Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Whistle blower reveals head of Met Council has been skimming money

NY Times  A few months ago, an anonymous letter was sent to the board of directors of one of the city’s most venerable nonprofit institutions, the Metropolitan New York Council on Jewish Poverty. 

The writer, who claimed to be a former employee of the charity’s insurance broker, said money was being skimmed from payments that the charity made for health insurance. The allegation was strikingly similar to one made in a letter sent two years earlier. Nothing amiss was found then, but this time a new chief financial officer made a startling discovery. 

The charity’s chief executive, William E. Rapfogel, had been conspiring with someone at the insurance brokerage, Century Coverage Corporation, to pad the charity’s insurance payments by several hundred thousand dollars a year, according to a person briefed on the investigation.[...]

The account of the letter is the first time it has been clear that the scandal came to light from an anonymous whistle-blower, not through any audit or government oversight. It is the latest example of the remarkable lack of oversight, both of nonprofit groups that receive grants of taxpayer money and the politicians who award those grants without competitive bidding. That process has been at the center of successful criminal prosecutions of several city politicians in recent years.  [...]

36 comments :

  1. Thanks for posting this juicy loshon hora about a frum yid. A lot of tachlis it serves. It's always titillating to read about the downfall of a Jew.

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    1. so why did you read it? All ostriches should keep their head in the ground - blind, deaf and speechless. If all the sins of others mean to you is a form of entertainment you are very sick indeed.

      Delete
    2. Why? Because I didn't know you post loshon hora and thus didn't expect to read l'h here.

      Too bad you missed the sarcasm.

      Why are you posting loshon hora?

      Delete
    3. abe I see you are being self-righteous, sarcastic and really excited about playing a game of gotcha. You are the tzadik because you are certain that informing others of major scandals which have been widely publicized transgresses the sin of lashon harah - right?

      You are claiming that it is lashon harah when informing others of the severe misdeeds of frum yidden - correct? You are not denying the crime but are simply insisting that it is prohibited to publicize it and inform others about it - correct? You obviously have mastered the issue of to'eles - correct? You obviously have studied carefully the issue of repeating lashon harah that has already been made public - correct? I assume you are fully aware of the words of the Maharal, Tosfos, Rabbeinu Yonah, the Chazon Ish and Rav Elchonon Wasserman?

      Do you also have a problem when I report child molesters or other is it only financial crimes you don't want me to talk about? What about rabbis who take advantage of women who come for counseling? What about a famous rosh yeshiva who likes to shown his "love" of his students in sinful ways?

      Do you object when I publicized the crimes of Mondrowitz? What about when I publicized the crimes of Leib Tropper. these are frum yidden aren't they?

      Additional issue - what is the Torah doing when it says

      Devarim (13:12)12. And all Israel shall hear, and fear, and shall do no more any such wickedness as this is among you.

      Devarim (17:12): And all Israel shall hear, and fear, and shall do no more any such wickedness as this is among you.

      Devarim (19:20): And those which remain shall hear, and fear, and shall henceforth commit no more any such evil among you.

      Devarim (21:21). And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die; so shall you put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.

      Why is the Torah so concerned that people find out about the crimes of frum yidden? How did the people hear of the punishment of these sinners? Perhaps there was a bas kol?!

      Finally - what heter do you give yourself to read this blog? Perhaps you consider everything I write as false so you don't believe it? Obviously you believe it - so what is your heter? What is your heter to be on the internet.

      The obvious answer is that you are simply a troll. If you don't come up with something more intelligent than what you have written so far - I will simply block it.

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    4. 1) I've never claimed to be a tzadik. One needn't be a tzadik to be point out right and wrong. The obligation of tochacha is binding on regular folks too.

      2) I'm not familiar with all those other examples you're giving of things you've posted. Perhaps they're loshon hora too. Thankfully I haven't read them so I cannot address that. I can only address this singular post that I've read.

      Delete
  2. call a spade a spadeSeptember 17, 2013 at 8:56 PM

    The torah tanach according to you is loshon hara because ittalks about real bad Things that our ancestors did.

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    1. You should tell that to that silly rabbi called the Chofetz Chaim who wasted so much time writing a whole sefer against talking loshon hora.

      I mean, like you said, Tanach speaks loshon hora so we can too.

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    2. abe it is time you put your silly sarcasm away. If you have something intelligent i.e., actual halacha sources than please cite them.

      You remind me of an infamous senator who used to wave a paper in which he claimed was evidence of communists in the government - he just never presented it.

      Please cite where the Chofetz Chaim says that it is prohibited to comment on people accused or convicted of criminal activities that has already been reported in the newspapers?

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    3. Accused and convicted by a secular non-Jewish court or by a valid beis din? Big difference.

      Besides, in the case discussed here he has neither been criminally accused or convicted.

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    4. It is not a big difference in regards to the issue under discussion.



      Please provide sources that it makes a difference

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    5. You don't see a difference between beis din and, say a conviction by the Czar's court, the court than convicted Rabbeinu Gershom or the American court that convicted Leo Frank?

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    6. Zalman we are dealing with the halachic question - Is the reporting of information from public media prohibited because of the issur of lashon harah or not. As far as I know the quality of the conviction is not involved in this question. It would be if we are dealing with a normal case of lashon harah which is not public knowledge. If you have sources to the contrary please share them.

      Delete
    7. So if a court in Czarist Russia convicted a Jew or when Leo Frank was convicted in American court, it would be okay to use them as a public example and repeat their "crimes" to warn people away from such "aveiros"?

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    8. Zalman you don't seem to understand what the point of this discussion is.

      You seem to concerned solely with whether there is a to'eles in reporting this information. While I am also concerned with whether this information is beneficial - the main point I am addressing is the accusation that reporting information which is in the public domain is considered lashon harah. Thus the point you raise is not relevant to the halachic accusations that Abe and a number of others have raised. Some negative things can be repeated - even though it serves no purpose - and yet it is not considered lashon harah. Other negative things need to serve have a to'eles in order for them to be said.

      It would be helpful if you actually read the previous posts on the subject instead of trying to deal with this solely on the basis of what you think lashon harah is.

      What you are doing is comparable to arguing that pork today is kosher because it is no longer a health risk. While that sounds logical but it is not a halachic arguments since the halacha doesn't prohibit pork because of health reasons.

      Delete
  3. http://daattorah.blogspot.co.il/2009/11/chofetz-chaim-accused-of-lashon-harah.html

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  4. Abe-

    You're a real adom gadol in your ability to criticize; how about displaying a modicum of intelligence in your inability to respond to Rabbi Eidenson's insights? If you're so concerned about loshon hara, why read this blog? In fact, why have any access to the internet?

    You clearly have little or no ability to support your inane comments. I mean, do you have anything to say that sounds remotely intelligent?

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    1. What a calm,super-intelligent, rational, well-thought out and non-emotional comment that lacks ANY vindictiveness, Fred.

      Delete
    2. Hey Felix-

      If you have anything constructive to say, lacking (if at all possible) the high degree of sarcasm that oozes from your post, why not direct it toward to topic under discussion here? Namely,it is the purported violation of Loshon Hara- carelessly thrown about by "Abe"- and the very pointed responses provided by R. Eidenson to what I consider to be inane accusations against him.

      Delete
  5. R. Eidensohn,

    I'm not holding by Abe's claim that your posting is loshon hora.

    However I did find the statement in Sandedrin 89a that "public announcements must be made for four (transgressors), meisis, ben soreh u'moreh, zaken mamreh, eidim zomemim..."

    I'm wondering to what extent can the pasukim you quoted be relied upon to publicize various transgressors nowadays?

    When dealing with other transgressors not listed in Sanhedrin 89a, what are some general guidelines for what constitutes "to'eles" to allow publicizing a transgressor's misdeeds?

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    1. I cited them to show that the Torah clearly believes that knowledge - in some case of a crime and consequences - is desirable in order to deter others.

      Your point is important and hopefully in the near future we can get into the details and parameters.

      Delete
  6. Abe wrote: September 17, 2013 at 4:29 PM

    "Thanks for posting this juicy loshon hora about a frum yid. A lot of tachlis it serves. It's always titillating to read about the downfall of a Jew."

    Abe- why do you think that making a comment in a nasty way is the way to give tochacha? Have you ever studied the laws of tochacha? I it is time for you to review them.

    If you want a topic discussed - the normal intelligent - and halachic thing to do is to raise the question in a respectful manner.Your comment clearly indicated that you knew the halacha and I was a sheigitz. After all intelligent discussion is the purpose of this blog is and always has been.

    Hopefully you don't deal with your complaints about others in this manner - because bashing others is not tochacha but is rather titillation. It is the entertainment of the boor - not the concern of a frum yidden to stop others from sinning.

    The topic your raised of repeating public information is important and this has been extensively discussed before.

    http://daattorah.blogspot.co.il/2013/04/lashan-harah-repeating-allegations-from.html


    There is also a warning on this blog cautioning against automatic belief of items published here.

    1) LASHON HARAH ALERT

    "Assertions made by any poster - should not be assumed to be true until checked with authoritative rabbis. They are allowed only for the concerns that they raise - so that people can be alterted to investigate so as to avoid harm.

    Acceptance of a post is not assurance that it is accurate or in proper context. Even notices said in the name of major rabbis need to be checked out to see that they were actually authorized by those rabbis."

    In addition Rav Sternbuch has requested copies of my posts - which I have given him for a number of years - and he reads them.

    There is a tachlis in publicizing the wrong doings of others - including frum yidden - as a deterrent to others. That this is a to'eles is elementary to anyone who lives in the world. I cited a number of Torah verses which clearly indicate the desirablity of publicizing criminals and their punishment as a deterrent. As I commented - we will hopefully get into the parameters of this.


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    1. DT: Are you claiming that Rav Shternbuch is given

      a) a copy of every post you make here? Does this apply to your original posts only or to your comments in the comment section as well

      and

      b) he approves of ALL your posts after-the-fact of you publishing them?

      Delete
    2. http://daattorah.blogspot.co.il/2013/04/lashan-harah-repeating-allegations-from.html

      I think spreading public knowledge further to people who may have missed the original news is considered to be l'h.

      Delete
    3. Dan is asking R. Eidensohn some good questions regarding his relationship with Rav Sternbuch.

      I would like to know those answers too as I'm sure many others of us here would like to know.

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    4. Dan I am simply stating that Rav Sternbuch has asked that I give him a copy of what I post. He is not approving or disapproving them - but he does read them. I do not give him copy of the comments.

      Dan - you give me - "I think it is lashon harah" please give me a halachic source that spreading word about people who have been arrested or convicted of serious crimes in our community is prohibited. If you bothered reading the extensive material I have posted you will see it is permitted.

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    5. Ben it is interesting that there are now of a number of "pious" individuals who are not asking clarification of halacha but are demanding that I prove that I am not a rasha - apparently without bothering to study the laws of lashon harah. In the time honored tradition of "when did you stop beating your wife"

      A number of years ago there was the Leib Tropper scandal. Aside from the distortion of halacha, and buying the association with gedolim - he was accused of being involved in a major sex scandal. There were those who accused me then of lashon harah and chilul hashem - but Rav Sternbuch said not only to publicize but to state that Tropper was guilty as charged.

      there was the case of the woman who charged with starving her child - Rav Sternbuch told me to publicize it.

      There was the case of the dybuk from Brazil - and Rav Sternbuch told me to publicize that it was the result of mental illness.

      Delete
  7. Putting a " LASHON HARAH ALERT" on the blog doesn't absolve the blog from its obligation of refraining from engaging in loshon hora -- in BOTH the posts and the comments that are approved by the blog owner.

    While whether the posts here are loshon hora may be debatable on a case-by-case (well, post-by-post) basis, many many of the comments approved by the blogowner on many posts on this blog are unquestionably loshon hora, rechilus and/or motzi shem ra.

    I never understood why or how such comments could be approved.

    It's true that the readership here shares equal guilt for reading as does the poster/commenter/disseminater has for posting.

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    1. Dan if you really think the material is lashon harah you have no business reading it. In fact you have no business being on the internet. Why are you reading this blog?

      Delete
  8. It says in the Sefer HaChinuch perek 239 that you should give someone tochacha privately and in a nice way; but if they don't listen to you, then you should embarrass them in public so that they will do teshuvah.

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    1. And therefore? Are you saying that Abe is wrong or that Abe is right?

      Delete
  9. R. Eidensohn:

    What is the purpose or benefit of making this post regarding Mr. Rapfogel? Without it do you think some if your reader would've thought that it is okay to embezzle or steal money? And now that you posted it they're going to think, wait, I might get caught so better not to do it? Did your reader originally, before your post here, think either 1) it's okay to steal and/or 2) theirs not risk of getting caught?

    Also, perhaps this point doesn't pertain to this particular situation, but other times you post accusations that the accused denies and has yet to be brought to court, let alone convicted. How do you justify that? They very well may be innocent and you are posting accusations.

    Besides, isn't the very definition of loshon hora actually pertain to TRUE sins by people?

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    1. Steve I have posted extensively on these issues - please read the posts and then if you have additional questions get back to me.

      http://daattorah.blogspot.co.il/2013/04/lashan-harah-repeating-allegations-from.html

      Delete
    2. Steve lashon harah are true statements - not necessarily involving sins. Not all negative statements about others are considered lashon harah. I gather you have not bothered learning the halachos but are simply offering your opinion.

      You might want to learn through Rav Elchonon Wasserman - a student of the Chofetz Chaim says in Yevamos (#70).

      http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2013/04/bein-adam-lchavero-sins-only-if-done-to.html

      Delete
  10. Maybe Abe, Zalman, and the rest are nervous that when they get caught cheating in their businesses they're going to end up on this blog too?

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    1. Lazer: Just because you were busted and incarcerated previously should not be used by you as a reflective view you have on others.

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    2. Jail isn't so bad. They let me sleep and eat in the sukkah! (Too bad it was Chanukah)

      Delete

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