Sunday, August 20, 2023

Daas Torah in America: A layman - especially a blogger - can never ever criticize a Rabbi. Even it means adultery or any other crime will be committed

I had a peaceful flight yesterday which consumed about 20 hours with a stopover in Russia. However when I landed the fireworks began.

On the way from Kennedy airport I called up a rabbi I know and respect who has a very close relationship with the Kaminetskys. I also have a positive relationship with him despite the fact that I have a Blog. 

I asked him if he had any information about the Tamar Epstein case. His reply was that he never heard about it. 

Welcome to America!

I asked him if he would be interested in knowing about it since it was a very critical issue involving adultery and the nature of Gittin and that he might be of help resolving the matter. I noted that  many rabbis had gotten involved but at this point critical issues had not been resolved.

"I have nothing to do with these issues - it is only for major rabbis!" "You don't understand. These issues are not for the layman but for major rabbis. A layman has no right to publicly criticize rabbis - for anything. These type of matters can only be dealt with by major rabbis - behind closed doors. They are not for public discussion - especially on a Blog. It is the clear and unanimous view of American rabbis that Blogs are prohibited. They serve only to denigrate rabbis and foment hate and lashon harah. Even if the present situation results in adultery it is none of my business. It is only for the major rabbis. Even if you know that a rabbi robs banks with a machine gun - it is not your business. It is up to other rabbis to take care of the matter and if they don't - IT IS NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!!!!

I noted that this is not the view of halacha. That in fact there is no such prohibition but rather all Jews are responsible for the actions of all other Jews - including Rabbis. Furthermore that it is clear that there is a Torah mitzva of chastisement - and no distinction is made whether the critic is a layman or a rabbi or whether the person being criticized is a rabbi or a layman.  Therefore in a situation where the rabbis are in fact not dealing properly with the issue - it is not only permitted but an obligation for a layman to get involved. In a case of Chilul HaShem - there is no kavod given to the Rav. He responded with impatience.

You are not listening so I will repeat myself. It is the unanimous view of American rabbis that a layman has no business criticizing rabbis - especially not publicly and clearly not on Blogs. A layman has no business to be concerned with what he thinks are the crimes or errors of Rabbis. Even if you find some rabbis who approve of criticizing rabbis some of the time - they are clearly a minority view.
 It is important also to be aware that Israeli rabbis view American rabbis as not having been given the Torah and they don't accept the view of American rabbis on anything. So even if you have rabbis in Israeli who agree with what you are doing - it is only because of the contempt they have for American rabbis. Rabbi Belsky is a good example of a major talmid chachom who was not even allowed to speak with Rav Eliashiv to defend his views. Therefore in regard to the American Torah understanding - the rule is categorical. No criticism is allowed by a layman and especially publicly on a blog - no matter what the alleged crime or sin is.

In conversations with Israeli rabbis regarding American Torah Judaism - it is understood that American laymen (and rabbis) are naive - and deliberately so. They do not wrestle with issues because it is none of their business.  While you do find similar rules voiced in Israel - they are often ignored and as consequence Israeli's are more likely to have views and argue about a wide range of subjects.

As one person said, "This is a clear example of evolution. American have been successfully taught not to use their brains to consider major real life issues and their brains have atrophied for these matters."

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