By COLlive reporter
An international program promoting unity between Jews and avoiding bad-mouthing is featuring a speaker that is accused of doing just that.
Ironically, Rabbi Dovid Orlofsky , who will be lecturing about “Slander, Gossip & Verbal Abuse” at a Tisha B’Av event organized by the Chofetz Chaim Foundation, was at the center of a flap a few years ago, when he was accused of malicious slander against Chabad.
The haredi-run Chofetz Chaim Foundation, with its slogan “Teaching Shmiras Halashon to Klal Yisrael since 1989,” calls for “Preventing Words from Causing Destruction in Your Life.”
The event itself, to be broadcast in Jewish communities worldwide, was billed as “a powerful antidote – the message of Ahavas Yisrael and Shmiras Haloshon.”
Orlofsky, a lecturer at Ohr Somayach in Jerusalem, promotes everything but that.
In a speech Orlofsky gave in Toronto a few years back, he was recorded poking fun at the Baal Shem Tov and the Chasidic philosophy. He then continued to maliciously slander and ridicule the Lubavitcher Rebbe and Chabad chassidim.
During the inflamatory speech, audience members can be heard chuckling at the speaker’s constant derision and ridicule of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, using names such as “an apikoras,” a “meshugener,” and many other derogatory statements against Chabad.
Upon hearing the recorded speech, Rabbi Yoseph Kahanov, Chabad’s Shliach in Jacksonville, FL, and a regular columnist on COLlive, has sent an email to the organizers.
“I find it incongruous that an organization whose sole purpose is the banishment of Loshon Hora would feature a speaker who practices these destructive traits publicly,” Kahanov wrote.
Kahanov says his Chabad House has hosted the Tisha B’Av event in previous years and was scheduled to do so this year as well.
“I find it disturbing and disheartening that the Chafetz Chaim Foundation would provide a forum to someone who is in the habit of maligning not just fellow Jews, not just Tzaddikim and G’Dolei Hador, but an entire Eidah K’Dosha. I must say that I am perturbed and disappointed,” Kahanov added.
“The Loshon Hora and Richilus in which this individual is engaged is not just Masiach L’Fee Tumo, but rather Loshon Hora that is premeditated and structured in the form of lectures – lectures that are designed to implant noxious hate and Pirud Livovos in the hearts and minds of Klal Yisroel and especially the minds of the young.”
The Chafetz Chaim Foundation was not available for comment.
UPDATE: Rabbi Orlofsky has apologized
COLlive removed the audio recordings so not to spread the slander.
The event’s Video Preview: