Monday, January 25, 2010

Interesting Posts and Articles #251

  1. In "Fault Lines", I take note of an attempt to blame the Haiti earthquake on those who dare question why the Gedolim have not addressed the Rabbi Leib Tropper affair, and then cast this as "introspection".

    I just saw something much better. We should, perhaps, blame the Haiti earthquake on the Gedolim and Rabbonim not addressing the Tropper scandal. Why? Well, I just noticed the following old post by Rabbi Daniel Eidensohn, at the Daat Torah blog on December 30, about two weeks before the earthquake hit Haiti:
    It is important to note that there are many who don't understand that a massive earthquake has happened that needs to be addressed. I have been getting a significant amount of letters like this and personal confrontations with people who have very strong opinions against what I am doing as well as Rav Sternbuch. I am simply waiting for the rabbinic leadership to assume responsibility for investigating this mess and making changes that will prevent it from happening again. This scandal is not simply that one Jew had strong appetites - he was given too much power and his deviations were ignored by too many who should have done something about it. Also contrary to what is asserted in this letter it is clear that those in power either read or are informed of what I say on my blog and thus there is clearly a to'eles 
    Yes, I am saying this in jest. But still, a rather interesting choice of words.

  2. At the Five Towns Jewish Times, also copied by Vos Iz Neias, an interview with a prominent Monsey rabbi, Rabbi Dovid Ribiat, on why the rabbis were silent post the revelation of the scandal involving Rabbi Leib Tropper. And see the reactions also at Daat Torah. I will admit -- I did not see much use in getting random prominent rabbis to comment on this particular scandal. But now, I find the (purported) reason for lack of comment maddening. He was asked the difference between the case of Rabbi Slifkin, where they jumped to condemn, and the case of Rabbi Leib Tropper. And see his response. But in terms of why not condemning Rabbi Tropper:

    As a Rabbi in Monsey, I can only say that once there is incontrovertible evidence, appropriate measures will be taken. However, no action will be taken before there is satisfactory evidence, regardless of any scurrilous reports or media pressures.

    Firstly, your question assumes Tropper's guilt. As I said, until there is due process we are not Halachically permitted to issue condemnations against an individual, or to take any other action against him ...
    This is why an Internet connection is an important thing. Although there are plenty of people with Internet connections who still are in denial about this.

    Anyway, compare with Rav Shternbuch's take.
  3. From Vos Iz Neias, a link to a JPost article about a woman, born Jewish but irreligious, became a Christian Scientist. Then she became blind. Then she became somewhat Lubavitch. Once no longer a Christian Scientist, she went for surgery (payed for by donations, but which eventually the doctor didn't accept) and can now see. An fairly inspirational story, I suppose, but similar stories could be had about someone who left Christian Science and became a Buddhist, and therefore had their medical condition treated. The true inspirational aspect of it is the chessed performed.

    It is too bad they had to resort to nichush, and nonsense, though:
    Schwartz didn't have the heart to tell Michal that the money wasn't enough for surgery. Not knowing what to do, in the Chabad manner, she opened a favorite volume of the letters of the late Lubavitcher Rebbe Menachem Schneerson and asked a friend to read it to her: "In the matter of your eyesight," said the letter, "consult a good specialist who will give you proper instruction." So Schwartz made an appointment with Dr. Dennis M. Metz in Brooklyn.

  4. The latest issue of Hakirah is out. Some interesting articles: No, Rashi Was Not a Corporealist, Saul ZuckerRashi’s Stance on Corporealism: A Response to Rabbi Zucker, Natan Slifkin; “They Could Say It, We Cannot”:  Defining the Charge of Heresy, Natan Slifkin; Anatomy and the Doctrine of the Seven-Chamber Uterus in Rabbinic Literature, Edward Reichman. 

    At the moment, only the first two pages of each article are available, unless of course you buy a print copy of the journal.

  5. Another teshuva from Rabbi Moshe Shternbuch, about tinok shenishba bizman hazeh.

  6. This week's Haveil Havalim, at the Real Shliach.

  7. Torah Talk, with a discussion of the segulah of saying parshas HaMan this Tuesday, in order to become rich. See my discussion here and here.

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