Friday, January 1, 2010

Tropper is returning

Tropper is coming back. This is not a threat nor is the result of paranoid psychosis from obsessing over the topic. It is simply a fact.

I have gotten a lot of flak for "beating a dead horse". "You are speaking loshon harah because" 1) Tropper has been defeated so why mention him. You just get pleasure at relishing his down fall  and there is no to'eles because the deed is done or 2) Nothing you say has an impact on human events so it is not to'eles to talk about it. But Baruch Hashem the majority of communication is favorable - especially from Rav Sternbuch.

Tropper has said nothing except to apologize for appearing to violate the rules of modesty. Is it because 1)  he was shocked into silence by the sudden fall from the focus of adulation and power to the garbage heap? 2) He has a smart lawyer who advised him he is liable to lawsuits for admitting any guilt? 3) Is it because he is too embarrassed to show his face? 4) He has been waiting to see the reaction like any cool calculated [expletive deleted]. If there was an outcry from the people and denunciation of the rabbis and/or if Tom Kaplan dumped him in the garbage can for embarrassing him so severely- he would go off somewhere and lick his wounds. But if the clamor of the people i.e. bloggers died out and they found something else to get excited about AND the rabbis were silent because they weren't sure what to do or felt he was really innocent - then he would plot his return to power as a martyr to the blogs and jealous rivals i.e., Guma.

Well folks - it looks like #4 is the correct answer. I just received word from informed sources in America that he has rabbinical allies who are bringing him back. The melave malke in South Fallsburg was not an aberration but served as a chance to test the water. He got away with it. Actually he tried testing the waters earlier with his Maimonides program (December 23) but was stopped by the staff. There has been no outcry from the Aguda i.e. The Novaminsker. Rav Reuven Feinstein has had only praise to say about him. Rav Wachtogel - his designated successor has not commented. The Bedatz hasn't said anyting. Where are the rosh yeshivos form Chaim Berlin or the Mir? There has been no one in chareidi circles except for Rav Sternbuch - and he has been criticised for being out of step or mixing in with something that is none of his business or simply that he is wrong. There was a protest by the RCA - but since he holds them in utter contempt - it doesn't count.

Tropper has been given the clear cut message that there is no signficant objection to his return to power and he and his rabbinical allies are now taking the necessary steps.

If you feel that Tropper should be stopped - please contact your rabbi and anyone else who might help- and make a public protest. I would be glad to publish protests from any rabbi, rosh yeshiva or organization or simply collective petitions from the masses.

 Silence means acquiescence to this victory of evil.


  1. Recipients and PublicityJanuary 1, 2010 at 3:03 PM

    Well that explains the full-page ad for EJF on page 2 of the latest Jewish Press.

    "He who does not learn from history is condemned to repeat it!"

    Some historian said it, and its very true!

    They can't put down the Tropper energizer bunny because he has given them too much money and they still think they can "outsource" conversion/kiruv to scoundrels like him, after all that's only child's play, the real stuff is what goes on in the bais medrash where they learn Baba Metziah, Rambam and Ketzos.

    Well, they will be forced to learn their lesson.

    As I have stated, the next real big move is up to Guma Aguiar as he prepares to drag Tropper and Tom Kaplan to court and to dinei Torah and it will drag in the likes of R Reuven Feinstein and R EB Wachtfogel. It will hit the papers and news web sites big time. The scandal will get worse like this.

    That is why they are circling the wagons, it is NOT Tropper they are propping (Tropping) up, it is themselves, because if Guma Aguiar succeeds to open the huge can of worms of what he knows about Tropper and what can be forcibly forced out of Tropper's/Kaplan's/R Reuven Feinstein's/R EB Wachfogel's MOUTHS under pain of perjury, and anyone else who will be called upon to testify under oath in American and Israeli courts and batei din by Guma Aguiar's toanim and lawyers, will face serious consequences because Guma Aguiar intends to put Tropper behind bars for the crimes of theft and fraud from himself and from the Lillian Jean Kaplan Foundation and who knows what else Tropper et al will be charged for, like fostering prosititution at EJF in exchange for conversions, that will bring a forcible and further public disgracing of EJF=Tropper=sexcapades=Kaplan=Feinstein.

  2. I have spoke today to some very chasuve raboinm who said that if this is to happen they will come out in full force against him, they do not beleive such a thing can happen in light of the massive publcity that the story received. A friend of mine in monsey, told me that for 20+ years he has been carful not to enter his 4 amos, this was then on order of Rav elya svei zatzal.

  3. "I just received word from informed sources in America that he has rabbinical allies who are bringing him back."

    Why are you reluctant to name the sources? How do you know their info is accurate?

    "If you feel that Tropper should be stopped - please contact your rabbi and anyone else who might help- and make a public protest."

    You're kidding, right? You think some pulpit rabbis can stop it, if you're above info is correct? If so, you are sadly mistaken.

  4. Although it is not possible to test this qn, I do wonder what Rav Shach would have said if he were alive today? Although I wasn't one of his followers, I do believe he was scrupulously honest, and not bribeable. And he also was not not afraid to criticize even those within the haredi community.

  5. British Agudah FresserJanuary 1, 2010 at 3:25 PM

    Could you scan the Jewish Press ad and send it to Rabbi Eidensohn?

    This newspaper, dubbed "Low Klass" by UOJ, has been at the forefront of promoting EJF since 5 years ago when their lead editorial was "Gold standard in conversions" or something of the sort.

  6. I never thought I would look to Guma as Yiddishekeit last great hope. But there you have it.

  7. The Klass family's Jewish Press newspaper takes the wrong side of just about every issue and some of their staff writers are convicted criminals.

    They attacked Mendlowitz for exposing Kolko.

    And they are covering up any mention of the Elior Chen scandal because a Klass granddaughter gave her own kids over to him to be tortured.

    The nephew, attorney Richard Klass helped the OU cover up the tarfus scandal at Le Marais.

  8. I have heard all over the place that R' Elya Svei had it in for Tropper.

    What are the details?

  9. R'DE WADR, I told you 3 years ago that Tropper and the hundreds like him ARE mainstream Orthodox Judaism. There is no one to protest because the whole "heimishe" oilam is part of the corruption and disgrace.

    Anyone who is interested in living according to Halacha today does so hidden in his home, praying alone and secretly teaching his children our ancient faith.

    There are tens of thousands of "secret Jews" out there, hiding while trying to live a Jewish life, but the majority of what calls itself Judaism is the likes of Tropper and the "kosher nostra".

    There is no place in the world, that I am aware of where one can go today to be able to openly practice authentic Judaism.

    Perhaps you and even Rav Sternbuch are finally grasping the extent of the corruption of Jewish life worldwide. I do not believe that you would have guessed that when it was finally revealed with indisputable evidence that Tropper was a whore monger, that the worldwide reaction from our "Rabbis" would be "oh, no big deal, let's move on".

    Perhaps Rav Sternbuch, the Daas Yechad among our Gedolim who still believes that "Rabbis" should not be pimping can do something to save the last remnant of Judaism.

    But to be honest, it looks pretty grim.

    I sent you a ten page paper explaining why this generation is different from all others since Pre Expulsion Spain. These ideas are not mine BTW, they come from several great Rabbis who are currently imprisoned in basements all over the world.

    PS. Tropper is the "tip of the iceberg". If you would let me, I would post about Bais Yaakov Friday night Shabbaton orgies, "Rabbis" swingers parties, Roshei Yeshivas who bring prostitutes to the boys dorms, lesbian parties at the Bais Yaakov principal's house and many many more Rabbis and Roshei Yeshiva who are molesting our sons.

    Hitler could not accomplish what these rashaim are doing to our children. They are making our children into homosexuals and the ones who are not gay are too messed up to marry from being exposed to this.

    Perhaps you are also beginning to understand the "shiddach" crisis.

    Sexual abuse along with non halachic gerut has all but destroyed the Jewish people.

  10. "Gold standard in conversions" ?

    In nature, there is a shiny metal called fools gold. It is not even worth its weight in iron.

  11. You are expecting that a prominent Rav or Rosh Yeshiva will "do the right thing" despite personal cost. In this case, it happens that the personal cost would not be minimal, considering how unpleasant it would be to cross Nochum Eisentein and Rav Elya Ber. (Think of the movie, "The Godfather.")

    Unless, they'll be rewarded with Guma $$$, meaning that there would be personal benefit rather than personal cost, I don't see that happening.

  12. TITLE of this post is wrong, it should be tropper hamenuval

  13. Wake up Rabbonim and Laypeople and get back to good old ethics:
    The whole story of Hegmon Tropper is a disgrace. There was a time when we would cringe at the tremendous chilul Hashem and the true penitent would hang his head in shame and conduct himself humbly and beg Hashem for forgiveness.
    An Op-Ed article in the Jewish Press - Time to Bring Back the Jewish Cold Shoulder by Rabbi Phillip Pelkowitz really says it all for Chaoshuva Rabbonim and Laymen alike. See

  14. Called it!

    This is why I said way back when the whole scandal started that there was no point in getting excited over it.

    You expected rabbinical condemnation? But they'd already endorsed that and "Daas Torah" is infallible. You could hardly have expected them to make a mistake.

    Nothing will change. He may not openly lead EJF but he will continue to control it in every practical way. He will continue to hold conferences, divert funds to pet projects and slander all those who disagree with him. And no one will be able to stop him.

    This is why I chose long ago to avoid living in large Jewish communities. In small ones, you don't have such schmutz.

  15. This is disgusting and just shows how far we have fallen as a people and how helpless our leaders are. That is, if he really returns.

  16. The Jewish Press ad reprints the December 24, 2009 EJF Press Release entitled, "The Truth About EJF"; and the letter from Rabbis Feinstein, Stern, and Ehrentrau of December 27, 2009.

    A full-page Jewish Press ad costs, at least, about $5,000.00. I gather an ad on page 2 would cost more.

    A fool has no shame.

  17. Gutsy article today by Jonathan Rosenbloom. I wonder who is he referring to?

  18. The American gedolim would have to be suicidal to allow eventuality 4 to actually take place. "Daas Torah" (not this blog)has been a source of "chozek" as a result of this scandal. What if they held an Agudah Convention and no one showed up?

  19. I am not particularly concerned about Tropper himself. We have been through that character type of charismatic ba'al ga'avah, ba'al ta'avah and rodef kavod many times in the past, and likely more in the future.

    It is Eisenstein, who retains the veneer of a "mekurav" to RYSE, who drove, and in all likelihood will continue to drive, the wickedness of abusing righteous gerim and megayerim. Regardless of whether or not Tropper returns, so long as Eisenstein is a force behind EJF it will continue to be a nefarious organization.

  20. is not possible that RLT did teshuvah? he is a human being that can fail like anybody else!
    He just had an affaire with a beautiful lady, that looks as a harlot having sex with many ppl.
    Come on! it is normal!
    it can happen to you too
    how do you know that you do not fell in the nisayon?

  21. Anonymous said

    I have spoke today to some very chasuve raboinm who said that if this is to happen they will come out in full force against him, they do not beleive such a thing can happen in light of the massive publcity that the story received.

    HELLO?!!! who are these Rabbonim? do they not realize that he still runs a YESHIVA, they will not protest about that, but will if he is running some hack organization meant just for funneling money from rich.

    Please! these rabbonim are all talk!

  22. "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,"[1] (sometimes called Santayana's Law of Repetitive Consequences).

  23. How is this baal taava with no yiras shamayim allowed to head a Yeshiva. How can the community allow him to remain in a position
    of spiritual influence. His actions until now are reprehensible but do not necessarily impugn any Rabbonim other than to say that he conned everyone.
    But now he has shown his true colors and he MUST be forced to relinquish his yeshiva.

  24. I got a lot of flak from this blog after I posted about a chlamydia outbreak at the Miami Beach mikveh.

    Perhaps after the revelation about how prevalent sex scandals in our communities really are, others will now also see the wisdom of building private mikvoth.

    When the crime situation got too difficult in Argentina, many apt. buildings installed inexpensive fiberglass mikvoth in their basements, similar to the portable baptistries used in churches.

    Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg was one of many experts who were called in to consult on many of these projects.


    Contact a competent Rav who is expert in building mikvoth.

    I also know of people who bought used fiberglass basins on Craiglist that were made into mikvoth very inexpensively.

  26. "Tropper has said nothing accept to apologize for appearing to violate the rules of modesty."


  27. "There has been no outcry from the Aguda i.e. The Novaminsker. Rav Reuven Feinstein has had only praise to say about him. Rav Wachtogel - his designated successor has not commented. The Bedatz hasn't said anyting. Where are the rosh yeshivos form Chaim Berlin or the Mir?"

    Im not sure why your so shocked. Just cus you decided Tropper is guilty for something, that doesnt mean the Gedolim have to agree with you.
    Did it ever occur to you that the Gedolim that actualy might think that Tropper is NOT guilty.
    Lets face it the people that are claiming that he is guilty are the same people that were against him before the scandal broke. The people that are sticking by his side are those that are either objective or know him and believe him, and realise that the the "proofs" to his guilt are mostly theories, and/or "facts" concieved by blogs and his enemies.
    The fact that NOT ONE GADOL has come out against him, and on the contrary many Gedolim have been giving him tremendous support, add to that- he still has a yeshiva with dedicatd rabbeim working for him, seems to me as a sign of his innocence. Lets face it, its this blog and a couple of others (that are alrady forgeting the whole thing) that are screaming guilty. Those that dont read blogs or even those that do but have faith in our gedolim seem to feel:
    Whos right? Bloggers who have always hated tropper, or our Gedolei Haador?

  28. Since Rav Shach and Rav Elya were niftar, there is no one willing to take a stand about these issues.

  29. The failure of the rabonim in the Aguda world is regrettable (if not also predictible). It points to many of their shortcomings, and of course, the old addage "follow the money" will answer many questions.

    However, their failure to rebuke Tropper is a far cry from accepting or welcoming him back. There is still a large gray area between the two.

    Of course, i'm assuming Kaplan has cut off funding Tropper directly. If that's not the case, and Tropper will have control is distributing these funds, well then ... "follow the money".

  30. Last time I checked, there is still a G-d in the univerese; dont worry tropper and his ilk (modern day erev rav); will fall with all his sheker rabbonim. We are still waiting for a formal pronoucement from the Eidah- we need as much Halachic ammunition we can muster in this melchomos Hashem

  31. You cn be sure that, at this very moment, every effort is being made by Tropper and his troops to bribe Guma to back off. Let's hope that Guma can withstand the incredible pressure!

    Perhaps Hashem is hardening their hearts, like He hardened Paroah's, so that more good will come of things? At least let's hope so.

  32. Tropper really does see himself as a victim. He believes the bad behavior, which he has not denied was only a momentary lapse and pales in comparison to the good he has done. There is a part of him who says:

    'You see, I am not the not the superman you all said I was. I am human too. In any event, I meant well, I always mean well. My motives are pure, unlike those who hound me. I may have erred, but I am pure'.

    Tropper has paskened for himself- mutter lach, mutter lach, mutter lach.

    As for his enablers, the manhigim who willingly maintain his status and stature, an analogy is most illustrative:

    Often times a child or spouse will tolerate an abusive parent or partner because they provide certain needs. Often, they are afraid to give up what the abuser provides- shelter, warmth and a false sense fo love and caring.

    We have all heard of abused children or spouses who stay with their abusers- "He really loves me. He really cares for me. He takes care of me", etc. The victim is afraid to leave, afraid to abandon the status quo.

    The abuse goes on, and at some point the abused becomes the abuser.

    If our kehilla is to overcomes the ever mounting obstacles we face, we must remove ourselves from the cycle.

    It is not my intention to be mevaze manhigim. We aren't meant to walk in lockstep. The principle characteristic of a kehilla expressive of diversity. Everyone is meant to be heard. No one is meant to be silenced. Real Yiddishkeit is a broad canvas, with no even and repeating brushstrokes. We each are meant to contribute our own marks on the successive chapters of Creation.

    Some are great thinkers and contribute in that way. Others are very simple and leave an impression that way. No brushstrokes are the same. Those manhigim who insist we march in lockstep are in err. I am sure the intent is not malicious, but they are in err nonetheless.

    Rav Eidensohn, these remarks cause me great pain. There is no pleasure in facing cold realities and truths. In fact, with the realizations comes other truths.

    One of the first indicators of adulthood is when a child realizes his parents are not perfect. As children we always want to believe they are perfect We go to great lengths to justify their behavior, actions and beliefs. A child believes that perfect and real love means they must idealize their parent.

    Of course, that isn't true. Any adult or parent can tell you we can love without the idealization. In fact, real love is predicated on the truth that we love another DESPITE their imperfections.

    We must learn to be adults. We must make things better. I don't want my child or grandchild asking me, 'How did it get so bad?'

  33. Charedi Baal TshuvahJanuary 2, 2010 at 7:54 PM

    Tropper has a stable of protectors. Basically all the mainstream Orthodox press and their writers.

    I think I know why they protect him so fiercely.

    I believe they think that any criticism of any rabbi will lower rabbonus in the eyes of the masses. So they have to hide this one.

    They are the fools. The masses can see through the scam quite well...

  34. But the organization was krum from the beginning and that was precisely the problem. Not the personal desires of one particular individual (although that certainly made the organization even more krum since conversions were given in return for sexual favors). There is no way out of this. Rabbi Eidensohn is right and the excuse-makers are wrong.

  35. Am Haaraztus WatchJanuary 3, 2010 at 1:56 AM

    "Enrique" obviously does not know the ABCs of doing repentance.

    Tropper is guilty of many sins and has not asked his victims' forgiveness.

  36. Enrique you said,

    "He just had an affaire with a beautiful lady, that looks as a harlot having sex with many ppl.
    Come on! it is normal!"

    He is heard on the tapes urging her to engage in inapropriate behavior with other men.

    I dont know were you are from, but I dont think this would fall into the catagory of "normal" (I also dont think married men fantasising about rape with other woman is normal. But hey-thats just me I guess)

  37. The OU and NCYI need to announce any conversion done with a charedi Rabbi is not acceptable and needs to be redone with a Modern Orthodox Rabbi.

    Clearly any conversion done by charedim will be invalid because the Rabbis are posul as they expect potential converts to engage is sexual immorality as part of the conversion process.

    The entire haredi community must be judges as accepting and endorsing Tropper if the aguda and other haredi groups accept his continuing practice as a Rabbi in any form whatsoever.


    1. Menachem Lubinsky and R reuven feinstein pushed LT out of EJF when the scandal broke. Lubinsky is making 50K a year n PR fees..etc...

    2. Rabbi ehretreu is receiving a salary from ejf and missed the CER standing committee meeting in Moscow due to lack of a Visa. they voted down EJF is his absence.

  39. Jersey Girl said:

    "I sent you a ten page paper explaining why this generation is different from all others since Pre Expulsion Spain. These ideas are not mine BTW, they come from several great Rabbis who are currently imprisoned in basements all over the world."

    Can you please post this paper somewhere and post the link here, or some other way for others to view it?

    The premise that those who practice real Judaism do so in private now has been brought to my attention before, and I am beginning to agree. Those who wish to stay untarnished and live in densely frum areas seem to go to shul, not talk to anyone besides for greetings, and then go home.

    But their children are affected by peer pressure, and will turn out like the corrupt olam in most instances, I think.

  40. Unlike most people, I'm not calling for massive outrage against Tropper. Not because I think he's innocent but because it serves no purpose. Everyone knows what he did. To publicly blast him will only beat a dead horse and make it seem (as all these blogs do) that corruption is way more common than it really is and that no rabbi can be trusted. I think that is why no gedolim have made any outcry.

    But I do think there should be protests if he does in fact attempt to resume as leader of EJF. It is too soon. A leadership position is the wrong environment for tshuva.

  41. I also know of people who bought used fiberglass basins on Craiglist that were made into mikvoth very inexpensively.

    FYI, fiberglass inserts/tubs are not acceptable according to all opinions for niddah, geirus and according to some opinions sofrim.

  42. Wake up and smell the coffeeJanuary 3, 2010 at 8:44 AM

    NCYI is controlled by Ner Yisroel & Agudah.

  43. The OU and NCYI need to announce any conversion done with a charedi Rabbi is not acceptable and needs to be redone with a Modern Orthodox Rabbi.

    Clearly any conversion done by charedim will be invalid because the Rabbis are posul as they expect potential converts to engage is sexual immorality as part of the conversion process.

    The entire haredi community must be judges as accepting and endorsing Tropper if the aguda and other haredi groups accept his continuing practice as a Rabbi in any form whatsoever.

    This is the most absurd, assinine thing I have ever heard. On too many levels to count this comment is just stupid, though I will enumerate some:

    1) EJF conversions are not accepted to date the Israeli Chief Rabbinate.

    2) At the minimum, publicly R' Shternbuch, and the Lond Beis Din have already spoken out against the org.

    3) It is always a brilliant idea to punish the innocent for the wrongs of a single man. That you would suggest such a thing in a public forum speaks to your absolute lack of Halachic knowledge, derech eretz and yirat shamayim.

    4) Most Chareidim don't have internet, which leaves only a handful of Rabbanim officially in the know about any of this. So again refer to #3.

    5) Even those Chareidim who do have internet access often view blogs with the utmost suspicion and are more likely to trust their Rabbonim then what they view as gossip columns. Again see point #3 and #4.

    6) Just because nothing has been done in the public arena does not mean that nothing is being done.

    7) Most importantly you can lump the NCSY and the OU into your pile of stupidity as no one from those orgs has issued any kind of condemnation as of yet. Only the RCA which is unaffiliated with them.

  44. too bad he wasn't caught drinking regular american milk. that would be the end of him

  45. how do you know that you do not fell in the nisayon

    I am not the head of a major organization. If I do fall, I hereby declare that everyone can pasul me from chairing any beit din, charity, jewish organization, school, gemach, etc.

  46. The RCA is a division of the OU.

  47. what and where was the melave malkah about

  48. Jersey Girl,

    Look up
    Rabbi Yosef Kapach
    , the Dor Daim, Baladi Yemenite community and the Rambamist movement. I think you'll find your authentic Judaism. Also, check out Machon Mamre for a fully searchable Mishneh Torah based on the Yemenite Manuscripts.

    The more I read about LT and other abuses in the Charadi world the more convinced I am that the Rambam was right; he said
    that it's a bizayon ( disgrace ) to the Torah and a Hillul Hashem for a man to live off of charity while learning Torah
    . I think the power structure created by grown men with families living off of welfare and charity while studying in Kollel is the source of allot of the problems we see today. If people would be encouraged to have their own parnasa there would be less room for a person like LT to use money to control and abuse other people.

  49. In the yeshiva here, R' Meir Stern does not allow the yungerleit to take any form of food stamps or welfare.

  50. I just looked up the specific quote:

    ט [י] כָּל הַמֵּשִׂים עַל לִבּוֹ שֶׁיַּעְסֹק בַּתּוֹרָה וְלֹא יַעֲשֶׂה מְלָאכָה, וְיִתְפַּרְנַס מִן הַצְּדָקָה--הֲרֵי זֶה חִלַּל אֶת הַשֵּׁם, וּבִזָּה אֶת הַתּוֹרָה, וְכִבָּה מְאוֹר הַדָּת, וְגָרַם רָעָה לְעַצְמוֹ, וְנָטַל חַיָּיו מִן הָעוֹלָם הַבָּא: לְפִי שֶׁאָסוּר לֵהָנוֹת בְּדִבְרֵי תּוֹרָה, בָּעוֹלָם הַזֶּה.

  51. If one studies the history of the Shabbetai Zvi movement, there are some interesting parallels. Whilst the Tropper case is not a messianic movement, nor an extreme kabbalistic offshoot, there is still some worrying resemblance with the EJF and Shabbetai Zvi.
    Zvi was a frum talmid hochom, and his "prophet" Nathan of Aza was actually a recognized Gadol and Mekubal. It was Nathan's "haskama" which actually made Shabbetai zvi a big time player.
    Shabbetai zvi sought to bring redemption to Am Yisrael, and for a while, the frenzy brought Jews from all over the world to do teshuva, and to return to Israel. However, Zvi started doing weird acts - maasim megunim, and actual sins, similar in nature to those of Tropper. But people still wouldn't let go of him. Nathan explained these as "redemption through sin".
    Just when we thought Tropper is finished, he is planning a comeback - which is exactly what Shabbetai did, and also his successors, eg Yakov Frank.
    B'H we had in those times Hacham Zvi,a nd his son the Yaavetz, to fight the heretical movement. We need today, Hachamim who will follow in R Yakov Emden's spirit, to fight the EJF and its false messiah.

  52. Eddie,

    Your fact are wrong. Nathan of Aza was never a Godol. He also dies at the age of 37. Few become a godol at such a young age.

  53. "As such, the doors of senior Haredi officals were thrown open to him, including that of Rabbi Shalom Elyashiv, a leader of the Lithuanian Haredi sect, and rabbi Tropper himself had the title of gaon ("most learned") bestowed upon him by the ultra-Orthodox press - all because of his efforts and comments against conversions by the Conversion Authority, against the "infiltration" of gentiles into the people of Israel

    Interesting , the title Gaon or Giant, used ot be reserved for those who mastered the entire Talmud. In generations past there would be a handful of Gaonim in each geenration. In fact, those titled as Geonim, such as Saadia, were so great, that the Rishonim suchs Rambam were no longer known as Geonim.

    So, titles seem to be devalued, even below zero, into negative territory. Someone who is acting in open contradiciton to the Torah, is given honours and appellations, which truly should be reserved for the very rare and very great.

  54. Passaic,

    It's a huge problem here in Jerusalem. When the majority of the community is mitparnes from a combination of welfare + tzedaka then everything becomes about money and whoever has the money has huge leverage within the community. I must note the heroic women of the Charedi community, many are real eshet chayil who work to support their husbands in Kollel while trying to raise children at the same time, but even those who can do it usually don't have decent paying jobs and still live in serious poverty leaving them subject to the pressure of looking for handouts. I've heard there are similar problems in various communities in the USA.

  55. When, and where, was R. Tropper ever referred to as "Gaon"?

  56. Dave,

    1) I hardly wish to debate whether Nathan of Aza was a Gadol - he was a talmid hacham muvhak of Jacob Hagiz. Before the scandal he was big mekubal that people would get segulot from. Afterwards he may have bene played down. (compare to EJF).

    2) In the haredi press such as Yated, they refer to him as Harav Hagaon. Agian this is before the scandal, when they were making a disntinciton between Tropper/EJF , and the treif zionist Druckman, who they claim is like reform.

    The parellel is very interesting - in the rise of arrogance, and the fall of denial. Before the scandal, the EJF and its anti-Druckman campaign was a major piece of Haredi media hype. What goes up , must come down. Just like Shabbetai Zvi deteriorated into a scandal of "legalised" immorality, so Tropper, who traded the halachic certificates (which can only be produced by Yorei shomoyim) for acts which until now, in Jewish history, only Shabebtai zvi was brazen enough to do with no shame.

    3) I wish to propose a third parallel. Just like the shabbetai movement di dnot die, but continued underground, so Tropper is returning to continue his good work. This isn't the end of the EJF, it will carry on in a new guise, but in the background , Tropper will be signing the cheques.

  57. New EJF kashrus committee has super Glatt Kosher Heilev, to hasten the messiah!

  58. Eddie,

    Sorry, Nathan, who died in his 30's, was never called a Gaon.

    And I never saw Yated call R. Tropper one either.

  59. Thanks Dave -

    It was my understanding from the research of Prof Scholem that Nathan from Aza was considered a great Talmid Hochom. I used the word gadol for him, but not Gaon.

    If Tropps was never called Harav hagaon then I have erred.

    Here is a choice quote from yated by tropper:

    "HaRav Leib Tropper said that the goal of the conference was to remedy the bleak state of conversion, stressing the need to clarify who is worthy of sitting on the bench of a beis din involved in conversions. He quoted HaRav Eliashiv's assertion that in Eretz Yisroel conversion has reached a state of real "hefkeirus," even though in truth a non- Jew can be accepted for conversion only if he turns into a real eved Hashem al pi Torah."

    Notice how he uses the word "hefkeirus".

    here is another reference to how holy the EJF people are:

    "Vaad HaRabbonim is calling on the Chief Rabbinate to absolve itself of responsibility for the Conversion Authority and stop recognizing the conversions it performs. "The Chief Rabbinate cannot certify conversions that are not under the control of rabbonim yirei Shomayim from the early preparation stage through the end of the conversion process if the conversion candidates do not undertake genuine mitzvah observance in full," said a Vaad HaRabbonim spokesman."

    I quote again from yated:

    The Rabbinical Committee includes: HaRav Reuven Feinstein, rosh yeshivas Staten Island, HaRav Leib Tropper, rosh yeshivas Kol Yaakov, HaRav Simcha Kook, rav and av beis din of Rechovot, HaRav Shmuel Eliezer Stern, author of Giyur Kehalochoh, and HaRav Nachum Eisenstein, the Chairman of the Vaad HaRabbonim Haolami LeInyonei Giyur founded by HaRav Chaim Kreiswirth zt"l.

    Ie tropper was a central Halachic force in the EJF.

    If you read the yated articles on conversion now, with hindsight, it is a very sick and depraved commedy and mockery of the Torah.

  60. Eternal Jewish Fraud WatchJanuary 4, 2010 at 1:16 AM

    Tropper was indeed called "hagaon", a misnomer if ever there was one, by some Israeli websites.

  61. "Interesting , the title Gaon or Giant, used ot be reserved for those who mastered the entire Talmud. In generations past there would be a handful of Gaonim in each geenration. In fact, those titled as Geonim, such as Saadia, were so great, that the Rishonim suchs Rambam were no longer known as Geonim."

    This is misinformed. The Geonim were so called because they were the heads, or the representatives, of yeshivos which were called Geon Ya'akov. Many of them were indeed great sages, but some of them (little more than meshulochim) were not renowned for any great learning.

  62. Dear Eddie,

    Please be very careful avoiding using anything from that baal sheker and menuval Gershom Scholem, whos single overriding goal in life was to "disprove" the Torah.

  63. Dear Shlomo Zalman,

    Thank you for your concerned advice on Prof Scholem.

    I am not his Chossid - but here is my view:

    a) Of course he was Hiloni - but his research on Shabbetai zvi was pretty much authoratative. Most rabbonim use his research when they discuss Shabbetai, although they may not openly quote him.

    b) In any case there is no other research which is as detailed as his.

    c) Ironically, his criticism of Shabbetai is quite frum. He calls Shabbetai antinomian - anti-halachic. And he points out the obvious contradictions between Halacha and shabbatean practice.

    d) It is only Prof Scholem's research which has shown that the early Reform movement was started by hidden sabbateans/frankists. This finding in itself is very useful in understanding the history and agenda of Reform Judaism which has probalby not been understood by Orthodoxy. Orhtodoxy sees reform only as apikorsus and modernist - which is true, but its source is from the side of the Frankist movement.

    e) I dont rely on him for Hashkafa - but he has a wealth of sources which are not in print or available elsewhere.

  64. Dear Snag,

    I based my comments on the terminology of Gaon on a book by Rav Lewittes. He quotes Meiri on the inro to Bet Bechira on Avot, sayign that Gaon was conferred on scholars who were versed in 60 tractates of the Talmud (no small feat) and 60 is the numerical value of the word gaon.
    Regardless of whether this was used for Tropps (and EJFW says it was) - it is a nice vort!

  65. If Tropper comes back, sadly, many frum Jews will leave. The silence from so called gedolim is devastating.

  66. JDB wants to know:

    Does anyone share with me an interest in how this scandal - which has captured the attention of the entire Jewish and Jew-hating world - was engineered?

    It kind of sounds like Shannon Orand made the tapes at someone else’s direction, urging or suggestion - and that person told her “No biggie, it will only go to a few leading Rabbis?” If so, who, if anyone, was part this project with Shannon? Is it fair, if it was a set-up- to ask: Who carried out the operation?

    The NY Post quotes Shannon Orand as saying about the tape, "It was only supposed to go to a few leading rabbis". Am I the only one who wonders: Well, who sent it to any Rabbis at all? How did the tapes get out? Did Shannon sent them out herself?
    Did Shannon turn the tapes over to someone else to disseminate? If so, who? Who has all the emails etc, of the “leading Rabbis”?

    How did Shannon Orand happen to tape Leib Tropper? Was there anyone there with her at the time she was speaking and taping?

    I’m getting a mixed message - on the one had, Shannon Orand is portrayed as an innocent bright-eyed demi-waif, bullied by a vicious sex fiend, but on the other hand, Shannon portrays herself as “a counter missionary for Outreach Judaism, and continues this work with other organizations, such as Jewish Israel and Bridge Houston. It’s not uncommon for a counter-missionary to subscribe to their updates, participate in conversations, and monitor their activities”. So that is sneaky, undercover work, not work for sissies!

    Where did Shannon happen to get the equipment to do clear, unmistakable high-quality telephone recordings? Just had the taping laying around the house? Did anyone supply Shannon Orand with the equipment she used to make the tapes? If so, who?

    You might think you needed a private eye to do work of such professional quality! Anyone help her make the tapes? Any “techies” involved?

    Now, there’s a lot of talk on the blogs about “bagmen”. People getting paid off, controlling the purse strings etc. Did Shannon get paid to make the tapes? If so, how much? Has she been promised future payments? Was she in the employ of any person or agency at the time she made the tapes, other than, allegedly, Leib Tropper? Has she received tape related (i.e. support) payments from anyone since she made the tapes?

    Is it fair to ask Shannon Orand whether Guma Aguiar played any role in causing these tapes to be created?

    Of course, Shannon Orand, like Leib Tropper and his wife, do not want to be bothered by any unwanted intrusion into their lives. But she did open this Pandora’s Box. Whether intended or nay, but for Shannon Orand publicizing these tapes, this could have been a private chilul HaShem and Leib Tropper still could have been ruined.

    Instead, Shannon Orand has caused the attention of the entire Jewish and Jew-hating world to be focused on a Jewish sex scandal.

    Is it totally out of order to ask her a few questions about how the tapes came to be made? Is there some reason for a cover-up?
    Yours truly,

  67. "Is it totally out of order to ask her a few questions about how the tapes came to be made? Is there some reason for a cover-up?"

    This probably won't be posted because it's pure conjecture.

    My take on the situation is that is was recorded on EJF phones, either by those in EJF who wanted Tropper out (either so that they would not have to put up with him anymore or because they wanted his position for themselves), or done by a private detective, either for EJF or for Guma Aguiar.

    The way I came to this conclusion is from the facts that (a) there is so much claimed to be on tape and video, (b) the recordings ar of such high quality and (c) because one of the tapes is Tropper's present wife on her cellphone. Therefore, it would seem that the source of the recordings would be one landline phone that Tropper used.

    The alternative is too raw for me to consider: that Tropper recorded all his calls and taped his exploits, and that somebody got hold of this material.

    But I doubt that Shannon taped it, since she would not have access to calls between Tropper and Blonde.

    So as far as a coverup is concerned, if it indeed was done at EJF in order to remove Tropper, and the threats still hang over Tropper's head, it would not make sense for them to declare their own involvement. They would then get buried in phone calls, maybe even reporters, pressuring them for the rest of the evidence.

    Of course if Blum was involved and gets Tropper's job and power, he would not want that publicized either.

  68. Please don't distract me with your questions about Shannon Orand. I don't care if it was or wasn't a setup. Leib Tropper is Rosh Yeshiva that should be done in kiruv or Jewish public life forever. I know he's a smart guy but I wouldn't even trust him editing manuscripts in a private room somewhere.

    I am one of his many students from long ago. I heard the tapes. Just listening to him calling that woman (victim or not) "darling" is enough to be done with him. This is the man who should learn with talmidim and give counsel to them as to how to lead their lives? Feh!

    If our gedolim can't stand up to the test of the millions they are clearly being blinded with, if Fable tropper's money handouts allow him to carry on as a great leader - I am done! Our mesorh is a sham! At least this version of Mesorah. Would Rav Moshe zt"l have done the same? Please for the sake of probably hundreds like me, I beg the Rav Reuven to quit Tropper out of any future in Jewish leadership. Otherwise it will be abundantly clear to me who else is not fit to be called a leader.

    Now I understand what chazal meant by their pshat in the posuk "b'chol l'vovcha u'vchol nafshecha. That there are some whose money means more to them than their lives. I never thought it talked to so many people I once respected.

  69. just a simple rabbiJanuary 5, 2010 at 2:46 AM

    just over a year ago I was scheduled to be mesader kedushin at a wedding here in america. A question arose regarding the yechus of the kallah since there was a gerusin involved. While doing the research it was clear to me that this needed big shoulders to posken and so the shailah was sent to a Gadol in Eretz Yisroel. This Gadol gave a psak that the wedding could be performed. Somehow, Tropper was made aware of this situation and turned it into a personal campaign. Perhaps since the shaila wasn't brought to him, not sure. Regardless, he phoned me and told me that under no certain terms was I "allowed" to perform this wedding and that if I did he would personally see to it that my name would be on the cover of the Jewish Press as a rabbi that performs treifa weddings! He even went so far as to email all the prominent rabbanim in my local city stating those very things. The Gadol in Eretz Yisroel spent an hour on the phone with Tropper and others at the EJF trying to enlighten them and clarify the situation with no success.
    Well, midah kneged midah, it turns out he is the one being plastered about as performing treifa "ceremonies".

  70. simple Rabbi -

    your story is truly horrifying.

    It is not enough that that man is totally immoral and corrupt, but he interferes in halacha, arrogating to himself the position of Gadol and mara d'atra.
    This is somebody with sever mental issues, power hunger, and illusions of grandeur.
    At the same time, his acts are the lowest, and bringing the Torah world into disrepute.
    I wonder how many lives he has destroyed.

  71. "I wonder how many lives he has destroyed."

    I know of a few, and others that he attempted to destroy, seemingly for no reason.

    The only word that comes to mind about his demeanor when he is doing this is "glee".

  72. One of the questions that people will have to ask themselves, come Yom Kippur - is did it require a scandal on the scale of that which broke out last month, for even some haredim to realise what was rotten?
    Let us suppose that either this scandal did not break, or he had nto fallen to that level of depravity, but everything else he continued under the eyes and noses of the Orthodox world? Would anyone have made nosies? Perhaps the failed moshiah blog, but would the Yeshiva world have continued paying lip service and acquiesced with all the blackmail and diktats of the self-appointed diktator?

  73. To Eddie,
    "One of the questions that people will have to ask themselves, come Yom Kippur...

    I think the question we will have to ask ourselves is whether we did enough to remove him and his kind from our community. Many people are afraid that he will continue to flourish and take vengeance upon his accusers, so they are sitting back and waiting to see what happens before they commit to action.

    Then people reading the blog say that if it is all true, why do we post anonymously?

    And of course the "gedolim" continue to prolong this situation by taking his hush money.

    If only there was another true religion!

    Are Brooklyn basements considered caves? Maybe I can take a Zohar into one for forty years and ignore all this.

  74. ANon, thanks - isn't it a bit too late for him to take vengeance? It is hard to imagine he will have any credibility even if he is redeemed. Do Hareidm have a Basij like the loonies in Iran? I know there is a Badatz basij which attacks women who dress "wrongly".
    Scary stuff. There are hundreds of Yeshivot, what are the roshei Yeshivot saying? Or are they also keeping shtum in case they are put on the wanted list?

  75. As for what the "street" in the chareidi world is saying, I asked 2 people if they heard about this, one a neighbor and other an acquaintance, neither ever heard of him or EJF or any recent scandal. I guess ignorance is bliss and there seems to be plenty of that going around.

  76. Eddie said...
    "ANon, thanks - isn't it a bit too late for him to take vengeance?"

    No. According to the lawsuits, there are millions of dollars at issue. He is living high on the hog, and it is probable he pocketed millions. He was unaccountable for 36 times 36,000 dollars from Guma, over 10 million from EJF, another 8 million at Horizons this year alone, and he controlled where many millions more went. He could have skimmed 10 million dollars easy.

    Add to that the deals he probably made concerning the money he gave out. A fictitious example may be: 5 million to you if that 800,000 dollar building in Yerushalaim goes into my name. Who knows what he could have done. He was in it for money and power after longing for both his whole life.

    Plus he had to have made a lot of crooked friends who have their fingers in the pie.

    He is now a wealthy thug. Of course he is capable of being vindictive.


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