Saturday, August 26, 2023

Removing Mention of Michael Hersh/Hirsch


At this time I believe I have removed all previous posts and comments dealing with Michael Hersh/Hirsch  from this blog - because of what has been alleged are legal requirements and consequences. 

I will be providing more details in the near future regarding someone going to the Israeli police and filing a criminal complaint against me - without first going to beis din. Rav Moshe Sternbuch told me this approach is clearly against the halacha so I find it impossible to believe that Rav Aaron Schechter of Yeshiva Chaim Berlin has given his approval.

Furthermore it is not clear how removing this material from my blog changes anything. The material which I just deleted from by blog is readily available elsewhere on the internet with a simple Google search e.g., The Jewish Star  which summarizes the history of the case  from different viewpoints and  Guardian/BBC1     Guardian/BBC 2   which explains the nature of Tranquility Bay treatment center. Even the official court papers of the lawsuit Hersh filed are readily available by clicking this link - Kings County court papers

 I am now in the process of reviewing my legal options as well as my priorities. 


  1. If something material came to light that changed your viewpoint, shouldn't you post it?

  2. Can you explain why it was a mistake?

    Thank you

  3. Recipients and PublicityJanuary 30, 2013 at 5:31 AM

    Will the EFF also have to delete this according to Hersh?:

    "Hersh v. Cohen

    EFF has served a motion to quash dragnet subpoenas that put privacy and anonymity at risk for the operators of dozens of Internet blogs and potentially hundreds of commenters.

    The subpoenas stem from a state lawsuit filed by New York residents Miriam and Michael Hersh alleging a conspiracy to interfere with their business interests. Issued to Google and Yahoo the subpoenas demand the identities of users of ten email accounts operators of 30 blogs and a website that had featured discussions of the plaintiffs among other matters and the identities of everyone who had ever commented on those sites.

    In the motion EFF urged the Supreme Court for Kings County New York to quash the subpoenas for failing to satisfy the requirements imposed by the First Amendment as well as the requirements imposed by New York state law and the federal Stored Communications Act.

    Update: On January 21 2011 the trial court granted EFF's motion and quashed the subpoenas seeking the identities of the anonymous blog hosts and commenters. EFF's co-counsel Ron Lazebnik of the Samuelson-Glushko Intellectual Property and Information Law Clinic at the Fordham Law Clinic argued the motion."

  4. payday Eidenson. nows when you gonna start getting your's. And were all gonna be here, front row seats to watch the show!

    1. Payday? Why are you mad at Rabbi Eidensohn? What did he do wrong?


    2. The word tsvi (צבי) is traditionally considered to mean "deer". For example, the Hebrew name "Tsvi" has the Yiddish equivalent "Hersh", and "Hirsch" means "deer" in German.

    3. ?Great. My name is Hirsh and...?

    4. Oh I get it "Tzvi" is Michael Hirsh.I wonder why he is so angry.

    5. Anger or hatred is explained by R. S. R. Hirsch to be the result of a belief that the world would be fine except for "X". which is the object of anger. That object is preventing my enjoyment, pleasure etc and therefore has to be eliminated. In contrast he explains love is that "Y" which is necessary for my shleimus or happiness and thus my life is incomplete without it.

      Problem is when it becomes a case of shooting the messenger in the belief that destruction of the messenger will restore happiness.

  5. Recipients and PublicityJanuary 30, 2013 at 5:41 PM

    "Tzvi said...payday Eidenson. nows when you gonna start getting your's. And were all gonna be here, front row seats to watch the show!"

    Hi there Tzvi, could you please explain what Rabbi Eidensohn did "wrong" and what is this "payday" you are referring to? Is someone going to pay him for the selfless work for others he has put in on behalf of genuine tzorchei tzibur or is it a threat of something else? And hey, what is this "show" you are expecting to pop up? Maybe you know something the rest of the world should know about?

    1. Hear, hear. Rabbi Eidensohn does a great service to Klal Yisroel with this blog. He should see only ברכה from all his efforts.

  6. I know nothing about the Hersh case. However, in the court case, I assume that we will be told a lot of things. I am sure that Tsvi will have a front seat. If everyone who quotes a newspaper article about an allegation can be sued that will close down discussions of current topics. Politicians will sue when somebody writes something that cost them votes. People who sell music records will sue when somebody gives them a poor rating. When will it end?

    A friend of mine is being sued by a person with a criminal record who posted a letter about his criminal acts on the Internet. When my friend quoted it he was sued for millions of dollars, because the criminal changed his mind about posting the letter.

    Again, I know nothing of the Hersch case, and if his complaints were sent to a Beth Din, we would have a Torah response. But now, every penny he takes is Gezel and Chilul HaShem. What rabbonim back him in going to court and not a Beth Din?

    1. Recipients and PublicityJanuary 31, 2013 at 10:52 PM

      "Dovid Eidensohn said...What rabbonim back him in going to court and not a Beth Din?"

      Those were the exact questions that were asked of him on this blog, five years ago and three years ago and two years ago over and over again, when he took all of his wife's family to court as well as any rabbi, relative or blogger who ever helped or advocated on behalf of his son, and he never gave any answers, even when judges asked why he went to such lengths and why he does not go to Bais Din because he is having differences only with frum people, he had no good reason, and he lost each time, his cases were always thrown out of courts or rejected by them.

    2. Why wouldn't they back him in court?

    3. Recipients and PublicityFebruary 3, 2013 at 12:53 PM

      Flavor Lounge said... Why wouldn't they back him in court?"

      This is like a Catch-22 situation, if the information would be up you would know and would NOT have to ask, now that the information has been taken down you can't find out (if you haven't heard of it before) and so therefore you now NEED to ask.

      But basically this was a situation that began when the children were very young still way before any blogs or bloggers had anything to do with the Hershes, and all sorts of disputes arose between family members, rabbis, therapists and community activists.

      It eventually mushroomed, metastasized would be a better word, into various court and legal battles. It was and is a really big mess. Then the media got wind of it, and then, at the time when blogging became more common some Jewish social activist inclined bloggers took note and started posting about what was going on TO TRY AND HELP STOP THE MADNESS AND THE CHILLUL HASHEM ONCE AND FOR ALL, all while the other previous stuff was continuing.

      The Orthodox Jewish public's interest increased because it was and still is an ongoing saga ... and eventually, like anyone else who came into touch with this "RADIOACTIVE" MESS, the bloggers were dragged in and falsely accused of things they had NOT done, in the manner of "shooting the messenger" (Wikipedia: "Shooting the messenger:..the act of lashing out at the (blameless) bearer of bad news" and like in the current case creating a Red Herring (Wikipedia: "Red herring:..a type of logical fallacy in which a clue is intentionally or unintentionally misleading or distracting from the actual issue..." to DISTRACT from trying to FINALLY resolve all the real original problems and conflicts using rabbis and therapists and create true Shalom between alienated family and fix Klal Yisrael instead of dividing it with machlokes and infighting, and STOP going to war with the world.

    4. I didn't know anything about this.But this Tzvi person seems to be very,very vengeful.If all Rabbi Eidensohn is doing is reprinting stuff available elsewhere on the internet I can hardly understand why he should be faulted? The only thing I could find is some information boot camp in Jamaica for spoiled kids.Like a concentration camp.The dad might have felt his son was way off and he was out of options. I don't really know the case. I am concerned for Rabbi Eidensohn and I don't like what is going on.

    5. After the incident in Jamaica which was resolved only through the intervention of geodlim such as Rav Shmuel Kaminetsky and in which a private plane was sent with psychologist Dr. Pelovitz - the incident should have been ended. The camp incident could be understood as the well-intentioned - but mistaken - efforts of a desparate parent. Many others also used these camps as well as various wilderness programs with kids who had trouble functioning properly. In addition the use of the camp had been approved by Rav Aaron Schecter.
      Unfortunately instead of getting on with life - the next step was a law suit for $410 million dollars against those who had tried to help in various ways -including family members and respected rabbis. In additon a number of blogs that reported on the incident - including this blog were also named as defendants in the lawsuit. The lawsuit caused great financial loss in legal fees as well as great hurt to those who clearly were only interested in helping and not only had not done anything wrong - but in fact had made personal sacrifice to be of help. Any attempt to resolve this with beis din was rejected - apparently on the ill advised advice of his rebbe.

      Bottom line the lawsuit was thrown out by the secular courts as well as the demand that google and yahoo provide the identification of the blog and commentators.

      America has at the present protective laws for the internet. A blog owner is not responsible for the comments put on his blog. In contrast a newspaper is responsible for comments published. In addition no legal action can take place in America unless it is clearlly established who owns the blog. The mere fact that the blog owner publicly states on his site who he is - has no legal standing in America. That is simply because anybody can pretend he is anyone else electronically.

      After the suit against Goggle and Yahoo failed, the matter should have simply died out and been forgotten. One of the involved parties contacted me and asked me to remove some of the court documents of his testimony - and I did so. Other individuals made similar requestions. I did not remove the material in the other cases because I had requested proof of identification - which they didn't provide.

      The latest incident involved someone going to the Israeli police and making a criminal complaint against me. There was no attempt to utilize beis din. As Rav Sternbuch said in a different case - "Tell him that a Jew goes to beis din - not secular court."

      Whether there is any validity of the claims of criminal activity against me is a legal question - even though it is clear to me and others I have consulted that there is no case against me. But on a practical level it is simply not worth my time and money to defend my self against a person who is seeking "victory" - esepcially when he has the support of a gadol. Therefore I took down the material as I was ordered.

      It would be nice to think that is the end of the matter - but past history indicates that the pain and desire for vindication still remains. It is really a shame - there is no winning in this situation and no one is benefitting from this tragedy.

    6. RDE: So you were able to resolve and close the Israeli police file against you by removing the material in the past few days -- or is the police investigation still open against you?

    7. RDE: So you were able to resolve and close the Israeli police file against you by removing the material in the past few days -- or is the police investigation still open against you?
      Interesting question. I had the local police department check their computer and they said they could not find any official charges against me. However the interrogator who summoned me for questioning claimed that there were criminal charges but that the charges would be erased if I deleted the comments. I am not sure how you can erase charges that have not been officially made. Perhaps the police decided to wait to officially file charges to see if I would comply with their demands. Thus keeping the posts off my blog is being made a condition for not filing the charges.

    8. However the interrogator who summoned me for questioning claimed that there were criminal charges but that the charges would be erased if I deleted the comments. I am not sure how you can erase charges that have not been officially made. Perhaps the police decided to wait to officially file charges to see if I would comply with their demands. Thus keeping the posts off my blog is being made a condition for not filing the charges.

      In other words you are dealing with police corruption and extortion that would be an internal affairs jackpot in the US. But apparently in Israel, that is the way things are done.

    9. Michael: How is there any corruption?

      Besides, the complaint was filed by an American tourist against RDE who is an Israeli citizen living in Israel. Why would the police care to favor some unknown visitor about some little known blog and a typical internet sparring that occurs hundreds of times a day?

    10. Rabbi E,

      Is it possible the "interrogator" was actually an impersonator and fraud (sent by the accuser) who was trying to convince you there were charges brought against you, but there really weren't any (just to intimidate you and scare you into deleting the material)? Given this person's other actions, that would seem very possible to me.

    11. No I was told to meet him in the Russian Compound police station where he has an office. He does have an office and is know to the staff there. There is no question that he is a genuine policeman

    12. Did you meet the officer at the police station?

      How has the case been resolved? Are you still required to delete?

    13. Yes we met at the Russian Compound Police station.

      Good question. I just have the statement of the policeman - nothing is in writing and nothing is in the computer.

  7. The story is the same.nothing has changed.
    A friend is in periodic contact with the son and provides emotional support.

  8. xyz,
    I don't understand what you are saying. Whose friend? What story is the same? I don't know much about this case, but just who is being sued by Mr. Hersh? Are his sons of legal age and are they going to testify?
    Again, although I know nothing about the Hersh case, I know a lot about family feuds say in divorces. When it comes to family, people lose it. When it comes to a divorce, forget it. But usually it doesn't get so tangled up. All of this a terrible shame, and a terrible Chilul HaShem. It is bad enough when family quarrels end up with husband and wife hating each other. It is bad enough when the husband's family and the wife's family hate each other. But here we have a family quarrel that drags in the whole world, even global publishers. The Chilul HaShem is awful. I hope and pray that Mr. Hersch will find better ways of dealing with his anger. But with family feuds, that is often just a remote wish. How many people did for the community what Mr. Hersh did by founding hatsolo of Brooklyn? We see from this that when it comes to a family feud, everything is a stake. At least, the rest of us should tremble at this and learn a lot of musar when we deal with our own families.

    1. I know. This is very confusing.

  9. RDE, you originally wrote in this post you removed the Hirsch material from your blog because it was a mistake to have put it up. Now you edited this post and removed the reason from saying it was a mistake to saying it was because of legal issues against you.

    1. the text will change as I clarify the legal parameters

  10. Doesn't Mr. Hirch live in the U.S.? How can he filed a criminal complaint with the Israeli police?

    1. very simple - he visited Jerusalem. Don't know if that is even necessary

  11. Thank you for your efforts. Just curious if no one is interested in the story so why the need to remove it?

  12. You posted a message on your blog saying you wanted to remove it and asking everyone for help in finding all the Hirsch stuff so thay you can delete it.

  13. It is true that I said I wanted to remove this because of the threat of criminal charges being filed against me. In fact I have removed the posts. The point was J.S. claimed that the posts should have been removed because no one was interested in them.

    I simple asked - if no one was interested in this information then no one would not seek it out. Therefore why would someone be demanding that I remove them? The obvious answer is that people are in fact interested in this information.

  14. Judicial terrorism is a powerful tool for people who don't mind publicity. I referred to one case above a friend of mine is having who is being sued for millions of dollars for posting a letter that a criminal posted himself on the internet and then sued my friend for copying his post. The criminal claimed he had changed his mind.
    People tell me about court cases where the wife accuses the husband of child molesting, the court finds this is not true, but the woman is not punished. Thus, even if you lose, the anger and hate and also the hope that maybe, just maybe, the charges will stick, are a part of our judicial system. Some admit this is a flaw, but nobody is fixing it. This is because the people attacked by judicial terrorism, when it is over with, are so exhausted and drained, they have no strength to fight back. So, when it comes to us, we just play the game, bow our heads and wait until it is over. Maybe there should be a league of people who want justice for defendants.

  15. Recipients and PublicityFebruary 3, 2013 at 8:18 AM

    "J. S. said Hi, Pursuant to your post several days ago asking readers of your blog to notify you regarding any remaining references in posts or comments on your blog about Michael Hersh, please see the following list of references that are still active and have not yet been removed:"

    Who is "J.S." and why does he sound like a "lawyer" when he uses terms like "Pursuent" and while he researching long-ago links that probably, as he admits no one has looked at in years, except him it seems, and were only elaborating and honest discussions, with the usual agreements and disagreements between posters, all in good faith, about something that was started by lawyers and can still be found in full detail at their websites, such by the ""Coalition Against Institutionalized Child Abuse at "Recent lawsuit filed on behalf of a teen" (March 19, 2008) and media reports that did NOT come from "blogs" but from media sources such as "I was beaten & bound in boot camp, claims Brooklyn ultra-Orthodox teen" (NY Daily News, March 28, 2008) and "Michael and Miriam Hersh demand Yahoo! and Google release names of blog commenters for $411M lawsuit" (NY Daily News, July 22, 2010), and more like this, will they all be attacked and removed in the new -re-writing of history? None of this makes any sense.

  16. In the course of erasing the material that J.S. helpfully provided me with - I ran into difficulty with link number 5. RaP was helpful in pointing out that that link is not to my blog at all but rather to UOJ. Sorry J.S. I have no control over what UOJ posts nor that of other bloggers such as FM. I don't think threatening them with criminal charges will be effective since they are protected by American internet rules. I also don't think you have much chance that American newspapers who have provided wide coverage of the story will remove their reports either since they were simply reporting readily verifiable facts. Finally the American court filings will also remain accessible to the public.

    The obvious question is why I was targeted? The obvious answer is that - despite the clear fact that my taking down of this material from my blog does not stop access to it - I am more vulnerable since I am governed by Israeli law and not American. Nu a genuine "victory" after failure after failure in the American courts.

  17. You have to keep in mind that we're dealing with someone who believes that the best way to prove he wasn't overreacting, vengeful and punishing in his response to his son is by overreacting, being vengeful, and punishing anyone who said or quoted anything that might imply he was.

    Unsurprisingly, this response makes the man on the street MORE likely to assume his guilt.

  18. Recipients and PublicityFebruary 4, 2013 at 11:17 PM

    "Daas Torah said...The obvious question is why I was targeted? The obvious answer is that - despite the clear fact that my taking down of this material from my blog does not stop access to it - I am more vulnerable since I am governed by Israeli law and not American. Nu a genuine "victory" after failure after failure in the American courts."

    Not just that, but paradoxically enough, but it's obvious that you were also targeted because, together with your choshuve blog that obviously reaches tens thousands globally to teach them Torah, you are a known and respected frum talmid chochem with impeccable academic and yirei shomayim credentials with a sterling reputation who has connections to the respected Rav Moshe Shternbuch who also happens to be be the RA'AVAD of the venerable and revered BAIS DIN of the EIDAH HACHAREIDIS, that drives whoever is perpetrating the latest scheme absolutely crazy.

    So whoever is targeting you is in effect smearing you and deliberately trying to tarnish not just your name but that of your rabbinic backers. They can't go Bais Din because they are bullies and cowards and they know they will not just lose in a Din Torah but probably be thrown out and perhaps even not be let in, vehameivin yavin.

    Notice how they can't do this directly, so they resort to stealth tactics by never showing their face but instead cynically manipulating the secular Israeli police to do their bidding (of all things, not even bothering to hire a lawyer who can speak for his clients and one can then know who to reply to!!) just acting out the shadows to maneuver you into what they hope to be a kind of "self-destruction" as more and more posts are taken down as a result of shadowy threats and coercion.

    This despicable and diabolical strategy is worthy of the "best" that the likes of the KGB could cook up against dissidents and Refuseniks who protested obvious and blatant corruption and malfeasance. All in all quite Machiavellian and lacking in any way any shred of what one would expect in of Rachmonus in Torah-true Yiddishkeit.

  19. Did the Jamaicans permit the child to eat kosher and keep Shabbos in the concentration camp. To be honest,I know a lot of parents who really don't know what to do with their children who are out of control. I hear people who are looking for those drill instructors from the Marines to scream at their kids .Some kids refuse to do homework,study,go to sleep,talk back,hit and things I can't even mention.Maybe Mr.Hirsh tried everything and nothing worked? He might of felt "boxed in" and desperate to save his child. Nevertheless,why blame Rabbi Eidensohn for any of this? To threaten him with criminal charges I am afraid is not menshlech. It is very strange.A man has a tragic problem with his son in America and blames a rabbi in Israel? Go figure.I wish the best for the Hirsh family and Rabbi Eidensohn.

  20. From: THE RAV: The World of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveichik: Volume One by Rabbi Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkopf (KTAV Publishing House, 1999, p. 233.)

    ("Related by Rabbi J.B. Soloveitchik in 1963. Translated from the Yiddish, published in Jerusalem by Yitzhak Raphael in a pamphlet entitled Devorim...)

    An Abandoned Child

    My grandfather, Reb Chaim [i.e. aka as Rav Chaim Brisker or Rav Chaim haLevi Soloveitchik], along with most other halakhic authorities, ruled that it was permissible to desecrate the Sabbath in order to save a Jew from apostasy. Reb Chaim's attitude was amply illustrated by a story related to me by Reb Moshe Plotsky. Once the telephone rang in the latter's home on the Sabbath. His gentile maid answered the phone and asked who was calling. 'This is Chaim of Brisk,' came the reply.

    With shock and trepidation, Reb Moshe [Plotsky] picked up the phone and said: "Reb Chaim ! What has happened ? On the Sabbath ?'

    Reb Chaim replied: 'Take a coach and come to me immediately !'

    Confused, Reb Moshe protested: 'On the Sabbath ? People will see me desecrating the Sabbath and they will want to stone me !'

    'Do what I say,' commanded Reb Chaim. 'An abandoned Jewish child has been left at the church. We must immediately gain his release and bring him to the Jewish orphanage.'"

    1. @Rav Chaim Soloveitchik February 10, 2013 at 6:09 AM

      You know Rav Chaim, I agree with you a 1,000%. It is Shreklach! I was always devoted to saving Yiddisha Neshomas! Min HaShomayim I heard about a fight to get a Jewish child out of such a situation not so long ago from such a place Nebach that was run by the so-called Christian Mormons, Lo Oleina. The place was shut down after scandals but it was known as "Tranquility Bay" but Gevalt, it was far from from 'tranquil". You could find that out for ycalled "computers" with "search engines" and if you look up "Tranquility Bay" it is all out in the open, such a Rachmonus, Lemoshul if you read a notice from an organization called "Community Alliance for the Ethical Treatment of Youth (CAFETY): Cutting Edge: Tranquility Bay Documentary (March 13 2006):

      The World Wide Association of Specialty Programs (WWASP) is the leading provider of behaviour modification programs for American teens. At the helm of a company which earns $95 million per year is Robert Browning Lichfield, a Utah resident and Mormon, who has built his fortune through the numerous WWASP programs that are located throughout the world. He is in charge of a virtual empire of schools where complaints of physical and sexual abuse are allegedly ignored by American authorities.

      The school's popularity feeds on the strong level of concern that parents have for their delinquent children. Parents attend seminars where they are led to believe that their children can be changed for the better and then sign contracts with WWASP which specify it is allowed to use pepper spray, electronic disablers, mace, mechanical restraints and handcuffs to enforce good behaviour. The contract also states that the organisation is not liable for any harm the child should suffer while in its care. There are also allegations that the schools lack a comprehensive academic curriculum, operate without a license from the education ministry and offer student qualifications that aren't officially recognised in America.

      At WWASP, punishments are of a physical nature and designed to inflict extreme pain on the receiver. Misbehaviour such as talking at inappropriate moments is punished by relegation to the "dog cage"- a small boxed area where a student is forced to lie face-down for hours, days or months, in extreme heat conditions. One female student was subjected to this punishment for 18 months.

      Foreign authorities have been sufficiently concerned with the activities of the schools to shut down establishments in Western Samoa, Costa Rica, Mexico and the Czech Republic. In total, six out of twelve WWASP schools have closed amidst allegations of child abuse. An increasing number of parents who are shocked at the physical and emotional scars borne by their returning children have started to speak out against WWASP, under the threat of lawsuits. The film follows the progress of a defamation suit that WWASP brought against single mother, Sue Scheff, who set up a website detailing her objections to the way her son was treated in Tranquility Bay, Jamaica.

      One of America’s best-kept secrets is Tranquility Bay, an extremely strict re-education camp for youngsters, one of which is located in Jamaica. Parents are sent glossy leaflets with pleasant sounding texts to persuade them to pay $33,000 a year and hand over their troubled teens to WWSAP, a conglomerate founded by businessmen from Utah.The heavenly beach where the teenagers are supposedly taught some discipline turns out to be a Caribbean gulag where all contact with the outside world is eliminated, as this documentary indictment reveals. Only when her son returned from Tranquility Bay did Paula Reeves, a lawyer from Florida, hear what really took place behind its closed doors: brainwashing and abuse are not unusual. Reeves takes legal action...”

    2. @Rav Yisroel Salanter February 11, 2013 at 2:31 AM

      Thank you Rav Yisroel for your amazing words of Chizuk, A Groisen Dank. Min HaShomayim, let me tell you a Noiradikka story of what I went through to save a Jewish child:

      [From: THE RAV: The World of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveichik: Volume One by Rabbi Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkopf (KTAV Publishing House, 1999, p. 234-235.)

      "Related by Rabbi J.B. Soloveitchik in his lecture at Yeshiva University's Institute of Mental Health Project, undertaken jointly with Harvard and Loyola Universities to study religious attitudes to psychological problems, February 26, 1959. For another version of this episode, see Rabbi Ahron Soloveitchik 'Sefer Parakh Mateh Aron', ed. David Applebaum, Jerusalem, 1997, pages 16-17.)]

      Saving a Jewish Youth

      When the governor-general of Warsaw, which at the time was part of Russia, was killed by a bomb, a boy from Brisk was involved. He was to be court-martialed and sentenced to death. My grandfather, Reb Chaim of Brisk, did not wish a Jewish boy to die in such a fashion. I do not know whether Reb Chaim believed in the youth's guilt or not. I do not know what his opinion was, but he wanted to save the boy's life.

      Reb Chaim received the news of this event on erev Yom Kippur before he went to shull. He knew that in Russia bribes worked wonders. Jews could not survive without this magical policy of bribing officials. In this case, he thought that if he could bribe the ispravnic [Russian for chief of police] of Brisk to be a character witness for the boy, then he would be saved. The chief of police would have to state that the accused was a nice boy who could not have been involved in such an act.

      The trial was to take place on Yom Kippur morning in Warsaw. At that time it was about a seven- or eight-hour journey from Brisk. Reb Chaim needed at least three thousand rubles to cover the bribe and the expenses. This was 1906, and it was a lot of money at that time.

      What did Reb Chaim do? He closed all the shulls in Brisk. You can imagine what this meant in Brisk some fifty years ago. He left only one shull open, the so called Tall shull, or Bog shull. Reb Chaim announced that all the Jews of Brisk should come to that shull; nobody knew for what purpose. There were about twenty-five or thirty shulls in Brisk, which was then a large Jewish community. All the shulls were closed and the Jews were forced to come to the Tall shull for Kol Nidrei on the eve of Yom Kippur."

      The story continues my dear Rav Yisroel, let me know if you want to hear the rest?

    3. @Rav Chaim Soloveitchik February 11, 2013 at 5:33 AM

      Of course my dear Rav Chaim, anyone listening to such a Ma'aseh has to listen to the end. But you should know that it is not easy because even I, the great Rav Yisroel Salanter lost a son to the Haskalah (secular Enlightenment) and it broke my heart. There was not much I could do to stop him. But instead it is known that I the famous Ba'al Mussar and Gadol Reb Yisroel Salanter left the bastions of learning in Lita and I went to live in Germany and I was known to try help lift up the lost and assimilated Jews there:

      (From: Israel Salanter: The Ethics and Theology of an early Psychologist of the Unconscious, by Hillel Goldberg. KTAV Publishing House, 1982, pages 6-7):

      "...In 1857 Rabbi Israel [Lipkin/Salanter] abruptly left Kovno. Moreoever he left Lithuania itself...He traveled back and forth between at least six German cities over the next twenty-three years while also visiting Lithuania on a number of occasions. In 1881-82 he lived in Paris and then returned to Germany. He died in Koenigsberg in 1883.

      Why did he leave Lithuania and what did he do in Germany? Toward the end of his life he is reported to have explained why he left Lithuania with a parable.

      [That] When horses panic on a mountaintop and begin to gallop downhill, they cannot be restrained. Whoever tries to halt them will endanger his life; the horses will surely trample him. Once the horses have reached level ground, however, it is possible to bring them under control and bridle them. So it is with rejuvenation of Judaism. In Russia, the Jewish communities have been thrust onto a downward spiritual slope; it is impossible to halt or retard them. But the German communities have been on level ground for some time; it is possible to work with them and restore them.

      ...Just as the basis for Rabbi Israel's departure from Lithuania is vague, so is the nature of his activities in Germany. We do know that in Germany he conceived a number of projects then unprecedented in modern Jewish history....He proposed the introduction of Talmud into university curricula to increase respect for Talmud among assimilated Jewish students...Rabbi Israel also devoted much time to teaching commoners and assimilated students, and he established a Jewish community council in Memel..."

      You see that even I, who was regarded as one of the greatest Gedolim by people in Lithuania, ran away from that false Kovod they showed me, and instead I went to live in Germany where the Jews were so Fargoyished, Lo Oleinu, but I had Rachmonus on these lost Yiddisha Neshomas that they could be slowly brought back to Yiddishkeit. Chas Vesholom that I gave up on even one, no one should ever give up or abandon even one Yid. Chas VeSholom!

    4. @Rav Yisroel Salanter February 12, 2013 at 5:14 AM

      Mein Teira Rav Yisroel, my heart is broken for what you went through but it is Pela Peloyim what you did, that you gave up everything and in spite of your own son joining the Haskolah, Rachmona Litzlan veLo Oleinu, yet still and all you gave it your all and you went to look how to save the She'eiris HaPleitah from the Churban of assimilation, Am Ha'aratzus and Shmad in Germany. So let me finish telling you the true story of how I was Matzil a Yiddisha Yingel by us in Brisk, where as you know it was not so Freilach with all the Tzores we had to go through from anti-Semitism:

      [From: THE RAV: The World of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveichik: Volume One by Rabbi Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkopf (KTAV Publishing House, 1999, p. 235.)

      "Related by Rabbi J.B. Soloveitchik in his lecture at Yeshiva University's Institute of Mental Health Project, undertaken jointly with Harvard and Loyola Universities to study religious attitudes to psychological problems, February 26, 1959. For another version of this episode, see Rabbi Ahron Soloveitchik 'Sefer Parakh Mateh Aron', ed. David Applebaum, Jerusalem, 1997, pages 16-17.)]


      Saving a Jewish Youth

      [Erev Yom Kippur] Reb Chaim [Soloveitchik of Brisk] went up to the pulpit and said to them [the assembled Jews of Brisk]: 'Gentlemen. I want you to go home and open up your drawers and bring all the money you have to shull. we will not recite Kol Nidrei until we collect the money.'

      The people thought that their rabbi was out of his mind. Do you know what it meant fifty years ago in Brisk to tell people to go home and handle and carry money on Yom Kippur?! This is a true story; I am not adding one word.

      Reb Chaim and the other members of the Brisk rabbinate remained on the podium. since Rebe Chaim insisted, an order was an order, and it was carried out. In no time, the people brought in the sum of three thousand rubles.

      Instead of saying Kol Nidrei, Reb Chaim went with a group of prominent laymen of the community to see the ispravnic [Russian for chief of police]. They spoke with him and somehow the money changed hands. The chief of police asked my grandfather to sign an affidavit on behalf of the boy - to sign on Yom Kippur! My grandfather signed the affidavit right away.

      The police chief went on the train to Warsaw that very night so that he could appear at the trial in the morning. As the Russian police chief of Brisk, he testified that he was convinced of the boy's innocence.

      This shows the greatness of my grandfather, his lovingkindness and his feeling of communal responsibility."

      Ad Kan! What Ma'aseh to learn from!

    5. My dear Rav Chaim Soloveitchik and Rav Yisroel Salanter, Yasher Kochachem, even though you are famous Misnagdim and I am the founder of the Chasidim, what you have both recounted from the real stories of Halachah LeMa'aseh what any Yid, even the biggest Rov and Gadol in the world must do to save even one weak puny Jewish life especially to care for the worth of even a young powerless lost Jewish Yingel. Let me tell you about my humble beginnings, my work with Jewish youth at risk, and a famous story that is told by Chasidim about one such boy. I still get Nachas Min HaShomayim in Gan Eden when I hear it told over:

      From Hasidim And Mitnagdim (Virtual Jewish Library; Source: Joseph Telushkin. Jewish Literacy: The Most Important Things to Know About the Jewish Religion, Its People and Its History. NY: William Morrow and Co., 1991.):

      "...The founder of Hasidism, Israel Ba'al Shem Tov [BESHT], was the hero of very different sorts of tales. The Hasidim told of how he spent his teenage years working in a job with low status, as assistant in a Jewish elementary school, a cheder. He would round up the students from their homes each morning and lead them to school singing songs. Later, after he married, he and his wife went to live in the far­off Carpathian Mountains. There, the Ba'al Shem Tov worked as a laborer, digging clay and lime, which his wife then sold in town. The couple later kept an inn...

      Many of the dominant themes in the Besht's teachings became the central emphases in the Hasidic movement that his followers developed. There were statements of the Besht, not entirely innovative, which placed great stress on aspects of Judaism that the Mitnagdim generally ignored: the heart, for example. The Besht was particularly fond of a talmudic statement, "God desires the heart" (Sanhedrin 106b), which he interpreted as meaning that for God, a pure religious spirit mattered more than knowledge of the Talmud.

      It is told of the Besht that one Yom Kippur a poor Jewish boy, an illiterate shepherd, entered the synagogue where he was praying. The boy was deeply moved by the service, but frustrated that he could not read the prayers. He started to whistle, the one thing he knew he could do beautifully; he wanted to offer his whistling as a gift to God.

      The congregation was horrified at the desecration of their service. Some people yelled at the boy, and others wanted to throw him out.

      The Ba'al Shem Tov immediately stopped them. "Until now," he said, "I could feel our prayers being blocked as they tried to reach the heavenly court. This young shepherd's whistling was so pure, however, that it broke through the blockage and brought all of our prayers straight up to God..."

    6. Rabosai, my heart is broken by your stories about Yiddisha Kinder who suffered and how much you did to save and help them. But in my times and as the Rov that so many people turned to for Torah guidance from all over Europe I can tell you that I had to comfort thousands of cases of suffering Yiddisha Kinder and their Tzubrochena Mamas and Tattas. Here is just the tip of the iceberg, and Oy Vey, is it Shreklach, but let us learn a Mussar Haskel from this:

      [, Divrei Torah adapted from the hashkafa portion of Rabbi Yissocher Frand's Commuter Chavrusah Tapes on the weekly portion: Tape # 227]

      "Treatment of Widows And Orphans Determines One's Reward and Punishment

      The parsha contains the Biblical prohibition against mistreating orphans and widows. G-d threatens us "If you make an orphan or a widow feel bad, watch out! I hear their cries and I will take revenge against you." [Shmos 22: 21-23]

      The Ramba"m writes in Hilchos De'os Chapter 6, "A person must take heed of orphans and widows. Even though one does not get lashes for this offense (because there is no specific action involved), it is (nonetheless) a severe offense because its punishment is spelled out in the Torah. 'My anger will lash out against you... by sword'. G-d made a special covenant with widows and orphans that when ever they cry out as a result of oppression, their cries will be answered."

      There are a number of incidents documented from the life of the Chofetz Chaim [Rav Yisroel Meir Kagan-HaKohen] that seem out of character for him. When the Chofetz Chaim would see that someone was not kind to an orphan or a widow, he would say, "Wait and see -- this person will be punished!" This is surprising. The Chofetz Chaim was not the vindictive type. We do not find that the Chofetz Chaim made statements such as, "This fellow spoke Lashon Hara (gossip), watch it -- he will be punished." He never said "This person desecrated the Sabbath -- watch it, he will get it." Such things are not our business. They are the domain of G-d.

      But regarding someone who did an injustice to an orphan or a widow, the Chofetz Chaim would say, "Wait and see -- he is going to get it."

      There was an unfortunate practice in Russia that children would be seized and drafted into the Czarist army. Their enlistment was not for 4 years or for 8 years, but for 30 years. Any children that wound up in the Russian army, if they lived to tell the tale, invariably emerged as broken people. This was a living death sentence.

      Unfortunately, the practice was that when the Czar's officers would come looking for children, people would arrange for other children to be taken to fill the quota. Particularly, orphans were taken. There was no one to bribe the authorities; the quota had to be met; so who was taken? the orphans.

      There was a wealthy Jewish butcher whose son was supposed to be inducted into the army. He bribed an officer to take an orphan rather than his son. When the Chofetz Chaim heard this story, he said, "Wait and see. This man will receive punishment and pay the price." Thirty years later that butcher's son came down with cholera and died. The Chevra Kaddisha refused to touch him because of the contagious disease. That same butcher had to dig a grave and bury his son with his own hands.

      Was the Chofetz Chaim being vindictive? No, the Chofetz Chaim was being a believer. When G-d promises "I will hear his cry" then that becomes a part of belief in Torah -- to believe that the oppressor will receive his punishment..."

    7. In keeping with the spirit and the law of the Shittos about saving young Nidachim, Nebech, as expressed by all the above-mentioned honorable and Choshuva Tzadikim Amti'im, Rav Shmuel Kamenetsky Rosh Yeshivas Yeshiva of Philadelphia and Member of the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah of Agudas Yisroel of America, has likewise stated the same in a declaration co-signed by Rabbi Dr. Abraham J. Twersky and Dr. David Pelcovitz:

      (The Jewish Press, Friday April 18, 2008, Page 15:)


      April 14, 2008

      We would like to express our deepest appreciation to all those שתדלנים who gave of their time, effort and money to save Yitzchok Meir (Isaac) from a non Jewish oriented reform facility. The selfless devotion that they displayed to save a נפש אחת בישראל was truly inspirational.

      What has clearly emerged, is that the facilities such as Tranquility Bay, Jamaica is not a place for any Jewish child. We understand the need for all types of intervention to help our children, but Tranquility Bay SHOULD NOT be an option.


      Harav Shmuel Kamenetsky

      Rabbi Dr. Abraham J. Twersky

      Dr. David Pelcovitz

    8. Indeed, it is always very crucial to respect the rights of all Jewish children and to remind everyone how important it is to have the privilege of having a warm and loving Jewish home that cares for its children:

      [From: Arutz Sheva, News Brief, 4/20/2009, Nisan 26, 5769]:

      "Rabbi Lau: Child Victims from Moses to Gilad Shalit

      Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau of Tel Aviv presented the theme of Children of the Holocaust Monday night at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial observance by spanning the history of persecution of the Jews from Biblical times to the present. The former Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel recalled Pharaoh's declaration that all Jewish boys should be thrown into the river, Moses the first such boy to mentioned by name, and Pharaoh's daughter as the first righteous gentile for rescuing Moses.

      Rabbi Lau recalled his experiences in the Piotrków ghetto and heroic children around him in the Buchenwald concentration camp. His historical survey finished with Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier being held by Hamas.
      Lau said children in Israel should appreciate the home they have here.

      The rabbi will be in Poland on Tuesday to lead the March of the Living."

    9. many pseudodepigraphic posts on here, claiming to be from Gedolim, living or not.

      Perhaps in a few generations these forgeries will become accepted as part of the oral law.

    10. Recipients and PublicityFebruary 15, 2013 at 9:38 PM

      "Eddie said...many pseudodepigraphic posts on here, claiming to be from Gedolim, living or not."

      RaP: They are just names of rabbis that link to their Wikipedia articles it seems, nothing more. Rather helpful, not an uncommon method of making a post.

      "Perhaps in a few generations these forgeries will become accepted as part of the oral law."

      RaP: Can you point to any one of these that's a "forgery" since they all cite sources from published books and verifiable web pages.

    11. Rescuing endangered Jews especially defenseless and weak Jewish youth has always been a top priority, often as a result of parents willing to give up their own privileges in order to push their children's chances to be rescued from imminent doom and looming destruction.

      One such glorious example was that of Rav Dr. Solomon Schonfeld, the English rabbi of Germanic-Slovakian origins and son in law of the famous first chief rabbi on the British Empire Rabbi Dr. Joseph H. Hertz, a scholar and activist who went all out to save Jewish children on the even of the Holocaust that became famous as part of the Kindertransport:

      [From: Holocaust Hero: The Untold Story and Vignettes of Solomon Schonfeld - The Untold Story of an Extraordinary British Rabbi Who Rescued 4000 during the Holocaust; by David Kranzler with an appreciation by the late chief rabbi Lord Immanuel Jacobovits; KTAV Publishing House, 2004, pages 3-7, here as one account:]

      "The Setting

      By Marcus Retter

      I was born in Vienna...In April or May 1938, after the Nazi annexation of Austria, I found out that Rabbi Dr. Schonfeld in London, England was engaged in organizing a kindertransport (children's transport) from Vienna to London to bring children to study at a yeshiva there. I first heard about this at the Jugendgruppe (youth group) of Agudath Israel (the Agudah) in Vienna.I was not an active member of the group, but I belonged to the time I found out about Rabbi Schonfeld in London, I was seventeen, too old to apply for the kindertransport because the cut-off age was 16. I contacted the rabbi directly... I wrote letters to Schonfeld...I wrote at least twenty-four letters before there was an an answer from London. Shortly after the Kristallnacht pogrom of November 9-10 1938, I received a carbon copy of a letter Dr. Schonfeld wrote to a Rabbi Hoffman in Mandate Palestine, telling him that he, Schonfeld had an interest in the case of a young boy Marcus Retter and would Hoffman do whatever he possibly could on my behalf. It was important to me to learn that I had not been abandoned...I picked up my British visa early in February 1939, and in May I left Vienna without my family...

      ...Two or three weeks after my arrival in England, I visited Dr. Schonfeld to thank him for what he had done. When I finally met him, he said, "You really have no idea what problems I had with you. There was trouble with Steinfeld, who demanded priority for the young people he personally chose for the transport"...Rabbi Schonfeld told me "As you know by now, I am not one to take no for an answer. I told Steinfeld, 'Look here, I also have something to say in this matter.' Steinfeld suspected you must be a relative of mine. He just could not believe me when I said that I did not even know you. I explained to him that you were a boy who continually wrote to me, and that I became interested in you because I believe in people who are persistent! I believe in people who bet on the wrong horse."

      Schonfeld was the busiest man under the sun and I had some trouble finding him. He spent at least twenty hours a day on rescue work, arranging the transports to England..."

      This is just part of one story from a case out of at least 4000 Jews, mostly young people that Rabbi Dr. Solomon Schonfeld miraculously saved from the jaws of certain doom and destruction at the hands of the accursed Nazis, Yimach Shemam VeZichram!

  21. Major Torah scholar arrested in sex sting operation: Mida Keneged Mida February 19, 2013 at 6:47 PM:

    These are not good days for the Chaim Berlin Yeshiva world. First a close disciple of Rav Aron Schechter Michael Hersh runs to the police in Israel to be moser the owner of this blog for posting ONLINE about a serious case of child kidnapping and now on the other side of the Atlantic on their home turf Rabbi Nosson Dovid Rabinowich gets arrested by the police for running ONLINE after what he thought was a sexual encounter with a 14 year old young girl, while at the same time he also has a daughter married to the son of a very prominent Yeshiva Chaim Berlin teacher Rabby Dov Fink who is also a close disciple of Rav Aron Schechter.

    1. @Major Torah scholar arrested in sex sting operation: Shtika KeHoda'a

      "@Flavor LoungeFebruary 20, 2013 at 12:03 AM: an excellent makom Torah. I guess you would never post anything about the Tzaddikim that attended the yeshiva.Such glee? We should be crying over these things!Thank you for the 411 on Rav Fink,SHLIT"A.What exactly did he do to have you drag his name through the mud?Is he guilty of something?

      Has anyone ever stood up to Rav Aron Schechter and told him he is plain wrong?!

      The world is not stupid and not dumb and numb, it is watching and waiting for someone, anyone, in the Chaim Berlin Yeshiva community to come forth and declare with guts, "while our beloved Rebbe and Rosh Yeshiva is a great man and tzadik and lamdan and talmid chochem of the highest order, but he has made some great mistakes and obvious blunders lately. One such example, and there are a few others (his support of Leib Tropper, of Gershon Kranczer, needlessly attacking a sheital macher, signing on to ban a concert by Lipa Shmeltzer, not going to Bais Din to settle to settle the open Din Torah of Rav Shlomo Carlebach the mashgiach of Chaim Berrlin Yeshiva). Our Rebbe has supported Michael Hersh to the hilt, and we oppose that. We are too scared of him, because we are cowards. Our Rebbe has supported Michael Hersh in sending his son to a far-off youth retraining and detention camp on Jamaica after the child was kidnapped in the middle of the night, we voice our opposition to such brutality and mistreatment. Our Rebbe and Rosh Yeshiva has sent letters to secular courts and judges in support of Michael Hersh as Hersh has sued his family and many others some are even rabbis, but no one in the Chaim Berlin Yeshiva has spoken out against that. Our Rebbe has supported Michael Hersh even though Hersh has gone to the police with false claims, most recently to the police in Eretz Yisroel against a blogger who bravely spoke out when we could not. We protest in the strongest terms our Rebbe's support for that and we say it is a big mistake and goes against da'as Torah. Even a gadol can make a mistake. Our Rebbe has made a few such serious mistakes, and while we are steadfast in holding to our Rebbe, we are pained and we grieve and now we speak out forcefully against obvious mistakes that have resulted in Chillul Hashem."

      Has anyone, including Rav Dov Fink even had the thoughts, let alone spoken out like this, what are they so afraid of, that they will lose their shtellas, or that the emes will finally triumph?"


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