Aaron Panken, President of Reform HUC, Killed In Plane Crash

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Rabbi Aaron D. Panken, Ph.D, 53, was killed in a small plane crash in Middletown, New York on Saturday.

An Aeronca 7AC aircraft crashed just after takeoff from Randall Airport. One other passenger was injured in the crash and transported to an area hospital, officials said.

Panken was the 12th president of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Read more.




  1. A Rabbi is a Jewish scholar or religious Jewish teacher. What exactly makes this guy a ‘rabbi’ if he’s neither? Did you mean ‘rabbit’?

  2. Why did you print this? So should we feel bad? Sorrow? Waisted life? The grosser kiruv experts didn’t bother trying to get thru to him? Someone was michallel Shabbos and got an instant punishment? If he wasn’t a Rabbi, would you report this story? Where did he get ordained and by whom?

  3. Doesn’t his church need him on Saturday mornings to deliver his sermon? Why was he not there? Or was his sister shlita filling in?

  4. While I agree that reform Judaism isn’t doing the right thing, no comment here is warranted. He was a person regardless how misguided and he is or brother regardless of how far he went. Please keep your self righteousness to yourself rather than projecting hatred. Reform Judaism should be fought, not reformJews and not at this time in this venue

    • Thank you for these sane words. We, the Chareidy community, must stop this silly cynicism, and start thinking and behaving the way BNEI TORAH should.

  5. I find it amazing that these self righteous holier than thou comments can make it on a frum website. Chazal say that we should not rejoice or feel a sense of satisfaction at our enemies downfall, how much more so when our Jewish brethren fall? His way of life will be between him and God. For you people to feel no sense of sadness when a human being suffered is disgusting. When was the last time you had an unaffiliated Jew sitting at your Shabbbos table? When was the last time you attempted to be mekarev a not religious Jew? Did any of you ever hear the story with Rav Aryeh Lewin when he encountered a Mechalel Shabbos? He sure didn’t react the way you thoughtless fools reacted. His accomplishment in dealing with irreligious people was positive, whereas your way of dealing with it will only be counter productive. For shame!!

    • by using the christian term of ‘holier than thou’ we see where you come from and no wonder
      your ignorant rant…see chaims post

    • you ‘find it amazing’ only because of your amazing ignorance in klulei
      by the way your also ignorant of a CHAZAL in perk arvei psochim

    • I see all these “kiruv” organizations making lavish Pesach programs and Shavuos programs. What are THEY doing to reach out to such Rabbi’s, male & female? If the big guns in the kiruv movement have not reached out to them how do you expect the average guy to do so? If the Kiruv greats didn’t have Rabbi Panken at THEIR Shabbos table, don’t blame the little guy for doing the same. The big guys get paid a lot for their great work. We don’t.

  6. dont show your ignorance…if you dont know when to apply chazal dont . not to rejoice enemies downfall is not a rasha. its on your private enemies, by rahsha its ‘b’eavod rashoim rinah’ . what has kiruv got to do with this . besides these clergy are mausis umadiach. they being charon af on klall yisroel! His accomplishments (?!!) in dealing with religious people,HUH you live in the back. reform whatever dont belive in diety, dont belive in torah min hashomayim so what religion your talking about ….from you ignorant
    remark seems your in the same leagurwith him.for such heretics our torah (ass opposed to your , idont know what , is states ‘lo sachmol, vlo sechase alof. halacha: (snhetrin) one who denies even one
    letter not misini is mumer lechol hatorah so again ,BEAVOD RESHOIM RINA’ !!
    so the commentators are not thoughtless fools its your kind who are much worse than just fools!!

  7. remeber that shirtwaste factory…1908…the fire was on shabbos the parshe was read ‘prhibition of desecrating shabbos…

  8. אם תגביה כנשר………. משם אורידך נאם ה’ – עובדיה א:ד

  9. It’s not a matter of rejoicing when someone dies. An unaffiliated Jew is not teaching other Jews to sin. A “Reform” “Rabbi” teaches other Jews that they can keep only the Mitzvos that they want to keep, that someone with a non-Jewish mother or a mother who converted “Reform,” and a Jewish father is considered a Jew, that a Jew can marry a non-Jew, that Toeivah marriage is ok, that the Torah is not divine and was written by people, that the Oral Law does not apply. He teaches heresy and causes people to think that they’re observing some kind of “Judaism.” No one here is C”V rejoicing over the death over another human being; but he is not a rabbi, and this article should please be removed.

    • and what about neveilos,treifos, taharos hamishpcha….bekitzur they mock kol hatorah.
      all over shass ,poskim..reyacha is only if he is ‘bemizvous’ otherwise……

  10. Some of the comments here are disgusting. So what he was a Reform Jew? Should we judge every “Orthodox” Jew’s actions? I guarantee you we are all far from perfect. He was a fellow Yid, at the end of the day and had a family who loved him. Shame on those making jokes, etc.

  11. What I forgot to include in my previous post is that this article does not belong on a Frum web site.

  12. A fellow Yid was nifter in a tragic accident. His wife and children, his family and his friends are all grieving. Now isn’t the time to make inappropriate, insensitive or sanctimonious comments.

    • as these movments didcarded another of taryag, that jewishnes passes thru father…its very possible hes not jewish

  13. This rabbit was a leader of a heretical sect. Here he was misleading the. Ignorant reform flock and that’s why G-d put him to death. Yes the shirtwaste fire had same story. You violate shabbos you die. And then in gehinim you fry. And as orthodox Jews we know why. Because the Torah does not lie.

  14. Boruch Dayan Emmes.

    He was a Tinok Shenishba.

    When was the last time we davened for all the Yidden who are unprivileged to have learned Pure Torah.

    Hashem bring us all to Tshuva!!

  15. Boruch Dayan Emmes.

    He was a Tinok Shenishba.

    When was the last time we davened for all the Yidden who are unprivileged to have learned Pure Torah.

    Hashem bring us all to Tshuva!!

    • He was no tinok shenishba. The reform followers maybe tinok shenishba. The leaders are evil. They will all burn in hell. All the reform,conservative and open orthodox heretics will visit the hot gehinim.

      • Hah! What a ‘ fool you are. Like you KNOW! No one KNOWS what happens after you die. Jewish Taliban here. Shoytim!

        • your ignorant of a lot of jewish law….lets start with ‘lifnei mee ata ausud litayn din vechesbon’ . every yiddish kind knows this. can only be your from the same non-believers in yesode emunah

  16. “Should we judge every “Orthodox” Jew’s actions? I guarantee you we are all far from perfect.”

    That is correct. But Orthodox Jews try their best to KEEP the Torah and NOT to sin. When an Orthodox Jews sins, we SAY that it’s a sin; we don’t make a new religion out of a lifestyle with sins.

    The “reform” (which means to improve by change) religion teaches that it’s ok to take sins, which are actions which are against the Torah, incorporate them in a Jew’s daily lifestyle, and make a new kind of “Judaism.”

    Authentic Judaism is following the instructions of the Torah that Hashem gave to the Jews on Mount Sinai over 3,300 years ago. It has been passed down through the generations via the Misorah. We don’t “reform” them.

  17. For all those that said this article doesn’t belong here, it does it just shows the tremendous kiddish hashem here. This man a pilot flew on Shabbos, which would’ve been chaayiv misa, and hashem gave it to him!

  18. Please think for a moment..if throwing rocks at drivers on Shabbos is absolutely wrong, a chilul Hashem and certainly going to be merachek many many more than just the driver..Al achas kamo vekamo throwing rocks at a levayeh..which is what these stupid comments are!! Hotz rachmunus of Der Ribono shel oiloms kinder in shveigt!!

    • rocks the were prepared before shabbos
      a certain purpose is not muktzah(O’C 308
      now what is the chillel hashem. when standing up for
      kvod shomayim its kiddush hashem. see mes shabbos what happens when
      ignoring oivrei aveirah

      • Must be nice to make up your own halachos. Hey, maybe you’ll get really lucky and kill someone with one of your rocks. Then you can celebrate with your NK and Hamas role models.

        • we’re dealing with muktzah…did you look it up?
          we stated halochos…did you check mesectes shabbos
          unbelievable how big shoiteh one can become

          • Jewish kids have been killed by rocks thrown at vehicles. What kind of rasha endorses that? You’re insane.

  19. Please think for a moment..if throwing rocks at drivers on Shabbos is absolutely wrong, a chilul Hashem and certainly going to be merachek many many more than just the driver..Al achas kamo vekamo throwing rocks at a levayeh..which is what these stupid comments are!! Hotz rachmunus of Der Ribono shel oiloms kinder in shveigt!!

  20. He was not a Rabbi, he was a Reform minister, or spiritual leader. Actually a spiritual misleader.

  21. No body threw rocks on this reform rabbit on shabbos. He is not one of us. He is mesader gay marriages as well as inter marriages. The reform caused the holocaust in Europe. Read up how they destroyed so many Yiddisha neshomas. The reform movement began in Berlin and that’s where the Nazi movement began. Wake up.

  22. No one here is C”V rejoicing over the death over another human being; but a “Reform” “rabbi” is not a rabbi.

    If Matzav won’t remove the article;

    at least, please remove the word “Rabbi” from the article, and please change the word “Saturday” to “Shabbos.”

    Thank you.

  23. Several years ago the Dolphinarium disco in Tel Aviv was bombed on Friday night, killing more than 21 people. Of course had they been shomer Shabbos they wouldn’t have been there and wouldn’t have lost their lives, but that doesn’t make it any less of a tragedy. Same thing here – while we are not machshiv the learning or title of reform and conservative Rabbis, they are human beings and the loss of life is tragic for them and their loved ones.

    • chote and machte hurabim is very severe sin . Also so where does the posik ‘b’avod reshoim rina’ apply?

      • chote and machte hurabim is very severe sin.
        Nobody said otherwise.

        Also so where does the posik ‘b’avod reshoim rina’ apply?
        Ahmadinejad, Abbas and their ilk – I’m confident they qualify for this Mishlei. A reform clergyman? Please show me a rov who applies this Mishlei to them.

        • please see pasuk.. it applies to rishay yisroel’
          where does ‘lo sachmol velo sachase alof apply?! ajmandeen?!.
          see shoftim.. it applies to maysus andu madiach….
          by trying to zechus on him you showing your ‘lo bechinom hulach
          hazarzir eitzel huoiref ala mipney shehu mino’, so no wonder.
          ‘show me a rov’…’halo tinuk shel bais rabonn’ know this

          • Ignorance, name-calling, amaratzus, refusing to ask someone who knows better with an arrogant and ridiculous “tinok” comment – what a winner you are. What absolute arrogance to think you can decide who qualifies as a rosha deserving of death.
            “Mipnay shehu minoi” – how dare you. I may reconsider at a later point, but right now I am most definitely NOT mochel you for your outrageous comment ( I doubt a self-righteous achzor like you cares, anyway). I’d give you a brocha that you should be judged by G-d as you judge others, but that isn’t my style, unlike you who celebrate the death of reform clergy.

          • “yankel” is a faker and a troll who looks to provoke. He has pulled this garbage with his fake poor grammar and snarling name-calling elsewhere for many years. He has many, many fake screen-names that he uses to harass those who aren’t familiar with him. He is an ignorant boor who probably Googles a few psukim and pshatim in an attempt to sound learned, but is actually a stunning ignoramus who would probably have difficulty reading the aleph-bais in Rashi script.
            Pay this troll the attention he deserves – none whatsoever, not even a response.

          • psss, i stepped on some toes it really hurts…nebech..name calling? i see i dont have a exclusive..your pretty good too
            even better. iwe refered where , your afraid too look up?

          • i judge? this is a clear halacha as day. we gave you plenty reference. this avi avos hatime(thats what S’U labeles such maisis umadiach..
            see NYT article) he was judged by shass, Shulcen Urechall over. does every one have too see your ignorance of g-ds law?

          • ” i stepped on some toes it really hurts”
            Question: What kind of behaima tries to anger someone else with no provocation and then gloats about doing so? And instead of worrying about asking mechila for making a lying, disgusting statement gloats some more?
            A: A behaima whose learning is worthless and whose observance of mitzvos is worthless.

            Remind me: What does it say concerning one who keeps the entire Torah except for one mitzva that he deliberately violates? This troll is no better than the most egregious reform/conservative transgressor, with one big difference being that they’re more pleasant to be around.

          • we will leave you with a closing verse ‘al taneh kesul keuvalto pen tishvah lo gam atta’ (this i got from , not google or BING, but from EXPLORER, I meah Mishli (Proverbs to you christians)

        • i have yet to wait with a single intelligent refutation from shass bavli, jewish code of law. mah spelin..is irelawent, excuse, irrelevent

        • by the way…what you keep on sphooing, did YOU ask anybody, mr ‘talmud chachom’? . by the way, mah spellin,googeling, trolling,harrassing,ignorant boor fake screen names and other stupidity you mention does not change the jewish law. a maisis umadiach is MITZVOH LISNOSO’. EVEN ONE AEIRAH one does lehachis see prek arvei psochim (this
          i got from BING not GOOGLE)

          • Here is a little bit of halachik trivia I learned many years ago: When is learning not only not a mitzva but an avaira? The answer is when the learning is done with the intention of misusing it, e.g. “showing off”, misinterpreting halocha, etc.

            “yankel” translates to “Jack”, which is somewhat appropriate for this braying Jack …rabbit.
            This faker / amaretz is busy Googling a pitiful few learned words to post together with his sub-first-grade fake grammar, but that minimal learning he’s doing may just end up sending him to a destination that will permit him to look up and see Aaron Panken at a higher level in the olam ha’emes.

            Let this pathetic ignoramus keep drooling on his keyboard. The quality and worthiness of his learning is exceeded only by that of his middos. How fortunate he is that a shoteh is patur from so many things.

  24. The reform rabbits are worse than Abbas and ahamadgen. They may destroy Jews physically but the reform rabbits destroy Jews spiritually, which is far worse. The other night a caller to zev brenner show called in as they had a leader of the toeiva temple and stated that male gays should commit suicide if they refuse to do tsuvah and stop their evil behavior. This way they would sin less and not be in gehinim that long. I think reform rabbits should commit suicide if they can’t stop sinning

  25. The real villains in the Reform picture were the original leading founders of the movement. They had been born into and had been raised up in communities of the Torah world of that era. So they had been taught and had seen the truth of Torah, and yet they rebelled against it, with their claims of Kefira – their claims of apostasy that the Torah had to be “brought up to date” and “reformed.” They thus developed this new religion — as they discarded vast sections of Torah, in many ways what they made was really a new NON-religion — that they called “Reform Judaism” or “Progressive Judaism.”

    So, again, the original leading founders were the terrible villains. However, the people, who were impressed by them and thought that they espoused a valid way of things and thus joined their congregations and followed their directives, understandably, do not bear anywhere near at all the same level of blame for the wrongs being done. And certainly, certainly, certainly, the subsequent generations of those people, bear virtually no blame at all. They were born into families where their parents and even their grandparents were adherents of the Reform way, and they were thus raised and educated in their local Reform congregational centers. So the only “Judaism” that was ever presented and taught to them and the only “Judaism” that they thus even know about is the one with the “Reform” label! The words “Orthodox Judaism” — they may have never even heard such a phrase! Even if they did hear it, and even if there actually was an Orthodox Shul in their town, it had as much relevance to them as something out from the Planet Mars or the Planet Uranus! So it is completely understandable that, Reform is what they are going to follow and they certainly cannot be considered “bad” for doing that!

    Even those of them who became rabbis, on the contrary, there is evidently a good side in them in that they choose (what to them appeared to be) a “spiritual” career and pursued for it advanced education in that realm. Unfortunately for them though, advanced Jewish learning DID NOT mean going to Mir or Brisk or Lakewood or Aish HaTorah or Ohr Somayach! For them, advanced Jewish learning meant, L’Havdil, going to the higher advanced step in THEIR school system, which is one of the four campuses of the Hebrew Union College!

  26. One less enemy of the jewish nation. Once all these reformers disappear the world will be s better place.

      • non-religious jews ass opposed to those who are maisi and madiach,deny torah , led millions of jews ashtray and bring mides hadin on klall yisroel(see talmud shabbbos)…mock the torah and diety etc etc are 2 DIFFERENT things

      • nazi slaughterd religious jews too. nazis put them in ovens alive. nazis put them in buildings , preferable shuls, and burned them alive etc .dont trivalize nazi
        atrocities. you pea size brains like all non-yidden jump with ‘nazis, nazis’

        • You are an abomination, Nazi. A troll, and an evil one who has no boundaries in wishing death upon other Jews. An amaretz who knows minimal halacha and learning, an arrogant baal gaiva who thinks he knows everything and needs not ask anybody anything, and a rasha who violates halacha as well as lacking any semblance of humanity.

          • at least your a ‘kosher’ animal. you keep chewing your cud.
            (see 5/7 6:00 pm and on). still didnt refute anything besides impressive list of expert adjectives .but, still, dont wish bad on
            you unless we find you a maisis and madiach then the oinesh applies to you too.

          • Having been privileged to have shaiches with and learn from Rav Belsky and Rav Yaakov Kaminetzky zt”l I know how a talmid chacham speaks and acts.
            I refuse to speak or argue even one word of learning with this rasha who perverts the Torah by ignoring the halachos he doesn’t like, steps upon it to boost himself for his own gaava, and attempts to bully others with it, as he has many times over the years, with his snarling, hate-filled, inarticulate posts.
            Refutation would be simple, but this amaretz has besmirched the Torah sufficiently with his opposite-of-leshem-shomayim deliberate provocation and wishes of death to other Jews.

            I deeply regret ever having spoken to this rasha in anything other than the contemptuous manner he deserves. To reiterate, he is an amaretz, ignoramous, baal ga’ava, faker, who enjoys provoking others with his outrageous name calling. If he was would try this type of behavior in person, he’d get the beating he richly deserves, so this coward spews his festering hatred from behind an anonymous keyboard. He is a notorious troll who has spent years trying to hurt others (and sometimes succeeding, unfortunately) with his myriad screen names. Note how the quality of his spelling and grammar vary from post to post – the “bad English” is also part of the act.

            To reiterate, I am not mochel you, I hope the many others you’ve attacked are not mochel you, and we have no chiyuv to do so since you’ve never done teshuva, stopped, or apologized despite several Yom Kippurs having passed. Any family that’s stuck with an apikores like you must have serious transgressions to atone for – I assume they’d avoid a hate-filled psycho like you as much as possible.

            The only effective way to combat a bully is to fight back. Enjoy provoking people by calling names? Well, back at you, rasha – with the difference being that every name you’ve been called is true.

          • to anonymous(e) 5/9 2:44 PM
            …….see berel 5/0 12:40 PM, yankel 5/7 10:04 pm.
            Now in anonymous(e) 5/7 6:00 pm you say i’m ‘name calling’
            I’m so jealous . you beat me by a mile (understatement)
            i stopped counting. can you explain…i dont know you you dont know me what difference does it make the name. also, why you going overboard in anger, frothing…so why this kasss since me no know you an’ you me…im the koen and i dont kass

      • The reform leaders can all leave this world. They will not be missed. They are destroying civilization. They are misleading their flock to a dead end. We pray they get destroyed as fast as possible along with the missionary leaders and toeiva leaders.

  27. This reform rabbit was also guilty of trying to destroy Torah Judaism in Israel as well. I read in the secular jewish week newspaper how he helped the women off the wall in their disruptions of the holiness of the Kosel. He was evil to the core and what a way to be destroyed. On shabbos kodesh flying a plane. Truly skillah.


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