Luke Ford has an amazing post on Slifkin-gate, essentially a long e-mail from Rabbi Ari Kahn, formerly of Aish HaTorah, now director of the overseas students program at Bar Illan University.
Rabbi Kahn hired Dr. Schroeder to lecture in Aleynu,the Aish outreach program. He describes the process of that hire – and the subsequent Din Torah – this way:
When I first heard his material. I was impressed with the novel approach. He then delivered a lecture to senior staff including myself, and Rav Motty Berger and Rav Shmuel Veffer. In order to protect Aish from the type of attack it is experiencing now I introduced Dr Shroeder to Rav Yitzchak Berkovitz, and then Rav Noach Weinberg, neither had objections to his basic approach. Later when his first book came out we gave a copy to Rav Yaakov Weinberg, and then arranged a meeting, I was there together with Rav Yaakov Weinberg and Dr. Shroeder, anticipating that one day people will claim that Rav Yaakov Weinberg never could have approved his approach I came armed with a tape recorder. Somewhere in my house I have a tape of the meeting.
Rav Yakov’s first concern was that the science was valid – while he was extremely well read and conversant in science Rav Yakov was humble enough to feel that he could not judge the book scientifically, and wanted to know that the science was indeed acceptable. Dr Shoreder assured him that the book went through scientific peer review at Bantam books.
Rav Yakov was satisfied. Rav Yakov then gave some guidelines and advice. A major point was never to teach his approach in yeshiva – but if yeshiva guys with questions came to Aish he should teach them. Rav Yakov felt that teaching this approach while valid, would be counter productive for yeshiva students because it would hurt their emunas chachamim. Secular people on the other hand he felt should be taught this material.
Then, The Deluge:
A number of years later some of the more zealous elements in Israel decided that they did not like Dr Shroeder’s approach and soon a din torah was setup. Presiding was Rav Moshe Shternbuch, representing Aish was Rav Yitzchak Berkovitz –charges of kefira were hurled, ultimately Rav Berkovitz asked Rav Shternbuch which ikkar in emunah was being denied, Rav Shtenbuch was silent and then turned to the petitioners – who also could not articulate the exact kefira. In the end Rav Shternbuch who did not like it at all had to admit that this was not kefira – even though he did not like it at all.
Please read it all here.