Jerusalem – Rav Amnon Yitzchak vs. B’Chadrey Chareidim Internet Forum

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    Rav Amnon Yitzchak Shlit"aJerusalem – The rav billed “the greatest of all machzirim b’tshuva” has opened a file in Rav Nissim Karelitz’s beis din against the owners of the B’Chedrei Chedorim chareidi web site for disseminating slander and lies against him in their Forum. He demands that they remove all mention of him, reveal the names of the writers, and pay one million shekels in compensation.

    * B’Chedrei Chedorim spokesman: “An attempt to intimidate our surfers and shut their mouths.”

    A fascinating case is coming up in Rav Nissim Karelitz’s beis din next month: a libel suit filed by Rav Amnon Yitzchak against the popular B’Chedrei Chedorim Internet forum. Rav Yitzchak is suing the owner of the web site, journalist David Rotenberg, for “disseminating slander and lies” against him after several discussions about the rav were posted on the web site

    Rotenberg received his summons to the beis din last week, accompanied by a bill of indictment. It stated, “The forum is a platform featuring reckless aspersions exceeding all bounds against Rav Amnon Yitzchak. The defendant permits slanderers and scoffers to clandestinely spew their slander while hiding under aliases so the victim of their scoffing cannot bring them to account. The defendant permits these slanderers to publicize their character assassination even though he can stop it.”

    Rav Yitzchak says that Rotenberg knows the real names of the slanderers, because “Everyone who writes on the forum has to register his personal details with him, and he decides whether to allow the person to join the forum. He is a collaborator with the slanders and passively acquiesces to their evil against the rav, thereby assuming responsibility for it.”

    Rav Yitzchak demands that Rotenberg “remove all slander against him from his web site, give over the details of those hiding under aliases, and pay him compensation of 1,000,000 NIS.”

    The web site has hosted discussions about Rav Yitzchak in the past few months, including one written by chareidi journalist Shimon Meironi mentioning that a beis din had threatened to issue a Ksav Siruv to Rav Yitzchak for non-fulfillment of a psak din. The site had also publicized that Rav Yitzchak’s lawyer had filed a libel suit in court against Bnei Brak Chief Rabbi Rav Moshe Yehuda Leib Landau. Nevertheless, Rav Yitzchak’s claim is only directed against the individuals discussing the articles posted to the forum instead of the authors of the articles.

    A spokesman for B’Chedrei Chedorim said, “This is a joke more suitable to Purim than Chanukah. What a childish claim. Everyone knows that you can’t know who the writers are on the Internet and Internet forums. I don’t know why Rav Yitzchak is doing this, other than to intimidate the surfers. He is apparently very disturbed by what they’re writing about him, and is trying in this way to shut mouths.”

    He added, “We also want a forum clean of derogatory speech. That’s why our site offers a feature unavailable on other sites: for every message posted at the forum, surfers can report if the content was offensive. We rapidly inspect and correct the postings if necessary. Rav Amnon Yitzchak never approached us with such a request, and until this very minute, we have no idea what he is complaining about.”

    David Rotenberg, the director of the B’Chedrei Chedorim forum, refused to comment, saying instead that his response would be given over in Beis Din.


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