Friday, June 26, 2009

Second Thoughts

A Word about Rabbi Dovid Cohen.

I want to make one thing perfectly clear. My post was not written about him. It was written about what he allegedly said. That was a disgusting Chilul HaShem. Once the media reported that the Rabbinical Council of America disbanded a Halachic advisory he was a member of because of those allegations -made by several people who attended his lecture - I had no choice but to protest the notion that a respected Posek could say such things.

But I want to emphasize that as of this moment, there is no hard evidence that he said - exactly - what he was accused of saying. There have been many plausible explanations given as to why it is the case that there is no hard evidence - that favor believing those accusations. But there is one possible explanation that has not been touted too much although some have alluded to it. That is that he was misunderstood.

Many people would scoff at that possibility in light of all the testimony to the contrary by witnesses who were there. But - I for one was not there. So it remains in the realm of possibility that he was indeed misunderstood.

So, I repeat what I said at the outset of this whole controversy. A man is innocent until proven guilty.

So any suggestion that he not be given the Kavod due a Talmid Chacham of his stature is mistaken. If I was perceived as doing that I apologize. And even if in a moment of anger I came close to that, I now retract it. As such questions about burning his Seforim (as one commenter mentioned) or any other such nonsense is repulsive and probably Assur.

This is a Posek whom many people relied upon - and many still do. He was the ‘go to’ Posek for many Shailos by people - lenient where many others were strict! I’m sure that is still the case.

I do not advocate using him as a Posek at this time. But I strongly object to the shabby way people are treating him without the absolute proof that he said what he is accused of saying – no matter how much we tend to believe it. Innocent until proven guilty. That means we must Dan L’Kaf Zechus and treat him with respect. It is what he is accused of saying that is condemnable.