Sunday, August 7, 2016

Harry Maryles condemns alleged blockbusting in Lakewood area - while he acknowledges he doesn't know if it actually happened

Guest post. I reread Harry's post twice as well as the many comments to make sure it was a bad as the guest post described. It was. Why should Harry accept allegations of Chareidi blockbusting in the Lakewood area as true - when he acknowledges he doesn't have any evidence and knows very little about Lakewood?! Because it might be true?! This is "when did you stop beating your wife" logic translated as "why did chareidim start blockbusting?"  And even the allegations he relied upon are not necessarily illegal or inappropriate - and do not constitute blockbusting.

There's a new controversy brewing with bloggerwho presents himself as honest and righteous, but is also seen as having a long history of shooting from the hip, without bothering to ascertain the facts before criticizing and slandering people. He was taken to task this week for a recent article of his. At this point, to me, the details of the article are not the relevant part. What is relevant is that this blogger clearly stated that he does not know the facts and that he has not researched the claims that were made. However, not only did this not stop him from publicly lambasting a community; he brazenly insists that he was correct in his criticisms of that community, even though he got the facts all wrong.

Besides for not apologizing for slander, Rabbi Harry Maryles went to to defend his slander.  After making some sarcastic comments, he stated as follows:

"But I felt that as an Orthodox rabbi, I should speak out about what this community has been accused of". 

By speaking out, he does not mean defending this community against vicious slander. That is something that he reserved for the likes of Rabbi Michael Broyde. By speaking out, he means that somehow it is the responsibility of "an Orthodox rabbi" to further false accusations and slander. 

In a comment on the article, a reader challenged him

A rabbi has the responsibility to research the facts before he ever shoots from his hips. Not researching the facts is highly unethical and, of course, a true chilul Hashem. What you are doing is furthering distrust of [rabbis like you]. Now, whenever a ... rabbi as yourself makes a claim, it is highly suspect. 

Those of us who follow the Daas Torah blog may remember a similar episode from this past January. Again, I feel that the subject is not what is relevant to this discussion. What is relevant is that the blogger came on here and declared

You won't be publishing this, but I'm going to tell you anyway since you will in fact be reading it before you delete it.

It is not your view about the halachic issues involved here that is in question. You may in fact be right. .... In doing this in such a public manner, you have lost your Chezkas Kashrus among so many of your former supporters

[As an aside, as a follower of this blog I have observed that Rabbi Eidensohn is very liberal in allowing different viewpoints to be expressed. The only exception, where I have seen Rabbi Eidensohn remove or refuse comments are when there is clear abusive language, or when people keep on repeating the same things over and over. Particularly when they are not true.] 

I guess that Rabbi Maryles is selective about who may be criticized publicly. This reminds me of a famous line from George Orwell in Animal Farm: "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."

Rabbi Eidensohn's response was on mark, which never received a substantive response.

Conceding that I might be correct regarding the facts leaves you in a rather difficult situation when you claim to condemn me for besmirching chashuva rabbonim. If my facts are correct they deserve to be publicly condemned! ....
Harry you apparently didn't bother reading the letters written by a wide range of gedolim that I published on this blog. As you unfortunately have done with other issues you don't bother ascertaining the facts before you pontificate. And you respond on an emotional level rather than as an adult with concern for the truth.

On January 5th, at 4:32 PM the blogger responded:
You're right. I didn't read every single post you wrote on this subject. But I read enough to know that you condemned these Rabbonim Chashuvim many times. 
If they deserve to be publicly condemned, Why haven't I seen R' Sternbuch's condemnation. Not his disagreement. His condemnation the Philadelphia Rosh HaYeshiva. 
If he did and I missed it, show me his letter now and I will apologize to you.
Rabbi Eidenson immediately responded

Harry your lack of basic integrity is astounding. You are acknowledging you don't know the material or what has been going on - and yet you start blasting away and then afterwards say you are sorry? You are simply another Joe McCarthy and have no sense of shame.
You might want to read the letter from ... and ... Read the other letters which condemn the joint efforts of ....
So please cut out your nonsense of "Why haven't I seen R' Sternbuch" ..... but you in your gaaveh induced visions "know" better than everybody else in the world.
Harry - you are the one who has to bring proof that what I have done is wrong. Your approach of hanging the accused with a lynch mob based on meditating on your navel and then saying well I will apologize if I made a mistake - is simply rishus. You are a chasid shoteh!
I have letters from many of the gedolim in the world who have condemned the actions of ..... You need to publicly apologize to them for your nasty ignorant comments.
Although all the letters are readily available on the sidebar of this blog, Rabbi Marles has still not apologized, nor has he removed his slanderous post. Apparently, some seven months later, he has still not read the letters and properly investigated the matter. Either that, or truth is simply not one of the requirements that he has for his blog.

I would like Rabbi Maryles to explain his position briefly. At what point will you stop your slander? 

He also used obvious falsehoods in the past. A judge's ruling was publicly available. However, Rabbi Maryles decided to quote the now defunct Failed Messiah blog in order to slander this community. Again, he did not read the material. In an effort to justify himself he declared:
Now, I’m sure many reading this will discount the report because they do not trust the source (to say the least). But I am inclined to believe it. Because even though it serves his alleged purposes of bashing the religious world, there is no way Mr. Rosenberg’s blog could continue to credible to even his biggest supporters if he were caught in an outright lie.
Again, why not just read it. It would be quicker than the time it took him to compose his long blog post. In reality, the judge did not say anything of the like. Additionally, Mr. Rosenberg had a reputation of being dishonest. In fact, what was it that brought him to sell off his blog? An ethical person would personally investigate the facts before slandering.
Interestingly, Rabbi Maryles outright denied doing this on A simple Google search proved otherwise.

I feel that it is high time for the impugned masses of Torah Jews to declare that the emperor has no clothes, and lacks any intellectual honesty.

I think that it is time for the Modern Orthodox world to hire an ethical Literary Ethical Ombudsman - similar to the one that works for the New York Times and similar publications - to review Rabbi Maryles' articles before he posts them. It would also be proper for him to seek out a competent Modern Orthodox therapist to help him understand why he abandoned his integrity when it comes to Torah Jews.

A Fellow Jew

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