Friday, June 15, 2012

Is Yosef Kolko supported by Rav Simcha Bunim Cohen?

The new appeal ad for Yosef Kolko contains two changes from the previous appeal ad

- 1) A citation from the Rambam and 2) the use of Rav Simcha Bunim's shul as a conduit for donations. The Rambam (Hilchos Rotzeach1: 14-16) is not obviously not applicable because it applies to a victim not the perpetrator! However the involvement of Cong. Ateres Yeshaya is  disturbing.


27 comments:

  1. this deeply disturbs me, as the Weberman fund raising in Williamsburg is also very very disturbing. I feel any Rabbi who aided in this really has no appreciation for truth, thus how can I have any respect for them. and yet, I live in the frum world. so how do I deal my deep aversion to Rabbis that is resulting from this behaviour while I do need some trust in my leaders and in their ability to lead me closer to Hashem, as they propose they do?
    I'll all confused, disallosioned, just wanting to do the right thing, and not knowing how to hold all this.
    what do you suggest?

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    1. Ask your local rabbi. Why should this be different then any other area of Judaism.

      When certain rabbis claimed that my book Daas Torah was a danger to the Jewish people because it presented diverse and contradictory states on hashkofa - I went to Rav Eliashiv and asked him if it was permitted to make such a sefer. He replied that he could not understand why someone would say not to teach Torah because it might cause confusion. "If they have questions after reading the material then they should go to their rabbis and roshei yeshiva to get an answer."

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  2. I heard the Rov R A Miller say about rapists that we should take care of them like the Italians do. With a rusty tin can. Never heard him about alleged child molesters but have to believe he would say similar

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    1. Rav Avigdor Miller view of Yehuda KolkoJune 15, 2012 at 3:35 PM

      See the following for Rabbi Avigdor Miller's feelings on the yehuda kolko case.

      http://www.sfjny.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=313:an-open-letter-to-rabbi-matisyahu-salomon&catid=2:news&Itemid=57

      1985 – Upon the dissolution of the above bais din, Rabbi Lipa Margulies retains Rabbi Pinchus Scheinberg to convene a second bais din for the purpose of clearing Rabbi Yehuda Kolko's name. Rabbi Lipa Margulies then drafts Rabbi Friedman (the Tenka Rav) and Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Brown to serve on Rabbi Scheinberg's bais din. Prior to convening the bais din, Rabbi Pinchus Scheinberg speaks with several of Kolko's victims and asks them to describe what Kolko has done to them. Upon hearing the allegations Rabbi Scheinberg informs the boys that in the eyes of halacha they had not been molested. Rabbi Scheinberg also calls the askanim and tells them to cease and desist in their attempts to remove Kolko from chinuch. Rabbi Avigdor Miller disagrees and instructs the askanim in no uncertain terms to do whatever must be done to protect children from Kolko. Rabbi Pinchus Scheinberg convenes the bais din and takes the position that Rabbi Kolko has a chezkas kashrus absent any testimony by two adult witnesses to any single event. Rabbi Friedman takes the position that in light of the persistent rumors Rabbi Kolko must be kept away from children. Rabbi Brown ultimately concedes that there is no halachic evidence against Kolko and the din torah is concluded. Rabbi Lipa Margulies insists that he has a psak from this bais din but to this day has refused to produce it. Regardless, it is of note that no victims testified before this bais din.

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    2. So if someone like Rav Scheinberg, who was not "just" a rav, not "just" a talmid chacham but a true Gadol B'Torah could give this type of psak (and this isn't the only example), how can any rav be trusted with these matters?

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    3. Thanks for reminding me of this. The Rov was a unique person. Which leads me to wonder what RSBC is thinking, if he is involved with this defense, as he definitely views himself as a continuation of the Rov

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  3. coins has two sidesJune 15, 2012 at 6:03 PM

    "Cong. Ateres Yeshaya is disturbing."
    Sorry that this disturbs you. However, there is lots of "Daas Torah" out there that it does not disturb. On the contrary, that "dass Tor" says that it is a chiyoov to defend him. They did not say he is innocent, they say hes got to be defended. They also do not say that the alleged victim should not be defened. Hence you can start your own defense club for the victim. Lots of luck.

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    1. your side of the coin is counterfeitJune 15, 2012 at 6:56 PM

      They are defending this confessed molester with a bunch of lies, as well as intimidating witnesses and trashing the victim's family. Since when does Daas Torah allow you to lie?

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    2. Charity Money for Molesters?June 15, 2012 at 7:15 PM

      Hope you are not using your maaser money. BTW, is it legal for a tax deductible organization to use donations earmarked to defend a molester?

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    3. Does your 'Daas Torah' extend their kindness to accused perpetrators only, or do they also believe in supporting possible victims as well? I do know that these victims were run out of Lakewood by big Rabbis while everyone else stood by silently watching, and I haven't seen a movement to bring them back or support them emotionally, financially or legally.

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  4. As an American lawyer, I have to agree with "coins has two sides." Dr. Eidensohn, you and many others have been advocating that rabbonim and batei dinim are institutionally incompetent to deal with allegations of child abuse, and thus if there is reason to believe that such has happened, it should be reported to teh authorities. That means the accused will then be subject to the American legal system, including, possibly, the criminal justice system.

    That system is an sdversary one, and as anyone can tell you, the chance of getting to truth and justice are dependent on the quality of representation a person has. IT's a sad but undeniable reality that those who can afford counsel have a better chance of getting justice than those who don't. I have no idea if Yosef Kolko is guilty or innocent, but I do know that, given the seriousness of the charge, the chances of getting to the truth will be greatly enhanced if he has decent counsel.

    The alternative is saying that anyone accused of child abuse or molestation should simply be thrown to the wolves on the accuser's say-so, and fend for himself with a public defender or a second rate counsel that maybe he can afford by bankrupting himself and his family. Just as I don't think rabbonim are competent to judge whether abuse has happened, I don't think they are competent to decide someone's guilt. The lack of competence cuts both ways.

    (THis is not to say that I will be contributing. I have other tseddaka priorities, like the poor of my city. I just don't think it's a shonda to support the defense in an American criminal case of someone claiming he is innocent.)

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    1. I don't object to providing decent counsel. But as you point out there has to be something of a balance. There are two issues 1) from the accounts published the beis din that investigated the matter did in fact determine that Kolko is guilty of child abuse. He was told to get therapy and at that point the father of the victim was in agreement. It was after Kolko dropped out of therapy soon after starting that the father went to the police. 2) Unfortunately in the frum world there is an automatic outpouring of sympathy and money for those accused of abuse - but the opposite occurs for the victim. They are accused of lying or creating a chilul hashem and - like the father of this victim - are driven out of the community.

      Why is it alright to throw the victim and his/her family to the wolves but for the suspected perpetrator or confessed perpetrator the community the community is concerned with pidyon shevuim and lo ta'amud etc etc. Why are they more concerned for the innocent family members of the perpetrator then the victim and his family members?

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    2. RDE:

      I don't see why you are putting one opposed to the other. The two points aren't conflicting or opposed to each other.

      Point 1:

      The victim should receive the full sympathy of the community.

      Point 2:

      The accused should receive a full and vigorous defense. The community should raise sufficient funds to provide him a full and proper defense counsel, as Tal Bensachar pointed out above.

      Points 1 and 2 are independent of each other. And should be implemented idependently. And if there is a failing in one, it shouldn't cause a failing in the other.

      What RSBC is doing is supporting Point 2. A full and vigorous defense counsel. And raising the requisite funds to support that.

      The defendant is fully entitled to such. He is only accused; convicted of nothing at all. He maintains a presumption of innocence under both Jewish and secular law.

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    3. And again I ask, is that really Jewish law that one must insure that the defendant gets a full and vigorous defense cousel, even though he is truly guilty? I am not saying that he is ceratinly guilty, but I am saying that those Rabbis helping the defendant must first do whatever they can to insure that he is really inoncent, if not they risk being an accomplice to this evil, obstructing justice, and causing a huge Chilul Hashem. These aren't light issues, thus it isn't so simple to make these blank statements that the defendant is entitled to a vigorous defense counsel. He is only entlitled to that if we have reasons to beleive that he is innocent.

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    4. I agree with your current formulation.

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    5. Thank you for agreeing with my above formulation.

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  5. Why should anyone have any objections whatsoever with defending Yosef Kolko? He has been convicted of nothing, nowhere. He is fully entitled to the best defense possible. And fully entitled to raise funds to defend himself. And everyone is entitled to donate to his defense or assist in his defense.

    Anyone who denies that, denies the fundamentals and basics of Jewish and American Law.

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  6. How can Daas Torah say to defend him Maran R Elyashiv has paskened for all cases of abuse to be given over to the police , how can lakewood disagree with him? . Something seems rotten in lakewood.

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  7. Recipients and PublicityJune 16, 2012 at 2:33 AM

    One thing should be very clear: That this rabbi Cohen, altho he is married to a granddaughter of Rabbi Avigdor Miller Z"L, is an expert at wrapping himself in the mantle of Rav Miller, but is as far removed from who and what Rav Miller was as Flatbush is from Lakewood.

    While he implies that he claims to speak for Rav Miller and somehow "embody" him, the truth is that this rabbi Cohen is just a yeshivisha guy from the Lakewood yeshiva and caters to its crowd and mind-set, that is far, far removed from who Rav Miller was, his mentality and how he functioned. He even re-writies Rav Miller's seforim into acceptable ArtScroll politically correct books when Rav Miller always chose to speak his mind directly in his own books. Go read what Rav Miller has to say in his books and forget about this rabbi Cohen and the other revisionists.

    First of all Rav Miller was outspoken against gedolim whom he viewed as equal and contemporaries since he had learned in Slabodka. At various points, Rav Miller spoke out against the positions of Rav Moshe Feinstein (in the case where Rav Moshe made allowances for artificial insemination -- that according to reliable sources got Rav Miller fired as mashgiach by Rav Hutner at the Chaim Berlin yeshiva -- Rav Hutner backed Rav Moshe's position, Rav Miller did NOT.)

    This did not faze Rav Miller, he just went on and spoke out against many things, ESPECIALLY against sex-offender scoundrels like the disgraced Mondrowitz (Rav Miller said that he deserved to be bumped off) and Kolko who Rav Miller had zero tolerance for and openly called for strong action to be taken against them. Rav Miller did not care what other gedolim said because he viewed himself as an equal voice among the gedolim.

    This rabbi Cohen is nothing like that at all. He has tried to whitewash the real Rav Miller and make him into a nice yeshivisha Lakewood yungerman which Rav Miller was NOT! Rav Miller was his own type of inimitable entity, just listen to him talk on his tapes and read his books and it's obvious that this rabbi Cohen and Rav Miller are like calk and cheese, it's not even a comparison.

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  8. RABBI COHEN'S BOOKS THAT HE PUBLLISHES ALL TALK ABOUT ISSURIM. NOW HE CAN PUBLISH A BOOK FOR HETERIM ABOUT MOLESTATION. THE COMMON DENOMINATOR ABOUT HIS 2 TYPES OF MANUALS IS THAT THEY ALL ESPOUSE THE FRUM PERSPECTIVE. RABBI AVIGDOR MILLER, WHILE HE MIGHT HAVE DERIVED NACHAS FROM THE FIRST TYPE OF MANUAL, WOULD CERTAINLY BE ASHAMED OF WHAT THE SPOUSE OF HIS DESCENDANT IS ALLEGEDLY INVOLVED IN PERPETRATING AGAINST KLAL YIROEL, THE JEWISH PEOPLE, AND THE MESORAH. THIS IS A BIG CHILLUL HASHEM, IN ADDITION TO THE MISCARRIAGE OF JUSTICE. HASHEM YIRACHEM.

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  9. I really don't get this thing about us having an obligation to see to it that the perpetrators have the means to defend themselves. If they indeed are guilty, wouldn't that mean that those who supported their defense are somehow accomplices with him? Thus, shouldn't it be obligatory for one to research the matter thoroughly and make sure the alleged perpetrator is indeed innocent before assisting him financially to get a good defense? After all our American justice system is such that even O J Simpson was able to get away with murder because he had the right pay for his defense. And we know that lawyers are only concerned with getting their clients off the hook and really don't care about justice.
    Rabbi Eidenshohn, can you please explain to me why you keep insisting that perpetrators are entitled to the best defense, (however you only question why victims don't get this support.) Don't you feel there is something wrong with Rabbis supporting the perpetrator’s defense without them first investigating if he is indeed innocent?

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    1. Don't recall saying anything about entitlement. I said I don't object if they have a good lawyer.

      I agree that one should investigate to see whether the cause is worthy. But please note there is a dual standard here. To take precautionary measures you don't need a very high standard of evidence. Even to call the police it is enough that there is good reason to suspect. However when you go into the realm of conviction and punishment - the standard is higher

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  10. Simcha Bunim Cohen went against rav Gestetner on the Ben Litton debacle. Cohen is a very, very naive individual.

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  11. You seem to agree that the guy deserves a fair say in court. Which has nothing to do with the other issues at hand in this complicated case. So why are you hinting that Rabbi Cohen is shielding a perpetrator or worse? Now that you shamed him berabim, are you man enough to apologize to him berabim?

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    1. Or was this just an open forum to invite negative posts against Rav Simach Bunim.
      Your just a hack.

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  12. Note, in this week's Lakewood Shopper, the ad for Kolko's defense fund takes out the names of the Roshei Yeshiva and Mashgiach of BMG, and instead simply stated 'Gedolei Yisroel and Rabbonei Ha'ir'. I think BMG has had enough of their association with the Kolko case, because they are afraid of the upcoming fallout from it.

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