The May 6 front-page essay by Joseph Hoffman, “Monument to Life,” was an exquisite reading experience. It was as if Mr. Hoffman took his readers on a guided tour of the new museum at Yad Vashem, complete with historical references, personal asides, and a trained artistic sense. Please convey to him my profoundest thanks for having written possibly the best article I’ve ever read on Holocaust museums. And thank you, Jewish Press editors, for making so many improvements to your paper, including all the great front-page essays week after week.
Not San Francisco
Re the week-long homosexual festival planned for Jerusalem this summer: It’s a subject that many in the frum community may wish to ignore, but the kedusha (sanctity) of the city is at stake. Vayikra (Leviticus) openly forbids this behavior and refers to it as a “toaiva” – an abomination – the consequence of which is that the “land will vomit you out” (“land” referring to the Holy Land). Jerusalem is not San Francisco or Amsterdam, and there is no room for “political correctness” where the ir hakadosh is concerned.
Orthodox and rabbinic groups must not be silent. We all need to exert maximum pressure on the religious mayor of Jerusalem maan Yerushalayim – for the sake of Jerusalem.
No Reason To Leave Israel
On Pesach – the Yom Tov that commemorates Klal Yisrael’s leaving Egypt in order to enter the land of Israel – I was appalled as I read Moshe Kupfer’s article “Israel, I love You, But…” (Jewish Press, April 22). Mr. Kupfer can no longer bear to live in the holiest of lands for the most mundane and ridiculous of reasons. Chazal tell us that one may only leave Eretz Yisrael for parnassa, shidduchim, and to learn Torah. Interestingly, a brawl with a taxi driver is not listed.
The meraglim sinned because, rather than considering the tremendous benefits offered by Eretz Yisrael, they focused on the land’s disappointing aspects. If Mr. Kupfer agrees that Eretz Yisrael is “home” and has so much to offer, how can he possibly write, in a widely-read newspaper, that he is compelled to leave because the admissions office at some law school was not nice to him? It is very easy to get frustrated when people are rude and chutzpadik, but is the solution to just pick up, leave, and weep?
It seems to me the appropriate thing to do is accept the problem as a challenge and, instead of writing an article in The Jewish Press discouraging aliyah, write a letter to the university and demand better public relations. Instead of leaving the land and publicly bashing acheinu bnei Yisrael, why not consider staying in Eretz Yisrael and trying to fix these nuisances?
B’ezras Hashem, Mr. Kupfer, through your work may you be zocheh to make Eretz Yisrael an even more special place to live in, and I hope you will have hatzlacha in all your endeavors.
Repair The Breach
Your editorials on the Tendler matter ask an important question: How does highly sensitive information from a secret inquiry held by senior rabbis get leaked to anti-Orthodox newspapers? Nobody can deny the leak. Nobody can deny that an investigation of a prominent rabbi should be confidential. What is the answer?
Maybe the answer is that the Modern Orthodox rabbinate lives in fear of rabbinical abuse, due to an unfortunate episode some years ago. That case has obviously transformed what was once, in the time of the Rav, zt”l, a highly respected rabbinical apparatus into something else – socially sensitive, erring perhaps on the side of halacha, but safe with the appropriate lobbies. It was only a question of time until such an attitude would result in what we see today: rabbis leaking material to destroy another rabbi and protect their flanks.
Where will it end? Can we have a Torah where rabbis do dirty tricks to prove their liberal credentials? After this, who will believe the rabbis when they catch someone who really is a problem?
Dealing with molesters of all kinds is very tricky. There is probably, in the judicial process, nothing more difficult than determining if someone is a molester, especially where children are concerned. If there is any prejudice involved, the system cannot work.
The honor of the rabbinate and the needs of the general community demand that the Rabbi Mordecai Tendler issue be investigated by serious rabbis, aided by professionals when appropriate, who have nothing to do with either party. Guilty people will resist this, but the innocent deserve it, and so does the community.
Further, the standards of proof for private people are not necessarily the standards needed for protecting the community. This requires, of course, Torah adjudication from rabbis whose learning and leadership are top of the line. The Modern Orthodox community has such people. They must repair this breach in the honor of the rabbinate and the Torah.
Rabbi Dovid Eidensohn
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