Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Moshe objects to including ben sorrer in the Torah

 Zohar (3: 197b) R. Abba here broke off to say: ‘I find rather surprising the words of the Scripture, “If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son... then shall his father and his mother lay hold of him”, etc. (Deut. XXI, 19), concerning which we have learnt that when God told Moses to write this, Moses said: Sovereign of the Universe, omit this; is there any father that would do so to his son? Now Moses saw in wisdom what God would later do to Israel, and therefore he said, Omit this. God, however, said to him, Write and receive thy reward; though thou knowest I know more; what thou seest I will attend to; examine the Scripture and thou wilt find. God then nodded to Yofiel, the teacher of the Law, who said to Moses, I will expound this verse: “When a man shall have”: this is the Holy One, blessed be He, who is called “a man of war”. “A son”: this is Israel. “Stubborn and rebellious”, as it is written, “For Israel hath behaved himself stubbornly like a stubborn heifer” (Hos. IV, 16). “Which will not obey the voice of his father nor the voice of his mother”: these are the Holy One, blessed be He, and the Community of Israel. “Though they chasten him”, as it says, “Yet the Lord testified unto Israel and unto Judah by the hand of every prophet” (2 Kings XVII, 13). “Then shall his father and mother take hold of him”, with one accord, “and bring him out unto the elders of his city and unto the gate of his place”: “the elders of his city” are the ancient and primeval Days.

This 10-month old is among the children still held captive or missing in Gaza

At 10-months-old, Kfir Bibas has now spent more than a fifth of his young life in captivity, his doe-eyed face and bright red hair a vivid symbol of the pain and suffering endured by Israel’s hostage families.

More than 50 days since his abduction by Hamas militants from their home in southern Israel, Kfir’s family say they are no closer to knowing whether he is safe – or even alive.

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Yad Moshe Hebrew

 I was just  informed that some stores are sold out in America

Im HaSefer sill has copies as does Shanky in Jerusalem

After Chanukah I will be reprinting again

the English version is available on Amazon

The Virulent Antisemite Who Influenced Henry Ford and Woodrow Wilson, and Brought the Worst Anti-Jewish Document to the US

Brasol remains a shadowy and little-known figure, his life cloaked in intrigue. He was a lawyer, a Lausanne University-trained criminologist, and a literary critic who penned books on Oscar Wilde and Fyodor Dostoevsky and who founded the Pushkin Society. But his greatest passion seemed to be Jew-baiting. He was the first to bring The Protocols of the Elders of Zion to widespread attention in the United States, and he influenced Henry Ford’s prolonged assault on the Jewish people through his Dearborn Independent newspaper. Among the 20th century’s most notorious antisemites, few played a greater role than Brasol in unleashing the conspiracy theories and myths that have plagued Jews for generations.

Jewish Professor's Suspension for Hamas Remarks Sparks Outrage

"Hamas are murderers," Strauss said. "That's all they are. Every one should be killed, and I hope they all are killed."

Saturday, November 25, 2023

Frum Drunkards

On the surface, they look like your regular frum wife and mother. But they’re carrying a secret: during a typical Shabbos seudah, their husband is sprawled out on the couch, drunk. Or maybe he's drinking too much at night. Or at simchahs. For so many, what started off as a few sips has begun spiraling toward addiction. How to spot — and stop — a drinking problem.

Friday, November 24, 2023

Trump keeps saying he’s been indicted more than Al Capone. It’s not true

Trump’s claim that Capone was indicted only one time is false. Capone was indicted at least six times, as A. Brad Schwartz, the co-author of a book on Capone, told CNN.

And that doesn’t include various criminal charges against Capone that did not involve an indictment, such as some misdemeanors, or obscure Capone cases for which CNN couldn’t immediately determine whether there was an indictment.

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Far-right conspiracy theorists accused a 22-year-old Jewish man of being a neo-Nazi. Then Elon Musk got involved

Brody filed a defamation lawsuit last month against Musk, the owner of X, formerly known as Twitter. The suit seeks damages in excess of $1 million. Brody says he wants the billionaire to apologize and retract the false claims about him.

Brody’s lawyer—who is the same attorney who successfully sued conspiracy theorist Alex Jones over his lies about the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre —said he hopes the suit will force one of the world’s richest and most powerful men to reckon with his careless and harmful online behavior.

Monday, November 20, 2023

Prime Minister Netanyahu: 'Any future administration in Gaza will not deny massacre'

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released a statement in response to Palestinian Authority Foreign Ministry's claims that Israel was behind the deaths of those massacred on October 7th

“Today, the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah said something utterly preposterous. It denied that it was Hamas that carried out the horrible massacre at the nature festival near Gaza. It actually accused Israel of carrying out that massacre. This is a complete reversal of truth," the Prime Minister opened.

Thursday, November 16, 2023

BBC apologizes after false claim IDF targeting medical staff, Arabic speakers in Gaza

The BBC was forced to apologize on Wednesday after one of its presenters said that Israel Defense Forces soldiers who had entered Shifa Hospital in Gaza “were targeting people including medical teams and Arab speakers.”

Citing a Reuters news report, the presenter twice reiterated that soldiers were targeting medical teams and Arab speakers.

In fact, the original Reuters report quoted an IDF statement that upon entering Gaza’s largest hospital — which Israel says houses a Hamas command center — specially trained forces were accompanied by “medical teams and Arabic-speaking soldiers [who] are on the ground to ensure that [medical] supplies reach those in need.”

Following a wave of criticism, the BBC apologized for the error on air.

Ben Soreh

 The halacha of the rebellious son seems very strange. He is killed for what he possibly will do rather than what he actually did despite clear statement in Chazal that a person is only punished for what they actually did.

Furthermore Medrash Rabbah in the beginning of Shemos Rabbah has a long discussion of wayward children and just notes it was a result of poor chinuch but does not label them as rebellious sons

Does anyone claim that Yishmael or Esav were rebellious children?

Even Rav Hirsch says Esav's behaviour  was the result of improper parenting

Candace Owens Spills the Beans on Her Beef With Ben Shapiro

Shapiro’s criticism of Owens seems to stem from a Nov. 3 tweet of hers in which she wrote that “No government anywhere has a right to commit a genocide, ever.” She added: “There is no justification for a genocide. I can’t believe this even needs to be said or is even considered the least bit controversial to state.”

Monday, November 13, 2023

'A terrible desecration of God's name' - Satmar Rebbe condemns anti-Israel protesters

The rebbe's speech, shared on social media, included pointed remarks, stating, "It's a terrible desecration of God's name to support murderers in the name of the holy Torah and God's name." He lambasted the group for lacking traditional values and boundaries and acting without Torah guidance.

Last week, members of the extreme sect visited Jenin and met with Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Fatah leaders. According to a post on social media covering the visit, the representatives of Neturei Karta said: "We want to live in co-existence and in peace, our Jewish brothers want it too. We wish to live peacefully together with equal rights, on the basis that we all stand firm against occupation."

Friday, November 10, 2023

Is COVID coming back? Health Ministry recommends masks

Ahead of the holidays and as a result of the increase in morbidity, the Ministry of Health recommends that if a person is in a high-risk group or wishes to reduce the risk of infection, use of a mask in closed places with many people is advised.

It is also recommended that a mask be used when meeting with people who are in high-risk groups.

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Israel Has Trapped Senior Hamas Leader in a Bunker: Defense Minister

Israeli troops entered Gaza City in full force on Tuesday evening, according to Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, who said in a press conference that the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) were now operating deep inside the city.

He added that Hamas’ senior leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, is isolated in an underground bunker somewhere in the city and that Israeli forces had “cut off from his surroundings, his chain of command is weakening,” in the Palestinian militant group, according to Reuters.

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

The world is turning against Israel’s war in Gaza – and many Israelis don’t understand why

“I used to consider myself part of the extreme liberals, whatever they call themselves. But when I see demonstrations with cries in support of Hamas and stuff like that, I doubt that the world understands complexity … and when they can’t understand complexity, they see this as a one-sided thing and their sense of justice is very simple. But it’s not simple,” he told CNN. “I think the governments understand this, but the people… I don’t know.”

Monday, November 6, 2023

Convicted sex offender Leifer’s son said to confess to committing indecent acts to a minor

The 18-year-old son of convicted Israeli sex offender Malka Leifer has reportedly confessed to committing indecent acts to a minor.

The Yisrael Hayom daily reports that Mr. Leifer — who lives in the ultra-Orthodox Emmanuel settlement where his mother resided for years as she evaded extradition to Australia where she faced dozens of charges for sex offenses — was arrested earlier this week and his remand was extended earlier today for the second time.

Police tell Yisrael Hayom that they have photographic evidence of the alleged abuse, which took place earlier this month.

Censoring reality

 I am aware that there are those who oppose my blog because it is on the Internet

But it seems there are those who ban my book of selected posts because they don't want to hear there are problems in our community

There have been recently published letters to Mishpacha Magazine complaining that they don't want to hear about war and suffering or community problems but only inspirational uplifting topics

Suffering and misfortune are simply erased and denied existence. Just as we are told that our children should never be told no or fail at any task. All suffering is the result of faulty framing

פרסום ראשון: הבן של מלכה לייפר נעצר בחשד למעשים מגונים בקטין

בנה בן ה-18 המתגורר בעמנואל ולומד בישיבה באלעד נעצר בתחילת השבוע, לאחר שהוגשה תלונה נגדו על מעשים מגונים בקטין • הוא ניצל את תקופת המלחמה על מנת לבקש סיוע במזון מאחת המשפחות בעיר אלעד, הופיע בפתח ביתם כמה פעמים וביקש מזון • על פי החשד, באחת הפעמים הוא ביצע מעשים מגונים בילד המשפחה, חלקם תועדו

Friday, November 3, 2023

The BBC is under fire for its coverage of the Israel-Hamas war – rightly so

And then, of course, there is the continuing row over the BBC’s steadfast determination not to label Hamas as “terrorists.” Instead, the broadcaster initially decided to term those who murdered over 1,400 Israeli men, women and children as “militants.” As The Times newspaper succinctly put it: “The BBC is, in effect, cloaking the evils committed by Hamas in euphemism.”

When Leaders Fail: Healing From Rabbinic Scandal

Jewish Action Magazine by Rabbi Yitzchak Breitowitz

In Bernard Malamud’s novel The Natural, an extremely talented ball player, Roy Hobbs, is discovered to have taken a bribe to throw a baseball game. He is barred from baseball for life and all his records are expunged. In a poignant final scene, a young boy turns to Roy with pleading eyes and says, “Say it ain’t so.” But Roy cannot. He simply weeps.

In many ways, this novel is a metaphor for the loss of innocence, for the sadness of discovering that those we thought were paragons of virtue and greatness are flawed, for the sense of betrayal as we are cast adrift by those in whom we put our trust and faith. In many ways, this metaphor aptly describes a crisis that is spreading within the Torah community.

We live in the era of the fallen hero—indeed the tragic hero who is destroyed by the fatal flaw that lies within. In all walks of life, people whom we admired have disappointed us with their failures and weaknesses. We have become disillusioned and cynical. Unfortunately, even within the Torah camp, leaders in whom we placed our trust have betrayed us. And while the overwhelming majority of rabbis, teachers and spiritual mentors perform their tasks with integrity and commitment—and we should never make the mistake of condemning the many because of the sins of the few—many of us have lost faith in the very people who are supposed to inspire us in our faith. We see them engulfed in sexual scandals, child abuse, political intrigue, bribery and fraud. Some are accused of direct wrongdoing, others of cover-up and dissembling. Many have lost faith not only in those who are supposed to transmit Torah but, to some degree, in the goodness and morality of the Torah itself. God’s name and His glory quite literally have been besmirched, the very definition of chillul Hashem.

In some ways, this cynicism and loss of faith may be a greater tragedy than even the very real pain suffered by innocent victims (a pain that I certainly do not want to minimize in any way). The tragedy of cynicism presupposes that everything is tainted. Nothing good is real. No one is sincere. Everything is a gimmick. Everyone is a charlatan and a faker. And what is the use of pretending otherwise? These attitudes suck up hope the way a fire sucks up oxygen. They destroy spiritual strivings. They destroy hope for the future. They engender passivity and bitterness and ultimately become a self-fulfilling prophecy of defeatism and hopelessness. It is precisely at this juncture that we have to take stock and articulate some basic simple principles.[...]

A rabbi in particular may be prone to the sins of arrogance and hubris, especially if he is talented. While not necessarily the smartest person in the room, he is usually the most Jewishly knowledgeable. He determines how people are married, buried and converted. He literally makes life-and-death decisions and often has little need to justify, explain or defend those decisions. (This is a technical halachic matter, too deep and complicated for you to understand, et cetera.) As Lord Acton remarked, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” When there is a power relationship, when people approach you in their moments of vulnerability and weakness, and when people praise you for your scholarship, organizational abilities and debating finesse, there is the risk of arrogance, of kochi v’otzem yadi. One forgets that he is in the employ of God, and that whatever talents one was vouchsafed must be employed exclusively for the glory of God. It becomes about you, and when you become the focus, anything goes. Dovid HaMelech takes Batsheva and sends her husband to his death. Yochanan Kohen Gadol becomes a Tzeduki after eighty years of faithful service. The messenger gets tarnished and the message corrupted when it is intertwined with power, influence and control.10

Both as communities and individuals, we need to avoid dependence on charismatic leadership and the personality cult. We are setting ourselves up for disappointment. The rabbi is setting himself up for the “pride that comes before the fall.” The Alter of Slobodka deliberately spoke in a dry monotone to minimize his personal charisma. He wanted people to be affected by the content of his words, not the style of his personality. Indeed, the Derashot HaRan11 teaches that Moshe Rabbeinu was kevad peh and kevad lashon (had a serious speech impediment) precisely for the reason that people should not elevate him to the status of a demigod and be moved and inspired by his hypnotic oratorical abilities. (For the same reason, the Torah conceals the place where Moshe is buried12 and, according to some commentaries, this is also why Moshe’s name is not mentioned in the Pesach Haggadah.)

Rabbi Berel Wein describes the dangers of charismatic leadership very well:

We love the flash of brilliant insight, the devastating quip, the broad permanent smile, the warm embrace and the hero worship that characterize the person who possesses that elusive quality of charisma . . . . Yet, like all other seeming blessings, charisma carries within it seeds of self-destruction.

The charismatic personality is likely to succumb to the temptation of believing all of the adulation showered upon him or her. In the triumphant parades of the Roman emperors, a servant rode along in the emperor’s chariot and whispered to him, amidst the din of the cheering throngs, a reminder of his past failings and future mortality. Believing in one’s own charismatic qualities builds one’s ego to ferocious heights. And an inflated ego always leads to downfall and personal defeat. It allows the guilty to eventually believe in their own perfect innocence and to expect others to do so as well. Prideful haughtiness goes before a fall, opined King Solomon long ago. Prideful haughtiness is very often a byproduct of the charismatic personality.[...]

There is yet another danger that charismatic leadership poses, a more subtle one that may be especially damaging to adolescent students, ba’alei teshuvah and candidates for conversion. Such leadership tends to be autocratic, controlling and disparaging of individual choice and personal autonomy (even within the bounds of halachah). These are warning signals that should not be ignored. Leadership that tries to micromanage not only institutions but individual lives is inherently suspect. At least within the non-Chassidic tradition, the role of rabbis, roshei yeshivah, teachers and spiritual mentors is to inform, educate and inspire, not to command and direct. The students/congregants are expected to think for themselves and to have the ability and maturity to make decisions and take control of their lives; the rabbi’s function is to enable and enhance the development of those capacities.

From my own personal experiences, I can say that this was very definitely the approach of my roshei yeshivah, Rabbi Yaakov Yitzchak Ruderman and Rabbi Yaakov Weinberg, as well as that of Rabbi Yaakov Kamenetsky, all of blessed memory; and this was deeply rooted in the teachings of the Alter of Slobodka. As mechanchim par excellence, they saw their role as helping the student formulate his own approach to life and not simply be an automaton blindly following either the leader or the crowd. From the disciples of the Rav, I gather that Rabbi Joseph Ber Soloveitchik was exactly the same. This indeed was historically characteristic of the Litvishe gadol.15


Why does the Torah go into so much detail about the korbanot, and why is a kohen not permitted to contaminate himself by contact with a corpse? Rabbi Saul Berman22 once offered an intriguing thought. The kohen has great power; the power to effect atonement, reconciliation with the Creator. He has access to holy places that no one else may enter. He can perform rituals that no one else can perform. He is in charge of a cosmic apparatus that literally determines the survival of the world. This puts him in a position of control, and with that control comes the potential of abuse and manipulation. The antidote is transparency and accountability. Every Jew is entitled to know what the avodat hamikdash is and how the kohen performs it. The avodat hamikdash must be demystified and clearly explained so it does not become a force of control. For the same reason, the kohen effectively distances himself from people at the moment of their greatest vulnerability and weakness, for it is precisely at those moments that the potential for manipulative control is at its maximum. Rabbi Berman suggests that these considerations have relevance to the rabbinate as well. Rabbinic rulings, procedures and standards should not be seen as arbitrary, mysterious pronouncements whose authority is grounded in personal charisma but should be explained in terms accessible to the kehillah. While it is incontestable that a rabbi must be the final halachic authority within his congregation, it is equally true that he must be able to explain his positions, his standards and his behaviors. As Justice Louis Brandeis remarked in a different context many years ago, “Sunlight is the best disinfectant.” Anything that cannot be explained was probably not justified in the first place. Rabbi Yossi aptly stated, “I never did anything for which I had to turn around and see who was watching me” (Erchin 15b).[...]

Rabbi Yitzchak Hutner30 noted long ago that although we are very familiar with the great successes of our gedolim—their brilliance, their hasmadah (diligence), et cetera—we know much less about their struggles, their mistakes and their failures. But in many ways, knowing how they dealt with setbacks and disappointments might be far more useful and instructive than simply viewing them as superhuman and perfect. (He was thus a bit critical of the hagiographic tendencies in the biographies of gedolim.) The true measure of greatness is growing and learning from our failures. “The tzaddik may fall seven times and rises” (Mishlei 24:16) does not mean he rises despite falling but rather it is the very confrontation with his inner demons that is the source of his greatness.[...]

But teshuvah is neither easy nor cheap. First, teshuvah necessitates taking responsibility for one’s actions rather than denying, equivocating or blaming others. When Shaul HaMelech failed to fulfill his duty to eradicate Amalek, he was not given a second chance. He was told that the malchut would be taken from him and given to someone better and more suitable. When Dovid HaMelech, on the other hand, committed sins that were arguably more severe, i.e., adultery and murder,34 he remained king and indeed his dynasty will produce the Mashiach. Rabbi Yosef Albo35 suggests that the key distinction between Shaul and Dovid lay not in the nature of their sins but in how they responded to the rebuke of the prophets. When the prophet Shmuel confronts Shaul, Shaul first denies the accusation (“I did the will of God”) and then blames others for his failure. By contrast, when Natan communicates to Dovid the enormity of his offense through the parable of the rich man and the lamb, all Dovid does is utter two words, “chatati laShem,” “I have sinned.” No excuses, no mitigating circumstances, no blaming of others.36 Indeed, Dovid followed the noble example of his ancestor Yehuda who similarly stepped forward to declare publicly “tzadkah mimeni,” “she [Tamar] is more righteous than I.”37 God does not expect our leaders to be perfect; God does expect them to take responsibility when they fail.

Second, teshuvah requires seeking the forgiveness of those who were wronged, primarily specific victims but including also the community as a whole that experienced significant betrayal.38 Rabbi Hutner39 eloquently explains that when a person hurts another, the damage he inflicts is not only the particular hurt the victim suffered but the fact that the victim feels psychologically violated, less secure in the world, bitter, angry, betrayed, less able to trust. The victim, in a sense, has become diminished as a person, and the perpetrator must do what he can to restore the person to his or her wholeness. Bakashat mechilah (asking forgiveness), then, is not simply an apology for the past but an attempt at restoration. And learning how to forgive is part of that restorative healing process as well. We are all weak and vulnerable, and we should look at all people with compassion and forgiveness. We must learn to forgive not only for the benefit of the sinner but for ourselves. A heart filled with anger and resentment can never move on. It is stuck. There is no room for God.

Third, teshuvah does not automatically mean restoration to a prior position.40 To take an extreme case, no sane person would argue that a repentant child molester should go back to teaching children. This is so for two reasons. First, it is impossible for anyone to gauge the true depth and sincerity of the teshuvah process. Second, even a sincere teshuvah may not be able to withstand a strong, overpowering temptation and the ba’al teshuvah may falter.41 We simply cannot take the chance that innocent people, especially children, may be harmed. Nevertheless, assuming we can minimize these risks, the person who takes responsibility, works to improve and sincerely seeks the forgiveness of those he harmed deserves the gift of a second chance to be of service to Klal Yisrael. All of us earnestly pray that God will give us these chances when we need them. God shows us the compassion that we are able to show to others.42 [....]


The sin of a spiritual leader, especially when that sin becomes known to the public, carries a much greater level of severity. In addition to the sin itself, there is a chillul Hashem, a desecration or profanation of God’s name, as the rabbi’s misconduct brings shame and disgrace on the Torah.43 This would even be the case if the misbehavior would not otherwise be a serious sin (e.g., rudeness in the checkout line or cutting someone off in traffic), and the chillul Hashem is obviously compounded by the gravity of the offense. According to Rambam,44 one who is guilty of chillul Hashem has no atonement (kaparah) until the day of death. Neither teshuvah nor Yom Kippur nor even suffering can erase the stigma of the sin. Standing alone, this ruling might suggest that although teshuvah is a necessary component for forgiveness, it is insufficient; there is literally no atonement possible within the confines of Olam Hazeh. However, this ruling does not, in fact, stand alone and other factors must be considered. There are at least five halachic arguments that suggest that even the sin of chillul Hashem is amenable to sincere teshuvah. [...]

Published response to above article   Jewish Action
“When Leaders Fail” is an article that fails. It is too late, cold and clinical and is filled with error. 
The author states, “In some ways, this cynicism and loss of faith may be a greater tragedy than even the very real pain suffered by innocent victims (a pain that I certainly do not want to minimize in any way).” This is wrong. Child abuse kills. It damages the brain. MRIs and other diagnostic tools prove this. Victims have shortened lives. 
The author writes, “There is an element of collective guilt in the fact that we as a community allowed these abuses to occur, did not respond to the problems that were brought to our attention, ignored them, swept them under the rug.” Wrong again. There is now a well-populated community of outspoken abuse survivors and advocates, whom the author neglects to thank and we do not bear this “collective guilt.” 
The author writes, “There are, of course, laws of lashon hara, and I am not necessarily envisioning full public exposure in the media (though this happens anyway), but at least within the limited community of responsible leadership, those who were harmed must be able to speak.” Wrong again. The author first told us that leadership bears the blame, and now recommends that victims should consult only with this failed leadership. He writes this while reminding us, in the vaguest way, of hilchos lashon hara, planting the seeds of doubt that true negative information about a misbehaving rabbi should not be reported. 
Finally, he states, “In the superheated atmosphere of the Internet, everyone is guilty until proven innocent and indeed quite often, is guilty even after being proven innocent. In this world of hyperbole, gossip, unsubstantiated rumors and personal vendettas, a casual reader might conclude that the rabbinate, and indeed the entire Torah community, has run amok, is utterly devoid of any semblance of morality and is nothing less than the modern incarnation of Sodom and Gomorrah. This does not reflect reality, and it is important that our children know this.” This sentence is not only wrong, it is an insult and smear upon every abuse survivor and advocate who taps words onto the Internet complaining about his or her abuse. Additionally, the implication that the survivors and advocates are guilty of many false accusations is an outright falsehood. 
This article does not deserve the OU haskamah. 
Elliot B. Pasik
Long Beach, New York

Rav Shmuel acknowledges the problematic nature of Tamar's remarriage without a get

audio link

Joseph Orlow replies to Eddie “Stealth? I told him my name. Deception? Aharon Friedman is my friend, the friend to which I refer. What's with the accusations anyway? Chutzpah? The calls were made under the guidance of my Rabbis.”

The specially convened Feinstein Bais Din was a sham.

The Bais Din was constituted for one, and only one, purpose: to issue a ruling for Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky. The Bais Din decided that Tamar Epstein is halachically married to Aharon Friedman.

After the court reached its conclusion, there was no communication between Rabbi Dovid Feinstein and Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky regarding Tamar Epstein separating from Adam Fleischer, the man she currently lives with.

The audio indicates that Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky acknowledges the Psak of the Bais Din. He stops there and does not take the next logical step to tell Tamar Epstein and Adam Fleischer to separate.

I would like to draw an analogy.

A man was concerned that he may have cheated one of his clients. This client never complained. Nevertheless the man asked a Bais Din to hear his case.

The Bais Din ruled the man indeed cheated the client. But the Bais Din did not order the man to compensate the client.

The man chortled to himself, "I was unsure before if I acted criminally. Now I am certain I acted criminally!" And he retains the ill gotten gains.

In our case, Rabbi Kamenetsky salvaged his reputation by characterizing the fiasco as a Machlokes HaPoskim. Tamar Epstein and Adam Fleischer engage in Ni'uf and Rabbi Kamenetsky washes his hands of the matter, while the Philadelphia Community Kollel collects the checks.

Rabbi Kamenetsky's statement that he is uninvolved is surreal, as any follower of the Daas Torah blog is aware. He was certainly intimately involved in every step of the case, including signing a letter bereft of Halachic basis demanding that Aharon Friedman is obligated to divorce Tamar Epstein.

Joe Orlow

latest on greenblatt kaminetsy heter for adultery from Joe Orlow

this is a copy of a letter I sent to a Rav in the U.S.

Dear Rabbi [redacted],

As you are aware, I am part of a team that holds that the Halacha has been severely compromised by the actions of men considered to be Gadolei Yisrael in America.

To your credit, you have defended these men. You have challenged my attacks on these men. And you have done it from the best of places and purest of motives: your adherence to the principle that decisors of Halacha are to be given the greatest deference.

Yet, I think the Rav should be aware of some new developments on the Epstein-Friedman front.

I have spoken to Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky several times. The first time was several years ago when Tamar Epstein declared she was free from her marriage. She made this declaration despite her husband being alive and well, and despite his not giving her a Get. For the record, she was married to him with Kiddushin.

At that time, Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky made light of the matter. He declined to speak in depth with me about it, and referred me to his son.

In a follow up call two years ago, after Tamar remarried, Rabbi Kamenetsky told me that one may rely on Rabbi Greenblatt as far as the legitimacy of Tamar's remarriage. He acknowledged that there are other Rabbis who hold the remarriage is not legitimate.

In a recent call, Rabbi Kamenetsky again said one may rely on Rabbi Greenblatt, while acknowledging that Rabbi Dovid Feinstein holds the remarriage was not permitted. He made it clear that he, Rabbi Kamenetsky, was not involved in the Heter given to Tamar to remarry.

Rabbi Kamenetsky is apparently a liar. Before Tamar received her Heter, Rabbi Kamenetsky was sending out letters to other Rabbis to induce them to provide the Heter. Recently, Rabbi Nota Greenblatt told me he was contacted by Rabbi Kamenetsky and his son Rabbi Shalom Kamenetsky regarding finding a way for Tamar to remarry without a Get.

On the face of it, Rabbi Kamenetsky was not only involved in the issuance of the Heter. He was also the impetus behind finding the Heter.

Furthermore, the Kamenetskys gave Rabbi Greenblatt the contact information for a mental health professional. Rabbi Greenblatt called this professional. Rabbi Greenblatt told me that the testimony of this professional became the basis of the Heter Tamar received.

So Rabbi Kamenetsky's involvement was critical to the issuance of the Heter. In fact, the Heter might not have come about except for the Kamenetskys supplying to Rabbi Greenblatt the contact info for the mental health professional.

Rabbi Dovid Feinstein's Bais Din determined that Tamar's remarriage was not permitted, as I mentioned above. Two years have passed since I notified Rabbi Hillel David by telephone and Rabbi Dovid Feinstein (both sat on the Bais Din) via email that Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky has not told Tamar Epstein to separate from her second husband, Adam Fleischer. This is despite both Rabbis Kamenetsky giving the world the impression that they adhere to the decision of the Feinstein Bais Din, a Bais Din that was convened for one and only one reason: to determine Tamar Epstein's marital status and issue a ruling for Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky, and Rabbi Kamenetsky alone.

Furthermore, the Feinstein Bais Din never ordered Tamar Epstein and Adam Fleischer to separate.

In conclusion, Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky is your Gadol. The man is a liar. And he facilitated the ongoing Halachic adultery of Tamar Epstein. He has it within his power to stop the Halachic adultery, and does not. He thus carries the sin. And so does the Feinstein Bais Din. Rabbi Kamenetsky is a Rasha. Rabbi Dovid Feinstein is fitting to be put in Nidui.

I admire that you will read all this and still maintain that the Rosh Yeshiva in Philadelphia is someone I should recognize as the greatest Gadol in America.

I will not do so. In no way does that diminish my respect for you. As long as I have strength, I will continue this fight against those who tear down the Halacha. And I will do it precisely out of my respect for you and other Jews.

You deserve better Gadolim than Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky and his son Rabbi Shalom Kamenetsky who is reportedly designated to one day to become the next head of the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah of the Agudath Israel of America.

Joe Orlow

Tamar Epstein: What role did Rav Shmuel and Rav Sholom Kaminetsky play in the giving of the heter to remarry without a Get?

Aside from the above letter, Rabbi Feldman notes in his letter that it is widely believed that Rabbi Greenblatt's heter to remarry was in fact supported by the Kaminetsky's - even though they both deny it.

נוסף לזה, בעיני הצבור הרה"ג הנ"ל נתמך ע"י אחד מזקני ראשי הישיבה של הדור ובנו שהוא גם ת"ח חשוב, ואם כי הם מכחישים זאת, בודאי הרבה יסמכו על השמועות להתיר איסורי אשת איש ע"פ השיטה הזאת, שהרי לדעתם כבר הורה כן גדול בתורה

It is well known that the Kaminetskys have tried for years to obtain a Get for Tamar Epstein and free her from her marriage to Aharon Freedman. This includes:

1) Supporting the public demonstrations of ORA against the view of the only authorized beis din - the Baltimore Beis Din.

2) Issuing a seruv against Aharon which calls for the public to pressure him into give a Get. Something which is not justified by halacha for ignoring a beis din when he and Tamar had agreed to use the Baltimore Beis Din. Finally a seruv doesn't require giving a Get even if it were legitimate - which it isn't.

3) I have testimony concerning a number of poskim who were approached by R Shalom Kaminetsy with a document which claimed that therapists found Aharon to be suffering from incurable personality disorders which made him impossible to live with. Included in that document was a request to pasken that the marriage was a mekach ta'os. He claimed that his father was agreed that the evidence was valid and was in agreement to ask for a psak of mekach ta'os.

4) Rabbi Shalom Kaminetsky - knowing that Tamar had not obtained a Get - has been reported as asking someone if they would be interested in a shidduch with her. When asked how she had been freed from marriage without a Get replied that if it were relevant to know the information would be supplied.

5) Rabbi Greenblatt who gave the heter said he relied on the evidence provided by the Kaminetsky's to justify marrying Tamar Epstein to her second husband without the first husband giving her a Get. He claimed that it was chutzpah to question the validity of what the Kaminetskys told him.

6) At no time has either R Kaminetsky objected to the heter being given.

In sum, the Kaminetsky's gathered evidence from various therapists, they organized the evidence as justification for the heter and they personally went to poskim to ask for a heter based on mekach ta'os and the posek who gave the heter rubber stamped their request without personally investigating the evidence nor did he bother speaking with the husband - because the Kaminetsky's had provided him with all he needed to know. Finally they have not objected in any manner to the heter - despite the serious objects publicly raised by various poskim as to its validity. But they do object to being perceived as encouraging or supporting the heter.

House passes Israel aid bill despite Biden veto threat

To offset the cost of the aid to Israel, Republicans proposed cutting $14.3bn in funding for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which collects US taxes.

However, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said such cuts to IRS funding would result in less tax revenue, and increase the US deficit by nearly $12.5bn over the next decade.

"My Republican friends say they want to help Israel," said Democratic congressman Jim McGovern of Massachusetts.

"And so, what do they do? They condition the aid to Israel on essentially a tax break for millionaires and billionaires and corporations that cheat on their taxes."

Thursday, November 2, 2023

Kaminetsky-Greenblatt Heter: Rav Eliahu Rominek's teshuva explaining why it is worthless

Tamar's Heter: Protecting Rav Shmuel Kaminetsky is more important than protecting the Torah

Update: There are allegations that the Moetzes - instead of condemning the Kaminetskys and R Greenblatt for this scandal  - are working on publishing a letter that Rav Shmuel was not involved in the heter - a claim Rav Shmuel has made in several letters to rabbonim. The problem is that his son R Shalom directly contradicts this claim of non involvement in his letter to Rav Greenblatt[which appears below]. The only statement that everyone will agree is that Rav Shmuel did not give the heter - that was done by Rav Greenblatt together with Rav Feurst and others. The bottom line is that the heter would never had been given without Rav Shmuel's involvement and that furthermore it continues to exist entirely because he refuses to condemn it.


As everyone knows, the storm resulting from the phony heter to Tamar Epstein has been going on for a while.  R Shalom Kaminetsky's campaign to manipulate Rav Greenblatt to declare the marriage invalid worked only for a while. However a wide range of major rabbis - including Rav Chaim Kanievsky - have condemned this heter and declared Tamar as still being married to her first husband and thus committing adultery with her 2nd husband. It has clearly been publicly declared by these rabbis that persuading a psychiatrist to write an invalid report - is  a major danger to the Orthodox community and the institution of marriage.

The question is why the issue has not been settled with a retraction of the heter by Rabbi Greenblatt and a rejection of the heter by Rav Shmuel Kaminetsky and his son? Why is the issue dragging on? Why isn't an ultimatum being given to the above - to either comply or be publicly denounced?

The answer unfortunately is not a pretty one. Because if an ultimatum was delivered to the above rabbis - there is a good possibility that they would not comply. After all they have "Daas Torah" or as Rav Greenblatt says "I followed the Shulchan Aruch" and it doesn't matter to him whether the facts are true or not. He views the heter as being independent of how it was obtained and that the only thing that matters is that he issued a  psak that Tamar can remarry. Similarly Rav Kaminetsky sees no reason to condemn the heter because it was issued by a "bar samcha" (Rav Greenblatt) and so it doesn't matter if the basis is a pack of lies. In short neither cares whether the heter was obtained through falsely proclaiming that Aharon Friedman  suffers from extreme incurable mental illness that disqualifies him from ever being able to marry.

However the real answer why there is no ultimatum is because we have a serious problem here of codependency. What is ultimately preventing the resolution - and the reason that the Moetzes Gedolei Torah will never get involved - is the issue of the priority of  our rabbinic leaders. While Torah and halacha are truly important, there is a greater concern for these rabbis. They view that the system itself is in danger if major gedolim are declared to be in open rebellion against the Torah. These rabbis will never do anything that is perceived as an attack on gedolim. Thy believe that  faith in gedolim (and Daas Torah) is more important to preserve than faith in G-d and Torah! Or rather that faith in G-d and Torah must be through faith in the gedolim.

Unfortunately, by publicly declaring that the heter is false and that a major breach in Torah has occurred - they can't conceal from the public that the agents of this breach are in fact gedolim. The longer they hesitate the greater is the loss of faith in gedolim and the greater the cynicism is amongst the masses - including the yeshivos and seminaries. 

In short, since they have gone public with the existence of a major breach - they can not avoid following that to its logical conclusion. But they lack nerve and don't want to be perceived as the ones who destroyed the public status of revered gedolim - Rav Greenblatt and Rav Kaminetsky.

Consequently there is great pressure to try and save the reputation of these gedolim by putting pressure on Aharon Friedman. It is widely viewed by these rabbis that almost all goals will be accomplished if he is sacrificed by forcing him to give a get and receive nothing in return.

Let me make it absolutely clear. Aharon Friedman will never back down. He will not sacrifice his reputation or his relationship with his daughter in order to allow Rav Kaminetsky and Rav Greenblatt to save face and not be held accountable for their sins. Aharon Friedman is not going to be the scapegoat that allows the rabbis to avoid the horrible task of destroying the reputation and legacy of Rav Kaminetsky and Rav Greenblatt - if they won't back down and condemn the phony heter.

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Who is Patrick Dai, Cornell student accused of threatening Jewish peers?

The Cornell University student accused of making violent threats against his Jewish peers is a 21-year-old engineering student who suffers from such “severe depression” that his mother worried he was on the brink of suicide just moments before his arrest.

Watch: The segment of President Herzog's BBC interview which did not air

In omitted section of the interview, Herzog challenged the interviewer's assertion that Israel is not allowing enough aid into Gaza: I don't want to go into whether the BBC has been objective or not.

IDF takes command of Hamas military stronghold in Jabaliya in Gaza

Approximately 50 terrorists were eliminated by Israeli forces. Furthermore, Israeli fighter jets, under Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) intelligence, killed Ibrahim Biari, the commander of Hamas's Jabaliya battalion, and was one of the leaders of the October 7 massacre. Jabaliya is around four kilometers northeast of Gaza City.