"It bothers me that it seems from some of your responses lately that you now don't believe in keeping Shabbos. I hope you still consciously believe in Hashem and the Torah. It's certainly a service for the community to expose certain truths but I hope that you really care to keep to that and don't get carried away to not let facts get in the way of a good story! Especially as a Jew who hopefully still believes in G-d who certainly despises untruths and also slandering and humiliating someone publicly in this way.…"
Above: Rabbi Yosef "Yossi" Feldman
Rabbi Yosef "Yossi" Feldman writes:
Long time no speak!
It bothers me that it seems from some of your responses lately that you now don't believe in keeping Shabbos. I hope you still consciously believe in Hashem and the Torah.
It's certainly a service for the community to expose certain truths but I hope that you really care to keep to that and don't get carried away to not let facts get in the way of a good story! Especially as a Jew who hopefully still believes in G-d who certainly despises untruths and also slandering and humiliating someone publicly in this way.
It is therefore I wonder, firstly, with regard to the article about me re the notice from COSA from Romy Liebler how I'm unfit to lead a community who retracted and sent you so and not only don't you remove your article like JWire did but you don't even report that he sent you a retraction and give whatever excuse you can come up with...
Secondly regarding the no sex sex tape.
I would just like to clarify it.
Firstly this episode took place about five years ago. The financial situation in the Yeshiva here was such that it was about to close. I took responsibility to keep it open taking loans that I thought Id quickly be able to return them based on family business deals which unfortunately to this day hasn't yet come to fruition in the way planned. This explains why, as you've reported in the past, we've had great debts.
Many teachers also taught without full or even part pay waiting for us to make money.
This young single lady then who was btw about 30 at the time, was a close family friend for many years and she also taught for a long time without being properly paid and I owed her thousands of dollars.
She stopped teaching but used to come to me regularly to get whatever money she could off me and accordingly she used to 'farbreng' with me.
I couldn't really be not nice to her and push her away as I owed her money. Together with my friend we thought of a 'nice plan' how to present to her that either we needed to stop 'farbreinging' as its wrong or that ul pee din I could 'propose' to her a relationship (which isn't harassment as she finished teaching then...) which would make her feel great but likely she would reject. It was obviously a sort of a joke...
The plan worked and she rejected and stopped 'farbreinging' with me and was also ultimately paid. My friend and others also knew about the meeting and for its interesting tactic and this is why it was recorded...
It obviously wasn't supposed to go public but unfortunately it did...
Regarding my words at the Royal Commission:
I have been defamed and mainly with these three issues:
1) The comment that I didn't know it was illegal or wrong for an adult to touch.
This is clearly completely taken out of context. In the transcripts I say clearly that even massaging the back while lying was in his opinion highly inappropriate and very wrong. I was then asked if I knew if it was against the law to touch (as explained the next day thinking that touching isn't fondling) I responded that I didn't know that AS A FACT meaning I knew it was very wrong and most likely to be against the law but I didn't know 100% as a fact that it was.
2) Leniency to paedophiles.
This is totally outrageous to say that i felt so and held that a paedophile who hadn't offended for decades and had repented shouldn't be reported. My main issue was that I held strongly like the judge in the case who felt that based on his status now he shouldn't go to jail. I shouldn't be held in any worse way than the judge in the case. When I told that to the Counsel of AVB he responded well, we're appealing...
3) With regard to going to Rabbis in the issue of CSA. I came out clearly in 2011 and now that all allegations should immediately be reported to the police. I just led an internal discussion amongst Rabbis re the basis in Halacha re this position but ultimately came out strongly based on ultimate Halachic reasoning with a clear statement then in 2011 and now, that one must immediately go to authorities.
I hope that you do the right thing and post this email and I don't mind like last time if you make this a separate posting and article.
Wishing you all the best and a Gut Shabbos!
You can read all posts on Rabbi Yosef "Yossi" Feldman here.
The reality is that almost every rabbi and Jewish community leader in Australia is upset with Feldman and want him gone. They heard his testimony before the Royal Commission and that was more than enough for them to demand Feldman resign.