Friday, November 16, 2007
The Pressure Will Blow
I spoke to Rav Yossef Bloch this evening, and he asked me to take off his shmuess from Youtube. He said the shmuess was never meant to be made public, and had he known that he'd have an audience greater than his immediate circle of talmidim, he would have used slightly different expressions. All the information is nonetheless true and he stands behind every statement made.
Please note that there was no pressure exerted on me whatsoever. He told me that the sound files are in my hand and he cannot force or pressure me, but he asked me to take them down. R' Bloch does not want to have any shaychus to the internet, nor to be quoted in public. I reluctantly take off the shmuess for the sole reason that I respect him as an honorable Talmid Chochom and an ish emes.
I spoke today to rabonim across the haredi spectrum. I was able to gather the following information:
· EJF accused their opponents of taking quotes from their pamphlet “guide” for giyur-rabbis (not distributed to the public), which then several rabbis refuted, and they actually changed that paragraph. (A Shach leniency regarding the ger’s total and sincere intent to accept full mitzvah observance, which was distorted by EJF to mean that the acceptance itself could be eased.)
· RE: Centralizing and/or institutionalizing Halocha, (i.e. in and on itself) whether for general purposes or for a single issue is very strongly discouraged is a bad and dangerous notion. Rabbis should collaborate as neede or see fit, but not monopolize Halocha or Yiddishkeit.
· RE gerus in this day and age: halahic guidelines for all?: Varying answers, more or less around the lines that such guidelines can (or should) be published, or rabbis should voice their opinions if problems emerge, or protest. But certainly not by instituting a body that will be active in the very same field. (Totally unreasonable and illogic rationale, no?)
· RE Belief in a world older than 5768 years: a) constitute ‘kfirah’: widely varying answers from laughs to a firm “yes”;
· -b) if yes, does it retroactively passel (void) giyurs by rabbis believing in an older universe: Chas Veshalom!
· -c) does it disqualify such rabbis from performing gerus: No. The most kanoi: no answer.
· -d) Do such people lecatchila count in a minyan and is their wine muttar: Yes / reluctant yes.
Explanation by most kanoi & second most kanoi: their kfira is not complete, i.e. they believe H’ and are mekayem mitzvos, but they have one (or certain) heretic belief.
& - Correction & apology: Thomas Kaplan’s wife is in all probability Jewish from birth, albeit they have other intermarried relatives. This person should not be maligned or criticized as he acts in good faith and doesn’t understand halocha and halachic thought (tinok shenishba) and acts in good faith.
& - EJF actively pursues intermarried couples and encourages conversions – more details to come.
& - EJF do use leniencies in converting intermarried couples or their children.
I did not mention names because some rabbis didn't wanted to be quoted in public for different reasons (not knowing enough about EJF, not wanting problems from EJF surrogates etc.) and are unwilling to voice public opinion on the matter. Not yet! The pressure will blow!