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Why the Rabbis Are Silent on Tropper

Reserving judgment on sex scandal reported by Tablet

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Over four articles (all of which you can find here), Tablet Magazine traced the scandal surrounding Leib Tropper. A one-time Monsey, New York, Orthodox rabbi, Tropper raised himself to the status of Jerusalem-based conversion guru by dint of powerful connections, only to fall from grace after audiotapes purportedly recorded him making sexual advances toward prospective converts. In her final article, Allison Hoffman reported on the conspicuous silence with which ultra-Orthodox Judaism’s rabbinic elite have greeted the revelations—some of them broken by Tablet Magazine. And there has barely been a slap on the wrist: Tropper remains, for example, rosh yeshiva—the head of a religious day school in Monsey.

The 5 Towns Jewish Times, which serves a heavily Orthodox area of Long Island, runs a fantastic interview with another Monsey rabbi that tries to get to the bottom of this troubling lack of condemnation. The rub seems to be that the rabbis feel they are barred, under Jewish law, from speaking out against Tropper until his case has been formally tried in front of a Beth Din (a formal rabbinical court). Says the rabbi: “until there is due process we are not Halachically permitted to issue condemnations against an individual, or to take any other action against him.” He adds:

This terrible episode has brought great pain and embarrassment to the entire Torah community. … If, however, [the allegations] are proven to be true, then we have discovered a venomous snake in our midst, an immoral individual who abused his rabbinical position and caused immeasurable Chillul Hashem [desecration to the Name], and shame to our community.

The rabbi also denied that Tropper’s extensive connections throughout the community has anything to do with the kid gloves with which that community has (so far) treated the allegations against him.

So: hemming, hawing, non-denial denials; earnest concern that Jewish law be followed; and somewhat useful boilerplate that at least recognizes the magnitude of the allegations.

Meanwhile, an editorial in The Jewish Star, which also serves Long Island’s Orthodox communities, offers a slightly different point of view:

Are we the only ones taking crazy pills or does anyone else find it strange that virtually not a single prominent rabbinical figure outside the leadership of the Rabbinical Council of America—and they are hardly household names—has said a public word about the incredible scandal this man created? After years of instigating holier-than-thou controversies over conversions and other issues, funded by someone else’s millions, Tropper was unmasked as the worst sort of hypocrite—he has denied nothing—and yet, he continues to go to the office each day and call himself a rosh yeshiva.
Really, this one takes the cake.

Leib Tropper—Why the Rabbis Were Silent [5TJT]
Editorial: A Smart Career Move [The Jewish Star]

Related: Sex, Lies, and Audiotape [Tablet Magazine]

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Eliyahoo William Dwek says:

When ‘dayanim’, ‘rabbis’ and false ‘mekubalim’ use the Torah for their own power and commercial profit, this behaviour is abhorrent.

No other ‘rabbi’ will ever act against another ‘rabbi’ – even when he knows his colleague is clearly desecrating the Torah. Each rabbi is only worried about losing his own position.

Therefore, the ‘rabbi’, ‘dayyan’ or false ‘mekubal’ (‘kabbalist’) will never effect justice. And he will never truly stand for the Torah or the Honour of Hashem. His pocket will always prevail.

The Torah must never be used for commercial gain and profit. Amm israel can only be lead by those who have the necessary love and respect of Hashem and the Torah.

Eliyahoo William Dwek says:

Any man who chooses to be a ‘rabbi’ (‘true teacher’ of Torah) or a ‘dayan’ (‘judge’), or a ‘mekubal’ (‘kabbalist’) should be doing so Voluntarily. Out of his pure love for Hashem and the Torah. And his Ahavat Yisrael.

If he refuses to do community work voluntarily, and wants and accepts payment for everything he does, such a man should not be leading a community. He should get a job and earn a living. He can collect milk bottles or clean the windows. That is what is called ‘earning a living’.

Torah is learned, studied and taught: out of Love. Voluntarily. But the ‘rabbis’ have turned the Torah into their ‘Profession’, from which they earn money.

We are commanded in the Shema to:
‘LOVE Hashem, your G-d, WITH ALL YOUR HEART, and with all your soul and with all your might.’

‘VE’AHAVTA et Hashem Elokecha BECHOL LEVAVECHA uvechol nafshecha uvechol meodecha.’ (Devarim, Vaethanan, 6:4-5)

Is the ordinary man or woman PAID to pray to Hashem, or to say some words of Torah? No. Has veshalom! But the rabbis are. These men can give ‘lovely’ shiurim that they have rehearsed. But they would not give a shiur without being paid for it.

The true hachamim and rabbis of old, all actually worked at proper jobs and professions.

Wake up! Even a little child could have worked this out. These salaried men can never truly stand for the Torah, because in a case of conflict between a correct course of action according to the Torah, and the rabbi or rav’s pocket – his pocket and position will always prevail.

Pirkei Avot: (2:2)
“Raban Gamliel beno shel Rabi Yehuda HaNassi omer: yafeh talmud Torah im derech eretz, sheyegiat shenaihem mashkachat avon. Vechol Torah she’ein imah melacha sofa betailah ve’goreret avon. Vechol haoskim im hatzibbur yiheyu imahem leShem Shamayim……”

“Rabban Gamliel, the son of Rabi Yehuda HaNassi, said: It is good to combine Torah study with a worldly occupation, for working at them both drives sin from the mind. All Torah without an occupation will in the end fail and lead to sin. And let all who work for the community do so for the sake of Heaven………”

Eliyahoo William Dwek says:

1. The ‘dayan’, ‘rabbi’ or false ‘mekubal’ may use lies. They turn the innocent into the guilty, and the guilty, become the innocent. They will not hesitate to tell lies in the Synagogue.

2. The ‘dayan’, ‘rabbi’ or false ‘mekubal’ (‘kabbalist’) may knowingly and willingly, deliberately deceive a Jew or Jewess. e.g. in the area of shidduchim, or offering to perform a ‘pidyon nefesh’.
This abhorrent and deceptive behaviour has caused tremendous harm to people who are innocent and trusting.
A further word of advice regarding those who masquerade as a ‘dayan’ ‘rabbi’ or false ‘mekubal’ (‘kabbalist’):

- Do not ever ‘kiss the hands’ of these men (which they might offer to you in public).
- And do not be duped into queuing and waiting, to see them for their ‘brachot’ (‘blessings’). They peddle ‘brachot’ purely for their own selfish gratification and ‘kavod’ (‘honour’).

Their duplicitous behaviour is nothing short of deception and cunning. In short they are abhorant and causing so much harm to amm israel. They prey on the vulnerable, and those who are naïve, unsuspecting and trusting of these pedlars.

Eliyahoo William Dwek says:

3. The ‘dayan’, ‘rabbi’ or false ‘mekubal’ may steal. They steal and siphon off money for themselves, from the community and individuals.

4. The ‘dayan’, ‘rabbi’ or false ‘mekubal’ will not hesitate to use Lashon HaRA – the ‘Evil Tongue’ – to suit his own ends. Slander and gossip. This is one of the worst acts of murder in Jewish Law – and they know this.

5. The ‘dayan’, ‘rabbi’ or false ‘mekubal’ may shame and humiliate a Jew in public, even repeatedly. This is one of the most vile acts of murder in Jewish law – and they know this.

6. The ‘dayyanim’, ‘rabbis’ and false ‘mekubalim’ worship idols and other gods. The Avodah Zara in question is Money. Especially the ‘Dayanim’ – the ‘Judges’ who sit on a Beit Din. They only care about their high incomes and retirement packages. They have little or no love for the Torah or Hashem.

In the case of Lubavitch/Chabad, all their rabbis are carrying out a form of Avodah Zarah – strange worship. They are using mediation and intercession. This is completely forbidden, and against the Torah. We are only allowed to pray to Hashem, directly ourselves.

7. When the NAME of Hashem has been taken in Vain – repeatedly – by reshaim, the ‘rabbi’ ‘dayan’ or false ‘mekubal’ will knowingly and willingly, turn a deaf ear and a blind eye to the

CHILLUL HASHEM.

This behaviour by so-called ‘leaders’, is abhorrent.
This is an extremely severe and dangerous situation.
There is NO forgiveness for this evil sin and aveirah.

8. The ‘dayan’, ‘rabbi’ or false ‘mekubal’ may also offer large bribes, tell lies and bring False Witnesses – when he in fact has committed the crime. These are heinous acts of the most despicable kind. This is especially vile when the ‘dayan’ is sitting on a ‘Bet Din.’

9. The ‘rabbi’ may commit adultery. And when he gets divorced, he may spread slander about his own ex-wife, blackening her name – when in fact he was at fault.

10. The ‘dayan’ and ‘rabbi’ may also desecrate Shabbat – if it suits him. He will use physical violence to assault another Jew or Jewess at any time. This evil and venomous behaviour is 100% against the Torah.

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Why the Rabbis Are Silent on Tropper

Reserving judgment on sex scandal reported by Tablet

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