Saturday, February 12, 2022

No Laughing Matter

I was wrong.

When Yaron Reuven's acolytes produced, with his approval, an hour-long hate video against me, in which I was portrayed with a swastika tattoo and condemned as an "antisemite heretic," I thought that it was very funny. It didn't bother me in the slightest, and I told people not to make a fuss about it.

But I was wrong.

Indeed, it does not personally bother me, and I do not consider myself to be any danger. But that's only because I live in Israel.

Yaron Reuven is leading a very dangerous movement. In the past, I have pointed out how he is a danger to the Jewish People due to his irresponsible and slanderous videos falsely justifying Hitler's accusations against the Jews, which have been gleefully shared by antisemites to hundreds of thousands of people. But he's also dangerous in another way. 

Reuven is declaring that all kinds of people (and not just me) are heretics who are deserving of the death penalty in Judaism. But that's just the horrifying start.

Reuven further takes the horrific step of claiming that this is actually a practical ruling that is only limited by civil law. In perhaps the most shocking statement ever uttered by someone with the title of rabbi, he declares regarding a young man who challenged his lecture that "if it were legal, I would kill him."

The other aspect which makes this particularly dangerous is that Reuven (and Yosef Mizrachi), with their fetish for talking about punishment and suffering and violent deaths, attract a particular type of people - those who are violent. Mizrachi has openly boasted about this, while one of Reuven's most enthusiastic followers is a hate-filled felon who served time for stabbing someone. 

Such people, when they hear it drilled into them that various rabbis are dangerous Nazi-like heretics who need to be killed in order to save the Jewish nation, and that the only reason not to kill them is that it is not legal, may not be able to restrain themselves. They may well decide that since they don't care about what it is legal, they will do the Right Thing.

After Reuven's lackeys sent death threats to certain rabbis, the police and FBI were informed about Reuven, and have questioned him. But it appears that they are not able to act at this point.

It seems to me that the only way to limit Reuven's influence is to remove any claim that he has to credibility. Since he proclaims himself to be a rabbi based on receiving semicha from the Rabbinic Alliance of America, they need to publicly denounce him. Several people have asked them to do this in the past, but so far to no avail. I urge people to continue to pressure them, before something terrible happens. Contact information can be found here.


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35 comments:

  1. Mizrachi and Reuven are really dangerous people. I don't know why Reuven felt it was necessary, or appropriate to threaten someone saying if there were no laws he would kill apostates. Maybe it is time for the RAA to remove him?

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  2. Unfortunately, you are incredibly naive in thinking that Reuven's influence is in any way affected by this shnooky little unknown Rabbinical organization. His influence and popularity are his own, if they publicly denounced him, he would just call them heretics as well, it would make absolutely no difference. In general, you way overestimate the power of Rabbinical organizations, big or small, chareidi or otherwise. Now, if you received a credible threat, you could definitely complain to the police.

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    Replies
    1. It's not necessarily so that the Rabbinical Alliance of America is a meaningless organization. It could be that their semichah requirements are serious.

      Receiving a semichah from the Rabbinical Alliance of America doesn't inoculate a person from saying dangerous nonsense afterwards. Here in Israel, I think a rabbi could be arrested for incitement, for saying things of this gravity.

      Delete
    2. Happen to agree with happy here. Most rabbinical orgs are fragmented in that sense. BUT that shouldn't serve as a cover for not trying to do the right things...

      Delete
  3. why are you so obsessed with making them look like terrorists which is the last thing they are? Their students are serious Torah scholars and good citizens. They are not dangerous at all..

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    Replies
    1. " terrorists which is the last thing they are?"

      I personally know someone whose brother, a rabbi in Israel, was murdered by terrorists. Anyone who suggests that a rabbi should be killed is a terrorist or at least a terrorist wannabe. And woe to whomever tried to teach them Torah -- they clearly didn't learn anything.

      Delete
    2. "Their students are serious Torah scholars and...are not dangerous at all.."

      The Netziv disagrees with you:
      והענין דנתבאר בשירת האזינו על הפסוק "הצור תמים פעלו... צדיק וישר הוא" (דברים לב ד), דשבח "ישר הוא" נאמר להצדיק דין הקדוש ברוך הוא בחורבן בית שני, שהיה "דור עקש ופתלתל" (שם פסוק ה); ופירשנו שהיו צדיקים וחסידים ועמלי תורה, אך לא היו ישרים בהליכות עולמים. על כן, מפני שנאת חנם שבלבם זה אל זה, חשדו את מי שראו שנוהג שלא כדעתם ביראת ה' שהוא צדוקי ואפיקורס. ובאו על ידי זה לידי שפיכות דמים בדרך הפלגה, ולכל הרעות שבעולם, עד שחרב הבית.

      Delete
    3. Yosef Mizrachi and Yaron Reuven’s students ARE NOT serious Torah students. Some of Mizrachi’s ex-students are mainstream, but too many of them have chosen the further-vicious path of Yaron Reuven.
      And the latter group largely send their kids to Queens Public Schools.

      Delete
    4. Terrorists is PRECISELY what they are. They are using the threat of illegal violence to terrorize for political ends. In particular, they are what is known as "stochastic terrorists" attempting to influence people towards committing terrorist crimes but without telling a particular person to do so. It is a foolish, transparent ploy

      Delete
  4. why don't you actually watch the video proving you wrong and address
    content instead of just crying about it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He has, many times. Why not search for "Yaron" on this site?

      Or click this link for an example http://www.rationalistjudaism.com/2020/07/does-rabbi-yaron-reuven-speak-truth.html

      Delete
  5. "why don't you actually watch ... and address content?"

    You mean content like, "They are evil haters of Torah who should be stoned to death"? Well he's addressed it.

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  6. Sent this to the RAA: So-called "Rabbi" Yaron Reuven is not only culpable as a Mechalel HaShem B'rabim, but he teaches hate and violence against anyone who disagrees with his hate-mongering views. Many anti-Semites use his material to disparage Jews worldwide. His purpose is to gain popularity by smearing fellow-Jews.

    Organizations that gave semicha to Rabbis who have committed moral crimes have retracted their authorization based on the immoral behavior of their musmachim. Be courageous and halachik enough to remove your approval of this evil, sick man.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm trying to understand why hyperbolic fundamentalists of his brand are so popular among sphardim. Even his website and videos with there overly dramatic and cheesy special effects - reminds me of a cheap looking sphardim shul with lights and gaudy glitter. Lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. BM, although you didn't mean it, your comment has unpleasant insinuations that you might want to recall. Ashkenazim (I am Ashkenaz) have their own set of challenges.

      Delete
    2. It's more that people are attracted to the speaking ability, and the good feeling that they get when their own views are reinforced.

      I saw an excerpt from a recent sermon of Farrakhan ימ"ש, where he was relating how the musician Chris Martin paid him a visit, and brought over some of his Jewish friends. Farrakhan said how he was appointed by Elijah Muhammed to fight Satan (which, in this context, are Jews). You here all of his congregants echoing the same sentiment.

      Then people wonder why there are so many anti-Semitic hate crimes in the US. They of course have a pat answer: It must be because of Israel's policies that oppress the Palestinians. Bingo!

      Delete
    3. Sephardim tend to come from unsophisticated and relatively primitive societies; a lot of Arab propaganda looks the same.

      Delete
    4. Weaver Your attack of Sephardim is ridiculous. Rambam was Sephardim. And Sephardim are not unsophisticated primitive societies. Sephardim has made great contributions to Jewish thought and science.

      Delete
    5. @BigMouth and @Weaver

      I know the whole world is going to jump down your throats for the crass stupid comments you just made, so I thought I should add my weight to the load.

      Almost everything you wrote was bigoted.
      I would just note that you perhaps haven't noticed the advanced and culturally sophisticated messaging on pashkevills often found on the walls of ashkenazi ultra-orthodox society.
      Ignorance, it seems, can be found everywhere.

      Reuvan and Mizrachi may well have their followers, but then so does Kanievsky et al.

      Stupid people fall for stupid loud leaders. I'm really not sure that it gets more complicated than that.

      See also: Bibi-ism.

      Delete
    6. I'm sure his appeal is much wider than just Sephardim but perhaps his key audience (not main) is a relatively uneducated Israeli underclass, which skews Sephardic/Mizrachi. Having said that, he certainly appeals to a broad cross-section, including women, but especially messianic non-Jews.

      Delete
    7. I was not referring to Sephardim historically, just over say, the past 100 years or so. I thought that was obvious. Again, notice the stylistic similarities to Arab propaganda. Their style clearly appeals to Sephardim, as Meir Moses pointed out.

      Delete
  8. Forget the analysis. Arrange for physical protection for yourself, your family, and the museum building too. And notify the police.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Yaron Reuven is your model for True Believer fanaticism. He’s really not that unique because he shares all the characteristics of a maniacal crank who relies on unfalsifiable formulations and precepts to exhort his devotees to engage in all sorts of mayhem. Reuven is a real threat to those that he accuses of kofrim, deserving of Torah approved murder.
    Who could have imagined that Yigal Amir could have been inspired by True Torah believers to murder Yitzchak Rabin?
    Rav Slifkin, I would take his threats very seriously..

    “...All mass movements generate in their adherents a readiness to die and a proclivity for united action; all of them, irrespective of the doctrine they preach and the program they project, breed fanaticism, enthusiasm, fervent hope, hatred and intolerance; all of them are capable of releasing a powerful flow of activity in certain departments of life; all of them demand blind faith and single-hearted allegiance …”

    https://reasonandmeaning.com/2017/09/04/summary-of-eric-hoffers-the-true-believer/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amir was inspired (deliberately or not) by a Shin Bet agent operating under orders. This isn't exactly unknown or controversial.

      Delete
    2. Who could imagine the Maccabees killing the Hellinist "Jews" ?
      The REAL tragedy was the Altellena. Never forgive, never forget!

      Delete
  10. I hope it's very clear that he doesn't have semikha from the RAA because the RAA doesn't give semikha. No organization (apart from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel) gives semikha. Look at that certificate- it states that he's a member of the organization, no more. I imagine the RAA *might* have requirements for membership* that include a recognized semikha, as the RCA does, but this is not semikha.

    I'm not saying Reuven doesn't *claim* semikha from the RAA, but if so, it's a lie, and thus he can lie even if they, say, expel him. Do you think his followers are actually going to look it up?

    *By the way, I have no idea if the RAA has standards. Like the older Agudat HaRabbanim, the RAA had withered to nothing decades ago. The two organizations had about a dozen active members, tops, between them (and overlapping). They were basically hijacked by some loudmouth who used their name as way of spreading his ideas.

    A few years ago the RAA was "revived" by some right-wing rabbis, Gil Student prominent among them, who felt the RCA was getting too left-wing. I have no idea if this effort got anywhere, but one way or another, it means that a certificate like this means nothing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To be clear, this is what he is claiming on this website: "Rabbi Yaron Reuven has a Yoreh Yoreh Rabbinical Semicha from Kollel Ayshel Avraham and is a proud member of the Igud HaRabbonim (RAA)."

      However, about Ayshel: "The kollel enjoys the full support and encouragement of the current leadership of the Igud HaRabbanim (Rabbinical Alliance of America) and its presidium." The "kollel" seems to be a branch of RAA in all but name.

      Delete
    2. Interesting that he would point to the RAA membership, then. But I guess it's more recognizable.

      The whole thing sounds a bit hinky.

      Delete
  11. There are a large number of people out there, Jewish and non-Jewish, who are very uncomfortable with what they've seen happen to society in the last few decades. As Mark Steyn says, when respectable society forbids talking about certain issues, people will turn to non-respectable types to express that. And that's never going to end well.

    I can't say this explains all, or even most, of these charlatans' support. But understanding it may help to peel off at least some of it.

    To take a not-so-random example, if every single leader of UK Jewry, even the Orthodox ones, informs a quarter-million Israelis (a population equal to that of Jews, total, in the UK!) that their views are so beyond the pale they cannot even be *thought* about, well, a lot of those people are going to go to screaming, dangerous, demagogue "rabbis" who will, at the very least, not tell them they're treyf for holding views that were completely normative ten minutes ago.

    Some people should think long and hard about whether, in making supercilious pronouncements as if they were gospel truth, they are perhaps enabling these freaks.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I start to wonder about Reuven's past... Maybe there are bodies

    ReplyDelete
  13. Nathan slifkin is a Heretec and hes the enemy! And maybe if u stop wasting seed. U might come to ur senses.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you want to talk about coming to your senses take a step back and reread your comment

      Delete
    2. So rare in these later days to see lashon hatov. And having read your response.... we still haven't. Not literacy. Nor clever believable insults

      Delete
  14. The funniest thing is the actually feature Rabbi Sacks ok their website... I am in Dayanut with one of the Rabonim there. I will talk with him about this. We are in a Dati Leumi program which makes it also ironic.

    ReplyDelete

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