Norman Lamm Resigns from YU Acknowledging Mishandling of Finkelstein Abuse

Rabbi Norman Lamm, President Emeritus of Yeshiva University (YU),  resigned today from his position as Rosh Yeshiva (Head) of YU’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Rabbinical Seminary (RIETS). Lamm was in the news six months ago when the Forward reported that Rabbi George Finkelstein, the principal of YU’s boys high school and Rabbi Gordon Macy, a teacher at the school were let go for molesting students but other institutions were not explicitly warned unless they asked. Lamm confirmed that to the Forward’s reporter, Paul Berger.

Lamm’s letter is long and eloquent about the difficulties and the imperative of balancing moral and practical concerns to reconcile the sacred and the profane. He addresses the Finkelstein episode, writing,

And it is to this I turn as I contemplate my response to allegations of abuse in the Yeshiva community. At the time that inappropriate actions by individuals at Yeshiva were brought to my attention, I acted in a way that I thought was correct, but which now seems ill conceived.  I understand better today than I did then that sometimes, when you think you are doing good, your actions do not measure up. You think you are helping, but you are not. You submit to momentary compassion in according individuals the benefit of the doubt by not fully recognizing what is before you, and in the process you lose the Promised Land.  I recognize now that when we make decisions we risk, however inadvertently, the tragedy of receiving that calamitous report: tarof toraf Yosef, “Joseph is devoured,” all our work is in vain, all we have put into our children has the risk of being undone because of a few well intentioned, but incorrect moves. And when that happens—one must do teshuvah.  So, I too must do teshuvah.

It should be noted that Lamm, who is in declining health, says,

I want to acknowledge that conditions have caused me to rely on help from my family in writing this letter.

It is not clear to what extent, this letter was shaped by others. However, it certainly is in the style and character of Lamm when he was vigorous. Below is the full text of the letter

From: Dr. Norman Lamm <Alumni@yu.edu>
Date: Mon, Jul 1, 2013 at 11:04 AM
Subject: Message from Dr. Norman Lamm
To: xxxx

July 1, 2013

Dear Friends,

When we celebrated the ninetieth birthday of my dear father, zikhrono liverakhah, I cited the Mishnah in Avot 5:21, ben tish’im la-shu-ach.  Despite the standard explanation that at ninety years old a person is stooped and decrepit, and there is much truth to that, I offered a more sensitive and profound interpretation. Without going into all of the details, I observed that hishtachavayah, the prostration of the attendee at the Jerusalem Temple, was the final ritual performed at the culmination of the divine service.  Through prostration pilgrims stopped to reflect on their heavenly encounter and offered their gratitude and appreciation for the opportunity to serve God through the divine service.  At ninety, I suggested, a person stops to reflect on a life well lived, a family raised, professional and personal achievements, spiritual growth, accomplishments, mistakes, successes and failures—and pauses for his hishtachavayah, a moment of reflection, gratitude, and appreciation.

While I have yet to reach my father’s age, at this moment of transition in accordance with an agreement reached 3 years ago—as I step down from my positions as Chancellor of Yeshiva University and Rosh Hayeshivah, ending over sixty years of official affiliation with my beloved Yeshiva University as student, faculty member, Rosh Hayeshivah, President, and Chancellor—I use this moment for mishtachavim u-modim—pause, reflection, and expression of gratitude.  Before beginning, I want to acknowledge that conditions have caused me to rely on help from my family in writing this letter.

Yeshiva nurtured me, challenged me, and formed me. Yeshiva took me in as a young, untested, and unproven boy and gave me opportunities for religious and intellectual growth, personal development, and professional achievement.  For these sixty years I lived and breathed Yeshiva, its problems, its challenges, and its successes.  I enjoyed opportunities that I never dreamed would be offered me: leadership, responsibility, the trust of a community, the affection and support of many from world leaders to drawers of water, and the pulpit of the Orthodox and Jewish world.  The day I became President in 1976 I was humbled to occupy the offices of my rebbeim, mentors, and predecessors — Dr. Revel, Dr. Belkin, the Rav, zikhronam livrakhah — and a host of other rebbeim, professors, administrators, and lay leaders; I continue to be humbled and incredulous today as I step down.  I would like to believe that I was a worthy custodian of their creation and leave the institution and the Torah u-Madda community more vital, vibrant, and effective religiously, academically, communally, and financially.  Yeshiva University is not only an institution.  It is a faith, a vision, a dream, a destiny. It has been my faith, my vision, my dream, and my destiny. It is the kind of faith that elicited from me, and from so many for over 125 years, work, dedication, and endless effort and endeavor.

It would be too easy at this moment in Yeshiva’s history, when fortune smiles on us and we are a top-ranked university and a thriving bet midrash, when things are largely going our way, to forget past adversities and difficulties and to think that our successes are part of the very fabric of our existence. We cannot assume that it is natural and normal that conditions be as favorable as they are today, nor should we imagine that they could not have been otherwise. We forget that the felicity of the present is actually the fulfillment of the promise of the past.  The merciful quality of time causes us to forget the intensity of the anxiety of years past, when our ability to survive was in doubt.  We are therefore obligated to an appreciation of our blessings as a special gift, as the keeping of God’s word, as the vindication of the covenant in which He promised us that Torah shall not depart from us or from our descendants. The experience of fulfillment lays upon us the obligation of humility, to realize that we are not necessarily deserving of what has come upon us, that we have not wrought our good fortune with our own hands and wisdom, that it is God in His goodness who keeps His Word to generations past and by virtue of which we now prosper. We must demand of ourselves the obligations that flow from our successes — the qualities of understanding, of perspective, of emunah, and above all, of a deep humility that the Higher Force has responded to our own initiative in molding Jewish history and keeping His promise, through us, to those who preceded us.

In the Aleinu, mishtachavim is followed by modim, modim as in thanks.  But there is another meaning as well, one that holds the key to real leadership and one upon which I reflect at this important transition in my personal and professional life.  Jacob’s blessing to his son Judah, Yehudah, attah yodukha achekha (Gen. 49:8) literally means “Judah, your brothers will recognize you (as their leader).” However, the word yodukha, they will recognize you, is etymologically related to the word vidui, confession and therefore teaches us that only those who can, like Judah, confess, are those who can be acknowledged as real leaders.

And it is to this I turn as I contemplate my response to allegations of abuse in the Yeshiva community. At the time that inappropriate actions by individuals at Yeshiva were brought to my attention, I acted in a way that I thought was correct, but which now seems ill conceived.  I understand better today than I did then that sometimes, when you think you are doing good, your actions do not measure up. You think you are helping, but you are not. You submit to momentary compassion in according individuals the benefit of the doubt by not fully recognizing what is before you, and in the process you lose the Promised Land.  I recognize now that when we make decisions we risk, however inadvertently, the tragedy of receiving that calamitous report: tarof toraf Yosef, “Joseph is devoured,” all our work is in vain, all we have put into our children has the risk of being undone because of a few well intentioned, but incorrect moves. And when that happens—one must do teshuvah.  So, I too must do teshuvah.

True character requires of me the courage to admit that, despite my best intentions then, I now recognize that I was wrong. I am not perfect; none of us is perfect. Each of us has failed, in one way or another, in greater or lesser measure, to live by the highest standards and ideals of our tradition — ethically, morally, halakhically. We must never be so committed to justifying our past that we thereby threaten to destroy our future.  It is not an easy task. On the contrary, it is one of the greatest trials of all, for it means sacrificing our very egos, our reputations, even our identities. But we can and must do it. I must do it, and having done so, contribute to the creation of a future that is safer for innocents, and more ethically and halakhically correct.

Biblical Judah was big enough to admit that he was small. He confesses a mistake. He can experience guilt and confront it creatively. After the incident with Tamar, he does not offer any tortured rationalizations to vindicate himself. He says simply and forthrightly: tzadkah mimmeni (Gen. 38:26), she was right and I was wrong.  And with that statement Judah is transformed into a self-critical man of moral courage. He concedes guilt. He knows that he is guilty with regard to Joseph, and together with his brothers he says aval ashemim anachnu, “indeed, we are guilty.”  Pushed to the limits of the endurance of his conscience, he rises to a new stature and achieves a moral greatness that is irrefrangible and pellucid.

This is what I am modeh as I reflect on my tenure. Tzadkah mimmeni. I hope that those who came forth and others who put their trust in me will feel that faith vindicated and justified.  Modeh ani.

One might think it appropriate to mark the formal end of a career in avodat ha-kodesh with the recitation of Havdalah, the blessing which marks the end of the sacred period of holy days. Yet my whole career in avodat ha-kodeh has been one of havdalah.

Consider: When we recite this prayer, we bless God who distinguishes between sacred and profane, light and dark, Israel and the nations, Sabbath and weekday. Jewish practice calls for us to recite this havdalah on Saturday nights and at the end of holidays, not only over a cup of wine, but also during the Amidah of the evening prayer which marks the transition from holy-day to week-day. And the Talmud requires that the havdalah be recited specifically in the blessing which attah chonein la-adam da’at, in which we pray to the Almighty for the gift of wisdom and knowledge and understanding. What is the relevance of havdalah to this specific blessing? The Rabbis answer, “if there is no knowledge, whence the ability to distinguish?” In other words, the ability to discern between different values, to discriminate and to distinguish between competing claims, and therefore the ability to emerge whole from the confusions that reign in life, requires da’at — special insights and intellectual gifts.

And yet, if we examine the passage of the havdalah carefully, we remain with the question: why so?  Apparently, it should be rather easy to make these distinctions. Any child can tell the difference between light and dark; reference to identity of the parents will tell us if one is Jewish or non-Jewish; the difference between the Sabbath and weekdays is nothing more complicated than consulting a calendar; and even the distinction between sacred and profane is not overly taxing — who cannot tell apart, for instance, a Sefer Torah from a novel? Why, then, the special requirement for da’at or knowledge, for intellectual graces, in order to perform havdalah?

The answer is that for those who are superficial or who dwell in only one realm, da’at is indeed unnecessary. If we associate only with kodesh (holiness), Israel, ore (light), and Sabbath, or only with hol (the profane), the nations, hoshekh (darkness), and weekday, it is easy to discern distinctions and life is much less confusing. The full atheist has few problems. There is little to confuse him. He swallows all of contemporary life, and therefore he has no difficulties in trying to tell apart its various strands. Similarly, at the other end of the spectrum, the Jew who does not step out of his self-imposed boundaries of the sacred, of Israel, of the light of Torah, rejects all that is new and secular and alien in the contemporary culture, and he too has little to confuse him.

However, da’at is needed and havdalah is vital for those of us who choose to live in both realms, Torah and Madda, and will reject neither —for those of us who opt both for light and darkness, for Israel and the nations, for Sabbath and weekdays, for the sacred and the profane.

This category describes most of us, who are known by the somewhat unfelicitous name “Modern Orthodox,” who will not succumb to the blandishments of the materialistic and hedonistic and atheist society, and yet refuse the easy comforts of intellectual ghettoization; who believe that the function and the mission of the Jew in the world is to illuminate the hoshekh (darkness); to sanctify the hol (profane); to bring the Jewish message to the nations; and to introduce the warmth and meaningfulness of the Sabbath to all the days of the week.

For us, who are involved in this great mission, that of Torah and that of Maddah, was the dictum of the Rabbis meant: im ein da’at, havdalah minayin. It is we, who straddle both worlds, who are therefore subject to the danger of confusion, and who therefore need the special divine gift of da’at or knowledge, insight, in order to be able to perform havdalah, always to distinguish between the light and the dark, even when we try to illuminate the shadows of life; to know what separates the holy and the profane, even when we try to consecrate the secular.

Educationally, the highest expression of this point of view is Yeshiva University. For Yeshiva is more than a university; it is truly a universe, a microcosm of the American Orthodox world — its vices and its virtues, its faults and its merits, its promises and its potentials, its currents and sub-currents. No other place in the world offers such a combination: a Yeshiva and a medical school, a Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary and a Stern College for Women; a Talmudic Kollel and a school of education.

The ideal of Yeshiva is: kiddush ha-hol, the sanctification of the profane and the illumination of the dark and the Judaization of the general. It is Yeshiva, therefore, which strives most mightily for that da’at to keep havdalah, to be able at all times to discern and distinguish, to avoid confusion in a terribly confusing world.

This vast educational complex, this “Yeshiva Universe,” is the vision of some of the greatest Jewish scholars of our and of past generations — and it is one which, because of the implied risks, constantly requires da’at and increasing havdalah in order to save our generation, and future generations, from confusion.  May Yeshiva’s future be both gracious and powerful as it is led by my distinguished successor, President Richard Joel.  He deserves the loyalty of all segments of our beloved institution — students, faculty, board members, and amkha.

And finally, a prayer for my family, my students, my colleagues, and my friends: Learn from my experiences, both positive and negative, to achieve success with grace and to face failure with dignity, to be prepared for the extreme periods of life’s challenges without hubris or despair, and never to stop hoping and expecting better news and better times. Above all, learn the importance of commitment to great and noble ideals even when it hurts and disappoints, but to trust that ultimately it will all prove worthwhile. I pray that you will always strive to live morally upstanding and spiritually fulfilling lives, marked by abiding loyalty to the principles of Orthodox Judaism, to Torah Umadda, along with respect for all people who honestly follow the dictates of their own beliefs and conscience even when such do not accord with your own deepest commitments, and to combine your love of God and Torah with love of all humans created in the image of God.

If in any way my life’s experience can encourage in you the aspiration to attain a modicum of wisdom; a trust in the faith in our ancestors’ spiritual strivings from Abraham through Moses through the giants of the sacred Jewish tradition; a measure of the value of the sweetness and intellectual excitement in the study of Torah; a desire to excel in the practice of mitzvot; the reassurance that ultimately character and Godliness are infinitely more ennobling and valuable than any worldly goods or social approbation; and the strength to hold fast and persevere through a life of havdalah — why, then, my life—and yours—will have proven worthwhile. Halevai!

Norman Lamm

Advertisements

19 thoughts on “Norman Lamm Resigns from YU Acknowledging Mishandling of Finkelstein Abuse

  1. WOW!

    This is mamesh gevaldig. This is what you call Gadlus, ulezchut gadol yechashev. In parshat Vayikra 4: 22, it states asher yechtah nassi, Rashi explains the lashon hapasuk, lashon ashrei ” Ashrei hador sheHanassi shelo noten lev lehevi kapara al shigegato etc. …”. Now this is what you call a leader, a true Nassi. To declare in front of the open wide world le’einei kol ha’amim that he erred, is mamesh a KIDDUSH SHEM SHAMAYIM BERABIM. Batuach ani bezot, that ‘im ba’arazim nafla shalhevet, ma yomru ezovei kir. This is to say, that it is not ONLY that Rabbi Nochum did and declared charatah, let alone in public, beod haner dolek, but this will definitely lead to so many other leaders as well B’ezrat HaShem. He opened the derech to Tshuva veKapara on this SO very dire issue of Pikuach Nefesh shel Tinokes shel Beit Raban, we could say a Nachshon ben Aminadav of our times. We desperately are in need for UNITY, a Deah achas Torah achas and DAAS TORAH to rescue the she’eris hapleitah of our tayere Neshumelach.

    Al HaIgeres Hazo’s in response ( of Your letter), I could hear the sounds and echoes of the silenced me’olamot shenechrevu in unison, singing with the Eichah nigun, Al ze haya doveh libenu. At last, We have been acknowledged, someone is sticking up for us, for WE THE CHILDREN the TRUE VICTIMS, for We the Children, the TRUE NIRDAF, a ‘kol’ for the Aleh Hanidaf, the umshildige korbanot, in a VOICE so loud and so clear. We thank you Rabbi Nochum, “Nachmu Nachmu Ami”, nichamtanu Rabeinu. Thank you Rabbi NorMan, YOU are the MAN a real MENTSCH. Du bizt tzu G-t, und tzu leit, tzu Kiddush und tzu Havdalah.

    I can now also hear the humming of these tayere und zisse Neshumelech of the past and from far out, in a Kol Nidrei tune, Mochul lach R’ Nochum, Mochul lach R’ Nochum, Mochul lach Kvod HaRav. Having said that, we can truly say from now on, NO more Tarof Toraf Yosef, but “Rav od Yosef bni CHOI”, “Utchi Ruach Yaakov Avihem”, Treifah lo heveti elecha, anochi achatena, miyadi tevakshena gnuvsi yom ugnuvsi layla. What a breath of fresh air!

    Dear Rabbi Nochum Lamm,
    Bameh avarechecha?
    Veanu Tfilah: Shekol NETIOT sheNotim mimcha yihye Daas Nekiya, Daas Noiteh, veDaas Torah kamoicho.
    VEHALVEI sheyirbu kmotcha beYisrael.
    So much from the precious Shefelech of the PAST.

    And now from the precious Kinderlach of the PRESENT and the FUTURE in a voice loud and clear.
    It so states: Hamekayem nefesh achat miYisrael keilu kiyem olam maleh, al achat kama vekama Hamkayem olam umloah scharo harbeh bim’od. Since you now have changed the tide BEZ’H’YIS’ saving us, The Tayere Kinderlach of the Present asher yeshno po imanu omed hayom, as well as The Tayere Neshumelach of the Future asher einenu po imanu hayom, we thank you from the depths of our Heart, and promise you, VESHAVU BANIM LIGVULAM!
    A REFUAH SHLEIMA BIMHEIRAH!!!

    So much from the SHEFELACH of the

    Kindertransport
    With Love

    • od yosef bni choy but because of the brothers yosef fell into the hands of ashes potifar and lost the opportunity to give birth to 10 more tribes and was the cause of the asara harugei malchus here too if he would have reacted in time many neshomas could have been saved from a lot of anguish

    • tt,
      shalom rav. very interesting comment/post. ( and i had declared that i would not comment here again, for reasons that are personal). but i beg your forgiveness, the extraordinary praise that yu have given Lamm, who, after all these years, at his age, did a mea culpa, albeit just a sentence or two, from that entire long missive. Call me naive, call me extraordinarily cynical,
      cynical, I cannot even find the most appropriate word, and it pains me to inquire, was your laudatory comment completely legit, or at some level sarcastic, I beg forgiveness, if this insults you, or my perception of your integrity. Your response is really very important to me. if you care to indulge my very personal question, and i am not at all interested in all of the good that he did for YU. NICE, but not the point.

      From my POV, too little too late, and how many boys at other institutions where he allowed his pedophiles to go had their lives destroyed.? just don’t do it here? fxxxx some other institutions kid’s. how many years does he reasonably have left to do Teshuva???
      Unless, he has Alzheimer’s and someone else wrote the entire thing for him? possibly?.
      Me tsidi, i do not care, how much good he did for YU, destroying one child, is destroying the world. I am, agav, distaff side of the equation, and had/have no sons. So are you completely taken by this letter??? are all of your accolades for real, me ha’lev mamash? i so very highly respect your intellect and your comments, thank you,
      G
      GG

  2. Did Rabbi Lamm’s attitude merely reflect his own personal “ignorance” and the general culture of the times (the defense being offered by various commentators), or did it rather express a vicious institutional callousness, with which he collaborated and which arguably continues today?

    In this regard, it is interesting to observe that YU’s current vice provost, while still the chairman of the NYU Jewish Studies department (a position from which he resigned to assume his current post at YU), testified in a court of law that “nobody reads” the NYU faculty code of conduct. One wonders if this statement reflects the ethical standards and attitudes of YU’s current administration. For further information and commentary, see:

    http://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/from-the-trial-testimony-of-nyu-officials-and-related-texts/

    And see this account of how the same vice provost of YU recently had letters sent to various legal experts, including Eugene Volokh of UCLA, demanding that they remove certain material, apparently critical of him, from their websites:

    http://blog.simplejustice.us/2013/03/13/schiffman-meet-streisand.aspx

    Was Rabbi Lamm even aware of these efforts and statements by YU’s vice provost? Does YU’s current president, Benjamin Joel (who is a former prosecutor) support the attitudes they seem to reflect? All of this seems to reflect (at best) an ongoing laxity in ethical standards at YU, and it is hard to see how the “apology” of Dr. Lamm could possibly have any impact on the situation.

    • Based on what I know, Rabbi Dr. Lamm has been ill in recent years and, I suspect, was not directly involved in any of the things to which you your refer. This does not take away from his culpability for past events when he was fully in charge. In light of his retirement and his apology, imperfect though it was, I would be inclined to keep our eyes on the current incumbents who seem to be stonewalling on issuing the promised report over six months after they promised it in the wake of the Forward’s revelations.

      I too am appalled by the bullying in the letter by Dr. Schiffman’s lawyer, whatever his complaints about the impersonation.

      Sadly, power corrupts in most institutions. As for ethical guidelines, I am a behaviorist, a respectable position for a member of a faith that cares more about actions than catechisms. I believe an institution is ethical when I see it behave properly. Verbiage does not impress me.

      • YL,
        while i agree with you that going forward, the actions of the ‘current incumbents’ is the critical issue, to be sure, i do not believe that we should blithely accept LAMM’S apology stam kacha v’dai v’gamarnu. IMHO, I will not be satisfied until I understand who wrote the letter, when, and why, and in fact if Lamm is contrite weird word eh contrite, when did that contrition begin. at the start o the investigation, years before? OR just now as he approaches the end and is worried about Teshuvah. enquiring minds are not yet satisfied. nor should th4y be, IMHO, i do not believe in balance sheets, oh heck, he did so much to advance YU in so many ways, not relevant, to quote from tt in English he who saves one life, saves the world and the other side of the coin, Could a cognitively normal person, have let these molestors go, stam knowing that they were going to accept similar type jobs, with access to young boys.
        ?

  3. P.s. For some insight into Joel’s own ethical standards, see these items:

    https://frumfollies.wordpress.com/2013/07/01/norman-lamm-resigns-from-yu-acknowledging-mishandling-of-finkelstein-abuse/

    http://thebeaconmag.com/2011/01/news/article-discussing-president-joels-salary-creates-questions-controversy/

    and compare the emerging pattern with the recent controversy surrounding the vacation home of NYU president John Sexton:

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2013/06/18/nyu_loans_for_summer_homes_ny_times_story_about_university_pay_for_john.html

    http://www.alternet.org/corporate-accountability-and-workplace/debt-stricken-students-and-lavish-university-elite-nyus

    Just a coincidence? An emerging pattern of cronyism and abuse? NYU faculty have passed no-confidence resolutions pertaining to John Sexton four times, but Martin Lipton of the board of trustees has repeatedly given his “full support” to Sexton. Lipton is famous for inventing the “poison pill” principle of corporate governance, but lately his most interesting contributions have been the public relations statements put out by the NYU board — statements strangely similar to those stemming from Richard Joel and YU.

  4. @ Gaon

    Winds are blowing in a different direction other than in the past. This the beginning of a new ERA. A concept that the children are innocent victims, and the perpetrators are the RODFIM has now been made conceivable ALL THE WAY TO THE TOP, something that till now they were in DENIAL. ” Vayhi mehayom hahu vamala vaysimeha lechok ulmishpat leYisrael ad hayom hazeh”. Turning the TIDE, is not dvarim shel ma bekach, and you must give credit where it’s due.

    The other day “ei Sham” we had a plea of guilty WITH explanation, now here we already have a full fledged charata al ha’avar, and tshuva lehaba, hopefully, many others joining in this Ruach Tshuva, including the ENABLERS just as well. B’rov am hadrat melech. And THAT, is VERY good news for ALL of us. Dasz izt gut far Yidden!

    Vehinei Emshal lecha mashal:
    If a child chas veshalom is drowning, you call the lifeguard immediately to the rescue. You do not go and bodek the tzitziyot of the lifeguards past, whether he is talit shekulo tchelet and is worthy to do the job. For the time being, he is RESCUING nefesh achat == Olam Umloah. Ken hadavar hahu. And now, the rest of the story.

    On yom Kippur we say AshamNU …, chataNU lefanecha, veal chataim sheaNU chayavim… , always plural. Can you imagine if you had to say bekol ram Ashamti, Chatiti, … Sheani chayav etc… befumbi, It is tzarot rabim chatzi nechama. Much easier to admit when there is a Symphony Orchestra along with you. At the end of the day, kesheyinatu tzilelei erev, ot.. ot.. ot.. Dimdumei uShkiat haChamah, od nishmato bo, we say P’tach lanu sha’ar lifnei neilat sha’ar, veSha’arei Tshuva LO ninalu. I firmly believe, that this is all he intended to publicise, all the REST is irelevant and has no place in this whole saga. It is from the family that is in process to be meitiv hadvarim, as acknowledged and indicated.

    Therefore, it is the Children of the Past, Present, and the Future that said, “Reoh panecha lo Fillolti”, now have a Nichum, Menucha, veShalva seeing and hearing humming along, Ze hayom kivinu lo, Od Yosef Choi, Rav od Yosef bni Choi, vaTchi Ruach yaakov Avihem.

    *********************

    PS @ neil:

    Shall we blame Chava, EM KOL CHOI on everything else as well? Something to think about.

    • I am fully in accord with criticizing Lamm’s past conduct. I believe he is in serious decline and Paul Berger of the Forward exploited him to get statements which may or may not have reflected thinking when he was full in command of his mental faculties. I think Failed Messiah’s Shmarya Rosenberg got it right when he criticized Berger’s reporting as deceptive and unethical.

      It is also not clear how much his resignation statement was really produced by him.

      Accordingly, I am sticking to focusing on his past acts and the continued failure of the current administration to issue any report (6 months since the revelations).

      http://failedmessiah.typepad.com/failed_messiahcom/2013/07/the-forward-defends-the-indefensible-to-justify-its-own-terrible-behavior-456.html

    • tt,
      Thanks for your response and reasoning. Beautiful words, beyond glass half full to glass completely full. Where can I buy that? It would be comforting to have such a mindset, maybe some prozac would help.

      BTW at end of paragraph 7 (I think) of Lamm’s letter, ” infrangible and pellucid”. 800 English SAT’s would not have written that. Stam m’orrer sakranut.. is that from the Talmud?.

      • The way I understand it is ([irrefrangible typo] irrefragable and pellucid) indisputable and crystal clear, is in direct reference to the END of the pasuk where it fully spells it out as in the following. “Aval Ashemim anachnu” — “Al achinu asher rainu tzarat nafsho behitchaneno elenu VELO SHAMANU”. This is the truth about ALL the victims, and kind of sort of megaleh tefach umchasseh tfachayim. What is the most important and of great relief, the impact this will have on our precious children. Mimar yatzo matok, if you will ved’al.

        • WOW EXTRAORDINARY QUESTION!. kol hakavod, ani, analphabet. religiously but behind you 100% even shocked. As it were, with so many different cults (excuse, not politically correct rather, chassidic sects, and lakewood et al) hard to believe that there was coordination, but yes it is like Sedom l’fi daati, ha m’od lo musmach. Sedom. how did we get here.,? why is the TORAH filled with sippurei crime and sin? if it is from Hashem, I know super super naive questions, but never given a response from anyone, why woud he want to represent human nature in such an awful girsa? good luck, tt, hashem if one accepts him as the author and not, E AND j AND whoever, why would he want to set such an ugly representation, yes, human nature, so you are a a sinner and so were our patriarchs. excuse me for even responding because i am clearly am haaretz, but shocked , actually by your question, ..and for those in the past who attacked me for my pen name, sheesh, get a life. yahoo finance had nothing available 14 years ago,and then on a whim, i put in gaongaon and it stuck ,.seriously, finding a name that is not taken….. so I hit with gaonogaon and someone on this site, found it narcissitic et al, no sense of humor and attacked me. it taks all types.
          anyway please tt keep us posted, hard to believe that across so many sects, cults, that there was any coordination.
          heck my maternal family came from Proskurov, a hop skip and jump form Medzibozh,
          where the baal shem tov hung out. were they frum, no, they were extraordinary violinists et al and in churban proskurov, possibly the first Yizkor book, form 1926 or so, the pictures and lists of the nefulim were from Proskurov (today Khelmniitski) and from Medzibodzh (sp?). from the largest pogram ad az in the entire area 1919??? too much, ,,pictures of the kids in the var9us batei yetumim acharei the pogrom. heck, te’um bein ha cholei nefesh hard to believe,. but who am I, efes., truly….., keep us posted,,,,,,,

          ..

        • tt, you blow me away, to use the venacular. need to think about whether i understand the entire thing, but for sure (and you have written this prior) ved’al. have not a clue what that means. you are an ilui. oh yes, what is t’fach?? and what passuk, where? I am truly am haaretz, amnam that my modern Hebrew, is fairly respectable, hope that my questioning you here, in this fashion, does not detract from other readers far more learned than I. i don’t want to be a stumbling block to others who are erudite in talmud, etc. I know nothing.. well, mostly nothing a bit here, a bit there……. but have the interest to know more.
          TIA,
          GG

  5. I am trying to research the History of these Rabbinical turntabler cover ups and their Enablers along with harassments how it came into being, when did it start, do they work undercover, is it a network? Does anyone finance these chicaneries. Was there an original Founder of this system. Can anybody provide information and shed some light. Was it like this in der alter heim the same? I know that in Sdom V’ammorah such was the system, but how would such be adopted by Yiddentum I cannot fathom. These are loaded questions, but it is of great importance to understand the Dynamics. Again, if anyone can contribute or give some mareh mekomot lemitzvah godol yechoshev. Shabbat Shalom.

See Commenting policy ( http://wp.me/pFbfD-Kk )

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s