Friday, January 8, 2010

A student of Tropper defends his teacher


I was given permission by the sender to publish this anonymously - unedited - to provide understanding of the other side.
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I wanted to thank you being a voice of reason in our current world where, unfortunately, it becomes more popular to align against our Rabbaim than to actually consider the consequences.

 A little about me: I am a Talmud of Rabbi Tropper, having learned in his Yeshiva for over 5 years.  The Rosh Yeshiva IS a very affectionate person who is very passionate about Torah values, Ahavas Yisroel and Kiruv. The tests on a Kiruv professional’s emunah and character are obvious. It is very, very easy to upkeep high standards living in a large Jewish community. Remove that community to be in a position of constant bombardment from secular values and viewpoints, and anyone can be vulnerable.  I’ve heard Rabbaim, working far from such communities in Kiruv, bewail about how they’ve had children who became Korbanos because of it …

 However, I have to say that all the collective interactions and experiences I’ve ever had with the Rosh Yeshiva tell me he is absolutely 1000% innocent of all these allegations. He has always maintained his emunah and character. What’s more is that he is a Talmud Chacham, and an uncompromising subscriber to Daas Torah.

 I noticed some responses to your blog concluded that, since he stepped down from EJF, he must be guilty.  This flaw is noted in the Chofetz Chaim’s Hilchos Loshon Harah in the case of one being defamed in public and remains silent.  The din, of course, is that the victim’s silence gives absolutely no basis to conclude that he/she is guilty.  Rabbi Tropper simply does not want to make matters worse for himself and his family, and apparently, he has made some very powerful enemies.

 As for the alleged  audio footage: audio technology nowadays can be edited right up to each millisecond.

 It is my hope that those who wish to harm him see their efforts for what they are and do Tseuvah, and that Rabbi Tropper’s name be vindicated.

 Again,
thank you.

36 comments :

  1. I feel sorry for the Talmid. But the world is not black and white - it is filled with shades of gray. He is a flawed man. Rav Elya Svei saw it too. My experiences with him indicate that it is true. Audio technology cannot do this type of work where it was verified by people who grew up with him..
    It is further manipukation that he lied to his students

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  2. i feel very sorrry for him, his whole ability of self judgemnt has also been removed from him by tropper, its more like a cult movement

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  3. Recipients and PublicityJanuary 8, 2010 at 1:57 PM

    This essay is as if it's been written by a high school kid who cannot think critically.

    He is obviously very naive. He probably believed in Santa Claus and the tooth fairy before he became frum, maybe even in the myth of the virgin birth of JC or that Jurasic Park is actually a "fact" when it's just a Steven Spielberg movie fiction.

    He has obviously never taken a course in analysing a piece of prose or what makes people tick in an introduction to pyschology primer. If this person is a BT one wonders what kind of background and education they come from.

    In any case, Tropper is good at turning people upside down and shaking out their inner sense of identity and forcing them into conformist group-think.

    It's sad to think that this is what has become of the great BT movement that it can allow Tropper to clone mindless zombies.

    Wake up, Judaism is not communism and it's not Scientology.

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  4. Observer from AfarJanuary 8, 2010 at 2:16 PM

    It is sad to see that the result of learning in Tropper's yeshiva for 5 yrs -- which should represent the best of all of Tropper's work -- is the inability to think.

    It is hard to decide where to start.

    How can anyone entertain the ludicrous possibility that the audio files are fake, when the other person heard in the audio files who was also thoroughly embarrassed and hurt by them does not deny their authenticity?

    Besides, we don't have Tropper's silence in the face of defamation. Tropper himself did issue a statement and in that statement he did not deny the authenticity of the audio files.

    Besides again, if he had issued a denial, it would not have hurt his family. It would have given his family hope that he is not a menuval.

    There is more, but this should be enough to encourage the young man to try to think!

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  5. Charedi Baal TshuvahJanuary 8, 2010 at 2:30 PM

    This letter claims that the damning tapes were faked but Tropper does not want to "make matters worse" by defending himself.

    That's absolutely absurd.

    If Tropper showed the tapes to be fake (even high-quality audio tricks can be called into question) matters for him would not get worse, they would get better.

    According to this twisted logic every defendant would withhold evidence of his innocence for fear of...let's see...making things worse?

    Huh?

    No. As Rabbi Shternboch so clearly explained, Tropper's silence is very good evidence the claims against him have merit.

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  6. Eternal Jewish Fraud WatchJanuary 8, 2010 at 2:56 PM

    Tropper is not someone who merely deteriorated over time. Rabbonim who know him since he was a yeshiva bochur say he was always a "sick" guy.

    And as we see from the tapes and other episodes, Tropper is a two faced phony, echad bapeh veechad balev. The sign of the most dangerous psychopath is that he knows how to behave and create good impressions when he has to.

    This "talmud" is not the only one among Tropper's baal teshuva following who have been mesmerized as if by a snake charmer, except this time it is the snake itself performing the hypnosis.

    Rav Sternbuch knows hilchos lashon harah better than he does and the tapes have been authenticated.

    It is fitting that the talmid calls himself "talmud". He is playing right into Tropper's manipulative hands - "talmudo beyado".

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  7. The fact that a "Talmid" of Tropper does not want his name published speaks volumes.

    To say that one is a "Talmid of Tropper" is Lashon Hora against oneself. Better to forget that chapter of your life and move on.

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  8. I spoke with someone who was a talmud of Tropper (I didn't know before I started talking to him about the scandal!), and he said the story is "probably true". itchiemayer

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  9. All that this means is that the man was apparently an effective and inspiring lamdan. This is not inaccurate to point out, nor should we minimize the pain of his devoted students or their wish to see their rebbe exonerated.

    It does, however, show the danger of unconditionally following a charismatic leader. Unfortunately, great inspirational qualities do not guarantee great moral or social character (See also: Baruch Lanner).

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  10. If a parent engages in horrific behavior or in an otherwise unseemly way, a child might ask, 'Do I have that in me?' In the case of an abuser, a child might ask, 'Will I be the same way? Will I abuse my children too?'

    Those questions underlie a certain truth. In the case of an abuser, more often than not the abused becomes an abuser him/herself.

    A child loves and identifies with a parent much in the same way a talmid identifies with his rebbe.

    Often, baal teshuvah in particular identifies with his rebbe more in an emotional way than in an intellectual way. That is not hard to understand- the rebbe assumes a parent figure role. The rebbe/teacher is 'molding' the individual much in the same way a parent molds a child. There are feelings of shared identity, dependency, etc.

    A child grows when he realizes parents are not infallible or victims of conspiracies. It is natural for a child to ideolize a parent. The same is true of talmidim and their rebbeim. The phenomena is not unique to baalei teshuva.

    The fact that the talmid of R' Tropper is hurt is no reflection of any shortcomings on his part. He sees Tropper not as a EJF functionary but rather as his rebbe/surrogate parent.

    That R'Tropper has brought him and others to darchei emes has nothing to do with his shortcomings.

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  11. It wouldn't surprise me if the 'Talmid' was the Great Menuval himself. Afterall, he hopefully has lots of time on his hands these days.

    Also keep in mind that any talmid defending the GM is probably entitled, shall we say, to some 'perks'. 'Nuff said!

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  12. Heartbroken prayers for strength and healing...January 8, 2010 at 7:17 PM

    Every one of Tropper's students have sat with this woman around various Shabbos tables in the Kol Yaakov community. They know nothing about what was going on behind the scenes. She speaks highly of every one of them, impressed by their sincerity, dedication, and strength.
    Ovadia, certainly will be something great in both worlds. He will be an example to his family and bring them to Torah.
    Leible, is all heart. He must be crushed by this, but his soul won't be shaken. I hope his family remains strong and supportive.
    Baruch, is very intelligent and I'm sure confused by everything. His loyalty is amazing and for sure causing unbelievable internal conflict.
    Adom is not nieve, and certainly he sees through everything. I pray he sees this as one persons sins, and not the entire Torah world.
    and Dallas... those Texans can hold their own! :-)

    Each of them are however very dependent on Tropper, which puts them in the same place Shannon was... Heartbroken and hurt over the betrayal and lies from someone who was supposed to represent Torah and Emess. How does one express that when that person is still in a position of power over them?

    Please be sensitive in your comments and put yourself in these young men's shoes before chastising them for defending their teacher.

    I doubt any of them will see these comments, as I'm certain Tropper only allowed this one to post, but will not allow him to monitor further. The internet ban is absolutely in full force in the Kol Yaakov camps.

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  13. The talmid (he should learn that it's 'talmid' not 'talmud') should have a look at Rav Dunner's blunt words.

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  14. Yeah we all heard how affectionate Tropper was on those audio tapes.

    What is going on at Kol Yaakov that produces such people? This guy has no ability to think and instead falls back on weird conspiracy theories. Something is wrong in our community when this is accepted as the norm.

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  15. This talmid couldnt have said it better!
    Will the same 1 or 2 guys stop posting anti Tropper and anti Chareidi posts over and over in all types of shapes and forms, trying to make everyone think that soooo many people think as twisted as they do. Please!

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  16. To Tropper's talmid:

    Here is what Tropper states himself via his lawyer:

    "[Tropper] wishes to express his regret for the turmoil caused by his departure from the Eternal Jewish Family organization and for what has appeared to be conduct not within our significant laws of modesty."

    [From: http://www.vosizneias.com/45491/2009/12/24/suffern-ny-rabbi-troppers-statement-to-recent-events ]

    So Tropper himself admitted ("express[ed] his regret") that the tapes reflect what "appear[s] to be conduct not within our significant laws of modesty."

    If he knew that the tapes were fake, he should have included as such in the statement. But he did not. His whole admission is PREDICATED on the fact that he himself accepts them to be genuine & therefore "appear to be conduct not within our significant laws of modesty."

    The only point that it sounds like he is defending is that these tapes, which are genuine, APPEAR to reflect inappropriate conduct. I.e., that it is only evidence of talk, that he has a filthy mouth & mind etc. -- but not that he actually DID any ma'ase znus.

    (cont.)

    --ZIY

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  17. To Tropper's talmid:

    Here is what Tropper states himself via his lawyer:

    "[Tropper] wishes to express his regret for the turmoil caused by his departure from the Eternal Jewish Family organization and for what has appeared to be conduct not within our significant laws of modesty."

    [From: http://www.vosizneias.com/45491/2009/12/24/suffern-ny-rabbi-troppers-statement-to-recent-events ]

    So Tropper himself admitted ("express[ed] his regret") that the tapes reflect what "appear[s] to be conduct not within our significant laws of modesty."

    If he knew that the tapes were fake, he should have included as such in the statement. But he did not. His whole admission is PREDICATED on the fact that he himself accepts them to be genuine & therefore "appear to be conduct not within our significant laws of modesty."

    The only point that it sounds like he is defending is that these tapes, which are genuine, APPEAR to reflect inappropriate conduct. I.e., that it is only evidence of talk, that he has a filthy mouth & mind etc. -- but not that he actually DID any ma'ase znus.

    (cont.)

    --ZIY

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  18. However:

    (1) Even talking like this is very inappropriate, especially for a rov & rosh yeshivah. Especially for someone who made a career in teaching hilchos loshon horo & how to guard one's tounge. Especially since he refers on the tapes to past deeds & he is being masiach lefi tumoy about this.

    (2) There are also video recordings out there that show actual ma'aseh. (So I heard from someone who saw it second person.) & this behavior goes way beyond transgressing the hilchos yichud that he was mechaber a sefer about.

    (3) His past history, both personality-wise (which is not an avayroh per se but does indicate raglayim ledovor) & particulary when it comes to money & women (to which there is more than mere shmu'os) all point to a devious mindset & having the geder of a shor hamu'ad in these affairs.

    For such a manipulator, it is not very hard indeed to put on a double-face when it comes to having to make a good impression on a BT like Tropper's talmid here, or to lek up & chanfeh prominent rabonim & philanthropists. In fact it is in his tevah to do so (someone's analogy to a snake is very on the mark).

    (cont.)

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  19. Tropper's talmid: just because he was so nice to you & was mekarev you, does NOT mean he cannot & did not mess around with others.

    As for you defense on the nisyonos of those doing kiruv out of town: First of all, unlike Lubavitcher shluchim who live the rest of their lives in the midbar shemomos of Kentucky & New Mexico, who are more tempted than Tropper & never fell this low -- Tropper was a globetrotter who always returned to Monsey. In fact, he attempted to persuade his mekurovim to join him in heimishe Monsey. Where is the great nisayon in this?

    Moreover, if he knew he had such a great yetzer horo in these inyonim, he should have stayed in Monsey & not create an organization that would enable him to execute his nefarious desires.

    (To me, as an analogy, it sounds somewhat like the certified child molester who attempts to open up a national network of schools so that he can hop from one to the other without getting caught. Even better when there is a naive philanthropist who will fund the entire enterprise carte blanche.)

    (cont.)

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  20. At the same time, we must agree that, however much of a lowlife Tropper is personally & all the damage he did, he still was the vehicle for many many BTs etc. Though until this scandal we could say that he has great zchus for all this, at this point, the chilul hashem & confusion in geirus he caused may outweigh all his merits.

    & as for his BT talmidim, just know that there are precedents of great teachers who became apikorsim or were exposed for their misdeeds (e.g. "Acher"). These teachers were put in cherem etc., & the talmidim adhered to this.

    If Tropper's talmid has a theological issue of how can G-d have sent such a lowlife as Tropper to make him frum, just remember that "harbeh shluchim lamakom," & for whatever reason, you became frum through this menuval.

    If there is anything that you can do at this point, it will be to behave like R' Meir, who attempted to persuade his teacher Acher to do teshuvah. Of course, this would only work if Tropper comes out & admits to all he did wrong & show constructive remorse to try to repair all the damage he has done.

    But if he does not, standing more than daled amos away from him like R' Meir did may be more appropriate.

    Gut shabes.

    --- ZIY

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  21. I find it to be absolutely insane that anyone can just pass off these tapes by saying something like "audio technology nowadays can be edited right up to each millisecond."

    What has happened to us?

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  22. Dear Talmid,

    You're too close to the situation to recognize you're a victim too. Just look at where the condemnation of Tropper is pouring in from: first, the Eidah Chareidis; now, the Rabbinical Council of America, London Beis Din, and Conference of European Rabbis. If you're reading the articles about him, you also know that issues have been surrounding him for decades on a wide variety of matters.

    It sounds like you're a strong believer in daas Torah. If so, I strongly suggest you consult a rabbi who you consider to be an authentic gadol, and who is not nogeiah to the situation, and have a talk. Before you have that talk, you should also come prepared by reading every article you can about Leib Tropper, and be ready to discuss the specific allegations.

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  23. Poor kid he bought into Troppers fraud hook line and sinker!

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  24. "The fact that a "Talmid" of Tropper does not want his name published speaks volumes."

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  25. Let's not attack the kid. He is trying to defend his Rabbi. Let the kid come in contact with other (real) Rabbonim and Chavrusos. He at least displays a (misplaced) kavod hatorah and that aspect surely can be harnessed in the positive. Get permission from him, and someone close by organise a kvius?

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  26. we had a very similar case in Melbourne, Australia.

    The biggest rachmonus is on the guys talmidim

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  27. As I commen ted before, some of the talmidim of kol yaakov are weirdos who probably should be under state protective custody not roaming the streets of Monsey.

    The like to call Reform, Conservative, Modern Orthodox Jews "shekotzim", they call people who support the State of Israel "Idolatry worshippers", call people who do not follow their chumras "ochlei nevelos" and modern Orthodox girls "zonos"

    I feel bad for the poster, he was a talmid of Tropper for 5 years! and does not know anything about the outside world anymore, he probably idolized Tropper.

    For him to admit that Tropper is menuval would be to destroy the foundation of his existence, to realize that world he lived in the last 5 years was sheker. I do not think his mental state will ever let him to conclude that Tropper was wrong

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  28. Tropper and Barros do the same thing on this forum. They have someone else, who they fool, post that they are ehrlich and are innocent of wrongdoing. This one here is for Tropper. Barros did it by having someone post that Barros and other talmidim of Tropper are outraged by Tropper's behavior. In both cases, the key is deniability. Tropper can cop a plea if this gets to the courts, and Barros can tell Tropper he supported him all along if Tropper continues to be a power broker. In both cases, the intermediary is expendable when he realizes that he was played the fool.

    Don't blame the talmud/talmid. Don't forget the Tropper was as a G-d to him, being a BT and all, and that Tropper told him what to believe . Tropper is famous for telling his BTs that they sometimes need to wear blinders, that seeking truth has nothing to do with frumkeit, and other such concepts that serve to have Tropper do all their thinking for them. Add to this that Tropper would vet them for their vulnerability to such manipulation.

    What he taught them was krum. All smichas done by Tropper must be declared invalid.

    On the bright side, some of them recognized what he was and left Kol Yaakov early on.

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  29. This a real talmid!!!!!!
    He is RLT's Talmid and he knows that he is a human being
    Almost 90% or more of Bts, were involved in sex experiences, and in the secular world ,the severity of RLT's actions are considered soemthing like a "mitzvah"
    This talmid knows RLT'S greatness and his potencial to view this aveira as an opportunitty to become a BT and go to a higher level in his Avoidas Hashem
    Stop, with this non sense ,hate bashing, and realize , that we are not tzaddikim, and being in golus, nobody is safe and anybody can fall
    RLT: we love you, Hashem loves you

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  30. RLT is innocent untill proven guilty.
    R' Eidenson saying hes guilty is not "proof".

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  31. Yes shuky, we can all fail.

    Sex is one thing. Extorting a woman who is attempting to protect her children from being molested and influenced by their father is quite another.

    Fine, let him do tshuvah. But you sure can't believe that he should be left in the same position of influence and power over others as before!

    Let him sell shoes somewhere. After a criminal trial, of course.

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  32. Eternal Jewish Fraud WatchJanuary 10, 2010 at 5:47 AM

    "RLT: we love you, Hashem loves you"

    Sounds like what X-tian missionaries say to people about Yoshke.

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  33. But his "powerful enemy" (you likely refer to 'the billionaire' ) did NOT make these audio tapes. The prospective giyoret (now Jew) Rachel Orand made the tapes. Question is, when do facts burst your bubble or did you construct a bullet-proof one?

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  34. A few points:

    1. Internet is not allowed for students at Kol Yaakov. So this tal-mood must have received permission or instructions to post.

    2. It's ridiculous to even have to say this, but many frum Jews work for a living in the outside world. Some are lawyers, some travel as programmers or accountants, etc.

    But they don't extort victims into sex that the victims don't want. Please don't describe it as a temptation to which they would succumb. That is vicious, sadistic behaviour, which shows either evilness or sickness of character, depending on your frame of reference. For someone raised frum (FFB), it is something that a person would need to force himself to do the first time because it is so out of his frame of experience.

    Tropper obviously is not a G-d fearing individual. He pushes himself to experience new evil behaviours.

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  35. That's a good one--an affectionate and passionate person into kiruv and ahavas yisroel--the only one that doesn't make sense is the ahavas yisroel part, as the woman wasn't jewish at the time...seriously, I know that you must have a lot invested in this bum, and he may have helped you on your way to frumkeit, but I think that it's time for you to do what this woman did and drop him like a hot potato. Don't connect this person to Hashem and Judaism. Stop deluding yourself and find a new rebbe.

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