Sunday, August 3, 2014

Seminary Scandal: Israeli Beis Din Correspondence - Rav Aharaon Feldman letter of July 31

Update:  See response of Israeli Beis Din
This is the first of a series of private correspondence of the Israeli Beis Din that I plan to publish  - in the actual words of the participants - in the matter of the Seminary Scandal. The first letter consists of accusations against the Israeli Beis sent by Rav Aharon Feldman on July 31 2014 to the Israeli Beis Din. 

The next posts will provide the Israeli Beis Din's very strong response against the accusations of Rav Feldman  and in addition their grievances against the Chicago Beis Din. The differences between the Chicago Beis Din and the Israeli Beis Din is not as clear cut as has been presented up until now. In short I will show the issue from the point of view of the Israeli Beis Din



The Chilul Hashem r.l. is spreading; people have lost their emunas chachomim; I just heard of two girls who went off the derech because of this affair. We have to get the Chicago BD to rescind their letter. The only way to do this is to have a joint BD listen to the accusations. Is Rav Shafran willing to do this? They are not at present but I think I can convince them. bedieved I have the following:suggestion. if I get the accusers to come together, will Rav Shafran agree to listen to them bemoshav tlasa? This will not stop the effect of the CBD’s letter, but at least it will stop the charges against you that you refused to listen to the accusers. Would Sunday night be OK for this?

I was surprised that Rabbi Malinowitz said (as I understood him) at our conference call that I never apprised the BD that there are serious accusations. Rav Malinowitz asked me at that time (and so I immediately wrote myself a note, which I have) to supply the BD with the names of the accusers. Yet a psak was given out without this. I am sure there is a good reason for this, but it certainly needs an explanation, not a denial that it ever happened..

Furthermore, you never apologized for having said publicly that you asked the CBD many times to supply you with information about the accusations and they did not. You could have explained this was a misunderstanding but to insist that you did contact them when R. Zev Cohen claimed so forcefully that you did not (I don’t think a person like R.. Zev Cohen would be able to lie in this manner), made them lose trust in you. It would help if you would apologize to them for this.

Aharon Feldman


  1. Was the original in English. If in Hebrew, could you post the original text?

    I find it astounding that Rabbi Feldman does not raise the most profoundly invalidating aspect of the Shafran BD, they heard the case with no representation of Tzad A, the victims. If, as Feldman says, he was not the representative of either Chicago's Beis Din or the victims, then the jurisdiction claim of the Shafran Beis Din is utterly false and void. If indeed the the plaintiff was the victims through representation by R. Feldman, how could there have been no testimony by the victims or their representative. Yet, clear as day, the Shafran Beis Din describes the testimony only coming from admins and staff of the seminaries. If they denied Feldman an opportunity to talk, he is duty bound to protest this violation of the d'oiraisa obligation to have both sides able to present their case. If he chose not to talk, he is guilty of legal/halachic malpractice of the highest order.

    At this point something stinks and no amount of finessing can move the issue forward until the previous irregularities are addressed and rectified by voiding the preceding psak, removing all culprits from further involvement, & recognizing the continuing Chicago BD jurisdiction as least to the extent of its psak still standing for those in its domain.

  2. "series of private correspondence"

    what is your Heter to PUBLICIZE private correspondence??

  3. Is there a reason you aren't posting whatever documents you have in one shot as opposed to little by little?

  4. While I concur with YL, I am dumbfounded by this purported email for a more elementary reason: 'Emunas Chachomim'? Is he kidding?
    It almost sounds as if the problem with girls going off the derech is because of the handling of the case by the rabbis.
    Get CBD to 'rescind their letter'? Really?

    Until these esteemed rabbis realize that the sex acts are THE problem -- not how we need to respond them במרמה -- then they really have no business inserting themselves into this discussion.

    If Feldman actually wrote this letter, he is operating in the typical way that the chareidi world deals with these scandals: sweep it under the rug.

    The IBD wants the names of the accusers? We all know how well other victims have fared when rabbis have vetted their names.

    If this was the opening message of your exclusive, breaking list of confidential emails, I am not holding my breath waiting for any reponses.

  5. Waiting with great interest for the Shafran beis din's response.

  6. Lopin/gottesman is getting desperate....
    DT wrote that he is going to post the response of the IBD which will probably make things clearer. So what type of fool jumps to conclusions when more information is about to come out??

    Now here is what stinks;

    Fact 1; Gottesman is very heavily involved with the CBD.

    Fact 2; Gottesmans very good friend Zvi Bloom is trying to open a new seminary off of this.

    One thing is clear Gottesman needs to be totally removed in order for the CBD to have any credibility.

  7. Verification of AddressAugust 3, 2014 at 8:34 PM

    @ Yehoshua - Obviously, it has to be assumed that there must be a good reason...!

  8. Verification of AddressAugust 3, 2014 at 8:40 PM

    @bg - Didn't you hear that e misels was גורם to 2 girls to go OTD ?! Would they be your daughters, would you also wanna hide everything under the rag?!

  9. Verification of AddressAugust 3, 2014 at 8:45 PM

    @Yerachmiel Lopin - r Shafran grew up in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY, USA, and he most probably still knows to read yenglish...

  10. is Yerachmiel Lopin your real name?

  11. What jumped out for me, immediately, was the identification of the primary issue not being justice for the assaulted girls, nor, going forward, safety for future students, but instead, the collateral issue of "emunas chachomim", stated in the first sentence. So the case is not about the girls, its about Daas Torah and kavod ha'rav. Its about maintaining institutional power. Some people will never change - but we knew this already. The difference now is that we see it in writing.

  12. I think Yehoshua is correct. As you intimate, the Israeli beis Din does have a position, and it seems that Yerachmiel Lopin is taking every advantage of time to knock them and intimate that several respected dayanim are fools.

  13. "Accusers"??? What happened to "victims"? It seems quite obvious how they view sexual misconduct.!

  14. Lopin/Gottesman who by all accounts is running the Chicago Beis Dins side (as will be made clear in the Israeli BD response that will be posted later) has been on a all out war against Meisels from day 1 posting letters that no one besides insiders had access too. But as the Israeli BD letters will clearly show Gottesman/ Lopin has been deliberately withholding information they have repeatedly requested. Why is this being done what does Gottesman have to hide?Well here's the dirty secret Gottesman/lopin is on tape threatening Meisels that if he doesn't sell the seminaries to him at his price he will blow the whole scandal up publicizing it everywhere ie blackmail. Now if the world was ever exposed to the flimsy evidence the Chicago BD / Gottesman based their whole psak on it would cause an outcry and cause everyone's eyes to be opened that something is rotten to the core, and Mr Frum Follies/Gottesman is the chief culprit in this sordid affair

  15. Careful, all. The Meisels camp obviously recognizes how much damage Lopin has caused by outing this issue and keeping it current.
    So now they are sending the troops out to undermine his credibility.
    They'd have us believe that Lopin is in cahoots with the CBD because he wants to muscle in on the seminary market.
    What type of idiots do these fools take the עולם to be??

  16. You know there are victims? You were there? This is the exact point the Israeli BD makes in their letter. Without the baal din present, without eidus, without investigation, accusations remain just that. Accusations. Not facts to be spread about with letters. Of course, the CBD bothered to do none of this (nor could they, since no one signed shtar beirurin with them).

  17. They've been emailed all over.

  18. i can understand your are being emotional about this, & who isnt? but your emotional comment doesnt answer the halachick question!! as frum yidden we should always try not to let our feelings ignore/abuse halachah!

  19. 1] how do you know he gives permission?
    2] what about horav feldman's emails???

  20. It has been said (on this blog I believe) that when there are multiple people with similar stories they should be believed.

    Pretty simple actually.

    Also when someone is accused of a crime the normal thing to do is to report to law enforcement. Sex crimes departments are equipped and experienced in doing investigations because it is their job. The Israeli Beis Din however has decided to take it upon themselves to rule whether Meisels committed any crimes or not. Since they are not equipped to do a proper investigation their rulings don't seem to be worth the paper they are written on.

    The worst part is though that people like you will never validate the victims even if you actually witnessed them being raped.....

    The whole beis din thing is a waste of time since for the most part parents will blindly follow daas torah, until it is their daughter who is attacked, and even then their shame will assure the perpetrators freedom.


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