Jun 22, 2009

LTTE in Jpost

The following "Letter to the Editor" was published in the Jerusalem Post in response to the Jonathan Rosenblum article:

Sir, - Jonathan Rosenblum, shame on you! (“Those primitive haredim – yet again,” June 12, JPost)

As a product of haredi yeshivot, I have always viewed your insistence on defending all things haredi with cynicism and a chuckle.

However, how can I remain silent in the face of your attack on David Morris and Lema’an Achai? Yes, you tried to veil the attack with some form of praise; but it was an attack nonetheless. Morris, the other workers of Lema’an Achai and their esteemed rabbinic leadership are the righteous of the righteous. They devote their days and nights to helping all Jews without trying to promote one sect over another. If they have concluded that there are rabbis who are not helping to deal properly with suspicions of molestation, then this is the reality. End of story.

As for the rabbis you mention by name, can you also defend their refusal to publicly condemn some of the recent acts by extremist hareidim in Beit Shemesh and Ramat Beit Shemesh – such as the Friday night kicking assault on a teenage girl in December, the constant spitting upon women deemed dressed not up to their standards , and the spray painting of rebukes on our walls and sidewalks? Is this silence also “a considered philosophy about what is best for the victims?”.

You are so correct in stating that the hareidi community is “much more complicated…than the stereotypes which abound”. Perhaps you should redirect your efforts towards helping fix those “complications.”

Rabbi Dov Lipman
Bet Shemesh

What I find interesting in the letter is the connection between the response and working method employed in the cases of RBS, to the responses mentioned regarding the attacks in RBS B. This despite the fact that they are 2 different crowds, different sets of rabbis, with seemingly no real connection. Yet Rabbi Lipman shows that the response is the same.

perhaps it is simply the preferred method of Haredi rabbonim - to work in quiet. Though the truth is, I think, that in the case of RBS B it was not a situation of working quietly behind the scenes, but of ignoring the issue completely.


  1. Rafi, its not two different sets of Rabbonim. Two summers ago, when things really heated up in RBS Bet, Rav Goldstein spoke at the rally the kanoim had protesting the arrests of the troublemakers.
    Rav Kofshits, who is so extreme that the Eda Charedis doesn't know whether he can be a Dayan in their apparatus, is is considered to be a sort of Chief Rabbi of Charedi Bet Shemesh, and his authority is recognized by Rabbis Goldstein and Kornfeld. Rav Kofshitz has a say in what goes on even in "moderate" Bais Yakov Ko Tomar.
    The extremism in RBS Bet casts a long shadow over what goes on in RBS Alef, a situation which is has no parallel in any other Charedi community in EY, hence Reb Dov is right for bringing it into the picture.
    After seeing my brother R Yehoshua's post on this blog last week, I decided to follow his lead and publish this in my own name.

  2. In light of some annoying computer glitch, I guess publishing in my own name means giving away my ID בכלל
    Eli Duker

  3. Well done Rav Lipman.

    Ari Enkin

  4. What annoyed me was how Rav Kornfeld signed a public letter, printed in the weeklies, against pritzus in the Mercaz, but won't make any public statement about violence.

    But the real problem with Rosenblum's article was that it was all a straw man. The serious people are not claiming that the rabbonim don't care or don't take abuse seriously. Of course that's not true. The charge is that they do not deal with it in the right way.

  5. Violence provides a service to the separatist chareidi philosophy. Of course R' Kornfeld and others would never directly order violent thugs, etc - but it ABSOLUTELY suites their needs. So why would they condemn it? They want it!

  6. Yeshar koach Dov!June 22, 2009 4:06 PM

    Well done R.Dov Lipman for that excellent letter in the JPost!

    Unfortunately, it won't completely undo all the harm done by Rosenblum (and the "three rabbonim") to the good names of Lema'an Achai and David Morris, but at least it somewhat redresses the imbalance.

    Yeshar koach!!

  7. "Of course R' Kornfeld and others would never directly order violent thugs, etc"

    I understand that R.Kornfeld has called for a private "policeman" to be employed by the community, to patrol the parks of RBS, and to "beat up" people Rav K considers undesirables.

    And don't I recall that Rabbi Perlstein Himself, infamously attacked kids in the park with a belt, and physically attacked a boys choir performing in the park.

  8. if anybody has any sources for these rumors or has reason to believe them to eb true, please email me offline. in the meantime please dont spread unsubstantiated rumors. Unless you have seen them in action, of course.

  9. Where's the guts?June 22, 2009 4:23 PM

    Anyone spot that the two letters in the JP defending David Morris + Lema'an Achai and attacking Rosenblum, were both from Bet Shemesh people (R.Dov Lipman and Talli Rosenbaum).

    Don't RBS people have the guts to publicly defend your own?!!

  10. "The only thing necessary for the triumph [of evil] is for good men to do nothing." Edmund Burke.

    Hashem Yiracheim

    Joel Rich

  11. maybe rbs people dont read the jpost!

  12. True Rafi - many people in RBS don't read the JPost.


    everyone reads LifeInIsrael !!

    Yeshar koach Rafi!!

  13. Questions for Rav M?June 22, 2009 5:24 PM

    Rav Malinowitz is due to speak to the ladies of his shul tonight about the topic of child abuse.

    Rav Malinowitz is asking for questions from the floor.

    My wife is planning on going along.

    Any suggestions for questions for her to ask the Rav?

  14. Ask Rav Malinowitz the following question regarding the Yishrei Lev case:

    Upon Rav Malinowitz's request, the families were referred to Rabbi Safranovitz, a Gerer Chosid. Rabbi Safranovitz interviewed the Rebbe and the kids who alleged abuse. Rabbi Safranovitz came to the conclusion that the Rebbe was definitely sexually abusing the kids and that the case should proceed through the legal system. Note that Rabbi Safranovitz didn't even speak to the neighbor who saw -- on two occasions -- the Rebbe molesting the children.

    What happened? How come Rav Malinowitz had an about-turn and claimed that the Rebbe was innocent?

  15. just curious how do you know who this safranowitz fellow spoke to or did not speak to? how do you know if he spoke to the neighbor or not? was he aware that there was a neighbor who had witnessed incidents or maybe he never found that out?

  16. Interviewing the kids?June 22, 2009 6:44 PM

    Anon said: "Rabbi Safranovitz interviewed the Rebbe and the kids who alleged abuse"

    Correction (for the record): My recollection is that Rabbi Safranowitz interviewed the teacher and various parents. He did not directly interview alleged victims - quite rightly so.

    Rabbi Safranovitz is smart enough to realize the immense risk involved in interviewing alleged victims. He'd probably be rotting in a cell by now if he did that kind of thing.

    Too bad that Rabbi Kornfeld who (according to the Rosenblum article), regularly gets his people to interview the kids BEFORE the police and social services can interview them.

    This messes up the kids and messes up the evidence. And that's why it's a criminal offence in this country.

  17. Teffilin reminder...June 22, 2009 6:52 PM

    Interviewing the kids said: And that's why it's a criminal offence in this country.

    Can someone gently remind Rav Kornfeld to always carry his tefillin, lest the rabbi be left without when he gets picked up and incarcerated?

  18. I wonder why Rav Malinowitz has suddenly decided to address the "unmentionable" issue of child abuse?

    Kudos to David Morris & Lema'an Achai for rattling the rabbinical cages, and getting this systematically hidden topic out into the open, and (at long last) on the public agenda!

  19. Questions for Rav M? said-"Rav Malinowitz is due to speak to the ladies of his shul tonight about the topic of child abuse."

    If you're a Beis Teffila person yourself, and you're referring to a bunch of Stern Alumna as "ladies" that's a real fast reinvention of everyone.

  20. Any reports what Rav Malinowitz actually said at his meeting with the community's women this evening?

  21. oblivious but appalledJune 24, 2009 1:31 AM

    Shame that Rabbi Rosenblum isn't treating the topic with more depth of understanding. It isn't up to David Morris or Rabbis to directly handle child molestation - it is up to all of them to engage really good professionals to guide the process. If the Rabbis won't do it, then B"H someone else can come up with those resources.

  22. Well I hope at age 35+ and with our Mrs. degrees done, we get called something other than Stern GIRLS....

  23. Kol HaKavod to HaRav Chaim Soloveichik for his unwavering support of David Morris and for his standing up to the child-abusers!

  24. Wasn't there another article in the weekend JPost about the RBS child abuse issue? Can anyone provide a link or even the text itself? (Is anyone still out there?!)

  25. What happened to being careful of the 7 conditions for speaking toeles?


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