A copy of my letter to the Yated

Dear Editor,

I am sure your office has been flooded with both positive and negative views regarding Rabbi Avromom Birnbaum’s article addressing Rabbi Gil Student and Rabbi Harry Maryles’ treatment of the sad and troublesome issue of Rabbi Michael Broyde.

Over the years, in the pages of the Yated, Rabbi Birmbaum has given his readers a less than positive view of how he sees “Modern Orthodoxy.” What he wrote regarding Rabbi Student and Rabbi Maryles, not Mr., is very much in the realm of character assassination. This is the same type of character assassination that I, and thousands, have heard about at Agudath Israel conventions regarding anonymous bloggers and irresponsible journalism.

The fact that Rabbi Brodye’s own words about this situation were post on Hirhurim clearly shows that, despite having previously posted Rabbi Brodye’s writings, Rabbi Student did what needed to be done.

Rabbi Maryles’ treatment of this issue also is very much in line with his blog’s history from the beginning. He often does have posts dealing with the rampant Chillul Hashem within our own Torah observant community, regardless if it involved the “Chareidi” world or “everyone else.”

Rav Yisrael Salanter is quoted as saying, “Promote yourself, but do not demote another.” It seems to me that what Rabbi Birnbaum wrote was an example of demoting.

I am keeping my copy of this article. I know there will come a day when one of my children will ask me, “Abba, why hasn’t Moshiach come?” I will dig out this article and simply cry.

Neil Harris

Chicago, IL

3 thoughts on “A copy of my letter to the Yated

  1. The Bald Guy

    Good letter. I read this article last night and, being a semi-regular Hirhurim reader, could not believe what I was reading. My guess is the Yated, having “had it in” for R’ Broyde to some extent for a while, manufactured it’s own indignity by maligning a blog run by someone who was close to R’ Broyde. As to their making a “no comment” molehill into a mountain, that was grossly unfair, since what would they expect R’ Student to say? R’ Broyde, it’s my understanding, was a close friend and mentor to him! It’s clear to me that R’ Student is still reeling a bit from the shock of having someone so close to you as a friend turn out to be not quite what you thought…

    Thanks for the letter; I’ll be writing one this week. I’d be a little surprised if many of these critical letters get printed, or get printed 100% accurately.

  2. Neil Harris

    I appreciate you leaving a comment. I have submitted letters to the Yated’s editor in the past highlighting positive things in their publication (but not ever published).
    There was tons more I wanted to write, especially because I know R Maryles personally and he really is all about Ahavas Yisrael.

  3. The Bald Guy

    Yes, the Yated does publish positive things. I’m just directing criticism at R’ Birnbaum’s column in particular as he can, from time to time, tend to wriite about the perception (real, imagined, or in between) of some problem erupting somewhere across Orthodox world, and manufactures “proof” around it. Kind of like the tail wagging the dog. It’s sometimes infuriating to read.
    It’s a little ironic in this issue in particular since later on, in the news piece on the R’ Broyde affair, the Yated (author is not R’ Birnbaum) calls R’ Broyde to task on “manufacturing” proofs to and approbations on his positions to legitimize them… Hmm…


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