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MAILBAG: Glad We’re Paying Attention Now

There has been a lot of discussion in recent days over the severity and comparison of two aveiros  – bah al eishes ish and malbin p’nei chaveiro. 

Many people, including most notably HaRav Gershon Edelstein shlita, have pointed out that one who embarrasses someone publicly loses their chelek in olam haba, whereas one who is bah al eishes ish does not, and that people should get their priorities straight, especially when discussing recent developments in the frum community.

This has led to further debate and discussion within our community and a renewed interest in the concept of hamalbin p’nei chaveiro b’rabim ein lo chelek l’olam haba.

I just want to point out that it shouldn’t take a historic tragedy that what has recently gone down – all aspects of it – for us to take this issue seriously.

Whether we like it or not, social media plays a huge part in our day-to-day lives. Information is available to us and able to be transmitted across the globe in literally the blink of an eye, and it is so easy for us to ba’redd someone else without thinking about it – or even uttering a word!

Don’t let this ongoing discussion go to waste. Don’t forget the principle we are being reminded of now – embarrassing another person literally causes us to lose out in the World to Come.

Stop murdering people and start being aware of what you say and type.

Aharon D.


[Rabbonim Instruct Feldheim To Cease Publishing Chaim Walder’s Popular Children’s Books After Serious Allegations Surface]

[Leading Bnei Brak Dayanim Pasken Not To Read Walder’s Books Until ‘Further Clarification’]

[Chaim Walder Summoned To Beis Din Regarding ‘Extremely Severe’ Allegations]

[Support Victims Of Abuse: Let not History Repeat Itself!]

NOTE: The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of YWN.


(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)

40 Responses

  1. There we have it. YWN only comments on the fiasco are to detract from those that dare utter criticism. Bunch of sheep

  2. Thanks for a “cautious” word to the wise. And in all seriousness, for the sake of minimizing halbanas pnei Chavero b’rabim and for the sake of avoiding damage to innocent people, THANK YOU YWN FOR NOT REPORTING ABOUT SAID RECENT TRAGIC EVENTS!

  3. The person alluded to threatened many years ago to kill himself if his actions were exposed. This has NOTHING to do with “embarrassment” or “lashon hara.” This was a final power move.
    Furthermore, when I saw the headline, I assumed this would be a letter about paying attention to the victims. Because THIS is the lesson we need to learn right now. We should NOT be emphasizing lashon hara etc right now any more than we usually do, like any normal day, because this will make the victims feel terrible. We should be focusing on the victims. THIS is the lesson – that a terrible tragedy has befallen our people: a serial rapist and child abuser was a beloved figure in our community for TWENTY FIVE YEARS and maybe more… AND WE DID NOTHING. The lesson is וביערת הרע מקרבך.

  4. 1. We must take HaGaon HaRav Gershon Edelstein shlita’s Psak on this recent tragedy to heart, very seriously, and follow Rav Gershon Edelstein’s words.

    2. As an interesting aside, leading DL/RZ Rabbi Shlomo Aviner has said essentially the same thing as Rav Gershon Edelstein regarding this tragedy.

    3. There was no conviction in Beis Din of bah al eishes ish in this case. Or, for that matter, of ANY thing else at all. If there’s even an accuser, it is anonymous. The accused never was even given his day in Beis Din.

    4. All the accusers are anonymous. All the accusations are hearsay. Even the number of accusers is all based merely on media reports, which have zero credibility. For all we know they are all completely fictitious.

    5. The rogue so-called dayan/”rabbi” who conducted a “beit din” trial in absentia, KNEGED HALACHA, has no credibility whatsoever, his a Kangaroo “beit din” notwithstanding. Rav Gershon Edelstein shlita said, as a result of his pubic accusations without a true Beis Din, that fellow lost his chelek in Olam Habah.

  5. Correct no more Lashan Hara please. Why did YW have to post stuff that are pure lashan hara!? Social media is very dangerous.

  6. The conversation should NOT be about books or even about this one guy.

    It should be about stooping others from continuing or starting.

    THE MAJORITY OF CHILDREN TODAY, suffering from sexual abuse are from OTHER KIDS THEIR AGE.

    THESE KIDS NEVER ARE HELD RESPONSIBLE OR STOPPED, and there is ZERO help for the victims because the predators are kids.

    I know of a kid who was EXPELLED from one camp because if this, but was FULLY allowed to attend SCHOOL and OTHER CAMPS and continue abusing other victims.

    Nothing ever happened to him. Today he us an adult and living his life with other adults SUFFERING IRREPARABLE DAMAGE, while he goes Scott free.

    Who knows how many kids are still suffering from OTHER KIDS????

    This IS THE DISCUSSION we should be having!!!!!!!
    The adult abusers are a TINY FRACTION from the real abuse from other kids!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Rav Gershon Edelstein said the fellow with the kipa sruga covered up by a black hat, who conducted the kangaroo trial and issued public accusations before any trial, has blood on his hands and is responsible for driving the person to mental insanity resulting in taking his own life.

  8. The recent case this author is alluding to was a result of another case that was reported on which led to someone being convicted and allegations by many people against the person this author alludes to. The allegations were brought o the police. A beis din heard testimonies from people, attempted to speak to the accused, and summoned him to beis din which he turned down. Unfortunately, there are cases of abuse in the Jewish community. Is every alleged perpertrator supposed to plead embarrassment – what about the embarrassment of the victims? What should the victims, who live daily with shame and probably depression, do to get some sort of justice, if you can call it that, from those who abused them?

  9. Guess the issur of loshan hara doesn’t apply to CW’s victims. Since he was prominent and they were just mere women, they must have been lying because this sort of thing only is done by bad-apple rabbis, but not by the great and powerful author CW! Instead of legitimizing these victims, people defended a “tzadik” who is most likely going to be confirmed by the authorities, to have been a child predator who operated for the past two decades and who preyed on our daughters. who were among the most vulnerable members of our community. RIP Shifra Horowitz, a victim of us all.

  10. Tell that to the actual victim that committed suicide (when I say victim, I mean someone abused by the monster you are defending).

  11. I appreciate that YW has its rules and has refrained this week. This, however, doesn’t seem like it’s in proper taste at this time.

  12. Aharon D. You say “Social media plays a huge part in our day-to-day lives. Information is available to us… and it is so easy for us to ba’redd…
    Stop murdering people and start being aware of what you say and type.”

    It sounds like playing GD that you know the reason for his demise.

    Why is yours the logical conclusion?

    There are actually at least 2 other possiblities.

    #2 Regardless of Social Media, his line of business totally shut down giving him a clear message to get his act together to clear his name, which can shake up any person – innocent or not.

    As was reported on YWN

    …he was subsequently removed from several public positions, including as a columnist at Yated Ne’eman, a decision approved by HaGaon HaRav Gershon Edelstein. Several days later… announced that he was retiring from all his professional pursuits to concentrate on clearing his name.

    #3 If the allegations were true…


    MODERATORS NOTE: When you talk about a 95-year old Gadol with such azus and cutzpah, not to mention using a screenname, we will not publish your comment. We kept one line of yours:

    “I poudly stand by my critic of the rosh yeshiva. Much more confidently then you repeat what you wrote in front of the victims of CW.”

  14. I kindly ask the moderator to please correct my 2 spelling errors but leave my response intact. It is important for the sake of klal yisroel’s safety that my critique be displayed as a response to this letter. I have spent a quarter of a century fighting for survivors and against molesters/abusers. What people are saying like this letter writer is hurtful beyond description to those who have experienced abuse. I am a true believer in torahs moshe and daas chachomim and therefore a psak halacha by the rosh bais din of rav karelitz’a bais din and others must be respected as unpopular and as inconvenient as it might seem to laymen AND roshei yeshiva and mayors alike.

  15. “The matters are very clear,” the Rav continued. “It’s based on numerous testimonies, documents, text, Beis Din protocols, photos, and recordings. Unequivocal evidence.”

    “The very fact that we’re expelling him from society fulfills ‘את רוח הטומאה אעביר מהארץ.’ The fact that we’re expelling people like these and removing them from their positions of power and warning people about him – through this we’re partners in the Geulah that says רוח הטומאה אעביר מהארץ,” HaRav Eliyahu concluded.

  16. You do know that writing this will bring you grief, don’t you? But I 100% agree with you; you said it far better than I did!

    May the Ultimate Healer bring nechama to all victims.

  17. This letter is an outrage! In response to 20 years’ worth of multiple claims detailing arayos, eishes ish, and child molestation, with male and female claimants, against a trusted voice of compassion in our chareidi community, and his ultimate suicide, you are “glad we’re paying attention now to the concept of hamalbin p’nei chaveiro b’rabim ein lo chelek l’olam haba”?????? It’s bad enough that some frum yidden feel it’s a middas chassidus to remain silent about the many aveiros d’oraysa and derabbanan this man flagrantly did (and clearly so with his unrepentant self-murder), but for Yeshivaworld to print such enabling drivel is beyond me. Why is it that someone like me has to come out and say that clearly Hashem doesn’t want us to be silent in the face of serious aveiros that continue for years around us? Yeshivish Rabbanim, where are you? Enough with this oppressive and cruel kanaism that has caused uncountable cases of suicide (aka an embolism) and psycho-emotional devastation. Quite the contrary, we should be “Glad We’re Paying Attention Now” to the rot that we have allowed to fester in our holy communities — effectively condoning it, to the detriment of our innocents!

    Just wanted to add one point.
    Raboisai, what is with Nosei Beol Im Chaveiro?
    No, we cannot be Nosei Beol with X or Y (alleged victims whom we do not know), but we can be Nosei Beol with the family.
    The chance that they read YWN is probably less than 1%, but this is just a mashal for if Chas Veshalom there is a case in the States.
    Just imagine that they have to get up from Shiva & go back to shules, kolelim, a/or jobs.
    Do they want them to follow their father?
    If someone really believes that their 5th Shulchan Aruch (because no other Shulchan Aruch says it) tells them that his whole family must be erased, let them be a man & say it.
    If not, you are playing with your Olam Haba!!!!!!!!


  20. These two serious issues are not mutually exclusive. One can be very careful with Malbin Pnei Chaveiro, while still outing abusers AL Pi Derech ha’Torah. I would go so far as to say that maintaining this balance is crucial, and to lean too far in either direction is against Ratzon Hashem.
    This is what I meant by supporting Barry17. The timing and message of this letter seem to minimize one of these crucial issues, as if one must choose one over the other.

  21. First of all, YWN didn’t even report on the story of CW’s suicide, only a couple articles commenting on the story. So we’re expected to go to other news sites to actually know what happens and then come here for the YWN “kosher” perspective. And second, CW didn’t commit suicide because he was so embarrassed and driven to insanity. He clearly said what he was going to do and took time to write out a detailed suicide note. This was just his final manipulative power grabbing move, which seems to have worked pretty well for him, based on a lot of the comments.

  22. With all due respect to Rav Edelstein, I read the letter he publicized and it goes directly against what is written in sefer chofetz chaim. There, it us discussed at length how it is a mitzva to be mafarsem the aveiros of someone when it is clear that he is doing it intentionally, that he is adamant in not accepting rebuke, that he hasn’t done teshuva, and that the aveiros in question are known to be aveiros by all Jews (such as shabbos, kosher, arayos, etc.)

    Is the Rosh Yeshiva being cholek on the chofetz chaim? It could be.. I am just a simpleton. I do know however that this is clear from sefer chofetz chaim. Perhaps I am wrong, but it seems to be very clear from studying the inyan.

    Is the Rosh yeshiva the only one who declared about this? Are we allowed to accept the opinion of a different adam gadol?

  23. Mr. Nodel: HaGaon HaRav Gershon Edelstein shlita knows and applies the Chofetz Chaim many hundreds of times better than you.

    Accept HaGaon HaRav Gershon Edelstein shlita.

  24. yeshiva world, please address, as you read every comment and either allow it or not, why you do allow comments that ARE clearly lashon hara, etc.
    If you follow your rav, you follow your rav. If you follow your rav, you should not let many comments that do come through, through.

    Still waiting for a response on helping me pay for my therapy.

    Thank You

  25. If you read the actual notice printed in the yated (avail on jdn) you will see that Rav Gershon Shlit”a BEGINS by saying that there is NO Issur Lashon Harah in reporting such behavior to relevant authorities as it is a Toeles for this victim and any other potential victims. He then goes on to say that mass media is not the right place for these things as they lead to halbanas panim AT LEAST of the family members of the perpetrators meaning in some situations the accused also does not deserve to be publicly shamed and in some situations he does. He does not say in this particular case of CW whether he believes CW deserves such consideration. Of course, he is not disagreeing with the Chaftez Chayim about the criteria of being defined as a rasha who loses all protections (and on the contrary there is a mitzvah to hate and denigrate.) But, I think the chafetz Chayim himself says that a beis din has to pasken that in any situation where there is any doubt. So in general, these things need to be dealt with by the competent authorities (the proper batei din and law enforcement). In this case, personally I thought that Rav Shmuel Eliyahu Shlit”a has a special beis din that is competent in this area and after his psak (was Rav Silman Shlit”a involved too?) then that issue is settled. Again the “kruz” from the Rosh Yeshiva does not speak about this case in particular. If you read between the lines he seems to be saying that he is concerned about the dignity of the family as well as maintaining the proper system for all such matters.

  26. Also, the last point in Rav Gershon Shlita’s statement is that people should talk to their children about shcar veonesh and remind them of the maamar chazal “al tavtichecha yitzreicha shehasheol beis monos lach…”. That seems to indicate that he sees CW final dramatic act as just that…

  27. No, of course not. Rav Edelstein would never ever argue on the Chafetz Chaim, and if anybody suffers any abuse he would insist that they report it.
    לא תעמוד על דם רעך
    But there is a big difference between a victim reporting to the authorities, to publishing such a story in the media, (printed or social). IF, and ONCE, facts have been established by a ehrliche rabbonim (BTW someone who bnei torah don’t eat from his hechsher and would not ask their shailos to, is not included in ‘ehrliche rabbonim’) theמ the abuser must be locked up, for life.
    [Even at that stage I doubt Rav Edelstein would condone an article about it in the media….]

  28. The drama surrounding the end of the story should not detract people from the main issue here: as R Edelstein says, the victims should report to the proper authorities. It seems that a Beit Din was involved here recently. What prevented this being resolved for many previous years? Why previously harmed families did not talk to a Beis Din or police? Did they ask for help from someone and were not helped? Is there a way to make proper reporting work? A special phone number for a specialized beis din, maybe?

  29. My dear fellow readers on Yeshiva World. I don’t know if YW will print my post but I will write it just in case it will get through.
    I just listened to a speech by Rav Yitzchok Berkowitz of Aish Hatorah about this tragic story.
    I will summarize what he said in a few sentences. I encourage you to find his speech online & listen to it.
    1) Don’t believe any letters from Gedolim about this subject, they are written for internal Israeli reasons. They are trying to maintain the purity of the youth in E’Y so this is being turned into a beinodom lachaveiro issue.
    2) There is no issur loshon horah to talk about it.
    3) There’s no doubt that the allegations are true & we cannot allow predators to remain in our community.
    4) The person was a sociopath, predator, & murdered himself with full understanding, & therefore is considered to be a murderer.
    5) All his books should be removed & disposed of. They have no place in a Jewish home.
    6) Lessons from this tragic story: Male therapists should not be treating females & vice versa.
    7) Seminaries should not have young charming men teaching their students, too many problems have come out of it. There are enough qualified female teachers to teach the students.
    This shiur was a big chizuk to me & I encourage you to listen to it.
    I hope Yeshivah World will have the courage to post this.
    I have not added any of my own opinion to the above. I’m simply summarizing the words of Rav Yitzchok Berkowits Shlitah. If the moderator doubts me, please listen to the shiur to confirm my post.

  30. I will add 2 more points Rav Berkowitz made.
    1) There’s no need in halachah for the victims of abuse to testify in front of the abuser. Beis Din is able to reach a level of certainty without that.
    2) Sometimes our Gedolim don’t get the full story due to the people around them. If something they write seems difficult to understand we should keep this in mind.

  31. Haimy: There is not even a single accuser against him. Other than anonymous claims by anonymous third parties. None first hand. All made only to the media or a kangaroo so-called beit din that operated kneged halacha.

    HaGaon Haav Gershon Edelstein shlita denounced the travesty that was done against Walder, leading to his going insane and taking his life. Rav Edelstein said that person has Walder’s blood on his hands.

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