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Feb 18, 2010

Interesting Posts #146

1. Temple Mount Updates has a picture of what goes on daily on Temple Mount...

2. A Mother in Israel discusses how the Takanah organization dealt with the Rabbi Elon situation.

3. Daas Torah brings a teshuva from Rav Moshe zt"l about capital punishment

4. Tzedek-Tzedek responds regarding a letter sent against a local organization. He calls the letter a hoax. Reminds of a different, but similar, hoax.

5. Geshmack Dvar Torah explains the kruvim..


  1. What is going on?February 18, 2010 8:49 PM


    If this letter from our (yes, our) shul on Tzedek Tzedek is not a hoax I will resign and leave the shul.

    I refuse to remain in a place that tramples the poor the way Beis Tfilla has with Lema'an Achai.

    I am embarrassed and ashamed.

  2. Rafi - "Tzedek-Tzedek responds regarding a letter sent against a local organization."

    Say it as it is: "David Morris responds to Rabbi Malinowitz' ban on Lema'an Achai in Beis Tefillah."

  3. As a BT member whose child was abused by another BT member, I have a message for the "Board" who I'm sure are reading this. YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELVES! The Rav offers no help or guidance to families in this terrible situation, even ignoring a police-enforced restraining order against the abuser. The "Rav" is a salaried employee, nothing more. How can a shul which hosts an achdus event allow this blatant display of pomposity to continue. Its time to let him go, before even more members leave.

  4. We stopped attending BTYA after the rav told a group of women that they shouldn't go to the police/authorities (he prefaced this by telling them to turn off the recorders).

    I can't associate with a man who flaunts the law to the detriment of our children.

    Anyone with children in Toras Moshe should consider that this man is responsible for the safety of your children.

  5. how is he harming the poor?

    if he doesnt allow lemaan achai in, he is simply directing the poor to other organizations. Who says the poor are losing out?

  6. What have you been smoking Rafi?February 19, 2010 1:06 AM


    He isn't just allowing Lema'an Achai into the shul...he is telling people privately not to give.

    There many poor in RBS who would benefit better from Lema'an Achai's approach. If you cut them off these people will suffer.

    I am surprised at you that you could easily brush off his teatment of David Morris and Lema'an Achai. If you feel that he's correct then I understand why you daven there.

    He's making a big chilul HaShem.

  7. I dont think he is right or wrong. I dont know why it is happening.

    I was not aware that he is telling people privately not to give. I have not heard a word of that until your anonymous comment.

    I am nto defending Rav M's side in the fight against DM. I dont understand what this is about. I thought it was all resolved with the public clarification a while back and I was not aware of anything new in that regard, so I dont know what happened to change that status.

    I am defending Rav M's right to have a difference of opinion and different method/approach to dealing with allegations of abuse. They can each have their own method and opinion. Hopefully they would hash it out and figure out, together, the best method, but that doesnt have to be. 2 people can have different methods in how to deal with the same situation, and that doesnt bother me. DM feels his method is right, and Rav M feels his method is right. I respect them both and I respect that they each have a right to think their own approach is the right one. They are each coming form different perspectives, so it is understandable they will have different approaches.

    About this fight, I have no idea what to think. As I said, I dont know what changed that made this flare up again.

  8. Rafi - From what I've heard, what started THIS fight, was that Lema'an Achai approached Beis Tefilla's board to fix up when to make an appeal during the Purim/Pessach period.

    The vaad's response was a copy of Rav Malinowitz email.

    "The Rav has spoken".

    It seems to be simply Rav Malinowitz dredging up an old and (apparently) resolved issue. The letter from Lema'an Achai which you posted around Yom Kippur on your blog seems to have slipped Rav Malinowitz' memory.

    I've no idea why he would want to re-start this. Do you?

  9. anyone have real stats on membership? a few anons have said they've personally left and people are leaving in droves...

    but has it actually diminished so much, or are people trying to create such an impression, perhaps to precipitate it?

    (even if there is say a 50% drop the shul is probably still quite solvent, now that the fancy building is complete including the simcha hall which is a source of revenue.)

  10. As far as I can tell the shul is as full as ever during davening.

    The shul shaloch manos list keeps getting bigger.

    I think that anonymous sock-puppets are trying to create an impression.

    Solly G.

  11. Former Member of Bais TefillahFebruary 19, 2010 2:03 PM

    I am now convinced that the real source of leadership in our community is HaRav Chayim Soloveichik!

  12. HaRav Chayim, HaRav Chayim Solo, HaRav Chayim Soloveichik!

    The voice of authentic Torah and sanity in Ramat Beth Shemesh.

  13. The Good Ole daysFebruary 19, 2010 2:31 PM

    The ban on Lema'an Achai is simply another cog in the wheel to change this neighborhood into a more charedi one.

    Since I moved here in the early days RBS has moved further and further to the right.

    When I moved here there were tables and chairs outside of Yaale.

    Ko Tomar had bagriyut and allowed girls to carry backpacks.

    Magen Avot was a school where almost anyone would feel comfortable.

    Israeli flgas were visible in most parts of the neighborhood around Yom hatzma'aut.

    Lema'an Achai was an organization that almost everyone (except a few kannoim) supported because they support everyone.

    There are people who wish to change that open, refreshing atmosphere into something different.

    Hence Lema'an Achai has become no less of a target than the chairs and tables outside of Yaale.

  14. I wonder if Mr. Good Ole Days (or is it Mrs/Ms/Miss?) realized that in the early days (and even not so early days), there were NO chairs in front of Yaale... nor was there a Yaale at all.

    Speaking of memories, I think that there may have been almost as many people at the free pizza opening as there were at the birkas hachama held there a few years later...

  15. The RBS That I LoveFebruary 19, 2010 3:08 PM

    It seems that Rav Chayim Soloveichik's sane approach towards community leadership and Judaism will help insure that the community remains a great one!

  16. Yes Mikeage there was a time with no chairs and no Yaale.

    But even then there was a David Morris and a Lema'an Achai.

    And now someone (who doesn't even reside in RBS) is trying to change that.

    Shame on him.

  17. HaRav Chayim Soloveichik is the best insurance of this community against the fanatics of all stripes

  18. Oh I know... my knowledge of (and donations to) Lemaan Achai go back to those days.

    On another note, I think it would be very interesting if Rafi would share how many of these one-off names share the same IP. I'm curious if there really are that many Ohr Shalom members here, and if Beis Tefilla has really lost more than one person (if that much).

  19. I understand that since Rabbi Yaakov Haber arrived in the neighborhood, KSY has grown from some 20 families, to about 120 families.

    Many of them are disillusioned ex-BTYA members.

  20. Regarding KSY, I don't know the membership count, but the mishloach manos for this year has 90 families. Last year it was 61. I don't have the form for two years ago, but I believe the number was about 40 or so member families. Twenty certainly seems wrong.

  21. It is known that many KSY members are those who left Bais Tefillah because of the LeMaan Achai issue. It seems that KSY will ultimately be the shul which pursues the mission that the Bais Tefillah people envisioned beofre thigns went sour.

  22. MikeAge, it's all the same guy. He's been posting multiple comments under different names at Tzedek-Tzedek too. I don't know why he doesn't realize that he's not helping at all.

  23. I can tell you for a fact that it's not "the same guy" there have been several who posted on this issue-it's not the same guy at all.

    It is clear that many feel the same about the damage that Rabbbi M's anti-LeMaan Achai approach has caused Bais Tefillah.

    And many do also appreciate Rav Soloveichik's role in maintaining a normal atmosphere.

  24. I find it amusing that people assume that more than one person can not have the same view regarding the injustice which has been done to Lem' achai.

  25. Lots of people have the same view. But there is one person who has been posting multiple times under different names. His style is instantly recognizable.

  26. As a long time member of KSY I must admit that a few years ago the shul was small but stable. After Rav Rubanowitz left the shul began to shrink.
    Under the current leadership of Rabbi Haber there is amazing growth and vitality. To me it seems that the shul has multipled manyfold.
    It is a fresh, open and warm kehilla where anyone can feel welcome. Rabbi Haber is a great talmid chochum and a friendly person.

  27. Rabbi Haber also had the sense to move to the community where he is working and make an effort to understand the nature of the issues here and forge relationships with the schools thet most of his kehilla attend. The other Rav in question here refuses to move here, has had fights with the main schools attended by the majority of his shul and only gets involved in local issues when it is politically expedient for him. That's why KSY, Rav Shapira, Rabbi Myers and Ohr Shalom are growing and why BT had to dredge through old membership lists to fill its Mishloach Manos forms this year.

  28. I dont know what you are talking about. old membership list?
    the shul is packed every shabbos, in what is probably the largest beis medrash in the neighborhood.

    there will always be a few people leaving, from any and every shul. as not every shul is for everybody and each person has his reason to move on. Just as there are always a few people leaving, there are always a few people joining. 3 new families became members of Beis Tefilla this week alone. The shul is packed. Stop making up stories. Just because you know a few people who left doesnt make it into a crisis.

  29. There have been some wild claims made.

    I compared Bais Tefila's Shaloch Manos list for 2008 and 2010.
    (I don't have the 2009 list on my computer.)
    2008-124 members
    2010-137 members

    Can we please put that claim to rest?

    Solly G.

  30. Yes, Rafi, people join, but do they stay? Yes, they like the shul, but won't go to the Rav for shailas because of his difficult and abrasive style, especially to our wives. Plenty of people paid membership and then slipped away. There's a difference between the Rav and the Shul. Most people join BT because they wanted a Charedi "light" community of people like them. They like the big shul, they like the great air conditioning and the kids activities. Then they get the mixed message politics and start wondering. Ask people, its true. Many people on the MM list do not daven there.

  31. Great A/C? Hrmm... when I was at KSY, they could never claim this, and I'm afraid R' Soloveitchik's shul can't either. Might be worth considering as a summer minyan [and of course in RBS, summer is from April - September...]


    Oh, and the A isn't capitalized. It's a suffix, not a CamelCase word. Just Mike is fine [or Miller, if you want a real last name]

  32. I think the issue is slipping from where it should be (how to deal with child abuse in RBS)into counting heads at Beis Tefilla.

    And the issue about Beis Tefilla isn't the heads, it's where they left their brains.

  33. Mike - April thru September? than what does "right now" count as? I would say more like March thru February minus a few random cold and rainy days scattered around in January

  34. Paid members get to be on the mishloach moanot list. Anyone who wants can be on the MM mailing list - those are "shul samplers" and you can't generalize why they aren't members at one place or another.

    I'll guess that 50% of the BTYA members follow Rav Malinowitz's statements like these, and the other half see it as optional. They might even find it distasteful but then say that most Rabbis likely have some sort of meshugas.

    (For example there's another shul whose members have been instructed to rant and rave about the tznius signs at the mercaz - at every opportunity including private conversation. Personally I find that just as foolish a Rabbinic policy.)

  35. It like the old joke come true - "That shul? That shul, I would never step foot into!" :-)


  36. Of course, as a member of BTYA, you'd say that :)

    IMHO, Oct - Feb are some kind of Fall/Spring mix; and winter generally comes for about 3 days somewhere in the middle.


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