Torah Sage Advises: Hold Onto Both Your Kidneys

KidneysThis post first appeared in Frum Follies in January 2010 when the late Rabbi Yosef Sholom Elyashiv was still alive and active.

Rabbi Elyashiv recently advised a father not to sell his kidney to marry off his daughter. Instead he suggested a cheaper wedding. While Rabbi Elyashiv is respected for his wisdom on matters such as Indian sheitals, service in the Knesset and elevators, there is widespread consternation about this most recent ruling. The daughters of Israel are weeping. The entire Haredi kollel system is a massive pyramid scheme. One couple has many children, all of whom must be supported by parents and in-laws. The first beneficiaries depended on an older generation of shvach employed yidn with small families. Continue reading

We Have Entered a Frightening State in Rabbinic Leadership

Preface- The article below first appeared as my comment on my January 16, 2011 post, “What was Weingarten’s Strategy When He Decided to Be His Own Lawyer in Incest Trial?” I was replying to a reader who commented on the¬†absurdity¬†of prominent rabbis who defend the likes of Yisroel Moshe Weingarten and Elior Chen. I thank my reader “Shragi Getzel” who suggested turning that comment into a free-standing post.

We have entered a frightening stage in rabbinic leadership where investigating facts is considered old fashioned. Many important bans have been issued without allowing the target to defend himself. Usually the askanim tell the gadol that the target is not willing to come in. In fact virtually all the targets would have been willing to reply.

In contrast, consider how the kehilah of Amsterdam dealt with a true apikores, Baruch (Benedict) Spinoza. After two witnesses reported his views to the kehilah, his former teacher, Rabbi Saul Morteira interrogated him about his views, which Spinoza honestly admitted. Rabbi Morteira met with him several times to attempt to persuade to give up those views. Only then was there a collective decision and he was excommunicated.

But of course we can not be so lenient when Continue reading

Torah Sage Advises: Hold Onto Both Your Kidneys

Rabbi Elyashiv recently stated a father could not sell his kidney to marry off his daughter. Instead he suggested a cheaper wedding. While Rabbi Elyashiv is respected for his wisdom on matters such as Indian sheitals, service in the Knesset and elevators there is widespread consternation about this most recent ruling. The daughters of Israel are weeping and the young men are pondering their Ponzi schemes. The entire chareidi kollel system is a massive pyramid scheme. One couple has many children, all of whom must be supported by the parents and in-laws. The first beneficiaries depended on an older generation of shvach employed yidn with small families. These parents were persuaded that the stuff about teaching your children a livelihood was just for chiloni taxpayers and goyim. Of course the parents themselves were exempted because it was too late for them to start learning full-time and their money was going to a worthy cause. Continue reading