Rav Shlomo Miller Denounces Perversion and Corruption
Yesterday's discussion about Rav Shlomo Miller of Toronto reminded me of something else. Recently, I praised Mishpacha magazine for its brave attempt to broaden the boundaries of discourse in the Charedi community. Back in 2008, in the April 30 edition, they ran an article in which they interviewed leading poskim, including Rav Miller, about the "burning issues" facing Charedi Jewry. Now, that was at a point where many people were up in arms about all kinds of terrible things that were revealed to be going on the frum community. An article in New York magazine reported that Rabbi Yehuda Kolko had sexually molesting students for decades, and that the principal of the yeshivah where he taught, Rabbi Lipa Margulies, knew about it and covered for him. The revelation of this did not prevent Rabbi Margulies from being considered an appropriate authority to sign the condemnation of Lipa Schmeltzer. And there had also been numerous cases of frum people involved in financial corruption without the Gedolim saying anything about it. So, Mishpachah magazine posed a tough question to Rav Miller:
"Why don't rabbanim take a firm stand on developments in frum life, such as denouncing perversions and corruptions, wrong agendas, wrongdoers?"
A very tough question, and kudos to Mishpachah magazine for being brave enough to ask it. But Rav Miller responded that rabbanim have indeed taken a firm stand on such issues, and have indeed denounced perversions and corruptions, wrong agendas, and wrongdoers:
"Charedi rabbanim opposed the views espoused by Rabbi Nosson Slifkin, and rejected him speaking in the name of Orthodoxy."
I kid you not. Those were his exact words, in response to that exact question.
He then went on to admit that "Other issues come to a point where things have to be dealt with. Certain improper acts have happened in a yeshivah and were covered up when they shouldn't have been." Yet in that case Rav Miller never saw a need to circulate a public statement denouncing the perpetrator and the cover-up, and in the Mishpachah article he does not even mention any names. Pedophiles and those who cover up for them are not to be named and disgraced in the public denunciation of perversion and corruption - only those who dare say that Orthodoxy can accommodate evolution, or those who write halachic articles arguing that there is a limmud zechus on all the great Jewish women of the past who did not cover their hair!