Friday, August 26, 2016

Can You Hear Me Now? - Part 5 - The State Of Our Disunion!


Background - Tammy Kitzmiller, et al. v. Dover Area School District, et al., Case No.04cv268 - was tried in a bench trial from September 26, 2005 to November 4, 2005 before Judge John E. Jones III. On December 20, 2005 Judge Jones issued his 139-page findings of fact and decision, ruling that the Dover mandate was unconstitutional, and barring intelligent design from being taught in Pennsylvania's Middle District public school science classrooms. He used the phrase " breathtaking inanity" to describe the position of the board of Dover - getting the school involved in this "legal maelstrom".

Judge John E. Jones was appointed to the federal bench by President George Bush in 2002. He is a devout Christian and a Conservative, politically. He was nobody's fool, he knew the damage "religion" can cause - taught by the wrong people, in the wrong setting, for the wrong reasons.

His ruling in summary: Religion has no place in a science classroom!

As an opinionated Orthodox Jew (in case you did not know that), I must believe his decision was a prudent one. Which deity were we going to teach the children about? Inevitably, not the God we believe in. With 90% of the country claiming to be of a Christian denomination, and 80% claiming to believe in the Christian deity, what chance did the Jewish children have in learning about the God of the Jews...the God that led us out of Egypt, with the intent of us becoming the light on to the nations?

"Breathtaking inanity" indeed! ID is not a science, it is a belief system, that the Muslims, for example, want to capitalize on - to kill every man, woman and child that refuses to believe in Allah!

Oh - what damage "religion" - used as a tool of exploitation - can do!

So when "religious" groups or organizations, infiltrate the political arena, we must be very suspicious of their agenda!


We must clinically and critically examine, what exactly are they trying to accomplish? What's good for the goose, is not necessarily good for the gander.

The epic battle that we are experiencing today in the Orthodox Jewish world, is NOT an ideological or theoretical battle. They - would have you believe that. It is clearly about - the falsehoods and damage that rabbis are able to wreak on the masses - if they go unchecked. Not all rabbis, no sirree, but many...even most!

This is not about us believing in the authority of the Torah or the Chazal.

We do or we must!!!

This is about our value system placed in the hands of charlatans, fraudsters, and perverters of the Torah! We can not - should not - must not - believe that because there is no explicit Halacha banning penetration of a child's anus by an adult, therefore it is somehow acceptable in our society!

Certainly - not worrisome enough - to ban that " non-penetrator" from our yeshivas!? And certainly not troubling enough - to keep that "non-penetrator" away from our children!?

My God - the breathtaking inanity - the unmitigated gall - that every single Orthodox Jewish organization did not take out full page ads in the Sunday New York Times - disassociating themselves from the lunatic rabbi, Pinchos Scheinberg, that ruled.....


And what about the fact that Yeshiva Torah Temimah, Lipa Margulies & Yehuda Kolko - under the advisement of the charlatan of our generation - Yisroel Belsky - were instructed not to go to bais din? Does that count for anything? Does it?

What possibly could the motives be - to lobby the state legislature against background checks of every individual in private schools? What on earth can the motives be when rabbis instruct victims of child-rape not to go to the police? What kind of human being could that person or group be? Can they be spokespeople for our religion? Are these hucksters deserving to represent us...speak for us...lobby for our benefit...represent Orthodox Jews and the Torah to the world? They make Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart look like saints!

This battle is for the sanity and minds of Orthodox Jews! This is a battle against the scheming evildoers that have somehow claimed our Judaism as their private dynasty. To enrich themselves, to grasp whatever power that they can get their grubby hands on, whatever money they can squeeze out of Washington, or local government, for their personal agenda!

"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" are the immortal words of Carl Sagan. Is there any evidence that these rabbis care about our children enough - to seriously tackle the sex-abuse issue in our communities? Of course not! It's a charade! Was there any statement at all that the "penetration" psak was an error? Anything? Of course not!

What then are their claims to represent me, you, my children, your children and my community? Because they claim Torah knowledge? So what? Therefore what? Have they demonstrated the capacity to understand simple right and wrong? If our children's safety is up for sale, what else is there for us to trust their judgment on?

Look at the "legal maelstrom" they brought on us across continents!

Can there be anything more perverted than their stand now - against bloggers? What's next? Your freedom? Are you ready to throw that away? Freedom to know what's going on in your childrens' schools - about the people you pay blood-money to - to educate your child? Freedom to know that you are a victim of a fraud called gedolim? So what if it's ugly to see in print!?


It's horrifying to think that anyone can trust these very people - where only a few months ago, Shmuel Kaminetzky urged the victims' parents of Stefan Colmer - NOT TO GO TO THE POLICE!

My God...how insane have we become...that we can't protect our children in any legal way we deem fit without their permission. In other Brooklyn communities, these guys would be "swimming with the fishes".

Don't let anyone ever tell you that you need to stop thinking! Don't dare let anyone dictate to you what you may or may not do to protect your families. If a thief breaks in to the sanctity of your home, and threatens your children and family, do away with them in any fashion you deem appropriate! No rabbinical dispensation needed! If blood is splattered all over the place - so be it! Who says it has to be pretty?

Religion in the hands of hustlers and frauds is dangerous! When lashon hara or mesira takes a front seat over your child's welfare...WATCH OUT! The blogosphere is the new media; raw, unfiltered, and not for the faint of heart. You want cute stories, don't come here. You want the down & dirty, the way I feel in my heart, the pain I experience - about what happened to my Judaism...read my blog. If not...get lost. Nobody forces you to read UOJ.

The blogosphere was able to break the backs of the criminals that endangered every single Jewish child in a yeshiva! That's good enough reason to thank God for the Internet! I do not need any other reason, nor permission from self-professed "scholars". Lives saved! People's lives given a new hope and sense of justice; good enough for me!

Watch out for the people that want to foist their perverted belief system on you.

Religion in the hands of very evil people, can destroy skyscrapers with airplanes!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

300 Orthodox Rabbis Unite To Combat Child Sexual Abuse Epidemic!

Screenshot 2016-08-25 21.25.21

300 Orthodox Rabbis Unite To Combat Child Sexual Abuse Epidemic


In an unprecedented and crucially positive step forward, 300 Orthodox Rabbis signed a proclamation regarding child safety in the Orthodox Jewish community. Synagogues and schools are called upon to adopt certain preventative measures outlined in the document to deter child abuse and child sexual abuse. The Rabbinic signatories consist of member Rabbis of the Orthodox Union (OU), Rabbinical Council of America (RCA) and Yeshiva University (YU).

The proclamation and the complete list of signatories can be viewed here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bz4A_l7qN61RX1lWa3p2RUk2TXc/view?usp=sharing

Some of the proclamation’s prominent signers include: Rabbi Gedalia Dov Schwartz, Av Beth Din, Beth Din of America, Rabbi Mark Dratch, Executive Vice President, RCA, Rabbi Shalom Baum, President, RCA, Rabbi Menachem Genack, CEO, OU Kosher, Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, Executive VP Emeritus, OU, Rabbi Marc Penner, Dean, RIETS, YU, Rabbi Zevulun Charlop, Dean Emeritus, RIETS, YU, Rabbi Yehuda Kelemer, Rabbi, Young Israel of West Hempstead, NY, Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, Rabbi, Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun, and Rabbi Emanuel Feldman, Rabbi Emeritus, Congregation Beth Jacob of Atlanta, GA.

Rabbi Mark Dratch, who assisted in spearheading this initiative, applauds the “overwhelming support” of the signers and appeals to all communities “to implement the policies advocated in this statement.” Rabbi Dr. Leonard Matanky, prior President, RCA, agrees that in addition to creating policies, it is our responsibility to “work to assure that our schools, synagogues and institutions offer safe environments for our children and our families. We must stand up and support all who fight abuse and those who defend the abused.” Underscoring the gravity of the need for reform, he warns, “Our Torah and our future depend on our strength and conviction to place our children first, and to heed the calls of our rabbinic leadership to report abuse to the authorities.”

The proclamation commences by honoring the memories of individuals in the Orthodox Jewish community who tragically committed suicide as a result of enduring child sexual abuse. The gravity of this issue is linked in the proclamation to a passage in the Torah, “Do not stand by while your fellow’s blood is being spilled” (Leviticus 19:16). Prominent signer Rabbi Hershel Billet, Rabbi, Young Israel of Woodmere, succinctly expresses the gravity of the effects of child sexual abuse, stating, “Every sexual abuser is a potential murderer. They destroy the souls of their victims and at times cause the death of their victims.”

The Rabbinic signatories are united in their agreement that sex offenders should face the consequences deemed appropriate by secular authorities, rather than taken care of internally by community leaders. The proclamation stresses, “We condemn attempts to ignore allegations of child sexual abuse. These efforts are harmful, contrary to Jewish law, and immoral. The reporting of reasonable suspicions of all forms of child abuse and neglect directly and promptly to the civil authorities is a requirement of Jewish law.” Exclusive to this proclamation is the clear assertion that, “there is no need for people acting responsibly to seek rabbinic approval prior to reporting.” This declaration is clearly backed by Torah law as clarified by Rabbi Billet.  He notes that, “Since abuse of children is a life threatening crime, we must report immediately. We must trust responsible civil authorities in a just country to be able to separate fact from fiction.”

This proclamation follows a similar Kol Koreh (public proclamation) signed by Rabbinical Judge, Rabbi Shmuel Fuerst along with over 100 haredi Rabbis in August 2015 affirming “that any individual with reasonable basis to suspect child abuse has a religious obligation to promptly notify the secular law enforcement of that information.” Senior haredi halachic authority, Rabbi Dovid Cohen concurred on the Headlines radio program that one should report abuse allegations “directly” to the civil authorities and that it is unnecessary to receive a Rabbi’s prior authorization.

Michael Salamon, PhD, a clinical psychologist and noted expert in this field, asserts, “The longer it takes to report the more time the abuser has to keep abusing and creating alibis. Only trained investigators with proper professional team support (e.g. police, medical, etc.) can investigate. Asking anyone else about reporting just delays or confounds or completely derails a proper investigation. That is why so many abusers have been able to move to different communities and continue to abuse.” Signer Rabbi Yosef Blau, Senior Mashgiach Ruchani, RIETS/YU, emphasizes, “Requiring a victim of sexual abuse to first gain approval from a Rabbi or therapist before reporting the abuse to the authorities is damaging to the victim, whose credibility has been questioned, and hampers the investigation by possibly affecting the description of what occurred.” Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb explains, “Perpetrators of abuse must be made aware that their heinous deeds will result in swift, certain, and severe legal consequences. Only such awareness will deter them from those deeds.”

Rabbi Yosef Blau, clarifies the reason why some Rabbis urge victims to first consult with them. “Rabbis who have been consulted have often used concerns for the image of the community to discourage the victim and his or her family from speaking to the police.” The concept of asking a Rabbi first has no basis in halacha (Jewish law) but rather can be a method of silencing the victims. Furthermore, Dr. Salamon asserts that “Therapists can lose their license if they attempt to ‘investigate.’ Be aware that the overwhelming majority of reports – in the vicinity of 95%, or more – are accurate. It takes a lot for someone to finally come forward and tell someone that they have been abused.” The fear that without Rabbis sifting through allegations there would be a high percentage of false allegations is similarly incorrect. James A. Cohen, associate professor of law at Fordham University School of Law, warns, “Encouraging delay in reporting a crime, particularly a crime against a child, is obstructing justice.”

The rabbis uniting in signing this document also clarify misconceptions that the laws of lashon hara (derogatory speech about another individual) apply when it comes to exposing molesters’ identities. One of the policies the proclamation asks all institutions to adopt is that “members of the community must be made aware when a sex offender moves in to a community.” Rabbi Shmuel Goldin, Senior Rabbi, Ahavath Torah, Englewood, NJ, explains this halachic calculation by saying that, “given the overarching concern for the continued safety of potential victims, such reporting does not fall under the rubric of halachically prohibited speech and tale-bearing.”  Rabbi Billet adds, “It is a mitzvah to expose abusers and a sin to remain silent.” Rabbi Yosef Blau states, “Misuse of halachic concepts such as lashon hara and mesira have protected the abusers and increased the trauma of the victims.”

Another issue that this proclamation confronts typically comes about even after a victim actually reports to the authorities. The abused and his/her family are often ostracized in their communities in multiple ways. The proclamation unambiguously prohibits such behavior, stating, “Regardless of the standing of the abuser, accusers and their family members must be treated in an accepting, nonjudgmental manner so that they feel safe and can therefore speak frankly and fully…Shunning or encouraging social ostracism of victims, their families, or reporters is forbidden.” Rabbi Goldin urges the community to provide strong support to victims, saying, “Too often, those who report such crimes are ostracized by their neighbors. Victims, their families and their supporters who are courageous enough to come forward should be treated with dignity and respect. The bravery they show in sharing the pain of their personal experiences is deserving of honor.”

This proclamation was appropriately released in anticipation of the High Holidays, a time of introspection and communal repentance. Rabbinic signers remorsefully admit, “We recognize in light of past experiences that our community could have responded in more responsible and sensitive ways to help victims and to hold perpetrators accountable.” The proclamation culminates with the final step of repentance: committing oneself to improvement. “Ultimately, it is the halachic and moral obligation of the entire Jewish community, individually and collectively, to do all in our power to safeguard our children by preventing abuse and responding appropriately once instances of abuse have occurred.”

This proclamation, as well as the Kol Koreh regarding child sexual abuse in the haredi community that was led by Agudath Israel of Chicago Rabbi Shmuel Fuerst and signed by over 100 haredi Rabbis in August 2015, was organized by activist David Nyer, LCSW of Highland Park, NJ. To add your name along with the current signors, please email djn415@aol.com.


כך נראה אברך חרדי ברכבת התחתית של ניו יורק HAREDI YESHIVA STUDENT IN NEW YORK FOR BEIN HAZMANIM



Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The strict Satmar sect issued the decree, seen by The Independent, warning that university education for women is “dangerous”. Written in Yiddish, the decree warns: “It has lately become the new trend that girls and married women are pursuing degrees in special education. Some attend classes and others online. And so we’d like to let their parents know that it is against the Torah.

Ultra-Orthodox rabbis ban women from going to university in case they get ‘dangerous’ secular knowledge

Exclusive: The decree seen by The Independent warns ‘We will be very strict about this. No girls attending our school are allowed to study and get a degree. It is dangerous. Girls who will not abide will be forced to leave our school’

Ultra-Orthodox Jewish rabbis have banned women from going to university, The Independent has learned.

The strict Satmar sect issued the decree, seen by The Independent, warning that university education for women is “dangerous”. Written in Yiddish, the decree warns: “It has lately become the new trend that girls and married women are pursuing degrees in special education. Some attend classes and others online. And so we’d like to let their parents know that it is against the Torah.

“We will be very strict about this. No girls attending our school are allowed to study and get a degree. It is dangerous. Girls who will not abide will be forced to leave our school. Also, we will not give any jobs or teaching position in the school to girls who’ve been to college or have a degree.

"We have to keep our school safe and we can’t allow any secular influences in our holy environment. It is against the base upon which our Mosed was built.”


The decree was issued from the sect’s base in New York and will apply to followers of the faith group around the world.

Ultra-Orthodox Jews follow a pre-enlightenment interpretation of traditional Judaism and discourage interaction with the modern or secular world. Men wear 19th century Eastern European dress including long black coats and black hats, while married women must dress modestly and cover their hair.
The Board of Deputies of British Jews estimates that there are around 30,000 strictly Orthodox Jews living in the UK, of which Satmar is the largest sect.

Last year, it emerged that some ultra-Orthodox Jews in north London had banned women from driving, citing concerns that it was immodest for them to do so.

It was condemned by Dr Sharon Weiss-Greenberg, Executive Director of the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance, who told The Independent the decree would “force” people to stay in their communities.  “The Satmar community chooses to live in an isolationist enclave. They believe that the secular elements of the world would tarnish the lives and beliefs of those who consider themselves to be religious.

“There are probably other factors at play, but, ultimately, the results are devastating. Because people from similar communities are not provided with a foundational primary education, they cannot pursue higher education nor careers. When one does not have access to education, career opportunities are out of reach. It forces one to stay within the community as everyone's personal lives are tied up with their professional lives as well.”

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Shamir was accused of multiple counts of indecent assault, rape, having sexual relations with a client and other charges...

Therapist charged with sex crimes against three sisters

NLP practitioner denies series of offenses, including against a minor

Alon Shamir, a 50-year-old therapist, is escorted by prison service guards at the District court as he arrives for a court hearing in Jerusalem on August 7, 2016, (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Alon Shamir, a 50-year-old therapist, is escorted by prison service guards at the District court as he arrives for a court hearing in Jerusalem on August 7, 2016.

A neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) therapist pleaded innocent Sunday to charges that he raped three sisters and committed other sexual offenses with them.

Alon Shamir, 50, was arrested two weeks ago and was indicted Sunday in the Jerusalem District Court. He was remanded in custody based on the prosecution’s claim that he may obstruct proceedings if freed.

The indictment alleged that Shamir was very close to the sisters’ family before and during the period of the alleged abuse.

Shamir’s alleged acts were only revealed in 2015 when the sisters spoke with each other about their experiences.

Shamir began working as a guided imagery therapist in 2006 and began treating the eldest sister that same year, when she was 17 years old.

In 2013 he also qualified as an NLP therapist. In 2014 he began treating the second sister and in 2015 the third sister also came to him for therapy.

Today the sisters are aged 20, 25 and 27.

He would meet with his clients in various locations including in his home, in public parks, and in his car.

Shamir was accused of multiple counts of indecent assault, rape, having sexual relations with a client and other charges.

“The indictment itself raises many questions and issues,” Shamir’s lawyer, Shiran Golbary, said in a statement. “This is an innocent man and we are certain that after we have read and gone through the appropriate material matters will become clear.”

There is no scientific evidence to support NLP therapy, and is referred to as “pseudoscience” by experts. Guided imagery therapy was once considered an alternative therapy but is now finding some scientific support.

Shamir was a regular contributor to the Srugim website, offering tips on health and lifestyle.

Friday, August 19, 2016

"A society that refuses to rally against its own criminals at least with same roar as it rallies against other sectors of society is indeed doing a lot of harm to itself."

The Hasidic teachers in court, Tel Aviv, August 2, 2016.

It’s Time for the ultra-Orthodox Community to Tackle Sex Abuse Head-on

A society that refuses to rally against its own criminals at least with same roar as it rallies against other sectors of society is indeed doing a lot of harm to itself.   

Last week in a bold and unprecedented move, Israel’s Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau penned an open letter to Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) educators cautioning them to “deal seriously” with instances of child abuse that have been reported at educational institutions and in some homes. “Burying our heads in the sand is not the answer to these difficult and painful issues,” Lau wrote, urging members of the community to take responsibility for the atrocities.

Lau’s letter came in the wake of a report that as many as six teachers from a Hasidic school in Tel Aviv have been charged with abusing almost two dozen preschool and elementary school students. This is by no means an isolated incident: In the last few months at least three Israeli Torah scholars have been accused of sexually abusing women and girls, and in two of these cases the victims involved close members of the perpetrators’ families.

To make matters worse, such abuse within the ultra-Orthodox community has not been confined to Israel. Similar abuse cases, in which rabbis preyed on naïve young women, have been reported in the United States and the United Kingdom, while Australia has established a royal commission to investigate why a school had concealed the abuse of its students for 20 years. We know about these cases because the authorities have managed to prosecute and punish these criminals. There are other cases where offenders have evaded punishment by exploiting the Law of Return and escaping to Israel. Sadly, there are some rabbinical miscreants who not only go unpunished – they continue to occupy their pulpits owing to the victims refusing to press charges and the communities that wish to sweep such allegations under the rug.

This shocking situation obviously does not mean that the ultra-Orthodox community is uniquely guilty of sexual abuse. A community as large and diverse as this one surely deserves the presumption that most of its adherents are decent individuals who strictly uphold religious law. Indeed, the overwhelming majority frowns upon any sexual impropriety, and barriers are set up to avoid such eventualities. Men and women are rarely on a first name basis and meetings between the sexes are always held with open doors to prevent any hint of intimacy. Children, from a young age are not placed in close confines with relatives of their extended families of the opposite sex, and religious teachers are trained to spot and report suspicious signs of child abuse.

The problem is that the community often fails to report and publicly protest crimes such as child and sexual abuse – a failure that may be traced to Haredi culture. From a young age, the Haredi child is taught that emunat hakhamim, belief in Torah sages and rabbis, is such an important principle that it renders many sages infallible in their eyes. They are also familiar with the dictum that the Torah serves as an antidote to one’s evil inclination. These combined beliefs place Haredi children in a double bind, so that not only are their teachers “incapable” of erring, they have also been “immunized” from committing evil acts.

Given such a framework, what is a Haredi child (or naive adult) with personal knowledge of sexual crimes meant to think when he knows the perpetrators are Torah scholars? How can he contemplate that his teachers or mentors are sexual deviants? And if these perpetrators are so evil, why is it only the Chief Rabbinate that reacts? The only body that counts within this community is the Council of Torah Sages; while it regularly calls for mass protests when it feels its religious lifestyle is under threat, the council has remained eerily silent on the subject of abuse. How are these children to know that such actions are intolerable and that any Torah taught by such offenders is worth very little?

Sadly, they probably won’t. A child growing up in an insular Haredi neighborhood will learn by the ever-present posters he sees, and by the demonstrations he attends, that sexual deviancy is not all that important. It certainly does not trump the issue of dead bones being exhumed to make way for a highway or hospital. It is no more important than secular Jews wishing to enjoy themselves at the cinema on a Friday night, and is probably no less evil than a Haredi traitor who dares put on an army uniform.

In such an environment, why should there be any incentive to report sexual offenses? This is especially true where reporting comes at a cost: whistleblowers and victims are keenly aware that any exposure severely harms their own and their progeny’s marriage prospects. Is it any wonder then that abuse continues as long as it does until one courageous man or woman has the guts to go to the police?

Unfortunately, this situation is not mitigated by the argument that the Haredi sector’s individual members and organizations have done much to benefit society as a whole. And yet a society that ignores its own internal problems, that refuses to rally against its own criminals at least with same roar as it rallies against other sectors of society, and that steadfastly conceals its misdeeds, is indeed doing a lot of harm to itself.

If the Haredi community in Israel and abroad is to reclaim the public’s trust it must shun all acts of sexual abuse. It must act seriously and it must act now. The time has come for the community to demonstrate to itself as well as to others that there is zero tolerance for harming the sexual integrity of anyone created in G-d’s image, especially children.

David Fachler has a Masters in Law from South Africa (LLM) and a Masters in Contemporary Jewry from Hebrew University, Jerusalem (MA). He is contactable at davidfachler@yahoo.com.

read more: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.737652


Thursday, August 18, 2016

"This is my response to Rabbi Wallerstein, of Ohr Naava, after his recent video. It was horrifying for me to listen to and watch. Here are my thoughts about it, after I've had a chance to calm down and try my best not to allow myself to experience re-traumatization..."

News Feed

This is my response to Rabbi Wallerstein, of Ohr Naava, after his recent video. It was horrifying for me to listen to and watch. Here are my thoughts about it, after I've had a chance to calm down and try my best not to allow myself to experience re-traumatization. 

1) Belittling victims – Your tone is dismissive, disrespectful, and insulting to all victims and survivors of trauma, abuse, or otherwise. The theatrical way in which you expressed your thoughts was totally uncalled for. You should know better!

a. If you are going to discuss this topic, understand that your words will affect many sensitive people who are most vulnerable. Please seek professional guidance in the future before attempting to address this population. Being a rabbi, does not qualify one to discuss this topic without proper training. Qualified individuals spend countless hours of training and doing research to understand the impact of trauma and the brain and how best to address it. 

b. Validating the daily struggle that one goes through after trauma, is paramount to discussing the issue.

2) The analogy of the holocaust is a chutzpa for obvious reasons.

  Among other reasons, the Jews were being persecuted by anti-Semites intent on annihilating them for no other reason than being Jewish – simple hatred. The atrocities of the holocaust are acknowledged by all. I, and other survivors of abuse, on the other hand, are victimized by people who are meant to love us and then, our perpetrators are protected, again, by people who we are taught to trust. We, as a community, have a problem. Until we acknowledge that we are victims of abuse, we can’t be survivors. You are stopping us from being survivors.

a. As a granddaughter of a survivor of Auschwitz, I’ve witnessed my Bubby cry and grapple with the trauma of being a victim. It is a daily struggle for her; however, throughout, she remains a survivor, upholding the Torah, without diminishing idea that she was, and remains, a victim of the Nazi’s atrocities. 

b. Being a survivor does not mean that you can’t discuss the perpetrators, point your finger at them, and hold them accountable. Look at Elie Weisel.

c. We can, and will continue, to point fingers at those who have committed the crimes and atrocities, while saying “never again.”

3) The basic fundamentals of trauma psychology are to acknowledge what you have been through, and then attempt to heal. By you refusing to acknowledge and validate the hardships that victims have been through, you are not allowing them to heal and become survivors. 

a. I personally run a support group for women survivors of child sexual abuse. There was discussion about your video in the group. In short, you have re-traumatized many of us, and have caused more damage than good.

b. Healing requires comfort and validation. Pointing fingers at those who abused us is entirely necessary. Aside from it being a part of the healing process, it also ensures - in a deterrent kind of way- that the person in question, and others, do not repeat those crimes.



"....One such famous rabbi — let’s call him the Zumba Rabbi — is Rabbi Zecharia Wallerstein, the founder of Ohr Naava, a Torah center for women and girls, ostensibly for those who are at risk. Rabbi Wallerstein, a true tzadik bestowed with unparalleled wisdom by God, uses his pulpit, err stripper’s pole, to preach to women about sexism and racism, condoning both.

That is exactly what he did last summer when he took the Orthodox world by storm, declaring that Zumba, a dance fitness program that has been the latest craze in gyms across the U.S., is for monkeys in the jungle. Zumba, whose kosher version for kosher women was recently reported in the Wall Street Journal, lure modest women into a trap, sometimes leading to divorce, loss of one’s children, or worst yet, prostitution, Rabbi Wallerstein said.

In this video (beginning at around 39 minutes), Wallerstein suggests that women who shake their hips in kosher Zumba and slide up and down the pole in pole dancing classes will inevitably end up in a gentleman’s club in Times Square, giving lap dances to animals.

His pearls of wisdom, which include referring to Latin singers as animals, really resonated with Orthodox women. We are all a bunch of racist and sexist animals who love losing our kids and our souls to Zumba moves."


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Who's In Charge?

Who's In Charge?

by Rabbi Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz - The Yiddishe Licht - June 8, 1923

לא תתגודדו לא תעשו אגודות אגודות - Tractate Yibamos - folio 14

In regard to the question – “Who's in charge?”, we have paid dearly more than once.

In the very early history of the Jewish nation, when our people were in their developmental period, this question of: “Who is in charge” was the one that hindered our further development, and led to our development as a Jewish people. This was after King Solomon died and his son, Rehoboam, was supposed to become king. Then Jeroboam ben Joash went and tore away ten tribes and founded the Kingdom of Ephraim. And according to the Midrash's explanation, it was not a matter of something different, but about the question of “Who Is In Charge.”

The Midrash intends to say with this, that there was no question of principle, or that he wanted to establish a more democratic government, or that he wanted to convince the people, and also not because he wanted to have a different government. No! All of this was no more than to fling sand in the eyes of the people, and in truth, it was only about “Who Is In Charge”. And the chasing after kavod or power of one person, or at most, from a small group of people.

This cost us dearly.

Here, in the breaking-up; when the Kingdom of Ephraim separated from the Kingdom of Yehuda, the fate of the Jewish people was sealed, to what in reality, hundreds of years later occurred –- to being chased out of our land.

The same question of “Who Is In Charge” has already cost us much here in this land, and if it will not reach a conclusion as quickly as possible, it will, God forbid, cost us dearly here as well. I mean this in regard to the four organizations of rabbis with whom, in this land, we have been smitten. There were times when we did not have even one, and now, blessed be He, we have four. But since we have a rule that the Jews cannot welcome both "Good Rabbis" and "Dangerous Ones", the four organizations perhaps can be accepted as the Good Rabbis,[or] perhaps the four "agudas" are possibly worse for us than nothing, considered like the "Dangerous Rabbis".

And if we want to be entirely honest and without any bias, and examine the reason that led to this, that we should now have four organizations of rabbis instead of one, we absolutely cannot find any serious reason that could have led to this. For American Jewry’s tragic division, when there are no principle oppositions, when there is no real difference of opinions among the four organizations, the question is "Yesodei Hadaas"... the foundation of common sense and knowledge. Is not one of the requirements of our religion, "Yesodei Hadaas" the foundations of common sense, not now found nebach even in the smallest tradition of Klal Yisroel?

It is not a question of Orthodoxy, Conservatism and Reform, which must be divided into more camps. It is no more nor less, regrettably, and regrettably once again, about the question” “Who Is In Charge?”

It is sad that one of our own people should find it necessary to accuse rabbis, and among them four elder sages and greats, and I, with such a humble motive in many ways, would generally consider it a chutzpah.

But I think that such a chutzpah is in the correct place, and it is, in general, not from the category of "az panim l'gehinom" but rather separate from the rule, or as chasidim call it "az l'kedusha", brazenness for the sake of holiness, and according to this chasidic lore, is not only not a sin --- it is a good thing, the brazenness of evil, [displayed by the various rabbis], from which, regrettably, we have so much in this land, and thereby gives me the freedom to criticize the behavior of the rabbis for making four agudas or separate divided organizations.

And I openly accuse the rabbis for their handling of this matter this way, dominated by their own small personal interests. [See the Markevet Hamishna in the foreword of the Rambam]

It is like making two Torahs from one Torah. One builds and one destroys...

And I ask the rabbis: can you take upon yourselves the great responsibility that your small interests might, God forbid, cause the entire Judaism to collapse?

And when sometimes you sit by yourself and think about the destruction of Jewry in this land, does not your conscience plague you, that you alone are mostly guilty of this destruction, at the very least in a large part of it? When all the rabbis would be united, it would be easy to unite the entire Orthodox population and miracles could take place.

Dear friends in New York have a completed plan which would be very simple to implement, and it would result in enough money to give decent subsidies for the rabbis, so they would not find it necessary to work with those things that are against the honor of rabbis, and there would be enough money for ritual slaughterers, so they should not be forced to become lowly creations, and there would still be enough money to support a Talmud Torah and Yeshivas on a grand scale.

But this uniting cannot occur as long as the rabbis are torn into parts, and regrettably, the four organizations are the "Arba Avos Nezikin" and not only destroyers who do damage to all of Yiddishkeit in this land, they are also destroyers who do damage to themselves from a spiritual and territorial standpoint. [See Tosefes Yom Tov Bava Kama Mishna Aleph]

And I give myself permission to ask the rabbis of all sides, will this dire situation remain like this forever? Has not the time arrived for you to put your own personal selfish reckonings to a side, and think about all of Klal Yisroel?

Rabbis! The Jewish people appeal to you! Have pity on the honor of the Torah and the honor of Judaism, most especially on your own honor, the honor of rabbis. Remember how much holiness and respect the title of Rabbi once contained!

Remember that the seat of the Rabbinate is also an inheritance from our holy sages and from the highest heights from the Ribbono Shel Olam Himself with Moshe Rabeinu a"h. Moshe Rabeinu wanted to sacrifice himself for all of Yisroel, and you cannot sacrifice for a foolish fleeting second of kavod, for the respect of the Torah and the entire Judaism?

No, I cannot believe that the spiritual leaders of Judaism have sunk so far! No! And therefore, I appeal to you once more. Do not forget! Do not forget Jewish responsibilities! Do not forget that the present and the future of the Jewish people is in your hands. Do not forget that the eyes of all Klal Yisroel are upon you, and which of you will dare to take on his conscience such a great responsibility?

Rabbis, remember your holy mission, that talmidei chachomim are suppose to bring peace to the world , and see to make peace -- "Hashem oz l'amo yiten, Hashem yivorech es amo b'shalom".

Friday, August 12, 2016

"And who gave the right to these rabbis to turn the Torah into a cash machine?"

In “Das Neutige Operaziya” [The Necessary Operation], published in Dos Yiddishe Licht I (1923): 3-4, Rabbi Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz, the principal of Yeshiva Torah Vodaath, launched a bitter critique of Orthodox life in America, particularly by rabbis.

“In “Das Neutige Operaziya” [The Necessary Operation], published in Dos Yiddishe Licht I (1923): 3-4, Rabbi Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz, the principal of Yeshiva Torah Vodaath, launched a bitter critique of Orthodox life in America, particularly by rabbinical misconduct and malfeasance! ( He was just 37 years of age at the time)

 "I read last week a proclamation from certain rabbis; that was considered by them an important meeting. The outcome of this meeting was that they all agreed to was, that a group of butchers place kosher tags on non-kosher meat!

They warned the Orthodox Jewish community that they need to be cautious as to where they buy their meat. 

They appealed to the various meat packing companies and slaughter houses that they should cease and desist from selling non-kosher meat as kosher!

They determined that 90% of the meat sold from these packing houses is not kosher!

The above is the summary of their of their statement.

Now, If I were to be part of this group of rabbis, I would have been joyful with this statement. But, I am NOT part of this group and while I have respect for the holy rabbinate, it pains me that I must condemn them in no uncertain terms!

Therefore, as I write the truth as it really is, at the very least, where I believe the truth really is to be found, as well as thousands of other sincere Jews. Let it be known - THE SIGNATURE OF GOD IS TRUTH (TORAH) - we must never fear the truth of coming to the fore, the way it really is, without any fear of repercussions.

I want to ask those "rabbis" - which Jews did they warn that they must be careful as to where they buy their meat, to be certain NOT to buy treifas, non-kosher meat?

For those Jews who do not have an ounce of Jewish tradition left in their lives, and intentionally eat non-kosher food, because they tossed their Jewish values out of the window, because for them, it's kosher enough to buy meat anywhere?

These wayward Jews do not need any proclamations from these rabbis, nor will they adhere to any warnings, and in this case perhaps the rabbis are not responsible parties to their misdeeds.

But if these rabbis want to issue warnings and proclamations, they should issue them to the observant Jews, that seek to only eat kosher, but are not that cautious as to where they purchase their food!

These good Jews would not step foot in an establishment that the proprietor is not a person of deep trust, and would have a resident mashgiach (kosher supervisor) on the premises.

But the question still remains --- what exactly did you warn the people against? Why not warn them against the "rabbis" that issue fraudulent kosher certificates? 

Don't you know the ugly truth - that the vast majority of non-kosher food sold to Jews are because of these rabbis issuing fraudulent kosher certificates to these establishments? Why not stand up to them? Are you expecting these Cossack/Communist Jewish slaughterhouses to do the right thing?

Why not stand up to these "rabbis"that toss around kosher certificates everywhere? (for a few dollars).

Why not, once and for all, go after these very rabbis, to whom kosher means absolutely nothing, who certify kosher every forbidden food item?

You will probably respond by saying, that it is impossible for us to create such a firestorm!

But I say, that it is only because of "mesiras nefesh", undying loyalty to the Torah, that kept Judaism vibrant and alive until today!

NEVER - in any time, in any country was it easy to uphold Torah Judaism - but our spiritual leaders and or great and righteous people gave their lives with mesiras nefesh, to destroy the evil in their midst. In fact, all mitzvos that require great sacrifice are the mitzvos that need to be fulfilled.

Unfortunately,the "rabbis" are not willing to sacrifice the slightest,  besides a handful of rabbis.

And these rabbis that are willing to sacrifice themselves are unfortunately in the minority, a minority of a minority.

Besides the true Torah giants of the Jews, all the others are willing to issue fraudulent kosher certificates as much as they can get paid for! And where did these rabbis find the right to create from the entire Torah a cash machine?

Why can't we expect from them what the holy RAMBAM required from the rabbinate, " From Rabbonus, except for certain situations, no money should exchange hands, for the benefit of Judaism."

But here in our country, unfortunately, besides rabbis getting paid for fraudulent kosher certificates, they demand that they receive "speakers fees" when they are asked to speak to children in Hebrew schools (Talmud Torahs) and yeshivas.


Not only are these so-called rabbis not leaders that are suppose to attract the working people, they alienate the good hard working people (baalei batim), because if they are convinced to speak to young children, they speak with "half a mouth", because there's no money in it!

Does it not rock Judaism to it's core, that these hard working Jews that support the yeshivas in every way possible, see that these rabbis DEMAND "speakers fees" for addressing children in yeshivas!


Is there no holiness in anything to these "rabbis"?

Who can possibly understand that these so-called spiritual leaders sold their souls to the "Egel Hazahav" the idolatry of money?

Are you not aware that the way you conduct yourself -- you shame the Torah --which is already at an unbelievable low point in this country?

Are your ears so clogged, your hearts so impurified, that you are incapable of hearing the voice of right and justice - that emanates from the Torah?

But you fool nobody! Among the nations they already speak in derogatory terms about rabbis!

And who is not responsible for this Chilul Hashem if not these rabbis alone, who sold their souls for money?

How much embarrassment must the Jewish people endure from these people -- who are not really rabbis --but just crooked business people!

We must also look at the rabbis who have gone into the wine business.

How much shame, how much degradation, how much desecration of the honor of the Torah lies therein! Rabbis who ought to be the ones to ensure that the laws of the land (Prohibition) are upheld are instead the direct or indirect cause of their violation.
If truth be told, even if wine for ritual purpose were a biblical commandment, the current desecration of God’s name would still not be justified, how much more so that it is only a rabbinic commandment, and it can be fulfilled by using raisin wine! . . . 

Therefore, I beseech you, my brethren, no matter how great a Torah scholar a rabbi is, if he is a cause for the desecration of Heaven, he must be removed from the community.

The Jewish newspapers not to fall victim to these charlatans, they must only accept advertising from legitimate kosher companies.

It is true that a rabbi's job is to clarify Jewish law for our people  --  but when it comes to the questions of the age of the universe, or if humans evolved from animals, or if intermarriage is ever permissible, the secular Jewish press does a "wonderful job" of determining these matters -- they do not ask rabbis -- because they deem these issues more important than whether one needs kosher wine for kiddush.

Even if wine for kiddush was a biblical decree, but since it is on a rabbinical decree, they decided that any wine is good enough, kosher or otherwise.

Everything that I have written here is really not news at all.

The authentic rabbis realize this, and just last Sunday I was informed that a God fearing rabbi came out with anger and force against the those fraudulent rabbis for the fraud they perpetrate on Judaism.

These rabbis' fraudulent kosher certificates on food must be removed from all establishments!

Unfortunately, a darkness has befallen the Jewish nation. We no longer know which certificates of kashruth are authentic and which are not. We have rabbis that bellow out with a pretense of being God fearing, but we can no longer even discern, who is a God fearing rabbi from those that are not, who is honest and who is not, who is trustworthy and who are the ones that have been compromised.

Fellow Jews:  I beseech you, if you have any respect for the Torah whatsoever, and you want to restore honor to the Jewish nation and your own self-respect, which unfortunately has become polluted beyond belief, then bring this situation under control!

Weed out the rotten fruit again and again, DO NOT DELAY --- How great this would be for the Torah! Those rotten apples that continue to be m'chalel shem Shomayim --- YOU MUST EXCOMMUNICATE THEM FROM THE JEWISH NATION!

Only then, the glory of the Torah and the respect for the legitimate rabbinate will the beauty once again shine.

Those God fearing Jews, whose hearts have been moved to do right --- you must show them your respect --- and I ask you to assist them in every holy endeavor --- and together you will strengthen Judaism and our Torah. THE TIME IS NOW --- because our holy laws have been trampled on and degraded to such an extremely low level!"

Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz