Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Correcting the shame of the distribution of the disgraceful letter of 9 rabbis against Rav "S" at the Lakewood asifa of Lev L'Achim

 On Wednesday July 3 at 9:20 , there will be a major asifa in Lakewood of Lev L'Achim. This important event will be addressed by Rav Ezriel Auerbach shlita. Despite all the holy words that will surely be spoken - it is highly unlikely that what is truly required to be spoken about will be addressed. At the previous asifa in 2010 a document of shame and degradation was distributed that condemned one of Lakewood's most distinguished talmidei chachomim for being a moser - for reporting the abuse of his son to the police. It is embarrassing enough that the 9  well known rabbis signed this disgusting document against a father whose concern was for the welfare of Lakewood's children. However these expert rabbis apparently also didn't bothering checking out the fact that the father had in fact received a letter from Rav Sternbuch telling him that he was required to report the abuse. They were apparently ignorant of the elementary fact that even without receiving a psak from Rav Sternbuch and other gedolim the father not only had the right to report a child abuser but was obligated according to the views of the gedolei hador including Rav Eliashiv, Rav Wosner, the Tzitz Eliezer and Rav Moshe Halberstam.  Their ignorance of the halachos dealing with child abuse - as clearly described in Yeshurun volume 15 -  is truly shameful and embarrassing.

To compound their shameful ignorance - they have so far failed to apologize to the talmid chachom that they publicly attacked in their letter. 

It would be appropriate that the repentance letter of Reb Dovid Epstein be distributed at this asifa . Apology letter of Reb Dovid Epstein

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Elul, 5770 [August, 2010]

PROCLAMATION

It is clear that no one in the world has the authority to establish guilt on anyone without both [the accuser and accused] coming to an accepted bais din for the matter to be heard amongst "brothers." If one does this [establishes guilt without a determination of a bais din] even if he is "as tall as a cedar tree" [a great scholar] he has made an absolute error. And more so he [the accuser] may not take any damaging action against the accused and even more so may not bring any accusation to the secular authorities. Such actions [reporting made to the secular authorities] are elucidated in [Shulchan Aruch - Jewish code of law compiled in the 161h century] Choshen Mishpat chapter 388 [which discusses the penalties for "mesira" reporting to the secular authorities]. And there can be no [Jewish law] lawful and righteous means [to report to the secular authorities] other than to first show that one has in their possession a clear detailed ruling in writing from an expert bais din that includes specifics of the matter. And if one violates this ruling and commits the deed of reporting to the secular authorities it is incumbent upon him to rectify this misdeed and do everything possible to clear the accused of any trace of allegations with the secular authorities. And it does not need to be said that it is prohibited to assist and participate with them [the secular authorities] in their efforts to persecute a Jew.

Avrohom Spitzer Dayan - Skver

Tzvi Yosef Burstien - Rosh Yeshiva of Mesivta of Lakewood

Eliyahu Levine - Rosh Kolle of Kolle Choshen Mishpat

Shlomo Gisinger - Rabbi of Cong Zichron Yaakov

Chaim Ginsberg - Rosh Chabura - Beth Med rash Gevoha

Shmuel Mayer Katz- Dayan - Beth Med rash Gevoha

Yosef ZimbaI - Rabbi - Congregation Westgate

Simcha Bunim Cohen - Rabbi - Congregation Ateres Yeshaya

Meir Reuvein Berkowitz - Rabbi - Congregation Whispering Pines Sefard

55 comments:

  1. I have 2 questions about this post, and some other recent ones on similar topics.

    Is the timing - during the 3 weeks - of any significance, i.e. that we have not really learned much in the past 2000 years abotu baseless hatred?

    Second, and this is on a more positive note:
    A few years back, when one of the Gedolim cited - the Tzitz Eliezer ztl was still alive, I was in a debate with one of my rebbes, about whether MO have Gedolim like the Haredim did.
    At the time , I argued that R Waldenberg was one such Modern Posek and Gadol. The voluminous collections of his teshuvos, and very open and modern psak was the reason I claimed this (he argued once that somebo0dy who has a sex change is not guilty of Lo Tilbash).
    It seems that since his petirah, the Tzitz Eliezer has a) become a fully recognized gadol haDor, and b) been fully adopted by the Haredi world, whereas in his lifetime was part of the Mizrochi establishment. Part of this may be due to R Elyashiv ztl's brilliant eulogy for him.

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    1. The Tzitz Eliezer was never considered to be a Mizrachi, Daati, RZ or MO. Not during his lifetime and not thereafter.

      Delete
    2. Why then, Abe, did he serve in the Rabbanut and write Hilchot Medina, and focus on halacha of science and medicine?

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    3. Abe, sorry you are incorrect.

      You would have to check with the Mizrachi world and its Rabbonim to see how they followed, quoted and conferred with him on many issues. Just to open a Pandora's box, the Dati world also considered Rav Sz Auerbach one of their Gedolim.

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    4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eliezer_Waldenberg

      Political and Social Questions

      Rabbi Waldenberg also wrote a multivolume set on the practical issues of government called Hilkhot Medinah. In this work he takes issue with many positions of former chief rabbis Yitzhak HaLevi Herzog, Shlomo Goren, and Isser Yehuda Unterman.

      He writes in support of yeshiva students' exemption from military service because through the merit of their Torah learning they help protect the country.

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    5. Eddie:

      Rav Eliashev, too, served in the Rabbunut. That is a very far cry from making Rav Eliashev a Mizrachist. Same with the Tzitz Eliezer. No one ever mistook him for a Mizrachist.

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    6. He writes in support of yeshiva students' exemption from military service because through the merit of their Torah learning they help protect the country.

      I am fairly certain that that was a question that came before the Beit Din HaGadol back in the 70s when it was Rav Hedayya, the Tzitz Eliezer and Rav Eliashiv sitting the court. Hence the various teshuvot are all from the same date and pretty much exactly the same(since they all three agreed).

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    7. Abe,

      Rav Elyashiv had several incarnations in his lifetime, and his early years were more in the Mizrochi camp - he was a follower of Rav Kook, and R Herzog, was super -mattir agunot when working under R' Herzog. His comments at that phase of his life regarding the Mizrochi Rabbanut were the opposite of the Brisker Rov's - he called it the first shoots of the Sanhedrin. He later on quit that world, and was adopted by the haredi world, for whatever reasons.

      DT - the wiki on the Tzitz Eliezer has many other quotes too- eg "In a particularly controversial ruling, Waldenberg ruled that sex reassignment surgery for transsexuals effects a change in a person's halachic gender, and that, in his words, "The external anatomy which is visible is what determines the halakha". "


      I am not in a fight about claiming his allegiances - that has already been done, and he is now claimed by the Haredi world as one of their own. My point is that whilst he was alive, as my Rav said, he was not considered to be fully haredi or a fully accepted Gadol.

      The fact the he actually wrote a Hilchot Medina says something about his outlook.

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    8. Further points:
      R Waldenberg forbade smoking, at variance with the haredi position, esp that of RMF, does that make him non haredi?

      Also, if the haredim are claiming him as one of their own, do they also accept his very lenient piskei halacha? I would be happy to see 100 more haredi poskim with his outlook - please G-d!

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    9. Eddie,

      Don't be silly. Neither Rav Eliashev nor the Tzitz Eliezer were ever remotely considered to be or leaned Mizrachist. Not even close. And no one ever thought such a thing about them.

      Now the Tzitz was not considered to be on the same level as the other Gedolim. And many of his rulings were never and aren't accepted. But he was never considered to lean RZ or Mizrachi.

      Delete
    10. Abe
      I realise it may hurt, but it's very clear that R Waldenburg was closer to the mizrachi world than most other poskim. It's clear in his writings and was well known.
      As for R Elyashiv, his involvement with the rabbanut was a symptom of his relative positivity toward the state and his closeness with Rav Kook. In fact, he was known in Meah Shearim as 'the tzioni' many years ago. He moved away from that world when he left the rabbanut after a machlokes with R Goren in the sixties.
      Denying provable facts is very unnhealthy.
      Bottom line, they both stayed away from politics, lived lishma,learned lishma and were therefore widely respected. Trying to attribute a political affiliation to either of them is pointless

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    11. Abe is correct. Rabbi Waldenberg was friendly with some mizrachi people, but he himself was a full-fledged Chareidi. This is true even though the Chareidi world does not accept some of his rulings and does not consider him as great as their other leaders.

      Rav Eliashiv, too, was anti-zionist even when he served in the rabbanut. Kind of the same idea as he allowed Chareidi MKs to serve in the Kenneset even though everyone knows he was extremely anti-zionist.

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    12. Was the machlokes with R Goren the cause of his move to the Haredi world, or just a pretext? R Goren served simply as "patsy", i.e. a good excuse , and this was engineered by the Haredim as a sort of mikveh of fire for R Eliashiv to be accepted a full Haredi.
      Had RYSE really opposed R Goren's nullification of the alleged giur of Mr Borokovsky, he would have also destroyed Dayan Sherman 9his protoge in the raabnut) 35 years later. Actually he supported the same mechanism that he so famously opposed 35 years prior!

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    13. this need to label people and stick them into this or that camp as if you are talking about players in a baseball league is a bit pathetic.

      how about this: people, especially, great people, are a lot more complicated than we think. someone can have multiple facets to his personality, his thinking, his work.

      chareidi doesn't simply mean "machmir", the two are not synonymous. similarly, someone can wear black, eat eida food, vote degel and still think that the medina is an incredible gift from God, and that serving in Zahal is a great mitzvah (even if he thinks that avreichim should get a deferral). there is no contradiction here.

      the previous admor of sadigora was called the admor of the yishuvim. does anyone think for one moment that he was mizrachi?

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    14. If it is pathetic, then you have my Haredi teachers to blame, since it was precisely their basketball approach to gedolim that made me ask this question. In fact, I saw R' Shach had accused Mizrachi of not producing any Gedolim.
      The fact that both side wish to claim a Gadol as belonging to their own camp only shows how great he was.

      Delete
    15. Eddie where do you see that Modern Orthodox are claiming the Tzitz Eliezar? You were the one who raised this issue solely on the basis of the issues he wrote about and poskened - it is clear that measure is not considered a valid basis to determine affliation by anyone.

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    16. Perhaps this article clarifies his position
      http://www.koltorah.org/ravj/Rav_Eliezer_Waldenberg_%281915-2006%29-_An_Appreciation_1.html

      You are right , the subjects he wrote about do not prove affiliation, but perhaps his style and overall view do not fit in with the conservative style of Haredi world.
      JJ claims he was not fully accepted by haredi world, which says something.
      In any case, his independence, as R Jachter focuses on, was a very non-haredi trait.

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    17. I didn't say he wasn't fully accepted by the Chareidi world. He was.

      I said his psakim aren't all accepted as normative. And he isn't considered to be on the same level as other contemporary gedolim. Though he certainly is considered to be a godol.

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    18. I came across some nice pictures, the first one includes a young Tzitz Eliezer in the Rabbanut BD

      http://www.rabanut.gov.il/VF/ib_items/37/%D7%96-3.jpg

      The second pic is of R' Shapira meeting with RMF z'tl

      http://www.rabanut.gov.il/VF/ib_items/51/%D7%99%D7%91-2.jpg

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  2. Reb Daniel, have you tried to contact any of the signatories of the letter and ask them about their reaction to the case at this point? Ask them about apologizing in a public forum? Did they even keep up with the case? Further, your readership would also benefit from hearing how they respond in a halachic discussion about the subject.

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  3. Doniel,

    Did you or your brother attempt to contact any of these Rabbonim to see why they didn't retract this document? Why didn't the father of the abused child show his document from Rav Sternbuch to these Rabbonim? Why did he have to go to a rav from Israel to get his permission to go to the secular authorities?

    Maybe these Rabbonim agree with Rabbi Belsky that they have solid grounds for not reversing their position? Do you know the reason for Rabbi Belsky's not agreeing to secular authorities here while he does agree in general?

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    1. Interesting questions. The Rabbonim publicly destroy a person's reputation for violating the halacha and being a moser. In fact he wasn't a moser according to any view of halacha. If they didn't know about it when they signed the letter - they are fully aware of the fact now that there was no justification for their attack on him.

      What would you do if you realized you made a horrible mistake and publicly embarrased someone and without any justification drove him and his family out of his community? Where is the halacha that a rabbi never has to apologize for errors?

      Rav Belsky insists that Kolko is innocent and that the father is the molester. For some unknown reason he either hasn't told the police about this bizarre theory or they simple don't believe it.

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  4. I don't understand... The signatories are Daas Torah. They may have erred and they may not be infallible... but since they are the greatest of the generation (in that they knows the most Torah, have the most Yiras Shomayim, and are Moser (no pun intended) Nefesh for Klal Yisroel... isn't it beyond Chutzpah to second guess or question what they did?

    Aren't we donkeys compared to them?

    We see the world as flat. That is what it appears like to us. But these Gedolei Torah see the Emes... they know the truth. Because of the depth and breath of their Torah knowledge - they know what we can't see... that the world is round! How dare any of us lesser human beings say such things about these great men?!

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    1. I am not a donkey compared with ANYONE! How dare you deify human beings, making them beyond flesh and blood like any other human. Granted their Torah knowledge is great, but what about their middos? What about their ability to reason about what is just, and what is not? The Spinka Rebbe currently sits in jail for tax evasion- did he not know the truth of what he did: that it wrong to rip off the United States government. The signitories to the letter ruined the life of an aknowledged Talmid Chacham in Lakewood. If they are so great, let them recant their erroneus decision to vilify the victim more than the criminal, and issue an apology. That would be the true sign of greatness as men and as leaders of Klal Yisroel

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    2. They are talmiday chamomim,But they are the greatest of the generation????
      since you agree they erred,how come they did not ask Rabbi's mechila[and that calls their level of yiras shomayim into question too.]
      The chief

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  5. In publishing and circulating this letter, these Rabbonim, along with everyone who abided by the edict, have revealed their true nature- that they are repellent human beings who have no shame. I have no idea how any of them can sleep at night knowing that a) they were wrong in making the accusation against the father, b) they were wrong in assuming Kolko's guilt, and c) none of them have had the temerity to apologize, contra Rabbi Epstein who did issue a written apology and expressed severe and unapologetic remorse within its text.

    I noticed that the first name on the original letter was the Dayan of Sqvare. Given the horrific episode that happened there, where Aron Rottenberg was almost killed by a fire bomb yielded by one of th Rebbe's attendants. Mr. Rottenberg and his family were harrassed and vilified for the "crime" of davening in a different minyan (at a local nursing home) on Shabbos. Following this event, which made not only the front page of many newspapers, news broadcasts, and blogs- it also made a major Hillul Hashem after the facts and behaviour of the community became public. Despite all of this, the Square shul, at the Rebbe's direction, recited Tehillim for the perpetrator of this crime, but not for Mr. Rottenberg, who suffered 3rd degree burns over much of his body and spent MONTHS in the hospital. Press fast forward, and a Sqvare Dayan signs his name to a piece of paper that ultimately ruins the lives of another family.

    Reb Daniel- with events like these becoming the standard modus operendi of many haredi communities, I have lost enormous respect for most Rabbinic leaders. Someone wrote that in these times, "being Haredi means never having to say you're sorry"...I find myself in agreement with this redoubtable observation.

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  6. You cannot blame the signatories to the 2010 letter. They are essentially correct. The only issue is that the father got a heter to go to the secular authorities. But the signatories were unaware of that heter.

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    1. D
      Now they are aware of that heter, correct?

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    2. It is well known in Lakewood that Rav Sternbuch gave him a psak that he had to go to the police.

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    3. It wasn't known to the signatories at the time they signed.

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    4. Before signing something this serious, would-be signatories have to do a proper investigation and not rely on possibly faulty assumptions. In this case, such a due-diligence investigation would have revealed this psak/heter.

      But wait! Since when do open letters of this type represent a good model for applying Torah law? Isn't there such a thing as due process within Halacha? This type of letter that comes from no Beis Din and has no official standing may be out of bounds in any case.

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    5. D you keep ignoring the elephant in the room - there is no question that they now know - why have they apologized? It is also clear that they had opportunity to ask before they signed and distributed the letter whether the father had a psak to go to the police. Why the shoot first without ascertaining what the facts are?

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    6. i suppose that suggesting to these gentlemen that they act with as much grace, honor, and humility as harav lamn wouldn't help.

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  7. D,

    How could these rabbis sign a statement of fact without inquiring into the facts? How could they not even bother to talk to Rabbi S?

    Wearing the mantle of lomdus and status does not exempt you from the most elementary requirements to know you are telling the truth before you say so. Is there even a shred of proof that they ever inquired into the facts themselves? If R. Malkiel or R. Solomon told them, they should have said, why don't you write it. If Mickey Rottenberg told them they should have said, we will not sign until we do our own inquiry. Signing on someone else's say-so is fraud if you haven't independently confirmed the facts yourself. But in truth, everyone knows the orders came from on-top and they turned themselves into irresponsible bearers or rechilus, not out erlichkeit but out of shameless acquiescence to superior power. Do the words "Lo segooroo mipnei ish" mean anything? If not it is time for them to hang up their spurs as dayonim, poskim, and rabbonim.

    The power play of forcing Rabbi S. out of town may endure. But so to will the shanda of rabbonim who are quislings without regard for torah standards or even elementary secular standards of truthfulness. What good is learning without integrity? They have converted their torah standing into a spade which they used to bury an erlich talmid chochom.

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    1. Yerachmiel is typically correct. There was zero integrity on their part, just as there was zero integrity when the entire Satmar community defended Weberman, raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for his defense, and at the same time, vilified and victimized his accuser. Am I, as a paying member of Klal Yisroel, expected to rationalize and excuse such abhorrent and disfunctional behavior- especially when it results in a massive Hillul HaShem?

      The apotheosis of the Rabbinic leader has yielded a process where being a Haredi Rav- regardless of his association- never, ever means having to say you're sorry.

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  8. Yerachmiel Lopin,

    How do you know that they didn't inquire into the facts? Who said that they didn't talk to Rabbi S

    What is the basis of your outlandish allegations? Your building your own fiction here without a shred of evidence for what you are saying.

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    1. You're saying that they knew of Rav Shternbuch's psak? They considered themselves so great that they can be mevateil what he said? How can they have written what they wrote if they that Rav Shternbuch permitted the father to go to the police?

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    2. Rav Sternbuch's psak is dated at the beginning of Tammuz while the above letter was written in Elul.

      But you are avoiding the question - there is no question that they presently know of Rav Sternbuch's psak. It is impossible that they can now be claiming the the father is a moser when he has such a psak. Obviously they now are aware that they were wrong to write such a letter. Such an awareness demands that they apoligize.

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    3. Tzorba,

      Under what scenario could they have written their letter if they had inquired with Rabbi S? He would have gladly shared the psak. Even if they disagreed with R. Sternbuch's psak they would have had to acknowledge it with a qualifying phrase such as not getting a VALID psak. No. They were either willfully ignorant or dishonest. In the process they have done incalculable harm to their credibility as honest competent rabbonim.

      This was not rabbonus; this was politics.

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  9. Rabbi Eidensohn,

    This gang of nine cannot attempt tshuvah without admitting the chet harishon, that they issued judgement and publicly slandered a talmid chochom without even checking their facts. They have to admit that essential point. Saying "Oops we goofed!" would be a gross understatement of their failure. If other's misled them and are still misleading others they need to speak to that. Unfortunately the fish rots from the head and someone with integrity will have to find a way to say it, or nothing will change.

    In a strange way, I at least give Satmar credit. When they decided to slander the victim testifying against Weberman, R. Aaron Teitelbaum, biatzmo, called her a whore in front of several thousand people. But the other Aaron is more devious.

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  10. 1. As was reported here many times, two of the leading Rabbonim here in America (Rabbis Kamenetsky and Forschiemer) said they should report to the authorities. Rav Shternbuch's letter is only notable because he was the only one with the courage to put it in writing.

    2. Some of the signatories were specifically told that there was a psak. The battle cry was it has to be in writing, as the embarrassing letter states.

    Anyone of them could have asked the father, a contemporary of theirs (although far greater than them), and he would have told them. He was asked by the "matirim" not to be "mefasem", unless there was a need.

    3. A common misconception is to apply to these cases the laws of "Erka'os" (ערכאות) . The halachick issue in abuse cases is a potential Mesirah (מסירה) , different problem, different guidelines, and different Siman (סימן) in Shulchon Orech!

    Erka'os:  we are not allowed to honor non-Jewish judges by bringing to them a fight between two Jews, for arbitration and settlement. Regardless of the outcome and ruling we have still given them honor, which is why even if you know they rule like Jewish Judges it's still asur. The only way one can go to the courts (for example, if the plaintiff is not willing to meet you in Bais din), is to get a written hetter  from a Bais din.

    Mesirah: we are not allowed to inform the non-jewish authorities of another Jews crimes. This is when there is no dispute between two parties, and the reporting party has nothing to gain or loose.  If one sees another Jew doing something wrong, he's not allowed to report him, to holdup the rule of law. Here the problem is the outcome. The halacha in his case is afraid the non-jews will treat him unfairly, with excessive punishment. To this halacha there is a different caveat- if the perpetrator is perceived to be a hezech larabim (threat to public wellbeing), one can remove him from society by reporting him to the authorities. THERE IS NO SHULCHAN ORACH THAT SAYS YOU NEED BEIS DIN OR EVEN A HETER AT ALL, FOR THIS.

    This is not to say it's not a very good idea to discuss all issues with halachik ramifications, with a competent Rov. If someone has a question about his kesher in his teffilin, he's not mandated to discuss it with anyone. If he's confident that he knows hilchos teffilin he can decide himself, same with Mesirah.

    4. Another misconception is that the problem with the "Heter system" is that Rabbonim are reluctant to get the police involved. That is simply  not the case. When a parent goes to his Rov, generally he makes the necessary inquiries and can get a feeling if there seems to be a problem. At that point almost all Rabbonim would immediately give a "Heter" to have law enforcement take over. The problem is that the accused then runs to his Rov, and that's when the fun starts. The accuseds' Rov seems to always "know for a fact that nothing happened", and feeds a frenzied attack on the heter giving rabbi.

    That is the reason none of the Rabbonim in America were willing to publicize in writing their heter.

    This is also part of the reason the mob in this case, kept on demanding written heteirim. They knew that nobody would have the courage to publicize their name, for fear of the attacks they would have to endure. And if someone drums up the courage, the mob would kill him for it until he's forced to retract.


      

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  11. Dear R' Eidonsohn,

    I think the most mentchlich thing to do is to contact those Rabbonim, tell them the facts as you see them and ask them for their response. Posting things on the internet, although good in a certain sense doesn't solve the issue or is not a kiyum of tochacha. We are all upset that the Rabbonim do not have seemed to investigate the matter properly before embarrassing the father. However, we should not be guilty of the same aveirah. In order to be mochiach, I think a respectable talmid chochom should contact each of the Rabbonim (or for example someone may ask Rav Epstein as part of his teshuva) to contact all of the other Rabbonim and either be mochiach them or ask them for an explanation. But it seems enough talking around the people and around the issue. The Rabbonim need to be confronted and either rebuked (if they have made an error) or provide an explanation if they believe they have not.

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  12. Rav Eidensohn has joined others in condemning an egregious abuse of rabbinic power and authority by leading rabbonim in one of America's most prestigious enclaves of Torah study. These rabbonim publicly, but mistakenly, condemned an outstanding member of their community who, a reasonable investigation would have shown, had not violated halakhah, but had acted to protect the children of the community. As these rabbonim are surely aware of their error, their failure to apologize can only be understood as a refusal.

    Rav Eidensohn points out that the person wrongly condemned was not a moser by ANY interpretation of halakhah. Accordingly, this matter has nothing to do with legitimate differences of rabbinic opinion, but rather the respect for truth and kavod reakhah expected of any Jew. I daresay that leaders of any Gentile institution would be harshly criticized for such arbitrary and abusive conduct. The condemnation of someone who acted lawfully for the public good is reminiscent of the "justice" of Sedom as recounted in the Gemarah.

    So I ask respectfully, why are commenters here quibbling about what "camp" Rav Waldenburg, ztz"l, was perceived to have belonged to, and how he was ranked among poskim? Isn't that irrelevant? Rav Eidensohn used the psychologist's expression, "the elephant in the room" -- a big, ugly fact that people would like to pretend doesn't exist. Isn't the "elephant in the room" a massive failure of Torah, at least Torah as taught and practiced in a "leading" Orthodox community? What sort of Torah education, Torah living and Torah community produces leaders such as this, and a community that accepts them?

    Of course, you say the Torah hasn't failed the Jews, Jews have failed the Torah. Fine -- but what is to be done about it, lest it be perceived as a failure of Torah itself?

    To respond to "Shma Koleinu" (rather, "Shma Koleihem")-- indeed, in terms of knowledge I am a donkey compared to these rabbonim. But is it not better to be Bilam's donkey than Bilam, better to have yiras shamayim and see where one shouldn't go and not go there?

    The Torah teaches, "lo tihyeh acharei rabbim l'ra`ot," "do not follow after the multitude to do evil." In biblical Hebrew, "rabbim" means "multitude." But since the Torah was given once for all time, I think it is justifiable today to understand "rabbim" in the later sense of "great men," i.e., "rabbis." Note that the mitzvah is in the singular, addressed to each individual Jew. While Jews are elsewhere enjoined to follow rabbinic authority, here each individual Jew is expected to understand when "the multitude" -- or, I dare say, "the rabbis" -- are going the wrong way, and resist going there.

    As the metaphor goes, let's not rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic. Let's fix the hole.

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  13. Shortly after Kolko's plea of guilty, on 14 May 2013 I contacted a signatory of that letter. I asked him if he was going to apologise. The first thing he told me was that he was not aware that Kolko had pleaded guilty. Secondly, he told me that he had already apologised to the family of the victim and that he regretted signing the letter. I asked him if he would publicly apologise and he told me that he would think about it.

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    1. At the time, his private apology was appreciated by the family. Having endured such cruel viciousness, even a little straw was better than nothing.

      But, if your in contact with him please don't let him get away with "think about it".

      HE DISGRACED À GREAT TALMID CHACHOM AND HIS FAMILY IN PUBLIC AND APOLOGIZED IN PRIVATE?!?

      Tell him he has nothing to worry about, his cousin that got him to sign (AH) is not campaigning anymore.

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  14. Bubby in LakewoodJuly 3, 2013 at 6:09 PM

    It would make a large difference if one of the Rabbonim would come out with a letter of apology instead of just a layman like R' Epstein, as sincere as he is, putting out one.

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  15. I think the Rosh Kollel Choshen Mishpat ought to resign. He obviously doesnt know anything about Choshen Mishpat.

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  16. James,

    Your comment is extremely biased and ignorant and takes only your limited point of view into account.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Double Standard In LakewoodJuly 4, 2013 at 11:55 PM

    I Find it Very interesting That Rabbi Tzvi Yosef Bursztyn would sign Such a Letter Considering The Fact That Rabbi Bursztyns Nephew and Niece Moshe and Kayla Bursztyn who Live in Lakewood had their Tennent arrested and Jailed in Lakewood Township Jail and Ocean County Prison in Toms River and filed Criminal charges against Him Because They Claimed he owed them Two Month Rent, and he allegedaly Insulted=("Harrased")Them.They did this without Going To Bais Din as a Matter of Fact when They Were Subsequently Summoned To Bais Din Bais Yosef and Mechon Lehorah, They Ignored Bais Dins Hazmonos and Ikkuls and Even Threatened Bais Din That They will sue Bais Din For Millions of Dollars if They Put out a Siruv against Them For Being a Mesariv Ledin

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    Replies
    1. I dont know if there is one iota of truth in what you say. But it doesnt even matter. Even if your comment HAD been true, what someone's nephew and niece do or did has nothing to with their uncle. The uncle doesnt and cant control his nephews.

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  18. Rav Eidensohn -
    Now that it's July 5th... Do you know if the issue was raised at the Lev L'Achim asifa on July 3rd?

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  19. Response to will hillJuly 7, 2013 at 11:12 PM

    The case with R Yussel Bursztyns Nephew and Niece Definitly is True it is File In Lakewood and the ocean county Court systems and Bais Din Bais Yosef issued Hazmonos which Many People hava Copies of. Unfortunetly for Rav Yosef Tzvi Bursztyn He learned The Hard Way You do NOT Support a Moser,Because it will end up backfiring on you as it did in the case of R Yussel Bursztyn when he was Arrested in Lakewood Like a Common Criminal For Assulting a Police Officer,Midda Kneged Midda

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  20. Moshe Bursztyn The Mesariv Ledin Now has some Type of Teaching or Substituting Job in Orchos Chaim after Being Fired from Bais Hatorah in Lakewood and Passaic Yeshiva Ktana,His Uncle Reb Yussel Bursztyn Refuses To allow Him To Teach or Substitute in any of His Mosdos

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  21. Eddie wrote: "R Waldenberg forbade smoking, at variance with the haredi position, esp that of RMF, does that make him non haredi?"

    It's not "at variance with the haredi position" as if there was one monolithic position. In "Sh'eilas Rav" R' Chaim Kanievsky, *the* haredi godol, is asked if smoking is permitted on second-day yomtov for those accustomed to smoking. His answer? גם בחול אסור

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