INT: …[I]n the previous interview, you repeatedly emphasized the lack of evidence in the case of Tropper. Many are asking why evidence is necessary if Tropper himself is not denying the tapes?
RR: The Rabbonim and Roshei Yeshivah I have spoken with have told me that he has vehemently denied the authenticity of the tapes to them. However, I definitely agree that his failure to deny them publicly, or to indicate that he is trying to disprove them raises very strong suspicions. A Beis Din can, and I’m sure will, demand an explanation. But they cannot take action, or even make statements, without proof.
INT: OK, but isn’t it pretty obvious by now that the tapes are real – everyone who has listened to them insists that it is his voice. Can’t the Beis Din proceed on that alone?
RR: This may seem hard to believe, but the Rabbis have been warned that, given today’s advanced technology, tapes and even videos could be fabricated or manipulated with amazing results. In fact, Rabbi Tropper claims that he is being harassed by powerful adversaries with the desire and resources to do this. Therefore, a Beis Din cannot use them as evidence unless they are authenticated.
INT: Is this being done?
RR: I can’t get into details, but I know that there are Rabbonim working hard to establish the facts on many allegations, according to Halacha. A Beis Din must also be concerned about the potential of a libel suit, and must be protected legally. All this is taking time, and is also expensive. But bear in mind that even with good evidence, a Beis Din may be limited in what it can do if a subject is recalcitrant – they cannot call the sheriff to remove someone from his premises. Even a large group of Rabbis making a joint statement can be limited legally in the language that they may use in a condemnation.
In any case, people should realize that these Rabbonim, who have their own personal responsibilities, are donating their precious time, and even money to assume an unpleasant task for the sake of Klal. They are not being paid for their efforts, and have no agenda against anyone. But I also know that they have no intention of letting this just “blow over”; they intend to settle this matter and hopefully remove the Chillul Hashem.
INT: There have been rumors for years about Tropper’s immorality. Isn’t there something in Halacha about constant rumors being a kind of evidence?
RR: What you’re referring to is a concept known as “Kola D’lo Posik”, which means “rumors that do not cease”. Yes, there is such a thing as rumors that carry some legitimate weight as evidence. However, not all rumors are alike. In this case, the rumors do not qualify because the subject, Rabbi Tropper, has many detractors. We must consider the possibility that the rumors might have originated from those sources; they are Halachically not acceptable evidence.…