Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sam Lipski - more goyish than the goyim

Guest post:

This post was submitted by one of the rabbis who attended the recent Victoria Police Jewish Community Dinner – as reported in the AJN (top).

Dear AJN Watch,

The Jewish News article failed to mention one very important fact, ie, that the 'featured speaker' - former AJN editor-in-chief - Sam Lipski, was virtually the ONLY man in the crowd who did not cover his head. All the non-Jewish policemen and irreligious Jews attending were wearing yarmulkes. But the 'community icon'? No way. Lipski showed how to out-goy the goyim.
This obviously had the gentiles wondering why they were supposed to wear kipot when the so-called Jewish icon was not.

The discussion amongst the attending rabbis was if Lipski’s behaviour was an embarrassment, a Chilul Hashem or both.

All I can add is: “shame on you Sam, shame”.


  1. Why would Sam Lipski need to wear a kippah? He was a guest speaker delivering a talk at a secular function, not reading prayers in shule.

    If Sam Lipski choses not to wear a kippah, it's no one else's business but his own.

    I was at the dinner too. I saw other people not wearing kippot, both police and members of the Jewish community.


  2. Shame on this blog for saying bad things about one of the community's biggest mensches. Wearing a kippah is not one of the 613 mitzvos but what you have done is certainly an aveira.

    I would advise that you delete this lashon hura for your own sake and take some time to ponder why you allowed your yetzer hura to direct such unkind words towards a kind fellow Jew.

  3. In response to the previous anonymous comment, I would like to suggest that rather than the owners of the blog delete anything, they post an apology, should that outcome be determined appropriate.

    Deleting any offensive or untoward posting never takes away the hurt, it just takes it off the original version of the record. It will linger in people's memories and possibly on other places in the Internet where this blog is archived, mirrored, quoted or otherwise stored.


  4. Another rabbi who attended the functionWednesday, July 22, 2009 12:59:00 AM

    What is AJN Watch supposed to apologise for? Is anyone denying that Lipski did not cover his head? Since when is stating a true fact that is known by hundreds of people considered lashan hara?

    Yes Lipski should be thoroughly ashamed of himself for showing such a public disregard and disrespect towards the religion and tradition of his family and his community. It IS everyone's business when he is the Jewish community's guest speaker.

    Honestly, I thought Sam had more seichel than that.

  5. I'm not suggesting anyone apologise for anything. I was simply suggesting that if the the blog felt it had written inappropriately, it not delete any content, but rather issue an apology.

    Maybe you should ask Sam Lipski why he didn't cover his head on the night. He may not share the same priorities as others.

  6. It was a bigger chilul hashem when Chaim Herzog came visiting, and the Governor of Victoria — who was a Uniting Church galach — wore a yarmulke in his honour, but he was bare-headed. Rav Kahane HYD was right to call him chometz ben yayin.

  7. It is forbidden to speak disparagingly of one's Chaver . Even if the information is entirely truthful, it is Lashon Hara.

    The speaker of Lashon Hara violates the prohibition of "Lo telech rachil b'ameicha (Lev. 19:16)."

    It is forbidden to speak Lashon Hara against one another, even if the information is true, and even if told to only one person - all the more so is it forbidden to speak L"H before a group of listeners. The greater the number of listeners that one gathers to hear his L"H, the greater his sin, for the subject is further disgraced by the heightened publicity against him. Also, the speaker causes more people to sin by putting them in the position to listen to L"H.

    It is important to know another fundamental concept within the subject of Lashon Hara.

    If one sees a person what said or did something, whether something Bein Adam L'Makom (between man and G-d) or Bein Adam L'chaveiro (between man and fellow man), and it's possible to judge the speech or action favorably and give the benefit of the doubt...

    If the person is a "beinoni" in that he is generally careful to avoid sin yet on occasion falters, and the doubt could be equally interpreted favorably or unfavorably, one is obligated to follow the favorable judgement. This fulfills what our Sages say, that one who jugdes his fellow favorably will receive favourable judgement from G-d; he also upholds the commandment (Lev. 19:15), "Judge your fellow people righteously." Even if the speech or action seems more likely to have a negative judgement as its interpretation, it is proper that the matter should be considered a doubt, and not as a definitive, negative evaluation.

    In the case that the action is more likely favorable, it is certainly forbidden to judge negatively. And if one judges negatively, and as a result goes and speaks negatively against the person, not only has he violated "Judge your fellow people righteously," but he has also violated the prohibition against speaking Lashon Hara.

    It is forbidden to speak about another person -- even if not to that person's face -- about truthful information, for the information causes shame to the subject of the Lashon Hara.

    It does not matter whether the information is about a flagrant violation of a commandment written in the Torah which is widely known about, for certainly the subject of the Lashon Hara would be greatly shamed in they eyes of the listener by such information, or even if the information reflects an observance about which many are neglectful, and about which there is not such great shame...

    In any case relating the information would be forbidden. Regardless of the degree of shame, such Lashon Hara still implies that the subject is not properly observing the Torah.

    Even to speak about someone with respect to their enthusiasm for observance, such as saying that someone is miserly and does not honor the Sabbath [with special foods and/or clothing etc.], a requirement indicated by the positive commandment "Zachor" (remember [the Sabbath]) and also written about in the book "Charedim"; or even saying that someone does not observe an optional stringency of Rabbinic origin that is not even required under optimal conditions; even if the speaker only criticizes the subject behind his back, and the information is true because the speaker personally witnessed the subject's actions, it is forbidden.


  8. Nice sermon but no cigar. All the halachos that you quote refer to an observant Yid who happens to trangress. Not to a person who openly represents and belongs to apikorsim such as the conservative nitzan place.


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