There has been a lot of talk lately about Bes Din, 'unauthorized Bes Dins'
'improper acting Bes Din' etc. In Lakewood of the late. Leading the charge
against Rabbi Knoflers Bes Din is Rabbi Gavriel Finkel of the 'Vaad
HaDayanim', a once popular and now basically defunct Bes Din. So it would be
worthwhile to see how Rabbi Finkel himself stands up to scrutiny in these
Rabbi Finkel claims (see attached letter) that he was appointed by BMG as a
Bes Din!!!! This was quite a shock to the Roshie Yeshiva, who vehemently
denied it. Rav Schenur Zt'l appointed a few yungelite to answer shallos
about 'chickens and shmattas' on the words of one of the Rosh Yeshivas.
FIVETEEN years later, when R. Finkel lost his job in Adelphia, he need
parnossa and opened up a Bes Din. Ostensibly it was the Rabboim who had been
appointed by Rav Schneur ZT'L who served as Dayanim. In actuality, only R.
Finkel sat, along with other outside Dayanim, both qualified and
unqualified. So it is hard to see why R. Finkel is more 'authorized' then
Rabbi Knoffler. Just who did he get permission or approval from?
As far as the second charge, that R. Knoffler is a 'lose cannon', 'doesn't
follow proper procedure' etc, lets examine R. Finkel record. Rabbi Finkel is
notorious for not 'following procedure', notably listing (and even issuing
Psakim!!) after speaking to just one side. Some of the more famous cases;
Issuing a siruv against R***H because he allegedly didn't want to go to a
din torah. Bases for that was that R***h opponents said so!! Without calling
or notifying R***H a siruv was issued, which broke up a shidduch for his
daughter. When R***H called R. Finkel, he offered to write a letter of
support, but refused to retract the siruv because 'it will make me look like
There is the Gelb****h story, where R. Finkel issued a PSAK that Gelb****h
was a child molester, with out speaking to either him OR the playgroup
assistants! Ruined a family's life. And even though Rav Elyashive has said
he is required to go to a din torah on the subject, he is refusing.
There is the E***L story, where R. Finkel required him to pay $170,000 with
out even letting him know that he was contemplating the issue. Of course the
beneficiary, Glenda Unger gives free rent to Cheder Beni Torah, owned by R.
Finkels brother in law.
There is the Stru****ich story, in which no Star Birurrin was signed,
because Stru****ich though he was going to talk the matter over. R. Finkel
forced (via BMG) Stru****ich to listen to his Psak, even though the possek hador Rav Wosner
wrote a letter saying he was not required to listen until they can produce a
Shtar Birurrin. And part of that Psak was that R. Finkels brother in law get
There is the Kaweblum story, where a respected Rov wrote a letter (see
attached) calling R. Finkel a liar for giving a Heter Arkous after listening
to only one side!
image was removed to request of Dr. Koweblum even though non of our information was supplied by him
As mentioned before, R. Finkels Bes Din is basically defunct. He can't get
ANYONE who knows any Chosen Mishpat to sit with him. When asked how he can
have an Am Hartez like Birnbuam as a Dayin, R. Finkel said "I can't get
anyone else'. Why!! Because you can only fool some many people so many
As an aside R. Finkel himself has no Heter Horan in Choshen Misphat, and his
grasp of Choshen Mishpat is quite weak according to those who do know
Choshen Mishpat. Ask any Dayin in Lakewood what they think of R. Finkel. As
R. Eliyahou Levine! Ask Rabbi Alt from Bais Yosef. And he is coming to chase
out R. Knoffler!!!