Sunday, August 20, 2023

Followup letter to Rav Aharon Feldman regarding the Open Letter to the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah

In correspondence with the spokesman of the וועד להצלת כלל ישראל , he sent me the following letter he wrote to Rav Aharon Feldman as a followup to the Open Letter to the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah that I published today. When I asked him about identifying who he is he responded:

I do not fear publicizing my name. I do feel, though, that it may take away somewhat from the message we are attempting to convey. How many naysayers  will emerge from the woodwork dissecting our network, our Rabbis, and our leadership with claims such as "who licensed you to represent our nation?" or "your Rabbis don't have Daat Torah, only my Rabbi does" etc. etc. 
Perhaps sign it Abraham S. without my last name. Anyone really interested can call and/or email and find out whatever there is to know.
Feel free to edit as you see fit.


From: "Klal Yisroel"
Date: Dec 30, 2015 11:44 AM
Subject: Follow up to conversation Friday Dec 25

Rav Feldman Shlit"a,

By way of introduction, we are a group of people, numbering as of the now in the hundreds, whom this tragedy has brought to the realization that כלל ישראל in the US is headed down a slippery slope and if drastic action is not taken immediately, will reach a point of no return in the near future ח"ו. Our ranks are swelling daily, with people from all walks of life joining. Chassidim, Misnagdim, Sefardim, Yeshivaleit, Roshei Yeshiva, Rabbanim, lawyers, doctors, professionals in all fields, are all part of our group.

I write this correspondence in response to the three objections you raised to the "Moetzes letter" in a conversation we had this past Friday erev Shabbos Vayechi. I will address them one by one;
 1) You stated you were unsure whether you had looked Reb Shmuel in the eye whilst questioning his involvement in the Tamar Epstein Heter, to which I respond; is poetic license a phenomena frowned upon by Halakha? To the best of my knowledge, and that of our organization's Vaad haRabanim , the opposite is true, as anyone with knowledge of the rich history of the פייטנים the Jewish Nation has had throughout the years will attest to. Indeed, even שופרא דשטרא would fall into this category. So please excuse the possible inexactitude of that particular articulation. My apologies!
 2) I will address your third point before I get to the second one. Lest you suspect me of ignoring the words of Chazal in מסכת אבות פ"ה מ"ז and publicly declaring myself a גולם, this issue was also placed before the Vaad haRabanim. They all unanimously agreed that clarity of the message in so vital a correspondence, one that entails the משניות immediately following, i.e. the repercussions of המורים בתורה שלא כהלכה  in משנה ח'  about which it is written כי רבים חללים הפילה, the reason why גלות בא לעולםגלוי עריות, etc., far outweigh the considerations of being perceived as a גולם. May that be part of my personal מסירות נפש for the הצלה of  כלל ישראל.

ארור מכה רעהו בסתר, EVEN IF Rabbi Kamenetzky is considered to be עושה מעשה עמך  and בכלל רעהו and that's a big if, is clearly not to be understood as someone who withholds his name whilst publicly attacking someone about whom לשון הרע is permitted, and if it is an instance where הלכות לשה"ר would not allow the attack to be made, disclosing the identity of the attacker makes not the slightest difference.

 3) As far as point number 2, that Reb Shmuel didn't lie to you, I am reminded of an episode I witnessed in Court when an attorney called the opposing litigant “a big fat liar". His opposite number objected. The judge sustained the objection on big and fat, however he overruled the objection on the word liar stating "if your client isn't lying somebody ought to teach me the new meaning of the word liar". I, as well as the hundreds of members of the group I represent, feel the same. Without delving into the exact definition of the word, if Rabbi Kamenetsky was not lying to you when he allayed your fears and reassured your esteemed self as well as Rav Schuchatowitz that he had no part in Tamar's heter, he wasn't exactly being truthful either. Was not the purpose of your trip from Baltimore to Philadelphia to ensure that the tragedy beginning to unfold in front of your eyes was fiction rather than truth? That it was surely impossible for a man of the stature of Rabbi Kamenetsky to allow this abomination to occur a couple of blocks away from the very room where you were sitting, engaging him in conversation. Were your greatest fears not dispelled by the Rosh Yeshiva's glib assurances? Did his slick tongue and persuasive talk not convince you that he was indeed innocent as hoped rather than guilty as suspected?

Surely you didn't leave that room still suspecting that Rabbi Kamenetsky was allowing an אשת איש to be מזנה on his watch, with his approval, for if suspicion still lurked in your mind how could you leave? No, you were convinced by Reb Shmuel's integrity and forthrightness as much as by his convincing words. Of course we were mistaken, how could we have even been חושד a גדול of such stature!

Rav Feldman, look yourself in the mirror. Do you still have those same thoughts and feelings? Or have they changed, at least somewhat? If they are different today than on that night in תמוז, how mistaken can our claim that Reb Shmuel lied be? If, however, your thoughts and feelings are the same today as they were then, perhaps you are being shielded, or maybe shielding yourself from the evidence that has come out in public, smoking gun after smoking gun, tying Reb Shmuel to this sordid affair, staining his hands and sullying his reputation for all eternity. Just some of the evidence;

1)       A letter written by his son, Sholom, sent to a number of Dayanim arguing for a Heter, ending with the following 

כל זה נכתב על ידי שלו' קמנצקי, והראתי את הדברים אל אאמו"ר הג"ר שמואל קמנצקי שליט"א, והסכים על הדברים, [וגם הוא שמע כל עדותו של הרופא המומחה יר"ש הנ"ל] וביקש ממני שאציע את הדברים לפני הגהר"ר נטע גרינבלאט שליט"א שהוא בקי בענינים אלו, הצעתי את הדברים לפני הגאון הנ"ל שליט"א ועבר על כל הנידון וגם על דברי שהצעתי לו, והסכים עם הדברים, וגם כתב תשובה להתיר האשה תמר תחי' לינשא, ושוב הצעתי את הדברים לפני אאמו"ר שליט"א ואמר: כדאי הר"ר נטע שליט"א לסמוך עליו להתיר אשה זו מכבלי עיגונה, והרשה לי לכתוב כן בשמו
2)      Another version of the same letter ending in
 ולכן כדאי ונכון להתיר העלובה הזאת לצאת מצרתה ומחבלי עיגונה, ומכיון שכעת אין הבעל מוכן לכתוב לה גט, אף שאין מן הצורך ע"פ דברינו הנ"ל, מותרת היא להנשא מטעם קידושי טעות.
כ"ז נכתב ע"י שלום קמנצקי והראתי את הדברים אל אאמו"ר הגאון ר' שמואל קמנצקי שליט"א ואישר אותי לחתום על הדברים שאכן כנים הם

3)      Testimony from a prominent Dayan whom Reb Shmuel approached, in person, over 2 years ago, and implored him to assist in being מתיר Tamar to remarry without a Get ר"ל

4)      Testimony from a chavrusa of another Dayan who was sitting in the room when Reb Shmuel called begging the Dayan to add his signature to Rabbi Greenblatt’s היתר.

This is just some of the evidence in our possession irrefutably tying Reb Shmuel to this outrageous scandal, there is plenty more in our possession which, due to its sensitive nature we are not disclosing at the moment. If however the need shall arise, we will not hesitate to put it out in the public arena.

 בכבוד רב

 Abraham S.


וועד להצלת כלל ישראל

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