Is Agudah finally waking up? They were silent when the Spinka Rebbe was arrested. But they are silent no more.
A letter was posted on YWN. It is an invitation to a meeting designed to deal with the recent arrests of several rabbis for money laundering. Two rabbis and two attorneys will be participating. I urge the media to attend and report on exactly what happened.
I just hope this is a beginning and not an end. As Rabbi Zweibel says:
It is (vital) that we hear words of mussar and chizuk, and that we learn to distinguish between conduct that conforms with dina d’malchusa and conduct that does not.
What is sad is that this kind of meeting is even needed! ...that people do not understand what conforms with Dina D'Malchusa.
The culture that produced these rabbi/criminals has to change. I’m glad to see Agudah calling this meeting. I think the letter expresses the right attitude. I will reserve any further comment until I find out what happened there.
Here’s the letter:
I am writing to friends and supporters of Agudath Israel to call your attention to an important gathering for the men of our community tomorrow night, Tuesday, 7 Menachem Av/July 28, in the Ohr Hachayim Viznitz Hall, 1824 53rd Street, in Brooklyn.
The asifa, which is being sponsored by community askonim, will be focusing on the timeless (but also all too timely) theme of “Vi’asisa hayashar vi’hatov.” It will feature two distinguished rabbonim - Harav Avrohom Schorr, shlita, and Harav Dovid Ozieri, shlita; as well as two respected legal experts - Benjamin Brafman, Esq. and Jacob Laufer, Esq. I will be serving as the evening’s chairman. We will start with Mincha at 7:15 and then proceed with the program.
Introspection about how to better live our lives in consonance with Torah ideals is always timely. It is particularly timely during the days leading up to Tisha B’Av, when we mourn the fact that we remain in Golus, and the reasons why.
And in the wake of recent headlines and front-page photographs that made every feeling Jewish heart ache, it is even more timely for us to take a good, hard look at our obligations to our fellows, to our society, to our government.
I don’t think I can adequately convey how compelling this gathering should be to us all. But I am confident that you realize how vital it is that we hear words of mussar and chizuk, and that we learn to distinguish between conduct that conforms with dina d’malchusa and conduct that does not. I am also confident that you understand how important it is to demonstrate to the wider world how heartfelt and determined Jews respond to news like the tragic tidings of recent days. Tomorrow night’s symposium and our attendance are an important part of that response.
Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel
Executive Vice President
Agudath Israel of America