This letter was sent to the family of Yosef Kolko’s victim by Rabbi Epstein.

He gave explicit permission for it to be publicized - which I have on my blog Daas Torah blog and on my Scribd account. Rabbi S’ family also approved its publication - Daniel Eidensohn June 4, 2013 Mrs. S... Last week I received a knockout blow from a posek l was talking to: He informed me that you DID indeed have permission to involve the secular authorities to get YAK removed from circulation so that he would not be a menace to society; and that ,for various reasons, I was misled and not given that Information. The news hit me like a thunderclap! My whole world collapsed around me in one second! Here I thought I was upholding the Torah when in fact I was trampling it! Here I thought I was doing something proper- when the reality was that I was being mevazeh a Talmid Chochom muvhak, FALSELY and publicly to boot! Here I thought I was doing a mitzvah - when in truth I was committing a TERRIBLE aveira! And not only a single faceted one but a very multifaceted one. A transgression that is akin not only to tossing a pillow out the window - but to ripping it open and allowing the feathers to fly all over! How many times did I cause Motzie Shem Ra to be spoken, listened to, accepted.... And above all ..... the PAIN, the AGONY I inflicted on you and your family. HOW MUCH PAIN!! How much pain and anguish did l cause you to have to go through! How much pain did I cause you to have to suffer by having people talk about you! How much pain was involved when people – possibly - stopped talking to you! How much pain did I cause by people –possibly - refusing to have their children play/associate with your children! How much pain resulted when your children were not accepted into their schools! How much pain was involved in relocating to a different city - especially under such murky circumstances! How much anguish in thinking about the uncertainty of acceptance In their new community Or to what degree the acceptance would be! ... And to realize that I was the catalyst for this terrible injustice! WHAT CAN I DO?! I cannot turn the clock back! The damage is done -- and it still exists! I cannot undo the pain, the anguish, the despair I caused! This Motzoei Shabbos I went back to the Whispering Pines Shul and - in the same place I transgressed publicly - publicly admitted to the same "oilom" that was there that I wronged THEM, wronged YOU and wronged HaShem. I told them, as I am writing you; that I fully understand that one-cannot "hold live coals in his hand" and not get burned...... I will definitely have to pay the price.... Chazal tell us; "one who suspects innocent people will be physically struck (lokeh begufo)". I am now recuperating from an open heart, double bypass operation that I had to undergo right after Pessach. I have no doubt that -to some degree- my pain and discomfort is due to the heartache I inflicted upon you and your family. I also have no doubt that the future holds more in store for me; I will have to go through that amount of pain you went through because of me. I am planning to work on visualizing, being "metzayar", the anguish you had to be able to FEEL it. Perhaps thereby my atonement will be somewhat diminished. I am writing for you to try to find it in your heart to forgive me. Although the atrocity was enormous it was not done spitefully but was done through a TERRIBLY MISGUIDED sense of direction. .