What On Earth Is Going On Here?
Last week, Rabbi Dovid Ribiat, in a 5TJT interview, stated that the reason why no condemnation of Tropper has occurred is that there is not sufficient evidence of wrongdoing; but "once there is incontrovertible evidence, appropriate measures will be taken." Today, Rabbi Avi Shafran emphasized that he is only "allegedly" guilty.
Am I missing something here? Didn't Rabbi Tropper release a public statement several weeks ago to Vos Iz Neias in which he admitted his guilt? It stated as follows:
Rabbi Leib Tropper’s response to recent allegations has been delayed until now in deference to his legal counsel.
Events of recent weeks have caused Rabbi Tropper great anguish, in particular given his recognition that the high standard of ethics in the Jewish community is one of its most treasured principles.
He wishes to express his regret for the turmoil caused by his departure from the Eternal Jewish Family organization and for what has appeared to be conduct not within our significant laws of modesty. Rabbi Tropper now looks forward to a return to both his studies and time with his loving family, as well as to personal introspection. He thanks those outside his closest circle of friends for respecting his privacy.
So why all this talk about how his guilt is not confirmed, and that's why no action has been taken?
Finally, and more importantly, here is a comment that I submitted seven hours ago but which has not yet been posted:
Rabbi Shafran, thank you for attempting to address the readers’ concerns. But with all due respect, you seem to have missed the point of many of the criticisms. People aren’t just asking why the Gedolim did not condemn the rabbi concerned. They are also criticizing the Gedolim themselves for endorsing him and his organization which were both highly questionable even beforehand, and in light of the revelations needs to have all its past operations seriously re-evaluated. On Cross-Currents itself, Rabbi Adlerstein wrote an excellent article pointing to some of the problems; the Badatz and the Conference of European Rabbis has also not been silent. Furthermore, there is criticism of the Gedolim for there being no visible attempt whatsoever to address any aspect of this situation after the revelations, which looks especially bad in light of the large financial donations that were directed to the yeshivos by this individual. Rabbi Aba Dunner explicitly accused the rabbinic establishment of having been bought off. There is clearly substantial grounds for concern and criticism, and yet your article gave the strong message that any such criticism is “evil speech.” Is it not the case that sometimes public criticism is necessary and valuable rather than being “evil speech”? Is it not the case that sometimes silence can be evil?
UPDATE: My comment has now been posted, along with a number of others that raise some very sharp criticisms.