11. Who Are the Ger Gang Teachers?

11.6. Who is Joel Bakst (Baks) VI

Avraham Sutton was not the only one to send a letter to Tzvat regarding Joel Bakst (Baks).  Here is another letter to the Chief Rabbi of Tzvat from Rabbi Yitzchak Goldstein, Rosh Yeshiva of Diaspora Yeshiva and Rabbi Avigdor Nevenzahl, a well renowned Posek, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh, and Rabbi of the Ramban Synagogue.  I have also included an entire discussion on this topic of Joel Bakst (Baks) and his deeds.  There are two interesting things about this: 1) Mike Mattlage never mentions these Rabbi's in his video slapping down Avraham Sutton who he blamed, along with Noahides, for preventing the moshiach being anointed, as if he would know when that time would be.  2) It funny to watch Joel Bakst (Baks) current students stand up for him and try to defend the indefensible.

Karen Pichel I thank you for sharing this with the community. A real public serivce!!

Ken Scott Karen Pichel thank you Karen.  Blessings

Nicholas Jakubowski Even though I am a Noahide, and that I don't want you to be alarmed or afraid because you and I are strangers here, I just cannot read the Hebrew at the moment because I never learned from a young age. I also just want to check-in and say that I think I am going through a similar situation in regards to a public defender that does not have my interests in mind. Have a good day.

Ken Scott Nicholas Jakubowski
I am a Ger and Noahide. Make sense? Good Book 1: The World of the Ger By Chaim Clorfene & David Katz.  2: The Path of the Righteous Gentile Two excelent books for Gentiles.  Gers, Noahides. Blessings, Ken

Brian Blair Is the "sin" in teaching this stuff to women or did something else occur?

Daniel Bendelman Brian Blair no, its not a sin to teach it to Woman. The sin he did was exploit woman and sexually abuse them, all while hiding under the facade of teaching kabbalah. His Torah is a poison used to do grave sins. Unfortunately people can use Torah for evil if they have

Gloria Culver Daniel .. did you witness this??

Dvorah Chanah Gloria Culver There's a long history, with many families/people directly involved and affected. It's all been documented, the rabbi lost his smicha, and then he went on to repeat the behavior, according to witnesses.

Malcolm Wilhelm I understand the sensitive nature of a situation like this, but did the individual in question sexually abuse women or was the problem more along the lines of inappropriate relations with various women? Forgive me if my question can not be answered.

Daniel Bendelman Gloria Culver totally irrelevant. The letter is all that's needed. You either heed the words of our Rabbis or you don't. There is no debate here.

Gloria Culver Daniel Bendelman You are right. What year was that letter? I heard he had done teshuva from something years ago but this could be another incident.

Yitzchak Michaelson Gloria Culver The letter is dated 2 days ago. Tshuva from such a situation is a complicated issue, especially for a Rabbi that was placed in cherem. Basically, a censure or exclusion from the community. Halakha requires that we shun such a person. Someone being removed requires a Beit Din.

Gloria Culver Yitzchak Michaelson thanks for the explanation

Dvorah Chanah Yitzchak Michaelson Thank you from me too. It's more complicated than I realized.

Gloria Culver Yitzchak Michaelson Did you write this letter

Dvorah Chanah Gloria Culver He probably didn't see your question because his name isn't linked. The English translation shows that R' Goldsteing and R' Nebenzel wrote the letter. It is addressed to R' Eliahu.

Laya Saul Brian Blair he abused the teacher student trust and had inappropriate relations with married women.

פינחס צבי נון My guess, without knowing the pertinent Halakhah, would be, if someone comitted adultery, in leau of being put to death by Beit Din, along with the women who sinned with him, ALONG WITH the women who SINNED with him, he should not be teaching a shred of anything to anyone!!!!

פינחס צבי נון That is the claim right? That he admitted to going to home plate together along with married women?

Yitzchak Michaelson He damaged marriages and destroyed families by targeting vulnerable women he was teaching. Teaching them it was a tikun and would bring Moshiach.

פינחס צבי נון Yitzchak Michaelson adultery or no?

פינחס צבי נון Yitzchak Michaelson oh that is highly objectionable. portraying the women involved as helpless exploited pawns. they destroyed their own marriages! lets stop giving bad behavior a pass, women can be as responsible as any man.

Yitzchak Michaelson

פינחס צבי נון Tell that to the women who were exploited by Scheinberg. Do you think they also were responsible for succumbing to a predator?

Yitzchak Michaelson There is a huge difference between adultery and someone who is a predator that targets women. Nothing objectionable about it.

פינחס צבי נון Yitzchak Michaelson YES. women are equal parties in adultery. Yes, do you wish to suggest they were not responsible for their actions!!!! You would then be suggesting women are stupid and helpless, and innocent! Which is frankly, insulting and obsurd!

Yitzchak Michaelson  פינחס צבי נון

 I am suggesting that there is a difference between what you suggest and someone who is respected that uses his position to target women. Not all adultery is the result of sexual predators. There is a difference. I am suggesting that someone who is a Rabbi that claims that women will help to make tikun and bring Moshiach if they sleep with him is not an adulterer he is a sexual predator.

Yitzchak Michaelson In your scenario, all of the victims of Scheinberg here in Tzat just decided one day to cheat on their husbands. It had nothing to do with receiving counsel that included relaxation techniques and inappropriate advances that allowed him to take advantage of women who were need of help.

Yitzchak Michaelson Do you think Scheinberg got 7 years in prison for adultery?

פינחס צבי נון Yitzchak Michaelson what a laugh. they have free will, made their choices.

Yitzchak Michaelson

פינחס צבי נון You are entitled to your opinion, and you obviously never dealt with a sexual predator.

פינחס צבי נון Do you suggest he got jail for rape! Nothing he did was rape in any Halakhic definition. No restrains, no force.

Yitzchak Michaelson Explain why he went to prison? Why did he make a plea deal? Why was he arrested trying to flee the country?  I never said anything about rape.

פינחס צבי נון No, you explain. Explain why he did, and the other invloved parties did not. Explain why you are ignoring Torah definition, and upholding post 60s secular humanistic ideology!

Yitzchak Michaelson

פינחס צבי נון Maybe you need a refresher course on Hilchot Talmud Torah. BTW as refreshing as it is to see another Jew answer a question with a question, take it for what's its worth.  Rabbi Nevenzahl and Goldstein would not issue something like this without cause. They were both involved when everything happened with this.  I follow the halakha, and the halakha was strictly handled in this case. Someone was placed in cherem and had his smicha removed. According to halakha, to change that a Beit Din is required.  The subject of this thread is not about the women involved, but someone who is trying to come to Tzfat and pick up as if nothing ever happened.  As I said, you are entitled to your opinion but I will go with the majority.  I think we have sufficiently beaten this horse.

פינחס צבי נון Yitzchak Michaelson totally related. ignoring the role of the women involved, passing it all off on the man as if men are all powerful and alone culpable, and women are powerless and scott free is repugnant. I think you simply are opting out of necessary discussion. Halakha is not opinion. In halakha a woman who is an aduleress, is culpable and held accountable for her actions, as she ought to be. there is no term predator in Torah, that is post 60s secular humanist malarky. I fully agree if he has admitted to adultery, or was witnessed participating in adultery by two witnesses, he should teach nothing to anyone ever agaun, and should live as if dead. Should wander the earth with ashes on his head begging. I will not be silent, when in a public forum the torch and pitch fork are reached for, and people are absolved of their actions, portrayed as helpless victims. These women, including the willing participants with the basar vedam slimeball Sheinberg, broke their own marriages, broke their own homes, are victims of their own folly, their own yetser harahs. If he is in jail, so should they be This, was not in any Halakhic Jewish Torah way rape, and you should review your own hashkafot, which are not in line with Torah, but foreign thought. These women, who all equally participated, should also be wandering the earth with ash on their heads, begging. And the non-Torah fools who say there there, you were avictim, deprive them of their rightful tikun, you do them a high diservice.

Yitzchak Michaelson BTW, one final comment. The abuser referred to in this post and the letter freely admits to being such and was supposedly under both Rabbinic and Psychological care and continued this behavior in the U.S. after leaving Israel. So, it is not like he is being accused of something that he does not freely admit to.

Yitzchak Michaelson If you want to disagree with me, I am all for that. However, leave the personal attacks of question my hashkafot and suggesting that I follow foreign thought rather than Torah. You are way out of line.  From the beginning of my involvement in my original post I brought nothing but halakhic sources on this.  If you want to vilify the women that is your decision, I am simply doing what I can to protect this community from someone who according to halakha is to be shunned rather than given the keys to the city.

Dvorah Chanah

פינחס צבי נון
Oy. The subject here is Bakst, not the women involved with Bakst, his ex (or exes??) or the children. That's another completely different issue, I'm sure filled with it's own tragedies and punishments. But you must agree, a teacher of Torah who targeted women is a special case, requiring a different set of considerations. Torah isn't cookie cutter justice.  You don't know the details about the women etc. Enough was posted here about THIS problem and what the rabbonim have paskened on it. So, either go with it or not.

Dvorah Chanah Thank you G-d for not making me a man. I'd never have the patience to be a posek.

Kol HaKavod Yitzchak. You have more endurance than I do.

פינחס צבי נון Dvorah Chanah not a different topic at all. I know some of the women went back, returned. Ira said he destroyed marriages, which is 100% true, by all parties involved.

פינחס צבי נון Yitzchak Michaelson you project on me. Vilify? Guilty according to Torah Law. To be put to death along with him, by the hands of Beit Din.

פינחס צבי נון In clearer words for those who need it, culpable for their actions.

Yitzchak Michaelson

פינחס צבי נון And yet the Beit Din involved ruled differently according to Torah law than you do. So, no projection here.

Yitzchak Michaelson Our Torah law is not static. Our Rabbis are able to interpret, not to change halakha but to allow for halakha to fit within modernity. There are numerous opinions on this subject from Rav Moshe Feinstein and other respected poskim when it comes to sexual harassment and sexual abuse.

Dvorah Chanah  פינחס צבי נון Not every person was raised in a stellar family situation. In this modern world we live in many women were seriously abused as children which makes them much more vulnerable as adults.  I don't know if that is the case here, but the women deserve more of a benefit of the doubt than a rabbi who teaches Torah to them. As R' Michaelson has stated, "...the halakha was strictly handled in this case. Someone was placed in cherem and had his smicha removed. According to halakha, to change that a Beit Din is required."  "The subject of this thread is not about the women involved, but someone who is trying to come to Tzfat and pick up as if nothing ever happened."  Thus you did change the subject.  Only the people who know ALL the details have a right to judge, and they have, per the original post.

Malkah Sorel Yitzchak Michaelson somethings are unchanged, reformim and messianics also reinterpret the Torah. Even today a mamzer is a mamzer however conceived. If Hashem deems a woman culpable to the extent that her child is cut off from Israel then it cannot be reinterpreted. Moreover, a married woman knows it is forbidden to go with another man. SHe only does so because of the taiva no matter the excuse and when you make her blameless you prevent her from making teshuva for giving in to her animal desire.

Yitzchak Michaelson Malkah Sorel Actually the laws of Yichud relate to man not being alone with a woman. BTW, Scheinberg's wife actually knew what was going on and said nothing.  The halakha is on the man not to put himself in that place according to Kiddushin, Sanhedrin, Megillah, and all the other places that the Talmud deals with this.  There was also a Beit Din in which Rav Eliyahu sat and he called what was done evil and did not consider the women to be culpable. I think I will go with the opinions of the Taanaim and the Rishonim as well as the Chacham over your position.

Malkah Sorel I don't know who scheinberg is. I am talking about concepts

Yitzchak Michaelson Malkah Sorel Ezra Scheinberg was a respected Kabbalistic Rav in Tzfat that did the same thing as Baskt. He is now sitting in prison for 7 years after making a plea deal, and after having been caught trying to flee the country at Ben Gurion.

Yitzchak Michaelson I am talking Halakha, and not concepts

Malkah Sorel What I am saying is that a child conceived in such a situation would be cut off even today. And according to Torah law, the woman would be stoned to death. I am not excusing the man just saying a woman must be given the right to make teshuva

Malkah Sorel Yitzchak Michaelson I am talking halachic concepts

Yitzchak Michaelson Malkah Sorel These decisions were made by Batei Dinim

Malkah Sorel It seems to be worse abuse when a woman is denied teshuva, It is a win, win for the man. He got his wicked way and he gets olam haba. While the woman gets to roast

Yitzchak Michaelson Malkah Sorel Who is denying any woman tshuva. From the beginning this issue has been about the man, and some of you have chosen to include the women in the discussion.  I don't deny that there are deep issues that need to be dealt with when discussing those who were involved. However, that is not what this thread was meant to sort out.  I would be happy to discuss that if you want to make a separate thread related to it. I have read and continue to read many of the opinions of poskim related to what and what is not considered rape or what is or what is not considered sexual abuse.  Keep in mind that our halakha and Torah is not static. It has always been subject not to change, but allowances for modernity..

Geneva Bautina Yitzchak Michaelson If you remember, with my college degree, I had to study sexual predators more than I wanted to. If I took away everything involving Judaism with this conversation, it clearly saysz sexual predator. The grooming alone is how these predators think.  We are Jews dammit! Not some crazy E freak or Xtian cult that practices this or what their congregation is known for.  Ira, this is very upsetting to read this man's response to this. What you have done with this letter we can all only thank you were the perfect vessel to do so.

Malkah Sorel non static Torah is what reform and messianics hark on about. They also have beis din.

Geneva Bautina   ינחס צבי נון your entire comment is trash. What if this happened to someone you care about and you can tell them "well you see, you had free will"

Yitzchak Michaelson Malkah Sorel You must not know anything about Oral Torah if you don't recognize that our Torah is not static. The fact that there are crazy streams and fringe groups hark on about has nothing to do with the truth of our Torah.

Yitzchak Michaelson And since messianics and reform are not Jew-ish according to Torah, what they have or don't have is irrelevant

Dvorah Chanah Yitzchak Michaelson Yyyesss!! Well said, as usual R' Michaelson....

Malkah Sorel Yitzchak Michaelson Many reform are Jewish according to halacha, so are many messianics. They are either born into it or attracted to it just because they like the whole morphing of the Torah thing. You may say they are not practicing Judaism but who is today apart from the Haredim? Regarding my knowledge about the oral Torah, since we have never discussed it, you don't know what the depth of my knowledge is. It cannot be assumed that as a woman I am not knowledgable, nor can it be assumed that because I don't have smicha I am ignorant. There are many rabbis these days with smicha who get their smicha from doing a year's course on the internet. Or even there are yeshivas which give smicha after a year. I know because I know someone who got one. Regarding the reform and messianics, they are often good people who are misguided. And it takes many years of teshuva and striving for good midos to repent of the sins caused by falling in this way. But of course with humility and teshuva a person can correct himself even from the sins committed from following those versions of the Torah.

Yitzchak Michaelson Malkah Sorel If you look at what I wrote, it was Jew-ish. Meaning that one can be a Jew according to halakha and still not be Jew-ish. Meaning they are not accepted within the community.

Yitzchak Michaelson My comment about your knowledge is based on the fact that all of Chazal and every Rabbi I know will tell you that the Torah is not static, and yet you compare it to Reform and Messianic. This is a basic knowledge and the fact that you disagree with it and compare it tells me that you don't have a basic understanding as to how Torah is viewed.

Malkah Sorel Yitzchak Michaelson I have an understanding and know what you mean but that is still the foundation of reform and messianic.

Daniel Bendelman It's a disgusting disgrace to have to read some of these comments. Rov Yitzchak has done important and holy work here, the FACT is that Rabbis greater than yourselves have ruled. The FACT is that the Beis Din has ruled. If you disagree that's a massive problem, we go by Halacha. We go by our Rabbis. There is no room for subjective opinions here. If you can't have the humility to abide by the Halachic rulings of the Beis Din etc then you don't have the humility to be a vessel for The Torah. I suggest doing an accounting of the soul, as is advised in Path of The Just and learning Orchos Tzaddikim to get that much needed humility and then doing teshuva. Because this is totally abhorrent. Not to even mention these attacks on the Rov. Total chillul Hashem and you should be ashamed.

Yitzchak Michaelson Malkah Sorel Big surprise that messies and reform have their foundation stolen from Orthodox Judaism. Everything starts with Kosher Orthodox Judaism. Everything else is suspect.

Charlene Turner Smith Seems like folks want to shoot the messenger here. Why would anyone in their right mind allow someone, regardless of professed repentance, come back to do the very same teaching that got them into trouble in the first place??? A man seduces you’re wife so you let him back into your house while you go to work????  I’m standing with Rabbi Michaelson on this one.

Malkah Sorel we are not xtians so we believe in teshuva,. But that is not so relevant seeing as none of the people spreading this lashon hara has asked him what he intends to teach. I have asked him and he does not intend to teach individuals. He is giving classes go groups. I listened to his shiur this week and his Torah is high. Very respectable Rabbis in the Torah world have told me his Torah is kosher.

Yitzchak Michaelson Nobody questions his brilliance or ability to give over Torah. However, the Rabbonim involved has concerns about any group that includes women.  Tshuva as you know "bein adam lechaveiro" is not afforded to anyone that has not repaired the damage to individuals they sinned against. So, it is subjective.  Someone merely claiming that they made tshuva is worthless when the people who are driving this latest move are victims who don't believe tshuva was made, They are the only ones along with the involved Rabbis that make a difference according to halakha as to whether or not someone made proper tshuva.

Shawn Kanan Charlene Turner Smith because it isn’t the same teachings....

Shawn Kanan This whole situation saddens me but in repairing damage as you have pointed out one needs to repair the damages done to others so would this include a teacher bringing Jews to Christianity then later realizing doing so was a mistake and became orthodox again? So is there Repentance only gained when they bring everyone back they caused to go into idol worship? This seems like an impossible task yet couldn’t someone truly be repentant in this type of situation?

Dvorah Chanah Malkah Sorel Are you saying the letter from R' Goldstein and R' Nebenzel is lashon hara? You would defer to Bakst over these two rabbonim??

Dvorah Chanah Shawn Kanan From what I understand, there are difference processes for teshuva depending on different variables.  Bakst was a Torah teacher who used his position of authority to target women. He lost his smicha, and was put in cherem. In order for him to complete the teshuva process, his case must be decided by a beit din. It hasn't. He's attempting to go on as if nothing happened.  Thus, the two situations/cases are not comparable.

Shawn Kanan Dvorah Chanah no I just feel bad for people who do try to move on from the past and can’t. I don’t know the entire situation and just like I told Ira privately I meant no ill will. I have an alcoholic past in which I have much guilt and I feel for people who have moved on yet others don’t let go of what you did in the past. I realize being a “sexual predator” is different but I am a living example of change. Many people actually find the Light of the Creator and it changes them like it did me. I am not the alcoholic or fool I once was but either way probably wasn’t even my place to say anything and I ultimately would agree with the Rabbonim I just hope they have the entire story as I have seen false representation can really hurt a person.

Dvorah Chanah Shawn Kanan The matter was taken under consideration with great care and sensitivity. The rabbonim wouldn't have issued the warning and sent it on to R' Eliahu if it wasn't an ongoing and serious situation. My understanding is, this is much different than a weakness someone has had, and they want to move on. The people spearheading the effort to warn the community are taking no pleasure in it whatsoever, and are paying a price for taking it on.

Shmuli Bernhaut Malkah Sorel you need your examined

Malkah Sorel Anyway. I have said what needs to be said. I wish you well Ira that you should always come closer to the truth and to the Ribono shel olam.

Yitzchak Michaelson You as well. Shabbat Shalom

Moshe Shulman I have read some of his books. I was not aware of this

Gloria Culver Moshe Shulman I understand he has appeared before a beit din and was restored???? This original incidents were how many years ago???

Malkah Sorel Gloria Culver correct

D'vorah Hoffman Gloria Culver no—not true.

Malkah Sorel Gloria Culver contact Rabbi Bakst and ask him. I did, no one spreading this lashon hara has contacted him to find out the truth.

Dvorah Chanah Malkah Sorel Read below....kabbalah is to be taught to women by a rebbetzin.

Yitzchak Michaelson Malkah Sorel The people and Rabbis that were involved know the truth. By suggesting otherwise you are claiming that Rav Nevenzahl and Rav Goldstein are lying and so are the victims. You would have the only guilty person believed over Talmidei Chachamim and victims.

Ron Bloom Rachelle Kaufman

Yehuda Millen Ira-please get in touch with me as soon as possible via email and/or send me your direct phone contact, so we can speak. Important!! Ymillen@yahoo.com. I hope to make Aliyah before Pesach! Thank you -Yehuda. חג פורים שמח

Yehuda Millen Even if everything that this rabbi taught is correct. (Which I doubt, since there are many things that קבלה teaches, yet we don't parked like) it is morally reprehensible for any man/rabbi to engage in these subjects with other women. They need to be taught by a rebbetsen. The Talmud elaborates on this.......no exception to that rule

Tzadik Vanderhoof What is "relations according to kaballa"?

Yitzchak Michaelson The Zohar focuses on the spiritual union that can be achieved in a marriage and how this can elevate the consciousness of the couple. It is all about intimacy, rather than the act itself.