Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Flirting with Danger


There seems to be a great deal of confusion out there about what is basic Halacha and what isn’t. So, with regard to the Malka Leifer episode, it’s probably a good idea to review the Halachos in the clearest of terms.

1.   It has not been established on Halachic grounds that Mrs. Leifer is guilty of anything. There was no confession and there is even no evidence that there was a crime. Note that not one of her accusers reported an assault, not to the school and not to the authorities, at the time that it allegedly happened. And they were all capable of doing so.

2.   Even if she is guilty of what she is being accused of, the activities are not felonious by Torah standards and don’t call for any extreme penalties. Not even judicial flogging. Claims of emotional and psychological injury to the victims are only personal injury claims and are monetary and not criminal. 

3.   It is strictly forbidden to turn over any Jew to secular authorities for punishment that is not called for in Torah law. This is called mesira and is one of the gravest offenses possible. How much more so if no guilt or crime has been established.

4.   Transporting a person away from his home for enslavement or imprisonment when not sanctioned by the Torah is called “Gonev  Ish U’Mecharo” and is a capital crime.

5.   There can be dispensations to the above two Halachos in the case of one who is currently and actively endangering others (rodef). Yosef’s brothers [mistakenly] thought so about him. [Un]fortunately, in our case, there is no situation of rodef currently in effect.

6.   Even in a case where mesira and or imprisonment could be justified, there is an independent prohibition of transporting the subject outside of Eretz Yisroel. This is extrapolated from the Halacha of the eved canaani in Yoreh Deah 267:85. (Note this is an extension of clause 267:84 which tells us that this prohibition applies in our day and age).

All of this does not add up to a pretty picture. And when you add to all this that the efforts to violate the Halacha with this extradition campaign and all the publicity that it generates is causing a colossal chillul Hashem, R”L, it doesn’t really make this campaign look like a good idea.

These are not “Halachic assertions”. They are basic Halacha. There is no room for debate.

It is sad to see misguided advocates and Rabbinical councils misuse their prestige and stature to fundamentally flaw the primacy of Halacha in the eyes of the Jewish consumer.

It is understood that these folks are having a hard time. Such goodie-goodie Halachos interfere with their agendas. Nobody who likes to talk likes the Chofetz Chaim. He makes life miserable for them. And nobody who wants to extradite likes me. I am making life miserable for them. For them to acknowledge that they cannot extradite our villain is devastating. It’s like I am pouring ketchup on their ice cream.

How cruel!

Of course, there are plenty of bloodthirsty compassionate tzaddikim who know that I cannot possibly be correct. And they are sure to let me know how wrong I am. Thus, one fine Australian Jew who calls himself William or Zev or something (and who doesn’t know when to quit) accosted me (by email):

How dare you contradict 7 leading Poskim who have clearly given a Psak Halocha re Leifer the monster and Rodef.

I called his bluff:

Okay, Tzaddik, let's work on this together.


I want:

·         the names of every "Leading" Posek that was asked

·         who asked them

·         what precisely was asked

·         how they did birurim

·         what was the precise response.

I don't want just seven poskim that you claim I am contradicting, I want every posek that was asked (let's see who I am not contradicitng). Al tapel davar!


I understand this may be a tough job, so to start with, just give me the requested information about the seven you seem to be aware of. Since you already know all the facts, I do not expect to have to wait more than 24 hours for the "start with" information.

His response:

Who in the h*** are you to ask anything??
Needless to say, I didn’t get any psakim from seven “Leading” poskim and not even from one. And it has been way more than 24 hours. Incidentally, I also asked him to name me one single nirdaf of this “monster and Rodef”. No response!

In another email he challenged:

Not 1 Rav of 17 in Melbourne share your opinion.

I shot back:

Not 1 Rav in seventeen saw my opinion.

This should have ended it but this guy kept pestering me. He was telling me that I have no idea what happened and “it was much worse than you can imagine…”

Firstly, I was terribly offended that he was underestimating my power of imagination. That aside, I tried very hard to get him to understand that whatever may have happened can only have an impact, at most, on the first two points of the list of reasons I listed at the top of this post. The other four reasons – the main ones – would not be affected. It doesn’t matter what happened.

I don’t think he got it.

Personally, I had a lot of fun playing ping-pong with this guy. His emails, along with so many comments I saw on some social media sites, show me how shallow and out of touch with reality most of these Australian Jews really are (sadly so). Lots of Americans, too, but the Australians are the main players in this game.

They are mostly what I call “consumers”, not too wise. They are an עם נבל ולא חכם.

How so?

Well, what does Rashi say? He says:

לא חכם: להבין את הנולדות...

They cannot understand what is developing…

In other words, they don’t know what trouble they may be causing for themselves.

It’s clear that the purpose of all these posts is that I sincerely want to see this extradition campaign stopped. Why?

First of all, it’s assur – forbidden. It is against the Word of G-d.

Secondly, it is a colossal Chillul Hashem and, if it isn’t stopped, it will only intensify as new developments take place (and hit the papers). Hey, who knows what could happen if, chas v'shalom, heaven forfend, she goes to the Kosel on Tisha B'Av?

But, lastly, it’s no good for anybody. Nobody will gain from it. And, if my intuition is correct, it’s going to boomerang ('backfire' in American). The people who the masses are meaning to help are going to get hurt.

As I wrote in my [in]famous post: They are flirting with danger.

Some mindless American opportunists taunted me about this. They want what they want and they don’t really care what happens to the Australian community or the alleged victims. As long as my ahavas Yisroel is “patronizing” (i.e., pasul) there is no merit to what I wrote.

But I wouldn’t write me off so fast. I meant what I said and I said what I meant. For a ben-Torah is faithful – 100%!

I said that the victims and the Aussies are flirting with danger. Because they cannot see the nolad. They cannot see what is developing. Allow me to explain:

Currently, they are all standing on the high mountains, thumping their chests, and screaming for vengeance justice.

We must extradite this monster back to Australia so she can face justice and be punished for her horrible crimes. It is for the good of the poor victims. They need closure. They need justice!

And the silly Australians think that all they need to do is scream loud enough and long enough and they will have their way. They will kill the beastie and life will be better for everybody. We are thousands strong against nobody of significance, what could possibly go wrong?

To quote my friend Zev/William: More than they could ever imagine.

They want a lynching and they want a nice clean job. They don’t want any resistance and they don’t want any conscience.

Of course, if a little Who like me tries to scream out, who is going to hear me? Maybe a Horton, the chareidi elephant-in-the-room with nice big ears can hear the sound of the Who, but the sour Kangaroo (and the younger ones too)…they aren’t interested. If anything, they want to boil the Who in oil.

So they think that all they have to do is do away with nuisances like me and their path is clear.

Silly sour kangaroos! They are living in the Jungle of Nool, not in the real world. The real world is a much more unpredictable and dangerous place. So, if I write that they are flirting with danger, maybe it’s something to think about?

Well, what did I mean?

Nobody bothered asking. But I had about five issues in mind.

The first two are what I clearly wrote. I write my blog for G-d fearing people –Yarei Shamayim. So these issues are those that I would expect a yarei shamayim to take seriously.

Issue 1 – There are serious issurim involved here: Mesira, Gonev Ish, Lo Tasgir, and nekama.

Issue 2 – There is a tremendous Chillul Hashem taking place here. 

Issue 3 – If one accepts issues 1 and 2, then they will realize that there is no reason for them to have any siyatta d’shmaya. The aron bris Hashem and Moshe are not with them. They will not succeed. If they do succeed, it is because they sold themselves to the “other side”.

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.

But they should take heed that there are a number of dangers of a more earthly nature that it would be wise to think about. If one can be a chacham. If one can be ro’eh ess hanolad.

Let’s go back to my friend, Zev/William. One of the more interesting emails that he sent me read as follows:

Some suggesting if you don't drop what you wrote a protest should be organised in front of your home and shule!

My wife commented that this wouldn’t be too difficult since the shule is directly across the street from my house. But I thought I should give him some tips:
Just please tell them to be sure to get a permit and to bring plenty of bail money -- just in case. There is plenty of jail space in the Russian Compound and the government loves bail money.

Unlike Australia, Israel is not a democracy.

Israel is not a democracy. You see, Australians (and Americans) tend to think that Eretz Yisroel is Disneyland. You can do whatever you want here. And likewise they think that they can just demand an extradition of a “bad” Jew and the two governments will make their deals and nobody from the chareidi community will notice (except me).

I think they are making a big mistake. So here is…

Issue 4 – The Australian Community

I don’t know how to read the Australian Rabbinate. I only know that the RCANZ – who seems to be affiliated with Kol V’Oz – are foolishly in favor of this extradition. I don’t know where the RCV stands or anybody else. I suspect that many of the wiser rabbanim know exactly how “misguided” my Halachic beliefs are [not] and are playing neutral. I am sure there are numerous Rabbinic dissenters who are afraid to voice their position. For the moment, Victoria stands united.

We also have a Rabbinate here – more than one, and they have been strangely quiet. It’s not too strange, because there is no reason for them to make any noise here…just yet. This episode does not seem to be on the radar screen of the Eidah or Gur and Vizhnitz.  so we haven't heard from them. Why? Because it hasn’t reached a critical point.

But, if this thing isn’t dropped, it will.

The Eidah and Gur will not support this mesira; especially if it is perpetrated by the “medinah”. Trust me on this. I do not stand alone. These chevra and their kanayim haven’t woken up yet, but if this heats up, they will. When that happens, there is no telling how hot it can get.

What will happen as a result is that all of the neutral Rabbanim in Australia will have to pick a side. The legitimacy of the Australian Rabbinate in the eyes of the Chareidi kehilla in E”Y will be put to the test. And the Australian community will split into two.

Maybe my prediction is wrong, but it is ro’eh ess hanolad. There is no telling how far or serious something like this can get. Why do you folks wish this on yourselves? What do you need this for?
בא וראה כמה קשה המחלוקת


And, finally, we come to the climax of this post:

Issue 5 – The “Victims”

It seems to me that all of these silly Australians live in La-la land and watch way too much television. I don’t know what they watch in Australia but in my days in the US we used to watch Colombo and Hawaii Five-0.

In every episode of Colombo, some prestigious VIP always tried to pull off some brilliantly premeditated murder. Lt. Colombo investigates the case and peels it off layer by layer until he gets the emperor without any clothes. At the end, the crook always shakes Colombo’s hand and says, “Well done, Lieutenant” as he goes quietly into the squad car. Curtain falls.

In Hawaii Five-0 McGarret also figures out the case and corners his man – “Book him, Danno!” Curtain falls.

Everything’s cool. The crook is caught. He’s going to get fried. They'll throw away the key. He’s done. The streets are safe. We can live happily ever after.

This is not real life.

In real life the rich Colombo VIP gets a crack lawyer who destroys Colombo’s case and gets his client off. As for Steve McGarret, his man makes a quick deal with the DA, gets a suspended sentence and walks.

Justice is served.

All of the Australian shriers think that all we have to do is get Mrs. Leifer extradited to Australia and the rest is pattycake. We’ll just lock her up and throw away the key. And Dassi will smile.

Get real.

I don’t know what experience Dassi had in the Supreme court under Justice Jack Rush and I don’t know who defended the Adass shul, but I can promise her that this experience will not be the same.

If Mrs. Leifer is going to be extradited, it must be for an indictable offense. I can’t imagine getting an order of extradition for a summary offense. An indictable offense means a jury trial, which, if my Googling is accurate, must come out with a unanimous guilty verdict.

In short, Dassi will have to convince 12 people that her accusations are true. If not, no cigar. This time she will be going up against a criminal defense attorney. Not an amateur like me, a real one.

Now, even I, the amateur can see all of the flaws in her case.

·  No confession

·  No objective witnesses

·  No physical evidence to establish that any crime was committed at all!

·  No complaint filed at the time of the assault(s). In fact she is claiming four years of abuse but must admit that she never complained to anyone for all those years.

·  She came from a background of domestic abuse

·  She filed a civil suit and was awarded a lot of money

Trust me, whether she gets the conviction or not, Dassi or any other accuser is going to get sliced up on the witness chair. Sliced for her silence, sliced for the previous abuse, sliced for the money she received. The lawyer will suggest that she asked for it. He will suggest that she wanted it. He will claim that nothing was forced, it was all consensual. He will trip her up on inconsistencies. And she will have nobody who can corroborate her stories. And her answers will have to convince 12 people that she is telling the truth.

Twelve people.

Will she get her conviction?

If Mrs. Leifer gets a “fair” trial, I kind of doubt it. On one hand, I have a hard time believing that she can get a fair trial after all this hype and the stigma of suspected child abuse. This is good for Dassi.

On the other hand, a high profile episode may require that the trial be carried out even more “fairly” than usual. This is not too good for Dassi.

All I know is what Shlomo HaMelech – the supreme chacham – told us (Koheles 3:15): והא-לקים יבקש את הנרדף  And HKBH will side with the pursued.

Who is being pursued at this stage?

So, after going through this ordeal, Dassi may get her conviction and she will smile. Or she may not.

And she will cry.

Do you know what happens if somebody is extradited overseas on criminal charges and they are acquitted?

That’s right, they will sue. They will sue big. They will sue early and will sue often. They can sue anybody that participated or promoted or facilitated or spoke out in favor of the extradition.

You want to take that chance? Are you sure you are going to win?

Can anybody here be ro’eh ess hanolad??

So it may be a good idea to review these five issues. You may also conclude that you are playing with fire.

For so many reasons, I think it would be a very good idea to forget about this extradition. Drop it and drop it now. You'll thank me one day.

I will close with the closing words of my keynote post:

Call me a hothead, radical, rabble rouser, lunatic, nutcase, crankshaft, meshugenah, am haaretz, Chossid shoteh, misnaged shoteh, or anything you want (you won’t be the first, just no death threats, please). But…

…ignore my words at your own peril, Shmerel.

You are flirting with danger.

2 comments:

Avigael Ester said...

The only problem here is you have your legal systems all messed up, which most Haredim do due to their lack of education. 1. Torah Law is no longer in force, due to all of the legal requirements to do so have been abolished for 1500+ years. That does not mean that the Torah is no longer valid ... just dormant. 2. Australian Law applies to Mrs Leifer and she was charged under Victorian Criminal Law. Australian Commowealth Law applies to her extradition request, which Israeli Law will answer. Torah Law has nothing to do with this process. So please learn a little bit more about legal systems so you understand how they work. While your there, read both Sanhedrins again (Bavli and Yerushalmi) so you understand what elements Torah Law require to operate as a legal system, which clearly you dont.

Yechezkel said...

Thank you for commenting.

1. I write for people who believe that Torah law (i.e., Shulchan Aruch) is in force. If you are not such a person, this blog does not relate to you.

2. This post is not addressing the Australian Commonwealth. It is addressing the Australian Jewish community that is instigating the Australian Commonwealth to call for extradition. These Jews have no Torah right to do so.

3. Mrs. Leifer is not an Australian citizen and is not living in Australia. She has denied the charges and therefore has no obligations to their laws at present.

YH