Sunday, September 10, 2023

Introduction to Daas Torah Blog Selections

 After I published the Yad Moshe – which facilitated accurate reporting of Halachic issues, I realized the next frontier was Jewish thought or hashkofa. The internet provided me a large audience through the free blogging platform available from Google.  While it is unquestionable that there are many opposed to the internet there is also the problem that  too much of reality was being censored by the print media. The internet was the only way to by pass the self serving censorship

I first started blogging about 15 years ago. I was living in Har Nof. Working during the day in the beis hamedrash of the Bostoner Rebbe on various seforim  and where I also had ready access to the head of the Kollel – Rabbi Ashkenasi and many who enjoyed discussing Jewish issues. In addition I was providing psychotherapy to a diverse population. I also was davening on Friday night Shabbos with  Rav Sternbuch. I spent many hours consulting with Rav Sternbuch on various issues. I also met Rabbi MeirTriebitz from Machon Shlomo  who was close with Rav Sternburg and with whom I developed a close relationship. 

After I started blogging I found Rav Sternbuch was interested in what I was doing. I typically printed out a copy of my blog and news items that I thought might interest him which I gave him every Friday night. He read it in shul during Kabbolas Shabbos. When I got to the issue of EJF, there were some who were convinced I was brain washing him and the Bedatz, when in fact he was the one directing. At one point he told me I was so hated that I should have the Bedatz perform a ceremony to protect me from curses.  

When Dr. Shulem and I got involved in the issue of child abuse Rav Sternbuch not only answered questions but encouraged publication of the then radical notion of going to the police. When I asked him for a haskoma, he said I should write a summary and he would make comments – which he did. When I was asked to speak at the White Institute, I presented his views – which one participant exclaimed he had never heard such views from a widely respected Jewish halachic source. In the early days it was simply accepted that reporting abuse violated the laws of Lashon harah and Mesirah. When I first published my volumes on child abuse it was widely assumed that I would be ostracized as Dr. Twersky had been when he revealed the problem of wife abuse. Fortunately the tide had turned. Primarily because of the flood of revelations not only on the Internet but in the mainstream press

Rav Sternbuch also played a critical role in the Tamar Epstein –“aguna” case. At one time he told me I was serving as his Yisro. More of this is in the posting of the 3 Belzer chasidim. I also became friends with Rabbi Yaakov Ber who helped me to meet Rabbi Eiyashiv and Rav Moshe Shapiro. I met Rabbi Chaim Malinowitz when visiting my son in Beis Shemesh and he became an important resource as well as a regular reader of the Blog and eventual a contributor of posts. 

Additional issues of divorce were brought to my attention such as the Schlesinger twins, the Tranquility bay scandal the Mendel Epstein scandal, the Feinstein grandson case which had a boycott of Artscroll and the phony aguna who made claims of rape and made ridiculous legal suits and ultimately reconciled and returned to her husband 

I got involved in the Tamar Epstein “aguna”case because my brother Dovid was advising her husband as well as the fact that Rav Sternbuch had seen the heter and thought it was nonsense. I was shown the documents to get my view as a psychologist

The awareness of the corruption in “aguna” cases led to an outpouring of Rabbinic denunciations of the “heter”. During this time I also realized the widespread ignorance of the diversity of Jewish sources and that led to publishing Daas Torah. I remember going to visit Rav Bulman at Ohr Someach where he served as Mashgiach. He quickly grasped what I was doing even before I did. He said, ”You are showing that there is a range of legitimate Jewish views. But since the official view is that there is only one correct view, you will never get away with it. I want to buy the first copy. Do you understand I don’t want a copy as a gift, I want to buy it." 


  1. why would the Bedatz people think EJF is a good idea? (those who opposed you)

  2. Amazing!
    Never knew all this.


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