The 3 Israeli Rabbis (3IRs) of the Israeli Beis Din (IBD) have now changed the rules to duck the criticism that they stacked their earlier sessions. At one of those sessions they exonerated all the staff in the Meisels seminaries of any complicity in his sexual abuse of students. Yet they accepted Chicago’s finding that Meisels was guilty of multiple instances of “unwanted physical contact of a sexual nature.” Like Yankie Yarmush, the asbestos abatement businessman, they were trying to enclose and contain the damage.
They were hell-bent on protecting the good name of the seminaries so they interrogated the alleged culprits without any testimony of victims or others. Instead they relied on a guardian/representative (apitropos), Rabbi Aharon Feldman (RAF), even though no one has ever offered written proof that any witnesses delegated him. RAF, by his own admission, never spoke to any complaining students from the seminaries. RAF was even excused from attending a good part of the session. Back then they had no trouble relying on loosey-goosey procedures for “representing” witnesses.
Thanks to all the leaks, especially by Rabbi Daniel Eidensohn, their bizarre misconduct has been exposed. The IBD is now sending a totally different message to potential witnesses. We will hear you if you show up in Israel. No agents, no phone calls, no letters, no signed affidavits, no submitted videos, no Skype, no independent investigators, no preliminary work. Nothing will satisfy us unless you shlep to Israel on our terms to face a line-up of three hostile dayanim (judges) and the multiple toanim (jewish law representatives) chosen by each of the accused. This is the ultimate set-up.
All the judges are already on the defensive trying to rationalize their pronouncements that the seminaries were and are great (apart from Meisels who is now supposedly out of the picture). This is the court that never officially conceded the right of parents to get refunds if they choose to follow the Chicago Beis Din (CBD) ruling advising parents against attending. This is the Beis Din that tried to turn the incoming students into hostages by ruling that no other seminary could recruit these students. This Beis Din includes Rabbi Malinowitz. According to RAF, Malinowitz lied when he claimed he sought information about student complaints from Rabbi Cohen of the CBD. One of the likely toanim is Shmuel Fried, the toen from hell. He is one of the highest paid in the business. Other toanim are considered more learned, but he is the maven at scheming and terrorizing opponents. Fried’s daughter Mrs. Hindy Ullman, who was formerly a teacher of chasidus under Meir Kahane at Chedvas is one of those listed as a defendant on the agreement signed to form the Beis Din. And then there is Meir Kahane, he of the crazy letter exhorting his alumni to bring moshiach by deterring people from talking about the Meisels allegations. Kahane has never withdrawn that letter and for all we know, he is still peddling his snake oil. What all these defendants share is a desperate need to not have any of them found guilty of complicity. In previous sessions they denied anything happened. So now it is too late for them to admit some error and apologize. They have to stick to their earlier version or be exposed as liars.
This is a clever Beis Din. They think their new ploy is a win-win. One possibility is that no one shows up and they say, “This proves there are no valid accusations of staff complicity.” The other possibility is that someone shows up, they make mincemeat of her and declare, “The so-called witness was not reliable or believable.”
Shame on these smart men and their mouthpieces for appearing to offer justice while scheming to whitewash. Yes they can offer a halachic rationale for this new approach, just as they once rationalized judgement with no complainant and with an agent not appointed by them.
One can be a naval bireshus hatorah, a lowlife within the formal boundaries of Jewish law. They said in Lita (Lithuania), iirc, “a galach (priest) can be frum (observant of ritual); a Yid should be erlich (upright).” This new offer is not erlich.