Monday, November 9, 2009

Rav Reuven Feinstein: Haskama to EJF



Mekubal
wrote:

A translation:
I have come to review the primacy and to boldly clarify endorsement according to my acquaintance all halackhot of the organization according to halacha as expounded according to Poskei HaDor ZפL and to be destinguished for a good life Poskim of our time Shlita. The organization Eternal Jewish Family which I support and stand as the head of the Vaעad Halacha composed of Talmidei Chachamim Yirat Shamayim, which their desirable intention and deeds. You managed Eternal Jewish family they are the minority of the minority which heed the instruction of the Gedolim of our time Shlita and correct what they need to correct and are prepared to listen to and to receive instruction of the Gedolei Yisrael Shlita.

The semminars for mixed couples they are conducted according to guidance and instruction and rulings of my master father teacher and Rav ZפL and according to the Poskei HaDor Shlita, Maran HaGaon R Yosef Shalom Eliashiv and HaGaon Rav Vozner and Maran HaGaon Rav Yitzchak Yosef.

You should continue to sanctify the name of heaven and to lift up the glory of heaven until the coming of our righteous redeemer.

What is very obviously present. That EJF has been in need of correction and that they have(to a certain degree) taken it.

What is very obviously missing, approbation for their outreach. He endorses how the seminars are run, he does not endorse how people are brought to be there.

More importantly someone should contact R' Reuven and determine two things:

1) That this letter actually originates from him. I have four reasons to doubt that it does:
A) The grammar demonstrated here in his writing is on a considerably lower level than that of the his voice recording. It is very rare for a person to be able to speak better than they can write.
B) Even on the EJF website the image degradation(as this is a fax0 is not consistent. That is typically one of the fingerprints of Photoshop(as someone who professionally works with Adobe products).
C) The language is odd, it goes from speaking to a person to speaking about an organization to speaking about a person with very jarring shifts.
D) We have seen forged letters from the above mentioned organization before.
2) If this letter is indeed authentic a clarification should be sought between his recorded message and this. He is quite obviously contradicting himself. Those contradictions need to be reconciled.

33 comments :

  1. Recipients and PublicityOctober 21, 2009 at 12:49 PM

    EJF has taken big hits and is taking on water. Guma is keeping Rabbi Tropper's feet to the fire and is determined to have an accounting of all the money, as he has let the wowrld know through the critical A7 article.

    Rav Reuven knows this and issues altter, as if certifying a sinking EJF ship, when the certificate should have been issued when the EJF ship seriously first set sail about 5 years ago.

    So now, as for the three living Gedolim mentioned in the letter, in such a case, it is 100% legitimate to ask that they be requested to counter-sign and add their signatures to this letter because no less than Rabbi Tropper himself when he noticed that original letter from the BADATS only had 6 signatures on it and not that of the Ga'avad Rav Weiss, went on to falsely claim that the Ga'avad disagreed with the other six dayanim and was only satisfied, at least superficially, when the Ga'vad added his signature to yet another even more explict official letter of condemnation of Rabbi tropper and EJF by the full BADATS.

    So for now,it can be said that this is the voice of a da'as yochid only one written "haskama" from only one rabbi, after nearly two years of begging and about five years of being around, versus at least three official letters of rebuke and warnings from Rav Shternbuch and all the six other dayanim of the BADATS which makes it a ratio of "1 for EJF/R.Tropper" and "7 against EJF/R.Tropper" IN WRITING on their stationary, while anyone can invoke the names of other rabbis, and it's tough to see where Rav Moshe Zt"l endorses proselytization anywhere just because Rav reuven says that some things EJF is doiing may fit..

    It looks like Rav Reuven Feinstein is responding to pressures and acting out of fear, that now that Guma is breathing down everyone's neck he will want an accounting from Rav Reuven Feinstein who also benefited from Guma's support while at EJF.

    This must be seen in the context of legal battles and dinei Torah and the crumbling of EJF image that some are so despartae to reinforce with a last minute "letter of appeal/clemency" before the inevitable end of EJF comes about.

    Unless EJF will move to israel forever and call itself "Netsach Mishpachat Yisrael" under the command of Rav Eisenstein while Rabbi Tropper can go back to handling his yeshiva in Monsey.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Recipients and PublicityOctober 21, 2009 at 12:58 PM

    Why now?

    This letter should have been produced at least TWO years ago, when serious questions were being asked and challenges were coming fast and furious in writing, and remain, from Rav Shternbuch and the full BADATS against Tropper and EJF, and not hastily faxed to this blog yesterday, "erev Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan" on October 20, 2009.

    It may be a case of too little too late, but it does buy a little time for now. There must have beeen a lot of frantic talk and phone calls behind the scenes with the EJF people running hither and thither.

    In fact such a letter should have been drawn up and posted 5 or so years ago when EJF was first launched. But only now? When EJF is under siege? And now when there is a 100% legitimate tape of Rav Reuven distancing himself yet from EJF?

    It definitely looks like a "circling of the wagons" as Rav Reuven invokes the names of three living rabbis: Rav Eliashiv, Rav Wosner and Rav Yosef. But where is their necessary additional actual counter-signatures? Is there not enough time to go to each of them and ask them to sign this letter that purports to speak for them?

    Quite frankly, Rav Reuven Feinstein does not have the status of the three gedolim he mentions. He is a nice rosh yeshiva but he is not a renowned posek and is not sought out or recognized as such. Many roshei yeshiva have important things to say, and even write a letter to support this and that, but it does not really amount to a heap of beans in the end.

    The next step, let's see Rav Reuven fax a fully comprehensive teshuva allowing proselytizing to gentiles in relationships with Jews, to allow hosting and feeding them at the fanciest hotels and paying the best speakers top dollar to come and convince goyim to become yidden, where did Rav Moshe ever dream of such things??? or to recruit stam gentiles that EJF tries to recruit through its well know notorious ads online and in print.

    Yes, here and there Rav Moshe may have spoken about situations of intermarriage (poster Roni/Tropper never tired of twisting those too in his krumme ways) but he never gave a blanket ruling that would allow EJF and Rabbi Tropper to do what they do, and Rav Reuvein can bend over backwards as far as he wants, it's just not in the Igros Moshe or anywhere that Rav Moshe would allow goyim being recruited and proselytized the way EJF openly does.

    Given the current environment of controversy and the LEGAL battles and dinei Torah that Rabbi Tropper is about to face with Guma, that will in turn willy-nilly drag in Rav Reuven, he is now coming out with a letter that they presumably assume will have the effect of forestalling judgments against Rabbi Tropper or render upcoming dinei Torah coming from the Guma camp less lethal.

    It won't work.

    ReplyDelete
  3. A translation:

    I have come to review the primacy and to boldly clarify endorsement according to my acquaintance all halackhot of the organization according to halacha as expounded according to Poskei HaDor ZפL and to be destinguished for a good life Poskim of our time Shlita. The organization Eternal Jewish Family which I support and stand as the head of the Vaעad Halacha composed of Talmidei Chachamim Yirat Shamayim, which their desirable intention and deeds. You managed Eternal Jewish family they are the minority of the minority which heed the instruction of the Gedolim of our time Shlita and correct what they need to correct and are prepared to listen to and to receive instruction of the Gedolei Yisrael Shlita.

    The semminars for mixed couples they are conducted according to guidance and instruction and rulings of my master father teacher and Rav ZפL and according to the Poskei HaDor Shlita, Maran HaGaon R Yosef Shalom Eliashiv and HaGaon Rav Vozner and Maran HaGaon Rav Yitzchak Yosef.

    You should continue to sanctify the name of heaven and to lift up the glory of heaven until the coming of our righteous redeemer.


    What is very obviously present. That EJF has been in need of correction and that they have(to a certain degree) taken it.

    What is very obviously missing, approbation for their outreach. He endorses how the seminars are run, he does not endorse how people are brought to be there.

    More importantly someone should contact R' Reuven and determine two things:

    1) That this letter actually originates from him. I have four reasons to doubt that it does:
    A) The grammar demonstrated here in his writing is on a considerably lower level than that of the his voice recording. It is very rare for a person to be able to speak better than they can write.
    B) Even on the EJF website the image degradation(as this is a fax0 is not consistent. That is typically one of the fingerprints of Photoshop(as someone who professionally works with Adobe products).
    C) The language is odd, it goes from speaking to a person to speaking about an organization to speaking about a person with very jarring shifts.
    D) We have seen forged letters from the above mentioned organization before.

    2) If this letter is indeed authentic a clarification should be sought between his recorded message and this. He is quite obviously contradicting himself. Those contradictions need to be reconciled.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Recipients and PublicityOctober 21, 2009 at 3:36 PM

    Poor R Reuvein Feinstein, he is now caught between a rock and a hard place, on the one hand people have produced a recording wherein he clearly distances himself from EJF, and now another group comes up with a letter supposedly from him, but because EJF has been known to forge a letter on this blog and been directly accused of forging letters from rabbonim by Guma in his A7 interview, no one knows if the letter of the latest "haskoma" is true or just another cheap forgery from the house of Rabbi Tropper's bag of tricks, that means that R Reuven's name sinks deeper into the mud.

    R Reuven should do the right thing and just get rid of rabbi Tropper and EJF. This just proves that it is a huge mistake for an individual rosh yeshiva to leave his bais medrash and get caught up in rabbinical politics. If Agudas Yisroel wants to do something they do it collectively and diplomatically, that is a far safer system.

    Generally a rosh yeshiva does not get caught up in major kashrus supervision or kashrus scandals, or get involvd in batei din that deal with gitttin or even choshen mishpat cases. Unless they are dragged in for personal reasons, they stay out of "practical rabbinics" and there are enough batei din to deal with geirus and they do not need any input from R Reuven Feinstein and certainly not from Rabbi Tropper, who got in over his head with all the tens of millions that came from Guma and uncle Tom Kaplan.

    While Rav Eisenstein works from his Israeli base nothing much can be done, but in America, R Reuvein would be better off to cut his ties with troublemakers like Rabbi Tropper who are not worth the monetary benefit that they may use as lures, as now it's all back to haunt Rav Reuven as mass confusion prevails about contradictory transcripts and so-called new haskomas, resulting in a total shut down of Rav Reuven Fienstein's credibility.

    Will the real Rav Reuven Feinstein please stand up!

    ReplyDelete
  5. BTW Sephardim consider R' Ovadiah Yosef to be the Posek hador, not R' Yitzchak Yosef. Who is certainly a great Rav, and definitely a Gadol, however he is at best a Shadow of the greatness of his father.

    ReplyDelete
  6. meinyan leinyan beosso inyanOctober 21, 2009 at 3:57 PM

    DT wrote: I am allowing this for two reaons 1) these allegations have been around for a long time - and some of which I have seen the documentation. Rav Belsky clearly has his Torah reasons for his positions - though these are not necessarily accepted by other gedolim.In my dealings with Rav Belsky, he has readily discussed controversial issues i.e., his support for R' Slifkin - at the same time he has acknowledged that he is a daas yachid on certain controversial issues. That independence is not necessarily a basis to condemn him. And is sometimes a reason for praise

    In short, Rav Belsky is fully deserving of being treated with the kavod that is due to a gadol b'Torah - but it is up to the individual to check the issues further with his rav

    Any documentations regarding these charges would be appreciated.
    =========================

    Tropper is said to be close to Rav Belsky. There is an older post on this website that caught my attention. Rav Eidensohn became aware that Rav Elyashev condemned Rav Belsky in writing for attempting a fraudulent bittul kiddushin. Rav Belsky's explanation to Rav Eidensohn was the same one he has been trotting around elsewhere, that Rav Elyashev "actually agrees with me" and that a certain unnamed troublemaker is out to get him.

    Rav Belsky is actually pulling a Tropper. Besides Rav Elyashev, there were several gedolim who condemned Rav Belsky in writing which is what forced him to back off. These letters are available and can be passed along.

    Also just like Tropper, Rav Belsky issued phony paperwork to further his agenda in another case. To protect an old friend who has been molesting children for decades, he tried to threaten and intimidate into silence a Flatbush askan who was asking questions about reports of abuse. Although Rav Belsky sits on both the Agudas Harabbonim and Iggud Harabbonim, they do not allow their dayanim to get involved if they personally know the baalei davar. Rav Belsky therefore made up stationary for his own private beis din that accused the askan of "motzee shem ra". The askan told Rav Belsky and his cohorts that he would be willing to appear in a real beis din. When their bluff was called and stopped responding, he was then mazmin them and they were mesarev. This paper trail can also be passed along.

    Someone else, who is a convicted child rapist banned from stepping foot in Torah Vodaas by Rav Pam ztl, is also good friends with Rav Belsky. The rapists son in law, a child abuser in his own right, is the third criminal that Rav Belsky is friendly with and has a business on the side with him to act as guns for hire in messy gittin. In one case, Rav Belsky and his friend were paid to take the side against a Young Israel rabbi in the Southwest US. After Rav Belsky ignored several entreaties from rabbonim to butt out, the National Council of Young Israel hired lawyers who forced him to do so and made him sign publicly available documentation that he would no longer interfere in the matter.

    Just recently, the hanhala of Beis Medrash Govoha in Lakewood approved calling the police on a local child molester, who is a nephew of the first mentioned friend of Rav Belsky. In a hastily issued letter, not naming them but clearly aimed at them, Rav Belsky condemned the BMG hanhala as "mosrim".

    There is also a letter written 3 years ago from Rav Elyashev to Mirrer rosh yeshiva R' Shmuel Berenbaum ztl decrying the shvach kashrus standards at the OU, saying something must be done about it. Rav Belsky is of course one of the OU's two main poskim and the one known to be behind many strange Tropperesque heterim which poskim say have no basis in halacha. In the case of oil on tanker ships, someone snuck out a copy of an internal OU memo to R' Yudel Shain who posted it on his website. The memo was from the other main OU posek R' Hershel Schechter to told Rav Belsky and Rabbi Genack that there is no heter whatsoever to allow oil to be transported without kashering the tanks. The letter is from 8 years ago yet nothing has changed.

    ReplyDelete
  7. The letter is not addressed to Yedid Nafshi Marbitz Torah L'alafim mapik margolios Ha'Gaon v'charif ba'Torah Rav LT Shlita. That is the 1st thing that should catch your attention.

    People should be careful about the language used about what Rav Reuven does.

    But saying they are few among those who listen and will correct what they need to correct is hardly a ringing endorsement.

    That is also clear.

    I don't envy Rav Reuven. But he IS a leading Rosh Yeshiva today and one would be fortunate to have his aitzeh. He would be all the wiser for it.

    ReplyDelete
  8. It is a lot of work to dig up all the files on Rav Belsky.

    I knew of two websites that have all the letters from gedolim against the bittul kiddushin. One of the them is no longer working and the other I am still trying to locate.

    Rav Belsky was reportedly paid a huge sum of money to do it by a long time friend & financial supporter. This friend was arrested in the 1970s by Federal agents along with a current columnist for the Jewish Press newspaper for a fraudulent scheme they were running. When agents burst into their homes, they were in the midst of shredding evidence.

    http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/518/908/1600/belsky%20hazmana.2.jpg

    Meanwhile, this is the dubious hazmana issued by Rav Belsky to the Flatbush askan Eli Greenwald who then went public about the mafia tactics being used against him. Greenwald, who is widely known to be a ben Torah and big mentch, had abuse victims cry to him about a rebbe in Torah Temimah who has had a kala delo pasik of molestation following him for 40 years from when he was the dorm counsellor in the Mir to Camp Agudah (where several boys say that Rav Belsky threatened them not to talk about what happened to them), to Yeshivas Karlin-Stolin where rosh yeshiva Rav Dishon threw him out, to his 30 years at YTT.

    Greenwald summoned Rav Belsky, Margulies and Kolko to the Beis Din of America after this but they did not respond. The Agudas Yisroel of America also asked Kolko and Margulies to appear at a special beis din headed by R' Shmuel Kaminetzky. Margulies said he would wait until consulting with Rav Elyashev. He never did speak to Rav Elyashev and never appeared before the beis din. Several victims hired a lawyer and summoned these mesarvei din to Machon Lehoraah who were also ignored.

    I will look for the other items tonight or tomorrow.

    ReplyDelete
  9. http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_WC3VtDsRQjc/RjP50jNeriI/AAAAAAAAAA0/CggWpuCbLnA/s1600-h/Heinemann's+Letter.jpg

    This handwritten letter from Rav Heinemann was posted in his shul, the Agudas Yisroel of Baltimore.

    The local Jewish newspaper went public about two long time child molesters, a since deceased rebbe at the local Chofetz Chaim yeshiva and his son who is still alive. Rav Heinemann decided to shoot the messenger instead of dealing with this problem which was well known in Baltimore for decades. Rav Heinemann in case you don't know is the EJF affiliate in Baltimore. The convicted molester who is still living, is employed at a Baltimore area food store where he still has access to children - all under Rav Heinemann's Star-K hashgocho. I'm also sure I don't have to inform Rav Eidensohn of what kind of low regard Rav Sternbuch and other gedolim have for the Star-K even when they are not going out of their way to empower pedophiles.

    The shocking language that Rav Heinemann uses here to attack someone trying to protect Jewish children from abuse is worthy of Roni.

    ReplyDelete
  10. From the desk of Rav HeinemannOctober 21, 2009 at 9:24 PM

    There is actually another version of this where Rav Heinemann added another handwritten hosafa a few days later calling the newspaper publisher, who is a frum Jew, a "kelev hachozer al keeoh"

    ReplyDelete
  11. The issue of revealing the identity of a deceased molester is truly problematic. While it is obvious that according to Rav Yaakov Kaminetsky this would be permitted - it is not obvious to most poskim.

    Unless some benefit can be derived then the Chofetz Chaim and others would prohibit it.
    Thus Rav Heineman is merely subscribing to the majority view in halacha.

    I personally feel however that there is clearly a deterrent value i.e., a person should know that the truth will eventual catch up to him and also it provides comfort to the victims to be allowed to mentioned there molester.

    ReplyDelete
  12. http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_WC3VtDsRQjc/RjdNGTNerkI/AAAAAAAAABE/wYeguFAeDRM/s1600-h/new%2520belsky.jpg

    Here is a letter from R' Belsky discrediting an OU mashgiach at a restaurant (owned by goyim) who blew the whistle on kashrus violations.

    The mashgiach secretly taped OU officials telling him to cover it up.

    R' Belsky never bothered to speak to the mashgiach personally before destroying him in this letter. The mashgiach played the tape in front of the judge when the restaurant sued him for slander, who then threw the case out of court. The mashgiach also played the tape for independent roshei yeshiva and rabbonim who found his story to be credible.

    This restaurant was thrown out of another hashgocho before the OU for kashrus violations. The chef at the restaurant was previously at another restaurant that was caught red handed with tarfus. The PR agent for the restaurant later worked for Rubashkin where he was caught impersonating critics on websites to discredit them.

    ReplyDelete
  13. So suppose Rav Feinstein distances himself from EJF and Rabbi Tropper. What happens to all the people converted by EJF affiliated batei din? Will they be evaluated on a case by case basis, will they be considered non-Jews, will they require a gerut l'chumra? Who will decide these question and how will people who were converted through EJF be notified of whatever decision is made.

    The consequences of these decisions could last literally generations. Whatever is done, it must be done openly, decisively, and with concern for those people who were converted through the auspices of EJF.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Even if Rav Heinemann is somehow correct about the deceased father, the living son continues to present a clear & present danger while under the promotion & protection of Star-K.

    ReplyDelete
  15. regarding the claims against Rav Belsky and Rav Heineman - you haven't shown anything which can not be interpreted as a legitimate halachic dispute amongst gedolim.

    The issue of the mashgiach might be like you say but it could easily hinge on some factor which you didn't mention and which Rav Belsky considered critical.

    Regarding Rav Heineman's note - it doesn't say anything regarding the son - or actually about the father either.

    It is rather difficult to conclude anything that Rav Heineman was upset about something in the Baltimore Jewish Times - but we don't have any direct evidence of what that might be.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Par for the courseOctober 22, 2009 at 3:32 AM

    I mentioned everything that I know.

    It is shocking how R' Belsky could indict the OU mashgiach without speaking to him. I would think this disqualifies any pronouncement against the mashgiach.

    This is besides that the OU has a history of covering up all kinds of scandal and horrific kashrus violations. Rubashkin, Freshwater Fish Corp, child abuse at NCSY, etc.

    When a rov a Brooklyn who spoke to both sides wrote an article implying that the mashgiach may have been right, he was blackballed by the OU who told their staff to ignore him when he calls in the future. He did not even pronounce a verdict - he merely left open the possibility.

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  17. I'm sorry to sound harsh... but what a terrible translation! It certainly wasn't done by Mr. Eidensohn, considering the level of grammatical proficiency he displays throughout the rest of this blog. Why didn't you take an extra five minutes and make a real translation?

    ReplyDelete
  18. Moyshe,

    A better translation would have meant starting down the path of interpretation. Also I didn't want to clean up the horribly bad grammar found in the letter.

    Hebrew is obviously R' Feinstein second(or third) language. Personally I find it highly curious that he speaks better Hebrew than he seems to be able to write.

    Please understand when doing translations there is a spectrum of how much the translator inputs his own views. It looks something like this:
    Literal---Dynamic-----Interpretive

    I intentionally decided to fall out on the literal side of this one, despite knowing that it would sound clunky. Reason being as I stated above, the grammar in the Hebrew original is stunted, and the shift of speaking to a person to about an organization to a person is so utterly jarring.

    If you feel that you can offer up a better rendition that accurately portrays the meaning of the letter as well as the internal problems within it, please be my guest.

    ReplyDelete
  19. To give an example of the bad grammar of the letter it states
    הנהלת נצח משפחת ישראל הם מיעוט מן המיעוט
    First problem
    הנהלת
    Which is a 2nd person past tense verb, meaning you did something, in this case "You managed" which makes me say "Really? Did Trooper resign or is he מנהל managing. Or did he mean to say, אתה הנהלה you are the manager? Or did he mean to put it into a construct form and forget a definite article?

    Moving on from there, one then notes the obvious lack of a proper Hebrew conjunctive ש it should be שהם I could go on, but I think that will adequately illustrate my point.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Your comment seems to indicate you are more familiar with Hebrew from some college course than from reading seforim ha-kedoshim. On my first parse I read the word correctly, as "HANHALAT". Not a verb at all. Maybe I'll try to translate it, but I don't know if I'll have time.

    Kol tuv!

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  21. Ok, it was easy enough that I couldn't resist, and anyone familiar with rabbinic Hebrew, Mr. Eidensohn included, will find it obvious that I have not added any "personal interpretations". His intent is pretty clear.

    Shalom Reuven Feinstein
    Rosh HaYeshiva
    Yeshiva of Staten Island
    Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan 5770

    For the Honor of our Dear Ones, the Rabbonim of EJF, Shlit"a

    I have come to repeat what has already been said and to clarify that which is clear, [in] which according to my knowledge all workings of the organization are according to the pure halacha as interpreted by Poskei haDor ZT"L and [may they be separated for a good life amen] the Poskim of our time, may they live long and good lives amen. The organization EJF which I support and for which I stand at the head of the Va'ad haHalacha is composed of G-d-fearing Talmidei Chachomim, whose intentions and actions are acceptable [to G-d]. The administration of EJF are the minority of the minority in our times who listen to ([obey]) the rulings of the Gedolim of our times
    Shlit"a and [make] repair[s] in places that need repairing, and are prepared to listen and accept the rulings of the Gedolei Yisrael Shlit"a.

    The intermarried couples' seminars are conducted according to the guidelines and rulings of my father, master and Rav ZTzLLH"H and according to the Poskim of the generation Shlit"a, our Master the Gaon Rav Yosef Shalom Eliashiv and the Gaon Rav S. Wosner Shlit"a and our Master the Gaon Rav Ovadia Yosef.

    One who signs with blessing and loyal affection,

    Reuven Feinstein

    ReplyDelete
  22. Error- I wrote Ovadia Yosef instead of Yitzchak Yosef. Sorry.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Yes, someone not familiar with the goings on would not know what the letters were addressing. But it was no coincidence that Rav Heinemann posted them right after each article in the newspaper.

    http://jewishsurvivors.blogspot.com/2007/05/call-to-action-rabbi-yisroel-shapiro-of.html

    Yisroel Shapiro was arrested and convicted after this article was written.

    The butcher store he works at doubles as a deli and take out food store where he access to children who come in. The store is under two hashgochos, Rav Heinemann's Star-K and Baltimore Av Beis Din Dayan Hopfer. Both of these men did not act for years when they knew Shapiro and his father were destroying children.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Actually I spend 10-16hrs of my day learning Seforim in a Hebrew speaking Yeshiva.

    While your translation reads well in English, it simply is not supported by the Hebrew text.

    You also skipped a couple of lines.

    Though the mistaking of Yitzchak for Ovadiah is understandable. R' Ovadiah is the only one that Sephardim(and most other people) refer to as Maran.

    BTW... the Kavod.... is the way you address a letter to someone. In this case the letter is addressed specifically to the the Rabbis of EJF. Which is another internal problem with the Grammar.

    ReplyDelete
  25. EJF now has its own translation up:

    My Honorable Friends, Rabbis of the Eternal Jewish Family Organization,

    I would like to take this opportunity to reiterate and clarify my previous stated opinion that all of the activity of this organization strictly adheres to the Torah’s laws as transmitted by both the leading halacha deciders of our time (may they live and be well) as well as those of blessed memory.

    The Eternal Jewish Family has my full support, as at the helm of the organization is a halacha committee made up of Torah scholars endowed with a strong fear of heaven who are admirable in both thought and action.

    The directors of EJF are of the elite few of our generation who follow the directives of today’s Torah leaders. They are willing to listen to their constructive criticism, and even adjust the organization’s activities or strategies when instructed.

    The mixed seminars for couples that EJF runs follow the strict guidelines and Torah decisions of the previous generation’s Torah luminaries, as well as today’s leading Rabbinic authorities, our master HaGaon Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv shlit”a and HaGaon Rabbi Shmuel Vosner shlit”a and our master HaGaon Rabbi Yosef.

    May you be blessed to continue sanctifying the great Name of Hashem and strengthening the Glory of Heaven until the final redemption.

    Signed in blessing and true friendship,
    Reuven Feinstein


    Beyond the artful phrasing(some of which I can find no justification for in the letter) notice they also translated Maran Hagaon Rav Yitzchak Yosef as Our master HaGaon Rabbi Yosef which I would be OK with except for the fact that it obscures which R' Yosef is actually supposedly supporting them.

    This just gets weirder and weirder.

    PS
    Moyshe... I made a mistake on the translation of הנהלת for some reason I read it and reread it as נהלת that was my mistake. I still stand by my statement the grammar is very difficult in the letter, and I don't think that a strict translation justifies your reading or that of EJF.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Ok, let me pick at it then.
    halichot does not equal halachot. R' Feinstein wrote halichot meaning pathways or methods.

    "Halacha composed" while in Hebrew it is acceptable to omit the copula ("is"), in English it is not. Why did you not translate this idiomatically? Yes, it may have been slightly more clear if he had written the word "hu" there as well, but not absolutely necessary.

    "the seminars... they are..." this is good Hebrew and bad English. Why do you need to include the "they" in the English if it's idiomatically wrong? It just makes the letter sound as if written by an elementary school student.

    "...of the organization according to halacha..." again, you should have translated "ARE according etc", and he wrote "halacha hatzerufah" which you left out in translation.

    You're right I missed the "Hamshichu" line, I was in a rush and missed it. Did I skip anything else??

    Kol tuv

    ReplyDelete
  27. Moyshe,

    No I think that was the only thing you missed. Between us, you have my translation, yours and that of EJF. of the three I would vote for yours.

    Reason being that I am obviously biased, read my previous comments and that is noted, and thus did a way too literal job. EJF is also biased, after all it is for them, and thus I think their translation reads things in which truly are not justified by the text.

    Your translation strikes a healthy balance. Not entirely liked by me(but I admit that I am biased), probably won't be loved by the EJF either(they are biased) which means that is probably fair and balanced.

    Next time I will go slower and not be so literal(for comparison you can check other translations that I have done and posted on this blog).

    ReplyDelete
  28. From the EJF translation:
    The mixed seminars for couples that EJF runs

    This has a definitely different tone to it than:
    semminars for mixed marriages which is how both Moyshe and I translate it.

    What is a mixed seminar?
    Why does their translation not include the fact that R' Reuven runs their halacha committee?

    From the EJF translation
    stated opinion that all of the activity of this organization strictly adheres to the Torah’s laws
    Rav Reuven's statement actually has some equivocation here.

    As Moyshe points out in his translation he states, according to my knowledge. This statement leaves room open for them to actually being doing things against his will.

    ReplyDelete
  29. http://www.eternaljewishfamily.org/images/uploads/proc.pdf

    ReplyDelete
  30. Moyshe,

    That is old news and it doesn't bear any signatures. Which is the primary problem. Finding out who actually supports and who doesn't.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Eternal Jewish Fraud WatchNovember 10, 2009 at 1:50 AM

    R' Reuvein Feinstein lives in Staten Island. The 500 Grand St address is either R' Moishe's or R' Dovid's.

    Is this proof of a pathetically sloppy forgery?

    ReplyDelete
  32. this was the result from whitepages
    ===========================

    Reuven R Feinstein

    500 Grand St
    New York, NY 10002-4181

    View phone
    Household: Avrahum Y Feinstein, Sheila Feinstein, Brenda B Fe

    ReplyDelete
  33. Eternal Jewish Fraud WatchNovember 10, 2009 at 4:54 PM

    I suppose R' Reuven could have yarshened a Lower East Side apt from relatives but he does live on Staten Island.

    Does anyone know if R' Reuven's standard stationary has the Lower East Side address? I would think it would have the address of the S.I. yeshiva.

    ReplyDelete

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