Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Schlesinger Twins: Letter of British Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis


47 comments :

  1. A further example of the incredible work being undertaken by Rabbi Mirvis. It would be fantastic for further examples of support being made public. It would be beneficial for a similar letter to be made available by Rav Sudak.

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  2. I want to see a response to this. Who will respond?

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  3. I called the Austrian Embassy in Washington DC today and received a courteous and professional response to my inquiry whether an email I'd sent earlier this month had been received. I was asked to send another email.

    ---
    To Whom It May Concern:

    I am writing in regard to the case of the Schlesinger twins. As you may be aware, this is a child custody dispute. I have been following developments in this case on the Daas Torah blog found at http://daattorah.blogspot.com .

    My experience has been that in cases like this there are often missteps both parents have made that contribute to a difficult situation that a judge then has to resolve. Sometimes it seems there is no conceivable way to satisfy all parties.

    This case, however, seems to stand out because of what appears to be possible unprofessional conduct by some members of the judiciary.

    I would be most interested in learning if there is any merit to the concerns expressed on the Daat Torah blog regarding the impartiality of the judicial proceedings in the case.

    Thank you for your attention to this matter and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Sincerely,
    Joe Orlow

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  4. I received a call from the Embassy. Both of my emails were received. The response was complete and thorough.

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    Replies
    1. Do you care to share their response with the readership here?

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    2. The call was off-the-record. I can say that the Embassy is aware of the case.

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    3. do they at least acknowledge kniowing of the "data torah" blog?

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    4. Daas Torah is a nationally known website is Austria.

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  5. The question is why is ths father being so brutal to his children by denying them even the ridiculous little contact the court has ordered.

    Why is the Court and the Jewish Community in Vienna lettings him get away with it?

    What misery they are bringing on a loving capable Jewish mother and two
    little boys, who are so badly under
    achieving!

    I hope Chief Rabbi Mirvis will go further than just issuing this
    statement.

    Lives are being destroyed here for no good reason!

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  6. come on Joe - don't keep us in suspense.May 21, 2014 at 9:41 PM

    and......??

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  7. Ah, the British - masters of understatement.

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  8. I never trust letters from Rabbis, as they are often bribed.

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    1. This may be the way things work in Austria, but please don't speak about our esteemed chief rabbi Mirvis in that disgusting manner.

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  9. Remember, the British always had problems with Austria. The Chief Rabbi has more influence in UK, e.g. with the Prime Ministers whenever there is a threat to Shechita.

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    1. Freddie is also backMay 22, 2014 at 12:16 AM

      Regardless of influence, the UK chief rabbi certainly feels the issue is important enough to publicly express an opinion. If I was a rabbi in Austria today, I would be truly embarrassed at being shown up in front of the entire world as being totally ineffective.
      Do they have no shame???

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  10. Josh why don't you trust Rabbis?
    Rabbi Mirvis is well respected in England. However judging by comments made on Dass Torah Chief Rabbi Eisenberg is not respected at all.

    What about Rabbi Biderman Chabad who is hiding two little boys, who are failing to thrive in his kindergarten.

    What plans does he have for them next year when they will not be able to
    progress from the kindergarten to
    mainstream school.

    Will he continue to hide them in his kindergarten or send them off to an
    institution?

    Why has he so against a fit and caring mother.

    Perhaps Josh and others can ask him?


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  11. I feel very sorry for Beth. However once the boys are 6 unless there is proof that the father is not looking after his sons properly he gets them al pi halocho. This could well bw the case here.Hence r mervis sweeping statement that they should be with mother could be inappropriate.

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    1. Rav Sternbuch disagrees with you

      http://daattorah.blogspot.co.il/2012/07/rav-sternbuch-divorcewho-gets-custody.html

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    2. Rav Shternbuch is paskening on that particular case. In this and other cases it may well be the father is the better parent.

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    3. In this case the father is the worst possible parent regardless of the methods you use to measure it.

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  12. And he can. His sevorah is very weak and Rav Gestetner woukd probably totally disagree with him. A boy needs chinuch in davening and learning out of school. Its precisely such hands off parenting why many gedolims sons dont end up being very much themselves. And I have no doubt rav shach with his own experience would agree with me

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    1. When I show you that your original declaration is not THE halacha your response is simply to bad mouth Rav Sternbuch and claim (without any evidence) that Rav Schach would agree with you. Rav Sternbuchis not a minoriy opinion either.

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    2. "A boy needs chinuch in davening and learning out of school." - Is that why Schlesinger hires full time Filipino nannies and he hardly ever sees his own children? Are these nannies such experts in davening and limmud torah?

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    3. Halocho, these children don't want davening, they want their mummy

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    4. "When I show you that your original declaration is not THE halacha"

      1) You should meditate about the fact that so many people THINK it is THE halacha

      2) One Rabbi does not yet make halacha

      3) For all we know, the present arrangement is not incompatible with Rav Sternbuch's psak. you have not seen the children, you cannot determinate what caused their slow speech development, and you have not heard Schlesinger's side of the story (and Schlesinger has no obligation to provide you with it, since you are not a beith din, and even if you were, you could not judge the case since you heard one side before).

      4) Visitation for the non-custodial parent or shared custody are NOT concepts anchored in halacha. Any claim that one parent has "a halachic right to a child" is bogus. Halacha does not care whether the children of divorced parents are in contact with both parents or not. Actually, halacha prefers a strict separation of divorced parents, so as not to arise any occasion of znut.

      The only parameter that can be clearly read from rav sternbuch's psak is that OTD parents should not get custody, in his opinion.

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  13. The Chief Rabbi in Vienna needs to approach the president of Austria and his (Jewish) wife on this.

    The Lord Mayor of Vienna should also be involved, as the children are in a kindergarten (Chabad) run by a rabbi who has excellent connections to the Vienna City Council and from where no news about them ever penetrates the outside world. Only extremely high-level talks will achieve anything for these unfortunate children, who are victims of a Kafkaesque situation which also sadly reminds us of George Orwell.

    Vienna prides itself on offering numerous possibilities for supporting children like these. This time, however, it has failed miserably and the victims are a mere 5 years old. Chief Rabbi Mirvis has hit the nail on the head.

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  14. Beth has been assessed and given a completely clean bill of health, yet the father hasn't so how does any one know if he is capable? He employs
    Philopinos to look after the boys who are in a bad way. Unless the father is assessed how can we be assured he is capable , whereas there is proof that Beth is!

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  15. "When I show you that your original declaration is not THE halacha your response is simply to bad mouth Rav Sternbuch and claim (without any evidence) that Rav Schach would agree with you. Rav Sternbuchis not a minoriy opinion either."

    Are you for real? Where did I bad mouth him. There are enough poskim who disagree. As great as he is, he is not infallible, his sevorah is weak and i speak from personal experience where a boy who was prevented from going to his father for 4 and a half years because of arko"oys and then the situation changed did not know what to daven on shabbos and was very anti going to shul for a long time.

    And this sevorah was told to me by my rov who learned in brisk (AJ) and has a very prominent semichah. He said its weak. So please stop acting like a starry eyed baal teshuva.

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    1. Your comment is incredible but you obviously missed the point and really have no understanding of this issue. Did your rav also tell you that Rav Sternbuch is wrong and that the halachoc is as you stated?!

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  16. PS: A Litvishe Rosh yeshiva son of a big rosh yeshiva and grandson of someone who he claims saw Eliyohu hanovi said the same thing about Reb Moshe's psak on not building an eiruv in Brooklyn -his sevorah is weak. he added though that since we referring to himself rely on reb moshe for many many kulohs we can't pick and choose but he totally doesnt get reb moshe's psak on an eiruv. Does that mean he is bad mouthing reb moshe. I think you are paranoid.

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    1. @halocho why don't you review what the issue is and your response. Then please take both to your rov and ask him if your response is appropriate.

      please let me know what he has to say on the matter.

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    2. @halocho I also saw eliyohu hanovi and he told me you were talking absolute nonsense!!

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  17. "Your comment is incredible but you obviously missed the point and really have no understanding of this issue. Did your rav also tell you that Rav Sternbuch is wrong and that the halachoc is as you stated?!"

    Your arrogance is beyond belief. Just because someone disagrees with you doesn't mean they don't understand the issue. i would actually the opposite. You clearly don't understand the role of a father al pi halocho in terms of chinuch. Not only did my Rov say that but i checked with rav gestetner. While he said he hadn't seen the teshuva of rav sternbuch, he said claiming that a yeshiva replaced the chinuch of the father "made no sense". he said sharfer even but I won't quote him. You have an unbelievable chutzpah to think only you understand and I don't. Stop attacking personally and stop acting like a stary eyed baal teshuva. I guess you can now claim that not only I but my Rov and Rav Gestetner don't understand the issue. Please.

    RAV GESTETNER WAS ADAMANT: NO YESHIVA CAN EVER REPLACE THE ROLE OF THE FATHER WHEN IT COMES TO CHINUCH.

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    1. Let's see an official psak from rav gestetner on this case then. I suggest he does adequate research first. Until then, you can't predict what his opinion is.

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    2. @stan you have an incredible ability to not understand the issue that you make strong assertions about.

      Let's walk through this slowly. @halacha claimed that at age six the halacha is that boys automatically go to their father
      "I feel very sorry for Beth. However once the boys are 6 unless there is proof that the father is not looking after his sons properly he gets them al pi halocho. "

      I responded that this automatic going to father was not the view of Rav Sternbuch and other poskim. That the issue is what is best for the child. Rav Sternbuch explains that due to the existence of yeshivos and beis yaakov - they can compensate for the Torah education of the parent..

      It is obvious to the rest of us that it can often be true that a mother with a yeshiva system is better for the children than the father. Likewise that a father with a beis yaakov can often be better than a mother.

      Rav Gestetner thinks that Dr. Schlesinger's virtual parenting with two filipinos is better than what Beth can provide?! Even though it meets @halachos minimum standards for custody it is clearly inferior to what Beth can provide and thus is not in the best interest of the twins.

      In sum, Stan you are ignoring the issue that we are talking about and insisting on a one dimensional black and white solution with a lot of abuse language tossed in. I think it is amazing that Rav Gestetner or any other rav would criticize Rav Sternbuch without even reading the original teshuva. I also am amazed that he has not come across situations - such as the present case - where the father is clearly not the best option for the twins.

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    3. Stan/@halachos,

      You have claimed that you are close to Rav Gestetner, even claimed to be on his B"D at one point. It would be really nice if you could get a written response from him, on his typical letterhead regarding Rav Shternbuch teshuva and more importantly Beth's claim to her children.

      Much like the letters you got from him on previous cases, I think this would be very informative for the audience here.

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  18. I would like to state categorically that Rav Gestetner does not agree that the boys can go to the mother because chinuch is obtained from yeshvohs today.

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  19. I am not talking about this case where if the father is not doing a good job he should still have the children and made that clear in the beginning. What i am doing is criticizing the ridiculous assertion of R Mervis in which he makes a statement in general about a court depriving a mother of her right to raise her children which is pure feminism and against halocho. Again for those who can't comprehend I am not referring to this case specifically where it sounds like the father does not know what he doing if beth's allegations are true.


    As for patience nonsense of worrying about Zenut a father is allowed to sleep under the same blanket as his daughter.


    Stop putting words into either into my mouth or rav gestetner's mouth. We are not tsalking about incapable parents but where a father is capable he gets the boys. And Daas Torah keep out the condecending sickening remarks. For someone so arrogant you have made a mighty lot of assumptions which are totally wrong. Obviously the halocho that the father gets the boys would not apply if the father is incapable. My issue was with the sickening generalization of R Mervis who doesn't seem to know or care what the halocho is in line with most if not all modern orthodox rabbis. If you complain that I shouldn't genrealize because you are speaking about a specific case don't critisize me for that because you are the one who quoted r mervis who was generalizing.


    Again I certainly feel sorry for beth that she denied meaningful access to her child so stop putting words in my mouth, stop name calling, stop being condecending and most of all you are the one who is denigrating rav gestetner who is also an odom godol.

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  20. you should say what you mean - and that is not what you originally wrote. Furthermore what is best for the children is not only when the father can do a minimal job. That is clearly where you and Rav Gestetner as you described it - disagree with Rav Sternbuch.

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  21. so he disagrees with Rav Sternbuch. You made a categorical statement that custody of boys go to the father if he isn't negligent - I simply noted that poskim disagree

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  22. @stan you have an incredible ability to not understand the issue that you make strong assertions about.

    Let's walk through this slowly. @halacha claimed that at age six the halacha is that boys automatically go to their father
    "I
    feel very sorry for Beth. However once the boys are 6 unless there is
    proof that the father is not looking after his sons properly he gets
    them al pi halocho. "

    I responded that this automatic going to
    father was not the view of Rav Sternbuch and other poskim. That the
    issue is what is best for the child. Rav Sternbuch explains that due to
    the existence of yeshivos and beis yaakov - they can compensate for the
    Torah education of the parent..

    It is obvious to the rest of us
    that it can often be true that a mother with a yeshiva system is better
    for the children than the father. Likewise that a father with a beis
    yaakov can often be better than a mother.

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  23. I said i was sorry for beth at the beginning. i also never criticized her but R mervis. And even secular society in many countries today wwould take issue with his claiming the mother generally raises the children as of right which certainly what he implied and is against the halocho because even according to you the children go to the best parent and not necessarily the mother. Once again a modern orthodox rabbi shows he doesn't care ki hu ze for halocho. And that is my issue. And I would expect Torah abiding fathers to be very angry with Rabbi mervis.

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  24. When I show you that your original declaration is not THE halacha your
    response is simply to bad mouth Rav Sternbuch and claim (without any
    evidence) that Rav Schach would agree with you. Rav Sternbuchis not a
    minoriy opinion either.

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  25. In what sense is Dr. Schlesinger providing chinuch? 2 filipinos? The chinuch he is providing is the kindergarten. Why do you think Beth can't do better?

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  26. Rabbi Michael TzadokMay 22, 2014 at 4:42 PM

    Stan,


    Since you have said that you are close to Rav Gestetner why don't you get him to write about the matter on his letter head. I think it would be very informative for everyone here.

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