The opening of Rabbi Sternbuch’s letter is the very concentrate of Charedi wickedness.
(I keep delaying this post until I get the time to understand and comment on the rest of the epistle, but I don’t know when that will be. I assume the rest doesn’t weaken the message of the start. And better something than nothing.)
I quote and comment:
Has all Klal Yisra’el never sinned? No rabbi is so ignorant as to imagine such a thing.
To be clear, I don’t have a handle on the Halachic truth on the Braekel chickens myself, nor did I read the rest of the letter. But that’s not the issue here. The issue is Rabbi Sternbuch and his heretical meta-Halachic axiology.
Nor is he alone; if only (Halevai)! Rabbi Sternbuch is to the Charedi establishment what the foolish child is to his parents in the old joke.
There’s a knock on the door. The child opens the door and tells his parents who’s there. The parents respond with one voice: That unkind, ugly nudge? Tell her we’re not home. And the child innocently tells the neighbor: My parents said you are unkind and ugly and a nudge and to tell you they aren’t home.
He might be right in every single Halacha, both here and elsewhere (for argument’s sake). But when someone says so explicitly his highest ideal is not the search for God’s truth but the preservation of the false pride of human inerrability, he is calling himself a liar. Why should we then trust one word he has to say? And he seems to have hinted at this in previous works as well. How are Sternbuch’s “Buchs” (Yiddish: books) – at least from the Chazakah onwards, any different from those written by Arnold Ehrlich, Louis Jacobs, Shlomo Aviner, and so on?!
Here is the full epistle:
At least Rabbi Sternbuch is consistent. His defense of women’s wigs (“Das Vehalachah“) was just as intellectually dishonest and bereft, and it was written for the exact same reason as the above on fowl Masores; Rabbi Ovadia Yosef had prohibited an action customary among many Jews, especially in Rabbi Sternbuch’s community. The truth in Hashem’s eyes was never relevant. It never is with these people.