Tropper-Gate and Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Blog?





A group of leading Chareidi Rabbonim have recently specifically banned Chareidi blogs and forums. (see above notice). It seemed odd when this poster went up around town, because these rabbonim had already banned the use of the internet itself. So what's this with the chareidi blogs?

Sure enough, under pressure from this latest sub-ban, several erstwhile chareidi internet sites have apparently now closed down. Although the majority have simply ignored it.

For those who like to link the dots (such as Frum Follies), in order to see a more complete picture, you can note that the Rabbi Leib Tropper conversion-for-sex scandal was breaking simultaneously to the issuing of this rabbinical decree against chareidi internet sites.

The Rabbi Tropper tapes of sexually intimate discussions were initially sent, presumably by Shannon Orand, the blonde in-process-convert, to these self-same chareidi blogs, for onward distribution.

Shutting up the blogs may have been a ruse to shut up the Tropper scandal.

The rabbis who signed the sub-ban on chareidi blogs include no less than ten of the same rabbis who signed up on the haskama for Rabbi Tropper’s Eternal Jewish Family conversion agency. (see http://www.eternaljewishfamily.org/images/uploads/proc.pdf )

Even if you’re not the conspiracy sort, the Agudas Yisrael organization itself was clearly behind both the anti-blog cherem and EJF.

If these two simultaneous events - the exposure of Rabbi Tropper and the call to shut down the blogs - were indeed intentionally linked, then, rather like the original –Gate scandal, an attempted cynical cover-up by the Agudah of Rabbi Tropper’s indiscretions (an affair which is becoming known as Tropper-Gate on the blogs they tried to shut down), may become an even bigger scandal than the scandal itself.

P.S. For those with longer memories, the same team who brought us the Blog Ban and the Eternal Jewish Family, also brought us the cherem on Rabbi Natan Slifkin's scholarly books about science and Judaism. That cherem was initiated by none other than Rabbi Tropper himself, and backed by the 'usual signatories'.
More about that angle on Rabbi Slifkin's blog . Perhaps Rabbi Tropper's own blog (what?!) had Rabbi Troppers response to R.Slifkin's article.

It's hard to tell, as Rabbi Tropper's blog seems to have been removed.
So I suppose the Blog Cherem was at least partially effective.

Comments

  1. Excellent article David!
    Rabbi Slifkin is a real hero - and Tropper got his come-uppance for orchestrating the cherem against Slifkin's books.
    Live by the sword - die by the sword.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The cover-up stinks.

    And I'm sure the stench gets worse the more one digs.

    For example, how do the millions of dollars given to Tropper tie into this? Follow the money...

    Was there a relationship between the money and the conversions?

    Were there other women also being 'traded' in this way?

    How long have the insiders (Aguda 'Gedolim'?) known about Tropper's behavior? They semed to have hit the panic-ban button remarkably fast - like they KNEW it was true.

    And who were Tropper's friends who also 'benefited' from the ladies?

    Stinks...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Father of 2 RBS'ers24 December 2009 at 22:49

    It's Shannon, not Sharon.

    Let's ban the banners -- from anything having to do with our personal or communal lives.

    They might be able to fool people like Tom Kaplan, who has provided them with many millions of dollars and has provided them with the wherewithal to wreak havoc, but we should know better. And now that we have irrefutable proof of what they are all about, we simply cannot justify giving the banners any deference.

    ReplyDelete
  4. My new slogan: Beware of Kanoim Bearing Bans.

    Seriously, my series of articles Cults, Kiruv, Conversion And Kanois: The Rise and Fall of Leib Troppper left off with Tropper in Kiruv and ready to enter conversions. Part II will cover his use of the Slifkin ban to establish himself. David your excellent article overlaps with what I intended to stay. Thank you for writing this and for giving me permission to post it which I will do.

    I try to balance out my frustrations by writing satire, and I have written a piece about Leib Troppers newest enterprise Eternal Jewish Tshuvah (EJT) a universally recognized process which Leib himself has completed in seven days. Naturally Leib can revoke the tshuvah for his usual reasons. Since then I have seen his pathetic pseudo tshuvah, so I have returned to serious format to post suggestions to LT for an authentic tshuvah statement. Naturally I dont expect him to listen to a minor blogger any more than he listens to the shulchan orach on the rules of tshuvah.

    Hopefully this scandal will lead to serious discussions about the issues much bigger than the sex abuse. Perhaps people will finally realize that without financial transparency we can not have uncorrupted dayanos. Perhaps we can act in our times to come closer to the judges of old we pray for.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks Father of 2 RBSers for pointing out the mistake with Ms Orand's first name. Corrected!

    ReplyDelete
  6. David,

    I have a quibble with your language "the blonde in-process-convert." It is clever with its insinuations of blond shiksa." It left me uncomfortable because that sort of imagery conjures up insincerity, opportunism and trophy partners to be kashered by quickie conversion.

    While I will admit using such derogatory language at times, in this case I feel it is especially important to avoid it. I stick to the version that she is a victim, an opinon also voiced by Rabbi Joseph Blau. WWe want to keep our eye on Tropper's exploitative behavior. I am not arguing that she is without fault. Nor did Yehudah say Tamar was without fault, just that she is more in the right than I. Whatever her faults I am content to have her deal with them privately with those close to her and in relation to g-d. However, Tropper's misconduct is everyone's business.

    I don't want to sound like a scold. It is just that in some of the blog comments on the chareidi sites in the US (thank heavens they have not even signalled any intention of complying with the ban) I see many derogatory comments about her, often as part of an attempt to deflect blame from Tropper.

    Well. enuf said. I hope you will consider my point of view seriously.

    PS check out my version of a genuine Tropper apology (we should live so long, vs his actual PR shtick http://wp.me/pFbfD-9V

    ReplyDelete
  7. Yerachmiel - I hear your concerns about the descriptive language I used about Ms Orand.

    I am aware that saying "the rape victim wore a red dress" - runs the risk of being mis-understood that "she had it coming-to-her". Chas Veshalom.

    The big story here is the abusive relationship between a rabbi who had influence over a convert's acceptance into the fold, and the sexual relationship betwen them.

    In this article I have spread the net wider, to those who seem to have been out to protect the perpetrator; and I touched on the poetic justice of the moralist crusader/book-banner getting caught (I am a fan of Rabbi Slifkin).

    There is also a sub-story about the temptations visited upon people in authority. Be those temptations money, sex, power. Indeed all three played a role in this case.

    Analysing and gaining some insight into the forces & dynamics that lead to abuse in no way manner or form detracts from the abusers responsibility for his crimes.

    We understand that a man may steal bread when he is hungry - but we also understand that theft was not an acceptable solution to the problem.

    We're not made of stone, and the fact that Ms Orand looks attractive can't be lost on any male reading this posting. An observation, but certainly not any kind of excuse for abusing her.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Here's a built-in problem that almost guarantees this sort of menage-a-trois (vulnerable women, authoritative rabbis and scandaloozas!):

    Halachically observant women turn to rabbinic MEN for examinations of their stained panties, to seek resolution of shalom bayit problems, permission to reconnoiter with the hubs, divorce, geirut and kashrut issues among other sensitive topics. BUT... Jewish women are supposed to be chaste and soft-spoken. What the H-double Hockey stix is a Jewish woman supposed to do when the MAN she confides in abuses their confidential relationship to suit HIS agendas????? He's in control of her life, her reputation and her future. And, uh, would you sir, dare show your undies to a woman you're not married to???????? The implications are sickening in either case.

    Ask any woman who fought valiantly (or surrendered in despair) over "Get" issues and other woman-as-victim topics (e.g., inheritance). It is one INTIMIDATING proposition to discuss specific topics, to depend on a hormone-charged and/or greedy MAN to turn your life around (NOT upside down, horizontal or against the wall, if you get the drift).

    Solutions: Female netzigot, to represent a woman's concerns on her behalf. Bringing another female (NOT the rabbi's female relatives) to chaperone all meetings. And removing central authority from singular male authority figures. They give a bad name to tzadikim, Torah and the average good guy.

    Signed,

    One Who's Been There, Fled (to remain a very poor and chaste years-long aguna, then a poor chaste woman with a GET) and Hangs on by a Spiritual Thread

    ReplyDelete
  9. I have confirmed that tropper is still the go to guy at Kol Yaakov and Horizons. In fact a complainant about Rabbi Tropper was told to put the complaint in writing and send it to Rabbi Tropper!

    http://frumfollies.wordpress.com/2009/12/27/the-fox-guarding-the-chicken-coop-horizonskol-yaakov-funnels-complaints-about-tropper-to-%E2%80%93-you-guessed-it-%E2%80%93-tropper/

    ReplyDelete
  10. The Road to Hell is Paved With Kippot Srugaot28 December 2009 at 14:41

    David,

    There you are once again accusing innocent people of wrong doing.
    First you have the audacity to question the rabbis vs children in the Jerusalem Post. Everyone knows that rabbis can do no wrong and children just love to make up these stories.
    Now you try to say that the banners of the internet knew that Rabbi Tropper would be falsely accused so they created a Kol Koray against the internet?
    Thank G-d there are people like Rabbi Tropper, the Aguda, Jonathan Rosenblum and the rabbonim of RBSA to protect me from the likes of you, Nosson Slifkin and little children who are out to get adults.

    ReplyDelete

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