Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Mordy Tendler fights back - Part 11

A MUST READ! THIS IS A LETTER FROM MORDY TENDLER TO HIS "KEHILLA". [Hat-tip: Cannonist] Mordecai Tendler v. Rav Aron Joffen Community Synagogue d/b/a Bais Knesses of New Hempstead, Inc. Index No. 002284/2006. RABBI MORDECAI TENDLER 653 Union Road New Hempstead, New York 10956 April 3, 2006 My Dear Mispalilim and Friends: I sadly compose this correspondence, as I observe our “Mikdash Miat” which has been a citadel for Torah and the meticulous transmission of “Halacha” and “Gimilas Chassodim” transmuted into an oracle for “Loshon Harah”, “Motzei Shem Rah” and the absolute flouting of “piskei halacha” and the unmitigated transmission of outright “richilus” in its worst and most egregious form. Unfortunately some of my opponents and detractors appear unwilling to cease their unrelenting, defamatory, malicious and contemptuous attacks upon my character, integrity and Halachic as well as legal rights. The lack of “Hakaros Hatov” of some individuals for whom I have done so much is inexplicable. But this observation is of a heartbreaking but personal nature. There is a Kehillah – a community – issue at stake. What has become of our illustrious gold standard of Kehillas? What happened in a few short weeks to a place where “gemilas chassodim” and dedication to “halacha” and adherence to the directions of “Gidolei Torah” was its cornerstone and foundation? If each of us would step back and observe the situation, we must agree that the power of “loshon harah” has swept away otherwise good and decent families who have previously dedicated their lives to Torah. It is in fact unbearable to see a life’s work building the New Hempstead Kehilla trampled and degraded in this manner. It is thus incumbent upon me to make a few important pronouncements, which are of momentous importance. I note that there are several categories of individuals involved in and moving the events that have taken place over the past several weeks. There are those who have breached my contract; some who have acted to literally drive me out of our community; those who have resorted to loshon harah and richilus as a vehicle to achieve their ends; and some have engaged in an anonymous campaign of Internet and general harassment and outright threats. I am confident that you are aware of many of these activities.Certain important developments must be brought into the open. I wish to apprise you that I received what amounts to an ultimatum. I was informed that unless I agree to accept an absurd and inadequate cash payment in settlement of the shule’s breach of my lifetime contract, that certain individuals would seek to take advantage of certain claimed political connections with a politician and obtain an investigation of shule finances by the New York State Attorney General. My answer to this threat is – shame on you. The threat and its unfortunate implications are, in my view, a libel and a calumny. I think that the people responsible for these reprehensible actions – in everyday parlance – the “bullies” among us should take a hard look in the mirror and realize that threats, libel and intimidation are simply improper. I will not be bullied, defamed, harassed and threatened anymore. I will not stand by and see the tide of violation of “Halacha” submerge my family and friends. Enough is enough – even a Rabbi has rights! Let me be absolutely clear on this issue. I will vigorously protect my Halachic and legal rights and intend to fully and strictly enforce my contractual and other legal rights against the material breach of my employment contract and the claimed tortuous acts of individuals. I will not waive any of my rights under any circumstances. I have retained counsel to seek damages to the full extent of the law as a result of the material breach of my employment contract. In such connection, I wish to inform you today that I have filed suit in State Supreme Court seeking damages for the breach of my contract. Notice is hereby also given to a certain “few” of my “detractors” that I will also seek damages from those “anonymous” individuals who have engaged in an outrageous campaign of Internet threats and harassment. I have already undertaken certain steps to vindicate my rights in such arena. For those of my “detractors” who believe that they are and will remain anonymous, I have a message. The law also applies to those who hide in the “anonymity of cyberspace” and seek to utilize cyber-anonymity as a tool of defamation, insult, harassment and threats. I trust that all will agree that I am entitled to exercise my basic legal and civil remedies and rights.I have been maligned. I remained silent. I have been defamed. I remained silent. I have been threatened. I remained silent. I will remain silent no more. But why did I remain silent till now? Through all of the travails, one asks why is the Rabbi not responding? I did not respond because I continued to seek a common ground and peace in accordance with Halacha. I wanted a Halachic resolution of all disputes. My approach and silence has sadly been counter-productive resulting in only greater defamation, increased “loshon harah” and “motzei shem rah” and emboldened defiance of Halacha and I believe, the law. I ask my dear friends for your active and continued support and assistance during this very difficult and traumatic period. It is apparent that I will have to proceed with multiple legal actions. This will not be easy. It will entail much sacrifice. It hurts me to be placed in this position but I have no alternative but to act. Today I report to you that I have already taken several significant steps to safeguard my legal and Halachic interests. Some of these steps are and will remain confidential. Some are known and some will shortly become a matter of public record. My dear friends, neighbors and yes, even implacable enemies: Please rest assured that though it may take time and entail bitter battles, at the end of the day, Halacha will prevail; Justice will prevail; The rule of law will prevail; and I truly and fervently believe that I will be fully vindicated in every single respect. I ask my dear friends and Mispalilim to stand with me in this most hurtful hour of trial and tribulation. The Rebbetzin and I will always deeply appreciate your dedication and friendship. I can be reached at my home and by telephone. With my best and sincerest wishes, I remain Very truly yours, Rabbi Mordecai Tendler
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