Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A few posts about the VIN Ban (#2)

Second in a series. Read the first one here

Someone is sending emails to V.I.N's advertisers demanding that all advertising be canceled in the name of daas torah but Agudah and other leaders won't say anything. Why?

Continue reading this post after the jump.

Who is Rabbi Brown? He's alleged to have sent emails to several of  V.I.N's advertisers, urging them to drop their ads. I've seen a few of them, one of which has already been made public:
Subject: kol koreh against smutz web site vus iz neis -no heter no advertise their or help them in any way


The rabonim of the vad were approached buy the public complaining that YOUR COMPANY is advertising on the banned web site called '' vus iz neais ' .this web site was banned buy the gedolim and roshai yeshivas.

we are attaching the kol koreh.

the kol koreh is baning to advertise or to assit them in anyway,it is singed buy all major gedolim and roshai yeshivas .

we are sure that this is a mistake and we hope that you will follow the das torah and act accordingly.

please e mail us back a statement regarding the above , because the rabonim are going to convene next week and we hope that your company will not be mentioned their as being a company that are not in compliance with the kol koreh .
all the best

Rabbi [pseudonym removed]
vad harabonim
[phone number removed]
p.s. other major companies and zedoke organisations have sent us statements that they have puled their ads ,but vin web site doesn't want to look bad, so they still keep the ads running although they don't get paid for it.
These emails were sent from a gmail account. Along with the atrocities committed against the English language, they contain an important falsehood: The original kol koreh, or announcment of the ban, was not signed by all "all major gedolim and Roshei Yeshiva."  Several important names did not appear on the original announcement, a fact that has been noted by several observers.

I wrote to the gmail address and asked about the Rabbis who have not signed the ban. A person calling himself "vad" replied:
now not every kol koeh is singed buy evry gadol, as its not so easy to reach all of them at one time ,so whom ever was available was approached ,I have to tell u whom ever was shown the stuff that is posted on vin were very upset
Three lines of text, but they contain at least two important concessions: (1) The original demand letter contains a deliberate lie: The vad is perfectly aware that the Kol Koreh was not signed by "all major gedolim and Roshei Yeshiva" yet, they claim otherwise in their demand letter; (2) the ban was organized by the vad, that is the people who are attempting to enforce it with letters of demand are the very same ones who collected samples of V.I.N's work and "approached" the rabbis who were "very upset."

This is something else we've seen before. An aggrieved party prepares a dishonest collection of someone's work and brings it to a Godol for the express purpose of horrifying him. After the Godol is "very upset" he is invited to sign a letter which is then circulated to other Gedolim who support their fellow Godol by signing it, too.  This is how the Slifkin books were banned, it is how Making of a Godol was banned according to the author's own testimony, and it seems to be how V.I.N was banned, as well.

Yet, responsible public figures such as Rabbi Dovid Orlofsky have been heard angrily objecting to the idea that our Gedolim are routinely played for stooges in this manner, while organizations such as Agudah continue to pay public lip service to the idea that any proclamation of the Gedolim is virtually infallible. Why do the men who wish to lead us continue this charade?  Why do they play it themselves?

The answer is simple: If Agudah can convince us that the Gedolim are always right, and that their rulings are never a product of manipulation, Agudah's own power increases. No one cares what Avi Shafran and Chaim Dovid Zweibel think; if they matter at all its only because they have access to the Gedolim, access that they jealously guard, and the decrees of the Gedolim are considered reliable, meaningful and significant.

If the penny drops, and people at large begin to see how easy it is to get the Gedolim to dance, so long as you play the right tune - how even  top Agudah men play the game of delivering incomplete information to a Godol for the purpose of producing a desired outcome - the power of organizations like Agudah will evaporate. This is  why they won't take public steps to stop or criticize this Rabbi Brown and why they are silent while he lies and makes demands in the name of the Gedolim. (though let a non-Orthodox Jew or newspaper or blog step out of line and Avi Shafran is right there with the angry denouncements.)

This is also one reason why Zweibel and Safran are at war with blogs. We don't respect their power, and we openly challenge the myth upon which it rests.

to be continued.

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