Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Update Posting on Psak Din Court Case

In response to several questions from readers asking for an update and other questions about the Psak Din Court Case, we have updated the tab above "Psak Din Court Case - Summary and Documents" with more documents and an explanatory summary.  We hope this will answer the questions we have received.  We are grateful to our readers for their feedback.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Analysis of the Pashkvil "From Under the Desk of the Badatz"

Analysis of the Pashkvil

We are presenting here some answers to the recent pashkvil that was disseminated as part of the series of personal attacks on Rabbi Braun called “From Under the Desk of the Badatz”. The pashkvil is full of such outright, and easily disproven, lies, distortions, and calumnies, that it should require no response. Yet, based on the principle that “the bigger the lie, the more some people believe it”, it would seem in order to point out its deceptions clearly. Most of the issues it raises are clearly shown as lies by simply referring to the documents already on the site.

It should be pointed out that many people feel it is common knowledge who the author of the pashkvil is, and that he is a signatory on the Shtar Birurin. If so, he would appear to be “m'sarev the Beis Din," for this pashkvil, as well as many more matters.

Charges Made in the Pashkvil

I. Fitness to be on the Beis Din

    1. Rabbi Braun does not have Semicha
    2. Rabbi Braun does not have shimush.
    3. There was no letter of recommendation.
    4. He did not meet the age requirement.
    5. He left his position in Sydney against the Rebbe's instructions.

Answer: All these objections were made to the Rosenberg Beis Din Zabla. All five Rabbonim heard the issues and discussed the case. All parties agreed to be bound by the decision of the Rabbonim and signed on the Shtar Birurin which can be found in the tabs on top of the screen. The Psak Din is also found in the tabs on top of the screen. In brief, it says that Rabbi Braun's semicha is valid, and that he was properly elected. Furthermore, all the Rabbonim must serve with him, and the kehilla is obligated to give him the proper kovod as Rav.

  1. Rabbi Heller was thrown off the Beis Din.
It is interesting to read this section of the pashkvil, as it says nothing. Who exactly is being accused of throwing out Rabbi Heller? How?

Answer: It is well known that Rabbi Heller resigned from the Beis Din many years ago, [as is even recounted in the pashkvil in the prior section!] and, despite many attempts to bring him back, including just before the elections, he refused. Furthermore, anyone can ask him directly, and Rabbi Heller will tell them this.

III.  Rabbi Zinner's letter of semicha was forged, and Rabbi Zinner confirmed this.

This section also accused Rabbi Rosenberg somehow of complicity in fraud, as well as that the psak din confirming the semicha was only from Rabbi Rosenberg.

Answer: This is the same answer as point I. Above. The complete Psak Din is in the tab at the top of the screen. It should also be noted that continuing to make these charges after the psak din was issued, and in light of signing the Shtar Birurin, amounts to being in the category of mesariv the Beis Din. It should also be noted, that when Rabbi Zinner was asked about Rabbi Braun's expertise in Torah and ability to rule on Torah law, he answered “Maybe better than me.” Anyone can verify Rabbi Zinner's opinion of Rabbi Braun's qualifications by asking him directly.

However, when Rabbi Zinner was put under tremendous pressure by certain elements in the community, he asked that the Semicha that he gave not be used to contribute to machlokis in the community. This issue was adjudicated by the Beis Din Zabla (see the Psak Din above) and it was ruled that the semicha is valid.

  1. Rabbi Rosenberg resigned from the Beis Din Zabla, and “members of the community” had the right to go to a different Beis Din. Specifically, they were allowed to call Rabbi Braun to the Beis Din of Rabbi Kraus.
Answer: Rabbi Rosenberg did not resign, on the contrary, he committed himself to continuing the Din Torah. However, he made several conditions. First, he wanted everyone to be present in person, (not to hold hearings on the phone,) all the Rabbonim and both sides. Second, he wanted all parties to agree to come, not that hazmonos would need to be issued. Third, all issues that either side wanted to bring up would be heard and rulings issued. In fact, a date in mid-August was agreed to by all parties.

This means that there is an ongoing Beis Din that is in the midst of adjudicating all issues and that both parties accepted their authority. Obviously, any claims to the contrary are false, and no other Beis Din can interfere, and certainly not issue binding hazmonos or rulings.

  1. Rabbi Braun, after Rabbi Rosenberg allegedly resigned from the Beis Din, served Rabbi Osdoba with a lawsuit.

Answer: Although the pashkvil is full of outright lies, this is probably the biggest among giants. The only legal actions pending are:
  1. The motion to record the Rosenberg Beis Din findings in the Courts, which the Beis Din explicitly specified, and which Rabbi Osdoba is fighting in the Courts. See the tabs above.
  2. A lawsuit that Rabbi Osdoba filed against Rabbi Braun. See the tabs above.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Rabbi Braun's Semicha

In light of the recent pashkvil attacking Rabbi Braun, we are here reprinting the summary of the Psak Din of the Rosenberg Beis Din Zabla concerning the validity of Rabbi Braun's semicha.  The entire Psak Din can be found in the tab at the top of the page.

Summary of the Psak Din Concerning Rabbi Braun's Semicha

The primary complaints to Rabbi Braun's election were:

(a) There was insufficient time between the announcement of Rabbi Joseph Shaya Braun's candidacy and the elections; this prevented people from conducting necessary clarifications.
(b) Rabbi Braun does not have a Yadin Yadin semicha.
(c) He also does not have a Yoreh Yoreh semicha.
  1. A ruling of the Rebbe of Lubavitch zt"l forbids a rabbi from leaving his congregation and receiving a rabbinical position in another congregation.
The rulings on these issues are:
  1. In our opinion, the first objection has no real halachic basis and cannot invalidate the elections.
  2. When the original elections for the Beis Din were held, of the three elected Rabbis, two of them had only Yorah Yorah semichos, and did not have Yadin Yadin semicha. This proves that a Yoreh Yoreh semicha is sufficient.
  3. The semicha received by Rabbi Gavriel Zinner is a kosher semicha. This determination was made after speaking with Rabbi Zinner, and after examining many letters that he sent to prominent Chabad Chassidim. It is clear that he did indeed sign the semicha and that it is not forged. Therefore this remains an absolute semicha.
    Regarding his claim that because the appointment of Rabbi Braun is not acceptable to everyone, and he does not want to be part of, or contribute to the controversy, so he does not want this semicha to be used to qualify Rabbi Braun,
    It is obvious that someone who grants semicha has no power or authority over the ordained person to instruct him which rabbinical position he may accept and which he may not. Even if he thinks that the ordained person should not receive a certain rabbinical position, the ordained person is not obligated to heed him and the semicha is not invalidated by not heeding him.
    Actually, after-the election, when Rabbi Yosef Shaya Braun, shlita, heard of the objections against the semicha, he received two more semichos,'one, a YorehYoreh semicha, and another, a Yadin Yadin semicha. We do not need to consider these semichos, because the first semicha that was received before the election is absolutely valid.
  4. The issue of leaving one place for another is dealt with in a letter from the Rebbe,who clearly says that an analysis of the benefits and loss occasioned by the change must be made by the receiver of the position, not by the Beis Din.
In light of the above, it is clear that Rabbi Yosef Shaya Braun shlita was elected in accordance with halacha. The entire public must honor him and all the other rabbis of the community must cooperate with him,etc., etc.

Bs"d, Monday, 27th Teves, 5771 {calendar date: January 3, 20ll}
Signed by me on behalf of the Rabbinical Court,
{signature} Abraham Boruch Rosenberg

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Rabbi Osdoba Sues Rabbi Braun

In our post below on May 22, 2013, the Beis Din Advisory referred to the law suit filed by Rabbi Osdoba.  We have obtained the details of the lawsuit and present them now.

Rabbi Osdoba filed a personal lawsuit against Rabbi Braun on April 24, 2013 in the secular court system.  He claims heter from Rabbi Chaim Kraus.  The letter claims that Rabbi Braun ignored three hazmonohs, but this is in dispute.  

Besides the problematic nature of going to secular court, and besides the request that the secular court rule on issues of Jewish law, it would also appear that the prior agreement to go to Rabbi Rosenberg's Bais Din Zabla this coming August, would invalidate the Kraus actions.  The Osdoba documents are contained in the tab on top of the page above.

The lawsuit requests the Courts to rule that Rabbi Braun be invalidated to be on the Crown Heights Beth Din, and that he cannot give kosher certifications, nor claim the present CHK kashrus certifications are invalid.  It also seeks punitive monetary damages.

The quote below is from page 12 of the Court Papers in the tab above:

WHEREFORE, Plaintiffs demand judgment as follows:

A. On the First Cause of Action. a declaratory judgment that: (i) defendant Braun
committed rraud in order that the election he won would not be inval idated and to sit as a
member of the Crown Heights Beth Din; (ii) that because of such fraud, Braun's appointment to
s it as a member of the Crown Heights Beth Din be rescinded. (iii) that because of such fraud,
Braun be barred from serving as a member of the Crown Heights Beth Din, (iv) that Braun
cannot issue kosher certifications on behalf of the Crown Heights Beth Din and/or the va·ad
Hakashrus and, (v) Plaintiffs have suffered damages as a result of Braun's fraud, as set iorth

B. On the Second Cause of Action, a declaratory judgment that Braun's selection as
a Rabbi sitting on the Crown Heights Beth Din be found void ab initio.

C. On the Third Cause of Action: (i) enjoining Braun from publishing any false,
dctiunatory and/or disparaging statements regarding the Crown Heights Beth Din and/or Va'ad
Hakashrus, including that their kosher certifications are unreliable and not authentic, (ii)
awarding damages in favor of the Crown Heights Beth Din and Va'ad Hakashrus, and (iii)
assessing punitive damages against Braun.

D. On the Fourth Cause of Action: (i) e 1~oining Braun from continuing to publish
any defamatory statements about Rabbi Osdoba, (ii) awarding Rabbi Osdoba compensatory
damages in an amount to be determined at trial, and (iii) assessing punitive damages against