Tuesday, August 29, 2006



Address: 1296 E. 10th. St.
Brooklyn, N.Y. 11230

Blogger Posek is Yisroel Belsky
506 E. 7th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11218.
(718) 941-0112.

The major advances in medicine, science, electronic technology, information technology and the judgment of history will prove over the next decade or two that fanaticism without intellect can not persevere in Judaism. The utter self destruction of the Arabs by themselves is cause for us to be reflective on the eventual Haredi self-destruction. Ultimately the only ingredient of a suicide bombers' makeup is faith in a myth. Not life, not reality, but belief in their insane leaders and their violent rhetoric, and martyrdom for the greater good or their cause.

If Haredi Judaism can only exist and sustain itself through blind faith and trust in their fanatical leaders, Haredism will collapse over the coming decades. I believe we can expect to see over the next decades the following:

Metziza B'peh will have caused untold amount of deaths and illness in babies subjected to this practice.

Technology will have permeated nearly every home and business via the telephones, computers, radios and other forms of mass communication unimaginable today.

Science will confirm convincingly that the planet Earth is billions of years old and "man" lived 100,000 plus years ago.

History will once again have demonstrated that appeasement of the enemy will put Israel on the brink of destruction. The only option for Israel to survive as a viable Jewish state is to destroy their enemies that threaten their existence.

In order for Judaism to survive it will have to have created a viable Yiddishkeit through yirah m'ahava the love of God through love not fear of a bogeyman, that will punish you for every real, imagined or manufactured sin. As the unequivocal truth of an old universe seeps in to the Haredi mainstream, as the medical evidence will certainly demonstrate that metziza b'peh is a potential danger to the child if the mohel is infected; the Haredi created Judaism, the one that befuddles the truths, the myth of the incompatibility of Torah and science and medicine (selectively), will be exposed as the fraud that it has become.

When very old men or men without any knowledge of the facts, or men who make a very ruthless calculated decision, that it's OK to lose some babies to metziza, than have a government capable of monitoring their rituals, the destruction of emunah to the masses will be geometric. The narrow minded, and the wicked and ignorant will be responsible, only then will it be too late.

Judging by the thousands of e-mails I have received since the Torah Temimah sanctioned molestation of children; who chose viciously to rather hush it up by the Scheinbergs and the Belskys than deal with it, thousands have strayed from the emunah pshuta, that our rabbonim are anshe emes, men of God. Add to the fact that nobody is presently dealing with the problem other than Rabbis Blau and Dratch in a meaningful way, the outrage is explosive! If this keeps up, which it very well may, Haredi Judaism will evaporate as a meaningful form of Judaism as Chabad is disintegrating into the global soup kitchen it has become.

The fascination with UOJ has become unreal. The anger, love, hate......is good, it has made most people passionate. The issues are on the table for the seeing person to see. There are hundreds of Jewish sites, maybe thousands, why come here? Why the dastardly attempt to destroy UOJ? Why permit lashon hara and motzei shem ra, when you're willing to cover for a molester by using a corrupt and evil person and a bogus bais din to issue a hazmana to a person accused of spreading rumors? How evil does one get under the disguise of halacha? How corrupt does one have to be for it to become so transparent that he should be physically removed from his position if necessary? I'm not condoning violence, I'm asking a simple question. HOW CORRUPT IS CORRUPT FOR YOU TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT?

The sad answer is that present Haredi Judaism can not pass self scrutiny. It can survive ONLY in ghettos and Bin-Laden style caves. The doctrine of gedolim infallibility is paramount, no matter how bizarre; that they are willing to destroy you, me, anyone and everyone that does not buy into that notion of incredible stupidity. Even my greatest critics on the historical fact that R' Elchonon chose death over the fear of the treifena medina America, will concede that he did make a mistake. Infallible? Hardly!

So what I've attempted to do, often times in a rude and crude manner, is to make the Torah and the rabbonim transparent. I intentionally write in a manner to create controversy and passion, no regrets whatsoever. How else was I going to capture the attention of hundreds of thousands of comatose Jews. Ani maamin b'emunah shleima, I believe with full faith, that Torah and science is reconcilable, that medicine and ritual practice can be compatible, that the Internet can be used for good and bad, just like money can. Did anyone recently attend an asifa banning the use of money? Yes, we can believe all this and not be an Apikorus!

The untoward facts are that truly observant Jews are decreasing in numbers. Poverty, ignorance, nonsensical and deadly dogma, corrupt leadership, are all contributing factors. Regardless of how many babies are being produced, children and adults DO NOT want to be impoverished intellectually or financially.

The rabbinical terrorists and their suicide bombers plan to destroy your way of life. Do you have the brains and the guts to fight them now or are you willing to see Yiddishkeit self-destruct under the falsehoods and voodoo Judaism led by these Jewish Fascists in beards and black clothing?

Choose life as Rabbi Michoel Ber Weissmandel zt"l did...Judaism is life, the living Torah, not the poisonous distortions of Pinchos Scheinberg and Yisroel Belsky and their gang of Torah perverters!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


Address: 1296 E. 10th. St.
Brooklyn, N.Y. 11230

Blogger Posek is Yisroel Belsky
506 E. 7th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11218.
(718) 941-0112.

Blessed With Children?
By Viva Hammer

The story is told of an Orthodox man who stepped onto a bus in Jerusalem, eight children in tow. The bus driver, frustrated by all the chaos, barked out at him, "Why didn't you just leave half your kids at home?" The man paused and then answered, "I did."

It may seem that the Orthodox have been blessed with high fertility since time immemorial, but, at least in America, this has not always been the case. The latest National Jewish Population Survey data shows that although Orthodox women in their 40s have, on average, double the number of children of their Reform and Conservative counterparts, Jewish women older than 60 have fairly similar family sizes in all three denominations.

This presents a conundrum: Why are both Modern and ultra-Orthodox women who have one or two siblings choosing to have four, six or eight children of their own? And why are they doing so in an era in which all other Jewish women are having fewer children than their mothers?

Interviews with a range of Orthodox women around the world point to a number of possible explanations. Today, not only are Orthodox women more observant than their counterparts in other branches of Judaism, but they also are more observant than their own mothers. This "frumming out" of the younger generation expressed itself in many different ways, but chief among them is raising more children.

Mothers in the yeshiva world told me that they believe a woman's role is to have "baby after baby," just like their husbands' role is to learn "page after page of Gemara." In a novel adaptation of the term used for service in the Temple in Jerusalem, some women said that childbearing has become women's avodah, their "spiritual work." "The more [children] you have, the more your avodah; the more your ego is challenged, the more you're forced to surrender," explained Danielle Zucker, 39, a South African immigrant to the United States and a mother of five. For her, learning to parent a large clan is her service to God, and it makes her a better, more spiritually connected person.

Some emphasize the growing social and economic stability of the American Orthodox community as a catalyst for the Orthodox baby boom. After World War II, American Orthodoxy was made up in good part by Holocaust survivors and immigrants who were, in Leah Fine's words, "mentally, physically, emotionally" weakened by their experiences. Fine, 42, who has lived all her life in Brooklyn, explains that although her mother only had five children, she herself had the "privilege" of raising 10 because "our parents gave us everything."

Growing families today have grandparents to cushion them through rough times; those grandparents often did not have the same comfort when they were young. Becoming the founders of big, thriving families is a triumph for a generation of whom most have lived through some combination of depression, war and mass resettling. Their generosity means that their children can have, in the words of Keren Shahar, 37, who grew up in Manhattan, a "more laid-back attitude" about finances. She believes that in deciding to have her five children, there was less self-asking about "Can we provide for all of them?" She figures that her parents "could always help out."

For some couples, the Holocaust is the touchstone in family-size decisions. "How did the third child come about in our family?" asked Kim Feldman, 35, of Cedarhurst, Long Island. "We wanted to do more than just the minimum in the obligation to procreate, also to replace some of what was lost, because my father is a survivor." For Lynn Stein, a professor of psychology in her 50s, the Holocaust wasn't a direct motivation to bear her 11 children. But as she said, having had lots of children gives her a "good feeling," a means of "getting back at the people who did the genocide."

The question of why more of the Orthodox have responded to the Holocaust by having "replacement" children than the other denominations is a complex one. Orthodoxy was particularly ravaged during World War II, losing all its centers of higher learning, hundreds of Hasidic courts and an entire way of life. Indeed, immediately after the war, American Jewish sociologists predicted that Orthodoxy would disappear. High fertility is a nay-say to both of these threats of imminent death, a reaction not directly relevant to the other denominations.

Backup is a critical linchpin in the Orthodox fertility story. Orthodox communities are geographically tight because members need to be able to walk to synagogue on the Sabbath. This means that a neighbor is more likely to be someone you know well and whose values you share. Women will speak of sharing maternity clothes, equipment and baby sitting with friends, and calling on them to pinch-hit a carpool ride to sports practice.

But the Orthodox community structure to support large families is stronger than these small gestures. After a new baby is born, the family of the newborn will receive meals for a week or two, and the mother may even be able to convalesce at no cost at a maternity "spa." Such an institution runs year round in the Seagate area of Brooklyn. Women come for a week or two after childbirth to rest and bond with their babies without having to tend to the crowd at home, as well.

Tuition at Orthodox day schools is generally lower than at other denominations' schools, and greater assistance is available to those who cannot afford to meet their educational obligations. An intricate web of gemachs — benevolent societies — provides everything from interest-free loans to job training to family counseling. An all-encompassing welfare net makes the Orthodox's risk of bringing children into the world much less than that of the regular American Jewish family.

What of the future? Will the daughters of the dream continue to be inspired by the childbearing ideals that motivated their mothers? Rumblings of change are already in the air, as certain Modern Orthodox parents on Long Island are considering breaking a taboo and moving their children from Jewish day schools to public schools because of mounting tuition bills. Financial constraints are hitting first, but emotional ones are just as important. Zucker said she always fantasized about a big, warm Sabbath table, but she never imagined the bedlam on Sunday night! Another woman said she dreamed of having 10, a minyan, but she has found that "between the ideal and real... you have to have broad shoulders and rings under your eyes." Will the children born of the Orthodox baby boom be prepared to sacrifice as their mothers did?

Everywhere, the message of the outside world seeps in: certainly into the Modern Orthodox enclaves, and even into the right wing. And the message is, only a family that has a couple of children can live a civilized life, as we define it today, with private schooling, extracurricular activities, camp, a year in Israel, college, weddings. Will the Orthodox be part of this civilization, or will they continue to live different kinds of lives — one clan alone crowding out a city bus — even if half of them remain at home?!

Viva Hammer works in the Office of Tax Policy at the U.S. Department of the Treasury and is a research associate at the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute at Brandeis University.

Thursday, August 17, 2006


Address: 1296 E. 10th. St.
Brooklyn, N.Y. 11230


It has recently come to light that the anti-UOJ Blog known as Tuvya is endorsed and encouraged by Rabbi Yisroel Belsky. The rationale for the endorsement is that UOJ is Mevazeh Gedolim and is, therefore, worthy of scorn and contempt. Just for the record, I have made it clear that I do not endorse UOJ’s conduct in that regard and have publicly exhorted him to do Teshuvah. Not only because it is required Halachically but because it will strengthen the campaign and remove an unnecessary distraction.

Notwithstanding the above, I believe Rabbi Yisroel Belsky’s conduct in this entire affair needs to be carefully examined.

By way of preface, the Chazon Ish writes that when it comes to examining the conduct of Gedolei Yisroel there is no Issur of Loshon Horoh. The Chazon Ish explains that when it comes to Gedolei Yisroel, Klal Yisroel needs its Gedolim just like an ordinary individual might need a plumber or a tailor. Just like Lashon Harah is Muttar Litoleles when discussing a tradesman so too it is Muttar when examining the conduct of Gedolim. In other words, if somebody otherwise reputed to be a Gadol is behaving inappropriately, Klal Yisroel has a need to know since it affects his status as a Gadol and thus how the Klal should treat him. There is certainly no shortage of examples of people who one part of Klal Yisroel revered as a Gadol whereas others did not and were not shy in stating that. Such conduct is not only permitted but required, since the failure to advise that someone is not considered a Gadol will inevitably result in people following his erroneous path.

As far as the standard by which we are supposed to judge our Gedolim and Rabbeim, this is set forth in the well known Halacha with respect to a Rav She-eino Hugoon (A Rabbi who is deemed unfit and one is not permitted to learn Torah from him), Im Harav Domeh Limalach Hashem Tzevakos Tivakshoo Toirah Mipeehoo V’im Lav Al Tivakshoo Toirah Mepeehoo. (If the Rabbi is similar to an angel seek Torah from him but if not do not seek Torah from him.) The analogy of a Malach (angel) is explained that a Malach can also be defined as a Shaliach (messenger). A true messenger has no agenda other than fulfilling the mission of his master. If it appears however, that a Rav is pursuing an agenda other than the will of Hashem, be it personal or otherwise, he is considered a Rav She-eino Hugoon and is disqualified from teaching Torah.

Rabbi Belsky is a personal friend of Yehuda Kolko and has been for forty years.

Rabbi Belsky was the Rav in Camp Agudah during Kolko’s tenure there. It is inconceivable that Rabbi Belsky was unaware of the numerous complaints lodged against Kolko during that period. In matter of fact we are aware that other rabbonim are prepared to testify when an action will be brought against Rabbi Belsky in bais din and or in secular court, that they are aware that Rabbi Belsky was informed numerous times that Kolko was molesting children.

Rabbi Belsky was present, although not as a Dayan, during testimony before a Bais Din panel in 1985 against Kolko, and heard the horrific testimony of numerous witnesses recounting how Kolko sexually abused children, all the while protesting that he was unaware of Kolko's behavior. Yet he chose to protect his friend Kolko and participated in the covering up of the many accusations made against Kolko and Margulies resulting in another 20 years of continued slaughter of innocent children.

Rabbi Belsky was present, although not as a Dayan, during testimony before a Bais Din panel in 1985 against Lipa Brenner, and heard the horrific testimony of numerous witnesses. Yet he chose to protect his friend Brenner and actively cover up the abuse of children in our community. When a devastated parent came crying to him several years later and informed Rabbi Belsky that his son was being molested by Brenner, Rabbi Belsky informed the parent in no uncertain terms that the boy was lying and that Brenner was innocent. After the parent was advised by friends to ignore Rabbi Belsky and to go to the police, a sting operation successfully caught Lipa Brenner. Lipa Brenner was charged with 14 counts of sodomy, sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child. The sexual contact was alleged to have been committed over a three-year period until October 1995 (over 10 years after Rabbi Belsky protected this pedophile from prosecution in 1985.) Brenner agreed to plead guilty to one count of sodomy in the third degree, a Class E felony, in exchange for a sentence of five years' probation. Lipa Brenner is now a registered sex offender. Had Rabbi Belsky prevailed, Brenner would still be destroying children’s lives to this very day. Had Belsky not interfered in 1985, numerous children would have been spared a fate worse than death.

In February 2006, Rabbi Belsky sent a Hazmanah to Eli Greenwald for being Motzee Shem Ra on Kolko. When Eli immediately responded in writing that he would appear for a Din Torah before the RCA Bais Din, Rabbi Belsky abruptly dropped the matter.

Rabbi Belsky directed and encouraged the anti-UOJ blog to harass and abuse individuals involved in the campaign against Kolko.

In truth the facts above go way beyond the issue of Rav She-eino Hogun. There is a much more fundamental problem here. The Siman Moovhuk of a Yid is Rachmanim Baishonim and Gomlei Chasodim. When a Jewish child tells horrifying molestation stories how can anybody with a Jewish heart not have Rachmonis on those Kinderlach? How can anybody with a Jewish soul not seek to protect future Jewish children from becoming victims Rachmunu Litzlan?

Rabbi Belsky’s conduct on the issue of child molestation is clearly not based on Halachic considerations. Any Rov who dares state that Halacha condones or protects Kolko or any other molester is nothing less than a Megaleh Ponim BaTorah Shelo Cihalacha Vuluv Neemar Ki Dvar Hashem Buzuh Umitzvusoi Haifar (One who perverts the Torah against Halacha, and upon whom it is said he has abused the name of Hashem and violated his commandments.) There is no greater Chillul Hashem than a Rov perverting Halacha to defend these evil doers. Chas Vesholom to say or even think such a thing.

Rabbi Belsky’s Negius in this situation should have caused him to recuse himself a long time ago as the Halacha requires of a Nogai Bidavar. His Negius has completely clouded his judgment and has caused him to do and say things that are against Halacha, against basic Mentschlichkeit and human decency and against everything that Yiddishkeit holds dear. Rabbi Belsky’s rulings and pronouncements on this matter are null and void, Botul Umevutal K’afra D’arah.

Those who rely on Rabbi Belsky’s rulings on this issue do so at their own peril. As Rav Chaim Brisker said “Nebach an Apikoirus is oich an Apoikurus”

Blindly following perverted manufactured Halacha is not a valid excuse. The Toirah never tells a Yid to stop thinking and as evidenced by many Mitzvos requiring a Yid to have Emunah and the like. Surely we have to listen to Gedoilim and Daas Toirah. Real Gedoilim and real Daas Toirah. Just as surely, the Toirah requires and expects us to be able to tell the difference between those that are real yirei Hashem and those that are not. Rabbi Belsky's conduct in this affair is painfully obvious. He has lost the right to be considered a Rav Umoraah Horoah B'Yisroel.

Thursday, August 10, 2006


Address: 1296 E. 10th. St.
Brooklyn, N.Y. 11230

THE NEW BLOG ADDRESS WILL BE: aunorthodoxjew.blogspot.com, IF WE ARE HACKED!



UOJ has done a tremendous Toivah to Klal Yisroel in exposing the evildoers in our midst and being Mekayaim the Mitzvah Dioiraisah of Ubearta Harah Mikirbecha. His whole campaign would have been Kidai even if he only prevented one Jewish child from being molested. Kol Hamikayaim Nefesh Achas Meyisroel Keiloo Kiyam Oilam Moleh. Nothing is more precious to us than our Heilige Kinderlach. On them Chazal say Al Tigoo Bimisheechoi Ibinveai Al Tareioo, do not touch my anointed ones and to my prophets do no harm, Ailoo Teenokos Shel Bais Rabun these are the children of the house of their teacher (cheder). Some explain this Chazal to mean that every Jewish child has the potential to be Moshiach. How careful must we be then with the development of every child? Where is the collective communal outrage at what has been allowed to go on here? What drug has placed us into such a stupor that nothing seems to wake us up even when the safety of our children is at stake?

This situation is nothing less than Pikuach Nefesh Mamesh and if some “unorthodox” methods were used to wake us up from our slumber so be it. Bimokom Chillul Hashem Ain Cholkin Kovod Lirav. And what a massive Chillul Hashem this has caused. What greater Chillul Hashem can there be than the destruction of our Heilige Kinderlach in the very place they are learning Toira? The secular media talking about us having a “catholic priest problem”? Oi Lieinaim Haroiois Vuznaim Hashomois Es Ailah. And this Chillul Hashem does not stop. Even after all this, Kolko is still allowed to be employed as sports director in Camp Silver Lake (the summer home of Yeshiva & Mesivta Torah Temimah and Lipa Margulies) and hang around in a bathing suit at Lake Compounce surrounded by our Heilige Kinderlach! Once again reported by the secular media.

We are witnessing an unprecedented type of Rishus that is beyond comprehension. Firstly, a Mossad entrusted with the care of Jewish children keeps a man on its staff for over thirty-five years and knowingly enables his destruction of countless Jewish children. This alone defies belief and understanding. But then, even after they are exposed to the entire world for the Rishus they have perpetrated against the Klal, and have caused a Chilul Hashem of untold proportion, they are still Oimid Bimerdum Ibirishum Bichul Hatoikef and insist and causing an even greater Chilul Hashem.

There are no words to explain such conduct.

We as a community must say Dai, enough, no more. Lipa Margulies must be immediately put out of business. This situation has come about because an Am-haaretz has been allowed to run a Yeshiva without Daas Toirah, without Middos and without Seichel. No one is a Baal Habos on the Toirah. Toirah is a valuable keepsake, a Peekudoin which has to be guarded and watched only by people who understand its real value. Those are real Talmeidai Chachomim who are Meyagaia Batorah Lishmah. Our keepsake has been hijacked by an individual who has no appreciation whatsoever for our real values but merely sees the Torah as a means for expanding his business interests, his fame and his glory. The result is before our eyes. Hashchoso of unprecedented proportion. And he has no compunction whatsoever about bringing down the entire Oilam Hatorah and Klal Yisroel together with him because it means nothing to him.

We will not let him do that.

Yeshiva Torah Temimah must be shut down right now. A Mossad that harbors a molester and is causing a massive Chilul Hashem in the process no longer has a right to continue as a Yeshiva. When the Russians tried to introduce secular studies to Volozhin the Netziv shut it down rather than adulterate the Torah. Volozhin, at that time, was the first Yeshiva in Europe, one of the only Yeshivas in existence and was certainly the most central and important Yeshiva in the Oilam Hatorah. Shutting down Volozhin was like shutting the Torah itself Chas Vesholom. But the Gedolei Yisroel felt that if the Torah cannot be learned Kitzoorusuh, Kmoi Shenitnah Biseenai Al Taharoas Hakodesh it’s better to shut it down. Yeshiva Torah Temimah is in that very Matzav right now. It may have done some good over the years, now its time to close its doors. Everybody in Klal Yisroel is Mechooyav to do everything they can to shut down this Moisad immediately. Especially the Talmeidai Chahchomim who are employed there, so they are not Chas Vesholem considered Machzeikei Yidei Oivrei Aveirah.

Oi may haya lanu?



Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Yudi Kolko's Victim Cries..."He Took My Innocence Away’"

He Took My Innocence Away’
By Jennifer Friedlin-The Jewish Week

South Carolina man alleges Brooklyn rabbi sexually abused him 20 years ago; third accuser against Rabbi Kolko and Yeshiva Torah Temimah.
Jennifer Friedlin - Special To The Jewish Week

The alleged molestation did not begin immediately. In fact, it would take at least a year of priming Israel Tsatskis before Rabbi Yehuda Kolko allegedly started to sexually abuse the young boy.

The year was 1986 and Tsatskis, then a sixth grader at Yeshiva and Mesivta Torah Temimah in Flatbush, had suddenly become one of Rabbi Kolko’s favorite students in the school. Rabbi Kolko, then a teacher at the yeshiva, would call Tsatskis out of class to monitor his class or to do small errands, like make photocopies.

The attention felt good.

“I thought I was special because he was taking an interest in me,” Tsatskis recalled recently in a phone conversation.

Over time, however, Rabbi Kolko’s favoritism crossed the line and became abusive, Tsatskis alleges. Tsatskis says the molestation, which included fondling and groping of his genitals, continued until he completed the eighth grade and graduated middle school.

The scars, however, still remain.

“I hate that he took away my innocence. I blame so much on him,” said Tsatskis, a 31-year-old former U.S. Army soldier who lives in South Carolina.

Tsatskis is the third person to bring a lawsuit against Rabbi Kolko and the yeshiva for crimes he allegedly committed in the 1970s and ‘80s. His story took on a new resonance recently when Tsatskis went public in a court filing attaching his name to the claims against Rabbi Kolko; he had been referred to only as John Doe 3.

“The sexual abuse has caused Israel to suffer severe and permanent psychological, emotional and physical injuries and the inability to lead a normal life, as well as attendant economic losses,” according to the complaint. “Plaintiff’s injuries are persistent, permanent and debilitating in nature.”

Although the statute of limitations has expired for both a criminal and civil action, the plaintiffs hope that evidence of an alleged cover-up orchestrated by the head of the school, Rabbi Lipa Margulies, will enable them to proceed with the civil action.

Since the lawsuits were filed in Brooklyn Federal Court, Rabbi Kolko has been put on administrative leave. He has declined to comment on the allegations, while the yeshiva has denied any wrongdoing. Calls to Rabbi Kolko’s lawyer, Robert Mercurio, were not returned.

Recently, Rabbi Kolko was spotted chaperoning campers from Silver Lake Camp, Torah Temimah’s summer camp, at a Connecticut theme park, New York magazine reported this week. Avi Moskowitz, a lawyer for the yeshiva, told the magazine that Rabbi Kolko is not affiliated with the camp, but that “Obviously, the camp has no control over where he goes and what he does.”

Reached for comment Moscowitz told The Jewish Week that “[Rabbi Kolko] did not come on [the camp’s] behalf and wasn’t invited by us.”

Moscowitz maintained that the allegations against the yeshiva are “simply not true.” He added that he believes that the statute of limitations is such that the case should be dismissed.

Tsatskis said he decided to pursue his $10 million lawsuit against the rabbi and the school in order to try and regain a sense of control over the past and to encourage the fervently Orthodox community to which he once belonged to recognize that sexual abuse is a problem in need of attention.

“If the only thing that comes from this case is that the community wakes up and says, ‘this happens here,’ and that they stop it, I’ll be happy,” said Tsatskis.

The Tsatskis’ family ties to Rabbi Margulies go back generations to Hungary, where Israel’s grandfather knew him. So, years ago, when the Tsatskis family was looking for a school for their young son, the grandfather recommended his friend’s yeshiva. Rabbi Kolko was Tsatskis’ first-grade teacher. But the alleged trouble began several years later.

Throughout his early elementary school years, Tsatskis said he was a good student, but a bit of a loner. By sixth grade, he was having more trouble academically and his grades started to slip. His relationship with his parents was also growing strained. At that point Tsatskis says that Rabbi Kolko began taking a personal interest in his life. Tsatskis, meanwhile, started to see Rabbi Kolko as someone he could trust and confide in.

“I didn’t have a bad home or upbringing,” Tsatskis said. “But he was like my father away from home, like a big brother or an uncle. He would tell me I’m special and whenever there was a slight problem in my life he was the first one to take an interest.”

By the time Tsatskis entered the seventh grade, he said that Rabbi Kolko had his total trust. It was then that Rabbi Kolko allegedly began touching the boy inappropriately. Tsatskis said Rabbi Kolko would pull him from class and take him to his private office, where the rabbi would put his hands down the boy’s pants and fondle his genitals. On some occasions, Rabbi Kolko would follow Tsatskis to his private bathroom to “help” him buckle up his pants. Tsatskis said Rabbi Kolko would then grope him.

At the time, Tsatskis said that he had no sense that what Rabbi Kolko was doing was wrong. He blames this largely on the fact that neither the yeshiva nor his parents ever discussed the difference between appropriate and inappropriate sexual behavior.

“My son and daughter know more about which areas are private than I knew when I was 15,” said Tsatskis, referring to his 4-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter. “I felt if this is what he’s doing it must be OK.”

However, by the time he was a teenager, Tsatskis’ behavior was getting more out of control, so much so that a psychologist recommended that the teen undergo intensive therapy. While Tsatskis was in treatment, the truth of the abuse emerged, he said.

Although he felt a sense of relief, Tsatskis said he never fully recovered from the damage of having been abused by a figure of communal authority and personal importance.

“Once I realized that what he did was wrong, my whole life came tumbling down,” said Tsatskis, noting that his parents had a hard time knowing how to deal with their son’s situation.

Because of behavioral problems, Tsatskis bounced around five high schools in four years. Throughout his teen years, he began hanging out with the wrong crowd. His faith in Judaism was shattered.

“If this guy would do this to me and he represents Judaism, then something was really wrong,” said Tsatskis, who is no longer observant.

After high school, Tsatskis said he did a series of odd jobs and bummed around before joining the U.S. Army as a medic at 24 to “get some control back.” That same year he also married a woman he had known from Brooklyn. The couple is now separated.

“I have acquaintances but relationships are hard for me,” Tsatskis said.

In fact, Tsatskis said that he has never felt as good as he did when Rabbi Kolko was showering attention on him. “It was the ultimate high,” Tsatskis said. “I felt important, distinguished from the class.”

He said his pull to Rabbi Kolko has remained so great over the years that he has gone back to Brooklyn on several occasions to try and visit him in an effort to recapture that feeling of importance. However, Tsatskis said that Rabbi Kolko always seems distracted and uninterested in speaking with him.

“I would continuously go back to him and he would reject me,” Tsatskis said. “It’s sort of like a woman in an abusive relationship. Why does she go back? Because she feels special. I long for that special feeling.”

Over the years, Tsatskis said he tried to recapture the feeling through other relationships, but nothing came close to the feeling Rabbi Kolko gave him.

“Throughout my life I needed attention and he filled the gap,” Tsatskis said.

To this day, Tsatskis says he is still confused by what happened and why it made him feel the way he did. If he had the chance, he said he would like to ask Rabbi Kolko, “Why me? What was it about me? Why not any of the other 60 kids?”

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Accused Pedophile Rabbi Still Go-Carting

Accused Pedophile Rabbi Still Go-Carting
Many boys nearby.
By Robert Kolker

New York Magazine

Rabbi Yehuda Kolko continues chaperoning kids. The Orthodox Brooklyn rabbi named in two sexual-abuse lawsuits was spotted on July 20 handing out tickets, driving a go-cart, and making arrangements with security at Lake Compounce, a family theme park in Connecticut that he’d rented out in the past when he worked for a prominent Flatbush yeshiva and its upstate summer camp. A first-grade teacher at Yeshiva Torah Temimah for four decades, Kolko stands accused in civil court of molesting three boys in the seventies and eighties; the charges are too old to make the criminal statute of limitations, but the school and its summer camp, Silver Lake, still suspended Kolko in May. “Everyone was shocked that he showed his face there,” says an eyewitness. “His sons were all around him, making sure no one started anything up.” The yeshiva’s attorney, Avi Moskowitz, maintains that Kolko has nothing to do with Camp Silver Lake and that he was not in charge of the July 20 event. “Obviously, the camp has no control over where he goes and what he does,” Moskowitz says. But sex-abuse plaintiff David Framowitz is confounded: “He’s walking around kids in bathing suits. Nothing has changed. All of those kids are potential victims, and everyone’s been warned.”

Thursday, August 03, 2006


Published With Permission


I was thinking about writing the following for a while and, trust me, it has nothing to do with Tuvya. I know what his agenda is. I believe that it is my responsibility as a person committed to truth to air my thoughts. I hope that you will take my comments in the way that they are intended to be delivered. Please bear with me as this may be long.

The work that you have done to fight molesters is commendable. We need change and parents need to step up to the plate. I don't know if it will ever happen, but I am trying.

I am constantly bothered, though, by the following on your blog (this will not be new to you) and would appreciate a heartfelt response in a non-UOJ manner:

Ridicule of chachomim such as Rav Kaduri, The Baal Shem Tov, others and Kabbalah in general. I did not grow up in a world of Chassidus. Viewing the culture from the outside, it is certainly different than what I am accustomed to. However, some time ago I took up a serious study of Chassidus and Kabbalah in general - both from Jewish and historical sources. My thoughts and views have evolved since then. The Baal Shem Tov was a great leader. We do not know whether some of the stories are true or not, but we do know that his main talmid was the Maggid, a Talmid of the Pnei Yehoshua - a man of great organizational ability. He was a "Litvak" and fell for the Baal Shem. Many other learned individuals did as well. The Baal HaTanya was a major Talmid Chocom who compiled the Shulchan Aruch HaRav - a work of great accomplishment. True, the Gra had many issues with Chassidus - a big theological issue was the machlokes on "tzimtzum" with the Gra rejecting the Chassidic view as heretical and refusing to meet the Baal HaTanya. Also, there were chassidim who engaged in activities that were not sanctioned by their leaders. It is important to note that R' Chaim of Volozhin had a much softer attitude towards chassidim though his Nefesh Hachaim answered the philosophical and kabalistic approach offered by the Baal HaTanya.

One of the points of chassidus that you should like is that it was for the common folk - the leaders understood the people. There was a warmth and closeness that they didn't feel previously. Perhaps some of this is overstated by modern day historians, but apparently the common folk welcomed the movement with open arms. One of the fears that the Misnagdim had was that too much faith in one individual would be harmful. Perhaps we have seen this materialize to some degree today both in the chassidic and Yeshiva world. This doesn't de-legitimize the movement though.

Another point is that Kabbalah predated chassidus and stands independently of the movement. Putting aside the mystical element of Kabbalah, the core of kabbalah deals with the inner meaning of life and Yahadus. Pick up the Sefer Tomer Devorah by the Ramak in which he discusses how to emulate Hashem's thirteen midos. The kabbalists, through a deep understanding of the inner workings of the universe and cosmic reality, strived for a more meaningful existence.

How does this relate to the issue of molestation? Kabbalah discusses the soul, the neshama, at length. When I view the destruction of the soul that the molesters cause to the innocent victims, it causes me much pain. Our connection to G-D is through the soul - spirituality - and the molesters rob our innocent children of their spiritual nourishment. It goes without saying that these poor children are robbed of their emotional and physical growth as well.

It hurts when you disparage Rav Kaduri, etc. I was personally blessed by him and it was an unbelievable experience for me. I am not a big "bracha" person at all - believe me - but being in the presence of these great Tzadikim whose lives are pure, elevated and sanctified is very special indeed. We are not talking about Rabbonim who Chas V'Sholom would cover and enable for child molesters.

You have ridiculed other Rabbonim: I have no problem whatsoever publicly exposing any Rabbi who is complicit in covering up crimes against our children. You know that. But printing a list of "A, B and C Rabbonim was in poor taste - some names even made the list because of relatively minor indiscretions.

I do not believe that commenters using names of individuals (obviously phony aliases) should be allowed. While we all enjoy a quick laugh, it causes embarrassment. This is contradictory in nature to your goal of defending the innocent and weakest amongst us.

Rav Elchonon - Too harsh, even if there is some truth. I understand your disappointment and disillusionment. I really do. But think how Hashem would judge Rav Elchonon. This is what I referred to with the Sefer Tomer Devorah. Mah Hu Chanum... The ability of the kabbalists to try and reach almost G-Dly levels is amazing and, I think that it is important to consider that this is our purpose to judge compassionately even as we deal with all this disappointment, etc.

Language, etc.: Inappropriate language and humor should not be allowed. I understand that there is frustration out there and much of it is well-founded, but as mature adults we need to express ourselves a bit differently in a public forum - just as forcefully, but with different language.

I have written the above because I believe that you are very well-meaning and because I feel that I have gotten to know you a bit. It seems that you do your thing, but I really hope you will consider my words. Your blog would be just as effective and hard hitting without all of the extras that I have pointed out. What you have done is incredible, but, in my opinion, wrong is wrong. My points have nothing to do with the molestation issue. I believe that you are right on and have been correct on all your outings and have even shown tremendous restraint with Yeshivas such as Gerer and YOB.

All the best,

Eli Greenwald

I respectfully encourage readers from all walks of life and beliefs to comment on Eli's thoughts.