Friday, December 25, 2009

Sounds of silence or who is the 800 lb gorilla in the room?

One of the incredible things about this whole scandal is how it has morphed into a nightmare that few understand what is ordinary sickness and what are cancerous cells that have taken over the identity of healthy cells. Who is simply lying and who are the double agents who are disseminating false information. In addition should we be concerned about what happened - a disgusting sex and bribery scandal of a sick individual or the corruption of the rabbinical elite which threatens the foundation concept of orthodoxy - emunas chachomim, Or should we be obsessing primarily over the atom bomb which was tossed in the issue of geirus and Jewish identity? Alternatively should we worry about the glee of triumph of Guma Aguiar or the despair and disappointment of Tom Kaplan?

There are things which should be obvious at this point but they are not 1) the tapes are valid. They were not fabricated or synthesized. Despite this obvious fact, there are major players in this drama who still insist that the recordings are false - synthesized by a billionaire who has access to the best experts in the world. I recently took down a post which I realized was a plant by the defenders of Tropper - that insisted that the tapes are forgeries. 2) there are hundreds of people who benefited from Tropper - who were engaged in the most disgusting chanifah - who now step over this broken man lying in the gutter while holding their noses - refusing to even acknowledge him or even mentioning that they knew him.

These people must stop ignoring him and there past association - as if nothing happened except a little rain.





  1. Recipients and PublicityDecember 25, 2009 at 3:17 PM

    Besides R Reuven Feinstein who got millions of dollars from Tom Kaplan and Guma Aguiar ith the help of Tropper=EJF=sex scandals, the other main culprit and chief enabler and partner of Tropper is none other tha R Nachum Norman Eisenstien of the VAAD HORABBONIM HAOLAMI LEINYONEI GIYUR on the Dei'ah veDibur site, who of late, and oh how conveniently, has now taken to promoting calls for:

    Daas Torah and Warning Against the Danger of "Chareidi" Internet (December 17, 2009, Dei'ah veDibur) "Recently, certain figures have even posted "chareidi" Internet channels (sites) that send forth all sorts of news items and gossip and slanderous remarks against the chareidi public...With regard to those who are ensnared and cooperate with them, we hereby issue a stern warning not to visit these channels and not to cooperate with them in any way...These channels must be uprooted and removed from our midst."

    RaP: NOTICE, how they are not reoprting aand uprooting predator Tropper and the stench of dead in the water EJF, they prefer censorship and pointless red herrings. Blogs are not the cause of the problem of Tropper and EJF, they only report what others hide. It's like saying if someone sins with a zona it's the zona's fault, it's not so, and the Charedi blogs are NOT zonas either, they just REPORT and COMMENT on what's happening, they are NOT the "real world" of Tropper's and Eisenstein's bags full of EJF tricks and treats.

    Why should anyone support cutting off your nose to spite your one face? "Divrei harav, divrei hatalmid, divrei mi shom'in?" the Torah expects zenus like Tropper's and shochad from EJF to be eleminated first.

    To rail at the blogs is silly and pointless and no one will listen. Everyone has one or all of either a cell phone, BlackBerry, laptop, PC at home or at work and it's like trying to assur telephones, it won't work.

    Those who don't have time for blogs are too busy being ehrliche Yidden or working for parnosseh and don't need the gratuitous advice.

    Statement about Dei'ah Vedibur (December 17, 2009, Dei'ah veDibur): "The focus of the campaign of the Gedolim against chareidi Internet sites is directed at the forums and blogs that are conducted on an anonymous basis for fun and profit...We do not wish, by our presence, to be seen as in any way endorsing or encouraging use of the Internet. Mordecai Plaut"

    RaP: Makes no sense, he is against himself? He should also shut "Dei'ah veDibur" down and NOT give Nochum Norman Eisentein a blog to spout of on either.

    Gedolei Issue Ban Against "Chareidi" Websites (December 17, 2009, Dei'ah veDibur)

    RaP: AND NOT A WORD YET ON THE TROPPER SCANDAL AND RESIGNATION, this implicates Nochum Norman Eisenstien more, not less, it's just another manifetstaion of "pious preaching" outwardly while retaining and keeping quiet about inward corruption and depraved immorality in the hopes of saving the rotten EJF=sex for conversions scandalous organization!

  2. These are symptoms of a much greater and deeper problem. The cancer seems to permeate up to the highest echelons of our Rabbinical leadership.

    So far, Rav Sternbuch is the only Gadol I have heard of who issued an outcry.

    Do this mean that Rav Sternbuch is the only major Posek in the world who is not on Kaplan's payroll?

  3. but it makes it sound like that if the scandal hadn't occured, his actions re geirut would've been fine. perhaps we have an example here of the classic 2 people who thought they got away with it being destined by hkb"h to come to the same inn to receive his justice?(who knows?)
    Joel Rich

  4. Rabbi Eidenson, I think you are more right than you know. As sick as Tropper's behavior is, I think that the organizational and cultural failures that allowed this to happen are far more disturbing.

    I think that everyone who has been associated with either side of the story needs to ask him (or her)self some serious questions.

  5. Does anyone have details about the melaveh malkah for Tropper?

  6. How is this different than the hundreds of cases of child molestation by Rabbis that are covered up? So many times when a Rav of a school or organization is caught doing something despicable their community covers it up (at least in Charadi like communities). The truth is that "Daas Torah" has become so powerful in these communities that when the one who gives the "Daas Torah" is found to be a hypocrite and a sinner their problems are ignored by the majority of the community.

    In the centrist orthodox communities people will say Tropper is a sinner and someone who is a desecration to G-D's name, but other communities will ignore it like everything else that should not be ignored. This is just the fact about these Jewish communities, they blindly follow their leaders. This is disappointing because they follow their leaders whether they are Dovid Hamelech like or Menasheh Hamelech like. Either way they follow.

  7. An excellent post.

    Jersey Girl is right on th emoney when she refers to Rabbinical leadership as being rife with a cancer.

    That said, the cancer she refers to has invaded our kehillah and not just our leadership. Imagine a visitor or a ball teshuvah who watches with incredulity the antics of teenagers acting as kannaim or deriding others in different kehillas- as if they or the drivel they are taught to parrot is the final word!

    The truth is that we are headed in a very dangerous direction, towards a 'supra' rabbonis that trumps local rabbonim, local minhagim and local batei din.

    The disasters this kind of ideology will bring about cannot even be fathomed. Communities will be split and families will be torn apart. Is it any wonder so many fall off the derech? They are led to believe that theirs is not to question why, but rather, theirs is to do and die, to paraphrase the poet. Allegiance to the group is one thing- group think is quite another.

    Will their chidushim be subject to approval? What happens to them if their rebbe falls out of favor- or reaches a point where he cannot to a line that is detrimental to his talmidim? What will happen to the talmid who might best achieve his potential as a ben Yisroel in college as opposed to years in the beis hamedrash. Will a potential lay leader have his chances for the best shidduch be diminished? Will he find a wife who has been taught that to be a bas yisroel does not mean she has to live in poverty or rely on her parents?

    R'Moshe, ztl, had room at his table for rabbonim and scientists, thinkers and talmidim, all of whom helped him become the posek he was. Although different in hashkofoh, the same can be said for the Lubavitcher Rebbe, ztl. Regardless of where you stand, his spiritual contributions to klal Yisroel were many. His organizations feed thousands every day. All in all, not a bad thing.

    Differences are not always bad thing, to be torn down and replaced with a one size fits all Yiddishkeit.

    What works in America will not work in Israel or Europe or South America. To believe otherwise is to court disaster.

  8. What happens when it is not religion that matters, but only the power held by those at the top? When those in power refuse to relinquish it, nevermind the morality of their actions? When any sense of wrong has disappeared? It is very nearly martial law.

  9. Rabbi Eidensohn,

    From all the blogs writing about this affair, I have found your to be the most honest and Torah-oriented.

    So this post is quite surprising to me.

    1. You assert that the tapes arent fabrications, but you bring no source or proof.

    2. You use what you yourself call a rumor to criticize R. EBW?!?!

  10. Ok, just saw that R. Tropper admitted to improprieties through his attorney, so that settles no.1 . I'm still very bothered by no.2, though. I think that "es past nisht" for someone of your stature to talk critically about a Talmid chochom based on a rumor...

  11. Daas Torah is shouting out,

    (As if he is astonished that this has not yet occurred in this case.)

    Is that really so out of the ordinary? Can anyone here think of any examples in the past ten years where Rabbinical Leaders HAVE expressed moral outrage over ANYTHING?

  12. Interesting comments by Rabbi Marc Angel (from the JC article):

    "When power is concentrated in the hands of a few self-righteous rabbis, the result is inevitably corruption, injustice, immorality,” Rabbi Angel said in an email.

    He called the scandal “a siren call to all decent Orthodox rabbis to stand up against the existing ‘rabbinic establishment’”, and to insist that conversions be placed back in the hands of local rabbis — not in the hands of “self-righteous rabbis who betray Torah.”

  13. As a ger I want to thank you Rav Eidensohn for screaming about this when no one else seems to care at all. This is a tremendous pliyah and an astounding Chillul Hashem.

  14. Ki Hashochad Yeaver es Hapikchim Vyisalek es divrei tzdikim.

    Why do we need to look any further?

  15. From the Vos Iz Neias blog, Comment number 61 to the post, "Rabbi Tropper's Statement to Recent Events":

    "MLB Talmid Says:

    Tropper has a long history of azus! in 1985 he was invited to speak in Mesivta of Long Beach, in the speech he criticized the masters of the Mussar movement the Rosh Yeshiva declared at that time that he would never be invited back.

    I remember the shock and the ensuing tumult he caused in the Yeshiva."

  16. R' Tropper's actions have certainly created a chillul Hashem, but the real chillul Hashem is the attempt of the charedim, in EJF but also more generally, to dominate and deligitimize the modern orthodox. This creates a chillul Hashem because the non-Orthodox discount Orthodoxy when they see that the far right-wing is inventing new stringencies and attempting to impose its views (including views that are very difficult for anyone raised with a Western education to believe, such as the belief that dinosaurs never existed or the world is less 6000 years old) on all Orthodox Jews. This will keep people from becoming baalei tshuvah, and keep sincere prospective converts from converting. Even though according to the Talmud the whole reason for the exile is to attract converts!

  17. I agree - this should not be hushed up. Both the backers of Tropper and Guma need to answer some questions. And, both need to make some real changes.

    I think people are afraid to talk about it, because they think it will "die down" and the damage will be limited if we do that. I think that the reverse is true. The buzz may die down, but the damage will only be intensified without some clear discussion and some behavior changes.

  18. Rabbi Eindensohn,

    Would you please get it in writing from Rav Sternbuch and answer these dumb e-mails that are going out from his supporters, maybe you can category by category post answers for these questions posed, by either Tropper or his supporters.


  19. A week ago I thought the problem lies with inadequate or no audits, so there is no clear money trail. I now realize open accounting is not enough.

    Suppose the supply chain is Kaplan to Tropper to a yeshiva run by a gadol. As long as the institution is owned/controlled by the gadol the money can if he so wants to eventually line his pockets. It can be paid out in salaries to him and his loved over time. It effectively is an endowed chair in perpetuity for the gadol and his family.

    The problem lies with yeshivas schnorrering as a charity when it is owned and run like a private business. How can anyone stop privately owned yeshivas?

  20. " who now step over this broken man lying in the gutter while holding their noses"

    Tropper is not broken man, Like Napoleon and Freddy Krueger he lays low and plots his comeback.

    and Yes, this not about Tropper's sexual escapades or conversion standards, this is about the collective corruption of daat torah, the people who says they represent Authentic Judaism and they are the mesora keepers.

    What years of pogroms and holocaust could not do, few shekels from Tropper and Kaplan did...

  21. I heard a very interesting ma'aseh today from our Rabbi in shul, who is a talmid of Rav Hershel Schachter. Rav Schachter spoke at an EJF convention. In the course of his shiur, he mentioned the opinions who are lenient about shaking a woman's hand, and situations where it may be appropriate to follow the leniency. He cited examples of gedolim who shook women's hands. None other than Rabbi Tropper screamed at Rabbi Schachter, calling him a shakran. Rabbi Schachter responded with case after case of roshei yeshiva and gedolim who have shanken women's hands before. Rabbi Tropper had an hysterical fit that the honor of these great gedolim was besmirched with an accusation of shaking a woman's hand. It is truly fascinating. Kol ha-posel be-mumo posel.


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