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Monday, June 05, 2017

The London To'eva Lecture and the Backlash (Updated)

The Sephardic community in London is currently going through a polemical debate between one rabbi who has called the newfound societal openness of the To'eva lifestyle a positive historical development and the rest of normative Orthodox Judaism.  It all started with a 97-minute lecture given...

The Lecture:

***WARNING*** Do not click the following link unless you are someone who is self-assured in his/her Yahadut and are acting as a דע מה להשיב. I link to it for that purpose only.  Many people should not listen to it as it contains Kefira and Nivul Peh.
The lecture

The press:

Link 1
Link 2
Link 3
Link 4
Link 5

The responses:

(The Rabbi Mansour video was removed in YouTube.)

Media's Summary of Rav Bassous's Response

(Rav Meyer Yedid's response was removed in YouTube, but is available here.)

Denunciation by Rav David Yosef Shlit"a

Denunciation by the Rishon Letzion Rav Yitzhak Yosef Shlit"a

Denunciation by Rav Shalom Cohen Shlit"a and Rav Shimon Ba'adani Shlit"a

Denunciation by Rav Shraga Feivel Zimmerman Shlit"a of Gateshead

Denunciation by Rav Nissim Karelitz Shlit"a's Beit Din in Bnei Brak

The (IMHO woefully inadequate) clarifications by the lecturer:

Hebrew article about the clarifications

The petitions:

Petition #1 in support of the lecturer (presented here for contrast)
Petition #2 in support of the lecturer (presented here for contrast)
Petition against the lecturer (my recommendation)

Chief Rabbi of UK makes a statement:

Statement from Rabbi Mirvis

The lecturer suspending himself from responsibilities

Suspending himself from Beit Din and NY trip

May those who erred see the error of their ways and correct it, and may Hashem enlighten our eyes with His Torah.

Rabbanim Pressuring the Chief Rabbi of UK

British Rabbis Want Their Peer Fired

Rav Yosef Responds to Chief Rabbi of UK (includes summary of events)

(18 Tamuz, 5777) Is UK’s Sephardi rabbi fracas about more than condoning To'eiva?

Concluding statements - including Harata from the lecturer

(25 Tamuz, 5777) Statements from the synagogue board, the lecturer, and the review committee


At Mon Jun 05, 03:28:00 PM 2017, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Today, r'l, it has become evident that there is an agenda by powerful forces to undo not only Torah/Judaism but morality itself. We have seen in the last few years the start of an 'Open Orthodoxy' movement which has turned Torah upside down. There is an agenda by powerful forces of the nations to make a one-world religion, so we see here a connection. The great Gaon of Vilna, ztl, forewarned that at the end of days, the Erev Rav within our midst will be our very worst enemies. Even so-called frum rabbis will be of the Erev Rav and they also hold powerful positions in government, etc. This is very disturbing but not really that surprising and we need to make sure that the young are not under any of their influence, as much as possible, that is and also to pray for Moshiach T'zdkeinu's arrival ASAP.

At Tue Jun 06, 12:54:00 AM 2017, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rabbi Meyer Yedid's response can be found here,

At Tue Jun 06, 08:51:00 AM 2017, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hashem is filtering out the bad seeds from the good Jewish nation. Hang in there. Everything will be good in the end.

At Tue Jun 06, 09:05:00 AM 2017, Blogger Neshama said...

Nice job of collecting all the relevant info. However, I think it unwise to link to ‘his video’. We should not put any ideas into the minds of readers, which might stay there and be replayed after 120. I hope I was instrumental in some very small way because of my two blog posts on this. We owe a big yesher koach to Rabbi Mizrachi who was the first to bring this out in the open TWO YEARS AGO. It was because of Rabbi Mizrachi that the London Rabbis finally responded about this scourge.

At Tue Jun 06, 09:20:00 AM 2017, Blogger yaak said...


My rationale for including it is mentioned in the post. I definitely see your point, and I had the same concerns, but I still included it with a warning to readers. If people want to refute him, people have to know what he exactly said. If people may be influenced by what he said, they should not click the link.

I agree that we owe thanks to Rabbi Mizrachi. (I also owe thanks to you for bringing it to my attention.)

However, there were a number of things that the source of Rabbi Mizrachi, who listed the points of the lecture to him, got wrong. Those were clarified in the clarification. It would have done Rabbi Mizrachi some good to have actually listened to the lecture first-hand to refute what he really said - not what he was told he said. And there was plenty to refute without getting things wrong. Nevertheless, he did a great job showing the incongruity of the main ideas of lecture with normative Judaism.

At Tue Jun 06, 11:18:00 AM 2017, Blogger Neshama said...

Thank you Yaak. All I know is that I wouldn't want to hear his distortions of Torah, and would rely on those who did and what they advised. It's so important what one hears and what one sees, it all go into our computer-minds. Nevertheless, you did a great job to provide discernment among your readers.

At Wed Jun 14, 03:10:00 AM 2017, Blogger Neshama said...

Thank you Yaak. Clarification: Rabbi Mizrachi was GIVEN A LIST of the lecturer’s points of refutation. Rabbi Mizrachi did NOT COMPILE the list; it was emailed to him from London. (so he said).

Also; I found a Shiur on the topic with a clear and straightforward historical halachic explanation of Toe’va. This I recommend listening to, as I did and it was delightful, if I may say, to hear such halacha as it was explained. Excellent. the Lucena Rabbi

At Wed Jun 14, 09:27:00 AM 2017, Blogger yaak said...

Re: your clarification, yes - that's exactly what I was trying to say. Perhaps, it wasn't clear enough.

I included that video you linked to in the post. Thanks.


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