Honoring the Badge

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7 Responses

  1. dovid landesman says:

    Perhaps the criticism should be extended to the anonymous rabbinical committees that have sprouted across the landscape like mushrooms [which are parasites, incidentally]. I could never understand the habit that many seem to share of commenting anonymously; if you are afraid of the repurcussions of your thoughts, then in the immortal words of Tom Lehrer; “at least have the courtesy to shut up.” There is a reign of terror in the community sponsored by the members of “frum think” and when I see them in action – which is probably more common in EY – well, I often mistakenly confuse Judaism with the Jews. Or as Reb Yaakov zt”l was wont to say: “I have been learning for over eighty years and I still have not found where the SA demands that we be “frum” – “ehrlich, yes, but frum???”

  2. Chaim Fisher says:

    It’s sad that the issue of accountability has been allowed to muddy so very clear and winning an argument.

    Child abuse is terrible and must be stopped.

    What does that have to do with the fact that some people are publishing anonymous screed? There’s tons of anonymous complaining going on in the universe. It’s a different problem and much less of a problem than child abuse.

    Stop protecting child abusers now.

  3. Bob Miller says:

    The assumption in this article is that the scurrilous flyer will get traction in that community, as opposed to being dismissed and ridiculed as libel. We should have a bit more respect for the good judgment of our fellow Jews.

  4. Ken Applebaum says:

    Thank you Rabbi Adlerstein and Cross-Currents for posting this excellent article by Captain Sosnowick.

  5. Daniel Shain says:

    Perhaps in addition to sharing this important issue with the Baalei Batim who read this web site, the prominent Rabbis of Cross-Currents should share these concerns with the Gedolim themselves. Perhaps then we could see more progress on these issues, and see our leaders start to take charge of their flock.

    [YA – I can only speak for the unprominent one.

    The point of pieces like this is that historically there are two directions of communication in Klal Yisrael. We are most familiar with top-down, in which Gedolim make their views and wishes known, and we hopefully respond appropriately. But the reverse also happens. The perception that Gedolim have of the state of affairs of their flock depends on the messages they get from them – their volume and their frequency. There is a bottom-up flow. It is successful when lots of people keep pushing until they are heard, and it requires many more than a bunch of Rabbis, prominent or otherwise.]

  6. Daniel Shain says:

    Thank you for your response, but how can we make our voices heard? The Gedolim are probably not reading this website, and they don’t turn to me to ask how the flock is doing. That’s why I wonder whether Rabbis Adlerstein, Shafran, Rosenblum et.al. have the ability to more directly make these voices heard to the Gedolim? Yasher Koach to Rabbi Bess who during the Worm-Fish scandal went “straight to the top” to at least try to bring some clarity to the confusing reports we were hearing, and then he published (on the internet!) the results of his discussion. I’m not sure if Rabbi Bess’ efforts really put an end to the confusion, but it seems to me that he has the right idea to improve the communication and interaction that we regular people have with our Rabbis, leaders, and Gedolim.

    [YA – I can’t give you a time line, but when enough people keep talking about an issue, their thoughts will get to the Gedolim. People speak to their rabbonim and rabbeiim; they in turn speak to others, in time reaching those only one degree of separation from the top. I do believe that the time line has shrunk in recent years, because the internet encourages more people to speak their minds, rather than think that they are part of a lunatic fringe.

    Rabbi Bess, in whose shul I daven, does have an advantage or two that the rest of us don’t. He is a great talmid chacham, and he learned in Ponovezh and developed a relationship with some of the key Torah luminaries decades ago.]

  7. LazerA says:

    I’m afraid I can’t quite follow Mr. Sosnowik’s point. He appears to be asking why Lakewood’s rabbinic leaders would resort to an anonymous screed. Why does he assume that this anonymous letter was written by a Lakewood rabbi? After all, it was written anonymously. It could have been written by anyone!

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