With the help of Heaven
Tuesday, Parshas Behaalosecha (Naso in the Diaspora), 8 Sivan, 5776 [6/14/16]
- Rabbi Menachem Mendel HaKohen Shafran, Bnei Brak [Israel]
- Rabbi Gershon ben R’ Avraham Yehudah HaLevi Bess, California
- Rabbi Chaim Zev HaLevi Malinowitz, Jerusalem & Beit Shemesh
RE: Meir Pogrow ID: xxxxxxxx
After many rabbis and activists approached us about the devious behavior of the aforementioned [Meir Pogrow] over the course of years, and after we heard his version, and after we clarified what we clarified, we are issuing the following ruling.
1.It is forbidden for Meir Pogrow to have any dealings with women by any method; directly or indirectly, by speech or in writing, utilizing any electronic method of communication. This includes communication for the purposes of giving advice, training in learning or other matters, words of encouragement, rulings on halachic questions, and any type of contact whether for spiritual or mundane matters. “Women”, includes girls, unmarried or married, of any age, whether one-on-one or even with many women together.
2.We sternly warn women and girls to refrain from engaging in any form of contact with him whether only one-time or on a regular basis. Every encounter with him is strictly prohibited. This includes phone conversations or any form of written communication with him utilizing any type of electronic method of communication, one-on-one or many women together (even in a manner in which there is no prohibition of being alone with an unrelated male), or in public; every topic (is prohibited) whether consultations or talks, whether in regards to material or spiritual matters, or (philosophical) views. It is also forbidden for women to listen to his lectures or sermons, and they are obligated to distance themselves from being impacted or affected by him in any form or manner.
3.It is forbidden for women, including girls who are unmarried or married, to visit his website that we know of that goes by the name MasterTorah.
4.Amongst the testimonies that we heard, it became known to us that there is a woman in the U.S. who books meetings for him, long distance carpool travel, and entertainment in hotels, etc., and she functions as his agent for sin, and in this way they have knowingly (ensnared and) lowered girls into the lowest spiritual depths. We call out to the women of the Jewish people, women and girls, to distance themselves from anyone who will attempt to put them in contact with this woman, and certainly to stay away from this woman herself, and to report to the (email) address in number 5 regarding all the above.
We turn to the rabbis and activists of the U.S. to determine her identity and role, and handle it properly.
5.From what we have heard, we understand that there is much that we have not yet heard since it is the nature of those who have been victim to refrain from complaining. Consequently: we are announcing with this that anyone that has information or who feels a need to complain, that there is an opportunity to do so at the Maaneh Association at email@example.com.
And may the Holy, Blessed be He, repair the breach in His nation.
- Menachem Mendel HaKohen Shafran
- Gershon ben R’ Avraham Yehuda HaLevi Bess
- Chaim Zev ben Avraham Ahron HaLevi Malinowitz
Hat Tip: to my anonymous translator