Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Miscellanous Notes

I. Here's an interesting perspective: Former Sudanese Slave: “Calling Israel a racist state is absolutely absurd and immoral.”

II. And here's an interesting question that someone forwarded to me: Should a rationalist knock on his head when saying על חטא? After all, the reason we knock on the heart is to say that the heart caused us to sin!... (Answer: No.)

III. I have no idea what's going on in Lakewood, but take a look at the following two letters:

Some observations:
1. Finally, some "Gedolim" admit that they were fed false information regarding a letter that they had signed. They also claim that other signatures turned out to be fake - is the implication that they had signed based on believing them to be genuine and relying on them?
2. Note that they give two reasons for retracting their signatures - first, that the true facts have come to light, and second, that Rav Elyashiv pressed them to do so. Remember the post about the two reasons principle? Whenever someone gives two reasons for something, the second reason is always the real one!
3. I bet that the victims of the first letter flexed some serious muscle.
3. What about the others - why didn't they retract their signatures?
4. Does anyone still take any of these letters seriously?

19 comments:

  1. Daas Torah doesn't existOctober 12, 2011 at 12:59 AM

    What should I take seriously? If you read the first letter all it says is that the Rabonim in the Beis Din didn't ask for permission before opening their Beis Din. In Lakewood that is a grave sin, because everybody knows that the Roshei Yeshiva are in charge of the city and have a say in every matter that goes on in it!!! Truth is their involvement is laughable, a Rosh Yeshiva (at least nowadays) doesn't have to know anything besides how to give a shiur. To be a Dayan (a real one that is) requires rigorous training and relentless study; not just thumb turning. To be a Rosh Yeshiva in Lakewood you have to be related to Rav Aaron Kotler.

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  2. Wow! It's pretty amazing about how quickly one avrech became several rabbanim geonim.

    Hag Sameach
    Lawrence Kaplan

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  3. There's much wrong with these letters!

    They only signed because others had signed? Shouldn't they have just kept quiet if they didn't know the facts. Aren't these communities big on Chofetz Chaim and shmirat halashon?

    It says in the letter "shelo midateinu" that it would be made public. What? Are you kidding me?

    And what even changed from letter to letter? The reason this Beit Din was "assur" was because they didn't ask for permission before opening it. How did this change after speaking to R Elyashiv or finding out that "haeidim hane'emanim" were liars? Did the avrech actually speak to the manhigei ha'ir before opening his beit din or was it that he wasn't actually an avrech or was it that he was close to R Elyashiv?

    There's so much sheker!

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  4. knocking on the head- there is a footnote in the r'yns machzor (p116) that he once half seriously made such a suggestion
    gt
    joel rich

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  5. On a related note:
    http://www.vosizneias.com/92931/2011/10/11/new-york-in-exclusive-ami-magzine-intreview-noted-rabbi-schachter-slams-set-up-of-rabbinical-court-system

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  6. oops-s/b r'ybs
    gt
    joel rich

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  7. Yea their are constantly these types of "letters" and problems. I have seen this first hand in community as well. Their are signatures on letters being distributed while others saying that those are fake forgeries.
    The situation in the Jewish world is sick today. Literally sick, their are very few I can say that I can trust. Personally the way I look at it is that we can't wait for the salvation to come from our leaders. Its the normal Yid who needs to get his allegiance fixed. Our allegiance should be first and foremost to G-D and His rules. Those who breach them whether reform/haredim or mamlahtim should be simply ignored because we know better and we know the truth. THIS IS A GREAT STRUGGLE.

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  8. "Rav Elyashiv pressed them to do so."

    Where do you see that he *pressed* them?

    BTW, in the old template you could press the "end" button and get to the end of the post(s)/comments. In the new template that sends you way down into nowhere.

    good yom tov to all.

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  9. Tzvi, you're almost paraphrasing the the signs of Moshiach from Sotah 49b.

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  10. To be a Jewish religious judge (dayan) take no intelligence. But to give a shiur to smart bachurim of eighteen years old and older takes intelligence. To be a dayan in America does not require anything but family connections. To be a dayan in Israel means much less than people think.
    In Israel the training is rigorous but not in America.
    Even though Lakewood is a shiduch yeshiva i still think that to give a shiur requires much more than a dayan. and besides this who would want a dayan in the first place? anyone familiar of the corruption and stupidity that goes on in charedi beit dins would be an idiot to go to one. Their decision pesak never has anything to do with the Shulchan Aruch. The dayanim I have talked with never knew the relevant sugias in the Gemara or the halacha in Shulchan Aruch. Nowadays it is only people actively involved in Gemara like roshei yeshivot know much of anything about Torah at all-- not dayanim.

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  11. Phil- I just search it to see this is what your referring to. And its soo true today actually. Even before seeing your post tonight during the Hag I was thinking a lot about the "face of the dog" what what it's talking about in our generation.
    IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE MESSIAH1 INSOLENCE WILL INCREASE AND HONOUR DWINDLE;2 THE VINE WILL YIELD ITS FRUIT [ABUNDANTLY] BUT WINE WILL BE DEAR;3 THE GOVERNMENT WILL TURN TO HERESY4 AND THERE WILL BE NONE [TO OFFER THEM] REPROOF; THE MEETING-PLACE [OF SCHOLARS] WILL BE USED FOR IMMORALITY; GALILEE WILL BE DESTROYED, GABLAN5 DESOLATED, AND THE DWELLERS ON THE FRONTIER WILL GO ABOUT [BEGGING] FROM PLACE TO PLACE WITHOUT ANYONE TO TAKE PITY ON THEM; THE WISDOM OF THE LEARNED6 WILL DEGENERATE, FEARERS OF SIN WILL BE DESPISED, AND THE TRUTH WILL BE LACKING; YOUTHS WILL PUT OLD MEN TO SHAME, THE OLD WILL STAND UP IN THE PRESENCE OF THE YOUNG, A SON WILL REVILE HIS FATHER, A DAUGHTER WILL RISE AGAINST HER MOTHER, A DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AGAINST HER MOTHER-IN-LAW, AND A MAN'S ENEMIES WILL BE THE MEMBERS OF HIS HOUSEHOLD;7 THE FACE OF THE GENERATION WILL BE LIKE THE FACE OF A DOG,8 A SON WILL NOT FEEL ASHAMED BEFORE HIS FATHER. SO UPON WHOM IS IT FOR US TO RELY? UPON OUR FATHER WHO IS IN HEAVEN.

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  12. This speculative criticism says something about your integrity.
    In halacha it is permited to rely on certain testimonies even though they may be later disproven.
    In light of Rav Elyashiv's currend medical state it's highly unlikely he put any great pressure on anybody.
    I think you should publicly apologize as is the halacha for being mavazeh these nice respctable talmidei chachamim even assuming that they were only to be what they are in their own fields. Or even as plain citizens your way of acting was doing exactly what you acused them of doing.
    Ma Nishtanah

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  13. There is nothing wrong or shameful in reconsidering and changing one's position based on newly discovered or considered facts or law.

    If these fatwahs would provide clear reasoning in their original psak, then when they retract it wouldn't be as shameful.

    The first letter would say: These are the facts. This is the Halacha. In applying the Halacha to the facts, we reach such and such conclusion, and therefore pasken XYZ.

    Thereafter, should they reconsider, they would write in the retraction that "in the original fatwah, we failed to consider fact A, or Halacha B. Had we considered those factors, we would have reached a different conclusion, and now, in light of those newly discovered or considered factors, we pasken the opposite of XYZ."

    Courts change their rulings all the time. What is shameful, and gives the signatories of these fatwahs an appearance of bumbling, is that they provide no facts or laws. All we see is that they write one thing, then change their minds. It all appears to be very arbitrary.

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  14. I would prefer to wait to see a third letter that says that both of the above were mezuyaf.

    In most of the civilized world, such a public admission of incompetence (if it is indeed genuine) would be followed by resignation.

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  15. lakewood breaking newsJanuary 23, 2012 at 7:50 AM

    *UPDATE*

    Here’s an abridgement of a strong letter that was just made public on the bulletin boards of local shuls and in local weeklys, reaching a few thousands. When the original forgery was done they didn’t feel it necessary to go public, but now that the accused, if he gets his way, will make a churban in the area of Gittin, they are speaking out. There are about three dozen signatures in the original, but I’ve only included the three that appear on the top line. They are the senior local Poseik, the Rosh Hayeshivah, and a prominent Gittin Dayan. At the bottom is the confirmation of two non-local rabbis with expertise in Gittin.

    Two items which are spelled out in the letter as it appears in the weeklys and on the bulletin boards are the accused’s actual name (the name with his address appears in the local phone book) and the details of the Gittin problems he is allegedly creating. I decline to spread that soil beyond local borders, but I’m sure some muckrakers will take the job.

    The relevant parts which I’ve included obviously negate much of this part of the post.

    (cont’d)

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  16. lakewood breaking newsJanuary 23, 2012 at 8:03 AM

    בס"ד טבת תשע"ב

    להסיר מכשול ואבן נגף מבית ישרא'

    הנה הגיע לעירנו אברך אחד בשם... ופתח לעצמו בית דין בלא המלצת אף אחד ממנהיגי ורבני העיר, ובשם בד"ץ דליקוואוד יקרא וכבר גילו דעתם בכתב מנהיגי ורבני העיר שאינם מסכימים לזה כלל, והכריזו בקול גדול שאין לו ולא לבית דינו שום תוקף וסמכות כלל.... והוא אינו מתחשב כלל בזה ועושה התורה הקדושה לחוכא וטלולא....

    והוסיף ושנה באולתו בחוצפה והעזה גדולה שעוד לא ראינו כדוגמתה, והציג מכתב מזויף עם חתימות של ראשי הישיבה והמשגיח דעירנו שליט"א כאילו חזרו מחתימתם הראשונה נגדו. וחשב לבנות במה לעצמו ולבית דינו

    והוסיף פשע על פשעיו שהלך לרבנים מחוץ לעירנו ועשה אסיפה שמטרתה לדון ולחקור באיזה אופן לקבוע כתיבת גיטין... והתימה עצומה איך חציף כולי האי...

    וצריך להרעיש עולם ומלואו על עלבון התורה שנעשית כהפקר לכל מאן דהוא. על כן אנו מודיעים שאין לכל מעשה בית דין שלו שום תוקף כלל, ושאין להתחשב עם כל מה שיוצא מתחת ידו, וכל מי שבידו להשפיע עליו להחזירו למוטב תע"ב....

    יעקב אפרים הכהן פארכהיימער ארי' מלכיא' קוטלר באאמו"ר הגר"ש זצ"ל יעקב ברמן

    (ועוד יותר משלשים חתימות מרבני העיר)

    (cont'd)

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  17. lakewood breaking newsJanuary 23, 2012 at 8:07 AM

    (cont'd)

    להוי ידוע בשער בת רבים שהמדובר הנ"ל לא התיעץ אתנו כלל וכלל בענין כתיבת גיטין בעיה"ת ליקוואוד, וכן כבר כמה שנים שלא הי' בקשר אתנו בכל הנוגע לפעילות הבית דין שלו שנקרא בד"ץ דליקוואוד....

    אהרן פעלדער פילאדעלפיא נחום אייזנשטיין ירושלים עיה"ק

    (end)

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  18. "When the original forgery was done they didn’t feel it necessary to go public, "

    That sounds extremely strange.

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