Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Discussing accusations of rabbinic malpractise


THIS IS TO NOTIFY READERS THAT A LOT OF MISINFORMATION IS CONTAINED IN THESE LETTERS AND THEIR ASSERTIONS SHOULD BE PRESUMED TO BE MISTAKEN UNLESS CONFIRMED BY RELIABLE SOURCES.


FURTHERMORE SINCE THIS IS NOT A BEIS DIN AND THERE ARE NO WITNESSES - AT MOST THE ASSERTIONS MADE IN THE COMMENTS CAN BE REASON FOR FURTHER INVESTIGATION, BUT THEY ARE NOT TO BE BELIEVED TO BE TRUE. FINALLY EVEN IF THE LETTERS AND OTHER PROOF ARE IN FACT VALID DOCUMENTS - THERE IS NO CONTEXT OR PROPER DESCRIPTION OF PRECEDING OR SUBSEQUENT EVENTS IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO COME TO A PROPER UNDERSTANDING OF EVENTS

IN SUM THESE SOURCES ARE UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES TO BE TAKEN AT FACE VALUE AND ARE NOT TO BE BELIEVED WITHOUT DISCUSSION WITH COMPETENT RABBIS.


THE MATERIAL PRESENTED IN THE COMMENTS IS ONLY SO THAT A PERSON SHOULD BE AWARE OF POSSIBLE CONCERNS SO THAT HE CAN PROTECT HIMSELF FROM POSSIBLE HARM - BUT THE MATERIAL BY ITSELF CAN NOT ESTABLISH THE TRUTH OF THE ASSERTIONS.

Pischei Tshuva (O.C. 156): I want to note here that while all the books of mussar are greatly concerned about the sin of lashon harah, I am greatly concerned about the opposite problem. I want to protest about the even greater and more common sin of refraining from speaking negatively when it is necessary to save someone from being harmed. For example if you saw a person waiting in ambush to kill someone or breaking into someone’s house or store at night. Is it conceivable that you would refrain from notifying the intended victim to protect himself from the assailant - because of the prohibition of speaking lashon harah? By not saying anything you commit the unbearable sin of transgressing the prohibition of Vayikra (19:16): Do not speak lashon harah [but] do not stand idly by when the blood of your fellow man is threatened? By not speaking up, you violate the mitzva of returning that which is lost to its owner Devarim (22:2). Now if you can understand the obvious necessity of speaking up in these cases then what is the difference between a robber breaking into someone’s house or store or seeing that his servants are secretly stealing from him or that his partner is deceiving him in their business or that another person is cheating him in commerce or that he is lending money to someone that you know doesn’t repay? How is this different from stopping a proposed marriage to someone you know is a wicked person who would be a horrible husband. Saving a person from these situations is clearly included in the command (Devarim 22:2) to return to the person himself or his money. From where do we get the mistaken idea that in the case of murder, I will speak up but that it is prohibited to say anything in other situations where someone is being harmed? The general principle is that these are matters which depend upon the speakers motivation. If the informant’s intent in relating these matters is entirely to cause harm that is lashon harah. However if his intent is to bring about benefit to the other person and to save him and to protect him – then it is a great mitzva. In my opinion this is the underlying intent of the Yerushalmi which the Magen Avraham brings which says that it is permitted to speak lashon harah about people who cause disputes. … It is obvious that even concerning those who cause disputes it is not permitted to speak lashon harah gratuitously about them in all matters. It is only permitted for those things directly related to the particular dispute. It is only permitted concerning that which they are trying to harm others. In such a case it is permitted to reveal degrading things about them in order to save others. … Unfortunately I have seen many times where someone witnesses another person trying to cause harm to someone – and he suppresses the information and says, “Why should I get involved in a matter which isn’t my business…However one needs to be very careful about these and similar matters. Our Sages have said – when the permissibility depends on motivation - it says, “And you should be afraid of your G‑d.”
Anyone who feels the above is not sufficient justification to read assertions and charges against others - should skip this post.

meinyan leinyan beosso inyan said:

Rav Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz's shita is that such things as corrupt rabbonim being machshil the rabim need to be publicized.

RSFM was a fearless man who took a lot of petch for doing the right thing. Not everyone is necessarily mechuyev to do the same. I could not quote the rabbonim who spoke to me on certain items because they must maintain a low profile unless they want to invite certain dark forces to harass them or worse.

=====================
Chazon Ish(2:133)… My opinion is that it is appropriate to have true knowledge about a talmid chachom who shapes yiddishkeit. If it is permitted to tell someone who needs to know about the bad points of an artisan in regards to his qualifiation for doing a job, then it is surely permitted in regards to conveying information about an influential talmid chachom for those who need to know. That is because knowing about the great scholars of the generation concerning their thoughts and characteristics – is itself considered Torah. [In other words just as one is permitted to convey accurate information about an artisan if there is to'eles so it it permitted to reveal information about a gadol if there is to'eles. Nevertheless it is necessary to be extremely careful not to distort the facts in the slights, because that would lead to slandering a talmid chachom.

This indicates that expressing negative information about others is relevant specifically for those who are considered influential authorities and only concerning isssues that are critical for the listener – in order to understand the degree to rely on them.

71 comments :

  1. Eternal Jewish Fraud WatchOctober 21, 2009 at 9:57 PM

    This is sad but to be expected.

    Roni / Tropper has reincarnated himself as "Haemet" on the blog of Rav Yudel Shain where he is regurgitating with the same fury, the same nonsense he was known for here.

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  2. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_WC3VtDsRQjc/RnGNuMeIDgI/AAAAAAAAACs/lsN5AF3T9vE/s1600-h/ShabbosMode_img_0.jpg

    Letter from Harav Hagaon R' Shlomo Miller warning against it.

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  3. meinyan leinyan beosso inyanOctober 21, 2009 at 11:28 PM

    http://savefile.com/files/53776

    This is the first place where the files on Rav Belsky appeared but the link is no longer working.

    http://www.chevyssrforum.com/blogarchive/belsky2.pdf

    Here is the 2nd which also no longer works.

    I contacted the person who created the first link. It would be a big job for him to redo it but he thinks that the following people are aware of the letters from the gedolim: Rav Eidensohn's brother in Monsey, Rav Yudel Shain in Lakewood and Rav Shlomo Miller in Lakewood / Toronto.

    Besides from Rav Elyashev, I have seen letters condemning Rav Belsky from the Badatz, Rav Ovadya Yosef, Rav Shlomo Miller and others.

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  4. you haven't really shown any information about Rav Belsky that can't readily be explained as a legitimate halachic dispute between gedolim.

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  5. Kedas Moshe VeyisroelOctober 22, 2009 at 1:05 AM

    How can bitul kidushin be a legitimate halachic stance?

    Who has done this since ancient times besides Rabbis Belsky and Emmanuel Rackman?

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  6. Except for some known shyster rabbonim who were in on the payoff and signed with Rabbi Belsky on the so called bitul, there was not a single rov who came out in support of him. Not even a Tropper style letter that may have been forged.

    There was a also a letter from R' Feivel Cohen who lodged an official complaint with the Moetzes against him.

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  7. Kedas Moshe Veyisroel said...

    How can bitul kidushin be a legitimate halachic stance?

    Who has done this since ancient times besides Rabbis Belsky and Emmanuel Rackman?
    ===============
    You might try reading the Igros Moshe. Rabbi Rackman claimed he was just following Rav Moshe's lead.

    also look at this link
    http://chareidi.shemayisrael.com/archives5765/CHK65agittin.htm

    http://www.jlaw.com/Articles/KidusheiTaut.html

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  8. Kedas Moshe VeyisroelOctober 22, 2009 at 1:33 AM

    I forgot that Mordechai Tendler also did bitul and claimed he was following R' Moishe. Before I read the links you provided I will tell you that R' Shlomo Miller addressed these bogus claims of following R' Moishe in his letter which slammed both Tendler and Belsky.

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  9. Around the time that this story broke, the Agudah stopped allowed RY Belsky from speaking at any of their functions.

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  10. Kedas Moshe VeyisroelOctober 22, 2009 at 1:42 AM

    I would also advise that any source brought by Rabbi Michael Broyde be carefully checked for accuracy. He is someone with ties to Chovavei Torah (Avi Weiss) and who thinks he is smart enough to be the posek hador.

    Furthermore, I don't know if he is one of the RCA rabbis on the Rabbanut blacklist for gerus but he should be because I have what I believe to be reliable information that he has been megayer women who were living openly in sin with men, some of them shomer shabbos men.

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  11. Well, maybe there was one forged letter.

    Ask R' Elya Romnick who once gave a shiur in Chaim Berlin if he was misrepresented by a Rabbi Israel Belsky as agreeing with him on bittul kiddushin.

    And ask Rav Romnick if you can see a copy of the letter that he angrily wrote about this fraud to Maran Rav Elyashev about it.

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  12. meinyan leinyan beosso inyanOctober 22, 2009 at 3:16 AM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  13. meinyan leinyan beosso inyanOctober 22, 2009 at 3:50 AM

    Back to Rav Belsky's "defense" that Rav Elyashev "actually agrees with me".

    This is about as Tropperesque as it gets. How in the world is Rav Elyashev in agreement when he issues a very strongly worded letter of condemnation?

    And the so called troublemaker that he makes a vague reference to is seemingly the askan who exposed him for the abuse cover ups at Camp Agudah. The askan is a meyuchas who finished Shas and who saved countless neshomos by getting Rav Belsky's old friend away from children. The reason why the askan made a point of gathering all the tzetlach against Rav Belsky is because Rav Belsky told an employee of Margulies to create "Tuvya's Blog" with the purpose of naming & attacking the askan. When the Margulies employee was himself exposed he resigned his position at Torah Temimah.

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  14. Furthermore, I don't know if he is one of the RCA rabbis on the Rabbanut blacklist for gerus but he should be because I have what I believe to be reliable information that he has been megayer women who were living openly in sin with men , some of them shomer shabbos men.

    Tropper does it all the time, at least r’ Bomzer asks them to separate (whatever they listen to him is another question).

    The interesting thing that after the dust from the Tropper affair setlles. Two groups would look pure and untainted by Tropper/Kaplan/Recanati money , two groups who did not fear him and were not bought by him.

    The Eida Haredit and the Chovevei Torah crowd. !

    Like money makes strange bed fellows (for example Chabbad and Tropper), Courage makes strange bed fellows (Eida and Chovevei

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  15. Recipients and PublicityOctober 22, 2009 at 5:49 AM

    "Eternal Jewish Fraud Watch said... Roni / Tropper has reincarnated himself as "Haemet""

    Haemet or Hamlet?

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  16. Recipients and PublicityOctober 22, 2009 at 6:00 AM

    "Kedas Moshe Veyisroel said... women who were living openly in sin with men, some of them shomer shabbos men."

    A shomer shabbos man who lives in sin with a shiksa is like a man who fasts on Yom Kippur and then goes home to break his fast on ham sandwichws which he eats every night for dinner.

    This reminds me of that old joke of a man who comes to an old rabbis and tells him "rebbe, rebbe, my son is meshuga [crazy], he eats chazerim [pigs] and he dances with shiksas" to which the rabbis responded "if you told me that your son eats shiksas and dances with chazerim I would say he was crazy. No, your son is not crazy, he is a sheigetz [outcast]"

    so who are we talking about here bichlal?

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  17. R' Belsky and Tropper have some bad blood between them, Belsky beis din which does geirus is not on Tropper approved list and AFIK Belsky was not invited to any EJF conference even not the one in NJ when every rav zutar was invited.

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  18. According to R' Feivel Mendlowitz in Los Angeles:

    Some years back R' Belsky was caught lying to Rav Elyashev in another story regarding a forced invalid Get. In that story, Belsky falsely claimed that his kidnapping and mafia style torture of an innocent husband from Borough Park (story published in Newsday March 8, 1998, with Belsky's picture) was sanctioned by a former Rosh Yeshiva of Chaim Berlin living in Far Rockaway. That Rosh Yeshiva upon learning that Belsky was falsely using his name, wrote a letter to Rav Elyashiv and to the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah stating that "Rabbi" Belsky is a "liar" and should not be believed a single word that goes out from his mouth. In that case as well Belsky and his mafia group tried to permit a woman from Montreal to commit blatant adultery, Rachmana Litzlon. All the Gedolei Torah vehemently protested against Belsky, and ruled that the woman is an Eshes Ish.

    RFM explains what happened in the later case of the married girl from Scheinerman's shul:

    Belsky hoped to succeed between the Israeli Sefardic Rabbonim, a group less familiar with his deceptive practices. Immediately a fax with the falsified annulment (which includes his illogical teshuva) was sent to Harav Ovadia Yossef Shlita. It was Belsky's silly hope that Rav Ovadia Yossef Shlita would be too busy to read the papers, but would issue a quick endorsement after seeing the signatures of all the rabbinic racketeers with their fancy rubber stamps and self proclaimed titles.

    On this point Belsky was half correct-Rabbi Ovadia Yossef Shlita was too busy to study Belsky's asinine papers. Upon his gabbai telling him that the papers pertained to freeing a married woman without any Get, Rav Ovadia Yossef Shlita insisted that it cannot be. Instead of bothering to read the papers himself, Rav Ovadia Yossef Shlita directed that it be sent to Rabbi Shalom Messas, the Sefardic Chief Rabbi in Jerusalem . However, the response of Rabbi Messas toward the false annulment knocked a great blow to the face of "Rabbi" Israel Belsky and his entire conspiracy.

    The Chief Sefardic Rabbi Messas wrote as follows: (As translated from the Hebrew)

    "The testimony about the husband being a patron of a house of ill repute, was based entirely upon the testimony of a Goya [who is a harlot by profession], which under halacha such testimony is totally invalid, untrustworthy and valueless. This and all other facts presented [by Belsky] have no standing whatsoever. Furthermore, laboratory tests show conclusively that the husband has no AIDS..."
    Rav Shalom Messas

    Rav Ovadia Yossef Shlita, upon learning of the Belsky trick, wrote a postscript to Rav Messas' letter, saying:

    "I agree wholeheartedly to what the chief rabbi of Jerusalem wrote, and the woman is still an Eshes Ish."

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  19. Why did Tropper & Belsky have a falling out? They have been seen in the past being very friendly with each other.

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  20. Strange bedfellows indeedOctober 22, 2009 at 10:58 AM

    Gil Student of the OU Press and Hirhurim blog is the exclusive publisher of both Slifkin's and Michael Broyde's works.

    But at the same time he is friends with Tuvya's Blog mechaber Dr. Neuhoff who Rabbi Belsky directed to attack the critics of child abusers.

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  21. Regarding Rav Belsky - you have made some very serious charges - but the evidence is either missing or assumed or open to interpretation. What remains is that as he said to me that he is an outsider.

    He definitely has views and approaches which arouse opposition and personal isolation - however the simple question which remains unanswered is whether his approach lacks legitimacy. It is very hard for me to accept that Rav Belsky is not able to justify his activities.
    From the claims presented here it is taken as a given that he has crossed the lines of halacha and decency. I don't agree. However there is no question that one needs to consult with a major rabbinic authority to evaluate any issue (i.e., gittin) that might be personally relevant.

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  22. meinyan leinyan beosso inyanOctober 22, 2009 at 2:53 PM

    Rav Eidensohn,

    I appreciate your approach. Similarly, when I first started hearing allegations against Rav Belsky and others, my knee jerk reaction was disbelief and even anger that people might be fabricating stories.

    I have spoken to kamma rabbonim who could give me no halachic justification for Rav Belsky going to extreme and thuggish lengths to protect his child molester friend Kolko. And how can any "dayan" sit on a case where he has such negios? There was also a rosh yeshiva who had shimush from Rav Belsky in psak halacha and used to quote him all the time in shiurim. He told me that he no longer speaks to Rav Belsky or has any respect for him after he witnessed him acting like a gangster at a din Torah he observed.

    Kamma rabbonim have also shook their heads to me about his bizarre heterim for the OU. No one understands how he can say that a cow that HE agrees is treif produces milk that is not treif. Rabbonim have sat with him for several hours to discuss this and think he makes no sense. I have not been able to find a single rov who agrees with him.

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  23. meinyan leinyan beosso inyanOctober 22, 2009 at 3:11 PM

    http://209.85.165.104/search?q=cache:vA07nmO4RDoJ:www.rabbileff.net/shiurim/ask/archives.htm+rabbi+belsky+divorce&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=17&gl=us

    26. Q. I would like to piggy-back on question #14 regarding drinking coffee from a vending machine. I asked the following question to ou online: A coffee machine that gets the coffee from a little sealed cup that is inserted and then combines it with hot water which then pours out into your cup from one spout. Some of the flavors are kosher and some not, is one permitted to drink a kosher product or not, since the non-kosher flavors comes out from the same place? They answered me as followed: Rabbi Belsky, has ruled that any possible non-kosher ingredient has become Botul. And so if your machine is used for coffee only you may use it to get kosher coffee. What is the Rov's opinion?

    Thank you.

    Yitzi Padawer,
    Staten Island

    R' Zev Leff politely rejects the OU/Belsky response in the audio link. He says that you cannot give such a psak unless you know what ingredients are in those flavorings to know if they are the type of ingredients that can become botul.

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  24. Recipients and Publicity said...
    "Eternal Jewish Fraud Watch said... Roni / Tropper has reincarnated himself as "Haemet""

    Haemet or Hamlet?

    Haemet. He even got him to repost the Bomzer letter which he admitted here was a forgery.

    These simply have to be sock puppets of R' Tropper.

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  25. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_DCGOA_RlajQ/SfTnP7xByKI/AAAAAAAADgA/GGZCExBrEFk/s1600-h/rav+eliyashev-boats.jpg

    Here is the letter from Rav Elyashev shlita to R' Shmuel Berenbaum ztl.

    There is an even stronger letter from R' Hershel Schechter who says befeirush there is no tzad of bedieved afilu, but I cannot locate that letter right now.

    Rav Elyashev is saying that even if the OU/Belsky can find a tzad bedieved, they are not permitted to always be operating like this lechatchila.

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  26. I do think it is worth taking a look at his comments there, as they are rather comedic. He splits his time between bashing the Nephew and his wife and bashing this blog. Rarely actually dealing with the topics at hand.

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  27. From the desk of Rav HeinemannOctober 22, 2009 at 4:01 PM

    In the derech of EJF and R' Belsky, every time a heter is revealed from the Star-K it is astonishing.

    R' Yudel Shain caught the Star-K keeping quiet that they allow a light bulb to get around bishul akum instead of the Yid lighting a fire. Rav Heinemann was reportedly very angry when this was exposed because when R' Shlomo Zalman Auerbach found out, it made it into his sefer Minchas Shlomo that whoever does this is being gorem intermarriage rachmana litzlan.

    How fitting then is it that Rav Heinemann is a partner of EJF?

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  28. http://www.thelakewoodscoop.com/news/2009/07/tls-exclusive-rav-belsky-on-recent-molestation-case.html

    Yudi Kolko's nephew Yossi Kolko was also arrested for child molestation in Lakewood after the BMG yeshiva hanhala gave the go ahead to call the police.

    Rav Belsky lost his composure that anyone would try to stop his friends from doing to children what the gedolei hador have deemed to be retzichah.

    Rav Belsky asked this blog to post his letter attacking the roshei yeshiva and mashgiach as "moysrim".

    The letter was recently removed with this "explanation":

    TLS EXCLUSIVE: Rav Belsky On Recent Molestation Case
    JUL 28 2009

    TLS EXCLUSIVE: THIS POST HAS BEEN POSTED WITH DA’AS TORAH AND WAS NOW REMOVED WITH DA’AS TORAH.

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  29. meinyan leinyan beosso inyanOctober 22, 2009 at 4:34 PM

    There is an undercover video floating around the internet that I will try to locate.

    It was taken at an OU venison farm in Upstate NY. It shows the shochet grabbing a deer by the ears, flinging it like a shmatta and mistreating it.

    Rav Belsky was right there bichvodo uveatzmo and did not utter a single word in protest or flinch. He continued smiling throughout the episode if I remember correctly.

    I showed the video to rabbonim who were appalled. I asked rabbonim who are bakant with shechita if there is any need to handle a deer like that to be able to shecht it. They said there is no need whatsoever and they have seen shechita of deer that was nothing remotely similar to what happened under Rav Belsky's direct supervision.

    It's not clear if this is what prompted Rav Ovadya Yosef, but he issued a teshuva around that time outlining the issurim chamurim of mistreating animals before shechita.

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  30. meinyan leinyan beosso inyanOctober 22, 2009 at 4:58 PM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  31. seen with my own eyesOctober 22, 2009 at 5:07 PM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  32. Are you sure that OU & OK are also doing that and not requiring at least a pilot light flame?

    I know that Chof K was not comfortable with bulbs. They found a device that is in between a bulb and flame, a bar that turns red hot and gives off a tremendous amount of heat. Like anyone is supposed to do when a new shayla emerges, they presented it to the gedolei hador and Rav Elyashev permitted the red hot bar, but not the light bulb.

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  33. meinyan leinyan beosso inyanOctober 22, 2009 at 6:04 PM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  34. I worked as an OK mashgiach for a number of years. They absolutely do not rely upon a lightbulb.

    They hold by(minimally) Ashkenazi standard that the oven must be lit by a Jew. Though they prefer Sephardi standard that the majority of the cooking be done by a Jew(this is found at select locations and one should ask the on site mashgiach).

    Furthermore any par cooked/baked products must also meet these standards of Bishul Yisrael before they can be used.

    I also know that the OU does not rely upon lightbulbs. They do however not insist that par-cooked products be Bishul Yisrael. Consult your local Rav as to whether or not this is a problem.

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  35. From the Star K website http://www.star-k.org/kashrus/kk-issues-bishul.htm

    Would a light bulb or glow plug that was turned on by a Yehudi and was burning continuously qualify for bishul Yisroel? The minimum halachic requirement for bishul Yisroel is “hashlochas kisem”, literally, to throw a small wood chip into the fire. Any minor action that contributes heat to the cooking would qualify for bishul Yisroel. If the oven would be hot wired so that a bulb or a glow bar could be placed into the oven cavity, turned on by the Yehudi and left on permanently, the additional heat given off by the light bulb or glow plug, which is considered fire, would more than qualify for hashlochas kisem and would fulfill the requirements of bishul Yisroel.

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  36. Rav Doniel Neustadt
    http://www.torah.org/advanced/weekly-halacha/5763/roshhashanah.html#

    20 Y.D. 112:10. Some rabbanim suggest that a Jew turning on an electric light bulb installed inside a gas oven is sufficient involvement in the baking process, since the heat generated by the bulb is considered as aiding the baking process. Harav Y.S. Elyashiv, though, does not agree with this leniency (Madrich Kashruth, Orthodox Union, 1996, pg. 98).

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  37. The Star-K position there is far from the industry standard. Industry standard for Bishul Yisrael is that a Jew lit the oven. As a note Sephardim should look for Bishul Yisrael Beit Yosef or some other indicator of following Sephardi standard which is more strict.

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  38. http://www.oukosher.org/index.php/common/article/1378520

    Rav Belsky has said that if a Jew turned on the fire or raised the temperature, even if the oven is subsequently turned off and turned back on by a non-Jew, the bread baked in the oven can still be considered pas Yisroel, so long as the oven did not cool down to below 176 F (80 C). This is the approximate lowest temperature at which foods will still cook. Since the dough will eventually cook in this oven even without the akum turning back on the fire, it is considered pas Yisroel. The OU does not accept the use of a light bulb or glow plug in maintaining pas Yisroel, since this will not cause the oven to maintain 176 F. If a heating rod can be installed that will permanently heat the entire oven to 176 F then this is acceptable.

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  39. From the desk of Rav HeinemannOctober 22, 2009 at 6:36 PM

    It is more than a stretch to qualify a 25 watt light bulb as aish. This is the problem that the gedolim have. Even according to R' Chaim Ozer, it is not aish for the purpose of bishul.

    Rav Heinemann mind you has another shocker shita that applies all over. Star-K "supervision" on bugs in vegetables for instance is non-existent with the excuse that gantz Klal Yisroel could not have been nichshol in something. Never mind that R' Moishe & everyone else explains that Chazal that this is only a terutz bedeieved and that there is a chiyuv to fix the problem. Star-K on Dole lettuce means they are somech on goyim to power wash.

    When every hashgocho including the joke ones stopped certifying romaine because of infestation, Star-K pounced to grab all the account$. About 60 yeshivish & chassidish rabbonim then signed a letter blasting Star-K.

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  40. I know that despite how frum the OU and Chof-K sound in regards to bishul Yisroel, they have really strange & lenient dispensations as far as bakeries - even Jewish owned - baking bread on Shabbos.

    There are smaller hashgochos who research which bakeries are allowed to do this by OU & Chof-K and do not allow their products into their establishments.

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  41. And then you have the Chof-K that came up with the chiddush that a video camera has the same din as a mashgiach temidi. The OK has since latched on to this creative thinking as well.

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  43. Star-K on Dole lettuce means they are somech on goyim to power wash.

    This is actually not true. They run the lettuce through an industrial washing machine. The water is collected and the Mashgiach checks the water(as opposed to every leaf). If no bugs are found in the lettuce that bunch(what is in the machine) is considered safe. If bugs are found in the water, it is considered infested.

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  44. I know that despite how frum the OU and Chof-K sound in regards to bishul Yisroel, they have really strange & lenient dispensations as far as bakeries - even Jewish owned - baking bread on Shabbos.

    This is partially true. The OU relies on regional rabbis(instead of a central office) to enforce their standards. Essentially it is more cost effective. However this means that said Rabbis may not hold OU standards, or may give their Mashgiachim(which are not required to have any training or certification) too much autonomy.

    Has this lead to problems? Yes.

    Two that I discovered when I was a Mashgiach for the OK:

    1)The regional Rav drove on Shabbat, had no mechitza in his shul, had egalitarian minyanim, and used a microphone on shabbat. Essentially he had become a Conservative Rav. When the OU was informed he was subsequently dropped.

    2) In Philadelphia there was a mashgiach who serviced a pizza shop and a bakery. The Rav found that the mashgiach had allowed the owners of the pizza stand to buy non-kosher cheese(not just non-Yisrael) but literally non-kosher. He allowed the mashgiach to stay on, until I discovered through an innocent conversation with the bakery owner, that mashgiach came in on shabbat, lit the ovens and helped bake the bread. Again when the OU was notified, he was removed.

    So it is not necessarily OU standards that are the problem but the regional Rabbis they entrust to enforce them.

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  45. From the desk of Rav Heinemann said:

    Rav Heinemann mind you has another shocker shita that applies all over. Star-K "supervision" on bugs in vegetables for instance is non-existent with the excuse that gantz Klal Yisroel could not have been nichshol in something. Never mind that R' Moishe & everyone else explains that Chazal that this is only a terutz bedeieved and that there is a chiyuv to fix the problem.
    ==========================
    You are wrong about R' Moshe - in fact he says the opposite.

    Y.D. 4:2 page 160

    שו"ת אגרות משה יורה דעה חלק ד סימן ב

    שמעתי איזה אנשים אמרו בשמי איזו סברה בעניין התולעים הקטנים שנודע שנמצאים בהרבה ממיני הירקות. והנה ידוע שלא אמרתי בזה שום הכרעה. ולהיפך דעתי נוטה יותר להקל, וכמו שהזכרת בשאלה, שאתה ובני הרה"ג מוהר"ר שלו' ראובן שליט"א כתבתם לי, שאפשר שדבר שלא נראה למעשה להדיא לעינים אינו אסור, ולכל הפחות אינו בחשיבות בריה שלא תיבטל בתערובת כדאיתא בשו"ע יו"ד סי' ק', וזה נוסף ללימוד הזכות שמוזכר בערוך השולחן סימן ק' סעיפים י"ג - י"ח, או שאפשר לסמוך על דעת הסוברים שבריה בטלה בקרוב לאלף, או שבריה שאינה קיימת לעולם בעין בפני עצמה והיא נדבקת בתערובת וא"א להפרידה משם - בטלה, או משום שרבנן לא גזרו שבריה לא תיבטל בדבר מאוס שנפשו של אדם קצה בו.

    וגם כמו שאמרתי לך ולעוד הרבה אנשים שבכלל יש חשיבות גדולה בהלכה למנהג העולם ולהיכא עמא דבר, ואסור להוציא לעז על דורות הקדמונים שלא הקפידו בדברים אלה משום שלא ידעו מהם (מש"כ רבינו במה שאין לשנות ממנהג דורות הקדמונים באגרות או"ח ח"ב סימן ק"ה ד"ה והנה להמחבר, יו"ד ח"ב סימן קמ"ו ד"ה ומה שכתר"ה דן להקל, או"ח ח"ג סוף סי' ט"ו, ויו"ד ח"ג סימן קנ"ד). ועל כן אמרתי שבלי לעיין היטב בדבר, שזה זה קשה לי כעת, אי אפשר להכריע לחומרא ולפרסם שיש איסור בדבר, וכל שכן שאין רצוני שיזכירו שמי כאחד מהאוסרים.

    ReplyDelete
  46. THIS IS TO NOTIFY READERS THAT A LOT OF MISINFORMATION IS CONTAINED IN THESE LETTERS AND THEIR ASSERTIONS SHOULD BE PRESUMED TO BE MISTAKEN UNLESS CONFIRMED BY RELIABLE SOURCES.

    ReplyDelete
  47. From the desk of Rav HeinemannOctober 22, 2009 at 7:20 PM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  48. And then you have the Chof-K that came up with the chiddush that a video camera has the same din as a mashgiach temidi. The OK has since latched on to this creative thinking as well.

    Actually Rav Yaakov Hillel says the same thing.

    Regarding hashgacha he state,
    Even with the best of intentions, can he be everywhere at once? Can he see what every kitchen staffer is doing at every moment of every day? Inevitably, many, or even most, of the cooks, waiters, and assistants in such establishments will be non-Jewish... Can anyone really know exactly what was done and what mishaps took place throughout the day at the hands of the indifferent personel?

    ...The manager's office in a diamond plant is equipped with a series of closed circuit television screens covering the entire work platform. This arrangement allows him to keep a constant eye on what every work is doing... After all, when it comes to diamonds every particle counts.

    If we could translate this approach to the world of kashrut supervision... If this were to become routine procedure, the standards of present day kashrut would skyrocket.


    Most mashgiach tamidim are expected to be working mashgiachim. Meaning that they have duties to perform(often with dangerous utensils) in addition to being the mashgiach. This really does not equate to better supervision. Many times things are caught and we say it was Hashgacha Pratit that allowed us to catch it.

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  49. For your information, I personally know the family that supplies Star-K with their lettuce. It is no longer a nationwide product, it is now limited to large east coast Jewish communities. Approximately 75% of their lettuce came from Gush Katif, and without it production by the varying companies has been severely hindered.

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  50. From the desk of Rav HeinemannOctober 22, 2009 at 7:28 PM

    While the Igros Moshe does not sound as shtark as what I related, I was told by rabbonim that R' Moishe added the detail about the chiyuv of fixing the problems in conversations after the OK's Berel Levy approached him about the tanker oil problem. And according to R' Yudel Shain, Levy did not even present the problem in it's entirety and R' Moishe was not aware that it was actually worse than he heard.

    ReplyDelete
  51. "The shmuah in the kashrus industry..."

    ===========
    The question is how accurate are these "tidbits" that are reported by competitors in the kashrus business?

    The answer seems to be that they are not very accurate or that they only represent a partial truth.

    In addition there is the problem is how much is this the result of official policy and how much due to improper supervision?

    Finally how much is the practice being criticized based on a legitimate halachic authority but is denounced because it does not following the majority view or isn't approved by Rav Eliashiv?

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  52. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  53. As far as relying on other Rabbis in the Kashrut industry for what the standards of other agencies are is not necessarily recommended. It is important to remember that they are businesses that are in competition with each other.

    It is also important to remember that they ensure their customers safety from non-kosher substances by being strict and thus often do not extend dan l'kaf zecut when they here a rumor about what is done somewhere. Unfortunately it seems that often between the rabbis that make those decisions and the ears of the public, what is only a rumor becomes absolute fact.

    If you want to know what the standards are of an organization request a copy of their standards guide and ingredient guides. Do not rely upon rumors..

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  54. From the desk of Rav HeinemannOctober 22, 2009 at 7:38 PM

    The Star-K had a rep in India who is a Traditional but not Orthodox rabbi. The Star-K received complaints that he was raising funds in the US for a transdenominational, egalitarian shul.

    The Star-K is accused by Rav Yudel Shain of making a churban out of kashrus in China.

    The shmuah about Rav Heinemann's brother is not coming from competitors. It is from a rov not giving hashgocho who researched who his oylam can eat from.

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  55. Sorry forgot the reference for the R' Hillel quote:
    Ascending the Path pp 208-209.

    Quite honestly this is becoming a good deal of Lashon Hara and possible motzei shem ra. Unless these claims can be substantiated they should be withdrawn. These are major Rabbonim and Talmidei Chachomim.

    Rabbi Eliashiv will never agree with everything that goes on in US Kashrut, simply because the situation on the ground there is foreign to him. In Israel of course there are Jewish owners, and Kosher food and products are easily available. If there is even a question about one supplier of an ingredient, don't worry there are at least ten other suppliers of the same thing.

    In the US that simply is not the case. The difference is stark. While most frum people in Israel will not eat food with a stam Rabbanut hechsher. In America people often rely on hechsherim whose standards are the same as stam Rabbanut.

    I onced asked a major Gadol about this. His response was that we are supposed live by halacha, not die by it. In Israel where it is so much easier to have a higher standard, one definitely should, but in the US where it often comes between eating or not... one should be happy with a hechsher of such standards.

    Tefilin are another excellent example of this. Moshe Rabbeinu did not have tefillin that met the level of hiddur that we expect out of the lower levels of tefillin today. One major Rav in Stam who had seen the Tefillin of the Ari, said there was no way they would be considered Kosher today. We should rejoice that we live in such a time where we have such options and such high quality products with such high standards.

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  56. I think it is time to close this thread. There are simply too many unsubstantiated accusations against major rabbinic authorities.

    I think the imporant and accurate message has gotten across that there is sometimes a major disparity between theory and practice in the kashrus business - however the details of how and what require a more reliable investigation. I know people who don't really rely on any kashrus organization but rather either on inside information or they simply don't buy the product.

    Bottom line: There is no question one needs access to a rav who is familiar with what goes on in the kashrus field.

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  57. meinyan leinyan beosso inyanOctober 22, 2009 at 8:01 PM

    mekubal has a point but not where rabbonim cross the line into corruption and being machshil the rabim. R' Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz ztl penned an essay many years ago in the Journal "Licht" where he blasted these types of rabbonim and said the Torah is mechayev him to speak up publicly.

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  58. Dear Mr. Eidensohn,

    I'm glad to see that you at least sandwiched an all-CAPS warning in the middle of all of this to readers not to be mekabel, but isn't that less than your halachic duty here? By entertaining lshh"r, rechilus and motzi shem ra on your comment forum, ESPECIALLY considering that you are able to and DO moderate it, aren't you facilitating these choit'im? Are you ready to take achrayus for distributing these irresponsible comments to your general readership? If someone didn't get down to your 'warning', well... ?

    Sincerely,
    Moyshe

    ReplyDelete
  59. meinyan leinyan beosso inyanOctober 23, 2009 at 12:25 PM

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/19907072/Rabbi-c-Avrahammoshe-Green

    A rov in Williamsburg, R' Chaim Shlomo Abraham writes in this public letter in ois dalet that the frierdik Satmar Rov R' Moishe Teitelbaum invalidated the gittin of two Monsey rabbonim, Dayan Landesman and Gimpel Wolmark because they had men beat up to coerce gittin from them. Gimpel Wolmark was a collaborator with Rav Belsky on the fake bittul kiddushin.

    The main thrust of this letter is to deal with R' Moishe Green of Yeshiva D'Monsey who issued a Tropperesque letter in English attacking the rov's father, Dayan Abraham of Kedushas Levi D'Berditchev.

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/19657738/Rav-Moshe-Green-Letter

    Rav Green's letter, seen here, tries to invalidate Dayan Abraham's gittin for no apparent valid reason.

    http://www.scribd.com/full/19478984?access_key=key-1i0ah3k2vmpiiiqa6ma3

    Rav Green's motivation appears to be a favor to the Oberlander family, who gave huge sums of money to his yeshiva as shown here in the dinner journal. An Oberlander daughter was undergoing a nasty divorce with a Mr. Rappaport who had deposited a get at Bais Din Kedushas Levi. She wanted to make herself appear like an "aguna" by having Rav Green state that the get is invalid. What is there to gain by falsely claiming to be an aguna? New York State has a get law that will punish a husband who refuses to give a get, by granting ASSETS to the wife,and Mr Rappaport had lots of assets.

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/19658830/Letter-Against-MOSHE-GREEN

    Here is a teshuva from Dayan Gestetner that Rav Green is oyver on cherem deRabbeinu Tam for falsely invalidating proper gittin and outlining other issurim chamurim that he is guilty of.

    ReplyDelete
  60. Now I'm not mamash up on my hilchos loshon hora k'ro'ui, I'll admit, but I believe one of the conditions of saying lshh"r, even l'toeles and even if it's a mitzvah, is that you must have first hand knowledge of the information and not be relying on a second person to relay it. Which is why comments like "I have what I believe to be reliable information that he has been megayer women who were living openly in sin with men, some of them shomer shabbos men." are totally inappropriate IMHO.

    Most blogs are just sewers of issurei dibur so I'm encouraged by your considering my points. I would think that a refresher in sefer CH"CH is a must for any blog owner who considers himself religious, considering the potentials of readership and multiplication of aveiros

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  61. There may not be eidus at this point against Rabbi Broyde that is sufficient for beis din but it is well known in general that several modern orthodox rabbis and even some krum rabbis who dress Charedi have been allowing men to live with the women before the conversion.

    Respectable rabbonim will refuse to do the gerus in these cases.

    I did hear from a rov that even if a rabbi does such a gerus, the gerus is still valid in some cases bedieved but it makes the rabbi a shyster.

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  62. meinyan leinyan beosso inyanOctober 23, 2009 at 3:30 PM

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/19907072/Rabbi-c-Avrahammoshe-Green

    A rov in Williamsburg, R' Chaim Shlomo Abraham writes in this public letter in ois dalet that the frierdik Satmar Rov R' Moishe Teitelbaum invalidated the gittin of two Monsey rabbonim, Dayan Landesman and Gimpel Wolmark because they had men beat up to coerce gittin from them. Gimpel Wolmark was a collaborator with Rav Belsky on the fake bittul kiddushin.

    The main thrust of this letter is to deal with R' Moishe Green of Yeshiva D'Monsey who issued a Tropperesque letter in English attacking the rov's father, Dayan Abraham of Kedushas Levi D'Berditchev.

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/19657738/Rav-Moshe-Green-Letter

    Rav Green's letter, seen here, tries to invalidate Dayan Abraham's gittin for no apparent valid reason.

    http://www.scribd.com/full/19478984?access_key=key-1i0ah3k2vmpiiiqa6ma3

    Rav Green's motivation appears to be a favor to the Oberlander family, who gave huge sums of money to his yeshiva as shown here in the dinner journal. An Oberlander daughter was undergoing a nasty divorce with a Mr. Rappaport who had deposited a get at Bais Din Kedushas Levi. She wanted to make herself appear like an "aguna" by having Rav Green state that the get is invalid. What is there to gain by falsely claiming to be an aguna? New York State has a get law that will punish a husband who refuses to give a get, by granting ASSETS to the wife,and Mr Rappaport had lots of assets.

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/19658830/Letter-Against-MOSHE-GREEN

    Here is a teshuva from Dayan Gestetner that Rav Green is oyver on cherem deRabbeinu Tam for falsely invalidating proper gittin and outlining other issurim chamurim that he is guilty

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  63. Hilchos lashon harahOctober 23, 2009 at 3:32 PM

    There is a shita mind you that argues on the Chofetz Chaim in cases where things have already been publicized by the media. Many have not heard of this shita because it is not promoted in the yeshivos.

    There was a certain woman who Rabbi Michael Broyde was megayer that was said to be living with her current husband before her conversion. Rabbi Broyde did at least order them to get separate apts when people started murmuring about it but Charedi rabbonim would not do such a giyur especially because the separate apts were a farce with them still getting together all the time. As a matter of fact, she was rejected for giyur by another rov and had to seek out a makil like Rabbi Broyde.

    While none of this was chronicled by the media (except on a blog or two), there was one very interesting thing that was chronicled by the media. The husband in this case used to own a media outlet where he was writing immature weekly op-ed pieces promoting Jewish men running after shiksas to be megayer them because there is something special about "shiksa appeal" that Jewish women nebich do not possess. They would also excerpt every newswire they could find about Jewish celebrity men dating / marrying non-Jewish women.

    This fellow also had a reputation with shadchanim when he was single that he strongly preferred a giyoress before he would consider anyone born a Jew and that he was known to make inappropriate comments to converted women about how strongly he was interested in them.

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  64. meinyan leinyan beosso inyanOctober 24, 2009 at 6:44 PM

    Rav Eidensohn,

    I understood that accepted criteria for posting here is documentation.

    Why were letters written by rabbonim and a copy of a teshuva from Dayan Gestetner still problematic that they were erased?

    ReplyDelete
  65. Kosher Today-New York

    A cross-section of Orthodox rabbis ruled last week that “it is forbidden” to eat romaine lettuce and several other packaged vegetables, including Spring Mix and Baby Spinach, because of insect infestation. The 30 rabbis, however, noted that “this prohibition does not apply to iceberg lettuce, cabbage or greenhouse vegetables provided they are under a reliable, expert hashgacha.” According to several rabbis reached by Kosher Today, a key target of the edict published in many Jewish newspapers was Fresh Express, whose certifying rabbis have since withdrawn their certification. A spokesman for the Orthodox Union said that while the US grown romaine lettuce was off limits, it approved the romaine lettuce grown in hothouses by Alei Katif, which after having being evicted from the Gaza Strip was said to have resumed production in Israel’s Negev Desert. The letter by the rabbis singled out pre-washed romaine lettuce, romaine hearts, romaine mixes (European, Italian, Greener Selection) and Fresh Leafy Salads (such as Spring Mix and Baby Spinach).

    The letter noted: “It is unfortunately our duty to inform you that insect infestation was found in most packages, regardless of the company or the supervising authority…Caterers, restaurants and stores that offer these products are guilty of offering food that is forbidden by Torah law.”

    UOJ comments

    The OU lead by Yisroel Belsky was on the attack. The Star-K, Moshe Heinneman's organization was permitting it.
    As we can see from the numbers, "Kosher" is a multi-billion dollar business.

    Moshe Heinneman was relying on a p'sak "he said" was told to him by Rabbi Aron Kotler z"l. UOJ called the Kotler & Schwartzman families and none of them knew of this psak by RAK, which would permit eating lettuce that normally had bug infestation in excess of ten percent of the time checked; providing that a particular batch of lettuce was checked and found bug free.
    In other words, Heinnemann claims RAK told him you can go by a particular batch; if there is less than ten percent of bugs found, you may eat them.
    The OU and gang, say you go by the type of vegetable, if generally there are bugs, you must clean them all or throw them out.

    I called R' Heinneman and asked him the following.

    1-When did RAK tell you about this p'sak?
    2-How old were you at the time of the p'sak?
    3-Why would you have asked this shaila, if the shaila of bugs in Romaine lettuce was on no one's radar screen in the early sixties?( thinking he had asked him in the sixties)

    Moshe Heinneman is 67 years old, RAK was niftar in 1962. Assuming Heinneman asked him the shaila that "no one knows about" in 1962, that would put Heinneman at 24 years old. The problem is Heinneman said he asked RAK this shaila the year he came to Lakewood, when he was 18 years old. Counting backwards, this would be circa 1956.
    Who in the world was thinking about bugs in lettuce in 1956?????
    The whole bug "epidemic" is maybe ten years old!!!

    The OU is losing market share to Heinneman, they seem way to eager to do him in.
    Heinneman's p'sak from RAK sounds really questionable to me at best, and a lie at worst.
    When money is involved everything is possible.

    Tell me what you think!

    posted by "UOJ" - "The Un-Orthodox Jew" |

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  66. Bring documentary proof that he is relying on this P'sak or it never happened.

    ReplyDelete
  67. From the desk of Rav HeinemannOctober 25, 2009 at 4:26 AM

    Mekubal, there are reasons why respectable hashgochos, especially in the NY area who are aware of what's going on, will not allow Star-K Dole lettuce, etc, in their establishments.

    Rav Heinemann has also been saying that you don't have to be choshesh for bugs if the lettuce is cut in very small pieces which is rather remarkable.

    As far as the percentage of infestation issue, there were Achronim like the Mishkenos Yaakov who allowed a certain formula (where we don't know of a bezunder infestation) of checking part of a batch. BUT ... the gedolim all signed 25 years ago that this kula can no longer be used with new information we have regarding infestation levels. The letter from the gedolim and their signatures are in a small sefer from Rabbis Gissinger and Bodner in Lakewood. R' Yaakov Kaminetzky was upset about the investigation detailed in the sefer, saying that they were not mechuyev to go looking for such a kashrus problem but now that we have the information against our will, we are forced to asser.

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  68. This "shita" that argues on the CH"CH... documentation? quote? identification? context? Without a modicum of proof your claim is mevutal. (And BTW was the originator of this shita a bar hachi to argue on the psak of the CH"CH?) And what about the fact that the press lies? so the heter can definitely not extend to anything printed in a newspaper, chas veshalom, it has to be something that is know by erliche yidden to be true AND is publicized. And let's not forget the halachos of not exaggerating, etc... are we careful to distinguish established fact from conjecture?

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  69. There was a shiur given at a shul once about child abuse issues. When the question came up about newspaper reports, it was said that there's a shita that differs with the C.C. about things already publicized in papers in general, that they are not assur to repeat.

    http://putstuff.putfile.com/36144/8054939

    The shiur used to be here.

    There are a lot of people who know about this shiur, actually a panel that consisted of Rav Blau, a shul rabbi in Queens and others, because of some controversial remarks that Gil Student made there that night that became a big buzz on blogs and around New York.

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  70. From the desk of Rav HeinemannOctober 27, 2009 at 10:04 PM

    http://yudelstake.blogspot.com/2007/06/glucosamine-fish-oils.html#1055775596122382755

    At this link that no longer works, someone wrote this to R' Yudel Shain:

    "MT (mashgiach temidi) for canned tuna - You might be surprised to know that even the OU does it for Pesach production."

    R' Yudel responds:

    NOT ANY MORE-THE STAR-K STOPPED THAT ALSO- 'CAUSE THE STAR-K DID IT FOR CHEAPER VIA "NO-MASHGIACH" SO THE OU HAD TO COMPETE BY ALSO "NO-MASHGIACH"

    THE STAR-K HAS ON THEIR TUNA cans MASHGIACH-TEMIDI (the mashgiach's name-I guess) AND BISHUL-YISROEL.

    I SHOWED THE STAR-K'S (POLLACK & SHUMAN) THAT IT WAS COOKED ON SHABBOS (BISHUL-YISROEL) AND THE CAN CONTAINED "CLAM" INSTEAD OF TUNA.

    WHILE IN THEIR OFFICE, THEY WEREN'T ABLE TO FIND THAT THEY EVEN PAID A MASHGIACH LET ALONE NO REPORT FROM A MASHGIACH

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  71. Eliyahoo William DwekMay 10, 2010 at 10:42 PM

    When ‘dayanim’, ‘rabbis’ and false ‘mekubalim’ use the Torah for their own power and commercial profit, this behaviour is abhorrent.

    No other ‘rabbi’ will ever act against another ‘rabbi’ - even when he knows his colleague is clearly desecrating the Torah. Each rabbi is only worried about losing his own position.

    Therefore, the ‘rabbi’, ‘dayyan’ or false ‘mekubal’ (‘kabbalist’) will never effect justice. And he will never truly stand for the Torah or the Honour of Hashem. His pocket will always prevail.

    The Torah must never be used for commercial gain and profit. Amm israel can only be lead by those who have the necessary love and respect of Hashem and the Torah.

    ReplyDelete

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