Tuesday, December 29, 2009

EJF scandal - comments from other blogs


1. From R' Harry Maryles:
I knew what this con man was about 20 years ago when I first met him. He was responsible then for ruining the life of one young man I am very close with - making life miserable for his parents. His mother went to the grave suffering an estrangement from her son for which Leib Tropper was responsible. His father suffers to this day from it. He took advantage of this young man's misfortune and conned him into doing something no decent man would ever do. And he made it seem like he was doing him a favor. This young man is now 20 years older and still suffering the consequences of it. Consequences that after 20 years have little chance of being reversed! I cannot get into details because confidences would be broken. But suffice it to say his only concern at that time was not to help this young man but to help himself by gaining the support of a wealthy friend in doing this con.

2. From a comment on ViN:
I have been involved with Kiruv for over three decades. Close to thirty years ago a university student underwent a Giyur Kehalacha when he discovered that his mother was converted by Conservative rabbis. A week later he went to Yeshivas Ohr Sameach. A few weeks ago EJF told him that his Giyur may not be good because they have questions of the Rabbonim who did it. Who is a erliche Orthodox Rav and does not do kulahs in Giyur. This shocking action is beyond belief. The EJF did not call the Rabbomin in question. They just put the Safek in the mind of this person 3 decades later. We need a proper structure in Giyur, and proper standards kept. However the idea that Rabbonim in Monsey, or Meah Shearim will suddenly begin to question Geirus done properly is outrageous. There is no historical precedent for this. There are a small group of Rabbonim aligned with EJF that have attempted to impose their view on Gierus. They are overreaching and creating havoc in the Jewish community.

3. From a comment on ViN:
I went to Rav Reuven Feinstein when the now infamous former head of the EJF tried to stop my marriage to my wife who is a giyores. He claimed that the Rov who was migayer her did not know what he was doing. Rbe Reuven told me that her geirus was fine. We are married now. The head of EJF got what he deserved for the pain he caused me and many others.

4. From a comment on ViN:
I converted years ago and have been frum from the time I emerged from the mikvah and the EJF told me my conversion was invalid because of the rabbonim on the beis din, all of whom were frum Orthodox rabbonim by the way. I was not the only person this happened to. Of course the EJF offered to 'fix' it for a substantial sum of money. How nice of them.

5. From Rabbi Natan Slifkin:
Also involved in the campaign against my books was Yaakov Kalmanowitz's brother,Rabbi Osher Kalmanowitz of the Mir Yeshivah in New York. He did not want to openly involve himself, and so he recruited his friend Rabbi Leib Tropper of Yeshivas Kol Yaakov in Monsey. Rabbi Tropper created a story that was told to the Rabbis who were approached to condemn the books. The story involved two students in his yeshivah, described as "angelic," who allegedly dropped out of yeshivah and left Orthodoxy after reading my books and concluding that "if the Sages could have been wrong about science, then they could have been wrong about everything." Rabbi Elya Wachtfogel, the primary rabbinic authority behind this ban, presented this story as grounds for his campaign. I myself was shaken when I heard about this story, but my mentors were skeptical and advised my to investigate it. The investigation showed that one of them was barely observant to begin with, and dropped out of yeshivah before my book on the Sages' knowledge of science was published. The other left Kol Yaakov and went to YU; he wrote to me that it was nothing to do with my books, which strengthened his Judaism, but he noted that the rabbis in Kol Yaakov did not like them.

47 comments :

  1. Imagine what the poor Kol Yakov guy went thru after announcing his YU plans!

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  2. Let's slow down a minute. There have been a lot of rebbeim in Kol Yaakov with lots of different hashkafos. I read Genesis and the Big Bang OPENLY when I was there. The person who later instigated the ban against R. Slifkin's books DEFENDED me in my desire to read them. One time, someone not from the yeshiva came in to daven, saw me reading it, and announced loudly that he held it was k'fira. LT defended me and had no objection to my continuing to read it. It is a mistake to attribute the ban to a deeply held hashkafa by LT. It makes more sense, from those that knew him well, to attribute it to other emotional stability issues that I don't want to get into.

    Furthermore, one of my main rebbeim there knew Rav Gedalyah Nadel personally. When I went to him (years after leaving the yeshiva) to get his view of the Slifkin ban and to find out if Rav Nadel truly held what was being said in his name, he was very tolerant of R. Slifkin's view (despite disagreeing with it personally) and felt bad for him. His words were "two different drachim in Klal Yisroel", said very off hand like it was no big deal. He also affirmed that R. Nadel did hold from an ancient universe, evolution etc, and told me further that the Steipler knew what Rav Nadel held and still refused to be posul him, despite that some kannoyin wanted that. This rabbi is very frum person.

    Over the years there were many people that went to YU, or otherwise became more modern, or chassidish or otherwise found their own paths. It never happened that they were disowned or made to feel that they could not have a continued shaychus to the yeshiva. If LT reacted that way, again, it was a personal issue that he had but reflective of the rebbeim in general. The rebbeim there were VERY GREAT people. Aderaba, they were steady like boulders in what would otherwise be a very stormy sea, despite very low, and inconsistent pay for many years. They were extreme idealists that wanted that where there because they believed in it. After the fact, it is very easy to ask why they didn't leave and take their legitimacy with them. But the number of Rebbeim were too many, and too great to really ask such a thing.

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  3. Yosef: Thanks for the additional info. I guess there's often than meets the eye -- for good and bad!

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  4. Eternal Jewish Cover UpDecember 29, 2009 at 4:22 PM

    Who knew that Leib Tropper was such a serpent that he would downplay Slifkin to his yeshivaleit while completely destroying the man's life by sending around the crook Leib Pinter to mainpulate signatures that he is a heretic?

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  5. One more insight regarding Tropper and Slifkin:

    Slifkin's books were an open part of the Kol Yaakov library up until the public ban. When he removed them, some of the bochrim protested.

    Tropper responded that "We have to listen to the Gedolim."

    Surely, if the story about the angelic students who had left the path were true, then Tropper would have removed them earlier! (For instance, once it became clear that angelic students had become corrupted by them and were dropping one after the other!)

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  6. From today's Vos Iz Neias

    Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word

    Rabbi Barry Gelman

    The last two weeks have brought reports of very troubling allegations against Rabbi Leib Tropper, founder of Eternal Jewish Family (EJF), an organization that has sought to influence conversion standards.

    I am not the only one outraged by the recent events related to Rabbi Tropper, who has resigned from his position at EJF. While what he allegedly did (he has not denied it yet) is despicable, the EJF train wreck will actually get worse if all we continue to hear from the EJF leadership is silence.

    I have heard number of Rabbis call for the disbanding of the EJF, while there are others who are hopeful that the EJF can recreate itself. One thing is for sure, EJF will never recreate itself if there is no apology.

    The current EJF rabbinic leadership must do three things:

    1. Repudiate the actions of Rabbi Tropper,

    2. Apologize for the chillul hashem created by the EJF due to Tropper’s actions, and

    3. Come clean about the various claims of financial “funny business” at the organization.

    In the words of Marshal Goldsmith, a well-known leadership consultant, apologizing is “the most magical, healing, restorative gesture human beings can make.” He also explains that refusing to say “I am sorry” to someone you may have wronged is the equivalent of saying “I don’t care about you.”

    Goldsmith makes the point that when one apologizes, one is in effect saying, “I can’t change the past. All I can say is I’m sorry for what I did wrong. I’m sorry it hurt you. There is no excuse for it and I will try to do better in the future.”

    Whether or not the rabbinic leadership of EJF knew about Tropper’s misdeeds is beside the point. (I do find it interesting that so many find it impossible to believe that Tropper duped the rabbinic leadership of the EJF; as if to say that Halachik and Talmudic expertise makes one an expert in human psychology and immune to be tricked by a guy like Tropper.) What is important is that the EJF leadership must take responsibility for what Tropper did if they ever wish to move past this episode.

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  7. ...continuation of the Vos Iz Neias article, by Rabbi Gelman:

    Finally, I share with you the following from Rabbi Jonathan Sacks.

    God never asked us not to make mistakes. All He asks is that we acknowledge them when we make them, apologize, make amends, heal the relationships we harmed, and commit ourselves not to make the same mistake again. That is what turns failure into a learning experience. It’s the cluster of ideas the Bible calls repentance, atonement and forgiveness. It is what makes biblical cultures more humane than their alternatives.

    We owe to the anthropologist Ruth Benedict the fundamental distinction between shame cultures and guilt cultures. In shame cultures what matters is how we are seen by others. In guilt cultures like Judaism and Christianity, what matters is the voice within - conscience, what Freud called the superego, the moral values we internalise and make our own. In shame cultures a person is judged by the honour in which he or she is held. In guilt cultures there is no way of escaping the still, small voice that calls to us as it once called to Adam and Eve saying, “Where art thou?”

    Shame cultures seem to lack the idea of forgiveness. If you’ve done wrong, the most important thing is to hope no one will find out. Once they do, there is no way of removing the stain of dishonour or the loss of face. Depending on time and circumstance, the shamed hero either goes off to fight and die in a distant battle, or flees to some remote country, or (in the old British theatrical tradition) disappears offstage to do the decent thing with a loaded revolver in the library of a country house. Shame cultures produce literatures of tragedy.

    Guilt cultures produce literatures of hope. King David sins - seriously, as it happens - is confronted by the prophet Nathan and immediately confesses. So do the inhabitants of Nineveh when Jonah finally reaches them and tells them of their impending doom. They are given the greatest gift a culture can confer: the chance to begin again, not held captive by the past.

    I urge to EJF leadership to take the path of guilt cultures.

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  8. A comment on Vos Iz Neias, to Rabbi Gelman's article:

    shlomo zalman Says: Ultraorthodox Judaism has not reached the sociological tipping point where it feels that it is beholden to other systems; hence, no apology will be forthcoming, there is no one to apologize to. Its' adherents believe in the infallibility of the gedolim, and since EJF is a gedolim-sponsored entity, no chilul hashem could possibly have occurred. They claim "So one Jew succumbed to his desires, big deal". I think Rabbi Gelman gives them more credit than is due them. And besides, they will claim that Rabbi Gelman has no right to offer a Torah opinion here, just look at the color of his shirt.

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  9. LT had a huge secular book collection, and sometimes asked bochurim if they ever went to the public library which he enjoyed doing. He even ate chalav stam (at least cream and butter). He was in no way a typical charedi. He had a huge intellect and even a huge heart. Unfortunately, he also was extremely erratic and had some profound weaknesses and hurt many people very severely. But he definitely was never a typical charedi kannoi. He used to speak highly of Israeli soldiers, really with awe. Just a very complicated individual.

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  10. I would like to add a disclaimer about Barry Gelman & the "Morethodoxy" shtuss. The original article in VIN is from the Jewish Journal of Greater LA where you will see this tagged.

    This new movement of Morethodox / Orthoprax is led by Avi Weiss's former right hand man Yosef Kanefsky in LA and some others including Gelman & a woman rabbi.

    These people are apikorsim gemurim who masquerade as "orthodox".

    They try to dig up every obscure shita in Geonim & Rishonim, that at least on the surface, appear to dispute the 13 ikkrei emunah on Torah Misinai, schar vaonesh, etc. Then there is their militant feminist agenda to hijack the kosel for female minyan.

    http://morethodoxy.org/2009/12/09/the-ever-narrowing-orthodox-mind/

    http://morethodoxy.org/2009/11/26/arrested-for-wearing-a-tallit/

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  11. Looking back with hindsight, I think EJF's game was up once the RCA created their new GPS standards for geirus.

    The rise of EJF coincided with the worsening crisis between the Israeli Rabbanut and the RCA about the latter's conversion standards (which EJF's partner, R' Nochum Eisenstein's Vaad HaRabbonim Haolami L'Inyonei Giyur played a significant part in creating). Probably the peak of EJF's influence was in 2006, when their conference had Rav Shlomo Amar and Rav Hershel Schachter in attendance.

    EJF's goals back then appeared relatively reasonable.

    Here's an excerpt from a blog post based on a phone interview with Tropper from 2006.
    http://www.canonist.com/?p=763
    _______________________
    The standards they're [EJF are]looking to implement include [quoting Tropper] “That the rabbis who are performing conversion have to be versed and tested in the laws of conversion…we don’t allow, for example, rabbis who are the leaders, the one who inspired them to be a Jewish couple, to be on the rabbinic court [that oversees their conversion]…we also don’t allow people to extort money,” meaning that they place a limit for compensation of $1000 to the entire court handling a conversion, or roughly $330 apiece.
    A practice that the EJF is seeking to cut down on is “Rabbinic courts that issue conversions, but don’t release the certificate until after 6 months or 2 years, in case he goes back.” This is a problem, Tropper said, because “you can’t revert a conversion.”
    Towards establishing these standards, “We set up rabbinic courts – six of them we have in America…hopefully we’ll have more in Europe and England.”
    ___________________________

    The EJF's primary goal, then, was to set up a network of regional batei din that would be automatically accepted by the Israeli Rabbanut, AS OPPOSED TO the RCA conversions.

    This plan was torpedoed with the RCA's decision to rein in ad hoc conversions by their members and create their own network of regional batei din under the GPS framework adopted in 2007.
    http://gpsconversions.traditiononline.org/geirus/GPS_Policies_and_Procedures.html

    Many RCA-affiliated Modern Orthodox rabbis felt that their leadership completely caved in and sold out to the Rabbanut, and by extension, the Chareidim who were becoming more influential within it. However, the GPS framework allowed the RCA and Rabbanut to avert the crisis. This reapproachment between the Rabbanut and the RCA made EJF's primary goal moot.

    I remember a conversation I had over a year ago with a community kollel rabbi who has been involved with EJF on geirus issues. When I told him that the RCA has largely been rehabilitated in the eyes of the Rabbanut, he responded with incredulity, then with extreme disappointment. My guess is that his reaction was not unusual among the yeshivish rabbeim working in conversion in the U.S. They saw the EJF as a potential "Torah-true" alternative to the RCA/BDA on conversion issues.

    The only real project left on EJF's table was their active courting of intermarried couples. Once they were outmaneuvered on their left, it was only a matter of time before they would get attacked from their right. R' Eisenstein started to keep them at a distance and it became far from clear if EJF's conversions would, as promised, be automatically accepted by the Rabbanut. More questions started being asked publicly, in no small part through the efforts of Rav Shternbuch and this blog. The EJF has been a dying organization for years. The sex scandal was merely the nail in the coffin, which outed Tropper as the power-hungry menuval that he is.

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  12. Eternal Jewish Cover UpDecember 29, 2009 at 7:59 PM

    It could be that R' Elya Ber feels he needs Tropper's money to fund Kollel International, founded by the tatte R' Nosson ztl. There's no question however that R' Nosson, an alter Kelmer mussernik through & through, would be disgusted at the thought of any association with Tropper.

    KI is run today by R' Elya Ber, (R' Malkiel in name) and the Burstzyns from Lakewood who are Wachtfogel mishpocho. R' Gavriel Ginsberg, a Bursztyn mechutan, was also involved until his petira.

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  13. Troppenstein's monsterDecember 29, 2009 at 8:14 PM

    Eating cholov stam does not denote lack of kanaus if you are a talmid of Rav Scheinberg who holds the gezeirah is only on milk itself.

    Tropper also had a very voracious and gourmet appetite considering the fancy restaurants he was always fressing in and would have a hard time following R' Moishe's advice to be a baal nefesh.

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  14. He even ate chalav stam (at least cream and butter)

    Well good for him at least as it cocerns butter, When did the Rabbis ban butter. Cetainly not in the times of the mishna and the talmud.

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  15. Ombudsman is correct.

    Gelman is from Avi Weiss' YCT club. See: http://www.yctorah.org/content/view/184/54/

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  16. This is all so upsetting to me - It's so hard to decide what the biggest transgression is in this whole scandal:

    A. That Tropper set up a cash for conversions business, plain and simple ?

    B. That Tropper went to extreme lengths to protect his turf to guarantee that all the extortion money flowed into his and only his pockets ?

    C. That Tropper sought to change the rules of the game for everyone by invalidating geirus 20 to 30 years after the fact, either due to some defect in the behavior of the ger or some perceived shortcoming in the kashrut of the bet din at that time ?

    (obviously C was clearly driven by A & B).

    D. That Tropper was a super-pimp at the head of a huge prostitution operation ?

    E. That when I listened to the tapes on you-tube, I was nauseated to hear a supposed rabbi talking in the most disgusting ways ?

    F. That everyone that knows Tropper probably knew exactly what was going on and didn't do anything to stop it ?

    The greatest tragedy for me is that there is no one left to trust. Every time I see a black hat and beard, all that I see now is a potential/probable God-hating pervert, thief, two-faced liar.

    What future is there for our children in a world where there is no one left to trust ?

    What is truth ?

    It's no wonder the gedolim issued such a forceful ban on the Internet last week, and shut down all the Haredi web sites in Israel.

    There is an eye that sees, an ear that hears and everything is written down in a book - and today that book is called: You-Tube.

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  17. "LT ...is...just a very complicated individual. " ,

    We see now tropper’d people try rehabilitate him and describe him not as the menuval he is but as a merely complex individual! yeah right , I am sure Yisroel Weingarten is complex person too,

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  18. This is all so upsetting to me - It's so hard to decide what the biggest transgression is in this whole scandal:
    ================================================================

    Yes, I feel you pain. On other blogs people wonder if in the EJF conferences Tropper provided the participants with escort girls. If you would say that to me a month ago I would say that you are rabid anti Orthodox! Now I just do not know…

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  19. What comes first with Tropper associates? Is it the chicken or the egg?

    One of Dayan Ehrentreu's main supporters left his wife to go live with a shiksa half his age.

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  20. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_WC3VtDsRQjc/Sy7iu5gLWkI/AAAAAAAADxk/2dqidHBJeNA/s1600-h/just+one+jew+-+warning%5B1%5D+(2).jpg

    R' Feivel Mendlowitz who revealed his identity just weeks ago as UOJ, has been at the forefront of exposing Leib Tropper's evils.

    Tropper is now trying to get revenge as evidenced by this sign he just put up against Mendlowitz's brother on the bulletin board of his Kol Yaakov yeshiva.

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  21. Here is another poignant comment from cross-current article.

    http://www.cross-currents.com/archives/2009/12/29/ejf/

    As someone who was told their original conversion was invalid because of the members of the beis din (all of whom were frum rabbonim), I think the rav here has hit the nail on the head. There is however another issue I feel is being ignored in all this though.

    No one stood up for gerim who had their past conversions declared invalid. After I was told my gerus was invalid I had many rabbonim privately say to me that it was just “all politics” and that since I was frum it was ridiculous to make me do it again. The issue in my case centered around the av beis din for my gerus, who was apparently some sort of enemy of EJF. However, I still had to do it again through the EJF (and pay a large sum) because these same rabbonim shrugged and said “well hey politics is politics” and that there was nothing they could do since it was “bigger than them.” In other words I, along with other gerim, was thrown under the bus by the leaders of the frum community.

    Now everyone runs around and condemns the past actions of this organization. However, when everything was going down in terms of invalidating conversions everyone (including rabbonim) stood by silent while frum gerim were dragged through the mud. Shame.

    Comment by A Ger — December 29, 2009

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  22. I'm very confused about this Chaim Blum who is running EJF now.

    I know that I'm anonymous and I wouldn't believe me if I read this. But I know from an extremely reliable source that Tropper would threaten (and carry out his threats against) Jewish courts unless they approved conversions that he wanted. Specifically, if they did not approve his conversions they would never get any conversion business in the future. Certainly, this did not allow these courts to remain neutral.

    The EJF website says that Chaim Blum, "EJF's liaison to the network of Botei Din in the Torah community, has agreed to serve as interim director of EJF."

    Isn't that just a continuation of the old regime, having been taught by the master, and using the same courts that had been vetted by Tropper?

    Also, is the Chaim Bloom quoted in this article Chaim Blum? Fallsburg Kollel stayed in business through Tropper monies passed through Barros, who had no clout with the Charedi community until then.

    Someone please enlighten me on these issues.

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  23. Sorry, forgot the link concerning my question about whether Chaim Bloom in this article is Chaim Blum of EJF.

    http://www.survivorsforjustice.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=139:kolko-kicked-out-of-one-colony-but-finds-another&catid=2:news&Itemid=20

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  24. Notice how Tropper spelled Torah with a lower case t.

    Was it intentional or a slip up reflecting what he really feels?

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  25. "One of Dayan Ehrentreu's main supporters left his wife to go live with a shiksa half his age."

    And was thrown out of his kehilla. What's the relevance?

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  26. Chaim Bloom / Blum is the same person whose name is published with variations.

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  27. R' Feivel Mendlowitz who revealed his identity just weeks ago as UOJ, has been at the forefront of exposing Leib Tropper's evils.

    Tropper is now trying to get revenge as evidenced by this sign he just put up against Mendlowitz's brother on the bulletin board of his Kol Yaakov yeshiva.
    ----------------------------------
    If they truly are brothers than UOJ needs to look to his own house and the problems there, before he starts insulting others.

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  28. as a talmid of maron the gadol hador rav Elya Ber Shelitah i herby but in nidui any one who writes derogatory remarks about the Rosh Yeshiva Shilitah

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  29. "Mincha minyan" is running late.

    Mendlowitz is the Ish who was mishtadel bemakom sheain ish.

    He got child predators behind bars when no one else did anything about them for decades. And he exposed a lot of frauds and ganovim including Tropper & Pinter so that they would not harm innocent victims.

    You wish you had his chelek in Gan Eden.

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  30. I wish to ask a controversial question , especially to the learned audience here:
    Whilst I hardly expect the Eda HaHaredis to have any sympathy for Zionist authorities, eg the Rabbanut or Rav Druckman - isn't there a "Murder on the Orient express" atmosphere, where people from every sector of Israel are taking turns in bashing Tropper /EJF? It can be from those to his left, right , men, women, geirim, FFB, BT's, ex-frum; etc etc.
    Since it was him and his group who catalysed the campaigns against Slifkin and Druckman, does this not suggest that the hysteria in the Haredi camp was based on bribery and corruption?
    I can understand the debate about whether or not to reach out to intermarrieds - and it seems Rav Sternbuch - who has been the Light of Torah in this nisayon, was against it from the start. At the same time, the wholesale nullificaiton of orthodox conversions, by self-righteous Haredim, is the most anti-halachic behaviour, and is in cahoots with Tropper.
    This is the most controversial thing I will suggest, and I hope Rabbi Eidensohn does not censor it:
    Rav Goren nullified 1 single conversion - based on evidence that the convert was a) completely secular and could not even say "Shema Yisrael.." b) When he was alleged to have converted (no certificate or name of his Dayan existed), he woudl come home and eat Chozir - he was treif from day 1.
    The Haredi hysteria 35 years ago was that R Goren had not basis to invalidate any conversion ever - it is something which can never be invalidated. The very same opponents of R Goren, or their sons / successors, have all been involved in the EJF or the conversion-annulment party. So do you not see that those who oppsoed Goren, cannot today use his position - on a wholesale basis, and be taken seriously? It is only because Tropper was caught red handed, that he has been demoted. Had he not been caught, he would have continued being Ha Rav Hagaon etc.
    The Torah has a specific set of sacrifices for when the Eda or the Sanhedrin errs.
    But without a Navi, it takes exceptional honesty to admit that you have erred.

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  31. Eternal Jewish Fraud WatchDecember 30, 2009 at 5:38 PM

    Eddie, you are asking good questions.

    It is a complicated area in halacha. There is no question that corrupt rabbis, both Modern ortho & Charedi, are performing illegitimate conversions. The only question is bedieved / lechatchila.

    Some conversions are questionable and the rabbi is scoundrel for allowing it but cannot be revoked.

    A conversion can be revoked only when there is absolute proof that the convert deceived everyone from the get go about intentions for shemiras mitzvos.

    Because of all the politics and rivalries it is hard to sort out what is what when there are claims of invalid conversions.

    And Tropper has created far more problems than some naive people though he would fix.

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  32. Spell check said...

    "Chaim Bloom / Blum is the same person whose name is published with variations."

    That's horrible. The ones who are still running EJF are the ones who received money through Tropper, and would like to continue the conduit from Tom Kaplan.

    I ask Dr. Kaplan, if he hears of this blog, to cut off all monies to EJF, Tropper, Tropper's talmidim and those who received money from Tropper. Look at the ethics of the enterprise that was created with your charity. It has corrupted a portion of the orthodox rabbinate, and that corruption is not slated to abate as long as the money continues to flow.

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  33. Eddie makes a particularly good point about R' Goren ztzl, who was mevatel a conversion (or more correctly, paskened that no proper giyur had ever taken place) for a noble a reason as could ever exist, to patter the progeny from mamzeirus. For this, he stuck his neck out for what he believed to be true, and was vilified by the same camp that were prepared, thirty years later, to reprehensibly throw people who were born and brought up as Jews into needless anxiety as to their status, on the flimsiest possible grounds.

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  34. Eternal Jewish Fraud WatchDecember 30, 2009 at 6:58 PM

    Whatever the problems are in the Charedi world, don't go there to portray Goren of all people as some tzaddik yesod olam.

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  35. Thanks EJFwatch.
    It is more than just the bedieved story. Yesteday's treif cannot become today's Glatt. It can in Shabbetai Zvi land, or in the world of the mentally imbalanced. If the Torah cannot be changed, added to or subtracted from, you cannot do a 180 degree turn on something like the annulment of conversions.
    Can you imagine the insane scenario where the Badaztz would in 20 years tell its dayanim to trade conversion certificates for s-x and money, as Tropper is doing; or to go on a massive proselytisation campaign that woudl put Tropper to shame?
    Well that's exactly what the annulment campaign can be compared to. Rav Goren annuled 1 conversion based on new evidence - like it or not. Some apologists , like Rosenblum,(based on the Yated article) tried to claim that he (Brokovsky) was a frum Yid. He had to retract this claim when he discovered that it was false.
    I have no problem with a consistent position - even if it opposes my views. And many of Druckman's covnersions have been nullified or doubted, even though the converts are frum and sincere and keep the Mitzvot.
    The claim keeps chaging in the attacks on the Druckman converts, which shows that the claim is trumped up, just like the EJF is a fraud.
    So, if the converts are sincere, then Druckman is belittled and not Yorei Shamayim. If Druckman is frum, then he just converts insincere people. If both convert and BetDin are frum, they are still annulled, becsue the convert has a TV. If nothing else can be used, then either Druckman is invalid because he relies on rav Goren for some other psak or it is simply down to daas Torah.
    What this scandal does expose is that 98% of what Yated and the fanatics claim is false,a nd the basis for their superiority complex is also false. A house of cards is falling down. The debate is about to what extent. BTW, I do not claim that Rav Goren was infallible. But his controversial Halachot have now all been proven to be within the realm of Torah. The Dakar submarine - which he claimed was sunk, was found several years ago. His opposition to land for peace, was finally accepted by Rav Shach zt'l, when he forbade giving Land won by divine miracle to terrorists (This "Dati Leumi" view was publicly stated by Rav Shach in the Oslo days).
    Finally, the Langer case, in light of the wholesale annulments of recent years, has proven to be a storm in a Havdalah cup, and the claims against Rav Goren to be totally false.

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  36. Eddie your posts while well written shows a basic ignorance of the laws of conversion.

    The bottom line is that most poskim (including Modern Orthodox and Religius Zionists) agree that a conversion done without an acceptance of mitzvos is not a conversion. In principle it doesn matter whether 1 person went through geirus without accepting mitzvos or 10000. They are not Jewish.

    There are always been objections to R Druckman's conversions which were done because Ariel Sharon wanted a solution to the major problem of Russians immigrants who were not Jewish. So while they went through the ceremony and said they were keeping mitzvos - it was quite obvious that many if not most were not sincere. They argued that we should not be so particular with the halacha here since mass conversion is in the interest of the Zionistic ideal and state.

    The argument that it is not fair to those who really thought they were Jews and they really didn't need to keep mitzvos and they really were planning on it - while true - is not the basis of declaring goyim to be Jews.

    The other argument is that even though the conversion courts were frauds or at least had very poor quality controls - but since we are dealing with so many people there just has to be a way of giving them the status of Jew.

    A similar arugment can be made with Reform or Conservative converts. They sincerely thought that they would be Jews and they were told that they would be Jew and now they discover that the Orthodox don't accept them as Jews.

    Halacha can sometimes find solutions but there is a limit.

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  37. Many years ago. talmidim of R' Dovid started a confrontation when Goren's limo was chugging along a narrow street. The chauffeur would not swallow the taunts so he abruptly stopped the car and got out to physically attack them. After he flipped one bochur over and broke his arm, Shlomo Goren finally decided to intervene.

    It was unclear what he shouted at his driver. Either "tafsik" or "maspik".

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  38. Thank you Daas Torah, but I have a few questions still:

    1) The court of Druckman was under the Rabbinate from 30 years ago, and not just Ariel Sharon's invention.

    2) You mention Laws of Conversion but fail to quote any. The Druckman courts quote Shulhan Aruch and claim to be follwoing it.

    3) I am no Talmid Hacham. But The court of rav Druckman has the backing of halachic heavyweights suchs a rav Amar and Rav Ariel. I know that they are not flavour of the month in the Eda Hahareids, but they are learned in Torah.

    4) You are simpley repeating slogans , eg the Beis Din is a fraud, the converts are goyim, but not justifying it, or quoting of mainstream Halacha.

    5) Rambam is particularly lenient on conversion, they simply have to be told a few laws and mitzvot. Also, once the covnersion is done, it is a different ballgame, andnot so easy to annul.

    6) All of the above notwithstanding, it does not address the issue of Rav Goren. You are claiming that Druckman's court was a fraud and numbers are irrelevant. All of your arguments would support Goren in the Langer case, kal v'chomer. Borokovsky had no evidence he was a halachic convert, and by your standards above, he would not be recognized as one. The more you argue against Druckman, the more you agree with Goren. And if oyu are the one who possuled Goren, then your position re: Druckman is self-contradcitory.

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  39. With respect to Brisker, and since your name denotes a shita of learning which is most analytical, what has this repetitive little tale to do with anything? I shall not write a litany of violence in haredi circles, Yeshiva wars, attempted assasinaitons; rebbe wars, gang warfare to counte this sorry little tale. Please argue with your Brisker analytical skills; bring sources of Rishonim; make distinctions between Rav Goren's annulment and Sherman/EJF annulments.
    kol tuv!

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  40. The difference is too obvious.

    The Goren case was overturned to be maikil.

    The Druckman geirim were overturned to be machmir.

    Everyone falls over themselves to be machmir on someone else's cheshbon, but a true godol bends over backward to be mattir a mamzer.

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  41. Eternal Jewish Fraud WatchDecember 31, 2009 at 3:55 PM

    Eddie, you are contradicting yourself.

    The problem with hordes of non-Jewish Russians did not exist 30 years ago.

    Also, I do not believe that Rav Amar is still backing all of Druckman's policies.

    And you cannot pick & choose halachic opinions from almost a millenia ago that have not been followed as halacha, regardless if those opinions are exactly what you say they are or not.

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  42. Thanks EJFW, kindly allow me to respond:

    1) Wiki says he was appoitned in 1990 = 20 years, I read Benny lau say he was appointed by the Rabbanut 30 years ago. So even if it was 20 years ago - Arik sharon was then the last person in Israel who would be considered as PM.

    2)Rav Amar and also his Sephardi Predecessor provided the certification of these conversions. In fact, they rabbanut in Israel also disputed the London Beis Din (who rejected some covnersions carried out under the rabbanut).

    3) I do not pick and choose - I leave that to those who have authority to do so. Rav Aharon Rakkefet gives a shiur on Geirus, where he outlines how conversion used to be easy (in the major halachic sources) because there wasn't much demand from goyim to become oppressed Jews. The humras have been added after the shulchan aruch (according to Rakkefet).

    If we wish to talk about contradictions, think about this:

    In Rav Goren's "Langer inyan", true Gedolei Torah such as R' SZ Auerbach ztzl, rent their garments in mourning, becasue they believed a mamzer was being allowed into Kedushas Yisroel.

    What have Sherman and Attias done? They allow converts, with certificates (as opposed to Borokovski with no certificate) to walk away from marriages (conducted under the rabbanut) after 20 years, with no get! SO , even if you claim Rav Goren was wrong and Rabbis Shach, Auerbach, Kanievsy were right about Langer - why are their deescendants and followers not tearing their garments now, when Sherman And Attias etc are alowing married women to remarry wihtout a get and have many more mamzerim? If that isn't a contradiction, then what is? It makes the tropper scandal look like nothing whatsoever.

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  43. Eternal Jewish Fraud WatchDecember 31, 2009 at 5:14 PM

    With all due respect to Rabbi Rakeffet, he is very Liberal and to the Left. But still I wasn't there so maybe you misunderstood him as the halacha also says that when Jews are perceived as wealthy and powerful, we are to be more strict with conversions. If he is an all around Lefty, he may be going with some dubious "opinions" in halacha that say anything goes.

    I am not current about who in the Rabbanut holds what but in general, the Rabbanut is rife with corruption and it doesn't matter if the fellow wears a srugah or black velvet. And as the Rabbanut are political appointees, they are not the decisors of halacha for the Jewish people.

    With Goren, most opinions did hold he was being a mattir a mamzer for political purposes. There is a minority opinion in halacha that he was not. Sherman should probably be requiring get lechumrah at least. Perhaps he does not because of politics or pressure from Tropper.

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  44. EJFw -
    the way you write your opinons betrays hwo biased your viewpoint is, and you allow that bias to taint what you say.

    Rav Rakkefet says the facts - ie because things have improved for Jews materially, then conversion has gotten stricter. That is your positon and his, so who on earth is saying "anything goes?"
    In fact, this argument works against the Hareid view - because Jews in Europe and America are making billions and are nto being killed (B'H), whereas in Israel, sadly , the GDP is lower than in the West, there is terror and wars, and many russian olim can go back to Russia and become oil and aluminum Billionaires, without pogroms (if they say the right word to Putin). Get it?

    your next paragraph is outrageous - "all the Rabbanut ar corrupt" [sure, and all the Haredim are clean, especially the s-x money that circulates from EJF, the other scandals on this website alone disqualify your claim]

    It's interesting what you say about the Rabbanut being political appointees. Sometimes they are political appointees of one side, and sometimes another. Metzger, who is not really a Gadol or even a Dayan, is an appointee of R' Eliashiv. The Haredi parties, are active in politics and in appointing their own for key positions, ie trading Knesset seats for sway over who gets appointed, whose son in law is Chief rabbi of J-m etc. But I dont wish to say that our side is better than yours - any corruption is wrong, and assur min HaTorah.

    My take on Goren - he would have been Chief rabbi regrdless of the Langer case. He stood against Rav Unterman in 64 as well, and only lost by a few votes. He was the leading Illui in Israel, even rav Shach at one poitn asked him to form Kollel with him; He was Rav of Tel Aviv after 67, and thi susually means he is the next Chief Rabbi, as with Rav Lau for example.

    We could of course debate Rav Goren for years, which I have been doing for almost 20 years. If you claim he was matir mamzerim - then , as you correctly say, Sherman is also doing the same, as is Attias. They don't give a damn about Kedushas Yisrael, and neither does anyone else. If anyone really cared, they would be crying as loud as Rav Auerbach did in the Langer inyan. There are certain things that i say openly , but if you read between lines you will see this doesnt stop with the EJF.

    There are other posts on this blog, which prove this.
    The midas kneged mida of the EJF expose, is that it breaks a lot of Haredi slogans and claims.

    To be fair, it seems that the only pure ideologies are the Modern Zionist rabbanut , and its opposite, the Eda Haredi anti-zionist, who as far as I know, were consistently oppsoed to everything, and did not get their hands dirty in the EJF business.

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  45. Eternal Jewish Fraud WatchDecember 31, 2009 at 9:11 PM

    I did not say Rabbi Rothkopf (Rakeffet) is a kal who wreaks havoc with halacha. Not knowing him, I said he could be anything and there are rabbis in the Liberal camp who are dangerously irresponsible with their semicha title (yes Eddie, some Charedim too).

    I disagree about Russia as I think most Russians are better off in Israel. A tiny percentage of Russians have hogged virtually all the wealth. Besides that Russia is a police state.

    I did not say "all" the Rabbanut is corrupt.

    I do not dispute that Charedim are also known for their political appointments but then again, no one has ever considered Rabbi Metzger to be a major posek.

    Eidah Charedis are not the only ones opposed to Tropper and who have never been tainted by his money.

    You have Rav Bloch (originally from Telz) in Monsey.

    You have several rabbonim in Lakewood.

    You have Sefardic gedolim in Israel.

    You have rabbonim in NY, some of whom wrote letters to Rabbis Feinstein & Wachtfogel protesting that they are making a chilul Hashem.

    You have the grandsons of Rav S.F. Mendlowitz who Tropper is currently retaliating against.

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  46. Good - and The Granfather of Rav Shraga Feivel, who he was named after was a great tzadik.

    Also, Rav Shachter, who is one of the leading MO poskim apparently quit fromt eh EJF when he figured out what a scam is going on .

    I am Sefardi, so I am obviously mroe a follower of the Sefardi ways. Again, Sefardim have also bene atatcked en masse by the Yated world becasue they do not cut off their fellow sefardim who are not frum.

    OK, I believe that after the Egel Zahav; after Korach; after Zimri; Moshe had to bring Am Yisroel together again, and to observe the Torah again. Enough has been said on this , and please G-d we will continue in Moshe's path.

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  47. http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1261364566025&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

    This article mentions Rav Goren . Goren was jailed several times by Moshe Dayan becasue he put Halacha above military orders. On one occasion, Dayan wanted to change the prayer E-l male Rahamim, to remove G-d's name from it (to suit his atheism).
    I doubt Goren would accept a bribe from the same man who imprisoned him several times.

    ReplyDelete

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