Sunday, May 31, 2015

Cop at center of racial row: I'd like to tell Netanyahu what really happened

ynet It's been a month since the online video clip of an Israeli policeman seen beating an Israel Defense Forces soldier of Ethiopian descent shocked the entire country and aroused the anger of Israel's Ethiopian community, which took to the streets en masse to demonstrate against police brutality and discrimination. [ see original article]

While the soldier involved in the incident, Damas Pakada, became the hero of the Ethiopian community, was warmly embraced by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and shared his side of the story with the public at length, Sergeant Major Y., the policeman, took the criticism and his dismissal from the police and chose to keep quiet – until now. The civil suit filed this past week by Pakada against the Israel Police, Y. and a third individual who was present when the incident occurred has broken the sergeant major's silence.

"He's of no interest to me, and I don't think he's acting according to his own free will," Y. says of Pakada. "In my opinion, he's been used and they're still using him. When I saw him with Bibi, I felt a sharp pang in my heart – because that's a guy who threw a punch at a policeman, who picked up a rock to throw at him. And how does it end? He gets his picture taken with the prime minister, at the prime minister's request, like he's getting a prize. I'd also like to meet with the prime minister and tell him what really happened there."[...]

On arriving at the scene, Y. says, he immediately blocked the road, ordered pedestrians to back away and called in reinforcements. "I remember getting a call from the report center to tell me the sappers were on the way." he recounts. "Meanwhile, civilians were coming out their homes and moving into the danger zone. I instructed my partner to use the loudspeaker to tell everyone to remain in their homes. Fortunately, everyone listened to me." [...]

"We positioned a patrol car about 150 meters from the bench, and it clearly formed a barrier that shouldn't be crossed. I saw him while I was walking down the street and, gesturing with my hands for him to back away, I shouted: There's a suspicious object here. But he continued to approach."

"Yes. 'Who the hell do you think you are? I'm walking through here because I need to get home. What do you want from me anyway?' He spoke to me in fluent Hebrew and in a very unpleasant tone. He clearly understood me. Nevertheless, I explained things to him repeatedly, but he continued to approach."[...]

"I said to him: Just listen to me – and I grab hold of his bicycle to move him along. I don't think another policeman would have behaved like me, so politely. You can see in the video that I move the bike back a little, so that he would move too. And he resisted and tried to move forward and release my grip on the bike. I grabbed the bike, which stood as a buffer between us, and then he hit me on the neck. [....]

Friday, May 29, 2015

"Canary Mission" website about campus BDS leaders unnerves anti-Israel advocates

Forward  A new website is publicizing the identities of pro-Palestinian student activists to prevent them from getting jobs after they graduate from college. But the website is keeping its own backers’ identity a secret.

“It is your duty to ensure that today’s radicals are not tomorrow’s employees,” a female narrator intones in a slick video posted to the website’s YouTube account.

Called Canary Mission, the site has posted profiles of dozens of students and recent graduates, alongside those of well-known activists like Omar Barghouti, founder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. Some of the students are active in Students for Justice in Palestine; others were involved in recent pro-BDS resolutions at campuses in California. Many of them have relatively thin activist résumés.

“The focus on young people and students is an effort to try to tell people that there will be a price for you taking a political position,” said Ali Abunimah, founder of the pro-Palestinian website The Electronic Intifada. “It’s an effort to punish and deter people from standing up for what they believe.”

Daniel Pipes, president of the Middle East Forum, defended the tactic as a way of forcing people to understand the seriousness of their political stands.

“Factually documenting who one’s adversaries are and making this information available is a perfectly legitimate undertaking,” Pipes wrote in an email. “Collecting information on students has particular value because it signals them that attacking Israel is serious business, not some inconsequential game, and that their actions can damage both Israel and their future careers.”[...]

Israeli prof. escapes with reprimand over long term sexual relationship with student

update BBC News  [....] Prof Shamir said, "I know I represent a very tiny minority. I am post-Zionist; I think Zionism in its current phase has to come to terms with the tragic consequences of its project. For example, the Palestinian problem. We need to share this land full and genuinely. Until we do, we will be in a state of war. You don't need to be a prophet to see this."


Tel Aviv University has reprimanded a professor for unbecoming conduct for his intimate relationship with a student who at one point sought to drop the case after she received emails offering her “protection.”

In the 40 pages of the ruling posted on an internal Tel Aviv University website, significant chunks are deleted, not just personal details, making the case all the more complex.

It’s a story of a relationship between Prof. Ronen Shamir of the university’s sociology and anthropology department, and one of his female students, identified as S.

The student, who at one point moved in with the professor, filed a sexual harassment complaint after he reportedly broke off the relationship, but she later retracted the charge and sought to have the disciplinary proceedings halted.

The university pursued the complaint anyway, leading to a ruling that Shamir was guilty on two counts of unbecoming conduct, not sexual harassment. Despite the university’s request that Shamir be forced into early retirement, two of the three judges on the disciplinary panel opted for a reprimand, surprising some people at the university.

The ruling ended an investigation and proceedings that lasted four years. Shamir was also barred from serving as an administrator at the university for five years. He had been department chairman, but had stepped down by the time of the ruling.[...]

According to the ruling, Shamir began courting S. - an Arab student - during her first year in the department. Initially she is said to have rebuffed his advances, but ultimately agreed to go to a show with him.

Later they began living together in Shamir’s Tel Aviv home. Shamir did not report this to anyone at the university, even though a short time after the couple’s relationship began, the university published regulations barring teachers from “intimate relations with a student if there are ties of academic authority between them.”

According to the regulations, the faculty member is the one responsible for avoiding such a relationship, or be subject to possible disciplinary action.

After the relationship had lasted a year, Shamir broke off his ties with S., but she told several faculty members about the relationship and filed a complaint with the university’s commissioner for sexual harassment complaints, Prof. Rachel Erhard. [...]

Sources at the university relate that there is disappointment about the punishment. “We wanted him not to work here any longer,” said one person. “The bottom line is not good at all. Faculty members have known about him for years, the whole world knew – and in the end that is the result. We felt very frustrated in face of the ruling.”

A faculty member told Haaretz: “I thought there should have been a more significant punishment. I have no doubt that what she said initially is the truth of the matter and what she said afterwards is not. The ruling implies that he did grave things, no matter what you call it  — and it’s ended with a punishment that is a joke. At least it merits publication.”

A senior official at the university says: “The judges say there wasn’t sexual harassment but under the regulations in the context of the unequal power relations she was not required to say she did not agree. The law says that the fact that he pursued her is sexual harassment. They interpreted this very leniently – it’s baffling.” [...]              

Whose Footsteps Do You Hear? Running away from Yiddishkeit at "Footsteps" versus hearing the footsteps of Mashiach

Guest post by RaP

I do not have an in depth knowledge about the "Footsteps" organization, but I have heard enough about it, some of it virtually first-hand from a few sources, over some time, and I have slowly been formulating an opinion about it, not all of it negative.

Yes, it is an organization in New York that works with people who are dropping out of any form of Orthodoxy and works on many levels to "deprogram" them much like deprogramming people coming out of any serious cult. In purely Hashkafic terms it is a center of Kefira and Apikursus and if that is all anyone wants to hear, then sure, that is the end of the discussion and move on, much like if a person becomes a Meshumad and joins an organization of Meshumadim.

But if one wants to look deeper at it, as a sociological, cultural and even, yes, a movement of people born as Jews in reaction to things that have either happened to them or are really and truly going on, then it becomes a lot more complex and challenging to deal with.

Just one example is that no Chasidic community that I know of allows or encourages a proper English education and certainly no college studies either for its own sake to widen one's knowledge or to train for a profession. As you know the way Chasidism is set up today the very thought of going near a secular book is a catastrophe. Etc, etc, etc. So now what happens if a Chasidic kid decides not to be like that? Or add to that a kid gets molested or beaten up and decides to stop being Chasidish. Is that "bad" or a "sin" or is it a normal part of being human and therefore there need be choices and organizations to deal with such people?

Well, as you know, in the Chasidish and hard-core Charedi world there are no such solutions. Therefore, can one blame a kid who says he or she has been abused or beaten up or neglected and lives with all the modern temptations and things around them, and decides to start looking outside of their own Chasidus to explore and then find themselves rejecting their past, and then getting help from the "Footsteps" people to get a high level education that will be accepted for college entrance and with that therapy rooted in the modern outlook that is opposed to the "backwardness" or religion and rejects it totally?

Going off the Derech is complicated and never caused by one reason or factor, but the causes and hence blame can be distributed to everyone concerned, bad parenting by some, a few horrible and abusive teachers, lurking molesters inside and outside the family, who are never stopped, etc etc etc , and not just the final "welcoming committee" at Footsteps who are just rolling out the red carpet as if they were a Hatzola center that for many they are!

Firstly, everyone has Bechira, Hashem gives all of us freedom of choice to choose. It is stated in the Torah, and if someone makes a bad choice they have to live with it. We need to face up to reality that some people CHOOSE to reject Yiddishkeit and even God. That is built into the world by Hashem Himself.

How about the parents and teachers and community who offered no solution beyond "my way or the highway" (often literally)? How about Jewish organizations that spout platitudes but do nothing? How about when Frum kids are abused and then they are not protected enough and often it becomes a scenario of "blame the victim"!? How about it is time to realize that no system of Torah Judaism is a "one size fits all" proposition, and that to live in the world as we know it often requires the acquisition of technical or trade or professional skills that can only be attained through formal secular studies that so much of Charedi Judaism fights against as if they were living in the war against the Haskala of the 18th century when that is long gone and that there are plenty of Charedi Jews especially in America who are professionals and trained technicians, such as doctors, lawyers, accountants, computer programmers, all sorts of physical and educational therapists and not just buyers and sellers of goods and truck drivers and homemakers.

This all leads, or at least should lead to, lots of self-analysis. There is NOTHING that any Frum person can do against the Footsteps organization, it would be like trying to fight people from going to Church if that is what they want to when peaceful Freedom of Assembly and Freedom of Religion and Speech are allowed in the modern democracies that also allow people to be Chasidic and Charedi with those same laws!!

So we must look into ourselves and decide if we see our own faults and if we want to change and do things differently to save our youth and ourselves. Otherwise things like the Off The Derech movement will just mushroom and grow and organizations like Footsteps will keep on sprouting up and offering something while the Frum world twiddles its thumbs, fingers and feet and does nothing really.

Of course, in the long run, Torah-true Yiddishkeit will triumph, just as when various breakaway movements sprung up in the past and then just melted away and assimilated and intermarried. That is what happened to the Sadducees, the Nazarenes, the Karaites, the Reform and that is what will happen to the now growing Off The Derech movement.

But each was and is a challenge and there are various ways of confronting a religious, social, cultural and spiritual challenge.

One way is to shut out the world and live in a self-imposed Ghetto, and another way is to go out and do something to confront it. The Kiruv movement is a good example of how some members of the Frum world have gone out to turn back assimilation and intermarriage, but then again, that is also not on the front burner of the Frum world's main priorities that at this time is still self-absorbed, myopic and preoccupied with too many internal issues and self(ish) interests to worry too much about either Mekareving the Frei or rescuing the growing Off The Derech crowd.

Or am I wrong?

Belz Hasidic sect tells London mothers to stop driving

The Guardian   Leaders of an ultra-Orthodox Jewish sect in north London have said children who are driven to school by their mothers will be turned away at the school gates.
Rabbis from the marginal Hasidic sect Belz have told women in Stamford Hill who drive that they go against “the traditional rules of modesty in our camp”.
In a letter sent to parents last week, seen by the Jewish Chronicle, they say there has been an increase in the number of mothers driving their children to school and add that this has led to “great resentment among parents of pupils of our [Hasidic] institutions”.
The letter says the ban, to come into force in the summer, is based on the recommendations of Rabbi Yissachar Dov Rokeach, the Belzer spiritual leader in Israel.
It says that if a mother has no other choice but to drive her child to school – for medical reasons, for example – she should “submit a request to the special committee to this effect and the committee shall consider her request”. [...]

We're turning doctors into data-entry clerks

NY Daily News    by Charles Krauthammer

A bout a decade ago, a doctor friend was lamenting the increasingly frustrating conditions of clinical practice. “How did you know to get out of medicine in 1978?” he asked with a smile.

“I didn’t,” I replied. “I had no idea what was coming. I just felt I’d chosen the wrong vocation.”

I was reminded of this exchange upon receiving my med-school class’s 40th-reunion report and reading some of the entries. In general, my classmates felt fulfilled by family, friends and the considerable achievements of their professional lives. But there was an undercurrent of deep disappointment, almost demoralization, with what medical practice had become.

The complaint was not financial but vocational — an incessant interference with their work, a deep erosion of their autonomy and authority, a transformation from physician to “provider.”

As one of them wrote, “My colleagues who have already left practice all say they still love patient care, being a doctor. They just couldn’t stand everything else.” By which he meant “a never-ending attack on the profession from government, insurance companies, and lawyers . . . progressively intrusive and usually unproductive rules and regulations,” topped by an electronic health records (EHR) mandate that produces nothing more than “billing and legal documents” — and degraded medicine. [...]

And for what? The newly elected President Obama told the nation in 2009 that “it just won’t save billions of dollars” — $77 billion a year, promised the administration — “and thousands of jobs, it will save lives.” He then threw a cool $27 billion at going paperless by 2015.

It’s 2015 and what have we achieved? The $27 billion is gone, of course. The $77 billion in savings became a joke. Indeed, reported the Health and Human Services inspector general in 2014, “EHR technology can make it easier to commit fraud,” as in Medicare fraud, the copy-and-paste function allowing the instant filling of vast data fields, facilitating billing inflation.[...]

Then there is the toll on doctors’ time and patient care. One study in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine found that emergency-room doctors spend 43% of their time entering electronic records information, 28% with patients. Another study found that family-practice physicians spend on average 48 minutes a day just entering clinical data.

Forget the numbers. Think just of your own doctor’s visits, of how much less listening, examining, even eye contact goes on, given the need for scrolling, clicking and box checking.[...]

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Chief Rabbi of England urges community to report sex abuse allegations to police

Jewish Chronicle  The Chief Rabbi's statement in full:

The conviction of a prominent member of the Manchester Jewish community for sexual abuse is of immense significance. Though certainly not the first such case, it sends an unequivocal message that nobody, in any part of our community, can expect to commit these horrific crimes and escape prosecution. The longstanding view of the Chief Rabbi and Beth Din has been restated a number of times in recent years, but this is an opportune moment to reinforce that position once again. 

I would like to commend the victims and others who withstood tremendous pressure and gave evidence. I hope that their courage will inspire others to come forward in the future. 

This kind of abuse is a stain on all of society and we are no less vulnerable to the scourge of sexual crimes than any other community. Perpetrators of these crimes destroy lives and every one of us shares in the responsibility to protect victims and potential victims. As such, we must not only ensure that all incidents are reported to the police without delay, but that we must do everything in our power to promote a culture whereby reporting such crimes to the relevant statutory authorities is supported and encouraged.

It is imperative that communities across the country have robust child protection policies in place and should act in consultation with the statutory services. Every community should review its policies and procedures regularly and consider what else can be done - we can always do more.

Further to previously held training seminars for Rabbis, I will be writing this week to Rabbis across the country, advising them of a mandatory, dedicated seminar that the United Synagogue is organising on behalf of its communities, in order to better prepare Rabbis to identify and respond to incidents of child abuse in their communities and to reinforce the importance of being vigilant at all times. In addition, I am meeting with victims of abuse and campaigners in this area to seek views from them as to what more can be done to better protect vulnerable people in our communities.

May we all have the courage to seek out and challenge cruelty and injustice from within our midst.

How Do You Motivate Kids To Stop Skipping School?

It seems like a no-brainer: Offer kids a reward for showing up at school, and their attendance will shoot up. But a recent study of third-graders in a slum in India suggests that incentive schemes can do more harm than good.

The study, a working paper released by the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, looked at 799 boys and girls. The kids, mostly age 9, were students in several dozen single-classroom schools run by the nonprofit Gyan Shala in some of the poorest neighborhoods in the city of Ahmedabad.

Gyan Shala's program is free and has a reputation for offering decent quality instruction in language, math and science. Still, attendance rates are no better than the average for the region. On any given day, about a quarter of students are absent. Gyan Shala's administrators believe many opt to stay home and play if, say, it's a festival day or a sibling who attends a different school is off or simply because they're not in the mood for class.

So the researchers challenged kids in about half of the classes: Over a designated 38-day period, show up for at least 32 days — that's 85 percent of the time — and get a special gift: two pencils and an eraser.[...]

So far it all seemed logical, says Visaria. As an economist, she would expect a reward program to be most effective with students who don't already have some existing, intrinsic motivation for going to school — like finding class fun.

After the 38 days, rewards were handed out to those who qualified in a special ceremony in front of the rest of the class. The researchers checked back on the kids two more times. And that's when things got surprising.

The researchers looked at three different categories:

• Kids whose attendance rate was highest in the class before the reward program. They reverted to their baseline level.

• Kids whose attendance rate was lowest but managed to up their attendance enough to win the prize. After the program was over, these kids also reverted to their lower baseline level.

• Kids whose attendance rate was lowest to start off with and who did not improve enough to qualify for the reward. In other words, they failed the challenge. More than 60 percent of the lowest attenders fell into this category. For them, the aftermath was grim. They were now only about one-fourth as likely to show up for class as they had been before the reward scheme was introduced. [..]

Rav Dovid Eidensohn Telephone Conference Shiur #9 – What Beth Din is Empowered to Coerce a GET? May 27 Wednesday 9:30 PM

Shiur #9 – What Beth Din is Empowered to Coerce a GET?

Telephone Conference Shiur #9 May 27 Wednesday 9:30 PM call 605-562-3130 enter code 411161#

1. We have previously discussed when a Beth Din may coerce a GET. Now we want to go into the power of any Beth Din, how they are authorized by the Torah to make a coerced GET.

2. Gemora Gittin 88b: “Abayeh found Rav Yosef sitting and coercing husbands to divorce their wives with a GET. He said to him, ‘But we are plain people [meaning the rabbis in Babylonia did not get the ancient Semicha and therefore are not MUMCHIM.] Rashi explains that in those days rabbis in Israel did receive the ancient Semicha that began with Moshe Rabbeinu and were therefore authorized by the Torah to fulfill all judicial functions necessary such as coercing a GET when appropriate. But Rav Yosef was in Babylonia, and the rabbis there did not receive this Semicha. So by whose authority did Rav Yosef coerce a GET?

3. Rav Yosef replied, “We are messengers of the rabbis who got Semicha.”

4. Tosfose there D”H bimilso dishechicha explains, “We do the work assigned to us by the earlier generations [who had Semicha] in Israel.”

5. We see from this that the entire capacity to coerce a GET and fulfill other functions of a dayan today is because we received permission to do this from earlier generations in Israel who had semicha.

6. Furthermore, the gemora says that we are not authorized by the early generations of Semuchim to fulfill the functions of a Torah Dayan in all things, only in those things that are common. But why is this? Why did the earlier generations grant permission for us to fulfill the will of the Torah with Semicha only with what is common to us?

7. Perhaps this itself that the permission is not total reminds us that our status is not that of real Semuchim. We may only function according to the command of the earlier Semuchim. The earlier generations of Semuchim were the greatest of their time. And they passed on this Semicha to Babylonia and other countries who had no Semicha only if the rabbis there were very prominent scholars, the cream of the rabbinate. This means that today coercing a husband is a right only of the greatest rabbis. Not long ago a letter from the major Gedolim in Israel said the same thing. But their letter was a response to coerced Gittin from people who are not true scholars or who differ with the Shulchan Aruch. But besides these considerations, we may also assume that the permission given by earlier Musmochim applied only to great rabbis. If so, those who are not great and coerce a GET have made an invalid GET.

8. In fact, see the Tosfose HaRid on the gemora above Gittin 88. He deduces from Bovo Basro that coercing to divorce a wife is only effective because “it is a mitzvah to obey the sages.” Obviously, the power of coercion is only given to such rabbis who are considered by everyone, even one who has to be beaten to fulfill the Torah, as authorities. The Beth Din not universally recognized as great sages, may produce invalid Gittin. Did the earlier semuchim, the greatest rabbis, give permission for plain rabbis to fulfill the roll previously given only to the greatest rabbis? Probably not.

9. Chasam Sofer in his teshuvose on Even Hoezer in two places 28 and 116 says that if the husband knows that two authorities differ whether or not the husband should be beaten, and then the husband is beaten and says, “I want the GET” because of that beating, the GET the husband gives is invalid by the Torah. This is because the husband only gives a proper GET under a beating when he accepts the rabbis as the true authorities to speak for the Torah. But if he knows there are those who disagree with the Beth Din that orders coercion, he does not accept them or their coercion and the GET is invalid, and the children born from it are mamzerim. [...]

Monday, May 25, 2015

Nativ - an Israel army program - provides an easier road to conversion

Times of Israel    Nativ [Jewish Identity Education]   is the army’s gateway to conversion. It’s Judaism and Zionism 101, taught by civilian and army instructors on a grassy campus, providing participants with reasonable food in a coed setting on the army’s dime. The seven-week course, even if one does not continue toward the conversion seminars that follow, counts toward time served. In short, most soldiers know that if they are entitled to the course, they might as well go.

It is – housed under the roof of the IDF, an organization that is by definition kosher and Sabbath observant – the only path in Israeli society that manages to skirt most of the minefields surrounding the question of who is a Jew. [...]

Nativ was founded in 2001, the brainchild of reserves general Elazar Stern, who, as chief education officer and head of IDF manpower, from 1999 to 2008, left an indelible mark on the military – pioneering the army’s organized trips to the Nazi death camps, introducing a blood marrow donor station at the IDF’s induction center, and, among many other initiatives, launching a rewrite of the army’s code of ethics. [...]

The process is not perfect. From the ultra-Orthodox perspective it is far too lenient. It does not even span an entire calendar year – in fact it could be completed in the period between the end of the Sukkot and the start of Passover – and the devotion of each and every convert to full compliance with the commandments has been questioned.

Secular Israelis have been outraged as well. In 2014, Noam Cohen, a newly discharged soldier, told Channel 10 that she was disqualified from the conversion track in the army because she lives on a kibbutz. It did not matter that her hometown of Kibbutz Yifat has a synagogue, or that there is a religious family living on the kibbutz, or that her father was a veteran of Sayeret Matkal, or that there is a plaque drilled into the synagogue wall with the names of 22 fallen Israeli soldiers from the kibbutz: the fact of her living on a secular kibbutz was grounds for disqualification, she said.[...]

Roughly 3,000 soldiers opt to start the Nativ courses every year. The first seven weeks are a bit like college. The classes are taught by religious, secular, Reform and Conservative teachers. The dorms and classrooms are sprinkled with students from all over the world – participants referred to it as “the Mondial” or World Cup of soccer – but the clear majority are from Russian-speaking homes. In a history class I sat in on, addressing the Roman rule over Judea, there were 20 students from former Soviet Union states and two from the US, both of whom were Jewish but eligible for the course as new immigrants. One, a college graduate from New Rochelle, New York, was the most active participant in class. The other doodled impressively. The army allowed access to three of the Russian-speaking students.[....]

Friday, May 22, 2015

Todrus Gyrnhaus: Why did the community turn to a psychologist instead of the police?

 update - added official view of Gateshead Rav which disagree with the original guest post

just received this letter and explanation:

Hello. your guest post about the Gateshead Rav is a complete misunderstanding of his position. i was debating a long time about whether to send you this one-page summary of a Shiur he has given on the topic of reporting molesters, but now it seems that it would be a good idea, This summary has already been circulated and has the Haskama of the GR.
כללי הלכה נעביד רודפי ילדים

א. מסירה - הנה מסירה הוא ערן חמור מאוד ואין לו חלק לעוה"ב - אמנם זה כשעושה כן באיסור אבל לפעמים הוא מותר ולפעמים הוא חיוב למסור - רע' בחו"מ ס' שפ"ח ובספרי התשובות עליו - ובאופנים המותרים הוא מיציר לרבים - הצלת נרדף - לאפרושי מאיסורא - טסקא דמלכא ועוד - וע"כ צריכים לדון כל עניך ע"פ ההלכה אחר לימוד בעיון ובעמל ובשימוש חכמים - ולא לדון מתוך רגש או שמועה ששמע בילדותו או ע"י לימוד שטחי

ב. רודף ילדים - יש בו הרבה אם לא כל הטעמים הנ"ל - רע' בירחון ישורון חלק ט"ו, וכ"ב וכן בנשמת אברהם ח"ד תשובות מגדולי הוראה של כל החוגים הן מא"י והן מחוץ לארץ שהסכימו לזה - ועל כולם הוא פסק של הגרי"ש אלישיב זי"ע שמלבד כל הטעמים הנ"ל מוסיף ומכין ועונשין שלא מן הדין באופן שהדור פרוץ בכך, ומחליט שזהו מציאות כהיום ר"ל

ג. עדות - הנה דברים האלו לעולם לא נעשים בפני עדים כשרים - ולעולם שומעים שמועות מפי נשים וקטנים - אמנם אין אנו ונין על הרודף לעונשו אלא ונין כאן אם יש חיוב של הצלת הנרדפים - ובוראי אם שומע מפי כמה באופן וניכר ואמת חייבים להציל נרדפים וכבר העיר לנו עיינין הגרי"ש אלישיב זי"ע רכל שבגדר שיש רגלים לדבר ]ולא דמיון[ מחויבים להציל אפילו ע"י מסירה למלכות

זאת ועוד מה שאשה פסולה לעדות היינו שאחר א"א לעשות ולענוש על פיה אבל בוראי היא בעצמה יודע המציאות מה נעשה לה - ואם היא שואלת לפי דבריה ויש רגלים לדבר שנכרים דברי אמת בוראי מותר לענות ולהורות לה לפי דבריה

וכ"ש בנדון ששמעו הודאת בעל דין - ואין לדון מדין אין אדם משים עצמו רשע כי אין אנו ונין אם כשר לעדות אלא אם מחויב להציל אחרים, ופשוט וצריכים לקבל דברי רוצח ורודף לעניך זה לדאוג לשמור על הנרצחים והנרדפים

ו. תשובה - האם צריכים לחשוש שעשה תשובה ובפרט כשהוא ת"ח שעבר עבירה בלילה, הנה זה לא נוגע כאן, ראשית כי אין ונין על האדם אלא אם חייבים לדאוג לנרדפים, שנית דמי שהכשיל אחרים בדאורייתא אין נאמן שעשה תשובה עד שיוחזק כמבואר ביו"ד סי· קי"ח, שלישית דמי שמושקע בהשחתות אלו הוא חולה במחלת נפש אשר קשה לרפאות אמנם הוא דבר שבגדר רפואה ואין עניך תשובה אלא לחטא ולא למחלות

ה. רחמנות - הנה בוראי מסימני זרע אברהם הוא רחמנות - אבל כמובן א"א לעשות על חשבון אחרים וכבר העידו חז"ל "כל המרחם על אכזרים לבסוף מתאכזר על רחמנים" - והנסיון כבר העיד שבעניך זה האכזריות על הרחמנים אינה לבסוף אלא הוא תיכף ומיד ובבת אחת ה· ישמרנו

ו . אפשר לחצילו כאחד מאבריו - בוראי גם מי שהוא רודף אין להוד גו אם ניתן להציל נרדפים באופן אחר וע"כ כשיש עצה בדוקה ובטוחה להציל נרדפים חייבים לעשותו אבל אין לסמוך בזה על עצות שאינם בטוחות לחלוטין כי אין אנו ושאין להפקיר נרדפים וילדים שאינם יכולין להגן על עצמן ע"י סברות ורצונות בדויות ) wishful thinking ( ומי שעושה כן הוא אינו בעל אחריות

ז. הראוי לחורות כזה - איתא בחז"ל רבים חללים הפילה הוא ת"ח שלא הגיע להוראה ומורה - והוא תלוי בכל הלכה ושאלה בפני עצמה - וע"כ אף מי שרגיל להורות בדיני איסור והיתר השכיחים או אפילו ת"ח מופלג שבקי בש"ס הוא לא הגיע להוראה בעניך זה ורק מי שעמל על דינים אלו ומתחיל מן הש"ס וראשונים ומסיים בלימוד חושן משפט ותשובות עליו כ אשר הנסיון מעיד לוקח לפחות מחודש עד חודשיים [ וגם לרבות ששימש ת"ח גאוני ההוראה בעני"ז רשאי להורות בזה ובלי זה הוי בגדר רבים חללים הפילה

נכתוב מתוך דברים ששמענו מהגאון אב"ד דק"ק גייטסהעד הרב ש .פ. זיממערמאן שליט"א


Guest Post:
Todros Grynhaus: The Gateshead Rav testifies against him in court"

What did the Gateshead Rav, Rabbi Zimmerman mean when he said,

"I realised it was beyond competence and let Dr Schauder handle it."?

Part of the tragedy of the 21st Century (a perspective which unfortunately has even damaged the Jewish world) is the belief that aveiros and middot can be "cured" by "therapy".

Rambam in Shmoneh Prakim and Hilchot Deot compares bad middot to illnesses, and doctors to Sages only as a MASHAL !! A mashal, or analogy, metaphor or model in English is only an illustration not a true description of the state of affairs.

Rambam definitely did not imply that, for example, a baal gaavah can be literally "cured" by medication! Nor do we take the metaphor 'choleh nefesh' literally and perform bikkur cholim for a baal taavas!

Now in modern times the mashal has come to be regarded as mamash concrete reality. Inappropriate behaviour is now regarded as "illness". Sure, perverse behaviour with children may be called "sick", but "sick behaviour" is, in the English idiom, a metaphor or figure of speech, as we've just said, a Mashal! We can also say that the economy of a country is "sick" or that a joke is a "sick joke". We can also say of drug abuse, or internet pornography "it is a cancer in our society".

The definition of "therapy" is treatment of a real illness, The behaviour in question is not a real illness at all (Was it diagnosed by a laboratory? Is there a pill for it?) and therefore any change in behaviour does not come under the definition of "therapy", whether attempted through talking, confining, drugs or electric shocks.

Behaviour is located in the domains of Hallachah, Musar, Derech Eretz, morality and ethics, politics and human conflict, and cannot be cured. Behaviour is not illness.

In this context we must point out that, Dr. Schauder, with all due respect to his academic credentials, and good intentions to do chesed, and mekarev, is not a real doctor treating a real illness, nor is he a baal musar guiding the teshuvah process, nor a kabbalist nor a rebbe, nor a posek! (This in a community with more qualified people in all these categories!).

A community with emunah shleimah in psychologists, only enables and extends the bad behaviour and further damages the victims, by failing to report it and naively waiting for it to be cured.

So, what, actually is this Game? After all, Dr. Schauder is an expert in Transactional Analysis, which is based on the priciple of 'Games People Play'?

Is the Gateshead Rav calling into question, Heaven forbid, the adequacy of 'Orchot Tzaddikim' and 'Mesillat Yesharim', recommending Pavlov's dog instead? Has the principle of S'char v'Ones been abolished? Is a graduate of Pretoria University a better baal musar than a Yeshiva graduate? Maybe we should appoint behaviourists as mashgichim ruchani in our Yeshivos?

One thing is clear, The Rav and community have now, given full recognition and endorsement to psychology and psychotherapy, something missing from Torah the last 3,500+ years, but what for?

When Rabbi Zimmerman said,

"I realised it was beyond competence and let Dr Schauder handle it." Did he mean, "Oh shame, the poor fellow can't help it, he's sick"? Or "Maybe a doctor's opinion will get us leniency in court"? or "We'll get him sentenced to hospital instead of being treated in prison"?

Shavuos: Points to ponder

Selections from my Daas Torah

Why were the Jews forced to accept the Torah

Shabbos (88a): And they stood under the mountain - Rav Avdimi said: This verse teaches that G d held the mountain over them like it was a barrel and told them: If you accept the Torah then it is well - but if not then this will be where you are buried. Rav Aha said: This coerced acceptance is a strong justification for not being obligated to keep the Torah. Rava said: Nevertheless they reaccepted the Torah willingly in the days of Achashverus [because of the hidden miracle of Purim and thus the Torah is fully binding on us]…

Tosfos (Shabbos 88a): And the mountain was held over them like a barrel to force them to accept the Torah. Even though they had already accepted the Torah by saying “We will do and then we will understand.” This forced acceptance was necessary because they might have retracted their acceptance when they saw the great fire at Sinai which caused their souls to depart their bodies… But why does the gemora say that the Torah was reaccepted during the days of Achashverus? In fact Nedarim (28a) states that Moshe established a covenant with them and they took an oath to keep it! Furthermore Sotah (37b) says that the Jews reaccepted the Torah at Mt. Grizim and Mt. Eivel [which was still during Moshe’s lifetime]? Rabbeinu Tam answered that these latter events were in response to G d’s commands and thus could be viewed as forced acceptances. However in the time of Achashverus they accepted the Torah because of the love engendered by the miracle of Purim. The other apparent exception is that Yehoshua made a covenant with them to serve G d? However that was only that they agreed not to worship idols [and was thus not a full acceptance of the Torah]…

Na'aseh v'nishma  - acceptance of Torah before understanding

Shabbos (88a): When the Jews readily accepted the Torah by saying na’aseh v’nishma (we will do whatever you want even before understanding why) , 600,000 angels came and tied two crowns on the head of each Jew - one for the na’aseh and one for the nishma….When the Jews said na’aseh v’nishma, a heavenly voice proclaimed, ‘Who revealed to my children this profound secret that is characteristic of angels?’

Tosefta (Bava Kama 7:3): We find that when the Jews were standing at Sinai they wanted to deceive G d. When they said regarding the acceptance of the Torah, na’aseh v’nishma (we will do whatever you want even before understanding why) they were being deceptive - as Moshe Rabbeinu noted, (Devarim 5:25–26) “25) And G d heard your words, when you spoke to me; and G d said to me, I have heard the words of this people, which they have spoken to you; what they have said they said well. 26) Oh that there were such a heart in them, that they would fear Me, and keep all My commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children forever!” But how could this be since everything is known to G d? It has been stated (Tehilim 78:36–37), “That they lied with what they said to G d and their hearts with not with Him and they were not faithful to their covenant - nevertheless G d is merciful and forgiving.”

Why the Jews received the Torah as a primitive people - not an educated nation?

Chasam Sofer (Derashos - BeShalach): G d took the Jews out of Egypt which was the lowest type of society that did all types of disgusting abominations which G d hated. The Jews at that point were a despised lowly people - not even a distinct nation. In Egypt, they were primitive slaves working with bricks and mortar and were without doubt devoid of even minimal knowledge of culture or science. They even lacked elementary knowledge of civilized conduct. Our sages (Yoma 75b) say that the Jews in Egypt were comparable to chickens pecking in a garbage dump until Moshe came and taught them the concept of meal times - breakfast and dinner. [Seforno - they were like animals]. We see that they were totally primitive like the slaves of the barbarians. So how could this debased people be immediately brought to Sinai where they were shown the most profound secrets of the universe and became prophets with unbounded understanding of spiritual issues? This question is reinforced by the fact that they remained primitive and uncultured people as we can see from their lowly behavior and outrageous complaints during this time? Wouldn’t it have been better to gradually educate them in civilized conduct to the level of the best of the nations of the world. They should have at least been raised to the level where they could be considered a nation. Once they were civilized, they should then have been refined level by level until they were prepared for receiving the Torah at Sinai? In truth, it is impossible to keep the Jews as a distinctive people unless they are completely separated from the other nations. That is accomplished by not learning knowledge which is common to other nations even Bible on the level of translation. The natural tendency to assimilation can only be prevented by going to the opposite extreme. If G d had first educated the Jews in worldly knowledge, they would never have acquired the truth of the Torah and faith. Before they would have reached, this final goal they would have already rejected them because these studies would have given them the universal identity common amongst all the nations. Moreover, even if the Jews had understood that the gods of the nations were worthless illusions and reject them, nevertheless they would also have completely rejected G d also.

Importance of the Redemption from Egypt and Revelation at Sinai

Kuzari (1:25): G d introduced His words to the entire Jewish people by saying that He was their G d Who took them out of Egypt. He didn’t say that He was the creator of the world and the creator of the Jews… Therefore that which obligates all Jews to keep the Torah is the experience of the redemption of Egypt and the revelation of Sinai which was they witnessed with their own eyes and afterwards transmitted through an unbroken chain of tradition through the generations - which is equivalent to actual seeing with one’s own eyes.

Rav S. R. Hirsch (Shemos 19:4): Faith - which is inherently vulnerable to being undermined by doubt - is not the basis of either your awareness of G d or your awareness of yourself. Both are in fact your direct knowledge of that which you have experienced directly through your physical senses. [This verse is describing the direct experience of the Exodus from Egypt]. The exact same idea is expressed later concerning the revelation of Torah - (Shemos 20:19), “You have seen that I have spoken to you from Heaven.” All of Judaism rests upon these two pillars of truth - the Exodus from Egypt and the Revelation of Torah at Sinai. These two pillars stand firmly on your own direct experience with your physical senses which excludes the possibility of deception. They were witnessed simultaneously by 600,000 people. These two pillars both have the highest degree of certainty and are excluded from the realm of mere conjecture or faith. They are in fact in the realm of direct knowledge and are therefore facts which are incontestable in the same way as the indisputable facts that we exist and the physical world exists are incontestable…

Rambam (Yesodei HaTorah 8:1): Moshe Rabbeinu was not believed by the Jews because of the miraculous signs that he did. That is because one who believes because of miraculous signs still has doubts in his heart that perhaps they were done by means of magic or trickery. In fact all the miraculous things that Moshe Rabbeinu did were because they were needed and were not meant to validate his prophecy…The entire basis for belief in Moshe Rabbeinu was the revelation at Sinai which we saw with our own eyes and heard with our own ears - and not those of strangers - the fire, the thunder and the lightning. We witnessed Moshe Rabbeinu entering into the enveloping darkness and heard the voice of G d speaking to him saying, ‘Moshe Moshe go tell them such and such’. Thus, the Torah (Devarim 5:4) says, ‘Face to face G d spoke with you’. Furthermore the Torah (Devarim 5:3) says, ‘G d didn’t make this covenant only with your fathers [but even with us who are all here alive today’]. How do we know that the revelation at Sinai was the necessary and sufficient proof that Moshe’s prophesy was entirely true? The Torah (Shemos 19:9) says, ‘Behold I come to you in a thick cloud in order that people will hear when I speak with you that they may believe in you forever.’ This implies that before they witnessed the revelation, the people had only an imperfect belief in Moshe Rabbeinu that contained doubts and second thoughts…

Rambam (Letter to Yemen): The preserving of the memory of the Revelation at Sinai is a Divine command. He told us not to forget the events at Sinai and He commanded us to raise our children with the awareness of its greatness as well as to teach them its greatness in their studies. This is explicitly stated in Devarim (4:9–10)… It is the correct thing, my brothers, to emphasize to your children this great Revelation at Sinai and to publicly tell them about its greatness and magnificence since the foundation of our faith rests on it and the awareness of it leads to truth. And its greatness is above all else since we see that G d Himself raised it up (Devarim 4:32). My brothers it is therefore critically important that you should know fully about the Covenant and the Revelation at Sinai. Equally important is to know that it has been validated by the most reliable testimony - the like of which never existed before and will not occur again. The entire nation heard the words of G d and they saw His glory directly with their eyes. G d made this happen in order to strengthen our faith to such a degree that it would never waver in times such as now, when there are terrors and pressure to convert, so that we would be able to overcome these horrible pressures…

Faith and not forgetting about the Revelation of Mt. Sinai

Ramban (Sefer HaMitzvos Forgotten Mitzvos Negative #2): And don’t misunderstand what it says in Kiddushin (30a) concerning the requirement of teaching Torah to your children and grandchildren that one should never forget any part of the Torah. Because in fact the learning of faith is learning Torah. Therefore, understand this and take the proof from their words that this requirement not to ever forget about Sinai - is a perpetual mitzva. It is necessary to talk about this in every generation in order for it not to be forgotten. It must be learned to the degree that everyone can see the events at Sinai and can hear them. This information must be carefully transmitted from generation to generation. This mitzva was stated in the Baal Halachos (170) but the Rambam forgot it.

Jewish are inherently skeptical and hard to influence

Rashba (4:234): We learned from our forefathers not to accept something which contains the slightest doubts or uncertainties until it has been thoroughly investigated and the truth is ascertained. This we see concerning the acceptance of Moshe as a true prophet. They were uncertain whether to believe him - even though he came to announce that they were to be rescued from the horrible servitude of Egypt. This is why Moshe said they won’t believe me. This is because it was known that they were inherently skeptical and did not believe anything except that which was unquestionably true. Therefore, even though G‑d did incredible miracles in Egypt until they were taken out with an outstretched arm and awesome events - it was not sufficient to remove the doubts about Moshe from their hearts. These doubts were caused by the fact that all that occurred in Egypt were possibly just coincidental or natural events or from magical powers. Because of these doubts, they did not have unconditional faith in Moshe until the Splitting of the Sea - as the verse says, “that they [now] believed in G‑d and Moshe His servant” (Shemos 14:31). The Targum (Shemos 14:31) says they now believed in the prophecy of Moshe that it was true and was not the result of natural events. This event removed the last vestige of doubt that the miraculous events in Egypt could have been the result of random natural events. It was obviously impossible that the sea could have been split at night and the next day return to its normal state. Therefore, the splitting of the sea removed the doubts from their hearts - for the time being. However soon after the Splitting of the Sea, the doubts returned. They thought perhaps Moshe, who was more knowledgeable than any other man had ever been, knew how to do this by natural means which they couldn’t ascertain. The only remaining option for clarifying the truth of Moshe’s prophecy was by their own prophecy and this is what in fact occurred at the Revelation of Sinai when they final established the truth.

Converts have greater love of Torah than Jews from birth

Rav Tzadok (Machshavos Charutz Chapter 19): R’ Akiva is the foundation of the Oral Law…He had to be a descendant of converts because love of Torah is most manifest in converts. We see that from the fact that despite G‑d’s redemption of the Jews from the slavery of Egypt and making them into a kingdom of priests, when He brought them to Mt. Sinai to get the Torah He had to force them to accept it (Shabbos 88a). Even when they eventually accepted it out of love in the time of Purim - it was because of the love of the miracle and salvation. In contrast, the convert leaves the tranquility of the world and the total freedom to fill his lusts as a non‑Jew. He willing comes to restrict himself and to attach himself to the Jewish people who are lowly and despised in this world. … It is only because of the convert’s love of Torah that he comes close and accepts the yoke of the Kingdom of Heaven… Furthermore, we see in Medrash Tanchuma (Noach 3) that the Jewish people had to be forced to accept the Oral Law since it requires so much effort. The only ones who learn it are those that have great love of G‑d with their entire heart and soul - and not someone who loves wealth and pleasure… We see then that G‑d had to force the Jewish people to accept the Oral Law even though in their inner soul they really wanted to accept the Oral Law…Nevertheless in the revealed aspect of this world which is the world of free will and effort - the love of Torah is more manifest amongst converts. Similar Pesachim (91b) states that converts are more careful in their performance of the mitzvos than Jews from birth…. Therefore, Rabbi Akiva who was descended from converts merited being the foundation of the Oral Law. In addition, we see that the description of the acceptance of the Torah was written in the section of Yisro - who was the head of all converts - and manifested great love of Torah. He left his high status and wealth to be in the Wilderness with the Jewish people…

Why was belief in Moshe necessary in addition to belief in Gd

R’ Elimelech of Lizensk (Letter): And they believed in G d and in Moshe His servant (Shemos 14:31). What is the relevance of the Jews believing in Moshe - even though G d promised that this would happen. Isn’t the main issue that the Jews should believe in G d? The fact is that the holy Torah is telling us a major idea that it was absolutely necessary that Moshe be believed. G d’s intent in saving the Jews from Egypt was so that they would accept the Torah. To that end they had to be purified by various trials… and Moshe sanctified himself, reached the highest level of prophecy, ascended Mt. Sinai and then brought the Torah down to the Jews. It is obvious that not all the Jews were on the spiritual level of Moshe to accept the Torah through prophecy. However because they believed in Moshe and attached themselves to him, he was able to able to influence them through ruach hakodesh and it was as if they were on the level of prophecy. Therefore, by means of this attachment and unity with Moshe they were all able to accept the Torah.

Importance of Emunas Chachomim

R’ Moshe Chagiz (Emunas Chachomim 506:61b): The phrase emunas chachomim has two different connotations. Firstly, it means the faith of the chachomim i.e., to have the same beliefs that the sages have. The second meaning is to believe what they say because we see in their actions that their words must be true. This latter view is the emuna of our forefathers as it is written in the Torah, “They believed in G d” [The first meaning] “and His servant Moshe” [which is the second meaning.]. Moreover, in preparation of the awesome assembly at Sinai, G d said to Moshe “Behold I am coming to you in a thick cloud in order that the people can hear My words with you and may also believe in you forever.” That means that they shall consequently believe not only in you, but the prophets that succeed you and the sages throughout the generations who will replace the prophets. Consequently, there is an unbroken chain of emuna.

Rashi (Devarim 11:22): Is it possible to say that a person should cling to G d when He is all consuming fire? Rather it means to cling to Torah students and sages and this is counted as if one is clinging to G d.

Eilu v'Eilu: How could conflicting views be given at Sinai

Ritva (Eruvin 13b): Eilu v’Eilu (both) are the words of the living G d. The Rabbis of France asked: How is it possible that the opposing sides of a dispute can both be the words of the living G d when one says the object is permitted and the other says it is prohibited? They answered that when Moshe received the Torah on Sinai he was shown 49 aspect of prohibition and 49 aspects of permission for each and every issue. G d explained to him that the final decision amongst these different alternatives was given to the sages of each generation. Thus, both permitting and prohibiting were both given on Sinai for each possible case and therefore both sides of the dispute are true. This explanation is correct according to the drash however according to kabbala there is a profound secret in this matter.

Piety and the power of visualization

Kuzari (3:5): The pious person makes his powers of visualization conjure up vivid images of holy things based on information in his memory. He should picture such things as the Revelation at Sinai, Avraham and Yitzchok at the Akeidah, the Tabernacle of Moshe, the service of the Temple and the glory of the Divine Presence in the Temple. He then commands his memory to store these images so that they are not forgotten…

A question for Shavuos

Guest Post

It is axiomatic that we are moser nefesh for our children. We spend exorbitant sums so that we can send our children to Jewish schools so that they may obtain a proper education. One of the main lessons that they are taught is: "Torah is #1, there is no #2." Everything must be seen within the eyes of a torah-dik hashkafah. Our children are regaled with stories of tzadikim who put their lives on the line so they could learn one more passouk, one more tosfos. 

Nonetheless, when it comes to Shavous, I feel torn. Shavous is the pinnacle of celebrating the Torah. We have a whole holiday dedicated to learning and rejoicing not in a singular event (ma'amad Har Sinai), rather in the daily event of reengaging in our commitment to the Torah. 

Our leaders who preach that Torah learning should be the primary endeavor of our lives close their schools the day before yom tov. Simply put, our educators are being disingenuous. Yes, I agree that all the morahs and rebbies need to prepare for yom tov. Yes, I agree that people may wish to go away for yom tov. But what message are we sending our children? People who work in the secular world don't take off before yom tov and are still able to manage. My wife and I both work- she much more than I- yet we are able to plan and execute. Let us call a spade a spade: cancelling yeshiva on erev Shavous is hypocritical. 

But wait, it gets worse! Many schools have a late opening (or no opening for the girls- maybe their learning isn't as important?) on the day after Shavous. Again, what is the message that we are sending? These are the same schools that open on Sunday even after a late ending Shabbos.
All that I ask for is intellectual honesty.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

After being caught molesting young girls Todros Grynhaus was sent to therapy by community leaders and police were only notified two years later

Daily Mail  A respected rabbi who indecently assaulted two teenage girls was sent for therapy by community leaders when allegations of his crimes emerged and was only reported to police two years later.

Todros Grynhaus, 50, a prominent member of the Haredi Orthodox Jewish community in Salford, Greater Manchester, abused the girls, then aged 14 and 15, in the 1990s, the court was told. 

The offences were brought to light when one of the victims told a psychologist about the 'litany of abuse' in 2009.

When senior members of the community heard of the accusations, they suggested Grynhaus, a father-of-ten, receive treatment at a local clinic. They told the court 'no one wanted to report it'. [...]

Schlesinger Twins: Support letter from Rabbi Dovid Eisenberg of Manchester

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Todros Grynhaus found guilty of all seven charges of sexual assault

Jewish Chronicle     [This is a historic moment for British Jews who are about 10 years behind the rest of the world in dealing with abuse. ]

  [I have received a copy of an 8 page letter by an insider that describes in great detail allegations of his disgusting behavior -  at this point I am not sure whether to publish excerpts.  ] 

Todros Grynhaus was convicted on all seven charges

A Jewish teacher turned businessman is facing a ''substantial'' jail sentence after being found guilty of seven sex abuse charges on Tuesday. 

Todros Grynhaus, 50, was convicted of five counts of indecent assault and two counts of sexual assault against the girls when they were aged around 14 and 15. 

Grynhaus, a prominent member of the Charedi community in Salford, was accused of a course of conduct against the two alleged victims over a number of years which involved touching them inappropriately and forcing himself on them. 

He denied the allegations, saying he was the victim of a “revenge plot” and that the girls, now adult women, were lying.

But he was convicted after a two-week trial at Manchester Crown Court.

Wearing glasses and dressed in a black suit with open-collar white shirt, Grynhaus showed no emotion as he was unanimously found guilty of three charges of indecent assault, and of the four other charges by a majority verdict of 10-2.[...]

Rav Dovid Eidensohn Shiur #8 Telephone Conference – More on Negation of Marriage - Wed 9:30 p.m.

Shiur #8 Telephone Conference – More on Negation of Marriage  because of a Blemish

Wed 9:30 PM – Call 605-562-3130 then enter code 411161#

1.       We discussed in Shiur #7 last week that HaGaon Reb Moshe Feinstein is lenient but many Gedolim are strict about whether a major blemish negates a marriage. Today we want to look into this further.
2.       Gemora Kesubose 57b -  A woman is an Aruso, married to a man, but stays in her father’s house until the Chupa, when she becomes a NISUO, fully married.  If it is discovered that the Arusa has a major blemish, the marriage is negated. See Rashi there.
3.       This would seem to be a proof to Reb Moshe that a serious blemish can negate a marriage. However, this is only about an Arusa, but perhaps once someone has Chupah the conditions for negating marriage are themselves negated, as we discussed last week at length. See Shulchan Aruch EH 38:35,36 and Yevomose 107. A pious Jew does not want to have relations with a woman without marriage, and he cancels his conditions.
4.       Tosfose Kesubose 72b ד"ה על מנת  writes that even though the gemora says that a blemish can negate the marriage, the gemora in Kesubose 73b brings two opinions. One is that the woman’s marriage is negated and turns into a doubtful marriage, and she needs a GET. The other opinion is that the Torah permits her, but the rabbis require a GET. The Rosh 72b says that the opinion that it is a doubt is a sin diorayso to remarry without a GET and Tosfose Kesubos 72b  ד:ה על מנת says the same thing.
5.       If so, a marriage negated can still require a GET. Bais HaLevi and Ain Yitschok disagree with Reb Moshe  as he quotes in Igeres Moshe EH I:79:1. Ayin Yitschok of the Kovneh Rov I:34:7:44 quotes those who forbid her remarriage as the Chavass Yoir, Besomim Rosh, Rashbatz and Shevuse Yaacov. Thus, the gemora and the many authorities who forbid the remarriage based on a blemish would prevent a woman from remarrying even if her husband has a major blemish, even if there is a possibility that the marriage is negated, as is taught in Kesubose 73b.
6.       The gemora Kesubose 73b says that a woman who has a blemish of nedorim that a husband doesn’t tolerate, and therefore by the Torah the marriage is negated as the husband did not know this before he married her, nonetheless, Rabo holds that she needs a GET by rabbinical law. Rovo says that there is a doubt in the Torah itself if she needs a GET in such a case. Thus, even if the marriage is blemished, she needs a GET.
7.       Reb Yosef ben Leib considered the rebbe of the Bais Yosef writes in volume II:19:3 that the custom of rabbis is when rabbis argue about if a woman can remarry that even if a majority of rabbis permit her to remarry, if a minority forbid it, we are stringent and the woman cannot remarry. In a case of a person with a blemish, the majority of rabbis forbid a woman to remarry, and in that case, surely the woman has a problem remarrying.
8.       Tosfose there in Kesubose 72b says that some blemishes require a GET and some do not. Tosfose mentions the blemish of EILENUSE [whereby a woman can have biah but cannot have children, as she has a blemish in her entire system and is not like other women] does not need a GET. But other blemishes do not free the woman without a GET.
9.       Some rishonim hold that even when the husband did not know that she is an Eilunes, and he discovers that she is, even though this is a serious blemish, she needs a GET.
10.   Rambam Ishuse 4:10 – If one makes kiddushin whether the man is a Serise Chamo or Seris Odom, and so with an Eilenuse who is married with Kiddushin [Erusin] these are complete marriages [the couple is married by Torah law].
11.   Magid Mishneh quotes on the above Rambam that Rabbeinu Tam ruled that an Eilunes who was not known to be one and married with Erusin, that she needs a GET.
12.   Rambam Ishus 24:2 “One who marries a woman and does not know her blemish and she turns out to be an Eilunes, she does not get a Kesubo nor does she get the Conditions of a Kesubo, but extra gifts from the husband to his wife she does keep.”
13.   Rambam ISHUS 7:8 One who makes kiddushin [erusin] to a woman, and it is discovered that she has a blemish that render a woman unfit or one of the oaths that she made renders her unfit, and afterwards he discovers that she has this blemish, the marriage is a doubt if it is negated [because he did not make a clear condition].”
14.   From this we see that if the husband or wife did not make a clear condition and then it is discovered that they have a bad blemish, the marriage is a doubt, maybe it is negated, maybe not, and she needs a GET and without it she cannot marry.
15.   The Magid Mishneh explains that the Rambam paskens like Rovo that if it is discovered after the Kiddushin that the woman has a bad blemish it is a doubt and she requires a GET to remarry. The gemora there says clearly that she needs a GET if no specific condition was made to negate the marriage if she had this problem.
16.   This again is a proof that even in serious blemishes we don’t allow the woman to remarry without a GET, and many poskim hold like that, not like Reb Moshe.
17.   Rambam rules Ishuse 7:23 that if a man made a condition in Erusin that he did not want a wife with certain blemishes, and the wife had them, the marriage is negated. But if afterwards  he married her with Chupah or took her to his house and they were together and then he did not make a condition, the woman is married and she needs a GET. Thus, even if there is proof that Erusin is negated by a blemish, if there is Nisuin the conditions may be negated and the woman needs a GET. Thus all people who want to negate a marriage because of a blemish, if they did not make a clear condition before the Chupa, they are married and the wife needs a GET. How does this agree with Reb Moshe’s lenient negation of marriages, that seem to mean even if they were married a few years and maybe even if they had children, the marriage is negated?
18.   The Meiri Kesubose 72b D “H “One who marries a woman, etc.” says that when a man marries a woman who has the blemishes of oaths that men don’t tolerate, and he did not know about them, the marriage is negated and no GET is needed. This is a proof to Reb Moshe that a strong blemish negates the marriage.
19.   Reb Moshe and Chelkas Mechokake EH 39:9 say that the woman must immediately leave the marriage if she discovers a major blemish in the husband. But how do we know that she did leave immediately?
20.   Thus, the issue of a blemish to negate a marriage has various aspects and opinions. The majority who discuss this do not permit the woman to remarry without a GET. Then we have the opinion of Tosfose Kesubose 72b that it may depend on the level of blemish. If so, who can determine what the thoughts of Chazal were in considering this?