Hoax Letter Sent to Synagogue
(Beis Tefillah Synagogue, Ramat Beit Shemesh)
The following hoax letter has been sent to members of the Beis Tefillah Synagogue board of management, as if it was written by Rabbi CM [ed. name respectfully withheld] who serves as their rabbi:
I think that as long as David Morris sets policy for L.A [ed. Lema'an Achai], and is their public face, I will not allow
to use the Shul for fundraising purposes. L.A.
This will change if:
1)David M apologizes publicly for stating,and insinuating again and again(in many forums,but especially in his childish Tzedek Tzedek blog) that , as a group , "Rabbis" (of RBSA ) are guilty of aiding and abetting and enabling child molesters.(And that of course that leaves LA to come to the rescue of our children.)
2)LA publicly , clearly,and unambiguously disavows such statements .They must say--we clearly,and unambiguously ,disavow statements or blogs which say or imply that Rabbis of RBSA (as a group ) aid or abet or enable child molesters.
3)I am convinced that David M is no longer the setter of policy for LA and is no longer their public face.
You may send this to whomever you wish.
Regretfully, this letter is definitely and without doubt a hoax, perhaps a pre-Purim prank – it is certainly not genuine. I will prove this by textual and contextual analysis:
David Morris sets policy for L.A
David Morris does not "set policy" for Lema'an Achai. David Morris can't "set policy". As a registered amuta/NPO overseen by an elected board of 9 volunteer directors of high standing; David Morris is simply one vote. All policy and protocol must be approved by a majority. In addition the organization has poskim (halachik authorities) who review and approve policy.
The real Rav CM certainly knows how Lema'an Achai operates as Rav CM himself has kindly served as the stand-in possek for Rav Soloveichik (summer 2008).
Therefore the writer of this letter cannot be Rav CM, and must be an imposter.
I will not allow
to use the Shul for fundraising purposes L.A.
The writer seems to be threatening to place a cherem (ban) in the Beis Tefillah synagogue on Lema'an Achai, a charity which helps hundreds of poor families in the neighborhood, including members of that same synagogue!
Beis Tefillah proudly posts in its entrance lobby and on its web site a Mission Statement: To Maintain and expand an OPEN and TOLERANT kehilla/community.
Putting a cherem on an individual, or even worse, a whole organization dedicated to helping the poor, is simply not Beis Tefillah's style. There is nothing OPEN and TOLERANT about a cherem on Lema'an Achai.
There is simply no way the real Rav CM would even think of imposing a cherem; and certainly his community are enlightened people, who espouse tolerance and promote achdus (unity) in our community.
I can only assume this imposter has never even set foot in Beis Tefillah!
David M apologizes publicly for stating,and insinuating again and again that…. , as a group , "Rabbis" (of RBSA ) are guilty of aiding and abetting and enabling child molesters.
David Morris has never stated nor implied such an outrageous thing. Of course rabbis as a group are not guilty of aiding and abetting and enabling child molesters.
The real Rav CM is well aware that David has never said nor suggested this.
David Morris met with Rav CM on 15th September in Rav CM's office and David explained in the clearest possible terms that David's sole and only machlokes (dispute) with Rav CM is regarding a shitta (methodology) for dealing with cases of child abuse.
Rav CM knows that this machlokes is not about any other issue, such as kevod lerabbonim (respect for rabbis) or about daas torah (rabbinical authority), about which Rav CM and David Morris are in total agreement.
(in many forums,but especially in his childish Tzedek Tzedek blog)
Firstly, it is well know that The Gedolim have banned the internet in general and blogs in particular (even chareidi blogs). There is no way that Rav CM, who follows his daas torah, would spend his invaluable time surfing the net in general, nor reading Tzedek-Tzedek blog in particular.
And, even in the unlikely case Rav CM did read Tzedek-Tzedek, Rav CM reads English well, and so do members of his community. They can simply check out the blog for themselves and they will not find anywhere that it says on Tzedek-Tzedek that "rabbis as a group etc, etc.."
childish Tzedek Tzedek
Tzedek-Tzedek includes articles supporting David Morris position on the shitta from rabbonim and lay-experts, including Rav Yosef Blau (Mashgiach Ruchani of Yeshiva University) and Michael Lesher (the child protection attorney). Jonanthan Rosenblum (author and journalist) has written for Tzedek-Tzedek about this issue.
David Morris' own articles written for Tzedek-Tzedak have been extensively republished, including in the Jewish Press, serving to increase awareness about child abuse throughout the Jewish world.
In the highly unlikely case that Rav CM were to have read Tzedek-Tzedek, he would certainly appreciate the seriousness of the subject matter, the caliber of the contributing authors, and the level of the debate.
The real Rav CM would also not have used the word "childish", as he would surely be sensitive to the fact that that word is doubly offensive, when the context is about child abuse.
Unlike Rav CM, this imposter clearly doesn't read English, and even pretends that Rav CM is insensitive to the issue of child abuse.
"LA publicly , clearly,and unambiguously disavows…"
In light of Rav CM's previous accusations against David Morris, Lema'an Achai issued a clarifying letter which was distributed and published according to the minutia of Rav CM's requests. Rav CM assured Lema'an Achai that this closed and settled the issue.
This imposter is simply re-opening an issue which is old-hat and passé, and demanding letters which have already been written!
This prankster probably never even saw that previous letter, which anyone can read for themselves online:
I am convinced that David M is no longer the setter of policy for LA and is no longer their public face.
Clearly it is out of line for a community rabbi to direct who should or should not be the elected leader of an independent community organization.
Rav CM is an experienced community rabbi and dayan, who understands boundaries, and would certainly not interfere nor torpedo due process in this way.
Shame on this imposter!
You may send this to whomever you wish
We are all aware of internet scams, virus alerts, and the curse of "spamming". Appeals to "send to everyone on your mailing list" are a sure give-away that an email is not for real.
Of course, the last thing the real Rav CM would want is for such an outrageous email, which would surely disappoint, distress and enrage many in the Ramat Bet Shemesh community, would be spammed around like junk-mail.
Conclusion: I have shown conclusively, and proven beyond reasonable doubt, that the board of management of Beis Tefillah have been the victims of a scam, a hoax, a pre-Purim joke. Rav CM is clearly the unfortunate victim of an impersonator and even of identity theft.
I sympathize deeply for the pain this must surely have caused Rav CM, and I call for an end to such outrageous and destructive behavior by this prankster.
In future, the license afforded by Purim must be used more responsibly.