Monday, May 29, 2006

Why are the Gedolim silent part 2

Tobie: So what you've basically done is said that the gedolim are out of touch with reality and often manipulated by askanim with ulterior motives.

LY: Play out for me the scenario. Tell me how info from UOJ and NY Mag reach the Gedolim.. Remember! They don't read such magazines (more acurately, they probably don't read any magazines) and of course they don't read blogs!

Tobie: Well, in an ideal world...

a) they try to keep up on the major news affecting their world, either directly by reading newspapers or by having close followers keep them updated.

b) the askanim and/or the community hears about these things and goes to them, asking for guidance. They then investigate the matter and react.


a) is an unlikely option. Let's first pinpoint exactly who we are talking about when we are refering to "Gedolim". We're talking about the big guns. R' Elyashiv, R' Kanievsky, R' Shteinman, R' S. Auerbach, R' S. Wosner etc...

Ask any charedi tourist what's the #1 tourist attraction in Bnei Brak. With out batting an eyelash, he'll tell you: "To get a Brocha from R' Kanievsky". Thousands of letters with all sorts of questions are sent to R' Kanievsky. Between learning, answering letters, seeing people, answering sha'alos on the phone, one thing you won't find R' Kanievsky doing, is reading the papers on the latest scandals.

How would you imagine the life of a 95 year old man to be? Winter in Florida, Summer in the Cool Comfortable Caatskills, and the rest of the time pampered in a luxorious nursing home?

R' Chaim Scheinberg, in his mid nineties, was recently in Lakewood. After seeing hundreds of people, reading hundreds of names of people who need Refu'os, Yeshu'os, Shidduchim etc... He didn't sit down to eat supper until after 10:00 pm because he does not eat before Sefirah. He didn't get to bed before 11:00 pm, was already up at 4:00 am to prepare to daven Vasikin which he does every day!!! (I believe most above mentioned Gedolim also daven Vasikin daily.)

Friends, Gedolim of such stature don't while away their time with newspapers. Such Gedolim spend every minute "Al Hatorah V'al Ha'avodah" and being Osek B'tzorchei Tzibbur. Do the Askonim have secret internet connections to keep up? I doubt it. Maybe they read the Charedi newspapers. But surely not NY Mag and UOJ.

What we are left with is b). Hearing it from people who do read the papers, blogs etc...

Before we tune in to hear an Askan briefing a Godol, I have to first give you an introduction.

We've read the rantings of UOJ. Rabbi K. is presented to us as 100% guilty. UOJ's POV leaves us with little room for doubt. The article in NY Mag starts with a story about a sweet innocent boy being abused by the big Rabbi. While we were reading it, we all created a mental image of a sweet little boy, being played with, to the Rabbi's content. By the time the writer analyzes if the Rabbi is guilty or not, its too late. We can no longer erase from our minds the image, of the little innocent victim.

Then we find a link to angrysoul. The horror, the torture, the agony, the suffering. How could such a thing have gone on for such a long time? Where was the administration? Is this Judaism? Where are our leaders?


Friends, our Gedolim never read UOJ, NY Mag or angrysoul. They aren't biased by a profesional writer who succesfully planted the mental image of the sweet innocent boy being fully taken advantage of. Whatever information comes to them, is being taken at face value.

Let's listen in:

Askan: K'vod Harav, a pressing issue has come up.

Godol: Nuch an Tragedyah? [another tragedy?]

A: Uuhh, an andereh suhrt. [a different kind]

G: Nu, farzteil. [speak]

A: We received information that a Charedi Rebbe is being accused of molesting yiddeshe kinderlach.

G: Vos?!? Rachmona Litzlan!! Iz es shayech ah Yid, Kal V'chomer ah Rebbe zol tuhn ah'zelche zachen? [what? God forbid! Is it possible that a jew and even more so, a rebbe can do such things?]

A: What should we do?

G: A Rebbe which does such things surely must immediately stop teaching! But do you know its true?

A: Uuh, umm, uuh....

G: Vos keketzt du? [why are you hesitating]

A: K'vod Harav, the source of our information is from the internet. (The Godol's face tightens at the mention of 'internet') There is a writer which claims that B'yediah B'rurah, he knows its all emes.

G: Nu, ver iz der Mechaber, kenen mir reden mit ehm? [who is the online writer, can I speak with him?]

A: No. He doesn't give a name or telephone number.

G: (suspicious look on his face) Iz er chutch ah frummer? [is he frum?]

A: Nisht zicher. [not sure]

G: (starting to get a little annoyed) Iz er ya tzu nayn? [yes or no?]

A: On the one hand, he quotes halacha, on the other hand....

G: Nuh?

A: Ummmm, he doesn't seem to have the greatest respect for Talmidei Chachomim.

G: (lines starting to appear on his forehead) Vos meint ihr? [what do you mean?]

A: He says that some 25 years ago, there was a Bais Din of sort, and R' Chaim Scheinberg paskened that if there was no p........................

G: (Deep in thought.)

A: The writer is quite unhappy with the psak.

G: B'seder. Uhber farvos sugst du er iz ah Mevazeh Talmidei Chachomim? [Fine, but why do you say he defames the Gedolim?]

A: Er hut gerufen R' Chaim ah ah ah ah (Askan is stuttering) B... B... B'hei.........mah (last syllable mumbled under his breath) [He called R' Chaim an animal]

G: ER HUT EHM GERUFEN AH VOS?!? (face turning red) [HE CALLED HIM A WHAT?!?]

A: Yuh, ah B'heimah [yes, an animal]

(both hands pounding the desk)

(Face is beet red)

AZAH EINER HUT NISHT KEIN SHUM NE'MONOS!! [Someone like this cannot be trusted]
(another pounding on the desk)

A: K'vod Harav, but there is also another report in a cho'sheveh Goyisheh magazine!

G: Zein ven hut ah Goyisheh mah'gah'zin ne'emonos? [since when can a non jewish magazine be trusted?]

A: They claim that there are victims who have come forward.

G: Zug zei, zei zulen du ah'hehr areinkumen....... [Tell the victims to come here...]


1) Don't expect the Gedolim to read the papers
2) Don't expect the Askonim to read UOJ and NY Mag
3) Any information that comes in to them, is without the pre-assumption that the accused is definitely guilty.

So did you really expect to see a full page add in the Yated/Hamodiah, with the Gedolim all calling on R' M. to dismiss R' K. and condemning R' K for his actions??

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Why are the Gedolim silent?

Here in blogosphere, the big question that everyone is asking is:

Why are the Gedolim silent? Why aren't we hearing them cry out about the terrible actions of Rabbi K.....

To understand why, one has to look at it from an inside view of the Charedi world.

I'll start in the BMG coffee room.

"Yankel! Did you hear?"

"Hear what, Moshe?"

"You mean you didn't hear what they are saying about Rabbi K?"

"Its Shtussim V'havolim"

"Shtussim V'havolim?!? What are you hocking! I heard from my brother in law who has an Ishur to use the Tumeneh net, that there's this guy who calls himself UOJ and he was Meh'vahrer that its Emes!"

"Moshe! Do you know what UOJ stands for?"

"Uhh, let me think.... Ich Vais! It stands for Undercover Orthodox Jew! He worked 'undercover' and found out the whole zach".

"Nice Shtickel Lomdus, Moshe. But no, It stands for Un-Orthdox Jew".

"What?!? If he's not orthodox, how could he know about such things?"

"Moshe, your finaly chapping the Matzov. The guy is mamesh an Apikores. He is Mevazeh Aleh Talmidei Chachomim. Ich Shem Zach to say what he called Harav Hagaon R' Chaim Scheinberg Shlita. The guy has absolutely no Ne'monos..........."

Friends, to our Gedolim, the case was closed some 25 years ago by a Bais Din that paskened that he could remain a Rebbe. Our current Gedolim don't spend their time reading blogs (blogs? What's that?) and NY Mag. They are full time occupied with the needs of Klal Yisroel. Between seeing people, Paskening Sha'olos, dealing with pressing problems (Almonos, Yesomim, Gittin, Teens at risk etc...) running around to Simchas (The Lakewood Roshei Yeshiva can very often have 3 - 4 simchas in one night), and OF COURSE, they have to learn also.

The rantings of an anonymous un-orthodox blogger on the banned internet making a gantze tumult before he even has a shred of evidence, isn't exactly #1 on the Gedolim 'To Do' list.

But I know what you'll be asking me. Now that its 'official' (pending lawsuit), why aren't we hearing anything now?

How come by the Slifkin and MOAG issues, all the Gedolim came out so loud and strong??

Friends, think think think.

Do you really think that one fine day (or maybe one not such a fine day), R' Elyashiv was a bit bored, so he took a little stroll to the local sefarim store, asked for the latest title, looked through a couple pages, and then ran home to write up a ban? Do you really think that as soon as he finished writing it, he hopped onto the next Sheirut to Bnei Brak to ask R' Kanievsky to sign??

Of Course NOT. He doesn't even read english!!

We all know what happened. The 'Askonim' came to him. They (don't ask me who) told him what the books are all about, and after confirming it, he signed the bans. The Askonim were the ones who ran around to the other Gedolim to have them all sign.

OK OK, so maybe the Gedolim are indeed too busy working for us to be up to date on current events, but how come the 'Askonim' didn't approach the Gedolim to ask them to voice their opinion on this most pressing issue? We must throw out this 60 year old Rebbe right away! He's an absolute danger! Why, as we speak, he's probably downstairs in the boiler room.....

Gevald! Sakonos Nefoshos Mamesh!!

Fregst Gut. Fregst Zayer Gut.

(Maybe we should ask Yankel in the coffee room. He seems to be very knowledgeable.)

Friday, May 19, 2006

We are ALL Torah Jews!

Many blogs are very into labeling different types of Jews.

UO, MO, Right Wing, Left Wing etc..

I just saw written somewhere that occasionally when R' Gifter would speak by Agudah conventions, he would say:

"I'm not an Orthodox Jew, I'm a proud Torah Jew!"

Now that is a label that every single Jew, from the far left to the extreme right, should be able to indentify with. We are all Acheinu Bnei Yisroel. The Torah was given to all. There is to much friction being displayed on various comment threads. Every one is entitled to their opinion and to disagree with others.


R' Scheinberg is a Tzadik Gomur!

Over here, someone posted the following story about R' Scheinberg:

"but there is a famous story of Rabbi Scheinberg Shlita, who was on an El Al flight and sitting right near one of the bigger screens. In those day, remember, they didn't have individual screens on the back of every seat. He apparently asked them to shut off that one screen. He was told that wasn't possible. Moments later, as the story is told, there was a malfunction and all the movie screens on the plane went blank. Supposedly, the flight attendant approached the rav's gabbai and asked, if we turn that one screen off, will the rabbi allow the other screens to be turned back on?"

Is this story true? I don't know.

But if other blogs can post Lashon Hara on R' Scheinberg, then I'm more than happy to post some Lashon Tov about him.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Yes! We do have Gedolim!

Another fine blog, Yeshiva World, has a post that the Gerrer Rebbe and R' Shteinman had to some extent cancel their trip to Montreal due to protests from certain factions of Netura Karta and/or Satmar. This is definitely upsetting, to all those who were looking forward to see these great Gedolim. I may in the future write a post about the mindset of these factions. For more details about this issue, see Yeshiva worlds blog.

My reason for mentioning this, is because of a comment in Hebrew I saw on YW's blog. I will try my best to translate the main context of the comment.

"When the Gerrer Rebbe was made aware that there will be protests, he immediately decided to cancel the visit. When the organizers heard that the visit was canceled, they turned to R' Yakkov Yitzchok Neiman, one of the elder & respected Rabbonim in Montreal to intercede with the Gerrer Rebbe not to cancel the visit.

R' Neiman argued to the Rebbe, if you don't come, then we have allowed those minor factions to succeed, and it will only strengthen them to continue causing us similiar hardships.

Answered the Holy Gerrer Rebbe:

"If we do come, and they come out in protest, which we cannot stop them since they have a permit to do so, surely this will create friction between us and them, and the news reporters will have a field day with it. This will lead to a Chilul Hashem.

Said the Holy Rebbe:


The Rebbe was well aware that Montreal would be heavily disappointed is he wouldn't come. Yet, rather disappoint them all and not create a Chillul Hashem.


Sunday, May 14, 2006


Godol Hador said:

* "Chareidi Judaism no longer stands for emmes"
* "Chareidi Judaism is sheker incarnate"
* "any commitment based on sheker is sheker itself, and cannot be accepted. It has to be rejected COMPLETELY and ABSOLUTELY by every decent minded person"
* "Likewise any ideology which insists on certain beliefs no matter what the evidence CANNOT
and MUST NOT be accepted, it is sheker through and through."

I emailed to GH and asked:

Your recent posts have taken the direction that being that you consider science to be Emes (based on the evidence and rationality of it), you therefore conclude that if Charedism oppose the findings of science, then Charedism must be sheker.

Obviously, that disturbs me.

A) The feeling that my whole upbringing and Derech Hachaim is a lie.

B) Its even harder for me think, that so many true Gedolei Yisroel from all the generations, all lived a life of Sheker.

Your position that Charedism is Sheker, is based on that Science is Emes. But is science indeed truly "Emes"?

When I see someone driving a car, I don't use my reasoning to conclude that someone drove a car. I saw it! But when I see a Jew driving on Shabbos, I don't "see'' Chilul Shabbos. He could have been driving to the hospital. But if I do use the "evidence" and then use my reasoning to conclude that he was Mechalel Shabbos (the guy is a known mechalel shabbos etc), could that conclusion be considered as Emes?

I know that this analogy isn't the best. But is my argument here correct? When you reach a conclusion via rationality and evidence, and you prove that your conclusion works, being that you never "saw it", just rather its a proven conclusion, does that classify it as Emes? Meaning, since your conclusion is based on evidence and reason, perhaps new evidence might be found.

To quote you in your last Mussar Shmooz "Any fundamental which requires absolute belief no matter what is bull, because you can never know what the evidence will bring". There are constant new discoveries. Now we are being told that Ants are 40 million years older than previously thought. Yes, you claim that science is proven and we can rely on it. And it works.

But can you stamp it as "Emes"?

If science is proven conclusions, but not "Emes" per se, then you can't label Charedism as Sheker.

Sure enough in his next post, he wrote:

"This does not mean that any arguments or theories advanced by these people are necessarily false"

I asked him:

Have you retracted those statements (the ones quoted above that charedism is sheker)?
If you are intellectualy honest, then it is incumbent that you publicly apologize for labeling a significant sector of Judaism as Sheker incarnate.

And here it came. GH's admission. That Charedism is NOT sheker:

"OK, that was maybe a little harsh. However by refusing to recognize the full scope of evidence from Science & History, Chareidi Judaism cannot claim to be intellectually honest, so theirs is a very shekker style approach. But I agree to categorically state it is sheker is hard, since absolute truth & falsehood is beyond our grasp"

But GH can't leave it that Charedim are right. If they aren't Sheker incarnate (whatever that means), then its a "very shekker style approach" because they cannot claim to be intellectually honest.

And that will IY"H be the topic on another post.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Who is an Am Ha'aretz? The Bais Halevi!

Disclaimer. I heard this story מפי השמועה. I did not verify it.

The Bais Halevi had a rich schver. Some people were sort of jealous. So they aproached the Bais Halevi in shul in the presence of his schver and asked him: When is the Molad?

Now go into BMG and ask every talmid when the Molad is. I'd be shocked if you would find more than 5 people who know when it is (and they don't own a palm).

The Bais Halevi didn't know. So they turned to his schver and said: See what an Am Ha'aretz you have for a son-in-law? He doesn't even know something as basic as when the Molad is!

As the story goes, ultimately the marriage ended in divorce.

I wish I was an Am Ha'aretz like the Bais Halevi.

P.S. So much for a rich schver. It isn't worth it.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Chai Rotel: Only if you believe!

Dov Bear, Godol Hador and Brooklyn Wolf posted about Chai Rotel.

Of course, I argued in defense of Chai Rotel. See Here

But it only works if you believe!

I'm known to be a big believer. God always helps his believers. The following just happened to me today:

Blackwell asked me: Additionaly are you certain that you are capable of being the spokesman for torah true yiddishkeit?

After his comment, I went to my Daf Yomi shiur.

Pesachim 105:2 אנא לא חכימא' אנא ולא חוזאה אנא ולא יחידא' אנא אלא גמרנא וסדרנא אנא

"Then R. Nachman replied: "I am not one of those sages who would proclaim a decree upon my own authority; neither am I a prophet nor do I quote an authority without corroboration, and I did so because I was convinced that my order was correct, "for thus it is also taught in the colleges."

As Rashi and Rashbam both explain "אלא גמרנא -"כך שמעתי בישיבה

So to speak out, one doesn't have to be a Chochom, its enough if "one heard it in Yeshivah"!

Monday, May 01, 2006

commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

Should I Start a Blog?

Someone asked me why I don't have a blog. I answered because its too time consuming. On second thought, maybe its worth a try!

So where should I start from? Why of course. From the beggining.

Of creation, that is. 5766 years ago.

My first thought, is how different the extremes are. 5766 - 15 billion. Like putting me together with Bill Gates. Hey, I don't even have 15 million pennies! 15 billion? It would probably take 5766 years to count up 15 billion singles!

In all seriousness, that's a huge gap. Someone must be way off.

Who? The scientists, of course. But I gotta go easy, this is a new blog, and a blog without commentators, is like a Rebbe without Chassidim. I can't afford to turn off my fellow esteemed "blog-friends" with my very first post.

Iy"h, more to come.

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