Saturday, February 12, 2005

Ban not ending: Despite Blogosphere claims to the contrary it appears the ban on Rabbi Slifkin is not ending, rather support for the ban is widening

21 Comments:

At 8:24 PM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

My sources have indicated to me that claims that the Rabbi Slifkin ban will be revoked are premature. It appears that the ban is now being accepted by Canadian rabbonim and the leadership of Agudath Israel in Canada and the USA.

The February 2005 issue (Volume 17, Number 3, page 7) of Perspectives, the official publication of Agudath Israel of Toronto, contains a reprinting of the G. Shafran article concerning Rabbi Slifkin (see: http://chareidi.shemayisrael.com/aslifkin.htm ).

This publication not only reflects the attitude of Agudath Israel of Canada but is known to reflect the attitude and beliefs of the leaders of Agudath Israel of America as well.

My sources indicate that the reason this ban is widening is simple: many rabbonim consider anyone who says anything contrary or in conflict to the world being created in 6 literal days is a kofer.

 
At 11:53 PM, Anonymous Shmarya said...

It makes sense. Rabbi Elyashiv – the man who put accused sexual harasser and extortionist Rabbi Yona Metzger in as Ashkenazi chief rabbi – apparently wiggled out of his word to Rabbi Ahron Feldman and has not revoked the ban.

What a sick society we live in.

 
At 11:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is no-one that believes that your a kofer for saying that.

The ban is widening because there is sufficient reason for the books not to be read by the public.

You dont have to be that bright to realize books claiming "original" ideas that NOONE in the past 3500 years of judaism have ever claimed might be somewhat hamrful to the untrained mind, who might not be able to discern between authentic and skeptical ideas.

 
At 3:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

>>might be somewhat hamrful to the untrained mind, who might not be able to discern between authentic and skeptical ideas.<<

Train the minds, don't ban the truth. That was Yechezkel Berkovits's whole point. See: http://www.geocities.com/y_berkovits/Slifkin-Ban.html

 
At 7:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

>might be somewhat hamrful to the untrained mind,
>who might not be able to discern between authentic and
>skeptical ideas.

How is it possible that people with 20 years of yeshiva education have such untrained minds that they can not even be relied on to read a book? How has such a gap in charedi education developed when it is supposed to focus on developing the Torah-true person?

BTW, no one has posted any statement by Slifkin that was not said by some gadol so please illuminate as to what his chidush was.

 
At 1:30 PM, Blogger nachas machine said...

I'm afraid that you have put the cart before the horse. Perspectives simply republished the existing Yated piece verbatim. That issue of Perspectives went to press before the issue even began to really roll online - I know because Perspectives is where I learned of the ban. I don't read anything into Rabbi Shmuel Klein's publishing of the piece other than that he holds of it. Rabbaim in Toronto - including Rabbi Lowey the rabbinical advisor -- have said nothing publicly about the ban.

 
At 1:31 PM, Blogger nachas machine said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 2:35 PM, Anonymous Bnei Levi said...

JWB,

Can you put up a scanned copy?

 
At 3:04 PM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

>I don't read anything into Rabbi
>Shmuel Klein's publishing of the
>piece other than that he holds
>of it. Rabbaim in Toronto -
>including Rabbi Lowey the
>rabbinical advisor -- have said
>nothing publicly about the ban.

The point is that it would only be published if it reflected the beliefs of the leadership of Agudath Israel of America and Canada. This is not a news publication, it only publishes items that reflect the viewpoint of Agudath Israel of America and Canada.

I don't expect the article to be retracted in future issues

>Bnei Levi said...
>JWB,
>Can you put up a scanned copy?

Do you need it? There's no difference in wording between this article and the original.

Information on this publication:
Perspectives
- published 6-7 times a year
- Apublication of Agudath Israel of Toronto
- 123 McGillivray Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M5M 2Y7
- Tel: 416-781-2969
- Fax: 416-781-4544
- Affiliated with Agudath Israel of America
- Rabbi Shmuel Y. Klein - Editor
- Business manager - D. Basch
- Rabbi M.M. Lowy - Rabbinical Editor
- Rabbi Yoseph Rennert - Assistant Founding Editor

 
At 3:21 PM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

If anyone wants more information as to Agudath Israel's position on Rabbi Slifkin, I suggest the following contacts -

1)
Per government filings on Agudath Israel of Toronto:
Telephone number (416) 783-9590
Board
1 SAUL ANISFELD PRESIDENT
2 BRENDA LEV SECRETARY

2)
Agudath Israel of America:
see Guidstar for list of Board
http://www.guidestar.org/Documents/2003/135/604/2003-135604164-1-9.pdf

Ph# 212-797-9000
Board
Rabbi Chaskel Besser
Rabbi Feivel Cohen
Rabbi Eliezer Eichler
Rabbi Elya Fisher
Rabbi Reuven Feinstein
Rabbi Yosef Frankel
Rabbi Zechariah Gelley
Rabbi Yoseph Harari-Raful
Rabbi Aryeh M. Kotler
Rabbi Dovid Kviat
Rabbi Yitzchok Sorotzkin
Rabbi Shmuel Bloom
Rabbi Boruch Borchardt
Rabbi Joseph Friedenson
Rabbi Shlomo Gertzulin
David Zwiebel

 
At 9:05 PM, Anonymous Shmarya said...

Do you know how – if at all – R. Yosef Harrari-Raful is related to R. Ezra Harrari-Raful of the Israeli Chief Rabbinate?

 
At 11:19 PM, Anonymous previous Anon said...

His "chidush" among others are clear and blatant to the "trained" mind. (thats if anyone out there "rooting" for slifkin have even read the books)

I just dont get something. Why has the whole supposedly "intelectualy honest" community out there suddenly turned into "rooters of the underdog" ?. Is it not possible that N.Slifkin did write things questionable?
is it possible he asked many people about publishing it before he did any they told him not to?
does ANYONE out there have REAL information about the background of the story ?
What the hell has this world of bloggers turned to ?
I have yet to see anyone with a piece of objective information, claiming they know the WHOLE story.
N.slifkin, on his website, is the ONLY person in this entire saga that claims he didnt get a chance to speak this over with any of the signataures.
Why has a decision been made about his innocence before anybody knows the hard facts?
Think for a second!!! use your G-d Given brains!! it is possible that this guy is a moron that dug his own damn grave!!

and the bloggers are the ones claiming they seek the truth.

 
At 12:26 AM, Anonymous Shmarya said...

"N.slifkin, on his website, is the ONLY person in this entire saga that claims he didnt get a chance to speak this over with any of the signataures."False. Many of us have confirmed that R. Slifkin was not allowed to present his side of the story to the 'gedolim' in question.

Further, having read The Science of Torah and being familiar with Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan's, z"l work on the subject, it is absolutely clear that the 'gedolim' in question do not know science – or Rishonim.

Yichus and arrogance do not a gadol make.

 
At 1:43 AM, Anonymous previous Anon said...

Do i undertand you correctly? you mean you spoke to the 30 names signed on the paper and asked them if they spoke to slifkin before they signed, and they ALL said no ??

Regardless, that was not the point in question.... the main point is, that the blogger world has jumped on the "support the underdog" bandwagon, without having a clue to the inside story. Reading slifkins website for some clues gives you HIS side of the story. Not objective facts.

The guy is 28 years old, learned in yeshiva for two years, never went to college to study science, has NO degree in ANY field.
Is it possible he made a mistake?
Is it possible that there are fact involved that you dont know about?

I'm just suggesting we open up our brains to the possibility that this guy has in fact erred. Human. ERROR!! POSSIBLE ???
Its naive to think that this guy is perfect and could have not possibly done somthing wrong.

I hope your kidding when you write that reading a slifkin book and a couple of Aryeh Kaplan works deems you authorotative in the field of science, or torah.
Or for that matter to dismiss people 3 times your age who perhaps might have some incling to the subject?? maybe ??

 
At 5:52 AM, Blogger nachas machine said...

The point is that it would only be published if it reflected the beliefs of the leadership of Agudath Israel of America and Canada. This is not a news publication, it only publishes items that reflect the viewpoint of Agudath Israel of America and Canada.

I don't expect the article to be retracted in future issues.
Wow you really don't know what you are talking about. As a member of the Agudah Toronto I was very suprised to see the piece but it is typical of the way Perspectives works - or doesn't. This isn't the first time that Rabbi Klien has printed something that he latter had to retract. Unfortunately we will have to wait a couple months for the next issue to see if it gets corrected. Unfortunately jumping to conclusions about the reasons for the Yated reprint reduces you do the unjournalistic practices of the publications like the Yated and Perspectives.

 
At 6:49 AM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

>Unfortunately jumping to
>conclusions about the reasons
>for the Yated reprint reduces
>you do the unjournalistic
>practices of the publications
>like the Yated and Perspectives.

What am I missing? The official publication of Agudath Israel of Toronto reprints a ban against Rabbi Slifkin and his books. What could that possibly mean?

Are there postings in the local synagogues decrying the attack on Rabbi Slifkin?

Has Perspectives issued any clarification publicly?

Are local Rabbis speaking out against the ban from the pulpit?

To summarize:
1) Official publication of prominant rabbinical group re-publishes ban.
2) No one in that rabbinical group speaks out publicly against the ban.
3) JWB correctly states the Rabbi Slifkin ban is widening and gaining greater acceptance amongst the rabbanut.

 
At 10:16 AM, Blogger nachas machine said...

I can't believe that I am defending Perspective(s) but I have to ask if you have contacted Rabbi Klein or Rabbi Lowy to ask them directly?

If you are a journalist then do some fact checking.

I think that you will find them oblivious to the controversy going on online.

 
At 5:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rabbi Slifkin went to yeshivah for at least eight years. He doesn't have a degree, but he isn't making any chiddushim in science, just relying on the consensus of opinions, which he is knowledgeable about. Last I checked, none of those gedolim are scientifically qualified to dispute those opinions.

 
At 7:46 PM, Blogger Godol Hador said...

>> blogger world has jumped on the "support the underdog" bandwagon, without having a clue to the inside story.

I have a clue to the inside story. In fact I know the inside story inside and out. You are talking nonsense. I can verify that Slifkin's version is correct.

>> does ANYONE out there have REAL information about the background of the story ?

Yes. I have real information. Its exactly as has been posted on my blog, and also on Hirhurim.

I am afraid that you are the one without a clue.

 
At 8:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The following email was sent (by the author of item #2), apparently to hundreds of prominent Orthodox rabbis and intellectuals worldwide (including me), over the past few days:

"You have received this e-mail because your e-mail address is included on a lengthy mailing list of Orthodox Jewish rabbanim, educators, scholars and intellectuals.

The following items, which relate to the recent ban placed by a number of gedolim on certain books by Rabbi Nosson Slifkin, may, and I believe should, be of interest to you...:

1. http://chareidi.shemayisrael.com/aslifkin.htm
(Article on the ban)

2. http://www.geocities.com/y_berkovits/Slifkin-Ban.html
(Letter to the Gedolim)

3. http://www.ottmall.com/mj_ht_arch/v46/mj_v46i87.html
(Letter to HaRav Dovid Feinstein, Shlita)

4. http://www.yasharbooks.com/freedom%20to%20interpret.pdf
(Paper by Rav Aryeh Carmell)

5. http://www.cross-currents.com/archives/2005/02/24/a-torah-rationalists-manifesto/#more-237
(Excerpt by Rav Simcha Zisel of Kelm)"

 
At 2:32 AM, Anonymous sam said...

Long Live Nosson Slifkin.Shame and disgrace to all those who signed the ban.
At last an honest rabbi who is willing to look at real issues and try and resolve them to the best of his abilities.Those that blind themselves to these problems are the most dangerous of all as they WILL cause the downfall of Judaism.
It is ridiculous to expect to find the answers to issues that have only arisen in recent history in texts that are hundreds if not thousands of years old.The fact of the matter is that there are many errors in the science of the Talmud, the Zohar and other major halachic works, and those errors have in some instances been used to arrive at halachic conclusions. For example due to the errors in the understanding of planetary movements the whole of Jewry have until relatively recently not kept Shabbat at it's proper times, in fact it is only thanks to objective secular scientific studies in this field that we are now keeping Shabat as was intended.In his book "Times in Halacha," (chapter 46) Rabbi Chaim P. Beinish wrote: "The general custom in Europe about twilight and the time the stars come out held until approximately 5500
( 1740 ) with no protest as per Rabbeynu Tam's method, for better or for worse. In the period of the following 50 years we find, for the first time, many of the Torah greats in these lands debating this law."

I will give you a recent example of rabbinical blindenss:
There was a case recently of a married woman who was pregnant but it was suspected that the child was another mans.DNA testimg was undertaken which proved that the child was indeed another mans. The case was brought infront of Ovadia yosef. He stated that since DNA testing was not a criteria mentioned in the Talmud or other halachic sources the child belonged to the womans husband and not the adulterer.

Let's open our eyes,our hearts and most of all our minds. We need people like Nosson Slifkin, it is people like him that will take Judaism to the future.
Kol Hakavod

 

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