Thursday, September 14, 2006

Thought experiment

Rabbi Moshe Tendler is the tragic figure par excellance. By rights, he should have the respect of his community. After all, he is supremely learned, a Rosh Yeshiva, the author of several well-regarded texts, and the son-in-law of Moshe Feinstein, the Sage of the Previous Generation. In places like Teanek and West Hempstead and Highland Park Rabbi Tendler is accorded great respect, and the YU community revers him as one of our generation's ranking authorities on medical ethics.

Unfortunately for Rabbi Tendler, though, he chose to make Monsey his hometown, and in Monsey this great man is denied the respect he deserves. Last year, for instance, when a lie about Rabbi Tendler was gleefuly spread by irresponsible gossips and newspapers like the Yated, the madmen of Monsey launched a systematic campaign of desctruction against him. They distorted his words, spread stories about him, published polemics, harrased him with threatening phone calls, vandalized his shul, and conducted nightime vigils. If the men and women of Monsey must fast this Sunday, let them fast for how they allowed this man to be treated.

Now for the thought experiment promised in the title: Suppose Rabbi Tendler had been the mashgiach responsible for certifying Shevach Meats. Suppose all of Monsey ate treif meat for eight years on Rabbi Tendler's achrayis. Given the way Rabbi Tendler has been treated in the past by the very people most affected by the Shevach Scandal, I ask: If Rabbi Tendler had been responsible for Monsey's humiliation, would the town be calling for a public fast? Or would the Tendler family be sitting shiva?

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