Monday, October 12, 2020

The Goose That Laid The Golden Eggs

"One day a countryman going to the nest of his Goose found there an egg all yellow and glittering. He found to his delight that it was an egg of pure gold. Every morning the same thing occurred, and he soon became rich by selling his eggs. As he grew rich he grew greedy; and thinking to get at once all the gold the Goose could give, he killed it and opened it. But inside, he found nothing; and no longer did he have a goose to lay golden eggs."

When Aesop composed this fable, he must surely have had the Kanievsky family in mind. Rav Chaim Kanievsky, renowned for his extraordinary dedication to Torah study, is promoted as a miracle worker. People are desperate to receive his magical blessing of "Booah!" (short for Bracha V'Hatzlacha), which they interpret as prophetic guidance and divine blessing. His family, especially his dishonorable grandson Yanky, milk him for all he's worth. After all, manipulating him is extremely easy (due to his advanced years), and it's lucrative. Controlling Rav Chaim brings the golden eggs of both power and money.

Kupat HaIr, a charitable organization famous for its manipulation of people, recently hit upon a new scheme involving Rav Chaim. As they write on their website, the pandemic has made everyone very fearful for their health. "Many of us would pay any sum of money for a tested, confirmed protection from this terrible situation." Well, they are offering such protection for just 277 shekels! It's a leaf from the aravot that Rav Chaim beats with on Hoshana Rabbah!

(Of course, this does raise some questions, such as how can the Kupa can be aiming for 1000 such donations when there are surely not that many leaves on his aravot bundle. Not to mention that the fact that there is absolutely no reason to believe that an aravah leaf confers any benefits at all, let alone being a "tested, confirmed protection." And it's a bit rich to make such a claim when Rav Chaim's special qualities weren't even adequate to save he himself from corona! Not to mention that it's a very bad idea to get a leaf that was held by someone confirmed to be carrying the virus!)

With the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, the desperation and fear that it created made Rav Chaim's magic guidance and blessings all the more valuable. Rav Chaim's family wanted to get as much gold as possible. While most people sought to protect their elderly, at-risk relatives from coming into contact with potential virus carriers, Rav Chaim's family kept on exposing him to potential carriers, all the while spreading promises of protection.

Inevitably, Rav Chaim eventually contracted Covid-19. You'd think that at this point, his family would finally treat him appropriately. But no! They trotted out this 92-year-old Covid-19 patient to sit at a two-and-a-half hour Simchat Beit HaSho'eiva, with a live broadcast. Rather unsurprisingly, he collapsed in the middle. We can only hope that he will survive his family's attempts to extract as much gold as possible.

As I've said before, you can't only blame Yanky Kanievsky for this terrible exploitation of an elderly man in order to wreak damage upon the Jewish People. He's only able to do it because there's a willing audience for it. The responsibility lies with everyone who places Rav Chaim's "guidance" and blessings upon a pedestal on which they do not belong.

38 comments:

  1. Another masterpiece, crystal clear writing.

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  2. What is the evidence that Yanki milks him for financial gain.

    I know Yanki has disgusting friends, but that's a separate cheshbon isn't it.

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  3. Poor Rav Chaim Kanievsky. He probably will not make it unless a miracle occurs. President Trump had a lot of money, was the nation's leader, and was a younger man. It is wrong for his family to take advantage of him, especially considering his elderly-age.  
    Let's pray for his recovery.

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    1. Afaik, the survival rate of people at the age of Rabbi Kaniyevsky is well above miracle levels, more than 90%.
      We should pray for him, but we are not asking for a miracle.
      Jason from Jersey

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  4. The optics of it all not withstanding.. show me where "Yankie" has ever profited- personally, from this "golden goose" - As you'd call it..

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    1. There was an article a few months ago about a very special private birthday party that Yanky had. Attended by some of the most powerful and important people in Israel.

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    2. Plus, to get VIP access to Rav Chaim, you give a "donation."

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    3. You forget, he has to share his 'income' with the rest of the family. First, to keep them quiet, for tolerating him, second, they're entitled to something.
      There are a lot of cousins.

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    4. who do you give the donation to ?

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    5. @ashirah, do you really think the donation will protect you from coronavirus? Wasn't Torah study enough?

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    6. Of course a birthday party is just proof that he is making lots of money. He really really wanted a birthday party, that was his only wish. And hey presto! He got it. He lives his whole life in order to get a birthday party.

      How frivolous can you get?

      It is possible Mr Kaniyevsky profits from his position as נכד הדור but a birthday party is not proof
      Jason

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  5. Only last week, a great rabbi of Pittsburgh, Rabbi Mordechai Yissachar Ber Leifer, died of coronavirus at the age of 64. Although his followers attended his funeral procession in multitudes (5,000 strong), despite restrictions, it was good to remember him.

    Since this pandemic began, Leifer has never left his home. Although he was a member of the charedi community, he always adhered to the CDC guidelines and restrictions, notably that he never left his home for six months! In doing so, he set an example for other charedim chassidic groups around the area. When he left his home finally for the first time in August, when the pandemic was drastically slowing down, he caught coronavirus and sadly passed away on October 4th. But when Jews of all sects of Judaism attended his funeral, the police violently wrestled with and shoved mourners. 

    I am all for masks, social distancing, and police ("Blue lives matter"). But the anti-Semitism of the left in liberal-held cities is astonishing, and frankly, I cannot understand, and will never understand, how self-described religious, observant Jews hold left-values while at the same time ignoring the blatant lies of anti-Semites on the left.

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    1. What "left-values" are you referring to, here, exactly, then?

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    2. Very sad about Rabbi Leifer. A note to those who are unfamiliar with him: While he was the Pittsburgher Rebbe, he actually lived in Ashdod, Israel, not Pittsburgh, USA. And he wasn't even that old -- Wikipedia says he was born in 1955. There is a lot of disinformation by irresponsible people claiming that only the elderly are vulnerable.

      Yesterday I happened to have had a conversation yesterday with a non-observant Jewish woman who lives in Lakewood, NJ and teaches in the public schools there. Her students ride the same school buses as the charedi yeshiva kids who are ignoring the recommended guidelines. She has been in and out of isolation as one of her students after another comes up positive. As you might expect, she isn't very happy with orthodox Jews. This is not anti-Semitism, this is total irresponsibility on the part of OUR people.

      Yes, there are indeed anti-Semites on the left such as Rashida Tlaib (who interestingly is NOT supporting Joe Biden for President) and Ilhan Omar (who spouts the same anti-Semitic memes as Donald Trump, only not as frequently), along with less important people such as the vile Linda Sarsour who have never been elected to anything, the idea that Andrew Cuomo or Bill De Blasio are anti-Semites, as much of the frum world seems to be claiming, is absolutely from an alternative reality.

      Just to give multiple examples for each: Cuomo was the first US Governor to sign an executive order that the state divest from companies supporting the BDS movement. And in his budget this year he included $25 million for religious nonprofits that were vulnerable to domestic terrorism, created a new class of criminal offence of domestic terrorism hate crime that is punishable by life without parole (in NY you often see this as part of budget legislation), and has empowered the New York State Police to investigate hate crimes.

      And NYC has never had a mayor prior to De Blasio who has kowtowed as much to charedi leadership. For example, he allowed metzitzah be peh to continue, he looked the other way when yeshivot violate state law with their inadequate (or nonexistent) secular studies, he set up a hate crimes office in City Hall, and he allowed charedim to hold the kinds of mass spreading events that were banned for every other organization in the city.

      Cuomo and De Blasio are rewarded with ungrateful abuse and mass irresponsibility. Midwood, Brooklyn now has nine times the COVID incidence rate of Chinatown, Manhattan -- a much nore crowded place! I have been attending only outdoor minyanim, when I do go to minyans, since mid-March. There is no excuse to turn our religious services into mass spreading events.

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    3. @Charlie Hall, I can agree with much of what you wrote. My only question would be that if Cuomo & Bill De Blasio are not anti-Semites, why did they close a Jewish playground during coronavirus? Why did they close down Shul? Why all the restrictions to remove sukkahs in New York City. Good that my friend was at Long Island at the time (away from the city).

      With regards to President Trump, since you said he "spouts memes," Trump is actually very nice towards Israel when he moved the US embassy to Jerusalem. Besides, his own daughter is now Jewish and he now has a Jewish son-in-law. How then, could he be anti-Semitic?

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    4. CHarlie - What does the public school have to do with the Charedi community in Lakewood?
      Unless she is a teacher in the pre-school, which has many Charedi children.
      Jason

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    5. You say it is "astonishing", but I am sure you are not in the least astonished, since your entire diatribe comes across as a massive exercise in confirmation bias.

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    6. Charlie Hall:. That hate crimes unit hasn't done a thing, besides collect payroll checks for connected people, and minimize or hide several hate crimes.

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  6. Not sure why you think there can't be 100 leaves. Five aravos, about twenty leaves each sounds right to me.

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    1. Wow. That is so crazy I misread what you wrote.

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    2. Don't worry, it was shaken in his presence.
      Not necessarily as part of any HR ritual

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  7. I am not sure Rav Chaim didn't simply drop off to sleep at the simcha. I would have.

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    1. Funny, but he doesn't droop off. He shoots up like he's been shot and closes his eyes.

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  8. This is a very good post - except for the first sentence. It should read:
    When the Kanievsky family composed their fable, they must surely had Aesop in mind.

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  9. Gambling is very popular among people these days. Some people just trying to become rich, but some fail and make their life worse. So, please don't be that people and play if you are confident in it. If you want, you can play mr bet casino

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  10. Disbeliever! Obviously he was machmir and took lots of extra aravos

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  11. It's worse than you write. According to this, Rav Chaim's only contact with the public has been from behind a screen.
    https://5townscentral.com/2020/10/02/the-gadol-hador-rav-chaim-kanievsky-tested-positive-for-coronavirus/

    So, given that his son and grandson are both positive, it might be down to those two as to who gave it to him.



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  12. I did not see the Rav's bundle, but my son said when he went to shul he saw the rebbe who shall remain unnamed had at least 20 aravot in his bundle. My son said he never saw or heard of such a thing (doesn't mean it's not a thing. Spuduks and Streimels are a thing too). Maybe R'Chaim had 30=40 Arovot? If you're magic and moving the bar it makes sense. After all, would you want one ring of power or one for each finger?

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    1. "After all, would you want one ring of power or one for each finger?"

      This actually made me laugh out loud. Line of the day right here.

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  13. That RCK is cynically manipulated by people is clear. With that said, the man is not just an average guy in a nursing home. He makes public appearances, as many figures the Charedi world look to as Gedolim did at advanced ages. He would not attend a Simcha if he didn't want to.

    Kupat Hair is a separate problem, and yes, they do prey on the feeble-minded. Then again, they're no different than a thousand other charities, Jewish and non Jewish, who tell you the world will end if you don't support their cause.

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    1. "He would not attend a Simcha if he didn't want to." Perhaps he wanted to. Lots of ill people would love to just get out of bed and do whatever they used to do. Physicians and loved ones will tell them that they are putting themselves and others at risk and they need to stay home. Certainly, he wanted visitors as well, but he got COVID because they didn't take care to screen the visitors keep them distanced.

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    2. "Then again, they're no different than a thousand other charities, Jewish and non Jewish, who tell you the world will end if you don't support their cause."

      That does not justify their acts.

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    3. Yes, I agree a 93 year old man should take (and people should take in his regard) more precautions. The elderly have always been the ones at risk. However, RNS that RNS wrote that RCK was "trotted out" as though he were some sort of pony on display with no will of his own, and that's not only false, but insulting to boot.

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  14. 'the fact that there is absolutely no reason to believe that an aravah leaf confers any benefits at all, let alone being a "tested, confirmed protection."

    This seems to ignore many classic Jewish sources, from the Rishonim and further, that say that a leaf from an Arava that was banged on Hoshana Rabba is a segula for protection. You may not like those sources, but that does not scrub those sources out of existence. I remember reading about it in the Avudraham. The basis is the Gemara that says שיירי מצוה מעכבין את הפרענות, although that in and of itself would not be a complete source.

    Of course, that does not mean that Rabbi K's leaf is any better than the leaf on your own set of Hoshanos, and many people that I know keep a leaf of their own Hoshanos in their car, house and/or office. People also keep a tiny piece of their Afikoman as a talisman, also sourced in Rishonim.

    Not all Segulos were created equal. Some are poppycock, others not so much.

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    1. Some would argue that all are poppycock, but some are at least poppycock with a pedigree, while others are unadulterated hooey.

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