This post has nothing to do with nusach, shul, singing avinu avinu, using silly Boradway melodies for kedusha or gonging. I'm writing this post not as the NF but as a simple Jew who has had enough of hearing how our religious "leaders" have once again been exposed as at best, morally deficient and at worst, frauds and charlatans.
Many of you may read blogs such as failed messiah, unorthodox jew and daas torah which document on a seemingly daily basis the expose of another misuse of power on the part of someone with the title "rabbi". No particular migzar (group) seems to be immune --- The Spinka Rebbe is in Jail for money laundering, there is last summer's raid on the Syrian community, "Mekubalim" are exposed as frauds now and again after promising to exorcise dibbuks or make sure your wish comes true --- of course if the check you have written is large enough....of course we have the Leib Tropper affair. There is the Washington Post story raising serious questions about the sofer claiming to sell "Holocaust" Torahs. Earlier this week you may have read about the "prominent NY chazzan" stealing tzedakka money from his mother in law (the Holocaust survivor). (I'm intentionally leaving out the links here ---- you can google any one of these items and get a plethora of hits.) (Please note that many of the stories above are alleged and some reflect situations where inidividuals plead guilty.)
However one recent news item has trully shaken my faith and trust in our religious leadership:
The Mordechai Elon affair. For years the Dati L'eumi community has looked to Rav Elon as one of our religious and educational leaders. I am generally not one to judge another person's behavior. When the story first broke, I immeadetly assumed that there had been some misunderstanding --- years ago Rav Aviner --- another leader was accused of sexual impropriety but his name was eventually cleared. But when Rav Aharon Lichtenstein goes on the reconrd stating exactly what had happened (and that he has recieved threatening messages), it's hard to be dan lkaf zechut. I have no idea is Rav Elon did anything wrong. But it is enough that there are claims against him and that Rav Lichtenstein (among others) is condemning him to shake my faith and trust in our leadership.
--- And if we cannot trust the Mordechai Elons of our community, what rabbanim can we trust?
Currently, my belief in the "Aseh l'cha Rav" system is 99% dead. All I see are rabbanim who mis-use psak or their leadership positions to gain power and control or wealth. With that in mind, I don't know who can be trusted anymore. How can I tell which rav is a liar?, which one is a theif?, which one is having an affair? and which one knows less halacha than me but bought his semicha online? If it weren't a practical impossibility, I would stop using hechsherim --- How is it that a rav that will lie and steal and shtup little boys is suddenly reliable to tell me that the chicken I'm buying at the supermarket is ok?
Praying for better times with more trustworthy leadership,
A simple Jew