Rabbi Sternbuch – Charedi Establishment Personified

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:

אודות מה שמערערים לאחרונה על העופות שכל בית ישראל אוכלים זה עשרות שנים בכל מקומות מושבותיהם…
הנה ראשית דבר, כיון שנהגו כל בית ישראל – ובכללם גם גדולי וצדיקי עולם – לאכול את העופות המקובלים אצלינו, זה לכשעצמו כבר מספיק בכדי להכשיר את העופות, וחס ושלום מלפקפק על כל עם ישראל ועל גדולים וצדיקים במשך הרבה שנים ולומר שכולם נכשלו באכילת עוף טמא, ודבר זה עדיף גם ממסורת, ועל כן אין לנו להיכנס במשא ומתן האם העופות כשרים או לא, אלא אם באנו לדון אין לנו אלא לדון מדוע הם כשרים, אך המציאות בוודאי ברורה שכלל ישראל כולו בכל מקומות מושבותיהם בראשות גדולי וצדיקי עולם לא נכשלו באכילת עופות טמאים.


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.

Which 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 EhrlichLouis Jacobs, Shlomo Aviner, and so on?!

Here is the full epistle:

Download (PDF, Unknown)

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.

The fact Jews have done XYZ is neither equivalent nor greater than the concept of “Masores” in Yoreh De’ah, no matter the numbers or the purported unknowability of the prohibition involved. This is utter ignorance.
He goes on to say it gives Hashem great pleasure His sons do not sin:
ומבואר בזוה”ק שבשעה שהשטן בא לקטרג שעם ישראל חוטאים, אומרים לו הבא עדים, והוא יורד למטה ומביא מה ששומע מרבנים המקטרגים על ישראל, ולכן ראוי לנו לפרסם האמת שאין כאן נדנוד חשש, והקב”ה נהנה שבניו לא חטאו.
Presumably, this is also true of Jews overcoming their sinful desire to lie about their other sins so as to disable the general Mitzvah of Teshuvah…
Enough for now.
For a similar post about the worst enemies of Judaism: current rabbis, that is, please see this link.

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