April 30, 2005

An Inappropriate Process (Part IV)

The Jewish Press

Posted 4/28/2005
By Editorial Board
Jerusalem Bet Din Reaffirms

Last week the Jerusalem Bet Din of the Israeli Chief Rabbinate reaffirmed its initial decision in Rabbi Mordecai Tendler`s case against the Vaad Hakavod of the Rabbinical Council of America. The Bet Din, in unmistakably clear language emphasized that it is prohibited for an investigative committee such as the Vaad Hakavod to take any action which can cause or bring about the dismissal of a rabbi in the Jewish community and that any such action must be taken through an independent bet din.

The Jerusalem Bet Din reemphasized that an investigative committee such as the Vaad Hakavod could not in any way damage or effect any services provided by, or any status or position of, Rabbi Mordecai Tendler. The Jerusalem Bet Din explained that its decision was in the nature of a preliminary injunction intended to preserve the status quo until such time as a competent bet din dealt with the merits. (The text of the Bet Din`s second decision is reproduced after this editorial.)

Notably, the Bet Din`s second decision came in response to a request by the Vaad Hakavod to vacate or modify the earlier ruling. Not surprisingly, not only did the Bet Din refuse to modify its decision in any way, but it repeated and emphasized with unmistakable clarity the import of its earlier words. It did add, in an apparent attempt to remind the RCA rabbis of their antecedents, that they were the students of the Rav, zt"l, one of the greatest Torah leaders of the previous generation and that the Rav, zt"l, maintained a respectful relationship with the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and its rabbinic courts. ...

As many of our readers may know, the Awareness Center is a website that regularly publishes allegations of abuse made against rabbis, cantors, etc. We underscore allegations because, while some of the listed persons have been convicted, the overwhelming number of those persons listed have merely had allegations made against them by unidentified accusers. More important, this website makes no pretense of having investigated or vetted the accuracy of the complaints or the integrity of the accusers.

Posted by kshaw at April 30, 2005 09:43 AM