Thursday, August 10, 2006




still wonderin said...

UOJ is Dead. Long Live UOJ.

This week a group of enterprising do-gooders successfully outed UOJ, a.k.a. The Un-Orthodox Jew. Unless you’ve been trapped under a rock, or offline, for the last six months, you know that a stark raving blogger has captivated, infuriated, and terrified the frum world and beyond by undertaking a one man holy crusade to crucify those he deemed arrogant, absent powers for allowing a small, but significant, number of child molesters and sex perverts work with and around vulnerable Jewish children in yeshivas, camps, and elsewhere.

To further his cause, this renegade blogger, UOJ, used intimidation, frothing rants, and his personal funds to strike fear into the oligarchy of influence he viewed as having strangled transparency and intellectual honesty in the frum community for more than a generation.

As for UOJ, he was only successful due to his embrace of the unfamiliar, and therefore frightening, technology of blogging. Through his blog, he provided a voice and a platform for those who had been silenced by the specter of public stigma, humiliation, and the not-so-subtle threat of “unnecessary” complications and ostracism when the time to marry off one’s children arrives -- the social gulag of frumkeit.

Outraged by the injustice, UOJ used his cover of anonymity to structure a forum where open ideas, intellectual honesty, and fearless admissions could blossom. Since January, his blog had attracted a growing community of thousands of readers and commentors who used the opportunity UOJ provided to constructively vent against those whose stranglehold on the status quo has stood unchallenged for decades. Yet, there is a dark side to freedom of _expression when coupled with anonymity.

In short order, UOJ's blog became a magnet for the most vile loshon horah, the wildest of unsubstantiated claims, and a virtual cesspool of sniping, bickering, ad hominem attacks, misinformation, and outright sleaze. Some days, and often for weeks on end, it appeared as if every loser in the Jewish nation and beyond had found their way to the UOJ blog to spew vulgar, bitter, and no doubt agenda-driven drivel about all they saw as wrong with all things Jewish.

Without a doubt, by virtue of the fact that UOJ both allowed and in many cases fueled this environment, there is just cause for him to be taken to task.

Indeed, Judaism is a religion that does not condone the use of any means to achieve a particular end. One's actions must be frequently examined to insure they remain well in accordance with halacha, and just as important, common civility.

UOJ frequently crossed this line. He also, willingly or not, allowed himself to be irresponsibly misled by relying on any allegations, even if leveled anonymously. His methods often made it difficult or impossible to truly discern the motivation of the accuser; anonymous email is hardly the way to accurately verify truth and fact.

He is guilty of hubris and a foolish refusal to keep the cause of his mission formost and reverse course as needed. The biggest sin he committed was allowing his ego and raging god-complex to overwhelm the message and to undermine the credibility of those he was so committed to help.

With this said, there is also a valid argument to be made that desperate times call for desperate measures.

To an uncertain degree, our community is overdue for desperate measures. Our excesses in terms of spiritual abuse and the open cynicism of Jews disgusted by the exploitation and trivialization of all that is kadosh in our communities have become too great to ignore.

In recent years, kavod and influence have become the de facto currencies of our most densely populated frum metropolitan communities. As of late, these same communities are as easily characterized for their naked superficiality and neurotic, fetishistic obsession with superstition and the material trappings of religious observance as they are for chesed. The chesed is sincere, but does not successfully counterbalance the darker side of our communities

My feeling has long been that most forms of extremism will eventually find itself wandering into a collision course for a correction. And corrections are not known for being pleasant.

This said, I believe UOJ was that correction, or at the very least, a clear sign that the correction is coming. We can only pat ourselves on the back for having outlived the Nazis for so long. The substance of the communities and societies we so improbably built must ultimately rest on substance; that substance must be revisited and bulked up often.

Many, myself included, feel that huge segments of frum society are running on fumes. There is a hollow, empty wind blowing and the only thing that will stave off our being swept away will be to batten down the hatches of defining who we are, why we’re here, and what our role is. And the answer to none of these questions, as UOJ has forced us to face, is definitely NOT sheltering and enabling predators and perverts through inaction and apathy.

Therefore, while repugnant to many, I don’t believe anyone can truthfully insist that UOJ’s efforts were completely invalidated by his excesses. Since UOJ began his crusade, a lawsuit has been filed against the owner of Yeshiva Torah Temimah and a rebbe accused of serial molestation over the course of 25 years. So far, at least three people have gone on record to level these claims, and twinhe yeshiva owner is being charged in a civil lawsuit for willful negligence among other charges. The damages to be collected run in the tens of millions. It is not out of the question that the plaintiffs will prevail. At this point, the outcome is anyone’s guess, but a guilty verdict would certainly send a constructive and long overdue message.

Furthermore, for these last six months, those who are irresponsible, or might I say wicked enough, to employ, harbor, and justify the activities of perverted individuals who prey on the vulnerable and innocent (and any child or teenager falls into this category), either through physical or psychological abuse were quaking in their boots. One Rasha Yeshiva in particular leapt to action only when threatened, and has since sat back to enjoy the view, as well as the reprieve the UOJ outing has no doubt provided.

For months, the three letters U.O.J. have struck terror into the hearts of those whose stock is a sterling reputation, regardless of how ruthlessly it is attained, to bolster fundraising and their leverage to attract "aleph" students. Such a climate of self-examination, even if precipitated by outside pressure, is healthy.

UOJ is responsible for creating this climate where the weak were finally empowered, the oppressed were finally uplifted, and the silenced were finally vindicated.

Whether those who have unmasked him have succeeded in silencing UOJ remains to be seen. One cannot know how those who feared him most will react from here on. Or if those who flocked to him so readily will continue to do so, now that the jBlogosphere’s Wizard of Oz has been unmasked.

Will people, deciding that the Wizard of UOJ is mere mortal, and hardly their omniscient savior, reject the man and his message and decide to move on?

Most of all, will the good he has done, even if tarnished by crude and vigilante tactics, result in lasting change and certain justice for the abused, oppressed, and silenced of our communities?

I certainly hope so, because his rude, anonymity notwithstanding, the man who we now know is UOJ was onto something. And I fear that those who delight over crippling him may unleash a societal cancer far more lethal that bruised egos and bullet holes in a flawed status quo.

Posted by Still Wonderin' to Un-Orthodox Jew at 8/10/2006 01:28:19 PM

Un-Orthodox Jew said...

To the distinguished olam of Orthodox Jews world-wide....

I understand that the real,fake, phony, menuvel, rasha, sheigetz, goy gamur,evil, rot in Hell, maybe, for sure, possible, probable, can't be, could be, absolutely, positively, disgrace to the Jewish people, uncircumcized, mechallel Shabbos, little pipick, no pipick, skinny, fat, Hitler, Eichmann, Stalin, Spinoza, mevaze gedolim,........you get the drift (all really sent in ),...........will be doing a meet and greet to all his friends and enemies Saturday evening.

If you want to kill him, shoot him, bomb him, shake his hand, cut his hand off, give him a black hat, spit at him, get his autograph, or just want to bring every single whacko to get a real good look at THE NUMBER ONE ENEMY OF HAREDI JUDAISM...


IF YOU SAY "REAL UOJ" at the ticket counter...they will give you a fifty cents discount.

HE'S LOOKING FORWARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...


Dates for Fringe Festival August 2006

SAT 8/12 10pm
SUN 8/13 2:15pm
WED 8/16 3pm
THUR 8/17 5:15pm
SAT 8/19 9:30pm
THUR 8/24 5:45pm

Henry Street Settlement - Recital Hall
466 Grand Street
SUBWAY: F to Delancey, JMG to Essex
BUS: 14A

Is this the place you're referring to?

Anonymous said...

Please e-mail this to everyone.

nachumintheam-Nachum Siegel's radio show. A true kiddush Hashem!


Anonymous said...

It's the most popular t-shirt this summer in camp silver lake!

Anonymous said...

T shirts? We need towels!!!!

steve said...

Although I disagree with your hashkafah and on many issues you bring up, I have to commend you on bringing the molestation and coverup issue to the forefront. I believe that the community has been unfair to you and has judged you too harshly. There is nothing wrong with a man expressing his opinion and with wearing his heart on his sleeve. I think you were very fair in letting your opponents express their views on this blog. You spent countless hours moderating comments and e-mails.I believe that all your efforts in exposing the molestors and their enablers will bring these people down once and for all and will put an end to this shameful chapter in our people's history. I can't wait to see Mondrowitz being brought back in handcuffs and chains. You should be the first one to greet him at the airport. If this is the end of the blog, I wish you good luck and hatzlacha in all your undertakings.

Aaron Twerski said...

A very "honorable" line of items.

David Mandel-CEO OF Ohel said...

Thanks for the info UOJ, we're going to special order some for our next giveaway at our dinner instead of benchers.

Anonymous said...

I am sending Lipa and Yudi complimentary tickets to the show.

Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Lipa & Yudi....

My offer for you to come to bais din is looking really good now..huh?

I'm just warming up!

burnt out lyer ... oops, I mean lawyer said...

Michael Broyde - Scholarly paper on mesirah - 5 views (all favorable to uoj)


Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Say "when" Shea....You are not a youngster anymore, you are of ill-health. Your time to give an accounting to your Maker is drawing close.
What will you tell Him?
The Yodea Machshovos can't be bullshitted!
Say "when" Shea...L'maan Hashem, say when!

Seeking a psak said...

Rabbi UOJ,

Perhaps you can answer this shaila for me. The other rabbis that I asked for a psak referred me to you.

"Can a man learn Torah on the subway or bus when there are immodestly dressed women there?"

Orthodox Attorney said...

Still Wonderin said...............Furthermore, for these last six months, those who are irresponsible, or might I say wicked enough, to employ, harbor, and justify the activities of perverted individuals who prey on the vulnerable and innocent (and any child or teenager falls into this category), either through physical or psychological abuse were quaking in their boots. One "RASHA" YESHIVA in particular leapt to action only when threatened, and has since sat back to enjoy the view, as well as the reprieve the UOJ outing has no doubt provided.

This RASHA YESHIVA will be spending alot of time in court explaining himself under penalty of perjury.

Un-Orthodox Jew said...

To Seeking A Psak...

This shaila is quite simple. It depends on which bungalow colony you frequent.

More details will be forthcoming.

Auto Report World Editors said...

Of course if I was a skeptic, I'd say this was a brilliant guerilla marketing campaign to promote a one woman show with a slightly salacious title.

Wait, I am a skeptic.

Anonymous said...


Please explain that cryptic message:

"More details will be forthcoming."


Anonymous said...


This is how I see things unfolding:

During the Saturday night performace, the REAL UOJ will unmask himself and will be introduced to the crowd by Paul.

The hecklers will be stunned.