Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Rav Dovid Eidensohn Tel Conf #18 Wednesday Sept 2 9:30 PM - Older Singles and Marrying from Pressure

 call 605-562-3130 then code 411161#

The Shulchan Aruch beginning of Even Hoezer tells that in early generations a man past twenty who was not pursuing marriage properly was brought to Beth Din and instructed to get married. 

Now, this can make a lot of problems. Let us say that in a certain town an older man can only marry people he doesn’t want to marry. Can he be forced to marry someone against his will?

We had a case like this with the brother-in-law of the Baal Shem Tov. Reb Gershon Kitover. In his older years he went to live in Israel, in Jerusalem, where the Orach Chaim HaKodosh, considered the greatest saint of his time, was the Rov. The Orach Chaim honored him with being the Baal Tefila for Rosh HaShana. But then Reb Gershon was told that the rule in Jerusalem was that nobody was allowed to live there as a single. There are letters that Reb Gershon wrote about this, and he asked, How can I marry somebody from a different world? It is not known what happened. But this kind of a problem surely existed in earlier generations. And when people were forced to marry without wanting their partner, only problems could result. 

The problems were so strong that the Beth Dins eventually surrendered and did not force people to marry. Some offered proofs that today we don’t force marriages. But others disagreed and said we must have marriage. But if by so doing the Beth Din will create a constant ruckus that destroys the Honor of the Torah, it may be prudent to refrain from this forcing of marriages. Still others maintained that even today marriage should be coerced.

Three-year-old ultra-Orthodox Jewish children told 'the non-Jews' are 'evil' in worksheet produced by London school

update - the school refutes the accusation of the Independent newspaper


London - Statement on behalf of the Beis Rochel D’Satmar School in response to The Independent, 2nd September 2015

The Independent newspaper has falsely accused the Beis Rochel D’Satmar Girls’ school in London, of teaching its students that “non-Jews are evil” in a recent report. When celebrating the 21st Kislev, the day that the Satmar community was saved from the horrors of the Holocaust as their founding Rabbi, Rabbi Yoel Teitelbaum escaped the Nazis, the students are reminded of their history by studying about that time period. The students were given a worksheet during lessons in the context of learning about the Nazis and their history and asked to answer questions based on what they had learned.

The worksheet referred to Nazis as ‘goyim’. The newspaper failed to understand the context and mischievously suggested that children were being taught that goyim rather than Nazis, were evil.

The Independent falsely accused the school of fearmongering, encouraging young children to believe that all non-Jews are evil. Although this is simply not the case, to avoid any confusion the school will explicitly refer to Nazis next year when teaching its students about the history of the 21st Kislev.

Speaking on behalf of the school Shimon Cohen said: “The leaflet that the Independent refers to was handed out on the 21st Kislev, when the Satmar community celebrates the rescue of their founding rabbi from horrors of the Holocaust. This was explained in detail to the Independent, but they chose to ignore the facts and pursue their mischievous story.”

“The questions were only talking about the specific event, but there is no Yiddish word for Nazis. The suggestion that children are being taught that non-Jews are evil is nonsense and simply false. They are being taught that Nazis are evil.”

“It is almost like, if you are sitting around a seder table and you say that the goyim made us build pyramids, you are obviously talking about the Egyptians. You’re not talking about the Welsh. It’s just daft.”

Mr Cohen said that, next year, the school would explicitly refer to Nazis to avoid any confusion. “We will be very clear to avoid any misunderstanding,” he said. “But then, for Yiddish speakers, it was clear. This is a storm in a tea-cup.”


Independent    British three-year-olds have been told "the non-Jews" are “evil” in a Kindergarten worksheet handed out at ultra-Orthodox Jewish schools in north London, it can be revealed.

Documents seen by The Independent show children are taught about the horrors of the Holocaust when they are still in kindergarten at the Beis Rochel boys’ school in north London.

A whistle-blower, who wished to remain anonymous, has shown The Independent a worksheet given to boys aged three and four at the school. In it, children were asked to complete questions related to the holiday of 21 Kislev, observed by Satmer Jews as the day its founder and holy Rebbe, Rabbi Yoel Teitelbaum, escaped the Nazis.

The document refers to Nazis only as “goyim” – a term for non-Jews some people argue is offensive.

Emily Green, who used to teach at the same Beis Rochel girls’ secondary school, now chairs the Gesher EU organisation which supports ultra-Orthodox Jews who want to leave the community.

"It's not uncommon to be taught non-Jewish people are evil in ultra-Orthodox Jewish schools. It is part of the prayers, teaching, their whole ethos,” she said.

Describing it as a form of “indoctrination”, Ms Green added:  “Psychologically, you become so afraid of the world out there after being taught how dangerous and bad and evil non-Jews are, that it makes it harder to leave.” [..]

A spokesperson for Beis Rochel said that the worksheets would be amended and apologised for any offence. However they argued the phrase “goyim” was not offensive and accusations that they were indoctrinating children were “without basis”. “The language we used was not in any way intended to cause offence, now this has been brought to our attention, we will endeavour to use more precise language in the future.”

A personal Elul message for Dr. Schlesinger - "Have you no shame?"

A personal note to my obsessive reader Dr. Michael Schlesinger,

I want to note that your obsession with hurting your former wife and your children - is a disgrace not only for a human being and a father -  but especially as a Jew.  Our Sages say because mercy and kindness are inherently part of the nature of a Jew - that someone who lacks these qualities - is suspected of not being a Jew. Are you really Jewish?

As has been noted many times, divorce is painful and degrading - but that is no justification for your efforts to erase Beth contact with her children. It is clear from the police and court documents that despite Beth being an excellent mother - you and your associates have succeeded in taking custody away from her in a manner that would have brought shame and universal condemnation in any normal Western democracy. Unfortunately Vienna - especially the Jewish community - is an embarrassment to humanity and Torah values.

Your blocking of visitation as well as your attempt to punish Beth by arbitrarily cancelling court ordered visits is beyond disgusting. Your insistence on an arrangement that requires Beth to pay an unnecessary and burdensome transfer fee - can only be described as characteristic of Sedom - the most negative description given by our Sages for twisted, gratuitous behavior.
You have succeeded in not only severely disrupting Beth life - for no positive gain for your self - but your actions have the strong potential for causing your children permanent psychological damage. It is clear that they have already produced developmental delays.

I recently posted a number of comments by someone who signed herself "Beth". While I have no way of ascertaining the identity of the correspondent - I am sure that you either have or will be taking legal action against Beth because of it. You are one of my most devoted readers - because of your hatred and desire to destroy Beth. Sick!!!!

Our Sages talk about the dangers of "hatred in the heart" which poisons and rots all positive aspects of a person. That is what you are manifesting and you will reap the consequences if you don't wake up now to reality - including the psychological and spiritual

Michael - it is time for you to stop and think about what you are doing with your life. Do you have any concerns that are greater than hurting and showing hatred for Beth and your children? Do you really think that after 120 years your cathartic violence will be praised? Will your children thank you when they become adults - for hurting the one person that they love and crippling them psychologically? Or will you end up as a bitter old man who is shunned by everyone and dies without friends or family? Why is the purpose of your life to hate - and not to love?

We are in the month of Elul It is time for you to stop and reflect on who you are and where you are going in life. G-d put you here on Earth for something more praiseworthy than destroying the life and happiness of others. It is not too late to repent and start over with the sole guiding principle - "What is in the best interest of my children?"

 I would suggest that you and Beth go to an independent child psychologist and jointly work out a constructive program. I would also strongly recommend that you see an independent therapist and be evaluated as to how you can get your life together. The results should be shared with the court - which for some reason has failed to have you properly assessed.

I would also suggest strongly that you apologize to Beth and your children and devote your considerable talents to helping others - not hurting them. It is not too late - but at some point the damage you are causing will not be reversible. Wake up now!

Rav Ahron Schecter joins condemnation of takeover attempt of Bnei Brak Seminary Meir


 נמאבק על סמינר מאיר חוצה יבשות: "אנשי מרמה ודמים", כך מכנה הרה"צ רבי ישראל יצחק קלמנוביץ את הגורמים הפוליטיים המנסים להשתלט על סמינר מאיר בבני ברק. גם הגאון ‏רבי אהרן שכטר ראש ישיבת רבינו חיים ברלין, הצטרף למכתב.

לאחר עימות אלים אמש (ד'), בישיבת מורות עם המנהלת הרבנית רחל בורנשטיין-גפן מול בני משפחת המנהל הוותיק הרב שמואל מאיר, הגאון רבי ישראל יצחק קלמנוביץ והגאון ‏רבי אהרן שכטר ראש ישיבת רבינו חיים ברלין שיגרו מכתב חריף בנושא.

"כלימה תכסה פנינו", נאמר במכתב עליו חתום הרב קלמנוביץ, "בראותנו החמס והעוולה אשר נעשה לעין כל ובעזות מצח להשיג גבולו ולרדת לחייו של המחנך היקר שביקרים, רבי שמואל מאיר שליט"א, אשר נודע שמו כאיש אשר רוח בו' המוסר נפשו עשרות בשנים על חינוך בנות ישראל, וידע וטרח ועמל במו ידיו לקונן הסמינר החשוב עד אשר נחשב בסיעתא דשמיא כאחד ממבצרי החינוך הטהור בעירנו ובארץ הקודש כולה.

"ועתה קמו אנשי דמים ומרמה, לחמוס נחלתו ולהתערב ולשלוט בניהול המוסד בענייני החינוך והצוות החינוכי וכאילו באו לעזור לו, ומנצלים את מצב זמני זה שיש איזה חלישות בבריאותו לעשות כנגד רצונו הגמור שהביע כמה וכמה פעמים ולירד לחייו. [...]

למכתב הצטרף גם הגאון רבי אהרן שכטר שכתב: "מה טוב ומה נעים לשמוע קול תרועת שופר של יראת שמים התובע זעקת "די" להריסת כל גדרי הטוב והישר בישראל, בלב שבור, אהרן משה שכטר". 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Rabbi Telsner stands down from Yeshivah Centre of Melbourne

Jewish News Australia    RABBI Zvi Hirsch Telsner has stood down, effective immediately, as the senior rabbi of the Yeshivah Centre in Melbourne.

In a letter to the community tonight Rabbi Telsner told the community he endorses Yeshivah Centre’s “values, policies and message of continued support and compassion for victims of Child Sexual Abuse, their families and all of the community”.

He said that Elul is a time to reflect on ones values and behaviours as we prepare to herald in the New Year.

“I recognise that my conduct towards victims and their families did not demonstrate these values or behaviour to the extent necessary of a Rabbi in my position,” Rabbi Telsner said.

“Accordingly, I have decided to stand down from my position as Rabbi at the Yeshivah Centre, effective immediately.”

He said that everyone must be aware of how words and actions can impact others and apologised for his conduct.

“(I) urge everyone to show compassion and support towards victims and their families throughout the moised and broader community.”[...]

Monday, August 31, 2015

How to become a better person

Committe for the Preservation of Jewish Cemetaries in Europe

>קריאת קודש מאת גדולי ורבני עיה"ב לונדון בשבח הפעולות הנעשות להצלת בית החיים בווילנא

רבני העיר לונדון חברי הועד להצלת בתי עלמין באירופה יוצאים בקריאת קודש בשבח הפעולות הנעשות להצלת בית החיים בווילנא על ידי עסקני הועד להצלת בתי עלמין באירופה ~ למול גל השמצות פרוע המתנהל על ידי אתרא קדישא

בימים אלו מתפרסם מכתבם המיוחד של כל רבני עיר הבירה לונדון בקריאה גדולה לטובת הצלת בית החיים בווילנא, על הקול קורא חתמו רבני העיר בראשות הגה"צ רבי משה חיים אפרים פדווא שליט"א גאב"ד לונדון וזקן ראשי הישיבות הגאון האדיר רבי אליקים שלעזינגער שליט"א ראש הישיבה הרמה ונשיא הועד להצלת בתי עלמין באירופה, ואתם עמם חתמו גם הגה"צ רבי יוסף בנימין הלוי וואזנר שליט"א אב"ד ור"מ קהל יטב לב דסאטמאר לונדון, הגאון הגדול רבי אהרן דוד הלוי דונר שליט"א, הגה"צ רבי בן ציון בלום שליט"א דומ"ץ באבוב לונדון, חברי בד"ץ התאחקה"ח דלונדון, ועוד מחשובי רבני העיר שליט"א.

את מכתבם פותחים רבני העיר לונדון חברי הועד להצלת בתי עלמין באירופה בשבח עסקני הועד להצלת בתי עלמין באירופה והפעולות הגדולות ונצורות הנעשות בימים אלו להצלת בית החיים שניפשוק בעיר ווילנא שבליטא, רבני לונדון כותבים: "באנו בזה לחזק את ידי נציגינו העסקנים החשובים הי"ו, הנמצאים בעובי הקורה בהשתדלותם במשא ומתן למען הצלת הבית החיים העתיק שניפשטו"ק בעיר ווילנא יצ"ו".

לאחר מכן כותבים רבני העיר לונדון חברי הועד להצלת בתי עלמין באירופה שכבר לפני כשש שנים - בשנת תשס"ט הצליחו עסקני הועד להצלת בתי עלמין באירופה לחתום על הסכם עם נציגי ממשלת ליטא על שמירת בית הקברות בווילנא, והם מביעים את תקוותם כי גם בעתיד יימשך המצב ובית הקברות ישאר שמור ובטוח.

בהמשך מכתבם של רבני העיר לונדון חברי הועד להצלת בתי עלמין באירופה הם מצהירים ומגלים את דעתם בפירוש שכל הפעולות הנעשות על ידי עסקני הועד להצלת בתי עלמין באירופה, הכל נעשה על פי דעתם והדרכתם, והכל מתנהל לפי כל פרטי ההלכה והמסורה, גדולי ורבני לונדון מפרסמים בזה את דעתם ואומרים מפורשות: "אנו מודיעים ומאשרים בזה שכל מעשיהם, פעולותיהם, והשתדלותם של העסקנים החשובים הי"ו, העוסקים לשם שמים, הכל נעשה על פי דעתנו, הדרכותינו, והוראתנו, והכל מתנהל ע"פ דקדוק ופרטי ההלכה והמסורה".

רבני העיר לונדון חברי הועד להצלת בתי עלמין באירופה אף מוסיפים במכתבם בשבח העסקנים המסורים, וכותבים: "תיתי להם הזכות הגדול להציל רבבות קברי ישראל, וקברי אחים, מהירוס וחילול רח"ל"

בשולי המכתב חתם הגה"צ רבי יוסף בנימין הלוי וואזנר שליט"א אשר הוסיף כמה מילים, ובדבריו ציטט את דברי זקנו מרן בעל שבט הלוי זצוק"ל שכבר הביע בכתב ובע"פ את דעתו כי "דרכי הוועד הנ"ל נכון, וישר, ובאופן המועיל, וכבודן של אותן גאונים וצדיקים הטמונים שם".

יצוין כי מכתבם של רבני עיר לונדון מגיע כעת בעקבות גל השמצות קשה המתנהל בתקופה האחרונה מצד כת נוכלי אתרא קדישא הידועים לשמצה בתעלוליהם הרעים, כאשר אנשי אתרא קדישא מפיצים עלילות ושמועות שוא כביכול על חילול בית החיים בווילנא, בשעה שכל מטרתם בענין כבר ידועה ומפורסמת, לזאת רבני העיר לונדון חברי הועד להצלת בתי עלמין באירופה יצאו עכשיו בקריאת קודש מיוחדת לטובת הצלת בית החיים בוולינא ובה הם מחזקים את ידי עסקני הועד להצלת בתי עלמין באירופה בפעולות הקודש הנעשות על ידם, ומבהירים בגלוי את דעתם כי כל פעולות הועד נעשות בהדרכתם בהוראתם ועל פי דעתם, והכל מתנהל על פי דקדוק ופרטי ההלכה והמסורה.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Why does beating an IDF soldier prove that he was the aggressor?

Arutz 7     Unbelievable footage has emerged showing an IDF soldier being beaten by Arab women and children in the village of Nabi Salah, Samaria

The video is already being seen by some as proof that the army is having its hands effectively tied, both by increasingly restrictive instructions on how to handle violent Palestinian rioters, as well as by insufficient backup from the political echelons against legal campaigns by leftist NGOs targeting IDF soldiers.

Nabi Salah is a particularly extreme Palestinian Arab village, which also hosts large number of far-left foreign activists. Arab and foreign "activists" regularly stage provocations and violent riots targeting both nearby Jewish villagers and IDF forces.

The video shows IDF soldiers responding to a riot on Friday, with one soldier detaining a juvenile rock-thrower. However, the situation quickly escalates as he is gradually surrounded by a crowd, largely consisting of screeching women and children.

As the soldier calls for backup in dispersing the crowd, some of the women and youths begin punching and hitting him. Despite being armed and trained in hand-to-hand combat, he clearly feels unable to respond.

Time Magazine takes on the Shidduch Crisis

Time   Values.

That’s the one thing that always came up when I’d discuss theories on declining marriage rates or the rise of the hookup culture with my friends or family.

“Couldn’t it just be that times have changed?” people would ask.

Times have changed, and that is a good thing—especially the fading-away of cruel taboos that once stigmatized women who engaged in premarital sex or bore children out of wedlock.

Thing is, times change for a reason. The values question assumes that sexual mores loosen naturally from conservative to liberal. In reality, these values have ebbed and flowed throughout history, often in conjunction with prevailing sex ratios.

Today, mainstream dating guides tell the everything-going-for-her career woman it’s her fault she’s still single—she just needs to play hard to get or follow a few simple rules to snag Mr. Right. But the problem is a demographic one. [...]

It’s not that He’s Just Not That Into You—it’s that There Just Aren’t Enough of Him.

Lopsided gender ratios don’t just make it statistically harder for college-educated women to find a match. They change behavior too. According to sociologists, economists and psychologists who have studied sex ratios throughout history, the culture is less likely to emphasize courtship and monogamy when women are in oversupply. Heterosexual men are more likely to play the field, and heterosexual women must compete for men’s attention. [...]

Secular-style dating is rare in the Orthodox community in which Elefant lives. Most marriages are loosely arranged—“guided” is probably a better word—by matchmakers such as Elefant. The shadchan’s job has been made exceedingly difficult, she said, by a mysterious increase in the number of unmarried women within the Orthodox community. When Elefant attended Jewish high school 30 years ago, “there were maybe three girls that didn’t get married by the time they were twenty or twenty-one,” she said. “Today, if you look at the girls who graduated five years ago, there are probably thirty girls who are not yet married. Overall, there are thousands of unmarried girls in their late twenties. It’s total chaos.”[...]

The imbalance in the Orthodox marriage market boils down to a demographic quirk: The Orthodox community has an extremely high birth rate, and a high birth rate means there will be more 18-year-olds than 19-year-olds, more 19-year-olds than 20-year-olds, and so on and so on. Couple the increasing number of children born every year with the traditional age gap at marriage—the typical marriage age for Orthodox Jews is 19 for women and 22 for men, according to Michael Salamon, a psychologist who works with the Orthodox community and wrote a book on the Shidduch Crisis—and you wind up with a marriage market with more 19-year-old women than 22-year-old men. [...]

That is the Shidduch Crisis in a nutshell. Unfortunately, relatively few Orthodox Jews realize that the Shidduch Crisis boils down to a math problem. Most explanations for the Shidduch Crisis blame cultural influences for causing men to delay marriage. “Those of us who’ve tossed and turned with this, we don’t necessarily believe that there are more girls than boys,” said Elefant. “We believe God created everybody, and God created a match for everybody.”

As Elefant saw things, a 22-year-old man inherently has more dating options than a 19-year-old woman, because he can date down age-wise. “The guys act like kids in a candy store,” Elefant said. Of course, if there were gender-ratio balance among all the age cohorts, single 22-year-old men would not have more choices than single 19-year-old women because most of the age-19-to-22 women would already be married to older men—thus shrinking 22-year-old men’s dating pool.[...]

In the Orthodox Jewish community, however, there is a natural control group—one that does make it possible to settle the culture-versus-demographics debate with near certainty. That control group is a sect of Orthodox Judaism known as Hasidic Jews. [...]

There is, however, one major cultural difference between the two groups: Hasidic men marry women their own age, whereas Yeshivish men typically marry women a three or four years their junior.

“In the Hasidic world, it would be very weird for a man to marry a woman two years younger than him,” said Alexander Rapaport, a Hasidic father of six and the executive director of Masbia, a kosher soup kitchen in Brooklyn. Both Rapaport and his wife were 36 when I interviewed him.

When I asked Rapaport about the Shidduch Crisis, he seemed perplexed. “I’ve heard of it,” he said, “but I’m not sure I understand what it’s all about.”

In fact, there is no Shidduch Crisis in the Hasidic community. “When I mention the term to Hasidim, they don’t know what I’m talking about,” said Samuel Heilman, a professor of sociology and Jewish studies at City University of New York and an expert on Hasidic Jews.[...]

The seeming immunity of Hasidic Jews to the Shidduch Crisis has not been lost on some Yeshivish rabbis. In 2012, a dozen American and Israeli Orthodox rabbis signed letters urging young men and their parents to begin their matchmaking process earlier than age 22 or 23. The rabbis noted that their community “finds itself in an increasingly difficult situation,” with “thousands” of single Jewish women struggling to find husbands. “[I]t has become clear that the primary cause of this is that [men] generally marry girls who are a number of years younger,” read one of the letters. “Since the population increases every year and there are more girls entering shidduchim than boys, many girls are left unmarried. Clearly, the way to remedy this terrible situation is to reduce the age disparity in shidduchim. Many [Hasidic] communities who do not have age disparities in shidduchim are not facing this tragic situation of numerous unmarried girls.”

The suggestion that the true origin of the Shidduch Crisis lies in demographics has not sat well with those who staked their reputations on alternative explanations. “This fancy cocktail of demography, sociology, mathematics, and mythology is really nothing more than a Ponzi scheme,” American Rabbi Chananya Weissman wrote in The Jerusalem Post.[...]

Perhaps the most controversial—and definitely the most misogynistic— explanation for the Shidduch Crisis was offered up by Yitta Halberstam, coauthor of the best-selling Small Miracles series of books. Halberstam’s 2012 column in The Jewish Press started out innocently enough. “This is the harsh truth,” she wrote. “The mothers of ‘good boys’ are bombarded with shidduch suggestions on a daily basis—a veritable barrage of résumés either flooding their fax machines or pouring out of their email inboxes—while those with similarly ‘top’ daughters sit with pinched faces anxiously waiting for the phone to ring. The disparity is bare, bold-faced, and veritably heartbreaking.”[...]

Here Halberstam went off the rails. She went on to describe attending a community event where single women were introduced to mothers of single men—and being “jolted” by the subpar looks of the girls. [...]

In other words, the real reason these young women were still unmarried was because they were homely. Halberstam then doubled down on heartlessness, suggesting that a visit to the plastic surgeon might be in order for some of these Plain Janes: “Mothers, this is my plea to you: There is no reason in today’s day and age with the panoply of cosmetic and surgical procedures available, why any girl can’t be transformed into a swan. Borrow the money if you have to; it’s an investment in your daughter’s future, her life.” [...]

Anorexia has become a quiet scourge of the Orthodox Jewish community. A report on the National Eating Disorders Association website described the intense pressure that single Orthodox women feel to stay thin during the matchmaking process. NEDA cited a study by eating disorder specialist Dr. Ira Sacker, who found that one in nineteen girls in one Orthodox community had been diagnosed with an eating disorder—a rate 50 percent above the national average.

One cultural by-product of the Shidduch Crisis that has not been hushed up is the ever-larger dowries that Orthodox brides and their families are now expected to pay for the privilege of getting married. These dowries are financial promises made by the bride’s parents to help support the young family for the three or four or however-long-it-takes years that their future son-in-law may spend studying at a Jewish seminary. The fact that these dowries keep increasing demonstrates both the market power men possess as well as the desperation felt by young women and their parents. “It was never like this before,” said Salamon. “There was always a dowry, but it was pillowcases and things of that nature—not $50,000.”

Salamon noted that the practice of brides’ families paying five- and six-figure dowries has leached from the traditional Orthodox community into the more assimilated Modern Orthodox one. Indeed, the Summer 2013 issue of Jewish Action, the official magazine of the Modern Orthodox umbrella organization Orthodox Union, included an essay by Rabbi Lawrence Kelemen, a well-known Jewish scholar and lecturer. Kelemen told the story of his attempt to arrange a marriage for his daughter: “When I contacted the head of a prestigious American yeshiva [an Orthodox Jewish seminary] to ask if he might have a shidduch for my daughter, he asked me ‘what level boy’ I was interested in. Unsure what he meant, I asked for clarification. ‘Top boys go for $100,000 a year, but we also have boys for $70,000 a year and even $50,000 a year.’ He said that if I was ready to make the commitment, he could begin making recommendations immediately.”

The Orthodox Union’s executive vice president, Rabbi Steven Weil, told me he believed a backlash to the increasingly outlandish dowries was brewing. “You don’t marry for money,” Weil said. “This is not our religion.”

Weil is right, of course. It is not his religion. It is his religion’s demographics.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Forced takeover of a Bnei Brak seminary by gedolim?

Kikar HaShabbat

הבוקר (ג) פורסם כי הרבנית רחל בורנשטיין-גפן, אשת הגאון רבי שמואל יעקב בורנשטיין ראש ישיבת 'קרית מלך' מונתה למנהלת סמינר הרב מאיר בבני ברק, לצדו של המנהל הוותיק הרב שמואל מאיר, בברכתם של הגראי"ל שטיינמן והגר"ח קנייבסקי

את סמינר הרב מאיר יסד בזמנו הגאב"ד הגר"נ קרליץ.
אך ממכתב ששלח המנהל הרב שמואל מאיר לסגנית המנהלת הגברת חנה שטיגל עולה כי הוא מתנגד למינוי.

לשון מכתבו של הרב מאיר: "אני מתנגד לכל מינוי שהוא של גב' רחל בורנשטיין בתיכון ובסמינר".

העתק מהמכתב נשלח לראש עיריית בני ברק חנוך זייברט מתוקף תפקידו כראש העיר אמור לאשר מנהלות רישמיות למוסדות חינוך בעיר.

גורמים בסמינר אומרים כי "בנו של הרב מאיר, המקורב לפלג הנודע של בעלי המחלוקת, מעוניין לקבל את תפקידו של אביו והוא עומד מאחורי המכתב", לדבריהם, "היות והסמינר נוסד על ידי גדולי ישראל בראשות הגר"נ קרליץ, והם שהכריעו כי הרבנית בורנשטיין תצטרף לניהול המקום באופן הראוי ביותר, ולאחר שקיבלה את ברכת גדולי ישראל אין מקום לערער אחר ההחלטה".
לעומת זאת, גורם במשפחתו של הרב מאיר, המקורב לפלג הירושלמי, אומר ל'בחדרי חרדים': "מדובר פה במחטף לכל דבר ובאופן חד משמעי. הסמינר מעולם לא התערב במחלוקת, רוח הסמינר היא נגד המזוהים עם צד במחלוקת, אין שום שינוי בסמינר מבחינתו של הרב מאיר, לכולם ידוע שהרבנית בורנשטיין היא צד במחלוקת הליטאית ואנחנו לא חפצים בכך". [...]

Owen Labrie of St. Paul’s School Is Found Not Guilty of Main Rape Charge

NY Times    The prep school graduate accused of raping a younger student at the elite St. Paul’s School dropped his head and sobbed for the first time since the start of his trial: He had been found not guilty on Friday of felony sexual assault charges, but was convicted of having sex with a girl who was below the age of consent. [...]

So ended the trial of Owen Labrie, 19, and with it a rare exploration of the backslapping sexual culture among some students at one of the nation’s most exclusive boarding schools. Over nearly two weeks, jurors listened to prosecutors and defense lawyers ask witnesses about a custom called the “senior salute,” in which older students at St. Paul’s propositioned younger classmates for a last-chance encounter before graduation.

But at its core, the case was about an intimate encounter last year between a 15-year-old girl and an 18-year-old acquaintance, and whether she consented as it escalated.[...]

And after about seven hours of deliberations over two days, the jury appeared to dismiss Mr. Labrie’s insistence that he had not penetrated the girl in any way, but found that the state had not proved that what happened was against the girl’s expressed wishes. [...]

It was a case with conflicting stories and, as is common in such cases, a focus on the credibility of the female accuser.

Mr. Carney made much of the girl’s expectations, recalling that a friend of hers said she had considered the possibility of oral sex with Mr. Labrie.

Mr. Cherniske said that, whatever her expectations, the girl had a right to change her mind.

But the jury ultimately decided either that they did not believe her, or that there was a reasonable doubt about whether she had communicated her denial of consent to Mr. Labrie. [...]