Monday, June 30, 2014

When Rabbis Do Nothing!






Dovid Weinberger (7)

Me to - info@mbrseminary.org

On Monday, November 7, 2011 3:24 PM, The Un-Orthodox Jew - UOJ wrote:

 I have received credible allegations regarding Dovid Weinberger's misconduct towards women. I ask that you investigate his conduct towards women that he has counseled in particular. It would behoove the Seminary to employ in any manner a rabbi that may have made inappropriate advances towards women. Teens especially are vulnerable to charismatic rabbis. The Tendler scandals have been ignored, covered-up...and lives have been damaged, some irreparably. There has been a kolo d'lo pasik for years, you owe it to your students and their families to investigate thoroughly, either exonerate him or get rid of him.


Oct 23, 2013

Me to - info@mbrseminary.org - Rebbetzin: I was close friends with your husband's uncle - Michael Zeitlin a"h ---- I told you a few years ago about Dovid Weinberger - and asked you to look into it. For NO OTHER REASON THAN TO KEEP YOUR TALMIDOS SAFE! You chose to keep him - At least remove his name from your website.

Oct 23, 2013
I was close friends with your husband's uncle - Michael Zeitlin a"h ---- I told you a few years ago about Dovid Weinberger - and asked you to look into it. For NO OTHER REASON THAN TO KEEP YOUR TALMIDOS SAFE! You chose to keep him - At least remove his name from your website.
Paul (Feivel) Mendlowitz


 Rabbi Dovid Wienberger:

Halacha will be taught by Rabbi Dovid Weinberger, shelit”a, the Rav of Congregation Shaaray Tefila, Lawrence, N.Y. Rabbi Weinberger studied many years in Yeshiva Chofetz Chaim and received Semicha ‘Yodin Yodin’ from Rav Moshe Feinstein, zt”l. He is the co-author of theSiddur Nechomas Yisroel for the Bais Ovel, published by the OU and Artscroll, as well as the author of numerous other seforim.  He has also edited five volumes of Limudei Nisson, a collection of the Torah writings of his esteemed late father-in-law, Rav Nisson Alpert, zt”l. Most recently, he authored Siddur Ohel Rachel, the women’s siddur for Artscroll.
Rabbi Weinberger lectures on hashkafa topics and concepts in halacha, with particular emphasis on the areas of chinuch, Hilchos Shabbos and Hilchos refuah.  Rabbi Weinberger authored “A Hospital Guide for the Jewish Patient,” which was published by the OU in English and most recently in Hebrew for the Israeli hospitals.  He has produced a Holocaust Calendar commemorating the six million Kedoshim, published by Agudath Israel of America. He is the Halachic advisor of Hatzola in the Five Towns, and lectures often for ‘Shalom Task Force,’ a national organization dealing with domestic abuse in the Jewish Community.

Friday, June 27, 2014


 I want To bring to your attention. Rabbi Dovid --adulterer womanizer rasha merusha-- Weinberger who is a son in law of Rav Nissin Alpert who was a son in law of Rav Chaim Pinchas Sheinberg has relocated to Israel - 12 Shaulzon street - Har Nof Jerusalem after being thrown out of the Five Towns for sexually abusing and manipulating married woman that he counselled and high school girls that he taught for over 20 yrs.  I am sure that with the Sheinberg proteczia he will try and continue to get back into his old ways. Please alert everyone to beware.  He is a very charismatic and a learned rasha.


I urge my Israeli colleagues to be on the alert for any attempt by Weinberger to break his pledgeof December, 2013:
I Rabbi Dovid Weinberger, formerly the Rabbi of Cong. Shaarei Tefilla (sic) of Lawrence, NY, do hereby acknowledge that I will retire from the Rabbinate effective immediately, and will never again serve in the capacity of Rov or Rabbi of any congregation or community, nor will I ever again be involved as a mechanech [teacher] in any venue of Chinuch [education].
I know he made a promise, but going to Israel is just one of the ways in which disgraced individuals give themselves a new shot at their old misdeeds.Important rabbis in America are willing to exert themselves if he should break that pledge and attempt to reenter the rabbinate in any role, particularly one which gives him access to girls and young women. Please contact me if you become aware of any such attempt on his part.
As Shalom Auslander wrote about Rabbi George Finkelstein, YU’s notorious HS principal and serial molester, after he was forced out of his American jobs:

Three weeks ago, thanks to the reporting of the Forward, I found out what happened to George: He’d fled, like so many other Jews who find themselves under a cloud of suspicion, to Israel. … It’s no surprise that NAMBLA is changing its slogan to “Next Year in Jerusalem.” …  I’m certain this is not what God had in mind for his Promised Land. “And you will reach the land that I promised you, and you will settle there, and you will bring with you there all your perverts and all your molesters, and all your murderers and all your embezzlers, and all your tax cheats and all your white-collar criminals, to live in freedom from all charges and fines and legal authorities that pursue them, and you will be for me a less-than-great nation with questionable ethics and perverted morals (“Curious George Finkelstein,” Tablet Magazine, Jan. 15, 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

משה דרעק מנהיג נטורי קרתא: כל יהודי שגר בארץ ישראל חייב מיתה.....AND RABBI PERLOW SAYS WHAT???

Moshe Ber A leader of the Neturei Karta said today that the 
three young men  (that were kidnapped by the Arabs ) have acquired the death penalty and one must NOT pray for them or hope they go free --- only if the State of Israel will be destroyed completely --- and Abbas (Abu Mazen) becomes prime minister of Israel ----- all the Jews living in Israel (are subject) to the death penalty and it is forbidden to help any Jew from Israel not in money or anything else --- it is also forbidden to help Jews from Israel to buy or sell an apartment in Israel because everything belongs to the Arabs! He offered  to be interviewed on  Arab TV and strengthen them to abduct Israelis and kill them! He further said that he was glad that those who do the work instead of him in  the kidnapping and murder of Israelis.

מאת מונסיער משה בער דרעק ימח שמו וזכרו  מנטורי קרתא אמר היום בדרשה למטורפים שלו שאעפ״י שלציבור יש טענות על מה שאמרו בשבוע שעבר בהאטליין ששלושת הבחורים חייבים מיתה ואסור להתפלל עליהם או לפעול שיצאו לחופש רק אם מדינת ישראל תתרסק לגמרי ואבו מאזן ישב בראשות הממשלה מ״מ הוא לא חוזר בו ולא יחזור בו מדיבורים אלו וקובע הלכה ברורה שכל יהודי שגר בארץ חייב מיתה ואסור לעזור לשום יהודי מהארץ לא בממון ולא בשום דבר אחר וכן אסור לעזור ליהודים מהארץ לקנות או למכור דירה בארץ כי הכל שייך לערבים הוא אסר לפני זה להקליט את השיחה אבל הציע לאנשיו להתראיין לטלויזיות הערביים ולחזק אותם לחטוף ישראלים ולהרוג אותם הוא אמר עוד שהוא שמח שיש מי שעושים במקומו את העבודה של חטיפת ורציחת ישראלים



 1 - “They’ve become oblivious"

  2 - They have no future, they almost have no present”

 3 - "They will be relegated to the dustbins of Jewish history" 

42 Broadway, New York, NY 10004
(212) 797-9000

....Among their allies were the large and affluent Hasidic group Satmar, under the leadership of Rabbi Joel Teitelbaum, formerly of Hungary and later of New York City, as well as other hassidic groups, some in Israel and others in the Diaspora. With their help, Neturei Karta was able to withstand paying taxes to the state that they did not recognize and conversely, to avoid obtaining any benefits from that state by revitalizing the halukah distribution of funds that characterized earlier generations. As such they became a self-contained community within Israel with few formal ties to the surrounding political infrastructure.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Kid: What's work? Father: Something that Goyim do.

Kid: Tatty, why is there a creepy man here with a camera?
Father: Shut up and look desperate!
Father: Son, which aggadata should I read for your bedtime story?
Kid: Good night Rabba Bar Bar Channah

Kid: Dad, this weird sofa trundle bed thingy isn't very comfortable
Father: OK, let me look at the instructions, maybe I did something wrong.
Kid: Tatty, why aren't you in the bes hamedrash?
Father: Because your Imma had to work night shift again to support us!
Kid: What's work?
Father: Something that Goyim do.


Monday, June 23, 2014

Chassid-Ism Is Not Judaism....Continuation of a Series...

The above question of Jewish law was posed recently in a Satmar publication  "Halichois V'Haluchois":


 QUESTION:Sadly, three teenagers were kidnapped by the Arabs, the Zionist army is attempting to save them...may we, in our prayers, beseech God that they ( the Zionist army) be successful and rescue these children?

ANSWER:God forbid! We are not permitted to pray that these evil people should be successful (in rescuing these children)...and know that from evil people only comes out evil for Jewish children, only bad things and serious problems have they brought to the Jewish people...and in this case (the children being kidnapped) are they (the Israeli Zionists) at fault!

Rabbi Perlow from the Agudath Israel! Care to condemn these friends of yours? Or...are you in bed with them on every perverted issue?

Friday, June 20, 2014



Thursday, June 19, 2014

Heshi Nussbaum's sexual abuse of young boys went unpunished for decades

 An Open Secret: Rabbi Heshi Nussbaum's abuse of boys in Toronto's Jewish community

Heshi Nussbaum's sexual abuse of young boys went unpunished for decades. (Toronto Police Services)
We hear a troubling story of a Toronto rabbi who assaulted young boys in his care and how --despite allegations and rumours in the Jewish community-- it took decades to bring him to justice.
The Current's Howard Goldenthal once knew the rabbi. He went on a journey to understand how the crimes could go unpunished for so many years. This is his documentary: An Open Secret.
We spoke with Heshi Nussbaum's lawyer. He passed on our request to interview his client, but Heshi Nussbaum said he did not want to participate in this documentary.
Have thoughts you want to share?
Tweet us @thecurrentcbc. Or e-mail us through our website. Find us on Facebook. Call us toll-free at 1 877 287 7366. And as always if you missed anything on The Current, grab apodcast.
This segment was produced by The Current's Howard Goldenthal and Joan Webber.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

God Is Relocating: A Critique on Contemporary Orthodoxy—Four Observations

Synagogues—whether Orthodox, Conservative, or Reform—are no longer His primary residence.
 Surely some of the worshippers are pious people who try to communicate with their Creator, but overall, the majority of these places have become religiously sterile and spiritually empty. So God is moving to unconventional minyanim and places such as Israeli cafes, debating clubs, community centers, unaffiliated religious gatherings, and atypical batei midrash. The reason is obvious. In some of those places people are actually looking for Him. And that is what He loves; not those who have already found Him and take Him for granted. He is moving in with the young people who have a sense that He is there but cannot yet find Him. It gives Him a thrill. In some of these cafes He encounters young men sporting ponytails, without kippot, but with tzitziyot hanging out of their T-shirts, praying in their own words, attempting to find Him. In secular yeshivot, He meets women in trousers and mini-skirts who are earnestly arguing about what it means to be Jewish and who kiss mezuzot when they enter a fashion show. Then there are those who, to His delight, are keen on putting on tefillin once in a while and do this with great excitement; or who enthusiastically light Shabbat candles Friday night and can get into a serious discussion about Buddhism and how to combine some of its wisdom with Kabbalah and incorporate it into Jewish practice.
No, they don’t do so because it is tradition, or nostalgia, as their grandparents did, but because they sincerely want to connect, to grow and become better, deeper, and more authentic Jews—but at their own pace and without being told by others what they ought to do. They won’t go for the conventional outreach programs, which try to indoctrinate them and are often terribly simplistic. No, they strive to come closer because of an enormous urge and inner explosion of their neshamot. No better place for God to be, even if these attempts may not always achieve the correct goals and are sometimes misdirected.
At these unconventional sites, theological discourses take place over a glass of beer, and the participants talk deep into the night because they can’t get enough of this great stuff called Judaism. Many of these people want to study God and understand why He created the world and what the meaning of life is all about. What is the human condition? What is a religious experience? How do we confront death? What is the meaning of halakha? What are we Jews doing here in this strange universe? They realize that life becomes more and more perplexing, and these questions are therefore of radical importance. These are, after all, eternal issues. Who wants to live a life that passes by unnoticed? It is in this mysterious stratosphere that God loves to dwell. He can’t get enough of it.
Regrettably, His interest wavers when He enters conventional synagogues. He finds little excitement there. Many of His worshippers seem to go through the motions, activate their automatic pilot, do what they are told, say the words in the prayer book, and go home to make Kiddush. Few are asking questions on how to relate to God, why they are Jewish, or what their lives really are all about. Many do not want to be confronted with these nasty issues. They only disturb their peace of mind. A nice, conventional devar Torah is good enough. After all, everything has already been discussed and resolved. Regular synagogue visitors only speak to Him when they need Him, but almost nobody ever speaks about Him or hears Him when He calls for help in pursuing the purpose of His creation.
So God is moving to more interesting places. He laughs when He thinks of the old slogan, “God is dead.” It was a childhood disease. He knows we learned our lesson. It is too easy, too simplistic, and has not solved anything. He knows that He has not yet been replaced with something better. Oh yes, there are still run-of-the-mill scientists who believe that they have it all worked out. Some neurologists sincerely believe that “we are our brains” and that our thinking is nothing more than sensory activity. They seem to believe that one can find the essence of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony by analyzing the ink with which the composer wrote this masterpiece. There are even Nobel Prize winners who believe that we will soon enter God’s mind and know it all, no longer needing Him. They are like the man who searches for his watch in the middle of the night. When asked why he is looking under the street lamp, if he lost his watch a block away, he answers: “This is the only place where I can see anything.” These scientists have still not realized that there are more things, on earth and in heaven, than their research will ever grasp. They have convinced themselves that they are merely objective spectators and have not yet understood that they themselves are actors in the mysterious drama of what is called life.
And God simply winks. During the duration of this long-term disease beginning in the nineteenth century, antibodies have been developing to fight against the denial of His very being. Although atheism is still alive and kicking, many have become immune to all these simplistic ideas. Over the years, more and more antitoxins have accumulated, and we are now stunned by the fact that He, after all, may indeed be in our midst. Suddenly, an outdated hypothesis has come to life again. God is a real possibility, and we had better become aware of that.
But here’s the catch: While the religious establishment is now shouting from the rooftops “We told you so,” it has not yet grasped that this is completely untrue. The discovery of God did not happen because of conventional religion but in spite of it.
The truth is that the great shift concerning God took place far away from the official religious establishment. It is in fact a miracle that some people continued believing in God while religion often did everything to make this impossible.

 For centuries the church blundered time after time. Since the days when Galileo proved the Church wrong, it was constantly forced to change its position. And even then it did so reluctantly. The enormous loss of prestige that religion suffered because of it is beyond description. God was pushed into the corner. Not because He was not there, but because He was constantly misrepresented by people who spoke in His name. Since the Renaissance, many other great minds have moved the world forward; and although several may have missed the boat, a large number of them introduced radical new perspectives of the greatest importance. Yet, the Church’s only response was to fight them tooth and nail until, out of utter necessity, when all its arguments had run out, it had to succumb and apologize once again for its mistakes. Time and again, religion lagged behind in sharing the victory of new scientific and philosophical insights. Ironically, long before the Church officially sanctioned these new discoveries, they were already part and parcel of the new world. As always, the imprimatur came too late.
Thus, religion paid a heavy price. Its territory became smaller and smaller. 
The constant need for capitulation made many people leave the world of religion and opt for the secular approach. And the story is not over yet.

 Scientists are now discussing the possibility of creating life forms in the laboratory that do not depend on DNA to survive and evolve. In all likelihood, several religious leaders will fight this again, with force and ferocity, and will probably have to succumb once more when they can no longer deny the hard facts of science.
But what was happening in the Jewish religious world? Although it cannot be denied that Judaism, too, got caught up in all these debates, and quite a few staunch traditionalists were not much better than some of the church fathers, the overall situation within Judaism was much more receptive to scientific developments. Whereas the Church declared in one authoritative voice— often the synod— that these new scientific discoveries were outright heresy, such pronouncements never took place in the synagogue. This is because Judaism is so different from other religions. Positions of unconditional belief were never its main concern. They were always debated, but never finalized, as was the case with the Church. What kept Judaism busy was the question of how to live one’s life while living in the presence of God and humanity, as expressed in the all-encompassing halakhic literature. Because of that, it did not see scientific discoveries as much of a challenge. There was also a strong feeling that scientific progress was a God-given blessing.

 The greatest Jewish religious thinker of the Middle Ages, Maimonides, was even prepared to give up on the concept of creation ex nihilo if it would be proven untrue. [1] Although he was attacked for some of these radical and enlightened ideas, the general attitude was: Let science do its thing, and if we were wrong in the past because we relied on the science of those days, we will now rectify our position. Even when the Talmud made scientific statements, many—although certainly not all—understood them to be the result of scientific knowledge of the day, and not sacrosanct. And even when these debates became more intensive, it was never argued that opposing views should be absolutely silenced. There was no final authority in matters of belief, no Jewish synod. 

At the same time, many sages warned against making science into an idol that is all-knowing and can solve life’s riddles.
Louis Kronenberger notes that
Nominally a great age of scientific inquiry, ours has actually become an age of superstition about the infallibility of science; of almost mystical faith in its non-mystical methods; above all…of external verities; of traffic-cop morality and rabbit-test truth.[2]
But today all this has changed. In many Orthodox circles, Judaism’s beliefs have become more holy than the pope. Suddenly, there is an attempt to outdo old-fashioned Catholicism; to insist that the world is actually nearly 5,800 years old; that the creation chapter must be taken literally; that the seven days of creation consisted of twenty-four hours each and not one minute more; that there is no foundation to the theory of evolution; and that the Talmud’s scientific observations came straight from Sinai. That this happened in the past, when there was limited scientific knowledge, is understandable; but that such claims are still made today is downright embarrassing. It makes us blush. We can laugh about it only because the hopelessness of some of these ideas has already passed the point of being disputable. They have faded into flickering embers soon to be extinguished.
Surely it could be argued that possibly science will change its mind. But if the core beliefs of Judaism are not undermined (and they are not!), and as long as there is no indication that science will change its mind in the near future, there is no need to reject these scientific positions. And let us never forget that it is not even completely clear what these core beliefs are! So why fight modern science? [3]
The incredible damage done by doing so is beyond description. It makes Judaism laughable and, in the eyes of many intelligent people, completely outmoded. It makes it impossible to inspire many searching souls who know what science teaches us. If not for this mistaken understanding of Judaism, many people would not have left the fold and could actually have enjoyed Judaism as a major force in their lives.
And it is here that many of us, including myself, are at fault. We blame the Synagogue for this failure, as we blamed the Church hundreds of years ago. Many of us have said, “Judaism has failed”; “It is outdated”; “I am getting out.” But such statements are as unfair as they are illogical. Judaism is not an institution external to us, which one can abandon as one quits a hockey club. We are the Synagogue, and we are Judaism. When Galileo revolutionized our view concerning the solar system, it was not only the Church that failed; we all failed. Those who from the perspective of Galileo claim that the Church was backward are reasoning post factum.
We must realize that although Judaism consists of core beliefs and values that are eternal and divine, it is also the product of the culture during which time it developed. That, too, is part of God’s plan and has a higher purpose. And when history moves on and God reveals new knowledge, the purpose is to incorporate that into our thinking and religious experience.

 Ignoring this is silencing God’s voice..
According to Alfred North Whitehead,
Religion will not regain its old power until it can face change in the same spirit as does science. Its principles may be eternal, but the expression of those principles requires continual development.[4]
That is why God is relocating. He doesn’t want to live in a place where His ongoing creation is unappreciated and even denied.
We have replaced God with prayers, no longer realizing to Whom we are praying. We even use halakha as an escape from experiencing Him. We are so busy with creating halakhic problems, and so completely absorbed by trying to solve them, that we are unaware of our hiding behind this practice so as not to deal with His existence.

 In many ways this is understandable. Since the days of the Holocaust, we have refused to confront the problem of His existence due to the enormity of the evil, which He allowed to happen. So we threw ourselves into halakha to escape the question. But although the problem of God’s involvement in the Holocaust will probably never be solved, we must realize that the purpose of halakha is to have an encounter with Him, not just with the halakha. Halakha is the channel through which we can reach Him, not just laws to live by....
Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo is Dean of the David Cardozo Academy of Jerusalem. A noted author and lecturer, his writings have regularly appeared in Conversations and jewishideas.org. This article appears in issue 19 of Conversations, the journal of the Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Creeping Jewish Fundamentalism in Our Midst - Moderate Hillels Are Losing to Radical Shammais

American Jews are actively supporting a demographic trend that threatens the fabric of American Jewish life: the unchecked growth of Jewish fundamentalism.
Call them what you will — ultra-Orthodox Jews, “fervently Orthodox” Jews, Haredim, black hats. They will soon become the majority of affiliated Jews in the metropolitan New York area, and the religious majority in Israel. The results will be catastrophic.
We’ve read stories recently of Haredim in Israel comparing Israeli politicians to Hitler and throwing stones at women praying at the Kotel; of Haredim in New York fighting to restrict the prosecution of sex abuse claims; of Haredim in Germany threatening the fragile truce on circumcision by defending the practice of adult men sucking blood directly from the penises of infants.
And that is just the tip of the fundamentalist iceberg. In recent months, the Forward has depicted the coercion and ignorance prevalent in American ultra-Orthodox communities: in brilliant essays by Judy Brown and Shulem Deen, in exposés of Hasidic money laundering, and longer ago in its award-winning coverage of the Agriprocessors meat processing plant.

And of course, “fervently Orthodox” leaders have defended, justified, covered up and explained away sexual predators in a way that would make a Vatican official blush.

What has emerged from all this is a picture of a subculture that looks more like “The Sopranos” than like “Fiddler on the Roof” — a world in which a small elite maintains power at the expense of thousands of serfs.
What we’ve also learned is that this entire apparatus of fear, manipulation and power mongering has been supported by you and by me.

We’ve learned, for example, that flagship institutions of ultra-Orthodox life are basically on the dole.

Seventy-six percent of students at one of the most prominent yeshivas in the country, in Lakewood, New Jersey, are receiving Pell grants. Indeed, the top three institutional recipients of these grants are ultra-Orthodox yeshivas.
The Chabad-affiliated Michigan Jewish Institute scored $25 million in federal aid meant to go to low-income students, despite an appalling academic record and due largely to chicanery involving an online application mill.
And of course, Haredim in Israel put their American brothers to shame, diverting millions of shekels to schools that don’t provide a basic Western education, rabbinates filled with cronyism and a welfare system that keeps an entire sector of the population dependent on government subsidies.
In other words, the entire edifice of ultra-Orthodox power rests on gaming the system.
Meanwhile, “modesty brigades” and families willing to disown anyone who dares to leave patrol the walls of this contemporary shtetl. Imagine you’re an 18-year-old woman in a Hasidic enclave. You’re married, with two or three kids already, and you’ve been told that “outside” everyone is evil, depraved and miserable. You barely read English. And you know that when your cousin left, she was destitute, disowned and disgraced. There is no one to help you if you leave. You’re on your own. So of course you stay.
We are abandoning thousands of our fellow Jews to this hierarchy of power and abuse. We are doing nothing to help them.
And pretty soon, the hierarchy will overwhelm us. Demographers tell us that 49% of New York’s Jewish children are Haredi (either Hasidic or “yeshivish”). Especially in light of non-Orthodox disaffiliation, New York Jewry, within a generation, will be fundamentalist, poor, uneducated and reactionary. Non-Orthodox Jews will look like the secular Persians of Iran: once the complacent majority, now a minority oppressed by fundamentalists.
The good news is that since we are propping up this system, we have the power to weaken it.
First, mainstream American Jewish organizations must stop pretending to have common cause with Jewish fundamentalists. Just as mainline Christian denominations recognize Christian fundamentalism to be a threat to their religious values, so the mainstream of Jewish denominations — including Modern Orthodoxy — must recognize that this distortion of Judaism is actively destructive to Judaism itself.
Like Christian fundamentalism, Jewish fundamentalism is extremely new. It arose in response to modernity, and it radically changed Jewish values. Formerly, the Jewish mainstream balanced strictness and leniency: In the battle between the strict Shammai and the lenient Hillel, Hillel always won.
But the Haredi world is a phalanx of Shammais. The strictest is always the best. Moses wore a shtreimel, the fur hat that many married Haredi men wear, at the Red Sea. Scientific knowledge is evil. These are radically new Jewish ideas presented as radically old ones. Those of us who do not share them must recognize them as a threat.
And then we can begin to act. Fortunately, we don’t have to fight coercion with coercion. We don’t have to compel anyone to change his or her religious beliefs. We just have to stop artificially propping up a system that otherwise would not exist.
For example? We can demand an end to all federal and state subsidies to yeshivas that do not prepare students for contemporary economic and civic life. We can oppose all Jewish-fundamentalist efforts to take advantage of government or Jewish communal largesse. We can support our allies in Israel that are fighting for religious pluralism, for equal conscription of all Israelis, for civil marriage and for the defunding of the rabbinate.
And perhaps most important, we can publicly and financially support those struggling to escape from the oppression of ultra-Orthodoxy. For example, the organization Footsteps does wonderful work to help ex-Haredim transition to the modern world. But it is tiny in comparison with what we need. We need a Giant Footsteps —a major federation initiative to support those who leave and communicate to those trapped outside that there is vibrant Jewish life beyond the ghetto wall.
We fail to act because, I think, deep in the hearts of non-Orthodox Jews there lingers the belief that the Haredim are the real Jews, or the safeguards of our future, or perhaps the sweet, cuddly Tevyes of our imagined Yiddish roots.
But they are not. Of course, there are wonderful Haredi Jews out there. But the Haredi system threatens the demographic and cultural stability of the Jewish community, both in the United States and in Israel. Jewish fundamentalism is not good for the Jews.

Jay Michaelson is a contributing editor to the Forward.

Read more: http://forward.com/articles/177405/the-creeping-jewish-fundamentalism-in-our-midst/?p=all#ixzz34pztWvhk

Friday, June 13, 2014

"The other nobles and leaders, the wise men and naysayers, the majority and the politically correct will fade away and die in the desert."

Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog


The fundamental issue raised in this week’s parsha is 
how could so many wise and ostensibly pious leaders
 of Israel make such a fundamental error in vision
 and judgment and thereby condemn them
 and their constituents to death and ignominy?

All of the commentators to Torah from the 
Talmud and Midrash forward in history have 
attempted to unravel this mystery for us.

Various theories, each one correct in its own view,
 have been advanced to deal with this difficult issue.
 Yet, as is the case so many times in trying to analyze
 human behavior and thought, after all of the answers
 are considered and accepted, the question still
 remains to trouble us. And that in itself is perhaps one
 of the main lessons of this sad narrative of the Torah.

Human beings are prone to error, even great and noble human beings.
Man proposes but only God disposes. Rashi, based on Midrash, 
comments that even Moshe misunderstood the situation and sent the leaders 
of the tribes to spy out the land even though the Lord had never specifically
told him to do so and left the final decision to do so to his judgment.

Life is usually not so much a comedy of errors as it is a tragedy of errors.
And many times in history we can easily note that great people are also
prone to make great errors of judgment and policy.

So was it in First Temple times with the kings of Judah and Israel and so
was it certainly in Second Temple times even with the descendants
of the righteous Hasmoneans. And the story of our people in exile is
strewn with erroneous messianism and bad policy decisions. 

Such is life and human folly.

 We cannot live without leadership and direction, opinion and advice.

 But we should always be aware that human beings by definition 
are not omniscient and all knowing. The gift of prophecy no longer 
resides with our community.

Because of this, caution is always advisable
in matters of trust of others. The Psalmist cautions us
not to trust the great, generous, noble and mighty blindly 
for they too are only mortal and subject to the decay of dust.

Another important lesson that appears here in the parsha 
is that the majority opinion is not always the correct one.

 Calev and Yehoshua dissented from their colleagues. 

The Jewish people disregarded their words and followed
 the overwhelming majority verdict regarding the Land of Israel.

The strength of the survival of the Jewish people throughout the ages
has been its ability to dissent from majority opinions and ruling cultures.
Cultures change and opinions shift with time and circumstances. 

But Godly truth never wavers and changes. Democracy may represent
the will of the majority.

But even democracy is never infallibly right on major crucial issues.

The Torah serves as a brake against the tyranny of the majority.
 It provides a standard by which events and opinions can be judged 
and measured.

Calev and Yehoshua will survive and lead 
the Jewish people into the Land of Israel.

The other nobles and leaders, the wise men and naysayers, 
the majority and the politically correct will fade away and die in the desert.

Shabat shalom