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Sunday, April 20, 2014

RABBIS.....

The UOJ Archives

by Rabbi Immanuel Jakobowits

(Sent in by a reader-Tradition. Deserving of its own post.)

By the encouraging response from many readers to our observations under this heading in our last issue, we venture now to expand on this theme and to offer some constructive solutions to the problems posed. The principal criticisms leveled at the existing tendencies in the preceding review may be summarized by the following five points:

1. The denigration and usurpation of the role of practicing rabbis by yeshivah deans had virtually eliminated the traditional place and functions of the rabbinate in the spiritual government of the religious community, resulting in the disappearance of the public Torah image in the community at large.

2. The transfer of rabbinic jurisdiction from communal rabbis to academic scholars confined to yeshivot had severely limited the scope of contemporary Halakhah and caused substantial deviations from the traditional pattern in the methods used to determine Jewish law.

3. These unprecedented developments had led to the displacement by yeshivot of kehillot as the institutional center of gravity in Jewish religious life.

4. The yeshivot's discouragement of rabbinical careers was directly responsible for the spread of mediocrity in the rabbinate and the growing scarcity of candidates forleading rabbinical positions.

5. Yeshivot, by tending to stifle rather than to promote a sense of commitment to the wider community, had been equally unsuccessful in raising a community-minded laity, so that public Jewish life became increasingly drained of rabbinical and lay leaders alike.

To reverse these baneful trends will require much courage and vision. But the foremost requisite is a willingness by all concerned to engage in a dispassionate debate, to tolerate genuine criticism and dissent, and to sweep away the cobwebs of conformity and stereotyped thinking to make room for honest search and bold correctives.

The following observations and suggestions on the above five points are offered in this spirit:

1. The answer to the first challenge is obviously the restoration of rabbinic authority. "Jephtah in his generation is [vested with as much authority] as Samuel in his generation, to teach you that even the most unworthy person, once he is appointed w a leader over a community, is like the mightiest of the mighty" (Rosh Hashanah 25b). Rabbinical authority, our Sages averred, derives from communal appointment, not from mere wisdom or learning. As expressed so forcefully in the incident on fixing the date of Yom Kippur (Rosh Hashanah, 2:9), a Rabbi Joshua, however superior his scholarship, must submit to the rulings and decrees of a Rabbi Gamaliel as the practicing office-holder. There can be no substitute for, or challenge to, an official and legitimate incumbent of a rabbinical post.

A part of the problem may lie in the current use and abuse of the rabbinical title.

Semikhah (rabbinical ordination) is traditionally the conferment of power and responsibility to exercise rabbinical jurisdiction, as emphasized in its wording yoreh yoreh-"he shall surely give rulings." It is the passport to an office, not some honorific title or degree. It is a charge to practice rabbinics, a "crown" of sovereignty that confers obligations as well as rights, as the wording of the document implies.

It is definitely not just a certificate of academic proficiency.

"Any scholar who has attained hora'ah (or semikhah) and does not exercise it withholds Torah and causes the public to stumble; regarding him it is written: 'A mighty host are all her slain' (Prov. 7:26)" (Yoreh De'ah, 242:14), just as a qualified physician who does not practice medicine is deemed guilty of bloodshed (ib., 336:1).Semikhah ought to be awarded only to candidates for the active rabbinate and not as a kind of higher yeshivah graduation diploma, and the use of the rabbinical title should be limited to practicing rabbis. It was never meant as an incentive to Talmudical studies. "A man should not say, I will study so that people will call me 'Rabbi' " (Nedarim 62a). If any such incentives or rewards are really needed, let us reintroduce the time-honored titles of "Morenu" and "He-chaser" as a mark of distinction for scholarship and piety. Let outstanding masters be known by the affectionate "Reb" or the more eminent "Hagaon."

Even many Talmudical savants were content to forego any rabbinical appellation, men like Hillel and Shamai, or Abaye, Rava and Samuel, amongst numerous others!

Businessmen, accountants, or insurance agents using the title of rabbi without exercising it can hardly contribute to the public respect for the rabbinate, especially in our confused society.

Historically and halakhically, a rabbi is an administrator of Jewish law, a spiritual guide and a communal leader. Yeshivot, as the custodians of Torah education, should be the first to acknowledge the function of rabbis in this capacity, and not merely as expedient fund-raising agents, if the Torah image and authority are to be restored in Jewish life.

2. The effectiveness of rabbinical authority today largely depends on public endorsement. For the first time in our history Judaism must be vindicated in a democratic age. Gone are the days when any ex cathedra pronouncement or dogmatic ruling by a rabbi would automatically command popular respect by virtue of his learning or standing.

In the administration of Jewish law, justice must not only be done, but be manifestly seen to be done; as far as is possible, the logic of halakhic decisions must be demonstrated before the bar of public opinion to win acceptance.

To translate this essential ideal into practice, three elements are required: (a) relevance, (b) sweet reasonableness, and (c) a measure of tolerance.

(a) Halakhah must be, and appear to be, a guide to human progress, not a brake on it. All too often rabbinic judgments deal with religious problems in the light of modern conditions, not with modern problems in the light of religious conditions. Vast segments of our people are alienated from Torah life because they believe that Halakhah creates problems instead of solving them.

This is bound to result from the emphasis in rabbinic rulings on subjects of little relevance to the average modern Jew rather than on the great moral, social, and intellectual challenges troubling our age. To make Judaism meaningful and true to its primary purpose, halakhic guides must address themselves increasingly to defining the contribution of Jewish thought and teachings to such areas of current concern as birth-control, juvenile delinquency, the use of leisure, the economics of automation, Jewish-Christian relations, and the place of religion in public life. Halakhah cannot become a popular guide to life unless it embraces all life.

(b) In making halakhic decisions, the reasons given are as important as the conclusions. Even Moses was charged "to trouble himself in making everyone comprehend the reasons" for his teachings (Rashi, Ex. 21:1), and the Shulchan Arukh forbids rabbis to issue permissive rulings "which astound the public" because they are unintelligible (Yoreh De'ah, 242:10). Today more than ever before, rabbis must interpret or explain as well as adjudicate the law if they are to enjoy the fealty of the public.

They must serve both as priests "to teach God's judgments to Jacob and His Torah to Israel" (Deut. 33:10) and as heirs to the Prophets (B. Batra 12a) in presenting the moral and universal aspirations of Jewish existence.(c) The third requisite, tolerance, is equally indispensable for the restoration of rabbinical authority. Differences of opinion are the dynamics of Jewish learning and practice. They have always fertilized the very soil of the Torah "tree of life." The cause of Torah Judaism is hindered rather than helped by the present tendency towards ever more rigid uniformity, turning stringency into a fetish and branding all dissent as heresy. The violent agitation against Rabbi Mosheh Feinstein's ruling on artificial insemination and against the Manhattan Eruv, though both based on unimpeachable authorities, are cases in point drawn from recent experience in New York.The absence of all these three desiderata is inherent in the exercise of rabbinical jurisdiction by yeshivah deans who are remote from the concerns of contemporary society, shielded from the pressures of public opinion, and conditioned by the unquestioning loyalty of their yeshivah students. Practicing rabbis, on the other hand, are necessarily exposed to the broader challenges of real life, required to win consent as well as obedience, and compelled to explore legitimate concessions or to tolerate dissent.

3. Rabbinical offices cannot be filled with incumbents, adequate in quality and in quantity, without training them.

A lamdan (Talmudical scholar), however learned, is not necessarily a rabbi and may be a far cry from it. 

To meet the exacting and manifold tasks of rabbinic leadership, especially in our trying times, numerous skills are required in addition to scholarship. The spiritual leadership of a congregation calls for a high degree of proficiency in the presentation of Jewish thought, in the exploitation of public and personal relations for religious ends, in the impressive conduct of religious services and functions, in communal vision and diplomacy, in educational expertise, in some literary finesse, and above all in competently grappling with the intellectual challenges of our age. The exercise of purely rabbinical jurisdiction as a moreh hora'ah (an administrator of Halakhah), too, requires far more than mere competence in a few Talmudic tractates and some one hundred chapters of Yoreh De'ah dealing with ritual slaughter and kashrut, as presently constituting the semikhah program. To pass halakhic judgments a rabbi must be at home in all parts of the Shulchan Arukh, especially the Orach Chayyim and Even Ha-Ezer, familiar with the responsa literature and its methods, and proficient in the shikkul ha-da'at (weighing of opinions) indispensable for all rabbinic rulings. These skills can be acquired only by years of training and experience (shimmush), and through the constant consultation of writings and masters reflecting this experience.

The requirements for rabbinic ordination, therefore, should be amended to include this training, both in theory and in practice. To authorize rabbis to practice rabbinics and to guide congregations by virtue of their Talmudic learning only is as irresponsible as to qualify physicians to treat patients and to administer hospitals merely on the basis of some academic studies in the principles of medical science and without any clinical or hospital experience. Yeshivot devoted to theoretical studies in Talmud and parts of Yoreh De'ah can no more turn out competent rabbis without the help of rabbinical seminaries than medical schools and textbooks can produce qualified doctors without hospitals.The rabbinate today demands highly specialized professional skills to be an effective agency of spiritual leadership and halakhic jurisdiction. To ensure an adequate supply of high calibre rabbis professional schools are no less essential than for the training of any other professionals. The yeshivot can continue to ignore this need only at the cost of letting countless more spiritual "patients" die for lack of competent healers.

The appalling toll of defections from Judaism, of religious casualties, will hardly abate unless rabbinical functions are restored to rabbis equipped to respond to the questions and questionings of our times-men able not only "to learn and to teach" but also "to guard and to act."

4. Yeshivot are meant to make Jews, kehillot (congregations) to preserve them; the former prepare for Jewish life, the latter act it out. When Moses communicated the main principles of Jewish living to the Children of Israel, he assembled them in "congregations," not in yeshivot (Ex. 35:1; Lev. 19:2, and Rashi). For countless centuries congregations led by rabbis have always been the backbone of organized Jewish life. Under their umbrella all other facets of communal activity grew up and operated: education, rabbinical courts (batei din), mikvaot and welfare services. Today, with the disappearance of kehillot as the principal bulwark of Jewish life and their replacement by yeshivot, many of these communal amenities are largely either non-existent (such as communal batei din), or in unreliable private hands (such as kashrut and shechitah), or under non-religious control (such as the social services of the federations, etc.), and the religious community is fragmented and impotent in guiding the destinies of our people.This situation will not be ameliorated until the yeshivot orientate their students towards a sense of communal responsibility, as expressed, in the first instance, by active membership in established congregations.

So long as our most valuable human resources are absorbed and nullified by communally ineffective shtibels, which neither demand nor offer any contributions to the wider community, the most vital potential for building up the organism of Jewish religious life is frittered away, and the congregations that do exist are religiously emaciated for want of members who are intensely committed and exemplary in their learning and conduct.

The allegedly low standards of observance and religious fervor in larger synagogues are no excuse for defying Hillel's maxim, "Do not separate yourself from the congregation" and for surrendering our public institutions to the rule of ignorance and apathy. On the contrary, "where there are no men, you endeavor to be the man!"

The decline of our congregations calls for mobilizing the support of our yeshivot, not for their withdrawal and indifference. The dearth of Torah-committed members in our major Orthodox synagogues does not excuse the yeshivot - it indicts them.

5. The Torah tradition, as "a tree of life to them that strengthen it," has always given equal recognition to the scholar and to the supporter of scholarship, to Issachar and to Zevulun who shared the rewards and the responsibilities for Jewish learning in identical parts. Hence, it was considered no less important to raise Zevuluns, dedicated to the support of Torah learning and living, than to produce Issachars, devoted to the mastery of Torah studies.Today this essential balance in Jewish life is being dangerously upset. The yeshivot, by their monolithic program aiming at the accomplished lamdan as their sole ideal, seek to fulfill one requirement whilst ignoring the other. As the main custodians of public Jewish education, yeshivot will have to be more diversified in their curriculum and objectives to meet all our needs. The graduation of a potential Zevulun-a successful and devout businessman or professional -should be as urgent and precious a task as raising a profoundly learned Issachar.

To this end, yeshivot (at least the larger ones) should have a dual program of Jewish studies: one, stressing intensive learning designed to train competent scholars, rabbis and teachers, and the other, with an academically more limited scope, aimed at producing dedicated and knowledgeable ba'alei battim, distinguished by their piety and public-spiritedness rather than their scholarship.

These latter products will eventually swell the ranks of an enlightened and loyal laity from which our lay leaders and Torah supporters are recruited. Not every yeshivah student is fit or willing to be fashioned into a lamdan. By focusing the entire educational system on the few who are intellectually and otherwise endowed for Talmudic excellence, the yeshivot neglect all others and they are often lost to traditional Judaism later in life. With proper modifications in yeshivah policies, aims and methods, this large group could be turned into an element no less vital for the preservation of the Torah community than the most erudite scholars.

It is to this group of deeply committed "plebeians," at present completely ignored in the yeshivah "world," that we must look for providing our scholars with followers and financial support and for replenishing the thinning ranks of our lay leaders and communal workers.

Without Zevuluns, Issachars will eventually disappear, too, and it is up to the institutions of Jewish education to raise the former as well as the latter if creative Jewish living is to be perpetuated, and if the Jewish people is to recover its national purpose.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

WOW!
i like uojs style of writing which is a bit different,maybe even a little dirtier, but it gets the message through strong and hard, but this was beutiful!

LEIZEROWITZ VICTIM FOREVER

TRADITION 1966 (before Marvin Shick had to buy adspace) said...

RABBIS AND DEANS (The Impotent Backlash)

TO THE EDITOR OF TRADITION:
Rabbi Jakobovits in his "Rabbis and Deans" (TRADITION, Summer 1966) gives vent to the feelings of frustration and despair that seemingly envelop much of the Orthodox rabbinate of North America. Probably these feelings increase in proportion to the intelligence and vigor which the individual rabbi brings to his task. It is not difficult for even those who may disagree with much of his diagnosis to sympathize with Rabbi Jakobovits and to understand why his observations have drawn an encouraging response from many readers of TRADITION. But this sympathy should not blur the gratuitous nature of many of Rabbi Jakobovits' remarks, and after much consideration I offer these comments on the rabbi's unknowledgeable dicta regarding Roshei Yeshiva.
The plight of the Orthodox rabbi is real; and, yet, there is no logic or evidence in support of the notion that the problem is somehow rooted in the very recent ascendancy in this country of a small group of hard-working Roshei Yeshiva. The relative success of the deans has not come at the expense of the rabbis, and their loss of function or debunking them will not result in a return to the rabbinate of the functions that are thought to be within its competence.
The key to Rabbi Jakobovits' displeasure is what he regards as "The denigration and usurpation of the role of the practicing rabbi by yeshiva deans" which has undermined the place and functions of the rabbinate. His solution is "the restoration of rabbinic authority."
No, "denigration" and "usurpation" suggest a conscious and deliberate effort by the deans to (1) lower the prestige of the rabbis by (2) unfairly assuming their functions. How the activity of the Roshei Yeshiva has denigrated rabbis is hard to understand, particularly when we consider that a generation ago, when Roshei Yeshiva were not as prominent, many observers of American Judaism predicted the disappearance of Orthodoxy, except if the rabbis have been more lowly regarded because they have suffered by comparison with the deans. As to usurpation, the charge is totally unjustified. The few Roshei Yeshiva have not taken over functions performed by rabbis.
No one will gainsay, I suppose, that the weakness of the rabbinate is part of the more general problem of its dysfunctional (or, non-functional) nature. Except rarely, the rabbi is not the appointed leader of a community (the institution of community being a considerable broader one then the synagogue) but the hired spiritual leader of a synagogue, an institution whose major manifestation is usually a building. Rooted in a synagogue which in turn is rooted in land, the rabbi, with few exceptions, has not been able to establish an organic relationship with the total Jewish community, and thus handicapped he has been separated from the coronary functions of community. For this the Roshei Yeshiva are not at fault and they must not be made to bear the burden for the unfortunate image of rabbis as "expedient fund-raising agents." In fact, I think that there are some rather common-sense explanations for this development; however, if we are to conceptualize, we should recognized that, divorced from community dynamics and without living relationship with Jewish communal functions, functions which throughout much of the history of American Jewry were not alive in the areas where so many of our rabbis practiced, a considerable number of rabbis have rather welcomed the function of fund-raising.
The Roshei Yeshiva have filled a vacuum and are contributing mightily, and at great sacrifice, to the development of a viable Orthodoxy, a functional Orthodoxy. In doing this they contribute to the possible evolution of a more functional rabbinate; no doubt in the course of their activity they become involved (often reluctantly) in many things that take them outside of the yeshiva, including fund-raising. The growing health of religious Judaism is a tribute to their work. We are far better off because of them; this is the meaning of the respect in which they are held by the bulk of the rank and file of committed Jews. To substitute for this meaning the charge of usurpation is not merely to indulge in unfortunate name-calling; additionally, it is to distort the historical record. What Rabbi Jakobovits objects to is the loss of rabbinic authority which he sees as transferred to the deans. I have already said that by and large American rabbis are not communal appointees. Apart from this it is amazing to hear that non-functional rabbis are, by virtue of their contracts, vested with an authority superior to that of Roshei Yeshiva whose authority is earned by virtue of their deeds (and not simply because of "mere wisdom or learning" as Rabbi Jakobovits suggests). And this amazement grows when we recall that a charge leveled against Roshei Yeshiva, most often from the Orthodox left, is that they restrict themselves too much to the yeshivot and do not vigorously lead the Orthodox community at a time when there is a paucity of leaders. In short, what they are advised to do, if we accept Rabbi Jakobovits' classification, is to usurp rabbinical authority. At any rate, the few rabbis who are the heads of kehilot and whose activities encompass a broad range of communal functions, such as chinuch and kashrut, need not and do not feel themselves threatened by the Roshei Yeshiva.
The short answer to Rabbi Jakobovits' complaint that rabbinic jurisdiction - essentially the determination of Jewish law - has been transferred to "academic scholars" is that American rabbis regularly serve as the transferring agents when they go to Roshei Yeshiva for guidance on halakhic matters.
Rabbi Jakobovit' solution for this problem (I am, of course, unconvinced that there is a problem) is based primarily on his analysis of three desiderata that are inherent in the exercise of rabbinical jurisdiction and which are not present (when they decide questions) in "yeshiva deans who are remote from the concerns of contemporary society." The three requisites are relevance, sweet reasonableness, and a measure of tolerance. How and why practicing rabbis are automatically vested with these virtues I do not know; nor can I accept the crude, stereotypic, non-intellectual, blanket description of Roshei Yeshiva, particularly the ironic assertion that they are lacking in tolerance. Is this true of Rav Moshe Feinstein, a Rosh Yeshiva in the United States for about thirty years? Is he remote from contemporary society, "shielded from pressures of public opinion, and conditioned by the unquestioning loyalty of ... (his) yeshiva students"?
Rabbi Jakobovits says some sensible things about the role and training of a posek. Unfortunately he misdirects his attention to Roshei Yeshiva who, in fact, by and large, are not poskim. Perusal of Hapardes and Hamaor will show that it is the rabbis who produce the responsa. Indeed, the two cases included in the blanket condemnation of deans find Rabbi Jakobovits in support of the rulings of a Rosh Yeshiva and in opposition to many rabbis. Thus, the "violent agitation" that he speaks of against liberal decisions regarding artificial insemination and the Manhattan eruv mostly came from rabbis - and the leading rabbi-critic, the Satmar Rov, has credentials as the appointed leader of a community that may well be unmatched by any other rabbi in America.
Another charge is that yeshivot dicourage rabbinical careers. There is no evidence to support the allegation and I know of no Roshei Yeshiva who prefer that their musmachim go on to college to become accountants and lawyers rather than practicing rabbis. It may well be that the constant talk of American rabbis, of the low state of their profession, of the compromises and hardships, contributes significantly to the unattractiveness of the profession in the eyes of yeshiva graduates; my notion is that all this has little to do with rabbinical recruitment, that external factors such as the accessibility and attractiveness of other professions usually determine yeshiva student attitudes toward the rabbinate as a profession.
It is hard to understand Rabbi Jakobovits' criticism of yeshivot for not producing Zevuluns, devout businessmen and professionals. For, in fact, this is what the American yeshivot of today are doing their best; each year they graduate many hundreds of committed Jews who go on to college and then a career. Rabbi Jakobovits seems to recognize this elsewhere in his discussion; at least he should not criticize the yeshivot for discouraging rabbinical careers and also for not producing sufficient number of Zevuluns.
The indictment that yeshivot (and by implication, Roshei Yeshiva, too) stifle a sense of communal responsibility is unfortunate - and untrue. For example, "the dearth of Torah-committed members in our major Orthodox synagogues does not excuse the yeshivot - it indicts them," is both reckless and in disregard of the historical record as we know it. It is much more valid, although still somewhat shoddy from the historical standpoint, to indict the rabbis and synagogue leaders for their failure to develop a chinukh system which might have prevented the depletion of the synagogues.
Finally, I cannot accept Rabbi Jakobovits' tortured conception of communal responsibility "as expressed, in the first instance, by active membership in established congregations." Membership in a synagogue alone indicates nothing about the assumption of responsibility for the welfare of the Jewish community; certainly most synagogue members are nothing more than just that. On the other hand, deprecation of shtibels as "communally ineffective" is an unjustified canard that unfortunately finds acceptance in certain supposedly sophisticated sections of the Orthodox community. There may be some good reasons for criticizing the shtibels, but I doubt that the lack of communal responsibility is one of them. I happen to belong to a shtibel consisting of about one-hundred young American men. I also happen to believe that no synagogue in America has a better record of community support than this shtibel.
These and other similar comments by Rabbi Jakobovits mar whatever value there is in certain of his points regarding the state of the American rabbinate. By gratuitously and unfairly condemning Roshei Yeshiva he lost an opportunity to discuss, in an enlightened way, the means by which we can have a true restoration of rabbinic authority.
Marvin Schick
Bronx, New York.


RABBI JAKOBOVITS REPLIES:
I remain unconvinced and therefore unrepentant. Mr. Schick's flood of words, partly muddied by some quite unworthy imputations, certainly does not submerge the facts and problems which trouble me and a growing number of others within Orthodoxy, especially in America and Israel.
Nothing I have written in the items complained of or elsewhere entitles Mr. Schick to the gratuitous insinuation that his regard for Roshei Yeshiva and their immense contribution to the revival of Torah Judaism is any greater than mine. I would not otherwise have devoted at least one half of all my public appearances in America to the support of Yeshivot.
Despite Mr. Schick's protestations, the fact is that most Yehivot are denigrating the practical rabbinate. Ask any average Yeshiva or Kolel student what he thinks of taking up a rabbinical career! The fact is that Yeshiva deans do usurp functions which should be performed by competent practicing rabbis, and if such rabbis are scarce, it is because the Yeshivot have not encouraged or produced them. I agree that "the weakness of the rabbinate" and the dearth of religious leadership generally have created "a vacuum" which is partly and "at great sacrifice" being filed by Roshei Yeshiva. But this is only half the truth. The other half, completing the vicious circle which only they can break, is that they have helped to create and perpetuate this vacuum by their failure to raise effective spiritual leaders, poskim and askanim to guide our communal life. Under the existing circumstances, their usurpation of the rabbinate may be justified by the rule of bemakom sh'ein ish, but it is nonetheless anomalous in Jewish history and deleterious to the Torah interests of the community at large. Traditionally the vacuum should instead be filled by the rule of havu lakhem anashim ... va'asimem beroshekhem (Deut. 1:13).
Mr. Schick's attempt to remove from Yeshivot to rabbis the charge of intolerance and "violent agitation" against certain permissive rulings is as specious as it is disingenuous. Does he really not know who signs the various public bans and issurim today, who organizes and participates in the protests, denunciations, anonymous mail campaigns and other pressure tactics against verdicts by recognized Orthodox rabbis or even Roshei Yeshiva? He ought share the burdens of rabbis by occupying their seat for one week, and he may discover the answer - together with the truth about my other strictures and proposals in "Rabbis and Deans."
I wished the Roshei Yeshiva would know and appreciate my anguishing problems in enhancing the rule of, and respect for, Torah as well as I know and appreciate theirs. They would then help me and my colleagues to fill our ranks - in the rabbinate, the synagogue and the community - as we help them to fill theirs, by placing our children and all others we can influence into their care. They would then support our stand in governing Jews and Jewish communities by the law of the Torah as we support theirs in making Jews fit to govern and to be governed by the law of the Torah. They would then also, incidentally, use the services of rabbis not merely as "expedient fund-raisers" (which no rabbi I know "welcomes" as claimed) but at least for consultations on religious policies, especially when these involve community-relations and other considerations far beyond the day-to-day experience of Yeshiva deans.
By Zevuluns I understand something more than "committed Jews who go on to college and then a career" (often clandestinely and in the face of their Yeshiva's discouragement) or members of shtibels with the best "record of community support." How many Feuersteins or Bunims or others of their vision and interest have our present-day Yeshivot produced, or are they likely to produce? How many Yeshiva-trained ba'alei battim hold leading positions in national or local community organizations, like the UOJC, the Federations, or even Torah Umesorah and the local day school boards; how many would care to join and influence these bodies and agencies determining the fortunes of the community at large and the Orthodox component within it? So far, the bulk of the support even for Yeshivot still comes from the non-Yeshiva element, thanks largely to the "weak rabbis." The balance between Issachars and real Zevuluns (perhaps, according to Mr. Schick's categorization, I should include practicing rabbis among the latter) as a deliberate (not accidental!) product of Yeshiva education continues to be grossly uneven, and so is the balance between Yeshivot and Kehillot in the present structure of the Torah society. Q.E.D.

Anonymous said...

I believe that everyone should see the Vicki Polin clip on The Canonist. Alos see Luke Ford's website. Here is a short blurb;

Author Naomi Ragen On Vicki Polin

Naomi writes me 5/22/05:

I am doing some research and came across your website. To my shock and surprise, I read the material about Vicki Polin. Considering the serious allegations that she's made, I think it's important for me to add the following information.

I met Vicki Polin on the internet when she and I were both actively fighting CNN's biased reporting. Vicky started CNNwatch. I found her work very useful to my own. When she wrote me that she was planning on making Aliyah, but she had no place to stay until she could rent an apartment, I offered her my home. She stayed with me for several weeks.

I got to talk with Vicki and I was shocked at both her behavior and her appearance. I am very sympathetic to women claiming sexual abuse in the Jewish world, and have met many bonafide victims. Vicki did not seem to me to be mentally stable and I did not believe a word she said. Moreover, after introducing her to many other activists against CNN, she took serious loans from them and never paid them back. She ran up a large phone bill in my home and never paid me. I believe she also took the aliyah package from the Jewish Agency, even though she skipped town soon afterwards. This kind of dishonesty shows character, and I do not think Ms. Polin, for all her intelligence and for [all] the good work that she does do, can be believed and trusted.

I email Naomi Ragen:

Approximately how much money did Vicki owe you for your phone bill? Vicki says she paid you the $25 she owed you, and if she owed you more, you never told her.

How many dollars in loans did Vicki rack up? Approximately?

Naomi doesn't reply.

On June 3, 2005, Olga in Baltimore writes:

In January 2003 Vicki wanted to buy a new computer. She told me that her credit was bad, that while in Israel her identity had been stolen and her credit has been ruined. She asked me to take out a loan into my name to purchase the computer. Vicki promised to sign a written agreement, as well as made a verbal agreement that she would make regular payments, swearing that the entire amount would be paid off within six months. I agreed and we went to the store together, where $1500 loan was opened into my name for an Apple laptop computer. Needless to say, Vicki never signed any agreement, hiding behind “Don’t worry, we still have the time. Don’t you trust me?” statements/questions.

In February 2003 I was out of the country for an extended trip. While away I applied for a credit card increase, but was declined due to a negative credit. I could not understand that, since I had regularly paid off my monthly bills without fail. The only thing I could have think was the Apple loan. I emailed Vicki telling her about the situation, her reply was she’d been paying off all the payments. I contacted MBNA directly, they said that the payments weren’t being made and the late fees and interest payments were rising.

Therein followed 2-1/2 years of incredible stress and hassle for me as I tried unsuccessfully to get Vicki to pay off the loan. Vicki either avoided her or blatantly lied about the amount she was paying. Vicki was doing her best avoiding me, and she finally turned the whole situation over to her lawyer (Renee Canella), which led to another round of futile pursuit and disagreements. After Vicki’s continuous denial about the loan payments, late fees, and bounced checks, I took steps to take Vicki to a Beit Din, at that point the amount was finally paid off only a couple of months ago. Although Vicki still refuses to pay the extra money I needed to put out to cover the late fees.

Olga provided supporting documentation for her claims. When I raised the matter with Vicki Polin, she had no comment.

Naomi Regan subsequently emails Olga:

I'd be happy to back you up concerning Ms. Polin's dishonesty. She ran out of Israel having used the Jewish Agency money given to new immigrants, and she used my phone and never paid the bill (hundreds of shekels). This after I was kind enough to allow her tolive rent free to help her with her "aliyah." There are many people who helped her when she was in Israel. One told me that he lent her alot of money when she was in Israel, and he was never paid back (but I don't remember his name). You can forward this, and I stand behind it.


How can any sane person seeign this not conclude that Vicki Polin has serious problems? And how does this not impact the credibility of her site - The Awareness Center?

Yet UOJ says that he is not going to view the clip of her appearance on the Oprah show!!!

I invite all readers to view the clip and associated material and comment back over here discussing how they feel about The Awareness Center, the battle against molesters that we are fighting and whether they think that Vicki Polin adds credibility to this issue or actually gives ammunition to the defenders of abusers, etc.

Anonymous said...

Is ZA, Tzipi Adlerstein?

The Un-Orthodox Jew - "UOJ" said...

After receiving many e-mails by readers and friends urging me to view the Oprah clip, I relented.

The You Tube clip is disturbing.

That does not negate that The Awareness Ctr. has done some very credible work in bringing the devastating sex abuse issue by rabbis in the Jewish community out in the open.

If you will, consider Vicki as a reporter, say like Geraldo, who sensationalizes the news.

Investigate her "allegations" on your own, and come up with your own conclusions.

TRADITION said...

end of last sentence in main article should end with:

as a religious community

Avrohom Ravitz said...

Shulem aleichem chevre. The gedolim have me going to New York & London for a super shnorring trip. Get ready for that knock on your door.

http://www.5tjt.com/news/read.asp?Id=741

Torah And Poverty
From The Editor’s Desk

The Israeli parliament, the Knesset, is a world of its own within the world it represents to the outside, the State of Israel. I spent a few hours in the Knesset on Tuesday, ostensibly to meet and talk with MK Avraham Ravitz, a member of the Degel HaTorah faction of United Torah Judaism, the party that represents chareidi interests in the Knesset.

The reason for the meeting was partly preparation for MK Ravitz’s week long trip to New York, which will begin next Tuesday and will take him to meetings with communal leaders and philanthropists throughout the New York area. The agenda of his meetings with these leaders will basically revolve around one central issue—poverty in the Torah community of Israel.

Rabbi Ravitz, a former minister in the government of Ariel Sharon, spoke with us on a number of topics of pressing interest to Jews around the world. Our conversation, however, kept gravitating to the problem of support for poor families in Israel, many of whom live significantly beneath the poverty line. “Today there are 35,000 frum families, many with eight to ten children and more, trying to exist on 2,000 shekel a month,” MK Ravitz says. He points out that this amount of government assistance translates to less than $500 a month. Obviously it’s impossible for many of these families to function under these economic circumstances, and even those who do still suffer greatly from extreme poverty.

For many of these families, MK Ravitz points out, there are additional subsidies provided to them by their yeshivas based on what their rashei yeshiva and other community leaders can go out into the Jewish world to raise. All this leads to the obvious question: Why don’t many of these people who need to provide for their families change course, secure jobs, and go out to work? That’s a question that has even more profound impact on Jewish communities in the New York area where, the number of people visiting shuls and knocking on the doors of homes soliciting contributions has grown dramatically over the last several years.

Rabbi Ravitz seems to be a thoughtful and contemplative individual. He says he knows that this is the important question, and he responds accordingly. He explains that in reality there has been a major shift in attitude in the yeshiva world since the large-family subsidies were cut under the administration of Benjamin Netanyahu some years ago. Ravitz explains that the Israeli economy was in a stranglehold and that these subsidies were growing almost uncontrollably with each ensuing year. As a result, the onus for these families was placed on the yeshivas they are affiliated with and on members of the family to earn a living wage.

“Let me make it clear,” Rav Ravitz says, “that these are not parasites or people looking for a free ride, and that it is a mistake to assume so.” He says that the 35,000 families at present represent a deep cut in what the numbers used to be, and indeed there may have been abuse of the system in the past. He adds that in many families some of the women and many of the men have gone out to work, but that in many cases the entry-level salaries in Israel do not help the family situation enough. It’s important to note, he says, that this group is dominated by people so dedicated to a life of full-time Torah study that living poorly does not matter that much to them. The objective of the fundraising effort by MK Ravitz is to bring economic dignity to their lives.

Rabbi Ravitz pointed out that in Israel, the official poverty level is an income of 3,500 shekel per month. He then asks why the current government should not see to it that those willing to sacrifice and live poorly at least live at this most minimum level. From his extensive experience in Israeli governments, he feels that if the government sees interest from the worldwide Jewish community, then it, too, will be more responsive.

To that end, MK Ravitz is embarking on his journey, first to London for a day and then on to new York for a week of meetings with community leaders and government officials. He says that to alleviate the current dire need he would need to raise over $500 million, but he knows that it will take long to achieve that difficult objective. Along with his need for large sums of money is his goal to impart to us the message that the level of Torah scholarship in these communities in Israel represents an important asset to Klal Yisrael—one that we as a people responsible for one another should not take lightly.

At present, Rav Ravitz and his party, Degel HaTorah/UTJ, are not members of the governing coalition, but are serving in the opposition to the government. He is not very supportive or encouraged by the performance so far on many levels of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. As for the prospect that Olmert can turn things around and set things in the right direction, Ravitz said he doesn’t see it. He says that Olmert “is too involved with himself to get anything done,” meaning that there are a swirl of investigations with legal ramifications going on that keep the prime minister distracted from his job.

Ravitz says he does recall a time when Olmert and his wife, along with other government people as well as some journalists, used to attend weekly Torah classes in the Ravitz home. Ravitz says that Olmert “knows much more than he lets on,” and that Olmert’s friendship with former MK Tommy Lapid turned Olmert completely around on a number of issues vital to Israel’s religious communities.

As for the future leaders, Ravitz sees the possibility of a government led by Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni or the return of Mr. Netanyahu. “We have to hope that Bibi has learned from his past mistakes,” Ravitz says.

For now, however, he is focused on his trip abroad and the need to fulfill the directives of Rav Shteinman and Rav Elyashiv to organize and rally the Diaspora communities to strengthen Torah while bringing dignity to many of Israel’s poorest families. It’s a daunting and difficult task, but one that he is optimistic will be successful as we follow his progress here over the next several weeks.

By:_ Larry Gordon - 08/02/2007

Anonymous said...

“Today there are 35,000 frum families, many with eight to ten children and more, trying to exist on 2,000 shekel a month,” MK Ravitz says.
----------

Doesn't god help those with so many kids? Why are they asking for help from us?

The Un-Orthodox Jew - "UOJ" said...

Anon Above:

Ask the bird-brain Marvin Schick, he seems to have all the answers from the comfort of his law office.
Putz!

Anonymous said...

the following is a summary of the events relating to Rav Dovid Cohen's ("RDC") speeches at Beth Abraham this Shabbos and my subsequent conversation with him. I should have listened to Rav Schachter when he said publicly in shiur a few years ago not to daven in his shul because of RDC's disgraceful approach to business ethics in building his shul with stolen money.

RDC publicly said that there is no problem with cheating on taxes or lying on a tax return. He also said that all goyim hate Jews and we should not be fooled by American goyim who hide it better. He said that he would deny having said this if anyone from the press (or someone that he suspects might be from the press) asks him about it.

I called him yesterday to ask how he can say that it is permissible to cheat on taxes when the Shulchan Aruch, Tur, Rambam, and many others all say that cheating on taxes from a non-Jewish government is a violation of lo sigzol. His answer was similar to a conservative rabbi. He said that he does not feel bound by the psak of the shulchan aruch. In any case, he said that he believes that all of the statements in the shulchan aruch, rambam etc. that tax evasion is forbidden was put in there because of fear of anti-Semitism if they said the truth which is that you can cheat on your taxes. He therefore said that he ignores all of these statements in the sifrei halacha. In fact, he said that he paskens that you can outright steal from a gentile (even one that keeps the seven mitzvos and is not an idolater) as long as you think that you will not get caught and cause a chillul hashem. I then pointed out to him that every posek in the past two thousand years has paskened that gezel akum is forbidden under lo sigzol. He once again said that he does not believe that they meant that and they were only saying it for fear of the goyim. This sounds like Strauss's view of the Rambam (I can explain that if you are not familiar with it).

In addition, I heard him many years ago say that Baruch Goldstein did not violate lo tirzach and that the only reason he should not have killed the Arabs was because his actions were likely to create more violence against Jews.

As to other crazy things he said, he said on Friday night that you are obligated to vote for the candidate that your rabbi tells you to vote for based on daas torah. He also told me during my call on Sunday that it is an issur doraisa to say anything complimentary about any gentile. His example was that a person who says that Beethoven was a good composer is violating an issur doraisa.

He caused a great chillul hashem as many people told me after he spoke that they were sickened by what he said. I have a call in to Rav Schachter to let him know what happened as he will certainly hit the wall when he hears this. He used to tell us in shiur on many occasions that the basics of Judaism relate to honesty and integrity and people who cheat on taxes or steal are a disgrace to Judaism. When I got married, he told me that the main thing to ask the witnesses is whether they ever cheated on their taxes. I also plan to speak to Rabbi Neuberger about this. I kind of feel responsible that I did not tell Rabbi Neuberger what I know about David Cohen before he came. I had always heard in Flatbush that he has no problem with cheating and stealing in business as long as Jews are not hurt. I also plan on sending letters to Ohel (where he is the posek) and to Avi Shafran at the Agudah. This man must be stopped although I am not sure what is the best way to do it. There were hundreds of people in the audience who, if they believe him, will think that Judaism allows them to cheat and steal. One baal teshuva told me that he could not sleep that night because he had always been told that Judaism preached honesty and integrity and he now sees that a very well known and respected posek can get up and advocate stealing and cheating. He is questioning everything he has been taught. The sad thing is that he infiltrated the YU community because he is articulate and worldly.

Rabbi Dovid Eidensohn said...

Reply to UOJ's Article by Rabbi Jakobowitz Attacking the Supremacy of Yeshivas

by Rabbi Dovid Eidensohn

I have read the UOJ's posting of Tradition's article by Rabbi Immanuel Jacobowitz, and I think it is a dated piece. First of all, the facts as he states them don't exist anymore in the communities I frequent. Recall that Rabbi Jacobowitz was appointed Chief Rabbi of England in 1967, fifty years ago. His observations in those days were more valid, but today things are much different. Therefore, posting this article is really inventing a reality that has passed from the scene decades ago.

However, because the issues raised in the article are important, and because some of the concepts are still valid, if not all of them, it does pay to revisit the issue. I have publicly attacked the Yeshivas for similar reasons, that Rosh Yeshivas have usurped the traditional dominance of the Rav who outranked the Rosh Yeshiva. Today the Rosh Yeshiva dominates the world, not the Rov. But I did not mean to suggest as this article does, that the solution is to find more "moderate" and modern rabbis to supplant the influence of the Rosh Yeshivas, as that is surely not the solution. Rather, the solution is to find rabbis who are not "modern" or "moderate" but whose task is the community, not schooling. Rabbi Akiva Eiger was not the Rosh Yeshiva of Posen, he was the Rov. He may have had a Yeshiva, but that was not his main role. The Chasam Sofer was the Pressbur Rov, and on the side, he had a Yeshiva. Today, we have no major Rov in many places so we turn to the Rosh Yeshivas for advice. Although this is a problem, and it requires a solution, the UOJ article is not interested in what I am interested in. It wants a leftist rabbi instead of the right-wing Yeshiva element. This is not the solution, because that Modern Orthodox world of Rabbi Jacobowotz, like a melting glacier, is not going to be around that much longer in its "progressive" phase. Rather it will split, as it is splitting now, and some will go left to the Conservadox, and some will go right to the Yeshivas and Haredim.

Rabbi Shmuel Mendelowitz, the son of Reb Shraga Feival Mendelowitz, told me that his father battled the rabbis of his time. These rabbis were Europeans and were often great scholars, but they didn't want to build Yeshivas. When Reb Aharon came to a group of such rabbis to ask for help in building Yeshivas, the senior rabbi told him, "We are in charge of America, and you are not needed here." That rabbi died on the spot. I heard this from a prominent Lakewood talmid who used to drive Reb Aharon in New York.

Not all rabbis were this bad. In Washington I went to a Yeshiva Or Torah DiBrisk built by the Rosh Yeshivas with the enthusiastic help of the rabbonim, Rabbi Yehoshua Klavan and Rabbi Bogner, and presumably others. Baltimore also had rabbis who loved Yeshivas. Yeshiva Chofetz Chaim was built by local rabbonim, and Ner Yisroel was warmly supported by the rabbonim of Baltimore. But in New York and elsewhere there were divisions. One rabbi blocked Rabbi Mendelowitz when he wanted to build a Day School in the rabbi's community. The rabbi's children became irreligious from going to public school.

This article is a plaint by someone who sees his world vanishing, as indeed it did. The early world of YU and Rabbi Jacobowitz was one of communal bonding with Reform, Conservative and whoever else. Semicha was denied anyone who hadn't studied from the apikoress books of the colleges and from secular science staffs committed to pruning from any student traditional religious ideas. Rabbis had to deal with congregations filled with irreligious people. Of course, they had to "modify" halacha. The Yeshivas and the Yeshiva community would have nothing to do with that.

The reality in Torah communities such as Monsey, Baltimore, and much of New York City, is that the Yeshiva and Haredi community created a ghetto, and allows in those who accept their standards, without compromise. Large and beautiful shulls dot these communities and capable and wise rabbis, the choice of the Yeshivas, staff them. Exponential demographic growth powers these communities and their shulls, and there is no need to compromise halacha or anything else. Thousands and thousands of people from all walks of life join these communities precisely because they are ghettos. Someone asked me a shaalo about an inheritance. It turned out he was related to the royal family of England. I was surprised, but he told me that Monsey is filled with Gerei Tsedek, and nobody can tell them from anyone else. Actually, once I could tell. We looked out the window of a Beth Din and saw a strange apparition. A young woman dressed in what seemed medieval dress for a nunnery was approaching the Beth Din. I went out to her and she told me she was a writer who had become frum. When she dresses more frum than others we can tell they are from the outer world.

At any rate, this is an ancient article and has no place today. I deal regularly with the gentile world, with newspapers, Internet, etc., and they respect me because they know the ascending power of the Haredim. I have no need to make the compromises that at one time allowed Orthodox rabbis to be accepted by irreligious Jews. That world, fortunately, is gone forever.

YU Student that can do simple math said...

Rabbi,

"1967" is 40 years ago, not 50. I can tell you did not learn in YU.

Anonymous said...

Rabbi Eidensohn,

We UOJ readers would like to know the name of the rabbi that "died on the spot."
Shame on you for bashing YU.

Flatbush Tea Party said...

I pay my taxes anyway because I fear being caught and causing a chilul Hashem, but the govt is clearly out of control and might fall under the category mentioned in Sanhedrin where you are not required to pay. After introducing taxes as a "temporary measure" in the early 1900s, the IRS has grown into a monster that collects funding for bogus earmarks and political pork. And why should we bankroll the endless welfare state for illegal immigrants & domestic bums?

I have heard that Rav Bick zl poskened in a cryptic manner that tax evasion is ok. "Tu azoy vee der anderra ton." Perhaps it's no coincidence that Dovid Cohen often quotes him, like when poskening to report ganovim of private property to the police.

The Un-Orthodox Jew - "UOJ" said...

RaV Eidensohn,

The key points of Rabbi Jacobowits's piece are more relevant today than they were when he wrote them. For another time.

Anonymous said...

Rabbi Eidensohn is being dishonest. If you look at the highlighted bold part of the piece, it is really clear that at the very least those issues are as relevant today as was fifty-forty- years ago.
I believe you have twisted UOJ's intent of the piece.
Also, I'm wanting to know the name of the rabbi that dropped dead in front of Rabbi Kotler.

The Un-Orthodox Jew - "UOJ" said...

This is the problem with ALL the Gedolim stories. Rabbi Eidensohn claims that a rabbi who refused to help R' Ahron build yeshivas, "dropped dead on the spot" for refusing to help R' Ahron.

Who did he hear it from? A driver of R' Ahron.

1-Assuming the rabbi did drop dead, how do you know it was because of what he told R' Ahron?
2-Who is this driver that I can speak to? What's his name? What's the name of the rabbi that dropped dead?
3-When does Art Scroll get to publish this story?

The Un-Orthodox Jew - "UOJ" said...

I'm going to answer my own question in a way with this statement:

THE GEDOLIM STORIES NEED TO BE VERIFIED BY RESPONSIBLE PEOPLE AND VERIFIABLE DOCUMENTATION OR THEY'RE FAIRY TALES!

Yeshivishe Nudnik said...

The background is missing here. Sir, Rabbi, Dr, Lord, Emmanuel Jacobovitz, Knight of the British Empire, and Chief Rabbi of the Commonwealth, blah blah blah, was persona non grata in rabbonishe circles in the UK. It happened all the time at public functions that no one would talk to him or even look at him. There are deeper problems with his shitos than this lamentation. Some of what he writes in the article seems like a swipe at the rest of the British rabbanus.

And the babies who can't take criticism of YU should grow up. There is a yesod in Yiddishkeit as outlined by the Gro in Even Shleyma that you cannot stay at exactly the same darga in kedusha. You either go up or down. That's why on one end you had a split with Chovavei Torah and at the other end there are YU guys who leave for Litvishe yeshivos. The shame is not on Rabbi Eidensohn for pointing it out. The shame is on Stormin' Norman Lamm for coming up with the "Centrist" meshugass after he left Torah Vodaas.

Anonymous said...

Peanut Processor Knowingly Sold Tainted Products
It Found Salmonella 12 Times

By Lyndsey Layton
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 28, 2009;

The Georgia peanut plant linked to a salmonella outbreak that has killed eight people and sickened 500 more across the country knowingly shipped out contaminated peanut butter 12 times in the past two years, federal officials said yesterday.

Officials at the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which have been investigating the outbreak of salmonella illness, said yesterday that Peanut Corporation of America found salmonella in internal tests a dozen times in 2007 and 2008 but sold the products anyway, sometimes after getting a negative finding from a different laboratory.

Companies are not required to disclose their internal tests to either the FDA or state regulators, so health officials did not know of the problem.

Bill B. said...

As I listen to President Obama in his first nine days he tells us how this 850 Billion must be passed immediately because we are in BIG TROUBLE (no sh*t). I remember him promising NO PORK --LINE BY LINE-- checking so there will be no pork. Well maybe someone needs to explain to our President what PORK is. Eighty percent of what is in the bill now won't be spent until after 2010, so I ask if we are in such bad shape and we need to act now, why are we acting so fast for something that does not materialize for a long time. I'll tell you why, this is payback to those that supported his campaign. These paybacks will come as SOCIAL and WELFARE programs. Enter ACORN to claim their rewards for the buying of votes, along with VOTER FRAUD as well as helping to fix the election. What happened to ACORN? The day after the election they all disappeared (like roaches when you turn on a light), most of their offices closed their computers went into storage, and what happened to all the investigations regarding VOTER FRAUD? Other issues that are very disturbing. No lobbyists in my administration. Enter Robert Gates/Defense Secretary. Eric Holder/Justice, he only pardoned criminals for Bill Clinton. Timothy Geither/U.S. Treasury--IRS (didn't pay his taxes until he was caught) and the rest of the CRIMINALS in Washington still think nobody else is qualified. Leon Panetta/CIA Director---on the job training. And the one I enjoy on a daily basis is Robert Gibbs/Press Secretary. Listening to him daily reminds me of a short version of Tom Arnold except Tom comes across more intelligent. So as far as I am concerned nothing has really CHANGED it is just the same "OLD BULLSH*T" Every politician that votes on this stimulas should remember when it doesn't do what is promised their job will be on the line in 2010 and I promise the American voter will not forget. It's amazing Washington admits they don't know how to spend your tax dollars, big corps. can loose MILLIONS and BILLIONS quarterly and yearly and still stay in business (thanks to bailouts). If small business makes a few bad calls they are out of business, yet small business is still around after absorbing Washington's taxes, rules etc. as well as bailing out Big Business and Wall Street and the Banks to name a few. Maybe what Washington needs is a NEW LEVEL OF CABINET POSITIONS all held by Small Business Owners, since we are the ones that survive no matter what is thrown at us. Seven members and I would be glad to be the first aboard. One thing you can count on with this New Cabinet political correctness will not be our priority. So what do you think Mr. President? After all we are in the trenches everyday living it not just talking about it.

State of Chicago Dayanus said...

In the administration of Jewish law, justice must not only be done, but be manifestly seen to be done; as far as is possible, the logic of halakhic decisions must be demonstrated before the bar of public opinion to win acceptance.
***********************

This is bidiyuk why the Agudah bais din of Rabbi Fuerst is looked at as a sham.

Just last night he filled his coffers with "donations" to HIM. Classic Illinois "pay to play" money games.

Dayan Supporter $1,000 and up= A guaranteed victory even with no halachic, etical, moral or legal grounds exist.

Dayan Donor $500-1,000= Victory is guaranteed unless the opposing party is a Dayan Supporter.

Friend of the Dayan $180-500= You can be the first to present evidence. (Reminder: it's not too late to up your "contribution")

Kalyiker $36-180= You don't stand a chance.

Goy Gamur $5-36= Bums like you won't even show up to a din Torah.

telz kollel said...

Feurst is not only a bulvan in dayanus he is a bulvan period!

Anonymous said...

More from .r Jacobovits w/some commentary;

http://harherem.blogspot.com/2007/04/from-rabbi-immanuel-jacobovits-one-of.html