Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tropper scandal Is this what Lakewood is producing?

Dear Rabbi Eidenshon,    [SEE Five Towns Jewish Times comment]

I just heard of your blog recently. I live in Lakewood and have used the Yad moshe many many times I always thought to myself what an amazing person R' Eidenshon must be to put together this monumental work.. Well I must tell you R' Eidenshon never in my life would I have imagined that the auther of the Yad Moshe was the blog owner of a filthy motzi shem rah/ lashon horah blog that is full of bizui talmidei chachamim. many many talmidei Chachamim. I cant tell you how shocked I was. I couldnt stop thinking about it for days. How does such a thing happen?! I have to tell you that my emunas talmidei chachamim fell after learning who you really are.. Im sorry to say you should be ashamed of yourself!

For your info. I recently went into a VERY popular otzar hasforim of a very popular yeshiva here in lakewood ( Im not saying any names). one that is used by many talmidei chachamim 24/7; There are a few Yad moshes on the shelf there. every single Yad moshe in the cover by your name said the following (in hebrew) "Rasha merusha, mevazeh talmidei chachamim v'gedolei hador R"L. Baal blog shel motzi shem rah v'lashon horah vchoo. R"L."

Anyways, heres the latest going around. I think it was written well. You have permission to post it, but please dont post my name. thanks.
open letter to the Editor of Tablet magazine

Dear editor,
I am writing regarding recent articles on Tablet Magazine’s blog written by Allison Hoffman. There are a couple of points I would like to take issue with. I will primarily use the Jan. 19Th 2010, article titled "among friends" http://www.tabletmag.com/news-and-politics/23832/among-friends/ as an example to bring out my points.
A.  The author obviously has a very biased opinion in regard to ultra Orthodox Jewry, which is apparent by the way she has been authoring one sided stories regarding various ultra Orthodox Jewish issues which involve allegations. She rarely bothers to either do research or report the other side of the story-namely ultra orthodox Jews. In addition to that, the obvious sarcasm and complete and utter disdain that Hoffman has for ultra Orthodox Jewry undermines her entire credibility. Her articles are full of nuanced jabs at the ultra orthodox community and rabbinate. 
Here's one example in her most recent article. She writes about Rabbi Tropper: "As a newcomer to the fraught business of conversions...." By calling the conversion process a "business" she is obviously trying to portray Rabbis that do conversions as being in it for money. That is offensive and untrue. For some reason I doubt she would make the same sort of remark about international doctors that go to aid Palestinians.  [...]

Hoffman also cites Daniel Eidenshon of daastorah blog (no one is fooled by the name). Eidenshon has had his own private agenda to bring down Tropper from the beginning of EJF. Tropper was Eidensons obsession way before anyone heard of Orand. He didn't like the fact that Tropper was trying to help intermarried couples go through conversions. The Tropper story was a dream come true for Eidenson. In addition Eidenson smears any rabbinic rabbi or leader that disagrees with his view.. Daastorah blog is hardly an example of of what ultra orthodox Jews feel regarding the Tropper story.

Rabbi Elyashav was not there. This has been confirmed by conference participants as well as R’ Elyashav’s family. This can be verified by asking either of the above.

After pointing out the above, is it no wonder that the ultra Orthodox rabbinate doesn't take the accusations seriously? To add to that, the fact that there is is an article on the issue in Tablet, a blog they would consider to be anti Orthodox, full of gossip and lies (for good reason, as shown above) is enough for them to instinctively assume that the allegations are nothing but libel from some self hating Jewish journalist. (There's something special about secular Jews writing against religious Jews. You can actually feel the hate pulsating through the word's). And to add to that, the mere fact that at the forefront of this cry for 'justice'-all of course in their righteous indignation, is unorthodoxjew, Tablet magazine, and Eidenshon,  not only gives Rabbis reason dismiss the accusation, but on the contrary they feel obligated to support the victim of such libel. A woman comes in to a Rabbi complaining that her husband hits her. The Rabbi asks "that's a hefty accusation, are you sure you want to say that?" "Of course I do", the women responds, "I know what abuse is. Ive been married to a dozen men and every one of them beat me. Not only that, so has all my brothers and my father too". "Hmm.." Says the Rabbi, "something sounds fishy here". Hearing that, the woman yells at the Rabbi "all you men are the same, you probably beat your wife too!" Now the Rabbis thinking... poor husband! Tablet Magazine is that women. Something sounds fishy here. Whoops! What did I just say? Now of course I'm also "guilty", no? Whether or not Tropper is guilty, partially guilty, or innocent is not the point of this letter. [It so happens, that it seems coincidentally people like unorthodox Jew, Eidenson and Hoffman tend to be the type to believe that he is 100% guilty, without even any doubt to the tapes authenticity. While the general ultra Orthodox community seems to either be not so sure, or feel that there is obviously much more to the story. Who knows how many people are really on those tapes. Or is it a cut and paste? Is he really talking to Orand? Did Aguiar pay to make the tapes? Why was Aguiar involved? Etc.] The point is, just because you have an opinion on something, and you want to get your message out, that does not justify using tactics such as those pointed out above, which are way beyond the pail. Remember Jason Blair? Hoffman like him seems to feel the ends justify the means. Aside for the fact that Hoffmans articles are not within journalism ethics and are a clear case of journalism bias. By you allowing Hoffmans false and biased articles to be published,  you are in affect declaring war on ultra Orthodox Jewry. Yes, you may take that as a badge of honor, and no, you arent the first (sorry), and I'm sure you wont be the last. But before you start celebrating and patting yourself on the back for being so brave and enlightend by exposing those closeminded ultra Orthodox fakers. Lest you start becoming gitty by the fact that you stuck it to them big time, I can assure you-you hurt no one. The very people that you are trying to hurt will never know that you exist, nor will they feel your jab. Almost no one there will read a word of what you say. Maybe a handful might come across the articles, but that’s about it. They will look at you the same way you look at a gossip mongering tabloid in Uzbekistan. Irrelevant trash.

So go ahead and punch if you like, but please remember... your punching at thin air.


  1. In addition Eidenson smears any rabbinic rabbi or leader that disagrees with his view..
    Well, at least you don't smear any non-rabbinic rabbis.

    Incidentally, Rabbi Wexler of the Miami Beach Hebrew Academy told me at a kiddush he's in constant touch with R' Zwiebel and the Novominsker and that the reason nobody's said anything about Troppergate is that his "'yeshiva' is nothing, just a room, so there's nothing to say;" also, the gedolim want to legitimize EJF (I'm paraphrasing all this). I mentioned something about your blog and he told me that you're "a nut" and cited your lashon hara sidebar as evidence (not that I really understood that). FTR, Rabbi Wexler told me all this very loudly at a public kiddush in order to debate my claim that Tropper being a Rosh Yeshiva is the responsibility of the gedolim so the folks I was shmoozing with would view my opinion on this issue as stupid and his as enlightened -- I am thus doing Rabbi Wexler a public service by publicizing his opinion so that others may hear what he says the gedolim are saying (Rabbi Ribiat incidentally disagrees with Rabbi Wexler; his opinion is that if they "confirm the rumors" then they should "force him to resign."). 3 talmidim of Rabbi Zweig's yeshiva were listening closely to the conversation.

    Baruch Pelta

  2. "FACT CHECKER" seems to have difficulty comprehending written English. He attacks the Tablet article for falsely asserting that "'Rabbi Elyashav' was there;" the article made no such statement. The article asserted that Tropper used Kaplan's and Aguiar's money to curry favor with the "most elevated rabbinic authorities in the world" and included Rav Elyashiv in that group; it also asserted that Rav Elyashiv was among the rabbis who either attended or sent blessings to Tropper's son's wedding.
    "FACT CHECKER" also seems to say that the "ultra Orthodox rabbinate" has similar comprehension problems.

  3. If he lives in Lakewood why does he use the internet ?

  4. It seems like there are a whole lot of people who are on record questioning the authenticity of the tapes.

    Interestingly enough, Tropper isn't one of them.

    Criticism of Rav Eidensohn is classic deflection and projection. He is not the problem, nor has he ever been the problem.

    The fast and furious defense of Tropper (who has yet to go on record and publicly deny the allegations) are indicative of the fear of the Charedi establishment. The staus quo power base is being threatened (which is a nice way of saying we're watching how the hot dogs get made) and they are fearful they will be held to account.

  5. i have learned in bmg/lakewood. it is a very large yeshiva with a somewhat diverse student population. (additionally there's a sizable amount of people just loitering there.)
    while there are some that do not believe tropper's scandalous behavior, many people i know (still learning there)do believe it to be absolutely true.
    As for someone writing that sort of thing in a safer, all it takes is one fool to write it in as many seforim as he wishes.

  6. The guy just rants,. Except from the issue that r’ Elyashiv was not in the conference (the article did not say it, it said that Tropper was able to gain access and influence to him), the writer just complain about self hating Jews, the insignificance of Tablet (if so why bother), Guma , claims that most ultra Orthodox Jews are not sure about the story and ask if it was really Orand Tropper was talking to (like it makes difference to whom Tropper said those immortal words "I could role play rape you but not actually rape you" )

    I think it is mostly BT who cannot accept that there is corruption in the ultra haredi world.

    Incidentally , Lakewood is the place where the tape of Rabbi Bloch condemning Tropper and his vile acts ( in 2005!!!) are easily available for sale

    I am sure most people in Lakewood or at least the people who connected with BMG knew about the real Tropper even before his hanky-panky with Shannon O.

  7. Dear R. Eidensohn,

    The hostile letter writer is indicative of the larger problem, the inability to pay attention to painful facts when they inconvenience our community. It is certainly inconvenient, to say the least, to have to face up to the fact that key members of our community leadership have failed. But facts are facts.

    Rabbi Eidensohn, I know you hoped that posting the facts about Tropper would lead to his demise and the demise of his ill-conceived organization. But even at the time, the fact is that the tapes were already in the hands of those who could have acted for several weeks. You only hinted at the existence of the tapes as a way to up the pressure. You hoped that this would be the final blow that would end Tropper’s career. At the time I had my doubts. Still I am shocked after over six weeks that I hear talk about needing more time to evaluate the facts. I am shocked at the complete failure of Agudah to take any action at all except to meet and decide not to act.

    Alas as many of us are coming to understand, the corrupt influence of money has weakened the power of discernment among key actors. Not for nothing does the torah warn us that bribes blind judgment. I know that, even now, you and others are still not disclosing all the damaging information. There is still a hope that responsible leadership will take action and minimize the scandal. I am now very pessimistic. I am reluctantly coming to the conclusion that the cover-up is far more revealing of the crisis in leadership that Tropper’s misconduct itself.

    I am beginning to suspect that in the end we will not get corrective action. Corrective action will come from the bottom up as the community comes to see that it needs to be more discerning in who it regards as its true leaders.

  8. What in the world is wrong with these people?

  9. M.T.
    are these tapes still for sale?
    what specifically was he condemning back then? EJF the (scam) organization? tropper the (scum) individual? or both?

  10. Dear Lakewood Author of the Letter,

    You can replace the name Daniel Eidenshon with Moses Mendelsohn, and Yad Moshe with the Biur, and the daattorah blog with Mendelsohn's latter writings and statements.

    After making those slight adjustments, your letter would retain its accuracy.

  11. I find it fascinating how comfortable and at ease with which the letter writer disseminates sheker.

    Speaks volumes about his 'torah'.

  12. "(There's something special about secular Jews writing against religious Jews. You can actually feel the hate pulsating through the word's)"

    As opposed to the many examples of ahavas yisroel always on display by the charedim.

    I don't think the writer wants to play the comparison game.

    Broad brush strokes are never a good idea.

  13. I sent the following to the author of the letter:
    Interesting you are so ready to defend a menuval (Rav Sternbuch's told me to publicize that that is his view).

    I was surprised that you didn't take the trouble of contacting Rav Sternbuch to let him know what you think of his views.

    I was also surprised to hear that my seforim are utilized by those who have such a view of me. Why didn't you at least place them in genizah?

    BTW I just posted your letter - deleted your name as requested- though I thought you would be proud to be identified with your courageous letter. If you change your mind I will be glad to add it so everyone can take pride in your actions.

  14. Reply to Mendelsohn's Biur:

    This was a boiler plate response.

    He already did make the global change from Mendelsohn to Eidensohn.

    Now you're asking him to change it back?
    Especially when he's so proud of just how clever he is and how he was able to shtuch out the big, bad bloggers?

    (BTW, it's not even true regarding Mendelsohn. But, that's another story.)

  15. DT- I don't think your letter writer is going to be very happy.

    I'm really heartbroken, you know?

    It is unbelievable that a someone (read: idiot) would malign you bepharhesia- and tell the world where he learns.

    No boosha- none.

  16. R"Eidenson,

    Did you hear there is a video of the menuval Tropper caught in the act circulating?

  17. To Monsey Tzaddik,

    You still did'nt change your name to "Monsey Blabber"!
    why cant you back up your comment of" Tapes condemning Tropper in 2005 by Rabbi Block"
    What is the source fact of these tapes and what was the condemnation all about?

  18. "You can actually feel the hate pulsating through the word's"

    To whomever wrote this:

    I do not feel any hate pulsating through Shmarya Rosenberg's words.

    He just plays the role of the press, also called the fifth power. The task of the press is to uncover the Shmutz of the establishemnt, so that evil actions will not go unpunished, or at least not undiscovered.

    I cannot understand why hareidi establishment fights with teeth and claws against freedom of speech, a fundamental liberty of any just society.

    Do they really want to protect evil?
    Can they really not stand any criticism?
    The torah says we should eradicate the evil from our midst... How come that persons who sin against the torah and against human beings are protected?

  19. Ok, so this meshugenna letter writer as far as I'm concerned is one of the suspects in defacing Rav Eidensohn's seforim (if he is even telling the truth that they are defaced). Next on the list of suspects are crazy BTs from Kol Yaakov that may have visited Lakewood for Shabbos.

    They are in "good" company. Some crazy Lubavs were going around for a while in NY defacing copies of Avi Ezri (Maran Rav Schach ztl's sefer on the Rambam). During this time they came into Mirrer yeshiva (on the odd night that no one is learning there even at 3 am) and also defaced the Steipler's seforim why calling either him or us yeshivaleit "Notzrim".

    I hope there are enough tranquilizers for these pro-Tropper nuts when the videos get released.

  20. I will be in E"Y B'ezra Hashem in week and a 1/2.

    If I bring my copy of Yad Moshe with me would you autograph it?

  21. "Eidenshon has had his own private agenda to bring down Tropper from the beginning of EJF. Tropper was Eidensons obsession way before anyone heard of Orand."

    This is a very interesting argument. It's like saying a police detective who has been watching and warning of a criminal should not make an arrest when the criminal is finally caught in the act.

    Rav Eidensohn, I do not know how you deal with the stress people put you through. On the one hand are the lowlifes who use any possible pressure to get you to stop, and on the other hand are those who have no desire to improve our society calling you all kinds of names because they are embarrassed by the society they see in the mirror.

    May Hashem give you strength.

  22. I have long been a regular reader of the Daas Torah blog, and I enjoy it thoroughly. It is a wonderful source of limud Torah, and topical news. I particularly appreciate the lively discussion, and contrasting viewpoints. I can think of no other place where we can often hear the views of a world-class rabbi, Rav Sternbuch, on the issues of the day, and also read his parsha commentaries. We are fortunate to read the inciteful and trenchant comments of Rabbi Eidensohn. Once again, yasher koach, Rabbi Eidensohn.

  23. " Who knows how many people are really on those tapes. Or is it a cut and paste? Is he really talking to Orand? "

    How retarded can the person who made this comment be? Shannon Orand herself said it was her on the tape, despite her embarrassment.

    The other lies I have heard from bochurim in Lakewood and S. Fallsburg is that Orand is lying and trying to besmirch the great Tropper. WHy in the world would she want to risk losing her geirus and everything else just to do this?

    And lastly, R' Eidensohn, would you please confirm or deny the existence of the video tapes that show tropper caught in the act, that a previous poster asked about.

    If they are out there, they should be publicized Pinchas style, to put all these rumors f "cut and paste" and "voice actors" audio tapes too rest once and for all!

  24. R' Eidensohn,

    I understand that R' Shternbuch's view is that there is a menuval in our midst, and it is a mitzva lefarsem, but what is the halachik rationale for allowing persons on this blog to besmirch an entire yeshivah based on the wrong-doing of it's leader?

  25. Rabbi Eidenson,
    Keep up your valiant battle l'shaim shomayim - Sheker ain lo raglayim - it can put up a good fight, but will come tumbling down in the end.
    Another Lakewood admirer

  26. Y. Believes in innocence until proven guilty.January 27, 2010 at 6:38 AM

    Mirrer, who are you calling a pro Tropper nut? just because we live in America and believe in INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY, anyone who does not want to right away malign and accuse and speak lashon haro is a nut????????

    What the person in this blog topic says about the author of this blog is true. I was in Lakewood for shabos at whose house i will not say, and I when someone heard I was a talmeed of Rabbi Tropper he told me that everyone is with Rabbi Tropper and that they believe that the media and the RCA is maligning him for quote unquote "OLD SCORES" he then showed me the writing on these books where Lakewood yeshiva the greatest of all yeshiva's decalared Mr. Eidelson as a Rasha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I saw this with my OWN EYES.

  27. Dream on the videos will never be released! Other than a select few Rabbis who could stomache viewing them nobody else will see them. I happen to agree with poster #1 Baruch. There's nothing for the Rabbis to come out about. If Tropper were the Rosh Yeshivah of a real Yeshivah then I have no doubt they would have said something. Tropper is a sick menuval but there really isn't much left to be said by the Gedolim. Anyone who heard the tapes knows he's a sicko and anyone who believes its true instinctively feels revolted by his actions. What should the Rabbis say exactly? Its not like people are lining up to enter his yeshivah or to seek his spiritual advice and get brachos. Feel free to disagree.

  28. To Rav Eidonsohn,
    The fact that Troppers supporters are lashing out at you should make you a very happy man. In my opinion it is a huge compliment. They obviously feel threatened and feel the heat generated by the positive force of truth and true Daas Torah that this blog disseminates. There always were and will always be fools who are mislead by their corrupt mentors or by a poor understanding of Dan Lekaf Zechus and Hilchos Loshon Hara. We see a trend that whenever someone in the frum community is accused of something and even after the person has admitted his guilt and the law has brought incontrovertible evidence against this person there will still be starry eyed tipshim who cling to their "hero's" innocence and claim anti semitism, blood libel, witch hunt and other shtusim. I personally have never fully understood why criminals, frauds, molesters and the like have supporters in our community. I'm sure there's always a money angle but also a real lack of living in reality. It seems like there are people who are still of the opinion that a frum person (or one from a frum background who looks frum) can ever actually do evil such as fraud, molestation, child abuse, domestic violence, murder, rape, and other pernicious acts. Yes its a sad reality. There are Jews who nebach are very low. However defending them is not a mitzvah, its aligning oneself with the forces of evil and proclaiming that we allow and accept such behavior. Did people forget the miitzvah of Hocheach Tocheach and the inyan of Beartah Haraah Mikirbecha? We as Jews can't tolerate people who defile the Kedusha of Klal Yisroel. That's why we need blogs such as this one to fight back against those who will allow the darkness of apathy and misguidedness envelop the nation as a whole. Chazak Veamatz!

  29. having known tropper in the past, i have no problem believing he is capable of doing what he is accused of. The fact that he is not fighting it at all just adds credence to the whole scenario.
    Sincere question here: If, indeed, the powers that be in the charedi world have decided that the best way to deal with this garbage is not to stir it, and let it all blow over - what and whose purpose do we all serve by keeping the fires going? I am not happy with the 'sit and do nothing' attitude, but if that is all we are going to get, perhaps our justified outrage can be better expended on some proactive measures rather than waiting for a reactiave one that doesn't seem to be coming along.
    Let's get some ideas here about positive education for the kids and the adults. We need a desperate upgrade in moral and ethical education for all segments of our population. Anyone have any ideas? Any modern-day Rav Yisroel Salanters out there (and remember, he was a HUGE talmid chocham besides a ba'al musser).

  30. What shtus is this to say that because Tropper has a small yeshiva he is no one and that reason the "godolim" do not speak up.

    The outrage is not because Tropper is rosh yeshiva, it is because he made himself (with the support of those "gedolim") the gatekeepper of am yisroel, he revoked (at least one conversion), attacked and spread lies on other rabbis,bullying everyone on his way into obedience and I can go more.

    It was not about him bullying a rosh yeshiva to some unstable youth.

  31. Mr. Pasik, I think you meant to write that Rabbi Eidensohn's blog is "insightful," not "inciteful"!

  32. Observer from AfarJanuary 27, 2010 at 2:48 PM

    What are parents of the Miami Beach Hebrew Academy to think? Would R. Wexler follow the Aguda's policy of silence if there is abuse of children at the school?

    This really is just one of the manifold outgrowths of that silence. People do not think as R. Wexler said that Tropper is not being condemned because he only has a small yeshiva but rather that "Orand is lying and trying to besmirch the great Tropper", as a commenter above heard Lakewood bochurim say and personal property (your seforim) are being defaced, as one or two other commenters have reported.

    The Aguda should cease the opportunity to make this a teachable moment and declare Tropper's yeshiva to be a dangerous place for talmidim, offer financial assistance and placement services for all of his talmidim -- before Guma does, and establish a fund for this purpose.

    That would greatly limit the number of people who would thereafter think that Tropper is great or would think of defacing R. Eidensohn's seforim.

  33. The lack of coherence in the letter (and that its content is predominantly vicious slander) is a reflection of the great danger and destructiveness of an improper (severely lacking) education. His attack consists of a primal shriek which has no business being in print in any academic or professional setting. His appeal to "journalism ethics" is an irony akin to a CAIR representative lecturing about constitutional rights while such people are not only completely ignorant of the constitution or its significance, but as an organization secretly desire to replace the constitution with Sharia law (as has been uncovered and proven about that group and its ties to moslem brotherhood).

    This villain has undoubtedly never researched journalism, or ethics of journalism (or perhaps ethics of any kind), or even looked at a relevant text, and yet he uses this as an "American ideals" keyword to bludgeon his opponent with, much like the far leftists use the "fascist!" cry ironically against more centrist or rightist figures. He cannot for the life of him pinpoint what about Rabbi E's actions specifically goes against what particular principle of the ethics of journalism. Similarly, he cannot actually formulate a credible argument based on logic or reality but resorts to bullying tactics much like he took against Rabbi E's sefarim at the local bookshop he defaced wantonly.

  34. Observer from AfarJanuary 27, 2010 at 4:16 PM

    Before Pedantic jumps on my case, I meant to say that the Aguda should seize this opportunity, not cease it.

  35. R. Eidensohn,

    I'm disappointed with the title of this post. Do you feel that the actions of one individual are a refection on a whole city/yeshiva? Pray tell what city/yeshiva you consider acceptable according to this criteria...


  36. In light of an above anonymous comment, perhaps I wasn't sufficiently clear: I don't believe that EJF should be legitimized, that the silence should continue, or that Dr. Eidensohn is a nut! Those are Rabbi Wexler's beliefs.

  37. Shraga,

    I think the point of the title is that the poster indicates that many talmedei chachomim frequent that bookstore, and neither they nor the purveyor of books object to the censuring of R' Eidensohn. He speaks as if Lakewood has decided that R' Eidensohn is doing a bad thing.

    If others from Lakewood post that the community is indeed not united against R' Eidensohn, then the original poster will be disproven in his implied assumption. But the title is crucial if that point is to driven home.

  38. Why is some anonymous man who claims to live in Lakewood being given all this attention?

    For all you know he can be a homeless unemployed 55 year old living on welfare in some Library in Florida.

  39. My oylam in Lakewood who started in various feeder yeshivos and came via Brisk, Ponivizh, Mir, are fed up with Tropper and rabbonim covering up for him. At least among my friends, NO NONE is in agreement with the Agudah / pro-Tropper position.

    I don't think the Agudah gets just how irrelevant they have become if they cannot even count on people like us for support.

  40. It's amazing that while Talmidei Chachamim are disappointing klal yisrael left and right throughout this sad saga, this menuval has his emunas chachamim "fall" only after discovering this blog.

  41. Thank you, Pedantic. Takkeh, I made an inadverent error. I meant, insightful.

  42. I know of a Rabbi who lives in Lakewood who has been actively involved in the anti-Tropper campaign. It's ludicrous to suggest that the entire town has a unanimous view on this matter, or any other.

  43. Has anyone called the Lakewood booksellers to find out if they really have any copies of Yad Moshe that were graffiti-smeared?


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