web analytics
April 2, 2015 / 13 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post


Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel


zweibel

In what may appear as one of the more interesting ironies to some, the Forward has chosen Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel (pictured here with Senator Joseph Lieberman) as one of the top 5 most influential Jews in America. (They did not say which position he holds on that short list.)

To that end they are showing short videos of each of those top 5. They have started off with one on Rabbi Zwiebel. (Could he be at the top of the list?) These 5 Jews head a list called the Forward 50. Which as the title suggest adds another 45 influential names. Rabbi Zweibel’s video can be seen below.

I use the word irony because of the fact that the Forward is often singled out by Charedim as very anti Charedi. Rabbi Zwiebel – for those who don’t know – is the executive director of one of the most publicly active Charedi organizations in the world, Agudath Israel of America.

This list has been heavily criticized in the past for choosing people who many of us in Orthodoxy never even heard of – to the exclusion of people many of us feel are quite a bit greater than those they have chosen. Like various Roshei Yeshiva and Poskim.

Agree or disagree – the Forward has its own guidelines for measuring impact (which they are certainly entitled to have) and they have chosen accordingly.

As executive director of Agudah he promotes the policies dictated to him by his organization’s Rabbinic authorities, which they term the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah – loosely translated as the Council of Torah Sages.

Rabbi Zweibel certainly has his detractors in wider Orthodoxy. There are issues that have stirred controversy. While all of Orthodoxy has more that unites us than divides us, there are some issues that are so controversial that they threaten to tear us apart and separate us forever. Among them are two of 3 which Rabbi Zweibel was asked about.

One is the issue of requiring all suspicions of sex abuse be first reported to a Rabbi before being reported to the police. That is so that the rabbi can determine whether the evidence is credible enough to over-ride the Issur of Mesirah. Even if one holds that Mesirah is still applicable in our era.

Rabbi Zweibel spoke eloquently about this vetting process. But as I have indicated in the past, I disagree with it. My difference with Agudah is that if there is going to be any vetting process about what is and isn’t credible evidence, it ought not be a rabbi that determines it. It ought to be mental health professionals and the police who regularly deal with sex abuse. As I recall it was R’ Elyashiv who Paskined that there are no Mesirah issues when there are Raglayim L’Davar (credible evidence). And he never said that it should be a rabbi that determines it.

The other controversial issue is MbP (Metzitza B’Peh – oral suction of the blood from a circumcision wound). Agudah is fighting New York City’s Health Department requirement of informed consent. Meaning that a Mohel has to warn parents about the dangers of transmitting diseases of the mouth via direct oral contact with the wound.

Again, I have profound differences on this issue. But I hear his argument. For Chasidim – a segment of Orthodoxy that believes MbP is an integral requirement of Bris Milah – asking their Mohalim to warn parents about it sends a message that a Halachic requirement is in fact dangerous! A danger they believe is practically nonexistent.

Although I understand their position and that of Agudah one has to weigh the message’s negative implications for them against the right of a parent to be informed about the possible dangers, rare though they may be. Rabbi Zweibel seems to say that two constitutional freedoms are at stake here. Freedom of speech and freedom of religion. I guess this is the argument they will make in the courts in order to overturn the health department’s informed consent requirement.

We’ll see how that plays out.

A 3rd issue mentioned in the interview was an offshoot of the Siyum HaShas. That Agudah managed to fill a football stadium to overflow crowds of mostly Charedim – seems to indicate that American Jewry’s growth is trending towards a more insular way of life. Thus we are less able to influence greater society by directly participating in it.

About the Author: Harry Maryles runs the blog "Emes Ve-Emunah" which focuses on current events and issues that effect the Jewish world in general and Orthodoxy in particular. It discuses Hashkafa and news events of the day - from a Centrist perspctive and a philosphy of Torah U'Mada. He can be reached at hmaryles@yahoo.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

6 Responses to “Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel”

  1. I'm sure Dr. Tauber is a very nice man. But he didn't write this blog post. I did. :)

  2. Rabbi Zwiebel:
    We love u! U r the ultimate mentch!

  3. Yehuda Jason Schupper says:

    Couldn't agree more. A mench of the highest caliber.

Comments are closed.

Binyamin and Chaya Maryles, uncle and aunt of Emes Ve-Emunah author Harry Maryles.
Current Top Story
Faience amulets depicting images of Egyptian gods.
Egyptian Culture Rife in Israel ‘For Years’ After Exodus
Latest Blogs Stories
Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, Israel's moral guiding light, with friends, convicted former PM Ehud Olmert and Holocaust Denier Abu Mazen.

Not too many people, other than Olmert himself and his lawyers who can keep up with all his cases.

A Soldier's Mother

We are told “From dust we were created and to dust we return” But not alone…a Jew, is never alone.

Talks between Iran and the P5+1 at Lausanne are likely to be extended beyond Obama's self-imposed deadline.

Obama wants a deal at any price, ending sanctions that brought Iran to the table in the first place

Doug Goldstein

Laura Adams, author of Money Girl’s Smart Moves to Grow Rich, managing your money more effectively

Wherever you are Chabad gives you that missing piece–the home you left behind, nourishing body&soul

How do you put a love of Judaism into a middle-aged man when it was never there in the first place?

It is perfectly understandable how someone who has no background in Israeli politics could mistake Bibi’s speech as racist…

Israel’s Charedi world is in financial crisis. If the trend worsens it may be their breaking point.

Why do you need to file an FBAR if you’re a US citizen abroad? What happens if you don’t?

Jews caring for one another, that is how I would explain Israel to someone.

As Iran becomes the North Korea of the Middle East, Nasrallah doesn’t understand where all his friends went.

I pray each member of Knesset will represent the interests of the State of Israel & ALL its citizens

At no time did Kahlon say that he preferred to see Bibi in another term as PM-I don’t trust him!

“Israel has nuclear weapons & it isn’t afraid to use them if necessary-Does that frighten you? Good”

American Jews think they know what’s best for Israel-better than Israelis. Here’s my take…

An old Arab man yelled at me “You’re stupid!” I returned the compliment; He had murder in his eyes.

More Articles from Harry Maryles
Talks between Iran and the P5+1 at Lausanne are likely to be extended beyond Obama's self-imposed deadline.

Obama wants a deal at any price, ending sanctions that brought Iran to the table in the first place

Moshe Gafni

Israel’s Charedi world is in financial crisis. If the trend worsens it may be their breaking point.

Life in Europe’s pre-War Yeshiva world makes today’s rulings look like the Taliban has taken over.

Often wig wearers become more attractive after marriage. Doesn’t this turn the intent on its head?

It appears that Agudah has joined with those choosing to erase women from the public sphere.

As long as radical Islam exists it would be irresponsible for Israel to give up an inch of land

This very bright Chareidi young man was unable to earn a decent living because he had NO education

We must convince Jewish billionaires to support Jewish education in ways they support other projects

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/haemtza/rabbi-chaim-dovid-zwiebel/2012/11/13/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: