Friday, November 6, 2009

Irwin Katsof's campaign against gossip

Words Can Heal is a national campaign to eliminate verbal violence, curb gossip and promote the healing power of words to enhance relationships at every level. Words Can Heal has captured the imagination and commitment of an unprecedented coalition. Our board includes top governmental leadership, Wall Street’s most influential CEO’s, America’s leading clergy, Hollywood celebrities and community leaders of every stripe.


  1. Your website is a platform for gossip, erroneous information, lashon hara and motzi shem ra. This is why you feel it necessary to have a lashona hara disclaimer on the side. But it does not work to discredit lashon hara by putting up a disclaimer.

    You should not have a platform to allow people to talk about other people. It leads to offending and making up rumors or spreading rumors about people. I am disappointed that you cannot own up to the fact that you spread false information and offend people

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    Sorry for offtopic

  3. I was taught to be suspicious of people who call themselves a tzaddik.

  4. Poshutte Yid said...

    I was taught to be suspicious of people who call themselves a tzaddik.
    Actually it was an anonymous comments which I gave a name to since I don't post anonymous comments. I think it correctly identifies the persons' view of himself.

  5. Recipients and PublicityNovember 8, 2009 at 5:05 AM

    Rabbi Irwin Katsof is highly gifted. He can do many things. He can found all sorts of organizations and succeed with all of them. But with all the hurly burly and tumult, upon closer scrutiny, Rabbi Katsof also involves himself in things that arouse the notice and even suspicion of outsiders, not part of his Aish HaTorah world that make one wonder just exactly what he does that a newsgathering and reporting Texas CBS 11 news station goes ahead and publishes a very clear report that he was involved in bringing a group of high powered Texas politicians and businesspeople to an event sponsored by Guma Aguiar another successful entrepreneur.

    Now in response to a simple link to that article and a very mild post, all of a sudden it seems that some people close to Rabbi Katsof are upset and claim that the post, and the CBS 11 report are "loshen hora" and they start a campaign against this blog all of their own -- why?

    Beyond admonitions and tantrums, no real categorical and factual denials are given, just a jumping up and down about "not talking loshen hora" when it is Rabbi Katsof himself who has been mentioned in a most neutral fashion as actively linking up with Guma.

    To anyone who has followed any of the stories about Guma, it is known that Guma is involved in massive legal and din Torah disputes with his former rabbi, Rabbi Leib Tropper who just so happens to be an arch-opponent of Aish HoTorah the institution that Rabbi Katsof is devoted to either as it's representative or as an activist on its behalf.

    One other serious matter (there are lots of others) regarding Rabbi Irwin Katsof that various blogs and reports have pointed out, and they can easily be found and linked to, is that Rabbi Irwin Katsof has deep and onging alliances with Christian Evangelical groups.

    He may be doing it for the best reasons leshem shomayaim and hopefully it all helps Israel and the Jewish people, but here is one simple question for Rabbi Katsof: Can you produce a WRITTEN letter of haskoma or heter for your work with and alliances with Christian groups that has serious consequeneces for Klal Yisrael? If you can, it should be no problem for you to produce it and perhaps even post it somewhere so the TORAH world can be assured that your work on their behalf is all legit and above board and has the backing of gedolim.

    At least when Rabbi Eidensohn started his posts and discussions with Rabbi Tropper he did it on the basis of a few WRITTEN official rulings and letters from Rav Moshe Shternbuch and the BADATS in Yerushalayim, neighbors of Aish HaTorah in the Old City. Has Rabbi Katsof ever produced ANY such letters from his own rabbis (who are they by the way, surely he does not pasken everything for himself?) or from Rav Noach weinberg his pwn rosh yeshiva?

    After all, Rabbi Katsof is a powerful symbol of Aish HaTorah's success, outreach and power, and if he is doing work with Christian Evangelical groups of a very serious nature he cannot take such a responsibilty solely upon himself but he must provide the needed "paperwork" such as a WRITTEN heter or haskoma for his work with Christians, some even being anti-Semitic, that would be the norm in the Torah world when someone, anyone, sets themselves up as an audacious powerful self-appointed "plenipotentiary" of the Jewish people and presumes to speak and act on their behalf.

    Looking forward to a rational response based on facts and data and not on self-righteous mumblings about "loshen hora" and such like.

  6. this blog is a chilul HashemNovember 8, 2009 at 11:07 AM

    I dont understand how you have stooped to such a level to publish negative reports above someone and along the way make up lies. I am terribly disappointed and am suddenly relieved that when they were selling your book at the aish hatorah yeshiva in Yerushalayim I did not buy a copy. After this I would recommend to all my colleagues and friends to disregard your book as well.

  7. Chilul Hashem wrote:

    I am responded to your blog not because of gossip on the web which is commonplace but because of gossip on a website called daat torah being run by a rabbi.

    In general lashon hara is a severe category and it can only hurt to talk about people spreading rumors even if you have good intentions. This is why the laws of lashon hara are so serious and intricate. We are taught by the torah not to spread rumors and talk about other people in general.I am terribly disappointed in your blog and am suddenly relieved that when they were selling your book at the aish hatorah yeshiva in Yerushalayim I did not buy a copy
    I am in full agreement with you that it is fortunate that you didn't buy my sefer - Daas Torah - because I hate to think how you would have similarly misunderstood the holy words of our Sages that I cite.

    You obvious are not a regular reader of this blog and didn't bother learning the context for certain comments. Yes there are criticisms of some people and even condemnation - and intelligent analysis of the significance of what people are doing.

    Yes we can and do make mistakes - but we are not gossiping but trying to understand and improve our society. Simply repeating a simple minded mantra that all speech which offends others is prohibited - is simply a distorion of halacha and Torah.

    What we are doing is in fact permitted and even desired by adults who are trying to understand and improve our society and is permitted by the halacha.

    There is no such concept in halacha that it is prohibited to talk about another Jew if the Jew doesn't like what is being said. There is in fact a mitzva to criticize and rebuke.

    The Chazon Ish said that especially leaders who influence our lives can be talked about and their faults conveyed to others, There is no guarantee that a person won't be upset or insulted by those who don't agree with what he is doing - in part or in whole.

    The issue of lashon harah is speaking negative comments gratuitiously about another or saying negative things which can be dealt with in a more pleasant manner.

    The halachos of not standing idly by the blood of your fellow and to give rebuke - entails actions and speech that might upset the person being talked about.

    The bottom line is you are obviously not interested in constructive dialogue on the subject but are convinced in your righteousness and knowledge of halacha. You have made a snap judgment by a superficial reading of some postings. You obviously feel that you have free license to enage in gratuitious offensive language - because you don't like what you think I am doing.

    Why don't you simple raise questions and give us an opportunity to explain what we are doing. If in fact you make a convincing case I will be glad to modify or remove certain statements.

  8. It is amazing that such billionaires like Guma and Katsof care about what is written in a small blog maintained by a writer in Jerusalem, they must be very insecure. however, if rabbi Eidensohn will dare criticise Windows 7 he will hear from me and from Ballmer


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