Leib Tropper issued the following lame statement of apology which appeared in Vosizneias.
Rabbi Leib Tropper’s response to recent allegations has been delayed until now in deference to his legal counsel.
Events of recent weeks have caused Rabbi Tropper great anguish, in particular given his recognition that the high standard of ethics in the Jewish community is one of its most treasured principles.
He wishes to express his regret for the turmoil caused by his departure from the Eternal Jewish Family organization and for what has appeared to be conduct not within our significant laws of modesty. Rabbi Tropper now looks forward to a return to both his studies and time with his loving family, as well as to personal introspection. He thanks those outside his closest circle of friends for respecting his privacy.
I have written elsewhere about Rabbi Tropper’s new organization Eternal Jewish Tshuvah. I underestimated his diligence. He has already shown us how EJT operates. Note a few of the new principals and minhagim that will have to be added to our existing hilchot tshuvah (rules of repentance).
- No tshuvah without legal counsel. I can just see Judah saying about Tamar “Sorry she got burnt as a zonah, but my response was delayed in deference to legal counsel”.
- Focus on events, not acts. Translation: what I do is not the problem, just the response when I get caught
- Focus on appearances not acts. Thus he writes “what has appeared to be conduct not within our…laws of modesty. As the pundits all say, thank G-d he didn’t get caught shaking a woman’s hand
- Blame the folks that catch you. Thus Leib “regrets the turmoil caused by his departure.”
As much as I loathe him, I would have given him a little credit if he had said:
I regret my misconduct that broke many of our most significant laws including those pertaining to lewd conduct, extorting favors, oppressing converts, misusing people in the process of converting, in this and many other instances.
I admit I regularly behaved hypocritically and misused my control of funds to sway others to support me. Accordingly I am stepping down from all positions which involve my having control of funds and influence over those seeking to enter Judaism or strengthen their attachment to Judaism.
In the coming days I will initiate a process of repentance by fully confessing all my misdeeds to all affected individuals and groups, including the Jewish public. I will make every effort to repair the damage though I realize that some of the damage I caused will never be repairable.
I will abstain from any position in the future where my inclinations, habits and manipulative abilities create a great risk of further sinning. I believe that G-d the true judge of intentions and actions will accept my sincere repentance at the moment of my death, because this is a cardinal tenet of Judaism when one sincerely repents. But even Yom Kippur cannot provide atonement for sins against other humans unless one has done complete repair of the damage, which unfortunately will never be possible in my case.
Nevertheless as part of my effort to undo and repair what I can, I will expose all my confederates in crime while protecting the identities of my victims. I will clarify to the public the manipulative means I used so others can better spot them in others and resist them. I will fully reveal the ways in which I influenced prominent rabbis to make bad decisions. I will shower praise by name on those who resisted my bribes and threats. They were righteous and I am a sinner.
I will follow in the steps of the great Maimonides who signed his letters describing himself as a sinner for living in Egypt. Accordingly I will henceforth sign all my letters “Leib Tropper, a Sinner in Israel who has violated many of our cardinal commandments who is striving to rectify his sins.” I have rewritten my will to have the burial society subject my body to the degradations associated with the sins I have committed as a further effort to attain full atonement after my death.
But enough of my wishful thinking. Leib Topper, the founder of EJT, Eternal Jewish Tshuvah instead will continue his career of fakery by faking tshuvah. If any Jewish leaders start telling you that he has done tshuvah, you will know that they are either fools, ignorant of the Jewish requirements of sincere repentance, or confederates of Leib.
In the meantime, I can say with confidence he has earned his Chutzpah Award.