Monday, December 21, 2009

R' Reuven Feinstein: Tropper's resignation doesn't invalidate EJF conversions


Eternal Jewish Family

Statement by Rav Reuven Feinstein, President of Halachic Committee on EJF December 20, 2009

I hope that Rav Leib Tropper's decision to resign his position at EJF will serve him and his family well. At the same time, I have also agreed to take on a more active role in overseeing all of the halachic nuances of EJF in assuring that all universally accepted conversions are in compliance with the highest standards of halacha. I wish to reassure the community that EJF will continue to be guided by the highest halachic standards under the leadership of the Gedolei Yisroel. It should be noted that EJF has never been, and will never be, involved in the actual geyrus (conversion) of candidates. That function is left solely to the discretion of Botei Din. Our sole mission is to support those botei din in their work. The resignation of Rabbi Tropper in no way casts any cloud over the validity of any conversion performed by a Bais Din affiliated with or supported by EJF. Our role, as per the halachic rulings of Gedolei Haposkim, is to be mekarev the Jewish spouse in an intermarriage while referring the non-Jewish spouse to an independent Bais Din that will offer the geyrus candidate a universally accepted conversion in a case where both agree to a family life of Torah and mitzvos.

21 comments :

  1. TROPPERSTOPPERS.comDecember 21, 2009 at 7:22 PM

    It is sad but may be true (chas ve'sholom) that we expect more from Reb Reuvein, because of his last name. Unfortunately all the years of hanging around tropper may have rubbed off on Reb Reuvein. Why he continue$ to $tay with EJF is very $trange.

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  2. In the light of the position of Rav Sternbuch presented in the preceding posts, it appears to me that Rav Reuven does the right thing. The organization must stay. I suggest a change of name - Am HaNetzach?

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  3. TROPPERSTOPPERS.comDecember 21, 2009 at 7:36 PM

    Another explanation besides for the $$$ may be that some NOT ALL of those connected to the Godol Hador, Reb Moshe Feinstein, felt a sense of false empowerment and entitlement. After all their father, uncle, grandfather, cousin was the superstar of superstars in the velt. This would explain why 3 or more brothers from ONE family were accused of molestation and sexual improprieties and taking advantage of their underlings and were dismissed from their posts or had to resign in scandal.

    I am sure some psychologist has a good explanation for this.

    Note I said SOME, (Reb Dovid as far as I know is beyond bribes and unlike his brother, keeps his distance from tropper, though he attended tropper's sons wedding, it was probably at the pressuring of his brother Ruevein)

    When will Reb Reuvein see that tropper has been using him and his family name to prop Kol Yaakov, Horizons and now EJF up? perhaps when a forensic accountant opens up the Yeshiva of Staten Island or any other organization that Reb Reuvein is connected to and starts to study the flow of money and where it landed? We know that reb Reuvein got $3 million from tropper in one lump sum alone!

    Any thoughts on this phenomenon?

    1 or 2 people related / connected to Reb Moshe is a coincidence, but the staggering amount raises a valid question.

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  4. It should be noted that EJF has never been, and will never be, involved in the actual geyrus (conversion) of candidates. That function is left solely to the discretion of Botei Din .

    It is NOT TRUE because the EJF has its own in-house beit din(“beis din” of Monsey) formerly of Pinchus Rabinovitch who left them

    They get their salaries from the EJF. I hope Roni can confirm it.

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  5. Eternal Jewish Fake Foney FraudsDecember 21, 2009 at 7:48 PM

    The unheard condemnation of the Torah leadership is very concerning.

    The message goes out from our gedolim that any misbehavior (of course other than mesira or loshon hara) is normative and acceptable. This is the comment of the gemoro: al Iyov she-shasak, Job was punished, to be the epitome of tragedy, for NOT SPEAKING OUT in protest. Rav Reuven Feinstein and his many colleagues who endorsed and supported this piece of dirt, had better say: " we were misled: he's a bad scoundrel!"

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  6. I wonder if R' Feinstein would comment on the conversions not done through EJF's auspices that Tropper invalidated, or on the families that Tropper manipulated and mislead. Or is protecting the name of EJF (and Feinstein's own avoidance of guilt by association) more important than the families and individuals that Tropper damaged?

    Also, in light of accusations, seemingly corroborated by audio tapes, [...] it would be interesting to hear R' Feinstein's opinion on the halachic implications. Would Rabbi Feinstein let any of his own progeny marry those of Tropper? [...]

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  7. Eternal Jewish Cover UpDecember 21, 2009 at 8:04 PM

    It is not R' Dovid Feinstein's personality to be confrontational in any way. He will just quietly fade away when he sees something improper.

    He was once confronted on videotape by the modern orthodox rabbis from HODS if in his opinion, Moshe Tendler was distorting R' Moshe's psak on brain death. He just stepped around the question without answering.

    He initially defended nephew Mordechai Tendler's misconduct but disappeared when incriminating evidence emerged.

    He used to show up at EJF events but not for a long time now.

    When askanim came to him about the boy kidnapped in Flatbush to be tortured at a boot camp in Jamaica with the approval of R' Aron Schechter, he felt intimidated to scream at Rav Schechter himself so he asked R' Zelig Epstein z'l to do it.

    And even though Rav Schechter & Avrohom Fruchthandler are mesarvim by R' Moishe in the Carlebach din Torah and the Fruchthandlers continue to lie that they appeared in front of the beis din in the end, R' Dovid still acts bakovoddik towards them. (Documentation in circulation from several batei din as well as the letter from the alter rosh yeshiva of Wurzburg Germany, Rav Shimshon Refoel Weiss zl)

    When a Feinstein relative was touched by Kolko he did not go public that Margulies insisted on keeping him as a rebbe.

    When a relative was giving an improper hashgocho on restaurants and rabbonim begged R' Dovid to stop it, nothing changed until the relative passed away.

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  8. To the best of my knowledge, not one EJF facilitated conversion has yet to be accepted by the Israeli Rabbinute.

    That is a the real tragedy for the families who have been through so much under Tropper.

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  9. Eternal Jewish Cover UpDecember 21, 2009 at 10:58 PM

    The relatives of R' Moishe Feinstein who were molesting - 3 of them kicked out as rov of their shuls - also had something to do with R' Moishe's granddaughters, the two yesomos of Rav Schisgal ztl who r'l went off the derech and became major prutzos and even defended their non-Jewish lifestyle on the radio.

    I would not even be surprised if Tropper got a bad hashpoah from these characters while growing up on the Lower East Side.

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  10. "To the best of my knowledge, not one EJF facilitated conversion has yet to be accepted by the Israeli Rabbinute.

    That is a the real tragedy for the families who have been through so much under Tropper."

    Weren't you the one who was lashing out against shikses converting and stealing away those precious jewish men? So be happy that their Giurim are not recognised, don't be such a hypocrite.

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  11. Recipients and PublicityDecember 22, 2009 at 12:00 AM

    How pathetic R Reuven Feinstein sounds here, acting as if nothing truly TERRIBLE happened!

    An earthquake struck swallowing Tropper, as happened to Korach, and R Reuven Feinstein, now openly Tropper's protector and enabler, acts as if he is out for a Sunday stroll on Staten Island, as he spouts off about "conversions" -- Earth to R Reuven, this is NOT a discussion about "conversions" anymore, this is about getting back to basic sanity and morality because EJF has proven itself to be a 100% treif and posul organization deserving an oinesh of becoming defunct for a krumme and assur proselytization agency headed by a notorious menuval and king size shegets like Tropper.

    Wake up R Reuven and smell the Tropper-tainted rotten EJF coffee! It's time to close up the EJf shop and head back to run MTJ on Staten Island and check with what's happening with MTJ's mashgiach's controversial OORAH operation.

    R Reuven, you have enough on your plate, stop eating the forbidden fruits of the EJF eitza hada'as tov vera now that you know who the slimey nachash on it was all along!

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  12. & R' Reuven has the chutzpah of still referring to Tropper as "Rav." What did we come to??????

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  13. how is this daas TorahDecember 22, 2009 at 10:14 AM

    "Our role, as per the halachic rulings of Gedolei Haposkim, is to be mekarev the Jewish spouse in an intermarriage while referring the non-Jewish spouse to an independent Bais Din that will offer the geyrus candidate a universally accepted conversion in a case where both agree to a family life of Torah and mitzvos."
    How can this be daas Torah? Our role is not to refer non-Jews to become converts. They must approach us and we must shun them till we see the seriousness of their motivation. Yes, kiruv rechokim for the Jewish spouse; yes, acceptance, when ready, for the non-Jewish spouse. But, we dare not aggressively pursue conversion, even to "save" the Jewish spouse, or we will soon be overrun by under-commmited converts who, after divorce, linger in our midst with pseudo-Judaism as their mantra.
    The Torah Way

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  14. Maybe I'm dense, but I wish someone could explain to me why we don't just stop doing conversions altogether.
    What pressing need is there for any non-Jew to become Jewish? Can't they just keep the Sheva Mitzvos and serve G-d that way?
    Isn't this all much more trouble than it's worth?

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  15. "Maybe I'm dense, but I wish someone could explain to me why we don't just stop doing conversions altogether."

    I think this would be a dangerous policy in the long run.

    Even if people have enough children who "stay in the faith" to reproduce without influx of Gerim, issues of genetical diseases facilitated by consanguinity would inevitably arise after a few generations.

    This is one side of the issue.

    The other side is that hashem, when he conceived the Torah, obviously had the intention to leave a door open for people who recognise his presence and want to serve him by accepting Ol Torah u Mitzwoth. Who are you to decide that this possibility should be taken from them?

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  16. Wow! I never knew anyone thought that the Jewish people has such a high percentage of converts to offset problems of not "keeping the faith" and of consanguity!
    I don't have statistics, but my feeling is that the numbers (at least today) are much smaller than that.

    Secondly, I'm not suggesting taking away anyone's opportunity, but on the other hand, no individual has to be a dayyan for a giyur, so I find it hard to understand why anyone would want to.

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  17. Well: if you do not want to be a Dayan for a Giur, don't.
    Are you a Dayan at all?

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  18. This is an important video for all bloggers to watch. Please share this with all bloggers you know. It's critical for bloggers to be sensitive to the needs of those who have been victimized. The following film was put together by the US Dept. of Justice

    http://theawarenesscenter.blogspot.com/2009/12/news-media-and-survivors-of-violent.html

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  19. Ephraim asks "What pressing need is there for any non-Jew to become Jewish? Can't they just keep the Sheva Mitzvos and serve G-d that way?" I am a convert. I converted because, as Leah puts it, I "recognise[d] his presence and want[ed] to serve him by accepting Ol Torah u Mitzwoth." But if some definite, non-false form of Noachide worship existed, supported and approved-of by leading rabbis,I wouldn't have found it necessary to convert. False religions such as Christianity and Islam aren't options for those who think that they are false. Following the seven Noachide laws isn't enough for someone who wants to join others in worshipping Hashem. If you think that conversions aren't worth the trouble that Jews take to assist them, Ephraim,then I suggest that you urge leading rabbis to pay more attention to the religious needs of non-Jews. And bear in mind that conversions are many times more troublesome for those who convert than they are for the Jews who help non-Jews to convert. Being Jewish is obviously much harder for converts than it is for those who have grown up Jewish. So, if you want to save people trouble, think what a good deed you'd be doing for non-Jews who want to worship Hashem in a genuine way if you urge that leading rabbis help them to find a way to do so without being Jewish.

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  20. Ezra,

    Very well put. If I had any influence on anyone, I would try to do just what you are suggesting.

    My whole point, though, was that we do not live in an ideal world, and maybe the time has come for us to admit that doing certain things (like geirus) succesfully is beyond us, even if we don't have an alternative.

    In addition, maybe it is up to the non-Jews who want a true spirituality according to the Torah to take the initiative and find their rabbinical guides. I don't know, really, but it is a possibility.

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  21. it would seem that this is the closest to a condemnation that we will receive from rav reuven. A big shame, he is in essence admitting here to the crime comitted by tropper, but falling short of anything more than that.

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