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Oct 20, 2013

BS elections: An Open Response to Rabbi Chaim Malinowitz of BTYA

I normally do not write here about the institutions I am involved with, but now that the election letter from Rav Malinowitz has been made public as part of Moshe Abutbol's campaign, I have agreed to publicize this well-written response to that letter.

An Open Response to Rabbi Chaim Malinowitz of BTYA

(adapted from a letter written by a former BTYA congregant)

Rabbi Malinowitz, you wrote a letter to your congregation which you subsequently decided to distribute to the entire city, via flyers, and printing it in the Meidah B'Ramah, and in place of your dvar Torah in Chadash. I believe that rabbis are entitled to respect. However, once you enter the political arena, and replace writing divrei Torah with political diatribes, you become a politician, and can be treated like any other politician.

You write that Bet Shemesh is a popular place and has many benefits. This is true. However, it was a popular destination even before Abutbol was elected, largely due to its location and formerly cheap housing (and more recently, because of the effect of a large Anglo population). The attractions and benefits of Bet Shemesh are not because of Abutbol - they are despite him.

For you to talk about how wonderful life is in Ramat Bet Shemesh is strange, because you don't actually live here! You don't have to deal with shuls that are built on top of ganim - during gan hours! - with nails dropping around the kids! You don't have to deal with a shopping center that has stores in dungeons and hopelessly inadequate parking, and with streets that are jammed full with traffic, all of which is only going to get worse with Abutbol's plans to stuff as many people in the city as possible without preparing adequate infrastructure. You don't care about religious extremism (of which I will write more later), which doesn't affect you.

And where did you make your home in Israel when you made aliyah? In Mattersdorf! You are hardly representative of what moderate Anglo Charedim are looking for in a place to live!

You ask "Why in the world does anyone think that Eli Cohen will be better than Abutbol?" Well, first of all because he has professional training - which in the eyes of everyone outside the deep charedi world, is actually worth something. Second, because Abutbol has shown consistently that he will not take a stand against extremists. Third, because we think that Abutbol runs the city very, very poorly. People like Ephraim Naiman and others who have no anti-charedi agenda whatsoever, but who know what professional management is all about, all believe that Eli Cohen will be a much better mayor.

When you say that people who feel disenfranchised have created "their own virtual reality," and that those who left did so happily in order to get good prices for their homes, that is frankly offensive. On what grounds do you dismiss their pain? The extremism in Ramat Bet Shemesh doesn't bother you - because it doesn't really affect you. You don't live here, and you don't care much about extremist charedim - you liked living in Sanhedria. You are immensely self-assured, and do not care about extremism directed against you.

But the extremism bothers people who are shopping in the supermarket, and a vaad hatzniyus rep is tearing all the labels off the shampoo bottles, and the manager says that he's helpless. It bothers us when stores are forced to put up tzniyus signs. It bothers us when Rav Kornfeld tries to prevent the establishment of restaurants with seating and signs a ban on Mishpacha magazine. It bothers us when exercise equipment is removed from the parks, so as not to disturb extremist charedim. It bothers us when Rav Perlstein tries to break up a concert in the park because charedim are sitting with non-charedim. It bothers us when the Israeli flags are routinely torn off our car. It bothers us when people are looking at apartments to buy, and the residents of the building say to them, "No, this building is only for charedim." It bothers us when the mayor's mouthpiece, a hate-filled rag, gets delivered to our house every week. It bothers us when Lemaan Achai - a charity organization that helps EVERY sector of society - is banned from collecting in many charedi shuls simply because they are not a charedi organization. It bothers us when Avraham Leventhal gets physically attacked by Abutbol's campaign people, and Abutbol publicly blames Leventhal! It bothers us when children in Nofei Aviv gets cursed at on the way to school. It bothers us when the mayor wants to immediately capitulate to the extremists and prevent a school from opening, and when the entire charedi community shows a complete lack of interest in protesting his decision and showing solidarity with the victims.

Worst of all is that not only do you show a lack of understanding and empathy for people who feel disenfranchised, but you yourself have contributed to it!

You refused to protest the extremists who were causing problems for Orot, and wrote a 13-page
letter of "explanation" in which you displayed a gross lack of sensitivity to the distress of Orot children (saying "give them a chocolate.") You claimed that to join the protests against extremists would create a false image that charedim are affiliated with extremists - whereas the fact that all non-charedi rabbanim joined the protests, and (almost) all charedi rabbanim refused to do so, in fact reinforced the claim that charedim are affliated with the extremists. Your letter was so bizarre and offensive that even Jonathan Rosenblum, charedi apologist par excellence, denounced it!

And now even many people still in Beis Tefillah feel disenfranchised, when you sign a public notice that condemns and effectively curses anyone who doesn't vote Abutbol (notwithstanding your semi-private softening of that stance, how do you think that public statement makes the Eli Cohen supporters feel?). People feel disenfranchised when you write a regular column for Chadash (thereby effectively endorsing it), the hateful Mayor's mouthpiece that never reports about charedi extremism and violence, that trashes non-charedim wherever possible, and which is so vile that it makes every non-charedi (and many
moderate charedi) residents of Bet Shemesh feel ill! I understand that in the past you justified writing in Chadash on the grounds that you are simply writing a dvar Torah, not endorsing Chadash's slander. But
now you used that space allocated for a dvar Torah to instead print your political letter. Not only is this an effective endorsement of Chadash; it's also an affront to both the Torah and the city when you use a forum allocated to a dvar Torah to instead engage in political demagoguery.

How can you say that you "stand ready to help people who feel disenfranchised," when you yourself contribute to people feeling disenfranchised?

Finally, you get to your main motivation - the notion that there is a Great War Against The Torah World, and that Eli Cohen is part of that. First of all, there is no Great War Against The Torah World, just against the charedi system of low IDF/workforce participation, which harms the charedim even more than it harms the rest of charedi society. You lead a shul full of doctors, dentists, and other professionals - yet none of their children will be doctors, dentists or professionals! They're going to be struggling in kollel or in low-income jobs, finding it especially difficult due to the contrast with the lifestyle that they enjoyed growing up (thanks to their professionally employed parents).

But that's beside the point. Mah inyan Eli Cohen etzel Yair Lapid? The only extremists that Eli Cohen is interested in opposing are the 2% of charedim that all moderate charedim despise, and that you unfortunately refuse to ever join with non-charedim in opposing. Eli Cohen is not remotely interested in opposing the 98% of moderate charedim - he wants to be a helpful mayor to them just as much as to everyone else. The people making this election into a "charedim vs. non-charedim" war are the charedi
politicians and askanim, because they need a war in order to rally the troops. And this false portrayal finds support in those who have a tribalist siege mentality - such as people who refuse to stand in support with Orot against violent extremists, because they will never stand with non-charedim against charedim, no matter how vile the actions of the charedim.

To say that Bennet "basically installed Eli Cohen as Abutbol's main opponent" is simply not true. Aliza Bloch was Bayit Yehudi's original candidate; it was only when it was realized that Eli Cohen was a more popular candidate that Bennet joined forces with him. Besides, Agudas Yisrael is running on a joint ticket with Bayit Yehudi in three cities in Israel! So if Bayit Yehudi cannot be a problem, because even Agudas Yisrael joins with them, what is the problem? Yesh Atid and Lapid? But Eli Cohen refused to join with them!

Besides, what difference does it make how Yair Lapid perceives Bet Shemesh? In any case, Lapid is going to be strengthened far more by Bet Shemesh continuing under Abutbol, than by it remaining a multi-cultural town under Cohen. It was the extremists of Bet Shemesh, with the acquiescence of Abutbol, that catapulted Lapid into power in the first place! It's the refusal of Abutbol and the charedi establishment to ever stand up to the crazies, whether they are trying to close schools or violently defend alleged graveyards, which makes
the rest of Bet Shemesh, and ultimately all Israel, exasperated with the charedi world. And you, too, are responsible for that, in refusing to join the solidarity protests with Orot - as I mentioned, even Jonathan Rosenblum publicly criticized you for that. Lapid would never have been so successful if the mayor and moderate charedim here would have taken a strong stand against the extremists. It's the ultimate irony that you are telling people to vote for Abutbol in order not to empower Lapid, when it is Abutbol and the charedi rabbonim of Bet Shemesh who brought Lapid to power in the first place.

Finally, the entire tone of your letter is unbelievably offensive. It's patronizing, sneering, and plain rude. In a letter that you publicized to the entire city, you call those who support Eli Cohen - about half the population - "Lapid's useful idiots," and ask "where is your sechel." You sign on a Kol Korei that condemns them as "porshim min ha-tzibbur" - "separating from the congregation." Where is the derech eretz? How can a Rav write in such a way?

There is a wonderful poster circulating that calls on everyone to "refrain from negativity and encourage communal achdus." It is ironic that your picture appears on it.

In deep disappointment,
A resident of Bet Shemesh.

Donate to the Schneider Hospital so I can run the Schneider benefit marathon..

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  1. Genius! Once a Rabbi gives an opinion regarding an election we have a right to treat him with disrespect (pretty sure that one is mentioned in Shulchan Aruch) . How dare a Rabbi say anything other than when we say Tachnun and when we don't. We need a Rabbi when we can't find a Kitzur Shulchan Aruch. - that is it.

    Well, no,sorry, he also has an obligation to sign any petition against everybody who does something wrong in the name of Judaism.

    And, you know, he has an obligation to to throw out his Hashkafos when loud-mouthed people disagree with his perspective. Other than that, the Rabbi should be on his knees at salary time to thank us for supporting him despite his being a parasite by learning Torah all day.

    Don't the Rabbis know that in a Jewish state that their opinions don't matter? When will they get the message?

    This is why we are allowed to sneak a picture of a Chareidi Rabbi shaking hands with Eli Cohen - who cares if this Rabbi actually disagrees with Eli - we are allowed to deceive the Chareid public because they don't know that voting for Eli Cohen is in their interests. WE KNOW BETTER, can't they see that? That Rabbi shaking Eli's hand will thank us later. Yes, I know he is actually actively campaigning for Abutbul, but it was his fault for being in the Merkaz when people were sneaking up behind them with cameras to try and catch a polite Rabbi who didn't even know the man he was shaking hands with was Eli Cohen. Yes, yes we can even publish the photo and caption the photo as saying that Chareidim agree with Eli because they don't know what is good for them .

    Deceit and chutzpah are allowed when Rabbis give their opinions. We can disparage them if they disagree with us, and even if they haven't done anything to us, for their benefit we can actively deceive them with misleading pictures - ok outright deceit too, but only when necessary.

    All this is in the same Shulchan Aruch.

    p.s. For all those who actually read until the end of my sarcastic rant, I have no problem with the fact that this piece of dirt disagrees with Rabbi Malinowitz. But to present it with such Chutzpah? The original open letter, which I saw, left out in the open in Bais Tefila (such brazen nerve in and of itself), was actually written with more respect. I guess that's why the original had his name on it, not just an open letter (with a sealed signature). I hope he finds some way to get Mechila from the Rov. And every person he insulted in the Shul with his garbage.
    Oh and my point about the Chareidi Rabbi having his picture taken before Eli even introduced himself - it's a true story. And then using that picture to advertise that Chareidim agree with his point of view? That is pure fraud.

  2. While I support the letter writer's right to question the actions of even an esteemed Rav as well as your right to publicize criticism, the tone of this letter is extremely disrespectful. Despite the writer's obvious passion and questions, the tone used is inappropriate for anyone with the slightest respect for Kavod haTorah.

    Discussing politics with a Rav requires as much respect and proper language as when disagreeing on a sugya in Torah. No one would consider arguing during a shiur with that tone of voice. Complete disagreement can be expressed more civilly.

  3. I am not familiar with the picture to which you are referring. can you tell me where I can see it?

  4. Anonymous: "Was actually written with more respect". Really? Calling anyone who supports Eli Cohen - which includes close to 50% of the population and virtually every Dati Leumi Rav in Beit Shemesh - "Lapid's useful idiots" in a public forum is respectful?

    Herb: Did this Rav use the least bit of respect with regard to his colleagues? Was he is the least bit civil?

    Apparently he believes that the ends justify the means - so he should have no problem with this writer doing the same.

  5. The picture is in the newspaper distributed this past week by the Coehn campaign. I'll see if I can scan it for you. The angry response written by the Rabbi to the picture is in the Chadash newspaper on page 86.

    1. I dont have the eli cohen paper, but I see the ad in the chadash.
      I mostly didnt read the chadash or eli's paper, as I am kind of sick of reading all this material again and again, but in the chadash ad I dont recognize any of those names, so even if I saw the picture (which I dont think I did) I probably had no idea what I was looking at.
      another question - where was that picture first published. didnt Eli's paper come out on friday morning, while chadash came out on thursday night? how did they protest something on thursday night that was only published the next day? the picture must have been publicized earlier somewhere else.

    2. They actually printed it twice. One was in an advertisement during the week, the second time to the shock of the Rabbi in question (who I know personally and is actually one of the nicest people you'll ever meet) it was printed in his newspaper as well. He already received phone calls by incredulous people who know and respect his views and this Chutzpah is eating away at his Kishkes. He is not a happy camper.

  6. Excellent, intelligent, well expressed response to Rabbi Malinowitz' incoherent rant which he spammed to any media he could get in into.

    Rav Malinowitz cannot expect or insist on protocols of rabbinical respect - when he comes out viciously & publicly swinging at anyone he politically opposes (half of Beit Shemesh).

    Midah keneged midah.

    1. Yes, this was a well formulated letter with no hatred or venom. Not a rant that has been forced into every media that he can be published in.

      He doesn't need your respect or anyone else's. Its the soul of the people who have care about the Rabbonim that are angered by the lack of respect. Mida Kneged Mida. Yes, you are certainly right. Your Mida is completely Neged his.

    2. Shmuel, the protocols of rabbinical respect are not for the person, but for the holy position - and that demands the utmost care to respectfully disagree regardless of what one thinks of the person.

    3. Herb, Where was Rav Malinowitz's respect for the "holy position" of all of the Rabbanim he called idiots?

    4. Your question has no bearing on justifying the letter writer's lack of respect in tone. The Rav's letter (which I am not commenting on) in no way allows anyone who respects the position of a Rav to address this Rav with such an utter lack of respect.

  7. Mr. Genius,

    It's one thing to give an opinion as a Rav as to who you endorse. It's another thing to sarcastically, and in a condescending tone, insult the intelligence of the entire community. There is NO WHERE in halachah that states that das torah gets to dictate who I have to vote for. Having a rav for das torah doesn't mean you can turn into a thoughtless sheep that just says baaah at everything your Rav says. The fact that his tone is so condescending and bitter just further proves that these so called das torah rabbis have to rely on fear and bullying tactics rather than intellectual arguments. It's one thing to logically relay your opinion and hope that your congregants "see" your logic and come to their OWN similar conclusions. It's another thing to expect your mispallilim and the community at large to act like drones and just follow suit with this das torah coming from Rabbis that appear to lack even basic self respect.

    The yeshiva world has become just like the chasidish world with the expecation that the Rav's word is G-D's word. At leas the chasidim add some geshmak to their yidishkeit.

    1. " It's another thing to sarcastically, and in a condescending tone, insult the intelligence of the entire community."

      And then:

      "The yeshiva world has become just like the chasidish world with the expecation that the Rav's word is G-D's word. At least the chasidim add some geshmak to their yidishkeit."

      Yes, ladies and gentlemen. This is the man who sarcastically called me Mr. Genius.

  8. In terms of daas torah,are you familiar with the pasuk: "ועשית ככל אשר יורך"?
    With regard to political activity and voting,etc. for the frum velt - the agudah's been around for about 100 years or so...
    Also, I'm a litvack with geshmak in my yiddishkeit; if that's not the case for you, maybe you should consider a switch...

    1. That Pasuk is in the context of listening to a Judge or Kohen (acting as judge) that is adjudicating a dispute brought before them. It does not mean that you must listen to anyone who has learned a little bit of Torah and has received "Smicha" from a modern Yeshiva or Kollel.

  9. Your Naïveté is amusing. Maybe you should research what exactly ועשית ככל אשר יורך means, especially today.
    And even if that held true, you should open your eyes as to how much the "gedolim" are manipulated and lied to by the "askanim" that control them and only have one thing in mind - $$$$$
    Wake up please and start thinking for yourself, just a little....

    1. Yes sir! You know Rabbi Malinowitz in his Hummer and Armani suits loves the moolah! Yeah baby its all about the cash!!!! I just R' Steinman with his Rolex .

      Those who have money on the mind love to accuse the Rabbis of it.

    2. Hey idiot, I was referring to the askanim that take advantage of these true gedolim (rav shteinamn, that is). I wasn't referring to Rav Malinowitz being blinded by money. Nothing personal but I don't think anyone considers him on the level if gadol b'yisroel. Rav of a shul yes, gadol, nah. If he treated his congregants with respect and not as a bunch of sheep that aren't allowed to formulate an opinion (with his guidance and input if so desired) maybe people would respect him and take him more seriously.

    3. You rang? By idiot I assume you mean anyone who disagrees with you. So the Askanim are driving around with the fancy suits and hummers. Gotcha

    4. I find it amazing that a large majority of his shul are ppl that grew up in modern or very modern orthodox circles and were brought into the "chareidi" world (closer to yidishkeit, of course!) by tolerant, warm and caring Rabbis that brought them closer with love and not hate-filled scare tactics. Yet here they are totally blinded by the veil of "das torah" turning into hate filled ppl that back the views of ppl that do nothing more than advance sinas chinam.

    5. Mr. Anonymous,
      Maybe just maybe his congregants grew in their learning and commitment and as they did they realized that their modern or very modern circles didn't necessarily reflect they learning and made difficult but very honest decisions to align their lives with with the Torah requires.

    6. That's fine but don't you see the irony? They wouldn't be where they are if they had ranting rabbis bashing them at every stage if they didn't do X Y Z exactly as they say.
      I have no problem with a Rav explaining his rationale and reasoning for who he is voting for. My issue is when you do it in such a way that does not allow for your members to have their own thoughts. Try to convince your kehilla with reasoning and logig, not name calling and scare tactics.

  10. Anonymous... I'm sure Rav Malinowitz is about to retire based on the $$$$$$ that he received from Moshe Abutbol.

    And sorry Anoymous writer, Rav Malinowitz might not live in RBS but he spends more waking hours here than many people who actually live here and he certainly is fully aware of the various situations that occur here.
    And by the way, it is the Torah to ask shailos (or know the halachic yourself) on every single aspect of your life, not just borer on shabbos.
    and if you think you know the halachic for your the elections be really, really certain you're following Torah and not some "anonymous" religion.

  11. can we stop the name calling please? what happened to civil discourse? I am almost ready to shut down commenting on this post...

  12. I'll withdraw from this page, but to be fair

    1) I am not the only "Anonymous", so I won't take all blame.
    2) Since the letter itself is one huge rant against a Rov, you shouldn't be surprised that it will generate strong reactions.

  13. Unfortunately most of the political discourse has involved ad hominem attacks and hateful rhetoric from both sides. But take a look at this piece - http://www.jlaw.com/Articles/get_exchange1.html - from nearly twenty years ago for how an exchange in serious topics of halakhah can be carried out respectfully.

  14. "And by the way, it is the Torah to ask shailos (or know the halachic yourself) on every single aspect of your life, not just borer on shabbos."

    Where does the letter-writer claim otherwise?

  15. Rafi, I would hope that you go further than restricting comments and delete the whole post. I don't think it should have been publicized in the first place due to the disrespectful tone of the letter. Despite claims by some to defend such a tone against a well known Rav, (and I think their rationalizations are childish, wrong, and simply reflect the sad lack of kavod hatorah shown even by those who should know better) their is no place for such a disrespectful tone of discourse against a Rav. It is completely irrelevant whether one agrees with the Rav or not.

    Respect for the position of a Rav demands a proper tone when disagreeing.

  16. Herb - when a rav is fulfilling his role as rav, he should be treated with the correct protocol of respect.

    When he steps out of that role, and becomes a politician, he cannot continue to hide behind his smicha, and insist everyone bows and scrapes.

    Someone who throws mud, should expect to get pelted back with mud.

    1. 1) The role of a Rav is not as narrow as you have defined it.

      2) He isn't hiding behind his smicha. His role as Rav requires that dissent maintain a certain respect for Torah. I repeat what I wrote before, the protocols of rabbinical respect are not for the person, but for the position - and that demands the utmost care to respectfully disagree regardless of what one thinks of the person.

    2. Herb, According to your logic, what was the Rav's justification for calling other rabbanim "idiots"? Regardless of what they think, don't they deserve the utmost care for respectful disagreement? Why did the Rav not do this?

    3. Hillel, I wasn't discussing the Rav's letter at all nor whether I agree or disagree with it. I am protesting the improper tone of language used by those questioning him.

  17. Jack- can you please explain what you mean by this. "And by the way, it is the Torah to ask shailos (or know the halachic yourself) on every single aspect of your life, not just borer on shabbos. "

    Are you saying that according to the Torah you must ask shailos to a rav on every aspect of your life- even non halachink issues? If so, can you please provide a source for this.

  18. Now that we know that TOV gets is guidance from the Amshinover Rebbe and Tov is support Eli Cohen. I am just wondering if Rabbi Malinowitz believes that the Amshinover Rebbe is another useful idiot.

  19. "Rabbi" Malinowitz will one day fall off his high horse and keep his unwanted comments to himself. He has been spewing stupidity for years and any thinking person knows who the real idiot is. He has a nerve to print a letter about elections in OUR city - I didn't see anything written by him about how residents of Jerusalem (his city) should vote. To the author of this letter - WELL DONE! It's about time someone put this guy in his place.

    1. Rafi, Sam's comment is the sort of arrogant foolishness that is a result of publishing this disrespectful post.
      1) Rav Malinowitz spends a significant portion of his day in RBSA.
      2) Sam seems to assume he would have certainly known if Rav Malinowitz had written anything about Yerushalayim, and attacks based on this ridiculous assumption.
      There can be no excuse for the tone of these attacks.

    2. Herb, many of us spend the significant part of our days in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv yet, you don't see us teling voters of those cities who to vote for!
      "tone of these attacks" - really - perhaps you didn't catch the "tone" of Malinowitz's article about elections, Orot, Lemaan Achai, - if you want to talk about arrogant herb...just read anything published by Malinowitz.

    3. Sam, are you a Rav or someone who is publicly known in those cities?? If not, what's your point?? And in any case, he's expressing his opinion. If you don't like it, ignore it. There is no need to respond disrespectfully.

      Again (sigh...), the tone or content of the Rav's letter is absolutely irrelevant. This is about the fact that like it or not, a Rav represents Torah similar to how an ambassador represents his country. Disagree if you must with his positions and actions, but do so with respect for what a Rav represents.

      How terrible it is that the idea of dealing with Rabbonim respectfully is so easily ignored and rationalized away with the flimsiest of "logic"...

  20. I have a general comment about respecting a Rov...

    It seems to me that CHaZaL assumed that Derech Eretz Kadma L'Torah, thus any Torah scholar given respect was also respectful. I don't think CHaZaL would have much respect for people who know a lot but act like boors. Once one throws out Derech Eretz, one has thrown out any claim to respect they might have had, no matter how much of Shulchan Aruch they may have memorized.

    1. No. No. No.
      It's respect for the position of Rav, not necessarily for the person. The position he represents is unrelated to how you view him personally.

  21. I know Herb, and he is from the old school generation of the "the rav/principal/teacher/counselor" is always right school.
    You know, the same school of thought that allowed years of abuse in frum institutions (AND NO I AM NOT COMPARING R' MALINOWITZ WITH MOLESTERS). It's also the same school of thought that advocated for blindly following das torah because someone knows more torah than most. Knowing torah is not the only thing that makes a gadol. There are plenty of people in history that studied, and knew, torah as an intellectual exercise. A real gadol is someone within whom the spirit of the torah lives. Someone like R' Malinowitz, who acts the way he does towards those that disagree with him, is not someone that has to be respected as a Rav/Das Torah.

    1. Incorrect. I never said a Rav is always right. I said anyone with a minimal sense of respect for Torah would disagree in a respectful manner. You can certainly ask questions on a Rav's opinions, just do so politely out of respect for the position of Rav and the Torah he represents.

      Why is this so difficult to understand??

  22. It is so difficult to understand because torah knowledge and the position of Rav of a bunch of anglo sheep does not automatically warrant respect. At what point do we the "little" people get to stand up and say enough of the verbal abuse and manipulation? And like so many have said already, the fact that he speaks/writes with so much disrespect for all of us makes him fair game for the same "lack of respect" tone that he spews on all of us.

    1. The position of Rav itself does warrant respect. Your insulting view of his congregation is irrelevant.

      The fact that so many have used the childish "he did it first" line to justify speaking disrespectfully just means there are lots of people with no concept of kavod hatorah and no creativity to be able to find a way to disagree politely. Thinking is hard for some folks and it's just easier to write emotionally instead of rationally and respectfully.

      What a shame it's too hard for some people to disagree with respect.

  23. I'll leave it at this because this is going nowhere.

    What a shame that he can't speak to his kehilla and the community at large with respect. What a shame that he has to rely on bullying and scare tactics rather than rational and respectful arguments.

    1. You keep mentioning the Rav's tone in what seems to be a way to justify a disrespectful response.

      I'm not discussing the Rav's letter.

      I protest the tone of those disagreeing with him, not their right to disagree.

    2. Herb, the moment he wrote a public letter (not a shul newsletter or an email to his cong. - a public letter) about politics advocating one side and opposing the other makes him a politician not a Rabbi. It is common for citizens to voice their opinions about politicians disrespectfully.

      Another point is...Malinowitz NEEDS to be put in his place and learn to keep his opinions to himself or if he must, tell them to his congregants. We (the public) have no interest in reading his one sided stupidity any more. You want to talk about respect - how does he justify publicly embarrassing David Morris by cursing him in a shul in front of many people? How does he justify his approval of spitting on little girls and calling them whores? How could he demand respect from the public when he has shown time and time and time again disrespect to the community? Derech Ertz kadma L'Torah - this guy is the exact opposite of a torah scholar. RBS would be a much happier place if he stayed in mattisdorf!

    3. Where did you get the idea that he's demanding respect from anyone?? Just disagree politely, people. This shouldn't be so difficult.

      The fact that it's common for citizens to voice their opinions about politicians disrespectfully is no justification to do so, particularly, but not limited to, when disagreement is directed towards a Rav.

      I've protested this issue more than enough. We would all live better by showing proper kavod to others, including to Rabbonim.

      Please don't respond with examples of people acting rudely as some sort of justification. To do so only demonstrates how you've missed the point completely.

  24. Can you please post a link to the original letter. Thank you.


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