Thursday, April 25, 2013

R Michael Broyde: More serious allegations uncovered

TJCTV  A new investigation by The Jewish Channel suggests a deception related to Rabbi Michael Broyde’s academic work that academic ethics experts say would represent a much greater breach of academic ethics than the revelations from a previous investigation published by The Jewish Channel on April 12.

The Jewish Channel has previously revealed that Rabbi Michael Broyde — a prominent rabbi who was reportedly on the shortlist to be chief rabbi of England and is a law professor at U.S. News & World Report’s 23rd-ranked law school at Emory University — created a fake professional identity, Rabbi Hershel Goldwasser, that Broyde used over the course of nearly 20 years. The Goldwasser character joined a rival rabbinic group and gained access to its members-only communications, to argue with other members of that group under the fake identity, to submit letters to scholarly journals that in some cases touted his own work, and engage in other scholarly deceptions.

But a second identity uncovered by The Jewish Channel might have gone farther down the road of academic misconduct than did the Goldwasser character. The second identity, claiming to be an 80-something Ivy League graduate and Talmud scholar in 2010, alleged he’d had conversations with now long-dead sages in the late 1940s or early 1950s. The alleged conversations were used to produce a manufactured history of statements from long-dead scholars that buttressed an argument that Broyde had made in a highly-touted article published in a peer-reviewed scholarly journal. Broyde, in a later publication, subsequently quoted this second identity’s alleged findings as further proof of his original argument. [...]


  1. Update Re David Keter Letter

  2. Ok, this is so far beyond the pale, I believe R. Broyde should just retire at this point and pursue another profession. That would be a first step to help build back the credibility of academic/rabbinic scholarly work IMO, credibility which he obviously harmed.

  3. Not surprised. These BDA guys should be held accountable for serious violations of halocho.

  4. It's not yet proven who created this new fantasy character. If it leads to Broyde, could spell the end of his academic career, or at least push him into obscurity.

  5. If it wasn't obviously linked to R Broyde, I don't think Rabbi Student would be responding in the manner he is. He seems convinced and therefore so am I.

  6. Stan, do you mean ALL the BDA guys, or just a COUPLE of them.

  7. Deborah Nussbaum Cohen has a good opinion piece in Haaretz.

    She writes:

    "Torah study is supposed to lead to the refinement of character, say many engaged in such study. But the twentieth-century Stiepler Gaon (Rabbi Yaakov Kanievsky) knew better. He wrote, in Mivakshei Torah, 'There are some who had they not learned Torah would be predatory beasts, yet by virtue of their diligent Torah study have escaped wickedness. Yet that does not suffice for them to have good character. Only if someone works on this, engaging in much study of ethics, constantly examining his spiritual condition, and breaking down his bad traits and lusts, can he become a person of good character.'"

    We would all like to think that the combination of Torah learning and lack of good character is limited to the parts of the Jewish community that are not ours; we would all be wrong.

  8. Now that these facts have been revealed, it is interesting to review the statements of those chachamim who saw clearly the invalidity of broyde’s controversial haircovering theories


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