Thursday, April 14, 2005

Case# 900008858-53-1 Adar 25 II 5765 Rabbi Mordechai Tendler vs. RCA (or should it be Jerusalem Regional Bet Din vs. RCA?)

38 Comments:

At 7:53 AM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

The Jewish Press publishes the text of the Israeli bet din's decision and the complaint by Rabbi Mordechai Tendler.

It is not on-line, but I will hopefully post it shortly here if it is not posted. If you have a copy feel free to post it here.

 
At 8:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great we get to hear from tendler's three buddies in Yerushalim- how exciting!
(anyone ever heard of them before this? )
can't wait to hear from some glib blogger out there how they are the ultimate b"d again.

 
At 8:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is the most important, and arguably ONLY credible bet din in the world....do not belittle it with ignorant remarks made from American suburban women

 
At 8:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent analysis from Luke Ford, at lukeford.net:

The string of accusations by grown women against various rabbis, that said rabbis have used their position to manipulate them into having sex with them, marks a sad trend in the politics of sexuality, as well as the politics of Jewish egalitarianism.

There should be legitimate cases in which women may turn to the law against abusive men of authority. Employers are not permitted to demand sexual favors, or even to use sexual language, under penalty of law. And minors are not even permitted the right to concede to sexual advances. Statutory rape is rape is rape.

But when a grown woman depicts a rabbi's religious position as an argument to absolve her of responsibility for having adulterous sex, it infantilizes her, and sets back the cause of women's egalitarian role in religious society. If women are so helpless that an authoritative gaze from a clergyman, or even concerted pressure, even nasty, abusive pressure, can cause them to succumb and have sex with him, we must conclude that it's too soon to permit women to have regular intercourse (no pun intended) in an open and unrestrictive fashion. We must shoo all our women into the house and bind them in chastity belts, because they're childlike and unable to withstand temptation.

A society of victims, unable to accept responsibility for their messes, is an infantilized society, one incapable of fending for itself spiritually and otherwise. We mustn't give in to the temptation of blaming our troubles on others. It is something only children do. Indeed, children and feeble minded people are entitled to be treated as potential victims.

Grownups must account for their failures, even in the bedroom.

What is the implication regarding the veracity and acceptability of [anonymous] views when she's not there for an open discussion, but prefers to hide behind a pseudonym? What is the implication when this blog gives equal credence to both views, when one comes from a real man and the other from what could very well be a fictional woman?

"Jane" suggests that it's a bad thing that rabbis "pervert and abuse Judaism" by "using their mentoring and supposed 'spiritual' authority as tools of seduction." I couldn't agree more.

But why does that absolve all who sleep with them of personal responsibility? Or, as generations of mothers used to say, "If he told you to jump off the Empire State Building you'd also do it?"

Give me a break, barring physical or other violent enforcement, people, men and women, tend to sleep with those they want to sleep with. You slept with your louse of a rabbi it's your fault, unless you are a child or a moron (legally).

"The minute all the women who've been abused by these cretins...speak up is the minute they stop being infantilized," says "Jane." Actually, no, that's when they realize how badly they've messed up and are looking for a way to salvage the life they've ruined by pinning the blame on the guy they just did it with. It's the post-coital cry of Rape, and it don't wash.

The only credible proposal "Jane" puts forth is that charismatic manipulation is tantamount to an assault, which would absolve the victim of responsibility for adultery. But what she fails to provide is a single book of laws, Jewish, secular, Muslim, anything, which backs this assertion. She's plain wrong, and her exclamation that those manipulative, charismatic rabbis are perverting Judaism, pales before the kind of damage she and the victim movement is doing to the Jewish idea of responsibility, which is essential to the very Jewish idea of T'shuva. This is why on Yom Kippur we clap on our own chests and not on the chest of the charismatic rabbi standing next to us.

There's no free lunch, "Jane," no matter how many times you scream that it's the rabbi who made you eat.

 
At 8:34 AM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

COMPLAINT
Friday, 21, Adar II, 5765
April 1, 2005

Jerusalem Regional Bet Din

Re: PLAINTIFF
Rabbi Mordechai Tendler
Represented by Counsel, Mosahe Mittleman
Ben Yehuda St., Jerusalem.
Telephone: 02-625-6956
Fax: 02-625-5302
E-mail:Mitelma@netvision.net.il

VS.

Defendants: Rabbinical Council of America

Rabbi Y. Blau
Rabbi H. Billet
Rabbi K. Auman
Rabbi M. Dratch
Rabbi Gedalia Schwartz
Marc Stern, Esq.

Subject: Statement of Charges and Request for Injunction
1) The Plaintiff is the Rabbi of Kehilat New Hempstead near Monsey, New York.
2) The Plaintiff is a member of the Rabbinical Council of America, hereafter referred to as R.C.A.
3) About one year ago, the Plaintiff received a letter from the R.C.A., stating that they had begun an investigation against him for suspicions of sexual harassment.
4) Despite his requests, the Plaintiff never received the complete materials which had been presented to the R.C.A. against him.
5) The Plaintiff never was given an opportunity or a possibility to question or cross-examine those individuals who had registered their complaints to the R.C.A.
6) To whatever documents he managed to obtain, the Plaintiff responded with total and absolute refutations of the incidents and charges, since most of the complaints were vague and based on hearsay. Whenever there were specific incidents and complaints, the Plaintiff responded with meticulous details (refuting the charges), as is described in the attached letter from his lawyer.
7) The entire time, the Plaintiff demanded of the R.C.A. that they should enable him to face his accusers. On this manner he would be able to cross-examine their story and easily prove that not only was there no substance to their complaints, but also that this was a premeditated plot against him (in an attempt to discredit him). The identity of those individuals who planned this scheme appears in the lawyer’s letter which is appended to this brief.
8) Despite his repeated demands for a clear presentation of the charges against him in a fair and just manner, as befits a legal proceedings, the Defendants failed to respond to the Plaintiff’s request.
In addition, details and accusations were leaked to the public, with completely untruthful stories, which constitute premeditated character assassination, and “spilling the blood” of a respected Rav in Yisrael.
9) At the end of this “process” the R.C.A. decided to expel the Plaintiff from its ranks.
10) All of this is a flagrant violation of the accepted rule of Halacha which state, “One may not remove a cantor from his position unless he is proven to have sinned grievously” (Rama) and he may not be fired on the basis of rumors, only on the testimony of two witnesses (O.H. 53:25).
One may conclude that if this protection is afforded to a cantor, it is certainly afforded to a rabbi.
11) Let it be stated in the clearest of terms that all of these accusations are totally false and that this constitutes a character assassination and “spilling of the blood” of a Rav B’Yisrael for no reason.
12) The Plaintiff felt it necessary to appeal for justice before this honored Bet Din, because there is no rabbinical authority in the USA to which the R.C.A. owes allegiance in following its Halachic decisions. However, the Rabbinate of Israel, and this honored Beit Din is the “long arm of the law” of the Chief Rabbinate.
13) Therefore, the Plaintiff pleads from this court to issue an injunction preventing the defendants from harming his position and his authority, and to summon them to a Din Torah in this court.
Alternatively, it is requested from the honored judges to order the defendants to have a Din Torah with the Plaintiff in a ZABLA court, and that they present the name of their choice for a ZABLA judge within 14 days in order to allow the two chosen judges to select the 3rd decisor.

Whatever venue is chosen, the court is asked to please issue an injunction prohibiting the defendants from harming the reputation or the position of the Plaintiff in any manner, until this matter has been settled by a psak din of a formal Din Torah.
Moshe Mittleman, Counsel
Agent for the Plaintiff

(Decision to be posted shortly)

 
At 8:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One obvious flaw in Moshe Mittleman's presentation is that he quotes the Rama about removing a cantor from his position and analogizes that to the RCA expelling a member. The two situations are very different. The RCA did not fire Tendler from his posistion as Rav.

 
At 9:10 AM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

DECISION

STATE OF ISRAEL
Jerusalem Regional Bet Din

Case No: 900008858-53-1
Date: 25 Adar II 5765
05 April 2005

Plaintiff: Rabbi Mordechai Tendler
Number: 900008858

Defendant: Rabbinical Council of America, et al.
Number: 900008859

Matter:

Other Orders Before the Honorable Judges:
Rabbi Matityahu Shrem, Chief Judge
Rabbi Chaim S. Rosenthal, Judge
Rabbi C.Y. Rabinovitz, Judge

A request for an Injunction was presented to this court.

A review of the materials presented in this case clarified that the Plaintiff and Defendants do not reside in Eretz Yisrael. In response to the inquiry of this Court regarding the connection of this matter to the Court of Jerusalem, the attorney for the Plaintiff explained that there is no rabbinic authority in the United States in which the R.C.A. is subjugated; however, all rabbis of the Diaspora are subjugated to the Batei Din of the State of Israel, because “From Zion shall Torah go forth.” This is particularly so with respect to the Rabbinical Council of America, R.C.A., inasmuch as the R.C.A. has stated publicly that the organization stands behind the decisions of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and considers itself as partner with the Chief Rabbinate of Israel.
This court convened, and after reviews of the materials presented to the Court, this Court hereby agrees with the request of the Plaintiff and hereby orders that the Defendants are prohibited from damaging or in anyway affecting any services provided by, or any status or position of, the Plaintiff unless and until the Defendants summon the Plaintiff to a Din Torah, in any location in the world, before an official rabbinical Ben Din or before a Bet Din constituted through the process of “zablah”.

Given this 25th day of Adar II, 5795 (05 April, 2005)

Matityahu Shrem, Chief Judge
Chaim S. Rosenthal, Judge
C.Y. Rabinovitz, Judge

Certified copy of original Decision
[SEAL OF JERUSALEM REGIONAL BET DIN]

Moshe Biton [Stamp of Binyamin Shunam, Asst. Chief Clerk, Jerusalem Regional Bet Din]
Chief Clerk

 
At 9:35 AM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

Rabbi Matityahu Shrem:
1)
Rabbinical judge elevated despite women's groups objections
by HAIM SHAPIRO
October 23, 2002
The Jerusalem Post

The commission for appointing rabbinical court judges yesterday elevated Rabbi Hagai Izirer to the Rabbinical Court of Appeals, over the objections of a coalition of organizations supporting women's rights which took the unprecedented step of publicly opposing him.

The International Coalition for Aguna Rights (ICAR) had taken the unprecedented step of appealing to the members of the commission, naming Izirer and Rabbinical Court Judge Matityahu Shrem as insensitive to women in divorce proceedings. The commission includes the chief rabbis, the religious affairs minister, the justice minister, MK Moshe Gafni, two rabbinical court judges, two representatives of the Bar Association, and the director- general of the rabbinical courts.

Talya Livni, chairwoman of Na'amat, reacted to the appointment by saying that it was a black day for women. She said that as the rabbinical courts were a monopoly, it was no wonder many couples chose to live together without marrying or to marry in a civil ceremony abroad.

Lesley Sachs, chairwoman of ICAR, said the group is a wide coalition that includes Emunah, the national religious women's organization, groups affiliated with the Reform and Conservative movements, and such general groups as Hadassah and the American National Council of Jewish Women. She said that to her knowledge this was the first time anyone outside the rabbinical establishment had sought to influence the commission's choice through such an appeal.

She said Izirer was known as a judge who was hesitant to rule and to utilize existing laws to solve women's suffering through the refusal of their husbands to grant a divorce or husbands' use of blackmail to extort concessions from the wives as the price of a divorce. Sachs said that the decision to issue such an appeal was taken very carefully and after much consideration, but she admitted that the members of women's organizations, who would now have to appear before him, are now concerned.

Izirer, who was Gafni's choice, was elected by receiving seven votes out of nine. Lau had absented himself from the vote on the grounds that he was related to two of the candidates being considered.

Sachs said that in the future the women's organizations would insist that the two representatives of the Bar be women who were active in women's organizations.

2)
Women's rights coalition opposes rabbinical court judges' candidacy
by HAIM SHAPIRO
September 25, 2002
The Jerusalem Post

A coalition of organizations supporting women's rights has taken the unprecedented step of appealing to the members of the commission for choosing rabbinical court judges to oppose two of the 15 candidates for the Rabbinical Court of Appeals.

The International Coalition for Aguna Rights (ICAR) has sent letters to the members of the commission, which is due to choose two new judges on October 2, naming Rabbinical Court Judges Matityahu Shrem and Hagai Izirer as insensitive to women in divorce proceedings.

The commission includes the chief rabbis, the religious affairs minister, two rabbinical court judges, two representatives of the Bar Association, and the director-general of the rabbinical courts.

Lesley Sachs, chairwoman of ICAR, said the group is a wide coalition that includes Emunah, the national religious women's organization, groups affiliated with the Reform and Conservative movements, and such general groups as Hadassah and the American National Council of Jewish Women.

She said that to her knowledge this was the first time anyone outside the rabbinical establishment had sought to influence the commission's choice through such an appeal.

She said that Shrem was known as a judge who spoke in an offensive and insulting way to women.

In at least one case the Rabbinical Court of Appeals had censured him for acting unjustly and putting a woman and her children in the miserable situation of having no divorce, no apartment, and no support payments.

"It is hard for us to understand how a rabbinical court could knowingly cause such a situation," the Rabbinical Court of Appeals had said.

Izirer, she said, was known as a judge who was hesitant to rule and to utilize existing laws in order to solve women's suffering through the refusal of their husbands to grant a divorce or husbands' use of blackmail to extort concessions from the wives as the price of a divorce.

Here the upper court noted that Izirer seemed unduly impressed with the external appearance of the husband.

Sachs said that the decision to issue such an appeal was taken very carefully and after much consideration.

However, she said, the Rabbinical Court of Appeals was the last resort for an aguna (a woman unable to marry because her husband either refused to divorce her or could not be located). The judges of the Rabbinical Court of Appeals had to be the finest, most sensitive, rabbinical court judges, she said.

Sachs stressed that ICAR did not want to oppose the rabbinical establishment, but rather to work with it to bring about change.

"We believe that if a change comes it will be within the rabbinical courts and with the help of religious women," she said.

 
At 9:39 AM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

3)
Questionably kosher
by Abigail Radoszkowicz
Ariel Jerozolimski
May 2, 2003
The Jerusalem Post

That Rabbi Yona Metzger, an audaciously underqualified society rabbi against whom charges of misconduct have circulated for years, was elevated to the rank of Ashkenazi chief rabbi is in itself a scandal of far greater significance than the sexual harassment allegations which surfaced in headlines a week and a half after his election.

Spiritual head of the fashionable north Tel Aviv neighborhood for the past 15 years, the perpetually smiling Metzger has never served as a dayan (religious judge). Yet, for half of his 10-year term as chief rabbi he will preside as no less than president of the Supreme Rabbinic Court, switching roles after five years with the Sephardi chief rabbi to become head of the Chief Rabbinate Council.

He does not have a reputation as a rabbinic scholar, nor is he considered a halachic authority.

Metzger has been tarred with scandal for years. In 1998, his rabbinical credentials were returned to him after he promised to drop out of the race for Ashkenazi chief rabbi of Tel Aviv. Charges that he repeatedly forged his driver's signature as a witness on ketubot (religious marriage contracts) in order to tie as many nuptial knots as possible per evening and demanded large sums of money from couples' families at the wedding ceremonies he conducted were never formally investigated.

However, according to a close associate of supreme haredi authority Rabbi Yosef Shalom Eliashiv, Metzger had the one qualification that "would bring honor to the chief rabbinate: he committed himself to consulting a greater authority." That is, with Eliashiv himself.

This was the one quality Petah Tikva Chief Rabbi Ya'acov Ariel, the frontrunner before Metzger's upset victory, lacked. Even more threatening from the haredi perspective, Ariel is a religious Zionist ideologue with great halachic standing among the National Religious public - a public to which Metzger himself, until a month or so ago, was associated.

A December 2002 Ma'ariv interview with Ariel portrayed a 65-year- old rabbi attuned to the concerns of the religious Zionist avant garde. He emphasized the need for Torah links to cultural avenues such as film, theater and poetry, envisioned women becoming halachic authorities and judges ("although not in this generation") but not rabbis, and came out against rulings to disobey army orders to dismantle settlements issued by other National Religious authorities such as previous chief rabbi Avraham Shapira.

Although Ariel had failed to win the chief rabbinate in his first attempt 10 years ago, Shas's strength at the end of 2002 was on the wane, and it had agreed to a deal in which they would back Ariel's candidacy in exchange for NRP support for their candidate for Sephardi chief rabbi, Tel Aviv chief rabbi Shlomo Amar.

But when general elections were called for January, those for chief rabbi were delayed. Afterwards, all the cards were reshuffled. Ariel now attracted extra animus from the haredi camp who believed he had given NRP leader Effie Eitam rabbinical authorization for the coalition agreement with Shinui, a charge which Ariel categorically denies.

SUDDENLY, THREE weeks before the election, Metzger's candidacy was announced. Rabbi Yosef Efrati, Eliashiv's closest aide and gatekeeper for access to the nonagenarian sage, had learned together with Metzger when they were both students at the Kerem Beyavne Yeshiva. Eliashiv become convinced - correctly as it turned out - that Metzger had the most realistic chance of beating Ariel.

The Shas/NRP deal fell through, and the NRP made the fatal mistake of entering two candidates of its own for Sephardi chief rabbi (one the son of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef's bitter rival, Mordechai Eliahu) against the popular, respectable Amar, and Yosef ordered his followers to vote for Metzger.

Former Sephardi chief rabbi Eliyahu Bakshi-Doron, who had presided over the 1998 deal that let Metzger off the hook, frantically tried to prevent Eliashiv from supporting his candidacy. In a recent statement issued by Eliashiv, he "categorically denies that any messengers from Rabbi Bakshi-Doron came to me." An aide to Eliashiv acknowledges that they were aware of "rumors" of charges against Metzger, but unless proven otherwise, the assumption was that Metzger was innocent.

Do they have any regrets, now that an Israeli newspaper report about the sensational charges against the newly minted spiritual leader of Israel is posted on IslamOnline?

"No. Metzger still has not been convicted of any wrongdoing."

Before the elections, Eliashiv had even asked Rabbi Shlomo Dichovsky to step down from the contest, even though the universally respected lecturer at Tel Aviv University and head of the Supreme Religious Court, who some years ago refused Chief Justice Aharon Barak's invitation to be appointed to the Supreme Court, was, unlike Metzger, associated with the haredi world. Dichovsky refused. Ironically, among the complaints filed in 1998 against Metzger there was reportedly one by Dichovsky, claiming that Metzger had threatened to blackmail him unless he withdrew from the contest for Tel Aviv chief rabbi.

Eliashiv's supporters point out that the mere 20 votes Dichovsky garnered bear out the sage's political acumen in insisting that Dichovsky had no realistic chance. The 150- member electoral body that elects the chief rabbis is made up of 80 rabbis and 70 representatives of the public, including two ministers and five MKs. The latter seven, chosen by the new Likud government, were meant to go to Ariel, but the secret ballot still went 63 to 56 in favor of Metzger, a stunning upset by the anti-government coalition of the Left, Shas and the Ashkenazi haredim.

DEAL-MAKING with little pretense of spiritual or moral considerations - Jews, apparently, have no patience for hypocrisy - comes as no surprise to Sharon Shenhav, legal adviser to The Center for Women in Jewish Law at the Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies. She became one of the 10 members of the commission which appoints rabbinical court judges in the wake of the uproar that followed the elevation of Rabbi Hagai Izirer to the Supreme Rabbinic Court, despite the objections of a coalition of women's rights organizations which took the unprecedented step of publicly opposing him.

Izirer's promotion, and that of similarly insensitive- to-women Rabbinical Court judge Matitiyahu Shrem, were part of an Eliashiv and Yosef-brokered deal, one of a series in which the two representatives of the Bar Association - both since replaced - had no problem taking part. Shenhav vows that she will never "be part of any deal."

The two chief rabbis are also members of the commission for appointing rabbinical court judges, along with the religious affairs minister, the justice minister, two MKs (traditionally religious), and two rabbinical court judges.

Getting in their own people as dayanim is, according to Prof. Menachem Friedman of Bar-Ilan University, one reason the haredim take such an interest in the institution that was once considered the icon of religious Zionism.

Friedman believes that that image was always a religious Zionist myth. "The Chief Rabbinate: A Dilemma Without a Solution," the title of an article he wrote back in 1972, sums up his view today. The institution cannot function, says Friedman, because Jewish society has no hierarchical structure. Unlike the Catholic Church, for instance, it has no formal supreme religious authority. Israel follows the tradition of Eastern Europe, in which the rabbis are chosen by the entire community, including its secular members. That is why, just as was sometimes the case in Eastern Europe, neither the chief rabbis nor the local ones are culled from the elite.

Haredim would agree. Adds Eliashiv's aide Efrati, "We are respectful of the chief rabbinate which represents the orthodox rabbinate. However it's a political position, and it has nothing to do with a person's level of scholarship or whether he is considered a halachic authority."

The haredim covet the institution's power and prestige, but those of their own who would have a chance of winning the post "wouldn't stoop" to do it.

They have a point. Great Jewish religious leaders traditionally are seen as increasing in knowledge as they grow older, but candidates for chief rabbis cannot be past 70. Also, chief rabbis suffer the humiliation of giving up their positions after the 10- year term runs out. Traditionally, both here and abroad, the post of chief rabbi - whether of city, town or country - was for life. In non-Jewish parallels, neither the pope nor United States Supreme Court justices are pensioned off.

Israelis must interface with the official rabbinate for the life cycle events of marriage, divorce and death. However the by-now large section of Israeli society that does not qualify as halachically Jewish but claims no other religion, lacks the elemental right to marry. Haredim feared that Ariel would be too permissive in his conversion policies.

The economic life of restaurants that want a kashrut certificate as well as of those farmers who use the heter mechira devised by the first chief rabbi, the legendary Rabbi Avraham Yitzhak Hacohen Kook, also depend on rabbinate policy.

Eliashiv and Bakshi-Doron had a major falling out over the kashrut certificates and shmita procedures of the chief rabbinate, which Eliashiv wants to be more stringent, even though haredi communities already run a variety of hechsherim (kashrut supervisory authorities) of their own. Efrati and Ariel head competing institutes of halachic agriculture research, and that of Efrati has a contract with the present chief rabbinate.

"Our goal," says the Eliashiv associate, "is to have more input in the rabbinate. We want to put in certain dayanim associated with our community, and to fill whatever positions we can."

FRIEDMAN EXPLAINS that when the British conquered Palestine, they wanted to continue the status quo antebellum, in which the Hacham Bashi (now known as the Rishon Lezion), the chief rabbi of Palestine under the Turks, was the religious leader. The Ashkenazim refused to accept a religious leader who was Sephardi, and so the British created the post of Ashkenazi chief rabbi. But there were problems from the first, says Friedman. The British recognized the Jews as a religious community, with the rabbinate as its leadership, yet it never functioned as such, in contrast to the Christian and Muslim leaders of their similarly recognized communities.

When a figure of stature who offers halachic solutions to major state problems such as conversion - as did the late Rabbi Shlomo Goren - was selected, he immediately become the target of an unrelenting campaign of delegitimization. Indeed, Eliashiv's aide says that Eliashiv himself resigned from the Supreme Rabbinical Court in protest at Goren's election.

"The haredim don't accept that kind of leadership. Any solution [of the conversion crisis] would provoke immense dissension," says Friedman.

Given that the state gives power to religious rule, then a hierarchical religious judicial structure has to be installed in the same way as the judicial branch of every modern state must include a supreme court, concludes Friedman.

Before the Diaspora, Jews had a formal religious hierarchy, the Sanhedrin. But when the first minister of religious affairs, the Mizrachi leader Rabbi Yehuda Leib Maimon, proposed reconvening one, a storm of protest by the haredim quickly doused the idea.

Many religious Zionist leaders, such as MK Benny Elon, openly say that Eliashiv purposely intended bringing down the prestige of the chief rabbinate by backing Metzger. Yet the outgoing chief rabbis are also not considered great halachic authorities. In fact, though bitter rivals, it has often been remarked how remarkably Metzger resembles Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau. Both are characterized by their impressive appearance, strong rapport with the secular, lackluster learning, and now, even sexual harassment charges, which plagued Lau as well when he was running for chief rabbi.

Metzger, however, might not be able to ride out the storm. The Israel High Court of Justice has set May 8 for a hearing to discuss the petition by accountant Ya'acov Werker to disqualify Metzger from serving.

The shift from spiritual leaders to public servants that the selection of Lau and Bakshi-Doron represented was even demonstrated visually when they moved from the majestic but run-down Heichal Shlomo to the nondescript office building that now houses the Chief Rabbinate. Should the opportunity arise, the chief rabbis would have to cross Jerusalem traffic to reach the little balcony jutting out from the former rabbinate quarters on King George Avenue, which was built, some say, for the day that the coming of the messiah is proclaimed.

When Gilad Kariv, an attorney associated with the IRAC (Israel Religious Action Center), tried to persuade Emmanuel Halperin the night before the elections to run a segment on them in his late night news show, Halperin begged off, insisting that the subject was too boring. Paradoxically, Metzger may yet prove to be the salvation of the Chief Rabbinate by forcing the country to focus on the nature of that anomalous institution.

The Chief Rabbinate is in bad need of a prayer.

 
At 10:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"this is the most important, and arguably ONLY credible bet din in the world....do not belittle it with ignorant remarks made from American suburban women"
-
WHo says? Based on what do you say such utter nonesense?
They have 0 credibility- and by the way, I am neither a woman nor ignorant (as you are), not that your comment about that is appropriate or relevent.

 
At 10:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is relevent is that the so called b"d statement is either based on deliberate one sided misinformation and ignorance, or worse.

 
At 11:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The battle for the soul of Luke Ford is over.

Ford -- the Web-based gossip columnist universally reviled and universally read by the porn industry he covered -- left the smut business behind last week
But unlike so many retiring dot-commers, Ford's reasons for bowing have nothing to do with slumping ad revenues or fed-up investors.

Instead, Ford is calling it quits because of his religious beliefs.

Ford's triple-X connections had long been in simmering conflict with his involvement in Los Angeles' Orthodox Jewish community.

For years, the gossip lived "constantly on the knife's edge," knowing that he'd be tossed out of Young Israel of Century City, his strictly-observant synagogue -- where he studied Talmud every morning -- if the leadership found out about his website -- where he dished out equal portions of news and half-truths every night.

In late June, the tension reached its boiling point.

"I should've known something was wrong when I walked into shul (Yiddish for synagogue) this morning," Ford wrote. "I'd forgotten my yarmulke (skullcap) and had to scrounge around the children's toys cupboard to find one. It was painted with ghosts."

After prayers, Young Israel's Rabbi, Elazar Mushkin, informed his congregant that he had discovered the truth about Ford's "double life."

"You can imagine how humiliated we feel now," Mushkin told Ford. "I brought you into my own house for Passover and introduced you to my family."

Ford left Young Israel. Six weeks later, he had sold his trash-talking LukeFord.com site to online smut center Netvideogirls.com for $25,000 and began making plans to move to Jerusalem.

This wasn't the first time he'd been booted from a congregation. In December, 1997 -- months after constructing his site from the material gathered for his book, A History of X -- Ford's then-Rabbi asked him to end his adult industry involvement. When Ford failed to do so by April of 1998, he was told to get out.

This spiritual nadir came as his career began to peak. In the same month, Ford landed his biggest scoop: that veteran money-shooter Marc Wallace had HIV. The revelation injected him into the mainstream's consciousness and cemented his infamous reputation in the adult community.

Summing up the porn business' feelings about Ford, Mark Kernes, an editor at Adult Video News (AVN), the porn industry trade magazine, said "Luke Ford is a scumbag. And you can print that."

The abuse only seemed to encourage Ford to outrageous heights, with salacious stories about porn tarts turning tricks, movie moguls dealing with the mob, and down-on-their luck actresses doing it with dogs.

"I'll put up anything someone's willing to put their name on," Ford once boasted. "If someone tells me (AVN founder) Paul Fishbein sticks bananas up his anus in an on-the-record interview, I'll happily publish it."

Strangely enough, Ford -- the converted son of an Australian evangelist -- was also happy to couple this less-than-holy material with lengthy debates of Jewish law and melancholic, angst-filled ruminations on living in the conflicting realms of smut and Sinai.

In response to his free-wheeling posting policies, Ford was sued -- and threatened with lawsuits -- on several occasions.

And he was threatened with worse when he began questioning the financial stability of RJB Telecom, one of the most prominent porno pay site operators.

Hey Luke if I ever see you in public...I hope you bring that BIG gun...your gonna [sic] need it," posted one angry reader.

But despite such hostility, Ford attracted enough of an income from adult advertisers -- around $45,000 annually -- to keep himself fed and the site afloat. And he got plenty of attention from adult industry insiders, with many of the people who trashed Ford in public perfectly happy to supply him dirt in private.
A couple of years ago, I would have been jumping up and down for joy to see Luke Ford 'eliminated,'" writes well-known porn performer Asia Carrera. "Then I figured out how to use him to my advantage (having Luke around to disseminate scurrilous 'anonymous scoops' on one's enemies was almost TOO convenient!)"

It's this interest from blue-movie bigwigs that made LukeFord.com an attractive buy for Michael Keene, the Netvideogirls.com chieftain.

"We (made the purchase) to introduce ourselves to the players," he said. "Already from the people we've met, we have our money's worth."

Few in the adult community believe Ford will actually leave the industry behind.

"He'll be back. He can't stand to be away from this business," said AVN's Kernes.

So Ford has bet over $7,000 with skeptics, like online madam "Nici," that he'll still be out of porn by Oct. 1.

By then, Ford contends, he'll be ready to move to Jerusalem.

"I really think we're going to have a war (in Israel), and I want to be there to cover it," Ford said. He'll upload such material -- along with his religious musings -- to his new LukeFord.net site. "I never covered a war before. But I've certainly dealt with a lot of dangerous people."

He jokes, "I plan to do for the Middle East what I've done for the pornography industry."

Meanwhile, Netvideogirls.com's Keene says LukeFord.com will continue its rowdy ways.

"We're not going to be toned down. We're not going to check every story," he said. "We're going to be true to the character of Luke."

 
At 12:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Luke Ford

For anyone who has followed Internet journalism over the past year, his story is eerily familiar:

He is a boyish, self-taught, 32-year-old Web journalist who produces an eponymous one-man news and gossip Web site out of his low-rent bachelor bungalow south of Beverly Hills. He cheerily publishes unchecked and damaging gossip. He is attacked as irresponsible and threatened with lawsuits. Occasionally, he breaks legitimate stories that have a huge impact.

Meet Luke Ford, chronicler of the porn world.

Since February, Ford has broken stories revealing that four porn actresses and one porn actor had tested positive for HIV. The news dropped like a bomb in the Los Angeles region's multibillion-dollar porn industry, where AIDS is everyone's darkest fear. The report was picked up by Adult Video News (AVN), which led to a hastily arranged April meeting of more than 40 film producers, who made an unprecedented agreement to "encourage" the use of condoms on the sets of porn films.

"Luke Ford has been way out front with the HIV porn story," says Nick Ravo, a business writer at the New York Times, who occasionally writes freelance articles about the adult entertainment industry. "[He] is a quirky Matt Drudge character."

Sitting in a tiny, bedless, $400-a-month apartment with little more than a VCR and a floor covered with porn magazines and Jewish theology books, Ford welcomes the comparison.

"We are both eccentric. We're both breaking big stories," says the handsome, casually dressed Australian, speaking in a low tone. "But we've also both made serious mistakes. We both need to work harder on checking our sources. We're both dealing with a lot of gossip and sort of disreputable stuff, except that I cover porn."

Since starting www.lukeford.com in the summer of 1997, Ford has become the favorite whipping boy of the U.S. porn industry, a self-styled "family" of 500 or so performers, directors, producers, distributors, screenwriters and technicians concentrated almost exclusively in the San Fernando Valley. Ford breaks many of the secretive society's taboos: he posts stars' real names, he discusses the role of the "mafia," and he reveals who has had cosmetic surgery.

"The X-rated industry prefers to be a legendary milieu rather than a fact-oriented milieu," laments Bill "Papa Bear" Margold, a 52-year-old former actor who founded the Protecting Adult Welfare foundation, an industry support group with a 24-hour hotline.

A former reporter for the now defunct Santa Monica Outlook, Margold has become an informal industry spokesman.

"Luke Ford is a creation of his time. He's the journalistic suckerfish on the shark of X. We can't get rid of him, and he goes off and does whatever he wants," says Margold. "He's very interesting in a perverse way. But he's a lazy journalist and brings a lot a misery."

In May, for example, Ford brought misery upon retired porn actress Kaithlyn Ashley when he published an erroneous rumor that she was infected with HIV. Ford's friends, it turned out, had confused her name with a Hungarian HIV-positive actress, Caroline, whose real name is similar to Ashley's. Ford quickly printed a retraction.

A few weeks later, he reported that veteran actor Marc Wallice had tested positive and had likely spread the virus to three actresses, including Caroline. Wallice and industry professionals who monitor performers' HIV tests were furious, and they won a retraction. Then, just one week later, Wallice came up positive in a new test.

"Luke Ford is like a blind pig lost in the forest," Margold says. "The pig might find a lot of worms, poison ivy, but sometimes truffles, also. In the Marc Wallice breakout, he was lucky the rumors winded up being factual."

Tousling his teenage haircut, Ford defended posting the rumors without bothering to call Wallice. "I couldn't get a hold of him," he says. The positive test one week later, he says, was no coincidence.

"Give me a break," he squeaks. "Marc Wallice is known to have faked HIV test results two years ago. He has done gay porn and IV drugs. He was semi-blackballed by some producers in the industry for year. He might have been positive two years ago. It's not clear. When sources tipped me about his status, I knew I had news here."

Ford called his error about Kaithlyn Ashley "very embarrassing," but he claimed that the postings on HIV sparked an overwhelming demand for performers like Wallice to take a proper test. The result, says Ravo, has had a strong impact on the industry.

"If it hadn't been for Luke Ford, [this HIV outbreak] may have not gone public and could have been covered up," Ravo says. "I'm not sure AVN would have gone digging and published it."

AVN reporter Mark Kernes says his magazine considers Ford untrustworthy, and says it waited to publish the news about Wallice until "it would turn from rumor into fact."

Margold, whose foundation helps find health care coverage for performers, says the industry didn't need Ford to act against the spreading of AIDS.

"There's nothing we care about with more seriousness than the health and the lives of 'the kids' in the industry," he says. "Calling Luke Ford the Matt Drudge of porn is giving him way too much credit. The news spread perfectly without him."

Anyone familiar with the porn industry would raise an eyebrow at that assertion, considering the distorted quality of news in this rumor-fueled family of frequently bizarre characters. People traditionally stay informed through casting agencies, friends, or the grapevine, says Jeffrey J. Douglas, an attorney and executive director of the industry's trade association, the Free Speech Coalition.

"Internal information is informal; there is no Hollywood Reporter," says Douglas. AVN, Margold says, is widely seen more as "an advertising orifice" than as an information source.

"I definitely stumbled into a niche there," says Ford. "There was no one doing what I'm doing now, exploring this virgin territory."

As a child, Ford wanted to become a missionary. His father, a strict Seventh Day Adventist evangelist, was a controversial figure in Australia.

"Sexual sins were the biggest sins, therefore I was attracted and used pornography a lot as a teenager for blasphematory release," Ford recalls. When he moved to California in 1977, Ford started writing for his high-school paper, developing a taste for unearthing scandals such as favoritism on the football team. He later worked for the news department of KAHI/KHYL radio in Sacramento.

From ages 21-27, Ford was bedridden with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and as he began recovering, he converted to Judaism. Two years later, he moved to Los Angeles, and soon noticed he couldn't find investigative books about the porn industry.

Intrigued, Ford began doing research for his own book, which he says will be published by Prometheus next spring. The first editions of his crudely designed, mono-color Web site were fueled by leftovers from his research, which he supplemented with reports from film sets, gossip lifted from newsgroups, and essays on breast implants.

The site has links to Ford's other site, www.dennisprager.net, an unauthorized collection of information about the Jewish radio theologian. You can also click on titles such as "Girls" and "Cybererotica," which directly link to commercial porn sites.

"I don't like cheesy banners, I don't want naked girls on my site, so I have discreet links to my advertisers," Ford explains. "I know it's confusing but that's how I make my living."

He says he now makes about $3,000 a month, which will allow him to hire an assistant. He claims the site attracts 50,000 hits a day.

It is not a sophisticated site.

"In terms of design, it's certainly the worst site I've seen in the past three or four years," says Mike Godwin, counsel for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an Internet advocacy group. "It does make Matt Drudge look pretty good."

But Godwin is fascinated by Ford's pack-rat instincts of collecting every transcript of every tape-recorded conversation he has. 'It gives people from the industry and fans a sense of connection," he says.

Readers can feel like they are part of this strange world, and there is something human about how Ford will write about embarrassing situations, like when a beautiful actress vehemently refuses to accept his offer of a kosher cake, or when superagent Jim South tries to kick him out of his office.

"Unlike Matt Drudge, Ford lets people criticize him and posts the criticism on his site," Godwin notes. "No one else would probably do what he does with so much devotion and work… It's a labor of love."

But subjects of his articles don't paint so rosy a picture.

"Luke first seems extremely pleasant in person, but he has a gift to create controversy and bring out malice," says the Free Speech Coalition's Douglas.

"The bio he wrote on me has been exaggerated, taken out of context, and written in a tone to shock and appall the reader," says recently-retired porn actress Asia Carrera, who now makes her money running her own Web site. 'When he came to my house to interview me, he attacked my beliefs, and scoffed at the pain in my past, telling me I needed to 'get over it,' " she says. "Very sensitive journalistic professionalism there."

Brandy Alexandre, a former porn star who says she started the first porn news site in cyberspace in 1993, and whose site has been largely overshadowed by Ford's, says 90% of what Ford posts is erroneous.

"Luke Ford thinks he's more powerful than he really is," Alexandre says. "He can't write, he doesn't have good information. He's an evil little hack."

Adult screenwriter and journalist Martin Brimmer says he uses Ford's site for research and checks it regularly, but takes the information with a grain of salt.

"Luke Ford doesn't stop to apply editorial expertise," Brimmer stresses. "He needs to slow down in that respect. Ninety percent of his content is very good but he needs to corroborate his facts. And he needs to be more respectful towards people in the industry."

Douglas says Ford is not truly useful to the porn community. "Luke is obsessed with the industry, the Jews in the industry, the mafia, which is totally ridiculous, and he's hostile to most of the things he's obsessed with," he says.

"Ford is of no use to anyone," snaps Carrera. "Gossip is of no use to anyone. Ford never chooses to reveal anything positive or enlightening, or even anything remotely close to newsworthy. He's a failed author relegated to the level of yellow journalist."

(This reporter involuntarily experienced Ford's methods when he published an error-filled transcript of an informal conversation we had about the Eastern European porn industry. Ford sent his notes by e-mail and asked for clarifications, but only after he had already posted the imperfect notes on his site. He apologized and quickly retracted the transcript.)

Ford knows his methods make industry people shriek. He's not ashamed of not bothering to call the subject of a story, as in the Marc Wallice case. "People are not good sources on themselves, generally speaking," he retorts. "It's a business built on lies. Most people don't use their real names; this business has been illegal until recently and it's still semi-illegal. It's a business of hoods, gangsters, thugs, mafia, pimps and prostitutes, with few real offices or semi-offices. It's very difficult to nail down what is true and it's an endless task."

He says that when he eventually tracks down people and e-mails them his notes, they usually "go ballistic." "They start screaming that I'm publishing lies. But these people are used to being in their own little world; they are not used to dealing with real journalism," Ford says.

Ford is perfectly aware he causes pain, but only, he says, because he is "usually telling the truth."

"People insult me but they still talk to me," he says. "A lot of people have mixed feelings -- they hate me but they also respect me. Some think they'd better talk to me if they want to get their message out. They figure they can seduce me."

He says actors use his site to learn about directors they don't know. "They can check [a director's] profile on my site and learn if he has a bad reputation for writing bad checks or working for the mafia," he says.

Ford has yet to be served with court papers. "I get threats all the time, never taken into court yet," he says. "Each time I receive [lawsuit threats], I make a copy and paste it on the Web site, because they are so ludicrous."

His site is free for now, but will go to a subscription-based model some time this fall, says Ron Levy, manager of Voice Media, Inc., which has been Ford's main sponsor since January. "We'll add pictures and we'll revamp it," he says. "I think everybody in the industry would want to subscribe."

Ford says he is still ambivalent about his chosen profession, and is not always comfortable with how it has affected his life.

"Sometimes I think it's acceptable, sometimes disgusting. It costs me a lot of social stigma. I was turned out from my favorite synagogue, my family is furious, my friends too," he says. "I'm lucky I got the Sabbath: at least one day a week I don't touch the computer and I don't deal with porn."

 
At 12:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If it takes a Luke Ford to contribute what needs to be done to expose these frauds and charlatans, more power to him.

Rather an open, honest flawed person than a scheming, manipulative so-called "religious" person.

 
At 1:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I lump Luke Ford and JWB in the same pile.

 
At 2:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"At 1:30 PM, Anonymous said...
I lump Luke Ford and JWB in the same pile."


------On a monument, for being heroes.

 
At 4:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yori Yanovers' fake indignation over Luke Fords' history of writing about the porn industry is akin to the patron of the Marquis de Sade being all a-twitter over the raciness of 'The Thorn Birds'.

 
At 4:38 PM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

>Yori Yanovers' fake indignation
>over Luke Fords' history of
>writing about the porn industry
>is akin to the patron of the
>Marquis de Sade being all a-
>twitter over the raciness
>of 'The Thorn Birds'.

Seriously.

Yoram's Rebbe = Moonish = Rabbi Jeremy Hershy Worch

And here's a link to Worch's creepy pornographic stories that he writes and distributes on the internet.

http://web.archive.org/web/20040209153202/http://www.asstr.org/~mcstories/Authors/Moonish-Lunar.html

 
At 7:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

not one of these women is a victim of anything.

quite possibly, they have perpetrated one of the worst libels in modern Jewish history.

alternatively, if they are to be believed, they are quite willing adultresses.

leaving the issue of RMT aside, let us turn our attention to these women and the bizarre manner in which certain groups "protect" their identities as some sort of "victim". By their claims, they were all willing adultresses, both by civil definition and certainly halacha. How did so many ostensibly orthodox women become co-opted into supporting such basic violations of marital fidelity --given your acceptance of their claims without question. You cannot have it both ways, and the article posted at Luke Ford cuts to the core of the issue.

Shame on all of the women who defend wanton lust and adultery over halacha and marital fidelity, then wrap themselves in self-righteous frumkeit.

 
At 7:16 PM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

>Shame on all of the women who
>defend wanton lust and adultery
>over halacha and marital
>fidelity, then wrap themselves
>in self-righteous frumkeit.

Shame on those who tolerate the explotation and abuse of women and agunot.

 
At 7:23 PM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

I posted this case which illustrates a similar sexual predator that also preyed on the financial vulnerabilities of women like the ones RMT preyed on (agunot).

http://jewishwhistleblower.blogspot.com/2005/04/israeli-public-housing-official-yaakov.html#comments

 
At 9:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

" You cannot have it both ways, and the article posted at Luke Ford cuts to the core of the issue."

-------The letter sent to Luke Ford cuts to the core of nothing; it was written by a blowhard of an enabler who has his head up his ass.
Shame on him for sticking his nose where it doesn't belong.

 
At 9:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yori Yanover wrote:

"Shame on all of the women who defend wanton lust and adultery over halacha and marital fidelity, then wrap themselves in self-righteous frumkeit."

And you, Yanover, were aware of all your rebbe's adulterous affairs during his marriage.


What does that make you?

 
At 6:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you keep trying to combine willing adult adultresses with minor children. There is no comparison at all to Lanner, Weinberg or the other cases. These were adult women who knew exactly what they were doing, and are responsible for their actions under law and halacha. Run the rabbi out of town for having extramarital affairs if proven -- no one has a problem with that.

Irrespective, however, these women are REQUIRED to be put in cherem as willing adultresses, divorced at once and denied custody of their children. No choice, unless you are willing to state that your orthodoxy is only present for ritual convenience when it conforms to American cultural standards. Based upon what all of you CLAIM these women admit to, how can any of you protect them for a second? They are not 15 years old, they are not victims of any kind --they are brazen adultresses, who cuckolded their hsubands in extramarital affrairs. Who cares if it was with the rabbi or the richest guy in town -- in dealing with THE ADULTRESSES, there is no relevance in any of these defenses.

Run them out of town tonight! IN cherem forever, evil women who desrtoy the basis of the Jewish household! Where are the Bnos Yisrael to openly defend the sanctity of the marriage and household, and deal according to all Halacha with the WILLING ADULTRESSES?

 
At 6:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

**When one party is in a position of power and uses that power with moral questionability, the relationship is never "consensual", regardless of age. It is considered ipso facto abusive.*


Deal with it.

 
At 7:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tendler had no power over these women; that is a nonsensical discussion regarding women in their 30's and 40's. He had extramarital affairs with willing partners, if one accepts their stories. As a rabbi, that will be dealt with by the community.

These women, however, are not victims by any definition. They chose to sleep with the local Alpha Male, period, rather than maintain their marriage vows to their husbands. At the country club, that would be the richest guy; here in Monsey that means the rabbi.

I agree, this is a very problematic situation, and much more serious than whatever Tendler did as a rabbi. How are the women of the community keeping quiet rather than putting these women in the worst cherem possible?

I liked the comment about the Bnos Yisrael...where are our women in publicly defending our marriages. I am very disturbed by this lack of intelliectual honesty, and excuse making for black-and-white halacha.

A Monsey Husband

 
At 8:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

first time poster, so bear with me please.

As a husband, I agree completely with the arguments made by other men here reagrding these women. It is very disconcerting to keep seeing "15 year old" assertions when dealing with 40 year old women in the community.

These women were under no pressure, they were bored suburban housewives looking for trouble, and found it with a very willing rabbi of dubious judgment. A plague on all of them.

And if he told them in therapy, to jump off the Empire State Building, as someone said, THAT they could reason as false, but getting into a shower with a man other than your husband is NOT consentual? Please!

They shtupped the Alpha Male, repeatedly and willingly, as someone posted. That violated every aspect of Judaism. No excuses. How can they be permitted to remain in our community at all?

How come all of our wives are silent on this matter? Is it really the true attitude of the women in KNH, that it is ok to sleep around on the sly and then claim post-coital "victimhood" when the truth comes out? How are they being permitted to continue in the community?

Where, indeed, are our Bnos Yisroel, as someone wrote?

A KNH Husband

 
At 9:39 AM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

>Where, indeed, are our Bnos
>Yisroel, as someone wrote?

Give us your wife and daugther's names. When you're laguishing in the hospital suffering from cancer and your daughter's husband is busy working 20 hour days to pay the hospital bills and mortgages, we'll send RMT over to console them and exploit them at their most vulnerable time.

Cretin.

 
At 2:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Based on the investigative reporting done by the Jewish Voice, the allegations made by the accusing women seem to be falling apart. Of course everyone (how many different people against Tendler ARE there here anyway) on this blog will shriek and wail, but out in the real world, RMT is well on the road to vindication. The RCA will have to "put up or shut up" and either show up to beis din, and prove their words, or defy the Chief Rabbinate Beis Din's psak, refuse to go to a beis din with RMT, and lose all credibility (whatever they have left in their own rabbinic circles) which would also render their decisions worthless. Either way, the accusing women and the RCA better come up with some proof fast, or they are going to be laughed out of the news.

 
At 6:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very credible: the jewish press and the voice- the biggest rags immaginable. Don't make me laugh!
There is nothing there but the usual tend;er lies, which are well known throughout theJewish world. KNH people- you need to get out of your little "community" and ask real Rabbis what they really think about MT! You will hear "dangerous" "liar" etc. again and again.

One word of advice to the poeple of KNH: DON'T GIVE ANOTHER CENT TO KNH UNTIL THE SO CALLED RABBI IS OUT. YOU'VE PAID FOR ENOUGH PAY OFFS AND DEFFENCE OF THE WICKED!

 
At 7:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

a grown woman who took a man ito the shower while her husband was at work is clearly "misasek", and need be placed in cherem at once

a grown woman who stripped for a man other than her husband and then consummated the tryst repeatedly is clearly "misasek"

a grown woman whose explanation is that her mother was dying and her husband worked long hours,, and she was depressed and lonely and vulnerable, defines the term adultress, and is clearly "misasek"

a grown woman complaining that "he said he loved me and would leave his wife for me" is almost every NFL cheerleader, most secretaries in my law firm (3 just last year), and any other woman who went after the Big Man on Campus however defined, knowing it was forbidden fruit, and got burned

There is a clear problem in KNH in these women taking post-coital responsibility for their adultery -- and NO ONE is apologizing for Tendler, who clearly goes along with them for conduct unbecoming a Rabbi.

But everyone of these women may never set foot in shul again, must divorce their husbands at once, and should have their children DNA checked for mamzerus immediately.

We are clearly at an crossroads between whether the community is Modern or Orthodox. After discussions this shabbos, I am pleased that the overwhelming silent majority comprehends halacha and is simple appalled at these women and their handlers,and that the 2-3 repeated voices here represent anonymous and dubious feminists with no foundation in halacha.

I love and respect my wife dearly, and rely upon her perspectives no end. No one is more outraged at the "vicitimizing" of these adultresses than my wife and her girl friends in the shul --our true Bnos Yisrael upholding our moral standards.

This is now the post-Tendler discussion, and one of far greater consequences. Is there an "O" anywhere in JOFA, or is halacha simply a convenience for espousing American (alien) feminist culture within our community?

A Very Proud (of his Eshet Chayil and daughters) KNH Father and Husband

 
At 9:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A Word from Behind the Mechitza at KNH:

As awkward as it may be to break from the "sisterhood", your continued harping on Rabbi Tendler as a "deviant" of some sorts is simply false...he was a willing participant in adultry with grown woman/women. That violates halacha, and will cost him his position as a Rabbi, but the women are equally culpable if not outright seductresses.

You seem no longer capable of distinguishing between any improper relationship and being a sexual predator --by your words, the minute an improper sexual relationship comes to light, the man is a predator and deviant, yet the woman is a victim. There lies your lack of credibility -- you cannot distinguish anymore between amourous trysts between consenting adults in violation of their marriage vows and molesting a 9 year old girl. No matter what, the equation for you seems to be All Men Bad, All Women Victims.

The Tendler case is going to harm the orthodox feminist movement for years to come precisely because of this failure in credibility. He needs to go because, as the RCA rightly pointed out, he engaged in conduct improper for an orthodox rabbi -- he had an extramarital affair with very willing partner/s, and possibly seductress/es. You have destroyed, however, all of the rightful momentum that developed from the NCSY case by mislabeling this case as predator/victim because of an inability to acknowledge that the women were equally culpable, if not more so.

Those of us behind the mechitza know the real facts, and this case has been badly misrepresented for feminist political motivation. I grieve for the lost opportunity, and for the misrepresentation of our community.

We women are much more caught up in the vise between American culture and yiddishleit than the men. Halacha asks almost nothing of us, save for dressing like the clique and preparing lavish social affairs for company every shabbat. We claim that watching Sex and the City and Desperate Housewives does not effect us, and that we can compartmentalize the values of America from our own homes and families. Wrong. Time to accept that bitter truth and accept its consequences.

These women need go immediately, as quickly as the Rabbi, not as heroes but as harlots.

No one, and I mean absolutely no one, on this side of the mechitza has anything emotion other than utter revulsion for these women. They are, indeed, adultresses, and we all look forward to the men performing the distasteful tasks necessary halachically and civicly in weeding their imoral influences from our shul and community.

All the purported sympathy posted on your blog comes from out-of-town feminists employing our local crisis for their own benefit and cause.

There are so many important cases of abuse that demand not only publicity but credibility. The less said about the unfortunate events in our shul, from the perspective of the orthodox feminist cause, the better.

A KNH Mother and Wife, for the Silent Majority of Eshet Chayil in the KNH Community

 
At 10:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Attn KNH Mother and KNH Husband:
Your posts refelect the lie that RMT is guilty. If you think he is guilty, can we please see some proof? Have you read the Jewish Voice and Opinion or read the Jewish Press? Prove it or lose it.

 
At 4:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was SO pleased to see the letter from behind the mechitza, finally breaking open the dam of silence for all of us here in the shul.

I have raised my daughters to be proper frum girls, and they are not stupid at all. That means making certain they understand that if they ever end up on all fours on the carpet of a girlfriend's home (much less the Rebbetzin) with her husband, even once would be 10,000 times too many to claim a lack of judgment. Now you expect me to look these girls in the eye and tell them that married women who were doing it, by their own word, over two years time were "victims"? How dare you try to force us to repeat such drivel and nonsense to our daughters. The Cause does not justify denying the truth, and you fool no one.

I wish the supporters of these women would help a simply Monsey mother with the math: how many times, exactly, need a "frum" married women gets down on all fours for a married man before she is no longer a "victim" but willing participant -- once, ten times? twenty times? please give me a benchmark for use with my girls.

When my eldest comes home from her new apartment on the Upper West Side and tells me that she has been having an affair with one of the senior partners in her Wall Street bank, shall I console her as a "victim" of his authority, because he said he loved her and would leave his wife for her, or smack her across the face? And that presumes she has not yet taken her own matrimony vows under the chuppa! Imagine of this is after years of marriage!

And when I come home early one day next year to find one of these "victims" dancing the horizontal momba with my husband in my bedroom, do I accept her explanation that "life has been particularly tough of late, and she was mesmerized by my husband's authority (as in more wealth and power than her husband) and was a helpless victim that could not help herself? Have you declared open season on my husband and marriage next?

The comment about how we compartmentalize frumkeit and what we see on Sex and the City was perfect.

How DARE you try to co-opt us into blindly and silently supporting your nonsensical support of these women as victims! The are homewreckers and nymphomaniacs! It feels so good to finally be able to say that publicly and openly!

The person JOFA most needs to ask mechila this year, however, will be some poor 11 year old girl molested next year by a teacher or Rabbi she trusted, who has no popular support because of the STUPIDITY of trying to equate her victimhood and suffering with the fallootin' tootin' of a bunch of married women who all knew better but understood that no matter what, they could claim a free pass from any responsiblity to their marriage vows -- or mine!

An Outraged KNH Mother

 
At 5:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A Word from Behind the Mechitza at KNH:

As awkward as it may be to break from the "sisterhood", your continued harping on Rabbi Tendler as a "deviant" of some sorts is simply false...he was a willing participant in adultry with grown woman/women. That violates halacha, and will cost him his position as a Rabbi, but the women are equally culpable if not outright seductresses.

You seem no longer capable of distinguishing between any improper relationship and being a sexual predator --by your words, the minute an improper sexual relationship comes to light, the man is a predator and deviant, yet the woman is a victim. There lies your lack of credibility -- you cannot distinguish anymore between amourous trysts between consenting adults in violation of their marriage vows and molesting a 9 year old girl. No matter what, the equation for you seems to be All Men Bad, All Women Victims.

The Tendler case is going to harm the orthodox feminist movement for years to come precisely because of this failure in credibility. He needs to go because, as the RCA rightly pointed out, he engaged in conduct improper for an orthodox rabbi -- he had an extramarital affair with very willing partner/s, and possibly seductress/es. You have destroyed, however, all of the rightful momentum that developed from the NCSY case by mislabeling this case as predator/victim because of an inability to acknowledge that the women were equally culpable, if not more so.

Those of us behind the mechitza know the real facts, and this case has been badly misrepresented for feminist political motivation. I grieve for the lost opportunity, and for the misrepresentation of our community.

We women are much more caught up in the vise between American culture and yiddishleit than the men. Halacha asks almost nothing of us, save for dressing like the clique and preparing lavish social affairs for company every shabbat. We claim that watching Sex and the City and Desperate Housewives does not effect us, and that we can compartmentalize the values of America from our own homes and families. Wrong. Time to accept that bitter truth and accept its consequences.

These women need go immediately, as quickly as the Rabbi, not as heroes but as harlots.

No one, and I mean absolutely no one, on this side of the mechitza has anything emotion other than utter revulsion for these women. They are, indeed, adultresses, and we all look forward to the men performing the distasteful tasks necessary halachically and civicly in weeding their imoral influences from our shul and community.

All the purported sympathy posted on your blog comes from out-of-town feminists employing our local crisis for their own benefit and cause.

There are so many important cases of abuse that demand not only publicity but credibility. The less said about the unfortunate events in our shul, from the perspective of the orthodox feminist cause, the better.

A KNH Mother and Wife, for the Silent Majority of Eshet Chayil in the KNH Community

 
At 9:17 AM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

http://www.advocateweb.org/hope/notanaffair.asp

Why It's Not an Affair
Rev. Patricia L. Liberty
Rev. Liberty is the Executive Director of Associates in Education and Prevention in Pastoral Practice, PO Box 63, 44 Main Street, North Kingstown, RI 02852 AEPPP@aol.com 401-295-0698

The issue of sexual contact between clergy and congregants is complex. Whenever a minister is exposed for such behavior the aftermath is traumatic for everyone involved. Churches feel betrayed, victims/survivors are marginalized and misunderstood and the families of all involved suffer greatly. This article is intended as an informational and educational forum to increase understanding about sexual contact between clergy and congregants.

Oftentimes sexual contact between clergy and congregants is dismissed as an "affair" between "consenting adults". This is a misnomer for several reasons. First, the relationship between a clergy person and his/her congregants is professional in nature. That means that clergy have a responsibility to use the special knowledge, skills and gifts of their call for the benefit of those they serve namely their congregants. It also means that clergy have a responsibility to establish healthy professional relationships. Because clergy carry moral and spiritual authority, as well as professional power it is ALWAYS their responsibility to maintain an appropriate professional boundary.

In practical terms this translates into clergy not pursuing or initiating sexual relationships with congregants (regardless of marital status of either party) and not responding to the sexual advances of congregants who may be interested in a relationship with their pastor. It also means that clergy will not engage in sexualized behavior with congregants. Sexualized behavior includes jokes, inappropriate touching, pornography, flirting, inappropriate gift giving, etc.

Since the ministerial relationship is professional in nature, it is inappropriate to call a sexual encounter an affair. Affair is a term used to describe a sexual liaison between peers, or equals. In addition, the term affair focuses attention on the sexual nature of the behavior rather than the professional violation. It also places equal responsibility for the behavior on the congregant. Since clergy have a responsibility to set and maintain appropriate boundaries, those who are violated by clergy's inappropriate sexual behavior are not to be blamed even if they initiated the contact.

This is a difficult concept for many people to grasp. We want to blame the congregant (usually but not always a woman) for the sexually inappropriate behavior of the minister (usually but not always a man). As tempting as this may be, it is wrong because it is always the responsibility of the minister to maintain the integrity of the ministerial relationship. The temptation to blame the congregant is also a reflection of the difficulty people have believing that a person who carries moral and spiritual authority, who is respected and trusted, can also be guilty of misusing the power and authority of the office. That denial and confusion causes tremendous damage to victims who need understanding and support as well as to churches that need clear, ethical, theological and faith based intervention to understand their betrayal. Blaming the congregant also means a failure to call the abusing pastor to genuine accountability. The focus needs to remain on the violation of the ministerial relationship.

The term "consenting adults" also reflects a misunderstanding of sexual behavior between clergy and congregants. It is assumed that because two people are adults that there is consent. In reality, consent is far more complex. In order for two people to give authentic consent to sexual activity there must be equal power. Clergy have more power because of the moral and spiritual authority of the office of pastor. In addition, education, community respect and public image add to the imbalance of power between a clergy person and a congregant. Finally clergy may have the additional power of psychological resources, especially when a congregant seeks pastoral care in the midst of personal or spiritual crisis, life change, illness or death of a loved one. This precludes the possibility of meaningful consent between a congregant and their pastor.

In our work with survivors of clergy abuse we often ask the question, "Would this have happened if he/she was your neighbor and not your pastor." Overwhelmingly the answer is "no". The witness of survivors underscores the truth that the clergy role carries with it a power and authority that make meaningful consent impossible.

When speaking of sexual contact between clergy and congregants, the term professional misconduct or sexual exploitation is more accurate. It keeps the emphasis on the professional relationship and the exploitative nature of sexual behavior rather than placing blame on the victim/survivor. "An affair between consenting adults" is never an appropriate term to use when describing sexual contact between a minister and congregant. Accurate naming of the behavior is an important step to reshaping our thinking about this troubling reality in the church, how we name it reveals our belief about it. Holding clergy accountable with compassion and purpose and providing healing resources to churches and survivors is dependent on an accurate starting point. Only when we name the behavior accurately can we hope to have a healing outcome for all involved.

 
At 12:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ok now I get it! it's a power and authority thing that removes all adult responsibility from these women.

mordechai tendler is a dime a dozen as a rabbi, but my husband truly is all that stands between his patients and the angel of death

so next year when I come home midday and find one of these women spreadeagled across my living room sofa with my husband, it is only because he is famous doctor and her mother needs therapy...this would be a new form of medical insurance, I guess...sort of pay as you go

perhaps you would suggest I extend true hachnosas orchim and have my daughter serve up some iced tea after the poor dear worked up such a sweat with my husband the authority figure...always one to help out the victims, you know...my "sisters" in the feminist cause all assured me

I agree these women must be out of the shul, out of our homes and out of our community

APPALLED KNH Mother and Wife

 
At 12:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Who are the two midwives?"

Old news. http://www.imamidwives.com/team/

 

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