Friday, April 18, 2014

Kolko Lakewood case: The role of the Lakewood roshei yeshiva in driving out Rabbi S.

In the Kolko case the Lakewood establishment succeeded in driving out a major talmid Chachom as the result of his reporting the abuse of his son. He only did this after going to beis din and consulting with gedolim. Nevetheless he was still driven out and labeled a moser! I received the following insider account from someone in Lakewood regarding this case and received his permission to publicize it.

1. The whole Lakewood was told that Rabbi S. dreamt up the accusations "without a shred of evidence", and that he didn't have a psak to go to Court. Even the biggest and loudest rabble rousers were lied to (thus the heart full public apology by one such "askan" when he was finally told the truth) and tricked into thinking they were fighting against an injustice. Without these two important lies NOBODY in his right mind would have helped Kolko. 

Of course, Kolko had already admitted to 4 independent adults, and leading Poskim were behind Rabbi S. One of the BMG Rosh Yeshivas  was from the handful of people that knew these facts, Rabbi S. told him everything. Even if he was inclined to believe Kolko over Rabbi S. he could have done his own research, the adults were and still are, alive and well. Not only did it not stop him from harassing Rabbi S. and family, he was active in the misinformation campaign. He led his henchman and the greater community to believe there never was any abuse, and he leaned on the Rabbonim in an attempt to get them to take back their heter.

2. This RH, spent hours and hours and countless meetings scheming and strategizing on kolko's behalf.

3. Rabbi S. left town at his own will. No one, even after the harmful cruel things that were said about them, ever took away any of Rabbi S's many positions. Except BMG. His job was taken from him against his will.

4. NOT ONE of the Rosh Hayeshiva ever apologized in public or even in private!?! They simply don't regret what they did. 

5. The ONLY reason he got his job back was because of a written psak from EY!!!!

In short, the problem here was not that they FOLLOWED the wrong people, but rather that they LED people in the wrong direction. Rewarding bad behavior, especially to these ever powerful establishment types, only encourages more bad behavior.

Please,  publicly demand they right this terrible wrong. 

I would like to sign off on a positive note. The party that really deserves our praise is Rabbi S's kehilah. Despite unbearable pressure to fire him, they stood by him. And, when he was here in Lakewood before Pesach, they were "mechabeid" him to give a shiur. The place was jammed!!!

May we be zocheh to LEADERS that will LEAD us to greet Moshiach very very soon.

Gut Shabbos,
Lakewood Charedi.


  1. This letter ends with a brocho that the Moshiach will come very soon - and I have been thinking about this particular Ikkar (as i go through ikkarim to understand them better).

    So firstly, although we wait for Moshiach, as far as i know, there is not requirement to beleive he is coming imminently.
    Second, most people look to Moshiach to solve all worldly problems, be they financial, political, health, or even psychological. But will Moshiach heal the sick, or is that an Xtian idea? HaRambam , who has written the most important halachic work on Moshiach says that teva, nature will not change. (Perhaps Teva, the Pharma company in Jerusalem may advance some new cures).
    Third, there is an idea of Moshaich coming from the sky or on a white donkey. But look at how long it took to get to David hamelech. There were neviim, and mircles, for many generations, and even David had his trials. So how will today's chaotic world suddenly transform , in an instant? Even Moses was unable, or better, not afforded the agency from Hashem, to transform the world in an instant.
    The last credible candidate for Moshaich was probably Hezekiah hamelech. Yet, when he tried to get the tribes to come to the temple, many of them mocked him.
    Finally, would we really want Moshiach to come? he would most likely make demands on us that we are not expecting, and these could even be halachic changes.
    She yibaneh Beis HAMikdash, bimheirah b'yameinu!

    1. Please try to understand for once that not all of these blogs are about you. Someone wrote a blog about the deplorable situation in Lakewood, and you have to piggyback again and post your interesting opinion about one thing or another. I am sure that if you have something good to say, then RDE will be happy to give you attention in a separate guest post. By doing what you did, however, you steal the thunder from this blog, and take the attention away from something which truly deserves the attention of klal Yisroel. It is really not nice. I am just not sure if your actions were intentionally malicious or just plain thoughtless.

    2. Thank you Nat for pointing out the self-centered irrelevance of Eddie's comments.

  2. This post is at once commendable and deplorable. Of course it is true that key figures in BMG orchestrated the harm to Rabbi S through proxies. But what of the elementary failure to think by the public. Why didn't people go directly to Rabbi S and ask him?

  3. Why was kolko more believable when RS had writen heterim from valid rabonim in doing so, and still and all he went to fight against these rabonim themselves to retrieve it. What is so credible about this yoshev beseser more, than one of the most choshuve Talmidei Chachmim and marbitz torah in fakewood. Something stinks in fakewood and smells all over the place.

    5. The ONLY reason he got his job back was because of a written psak from EY!!!! pliz xplain

    1. Of course something stinks. Rabbi S should never have been forced out. He should be welcomed back with full apologies. But this is what passes for corrective action in the world of daas torah, where teshuvah is only for the little people.

  4. Vayikro 4:22 Asher Nossi yechto veosso... asher lo seoseno... See Rashi, loshon "ashrei" hador shehaNassi shelo nosen lev lehevi kaporo al shigegoso, kal vachomer SHEMISCHARET AL ZEDONOSOV !April 18, 2014 at 6:51 PM

    This saga was not beshogeg, it was driven as a policy with MALICE of stom piyos disenfranchising the victim and family of everything earned that took putting together a lifetime. Some tend to think they have a monopoly over the Tora and twist it to their own needs as necessary, and own the individual as if they are expendable. Bizman shehabeis hamikdosh hoyo kayom it would have been, "Vehevi es korbono...vesomach yodo al rosh hasoir, and only then venislach lo. That is, the Nossi biochvodo uvatsmo will stand in que with a big fat Korbon Chatos, and the whole klall yisrael will observe the scene how he fesses up to his CHET he has committed, kal vachomer when he is mischaret al zedonosov. As of yet, we were not zoche to have an ashrei hador for an asher yechto nassi. May hashem be merachem that mashiv horuach umorid ruach tshuva al hashgogos veal hazedonos bimherah beyamenu bekarov. Kel bneh, kel bneh bnei bescho bekarov!

    Same applies to all other nessiim that have looked the other way for the epstein's, wolmark's, weberman's, being mechalel shem shomayim berabim, matir assurim of eishes ish, licensing mamzerim factories, unsinas yad laasos nevolo bivnos yisrael letame es Dinah while acting as an Ostrich. Klal yisrael wishes them all a rude awakening smelling the coffee and fess up in public, for all the rest of yiden a freilichen yom tov.

  5. Please specify which of the four rosh yeshivahs was behind this or does the pcture give it away?

  6. And what about Rabbi Belsky- who stuck his face into the controversy and defended Kolko to the nth degree- and made RS into a moser and a rasha. And he did not display an iota of regret or contrition after Kolko was found guilty- I mean, confessed to the accusations. So did Belsky lie, or were the spineless Lakewood loyalists unable to think for themselves and use their brains to ask intelligent questions about the case, rather than being led astray by Belsky and other so-called leaders? The answer is: all of the above. The behavioural pattern is identical: the accused are treated like Tzaddikim and supported by the entire kehilla (recall Weberman's $500,000 fund raiser for legal fees, and his fight for "justice" as reported by Ami magazine) and after the defense crumbles when the accused is found to be guilty, there is not a single public act of contrition by any of the parties and players who were proven to be flat out WRONG at best, and proven to be liars, at worst. The old saying rings true, over and over and over again: the fish rots from the head down

  7. The public needs to distinguish between the Lakewood Yeshiva, home and host to thousands of serious and sincere Bnei Torah, and it's corrupt leadership.

    Whether it was the redifah of Rabbi S or the reprehensible and deplorable Weiss-Dodelson case, it was Kotler, Inc. that was responsible, not the Bnei Yeshivah.

    The people who can make a difference are the Gedolim in Eretz Yisroel and the gevirim in America. I hope they speak up quickly, so that the Chillul Hashem personified by this mafia can be eliminated.

    1. it's

      should be


      there is no apostrophe in the possessive form of "it"

  8. The letter doesn't mention which RY in BMG hounded him. Is the accompanying pic intended to insinuate it was R Malkiel?

  9. OU Organizational Complicity in The Vile SchemeApril 20, 2014 at 8:15 AM

    And what about the OU's culpability in allowing their chief Posek Belsky to get away with the vile harassment of the father of the victim, even accusing the victims father of being the molester with no evidence whatsoever and in spite of admissionss to mutliple rabbis and to the court from Kolko? Why did not a single member of the OU Board of Directors publocly protest Belskys outrageously vile behavior if the professional staff at the OU are too concerned e with all the money Beslky brings in with the "heimishe" crowd" to care about his evil deeds?

  10. THE OU LANNER BELSKY KOLKO CABALApril 20, 2014 at 8:25 AM


  11. I would think that a huge yeshiva like BMG, with its many hundreds of bochurim and yungerleit KA"H would require a team of Roshei Yeshiva to keep track of them all, serve as mechanchim and guides to them, say shiurim, and impart their great Torah wisdom to the younger generations. If that were the case, which I believe it should be, then there should be zero time available to get involved in individual affairs like this, controlling the community like gestapos, and taking sides in conflicts that arise between individuals. To the best of the public knowledge, NONE of the Roshei Yeshiva of BMG have smicha or proper experience to pasken the types of shailos involved in these matters. When they function outside their domain, they besmirch their own dignity and honor as Rosh Yeshiva. So, for all I care, they can believe Kolko and innocence and all that, but their getting involved in the many hundreds of hours of politicking, meetings, etc. that resulted in punishing the victim was a colossal error. If I was the administrator of a yeshiva whose Rosh Yeshiva spent more time doing this stuff (whether right or wrong), I'd fire him or quit, whichever is easier. If I was a talmid there, I'd be outraged that my RY cares more about an issue that does not involve him than the time he should be spending in my chinuch in learning.

  12. I don't know much about the case, but I do know the Lakewood Roshei Yeshiva personally and they are really nice people and concerned about others, so I find it hard to accept that would intentionally harm someone.

  13. eino yodea she'eino yodea will not do and not good enoughApril 27, 2014 at 11:25 PM

    Do you know anything about the G. D. case? Yes, true, other than that they might possibly really be nice people. The only problem you might have is, afilu nefesh achas beshivim shono is a beis din katlonis, mishpocho shleimo, al achas kamo vekamo.

  14. Why is Kolko mentioned by name and Rabbi S. is only an anonymous Rabbi S.? Does he not have a last name or is it to be mekayaim yemach shemo?

    1. For the same reason that it is official policy of the media not to mention by name victims of abuse. Victims and their family typically like to retain some sense of privacy.


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