OPINION-PHOBIA and the MORAL MAFIA!

I would like to mention that one person Harry Maryles, who I dont even know, wrote a beautiful blog about the way I was mistreated. Thank you, Harry! Click here to read.

Clipping from the FJJ accusing me of being anti-gedolim” 

MORAL MAFIA – While they have no shred of morality, they claim to be speaking in the name of G-D. They manipulate rabonim by presenting false information and then claim to be speaking for “Daas Torah”. And if you dare have an opinion that differs from them, you are called an Apikores!
OPINION-PHOBIA – Those who wont let other opinions be heard for fear of being wrong themselves.

My story…A view from under the bus…


Update: After intense pressure I was finally able to get the name of the Rabbi that “blackmailed” the FJJ into shaming me. I decided to call him myself. I never met him before and knew nothing really about him and so I explained who I was and asked him why he felt the need to embarrass me publicly in my community. Instead of listening to me, he just started yelling, and accusing me of being mivaza talmidei chachomim. When I explained that that wasn’t true, and asked if he read my article he said he didn’t have to, the title was enough! He then yelled some more, called me a “tzadik’le”, told me he had much more important things to do on Erev Pesach and hung up the phone. I recorded the conversation so nobody can deny this took place.

Please note to anyone reading this:
Its still hard for me to comprehend what happened and the insanity of it all. Everyone I have spoken to, my rabbayim, friends, family, neighbors and campers know the truth and are just as upset as I am. They have been beside me 100%. Will I ever get an apology? probably not. But really, who cares. And so, I’m writing this for myself, my family and friends so they know what really took place, and I am writing this for those that have questions and want to know the real story

To: Editor of the FJJ.

I am trying to be as respectful as possible because I know you were put under pressure by others for what happened to me. But since you are editor and responsible for what does and does not go into your paper this becomes an issue for you to deal with. I have been counseled by poskim in whom to direct my current predicament and they all agree its with the FJJ.

My intention in writing my thoughts on the use of technology was, as stated in the original piece  “Blaming Technology”, so that we can have a proper discussion on an issue that seems to be of concern to many. Unlike others, I used my full name because I felt it would be taken more seriously, and I believed in the truth in what I wrote. Never did I dream that what I said would cause such a personal and vicious response by your paper. For the most part, I was accused of saying things I never wrote. While I clearly stated the Internet was a dangerous place, I was accused of saying the exact opposite. It’s easy to defame someone when you misquote them. The gist of my letter was how I thought it’s time we educate our children on how to safely use these devices and to teach them all the positive things technology can do for us and how by blaming all our problems on technology we are doing more harm than good.  I was trying to raise a topic that I felt needed more examination by the community. I wasn’t expecting everyone to agree with my point of view but I thought if the topic was raised we would all gain from it.

Instead, the next week I was amazed to see my name completely smeared and ridiculed by Rabbi Nechemiah Gottlieb: Director of Ichud. Click here to read his response. While I was hoping to read letters that either supported or challenged what I wrote (and there were some) I was surprised and shocked to see him accuse me of “criticizing all of gedolai yisroel as being dim-witted, out of touch and naive”. I never said anything remotely of that kind, I never mentioned any Rabbis name and I never even referenced anything a Rabbi might have said. The method of finding a gadol that agrees with your opinion and then accuse anyone that disagrees with you as “anti-gedolim” is not just Motzei Shem Ra but makes any discussion on the issue a waste of time. In addition, his false accusations were followed by a statement in the FJJ that insinuated that my letter was not in accordance with Das Torah. Random quotes from specific Gedolai Yisrael at the Aguda convention were inserted as to make it seem as I differed from them, when in reality there were those that had made similar sentiments to my own.

I grew up in a family that had the utmost respect for Rabbanim and I have tried my best to instill those same values in my children. Moreover, as a director of a camp I often speak with many Rabbanim, Rebbeyim and teachers, and I am in awe of the dedication I see them put into their students. I never allowed myself or my family to read anything that might contain loshon harah, whether it be printed in the tabloids or on so called kosher news sites. I specifically wrote my letter to what I believed was a properly moderated frum newspaper.

On the chance that my language may have, unintentionally, lent itself to misinterpretation I have tried to respond to the accusations against me by sending in the above response many times, even quoting other famous Gedolim with similar views, but all my letters were turned down. When I asked what the specific issue was, I was never given an answer. I have had my letter looked over by many respectably Rabbanim of the community to see if there was any hint of hatred or negativity toward gedolei yisroel and have yet to been told there was. I decided to let the whole thing pass and forget about it, but a month later again the FJJ published a statement, repeating the same diatribe, stating that my opinion was contrary to the stance of Gedolai Yisroel, with three photos of Gedolai Yisroel as if to imply they agreed with the published statement.

I was additionally attacked for going against Jewish Mesorah that we must shelter our children from evrything the outside world has to offer, again I tried to reply with a letter, quoting Rav Hirsh verbatim, and it was not allowed to be published for not being in compliance with “Gedolai Torah”. When I asked on specifics, they wouldn’t say.

Discussing Jewish ideas is built into our mesora, but the second we defame another person, it changes from a mitzvah to an aveira. For someone to make it seem as though there is just one solution and one method to deal with any problem is misleading. Flatbush is a diverse neighborhood of all types of frum Jews and every Rabbi tries to deal with the given situations according to their own kehila and what they feel would be the best for each individual. But most importantly we all have the same goals in mind.

And so I wonder, how is it possible that I was accused of such nonsense. If the FJJ felt my article was in some way not in accordance with Daas Torah they would never have printed it in the first place. The answer is even more depressing. I have come to believe that there are those out there, and while they may be a few, that will stop at nothing to suppress those that differ from their own opinion. They will go as far as blackmailing to make sure only their views are heard. Even worse, they will publicly allow a newspaper to spread false gossip about someone so that another opinion is not heard!

One of the most important functions of a newspaper is to serve as a forum to examine social, political, and ideological issues important to the public welfare and education. Often, the presentation of issues will take the form of a debate, with opposing sides presenting their views. Debate however, should not be confused with controversy (machlokes). It is vital that a newspaper will serve as a medium to clarify actual issues and not encourage and promote strife between people. Articles that are written to inflame people’s emotions in the hope of creating an issue, or that pit two personalities against each other to create controversy are inappropriate. Needless to say motzei shem ra applies to defaming a neighborhood just as well!

The Chofetz Chaim says, the proliferation of newspapers that contain lashon hara, slander, and divisiveness, exists only when the readership is willing to accept this fare. There is such a powerful desire to read this sensationalism that for many, a day cannot go by without reading this type of “news”. The newspaper and the readership, warns the Chofetz Chaim, do not appreciate that they will be held accountable before Hashem.

My intention with this letter, is that what has happened to me, won’t happen again. Not to me or to anyone else. If I had to be the one to get stepped on to make a change, so be it. In addition my hope is that we can have a newspaper that will discuss issues that really need to be addressed without anyone being afraid to have their opinion heard, as long as it’s L’shaim shomayim. Unfortunately, the current trend is to wait till we have a so-called crisis until we are willing to address the issue at hand.

I’m thankful to all those that stood by me, whether publicly or anonymously, it makes me believe in the frum community. To those that tell me how brave I am, not so, I was naive. To all those that tell me you’re wasting your time, it’s of no use and that people dont want to hear the truth, to them I say, maybe you’re right, but at least I tried. And to those that ask me, aren’t you afraid of “them”? Well, I’m just not.

I would also like to add that I feel lucky and proud to be a part of the diverse Flatbush community and my beautiful neighborhood of Marine Park.

A Chag Kosher Vsamayach
Dovid Teitelbaum
Director, Camp Sdei Chemed International

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  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01400967248218439807 Shmuel Dovid

    Why don't you ask the FJJ how their paper is printed online. Are they trying to attract all those readers that go against ALL Gedolim?

  • curious george

    This is so upsetting. We live in a world that is getting narrower by the day. We are no longer allowed to read the writings of RSRH because he says things that "all the Gedolim" disagree with. You know, if Rav Yisroel Salanter was here today, they'd probably chase him out of town!

  • Anonymous
  • open the gates

    R' Dovid –

    I knew your father Z"L, and he was fearless about stating his opinions, no matter what the prevailing PC of the moment was. His passing was a major loss to klal Yisroel.

    If I may say so, you are a worthy successor to your father. Keep up the good fight. You would be surprised to know how many people agree with your stance, in its entirety.

    Hatzlacha.

  • Anonymous

    the fjj edited your original article?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11833754733241213439 Dovid Teitelbaum

    No they did not change my original article they liked it very much. Actually i sent it as a letter to editor and they made it into an opinion piece. It was after when I tried to respond to the false accusations they refused to print it claiming the saying the rabonim dont let him

  • shaul shapira

    FJJ and R Mordy Mehlman probably still agree with you. They just have to cover their backs. Try not to get too riled up about it.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11833754733241213439 Dovid Teitelbaum

    I know they do, so does most of Klal Yisroel, and thats what I wrote. I spoke to the "Godol" that told him to do it and he was mean and disgusting to me and than he hung up he phone. I still have the recording of the conversation. I just wrote this so people should know my side of the story.
    Dovid

  • JustAYid

    Very week article by  Rabbi Nechemiah Gottlieb , he misquoted Rabbi Teitelbaum , and twisted his words, then followed up by saying, he would need to write entire articles to refute some of Rabbi Teitelbaum's opinions , I was invited to join some  TAG-ICHUD meetings, and  chose not to attend , much to the chagrin of family members and friends, I almost agreed to attend a meeting in order to placate the aforementioned people , however after reading Rabbi Gottleib's response, I think it would be better if  stayed away.

  • JustAYid

    *weak

    (spellcheck)

  • JustAYid

    Very week article by  Rabbi Nechemiah Gottlieb , he misquoted Rabbi Teitelbaum , and twisted his words, then followed up by saying, he would need to write entire articles to refute some of Rabbi Teitelbaum’s opinions , I was invited to join some  TAG-ICHUD meetings, and  chose not to attend , much to the chagrin of family members and friends, I almost agreed to attend a meeting in order to placate the aforementioned people , however after reading Rabbi Gottleib’s response, I think it would be better if  stayed away.

    • JustAYid

      *weak

      (spellcheck)

  • Jaylousa2482

    Rabbi Bentzion Sorotzkin a nephew of Rav Boruch Sorotzkin Zatzal and a noted phychologist practicing in the Frum community both here and Eretz Yisroel for years has been saying the same thing for years internet and technology is not the problem and is not the reason for OTD or Kids at Risk go visit his website go to Google and type in his name and his website should come up also see what Rabbi Yankel Horowitz has to say about him

  • Jaylousa2482

    Rabbi Bentzion Sorotzkin a nephew of Rav Boruch Sorotzkin Zatzal and a noted phychologist practicing in the Frum community both here and Eretz Yisroel for years has been saying the same thing for years internet and technology is not the problem and is not the reason for OTD or Kids at Risk go visit his website go to Google and type in his name and his website should come up also see what Rabbi Yankel Horowitz has to say about him

  • Observation

    The asifa itself (in other words Gottlieb himself) is – or was originally, billed "You can't live without it – You can't live with it". In essence he is saying what you saying. The purpose of the asifa to my understanding is to promote filtering. 

  • DovidTeitelbaum

    what?

  • DovidTeitelbaum

    Thanks for your comments. A lot of what you wrote about filters I will be addressing in another post very soon. About being hurt. I wasn't. Honestly, I never received even one negative phone call or email. I did receive hundreds of positive ones, from parents to Rosh Yeshiva. I wrote my story so that people will understand now why rabonim themselves dont speak up. They have more to loose than I.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/5OODF4PNABROJ6KSBQLVCU2K6U mcr4444

    Hi

    (Your original post “Blaming Technology”, and also “An open letter to Ichud Hakehillos” (which i actually read first – i’m mainly replying to that), I found to be very interesting and thoughtful posts. It’s the first time I’m reading your blog. I am posting the reply here instead of there because it seems the discussion has “moved on” to here. I also have a little addition at the end dealing with the response which has so hurt you.)

    I can certainly testify to cracking through filters etc more than once. Ein Apotropos le’aroyos etc.

    A few comments

    1. Some filters are much more robust than others. One user at my workplace has (voluntarily) put on an extremely strict “whitelist-style” server-side solution which is extremely powerful and can’t be overridden or bypassed. Of course Administrator passwords must be withheld from kids.

    (With what you said about universal Wi-fi coverage, I guess that would militate in favour of a device-side rather than a server-side solution. Unless you could stop new Wi-fi connections being allowed, again, without an Administrator password.)

    All VPN functionality must be disabled as well (either through the filter product or by modifying the registry, and setting it to be irreversible without an Administrator password.) Ditto for being able to add ANY new program.

    If it means enough to you, you really could put the time into learning how to completely block your machine to a whitelist of allowed content. It wouldn’t take a huge amount of time.

    However, admittedly this would be an internet much-reduced in functionality. But online banking, email, weather reports, a few other things, would be able to work.

    I’m prepared to put money down that I could set up such a system that would frustrate mine and your best efforts to crack it.

    2. Even if the filter is going to fail, etc, just the act of putting it there and TRYING to control yourself and your family is a very big to’eles. Often, it will block SOME of what you want to see, or make it that much more time-consuming to access something. 
    In G-d’s eyes (i humbly suggest) he sees that you are at least TRYING to use what tools you have, that you haven’t completely given up.
    I feel this is very important. 

    Pilegesh be’Giva did not lead to the destruction of the Yiden, (as opposed to Sedom’s brutal treatment of visitors, which DID lead to their destruction) according to the Ramban, one of the 3 reasons is because Sedom’s cruelty was enshrined in its laws, while on the other hand Klal Yisrael had laws mandating proper behaviour, it was just that the decent people just couldn’t control a wild and lawless bunch of outlaws. 
    But what use and what merit are laws which cant be practically enforced? What I take from there is that it DOES matter, it is choshuv in G-d’s eyes that you tried.

    3. Having said all the above, I completely agree with you about all the “E’s” that making Judaism exciting, passionate, warm accepting is the main way forward… hopefully soon a new generation of mechanchim will be in place who most if not all of them will have had nefilos (and also amido benisoyon, sometimes) through the internet themselves and I guess there will be more creativity in dealing with it, maybe?

    Love

    Moshe Chaim (UK)

    PS: Having written all the above, I then came across your later posts about the very hostile response you have received. 

    My initial feeling reading your post was not that you were setting out to belittle the Gedolim etc. If i had got that impression i would have stopped reading and certainly not replied. I feel that the tzaddikim of our dor act as a shield, and we get a lot of merit by being mekabel their words even when “al yemin shehu semol” etc.

    But i also could see that someone could, reading in good faith, also take it the other way. Although you have been hurt, Reb Yisroel Salanter WAS oppsed. As was the Ba’al shem Tov and others as i’m sure you know. And i’m pretty sure that they kept their perspective and understood that just as Hashem is please with them for speaking out leShem Shamayim, he’s also please with others who are trying to suppress your words, also leshem Shamayim. from their POV, you are being like a clever, subtle Korach, and the hurt to your feelings is secondary to the macho’oh they are chiyav to make against you. It’s not personal. A lot of times it’s not about analysing every last word you’ve written but an unintentional ta’am of being mavzeh Tzaddikim that ones words can gice.

    IMHO you could avoid this (false) impression in future by explicitly sprinkling in a few phrases in future posts that nothing written here is intended to contradict or deingrate the words of gedolim, that you are calling out from Tza’ar in your heart and leTovas haKlal to the best of your ability, that as far as you understand nothing you are writing is not also part of / compatible with Da’as Torah. These are true statements, not lies – it is very sad that you would need to speak out things that are perfectly obviously, but like the Sanhedrin forcing the Kohen Godol to swear that he wasn’t a Tzedoki, and then both sides would cry that such obvious things have to made explicit… It really does massively change the overall impression created.

    Love again. MC

    • DovidTeitelbaum

      Thanks for your comments. A lot of what you wrote about filters I will be addressing in another post very soon. About being hurt. I wasn’t. Honestly, I never received even one negative phone call or email. I did receive hundreds of positive ones, from parents to Rosh Yeshiva. I wrote my story so that people will understand now why rabonim themselves dont speak up. They have more to loose than I.

    • ok another shaygotz…

      we all know there are shkutzem in our comunity you dont have to tell uss that you are one of them!!!!!

  • Observation

    The asifa itself (in other words Gottlieb himself) is – or was originally, billed “You can’t live without it – You can’t live with it”. In essence he is saying what you saying. The purpose of the asifa to my understanding is to promote filtering. 

    • DovidTeitelbaum

      what?

  • Dayuh-videebur

    I have first-hand-experience with "רע-בנים"
    study the following to understand what's going on:
     מ' שבת קל"ט. עם רש"י
    דברי חיים פ' ויקהל קכ"ג דה"מ וזה י"ל עד ועד לא לקבל שום תועלת לעצמם
    קובץ מאמרים – אומר אני מעשי למלך דף צ' אות ג' כל הסעיף

  • Dayuh-videebur

    I have first-hand-experience with “רע-בנים”
    study the following to understand what’s going on:
     מ’ שבת קל”ט. עם רש”י
    דברי חיים פ’ ויקהל קכ”ג דה”מ וזה י”ל עד ועד לא לקבל שום תועלת לעצמם
    קובץ מאמרים – אומר אני מעשי למלך דף צ’ אות ג’ כל הסעיף

  • ok another shaygotz…

    we all know there are shkutzem in our comunity you dont have to tell uss that you are one of them!!!!!

  • Joseph Nerenberg

    Ironically, wasn't Gottleib himself thrown under the proverbial bus shortly before the Assifah. "What goes around, comes around", as they say.

  • Joseph Nerenberg

    Ironically, wasn’t Gottleib himself thrown under the proverbial bus shortly before the Assifah. “What goes around, comes around”, as they say.

    • DovidTeitelbaum

      I never really got the details as to what happened, but his name is never mentioned anymore.

  • DovidTeitelbaum

    I never really got the details as to what happened, but his name is never mentioned anymore.

  • DovidTeitelbaum

    No they did not change my original article they liked it very much. Actually i sent it as a letter to editor and they made it into an opinion piece. It was after when I tried to respond to the false accusations they refused to print it claiming the saying the rabonim dont let him

  • DovidTeitelbaum

    No they did not change my original article they liked it very much. Actually i sent it as a letter to editor and they made it into an opinion piece. It was after when I tried to respond to the false accusations they refused to print it claiming the saying the rabonim dont let him