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??


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