Monday, September 26, 2011

Kosher Switch attacks its critics & defends its position

 Kosher Switch
[...]
Clearly the poskim gave written statements.  The vicious attacks by bloggers and others have caused some poskim to back pedal.  Some have disavowed any knowledge, while some others have qualified their previously issued written statements.  Others have not disavowed a thing.  However, the actions of the accusers have made some rabbanim appear irresolute and others appear inconsistent or forgetfully incompetent.  Yes – the first rev of the KosherSwitch web site had some problems in that links to all poskim’s written statements did not operate, so users could not immediately see that some poskim had given qualified approbations or mere blessings.  Rather than contacting us for correction of the link and review of the actual written statements from the poskim, the accusers ran to the poskim and sought their wholesale repudiations of KosherSwitch.  In some cases, these accusers successfully persuaded or intimidated the authors to revoke or revise their prior written statements.  The accusers have thus cast their mentors into the shadows of incredibility, memory lapse, or worse.  Is this the Torah way? [...]

20 comments :

  1. Horrible, unbecoming, overly aggressive response.

    Sounds like they need someone more in tune with the halachic community if they they think that a letter like this will help their cause.

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  2. How do they explain they're having to remove some rabbis name from their list?

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  3. Unhelpful said... "Horrible, unbecoming, overly aggressive response".

    It's a shame we don't have Braille on computer screens because apparently you can't read. Or maybe you could, but your comprehension skills are way off.
    The response put forth by KosherSwitch is softball compared to the level at which the mass attacked them with false accusations and did not even give the accused a chance to vindicate themselves. And now that they call out their accusers on their unethical and non-Torah-like behavior you still have the nerve to even think that KS wrote a "Horrible, unbecoming, overly aggressive response"? Are you not well or has the corruptness of the mundane environment we live in today taken a toll on your brain too? Because of people like you, we are where we are today (still in exile with the clear signs of redemption near only because the audacity and baselss hate of the public are forcing Moshiach to come). 
    Here we have a compnay who [in the beginning] may have or may have not misspoke. So we have people like yourself tie them to a chair, gag them and then rile up the public to accuse them of some wrong doing w/o even having any facts etc. Once the compnay escapes and opens their mouth to try to show how they were falsely accused (and not simply with false claims, rather with conspiracy theories to go along with that as is shown from the defendants damning evidence), all of a sudden the crowd starts crying "wo, why so tough? Why are you so upset?". You'd be a great rep. for the U.N.

    Unhelpful said... "Sounds like they need someone more in tune with the halachic community". 

    By reading your comment I can safely assume you don't belong to this halachic community of whic you speak so it wouldn't do you any help either way.
    How can you bless God every morning "pokeach ivrim" when you use your vision to help spread hate and continue to blind yourself? Did you not follow the attacks made against this entity or do is this part of your selective vision? None of the blogs, comments etc. were attacks regarding the halachic aspects (except possibly for Student's @ torahmusings.com, but as is clarified in this open letter put out by KS, Student clearly mislead the public and in reality HE was the one who imposed his (halachic) opinion on his readers as if to dismiss the thorough endorsments by rabbanim far more qualified than he). So people are accusing them and yelling; "you guys lied about your endorsments!", and you expect them to give a halachic explanation as to why their product is truly Kosher? Besides, the halachic explanations are and were posted all along for all to see on their website, as well as the responsum written by greater rabbis than this "halachic community" you speak of. 
    Try to at least understand this simple point: a company is not obligated to go appease every Tom, Dick and Harry rabbi you fancy. They already have highly authorative figures who stand by them. So if you aren't satisified, well then, go somewhere else or as KS [goes above and beyond to] offer a discourse for people interested in knowing the truth. When your name becomes l'shem davar perhaps they'll come asking your opinion, for now your simply "Unhelpful".

    I may not know your name, but I sincerely wish you the best of luck on the upcoming day of judgement. You'll be needing it. 

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  4. Dan l'kaf zchus! said...

    Unhelpful said... "Horrible, unbecoming, overly aggressive response".

    It's a shame we don't have Braille on computer screens because apparently you can't read. Or maybe you could, but your comprehension skills are way off.
    ======================
    Actually I think your comments are more applicable to your analysis of the situation.

    As someone who has posted criticism of Kosher Switch and has some idea of what is going on - the burden of proof is on Kosher Switch. Their letter does not adequately explain what happened with Rav Sternbuch, Rav Neuwirth, Rav Nebenzahl, etc etc

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  5. I'm thinking out loud here, but I have to admit that when I first read about Kosher Switch, on Torah Musings, my initial reaction, was oh boy, another gadget, what do we need it for, its not Shabbosdik, and so on. I then swung over to the KS web site, starting leaning the other way, and began thinking about the possibilities of using it in hospitals, nursing homes, hotels, military, airports, and, also, in Jewish homes where it might be needed, e.g, caring for an infirm person where light is needed; kiruv purposes; for conservative and other traditional Jews. The inventors certainly put a lot of work into the project, and deserve our consideration. The letters from various rabbis are certainly authentic. We've always been a people of new ideas, ready to adapt, some examples being machine matza, Shabbos timers, and, my favorite, fingerprinting yeshiva employees so we don't hire bad guys. Chadash assur min haTorah was meant to fight the Reform. I hope this discussion is conducted in a civil, professional way.

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  6. Dan l'kaf zechus did not like my writing:
    "Sounds like they need someone more in tune with the halachic community if they they think that a letter like this will help their cause."

    Perhaps you thought I was gloating.
    I was not.

    I feel your pain over your sense of having been blindsided, betrayed, and mistreated.

    However, that does not mean that your expressing this anger in this fashion is an effective strategy, if your goal is to gain additional acceptance within the halachic community.

    Time will tell if I'm wrong, but I am puzzled as to why my believing that the letter is "horrible, overly aggressive, and unbecoming" makes me a co-conspirator of those who attack you or a bad person.

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  7. To put another way what I just said before to Dan l'kaf zchus!, I believe that you and i are talking about two different things.

    You are talking about whether KS's anger and outrage is justified.

    Perhaps it is.

    However, I was talking about whether the letter will help advance their product's acceptance within the halachic community.

    Those are two different things.

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  8. Sometime in the future all halchatic Jews would look back and say "How could we live without this invention?"
    I wish I could go back in time and see and hear the debates when the first fridge was invented. When the first Elevator was in operation during Shabbat. When timers were introduced, and more.
    Years in the future, the KS debate would fizzle out, and everyone would realize it made us better Jews and better Humans.

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  9. KosherSwitch said...

    Sometime in the future all halchatic Jews would look back and say "How could we live without this invention?"
    I wish I could go back in time and see and hear the debates when the first fridge was invented. When the first Elevator was in operation during Shabbat. When timers were introduced, and more.
    Years in the future, the KS debate would fizzle out, and everyone would realize it made us better Jews and better Humans.
    =================
    Interesting fantasy. Could you explain why muktzeh was created? Could you explain why Rav Moshe Feinstein objected to the use of Shabbos clocks. According to your view the less halachic restrictions a Jew has the better he is and surely he will be a better human. I seem to recall that this was the view of the Tzadokim and Reform.

    Would you be interested in a project to make meat kosher and pareve - protein synthesis, do away with the prohibition of nida? Would you like to join the effort to do away with the decrees of Rabbeinu Gershon - or would you be satisfied just to have pilegesh become acceptable. What about obviating the need for the burden of praying three times with a minyan- perhaps we should also do away with prayer. Perhaps you could also use a heter for not having to learn Torah etc.

    Ultimately is our task to find an excuse for getting around the mitzvos of the Torah & the rabbinic takanos?. Is that why G-d gave us a Torah so we could find exemptions to all the commandments?

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  10. To Elliot Pasik and Kosher Switch:

    No question.

    Kosher switch sounds like a very promising product, particularly for some of the uses you describe.

    The question though is whether it is being promoted in a way that misleads the public into thinking that its acceptance as a no-problem way of flipping lights on and off on Shabbos, for one and all, has broader acceptance than it seems.

    Had they grouped the endorsers according what type of use they were endorsing it for, there would not be as much confusion and suspicion.

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  11. I mentioned Shabbos timers in my comment above, while being aware that Rav Moshe Feinstein was not keen about them, as pointed out by R Eidensohn. I see Shabbos timers in some frum homes, often for expensive air conditioners, sometimes for lights, but because of Rav Moshe's objections, I've never been comfortable with them, and that's also true for Shabbos elevators, which some poskim reserve for the elderly and infirm. On the other hand, I still recall the days growing up when kosher meat had to be kashered at home with kosher salt - we don't see that, and a whole bunch of other scenes from Jewish life in years gone by. Overall, I think that these days more than ever, Shabbos for many is a refuge from technology, and not flicking the light switch is viewed as welcome, not a hardship. I'll be curious to see how the rabbis and Jewish public accept this new invention, if there will be distinctions made in how and by whom it is used, etc. I think a healthy and even a sharp debate is a good idea.

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  12. Elliot this is exactly the point raised by Rabbi Aryeh Leibowitz on his shiur on Kosher Switch that I posted on this blog. Getting the balance right is not the job of a switch manufacturer but rather the gedolim.

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  13. Kol Haposel B'mumo PoselSeptember 27, 2011 at 12:41 AM

    at least daas torah linked the kosher switch response to be fair, Torah Musings did not, just buried a non-fuctional link at the end of the comments,thats dishonest.

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  14. Unhelpful said... " I believe that you and i are talking about two different things. You are talking about whether KS's anger and outrage is justified. Perhaps it is." 

    - I'm talking about whether or not their anger is justified but you weren't? Pray tell, what did you mean by "Horrible, unbecoming, overly aggressive response"?  I think after you made this comment it's (at least it should be) selfunderstood that I was responding to this and not ranting "in de velt arain".

    Unhelpful wrote again...  "However, I was talking about whether the letter will help advance their product's acceptance within the halachic community." 

    - not however, more like: In addition, because this was your second point, not your sole point. And to this I responded earlier in my first comment. It's there for all to see, "kol yashar yechezeh paneimo". Aside for your selective vision, selective memory is another trait I sense in you.

    "Those are two different things."

     - yes, but your initial comment included both points so I responded to both.

    I don't know whether I should cry or laugh. Why should I expect better from the posters here, when the blogmaster himself isn't rational:

    Daas Torah wrote... "Their letter does not adequately explain what happened with Rav Sternbuch, Rav Neuwirth, Rav Nebenzahl, etc etc".

    - if you still ask this question after reading their letter, it is beyond me how you were able to compile the Yad Moshe. It's a waste of time to explain it if your not looking for the truth.

    Da'as Torah then responded to KosherSwitch. - honestly speaking, there are way to many questions you presented and you are seemingly expecting to be taught the klalim and gedarim of our Toras Emes on one foot. 

    In reality, you are the one acting as a follower of the Tzeduki u'Baysusi school. Yay, you were able to list a bunch of prohibitions, but what you fail to see is that God doesn't want his Torah to be a burden on us. When you, or in this case KS, creates a vehicle that would permit X, this is not called "doing away with" halcha X and this is not either "exemptions to all the commandments". This is simply called, that specific halach is not applicable in this case. The Shulchan Aruch which we live according to constantly notifies us "however if X is done like this then it is permitted". However your way of living like a Jew seems to be (your first example) "muktzah is prohibited", period-that's Tzeduki logic. I ask you then, how is something that is l'tzorech mekomo (and multiple other ofanei heter) permissible? Is that not something you'd call "a way to do away with muktzah"? I would have no problem trying to help you understand how deracheha darchei noam. But you don't seem to be looking for the truth. 

    For now, now I have not found a personal heter to exempt myself from limud ha'torah so I will have to stop this back and forth, ki ein l'davar sof. (Here's another ex. of what you call "doing away with limud ha'torah"; how then do you have time to manage a blog, aren't you doing away with limud ha'torah?)

    Now, a few commentators are qouting R' Moshe Feinstein's opinion about timers, but are neglecting to mention his last psak (vol. 8 pg. 78) where he explicitly says "not to protest against that which people became accustomed to turning the lights on/off by way of shabbos clock, and can maybe even be permitted le'chatchila" (!). (One would expect that the blogmaster here who happens to be the one who compiled the index for R' Moshe's responsum would qoute this last responsa while commenting on shabbos clocks in accordance with the views of R' Moshe. And yet KS are the ones being misleading?)         

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  15. To: Dan l'kaf zchus!
    When you picked that pen name, it was in order to be ironic -- right?

    Right?

    If not, I would appreciate if you would allow me to be the more authoritative interpreter of my intent, rather than yourself.

    Is that OK?

    Thanks.

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  16. Most disconcerting to me is that they had to remove the names of certain Gedolim, such as Rav Shternbuch and offered no explanation.

    KS expects to be trusted in what they say and their version of events. However, removing names, without response or reason undermines that trust. In a sense it seems to say that they have no answer or spin for that.

    The other disconcerting thing(in my mind) is that they seem to suggest that the Gedolim can be bullied. If they want to say that they can be misled, I'm OK with that, they are not Neviim, however to say that they can be bullied is a vary serious charge. It is in effect saying that they are not worthy of being the leaders of the generation(l'havdil).

    Despite my own halakhic discomfort with the KosherSwitch(which in itself doesn't bother me, as I get that different Rabbis rule differently and have no problem with elu v'elu) these two issues in my mind throw vary serious doubt on all that they say.

    Here's a solution, why don't they get together with Rabbi Rosen/Rabbi Student and together go to Rav Nuerwith ect... and talk it out. So there won't be this he said/he said stuff.

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  17. Rabbi Michael Tzadok: "however to say that they can be bullied is a vary serious charge. It is in effect saying that they are not worthy of being the leaders of the generation(l'havdil)."

    You must be a pretty naive rabbi. Here's what our Talmud says (not me):

    "God breakes the staff of the wicked", these are the judges that became sticks for their secretaries. (Shabbos 139a).

    Take a look as well at the braisos of R. Yehuda and of R. Nehorai in mas. Sanhedrin (97a), it will be an eyeopener for your type.

    Re: your other comments (taking down verbal endorsments etc. with no reason provided); you shouldn't need a blog to help you use your imagination (ever thought maybe revealing the truth and sources for their qoutes would put these rabbis in a real bad position? Instead they opted to simply exonerating themselves from the "lesser evil").

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  18. Menachem M.

    That is a pretty nice piece of fecal finger painting there. However, you utterly missed my point. So let me say it like this.

    If KS implies or explicitly states that the Gedolim that they rely upon can be bullied by bloggers(especially when for many of them, there primary constituents don't use the internet), or that they can be bribed, they undermine the very foundation they are trying to build for themselves.

    Moreover they show that they are willing to say whatever they have to, in order to get the outcome that they desire. Thus utterly destroying their own credibility.

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  19. Dan l'kaf z'chus says: "...a few commentators are qouting R' Moshe Feinstein's opinion about timers, but are neglecting to mention his last psak (vol. 8 pg. 78) where he explicitly says "not to protest against that which people became accustomed to turning the lights on/off by way of shabbos clock, and can maybe even be permitted le'chatchila" (!)."

    I like this comment from Rav Moshe, where he shows respect for the choices made by the Jewish people, and urges that we not pursue machlokes. That factor too weighs in on the posek's decision making process. He may have been initially wary, concerned about Shabbosdik, but then observed that Shabbos clocks did not have a negative effect. My own take is that Kosher Switch needs to go through this same process.

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  20. Rabbis taken off the list of endorsers - Rav Dovid Cohen, Rav Yisroel Belsky, Rav Moshe Sternbuch, Rav Simcha Bunim Cohen - anyone else?

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