Wednesday, July 13, 2005

RCA finally gets tough with Rabbi Mordechai Tendler and his bullies: You want us, meet us at Machon le'Hora'ah in Monsey, NY unless you're chicken.

1 Comments:

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

1)
i/http://www.rabbis.org/news/article.cfm?ID=100607

The Rabbinical Council of America Responds to the Hazmanah issued by a Jerusalem Regional Court

Jul 13, 2005 -- FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Ronn Torossian
212-999-5585
ronn@5wpr.com

RABBINICAL COUNCIL OF AMERICA RESPONDS TO JERUSALEM BET DIN REGARDING RABBI MORDECAI TENDLER

NEW YORK, NY - The Rabbinical Council of America (RCA) announced today it had responded to the Regional Bet Din of Jerusalem which had summoned the RCA and certain named Rabbis to appear before it regarding the RCA's expulsion of Rabbi Mordecai Tendler for misconduct.

The letter of the RCA included the following (actual letter in italics):

"We are... prepared to go to a Din Torah to be held under the auspices of the Machon le'Hora'ah in Monsey, NY, on condition that its head, Rav Avraham Boruch Rosenberg will be the Av Bet Din, together with two additional dayyanim of that Bet Din. For according to the halachah that is explicitly stated in Choshen Mishpat 14:1, as explained by the Rema (R. Moshe Isserles), a summons is not to be sent from one city to another, if both litigants live in one city.”

The letter also states that
“It is further clear from the Rema there, that the law of a Bet Havaad applies only in the same Country/Region (medinah), and not in another. Accordingly, your court has no jurisdiction in this matter whatsoever."

"As to the claim of the representative of Rabbi Tendler (Rabbi Mittelman) that the claim was brought before the Jerusalem Bet Din because there is no court or rabbinical body in the United States to which the RCA will submit, such a claim has no basis or foundation whatsoever. In our view, the real reason that the complainant brought this entire matter before you, rather than before a recognized Bet Din here, is that from such a distance one can make all kinds of statements without being contradicted.

"As to the substance of the matter: We hereby note the following items (in addition to the earlier statement that your Bet Din Ezori does not have jurisdiction in this matter, and that we are responding only in consideration of your honor):

• In the clarification (hachlatah) issued by Rav Rosental in the name of the Bet Din (dated 8 Nissan, in response to the RCA letter of 4 Nissan), it is stated in paragraph 9 as follows: "If in your view you are not damaging the authority and employment of the claimant, then our statement is null and void." We must emphasize that the claimant has never had any position of authority or employment in, or salary from, our organization. He was merely a member, and accordingly the Bet Din Hakavod examined the matter in full accordance with the basic constitution of our organization.

• Rav Rosental further wrote in his clarification that "such an action should properly be done, if it is to be done, by an independent bet din, or a zabla, and not by an investigating panel of the organization where the parties to the dispute are members." To this we must emphasize that the constitution of our organization states explicitly how to proceed, and who is to determine these matters. We followed those rules completely...

• Furthermore: The source (Orach Chayyim 53:8) which Rabbi Mittelman quoted in his submission states "a Chazan is not to be removed from his position unless there are proper witnesses to his having a disqualification." The entire case and complaint, with all that it has stirred up, is based on this source. Yet it is clear, as we have stated, that the complainant is not a chazan of our organization, and not the rabbi of our organization, and not the principal or an officer - but simply a member, one of a thousand. By expelling him, we did not thereby deprive him of his employment, his dignity or his money, as explained above.

"All our decisions are guided by Halacha, and we are confident that the unanimous decision of our leadership to expel Rabbi Tendler from our ranks will be substantiated by the Bet Din," said Rabbi Dale Polakoff, President of The Rabbinical Council of America. "We will of course proceed to Bet Din, certain that the truth will emerge, and the facts will fully support everything that the RCA has done. We will produce documentation and proof, halachicly compelling argument and rabbinic precedent. The truth will prevail."

"This is a very serious matter to us," added Rabbi Polakoff. "We also want to take this opportunity to reiterate that while there are a loud and select few within the Jewish media who have publicly challenged and criticized us, the RCA was compelled to institute our painful judgment, as the Jewish community would expect us to, and not stand idly by. Leadership is not determined by those who must make the easy choices - it's the difficult decisions that should be commended and applauded. Presented with this difficult dilemma, the RCA took considered action and remains completely confident that our entire rabbinic leadership has acted with full justification."

2) Hebrew Response
http://www.rabbis.org/news/article.cfm?ID=100609

http://www.rabbis.org/news/_pdfs/hebrew%20response.pdf

3)English Translation of Response

http://www.rabbis.org/news/article.cfm?ID=100610

http://www.rabbis.org/news/_pdfs/Formal%20Response%20to%20BD%20Hazmanah.doc

A Literal Translation of the Response in Hebrew
Written by Rabbi Shmuel Fried
on behalf of

The Rabbinical Council of America

to the Bet Din Eizori, Jerusalem
in the matter of
Rabbi Mordecai Tendler



5 Tammuz 5765
July 12th 2005

To the Honorable Judges of the Regional Bet Din Eizori, Jerusalem.
Rabbis Sharim, Rosental, Rabinowitz:

With regard to the summons issued from your Bet Din in response to a request by Rabbi Mordecai Tendler, against The Rabbinical Council of America and others, to appear in your court on the 7th of Tammuz, July 14th, 2005, I hereby respond on behalf of those summoned, as follows:

1. With full respect for your honor, we declare at the outset that this response does not in any way acknowledge the jurisdiction of your Bet Din in this matter, as we will presently explain. We are responding only out of respect for your honor.

2. For according to the halachah that is explicitly stated in Choshen Mishpat 14:1, as explained by the Rema (R. Moshe Isserles), a summons is not to be sent from one city to another, if both litigants live in one city.

3. It is further clear from the Rema there, that the law of a Bet Havaad applies only in the same Country/Region (medinah), and not in another. Accordingly, your court has no jurisdiction in this matter whatsoever.

4. Furthermore, the Rema there (14:3) states that in every case where there is no jurisdiction, there is no need whatsoever to respond to any hazmanah.

5. As to the claim of the representative of Rabbi Tendler (Rabbi Mittelman) that the claim was brought before the Jerusalem Bet Din because there is no court or rabbinical body in the United States to which the RCA will submit, such a claim has no basis or foundation whatsoever.

6. In our view, the real reason that the complainant brought this entire matter before you, rather than before a recognized Bet Din here, is that from such a distance one can make all kinds of statements without being contradicted, in accordance with the principle that “a person who wishes to deceive, goes to a distant location to make his case.”

7. In addition, the representative of the claimant came before you to request an injunction on Friday April 1st 2005, even though he knew explicitly that our decision had already been made on Wednesday March 16th. He deliberately deceived you, by hiding this fact. After all, what is the point of a preventive injunction, after the completed action by our organization. He could only do that, because from such a distance one can present and accept inaccurate reports or submissions.

8. In light of all the above: According to the din, and halachah: as it now stands, we have not yet been the recipient of a valid summons (hazmanah,) insofar as no recognized Bet Din in our locale with proper jurisdiction and authority to send one, has sent us a hazmanah. Thus, according to halachah, there is no Din Torah to speak of, unless and until the claimant will properly summons us as defendants.

9. Nonetheless, strictly as a matter of going beyond the strict requirements of the halacha (lifnim mi-shurat ha-din): so as not to burden a qualified local Bet Din with having to send us a hazmanah, we are in fact prepared to go to a Din Torah to be held under the auspices of the Machon le’Hora’ah in Monsey, NY, on condition that its head, Rav Avraham Boruch Rosenberg will be the Av Bet Din, together with two additional dayyanim of that Bet Din. And furthermore it is understood that the authority of the Bet Din Machon le’Hora’ah will commence at the time of the signing of the proper shtar beirurin (the document that attests to the terms and conditions of adjudication) to be agreed upon by the two sides. (I personally further request that the hearing not take place prior to Rosh Chodesh Av (Sunday August 7th), as I need sufficient time to prepare all the documentation involved, and I currently have a very full schedule.)

10. As to the substance of the matter: We hereby note the following items (in addition to the earlier statement that your Bet Din does not have jurisdiction in this matter, and that we are responding only in consideration of your honor):

a. In the clarification (hachlatah) issued by Rav Rosental in the name of the Bet Din (dated 8 Nissan, in response to the RCA letter of 4 Nissan), it is stated in paragraph 9 as follows: “If in your view you are not damaging the authority or post and employment of the claimant, then our statement is null and void.” We must emphasize that the claimant has never had any position of authority or employment in, or salary from, our organization. He was merely a member, and accordingly the Bet Din Hakavod examined the matter in full accordance with the basic constitution of our organization.

b. Rav Rosental further wrote in his clarification that “such an action should properly be done, if it is to be done, by an independent bet din, or a zabla, and not by an investigating panel of the organization where the parties to the dispute are members.” To this we must emphasize that the constitution of our organization states explicitly how to proceed, and who is to determine these matters. We followed those rules completely. And the complainant himself accepted those rules by applying to become a member, which is an agreement to follow the rules of the constitution. In light of all of this, the essential question is: what is this hazmanah, or summons, which has been sent from your Bet Din, at the very same time that you were in possession of a copy of the constitution which Rabbi Mittelman, the representative of the complainant, himself gave to you in his submission requesting that you issue a hazmanah. This can only be explained in one of two ways: either you do not precisely understand the nuances of the English language, or the clerk of the Bet Din sent the hazmanah without your knowledge.

c. Furthermore: The source (Orach Chayyim 53:8) which Rabbi Mittelman quoted in his submission states “a Chazan is not to be removed from his position unless there are proper witnesses to his having a disqualification.” The entire case and complaint, with all that it has stirred up, is based on this source. Yet it is clear, as we have stated, that the complainant is not a chazan of our organization, and not the rabbi of our organization, and not the principal or an officer – but simply a member, one of a thousand. By expelling him, we did not thereby deprive him of his employment, his post, or his money, as explained above. It is only possible to make all kinds of false statements and demands, if one is at a far distance. Had you been here in New York, a simple phone call would have established the facts of the matter.

11. As mentioned above, all of this is presented only by way of sensitivity to your honor that causes us to explain our position. Our decision for now is as described above in paragraph 9.

With this we hope and expect that we have fulfilled and completed any obligations in regards to your Bet Din, even beyond the strict letter of the law, lifnim mi-shurat ha-din.

In the name of those summoned,

Rabbi Shmuel Fried
Brooklyn, New York.

 

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