Tuesday, December 28, 2021

The Chaim Walder Scandal and Suicide.

I feel that I have to put down some of my thoughts on this matter. For those of you who do not know:
Haredi author and radio personality Chaim Walder was found dead in Petah Tikva Monday afternoon, after apparently taking his own life.

The 53-year-old writer and educator, best known for his series of children’s books, Children Talk About Themselves, was found dead at his son’s grave in Petah Tikva at the Segula Cemetery Monday afternoon.

Walder’s apparent suicide comes after a wave of allegations against him of sexual misconduct, including a report by Ha’aretz which cited the claims of 22 alleged victims, including underage boys and girls.

I am not going to opine as to the veracity or the falsity of the claims against the man. Similarly, I am not going to get involved in the discussion of whether this case was handled properly. But I do have a few takeaways from the scandal and its aftermath that are worth stating regardless how one feels about the case.

1) One should avoid receiving counseling in private from members of the opposite sex. The Torah has very strict laws with regard to yichud, being secluded with a person of the opposite sex. Unfortunately we have been witness to people who should know better ignoring these laws. Rabbis are only human. They and those who seek their counsel should realize this.

2) Know the laws of Lashon HaRa. (forbidden speech). One has to know when to keep his mouth (or keyboard) shut. On the other hand, one has to know when to speak up to prevent others from being harmed.

3) Avoid getting into arguments that you are really not a party to. "He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife not his own, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears" (Proverbs 26:17). It's not a good idea to grab a dog by the ears.

4) Don't commit suicide! I almost forgot this one. I can understand that there are situations where people think that there is no other way out. But, in general, this is forbidden

This case has left a big wound that may take some time to heal. "Heal us, O LORD, and we shall be healed; save us, and we shall be saved; for Thou art our praise."

Sunday, November 07, 2021

The Death Throes of "Conservative Judaism"

Perhaps there are Baby-Boomers like me who remember when the Conservative movement at least put on a facade as being faithful to Jewish Law. However, it seems to me that few Boomers were willing to go along with the charade. Those that sought God became Orthodox, and those who didn't became Reform or unaffiliated.

Way back in 2014 I blogged about a gay "wedding" that took place in a Conservative Temple in New Jersey. I had left a comment on the web site that reported the deplorable event:

The job of a rabbi is to uplift them to the Divine ideals of Torah and not lower them down into the depravity of ancient Egypt:

“Lesbian relations are forbidden and it is among the “doings of Egypt” that we have been warned about as it is said, “After the doings of the land of Egypt, wherein ye dwelt, shall ye not do”. The sages said, “What did they do? A MAN MARRIES A MAN, and a woman marries a woman, and a woman marries two men.”

From Maimonides, Laws of Forbidden Relations 21:8

Did I really expect these clergy to uplift the congregation? If so, I was really naive! Take a look at what their clergy are doing today:
Rabbi Ariella Rosen and Rabbi Becca Walker tied the knot at the Conservative movement’s camp in Palmer, Massachusetts, last month, with yet another queer woman rabbi, Megan GoldMarche, officiating. Rosen’s father, Rabbi Jim Rosen, also played a role.

A big thumbs down to all the "rabbis" that took part in this farce. You guys are harming yourselves and your congregations.

Sunday, August 22, 2021

The Truth About Intermarriage

It's been a long time since I posted here as I have been busy with other things. So what's changed? Well, I came across a post from Rabbi Steven Pruzansky which I just had to link to. No, I do not think that my link is going to drive a lot of traffic his way. It is just my way of showing support for a Rabbi that has been consistent in promoting Torah values fearlessly.

So here is the link: The Consequences of Opposing Intermarriage

Rabbi Pruzansky, Yishar Koach!

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