New York – OU Executive: Newspaper Quoting My Statement On Spinka Rabbi Is Patently False


    Rabbi Steven Weil speaking at the closing plenary session of the Orthodox Union’s West Coast Torah Convention. [Photo by Daniel Jankovic for The Jewish Journal]New York – Today’s published report in the Jewish Journal quoting Rabbi Steven Weil when he spoke on Shabbat at Beth Jacob Congregation in Beverly Hills in January 2008, reads as follows: “Weil famously said of the so-called Spinka rabbis: You call yourself a tzadik [righteous person]; you’re a liar!”

    Rabbi Weil today issued the following response:

    “The association of my statement of January 2008 with the Spinka Rebbe is patently false. Over 800 people heard the sermon when I specifically said that when we address financial corruption, we are not pointing fingers but are referring to ourselves. It was about our own community and not about anyone else. What I said was the exact opposite of what the story implied. The specific comment was a challenge to any of our membership who, G-d forbid, may be led to believe that cheating on taxes, lying when marketing one’s product or profession, and manipulative pricing policies are tolerated, while at the same time they observe Shabbos, kashrus and taharas hamishpacha.

    My remarks were not to condemn anyone else, but rather to look at ourselves. The more than 800 people who were in the sanctuary for Shabbat services that morning, including individuals who were quoted in the original story two years ago, can verify that. My agenda was to take care of my congregation, my family, and myself and not to sit in judgment of the Spinka Rebbe.”

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      • I am sorry I have to disagree. If we dont learn lessons from this it WILL happen again. If the Rebbe did what he has admitted, isnt Rabbi weil correct. why does he have to retract? Cant we all be honest about the situation?

        • Yes he has admitted that he wronged and is accepting his punishment without protest. He deserves a big award for that. Rubashkin on the other hand is still not admitting, and is still kvetching about anti semitisim and I dont want to talk bad on a jew but maybe he deserves what he is facing.

    1. Rabbi Weil has bigger issues. His congregation spawned and fostered the corrupt informer Robert Kasirer who entraped the Spinka Rebbe to save his own skin. He was looking at decades in prison for defrauding the elderly of their pension funds to the tune of hundreds of millions. In contrast the Spinka Rebbe’s indictment charges under $800k in illegal profits to the yeshivah

    2. He is a Tzaddik because he ACCEPTED RESPONSIBILITY AND DID TESHUVAH. He actually spoke publicly regarding being honest a number of times. He clearly regrets what he did and I have no doubt he comes out a bigger Tzaddik from this whole thing.Rabbi Weil you owe him an apology.

      • Perhaps you should read the article before commenting. Rabbi Weil specifically stated that he said nothing about the Spinka Rebbe. Perhaps the Rebbe is a Tzaddik, however if you are a follower read before writing.

    3. Mr. Steven Weil, Id love to see what you would do if you had a big Moised to support and really pressed for money. Its very easy to point fingers and shrai oif yenem. I’m sure Steven never does anything wrong and if he does I hope he will allow someone to rip him in front of 800 people!

      • Be careful! Your argument is the argument the Conservatives use to say that Orthodox Judaism is antiquated. Undoubtedly, the Rebbe had a great nisayon, as all Rebbes do. But to imply that cheating the government is the only way, and it is inevitable, is to state that Orthodox Judaism is not possible in the modern world.

      • 1) If you read the article you would know that Rabbi Weil did not point fingers at the Spinka Rebbe

        2) As it happens Rabbi Weil does have a “Big Moised” to support – and it is larger than Spinka.

      • Youd love to see? Ok- Rabbi Weil is in charge of the OU, an organization MUCH bigger than Spinka. Has he been indicted or sent to jail? NO?

        Youd love to see? OK- Rabbi Weil was in charge of the largest congregation in the United States with thousands of members and in charge of fund raising…was he sent to jail? no!
        One of the reasons the OU hired him was because he is a master fund raiser and does it through kosher means…

        so basically. you got your wish- now u saw what he would do.

      • It is RABBI Weil and not Mr. Secondly, he said that he never said what was attributed to him and in that case it sounds like what Mr. Brafman said at the kinus, so you ought to learn to listen and read english before shooting off your mouth.

    4. The OU better be careful. This is not a way for a Rabbi to speak. Especially when he represents the OU at a large Torah Convention. There is no heter to single anyone out and if he said what he is accused of he will have a big Onesh for it because whether its a Rebbe or an ordinary person speaking that way in such a Rabim carries a very weighty consequence. R’ Weil you may want to do some soul searching.

      • Rav Weil, shlita, has shown the courage to speak out against the disregard for the law and crimes committed by many ehrleche yidden and chashuve rabbonim like the Spinka, Dwek, Cassin, Rubashkin, etc. He not only has the right but an obligation under halacha to publicly name those individuals who have brought such shame on klal yisorel

    5. Let’s move on and fix the future of our children by educating them bderech ha’yoshor vhatov, and not by finger pointing. A wise man once said; a mistake us not an error only if nothing learned from it. We need to upgrade our chinuch so that our children will not need to cheat they’ll earn a decent living by the education we provide them. Our mosdos will benefit too.

    6. A) Rabbi Wiel made a general speech, to all readers please read the article at length. B) The Spinka Rebbe did complete teshuva and in public through his speeches has helped others not fall into the same trap regarding financial deals and taxes

      • You have said it well. Too many commentators make the Spinka Rebbe the victim. The Rebbe, does not claim to be the victim. He has said that what he did was wrong. Why do other people think it is ok to cheat to help a yeshiva? Perhaps they should listen to the Spinka and think about doing teshuva themselves.

    7. Recognize that HaRav Weil did not do anything wrong, rather was the target, again, of an anti-orthodox publication. To those of you against Rav Weil, apparently you keep “good company.”

      For those of you who do not know Rabbi Weil, and feel the need to judge, why don’t you go ask true Gedolim about him. Feel free to begin at Yeshiva University, where you can ask Harav Schechter, or any other of the magnificent Roshei Yeshiva there. If that it not good enough, head South on the NJ Turnpike to Lakewood, where the Kotler family, in their entirety, will be glad to attest to the Gadlus of HaRav Weil.

      As to quote 7: you have publicly humiliated yourself. Rabbi Weil did support a huge “Moised” in Los Angeles. Actually, he was quite successful, and he did it legally. His success was probably due to the education he received. (Rabbi Weil also has Smicha–I have seen his Klaf, and have talked with him in learning–something you should do–start with Hilchos Rechilus and Motzi Sheim Ra)

    8. @5, 7, 8 and 9, as poster 6 points out, read the article. It is perplexing how sometimes people look over detail (willfully?) in order to condemn institutions or individuals that they either don’t respect or don’t see as in keeping with their hashkafa. Of more concern should be the fact that the Jewish Journal is once again bashing the frum community. Now that is something worth commenting about.

    9. The Spinkta has been shamed and humiliated enough already. He will go to federal prision and spend quality time with the Rubashkin, Dwek and the others but in his case, he has acknowledged and appologized for his crimes against the people of the U.S. and the shame he has brought upon all chassidus.

    10. There was a Jewish newspaper guy, Hilel Seidman who used to say, “If there’s a need to deny it, it must be true”!!!

      Oh, how true a statement, Rabbi Steven Weil!

      BTW, do you have a HEBREW name besides “steven”?

      • What is your point? Do you believe that Rabbi Weil is not Jewish because his name is quoted as “Steven”. Any fair reading of the article in the Jewish Journal shows he was attacking his congregents not Spinka. If your problem is with MO say it. Hiding behind “anonymous” doesn’t say much about you.

    11. This is a situation where the apology is worse than the (original) insult! It’s akin to the story where a person was having constant friction with the Shul President. One day he let loose a snide remark to the president. Upon which the latter demanded an apology. So the member got on the Bima and announced to everyone “I hereby apologize for calling the Shul President such and such name”!


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