Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Understanding Tropper's crimes & that of EJF


Rabbi Yair Hoffman has published a series of articles which cogently reveal the real issues connected with the Tropper scandal and also how EJF is endangering Jewish society. (There is another link I added today which talks about EJF's  unpleasant consequences on geirim.)


http://www.vosizneias.com/45283/2009/12/21/new-york-editorial-about-the-current-ejf-scandal

http://www.5tjt.com/news/read.asp?Id=5350

http://www.5tjt.com/news/read.asp?Id=5390

http://www.vosizneias.com/45420/2009/12/23/new-york-geirus-re-examined-the-other-elephant-in-the-room-that-no-one-is-talking-about

32 comments :

  1. Recipients and PublicityDecember 22, 2009 at 3:02 PM

    Understanding the EJF meltdown and its implications.

    None of this really helps to understand Tropper's and EJ's crimes and cover-ups (stiil ongoing mega big time). It's just major intellectualizing, albeit Torahdik, at a time when facts speak, scream out actually, louder than theories or postulations. what does it help to write up a halchic/haskafic treatise of what not right with EJF when more direct language is needed.

    But the following does deal with the specifics of the whole rotten EJF situation from the Emes Ve-Emunah blog:

    "The Eternal Jewish Con of Leib Tropper (Monday, December 21, 2009)

    Rabbis – Aharon Feldman, Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, Norman Eisenstein, Hershel Schachter, Ovadia Yosef, Shlomo Amar, Yona Metzger, Shmuel HaLevi Wosner, Simcha HaKohen Kook, Reuven Feinstein, Gedalia Schwartz, Moshe Meiselman, Moshe Soloveichik, Levi Yitzchak Horowitz, ZTL (The Bostoner Rebbe), Yisroel Meir Lau, and many many more…

    What do all these illustrious names have in common? It almost sounds like a ‘Who’s Who’ of the Torah world. They are indeed members of an exclusive club of rabbinic leaders But that is not all they have in common. They have all either attended or supported the Eternal Jewish Family. And they have all been duped by its founder Leib Tropper.

    One of the biggest problems with EJF's founder long before this sex scandal broke is that he somehow managed to commandeer and virtually control one of the most important aspects of Judaism: The ability of any sincere human being to convert and join the people of Israel.

    Leib Tropper is not a stupid man. He managed to connive and cajole leading rabbinic figures both here and in Israel to come on board and endorse what he was doing. International meetings were held and attended by very prominent rabbinic figures or their representatives - traveling from all over the world to attend – as the above list from their website shows.

    The names of those involved with EJF is mind boggling in its depth and Hashkafic scope. The above photo of some of them sitting on an EJF dais was taken from their website and is but a small sampling of those who attended and who supported Tropper and his EJF.

    All of these illustrious Rabbis were all duped by this man.

    This gave Tropper an enormous amount of power and boosted his ego accordingly. He could virtually act in any way his heart desired towards any potential Ger or Giyores without ever worrying that he would be questioned - so certain were his supporters of his Ehrlichkeit. And act he did. Like an actor in a porno movie! And his sense of power made him feel infallible. But the sex scandal is only where it ended. His boosted ego wreaked havoc on converts long before that.

    Like canceling a promised conversion for one woman who was completely qualified fully accepting keeping all the Mitzvos. But because she refused to move way from where her husband’s career was, she was denied conversion. Why? Because a Mikvah was not nearby. Never mind that this is not written any where in the Shulchan Aruch. Never mind that this woman was willing to drive monthly to that Mikva. Application denied- have a nice life!

    And then there was the report about revoking a conversion of a woman he caught wearing pants."

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  2. Recipients and PublicityDecember 22, 2009 at 3:02 PM

    Understanding the EJF meltdown and its implications. Continued.

    (From "The Eternal Jewish Con of Leib Tropper (Monday, December 21, 2009):

    In both cases the converts were women. (One wonders whether the real reason they were treated this way was because they rebuffed his sexual advances…) The point is that his power over conversions was unchallenged. Everyone trusted him.

    And who can forget the EJF meeting where Rabbi Norman Eisenstein- supposedly speaking on behalf of his mentor Rav Elyashiv – decreed that no Dayan - no judge on a conversion court would be accepted if they believed the universe was more than 5770 years old. Of course that casted aspersions on not only the judges but on sincere converts who believed in an ancient universe same as one of the Gedolei Olam - the Tifferes Yisroel. Same as one of the most accepted rabbi/scientists in the Charedi wolrd, Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan, ZTL.

    I can’t imagine what it must have been like for a convert who believed in an ancient universe questioning his own status after hearing about this supposed decree – articulated by Rav Elyashiv’s Askan, Rabbi Eisenstein, in his name. I cannot think of a more widely damaging decree coming out of EJF than that. The repercussions of that statement with respect to the clear Torah prohibition against mistreating converts cannot be clearer. This is what EJF has wrought.

    I do not fault any of the rabbis who were duped by this conman par excellence. They were trying to stop what they saw as a terrible trend in accepting false converts. Like those who wanted conversion for social reasons and had no intention of observing any of the Mitzvos. I am not going to go into the debate over that issue. The fact is that some conversions were shams. Others were not. Deciding which ones were and which weren’t is not in my pay grade. But there were real problems and they sincerely wanted to fix them.

    I blame only one man. Leib Tropper. He did it all. And he has a lot to answer for long before we ever get to his sexual misdeeds. Thank God he was exposed.

    What must now be done is to shut down EJF. It has already done more than enough damage. Damage to Klal Yisroel and more importantly - damage to every sincere convert who – because of EJF and Tropper wondered whether their conversions were truly valid. I think I can safely say that EJF and Tropper are no longer a worry for them. Anything he has done to hurt Gerim has come back to bite him and should be completely ignored by those who have sincerely converted. And by the same token

    I think I can say that any EJF Beis Din that performed a conversion – that conversion was valid if it was constructed with the standards EJF had adopted. I can say with virtual certainty that the Dayanim used were of the highest caliber. That Tropper was EJF’s founder and director had no bearing on a duly constructed Beis Din. Unless he was one of the judges. That may indeed be a problem.

    I will end with the following message from Rabbi Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer sent to a private e-mail list. I present it here with his full permission.

    In light of the recent revelations of the misdeeds of the founder of the organization called Eternal Jewish Family, it is an opportune time for you to make your rabbonim and chaverim aware of the reprehensible nature of an organization that throws geirim who are tzaddikim and tehorim into confusion over their status, declares that individuals who believe as the Tiferes Yisroel and others that the world is more than 5770 years old k'peshuto are pasul as dayanim, etc. There are some who maintain a "head in the sand" attitude and would cover up Rabbi Tropper's misdeeds, but I believe this is the Hashgocho manifest in retribution upon those who afflict geirei tzedek, u'mitzvah l'farsem."

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  3. And what do you say to the hundreds of Rabbis in America who have been doing "conversions" to permit intermarriages for decades?

    Or to the many dozens of Rabbis who have committed sexual improprieties over the past decades?

    Leib Tropper is merely a symptom, only receiving the publicity du jour. Soon Tropper will fade away, but the problem will remain.

    Now we turn to our Gedolim to enact change.

    1. How is it possible that a number of Dayyanim for Geirus in America are themselves intermarried or have intermarried children?

    Why Can't the Rabbinute in Israel ask questions about the Rabbi's spouse and family BEFORE administering the test to become a Dayyan?

    (I will provide a list of a few I am personally aware of upon request).

    2. Why can't we institute a standard where every Rabbi, Yeshiva teacher etc is considered a "person whose heart is full" (Libo Gaz Bah) like the public schools have done where there are always 2 teachers/aides etc in every situation. This way we can take a major step toward ending the sexual abuses in our system. It should be against all rules of our society for any Rabbi/teacher/youth director etc to ever work unsupervised with any child or children.

    3. As Joe Izrael has suggested, Chazal instituted takanos against conversions anytime the Jewish people were "on top". Perhaps this is something to consider.

    The problem is much greater than "Leib Tropper". He is merely the irregular wart that is symbolic of the massive cancer that lies therein.

    The patient (Klal Yisrael) is in dire straits, it is not only limited to America.

    Now we turn to our Gedolim HaDor with tearful pleas to take action to stop the widespread Chilul Hashem that has become the Rabbinute.

    So far, only Rav Sternbuch has stepped up to the task, the Rav should live and be well until 120.

    Where are our leaders? our Gedolim? Klal Yisrael cries out in frustration and anguish.

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  4. a. its interesting that in 1973 he put out a kuntres on hilchos yichud...

    b. we all chose to ignore his indiscretions that led him to leaving his previous wife for his current one (and apparent co-conspirator) .

    c. intrestingly, this came around the same time that "gdolim" asered blogs. if not for blogs his resignation would not have registered a bleep, and it would have been shoved under the rug, with her being villified - she was smart to record it, because you can hear her being sincere and he "forcing" her to do as he says with the blackmail of gairus

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  5. Please don’t cite Harry’s blog. This blog is clearly run by a Talmud Chacham who has taken on certain issues that he has set out to correct. But Harry’s blog has taken on the world and has not helped any cause. He unfortunately has spread much hate and has not offered any original ideas how to correct any of our pressing issues. I challenge anyone to find divrei Torah on his blog.

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  6. Rav Sternbuch has also suggested that those who believe the world is older than 6000 years old are heretics.

    http://failedmessiah.typepad.com/failed_messiahcom/files/sternbuchScienceToTorah.pdf

    Does he agree with EJF (or people associated with it) that a conversion is not valid if one of the rabbis on the beit din or the prospective convert believes the world is more than 6000 years old?

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  7. I don't understand this post -- none of the three links relate to how EJF is endangering Jewish society.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Rav Sternbuch has also suggested that those who believe the world is older than 6000 years old are heretics.

    http://failedmessiah.typepad.com/failed_messiahcom/files/sternbuchScienceToTorah.pdf
    =================
    As the one who translated the above and also directly asked Rav Sternbuch at the instigation of Prof Marc Shapiro I can say that your statement is false.

    Rav Sternbuch said that these beliefs are heretical because the majority of gedolim don't accept an old universe. However those who hold these views are not heretics because there are sources in Chazal and other places which support such a view.

    Rav Sternbuch is taking the view of the Chasam Sofer that in hashkofa issues heresy can be determined by the majority of a particular generation - even though in previous generations the view wasn't considered heresy. Apparently Rav Eliashiv holds a similar position.

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  9. Regarding Rav Sterbuch's view that hashkafic issues can be determined by a majority of a particualr generation, how is that majority constituted?

    As a member of the Eidah Charedis, would Rav Sternbuch's views on Zionism and Shaytels, for instance, be consistent with that of the majority, however that majority is constituted?

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  10. Thank you for the clarification (and the translation!), Rabbi Eidensohn. I hope Rabbi Sternbuch never casts doubts on conversions based on this haskhafic issue. In any event, I think Rabbi Slifkin has convincingly demonstrated that the majority of Rishonim thought that Chazal had imperfect science. Even if it valid to say a majority of rabbis can establish a required hashkafic view for a particular generation, I don't think this should be applicable when the belief conflicts with the majority of the Rishonim -- isn't it heretical to call them heretical? (Another interesting example is belief in gilgulim, which was once controversial but is now a mainstream hashkafic belief).

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  11. "the view of the Chasam Sofer that in hashkofa issues heresy can be determined by the majority of a particular generation"

    Does the CS say "majority"? I thought he required a consensus of future generations, or at least an overwhelming majority. Otherwise anyone who says anything might turn out to be a heretic if 51% of the rabbonim in the generation disagree with him.

    And did R' Shternbuch (or anyone else) take a survey of contemporary rabbonim before deciding that these ideas had been rejected.

    I am very sympathetic to the opposition to R' Slifkin (on the non-literal interpretation issue, not on the "science" issue) but ISTM that the rabbonim shot from the hip here, having never encountered such ideas and just assumed that they were beyond the pale. What you see afterwards is post-hoc justifications.

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  12. Chasam Sofer (Beitzah 5a): The Rambam asserts that there are no disputes concerning halachos which are labeled as Halacha L’Moshe M’Sinai. This assertion has been criticized since there are in fact many disputes concerning whether a particular halacha is Halacha L’Moshe M’Sinai. With great trepidation, I would suggest a partial defense of the Rambam’s position. In agreement with the Rambam’s critics, there is no question that there are disputes concerning items that have been transmitted through the generations as to what is or is not Halacha L’Moshe M’Sinai. That is because one person had received this information from his teacher while another one had not. Forgetting and suffering have negatively affected our Mesora and this has led to disputes. However, the basis of the Rambam’s assertion might be that in a particular generation the sages gathered together and the majority agreed with one of the disputants that a certain halacha was in fact Halacha L’Moshe M’Sinai. Consequently, the opposing position became a minority opinion that was discarded. In subsequent generations, it was not permitted to revive the dispute and rely on the rejected minority opinion. That is because these matters are not dependent upon logic but only on the Mesora. Since the previous generation had decided by majority vote which view was the correct Mesora, no subsequent generation has the right to dispute this majority. This suggestion seems to be very reasonable unless someone can find evidence against it.
    Chasam Sofer (Y.D. 2:356): R’ Hillel who is quoted in Sanhedrin (99a) as rejecting salvation through Moshiach but asserted [according to Rashi] that G﷓d Himself would directly save the Jews. Rashi is without a doubt correct that R’ Hillel was not rejecting the fact of salvation but only the agency of Moshiach… Furthermore, it is obviously that we don’t accept his view. In fact someone today who asserted that there will be no Moshiach because he accepts R’ Hillel’s view is denying the principle of the Torah to follow the majority position. Since the overwhelming majority of sages have rejected this view no one has the right to go against that majority and insist on accepting the sole dissenting view of R’ Hillel. This is no different that the case of R’ Eliezer who ruled in for his community that it permitted on Shabbos to cut wood to make charcoal to make iron for a milah knife in order to do bris mila on Shabbos. Since the majority of Torah scholars rejected this view, anyone who performs these actions on Shabbos before witness and with a warning is liable to capital punishment and he can not claim that he is following the authority of R’ Eliezer. This that it teaches in Eduyos “Why are the minority views taught” is in fact obviously dealing with a different issue which there is no need to go into here. Nevertheless even though salvation and the coming of Moshiach are themselves not foundation principles that determine Judaism but a person who doesn’t accept them is rejecting the foundation principle of belief in the Torah and the words of the prophets.

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  13. regarding alternatives the this view see my statement publish on Hirhurim

    http://hirhurim.blogspot.com/2006/06/age-of-universe.html

    which is cited in the interveiw with Prof Kaplan in Seforim Blog

    [15] Daniel Eidensohn, "Age of the Universe," Hirhurim, entry posted June 20, 2006, (accessed July 28, 2009). There have been a few other Haredi dissenters: see Toby Katz, "My 300-Page Book on the Slifkin Affair," Cross Currents, (accessed September 9, 2009); Rav Chaim Malinowitz's letter of support for Rabbi Slifkin available at Zoo Torah (accessed September 9, 2009); and Marvin Schick, "Richuk Karovim," Cross Currents, (accessed September 9, 2009)

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  14. And did R' Shternbuch (or anyone else) take a survey of contemporary rabbonim before deciding that these ideas had been rejected.
    ===============
    Aside from votes in beis din or Sanhdrin the term majority is not necssarily precise. For example a gezera is not authoritative if the majority can not accept it. There is no source indicating that actually had the people vote. Therefore if there is a perceived majority that is sufficient.

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  15. Thank you, Rabbi Eidensohn -- that's very helpful.

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  16. I think these quotes from the CS prove my point. The first discusses a situation where "in a particular generation the sages gathered together". It thus does NOT refer to an instance where someone took a survey and discovered that most sages held of one particular position. This is why the CS goes on to say "Consequently, the opposing position became a minority opinion that was discarded" and that the issue is over whether in subsequent generations it was permitted to "revive the dispute".

    In sum, he's talking about a matter that was settled halacha, not about an instance where someone determined at some point that most people hold to X position.

    Halacha (and the CS is talking about halacha here) is full of instances where poskim ruled for themselves without merely relying on surveys of prior rabbinic literature.

    R' Shternbuch himself has said a LOT of things over the years that most rabbis and poskim do not accept.

    The second quote (from the t'shuva) is the one I was thinking about. And here he says explicitly that "overwhelming majority of sages have rejected this view". It's not just a majority rule issue.

    I would suggest that in the case the CS was talking about it's a lot clearer, because the majority view was codified as correct in the Talmud. But even if not, you certainly need something more than "most".

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  17. "Therefore if there is a perceived majority that is sufficient."

    Understood. But you have to really look into it carefully before you start perceiving a majority. As RY Salanter said "ain l'dayan elah mah she'ainav roi'ois - uber ersht darf men zian a dayan!" If you've never really looked into these matters carefully and are just basing your assessment on your own gut reaction and your assessment of the circle of people that you associate with, it doesn't count for this purpose.

    And again, by all indication an overwhelming majority would be needed even according to the CS, which makes assessing whether this level of consensus actually exists even more difficult.

    That said, ISTM that most of R' Slifkin's alleged sources (on the non-literal issue) are forced and are distortions of what these sources actually say. Still the underlying principles that RM Shternbuch is saying are more important than this specific issue, to me at least. ISTM that they represent an expansion of the da'as torah concept, and as such are something of a power grab. They essentially amount to the rabbonim giving themselves free reign to determine halacha and hashkafa as they see fit, with little regard to precedent, and to supress all dissent.

    Essentially once a bunch of contemporary rabbonim feel that the halacha or hashkafa should be a certain way, there is no appeal to history or texts, because once these rabbonim declare themselves to be a majority of contemporary rabbonim nothing else counts.

    I don't think this has been the practice of Judaism throughout the generations.

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  18. Essentially once a bunch of contemporary rabbonim feel that the halacha or hashkafa should be a certain way, there is no appeal to history or texts, because once these rabbonim declare themselves to be a majority of contemporary rabbonim nothing else counts.

    I don't think this has been the practice of Judaism throughout the generations.
    ================
    actually that is what a zakein mamre is - he knows what the mesorah is while the majority says we don't care we have our own views.

    Also note the dispute between Rav Chaim Naeh and the Chazon Ish.

    The work of the Gra seemed to be against rabbnoim who held like they didn't need precedent.

    Then again the Chassidim also ignored precedent.

    The Tzitz Eliezar accused Rav Moshe Feinstein of ignoring text or rather altering texts that disagree with him.

    In sum, baalei mesorah can be understood either as those who transmitted the views of the previous generation to the next generation or are those whose own views are transmitted to the next geneation.

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  19. "actually that is what a zakein mamre is - he knows what the mesorah is while the majority says we don't care we have our own views."

    I disagree that two sides in a zaken mamre are disagreeing about the value of mesora in this manner. They could just as easily be disagreeing about what the mesora is, or what the correct interpretation of a text is, or could be on the opposite side as your example (i.e. the lone dissenter disagreeing with the mesora).

    I'm not sure what point your various examples are intended to make.

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  20. The names of many leading Rabbis are listed as having been fooled by EJF. A number of us have heard from Rav Hershel Schachter over the past few years that having attended an event he realized he and his good name were being manipulated and would no longer have any part in this group's activities. Perhaps this was also true for others who did not attend more than once or twice.

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  21. "I do not fault any of the rabbis who were duped by this conman par excellence. "

    Why not?

    That article from emes vemunah didn't really give a real explanation, he only gave a don lkaf zchus and all sorts of wishful thinking about their "real motivations" to excuse the gedolim because he clearly had a strong desire to do so.

    Let these gedolim speak up and say for themselves what their motivations were/are and what they have to say about EJF.

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  22. On the issue of majority deciding a hashkafic issue... zaken mamre regarding mesorah... etc....

    Isn't there a great difference due to chasimas hashas, before and after, regarding what is codified in Talmud vs. what issues come up later, or with contemporary issues that have not been so labeled as R. Hillel's with a clear stamp of rejection? If 60% of rishonim held a certain way on a view, that makes the opposite approach assur and heresy even though the Talmud has not a stamp on the issue? I thought by "majority" we refer to a "Talmudic majority" that has been codified. Of what authority are these later sources to "pasken" hashkafa even according to these seemingly radical viewpoints that suggest there is an idea of paskening hashkafa (and based on majority)? It would seem the precedent for such a view is limited to those hashkafic issues specifically 'codified' and sealed as one way or the other by the gemara, no?

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  23. Recipients and PublicityDecember 23, 2009 at 10:50 AM

    "Anonymous said...Please don’t cite Harry’s blog."

    You miss the point of it because when articles and statements are published from secular and even religious sources, it's important to be aware of what other key bloggers are saying and reporting.

    Harry Maryles's blog is one of the most popular and best follewed in the Jewish blogosphere. Indeed he is Modern Orthodox, so what?, and no one has to agree with him, in fact many of the people who post on his blog oppose him and there is good discussion over there, unlike the blog that Tropper started where he posted unverifiable statments, even lies, and no discussion was allowed making it seem that Tropper was talking to himself which he was.

    On the other hand Harry Maryles's well thought out posts, the instant he puts them up on his blog, attract huge interest and trigger a stream of comments and active responses from him, that are much greater than anything seen on this blog (so far).

    So it's not an "endorsement" it's done in the spirit of balance and reporting as if it's another news source but in this case it's a key blog from the Jewish BLOGOSPHERE and nothing more.

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  24. RaP needs to get around the blogosphere more. Many people think that Harry's blog is silly at best and often nonsensical.

    Just recently he attacked R' Malkiel Kotler & Shimshy Sherer.

    R' Malkiel got frasked because Harry believes the baseless motzee shem ra written about him by the apikoris Shmarya who is 1000s of miles away in Minnesota and could not possibly know what R' Malkiel said in a drasha on Shabbos, something that makes no sense that he would have said.

    When Harry wrote about Sherer, a reader protested that he was the one who tipped off to the story 3 years earlier except that Harry had completely distorted what he told him.

    Many of Harry's lengthy posts are much ado about philosophical nothings. Blogger Yossi Izrael has summed it that the poor guy probably stays up all night trying to think what he will write about.

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  25. Recipients and PublicityDecember 23, 2009 at 3:48 PM

    "Archie Bunker said...RaP needs to get around the blogosphere more. Many people think that Harry's blog is silly at best and often nonsensical."

    RaP: To each his own. No blog is perfect, not even this one. If you want "perfection" go learn Chumash, Mishnayos, and Gemora, and read the perfection of Hashem's words and the way Chazal phrase things. I scan a lot of things and when I check out Rabbi Harry Maryles's blog it's usually very intelligent.

    I am not involved in discussions over there. Yes, he gets kvetchy and has a chip on his shoulder about MOs being unjustly outshined and oudone by Charedim. So be it, but he raises good questions and and he's current in an intelligent way. He writes in full complete sentences and paragrpahs and he is coherent. You don't have to read him if you don't want to. Stick to YWN and VIN it will help you feel safe!

    "Just recently he attacked R' Malkiel Kotler & Shimshy Sherer."

    RaP: Aww, so what can you do. They are not tzadikim that are infallibale either.

    "R' Malkiel got frasked because Harry believes the baseless motzee shem ra written about him by the apikoris Shmarya who is 1000s of miles away in Minnesota and could not possibly know what R' Malkiel said in a drasha on Shabbos, something that makes no sense that he would have said."

    RaP: Ok, so, that's the nature of the beast in journalism which is what blogging is about, it's peoples' journalism and mistakes are made. But that report was based on what was fed to Failed Messiah, he didn't make it up on his own. Who knows what the truth is.

    "When Harry wrote about Sherer, a reader protested that he was the one who tipped off to the story 3 years earlier except that Harry had completely distorted what he told him."

    RaP: I have heard not nice things about this Sherer from RELIABLE people who know him WELL, I assure you, and I would rather not get into useless side discussions about him.

    "Many of Harry's lengthy posts are much ado about philosophical nothings."

    RaP: That is actually his strength, talking about hashkofa which most yeshiva guys don't get, they'd much rather be eating a slice of pizza or having a smoke, or buying a new tie. People have lost their brains in the Torah world and they mistake mature discussions for "silliness" and they accept the truly silly as being "important" -- it's an oilam hafuch for and by the oilem goilem!

    "Blogger Yossi Izrael has summed it that the poor guy probably stays up all night trying to think what he will write about."

    RaP: And you know, funny you should mention, I look up Izrael's blog every now and then and he puts up a new post about once every six months and it stands there like a monument to his laziness. He should stop criticizing other people's hard work.

    But most importantly, Harry Maryless is born and bred in Chicago and he is spunky and brave. It is the home town of the Tropper ally R Nochum Eisenstein whom Harry calls Norman because that's how he remembers him. He therefore adds perspective and a key bird's eye view on Tropper's partner in the unholy EJF mess and who has still not been heard from since Tropper resigned, even though he tried to trick R EB Wachtfogel (in the names of R Shtaynman and R Eliashiv that turned out to be a lie because they denied it, see there's a real trickster for you to worry about) into becoming the new EJF head but that was shot down once bloggers, including Harry, started asking questions and poking around to see who the "new man in town" was who was riding in to take over the reins from the de-horsed Tropper.

    So it's just a way to get another point of view, and the fact that he is willing to write in essay form means he is trying to get fuller ideas across that you don't grasp and he does not just make snide Twitter-tweet-sized remarks from the peanut gallery that any bird brain can do.

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  26. RaP, no need to get cynical. VIN and especially YWN are of course a joke that make Pravda look good. And I know that Sherer is quite a character but it is something else to make up stories against him.

    The fact that Harry quoted Shmarya really says something about his judgement. Shmarya is not only an apikoris but a sonei Yisroel of the highest order. At 51 years old, he sits 24/7 in his mother's basement digging up dirt about frum Jews and publishing what he knows are outright lies. He barely puts on clothes to get fresh air. Shmarya has also singled out people who he has eaten for decades by their Shabbos table to smear them. He is angry at the world, thinking that a loser baal teshuva such as himself deserved the absolute best shidduch even though he doesn't know how to learn and it is ergo the fault of frum Jews that he never got married and that frum Jews should donate generously to ensure Falashas have the most luxurious living arrangements in Hertzeliya but they do not do so because they are "racist" against all Blacks.

    Now, once in a while just as a broken clock is correct twice a day, Shmarya is also correct. But with R' Malkiel, there was no source and it doesn't even make sense that he would talk like that in front of a baal habatish crowd if at all. And even if he did, there are people like from YCT who claim to be "orthodox" but are nothing other than apikorsim.

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  27. Incidentally, there is no need for RaP to insult me or anyone else who thinks that Harry is too wordy.

    I understand everything he says but it is torture to read it because he goes to pathetic extremes to get simple points across.

    The sign of a gaon is someone who cuts out all the fat. It often happened that people came to the Vilna Gaon with kashyas and he showed how dozens of kashyas were really just a few that were unnecessarily expanded.

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  28. Therefore if there is a perceived majority that is sufficient.

    PERCEIVED -- sort of like I perceive that the icy weather conditions are normative in Hawaii. What is PERCEIVED? by who? with what measurement status?

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  29. "Now we turn to our Gedolim HaDor with tearful pleas to take action to stop the widespread Chilul Hashem that has become the Rabbinute".

    Kavod Harav to Y. Hoffman who tackles the 'silent issues' of the day and with his clarity of pen brings to the public arena, real problems of the day. YET...what is the next move of the chess game? Now that EJF has been exposed as a scam, what can and should be done? After our 'tearful pleas' are heard, what is the status of batei din who enlist prominent and yerai shamayim Rabbanim (who are not on the kosher list)? Where do gerai tzadek belong? Will Gedolei HaDor issue any declarations? Will they initial honest research and investigations into the alleged practices of EJF? The shame and humilation in admitting error is a missing component of today's generation.

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  30. A stamp of approval to R. Maryles and his blog. He is intelligent, articulate, 'very dramatic' and has predetermined biases.

    So what, doesn't everyone?
    Read every article from the printed media with rosecolored glasses, since the individual's culture, ideals, hashkafas hachaim and background is evident between the lines.

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  31. What bothers me is that if this scandal had not broken, the approach of "my geirus or no geirus" would have continued. This scandal is really an "unrelated" issue (in theory, in practice HKB"H runs his world)
    KT
    Joel Rich

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  32. RaP: You are missing the point. Harry may be a decent writer, but he is not a Talmud Chacham nor is he learned regarding any issue. For the life of me I can’t understand why people would comment on his blog. He is simply an ignoramus.

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