Friday, August 20, 2010

David Orlofsky: "Hersh Weinreb is an idiot: Modern Orthodox Jews aren't Benai Torah"

First Pinter. Then Tropper. Now Orlofsky. One by one, the holy, holy, holy Ultra Orthodox Rabbis who led the religious war against Natan Slkifkin are being exposed for what they really are. Pinter, who incited Gedolim to ban books they hadn't read, was a crook. Tropper, who helped organize the ban, was a sex fiend. And Orlofsky, who appointed himself chief spokesman for the ban, and ran around defending absurdity after absurdity in the name of some warped, non--existent ideal of Torah True Purity has now been caught on tape heaping insults on Modern Orthodoxy, the Orthodox Union and its dignified former head Hersh Weinreb.

Here he is screaming in front of a class full of nervously, snickering Ohr Somayich students that Hersh Weinreb is an idiot, a moron, a cow, and a katan. What's neat about this is so-called Rabbi Orlofsky is basing his judgement on a private conversation R. Weinreb allegedly had with someone named Manny Nissel. The account of the conversation sounds fabricated to me - or at least embellished for comic effect. In any event, there's no indication Weinreb gave Nissel, or  that Nissel gave Orlo, permission to tell anyone what was said. I feel certain the gdolim that Orlo claims to adore would not betray confidences, and certainly not for the purpose of ridiculing someone.

On this clip, we hear Orlo providing a very odd definition of Conservative Judaism that ends with him suggesting Modern Orthodox Jews aren't Benai Torah. The clip begins with an attack on the idea that the Gedolim don't speak English, or that they can be manipulated. Of course, its in Orlo's interest to take this approach, as he's at bottom a missionary, trying to win converts to his Godol-worshiping sect. In Orlo land, I suppose there are only 70 languages which all Gedolom speak fluently; the reality is that many of the Israeli Gedolim are illiterate in English, and have nonetheless banned English books, books they can't read or evaluate first hand. These books include Rabbi Nosson Kaminetsky's Making of a Godol, and Rabbi Natan Slifkin's Challange of Creation Science of Torah both of which were banned on advice (some would say under pressure) from zealots. If that's not manipulation, what is? And if you doubt Gedolim can be manipulated, well, its been captured on tape.

Let's be clear. Orlo is an extremist who turns young people against their parents and communities in the name of kiruv. He's been caught at it red-handed. The communities he disparages should return the favor and say no more checks and no more students for Ohr Somayech until Orlo and any other instructors like him are dismissed.


Update: Here's the same man attacking Lubovitch last year, and here's his apology.

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