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Saturday, December 19, 2009

LEIB TROPPER AND HIS "EJF" - "ETERNAL JEWISH FAMILY" - IS DECLARED A FRAUD AND A DANGER TO JUDAISM!

The UOJ Archives - November 2007

-- I keep my promises you piece of garbage pimp! --



*******************************************************

November 18, 2007

In UOJ language - THE WEASEL TROPPER IS A FILTHY FRAUD! He should be shunned by any honest rabbi...(there are precious few!) The low-life charlatan is an example of another mean-spirited and evil person, dressed in full "rabbi" regalia, preying on the weak, naive and the vulnerable! Tropper - I'll come after you as an exterminator goes after poisonous rats! I'm on to you and your pathetic scam! You're going down - BIG!




Rav Sternbuch, shlita approved translation by Daniel Eidensohn

5th of Kislev 5768

Concerning the Holiness of the Jewish People “ the Holy Nation.

The senior dayanim of the Bedatz met today to discuss allegations that certain kiruv activists are actively proselytizing the children of intermarried couples to convince them to convert “ even though according to Torah law there is no halachic relationship with their Jewish fathers. They are calling for the acceptance of these non-Jewish children in Jewish programs and religious schools.

Such an action is literally a disaster and self-destructive. It is self-evident that such a program is absolutely prohibited by the Torah.

Furthermore until now anyone who wanted to marry a non-Jewess Heaven forbend! We knew very well that this act would sever them from the Jewish people forever.

Because of the dire consequences of intermarriage, there was a strong barrier that prevented many from intermarrying. However now that the consequence of exclusion from the Jewish people has been removed - this motivation not to intermarry has been lost. Consequently these intermarried couples and their children remain amongst the Jewish people. This results in their non-Jewish children being accepted into religious schools out of the hope that they will eventually convert.

Therefore we are warning that this activity is against the Torah. It has never been acceptable to proselytize non-Jews. Furthermore as we mentioned it actually encourages intermarriage.

We therefore are turning to the poskim and the roshei yeshivos not to participate in their conventions - such as the one that occurred in America last week. Even if their motivation was to improve the standards of conversions “ they are making improvements in one area while making things worse in another.

This approach is directly causing serious problems.

Those who heed our cautions will benefit and receive blessings.

We - the members of the Bedatz in Jerusalem - affix our signature to this document out of fear and concern for the holiness of the Jewish people “ the holy nation.

150 comments:

Yehu said...

Unfortunately there are many rabbis, even Orthodox ones, who are not careful and because of their liberal ideology find all kinds of leniencies which should not be liberally applied. What they cause is that their conversions will not be widely honored, hence causing distress and frustration to their gerim who will realize too late that they won't be universally accepted. Maybe those rabbis actually want this as they lose their congregants to both secular society and stricter orthodox circles. In any event I have no claim against the converts who, in near all cases, are not in a position to be aware of all these details and are not to be blamed for the converting rabbis' faulty practices.

I did mention that many gerim have detrimential influence for the sole reason that I did observe such people - people who convert because they are unprepared they either join the most exremist circles, or become disillusioned and abandon relgion. And there are those who do not intend to be religious at all and are interested in conversion only for the sake of marriage. Unfortunately, some Orthodox rabbis perform such conversions. Some out of corruption and for money, some because the aforementioned libertarien ideologies.

LVF said...

Uoj, how do we get a petition with as many people singing off on it anonymously for example through social security number or maybe some other way sent to the israeli ministry of justice- israeli consul-and the DA of brooklyn.

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

LVF,

I'm being told not to overly worry, that the rasha Mondrowitz will be extradited!

Time will tell....but everyone should keep up the e-mails to the justice ministry.

Anonymous said...

LVF said...
This is the e-mail i just sent the ministry of justice in israel.

Shalom,

I beg of you once again, for the sake of avremil mondrowitzs victims, do the right thing and extradite this man, please dont give in to the pressure of the ger community, I am from ger in brooklyn, and know a few of his victims, they are still bleeding today and are waiting for one thing "Justice". this guy has to be brought to trial just for the fact to show future molester wannabees and the rabbonim that covered up for the molesters that "yesh din vyesh dayan" and you cant run away forever, and that eventually if you covered up for a molester you will be exposed.

with all due repect,
-----------------------------------

Please rabboisi give a few minutes of your time to e-mail him or the israeli consul and let our voices be heard loud and clear, its the least we can do for his many victims.

What's Wrong with this Picture? said...

http://theantisemite.blogspot.com/2007/11/pressure-will-blow.html#c5783108050142426128

Anonymous said...
To the best of my knowledge, (Tropper's) EJF has not yet successfully had a single conversion accepted by the Israeli Rabbinate.

So far, it is just dinner and drinks in nice hotels courtesy of the generous benefactors.

Meanwhile the majority of Shomer Shabbat children of born Jewish mothers in my community do not attend a Jewish Day School because their parents cannot afford it.

In fact we have a running joke around here. If you want to get a full scholarship for children to attend Jewish Day School for free, just go in and tell them that you (the mother) are not Jewish, but your husband is and you are thinking about converting.

If only some of the money that is being spent trying to attract Gentiles to convert to Judaism could be spent to give Jewish children a decent Jewish education.

(SIGH).

Gullible Baal Teshuva said...

"preying on the weak, naive and the vulnerable" is exactly right!

Tropper is whining to his gullible BT crowd about how he's nebich being villified.

To hear the fraudster talk you'd think that every gadol in the world is on his side.

These BTs are like Moshiachistim in their emunah for Tropper and his Nocturnal Jewish Fraud.

Leitzonus said...

Let's give Tropper a taste of his own medicine.

We will get Efrati & Rabbi Amar to sign off that not only are modern Orthodox & Lubavitch rabbis no good to do giyur, but also any slob over 400 pounds with a big belly.

That will sideline Tropper without having to resort to wordy bans from the Badatz.

The Pied Piper of Hamelin said...

Pssst, UOJ.

I know a way to flush out Tropper without resorting to rat poison.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Pied_Piper_of_Hamelin

In 1284, while the town of Hamelin was suffering from a rat infestation, a man dressed in colourful garments appeared, claiming to be a rat-catcher. He promised the townsmen a solution for their problem with the rats. The townsmen in turn promised to pay him for the removal of the rats. The man accepted, and thus played a musical pipe to lure the rats with a song into the Weser river, where all of them drowned.

Anonymous said...

R' Shlomo Miller (who is one of the good guys for speaking up against Belsky, Tendler & Heinemann) was approached by a putz dentist he knew that divorced his wife to marry his Italian hygenist. He thought he could get R' Shlomo to sanitize the fraud gerus. Instead, R' Shlomo yelled at him, called him a sheygetz, and told him he is banned from stepping foot in the Toronto kollel. The putz went to the police with a fabricated story that R' Shlomo hit him. R' Shlomo was charged with assault but Reichmann hired a team of lawyers to get him off the hook.

Leib Pinter said...

Oh man, my good friend Tropper looks like he's in trouble! As Sol Wachtler would say, UOJ could even indict a ham sandwich.

Oh, did I say that? Because Elizabeth Holtzmann investigated me for fraudulently selling treif meat & cheese sandwiches as "kosher".

Holtzmann of course was the first one who tried to prosecute Mondrowitz.

Sol Wachtler said...

I wish Pinter wouldn't have dragged me into this. Now I'm on UOJ's radar screen too.

Not only does UOJ hate perverts, but Touro had no problem hiring me. The same Touro who had two officials show up at Tropper's Fresser & Fake giyur conferences.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sol_Wachtler

Sol Wachtler is a New York State lawyer and former Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals, which is the highest position in the State judiciary.

In 1992, he was arrested on an expressway while driving home, and later pleaded guilty to harassing his former mistress Joy Silverman and her teenage daughter. Wachtler had written her harassing letters in the guise of a fictional alter ego, and mailed a condom to her young daughter. The judge claimed mental incapacitation. He resigned his judgeship and subsequently resigned from the bar as a result of this incident. He also served time in mental health unit of a federal prison. Wachtler currently works in the area of alternate dispute resolution and is an adjunct professor of law at the Touro Law School. He was reinstated to the New York state bar on October 2, 2007.

Wachtler famously observed that prosecutors have so much control over grand juries that they could convince them to "indict a ham sandwich." The phrase has become something of a cliché

Queens said...

Word has it that Tropper and his crew have rejected the conversions of the Queens Vaad. I dont know why but thats ridiculous.

Stanley Boylan said...

I'm one of the Touro deans who davens by Scheinerman.

At first, Scheinerman had a problem with Touro hiring Sol Wachtler, but he then he mysteriously backed off and never said another word.

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

There are bogus conversions, that's not the point. For a pig and an am-h'aretz like Tropper to dictate the whose-who in batei din, is maddening!

Response to Queens said...

Tropper is no position to possul ANYONE.

BUT ...

The Queens Vaad is very diverse. You have corrupt gangsters like Belsky's friend Peretz Steinberg. You have far-left modern orthodox with krum hashkafa. You have am haaratzim. You have Chofetz Chaim people that are not only out to lunch in many ways but have also been busy over the years covering up for molesters like Scheinberg's nephew.

It wouldn't surprise me one bit if some dubious gerim come out of the Queens Vaad, depending on who was involved.

There are some reliable rabbis at the Vaad like past president Rabbi Shlomo Hochberg but the more reliable Queens rabbis are usually not Vaad members like several rabbis in Kew Gardens.

Monsey said...

Positive confirmation tha Tropper is studiously reading all the bloggerei about himself.

The man is desperately trying to explain that he is the victim of an evil conspiracy.

Hynes & Schmetterer are LIARS said...

http://www.jewishtimes.com/News/7183.stm

According to Hynes' office, the request was issued early this year, in January or February, after the U.S.-Israel extradition treaty was amended.

But according to a copy of the indictment, the charges against Mondrowitz included forced sodomy. As a result, claims Michael Lesher, a lawyer for several of Mondrowitz's alleged victims, Mondrowitz could have been extradited since 1988. A cable that year from the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv obtained by Lesher similarly argues that a new Israeli law made the Mondrowitz case worth pursuing.

Nevertheless, Hynes did not pursue the case until this year. Critics charge that he was influenced by a group of Orthodox rabbis who informally advise him.

"I'm certain of that," Lesher said. "We know that the Orthodox community didn't want this case pursued. Even today I'm experiencing a lot of reluctance from rabbis familiar with the case." Hynes' office refused a request for comment.

Sexual abuse has been a mounting concern in the Orthodox community, a trend propelled by several high-profile cases of rabbis with long histories of abuse that allegedly were swept under the carpet by religious leaders.

In recent years the efforts of several activists, as well as a number of bloggers whose anonymity provided abuse victims with a venue to speak about their experiences with discretion, have brought a number of instances of abuse to light.

"I think in fact that the Colmer case would have gone a similar way," Lesher said, "if it hadn't been for the fact that a lot of people behind the scenes were so fed up with cases like Mondrowitz that they were willing to work with victims and with people like me to see that the case did go public."

Anonymous said...

whats new on the mondrowitz front? does anyone have info with regard todays hearing?

"Ayshis Chayil" said...

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/ny_crime/2007/11/17/2007-11-17_exbrooklyn_rabbi_likely_to_be_dragged_ba-2.html

Mondrowitz's wife insisted he would fight extradition.

"He's absolutely innocent," she said at their Jerusalem apartment.

Mondrowitz's case attracted controversy because critics claimed District Attorney Joe Hynes put the explosive case on the back burner under pressure from Hasidic community leaders. His office has emphatically denied that charge and insisted it was pushing for a legal way to try Mondrowitz.

dgoldiner@nydailynews.com

The Big IF said...

http://www.newsday.com/news/local/newyork/ny-nybrfs175464789nov17,0,5128064.story

"Immediately after a new treaty went into effect in January, we made an application for extradition and we are currently awaiting the outcome of that process," the Brooklyn district attorney's office said in a statement. "We are prepared to prosecute Mondrowitz, if and when he is brought back to this country." The Brooklyn prosecutors declined to detail the charges, saying an indictment handed up in 1984 was still under seal.

Barry Bonds said...

The Gerrorists are trying to get me off the hook too ever since I told Tropper I want to be magayer.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21835081/print/1/displaymode/1098/

Bonds Faces 30 Years For Federal Charges

KNTV-TV
updated 8:12 p.m. ET, Sat., Nov. 17, 2007

SAN FRANCISCO - 'Home Run King' Barry Bonds could spend 30 years in prison if he is convicted of felony charges of perjury and obstruction of justice in the BALCO steroid investigation.

Legal Question said...

Why would a 23 year old indictment still be under seal?

Is this just Hynes playing games again?

Mondrowitz's Sefardish Enabler Yitzchak Peretz said...

http://english.pravda.ru/news/world/16-11-2007/101125-sexual_abuse-0

Mondrowitz, 60, is wanted in New York for molesting hundreds of children under the guise of a rabbi and psychologist who became highly revered among the Gur Hasidic sect in Brooklyn for his expertise with minors, the Haaretz newspaper reported Friday.

The U.S. Justice Department had two months ago resubmitted a 22-year-old request to Israel to extradite the suspect, Haaretz said.

The father of seven fled the United States for Israel in 1985, soon after New York police charged him with sexually abusing a 10-year-old boy in two instances. The United States requested Mondrowitz's extradition in 1985. Israel ordered his expulsion in 1987.

When the United States requested Mondrowitz's extradition, sodomy - one of the charges against Mondrowitz - was not recognized in Israel as full-fledged rape and thus was not included in the extradition treaty between the countries, Haaretz reported. Although Israel was willing to change the treaty to include sodomy, the United States was not at the time, Irit Kahan, who headed the Justice Ministry's international department at the time, told Haaretz.

Only recently the treaty was changed to include all offenses for which the punishment is more than one year in prison, Kahan said.

When Israel ordered the suspect expelled, Mondrowitz's Israeli lawyer, David Ofek, said the molesting charge was an "ugly libel."

U.S. officials had requested Mondrowitz's extradition in 1985 soon after he arrived in Israel, but the Interior Minister at the time, Yitzhak Peretz of the ultra- Orthodox Shas Party, did not act on the request.

A Thorn Bush called UOJ's blog said...

http://www.thejewishweek.com/viewArticle/c36_a1065/News/New_York.html

The case has been a political thorn in the side of Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes for years as sex-abuse watchdogs accused him of reluctance to apprehend and prosecute Mondrowitz for fear of offending Orthodox voters. The case has also been notorious because of allegations that teachers and rabbis in Mondrowitz’s community looked the other way when confronted with accusations against him.

Vicki said...

Please make the phone calls regarding Moshe Eisemann. The only way to make change is if everyone participates and puts pressure on Ner Israel, Rabbi Yaakov Hopfer and Artscroll to do the right thing.

It's important to be aware that Phil Jacobs and the Baltimore Jewish Times were limited in what information they made public when they published the story on Moshe Eisemann. Several of the survivors did not want to be interviewed for fear of retaliation. It's vitally important for each survivor to have choice, because while they were being abused choice was taken away from them. The problem is that when survivors choose not to be public it makes it difficult to make changes in hopes of protecting any more innocent children and adults from becoming the next victim of a sex crime.

The other dilemma faced by the Baltimore Jewish Times was that some of the information they were privy to was confidential and could not be published.

Many people have asked why we are asking that Eisemann's writings should be banned. One response is that many years ago Rabbi Moshe Feinstein made a decree that the songs written by Shlomo Carlebach after he went off the derech (path), should no longer be song, yet his older songs were ok. The same decree should apply to the writings of Moshe Eisemann.

Frankishe Hypocrites said...

From the same Shas party that protected Mondrowitz comes Eli Yishai who goes running to Tropper's Fake giyur / Fresser conferences:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eli_Yishai

Yishai took over as party leader when Aryeh Deri was convicted of fraud but Shas were not included in Ariel Sharon's coalition government of the 16th Knesset.

After the 2006 elections Shas were invited to join Ehud Olmert's coaltion and Yishai was made Minister of Industry, Trade, and Labour as well as being a Deputy Prime Minister.

Yishai came under fire in February 2006 when he told reporters that "homosexuality is clearly a disease", and wished gays and lesbians a "speedy recovery".

Is this Peretz related to the Mondrowitz Enabler? said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shas

Since 1999, several of Shas's MKs, including Aryeh Deri, Raphael Pinhasi, Yair Lev, Ofer Hugi and Yair Peretz have been convicted of offences including fraud and forgery. In addition, current MK Shlomo Benizri is currently on trial for accepting bribes.

Aryeh Deri said...

Maybe Mondrowitz can get released early for good behavior.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aryeh_Deri

Aryeh Deri (b. February 17, 1959 in Meknes, Morocco) is the former leader of Israel's Shas Party. He was replaced by Eli Yishai after Deri was jailed for corruption,[1] having been found guilty of taking $155,000 in bribes while serving as Interior Minister, and sentenced to three years at the Maasiyahu Prison.[2] He was released after serving twenty-two months due to good behavior.[3]

Bungalow Yenta said...

Who was at the press conference?

http://www.jta.org/cgi-bin/iowa/breaking/105354.html

Lesher was joined at the press conference by several activists who deal with the subject of sex abuse in the Orthodox community. They said that, while abuse may not be more prevalent among religious Jews, the stigma against reporting cases to the authorities has only recently begun to lift.

Thomas Kaplan said...

Arye Deri should have held a little longer. If he would just have supported the Nocturnal Jewish Fraud, I could have legally given him the 155k so he didn't have to take illegal bribes.

Birds of a Feather Waddle with Tropper said...

http://theantisemite.blogspot.com/2007/11/eternal-jewish-fraud.html#c983910490873178795

Not enough has been done to expose Tropper's ties to the lowlife Leib Pinter. Lo lechinom holech hazarzir etzel .... . They are supposed to be good friends from way back and recently collaborated on destroying Slifkin. I do not know enough to pass judgement on Slifkin but anything that Pinter engineers is suspect which is why one rosh yeshiva I know would not sign against Slifkin. The rosh yeshiva also mentioned that a "mafia" surrounds Rav Elyashev and it is difficult to know what he really holds.

Leib Pinter has been aptly described as the "Energizer Ganev".

He was behind super-frauds in the 1970s that landed him in prison. He collected grants for a "yeshiva" bigger than Lakewood that never existed. He bribed a corrupt Senator who was also jailed and as reported by the NY Times and former Congresswoman Holtzmann, sold (kosher-labeled) treif meat & cheese sandwiches to Jewish school children which clearly makes him a chotay umachtee es horabim who we should be mevazeh in public.

Leib Pinter was later involved in a suspicious "heist" of gold & jewelry. Investigators could not prove it was staged to bring criminal charges but his claim was dismissed by the insurance company.

Pinter is under a Federal court order that he not own any camps which is why his Camp Horim is under someone else's name.

Leib Pinter & his brother Shmelka are currently on trial for a Ponzi scheme that led to Federal agents raiding & shuttering Pinter's Olympia Mortgage. Besides looting in excess of $100 million the court is hearing evidence that they assisted Ron (Yaron) Hershco's scam to target gullible minorities. The Pinters & Hershco ran a classic mortgage fraud of sucking away people's life savings before foreclosing on their house under fraudulent circumstances.

Leib Pinter lives around the corner from Mirrer yeshiva yet he almost never stepped foot in there for decades. One day, he just started hanging around and raising money for them. This was conveniently right before he wanted to make his son Moishe the 9th grade rebbe. Moishe Pinter's shver, Rabbi Herzl Kranz is another scam artist with a history. Moishe himself is an officer of Olympia Mortgage.

Leib Pinter is published by Artscroll as a "scholar of note". Pinter has a number of relatives with cozy jobs at Artscroll.

Appeal to Steve & the anti-Rubashkin Vaad said...

Please inform these news columnists about the dangers of Rubashkin:

http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/story.php?storySection=Style&sid=45019

Gobble it up

The turkey rating that I wrote about has created a lot of passion. People have written and even stopped me on the street to ask where they can find the Aaron's Best Rubashkin's turkeys that were praised by the testers at Cook's Illustrated.

Well, good news. I heard from Mark Halbe, national sales manager for Agriprocessors, the producers of the sought-after bird. He said, "Trader Joe's will carry a Fresh Trader Joe's turkey, which is packed at our plant. It's the same turkey rated in the Cook's article. If you turn it over, you'll see 'Packed by Rubashkins' on the back."

Happy gobbling!

Contact Donna Maurillo at sentinelfood@maurillo.com

http://www.miamiherald.com/tropical_life/story/307227.html

Cook's Illustrated gives its highest taste rating this year to a kosher brand, Rubashkin's Aaron's Best (available at South Florida markets including Sarah's Tent and Kosher Kingdom in Aventura and Aroma Kosher in Cooper City).

(Both kosher and conventional turkeys are treated with salt water and therefore should not be brined -- a process that seems to have fallen out of favor with the culinary cognoscenti, anyway.)

BY KATHY MARTIN
kmartin@MiamiHerald.com

http://www.delawareonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071114/LIFE/711140340/1005/LIFE

According to a turkey taste-test in the December 2007 issue of Cook's Illustrated magazine, a panel of 24 tasters sampled eight turkeys and "consistently found the frozen birds to be moister than the fresh."

Why? The magazine consulted Dong Ahn, an Iowa State University professor of animal science, who said that a "fresh" bird can sometimes be tougher and drier than a frozen one due to refreezing.

Turkeys labeled as "fresh" can actually be chilled to 26 degrees. Irregular shaped ice crystals can form in the meat, and if the temperature changes during storage or transport, the crystals will melt and then refreeze. As they do, the crystals poke the cell membranes of the meat, making holes and causing a loss of moisture.

Based on its turkey taste-test, Cook's Illustrated recommends Rubashkin's Aaron's Best frozen kosher turkey, about $2 a pound

By PATRICIA TALORICO
ptalorico@delawareonline.com

jerusalem post oct. 23 said...

However, a prominent member of the Ger community in Jerusalem defended Mondrowitz.
"There are people who are trying to disparage Mondrowitz's name," said the source.
"Mondrowitz is a very intelligent, talented man and so are all of his children. His father is highly respected in the community. I can't believe these stories are true.

Environmental Protection Agency said...

http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/0/7badae9396aff41d8525739400788f9b?OpenDocument

EPA Region 7 Compliance, Enforcement Net More Than $210 Million in Environmental Benefits

Release date: 11/15/2007

Contact Information: Dale Armstrong, (913) 551-7316, armstrong.dale@epa.gov

IOWA

Agriprocessors, Inc., Postville: A consent decree required Agriprocessors to comply with Clean Water Act requirements. The consent decree also resolves violations of the Community Right to Know Act, including implementation of a risk management plan covering the use of anhydrous ammonia at its facility. Agriprocessors paid a civil penalty of $590,000. Agriprocessors will also purchase emergency response equipment for the Postville Fire Department and conduct environmental compliance audits at its Postville, Iowa, and Gordon, Neb., facilities.

(A consent decree is a judicial decree expressing a voluntary agreement between parties to a suit, especially an agreement by a defendant to cease activities alleged by the government to be illegal in return for an end to the charges.)

What is Rubashkin doing with Ammonia? said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ammonia

Ammonia used commercially is usually named anhydrous ammonia.

The Romans called the ammonium chloride deposits they collected from near the Temple of Jupiter Amun (Greek Ἄμμων Ammon) in ancient Libya 'sal ammoniacus' (salt of Amun) because of proximity to the nearby temple[6]. Salts of ammonia have been known from very early times; thus the term Hammoniacus sal[7] appears in the writings of Pliny, although it is not known whether the term is identical with the more modern sal-ammoniac.[7]

In the form of sal-ammoniac, ammonia was known to the alchemists as early as the 13th century, being mentioned by Albertus Magnus.[8] It was also used by dyers in the Middle Ages in the form of fermented urine[8] to alter the colour of vegetable dyes. In the 15th century, Basilius Valentinus showed that ammonia could be obtained by the action of alkalis on sal-ammoniac. At a later period, when sal-ammoniac was obtained by distilling the hoofs and horns of oxen and neutralizing the resulting carbonate with hydrochloric acid, the name "spirit of hartshorn" was applied to ammonia.[8]

Before the start of World War I, most ammonia was obtained by the dry distillation[13] of nitrogenous vegetable and animal waste products, including camel dung, where it was distilled[11]

During the 1960s, tobacco companies such as Brown & Williamson and Philip Morris began using ammonia in cigarettes. The addition of ammonia serves to enhance the delivery of nicotine into the blood stream.

Largely before the popularization of crack cocaine, Ammonium hydroxide was commonly used in the production of " freebase cocaine"
Conversely (when noting the presence or absence of water in the solution), Anhydrous ammonia is often used in one of the most dangerous methods for the production of methamphetamine

Solutions of ammonia (5–10% by weight) are used as household cleaners, particularly for glass. These solutions are irritating to the eyes and mucous membranes (respiratory and digestive tracts), and to a lesser extent the skin. They should never be mixed with chlorine-containing products or strong oxidants, for example household bleach, as a variety of toxic and carcinogenic compounds are formed (e.g., chloramine, hydrazine, and chlorine gas).

The U. S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has set a 15-minute exposure limit for gaseous ammonia of 35 ppm by volume in the environmental air

Exposure to very high concentrations of gaseous ammonia can result in lung damage and death.[33] Although ammonia is regulated in the United States as a non-flammable gas, it still meets the definition of a material that is toxic by inhalation

Anonymous said...

Now that I'm not eating rubashkin, can someone please tell me if empire chickens are o'kay?
thanks

Leib Tropper's Boych said...

Empire had been cheating consumers by packing less poultry than weight indicated thus depriving Fressers of maximum fressing per dollar spent. That stopped a couple of years ago when they were caught by the State of California who then banned Empire products.

As far as kashrus, they are not on Yudel's recommended list because they are a huge operation owned by gentiles but he does not have anything against them per se.

{BELCH}

Sorry, I just digested an entire Rubashkin Baloney roll.

Wackos of the World Unite said...

Boy, is Shmarya ever attracting diverse & unusual fans lately.

First, Mordechai keeps bring "raayos" that intermarriage is mutter.

Now some misguided soul named Dave is distressed that Jews are shrinking in number. He proposes a radical idea that we look around for any non-Jews willing to convert to shore up our numbers. He's now on a binge to study various ethnic groups around the world to see who would be good candidates to target.

Maybe these two losers are secretly working for Tropper.

steve said...

According to Rav Yudel, the following brands of poultry are acceptable:

Kiryas Yoel, Vineland, Natures Best, Meal Mart (Alle).

Daniel said...

Shekoyech and God bless for going after Tropper,

From FM
"

that Beheima (400 pounds and growing) is an evil person, his actions left broken families, shattered lives and even dead bodies (Gideon Busch).
The fact that he like Kolko is allowed to operate and abuse in our community is a shame. Maybe UOJ can stop him from destroying more lives.


He does have his enablers: Tom Kaplan of Leor Energy, Susan Blond and chometz ben Yain (give me some gelt leibele) Reuven Feinstein.
"

The Monsey Tzaddik said...

More about beheima Tropper, he is a cousin of Shlomo Carlebach, an alleged sexual predator (see awareness center) he got his semicha from sick weirdo pinchas Scheinberg of Torah or , he is best friend of Leib Pinter, he organized the ban on slifkin.

He is divorced man, he previous wife was Ms. Margolin of Crown Heights and there are dark rumors of of him in that relationship.

He got two daughters. Gila and Rina which always have sad look on their face, I do not want to say anything but I hope child services will interview them soon

For you going after him you are doing the role of the real Pinchas and mekayem “ubiarta hara mikirbecha”

Be careful and remember he is funded by semi-billioner Kaplan.

The Monsey Tzaddik said...

More about the Beheima.. he got his “yeshiva” Kol Eisav (he said that Rav Yaakov Kaminetzky ZT"L told him to start the yeshiva but let me tell you something, rav Kaminetzky was a real godol and would have nothing to do with that rosho).

He also likes to say that his was ben-bayit in rav Moshe’s house because he grew up in the lower east side, and again rav Moshe would have nothing to do with him.

The talmidim, rabbonim, and magidei shiur in that “yeshiva” are weirdoes and evil. They call other Jews such as MO, conservative, reform “shkotzim” , they say people who support the state of Israel are idolatry worshippers.

They also like to say that Jewish kids who are born with disabilities have a goyish neshama.

Some of the students are obviously mentally unstable and should not be roaming the town they should be under state protective custody.

Tropper hates Rav Noach Weinberg with a vengeance and called him impostor , he hates MO/RCA but they kiss his ass.

He also hates Rabbi Bomzer and said he is going to nullified all Bomzer conversions.

More to come about this rosho/beheima gassa


If you are able to stop him you will save many neshomos and doros

Anonymous said...

UOJ -

I think this was mentioned on kelsey's blog, but the "history" page of the wikipedia article on leib tropper, the page that shows what all has been removed from public viewing, has some interesting information - can anyone confirm that tropper was "asked to leave" ohr samayach?

Keep up the good work!

hannah montana said...

Oilem-Goilem !!! Hard to believe that weird boor and am-haaretz like Tropper became so important. I remember him hanging in Tuvia and striking conversations with young men. It is the access to money which made him so influential.

What many people do not realize that he pays airfare and accommodation to those rabbis to come from all over the world and participate in his conferences (in fancy hotels and resorts). If you say you wife is involved in keiruv she gets a ticket as well.

The icing on the cake is that many rabbis who participates in his conferences get also substantial grants (20,000-200,000) from EJF for supposedly keiruv/conversion efforts in their community.

If you participated in the conferences and you did not receive a grant call the shamas David Jacobs and tell him I sent you.

The way to stop him is to stop the flow of money from Kaplan to Tropper. We need to inform Kaplan of what Tropper is doing with his money.

There is conract information for Kapaln in Leor Energy web site :
http://www.leorenergy.com/contact.php (Guma Aguiar is Kaplan’s nephew ) or you can reach him at kaplan500@aol.com

Anonymous said...

Rav Shternbuch has ruled against including children of non-Jewish fathers in outreach programs, see the original
http://bp3.blogger.com/_w3ipkL1Dd10/RrxRtrqnP-I/AAAAAAAAAAM/mSh6DBNFMpE/s1600-h/Rav+Sternbuch+-+kiruv+for+non+Jew+Aug+2007+Heb.jpg
at:
http://72.14.205.104/search?q=cache:Z22rfcuOZGgJ:www.daattorah.blogspot.com/+Leib+Tropper&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=48&gl=us

Anonymous said...

http://72.14.205.104/search?q=cache:Z22rfcuOZGgJ:www.daattorah.blogspot.com/+Leib+Tropper&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=48&gl=us

"A number of months ago, I had been asked to host a young man for Shabbos by a kiruv organization. During the Shabbos meal he expressed great interest in everything Jewish. When I asked him about his background, he mentioned that even though he had been raised as a non‑Jew by his non‑Jewish mother - but since his father was Jewish he knew he was Jewish. I was shocked by the revelation but said nothing to the young man. After Shabbos I asked the director of the program why he had sent me a non‑Jew for Shabbos? He replied that he had received a halachic ruling from an American rav who allowed participation of a non‑Jew – who viewed himself as Jewish. This was so even though the program had a mixture of boys and girls and there was a danger of intermarriage of the participants. I have since found out that this is not an isolated incident but in fact reflects the decision by certain individuals in kiruv to proselytize those who have a Jewish father. I mentioned this information to Rav Moshe Sternbuch. After gathering information from other sources, he wrote the following psak which he requested me to translate and disseminate. Daniel Eidensohn"

HaRav Moshe Sternbuch shlita
Kiruv for someone with a Jewish father and a non‑Jewish mother:

"You ask what are the guidelines for kiruv programs - that encourage Jews to fully observe the Torah - which take place in religious schools or organized events. In particular should a person who is not halachically Jewish - because his mother is not Jewish but his father is - be encouraged or even allowed to participate? I have heard that there are rabbis who not only permit it but even encourage it, They assert that especially those people who already view themselves as Jewish – even though they are mistaken - should be encouraged to participate because they might eventually convert."

"My view is that it is absolutely forbidden to try to proselytize a non‑Jew even if he mistakenly views himself as Jewish. One obvious reason is that such an approach actually encourages intermarriage. If people with only a Jewish father are encouraged to participate in Jewish educational events it will convey the message that in some sense they are actually Jewish. That is because it is commonly accepted that only Jews are allowed to participate in these events. Thus this innovation crosses the red lines that have always been accepted by Torah true Jews. Typically the intermarried couple does not realize that they are constantly transgressing prohibitions which carry the punishment of kares [Rambam Hilchos Issurei Bi’ah 12:6]. But at least they need to be aware that intermarriage cuts them off completely from the Jewish people. If we allow and even encourage their non‑Jewish offspring to participate in Jewish educational events, they will feel that they still have an intimate connection to the Jewish people – G‑d forbid!"

"Another basis of concern is that I see this as a violation of following non‑Jewish practices (chukas akum). These rabbis are showing mercy to the Jewish father by a de-facto acknowledgment of the non‑Jewish concept of patrilineal descent. According to the unanimously held Torah view - any person with a non‑Jewish mother is completely non‑Jewish. Also the gratuitous granting of Jewish status and benefits to this non‑Jewish child violates the Torah prohibition of Lo Techanem."

"These rabbis also try to justify their innovation by claiming that it is a solution to the massive problem resulting from the intermarriage of Russian Jews. They assert that one should encourage the conversion of the child of a non‑Jewish mother because the Russian Jews intermarried because of the unfortunate circumstances under the Communists. Therefore they are to be regarded as innocent children who grew up in captivity (tinok shenishba). They feel it is appropriate to show special mercy on these unfortunate people. I agree that they should be shown special sensitivity and leniencies. However this is only when they have at least distanced themselves from their intermarried parents or have already indicated an interest in genuine conversion. However if the parents insist on continuing their intermarriage, there is no halachic basis to be sorry for them. The child in that case is a non‑Jew and will remain as such."

"Concerning the specific case that you mentioned of a student whose father is Jewish but the mother is a non‑Jew. One of the kiruv programs wants to include him – even though he still lives with his parents. You mentioned that a number of American rabbis have given halachic rulings that his participation in the program should be encouraged because he might convert. Do not associate yourself with their programs. You will receive much greater reward by disassociating from them than the possible benefit that might result."

"I am being deliberately brief in my comments here - even though there is clearly much more to mention. That is because the plague of intermarriage has already spread here to the Holy Land – the palace of the King. The Holy One Blessed be He should help us and quickly bring into actuality our Redemption. Eliyahu should come and purify our camp so that we are fit to receive the countenance of our righteous Moshiach."

Yehu said...

UOJ,

PLEASE, a little honesty won't hurt.

First off, the first comment in this thread is NOT mine. I don't know why you let people do this, but I can reassure you, you should not fear me. I'm no competition to you.

Second, it's quite dishonest to use Tropper as the patsy while ignoring the real problem. There are many fraudulent giyurs around, whether haredi or MO or whatever you want. I was the first one to blow the whistle on this. Of course until EJF came out Scott "Sieg Heil" Rosenberg was quiet as it did fit his agenda. Now he's cashing in on me and denounces EJF while still touting the other frauds. I hope you guys aren't hiding some child molesters in your closets. You don't want to give credit, don't. But don't fabricate reality.

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

PLEASE, a little honesty won't hurt.

First off, the first comment in this thread is NOT mine. I don't know why you let people do this, but I can reassure you, you should not fear me. I'm no competition to you.
---------------

I don't know who you are and where you came from! I don't know who puts up what...as I said over and over again...I'm not responsible for stuff posted in the comments section!

I moderate the comments because I'm ashamed of the amount of death threats that come through daily, and worse. That's it!

I don't vouch for the integrity of the material posted in the comments section....because I don't know for certain who is putting them up?

Kapish?

Yehu said...

Yea, I chapish, even though I contacted you many times b/f re this matter. There is someone signing in with my name, either this one or Yossi Izrael (my real name). Don't play so innocent.

Yehu said...

PS

I forgot this. Compare this with Rosnberg's foaming at the mouth every time a frudulent giyur isn't accpeted or reversed. He has every reason under the sun to justify fraudulent phoney giyurs, but when Tropper wants to do that no no, it's not good for business.

FYI, I was the one who alerted the aidah via their english-speaking guy. And I posted R' Bloch's shmuess on youtube. And I used to expose Tropper before it became fashionable. See how people attacked me on canonist and such blogs.

Good Night,
J. Izrael

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

I commend you Mr. Izrael for your work! I am/was not aware of your efforts.

Sincerely,
UOJ

Anonymous said...

Y. Israel - I don't know when you began to "expose" tropper, but schmarya had information about tropper's program and school and some of his misdeeds which dates back about two years. I know for a fact that schmarya pitched a story to a magazine, but was turned down. Until now, there has not been any more public exposure or evidence - few have been willing to jeopardize their intermarriage "conversions" to do so.

You have to give someone enough rope to hang themselves, and if they are careful, that rope is hard to come by. Tropper is not being careful anymore, now that he thinks he is "close" to wrapping up a deal to exclude all beit dinai but his own (or those approved by his organization, and I don't even guess what sort of "arrangements" will be required to be "accepted") for conversions, and sees this, of course, as a step toward de-legitimizing all sects but his own - he thinks he's got it in the bag and no one can oppose him.

Even Kabbalah says what you put out into the universe comes back to bite you in the posterior, you know. What goes around comes around. Tropper's aggrandizement has put him in the spotlight - and anyone there should be able to take the heat (or get out of the kitchen, to mix metaphors).

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

BTW - EJF pays speakers around $10,000 to come to their conferences and many others receive free "junkets". That is how they essentially bribe rabbis to come.

A major publication is doing an investigative piece on Drek Tropper!

He's toast!

Anonymous said...

http://failedmessiah.typepad.com/failed_messiahcom/2007/06/haredi_spokesma.html

...the Monsey-based haredi group, Eternal Jewish Family. EJF, founded and run by Rabbi Leib Tropper, is a major player in the haredi move to control the conversion process worldwide.

Rabbi Tropper, who is also the founder and rosh yeshiva of Kol Yakov, a Monsey-based haredi ba'al teshuva yeshiva, is a controversial figure.

Rabbi Tropper has been accused of using bait-and-switch tactics to lure potential converts from intermarried families. In one southern city, Rabbi Tropper promised potential converts that a mikva would be built and a shul opened – no one would need to move to Monsey or another Orthodox enclave. But, when the time for conversion neared, no mikva existed and no synagogue functioned. The promised rabbi Tropper was to send had not arrived. Then, Rabbi Tropper dropped a bombshell. These potential converts, all serious, all had studied for more than a year, would have to move from the southern United States to Monsey, New York – or their conversions were off.

Rabbi Tropper told me these converts confused his hopes with promises. But in email correspondence shared with me, Rabbi Tropper admits in part to misleading these poor people.

Further, there are cities with mikvas, Modern Orthodox congregations and YU-trained rabbis relatively close to where these people live. They could drive for an hour and a half and spend Shabbat and holidays with families there until a congregation can open in their home town. Rabbi Tropper did not propose that option. (In their home town, by the way, there are other such Tropper-involved families facing similar decisions, and where one or two observant Jews live. Some of those potential converts have been said to be fearful that Tropper will cut them off, too, if they speak out about his dishonesty.)

The husband of this family is in his 50s. He has years vested at his job with a pension due on retirement. He will lose all that if he moves, along with facing the problem of finding a new job at that age. Rabbi Tropper made many cloud-like promises – this friend in Monsey will find something for you or that man who works for the city will take care of you – but nothing concrete, and the family was unwilling to trust a man who had already lied to them.

Rabbi Tropper summarily threw the eldest son of this family out of his yeshiva, leaving him broke with no way to get to the airport and back home. He claimed the boy was not serious about his learning yet the boy's teachers had given the family nothing but praise – until the day they refused to move to Monsey. This teenager had to borrow money to get home.

Tropper had promised the family the boy would be able to get his GED at Kol Yakov, and he urged them to withdraw the child from public school and send him to Monsey and Tropper's yeshiva. But Tropper made no arrangements for that GED. It did not matter, however, because the boy was ineligible for a GED under NY law because he was too young. He lost a year, and had to regroup and restructure his life, all because Rabbi Leib Tropper cannot tell the truth.

These people spent thousands of dollars on new kitchen appliances and dishes, kept strictly kosher and did whatever Rabbi Tropper demanded. They appeared on Tropper's EJF website praising the organization and were used by Tropper as examples of his "successful" approach. This material was apparently shown to Rabbi Shlomo Amar, Israel's Sefardic chief rabbi, and to other Israeli haredi leaders who later moved to block acceptance of all Rabbinical Council of America (Modern Orthodox) conversions. Now this family is "lost" to "Yiddishkeit" because of Tropper's failings....

Anonymous said...

From http://www.canonist.com/?p=763

August 31st, 2006 at 9:05 am

"Leib Tropper" Says:

"I am nice to people while I see if they have money. But I am not a nice person. I show up after shacharis and give one class and then talk to the rabbeim at my yeshiviah to find out what everyone is up to. I spend the rest of the day following around people I am angry at and trying to ruin their life. I wrote letters to trash Rabbi Slifkin because one of my wealthier sources decided to try Yeshiva University. Often I break up shidduchim for students I don’t particularly like or tried to get ex-talmudim fired from their jobs. I am a bad person and I think you would be smart to stay away from my teachings if you don’t want me to start to ruin your life."

January 28th, 2007 at 12:26 am

Ken Says:

"Rav, Tropper has been one of the kindest persons in the world to my family. He stood up to a very large crazy Rabbi in Chicago and was a like pit bull protectig my family from him. If you speak bad about a Rav, you should know who and what your really talking about. Rav Tropper has not stood on the sidelines of conversions. He and the EJF jumped in and is actually doing something about it. I have seen him help countless couples in bad conversion with bad Beth Din’s. The Rav has to navigate in situations that are not all black and white and find a way to solve them. I have personally witnessed his love, generiousity, support and friendship. I have seen him help dirt poor jews who were intermarried that no one would help. No Rabbi is perfect, I have seen the opposite firsthand but love and effort goes a long way. Rav Tropper in an incredable man."

March 4th, 2007 at 3:00 pm

Shulamis Says:

"EJF ist an absolutely trustworthy organization working with the most acknowledged Bais Dins and Gedolim all around the world. BTW Rabbi Tropper not performing the conversions himself, he is just the coordinator, the giyur itself is performed by an independent Bais Din to avoid any problems that might be connected with a name or a person.
I personally know Rabbi Tropper and I just can second Ken`s opinion. Rabbi Tropper is an EXTREMELY learned, generous, warm and kind man- his home is open to anybody who is looking for help and guidance, people who cannot afford the small giyur fee the bais din wants for paperwork, mikvah (+mohel if a man) & paying the dayanim can get part of the money back etc. Him and his wife truly are incredible people. (by the way from what I know his wife did not convert) Believe me, I have met many real orthodox fake rabbis in my life and nobody is perfect but he seems to be absolutely kosher."

May 2nd, 2007 at 9:38 am

J Bachrach Says:

"Re Rabbi Leibel Tropper - I have known him well for about 31 years. I was at his home for Pesach seders when he was married to his first wife. The Rav’s second wife is as Jewish as you or me - she is a BT and, like her husband, is motivated to use her life on behalf of klal Yisroel. The Rav and his wife are plain and simple idealists, sincerely dedicated to Klal Yisroel. Whatever they do is motivated l’shem shomayim. Shnooks, ganovim and charlatans abound. I know a few myself. However, you are barking up the wrong tree besmirching Rabbi Tropper and his Rebbitzen. You may not agree with his theology, but he’s honest and a real mensch. (Her, too) Yoni Bachrach"

May 6th, 2007 at 1:09 am

David Says:

"I am personally converting under Rabbi Leib Tropper. I have seen nothing from him but respect, caring and kindness. All of you big mouths and gossips who are getting your information about this great man from blogs written by three year olds need to meet the man first, before spewing nonsense about him. True motzi shem ra’, you should be ashamed of yourselves."

May 6th, 2007 at 6:51 am

Yossi"Joe"Izrael Says:

"These giyurim are a huge scam. According to the strict understanding of halocha when Jews prosper geirim are not accepted, hence all giyurim after WWII are null and void. Giyurim today are made for money, and are phoney, period end of story. Check it out. I know Leib Tropper too. All people smile and look nice, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re honest. His wife is a BT not a giyores. Can anyone explain me the utterly dumb, stupid and idiotic argument for the need of converting people in mixed marriages? Their kids are going to be frum Yidden or what? Their children will not intermarry? With all due repesct this is all oxen manure."

The heilge Rebbe of Otisvill said...

major publication is doing an investigative piece on Drek Tropper!

He's toast!

AMEM KEN YEHI RATZON!!!

CHAZAK VEEMATZ MOREINU VE RABEINU UOJ !!!

Anonymous said...

http://kvetcher.jewschool.com/2007/11/13/the-enforcer/

The push by the haredim against the Modern Orthodox over conversion has finally been noted by mainstream periodicals. Through a desperate email through our joint site, it was Failed Messiah and myself who discovered the story of their misdeeds first, though Shmarya was quicker to understand the ramifications of what was happening than I was. I invite you to read Failed Messiah’s posts on this subject, as I can’t recap all of the important information. Suffice to say, Eternal Jewish Family was created to be the judge and jury in determining which Modern Orthodox rabbis and bais dins (rabbinical courts) are allowed to perform conversions. This is going to be a bloody mess.

But you might ask, who is this Rabbi Leib Tropper? Well, he taught at Dark Light in Jerusalem, and then helped found an Ohr Somayach branch in Monsey.[Delete by editor]

Rabbi Tropper played Minister of Dirty Tricks to slander Rabbi Slifkin, the Zoo Rabbi. He claimed he knew of two whole cases of young men who had “fried out” because of reading Slifkin’s Old Earth science. It doesn’t even matter, but the two cases he brought were anyway complete bullshit. One of the examples he brought disputed his religious commitment had changed in any significant way – he had merely gone to Yeshiva University (which, to be fair, is for a man like Tropper, the worst expression of heresy, but not to those outside of right-wing ultra-Orthodox circles), and the other one was never frum in the first place.

But to give Tropper credit, he doesn’t just lie about you; he blatantly deceives and lies to your face. He has lied to potential converts, with heart-wrenching results, punishing them over the slightest of infractions, both haredi, or just according to Tropper’s own rulebook, which he apparently makes up as he goes along.

If he did this unintentionally, this guy should be faking it in the second fiddle section of the Rockland Community Orchestra, not heading an effort to standardize conversions. But it is more likely that he is a quite capable and manipulative person, who tolerates little dissent and allows for precious few mitigating circumstances.

And that is why this is whom Rabbi Elyashev’s men have chosen to be their Torquemada, both to the conversos, and to Modern Orthodox rabbis.

Updated: Some information about policy and hashkafa was contested by a reliable first hand source, Ron Coleman. That sentence was removed from the post. As I am on vacation with little access to internet, this will have to do for now.

14 Responses to “The Enforcer”:

Baal Habos on November 13th, 2007 6:14 pm >The push by the haredim against the Modern Orthodox over conversion has finally been noted by mainstream periodicals.

Where?

DK on November 13th, 2007 6:39 pm www.forward.com/articles/11985/
www.forward.com/articles/11868/

guy on November 13th, 2007 7:11 pm Good for him. Maybe we’ll have less Shiksas faking their way through a conversion so they could marry their Jewish boyfriends, raising a household with a christmas tree nest to the chanuka bush.

Dr. Dave on November 13th, 2007 11:39 pm Guy -you are opressing geri tzedek!!

I intermarried and never asked my wife to convert. She had never been comfortable as a child with praying to Jesus and Mary instead of G-d directly. She started learning and insisted on conversion, first by reform and then orthodox (chabad) bet din. She brought theme back to yiddishkeit. She insisted that the girls go to an all girls day school. She is always the first to volunteer to help the community. She gives tzedakah and supports many who are not known to be in need. She keeps the mitzvot. She doesn’t always cover her head but always wears a hat to shul, school etc.( as if a $5,000 shetiel that looks better than a woman’s own hair is tzniusdik).
Unlike many praised by the gedolim she is a ger tzedek and scrupulously follows bein adam l’chaveiro as well as bein adam l’makom.
It is insulting to question her conversion.

Jenny on November 14th, 2007 1:38 am Dr. Dave,
Thank you for that. I found Guy’s comment offensive too and it clearly stems from his own private issues. Maybe a reindeer stepped on his toe when he was little.
Glad you shared about your wife.

yoseph leib on November 14th, 2007 2:18 am ” I found Guy’s comment offensive too and it clearly stems from his own private issues.”

Or rather, lack of exposure to non-orthodox Jews. His stereotypes are based on social holiday innovations totally forgotten in the world. Has anyone out there ever seen a Hannukah bush? more than 20 years ago doesn’t count.

Ahavah on November 14th, 2007 2:36 pm Kelsey - go to wikipedia’s entry on leib tropper and view the “history” page to see what all has been taken down from public view. It’s very interesting.

DK on November 14th, 2007 2:58 pm Ahavah, it’s all too typical. All criticism is whitewashed in order to make the page read like an advertisement, and the critic — and only the critic, not the frum guardians — is dismissed for having an agenda.

DK on November 14th, 2007 3:01 pm Apparently, some were claiming Tropper was asked to leave Ohr Somayach.

“Rabbi Leibel Tropper was born in Flatbush, Brooklyn where his parents sent him to a number of yeshivas. After finishing high school he spent a few years getting smicha and then spent a few years travelling the globe getting smicha again from other types of rabbis. Finally he got a job at Shema Yisrael Yeshiva and then at [[Ohr Somayach]] Yeshiva in [[Jerusalem]]. In 1980 he moved to [[Monsey]], NY and helped found a branch of [[Ohr Somayach Monsey]] there before they asked him to leave and he started his own yeshiva, ”

Does anyone have info about this?

Lev on November 16th, 2007 5:27 am DK, there has been always a Cold War(in addition to many Mosey controvercies) between Someyach Ohr and Leibbb Troppper(me and Monsey Tzaddik described later beheima in full.
Troppper did not consider Monsey Someah people religious or, maybe Jewish at all,and they tried to forget the whole incident…

Ron Coleman on November 19th, 2007 8:35 pm DK, I attended Kol Yaakov and remain close to R’ Leib Tropper. Your understanding of him is utterly incorrect, and you must bear responsibility for repeating unsourced and false tropes repeated by the usual stable of anonymous cowards who fester all over the anti-orthodox websites.

Considering how many of your criticisms of the frum world are based on bona fide moral and ethical issues, your readiness to repeat and tolerate slander on your website about a person you don’t know and regarding whom you have done no serious research is a pretty profound inconsistency in its own right. You are offended by what you consider “whitewashing” but have no cavil about unsourced and anonymous slander.

In particular, the characterization repeated here, and at the sites you link to, about Rabbi Tropper’s relationship with Ohr Someach is preposterous, and utterly false. You also could not be more wrong regarding Reb Leib’s attitude toward Yeshiva University. You have also completely misstated the nature of Kol Yaakov. Everything in these sentences is an utter lie:

Kol Yaakov offers a dystopian world view. Secular studies are rejected outright. Haredi dress is mandated even at the beginner level of the “teshuvah” process.

A lie from start to finish. Kol Yaakov does not discourage secular studies. It is, however, not a secondary school; it is a yeshiva for young adults. But Leib Tropper is immensely better read than you and your readers will ever be in the humanities and other non-Jewish disciplines, as well as being a phenomenal talmid chochom. The understanding he imparts about the gedolim of the last century comport far more with yours than with Artscroll’s. The difference (well, there are a few) is that he knew them and knows today’s as well. How ironic for you to paint the world in black and white, when the gravamen of your criticism of the haredi / yeshivish community is precisely that crime.

Serious minds will take your commenters seriously when they step up and sign their names to their made-up claims. But you, who puts his money where his mouth is, should not make the mistake of permitting the fantasy world of anonymous BS’ers elide into your potentially credible and useful observations. Resist the temptation to flatter and play up to the anonymous hordes, and you will retain the credibility that I know matters to you.

If you want to know more about Leib Tropper, give me a call.

Ron Coleman on November 19th, 2007 8:43 pm Oh, sorry. In case anyone thinks I was trying to wiggle out of it, the statement, “Haredi dress is mandated even at the beginner level of the ‘teshuvah’ process” is also an outright lie. It is never, ever mandated at any Lithuanian BT yeshiva, including Ohr Someach, Kol Yaakov, and certainly at Aish HaTorah — at any stage.

Jenny on November 20th, 2007 12:05 pm Ron, Holy cow. You too are a brilliant writer. Thank you for your comments, I feel a lot better. The original post left me with a bitter taste in my mouth for various reasons.

Ron Coleman on November 20th, 2007 2:12 pm Uh, thanks, Jenny?

Anyway, as I explained to DK, I don’t know anything at all about the rest of this story, so I’m not in a position to say yea or nay. I believe R’ Leib acts in the best of faith, but that’s just because he’s my friend.

Anonymous said...

http://mentalblog.com/2006/10/giur-factory-rolls-into-boston.html

Sunday, October 29, 2006

The giur factory rolls into Boston

Money: Obviously the big money push behind the effort. Let me tell you Rabbi Amar might go for fun to meet the Kazakh Mufti, but Rabbi Amar, Rabbi Lau and other dignitaries will not come to the farkakte city with a quarter million Jews like Boston for nothing. Honestly people here do not understand why they have chosen the Bean Town as the venue. Officially the effort is supported by Lillian Jean Kaplan Foundation and Tom Kaplan. Its been alleged that Rabbi Leib Tropper who runs BT yeshiva in Monsey Kol Yaakov helped convert one of Tom Kaplan�s family relatives. Mr. Kaplan in turn recognized the need for progress.

Allegedly Rabbi Leib Tropper was married to a daughter of Rav Margolin, the student of Rav Aaron Kotler, who used to live in Crown Heights. He divorced his first wife and shortly married a woman whom he was mekarev to Yiddishkeit. Some say that this resume should disqualify Rabbi Leib Tropper from spearheading this global organization. I thought about this and decided that it is not a problem, this is in the spirit of our forefathers. You want a man who understands love not some eunuch lawyer geek from Lakewood.

Leadership: The conferences are careful to put a video of Rav Elyashuv at the head of the table witch makes other orthodox denominations apprehensive. Perhaps this is some Yeshivish conspiracy to the exclusion of other groups. It would be interesting to examine the standing of the participants visa vi Mi Hu Yehudi campaign by the Rebbe. Wasn�t the halachic standard that the Rebbe wanted to introduce is in essence what is attempted now by the Eternal Jewish Family together with the Rabbanut?

Goals: What does Eternal Jewish Family has in mind, a centralized list of Rabbis who can and who can�t perform orthodox conversions? The conversion fees must be a tremendous temptation. Understandably some families will spare no expense to rectify their grave personal anomaly. Is it the plan of the Eternal Jewish Family to standardize fees? More importantly are they trying to say that only Rabbis on their list can be paid to perform the immersion?

Rabbinic politics: One of the Rabbis on Boston Beis Din already indicated that he was slighted and he will not attend the conference. The following questions are of interest. Is it true that R. Aharon Feldman from Baltimore withdrew his participation in this event, and if so, why? Also, why the leadership of the Chicago Rabbinical council will not attend?

http://www.mentalblog.com/depot/rleible.JPG

I took this photo half an hour ago. Rabbi Tropper with Harav Herschel Schachter in the foreground (I think).
Schneur Zalman of NY commenting: Frankly this conference does not interest me as Orthodoxy is so loosely organized and there are so many Lone Ranger Orthodox and (not so) Orthodox rabbis that very little control can be exerted over them. But as far as rabbi Tropper goes, let us not become callous to some serious issues. Obviously a Jewish layman can do whatever he wants as long as its legal and moral. But lets face it a Rabbi and leader is held to a higher standard. This woman he married was not only someone who he was involved in bringing to orthodoxy, she was also a very attractive model, if my memory serves me correctly. A long story about her appeared in the Women's section of the JEWISH PRESS about 10 years ago. There are many stories about Orthodox Rabbis in good standing who divorced their wives to marry girls who they converted or helped in bringing to Judaism. Nothing wrong, but how does the former wife feel, how do the children feel, when mommy is dumped by a "sexy newcomer" to Judaism? You are right romance is important, but the alternative to Rabbi T. is not a eunech, there are numerous Rabbis, etc. from all sorts of Yeshivoth with "no history " who have the guts, ideals and ability to lead such an organization. Should Orthodoxy reward the concept trophy wives too?

grose commenting: Schneur, go ask Rav Tropper for Mechilah. You all got your facts wrong. Rabbi Tropper was divorced a LONG time before he was mekarev his current wife. He was not mekarev her for the sake of marrying her. He gave a class in NYC that she attended and she (and I know her personally) decided to marry him. In fact, Rabbi Tropper's rebbetzin is an amazing human being (and yes, she was beautiful enough to model - but she also graduated Ivy League with a degree in psychiatry and ran a successful business) who happens to be on very good terms with his ex-wife. The divorce had NOTHING to do with the current rebbetzin.

Schneur Zalman of NY commenting: If the facts about R. Tropper are not as I stated (and nowhere did I accuse him of any moral, or halachic misdeeds), then I apologize to the readers for misleading and potentially hurtful information. As I said rabbis have to be held to a higher standard. If in fact he was long divorced etc, I am wrong and apologize to him and the readers. As Reb Yoel Kahan said - "taisi" and I am sorry.

Participants: Harav Levi Yitzchak Horowitz, the Bostoner Rebbe, Harav Reuven Feinstein, the well known Rosh Yeshiva and posek, Harav Shlomo Amar, Chief Rabbi of Israel, Harav Yisroel Meir Lau, Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv, Harav Herschel Schachter, Harav Nachum Eisenstein, Harav Baruch Mordechai Ezrachi, Harav Shmuel Dishon and Harav Moshe Soloveitchik.

Harav Pinchas Goldschmidt, Chief Rabbi of Moscow; Harav Yaacov Katz, Rosh Kollel Yad Chaim Mordechai, Cleveland; Harav Shmuel Lazer Stern, Chief Dayan, Beit Din of Harav Shmuel Wosner Shiita, Bnei Brak; Harav Pesach Lemer, Executive Vice President, National Council of Young Israel; Harav Mordechai Neugroschel, noted international lecturer; Harav Shlomo Rybak, Rabbinical Council of America; Mr. Tom Kaplan and Yehuda Dovid Kaplan, EJF Chairmen; Mr. Dovid Rosengard, Esq. - Master of Ceremonies; Mr. Marvin Jacob, Esq., Conference Chairman; Mr. Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chairman, Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, Conference co-chairman and Mr. Nathan Lewin, noted Washington constitutional attorney, Conference co-chairman.

Not a single Chabad Rabbi (unless you count Nathan Lewin as a honorable chabadnik)

mentalblog.com comments:

Frankly this conference does not interest me as Orthodoxy is so loosely organized and there are so many Lone Ranger Orthodox and (not so) Orthodox rabbis rabbis that very little control can be exerted over them.
But as far as rabbi Tropper goes, let us not become callous to some serious issues.Obviously a Jewish layman can do whatever he wants as long as its legal and moral.But lets face it a rabbi and leader is held to a higher standard. This women he married was not only some one who he was involved in bringing to orthodoxy , she was also a very attractive model if my memory serves me corrcectly. A long story about this women appeared in the Women's section of the JEWISH PRESS about 10 years ago.There are many stories about Orthodox rabbis in good standing who divorced their wives to marry Girls who they converted or helped in bringing to Judaism. Nothing wrong, but how does the fornmer wife feel, how do the children feel , when Mommy is dumped by a "sexy newcomer " to Judaism.
You are right romance is important , but the alternative to Rabbi T. is not a eunech , there are numerous rabbis etc from all sorts of Yeshivoth with "no history " who have the guts , ideals and ability to lead such an organization.
Should Orthodoxy reward the concept trophy wives too ?
Schneur | 10.29.06 - 12:27 pm |

Schneur, you are right. BT Rabbi is like a psychiatrist, there is a conflict of impropriety.
Tzemach Atlas | Homepage | 10.29.06 - 12:33 pm

Gil, I read that Tropper was involved in the anti-Slifkin campaign on some of the blogs. I don't know any details.
Tzemach Atlas | Homepage | 10.29.06 - 5:57 pm |

I was there between 4 and 5PM.You probably came just as I left. I did not know anyone there besides Rabbi Halbfinger who was working on the Kashrut. Rabbi tropper did come up to me and asked who I was. He was Pareve neither friendly or unfriendly.I did get a friendly Shalom Aleichem from Rabbi Lau who recognized that I am from Chabad.
Ma. Rabbi | 10.29.06 - 8:10 pm |

Ma. Rabbi, I was asked by Tropper's gabbay Balaban to leave. He actually asked Tropper on what to do with me. It was just before you came. The main event is at 9:45 pm today. I am thinking of going anyway.

You should have seen this guy shaking when I told him I am a blogger and I don’t have an invitation. Makes you wonder what do they have to hide. Idiots, one doesn’t need to sit on the conferences to learn the dirt about them. Even if I don't go I will have a full report tomorrow morning from people who they went out of their way to invite.
Tzemach Atlas | Homepage | 10.29.06 - 8:14 pm

Mrs Liba Tropper is not a giyores; she is a baalas tshuva and indeed is a former model from a wealthy background.
Der Shygetz | Homepage | 10.29.06 - 8:29 pm |

TA, help me out here, is Rabbi Tropper's yeshivah the very same outfit our friend grose tearfully endorsed on this very blog as prime example of ‘BT-mainstreaming’? If so, you have to acknowledge that, at the very least, Rabbi Tropper certainly mainstreamed one BT and thus he definitely puts his money where his mouth is...
;)
berl, crown heights | 10.29.06 - 9:15 pm

yep, it sure was. LOL
http://www.haloscan.com/comments...2007793/ #109297
berl, crown heights | 10.29.06 - 9:22 pm : There is a Yeshiva for BTs in Monsey that is known as the "mainstream express" - its actual name is Kol Yaakov under the leadership of Rabbi Leib Tropper. His Yeshiva is known to get the BTs integrated ASAP, and he pushes them, as soon as they are ready into the mainstream yeshivos, such as Chaim Berlin, Lakewood, Mir, Beis Medrash Elyon to name a few places where his guys go. Not surprisingly, the amount of FFB girls who marry Kol Yaakov boys is higher than any other BT place - I would say the majority make FFB shidduchim.
The problem (which is why most places don't do this) is that most people who run BT places like the ownership of people. If you mainstream people, they then aren't yours. Rabbi Tropper has the hardest time fundraising or being able to boast of 100s of guys in a Bais Medrash. At any given time, he has less than 30 guys. The alumni then become Mir alumni, or Lakewood alumni, with loyalties to those places. You have to have the good of the guys in mind to do what Rabbi Tropper does, and completely negate yourself.
As for girls, this wouldn't work because obviously there aren't FFB Yeshivos for older women. However, I maintain that the Kiruv for women should be done within homes. You can teach a woman laws of Kashrus or of being Mechanech children in a classroom. That same information is so much clearer and more applicable if learned within a home setting - its kinda like learning science in a lab as opposed to learning science in a lecture hall.

the person who was motzi shem roh on this blog and LIED on an individual saying he married a shiktze and converted here and that caused him to abandon his previous wife is a rosho until he does teshuva and publicly states "beoyssoy mokom" that he made a serious false defamation on a particular person.
the false tzadikim | 10.30.06 - 11:19 am |

idiot, the only one who says on this blog that he converted a shikse is you, so do your own tshuvah, moron.
Tzemach Atlas | Homepage | 10.30.06 - 11:46 am | #

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

schneur, go ask Rav Tropper for Mechilah. You all got your facts wrong. Rabbi Tropper was divorced a LONG time before he was mekarev his current wife. He was not mekarev her for the sake of marrying her. He gave a class in NYC that she attended and she (and I know her personally) decided to marry him. In fact, Rabbi Tropper's rebbetzin is an amazing human being (and yes, she was beautiful enough to model - but she also graduated Ivy League with a degree in psychiatry and ran a successful business) who happens to be on very good terms with his ex-wife. The divorce had NOTHING to do with the current rebbetzin.
grose | 10.30.06 - 11:57 am |

There are some universally respected rabbonim attending this symposium such as R'Dovid Feinstein and R'Hershel Schachter.How does this blog suddenly choose to focus on one man? Is this a symposium on R'Leib Tropper? Silly gossip mongers!
Vivvy | 10.30.06 - 12:49 pm |

perhaps because this issue has been brought to the public attention by that one man, who then went ahead and organized it.
and for those who are curious what it is all about - they are not shy about explaining. there is, unfortunately, a very high rate of intermarriage (surprise!). This is not about promoting intermarriage. It is about what to do when you come across a couple that is expressing an interest in one spouse's heritage - namely Judaism, and the folks being Mekarev them are suddenly faced with the reality that the other spouse is not Jewish. Do we have to do as Ezra did - and tell them to get divorced? OR, are there Halachos about encouraging the Geirus of the non-Jewish spouse as both spouses explore Judaism. Since this scenario keeps being played out again and again in all the Baal Teshuva venues, it has to have "universal" guidelines - hence this conference.
grose | 10.30.06 - 1:24 pm |

I know him from my time in Monsey, he used to hang in Tuvia’s for hours. I spoke to him few times, he seems to be very nice guy but definitely very goofy. I cannot believe he is big shot now. I also heard some strange rumors about him.
BTW, He is a cousin of shlomo carlebach
Ze'ev Wolf | 10.30.06 - 8:06 pm |

If the facts about R. Tropper are not as I stated ( and no where did I accuse him of any moral, or halachic midsdeeds), then I apologize to the readers for misleading and potentaily hurtful information.As I said rabbis have to be held to a higher standard.If in fact he was long divorced etc , I am wrong and apologize to him and the readers.As tReb Yoel Kahan said - "taisi" and I am sorry.
Schneur | 10.31.06 - 10:29 am |

TA, mr. moron, seygets, and idiot (shoteh, rosho, gas ruach. It is easy to call names. But I thought that someone who calls everyone else a fraud, and owns a blog should be more careful what people post on his blog. Should be careful not to allow blatant defamation of other people especially when they give names of individuals.

Here is what someone DID write on YOUR blog (on the transatalantic love story) for you to see:

"If you've ever visited Denmark, you'd know the infamous story and history of their once upon a time kollel that existed there. Not too long ago, there was a Kollel in Coppenhagen where young avreichim from Israel would come to study for a few years and were supported by the local community there. Their leader, the Rosh HaKollel was a man who seemed to be as ehrich gets witha rightous long bear and a fine pious family. To cut the long story short.... One day he met a sweet hot Danish chik someplace. He liked her and the rest is histroy. Though he had already been married for a number of years and raised several children, he abandoned them all. He divorced his life-long rebetzin and went on with this newly found Dane. Along with that story the Kollel disappeared, but this Rosh Kollel still lives withe community in Copeenhegn. He's quite known there, especially for his couragous move to drop the wife and move in with a new one.

You'd think that he's not religous anymore and dumped his Judaism along with the wife. But no, he's still there and made her too into some religous monk. They even send their kids to the local jewish school there.
Chayim | 10.26.06 - 9:35 pm | #"


Then was followed by this:
"you've ever visited Denmark, ...

My Heart is Melting...
In Our town there is a rabbi (Leib Tropper ) who did the same thing….
The Monsey Tzadik | 10.26.06 - 11:55 pm | #"

It is enough that it was there and until today is there. someone alerted to you, and you had the chutzpah to call him names? DO TESHUVA and if you are a honest non corrupt man apologize to everyone involved for your part.
the false tzadikim | 10.31.06 - 11:01 am | #

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Monsey Tzadik is an idiot, sorry for not deleting all of his comments. I since banned him from this blog. He is vile. But I never called Tropper names, the commentators did.
Tzemach Atlas | Homepage | 10.31.06 - 11:07 am |

Anonymous said...

http://kvetcher.jewschool.com/2007/06/03/how-not-to-treat-a-convert/

How (Not) to Treat a Convert

As a kid, I went to a synagogue where our rabbi would translate the Torah. I remember how our Orthodox rabbi would always emphasize the importance of being kind to the stranger in your midst.

What I didn’t realize was that the rabbi was clearly interpreting the Torah wrong. Clearly it is a mitzvah to drive a potential convert nuts, and treat him or her like dirt.

Shmarya Rosenberg, a.k.a. Failed Messiah, has a post that illustrates why even those of us who prefer Orthodox conversions for the sake of national unity must recognize that policy must not be determined by the fundamentalists. Through machinations and invalidations of prior conversions (even, say, fifteen years after the fact), hardline haredim in the Zionist Entity are giving Rabbi Tropper the keys to “standardizing” conversions.

Who is Rabbi Tropper? He is the Rosh Yeshiva and founder of Yeshiva Kol Yaakov. Though he started at Dark Light, his yeshiva is even more monolithically wacko right-wing than Ohr Somayach. Of course, NCSY and its parent organization, the Orthodox Union, are very proud that they have steered public school students there. And why not? If Kol Yaakov doesn’t keep public school graduates out of the workforce, nothing will.

Anyway, Shmarya uncovered a lot of information and details about his dishonest bait and switch tactics towards people seeking to convert, and yes, good people got hurt. He credits me in his post, but it was almost all him, and he should be the one utilized as a resource on this troubling matter.

This guy Rabbi Tropper and his conversion organization Eternal Jewish Family and his fundamentalist yeshiva, Kol Yaakov, are bad news. That the status of American converts generally should in anyway be placed in his control is shocking, and a cruel and unusual punishment for those seeking to join the Jewish people.

Failed Messiah writes,

“Rabbi Tropper has been accused of using bait-and-switch tactics to lure potential converts from intermarried families. In one southern city, Rabbi Tropper promised potential converts that a mikva would be built and a shul opened – no one would need to move to Monsey or another Orthodox enclave. But, when the time for conversion neared, no mikva existed and no synagogue functioned. The promised rabbi Tropper was to send had not arrived. Then, Rabbi Tropper dropped a bombshell. These potential converts, all serious, all had studied for more than a year, would have to move from the southern United States to Monsey, New York – or their conversions were off.[…]Rabbi Tropper summarily threw the eldest son of this family out of his yeshiva, leaving him broke with no way to get to the airport and back home. He claimed the boy was not serious about his learning yet the boy’s teachers had given the family nothing but praise – until the day they refused to move to Monsey. This teenager had to borrow money to get home.

Tropper had promised the family the boy would be able to get his GED at Kol Yakov, and he urged them to withdraw the child from public school and send him to Monsey and Tropper’s yeshiva. But Tropper made no arrangements for that GED. It did not matter, however, because the boy was ineligible for a GED under NY law because he was too young. He lost a year, and had to regroup and restructure his life, all because Rabbi Leib Tropper cannot tell the truth.”

Anonymous said...

http://www.zootorah.com/controversy/account.html

... Also involved in the campaign was Yaakov Kalmanowitz's brother, Rabbi Osher Kalmanowitz of the Mir Yeshivah in New York. He did not want to openly involve himself, and so he recruited his friend Rabbi Leib Tropper of Yeshivas Kol Yaakov in Monsey. Rabbi Tropper created a story that was told to the Rabbis were were approached to condemn the books. The story involved two students in his yeshivah, described as "angelic," who allegedly dropped out of yeshivah and left Orthodoxy after reading my books and concluding that "if the Sages could have been wrong about science, then they could have been wrong about everything." Rabbi Elya Wachtfogel, the primary rabbinic authority behind this ban, presented this story as grounds for his campaign. I myself was shaken when I heard about this story, but my mentors were skeptical and advised my to investigate it. The investigation showed that one of them was barely observant to begin with, and dropped out of yeshivah before my book on the Sages' knowledge of science was published. When I discovered the identity of the other student and wrote to ask him if it was true that my books caused him to drop out, he wrote this reply.

I was also tipped off that a close friend of Rabbi Osher Kalmanowitz was also involved in the campaign: Rabbi Leib Pinter. It seems that he may have been the original person to have launched the campaign. However, Rabbi Pinter subsequently became the subject of a legal investigation (not his first or second) and was unable to be further involved in the campaign against my work.

Anonymous said...

http://theantisemite.blogspot.com/#Civil%20War

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Civil War

The current conversion conference conflict opened up an old can of worms with numerous ramifications. These in turn may have long lasting repercussions, some possibly of unforeseeable magnitude.

There are real problems here, which most seem to ignore, either because they were carried away, or perhaps they’re only focusing on petty bickering. Suffice to say most people didn’t see farther than their noses, which isn’t too far, even if they’re Jews.

So let’s capitulate, let’s clear the air please;
There is a very serious problem of intermarriage. There is also a very serious problem of severe breaches in giyur procedures within orthodoxy.

EJF was founded to solve, or at least soothe these problems. But it turned out (or was so planned from the beginning) that money for nothing and chicks* for free make you forget your principles pretty quickly. So EJF is actively pursuing intermarried couples, employs leniencies, targets the children of intermarried couples, and tries to monopolize the business. There is also a great problem with centralizing halocha.

But the main focus of controversy was on an entirely different matter. Apparently rabis Eisenstein and Tropper officially declared, in the names of R’ Elyashiv and R Kanievski, that the conversion of one who believes the world is older than 5768 years is void. Similarly, one who holds this belief is a cofer (heretic), unfit for dayonus and as per consequence even past conversions performed by him are retroactively void.

Naturally, the Modern Orthodox were outraged, and rightly so. But they forgot all about the real problems and while they were busy screaming about being delegitimized, rabbi Tropper cashed another check, and EJF is still riding high.

Although hard to believe they are true, the statements were made, and will have to be dealt with. Is it a moment of truth for Modern Orthodoxy? Time will tell.

As a side note, I’d suggest that as a worst-case scenario, (i.e. the comments were actually made exactly so and they are true) even the most stringent hard-liner position, i.e. that Evolution is unequivocally heresy, shouldn’t retroactively void conversions. Even if one actually holds one heretic belief, if he keeps Torah and mitsvot he may not be entirely dismissed. This is especially in regards with Orthodox people holding evolutionary ideas (I almost put an L in there…), since they believe this conforms to halocha. In the worst case this shouldn’t be considered more than shogeg in one ‘un-kosher’ belief’.

As a matter of fact, in ’92 a group of RCA rabbis proposed to change the approach to intermarried couples, (labelled "the roundtable proposition") as an answer to the alarming rate of intermarriage. The RCA’s leading rabbis immediately released and unequivocal rejection of the proposal and reinforced the traditional approach.

Despite this, there are many rabbis, who, on a private basis (i.e. they have or serve on independent courts) employ very lax, and I’d say even heterodox practices. People with ultra-liberal agendas are liberal enough to enact laws of their own ate the community’s expense. (Note that Noah Feldman has more integrity than such people. He could have easily resorted to a giyur Maiden Japan and avoid all the fuss. No one would have ever accused him of throwing tantrums…) There is also a lot of corruption – dayonus can be quite a profitable business.

The real tragedy is that those gerim will be rejected in many Orthodox communities. The communities that will accept them will only alienate themselves from general Orthodoxy. And I fear that some are actually interested in this. There are at least two virulently anti-orthodox sites that vehemently oppose EJF specifically because it jeopardizes such rogue courts and rabbis. They, as well as the insulted MO people who resorted to personal smears against Tropper actually play into his hands. Now he’ll have proof that it’s Modern Orthodoxy’s extreme left wing together with some unsavory characters who are trying to smear and vilify him.

Instead of resorting to absolutely useless attacks, we should focus on the real problems, as well as stopping the commercialization of Judaism.

This is a huge silver lining to EJF’s black cloud, because come hell or high water, now everyone’s noses will be rubbed in their own dirty little secrets, lest EJF achieves its goal. But by now a few egos too much have been hurt, and the struggle won't be easy. In other words, by wanting to be bigger and better than everyone else, rabbi Tropper actually forced all to face reality.

And the episode may have an even more siginficant facet to it. Perhaps now those who really care may actually face up and sit together to discuss solutions and ways to ensure proper procedures.
Is there at least a glimpse of a chance, if not at reconciliation, at least a bit of tightening and mending the relations between the factions? Let’s hope so.

___
*Rubashkin glatt, of course.

Anonymous said...

http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2007/08/kiruv-for-non-jews-with-jewish-identity.html

Daniel Eidensohn, Jerusalem, Israel

Friday, August 24, 2007
Kiruv for non-Jews with Jewish Identity II

I am raising an issue of great importance for the future of the Jewish people. There seems to have been a major revolution in the last few years in the approach to dealing with both intermarriage and the non-Jewish children of intermarriage - and yet very few rabbonim seem aware of it. My purpose in writing the following is to provide intelligent discussion of these issues as well as to establish a literature that can be utilized by others. As Rav Sternbuch has noted - halacha depends upon accurate written discussions of issues that can be analyzed and debated. A statement by a rav - no matter how big - which doesn't provide the critical issue of context and sources is very problematic for use by others.

The issue was raised one Shabbos when I received some guests sent by a well known kiruv organization. In the course of discussing how each one of our guests had come to be interested in this particular program - the guest who was most interested in Yiddishkeit stated. "I was raised as a Methodist because my mother is a Methodist - but I am Jewish because my father is Jewish." To put it mildly I was shocked - how could this obvious fact not have been checked prior to admitting this young man into the program. The program is involved in bringing Jews with no Jewish education to Israel where there have a great time - and also learn about Yiddishkeit. The expenses of the participants are heavily subsidized by wealthy benefactors. I said nothing but after Shabbos I called the director to inform him of the problem. His response was, "We know that he is not Jewish but we were told to accept him since he has a Jewish identity."

In the subsequent months I have mentioned this to various rabbonim - who have all expressed shock that this is officially sanctioned. No one knew any teshuvos written on the subject which justify this approach. However I have found that this is not simply a quirk with one kiruv organization - it represents a major conflict between different kiruv organizations. The big money seems to be going in the direction of kiruv for non-Jews (with some kind of Jewish identity) with the hope of converting them. A friend of mine told me that on three separate occasions he was sent guests for Shabbos from a Russian kiruv program here in Jerusalem and found out that they were all non-Jews. When he complained, the program simply stopped sending him guests.

Similarly there has been a major effort to actively pursue intermarried couples and using various techniques - representive of the best American marketing techniques - convince the non-Jewish spouse to convert. This latter approach is spearheaded by R' Leib Tropper of Yeshiva Kol Yaakov in Monsey. See his website [Eternal Jewish Family - Convert to Judaism, Jewish Conversion, Universally Accepted Halachic Conversions for Intermarried Couples ] - especially the videos of testimonials from satisfied customers. It has the official backing of Rav Eliyashiv, Rav Dovid Feinstein, Rav Reuven Feinstein as well as many others important rabbis. I have not been able to locate any written teshuvos dealing with this either - even though it also represents a major change in the traditional approach to this issue.

I mentioned this information to Rav Moshe Sternbuch who found my revelations disturbing and he wrote a letter which he asked me to translate and distribute. He personally read and approved the translation. The original letter and its translation can be found at the following links.

http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/faxes/RSternbuch_KiruvNonJew_Aug07_heb.pdf

http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/faxes/RSternbuch_KiruvNonJew_Aug07_eng.pdf

Some of the discussion aroused already can be found at the following link

http://rabbisedley.blogspot.com/2007/08/kiruv-for-non-jews.html

http://haemtza.blogspot.com/2007/08/patrilineal-descent-and-conversion.html

One of the assertions being made is that Rav Moshe Feinstein has approved kiruv for non-Jews who have a Jewish identify. This assertion has been made by one of America's most widely respected poskim who was a very close talmid of Rav Moshe who said it was an oral psak that he received. I have combed the Igros Moshe and there is no support for this in the Igros Moshe. However recently I was challenged by a certain rosh yeshiva who asserted that what the hetar for this type of kiruv is inherent in the clearly stated teshuva of Reb Moshe regarding the Falashas. I rechecked this teshuva and - contrary to my challenger - it seems clear that this teshuva not only does not support this assertion but seems to directly contradict it. My translation of the teshuva is as follows:

Igros Moshe Y.D. IV. #41 page 271

After much investigation it appears that if the Falashas are not given a Jewish education they will deteriorate even more and will
refuse to convert and this can possibly cause – G‑d forbid! –intermarriage between Jews and the Falashas. Therefore l’maaseh they should be given a Jewish education and be influenced through this education to convert as they need to do - as I have written to your brother R’ Mordechai Tendler. One should not be concerned by the fact that we are teaching Torah to people whose status as Jews is in doubt. Since it is actually possible that they are Jews and
since there is a reason for this education - it would appear there
is no prohibition to teach them Torah. But you should not teach them false halachos - an act which itself is prohibited. In other words, don’t tell them that we in fact view them as definitely Jewish. Instead tell them that while in fact there is a doubt about their status as Jews nevertheless we are prepared to educate them in G‑d’s Torah and His mitzvos. Please note that until they are actually converted they are not to be considered as definitely Jewish even in regards to counting them as part of a minyan or to receive an aliya
to the Torah. They are not to be shamed or embarrassed but on the
other hand they should not be deceived with false flattery. On the other hand l’chumra they are required to keep all the mitzvos
because maybe they are in fact genuine Jews.

Reb Moshe is acknowledging the danger of intermarriage from a non-Jew who views himself as Jewish. However he allows the teaching of Torah only because the person is a "questionable Jew". It follows that if the person is definitely not Jewish he would not have given this heter. Otherwise Reb Moshe would have simply said "any non-Jew who has a Jewish identity should be educated in Torah and converted".

Daniel Eidensohn

Posted by Daas Torah at 3:39 PM

21 comments:
Anonymous said...
R' Yaakov Kaminetsky was of the opinion that one should bring closer someone born of a Jewish father who shows any level of interest in Yiddishkeit. If I'm not mistaken, you have a kesher with R' Shalom Kaminetsky - speak to him about it.

August 24, 2007 5:39 PM
Daas Torah said...

This is not the same thing as accepting a non-Jew as Jewish in a Jewish kiruv program. I am in fact trying to clarify Reb Yaakov's views on this matter.

August 24, 2007 6:15 PM
Anonymous said...

I'm not sure I see the difference. R' Yaakov's position was, as I understand it, regarding just such a case - the child of a Jewish father and nonJewish mother vis-a-vis outreach eforts and drawing him closer to Yiddishkeit.

August 25, 2007 2:20 AM
Daas Torah said...

Rav Shmuel Kaminetsky was asked this week whether he had given approval for a non-Jew with a Jewish father to joining a kiruv program since he already had a Jewish identity. [The director of the kiruv program that sent me the non-Jew claimed that he had received a heter from Rav Kaminetsky] Rav Kaminetsky vehemently denied giving such a heter and said that all he had said was not to turn away a non-Jew with a Jewish father. He was not saying this in reference with participation in a kiruv organization. He said he is against allowing a non-Jew with a Jewish identity joining a kiruv program - especially if it is co-ed.

August 25, 2007 9:52 PM
Daas Torah said...

Anonymous said:
I'm not sure I see the difference. R' Yaakov's position was, as I understand it, regarding just such a case - the child of a Jewish father and nonJewish mother vis-a-vis outreach eforts and drawing him closer to Yiddishkeit
----------

Note my comment regarding R' Shmuel Kaminetsky. I have not heard any evidence that R' Yaakov's permitted a non-Jew to be admitted into a kiruv program. Until I receive some specific evidence from some verifiable source, I'll assume that Rav Shmuel Kaminetsky is in agreement with his father when he specifically rejects admitting them into a kiruv program at the same time not pushing them away.

August 26, 2007 12:45 AM
Anonymous said...

1. How is preventing them from following their interest and joing a kiruv program *not* "pushing them away?

2. I belive R' Shmuel is at odds with his father on this issue. According to R' Shalom, R' Yaakov maintained that one should actively bring such individuals closer. This isn't the same as "not pushing them away".

August 26, 2007 6:02 AM
Anonymous said...

Hi. The shitah that children of non-Jewish fathers should be encouraged to convert has backing in the sefardic and religious Zionist worlds, but not so much in the chariedi litvish world that you seem most comfortable in.

See especially Piskei Uziel be-she'elos hazman (R. Ben Zion Chai Uziel). This was also the opinion of R. Azriel Hildesheimer and much later Rav Goren. It is today accepted by most of the dati-leumi rabbinic world, most especially championed today by R. Zephania Drori (Kiryat Shemonah) and R. Chaim Druckman (Rosh yeshivos Bnei Akiva). R. Shear Yashuv Cohen, the rav of Haifa, recently asserted this view quite forcefully as well.

If you are not comfortable with this view, then the kiruv organization was right not to send you more candidates for Shabbos. You are entitled to your view and they to theirs, and there is no reason for you to step on each others' toes.

August 26, 2007 9:44 AM
Daas Torah said...

A.A. asked
Why would anyone expect to find a Psak that Rav Moshe gave orally, in the Igros Moshe?

"This assertion has been made by one of America's most widely respected poskim who was a very close talmid of Rav Moshe who said it was an oral psak that he received. I have combed the Igros Moshe and there is no support for this in the Igros Moshe."
-------------------
An excellent question. Anyone who was familiar with Rav Moshe was impressed by his empasis on sevora and conceptual consistency. Therefore when someone finds an apparent inconsistency between two written teshuvos it is an indication that something is being misunderstood. For example he permitted commerical milk in America and said it had the status of chalav yisroel milk. On the other hand he said that schools and camps should use what is universally called chalav yisroel. He also advised the Toronto commuity to continue using universally accepted chalav yisroel even though it was a financial burden. Another example is that he empathically prohibited translations and kitzur dinim of the Igros Moshe - yet he gave a haskoma to a sefer on hilchos Shabbos which was a kitzur dinim of the Igros Moshe. Another example is that he permits using paper towels to wipe up spills on Shabbos but he told a bachur at Yeshiva of Staten Island that it was prohibited. All of the above have been explained by clarification of context.

It is reasonable to assume that there should be no inconsistency between that which is found in the Igros Moshe and what he stated orally. Thus I not only have not been able to find any indication that Reb Moshe would have supported accepting non-Jews into kiruv programs because they have a Jewish identity but his teshuva concerning Falashas seems to contradict it. I would be very pleased to be informed that I missed something - but so far it hasn't happened. Obviously there is some missing information here.

August 26, 2007 10:20 AM
Daas Torah said...

Anonymous wrote:
1. How is preventing them from following their interest and joing a kiruv program *not* "pushing them away?

2. I belive R' Shmuel is at odds with his father on this issue. According to R' Shalom, R' Yaakov maintained that one should actively bring such individuals closer. This isn't the same as "not pushing them away".

August 25, 2007 8:02 PM

There is a major difference between an individual rav encouraging the conversion of an interested individual and placing this individual in a kiruv program without informing him that he needs to be converted. Are you asserting that Rav Yaakov Kaminetsky told organizations such as NCSY that they should admit all non-Jews with Jewish fathers? Or perhaps he said that while traditionally a potential convert is to be discouraged when he comes to a rav - in this case one should encourage conversion?

August 26, 2007 10:27 AM
Daas Torah said...

Anonymous wrote:
"Hi. The shitah that children of non-Jewish fathers should be encouraged to convert has backing in the sefardic and religious Zionist worlds, but not so much in the chariedi litvish world that you seem most comfortable in."

As I have noted repeatedly there is a difference between encouraging an individual to convert by a rav and placing him in a kiruv program without informing him or anyone else that the is not Jewish. Do these Sefardic and Religious Zionist rabbis include these non-Jews in their schools or kiruv programs - or do they deal with them individually or in special groups? Rav Yaakov Kaminetsky apparently encouraged conversion - but I have not heard any assertion that he said to mainstream them into regular kiruv programs. If you have information to the contrary it would be greatly appreciated.

August 26, 2007 10:56 AM

Anonymous said...
R’ Daniel,

Thank you for disseminating the letters of rav Moshe shternbuch on the subject it is truly a mess and there is tons of disinformation. FYI in November Rabbi tropper is convening a conference of “Gedolim” in Washinton DC to address the Halachic issues I believe that it would be valuable if a contingemnt of naysayers could participate in the discussion.

August 26, 2007 3:45 PM
Anonymous said...
>> Do these Sefardic and Religious Zionist rabbis include these non-Jews in their schools or kiruv programs

For dati-leumi programs, the answer is an overwhelming yes. This has become the norm over the past decade.

August 26, 2007 6:35 PM
Anonymous said...
PS In addition to my previous comment, note that the Shuvu schools for russian immigrants sponsored by the litvish community also employ this policy, similar to the dati-leumi programs.

August 26, 2007 7:01 PM
Daas Torah said...
I wrote:

It is reasonable to assume that there should be no inconsistency between that which is found in the Igros Moshe and what he stated orally. Thus I not only have not been able to find any indication that Reb Moshe would have supported accepting non-Jews into kiruv programs because they have
a Jewish identity but his teshuva concerning Falashas seems to
contradict it. I would be very pleased to be informed that I missed something - but so far it hasn't happened. Obviously there is some missing information here."

A.A. wrote:

"I agree. Anyone who is familiar with Igros Moshe knows that an oral Psak is more reliable than a published Tshuva. The only thing you can question is the integrity of the Talmid to be saying over what his rebbe said accurately. If that's what you're doing, then say so."

I replied:

R' Moshe Heinemann told me that the written record takes precedence over an oral psak. What is your source? Why are you making it a question of the integrity of the talmid? When I first compiled the Yad Moshe one of Rav Moshe's closest talmidim - who is today recognized as a major posek in America - told me that Rav Moshe was against the making of an index and that he had even written this in the Igros Moshe. He cited the teshuva prohibiting the summarizing and translation of the Igros Moshe. When I objected that they were not the same thing he said it is clear that is what Rav Moshe meant. Fortunately I was advised to speak to Rav Shmuel Fuerst who informed me that Rav Moshe could not have intended to prohibit indexing the Igros Moshe since he had himself been working on an index and when Rav Moshe found out about it he had encouraged him to finish.

There can in fact be legitimate disagreements as to the meaning of a teshuva as well as oral psak. Asking for clarification does not mean questioning the integrity of the posek. I don't know why you insist on twisting this matter into something that it is not. The anger in your comments is uncalled for.

August 27, 2007 1:34 AM
Rabbi A. T. wrote said...

Good for you! It is completely out of control.

August 27, 2007 8:57 AM
Rabbi A N said...

Dear Rabbi Eidensohn,

I do not want to post this publicly, but you may post it anonymously.

I believe that posters' reactions have conflated several issues:

1) reaching out to non Jews of Jewish fathers as part of the general qiruv mission of a program (we search them),

2) reaching out to non Jews of Jewish fathers in programs specially conceived
for them (we search them),

3) dealing with non-Jews of Jewish fathers who desire Judaism (they come to us),

4) dealing with non Jews who already comingle with Jews on account of their self perceived Jewish identity, perhaps because some onstitutions legitimized
their inclusion, possibly against rabbinic agreement.

I believe Rav Sternbuch to really prohibit the first case, and such opposition is uncontroversial.

Regarding the last case, we have a teshuvah of RMF on pupils in a school that includes non Jewish children of Jewish fathers: we should teach them Torah and the will convert. We may debate in which manner the situation with non Jewish Russians is similar to RMF's case.

The second case may also be objectionable, but I don't think that is what Rav Sternbuch spoke about. That is an area where lots of money is being invested, both in Israel (for the Russians) and in North America.

Regarding the third case and regarding borderline cases where conversion of the non-Jewish spouse in an intermarriage will be taken seriously by the whole family and is necessary for the succesful qiruv of the Jewish partner and/or children, and/or borderline cases spilling over in the fourth case, where non-action will lead to future intermarriage, there are verbal pisqei halochoh from both RSZA and RYSE, quoted and followed by the Eternal Jewish
Family, the rabbis of the Conference of the European Rabbis and more, that one should do qiruv to the non-Jews in question, WHERE APPROPRIATE. However, without making matters worse by mainstreaming them in qiruv programs for Jews.

What I believe Rav Sternbuch really attacks is reaching out to single non-Jews because they somehow belong (oy vay), and generally mainstreaming these
people into regular qiruv programs, ignoring for the while the lack of a valid giyur, thus lessening the sense of qedushas Yisroel, rather than enhancing it.

The whole question of Russians in Israel is further complicated by their presence in the general population and the political pressures that threaten to force some rabbis to accept Bagatz as the arbiter of Shul'hon 'Orukhm
haShem yishemereinu.

August 27, 2007 10:21 AM
Daas Torah said...

Rabbi A. N. wrote:
"4) dealing with non Jews who already comingle with Jews on account of theirself perceived Jewish identity, perhaps because some onstitutions legitimized
their inclusion, possibly against rabbinic agreement.

...
Regarding the last case, we have a teshuvah of RMF on pupils in a school thatincludes non Jewish children of Jewish fathers: we should teach them Torah and the will convert. We may debate in which manner the situation with non
Jewish Russians is similar to RMF's case."

While I basically agree with your analysis why don't you distinguish between ger koton and the proselytizing of adults? Rav Moshe's case of mass conversion in a school E.H. IV. 26.3 was specially dealing with children.

August 27, 2007 10:59 PM
Rabbi A. N. said...

Was the school in question an elementary school? I thought the kids where 15-17 years old, IOW, in HS.

Furthermore, how would RMF be so happy converting them as ketanim if their parents weren't going to be able to give them a kosher home?

August 27, 2007 11:02 PM
Daas Torah said...

Teshuva E.H.IV 26.3 is dealing with the case of a teacher in a religious day school who discovers that many of the students are not Jewish. He was not dealing with the case of admitting them - they were already there. The question is whether the teacher has to quit rather than teach Torah to non-Jews. Rav Moshe offers various possible heterim but then he concludes:

"It is possible to correct the matter by converting the children (kotonim) because they do not need to accept the mitzvos and they are converted according to the daas of beis din. It is a merit for them since they are learning in a religious school from teachers who are G-d fearing. Thus it is reasonable that they will grow up to be Torah observant. And even if this is only a sofek it is still a definite zechus. And even if they don't grow up to be Torah observant it is still reasonable that it is a merit for them because even the Jewish sinners have the sanctity of Israel and those mitzvos which they do will be mitzvos while their sins can be viewed as shogeg. Thus they are better off then being goyim.... And even those who are older than 13 you should also say to them they they need to convert and also the girls who are older than 12. Surely they will agree. You need to try to explain this matter to them in a good and pleasant way that they will want to accept this."

Thus even those students who are no longer children are to be told that they need to convert. They are to be notified in as nice and pleasant a way as possible that they need to undergo conversion.This scenario is not addressed by Rav Sternbuch.

August 27, 2007 11:20 PM

Lippy said...

Dear sir,
In quoting the teshuvah of Rabbi M. Fienstien you draw attention to the fact that he imputes his hetter on the ambiguous status of the falashas. While this is certainly stated by Rabbi Fienstien as a factor, I believe you overlooked the relevance of the entire sentence, as traslated by yourself: "Since it is actually possible that they are Jews and
since there is a reason for this education." It is, I think, safe to assume that the "reason for this education" intended here is the aforementioned concern for an "intermarriage between Jews and the Falashas." Indeed this very concern seems to be the impetus driving the kiruv organizations that engage in this kind of outreach. On what grounds are you so certain that R. Fienstien would not defer to this factor on its own? And given your formula for when and when not to give credence to an orally relayed psak in the name of R. Fienstien, it would seem that the issue at hand is immediately whether or not the written teshuvah overtly contravenes the former.
Respectfully,
Lippy

August 28, 2007 12:15 AM
Daas Torah said...

citing part of my translation of EH.IV 26.3 "Since it is actually possible that they are Jews and since there is a reason for this education."

Lippy wrote:

"It is, I think, safe to assume that the "reason for this education" intended here is the aforementioned concern for an "intermarriage between Jews and the Falashas." Indeed this very concern seems to be the impetus driving the kiruv organizations that engage in this kind of outreach. On what grounds are you so certain that R. Fienstien would not defer to this factor on its own?"

-----------

We both agree that Rav Moshe cited two reasons in this citation for teaching Torah to Falashas. One is that they are possibly Jews. Secondly that this Torah education and possible conversion serves to minimize intermarriage. You argue that only one reason was sufficient and that this is also the factor which is cited to justify accepting non-Jews into kiruv programs.

In order for your assertions to be reasonable we would have to explain why Rav Moshe bothered mentioning and repeatedly mentioning this factor that they were possibly Jews if in fact this is irrelevant. Taking this teshuva at face value there is simply no way of understanding it to mean that Rav Moshe would have given permission even if they were definitely non-Jews because it resolves a problem.

In essence you are reading Rav Moshe to say where there is a halachic will there is a halachic way.

According to your reading of the Igros Moshe - there is absolutely no justification for generalizing from what he says in any teshuva to a new situation. Thus despite Reb Moshe's assertion in the introduction to the Igros Moshe that he is primarily concerned with presenting servoras - you want to view it as simply a historical record of psakim that he had given. Consequently you are invalidating the universally accepted use of the Igros Moshe - why? However if you are just trying to say that only in the teshuva dealing with the Falashas he wrote in an imprecise manner
which precludes generalization - why should this teshuva be different than the rest of the Igros Moshe?

Anonymous said...

http://www.lukeford.net/profiles/profiles/michael_ozair.htm

Rabbi Michael Ozair Interview

I talk by phone with Rabbi Ozair May 12, 2004. He operates the website www.kaballahcoach.com.

In 2002, Rabbi Ozair pled no contest to one count of oral copulation in 1997 with a minor (a 14 year old girl who was not his student).

Contrary to some reports, at the time of the crime, Michael Ozair was not a rabbi.

Luke: "When did you receive semicha (ordination as a rabbi)?"

R. Ozair: "Fall of 1998."

Luke: "Tell me more."

R. Ozair: "I was involved with a small congregation in LA [Happy Minyan] and speaking every Shabbos and holidays and teaching. Rabbi Abner Weiss [head rabbi of Beth Jacob at the time] was my mentor rabbi. He suggested I get ordination. At first, it was going to be done in Israel, but it was going to be too expensive to live there. The next option was Monsey, New York. I went for an interview to [Kol Yaacov Torah Center] and was accepted. I was told it would be a year to a year-and-a-half for the basic semicha, taking into account my past years of Torah learning."

R. Ozair says he has a BA in religious studies from California State University of Northridge and a Masters in Education from the University of Judaism.

R. Ozair: "We flew the family [R. Ozair has two kids]. I learned in the yeshiva for a year. Then I got a job offer back in LA. I needed to cut short the semicha program to get the teaching job. I agreed to come back to LA if I could still be ordained privately. The yeshiva wouldn't ordain someone who left the program early. I made an arrangement to have a private ordination with Rabbi Yehoshua Reich from Efrat, Israel. I have the semicha at home. You're welcome to see it."

Luke: "I will come by and take a picture of it.

Luke: "According to Wendy J. Madnick's [8/23/02] article in the Jewish Journal, there were never any complaints about you at the schools you taught at."

R. Ozair: "Correct."

Luke: "The Wendy Madnick article says this criminal charge came to light through the girl's therapy. As I understand, the charge came to light through your therapy. You went to a brand new therapist and he took what you said in therapy and went to the authorities."

R. Ozair: "Correct."

Luke: "What should a religious community do to persons who've sinned like you did?"

R. Ozair: "First I would like to see an opportunity for rabbis on www.theawarenesscenter.org to make amends to the public if they choose, because as it is, reporters can say anything they want to, make assumptions and then it goes straight to print. Everybody makes mistakes ? even reporters, and yes, even rabbis. Mine came out when I disclosed the information to a therapist who I did not know. He had a legal obligation to report me. There was not a moment that I was in denial that what I did was wrong. I managed to successfully destroy much of my life in a moment of absolute misjudgment that I deeply regret.

"What should the religious community do? In our tradition we have a teaching that states that before G-d even created the world, He created the idea of teshuvah. The Creator Himself knew that He was creating an imperfect world that would be subject to flaws, but that there should also be a way a person can return. If this is so, then there has to be a program for Jews to correct their ways. A way that they could tangibly demonstrate that they are committed to living a life of decency and are striving to become the person who G-d intended them to be. Beit T?shuvah seems to be the only program in the entire United States that gives Jews that opportunity. I feel blessed that I was able to do my teshuvah properly?.What should the religious community do? That?s a hard one. They got the first part down ? separating a person from the camp, as they did in the Torah. The question then becomes what are they doing to reintegrate a person back, as they did in the Torah."

Luke: "What sentence did you serve?"

R. Ozair: "I served two months in LA County Jail and a year at Beit Teshuva [similar to house arrest]."

Luke: "Regarding the Forward article, why did you use the name Rabbi Michael Ezra and why did you use the nickname Kabbalah Coach?"

R. Ozair: "I did not want to use my last name on the Internet for obvious reasons. I used "Rabbi Michael Ezra" because "Ezra" was added to my first name as part of my teshuva process. If you read the Jewish Laws of Repentence as outlined by Maimonidies, that one does a shinui [difference] with one's name. Add a name. Add a letter. I added "Ezra," which means help or assistance to my first name. I did this in front of about 35 people on Yom Kippur. About half a dozen other people also changed their name that day.

"I have a private practice as a life coach. For marketing reasons, it is good to create a niche. Most of my clients are looking for higher purpose in their lives. My coaching involves no kabbalah. Yet, the name was a nickname given to me by my clients. It stuck."

Luke: "Why did you take down your site www.kabbalahcoach.com?"

R. Ozair: "It was attracting negative attention."

Luke: "How many people in your religious community, when the bad news about you broke, approached you to hear your side of things?"

R. Ozair: "Nobody in the religious community."

In the summer of 2004, Rabbi Ozair became engaged to be married.

Rabbi Michael Ozair was a former teacher of mine who was particularly skilled at reaching out to non-Orthodox Jews. I went to a dozen of his classes.

Rabbi Ozair was twice voted teacher of the year at Shalhevet High School before he was fired in the summer of 2000 (before the sex scandal broke) for allowing some senior students on a field trip to Mexico to buy a couple of beers on July 4th.

Debate Over Rabbinic Ordination

A letter dated September 9, 2004 purporting to come from Efrat Orthodox rabbi Yeshoshua Reich says he never gave private semicha (rabbinic ordination) to Michael Ozair.

Here's a copy of rabbi Reich's letter:

Because I have heard that my name is being used dishonestly and in a way that is causing a desecration of the name of G-d in public.

I hereby notify interested parties:

I did not certify Michael Ozer [sic] to function as a rabbi.

The use of my name to describe him as a person who received certification as a community rabbi by me is false and a lie and must cease immediately.

Here's a copy of the private ordination Michael Ozair says he received from rabbi Reich in Los Angeles in the fall of 1998 (after an arrangement through Ozair's boss of the time Jerry Friedman of Shalhevet, with the awareness of rabbis Abner Weiss -- now at a shul in Westwood -- and Chanina Rabinowitz -- now a principal of a Torah academy in Melbourne?, Australia).

Rabbi Yehoshua Reich was a rabbinic advisor to Shalhevet prior to the arrival of rabbi Chanina Rabinowitz.

Michael Ozair studied for a year at Kol Yaakov in Monsey and then on his own for a few months before he was examined (written and oral) in Los Angeles by rabbi Reich.

Here's a comparison of the signatures of rabbi Reich on what Ozair says is his private ordination from rabbi Reich with the signature of rabbi Reich on his September 9, 2004 letter.

The private ordination that Michael Ozair says he received is the type of informal ordination folks such as rabbi Shlomo Carlebach gave to about a dozen people, including at least one woman. This type of ordination is traditional in such circles as the Chabad movement.



The photo on the left is from 1998. The photo on the right is from rabbi Reich's September 9, 2004 letter denying he gave Michael Ozair ordination.

My Discussion With Jewish Whistleblower Over Michael Ozair

JWB writes: "Luke said months ago on Protocols that he had seen this ?smicha? in Ozair?s home. So basically, I am taking Luke at his word that the first document is the ?smicha? document Ozair is claiming to have received."

No. I have never seen the original smicha document. All I have seen is this copy of the alleged smicha from rabbi Yehoshua Reich.



Rabbi Yeshoshua Reich

That this document is on hotel stationary argues to me for its authenticity. Someone who wanted to fake a smicha would put together something more official looking.

Rabbi Reich's alleged letter of September 9, 2004 claiming he never gave smicha to Michael Ozair came shortly after Ozair had written to him seeking forgiveness for having tarnished his name through his sin.

JWB writes: ""Michael Ozair studied for a year at Kol Yaakov in Monsey" Is an outright lie."

Last May, I spoke to an Orthodox rabbi who was at Kol Yaakov at the same time as Ozair and confirms that Ozair studied there for several months. This rabbi, to the best of my knowledge, is not a friend of Michael's and has no reason to lie.

Here are the names of people who I am told can vouch for Ozair's attendance at Kol Yaakov: Rabbi Pinchos Dovid Orenstein, rabbi Sam Intrator (formerly of the Carlebach Shul, he recieved his semicha from the same Yeshivah/rabbi right before Michael did, since R. Leib Tropper is a cousin of Shlomo Carlebach), Nachman Futterman (resident of Monsey, big supporter of the Yeshiva) Dovid Moshe of Pompano Beach, FL.

While Ozair lived in Monsey, he was the co-administrator of the Reb Shlomo Carlebach List (Shamash).

Michael Ozair wrote Dec 5, 1997 on the List:

So glad to have finally joined the chevre on the Net. Let's spend less time as baalei machloket and more time in connecting to what we have in common, that is, celebrating the legacy of who our great rebbe was, is and ever shall be.

As a fairly new resident in Monsey, NY (and one of the founders of the Happy Minyan in Los Angeles), I want to share two interesting incidents that happened this morning. First, my Rosh Yeshivah, Reb Leib Tropper called all the yeshivah students in for some pretty heavy duty mussar after having heard that somebody had made a derogatory remark about Reb Shlomo Carlebach. The Rosh Yeshivah was FURIOUS and gave a very firm warning to the entire yeshivah, threatening expulsion. He stated clearly that there was a cherem against those who make any kind of derogatory remarks about one who has passed away. Although, not all the rabbis of this yeshivah think very highly of Shlomo, the Rosh Yeshivahs eyes instantly fill with tears at the mention of Shlomo's name. I should also note that every Friday night, the entire davening is Shlomo's nusach and is one of the most simchadik minyanim for Monsey standards. Also, I went to Tuvia's bookstore, the largest Jewish bookstore up here, to purchase a few seforim, when lo' and behold, right up there, hanging on the wall, along side all the big rebbes and Torah giants, was not one, but three pictures of our Rebbe Shlomo Carlebach, zt"l. I should also note, Shlomo was the only one smiling.

Anyways, here is Part I of an article Neilah [Shlomo's widow] had written on Reb Shlomo's life and legacy for The Happy Minyan's newsletter, Kol Sasson. More articles, torahs and goodies will be on the way!

David Saloff writes on the List Dec 21, 1997:

Subject: Michael Ozair

Michael Ozair has agreed to share responsibility with me for the ongoing administration of the Reb-Shlomo list. Our list administrator liases with Shamash, screens new subscription requests, and, when called on, tries to nudge our list conversation into a somewhat orderly and topical direction. One of the founding members of the Happy Minyan of L.A., Michael served as its spiritual director for two years. Currently a rabbinic student at Yeshivat Kol Yaakov and teacher in Rockland County, New York, Michael is also Yankele Shames' (from the Moshav) son-in-law. Those who know Michael will recognize the unusual talents and experiences that he will bring to this job.

List Administrator Dovid Staloff wrote on Sat Jul 25 21:56:06 1998:

Dear chevreh 1) I have received many emails and phone calls over the past several months, begging me to do whatever i can to stop any discussion of the "lilith" topic our list, even shutting down the list completely. until today, i simply answered that i hoped we could provide space for all the broken neshamas to share what is on their hearts... surely by now anything needed to be said on the topic has been said already.

Rabbeinu taught us to be open with our passion. At the same time, once the immediacy of the passion has cooled, not to hold on to the stuff, not even for a second... this topic has completely run its course. even its participants have said they want to create a separate group to carry on the discussion... so be it! if you are pro-lilith, con-lilith pro-shlomo anti-shlomo, whatever, the time has finally come to take it elsewhere. please don't come back here with it next month, or next year either. thank you.

2) michael ozair is now completing his smicha requirements and moving to the west coast to assume a new position. michael told me he no longer has the time to participate in the list. we approached several people we considered suitable replacements, but nobody is available. i myself do not have the time, or the interest, to monitor the quality of the discussion all by myself. neither do i feel it is fair for myself or any other individual to take on such responsibility. it's simply not fair to the individual, not fair to the list... what is fair is for everyone who choses to subscribe to our list to equally assume this responsibility.

JBW: "...[A] well sought after scholar in the area of Kabbalah..."

He has certainly been a popular teacher of Kabbalah and many people have sought him out for his expertise in this. Michael Ozair was a leader for years at the Happy Minyan and he's taught dozens of well-attended classes in Judaism and Jewish mysticism. I know this from my first-hand experience at these events.

I believe that Michael Ozair ran with Shlomo Carlebach and company for years.

Here's the website of rabbi Yehoshua Reich's yeshiva in Israel. It confirms he was at Shalhevet as Ozair claimed.

Did rabbi Yehoshua Reich testify in front of others about Ozair's semicha? Only one person claimed this on Protocols and no names of who was present were given.

Rabbi Reich's letter of denial does not say that he never gave Ozair semicha. For one, he misspells Ozair's name as "Ozer." Rabbi Reich says in his letter that he never gave Ozair semicha to work as a community/congregational rabbi. He was specific in what he was denying. JWB may have a point that this sort of semicha was just one to teach or do kiruv (outreach). Rabbi Reich may indeed have protected himself in detailing WHAT he was denying.

Rabbinic ordination was not something Michael Ozair sought. Rather, it was something that was pushed on him by Jerry Friedman, and rabbis Chanina Rabinowitz and Abner Weiss

Tropper and the OU said...

http://www.jewishsf.com/content/2-0-/module/displaystory/story_id/28934/edition_id/548/format/html/displaystory.html

Orthodox group liberalizes conversion process

by larry luxner
jta

hollywood, fla. |

When is an Orthodox conversion really kosher? How long should a prospective Jew have to study before being universally accepted as a convert? And how much should a rabbi charge to supervise the process?

No one has easy answers to these questions. In fact, until recently few Orthodox rabbis even were asking them, at least not in a public forum. And most, if not all, did not accept applicants with Jewish spouses.

Now the Orthodox community gradually is encouraging non-Jewish spouses to convert in accordance with halachah, or Jewish law.

“We’re reaching out to intermarrieds to encourage them to apply for conversions if they are truly and sincerely dedicated” to being religious Jews, said Rabbi Leib Tropper, co-founder of the group Eternal Jewish Family, or EJF, based in Monsey, N.Y.

Demographics may have a lot to do with the change of heart. According to Tropper, 50 percent of non-Orthodox Jews in the United States are married to non-Jews, and another 20 percent are married to spouses who have undergone Reform or Conservative conversions — which Orthodox Jews often don’t consider “kosher.”

Last month, EJF hosted a conference in Florida called “Universally Accepted Conversions in Intermarriage.”

The event attracted 170 leading rabbis ranging from modern Orthodox to Lubavitch, including the chief rabbis of Israel and Poland.

“The notion circulating in the Jewish community that intermarried couples are unwelcome and that Orthodox rabbinical courts will not entertain their conversions is being quickly dispelled by the activities of this organization,” said conference chairman Marvin Jacob.

The group has established seven rabbinical courts in the United States and is in the process of creating more. As rabbis join the EJF, they become part of the network of courts, or batei din, that perform conversions, Jacob said.

Tropper said the group doesn’t seek to proselytize, but rather “to create universally accepted standards for becoming Jewish.”

Rabbi Moshe Krupka, the Orthodox Union’s national executive director, agreed that standardizing conversions is a good idea.

“Our hope is that we’re not going to utilize mediocre standards. When we as a faith community welcome a convert into our midst, our standard should be acceptance of the Torah and a Torah way of life, so that it elevates the community as a whole,” Krupka said.

By standardizing the conversion process, EJF hopes to lure in mixed couples that vow to practice Orthodox Judaism and keep kosher.

“Sometimes, even if people are ready we push them off for months, if not years, to test their sincerity. People lose interest and go away,” Jacob said. But if the judges are persuaded that the applicant is sincere about observing the commandments, “we urge that the conversion should take place immediately, because that’s halachah.”

How long a prospective convert should study is also a matter of debate.

“What’s more important is the conviction and determination of the candidate,” Tropper said. “If someone’s very determined, it can be done in five months. In other cases, it can take up to two years.” What matters, he said, is that the candidate “knows what he’s required to know, and agrees to practice and observe it.”

In the eight months since EJF’s establishment, he said, “we’ve done 70 conversions divided among various rabbinical courts, and we have another 130 candidates in the process of studying for conversion. We get an average of six applications per week on our Web site.”

The group also is promoting a uniform fee for conversions so that applicants can avoid what Jacob called “shysters.” He said that a fair fee is about $300 per judge, up to a maximum $1,000 fee for all three together.

“I’ve heard of one Orthodox rabbi who charges $7,500,” he added.

Said Krupka, “It pains me greatly that there are Jews who don’t live up to their Jewish potential. But that should in no way lower the bar for what it takes to become a Jew, especially if we believe that Judaism is divinely ordained.”

...it deserves to go into the ash bin of history said...

http://haemtza.blogspot.com/2007/11/eternal-jewish-family.html

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Eternal Jewish Family

There has been a proclamation issued by the Edah Hacharedis which its authors wish to disseminate and which has been made available to the public by Rabbi Daniel Eidensohn. It basically condemns a new organization that deals with Halachic conversions called The Eternal Jewish Family (EJF). The proclamation has already appeared on many blogs including Hirhurim (scroll down to Saturday night’s post to see it).

Most Orthodox Jews know by now that ‘Halachic conversions’ is one of the hottest topics being debated in the Torah world. That is because it is fraught with so many problems.

The concern most strongly driving the controversy is the massive number of Jews from the former Soviet Union who have immigrated to Israel. Many of them are intermarried. If the non Jewish spouse is a woman, their children are not considered in any way halachicly Jewish. That has resulted in tons of non Jews who think they are Jews living in Israel.


To a smaller extent this is true in the US too. Non Halachic conversions performed by Reform and Conservative rabbis leave non Jews believing they are Jews. And so too their children.


Additionally there have been many conversions done even by Orthodox rabbis that have come into question. The Rabbanut Beis Din in Jerusalem, now controlled by Charedi Rabbis has recently created quite a storm by no longer automatically accepting conversions done by rabbis belonging to the Rabbinical Council of America ( RCA).


The primary concern about some of the RCA conversions is a laxity on the key conversion requirement for the convert to sincerely promise they will observe Mitzvos. EJF was created in part to rectify this by standardizing all Orthodox conversions and requiring a no nonsense acceptance of doing Mitzvos. This was the brainchild of Rabbi Leib Tropper, of Yeshivas Kol Torah in Monsey, a Baal Teshuva Yeshiva.


Rabbi Tropper has managed to gain the participation of many rabbinic leaders of all types including leaders like Rav Elyashiv (by proxy of his representative Rabbi Nachum Eisenstein), Rabbi Dovid Feinstein and Rabbi Hershel Shachter, That is how important this issue is viewed and how accepted EJF has become as the vehicle to get this accomplished.


But... Rabbi Tropper also has as a goal of actively seeking out children of non Jewish mothers and placing them in religious Jewish schools with the hope that they will eventually convert. This is not a proper Halachic approach. Rabbi Moshe Sternbuch had written a Teshuva about it a while back. That Teshuva generated some controversy here because it seemed in opposition to a practice employed by NCSY under the authority of Agudah Dayan, Rabbi Shmuel Fuerst.


NCSY by its nature will very often have teens participate who are not Halachicly Jewish... but think that they are. Their mothers were converted non-Halachicly by rabbis of non Halachic streams of Judaism.


Rabbi Fuerst based on what he had clearly been told by his Rebbe Rav Moshe Feinstein, has Paskined that NCSY can actively encourage these children to continue participating in NCSY and to seek a proper conversion. Rav Moshe held that by not encouraging these youngsters to convert they would none the less continue believing they were Jewish and seek to marry other Jews That would actually increase inter-marriage in Klal Yisroel.

It is not clear whether Rabbi Sternbuch disagrees with this policy.

In any case, Rabbi Sternbuch has gotten the Edah HaCharedis rabbis on board with his Psak and has come out with a proclamation de-legitimizing EJF.


This is the germane paragraph:


Because of the dire consequences of intermarriage, there was a strong barrier that prevented many from intermarrying. However now that the consequence of exclusion from the Jewish people has been removed - this motivation not to intermarry has been lost. Consequently these intermarried couples and their children remain amongst the Jewish people. This results in their non-Jewish children being accepted into religious schools out of the hope that they will eventually convert.


It should be stated that in his original Psak, Rabbi Sternbuch does permit converting children of an intermarriage when they come to us of their own volition.


It seems from this proclamation which is basically a re-statement of Rabbi Sternbuch’s earlier Psak, that the reason for not allowing seeking converts from intermarried couples is that it is deterrent to intermarriage. The question remains about whether he would apply it to NCSY. Would he use the same rationale of deterrence to simply reject those NCSYers who are products of an intermarriage? Or would he consider them as coming of their own volition? That is unclear and the controversy remains.


There is another issue here. It is very surprising that Rav Sternbuch would urge rabbis not to participate in this event considering that a man he venerates, Rav Elyashiv is participating. Can it be that he sees Rabbi Eisenstein as an invalid representative of Rav Elyashiv? Or is he disagreeing with Rav Elyashiv on this matter? Or is Rav Elyashiv unaware of this component? If so, why is that? Do they not speak to each other?

In my view the controversy created by EJF is so great that de-legitimizing it is a good thing. The controversy was created by Rabbi Eisenstien. He wanted only ‘believers’ to qualify as a Dayan... a judge on the new conversion Beis Din. The conversion court system that would result after the process of conversion be standardized. It would require that rabbis not have heretical beliefs. Rabbi Eisenstein wanted to make clear that believers in an ancient universe disqualify them from serving on a conversion Beis Din.


Some people actually claim that Rabbi Eisenstein said they are actual heretics if they believe this. That isn’t clear. What is clear is that he is constantly doing things to alienate Jews he doesn’t agree with. And using an EJF platform where many rabbibnic leaders were in attendance gave him a broad pulpit to do so. And since he is Rav Elyashiv’s representative. It was a bully pulpit.


It is ironic that the Edah has condemned EJF. They probably agree with Rabbi Eisenstein’s views about the ‘hersey’ of an ancient universe. But whatever the reason, I’m glad they did it. If what comes out of such an organization can so contribute to the divide in Klal Yisroel it deserves to go into the ash bin of history.

The Off the Derech Bochrim Lie said...

http://godolhador.blogspot.com/2005/04/kanoi-hador.html

The Kanoi Hador

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

It seems that the kanoim, amongst their other middos, are quite humble. They are content to stay in the background, and not take any credit for the great work that they do. Well, I think its time that these unsung heroes have the spotlight shone on them !

Many of my readers have also expressed an interest in the Kanoim. Who are they and how do they operate ? What motivates them ? Are they really all criminals ? (Of course not, only some of them are !) Well, here are some facts that I have pieced together so far. Most of it has been verified, I use the word 'apparently' where I am not so sure.

The Kanoim

One of the chief kanoim is Yaakov Kalmanowitz. He, together with Leib Pinter, were the brains behind the campaign to get the ban signed. Yaakov was recruited by his brother Osher in New York (from the Mir), who didn't want to be involved personally, for image reasons. They also roped in Michael Lyons and some other chevrah in Bnei Brak, its not clear how. Its also not clear who initially kicked the whole thing off.

Pinter, who lives in Brooklyn, is a well known kanoi who apparently really didn't like the banned books. He might be going away soon for a little trip, so we wish him well. This will not be his first trip, if you know what I mean. If you would like to support Pinter, he has a book published by Artscroll. He's also friendly with Leib Tropper, who has a yeshivah in Monsey, and was the source of the 'off bochrim' story.

Pinter and / or Kalmanowitz recruited Reuven Shmeltzer of Monsey to do the dirty work for them (faxes, phone calls etc), and spread all those stories. Reuven was overheard at a mechanech convention yelling into his cellphone 'I am being lochem milchemes hashem against Slifkin !' This was Shmeltzer's first kanoi job so I think he deserves a round of applause for being so effective. Great job Reuven ! Now you can graduate to breaking people's legs with baseball bats.

Their Motives

I think Shmeltzer is some kind of kanoi-in-training. Pinter just sounds rather messed up if you ask me. I heard conflicting reports about Tropper so I don't know what he's about. I did find out some more about Kalmanowitz though. In the words of one of my commentators (and I also verified this independently): He's the one who is most responsible for this entire fiasco (the Slifkin ban). He is a full time kanoi, frustrated beyond words, who has killed many a Jew. His name is Yaakov Mordechai Kalmanowitz, more commonly known as Yankel or black-jack kalmanowitz. Unfortunately he is not gainfully employed and has zero scruples so he's tough to fight with. Nonetheless, the more he's exposed - as any good bully - he'll back off. He lives in Israel but comes to the States to stir trouble at any given opportunity.

I hear that he is trying to ban another book - the "Mishnas R' Aharon" vol IV. There's a letter there that does not give a positive picture of his grandfather - coming from the brisker rav. I heard that the book is being recalled to have his grandfather's name blotted out.

I found a couple of Black Jack's shiurim available on the web.They are called 'Secular Thinking' and 'Secular Thinking 2', about half way down the page. They sound like the titles of some awful 'B' movie and its even awfuller sequel. Well, they are more awful than that.

Warning: About half way through the first shiur he is jabbering on about gray market goods and squeals like a pig for about 5 seconds. Don't have the volume set too high, it will be painful !

In the first shiur, he divides the entire world of thinking into two categories: Toyrudick Thinking and Secular Thinking (chas vesholom). Secular thinking is of course entirely treif. He doesn't really explain what Secular thinking is, except to say that its based on visible facts, and nothing more. I guess anything he personally doesn't agree with would be termed Secular Thinking.

But wait, there's more ! If you have an ounce of 'minus' in you he says, then even your Toyruh thoughts are completely invalidated. He brings a nice moshol from a kallah. Everyone is praising the kallah, saying how beautiful she is, how perfect she is etc. However, there is just one minor problem, she is very, very, slightly pregnant ! (Laughter from the audience). Likewise, if someone has a drop of 'minus' in him, that invalidates his Toyruh too. So the world is clearly divided into two groups of people: Those with pure Toyrudick thoughts, and everyone else who is completely treif.

In his second 'shiur' he is all upset about some pamphlet from some school or yeshivah, hard to say what exactly. He keeps saying how he can't even bring himself to say over whats in the pamphlet, its so bad. He didn't seem to have much else to say. He also tells over a story about an Odom Godol who once read a secular book as a child and then spent the rest of his life trying to do teshuvah and fighting against Secular Thinking.

So it seems that Black-Jack has a particular vendetta against 'Secular Thinking'. I guess that would make him the ideal kanoi to fight against Slifkin. Who knows, maybe the Odom Godol he refers to is really himself ?

Ideally, it might be possible to have someone so pure, and so innocent, and so holy, that maybe they should not have contact with 'secular' culture or thinking. I can imagine that. Somehow, I really doubt that Black Jack is that person, or anywhere close. However, apparently, Rav Moshe Shapiro likes him a lot, so who am I to judge ?

http://godolhador.blogspot.com/2005/04/lies-of-kanoim-exposed.html

The Lies of the Kanoim Exposed

Allright, I am feeling gutsy today so lets expose some kannoim, and the lies they used in their campaign to ban Rabbi Slifkin. These facts have been reconstructed from various emails that I have received. The same facts have been told by multiple different sources, at different times. All the sources are highly reliable. Of course some extremists will claim that these are all lies ! You can verify all of these facts with the Rabbonim who gave haskomos and are still sticking out their necks for Rabbi Slifkin.

1) The Haskamos Being Withdrawn Lie

A lie was spread around about the "maskimim" ALL having withdrawn their haskomos. In fact, only Rav Lopiansky had withdrawn his haskamah, and that was only after severe pressure from Rav Moshe Shapiro, who is his Rebbe. The Gedolim added their signatures to the ban months AFTER this key statement was demonstrably shown to NOT be true. The fact that it was not true did not apparently dissuade the kanoim from continuing to use this story and also indicates that the ban signers did not attempt to verify whether they were being told the truth. One phone call to Rav Kaminetzki, or any of the other maskimim, would have sufficed. This lie made it into the text of the ban and into the Yated article.

2) The Off the Derech Bochrim Lie

A fabricated story about two boys from Yeshivas Kol Yaakov in Monsey who had supposedly gone off the derech due to reading the books was spread around. This caused some of the signers to feel that the books were causing tremendous harm in the yeshivos. This story is STILL being repeated and some of the Rabbonim are still saying that this was one of the reasons they signed, for example, R Dovid Feinstein. Why hasn't the truth mattered, given that many of the Rabbonim speak of the "danger" of these books as being their major reason for signing? Shouldn't the fact that the "danger" was fabricated cause anyone to pause? The matter was investigated thoroughly months ago and found not to be true. One boy was ‘off the derech’ anyway, and the other simply moved to YU. The Rosh Yeshivah of Kol Yaakov, R Leib Tropper was a prime instigator of this false story, and has been harassing Rabbi Slifkin ever since.

3) The Letter to Feldheim Lie

There was a claim to some of the ban signers (Rav Refoel Schorr, for instance) that they were only signing a private letter to be sent to Feldheim Publishers, one that would not say anything about the books being kefira and apikorsus, and not any kind of public declaration. This seems to have been a clever trick, as Rav Schor's name wound up appearing on the posters and advertisements.

4) The Text of the Ban Lie

The kanoim presented one text to some of the signatories, but then another text was used in the actual ban. This was verified by Rav Aharon Feldman, who visited Rav Eliashiv personally. Rav Eliashiv said that he had not signed anything which called the books kefirah.

5) The Refusal To Meet Lie

Another lie was spread around that the Gedolim had agreed to meet with Slifkin, but he refused. This is entirely untrue, in fact, its just the opposite. Rabbi Slifkin received a call one day from a Rabbi Michael Lyons, who told him he had 4 hours to retract his books, or else face public humiliation. Rabbi Slifkin desperately tried to contact any of the Gedolim, and suceeded in arranging a meeting with one of them. However the Kanoim found out about this and called the Godol, forcing him to break off the meeting. None of the other Gedolim who Rabbi Slifkin called agreed to meet with him. Actually, he could not get past their gabbaim, so its not clear whether they would have met with him or not. Subsequently, a third party tried to arrange a meeting with Rabbi Slifkin and one of the Gedolim in the US, but the Godol refused, with the excuse that he knows nothing about Science & Torah anyway, so what would be the point !

6) The Undesirable Characters of the Kanoim
CENSORED

Question

If the Torah case against Rabbi Slifkin’s books was so clear, why was it necessary to engage in such lies in order to elicit the prized signatures of the Gedolim ?

Tropper trying to disqualify Modern Orthodox and Moderate Charedi rabbonim... said...

http://hirhurim.blogspot.com/2007/11/conversion-and-age-of-universe.html

Conversion and the Age of the Universe

Friday, November 09, 2007

A commenter posted here and on other blogs that at this week's conference of the Eternal Jewish Family, R. Nachum Eisenstein announced from the podium that R. Yosef Shalom Elyashiv told him that any rabbi who believes that the world is more than approximately 6,000 years old is a heretic and may not perform conversion (link). I have confirmed the essence of the story -- that R. Eisenstein said such a thing to the audience. I have not confirmed whether R. Elyashiv actually told him that.

Generally speaking, my attitude towards R. Elyashiv's rulings is that they are Torah and a mitzvah to learn but not of particular interest over other areas of Torah and have no impact on my personal practice. In other words, I generally react with a "so what?" or "that's interesting". But in this case, this ruling can have a chilling effect on existing converts and future conversions. I personally know of rabbis with this belief who have performed many conversions.

It seems clear to me that the Modern Orthodox rabbinate has, with this statement, been largely shut out from the ongoing talks about conversion standards. Perhaps this is a good thing. But what about the moderate Charedi rabbinate? Will they allow this to continue? Will they stand by quietly and watch the disqualification of R. David Tzvi Hoffmann, Rav Kook and R. Yitzchak Herzog?

When the Rambam wrote that people who believe that God can appear corporeally are heretics, the Ra'avad disagreed and wrote that even though he does not believe in that he is not ready to declare such people to be heretics. Will any Ra'avads be standing up over the next few weeks to declare that this is overreaching and that "Gedolim ve-tovim mimenu" held such a view?

http://hirhurim.blogspot.com/2007/11/conversion-and-age-of-universe-ii.html

Conversion and the Age of the Universe II

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

was contacted by R. Leib Tropper, who presented at the recent EJF conference discussed in this post, and he offered the following clarifications (in my words, which he approved):

1. R. Tropper does not believe that R. Eisenstein said in the name of Rav Elyashiv that someone who believes that the world is older than 6,000 years is a heretic. Rather, he is not worthy of being a dayan. Presumably, this means that the past conversions he performed are still valid.

2. R. Tropper quoted Rav Chaim Kanievsky as saying that a person who believes that the Sages of the Talmud could have made mistakes should not be converted. He does not rule definitively on someone with that view who already converted.

3. R. Tropper stated that dayanim should dress conservatively and that even secular courts have dress codes. However, he did not state that dayanim who do not dress appropriately are disqualified from serving as dayanim.

4. R. Tropper also said from the podium that it is the opinion of R. Elyashiv and R. David Feinstein that a Beis Din performing a conversion should release the "Te'udah" (certificate) immediately so that the convert can move on.

My comments:

1 & 2. It is impossible to have truly universal standards for conversion (and dayanim) because the standards of different communities are contradictory and, even if not, would be incredibly restrictive. For example, the Satmar community would demand that Zionists cannot be dayanim because they are heretics. I do not know how literally they take this, but the Satmar Rav wrote that anyone who votes in an Israeli election has the halakhic status of an idolator and, presumbly, is disqualified from serving as a dayan. On the other side, there are communities that follow the rulings of the Rambam and Maharal that those who pray to angels or human beings (including rebbes) are heretics. Should we disqualify from serving as a dayan anyone who is a Zionist or recites "makhnisei rachamim"? I don't see how that is possible. If you are a follower of Satmar or of an ultra-Rationalist, then you must follow those rulings and disqualify as dayanim as above. But if that is the case, then you should not be trying to institute "universal" standards that exclude large segments of the current Orthodox community.

If (and I stress IF) Rav Elyashiv holds that the majority of Orthodox rabbis in the US--including the most active dayanim in America who oversee hundreds of gittin and conversions a year--are disqualified for serving as dayanim, then his followers must abide by that ruling. But I don't see how they can impose that on the general community or claim that by following him they are implementing standards that are anywhere near universal. As above, truly universal standards are impossible. Close-to-universal standards would be as inclusive as possible, not incredibly divisive and exclusive.

3. I think every rabbi and dayan agrees that dayanim should dress appropriately. The question is what is considered appropriate, and on this standards differ based on time and place. No one would require dayanim to dress the way dayanim in Rambam's Egypt dressed, nor in Rav Ashi's Bavel. Therefore, I don't know that an out-of-town rabbi should need to dress according to Boro Park fashion, nor should a Boro Park dayan need to dress according to Wall Street fashion. Colored shirts and wedding bands may raise eyebrows in Monsey but in Teaneck they are considerable respectable, formal and wholly appropriate.

4. Nothing to add.

Comments:

These weasel words are all obfuscating what Rabbi Tropper was trying to get at: A disqualification of Modern Orthodox and Moderate Charedi rabbonim.
Potter | 11.15.07 - 4:19 am |

Gil - as long as you're EMAILing questions to R' Tropper, perhaps you could ask him as well whether he personally believes that someone who thinks the world is older than 6,000 years old is a kofer and whether he believes that someone who thinks that Chazal probably erred in some scientific matters is a kofer.
SD | 11.15.07 - 10:41 am |

Who is R. Tropper?
MDJ | 11.15.07 - 11:16 am |

I sent R. Tropper some very specific questions based on yours and some of my own.

He chose not to answer and just said that they would ask a posek if such a situation arises.
Gil | Homepage | 11.15.07 - 12:37 pm |

He chose not to answer ANY of your questions??!?! What the heck?!?! In law, we often draw what's known as an "adverse inference" from a failure to answer questions. That seems warranted here. He uses your blog to attempt to get out his message and then declines to explain meaningless platitudes. It's insulting if he thinks your readership is so stupid so as to assume that will fly.

One of my questions was: "What does the phrase 'he is not worthy of being a dayan' mean?" Why isn't that question relevant now?? Otherwise, why was it being discussed at the EJF conference at all? Not to mention the REALITY of the situation that many rabbanim in America no doubt agree that Chazal made errors with respect to certain matters of physical metzius and that certain p'sukim in Bereishis must be understood non-literally in light of current scientific understanding.
mhs | 11.15.07 - 12:51 pm |

"Rav Tropper isn't fit to sit on a beis din?" No he isn't. I don't want to trash my mouth, so I have to stop right here.

"No offense, Rabbi Angel's beit din has much less standing than that of Rav Tropper's tribunal"

Menachem, I'd like to take issue with this. First off, I admittedly I don't know much about rabbi Marc Angel(RMA). However what I did hear about his bais din and from what I can conclude from the little I read from his writings, I am categorically opposed to his shita. We can theorize here all day long as to what is a bigger avlah, intellectual corruption or straight out gutter corruption, but I can honestly tell you Tropper is deeply corrupt on both count.

Cudos on your courage for speaking up against hatred. It's grown out of hand. We idientify as MO or haredim or this or that instead of indentify first and foremost as Jews. Yea, I know everyone claim they represent and defend true Judaism. Well in a sense they're all right b/c they follow the tradition of hating and destroying each other. We should at least daven for unity among us. But who wants to hear a meshugana lunatic like me anyway. Achdus in clal Yisroel? Yeah right, so what will we fight about later?
Yossi(Joe)Izrael | Homepage | 11.15.07 - 1:10 pm |

Sorry, but R' Troppers weasel words are still offensive. I'm referring primarily to a statement he made in the name of Rav Chaim Kanievsky that a would-be convert who believes that the sages of the talmud could have made mistakes should be rejected. Mistakes in what? If in questions of physical reality, then far far greater sages than Rav Kaneivsky have mentioned such mistakes. Why should an acceptable convert today be held to higher standards of emunat chachamim than was held by the Rambam and Ba'lei Tosafto? Why is it acceptable for today's talmidei chachamim to invent novel halachot that are detrimental to the lives and hopes of people - assuming that R' Tropper was citing his source accurately?

Y. Aharon
Anonymous | 11.15.07 - 1:14 pm |

We can theorize here all day long as to what is a bigger avlah, intellectual corruption or straight out gutter corruption, but I can honestly tell you Tropper is deeply corrupt on both count.Yossi(Joe)Izrael

Agree.

However what I did hear about his bais din and from what I can conclude from the little I read from his writings, I am categorically opposed to his shita Yossi(Joe)Izrael
Like what?

Achdus in clal Yisroel? Yossi(Joe)Izrael

The only difference between you and everyone else is that you hate both sides. I guess that is achdus of a sort!
cazzie | 11.15.07 - 1:22 pm |

Sorry, but R' Troppers weasel words are still offensive Y. Aharon

His words were meant to try to obfuscate the issue. Yet his comments were so transparent and obtuse that if you read it a couple of times you can challenge almost every phrase. The man is a moron on top of being a neandertha. How is that for respect.
cazzie | 11.15.07 - 1:25 pm |

Karben's alleged sexual advances..."I think he's a wonderful man," Rabbi Leib Tropper said... said...

http://jewishsurvivors.blogspot.com/2006/05/case-of-assemblyman-ryan-karben.html

Dems: Karben forced out amid sex probe

May 20, 2006

...Assemblyman Ryan Karben was told several days ago that he would be subjected to an ethics probe and was given the chance to resign, according to multiple Democratic officials...

Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, D-Greenburgh, said he didn't know anything about an ethics complaint. When asked if he had heard rumors of Karben's alleged sexual advances before they were made public by the media, Brodsky said, "Everybody's heard rumors about everybody."

Karben did not return numerous cell phone messages and was not responding to e-mail requests for comment yesterday. There appeared to be no one home yesterday at Karben's Melaney Drive home, with an empty trash can tipped over and a newspaper lying in the driveway. Last night, the paper had been picked up, and a light was on inside the house, but no one appeared to be home...

The rumors about Karben, a practicing Orthodox Jew, shocked many in that community, where a gay lifestyle is frowned upon based on religious belief.

"Who would expect this?" Kaser Deputy Mayor Sholomo Koenig said. "It's a sad day for the religious community to see something like this involving someone from the community."

While Karben's pro-choice stance on abortion and support of gay-rights legislation made many of his religious supporters uncomfortable, several Jewish leaders had praise for him yesterday.

"I think he's a wonderful man," Rabbi Leib Tropper said. "He did a lot of good things for the community and county."

...

Susan Blond a Tropper enabler said...

(Susan Blond www.susanblondinc.com/ is the sister of Rabbi Tropper's second wife)

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9D02E3DF1638F932A05752C0A96F958260&n=Top/Reference/Times%20Topics/Subjects/G/Gossip

MAKING IT WORK; Speak No Evil? Quixote Had It Easy.

By LESLIE EATON
Published: January 31, 1999

SOME say it all started in the Garden of Eden, when the snake hissed, ''Hey, Eve, you won't believe what I heard about Adam.'' But today, here in the Domain of Dish, the Hub of Hubbub, the Burg That Buzz Built, there is no denying it. Gotham is Gossip Central.

New York is, after all, the home not only of most of the country's media companies, advertising agencies and publicity firms, but also of such famously chattering occupations as fashion, finance, publishing, art, music and the theater.

All of which makes even more quixotic the quest of a small band of people who meet once a week in an office building on West 57th Street off Broadway. Their goal: no gossip. Not to speak it. Not to listen to it. And certainly not to believe it.

Adding a piquant note is that this project was organized by Susan Blond, a press agent for rock stars and rap artists whose very job is to place items in gossip columns (and who had more than 15 minutes of fame herself as a pal of Andy Warhol).

On her desk in the West 57th Street building is a small white sign that looks like a no-smoking request, but on closer inspection turns out to say, ''Thank you for not speaking loshon hora,'' which is Hebrew for ''evil words'' or ''forbidden speech.''

The sign was a gift from Ms. Blond's brother-in-law, Rabbi Leib Tropper, who is the guiding spirit and teacher of the group. The rabbi runs a lecture program about Jewish values for college students, as well as the Kol Yakov Torah Center, a yeshiva in the Orthodox community of Monsey, N.Y. But much of his time is devoted to studying the Torah with small groups or individuals, most of whom are not strictly observant.

The class that discusses the evils of gossip is the largest of these groups. On a recent Tuesday it drew about a dozen regular participants of various ages, most of them Jewish, including a lawyer, a psychotherapist, a movie producer, an opera singer, a nutrition consultant, a writer and two young women who work at a big advertising agency.

In some ways, the class is similar to informal Torah study groups that have sprung up during the last decade in offices all over Manhattan, which is how the class began seven years ago. But most of the current participants started attending more recently, drawn, they said, by the charismatic rabbi and his focus on what he calls ''speech therapy, in a spiritual sense.''

The hourlong class is free, although some attendees donate money to his school.

Wearing a dark suit and a boldly patterned tie, the rabbi, a bearded man in his late 40's, sits at one end of a circle of chairs. Speaking quickly and a little loudly, he discusses the religious and secular reasons to avoid gossip, quoting not just Torah scholars and rabbis, but also Mark Twain, Erich Fromm and Richard Nixon.

He tells stories, like the one about two women on a bus in Israel discussing the engagement of two acquaintances. On and on they went, expressing their shock that such a nice young man was to marry a woman whose family was not very religious, not very educated.

A woman seated behind them tapped them on the shoulders and thanked them, saying she was the mother of the groom-to-be and had not realized what a bad family her son almost married into. Now, she said, she would end the engagement.

The two gossiping ladies were ''horrified, mortified,'' the rabbi related. They started to grab the woman, to plead with her. Finally, the woman said, ''I'm not the mother of the groom, but I could have been!''

''We don't see the damage we can do with our words,'' Rabbi Tropper continued. ''Things we say in New York can do damage in Jerusalem, or Hong Kong or somewhere else. That is why there is a strict restriction against gossip'' in the Torah.

A lawyer, Michael Feiner, asked about newspapers. Should readers skip the parts that seem to be gossip?

No, the rabbi replied, ''but you are not allowed to accept it as truth just because a reporter wrote it.''

What about talk as therapy? A psychotherapist, Charlotte Saunders, said she sometimes has to ''explain to someone that it is O.K. to talk about what is troubling them.''

It is fine to listen to such talk, the rabbi said, as long as it has some ''therapeutic benefit,'' and as long as the listener does not believe that everything said is true.

Rabbi Tropper said his class, and his philosophy about gossip, is based in large part on the teachings of a rabbi known as the Chofetz Chaim, who died in 1933. The translation of the Chofetz Chaim's works into English about a decade ago has spurred interest in his teachings on forbidden speech, Rabbi Tropper said, as has the speed at which gossip can spread in these days of cellular telephones, 24-hour news channels and the Internet.

The rabbi's familiarity with such modern things, despite his devotion to ancient traditions, is one reason that people like to study with him, his supporters say. ''Someone from Monsey, who dresses like he does, who's fervently Orthodox, you get the impression such people are isolated and can't interact,'' said Marvin Jacob, a lawyer who is a partner at Weil, Gotshal & Manges who has studied with the rabbi. ''He belies that.''

Whether most people can really learn to live by the rabbi's teachings is an open question. David Pullman, an investment banker who does financing for rock-and-roll stars, says there is some debate about ''the practicality of what you can adopt.''

His own approach, he said, ''is to call it as it is, so it's not gossip.''

Ms. Blond is his press agent. She also represents a plastic surgeon, a fashion designer, the singer Luther Vandross, the heads of Arista and Ruffhouse Records, the Artist (formerly known as the Artist Formerly Known as Prince), and Robin Byrd, host of a television talk show on the pornography industry.

Ms. Blond has become more of an advocate for rules against gossip as she has become more committed to Orthodox Judaism in recent months, following the breakup of her marriage to someone of a different faith, she said.

Of course, she still speaks to the columnists, and not just about clients; the rabbi's class was mentioned recently in Mitchell Fink's gossip column in The Daily News.

And she and Rabbi Tropper agree that there is little chance that gossip, or the gossip columns, will ever disppear. ''In the beginning of the Torah, Adam blames Eve, and Eve blames the serpent,'' the rabbi said, ''and it has never stopped since then.''

http://www.15minutesmagazine.com/archives/Issue_15/week_000911-02.htm

MAZEL TOV, MAZEL TOV
Celebrity Clients Applaud as
Susan & Michael Tie the Knot


USAN BLOND’S first wedding15 years ago was an intimate gathering with pop icon Andy Warhol, Studio 54 co-founder Steve Rubell and fashion star Jean Michel Basquiat in attendance.

She would have invited them again to her second wedding July 16 at her home in Sagaponack, Long Island, but they’re all as dead as her first marriage.

Instead, Susan and immigration attorney Michael Feiner stood under the chupah surrounded by such personalities as Rabbi Leib Tropper of Kol Yaakov Torah Center of Monsey, N.Y., who officiated, and Rabbi Sammy Intrator of Manhattan’s Carlebach Shul, and Rabbi Simon Jacobson.

Being the music world’s publicist-to-the-stars, with such clients as Prince, Toni Braxton, Ozzy Osbourne, Clive Davis, Usher as well as Kirschenbaum Bond & Partners, and The Sports Club/LA in New York, Susan attracted a slew of celebrities to witness the proceedings under the chupah.

Fashion designer Sandy Dalal, Paul Morrissey, realtor Michele Kleier, newly appointed Arista Records honcho Jerry Blair, EMI Publishing’s Evan Lamberg, and socialite Beth Rudin DeWoody.

Celebrity shutterbug Patrick McMullan shot photos as a wedding gift. Former Arista president Clive Davis sent gorgeous bouquets and real estate biggie Sam Domb cut gladiolas from his garden.

Susan and Michael, who served as a captain in the Israeli army, requested that instead of gifts, donations be made to Kol Yaakov.


http://www.nypost.com/seven/02282007/gossip/pagesix/big_blowout_pagesix_.htm

BIG BLOWOUT

http://www.nypost.com/seven/02282007/photos/pg6h.jpg

February 28, 2007 -- EXPECT an eclectic mix tomorrow night at Michael's, where Susan Blond marks the 20th anniversary of her p.r. firm. Blond - who began her career as Andy Warhol's protégé and threw a baby out the window in Warhol's last movie, "Bad" - has repped everyone from Michael Jackson, Boy George and Prince to her current roster of Usher, Star Jones Reynolds, Hulk Hogan and Christine Ebersole. The soiree will feature video tributes from Clive Davis, Sean Paul, Ronnie Spector and Paul Shaffer.

http://failedmessiah.typepad.com/failed_messiahcom/2007/11/eternal-jewish-.html

(Comments:)

Beheima Tropper (400 pounds and growing) is an evil person, his actions left broken families, shattered lives and even dead bodies (Gideon Busch).

The fact that he like Kolko is allowed to operate and abuse in our community is a shame. Maybe UOJ can stop him from destroying more lives.

He does have his enablers: Tom Kaplan of Leor Energy, Susan Blond and chometz ben Yain (give me some gelt leibele) Reuven Feinstein.

Regarding the conversion issues, it is funny that Chabbad and the MO beleive they can work something with him and he will let them operate their basei din. yeah right !!

What Tropper hates most is MO, Chabbad, Bomzer and Noach Weinberg. by the way he is musmach of the sick weirdo Pinchas Sheinberg of ‘No Penetration No Harm Done’ and cousin of alleged child molester Shlomo Carlbach (check Awareness Center) So the previous comment about Gila and Rina does not surprise me.

Posted by: The Monsey Tzadik | November 01, 2007 at 09:24 PM

Ms. Singer, I know nothing about your family history. In the general case, however, you offer only rhetoric, not facts. Please, do yourself a favor, go look into what I suggested. From the tone and content of your position, you're in for a big surprise when it comes to the traditional halachic position on accepting "questionable" conversion.

Posted by: Neo-Conservaguy | November 01, 2007 at 09:34 PM

I can add that rumor has it that when Tropper get the ultimate control on the North American Orthodox conversions he is going to retroactively nullifies all Bomzer conversions by saying (allegedly the way he interpreted Rav Moshe in Igros Moshe) that it is hediot beis din or even non kosher beis din.

take a good look at this real life Pied Piper said...

http://www.dfme.org/archives/2006_04.html

April 24, 2006
Jacob's Voice

I live on the American frontier in the make-shift camp of the resurgent legions of Judah. It is almost midnight. Joyous songs of heavenly praise are filtering their way into my consciousness through a little too much Slivovitz, and I am wondering how much sleep I really need before I have to get up for morning prayers.

Across from me, tapping his fingers, sits a nineteen year old, fair-haired Danish boy. His name is Adam. He is the one who mentioned that his father designed System 7, IBM’s first stand-alone computer system to store information in silicon memory chips. I told him that it was one of the computers that I used as a doctoral student at Princeton University, half a lifetime ago, to investigate the neurobiology of learning. Acknowledged as a genius during his brief stay at Sweden’s University of Lund, Adam is multitasking before my eyes, one hemisphere of his brain contemplating the private words that our Rosh Yeshiva shared with him earlier in the evening, the other struggling to keep up with the tongue-twisting Hebrew of our niggun.

Scanning the array of newly-minted Orthodox Jews around me, I note that Adam is in good company. The grandfather of the twenty year old Texan to my left designed the USS Nautilus - the first nuclear submarine, the father of the Texan’s roommate is a mathematics professor at the University of California, and the father of the Berkeley-grad and virtuoso clarinetist who just sat down to my right helped put the first man on the moon and engineered the missile defense shield that will soon be deployed to deter the North Koreans. There is an irony in this concentration of mathematical and engineering yichus at our Shabbos table. For it appears that the children of the generation of Jewish-Americans (and Jewish-Danes) that helped create today’s technology economy have abandoned the quest for the new new thing, together with their scholarships at Brown, Oxford, M.I.T., et. al., and are preparing themselves instead to fill the ranks of the decimated leadership of Judea.

A century and a half after the mass assimilation of European Jewry, at a time when one out of every two married, non-orthodox Jewish-Americans is married to a non-Jew and demographers are heralding this community’s similar demise, when it is common wisdom among Western academics to relegate Jewish civilization to second-class status (see Samuel Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations) and disparage the alliance between the United States and Israel (see John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, “The Israel Lobby”, in the London Review of Books), at a time when Europeans are financing what promises to be their final genocide against Judea, and the uneducated offspring of Israel’s secular elite have been shamed into abandoning Zion for politically correct, “high-culture” careers in New York and LA; these gifted children of America’s best and brightest are immersing themselves in the mikvah of Mussar and Gemorah and preparing themselves to return to war.

An hour or so up the New York Thruway, where exurbia gives way to the foothills of the Ramapo Mountains, one can detect a change in the atmosphere. The air has started to recover its sweetness and the land its natural contours. The manicured lawns of Pearl River have given way to simpler, woodland yards and the average number of children per family has swelled well beyond the Blue State norm. The harried gait commonplace in Manhattan has been supplanted by a stately and dignified purposefulness, and the cotton, tediously revealing casual-wear of the American uniform has surrendered to woolen suits, silk beckishas, and large black hats. Welcome to Monsey, New York, or as many here wryly refer to the temporary home that remains “in the uttermost West”, Ir HaKodesh - the Holy City.

For anyone unfamiliar with a religious Jewish community, the best reference point may actually be a college town. My wife and I spent many of our higher education years in Cambridge, England and Princeton, New Jersey and we think that the parallels to Monsey are thought provoking. First off, the members of both communities are passionately and singularly pre-occupied. Whereas in Cambridge, professors and students focus on the scholarly pursuit of knowledge for its own sake, in Monsey, rabbis and talmids focus on the scholarly pursuit of Torah or knowledge of God for its own sake. In Princeton, status accrues to the individual with the oldest car and the longest list of publications. Monsey may lack Princeton’s neo-European architecture and Old World “enlightenment” orthodoxies (obviously, no one here believes that Jewish history is a myth), but the car-brand of choice is Used, the average Joe has written at least one sefer, and our great ones or Gadols live in small wooden cottages. Princeton’s most renown denizen, Albert Einstein, would minimize the intellectual capital wasted on the trivialities of dressing in the morning by keeping a dozen identical suits and pairs of shoes in his closet. Dressed primarily in black and white, Monsey denizens are similarly single-minded. Indeed, no one is certain if our Rosh Yeshiva sleeps.

Yeshivas Kol Ya’akov or the Voice of Jacob College sits mid-way up the gentle slope rising westward from the center of town. A veritable Monsey institution, it has been in existence for some twenty-five years. For Jews who wish to return to a normative Jewish life (my wife and I are midtown Manhattan émigrés) it is Ellis Island and Harvard all wrapped up in one. The fact that this single institution can simultaneously function as an entry point into the normative Jewish community and an educational platform through which a returnee can achieve the level of scholarship required to be mainstreamed into Orthodoxy’s most esteemed learning institutions says a great deal about the resilience of the Pintilla Yid or Jewish soul. For what took numerous generations to contort into a faux-European appears to be mostly rectifiable through a few years of dedicated study.

Kol Ya’akov’s alumni, which today number in the thousands and occupy positions of leadership around the world, are wont to reminisce about the yeshiva’s early years when a smaller structure than the one used today was bursting at the seams and the Rosh Yeshiva was finally forced to turn applicants away. “I’m willing to sleep under the Rosh Yeshiva’s desk”, one boy pleaded, only to learn that the spot was already occupied. While the demand for admission to Kol Ya’akov remains high, and expanding the physical plant tops the Yeshiva’s priority list, today’s new students can generally count on a sleeping in a bed.

Named after HaRav Ya’akov Kamenetsky, zt”l the co-leader of American Orthodoxy (with HaRav Moshe Feinstein, zt”l) for the better part of the 20th century, the Yeshiva was founded and is run to this day by Rosh Yeshiva Leib Tropper. He is a follower of and close advisor to HaRav Feinstein’s illustrious son, HaRav Reuven Feinstein, shlita. Notwithstanding the awe-inspiring names and titles, anyone trying to conjure an image of our Rosh Yeshiva would be ill-advised to turn to Hollywood stereotypes. Forget the even-keeled Spencer Tracy of Boy’s Town. Ditch the placid Dalai Lama. This religious leader won’t be found in central casting. The Rosh Yeshiva’s roots are firmly planted in the Yiddishkeit of Manhattan’s Lower East Side, and like the cheders, shteibels and Talmud tractates on which he was weaned, he is nothing if not complex. He will be the first to tell you that he is “driven” and that he needs to be “better organized”, and his closest associates like Executive Director, Rabbi Moshe Raice will wearily nod in agreement while making the point that the Rosh Yeshiva is a Torah genius and kiruv miracle worker. Indeed the rabbayim who keep the yeshiva running like a swiss watch, who field the Rosh Yeshiva’s anxious, late night phone calls, and who have helped him perfect Kol Ya’akov’s trademark system of personalized Torah pedagogy, seem to have been selected as much for their forbearance as for their Torah knowledge. Be that as it may, anyone compiling a list of America’s Most Influential Leaders had better take a good look at this real life Pied Piper. The Rosh Yeshiva’s administrative foibles only underscore the immensity of his talent, the current class of Kol Ya’akov students may be the greatest he has educated to date, and his powerful message is coming at a moment in history when European culture is in retreat and millions of Americans – not just Jews - are returning to their biblical moorings.

When orienting new students to the yeshiva environment, the Rosh Yeshiva often recalls the day that he asked HaRav Kamenetsky about the advisability of establishing a “baal tshuvah yeshiva” - a completely new kind of yeshiva specially designed for young men returning to normative Jewish life. The Gadol replied that he didn’t advise going forward with that project, however the idea of creating a traditional Orthodox yeshiva that happened to cater to returnees was certainly a sound one. Today, Kol Ya’akov’s graduates occupy positions of Torah and business leadership around the world. Its alumni include the founder and chairman of IDT Corporation, Howard Jonas, and such rabbis, communal leaders and authors as James Lavin, Mathew Gensler, Michael Kellmar Dr. Mordechai Stempler, Dr. Tuvia Meister and Rabbi Yaakov Borros.

Today, morning prayers were extended as they are each time a new month begins. This time, however, the surge of kidusha or holiness that is supposed to saturate each Rosh Chodesh is clearly detectable. I am at my regular seat at the end of one of the long, narrow, dull-brown folding tables that fill Kol Ya’akov’s Bes Midrash or study hall. While I wait for Rabbi Wolpin to arrive, I employ the technique that Adam showed me for annotating my gemorah with the minimal number of vowel markings needed to recognize the proper pronunciation for each Aramaic word. The rabbi’s standards are as high as any Ivy League professor and I am hoping that my elucidation will pass muster. Around me, the din of scholarly discussion that is unique to a yeshiva environment is steadily increasing as pairs of chavrusas or study partners begin to pore over the fine points of the divinely-revealed laws that regulate our community.

a late night charvusa with Rav Tropper said...

http://www.shonasporch.com/brownjewsforum/viewtopic.php?t=28

Tzevaoni
Newbie Joined: 09 Aug 2006:

CONVERGENCE ON CONVERSION
by Avraham Zuroff

In an era which has seen a proliferation of conversions to Judaism, and where unmarried Jews who didn't grow up in the same community are meeting each other later in life, it is often difficult for to know if the person one is considering for marriage has undergo; a halachic conversion.

That determination is often difficult for rabbanim to make well, and that is one of the reasons why it is so vital for batei din to devise and administer uniform worldwide conversion standards, says Rabbi Leib Tropper, rosh yeshivas Kol Yaakov in Monsey. Rabbi Tropper was one of the organizers of the Jerusalem conference, the third of its kind in the past year; the other two having been held in Hollywood, Florida and Newark, New Jersey. Before the Jerusalem conference, a contingent of the American rabbanim met with Rav Michel Yehudah Lefkowitz and Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel, who expressed their support for the \1ture. Conference participants included rabbanim representing Rav Shmuel Halevi Wosner's beis din, Rav Nissim Karelitz's beis din, the Belz beis din, and Israel's Chief Rabbinate.

"We must create awareness as to exactly what's required for a kosher conversion," says Rabbi Tropper. "It's not as simple as one would think."

The purpose of the conference, he added, was to implement universal guidelines to ensure that cases of sincere converts are processed correctly, while at the same time, not accepting everyone who expresses a desire to convert. 'The mere fact that the rabbanim will be aware of the problem is an accomplishment. I have found that some rabbanim can be too lenient and unaware of the implications, while others sometimes place obstacles in front of a convert, and may not be aware of
All of the issues involved.”

Rav Reuven Feinstein, rosh yeshivas Staten Island, one of the main speakers at the conference, emphasized the heavy responsibility that is placed on the shoulders of rabbanim to distinguish between halachic conversions and non-kosher conversions. ''There's a lot of work to do. There's no saying “It's not my job.” Rav Feinstein explained that a genuine convert is compared to a newborn child, free of sin. At the same time, he warned that one of the most common problems in today's times is that non-Jews are often misidentified as being Jewish due to their father's Jewish-sounding name. Another issue in modem society is that many non- Jews are being attracted to mysticism and Bible study groups, and sometimes such participants express a great interest in Torah study, even though it does not stem from a sincere desire to become Jewish. Rav Feinstein mentioned that in Israel there is an additional problem, as many new immigrants go through insincere conversions in order to receive citizenship and government assistance, and obtain jobs. Under Ariel Sharon's tenure as prime minister, the government set a goal of attracting one million new immigrants within ten years in the hopes of solving its demographic problem versus the Arabs and its manpower problem in the army.

The government set up a conversion bureau within the prime minister's office to try to cut bureaucratic red tape and make life easier for potential converts, sincere, or not. Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv has called for this bureau to be dismantled, saying that there is no need for an institution in Israel whose sole purpose is to encourage non-Jews to convert to Judaism.

UNITY: A CROWN JEWEL Equal in importance to discouraging insincere converts is the requirement to embrace sincere ones. Rav Feinstein told the participants that sometimes, a great travesty is committed when one beis din rejects the conversion of another beis din. He cited the incident recorded in the Talmud where Shammai would reject converts, while Hillel accepted them. "However, once Hillel actually accepted the converts, then Shmmai would also accept them." The Rosh Yeshivah mentioned that if the various rabbinical courts were to agree on one standard, the conversion problem might be less acute.

Conversely, Rav Feinstein also mentioned the need for those born Jewish to treat authentic converts properly. The Rosh Yeshivah mentioned that the Talmud warns that those who mistreat widows and orphans will themselves experience their pain, chas v'shalom. This certainly applies to converts, who are equally as sensitive. Thus it is vitally important to distinguish between the true converts, while at the same time, rejecting the others.

Toward this end, Rabbi Tropper and Rav Feinstein launched a program eighteen months ago call1 the Eternal Jewish Family, which Rabbi. Topper says focuses mainly on intercepting couples who are about to intermarry, often unwittingly, and directing them to out reach programs and a beis din in their area. So far, at least seven branches have been set up in various American cities, including Salt Lake City, Utah. In the next few months, some ten batei din will be operating in North America along the same uniform standards.

The Eternal Jewish Family is a division of Horizons, the Lillian Jean Kaplan Jewish Pride through Education Project, chaired by Mr. Thomas Kaplan. It was during a late night charvusa with Rav Tropper, that Mr. Kaplan invited the Rav to help create a program dealing with inter-married couples, to ensure that the non-Jewish spouse would be encouraged to undergo a halachic conversion.

Subsequently, Mr. Kaplan contacted rabbanim in Israel and chutz l 'Aretz, including Rehovot Chief Rabbi Simchah HaKohen Kook, Rav Shmuel Eliezer Stem, Rav Tropper, and Rav' Feinstein. The success of his efforts cou1d be measured at the Jerusalem conference by viewing the various rabbanim and dayanim, and their wide variety of fedoras, homburgs, and knitted kippahs, testifying to the fact that they came from all streams of Torah Judaism.

"This conference is our crown-jewel," said Mr. Kaplan. "It has broken traditional boundaries, as it has united us-that's the good news. The bad news is that we wouldn't have to be here unless there was a problem."

Mr. Kaplan explained that the Jews are the only ethnic group which is diminishing in its numbers in the U.S. Since 1970, more than fifty percent of American Jews intermarry. Mr. Kaplan ascribes the increase in intermarriage to the breakdown of social barriers between Jew and non-Jew. ''In the past, in-laws didn’t accept the non-Jewish spouses of their children. Now it is well accepted and even embraced. Jews are literally being loved to death! In the 1940s, we were being eradicated because of our Jewishness; today our generation is being eradicated because of apathy, at least in the Diaspora."

Israel's Chief Sephardi Rabbi Rav Shlomo Amar underscored this issue, saying: "It's possible that in previous generations, we didn't need to emphasize these issues; however, in our generation, we need chizuk," Rav Amar said, mentioning that the plague of intermarriage has even appeared in Eretz Yisrael. "In Israel, 120 boys and girls convert to Islam each year -it's heartbreaking. That's the official number; according to Lev L' Achim and Yad L' Achim activists, the number is much greater!"

Rav Yonah Metzger, Israel's Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi, presented an even starker figure: "The number of casualties since the Holocaust resulting from children being raised in mixed marriages is many times greater than during the actual generation of the Holocaust." Rav Metzger also mentioned the growing controversy over the IDF's conversion program. “The conversions are done in a manner that isn't proper," stated Rav Metzger, who also listed a few ideas to resolve the overall conversion problem.

"Unless there is a recommendation from an Orthodox rabbi, who knows the convert for a period of time and can affirm that the candidate is truly genuine, no file in the rabbinic court should be opened."

CONVERSION continued on page 21

He further stipulated that no conversion candidate should be converted in Israel, unless he or has been supervised by an observant family for at least one year and they can testify that the candidate is putting halachah into practice, and not just in theory. In addition, Rav Metzger says it is incumbent upon rabbinical courts to arrive at a system that will prevent the phenomenon of conversion applicants appearing at multiple courts. In this light, Rav Metzger ordered Israeli dayanim to reject applicants outright if they have already applied in another conversion court, unless the previous, court gave its permission. Rav Metzger 'also recommends that the Israeli rabbinical courts write a protocol of each applicant, documenting the convert's progress.

Sometimes potential converts can be deceitful in more devious ways. Rav Moshe Kishon, rav in Azerbaijan, spoke with Mishpacha the conference about the proliferation of organizations that specialize in document forgery. Some false converts have been willing to pay the hefty fee the forgers command to procure papers saying they are Jewish, enabling them to receive benefits from the Israeli government. They do so because residents of the former Soviet Union view Israel as a land of economic opportunity and one in which they can feel comfortable because so many of their former countrymen have settled there. All they need to do is to "prove" they are Jewish and the Israeli government will grant them citizenship.

"Whoever has information to indicate that a potential convert or immigrant isn't Jewish is requested to send the information to us by e-mail, and we will verify the information passed to us," said Rav Kishon, who maintains a book of genealogical records tracing the yichus of Caucasus Jewry. Rav Kishon explains that prior to the fall of Communism, it was nearly impossible to forge documents in the Soviet Union; however, today the situation has changed.

In Eretz Yisrael, where marriages are regulated through the religious courts, a couple's exposure to marriage is through the bureaucratic channels of the Israeli Rabbinate, where the controls are stricter. Nevertheless, says Rabbi Tropper, "We want to emphasize that more important than a couple's obtaining an obligatory marriage license, is that the couple is made aware of the values of a Jewish home. In Eretz Yisrael, our job is more important to Hashem than the governmental process."

Mishpacha’s news editor, Binyamin Rose, and Shlomo Tzur contributed reporting to this article.
8 Av 5766 8.2.06

MissShona
Site Admin:

Statement by the Rabbinical Council of America regarding its
Agreement with the Chief Rabbinate of Israel on the Subject of
Rabbanut Recognition in Israel of RCA Conversions

June 8th 2006
12 Sivan 5766

The Rabbinical Council of America and the Chief Rabbinate of Israel
this week arrived at a most auspicious agreement with regard to
matters of personal status of those coming from North America to the
State of Israel., including the current and future recognition of
conversions that have been or will be authorized by the Rabbinical
Council of America and its affiliated Beth Din of America.

At the meeting, held in Jerusalem and attended by official
representatives of both groups, a number of reciprocal
understandings and agreements were reached, that taken together
reaffirm the historical partnership between these two leading rabbinic institutions.

Specifically: Establishment of a Joint Commission on Personal Status In continuation of their multifaceted existing partnership, they agreed to immediately establish a Joint Commission to examine, in light of the halachah, current standards and procedures in the realm of conversion and personal status, with a view to expanding the cooperation and partnership between the Chief Rabbinate and the Rabbinical Council of America in those areas, to achieve clarity and consistency wherever possible. The commission will complete its work and submit its recommendations to the respective organizations by
the 18th of Elul 5766, i.e. 11th September 2006.

So as to facilitate proper recognition of individual status in Israel by the Chief Rabbinate, it was agreed that the Joint
Commission will, inter alia, prepare lists of approved Batei Din and rabbis in North America dealing with personal status matters. From time to time, however, the composition of the lists will be appropriately reviewed, in light of new realities and circumstances.
In the future, any rabbi who wants to be involved in personal status
matters that he wishes to have recognized in Israel, will need to
comply with the standards thus agreed to by the Chief Rabbinate and the Rabbinical Council of America.

In the interim, and until the recommendations of the Joint
Commission will have been accepted, if there will arise specific questions regarding particular conversions, the Chief Rabbinate will investigate them together with representatives of the Rabbinical Council of America. Only after such an investigation, will the Chief Rabbinate formulate its decision in those cases.

The Status of Past and Shortly Upcoming Authorized Conversions
It was also agreed that all conversions, authorized from the
Rabbinical Council of America in the past, and as such, previously
accepted by the Chief Rabbinate, will continue to be recognized by
the Chief Rabbinate.

Until the recommendations of the Joint Commission will be accepted
and put in place, all conversions currently under way or shortly
upcoming, that will have been authorized by the Rabbinical Council of America will be similarly recognized by the Chief Rabbinate.

Finally, and more generally, the Chief Rabbinate and the Rabbinical
Council of America agreed to develop a variety of improved
modalities of cooperation and communication between them, in the
interests of the betterment of Jewish life in the State of Israel
and Jewish communities throughout North America.

MissShona
Site Admin:

I agree that it is generally good to have standards. Especially given the variance in the Orthodox community today. Take South Africa for example, where a good portion of attendees to the "Orthodox" congregation are not even shomer shabbos.

However the snag pops up in seeing each ger in his or her own unique situation; outside of whatever community or Beis Din converted them. True, if a particular Beis Din has a history of "turning out" off-the-derech converts - they should be looked upon with question. However the situation for gerim currently can be a disaster if they decided to relocate. There have been cases where the ger has moved into a community where their status is questioned; and if it's a woman, then also the status of her children. Again, the have to be "spiritually uprooted" and do a giyur l'chumra.

Again, I agree there must be standards; but there must also be some sensitivity and discretion. Israel expecially is in a tough position right now because of all the non-halachaic Jews who made aliyah under the Law of Return. On one hand, I support that the Chief Rabbinate is trying to maintain the kedusha of Klal Yisrael; on the other, I'm a little miffed at the idea that extra stringencies must be applied mainly on the basis that a ger lives in chutz l'aretz.

Tzevaoni
Newbie:

feel the same, but I guess a way to look at it is that this is how halachos have always been applied to Eretz Yisroel vs. Chutz L'aretz, i.e. two day yomei tovim. Thinking about it like this, it seen to be a consistent approach (IMO).

What worries me more is how it might be applied in practice given certain attitudes of a certain type of individual. In your reply above you stated your support of Chief Rabbinate doing this to maintain Kedushas Klal Yisroel. Unfortunately, I've already read a couple of articles on this plan that say these steps are being taken to protect "the Jewish bloodline" . That kind of language use, always makes me a bit nervous.

MissShona
Site Admin:

Curiously enough, I don't see a problem with the "Jewish bloodline" statement. Unless it is clearly directed towards "darker" Jews. Currently, Eretz Yisrael has an issue with Russian and some other Europeans who made aliyah under the Law of Return, while they are not halachiac Jews. These individuals can also "taint" the Jewish bloodline; although I think a more correct way of putting it would be that they "taint the kedushah" of the nation of Yisrael.

It is unequivoicably true that "Jewish" is not a race. But there is something in the genes - not a physical trait, but a spiritual trait - that Chazal teach us is unique to Klal Yisrael. "Jewish bloodline" could be used to describe this phenomena; although I totally agree it is pretty tactless and could be worded much better.

Hannah Montana said...

This is very naive of you Tropper is not interested in Keiruv, he is interested in power, and you live in the holy penguin colony and you know how much Tropper hates MO, you realize that the reason he invite them aboard (ie Hershel Schecter.) is to help solidifies his position and then disregard them as used napkins.

Do you know he nullified conversion of a girl who was caught wearing pants and another girl who refused to drop out of school and to go BT machom and harassed a talmid who decided to go YU ?

Anonymous said...

Yelamdenu rabeinu UOJ ,

How we are going to stop Tropper as he still continues to get his checks from Tom Kaplan used to meshached rabbonim

Yehu said...

Anonymous 9:55 PM, November 19, 2007

You're practically right, but also missing the point.

Rosenberg hates anything that smells Jewish, especially haredi. HE was not exposing EJF but bringing up personal shmutz on Tropper. Au contraire, he wanted to hush EJF, as EJF's admitted goal was to fix a wide breach in the conversion. Only thing is Tropper was too arrogant and wanted all the business for himself, and EJF started chasing intermarried couples and play around with halocha - practically doing the same thing they accused others of.

Rosenberg is interested in harming the Jewish people by continuing these shoddy conversions, which inevitably will lead to disaster, schism, the dilution of the Jewish people and more hatred. Now that EJF has been exposed, the rogue ultra-liberal Orthodox rabbis will be scrutinized as well - for Rosenberg this is a major tragedy.

PS -
see in the comment section of that post some animal claims he exposed an anonymous blogger, Vos Is Neias. Watch for megablood in Satmar.

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

Anon 10:40,

It's a process, Tropper is going down!

The Monsey Tzaddik said...

I know this BT Adam from Sweden, he is a basket case, very very unstable and sick and it is crime that tropper keeps him from receiving mental care. he also has a miracle on him, his peos are growing horizontal

Yehu said...

UOJ,

it's waaaaaaaaaaaaay too early to jubilate. You don't know Tropper. He's very, VERY smart guy, charismatic sweet-talker and knows how to bamboozle people like no other. If you'd meet him in person he'd convince you that Monstrowitz is innocent and you molested kids.

J.I.
He's been working behind the scenes a long time to put up EJF, a lot of blood sweat and money went into it, he has a serious arsenal of powerful rabbis & rich people behind him. Silent water run deep. Save the champagne for now.

And as I said before - the main zach is not to put him down personally but to protect Clal Yisroel. There are child molesters and there are giyur molesters. The crime has to be stopped, first and foremost. You want personal vendettas do it after it's over. And also as I said b/f corrupt batei din and ultra-liberal rabbis are jsuat as big a problem as Tropper. At least EJF can be scrutinized cosa it's big and has enemies. Smaller batei din can be elusive like fish as no one really looks at them.

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

Having to bring down fellow Jews is a tragedy, not a simcha!

The rishaim must be stopped, wherever they happen to hide!

Nobody should think for one second that any of this brings me any joy, just the opposite. If we had an honest rabbinate, I would not have to do any of this!

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

Yehu...keep consolidating your legitimate info here, it's being carefully monitored and investigated.

Anonymous said...

Could we find someone to pitch the story to the WSJ, NYT, Lou Dobbs or Larry Kudlow ? . They would like a story of Wall Street capital (Tom Kaplan) being used to dominate and control religion (EJF)

Also Goldman-Sachs, Merrill-Lynch and JPMorgan Chase are partners with Leor Energy, may they should know about it.

“Truth and Lies: A Torah Perspective.” by Rabbi Tropper said...

http://www.horizons.edu/hakol/pesach2005.htm

...Rabbi Tropper spent Shabbos Parshas Yisro with the Palo Alto community, south of San Francisco, where the Rosh Yeshiva delivered a shiur on the topic of “Truth and Lies: A Torah Perspective.” A Melava Malka at the home of past and future Kol Yaakov talmid Vadim Dukhovny in San Francisco closed out the trip with a talk on, "Does the Torah Want Our Happiness?"

Harnessing the eclectic geographic origins of the talmidim, Horizons made a 2- day outreach junket to Austin, Texas. On this trip, arranged by current KYTC talmid Yonason Mann and alumnus and fellow Texan Binyomin Shlyapobersky, Rabbi Tropper spoke at the University of Texas, at Austin, which boasts a surprisingly large Jewish population on the topic, “The Search for God: Is it Emotional or Intellectual?” While this talk was for the general Jewish population on campus, a second shiur was delivered to a more select group on, “Achieving Your Spiritual Aspirations.” The last evening in Texas, Rabbi Tropper spent at the local JCC, home to a newly formed kehilla. The lecture, “Feel Good or Being Good Judaism,” gave the audience a Torah perspective that is rarely presented in Austin.

The tail- end of February saw Horizons’ annual trip to England. On this occasion, Rabbi Tropper spoke at Warwick University in Coventry. The Jewish Society there took a break from the usual political and social fare to hear words of Torah inspiration. In London, at the City Center Hillel House, Rabbi Tropper delivered a talk entitled, “Eat, Drink and Be Happy!” – The Place of Happiness, Joy and Pleasure in Judaism,” in preparation for Purim. This lecture was arranged by an English alumnus of Kol Yaakov’s summer program.

Horizons is moving forward with the Eternal Jewish Family and is ready to take this program to the next level (this program was launched to streamline the conversion process for the non-Jewish spouse of an intermarriage). While we increase the number of couples involved in the program, Horizons is organizing a conference to be held in June in the New York area which will bring rabbanim together from around the country and beyond. The conference will focus on ways to coordinate and organize batei dinim with the purpose of facilitating a universally accepted conversion. A cornerstone of the conference will be the introduction of a Halachic manual being prepared by the Eternal Jewish Family program which will be a valuable tool for Rabbis dealing with issues of conversion as it relates to intermarriage. More information will be forthcoming as to the details of the conference.

Maimonides said it's better...to get the non-Jewish spouse to convert, said Tropper said...

http://www.jewishaz.com/issues/story.mv?070420+universal

Jewish News of Greater Phoenix Online

April 20, 2007/Iyar 2 5767, Volume 59, No. 31

Universal acceptance
Group addresses conversion for interfaith couples
SALVATORE CAPUTO
Senior Staff Writer



Eternal Jewish Family, an organization that helps non-Jewish partners or spouses undergo what it describes as a universally accepted conversion to Judaism, plans to hold a seminar on the subject for interfaith couples next month in the Valley.

The seminar will take place May 13-15 at the Arizona Biltmore.

With intermarriage rates skyrocketing, a traditional resistance to converting intermarried spouses is counterproductive, said Rabbi Leib Tropper, who heads Eternal Jewish Family.

"It would be devastating if we ignored them," Tropper said, adding that Maimonides' teachings on the subject almost prophetically address modern issues of intermarriage and conversion.

"According to Jewish law before Maimonides, there was a suggestion in the Talmud not to make conversions for the sake of marriage," Tropper said, "but Maimonides said it's better, without compromising the standards of conversion, to try to get the non-Jewish spouse to convert."

But isn't converting for the sake of marriage considered a bad reason to convert?

"It's not a problem that somebody undertakes study for conversion because they want to get married," said Rabbi David Rebibo, president of the Orthodox Rabbinical Council of Greater Phoenix. However, he added, it's hoped that through study, the non-Jewish partner will learn that the decision is about the religion they are embracing.

"If the conversion is purely 'because I'm married' but there's no commitment to the religion, it's less of a valid reason," he added.

Reform Rabbi Andrew Straus of Temple Emanuel of Tempe agreed, saying, "Reform Judaism says, 'No. We don't want people converting for the sake of marriage, but if Judaism speaks to their hearts, their souls and their brains, our doors are wide open.'"

All of which begs the question of why Eternal Jewish Family is needed.

Rebibo said that the conversion process in America was in a "free fall."

"Reform does what they want, Conservative does what they do, and the result is that all of a sudden we have a serious crisis. Questions arise about how good the conversion is. 'Is this person Jewish?' It's not pleasant and there are no easy answers."

Straus said his Conservative colleagues will accept conversions over which he presided, "but no Orthodox rabbi will," even if his converts meet all the halachic requirements for conversion. These include brit milah (circumcision) or tippat dam (ritual circumcision, for those who have already been medically circumcised) for males, an appearance before a beit din and immersion in a mikvah, he said.

Straus, president of the Board of Rabbis of Greater Phoenix, said he had not heard of Eternal Jewish Family before but added that the emergence of the group marks what he called a "crack in the door" among Orthodox religious officials.

Tropper said the Eternal Jewish Family conversions are Orthodox and halachic, according to Jewish law, and the organization works to ensure that if there are any questions about the conversion they are ironed out.

"It began with a session with the philanthropist Thomas Kap-lan," Tropper said. "We talked about the assimilation issue and some of the problems," including conversions of a spouse being rejected out of hand and some spouses having to undergo conversion two or three times. (The Lillian Jean Kaplan Jewish Pride Through Education Project, named after the philanthropist's mother, sponsors Eternal Jewish Family).

So in September 2005, a rabbinic conference was held in Newark, N.J., where it was decided that the first step to address the problem was to write a manual based on what's acceptable to all rabbis, Tropper said. There have been four rabbinic conferences since then to create awareness of the issues and the standards in the manual in a bid to create consensus, he said.

There are still shades of interpretation, he said. "You'll never get 100 percent consensus, but the shades are all of the same color, not shades of purple, green and yellow."

The problems facing people who find their conversions challenged range from whether they can send their children to a Jewish school, to Jews not wanting to marry their children, to whether they can be called to the bimah in synagogue and more, Tropper said, adding, "It can be complicated."

When a spouse's conversion is not accepted, Rebibo said, "it's destabilizing the marriage and seriously impacting their relationships."

Eternal Jewish Family has "performed a really considerable service to the community at large, to highlight this problem and give it the urgency that it deserves," Rebibo added.

Tropper said that part of the problem was that individual rabbinic courts often would not provide the feedback a person would need to correctly fulfill requirements or would give only a fuzzy picture of the requirements.

"We give people a path to learn to become observant and to do it properly," Tropper said. "We're streamlining the process."

He said the group has involved 11 rabbinic courts (batei din) across the country and in Israel and hopes to have one in Europe soon.

Eternal Jewish Family is based in Tallman, N.Y., and operates under the guidance and halachic rulings of Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashev of Jerusalem, a contemporary leading authority on halacha, and Rabbis Dovid Feinstein and Reuven Feinstein, sons of the late Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, a pre-eminent halachic authority.

Although there are no insignificant commandments, Tropper said, the key pillars of conversion are keeping Shabbat, observing kashrut and keeping the laws of family purity.

The Valley was chosen as the site for the May seminar because "we have so many people come from Phoenix to have their conversions done." In addition, Eternal Jewish Family plans to open a local office in the next six months, Tropper said.

Ken and Lucia Schnitzer of Phoenix, one of eight Valley families who have been helped by Eternal Jewish Family, praise the program.

So much so that Lucia will speak on "Becoming Part of a Jewish Community - Firsthand Experience" at the seminar, and Ken sits on the national board of Eternal Jewish Family. They both represent the group in Phoenix and work with intermarried couples seeking conversion here.

"If we ever make aliyah, there isn't going to be any question of my Jewishness," said Lucia. "If my daughter wants to marry a kohen, there isn't going to be any question."

Details

Who: Eternal Jewish Family

What: Universally Accepted Conversion in Interfaith Marriage seminar

When: May 13-15

Where: Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa, 2400 E. Missouri Ave., Phoenix

Cost: Travel and hotel costs are being defrayed through a grant by the Lillian Jean Kaplan Jewish Pride Through Education Project.

Contact: (845) 425-3863, info@horizons.edu or eternaljewishfamily.org

Susan Blond helps the rabbis sell conversions... said...

http://www.lubicom.com/news/press_releases/

Eternal Jewish Family Holds Second Conference for Intermarried Jews Looking to Rejoin the Jewish Family
For Immediate Release
For More Information, Please Contact:
Amir Lehrer, LUBICOM Marketing Consulting
718.854.4450 ext.102

Phoenix, Arizona - Over 30 intermarried couples who are interested in becoming fully observant Jews by going through universally accepted conversions, participated in a 2-day seminar on the process of conversion. The second in a series of seminars throughout the world, the event was sponsored by the Eternal Jewish Family on May 13-15, 2007 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa in Phoenix, Arizona.

The main focus of these seminars is to help intermarried couples who would like to pursue a halachic lifestyle by going through a universally accepted conversion. Rabbi Leib Tropper, dean of Yeshiva Kol Yaakov/Horizons and founder of the Eternal Jewish Family said: “For too long the assumption was that the Jewish spouse in intermarriage was lost to the Jewish nation forever, but increasingly many are making choices to return to Jewish life and not just Jewish life, but to a fully observant lifestyle in accordance with halacha.”

Pauline Edwards of New York, NY who attended the first seminar in Oxnard California in June 2006 was so inspired that she and her husband worked with the Eternal Jewish Family towards her conversion and had a halachic wedding to her Jewish husband at the Phoenix conference. The couple stood under the chupa in the hot Phoenix sun as Rabbi Tropper officiated. Pauline, who is now an observant Jew said after the Oxnard conference: “The seminar exceeded all of my expectations. I am beyond inspired!”

Seminar participants participated in lectures from such world renowned lecturers and authors as Rabbi Mordechai Neugroschel, Rabbi Doron Kornbluth, Rabbi Meyer Schiller and Rabbi Yonasan Rosenblum as well as Susan Blond, the CEO of Susan Blond Inc.

For many of the participants, the EJF sponsored seminars help them clarify the choices that they face. Several of the speakers emphasized that proceeding with a universally accepted conversion means nothing less than living as a fully observant Jew. Some of the couples are already visibly living that lifestyle.

EJF is planning a series of seminars for intermarried couples in the early stages of contemplating a universally accepted conversion. The next seminar will be held on August 19-21, 2007 in Montreal, Canada followed by 6-8 seminars across the United States in 2008. Most of the couples have already researched the requirements for such a conversion and most have been part of classes offered by some of the kiruv organizations. “The kiruv organizations,” exclaimed Rabbi Dovid Jacobs of EJF “are often the point of entry for the couples exploring the possibility of a universally accepted conversion.”

In addition to the seminars, EJF has already held major rabbinic conferences in Newark, Miami, Boston and Jerusalem with future conferences to be held in Washington, DC, Buenos Aires, Argentina and again in Jerusalem. The EJF follows the guidance of such luminaries as Rabbi Yosef Shalom Eliyashiv, the noted Torah authority in Israel and the late Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, as interpreted by his son Rabbi Reuvein Feinstein, who is the head of EJF’s halachic committee.

For information, please contact: Amir Lehrer at 718.854.4450 ext.102 or e-mail at amir@lubicom.com.

The "Shiksa" praises... said...

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4188/is_20060923/ai_n16749407

Jews begin pushing for conversions
Deseret News (Salt Lake City), Sep 23, 2006 by Rachel Zoll Associated Press
NEW YORK -- Christine Benvenuto embodies a Jewish ideal.

Her kitchen is kosher, she attends synagogue and has read rabbinic writings and the Torah.

But for many American Jewish leaders, she has an even more compelling quality. The mother of three, whose husband was born Jewish, is a convert.

"A lot of things attracted me to Judaism," said Benvenuto, whose book "Shiksa" chronicles her path to conversion and the choices of other non-Jewish spouses. "I grew up in a Jewish neighborhood in New York, and my friends were always Jewish."

As intermarriage continues at a high rate, many community leaders believe the survival of Judaism lies with people like Benvenuto. Over the past year, top rabbis have urged Jews to overcome their fear of offending non-Jewish spouses and suggest outright that they convert.

Rabbi Eric Yoffie, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, and Rabbi Jerome Epstein, executive vice president of the United Synagogue for Conservative Judaism, each called for a more assertive approach at national religious meetings of their movements in the past year. Together, their organizations represent about 75 percent of North American synagogue members.

The American Jewish Committee, a leading advocacy group based in New York, released the first major study in nearly two decades of why people decide to become Jewish. Among the central findings is that advocating for conversion works.

Even some Orthodox, who have traditionally discouraged conversion, have joined in.

Rabbi Leib Tropper, who runs a school in Monsey, N.Y., for Jews who lack basic religious education, started Eternal Jewish Family a year ago to train rabbinic courts on proper conversion for non- Jewish spouses. Tropper says hundreds of rabbis have attended the training sessions.

"One has to look at how Orthodox leaders are acting rather than what they're saying," said Steven Bayme, an expert on contemporary Jewish life for the American Jewish Committee. "On the ground, the attitudes toward conversion have been more open, although they vary from community to community."

Jewish leaders have tried before, unsuccessfully, to promote the idea.

In a 1978 speech that was considered a transformation in Jewish thinking, Rabbi Alexander Schindler, the then-leader of the Reform movement, said conversion of non-Jewish spouses should be the community's goal. The American Jewish Committee optimistically estimated the new emphasis would bring one of every three non- Jewish spouses to Judaism.

Instead, the conversion rate plummeted as acceptance of interfaith marriage grew. Jewish parents, rabbis and synagogue members stopped suggesting it for fear of appearing insensitive. Now, with around one-third of Jews in mixed marriages, less than 20 percent of interfaith unions are leading to conversion.

Resistance remains strong to this day.

Many Jewish professionals who work with intermarried couples say that suggesting conversion will insult the non-Jewish spouses and drive them away. The community should be focused on making the family feel welcome first, outreach workers say.

"You need to change the culture of synagogues to get this going. You need to develop a game plan where one can even ask those questions," about conversion, said Rabbi Charles Simon, executive director of the Federation of Jewish Men's Clubs, which trains lay people and conservative rabbis to work with couples in mixed marriages. "Now, the most common phrase you hear when you walk into a synagogue is, 'You're sitting in my seat.'"

Another obstacle is Jewish distaste for anything that resembles proselytizing, since Jews have so often been the target of those campaigns.

"That, in turn, has made it more complicated for Jews to turn around and say, 'It's really OK for us to proselytize others,"' said Jack Wertheimer, professor of American Jewish history at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. "So, what Jews have preached is, 'Don't proselytize ours, and we won't proselytize yours.'"

That silence has created the false impression that Judaism does not accept converts -- a misperception rooted partly in rabbinic teaching. The rabbis said that converting was so serious, that only those prepared to fully observe the complex body of Jewish law and ritual should be allowed to do so. This is the basis for the tradition of rejecting a potential convert three times as a test of his or her readiness, Wertheimer said.

Kathy Kahn, director of outreach at the Union for Reform Judaism, has compiled 21 pages of pro-conversion quotes from rabbis and Jewish thinkers to counter the thinking that "the only way to be Jewish is to be born Jewish," she said.

Benvenuto, raised Roman Catholic, did not convert until about a decade into her marriage. She started seriously considering becoming Jewish after a dinner with Jewish acquaintances, where she discussed her interest in the faith. For the first time, someone suggested she talk to a rabbi about converting. A rabbi she later studied with also inspired her.

The same unpressured approach can work with other non-Jewish spouses, Benvenuto said.

"There are ways to suggest that you're good enough," she said, "to say, 'You're so good, we want you to join us.'"

Anonymous said...

http://www.lubicom.com/news/press_releases/eternal_jewish_family_participates_in_new_mentoring_project_for_the_ruth_in/

Eternal Jewish Family Participates In New Mentoring Project for Ruth Institute Conversion Program
December 19, 2006
For Immediate Release
For More Information, Please Contact:
Sarah Cohen — LUBICOM Marketing Consulting
718. 854. 4450 x 111

Montreal, QC...The Eternal Jewish Family, a US-based organization dedicated to pursuing universally accepted conversions amongst intermarried couples is expanding its programs to Canada. EJF will sponsor the new Mentoring Program for the Ruth Institute Conversion Program of Montreal. The announcement was made by Rabbi Saul Emanuel, Executive Director of the Va’ad Hair of Montreal, at the annual Geirus Dinner of the Beis Din of Montreal, where graduates and candidates of the conversion program have the opportunity to interact with Rabbis, teachers and families that have helped them with their respective conversions.

The Eternal Jewish Family, through the Lillian Jean Kaplan Jewish Pride Through Education Project of Horizons, is an internationally recognized organization of Jewish education and outreach. It is particularly known for its efforts to promote universal conversion standards in intermarriages in accordance with the strictest interpretation of halacha. It has sponsored major rabbinic conferences in Newark, NJ, Hollywood, Florida, Jerusalem Israel, and Boston MA. Similar conferences are being planned for Washington, DC and Buenos Aires. The Eternal Jewish Family also sponsors three-day seminars for intermarried couples in the process of converting to Judaism and provides assistance to botei din involved in conversions that espouse the universal standards concept.

Rabbi Emanuel explained that the main objective of the program is to maintain the relationships that were formed between the graduates of the conversion program and their mentors, teachers and Rabbis that supported them throughout their conversions. “This new program will allow participants to continue the learning process with their instructors who guided them throughout the conversion process,” said Rabbi Emanuel.

Rabbi Leib Tropper, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Kol Yaacov/Horizons in Monsey, NY, a driving force behind EJF, was the guest speaker at the dinner. “EJF is constantly looking to expand its affiliates to include others that are dedicated to the conversion process that follow strict Halachic rule.” EJF follows the halachic rulings of the late Rabbi Moshe Feinstein zt"l, his son Harav Reuven Feinstein, Rosh Yeshiva of the Yeshiva of Staten Island and Harav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv in Israel. “I was very impressed with the turnout at the dinner of graduates and candidates of the conversion program as well as by their remarkable dedication to the conversion process that benefits them, their children and future generations,” added Rabbi Tropper. “EJF is honored to affiliate itself with the Beis Din of Montreal and hopes to continue this relationship that is a Kiddush Shem Shomayim (sanctification of the name of the Almighty), which benefits all of Klal Yisroel,” Rabbi Tropper concluded.

Founded in 1995, Horizons provides comprehensive programming aimed at people of all ages who may be searching for answers to life’s most difficult questions. The programs offered through Horizons provide meaningful and rich ways of responding to these issues based on Torah values and leading to fuller more active Jewish lives.

For more information regarding future conferences please contact 866-504-6749

Tropper says: ease some restrictions on conversions said...

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4188/is_20060422/ai_n16209884

Rabbis ease conversion rules
Deseret News (Salt Lake City), Apr 22, 2006 by Alexandra Alter Knight Ridder Newspapers
Abraham was a late-in-life convert. Moses married an Ethiopian gentile who some say later joined the Jewish faith. More than 3,500 years later, intermarriage and conversion remain hotly contested issues within Judaism.

Yet nearly 50 percent of married Jews today are wedded to someone of a different faith.

Faced with that reality, American Jewish leaders have delicately sidestepped a centuries-old prohibition against proselytizing and launched new efforts to convert non-Jewish spouses.

Leaders of the Reform and Conservative movements outlined initiatives to unmix mixed marriages at denominationwide conventions last year. Now even Orthodox rabbis, the staunchest opponents of interfaith marriage, are exploring ways to encourage conversions.

Recently, 130 Orthodox rabbis from five continents gathered at the Westin Diplomat Resort in Hollywood, Fla., to outline new approaches to interfaith marriages and conversion. The meeting -- sponsored by the New York group Eternal Jewish Family -- provoked groundbreaking discussions among Jewish legal scholars on how to simplify the long and involved Orthodox conversion process, participants said.

"When there's an intermarriage, the Torah considers it to be a serious violation of Jewish law," said Rabbi Leib Tropper, who heads Eternal Jewish Family's program to "streamline" conversion for members of interfaith couples. "We want to remedy a problem. At the same time, we don't want to compromise on standards."

Tropper and other Orthodox rabbis say they hope to ease some restrictions on conversions, including a mandatory waiting period of a year or more. According to Jewish law, a rabbi is supposed to turn away a potential convert three times before even considering the request. But some Orthodox rabbis are now softening their position.

Jewish leaders from more liberal sects say they've urged outreach to interfaith families for years.

Rabbi Terry Bookman of Temple Beth Am, a Reform synagogue in Pinecrest, Fla., says he has been encouraging conversions since he arrived at Beth Am 11 years ago -- a controversial stance in a religion that staunchly discourages evangelism.

"It wasn't always a very popular idea, but now the Reform movement is catching on," Bookman said. "The Jewish community needs to be more open about outreach to the unchurched."

The Orthodox community has been slow to embrace non-Jewish spouses. But Rabbi Chaim Shapiro, who heads Congregation Torah Ohr in Boca Raton, Fla., said Orthodox families have also grown more accepting when someone marries outside the faith.

"The attitude has been softened. At one time it was very harsh. You have cases where families went into mourning like it was the end of the world," Shapiro said. "I don't think it's quite as harsh anymore, maybe because we see so many intermarriages."

For Patty Shapiro, a Catholic who attends a Reform synagogue in southwest Miami, participating in her husband's faith doesn't mean she has to convert. While Shapiro says she would never consider changing her religion, she feels she has found a spiritual home in Bet Breira Congregation.

"I like the Jewish religion, but I'm not going to convert. That's who I am," said Shapiro, who, with her husband Seth Shapiro, has three sons. "I get out of going to synagogue what I get out of going to church."

Some say they worry conversion efforts will drive away two-faith couples like the Shapiros.

"I'm afraid they are trying to pander to the more conservative elements in the Jewish community who are still not welcoming of interfaith families," said Edmund Case, who founded Interfaith Family in 2002 to promote Jewish outreach in interfaith families. "The attitude ranges from ambivalent to profoundly negative."

Conservative and Orthodox rabbis still consider an interfaith marriage a violation of Jewish law and won't perform such marriages. Even many Reform rabbis will not conduct interfaith weddings.

"The organized Jewish community wants to see Jews marry other Jews. On the other hand, they also want to be inclusive," said Ira Sheskin, director of the Jewish Demography Project at the Center for Contemporary Judaic Studies at the University of Miami. "It's not an easy issue."

Tropper an expert on "dictatorship" says... said...

http://www.horizons.edu/hakol/summer2005.htm

...Recent trips include a springtime excursion to Los Angeles, where Rabbi Leib Tropper brought his unique and charismatic speaking style. Along with a talk to a capacity crowd at Cong. Toras HaShem in Valley Village, Rabbi Tropper (with several bochurim) spent Shabbos with the Pico-Robertson community as scholar-in-residence at Cong. Anshe Emes. Rabbi Tropper's theme was "Dictatorship of Moral Relativism." Rabbi Tropper and Horizons left Los Angeles with promises that they would make another visit to Southern California in the near future...

Trooper readies blacklist for Israel... said...

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull&cid=1150886040722

JPost.com » Jewish World » Jewish News » Article

Elyashiv: Shut down Conversions Authority
By MATTHEW WAGNER

Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, the most respected halachic authority within the haredi world, called this week for the immediate dismantling of the Conversion Authority, which is administered by the Prime Minister's Office.

Rabbi Moshe Klein, Deputy Director of the Prime Minister's Office's Conversion Authority, shakes hands with Rabbi Nachum Eisenstein.
Photo: Matthew Wagner
"There is no reason for a Conversion Authority or for institutions in Israel that have the sole purpose of encouraging non-Jews to convert," said Elyashiv.

The nonagenarian spiritual leader spoke on the eve of a three-day convention, The Conference of Rabbis for Improving Conversions and Preventing Intermarriage, organized by Eternal Jewish Family, a haredi organization based in America.

Video footage of Elyashiv encouraging stricter standards for conversions was screened at the conference, which was sponsored by Tom Kaplan, an oil and mining magnate.

Kaplan paid for dozens - perhaps more than a hundred - rabbis to stay at the capital's David Citadel Hotel. This reporter was also invited to stay at the hotel free of charge.

Elyashiv has said in the past that every conversion performed by the Conversion Authority cannot be accepted automatically and must be re-examined.

On Tuesday, the second day of the conference, Rabbi Moshe Klein, deputy director of the the Conversion Authority, was severely criticized by a group of rabbis, many of them employees of the Chief Rabbinate, including rabbinic judges.

The rabbis said conversions performed by the authority were invalid, since Klein and its rabbinic judges cooperated with the Reform and Conservative streams of Judaism.

The rabbis were referring to an arrangement reached in accordance with the recommendations of the Neeman Commission. Under the arrangement, never formally accepted by the Rabbinate, Joint Conversion Institutes were created that employed Conservative and Reform teachers alongside Orthodox ones to prepare prospective converts. Orthodox authorities maintained control over the final steps of the process - approval by a rabbinic court, immersion in a ritual bath and circumcision.

Klein said that all conversions were performed under the direct supervision of Chief Sephardi Rabbi Shlomo Amar.

Rabbis at the conference also claimed that the rabbinic judges who worked with the Conversion Authority were under pressure to meet quotas. There, they said, the judges could not be trusted to objectively evaluate the sincerity of prospective converts.

In an interview with The Jerusalem Post, Klein said he was not surprised by the attacks.

"I am familiar with Rabbi Elyashiv's opinions and I respect them, but the Conversion Authority will continue to work. My rabbi is [former chief Ashkenazi rabbi] Avraham Shapira. His shoulders are broad enough for me."

Klein denied that the Conversion Authority pressured judges to approve conversions. "We just try to make the system red tape-free and as user-friendly as possible," he said.

Rabbi Leib Tropper of Monsey, New York, founder of Eternal Jewish Family, said the attacks on Klein had come from rabbis who did not reflect his organization's message.

"All we want to do is improve the conversion process in Israel so that every convert will be recognized universally," said Tropper. He said his organization dealt solely with intermarried couples in which the non-Jewish partner wished to convert.

Tropper said Eternal Jewish Family did not want to dismantle the Conversion Authority. "EJF is interested in creating a parallel track of conversion that will be recognized all over," he said.

He said he planned to consult with conversions experts who would scrutinize all the rabbinic judges who perform conversions in Israel. EJF would only recognize those who met its standards, he said, and would blacklist the rest.

Converts in Intermarriages Move Families to Kosher, as told by Lubicom's Kosherfest... said...

http://www.kosherfest.com/news/archives/newsletter_2005/09_26_05.htm

Kosher Today Weekly News Archives 9/26/2005

Converts in Intermarriages Move Families to Kosher
(Newark, NJ) A growing number of non-Jewish spouses are converting to Judaism and choosing to keep kosher homes. This was the sentiment of many of the rabbis who participated in an unprecedented Conference on Universally Accepted Conversions in Intermarriage at the Newark Sheraton on September 18-19. Amongst the speakers at the conference was Israel’s Chief Rabbi Yonah Metzger, Rabbi Reuven Feinstein, a prominent Torah scholar, Rabbi Leib Tropper, dean of Yeshiva Kol Yaakov in Monsey and Rabbi Herschel Schachter a dean at Yeshiva University. Nearly 130 rabbis, some from as far away as Israel and Europe, heard several speakers speak of the total commitment converting non-Jews make, including observing all the kosher laws. While it was difficult to get an exact number of such converts, one rabbi said he thought it was “in the hundreds.” The conference was so successful that nearly 600 rabbis applied for 40 scholarships that ultimately grew to over 100. The sponsors, the Lillian Jean Kaplan Jewish Pride Through Education, a project of Yeshiva Kol Yaakov/ Horizons in Monsey, NY are planning additional conferences in Miami, Los Angeles, and Boston.

Gil Student welcomes the Badatz attack on Tropper as Rabbi Hershel Schachter cuts ties to EJF said...

http://hirhurim.blogspot.com/

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The following letter was disseminated by the Badatz (religious court) of the Edah Charedis of Jerusalem, a very right-wing but influential and respected group of scholars. I don't know where they receive their information about what will lead to more intermarriage on a different continent and am therefore skeptical whether they have any right to issue a ruling on this matter, especially since no one asked them. But since they are delegitimizing the Eternal Jewish Family organization, that itself is trying to delegitimize Modern Orthodox rabbis (I, II ), I see the turnabout as a welcome development.

[Rav Sternbuch, shlita approved translation by Daniel Eidensohn]

5th of Kislev 5768

Concerning the Holiness of the Jewish People – the Holy Nation.

The senior dayanim of the Bedatz met today to discuss allegations that certain kiruv activists are actively proselytizing the children of intermarried couples to convince them to convert – even though according to Torah law there is no halachic relationship with their Jewish fathers. They are calling for the acceptance of these non-Jewish children in Jewish programs and religious schools. Such an action is literally a disaster and self-destructive. It is self-evident that such a program is absolutely prohibited by the Torah.

Furthermore until now anyone who wanted to marry a non-Jewess – Heaven forfend! – knew very well that this act would sever them from the Jewish people forever. Because of the dire consequences of intermarriage, there was a strong barrier that prevented many from intermarrying. However now that the consequence of exclusion from the Jewish people has been removed - this motivation not to intermarry has been lost. Consequently these intermarried couples and their children remain amongst the Jewish people. This results in their non-Jewish children being accepted into religious schools out of the hope that they will eventually convert.

Therefore we are warning that this activity is against the Torah. It has never been acceptable to proselytize non-Jews. Furthermore as we mentioned it actually encourages intermarriage.

We therefore are turning to the poskim and the roshei yeshivos not to participate in their conventions - such as the one that occurred in America last week. Even if their motivation was to improve the standards of conversions – they are making improvements in one area while making things worse in another. This approach is directly causing serious problems.

Those who heed our cautions will benefit and receive blessings.

We - the members of the Bedatz in Jerusalem - affix our signature to this document out of fear and concern for the holiness of the Jewish people – the holy nation.


Comments:

I'm confused... the Bedatz is against Rav Elyashiv????
eLamdan | Homepage | 11.17.07 - 9:28 pm |

living where i do i can't quite say who is currently "against" whom, but i'd imagine the historical roots of the Edah Charedis lie in the yishuv hayyoshon whose lineal descendents they presently repesent, whereas "R. Elyahiv" represents the litvish yeshiva world. i.e. johnny come latelies who were neither assimilated into nor viewed with unaldulterated admiration by the old yishuv. the disdain was mutual, and i can imagine lingers. and what else is new.
Mechy Frankel | 11.17.07 - 10:42 pm |

"The senior dayanim of the Bedatz met today to discuss allegations that certain kiruv activists are actively proselytizing the children of intermarried couples to convince them to convert – even though according to Torah law there is no halachic relationship with their Jewish fathers."

Again, this is an American halakhic issue that has - and continues to be - dealt by American poskim. For a better perspective on halakhic considerations regarding American kiruv programs, perhaps Rav Dovid Cohen and Rav Hershel Schachter should be consulted regarding their own perspective on this matter, as they are among two of the leading poskim in America that deal in this regard.
Menachem Butler | Homepage | 11.17.07 - 10:45 pm |

, for one, am beginning to doubt R' Sternbuch's charedi credentials.

As is well known, R' Sternbuch has quoted R' Shlomo Goren in one of his books. (to the effect that land conquered by the state of Israel, even if outside the original boundaries of eretz yisrael, is subject to kedushat haaretz and thus shviit)

And now he is delegitimizing the people who want to delegitimize modern Orthodoxy.

How on earth can the Edah Charedis continue to tolerate him??
David | 11.17.07 - 10:49 pm |

R. Gil,
You posts keep relating to EJF, but sitting here in Israel, i dot know much about them, and frankly am quite confused about who they are and their goals. perhaps a reasonably unbiased journalistic post in this organization, its activities and agenda a would be in order.

thanks
Moshe
moshe shoshan | 11.18.07 - 2:51 am |

Maybe I've lived in Israel too long. Why is this news? Since when have reputable poskim allowed conversions for alterior motives?

In Israel, this letter seems to be against the Israeli governments stupid attempts at mass conversions of the non-Jews they stupidly allowed to come over the last several decades.

Are there similar workings in N. America and Europe by Orthodox Rabbinim of high reputations to do the same for their congregants that need a resolution to their out-of-wedlock habbits?
(I'm not asking about crooked individual Rabbis who have been reported doing this to line their pockets).

Are you sure? | 11.18.07 - 4:29 am |

I am speaking solely as a private individual and my views are neither authorized nor necessarily in agreement with that of the Bedatz.

The issue of EJF is not limited to America only. They are holding conferences all over the world - including Israel. Their avowed purpose of raising standards for conversion is widely acknowledged as an important and desirable goal. However it is a legitimate question whether their approach to this goal is helping or harming the situation.

The main question of concern to the Bedatz is what they are doing in the realm of intermarried couples and the non-Jewish children of these couples. This is a massive problem not only in America but also in Israel especially with the Russian immigration. It is also of concern in the rest of the world. We are talking about defining Jewish identity and the strategy for dealing with conversion. These are not simple issues and they are critical to the future of the Jewish people.

As I have posted on my blog Daas Torah, there is a significant problem when these chilren come to the awareness of kiruv organizations. Should they 1) be discouraged 2) allowed to have private lessons 3) be allowed to join 4) be encouraged to join.5) should they be told they are not Jewish? 6) should the other participants be told they are not Jewish? 7) Should it be made public that the organization is actively accepting non-Jews? These are not merely academic questions but there is strong pressure put on kiruv organizations (including schools) to accept non-Jews.

In the realm of halacha we typically find that changes in halachic approach in reaction to changing situations - are usually defended by written teshuvos. There is a process of peer review and criticism and eventually there is a general concensus or range of accepted approaches.

In the present case everything new seems to contained in oral pesakim. There has been no published literature describing what Reb Moshe said in these matters - especially where they seem to disagree with what is found in the responsa literature or the Igros Moshe itself. Yet these oral psakim are used to justify the new activities of these organizations. As far as I know - Rav Eliashiv has not published any letters on these matters. There are respected individuals who claim to be speaking in his name. Where are the teshuvos of Rav Dovid or Rav Reuven Feinstein? Where are the published guidelines from EJF. With all the money they are expending it shouldn't be a problem to publish a scholarly handbook. In short where is the modern Shulchan Aruch of how to deal with these issues?

Anyone who has dealt with halacha is well aware that there are legitimate differences in the meaning of written texts and even more concerning oral psakim. There are possibly legitimate claims that respected individuals have misunderstood the material or perhaps that they are misapplying the principles.

Prior to this letter the Bedatz made serious attempts to clarify these issues - which clearly are releveant to their domain. They have been unable to obtain a serious and respectful dialogue with the others rabbonim involved. This letter is the result of their being stonewalled.

Attempts to paint them as primitive fanatics living in the darkness of Meah Shearim who are trying to control the world - is simply slander. It shows ignorance of who they are as well as the nature of rabbinic authority and process today.

Bottom line: We are faced with a crisis which requires greater transparency - at least amongst rabbinic authorities. There is no question that different rabbonim and different societies require different solutions. However this does not justify the contempt and arrogance which has been the standard until now.

Hopefully the different sides can take the time to write up their views and come up with solutions to these problems which will be accepted as authoritative by all.

Daniel Eidensohn
Daniel Eidensohn | 11.18.07 - 6:16 am |

Rabbi Eidensohn,

What you write makes no sense. R. Reuven Feinstein and many other great rabbonim were in attendance at the Washington and Boston conferences. They are actively involved in the organization. They don't need to provide written teshuvot so that the Badatz can review it.
PR | 11.18.07 - 7:13 am |

r. gil - how can you claim that about the ejf when rav hershel shechter is a featured speaker?

Was. They are skillfull and understand that having him speak gave them a good appearance. He no longer has anything to do with the group.
Gil | Homepage | 11.18.07 - 7:23 am

They don't need to provide written teshuvot so that the Badatz can review it.

Evidently, they do if they don't want to be assered.
Gil | Homepage | 11.18.07 - 7:25 am |

Also, Rabbi Eidenshon, while I wouldn't say that the Badatz are prinitive, they are fanatics. What else would you call people who are anti-Zionist and believe that they State of Israel should not have been established.

Why should anyone in the Torah world (other than the Satmar) care what anti-Zionist fanatics have to say? They will live their whole lives and never come into contact with intermarried people, so how can they judge this issue?

Again, by definition, anyone who is anti-Zionist is a fanatic in my book.
PR | 11.18.07 - 7:26 am |

But I will admit that in one case they were more liberal than the Litvishe gedolim. While the latter banned ALL of R. Steinsalt's books and also his gemara, the Badatz just required him to make a few changes in his book on biblical figures.

But still, if the Badatz is writing its letter to the few hundred families in its community, then that's fine, but what do they have to do with the rest of the Torah world? Nothing!
PR | 11.18.07 - 7:29 am |

Rabbi Eidensohn, you wrote: "The issue of EJF is not limited to America only. They are holding conferences all over the world - including Israel. Their avowed purpose of raising standards for conversion is widely acknowledged as an important and desirable goal."

No, outside charedi circles it is not acknowledged by all. Local rabbanim who know local circumstances and usually know the people personally are far better than regional batei din with supposedly "uniform" standards. The impersonal, Israeli regional batei din prove that this is the case. The RCA batei din are much better.
Anon this time | 11.18.07 - 7:34 am |

The Badatz will asser the EJF no matter what their teshuvot say
PR | 11.18.07 - 7:54 am |

Meanwhile, in all three of the Jewish communities in which I have lived (NJ, LA and Miami), a MAJORITY of Shomer Shabbat children of born Jewish mothers attend public school only because of money.

My kids do because there simply other option. The best tuition deal (out of 5 schools)we could get was 55k per year WELL out of the means of any Middle Class family with a baby or toddler at home (so Mom's salary would be eclipsed by daycare).

So we homeschool. And we are not alone or unusual. The running joke in our community is that the mother of the family should go tell the Rabbis that she is a Gentile who might consider converting and then the children will get a scholarship for full tuition.

A third to a half of the student body of each of the Jewish Day schools in my community are the Gentile children of Jewish men. The schools have a policy of prioritizing admittance to these children at the direction of the community Rabbis who are either "teaching" or hoping to "outreach" their non Jewish mothers for conversion.

So much is the emphasis on "making a Jewish family from a non Jewish one" and "preserving Jewish population numbers" that we are creating the next generation's intermarriage problem in two ways. The majority of these Gentile children DO NOT ever convert to Judaism,k'halacha but identify as Jews and marry Jews. This is an intermarriage no different than any other intermarriage. The Gentile is very educated about Judaism and yet has no desire to observe any mitzvot.

And the other problem is that no matter how strictly religious a family is at home, a certain number of children in the public schools will be drawn to intermarry because of the exposure and social contacts they make at school.

How I would love to see some of the money donated to EJF used to pay tuition for Jewish children to receive a Jewish education. THAT would be the best deterrent to intermarriage.
Reality | 11.18.07 - 8:58 am |

R' Gil,

What was Rav Schachter's original view? That is, what did he imagine EJF to be that was worthy of his support?
NCO Chassid | 11.18.07 - 6:01 pm |

What was Rav Schachter's original view? That is, what did he imagine EJF to be that was worthy of his support?

I can only speculate that he sees the idea of universal conversion standards to be a good thing. Or that he approves of reaching out to potential sincere converts who are intermarried. I don't really know.
Gil | Homepage | 11.18.07 - 7:40 pm |

Regarding the EJF website - where there was previously a message on the home page stating that they tried to attract intermarried couples there is now a sign saying "temporarily off line". However while they are covering up this evidence they forgot to look at their FAQ. While number 1 . "Does EJF promote conversions in intermarriage?

No! EJF’s programs are only for those intermarried couples who are already interested or have already made the decision to pursue a universally accepted conversion. It does not actively market or promote its services to intermarried couples. EJF only promotes their program to the rabbis who deal with intermarried couples."

this disclaimer seems inconsistent with

"7. Isn’t EJF a departure from the activities of Horizons/Kol Yaakov?

NO, not at all! Horizons offers a full range of dynamic Jewish outreach programming including lectures/seminars and classes on college campuses as well as in remote communities working through local organizations and community leaders, study groups and one-on-one learning in homes and executive learning in individual business offices, tailor made study programs for individuals who wish to learn at the Kol Yaakov Torah Center — either one-on-one or in classes. For a Jew who intermarried and subsequently becomes inspired to become fully observant and now wishes that his or her spouse converts in accordance with halacha is very much along the lines of kiruv at its best, and part of the historic mission of Horizons. In fact, many intermarried couples begin their journey of exploring authentic Judaism by participating in these seminars as they often do in similar events sponsored by all major kiruv organizations."

In short. If they sit around waiting for couples to be referred by rabbi then FAQ number 7 as well as their original statement of purpose apparently states just the opposite.
Daniel Eidensohn | 11.20.07 - 7:39 pm |

There are stories coming out in the next few days that Tropper personally convinced potential converts to cancel their beit-dim appointment with Bomzer or beis-din of LA because they are modern orthodox and not really acceptable.

The saga continues because some of those conversions were eventually nullified by Tropper because in one case the girl caught once without hair covering and in another case the girl refused to drop out of school and to go to BT machom
Hannah Montana | 11.21.07 - 1:05 am |

A PR firm working for EJF contacted a converts and ask them to appear in a religion column in their local paper and tell their story so other intermarried couple would interested in conversion as well
Miley Cyrus | Homepage | 11.21.07 - 1:12 am |

"Number of Undergraduate students: 16" Kol Yaakov fun stats... said...

http://www.collegeview.com/school/school_hub.jsp?scid=5000569

Kol Yaakov Torah Center
29 W Maple Ave
Monsey, New York 10952

Keyfacts

Web Site:
Phone: (845)425-3863
Toll Free:
Fax: President: Rabbi Leib Tropper
Institutional Control: Private nonprofit
Coed Status: Men Only
Academic Calendar: Semester
Accreditation: Yes

Admissions Department
General
Rabbi Leib Shear
Phone: (845)425-3863
Toll Free:
Fax:

Financial Aid Department
General
Phone: (914)425-3863
Toll Free:
Fax:
Estimated Financial Information
Undergraduate
In-state tuition (full year): $4,600
In-state tuition (1 credit hour): $10
Out-of-state tuition (full year): $4,600
Graduate
In-state tuition (full year): $4,600
In-state tuition ( credit hour):
Out-of-state tuition (full year): $4,600
Room and Board Information
Typical room (full year):
Typical board (full year):
Room and board (full year): $3,200
Additional fees (Estimated): $0
Books (Estimated):

Enrollment
Number of Undergraduate students: 16

Male/Female ratio: 100 : 0

Number of Graduate students: 4

Male/Female ratio: 50 : 50

Enrollment Concentration:
% out-of-state students:
Typical undergraduate annual credits taken: 15

Campus Facts
Highest Offering: Doctorate
Religious Affiliation: Jewish
Historically Black: No
Campus Size:
Continuing Education:
Setting:
Regional Airport: Newark-Westchester
Airport Location:

How to brush off a sexual predator presence in your school, by Leib Tropper said...

http://www.jewishjournal.com/home/print.php?id=9090

jewishjournal.com

2002-08-23

Charismatic Rabbi Faces Charges

By Wendy J. Madnick

Michael Ozair is, by many accounts, charming, charismatic and an excellent teacher.

He is also in jail.

The once-popular instructor at schools like Shalhevet High School on Fairfax Avenue and Sinai Akiba Academy on Wilshire Boulevard, who was an active participant in the Happy Minyan at Beth Jacob Congregation in Beverly Hills, was arrested earlier this month and charged Aug. 15 with the 1997 sexual molestation of a then-14-year-old girl. At press time, he was in custody at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in Los Angeles, with bail set at $95,000. A preliminary hearing is set for Sept. 4.

The complaint first came to the attention of the Los Angeles Police Department about a year ago, according to Lt. Dan Mulrenin, who oversees the LAPD’s Sexually Exploited Child Unit.

"The reason it waited so long is because the victim was apparently in therapy and did not report this to the police until Aug. 22, 2001," Mulrenin said. "There is one additional victim, but that victim has refused to cooperate and does not want to pursue this matter."

Police and prosecutors were guarded about who initiated the charges — three counts of a lewd act on a child and one count of oral copulation of a child under 16. Jane Robison, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office, said that in general "when allegations of rape or sexual assault occur, the victims are taken to the hospital and there are a long list of questions they must undergo. With an older case, we have to have independent corroboration, someone who can testify. It cannot just be the word of the victim." Robison also mentioned that "by law, there are people who are mandated reporters [of sexual assault], including clergy. So if the victim were to tell a teacher or a therapist or a clergy member about the attack, [that person] would have to report it."

Ozair, 33, could not be reached for comment and his attorney, Daniel Hustwit, did not return repeated calls from The Jewish Journal.

This is the third arrest of a rabbi charged with child molestation this year. What makes this case unique was the esteem with which Ozair was held by a variety of influential people and organizations. In addition to his involvement in the Happy Minyan (of which he was not the leader, members insisted, despite press reports to the contrary), Ozair led the Mystical Wednesdays program for OLAM for about a year, from summer 2000 until 2001. He was featured in an OLAM Magazine article titled "You Had Me at Shalom" (which characterized Ozair as "the cool, charismatic, ex-Dead Head and self-acknowledged Seeker of Truth") and in a June 2000 Jewish Journal article about an event called "Building Bridges of Spiritual Unity." Ozair also was scheduled to lead a Yom Kippur spiritual service at the Roxbury Park Community Center in Beverly Hills.

Ozair’s problems began to surface several years ago. In June 1997, the year of the alleged incident, he left his full-time teaching position with Sinai Akiba. It was not until September 1998 that he landed another teaching position, this time with Shalhevet. However, his employment was terminated for undisclosed reasons in August 2000, according to Shalhevet president Dr. Jerry Friedman. Ozair then returned to Sinai Akiba for a brief stint in early 2001, said headmaster Rabbi Laurence Scheindlin.

"He was coming once a week to do some work on tefillah with some of the classes," Scheindlin said.

Both Friedman and Scheindlin stated that there were never any complaints about Ozair’s behavior at their respective schools. Indeed, a number of people interviewed noted that parents and students at each school were fans of Ozair.

"To his credit, there are a number of students on whom he had a very positive influence at Sinai Akiba," said Rabbi Steven Weil, leader of Beth Jacob. "He launched them on a path of morality, decency and theological searching. Many of these young men have become outstanding stars in the community."

Despite the rabbi’s popularity, Weil said leaders at his shul decided to expel Ozair last year.

"He was banned from Beth Jacob Congregation over a year ago by myself and by Marvin Komorsky, our executive director, because we felt he was a threat," Weil said. "We were concerned for the safety and well-being of certain individuals in the community."

Weil said he was saddened to see an organization like the Happy Minyan, which has operated out of Beth Jacob for about eight years, taken in by someone like Ozair.

"Because they are such a welcoming, open community, they attract people who are often needy or searching. Unfortunately, such people can often be taken advantage of," Weil said.

Although Weil declined to elaborate whom the congregation was protecting with Ozair’s expulsion, some people close to Ozair have said that it was around the same time that Ozair’s marriage fell apart and that his wife and children sought protection at a battered women’s shelter.

An incident last year might also provide some insight: According to Sgt. Steven Seeger of the Beverly Hills Police Department, Ozair turned himself in to that department on Aug. 15, 2001, and was briefly in custody on a probable cause warrant.

"This was in regard to a warrant issued for his arrest under Penal Code Section 422, making a threat, which means making a credible, criminal threat to do harm to someone else," explained Seeger, adding that an underlying crime report showed the initial complaint that led to the warrant involved a charge that Ozair had made a threatening phone call or calls. The case was dropped within days by the district attorney’s office because of insufficient evidence.

(Several sources also questioned Ozair’s credentials as a rabbi. Ozair’s Web site states that "his rabbinical training was at Kol Yaacov Torah Center in Monsey, N.Y." However, administrators at Kol Yaacov tell a different story, saying he applied to the school and visited it in August 1997, but never enrolled.

"He said he wanted to try it out, so he popped in for a couple of hours a week for about six weeks, but he was never officially accepted as a student," said Rabbi Leib Tropper, the school’s educational director.)

Douglas Schiller, like other members of the Happy Minyan, was reluctant to discuss Ozair, who was one of the group’s founders and mainstays.

"I can see easily why somebody would call him charismatic or a good teacher," Schiller said. "I think we’re all surprised and saddened by what has happened."

Weil said it was important to see that it is possible for a person to have good qualities and still commit a crime.

"These people, the Baruch Lanners and the Michael Ozairs, are multidimensional individuals, which is why the Ozair incident has been very painful to many people whose lives he touched in a legitimate sincere way," Weil said.

Can we trust Arab converts? question for EJF ally Rabbi Amar said...

http://www.revava.org/forum/index.php?PHPSESSID=a5e7e428e88954d24fedd22c1717d9f1&topic=3069.msg24599#msg24599

moishe
Sr. Member:

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/news.php3?id=119802

Arab Convert Arrested For Aiding Jihad Brother
15:47 Jan 18, '07 / 28 Tevet 5767
by Ezra HaLevi

An Arab convert to Judaism living in Haifa was indicted Thursday for conspiring with the enemy and contacting a foreign agent – his brother, an Islamic Jihad terrorist.

Assaf Ben-David, born Hussam Hafez Mahmoud Suafta, converted to Judaism and left the PA-controlled village of Tubas, near Shechem, once he received Israeli citizenship in 1993. He is now accused of trying to pass materials for manufacturing explosives to his brother Salah, a member of the Islamic Jihad terrorist group

Salah was killed on December 20th in clashes with the IDF in Tubas before he could receive the nitrous acid from his brother.

Hussam Suafta, 39, was arrested a number of times for taking part in riots and anti-Israel attacks during the Intifada of the late 80s. He worked in Israel illegally and in 1993 began the conversion process, even enrolling in a Jerusalem yeshiva. Three years later he received Israeli citizenship and changed his name to Assaf Ben-David. He later married a Jewish woman, started a family and received the status of an oleh chadash, a new immigrant to Israel.

Hussam was in touch with Salah by telephone in recent months and met with him in Jenin in October, when he agreed to procure a large amount of nitrous acid. The two developed codes in order to evade detection and Salah gave Hussam several SIM cards to be used to evade Israeli surveillance.

Salah was killed resisting arrest on December 20th and Hussam converted to Islam anew just before he was apprehended on December 26.

Two of Suafta’s brothers are also in Israeli prisons after taking part in plans to carry out a suicide bombing in Israel recently.

------

Abu Huraira
Full Member:

Probably converted by a beit din of the NK.... :-)

-------

BK
Hero Member:

Quote
Salah was killed resisting arrest on December 20th and Hussam converted to Islam anew just before he was apprehended on December 26.

Insincere converts are a danger whatever their race or nationality - it just so happens that an insincere Arab convert in Israel is a much greater liability than an insincere American convert in America. There are a few (not many) other Arab converts who intergrate just fine. And btw, the headline is very misleading. The fact that he reconverted to Islam proves that his conversion was insincere, and therefore invalid. In addition, they do not even report how he converted, or by which Beit Din.

Unfortunately, in Israel it is far to easy for anybody who wants to to convert, and often many such "converts" do not even keep the Torah after they are accepted. Usually it is the Russian goyim who take advantage of the system for various financial reasons or in order to help them "make aliyah," but it is entirely concievable that an Arab could have met a pretty Jewish girl and decided to convert purely on that basis (which is forbidden), or perhaps he just wanted a quieter life in which he could "start afresh" in Israel without looking like an Arab (also not a valid reason for conversion).

A convert's previous life or ethnicity or race or nationality means nothing. We are taught that even an Amalekite can convert to Judaism if he so wishes. An Ishmaelite certainly can (and many have). Let's not go down that route.

--------

BK
Hero Member:

And this is the kind of disgraceful and pathetic position that is fast spreading among certain Orthodox circles in Israel. It is assisted both by widespread corruption, as well as the inability of the Torah leaders to stem the tide of assimilation.

So instead, some revert to very dubious actions such as this (which merely make things worse):

Eternal Jewish Family to Open Israel Branch
16:58 Jan 18, '07 / 28 Tevet 5767


(IsraelNN.com) The Eternal Jewish Family, an organization dedicated to encouraging and assisting the conversion of non-Jewish spouses of Jews, will open a branch in Israel. Rabbi Leib Tropper, Chairman of the EJF's Halakha Committee, was recently in Israel marshalling the support of the Chief Rabbis and Charedi Rabbinic leaders for the project.

EJF has organized a number of conferences, mostly in the United States, to address issues relating to conversion and to educate Rabbis about their process. Sephardic Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar has attended several conferences and is a proponent of universal standards on matters of personal status, such as conversion, marriage, and divorce.

*****

How can Rabbi Amar lend his "hechsher" to this endeavour even in part?

...basically saying that MO Rabbis aren't really Rabbis and Modern Orthodoxy isn't really orthodox.. said...

http://adderabbi.blogspot.com/2006/05/rca-conversion-scandal-whats-real.html

5/09/2006

The RCA Conversion Scandal: What’s the Real Issue?

The lead story in the Jewish Week this week (also covered here and here), is the Israeli Chief Rabbinate’s non-acceptance of RCA-approved gerut. There’s speculation in TJW that this is all political, has to do with the Tendler family, etc. Ayen sham, ve-acamo”l.

It seems, however, that the group behind the Rabbanut’s policy is called “The Vaad HaRabbonim Haolami LeInyonei Giyur”. This group’s agenda is to try to create a universally recognized standard of conversion. They played a strong role in the recent “Eternal Jewish Family” conference in Florida. In addition to the RCA, they have opposed Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, the Chief Rabbinate of the IDF, Norwegian Chief Rabbi and former MK Michael Melchior, and, ironically, the Rabbanut itself. One would be hard-pressed to find a Rabbinical organization that they don’t slam. Their agenda is not limited to American Rabbis and not to those who provoked the Tendlers.

The issue at hand is the credibility of Modern Orthodox Rabbis, no more, no less. Founded by R’ Chaim Kreisworth ob”m, the man whose name is most closely associated with the Vaad is R’ Nachum Eisenstein, an American-born chareidi Rav in the Ma’a lot Dafna neighborhood of Jerusalem. If you live in Ma’alot Dafna, learn in kollel, and don’t wish to pay municipal taxes, R’ Nachum will write a letter on your behalf explaining that you have no real source of income; whether or not you can afford it and are merely exploiting a loophole in a system which doesn’t account for rich in-laws is a side issue. He is also the author of the following statement:


The month of Nisan is the month of geula and we must be strong in our conviction to oppose any cooperation and recognition of the Reform and Conservative before we can be zoche to true redemption.
and other obnoxious statements that can be found here, here, here, and here.

R’ Nachum counts himself as a strong adherent of R’ Elyashiv. You may remember that it was R’ Elyashiv’s inner circle who brokered the deal that brought the current Chief Rabbis of the State of Israel into office. They’d get the jobs, though unqualified, but they’d be under R’ Elyashiv’s thumb for any significant halakhic matter. Those were the terms of the deal, and the current situation is one of its ramifications.

The Rabbanut gets affidavits from batei din the world over. There’s an office within the Rabbanut that’s supposed to decide on those courts, but, of course, that office is occupied by a middling bureaucrat whose credentials include being the nephew of someone with clout. I’ve met with the first occupant of that office, Yitchak Ochanna. The man speaks not a word of English, yet the status of the entire American Modern Orthodox Rabbinate is in his hands. Unable to handle all of this, they turn to an outside organization to make their decisions. That organization is called – you guessed it - the Vaad HaRabbonim Haolami LeInyonei Giyur. Thus, in essence, Rav Nachum Eisenstein is in the position to be approving or disapproving every Orthodox convert in the US who wishes to make aliyah or get married in Israel. It’s pretty much all spelled out in this article, which seems to be the basis for the recent scandal.

This Vaad is highly problematic on several levels. In the issue of giyur, there are a lot of things that one would hope for lechatchila, but which bediavad don’t disqualify the conversion. As any out-of-town Rabbi can tell you, or anyone who’s ever worked with Ethiopian Jews, Bnei Anusim, or Russian-Israelis, for that matter, we don’t live in a lechatchila world. Sure, we’d love it if every potential convert could do the pin-test of Shmiras Shabbos Kehilchesa before going for a dip, but that’s not realistic. We, in the trenches, might just have a greater sensitivity to the human being that the bureaucrats are so good at disregarding. I’d take Itim over the Vaad any day of the week.

The desire to create a universal standard for giyur is both misleading and misguided. It is misleading because it sounds like a unifying agent, when in fact it means that they are trying to create a chareidi monopoly on conversions by passuling every conversion that’s not chareidi in the hopes that it will force the MO Rabbinate to simply acquiesce. By referring to the Modern Orthodox Rabbinate as ‘so-called Orthodox’, or to the “orthodox” Rabbinical Council of America (R’ Nachum himself puts the quotation marks on the word ‘orthodox’), or describing the RCA by saying “This is the organization of rabbis who call themselves Orthodox, but are known as modern”, R' Nachum and the good folks at the Yated are basically saying that MO Rabbis aren't really Rabbis and Modern Orthodoxy isn't really orthodox. Instead of coming out and saying it, they'll use obnoxious innuendo and quotation mark. Recognizing only individual RCA members means that the Vaad is setting itself up to be the arbiter of which Rabbis are kosher enough. The desire for ‘unity’ is nothing less than a declaration of war on the MO Rabbinate.

It is misguided because there is not, and cannot be, a universal standard for giyur. The Shulchan Arukh says quite clearly that there are certain things which are very difficult to gauge, about which the individual courts must make a judgment. Furthermore, as stated earlier, there is lechatchila and bediavad. Creating a universal standard basically means doing away with the entire question of a bediavad conversion. That may be easy to do from Ma’alot Dafna, but there’s a reason that the concept exists.

Conversion is THE issue which essentially determines whether a particular Rabbi is kosher or treif. When there’s talk of not accepting R and C Rabbis, it basically means that their conversions are not considered good conversions, no more and no less. Now, MO Rabbis are threatened with the same treatment. This is not some political issue that will blow over by next Tuesday. R’ Nachum and his ilk have gained a measure of control over an apparatus that threatens to completely discredit the MO Rabbinate.

This is a moment of truth for the American Modern Orthodox Rabbinate. If we do not find a way to win this battle, legitimate the work that we do across the continent and assert our commitment to and execution of das Moshe Ve-Yisrael, then our voices will join our Conservative and Reform colleagues as spectators who can make noise but are barred from playing the game.

... panel discussion dominated by outspoken members of R’ Elyashiv’s camp – R’ Leib Tropper... said...

http://adderabbi.blogspot.com/2006/05/rabbanut-and-rca-conversions.html

5/11/2006

The Rabbanut and RCA Conversions: Clarifications and Response
Since posting my interpretation of the Rabbanut’s procedural changes with regard to RCA-approved conversions, I’ve found myself at or near the center of what’s fast becoming a major news story the Jewish and Orthodox print and electronic media. A number of Jewish bloggers linked back to my post, including one of the most venerable, twice.

The Jewish Week has featured an article on this for the second week in a row (plus a letter from the RCA hoohas), and this week’s interpretation is a lot closer to mine than last week’s was. The speculation about a Tendler family vendetta has been virtually (and thankfully) silenced, and procedural and personnel changes within the Rabbanut have become the focus of attention. I have no idea if my post or my pseudonymous letter to the editor of TJW (which didn’t make it into the paper) had anything to do with their re-evaluation, but it doesn’t seem unlikely.

I’ve altered my original thesis since Monday, as I learn more and have more conversations, but I maintain the central point, namely, that the Vaad HoRabbonim Haolami LeInyonei Giyur stands behind the current ‘procedural changes’ in the Rabbanut, and that they are consciously trying to disenfranchise the American Modern Orthodox Rabbinate. Since there have been a number of disagreements, refutations, arguments and counter-arguments about this thesis and the details surrounding it, I will try respond and clarify.

There were several details that I got completely wrong. I insinuated that there’s really no difference between Rabbis Ohana and Krispel, and even related to personal interaction that I had with R’ Ohana. The major shift in procedure happened when R’ Krispel replaced R’ Ohana, which happened during the tenure of Chief Rabbi Amar. There seems to be a much broader shake-up going on in the conversion authority. See, for example, this article, which hasn’t been discussed much, but states:

certain rabbinic judges and administrative managers are recalcitrant hardliners who refuse to adhere to authority and have adopted unnecessarily stringent criteria for conversion

R’ Krispel refers to a sort of ‘kitchen cabinet’ of three Rabbis who evaluate conversion affidavits, and who are quite literally starting from scratch, with everyone presumed to be unqualified until it’s shown to be otherwise.

So the question is, why was there a personnel shake-up, and why did it result in stricter policies for the acceptance of conversions?

Part of the answer is with Chief Rabbi Amar. He is a very strong advocate of universal conversion standards. At the EJF conference, he criticized the American Rabbinate for not being as systematic as the Rabbanut, and that there should be more centralization of conversion. Personally, I feel very strongly that the large, impersonal, bureaucratic, and despised Rabbanut has much to learn from the American Rabbinate. That’s why institutions like Itim are so crucial. Furthermore, there is, of necessity, a certain amount of flexibility when it comes to a pre-conversion curriculum (the Rambam and Shulchan Arukh are extremely vague about what must be taught) and subjectivity when determining the sincerity of the potential convert (as the Beis Yosef says in YD 268, following Tos. Shabbos 31a). There are certain issues which are the subject of dispute (for example, if a woman will not cover her hair, or will wear pants, can she be accepted as a convert?), but for which context is extremely important. The situation in a community where women simply don’t cover their hair is different than the situation in Monsey. Without justifying anything, do we demand, a priori, the same degree of commitment from someone who will not have communal support as someone who will? More than ‘experts’ in the issue of giyur (which, after all, is one relatively short siman in Shulchan Arukh), there’s a need for sensitive and compassionate Rabbonim. You’re more likely to find those in out-of-town shuls than behind the desks of the Rabbanut.

The temporal proximity of the change in Rabbanut policy and the EJF conference was, I thought, more than coincidence. EJF’s agenda is very different than the Rabbanut’s or the Vaad’s – the want to encourage the conversion of gentile spouses of Jews. Nevertheless, the issue of standards is an inevitable part of these endeavors.

The EJF states that they follow the guidance of R’ Dovid and R’ Reuven Feinstein and R’ Elyashiv on these matters. That’s not a monolithic group. R’ Elyashiv is far more machmir than the Feinsteins, a point which apparently caused a bit of exasperation for R’ Dovid (IIRC – only one was there, and I’m not sure which), who had a difficult time during a panel discussion dominated by outspoken members of R’ Elyashiv’s camp – R’ Leib Tropper, R’ Nachum Eisenstein, and Dayan Ehrentrau. R’ Hershel Schachter did not attend the conference because of an illness, but gave a single shiur via satellite hook-up.

Thus, the cards are stacked. R’ Amar wants to universalize conversion procedures. EJF does as well, though it’s more of a secondary goal. The Vaad/ R’ Elyashiv camp, and R’ Nochum in particular, has a very long history of opposition to numerous conversion procedures and a desire to universalize according to their own interpretations. R’ Nochum also has a history of animosity toward the RCA, as I think I documented pretty darn well.

Thus, all parties at this conference – the EJF organizers, R’ Amar, the Vaad – can agree that they want to universalize standards and that the greatest barrier to that is the RCA. R’ Schachter wasn’t there, but even if he was, is known to be very independent; he would not feel compelled to defend the RCA. R’ Reuven and R’ Dovid – well, they’re R’ Mordy Tendler’s uncles. Keep quiet, perhaps. Stand up to defend the RCA? No way.

R’ Amar’s relationship with the R’ Elyashiv camp is deeper, though. They were the Israeli contingent at EJF. R’ Amar owes his job to R’ Elyashiv, and even though this is not a halakhic issue per se, it’s naïve to think that R’ Elyashiv’s team would try to influence even procedural issues. R’ Amar, at least according to the Yated, has followed the lead of the Vaad on conversion issues in Israel as well.

What’s still not determined is the degree to which the Vaad is actually influencing the Rabbanut. That they’re bedfellows in the attempt to undermine or replace (and I think that the Vaad definitely wants to replace, not reform) the RCA as the dominant conversion authority in America is, to my mind, clear. Has R’ Amar bought into the Vaad’s anti-RCA rhetoric? Has he retained them as his advisors or consultants, perhaps as members of R’ Krispel’s 3-man advisory panel? I don’t know for certain. That there’s a relationship is undeniable. And that the Vaad would jump on any opportunity to expand its influence and take down its opponents is equally undeniable.
[UPDATE: An anonymous commenter reports that R' Nochum Eisenstein is a member of R' Yigal Krispel's advisory panel; if this is true, as I suspected, then there's nothing left to talk about].

Regarding the semantics of MO vs. Chareidi, Modern Orthodoxy here doesn’t refer to an ideology. Take, for example, my friend, mora d’asra and abdk”k Yehupitz. He’s not what you’d call ideologically MO. But being in Yehupitz, or wherever else, and dealing with PEOPLE, leading a flock, means engaging them ba-asher hem sham. R’ Nochum, representing the eretzyisruldike approach, deems this to be a compromise of the ‘truth’, and chazer-treif. I’m not just talking about conversions now; American Orthodox pulpit Rabbis, as a class, are made out to be a quai-Reform group of one-time Bnei Torah (perhaps) who use their polished English to say what the balabatim want to hear. As such, they are deemed to be inherently untrustworthy. The color of your hat or the yeshiva you attended has nothing to do with it (just ask Natan Slifkin). For American Orthodox Rabbis, there’s no chezkas kashrus: guilty until proven innocent.

Has the Rabbanut bought that story? Again, it’s speculative. But their disregard of the main body of American Orthodox Rabbis indicates that, at least practically speaking, this position has been adopted. Otherwise, there would have been a different process of accreditation of trustworthy Rabbis. Corrupt or unqualified conversion courts – we all have our lists of batei din which we suspect or know are a sham – can be investigated without disenfranchising the RCA. R’ Gedalya Dov Schwartz wouldn’t have been treated as he was. It wouldn’t have been so quick and taken so many off guard.

This battle is over the Rabbanut. The Vaad is using the Rabbanut, to the degree that it can, to advance its own agenda. Our response is twofold – advocate and articulate out own positions vis-à-vis giyur and our credentials to be involved in them, and clean house so that kangaroo conversion courts are, if not disqualified, identified.

Tropper: meat and potatoes of our program is getting intermarried couples to share the same passions said...

http://www.jewishtimes.com/scripts/edition.pl?now=04/15/06&stay=1&SubSectionID=31&ID=5577

Baltimore Jewish Times

Orthodox Conversion Opening Up?

Larry Luxner JTA Wire Service
APRIL 15, 2006 Hollywood, Fla.

When is an Orthodox conversion really kosher? How long should a prospective Jew have to study before being universally accepted as a convert? And how much should a rabbi charge to supervise the process?

No one has easy answers to these questions. In fact, until recently few Orthodox rabbis even were asking them, at least not in a public forum. And most, if not all, did not accept applicants with Jewish spouses.

Now the Orthodox community gradually is encouraging non-Jewish spouses to convert in accordance with halacha, or Jewish law.

"We're reaching out to intermarrieds to encourage them to apply for conversions if they are truly and sincerely dedicated" to being religious Jews, said Rabbi Leib Tropper, co-founder of the group Eternal Jewish Family, or EJF, based in Monsey, N.Y.

Demographics may have a lot to do with the change of heart. According to Tropper, 50 percent of non-Orthodox Jews in the United States are married to non-Jews, and another 20 percent are married to spouses who have undergone Reform or Conservative conversions -- which Orthodox Jews often don't consider "kosher."

Last month, EJF hosted a conference in Florida called "Universally Accepted Conversions in Intermarriage." The event attracted 170 leading rabbis ranging from modern Orthodox to Lubavitch, including the chief rabbis of Israel and Poland.

"The notion circulating in the Jewish community that intermarried couples are unwelcome and that Orthodox rabbinical courts will not entertain their conversions is being quickly dispelled by the activities of this organization," conference chairman Marvin Jacob told JTA.

The group has established seven rabbinical courts in the United States and is in the process of creating more. As rabbis join the EJF, they become part of the network of courts, or batei din, that perform conversions, Jacob said.

Tropper said the group doesn't seek to proselytize, but rather "to create universally accepted standards for becoming Jewish."

Rabbi Moshe Krupka, the Orthodox Union's national executive director, agreed that standardizing conversions is a good idea.

"Our hope is that we're not going to utilize mediocre standards. When we as a faith community welcome a convert into our midst, our standard should be acceptance of the Torah and a Torah way of life, so that it elevates the community as a whole," Krupka said. "The last thing you want is for people to go through a life-altering conversion," then find out later that the process was faulty.

Another rabbi said the conference, and EJF itself, represent a sea change in thinking on the part of the U.S. Orthodox establishment.

"The trend here is to accept reality. There are about a million intermarried Jews out of 5.2 million Jews in America. What do you do with them?" said the rabbi, who asked that neither he nor his congregation be identified. "Many of these Jews would convert halachically, but until now, the Orthodox world has written them off."

By standardizing the conversion process, EJF hopes to lure in mixed couples that vow to practice Orthodox Judaism and keep kosher.

"Sometimes, even if people are ready we push them off for months, if not years, to test their sincerity. People lose interest and go away," Jacob said. But if the judges are persuaded that the applicant is sincere about observing the commandments, "we urge that the conversion should take place immediately, because that's halacha."

"The three judges have to be absolutely convinced that the couple has agreed to observe" mitzvot, he added. "Once you're declared Jewish in a kosher conversion, you're a Jew, whether you keep it or not."

In the past, Tropper said, "the reputation regarding conversion was that if you're intermarried, it's going to be very difficult to persuade an Orthodox rabbi to convert you. You're better off going the Conservative route."

How long a prospective convert should study is also a matter of debate.

"What's more important is the conviction and determination of the candidate," Tropper said. "If someone's very determined, it can be done in five months. In other cases, it can take up to two years." What matters, he said, is that the candidate "knows what he's required to know, and agrees to practice and observe it."

In the eight months since EJF's establishment, he said, "we've done 70 conversions divided among various rabbinical courts, and we have another 130 candidates in the process of studying for conversion. We get an average of six applications per week on our Web site."

Tropper said batei din are functioning in Los Angeles, Lakewood, N.J., Monsey, N.Y., Philadelphia, Chicago, Cleveland and Jerusalem.

"We're also looking at Milwaukee, Miami and Boston, but making the beit din is secondary to inspiring mixed-marriage couples to come to us," he said. "The meat and potatoes of our program is getting intermarried couples to share the same passions. I travel all over the country to do that."

The EJF, which is sponsored by the Lillian Jean Kaplan Jewish Pride Through Education Project, has set up regional branches in Salt Lake City, South Fallsburg, N.Y., Westchester County, N.Y., Cleveland and Charlotte, N.C.

Jacob, a retired New York attorney and Orthodox rabbi, said the Kaplan family started EJF with a budget of $18,000, which has grown to "hundreds of thousands of dollars."

The Florida event, underwritten by philanthropist Thomas Kaplan, was a followup to EJF's first conference in Newark last September, which drew 103 rabbis. A third conference is planned this July in Jerusalem, to be followed by a fourth one in Boston sometime this fall.

Jacob said his organization also is involved in training beit din judges. Rabbis who enroll in the program study for two hours a day, four days a week, and are paid a monthly stipend of $700.

The group also is promoting a uniform fee for conversions so that applicants can avoid what Jacob called "shysters." He said that a fair fee is about $300 per dayan, up to a maximum $1,000 fee for all three together.

"I've heard of one Orthodox rabbi who charges $7,500," he added.

Said Krupka, "It pains me greatly that there are Jews who don't live up to their Jewish potential. But that should in no way lower the bar for what it takes to become a Jew, especially if we believe that Judaism is divinely ordained."

Tropper: meat and potatoes of our program is getting intermarried couples to share the same passions said...

http://www.jewishtimes.com/scripts/edition.pl?now=04/15/06&stay=1&SubSectionID=31&ID=5577

Baltimore Jewish Times

Orthodox Conversion Opening Up?

Larry Luxner JTA Wire Service
APRIL 15, 2006 Hollywood, Fla.

When is an Orthodox conversion really kosher? How long should a prospective Jew have to study before being universally accepted as a convert? And how much should a rabbi charge to supervise the process?

No one has easy answers to these questions. In fact, until recently few Orthodox rabbis even were asking them, at least not in a public forum. And most, if not all, did not accept applicants with Jewish spouses.

Now the Orthodox community gradually is encouraging non-Jewish spouses to convert in accordance with halacha, or Jewish law.

"We're reaching out to intermarrieds to encourage them to apply for conversions if they are truly and sincerely dedicated" to being religious Jews, said Rabbi Leib Tropper, co-founder of the group Eternal Jewish Family, or EJF, based in Monsey, N.Y.

Demographics may have a lot to do with the change of heart. According to Tropper, 50 percent of non-Orthodox Jews in the United States are married to non-Jews, and another 20 percent are married to spouses who have undergone Reform or Conservative conversions -- which Orthodox Jews often don't consider "kosher."

Last month, EJF hosted a conference in Florida called "Universally Accepted Conversions in Intermarriage." The event attracted 170 leading rabbis ranging from modern Orthodox to Lubavitch, including the chief rabbis of Israel and Poland.

"The notion circulating in the Jewish community that intermarried couples are unwelcome and that Orthodox rabbinical courts will not entertain their conversions is being quickly dispelled by the activities of this organization," conference chairman Marvin Jacob told JTA.

The group has established seven rabbinical courts in the United States and is in the process of creating more. As rabbis join the EJF, they become part of the network of courts, or batei din, that perform conversions, Jacob said.

Tropper said the group doesn't seek to proselytize, but rather "to create universally accepted standards for becoming Jewish."

Rabbi Moshe Krupka, the Orthodox Union's national executive director, agreed that standardizing conversions is a good idea.

"Our hope is that we're not going to utilize mediocre standards. When we as a faith community welcome a convert into our midst, our standard should be acceptance of the Torah and a Torah way of life, so that it elevates the community as a whole," Krupka said. "The last thing you want is for people to go through a life-altering conversion," then find out later that the process was faulty.

Another rabbi said the conference, and EJF itself, represent a sea change in thinking on the part of the U.S. Orthodox establishment.

"The trend here is to accept reality. There are about a million intermarried Jews out of 5.2 million Jews in America. What do you do with them?" said the rabbi, who asked that neither he nor his congregation be identified. "Many of these Jews would convert halachically, but until now, the Orthodox world has written them off."

By standardizing the conversion process, EJF hopes to lure in mixed couples that vow to practice Orthodox Judaism and keep kosher.

"Sometimes, even if people are ready we push them off for months, if not years, to test their sincerity. People lose interest and go away," Jacob said. But if the judges are persuaded that the applicant is sincere about observing the commandments, "we urge that the conversion should take place immediately, because that's halacha."

"The three judges have to be absolutely convinced that the couple has agreed to observe" mitzvot, he added. "Once you're declared Jewish in a kosher conversion, you're a Jew, whether you keep it or not."

In the past, Tropper said, "the reputation regarding conversion was that if you're intermarried, it's going to be very difficult to persuade an Orthodox rabbi to convert you. You're better off going the Conservative route."

How long a prospective convert should study is also a matter of debate.

"What's more important is the conviction and determination of the candidate," Tropper said. "If someone's very determined, it can be done in five months. In other cases, it can take up to two years." What matters, he said, is that the candidate "knows what he's required to know, and agrees to practice and observe it."

In the eight months since EJF's establishment, he said, "we've done 70 conversions divided among various rabbinical courts, and we have another 130 candidates in the process of studying for conversion. We get an average of six applications per week on our Web site."

Tropper said batei din are functioning in Los Angeles, Lakewood, N.J., Monsey, N.Y., Philadelphia, Chicago, Cleveland and Jerusalem.

"We're also looking at Milwaukee, Miami and Boston, but making the beit din is secondary to inspiring mixed-marriage couples to come to us," he said. "The meat and potatoes of our program is getting intermarried couples to share the same passions. I travel all over the country to do that."

The EJF, which is sponsored by the Lillian Jean Kaplan Jewish Pride Through Education Project, has set up regional branches in Salt Lake City, South Fallsburg, N.Y., Westchester County, N.Y., Cleveland and Charlotte, N.C.

Jacob, a retired New York attorney and Orthodox rabbi, said the Kaplan family started EJF with a budget of $18,000, which has grown to "hundreds of thousands of dollars."

The Florida event, underwritten by philanthropist Thomas Kaplan, was a followup to EJF's first conference in Newark last September, which drew 103 rabbis. A third conference is planned this July in Jerusalem, to be followed by a fourth one in Boston sometime this fall.

Jacob said his organization also is involved in training beit din judges. Rabbis who enroll in the program study for two hours a day, four days a week, and are paid a monthly stipend of $700.

The group also is promoting a uniform fee for conversions so that applicants can avoid what Jacob called "shysters." He said that a fair fee is about $300 per dayan, up to a maximum $1,000 fee for all three together.

"I've heard of one Orthodox rabbi who charges $7,500," he added.

Said Krupka, "It pains me greatly that there are Jews who don't live up to their Jewish potential. But that should in no way lower the bar for what it takes to become a Jew, especially if we believe that Judaism is divinely ordained."

Ready or not: a million intermarried Jews out of 5.2 million Jews in USA, will Tropper let them in? said...

http://www.jewishsiliconvalley.org/jcn/06_2006/orthodoxconverstion.html

Jewish Federaion of Siklicon Valley

Jewish Community News

News: June 2006

Orthodox conversion opening up to intermarried couples

By Larry Luxner (JTA)

When is an Orthodox conversion really kosher? How long should a prospective Jew have to study before being universally accepted as a convert? And how much should a rabbi charge to supervise the process?

No one has easy answers to these questions. In fact, until recently few Orthodox rabbis even were asking them, at least not in a public forum. And most, if not all, did not accept applicants with Jewish spouses.
Now the Orthodox community gradually is encouraging non-Jewish spouses to convert in accordance with halacha, or Jewish law.

“We're reaching out to intermarrieds to encourage them to apply for conversions if they are truly and sincerely dedicated” to being religious Jews, said Rabbi Leib Tropper, co-founder of the group Eternal Jewish Family, or EJF, based in Monsey, N.Y.

Demographics may have a lot to do with the change of heart. According to Tropper, 50 percent of non-Orthodox Jews in the United States are currently marrying non-Jews, and another 20 percent are married to spouses who have undergone Reform or Conservative conversions -- which Orthodox Jews often don't consider “kosher.”

In March, EJF hosted a conference in Florida called ``Universally Accepted Conversions in Intermarriage.”

The event attracted 170 leading rabbis ranging from modern Orthodox to Lubavitch, including the chief rabbis of Israel and Poland.

“The notion circulating in the Jewish community that intermarried couples are unwelcome and that Orthodox rabbinical courts will not entertain their conversions is being quickly dispelled by the activities of this organization,” conference chairman Marvin Jacob told JTA.

The group has established seven rabbinical courts in the United States and is in the process of creating more. As rabbis join the EJF, they become part of the network of courts, or batei din, that perform conversions, Jacob said.

Tropper said the group doesn't seek to proselytize, but rather “to create universally accepted standards for becoming Jewish.”

Rabbi Moshe Krupka, the Orthodox Union's national executive director, agreed that standardizing conversions is a good idea.

“Our hope is that we're not going to utilize mediocre standards. When we as a faith community welcome a convert into our midst, our standard should be acceptance of the Torah and a Torah way of life, so that it elevates the community as a whole,” Krupka said. “The last thing you want is for people to go through a life-altering conversion,” then find out later that the process was faulty.

Another rabbi said the conference, and EJF itself, represent a sea change in thinking on the part of the U.S. Orthodox establishment.

“The trend here is to accept reality. There are about a million intermarried Jews out of 5.2 million Jews in America. What do you do with them?” said the rabbi, who asked that neither he nor his congregation be identified. “Many of these Jews would convert halachically, but until now, the Orthodox world has written them off.”

By standardizing the conversion process, EJF hopes to lure in mixed couples that vow to practice Orthodox Judaism and keep kosher.

Undergraduate Enrollment: 13 at Kol Yaakov says Campus Explorer said...

http://www.campusexplorer.com/colleges/1CF48DB3/New-York/Monsey/Kol-Yaakov-Torah-Center/bachelors-degree/

Kol Yaakov Torah Center, Monsey, NY

Kol Yaakov Torah Center From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Kol Yaakov Torah Center is a Haredi baal teshuva yeshiva, whose focus is to help students gain skills in Torah study and an understanding of Torah Judaism and Orthodox Jewish philosophy. The goal of the yeshiva is to place students on the path of independent advanced rabbinical and Talmudic Torah scholarship.

Kol Yaakov is based in Monsey, New York in rural Rockland County, 35 miles northwest of Manhattan.

History

Kol Yaakov Torah Center was founded in 1981 by Rabbi Leib Tropper, formerly of Ohr Somayach, Monsey. Rabbi Tropper was at the first Baal teshuva yeshiva Shema Yisrael Yeshiva when it split into Aish HaTorah and Ohr Somayach, Jerusalem.

Kol Yaakov provides a distinct Haredi environment that operates from a "Torah only" philosophy (as opposed to Torah Im Derech Eretz). Kol Yaakov generally takes an oppositional stance to secular teaching and culture.

Program

Daily lectures and classes are provided to answer both basic and challenging questions in Judaism. However, the educational program of Kol Yaakov operates much like a typical Lithuanian yeshiva by focusing on Talmud and other textual study. There are four programs offered:

Introductory
Intermediate
Advanced
Bais Achiezer Rabbinical Training Program

Many of its students have already searched elsewhere for guidance and meaning. With the Torah as their guide, they come to find out how Judaism can enrich their lives and give purpose to their other educational and professional pursuits. One underlying principle that makes Kol Yaakov unique is its goal of not succumbing to the temptation of compromising academic excellence in order to make Torah more palatable, for the ultimate goal is to educate and bring the students into the sphere of Torah Judaism. A professional career integrated with traditional Jewish values is a common goal among Kol Yaakov students. Graduates of Kol Yaakov who want to continue studying Torah more intensively enjoy the unique advantage of being able to study in virtually any mainstream yeshiva.

Kol Yaakov Torah Center is a Haredi baal teshuva yeshiva, whose focus is to help students gain skills in Torah study and an understanding of Torah Judaism and Orthodox Jewish philosophy. The goal of the yeshiva is to place students on the path of independent advanced rabbinical and Talmudic Torah scholarship.

Mission

The mission statement for KOL YAAKOV TORAH CENTER is too lengthy to be included here. Please contact the school for information regarding our mission statement. ( This response was approved by the IPEDS staff )

Students & Campus Life

Undergraduate Enrollment: 13

On Campus Housing: Available

Full Time Students: 100%
Athletic Programs: Unavailable

Expenses

Average Tuition: $ 4,600
Students Receiving Aid: 80%

Tropper distorted R' Moishe's psak that he has haskoma from R' Auerbach & Minchas Yitzchok said...

Yudel's "Rest-of-the-Story"

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

R' Yosef Bloch on the "Geirus-conference"?
http://theantisemite.blogspot.com/2007/11/eternal-jewish-fraud.html

Posted by Yudel Shain at 5:28 PM

Anonymous said...

How gracious of Leib Tropper to decide for everyone which batei din are reliable in his estimation to do gerus.

Curiously, some of these rabbonim give questionable / unreliable hashgocho on food.

Is the mechutzef excluding anyone not on the list?

http://www.eternaljewishfamily.org/rabbis/bateidinlist.htm

Beis Din of Yerushalayim Rabbi Nachum Eisenstein 011-972-225-322047
Beis Din of Monsey Rabbi Pinchus Rabinowitz 845-425-1315
Beis Din of Philadelphia Rabbi Aharon Felder 215-745-2968
Beis Din Merkaz HaRabbanim Rabbi Moshe Soloveitchik 312-543-3945
Beis Din of Cleveland Rabbi Yisroel Grumer 216-321-5002
Beis Din of New York-Emek Halacha Rabbi Yisroel Dov Webster 718-236-9244
Beis Din of RCC- Los Angeles Rabbi Avraham Union 213-389-3382 ext 13
Beis Din of Milwaukee Rabbi Mendel Senderovic 414-234-8635
Beis Din of Montreal, Canada Rabbi Yonoson Binyomin Weiss 514-739-6363
Beis Din of Miami Rabbi Mendel Senderovic 414-234-8635
Beis Din of Houston Rabbi Yehoshua Wender 713-729-8870

Beis Din of Cincinati Rabbi Zelig Scharfstein 513-731-4671
Beis Din of Lakewood Rabbi Dov Kahan 732-905-5922

Wed Nov 14, 11:38:00 AM 2007
Anonymous said...
Can someone ask R' Dovid Feinstein why he is going along wih Tropper?

http://www.eternaljewishfamily.org/about.htm

Operating under the guidance and halachic rulings of HaRav Yosef Shalom Elyashev (or at least as far as Efrati claims), HaRav Dovid Feinstein and HaRav Reuven Feinstein

Wed Nov 14, 11:42:00 AM 2007
Tropper Video said...
http://www.eternaljewishfamily.org/ejfvideo.htm

The gvir married to a shiksa who is funding Tropper must have paid at least $25,000 to produce this glitzy video propaganda.

Wed Nov 14, 12:07:00 PM 2007
Anonymous said...
Anyone have a link to the rest of Rabbi Bloch Shlit"a 's Shmuess. It cut off in an essential spot.

Wed Nov 14, 05:31:00 PM 2007
Yehu said...
Anon above: follow reb yudel's link above. At the bottom of the article there's a link to all 4 parts of the audio. They're numbered 1 to 4 - the last one's just a few seconds, the first 3 are the ikkur.

Wed Nov 14, 09:57:00 PM 2007
Anonymous said...
Tropper & Kaplan plan on bring the "Nocturnal Jewish Fraud" conference to Buenos Aires, Argentina in Jan. 2008.

Jacobo Weiss should warn everyone.

Thu Nov 15, 03:48:00 PM 2007
From Rubashkin to Tropper said...
http://www.lubicom.com/news/lubicom_continues_managing_conferences_and_seminars_for_ejf/

Lubinsky's Lubicom Marketing & Consulting Co is shilling for Leib Tropper too.

How much is Kaplan paying him?

Thu Nov 15, 04:05:00 PM 2007
That Explains it said...
I was wondering where Tropper got that Boro Park address from. The one he uses to collect correspondance from Fresser rabbis appealing to Tom Kaplan for a free EJF vacation.

It's just Menachem Lubinsky who was vetting them:

Lubicom, LLC
1428 Thirty-sixth Street
Suite 219
Brooklyn, NY 11218
718.854.4450
fax: 718.854.4474
info@lubicom.com

Thu Nov 15, 04:07:00 PM 2007
Tropper Sounds like he's Reform / Conservative said...
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4188/is_20060422/ai_n16209884

Rabbis ease conversion rules

Deseret News (Salt Lake City), Apr 22, 2006 by Alexandra Alter Knight Ridder Newspapers

Abraham was a late-in-life convert. Moses married an Ethiopian gentile who some say later joined the Jewish faith. (Tropper believes the Isha Kushis falshkeit?)

American Jewish leaders have delicately sidestepped a centuries-old prohibition against proselytizing and launched new efforts to convert non-Jewish spouses.

Leaders of the Reform and Conservative movements outlined initiatives to unmix mixed marriages at denominationwide conventions last year. Now even Orthodox rabbis, the staunchest opponents of interfaith marriage, are exploring ways to encourage conversions.

Recently, 130 Orthodox rabbis from five continents gathered at the Westin Diplomat Resort in Hollywood, Fla., to outline new approaches to interfaith marriages and conversion. The meeting -- sponsored by the New York group Eternal Jewish Family -- provoked groundbreaking discussions among Jewish legal scholars on how to simplify the long and involved Orthodox conversion process, participants said.

"When there's an intermarriage, the Torah considers it to be a serious violation of Jewish law," said Rabbi Leib Tropper, who heads Eternal Jewish Family's program to "streamline" conversion for members of interfaith couples. "We want to remedy a problem. At the same time, we don't want to compromise on standards." (what Chutzpah!)

Tropper and other Orthodox rabbis say they hope to ease some restrictions on conversions, including a mandatory waiting period of a year or more. According to Jewish law, a rabbi is supposed to turn away a potential convert three times before even considering the request. But some Orthodox rabbis are now softening their position.

Jewish leaders from more liberal sects say they've urged outreach to interfaith families for years.

Rabbi Terry Bookman of Temple Beth Am, a Reform synagogue in Pinecrest, Fla., says he has been encouraging conversions since he arrived at Beth Am 11 years ago -- a controversial stance in a religion that staunchly discourages evangelism.

"It wasn't always a very popular idea, but now the Reform movement is catching on," Bookman said. "The Jewish community needs to be more open about outreach to the unchurched."

The Orthodox community has been slow to embrace non-Jewish spouses. But Rabbi Chaim Shapiro, who heads Congregation Torah Ohr in Boca Raton, Fla., said Orthodox families have also grown more accepting when someone marries outside the faith.

"The attitude has been softened. At one time it was very harsh. You have cases where families went into mourning like it was the end of the world," Shapiro said. "I don't think it's quite as harsh anymore, maybe because we see so many intermarriages."

Thu Nov 15, 04:16:00 PM 2007
Anonymous said...
Yehu, #4 is still smack in the middle, we are missing like 20 minutes worth.

Thu Nov 15, 08:08:00 PM 2007
Anonymous said...
It's sick how Tropper twists around halacha.

Rabbi Rebibo is a schmo who gives an unreliable hashgocho.

http://www.jewishaz.com/issues/story.mv?070420+universal

With intermarriage rates skyrocketing, a traditional resistance to converting intermarried spouses is counterproductive, said Rabbi Leib Tropper, who heads Eternal Jewish Family.

"It would be devastating if we ignored them," Tropper said, adding that Maimonides' teachings on the subject almost prophetically address modern issues of intermarriage and conversion.

"According to Jewish law before Maimonides, there was a suggestion in the Talmud not to make conversions for the sake of marriage," Tropper said, "but Maimonides said it's better, without compromising the standards of conversion, to try to get the non-Jewish spouse to convert."

But isn't converting for the sake of marriage considered a bad reason to convert?

"It's not a problem that somebody undertakes study for conversion because they want to get married," said Rabbi David Rebibo, president of the Orthodox Rabbinical Council of Greater Phoenix. However, he added, it's hoped that through study, the non-Jewish partner will learn that the decision is about the religion they are embracing.

Tropper said the Eternal Jewish Family conversions are Orthodox and halachic, according to Jewish law, and the organization works to ensure that if there are any questions about the conversion they are ironed out.

"It began with a session with the philanthropist Thomas Kap-lan," Tropper said. "We talked about the assimilation issue and some of the problems," including conversions of a spouse being rejected out of hand and some spouses having to undergo conversion two or three times. (The Lillian Jean Kaplan Jewish Pride Through Education Project, named after the philanthropist's mother, sponsors Eternal Jewish Family). [Note how Tropper doesn't reveal that he was "megayer" the shiksa Kaplan married]

When a spouse's conversion is not accepted, Rebibo said, "it's destabilizing the marriage and seriously impacting their relationships."

Eternal Jewish Family has "performed a really considerable service to the community at large, to highlight this problem and give it the urgency that it deserves," Rebibo added.

Tropper said that part of the problem was that individual rabbinic courts often would not provide the feedback a person would need to correctly fulfill requirements or would give only a fuzzy picture of the requirements.

"We give people a path to learn to become observant and to do it properly," Tropper said. "We're streamlining the process."

He said the group has involved 11 rabbinic courts (batei din) across the country and in Israel and hopes to have one in Europe soon.

The Valley was chosen as the site for the May seminar because "we have so many people come from Phoenix to have their conversions done." In addition, Eternal Jewish Family plans to open a local office in the next six months, Tropper said.

Ken and Lucia Schnitzer of Phoenix, one of eight Valley families who have been helped by Eternal Jewish Family, praise the program.

So much so that Lucia will speak on "Becoming Part of a Jewish Community - Firsthand Experience" at the seminar, and Ken sits on the national board of Eternal Jewish Family. They both represent the group in Phoenix and work with intermarried couples seeking conversion here.

"If we ever make aliyah, there isn't going to be any question of my Jewishness," said Lucia. "If my daughter wants to marry a kohen, there isn't going to be any question."

Fri Nov 16, 09:14:00 AM 2007
Anonymous said...
http://www.washingtonjewishweek.com/main.asp?SectionID=4&SubSectionID=4&ArticleID=7939&TM=7960.406

Rabbi Yaacov Benamou who heads a Rockville MD kiruv org that teaches Kabbalah has been appointed Tropper's go 'fer boy in the Washington DC area. After other area rabbonim did not want to associate with fraud Tropper, they were publicly maligned at the conference there last week.

Fri Nov 16, 09:40:00 AM 2007
Anonymous said...
http://www.jewishmediaresources.com/article/1094/

Now Yonosson Rosenblum is shilling for Tropper too which means he has the green light from the Agudah.

Sometimes known as Jonathan Rosenblum, he is Israeli director for Avi Shafran's Am Echad organization & writes for the Agudah's Jewish Observer.

Fri Nov 16, 09:50:00 AM 2007
Vos far a chutzpe said...
First Tropper distorted R' Moishe's psak now he's publicizing that he has haskoma from R' Shlomo Zalman Auerbach & the Minchas Yitzchok.

Fri Nov 16, 10:32:00 AM 2007

Chief Rabbi Amar Bullies RCA Into Submission On Conversions with Tropper's help said...

http://failedmessiah.typepad.com/failed_messiahcom/2007/10/chief-rabbi-ama.html

October 18, 2007

Chief Rabbi Amar Bullies RCA Into Submission On Conversions?

It seems so. Anshell Pfeffer of Ha'aretz reports:

Sephardic Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar is visiting the U.S. this week in order to approve the appointment of religious court judges (dayanim) to the conversion courts of the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA).

The agreement reached between the RCA and Amar gives the Israeli Chief Rabbinate practical control over the conversion process in U.S. It will also create new problems for those wishing to convert to Judaism there, similar to the kind that exists today in Israel.

For years, the religious councils in Israel accepted conversions performed by rabbis of the RCA, the largest body of Orthodox rabbis in North America. But in recent years, marriage registrars in local religious councils here have refused to recognize conversions by the RCA, and refused to allow those converted to marry in Israel. This new policy was dictated by Amar, who also provided the councils with a limited list of American rabbis who were the only ones authorized to conduct acceptable conversions.

Amar is actually considered to be more lenient in conversion matters in Israel, but he is under strong pressure from ultra-Orthodox rabbis who want to severly restrict the number of conversions, and who are demanding that all converts keep a strict Orthodox lifestyle.

The ultra-Orthodox rabbis object to the RCA in the U.S., which is identified more with the Modern Orthodox community, and have even set up a rival organization, Netzah Mishpahat Yisrael, to provide stricter conversions. The new group is trying to achieve full control of the conversion process in both the U.S. and Israel. As a result, Amar gave the RCA a list of demands in order for their conversions to be recognized in Israel.

Among other things, Amar demanded to end the common method of conversion in the U.S. whereby local rabbis were allowed to do conversions in their cities. Instead, Amar is demanding that only special conversion courts undertake conversions, and that he approve the members of these courts.

These demands were a source of controversy within the RCA, and a number of members even threatened to secede from the council and set up a separate organization. However, in the end they gave in and agreed to Amar's demands, since a lack of recognition of RCA conversions by the Israeli Chief Rabbinate would seriously harm the RCA's standing and cause potential converts to go elsewhere.

The new conversion courts will potentially force converts in the U.S. to travel long distances in order to be converted by an approved conversion court, which will demand that candidates keep a strict Orthodox way of life, without knowing them or their personal history.

"The rabbi went to meet the religious judges and check the courts," Amar's office said. "They were not promised anything, and they did not promise us anything. In the meantime, the Rabbinate is continuing to recognize conversions by the rabbis it recognized in the past."

Rabbi Basil Herring, the executive vice president of the RCA, said in response: "We are pleased to host Rabbi Amar on his visit to New York and Chicago. We are discussing a number of important matters with him, including the issue of conversion."

So what is this Netzah Mishpahat Yisrael Pfeffer refers to? As I reported here 4 1/2 months ago, this:

…[T]he Monsey-based haredi group, Eternal Jewish Family. EJF, founded and run by Rabbi Leib Tropper, is a major player in the haredi move to control the conversion process worldwide.

Rabbi Tropper, who is also the founder and rosh yeshiva of Kol Yakov, a Monsey-based haredi ba'al teshuva yeshiva, is a controversial figure.

Rabbi Tropper has been accused of using bait-and-switch tactics to lure potential converts from intermarried families. In one southern city, Rabbi Tropper promised potential converts that a mikva would be built and a shul opened – no one would need to move to Monsey or another Orthodox enclave. But, when the time for conversion neared, no mikva existed and no synagogue functioned. The promised rabbi Tropper was to send had not arrived. Then, Rabbi Tropper dropped a bombshell. These potential converts, all serious, all had studied for more than a year, would have to move from the southern United States to Monsey, New York – or their conversions were off.

Rabbi Tropper told me these converts confused his hopes with promises. But in email correspondence shared with me, Rabbi Tropper admits in part to misleading these poor people.

Further, there are cities with mikvas, Modern Orthodox congregations and YU-trained rabbis relatively close to where these people live. They could drive for an hour and a half and spend Shabbat and holidays with families there until a congregation can open in their home town. Rabbi Tropper did not propose that option. (In their home town, by the way, there are other such Tropper-involved families facing similar decisions, and where one or two observant Jews live. Some of those potential converts have been said to be fearful that Tropper will cut them off, too, if they speak out about his dishonesty.)

The husband of this family is in his 50s. He has years vested at his job with a pension due on retirement. He will lose all that if he moves, along with facing the problem of finding a new job at that age. Rabbi Tropper made many cloud-like promises – this friend in Monsey will find something for you or that man who works for the city will take care of you – but nothing concrete, and the family was unwilling to trust a man who had already lied to them.

Rabbi Tropper summarily threw the eldest son of this family out of his yeshiva, leaving him broke with no way to get to the airport and back home. He claimed the boy was not serious about his learning yet the boy's teachers had given the family nothing but praise – until the day they refused to move to Monsey. This teenager had to borrow money to get home.

Tropper had promised the family the boy would be able to get his GED at Kol Yakov, and he urged them to withdraw the child from public school and send him to Monsey and Tropper's yeshiva. But Tropper made no arrangements for that GED. It did not matter, however, because the boy was ineligible for a GED under NY law because he was too young. He lost a year, and had to regroup and restructure his life, all because Rabbi Leib Tropper cannot tell the truth.

These people spent thousands of dollars on new kitchen appliances and dishes, kept strictly kosher and did whatever Rabbi Tropper demanded. They appeared on Tropper's EJF website praising the organization and were used by Tropper as examples of his "successful" approach. This material was apparently shown to Rabbi Shlomo Amar, Israel's Sefardic chief rabbi, and to other Israeli haredi leaders who later moved to block acceptance of all Rabbinical Council of America (Modern Orthodox) conversions. Now this family is "lost" to "Yiddishkeit" because of Tropper's failings.

(By the way, I, along with David Kelsey, pitched this story to a major Jewish newspaper last year. The paper, familiar with this blog, would not assign the story to me because I'm too close to the issue and too outspoken. But they were not aware of Kelsey's blog, and were willing to assign it to him. Or, if we wanted, we could do it as an op-ed. I was game for that; Kelsey was not. In the end, we turned it down hoping the paper would relent. It did not. No one else has the story, so, as far as I know, this is the first place this has appeared.)

And, sadly, that is still true. The only place Rabbi Tropper's bait-and-switch tactics have been reported is here on FailedMessiah.com. But that, I hope, will soon change. In the meantime, we can watch the RCA give in to haredi demands.

The US needs its own Tzohar, its own organization of rabbis committed to true Modern Orthodoxy and who are not afraid to take on haredim when need be. And if that means taking on the likes of YU's Hershel Schachter, so be it. As I wrote in May of 2006:

…Why is this happening? Because the leaders of the RCA and YU showed weakness. Rabbis Hershal Schachter and Mordechai Willig have been silent in the face of haredi attacks against Modern Orthodoxy, as has the RCA's weak executive director, Rabbi Basil Herring. It may be too late to stop the tremendous amount of pain Rabbi Amar's theocracy will cause women and converts, but it is not too late to remove the MO leaders who did not stand up when it counted. Bottom line: Rabbis Schachter, Willig and Herring still have their jobs on July 1, you'll know the RCA has sold out MO. You'll also know which rabbis and institutions should not receive your donations. Don't give another penny until these leaders stand up or are fired.



Previous posts on the RCA-Rabbinut Conversion 'Agreement': 1, 2 & 3.

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October 18, 2007 in Haredim, Israel, Modern Orthodoxy, Territorial Disputes, Thuggery and Dirty Tricks | Permalink
Comments
Shmarya, i have to say i am pleasantly suprised by your tone in this post. you say "The US needs its own Tzohar, its own organization of rabbis committed to true Modern Orthodoxy and who are not afraid to take on haredim when need be. "

I would have expected your conclusion to be something like, "This is another sign that orthodoxy, in whatever form, is outdated and useless." (G-d forbid)

I think that deep down inside you still are orthodox, and you really do care about preserving the torah and halacha.

Posted by: Think Again | October 19, 2007 at 01:45 AM

The RCA seems to not have any self respect. Another example is the fact that the RCA website states that R. David Cohen serves on the Vaad Haposkim of the Vaad Halacha of the RCA (although I doubt that he is even a member of the RCA). This is the same R. David Cohen who publicly heckled the Rav ztl during a public chiur and he had to be dragged out of Lamport Auditorium at YU in front of thousands of people so that the Rav could continue. Rabbi Rakeffet has a shiur that is available at YU Torah Online that recounts the incident in great detail, and he also plays a recent tape in which R. Cohen discusses the incident and shows no sign of regret. This incident is very well known in YU circles and I am sure that the heads of the RCA know about it. Even more troubling are the extremely radical halachik views on business ethics that have been publicly expressed by R. Cohen and have been reported elsewhere on the internet. R. Cohen's radical and offensive views have caused many Rabbis (including Rav Herschel Schachter) to publicly denounce R. Cohen. People should complain to the leadership of the RCA as to how they have any relationship with a man like R. Cohen. That would have been unimaginable a decade ago when the RCA was an organization that truly represented Centrist/Modern Orthodox values.

Posted by: ANON | October 19, 2007 at 07:25 AM

Anon, Where does it say on the RCA website the R. Dovid Cohen is a member of the "Vaad Haposkim?"

Posted by: anonymous | October 19, 2007 at 08:17 AM

Anon, OK, I was just told it is only available for RCA members to view. Sorry, you're right--at least about R. Dovid Cohen being listed.

Posted by: anonymous | October 19, 2007 at 08:46 AM

I personally know of someone who is being helped by EJF. The conversion is hopefully going through very soon.
It is true, they are very strict and do string the couple along for a while but if the couple is smart they should play along. EJF is helping them through a halachic loophole because in actuality an intermarried couple should not be able to convert at all. With this program they get an accepted orthodox conversion and can stay married.

Posted by: AC | October 19, 2007 at 09:19 AM

The responsa that the RCA issued on smoking (which is on the website) lists R. Cohen as a member of the RCA's Vaad Haposkim. It is amazing that people who view the Rav as their mentor would disgrace his memory by letting him have any role in the RCA. Just listen to the Rabbi Rakeffet tape. Based on R. Cohen's public statements, it would be more appropriate for him to be on the Vaad Haposkim of Otisville. That is why true gedolim like Rav Schachter have no respect for him.

Posted by: ANON | October 19, 2007 at 09:59 AM

I personally knows intermarried couple who were supposed to get converted by rabbi Bomzer, They were convinced by Rabbi Tropper to go with him because, so he told them, the RCA and rabbi Bomzer are not recognized in Israel.

They were convinced amd went with Rabbi Tropper. After the conversion they had a child and rabbi Tropper demanded that they will move to particular ultra-orthodox community. The girl refused because she was going to school so Rabbi Tropper nullified her and her child conversion.

Now the couple is not religious at all and may even be involved with some church.


Posted by: Sarah X | October 19, 2007 at 10:05 AM

EJF is helping them through a halachic loophole because in actuality an intermarried couple should not be able to convert at all.

This is false. There are dozens of poskim who rule the non-Jewish spouse should be converted. Among them, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.

This is in fact the normative halakha today in the haredi and MO worlds, everywhere, except Mea Shearim and its derivatives.

Posted by: Shmarya | October 19, 2007 at 10:15 AM

Sarah X –

Would you please contact me privately? failed dot messiah at comcast do net.

Thanks!

Posted by: Shmarya | October 19, 2007 at 10:17 AM

Is it a coincidence that "Bomzer" rhymes with "mamzer?"

Posted by: Yochanan Lavie | October 19, 2007 at 10:36 AM

in actuality an intermarried couple should not be able to convert at all.

Who told you that lie?

The non-Jewish spouse most certainly can convert, provided:

1)It is of his/her own free will
2)The Jewish spouse agrees to become observant (I believe this is a requirement)

True, halachically speaking, there should never have been an intermarriage, but that doesn't bar the non-Jewish spouse from being eligible to convert.

Posted by: Anonynonymous | October 19, 2007 at 10:44 AM

"It's no small thing to be a Mensch"( R'Ganzweig).The problem is that the ultra-religious are not interested in people,but rather only in doctrinal purity.Ultimately,they will be left with ( their precious concept of) that and people of compassion and basic decency will leave. It will take time but it will happen.

Posted by: Dr Fred | October 19, 2007 at 10:45 AM

Anon 7:25

can u please link to the shiur at yutorah.org

BTW we r talking here about 2 different ppl by the same name: David/Dovid Cohen.

Posted by: NYC | October 19, 2007 at 12:52 PM

The non-Jewish spouse most certainly can convert, provided:

1)It is of his/her own free will
2)The Jewish spouse agrees to become observant (I believe this is a requirement)

It is only a requirement according to some poskim, usually in a situation where the woman is born Jewish and the man is converting, because of the issue of niddah.

Posted by: Shmarya | October 19, 2007 at 01:08 PM

I'll say it:

This is another sign that orthodoxy, in whatever form, is outdated and useless.

XD

Posted by: Alex | October 19, 2007 at 01:23 PM

isn't this the same self appointed rabbi who claim that learning a trade is a sin?

Posted by: Sephardic-Male | October 19, 2007 at 03:34 PM

It is true, they are very strict and do string the couple along for a while but if the couple is smart they should play along. EJF is helping them through a halachic loophole because in actuality an intermarried couple should not be able to convert at all. With this program they get an accepted orthodox conversion and can stay married.

Actually, the opposite is true. Because the potential convert is already married, the beth din can eliminate the "motivation to marry" from the convert. I should note I find the rabbinic position casting doubt upon a potential convert that wants to marry insane; this was exactly the history of many Jewish men taking non-Jewish wives throughout the diaspora and "converting" them. Rabbinic history vs. real history are lines that do not always (often?) meet.

Posted by: Neo-Conservaguy | October 21, 2007 at 12:23 AM

Rabbi Uziel (first sephardic chief rabbi of Israel) had a very intelligent and powerful view of conversion. By being strict with conversion, by making the fence high, you are actually being very lenient about intermarriage! Because the vast majority of potential converts convert because of marriage and will marry regardless, it is a mitzvah to convert them! You are stopping intermarriage. If they live a less than ideal lifestyle that is nothing compared to having them be intermarried and even farther from judaism. At least as non-observant jews they are jews, part of the jewish people, raising children that identify as jews, who will one day become closer to torah. By making conversion hard, you are making a christian home instead, and pushing the jew away from torah. Further, he notes that some of the jewish people's greatest enemies were people that were pushed away from judaism.

Posted by: DK | October 21, 2007 at 03:39 AM

Okay, that's great, all you Jewish guys can just go and marry the Gentile women you lust over and then you can take them down to some yokel Rabbi who will certify them a Jew.

What about the Jewish women? Does any Rabbi or Jewish man care about Jewish women? For every one of these heathens you accept into the fold, there is a Jewish girl who cannot marry. What about her? What should she do?

Does anyone think about all the Litvishe girls who are in their 20s 30s and 40s for whom there is no Bashert because all these guys are marrying Gentiles?

Should the Jewish girls just stay single? or should they marry Gentile men? Should intermarriage be part of the American Jewish lifestyle?

I say that if we sit shiva for anyone who intermarries like we did 30 years ago, it would stop. And all of these Rabbis who make 10k a piece for "converting" shiksas will have to get jobs.

Posted by: Renee | October 21, 2007 at 03:35 PM

Actually, instead of making christians, some of them/us are made into Karaites. I'm not sure which the Rabbinate considers worse, but I'm betting it's the Karaites.

Posted by: | October 21, 2007 at 04:10 PM

Well, that's just one more reason to confirm to me that Conservative conversions are just as good as Orthodox ones.

If the OU/RCA can't even defend that their own conversions are good enough, then what do they have going for them?

Posted by: | October 21, 2007 at 10:02 PM

Renee- I personally do not need a religious girl who will cry and bitch "waaaaaah I want to divorce!!!!!!!!!!!" for the terrible horrible avaira of playing a video game because I'm bored on Shabbos.

Posted by: Alex | October 22, 2007 at 09:47 AM

THEY SHOULD BURN AT STAKE ALL HAREDI JEWES
(THAT IS YOUR REAL WISH)
WITH G-D'S HELP THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN

Posted by: HAREDI JEW | October 22, 2007 at 09:49 AM

THEY SHOULD BURN AT STAKE ALL HAREDI JEWES
(THAT IS YOUR REAL WISH)
WITH G-D'S HELP THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN

Posted by: HAREDI JEW | October 22, 2007 at 09:50 AM

THEY SHOULD BURN AT STAKE ALL HAREDI JEWES
(THAT IS YOUR REAL WISH)
WITH G-D'S HELP THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN

Posted by: HAREDI JEW | October 22, 2007 at 09:50 AM

THEY SHOULD BURN AT STAKE ALL HAREDI JEWES
(THAT IS YOUR REAL WISH)
WITH G-D'S HELP THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN

Posted by: HAREDI JEW | October 22, 2007 at 09:50 AM

Haredi Jew- have you beat up a woman lately? Just asking.

Posted by: Alex | October 22, 2007 at 10:08 AM

THEY SHOULD BURN AT STAKE ALL HAREDI JEWES

Suppose you like your steak medium, rather than burnt? Is this Rubaskin steak?

Posted by: Yochanan Lavie | October 22, 2007 at 10:19 AM

Here is a description of the position of Rabbi Uziel, Z"T on this matter, as written by a modern day rational Sephardic rabbinic leader, Rabbi Marc D. Angel:

http://www.myjewishlearning.com/lifecycle/Conversion/ContemporaryIssuesConversion/LenientOrthodox.htm


Posted by: Neo-Conservaguy | October 22, 2007 at 12:42 PM

he didnt bully nutin thats the way ppl do things u moron!!!!

Posted by: yona loriner | October 23, 2007 at 07:42 PM

Name of Leibb Troppper was mentioned.
See previous posts from me and Monsey Tzaddik.

Posted by: Lev | October 25, 2007 at 01:56 AM

Renee- I personally do not need a religious girl who will cry and bitch "waaaaaah I want to divorce!!!!!!!!!!!" for the terrible horrible avaira of playing a video game because I'm bored on Shabbos.

Why should you be bored on Shabbos? There is not enough to do? You can't enjoy your meals? take a walk?, get some sun? swim in a pool? go to the park? read a book? talk to your wife? kids? neighbors? friends? Take a nap? (anyone who works appropriately hard all week really appreciates the nap). Maybe do something nice for someone else like visit a shut in or sick person, babysit the children of a young family or spend time with a neighborhood kid without a father.You could set up seudah shlishis in the shul too.

You could play chess, scrabble or a board game with a friend. Watch the birds, or look at the ocean, bay, lake or stream.

For you there is nothing in life but to lock yourself in a room all by yourself and play video games? That IS sad.

You are missing an awful lot of life, including Shabbat if you think that Shabbat is boring. For some of us, it is a delight, a relief and a break.

Posted by: Renee | October 26, 2007 at 03:57 PM

Lubicom helps Tropper pitch: The qualifications for a Dayan Sitting on a Beis Din for Intermarriage said...

http://www.lubicom.com/news/press_releases/major_conference_on_universally_accepted_conversions_in_intermarriage_opens/

Major Conference on Universally Accepted Conversions in Intermarriage Opens in Boston on 10/18/2006

October 18, 2006
For Immediate Release
For More Information, Please Contact:
Eda Kram — LUBICOM Marketing Consulting
866-504-6749

Boston…A major national conference on Universally Accepted Conversions in Intermarriage opens on Sunday October 29th at the Hyatt Harborside Hotel in Boston. The three-day conference is a follow-up to the highly successful conclaves held in March in Hollywood, Florida, and the International conference that took place in July in Jerusalem The conferences have for the first time gathered more than 500 rabbinic authorities from across the Orthodox spectrum in forming common ground on a growing number of intermarried couples that opt for a universally accepted conversion.

The series of conferences is sponsored by the Eternal Jewish Family and the Lillian Jean Kaplan Jewish Pride Through Education Project of Horizons, an internationally recognized institute of Jewish education and outreach based in Monsey, New York.

According to Rabbi Leib Tropper, dean of Yeshiva Kol Yaakov in Monsey, NY, this third national conference on Universally Accepted Conversions in Intermarriage ”will continue the process of bringing together the foremost Torah authorities for the purpose of uniting behind halachic standards that will be used throughout the world.” He noted that participants at the Boston conference will hear major presentations from leading Torah authorities from the US, Europe and Israel.

Amongst the topics to be discussed are The qualifications for a Dayan Sitting on a Beis Din for Intermarriage Conversions, Compromising Halacha in the Name of Kiruv and its Impact on Intermarriage Conversions; and the validity of a Convert in an Intermarriage who is No Longer Observant. The program will also include an address by Nathan Lewin, noted Washington Constitutional Attorney on “How Courts Feel About Universally Accepted Conversions.”

Israel’s Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar will lead a distinguished delegation of leading rabbis from Israel that will include Rabbi Yisroel Meir Lau, Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv, Rabbi Simcha Hakohen Kook, Chief Rabbi of Rehovot, Rabbi Nachum Eisenstein, Chief Dayan, Beis Din L’Giur of Jerusalem; Rabbi Baruch Mordechai Ezrachi; Rosh Yeshiva, Yeshiva Ateres Yisroel; and Rabbi Shmuel Lazer Stern; Chief Dayan, Beit Din of Harav Shmuel Wosner Shlita, Bnei Brak.

Other major presentations at the conference will be delivered by Rabbi Levi Yitzchak Horowitz, the Bostoner Rebbe; Rabbi Reuven Feinstein, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva of Staten Island; Rabbi Herschel Schachter; Rosh Yeshiva, Yeshiva University; Harav Aharon Feldman; Rosh Yeshiva, Ner Yisroel, Baltimore; Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt; Chief Rabbi of Moscow; Rabbi Yaacov Zev Katz; Rosh Kollel Yad Chaim Mordechai, Cleveland; Rabbi Mordechai Neugroschel; Noted International Author and Lecturer; Rabbi Moshe Soloveitchik; Rosh Yeshiva, Yeshivas Brisk of Chicago; and Rabbi Leib Tropper, Rosh Hayeshiva, Yeshiva Kol Yaakov. The conference chairman will be Marvin Jacob, Esq., Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, Partner and the co-chairmen will be Malcolm Hoenlein, Vice Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and Nachman Auerbach, Managing Director at Goldman Sachs. The Master of Ceremonies will be David Rosengard, Esq. of Boston.

Tom Kaplan, and his nephew Guma Kaplan Aguiar, Co-chairmen of the Lillian Jean Kaplan Jewish Pride Through Education Project, said that “the extraordinary interest by rabbis from disparate backgrounds who have bought into the EJF program is nothing short of an historic effort to preserve the Jewish family.” To accommodate the large demand of rabbis wishing to attend the Boston conference, EJF upgraded to a larger conference room, increasing maximum capacity by over one third.

Founded in 1995, EJF/Horizons provides comprehensive programming aimed at people of all ages who may be searching for answers to life’s most difficult questions. The programs offered through Horizons provide meaningful and rich ways of responding to these issues based on Torah values and leading to fuller more active Jewish lives.

For more information regarding future conferences please contact 866-504-6749

scandal of haredi attempts to control conversions in America with standards stricter than Jewish law said...

http://failedmessiah.typepad.com/failed_messiahcom/2007/11/more-on-eternal.html

November 13, 2007

More On Eternal Jewish Family
David Kelsey has a good summation of what has so far been made public in the growing scandal of haredi attempts to control conversions in America and to conduct those conversions with standards far stricter and more restrictive than called for by Jewish law, standards far stricter than the common practice of centuries of rabbis worldwide.

More to come on Eternal Jewish Family, Rabbi Leib Tropper, Rabbi Nochum Eisenstein, and others in very near future.

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November 13, 2007 in Crime, Dishonesty, Fraud, Haredim, Modern Orthodoxy, Territorial Disputes | Permalink
Comments
As we all know, Jews are obligated to observe 613 mitzvot of the Torah and non Jews are obligated to observe only the 7 Noahide laws. We also know from the Torah that Jews are forbidden to marry non Jews.

It has become a widespread practice in the US to convert the non Jew, most often a woman in order to permit a Jewish man to satisfy his lust for her and to "prevent an intermarriage".

But how many of us have really considered the spiritual implications of this practice with regard to the non Jewish spouse? In order to save the Jew from spiritual excisement from the Jewish people and his World to Come, we choose instead to sacrifice the place in the World to Come and Eternity of the NON JEW.

While Non Jews are chosen by G-d to be perfected in this world by observing the 7 Noahide laws, Jews are required to observe 613 mitzvot.

In our racism and narrow-minded selfishness, how many Jews exert what they believe to be spiritual and moral superiority over all of the nations of the world and will encourage the Gentile woman to take a vow for all of eternity that she be required to observe all 613 mitzvot of the Torah in order to save a Jew from transgressing one (albeit an important one) law.

The Gentile spouse who is more often than not, poorly educated and informed about what she is REALLY giving up(HER rightful place in the World to Come so that the Jew shouldn't lose his place for Eternity) is TRICKED into sacrificing her World to Come in order to save his.

She will pledge upon herself to observe mitzvot that most born Jews properly struggle with. But for the convert who CHOOSES and SWEARS before the Beit Din to observe the mitzvot, Hashem's expected standard of observance is greater than that of born Jews.

After all, gerim are considered tzaddikim according to our Torah and we have many examples of Hashem exacting a much higher standard from tzaddikim than from ordinary Jews.

Conversion that is done for the purposes of legitimizing an intermarriage is racist, sexist and exploitive of the non Jewish spouse (almost always a woman).

If we really believe as we are taught that a Gentile upon conversion by a Beit Din and immersion in a mikveh acquires a Jewish soul, then we are truly placing a stumbling block before the blind each time we sacrifice the eternity and everliving soul of a Gentile woman in order to preserve the soul of a Jewish man and also permit him to satisfy his lust. (He is not attracted to her beautiful Jewish neshama when she doesn't yet have one.)

Is eliminating this widespread, racist and sexist practice strict? or is it compassionate toward all of the non Jewish women who have been tricked into forfeiting their place in the World to Come for eternity just so that a Jewish man can be permitted to fulfill his lust?

Posted by: Renee | November 13, 2007 at 04:20 PM

shmarya ur a moron!! u should be happy about that u dont want more ppl to be ortho thats axactly what u stand for what r u complaining about ur an idiot!!!

Posted by: yona loriner | November 13, 2007 at 05:28 PM

shmarya ur a moron!! u should be happy about that u dont want more ppl to be ortho thats axactly what u stand for what r u complaining about ur an idiot!!!

Posted by: yona loriner | November 13, 2007 at 05:28 PM

Renee: Yep, and they don't know how to make chulent either.

Posted by: Dr Fred | November 13, 2007 at 06:11 PM

Very clever argument, Renee. A great way to shut out the competition.

Posted by: haforsko | November 13, 2007 at 06:50 PM

Renee:

Your post is disgusting and dispicable. You see all intermarriage in terms of a Jewish man "satisfying his lust." In your narrow mind you see the non-Jewish woman as a piece of meat with no other use save lust and sex. You cannot entertain the thought that two individuals have in common mutual understanding and respect beyond the superficial attraction of the flesh in the event that one is not Jewish.

To think otherwise would be to upset the applecart of your pre-conceived notions fed to you no doubt from your infancy. Your malfunction therefore must be mitigated by the narrowness of your experiences.

What makes you think that your cult speaks for Judaism in totality? I have been happilly married to a saintly woman who is non-Jewish for many years. Our souls may be incompatible but that would be only because mine has not achieved her level of perfection.

My marriage to a non-Jewish woman has permitted me to see my fellow-Jews through another prism. Some, but surely not most, of my fellow Jews cannot see the beautiful individual who is my wife beyond the "goy." That is what they see: "a goy," a "shiksa" and nothing more.

I love Judaism, its history, depth, and richness. But my experiences have allowed me to see an ugliness among some members of my tribe that saddens and disappoints me.

You are no different than the ignorant anti-semite Russian peasant of the steppes who when looking at a Jew saw only a Christ-killer. They could not see the sanctity of the individual human beyond the "yid."

Your entire post exemplifies an introverted xenophobic and paranoid Jewish theology. It is a sick and twisted world view that by no means reflects the open and perspicacious understanding reflected by most of my fellow Jews.

Consider this: If all of what you say is right and I have been a traitor to my people by marrying a non-Jew constituting a sin, I will stand before G-D almighty knowing that I have sinned far less than King David himself who murdered Uriah and committed adultery with his wife as well as coveting her. Judge King David about not being part of the world to come before you judge me. And in the privacy of your own thoughts ask if you will be part of the world to come.

Posted by: Mordecai | November 13, 2007 at 06:59 PM

Dear Renee:
Your post is interesting but what the Heredim want to do will certainly not prevent intermarriage. There is no normative Orthodox rabbi including the MO types that will do a conversion to PREVENT intermarriage. There are two exceptions: For a couple ALREADY married, both have to adopt a observant lifestyle and there has to be a separation of X (?) months. The other exception is somebody that was brought up Jewish but is not, but still that person has to adopt a observant lifestyle.
I think I remember your previous post(s) about single Jewish women that 'sense' a lack of available Jewish men. I utilized a Jewish dating service and from what I was told there was MANY more Jewish women available than Jewish men. When I was single there was an odd sort of mentality among the Jewish guys (I am a guy) that I couldn't quite figure out. Too bad Symara cannot start a post about this subject that would leave the typical idealogical arguements out.

Posted by: Isa | November 13, 2007 at 07:24 PM

Dear Renee:
Your post is interesting but what the Heredim want to do will certainly not prevent intermarriage. There is no normative Orthodox rabbi including the MO types that will do a conversion to PREVENT intermarriage. There are two exceptions: For a couple ALREADY married, both have to adopt a observant lifestyle and there has to be a separation of X (?) months. The other exception is somebody that was brought up Jewish but is not, but still that person has to adopt a observant lifestyle.
I think I remember your previous post(s) about single Jewish women that 'sense' a lack of available Jewish men. I utilized a Jewish dating service and from what I was told there was MANY more Jewish women available than Jewish men. When I was single there was an odd sort of mentality among the Jewish guys (I am a guy) that I couldn't quite figure out. Too bad Symara cannot start a post about this subject that would leave the typical idealogical arguements out.

Posted by: Isa | November 13, 2007 at 07:25 PM

Dear Renee:
Your post is interesting but what the Heredim want to do will certainly not prevent intermarriage. There is no normative Orthodox rabbi including the MO types that will do a conversion to PREVENT intermarriage. There are two exceptions: For a couple ALREADY married, both have to adopt a observant lifestyle and there has to be a separation of X (?) months. The other exception is somebody that was brought up Jewish but is not, but still that person has to adopt a observant lifestyle.
I think I remember your previous post(s) about single Jewish women that 'sense' a lack of available Jewish men. I utilized a Jewish dating service and from what I was told there was MANY more Jewish women available than Jewish men. When I was single there was an odd sort of mentality among the Jewish guys (I am a guy) that I couldn't quite figure out. Too bad Symara cannot start a post about this subject that would leave the typical idealogical arguements out.

Posted by: Isa | November 13, 2007 at 07:30 PM

The separation referred to by Isa, in the context of a couple already civilly married, is not clearly required by halacha when the non-Jewish partner converts. The implication that one must start with a "blank slate" so that any children conceived will clearly be "good to go" is very disturbing. It's a new stricture that has no place in rational halachic Judaism.


Posted by: Neo-Conservaguy | November 13, 2007 at 09:31 PM

Hi Isa,

Thank you for your post. I have been involved in shadchanut for the past 20 years and have successfully made many shidduchim. Over the past 10 years or so, I have seen a growing trend of many many more Jewish women looking for Jewish men than Jewish men seeking Jewish women. Where have all the men gone? Gone to Mordechais every one?

Regarding people who grew up thinking they were Jewish who later find out that k'halacha they are not, my husband has been involved in facilitating several such conversions in Israel and our experience has been that the Rabbinute is very eager to work with people who are interested in converting l'shem shmayim.

The Israeli Rabbinute's issue seems to be ONLY the legitimization and permission of intermarriage which clearly, as exemplified by the vast numbers of Orthodox affiliated families affected by the Rabbinute's decision (I have read that it is HALF of all non Syrian, non Chassidic Orthodox affiliated families in the US) has not only done nothing to stem the hemorrhage of intermarriage even among the Orthodox affiliated, but more likely has encouraged it.

And to Mordechai:

I am sorry that you believe that our Torah is "racist and disgusting" in saying that a man should look for the qualities of Sara Imenu in a potential wife as Yitzcack saw in Rivka. Rivka's Shabbat candles burned the whole week (mitzvah observance and chinuch of the children, the light of the home), Rivka's loaves were blessed and grew to feed a multitude (kashrut, separating challah and hachnasset orchim (the welcoming of guests) and Rivka exemplified exceptional modesty as she veiled herself upon seeing Yitzcack (Observance of family laws).

Are you trying to tell me that you found a non Jewish woman to make for you a home based upon the criteria that Sara and Rivka exemplified, that our Torah tells us are important?

You and I both know that this not true. Your non Jewish bed mate has taken you FAR AWAY from Torah and Mitzvah observance, the path that G-d Himself chose for you when He chose your body to house its Jewish soul.

Any criteria that you have adopted to replace those Hashem gives us in our Torah are simply WRONG. The Torah is the user's guide, the instruction manual for the Jewish soul. If you are not following the Torah in your criteria for selecting a mate (and with regard to a Gentile woman how COULD you be?), then you are following some other path, avoda zara or foreign service. What might that criteria be? Lust, pride, money, power, control. You say that your bed mate is "saintly" and "perfection" but according to WHOSE and WHAT standard? Surely not Hashem's standards or the standards of our Torah.

So any morality that you think that you have that supersedes that in our Torah is simply from a path other than Judaism (honestly your post reminds me of some of the rhetoric I have heard from Jews who have converted to Christianity).

That you would even THINK to compare yourself to King David is nothing short of ABSURD!!! Please pick up a Tanach and look at Samuel II 11:3-4 as well as the commentary that is handed down to us by our Sages (Talmud Shabbos 56b and Sanhedrin 107b) which explain that BathSheva was considered an unmarried woman when David saw her because David's troops divorced their wives before leaving for battle. The Talmud states the David recognized Bath-Sheva as his Divinely intended, yet nevertheless repented for many years (Psalms 51:5). When David saw BathSheva,she was immersing in a mikveh and therefore King David did not transgress the prohibitions of niddah relations either. Furthermore the commentary on passuk 11:11 explains that Uriah was indeed liable for the death penalty for his insubordination to the King.

The reason that our Rabbis stress the importance of the Oral Law is because without the explanations of the Oral Law and the writings of our Sages to help us understand and navigate the Written Law as a guide as to how we, as Jews should live, a person COULD come to believe ideas such as those you have expressed in your post which are CLEARLY in conflict with the teachings of our Torah and the Judaism you claim to "love" but sadly have learned nothing about.

Posted by: Renee | November 13, 2007 at 10:06 PM

Renee:Rabbi Marc Angel Quotes R' Hayyim Palachi, the 19th C. halachic authority of Izmir, "the Torah gave permissionto each person to express his opinion according to his understanding...".You don't possess the only understanding of Truth ( none of us do) nor do you have the right to judge another's intent or approach to God.Be tolerant and be humble, or is that too Goyish for you?

Posted by: Dr Fred | November 13, 2007 at 11:01 PM

Renee's sophistry hides an ulterior motive: to wit, Jewish and nonJewish women are bitter rivals for the attention of Jewish men and obviously she sees herself losing out to nonJewish women.

If Renee really cared about nonJewish women, she would be demanding that Israsel stop the sex slave trade of nonJewish women from the former Soviet Union. Why worry about the soul when the body is abused?

Posted by: haforsko | November 14, 2007 at 12:14 AM


The reason that our Rabbis stress the importance of the Oral Law
...
and Rivka exemplified exceptional modesty as she veiled herself upon seeing Yitzcack (Observance of family laws).

You stupid bitch !

Your oral tradition says that Rivka was 3 years old when Yitzchock married her and if you think it is appropriate to 40 years old men to penetrate 3 years old girl (Regardless of her observance) , I hope the local law enforcement agencies in your area know about you and your buddy Stefan Colmer.


Posted by: The Monsey Tzadik | November 14, 2007 at 01:04 AM

Renee:

Your continual use of the term "bed mate" to describe my wife only accentuates the point I made earlier that "Jews" of your ilk cannot see the person behind the "goy." This is a major human flaw and sin that far transcends the eating of trief, the not wearing of tzit tzit, or not doing the mitzvah of etrog and lulav. Your fetish with the stringencies of the Oral Law prevents you from seeing the true lessons of Judaism.

I sometimes wonder if whether the "law" was created by G-D to separate those who would be ensnared in the brambles of parochial tribalism from those who could break through the trees and see the forest. You are entranced by the tree, trying to figure it out, understand it, assess it, analyze it, such that you do not see the forest around you.

All of this reminds me of a Joke: A talmudic scholar dies and goes to heaven. HE sees in heaven two rooms. A placard above the door of one room says: "TALMUDIC LIBRARY-THE PLACE TO UNDERSTAND G-D THROUGH STUDY" and a placard on the other room says: "G-D's RESIDENCE - COME AND ASK G-D." The scholar looks at both rooms and after a fraction of hesitation chooses the library.

Posted by: Mordecai | November 14, 2007 at 03:09 AM

Renee:

And lastly do not put the term in quotation marks that I think the TOrah is "racist and disgusting." I never said that about Torah. But if it is any consolation to you I think you are racist and disgusting.

Posted by: Mordecai | November 14, 2007 at 03:16 AM

If Renee really cared about nonJewish women, she would be demanding that Israsel stop the sex slave trade of nonJewish women from the former Soviet Union. Why worry about the soul when the body is abused?

Well, if "shiksas" are just "bed mates" who cares? After all, only Jews are human beings made with tzelem elohim. The goyim are just klipot.

(I am being sarcastic, for those of you who are not too Swift).

Posted by: Yochanan Lavie | November 14, 2007 at 06:32 AM

I need to clarify:
I would think most intermarriages occur in the Conservative and Reform communities- and what these Orthodox rabbis, whether heredim or not say, affects them not one wit. "Rabbi convert my non-Jewish girlfriend" Response "No problem a class starts in six weeks"

Posted by: Isa | November 14, 2007 at 06:34 AM

I think there a more girls born than boys. Then I think 'gay issues' affect more boys than girls- probably 10-15%. Now already there is huge deficit of boys.

Posted by: Isa | November 14, 2007 at 06:48 AM

"If Renee really cared about nonJewish women, she would be demanding that Israsel stop the sex slave trade of nonJewish women from the former Soviet Union. Why worry about the soul when the body is abused?"

Actually that HAS been an issue that I have been involved with. I could not agree with you more.

And yes, Dr. Fred, Rabbi Haim Palachi did bring down that there are at least 70 correct interpretations of every passuk (and this was one of my mother's favorite sayings) in the Torah, I believe that it originally came from the Rambam. I was only referring to a common Midrash that is taught to every elementary aged child.

Monsey Tzaddik - First of all, I would ask the moderator to remove the part of your comment in which you address me as a "Stupid Bitch", Rule number 5 specifies "No Name Calling" and it is not fitting for any Jew (I assume you are a Jew, I hope that this is not too presumptuous) to address any other person or thing with profanity. It is certainly beneath the dignity of the topic I believe we are trying to respectfully discuss.

You might want to look into the Midrash regarding Bereshit 24:67, in which Isaac marries Rivka. First of all, it is well known that in the Torah, great amounts of time may pass between events that are described sequentially, or those events may not be described in order of their happening (ie Sefer Shoftim). such as "Isaac was born and he was weaned". We know from the Oral Law that there were at least two YEARS (some Sages say three) between Isaac's birth and his weaning and yet Isaac's weaning is described one line after his birth.

We also know from our Sages that Eliezer acquired for Isaac, Rivka as a wife when she was three years old and that he brought her and her nursemaid to the tent of Sara in order that she be raised in the ways of the household of Avraham and Sara and NOT in the "unscrupulous" ways of her father Betuel and her brother Lavan.

The Oral Tradition (Rashi, Onkelot, Ramban) describe Rivka maturing into the woman that Sara Imenu was. And THEN Isaac married her, the Oral Tradition clearly explains that Rivka was a halachic adult when Isaac married her.

I consider it rather absurd that you or anyone else would think that the Torah condones having relations with a 3 year old.
Here, I guess we have another danger of reading the Written Law without the benefit of the Oral Law, something that our Sages have cautioned against throughout our history.

And to Mordechai - I am sorry that you take offense at my calling the non Jewish woman in your life your "bed mate". Honestly, I do not know WHAT I should call her and maybe you can help me with this. According to halacha she cannot be your "wife" because there is no such thing as a halachically valid marriage between a Jew and a Gentile.

I thought about calling her your "mate" but that seemed awkward too because animals "mate" so I skipped that. I can't call her your "soul mate" because our tradition says that Gentiles have a different (not inferior, just different) type of soul than a Jew has. I wouldn't call her your "partner" either because in English "partner" assumes a relationship that is mutually beneficial to both parties and it cannot be to your benefit for eternity to lose your place in the World to Come because you wish to have relations and live with a non Jewish woman.

So, honestly, I do not know WHAT would be proper to call your "woman" (maybe "woman"?) I hope that you (or anyone else) will suggest something more agreeable that is still within halacha.

Unfortunately Isa, there are dozens of Orthodox Rabbis all over the country, who I could name for you who will "convert" anyone's non Jewish girlfriend for 5-10k, and six weeks start to finish is about average. But this is not a "conversion" it is a money making sham and this is exactly the ABUSE that the Rabbinute is trying to end.

Posted by: Renee | November 14, 2007 at 08:53 AM

Renee writes today:

I consider it rather absurd that you or anyone else would think that
the Torah condones having relations with a 3 year old.
Here, I guess we have another danger of reading the Written Law without
the benefit of the Oral Law, something that our Sages have cautioned
against throughout our history.

But Renee wrote yesterday:

The reason that our Rabbis stress the importance of the Oral Law
...
and Rivka exemplified exceptional modesty as she veiled herself upon seeing Yitzcack (Observance of family laws).

Rivka was three years old according to the ORAL LAW, Renee. LATER parts of that ORAL LAW attempt to explain away what the earlier part asserts.

You tell people they are unlearned, have not learned, etc., yet you do not even realize the tremendous gaps in your own knowledge and, even more so, understanding.

You can recite what you've been told, that is clear. But have you really learned? No way.

Posted by: Shmarya | November 14, 2007 at 09:44 AM

Monsey Tzaddik - First of all, I would ask the moderator to remove the part of your comment in which you address me as a "Stupid Bitch", Rule number 5 specifies "No Name Calling."

And to Mordechai - I am sorry that you take offense at my calling the non Jewish woman in your life your "bed mate".

So it's wrong for Monsey to call Renee the "b" word, but Renee can use the offensive term "bed mate" (sounds like a prostitute). The halachic argument is a cop-out. I have heard Orthoox rabbis refer respectfully to someone's non-Jewish spouse, even though they know the halacha and are vehemently against intermarriage.

Sounds like a double standard. Somebody 'splain it to me.

Posted by: Yochanan Lavie | November 14, 2007 at 10:11 AM

Dear Renee:
Concerning:"""Unfortunately Isa, there are dozens of Orthodox Rabbis all over the country, who I could name for you who will "convert" anyone's non Jewish girlfriend for 5-10k, and six weeks start to finish is about average. But this is not a "conversion" it is a money making sham and this is exactly the ABUSE that the Rabbinute is trying to end."""
HUH!!!
Really! A real Orthodox rabbi will take three years to convert baring unusual issues such as raised Jewish and such BUT I REALLY DO NOT DOUBT YOU WHAT YOU SAY I knew there were 'anything goes ' 'Orthodox' rabbis. You can send the names to Shymara and he will forward them on to me if you wish, but if do not wish to- OK. But still whether it is a child molester or some crooked anything rabbi they are likely to give the Heredi type answer to how old the world is.

Posted by: Isa | November 14, 2007 at 11:37 AM

There is no contradiction in Renee's words. Rivka could be betrothed with the marriage not being consummated until later.

It sounds like Shmarya's argument is as limp as the the hairs he's trying to split.

Posted by: Archie Bunker | November 14, 2007 at 11:38 AM

Dear Shmarya,

The same Rashi that says that Rivka was 3 years old when she was betrothed also explains that she was 13 when the marriage was consummated.

You are correct that there are tremendous gaps in my learning and for this reason, I reviewed the commentaries on this particular passuk this morning with a Rabbi. I thank you for encouraging me to learn more about this very interesting topic.

As far as comparing the word "bitch" to "bed mate" Wikipedia states "The word "bitch" has long been in use to refer to a woman in contempt, as shown in an 1811 dictionary which describes bitch as "the most offensive appellation that can be given to an English woman, even more provoking than that of whore." I believe that it is also universally considered profanity.

Websters online defines "bedmate" as "One with whom a bed is shared".

I hope that this will explain at least my understanding of the two terms as well as why I am offended that Shmarya would not remove the appellation of "stupid Bitch" as name calling. But, again, upon further thought, the use of profanity probably does a very good job of characterizing the poster as well as his post.

As far as Orthodox Rabbis I personally know of who will "convert" Gentile women fairly instantly BECAUSE they are involved with a Jew, I do not feel as though there is any reason not to publish the names as these Rabbis DO sincerely believe that they are doing so in order to "prevent intermarriage and make Jewish homes". Maybe after 120 years I will find out that they were right and the Israeli Rabbinute was wrong, but somehow I still doubt it.

Anyway, in my own personal experience, Rabbi Herbert Bomzer converted the non Jewish girlfriend of a Jewish man we know well. She never kept any mitzvot at anytime. Nor did she study Judaism. Rabbi Bomzer was paid 10k to do this conversion about 10 years ago.

Rabbi David Lehrfield has done conversions on dozens of Gentile women who we know personally were "intimately" (better word?) involved with Jewish men. None of these women were at all mitzvah observant and none had studied Judaism for more than a few months at most. Rabbi Lehrfield does not charge more than a nominal fee for conversion and sincerely believes that this is the only way of preventing intermarriage in the Orthodox community (which is not as prevalent as among Reform and Conservative but is still at about 15-20% according to recent estimates).

Along with Rabbi Lehrfield there are several others of whom we have first hand knowledge of participation in conversions involving women who are intimately involved (either via civil contract or not) with Jewish men, these are Pinchas Weberman, Casriel Brusowankin, Shalom Lipskar, Jose Galimidi, Amram Amsalem, Yair Shemesh, Yosef Korf and Asher Suissa (the last three of whom are personally beneficiaries of this practice).

These conversions were all performed within weeks of either 1). the discovery that the woman who was cohabiting with the Jewish man was not Jewish, or 2). the Jewish man presented his pregnant non Jewish girlfriend to the Rabbi and said he was going to enter into a civil union with her.

I know of two cases in particular in which Jewish men divorced their Jewish wives and abandoned their Jewish children in order to "cohabit" and enter into a civil union with non Jewish women who were visibly pregnant. Amram Amselem "converted" both of the women involved within weeks of each man divorcing his Jewish wife.

As I mentioned above, perhaps the Rabbis who perform these conversions without any commitment to mitzvah observance or after a fraudulent Jewish household is discovered are correct and this is the only way to "prevent" intermarriage.

But I believe that as American Jews if we do not wish to separate ourselves from other Jews around the world, will need to acquiesce to the authority of the Israeli Rabbinute that these types of "conversions" are not only NOT a valid way of preventing intermarriage, but rather a way of facilitating and encouraging it as borne by the ever increasing rates of intermarriage among ALL sectors of American Jews.

Posted by: Renee | November 14, 2007 at 01:20 PM

Renee, Is it fun to be so perfect?

Posted by: | November 14, 2007 at 05:18 PM

Renee: I agree that Monsey went too far by calling you a "bitch." But you are splitting hairs about "bed mate." Everyone knows that there is a dictionary definition, and then there are connotations. Whatever the halachic standards of Mordecai's marriage, it is obvious he loves his wife (life partner, if you insist)very much and it is no surprise that he would be hurt by your choice of words. Yet you seemed surprised.

I am not surprised that you are hurt by Monsey's choice of words. Why are you surprised by Mordecai's reaction?

Posted by: Yochanan Lavie | November 14, 2007 at 06:24 PM

Yochanan, there are times that one need not bend over backwards like a bleeding heart Liberal to not hurt someone's feelings. As a matter of fact, if Mordechai knows better, he should be ostracized for marrying out of the faith.

Posted by: Archie Bunker | November 14, 2007 at 07:15 PM

I should add that Mordechai's "proofs" from Tanach to permit marrying out are ludicrous.

Posted by: Archie Bunker | November 14, 2007 at 07:16 PM

Check out what Rabbi Tropper wrote to Rabbi Student on Hirhurim about what he calls "clarifications".

Posted by: Los Angeles Yid | November 14, 2007 at 11:47 PM

Check out what Rabbi Tropper wrote to Rabbi Student on Hirhurim about what he calls "clarifications".

Posted by: Los Angeles Yid | November 14, 2007 at 11:48 PM

A Jewish man and a Jewish woman marry in order to 1). build a proper Jewish home together and 2). enjoy kosher (ie permitted) sex.

No Jewish man cohabits with a Gentile woman with the goal of either building a proper Jewish home or having kosher sex. Without the "kosher" part, sex is just sex. There is no spiritual component to it, only the physical.

If sex is removed from the equation the Jewish man and the Gentile woman would be "research fellows", "pen pals", "coffee klatchers","co-workers" or "business associates".

But of course this is not the case, and the only reason for the relationship between a Jewish man and a Gentile woman to become a forbidden one is because they are having sex. And in these cases, the sex has been elevated to an importance that is beyond all other values and considerations.

Each of us who are Jewish today most likely descend, at least partially, from 150 generations of committed Jews who have come before us and decided that our way of life is worth preserving. To discard it all, means that either one is sure he is smarter than all of those who came before him or that he is addicted to something that is compelling beyond all rationale and reason.

The only things that I know of that are addictive to such a degree that people are known to throw away their whole lives in order to obtain are gambling, drugs, alcohol and sex. Since the first three are NOT forbidden to do with a Gentile woman, I do not think it is unfair to assume that these men throw it all away for the sex.

A lot of Jewish men think it is worth it when they are in their 20s or even 30s. But at 40,50 and 60 when it is too late for them to go back and build a proper Jewish home and raise Jewish children, most of them seem to regret it.

So they will seek to legitimize the sins of their youth via bogus conversions or by simply having the Gentile woman and her children pretend to be Jewish in hopes that at least their sons will marry Jewish women and who will give them Jewish grandchildren.

For the young man or young woman who is tricked into marrying a non Jew this way, it is also tragic.

Posted by: Renee | November 15, 2007 at 01:51 PM

Hi Renee,

Many thanks for your fascinating and thought-provoking diatribes. While the arguments you present might make for very effective "preaching-to-the-choir" shiurim, they come off as preachy and irrelevant to most of us, even those of us who consider ourselves reasonably halachically observant.

Like it or not, most people who cohabit, intermarry, collaborate on research or enjoy a cup of coffee with a non-Jewish spouse ("Gentile" is so 18th century Poland...), were not terribly interested in your gold standard proper Jewish home and kosher sex in the first place. Many people are so disillusioned and disenfranchised that you can bang them over the head with a mezuzah all you want & it'll just make them run faster.

I'm going to gloss right over all that specious stuff you wrote about those 150 generations of committed Jews- that's a fairy tale- and your speculation that some of the people who comment here need a good 12-step program to snap them out of their "condition" before they "throw it all away for the sex" (even though, if you're going to 'throw it all away for something, a stable long-term relationship is far healthier and more satisfying than the alternatives you listed). As for the claim that "most" men at 40, 50 or 60 "seem to regret" intermarrying, can you show me the research? That's an awfully big assertion, and we all know that you wouldn't be one to stoop to exaggeration.

Of course, I have no illusions that you'd even consider alternative points of view. I had fun writing this, anyway.

Shmarya- remember this old snl skit?
http://tinyurl.com/224gcl


Posted by: C-Girl | November 15, 2007 at 05:57 PM

C-Girl:

If I did not love my wife so much, I would love you. Anyway your kind and insightful thoughts boosted an otherwise tough day.

Be well.

Posted by: Mordecai | November 15, 2007 at 06:41 PM

Hands off, my good man.

C-Girl is just bitter because she thought she was getting away from crazy religious Jews by marrying a Gentile/non-Jew/shagetz. Rumor has it her husband's "animal" soul was considered a bonus at the time - later learning that revealed the disgusting racist nature of such thoughts from Tanya and the "holy Zohar" not withstanding.

Unfortunately for her, the husband had been searching a lifetime for religious meaning and found it in Judaism - at least, in rational halachic Judaism as best expressed by seriously committed Conservative and liberal Orthodox groups. Flash forward many wonderful years of slowly learning (relearning for her) together and climbing Ya'aqov's ladder one rung at a time and you'll find a couple who have only begun to realize haShem's blessings upon their family.

Wasn't it worth giving up the lobster rolls, C-Girl? ;-)

Posted by: Neo-Conservaguy | November 15, 2007 at 07:43 PM

But of course this is not the case, and the only reason for the relationship between a Jewish man and a Gentile woman to become a forbidden one is because they are having sex. And in these cases, the sex has been elevated to an importance that is beyond all other values and considerations.

Renee, you're a real romantic, aren't you?(Not). As C-Girl wrote, self-righteous individuals drive people away from Judaism. And sometimes, believe it or not, people actually fall IN LOVE despite their ideology. (It isn't always planned, and it is not always a rebellion against Judaism. It happens.)

But since marriage has only one purpose- to re-Jew-vinate the world, it doesn't matter how people feel. Just put a parochet over her face and do it for the torah. Love cannot exist between different species, of course. It's just trief sex. No emotions involved.

And since Jews who fall in "love" with the enemy don't have deep feelings, it's okay to insult their bedmates. One cannot insult a stone.

I love YHWH and Judaism, but I am becoming more and more disillusioned with "frumkeit."

Posted by: Yochanan Lavie | November 16, 2007 at 10:52 AM

Yes, N-Cguy, you were the shatnez-indifferent animal soul of my dreams. But incredulous as I was, you "de-perfected" (apologies to Ms. Coulter). As for the lobster, you didn't eat it anyway (some goy you were...) and it's amazing what you can do with soy these days.

Seriously, I did run away from religious Judaism, not seeing anything positive (and plenty negative) it had to offer me. So I fell for a non-Jewish guy (and a mighty fine one, at that). But ultimately, he refused to stay that way (b'bye "normal" life...).

Having come entirely full circle, I am convinced that Hashem exists- and that he has a wicked sense of humor.

Posted by: C-Girl | November 16, 2007 at 12:28 PM

All this stuff about Gentiles having an "Animal" Soul sounds to me like the Jewish way of saying Gentile Souls are in a mere natural state rather than a supernatural state. I fail to see what racist about that. We Catholics believe the same thing about Jews(i.e. We have supernatural Grace by Baptism & you lot are still in a state of original sin).
In Catholicism having an "Animal" Soul would be having a mortal soul that ceases to exist upon death instead of an immortal one which goes on to the World to Come.
From what I've read Jews believe righteous Gentiles will go too Heaven & wicked ones to Gey Himmon so clearly they mean somthing different.


Posted by: Jim the Catholic | November 20, 2007 at 08:15 AM

Actually, I think they mean "animal" literally. It's not in the torah, is made up mystical crap. I believe you, and all human beings are made in God's image. THAT'S in the torah.

Posted by: Yochanan Lavie | November 20, 2007 at 09:30 AM

I guess they believe you can be made in God's Image and still be an animal.

Well Hitler was technically made in God's Image & he was an animal.

Actually now that I think of it that is an insult to animals. But you get my drift.

Posted by: Jim the Catholic | November 20, 2007 at 12:19 PM

Jim: You let our rabbis off the hook too easily! I might be wrong, but I think they mean "animal" literally. (Not that I have anything against animals; I love 'em). We have our numb nuts, just like you have. (I am NOT calling all rabbis numb nuts).

Posted by: Yochanan Lavie | November 20, 2007 at 03:20 PM

Most YU and Modern Orthodox Rabbis Banned with Tropper's help said...

http://failedmessiah.typepad.com/failed_messiahcom/2007/11/eternal-jewis-1.html

November 08, 2007
Eternal Jewish Family: Belief in a Universe Older than 5768 Years is Heresy – Any Rabbi Holding This Belief Can NOT Serve as a Rabbinic Judge or Perfom Conversions; Most YU and Modern Orthodox Rabbis Therefore Banned
SR left this frightening comment on another post a few minutes ago. He does not know whether this account is true; apparently he saw it on another blog (which seems to be ExtremeGH). Can anyone confirm it? UPDATE: CONFIRMED.

I just received a report from a friend of mine who attended the Eternal Jewish Family (EJF) conference here in Washington, DC. According to EJF's website, the goal of the conference was to discuss the creation of "universally accepted conversion[]" standards (see: http://www.eternaljewishfamily.o...gton/index.htm) . (Incidentally, I'm curious about who gave them the hetter to use the Internet.) This is my summation of my friend's report (to the best of my recollection).

First, in attendance were many of the "who's who" of "g'dolim" including, but not limited to, R. N. Eisenstein, R. R. Feinstein, the Chief Rabbi of Israel, in addition to many other well known dayanim and roshei yeshiva from America and Israel. Notably, the conference apparently was boycotted by several members of our local (greater Washington, D.C.) Va'ad (neither R. Anemer or R. Winter were in attendance, and the latter was maligned from the podium in front of hundreds of people for not supporting EJF's mission). On the other hand, several local rabbis, who serve in various capacities, were in attendance for various durations (hopefully, they were duped into showing up).

In any event, my friend tells me that R. N. Eisenstein declared, FROM THE PODIUM IN FRONT OF THE ENTIRE CONFERENCE, in the name of R. Eliyashiv, that anyone who believes the world is older than 5000+ years is a kofer b'ikar, and is therefore unfit to serve as a dayan on a beis din, and that consequently any rabbi that holds such a view cannot perform conversions, not to mention that all of his conversions would be posul.

Similar such pronouncements were made about anyone who maintains that Chazal made any error in science or metzeius. Another "distinguished" speaker lamented that he saw a "supposed" dayan actually wearing some "brown" article of clothing and "smelled of cologne"; the EJF speaker commented something along the lines of, "can you imagine such a person serving as a dayan?"

In sum, the conference was not about establishing universal standards for geirus, but rather about establishing who's fit to be a dayan, and by extension, what does it mean to be an orthodox Jew. Indeed, in a private conversation with my friend, R. Eisenstein did not dispute that the effect of his pronouncement, in practice, would mean that no modern orthodox rabbi could sit on a beis din due to his philosophical, scientific, or historical beliefs, no matter how observant the rabbi is in all other respects.

Anyone who heretofore believed that the Israeli charedi g'dolim were not interested in imposing their standards and philosophy on Jews in the United States better wake up before our religion is hijacked by people who resemble those running Iran. But, such pronouncements also raise a broader philosophical problem -- who has the authority to define what Judaism is? This is a question I'm betting that most orthodox Jews always confidently pose and answer when talking to our non-observant, Conservative and Reform affiliated friends and relatives. What happens when the table is turned and those on the charedi right label us as kofrim? Are we going to continue to send our kids to their yeshivas and seminaries in Israel? Are we going to continue to hire the talmidim of the above speakers and conference attendees to teach our kids in our elementary and high schools? Are we going to put our heads in the sand and say "eilu v'eilu" about them while they will most certainly not say the same thing about YU?

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November 08, 2007 in Haredim, Modern Orthodoxy, Territorial Disputes | Permalink
Comments
B"H
It is interesting to note that at least one blogger had predicted such turn of events as a result of the Slifkin ban:
http://darkbluehat.blogspot.com/2005/06/can-you-rely-on-psak-of-someone-you.html
http://darkbluehat.blogspot.com/2005/06/burnable-heresy.html
It took a holocaust to at least temporarily deminish the machloikes between chassidim and misnagdim.
What will it take to end this one?
I wonder if the rabbis pushing this realize macro-economic and social implications of their actions.
If someone is a kofer he is also posul le'eidus.
If he is posel le'eidus this will drive up the costs of kashrus supervision.
It will invalidate many gittin creating children who are considered to be mamzerim and can't marry many other Jews.
There is nothing that forces such a ruling though as there are respectable precedents to rely on to avoid issueing it.
The gedolim of the previous generation didn't rush to issue such destructive rulings.
Of course there are also Torah sources that allow people like R. Fedlman , Berger, Gil Student the owner of this blog etc. to avoid branding Chabad heretical, but who said that Modern Orthodox camp lacks people who do stupid things?
Chareidim don't hold the monopoly on shtus.
Welcome to the brave new world...




Posted by: Ariel Sokolovsky | November 08, 2007 at 01:56 PM

After reading this blog and many others for the past year or two, I've ultimately concluded that Judaism will permanently spilt in much the same way Christianity has divded itself (Catholic, Protestant, etc.). No longer will we be one people.

This will be most difficult and gut wrenching for the traditional/modren orthodox, but if embraced will ultimately strength our numbers. I find it to be a sad commentrary on our people, but inevitable at this point. The drivel from this confernce, is only a drop in the bucket.

Posted by: A | November 08, 2007 at 02:39 PM

I guess "eternal" in Eternal Jewish Family means 5000 years old.

A: I hope the rational traditional camp will be strengthened in reaction to this, but I have a feeling they will be pulled rightward. How many MO rabbis are involved in chinuch? Not enough, so they hire black hats.

Posted by: Yochanan Lavie | November 08, 2007 at 02:54 PM

This is being spammed across lots of blogs, attributed to someone I don't recognized named mhs. I'm trying to get confirmation from someone with peripheral connections to EJF - I'm asking him to contact Rabbi Jacobs with the post above and asking him to confirm or deny. I don't know anyone who was at the conference, though.

Posted by: Larry Lennhoff | November 08, 2007 at 02:55 PM

B"H

Rabbi Yossi ben Elisha says in Tractate Shabbat (139a):


“If you see a generation that is beset by many troubles, go and examine the Judges of the Jewish People. For all the retribution that is visited upon the world is only on account of the sins of Jewish Judges, as it stated in Mikhah (3:9): Listen now, to this, O leader of the House of Jacob, and officers of the House of Yisra’el, who detest justice and twist all that is straight…”


If going around and declaring thousands of G-d fearing Jews heretics or the like is not
twisting all that is straight I am not sure what is....


Posted by: Ariel Sokolovsky | November 08, 2007 at 03:14 PM

That would be awesome if it is true. Awesome.

Posted by: DK | November 08, 2007 at 03:22 PM

This post is completely off topic BUT Someone Who Is Capable MUST do something to edit the Wikipedia entries for Rubashkin. I have just seen one and,well, go see for yourselves. Please post about this someone, O.K.?

Posted by: yidandahalf | November 08, 2007 at 04:13 PM

>>If going around and declaring thousands of G-d fearing Jews heretics or the like is not
twisting all that is straight I am not sure what is....

Then I will educate you on what is twisting all this is straight: when you attempt to maintain that heretics are "God fearing," you are doing just that. Your position is that such people are God feating. The consensus of the Jewish people and its leaders is that you don't know what you are talking about. This is not your fault: your own leader did not know what he was talking about, but that does not change anything. Its not your fault that you are not a well person. But, still you ought to leave everyone alone.




Posted by: | November 08, 2007 at 04:16 PM

Has'nt the collective wisdom of several millenia of Jewish history taught us not to castigate fellow Jews as "heretic." ?

We Jews are quite apt at creating one CRACKPOT theory after another. The racist Tanya is but one example of many. And do not for a moment think this is limited to the "ultra-orthodox.

Reform Rabbi Ignaz Maybaum (who wrote Sacrifice of Isaac, Jewish Existence, and The Face of G-d After Auschwitz) believed that Auschwitz was not a unique event in Jewish history, but a reappearance of a time honored and holy event. Thus the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple was necessary for the diaspora which allowed Jews to spread G-D's work throughout the world. HE saw the Holocaust as a medium of spiritual development where JEws suffered for the atonement of sins of humankind. HE saw the destruction of Eastern European Jewry as "progress." Progress is understood by him as freeing of the Jew from halacha and the enabling of political emancipation of the Jew.

The point here is we have CRACKPOTS both from the left and the right. At least MM Schneerson believed it unconscionable for anyone to suggest that the Holocaust was brought upon the Jews as punishment. At least here Schneerson was on point, in my view, in warning of the frightening consequences in a morality that defers to no authority higher than man, and the great depths to which even the most progressive civilization can fall when man is allowed to become the ultimate arbiter of moral judgment.

Posted by: Mordecai | November 08, 2007 at 04:37 PM

The consensus of the Jewish people and its leaders is that you don't know what you are talking about.

Nope, that's the censensus of black hat wearing kosher Kool Aid drinkers. Most Jews are not Orthodox, and among the Orthodox not all are fundamentalists. And I don't accept the farbissneh Elyashiv as my "leader" simply because he knows more talmud than me.

Feel free to attack me personally, as your ilk are wont to do.

Posted by: Yochanan Lavie | November 08, 2007 at 05:08 PM

So Yochanan -- between you, me and the lamp-post, I think some of the themes in Fahrenheit 451 sheds some light on this subject.

Posted by: Mordecai | November 08, 2007 at 05:30 PM

I agree. If you ban books, you can rewrite history.

Posted by: Yochanan Lavie | November 08, 2007 at 05:47 PM

Lavie, you missed the point, Anonymous 4:16 PM was responding to RebbeGod Sokolovsky.

Posted by: Shmendrik | November 08, 2007 at 06:06 PM

Shmendrik: I disagree with Rabbi Sokolovsky's RebbeGod ideology. But his post seemed reasonable to me. He basically said that a torah-observant, God-fearing Jew should not be labeled a heretic simply because he believes the world is more than 5000 years old. Indeed, some of chazal would support a non-literal interpretation of Bereishit- that would leave open the possiblity of a 4 billion year old world. Anon 4:16 sloppily implied that a "consensus" of Jews and their leaders favor the ultra-literal interpretation. No such consensus exists. That is an extreme opinion of a small fraction of the Jewish people.

Posted by: Yochanan Lavie | November 08, 2007 at 06:46 PM

Beheima (400 pounds and growing) rosho Tropper founder of EJF and Kol Eisav is striking again, he was the one who perpetrated the Slifkin ban. www.zootorah.com/controversy/account.html

He destroyed so many lives, he hates MO and he will expel studentsand call their job and complain to their manager if they dare to leave the yeshiva and pursued MO lifestyle, He will also call the student’s new rabbi and tell him lies about the student.

He canceled conversions because the girl did not cover her hair once or twice or the girl refused to drop out of college and to go to BT machon

He is the one who messed up the life of Gideon Busch, told him to drop out of medical school and pushed him to his death.

Rumor has it that with his new powers he retroactively going to nullify Bomzer’s conversions (MO/RCA).

you can search the archives for more horrors storied about this rosho.

The EJF is funded by Tom Kaplan of Leor Energy, he probably does not know what the behaima is doing in his money.

There is a contact page on their web site

http://www.leorenergy.com/t_kaplan.php

Posted by: The Monsey Tzadik | November 08, 2007 at 08:18 PM

does this mean....I ain't Jewish (again?)
LMAO
The ultimate cosmic joke.




Posted by: r.singer | November 08, 2007 at 09:24 PM

Gil Student on his blog wrote

I was able to confirm the statement with a reliable source who confirmed it with multiple attendees. It seems that R. Nachum Eisenstein did, in fact, say this. Presumably the RCA will have to deal with this in some way. Some of their members who perform geirus, like R. Barry Freundel, have public views on this matter (see R. Freundel's book, which has been quoted multiple times on this blog).


Posted by: PP | November 08, 2007 at 09:56 PM

What if you're a Xtian who blindly embraces medieval BS science? Does that win them any points? Can you be a Muslim and believe the world is a disc resting on pillars and find favor with God over a MO fella?

I feel like I owe the Ayatollah an apology.

Posted by: Yos | November 08, 2007 at 10:07 PM

I'm surprised you didn't have anything to say about the Zemach Zedek permitting a rabbi who abused a boy to stay in his position (see the Seforim blog)

Posted by: Steve | November 08, 2007 at 10:44 PM

Steve,

Where? Please give me a link.

Posted by: Shmarya | November 09, 2007 at 12:03 AM

My Friend R.Singer:

Think on "what is a Jew" as opposed to "who is a Jew." It will be far better for your psyche. Remember the rabbis have never been able to agree on anything. Even they could not agree on whether there should be a blue thread in the tzit tzit (Karaite view) or not. Do not defer to rabbis and give them hegemony over your mind. Do not let them burrow in to the obsidian recesses of your psyche.

If that does not work then read the following analysis that argues for patrilineal descent as opposed to matrilineal descent:

In the Biblical period, till the time of Ezra or beyond, patrilineal descent determined the status of a child, so the children of the kings of married to non-Jewish wives were unquestionably Jewish. This was equally true of other figures. Furthermore, our tradition has generally determined lineage (yihus) through the father, i.e., in all valid but originally forbidden marriages. This was also true for priestly, Levitical and Israelite lineage which was and continues to be traced through the paternal line (Nu. 1.2, 18; Yad Hil. Issurei Biah 19.15; Shulhan Arukh Even Haezer 8.1) Patrilineal descent XCIV(1984), 174-179 (CARR 61-68)

The proof for patrilineal descent can be observed throughout the TaNaKh.

Schocken Translation: Lev. 24:10 -12 Now the son of an Israelite woman went out -he was (also) the son of an Egyptian man- amid the Children of Israel; and they scuffled in the camp, the son of the Israelite-woman and a (fully) Israelite man. Now the son of the Israelite woman reviled the Name, and insulted (it), so they brought him to Moshe -now the name of his mother (was) Shelomit daughter of Divri, of the tribe of Dan and they put him under guard, to clarify it for them by order of YHWH.

Contrast this situation to a King of whose mother was an Amonite:

1 Kings 21. And Rehoboam the son of Solomon ruled in forty-one years of age was Rehoboam when he became king and seventeen years he reigned in Jerusalem, the city that the Lord had chosen to place His Name there out of all the tribes of Israel, and his mother's name was Naamah the Amonitess.

2Ch 12:13 So king Rehoboam strengthened himself in Jerusalem, and reigned: for Rehoboam [was] one and forty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which the LORD had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there. And his mother's name [was] Naamah an Ammonitess.

2Ch 12:5 Then came Shemaiah the prophet to Rehoboam, and [to] the princes of Judah, that were gathered together to Jerusalem because of Shishak, and said unto them, Thus saith the LORD, Ye have forsaken me, and therefore have I also left you in the hand of Shishak.

2Ch 11:17 So they strengthened the kingdom of Judah, and made Rehoboam the son of Solomon strong, three years: for three years they walked in the way of David and Solomon.

2Ch 12:16 And Rehoboam slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David and Abijah his son reigned in his stead.
There was never a question that Rehoboam was a valid Jewish King.

The Rabbis may think they are closer to G-D my friend but have you ever thought the opposite is true in many cases?

Remeber the Yiddish Proverb: The nearer to the shul the further from G-D. Believe me there is truth to that one.

Much of Jewish polemic is nothing more than casuistry and sophistry at its worst.


Posted by: mordecai | November 09, 2007 at 01:39 AM

check out the last seforim blog in one of the notes

Posted by: Steve | November 09, 2007 at 06:13 AM

Yos: The modern Catholic Church is actually more open to science that right-wing Orthodox Judaism (as opposed to MO). They admitted their mistake with Galileo, and even embraced evolution (with an intellegent design spin- but still). The Christians who are "medieval" are usually Protestant Fundamentalists.

Mordecai: Yashar koach. As I have said elsewhere, I would accept patrilinear, except for the fact that it is too divisive. (In my heart I accept partilinear Jews who feel a part of Am Yisrael, but I won't count them in a minyan).

R. Singer: You are more Jewish than most.

Posted by: Yochanan Lavie | November 09, 2007 at 06:30 AM

>>Lavie, you missed the point, Anonymous 4:16 PM was responding to RebbeGod Sokolovsky.

Let's see if an MO can give an apology for a mistake . . .like that will ever happen.

Ariel's posts are usually about himself. I am sure he meant to include his brand of God fearing Jew into the mix when he made his comment. Its important to distinguish heretics who say they are God fearing Jews from God fearing Jews who are labeled as heretics. Ariel is an heretic. He is a naar, an am hooretz, a boor. Moridin v'lo maalin.

Posted by: | November 09, 2007 at 09:24 AM

Anon: You are correct in saying Ariel is a heretic (however, I like him personally). I would never defend the deification of the rebbe or any other human being. However, a broken clock occasionally tells the correct time. You are correct in saying he had himself partially in mind when he made his post. But he was also defending non-fundamentalists. As far as that goes, I agree with him. Rabbi S. is well-meaning, and in some sense of the word he is God fearing. However, his idolization of the rebbe is heretical and misguided.

I hope this clears things up.

(BTW, I am too heterodox in my opinions, and too lax in my praxis, to be classified as MO. I call myself Traditional. But I daven in an MO synagogue.)

Posted by: | November 09, 2007 at 10:07 AM

The previous post is by Yochanan Lavie. I don't know why the computer didn't save my info.

Posted by: Yochanan Lavie | November 09, 2007 at 10:51 AM

>Yos: The modern Catholic Church is actually more open to science that right-wing Orthodox Judaism (as opposed to MO). They admitted their mistake with Galileo,

Actually they have always been open to science. Nobody bothered Copernicus & he was even honored by the Pope. Galileo OTOH was a shmoe who plagerized some of his theories from a Jesuit who had powerful friends. The result was predictable.

>and even embraced evolution (with an intellegent design spin- but still). The Christians who are "medieval" are usually Protestant Fundamentalists.

There are Catholic Young Earth Creationists, the Church allows this view along with Old Earth Creationist views & Theistic Evolutionist views. Naturally it condemns Atheistic Evolution. Ironically among certain Catholic Fiat Creationists there is a small minority who actually believe in Geocentracism. They will actually use Einstein's theory of relative motion(motion is dependant on the viewpoint of the observer) to rationalize it.

Naturally I am unmoved by such arguments.

Posted by: Jim the Catholic | November 10, 2007 at 08:04 AM

Jim the Catholic:

It was only when Gallileo published a book in the form of a dialogue between a scientist and a catholic religious reader in which the religious leader was mocked and made to look stupid did the Pope begin to persecute him.

Therefore, I have always felt that the attack upon Gallileo though in the guise of religion was really personal in nature. Perhaps I am mistaken but that is my take on it.

Posted by: Mordecai | November 10, 2007 at 06:58 PM

Jim: I heard a Chabad rabbi use the same argument for the geocentric theory! So much for not being influenced by the "goyim!" You Christians have a saying: The Scripture is a mirror. You cannot have a jackass peer into it, and have an apostle peer out of it. Amen.

Posted by: Yochanan Lavie | November 10, 2007 at 07:01 PM

Jim: Check this out:

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Front_Page/IK06Aa01.html

Posted by: Yochanan Lavie | November 10, 2007 at 07:04 PM

Mordecai, why do you assume that Solomon's wife the Amonite did not convert?

Posted by: A perplexed reader | November 10, 2007 at 11:54 PM

Yochanan, excellent post. The mesichists/ elokists have been able to get "traction" on their heretical view that the Rebbe is G-d precisely because we as Jews have sadly bifurcated into basically two schools of thought:
1. The Torah Mi'Sinai crowd, who basically have the attitude, Na'aseh ve nishmah, and let's not talk about theology at all, just do mitzvot.
2. everyone else (Reform, Conservative, Reconstructionist, secular, etc.) who basically have the attitude that Judaism has some good ideas which we accept and follow, and let's not talk about theology at all, let's just do Jewish cultural stuff (whatever that is) and social action.
So no-one wants to talk about theology and beliefs at all, so how can we argue with anyone when they arguably do mitzvot and Jewish cultural stuff, as the mesichtim/ elokistim certainly do? I agree that some Christian groups have overdone the theology/ beliefs bit, but we as Jews are nowadays totally minimizing our theology to the point of absurdity, to the point where many Orthodox groups could theoretically accept an atheist Orthoprax person and many liberal groups could theoretically accept an atheist Cultural Jew.
Actually many Jews across the full spectrum could probably accept and believe (even with a liberal interpretation) fundamentals 1-5, and 10, and 11 of the Rambam's 13 fundamentals of the faith. I do, and I'm not even Orthodox.

Posted by: Dave | November 11, 2007 at 09:34 PM

Also, as part of this whole trend, I notice that Nevi'im and Kethuvim are really minimized in importance compared to the Chumash/Humash. I certainly agree that Chumash study is very important, but I propose a radical- let's minimize Midrash and Kabbalah, and boost emphasis on Neviím, Kethuvim and Mussar, of course with Chumash being pre-eminent. In fact I think Kabbalah studies should be totally de-emphasized and dumped.

Posted by: Dave | November 11, 2007 at 09:40 PM

the powers that be, those being the social pressures of the community(the rabbinic establishment) are intrested in continuty.the fact that there was an accepted sefer holding the worlds renewal at 50.000 yrs(yovel yrs) at the time of the ari z"l doesnt seem to matter. the fact of fixing the opininion at 5700 plus seems to be achdut of the teaching method so diffrent schools wouldnt collide.there are enough machlokets on everything else

Posted by: scared shit | November 11, 2007 at 09:50 PM

Dave: Evangelical Christians know Tanach better than Jews do. That is why Jews for Jesus and the like are so successful. Not only should we dump kabbalah, but we should limit gemara. It's important for everyone to have a taste of it, but apart from dedicated scholars Tanach is more important. (There are those who disagree with me, and I respectfully differ).

Posted by: Yochanan Lavie | November 12, 2007 at 09:12 AM

Yochanan,
I agree with you.
I am going to post later as to some anti-missionary and outreach ideas I have.
However, my main feeling is that even if someone is not a great Torah scholar (I am not), Jews for Jesus can have no "traction" with any Jew who has "internalized" the concept of G-d's Oneness (the Muslims call it "tawheed"- I am not sure what we call it in Hebrew). As Rambam said Hashem is "a Unity unlike any other unity", and then he went to explain further. This is a such a primordial faith concept in Judaism, that is a strong rock to hold onto.

Posted by: Dave | November 12, 2007 at 08:30 PM

Dave, you take it all to seriosly.
Just the maddnessof contemprorary society, that's all.
Helllooo, A Perplexed Reader.
What is your grandparents name?
Mine is Yosef Meerovich Shmookler, zul zain gezunt, and Yakov Aron-Wolfovich HaLevi Royzengurten o'h.

Posted by: Lev | November 12, 2007 at 08:54 PM

Tropper openly helps ignite Haredi War on Modern Orthodoxy said...

November 09, 2007
CONFIRMED: Haredi War on Modern Orthodoxy Begins
Rabbi Gil Student writes:

I was able to confirm the statement with a reliable source who confirmed it with multiple attendees. It seems that R[abbi] Nochum Eisenstein did, in fact, say this. Presumably the RCA will have to deal with this in some way. Some of their members who perform geirus, like R[abbi] Barry Freundel, have public views on this matter (see R[abbi] Freundel's book, which has been quoted multiple times on this blog).
Gil | Homepage | 11.08.07 - 7:04 pm | #

What is Gil Student confirming? This:

…In any event, my friend tells me that R[abbi] N[ochum] Eisenstein declared, FROM THE PODIUM IN FRONT OF THE ENTIRE [Eternal Jewish Family] CONFERENCE [in Washington, DC this week], in the name of R[abbi] Eliyashiv, that anyone who believes the world is older than 5000+ years is a kofer b'ikar, and is therefore unfit to serve as a dayan on a beis din, and that consequently any rabbi that holds such a view cannot perform conversions, not to mention that all of his conversions would be posul.

Similar such pronouncements were made about anyone who maintains that Chazal made any error in science or metzeius. Another "distinguished" speaker lamented that he saw a "supposed" dayan actually wearing some "brown" article of clothing and "smelled of cologne"; the EJF speaker commented something along the lines of, "can you imagine such a person serving as a dayan?"…

Rabbi Hershel Schachter lent his name to the Eternal Jewish Family cause, even though there were ample signs of bad behavior from its leader Rabbi Leib Tropper and from men like Rabbi Nochum Eisenstein and Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv. (Search for "Tropper" here to see one example; see these posts for many others.) Yet Rabbi Hershel Schachter, the 'leader' of Modern Orthodoxy went along blindly, accepting the false praise from Tropper's lips and ignoring the pain and suffering of others.

Now the RCA must take a stand. But the Basil Herrings, Herschel Schachters and Mordechai Willigs of this world lack a key element needed to fight – beytzim.

Tropper, Eisenstein, Elyashiv and Amar must be stopped. If the 'leaders' of Modern Orthodoxy will not or cannot do the job, it will fall to us, the laity, to do it.

Do not make the mistake of thinking the actions taken by haredim are irrelevant to your lives. The day will soon come when your children or grandchildren will not be able to marry in Israel because they will not have a reliable ancestry because their parents are Modern Orthodox. Your yichus will be suspect, and your Judaism marginalized.

Act now, in this brief moment left before it is too late. Tell your rabbis and roshei yeshivot that they must not capitulate to haredi demands.

If they do not listen or they do not act then realize that we are truly a leaderless generation, even though many so-called men hold positions of prestige and authority.

Hillel said, "Where there is no man, be a man," in other words, "When your leaders are cowards you must have the courage to act."

Act now. The future is literally in your hands. Hazak u'barukh.

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November 09, 2007 in Haredim, Modern Orthodoxy, Territorial Disputes | Permalink
Comments
Not that anyone asked me: Modern Orthodox institutions such as Chovevi Torah should merge with the Union for Traditional Judaism. Then, they should declare their indepedence from the chareidim- don't hire their rabbis, don't give them money, don't patronize their institutions, don't listen to their "sages." In Israel, MO should lobby for seperation of synagogue and state. (MO don't have to accept non-Ortho conversions; they don't in America.) This will never happen, because the MO are always looking over their right shoulder for approval from the "authentic" Fiddler on the Roof Jews.

Posted by: Yochanan Lavie | November 09, 2007 at 06:15 AM

> Tropper, Eisenstein, Elyashiv and Amar must be stopped. If the 'leaders' of Modern Orthodoxy will not or cannot do the job, it will fall to us, the laity, to do it

Wow, I didn't know you were MO now. Welcome aboard!

The reason the MO leadership won't fight the chareidim is that same reason most of them wear black hats. They are more concerned with being seen an legitimate rabbonim by their Chareidi world. Their laity come second in this regard.

The problem with fighting back, however, is the possible consequence: a complete split within the Torah observant world leading to the Chareidim treating MO as another type of heterodoxy, like the end of the post suggested. I don't think they want that to happen either.

Posted by: Garnel Ironheart | November 09, 2007 at 08:01 AM

Yochanan hit it on the head:
"don't hire their rabbis, don't give them money, don't patronize their institutions, don't listen to their "sages."
They slap MO and other jews with one hand then beg them for money (or pick their pockets) with the other.
There doesn't have to be direct confrontation with the haredim; "just say NO".
If they see the money tree drying up they'll start singing a different tune.


Posted by: JewishCynic | November 09, 2007 at 08:39 AM

Modern Orthodoxy feeds the hand that bites it. (attribution: Rabbi Yuter).

Posted by: Yochanan Lavie | November 09, 2007 at 08:50 AM

At the end of the day, "Who Is a Jew" and other citizenship policies in Israel will not be made by the Orthodox--but by secular, Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist Jews. We are the majority, we will not completely assimilate in the near-term, and we will "keep our oar in"--you guys may not like that, you may not feel we are not really 100% Jewish but heredi fundamentalism is not going to run or ruin our lives however much tsouris it causes yours.

Posted by: Paul Freedman | November 09, 2007 at 09:20 AM

I was Leibel Tropper's roomate almost 40 years ago in Yeshivah. Do not underestimate his intelligence or his egi. They are both overwhelming. But he is also very ignorant. I believe he boasted of dropping out of the English department after 8th grade. In other words, he is brilliant, highly chariamatic and just plain ignorant.
But this whole chareidi kulturkampf rests on a the growth of the issur as opposed to the Teshuvah. The issur is basically Rabbis treating the rest of the worl as children, as they tell us you must do this or cannot do that, why? because we say so!! The first modern issur that I can think of, (I am sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong) was the ban on participating in the Synagogue Council of America. Rav Eliezer Silver of Cincinnatti was theAcknowledged Gadol and head of the MOetzes before Rav Kutler, was quoted as saying there was no halachic reason for this ban. IMHO it was a pure powerplay, which was succesful. It drew a border and challenged more modern Rabbis that if they crossed the line they would be rejected. The traditional halachic approach is the Teshuvah, which to be accepted, has to play fair, has to marshall arguments on both sides. Like a legal brief, a Teshuvah has to explain decisions that go the other way. If a legal brief does not cite all the relevant cases it is laughed at and ignored. These "Gedolim" are uncomfortable writing Teshuvot, because that would indicate that there are two sides to the issue. They take the easy side by just writing issurim, that do not have to stand up to halachic logic, they wre meant to be accepted "because we say so. It is a cheap and easy way, and is very dangerous to use. The faculty of Riets used this approach just a few years ago when they all signed a letter against women's tefilot. So now they are victims of their own approach. Dince not one of them will assert that they are bigger that Rabbi Elyashav, if they can write an issur about women's tefillah groups and expect us to be bound by there collective opinions, why should they not be bound by the collective opinions of Rav Elyashav and his colleagues, who still seem to be living in the 16th century? It will be interesting.

Posted by: rabbidw | November 09, 2007 at 09:40 AM

There were many EJF conferences where the rabbis came from all over the world and had their airfare and hotels paid by Tom Kaplan. There is a simple way to stop all this meshugaas and this to stop the flow of money from Kaplan to Tropper.

If he refuses to do so I am sure the Modern Orthodox with their connection to the state of Israel can get the Mossad to arrange for accident to happen to Mr. Kaplan…

There are actually a group of people who have the ability and the resources to fight back they are call chabbad but they are too busy in setting up branches in Phuket and suing the Seattle airport.

I once read one of their big shots , Dovid Eliezry of OC posting in Cross-Currents and Sheepingly trying to convince them that Chabbad are Legitimate Jews. Eliezry is known for his attacked on Liberals and Liberal Jews in particular.

Let me tell you something Eliezry the enemies of kllal Isroel are not the Liberals and not the Seattle Airport Authority, they are the charedis which you are begging them to accept you and your kind

Posted by: The Monsey Tzadik | November 09, 2007 at 09:47 AM

>If he refuses to do so I am sure the Modern Orthodox with their connection to the state of Israel can get the Mossad to arrange for accident to happen to Mr. Kaplan…

Are you crazy or do you just have a macabre sense of humor? Don't even joke like that.

Posted by: S. | November 09, 2007 at 10:43 AM

Rabbidw writes that the "first modern issur that I can think of, (I am sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong) was the ban on participating in the Synagogue Council of America." How about the bans against the chasidim tarting in the 1700s? In the 1800s, several rabbonim in Polan and Hungary issued issurim on machine-baked matzos without ever having seen them produced. The Agudas Harabbonim issued a few in the 1920s and 1930s, such as purchasing (kosher) food from a Jew who also sold non-Kosher. There was also an issur on Torah Vodaas opening a high school because of hasgoas gvul. By the way, the issur on the synagogue council was in fact a teshuva. It started as a question to Rav Yaakov Kaminetsky and Rav Gedalia Schorr, roshei yeshiva of Torah Vodaath, by the Igud Harabbonim (basically a Torah Vodaas alumni association at the time) on joining with the RCA (basically aa YU alumni association at the time) in their participation in the synagogue council. Those two involved the other nine who signed the ban. (The history of this is detailed in Louis Bernstein's "Challenge and Mission")

"Rav Eliezer Silver of Cincinnatti was theAcknowledged Gadol and head of the MOetzes before Rav Kutler," Not quite. He was the president of the Agudas Harabbonim, but before Rav Aharon cam here and Reb Moshe's reputation was established, Rav Eliahu Henkin was regarded as the leading rov in America.

Rav Silver "was quoted as saying there was no halachic reason for this ban." I don't think he quite came out that way, but he disagreed with it and quite publicly declined to sign it. One can find more history on this in Aharon Rakefet's "The Silve Era."

Posted by: Lawrence M. Reisman | November 09, 2007 at 11:19 AM

Reading your blog does so much to reaffirm my commitment to Conservative Judaism. Thank you!

Posted by: Jim | November 09, 2007 at 01:07 PM

Jim, my nephew is a Conservative youth leader now studying at the Conservative Yeshiva/Seminary in Jerusalem after his college graduation. Following the controversies here pushed me to plead with him to consider staying with Conservative notwithstanding that his desire to study and learn and grow spiritually in an atmosphere of authenticity might seem to be most directly met within Orthodox affiliation.

Posted by: Paul Freedman | November 09, 2007 at 01:39 PM

"Authenticity" is a human construct that appears to me more suited for descriptions of authentic reproductions of Van Gogh or authentic Matzoh Ball Soup. "Authentic" religion strikes me to be a bit odd.

I imagine that when G-D judges the Black Hats who believe they are authentic he may bellow: "When I said a blue thread in the Tzit Tzit I meant a blue thread in the Tzit Tzit!! What numbskull came up with the idea that we did not need a blue thread?"

Alternatively he might just say to the Alte Rebbe Shnorrer Zalman of Bialy: "Kellipots Shmellipots. Where did you get that hairbrained idea that non-Jewsish souls come from no-good. I am the Lord thy G-D and I do not make defective products only the Chinese do!!"

Posted by: mordecai | November 09, 2007 at 03:10 PM

"If they see the money tree drying up they'll start singing a different tune."

I doubt that. They would be very happy to defacto "excommunicate" everyone everywhere who won't adhere to their extra-biblical stringencies. They don't care one whit what effect this would have on other sects of Judaism - to them, there ARE NO other sects of Judaism. You need to get that straight right now.

"IMHO it was a pure powerplay, which was succesful."

Exactly - the money now is actually secondary, though they have waited until this moment to act until they had plenty of resources available to them. It's now all about powermongering and control - and they don't intend to give up either.

"I am the Lord thy G-D and I do not make defective products only the Chinese do!!"

The cheredi don't believe that, and never will. Their racism and arrogance is deeply ingrained in their teaching and philosophy and even their eschatology.

The other sects of Judaism have not been able to stand up to this nonsense so long as the state of Israel is subsidizing and artificially inflating the influence of the cheredi. The only thing that's going to stop them is the total economic collapse of their communities - a wish that may be a lot closer to coming true than anyone cares to admit. Unfortunately, destroying the last link to the "old world," however far off course they have become (which is quite far) will do far more damage than good to Judaism in general.

And here in America, the backlash is already building against their self-centered attitudes and exploitation of others - and it is not just the cheredi who will be the targets of the ire of the masses. But for most, moving to Israel is not an answer. Intelligent educated people are not going to put up with being told their marriages, adoptions, conversions, and geneology in general are "not really Jewish." American support for Israel among Jews is going to fall through the floor when they realize they have been rejected as "sub-humans" with "defective souls."

What happens then? I really don't know.

Posted by: Ahavah | November 09, 2007 at 03:40 PM

OK so screw the MO converts.
There are any number of MO rabbis that do getts. Now these Heredi idiots have created a whole bunch of mamzereem.

Posted by: Isa | November 09, 2007 at 03:54 PM

The problem is that we as Jews keep on talking about our differences, instead of what unites us. If I were a rabbi, I would say "If you believe in (the Jewish concept of) G-d, and you believe that Torah study and good deeds are primordially important, let's talk. These things are axiomatic and foundational values. We can debate anything else"

Posted by: Dave | November 09, 2007 at 05:01 PM

Are you crazy or do you just have a macabre sense of humor?

Yes

Posted by: The Monsey Tzadik | November 09, 2007 at 08:45 PM

[If I were a rabbi, I would say "If you believe in (the Jewish concept of) G-d, and you believe that Torah study and good deeds are primordially important, let's talk]

The idea that "if you were a rabbi" is pregnant with the unarticulated implication that your views would have more weight or authenticity if you were a rabbi.

Actually, if you were a rabbi I (and perhaps others) would have more reason to skeptically consider if you have an ax to grind or have a particular agenda.

[The problem is that we as Jews keep on talking about our differences}

That we talk about differences is not a "problem" but a sacred obligation. The racist Chabad Tanya says that the souls of the nations of the world, however, emanate from the unclean kelipot which contains no good whatsoever, as it is written in Etz Chayim 49, ch. 3, that all the good the nations do is out of selfish motive."

We have a duty to extirpate this nefarious concept from the body politic of Judaism and from our theology. It is NOT a Jewish theology and is antithetical to the spirit of Judaism. It is anathema and it should be treated as such. No commonality, such as dancing the hora or singing Hava Nagila, can mitigate the blight of such thinking upon Judaism.

Did we not expect decent Germans to distance themselves from Nazi extremism? Do we not expect decent Christians to denounce the Ku Klux Klan? What if decent Cristians were to celebrate their commonality with the Klan instead of talking about "problems." Consider if a Christian leader were to say: "Let's talk about what unites us with the Ku Klux Klan rather than our differences." What would your resopnse to that be?

"Problems" may make us uncomfortable or place squarely in front of our eyes the reality of religious extremism within Judaism.

Yes they are our brothers and I do not believe we should hate them. However we should correct them and make quite clear our disagreement with such views as for example the one cited from the Tanya rather than pretend they do not exist in a false show of Jewish unity.


Posted by: Modecai | November 10, 2007 at 05:11 PM

How sweet it is - perhaps karma is a Jewish concept after all. On that basis, I can think of no group that more deserves to get this treatment than the OU/RCA. They have happily shit on anyone to the "left" of them for decades. Now, they're getting it themselves because they are "left" of the haredim. How does it feel to have the crap land on you, boys?


Posted by: Neo-Conservaguy | November 10, 2007 at 05:42 PM

How does it feel to have the crap land on you, boys?

Neo: There is a Sephardic saying: If you spit downwards, it lands in your beard, if spit upwards it lands in your face. (i.e. don't slander others because it comes back to you). So maybe karma is Jewish.

Posted by: Yochanan Lavie | November 10, 2007 at 06:57 PM

For the authentic Jewish position on Conversion, we need only look to a true voice for the halachic process in our generation, Rabbi D. Marc Angel:

http://www.forward.com/articles/11985


Posted by: Neo-Conservaguy | November 10, 2007 at 07:20 PM

Angel's article is good. He is a Rabbi aptly named.

EMMES

Posted by: mordecai | November 10, 2007 at 08:08 PM

Mordecai, don't get me wrong- I am very much against fanaticism. I am also very much against mysticism of any kind.

Posted by: Dave | November 10, 2007 at 10:35 PM

Can someone please provide a proper hyperlink to Rabbi Eisenstien's comment? I cannot find it in the Eternal Jewish Family websight. I would not like to debate over this issue unless I can authenticate the fact that he made those statements.

Posted by: Bartley Kulp | November 10, 2007 at 10:56 PM

I tell you what – when it comes out in paperback, we'll call you.

Posted by: Shmarya | November 10, 2007 at 11:34 PM

The language here is false. Haredi Jews include Modern Orthodox. What you mean to say is Hasidic (Chasidic); not Haredi.

Posted by: Yakir Pinchas | November 10, 2007 at 11:39 PM

Nope. You're wrong.

Posted by: Shmarya | November 10, 2007 at 11:42 PM

The dichtomy between The RCA and the Charedi world is false.RIETS is a part od the larger yeshiva world. It calls itself centrist orthodox and tries to function as the moderate voice within the yeshiva world. Lakewood is the right wing of the yeshiva world and presents itself as the intellectual elite of the world.

Posted by: | November 11, 2007 at 02:39 PM

I stand corrected. But I would have preferred a better explanation than: "Nope. You're wrong."

Posted by: Yakir Pinchas | November 11, 2007 at 05:59 PM

You're right about that. I apologize.

Posted by: Shmarya | November 11, 2007 at 06:03 PM

Ahava, are you a survivior of the "BT Archiprlago"--"Archipelag BT"?(See my post on Kvetcher).
Mordecai, I had posted on this topic, some stupid Lubavitchers TRANSLATE Tanya in all types of foreighn languges to cause more emnity with non-Jews.

Posted by: Lev | November 12, 2007 at 08:44 PM

AN AMERICAN jew said...

There are any number of MO rabbis that do getts. Now these Heredi idiots have created a whole bunch of mamzereem.


Charedis like Tropper do not care about the welfare of Jews or if they became mamzerim they do care to gain power and to control Orthodox Judaism.

All this debate makes me think that conservative Judaism is probably closer to the truth as it gets.

I am sure that Mormons, Wahabi Islam and charedi Judaism are all wrong.

Happy Thanksgiving

So happy to live in a free country where people like Tropper and Solomon can control only people who willingly give up their freedom .


We used to think of making aliya but after what we learn about the charedi and the rabanut in Israel we will go to Kabul before we do Aliya

Da'as Torah's update said...

http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2007/11/jewish-press-editorial-my-unpublished.html

Sunday, November 25, 2007
Jewish Press Editorial & my unpublished response

Jewish Press

Conversions And Controversy

By: Editorial Board Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A brief news item in last week’s Jewish Press reported on the latest conference of the Eternal Jewish Family, an organization intent on formulating universal standards for Jewish conversions. As was the case with its four earlier sessions, the group brought together notables from the Torah world – respected roshei yeshiva, leading poskim and prominent pulpit rabbis – to identify and promote a conversion process that would pass muster across the spectrum of Jewish life while alleviating the horror of conversions that are problematic because of questions about the procedures that were followed or the credentials of the overseers.

The enterprise would seem to be one of those things about which there should be no dispute. But the long knives are coming out nonetheless.

There are those who are not part of the Eternal Jewish Family team that are taking umbrage at its increasing success in the area of conversions. Frustration at not being accepted as the last word on conversions has, from the beginning, been a sore point with veteran conversion practitioners and rabbinic groups that preexisted the EJF (which, among other things, has directed the establishment of regional religious conversion courts that apply its standards and abide by its cap on what converts may be charged).

Unfortunately, a new dimension to the challenges has emerged.

In order to secure the recognition of the most stringent haredi communities, EJF early on enlisted the involvement of such luminaries as Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, Rav Ovadia Yosef and the Israeli Chief Rabbinate in Israel and Rav Reuven Feinstein here in the U.S. There has also been support on the part of, among others, Rav Dov Povarky, Rav Moshe Shapiro, Rav Ahron Schechter, Rav Hillel David and Rav Shmuel Kaminetsky.

There are, however, voices from within the haredi world that have taken to questioning the bona fides of EJF despite the imprimatur of Rav Elyashiv and the other gedolim. To be sure, those leading the new charge have in the past made a point of tweaking Rav Elyashiv and others in the haredi hierarchy on various issues. And they have employed the time-honored device of approaching a posek, ex parte, for a p’sak regarding a litany of facts that may include a number of halahic no-nos but that do not necessarily have anything to do with the intended target. The inevitable negative ruling, though, is then spun as being directed at that target.

This is not to take sides in a public row that is only bound to escalate in the coming weeks. We do, however, recognize the great strides achieved by EJF on an issue that has long vexed the religious community and hope that the important work of standardizing the conversion process will not be derailed, even momentarily.

My response sent November 22, 2007 which has not been published or acknowledged:

Firstly let me express strong gratitude to the Jewish Press for its efforts of many years to ameliorate the problems of the Jewish people. However I am troubled by your presentation of this matter and its serious deviation from your normal standards of impartiality and fairness. I fail to understand why you say you are not taking sides in this matter, when in fact you have invalidated the opposition as essentially beneath contempt. There are in fact serious halachic issues involved - something which unfortunately your informant in this matter has failed to mention. It would be helpful for the productive resolution of this matter if you heard from all the parties involved before passing judgment. Especially since the position of the Jewish Press carries great weight with its readership. Please let me know if you would like to hear the other side.

Daniel Eidensohn Ph.D.

Posted by Daas Torah at 1:06 AM

6 comments:
Joseph said...

This is the Jewish Press' modus operandi ever since they have been publishing.

The only difference is, now it is on an issue you disagree with.

November 25, 2007 1:28 AM
Anonymous said...
Your response to their editorial is very well stated.

Here is the letter that I sent them:

Given the current climate regarding this issue where the Israeli Rabbinute is not accepting Diaspora conversions and the recent Bedatz assur regarding kiruv activities aimed toward the Gentile children of non Jewish woman who cohabit with Jewish men, it is only my opinion that the Jewish Press should publish the letter from Bedatz along with the translation approved by Rabbi Sternbuch shlita.

To publish instead an editorial that appears to support EJF in opposition to both the Rabbinute and Bedatz would seem contrary to what the mainstream of Orthodox Judaism is doing.

I fail to understand why a publication that presents itself as an Anglo Orthodox Jewish news source would choose to ignore the extremely newsworthy statement of Bedatz in favor of publishing an editorial in support of an organization whose website has been pulled down because the Rabbis who previously supported it no longer wish to affiliate with it.

Given that the statement from Bedatz was issued last Erev Shabbat, I fail to understand why it could not have been reported in this weeks paper. By now, it is not "news".

November 25, 2007 5:30 AM
Yitzchok said...

Whom did you send this to at The Jewish Press? The correct e-mail address is either letters@jewishpress.com or editor@jewishpress.com. And you're being very disingenuous when you complain that a letter you sent on Nov. 22 wasn't published by the paper --which is a weekly and the next issue of which won't be out until next Wed.! So how are they supposed to have published a letter of yours before their next issue goes to press???

November 25, 2007 11:06 PM

Daas Torah said...

Yitzchok said:"And you're being very disingenuous when you complain that a letter you sent on Nov. 22 wasn't published by the paper --which is a weekly and the next issue of which won't be out until next Wed."

You are apparently unaware of the Jewish Press website. There is a comment option on the website to which one can reply and it is added to the website. They also ask whether you want to be considered for the print edition. It only takes a day or two at most for the moderator to read letters. My letter simply has been ignored.

November 26, 2007 12:36 AM

Anonymous said...

I have been waiting to convert to Judaism for 10 years. Unable to convert for so long, due to being married to a non-Jew and having small children who are now almost of an age to go out on their own. It has been pure, absolute torture to my soul, this long wait. Now, when I am so close to being able to convert, I find all these problems, the Israeli Rabbinate has a certain list of approved Rabbonim, many of whom are DEAD already, and leaving just a couple of Rabbis far from me. No matter, I will go wherever I have to when the time comes. The situation for people who wish to convert IN Israel is even worse, to the point of almost being impossible - unless one is brought in from Russia through some faux-Jewish Rabbi "On Wings of Eagles" with the help of those same Israeli Rabbinate head Rabbis, who then convert these Russians to Judaism in a fast unhalachic conversion. Many, many of these Russians couldn't care less about Jews, Israel, or being Jewish themselves, but there they are for the benefits. While someone like me who has waited in torture for a decade to finally convert has to be put through hell. I believe at this point that the very LAST thing the Israeli Rabbinate wants are true, sincere converts who have Jewish souls that have awoken. They want non-Jews instead, masquerading as Jews, as they continue to convert the Russians and others who have no interest in being Jews in the first place except for the benefits! While at the same time denying people with true Jewish souls the opportunity.

No matter. I will find a way to convert HALACHICALLY when the time comes, nobody will be able to stop my Jewish soul from coming home. I have studies from Orthodox sources (OU, etc.) for the past ten years on my own, as it's all I can do, now I have learned so much in theory but cannot yet put it into practice until I convert.

The Rabbinate should be happy to accept a convert like me, instead of accepting Russians and hidden Jews for yushkie, who don't care about being a Jew. But will they? No. It will be hard, difficult, and immensely unfair. No matter. A true Jewish soul cannot be stopped once it wakes up.

November 26, 2007 2:02 AM

Anonymous said...

Why did the Jewish Press not print or even mention the Bedatz ruling? It is surely very big news throughout the Jewish world.

Dear Anonymous who wishes to become a Geyores Tzeddekes:

My husband is a Rabbi who has advocated for several sincere converts and our experiences with the Israeli Rabbinute have been very positive; that they have been VERY open to accepting SINCERE converts.

To the best of our knowledge NO Diaspora conversions are being accepted in Israel without review. The Rabbinute will only accept those Diaspora conversions that they rule were done according to halacha. Sadly this has not been the case in the majority of cases.

Some of the things you may need to consider as part of your potential conversion commitment are very difficult halachic realities.

For example, a Jew cannot be married to a non Jew. Converting k'halacha in your case would most likely mean permanently separating from your husband unless he is also willing to make a sincere commitment to a life of Torah and mitzvah observance.

The issues surrounding your children are also very complex and would need to be addressed by the Beit Din. In converting k'halacha, your non Jewish children are no longer your children according to Jewish law. Will you be happy all alone in this world? Jews are forbidden to proselytize to non Jews, so you will not be able to share your new life with your non Jewish children. Can a mother truly sever the maternal relationship to her own children in order to serve G-d as a Jew?

The journey you consider is a very very difficult and lonely path. Any responsible Beit Din will want to ensure you are educated enough to make such a decision in an informed manner. This cannot happen overnight.

The Rabbis who insist that you study Jewish law and Jewish observance for several years, that you live with an observant Jewish family alone, separated from your non Jewish husband and children is NOT being strict, to the contrary they are being compassionate to you.

Conversion k'halacha is a MOST serious commitment as well as a one way ticket for all of eternity. It is entirely unfair to you if you make such a commitment unless you are well educated and informed of all of the consequences.

As you are now, you are a righteous Gentile whom G-d Himself created in the most perfect and appropriate manner for your role in this world. You are assured your eternal place among the righteous if you observe the laws that are incumbent upon you as a Gentile.

But you believe that you wish to take on more, MUCH MUCH more. More in fact than your Creator created you to observe!!

You believe that you wish to observe the entire Torah, a commitment that those of us who were born Jewish almost always fail to fulfill (and quite honestly sometimes get quite angry with G-d for imposing upon us).

How could you even begin to understand what this REALLY means until you have lived for a few years under the conditions of the oath you seek to impose upon yourself?

You say no one will stop your Jewish soul from coming home and that is surely admirable. But how many can leave everything they have ever known and go to Israel in order to live with a Jewish family and study Judaism so that they will even BEGIN to understand the commitment to live a Jewish life REALLY entails?


This type of commitment is truly necessary because once you convert, transgressing the laws you have sworn to observe will cost your soul its eternity.

The Beit Din that does not allow you to enter into such a commitment lightly or without full understanding is the Beit Din that truly cares for you and your spiritual well being for eternity.

In contrast, Rabbis who will permit
Gentiles to sacrifice their eternity without the proper education and commitment in order to boost Jewish numbers or ease political issues are being unfair to those whom they convert. You are right to be outraged by this.

I wish you all the best.

November 26, 2007 10:45 PM

http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2007/11/proselytising.html

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Proselytising? I

Who is really to blame?

by Jonathan Rosenblum
Jerusalem Post
June 1, 2007
http://www.jewishmediaresources.com/article/1094/

[This is the second half of the article]

"IT IS NOT those who uphold strict standards for conversion who show a lack of love and concern for the convert, but rather those who ignore the halachic requirement of a sincere commitment to mitzva observance. The latter expose those "converted" under their auspices to the danger of a painful shock many years later when they discover that their conversion is not universally recognized.

A universally recognized standard is the greatest protection for the sincere convert, and the implementation of such a standard by responsible rabbinical courts is the key to the complete integration of the sincere convert into the Jewish people, without any concern that someone will
someday question his or her conversion.

Two weeks ago, I participated in a three-day seminar sponsored by the Eternal Jewish Family (EJF) organization in Phoenix, Arizona. The participants were 32 intermarried couples in each of which the non-Jewish spouse is contemplating conversion. (The leading contemporary halachic decisors have ruled that in the case of intermarried couples, the general rule that "the right hand pushes away" the would-be convert does not apply.)
The Phoenix seminar was the second of its kind. Of the 32 couples who participated in the first, 28 are on track to a full halachic conversion for the gentile spouse. One couple from the first seminar was halachically married at the Phoenix seminar. Another seven seminars sponsored by EJF are
scheduled around the world for the coming year, each at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Working with intermarried couples is only part of what EJF does. The organization also promotes a universally accepted standard for conversion. It has already sponsored numerous conferences for rabbinical court judges in the United States and Israel, and one is scheduled in the near future
for Europe.

The two-fold efforts of EJF provide irrefutable proof that concern for universally recognized standards of conversion goes hand-in-hand with the greatest love and respect for the convert."

Posted by Daas Torah at 9:18 AM


http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2007/11/proselytising_28.html

Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Proselytising? II

http://www.jewishpress.com/print.do/18698/Oxnard_Diary.html

Jewish Press published the following entitled

Oxnard Diary - what follows is the second half of the article
by Isa David Balaban June 28, 2006

From a Jewish perspective, however, the most heartbreaking aspect may be that those intermarried Jews who, despite past decisions, fervently wish to retain their identity and their children’s identity as Jews are up against near impossible odds. These include the inescapable reality that there are few more serious violations of Jewish law than marriage to a non-Jew, that such marriages are condemned by the Bible and completely unrecognized, and that the status of the children of such partnerships are regarded accordingly. But can Judaism simply turn its back on sincere returnees who are intermarried?
Those who remember the television program “The Millionaire” will recall that each time the anonymous benefactor’s emissary, John Beresford Tipton, approached someone with the gift of a million dollars (which was a lot of money in the late 50’s), the recipient’s initial response was a blend of disbelief and cynicism (the varying proportions of which kept the series interesting from week to week).

Such was the understandable reaction of most of the thirty-two intermarried couples who were invited to the Oxnard Seminar when their local rabbi informed them that the religion best known for turning away potential converts would not only welcome the non-Jewish spouse’s application for conversion but also wanted to roll out the red carpet.
And who can blame them? Having long been written off as a bad investment of an outreach rabbi’s time, they were now being invited along with their children to an all-expenses-paid retreat at a luxurious winery on the California coast. Between the gourmet meals, vineyard tour, and wine-tasting, they would get the lowdown on converting to Judaism, share their own experience with other similarly-situated couples, and meet the team that would streamline the process for them. It sounded too good to be true.
Yet by the end of the three-day event, even the couple who had braced themselves for “the ultimate Amway pitch” were reassured – and much more. Oxnard Seminar participant Mike Perkins called the experience “life-changing.” New Yorker Pauline Edwards described herself as being “beyond inspired.” Canadian David Durand said “it gave us a unity for life.”
Little wonder. Along with the steak and (kosher) caviar, EJF flew in a world class line up of motivational speakers. Such well known Torah heavy hitters as Rabbis Doron Kornbluth, Mordechai Neugroschel and Meyer Schiller gave talks and one of the top Israeli rock bands played through the night. Britney Spears’s publicist even made a video appearance. In short, it was a lineup that would make George Steinbrenner blush, and the all but inevitable result was that of the thirty-two couples that came to Oxnard, thirty applied for EJF’s Universally Accepted Conversion. Suffice to say that with chassidic tales, world class Beaujolais, and the California surf replacing Constantine’s sword, conversion will never be the same again.

Which raises the questions: Who is responsible for Judaism’s apparent course change, who is footing the bill for this, and where is it all heading?

The rudder of Judaism is being steered in the same way as it has for thousands of years – by the leading Torah scholars of the generation. Today, that distinction is shared by HaRav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, shlita, in Jerusalem and HaRav Reuven Feinstein, shlita, in New York. But it would be a mistake to believe that these Torah authorities, however venerated, had the power to change Jewish law or alter God’s Torah. As the Oxnard participants learned, no one has the power to do that – and this is part of what defines Judaism.

The surprising fact of the matter is that the legal basis for actively encouraging the conversion of non-Jewish spouses has long existed in the Bible commentaries of the medieval Jewish sage Maimonides. Based on subsequent elucidations by Rabbi Chaim Ozer Grodzinsky, zt”l, and most recently by HaRav Moshe Feinstein, zt”l, the gedolei hador merely made the decision to proactively apply this principal to the American situation at this time.

Financed by investor-philanthropist Thomas Kaplan and led by Feinstein-associate HaRav Leib Tropper, the Eternal Jewish Family was established last year to realize the vision of the gedolei hador. Its mission is to develop a new standard for conversion – one that is universally accepted by all rabbis regardless of their affiliation (divisions had emerged over the last hundred or so years about the proper interpretation of the Jewish conversion laws); to educate the thousands of rabbis from diverse streams of Judaism about the new standard and instruct them in its implementation; and to establish the educational vehicles and religious courts that will serve the needs of the new converts.
With the demand for additional couple retreats now pouring in, EJF is too busy to revel in its California triumph. (Rav Tropper merely said that he was “gratified.”) More advanced couples (who need no such motivational retreats) are already sending the volume of online application for UAC’s soaring (the EJF website can be found at www.eternaljewishfamily.org; the phone number is 845-425-0550) and the organization is determined to provide a world class product. Regional EJF offices are opening, and rabbinical conferences are slated for Jerusalem in July and Boston in October, with gatherings in Europe and South America to follow. And as if EJF’s plate needed filling, Israel’s Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar recently announced that EJF would develop Israel’s state-of-the-art, high-tech repository for conversion data .
Where is it all headed? EJF Executive Director David Jacobs believes the organization will receive a steady stream of applications that will gradually grow over time, and that EJF’s success should be measured in terms of the number of Jewish souls that otherwise would have been lost.
Others, like Thomas Kaplan, continue to hold out hope that EJF will significantly mitigate the willful self-destruction of non-Orthodox American Jewry.
Still others decry the entire effort. Concerned that EJF might inadvertently send a message to unmarried Jews that intermarriage is okay or at least fungible, they contend that the Torah authorities involved have made a mistake of tragic proportions.

Only God knows, but it’s clear that something big happened at Oxnard.


http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2007/12/prosyletizing-iii-ejf-deleted-home-page.html

Sunday, December 2, 2007
Proselytizing? III EJF (deleted) home page

See:

http://bp1.blogger.com/_w3ipkL1Dd10/R1J0Km6TqAI/AAAAAAAAADc/SwrFlseHEck/s1600-R/Eternal+Jewish+Family+-+Home+Page+%28deleted+from+web+site%29.jpg


http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2007/12/ejf-motivational-retreat.html

Sunday, December 2, 2007

EJF Motivational Retreat

See copies of brochure at:

http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2007/12/ejf-motivational-retreat.html

1 comments:

Anonymous said...

It sounds nice. I saw the menu and concert program from the Oxnard Weekend, it must have been beautiful. Maybe couples who DO choose to marry Jewish could get a free weekend as a "kosher" incentive to become more observant.

Perhaps EJF could switch gears and convince the Kaplans to spend their money to promote intramarriage instead of intermarriage.

Or what about food for the 1 in 6 Sephardic Jewish children in Israel who families cannot afford to feed them more than one meal a day? For what a single serving of duck breast confit at the Oxnard Winery cost, one could buy a case of chicken to feed to hungry Jewish children.

December 3, 2007 10:58 PM

Anonymous said...

As a secular-raised Jew (not frum) married to a goya undergoing conversion via the EJF, I must tell you from the bottom of my hear to please drop dead.

It's because of Jews like you that 85% of our people want nothing to do with Hashem, Torah & Mitzvot.

May the Aybishter see fit to show you the errors of your close-minded ways as painlessly as possible, for your own sake. You are committing the worst of aviras. May Hashem show you mercy when He asks you why you were responsible for so many possible frum Jews being thrown back into the secular world.

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

My dear friend above,

How much is Tropper charging you for this phony conversion that will not be accepted by any Orthodox Jewish court around the globe? Your children will never be recognized as Jews by any Orthodox Jewish community.

When you discover that Tropper is a low-life con-man, contact me, I'll have the best legal representation available to you at no charge.

I know I'll be hearing from you.

God bless the naive, weak and vulnerable...and may he protect you from thieves and charlatans!

what a pity! said...

Not only is that poor, lost soul being snake charmed by Leib Tropper but his wife and children will never be accepted as Jewish from the Eternal Jewish Fraud now that the Bet Din of Jerusalem and others have woken up to Tropper's SCAM.

Listen pal, if Tropper gets away with his money-driven fraud, there will be no disincentive to marry a non-Jew. Hence the problem why Tropper's FRAUD is a no-go.

Dr. Daniel Eidensohn's questions for EJF said...

http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2007/12/issue-is-what-is-halachic-basis-of-ejf.html

Friday, December 21, 2007

The issue is - What is the halachic basis of EJF?

It is time to remind everyone what is the concern of the Bedatz and why I have posted material on this blog. It is simply ascertaining the halachic basis of what Eternal Jewish Family is doing with intermarried couples. Once the purported halachic basis is ascertained - to have poskim evaluate the assertions and either agree, disagree or suggest modifications. There are no published teshuvos dealing with their activities. There are no letters explaining what they are doing. Why?

The issue has been raised repeatedly as to why I am discussing only EJF when there are other organizations and rabbis who have problematic conversion programs. I don't understand the relevance of the question. How does the existence of a greater problem minimize the fact that this organization - with great fanfare - has announced that they are raising the standards of conversion so that they will be universally acceptable? They themselves have asserted that their reason for existence is to create the gold standard of conforming to halacha. How does their announced goal conform with what they are actually doing? Furthermore why have they introduced a program of seminars to enourage the non-Jewish spouse to convert. They are spending millions of dollars to convince people who are uncertain that it is desirable to be Jewish. Why is this needed?

Related to this is a question I was asked by a charedi rosh yeshiva this morning. "One of the horror stories that EJF has told to illustrate the low halachic standards of others is that a woman went to mikva for her conversion and it was discovered afterwards that she was wearing contact lenses. It is well known that Rav Moshe held that contact lenses are not a chatzitza - even though it is best to remove them. But how can they claim to be following Rav Moshe's psakim and at the same time tell such stories?"

I am not accusing Rabbi Tropper of corruption, or trying to become rich from a conversion racket. I am not trying to close down EJF. As far as I know Rabbi Tropper is an ehrliche yid, a solid talmid chachom, someone who has devoted his life to help the Jewish people. I am saying that despite all my efforts on behalf of the Bedatz, I have not been able to get my concerns addressed. He did take the time and effort for an extended exchange of e-mails - but I could not get him to answer my questions. I find this very puzzling. If the tables were reversed, I don't think it would take me more than 5 minutes to explain what is going on. Rav Tropper is a much greater talmid chachom than I am - and yet he has not produced an answer. He has not produced a letter from Rav Dovid or Rav Reuven Feinstein explaining how Rav Moshe permitted what is happening. He has not produced a letter from Rav Eliashiv to explain the justification for their actitivites. Why?

--------

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bedatz "Assuring" the "gold standard" of conversion for intermarriage de-legitimatizes everyone else.

This coupled with the Rabbinute's recent rulings make it clear to many laypeople that the American way of "converting" to permit intermarriage is never going to be accepted in Israel.

"She can always convert" has been the mantra of American Judaism for four generations. Its builds and fills shuls, schools and other Jewish institutions. It is the "bread and butter" of many American "professional" Rabbis who, whether or not they do conversions ultimately live on the tzeddakah money given by the families of the intermarried.

By de-legitimizing EJF, the "gold standard" of "conversion to solve intermarriage", you are effectively making the point that American Judaism has been on a path that diverges FAR from Halachic Judaism.

Hopefully the majority of American Rabbis will note this and change course. In your merit, you may someday be viewed as the driving force behind saving American Judaism.

December 21, 2007 6:17 PM

Anonymous said...

Dear Daas Torah,

You are probably also a person with good intentions, if I should be dan you lekaf zchus as I should. But I am not getting the answer to the question I have asked you:

Why you are railing against *one* small problem in the conversion business when there are so much greater problems. You say that you want to understand the Halachik basis for tjhose who claim they are raising Hachik standards in the covnersion process. And you question the source for their position.

1) They have in the latest issue of Kovetz Netzach YIsrael given many teshuvot on the issue of gerut. One of them was from Rav ELyashiv that states that once we have an intermarried couple, and I beleive they have a child that one should attempt thme to convert. Have you checked that Kovets?

2) You bring an anecdote from a Rosh Yeshiva who states the horrors that EJF claim from other conversions about "chatzita" in lenses. You would like to make light of the real converns that exist out there: There were and ARE in the past decades HUNDREDS AND MUCH MUCH MORE of conversion where the RAbbis put off their glasses and did not see that the convert should keep basic yidishkeyt: things like shmiras shabbos, kashrut, taharat hamishpacha! on the very BASIC LEVEL! like not driving and not working on shabbos, eating kosher and not eating in trefe restarants, not going to the mikveh...These are the horror stories that your fellows are avoiding (and i' not talking about rabbis who make the conversion for a $$$$$$ and there quite a few of them) and instead of attemtping to fix those problems and *then* to see if RAbbi Tropper is also having the same problems or maybe he fixed those problems and raised these concerns to fix by other rabbis, you go on a rampage on R. Tropper.

Have you not seen that even Rabbis in the RCA have listened to the call of Israeli Rabbnut to attempt to enhance the process? Have you not heard about that there lots of big holes in the system?

It's like you have a car that the motor is about to die and you worry about the cigarette lighter not working!

And while you are protecting the rabbis who are being undermined by the call for a higher standard for conversion, ask those rabbis for the list of their converts in the past 10 years and let's see their level of shmirat hamitzvot! These RAbbis complain at R> Tropper that he does not to convert those who live in a city where they will not observe torah and mitzvot (there is no infrastructure for them to keep TOrah : shul, School for children etc.) But the rabbis you protect...will have no qualms to convert these fellows..

December 21, 2007 6:36 PM

a poshut yid said...

I think EJF is very schizophrenic, on one hand they say they want to raise the standards of conversion and on the other hand they are reaching out (in fact proselytizing) to gentiles.

If they care so much about raising the standards why do they put ads and stories in the newspaper and publish glossy brochures, why do not they do like rabbis did through history, wait for the candidates to come to you, try to discourage them and if they insist on conversion go to the next step.

And anyhow it is dangerous to try to force full kabalas torah umizvos on people who are not interested, are not sure, or are not ready. It just going to push them farther away from yidishkeit.

December 21, 2007 8:03 PM

Dr. Eidensohn's latest response said...

http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2007/12/stupid-assertion-only-work-on-big.html

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Stupid assertion! - Only work on big problems

Anonymous said...

to all the critics:

If you are so bothered by his proseltyzing (and there is for your criticism) how come we do not hear you critizing the real crminals; those who fool people to say the are converted and there is no kabbalat hamitzvot and they arE REAL GOYIM!amongst us by *your* rabbis! making money from these phoney conversions t support the eydems in kollel?! THis is the real crime; not the ones who make a cnversion According to shulchan oruch (tropper asks for kabbolas hamitzvot; they are gerim -and if go bad they are like yisroel mumor) the converts from your rabbis who do not ask for kabbolas hamitzvot are goyim gemurim. IF yu really think leshem shomayim i would hear you criticize and put ads on the JP with the names of the criminals.

================

Daniel Eidensohn (Jerusalem, Israel) says:

The answer to your question is so obvious I am surprised you are asking it. The rabbis who are doing these things typically deny that they are doing that which you accuse them of doing. It is difficult to produce irrefutable legal evidence of these activities. In contrast what EJF does is being done openly with great publicity. They are proud of everything they do. I am simply asking for the halachic basis for that which they acknowledge they are doing.

Furthermore, what nonsensical arguments you are making. I am dealing with issues that are readily solvable. Why should I tackle problems that are way beyond my resources? Why aren't you taking care of them. I have no obligation to solve all the problems in the world - even if they are much greater than the ones I am involved in.

Why are you so foolish in saying I shouldn't be raising legitimate concerns - especially since you acknowledge that they are legitimate.

You are bravely making anonymous pronouncements on an insignificant blog - why don't you stand up and do something?

There is a famous parable of the Chofets Chaim. A ship traveling in the Pacific stopped at an uninhabited island to take on fresh water. The passengers were allows to wander along the beach for a short time but were warned to return to the boats when they heard the warning bells. One of the passengers stumbled on a treasure chest half buried in the sand - it was full of money and jewels. He was filling his pockets when he heard the warning bells. He quickly emptied his pockets of all that he had collected saying - "if I can't get it all I am not taking any."

This is your attitude. I shouldn't waste my time helping improve the system if I can't correct the whole mess.

Where are the brave souls to help the Jewish people in this time of dire need ? Instead I hear from cowards who "courageously" condemn me for asking a legitimate question but don't have the guts to publicly work against the rot that is in the system.

1 comments:

Anonymous said...

I thought i'm dealing with a reasonable guy. Why do you need to resort to ridicule your opponent. Bu now I see that you cannot take the heat. Actually I now think that you are actually not leshem shomayim.

1) I showed you that *REb Moshe* (one who writes the yad moshe should know the source) writes that he is adamant about the situation of conversions in the USA.

2) I know firsthand the real horror stories by people who do not care to ask for basic kabbalat hamitzvot and/or rabbis who convert for money!

3) You do not care for the truth; otherwisae you would be a bit less harsh on EJF who came to *fix* t he problem. They, do demand kabolas hamitzvot. They will not covnert unless there is an infrastructure for kabbaloas hamtizvot. You actually work to shove this problem under the rug and instead villify the intetionso fo EJf and present a problem which is far far LESS than BRINGING GOYIM INTO KLAL YISROEL AND SAYING THEY ARE YIDDEN! You do NOT care for this and are into a stupid rampage on those who wish to fix the problem without even acknowleging the corruption in brigning goytim into klal yisroel for money.

Before you attack go ask around do your homework. IT will do better for your service. Until then your vendetta against them will not give you any hatzlacha in a possible legitimate concern that you may have. GOODBYE!

=======

Dr. Daniel Eidensohn (Jerusalem, Israel): My concern for the last 20 years is in making information accessible. I have published Yad Moshe the index to Igros Moshe, Yad Yisroel the index to Mishna Berura and Daas Torah a compendium of sources

R. Aharone Shachtar and Fruchty's shame said...

A nasty letter and multiple hazmonehs from the past to one of Leib Tropper's biggest rabbinical supporters:

From:

http://theantitzemach.blogspot.com/2007_12_01_archive.html


The letter:


http://bp0.blogger.com/_IC1swogp6gc/R2Fdcag8SlI/AAAAAAAAA1M/NeV3zO9Xwyo/s1600-h/ScannedImage-4.jpg


and

http://bp2.blogger.com/_IC1swogp6gc/R2Fm_6g8SnI/AAAAAAAAA1c/IjsScxgn3-0/s1600-h/ScannedImage-5.jpg

Hazmoneh from Rav Moshe Feinstein zt"l:

http://bp0.blogger.com/_IC1swogp6gc/R2FeZag8SmI/AAAAAAAAA1U/3fTYtvUQklA/s1600-h/ScannedImage-11.jpg

Hazmoneh 1 from CRC:

http://bp2.blogger.com/_IC1swogp6gc/R1Yuhqg8SSI/AAAAAAAAAy0/Hb6JM_wv-5s/s1600-h/ScannedImage-10.jpg

Hazmoneh 2 from CRC:

http://bp3.blogger.com/_IC1swogp6gc/R1YuN6g8SPI/AAAAAAAAAyc/uA7D72jfAMg/s1600-h/ScannedImage-7.jpg

Hazmoneh 3 from CRC:

http://bp1.blogger.com/_IC1swogp6gc/R1Yuhag8SRI/AAAAAAAAAys/VQ42iNwe1g8/s1600-h/ScannedImage-9.jpg

Hazmoneh 4 from CRC:

http://bp0.blogger.com/_IC1swogp6gc/R1YuhKg8SQI/AAAAAAAAAyk/RMKUBGEkOmE/s1600-h/ScannedImage-8.jpg

Tropper bin pimpin' said...

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_8si43zB1QT0/SysUmaGfdlI/AAAAAAAAA2I/W5sWQiHhRpY/s1600-h/pimp.jpg

UOJ needs to put this at the top of the cartoon sidebar.

Even James O'Keefe didn't look this good when he went undercover to expose ACORN.

Little Birdy said...

A modern orthodox source is reporting that the OU's RCA division is in possession of a video secretly recorded by the woman, and heavily censored of osso maasim, that shows her together in the same bed as Leib Tropper and his rebbitzen.

Tropper bin pimpin' said...

Gemara Megillah 25b

A person with a bad reputation (Rashi: About whom there are rumors of Arayos) one may belittle him with "Gimmel and Shin" (Rashi: Calling him an Son of a Zoneh).

Earth to R' Reuven Feinstein said...

VIN is reporting that Rav Sternbuch shlita has made a public statement seemingly intended to catch the attention of R' Reuven Feinstein that no one should associate themselves with EJF even if Tropper is no longer there.

Tropper groupie said...

Rav Tropper was only being mekayem what Rav Dessler says that the tachlis of a Yid is to get back to the madrega of Adam before the cheit.

What better way to do that than tzu ohntun der hoyzen tzu zein arum vee kodem der cheit?

Rebbitzen Leiba Tropper said...

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_8si43zB1QT0/Sy2SL8HHJII/AAAAAAAAA2Y/lKS-mbtqQzk/s1600-h/Presentation1.jpg

Leib insisted that we wouldn't be complete as a couple unless a got a matching zoyna outfit.

Rabbi Reuvein Feinstein said...

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_8si43zB1QT0/Sy2SL8HHJII/AAAAAAAAA2Y/lKS-mbtqQzk/s1600-h/Presentation1.jpg

Will I regret one day that this picture was ever taken?

Oh the hypocrisy! said...

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_8si43zB1QT0/Syr3d-qESqI/AAAAAAAAA1w/5MhUyfecWNk/s1600-h/sefer.jpg

Nu ... chazer ibber.

Eternal Jewish Fraud Watch said...

http://blip.tv/play/AYGP30AC

Rebbitzen Leiba Tropper's sister is the famous publicist Susan Blonde. She always says that she loves Michael Jackson and calls him the greatest entertainment figure of all times which is why she led the cover up of pedophile scandal.

There are rumors that she will use all of her Madison Ave resources to cover up for Leib & Leiba.

And as you can see in this video, what kind of a sick person would agree to take this role that she did in a movie even if it is only acting?

Eternal Jewish Fraud Watch said...

Maybe this is where Leib Tropper got the idea to falsely accuse Guma of threatening to throw him out the 9th storey window. Kol haposel bemumo posul.

Tropper groupie said...

Harav Tropper will by the way soon be replacing the pimp stick with the Matteh Moishe that Tom Kaplan has paid some archeologists $25 million to track down.

Hidden camera? said...

http://vimeo.com/3574152

Since when do they tape Rav Elyashev like this?

Tropper bin pimpin' said...

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_8si43zB1QT0/Sy2n5USNXhI/AAAAAAAAA2g/5WVJaKN9mDk/s1600-h/logo.jpg

Another must have Tropper banner.

Yaakov Broyde said...

I have seen a handwritten note by Rav Reuvein acknowledging receipt of $3 Million from Guma last fall. He has not been able to prove that he gave any or all of this money to tzedaka. His role in the EJF affair is far from exposed..........

Yaakov Broyde said...

When will you call Rabbi Nochum Eisenstein to task for his role in this fraud? He is the one who called Rav Wachtfogel and pretended to speak in the name of Rav Elyashiv, shlita.

TROPPER STOPPER said...

http://www.tropperstoppers.com/

Is the pro-Tropper attack troll "Roni", Monsey's Rabbi Ronnie Greenwald? One of Troppers best friends in the past as well as his enabler? "Roni" apologized last night in a post to Rav Eidensohn's blog and says that after not being able to sleep for a week he is now joining the Tropper opposition.

I am in the process of starting a site called TropperStoppers.com listing all of Tropper's enablers and those who are taking dirty money from him, until they stop. The INSANITY has to stop!!!

Midwest Askanim said...

Shame on the Agudath Israel Midwest Regional president David Schnell for blocking any represntative of Chofetz Chaim Milwaukee from addressing the Midwest Convention beginning this Thursday evening.

Shame on David Schnell for insisting that Rabbi Solomon be the featured rabbinic leader despite fanning the flames of machlokes in the city of Chicago.

During a time of economic turmoil when the Agudath Israel Midwest Regional Convention was almost cancelled, Mr. Schnell continues to spend frivolously by flying in lightning rods of dispute and misconduct. At the same time he arbitrarily excluded rabbis respected in the Midwest solely to show who is boss. This shameful display of arrogance by Mr. Schnell of looking out for his own ego instead of the klal is sure to set the tone for this week's open display of Chillul Hashem.

Shame on Mr. David Schnell but the ultimate responsibility for what transpires at this convention lies squarely on Rabbi C.D. Zweibel for allowing such a travesty to occur.

UOJ should sit down for this one said...

http://www.newswithviews.com/Shifren/nachum103.htm

Rabbi Nachum Shifren has declared his candidacy for the Calif. State Senate in 2010

Anonymous said...

remember: not all of the Tropper tapes have been released. There are still hours of devastating recordings that have not yet reached the public domain.

Anonymous said...

remember: not all of the Tropper tapes have been released. There are still hours of devastating recordings that have not yet reached the public domain.

OU Crony Watch said...

http://failedmessiah.typepad.com/.a/6a00d83451b71f69e20120a7637a2d970b-popup

Now that it's official, here is the termination letter Fedexed overnight to the Montefiore mashgiach.

They state nothing of their own misdeeds but attack the mashgiach for acts he did to protect himself and the kosher eating public.

Not so bad after all said...

http://www.rabbiforsenate.com/

CRIME

As a result of our total breakdown in education, we are cranking out our future criminals. THERE IS PRESENTLY NO TALK WHATSOEVER ABOUT ANY DETERRENCE FOR THE INCARCERATED. I have witnessed, as a rehab teacher in L.A. County Jail how prisoners actually enjoy being behind bars, earning them coveted prestige in the eyes of gangs and other hoodlums. I pledge to make the criminal face the music, never wanting to go to jail IN THE FIRST PLACE. The days of YOU paying over $50,000 per criminal, per year--WITHOUT CONSEQUENCES, MUST END.

EDUCATION

We are facing a crisis in the schools: THE DROP-OUT RATE IS OVER 50%. These students, by and large, CANNOT PASS THE STATE EXIT EXAM! This means that our high school grads cannot compute or compose at 7th and 8th grade levels, respectively. YOU, THE TAXPAYER, ARE ENABLING THE CRIMINAL DUMBING DOWN OF OUR SCHOOLS. My plan is revolutionary, yet quite simple: accountability at every level. As an LAUSD teacher of twenty years, I have never condoned or pandered to those promoting failure. Non-citizens must not be allowed to have State language standards lowered or corrupted. Our taxpayers have had enough of funding the education of non-citizens, when our own students are in need of a remedial Marshall Plan. An enlightened citizenry is a people that will cherish freedom, fight for it, and never let government bureaucrats dictate how we shall live as Americans!

Bim Bam identity said...

http://thebulletin.us/articles/2009/12/19/commentary/op-eds/doc4b2c7bc65b920100926102.txt

BY HERB DENENBERG, FOR THE BULLETIN
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 19, 2009

President Barack Hussein Obama is proceeding to destroy America and has opened up a six-front war to do so:

1. He has a Democratic controlled Congress that is willing to rubber-stamp his wildest schemes, without even reading them…as we’ve already seen. The Democratic Party is now aiding and abetting the demeaning and destruction of America and has become the voice of leftist extremism. The moderates have disappeared or been transformed, issuing only occasional squeaking and whining before following the liberal party line drawn by Mr. Obama. Where have all the Democratic moderates gone?

2. Mr. Obama has immense executive authority, which he has already used to damage the country. One notable example is his decision to try terrorists in New York City, thereby giving the terrorists the premier platform to broadcast their propaganda and recruit Islamic radicals to their cause. Another example is cap and trade by fiat of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), rather than Congressional action.

3. He is filling the White House, the executive branch and the court system with an army of radicals, socialists, Communists, Marxists, Maoists, and America-haters. The most outrageous example was Van Jones, the avowed Communist and believer that 9/11 was an American plot fashioned by President George W. Bush. Van Jones wasn’t too much of an extremist for the White House; in fact, he was loved and respected as a key White House adviser, Valerie Jarrett publicly proclaimed at the time of his appointment. But, he was too extreme even for the mainstream media to cover-up and swallow. But, don’t kid yourself – extremists like that are the rule, not the exception in Mr. Obama’s world.

4. He stands ready to commit the U.S. to radical international treaties that will bleed away American sovereignty and commit the nation to destructive policies. Watch what happens in Copenhagen, and watch the directions of Mr. Obama in matters of international laws and treaties. He has made it obvious he is more interested in pleasing the international community than in protecting the citizens of America. Couple that with his penchant for bootlicking our enemies, apologizing for America, and kicking around and betraying our allies and you have a prescription for international disaster. Note the betrayal of Poland and Czechoslovakia by his withdrawal of missile defense from those two important allies. He did so to appease Russia, again bootlicking enemies while betraying allies.

5. Mr. Obama seems ready to do anything to achieve his ends, a la the formula of Saul Alinsky and his book Rules for Radicals. Alinsky believed the ends justify the means, and that means anything goes. Mr. Obama has demonstrated he is willing to lie, use fascist-style tactics to silent critics, and do what it takes to achieve his agenda. He has even expressed his disdain for the U.S. Constitution in his now infamous quote that civil rights litigation and adjudication went off track because it did not focus on redistribution. His comments, record, and policies show he believes in redistribution of wealth, and views capitalism, free markets and profit as all part of a tainted system that is unjust. One of his major priorities is “spreading the wealth around,” as he admitted to Joe the Plumber.

6. Finally, the mainstream media is sanitizing and covering up Mr. Obama’s worst excesses, as we’ve witnessed with major stories either ignored or almost totally neglected. In recent months, the dishonest, fraudulent, and biased mainstream media virtually ignored Climategate, one of the great scientific scandals of history; the Acorn undercover scandal; and the Van Jones appointment, as well as a long list of other far-out radicals. The mainstream media has become an adjunct of the Obama plan to destroy America, as we know it.

Bim Bam part 2 said...

This column will focus on the wild leftist radicals that he is packing into the federal agencies and the unconstitutional czars he is filling up the White House with. I question, when America elects a president who spends over 20 years hanging around with terrorists, racists, bigots, anti-Semites, Communists, Marxists, and socialists, what kind of appointments do you think he’ll be making? And, when he packs the White House with such crazies, what kind of policies do you expect to be forthcoming?

For openers consider his latest appointment to the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC), the agency that adjudicates discrimination claims. Her name is Chai Feldblum, she is a professor at Georgetown University and is a most radical homosexual activist. She has advocated polygamy and has said that “sexual liberty” trumps the Constitutional right to “religious liberty.” Of course, she underwent what is called a confirmation conversation – trying unsuccessfully to lie out of previous positions. However, Bill Donohue of the Catholic League found her newfound moderation a total “farce.”

She is the primary author of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) now before both houses of Congress. The bill has been described by J. Matt Barber on the Renew America Web site as follows: “ENDA would force – under penalty of law – Christian, Jewish or Muslim business owners to hire people who unrepentantly choose to engage in homosexual or cross-dressing behaviors, despite the fact that these volitional behaviors are in direct conflict with every major world religion, thousands of years of history and uncompromising human biology. … It’s a direct assault on the inalienable rights of people of faith. It pits the government directly against the free exercise of religion and is, therefore, unconstitutional on its face.” Recall, this president has announced this is not a Christian nation, contrary to American history, a history he more often deplores than proclaims.

The Feldblum appointment is part of a larger effort to force the homosexual agenda on the American people, from the youngest school children on up. For the perfect example, take the safe-schools czar, Kevin Jennings. Here’s the way the Web site www.wordpress.com summarized his qualifications:

· A former schoolteacher

· A gay

· An advocate of promoting homosexuality in schools

· A former drug user

· Dislikes religion

· Failed to report an underage student who told him he had sex with an older man.

Bim Bam part 3 said...

The views of Mr. Obama’s science and technology czar, Dr. John Holdren, are also bizarre. In the 1980s, in discussing population controls, he advocated compulsory abortion and sterilization as constitutional. No proposal is too extreme for the Obama team.

This radicalism pervades every corner of the White House and Mr. Obama’s appointments. Take Craig Becker, an Obama appointee to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). He was a union lawyer, who was associate general counsel of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). The SEIU is the union with close connections to the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), the corrupt group of community organizers best known for voter fraud and extortion and intimidation of lenders. Mr. Becker helped lay the groundwork for the Employee Fair Choice Act (EFCA). That is the proposed law that would do away with the secret ballot in union elections and would permit federally designated bureaucrats to determine employment terms if a union and employer did not reach a prompt agreement. This act is so blatantly anti-democratic that it is even opposed by a far-left liberal, George McGovern, former U.S. Senator and Democratic Party nominee for president.

Even if Congress won’t pass the EFCA, Mr. Becker believes he can get the wildly leftist Obama agenda established by rule making by the NLRB, thus eliminating the need for Congressional action. This is characteristic of the Obama administration – willing to implement the most radical measures without Congressional approval and rule by administrative diktat.

And Mr. Becker will have plenty of support from other top Obama appointees in the federal bureaucracy. There is Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, who was first elected to Congress in 2000, as the union candidate. For about 10 years in Congress, she had a perfect record of support for union proposals. And, she is likely to coddle unions and persecute employers as Secretary of Labor.

Secretary Solis has already announced her plan to give unions more power over employers and the economy. And, she has already started taking all controls off of union abuses. For example, her predecessor, Elaine Chao, took the responsibility of policing unions seriously. During her tenure, Ms. Chao obtained 929 convictions for corrupt union practices and recovered more than $93 million on behalf of union members (as reported in The American Spectator. The U.S. Labor Department unit that polices unions is the Office of Labor Management Standards (OLMS). Shortly after the union lapdog, Ms. Solis, took office, the Obama administration reported it was cutting OLMS’s budget by more than 9 percent. The American Spectator writes, “As a result, corrupt union bosses will have a much freer hand with which to bilk their members.”

That’s just a taste of what Mr. Obama is doing to the Department of Labor to make it an instrument of unionization and the union agenda. Two other appointments to The Department of Labor are Patricia Smith and Lorelei Boylan. Both have close ties to unions and while working for the New York State Department of Labor, they were in charge of a program in which New York state partners with unions and other liberal groups to police workplaces. The American Spectator writes, “But in practice empowering ‘regular people’ actually means that the government is deputizing unions to help police workplaces.” This is just another example of how the Obama administration seeks to control every aspect of the American economy and do so to favor their political supporters, in this case the unions. Given their way, American business will be run by union bosses and union thugs.

Bim Bam part 4 said...

Another area where Mr. Obama seeks to impose government control is talk radio. There is Mark Lloyd, who was appointed to be associate general counsel and chief diversity officer of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). He is on record of favoring all kinds of regulation of talk radio, which would be designed to muzzle conservative talk radio. To show how extreme these Obama appointees are, consider Mr. Lloyd’s comments about the tyrant of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez. Mr. Lloyd went on record in support of Mr. Chavez who, among other things, is a sworn enemy of America: “In Venezuela, with Chavez, is really an incredible revolution – a democratic revolution.” There is a deadly Orwellian flavor to Mr. Obama and his appointees – a vicious tyrant is transformed into an instrument of “democratic revolution.”

The “Czars” are even more radical and even more out of control than members of the cabinet, who are subject to Senate confirmation. They can escape any Senate confirmation and, consequently, are viewed by some legal authorities as end-runs around the U.S. Constitution. Carol Browner, global warming (energy) czar, is typical. She is one of the leaders of the Socialist International and, as such, advocates “global governance” and maintains that developed nations must shrink their economy to help alleviate global warming. The czars and their threat to U.S. constitutional government are covered in detail in an article in Newsmax entitled “Czars: Never Elected. Never Confirmed. Too Powerful?”

Thomas Sowell, the brilliant conservative pundit, makes an important point for those who think these radical extremists somehow got into the White House because of a failure to properly vet them. Mr. Sowell writes, “Why should we assume Obama didn’t know what such people were like; he’s been associating with these kinds of people for decades. Nothing is more consistent with his pattern than putting such people in government – people who reject American values, and resent Americans and America’s influence in the world.”

Wake up America. We elected one of the most dangerous enemies of America and he now sits in the White House, filled with other enemies of America, relentlessly going about his task of destroying the country as we know it and as the Founding Fathers intended it. You better join the forces in opposition to Mr. Obama’s vision for America because if he continues unobstructed for three more years, it may then be too late to save it.

(As far as the FCC, it is now controlled by another Obama appointee, a left wing modern orthodox guy Genachowski who is the first cousin of OU shyster Menachem Genack)

Anonymous said...

On Wednesday night, the sixth night of Chanukah, a fire r"l destroyed the home of Mrs. Kislak – a single mother of young children living on Ave. P between Kimball and Coleman. She is in desperate need of funds to replace almost all of her belongings. She unfortunately had no renter’s insurance, and it’s unclear if the home owner’s insurance will provide her with any aid. In addition to approximately $10-$15G to replace clothing, toys, furniture, etc., she needs a place to live while her home is being repaired. Money and checks can be given directly to your Rav or can be made out to Khillah Marine Park (memo: Kislak) and dropped off or mailed to Rabbi BP Mendelson 1630 Ryder St. Information about possible living quarters and second hand furniture should be conveyed to Rav Mendelson at (646) 339-3364.

The Va’ad HaRabonim of Marine Park

Tzvi Erez said...

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/toronto/alleged-ponzi-scheme-built-on-trust-goodwill/article1401900/

A small-time Israeli-born printer from North York who allegedly fleeced scores of sophisticated, mostly Jewish investors of close to $27-million faces multiple fraud charges for a ruse that ran for more than six years.

How did Tzvi Erez pull off the alleged Ponzi scheme?

In part, the answer appears rooted in an intricate web of carefully forged financial documents.

A second connecting thread was that the victims were drawn from different circles within Toronto's Jewish community and mostly didn't know each other.

But in an echo of the giant Bernie Madoff Ponzi scandal that rocked New York a year ago, the elaborate fraud allegedly crafted by the 42-year-old Mr. Erez seems to have been chiefly built upon trust and goodwill.

“Everybody that he targeted – he used his family name or his business contacts, he went after people he knew personally and would say, ‘Trust me, I'm a friend, you know my father through business, etc.,'” said one of the 76 investors sucked into the alleged scam by its attractive 20-per-cent net annual returns.

“Rest assured, this scam would not have worked if his last name was not Erez.”

Arrested by Toronto police on multiple fraud charges last June and accused of stealing around $1.52-million, this was not Mr. Erez's first brush with the law.

By that time Mr. Erez, who is also a gifted classical pianist, had faced allegations of fraud for writing bad cheques to several Ontario casinos owned by CHC Casinos Canada Ltd.

But as a court-appointed receiver discovered, following the bankruptcy of Mr. Erez's modest Richmond Hill printing plant in February, that $1.52-million represented just a fraction of the real cost.

Losses allegedly incurred by Mr. Erez's unwitting investors range from tens of thousands of dollars to more than $1-million.

And as with many Ponzi schemes, whereby early investors reap generous returns from funds siphoned from new investors, the alleged operation was not especially complex.

part 2 said...

Through his print shop, registered as E Graphix Ltd., Mr. Erez allegedly claimed to be brokering sizable printing contracts with a steady stream of well-heeled clients. And what he needed to expedite those orders, he allegedly told his victims, were hefty cash advances.

But the blue-chip clients didn't exist, receiver Jerry Henechowicz concluded after a nine-month investigation, saying he had found “little evidence that the Erez Group's actual printing business was anything other than a very small business.”

In place of a big business, Mr. Henechowicz said, was a big Ponzi scheme.

From 2003 on, he wrote, Mr. Erez “enticed investors to finance his alleged print brokerage business by offering returns that were significantly higher than normal commercial rates of return. Investors expected to earn in excess of 30 per cent annually plus fees.”

The operation was expedited through “fraudulent documentation” and “forged purchase orders, invoices and other documents.”

Mr. Erez's name is well known in Toronto Jewish circles, not least because he is an accomplished classical pianist, beginning his career in Israel as a childhood prodigy and immigrating to Canada in 1982 as a teenager.

According to the website NiV Classical (which Mr. Erez is believed to have created), he continued his studies at Toronto's Royal Conservatory of Music and made his first recording in 2000 with a selection of works by Beethoven.

The complex music of Chopin has been another long-term specialty of the “charismatic genius,” as NiV Classical describes Mr. Erez.

Married to Justine Tweyman with whom he has two children, Mr. Erez could not be reached Tuesday and his Toronto lawyer, Howard Manis, did not respond to messages.

Until it was seized by CIBC last summer, the family home was a $1.3-million house on Bannockburn Avenue in North Toronto.

Its owner was well-liked, said a creditor who was shocked to receive an e-mail from Mr. Manis in February advising that Mr. Erez was bankrupt.

“He fooled many forensic accounting firms, banks, he was able to establish a line of credit for a quarter of a million dollars,” the creditor said, adding that he expects to get “absolutely nothing” back.

UOJ gets results said...

http://news.muckety.com/2009/12/13/stanley-chais-under-criminal-investigation-for-madoff-ties/22951

Stanley Chais, a money manager who funneled millions of dollars toward Bernard L. Madoff, is now the subject of a criminal investigation.

Papers filed in federal court Friday revealed that the Justice Department is investigating Chais for several possible crimes, including conspiracy, money laundering, mail fraud and securities fraud.

Leib Tropper said...

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/tal_mood_for_love_6f0OJMppsB6fGSrhG5vq7M

Tal-mood for love

By REUVEN BLAU and MELISSA KLEIN

December 20, 2009

Eww, that's not kosher!

A prominent Orthodox rabbi has been caught on tape discussing his apparent love affair with a shiksa he was converting to Judaism -- whom he allegedly also pushed to have sex with his friends.

Rabbi Leib Tropper of Rockland County is heard encouraging pretty, blond Shannon Orand of Houston to participate in phone sex and actual sex with men the rabbi knows, including one he calls "the Satmar guy."

Tropper, who calls the woman "darling" and "cutie pie," talks about his own love affair with her at one point, saying: "I want to squeeze you."

He also fantasized about rape. "I could role-play a rape with you but I couldn't actually rape you -- you know what I'm saying, darling -- does that make sense?" he asks.

The scandal has rocked the Orthodox community from Rockland to Israel, and transcripts of the sex tapes are circulating on Jewish blogs, with the audio posted on YouTube.

The rabbi talks about paying Orand money for a lawyer and a stipend of $1,300 for the month of November. He also mentions putting in writing an agreement between the two.

"Why would you want to document that kind of agreement on an e-mail?" an upset Orand asks.

Orand, who identifies herself on the tape, apparently recorded the phone conversations. "It was only supposed to go to a few leading rabbis," Orand, 32, told The Post.

She refused to comment further, and later released a statement saying, "While an individual 'rabbi' acted in an inappropriate manner, my desire to become a bona fide Jew is undeterred."

Orand reportedly told a Jewish blog, failedmessiah.com, that Tropper would tell her: "If you fulfill my needs, I'll fulfill yours -- and you need a conversion."

The blog reported that Orand's conversion was to have been finalized last week, but was canceled at the last minute by a religious court.

Tropper declined to comment, but a source close to him said the rabbi feels like he's a victim and was used by Orand.

He resigned effective Dec. 12 from Eternal Jewish Family, a Monsey-based organization that primarily works to convert gentiles in interfaith marriages to Judaism.

The 59-year-old rabbi is the founder of Eternal Jewish Family and sought to create strict universal guidelines for conversion, which are handled differently by various Jewish sects.

rblau@nypost.com

Anonymous said...

>remember: not all of the Tropper tapes have been released. There are still hours of devastating recordings that have not yet reached the public domain.<

We're walso waiting on the video.. Yee-Hah!!!!

y said...

ain apoTROPPERs l'aroyos

Anonymous said...

Wait for the tapes on Rabbi Kahan of Lakewood, to hit youtube!

Anonymous said...

Pass the popcorn!

Anonymous said...

rblau @ nypost are you related to Shloimy Blau @ yated?

Anonymous said...

Shloimy Blau wrote an article for Mayshorim of Lakewood. The Av Beis Din there, is accused of the worst. He therefore omitted his name from the article.