Thursday, July 07, 2005

secret committee of nameless people called the Jewish Press "editorial Board" give public psak against RCA


At 5:29 PM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

So basically we have an unnamed Jewish Press editorial board refusing to print a response from the RCA in the paper to their smears claiming it would violate halacha. Huh? Who exactly are the great unnamed poskim on this editorial board. What are their names (they claim others should have no anonymity rights, yet maintain theirs?)?

Jason Maoz refused to answer my or Luke Ford's request for their names.

I would note that in addition to the consistent false information concerning the role of Rabbi Blau in the RCA investigation that appears in Jewish Press and Jewish Voice and Opinion articles/editorials, there has been a consistent lack of factual balance. Both claim the same "facts": that the RCA process was not halachically or legally valid.

And on what basis is this claim?

Nothing, they've pulled this fact out of the air.

I've actually done the research that they haven't and determined that the RCA followed the clear halachic and legal precedent set by the chief rabbanut in England.

But then when has this stopped Rosenbluth or the shadowy Jewish Press from making halachic determinations and factual claims in areas where it is painfully clear they have no expertise.


The RCA Faces A Looming Return Date
Posted 7/6/2005
By Editorial Board

Last week in this space we addressed the "Open Letter To The Jewish Community" the Rabbinical Council of America posted on its website reiterating the basis for its expulsion of Rabbi Mordecai Tendler and accusing The Jewish Press of "one-sidedness" and "misinformation and inaccuracies." A subsequent interview an RCA representative gave to a reporter for the Forward provides an important insight into the very troubling mindset of this major Orthodox rabbinic group.
It will be recalled that in last week`s editorial we commented both on the RCA letter`s preamble, which criticized The Jewish Press for allegedly refusing to publish the letter as per prior agreement, and the letter itself. As we said, we were stonewalled by the RCA when we requested key information on the Tendler case, and while we had no problem publishing the RCA`s examples of alleged "misinformation and inaccuracies," we would not carry unsupported charges written in the language of undisputed fact.
Further, notwithstanding the preamble`s contentions, the truth is that the RCA was to submit a bylined op-ed article — not an unsigned "Open Letter." In point of fact, after we voiced our objections to the original draft, the RCA quickly agreed to adhere to the original agreement on these points : an article, carrying the byline of the president and executive vice president of the RCA, would be submitted in place of the open letter. And, in response to our insistence that the RCA document charges of "one-sidedness" and "misinformation and inaccuracies," the RCA opted, instead, conveniently we think, to omit any negative references to The Jewish Press.
Most important, we initially told the RCA representative — and he agreed to this — that the article had to be limited to a defense of the process by which Rabbi Tendler`s expulsion was accomplished. We stipulated that the piece could not be a reiteration of the charges against Rabbi Tendler because of the injunctions issued against the RCA and several of its officials and members personally, as well as the hazmanos that had been issued in the matter — involving, among others, claims of defamation and libel.
Thus, it was agreed that since there were certain restrictions on what actions could be undertaken by the RCA, including statements to the press that could negatively affect Rabbi Tendler`s position in the Jewish community, The Jewish Press could not be complicit in any potential violations. This was also an entirely fitting approach inasmuch as our news reports and editorials focused not so much on the question of guilt or innocence, but on the appropriateness of the process itself. But on this the RCA was not willing to honor the agreement.
Following the appearance of last week`s editorial, a representative of the RCA gave an extraordinary interview to a reporter from the Forward (which appeared on the Forward`s website but not in its print edition) which actually served to confirm The Jewish Press`s version of events.
It`s remarkable that — according to the comments of the RCA representative — the RCA seemed to think that the issue of the violation of injunctions issued by a bet din was of lesser importance than whether the RCA`s article would carry a byline or criticize The Jewish Press. Indeed, the organization seems oblivious to the reach of the injunctions. Thus, not only do RCA officials continue to avoid saying unequivocally that they will honor the hazmano issued by the Jerusalem Bet Din, but they also seem to think that, notwithstanding the injunctions, they have no current duty to refrain from acting against Rabbi Tendler.
We would commend the language of the injunctions to the RCA leadership. On April 5, 2005 (25 Adar II 5765) the Jerusalem Bet Din said,

This Court convened, and after reviews of the materials presented to the Court, this Court hereby agrees with the request of the Plaintiff and hereby orders that the defendants are prohibited from damaging or in any way affecting the services provided by, or any status or position of, the Plaintiff unless and until the Defendants summon the Plaintiff to a Din Torah, in any location in the world, before an official rabbinical Bet Din or before a Bet Din constituted through the process of "zablah."

On April 15, 2005 (6 Nisan 5765), after having been approached by the RCA for a "clarification," the Bet Din said,

As we wrote what we did [in our Decision-Injunction], namely that it is prohibited to take any action which can cause or bring about the dismissal of a rabbi in the Jewish community.... Any action which may have such an effect, if such an action be taken, may only be taken through an independent and impartial Bet Din or through the "zablah" process, and not through any investigative committee of the organization wherein the complainants and the individual about whom complaints were made are members.

The restrictions on the RCA could not be clearer. To be sure, the RCA said in its "Open Letter" that "Well known and respected rabbinic leaders from throughout the world ... have emphatically stated" that its dispensing with a bet din and reliance on an internal "Vaad" in the Tendler case was halachically sound. But how would the RCA react if one of its members, or any litigant for that matter, reacted in that way to pronouncements from its affiliated bet din, the Beth Din of America? Would the RCA countenance the ignoring of injunctions or a reliance upon non-judicial opinions? Could any legal system operate that way?

From the outset The Jewish Press has made clear that its intervention in the Tendler matter was predicated on the need to preserve the integrity of the bet din process, which was dispensed with by the RCA. The Jewish Press is the only newspaper of its kind that publishes weekly a list of the seruvim issued by various batei din against persons who flout hazmanos and otherwise violate the orders of a bet din, including those of the Beth Din of America. It is this newspaper`s intention to continue to use the resources at its disposal to vindicate the principle that when there is a dispute between or amongst Jews, that dispute should be resolved in a bet din in accordance with halacha, and not before some secret committee of nameless rabbis who make up their own rules as they proceed.

The Jerusalem Bet Din of the Chief Rabbinate has in its two orders in the Tendler case plainly agreed with The Jewish Press`s position in this respect. To date, however, the RCA and the individual defendants, including Rav Gedaliah Schwartz, the av bet din of the Beth Din of America, have failed to state their intention to appear before that bet din or otherwise comply with the hazmanos.

More important, the RCA has, in its public pronouncements, violated the injunctions of the Jerusalem Bet Din. We will continue to cover and comment on the Tendler case in the coming weeks, especially as it relates to the July 14 return date set by the Jerusalem Bet Din for responding to its hazmanos.

At 5:31 PM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

And now the Jewish Press declares that the RCA has broken an injunction?

Who are these great poskim?


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