Op-Ed: The End Of Our Innocence

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It is ironic that in order for me to get this message out I have chosen to use your service, an Internet site no less, but one that many feel is the last vestige of normalcy left in the kosher electronic media world. It is well known that insulting and demeaning comments are moderated and in most cases not accepted altogether on YWN. Yours is a site that proudly adheres to and defends Daas Torah and so with humility, I offer the following to your readers for their response and reaction.

Over the last several months, I and many others have become dismayed at the new generation of Internet Rabbis, bloggers and posters who proliferate their venom and bias on chareidi websites. After doing a deeper search on this matter,what I have discovered is that under our very eyes,a destructive plague has descended upon our Tzibbur. It is no secret that most websites feed off and are interested in creating new controversies as a way to bring viewers and traffic to their site. This in itself should raise a warning flag for all of us. An entire industry that is based on the Tzoros and misery of fellow Jews is quite sick, wouldn’t you agree?

For those who are not familiar with the e-commerce system, the power to command advertising dollars is judged and rated by the amount of ‘hits’ a site receives. The more damaging the stories,the more interest, the more traffic, the better for the site. Scary indictment on us, no?

One website known for its “anything goes” atmosphere, features inflammatory articles from a “Rabbi” that when read carefully  have obviously been diabolically designed to stoke and maximize as much sensationalism and controversy as possible. In fact, as if to literally bait the public, the writer proudly boasts at the early onset of many of his pieces, that his articles are sure to attract heavy criticism. To make matters worse, when the site moderators see large traffic flocking to a particular posting, it becomes a “pinned” story, which means it stays front and center to maximize every last ounce of misery while the always mean- spirited comments  grow by the hour. This works for as long as the public remains interested in the particular story. Eventually the madness ends and the writer and bloggers move on. Leaving a trail of death and destruction in their wake, the unfortunate individual or organization that had the terrible misfortune to be caught in the waves of the public relations tsunami has been left in tatters never to fully recover.

Just last week a well written article on autopsies was posted by one such Internet Rabbi, extolling the virtues of Kovud Hamais and the high Jewish values of  preventing  autopsies. Simple enough right? Upon further investigation and research into the talented writer of this autopsy piece, I discovered that he is the same Rabbi that just attacked some of Klal Yisroel’s most important organizations for their work in assisting Jonathon Pollard. Certainly his was a radical opinion which now demanded a further deeper look into the author and his facts. So after carefully reviewing this article, I did my due diligence and engaged legal experts and knowledgeable Klal officials to verify or discredit Rabbi  ……..’s unwarranted attack. After serious discussions with  knowledgeable sources and after reading Rabbi pesach Lerner’s very powerful refutation yesterday, it is now clear and shocking, that this anti-Pollard slam bordered on outright misinformation and classic media falsehoods. From the NY Times and NY Post we have all come to expect such lowly behavior but from one of own and a Rebbe in a respected Far Rockaway institution no less? On our Jewish sites? The continued betrayal by this writer is simply incomprehensible. Nobody is quite sure what precipitated the article to begin with. Was it self- promotion? If that was not enough, the same Rabbi just weeks ago was highlighted and featured on a  Jewish radio program for writing a deeply offensive piece calling into question the integrity, good judgment and expertise of Klal Yisroel’s best and brightest Askonim and organizations in the Martin Grossman saga.  More disturbing was, nobody of stature was placed on the radio program to counter this Rabbi’s negative opinions. How honest could the debate have been? You know the rest. For sure the Grossman case was not simple and created intense debate and discussion, but such negativity? Whose agenda was served? The question begs,who is so hungry for publicity that he keeps taking on the good guys when thousands of really bad guys are out there?

I offer, that his very damaging article, one that was full of half truths and vague Halachic sources, would never have found nor did it actually find, a place in any respected mainstream Jewish media periodical. Thankfully, our most reputable publications are far more professional than to give ink to the musings and conjecture of a shock value writer. But because of the Wild- West platform called cyberspace this “Rabbi” has now become somebody- with followers no less. For the record, his facts on the Grossman case were equally questionable and sorely uninformed as well. Moreover, he publicly challenged contemporary Daas Torah with his own Daas Yochid. When called on to provide the public as to who gave him his Hadrochah, he meekly offered a rebuttal of “Daas Torah is not monolithic”. To those really involved in the case, it was blatantly obvious that he had no accurate knowledge or information on the efforts to save Martin. Nor did he care. His article reeked of opportunism and self- promotion.  Rabbi ……… successfully found a way to use his charisma and talented pen to shine attention on himself, and give the sensationalists, anti -frum media and anti- organizational types enough fodder to run with. Sadly, it didn’t take much. His, was a classic hit and run job- after the fact. Honest debate? Was it good for the Jews? Hardly.

And as the Grossman case finally ran out of steam, another Internet Rabbi on another site recently called into question the legitimacy and ehrlichkeit of Rabbi Dr. Bernard Lander Z”l, legendary educator and founder of Touro College. Dr. Lander who was  recently Nifter, was being accused post mortem no less, of not adhering to Daas Torah and opening up Touro College in NY in defiance of Rav Moshe Feinstein ZT”L and Rav Yaakov Kaminetsky ZT”L,whose objections were apparently documented in a letter written against such an undertaking- twenty years ago. That’s right, twenty years ago!

After an admittedly overwhelming response from dozens of readers, with many including myself demanding to see the actual letter the writer in question claimed was the basis for his article, the letter that the site finally did produce proved just how disingenuous the whole article was altogether. After carefully examining the twenty year old document it became obvious that the letter that was written and signed was actually  in response to the vision of Touro College in Israel and not in New York as the Rabbi/ author had insinuated. Additionally, the website produced another letter to “assist” the author in his  campaign to discredit Dr. Lander. Again upon careful scrutiny, the signatures of those NOT listed on the letter, were intentionally omitted by the writer, speaking volumes about his credibility and mission. To explain, the gedolim who didn’t sign or support the second Touro ban letter were two of the biggest Roshai Yeshivas of students in Brooklyn at that time- Rav Avrohom Pam Z”TL of Torah Vodaas and Yb”l Rav Ahron Schechter shlita of Chaim Berlin both of whom supported and provided Dr. Lander with the Rabbinical clearance he needed to proceed in NY. These very important facts were omitted/ skipped/ glossed over and would have surely shed better light on the Touro matter well before the new controversy was created. Yes to be fair, the Touro issue was not simple and many major gedolim were against its establishment but this issue had been thoroughly debated two decades ago. So why now? I suspect that after seeing how lucrative “controversy” was on the other sites, and to stir the golden internet pot, the author and his accomplice website set out to wage a  campaign against a dead man and famed author Yonoson Rosenbloom- for viewers!  As anticipated, thousands flocked to the story and well over 100 comments were posted. This was sensationalism and yellow journalism at its very worst and completely unnecessary and unhelpful. Was it good for the Jews? You decide.

Last week, we saw some new movement on this issue as one of the more popular  Jewish sites announced that they are contemplating removing the comments section from their site. Surprise and outrage was the immediate reaction. Was it a publicity stunt? Trial balloon? I don’t know but personally, I feel that this development is long overdo and may actually bring the news back to the news business and remove the damaging side of it. It would be a welcome development to those of us who truly care about Klal Yisroel.

What is harder to comprehend is why the worst cases of Motzei Shem Rah, Loshon Horah and Rechilos are being given top billing and free reign on our computer screens? Why are these suspect writers applauded and rewarded with more ink and space? Why are blog posters still being allowed to remain anonymous? This is not some google or Al- Qaeda chat room, this is Klal Yisroel we are talking about and we all answer to a higher authority. Is it not clear that these sites are sowing the seeds of viscous Machlokes? The great Jewish leaders and visionaries of our glorious past lived their lives by the credo- is it good for the Jews? I ask you fellow readers, are these negative articles and vindictive Internet sites good for the Jews? How can we allow this cancer to live among us?

For the love of money and publicity, every scandal that has a Jewish sounding name finds permanent residence online for the entire world, Jew and gentile alike, to  consume. Where are the safeguards? Who is in charge? Is this the world we want to live in? It matters none that a majority of this malicious reporting brings terrible shame and dishonor to our holy nation but worse yet, some of our own Internet sites proudly carry every disgraceful and sordid story as a badge of professional courage. Getting the scoop has become their most important mission and not waiting for the facts to clear a fellow Jew’s name. Truly shameful. What these websites, authors and bloggers fail to understand is that our dirtiest laundry is being publicly washed not only by our own but enjoyed by a gentile society that also cannot get enough of our mistakes and imperfections. It is a fact that law enforcement and government officials  pay close attention to our electronic media and the message that our Internet leaders and “Rabbis” are  sending out is that-we Jews eat our own, so feel free to come after us too. In the words of the Chofetz Chaim, “the sin is too great to bare.”

Do not compartmentalize my comments as the rantings of some extremist or lunatic, I am far from one. I understand that the Internet plays an integral role in our lives and placing any kind of ban on it  will only increase its popularity. Additionally, articles meant to educate and inform the public are important and even vital to our community interests but columns written with the clear intent to undermine long held beliefs and principles in the guise of thoughtful debate are outright disgraceful and give us no Nachas.

It is clear to me and every intelligent and thoughtful Jew I’ve spoken with that posting or allowing anonymous comments that malign and destroy fellow Jews is against Halachah and is ruining us. The bigger question is, who is doing all of this writing and where do they get their Hechsherim and Hashkofos from? Memo to bloggers and their author enablers,” G-D sees the Internet too.”

Enough is enough. When are we going to stop supporting these sites? Do we or our parents or friends have to be personally and embarrassingly profiled by these disseminators of garbage before we react? Does your Rav or Rosh Yeshiva have to be humiliatingly called onto the public carpet and trashed for an unpopular position they have taken in the court of public opinion- before you realize there is no judge or jury in Crazyville, only prosecutors? What will it finally take to enrage us?

The point is, the lawlessness and Chtuzpah that these sites encourage and promote are ruining the very fabric of our Klal. Yes, we have serious problems but they must be dealt with in a responsible manner. Cyberland is not the forum no matter how much good may possibly be accomplished. The ends do not justify the means. The Internet is radioactive and an uncontrolled environment. It must be handled with care.

To those who may point to the Internet as the only way Klal Yisroel opened up its eyes to our deepest and darkest scandals, I will humbly concur with our greatest sages that allowing an “anything goes” climate brings our Tzibbur closer to ruin then to the Geulah. Don’t ask the Internet Rabbis, ask the real ones.

Surprise surprise its all about the money. If you read this and agree with the writer, let us stop supporting those companies that advertise on Loshon Horah sites. We may just see how fast we can effect some real change.

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

(Moshe Pinter – YWN)




44 COMMENTS

  1. Kudos to you OpEd. Leave out all comments, but give us a place to send them so that we can let you know about problematic news items that may not be correct. But do not print the comments for the public. That is Hafatzas Loshon Horah, even if it is correct.

  2. Its past Purim, who are you kidding? YWN is the same trash just check out the comments as well as the lies published by the Editor itself.

  3. Bsf
    The funniest thing is the other website that “pins” articles never wastes its time bashing the other websites. I wonder why it doesn’t feel the need to bash this website and the “other” website that has articles against Rabbi Lander Zatzal? This is a new low. You can only go up from here…

  4. I do not know who this internet Rabbi is, and I don’t intend to find out.

    What I do like about the comments, thought (and you can see I’m from those who don’t try to hide their name), is that now you really get to know what guarbidge is really out there, and it’s very helpful to walk into Beis Midrash and to know not to trust everyone as big Tzadikim…

  5. 6,
    When you don’t believe in any rules, and you don’t want any rules to exist, then naturally you never criticize others in the name of internet rules.

  6. Finally somenormalacy a breathof fresh air! Although it may be difficult it seems cbvious that comments have to be completely stopped or at least EXTREMELY moderated. This may not be a good move from a bussiness perspective, but we have to realize that parnasa comes from Hashem. The same way not cheating may not be a good decision from a bussiness standpoint, but we try not to cheat and relly on Hashem instead, so to I believe should be the case overhere as well!

  7. # 2

    This article was clearly written bt YP. A most talented writer, who learns in BMG for many many years. He has submitted articles for publication both under his name and under pen names. HE DOES NOT LOOK for publicity, but expresses what he believes to be the dvar hashem in a most eloquent way. He is in the league of Sherman, Shafran, Rosenbloom and Wolpin et al.

    KOL HAKAVOD! CHAZAK VEEMATZ YANKY!

  8. For all those who say that by stopping the comments bussiness will prob take a hit, I think this author has a solution. If somehow we can get some sort of website up-0and-running with a list of all those that will try not to shop by advertisers on sites that have a comment section, then no longer would there be Jewish sites with comment sections! I wish I could arrange this myself, but for me personally its virtually impossible for various reasons. Any voluntears? Any “Nachshon ben Aminodavs”?

  9. Wow, what an unbelievable article. Makes me wonder if it was me who wrote it as I’ve written almost all of these thoughts in various comments over the past. Now we can all sit back and say terrific, but so what. It’ll all be ignored anyway and business as usual will go on. Rechilus, loshon hora, rebbe bashing, chasidim bashing, frum bashing, spreading old canards and just plain public forum for all the ignoramus moron lowlifes who are angry at everything.

  10. Why does the author assume bad intentions on the part of the news sites? The issues and stories he references are very complex and have two strong sides each. People may be on one side or another, and feel vehemently for the justice of their opinion.

    I don’t see a single proof in any of the examples he cites that anything was done underhandedly. It is not the news sites who generate the controversy. It is real life that does. Don’t shoot the messenger. If you would rather not know what is going on, you are always free not to read, and you won’t know about any controversy.

  11. While there are many valid points raised by the author of this article (bylined as Moshe Pinter), his underlying agenda is highly suspect. He could have discussed all of the pertinent issues WITHOUT targeting specific individuals and the articles they wrote. By doing so, Mr. Pinter is most disingenuous, in that he gives the illusion of wanting to protect the anonymity of his targets, while, in fact, giving sufficient information to davka identify them.

    Adding insult to injury, Mr. Pinter besmirches the legitimacy of his target’s smicha by referring to each as “Rabbi” (in quotes).

    Finally, Mr. Pinter engages in ad hominem attacks against his targets. For example: they are chastised for deliberate concealing the truth in order to spread disinformation. How do we know that they’ve gotten the facts wrong? Well, because Mr. Pinter says so! After all, Mr. Pinter consulted with “knowledgeable sources,” and “legal experts” and “Klal officials.” Wow, that’s impressive…NOT!

    Of course, Mr. Pinter is not deterred from throwing out as many epithets as he can to “discredit” his targets: they’re “diabolical,” “destructive,” “sensational,” “lowly,” “disgraceful,” “shameful,” “sordid,” and the list goes on and on. Remember, all aimed at people who are easily identifiable. In case anyone might miss it, he tells us that one “Rabbi” lives and teaches in Far Rockaway (wink, wink).

    Bottom line: what could have been an valid essay on the dangers of internet reporting and blogging, turned out to be a clearly personal vendetta which, in and of itself, should never have seen the light of day.

  12. 15,
    You do have to identify the problem and not beat around the bush.
    I guess the point is to give enough info for those who already are involved, but someone who didn’t know would not have known (as I myself didn’t figure out who it is…)

  13. Finally. This article was overdue for some time. Kudos to YWN for printing this opinion article despite risking a backlash of people who will scream that this is about competition. I think that those anti-Frum websites are worse than every Issur that came out in the past few decades. People actually believe that if it’s an orthodox-Jewish site one may read it. I already committed myself not to support any business or organization that advertises on that site. Matter of fact there was an organization that advertised on that site (as they do on many other sites) and after I challenged them their ads were pulled. I suggest that we set up a site (can even be a blog-site) or even use the coffee-room to commit ourselves to refrain from buying or supporting anyone that uses such sites to promote their business/institution.

    And we should call on all kosher-filters to stop that site. If you have a filter call or email them to block that site. These sites are undermining Yiddishkeit and I’m sure had this been in the time of Haskala etc., the Gedolim would’ve led a full-fledged campaign against it. We should boycott those sites and spread the message.

  14. Obviously everyone knows exactly who this article is referring to, which is the most ugly form of loshon hora, shame on ywn for that, but whats so terribly ironic is how you can write how ‘they bash other sites’ which besides the fact that its an outright lie, the joke is on you, and what’s alot worse is how you can blame them on using cheap tactics to earn money while ywn is leading now the most dirty and open smear campaign against their competition. Disgusting. Please take this ‘op ed’ off your site before this explodes in a major war of machlokes and sinas chinam’

  15. Thank you for the article. I have felt the same way, but your article has given me the encouragement to delete the site in question from my “home page” (I have snippets of various sites via RSS that appear on my home page – I visit the sites if the article interests me). Invariably I go to the site in question multiple times a day. I have now taken action to stop doing so.

    GOM

  16. If by “Innocence” you mean to continue to sweep things under the carpet – forget it! I, for one thank G-d that we are finally exposing the sad truths and able to talk about it. I want to know about salmon, greed, the price of a pound of matzohs this year, etc., etc. and who is behind it. Believe it or not the rest of us are at least as smart or smarter than you are – your agenda here is full of opinionated hatred – the exact thing you claim you want to stop. Tell me, “Rabbi” Anonymous, what are you trying to hide? What are you afraid of?

  17. There are many problems with computers and most definetly the internet. Never the less it is a valuable tool. The people who are going to fry out don’t need it as a vehicle and it’s not going to seduce anybody. A bigger problem of the Haredi community is ahm haratsis. Just the same the internet is often offensive so it doesn’t hurt to have someone shouting muksa at it.

  18. re #13

    even with your vile hatred and lies, Rabbi Lerner would work tirelessly to get you out of jail if the need would arise.

  19. Censorship has only succeeded in creating shallow individuals, who are naive, gullible and (quite often) racist bigots.
    Have you ever tried discussing a serious topic with someone whose sole source of information is Hamodia or Yated? Unless your opinion fits squarely into theirs, you might as well argue with a wall.
    I’m glad that there are rabbis out there who are speaking out their own distinctive opinion, even if I do not agree with their views.

  20. Talented? This article may or not reflect emes – but as written it is little more than a conclusory polemic – sure to please a friendly audience, but devoid of specifics.

    Examples:

    “After careful investigation…” no explanation of the investigation;

    A website “…features inflammatory articles from a ‘Rabbi’ that when read carefully have obviously been diabolically designed to stoke and maximize as much sensationalism and controversy as possible…” All conclusion, no supporting facts;

    “After doing a deeper search on this matter,what I have discovered is that under our very eyes,a destructive plague has descended upon our Tzibbur” What was this deeper search? Define palgue; is a plague merely sharply contrary opinion?

    “…the worst cases of Motzei Shem Rah, Loshon Horah and Rechilos are being given top billing and free reign on our computer screens…” What sites? If the referenced sites are so evil, identify them;

    “…Eventually the madness ends and the writer and bloggers move on. Leaving a trail of death and destruction in their wake, the unfortunate individual or organization that had the terrible misfortune to be caught in the waves of the public relations tsunami has been left in tatters never to fully recover.” Huh? What is he talking about.

    If any journalist or official ever criticized Yidden with a conclusory onlaught so devoid of fact, he would be throttled and trashed on this site.

  21. Please moderate the forum to avoid getting your site shut down, but do not suppress facts, even if they are painful.
    The suppression of facts and opinions by the Orthodox media has generated a need for an open exposure of facts.
    We have had so much Chillul Hashem from the behavior of empowered “machers”, that we need to purge the “don’t question” phenomenon.
    We need open forums where the gedolim participate.
    The gedolim must speak up and become OUR gedolim. They should lead us and act preemptively. All we hear is how they make themselves ridiculous daily, by listening to their “machers”, passing takonos against cell phones, or land-line phones.
    The Torah moves through history and Am Yisroel is meant to confront and utilize the best of every situation to enhance the service of Hashem.
    We have the most advanced communications technology since Odom Horishon was able to see from one end of the earth to the next. We must use it for teaching our children and adults.
    With Cd and Video we have the means to bring the worlds greatest mechanchim to the classroom of any talmud toroh in the world.
    Time to take our heads out of the sand and see the great light of modern technology.

  22. Charlie Hall (at comment #13) identified by name the Rabbi whom Mr. Pinter attacked. YWN has subsequently edited out his name from comment #13, as if this will protect the good Rabbi’s anonymity. How disingenuous of YWN, given that anyone who follows the major stories in the Jewish media knows exactly who Rabbi “Ploni” is.

    In any event, I wrote a comment in ardent defense of Rabbi “Ploni” against Mr. Pinter’s ad hominem attack, relating to this readership Rabbi “Ploni’s” learning background and credentials: a poseik of growing reputation, Rabbi Ploni has an impressive knowledge of halacha and hashkafa, tempered by the mussar tradition of the Alter of Slabodka, as learned from his Rebbe, HaRav HaGaon Henoch Liebowitz, zt”l, the late Chofetz Chaim Rosh HaYeshiva).

    YWN deleted my comment, with the result that (1) Rabbi Ploni’s true identity is only thinly (and mostly ineffectively) veiled, (2) Mr. Pinter’s personal attack against him stands, and (3) YWN’s readership is deprived of the information about Rabbi Ploni which would underline just how scurrilous Mr. Pinter’s attack is. Alas, the wonders of the internet.

  23. #14 sorry your blind please actually read the article.

    Lenco and abe #18 your assuming that the writers intent was to protect the identity of the Rabbi’s. From here it doesnt look like that was his intent at all and why should he the respective writers all wrote their pieces in the light of day. What protection do they need? Your personal umbrage in defense of Rabbi Ploni misses the point of this important piece. You like Rabbi Ploni- we get it but sorry so not the point here. Out of control authors and bloggers should be your focus not Mr. Pinter. The facts on the ground speak volumes.
    For those who know whats going on in the media world, Rabbi Ploni and the other authors have had this coming to them for quite some time. By posting negative and provocative stories taking on respected activists they have been basically begging for it. I would suspect that Rabbi Ploni was wondering what took so long? Mr. Pinter makes several valid points that only sting because of their frankness and truthfulness. The comments section on most sites are beyond pale. Who can defend these things with a straight face. The Names of the Rabbis appear to be partially hidden so that the message would be on the substance of the piece and not on the people as #16 md shweks articulated well.
    As for you Mr. Lenco-
    Please dont you dare bring the holy Rebbe Rav Leibowitz zt”l and the legendry SLABODKA YESHIVA into this cesspool totally created by bloggers, authors and posters as Mr. Pinter rightfully calls them. Rabbi Ploni has had ample opportunity to produce his Daas torah. He has failed to do so. Dont do it for him. I too have been horrified at the insane articles that other sites have been posting.You haven’t been? You can only defend them if your bias is in favor of the author otherwise the comments are simply atrocious. This article is well timed and credit to YWN for having the guts to call it the way it is. Yes the truth hurts.

  24. The right thing for … to do would have been to call R’ Learner, or to send R’ Learner his article and ask for his response, before publisizing.

    I remember when Rabbi … was “Moitzee Sheim Ra” on the FBI… and back then I emailed him the FBI documents which he admitted he didn’t read before, and he admitted it made all the difference.

    But apearantly he again wrote with haste, without knowing the real facts, when it is so easy to get them. [I’m not saying it was malishous, but it dose smell from the way it’s done for buisiness…]

    I also think this ‘ananomous’ M. Pinter is also guilty of this, and he should’ve get in-touch with Rabbi … before.

    and to all the ‘Chachomim’ who complain that they’re able to figure out who he is so therefore it’s Lashon Hara – look, if you know then obviously you need to know this too. Regardless of his Torah and Ma’asim Tovim, which aren’t in question here, we caan’t beat around the bush. I don’t think he is ‘Posul’ chas V’shalom,I just think we should start, on all sides, to stop treating the feild as it was created by gentiles, but to start bringing Yiddishkeit into it, on the Torahs termes. and YW has also room to grow…

    Although we live surrounded by goyishe influence on all sides, let’s try to remember that when we write to and about Yidden we’re writint about family, as the Torah says…

  25. By the way, just as an opinion, if I was this big Talmid Chacham and Poisek etc. I would be embaressed to write (even for $$$) on a site that has ads with images of ladies in the bathroom, and ads with links to Kol Nidre Service on Yom Kippur night…

  26. Askan:

    As I mentioned in comment #15, “there are many valid points raised by the author of this article.” But in my opinion, he overstepped appropriate bounds by slandering (yes, SLANDERING) a talmid chacham with an onslaught of epithets, merely because he disagrees with his views. And by the way, I often disagree — in whole or in part — with Rabbi Ploni’s views, but I personally know him to be an individual of careful thought and the highest degree of integrity, and yes, a talmid chacham with both a depth and breadth of halachic and hashkafic knowledge.

    Now, on what basis does Mr. Pinter make his case? He challenges the “facts” as presented by Rabbi Ploni, imputes nefarious motives to him, and then invokes his own version of the facts by some nebulous reference to (unnamed) “knowledgeable sources,” “legal experts” and “Klal officials.”
    How are they better than Rabbi Ploni’s sources, experts and officials? At best, Mr. Pinter’s sources are no more verifiable than Rabbi Ploni’s. At worst, I know Rabbi Ploni’s character and I know nothing about Mr. Pinter other than his
    sinas chinam for the “Rabbi” whom he so disrespectfully targets.

    In other words, the very behavior that Mr. Pinter objects to on the internet, he himself engages in at exactly the same time that he’s objecting. As a result, he thereby becomes the type of “out of control author” that you yourself, Mr. Askan, (rightfully) chide.

    Lastly, I obviously invoked the name of Rabbi Leibowitz zt”l because he was Rabbi Ploni’s rebbe, and because I believe that Rabbi Ploni is an exemplar of the mesorah of Slabodka that the Rosh Yeshiva passed on to all of his talmidim. If there is a cesspool on the internet (and I agree with you that there are such cesspools) I honestly do not think that Rabbi Ploni can, in any legitimate way, be associated with them, as you and Mr. Pinter attempt to do.

  27. #31- “But in my opinion, he overstepped appropriate bounds by slandering (yes, SLANDERING) a talmid chacham with an onslaught of epithets, merely because he disagrees with his views”

    REALLY?

    And the “rabbi” in question wrote an article which triggered 300+ comments which slandared Rabbonim and gedolim who are far greater than “Rabbi” ploni.

    What about that? What’s your response? Enlighten us all please. Humor us.

  28. its high time the school fires him from the classrom.
    i wouldnt want a master-blogger teaching “hashkafa and halacha” to tinokos shel bais rabon.

    and rumor has it, the party is almost over (no pun intended).

  29. Lark Mevin? Mark Levin? What sort of prank are you pulling here? You’ve humored us with this mischief, indeed.

    But seriously, Rabbi Ploni has never ever slandered anyone, let alone gedolai Yisroel, chas v’shalom. (If you have evidence otherwise, produce it. The truth is, you can’t!)

    So, is Rabbi Ploni responsible for the shtus that commenters write in response to his articles? The Ner Yisrael Rosh Yeshiva, HaRav Aharon Feldman, just wrote a very controversial book — “The Eye of the Storm” — which has produced some not-nice responses. Should he have refrained from writing it because of this? Ridiculous…of course not. If every writer became silenced by the anticipation of inappropriate responses, the entire spectrum of Jewish literature would become censored. So, your point makes no sense to me, “Lark.”

  30. 34- Tipish what you are!
    Rav aron feldman wrote a BOOK, this rabbi wrote an article on a BLOG which he KNOWS will bring the most hate-filled comments out in the open. A blog which has a track-record of being a free-for-all. What’s his heter to do that? He knew exactly what he was doing. This was his point. To gain fame and worldwide recognition as a rabbi, which he is far from.

    And he wrote an article about pollard and didnt bother calling rabbi pesach lerner who has been going to visit jonathan every month for the past 15 years. He should be ashamed of himself!!!! (And for the record, I am not a abig fan of young israel and rabbi lerner).

    Like I wrote earlier, humor us a little.

    Or better yet, go learn a shtickle ketzos, and maybe a reb chaim al horambam and get a shtickle lomdus into your skull, so you begin to debate me.

  31. 34-just to prove my point. i went to the “filth blog” and looked at the comments. i didnt have to go to far on that article to find outright slamming of the moetzes gedolei hatorah.

    this was in comment #6 “how low have we sunk when the yeshivishe velt (agudah, etc.) goes all out to try to save the life of a convicted killer”

    you know what?

    rabbi ploni is directly responsible for the attacks against the moetzes gedolei hatorah, the skulener rebbe, the lakewood roshei yeshiva & it’s mashgiach, rav chaim epstein and many others.

    he is nothing short of a lowlife of the highest degree and i feel that an outright machaah against him is in due order from bnei torah across the board.

    did rabbi ploni contact the skulener rebbe before writing his “opinions”? did he contact any of the other gedolim, who would crush him like a cockaroach in learning? who does he think he is exactly?

    he aint no rabbi.

    EDITED

  32. Lark:

    Talk about hate-filled comments…your screeds are very scary indeed. You are not anyone with whom it is worth…let alone safe…having a discourse with. You are one scary dude. Goodbye.

  33. lenco49 [31],
    it’s a commaon practice among shady questionable ‘Baalei Shitah’ to try backing themselves with Daas Torah who are already in the next world.

  34. The author of this article hides behind his computer screen and types away anonymously.
    Why doesn’t he come out and sign his name at the end of this poorly written article?

    Anybody who is objective and read this article and the articles of the “other rabbi” will see that the other Rabbi has real sources while this writer backs himself up with “askonim” and “klal officials”… Laughable!

  35. I wonder if you guys attacked a certain Rabbi who is the spokesman and PR and public affairs guy for a certain well known highly influential governing body of charedi Rabbis when he came out with articles like Madoff is a big Tzaddik and Captain Sullenberger (Hero pilot who landed the plane on the hudson) well let’s just say he has plenty not nice things to say. Hmm, did it bother you that such an organization has such a good hearted well meaning clear thinking public affairs person?

    Oh it gets better, you should see his article on Haiti and why the disaster happened. I can’t bring myself to type such insanity.

    I’m not saying this website should publicly “trash” anyone but there are plenty of others far more “worthy” of being trashed than the honorable Rabbi being taken to task by the article writer. Rav Ploni has very well thought out opinions. You don’t have to like them but he is far from a Daas Yachid, and I am willing to bet a lot of things would be better for Jews if we had people like him guiding us. He is a clear thinker and he doesn’t just write bogus articles.

    I believe Mr. Pinter has to ask him mechila. This is Lashon Hora borabim and according to the Chofetz Chayim there is NO KAPPARA. Once the words are out there they can’t be taken back. I’m sure many 100’s if not 1000’s of people read the above article. Now that’s the true danger of the internet. Because as opposed to writing an article that doesn’t contain loshon Hora, but contains controvertial matters, a Loshon Hara piece is a fire that one can’t put out. The least you can do is ask Mechila and post an apology and a retraction of all the personal attacks made against this Rabbi in this article. I look forward to seeing this apology posted.

  36. To MDshweks @ comment 39:

    1) You are knocking down a straw man. Where did I write that Rabbi Ploni is relying on the Daas Torah of his late Rebbe, Rabbi Liebowitz, zt”l? Where does Rabbi Ploni aver that he is relying on the Daas Torah of his deceased Rebbe? NOWHERE! I merely mentioned the Rosh Yeshiva as an indication of the mesorah of mussar and erlichkeit that Rabbi Ploni is an heir to. I hope that you merely misunderstood, and did not deliberately misrepresent the facts.

    2) You wrote in comment 28: “let’s try to remember that when we write to and about Yidden, we’re writing about family.” This is very good advice. And yet you ignore it completely in comment 39 by implying that Rabbi Ploni is “shady” and “questionable” — an implication made worse because by the fact that it’s based upon the false premise that you set up regarding Rabbi Ploni’s alleged resort to the Daas Torah of his deceased Rebbe.

  37. WellInformedYid: I, for one, apprecitate your comment. But you should know that kanoyim never ask for mechilah; it’s not within their krum hashkafah to do so, being self-righteous beyond belief.

    Notice where all of the epithets come from. You can read any article by Rabbi Ploni and you will never find any objectionable language…you will never find him slandering anyone with whom he disagrees, no matter how controversial the topic.

    But a perusal of Mr. Pinter’s article and this thread finds some choice language: diabolical, destructive, sensational, lowly, disgraceful, shameful, sordid, dangerous, lowlife, cockroach …and so on.

    Do you think such people who spew this verbal diarrhea have it within themselves to apologize for anything? Their language is nothing short of a bizoyin, and absolute disgrace. They are proof that the descendants of the eruv rav still dwell among us.