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New York - Harav Yechezkel Roth “deeply distressed” By Paladino Anti 'Gedolim' Remark

Published on: October 13, 2010 12:20 AM
By: Hamodia By Yosef Rapaport & Yochonon Donn
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An Orthodox Jewish supporter, right, greets New York Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino before Paladino spoke during a campaign stop at the Karlsburg Rabbinical College in the Borough Park neighborhood of the Brooklyn borough of New York, Sunday, Oct. 10, 2010. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)An Orthodox Jewish supporter, right, greets New York Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino before Paladino spoke during a campaign stop at the Karlsburg Rabbinical College in the Borough Park neighborhood of the Brooklyn borough of New York, Sunday, Oct. 10, 2010. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

New York - In a post-September primary interview with Hamodia, Mr. Ed Cox, chairman of the NY State GOP, marveled at the slow rise of Carl Paladino, noting, “He made some rhetorical mistakes [and as long as] he doesn’t make large mistakes in the future, I think the past will not be as relevant as you might think.”

But with less than three weeks left in the campaign, it seems that Mr. Paladino has stuck to his own known way of doing politics: With almost every news cycle the candidate seems to have been stirring up fresh new rhetorical controversies.

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After being roundly condemned by many in the Jewish community and by many of his opponents for his remarks against Albany Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Mr. Paladino has sought to align himself with, and to be seen in the company of, Orthodox Rabbis. On Sunday, with close advisor Rabbi Yehuda Levin at his side, Mr. Paladino toured Jewish points of interest in Brooklyn, including the offices of Hamodia.

Rabbi Levin has been leading a dogged and independent fight against redefinition of marriage and other liberal stances on moral issues, and has often railed against some in the Orthodox establishment for not making this issue a number-one priority. Rabbi Levin has found an ally in Mr. Paladino. Indeed, Rabbi Levin told Hamodia that he was the one who wrote the statements Mr. Paladino read at the various Orthodox venues they visited on Sunday.

But soon enough, some of the words spoken by Mr. Paladino made nationwide headlines. Speaking before a group of Rabbis at the Karlsburg Shul (but not attended by Harav Yechezkel Roth, shlita — as was mistakenly reported in the media), not only did Mr. Paladino, a Catholic, rail against “immoral lifestyles,” but he chided — by name — leading Jewish Orthodox Rabbis of Brooklyn including the Rebbes of Satmar for receiving his opponent, yet not challenging him on “moral issues.”

Mr. Andrew Cuomo, the Democratic opponent, had recently visited several Rebbes in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. The issues raised ranged from state aid to yeshivos to religious liberty.

“Will the Rebbes in Boro Park say anything to my opponent about Torah values or will they ignore these important issues like the Rebbes in Williamsburg did? That’s the reason I am visiting distinguished Rabbis and not the Rebbes,” Mr. Paladino railed.

Mr. Paladino went on to accuse some in the Jewish community of attempting to deceive Rebbes into accepting “crumbs” from “extreme politicians [who are] antithetical to the Torah way of life.”

During his visit to Hamodia, Mr. Paladino asked to read his statement to Hamodia staff, which he did; including a request for “blessings and support… to win for us the G-dly values.”

Hamodia contacted Rabbi Moshe Roth, a member of the Karlsburg Beis Din and son of Harav Yechezkel Roth. Rabbi Moshe Roth denied the widely disseminated reports that his father had any connection to the Paladino affair or had endorsed the candidate.

“My father never intended to attend this meeting,” said Rabbi Moshe Roth. “They came to the Karlsburg shul in the hope that he [would] come in and join in endorsing Paladino.”

Rabbi Moshe Roth added, “Politics is something that my father is never involved in and never says an opinion [about]. Even in a case in which all Torah leaders and leaders of Torah institutions would unite behind a single political stand, my father would not join — he just does not mix into politics.”

Rabbi Moshe Roth added that his father Harav Yechezkel Roth was “deeply distressed” by the comments against prominent Boro Park Rabbanim made by Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino in the Karlsburg beis medrash on Sunday.

The Karlsburger Rav is a leading Posek in Boro Park and the head of the Karlsburger Beis Din; his son related in the name of his father that he asked specifically of Hamodia to publicize his dissatisfaction, using the word “mecha’ah — protest” for the exploitation of his name and the name of his shul in publicizing disparaging remarks about the Novominsker Rebbe, shlita, and Harav Moshe Wolfson, shlita — and Paladino’s criticism of the Satmar Rebbes, Harav Aharon Teitelbaum, shlita, and Harav Zalman Leib Teitelbaum, shlita.

Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel, Executive Vice President of Agudath Israel of America, joined in condemning Paladino’s statement by issuing an unusually stinging rebuke.

“It is ironic that a candidate seeking to portray himself as ‘the religious values candidate’ — no comment on that — would come into the heart of the Orthodox Jewish community with no direct knowledge of the facts, and recite someone else’s prepared text portraying distinguished Gedolei Yisrael [venerated Jewish leaders] as gullible, ignorant pawns manipulated by ‘power brokers and power seekers.’ Perhaps the one being manipulated here is none other than the candidate himself,” Rabbi Zweibel wrote in an email to Hamodia.

In a telephone conversation with Hamodia yesterday, Rabbi Levin acknowledged that he wrote Paladino’s statement, and that he did not feel it is inappropriate for a non-Jewish candidate to suggest to leading Rabbis what their priorities should be. He claimed that his spiritual mentor, a very prominent Rav who is no longer alive, endorsed his method of publicly criticizing Rabbanim who endorse or honor socially liberal candidates.
“This is what I have been doing for the past 30 years,” said Rabbi Levin, who has campaigned for conservative candidates for many years.

The speech of Paladino at the Karlsburger shul



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Read Comments (39)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Oct 13, 2010 at 12:35 AM username Says:

This would be a good time for a media blackout. So glad I'm not in NY!

2

 Oct 13, 2010 at 12:38 AM HedgeYid Says:

Paladino is right. May be his tone and language lacked respect, but election after election the chassidim vote as a bloc for the liberal politicians, whom support lifestyles antithetical to what we profess as a godly way of life. Someone explain to me where he is wrong except in methodology, because in content he is right.

5

 Oct 13, 2010 at 12:43 AM Torahjew Says:

What will mr zwiebel say after palidino's victory and agudah cant stick their hand out for more money or that their friend shelly silver will no longer have the power to tax us and give out our money to his croneys

6

 Oct 13, 2010 at 12:47 AM Anonymous Says:

Does Baladino have to call gadolei yisroel tipshim and and apikorsim before the frum community walks away from this chayah? I cannot believe that there are still a small number of yiddin defending him.

9

 Oct 13, 2010 at 12:51 AM Anonymous Says:

"He claimed that his spiritual mentor, a very prominent Rav who is no longer alive, endorsed his method of publicly criticizing Rabbanim who endorse or honor socially liberal candidates"

I think the article is talking about rav miller who was respected in some orthodox circles but certainly in his later years lost much of that respect for his public rebukes of any rabbonim who diagreed with him. He was an angry and bitter man who made too many inappropriate remarks about others. Levin is no Miller but certainly has gone much further and will pay the price for promoting his version sinas chinam among the tzibur.

10

 Oct 13, 2010 at 12:57 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
HedgeYid Says:

Paladino is right. May be his tone and language lacked respect, but election after election the chassidim vote as a bloc for the liberal politicians, whom support lifestyles antithetical to what we profess as a godly way of life. Someone explain to me where he is wrong except in methodology, because in content he is right.

What do we care what a goy thinks about moral values he just has to like us that's all what we need from the goy in goolos ...Maybe they should also lecture them about being Christian or about girlfriends whatever ...his values and our values will never be the same it does not matter what he thinks

11

 Oct 13, 2010 at 01:00 AM birgas Says:

Politics aside. Money and power aside. Rabbi Yehuda Levin is 100%correct.

This is what Hashem wants from us.

The money hungry Rebbe's and power-brokers with the Agudat Israel combined are here to SUCK money from the government! Period.

Let's be honest: frum Jews who endorse a Gay-Supporting candidate are hypocrites and zealous parasite, who will sell their Neshume for $$$$

The Satmars (both) will protest against all the mosdos who accept support from the Israeli Government - but they do the same here!

Shame on them,

12

 Oct 13, 2010 at 01:27 AM birgas Says:

Reply to #9  
Anonymous Says:

"He claimed that his spiritual mentor, a very prominent Rav who is no longer alive, endorsed his method of publicly criticizing Rabbanim who endorse or honor socially liberal candidates"

I think the article is talking about rav miller who was respected in some orthodox circles but certainly in his later years lost much of that respect for his public rebukes of any rabbonim who diagreed with him. He was an angry and bitter man who made too many inappropriate remarks about others. Levin is no Miller but certainly has gone much further and will pay the price for promoting his version sinas chinam among the tzibur.

Rav Miller was a biter person (?)

You're probably speaking about Miller Beer ! Not the world repected and revered Grand Master Rav Avigdor Miller OBM!

He was the example of Happiness & pride. A moral spirit of the highest caliber !

Rav Levin is no Rav Miller, but correct he is!

13

 Oct 13, 2010 at 01:58 AM phx613 Says:

Interesting posts regarding this episode. It appears that what Paladino says may have merit, he just is a bit uncouth , and not politically correct in how he says it. For sure, there are Jewish groups with their hand out and promise support for favors. There's nothing wrong with it. The problem , as Paladino states it, is that , for example Cuomo is pro homosexual marriage, and will further tax the middle income workers of NY . He was unchallenged on his positions during his visits to Chasidic Rebbes. They have their agenda and it seems that they can overlook anti-Torah positions for the greater good for their constituency. Whether it's right or wrong doesn't matter, it's what is. We lack leaders with fortitude to say to a politician that your stand on certain issues , which are an integral part of our belief system, are not congruent with ours. Therefore, we cannot support you because of you anti-Torah positions. We need to make our positions on issues clear based on our Torah beliefs. People respect you if you stand up for what you believe in.

14

 Oct 13, 2010 at 02:36 AM Bob The Builder Says:

Only crazy Levin has the guts to say it how it is. Who cares who's dead or a live?
And frankly, who cares who Levin is? His message is the truth?.

As far as Zwiebel's statement:
1. Palodino is a big boy, so if someone other than himself prepared his text means nothing.
2. What do you call Rabbis who look the other way when it comes to Torah moral issues as long as the gelt is dangled in front of them for their mosdos? "Pawns manipulated by ‘power brokers and power seekers" sounds pretty accurate.
3. Bloomberg came to Aguda's convention last year straight from a gay rally. I bet Zwiebel greeted him with hugs and kisses while the crowd showered him with a standing ovation. Zwiebel is disqualified to comment on the issue, period.

The ignorant trolls on sites like this are busy crowing "Chilul Hashem!!!" whenever crazy Levin stands up for yideshkeit and morality, but the above mentioned incident is just fine and dandy.

15

 Oct 13, 2010 at 03:19 AM enlightened-yid Says:

Paladino doesn't know the difference between rabbi-rebbe-rebetzen-or Rebeka. He just trusted Yehuda Levin as his "Orthodox politics expert" and placed all his bets on Levin's wording and tone in the speech. If the Rebbes are upset with Paladino's message to them they should take it to Yehuda Levin the "spokesman of RCA" who wrote the letter to them and made Paladino his personal pony-express.

It would be a funny circus to see if Paladino starts showing his tough Italian talk against Levin for screwing him over so bad with his advise. I bet Levin will hide in his basement like Nasralah hides in his bunker.

16

 Oct 13, 2010 at 03:52 AM WiseDude Says:

Paladino obviously got his information from Levin and relied on Levin.

17

 Oct 13, 2010 at 04:33 AM Gilboa Says:

They are both feeding of each other, Levin has no yeshiva or mossad he he to support so he just can go and focus on issues that important to him.

Real rabbonim have yeshivos, gemach etc they need the government to support so they will endorsed any candidate they believe will provide them and will disregard any other position the candidate might hold.

and yes, in his later years rav Miller really go off the rails and become very extreme.

18

 Oct 13, 2010 at 07:53 AM JamesDean Says:

Why is Mr. Paladino Anti-Gedolim?

He pointed out that we are hypocrites which we are. He should be exalted for telling the truth.

Chareidi Gedolim rail against Toeivah Marriage and for a few pennies thrown our way we line up behind the biggest supporters of it? This is what Hashem wants for us? At lease let's get something like tuition vouchers for throwing away our principles.

19

 Oct 13, 2010 at 08:00 AM FLATBUSHZAIDY Says:

If he wins, I certainly hope that the experts he relies on are more reliable than Rabbi Levin. This campaign is a huge fiasco! What about state government issues?

20

 Oct 13, 2010 at 08:00 AM shmielglassman Says:

reading between the lines;
rav miller zl was no bitter man & levin manipulated the day to get what he wants & boy did he get coverage. paladino needs to get a frum pr Guy who knows whos the real players..
understanding the machlokes in a nut shell
hashem is a "sonei zima" when the world is immoral on a spirtual level ithe world cannot accept the shefa from above & it has numerous ramifications ( similar to pollution - although not tangible nevertheless ends up in our lungs) & all are affected
ALL agree - NO GODOL IS PRO ANYTHING.....
where the gedolim disagreed- was on the question if "TOCHACHA" is principal oriented or goal oriented
shitas haraavad- that regardless if the" bill will pass anyway" -they viewed klalyisroels silence as a "CHILLUL HASHEM" ( mah yomru ha'catholics....) with the potential of enraging hashems "kaas' ...." veshav meacharecha , this was rav millers shita as well as the reasoning behind the original protests for shabbos in erertz yisroel
shitas harambam-the other side was that "tochacha is "GOAL ORIENTED " & unless our vote can make THE diff. on this issue there is a minimal chiyuv & rather focus on issues .that directly us

21

 Oct 13, 2010 at 08:04 AM 5TResident Says:

I don't think Rebbes or Rabbis or whoever have any business sticking their noses into politics or being in photos with politicians. They are here to serve Hashem and guide the Yidden on the proper derech. All these Rebbes and Rabbis are doing are fanning anti-Semitism.

22

 Oct 13, 2010 at 08:46 AM TorahTruth Says:

This is what happens when evrey Tom, Dick, and Yudel thinks that they represent the Torah community. I'm tired of these clowns that are just looking to make a name for themselves. Who is this guy???

23

 Oct 13, 2010 at 08:52 AM Logic Says:

The Rabonim not only have to support their Yeshivos and Gmachs, But also their entire family. Children and married grand-children. The Shekels from the Politicians happens to be very important to them.
I hope that Rabbi Levin's children will be able to support themselves, because he is too idealistic to for todays world.

24

 Oct 13, 2010 at 08:58 AM Tzi_Bar_David Says:

Both Paladino and Cuomo claim to be Catholic...why are they not lecturing Timothy Dolan and other Catholics about their moral failings before coming to Williamsburg to criticize Yidden?? Doesn't "charity begin at home?"

25

 Oct 13, 2010 at 09:27 AM WiseDude Says:

It seems to me, as a long time observer of frum politics, that the heimisher community leaders support political candidates s in a purely cynical way. In other words, it does not matter if the politician is pro gay marriage, pro abortion, or takes another position which is 100% against Torah and halacha...the only thing that matters to the heimisher leader is ...who is going to promise to deliver the most gelt? Period. The politicians know this and ramp up promises in order to get votes from the heimisher bloc voting communities. What the candidate stands for, what he believes in, what policies he advocates, means nothing; the only thing that matters is who is going to send the GELT. And if you think this leads to respect for the frum oilam, think again my friend. It leads to just the opposite. At least Paladino tried to make a point that he thought the frum people cared about. We know that when it comes to the vote, they really don't care about the issues at all. Trust me, I've seen it first hand up close many times

26

 Oct 13, 2010 at 09:45 AM Aaron Says:

How dumb?

Mr. Levin is 100 percent right, but Paladino looks like a fool reading this text from the paper. You can tell that he is has no idea what he is talking about.

Mr Levin also should have never been writing him to reference any names.

Paladino must be real dumb to think that he can win our community in such a way (although Mr. Levin is right)

27

 Oct 13, 2010 at 09:51 AM The Professor Says:

Levin and Paladino - two law-abusing egomaniacs made for each other. Levin has always looked for publicity, especially because he has lost every local election in which he ran. Reader #15 suggested that Levin has to go hide in his basement - he can't, because he rents it out as an illegal apartment. Paladino talks about traditional values - but fathers a child out of wedlock. May all of the oiberchachomim who identify with these two characters join them in their government, which should preferably be located on a different planet.

28

 Oct 13, 2010 at 09:51 AM Aaron Says:

Paladino can never become the governor. He stumbled reading this text at least five times..... what a shame

29

 Oct 13, 2010 at 10:24 AM Anonymous Says:

Ugly display of disunity within us. Feh!

30

 Oct 13, 2010 at 10:26 AM Secular Says:

Reply to #6  
Anonymous Says:

Does Baladino have to call gadolei yisroel tipshim and and apikorsim before the frum community walks away from this chayah? I cannot believe that there are still a small number of yiddin defending him.

The people who invite Cuomo and other anti-tora liberals to Williamsburg are not gedolei Israel but tipshim and Apikorsim if they sell their Tora views for a political favors

31

 Oct 13, 2010 at 10:27 AM yeedle Says:

Poor paladino fell in with yehuda levin
Why didn't he make research who this guy is before he listened to his nonsense?

Not to mention that this time levin is a joke become he goes against his own values by endorsing someone who is a zima lover

32

 Oct 13, 2010 at 10:46 AM yaakov doe Says:

Who is Harav Yechezkel Roth to criticize Rabbi Yehuda Levin?

33

 Oct 13, 2010 at 11:06 AM Insider Says:

Rabbi Yehuda Levin, shlita, Rav of Beis Medrash Mevakshei HaShem in Flatbus and Spokesman of Family Issues for the Igud Horabonim (Rabbinical Alliance of America), is a talmid muvhak of Rav Miller zt"l. I agree that the names of Rav Wolfson, Novominsker Rebbe, and (lehavdil) Silver, should not have specifically been mentioned. Nor those of the Satmar Rebbe(s), etc. HOWEVER, the message is right on mark. Rabbi Levin could not have been more accurate. Kol Hakovod to him.
Paladino is a political genius. 30 days ago noone ever heard his name, much less knew anything about him. Today, everybody knows him and knows exactly where he stands on issues. The question is: "Who is Coumo and what does he stand for?"
We, as the observant Jewish community, must vote our religious ideals. Otherwise, we are just a bunch of charlatans and fakers.
Rabbi Levin's important work has earned the cooperation of Gedolim of Eretz Yisroel (Rav Elyashiv, Rav Wosner, Rav Shteinman, Belzer Rebbe, Gerer Rebbe, Gavaad Yerushalayim, etc.) The 1983 Kol Korah on this issue was signed by then (zt"l) Satmar Rebbe, Rav Moshe Feinstein, Kashau Rav, Pupa Rav, Tzelemer Rav, Montvideo Rav, Matesdorfer Rav, Rav Miller, etc.

34

 Oct 13, 2010 at 11:08 AM Anonymous Says:

Levin suffers from messianic illusions that he is the annointed one here in NYC to trash the gedolim for their lack of adherence to daas torah on one or two issues that he and his mentor, rabbi miller, focus on to the exclusion of other issues of much higher priority to klal yisroel. When asked about the pervasive poverty in the heimeshe community, he blabbers about killing babies and sodomy. WHO CARES!! Maybe if it were his children attacked in that garage in the Bronx last week because they were closet gays he might be more tolerant but I'm not even sure of that given his hateful rhetoric.

35

 Oct 13, 2010 at 11:54 AM Kzler Says:

What none mention is the sad fact that somewhere is says about a Rabbi Yochanan the shoemaker and there were others who did manual labor or some on a high intellectual level were doctors, linguists and philosophers. Today seculare education is treife but that what is needed to have the ability to support the children. You need an Italian gentile to point out the parasitic existence of being a kollel yunger man ?. The Agudah is a small part how about section 8, VIC and food stamps passed by those leftists maligned and low life liberals

36

 Oct 13, 2010 at 12:42 PM bigwheeel Says:

Poster # 15 (Enlightened Yid); You're right. One of the most humorous moments was when Carl Paladino, who barely managed to crawl through the script of his speech without faltering on every other sentence (המכה בעברתו) stated that he "visits the Rabbis and not the Rebbis". As if he knows the difference.

37

 Oct 13, 2010 at 12:53 PM KACH613 Says:

Reply to #18  
JamesDean Says:

Why is Mr. Paladino Anti-Gedolim?

He pointed out that we are hypocrites which we are. He should be exalted for telling the truth.

Chareidi Gedolim rail against Toeivah Marriage and for a few pennies thrown our way we line up behind the biggest supporters of it? This is what Hashem wants for us? At lease let's get something like tuition vouchers for throwing away our principles.

Could not have said it any better.
GO PALADINO!!!!!!

38

 Oct 13, 2010 at 02:46 PM TorahTruth Says:

To Insider: Well, I never heard of him outside of blogs. The fact that he has a Shteller (as do many people some good and some not as good) gives him no credentials to speak for the Klal. I don't care who he leaned by, he sounds like a political novice and does not represent me or most of the Torah world in America... I will leave that task the the Moetzes Gedolai HaTorah who he seemed fit to attack!

39

 Oct 13, 2010 at 03:09 PM MazelKGH Says:

Would he be less distressed if I said it? Paladino simply said the truth. If that distresses him - fix the problem there, not the messenger.

40

 Oct 13, 2010 at 04:28 PM Different Says:

Levin is just an opportunist and should think very,very carefully before becomuing the Jewish advisor - rachmana litzlan what he can cause or has caused. When a person has no one he is responsible to and arrogates for himself a 'great' position, problems, bog problems, can chas v'sholem come down on our heads

41

 Oct 13, 2010 at 04:36 PM Psych_Student Says:

R' Moshe Roth is incorrect in stating that his father was never involved in politics. When Justice Noach Dear was running for his present position, R' Chatzkel Roth issued a page long Kol Koreh calling upon the B'nai Torah of Unzere Gegend to go and vote for Noach Dear.

42

 Oct 13, 2010 at 04:51 PM Shlomo2 Says:

A question for Insider:
Could you please name 10 Rabbonim who are alive today, speak English, live in the USA, and would permit Levin to speak in their shul, yeshiva, or to their organization?

43

 Oct 13, 2010 at 07:44 PM Anonymous Says:

Cuomo met with Pupa Ruv and the other Pupa Ruv from BP (the main one's brother) was at this meeting

44

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