Dec 28, 2013
Oholei Torah Staff Issue Statement

8 mashpi'im of Beis Medrash Oholei Torah distanced themselves from the "Call of the Shofar" after being tied to it.

By COLlive reporter

An uncommon letter is being signed by teachers of chassidus studies at Beis Medrash Oholei Torah, one of Chabad's largest yeshivas and a division of Educational Institute Oholei Torah in Crown Heights.

8 of its rabbis, in positions of mashpi'im and chassidus teachers, came out with a statement on Friday, 24 Teves 5774, against "The Call of the Shofar", a "self examination" program based on the controversial Landmark Forum.

Written in Hebrew, the letter states, "It is fallacious to participate in any way in organizations such as "Call of the Shofar" and all like it, and there is no room for chassidim to have such perspectives."

"Call of the Shofar," or COTS, uses "cognitive tools" and "guided imagery visualizations" to bring participants of its weekend retreats to "discoveries and rediscoveries." They have been called a cult.

In their letter, the mashpi'im agreed that when methods "are against the spirit and philosophy of the Torah and chassidus in particular, it is all together absurdly fallacious to go and participate in the things and places."

Signed on the letter are Rabbis Nachman Schapiro, Pinchos Korf, Yosef Yitzchok Pevzner, Sholom Charitonow, Yekusiel Feldman, Schneur Zalman Vilenkin, Shlomo Sternberg and Levi Yitzchok Matusof.

At least two of the individuals who signed on the letter have reportedly attended the retreat or referred bochurim under their influence to go there as well. The location of the retreat in the Tri-State area is Morristown, NJ.

They stopped short of discussing the nature and the extent of (some of) their own involvement with the program. They also didn't offer guidance to those that already "pastured in other fields," as they write.

Raphael Aron, a specialist on mind-control and cults, wrote on that he questions "whether these Mashpi'im, as well intentioned as they are, have the understanding and expertise to make these 'referrals.'"

The mashpi'im did however conclude their letter by saying that those who feel they "need treatment" should "seek the advice of a G-d fearing medical expert and at the instruction of a Chassidic rabbi" active in halachic matters.

Rabbi Yaakov Schwei and Rabbi Yosef Braun, two members of the Crown Heights Beis Din, wrote on Friday that participation in the "Call of the Shofar" is forbidden.

An "urgent gathering" this past week in Crown Heights took place in the ballroom of Oholei Torah and was attended by 2000 people. Speakers called on finding meaning and fulfillment through Torah and chassidus.

+ Cult Expert Explains Dangers
+ R' Yoel Kahn's Full Speech
+ 2000 at "Urgent Gathering"
+ Rabbis Convene Urgent Gathering
+ Op-ed: The Call Is Simply a Symptom
+ What Really Happens at "Shofar"
+ Rabbi Y Schochet: Call of the Void
+ Rabbi Hecht: "Call of the Shofar is a Cult
+ Man Behind "Call of the Shofar"

Most Read Most Comments

Opinions and Comments
boruch hashem they left COTS
now COTS is down and chassidus is UP!!!!!
(12/28/2013 11:31:44 AM)
We're very glad to hear that it's all behind us. May we all continue to add in Torah and be connected to the rebbe and chassidus.
(12/28/2013 3:56:46 PM)
Excuse me???
And this is supposed to fix this ??
why are they not being held accountable!

Why was this allowed to happen? And why hasn't the school done what is necessary? G-d help us!
(12/28/2013 5:36:18 PM)
maspia that implements some cots techniques!!??!! signed the letter to protect himself
thats a great damage control letter, but what about the two unmentioned mashpiam that were involved!?
and what about the mashpia who implwments some of what he learned to manipulate his studrnts ......

he must recieve the proper help, bfore he can continue influencing our children
(12/28/2013 5:42:55 PM)
Now that its out in the open he changes his mind
Many teachers went and encouraged people to go.
(12/28/2013 5:49:10 PM)
No Loshon horah here. If you have an issue, call ot, or whoever is in charge and speak to them. It is a big big problem to name people on a forum like this. Let's take care of our issues, but try to do it in the smartest, most peaceful and most mature way possible.
(12/28/2013 6:01:11 PM)
what about younger divisons??
PLEASE i hear elementary principals and teachers went as well (where my boys are) PLEASE if you are one of them do what needs to be done to re-wire yourself the right way so you can teach our boys AL TAHARAS HAKODESH. we know you went for the right reasons but damage has been done to all participants and heavy doses of learning chassidus is the only remedy at this point!
(12/28/2013 6:01:38 PM)
Rabbi N S
Never sent a single Bochur there.
(12/28/2013 6:30:39 PM)
COTS is a dangerous cult and Oholei Torah Rabbis are already Brainwashed
COTS is a dangerous money-making Cult run by S. Frischling. According to his own web site he is trained by leading masters of mind control and Buddhism.

The Crown Heights Beis Din has issued their decree that COTS is totally forbidden.

The Rebbe would have stopped Frisching, his organization and those who sent our children to this cult immediately.

It is unfathomable that Oholei Torah, the Rebbe's moisad, has now, within its walls, numerous rabbis, mashpiam and a principal of 3rd and 4th grade, who are now brain-washed and have actually sent many others, including children to this dangerous cult.

Anyone who even went once is brain-washed and the rabbis who send our children and colleagues to COTS have murdered Jewish souls.

These rabbis and principals should be fired and not allowed to get close to our children ever again.

Frischling's cult has only begun its work in Crown Heights. Members of the community have gone into partnership with him and are out to profit by preying on innocent victims.

The first thing they do is mind control at their retreats. Then, Frischlings teaches them Buddhism.

This is exactly what one Masphia started doing in his Chassidis class with many boys at Oholei Torah.

The letter they signed is meaningless.

Frischling and COTS continue to send out hundreds of emails to their alumni including OT rabbis and mashpiim.
They are also orchestrating all "pro COTS" emails on Chabad websites.

This is only part 1. Frischling is able to activate his "cells" inside and continue his work behind the scenes.

Our children (who we trusted that they are protected by Oholei Torah) are now in the hands of promoters of Frischlings Buddhist cult and are in danger from now on.

These rabbis must be relieved of their duties and stay far away from our children.
(12/28/2013 6:31:34 PM)
encouraged bochrim to go, While we are on the topic, what about principals in the elementary division They "strongly" encouraged teachers to go. Even going as far as paying for them to go.
(12/28/2013 6:41:56 PM)
So please explain...
So Freudian therapy is not foreign pastures? Psychotherapy as practiced today is not from foreign pastures?

Taking about our problems and challenges and tracing them back to their route to understand ourselves and our responses better is now not kosher?

This is what goes on mainly at COTS. I participated.
So now all therapy is banned since some of its founders are at foreign tables? Then let's be true across the board and forbid it all.

How foolish is that!

What a big foolish debacle. Just makes people hate the establishment even more bad disenfranchises the 800 Lubavitches, good meaning and self improving people, who benefited from COTS.
(12/28/2013 6:44:19 PM)
A mashpia
AAT: Teachers and Mashpiim
If you where under the influence of the SHOFER
how can you send buchrim which are pure and have problems to a colt
and if your answer is that you did not know that it is a colt how can you recommend someone to go somewhere if you dont know what it is
its like a doctor that prescribe meds and dose not know what he is prscribeing...
(12/28/2013 6:47:48 PM)
OT elementary is obligated to say sorry also
Most of the elementarys principals and teachers went to COT. I personally was going to start teaching and a few respectable teachers told me its a must to go to COT before teaching. They all should be fired or at least do teshuva!
(12/28/2013 6:49:36 PM)
midvar sheker tirchok
listen you have issues? fine.

but please do not bring up lies, about sternburg having meeting in his basement, sheloi hoyo, veloi nivre.

the meetings were done in a classroom, with the lighs on, with everyones cell phone with him.

anybody who says otherwise, should bring proof to what he says, instead of besmirching others.
(12/28/2013 6:51:50 PM)
to 3
We're talking about 18, 19, 20 year olds...
(12/28/2013 6:55:41 PM)
IF YOU know who you are...
please leave, become a baal teshuva, and youll be welcomed back! but for now...we are quite worried to have our sons under your influence...
(12/28/2013 6:58:25 PM)
rabbi sternberg
Reb shloime known to be deep caring and down to earth mashpia really wanted to help these bochrim and meant there best and as soon as he realised he made mistkae he stopped he doesn't deserve to be criticized
He should have hazloche in being madrich the next generation of chassidim
(12/28/2013 7:05:13 PM)
agree with number 6
Please! For all those writing these kinds of comments, it will be much more effective if you just pick up the phone and make your statement in the right spot.
Lets approach this maturely on this site.
Thank you!
(12/28/2013 7:08:20 PM)
That's why people are going to call of the Shofer because
You write מהמ on the rebbe.

Cut out the bs.
(12/28/2013 7:08:39 PM)
Next letter from staff
"We sincerely regret making this mistake, we had only the best intentions, we are cutting off all contact with the COTS cult, and we are going for deprogramming, and we will not be working at our jobs until our heads are fixed!"
(12/28/2013 7:09:00 PM)
אוויי וווי
כהן גדול היה צריך לומר שהוא לא מהצדוקין!!! הקרע בנפשות של הנערים עדיין מוקדם לקבוע מידת הנזק אולם רבה היא!!
הפזיזות של הכלט הרגיל לא מועיל לעניין כלל
אמנם יודעים אנו המניעים להחלטה יהיא לא מצד הקדושה ועל זה נאמר דמים בדמים וה
אני מתפלא על ההורים
בני צריך ללמ וד בקרוב
אצל ההוא שהבטיח לומר טעיתי....לעת עתה אני רואה אכלתי ואוכל ת עוד

החוצפה זועק. לשמים ויהיה
השם ישמור
ועדיין נשלם על טעיות אלו של תטאטא מ חת תשולחן ועוד חזון

(12/28/2013 7:09:53 PM)
many have been misled there too..sorry is not enough...they need to re-learn what is our derech- minds have been messed up and need to be deprogrammed and re-taught before they continue teaching.
if my son's rebbi or principal has gone- steps should be taken to care of this poison.
(12/28/2013 7:14:54 PM)
Wire rewire
This is all a bunch of nonsense. CH, get over yourselves
(12/28/2013 7:15:16 PM)
why the negative comments
they made a mistake, they hadn't known, they went and saw that they were improving, there are some positive aspects in this cult that can improve a person for the better, it is just incomparable to chassidus
(12/28/2013 7:19:07 PM)
Rabbi Sternberg
All the negative comments about Rabbi Stenberg is written by one angry Bochur who obviously needs a lot of help.
Everyone in Oholei Torah knows, that the only Mashpia who really cares about bocherim is Reb Shlomo.
(12/28/2013 7:26:01 PM)
Don't ruin someone name if they made a mistake.
Don't remind a bal teshuva what they did wrong.
What happened, happened.
Move on.
Yud Shevat is coming.
Learn Basi ligand and get focus.
(12/28/2013 7:26:09 PM)
The scandal in oholei Torah is bigger then u can imagine
This letter is total bluf, just signed to stay face. Where is the menahel and his son??!! The leadership of oholei Torah who can and have the authority to do something?, why don't we hear from them? Do they not know what's going on in their yeshiva with the staff on his payroll?? Major principals in the cheder, mashpipm roshei in the Zal and he does not know what is happening, and doesn't issue a statement what ot policy is and what they are doing about it??
where are they?? Out to lunch??
THEY are responsible and they let This happen because either they are too old or can't be bothered!
(12/28/2013 7:27:50 PM)
Mashpiim are human beings like everyone else. But they should be held to the same accountability like everyone else. If a bochur " made a mistake" does he have an oppurtunity to continue on... I think not.
(12/28/2013 7:31:40 PM)
Has anyone with real credibility ever call this Frischling guy in and have him explain his methods, publicly?
All this hype and hysteria only demonstrates the insecurity of those making the loudest noises.
One cannot condemn nor qualify any program or institution unless they know fully what he or the institution is all about.
If indeed it proves to be a cult where the practices are heipach haTorah, then it is indeed to be condemned, but if it simply therapeutic , then for some it may prove to be beneficial.
Go and make a drisha vechakirah and then object.
All I see here is mud being thrown at individuals who may be perfectly innocent people working in a Torah institution.

(12/28/2013 7:32:09 PM)
Very weak!
At least two of the perpetrators are now shamelessly signing this letter. How disgusting. How low.

The whole thing is suspicious. What's with the Maham in the letter? More bluff.
(12/28/2013 7:35:27 PM)
grateful parents summer 2012
Rabbi sternberg helped myself immensely when he attended the staten island yeshiva camp. He really helped mold him into an emesdike chassidishe bochur. He always took the time to listen and offer himbadvice like a true mashpia. We will forever be indebted to rabbi sternberg for believing in our and helping him maximise his potential
(12/28/2013 7:40:38 PM)
Shlomi STERNBERG is a great teacher
Stop speaking bad about him. He meant the best for his students. The only one who thinks how to help his students for real.
Stop all this garbage!!!
A thankful student.
(12/28/2013 7:41:33 PM)
I totally agree with # 17 regarding a Mashpia in Oholei Torah that sent these Bochurim that needed help to this place once it was brought up and looked deeply into he realized he made a mistake and therefore signed this letter we all make mistakes and he did Tshuvah by coming out on this letter against it,.

I think he should be forgiven.

he really tries hard to give a Chassiodishe envirment to the Bochurim.

A student in Oholei Torah.
A gut Voch
(12/28/2013 7:43:06 PM)
Rabbi Manis
Rabbi Manis got it right, right at the beginning of this fiasco.
When asked about this program is answered that as soon as he heard that Firshcling uses concepts of chasidus for his therapy he was immediately suspicious.

BY whta right, Rabbi Friedman said, does he hae the background to teach Chasidim Chasidus.

This was the first red light that the program was deceptive and ensnaring Chabdniks.
(12/28/2013 7:44:02 PM)
If not COTS, then what?
Ok so we shouldn't send anyone to COTS who is searching. Who has more questions than answers. So where should we send them?????? We aren't offering any other or better solutions. "Go learn chassidus and tanya. All answers are there." Sorry but you have no clue who you are talking to. The mosdos have failed and many of todays mechanchim are not mashppiim. Today's generation have serious questions and our rabbonim, mashppiim and mechanchim are not providing the answers.
(12/28/2013 7:45:28 PM)
Rabbe Sternberg
Rabbi Sternberg is an unbelievable individual and Mashpia, who honestly cares for the Bochurim.
He taught my own son, who looks up to him with great respect, and helped him .. His words and guidance were actually, right on target ,and very sensible, i'm sure it was all AL PEI CHASSIDUS!!!! hatzlacha,Rabbi Sternberg
(12/28/2013 7:46:06 PM)
Attn # 13
Only a few from the Elementary division went not "most" - that"s stretching it a bit don"t u think? Get ur facts right!
Its not a must to go before teaching that"s a personal opinion!
(12/28/2013 7:47:17 PM)
To 17
Drei nisht kein kop.

That Mashpia stopped (if he Takeh did?) only after being told he can get fired. Not becuse he saw its wrong.

And 11 actual trained threpists who we should go to when needed should be frum. Not like the untrained pepole at cots who have one thing in mind.
(12/28/2013 7:48:32 PM)
To 17
The teachers who sent students were warned many times that he is playing with fire. Anyone who called got treated with the utmost arrogance.

Did his decision making abilities change.

Keep your son away until he says that he will be supervised by a superior.
(12/28/2013 7:50:23 PM)
Mazel Tov
Shaarei teshuva l'olam lo ninalu.
It's nice that COL is reporting on the "Good news" side of things now - that people are doing teshuva.
mehem yiru vechein yaasu!
Gut voch.
(12/28/2013 7:54:48 PM)
Reply to #11
"Foolishness" (as you write) is to compare a licensed psychotherapist who is under the oversight of the established medical profession to a psycho who thinks he's a therapist and provides unsupervised, unlicensed, unendorsed 'therapy' to gullible people.
It's sad that you drank the coolaid. Get professional (licensed) help. I'm sure the damage can be undone!
(12/28/2013 7:58:12 PM)
you evidently have a very limited understanding of modern psychology. There is plenty of methods being utilized today that have nothing to do with Freud, and in fact contradict Freudian method. try Viktor Frankel for example. just one look into how much the Rebbe was involved with him should suffice as proof.
(12/28/2013 8:06:56 PM)
Reb Shloime Sternberg
I agree. Reb Shloime Sternberg is a Taareh Chossid. A true Mentsh and Mashpia that understands the needs of bochurim. He doesn't mumble in Yiddish. He speaks a clear and concise message. He means well.
OT grad 5769
(12/28/2013 8:07:06 PM)
They must be deprogrammed.
The teachers who attended the cult's meeting MUST be fired immediately. It is well known that cults brainwash its members and they may still be secret followers of the cult.. We need Rabbi Shea Hecht, who is an expert cult buster deprogram these two teachers and they must also provide the names of the students they sent so that they to can be deprogrammed.
Chassidus is the only answer.
(12/28/2013 8:25:50 PM)
to 36
im relieved when you say not 'most' but i heard they were under a lot of pressure to go from their superior. but please realize that every Rebbi has over 20 students under them yearly all day- so thats really bad- especially if the principal is (or was-) a hard-core- fanatic follower....
(12/28/2013 8:44:06 PM)
Ahavas Yisro'el - See Psak of Beis Din on Cots
"some have used the controversy to further private agendas and to sow discord in the community – attacking venerable Mashpi’im"

"do not spark arguments or sow discord and strife in the community"

Cots is behind us. Now let's move on and address the real issues of how to make Chassidus relevant to our everyday lives
(12/28/2013 8:45:50 PM)
He sat on th dais at the asifa
He apologized birabim at seder chasidus
He signed on to the letter posted above

Gevalt geshrigen!! What else do you want him to do? Can't a person ever be forgiven? Bifrat, that this was all done with the best intentions. Although we expected better, he was also a victim

Remember, Hashem judges you the way you judge others and treats you the way you treat others.

A gute voch!
(12/28/2013 8:51:28 PM)
I live in Crown Heights and I want a mashpia
What this shofar call issue shows is that Crown Heights is not providing for the spiritual needs of many of us. I for one want a mashpia. I am anash, working. Who do I turn to for questions and direction here in CH? BH I can say that a spouse is a great mashpia. But is a spouse really a mashpia? Come on CH. There are a lot of bright talented rabbis here. Can you make yourselves public and available so we don't have to run off to this call of the show so far?
(12/28/2013 8:57:58 PM)
to no. 11
I don't believe your are sincere, just trying to promote COTS or justify yourself. however if you are then email to raphael aron or read his article with abit more concentration and you will get it. I know if i would ever look for therapy for my children i made sure they were frum and licensed. how can someone trust this clean shaven guy. i know hindsight is 20/20 but on collive he looks so sly and more etc.
(12/28/2013 8:58:38 PM)
I got turned off when reading this letter by the constant Mah'm'ing of the Rebbe....!

Enough already!! We are all sick and tired of this!!
(12/28/2013 8:59:54 PM)
dumb dumb dumb
No one yet have specified what part of COTS exactly is against halacha. I was there, there is NOTHING wrong with it! ! ! ! Everyone calm down and focus on real issues!
(12/28/2013 9:05:58 PM)
for once & 4all
i was there once, i cant believe that there are people that went A SECOND TIME it's crazy that place:
pay 750$!! for what? scream what ever he tells you to?
i mean he is a professional, you have to have some head (like mine) not to fall for his crazy opinion
(12/28/2013 9:19:39 PM)
is this a joke?
They sign this letter, as if they are still respected personalities in the community.

Oholei Torah should of suspended them without pay!
(12/28/2013 9:26:47 PM)
is COTS "sados acheirim"?
My experience was that other than 2 strange tools, the maskanos, premesees anfpd hachlatos were all "UNZEREH"!

can someone please explain who benefits from charactorizing all of cots as categorically "fremd"?

Thank you!

Bottomline: we must follow Rabbonim, even if we seek more clarity.
(12/28/2013 9:29:26 PM)
for once &4 all
i was there, it's so crazy i cant believe there are people that go for a SECOND time.
pay 750$!! for what? scream what ever he tells you to? i mean he is a professional, you have to have some head (like mine) not to fall for his stupid opinion.
but you don't need to have to much of a head to know that this guy is off his wall
(12/28/2013 9:30:52 PM)
Oholei Torah graduate
Rabbi Sternberg like all mashpiim is human. I am sure many bochurim connect to him. I did not at all. Whether he is or is not a good mashpia is not the issue. The issue here is that he attended the COTS and encouraged bochurim to go as well. I also would love to hear a chazarah from him on " Tanya anynomous"
(12/28/2013 9:47:39 PM)
umm 48
its your job to find someone. Aseh LECHA rav. please. i hate when people pretend like all the misfourtunes in their lives is someone elses fault... there are PLENTY of rabbaim and people to choose from dont angrily point fingers accusing people of not signing up for the mashpia list
(12/28/2013 9:49:42 PM)
Understand This If You Went To Shofar
First off..why was it necessary to schlep Morristown through the mud?

Second off:

Here's what I think the problem is in a nutshell. I did go. And now recognize that it was wrong. And here's why:

Shofar drills two concepts into your head using all sorts of tactics (some borrowed from mind control).

1. I matter (for who I am)


2. I'm good enough

True statements? I would say so. But if these statements are taken in isolation they can be dangerous.

If I'm good enough as I am, then maybe one small aviera won't make a difference, right?

The Alter Rebbe says in the FIRST PAGE of Tanya that if you not at all concerned with your aveirus it can lead to "kalus" (carelessness) about Torah and Mitzvos.

Shofar wouldn't say don't be concerned at all with your aveiros. However, the most powerful part of the weekend revolves around these two statements. And since most have never lived with these statements before they can easily become a point of focus and for some...suddenly...the "hat and jacket" (kabolos ole) starts to come off.

Because the focus is now your happines and your self esteem. And if halacha is making us feel like we're always being judged and guilty, then maybe (Simcha even says this in the video posted)...just maybe we should "take a step back" from the mitzva so we can do it in a more "healthy way".

Well that may make some sense to some. But it's a HUGE HUGE problem because what you've done is made your happiness more important than halacha i.e. more important than what's right.

Judaism believes otherwise. Judaism believe that the most important thing is your G-dly mission. And if you're miserable...well try to learn how to be not miserable but G-d forbid to become careless with a single mitzvah.

I'm told accoroding to a very wise Rabbi that when it's all said and done it is preferable that one be miserable his entire life and do an extra mitzvah.

And that makes sense to me. Because it's not about you and what feels good. It's about G-d and what makes him feel good.

So you have to try to find happiness WITHIN halacha.

Within shofar you find happiness OUTSIDE halacha (they take away your normal shabbos..listen to goyish music...bad language is used...yarmulkas fly off...and I can go on)

Is there more love there? Sure. Is there more brotherhood there? Sure. Could we use more love and brotherhood in our own community?


Does Simcha have some cool concepts and some novel spins on Torah learning?

Yes he does.

But just keep in mind that joining a movement that is SORTA like Judaism, has a lot of cool wisdom and a lot more brotherhood...but they don't emphasize halacha as much...


Does that sound familiar?

It should. That's exactly how Chritianity got started.

So watch out. I now realize this was way more dangerous than I thought and I'm really proud of the mashpiim here and the others who recognized the danger and put out the fire hopefully never to return.

I'm betting the Shabtti Tzvi movement had a very similar draw.

And if we think about it.

All the corruption, immorality, legitimization of 'alternative lifestyle'...all the nastiness of the rooted in a notion that happiness...comes before rules.

Well the Rebbe says the opposite. Take on the rules (kabolos ole) and ultimately...that will become the greatest happiness.

I mean have you ever seen someone more happy than a 13 year old who just put tefillin on a karkafta?

Think about that. Isn't that a more pure joy?

I think it is.

So what I'm taking out of this is this:

1. Don't be like Christiany. Don't be like the corrupt world that we have.

Put rules, halacha Torah and Mitzvos, G-d's will FIRST. And let happiness follow.

2. Grill the mashpiim and daven a lot until I've found a solution that allows me to really go all the way with yiddishkeit without letting it feel like I'm being bogged down.


My Shofar brothers. I'll end with this. The head of the call of the Shofar once said that he thinks it'll take 3 more generations for Moshiach to come.

We should've known right there.

Moshiach now!

Time to reclaim the real Shofar.
(12/28/2013 9:50:01 PM)
This whole cots buisness
is just another symptom of people looking for an easy answer,a quick fix,something new and better. Whether it's a new teaching methodology every six months,a new healer,a new natural remedy.......Guess what ? There is no easy answer to many problems and although it's good to be open minded,some are so open minded that their brains fell out and are susceptible to every nayeh mishugas,which usually cost a lot of money coincidentally.
(12/28/2013 9:52:21 PM)
OT is no longer a yeshiva of standards and hasn't been for a while.

The first three shiurum have a total of 35-45 boys and shir daled has 150 as OT was known for a shlichus launching pad.

This fact has changed over the years as now other yeshivois are sending shluchim.

Once The secret is out that OT is not the only place to go for a shlichus. Then it's good bye OT

Unless of cource they make much needed changes. The maham in the letter dosent make it look like they care either way
(12/28/2013 9:57:18 PM)
rabbi shlomo!
chazak vemots! umode viozev yirucham!
(12/28/2013 9:58:08 PM)
The alternative?
What do our young and old see?

machlokes (מחלוקת)
and more machlokes ) (ועוד מחלוקת

There is no respect between our Raabonim, there is no respect between the Mazkirus, there is no respect between Hamolaes of the yeshivas and no respect between the Hanholea and staff.

(12/28/2013 10:24:26 PM)
Sruly Clapman
I feel Rabbi Sternberg is a amazing devoted Mashpia, he really cares about the Bochrim and tries hard to help people in the Lubavitch community fight all types of addictions

He can probably help people with his own research he did or at least know where to send them, anyone that writes anything negative abot him, probably is the same type of person that looks to bash people and Rabonim at large.

People need help, and they need to know where they can seek it. The average person does not know how to apply Perek Chof vav for his ongoing depression.
(12/28/2013 10:26:00 PM)
The rebeim have expressed charata and they are without a doubt doing tshuva. Excoriating them is rishus. There is plenty of blame to go around. What about those who endorsed this? Has anyone heard their repudiations? There still needs to be a din v'chesbon from those who have misled others to harm. The OT mashpiim should be forgiven and embraced. They have demonstrated courage and humility. There are others, however, who need to follow the example set by the OT rebeiim. COTS staff should be doing likewise, kol v'chomer. Although this is doubtfull to happen, it still must be said. Frischling should be forgotten and all of us should learn the valuable lessons in all of this. The Eibishter should grant a refuah shelaima to all those precious neshamas who have been injured by this.
(12/28/2013 10:45:44 PM)
re finding a qualified mashpia
The Rebbe promisses that for those who sincerely look, they shal find
A bayshan, Rachman, Gomel chasdan
(12/28/2013 10:52:43 PM)
To have two Yidden - no matter anything else - being slaughtered on the altar of Collive articles and comments, is just horrible!!
Did they make wrong decisions - intentional or not? Most probably yes.
Is this the way to deal with that? Absolutely not!
If your issue is that you were personally harmed, deal with it in a normal, decent manner as dictated by Halacha.
If you are worried for the safety of your children, form a group which will properly confront the school and deal with the problem directly; posting on Collive isn't a real channel for that.
All this is said knowing both Mashpi'im personally, but at the same time having no involvement in this whole ordeal and no personal agenda.
And to answer some of the above comments:
You are CLEARLY not a parent of a Staten island Bochur, especially from the slip in the first line: "Rabbi sternberg helped myself immensely when he attended the staten island yeshiva camp..."
So was that you or your son that was helped (it doesn't say "son" anywhere...)
I'm sorry, but please don't exaggerate "All the negative comments about Rabbi Stenberg is written by one angry Bochur who obviously needs a lot of help.
Everyone in Oholei Torah knows, that the only Mashpia who really cares about bocherim is Reb Shlomo."
I mean, I myself am a recent graduate of Ot, so come on...
At the same time, I think it was wrong for Collive to put as part of their article:
"At least two of the individuals who signed on the letter have reportedly attended the retreat and referred bochurim under their influence to go there as well. The location of the retreat in the Tri-State area is Morristown, NJ."
Seriously? Leave that for the comments...
On a final note, as the Rebbe once said that we could even learn from Reform in this that they have virtues, let's learn from "the other side" in their - at least superficial - attention to love and peace. I MEAN ARE WE WAITING FOR A TRAGEDY TO STRIKE TO BRING US TOGETHER AND CRY "AD MOSAI"???!!! LET'S SHOW HASHEM WE'RE NOT!!!!!!
A Gutte Voch
(12/28/2013 11:14:48 PM)
I am starting a new business STOC (shofar the of call)
its a week end deprograming COTS
We work on bitul, ahavas Isroel, look for well being of other jews
(12/28/2013 11:18:20 PM)
KUDOS TO #58!!!
If you really went there...
(12/28/2013 11:23:34 PM)
to #67
lol! How much does it cost? or do you pay $750 to all shofar victims ;)
(12/28/2013 11:24:41 PM)
Those who want OT Mashpiim fired, are rooted in very deep and intense Kelipa
There have been numerous comments who try to influence public opinion that the Mashppim, who had formerly attended cots and were themselves innocent victims of cots and have already done Teshuva, should all be endlessly shamed, endlessly dragged through the mud, endlessly shunned and fired and that their Teshuva should never be accepted ever, ad infinitude.

Who is heading this shameful ugly campaign to fire those who did Teshuva?

Are these campaigners rooted in Kedusha? Or are they rooted in very deep Kelipa, the lowest of the lowest, which is far worse then those whom they seek to shame and criticize, relentlessly, ad infinitum?

Since there was a clear Psak Din that such shaming is forbidden by the Badataz, it's obvious, that anyone who tries to endlessly and relentlessly, shame the Baaley Teshuva, is very deep Kelipa themselves and that these hate-mongers have not yet done Teshuva, of going openly against the Psak Din of the Badataz that they should specifically NOT make such ugly, disgusting Machlokes Campaigns.

What's really bothering these hate-mongers is the "maham" and they are using the fact that they are Baaley Teshuva, as a facade to cover up their real innermost, extreme Kelipa_Driven, hatred, of Sinas Chinum and dress it up as though this Deeply Infested Hate_Kelipa, of the Anti's, is in an Itztela Dikdusha, Kaviyochol to fight their relentless, shameful JIHAD against an isolated 1 or 2 individual Meshichisten Mashpiim who had been victims themselves and had made an innocent mistake and had already, long ago, done real and complete Teshuva publicly.

Someone once went by the Rebbe by Dollars and made sure to mention the Rebbe that he should not be mistaken for a Baal Teshuva, but that he was NOT a Baal Teshuva.

To his shock, the Rebbe asked him, why indeed he was not?

Is there anyone who can say that he never sinned in his life?

Shame on these Antt's, Hate Mongers, who masquerade under the fake flag of "ahavas yisroel" while they are in truth, knee deep in S..., of the most disgusting ugly head of Sinas Chinum, ever imaginable.

You are not true Lubavitcher because the likes of you, filled with so much extreme Hate, belongs only in Satmar who are in the habit of always "throwing rocks of hate, at fellow yidden" and not in Lubavitch.
(12/28/2013 11:31:55 PM)
To # 70
Teshuva? what kind of Teshuva ??? as of last week these secretive "mashpia meetings" were still going on!!
Perhaps you are pointing "shameful" fingers at the wrong people!
(12/28/2013 11:56:03 PM)
To 70 - actually, no
What on earth are you babbling on aabout?
Parents are angry because they found out that the school they send their children to, with utmost trust that they will look out for their well being and safety, was not doing that. In fact, quite the opposite. They have a right to be upset!
Also, now that its become known that cots is a cult, they are concerned about long tern effects on those that have gone. And rightfully so. Don't bring in other politics which has nothing to do with this, and use it as an excuse for them to get away with this appalling behavior.
(12/28/2013 11:57:23 PM)
to #70
wow, chill bro
(12/28/2013 11:59:15 PM)
no 51- the dumb dumb dumb
You are totally understood. this is where the issue is, once you go you are captivated,addicted, damaged and mind controlled. Kudos to those a bit smarter then you who KNOW that if the Rabonim, assered it they listen, respect asnd REGRET for participating but you don't want to listen to the more knowledgeable so what should we do with you? after all said and done and you still don't get it, you need professional help.. And if you are playing dumb dumb dumb and trying to still encourage the oilam, sorry this is a no no for everyone besides those of you that are getting commission otherwise you would shamefully still go without announcing it to everyone who are really not interested Boruch Hashem
(12/29/2013 12:01:01 AM)
To #70
I find it interesting that you mention a story with the rebbe and baalei teshuva. These mashpiim do not identify themselves with baali teshuva. on the contrary. They consider themselves from the "elites". I am sure your emotional rant is just that. Perhaps it is someone very close to you….
(12/29/2013 12:10:08 AM)
agree with 74
Anyone who has read all the evidence about shofar being a mind controlling group, and cannot listen to reason - still insists on defending them incessantly - should take a good hard look at themsleves and realize - you have been brainwashed. Get help immediately.
(12/29/2013 12:13:35 AM)
Itneeds to be corrected

COTS is clearly a dangerous organisation.One must be VERY naive in wordly matters to not recognise this .From the little I heard a few months ago,it was clear that this is neither torah nor professional psycological therapy and therefore it si dangerous to put oneself in an intense unprofessional group therapy situation .For this, you dont need to be a groiser professer.
Now-if mashpiim got involved and liked it enough to send bochurim(even if only one or two-each one is an oilom molai),it is only normal to recognise that they have lost their bearings as a chossid and definitely as a person that I can entrust my sons ruchniyus to.A young child can understand that.
They may have charota,but it seems that the charota is because it all became public.I do not hear that they had charota before.If so, they havent really had a chance to do Teshuva for this.Teshuva takes time,introspection and change.I do not doubt that they will do so but let us give ti time,if it will be a real pnimiusdike derher.These ideas are in their heads ,it has not been cleared so fast and THESE IDEAS ARE DEFINITELY NOT CHINUCH AL TAHARAS HAKOIDES!!!!!
Ir they have self dignity and emess in them,they should take a leave of absence ,clear their hearts and minds,and maybe a review board can see if for next year they can come ,humbly and rebuilt, to guide our children.If I was a parent I would definitely not feel comfortable with that man teaching my son chassidus in his "group Tanya" shiur.It smells fishy. the comments,it is emerging that other melamdim and even principals went and were encouraged to go.Who encouraged, why did they encourage ,e
what effect did this have-must be investigated and until it is cleansed these men should not teach our children.
At the same time these people erred and CAN do teshuva and NOONE amongst us should sit so smug and shame them.they need help and compassion and kiruv-but not at the expense of our children.
may we all grow as chassidim ,may there be many new shiurim in nigleh and chassidus and takeh brotherly love andc aring for a fellow chossid and everything bahavo uvachvo sholom vreyus.

(12/29/2013 12:35:13 AM)
To all Reb Shloimes Mushpoim:

(12/29/2013 12:57:49 AM)
A deep and insightful analysis! Thank you for your thoughtful post. Clearly, you have reflected sincerely on your experience and you are moving forward with intelligence and a positive attitude. I hope your shofar brothers read your wise words.
(12/29/2013 1:19:58 AM)
Think before you post.
1. Why the need to 'make nice' of stern bergs name. If he's good - great. If he did an error here - give it time to heal. Your making it smell with the low level posts.
2. Yes #27 the head of ot - yeshiva education is not a game if monopoly. Is it the age, or disconnect of some sort? Denial? The yeshiva needs a solution, so many good children are not feeling understood, cared for, catered to - what are you doing? You have talented mental health counsellors, coaches, psychologists - go make something happen.
(12/29/2013 1:52:22 AM)
think of the future
it's not about bashing – How does it affect the STUDENTS? This should be THE concern.
If a student knows that COTS attendees remain in the Yeshiva without some time off (the teachers can volunteer to take time off for rehab) what long term effect will this have? This should be the ONLY concern! We are adults and as soon as some other hot issue hits the press we adults will move on but the kinderlach will remember that their teacher / mashpia messed up quite seriously and signing his name to a general letter was meant to exonerate them?
The message is seriously dangerous. I heard someone compare this to a past president of the U.S.who was impeached after he lied about his immoral behavior and remained in office.. This brought the moral standards of this country down tremendously. This too will happen to O.T. if a mere signature on a letter written by some other persons is meant to suffice. Doesn't anyone think of tomorrow?
(12/29/2013 4:00:27 AM)
the cult seeped in
the cult seeped in like a snake and it was successful because it appeals to the EGO -
Ego is the killer and it's quite tragic that chassidim fell for this and fell so hard!! Why does one family feel the need to repeatedly post praise on this forum for one of the attendees? Over and over we read in the comments how great he is - if he is truly so great and merely got sapped in by the nachash let him prove his greatness and take a leave of absence - this will prove that he does in fact care about his students - that he needs to deprogram before he is allowed back dealing with pure neshamos.
(12/29/2013 4:15:18 AM)
to # 48
Even though it is each of our responsibilities to find a Mashpia, I do agree that it is significantly easier if there is a list of recommended Mashpiim with the times they are available, listed.
About a year and a half ago, I was part of a group that opened the site for women. In it, we have recommended Mashpios, times they are available to take calls and different topics they are listed under. We were hoping to do it alot sooner for men, but for various reasons, it did not work out. We have a site now for men, but need suggestions of Mentchen with Yiras Shamayim who can guide others. If anyone is willing to work on this project, has suggestions of Mashpiim or general suggestions, you can email me at
Knowing that the Mashpia is available to take calls at certain times, makes the Mitzvah much easier for both sides.
Women! Take advantage of the wonderful women who are already listed, and new ones that are soon to be listed.
(12/29/2013 5:21:56 AM)
S f
Rabbi sternberg is an amazing teacher who gives one if the best classes in chassidus in chabad amd is a devoted mashpia even befor getting married 3 years after his class he offerd to learn with me etc etc. A reall yid who really cears you cant blame him for trying to so wtv it takes to help
Pepole even pay 750. From a ot salry just to be able to help buchrim a drop more. So he made a mistake who hasnt is that really a reson for him to stop helping all the pepole he helpt ?? Personly thank rabbi for evreything. Sf
(12/29/2013 7:01:53 AM)
Whats about the fact that the principal forced teachers to go and even threaten if they dnt go ...
(12/29/2013 7:10:24 AM)
to 70
ur so off. we are concerned that our our childrens teachers have a contagious virus. they need to b treated before returning. we love them dearly but this is a safety (bruchnius) issue. saying sorry is not enough if you still carry a disease.
(12/29/2013 7:22:16 AM)
well put #77
I think that #77 has stated the sutuation correctly. The parents need to be answered to and there must be a policy of correction to regain the confidence of the parents and the community.
(12/29/2013 8:16:34 AM)
thank you #77
Well said, with sholom and respect.
(12/29/2013 9:33:49 AM)
The other day, I was having a conversation with family about the fact that most of of our talented and great minds move out on Shlichus and the vacuum of leadership and empathetic teachers & Mashpios, that people complain about. I'm not from Crown Heights, but reading these comments I now understand why people leave Crown Heights and chose Shlichus. Who wants to be torn apart and personally attacked? I'm no fan of COTS, but tearing down an individual in such a public way is, to me, a bigger issue than COTS. Who gives us the right to spread Lashon Horo and ms"r about a good man who has only dedicated himself to OUR COMMUNITY. Nobody's perfect, but he sure as heck doesn't deserve this and wouldn't be treated like this anywhere else.
(12/29/2013 9:56:59 AM)
TO #72
Your 100% correct.
Now it took us as parents in OT for yossel rosenfeld to realize what's going on in Reb Michoel's mosid.

The question should be,
What would Reb Mechoel do????
(12/29/2013 10:08:47 AM)
according to reports
The reason and way so many lubavitchers managed to get involved in the cult, is because of 4 lubavitchers who have a financial deal with steve...
(12/29/2013 10:12:34 AM)
to dumb dumb dumb
KOL HAKOVOD, kudos to you that you announced your fitting name to the public(name given through ruach hakodesh) A little contradictory to the goal of cots, i see a trmendous amount of bittul here.
If it was me I would be embarrassed to announce that after all the informative comments and asifa, psaks, letter from mashpiim and last but not least the informative article from a professiona R. Aron,and, I still did't get it!
If you still can't absorb any of this, I guess yes, either you are a victim and you are brainwashed or you are as you named yourself.
(12/29/2013 10:54:26 AM)
They'd Do ANYTHING to keep Their Job
This letter is simply a TACTIC to keep their jobs secure. It is NOT an indication of "teshuva" or even regret / apology in ANY manner. It is simply to APPEASE the loud calls for their removal. They would sign ANYTHING to keep their jobs.

If it would be even a little sincere:
1. The letter would be SPECIFICALLY from those individuals who actually went, without adding the many others who did not attend. Teshuva or apologies are individual acts or regret and remorse, not generalized public policy statements.
2. The individuals would clearly state WHY they regret their action, the reason that they went and encouraged others, and what changed their opinion for the future.
3. The individuals take responsibility for their mistakes and resolve not to continue.

The basics of teshuva is confession (viduy), regret of past, resolution for future. This was NOT done here!

As mashpiim they should set aside their EGOS and accept INDIVIDUAL responsibility.

Anything less is a farce and ingenious,
(12/29/2013 11:05:09 AM)
Going against a clear Psak Din of the Rabbonim is even worse than going to cots
All those writing negative comments against those who have since abandoned the cots, need to decide if they believe in the Torah or if they subscribe to the Goyishe Way of life and it's lifestyle, instead, in defiance of the Rabbonim which is even far worse than those who have ever attended cots.

If you are a Goy, it's perfectly understandable that although the Rabbonim have specifically forbidden, badmouthing, those who had previously attended cots.

But if someone is a Goy, his Kelpia is not impacted by a clear Psak Din of Rabbonim. Likewise anyone who listens to the "Goy Asher Bekirbecha" and behaves accordingly.

Those venting anger against those who ever, innocently, went to cots, are pretending to be doing so under the false guise of Kaviyochol, as though they have this "holly" concern of the "PURITY of Torah values", i.e. Chnuch Al Taharas Hakodesh, Kaviyochol.

The entire point of what #70 is saying is that those venting here against those Mashpiim, which were themselves, innocent VICTIMS of cots and blaming those who have since distanced themselves from it, are actually not being Torah True Jews, themselves, if they choose to vent against them, in this setting here, which is clearly not only "not such a chassidish" way to do it, rather it is 100%, absolutely, completely against Halacha, not unlike eating Chazer.

There is a Torah way of how to bring up your concerns and there is the worldly way, which is just as much Kelipa as cots it's self is.

You have to decide, if you are Jewish or not.

And you have to decide if you will vent your anger, using a Jewish way, which is the Torah approved method, as Yid or you choose to vent here, against Halacha, just as a Goy, who worships Avoda Zara would do.

If you are a Yid and if you choose to live as a Yid and if you choose to follow Hashems Torah, then you listen to the Rabbonim.

The Rabbonim have strictly forbidden, in no uncertain terms, venting against these Mashpiim in this venue.

If you are at all Jewish, and if you choose to live as a Yid, then the proper way to vent your concern is to have a meeting with the Rabbi Rosenfeld and with his son and most importantly, with the Rabbonim of the Badataz, who have the final say as to what is right and what is wrong and how to behave, if indeed you are Jewish and if indeed you choose to follow the Torah, rather than vent here Hepech Hatotorah as Kelipa would dictate.

If anyone feels that they are convinced that any Mashpiim must take a temporary leave of absence or be fired or be "deprogrammed" or anything else, of the like, they can address these concerns to the Rabbonim of the Bais Din of CH.

As smart as you think you are, and as much as you are aware of the potential dangers, the Rabbonim already know, all of which you know, plus a whole lot more and if it's true, that they need a temporary leave of absence, the Rabbonim are the ONLY ones to make that decision and not laymen, which are the disgruntled parents or students, whom have so far demonstrated, here, publicly, that they are no different than those who eat Chazer because they are is direct defiance of a direct Psak Din which forbids this venting, not unlike eating Chazer - who say yet Achalty Veochel Oid!

Decide if you are Jewish or not and behave accordingly and not indirect defiance of a clear Psak Din which explicitly forbids this public shaming here, especially since the Rabbanim have warned against it in the strongest words of a warning of a "don't you dare" - an Azahara against it, in their first letter.
(12/29/2013 11:10:44 AM)
Teachers. Mashpiim principals s
Teachers. Mashpiim Principals. That went to COTS might continue teaching and also farbrengens with YOUTUBE Live. For supervision
(12/29/2013 11:42:00 AM)
this week in shul a prominent rebbe told the shul "The rebbiem do not pay Ohelei Torah pays for the rebbeim" to attend the weekend program. Now is the time for the menahalim to come clean once and for all. BTW there will be another retreat this week parshas Bo for OT teachers. find out where your sons Rebbe will be this shabbos! Is there double standards between zal and elementary?
(12/29/2013 1:07:59 PM)
To #81 and to #82
I am no shloimy Sternberg fan but a person can apologize and we can move on. Do not decide what kind of "punishment" is appropriate. It is not in our place. Public humiliation is a disgrace. This is Ben adom l'makom at this point. I believe what happened here is that R' Sternberg attended the COTS with a very healthy ego and came out with an inflated one. I am sure he has been humbled now. Please do not insist on shfichas domim
(12/29/2013 1:52:00 PM)
i don't live in crown heights but do have ainiklech in ot and i still think, knowing these mashpiim and their giant heads,that it wouldn't take them much to deprogram thereby removing or repairing any tuma influences.I don't think they would for one second not realize their mistake after it being pointed out . maybe i am too trusting?
(12/29/2013 1:59:32 PM)
the real problem
The real problem is that leaving COTS is not just a matter of Teshuva or not Teshuva
The REAL problem are the EFFECTS of COTS
If someone was very involved in COTS techniques for a while (some people went many times ,then as part of the staff)"working on themselves",it takes a long time to DEPROGRAM
The brainwashing is accomplished trough the auto suggestions which in turn program the subconscious
The words of teshuva ( sorry,I made a mistake) are powerless and bounce against the already powerful programmed subconscious
It is a process, they need to replace the auto suggestions in a very intense way with Chassidus values for a while to change the program
This process is going to be easier to complete for mashpiim, teachers, because they are involve in the word of learning and avoida
But many people became COTS dependent, they have a big nisayon now, to change their "new life with well being" to their old unhappy life .
I don't think that is even a shaila for these people who experienced "good results" ,and they are to continue with COTS, (there are other many Rabbonim who didn't declared it TREF)
This psak din is going to be ,at least, good for the teachers and mashpiim that they cannot continue in the COTS path and cannot send more people there

(12/29/2013 2:30:52 PM)
to 94
Are YOU Jewish?
(12/29/2013 2:44:07 PM)
great minds on shlichus?
To 89.
Only some go. Many simply marry into it. There are still amazing, talented people here in crownheights.
(12/29/2013 3:01:25 PM)
Investigate OT Elementary
Much focus was on OT zal, but what about the Rabbeim in ELEMENTARY who were encouraged AND pressured (with subtle threats) that they must go to COTS? This is being swept under the carpet!! The principal of the elementary is an avid "supporter" of COTS and was recruiting ALL staff to join. No change in policy except that now it is "under ground".

Parents wake up!
(12/29/2013 3:06:50 PM)
I dare to disagree!
I hate to spoil the lynch party, but I disagree!

Fire melamdim? Big investigation? De-programming?

What in the world are you talking about?!

There is a very disturbing lynch-mob mentality that pervades this whole saga.

Whoever is calling for that is acting contrary to anyone who spoke with any authority.

Nowhere has anyone in authority said that Shofar is a dangerous brainwashing cult.

a. R' Shea Hecht said (video) it can be beneficial but not for the masses; that he had sent people there and would still send people there who can benefit from it.

-- Did he call it a dangerous brainwashing cult? Did he say anyone who went needs to be exposed and deprogrammed?!

b. Asifa Rabbonim: said that solutions for personal growth can be found in Chassidus, that there is no need to go elsewhere. No fingers should be pointed at anyone, achdus and new hisorerus is the call of the hour.

-- Did they call for a witch-hunt against those who went?

c. Dr. Aharon professionally explained about the issues and risks that exist with this type of program. He said applying the term cult is meaningless. It was clear that he discourages participation in this type of program.

-- But was there any implication in his writing that people who went to this retreat are brainwashed and are dangerous infected carriers that need to be exposed and deprogrammed before they can be let back into society?!

d. Rabbonim said that 1. People should not go, and 2. A severe warning not to start arguments or sow discord in the community.

-- Did they say that anyone who went committed some sort of sin? Did they give any indication that there needs to be a backlash against those who went?

So, dear rabble-rousers: You are clearly in the wrong and you have no basis for your campaign.

Warning to those who are following the Kano'im: What these people are engaging in right is a big aveirah and against Halacha. Are you going to be part of their mob?
(12/29/2013 3:24:24 PM)
to 103
All very nice to call it 'a lynch mob' however parents have every right to demand a certain standard from their child's school. Period. And the same way a teacher would be fired or the very least 'disciplined' for any other questionable or innapropriate behavior, the same should apply here.

Additionally, where did you get that shofar hasn't been called a dangerous cult? cots has been called a 'dangerous brainwashing cult' since landmark has been called that numerous times by numerous proffesionals, and shofar was modeled as a jewish or chasidic version of landmark. Wake up and smell the coffee.
(12/29/2013 3:38:55 PM)
To #100
# 94 is indeed jewish. It is just someone very close to one of the mashpiim and therefore is rambling incoherently.
(12/29/2013 3:43:13 PM)
to 103
Dear 103
I can see that you don't have any idea what you are talking about

Why is it that people return from COTS with a " new life" ,just for one intense week end?
They feel as a new happy person, completed changed for "good", "COTS changed my life'
This is the " new program " in their sub conscious
NO KANO'IM here, just knowledgeable people who know the REAL problem
(12/29/2013 3:52:39 PM)
It's all, Beferush in Tanya
To # 100 "Are you Jewish"

Everyone who learned Tanya knows that the alter Rebbe says in Tanya that the only reason why someone does an Avera, (for example, as in this case, by those who are Rabble Rousing against the Mashpiim, in direct violation of Halacha, which the Rabbonim warned against), - the Alter Rebbe says that the reason why they do that is because they fail to realise that by doing such (any) Avera, they are being seperated from Hashem, not unlike someone who converts to want to try and "be a GOY", worship Avoda Zara, for which every Yid has Mesiras Nefesh, provided that he realises, this point.

So yes, indeed, the Yetzer Hara within us, is likened to a "Goy within us - inside of us", and those who openly spite the Rabbonim, by defiantly failing to just "shut up" and let go of the Machlokes, Jihad, against prior cot members, are not unlike those who are worshiping Avoda Zara.

You can't dance ("on both weddings") on both sides of the fence.

Either your Jewish or you're Not.

If your a Jew then behave like one and listen to the Rabbonim who tell you to "shut up" and "cease and desist" from your relentless Lynch Bob and Rabble Rousing against the innocent Mashpiim, who were themselves, merely victims of cots.
(12/29/2013 4:31:38 PM)
to 103
excuse me, but as parents who care about our children, we dont send our children to yeshiva to learn avoda zara chas vshalom. responsible schools and teachers should take necessary steps to ensure this remains a chassidic school. not a "simcha frishling buddhist school." were not blaming them for going but we have the right to demand a clean-up or a disinfection.
(12/29/2013 4:44:09 PM)
Psak Din
The psak din concerning Call of the Shofar doesn't reference any source in Shulchan Aruch at all and neither does the letter that preceded it. It's a clear psak din only in the sense that it says clearly what not to do, but it is entirely unclear what it's based on. Fear and hysteria can't substitute halacha. Which halachos in Shulchan Aruch are the basis for the psak din? I'm hoping Rabbi Osdoba will clarify this matter.
(12/29/2013 5:10:55 PM)
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? "Who watches the watchmen?"
Do mashpiim listen to mashpiim???

"Reb Yoel added that Rabbi Sternberg needs to pen his own letter and apologize to his students and the community."

That was a week ago and it has NOT happened!!
(12/29/2013 6:26:53 PM)
Some facts
RYYP, one of the supposed signatories to this letter, said today by the Ohel to several people that he never signed anything!

He was shocked that such a letter came out!

He was shocked to learn that his name is listed with the two main perpetrators of this disastrous calamity that has befallen Oholei Torah!

He had no answer as to whom is the reference of MH”M made to in the letter, Frishling or mashpiim!

Clearly, those invloved are trying to dupe the naive Mashpiim (yes politically naive), into thinking that they regret their actions and are trying to blend into the long list of pure (naive) Mashpiim!

Teshuva entails regret for the past, and in a case of Choite Umachti Es Harabim (someone who sinned and caused others to sin, like selling treif meat, etc.), the Rambam paskens short & sweet “Yilbash Shchorim, Veyisatef Shchorim, Vyeileich Lemokom She-ein Makirim Oisoi (he should dress in black, wrap himself in black, and disappear to a place where nobody recognizes him)” and there he’ll be tested to see if he did true Teshuva. But to continue trusting our children’s education with their skulls full of mush to be formed by these losers?

These guys never admitted their error, they never publicly announced their regrets, all they’ve been doing over the last 10 days, was to try to defuse any public condemnation against them AND their evil actions, by sending fellow sinners to lobby the Rabbanim & other leaders to explain how noble their cause is, and to prevent any backlash against them. That’s no Teshuvah!

And btw, he didn’t want to apologize at the public meeting, he only wanted to be given a public forum to voice his opinion and keep his standing in the community without any regrets. That’s why they shamelessly pushed their way onto the dais.

Shame on them.
(12/29/2013 6:45:39 PM)
to # 11
Believe it or not sometimes things which can seemingly help a person is forbidden, that's why there are Rabbis who tell us what the law is because we arent equipped to on our own.
(12/29/2013 7:02:21 PM)
DO NOT EVEN THiNK OF GOING THERE your wasting ur time ur money every thing (better to Learn Torah then going there)
Because I now about it
i was there, it's so crazy i cant believe there are people that go for a SECOND time.
pay 750$!! for what? scream what ever he tells you to? i mean he is a professional, you have to have some head (like mine) not to fall for his stupid opinion.
but you don't need to have to much of a head to know that this guy is off his wall
(12/29/2013 7:04:50 PM)
To # 111
Is that really feasible? They should wrap themselves in black clothes and disappear? Maybe suggest something more realistic...
(12/29/2013 7:16:55 PM)
Raise your own kids
Keep your kids close, talk to them, watch them, be involved with them, did them a parve outlet that you will be involved with them or they will find their own, trust in Hashem, and trust in yourself., don't allow anyone else to make decisions for them or about them.
(12/29/2013 7:22:54 PM)
Independent group to review
Oholei toirah needs to appoint an independent group to review what happened here and how to fix it.

Some of the people involved are too connected to the hanhala to make a good judgement.
(12/29/2013 9:32:33 PM)
In the name of complete transparency and honesty -- a feature so prominently advocated by COTS -- why don't the four people, pinny lew etc. (whose name is on every COTS email) openly report their financial benefit from marketing and recruiting attendees?
(12/29/2013 9:35:12 PM)
To 115
Perfect speech I love it
Your 100% right thx
(12/29/2013 9:37:50 PM)
we have to create A new mivtzoym route

to go on Fridays before the COTS workshop starts, to give flyers warn participants
(12/29/2013 9:39:43 PM)
about LGATS
From Zen Buddhism to EST to Landmark to COTS - Hashem Yishmor!!

dress it in a different garment... it's still avoda zara.

the root is derived from avoda zara ... it cannot be purified.
The last EST Training was held in December 1984 in San Francisco; in its place came a newly developed course called "The Forum", which began in January 1985. The EST Training presented several concepts, most notably the concept of transformation and taking responsibility for one's life. The actual teaching, called "the technology of transformation", emphasizes the value of integrity.[10] "est, Inc." evolved into "est, an Educational Corporation", and eventually into "Werner Erhard & Associates". In 1991 the business was sold to the employees who formed a new company called LANDMARK EDUCATION with Erhard's brother Harry Rosenberg becoming the CEO.[11] LANDMARK EDUCATION was structured as a for-profit, employee-owned company; it operates with a consulting division called Vanto Group.[12]

Early influences
In William Bartley's biography of Werner Erhard, Werner Erhard: The Transformation of a Man, the Founding of EST (1978), Erhard describes his explorations of
ZEN BUDDHISM. Bartley quotes Werner Erhard as acknowledging ZEN as the essential contribution that "created the space [for est]".[1] Bartley details Erhard's connections with ZEN beginning with his extensive studies with Alan Watts in the mid 1960s.[13] Bartley quotes Erhard as acknowledging:
(12/30/2013 1:17:45 AM)
Like I've never seen before....
The attention to this case is good for the new generation.
(12/30/2013 8:44:01 AM)
2 questions
i read many of the comments on this saga, but have not come across these questions:

1) what hashgacha was the food?

2) this occured in a lubavitcher's home in morristown nj where was the rabbi/shliach in this community when this was happening?
(12/30/2013 8:44:49 AM)
Look how bad are generation is getting
They don't let Bochurim go Shabbos to the Rebbe's Ohel (more then once a month, and never more, but sometimes they will give permission to go else where more than once a month)
Bochurim need to fight strang to do what's right
The Yeshiva only cares about politics (the Hanhala of Chassidus are Moshiachistim and they won't do nothing, and even the hanhala of Niglah won't do anything because that Yeshiva Neglah and Chassidus Hanholah are 2 completely different management, i had a good friend how learnt there and he us to complain to me all the time telling me ''it's too hard to stay a Chassidishe Bocher when the Hanhola is not letting you to stay strong and go to the Rebbe when you want'')
(12/30/2013 9:22:03 AM)
shofar book
(12/30/2013 9:35:25 AM)
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