4. Response to Rabbi Miller's colleague, Dr. Jonathan Ostroff5. Some Comments:
The Canadian Jewish News cites Dr. Jonathan Ostroff as follows:
"When Rabbi Slifkin came to Toronto to speak at the Torah in Motion event, he was invited to speak to Rabbi Miller and Ostroff, but was “unresponsive.”I would like to respond to Dr. Ostroff's statment. At no stage did I receive any communication from either Dr. Jonathan Ostroff or Rabbi Miller regarding any meeting, nor do I recall receiving any indication that either of them wanted to meet with me. Rather, another person, Rabbi Benjy Jacoby, wrote to me as follows:
"We have here in Toronto a Rosh Kollel, Rabbi Shlomo Miller, who is quite knowledgeable in many areas of Chochma besides Torah. If you would be interested in meeting with him, I could see if it could be arranged. Of course, Dr. Jonathan Ostroff is also in Toronto. If you are interested in meeting with him, I could see if that can be arranged as well. I have no hidden agenda, just dialogue which I think is healthy."I sought advice and I was told by two Canadian rabbis who had prior experience with Rabbi Jacoby and/or Rabbi Miller that the agenda would be anything but dialogue. Instead, they warned, the goal of the meeting would undoubtedly be to browbeat me into submission rather than an open discussion to to try to resolve our differences constructively. According to them, this is what had transpired in the past. They both strongly, strongly advised me against the meeting. Since at the time I was very emotionally overwrought by the controversy, I took their advice not to subject myself to a meeting that I was warned would be an intimidation tactic. I have spoken to several Canadian rabbis since then and all have concurred with this assessment. It was interesting how these people's advice was shown to have been correct. Although I only saw Rav Miller's letter later, it was dated 27th Cheshvan - 29th of November - and I only replied to Rabbi Jacoby's letter on the 30th of November. That is to say, since Rav Miller had already written a statement for publication in which he denounced my works as apostasy and heresy, and - even more significantly - wrote that "one does not engage in dialogue with a rasha," it seems clear that even if it was Rav Miller himself who wanted to meet with me (and not merely Rabbi Jacoby who was trying to push for it), his goal would have been to berate me rather than to engage in open discussion.
I was also perplexed by Dr. Ostroff's reported statement that "The letter was intended only for his followers, and not for the general Jewish community." After all, Dr. Ostroff posted the letter online at his website, and his colleague Rabbi Coffer translated it for the Yated Ne'eman's website.Back to main page