Thursday, February 15, 2007

Beit Din proceeding to Revoke Smicha on Aish Rabbi

Beit Din proceeding to Revoke Smicha on Aish Rabbi
By Rabbi Lamech Somayach
Mashgiach Ruchini, Yeshiva Aishes Eish Hatorah
Special to

In a move that has shocked many in the frum and Baal T’shuva world, the Beit Din of the Motezes Gadolim Hador announced they are immediately starting legal proceedings to revoke the rabbinical ordination of Aish HaTorah Rabbi Kalman Packouz of North Miami Beach. The grounds for the revocation come from a d’var torah that Rabbi Packouz sent out in 2004 that contradicts the philosophical goals of Orthodox teachings and has resulted in the falling out of more than six wealthy donors from the Orthodox donors list world wide.

The announcement comes on the heels of a wave of reputation trashings across the world for rabbis who dare to make unpopular comments, often innocently enough at the time but in later light their comment is somehow found to be offensive or else there is a person who is angry and looking for a place to vent their rage.

“This loss of financial clout is unforgivable in how many rabbinical trips to vacation in Israel were lost because of people reading this essay, and that can never be forgiven” said Rabbi Nosson Wolpin, editor of the Jewish Observer, the mouthpiece of the organization. “What, should I start telling people my name is Nathanial now,” he added sarcastically.

The controversial essay was written By Rabbi Packouz on August 29, 2003, was a fairly common commentary that connected the weekly Torah Portion with contemporary events in an extemporaneous essay loaded with donation links and fundraising pleas.

The exact phrase was: “Our lesson? We must learn to be discerning. Even those things that appear to be harmless can be very dangerous. Similarly, there are many things that are detrimental to one's spiritual well-being that at first glance do not seem dangerous.”
This is clearly supposed to be a throw away cocktail party comment, Wolpin said. However, because of its ambiguity several wealthy people came to realize that their ethics had become suspect due to exposure to the Orthodox emphasis on fundraising at any cost. In addition the people realized their personal life was not significantly better after becoming frum than it was before.

“We realized we were so busy with an intellectually vacuous life that we had entirely abandoned the rigorous intellectualism that drew us in and replaced it with constantly running to minyan and watching out for chumras, and we owe this realization to Rabbi Packouz” the people said.

In order to prevent future scandals like this, the Motzes is contemplating implementing guidelines requiring central approval for all sermons before publication, but acknowledges that language can have multiple interpretations, Wolpin said.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Motzes Gedolei Hador come forth with new brocha for adultery

Motzes Gedolei Hador come forth with new brocha for adultery
Say it is time for Orthodox to connect with modern times

By Rabbi Lamech Somayach
Mashgiach Ruchini Yeshiva Aishes Eish Hatorah
Special to

In a move that shocked the audience at the last public meeting of the Board of Agudath Israel of America, Rabbi Nosson Scherman and Rabbi Joseph Elias announced the publication of a new brocha to be said before committing adultery and consensual intercourse between unmarried people.

The new blessing is supposed to bring a long standing tradition among Frum men back into the world of halacha by reminding both the men and women having sex outside of their spouse that Hashem is in charge of the world and that rabbinical supervision of panties and niddah is still required. It also brought a promise of rabbinical secrecy and confidentiality in the case of infidelity.

The blessing sounds like a very familiar blessing over apples and starts out just like every blessing, invoking the G-d who is the creator of the universe and commanded us with his commandments. However the ending is a surprising invocation of original sin and the tree of Knowledge. It is intended both for the pelegish and the man to recite before poking a hole in the sheet or unrolling the condom.

“The next printing of the Artscroll Siddur will contain the blessing Barouch atah adonay, elokanoo meilech ha-oilam asher kiddushanu b’mitsvosav u’vitsevanu l’ocheilas bo’ray pa’ri ha aitz ha daas,” Rabbi Scherman said. “In English that would read, “Blessed art thou, oh L-rd our G-d, creator of the universe who commanded us with his mitzvoth and commanded us concerning regarding eating of the fruit of knowledge.”

“This will bring the omnipresent knowledge of everything man does in the eyes of rabbonim to Jews attempting to stray everywhere. We estimate the increased guilt will increase tithings by 10 to 15 percent,” said Rabbi Elias. “Since donations in the shul have not kept up with the increase prices of real estate this is a vital part of continuted rabbinical hegemony.”

“After a few years of living this way our membership should be so screwed up they won’t even know if they are coming or going, much less what the leadership is or is not doing,” Elias added.

Pundits agree that the blessing should bring legitimacy to a widespread practice and thus would strengthen the state of orthodoxy even more than the innovation when Channukah was eleveated to the level of Christmas gift giving in America.

However more than one halachic scholar noted that the invention of the blessing was still too late for some people.

“This spells eventual forgiveness for Rabbi Kolko and all of Torah Temimah, but only after the NAMBLA people get through with it and that might be years, he could be dead by then,” Said Rabbi Moses Dovid Tendler of Yeshiva University.

Another scholar who refused to be named because of his own connections to allegations of marital infidelity in his own synagogue said that the main reason for the new blessing and related halachot was because some people who were unpopular have been ousted from their synagogue. For them it is too late, but others may still be saved, he said.

The Orthodox and Ultra Orthodox world have been shaken by several major scandals of sexual nature in recent years and the new blessing is hoped to be a way to stem the tide of sexual impropriety by bringing the issue back into the mainstream of discussion.

“We’ve already included excerpts from all the related Talmudic tractates and several commentaries by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan, alav haShalom, into the Complete Artscroll Guide to Adultry,” Rabbi Scherman said.

Despite a single case of homosexual child molestation at one Brooklyn middle and high school, there was still no allowance for homosexuality in the brocha, which is strictly forbidden, Rabbi Scherman said. He declined to elaborate on the topic of the proper age of consent, noting solely that the Torah determines a woman is able to copulate once she has her first period, but only says males become a man at 13.

Scherman and several other rabbis went to great lengths to explain how the problem has gotten big enough to be recognized and contained and not just ignored. And failing this, they are already at work to included the blessings for Cherem and beheading as well as choking on molten lead.

New Blog

I am creating this new blog for posting of my articles for your perusal. I hope you enjoy and can relate to the satires contained here. This is the first post but I am planning to put up more as time goes on. I have attended Ponovich, Mir, Bais Midrash Elyon, Shema Yisroel, Ohr Somayach, Aish HaTorah, Derech Chaim, Hadar HaTorah, Emunas Yisroel, Shomrei Emunah, Stalin, Carlin, Viznitz, Satmar, Bostoner, Toldos Avrahom Yitzchock, The Vaad Chafatzos Chulent B'America, Yeshiva Chipas Emes, Shomer Shabbos and many other institutes of higher Torah learning. I have lived in Boro Park, Flatbush, Midwood, Monsey, Lakewood, Long Beach, Five Towns, the Upper West Side, the Upper East Side, Jerusalem, Bnei Brak, Tel Aviv and many other Jewish places. You probably know me and have no idea who I am. I love Jasmine Tea.