As leading haredi rabbis issue a letter saying Rabbi Chaim Halpern is unfit to serve as a rabbi, leaders of the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations leaders received an email purporting to come from an American psychologist, “Ahron Hersh Fried”, which cast doubt on the allegations against Rabbi Chaim Halpern and suggested that he would probably be cleared .But it appears that the email may be a hoax. Rabbi Aharon Hersh Fried is the name of a psychologist at Yeshiva University in New York and he has made it clear that he is not the author of the email sent to the Union. Halpern is the son of the Union's president.
Kedassia, legally known as the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations (of Britain), is reportedly calling in Israeli haredi rabbis to form a beit din, Jewish religious court, to look at allegations against Kedassia's disgraced member and former rabbinic court judge, Rabbi Chaim Halpern.
The prevailing thought about this seems to be that this special beit din will be used to whitewash Halpern's misbehavior, which involved clergy sexual abuse against women he counseled in his position of unlicensed marriage counselor.
There are crimes that appear to have been committed, and as I've written previously, rabbis can't handle cases like this, but police can – and should. And that's why victims should call police, report these crimes and work with police investigations and the Crown's attorneys to get Halpern arrested, indicted, tried and convicted.
Beit din whitewash or not, the move to muddy the waters to shield Halpern continues with this bizarre twist, reported by the Jewish Chronicle:
…Union leaders this week received an email purporting to come from an American psychologist, “Ahron Hersh Fried”, which cast doubt on the allegations against Rabbi Halpern and suggested that he would probably be cleared .
A senior Union figure suggested that the email be circulated to “relevant parties… maybe even to whoever can get it into the JC”.
But it appears that the email may be a hoax. Rabbi Aharon Hersh Fried is the name of a psychologist at Yeshiva University in New York and he has made it clear that he is not the author of the email sent to the Union.
Despite the subterfuge, several leading haredi rabbis, including Rabbi Ehrentreu, signed the following letter against Halpern [via IfYouTickleUs]:
Update 12-7-2012 at 12:41 am CST – The Times of Israel shamefully stole this story from IfYouTickleUs. It posted its report at 5:31 am 12-7-2012 Israel time and did not cite or credit IfYouTickleUs. I know for a fact that the Times of Israel reporter knows about IfYouTickleUs and knows he has been closely covering this story and that he has broken much of the news regarding it. But she doesn't cite him, just as she failed to cite him in any previous story she's done on Halpern.
IfYouTickleUs posted the letter at 10:50 pm London Time, which was 12:50 am Friday Jerusalem Time – almost five hours before the Times of Israel's piece was posted online.
Here is the entire Times of Israel report as a PDF that includes the article's time stamp:
Here is the IfYouTickleUs post as a PDF file, including the time stamp and many comments – a large number of which were posted long before the Times of Israel posted its latest stolen "scoop":