They Are Just Three Israeli Rabbis, Not a Rabbinical Court

Language matters. For some time now the Meisels controversy has been understood by many as a disagreement between a rabbinical court (Beis Din) in Israel and a court in Chicago. The shorthand is the Chicago Beis Din (CBD) versus the Israeli Beis Din (IBD) or just Chicago versus Israel.

Chicago does indeed have a Beis Din as that term is understood in Jewish law. The CBD under its formal name, the “Special Beis Din” specialized in abuse for over 14 years and is a beis din kavuah (permanent/ongoing court) recognized by all factions in Chicago’s orthodox community from moderns to the Haredim. It investigated sex abuse allegations against Meisels at length, secured the services of investigators, authenticated electronic messages, heard testimony from victims and the accused, and delivered its conclusions: the seminaries are not safe because of Meisels’ history of misconduct and the staff who ignored, enabled, or covered it up.

Justice biased 2The IBD doesn’t even deserve to call itself a Beis Din. It is just three rabbis. An ad hoc conglomeration of  three rabbis cannot call itself a Beis Din just because its members are learned. A Beis Din has to have a plaintiff. For all of their hollering through their apparent spokesman, R. Eidensohn, they have all but admitted that they have no plaintiff. Not a single abuse victim agreed to entrust their claims to this rump group. Nor did the victims ever authorize anyone else to act on their behalf with this trio. This is painfully clear from the IBD’s internal correspondence and reports of their proceedings. Thus the correct term for them is the 3IRs (3 Israeli Rabbis). Shamefully, the 3IRs have misrepresented themselves as a Beis Din in order to throw dirt into the judicial efforts of Chicago to protect students.

Justice biasedThe only apparent function of the 3IRs is to protect a business and its jobs. The 3IRs keep concealing the details, proclaiming everything safe and saying “trust us.” Not once have they ever uttered a word of condemning abuse. Not once have they offered a word of compassion to victims or anxious students and parents. They are hell bent on owning customers by blocking them from getting refunds. They should be assailed with the admonition of the Elijah the Prophet, “haratzachtah vigam yorashta,” will you murder (students by sexually abusing them) and also inherit (their tuition).”

The 3IRs are not a Beis din. They are a business protection scam.

Israel has its share of convicted politicians including an orthodox ex-president convicted of rape. Chicago has had more than its share of crooked politicians and gangsters. But it also has its  untouchables. I applaud Chicago for standing its ground and not acquiescing to the shenanigans of the 3 Israeli Rabbis.

UPDATE 8/15/14 – Rabbi Daniel Eidensohn delivered a broad ranging attack on me titled: “Seminary Scandal: CBD’s spokesman Frum Follies attacks the IBD as not being a real beis din.” He is upset that I delegitimized his favored “Beis Din” in Israel. and he goes on an all out attack on me. He is particularly hung up on the status war and disrespect to his favorites.

 

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94 thoughts on “They Are Just Three Israeli Rabbis, Not a Rabbinical Court

  1. Are you serious? This not an ongoing beis din? From what I understand halachigly any 3 people can form a beis din, but why wouldn’t they use a regular beis din. There must be loads in israel.

    • It is not a question of which 3 competent rabbis can form a beis din. For an ad hoc beis din (as opposed to a beis din kavuah) formed of any three rabbis to have any binding authority their needs to be a complainant and a defendant. Both parties have to sign the shtar berurin (binding arbitration agreement). The 3 Israeli Rabbis (3IRs) never had a complainant against Meisels and his principals. The shtar berurin was signed by Meisels and his principals as the defendant. But the plaintiff was Rabbi Aharon Feldman who explicitly wrote “apitropos” (guardian/agent). But as he bitterly complained afterwards in his letter to Rabbi Malinowitz, he was misled and upset to learn that neither the victims nor the CBD actually agreed to his assuming that role. Feldman accused Malinowitz of lying and Malinowitz shot back insisting he hadn’t. But Malinowitz is no dummy. If he had authorization he would gotten it in writing.

      Many of Eidensohn’s bitter attacks on the CBD involve the allegation that Chicago at one point was going to trust the 3IRs to form a beis din and was going to work through them and then backed out. But Rabbi “I am only following halacha” has never once, in spite of all his leaks of private materials, produced any documented proof that Chicago delegated their powers to Chicago. Strangely, when pressed, Eidensohn changes the topic.

      I defy anyone to find a respected rabbinical authority who believes an ad hoc beis din can be empowered to evaluate the claims of these victims when the victims did not authorize the beis din to act on their behalf, neither directly nor through a designated agent.

      It is interesting to ask why they formed an ad hoc beis din when Israel is chock full of competent sitting battei din. I am getting more and more suspicious that the composition of the beis din was contrived to produce a specific effect, to determine the out come in advance to protect the business and the jobs.

      back to the statement, any three rabbis can form a beis din for a particular case. There is another restriction. None of the dayanim serving can have negius (a conflict of interest). Their decisons and conduct is so incomprehensible that i am coming to suspect that at least one member, perhaps one they rely on a lot has negius. But there has been no transparency about how these three rabbis came to be chosen. So who knows.

  2. Something doesn’t add up here.

    1) did any of the victims sign Shtar Berurin with the CBD ?

    2) If yes, did the powers within the Shtar Berurin, allow the CBD to hand the case over to Israel without the authorization of any victim ?

    3) if it is not a Beth Din, why did the CBD mention a “distinguished Israeli beis din consisting of…. has assumed responsibility in this matter” in their first letter ?

    4) why did at least one member of the CBD go to Israel and witness the RY from Ner Israel sign Shtar Berurin on behalf of the victims, or are you saying this is not true ?

    • 1) I don’t think the CBD functions as a Beis Din in that way. There is no financial claims, as far as I’m aware. They function to remove dangers to the rabim.

      2) See #1

      3) My understanding is that there were financial issues, such as the return of deposits that were best solved in Israel. These issues required a “regular” beis din in the financial context.

      4) This point requires explanation. I will endeavor to explain this point when Rabbi Cohen returns to Chicago.

    • 1. It is clear that the victims authorized the CBD to act on their behalf and that they still feel that way.

      2. Not clear

      3. I assume the problem was one of jurisdiction. Chicago could issue psak re whether Meisels could be trusted, what restrictions should be imposed on him, and whether students should attend any place he controlled or that still included problematic staff. What they could not do was operate on the nitty gritty of finances as well as staff investigation in Israel. With this group assembled they may have been hoping it would succeed in bring Meisels and others in line, especially once they added the stick of ruling against attending. Even so, carefully notice the use of the passive verb “assumed.” If they wanted to, they would have written “we have assigned,” “we have delegated” or “we have transferred” the case. I am guessing they were hedging and hoping. Naturally, those hopes were dashed when the 3IRs responded by repudiating the ruling of Chicago and insisting there was no reason the keep students away from the seminaries.

      4. i am not aware of any CBD member going to Israel to witness the June 19th signing by Rabbi Feldman. On what basis do you say a member was there for the signing?

        • I have spoken to victims and they are very clear that they authorized Chicago to act, they stay in regular contact with Chicago, and they feel that Chicago is truly acting on their behalf. Now I suppose you are going to say, “give me their names so I can confirm it.” Meisels, Kahane and others have been orchestrating a nasty campaign of harassing victims and other witnesses cooperating with the Chicago Beis Din.

        • If i see someone murdering people I don’t need to get the victims’ authorization to announce publicly that he is dangerous. To claim exclusive control of a din torah i do. I don’t understand why this point is so hard to get across.

      • YL Wrote: “i am not aware of any CBD member going to Israel to witness the June 19th signing by Rabbi Feldman. On what basis do you say a member was there for the signing?”

        DT has been saying this for awhile.

        This is a copy and paste from DT’s counter post to this one. : “Lopin fails to mention in his screed that the CBD sent one of their dayanim Rav Zev Cohen together with askan R Gottesman (from Torah U’Mesorah and the CBD) together with Rav Aharon Feldman to initiate this beis din for the express purpose of dealing with the Scandal. There is a detailed Shtar Berurin which I have published – that was witnessed by the above -which authorized the IBD to deal with the matter.”

          • Agreed that R. Cohen didn’t sign the Shtar Berurin, or any other member of the CBD. But that still doesn’t answer the original question, of why was Rabbi Cohen there at the signing of the Shtar Berurin if the CBD did not agree to their appointment?

            Also, how could R. Feldman have been mislead by R.Malinowitz if R.Cohen accompanied him (R. Feldman) to Israel and witnessed the signing of the Shtar Berurin?

            • You and others keep stating Cohen’s presence as a fact but you have not established it in any way. Let me ask you why R. Feldman never raised R. Cohen’s supposed presence in any of his correspondence where he accused Malinowitz of lying about contacting R. Cohen and when he described a Beis Din where RAF acknowledged there was nobody there authorized to represent victims. You are beginning to sound like a Kennedy assasination conspiracy theorist who keeps saying “why dont you explain the second shooter?”

              I don’t have to explain his presence when I have no proof he was there. you shouldn’t be making the argument without prefacing it with proof. What is your proof? The existing documents leaked by RDE do not even claim it.

  3. The picture of the gavel covered in corporate icons is superb. And, of course, very appropriate for the situation of the 3IR.

  4. I want to post a useful/ informative comment…but all I gotta say at this point is-

    Oy

    How did this become such a big mess? How? And for no reason at all. The guy is guilty. Done. Let him get jail time/ live a miserable life from here on in being labeled as a predator.

    Why why why are we focusing so much on the CBD vs IBD. It is getting ppl’s eye off the ball.

    We found the predator. The teachers won’t open their mouths. Too bad. Their reps are ruined guaranteed. The schools are closing anyway. Done.

    If we want to see REAL progress in anything, then the CBD and IBD need to have their official meeting togther and call students with testimonies and actually FIRE ppl.

    Ok sry- late at night. Mind wondering. Just venting.

  5. Ok!!

    Lol now I have something VERY important to say!

    The CBD came to their conclusion in May time? That was when they wrote the letter that Meisles couldn’t be in touch with anyone thru txt/phone/email etc?

    Well, it’s a good thing they went public abt the allegations bc I just remembered that I had emailed meisles in late May (abt something professional, a question) and we had a few emails back and forth.

    Alright, Kahane, I wanna see you back up ur statement of “he will nvr be in contact with anyone ever again”, bc apparently (even after he was found guilty) he was emailing students.

    • This isn’t something you should be putting out in the public sphere. If he in fact had contact with students after some type of agreement was reached to the contrary, that is important enough to be given to CBD. Please don’t ask for trouble by publicizing it.

      • What trouble am I making?

        Be clear.and it happens to be important that I tell ppl, so no one assumes a that Kahane is correct when he says that Meisles’ email will be watched and supervised.

        • Truth,

          I’m just concerned for you. Remember, look around: the other side has kicked into full gear. Eidenson is in full attack mode, and word has it that victims and their families are now getting harassed. Numerous commenters everywhere are saying that your former sem head gave an improper hug to one troubled girl, and for that he was thrown to the wolves. CBD is being thrown under the bus as a bunch of corrupt, senile fools.

          Welcome to the world of chareidi cover ups. If you have damning info against this evil man, give it to the people who can handle it appropriately. These are evil people. והמבין יבין.

          • Wow. Wow. Wow.

            I have heard the very same things about victims and their families being harassed and attack via text messages, email and phone calls.

            I have also seen, particularly on the DT blog, the constant minimization of the accusations. I really wish this didn’t get buried here in the middle of a ton of posts. It really speaks to the evil of Meisels and his Meisels Weasels supporters.

            Yerachmiel Lopin, if you’re out there, can you please consider the creation of a new post on this topic?

            • I can’t do everything. Maybe you should draft a guest post or a guest post proposal and send it to me by private email. You write well and clearly. I would be receptive to considering such a post.

            • Do you seriously need a separate newsbreaking post about the harassment and attacking of victims and their families? Just go back and read the archives of the Yosef Kolko case in Lakewood, and see how an entire family of an ehrlich and respected talmid chochom was run out of town from the harassment and attacks, because they had a son who was a sexual abuse victim. That has thus far been THE method of dealing with sexual abuse in the frum world – silence the victim by any and all means possible – including but not limited to public harassment and public attacks of the victims themselves, of their immediate and extended families, and abundant lies in the furtherance of discrediting of victims, witnesses and their supporters. Is it any wonder that Meisels and his crew of friends and business associates will now be using this method of attacking and harassing the victims, their families, and their supporters? This would hardly be news. Water is wet. What IS news is that a Beis Din is standing up for what is right and just and that the Chicago Special Beis Din, after exhausting all other means of removing a sexual predator, has publically come out against the attacker, and is standing up to protect the victims. THAT is newsworthy. That a businessman who used his yichus, respect and power to take advantage of weak members of society to fuel his own sexual desires, and knowingly ruined their lives, is now scrambling to protect his assets – even by destroying his accusers – is not in the least bit surprising or shocking. At least not to those of us who have been reading this blog and other sexual abuse blogs for the past 5 years and have seen what the frum world does to victims and their families.

      • “Please don’t ask for trouble by publicizing it”. What, Daniel, pray tell, is your point? Are you afraid that some truth may come out, or is “not asking for trouble” a couched threat??? Please explicate more fully so we may understand your kavanah, Thank you.

  6. “The CBD under its formal name, the “Special Beis Din” specialized in abuse for 14 years… It investigated sex abuse allegations against Meisels at length, secured the services of investigators, authenticated electronic messages, heard testimony from victims and the accused, and delivered its conclusions”

    I don’t understand. If there was sexual abuse, doesn’t the victim go directly to the police? Why should there be a “special beis din?” Isn’t it Chicago’s shita (and that of the practical halacha) that people go directly to the police?

    • First and foremost, the victims need to be willing to file a formal complaint and eventually testify in court. This case is tricky because the girls were all legal adults and it will be argued that whatever sexual contact was had was consensual. And technically, much of it may have been (if you consider 18-yr-old girls who are seduced by their principal while far away from their families to be capable of consent; Israeli law does not). Yes, I wish the victims would have filed complaints but you can’t really blame them for not doing so. So a “special beis din” that properly handles these cases with lots of professional input would be the next best thing.

    • YL- you should make a little thing to click on the home page of your site with the top 10 faq. questions like this have been asked and answered probably 10 times already

  7. You are 100% right. In fact, the CBD wrote in their first letter that “a distinguished ad-hoc group of three Israeli Rabbis consisting of Rabbis Menachem Mendel Shafran, Chaim Malinowitz, and Tzvi Gartner has assumed for this matter.” Wait, scratch that, the CBD called them “a distinguished Israeli Beis Din.”

    • No good deed (of politeness) goes unpunished! Nevertheless the 3IRs “assumed” way too much. Chicago did not delegate away its power to rule parents should not send their children there. That is clear because the phrase you quote was part of the very psak saying, don’t go there!

  8. your site is just another place to bash people who you have a “mission” against ,you don’t post the letters people write against what you say(i mean you do post a few so you can show you have an “honest blog”) many posts are blocked, and you post any shtus that agrees with your mission. so what do we expect from you Now that the Daas Torah blog who is visited as much as yours is showing the public that what you are saying is not correct ,so now your next step is to say that the Israel Bais Din is fake so all the עמי הארץ can say that Eretz Yisroel Rabbonim are courupt? shame on you.

    • I guess I know which side you are on.

      I believe I have much more traffic, but that is irrelevant to the question of who is right. I will make my case and leave it to the public to decide.

      Just FYI, I have repeatedly pointed out that the IBD/3IRs have no jurisdiction. It is not a new argument for me. I just noticed many people were missing the point so I devoted a whole post to just this one issue.

      Some of my supporters can also tell you I regularly delete comments for a variety of reasons including: being off topic; simply repeating what was already said thus not advancing the back and forth; using vulgar insulting language; or being incoherent hodgepodges. Read my commenting guidelines and abide by them and your comments will be approved when I moderate. That is more than I can say for the daas torah blog of RDE.

      • “I have repeatedly pointed out that the IBD/3IRs have no jurisdiction. It is not a new argument for me.”

        Indeed. I can confirm that.

    • I for one can say that YL does not block posts against him. I don’t think he blocked anything i wrote yet (That’s more than i can say of r eidensohn) even though i have been accused of trolling and being deviously dishonest and astoundingly chutzpadik. Case and point he let your comment through. Now if you have something to add to the discussion such as a new argument against YL (and i’d like to hear it- i DO NOT agree with everything he says) or proof of him blocking comments please share. Otherwise, hurling baseless accusations adds nothing to the discussion and wastes everyone’s time including your own.

  9. What role did Rav Gedaliah Schwartz have? I never see any mention of him? Is he involve in this case? Or is he just a figure head?

    • He is Av Beis Din (head of the court) and presided over the case. He is an extraordinary dayan who served as Av Beis Din for the Chicago Rabbinical Council and the Av Beit Din of the Rabbinical Council of America. He is modern orthodox (YU ordination and a college degree, etc). The parents who need to make decisions about where to send their daughters to seminary are almost all non Hassidic but ultra-orthodox whose daughters attended Bais Yakov style high schools. In the Haredi world, you need to rely on a haredi rabbi. So most of the parents have been privately contacting the Haredi rabbis, Feurst and Cohen.

      I am sure that if the case involved modern orthodox parents, Schwartz would be getting the calls and Feurst and Cohen would be getting less attention. The beauty of the Special Beis Din in Chicago is that both wings are working jointly. This is very important because some of their cases involved religious school teachers who were banned from work as teachers. Since such teachers often work in both types of schools, the ban could only be effective if both wings agreed to accept the ruling of the court.

  10. Congratulations, the author of the “daas torah” blog is zerpringing like Rumpelstielzchen (thereby showing his true caracter)!!!

    • Eidensohn is the last person on earth to give mussar. Him and brother have constantly spoke against gedolim and recognized batei dinim. Not to mention, they both proudly claim the one beis din nobody trusts, aka the berdishiva beis din in monsey ,is the only beis din that follows shulchan aruch. His blog that leaks private and confidential information to the public, which is clearly assur, has become the mouthpiece of the rumours and innuendos. He either made them up, or worse, had them leaked to him. The fact that he supports the other BD , is enough for me realize the CBD is correct here, and he has lost not only credibility in this case, but in all the case he writes about.

  11. I think at this point the whole topic is pointless. Meisals will never have contact w/ girls again thanks to the publicity. Whoever decided to go to the seminaries wont change there minds at this point. Those who aren’t sending may or may not get the deposits back, depending on the lawsuit. How about letting e/o involved heal. This whole enviorment were every person under the sun who has no connection to the story has an opinion is really not conducive. I dont know if e/o is aware that the stoking of the fires is creating a socail dynamic were the alumni is grilled by multiple persons who are just fishing for details(ive heard this from alot of alumni). Can u imagine what the victims have to go through when busybodies go “oh u went 2 a meisals school what do u have to say…” ? Those who lost money i feel bad, but what is the point of the almost daily posts about the BD. I really dont think it helps anyone-whoever is going is going, whoever isnt isnt. The only ones who are being affected by all this posting are the alumni and victims.

    • Have you said the same to Rabbi Eidensohn who is pumping out like mad? If so I am interesting in hearing your reply.

      The issue is not moot. We have to move from waiting until a pervert is caught to understanding that the problem is not just one rotten apple. The seminaries in question have many enablers who let this happen. How do we prevent this from happening again. The solution is not shah shtil. The solution if figuring out how t hold staff acountable for protecting their students and establishing student safety policies.

  12. In terms of tachlis – Rosh Chodesh Elul is ten days away. The seminary issue has to be resolved ASAP. Will the four seminaries open? If they do not open – do the families get refunds? Do other seminaries accept the girls?
    This has been public for over a month – has anything been accomplished in terms of what happens to the girls enrolled in these seminaries?

    • Unfortunately the 3IRs have obstructed a resolution. In my opinion the only wise choice is to either find another seminary or develop other plans. In either case I would urge them to seek a refund and if they don’t get it to join the lawsuit which I believe will succeed though it may take some time.

    • That is the mystery of mysteries concealed in chambers inside chambers. Maybe the Israeli blog site, Chadrei Chareidim will tell us. I am investigating the matter and have some leads but no confirmation. However it was assembled, it is clearly aligned with the interests of those in the seminaries who do not want to admit enabling. I suspect the key actors are Malinowitz and Kahane. But that is speculation based on conspicuous dishonest maneuvering.

  13. some confusion on this site. the lawsuit is filed by six people who want their deposit back. They have never been in a pninim school.
    girls who have been there may have another law suit, which I don’t know about- their sad storiies are referenced as proof that the schools are not real schools and therefore the new enrollees to the schools want to unenroll– but these 6 have no damages from meisels per se, as they haven’t been there. damaged by not having a school to go to, but not physical or sexual damage. You need to separate this to understand what is going on.
    In the meantime, some of the schools are holding strong. the ones with no evidence of M. having been there or done anything. they seem like they will be opening. but I can’t be sure

    • Actually the suspicion is spreading to Chedvas under Meir Kahane. MK has never been accused of any sexual abuse, nor am I implying that I suspect him of that. However, he has been implicated in covering up abuse. He spent many years first in Pninim, Meisels home base and he continued his cover up activities in other roles. He has also been orchestrating the loshon horah campaign while also using it to hush up allegations about Meisels. He is also a raving lunatic. Finally, there seems to be a key network of Aish Hatorah types in the key network including Kahane himself who is again slated to do an Aish “Discovery seminar,” Meisels who co-authored the Kiruv Files book, Zev Leff who taught at Pninim & Chedvas and is both a close buddy of Meisels and is prominently listed by Eidensohn for endorsing his books, and others. Chedvas and Pninim were also the Meisel’s seminaries infused with the Aish style charismatically led, hashkafah focused curriculum. In fact Meisels and Kahane regularly steered first year Pninim students into a second year in Chedvas which supposed trained students for kiruv work.

      At this point, with Meisels’ reputation beyond salvage, the focus is on saving Chedvas. Hence the maniacal letter by Meir Kahane. I hear he is still orchestrating students and blog comments. In fact I would not be surprised if he himself is one of the more annoying commenters whose questions are a never-ending attempt to confuse the discussion.

  14. Actually i tried posting the same on dt. And just 2 get facts straight the staff who the cbd felt enabled were not in chedvas- i have this info from a close friend who spoke to rav fuerst. I still feel that at this point u and dt are doing more harm than good by adding fuel 2 the fire and making the story into a “hock”

    • Yet Rabbi Kahane has gone off the rails in his zeal to cover up abuse as discussed in my post, Kahane’s Folly, and in the comments below it. I sometimes wonder if Kahane is who the IBD is really trying to rescue and rehabilitate.

    • I agree with you that some things on the 2 blogs are/were not need and indeed fueled a larger fire. Whoever, FF has provided much factual and helpful info. The only concern is to keep I that way.

      As for DT- he rarely has any real proof on his blog for any of his arguments. That is an objective statement.

      This whole case has become a mess.

  15. Apologies if this has been mentioned and I have missed it.

    While one has a reasonable continuing concern for safety there are zero halachic mechanisms by which one can relieve oneself of one’s personal obligation to act to ameliorate danger.

  16. Take that up w/ rav fuerst. Im assuming that he was a little naive and oblivious and believed meisals, hence the letter which is dated at the begining of the scandal. I have names of staff who actually knew, rabbi kahane was not one of them.

    • “Enough”, I’m not saying you are not correct that there were teachers who knew about the actual physical acts, but just make sure you’re sources are reliable and 100% certain.

      • TS, you, for sure, puzzle me. While, one one hand, you seem to be certain re various malfeasances of M, nevertheless, you have cautioned several, and this is not the first time, to be 100% certain re events. Why pray tell, does this issue concern you so much,. you are positive re behavior of M. You know of various cases. Of those commenting, it certainly does not sound as if any of them are going to press charges, so why. pray tell, do you frequently write “just make sure you’re (sic) sources are reliable and 100% certain”. Kindly explicate. thank you.

        • Sure no prob.

          Listen (and this goes for anyone reading my posts), I do NOT like it when ppl spit out comments which maybe aren’t facts. Of course I believe Meisles is guilty! I believed it from the first second and am only here to expand ppls knowledge of what he was like in seminary.

          That being said, in a case as serious as sexual abuse, I believe everyone needs to take personal responsibility and make sure all their facts are 100% true with reliable sources (hence, why I have called ppl straight from the CBD/IBD. I hate “rumors” of any sort.)

          Ok sorry if this didn’t answer your question. Let me know and I’ll try to explain lol

  17. this has to stop. I fully agree with the stand of the CBD, but our way is not to disparage and resort to name calling. can’t we please raise the level of the conversation. hilchos lashon hara can’t be simply ignored. while there is releasing people knowing what’s going on, as public pressure brings results, lines are being crossed on both sides of the blogosphere which can’t be justified

    • Blogs like FF are accomplishing a tremendous public service.
      You feel like this has to stop? I have a solution for you – don’t log on and read the posts & most certainly do not add your two cents.

    • You are so very sensitive. Please, I entreat you, and agree with Penelope, just do not log on to this site. If you think it is Chillul Hashem, take it up with your Rabbi and the Israeli supreme court, rabbinical et al, thank you. that would be hyper productive, and you could get off of this apikorus site, where you, obviously, feel pain.

    • “Reder”- I know your comment was only meant for best interest. Thank you very much for the reminder if how important shmiras ha’lashon is (we need those reminders everyone!).

      But I must agree with PP and Chashdan- FF is doing much more tremendous good than bad and is very much needed at this time.

  18. There is a big tachlis. The actions of the IBD do not allow parents that are still concerned to go to seminary. We can’t get refunds. We don’t trust going to these schools. There are no college credits if we would trust them. The implication of the psak is reason that many other seminaries won’t allow us to go there, even if we had extra money. The psak should’ve been (according to their thinking) that the seminaries are safe, but whoever wants to could get a refund and leave.

    • Thank you. You have returned us to the real issue: the freedom of parents to accept the Chicago psak and act on it both by getting refunds and by being able to find other slots for their daughters.

      • Agreed, Meir thank you for this post. I believe you said you were a parent yourself of a future student at a Meisles’ school. You put your situation (and that of many others in your situation) into perspective.

  19. Out of curiosity were any of the 3 Rabbis in Israel on the 2003 Beit Din that refused to hear any allegation against Rabbi Matis Weinberg that was older than two years. My recollection was that Rabbi Moshe Shternbuch was the main Dayan. I can’t recall who the other 2 were.

  20. Any Beis Din that doesn’t have Halacha as it’s guideline, is not a BD. One of the biggest problem with Batei Din today is transparency. I suggest that all Batei Din publish all their Teshuvos. Of course the names of the victims should be blocked out.

    I haven’t seen the evidence, but from the little I know of Halacha, Women aren’t believed, unless we are talking about Agunah, which we aren’t.

    Therefore, I have no clue where this special beis din is getting their halachic right to do anything from. Forcing sales, Psak Din on the word of a girl, seems rediculous to me. I am not a Posek though.

    I believe that those who know that this guy has molested/raped/seduced them have an obligation to tell everyone who would possibly go to that seminary, that they are at risk. They and only they have an obligation to tell those who can be badly affected by this man/men. This would be “lo Saamod al dam reacha”. The same would apply to children who were molested. Let them broadcast it!! Let people make their own decisions. Beis Din cannot move from Halacha, or else why have a BD altogether.

    • See Shoel Umeishiv on the acceptability of underage witnesses in blocking individuals from public roles because of alleged sexual misconduct.

      Also see Rabbi Yosef Blau’s synopis:

      In this response [the Shoel Umeishiv] accepted the testimony of two young adults, describing what had been done to them when they were under thirteen which was not said in front of the accused. He also rejected the relevance of a cheskas kashrus (the presumption that a Jew is kosher) since there is no right to be able to become a teacher of children. Discussing the possibility of a sincere teshuva (repentance) he pointed out that if a person denies guilt there can be no teshuva.

      With the notable and largely rejected psak of the late Menasha Klein (hakatan), other contemporary poskim do believe in using minors and women as witnesses to sexual abuse in ruling about evicting people from public roles and in supporting actions which can put offenders in prison for the rest of their life.

      x

      • So here is the question,

        If a witness can be a child, then why do we ever need adults ? Doesn’t the Halacha always talk about the witnesses having brought two saarot ? Adult ?

        The answer is that these “psakei din” are not based on “regular Halacha”!! BD may do what it takes to protect the community in extenuating circumstances! In cases where “regular” doesn’t apply, BD can use our own judgement !

        In my opinion, this ability of BD, cannot, and should not be used in a wholesale manner. It cannot be learned from one case to another, and can only be used in truly “extenuating circumstances”. To allow witnesses who are women or children in a wholesale manner, is the destruction of Halacha, and the destruction of BD.

        Nowadays, we have seen BD, who could care less about hazmanos. They have written psakei din even without being mazmin a nitva. We have even had a BD where the nitva didn’t exist. He was the FBI. That didn’t stop them from writing a psak din to beat “him” up, for the great mitzva (extenuating circumstances) to force a get. We are seeing all kinds of corruption, and blatant disregard of Halacha. It is time for us to get back to the basics!! It’s time for real Dayanim, who pasken real Halacha. We need Dayanim who aren’t about the ends justifying the means. We need real Din!!!!

        • I agree with a lot of what you say. However you are discussing testimony by abuse victims such as women and children as a special thing only to be done rarely. It is there for any time when otherwise it would not be possible to have witnesses. Zimris are rare. Almost all sex abuse occurs in private and usually with only one potential witness who is often a katan or a female. It is precisely those who want rabbinical courts to take on this problem who should be pleased that halacha has not unilaterally disarmed itself in face of this problem.

          In effect you say, this rule should be used rarely. That might be true if abuse was rare. But it isn’t.

          • I don’t think there is another halachic way, in this case. You can put up a pulpit, and have the girls or ketanim say their story. You can invite everyone who is a possible future victim to hear them. Perhaps at the next “internet asifa” or siyum hashas. It is still only a katan or isha. There is still no neemanus.

            You can try to ascertain that it’s happening with witnesses, while the abuse is going on. You can try to videotape it. Audiotape conversations. There are many creative ways to “out” abusers. Making up new Halacha, doesn’t need to be one of them.

  21. I do have a lot of respect for all the talmidei chachamim involved. I am not disparaging any of them. All that I post is just asking for explanation.

  22. What did you do to Chaim Malinowitz to get the Eidenson Boys so upset at you?

    On the bright side, his attacks on you and the RBD (Real Bais Din) have exposed the two of them as muck raking nobody’s who show no signs of respect for anyone who disagrees with their ridiculous opinions.

  23. Well, it was only a matter of time befoe Ei-da-only-daas-in-town-son and his equally oddball brother took the final step off the deep end.

    He has now compared the hunt for sex abusers in chinuch to Joe McCarthy’s witch hunt for communists hiding under every bed and in every closet in Washington and Hollywood.

    Rod Sterling, please report for duty.

  24. Just for the record I think YL has done a tremendous service in reporting the facts. I just think that at this point everybody is going overboard in making baseless accusations, and just posting to no end just for the sake of keeping the fire going. I agree that dt is the main problem, but I can’t post there.

    About Rabbi Kahane: I cannot know his motives. But as a student I knew him as a teacher who was not afraid to stand up for what he thought was right. And he is also one of the most honest and blunt people I know who is able to accept criticism if it is presented in an honest, logical way. He also believes that people are sincere and want to do the right thing. I therefore find it hard to believe that he covered up for Meisals. I think it is much more probable that although he was aware of flirting and behavior innapropriate for a Rabbi, he was not aware of what was actually going on. I do think based on things I have heard and have not been able to verify 100% yet that there were other staff members who turned a blind I to what was going on. I think Rabbi Kahane’s stupid L”H campaign was to save there reputations on his “cheshbon”. This is all speculation based on my knowledge of the people innvolved. I will add that I was never not of the girls who never question Rabbi Kahane because he is “thier” Rabbi. I just don’t think he’s the monster your making him into.

    • If your assessment of MK is correct, he is not fit to be in charge of anything. He’d have to be incredibly naive or downright stupid to see EM flirting with teenage girls and be comfortable that there was nothing else going on, comfortable to the point of not investigating further.

      The defense you offer for MK boils down to
      I see nothing, I hear nothing…..

      Do you really want to leave your daughters in the care of Sergeant Schultz?

      • “Enough” and other recent alumni are very young, and had built much of their identity and developed much of their hashkafos based on these teachers, rabbanim, figureheads – Kahane and Meisels. These were the royalty of their schools. Everyone respected them. They were the principals. It is very difficult for these young girls/women to now see their previous figureheads and those who informed so much of their yiddishkeit and growth, as enablers or predators. Indeed, it is difficult for anyone who knows someone well and admires them, to accept that they have a dark side to them which has hurt others. Relatives, friends, they will so often say, “Him? No, it couldn’t be.” How much more so their students, those who LOOKED UP TO them. The combination of the naïveté of youth and the downfall and guilt of their heroes, is extremely difficult for these young women.

        Additionally, the alumni are not the ones who are making decisions about sending their daughters to the care of these irresponsible (at best) and enabling (at worst) mechanchim. It is the generation above them that are making these decisions. The alumni are (appropriately) in the stages of disbelief, denial, shock, and finding a place in their world view to put all this new information which is breaking apart those they looked up to for knowledge, guidance, religious direction, and even upon whose advice or trust they made life choices.

    • As an alumni myself, u have portrayed a very very accurate description of what Rabbi Kahane is like. Wants to so the right thing, sincerely believes in the good in others, honest and blunt etc. I will not lie and say I have witnessed him do extremely foolish things and things I did not respect. He also has a reputation of being “extreme and critical and giving the guilt-trip” to others.

      In any case, I do not in the slightest believe kahane is a monster. But “Enough”, I wish I could have recorded the phone call I had with him when the scandal first broke out. He was APPALLING. Straight out covering up for a sex offender. He will tell ppl not but I KNOW what he said to me on the phone.

      He said things like, “it’s Loshon hara! If you knew a peice of meat might be treif, would u ever wat it from doubt? Of course not, so don’t speak abt it bc there’s a probability that it’s l”h!”

      Also he said- “listen, we all do aveiros. And we don’t want them exposed to the world. Why do we need to expose his aveiros and make him embarassed??”

      That was only the beginning. I kid you NOT. Those were the things he said to me. Apart from him claiming I won’t get a shidduch if I talk abt it.

      Anyone can believe me or not on this blog. I know fully well what kahane said to me on the phone. He is trying to save his name now and he is LYING to ppl and saying “I nvr meant that ppl shouldn’t talk abt abuse. Of course u should talk abt it if he’s a Rodeif. Everyone is mixing up my words.” But then the next day he will tell me that it is assur to talk about. He should be utterly embarassed at his dishonest and atrocious behavior.

  25. Listen truth seeker, u may be telling the truth, and i am not minamizing the pain what he said caused you (hes been very harsh w/ me too) but did you ever consider that at that point of the scandal he believed it was a one time slip up w/ a girl? Knowing rabbi kahane as some as someone who can be exteremely blunt, and definatley play the guilt trip, BUT also the most honest person i’ve met, could it be that he at the time did not believe that there was a pattern of abuse? Considering how oblivious rabbi kahane s/t is, and how charasmatic meisals was, could it be that at that point he was not aware of the extant of what was going on? Yl can u give ts my email i have more to say but it innvolves details only helpful to alumni.

    • The thing is, he made his feelings public. Isn’t it reasonable for him to make a public apology that he was wrong, rather than to let people judge him by his original email?

      I have heard from sources close to CBD that the victims are in the DOZENS. This was no mere slip-up. I imagine that Meisels will go down in history as a prolific abuser of his authority, and as someone who took advantage of many.

    • In my experience, manipulative guilt tripping is a form of dishonest control. moreover, I have seen other manipulative guilt trippers insist they are just being honest. But when that does not work, will resort to dishonesty because they cannot bear to lose control. Obviously, this will be especially true when their whole job and seminary is at risk. Chedvas Bais Yaakov took him years to build up to where it is. If it closes in scandal he may never succeed in getting such a role again. He has an awful lot at stake.

      Otherwise ethical people can go nuts when too much is at stake. I have seen that happen over house purchases and sales and over divorces, over job firings, and over failed business partnerships. This situation has too much at stake for even an otherwise truthful person to stay that way. His manipulation of L”H suggests that he is desparately flailing to ward off impending disaster for his dream, which he may genuinely believe does enormous good.

    • “Enough”, you can def email me and I’d be happy to discuss :). YL, pls don’t give out my email adress. Rather give me hers instead

      Just a few things tho- this is not about my feelings being hurt. I’m quite the tough cookie. Logical and blunt myself. But I’m not even telling you the befining of what kahane said to me. He is straight out lying to ppl to save his name.
      Also, I never ever ever accused him of knowing the sexual acts. In fact, Enough, I said in a recent post that I don’t think he knew, although he did knew of other things FOR SURE.

      Hope that clears things up. Would be glad to email if u want to discuss more in-detail subjects.

    • “Enough” – Did you ever consider that at the point at which the scandal broke, Kahane, who was the principal of a school full of girls he was supposed to be responsible for, would have made a phone call to the Chicago Beis Din which wrote the psak not to send the girls to the seminary, in order to find out if it was either “a one time slip up with one girl” or a pervasive issue with multiple victims?

      I know it’s hard to believe that your respected teacher and rov is being accused of protecting a sexual predator. But as Yerachmiel wrote, good people sometimes do uncharacteristic things when their jobs are threatened. Kahane’s whole career was and is on the line. He may be so afraid of the loss of his career that he may choose to put his job and career before protecting the girls in his school, even if he is normally an honest person.

      The idea that someone is a monster in EVERY aspect of their life is ludicrous when thought about in a mature way. Even Hitler and Eichmann, 2 of the biggest monsters of the past century, had people they loved and were kind to. They had friends, relatives, a community, children, parents, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, friends – lots of people who loved them and who they loved. Lots of people they cared for who thought they “knew them well.” And they did know them well. They knew the good side of them. But they didn’t know, or didn’t want to see, the dark side of them. We all have a dark side to us. It’s otherwise known as our “Yetzer Hara.” For some of us that Yetzer Hara is harmful to ourselves – in it’s extreme it takes the form of addiction and self-abuse of all sorts. And for others that Yetzer Hara is harmful to others – in it’s extreme it takes the form of sexual abusers, molesters, physical abusers, thieves, sadists, etc. Nobody is ALL Yetzer Hara ALL the time. Only in the movies and in children’s books is their an evil genius with a mean and ugly face, who sits there 24/7 doing nothing else with his life other than wringing his hands in delight at the thought of his plan to destroy others. NOBODY is like that. That’s not a human – it’s a cartoon, a caricature.

      Even though someone does have a long list of good things they did with their lives, if they do things that are particularly harmful to others, it could be the way in which the world defines and thinks of them. So a loving and wonderful father of 6 children, who provided well for his kids, was always honest in his work, learned Daf Yomi daily, gave a lot of tzedakah, did a lot of community chesed, was generous, treated his wife nicely, helped his parents and had lots of guests at his Shabbos table – if he is found guilty of sexually assaulting children – he needs to be put in jail and removed from society. Is he a monster? Yes and no. He is a monster to each of the children he sexually assaulted. Their lives are ruined forever, and some of them will commit suicide. Is he ONLY a monster? No, of course not. He did a lot of good things with his life. But his monstrous actions will likely be his defining public identity because he hurt others so badly. His siblings and children will always love him, his parents will always remember all the good that he did. THAT is the reality of every human being.

      We all have Yetzer Haras. The monster’s Yetzer Haras may be particularly challenging, and if they are identified as “a monster” then they did not overcome their yetzer haras. To the person whose life “the monster” helped for the better – they will always remember him for good, as they should. But to those who the person sexually abused, they will forever struggle with the evil acts that were done to them by the monster. It’s never black and white. Only in the movies, books and cartoons is it black and white. The real world is very grey. But we need to protect society from those who inflict extreme hurt on others, even if they also do a lot of good things. And we need to label them “Sexual Predators” or “Enablers of Sexual Predators” in order to protect society from the extreme hurt that they have done and will inflict on others. But their children will still call them “Totty” and their friends and others who love and care about them will always have fond memories of them. Both realities exist at the same time.

      • Seriously brought up a point I missed.

        Kahane refused to call the CBD. On top of that, he refuses to sympathize with the victims.

        Honestly, I hear chedvas has quite a good number of students who are atill coming. Even tho the school will be gone the following ur for sure, I must say, the parents should be ashamed.

        I’d be disgusted knowing kahane, the sex offender protector, is teaching my kids. Shame on those parents. I don’t care how much $ u paid. Get some moral values.

        • Agreed. I just don’t understand these parents.

          Then again, you know what Mark Twain said, “Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt.”

  26. I haven’t read all the comments here but from what I can see, Rabbonim are just the false prophets from days of old who would justify and wash over the deeds of bad people makingeverything look good whilst allowing bad to continue.

    • The difference is, the false prophets from the days of old did not create and determine and guide all of Frumkeit in those days. They were not the keepers or determiners of Halachah, were not in control of Klal Yisrael, nor were they the leaders of Klal Yisrael.

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