Police Complaint Addressing Smicha Fraud

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The Chief Rabbinate has decided to file a police complaint against five chareidim who took the official smicha exam in Binyanei Ha’uma this week on behalf of others.

It appears that officials in the Chief Rabbinate learned that five chareidim affiliated with a certain chassidus agreed to take the exam on behalf of others. The exam-takers told rabbinate officials the people they took the exam for simply were not knowledgeable enough to pass. It remains unclear if they received money for taking the exam. It appears they did it to simply assist the others in earning the right to give piskei halacha in isur v’heter.

Officials have decided to move ahead with an official complaint to send a signal that this will not be tolerated. Rabbanut officials fear if they do not take harsh action this trend may spread and this would be disastrous. Therefore, the have announced they are turning this over to police in the hope of sending a clear public message to anyone who has such an idea in the future.

Over 2,000 people took exams this week for smicha and to be certified as a mashgiach.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)


7 COMMENTS

  1. “Chareidim” are going to enable people who are “simply not knowledgeable enough to pass” this exam to get a bogus ‘smicha’ which will allow them to pasken for others?!?!
    If these “chareidim” ARE knowledgeable enough to pass the exam, why are they such mushchasim and too foolish to realize the ramifications of what they are doing?!?!?

    Horrible!

  2. I am absolutely flabbergasted!

    You report that “It appears they did it to simply assist the others in earning the right to give piskei halacha in isur v’heter.”

    You also report that “the people they took the exam for simply were not knowledgeable enough to pass.”

    If true, that means these individuals thought they were doing a good deed by enabling unqualified individuals to gain the right to pasken, even though they are not worthy of paskening! What a tremendous michshol that would create for the public and for individuals, who would potentially rely on unqualified people for psak in issure v’heter!

    How in the world can that be beneficial for anyone? What were they thinking? And we’re talking about people who have learned enough to be able to pass the smicha exam!

    Unbelievable!!!

  3. As a teacher of an Issur v’Heter smicha program, I know firsthand the difficulty of the subject matter, in which a minor nafka mina can render kosher treif, or be an avenue to save an entire banquet. Mashgichim have to be halachic experts as well as consummate professionals. Just as a doctor’s skill can mean the difference between physical life and death, a mashgiach’s skill corresponds to the spiritual realms. HaRav Nachman Bulman zt”l told me that one reason for so many Yidden leaving the derech in America was the dishonesty of many in the kosher meat industry, who sold treif as kosher and so were metamten the hearts of their innocent customers and families.
    I hope that these charges will turn to be unfounded. However, they must be investigated, and if fraud is proven, the perpetrators must be dealt with, as well as investigated for any previous violations. Klal Yisroel cannot tolerate such a fraud.

  4. The rabbinate smicha test, is not a regular smicha test.
    the test, tests the persons knowledge of rishonim on the sugya, not the psak halacha.

  5. The tragic reality is, that this is just the tip of a probably already deeply embedded iceberg which had been going on for quite a while, and it may become necessary to unturn numerous Piskei Halochos which were rendered by people whom it shall turn out, were not the actual exam takers.

    Having been to Beth Din a few times, and each time having such awful ineptness, that it became necessary to move the case to secular court; This story is opening up an entire new dimension as to why most Botei Din are totally incapable of renderring & following through with cases.

  6. I wish these news stories would not be publicized. There is already so much chiloni hatred towards charedim, why fuel the flames? As for these charedim-they are NOT worthy to be given that name! In order to be frum, you have to be yosher-these guys are anything but!