Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Exodus: Why Europe's Jews Are Fleeing Once Again

Newsweek   The mob howled for vengeance, the missiles raining down on the synagogue walls as the worshippers huddled inside. It was a scene from Europe in the 1930s – except this was eastern Paris on the evening of July 13th, 2014.

Thousands had gathered to demonstrate against the Israeli bombardment of Gaza. But the protest soon turned violent – and against Jews in general. One of those trapped told Israeli television that the streets outside were “like an intifada”, the Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation. 

Some of the trapped Jews fought their way out as the riot police dispersed the crowd. Manuel Valls, the French Prime Minister, condemned the attack in “the strongest possible terms”, while Joel Mergei, a community leader, said he was “profoundly shocked and revolted”. The words had no effect. Two weeks later, 400 protesters attacked a synagogue and Jewish-owned businesses in Sarcelles, in the north of Paris, shouting “Death to the Jews”. Posters had even advertised the raid in advance, like the pogroms of Tsarist Russia.

France has suffered the worst violence, but anti-Semitism is spiking across Europe, fuelled by the war in Gaza. In Britain, the Community Security Trust (CST) says there were around 100 anti-Semitic incidents in July, double the usual  number. The CST has issued a security alert for Jewish institutions. In Berlin a crowd of anti-Israel protesters had to be prevented from attacking a synagogue. In Liege, Belgium, a café owner put up a sign saying dogs were welcome, but Jews were not allowed.

Yet for many French and European Jews, the violence comes as no surprise. Seventy years after the Holocaust, from Amiens to Athens, the world’s oldest hatred flourishes anew. For some, opposition to Israeli policies is now a justification for open hatred of Jews – even though many Jews are strongly opposed to Israel’s rightward lurch, and support the establishment of a Palestinian state.[....]

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Motti Elon is honored speaker: Dealing with sexual predators in our neighborhoods.

 JPost - Elon convicted of sex crimes agains minors

The notice below highlights a major problem. What do you do with a child molester/sexual predator and how do you interact with him on a daily basis. What honor can be given and what access to children and women? 

This applies to people such as Dovid Weinberger, Elimelech Meisels, Mordechai Tendler, etc etc. Once upon a time when such crimes were either swept under the rug or the perpetrator banished to someone else's neighborhood - not much thought was given to this problem - because it officially didn't exist. However with the major change in the last few years, we now have sexual predators who are highly talented, personable and well known - in our neighborhoods - even as next door neighbors. There is no mesora for how to deal with these child rapists, adulterers and predators. What should be done? In addition how do you react to people such as Rabbi Druckman who insist on giving honor to predators such as Motti Elon and/or insist against clear evidence that they are innocent?

update:  Hannah @AMotherInIsrael 
I took the picture and posted it on my blog. Not sure why it appears here without credit or link. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Shaal Avicha by Rabbi Yoel Abraham - complete sefer

  שאל אביך   see previous post   Was siruv justified?

The file is free for downloading with the permission of the author. Click the link at the top which will take you to SCRIBD. Then simply download by click on any button which says download

Chareidi MKs condemn attack on soldier in Beit Shemesh by Chareidi extremists

Arutz 7   Hareidi extremists attacked a reserve soldier returning home from the front Monday, according to several reports, as he came home to Beit Shemesh to visit his parents and pray at a local synagogue. 

"His two children were very frightened," an eyewitness told Walla! news Tuesday. "The extremists cursed him, threw stones at his car, and ordered him to leave the neighborhood." 

The incident unfolded on Hillel street at about 10:00 pm, according to the report. The extremists called the reservist a "Nazi" and "vermin." 

Several other eyewitnesses told Arutz Sheva on Tuesday that friends and neighbors of the reserve soldier condemned and apologized for the incident, helped him recover and offered to pay for the damage. 

The District Police has opened an investigation and "are expected to make arrests." 
Several hareidi MKs sharply criticized the incident Tuesday, with some even going as far as calling the extremists "terrorists." 

"There are limits," Shas Chairman Aryeh Deri said Tuesday morning. "The attack by Jewish extremists on a soldier as he prayed in synagogue is an act of terrorism." 

"They should be treated as we treat terrorists," he continued. "A hand that raises itself against a soldier should be smacked." [...]

What this war is about and why talk of 'proportionate force' is irrelevant.

American Gedolim against religious coercion by Israeli Gedolim

Confirmed! It's a forgery.

The signatures of Rav Yosef Rosenblum, Rav Dovid Feinstein and Rav Shlomo Miller also look forged.

It's also almost impossible that Rav Refoel Shor got involved in a communal matter such as this. He doesn't get involved in communal matters, especially if means criticizing others.

Kikar haShabbat

Was the siruv justified - against the sefer Shaal Avicha - by Rav Kaufman's beis din?

I was requested to post this information which you should examine carefully.
Guest Post

Complete sefer can be downloaded with this link


Attached you will find a PDF of a sefer recently issued About Oz Vihaddar Publishing company

And the Siruv against this sefer By Rav Kaufman’s Bais Horaah /Rav Chaim Flohrs Kollel of Monsey NY 


The 300 page Sefer authored by Rabbi Yoel Abraham(with Haskomos of 5 prominent Rabbonim) containing a Halachic Discussion regarding the Many Textual Changes made to the Targum al Hatorah In their recently  published Chumasim .

The Sefer titled Shaal Avicha is a Birur Halacha seeking to enhance and reinforce our Mesores in Targum which is the mesores of Rashi Hakodosh and Rabenu Gershom and Rabenu Tam of the Chachmei TZORFAS (France and GERMANY)

And to  Dispute the many  changes made in all the new seforim and chumashim issued by Oz Vihadar who relied on the Targum of Taimon  and svtina  which was historically  questionable and Not accepted by orthodox Mesores  of Ashkenaz and even many Sefardim   only by Maskilim see the details in the sefer.

The Question is why? And How A Siruv was issued By Rav Shlomo Zalman Kaufman? 

And If Rav Shlomo Zalman Kaufman who has an existing working relationship with Rabbi Leifer who is the owner of Oz Vihader and also happens to be the owner of Rockland Mikvaos where Rav Kaufman was recently appointed to join Rabbi Leifer as an additional Rav Hamachsir of several Mikvaos (of course through the efforts of Rav Chaim Flohr’s longtime relationship with Rabbi Leifer) And the real question was Rabbi Kaufman working to protect his friend ?

Attached you will also  find an open letter ‘MICHTAV GOLOY’ by Rabbi Yoel Abraham  Astounded at the unbelievable Siruv rapidly issued by Rav Kaufman and detailing exactly each step as it happened with copies of all documents and the dates so you can judge for yourself whether or not  this Siruv is Kosher !

What’s astounding also is that Rav Gold was pushed out of the bais din because he was one of five Rabbonim who gave Haskomah to this sefer so he was considered by rav Kaufman not to be impartial

Yet Rav Kaufman himself and his Cronyism with Rabbi Leifer did not affect his own impartiality!!!

THE REAL Question now is is How can we now rely on these Rabbonim for the Hechsher on the Mikvah!! If this is what transpired

נזדמן לידי המכתב גלוי הנכתב ע"י הרב המחבר דבר ה' במחזה שליט"א, וכאשר קריתי בו ראיתי בתוכו כמה וכמה תמיהות, ואמרתי אשיחה וירוח לי.

ראשית כל, אם האמת אתו, אין כאן שום מקום לדין תורה, דדין תורה אינו אלא בדברים שבין אדם לחבירו, ולא בדיני איסור והיתר וכ"ש לא בדברים שהם יסודי הדת, וכמו שמובן לכל בר דעת דאין שום מקום לעקל או להזמין לדין תורה למי שמפרסם על סוחר אחד המוכר נבילות וטריפות בשם בשר כשר, או למי שמפרסם על ירקות של קאמפאני אחד המוכרן בחזקת נקי מתולעים, שיש בתוכו תולעים, או למי שמפרסם על מאגאזינען שהם מלא מינות ודיעות כוזבות ואסור לקנותן, בטענה ותביעה שהמה גורמים להם נזק רב, וכמו שידענו מרב אחד שהכריז ברבים שסוחר אחד מוכר דגים טמאים, והדבר ידוע.

ואם הוא משקר ואין האמת אתו, אין שום צורך לטרוח על זה הבי"ד, התובע יברר הדברים כשמלה שהוא משקר ובודה הדברים מלבו, ומוציא שם רע עליו, ויפרסם הדבר לרבים, ואם אין היכולת ביד התובע לברר הדברים, על זה אפשר לקבוע ישיבת בי"ד שיבררו הדברים, אבל אין צורך להזמין הרב המחבר הנ"ל על זה, דהא ספרו נכתב בבאר היטב דברים מפורשים, הן דברי התובע, והן דבריו מ"ש עליהם, ויעיינו הבי"ד בדבריו, ויפסקו לפי ראות עיניהם מי ומי ההולכים עם האמת, ועל דבר זה נראה שהרב המחבר שליט"א מרוצה להכניס לפנים משורת הדין, לבוא לברר דבריו הנכתבים בעל פה לפני הבי"ד.

והשנית, מה שכתבו בהעיקול שהוא מפרסם כתבי פלסתר, לא ידענו מה זה כתבי פלסתר, הלא אינו חוזר וכותב רק דברים שהם בעצמם כתבו בחומשיהם, והרב המחבר חתם עצמו על כל מה שכתב, ומה זה ועל מה זה נקראו כתבי פלסתר.

והשלישית, אם הוא השיב תיכף ומיד שהוא מוכן לילך להבי"ד של בית הוראה, למה נתאחר הדבר לחתום שטרי בירורין מיום ד' תמוז תשע"ג עד כ"א אדר ב' תשע"ד


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Conservative Movement joins Reform in call for proselytizing

Wall Street Journal   Mr. Eisen is chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary.

I believe that Jewish institutions and their rabbis should actively encourage non-Jewish family members in our midst to take the next step and formally commit to Judaism. 

To some this may seem a surprising idea. It is well known that Judaism has not been a proselytizing faith. Historically, Jewish authorities were wary of potential converts. The rabbis sought to make sure that converts were motivated solely by devotion to the God of Israel and the desire to join the people of Israel. Conversion purely for the sake of marriage was disallowed.[...]

I am asking the rabbis of the Conservative movement to use every means to explicitly and strongly advocate for conversion, bringing potential converts close and actively making the case for them to commit to Judaism. I am asking Jewish leaders to provide the funding needed for programs, courses and initiatives that will place conversion at the center of Jewish consciousness and the community's agenda.[...]

Friday, July 25, 2014

Rav Steinman: We are to pray for all soldiers - even the Shabbos transgressors!

Kikar haShabbat

וכשרצו לעורר מבחינות אחרות, הגיב רבינו "סאיז דאך יידישע קינדער - ארחמנות..." - 'הרי הם ילדים יהודים, ורחמנות עליהם'.

כמו כן, על הטענה שיש כאלו שאינם שומרי שבת, לא ויתר מרן הגראי"ל ואמר שצריך להתפלל גם עליהם. וסיפר מעשה שהיה עם מרן הגר"ח מבריסק זצוק"ל שפעם אחת היה גזר דין מוות על אחד מאנשי "הבונד" והיה צריך הרבה כסף כדי לשכור לו עורך דין, ועמד מרן הגר"ח זצוק"ל "בעצם יום הכיפורים הקדוש" ואסף כסף כדי להציל אותו, ובאמת הצליח להצילו ממות.

הרי לנו שאף לאחד שהיה ידוע לרשע, טרח אותו גאון וצדיק כ"כ כדי להצילו, ואנשי הבונד היו ידועים "לאפיקורסים ממש".

Seminary Scandal: Character witnesses are irrelevant in verifying abuse allegations

update: Rabbi Karlinsky wrote:

My article was directed to “observers”, both for those who had positive experiences with an accused, who on that basis reject the possibility of the allegations being true, or those having to decide whether to engage with him, who will use the (sometimes significant number of) character witnesses coming foward. It in no way is meant to reflect my opinion on the workings of a Dayan. But if you are interested in researching what the proper approach is for a beit din, you may want to see Shut Shoel U-Meshiv (Kama) sec.1 #185, arguing that a court accepting testimony in areas like this is NOT governed by the usual practices governing removing a person from a presumption of kashrus. The standards demanded of an educator or Rabbi ARE higher than for an average citizen. While it is not "guilty until proven innocent", claims made by women with lots to lose, and which reveal a pattern that experts recognize as predatory requires the accused to clear his name if he wants to continue in a Rabbinic position.
From my book Child and Domestic Abuse Volume II. this is accepted as halacha l'maaseh
Sho’el U’Meishiv (1:185): Rumors spread about a certain teacher who had lived in that city for 8 years. Children that he had taught while they were young and now were 13 years or more older testified that he had sodomized them when they were younger. The previous summer a certain G d fearing man found out about this and was outraged and informed the rav of the community. However the rav did not want to accept this testimony… However the Maharik and the Terumas HaDeshen wrote and the Rema rules in Shulchan Aruch that in a situation where kosher witness are not necessary - then even a woman or child is believed. If so, in this matter it is definitely impossible for there to be adult males and it is impossible for there to be testimony in the matter. That is because without a doubt this man – even if he is wicked and dissolute – keeps his deeds secret and he only amuses himself with small children and claims he is only playing with them. Therefore it is obvious that they should be believed. However we are not trying to disqualify him from being a witness or making an oath but we only want to be able to say whether he perhaps did this. Our Sages said in Nida (61) that while it is prohibited to believe lashon harah, the concern aroused by it is required. And in Mo’ed Koton (18) they said that regarding bad talk – at least some of it is true. Therefore woe is to us that in our days such a thing happened that a man like this should be a teacher of children who are pure creatures and there is concern that he violated them. Therefore in my opinion it is appropriate to remove the crown of teacher from his head. They need to be concerned for their souls until he completely repents with appropriate afflictions and only then can he considered a full member of the community and it will be an atonement for his sins. Furthermore as long as he hasn’t confessed his sins then repentance is not possible as the Tevu’os Shor wrote in siman 2…. But in this case where there is testimony – even though it is not from kosher witnesses it is worth more than rumors and it is obvious he should be prevented from getting students to teach.

Cross Currents    by Rabbi Shaya Karlinsky Dean and Rosh Yeshiva of Shapell’s/Darche Noam Institutions: Yeshivat Darche Noam/ Shapell’s and the Midreshet Rachel v’Chaya College of Jewish Studies for Women

We have been witness to an increasing number of depressing revelations about Rabbis acting inappropriately towards women they have been counseling or educating. I have no intention of discussing any specific case. I would like to discuss a pattern that is all too common in these cases.

In response to accusations of improper behavior by Rabbis with female students or congregants, lots of well-meaning people come to the defense of the accused. These people will vouch for his tremendous integrity, meticulous observance of all appropriate boundaries in every interaction they ever experienced or witnessed, and the life-changing advice and counseling they or their friends received from the accused. Since, if and when breaches of ethical and Halachic behavior happen, they happen “behind closed doors,” the only way to verify the accusations is for victims to provide detailed testimony of what they claim happened. Frequently, the victims themselves are troubled individuals, or were having some specific emotional crisis which can make them vulnerable to advances from the predator, while compromising their credibility as plaintiffs or witnesses. People can become easily swayed and confused when weighing claims of somewhat unreliable plaintiffs/witnesses against the claims and testimony of obviously well adjusted success stories of said Rabbi’s activities. [...]

When a Rabbi or educator is accused of improper behavior of a sexual or abusive nature, character witnesses are irrelevant to verifying whether the accusations are true. All the many people who have been helped in the past in no way undermine the credibility of the accusers. What is important is the specific accusations, whether there is a pattern to those accusations, and whether the accused can properly refute those accusations. If the defendant is being falsely accused by vindictive or unstable women, either the cross examination of the accusers will verify that, or direct testimony to contradict the claims can be provided. If the accusations are credible, if a pattern of improper behavior is verified, if the accused is guilty, then all the people who were helped should have no impact of the conclusions one needs to draw. In fact, his help is revealed to be part of his abominations, empowering him to continue preying on vulnerable and innocent victims. Those he helped are his “honest” measure, enabling him destroy the lives of those he was cheating. [...]

Seminary scandal: Lastest Psak of Israel Beis Din on July 25, 2014

Last night, Rav Aharon Feldman brought the case to Beis Din here (Rav Mendel Shafran is Rosh Beis Din). They sat for 8 hours hearing testimony from everyone involved, and wrote up their official Hachlatot.
They concluded (my translation)

1) There is absolutely no danger to students to be educated in these four seminaries.

2) The staffs of these schools are incredible and they have done their work with mesiras nefesh, faithfully and with yeras shamayim. They have succeeded in producing a large number of students over the years who have produced distinguished frum homes that are faithful to G-d and His Torah and they are capable of producing more.

3) We request that Touro certify these seminaries for past credits

4) It is prohibited for any other school (either preexisting or newly established) to attempt to recruit students - either directly or indirectly - who have been accepted in these seminaries for the coming year. This is prohibited by a number of halachos and we are sure no one will try to do such a sin.

5) It is prohibited to defame or slander these seminaries in any manner

6) There are those who have intervened without authority who haven't heard all the facts and should be ignored.

7) There are additional issues regarding this case but they are not discussed in this ruling but will be fully addressed at a future time.

Rifky Stein & Yoel Weiss: Rifky said he raped her - because he didn't let her kiss him?!

In this increasingly bizarre story, Rivky has just put a very brief audio clip of Yoel on her website - saying that she said that he raped her. 
    "So, she's laying down in bed with me, an hour later I  want to have sex with her again, this time she's busy there saying no. After we finished with her she said you know you raped me"
The context of the quote is not given and I would like to hear the whole recording as well as finding out who Yoel was talking with, who recorded the conversation and whether Yoel was aware that he was being recorded.  Perhaps more important did she say it with hurt and anger or did she say it with a smile?

A possible answer can be found in the video below where she talks about Yoel raping her. At about 5 minutes she says something that is seems incomprehensible. Perhaps someone can give me a rational explanation.
“When he was raping me he wouldn’t let me kiss him on the mouth because it wasn’t about intimacy”.
 Here she is describing how she was brutally raped by her husband.  She states that it was rape and not normal intimacy because she wasn't allowed to kiss him?! What woman being raped is upset that she can't kiss her rapist? What she is clearly saying is that if he had allowed her to kiss him on the mouth - she would not have considered it rape but intimacy?

Why would allowing her to kiss him make it not rape? What if he allowed her one kiss but not two - is it still rape? I don't think she would convince a jury that she had been brutally raped simply because he didn't want her to kiss him.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Yaakov Weingarten - convicted of major charity fraud - must pay $522,000

Times of Israel   A Brooklyn man who pleaded guilty to felony tax fraud in an Israeli charities scam was ordered to pay more than a half-million dollars in a civil suit. 

The judgment against Yaakov Weingarten, 53, and his wife, Rivka, was handed down Wednesday in Kings County Supreme Court, according to a news release from New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. 

The Weingartens must give $360,000 to UJA-Federation of New York and pay $162,000 in civil fines and penalties. He also was barred from fundraising for nonprofits.

Weingarten pleaded guilty to tax fraud in May for raising funds for phony Jewish nonprofit organizations. He was sentenced to five years’ probation after paying $90,685 in restitution to New York State.

According to Schneiderman’s office, Weingarten and his associates bilked thousands of North American donors with claims that he was collecting money for Israeli charitable purposes such as emergency medical services and programs for terror victims, sick children and the poor. He also failed to report his income on tax returns.[...]

Rivky Stein & Yoel Weiss: Rifky's Beis Din does not exist at 1278 E 72nd st.

Guest Post by Verification of Address

I contacted twice Chabad of Georgetown of 1278 east 72nd Street Brooklyn NY 11234 via phone#: 1(718)444-3770, and spoke twice to Choshuva Rebbetzin Holtzberg; After she consulted twice with her Choshuva husband HaRav Avrohom Holtzberg שליט"א, then she came back with a very clear answer (on behalf of her husband, the רב), that the above חב"ד of Georgetown is NOT related in any way to any בית דין or דיינים and NEVER hosts any outside בית דין\דיינים in their Shul/חב"ד of Georgetown; Furthermore, they are NOT related/involved in any way with the controversial divorce case of Stein vs. Weiss. 

Therefore, their above mentioned address, is definitely not affiliated in any way with that so called בית דין of Mill Basin, NOR it's so called אב בית דין ודיינים (and their so called חרם NEITHER). So therefore, there's definitely NO point at all, for Yoylie Weiss to try to also go at the above mentioned, as confirmed with owners of that same address.... Now, let's just hope that the 1278 East 77th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11236, is the Correct Address of that בית דין and hopefully things will work out right, and that it's Rabbis and both parties etc. will all show up at that same place and time to achieve the goal of getting that Get controversy OVER.

Rifky Stein & Yoel Weiss: The embarrassing silence from the media about being fooled by Rivky's story

I was about to write a post on this subject when I received the following cogent and sensitive comment that I decided to post it instead.
Guest post by  Guy Gustafson

What I find really wacky is that after all these recent developments and exposures none of the media circles have put out an updated or new story.

All the old stories are still up there and doing a search on google news for "Rivky Stein" or "Yoel Weiss" brings up news articles from the New York Daily News to Jweekly (and about this issue the Daily News hasn't said anything new about this for days and Jweekly hasn't said anything for weeks).

The articles on news sites and various blogs (aside from this blog) read as if the verdict is already in and that Yoel Weiss is condemned and that Rivky speaks truth as if she gave the Torah on Mount Sinai.

I think Yoel has more then vindicated himself and at the very least has shed some serious doubts on Rivky's story which I would think she would have to defend... but no she does not because as far as the media in concerned the story hasn't changed since they first heard about it and only if you happen to read this Daas Torah blog will you get an alternate side to Rivky's story.

I don't understand it. I would of thought the media would have a field day with this. I mean this is drama and entertainment of the highest order (sorry Yoel but it is, I myself don't follow news stories so much anymore but this one had me hooked from the beginning, its so alarming!)

Everybody loves it when a liar gets outed in the media, look what happened when Susan Smith and Lance Armstrong got there lies smashed into pieces (the latter spent a whole session with Oprah and his sociopath sob story).

I'm not saying that this case is anywhere close to the level of exposure of the above heavyweight all time media highlights that will never be forgotten. but this is a very serious Jewish community issue and its not an isolated incident.

When men start dating after this they are going to be obsessively looking for signs of psycho with a magnifying glass in every woman thus extending dating for months or years. I imagine men are going to turn away a lot more women for marriage at the slightest perceived sign of instability or wackiness.

But better that then to marry a super-psycho! Background checks, private investigators and references equal to that of getting a job in the US secret service will be necessary. cause I'll admit until this circus I myself was not too concerned about this issue but now its a very very big concern.

I'm fairly confident to say that most people have met people like Rivky Stein somewhere throughout there lives so everybody knows they exist.

I remember people I met at all levels of schooling and at various work places. People who I initially found to be engaging and interesting and with time passing small signs of crazy started showing and then they accumulated to the point of discomfort and then fear - cause they got too close and how could I get rid of them now?

If you have been in that kind of situation you know how uncomfortable and spooky it can be and how much effort and thought has to go into avoiding them after you have befriended them. Now imagine that happening after you married someone cause you didn't check them out closely enough during the dating process!

So for the sake of this alone (although exonerating Yoel is in its self a good enough reason) that the shofar on this issue should not be put away but be blown to warn unmarried Jewish men to be REALLY careful and scrutinizing when dating.

So this is why its important for these new developments to get into the media; news, blogs, and social networking sights need to be brought up to date.

Yet aside from Daas Torah - there's silence all around and worse; the perpetuation of the old and obviously fabricated story. people on Facebook (not that I'm a member thank G-d) are still condemning Yoel Weiss and calling for him to be burned at the stake.

They are ready with their cyber pitchforks and burning torches to form a mob and cast him out of existence with such certainty that he is Frankenstein. this is very likely to be just because they haven't heard latest events making up much more then half the story.

So if the people heard the closer to full story they can stop screaming to rip off Yoel's head and stick it on a spike, step back, think, reform their opinions and apologize to Yoel and ask forgiveness for so naively accepting lashon hora (evil speech) and spreading it. At the very least they can just stop verbally bashing him and celebrating Rivky raising her ego to the heavens.

But I guess if that never happens Yoel will just have to pack his bags cause his reputation got so tarnished that he can never live a normal life again and move here to Israel where nobody knows him thus fulfilling the mitzvah (commandment/obligation) of dwelling in the land of the Jewish people.

Hey if you look at it that way once again we see that every thing G-d does is good and there is a silver lining to every dark cloud. Come home Yoel the unmarried girls here need you!

Rivky Stein & Yoel Weiss:Rivky Stein's "Beit Din" - Forgery in the name of a "higher calling"

Guest Post by RaP:

Once upon a time, forgery was an art that called for skill. In today's computerized world anyone can copy, create or photoshop almost anything. In recent years there has been a rise of printing falsified documents that have Halachic ramifications. It is now very easy for anyone to "copy and paste" the signatures of the most famous rabbis or create ex nihilo cyber and fictitious rabbis as if in a "movie". Once scanned, Halachicaly important documents can be easily forged and reproduced to suit almost any need or whim, especially for a "higher calling" made to fit!

Over the few years that this blog has been in existence such things have not been uncommon. During the time of the Tropper and EJF scandals concerning conversions, so-called Halachic "guidelines," "statements" and "declarations" came up from nowhere by forging the signatures of rabbis, manufactured out of thin air by means of photoshopping in order to prop up a point of view attacking the standing and positions of other rabbis deemed not sufficiently strict enough. All in the name of the higher calling of "stricter standards"! In another instance, even though a famous rosh yeshiva had requested that his signature not be used and removed from supposed declarations online, they were not removed in spite of that rosh yeshiva issuing a call and letter to say the exact opposite of what others were printing and posting, all in the name of the higher calling of "helping" a woman get her Jewish divorce.

Another instance from recent years is when a supposed "kol koreh" (signed notification made public and posted on street corners) was circulated with supposedly dozens of signatures against a popular Hasidic singer who was forced to cancel an expensive concert. Even after a number of rosh yeshivas and rabbis made it very clear that their signatures were forged, nothing was done to retract because, naturally, it was all for a "higher cause" of stopping concerts deemed "not frum enough" that made it "kosher" even if it was a provable prefabricated lie!

Now, with the proponents of those fighting for Rivky Stein to obtain her get (Jewish divorce), this phenomenon of forgery of Halachically important documents appears to have again reared its ugly head and risen to new heights of absurdity, with the seeming "manufacture" out of thin air of a fictitious "Beit Din" (court that rules on Halachic matters), complete with fake "summonses" and letters of "excommunication" for the one who supposedly defied this figment of someone's imagination. All this of course is done in the name of the "higher cause" of helping a suffering woman win her freedom from the father of her children.

What the forgers seem to forget in every case, is that sooner or later there is going to be a discovery by the public that documents were forged, especially serious documents with Halachic ramifications, and in every case the ones behind the forgery were revealed to be for what they are, not knights in shining armor fighting for a "higher cause" but just manipulative and desperate fools who deluded themselves that they can count on the world's gullibility to swallow their forgeries forever.