Thursday, December 08, 2005

Is it reality or a soap opera? The Continuing Saga of Rabbi Mordecai Tendler

Most people in the world have never heard of Rabbi Mordecai Tendler, yet in orthodox circles his family is well known.

Mordecai is the grandson of a Torah Scholar by the name of Rabbi Moshe Feinstein. Because of this the Tendler family is seen as being royalty. Unfortunately, as in the rest of the world if an individual is from a royal family, and does something wrong -- it becomes headline news.

I'm not going to rehash the entire case of Rabbi Mordecai Tendler, you can read about it here and here. It's basically a case of Professional Rabbinic Sexual Misconduct.

It's a case about Mordecai Tendler who was counseling women, took advantage of the situation and violated a sacred trust.

Mordechai Tendler is an orthodox rabbi, who is married with children. He was also more then willing to help beautiful women who were either having a personal crisis, or having difficulties getting a Get (Jewish divorce).

The Rabbinical Council of America (one of the orthodox rabbinical organizations) learned of his behavior, hired a company to investigate, and decided Mordechai Tendler was not fit to be a member of their organization. Needless to say, they revoked his membership.

Because Mordecai is a "Tendler", this became a battle of more then what it needed to be.

There is a small Jewish paper (that most people in the world have never heard of that reports on various events in the charedi community), called the Jewish Press. This paper does not have a single trainned investigative reporter on staff. Yet they have been writing article after article regarding this case. The funny thing is that the rumors are that Mordecai Tendler is the author of most of these articles.

In Israel there are two court systems. One for the orthodox world (called a beit din), and one for the rest of the citizens. I've heard over and over again about the corruption in the religious court system in Jerusalem, Israel. If you have money and or influence, you can have a decision in your favor. I'm sure Mordecai Tendler knows this rumor too.

Instead of having Mordecai's complaints against the RCA heard in a beit din in the United States, Tendler wanted the case to be heard in a Beit Din (Jewish religious court) in Jerusalem. It's not so surprising that he went crying to his buddies in Israel.

So the battle of the jurisdiction on where to hear Tendler's complaints -- of how unfair the RCA was to him is continues.

If you ask me it's all pretty stupid. The man is an orthodox rabbi. He's married, and had sexual relations with many women.

Have you ever heard of a religious married man being allowed to have sexual relations with many women? Let alone an orthodox rabbi. Don't forget to also add in the fact that Mordechai Tendler was acting as a therapist of sorts with these women, at the time -- it all spells out a sexual offense.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who ever wrote this may have to deal with the Rath or Rosenblaut, and also the Jewish Press's secret investigative reporter (AKA: Mordechai Tendler).

Can you imagine what would happen if everyone boycotted both of those tabloid newspapers? No one in the chardei community would be able to read the lashon hara anymore? Oops, isn't it the Jewish Press the tabloid that always saying victim advocates are speaking lashon hara?

December 08, 2005 10:46 PM  
Anonymous Tovia said...

I think Naomi Ragen would agree with you about the corruption in the Religious Courts in Jerusalem.

A Modest Proposal — Disband the Rabbinical Courts
by Naomi Ragen (February 23, 2001)

December 09, 2005 2:41 PM  
Anonymous uri shemesh said...

Your ability is misconstrue the facts is quite fascinating. Quite a bit of what you wrote is factually incorrect. Anyone familiar with the case (I personally know one of the accusers) understands your factual errors.

"The funny thing is that the rumors are that Mordecai Tendler is the author of most of these articles."
Undoubtedly you are the source of this supposed "rumor". Jason Maoz is the author of the Op Ed pieces to which you refer.

"I've heard over and over again about the corruption in the religious court system in Jerusalem, Israel."

Who have you "heard" from? Yourself, no doubt. The Israel rabbinical courts are the only independent rabbinical courts in the WORLD. The judges owe no allegiance to anyone. The government pays their salaries - unlike rabbinical courts elsewhere in the world where the plaintiff generally pays the fees of the rabbinical court (which is clearly problematic).

"Instead of having his complaints against the RCA heard here in the US, Tendler wanted the case to be heard in a Beit Din (Jewish religious court) in Jerusalem."

Wrong again. Tendler demanded a Beit Din in the US from the outset. The RCA refused. Tendler went to the Israel rabbinical courts because the RCA used to claim to be a de-facto branch of their legal system (although not any longer).

"The man is an orthodox rabbi. He's married, and had sexual relations with many women."
Even the RCA has not made this claim. Please support your assertion with some facts for a change.

As an aside...
The Jewish Press is not a "charedi" newspaper by any account. The Yated and HoModia are "charedi", and charedim generally treat the Jewish Press with a sizable dose of skepticism as not being "frum enough". To claim that The Jewish Press is "charedi" exposes your complete ignorance of anything related to Orthodox society.

Of course, I am probably wasting my time. Jewish Survivor does not post comments from anyone but herself under various pseudonyms.

December 10, 2005 8:18 AM  
Anonymous Tovia said...

Here's another article I just found regarding the ethical practices of the religious courts in Israel.

Do you think Uncle Moshe was aware of how much it would cost him to "Buy a rabbi"?

Buy a rabbi
By Haaretz Editorial
December 09, 2005

This weekend's Haaretz magazine exposes a major corruption scandal that could be called the "Latvia 2 affair." Hundreds of policemen, army officers and noncommissioned officers are suspected of having received fictitious certification as rabbis from important yeshivas. This gave them salary increases of up to NIS 2,000 a month, equivalent to the increase granted to those with academic degrees. For the yeshivas, it was worthwhile due to the tuition they collected for the few hours of study each week. But the treasury annually suffered millions of shekels of damages.

This scam, which has been going on for three years already, involved senior members of the rabbinic establishment: former Sephardi chief rabbi Mordechai Eliahu, former Sephardi chief rabbi Eliyahu Bakshi-Doron, and members of the Chief Rabbinate Council, including Haifa Chief Rabbi She'ar Yeshuv Hacohen, Be'er Sheva Chief Rabbi Yehuda Deri, and Safed Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliahu.

Employers ought to encourage their workers to pursue an education in their line of business and reward them with pay increases. But in recent years, Israel has witnessed a growing phenomenon of "pseudo-education" solely for the purpose of salary increases, which turns the issue of professional education into a laughingstock and is liable to injure those who truly deserve such raises.

The Latvia affair involved people who obtained academic degrees without studying at all. Sources involved in the investigation in the current affair reported that some of those certified as rabbis were not even familiar with basic Jewish concepts. Particularly grave was the fact that policemen, including senior police officers, behaved as if the law did not apply to them.

The religious world attaches great importance to the term hillul hashem (desecration of God's name), meaning acts that are not only undesirable and even forbidden, but that sow contempt for religion. The rabbinic certification affair is a desecration of God's name on a grand scale. The Chief Rabbinate is striving to preserve its monopoly over the rabbinic establishment and prevent state recognition of Reform and Conservative rabbis. Therefore, one would have expected Chief Rabbinate Council members to demonstrate greater responsibility when certifying people as rabbis, instead of cutting off the branch on which they are sitting.

The investigation, which is being conducted by the Justice Ministry's Department for Investigating Policemen, the National Fraud Squad, and the Military Police, has been under way for three years already. Such a drawn-out process is liable to create the impression that the police have no interest in completing a probe involving the force itself.

Claims made by Chief Rabbinate officials that the police pressed to have the certificates issued to policemen quickly must be investigated. The police's deputy chief rabbi, Chief Superintendent Aharon Gotsdiner, has resigned, but the public deserves to know whether the police's chief rabbi, Ya'akov Gross, also was involved in the affair. The policemen involved in the affair are complaining about the lengthy investigation, saying it has impeded their promotions. Therefore, it is necessary to complete the probe and bring this affair to an end expeditiously.

December 10, 2005 7:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know you can screen out the postings to this comment section. Why are you allowing the crap from uri shemesh? We already know he's an idiot. Why not be kind and not allow himself to embarass himself like this and just delete instead of posting

December 10, 2005 7:20 PM  

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