Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Seminary Recommendation: Yad Aharon signed by Rav Moshe Hillel Hirsch,Rav Eichenstein and Rav Asher Weiss


  1. Wow. Beautiful.

    Now we have it:

    There are people who deal in the real world - who value themselves, their children and all their future decedents. They will definitely follow this letter with its beautiful brochos.

    However, there are people who live in a world of fantasy, snarkiness and anonymity. To them, truth is irreverent. It's about getting a quick high and "feeling good" about something - just anything.

    To the latter group, I'm sure they'll find something snarky to say - but who cares.

  2. Rabbi Edensohn, on this blog you have called into question the credibility and judgement of every American gadol. But now you bring as support to your position Israeli gedolim who must of us have never heard of?
    With all due respect, one gets the idea from this blog that a reliable gadol is defined by the degree to which he agrees with you.

  3. I have to say, that it looks like the issues with the sem's has been resolved. BH. May they have much hatzlocha, along with all the students who go there.

  4. @Js a rather simplistic and dismissive understanding of what I do. Each case is dealt with. I go through the facts from diverse sorces, I speak to a variety of rabbonim and research the halacha.

    Are you suggesting that I should automatically agree with the view that is expessed by a gadol?

    There have been issues that I have disagreed with a particular rabbi but others that I agree.

    Do you blindly follow rabbis and authorities? If so this is not the blog for you.

    You might want to read the introduction of the Baal haMeor or the views of the Chazon Ish on this topic

  5. A beautiful letter. A resounding Amen to the berachos expressed therein.

  6. One may question a decision by a gadol while still giving him due respect and recognizing his gadlus. I've never seen RDE denigrate gedolim.

  7. Daas Torah,

    How a Court decides a case and how rational people should view a situation is not supposed to be the same. A Court has to decide cases based on evidence – and in this case there might not have been evidence that there was more than a hug.

    However, rational people should view a situation based on probability, and should therefore ask themselves how likely is it that this one case where a girl came forward is the only time he did something wrong to girls? As you know most victims do not come forward, so based on probability it would seem very likely that there were other girls over the years.

    Using similar logic, how likely is it that if someone is caught stealing that the only time he stole is that one time? Of course the Court will only convict him for this one crime, but public opinion is another story…

    Of course, nothing is certain as there are some people who only commit one crime, and it is possible that this is one of those cases. I am only speaking about probabilities.

    The same person who in his capacity as a judge would rule that the Rabbi only committed this one indiscretion, could also in his capacity as a private citizen have the opinion that the Rabbi most likely did many more such sins.

    I believe that your criticism of those who believe that more sins were committed is not fair. It is perfectly reasonable to praise the Court's decision and at the same time believe based on probability that he is guilty of more such sins.

  8. @Moshe Aharon - obviously these rabbis disagree with your disregard of their explicit statement that the school is safe and recommended

  9. I was only focusing on whether it is logical that he only committed this one indiscretion. Could you please point out the error in my logic? In your experience, how likely is it that the only time he did something wrong to girls was in this case where the girl came forward? In most other cases in the media there are multiple victims. Is it more likely that this is the only victim or is it more likely that there are other girls over the years who did not want to come forward? What is more likely?

  10. @Moshe Aharon - could you explain why all these rabbanim clearly disagree with you?

  11. Moshe Ahron,

    Ambrike Willkans,


    Shmilda - and the various other monikers:

    When there is a clear statement, a very clear statement and brocha by botei Din, by experienced and seasoned educators, by our most senior Rabbinical educators expressing complete confidence in an institution and encouraging people to send their daughters there - then their words are taken at face value.

    If you claim to be smarter and wiser than them, so be it. But it is you who is being unreasonable - extremely unreasonable. Long diatribes notwithstanding, with ludicrous theories asserted, it is simple silliness.

    Rational people do trust botei din and our most seasoned and experienced rabbinical leaders and educators. Claiming otherwise is simply silly. And yes, numbers, data and studies do matter.

  12. I don't know. Could you please explain why?

  13. @Moshe Aharon - because they don't agree with you. If they were saying "we are only making a statement according to the more restrictive standards of beis din - but of course commonsense says other wise - they would have stated such.
    There is a clear view in halacha that serious rumors or testimony of women and children - can be utilized to ensure the safety of people. The law of rodef is another extrajudiciary principle to protect from harm.
    Thus if they really felt like you than they would have stated that they felt that according to commonsense you should not send your daughters to these seminaries. Since they clearly did not make any such statement it is obvious that they do not accept your explanation.

  14. Thank you for your reply. If they don't think it is commonsense, could you please explain why? Where is the error in my logic? How likely is it that the only time a person did something wrong to girls was the one time when he was caught? Is there something special about this case that makes it different than most other such cases?

  15. Why do you ignore simple, respectful, logical questions?

    All you have said is that they disagree with my logic, and all I am asking is why?

    Do you disagree with my logic even in most cases? If yes, why?

    Or do you agree with me in general, but think this case is different? If the latter, what is unique about this case?

    How likely is it that the only time a person did something wrong to girls was the one time when he was caught?

    I am also not sure what special expertise a Rabbi has in deciding an issue of logic more than a regular person. If the answer is that in this case there is a special reason why it is more likely to have been a one time occurrence, then please share with us that reason. I am completely open to hearing and accepting the special reason.

  16. @Moshe Ahron - some people think that I live in the computer and I have no existence other than responding to any and all questions. I have answered your questions a number of times - but you don't understand. At some point I stop trying. If nothing written so far is good enough - then we probably disagree on basic principles which are not amenable to discussion.

  17. Daas Torah,

    I reread this entire thread. In every comment in this thread you have repeated that the Rabbanim do not agree with my logic and do not think it is common sense. I know that. All I have been asking is "why" they don't agree and "why" is it not common sense, not just a statement that they don't accept this reasoning.

    Which step in my reasoning is faulty? Please explain which step is wrong and why.

    Step #1: usually - as borne out in actual cases - a person caught acting inappropriately with girls (or similar crimes) has done this more than just the one time that he was caught. In many cases in the news, are there not often multiple victims over many years? Is it not accepted among professionals that many victims do not come forward as they don't want additional heartache? Is it not accepted that people who do these crimes or similar crimes usually have multiple victims?

    Step #2: this Rabbi was caught acting inappropriately with a girl

    Step #3: Therefore it is more likely than not that there are other incidences of him acting inappropriately than just this one case.

    I am just trying to gain greater clarity, and I am open to changing my position.
    It seems like either you disagree with step #1 or you believe that there is something unique about this case which makes it not fit into the normal mold.

  18. Is there any chance that you will explain "why" they don't agree?

  19. I don't know about that. Given the rabbinical track record on this issue, given the overnight IBD hechsher of the schools, and given that so few facts have been forthcoming at this point, I would say the rational response is to be extremely suspect.

    There are elements of the frum world that like to believe in the magical power of the rabbinate, but most of us didn't know that they frequented this particular blog.

    Now we know.

  20. No chance, MA, no chance.

    Since this issue began, this blog and many commenters refuse to be deterred by honest questions and logic. If you can't deal with an answer like, 'because they said so', then you'll get no satisfaction here.

  21. what was the "overnight IBD hechser"?

    by the way to you trust rabbis to say food is kosher?

  22. I'm not looking to rehash the whole thing. The IBD issued an 'all clear' after a quick overnight investigation. That was shortly after the initial CBD announcement was issued. It seems that one might ask a similar question to yours: how could the IBD kasher the sems לכתחילה, when in fact more needed to be done (training, joint BD review, etc.)? This calls into question the value of the initial IBD pronouncement too, no?

    Kashrus is a red herring. I'm not taking the bait.

  23. Rabbi Yehoshua Heschel Eichenstein is actually a fellow St. Louisan......

  24. "It seems that one might ask a similar question to yours: how could the
    IBD kasher the sems לכתחילה, when in fact more needed to be done
    (training, joint BD review, etc.)?"

    Quite misleading. They stated in that psak that more needed to be done in terms of putting protocos in place to ensure the safety of the schools. They then proceeded to do exactly what they said they would. You conveniently and dishonestly ignore that.


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