Wednesday, January 13, 2010

EJF - The Con Game (first in a series)


Tablet by Allison Hoffman

December was a very bad month for Rabbi Leib Tropper, a powerful ultra-Orthodox rabbi who has been seeking to determine the standards for conversion in Israel and throughout the world through his little-known yet influential organization, Eternal Jewish Family. First, black-and-white posters appeared on walls in Jerusalem and other Israeli cities threatening public disgrace if the rabbi refused to "cease his filth." While the definition of "filth" was left up to readers' imagination, photos and video were prominently mentioned in the text, which demanded that Tropper suspend his involvement in performing religious conversions.

33 comments :

  1. Interesting article. Too bad it did not mention Badatz or Rav Dunner/CER, or that Guma denied threatening tropper.

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  2. While reading the Tablet story, I was reminded of the Wizard of Oz.

    It would seem there are those who believe that if they close their eyes and click their heels three times, the Tropper scandal will go away.

    Real teshuva can indeed be a trans formative experience. The individual can return to a previous state, 'ke ilu lo chatah'. However, that requires real teshuva of which acknowledgment of teh chet is a principal component.

    What are we to make of manhigim who see no need for teshuvah or acknowledgment of transgression?

    It is clear Tropper is not alone in closing his eyes and clicking heels 3 times in the hope this will all disappear. I only wish as much effort were expended in more productive expressions of teshuvah and tikkun.

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  3. Who is Rabbi Dovid Jacobs?

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  4. CER were a bit late - at first , Dayan Ehrentreu still thought he could go along with the EJF. As the scandal snowballed, they had to make official denials.
    The silence is very interesting. Whereas, the Agudath Yisrael of America had no hesitance to make loud noises against YU, or the Skokie Campus, for having co-ed classes (co-ed meaning separate buildings several blocks apart), when one of their own has been doing more than some mixed classes, has been mixing halachic business with anti-halachic pleasure, suddenly they are all shtum.

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  5. Eddie, the Rabbis foolishly think if you are quiet it goes away. They are hurting themselves and the Klall but sadly they have no idea how starved the people are for true leadership.

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  6. The Moetzes had a meeting to discuss the Tropper Affair; their decision was to remain silent.

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  7. The silence is very interesting. Whereas, the Agudath Yisrael of America had no hesitance to make loud noises against YU, or the Skokie Campus, for having co-ed classes (co-ed meaning separate buildings several blocks apart), when one of their own has been doing more than some mixed classes, has been mixing halachic business with anti-halachic pleasure, suddenly they are all shtum.

    I have already explained why. I said that this was going to happen. None of you wanted to believe me. Because of recent events, in the eyes of many Rabbis and Gedolim, Tropper's guilt is doubtful at best.

    Then thre are ill conceived statements such as,
    In a phone conversation with Tablet Magazine, ****** initially said he forwarded the audio “to some people because I thought they were funny,” but subsequently said he only sent the recordings in response to a request from Rosenberg. “There’s no such thing as revenge,” ****** said. “It’s just exposing the truth.”
    This only serves to muddy the waters. It leaves open the question of how Shamarya received the tapes, and thus what was their source. As well as that sources intentions.

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  8. Based on what? Shtika is yafeh bshas Hatefilah not when you have a scandal on your hands where its a chiyuv to speak up. This Moetzes only knows about covering up.

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  9. A test of true leadership: When Moshe Rabbeinu (our true leader) saw the acts of Zimir, he was furious! I don't think for any other rebellions he was so furious (with perhaps exception of egel zahav). Usually he would argue and beseech on Israel's behalf, but on this case there had to be a cleansing of our camp.
    It seems that many Rabbis see this affair as something minor, eg a rabbi getting a speeding ticket or failing to file his tax returns.
    At the same time, the Degel/dass torah world are not even attacking their usual suspects, eg the modern/zionist orthodox. Eisenstein tried questioning R' Eliyahu's Bet Din, but it was a ludicrous and pathetic comment to come from his quarters.
    The last couple of decades have seen a downward spiral in many of the institutions of the Haredi world. Lubavitch went meshugga moshichistim; Satmar split into 2 warring camps; same happened to Ponevezh after Rav Shach ztl's passing - once was the greatest Yeshiva in the world, and now nobody even mentions it.
    I guess the consolation for EJF -Vaad- Yated axis of pashkevil is that Tropper doesn't believe the world is older than 5700 years.

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  10. >I have already explained why. I said that this was going to happen. None of you wanted to believe me. Because of recent events, in the eyes of many Rabbis and Gedolim, Tropper's guilt is doubtful at best.<

    How do we shut this guy off? Is there an 'Off' switch somewhere?

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  11. see

    http://thejewishstar.wordpress.com/2010/01/12/accused-predator-still-rosh-yeshiva/

    and

    http://thejewishstar.wordpress.com/2010/01/12/editorial-a-smart-career-move/#comments

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  12. mekubal, good for you that you choose to see the best in people,
    but if the Gedolim really believed that, do u think they would keep their heads bowed in shame?

    If they belived he was innocent,a nd it is all a frame, why are they not demanding that tropper comes back, and call him a Gaon again and give him letters of approbation?

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  13. Mekubal
    Is it possible that Leib Tropper has given money to members of the Agudah? If R Feinstein got $3,000,000 who knows what he gave the others?! They wouldn't dare open their mouth against him it takes a lot of chutzpah. Also you think they want to return that money?? They rather stay mum and keep the cash.

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  14. Can Mekubal be banned from this blog, he is such an attention seeker.

    First he comes all out againts Tropper, now he is his best supporter and enabler. In fact Tropper/ EJF and Lubicom is now using his posts to defend themselves.

    Either 1 of 3 things.

    1. Mekubal was in Tropper's pocket from the start, and it was all an act that he was against Tropper.

    2. Tropper broke into Mekubal's, disposed of him, and is now typing from his computer.

    3. Mekubal is certifiable.

    Either way every one is sick of him.

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  15. Hey freedom of speech even if it makes zero sense. I agree, I used to think Mekubal was fighting the good fight. Don't know what happened to him either.

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  16. Let me be completely clear. I think Tropper is guilty as sin. Absolutely 100%. I made a mistake in assuming the reading level of those who visited my blog was such that they would be able to discern sarcasm and satire, but alas, only two out of well over 100 comments picked up on that.

    What I was trying to point out, and what I still consider to be a problem are ill conceived and ill considered statements by his enemies.

    They are gloating, they think that Tropper is out of the fight. This couldn't be further from the truth. So when Rachel starts making contradictory statements about what did and did not happen. When a Beit Din states that she never had an illicit physical relation. When Troppers enemy says he forwarded around the Audios(whethter that means forwarded as in he received it from an anonymous source or from Ms. Orand is not known)because he thought it would be funny to embarrass him.

    All of these statements, that are most likely only being made because people think Tropper is done for, are a grave mistake. They will in fact help him. Do you think that Tropper, and his backers, which may well include Rav Reuven Feinstein, are so stupid as to not be able to at least make an argument as strong as I have? An argument which by the way I have only given over, forwarded to you, it is what I had heard from the lips of another as to why they would not condemn the man to so deserves everyone's disdain.

    Do you think that Tropper will not twist every word to his best advantage? If only half his bio on Wiki is true, if he is only half the ilui that his bio claims, he will take these statements and use them to his absolute best advantage.

    So while everyone is singing and dancing and shouting ding dong the Tropper is dead, there he is lurking in the shadows, plotting his comeback. It started with a Malave Malka, where some are saying that R' Elya Ber gave him a kiss of respect.

    You all are so certain that the evidence is unassailable. That it allows people to say whatever they want. That mistake will be the undoing of the entire case against Tropper, and the aid of his comeback.

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  17. "I made a mistake in assuming the reading level of those who visited my blog was such that they would be able to discern sarcasm and satire, but alas, only two out of well over 100 comments picked up on that."

    It's not about reading level. Blogs (and also IM and email) is a very poor medium for communicating sarcasm. That's why the use emoticons like ;-) are popular in this medium. Unless you already have an established reputation as a blogger who writes a lot of satire (which you definitely do not) you're going to confuse a lot of people. All the more so in a topic like this where people are already very upset and emotionally on a short fuse.

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  18. "You all are so certain that the evidence is unassailable..."

    Nobody is certain of anything. In bais din, can you call a convert to testify to facts that occurred before conversion? If so, do they have ne'emunus? Can you call a woman to testify? Will they want to come based on the trop's intimidation tactics? Is there a clean bais din that will denounce him?

    The only hope is that some of this stuff comes out at the Guma trial and criminal charges are filed afterwards. (Tom Kaplan and trop are keeping quiet till then. Guma probably shouldn't talk so much).

    Just like with our friend Mordy, the facts can only be pulled out in a secular trial, be it civil or criminal. After that maybe-maybe-maybe the charedi world will ostracize him and his cohorts. I doubt any bais din has the power to go after the cash, no matter how many papers they post on telephone poles.

    The trop did not do this alone. His cohorts are just as bad, and they have tasted wealth, power, and depravity.

    A judge has to blow a whistle and yell, "Everybody, out of the pool!" But with a politically powerful corrupt portion of the charedi community protecting themselves and trop, let's see if it even gets to any kind of trial.

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  19. After I read the article, I called Kol Yakov. They refused to connect me to Rabbi Tropper.

    I called back and said I would like to speak to him. At that point, they told me to speak to his Howard Karasik, the Rabbi’s lawyer.

    They gave me his cell phone and I called him, and he was not too happy to hear from me. He said he had no comment.

    Howard Karasik’s profile and is law firm is here - http://www.sbklaw.com/Bio/HowardKarasik.asp

    The question is this. Karasik is indeed smart, he graduated Harvard University Law School in 1961. But for the last 40 years, he has concentrated in insolvency and bankruptcy matters.

    What gives?

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  20. What gives?
    Ill tell you what gives. He's going to hide all his money so when Guma and anyone else sues him and asks for their money he can say sorry I'm bamkrupt. Tropper is diabolical. The only thing worse than a corrupt crooked megalomaniac is one who is also super intelligent. Tropper didn't get so far by being a fool. He is very very shrewd and knows the game inside and out. He is far from finished.

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  21. I used to learn in Monsey (not at kol torah). If I was still there I'd have half a mind to storm into his yeshiva playing the tapes on full blast and screaming at everyone in the yeshiva and recording the whole scene on video.

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  22. The 92nd Y has contact information here:
    http://www.92y.org/content/contact_us.asp?site=Y

    The executive office is here 212.415.5470

    Maybe we can call them and try to speak with Tom Kaplan or Sol Adler and to let them know.

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  23. sb said...
    I'd have half a mind to storm into his yeshiva playing the tapes ...

    Don't do it when Barres is there. Rumour has it he's even more paranoid than his rebbe, carries a gun and is just aching to use it.

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  24. mekubal said...

    Let me be completely clear. I think Tropper is guilty as sin. Absolutely 100%. I made a mistake in assuming the reading level of those who visited my blog was such that they would be able to discern sarcasm and satire, but alas, only two out of well over 100 comments picked up on that.


    now that you made your point,
    you may want to consider updating your blog to clarify this.

    your original post is on some prominent blogs used as a defense for tropper.

    as far as your insinuations as to the intelligence level of your readership, you may want to reflect and reevaluate your gift for writing satire.

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  25. someone earlier posted, that tropper spoke with two sides from his mouth, to the gedolim he spoke about strengthening the geyrus versus the modern orth..
    to kaplan he spoke about furthering his dream of trying to convert as many intermarried couples as possible..
    this in itself is an easy way for the rosh yeshivas etc to get out of this mess, besides by just being silent, they can say we were fed the wrong propoganda, but now after research the truth has been revealed about the indivudual and the organization.
    shalom al yisroel, veyodeinu lo shofcho, thereby they removed themselves and the same time condemmed that which was injust.
    obviously they ghave a problem just condeming being that it might appear as implicating themselves with it, however this way they can have it both ways, and especially being that this is the truth, most attenddess and rosh yeshivas had no idea, and actually thought it was a fight against the m.o, but the truth was just the opposite a fullfilment of a kaplan dream to kasher intermarriage, something that he felt passionately about do to his owmn lifestyle.

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  26. Mekubal,

    There is no venue for this matter to go to any court presently. No one is taking anybody to a court or a bais din over the Tropper scandal..only one heavenly court will everyone have to face and theres no escaping the truth. Let's stop accusing, judging and relishing over ones downfall. Our Torah has 613 Mitvot, and one them being "do not gloat over your enemy's downfall" and LT is not an enemy of our nation... so even more so!
    This matter is between Him and G-d, but what you all the bloggers doing is a graver sin of slander and destroying many peoples lives in the process.. beware.. we all have skeletons in our closets.

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  27. Rabbi Leib Tropper has many many families that owe him alot of gratitude. Yes, I have documentation on this as was shown on a video production at the last KY dinner. They all sincerely say that RLT is the one who gave them the direction, warmth and guidance to lead the Torah life they do today.. Many of you out there who are bashing and bashing him and glad of this tragic event do not know the man at all .

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  28. "I have already explained why. I said that this was going to happen. None of you wanted to believe me. Because of recent events, in the eyes of many Rabbis and Gedolim, Tropper's guilt is doubtful at best."

    This seems to be defending gedolim by insulting their intelligence.

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  29. THIS TIP IS ANONYMOUS AND CAN BE SUBSTANTIATED ONLINE maybe contact FTJT.com or Daas torah blog.....

    I just got off the phone with a Rov in Dallas...
    EJF IS RUNNING AN OUTREACH SEMINAR FOR INTERMARRIED COUPLES THIS WEEKEND IN DALLAS TX!!!!!
    SEE http://www.ejfseminars.org/

    HEARD THEY OFFERED "HONORARIUMS" TO DALLAS RABBONIM TO PARTICIPATE MANY RABBONIM WERE INSTRUCTED BY THEIR POSKIM NOT TO ATTEND OR TAKE A NICKEL

    one rabbi who has no position has accepted "thousands to come for the weekend".

    EJF=outreach to non jews=offering money to rabbonim to come =corruption!
    with or without LT
    here
    check things ut with the dallas rabbonim of DATA Kollel
    Ohr Hatorah dallas
    Congregation Toras Chayim
    Data of Plano Data of far North dallas

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  30. wonderingjew said...

    Rabbi Leib Tropper has many many families that owe him alot of gratitude. Yes, I have documentation on this as was shown on a video production at the last KY dinner. They all sincerely say that RLT is the one who gave them the direction, warmth and guidance to lead the Torah life they do today.. Many of you out there who are bashing and bashing him and glad of this tragic event do not know the man at all .


    for every person he was mekarev, he turned off ten others.

    for every person he helped, he destroyed ten others.

    the above statistics are not exact, only rough estimates.

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  31. Recipients and PublicityJanuary 14, 2010 at 9:56 AM

    "DATA Kollel-Ohr Hatorah dallas" is under the daas torah of Rav Aron Shechter of Yeshiva R Chaim Berlin in Brooklyn.

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  32. as far as your insinuations as to the intelligence level of your readership, you may want to reflect and reevaluate your gift for writing satire.

    Point taken and noted. I won't attempt it again.

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  33. SInce this blog is named Daas torah, can anyone explain how the aegis of Dass Torah works, does it spread downwards? eg, if there is a DAas Torah kasrut over a hechsher, and the meat under that hechsher transpires to be rabbit and lobster meat, then where does the buck (of responsiblity ) stop?
    Then, let's suppose that the same restaurant is still called kosher, and they fire the chef ;)

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