I waited. I was hoping to be enlightened. R’ Moti Elon, who is likely to appeal charges against him, and for all anyone knows may not be found guilty, was condemned by Takana, a highly respected group of Modern Orthodox Rabbis and learned women. The court re-affirmed their findings.
In a case like this, one must be careful. Elon does have rights, and one must write alleged. At the same time, there is absolutely no Chiyuv that I know of, which would make it necessary to invite him specifically to give a Torah lecture while this very real cloud hangs over Elon.
Rav Druckman had invited him, and whilst nobody can be anything but impressed by his achievements as a human being and as an educator par excellence, one must question his judgement in this case. I waited for an explanation, but either I’ve missed it, or there is none.
Accordingly, I have suspended my faith in his judgement. It’s a pity we don’t have a body like Takana here in Melbourne. There are some dubious individuals, about which there is a raft of evidence that hasn’t yet seen the courts, circulating with clear ramifications that call for an enquiry. I see no need to INVITE such people to speak on topics given the very dark cloud that surrounds their past. Yes, they are innocent until proven guilty, but we can do better than choosing people who seem to be moral and upright and don’t have such clouds accompanying them. If and when they clear their name, בבקשה.
It reminds me of the sad story re-told by Rabbi Riskin:
“Let me tell you a true incident which for me is a metaphor of our times. A young man attended a yeshiva in Safed.
“The first morning, he arrived a bit late for breakfast and there was no milk left for his coffee. He went to the grocery, purchased a container of milk and placed the container in the yeshiva refrigerator with a sign, ‘Private property.’
“The next morning, the container was gone.
“He bought another container, on which he added to the previous sign, ‘Do not steal.’
“The next morning, that container, too, was missing.
“He purchased a new container, adding to the sign, ‘Questionable gentile milk’ (halav akum). This time no one took his container; he left the yeshiva.”
At the risk of sounding like an Orthodox basher, let me say that far too little is written about the lack of leadership on morality and ethics on the left side of our divide. I did notice criticism of Macabbi in the 2000’s for allegedly not doing enough to separate someone wth a grey cloud over their head, from Macabbi kids. In general, the left leadership is moribund except when it sees an Orthodox target. They includes the reform and the conservatives and the “unaligned” (Shira Chadasha, who for some reason market themselves as Orthodox but are not considered as such by 99% of the Orthodox community).
Jews are a strange group. That’s why we have the crazy notion of people who want to “celebrate” Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur without God. They advertised in the paper. I would imagine they sit around in Yoga type trances and moments of thought, and make “new year resolutions” while consuming apples dipped in honey. Ultimately, they are celebrating with God, for He ordained the concepts and their meaning. They just have a pintele yid, which is clouded by secularist, do good, and tikkun olam (the modern socialist mantra). They are good concepts in the main, but whether they like it or not, God is part of our tradition! Rosh Hashana isn’t “Happy New Year”. Why not run it on December 31st with the others? Isn’t that more inclusive and likely to break down the “barriers”.
It’s actually God’s coronation. It’s not about making “commitments” per se, although one should use these times to improve.
Anyway, I digress, as usual, given this is (as always) an unedited conscious stream …