Saturday, September 3, 2022

Who Is Responsible For Bloodshed?

About ten years ago, some people in Jerusalem believed that their children were being molested by a missionary pedophilia ring masterminded by an elderly woman who was running it out of secret dungeons in her basement. One man, along with some associates, broke into this woman's home and beat her up, breaking her bones, but did not find any dungeons. When he was caught by police, he declared that he had been acting under instructions from Rav Moshe Shapira, a brilliant mystical scholar much revered in Anglo-charedi circles. (Full disclosure: He was also one of the primary forces behind the ban on my books.)

Rav Shapiro put out a letter strongly condemning the man's actions and asserting that the woman was innocent of any wrongdoing. He also pronounced the declaration mentioned in today's Torah reading about the procedure of eglah arufah, the unsolved murder, in which the elders declare, "Our hands did not spill this blood." 

However, the man produced a secret video recording, since circulated by the news media. In this recording, Rav Moshe explicitly told him that the police will not stop this woman and that he should beat her up to the point of hospitalization or beyond. (The police subsequently arrested Rav Moshe for incitement to violence.)

Now, perhaps one can argue that if the woman was indeed masterminding a pedophilia ring that the police were not doing anything about, then vigilante action is indeed necessary (though personally I would think that one should exercise extreme humility and caution before drawing such conclusions). But whether or  not that is the case, one thing is clear: Rav Moshe really did encourage the man to severely beat her, and thus whether the man's actions were right or wrong, Rav Moshe bore some responsibility for them. And to cite the verse of "Our hands did not spill this blood" was completely inverting the meaning of the eglah arufah procedure. 

The mitzvah of eglah arufah is difficult to fully understand, and the commentaries give a variety of explanations. However, whatever the precise significance of the ritual and the meaning of the proclamation, it's clear that it's fundamentally about taking responsibility, not absolving oneself of it. When there is a murder, every attempt must be made to find the killer. If this fails, one doesn't simply throw up one's hands and move on - an entire procedure of atonement is required. As Rashi explains, the leaders are required to attest even that they didn't even cause people to be so hungry that they are driven to murder others for sustenance. Now, being responsible for poverty is hardly the same as being responsible for murder, and yet the Torah still considers them to be related. Rambam says that the leaders must likewise attest that they have taken sufficient measures to ensure public safety. We see how much the Torah demands responsibility from leaders.

I was reminded of all this over Shabbos, not just because of the parashah, but also because of a drasha I heard from our community rav. He pointed to this message of eglah arufah in the context of bemoaning last week's news about the Meron Commission of Inquiry. 

After a year of interviews, the State Commission of Inquiry into the Meron tragedy sent warning letters to eighteen officials, including police chiefs, the minister of religious services at the time, and Bibi. The Commission noted that they are limiting their mandate to those who served in official roles at the time, even though there were many others without official roles who were involved in pressuring the officials to bypass normal safety protocols. 

It's important to understand that a tragedy of that magnitude could not have happened without a very large number of people being complicit. As someone who runs a public institution, I am all too familiar with how many safety codes and regulations one has to painstakingly fulfill in order to receive a license to operate. And that's for a relatively small institution with a capacity of several hundred people - once you're talking about events with tens of thousands of people, the dangers are exponentially greater and the safety requirements vastly more serious. Meron could not have bypassed all those codes for years, especially after several reports from the State Comptroller's office warning of the dangers of the site, without numerous people "greasing the wheels." 

So, there were numerous important people, leaders and safety officials and influencers, who were together responsible for the loss of 45 lives, the worst civil disaster in the history of the country. And how many of them have stepped up to take partial responsibility? Not a single one.

To that disgrace, one can add that the underlying cause for enabling such a dangerous event to take place -  charedi separatism and disregard for civil law and the laws of science - is likewise not something for which any charedi leaders are admitting any error.

If a communal atonement by leaders is required for a single murder which cannot be solved and which is not actually their responsibility in any way, imagine what kind of atonement is required for the loss of 45 lives in which the cause of death is obvious and lies with the leaders themselves.


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84 comments:

  1. I researched this story and it seems pretty clear there was widespread abuse going on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All such conspiracies turn out to be myths. Child abusers don't work in rings. And there are certainly never Satanic rituals, tunnels, and the like. Those are mass hysterias that pop up, tellingly with many similar features (adapted, as here, to local paranoias, e.g. "missionaries"), around the world every few years.

      Were some kids being molested by local weirdos? Maybe. (The police had the work made much more difficult by all the hysteria.) Was it some sort of conspiracy? No.

      Delete
    2. Nachum, you could not be more wrong. And the FBI itself released the hard evidence to prove it, decades after the fact.

      https://brianniemeier.com/2019/10/the-finders-keepers/

      "The next time a smug bug man or internet atheist ridicules the religious Right for starting a Satanic Panic back in the 80s, you can serve him this brimming glass of STFU.
      ...
      No need to fret, [Redacted], whoever prepared the FBI document dump on the Finders also threw in a map produced from the execution of a search warrant on McMartin preschool in Manhattan Beach, CA.

      If the name McMartin Preschool rings a bell, it’s because the school gained infamy as ground zero for the child abuse case that kicked off the so-called Satanic Panic.

      360 children were alleged to have been abused at McMartin daycare. Many of the children claimed that they’d been subjected to sexual and satanic ritual abuse in a system of tunnels under the school. When investigators declared that excavations turned up nothing, the claim of secret tunnels became a byword for spurious ritual abuse claims.

      Now, after a generation of ridicule, the FBI has confirmed the tunnels’ existence, vindicating the children’s testimony."

      There is much more at the link, including a link to the FBI dump.

      I grew up in Los Angeles and the McMartin case was the backdrop for much of my childhood. I was with you the entire time. The accusations so outlandish, they couldn't possibly be real. I, like many, breathed a sigh of relief when no alleged tunnels were found, as everything in the case hinged on their existence.

      You hear that, Nachum? The tunnels were REAL. The FBI itself says so.

      You are wrong about McMartin, as well as every other case even where the FBI didn't conveniently corroborate the accusations (and then ignore it for decades). They were all real. Even now, I doubt you will believe even McMartin was real. Or Finders-Keepers for that matter.

      What it proves is that the judges, prosecution, and police all threw the case by claiming the tunnels didn't exist. Is that a conspiracy? Was there collusion of some sort? I don't know. But it is no myth. And something like that is definitely going on here.

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    3. They threw the case? Those poor people went to jail for *years*. Some *still* haven't been fully cleared.

      They weren't tunnels. They were small crawlspaces or sewer lines at best. The FBI said nothing; the files were documents given to the FBI by others, which prove nothing in any event.

      Delete
    4. "And the FBI itself released the hard evidence to prove it, decades after the fact."

      The blog post you linked is a mess. I see no "hard evidence". Not everything in the FBI files are evidence/true, just like not like everything uttered in testimony is evidence/true. The blogger seems gone dumpster diving and has no ability to separate the trash from the truth.

      " The tunnels were REAL. The FBI itself says so."
      Where? You've cited a blogger. You haven't cited an official FBI document where they declare that their conclusion is that the tunnels were real.

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    5. 'Child abusers don't work in rings.'

      A google search of 'paedophile rings' gives you hundreds of cases of convicted paedophile rings. What are you talking about?

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    6. None of those things are what's under discussion here, i.e. luring kids off the street into a house to abuse them. (Or, for that matter, childcare centers.) Those are people trading porn on the internet, or slavery smuggling rings, or the like. The actual perverts act alone or maybe with a spouse.

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    7. First result: BBC news "Paedophile ring sentenced in Germany"

      "Among the allegations the men faced was that they drugged a group of boys and kept them in a building in a garden in Münster over a number of days. They then uploaded the footage to the dark web, according to German media."

      Again, what are you even talking about? Why among all the bizarre beliefs you could choose would you choose this one?

      Delete
    8. Nachum, no surprise you write it off as "crawl spaces" and the like. If none of those things are under discussion here, then why did you use it as a straw man then? You were wrong in the straw man you constructed, and you are wrong here. These kinds of things are going on here. You raised the issue, and you write off the hard data as "crawl spaces" without reading the actual FBI document dump, or any other link from the page. Because you can't acknowledge the fact that your straw man was demolished. Retardation confirmed.

      @Gavriel, that's rationalism for you. He wants to project his worldview on everyone else. He doesn't understand them so he impugns his own speculative motivations on them. Since he's not a pedo nor a sociopath (presumably), he doesn't accept that they exist or do what they would naturally do, which includes networking. Even with the regular busts that even Google doesn't filter out. The busts that make the news almost never name names, but the coverage makes clear very prominent people are invariably involved. There is often a Satanic element as well. Hence the rationalist revulsion to the very real irrationality that has existed for all of history, to this very day in fact, despite their protestations of being nothing. Pedos are lone gunman who always act alone. There is no irrational Satanism or other pagan elements involved. They are not real, and everyone believes like me. Yada yada.

      Delete
    9. "The blog post you linked is a mess." Ephraim, you're also retarded. You can't follow it because the irrational nature of it all inflames you to the point that you can't read or comprehend more than every fourth word. It makes perfect sense to me and most normal people. If you don't believe the blog post summary, then follow the link to the FBI Vault and read the document dump yourself. Retard.

      Nachum, justice was not served, period. If you read about the case, there were many acquittals, and several hung juries. All because the hard evidence that proved the meat of the allegations was somehow quashed. The tunnels were real.

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    10. "You haven't cited an official FBI document where they declare that their conclusion is that the tunnels were real."

      Typical rationalist. Zero analytical ability. No "conclusion" is spelled out for you, retard.

      For someone who claims to respect "research" you sure need the conclusions spelled out for you in simple language so you know what to think.

      A document dump from the FBI itself about the "Finders Keepers" CIA-spawned cult included seemingly unrelated documents. The blog post singled out "a map produced from the execution of a search warrant on McMartin preschool in Manhattan Beach, CA." Then excerpted descriptions of the actual tunnels encountered. So, the tunnels were real, and not just mere crawl spaces. I leave it as an exercise to the retard to read the actual document dump so as to credibly refute the claims.

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    11. Shimshon

      How come everyone on this website are retarded except Shimshon?

      Delete
    12. Surprise surprise, the same person who believes that the vaccine is a conspiracy also believes in satanic abuse cults.

      Delete
    13. Anonymous, dollars to doughnuts he believes JFK was killed by some CIA-Mafia plot, and that FDR knew about Pearl Harbor in advance, and that there are aliens on ice somewhere in Nevada, and that the Federal Reserve is a Masonic plot, and that the Jews are behind it all.

      Delete
    14. Richie, the whole appeal of conspiracy theories is that it allows ordinary people to believe they're privy to the inside scoop, and thus superior to all us sheep.

      Delete
    15. Remember the Moonies? When I was a child in the early 1980s there was panic about kids all over the country being "brainwashed" by the Moonies and Hare Krishnas. I remember it vividly. Turns out the whole think was false, there was maybe a couple of young college kids who "flipped out" for a couple of months, and some hysterical Jewish mother and a pliable media made it out to be some kind of national epidemic. That's what a willingness to believe anything about "the other" will do.

      I already showed in the previous post that the whole Yerushalmi thing is fake. Only a fool just believes what he reads in the media.

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    16. I wish Shimshon would finally tell us what REALLY happened with the lunar landing. He worked in the "space program" y'know!

      Delete
    17. "Shimshon

      How come everyone on this website are retarded except Shimshon?"

      Reminds me of a story. An elderly woman is listening to the radio and hears that there is a motorist headed west in the eastbound lane of the Belt Parkway! Knowing that her husband is heading home on the eastbound lane, she quickly phones him and says. "Larry, be careful! I heard that there is a car headed in the wrong direction on the highway!"

      To which Larry replies, "Whaddya mean, one car headed in the wrong direction?! They're ALL headed in the wrong direction!!"

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    18. Richie, not everyone. Those who claim to respect "evidence" and "proof" but only do so when it's convenient to their preconceived notions qualify as retarded. Even more so when they dismiss evidence because a clearly-worded blog post is too hard to follow, because of those same notions.

      Delete
    19. Hey Nachum, are you going to respond to Gavriel M?

      Delete
    20. Nachum, you retard's retard, I just showed you that one supposed crackpot pet "conspiracy theory" was not theory. Yet as predicted you would not walk back even that one claim but instead doubled down. Even the FBI is not a credible source now.

      The entire concept of "aiden zomemim" (aka "false witnesses") is premised on the idea that people do in fact conspire. And sometimes they succeed.

      "Anonymous, dollars to doughnuts he believes JFK was killed by some CIA-Mafia plot, and that FDR knew about Pearl Harbor in advance, and that there are aliens on ice somewhere in Nevada, and that the Federal Reserve is a Masonic plot, and that the Jews are behind it all."

      Nachum: no, yes, no, no, no. One out of five. You lose. You have a view of history colored by the mainstream media. Also, my one out of one prediction of you rejecting my evidence ahead of your response gives me a better track record than you.

      Solomon, just because I believe something did or did not happen does not mean I have an alternative explanation. Or have to have one. But I did work in the space program, which you didn't, so I am more informed on the compartmentalized nature of how it works.

      Anonymous, I don't know why Slifkin allows anonymous comments despite his clearly stated rules. Do you have a name to address you by, or must it be "AnonymousSeptember 5, 2022 at 4:14 AM"? That's a cute story for this echo chamber.

      Lawrence, I remember the Moonies and the Hare Krishnas. It was nothing like Satanic Panic. There was no national panic about their deeds. In the case of the latter, they were generally seen as odd and well-meaning who made good food. And you are yet another example of a retard who can't even acknowledge, when presented with solid evidence, that Satanic Panic had at least some element of truth to it. You instead double down and make an odd and inappropriate comparison.

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    21. Hi Gavriel M,

      You may want to read the article you are citing before using it as evidence for your proposition.

      https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-57735317

      This "ring" was three men.

      Among the allegations the men faced was that they drugged a group of boys and kept them in a building in a garden in Münster over a number of days. They then uploaded the footage to the dark web, according to German media."

      Which was exactly Nachum's point: "Those are people trading porn on the internet, or slavery smuggling rings, or the like. The actual perverts act alone or maybe with a spouse."

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    22. Has anyone ever seen both Shimshon and Happy personage in the same room at the same time?

      Delete
    23. "You can't follow it"
      I can follow it, and it's a mess. Don't confuse documentation with evidence. The Vinland Map is a document, but it's not evidence. The Taxil Expose, the Report From Iron Mountain, the Killian memo, and perhaps the Tanaka Memorial are all documents, but they are not evidence.
      So the FBI collects documents and reviews them. They even hire consultants who write documents the veracity of which may vary. Everything gets files, whether fantasy, forgery, speculation, errors, half truths, white lies and truth. So no, a speculative map that found its way into the FBI dump is not necessarily evidence.

      "Retard"
      The DSM IV defines "retarded" as "significantly subaverage general intellectual functioning (an IQ of about 70 or below) accompanied by significant limitations in adaptive functioning, with onset before age 18". The DSV V doesn't use the term. If you're going to be obsolete, at least get it right.
      Plus, it's not nice to use that term.

      Delete
    24. It should be noted that my first comment in this thread was respectable and refrained from using the word retard in any way. It was only after my prediction came to pass that Nachum, and pretty much all the sycophants here, would disqualify the submitted hard evidence that contradicted his statement, even to the point of claiming an inability to read a simple blog post or follow the links therein, that I resorted to a very appropriate epithet to describe him and all the other ones who followed him.

      Are you that cold and devoid of emotion that the real suffering of hundreds of children is irrelevant to you if it goes against your preconceived notions? Either that, or you are all unfeeling sociopaths. Retard is more likely, since sociopaths are also usually highly intelligent.

      Delete
    25. No, I will not respond. Happy?

      Delete
    26. "sycophants"
      Wrong word to use.

      "hard evidence"
      It's a document, not evidence. Yes, there is a map. But where does the FBI confirm that the map is genuine or that the structures depicted therein actually represent real physical tunnels as described, and are not misrepresentations of some other kinds of structures?
      These FBI files contains documents from various sources. For example, there could be newspaper clippings. But that doesn't mean that the FBI confirms what's written in the article that they happened to collect. You haven't shown that the map was considered by the FBI as the real deal.

      " the real suffering "
      There was real suffering, but there were no tunnels.

      "sociopaths"
      Wrong word to use.

      Delete
    27. Ephraim, did you review the entire dump? Is that how you can so cavalierly dismiss the specifics with some vague generalities? There wasn't just a map. The blog post specifically mentions a search warrant that was executed and includes a description of the tunnels found during the search. Is there no search warrant as described? Is the description made up? How could you have reviewed the entire dump in just a few hours? A legal search warrant from a law enforcement agency is considered hard evidence, certainly admissible in a court.

      "You haven't shown that the map was considered by the FBI as the real deal."

      I don't have to. It's not the map that's the thing. It's the executed search warrant and the description of the tunnels therein. I don't think you even know what evidence is.

      Citing the DSM is...retarded. It also dropped homosexuality as a mental illness. So? Retard works as an insult for people like you, who are so enamored by your middling intelligence and embrace of what you think is rational thought. That's not to say my intelligence is not middling, but I know that even if I test higher than 95% of the population, that's not really saying much. The Mensa cutoff is 99%. Are you Mensa material?

      I don't mind dropping the discussion entirely. But as long as you and Nachum et al are dead-set on reacting caustically and negatively to every single thing I say, no matter how factual or considerately why should I, retard?

      If you haven't noticed, I've stayed out the chat for a time, other than a single mild comment on the stupid politics of bringing down the government by endangering all the Jews living in Yehuda and Shomron a few posts back. Things like abortion, or cavalierly dismissing evidence of Satanic ritual abuse because it flies in the face of your rationalist beliefs, do offend my sensibilities. Nachum had no need to say what he did. He thought he was making a point. Which is why he won't walk it back even though he should now.

      Yossi, no. Who's the superhero and who is the cover identity? There are also many, many more busts, often numbering in the dozens or hundreds. Gavriel decided to pick a small one at random, but much, much larger rings exist that have been broken up.

      Delete
    28. @ Yossi, how is 'three men' equivalent to 'alone or maybe with a spouse'? How are people who drug and rape boys not 'actual perverts'? In all seriousness, what is wrong with rationalists that they argue like this?

      Parenthetically, the second thing that came up on my Google search reads "The actions of Spanish law enforcement authorities in arresting 121 people in the country's biggest-ever operation against child sex abuse on the Internet have been praised by INTERPOL, the world’s largest police organization." Paedophile rings are real. It's the most normal thing in the world to seek out people with similar interests and coordinate for mutual gain. Why would you think paedos are the one group of people in the world who don't do this? Stop being nutters.

      Delete
    29. "Ephraim, did you review the entire dump?"
      Why would I do that? You brought it up. You should review it, and then cite the exact page that you claim proves your point.

      "The blog post.."
      I refuse to believe a blogger who actually is gullible enough to believe in nonsense such as a man who was born in 1677 and died in 1933. But it doesn't matter. You made claim and you have to back it up. You didn't go through the hundreds of pages in the FBI file and you simply trusted the blogger implicitly.

      "How could you have reviewed the entire dump in just a few hours?"
      That's your problem, not mine. Tell us you've reviewed the files and then come back to us with citations. Again, it's you who made the claim. Back it up or back down.

      "but I know that even if I test higher than 95% of the population, that's not really saying much."
      It doesn't matter. Even geniuses have to provide sources and prove their points. Speculating about people's intelligence is not evidence.

      " I've stayed out the chat for a time,"
      You should have used the time to go through those FBI files.

      "cavalierly dismissing evidence of Satanic ritual abuse"
      What evidence? The claims of a blogger who believes in 256 year old men?

      Delete
    30. Not to toot my own horn too much, my SAT scores were over a hundred points above the Mensa requirement, and my LSAT scores were a couple of points above. (LSAT top scores are much lower than SAT ones, hence the difference.) Mensa's percentile, by the way, is 95, which is pretty impressive. Only someone who didn't know about bell curves would think otherwise. I've never really been interested in joining Mensa.

      But since you brought it up, what are yours?

      Delete
    31. @Gavriel M

      ""The actions of Spanish law enforcement authorities in arresting 121 people in the country's biggest-ever operation against child sex abuse on the Internet have been praised by INTERPOL, the world’s largest police organization."

      https://www.interpol.int/fr/Actualites-et-evenements/Actualites/2008/INTERPOL-applauds-Spanish-break-up-of-international-Internet-paedophile-ring

      Just wondering if you read either the article or what Nachum wrote?
      Nachum: "Those are people trading porn on the internet, or slavery smuggling rings, or the like."

      The article you cited: "... child sex abuse on the Internet..."
      "which uncovered an international file-sharing network spanning 75 countries, some of whose images were reported to be of an extreme nature."

      "The raids in Spain – in which 347 hard drives, 1,186 CDs and DVDs and 36 laptops were reportedly seized "

      No one is doubting that "perverts" who engage in disgraceful child sex abuse, pedophilia and other peverted sexual behaviour exist. Nachum, however, pointed out that a paedophile-ring is not defined as a group of people who have regular orgies where they rape children, but are groups of people that share pornographic images of child sexual rape with each other - exactly as described in the article you cite.

      Also note - Nachum argued that people who do engage in child rape usually do it in secret - either on their own or with close associates.
      As was the case in the article you cited: "Police said two of those held allegedly used their own children to produce sex abuse images"

      Now on some level it is a semantic argument. But on another level, if you are going to suggest that someone in your neighbourhood is hosting regular child rape orgies, then the credibility of the accusation needs to be weighed against the likelihood of the accuracy of the statement.

      In either event, it pays to actually read what people are saying before asserting they are wrong.

      Delete
    32. @Shimshon:
      "Yossi, no. Who's the superhero and who is the cover identity?"

      You mean supervillain!

      "Gavriel decided to pick a small one at random," Which evidently he either did not read or did not understand.

      "much larger rings exist that have been broken up"
      No one is disputing that - so this is a deflection.+

      Delete
    33. "I refuse to believe a blogger who actually is gullible enough to believe in nonsense such as a man who was born in 1677 and died in 1933."

      Ephraim, genetic fallacy that has nothing to do with the subject at hand. An argument stands or falls on its own, not due to the background or beliefs of the one presenting it.

      Just let it stand for the record that you to refuse to believe a claim that is easily verified or discredited because you are lazy and prone to the Genetic Fallacy.

      Nachum are you SATs before or after 1994, when they were "renormed" and boosted the score of everyone around 100 points across the board? Also, they no longer assess aptitude or can be considered a proxy for an IQ test.

      My pre-1994 SAT is below the Mensa cutoff but puts me in the top 5-10% of the population. Post 1994 tests are not accepted, so that's why I ask about the year of your testing.

      Mensa's cutoff is 133 IQ. 99% of the population falls below that number. What is this 95% you speak of? Note that 133 is not all that smart.

      "a paedophile-ring is not defined as a group of people who have regular orgies where they rape children, but are groups of people that share pornographic images of child sexual rape with each other"

      No, Yossi, that is not how it is defined. That is one characteristic of a ring. The idea that it's all virtual and no actual children are harmed is stupid. Where do those images come from?

      Delete
    34. Ephraim, here is yet another example of why I have very little regard for you or your fellow sycophantic retards.

      I have pointed out the very serious reproducibility crisis in science several times here (most recently where the foundational science behind which all modern Alzheimer's research is based on was shown to be bogus), where large swaths of so-called peer-reviewed science is turning out to be not only not reproducible, but outright fraudulent. Yet, you will continue to believe charlatans and grifters with white lab coats and fancy degrees while committing the genetic fallacy on people who provide relevant information that have no reason to be disbelieved, because they believe some odd things of no pertinence to the subject at hand.

      Another day, another Nobel prize winner retracts four papers.

      https://retractionwatch.com/2022/09/03/nobel-prize-winner-gregg-semenza-retracts-four-papers/

      This is nothing new, and is starting to snowball. Yet, in your little media bubble (Fox News? CNN? PBS? It doesn't matter, really.) everything is fine and you will still trust the science without trying to review the peer review even though it is no genetic fallacy to distrust scientists and their science given the clear trend.

      I would suggest perusing the Retraction Watch web site, as it might prove informative, but it would be pointless to do so, because, as Aristotle aptly put it about you and your kind:

      "Rhetoric is useful because things that are true and things that are just have a natural tendency to prevail over their opposites, so that if the decisions of judges are not what they ought to be, the defeat must be due to the speakers themselves, and they must be blamed accordingly. Moreover, before some audiences not even the possession of the exactest knowledge will make it easy for what we say to produce conviction. For argument based on knowledge implies instruction, and there are people whom one cannot instruct." - Aristotle, Rhetoric

      You are one that Aristotle has correctly identified as one incapable of being instructed. The problem here is not me, as I have not presented my information in an unclear manner. You can't even followed a fairly easy to read blog post, being more interested in the background of the poster than the content itself. Therefore, the only logical thing to do is resort to rhetoric, retard. It works, because it gets a rise out of all you, and that is satisfaction enough for me. You even wrongly think that makes me angry, for some reason.

      Delete
    35. @Yossi

      כל הפוסל במומו פוסל

      Nahum's claim was (word for word) that 'The actual perverts act alone or maybe with a spouse'. This was refuted by typing 'paedohile ring' into Google then clicking on the first link, because three men is not 'alone or with a spouse'. In any case, your attempted rescue of Nahum's batty belief is still silly. Do you think people who video each other raping kids are purely in it for the money and derive no enjoyment from their actions? Do you think paedos who communicate online never bother to meet each other? Do you think that before the internet paedos just waited around for the internet to be invented? Google Marc Dutroux for a nice example of a case where the official conviction record totally disproves your beliefs, but where there is clear evidence that it also went well, well beyond that.

      The more interesting question is what is up with rationalists that they behave this way. The answer is that what motivates them is having counter-intuitive beliefs that are the opposite of what an ordinary person would assume. So, for example, if a bat virus starts infecting people in the city that has the only lab which stores these bat viruses, rationalists automatically leap to the conclusion that this virus must have come from anywhere else in the world except this lab. 'Retard' is actually polite way to describe this sort of persistent brain malfunction). In this case the obvious belief you must invert to show how clever you are is 'paedos work to together to rape kids'. [Parenthetically, as the Covid example shows, rationalist counter-intuitivity bias often helps powerful actors launder their crimes. One wonders who benefits from propagating the ridiculous belief that 'actual perverts act alone or maybe with a spouse']

      Delete
    36. @Gavriel
      Your inability to read what Nachum wrote accurately is the heart of the criticism that Rav Slifkin started with.

      Rav Slifkin’s complaint was that Rav Shapiro contorted the eglah arufah procedure to mean something that it was not intended to be. Instead of being an atonement and taking responsibility for the unsolved murder, and Rav Shapiro turned it into a rationale for not taking personal responsibility for inciting an assault and inflaming community fears.

      Here is what Nachum wrote in full

      “None of those things are what's under discussion here, i.e. luring kids off the street into a house to abuse them. (Or, for that matter, childcare centers.) Those are people trading porn on the internet, or slavery smuggling rings, or the like. The actual perverts act alone or maybe with a spouse.”

      What is evident is that you have only read one line of the text – and even then you did not really understand it.

      The accusation that Nachum was responding too was the suggestion in the “McMartin day care abuse” that there was evidence of a system of tunnels that facilitated satanic rituals and sexual abuse. Aside from pointing out that you FBI documents proved nothing other than that the allegations existed (and not that there was evidence of either these tunnels or the satanic rituals).

      But here is the point: Nachum does not deny the existence of paedophile rings. Indeed he defines them very clearly as “are people trading porn on the internet, or slavery smuggling rings, or the like.”. What Nachum then says is the actual abuse (and I will add the caveat – tends to) takes place in more private settings. That is, the suggestion that there are actual orgies of child rape, which is the allegation I believe you are making regarding the McMartin case, and that Shapiro was making in the incident Rav Slifkin cited, are fanciful.

      But here is the nub. Each of the examples that you have presented only confirmed Nachum’s assertions. They did not provide any evidence of the type of behaviour you were asserting has taken place.

      “So, for example, if a bat virus starts infecting people in the city that has the only lab which stores these bat viruses, rationalists automatically leap to the conclusion that this virus must have come from anywhere else in the world except this lab.”

      Well actually no: The rationalist approach is to approach the claim with skepticism and investigate and study the evidence and draw conclusions from the facts after investigation, and not from assertions made prior to the study. What you have done is taken two facts and asserted a conclusion. A rationalist would assert a hypothesis and then investigate the evidence to support the hypothesis. Now I did not do the investigation myself, but several investigations have been conducted, and conducted by governments that had vested interests in finding the link you described, and found none. I can take them at their word – which I admit that I have – I can read their reports, and evaluate their evidence or I can cry conspiracy – which evidently you have.

      I think based on the evidence in front of me “Retard” is clearly a word the describes your level of intellectual development.

      Delete
    37. "That is, the suggestion that there are actual orgies of child rape..."

      They are not suggestions. I believe the allegations were of Satanic ritual abuse, which involves sexual deviancy.

      As far as the documents themselves, if one is too lazy to peruse them, which would not be too surprising or unexpected, the other reasonable course of action to pursue would be to contact the author of the post (Brian Niemeier) that claimed the existence of a served warrant that resulted in a detailed description of actual tunnels, ask politely for a more useful reference to its location in the dump, like a specific file, or even page in the file. That you don't because you insist that it is all fake or that the author is posul in some irrelevant way is worse than retarded. If Brian can be contacted, or can't provide more information, you would have more to hang your hat on, but without even that minimal effort, you're just another retard who likes to talk but is incapable of learning.

      Delete
    38. Brian Niemeier is clearly a very level-headed and reliable researcher.
      https://brianniemeier.com/2019/04/im-not-saying-its-demons/
      https://brianniemeier.com/2020/08/but-demons-are-interested-in-you/

      Delete
    39. Puh-lease, are you too retarded to look up Genetic Fallacy? Yes, I think you are. Brian Niemeier's beliefs are 100% irrelevant to his claims regarding McMartin, you absolutely pathetic moron. Those claims stand or fall on their own.

      "The genetic fallacy (also known as the fallacy of origins or fallacy of virtue) is a fallacy of irrelevance where a conclusion is suggested based solely on someone's or something's history, origin, or source rather than its current meaning or context. This overlooks any difference to be found in the present situation, typically transferring the positive or negative esteem from the earlier context."

      Delete
    40. @Yossi

      I don't know why you are so intent on providing an interlinear Artscroll style translation of Nahum's bizarre beliefs. Once, I recall, Nahum was doing some typical rationalist virtue signalling, and he stated that as a result of his rigorous adherent to mask mandates and the fact that he wears glasses that get steamed up, he had repeatedly almost been run over by a car. When asked why he was endangering the lives of motorists (not to mention his own) with this bizarre reckless behaviour, he refused to respond, which he isn't doing here either. That's just how rationalists roll I guess.

      Anyway, your okimta in Nahum's ravings is still not true. I have provided you with one case of a large paedophile ring of 'actual perverts' in Belgium with, by general agreement, disturbing connections to politicians. Another example is Kincora care home, where British intelligence was in on it. And when I googled that, I got another one this time from Sky news 'Hundreds' of children abused by 'Ulster paedophile ring'. But no doubt you'll have some twisted pilpul to explain why they are not 'actual perverts' either.

      Now, what you could just say if you were a reasonable person and not a rationalist, is that a lot of paedo allegations are fake. This is true, because when people want to make fake allegations they usually choose things that are considered heinous in general society. This is why in the west circa 2022 most allegations of racism and sexual harassment are fake, but somehow I doubt that Dr Rabbi Rationalism will be writing a post about how we need to be more sceptical of such allegations. This is MAGA country, after all.

      As for Covid. Lol. You rationalists are really a scream. Which governments have a 'vested interest' in showing that a U.S- funded lab in China leaked a virus? No, just a co-incidence, must have been a pangolin!

      Delete
    41. "Once, I recall, Nahum was doing some typical rationalist virtue signalling,"

      Someone has previously mentioned the logical fallacy of ad hominem; Gavriel M has kindly demonstrated it for us.

      @Gavriel M - you really should read past the headlines.
      'Ulster paedophie ring" (https://news.sky.com/story/hundreds-of-children-abused-by-ulster-paedophile-ring-11721623) a total of two actual victims interviewed in the story. (Hundreds, became dozens of reports, became two people).

      "Which governments have a 'vested interest' in showing that a U.S- funded lab in China leaked a virus?"

      Australia - https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/dec/29/australia-insists-who-inquiry-into-covid-origin-must-be-robust-despite-china-tensions
      counted a total of 2 actual

      Delete
  2. Very well said.

    Aryeh Deri, k'darko bakodesh, was particularly disgusting in the weekend paper, as he hasn't (at least yet) gotten such a letter- perhaps because as Interior Minister, he wasn't in the direct line of command; of course, the Religions Minister, who *was* responsible and did get a letter, was a Shas person and thus under Deri's direct control; further, Deri appeared on TV *right* before the disaster crowing about how he'd gotten the restrictions lifted.

    In any event, Deri was going on and on about how this proves how responsible and innocent he was. Even it was true, where's the introspection? Where is just a *tad* of humility in the face of all these deaths?

    And that, of course, is nothing compared to the people who actually *got* the letters. Bibi, of course, topped them all by making himself out to be the hero (as there was no covid outbreak after) and claiming this is all politics and a "Lapid-Bennett" attempt to manipulate the election.

    I remain convinced that the death of forty-five people was a factor, either divine retribution or voter realization or both, in Bibi losing last year.

    (Full disclosure: One victim, a teenager, was a cousin by marriage.)

    ReplyDelete
  3. it doesnt change your point much, but note that the head of the police in the north district did take responsibility and quit his job, so at least one of the many involved did take some responsibility

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hmmm, where do we begin.

    As someone who is in the Chareidi community, and also the Modern Orthodox community and works in the gentile arena, I don't claim to be a separatist.

    But what you have to remember is that many in the Chareidi world have no serious experience of anything else, and nor do their parents, grandparents, etc.

    Thus, those people who are בעלי תשובה are in a different situation having experienced other life experiences outside the Chareidi community.

    The standard approach of those in the Chareidi community is that anyone outside of their community is inferior, at best. So, the Modern Orthodox are semi-religious, but the wives wear pants and they eat in a non-Jewish vegetarian restaurant.

    The secular Zionists are completely beyond the pale, and you should avoid letting them touch your wine.

    The goyim are all רשעים and anti-semitic.

    We Chareidim are infinitely superior to these other Menschen that I have mentioned.

    In reality, my experience is that there is an atmosphere of lawlessness in the Chareidi community. Unfortunately, as we bring up our children, it is difficult for them to distinguish what laws to keep and what we can brush under the carpet. The choice is left to the individual. And that is why the Chareidi community in general appears like the Wild West. Unfortunately, אמת has almost become extinct in the Chareidi community at large.

    What are the solutions? Standby for my next installment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Richie, upgrade the grammar please before the next installment. You have too many equivocal things to say.

      Delete
    2. First sentence-- "Please upgrade the grammar before the next installment."
      Second sentence-- Are you trying to say that Richie has too many equivocal things to say, but he wisely chooses not to? If you intended to convey that Riche says too many equivocal statements, then your second sentence should read, "Too many of the things you say are equivocal." OR "You say too many equivocal things."

      Delete
    3. @1151 PM, "then your second sentence should read..."

      Not if I wrote a euphemism for him to think about.

      Delete
    4. When you make presumptuous statements as if this is your blog and we are all waiting for your posts, and make sweeping inclusive indictments against a huge and diverse community, you reveal yourself to be a self-inflated small minded bigot.

      Save your energy. We're not holding our breathes in anticipation for your brilliant insights.

      Delete
  5. I wonder if there is such a thing as a negative IQ.

    Politicians say things that aren't true. What a chidush! This must be a product of Charedism. Nobody else would act like this. We have never heard of politicians promising things that they won't keep, or taking credit for things they didn't do, or did the opposite of. No elected official ever exaggerates or blows smoke. Never happens.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What's the point of charedi politicians if their best excuse is "everyone does it"? I thought charedim were supposed to be better than everyone else.

      Delete
    2. The point of Charedi politicians is, and always has been, to push for Charedi interests in a secular government. Nothing more and nothing less.
      Those who demand more, are generally not really demanding more, they merely wish to undermine the entire Charedi political apparatus.
      As a Charedi let me write this once and for all. Nobody said that the Charedi system is perfect, and the drive for perfection is not primarily focused on the political apparatus. Although it is the most public of Charedi faces, it is one of the least important. Politicians are like window cleaners, necessary but not important.

      Delete
    3. "their best excuse is "everyone does it"? I thought charedim were supposed to be better than everyone else."

      Because it's the narrative that they are persecuted and discriminated against. So either the accusation is false which means defamation. Or the accusation is true and everybody does it, which means the accusation, when directed solely/disproportionately against charedim, is discriminatory.

      See here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHrMw3ndlBA&t=244s
      (Extra points if you remember that cats carry fleas)

      Delete
    4. No, that's not going to cut it. Religion is supposed to, inter alia, make us better people, on the individual and group levels. Saying "We're just like every politician" won't cut it. If so, you might as well not have a community to work for.

      As to "nobody said it's perfect," again, no. After all, the whole basis of support (going back to Poland in the 1920's, where it was invented for precisely electoral purposes) is this concept that somehow God is talking through the gedolim telling you to vote for X. That sounds like claimed perfection to me.

      And in any event, even if all that is true- doesn't looking out for one's constituency's interests include, first and foremost, making sure they don't get killed? All, or almost all, of those killed where charedim. Where's the results?

      Delete
    5. "And in any event, even if all that is true- doesn't looking out for one's constituency's interests include, first and foremost, making sure they don't get killed? "

      Wrong perspective. These people aren't politicians, they're fundraisers. Promoting safety for the people would require to take an interest in the development of the country. That is tantamount to Zionism. No, a Charedi MK's job is to grab the money and run. If such wheeling and dealing means allowing pork or destroying communities, it's even better: You've got funds and you get to expose the gov't for being anti-Torah.

      Delete
    6. "their best excuse is "everyone does it"? I thought charedim were supposed to be better than everyone else."

      His point was not that "everyone does it." It's that all politicians do it. It's you who say that the behavior of politicians reflects badly on those who vote for them. If this were consistently applied, you should not vote, because, after all, "everyone does it," which is true. They all do.

      Delete
    7. His excuse is that "every politician does it." I said that that's no excuse for charedi politicians, who should be better, and who are supposedly backed by God Himself.

      Delete
    8. Nachum, only they should be better? You have low expectations for the politicians you support. It's hardly an excuse. It's an observation. It's not an excuse because there is nothing he can do to change it. According to your standard, Charedim should not vote at all. There is a point to that argument, but it is of a like argument that we should all be on a level of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai and ignore the pragmatic reality of living among people who fear and hate you. Politics attracts unsavory and opportunistic people, and Charedim are no exception.

      What he said was: The point of Charedi politicians is, and always has been, to push for Charedi interests in a secular government. Nothing more and nothing less.

      That's not in any way an excuse for their behavior.

      In a country riven by sectoral politics, Charedim have no choice but to participate or be left in the dust, literally.

      Delete
  6. Originally this post was about the terrible tragedy that occurred on the 33rd day of the Omer a year ago.

    Relevant to this Blog of Rabbi Dr Slifkin, is the question of balancing Rationalism and Mysticism. So much of what happened on that day involves this balance.

    We all have a duty to learn from that terrible day.

    Thinking today, one lesson for me is to think whether I should attend an event where Health & Safety has not been taken seriously by the organizers.

    This got me thinking about 3 weeks from today, i.e. next year. We all have a choice, at least to some extent, of where we will be on Rosh Hashonoh. And part of that choice involves some level of thinking about Health & Safety.
    So here goes, entering a country and spending Rosh Hashonoh in that country that is in the middle of a War needs careful consideration. Thinking that the Ribbono shel Olam will protect is not mainstream Halocho - see שו"ע חו"מ, the very last סעיף, and the באר הגולה there.

    Simply put - should one be going to Uman for Rosh Hashonoh?

    Like other pilgrimages discussed in this particular Blog, one does have to question anyway the basis for the Pilgrimage in the first place.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Shimshon- Who died and made you king? You decide when it is proper to belittle and insult someone! Disgusting immature behavior befitting an arrogant narcissist! Your a yeshiva bachur? Grow up! Learn to be a mentch!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Earnest, you got me! Are you a retard too? Of course you would jump to conclusions. No one made me king. The hurling of insults long preceded my presence here.

      Delete
    2. יומא חד חזאי ריחשא דקא נפיק מאוניה חלש דעתאי איתחזי לי בחלמא אמר לי לא מידי הוא יומא חד שמעי בזילותא דצורבא מרבנן ולא מחאי כדבעי לי
      The snide remark about yeshiva bachurim is uncalled for.

      Delete
    3. It was the opposite of snide. Read it again.

      Delete
    4. @nachum
      It was apparent from Shimshon's comment earlier that he is far older than a typical yeshiva bachur. I therefore interpreted the comment as meaning "are you a yeshiva bachur or something that you act in such a manner"
      If I misinterpreted the comment I apologize.
      Not worth arguing over but just wanted to clarify.

      Delete
    5. Ah, OK.

      I'd just point out that people make snide comments about their own all the time.

      Delete
    6. I'm astonished that people on this blog engage with a guy who calls anyone a "retard" for disagreeing with him. He's clearly immature, angry, and not open to reason.

      Delete
    7. What reason is that Peculiar?

      Delete
  8. I guess your next post will be about taking responsibility for this blog directly leading to Jews forsaking Jewish observance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Name me one Jew who forsook Jewish observance because of this blog.

      Delete
    2. I'll assume you aren't the author of this recent comment

      http://www.rationalistjudaism.com/2022/08/who-is-safeguarding-traditional-judaism.html?showComment=1662342968154#c5429997146984250743

      "Anon, take it from another anon. Don't bend yourself out of shape. Very few people leave religion due to theological reasons. They leave because of their ta'avos and then create theological reasons to justify it."

      According to him, blogs accomplish nothing.

      Delete
    3. Here's one guy who attributes leaving Judaism to this very blog:

      https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/community/articles/orthodox-rabbis-internet

      Delete
    4. @Rick -- Nowhere in your article do I see any mention of him attributing going OTD to this blog.

      I've read his memoir. He started his own blog a long time ago and received an enormous amount of blowback from the Haredi / Hasidic world to the point that he went OTD. R' Slifkin is never mentioned. The whole affair predates this blog by a number of years.

      Delete
    5. He says nothing of the kind.

      Delete
    6. And even if, howzabout balancing that one poster against the many (hundreds??) of people whose religious observance was saved by having R' Slifkin's books as answers. He has posted excerpts from some of the letters in the past.

      Delete
  9. Hey Shimshon, welcome back from Q land!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Why do folks believe that Meron is the site of RASHBI’s grave? Belief that is, is nothing more than conjecture and confirmation bias. Well, why not? If you believe that Rabbi Schneerson will resurrect any day now, anything is possible.

    “…According to Tel Aviv University historian Prof. Elchanan Reiner, “the tradition identifying the tomb goes back much earlier than the 12th century, maybe the seventh to 10th century. Is it important whether this is Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai’s real grave? What matters is that Jews believe that place is his burial, and this is much more powerful than any archaeologist saying that they have found evidence linking the site to him…”

    https://m.jpost.com/archaeology/is-rabbi-shimon-bar-yochai-really-buried-at-meron-its-complicated-667459/amp

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The tradition of the Mearat HaMachpela goes back at least to the time of the Second Bayit if not earlier. (The building was built then.) Kever Rachel has a very old tradition, but not earlier than the early Middle Ages. (Tanach suggests she's buried somewhere else entirely.) The traditions of every other supposed Biblical and Talmudic grave is much, much more recent.

      Delete
    2. The site of his grave here is also mentioned in the Gemara. However, the site mentioned in the Midrash is somewhere else, in a nearby location.

      His son was buried in a 3rd or 4th location and was then relocated on Erev Yom Kippur soon after the son's death to be next to his father.

      Delete
    3. Eh, Nachum, Kever Rachel's location is suggested to be in two or three different locations in Tanach, of which Beis Lechem is indeed one of them. Much ink has been spilt on this topic. In particular, R' Yitzchak Etshalom has a great pair of essays trying to reconcile some of them.

      My question about Me'aras HaMachpelah is about the locations of the burial sites. The "upstairs" layout is supposed to reflect the true kevarim that are below (IIRC), but where are Adam and Chava? Legit question, not a mockery.

      Delete
    4. @YosefR 4:03PM

      I hope we find Adam & Chava’s grave, if only to discover if Adam is missing a rib.

      Delete
    5. Only stupid people care about where a Kever is for religious reasons. (Archaeologist or historians are another matter.) The stupid religious people believe that praying by a grave has magical effects on G-d and make their prayers more likely to be answered. What stupidity . Only mystical loonies could believe such naarishkeit.

      Delete
    6. Not a fan, praying by kivrei tzadikim is an ancient practice and the support for it is more nuanced than your cavalier and snide dismissal. Do you know people who actually believe that, or are you simply setting up your own notions of the rubes you hate as a strawman?

      Delete
    7. @Not a fan, have you forgotten a Rashi in Chumash about the Me'aras HaMachpelah?

      Delete
    8. @Anon 8:25PM

      What about that Rashi in Chumash on Me’aras HaMachpelah?

      Delete

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