Monday, June 12, 2017

Open Correspondence to the RCANZ

It looks to me that my previous post created a bit of a stir down under. I suppose many thought it was “below the equator belt”.

I am preparing a post to analyze the feedback but I am incredibly busy (test on Even HaEzer next Thursday, IY"H!) so I don’t know how long it will take.

In the meantime, I stumbled on something that was posted on a few Facebook sites only in text. A statement attributed to an organization called The Rabbinical Council of Ausralia and NewZealand (RCANZ).  This seems to be a relatively nascent organization and it doesn’t seem to be fully developed. Their web site sure isn’t.

The statement was dated June 9, 2017 which seems to be the second anniversary of the Council. It is hard for me to believe it is authentic because:

·         It doesn’t appear on any official stationary

·         It is not signed

·         It does not appear on their website

·         It is a Rabbinic organization and the position that it espouses is not too Rabbinic.

But since they are not very well developed, who knows?      

Here is the statement in text:

Statement from the Rabbinical Council of Australia and New Zealand 9 June, 2017

The Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of Australia and New Zealand is deeply concerned with the outcome of the court hearings in Israel regarding Mrs Leifer's extradition proceedings and will be voicing its concerns to the Israeli Minister of Justice. Furthermore, following information being disseminated in the community which asserts Mrs Leifer should not be extradited for Halachic reasons, we wish to state in the clearest possible terms that such assertions are fundamentally flawed, deeply offensive and most of all, extremely damaging to Mrs Leifer's alleged victims. We call on those who are disseminating this information to cease immediately and to no longer misuse Halacha to justify their misguided beliefs.

I am not sure who they are referring to. Could my assertions be fundamentally flawed?  Can my beliefs be misguided?

This must be a forgery!

But, just in case it isn't, I think that the fundamental flaws and misguided beliefs should be exposed. Don't you? I think they should be opened up for everybody to see. So I sent them an email insisting that they do just that. Here it is:

To the Esteemed Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of Australia and New Zealand, LOY”T

Shalom u’Bracha

Firstly, be it known that this correspondence is open to the public.

It has come to my attention that a statement has been issued in your name dated June 9, 2017. This statement appears on a number of Facebook sites but not on your web site.

With all due respect, I found the content of this statement to be extremely disturbing in that it seems to support a position that negates our Torah values as well as not being constructive or helpful in general.

This statement has not been presented as an official document printed on Council stationary nor is it signed by anyone. Likewise, it does not appear on your web site. Although it is written in a formal and respectful manner I find it difficult to believe that it is authentic. As such, I am asking you to formally confirm or disavow your authorship of this statement. If you are not aware of it, please be informed that forged statements are being circulated in your name.

In the unlikely event that it is authentic, I have the following to say.

Be it known that I have been writing on the subject of Mesira and, by extension, sexual miscreants for almost two years all of it within the framework of Shas, Rambam, Shulchan Aruch, and subsequent authorities. I live in Yerushalayim which unlike Australia, is not an island. This two years of writing has been accompanied by a great deal of pilpul chaveirm among very learned people as well as conversations with experts in the field.

You are not the first to employ polite terms of discreditation such as “misguided beliefs” and certainly not the first to employ impolite terms. Nevertheless, to date, nobody has formally contested the Halachic integrity of my writings on this subject and nobody has successfully discredited my writings in any way. Virtually all of those who [attempt to] discredit them have not thoroughly read them and I suspect this may also be the case in your hallowed chambers. 

I am attaching to this email three documents. The first two are the “Preamble” posts of the Leifer episode, the second of which (Thinking Like a Jew) clearly articulates the Halachic premises for the position stated in the ensuing posts. The third one, is the “keynote” post which applies the premises to the matter at hand.

Owing to your assertion that “the assertions” of the writer (which I believe to be me) are “fundamentally flawed”, I must insist, in the clearest of terms, that you review these first two posts and, for the good of the public, present the “fundamental flaws” that seem to be extant. I will not stand for my beliefs to be called misguided and a “misuse of halacha” without explanation.    

Incidentally, if you have not yet thoroughly read the keynote post, you have absolutely no right or justification to refer to my beliefs as "misguided" or a "misuse of halacha". If this is the case, I expect an apology for being Motzi Shem Ra. If, after reading it, you cannot clearly establish my beliefs as misguided or a misuse of halacha, you are guilty of choshed b'ksheirim as well.                                                                                                                             

In my view there is a lynch-mob vendetta being perpetrated by those who put their mouths ahead of their eyes (Peh before the Ayin) that has no justification in our Halachic mesora. I will vehemently protest this destructive (offensive and damaging) behavior and do my utmost to see it come to a peaceful end. There is no reason to desist from voicing this position. To the contrary, I call on all true and learned Jews to come to their senses. In the clearest of terms.

Thank you for your attention to this very serious matter. 

Please sign all return correspondence.

Please convey my heartfelt regards to one of your founding members who I greatly admire as a true baal “Emunah” and a master of “Wit and Wisdom”.  We were very dear friends in the late 70s and early 80s when we lived in the “Land Over the Top”. We studied at the feet of the same Talmudic masters and drank from their cans of soda.

עמדו על דרכים וראו ושאלו לנתיבות עולם אי זה דרך הטוב ולכו בה ומצאו מרגוע לנפשיכם

May HKBH grant you much success in your holy work..

Very sincerely yours,

Yechezkel Hirshman

Author – One Above and Seven Below


Hannah said...

Rabbi hirshman... how about a discussion about if a man can give a small class to (young) women???

Yechezkel said...

Hannah -

Thank you very much for the suggestion. I only write about things that I know something about.


Hannah said...

You knew enough to censor my previos comment... false humility... you defened that person...

Yechezkel said...

I like defending people. It's one of my hobbies!