Wednesday, December 5, 2018

The "Fall" Guy plays Simon Says


David Stav - Chief Rabbi of Shoham


Before I wrote my primary posts about the Malka Leifer episode, I wrote two preamble posts to set the stage. The second of which is titled Thinking Like a Jew. This is basically a digest of all the Halachic concepts that relate to this case, with sources and everything. it was meant to serve as what people call a “moral compass”. If one reads and understands the Halachic foundation, all of the positions I make fall into place with Halachic support.

This is not the only time I have written such a digest. Way before I wrote Thinking Like a Jew, I wrote a very comprehensive two-part Halachic digest on the halachos of mesira – the 3 Ps and the 3 Cs. And, even before that, I wrote a comprehensive digest on the halachos of rodef right HERE.

The purpose of writing all these posts is two-fold: (1) To help the reader understand all the relevant halachos that apply to these cases. (2) To dissuade dissenters. Once these halachos are cited and catalogued, we have established what a dissenter must dispute if he thinks otherwise. This ups the ante and makes life harder for him.

Any lawyer, posek, dayan, or toen knows that anything he writes as a claim or a ruling must reference the exact legal or halachic source material. If one wants to file a lawsuit, he must write in the suit that the defendant is in violation of Article 7, Section 2a, Subsection 8, Paragraph 6, Line C, twelfth word, indicated by the comma, of the criminal code or the tort law or whatever. He is even expected to quote it. And a respondent must do the same.

Same goes for Halachic litigation. The nitvah should say, “I am not obligated because the Rema in Choshen Mishpat 123:4 (according to the SMA’s clarification) clearly states that this is called an asmachta…” or say “kim li like the distinction of the Noda Beyehuda cited in Pischei Teshuva 15 in siman 87:6 which says that the Shach is really arguing with the Mechaber…”

When a legal professional states: “The law says…”, or a posek says “the Halacha is…” and they cannot quote the law or the Halacha, it’s as good as saying “Dr. Seuss says…” or, as we did in nursery school, “Simon says…”

A lawyer or judge who cannot quote the law is a fraud and a “Rabbi” who cannot source the Halacha is an am haaretz – especially if the true Halacha says differently. Hence, when a genuine Orthodox Jew says “Halacha”, he means what is stated in Rambam and Shulchan Aruch and Mishna Berura and all those teshuva seforim from renowned poskim – those guys. When an “open” Orthodox Jew (i.e., a Hellenist) says “Halacha”, he means what it says in “my book”.

In my travels through the laws of rodef, mesira, and extradition, I have stumbled across a few charlatans who cannot quote Halacha. The main culprits to date are the Rabbinical Council of Australia and New Zealand (RCANZ) who range from Open Orthodox to quite Modern. These am haaratzim released a ridiculous statement in June of 2017 that posited my “Halachic assertions” to be “fundamentally flawed” and “misguided”.

When I asked them very nicely to point out the “fundamental flaws” and explain what is “misguided”, they went eerily silent and remain so to this day. I am still waiting for them to explain or retract.

Well, it looks like the RCANZ has a sister MO/OO organization here in Eretz Yisroel and it is called Tzohar, run by David Stav. Like most of the RCANZ members, I cannot call this fellow a “Rabbi”. A Rabbi is one who knows and disseminates actual Halacha.

David Stav is an ultra-liberal left wing “Rabbi” who is a colleague and disciple of ultra-liberal Shlomo Riskin (Mr. Marriage Annulments). He serves in the spiritual advisory board for Rabbi Riskin’s Ohr Torah Stone Institution. In 2013, David Stav announced his candidacy for Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi of the Israeli Rabbinate, R”L. At the time, he claimed, “I am flexible with people, I am not flexible with Halacha.” Seems like he’s changed his spots.

The Sapper sisters who just now concluded their visit, are having a hard time contending with folks like me who can point out the Halachic infractions they are violating (as well as encouraging others to do). To offset this, they are searching for someone who carries the title of Orthodox Rabbi who can overlook everything it says in Rambam, Shulchan Aruch and Chofetz Chaim and make up new halachos. And one who has very little regard for the kedusha of Eretz Yisroel, owing that it is an essential factor in this case. They certainly found one in Israel Chief Rabbi candidate David Stav who seems to have become a bit more flexible with Halacha since 2013.

After a meeting with the Sapper sisters, David Stav wrote a letter he should be totally ashamed of. The letter was posted in Dassi Erlich’s Facebook page and hardly anywhere else. It is not on Tzohar’s FB page, not on their web site, nor is it on David Stav’s FB page. I couldn’t find a copyable version, so I needed to use Google Voice Typing (a great tool!).

As I have done in the past, I will first post the entire letter and then rewrite the key points with my comments. Here is the letter:

Following a meeting with Dassi Erlich, Nicole Meyer and Elli Sapper, three sisters from Australia who have accused Malka Leifer of sexual abuse while the three were her students, the Tzohar Rabbinical Council issued the following statement:



Halacha does not allow us to forgo the pain of victims nor can we shamelessly protect the actions of an accused criminal who has not been forced to face a system of justice. Halacha requires that the accused be afforded a fair trial but that if proven guilty they must be punished for their crimes. Halacha also mandates those who are aware of abuse of any kind, to report this to the relevant secular authorities.



In today's day and age, it is the responsibility of secular authorities -  the police and the secular courts -  to enforce and prosecute crimes in the jurisdictions in which the alleged acts took place. In this case, in the interests of Halacha and caring for Torah values and the integrity of each and every person, we call upon the Israeli authorities to immediately allow for Malka Leifer’s extradition to Australia.



The pain that these sisters, and others, have experienced at the hands of this woman require that all who appreciate justice and love their fellow man, support this campaign.



We call upon all fellow rabbis, In Israel, Australia and across the diaspora to join us in this effort and together bring Justice to the accused and a measure of closure for the victims.



[Signed] Rabbi David Stav

Chairman of Tzohar



To lighten the mood, it’s time for a joke:
Four youths were brought to the security head of the local zoo for rowdy behavior. He wanted to create “records” of these guys so he could inform their parents and maybe ban them from future visits. So he asked each one for his name and why the security officer brought him here.

Says the first: My name is Steve, and all I was doing was throwing peanuts to the elephant.

Says the second: My name is Bob, and all I was doing was throwing peanuts to the elephant.

Says the third: My name is Ernie, and all I was doing was throwing peanuts to the elephant.

Says the fourth: My name is Pete, but all my friends call me “Peanuts”.

End of joke. [Laugh now!]



I gather that David Stav has a close friend whose real name is probably Simon who he likes to call by the nickname “Halacha”. So when David Stav says “’Halacha’ does not allow…”, “’Halacha’ requires…”, “’Halacha’ mandates…” he is really saying “Simon does not allow...”, “Simon requires…” – “Simon mandates…”
Simon says...

I am past nursery school so I don’t play this game. I don’t do things just because “Simon” says so even if he calls himself “Halacha”. Simon, or Halacha, needs to display his credentials and prove that he is authentic. David Stav doesn’t do this in his letter. He knows that the unschooled masses (Dassi’s supporters) will blindly trust him. But a genuine Torah scholar will not.

So let’s look at David Stav’s Halachic chiddushim and check out their credentials:

Halacha does not allow us to forgo the pain of victims…


What "Halacha" is he citing? Lets open Rambam and Shulchan Aruch and try to find out. I am thus far totally stumped. What does he mean by “forgoing the pain of victims?”

The true Halacha does not allow us to address anyone’s pain or injury at the hands of another without a din Torah.

ואצוה את שופטיכם בעת ההיא לאמר, שמע בין אחיכם ושפטתם צדק, בין איש ובין אחיו ובין גרו.
and
 כי יהיה ריב בין אנשים ונגשו אל השופט ושפטום והצדיקו את הצדיק והרשיעו את הרשע. 

There are two parties at odds here and they are both just as Jewish. Halacha (real Halacha) does not allow us to lynch anybody just because someone cries foul even if there are grounds to believe them. But this is what spiritual advisor David Stav is “calling for”. (See my first preamble post - Justice is Blind) David Stav does not  claim that he met with Mrs. Leifer who is sitting put in Neve Tirtza. This is in Ramla which is a mere 16.5 km from Shoham (25 min in current traffic) and only 5 km (walking distance) from Lod where Tzohar offices are. Mrs. Leifer is very accessible and I am sure she would love visitors, especially if they are compassionate people and have any ahavas Yisroel.

Now I have seen many piskei din from Batei Din and they usually begin with “לאחר שמיעת הצדדים” which means “after we heard all the sides”.  David Stav’s Halachic claim makes no mention of such a thing. Note that the Chief Rabbi of Israel is expected to be a dayan and know how to conduct a dispute between Jews!

What’s just as important is that this is what the Halacha really says: If two people are having a fight and a third party intervenes in favor of one side and takes measures that do not need to be taken – i.e., below the belt (literally) – the interloper pays dearly for this. In fact, according to the Sifri, Rambam, Sefer HaChinuch and other rishonim, the interloper is called a rodef!

This is in the Torah I live by (Devarim 25:11,12), but it must not be in David Stav’s Ohr Torah Stone edition.

Now, he may be referring to the Halacha of Lo taamod al dam reyecha, but it is hard to believe that even David Stav is that misguided. Lo Taamod simply means that we must come to the aid of a Jew who is in danger and make sure they are not harmed. We cannot forgo their distress of danger and cry for rescue. But nowhere does “Halacha” say that we should not forgo someone’s lingering (self-perpetuating) pain for long ago events to help them prosecute a fellow Jew.


nor can we shamelessly protect the actions of an accused criminal who has not been forced to face a system of justice.


This one really baffles me.

When an accused criminal is actively engaging in criminal actions, we ought not protect those actions. However, if the accused criminal is no longer engaging in the criminal actions, then there are no criminal actions to “shamelessly protect”.

David Stav is reframing the situation in a very deceptive and distorted manner. This is disgraceful.

All this has little to do with the accused criminal himself (or herself). In today’s day and age, we have no authority to force anybody to face any system of justice. Today there are no punishments of knasos (punitive financial cases). According to the very first Halacha in Choshen Mishpat (1:1), we can only take a person to Beis Din – or any court – for financial disputes, unpaid debts, spousal payments, inheritances, and personal injury or property damage. We can also turn to courts to be mesalek (neutralize) an ongoing damage or threat. This includes reporting an active sex offender.

But for punishment or “justice” for bygone events, we have absolutely no authority or permission. We cannot try or report crimes that happened yesterday. Not in our generation. You don’t need to hear it from me. You can take it from HRHG Dovid Cohen, one of the leading advocates of turning in molesters, that we can only do this for protection and not for punishment (3:30 and 4:16).

It’s a shanda that Israel Chief Rabbi candidate David Stav does not know siman 1 of Choshen Mishpat and he doesn’t know siman 388, either.


Halacha requires that the accused be afforded a fair trial but that if proven guilty they must be punished for their crimes.


I dealt with this just a minute ago. There is no such Halacha in all of Shulchan Aruch. David Stav is living in the past. In the past, Beis Din (and BD only) was authorized to punish people for crimes if they were proven guilty. Not now. Regardless, we were never authorized to invite non-Jews to punish any Jew for a crime under any circumstances in all of our 3300 years of nationhood.

But, let me play along with this for a moment. My Torah tells us, even in the good old days, what punishments people get for whatever crimes. And it says that if a woman should engage in another woman, this is called “maaseh eretz mitrayim” and is punishable only by Rabbinic lashes after being warned to desist. If a woman “molests” another, it’s no more than personal injury from a Torah perspective. The Sappers and their supporters don’t like this, but this is what the Torah and poskim say. See Rambam Issurei Biah 21:8.

David Stav must have a different version of Rambam.

In any case, it is forbidden and disgraceful for any Jew to advocate using the goyim to carry out punishments for crimes at any time under any circumstances, and more so, if the punishments are way, way, way beyond what a Beit Din would do in Talmudic times. Prison is much worse than getting Rabbinic lashes and going right back home.


Halacha also mandates those who are aware of abuse of any kind, to report this to the relevant secular authorities.




“Halacha” mandates nothing of the kind. Perhaps Simon “Halacha” but not Shas and poskim. I mentioned Choshen Mishpat 388 which clearly states in seif 9:

It is forbidden to turn in a Jew to the hands of the non-Jews neither his person nor his property and even if he is wicked and even if he causes an individual personal distress…and anyone who turns in a Jew…has no share in the world to come.


This is the default. It was written a mere 500 years ago and nothing about it has changed. There are indeed conditions where we may overrule the default which basically hinges on the halachos of a rodef. So when there is abuse that meets the criteria of rodef, there is an exception to the law of mesira. But when it does not meet the criteria of rodef, it does not overrule the law of mesira. And one who performs it is subject to the repercussions stated in Shulchan Aruch (R”L).

This is the Halacha.

As such, David Stav is quite wrong when he writes that the Halacha mandates those who are aware of “abuse of any kind, to report…” It only applies to the “rodef” kind. Not the not-rodef kind. I already wrote why there is certainly no rodef in Australia (as if such a discussion should really be necessary).

What is just as troubling is that David Stav writes “those who are aware…” Now, a victim can be considered aware, but one who is not a victim is certainly not aware even if they heard things second hand or from a victim. The Chofetz Chaim writes this as does Rav Elyashiv, ZT”L. This is what is called Halacha.

Of course, we know that many governments mandate such reporting, but the Halacha does not. Mandated reporting is a very complicated sugya. I haven’t covered it yet, but it may be next on my list (I haven’t finished techeiles or prenups). In a nutshell, the halachos of mesira that I covered in my posts stand firm. When the mesira is permitted it is permitted with or without mandated reporting laws and when it is forbidden, it is forbidden with or without mandated reporting laws. One cannot be moser another Jew to keep himself out of trouble. This will obviously cause a number of cases of people in tight spots and in each and every case, a qualified Rav must be consulted. This is clearly stated by Rav Elyashiv ZT”L. There are no blanket global hetterim and no shortcuts. Sorry.


In today's day and age, it is the responsibility of secular authorities -  the police and the secular courts -  to enforce and prosecute crimes in the jurisdictions in which the alleged acts took place.


I do not think David Stav grasps that precisely because "it is the responsibility of secular authorities to enforce and prosecute crimes in the jurisdictions in which the alleged acts took place", that this is why the Halacha forbade us from voluntarily cooperating with these authorities. This is called “mesira” and it is unequivocally forbidden anywhere in the world for the sake of “justice”, punishment, or closure. It is only permitted for protection from continued activity, when there are no other options.

So, from our perspective, the hetter for mesira, when it is permissible, is on account of potential future activities, not past ones. Thus, the only secular jurisdiction that we are allowed to cooperate with is that of the potential future activities, not the secular jurisdiction of the past activities.

Now that we have cleared this up, here comes the most horrendously appalling issue with David Stav and what he calls “Halacha”.

David Stav actually once upon a time announced his candidacy for Chief Rabbi of Israel. Of Israel! You would expect such a person to at least know the halachos that pertain to kedushas haaretz and harbor a love for this land. One who does not, sincerely deserves the epithet “am haaretz”.

So, all throughout this episode I have been incessantly quoting the Halacha clearly stated in Yoreh Deah 267:84-5. The Halacha clearly states as follows:

(84) A canaani servant who wishes to immigrate to Israel, we force his master to go with him…if the master wants to emigrate from Israel, he cannot force the servant to go unless he agrees. This law applies even in our times when the land is under the rule of the non-Jews.


(85) A servant who fled from the diaspora to Israel, we do not send him back. And this is the Torah prohibition of Lo Tasgir eved


From these two Halachos together we learn that:

·         A “partial” Jew cannot be forcibly extradited from the land.

·         This is not just a Rabbinic “Halacha” but an overt Torah prohibition (לא תעשה מדאורייתא).

·         This even applied in pre-1948 and certainly it applies after 1948.

A Torah prohibition on a partial Jew that is clearly in effect today! Is a full Jew any less protected?

In case you may believe so, in defiance of all logic, let me cite another Halacha that I have thus far overlooked (hat tip my soldier son, Eli). It is not in Shulchan Aruch, it is only in the Rambam from the gemara Makkos 7a. Rambam states (Sanhedrin 13:8):

One who was convicted in a Beit Din in chutz l’aretz and he flees to another Beit Din in Eretz Yisroel, his verdict is automatically overturned and he must be tried anew [in Eretz Yisroel]…


Jurisdiction “in which the alleged acts took place”?? David Stav, are you kidding me? Even if the accused was totally convicted in the “jurisdiction in which the alleged acts took place”, if he comes to Eretz Yisroel, he gets a brand new trial here in Eretz Yisroel! How much more so if he (or she) was never tried in the first place!

Mr. Stav, do you have another version of Rambam? Do you have another version of gemara Makkos? Do you know any Halacha whatsoever?? (I am quite a bit perturbed at this point!)


In this case, in the interests of Halacha and caring for Torah values and the integrity of each and every person, we call upon the Israeli authorities to immediately allow for Malka Leifer’s extradition to Australia.


No, my friend. You are not speaking in the interests of Halacha or kedushas Eretz Yisroel. You are speaking in the interests of yourself and of the Sapper sisters. And, don’t you dare speak for the integrity of genuine Torah observant Jews. 


The pain that these sisters, and others, have experienced at the hands of this woman require that all who appreciate justice and love their fellow man, support this campaign. 

Ahem, how do you know they suffered any pain at the hands of this woman? Were you there? Did you hear the case from both sides? Did this woman confess? Is there any physical evidence?

In any case, neither the Halacha nor their pain requires this campaign to violate our Halacha forbidding extradition.

I am done with this letter. But to conclude, I want to comment on what David Stav said in a J-Wire interview:

"I don’t have the words to express my embarrassment for people who would use Torah to defend the actions of people who have acted in such a way,” he said. Comparing sexual abuse to a type of emotional murder, Rabbi Stav said, “Those who prohibit a man or woman to complain to the police are responsible for future cases.  They will not be able to say we didn’t know.  The blood of the future victims is screaming from the earth to say ‘you are responsible’”.

I will, for now, skip the first line and deal with the rest.

Comparing sexual abuse to a type of emotional murder,…


Romantic comparisons are nice, but one cannot turn them into Halacha if they are not genuine.

Murder means when you kill someone and they are dead. Not breathing or eating or maintaining a normal family (re: Nicole), or jet setting and taking holidays to Ventnor, Phillip Island and going around making documentaries. DEAD! These girls are very much alive physically and emotionally (though not spiritually, but that is their own doing). Nobody was murdered. Not physically, not emotionally. At best, injured, but not murdered.

The Torah compares some types of sexual abuse to murder to teach the laws of rodef but there are two main stipulations: it must be giluy arayos, and it must be forced. Neither of these apply here. 


“Those who prohibit a man or woman to complain to the police are responsible for future cases…etc.


It is the Rambam, Shulchan Aruch and Chofetz Chaim and even Rav Elyashiv who prohibit a man or woman to complain to the police in cases such as this. If you wish to blame them for future cases, be my guest, but do so at your own riskin’.


Now, the first line:

 “I don’t have the words to express my embarrassment for people who would use Torah to defend the actions of people who have acted in such a way,”


I do have the words to express my embarrassment for people like David Stav. Disgraceful, appalling and  מגלה פנים בתורה שלא כהלכה.

Here, once again, David Stav is reframing the situation in a very deceptive and distorted manner. This is equally disgraceful.

My friend, nobody is using Torah to defend the alleged actions of 2002-2007. I am only using Torah to criticize the actions of the Sapper sisters and their supporters in 2018 and to bemoan the wanton and unjustified chillul Hashem that is occurring as a result of these 2018 actions.

Sof davar, I call on (Rabbi) David Stav, if he has any Halachic integrity and any regard for kedushas haaretz, to either verify his Halachic assertions in the face of my challenges – i.e., refute my Halachic sources – or to retract his letter.

As for the Sapper sisters, if they want to make a Halachic case to justify their activities, they need to find someone who is really a Rabbi and really Orthodox.


כי הנה הסתיו עבר הגשם חלף הלך לו...וקול התור[ה] נשמע בארצנו!

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Your Friendly Jewish Community Kangaroo Court


The reports are that the long awaited hearing for Mrs. Malka Leifer took place today as scheduled. According to Dassi Erlich, Mrs. Leifer herself did not show up in court. The entire session was a cross-examination of the state psychiatrist by the defense. Future dates have been designated for further cross-examinations.

In short, this debacle has developed into a "war of attrition". It's going nowhere slowly. But, it's not a total loss. The Sapper sisters got to meet lots of nice MKs and got great coverage from ABC News. And their trip was paid for by a generous sponsor.

In the meanwhile, someone sent me a link to a very recent (Nov. 21, 2018) interview of Jewish Community Watch (JCW) COO Shana Aaronson by Rabbi Scott Kahn. All in all, the interview is very impressive and informative. Shana Aaronson is a top notch spokesperson and as child abuse advocates go, she is a superstar. I think it is well worth listening to the interview and you can access it HERE.

So much for the compliments.

Unfortunately, my humble unpopular opinion is that for all the good that JCW does under the illustrious guidance of the lamed vavnik Avraham Meyer HaKohen Seewald and HRHG Rabbi Yosef Blau, Shlita, they do quite a bit of damage. I have written about it in the past and intend to write about it some more in the future. My overall assessment is one of יצא שכרו בהפסדו - the damage far outweighs the benefits.

In terms of Mrs. Aaronson's interview, I thought it was somewhat deceptive due to a number of half-truths and I felt duty-bound to point out these deceptive half-truths. So I set out to write a comment on the page. 

Of, course, as usual, the text grew and grew and I exceeded the 5000 character limit. So I will post the intended comment right here and I will put a summary and link onto the page. Here is the intended comment:



Mrs. Aaronson is a very eloquent speaker and has a lot of professional knowledge, expertise and true-to-life experience. As such, she comes across as very professional, sincere and genuine. Still, she is concealing from her listeners the dark side of JCW and uses at least two deceptive half-truths.


A “half-truth” is being defined as: a statement that is totally true in and of itself but it only reveals half the story so as to be passively deceptive.





Half-truth number one: “We have never been sued”.


I presume this is a true statement, but she says so in a context as to ensure us that the rigorous professional standards of JCW’s shaming process is impeccable and we should not be concerned about wrongful listings. The proof to the pudding and their badge of pride is that, to date, they have not been sued.

If one understands the logistics of lawsuits, it becomes clear that this is a vacuous statement for the following reasons:

·        For secular court in the US, one must have conclusive proof of monetary damages in order to claim monetary compensation for defamation.  For lack of such proof, the most one can win is a court order for the listing to be rescinded. No money. For this reason it is almost impossible to sue on a contingency. This means a tremendous outlay of legal expenses with little to no hope of any financial redress whatsoever. For this reason, even if one is confident that he has a valid case, it is all too often financially prohibitive.

·        In the US (and in Israel), freedom of speech statutes and “good faith” criticism clauses make defamation cases hard to win. Not because it isn’t genuine malicious defamation (and certainly Halachic motzi-shem-ra), but because it is hard to establish that this defamation is illegal. Thus, even if one retains a very skilled lawyer – who will not work on contingency and does not come cheap – it is hard to prove a violation of law even if the person is clearly maliciously defamed.

·        Perhaps the biggest legal obstacle in the US is that there is a very short statute of limitations (SOL) on defamation claims. In New York state, it is only one year. And it counts from the time the defamation is posted and expires after a year. One cannot claim that since the offending material is “still up there”, the defamation is perpetual and perpetuates the SOL. There is yet good news for those affected by JCW. JCW is incorporated in Florida which has a two year SOL on defamation, so you can get a second year - but you will have to sue them in Florida. Regardless, JCW very slyly does not put a date on their WOS listings so they can always claim – true or not – that it was posted more than one or two years ago and the claimant will need to prove otherwise.

·        Beth Din does not count for this because BD is merely arbitration, and a plaintiff cannot force a defendant to show up. In fact, one “offender” did summon JCW to a Din Torah very recently and JCW refused to acknowledge that Beth Din nor to do a Zabla. Perhaps their reason for refusal is justified but the fact that they always have the option to refuse – with or without an excuse - indicates that they cannot be forcibly sued in a Beth Din.

·        In Israel, it is easier to prove defamation but here we have another problem that Mrs. Aaronson has not revealed to us. JCW is not a legal organization in Israel as they have not registered in their business or non-profit registry (Rishut HaTaagidim). Officially, in Israel JCW only exists on the cloud. They do not post any land address and only in a recent brochure have they put up a Jerusalem area phone number for contact. This number does not appear on their US URL. They have a single page Israeli URL which has been “Under Construction” since 2016. The only hot link on the page (besides Contact Us) takes you to their US URL. Sof davar, here in Israel, unless you know where to find Shana Aaronson, there isn’t anybody to sue.

What emerges from all this is that, for logistical reasons, JCW all but has artificial immunity from being sued. This gives them protection to be the bullies that they are. This is not something to be proud of.

After all this, I do indeed agree with Mrs. Aaronson's prediction that JCW is going to be sued sooner than or later.



Half-truth number two: “The statistics for false accusations are only 1-4%”.

Again, by itself, this may be totally true. However, this statistic only relates to those who are totally innocent of any wrongdoing whatsoever and are totally railroaded. And even in this case, we have as much as 4% false allegations. If we settle for 3.3%, this means that one out of every thirty people accused are totally innocent. This works to ten out of 300, etc. and this is not something to dismiss.

But what comes at a much higher rate are cases where there may have been some type of incident which, by itself can be verified, but it is exaggerated, overblown or misinterpreted to become something way beyond what it really is (or was). When we add these to the pile, we are somewhere in the 20% range (rough estimate).

I explained this in detail in my 2016 blog post VictimTurned Predator (this post, incidentally, made Mrs. Aaronson very angry – sorry about that).



Summary of Half-Truths

Once we know these half-truths, we see the dark side of JCW. Their activities to help victims and referral services are very admirable and commendable and it would be great if they stopped there. But their methods of dealing with [suspected] offenders are horrendous and dispicable. Their Wall-of-Shame program comes across as a virtuous enterprise but it is very dishonest, irresponsible and lacking in integrity.

JCW wantonly and impudently passes judgment on people without any benefit of what can be called “due process”. JCW assumes no accountability or oversight whatsoever. Zero! They pass judgement on others with no confrontation or warning, no self-exposure, no redress, no cross-examination or scrutiny of evidence by an objective or defensive party whatsoever. They pass judgement with no method of appeal. There is no transparency of process and the accused or his agent cannot request a transparent review. In short, they are running a Kangaroo Court!

Their panel may be composed of esteemed “Rabbanim”, “professionals”, mental health experts, lawyers, I don’t care who. They are passing judgment on people’s lives in absentia. Not the accused, nor any agent of the accused, is invited to participate. These anonymous cowards hide in the cocoon of logistical immunity from being sued to sentence people to all the indignities and direct and collateral repercussions of being shamed with no consideration for time or weight. All prison sentences have time limits for understandable reasons. Long sentences for more severe crimes and short ones for lesser crimes. There is no parole from the WOS and no distinctions between heavier or lighter cases.

All of this from their unchallengeable and indefensible self-appointed Kangaroo court justice. Of course, according to Mrs. Aaronson, the process is meticulous and the decision (i.e. judgment) must be unanimous. But all of these people pay homage to Meyer HaKohen Seewald and Rabbi Blau and their policies and mindset. They are the proverbial all-white jury in the deep South. (I also suspect that Meyer Seewald and/or Rabbi Blau are members of this panel.)

Of course, it is all seems justified when they provide true case examples and describe how horrible these offenders are and they make it seem as if every “offender” on their radar screen is just as unequivocally monstrous as the undisputable ones they singled out. But the truth is that there are very, very many questionable cases and they use the indisputably clear-cut cases to mask all of the questionable ones. And this becomes another half-truth.

JCW requires oversight and accountability. Any system without checks and balances is dangerous and immoral. If we allow judges of Jews and their families to appoint themselves, the Jewish Community had better Watch out!

ושפטו העדה והצילו העדה

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Parshas VaYeshev Rerun - Dassi's Lament (A Year Later)

It is Parshas VaYeshev 5779 and it looks like we have some very prominent guests here in town.

The "Amazing" Sapper sisters are here - Nicole Meyer, Dassi Erlich and Elly Sapper.

They are here to participate in and to promote the Chillul Hashem of the century: The extradition hearing for Mrs. Malka Leifer which is expected to take place this Tues. Nov 27, 2018 here in the holy city of Yerushalayim.

This looks to be quite an event because not only have these three sisters come in special from Australia, but the famed lamed vav-nik, Meyer Seewald of Jewish Community Watch, also made a special trip all the way from Florida to join them. 

The sisters spent much of last week posing for the ABC News crew that is following them around and going to the Knesset and meeting all kinds of MKs who want to help them on their glorious noble mission: to extradite a Jewish person from Eretz Yisroel to Australia. Apparently, only Yaakov Litzman doesn't think this is such a Kiddush Hashem, but why should he count? 


But all the other MKs they met are aboard. Wasn't this the dream of Herzl and Ben Gurion to create a Jewish homeland for the persecuted Jews where we can have the privilege of extraditing our own to Australia because other Jews asked for it?


If you would like to meet the amazing Sapper sisters and Meyer Seewald in person, all you need to do is show up at the JCW Event that is scheduled to take place on Sunday night (Nov. 25) at 7:30 at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem.

In any case, since it is Parshas VaYeshev, I wanted to review the wonderful dvar Torah that I wrote last year. This year it is coming out before we read the parsha so people like Meyer Seewald and Dovid Lichtenstein and the husbands of Nicole and Michelle can say it over at the Shabbos table. It's a shame that Dassi and Elly don't have husbands and don't keep Shabbos.


Here it is, just remember it's a year old.




Dassi's Lament - The Pitfalls of Vengeance



Part I – A Short Vort



והבור רק, אין בו מים (בראשית לז,כד)


And the pit was empty, it had no water in it.



ממשמע שנא' והבור רק איני יודע שאין בו מים אלא מה ת"ל אין בו מים מים אין בו אבל נחשים ועקרבים יש בו: (שבת כב.)

If the pit is empty, certainly it had no water in it! What does this teach us? The pit had no water in it, but there were snakes and scorpions in it. (Shabbos 22a)

We have probably heard countless insights on the significance of this chazal. For our purposes, I want to weave a tapestry from three well known insights.

The first two are very concise and almost identical:



Insight 1 (מפי השמועה)

Nature abhors a vacuum. A receptacle cannot be absolutely empty. If there is no water occupying the space there must be something else. So chazal tell us there were snakes and scorpions.



Insight 2 (מפי השמועה)

Water is a useful commodity. Snakes and scorpions have no constructive purpose. The second insight is that when a receptacle is not being used for a positive purpose, it will not stand idle but will be used for a less than positive purpose. There is no neutral.



Insight 3 (אזנים לתורה)

The third insight is an extension of the first two, but we must first know three other teachings of chazal:



Baba Kama 17a

אין מים אלא תורה – When the pasuk refers to “mayim” - water, it is a synonym for Torah knowledge.



Yoma 22b

כל תלמיד חכם שאינו נוקם ונוטר כנחש אינו תלמיד חכם  - Any Torah sage who is not as begrudging and vengeful as a snake [for the honor of Torah] is not a true Torah sage. This tells us that the snake is the quintessential model of a creature that is begrudging and vengeful. Or, in other words, one who is unjustifiably begrudging and vengeful is imitating the attributes of a snake. As such, a “nachash” – snake - is a synonym for one who is begrudging and vengeful.



Avoda Zara 13b

העובדי כוכבים והרועי בהמה דקה; לא מעלין ולא מורידין - The idol worshippers and those who raise sheep and goats in Eretz Yisrael (and allows them to graze indiscriminately), we do not raise them out and we do not lower them down.

Raise them out from where? And lower them down to where?

Rashi there in Avoda Zara 13b tells us: We do not lower him into a בור – “bor”, a pit – so that he will die; but if he fell into a pit by the Hand of G-d, we do not rescue him,  either.

This last teaching tells us that there are three status levels of people.
(1) A regular normal upstanding person. For such a person, if he should fall into a life threatening situation, the basic din is maalin v’lo moridin. We must do everything we can to raise him out of his “pit” and certainly to prevent him from falling in.
(2) A menace to society and a threat to others. Here, the din is moridin v’lo maalin, we may even initially lower him into the pit thus bringing about his demise.
(3) One who is not a confirmed threat (a shepherd who is not careful about grazing) or his sins are only to G-d (an idol worshipper). Here, the din is lo maalin v’lo moridin, i.e. “hands off”. If he is in danger, we do not save him but we cannot put him there if he isn’t already.

So the reference of maalin and moridin is relating to an allegorical bor – a pit. Hence, bor is a synonym for a ruling of administering or saving from death.

To review: mayim - water - is a synonym for Torah knowledge, a snake is a synonym for one who is begrudging and vengeful, and a bor – a pit –is a synonym for a life threatening situation.

Now let us put it all together.

The ten brothers were judging Yosef’s status regarding the din of “bor”. Is he upstanding - “maalin v’lo moridin”? Is he reckless - “lo maalin v’lo moridin”? Or is he wicked - “moridin v’lo maalin”? Their ruling was the most extreme, “moridin v’lo maalin”. He can be actively lowered into the “bor”.
They passed a sentence of bor.

But the pasuk is informing us that the “bor” was empty, void of mayim. Their verdict was void of Torah principles. Their motives were not sanctioned by true Halacha. Chazal follow up on this to add: not only was there no “mayim”, Torah principles, but there were “nachashim” and “akrabim”. There were emotions of grudging and vengeance.

So says Rav Zalman Sorotzkin, ZT”L, in Oznayim L’Torah, Breishis 37:24. This is the third insight.

When we bring this back to the original two insights about “nature abhors a vacuum”, we understand that no human action or judgment is done without motives. One’s consideration of “bor" status must either be driven by the “waters” of Torah and be justifiable as “L’shem Shamayim” or, for lack of “water”, it inevitably will fill with “nachashim” and be driven by personal whims of grudging, vengeance and self-gratification.

End of sermon.




Part II – Dassi’s First Post



I haven’t written anything about the Malka Leifer episode for over two months. Out in the real world, nothing significant has happened for quite some time. But on the social media, there has been a great deal. The primary “victim” in the case, one Dassi Erlich, has been trying to make as much noise as she can and, in so doing, she is exposing a lot about herself and her two sisters.

This sudden surge of publicity began on September 23 (two days before Rosh Hashannah) when R. Dovid Lichtenstein aired a public interview with Dassi Erlich which I found to be enormously disturbing. I will explain what was so disturbing as we continue. At the time, I considered devoting a post to this interview, but the time wasn't ripe for it. I merely wrote a short note on my Facebook page.

Dassi Erlich made some startling revelations in the Headlines interview, which I will discuss later, and what she posted over the past week was even more startling, with more revelations. In between, there were two additional very disturbing podcasts by R. Dovid Lichtenstein on the subject of Mesira. For now, all that I can say about Dassi Erlich and R. Dovid Lichtenstein is: 

The pit is empty. There is no water.

Let’s quickly review the background. (See HERE for my initial post.)

Malka Leifer, an Israeli woman, was employed by a chareidi girls’ school in Melbourne, Australia from 2001-2008. In 2008 she was accused by some students of improper sexual behavior. She was immediately dismissed and sent back to EY. She has not admitted guilt nor has she been accused of any inappropriate behavior from that point on.

Since 2012, there has been an active campaign led by Miss Dassi Erlich to have her extradited back to Australia to be handed over to the non-Jewish judicial system for the purposes of punishment.

In past posts I have written that as tragic and damaging as the initial misbehavior up to 2008 may have been, it is now 2017 and this person lives in EY. There is no indication that she is currently any kind of rodef even here in EY and most certainly not in Australia where she hasn’t set foot since 2008 and has no intention to do so ever again. 

Consequently, for lack of a status of rodef, there is no conceivable justification to extradite her to Australia and hand her over to the non-Jews. Any effort to do so constitutes full blown mesira and a host of other heavy transgressions.

The Halachic foundation for all this – the “water of Torah” – was painstakingly laid out in this post (Thinking Like a Jew). So far, the only challenge I have received to anything that was written there was some fine-schmekker who had a problem with my description of nashim daatan kalos.

In addition to the long list of serious transgressions that would be in effect, I added that since there is no Halachic justification for this, this illicit media campaign and all the publicity it is generating is a colossal Chillul Hashem. What can be a bigger Chillul Hashem than setting up a FB page dedicated to mosering a Jew to the non-Jews and trying to recruit the “empty pit” masses to participate??

Now, let us get up to date and look at the two most recent Facebook posts of Dassi Erlich (update - she has since added two more posts).

The first of the posts comprises only three lines which I will number for reference purposes. Here is what she wrote:

1.   They tell me it's a chillul Hashem. My media campaign to #bringleiferback - a desecration of God.
(Messages received on a fairly regular basis)

2.   It makes me wonder how many people are messaging Malka Leifer with the same sentiment??

3.   Why is the onus on the survivor to remain silent and not on the perpetrator to expeditiously face the consequences of their crime?



In Line 1 she notes that she is receiving these messages “on a fairly regular basis”. Evidently, I am not the only person who sees her campaign as a big Chillul Hashem. Note that I am only a single person and I have not broached this topic for about two months and, outside of my blogs, I certainly have not messaged her, nor have I encouraged anybody else to do so.

Everything else she wrote both in the post and in response to comments indicates that she doesn’t take these messages seriously. So, why did she need to post this?

Something is obviously gnawing at her and she is desperate for support. So she turns to her mindless choir and, in one voice (except for a lone dissenter), they soothe her conscience. Of course, there is no mention of who “They” are. Even worse, she does not tell her audience on what basis “They” tell her it is a Chillul Hashem! She does not give her clueless audience a premise upon which to evaluate whether or not there is merit to this charge. And not a single member of her support choir seems to be interested.

Let’s move on to Line 2. She is wondering if people are sending the same messages to Mrs. Leifer.

Now, it’s pretty clear that Mrs. Leifer does not have a Facebook page and is not running any campaigns. Currently she is only going to Meron on Lag B’Omer and calling in sick to her extradition hearings. I didn’t really comprehend the question. At first glance, I thought that Dassi is asking if others are also telling Mrs. Leifer that Dassi’s Facebook page is a Chillul Hashem. Like, is Mrs. Leifer getting direct support from the “audience”? 

This “wonderment” does strike as a bit bizarre, like, why should she care? 

I then realized that I misunderstood her question and she was really asking if anybody from “her” (Dassi's) camp is telling Mrs. Leifer that her something-or-other is a Chillul Hashem?

This is even more bizarre (which is why I originally discounted this position). What is Mrs. Leifer currently doing that can possibly be called a Chillul Hashem???
Assuming the alleged activities are true, they occurred more than nine years ago and ended then. A thing of the past. As noted, Mrs. Leifer has not posted anything on social media for or against anybody. The only thing happening now that is relevant to the past is that she is not cooperating with those who want to extradite her and prosecute her. In light of the fact that her official position is one of innocence, whether true or not, there is no obligation for her to cooperate with those who are rodef her, with no Halachic license, to boot.  It certainly is no Chillul Hashem for her to avoid incriminating herself or to be incriminated.

Dassi Erlich alone is running a public media campaign to facilitate the mesira, nekama, Gonev ish, Lo tasgir, and any other transgression that is involved and is urging other uninvolved people (many of whom think they are observant Jews) to join her. And this is in the face of not only I but others who are warning her of her folly “on a fairly regular basis”!

Line 3 is the Makkah b’patish. Dassi wants to know why she must remain silent and there is no onus “on the perpetrator to expeditiously face the consequences of their crime”?

At the simple level these are two distinct questions. The answer to the first one - Why must she remain silent? - is quite obvious to a devoted Jew. We have rules about malshinus. If there is a clear and present danger to people and a constructive toelles to the malshinus, then one need not remain silent. But if nobody is in any kind of danger and the malshinus serves no useful purpose, as is the case here, then malshinus is forbidden.

The second question about why the “perpetrator” doesn’t need to “expeditiously face the consequences of their crime” is a very silly one. “Perpetrators” are not prone to do these sort of things just because their accusers want them to. Even if the accuser asks nicely like Dassi did in her Headlines interview (37:10).

So the answers to her questions at this level are really quite simple to one who knows how to think logically and to think like a Jew. One whose “bor” is filled with “water”, the water of Torah. But we have seen that if the “bor” is void of water, then it gets filled with “nachashim”, only thoughts of vengeance. And a vengeful thinker cannot think rationally. And so, she laments at being baffled by these questions.

But clearly, on a deeper level, she is asking a different question in Line 3. I will get to it in Part III where we examine her second recent post.



Part III – Dassi’s Second Post

Before I get back to her inquisitive post, we should examine her following post which was essentially a link to an interesting supportive write-up in the Age of Victoria authored by one Rachel Kleinman.

I mentioned that both her interview with R. Dovid Lichtenstein and her recent Facebook posts were full of revelations or “confessions”.  Many of these confessions are really only confirmations of significant details that were already presented by other sources. Until now, I dealt with them as unconfirmed speculations, but now she is herself confirming all of these details. In the Headlines interview, she said these things straight out and in her recent Facebook post, she is linking to a report in the Age of Victoria for which she herself provided almost all of the details – so everything written there carries her imprimatur.

Here is the short list of revelations:

1.   She came from an abusive home (Headlines 22:30 and 28:55). The Age article puts it this way:
Sadly, the seven children lived in a physically and emotionally abusive home, where they existed in constant fear of their cruel and extremely controlling mother.

With this, she confirms my charge that she had emotional issues for 15 years before Malka Leifer came into her life. Even if Malka Leifer did everything she is accusing her of, she is certainly not the sole cause of her problems.

2.   The school “had no idea” that something was going on (Headlines 31:30) and “no one had ever dealt with anything like this before” (Headlines 32:20).

With this, she is confessing that there is no justification for her to sue the school and to take any money from whoever it is that is paying it (which is not Mrs. Leifer).


3.   The three sisters gave their initial statements to the Victorian police only in 2011. (Age article).

This raises two very important questions:

a.  Malka Leifer was already gone from Australia for three years. As such, there was no rhyme or reason certainly from a halachic standpoint and even from a logical standpoint to involve the Victoria police. She is gone. If she can be considered an active threat in Eretz Yisrael in 2011 then it is perhaps justified to give a statement to the Israeli police, but to the Victorian police? Why? Did they do this on a whim or did they get any professional or Rabbinic guidance to do this? Why are the masses applauding this wanton behavior?

b. As long as no "statement" was given to the Victoria police, then she can certainly not be considered a potential or wanted criminal - or fugitive. Hence, when the Adass people shipped her out of Australia in 2008, they weren't shipping out an official fugitive and there was no act of obstruction of justice. As such, what is the justification of anybody to take them to task for doing the responsible thing and getting her out of Australia? And what are the grounds of Justice Jack Rush to incriminate them and fine them money?


4.   Her sister Nicole is two years her senior (Age article).

This was a real shocker!  Until now, I thought Dassi was probably the oldest. Earlier articles claim that she was abused from the age of 15-18. I found this to be perplexing in itself.  For four years into adulthood she didn’t know she was being abused? All this was non-consensual? But now I discover that for all this time she had a sister that was even two years older! 17-20! Where was she during all of this? Wait, there’s more! Another sister 12 years older! (Passed away three years ago at 39. Dassi is 30.) Where was she? Didn’t Dassi say in the Headlines interview (29:20) that she has six siblings and “I am very close to all of them”?

Something definitely does not add up here.

5.   And the last thing is something that I had heard from unverifiable sources and strongly suspected but was only now confirmed. In the Headlines interview she mentioned twice that she “was struggling with my religion” which is not conclusive, but the Age article closes the issue:
She had already endured the tricky transition from a life in ultra-Orthodox Judaism, where every move was governed by severe rules and rituals, to a secular life in Melbourne's suburbs. (Age article)

It’s confirmed. Dassi is no longer religious!

Actually, this was quite obvious to me from the start. Back in my post about Judging the Judges I wrote, "My suspicion is that she is no longer religious." And I wrote it again in my post about Flirting with Danger. After I repeated for the third time the list of issurim that are involved, I commented:

All of the above should rile up any yarei shamayim, people who believe in the 11th principle of emunah that HKBH will punish people for their transgressions. There is serious danger here… I was hoping this alone would reach the Australian Jews. But it seems to me that most of these Jews, the victims and their supporters, are not really yarei shamayim. So they will not acknowledge this danger.


In short, Dassi is not fazed by her involvement with mesira, and gonev ish, etc. She is not religious and no longer believes in Heavenly retribution. She does not use Torah principles to make her judgments. Her “bor” is void of water. By default, it is full of vengeful snakes and scorpions.

We can now return to her earlier post about Chillul Hashem, and I have a question of my own:

If she is no longer observant, why does she care if “They” think her campaign is a Chillul Hashem?

She has left the frum community, so it would seem that she is not really interested in what “They” think. She is docheh “Them” with both hands. There is no Torah. In her [secular] book, there is no Halacha. There is no mesira, malshinus, Lo Tasgir, Gonev ish. No nekama and no Chillul Hashem.

So, what’s her problem?

Her problem is the makka b’patish in Line 3.

Even though she is asking two separate questions, emotionally it is really only one question:
Why do I have to stay quiet and (at the same time) she doesn't have to give herself up? It isn't fair!

Why are “They” telling only her that she is perpetrating a Chillul Hashem. What about Mrs. Leifer (who hasn’t crossed any lines in over nine years)? Aren’t “They” also telling her she is doing a Chillul Hashem? Why only Dassi? Why can she go to Meron on Lag B’Omer? (Note - Dassi can go, too!) How can she get away without being extradited? Why are “They” protecting/supporting Mrs. Leifer and not her?

Oh, Teacher, why do I get sent out for disrupting the class?? She's the one who was making the funny faces!

It’s not fair!!!

She is tormenting herself. She cannot sleep nights. She sees Mrs. Leifer everywhere she looks (evidently, she looks everywhere for Leifer). Just like I wrote in my post about Judging the Judges, after the confirmed abuse from her mother and the alleged abuse from Mrs. Leifer, Dassi is abusing herself. She has no peace. And why?

Because she has no “water” in her “bor”. It is full of snakes and scorpions.

So she goes into her Facebook sanctuary and listens to her choir sing her praises. They unanimously tell her she is a tzadeikes. She is amazing. Strong. Inspiration. Chillul Hashem? How dare “They”? Everything she is doing is a Kiddush Hashem! The only one making a Chillul Hashem is that “vile vile animal”. Keep it up! Hatzlacha Rabba! Etc. etc. etc…

They are soothing her injured psyche. They are easing her pain. They are encouraging her and empowering her…for today.

But for tomorrow (and the next day), they are helping her abuse herself and helping her to perpetuate her torment. And they are helping her to lose both worlds – chas v’shalom – and to take her daughter and two sisters and everyone else with her!

Snakes and scorpions are very dangerous creatures. They will destroy her. I wrote in my June 7 post: Nekama always destroys its master. It’s a boomerang!


הוא שטן הוא יצר הרע הוא מלאך המות



End of Part III