Sociology professor and prolific author Samuel Heilman, the writer of a recent book on the Lubavitcher rebbe, has been accused of a similar practice of using a fake internet identity to tout his own work and to attack his critic Steven I. Weiss.
Now Michael J. Broyde apologizes for his “error of judgment.”
These revelations are no surprise to those who know Rabbi Broyde.
A leading Orthodox rabbi and esteemed law professor appears to have created a fake professional identity which he used to gain access to members-only correspondence of a rival rabbinic group and tout his own work. The fake identity may also have been used to submit letters to scholarly journals.
Rabbi Michael Broyde is well-known in both the fields of Jewish scholarship and law, and according to veteran British Jewish news reporter Miriam Shaviv, he was also on the shortlist of candidates being considered for chief rabbi of England in recent months, in an article saying that the chancellor of Yeshiva University had called him “the finest mind of his generation.” He is a rabbinical court judge, or dayan, on the largest rabbinical court in the United States, the Beth Din of America. Broyde is also a law professor at the U.S. News & World Report 23rd-ranked law school in the country at Emory University, where he is also Senior Fellow at the Center for the Study of Law and Religion. His Emory biography declares that he “has published more than 75 articles and book chapters on various aspects of law and religion and Jewish law,” including in the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy and the Emory Law Journal. The author or editor of several books, he is a prominent figure in rabbinic circles, where his detailed arguments and strong opinions regarding matters of practice and communal standards have produced alliances and opposition. He was also the founding rabbi of the Young Israel of Toco Hills, in Atlanta, Georgia.