Puzzled at Passaic
Although I have visited the United States on countless occasions, I am not American. And I've never been to Passaic, except for one quick stop to visit an old friend. Nevertheless, my understanding is that while Passaic is a somewhat yeshivish neighborhood, it's no Lakewood or Boro Park. The Passaic Torah Institute advertises itself as "a yeshiva for working people... many, if not most, did not have the chance to be nurtured in Yeshivos growing up."
I'd wager that many of these people believe that dinosaurs roamed the earth millions of years ago, however they reconcile it with Torah. I'd also wager that many of them would follow Rav Hirsch in rejecting the existence of spontaneously generating mice. And I'll bet that many of them heard about the notorious ban on my books, and were greatly distressed by it.
I was therefore greatly puzzled to discover that the Passaic Torah Institute, for its Chanukah party this Wednesday, has as its guest speaker none other than Rabbi Reuven Schmeltzer!
Rabbi Reuven Schmeltzer was one of the main zealots behind the ban of my books, along with Rabbi Leib Pinter and Rabbi Leib Tropper. It was he who marked up various pages from the books, jotting down comments describing me as a “thoroughly evil person,” “idiot,” “shaygetz,” “low-life,” “animal,” and “sick man,” and sent copies of these notes to various Gedolei Torah to obtain their signatures on the ban. And it was Rabbi Schmeltzer who authored the infamous work Chaim B'Emunasam, in which he actually had the gall to edit the words of Rambam - deleting and re-arranging words - in order to completely distort Rambam's positions. The goal of Rabbi Schmeltzer's work is to show that anyone who denies the truth of any statement in the Gemara about the natural world is a heretic who should be put to death by any means possible. (You can read my critique of Chaim B'Emunasam at http://zootorah.com/controversy/chaim.html.)
How can such a person be honored as a guest speaker in a place like Passaic? And how is it that nobody is protesting? I did write to the heads of the PTI, but I did not hear back from them. Is it that people do not know what kind of a person Rabbi Schmeltzer is, or is it that they don't care?