Saturday, October 24, 2009

Rav Ovadia Yosef is claimed to approve EJF seminars


[in a press release apparently from EJF itself it is claimed
that Rav Yosef approves of EJF seminars - but no actual
letter was published]



Yeshiva World News

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef yesterday issued a halachic ruling that it is a "great mitzvah to conduct seminars for intermarried couples" interested in building a Jewish home.

Rabbi Yosef was referring to seminars sponsored by the Eternal Jewish Family for intermarried couples that include a non-Jew seeking a halachic conversion and a Jew who agrees to become a baal teshuva. Rav Yosef's ruling is consistent with many p'sakim of previous and contemporary Gedolei Hatorah who say that unlike ordinary geyrus, it is permitted to be "mekarev" such a couple, particularly where the Jew will be atoning for his/her mistake by becoming a baal teshuva. [...]

27 comments :

  1. If he approves of this why hasn't he simply written a haskama?

    If he will write a haskama for an internet learning program(not that I am criticizing the learning program)
    http://www.shemayisrael.com/smicha/rovadia.htm
    it seems only logical that he would write one of EJF.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Funnily enough this appears on neither of R' Ovadiah Yosef's official websits:
    http://maran1.com/
    http://www.badatz.biz/
    http://www.halachayomit.co.il/
    http://www.shasnet.org.il/Front/NewsNet/newspaper.asp

    Verification it never happened.

    ReplyDelete
  3. In the YWN comment section of this story, someone wrote:

    "Rav Shternbuch and the Badatz in Yerushlayim is opposed to, and has been very critical of, the EJF."

    To which another poster replied:

    "I believe you are mistaken.

    1. The Badatz never came out against the seminars, only against the Rabbinic conferences

    2. Two representatives of Badatz participated in 1 or more of the conferences.

    3. There is a major contradiction between the opposition of Hagoan Rav Shternbuch and the Badatz that was on a poster distributed by a friend of R’ Shternbuch and R’ Shternbuch own written responsa (last volume/later date).

    4. There are 2 very well know esteemed rabbi’s that spoke to Hagoan Rav Meir Bransdorfer, ztl (a member of the Badatz at that time) before his death, where he declared that he never signed the Badatz letter, and never agreed to the idea to the opposition of EJF. His name was rubber stamped to an existing paper."


    Is either one correct?

    ReplyDelete
  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Mekubal, if you can please explain the connection between a haskama for a particular smicha program and a haskama for EJF? Is this some type of Binyan Av from Sdom?

    What you write cannot be taken seriously if that is the case.

    As to the veracity of the actual haskama, indeed, let's see if there is a public statement denying the haskama on any of those sites in the next few days.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Isaac,

    Sorry thought it would be self-evident. An online Semicha program, when it was first started, was just as potentially controversial as the EJF. For a number of reasons:
    1)Many if not most Poskim are against internet usage.
    2)There is very little contact between the magidei shiurim and the talmidim.
    3)It is outside of the traditional Yeshiva setting.
    4)It is offering Semicha to people with little or no Gemmarra background.
    ect.

    Yet it would appear the R' Yosef had no problem sending them an actual letter that could be posted.

    Here we have nothing but an unsourced story in an internet blog(yes YWN is just a blog, nothing more).

    What does that leave us? Why could they not muster a copy of this psak? Why is this psak not posted on the date that YWN claims it was?

    Documentaion or it never happened.

    ReplyDelete
  7. A world without yeshivaworldOctober 25, 2009 at 10:07 AM

    YWN is a for-profit entity that is influenced by who places ads, etc.

    The owner of the site, Eckstein, has previously taken anything passed along to him to promote Rubashkin by PR agent Menachem Lubinsky, who is currently on Tropper's payroll.

    Be forewarned that Eckstein does not like being criticized or exposed. He has waged public battles with R' Yudel Shain and others who have dared to call him out on the carpet. When he got angry at the Lakewood yeshiva this past year, he started another blog to attack them. After BMG hired techies who outed him, the yeshiva asked several advertisers to stop doing business with him.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Recipients and PublicityOctober 25, 2009 at 11:42 AM

    "Hagoan Rav Meir Bransdorfer, ztl (a member of the Badatz at that time) before his death, where he declared that he never signed the Badatz letter, and never agreed to the idea to the opposition of EJF. His name was rubber stamped to an existing paper."

    I love the above "quote" it is so hysterical that an obviously paid EJF "poster" now falsely accuses that one of the signatures, of a now deceased rabbi, was "rubber stamped to an existing paper" which is exactly what EJF and Tropper have been PROVEN to do by poster mekubal when he found out for a fact that the English anti-Bomzer letter had been forged and that the signatures were "rubber stamped to an existing paper" and that likewise Guma accuses Rabbi Tropper of doing this multiple times when he sent false thank you notes from rabbis who never received the funds they were supposed to get.

    This is proof again of being up against one of the biggest house of dirt tricks that EJF is proving itself to be.

    Another trademark Rabbi Tropper technique is to say things in the names of deceased rabbis, a favorite tactic, and then back it with all sorts of distorted krumme lomdus as if that could cover up with camouflage the obvious lies.

    It is obvious that EJF and Tropper are now fighting for their lives in the face of the legal and batei din challenges they are either facing from Guma or that they have initiated themselves that only makes them appear as even more desperate.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Recipients and PublicityOctober 25, 2009 at 12:25 PM

    If you read the words carefully, you see that EJF is being cautious to note that Rav Yosef is NOT approving of proselytizing nor reaching out to goyim who have expressed NO interest in Judaism in an almost random fashion by EJF style advertising to lure in goyim to become Yidden.

    Rather, it has to be assumed that Rav Yosef is talking about intermarried couples who come voluntarily or have been attending kiruv programs and now wish to take the next step.

    Nowhere in this press release, obviously coming mostly from EJF itself, does it state that its most controversial efforts of proselytizing, for which it was specifically condemned by Rav Shternbuch and the BADATS, is in any way allowed.

    This has to be seen as yet another weakening of Rabbi Tropper's and Tom Kaplan's original "vision" of outright unapologetic proselytization to gentiles hitched to Jews that they know full well is outright assur and that is why they covered it up with their talk of "universal standards" of stressing chumras in geirus which any Charedi bais din would agree with and would not need Tropper or EJF to remind them or teach them of that.

    So this is just another open manifestation of Tropper's hand at the helm of EJF being eased off, while Rav Reuven Feinstein thinks he can get a handle on it, and in turn it allows Rav Yosef to say a nice thing or two that has been obvious and practiced by kiruv workers in any case for the last 20 years since Rav Dovid Cohen of Brooklyn, the official posek of AJOP, the Association for Jewish Outreach Professionals/Programs started to openly give the pesak that IN THE COURSE OF NATURAL KIRUV WORK (NOT RUNNING AFTER GOYIM LIKE EJF SUBSEQUENTLY DID) THAT IT IS MUTTAR TO WORK AND TRY TO MEGAYER THE GOY IN ORDER TO MEKAREV THE YID, he held it was not just muttar but also poshut as a matter of doing kiruv otherwise it would be impossible to mekarev the Jew in such a situation.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Recipients and PublicityOctober 25, 2009 at 12:26 PM

    What sounded radical 20 years ago when Rav Dovid Cohen said it berabim is now finally becoming a mainstream view as we read that Rav Yosef and Rav Reuven Feinstein are saying "the obvious" because lema'ase that is what has been going on in any case in the world of kiruv rechokim when the matzav is that almost all secular Jews are intermarried today and plain kiruv to born Jews only of the olden days is long gone in a world where almost every marrying secular Jew in America and many from the former USSR are either intermarried or products of intermarriage.

    So even if Rav Yosef comes up with something in writing, it would not be a chiddush and it is basically of NO help to Rabbi Tropper and EJF because everyone in kiruv today is doing this in any case.

    The point for which Rabbi Tropper and EJF were called on the carpet for and correctly accused of was of going beyond the intermarriage situation and creating heavy handed expensive active advertising to the gentiles missionary and evangelical style and then hosting them at expensive retreats them when they had no real interest in conversion that is nothing but proselytization.

    Of late rabbi Tropper seems to understand his problems very well and following the split with Guma, rabbi Tropper and EJF have been nudging themselves into aligment with more mainstream kiruv organizations and institutions like Gateways and Ohr Somayach in Israel, moving away from dealing with intermarrieds only as was EJF's original mission and now getting in sync with more conventional kiruv types like Nota Schiller of OS, Jerus. and Mordechai Suchard of Gways, which probably irritates Rabbi Tropper since once upon a time he was supposed to have been such a big kiruv name himself but his own programs and yeshiva never grew beyond a very narrow and limited group and then he went on to take up the EJF plan funded by the Kaplan family hoping to work exclusively with intermarried couples and conversions issues, which he still is trying to keep up behind the scenes but his hands are being tied slowly but surely as he wriggles, so now he joins with seminars of other groups who have their own rabbis and their onw ways and their own agendas and their own histories and he has to somehow blend into that, oh well, he comes along and yells' marry Jewish blah, blah -- what else does he think the other kiruv rabbis have been saying all along, "eat chullent"? -- which he is doing in the hope of keeping the EJF flame and his own name alive and afloat as he backs off from outright proselytization which brought him huge condemnation from none less than the BADATS and Rav Shternbuch, a huge potsch for him, and then the breakup with Guma with revelations of inner hypocrisy, double standards and double dealing, so now EJF and Tropper are backing off and de-emphasizing their proselytization agenda and trying to recast themselves as being conjoined with the conventional Charedi kiruv movement, which is where Tropper had once started but that he left when he went into business with Tom Kaplan and Guma to push the EJF missionary and evangelical work to "save the world" to any and all missing billions of gentiles and Jews as their own Internet advertising revealed.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Conventional kiruvOctober 25, 2009 at 4:04 PM

    RAP is in error for lumping Suchard's Gateways in this group.

    Gateways has speakers that double as EJF operatives like Mordechai Neugroschel.

    Gateways, like EJF, is beholden to money. Suchard has been criticized for allowing Senator Joe Lieberman to get up at their shul bima (they maintain a shul in Westchester) to address the crowd during Yomtov davening. Instead of divrei Torah from one of Gateways many upstanding talmidei chochomim, they get partisan anti-Republican propaganda that is against the Torah. Lieberman, who is pro-toyeva, pro-abortion and pro-intermarriage, has pushed these agendas in his words from the Gateways shul bima. Because he is a smooth talking politician, he knows how to not speak these ugly ideas befeirush there. What he does is give a pep talk to gain support for opposing Conservative judicial appointments (that would spell trouble for his immoral agenda).

    Gateways is a big clump of hypocrisy for speaking kiruv and immorality out of both sides their mouth.

    ReplyDelete
  12. To "A world without yeshivaworld":

    Is there anything online documenting that Eckstein from YWN was behind the anonymous attack on the Lakewood Yeshiva, and that he was outed as such?

    I would appreciate being directed to anything pointing in that direction.

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  13. Mekubal:

    1)Many if not most Poskim are against internet usage.


    Many Poskim would say using the internet to learn is fine.

    2)There is very little contact between the magidei shiurim and the talmidim.

    You mean like the Rav who comes to test bachurim for semicha and doesn't see them a whole year? O

    3)It is outside of the traditional Yeshiva setting.

    Are you hungarian --- chadash assur min hatora?

    4)It is offering Semicha to people with little or no Gemmarra background.

    That is hardly something unique to this program, if true.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Joe Lieberman has publicly stated that he is "not orthodox", that he prefers to be classified as "observant".

    His current wife was formerly married to a Conservative "rabbi" and none of their children are frum. Joe switches off on Shabbosos between attending modern orthodox and Conservative services.

    ReplyDelete
  15. "3)It is outside of the traditional Yeshiva setting.

    Are you hungarian --- chadash assur min hatora?"


    Isaac,

    Since when is the Chasam Sofer only limited to Hungarians? Chadash Assur Mint HaTorah is a Hungarian only thing??

    ReplyDelete
  16. A world without yeshivaworldOctober 25, 2009 at 4:42 PM

    Eckstein's machlokes with Beis Medrash Govoha of Lakewood was followed by the blogs Yudelstake & UOJ.

    Eckstein's motivation was that his brother was employed by the faction at the girl's school that the yeshiva was trying to neutralize.

    Eckstein was not savvy enough to cover up the electronic trail that techies discovered led back to him.

    Eckstein's attack blog, since taken down, was digging up every piece of nasty shmutz he could find on the yeshiva administration. And although the Agudah & Yated have been passing along press releases they want Eckstein to publicize, there are some Moetzes members who are in favor of shutting him down for good.

    In a separate machlokes Eckstein had with R' Yudel Shain, R' Yudel contacted him to complain about pritzusdik ads on YWN. Because Eckstein ignored him, R' Yudel went public about it. Eckstein then wrote him a very threatening email which R' Yudel posted on his website. Eckstein called him all kinds of nasty names in an otherwise vile email that warned he "would bring R' Yudel to his knees".

    ReplyDelete
  17. The Chasam Sofer was actually a Yekke.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Anonymous attacks on the internet. Doing things for money. Using below the belt tactics and nasty language.

    Sounds like EJF and YWN are a good shidduch.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Isaac let me spell it out for you.

    When a Rav(which is what we consider someone like Rav Ovadiah Yosef) supports something, or issues a psak in its favor, or any other means of granting it legitimacy(meaning saying what they are doing is OK) he will write a letter, an actual physical letter, with a pen(an somewhat dated writing instrument I know) on a piece of paper(an equally dated medium... sorry big word... but I am not too good at monosyllabic communication) so that it can be presented when asked, and demonstrate to the world that he actually did say what everyone is saying that he said.

    Hence the comparison, that and being familiar with the learning program, I know the controversy that surrounded them when they started.

    Do you understand now? If not let put it to you in words that my two year old will understand:
    If no paper with signature from big big rabbi, it no happen.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Mekubal:

    Let me perhaps spell it out for you. If something so "outrageous" is issued in the name of Rav Ovadya, given that he is certainly not silent on matters, one would expect a public denial, and if we are to follow your tempest, niduy.

    That is the opposite side of the coin, of course. For some reason, you only accept one side, because that seems to be the side that you like.

    ReplyDelete
  21. You are confusing R'Ovadiah for someone else. Three quarters of the time he doesn't bother to deal with the false reports about his statements found in the Israeli press. Why would he worry about something carried by an internet blog?

    First and foremost Rav Ovadiah is a community Rav, he is constantly dealing with the issues of his community. He has no time to be chasing down every false rumor of some supposed statement that he makes. That is why he has a website where he posts his daily psak halacha.

    Just as you don't see R' Sternbuch chasing down every false news story about the Eida. Rav Ovadiah typically ignores these sorts of things.

    If something truly goes viral in the Israeli press(so far this has only been reported now on two blogs D"T and YWN) then you will see Eli Yishai trot out and make a clarification/denial.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Shlomo Zalman wrote:

    In the YWN comment section of this story, someone wrote:

    "Rav Shternbuch and the Badatz in Yerushlayim is opposed to, and has been very critical of, the EJF."

    To which another poster replied:

    "I believe you are mistaken.

    1. The Badatz never came out against the seminars, only against the Rabbinic conferences
    ========================
    DT wrote:
    the Bedatz wrote the letter after the rabbis conference, the Bedatz said not to have anything to do with the EJF. The main reason was because of the geirus which they produce which is mainly orchestrated by the couples conferences they have. Therefore it is true that the Bedatz didn’t specifically mention the couples conferences but it was obviously included since they said keep far away from EJF activities

    =============================


    2. Two representatives of Badatz participated in 1 or more of the conferences.
    =========================
    DT wrote:

    Just like R' Tropper duped all the rabbis into what he was doing he duped these rabbis. They were not necessarily aware of the protest letter of the Bedatz, but that does not have any reflection on the official position of the Bedatz. These rabis while they were in fact Bedatz rabbis were not dayonim who signed the letter)Rav Kopshitz was then not a dayan

    ==================

    3. There is a major contradiction between the opposition of Hagoan Rav Shternbuch and the Badatz that was on a poster distributed by a friend of R’ Shternbuch and R’ Shternbuch own written responsa (last volume/later date).
    =================
    DT wrote:

    The information as stated is too vague. Please be more specific so that the information can be properly checked.
    ================

    4. There are 2 very well know esteemed rabbi’s that spoke to Hagoan Rav Meir Bransdorfer, ztl (a member of the Badatz at that time) before his death, where he declared that he never signed the Badatz letter, and never agreed to the idea to the opposition of EJF. His name was rubber stamped to an existing paper."
    ===============
    DT wrote:
    Rav Bransdorfer, zt"l signed with full knowledge of the concerns expressed by the protest letters of the Bedatz. He might not have realized that the organization the 2 rabbis were speaking about was this one, since they obviously told him we are trying to be machmir in geirus etc. Don’t forget he did not read English. When he heard about the real actions of the EJF he signed the protest letter with full awareness.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Obviously included.....

    it's obviously not so obvious if so many in the yeshiva world are questioning the mixing of venues.....

    Please stick with the truth......


    R'Tropper duped etc.....

    False.....they called Rav Feinstein
    first and then Rabbi Tropper and
    THEN decided to come....


    R' Bransdorfer learned of.....

    Nonsense....Rav Bransdorfer was
    a true ish Emes. He would not listen to one side without the other....so knock it off.


    Contradiction:

    Come on ......Look up the Teshuva
    in Teshuvos Vehanhagos.....and YOU
    tell us what is the contradiction.


    BTW....Speak To Rav Nochum Eisenstein as to his discussion
    with Rabbi Bransdorfer,zt'l

    ReplyDelete
  24. 613Torah said...

    Obviously included.....

    it's obviously not so obvious if so many in the yeshiva world are questioning the mixing of venues.....

    Please stick with the truth......
    ============
    613Torah - you are obviously not a simple bystander but a clearly a Tropper supporter.

    So what is your point? Do you agree with R' Tropper's comical accusation that I personally duped the entire Bedatz into signing a condemnation of EJF because I am a leading supporter of R' Slikin?

    While you are at it perhaps you can explain the apparently phony notice planted in YWN proclaiming that Rav Ovadiya Yosef gave a haskama to EJF?

    Of even greater importance to the readers of this blog is the blatant contradiction between the haskoma that EJF produced signed by Rav Reuven and the recording that I transcribed where he proclaims advertising for mixed couples to encourage them to convert as being assur?

    ReplyDelete
  25. Rav Ovadia wrote a hand written approval.

    I personally heard Rav Feinstein say that he supports the EJF mixed couple seminars after he had been informed about the lashon hora and accusations being made regarding him on these gossip blog sites. He followed that conversation with the fax that was posted shortly after.

    What good is there in providing any evidence, if you're simply going to come back with accusations that they're forged?

    What idiot would publicly state they have support from R' Feinstein, followed by a letter written from his stationary, if he did not in fact have his support. It's not as if this rabbi can't validate the claim. Don't you think that if R' Feinstein DID NOT support EJF, that he would boldly state this immediately???

    No, we are expected to rely solely on sleezy recordings that nobody can hear (to protect the identity of those who involved in the set-up), and are left to trust you to transcribe it properly for us.

    Would you be willing to go with R' Tropper to R' Feinstein? If so, I would gladly make the arrangements.

    ReplyDelete
  26. 613Torah said...

    Rav Ovadia wrote a hand written approval.
    ================
    DT - can you send me a copy to put on my blog?

    ========================
    I personally heard Rav Feinstein say that he supports the EJF mixed couple seminars after he had been informed about the lashon hora and accusations being made regarding him on these gossip blog sites. He followed that conversation with the fax that was posted shortly after.

    What good is there in providing any evidence, if you're simply going to come back with accusations that they're forged?
    ===================
    DT - The issue is simple - I have a recording of Rav Reuven which clearly says the opposite of the haskama. Thus it is simply a question of reconciling the two sources.
    ==================
    What idiot would publicly state they have support from R' Feinstein, followed by a letter written from his stationary, if he did not in fact have his support. It's not as if this rabbi can't validate the claim. Don't you think that if R' Feinstein DID NOT support EJF, that he would boldly state this immediately???
    ================
    DT - A great question - but I don't need to jump through hoops to try to reconcile opposites and make diyukim as to what and how he could say something. Again I have two contradictory statements of Rav Reuven. It is not like trying to understand a gemora. Rav Reuven can simply explain what he meant and why he seems to be saying two contradictory things.

    In fact, I have simply been asking for two years for R' Tropper to have his rabbinic supporters to write straightforward teshuvos explaining and justifying what EJF is doing. Rav Sternbuch said from the beginning that is the accepted practise. I have not been able to great a straight answer out of R' Tropper. Nor has there been a single teshuva written directly concerning what R' Tropper is doing and the parameters of what is permitted.

    The teshuvos that Roni - the great defender of R Tropper produced - were not directly relevant to this and he totally misunderstood Rav Eliashiv's teshuva.

    Rav Eliashiv has written a teshuva and Rav Efrati has stated in Rav Eliashiv's name that he does not allow the pursuit of mixed couples - but that is what Tropper is doing and has been doing in the name of Rav Moshe and Rav Eliashiv.
    =====================
    No, we are expected to rely solely on sleezy recordings that nobody can hear (to protect the identity of those who involved in the set-up), and are left to trust you to transcribe it properly for us.
    ==============
    DT - Don't know why you call it a sleazy recording. You or your representatives or R' Tropper etc are welcome to come to my house or to Rav Sternbuch's home and listen to the recording.
    =====================
    Would you be willing to go with R' Tropper to R' Feinstein? If so, I would gladly make the arrangements.
    =====
    DT. I appreciate your offer - but I have been making the suggestion for two years that R' Tropper should go to Rav Sternbuch and the Bedatz. R' Tropper has not responded to the suggestion. he has just screamed that I have dedicated my life to destroy his organization. The whole mess could have cleared up in a half hour meeting - why has he so far refused?

    I don't know what the purpose of Rav Reuven explaining anything to me - the issue is on a higher level. This is a dispute between the Bedatz and EJF. The Bedatz has condemned EJF - it would be logical and reasonable to have a meeting between the Bedatz and Rav Reuven. Why hasn't it happened?

    The halachic issues are not complicated - all Rav Reuven needs to do is explain his views. Then the Bedatz either agrees or disagrees. At that point it becomes at worst a machlokes haposkim. At the present it is not even that.

    ReplyDelete
  27. So where is the letter?October 27, 2009 at 6:26 PM

    613Torah said...

    Rav Ovadia wrote a hand written approval.


    Sounds like tropper with another name, where is this hand written paper, who could know about it if it wasn’t published anywhere?!

    ReplyDelete

ANONYMOUS COMMENTS WILL NOT BE POSTED!
please use either your real name or a pseudonym.