2. Every day more non Jews show up at Kollel events, the shule,- and intermarriage is viewed as legitimate as long as they commit to the EJF program. Its destroying the kedusha of our community

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  11. kanoimpogimbo said:
    1. Grandfather who runs the chevrah Kadisa is furious and crying to me that his 19 year old grand son is dating a non jewish girl. He is furious because he is trying to break it off and the Kollel rabbis are encouraging it and canvassing conversion. This is insane they should be sending him to yeshiva in Israel.
    2. Every day more non Jews show up at Kollel events, the shule,- and intermarriage is viewed as legitimate as long as they commit to the EJF program. Its destroying the kedusha of our community
    ==============
    DT:
    These two examples are direct contradictions to what R Tropper claims his programs does. At the same time Rav Sternbuch warned against this.

    If in fact R Tropper does not approve of encouraging not only intermarried couples but interfaith couples to convert and encourage non-Jews to attend events he should publicly state such a view and make sure his people are not involved. On the other hand if this is in fact his agenda then we are back where we started from.

    Roni what is Tropper's real agenda?

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  12. Personally I have a hard time pinning this one on EJF. Unless something more solid can be offered other than that these two Kollel yingalait are in process of getting involved with EJF.

    Honestly to me this sounds as if these people have their own agenda, similar to that of Asher Meza, and are seeking to use EJF for a form of legitimacy. Quite honestly a contract between them an R' Tropper, to learn EJF materials, does not imply that R' Tropper in any way supports or approves of their views.

    One of the criticisms that has often been voiced here of R' Tropper is that, despite involvment with many Gedolei Yisrael, lacking haskamah from them or something more solid showing their actual approval, he cannot show that he has it. In like lacking something that solidly shows that R' Tropper/EJF approves of and/or is directly involved with the activities of these two Rabbonim, it appears to me to be quite unfair to accuse R' Tropper/EJF of being complicit with their actions.

    I liken this to the OU affiliated rabbis I mentioned above. Simply because someone chooses to affiliate with an organization, which is often done to gain the individual seeking affiliation credibility, does not mean that that individual shares the values of organization, or that the organization is even aware of that individual's values and beliefs in full.

    To put a name to it. R' Dresnin of Wilmington DE, was an OU affiliated Rabbi with an OU affiliated shul. The shul had mixed seating and the Rabbi was mechlal shabbos publicly. Once the OU was informed of the circumstances and investigated it, they pulled their affiliation. In the meantime does this mean that the OU promotes being mechlal Shabbos? No of course not.

    Likewise I do not think that, considering the size of EJF and the speed with which it has grown, that R' Tropper or EJF can be accused of everything that those affiliated with EJF do. Especially not before R' Tropper is contacted with the details and allowed time to check to their accuracy and respond.

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  13. kanoimpogimbo,
    says things but hasn't provided ONE SHRED OF (NOT ONLY EVIDENCE) but not even particular information.

    Then we move to the chevra kadisha blaming the Kolel Guys. Now all I can say that itis KNOWN that EJF does NOT encourage and it actually discpurages conversion of girls that are dating jewish boys.

    THe Site states: "The primary purpose of Eternal Jewish Family is to stem the tide of intermarriage by protecting the Jewish people and sincerely committed converts from fraudulent or unacceptable conversions. EJF provides resources for intermarried couples who want to rejoin the Jewish family,...",

    It is known that they do not make conversion for non married non jews. Certainly there is misinformation about it.

    Let him give some info to be able to back it up. We have many enemies who twist and distort to make false claim and smear campaigns.

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  14. To Roni and Mekubal
    I'm obviously not going to post names and details of the Rabbonim involved nor be involved in Loshen horah.

    Suffice it to say the Rosh Kollel is a yira shomiem and talmid chochom i love him and have alot of respect for him , but i dont agree on his approach being mekarv intermarrieds.
    He is no rouge Rabbi as suggusted by Mekubal, in fact he he attended the prestigious Beth Medrash Govoha in Lakewood, N.J. where he received his Rabbinic ordination.
    I have asked him strong questions ie how this individual can public live with his Phillapino wife (to many Roshinim a isuer Kores). He tells me he is contact with Rav Ruven Finstien.
    Its well known that Reb Ruven is a strong supporter of EJF so from my point of view they are opperating essentially as one.
    Remember we are dealing with a community that has a 80% intermarrige rate:
    I personally have a policy not to allow intermarried to participate in our shtibel.
    The facts are what the are, Hashem knows the truth
    its time you chose which camp you are in

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  15. "He tells me he is contact with Rav Ruven Finstien.
    Its well known that Reb Ruven is a strong supporter of EJF so from my point of view they are opperating essentially as one".


    ROni: This is astonishing to me!
    Rav Ruven is a strong supporter of EJf therefore you conclude and decide that EJf is behind these activities?!

    And otoh, since Rav Reuven is the one who is paskening these shaylos (if it is true) then I would give him the benefit of the doubt that he is simply looking the other way and ignoring your concerns and certainly he would not be involved in activities of accepting a goy into klal yisroel when he is a goy wtc.

    I'll not comment on the other points, since: 1) i do acknolwedge your perspective and side of the issues in genral and personally feel that it should be respected, 2)there may opposing concerns and they may exist in torah as well and a RAbbi has to have the shikul haddat to balance them out and find the right solution for the particular case, 3_) but insofar as you charge EJF you cannot expect me that you defame them and not give them opportunity to defend thesmelves on the "other side of the story".

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  16. Kanoimpogimbo said...

    Suffice it to say the Rosh Kollel is a yira shomiem and talmid chochom i love him and have alot of respect for him , but i dont agree on his approach being mekarv intermarrieds.
    He is no rouge Rabbi as suggusted by Mekubal, in fact he he attended the prestigious Beth Medrash Govoha in Lakewood, N.J. where he received his Rabbinic ordination.
    I have asked him strong questions ie how this individual can public live with his Phillapino wife (to many Roshinim a isuer Kores). He tells me he is contact with Rav Ruven Finstien.
    Its well known that Reb Ruven is a strong supporter of EJF so from my point of view they are opperating essentially as one.


    I also learned in BMG. Let's be honest, BMG is the largest Yeshivat in the world outside of Israel, and even within Israel the only Yeshiva larger is Tifrach. What that means is, there are a lot of different hashkafas floating around the learners there, quite frankly just because someone came out of BMG does not guarantee their ideological purity on every issue.

    Secondly, is he taking orders from EJF or R' Feinstein? Just because you consider them one and the same does not mean that they are. R' Feinstein is a Posek, EJF is an organization. If R' Feinstein gives a psak or an eitzah for a certain situation, that does not mean that it is the position of the EJF organization. Essentially what you are saying is that you don't like what R' Feinstein is telling R'"X" regarding this situation so you are going to blame the whole affair and the destruction of your highly intermarried community on EJF... that is ridiculous.

    Furthermore each of your clarifications generates further unanswered questions. If said Rosh Kollel is talmid of BMG, why doesn't he consult his own Rosh Yeshiva for advice, or the primary Poskim that BMG holds by?

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  17. outoftowninsiderJuly 13, 2009 at 5:50 PM

    Here is what is happening.
    (My very educated guess)

    The Kollel is STARVED FOR FUNDS

    EJF offers grants to "Promote proper Geirus"

    When they have shailos about specific cases they are directed to R' Reuven

    Of course EJF doesn't pasken or convert but .....they basically pay these guys to stop intermarriage through "successful conversion with kabbolas mitzvos."

    This enoucarges the KOllel to use their Kiruv talents on these couples and they end up being mekarev them to frumkeit.

    What's the problem you ask?

    Well for one... Who says it is the right thing to do? Maybe these couples should have to be discouraged from staying together....but the money.... no funding for breaking up couples only for cinverting them with kabbolas hamitzvos....

    Hashochad yeaveir eynei chachomim is D; Oraisa!

    This happneed to Kollelim across the country when NY funders wanted JUST kiruv with no interest inthe Kollelim's mission of Limud hatorah....they was much more kiruv......trust me any rosh kollel can tell you call one up

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  18. the Monsey TzadikJuly 13, 2009 at 11:10 PM

    I do not recall from the parasha that Pinchas asked to make peace with Zimri he probably asked for halachatic sources for his actions. Zimri which according to some commentaries was doing keiruv probably said something like this “ I am trying to megayer her with full kabalas mitzvos”

    Just like then nobody dare to speak up again Zimri today nobody dares to speak up against Tropper (except one…)[...]

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  19. the Monsey TzadikJuly 14, 2009 at 3:46 AM

    I have asked him strong questions ie how this individual can public live with his Phillapino wife (to many Roshinim a isuer Kores).

    Do rishonim actually address the issue of Filipino women ? do other gentile women are also kores or only Filipino ?

    Yes, pinay women are trouble makers even more than Brazilian women, we still remember the Brazilian woman who got Tropper and his out of town rabbis so worked up....

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_w3ipkL1Dd10/SWtzgi9FhFI/AAAAAAAAAi8/u2fvCCMswMY/s1600-h/Vaad+for+Geirus+against+R%27+Bomzer+Cropped.jpg

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  20. the Monsey TzadikJuly 14, 2009 at 1:19 PM

    Tropper said

    Now all I can say that itis KNOWN that EJF does NOT encourage and it actually discpurages conversion of girls that are dating jewish boys.

    Tropper, you said in one of the conferences in front of many rabbis that it is preferable that they are already married that way it is not leshem ishus. You basically implied/said that the couple will have easier time if they get married and then convert.[...]

    ReplyDelete

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