Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Enemy Within - Part Two - The Evolution of Right Wing Fanatacism

From The UOJ Archives-Saturday, July 30, 2005 B.C. (Before Convention) Posted on the original site:unorthodoxjew.blogspot.com

The Enemy Within-Part Two-The Evolution of Right Wing Fanaticism

There are four separate catagories of movements that constitute right wing Judaism in the U.S.A.

1- Yeshivishism
3-Agudah/Lobbyism/Government Activism.
4-Boro Parkism/Flatbushism

There are overlaps in ideology or lack thereof between the above groups. The tzad hashava (common denominator) between all of them is money and power.

This blog will focus on category one, or Yeshivishism.

The Yeshiva" movement", as we know it today, began after World War Two. Of course there were yeshivas around before the war, but it was not a" movement", it was a place to get your child educated.

There is a huge difference between the two.

One of the main differences is that before the war the yeshivas were institutions, run by board members and not by individuals. Certainly the heads of the yeshivas were where the board members looked for direction, but ultimately, and sometimes after great battle, the board rendered the final decisions.

Rabbi Aron Kotler (RAK), was the first yeshiva head to turn yeshiva education into a movement. That means he had absolute total control of everything.

Yes, he had baalei batim that supported him financially, but they had no say in anything at all other than the mundane issues of dinners, housekeeping etc.

Do not let anyone fool you, NO BAAL HABAYIS HAD ANY SAY AT ALL IN THE RUNNING OF THE YESHIVA. It was his way or the highway. If you dared to condradict his philosophy, there was no tshuva, you were history.

He was on a mission to replace the lost Torah scholars of churban Europe, a very noble, and what most people believed was an unrealistic task. While an extremely worthwhile project, it was not what people are now calling that idea, an idea of "genius."

Many refugees had the same idea. To name a few; the Rebbes from Satmar, Klausenberg, Rabbi Y. Kaminetzky, Rabbi Y.Ruderman, Rabbi M. Feinstein and probably twenty to thirty other prominent refugees from churban Europe.

What made RAK's idea a bit more novel was his concept of Torah Lishma. That meant that his yeshiva was to enroll anyone that wanted to learn Torah exclusively, there was not to be any other considerations about secular education or any education that would teach one a parnassah..etc., outside the world of Torah.

The yeshiva and Hashem would provide.

Money was hard to come by, but RAK was a super salesman, he had a niche product, a salesman's dream. He believed in his product and targeted every single Jew with a conscience and money. He played on the Holocaust; which resulted in the demise of most of Judaism, and the death of most European Torah scholars.

To use a tired but appropriate cliche, he was in the right place at the right time.

His customer base was broad, comprised of the bright yeshiva students with a future in chinuch, to the yeshiva boy who had nothing else to do but to go out and get a job. All were welcome. Naturally, every boy that came into the yeshiva had family and extended family that RAK approached for funds.

Slowly but surely not only did he encourage his idea of Torah lishma exclusively, but he was beggining to claim that all other ideas of learning Torah in conjunction with any other learning was against halacha.

He treaded lightly at first, but before his death in the early sixties, HE CLEARLY DENOUNCED ANY OTHER YESHIVAS THAT PERMITTED THEIR TALMIDIM TO PREPARE FOR A PARNASSAH WITH ANY FORM OF STUDY OTHER THAN TORAH EXCLUSIVELY, AS APIKORSUS AND RISHUS. NO EXCEPTIONS. He used outlandish and very descriptive language to make sure his ideas were well understood.

He passed on, and his ideas were used by his students as a springboard to what became Yeshivishism, or right wing fanatacism.

The primary yeshiva to promulgate this new trend was the Philadelphia yeshiva led by Elya Svei and Shmuel Kaminetzky. Svei, a noted and erudite talmud chochom, was well known for his kannaus or intransigence.

There was another side of him which was generally unknown, and that was his desire and goal to control the Yeshivish movement singlehandedly, after RAK's death. Kaminetzky, not nearly as bright, but realized he would make a good front man, did just that. They created the first Ivy League yeshiva. They made it difficult to get in, unless a student was very bright or of course there was money in the family.

In a relatively short period of time, their campus was built with state of the art facilities, and they had no mortgage.

Svei was free to wander off to head Torah Umesorah, and ultimately almost brought the Jewish day school movement to the brink of disaster with his outrageous and outlandish nonsense. What played in New York, did not play well in Peoria. He did not get his way and was forced to leave. He tried his shenanigans at the Agudah's Moetzes, and again was marginalized, until he left the organization.

His students idolized him, although it was clear to any rational observer of the Jewish scene, that he was losing it, and doing way more harm than good. His speeches were long and rambling, and his message was hard line, irrational and incoherent.

Nevertheless, He solidified RAK's ideology of Torah lishma, where it now became shameful for anyone to ever consider doing anything other than becoming a lifer (kollel for life.)

Easy for him to say, he now had a multi-million dollar campus paid off completely, and a student base primarily of wealthy kids. He did not take in any Iranians or Russians until he was absolutely shamed into it. Nice guy!

Shneur Kotler, RAK's son, took over the reins at Lakewood. He was a simple guy, and was not a Torah scholar of stature. There were rumblings and discontent over his automatically being named rosh yeshiva, but the antagonists were quickly dealt with by removing them from within the yeshiva.

This was the first time in the non chassidic world, that a yeshiva was turned over to a non-qualified family member. All the other major yeshivas at that time, upon the death of their rosh yeshiva, picked the rosh yeshivas from the best qualified candidates.

G-D fearing Jews understood the yeshiva did NOT belong to them, they were doing Hashem's work, and therefore the yeshiva belonged to the klal and NOT their family.

An ugly and dishonest precedent was set, and the uncouthed tigers were out of their cages.

Shneur Kotler evolved into a charismatic fundraiser. He inherited a well-oiled machine, and worked real hard. A confluence of factors caused the "movement" to grow geometrically. The onset of the Vietnam War, the Baby Boomers and the seeds of serious financial wealth in the Orthodox community, were very definite contributing factors to this astonishing growth.

By the time that Shneur Kotler passed away in the early eighties, the cultish concept of going to Lakewood was solidified. ANYONE could park himself in the yeshiva with no supervision, and stay as long as they felt like it.

Again, the yeshiva (or rather Shneur's wife), put at its head a way below average Kotler, her son Malkiel, and for window dressing they titled other relatives with meaningless positions.

The Kotlers had their dynasty with access to millions of dollars of the public's money, as well as millions of dollars in questionable government grants. Until today, no person can dare enter the yeshiva without filling out a government assistance form that goes directly into the Kotler coffers.

The common denominator between the greatest advocates of learning for life, are TWO FAMILY OWNED INSTITUTIONS WITH TENS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN REAL ESTATE UNDER THEIR FAMILY NAMES.

Elya Svei and Shmuel Kaminetzky have their imbecile kids running the yeshiva, while Kaminetzky is globetrotting and Svei is at home hallucinating.

The two Kotler brothers have under their direct control and legal title to approximately one hundred million dollars in real estate, in addition to millions of dollars a year in gross income from the public and the government.(in many cases bogus programs)

In summary, these two institutions, by claiming that it is forbidden to get a secular education in order to feed one's family, have no risk of going hungry themselves. They are charlatans of the first order.

Rabbi Yaakov Kaminetzky had advised some of his premier talmidim that it was in their best interests to get a college education. Rabbi Hutner encouraged college education for individuals with no interest in earning a living in chinuch, and was himself college educated as well as his daughter Bruria David. In addition,the two above great rosh yeshivas DID NOT PASS ALONG THEIR YESHIVAS TO THEIR FAMILY.

My point is this.

The dishonesty of preaching a philosophy that will bankrupt families and create so much misery for generations, must come to an end.

The Chofetz Chaim ran a grocery store.

It is not shameful to take care of your wife and children, it is shameful not to. To hell with the Sharptons and Jacksons with beards and black hats.

When you start living in two room apartments and have no money for food, give us a call. Until then, stay far away from our gullible kids.

To the idiot financial backers of these fraudulent money grubbing hucksters, stop being accomplices to the greatest crime to hit our community in recent memory.


Anonymous said...

UOJ I must correct you.

Rav Hutner DID psss along his organazations to family members. Chaim Berlin went to his son-in-law R' Aaron Shechter, and Pachad Yitzchok in Har Nof went to his other son-in-law R' Yonosan David.

Also to the best of my knowledge, R' Yakov Kaminetzky never had an orgazation of his own. I believe he was always hired help.

Anonymous said...

Articles like these make me realize that you're a genius, UOJ.

Un-Orthodox Jew said...

R' Aron Schachter is not family, and Pachad Yitzchock the sefer and the yeshiva was established after R' Y. Hutner's passing.
R' Hutner had one child, Bruria David, a college graduate. (Columbia or N.Y.U)

Anonymous said...


Sorry, I stand corrected. R' Aaron Shachter is not family.

Update said...

Just a few corrections:
1. The Chofetz Chaim was dead set against secular education. In fact the only person at that time that allowed it was Rabbi Samson Rafael Hirsch.
2. Rav Shneur Kotler followed his fathers steps. It is once he became ill, and passed that the man of Heter Mayrabbonim with his slick brother made that institution the money machine that it is today. Although not as learned as his father Reb Shneur was a kindhearted and warm person. There was no BS with him.

Not an oberlander ferd said...

Dr. Bruriah Hutner-David, Phd Columbia 1971

Dean-Beth Jacob Jerusalem


Seminaries in Israel are a plague on the House of Israel.

Anonymous said...

as usual . U said it as it is.
In Yiddish they say *TOOCHIS OFIN TISH.*
Amen v~amen.
Long live UOJ.

Lakewood Talmid said...


Many of my peers agree with what you are doing, but not always. Allow me to correct and comment on a number of points here.

I am familiar with many of R' Aron's ksovim and pronouncements. While he was an aish lehovo against chochmos chitzoniyos, I don't believe he used such strong terminology as "Apikorsus". Do you have any source that can be verified?

While your description "fanaticism", may add a nice sensationalist buzz, I think it is misplaced. Gedolim are entitled to their shita in the scope of aylu veaylu. You would be surprised how many roshei yeshiva allow talmidim to get a secular education, especially after the chassuna for parnossa purposes. Even super-masmid R' Shmuel Berenbaum has allowed for it, albeit with restrictions, like his insistence that yungerleit attend private as opposed to public universities. As long as everyone in Lakewood is learning, it would be nice to have a yeshiva devoted to the exclusively lishma angle. For such people, there are limudim from Nach and R' Chatzkel Levenstein learns from Chumash, that their sustenance is provided for. If the elite among us devote themselves, it will not cause a wholesale breakdown of the economy like what is happening now in Eretz Yisroel.

As far as R' Elya, you may not be aware that he attended college for a semester before dropping out. R' Aron almost rejected him for this reason and the Brisker Rov wouldn't even look at him. Philly was somewhat of a joke in Lakewood. They are the only "top" yeshiva with a large number of very mediocre learners. Between modern in-towners and sons of every Boro Park Hungarian that's a yeshivishe wannabe, they don't really measure up to other yeshivos out there. According to my information, R' Elya is faring better than most people think. While he no longer gives shiur, he still accepts private audiences and is reportedly still telling nephew Pinny what to print in the Yated.

R' Shneur was niftar in the early 80s. He was no slouch. He actually tried to push out a bunch of lo yutzlochs, trying to find them jobs. In the cases that I'm familiar with, these guys were true losers who would never make it through college. It was in 1989 that R' Malkiel decided it was time to close "the parking lot". The yeshiva instituted real and no nonsense farhers. Finished were the days that guys who never learned a word could get someone to tutor them the standard daf that everyone was just shmoozed on. This was prompted in part by menadvim who dropped by for a looksie and saw a near empty beis medrash at night. Things have turned around radically since then. They started declining to accept bochurim from known "party yeshivos" and did background checks on the rest. Lakewood today is a very serious makom Toyrah.

I won't deny that the mishpoche gets first pickings at the funds and even the food. An exception is R' Yeruchim Olshin, a tzaddik who won't move out of yeshiva apartments as long as any yungerman can't afford a house.

Since R' Aron's days, the yeshiva has loosened up considerably. They will grant a degree (they are accredited as a university) to anyone looking to upgrade at law school, etc., as long as you move out of their town. There are now many Lakewood products of the Ivy League who got their MBA or passed the bar.

Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Thanks talmid, I have no problem with critcism. My detractors would like you to believe I make this stuff up, actually all my views are based on existing bona-fide documents that are in the family archives, including my views on R' Elchonon. That's why the Agudah and their ilk consider me so dangerous, they know one day they'll wake up and the authentic, verifiable documentation will appear here!
And it will, one day!

Anonymous said...

The obituary of Rav Schneur Kotler appeared in the New York Times on June 27, 1982.

Rabbi Pinchus Lipschutz said...

Perhaps the lesson here is that yes, indeed, a single act can be of such sweeping, far-reaching importance that it transcends every other consideration and justifies enormous sacrifice. That act may be the defining moment of a lifetime. It may have the potential to alter a person’s or nation’s destiny.

It takes wisdom to recognize such an act for what it is. And it may take great courage to carry it out.

During the course of life, one encounters many pivotal moments when a specific action or inaction may be the ticket to eternity, but we don’t notice them and we miss our chance. Those special moments when we are presented an opportunity to do something significant and lasting are often overlooked. Perhaps we wimp out. It may be an act of great self-restraint or self-sacrifice that is asked of us. It may be an act of Kiddush Hashem, mesiras nefesh for a mitzvah, or for an ideal.

We say we’re not strong enough to do it. We leave it for someone else.

Esther Hamalkah was alerted to her moment when she was reminded by Mordechai, “Mi yodaiya im l’ais kozos higaat lamalchus.” Mordechai told her that the entire chain of events leading her to the heights of wealth and power had been orchestrated for this defining moment. Most of us don’t have a Mordechai to tip us off when our defining moment has arrived, and thus we fumble the ball and mess up when it comes our way.

There is no one who stands by ready to whisper in our ear that this is our chance to achieve immortality and to give our lives purpose and meaning. We have to be on standby for that moment, prepared to jump into the breach and prevail. Even if no one else alerts us, we have to do the job ourselves.

If you study history, you see that not all men and women who accomplished great things with their lives and led great revolutions were brilliant or charismatic. Many were, but just as many were just simple people who were committed enough to their goals that they were not cowed by naysayers. They had the courage of their convictions to stand tall against people who stood in their way and refused to bend to the dominant thinking of their day.

They didn’t offer up the lame excuses that they weren’t brilliant or dazzling orators; they didn’t cop out by saying that they weren’t wealthy or strong. And we shouldn’t either.

We may be called upon to do things we feel very uncomfortable doing, or deny ourselves what we feel entitled to; we may have to face embarrassment as people question us and our motives. It may cost us money, prestige or time. Things will not go our way each time and we may not win every battle. But we should not shirk the responsibility. We should not run from confronting evil.

There is no price that is too high for nitzchiyus. What shouldn’t we be prepared to do to attain the eternity of Rochel Imeinu?

The reshoim will gain temporary victories. The wicked will seem to prosper and grow in power. The weak among us will say it is impossible to confront them. The meek will say that we should let someone else get dirty battling them. But those of us who heed the examples set by the ancients will remain focused on our missions in this world, exerting ourselves to do whatever we can to strengthen goodness and diminish evil, and prepare the world for the coming of Moshiach tzidkeinu, bimeheira b’yomeinu. Amein.

Anonymous said...

With the knowledge and evidence you claim to have, They should have act much more seriously then having a convention and banning the internet. They should have issued a Fatwa href=http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~owend/interests/islam/fatwa.html against you.
Can you give us a hint, when will you come out with those evidence?

Anonymous said...

Get your facts straight. You said:

"Many refugees had the same idea. To name a few; the Rebbes from Satmar, Klausenberg, Rabbi Y. Kaminetzky, Rabbi Y.Ruderman, Rabbi M. Feinstein and probably twenty to thirty other prominent refugees from churban Europe."

Rabbis Kaminetsky,Ruderman,and Feinstein were not refugees. They were immigrants who came over to North America long before Churban Europe.

OU, Oh me, Oh my said...


When rav weinreb joined the OU after the lanner affair, he made a simple, clear promise - anyone who continued to deal with rabbi lanner would be fired.
It then came out that rabbi tropp, a regional head of NCSY, and lanner disciple, continued to have ongoing public dealings with lanner. Instead of keeping his public word, a commission was appointed and rabbi tropp still works for the OU.

Clearly, this shows that the community, OU, and rav weinreb do not take the problem seriously - and given their position in the community, the community does not take this seriously.
Meir Shinnar | 01.15.07 - 8:25 pm


By Kim Vo
Mercury News

From potato chips to brisket, Jews who keep kosher scan groceries for telltale letters -- K, OU, KAJ -- promising that the food meets Jewish dietary laws.

Now a major Jewish body wants to add a new symbol signaling not how the food was prepared, but how the workers who handled it were treated.

The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism is drawing up standards for a proposed hekhsher tsedek -- or righteous certification -- indicating that employees worked in safe factories and weren't exploited, among other things. The certification would supplement -- not replace -- the kosher certification.

``No one in the Jewish world has ever really tried to marry the socially responsible laws of how we treat workers with the laws of how we should eat,'' said Rabbi Morris Allen, who chairs the committee studying the new certification.

``We were so concerned that the animal is slaughtered in the most humane way, that we overlooked the person standing right next to it,'' he said.

The move gained momentum after a May article in the Forward, a national Jewish newspaper, describing the long hours, unsafe working conditions and exploitation of employees at a kosher meat-packing plant in Iowa.

``She has worked 10- to 12-hour night shifts, six nights a week,'' said the Forward story, describing one of the immigrant workers. ``Her cutting hand is swollen and deformed, but she has no health insurance to have it checked. She works for wages, starting at $6.25 an hour and stopping at $7, that several industry experts described as the lowest of any slaughterhouse in the nation.''

The article prompted the New York-based United Synagogue to investigate. The slaughterhouse has since told United Synagogue it is reviewing some of the concerns.

Socially conscious move

If the certification is adopted, it would join the growing movement of socially conscious shopping, from free-trade coffee to conflict-free diamonds. Allen thinks the labeling would entice Jews and non-Jews, the same way Ben & Jerry's attracted an ice cream buying public willing to pay a premium for fanciful flavors sprinkled with progressive practices.

Such a certification would appeal to the Levenbergs, a Mountain View couple who keep kosher and recently discussed the ``hypocrisy of being righteous in one thing, but being something else with your pocketbook,'' Idelle Levenberg said.

However, cost would be a factor. ``I'd be willing to pay more,'' said Harry Levenberg, a retired rabbi. ``How much more, I don't know.''

Already, kosher food is typically pricier than its conventional counterpart. At Empire Kosher, for instance, the 100,000 chickens processed daily must be killed by hand under the supervision of a rabbi. The bird is put into a water bath, then salted to draw out all the blood, and later rinsed. All those steps increase time and cost.

Jews draw their dietary rules from the Torah, though there is great interpretation on certain aspects of kosher.

It's the traditional interpretations that most concern Simcha Elharrar, who works as a program coordinator at Chabad of Greater South Bay in Palo Alto. To observe her ultra-Orthodox faith, she orders meat from Los Angeles, where she's certain that it's been prepared in the strictest kosher standards, and buys milk only from dairies where a rabbi has overseen the milking.

``What's most important to us is kashrut,'' she said, using the Hebrew word for kosher. A certification attesting to working conditions, she said, probably won't change her buying habits.

The certification committee hopes to finalize its guidelines this winter, which then must be approved by rabbis and United Synagogue, the association that authorized the committee and represents the nation's Conservative synagogues. If all goes smoothly, the certifications could start as soon as next year.

It's unclear how prevalent they will be. Empire Kosher won't decide whether to pursue the certification until it learns more about its specific requirements or about the intended market.

There are other logistics. Though some Conservative rabbis approve food and restaurants, United Synagogue does not have a formalized operation such as the Orthodox Union, whose OU symbol is found on 400,000 kosher products.

Allen acknowledged that the any hekhsher tsedek certification would unfold in stages across the United States, unrolling perhaps in kosher meat plants and then kosher bakeries.

Legal standards

The Orthodox Union has no plans to create a workplace certification.

``It's not that we don't care about those issues, but we rely on the federal government,'' said Rabbi Menachem Genack, rabbinic administrator for the OU's kashrut division. He noted that agencies such as the Department of Labor and Occupational Safety & Health Administration already keep watch on workers' pay and working conditions.

``We don't want to impose more on those companies than are required by law,'' Genack said.

Legal standards can fall short of religious ones, Allen said. For instance, he asks: Is it morally proper to require minimum-wage workers to buy their own mandatory safety equipment?

Just as the Bible dictates how Jews should eat, it also outlines how they should treat workers, Allen said, quoting from Leviticus: Thou shalt not rule over him with rigor.

Rabbi Ari Cartun of Congregation Etz Chayim in Palo Alto applauded the proposed certification and said it would ``absolutely'' influence his grocery shopping.

He said: ``You're not able to benefit from oppression.''


Who's the posek that told the OU that companies don't have to go beyond the secular law when it comes to choshen mishpat? Anyway, if the OU is so certain the government can be relied upon to enforce Jewish law, why do we need the OU's kashruth division in the first place!? Let the goverment certify our meat!

The real problem, though, is this: R' Genack's boneheaded response opens the OU to the charge that they embrace a double standard by considering the government reliable for some questions of Torah law, and not others. Worse, it suggests us that ben adam l'makom laws are more important than the laws that tell us how to treat each other.

Kosher Zone Chefs said...

We know about Margo hiding his money in the freezer. It's a huge dilemma for him. The more greenback he sticks in there, the less room there is for food to fress on.

Wall Street Journal said...

Are most yeshivaleit cut out for college?


Too many Americans are going to college.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007 12:01 a.m. EST

The topic yesterday was education and children in the lower half of the intelligence distribution. Today I turn to the upper half, people with IQs of 100 or higher. Today's simple truth is that far too many of them are going to four-year colleges.

Begin with those barely into the top half, those with average intelligence. To have an IQ of 100 means that a tough high-school course pushes you about as far as your academic talents will take you. If you are average in math ability, you may struggle with algebra and probably fail a calculus course. If you are average in verbal skills, you often misinterpret complex text and make errors in logic.

These are not devastating shortcomings. You are smart enough to engage in any of hundreds of occupations. You can acquire more knowledge if it is presented in a format commensurate with your intellectual skills. But a genuine college education in the arts and sciences begins where your skills leave off.

In engineering and most of the natural sciences, the demarcation between high-school material and college-level material is brutally obvious. If you cannot handle the math, you cannot pass the courses. In the humanities and social sciences, the demarcation is fuzzier. It is possible for someone with an IQ of 100 to sit in the lectures of Economics 1, read the textbook, and write answers in an examination book. But students who cannot follow complex arguments accurately are not really learning economics. They are taking away a mishmash of half-understood information and outright misunderstandings that probably leave them under the illusion that they know something they do not. (A depressing research literature documents one's inability to recognize one's own incompetence.) Traditionally and properly understood, a four-year college education teaches advanced analytic skills and information at a level that exceeds the intellectual capacity of most people.

There is no magic point at which a genuine college-level education becomes an option, but anything below an IQ of 110 is problematic. If you want to do well, you should have an IQ of 115 or higher. Put another way, it makes sense for only about 15% of the population, 25% if one stretches it, to get a college education. And yet more than 45% of recent high school graduates enroll in four-year colleges. Adjust that percentage to account for high-school dropouts, and more than 40% of all persons in their late teens are trying to go to a four-year college--enough people to absorb everyone down through an IQ of 104.

Anonymous said...


Is Robert Kolker (or anyone else) planning to write any new articles ?

Anonymous said...

Matt tropp does not work for the OU now

Anonymous said...

We need an update on Kolko/Margulies, Ner Israel, YOB - not bashing of one of our all time greats

Avi Shafran said...

Ok UOJ, you crossed the line. Making fun of my appearance and being mefarsem the scuffle I had in the hat store was really below the belt. For the record, I only asked if Bencraft gives a money back guarantee if the steaming doesn't get all the dust out of the hat. Stanley Goldstein thought I didn't want to pay and he lost it.

This is war because I'm not going to stand for you making fun of me anymore.

Your mother wore army boots and you have a scruffy beard.

I told the Novominsker to get you shut down. And our felon pal from the Iggud Haganovim, writes about it here. No internet equals no UOJ!


More than 120 rabbis, dayanim, heads of yeshivos and principals of girls schools in Boro Park and Flatbush, met on Sunday, Asarah B’Teves, December 31, to implement a takanah to counteract the sakanah (danger) of the Internet. The meeting was called for by Rabbi Yosef Rosenbloom, Rosh Yeshiva, Shaarei Yosher; Rabbi Yechezkel Roth, Karlsburger Rav; Rabbi Yaakov Perlow, Novominsker Rebbe; and Rabbi Moshe Wolfson, Mashgiach, Yeshiva Torah Vodaath.

The attendees were advised of the steps the observant communities of Lakewood, Monsey, and Skver (Spring Valley) have successfully taken to stem the influence of the Internet. Rabbi Moshe Greenfeld, chairman of the Monsey effort, described the unity of Monsey’s Torah institutions in their campaign.…

The Karlsburger Rav reviewed the 60-page directives that were distributed to the meeting’s participants. The Rav elaborated on several of the key steps that are being taken and must be strengthened.

The Novominsker Rebbe recalled that American Jewish history was replete with battles to protect Shabbos, kashrus, Taharas HaMishpachah, all of which are proudly adhered to in observant Jewish America today. However, the Rebbe stressed, the threat of the Internet is greater than all the previous perils combined.

Rabbi Moshe Green, Rosh Yeshiva in Monsey, described the Internet as destroying the religious character of those who trespass there. Rabbi Nochum Gotlieb, menahel, Yeshiva Bais HaTorah in Lakewood, described the necessity of always being on guard. Any child, he reported, can purchase an Internet access device for a mere few dollars and connect any computer to the Internet within seconds. Lakewood, as a yeshivish community, has achieved the greatest success to date, in the battle against the Internet.

Background Information said...

The Karlsburg Rov used to be a dayan with Satmar. He has the most machmir shita out there on the internet. He poskens for his large following that ask him shaylos that you are not allowed to engage in any business that requires internet. You have to pick from the few options where you can do without it.

In case anyone missed it. Rabbi Paysach Krohn blurted out at the Agudah convention that everyone is on the internet anyway so rabbonim may as well just try to police usage with restrictions. The Novominsker did a proverbial backflip and Krohn had to back down & ask him mechila. Krohn by the way is brother in law of pedophile & suicide inducer Rabbi Ephraim Bryks.

It happens to be that the internet is a huge danger to children. I don't know how people in their right mind let their kids surf unattended. It's also a problem for adults who can't control themselves with porno & infidelity, but I wonder how many of those 60 pages are devoted to villifying UOJ.

That Was Easy said...

The Novominsker rounded up the most frumma manhigim he could find. Rav Rosenbloom from Shaaeri Yosher, Rav Wolfson from the "Moonies" and Rav Chezkel Roth, also from BP. Is it ever easy to get a blanket issur out of those three. I'm surprised he didn't call the Kashau Rov while he was at it.

It's obvious there would be a much more nuanced response from the Novominsker's usual acquaintences like R' Zelig & R' Aron Schechter.

It may be a cakewalk to get a signed letter that everyone has to get computers out of their house - lo plug - but if the klal does not accept a takkona it is not binding as halocho.

Anonymous said...

"Krohn by the way is brother in law of pedophile & suicide inducer Rabbi Ephraim Bryks."

Bryks is still allowed to give shiurim in shuls all over Queens and is in charge of 2 mikvos. It would have been nice if the Gil Student blabfest over there would have included calls to put that monster out of business instead of just beating around the bush.

Covert Operation said...

To UOJ, Gross and anyone else who can help with their connections,

Verifying agent identification.

Initiating sequence.

Someone has to be able to get a copy of the 60 page internet manifesto. That will make for a very interesting blog entry.

This message will self-destruct in 5 seconds.

eBay said...

Does anyone know what's going on with Avi Shafran? He said he's in a big hurry to find a good deal on a hat brush before he has to get rid of his computer.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what position Paysach Krohn takes on Bryks?

Moishe Finkel said...

Avi Shafran is downplaying what happened at Bencraft. The guy wouldn't take care of himself until UOJ made fun of him, and then he goes about it like a cheapskate.

Look, I may have not been on the up & up with Shevach Meats, but I have no reason to lie about seeing Shafran in that fracas.

What a Weasel said...

Don't give that YeshivaWorld loser the benefit of a link. He still refuses to mention anything about Kolko and deletes any comment even being meramez without names.

He also comes here to read what's going on and lifts articles & ideas from UOJ to boost his own blog.

Moishe Arye Friedman said...

If anyone's looking for another reliable witness to back up Moishe Finkel, I was there with him and saw the whole thing with Shafran.

Crazy Eddy Antar said...

I think the Agudah has another agenda to ban computers. They want to get even with Sephardim who rip off Ashkenazim in Flatbush electronics stores.

They can't get away with this. I'll have Chacham Raful intervene with Shafran.

IT'S INSANE if they think they can just take away people's livelihoods.

gross said...



Working on it.


Anonymous said...

Who runs YeshivaWorld?

Anonymous said...

Yeshiva world seems to be run buy a dumb bochur who calls every two-bit shothead in a hat "Maran Horav Hagoan"

Honestly Frum said...

The guy running Yeshiva World is a hypocrite who, himself does not listen to so called "Daas Torah" and continues to operate a blog. If a comment does not fit his agenda be sure a nasty e-mail will be sent immediately to the poster.

Anonymous said...

Honestly Frum,

You say yourself that YeshivaWorld is a hypocrite, yet on the sidebar of your blog you have him hyperlinked as a recommended site.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the best way of describing YeshivaWorld is he's a sheretz toyveling with sheker beyado.

A rov says that he is spreading false rumors about a mikva, which is the wrost kind of motzee laaz on the women who use it. YeshivaWorld quotes R' Dovid Feinstein but the rov said he checked it out and it's bogus.

Lakewood Corruption Part One said...


Although schools are businesses, most in Lakewood are non-profit. The schools do not charge sales tax because they are a service industry. Many also rely on public grants to fund construction projects instead of loans they must pay back.

Several decades ago, the Jamesway shopping center opened for business off Route 9 north, adjacent to the Metedeconk River and the border of Howell. The retail chain eventually went out of business and the Lakewood property went into receivership.

The store Jamesway built in Lakewood remained a sad reminder of lost jobs and lost commerce. Vandals defaced the building with graffiti, weeds grew tall on the property with no one to cut them, and trespassers left litter in their wake.

In June 2000, Lakewood rabbinical college Beth Medrash Govoha (BMG) purchased the property for $1.9 million. Instead of taking out an equity line of credit on the property to improve its appearance, the college continued to use the building in the same rundown condition. BMG received numerous Inspections Department violation notices as a result.
Ed Mack, Lakewood Director of Code Enforcement and Zoning, told administrators of the college that something more permanent needed to be done about the problem.

In October 2005, college Director Ahavon (Aaron) Kotler made a presentation for grant funding before members of the Lakewood Development Corporation (LDC), which oversees the UEZ and its fund. Kotler said his college planned to build a medical center and a business incubator inside the former Jamesway. He said state and Federal grants would pay for renovations to the structure and interior of the building, but requested UEZ grants to pay for improvement of the grounds.

LDC members discussed the project during the December 2005 board meeting. Some members opposed the use of public monies to improve private property, while others supported the request. Dr. David Eisenberg, who had criticized the plan, was not reappointed to another 2-year term on the LDC in 2006. The following year, retail advocate Lynn Celli, civil rights advocate James Waters and Lakewood Airport Director Bertram Albert were not reappointed to the board either. All four had all been critical of the Jamesway and other projects they deemed unsafe or inappropriate for UEZ funding.
Their criticism of the Jamesway project turns out to be justified.

NJ News & Views recently made an Open Public Records Act request to view information on file with the township Code Enforcement and Zoning Department. Despite Kotler's assertion that the Jamesway was planned as a business incubator and medical center, the facility was always intended to be a school.

Township correspondence with the college as well as plans to renovate the Jamesway clearly state that it is planned as a school and study hall or library. The plan to put a 12,000-square-foot medical center in the 80,000-square-foot building appears to have been an afterthought, according to a June 9, 2005 letter from Zoning Officer Ed Mack to BMG attorney Abraham Penzer.

"I have reviewed your letter of June 7th and feel that the use of the building as a medical office would be the same use as a library and adult school which was previously approved," Mack wrote. "Since they are the same type of use and there is no affect on parking or other site plan issues, I have no objection to this use."

One year later, engineer D. Thomas Stearns told LDC members during a July 11, 2006 presentation there were not enough parking spaces on Jamesway shopping center grounds to put a medical center there. Lakewood Township Committee members have discussed condemnation of adjacent businesses in the area to provide the additional parking required for the medical center, which would be a non-profit business.

Mack requested in his 2005 correspondence with Penzer that he be informed of any changes in the exterior elevations so that the project could be reviewed by the Lakewood Planning Board.
No application was ever submitted to the planning board that was heard by the public. Only a permit was issued for the work.

Township papers stated that BMG also filed plans with the state Department of Community Affairs (DCA), but a DCA spokesman refused to permit a reporter full access to the file. The spokesman said that the medical center was a security concern, but did not respond to a reporter's e-mail question asking why.

Not only did state officials refuse to disclose information relevant to the project, neither did the Lakewood Tax Assessor's Office. An Open Public Records Act request to view all Jamesway file documents produced only a printout of the assessment. The file did not include any correspondence, bills or other materials related to payment of property taxes.

After viewing the file, a reporter made a second OPRA request that specifically asked for a printout of taxes owed and taxes paid on the property. A clerk told the reporter that the information would not be produced in less than the seven business days.

The Citizen's Guide to the Open Public Records Act, available on the Government Records Council (GRC) Web site, states that "Under OPRA, the custodian of government records must comply with the request 'as soon as possible,' but no later than seven business days after the request is received." The GRC requires that all budgets, bills, vouchers and contracts be produced upon request.

The GRC is a state agency that mediates disputes involving access of government records.

Lakewood Corruption Part Two said...

There is a behayma who worked as the contractor for Kanarek on this hall. Stay far away from him. To put it mildly, he acts like he's both mentally retarded and a sick malicious jerk. It happened to me and others that he plays people when trying to buy supplies. He is an unusual kind of liar and acts in the most strange manner I have seen in many years in business. He sends you on a wild goose chase to price out items that don't exist. After he messes you up, he tries to bashmutz you, just to be mazik you. The only rational motive I could think of is that he might have some kind of kickback scheme going with someone. Before he puts the knife in your back, this is just one example of what kind of insane show he puts on. I kid you not, but he calls up very late on a motzaei Shabbos and asks "did you hear from 'Harry Hannukah' ?" You ask him many times, what the heck are you saying? He says, "you know, he's the heimishe version of Santa Claus." He then bursts into a retarded guffaw kind of laughter at his own "joke". This is the only reason why he's calling before he says goodnight. The last time you speak to him, he decides he won't put on the act any longer, so he just hangs up on you mid-sentence.


Editorial by Joyce Blay Posted January 16, 2007

A little over a decade ago, an Urban Enterprise Zone sounded like a good idea to Lakewood and state officials. The zone would create jobs and bring more business to Lakewood.

NJ News & Views also attempted to obtain similar tax information for the building in which Micro Warehouse was formerly located in the Lakewood Industrial Park. The township provided information that was inconclusive, incomplete or refused altogether.
Micro Warehouse was formerly located at 1690 Oak Street. The building was purchased in 2005 by Bais Rivka Rochel School for Girls, Inc. and Simcha Bemono LLC.

Rabbi Shlomo Kanarek is Director of Bais Rivka Rochel, which is registered at 285 River Avenue (Route 9) in Lakewood. Simcha Bemono is a limited liability corporation registered to the home address listed in the Ocean County telephone directory for Vaad member Ben Heinemann.
The Vaad is an unregistered Political Action Committee (PAC) that endorses candidates for public office. An endorsement by the Vaad usually ensures a Lakewood candidate of election to office.

Kanarek and Heinemann turned 1690 Oak Street into a banquet hall after buying the property in 2005 - the same year Kanarek requested a tax exemption because the building was also planned to include a school.

NJ News & Views made an OPRA request to view the 2005 application for a tax exemption and all township correspondence related to a denial. Since Bais Rivka Rochel is a registered non-profit organization and Simcha Bemono LLC is not, the property would not be eligible for a tax exemption under state tax law. According to information available on the N.J. Treasury Department Web site, the state requires full legal title to the property for which the owner seeks a tax exemption, not equitable title.

A reporter viewed the file a week after permission was granted to see it in November 2006. Included with application papers and photos was a letter that documented a verbal denial of the tax exemption purportedly discussed months earlier by Lakewood Tax Assessor Linda Solakian and the applicant. The letter was dated several days after the reporter received permission to view the file.

The reporter requested a copy of the letter, which a clerk refused to provide without Solakian's permission. The reporter called Solakian the following week. Solakian refused to provide the reporter with a copy of the letter on the advice of attorney.

Attorney Guy Ryan, an associate with the law firm of Township Attorney Steven Secare, informed the reporter by fax and letter that a copy of the document would not be provided because it was considered attorney client privileged information. He cited several other documents not viewed by the reporter that he claimed were also covered by that privilege.
NJ News & Views made another OPRA request, asking for taxes owed and taxes paid on 1690 Oak Street from 1996-2006.

According to a spokesperson for the state Tax Court, owners of the property contested its tax assessment for 1996 and 2005. Before any court could decide the matter, the township and the owners settled the matter in both years.

A deed of sale recorded with the Ocean County Clerk's Office on April 26, 1996 conveyed title of the property from C.P. Lakewood LP, Stanford Realty Group, David S. Steiner of Steiner Equities Group LLC and Peter D. Sudler to 1690 OS Associates LLC, for $438,591.

A February 17, 2005 deed of sale conveyed title of the property from 1690 OS Associates LLC and Douglas C. Steiner to Bais Rivka Rochel School for Girls, Inc. and Simcha Bemono LLC for $3,423,556.

Seven business days after receiving the OPRA request, the township provided information on a prepared form that stated it came from the Department of Taxes. The form was divided into columns titled Blk. Par., Year, Taxes, Interest, Total and Remarks.

Figures were filled in manually for taxes owed in all four quarters of 1996, the year the property's tax assessment was contested. Following sale of the property in the second quarter of 1996, taxes rose from $16,852.41 to $17,086.39. The township did not provide any other information requested under OPRA for that year.

The rest of the years included a presumed date of payment in the total column instead of the amount of taxes paid. The method of payment was not noted in the remarks column for any of the years. A clerk said the method of payment could not be provided to the reporter, but did not state why.

In 2005, the year the property was sold to Heinemann and Bais Rivka Rochel, a year-end penalty notation was made in the form's Taxes and Interest columns. There is no indication if any portion of the $19,297.42 tax assessment noted on January 20 was ever paid.

Six transactions were noted on August 2, 2006 and on August 18, 2006. Two transactions were noted in October 2006 and one in November 2006. However, it is not clear what the total tax assessment was for that year and what was or was not paid in taxes and penalties for each quarter of 2005 and 2006 since the form was not completely or correctly filled out.

After contacting the township, a second set of forms were faxed to NJ News & Views with the same incomplete and incorrectly filled out information. Ryan told NJ News & Views that the township did not have to provide any other information since a document had been created that did not exist.

Although the township did not fully comply with public access requirements under OPRA, a transfer of deed available on the Ocean County Clerk's Web site provided information Lakewood tax officials did not. The May 31, 2006 deed transfers full ownership of 1690 Oak Street to Bais Rivka Rochel for the nominal sum of $1. Under New Jersey tax law stated on the Treasury Department Web site, the property will be tax exempt for the entire year of 2006 since title was transferred to Bais Rivka Rochel before October 1.

Tsedrater said...

Excellent UOJ!
Remember though that Rav Yaakov
Kamenetzky zt'l was run out of
Torah Vadaas, a fact hushed up,
after a dispute with Rav Gedaliah
Schorr zt'l. Rav Schorr was
of RAK's hashkafa although
I don't believe that was the issue.
Anyone with further clarity please
fill in.

Lakewood said...

The only slight comfort I take in all this is that Aron Kotler, the grandson, is just a baal habos who was previously working in the office for Abba Gorelick. They had to make room for him when he came along by pushing out long time executive director Rabbi Nochum Barnetsky. Aron Kotler is now calling himself "CEO" when speaking to the outside world. There was a lot of angry murmuring among kollel yungerleit about his standard of living when there were no checks. That was also the reason why Dovid Schustal's trips to South America were a state secret. The yeshiva doesn't want anyone to know how much money was raised. Bochurim who payed tuition were even angrier in some ways that they came last while living in a dump and eating drek food.

Un-Orthodox Jew said...


R' Yaakov zt'l was not run out of Torah Vodaath at all; that's for a verrrry long and sad post on it's own.

Rabbi Binyomin Finkelstein said...

Oyb meh redt veggen the drek food, I had to chase out cheap fresser yungerleit from the dining room who were trying to economize & chapp aus whatever little food there was from the mouths of the bochurim.

Kenny Trabert said...

Yasher koach R' Binyomin. You know how much I hate guys pushing like ferds in the dining room. You'd think these yungerleit never saw real food before, shtupping for measly chicken bottoms (the Kotler clan already took the tops home), spoiled mayonnaise and rotting black peel bananas.

I'll have to get Yankel Pollock on the case.

Yankel Pollock said...

Someone's breaking a yeshiva rule? Where is he? I'll nail him!

If he so much as ate one string of spaghetti, he'll be in even more trouble than what he's in now!

Tsedrayter said...

Sorry UOJ- I defer to your
superior knowledge.

Gershon Ribner said...

Pollock, stop trying to make yourself relevant.

Anonymous said...

1) R' Schneur was a great talmid chochom.

2) R' shmuel Kaminetzky, lhblc"t is a great talmid chochom.

3) >>R' Yaakov zt'l was not run out of Torah Vodaath at all; that's for a verrrry long and sad post on it's own.

I don't think its very sad that he left. While the fight hurt TV in the political sense, there is no question in my mind that Rav Schorr was at least as great (in my opinion greater) in his gemara shiurim. The problem was a PR one. That's it.

Rabbi Norman Lamm on R' Elya Svei said...

Caveman" fugitive caught after 16 years

Thu Jul 30, 12:28 pm ET

LISBON (Reuters) – Portuguese police have recaptured a convict who had escaped in 1993 and had been hiding in the caves in the mountains for 16 years receiving help from villagers nearby, local media said on Thursday.

The 54-year-old former shepherd, thin and heavily bearded but healthy, was arrested on Wednesday in the north of the country in a police operation dubbed "Cro-Magnon" in reference to Europe's early humans who lived in caves thousands of years ago, Diario de Noticias daily said.

Oilam Goilam said...

An old one but well worth reading.
UOJ once more hit the mark in the pupik.The hypocrisy of these bastions of nepotism sickens me to the core. What a idiotic world!

Anonymous said...

Israelis Caught for Laundering US Tax Monies

Reported: 11:08 AM - Aug/03/09

(IsraelNN.com) Israeli police arrested seven Israeli and American citizens Monday on suspicion that they laundered tens of millions of dollars in U.S. tax dollars to Israeli bank accounts.

According to the charges, the men forged tax documents in order to steal money intended for U.S. federal prisoners and transferred them to bank accounts in Israel.

Anonymous said...

UOJ - One of the truly great gedolim/tzaddikim of yesteryear was the Boyaner Rebbe, ZT"L. A man of great piety and humility. He is oft-forgotten but as great or greater, in my humble opinion, than most of the Rebbeim mentioned in this thread.

RSFM Got Results said...

Rav Weissmandl who was better known as Reb Michael Ber was born in Debrecen, Hungary in 1903. In 1931 he entered the Nitra Yeshiva where he was considered a prize student of Rav Shmuel Dovid Unger, whose daughter he later married.
The Rav became known for his efforts to save the Jews of Slovakia from extermination at the hands of the Nazis during the Holocaust. Largely by bribing diplomats, the Rav was able to smuggle letters or telegrams to people he hoped would help save the Jews of Europe, alerting them to the progressive Nazi destruction of European Jewry.

It is known that he managed to send letters to Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Pope Pius XII. He also unsuccessfully begged the Allies to bomb the rails leading to Auschwitz.

The Rav arrived in the United States a broken man having lost his wife, five children, and community. Although the Rav remarried and had five children, he never forgot his family and community in Europe and was unable to overcome his grief.

In November 1946, the Rav and his brother-in-law, Rav Sholom Moshe Unger, re-established the Nitra Yeshiva in Somerville, NJ, gathering surviving students from the original Nitra Yeshiva.

A year later, with the help of Rav Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz, a large estate in Mount Kisco, NY was purchased and the Yeshiva relocated. On its new campus a self-sustaining agricultural community known as the “Yeshiva Farm Settlement” was established.

evanstonjew said...

So when will this long promised post on Torah Vodaath and it's internal disintegration be forthcoming. Methinks it is always tommorrow but never today...morgen,morgen, nisht nur heint.

With all your insights about yeshivism, brilliant as they are, many details remain to be laid out. On this very sad day of the levaya of R. Zelig Epstein, memories of the 50's and 60's return.

Do your many readers a favor. Write up your memories and insights about post WW2 Williamsburg and Torah Vodaath from 1950-1970. The only thing worse than lashon harah is hints and innuendos, half baked and unsubstantiated. No one is asking for documentation. All that is needed is a coherent, continuous narrative. If not you, all that we have is Art Scroll.

Anonymous said...

"Always tomorrow, but never today" - R' UOJ - the man has a point.

Malach HaMovies said...


Sadly, you are right. If something Lo
O'Leinu happens to UOJ will never know the truth about YTV.

We will have to rely on Artscroll and all of the other jokers for "true" history.

We'll also never know what Reb Yakov truly felt about the Kollel (bankrupt your parents and grandparents) concept or wasteful idiot chumras which started developing at that time. Or what he felt about the "gedolim" of his day.

The financial scandals that we are having today is very much due to this Kollel nonsense and the need for every family to have 10 plus kids. I wonder if Reb Yakov forsaw the great disaster that would start happening after his passing.

In the gemara and halacha there is a concept that you could be Mchayiv someone to give Tzedka. In a sense , i wish we can do the same with UOJ.