I Got An Email From Rabbi Dovid Orlofsky

Yesterday, I emailed Rabbi Dovid Orlofsky this comment by a blogger: “Two weeks before Rosh Hashana and in the context of an apology, Orlofsky feels free to insult bloggers who objected to the Slifkin ban. Those bloggers include rabbis, students, doctors, lawyers, unemployed, men, women most of whom opposed the Slifkin ban without ever insulting Gedolim and all of whom are surely waiting for another apology.”

In response, I received this from Rabbi Dovid Orlofsky:

Dear Sir,

I’m curious – do you ever verify if what you post on your website is authentic?

The letter than you chose to post is not an official apology or anything of the kind. It is personal thoughts that I wrote up for myself to try to get a handle on what had happened. I chose to review the situation, obviously from my point of view, to try to get a grasp on why someone would take a 2 minute snippet from 5 years ago and post it on the internet.

If the purpose was to hurt me and in the process cause pain to Rabbi Weinreb, I think that is a bad thing to do. Of course I regret words said in anger – I am not alone in nthis regard. I immediately apologized to Rabbi Weinreb and sat back and watched as people piled abuse and obscenity on me for speaking poorly. Seems a tad hypocritical.

I sent this letter to my friend of twenty years Rabbi Kurland to share my thoughts. He made the mistake of forwarding it to someone he didn’t know who then sent it to you. You then posted it as if I had released it.

You have my email obviously. Why not take 10 seconds and ask me if I released this? I would have told you know, it is private. I was working on an “official” apology which of course I can’t release now, since you put this up as if it was my official view and not just me working out issues.

So after you took a private corrrespondence and posted it without authorization, you want me to apologize to you? Don’t you see something surrelistic to all this?

Ksiva VaChasima Tova.

P.S. I am writing to you PRIVATELY AND NOT FOR PBLIC RELEASE. Please respect my private correspondence to you

I emailed back:

Dear Rabbi,

Agreements require the consent of the parties prior to the deal.

You can’t just blast someone and then say, please keep this private, and expect anyone to observe your wishes.

I haven’t taken any side on this controversy.

I enjoy many of your lectures and wish you a happy and healthy new year.

I love what Cathy Seipp wrote about this:

I have no patience for these imposed confidentiality deals. Over the years, various journalists besides Johnston have sent me e-mails that basically say this:

Hello. Although you have not asked for my opinion, I would like to tell you what I think of you. But I suspect, on some level, that this makes me sound like a pompous git. So you are hereby ordered to keep my insults to you secret. If you disobey, you have violated our non-agreement and are therefore unethical.

Rabbi Rabbs posts: “Maybe I missed something in the long drama, but I am still not seeing what that rabbi ever said that was so wrong or required an apology.”

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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