Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The FACTS about "daas Torah"

The following letter was written by R. Wasserman from Toledo, Ohio, in 1938, to a young student (R. Elchonon Hertzman, from Mir and later of New York) requesting his help in escaping the Nazis. It's a famous letter written shortly before WWII:

"I received your letter, but unfortunately there is nothing I can do. The yeshivos in America which can bring talmidim from overseas are the yeshivah of Dr. Revel (YU) and [HTC in Chicago]. However, both are places of spiritual danger because they are run in a spirit of disloyalty to the Torah. Therefore, of what benefit would it be to escape [Europe] from physical danger to spiritual danger."

The letter is quoted in Hebrew in the excellent and inspiring Art Scroll history series book: Reb Elchonon: The Life and Ideals of Rabbi Elchonon Bunim Wasserman of Baranovich by Aharon Sorski. I do not want to give the impression that R. Wasserman was being heartless. Later on in the letter, he refers the talmid to Rabbi Shlomo Hymen at Torah Va Das (where Rabbi Yaakov Kamenetsky was Rosh Yeshiva) in Brooklyn, who will help.

Another good book: Silver Era in American Jewish Orthodoxy: Rabbi Eliezer and His Generation by Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff.There were only two Torah sages willing to stand up to YU before WWII. R. Wasserman and R. Aharon Kotler. YU sent over the pious rabbi (R. Henkin, good friend of R. Moshe Feinstein, grandfather of the R. Henkin (Nishmat feminist leader) training these putatively Orthodox women rabbis) to R. Wasserman to bring him to YU.

Torah scholar Amitai Bin-Nun writes: "I'm ashamed to admit reading this blog, especially in its current state, but I recall this letter (not to escape Europe to go to YU) being quoted in Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff's book "Bernard Revel: Builder of American Orthodoxy", so it should be easily verifiable. The other Yeshiva, if I recall correctly, was HTC in Skokie.

UOJ Notes- Rabbi Elchonon Wasserman was urged to bring over all of his students to Yeshiva Torah Vodaath and Rabbi Shlomo Hyman had agreed to step aside as the Rosh Hayeshiva and gladly have R' Elchonon take his place. Instead he went back to Europe where he was slaughtered along with his students . He is quoted in his "Kovetz Maamarim" as saying he intended himself and his students to be a "korbon" or a sacrifice, on behalf of American Jewry. So much for "daas Torah" and "gedolim infallibility".


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Yeshivishe Nudnik said...

The way I always understood the story is that R' Elchonon sacrificed himself. A person has a recht to do so as kiddush Hashem. How do you know that the yeshiva could have escaped? The movements of individual Jews were restricted, let alone an entire yeshiva. Even if they got out of Poland, do you have proof than any country including America would issue the visas? And a word about Rakefet-Rothkopf, he's known to have an anti-yeshivish bias.

Anonymous said...

Debating history is ok, but we want to see the juicy stuff like documentation that Margo stole from Torah Vodaath.

Historical Record said...

R' Yaakov Kaminetzky was not yet in Tora Vodaas. He was either a rov in Seattle or the rosh yeshiva of Eitz Chaim in Toronto.

Anonymous said...

If UOJ is right, which I'm not sure he is, I wonder why Baranovitch would be any different than Masada. Gedolim have a tayna on the mentchen of Masada for giving up their lives.

Un-Orthodox Jew said...


Let's deal with this letter. R' Elchonon is in Ohio. As far back as 1938 he knew of the Nazi threat. This one talmid wanted to escape. R'Elchonon was still coming and going to the U.S.A until the summer of 1939 (see the Art Scroll)...Torah Vodaath begged him to stay and "R' Schorr" had arranged for the visas for his students.

What part of "daas Torah" don't you understand?

Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Correct about R'Yaakov he was in Toronto. I believe the author was using R' Yaakov as a reference point to Torah Vodaath.

Yeshivishe Nudnik said...

If there is proof that all the visas were secured, I will believe it when I see it. The fact that R' Elchonon had a visa as a yochid means nothing. I know for a fact that talmidim of Frankfurt were stuck in Poland in 1937. They tried to get out but the Poles wouldn't let them. The Kattowiczer Rov managed to get one or two out by paying a huge bribe. The US State Dept was run by a rabid anti-Semite named Dulles and did not let many Jews in. Other countries were even more difficult. Canadian prime minister Mackenzie King said "one Jew is too many." What was the name of the boat full of Yidden that escaped and sailed the world because they were rejected at every port?

Anonymous said...

nudnik-you're pissing up a rope. This one bochur we're talking about. what is the reason he refused to help this one bachur come to Tora V'daas? To R' Shlomo Hyman?

Anonymous said...

Torah Vodaath was good enough for his son R' Simcha, he gave a shiur there.

Yeshivishe Nudnik said...

"Later on in the letter, he refers the talmid to Rabbi Shlomo Hymen at Torah Va Das (where Rabbi Yaakov Kamenetsky was Rosh Yeshiva) in Brooklyn, who will help."

Doesn't that mean he encouraged the bochur to go there if it was possible?

Anonymous said...

next week wednesday is the dinner for the alesk bais medrish honouring gruba lipas son-in-law.

Un-Orthodox Jew said...


He blew him off and escaped with the Mir yeshiva. It's hard to digest, I'm so sorry.

saddened said...

I have seen alot of corruption and have 1st hand expreience of being victimized by people posing as frume yiden. Unfortunately I've seen so much chorban and thought I've seen it all.
OUJ, your website serves as a support to me but at the same time all this new dirt of daas torah is just unbearable! I thought I've seen it all, I guess I haven't.

Nosson Scherman said...

Rabbi Perlow just called me with instructions to recall all the R' Elchonon books and tear out that letter.

Yeshivishe Nudnik said...

I will give R' Elchonon more benefit of doubt than the ketanim of 2007. I still don't see absolute proof of an egregious act. Is Rabbi Hertzman still alive? Does anyone know if he was / is upset at R' Elchonon? And yes, it is difficult to digest that a selfless talmid of the Chofetz Chaim would be guilty of what he's being accused of. It took me a long time to come to terms with Rav Scheinberg's handling of Kolko. This is much more difficult.

Zlotowitz said...

We're cool at Artscroll. We still got Pinter and his relatives. No one is calling from William St to tell us not to publish the works of scumbag ganovim & chotay umachteeay harabim.

Anonymous said...


You are really turning me off with your last few posts. I think your other readers agree. Stick to the kind of posts that made you so popular. The last few posts are based on your opinion of history, and people can interpet it either way they believe. (I personally strongly disagree with you on the Kabalah/Chassidism Issue). No one is coming out of their grave to defend themselves. Stick to the current events, and let the accused answer for themselves.

Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Anon 5:52,

I beg to differ, these are not interpretations, these are verifiable facts. God gave you/me brains to use, not to let others abuse in the name of daas Torah. This is my point!

Rabbonim make mistakes, some very serious ones; we need to know that so we are not nichshal again and again.

Nothing I said is "interpretations". The truth hurts me as much or more than it hurts most other people.

We need to correct the wrongs, not sweep them aside. It does hurt!

I'm not in this for the "money" or popularity, I'm trying to correct some terrible wrongs on behalf of the Klal!

Please see it for what it is, not what we wish it to be.

Anonymous said...

UOJ, you posted that warning about Borchardt. Did you see any proof that he has a criminal conviction? I searched all over for records & court info but found nothing. That's not to say he somehow didn't have his record sealed. In one case for instance, of the illegal Canadian alien pedophile in Monsey, Tuvya Rokach, they might have just deported him and struck the record. Rokach's lawyer Jeff Lewisohn, a modern orthodox guy from the 5 Towns, and other lawyers might know tricks to erase people's records.

Is there anyone reading this from Toronto who has seen Rokach around town?

Anonymous said...


UOJ's point - and he has a point - is that current events cannot be understood in a vacuum. The history is relevant. We Jews are in a long decline. Our communal child sex abuse problem needs to be understood in a historical context - and then we can fix it.

I too disagree with much, but not all, of what UOJ has written about kabbalah and Chassidus. They are a legitimate part of Judaism, just as Rav Eidensohn wrote. Someone else wrote the Chofetz Chaim mentions the Ari, and that works for me too. I'm nowhere near any of these madreigas, by the way.

But, G-d help us, look what the Chassidic movements have morphed into. Also, the yeshivish movement. We are disgusting. As if the thievery, the phony kollel movement and actual physical infighting were bad enough, who could imagine pedophilia. Who could image the coverups?

Just think - here we are, sixty years after the Holocaust, its as if we've learned nothing. Our leading organizations and Torah leadership do not merely stand by, but are also complicit! This is horrifying beyond words!

This is neo-Moloch. It is child sacrifice, for the sake of money, honor, power.

Some Chassidim believe it is permissible to steal from a non-Jew. From that krum attitude, look what we have now. Pedophilia. Shomer mitzvos adult Jewish men pleasuring themselves with Jewish children. Rachmana latzlan. And the yeshiva rabbis have covered this up, at worst, or done nothing, at best.

In our history, we do have a warped view of what religion should be. It is a fact that some European rabbis believed that both America and Israel were treife, and they instructed their people to stay where they were. And they did, and they died. This is just as warped as a rabbi saying no penetration is not molestation, and foiling a beis din.

You can both believe in Daas Torah, and not believe in rabbinic infallibility. Rabbis possess wisdom, and rabbis make mistake. The Chofetz Chaim, who we all believe in, told Rabbi Wasserman, his talmid muvhak, that he made a mistake in not fighting Communism harder than he did. He still would have lost, he said, but the Communists would not have emerged as strongly as they did. So the Chofetz Chaim made a mistake. And if one Yid in those days had said, the Chofetz Chaim is wrong, we need to fight Communism as hard as we can, that Yid would have been right, and the Chofetz Chaim wrong.
The Daas Torah of the Chofetz Chaim would have been wrong.

History is relevant.

Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Anon 6;14,

I'm impressed with your views.

Anon 6:13,

I hesitated putting up the Borchardt alert because i could not find a criminal record either. I was convinced that the facts were correct by reliable sources.

Un-Orthodox Jew said...

BTW on a lighter note briefly;

If anyone agreed "entirely" with me, I would question your Jewish origins.

Yeshivishe Nudnik said...

There is of course a concept, a yesod in emunah, that it is better to go to yenner velt than to lose all shaychus to Torah in oylam hazeh. But I don't think that America in 1938 was still the same treife medinah that it was in the 1700s / 1800s so I find it difficult to believe R' Elchonon would consider a sort of yehurag veal yaavor. There were gedolim on the Lower East Side & elsewhere that yeshivaleit could cling to and even if not, perhaps they could be kovaya their own mokom. There was an adam gadol in the heim who was mispallel that a young man should be niftar after being seized by the Czarists. It was better that he be niftar a tzaddik, then to wind up a meshumad Cantonist.

Zalmi Teitelbaum said...

Just for the record I'm no longer a security guard at the building in Boro Park where the suicide took place.

I like this maamar UOJ just posted:

"If anyone agreed "entirely" with me, I would question your Jewish origins."

The Satmar Ruv, Rabbeini Yoel said if you believe every rebbishe mayse you're a shoyte. If you don't believe any, you're an apikores.

Un-Orthodox Jew said...


I cry with you, I mean it. That's why I became UOJ, maybe to fix a few avlas that kill Yiden.

Un-Orthodox Jew said...


Get back to work or shlep the left-handed shamash out of the Satmar bathroom. He's still there.

Anonymous said...

From the IRS Form 990, for OHEL Childrens Home and Family Services, year 2004:

Compensation of Officers, and Five highest paid employees:

Salary Contribs. to
Benefit Plans
& Deferred

David Mandel $278,115 25,500

Howard Lorch $178,055 18,250

Hindie Klein $144,475 20,100
Program Dir.

Richard Beiler $121,276 9,400
Dir. Development

Manuel Wertman $159,526 17,900
Program Dir.

Kinderlehrer $124,300 17,700
Dir. Development

Asher Fogel $187,784 9,350
Program Dir.

Compensation of Five Highest Paid Independent Contractors:

Harvey Jacobs $78,000
Legal Services

Weiser LLP $86,157
Accounting Services

Sholom Greenzweig $99,890

Anonymous said...

I am a fan of your blog and the more I am finding out
the less I want to know.
i am not to sure if you are aware what has been going
on in Passaic in the few months but I think your
readers need to know.
Stefan Colmer (who you mentioned in your blog a few
months ago) moved to Passaic and within the last month
the rabbonim found about it.
There was a meeting with most of the rabbonim to
discuss what should be done about the situation.
Approx, 2 weeks ago Rabbi Eisenman( From Passaic) from the ahavas
announced his name publicly in shul and was the only
rabbi to do so.
(If you know anyone in passaic, you can validate what
I am saying)
Because of this guy,
David Mandel from Ohel spoke
Monday on the topic of"How to protect our children".
It was sickening to hear him talk, when someone asked
him if you know of an abuser in town do you publicize
it, he said well you might not have all the facts and
speak to your rabbonim. he also said that the abuser
can get help. I was getting sick hearing him talk. No
concrete suggestions. (again validate what I am
I checked Ohel's financial statements, In 2005, David
Mandel made over $250,000.
The rabbis and ohel are to scared to tell people the
truth. Only 4 rabbis came to this event.
from www.luach.com

Anonymous said...

The above means:

Mandel made $303,000. plus;

Lorch made $196,000. plus;

Klein made $164,000. plus;

Beiler made $130,000. plus;

Wertman made $176,000. plus;

Fogel made $196,000. plus.

Anonymous said...

Let's start a campaign for Ohel to release all employee personal tax returns. They're public officials. We should see how much tzedaka they're giving. Do they take out maaser?

Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Everybody is "ashamed" to read this blog, but "EVERYBODY" reads it.

Anonymous said...

UOJ and the rest of you are ignorant of history.
No one could have forseen in 1938 or 1939 what was to befall the Jews of Eastern Europe. I personally suscribe to the notion that Rabbis including Gedolim are quite fallible notwithstanding whether or not they have Daas Torah. Whatever Daas Torah is, it is not Nevuah and therefore it is subject to fallibility. However to blame the death of people in the Holocaust on bad advice given by Eastern European rabbis in 1938 long before Poland was even invaded, is a distortion of history. Holocaust scholars with the advantage of hindsight, have pointed out that the Jews of Europe were doomed. It did not make a difference if they listened to a Rabbi or if they were not religious at all or even if they were not really Jewish and simply fell into the category of Mischlinge. A large majority of the Jews murdered during the Holocaust were not Orthodox and certainly did not consult rabbis for advice.
It is disengenuous to blame the Holocaust on Rabbis. The focus of your poorly disguised wrath is really the almighty and all merciful G-d who permitted a Holocaust to take place and this indeed is a Theodicy which we should struggle and contend with while keeping in mind that many surviving victims have manitained and strengthened their Emunah in spite of the horrors they witnessed.

Anonymous said...

For the past few weeks, I've been davening Sunday mornings at the famous and very large White Shul in Far Rockaway. Prominently posted on the door of the main coat closet is the name and photograph of a local thief and pedophile, clad in yarmulke and dark suit. Beard too. I forgot his name, otherwise I'd mention it.

This is news. The photo is inside a shul, obviously approved by the shul leadership, and this is an important shul.

So things are happening.

Anonymous said...

Kinderlehrer, another Ohel Director of Development, made $142,000.00. Sorry Moishie, didn't mean to skip you, it was just an oversight.

Anonymous said...

The truth of the matter is, Reb Elchonon saw the future that R' Mendlowitz would attempt to turn YTV in an acredited university. Therefore he considered YTV not much better than YU, had R' Mendlowitz not been niftar when he was (and stoped by Reb Ahron), YTV today would be an extention of Touro (and there would be no artscoll book about RSFM)

Anonymous said...

UOJ perhaps one could sum up the problem with "the system" with the old rule: Power Corrupts, Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely".

We (the masses) have given the Rebbes and Roshei Yeshivos absolute power over Charedi Judaism.

The result is natural human response.

Anonymous said...

what is the Borchardt post?

PLease detail

Anonymous said...

Who is Borchardt?

What's the ScandaL?

Anonymous said...


Yeshiva boys commonly accept rides from strangers who appear to be “frum.” However, appearances can be deceiving and this practice has lately proven to be extremely harmful.

Recently, a Jewish male in his 40s, had been offering rides to Yeshiva boys waiting at bus stops on Coney Island Avenue and other Flatbush and Boro Park venues. One of his regular passengers confided to his father that the driver had exhibited unusual behavior. The boy’s father decided to accompany his son and confront the driver. The driver fled the scene when he saw the father. It has since been discovered that the driver had been previously arrested for endangering the welfare of a child and second-degree sex abuse.

Because of early intervention, no crime was committed this time. However, this predator has escaped incarceration and remains free to prey on unsuspecting boys. The authorities are investigating this matter.

The pedophile has been identified as follows:

Name: Yaakov Borchardt
Address: 1452 41st Street, Brooklyn, NY
Vehicle:* Blue 1987 Chevy Caprice – New York license plate no. AXX-800
Age: Early to mid 40’s
Height: 5’ 11
Weight: Approximately 220 lbs.
Facial hair: Clean-shaven
Color: White

*Please note that he may have access to more than one vehicle.

We urge you to caution your children never to accept rides from strangers without your explicit permission. Instruct them to immediately report to you any strange behavior displayed by any adult in their lives.

We must be proactive about containing and preventing these incidents in our community. Please pass this information on to everyone you know. Please advise anyone who suggests this falls into the category of loshon horah, that they are mistaken. A pedophile is a rodeph and we have a halachic obligation to protect our children and the children of our community from harm. The Torah asserts that we are forbidden to sit idly by while others are in danger (lo samoid al dam re’echa). As Harav Shalom Yosef Elyashiv has ruled, we are obligated to report known pedophiles to the police.

Keep your eyes and ears open and insist that your child do the same. Help keep our children safe and healthy.

Anonymous said...

If it's ok for me to ask, what exactly are the groyse credentials of "Torah scholar Amitai Ben-Nun"? Isn't he some kid who just graduated from YU?

Solomon Dwek said...

Hazeet! David Mandel should watch his back. The last time someone was taking home over 300 grand a year from a haymishe mossad, the FBI took him away in handcuffs.

Joe Putz said...

"YTV today would be an extention of Touro"

The ultra-yeshivish chevra actually call it Touro Vodaas.

Anonymous said...

Is there anyone here from Derech Chaim / Derech Agav who knows what the yeshiva's reaction is to Borchardt having a UOJ all points bulletin being put out on him?

ZA said...

The current culture of cover-up is based on three pillars. I've said it before and will repeat it again and again because if we do not understand and shake the pillars of the culture, that evil culture will continue to spread its evilness on all of us.
The first pillar of the cover-up culture is the Issur Mesirah. We keep criminals who affect both the surrounding world and our own world, just so that we will not be Moser them to the gentiles. Firstly, I do not believe that the Issur Mesira is that encompassing that it would prevent us from giving away real criminals. We probably could consider them as people that the gentiles specified for specific (and probably justified) reasons. For such people there is no Issur. For those who believe that one is aloud to steal from a gentile or from the government, those probably have the Din of Rodef, because if their deeds become known then the gentiles and the government may come after all of us. And people who molest young boys, young girls or anybody else for that matter, they for sure have the Din of Rodef and since we may not punish them, the only viable solution is actually give them to the authorities.
But there is even deeper problem that we neglect to notice and this is the corrupting effect of having criminals in our midst. If they are successful, others may see them as heroes and follow their footsteps. Those who are with higher morale may not go for that but they may be desensitized to criminal acts and may not see the problem.
The second pillar of the cover-up culture is the Issur Loshon Ha-Ra. Think about it, the Chofetz Cahyim took a relatively minor and obscure Issur and elevated it to be the fourteenth Ikkar of Emunah, next to the old established thirteen Ikkarim of the Rambam. But this Issur is now abused. One may not come with real issues about somebody else since the Mekhubad Rabbi Listener would refuse to listen and obviously would refuse to act. Just take the story about R’ Yudel Shain finding that Shevach was supplying Treifos some eight years ago and R’ Braslauer refused to listen as an example. We took that Issur out of context and out of proportion and it is back firing.
The third and, in my opinion, the most serious pillar of that culture is R’ Shimon Schwab’s Issur of writing Jewish History, magnified by his recommendation to write inspiring stories with only good things about people of previous generations. There are several problems here. Firstly, who is to say what is good and inspiring and what is not. For example, is the fact that R’ Moshe Feinstein used to read the New York Times a good one because in that way he kept himself informed or is it bad because how could he read such Schmutz? Another issue is the well known maxim (not known in the frummie world for obvious reasons) that those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it. If we do not read R’ Wasserman letter and we are not aware about his false ideas then how could we prevent repeating such deeds.
But the most serious offence of this notion is the desensitizing effect on society. We are so used to society mandated cover-up, that we do not even see how wrong it is. Think about it, R’ Schwab called for an organized campaign of cover-up and the only thing many of us do is to mock and laugh about the resulting C.I.S and Artscroll hagiography publication, better known as “The Life of the Saints Series.”
These three pillars must be cut out, smashed and destroyed “Im Hafetzey Hayim Anahnu”

Anonymous said...

Where does Zev Atlas get that R' Moishe read the NY Times? He didn't understand English.

pesah said...

Ok lets brush all the BS aside and lets how Kikddush Hashem term is being thrown around.

Lets think plain logic, If situation presents itself in such way that one should sacrifice ones self in the name of God than yes its kiddush hashem.

But if someone refuses to save jewish life and commits suicide by putting himself in path of sure danger than in my eyes this is not kiddush hashem but

breaking number of commnedments, this is not your business to deside who lives and who dies and IT IS NOT UP TO YOU TO DEISDE WHEN AND IF YOU DIE IN THE NAME OF GOD. THIS IS NOT HAMAS.

JWB said...

The latest episode of ABC's Boston Legal deals peripherally with
rabbinic abuse of minors. The latest episode that aired February 6, 2007
deals with a 16-year-old girl that was sexually assaulted by a rabbi.
Fortunately, in this TV case, the police were called and the Rabbi

If only our community had as much common sense in "real life".

Every case must be reported to the police. How simple an idea.

The episode will be summarized shortly on the official ABC website at:
also see summary at fan website:

Episode 3.14 - Selling Sickness [Airing Ferbuary 6]: Shirley meets with
16-year-old Michelle Cabot and Michelle's mother Melanie and uncle

They claim Michelle was sexually assaulted by a rabbi but are not there to prosecute him, as they had already called the police.

Michelle and her father want her to take a new medication nicknamed "the
forgetting pill", which would cause her to forget the traumatic event, but the doctors won't give it to her because her mother and uncle are
threatening to sue.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:45
I did not try too much to hide my name but I also do not see your point in publishing it!
As for R' Moshe reading the NYT, I believe I saw that in the biography (in Hebrew) in the latest volume of Igros Moshe and I will double check that. I also beleive that Rav Moshe did know English and I will double check that again with reliable sources. But even if I am mistaken, let me put my question in a more general way that would satisfy you: "is the fact that Rav so and so used to read the New York Times a good one because in that way he kept himself informed or is it bad because how could he read such Schmutz?" Happy now?
Now, except of pointing to my possible mistake (if I am mistaken I will [IY"H] post here a correction), do you have a relevant point in favor or against what I have said?

Anonymous said...

I wont comment on Rabbi Avrohom Shcoor being quick on the draw though I heard from someone who aproached him with definate info on Leizerowitz- The Holy Molester- and he replied with shock and disbelief.

He does deserve credit for his part in the Shlomo Hafner scandal where he insisted that Shlomo was indeed a molester and that the case should be refered to the police. I don't know the details. Perhaps someone can give us an acurate account.

Anonymous said...

8:17 -

By the time Germany invaded Poland in September 1939, about a third or more of Jews in Germany had fled. Starting from 1933, when Hitler first became Chancellor, until 1939, concentration (detention/forced labor) camps had already been established, many anti-Jewish laws had been decreed, and a euthanasia program of the sick and elderly was underway killing more than 150,000.

Rabbi Yom Tov Schwarz, a native of Poland, attended the Lublin Yeshiva. From 1941 through 1945, he was in Nazi work camps for two years, and death camps for two years. He managed to put on his tefillin every day. In 1958, Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky referred to him as a great rabbi. He writes in his sefer, Eyes to See - Why didn't we have a European council, similar to what we had in the 1700s, a Council of Four Lands, where rabbis and communal leaders could have exchanged important information, and action could have been taken for the Jews to evacuate Europe?

The point is, many people witnessed what was happening, and could easily foretell that something worse was about to happen. Of course, they could not foretell the extent of what was about to happen, but after two thousand years of violent anti-Semitism, obviously, the European rabbinic leaders should have been more cautious.

Some Jews took action, and ran. Many didn't. Many rabbis did little. This is all fact, and there is little to argue about.

Sixty years later, in a free country, America, the fools and idiots who operate our Jewish organizations make the same mistakes, on a smaller scale. Jewish men attacking Jewish boys in our own yeshivas. Nothing is being done, except for Aguda's Convention scolding everyone to believe in daas Torah, and to carefully observe kavod harav.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous 10:37 PM, February 06, 2007

Before you start unfounded rumors let me say the following.
I was in Derech Chaim 10 years ago. To my knowledge there were 2 Borchadts. Both of them do not fit the description mentioned in this blog. One of them has a beard and does NOT live in Boro Park. The other was a clean shaven skinny individual who was not taller then 5’ 5 and certainly not 5’ 11. If there was a third Borchadt that was once in the Yeshiva I do not know who it is.

UOJ thanks for all of your work.

Anonymous said...

Agudath Israel is not on William St. any longer. They moved to Broadway.

Anonymous said...

There is a clear and personal connection with R Schwab and R Borchardt. Does anyone know it?

truth said...

"Un-Orthodox Jew said...
Anon 5:52,

I beg to differ, these are not interpretations, these are verifiable facts. God gave you/me brains to use, not to let others abuse in the name of daas Torah. This is my point!"

You are wrong in a lot of areas, including Reb Elchonon, ZTL. I don'y care what books you've read, but I personally spoke to Reb Tuvia Goldstein ZTL for about four hours years ago, and his version (which is first hand) was that there were Talmidim that were afraid and left. Reb Elchonon did not realize how serious the danger was and that he would have a chance to move before it's to late. Once realizing he was stuck he went back to die with his Talmidim.

Anonymous said...


Yeshivishe Nudnik said...

I have to take exception to these attacks on Rabbi Mitnick.

Is the only source here the wild kids from Playboy billiards? Give me a break. How many of those kids were doing drugs? Some of them were actually dealing the drugs and some of the dealers were packing a weapon. These are not exactly Grade A sources. When Binik's place opened on Ave M, they all had to sign contracts that there would be no conrolled substances brought in. I don't doubt Mitnick said something that had to do with masturbation but it was probably taken out of context. Do you know that the Sefer Pelle Yoetz holds that yeshivos are mechuyev to appoint shomrim to make sure boys don't masturbate? I suspect what Mitnick did was along these lines. Even if he acted a little weird, it still doesn't make him an offender and adderabba, it was Mitnick who got rid of an Israeli molester who was hanging around Brooklyn yeshivos & Lakewood.

Derech Agav said...

Maybe UOJ's sources can confirm if the particular Borchardt is the Derech Chaim administrator or not.

Avi L. Shafran said...

I will be contacting ABC and parent company Walt Disney about this outrageous depiction on Boston Legal. I have never known of any case of a molesting rabbi.

more truth said...

truth is right. My grandfather also didn't know what was going on even after the Germans invaded Poland in 1939. He said that everyone thought it just be hard for a few years and then life would get back to normal.

No Gvul said...

Does anyone here know exactly what happened with Dovid Cohen & Hafner?

Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Anon 12:58,

"....For what a man had rather WERE true, he more readily believes. Therefore he rejects difficult things....., because narrow hope, out of deference to opinion of the vulgar."

Francis Bacon
Novum Organon (1620)

YTT Activity said...

Check out all these active violations which means that the city never followed up to see if these problems were corrected. This includes a hazardous violation at the bottom from the Environmental Control Board. There is a potentially explosive situation with a boiler near 1000 children.

DOB Violations

Premises: 555 OCEAN PARKWAY BROOKLYN BIN: 3127249 Block: 5400 Lot: 76
V 1519ERNSTOFF-040848 DOB VIOLATION - ACTIVE 00/00/0000
V 3467/855CARBONE4--102875 DOB VIOLATION - ACTIVE 00/00/0000
V 082995LL629125562 DOB VIOLATION - ACTIVE 08/29/1995
V 082995LL629125563 DOB VIOLATION - ACTIVE 08/29/1995
V 091697LL6291238846 DOB VIOLATION - ACTIVE 09/16/1997
V 091697LL6291238847 DOB VIOLATION - ACTIVE 09/16/1997
V 022701LL629121935 DOB VIOLATION - ACTIVE 02/27/2001
V 032602LL629123074 DOB VIOLATION - ACTIVE 03/26/2002
V 082802E9013/359158 DOB VIOLATION - ACTIVE 08/28/2002

ECB Violation Details

Premises: 555 OCEAN PARKWAY BROOKLYN BIN: 3127249 Block: 5400 Lot: 76
ECB Viol Number: 32026114M VIOL ACTIVE Status: OVERDUE COMPL

Filed At: 555 OCEAN PARKWAY , BKN , NY 11218 Block: 5400 Lot: 76
Respondent Info: CB: 312
Viol Issue Date: 11/19/2001 Delivered Date: 11/19/2001
Viol Type: BL - BOILER DOB Viol Number: 111901B66241
Issuing Insp ID: 0494 Tax Lien Serv: NO
Device Type: BOILER Device Number: 66241
Sched Hrg Date: 01/07/2002 Hearing Time: 10:30 Location: BKN
Amount Imposed: $800.00 Amount Paid: $800.00
Hearing Status: V - IN VIOLATION Compl Status: O - OVERDUE COMPL
Compl By Date: 07/20/2002 Compl Met Flag:
Compl Met Date: Viol Severity: A - HIGH
Infraction Codes:

Description of Violation:

Margo's Accountant said...

Does anyone know why the City Registrar's office has a record from the beginning of the decade of Margo & Applegrad getting power of attorney for an Anna Farkas?



Anonymous said...

Who did Mitnik get rid of?

Leopold Margulies said...

I vill never surrender to UOJ.

Ave F said...

Regarding the dinner honoree margo's eidim, has anyone spoken to the Alesker Rebbe, Rav Aschkenazy about what those animals are doing at YTT?

Yudi Kolko said...

I don't know what city inspectors had to say but it sure was an explosive situation in the boiler room when I took the sweet little boys in there.

NYPD Chief of Detectives George Brown said...

If Kolko knew about the boiler hazard, we can nail him for taking a child in there even if the child was not molested. Margo definitely knew about the boiler hazard so he can be nailed for letting Kolko take someone in there.

Joe Putz said...

By George! That's a great einfall. Can someone please notify Jeff Herman or the police of this chapp? It's like Al Capone. If you can't get him on the ikkur crime you get him on something else.

DK said...

This chapter of rabbinic assessment is important. If the haredi leadership was overwhelmingly supportive of staying in Europe despite the danger, all the more so they will be willing to advocate poverty and underemployment for the sale of avoiding spiritual "danger."

I am going to write about this at length later, and would note that NCSY has ties to the yeshivas that advocate just these policies and recruit for them http://www.ou.org/ncsy/projects/yeshivas/ncsy_online_yeshiva_directory.htm, and the JSU's that are in the public schools are controlled by NCSY.

NCSY therefore has no business in America's public schools. Let Aish, Ohr Somayach/Neve go to Poland and pitch their haredism there. Not to American public school Jews through NCSY.

American Jews whose forefathers came here prior to WWII should understand that according to most haredi leaders, they should not be alive, they should have died in Europe rather than come to America.

This needs to be understood by secular Jewry, and its implications.

Anonymous said...

He is or at least he was administrator and is in his mid to late forties.

Yonason Rosenblum said...

There is, unfortunately, a small, but not negligible, segment of our community for whom the image of Torah Judaism in the larger world is a matter of utter indifference. All that matters, in any given situation, is what they perceive as the immediate religious imperative. Concern with the spiritual state of their fellow Jews is not even on the radar screen.

Ich Bein Ein Chaim Berliner said...

"Who did Mitnik get rid of?"

Some Israeli shmuck showed up in Mirrer Beis medrash one day and cried to R' Shmuel Berenbaum that both of his parents died in a plane crash. Apparently there had been some sort of a plane crash which is part of the reason why everyone fell for the lie. R' Shmuel almost never takes Israelis in beshita but made an exception this time. The guy didn't waste much time making sexual passes at bochurim in the dorm. Mitnick got wind of it and chased him away. The guy continued drifting around to different yeshivos including Lakewood. After he ignored Mitnick's final warning to leave the country, Mitnick resorted to persuasive methods that I cannot discuss in public. Let's just say that he immediately went back to Israel. He later saw Mitnick when Mitnick was visiting and ran for his life.

Anonymous said...

Somebody needs to say that ZA writes an excellent essay here about three fundamentally flawed pillars of American Haredi Judaism: mesirah, loshan hara, whitewashing Jewish history. This is so whether or not Rav Moshe Feinstein read the NY Times, or had it translated or summarized for him. It is undisputed, in any event, that when Rav Moshe paskened medical sheilas, and wrote his teshuvos, he personally consulted with the absolutely top medical experts in the field, assisted by his son-in-law. He always carefully researched all issues, in depth.

Would that the fools occupying positions of power today performed their jobs in such a manner.

Anonymous said...

Proofs, documents, archives...

UOJ if this is all you've got, YOU'VE GOT NOTHING!

An Adom Gadol, is someone who stays with his followers, dispite the danger. Reb Elchonon HY"D was not like the other so called gedolim of that generation, who secured visas for thier own families, and did nothing for thier talmidim/chasidim. Reb Elchonon chose to stay with his yeshiva where he belonged, and not flee to the usa, and leave his talmidim as sheep without a sheperd.

Un-Orthodox Jew said...

ZA's analysis is on the mark. There has been another brilliant commenter as well who understands well the dire circumstances we are in.

Please chevra, let's get serious, a joke here and there is fine; let loose with your brains and intellect on our current matzav. Eis livchos....

New Hempstead said...

Another sign of R' Moishe's gadlus is that he did a great job even though he was surrounded by fools like the Tendlers.

Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Anon 2:46,

Wise-guy, If I put up what I have there would NOT be a religious person left in Klal Yisroel. Don't dare me!

Yeshivishe Nudnik said...

I still don't see proof that R' Elchonon squandered the life of his talmidim. As far as his own life, it reminds me of Avremel Zelmanowitz who died al kiddush Hashem at the WTC on Sept 11 when he stayed behind to help others. He knew his life was in danger but he didn't care. If UOJ knows something that we don't then he should share it. Did R' Shraga Feivel or another gadol condemn R' Elchonon?

The real villians in the Shoah were the Tzionim and Kapos, berosham Rudolph Kasztner.

Un-Orthodox Jew said...

New Hempstead,
Rav Moshe Tendler is an adam gadol meod!

Anonymous said...

You speak a big game UOJ - put up or shut up.

Anonymous said...

I double checked the biography in the Igros Moshe, written by Rav Moshe's grandchildren (close family). Indeed, the biography does not say "New York Times" so I was mistaken about the identity of the newspaper. The biography states that Rav Moshe read a newspaper DAILY. It might've been any of the dailies that were available in New York at the time. Could have been the Daily News, the New York Post... I do not know his personal preference in that regard.

As for Rav Moshe command on the English language. I've got some testimones from people who claim to have personal knowledge that indeed Rav Moshe knew English well enough. I would assume that such a giant who lived here for some four decades could've master the language pretty easily.

New Hempstead said...

I happen to have information from tamid chochom witnesses about Moishe Tendler acting like an idiot, wether forming his own opinions or being the kotton kofetz berosh when someone directed a shayla at R' Moishe in his presence. There is also a video floating around of some YU rabbis asking R' Dovid Feinstein point blank if Tendler is guilty as accused of distorting R' Moishe's psokim. R' Dovid won't give a straight answer, as a matter of fact he says a few sentences that do not answer the question whatsoever while showing some kind of smirk or look of discomfort.

Anonymous said...

Colemar was treated by Ohel a decade ago. He stopped treatment and Ohel did nothing. So much for their claim of using their legal obligation to report abusers to the authorities.

They are either a criminal enterprise or a group of incompetents. Either way, they are a menace to our community.

pesah said...

"behind to help others."......this is the key here. HELP your talmidim to escape not to lead them to a slaughter.

Jewish leadership FAILED during WW2 and having being failing its people , its plain to see if all jewish leaders ( frum or not) had best interest of their people at heart

things might have turned out quiet differently.

Anonymous said...

I would not be suprised if Rav Elchonon zt"l did not trust RSFM. I've have many documents from the 1930's that show RSFM hidden agenda to open a college yeshiva r"l.

Un-Orthodox Jew said...

The greater we are the chances of us making BIG mistakes increase.

Rav Moshe Tendler is an adam gadol meod; I'm certain he has made mistakes in judgment. Haven't we all?

That's a far cry from serving up your talmidim for korbonos as you're dilly-dalling around in the U.S.A., as Europe burns!

Anonymous said...

Why did it take Reb Ahron zt"l to start the vaad hatzala? Where was RSFM if he knew hitler's plans in 1938???

Anonymous said...

>That's a far cry from serving up your talmidim for korbonos as you're dilly-dalling around in the U.S.A., as Europe burns!

Someone needs to learn history, rabbi wasserman came to the usa in 1938, WWII started in 1939. stop drinking and get your head checked.

Anonymous said...

YU actually REFUSED to help any europian yeshiva, because R' Elchanon canceled a shiur he was to deliver there.

Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Torah Vodaath had obtained thousands of visas for the Yiden of Churban Europe working with R' Eliezer Silver and Mike Tress. You're welcome to check around the Hasidic and secular world and see how many THOUSANDS of people came over as talmidim of Torah Vodaath. RSFM did not sleep in his own bed for years, it was occupied by nefashos that escaped. FACT NOT STORY!


Anonymous said...

To the commenter comparing R Elchonon to Abe Zelmanowitz - has it ever occurred to you that maybe both were wrong?

Lakewood Talmid said...

Who are we to question the kedoshei elyon of previous doros anyway? They certainly knew things that we didn't even if it looks bad to us in hindsight. We weren't there to know everything. It's different when we see today's Moetzes with our own eyes letting Kolko & Margulies get away with murder.

Will UOJ let the Chofetz Chaim have it too? He was asked to be mekalel Hitler when he was made head of the Nazi party. The Chofetz Chaim opened his mouth and then hesitated before closing it and then saying he will leave this one up to der Eybishter. He certainly knew what would happen but also knew for reasons beyond us that he couldn't get involved.

Will UOJ also criticize every rov besides R' Menachem Ziemba who poskened that Yidden should rise up & fight back? There is a gezeiras hakasuv that in situations such as the Holocaust that Klal Yisroel will tune out mentally and go like Tzon letivcha. There is precedent for gedolim not being in control of their mental faculties. Yehuda lost his bechira and solicited a zona.

Anonymous said...

Here is a thought provoking Shuir by
Rabbi Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff on this topic:


Listen it appears that he has a different understanding than most other people do.

pesah said...

"938, WWII started in 1939"...maybe you should check your history.

from 1933 to 1938 Europe was vacation land ?

Condoleeza Rice said...

"Torah Vodaath had obtained thousands of visas for the Yiden of Churban Europe"

What year did they start getting them from State in substantial numbers?

Anonymous said...

Torah Vodaath obtained the visa in 1943-44 long after yeshivas baranovitch was massacred. Uoj you are way off the mark once again.

>Hasidic and secular

Exactly, Hungarian. Poland and Lita were exterminated long before that.

Anonymous said...

>from 1933 to 1938 Europe was vacation land ?

It was the SAME anti-semitism as was for the past 500 years. Second don't mix up Eastern Europe where the jews lived to Germany.

pesah said...

"Who are we to question the kedoshei elyon of previous doros anyway? They certainly knew things that we didn't even if it looks bad to us in hindsight. We weren't there to know everything. It's different when we see today's Moetzes with our own eyes letting Kolko & Margulies get away with murder."

Than again in hind site IT IS AS BAD AS IT LOOKS

Anonymous said...

Here is a thought provoking Shuir by
Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff on this topic:


Listen it appears that he has a different understanding than most other people do.

Just give us a summary of what the putz says.

Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Keep it simple. Did Rabbi Wasserman leave his talmid, Elchonon Hertzman to die in Baronovitch or not?

pesah said...

what history book are you reading , I mean you talk about Eastern Europe , WWI and Civil War in Russia which went to Poland.

Maybe you should read up to what was happening to the jews there. And if Rise of hitler is the SAME to you than you maybe shiuld go and read different history book.

Anonymous said...

When a plane crashes into your building, and you're warned to evacuate, you follow the warning. At risk to your own life, you do not futilely stay behind to provide companionship to a man who, unfortunately, because of a handicap, is unable to walk down the stairs. This is what I teach my children.

Alex Trebek from Jeopardy said...

I don't know. What does Rabbi Hertzman himself have to say about it?

ainekel of Rav Weissmandel said...

in my zeides ksavim and book, he says clearly that the only rav in america to
help him in raisaing money to buy yiddens freedom was the tzaddik rav mendelovitch.

Anonymous said...


Why are you so forgiving of Moshe Tendler, and zero tolerance for the more chareidi Rabbi's. Can only Modern Orthodox Rabbis make a mistake in judgement?

BTW, Moshe Tendler is NOT an Adom Godol Ad Meod. I really don't know what makes you think he is. Don't think that it's a coincidence that his sons were both very publicly accused of sexual offenses soon after their father came out with the metitzah b'peh issue. There is a direct connection between between a father providing a PROPER bris & his son's future shemirat habrit. This is brought down in many seforim. (the same seforim that state that a bris is incomplete without metzizah). As soon as R' Moshe Tendler caused countless ppl to stop giving their sons a proper bris, his own kids were exposed to at the very least accusations of inappropriate sexual behavior and both lost their jobs as Rabbis as a result.

I trully believe that you as a person of sound judgement should realize the connection here & reconsider your opinion. He's a dangerous man, and he's on the wrong side on the fence.

Appalled said...

In my opinion, Jews who are very close to Eastern Europe, as opposed to Jews whose ancestors have been in America for several generations, are more likely to be shyster goniffs. Americans are more open, trusting, and honest, as a general rule. Eastern European Jews are secretive, tricky, out for themselves in a big way, scheming, grasping and dishonest. For the most part.

Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Anon 5:02,

You are entitled to your opinion, I believe firmly that metziza b'peh is not an integral part of the milah, and therefore strongly agree with Rabbi Tendler's position on this.

I do not believe a father is responsible for the sins of their children, and do not believe children should be responsible for the sins of their fathers or ancestors.

I do not believe that what happened with his sons has any correlation to his psak. What's next, faulting R' Moshe?

Thanks for your compliment; I have taken the time to examine the medical and other evidence on this issue, I agree as most of klal Yisroel does that metziza b'peh has become a dangerous practice in our times.

boog said...

Read this article and shep some much needed Nachas.


Yeshivishe Nudnik said...

Whoever teaches his children to not stay behind like Abe Zelmanowitz is doing the right thing. Abe Zelmanowitz also had a right to choose to be mekayem the mitzva of kiddush Hashem just like the ger tzedek of Vilna, Avrom ben Avrom did. You don't have to be a Torah Yid to believe this. Everyone from the FBI director to President Bush to the Wall St Journal gave tribute to Zelmanowitz for his true courage. A dozen firefighters heard that his shloshim would be at R' Yisroel Reisman's shul. They came to honor him and cried many tears there as if he was one of their own in the line of duty.

Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Thanks Boog...great factual story.

Un-Orthodox Jew said...

New Hempstead,

I hear you. I need to choose my battles to remain effective.

New Hempstead said...

UOJ, I know that you heard me loud and clear. What prevented you from posting my message? Are you close to one of the relatives that I exposed or are you afraid that part of what I said is not factual? I believe you have the means to verify the stories and will find that there is mamashus there. You of all people should be shouting from the rooftops about this gang of criminals. I only commented on the relatives, I didn't even get into their shyster supporters from outside the family.

Anonymous said...

You don't have the balls to post a document, what they show is that R' Shraga Feivel didn't do enough!

I know exactly what you are talking about, I've seen the same documents you've seen (or have).

Anonymous said...


I've made the same observation. Many European Jews, and their immediate American descendants, tend to be conniving and krum. The second generation tends to be menchlikeit.

The third generation, that attended yeshivas from the 70s, 80s and onward, is a mixed bunch. Many are selfish, materialistic, and amoral, lacking basic menchlikeit. Others are menchen, but jaded and cynical from what they see.

The frum, post-Holocaust American scene is so sad, you just want to cry. As Rabbi Gil Student said at a speech in Queens a few weeks ago, and on his blog, quoting a gemara, If there is something wrong with a generation, look at the judges. Today's Torah leadership - oy vey! UOJ's point, which he keeps hammering home, is that today's leadership is so dismal, they can't even keep pedophiles out of the yeshivas - oy vey! UOJ, an anonymous blogger, along with a few others, has to do the job along unofficial lines - oy vey! oy vey! oy vey!
G-d, G-d, please help us, G-d!

Most rabbonim today are cowards said...

This post begins to chronicle a very sad, sad story.

The Brooklyn kashrus scene was a shambles. Dovid Katz who amazingly built an empire despite his lunacy had fallen from grace and the old Flatbush Vaad was rife with corruption and ineptitude (the new improved Vaad of today is a great hashgocho). A group of askanim decided to subsidize a new hashgocho to solve the problem. Moishe Scheinerman was appointed the de facto leader of the new "Kehillah". A group of rabbonim that included YTT's Rabbi Hisiger also decided to create a monitoring watchdog of all hashgochos called KIC. And finally, this post will focus on a caped crusader with an eye on profit named Rabbi Gornish who said he would save Flatbush from the forces of evil. Rabbi Gornish said he would be the end all, be all in kashrus, a heimishe hashgocho extraordinaire. Although Gornish was on the cheap so as to be competitive, so cheap that he attracted all the riff raff, no one bothered to pay attention. Gornish created buzz by assering Hellman's mayonnaise and a host of other products not deemed to be up to standard. Gornish was the yeshua so he said in badmouthing many other hashgochos that he said did not reach his ankles. Gornish said he will only take shomer Shabbos baalim but this one-up-man-ship was all smoke and mirrors. How many Gornish establishments had or have creepy, freye looking owners ? Plenty, because if it walks & quacks like a duck, it is a duck. All that these grubba Israeli katchkas have to do is lie about their shmiras Shabbos & Gornish gives them a pass even when he suspects otherwise. Gornish was choshesh for the most veit variable of cholov stam but basic kashrus was not to be found. For his clients that aren't really shomer Shabbos (but sha, they are shomer Shabbos if anyone asks), his useless mashgichim "temidim" sit there like goylems, if they even bothered to show up. They were zeros who in some cases received zero instruction from Gornish. Duh, you have to check vegetables for bugs? The Chassidish proprietor of Ave M's Mountain Fruit was selling Israeli produce with no truma & maaser taken and non-kosher shelf product, all baasher hu sham. Gornish, kishmo ken hu. The first big Gornish scandal was the treif meat at the Ave M shawarma place. Finally, the first rov stepped forward and ripped Gornish. But not a word in public. His words of scorn and warning were only for friends & family. How could it be that the heiliger Gornish could not catch this for so long the rov asked? He answered simply that Gornish will give his stamp to any cholerya and then let him operate freely. This was to be expected said the rov of a two faced hypocrite like Gornish who says he is better than any other hashgocho when the opposite is true. As time went on, there was one Gornish scandal after another, wether as actual food or surrounding it like when caterers had Jewish help heat it up on Shabbos. More rabbonim woke up to this avlah but followed the pattern of the first rov. Not a word in public. There are only 2 rabbonim who will speak up. The rest are cowards. When it came to Katz & the Chuster, rabbonim were unafraid to slam a couple of weirdos. But Gornish you see is a normal fellow who heads a shul. You have to have baytzim to speak up against him. Other rabbonim refuse to believe that anything is amiss. These are the machabrim of the Finkel mess. One authority in kashrus has taken calls from people who heard the rumors about Gornish. He vehemently denies there is anything wrong with him and highly recommends him. This rov does not disclose that he is related to Gornish, which most do not realize somehow. Another authority in kashrus is very pareve when asked about Gornish and does not blacklist him like he does to so many other machshirim. When confronted why he gives Gornish a pass, he hems & haws that Gornish will fix a problem eventually if you keep bothering him and don't let him forget about it. This rov is not a relative, but he has another major negiah that prevents him from seeing straight. A rosh yeshiva who admits that Gornish is "takke shvache maysos", beseeches those who complain to be "mispalel zein" that Gornish should improve. Another major kashrus authority who actually has power over Gornish just cops out by saying that any specific problem brought to his attention has been fixed. So how do you stop Gornish from continuing his established pattern? Silence. A rov relates that Gornish himself admitted one day that he did not end up the top notch rav hamachshir he thought he would be. It is not then an outrage that he fraudulently captured the market? I cannot say with absolute certainty that the following story is true. A mashgiach with another hashgocho who is probably the biggest Gornish misnagid alive, claims that Gornish spends every Thursday from morning until night just running around to dozens of places to collect his fee. He will not stop to check on anything he claims because Gornish is too busy grabbing the cash. What I do know for a fact is true is that Gornish has way more establishments than he can handle, even if he did give a damn if the food is kosher. Gornish also has a very bad habit. He will scoop up any restaurant or caterer thrown out by another hashgocho. He doesn't even bother to find out what they violated. Ask the old hashgochos and they will confirm it. The stories outlined here are just the tip of the iceberg and the tip of the Gornish revenue pile. Gornish has the "best" hashgocho like Margulies has the "best" yeshiva.

Securitas said...

We hear there is a reported sighting here of Zalmi Teitelbaum. He went AWOL from an assignment on 13th Ave and hasn't been seen since.

Flatbush Yenta said...

Has anyone heard anything about Simcha Klohr? I get the feeling he's become completely irrelevant. I don't know anyone who still has kids there and no one comments here anymore. My guess is he probably has a few kids left from families that aren't mainstream.

Just Curious said...

"As Rabbi Gil Student said at a speech in Queens a few weeks ago, and on his blog, quoting a gemara, If there is something wrong with a generation, look at the judges. Today's Torah leadership."

In a different location & speech while addressing a different crowd, would Gilligan offer that he and Hirsch are part of today's leadership?

boog said...

most rabbonim;

Questions for you:

1. What role does Scheinerman as Head of Kehillah Kashrus play in all of this?

2. Where is Yisroel Reisman of ARK?

Anonymous said...

>The first big Gornish scandal was the treif meat at the Ave M shawarma place.

Yeah I remember that place, what was the true story about that establishment?

Anonymous said...

The best Hechsher out there is the Yoko Rov (the guy who still gives the hechsher on fresh express romaine with bugs), all his treif is only treif lemehadrin.

Does anyone have a horor story with the Yoko Rov?

Most rabbonim today are cowards said...

Scheinerman and Kehillah is a broad topic that deserves it's own post later.

Yisroel Reisman from "Young Israel" of Madison is actually a Kehillah member. Yankel Reisman is ARK. It's said that Yankel was actually put in cherem after he refused to show up to a din Torah. He claims he is not meshubed to a beis din of lesser chochomim according to Rishonim. The premise of ARK was to go with every chumra. Yudel Shain, talmid of R' Aron Kotler and blogger at Yudelstake, recently raised an alarm that ARK is another fraud that is intertwined with Finkel and has their own rap sheet of horror stories. Shain is often correct but has been known to exaggerate at times.

The Ave M shawarma owner was not frum and even looked like a greasy slimeball but it's his money that mattered to Gornish. It took Gornish forever to catch on that the meat was treif. He should have never been machshir the store to begin with. At the time, Gornish put on a pathetic act that he saved the day by doing his due dilligence.

The Yoka Rov, affectionately known as "The Joker" is a complete fraud. He was contacted several times over the course of a year by rabbonim about Nacho chips with treif cheese that bore his hashgocho. Because he did absolutely nothing and like Katz & Chuster-Horowitz, he is missing a few screws, the rabbonim went public and said you cannot eat from him. The career criminal at the Jewish Press, Gershon Tennebaum, writes features about the Yoka-Koenig family to promote them, just like he promotes his Iggud haganovim organization and District Attorney Hynes.

Funny Story (unless you ate there) said...

Everyone must remember that slimy Mexican sefardi and "Tacos Ole" on Kings Hwy. Dovid Katz would come in and ask to get paid his cut. Moshe would tell him "not now". Katz goes up & back the strip to collect his other dues and comes right back. Moshe starts getting annoyed, "I said later". Katz goes around the corner and comes right back again 5 minutes later. Moshe completely loses it in front of all the customers, startes screaming at Katz and chases him out of the restaurant with his arm in rosho lama sakeh rayecha mode.

That scumbag closed up and opened "Moshe ole" on Coney Island J&K which was under the Vaad. On the last day of Pesach, Rabbi Goldberg is walking by and sees the workers inside preparing the chometz pizza for later. He walked in and ripped off the teuda. Moshe tried every lie in the book to get it back but he fell flat on his lying face.

99% correct said...

The new Vaad is very good except for a couple things. They still have a couple restaurants that are grandfathered in with goy or fry owners if you are makpid on that. They are strict to make sure there are no bugs in lettuce but they have a weird shita on broccoli which it's possible they are right but the major hashgochos are more machmir on.

The biggest proof that the Vaad is good now is they wont let anything in from a Gornish place.

cynic613 said...

The difference between Katz, Chuster, Yoka, Gornish on the one hand, and Moshe "the prick" Scheinerman on the other; is that the former are merely trying to make a living & are admittedly incompetent; while Scheinerman is an arrogant, self righteous, hippocrite who is also a "Rosha M'rusha" and bad mouths others (such as Rabbi Halbertstam's Mikvah b/c he wanted to open his own) & has some kind of Svengali control on several of his wealthy mispaalelem.

Ben Tzion Sobel said...


Nu, vos hert zich?

gross said...

I appreciate all the hashgacha stories - they are very entertaining and the one commenting really seems like he knows what goes on - but I feel, given the current realities of the situation, that there is no reason to have a hashgocha. The mashgichim and kashrus organizations are as nogeiah b'davar as the owners. They have impetus to be machshir an establishment because they get big bucks. Why couldn't people simply decide to trust a store owner like they choose to trust a mashgiach? If a store owner is shomer shabbos and seems like he's on the "up & up" why should he be less trustworthy than a kashrus "rov"? It doesn't make sense. I think true ehrliche people should really eat nowhere (and there are those like that, from what I understand) When there is money involved - and a lot of it - there is bound to be fraud involved as well. The sad reality is that people are ignorant and they think that if an establishment doesn't have a hashgocha then the food must be treife. On a side note, what about those chasidishe maisehs where the rebbe asked the baal hagoleh "to stop off at an inn" where the rebbe ate a simple supper....it seems that back in the day (way back in the day) people ate in establishments without a fancy certificate in the window....

I've always wondered if guys like Reisman (if it's the same one) start off giving motzei shabbos drashas to the ladies with a future hashgacha biz in mind. Former nobodies with a terrific sense of business and wonderful forward-thinking - essentially like image branding or the making of a brand...

http://ungaren.blogspot.com said...

Two points if I may:

A certain individual commented on a previous post relating to the Satmar Rebbe and his purported intolerance for corruption from the zioynim et al. The commenter even compared him to UOJ..

An innocent question to the this person: did he or do he not flee satmar on the Kastner train even as he forbade all his chassidim from leaving Hungary promising them nothing will happen?

Did he or did he not use dirty Mafia tactics to attain the position of Rav in Satmar (another unexplored topic)?

Another topic is the hushed up episode which I remember from myc hildhood of a young bobover boy who hanged himself in the Yeshiva's bathroom because of severe physical and sexual abuse. I remember his low key levaya and how the "leadership" forbade any discussion about the subject.

Anyone know more?

boog said...

most rabbonim;

Give us the scoop (poop?) on Scheinerman and Kehillah Kashrus.

They're prominent in the Flatbush area and the frum oilem relys on them.

One poop under their watch that comes to mind was the 'doctored' chicken plumbas
on Avenue J.



Every time I see Rav Adlerstein, I am mortified because 16 years ago I was writing him heartfelt letters about how I wanted to live for God.

Now look at me.

I snuck into Helkeinu Wednesday night and secretly taped Rabbi Adlerstein speaking for over an hour on “Whistleblowers And Fingerpointers: Dealing With Abuse Within The Organized Jewish Community.”

Before an audience of eleven, Rav Adlerstein began by dismissing these commonly offered arguments for not reporting child molesters:

* That Jewish law (halacah) says we should not hand over Jews to non-Jewish authorities.

* That it is wrong to pass on gossip, even when true.

* That we should judge our fellow Jew favorably.

Rav Adlerstein said child molesters are rarely cured. They need to be kept away from children.

He said that about a decade ago in Fairfax, an Orthodox woman repeatedly left and returned to her abusive non-observant husband. Finally, he murdered her.

Rav Adlerstein said that it is a terrible thing to falsely accuse somebody of abuse. He read from Wikipedia’s entry on the McMartin case.

“There are dangers in all the blogs. There are issues of standards used by the people who run them. One famous blog is run by a woman who went on Oprah in 1989 and recounted tales of ritual abuse in her Conservative synagogue. I take anything she says with a grain of salt. I’ve not seen blogs that vet their stories….or anything close to the standard that ordinary people consider true, let alone according to the standard of Jewish law.”

“Halakhicly, you should not read blogs. It is not our business to punish people. Vengeance is not a Jewish idea except for in a court of law.”

“In some cases, a cover-up is not the worst thing.”

“Discretion is not the worst thing.”

“Cities should put together a special law court, beit din, for issues of abuse. Chicago put together a special beit din for issues of abuse. I guess there will be such a thing in Los Angeles.”

“Journalistic exposure is a last resort. The zeal to go after an accused abuser [often leads to bad results].”

Rav Adlerstein did not name any names.

When he finished talking, I walked out the door and rushed home to blog.

Plain Jew said...

To Weissmandel Eynikl:

What was Rabbi Weissmandel's opinion of The Vaad Hatzoloh, R' Ahron Kotler and the shas that was printed during the war?

Plain Jew said...

Who is Baumel? Why has he been in a Syrian jail for 24 years?

Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Gedolei Yisroel Call for Continued Support of Shabbos

By Betzalel Kahn

Gedolei Yisroel shlita are calling on the public to
continue supporting neighborhood generator initiatives by
joining the ranks of chareidim who opt for kosher electricity
on Shabbos, citing the need to avoid the use of electricity
produced through chilul Shabbos.


Chaim Zev Stern said...

Who does Scheinerman control? I thought he was just the messenger boy for Davidowitz?

Un-Orthodox Jew said...

There is no bigger fool on this planet than Yitzchok Adlerstein!

Margo's Accountant said...

How will they pay for generators when they can't even pay for their kids chassunos? Lipa is already grumbling about all these Eretz Yisruldikka shnorrers knocking on his door.

Anonymous said...

Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Gedolei Yisroel Call for Continued Support of Shabbos
So now ecommerce will be promitted on shabbos.

Zev Yaroslavsky said...

What's the deal with Adlerstein? You would never know there's anything wrong considering he is chair at Loyola University and consulted for his opinion by both the LA & NY Times.

Yitzchok Adler-stone-head said...


I managed to convince all these guys that I deserve those idiot positions because it says so in the Bible-codes.

Un-Orthodox Jew said...


Avi Shafran and Yitzchok Adlerstein are tied for first place "biggest fools on this planet" award.

Plaques to be given out at the next "daas Torah fress convention" by Rabbi Matisyahu Salomon, photography by Zelman studios, separate tea rooms for men and women.

Notowitz said...

Zelman studios, that can't takeGedolim Pictures to save their lives. Come to Notowitz for you best homemade Gedolim.

Zvi Ryzman said...

Funny UOJ would mention separate tea rooms at the fress fest. When R' Mottel Weinberg ztl criticized the Agudah for taaruvos while they preach daas Torah, Sherer pulled the plug on him and didn't let him back.

Howard Witkin said...

With all these guys winning awards from UOJ, I heard Bencraft is bringing in a new line of Dunce Caps made by Borsalino.

David Hager said...

Normally I would say the Notowitz comment is a shameless self-promotion, but because it was done in a very tasteful and humorous way, you get a pass this time.

David Zeffren said...

Ok guys, we all read the blog on the West Coast too, but why did you decide to come out of the UOJ readership closet now?

Un-Orthodox Jew said...

OK L.A. Boys,

Time to step in and arbitrate.

I've seen both Notowitz's Gedolim pictures and Zelman's...Notowitz wins!
Notowitz has the photos of the REAL gedolim. Eat your heart out Zelman.

Avi L. Shafran said...

That sucks. I just went through all kinds of trouble to fix up my hat to make it look spanking new. I almost got decapitated by Stanley Goldstein's hat brush in the process. Now I have to go out and get a dunce cap?

Note to Gross said...

You've got the wrong read on Sruly Reisman. He does not have his own hechsher like Yankel from the 5 Towns who is no relation. Sruly allowed his name to be put on Kehillah letterhead like some other rabbonim who thought they were helping the dire situation years ago. He is not really involved and lets Scheinerman get all the limelight and action. Why these rabbonim let Scheinerman be captain is another shaayla.

He gives a Novee shiur but he is a very humble person. It was the crowd that made the shiur highly popular. Because the volume of people showing up kept increasing he had to go to a bigger place which is still overflowing. Ironically, Margo tried to cash in on Reisman's popularity by having a hook up in the YTT dining room. He wasn't charging admission but he figures he will score with the P.R.

Sruly Reisman knows a velt of learning too. I do have one problem with him though that he is not very tough when the situation calls for it.

Catholic Rabbis said...

I once had a cab ride in Israel by a driver (sans yarmulke) with the last name of Wasserman. In Rechovot. He told me he was related (either a grandson or great nephew) and told me what he thougt about Reb Elchonon going back. Said it was absolutely deranged that Jewish Rabbis could have such a theology. Then again (as per my link) Rabbis that only saved themselves weren't much better.

Un-Orthodox Jew said...


Gedolei Yisroel Call for Continued Support of Shabbos Generators

By Betzalel Kahn

Gedolei Yisroel shlita are calling on the public to continue supporting neighborhood generator initiatives by joining the ranks of chareidim who opt for kosher electricity on Shabbos, citing the need to avoid the use of electricity produced through chilul Shabbos.

Following various Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) announcements in recent months promising to supply kosher electricity around the country, rabbonim and public figures familiar with the complexity of the matter were asked to look into the pledges and to find out exactly what they mean in practical terms.

They found out that at the initiative of the Israel Electric Corporation's CEO Uri Ben-Nun, a proposal was made to replace most of the hundreds of employees who work on Shabbos with non-Jewish workers. However, according to the proposed arrangement a few Jewish workers would still instruct non- Jewish workers to carry out certain tasks, which means of course that no real halachically valid solution has been reached since some of the Jewish employees would continue to work on Shabbos.

During a round of visits at the homes of gedolei Yisroel shlita Ben-Nun, accompanied by chareidi organizers, presented his proposal in detail. Maranan verabonon discussed the plan with him at length and encouraged him in his long-awaited efforts to minimize Shabbos desecration at the IEC.

Rabbonim involved in the matter note that in the event the initiative succeeds im yirtzeh Hashem, it would have no impact on the use of Shabbos generators as long as acts of chilul Shabbos continue. Based on a close familiarity with the situation, a comprehensive solution remains far off on the horizon. As such, gedolei Yisroel are instructing the public to continue setting up and joining generators providing kosher electricity in chareidi areas around the country.

boog said...

To: Note to gross.

"sruli" reisman isn't the eidel, meek, mild-mannered Clark Kent you make him out to be. The dude can get disgracefully in your face.

Armin Mandel said...

UOJ, they have a valid tayna that Jews should not be working at power plants, especially when so many goyim from Ukraine, China, etc are available to work on Shabbos. Could you please explain exactly what your counter tayna is to the readership?

Speaking of Los Angeles said...


Does anyone know what's going on here? Some guy named David Ray has filed against every yeshiva & haymishe guy in town.

brooklyn refugee said...

Sruli Resiman actually stopped being the Rov of a minyan that he was Rov of b/c it continued to meet in the basement of a shul. He wanted a "real" shteller.

At least Reb Elchonon wanted to be with his flock - even if it was under difficult circumstances.

Sharfe Zog from Shmarya said...

But one piece of Rabbi Adlerstein's advice is good. He holds blogs should not be read. I suggest you all take him up on that by refusing to read the (Cross Currents) blog he and his fellow abuse coverup expert Avi Shafran write for.

Un-Orthodox Jew said...


Shabbos electric/chasmal d"Chazon Ish is a chumra shebechumrot.

The Charedi community is literally going hungry, how dare these idiots foist another expense on their sheep?

The workers at the electricity plant will be m'challel Shabbos anyway, why cause more massive unemployment?

There are LIFE AND DEATH ISSUES that are being ignored and these clowns are busy incorporating every single lunacy in to their Torah.

Clothing hechsherim, bus seating, Shabbos electric.......!!! WE HAVE LOST OUR MINDS!

I said a year ago that people in Monsey and Brooklyn are eating treif, while these idiots are busying themselves with Shabbos electric. See "Shabbos Electricity, what's next"?

Rabbi Yonosson Katz said...

Brooklyn Refugee, you don't really give the whole picture about Reisman. Jacobson & the crew from London's shul needed somewhere to call home after their building and their leader was seized by the Feds. They lured Reisman closer to them which was when some of his mispalelim came to me. The diehard Reisman chassidim were asleep at the wheel and let London's boys hijack the board and all the decisions. You guys are upset at Reisman but you let it happen. The new shul at Ave S was somewhat of a flop because they made it too small from day one. That's why Reisman couldn't hold all those machers that wanted to leave Rottenberg.

Lisa Nowak said...

I'm looking for a job. I was told there are jobs in the men's mikves in Boro Park that will take me to the Moon!

R' Yisroel Reisman said...

Maybe I'm lucky the Rottenberg train didn't unload by me. That shul is the Frankel's counterpart on this side of Kings Hwy. All kinds of guys with criminal histories, shady backgrounds and running away from their chassidish roots to be modern make up that shul. They have some real celebrities there like Pinter's shutaf from the gold robbery.

Joe Kornfeld said...

Can someone explain how Scheinerman gets away with it?

Brooklyn Refugee said...

Fellas - I'm talking about a time WAY before the Ave S. shul, way before Rabbi London's shul closed down. Before Rottenberg. way, way before. when the Novi shiur had only 30 people attending. Sruli was in kollel and was the unofficial Rov of a 'youth' minyan in the basement of a shtieble. He was Rov for a while and then said he's leaving. He didn't want to be Rov in a basement. Some of the people in that basement minyan made up the original group that set up his new shul - but there was a break in the time-frame. It didn't happen from one day to the next. Sruli left the minyan b/c he didn't want to be Rov in a basement shul. Think about how many struggling communities started in a basement and grew to become thriving communities. Did their Rov leave them in middle? How many communities in Eretz Yisroel started with only tents and caravans. did their rabbonim leave them b/c it wasn't big enough or proper enough for a future gadol hador?

Not Stupid Enough to Send my Kids to YTT said...

Now that that posting from the city was publicized about the hazardous and potentially explosive situation of an oil tank and faulty wiring too close to the boiler, do you think that any of these Hungarian yoyo parents have called Applegrad that their kids are in danger? Probably the same number who care about Yudi Kolko molesting six year olds.


Joe Putz said...

Homeless refugee,

You're pathetic. You say yourself it was just a youth minyan that didn't even have an official rov. There is no shibud for Rabbi Reisman to stay in that hole with you. Get over it.


What's doing in Toiv's shul lately? Have they run out of dirty jokes yet? Does everyone still let Abie feel like he's important & in charge?

Anonymous said...

Fellows Listen:
It's not Yisroel Reisman who is ARK phony hashgacha it's YAAKOV Reisman from Far Rockaway. He was a Rebbe in YSV with Ullman. He was an employee of Finkel.

Look how many phonies were working in YSV: Reisman, Ullman, Yanky Horowitz (Project YES), Twersky (R' Perlow brother-in-law) another phony.

Flatbush Kids at Risk said...


When Ruthie Sanders wanted to help her 17-year-old son, Effy, address his drug problem, she had nowhere to turn. It was 2000, and at the time, the Orthodox Jewish community was just beginning to become aware of the destructive habits of many of its youth. The Jewish Observer, a well-regarded Orthodox magazine in the haredi community, had devoted an issue to the problem in 1999, which found that though illicit drug use was nothing new, a main impediment to its reduction was a mixture of genuine communal unawareness, willful negligence and even outright denial.

The articles helped break the silence, and when a lengthy report by UJA-Federation of New York on Jewish poverty in New York quantified the problem — roughly 10 percent of Orthodox Jews under the age of 18 had used illegal drugs — the response was speedy, if not always in unison.

Howard and Debbie Jonas were the first to act, establishing The Yatzkan Center in April 2001; it was funded privately by a charitable arm of IDT, a billion-dollar telecommunications firm Howard Jonas founded in the early ‘90s. The center, given Debbie’s maiden name, had its first success story in Effy, who, after a 10-month residence in the Amityville, L.I., treatment center, moved back home with his parents and was living a substance-free life.

But soon, Debbie, who was largely in control of the center, ran into trouble. At $10,000 a month to treat just one adolescent, the center, she said, “was running through money like water.” In late 2001, with Yatzkan on the brink of closing, the center’s residents and their parents demanded it stay open, many of them offering to pay substantial amounts out of their own pockets to keep it running.

That helped slow the mounting financial debt, but it didn’t solve it. In 2004, the center was moved temporarily to Mount Vernon. It is the only facility of its kind — a live-in drug rehab center for Orthodox youth.

But that isn’t bad news. Yatzkan is now moving to Flatbush, Brooklyn, where a more consistent stream of funding — a significant amount of which comes through government reimbursement and the remaining from insurance, private pay, private donors and a FEGS-Yatzkan endowment fund — will finance the 32-resident FEGS-Yatzkan Division, which opens this week. UJA-Federation of New York, the Jonases and government provided seed money.

“This is not just a matter of opening a center,” said Gail Magaliff, the Yatzkan Division spokesperson, “it’s a matter of addressing a major problem.”

FEGS will manage the Yatzkan Division, and the organization’s top leadership has pushed the issue of substance abuse prevention among Jewish adolescents here and in Israel to the top of its agenda.

“It’s a massive problem for the Jewish communities all over the world,” said Al Miller, FEGS’ CEO, about adolescent drug use. “It should be at the forefront of the Jewish community’s agenda. … It has ramifications for the future of all Jews — for Jewish continuity.”

FEGS is working hand in hand with Israel’s Anti-Drug Authority (IADA), which has felt acutely the detrimental effects of drug use in the Jewish state. Haim Messing, IADA’s director general, was in New York last week for the opening and said “the drug problem all over the world is important to us because the Jewish community is one big family.”

Yatzkan’s building is a sprawling, airy and bright structure, with large windows looking out on a quiet corner in Flatbush, a cavernous entrance with a large blond-wood welcome desk and four separate residential quarters. Each quarter holds eight adolescents, with three of the residences designated for boys, and one for girls. There are two stainless-steel kitchens and each have separate sinks, refrigerators and dishwashers for meat and dairy.

In addition, there are numerous classrooms, where New York City schoolteachers will offer basic high school subjects.

“We integrate recovery with Yiddishkeit,” said Lew Abrams, Yatzkan’s executive director. “We try to explain that there’s a power greater than themselves, but we don’t do it in a cultish way,” he said, regarding the Jewish-oriented nature of the recovery process. Abrams said that many Orthodox Jews who involve themselves in drugs often feel alienated from their community.

Their drug use only furthers their distance from living a halachic way of life.

Joshua Fogel, a professor of behavioral science at Brooklyn College and the author of a recent report on adolescent drug use in the Orthodox community in Brooklyn, said that a challenge for the Yatzkan Division will be to tailor its 12-step program to the specific needs of its patients.

“Standard drug rehab will not work,” said Fogel, who was not consulted on the project.

And it appears that FEGS is readily of aware of that. Not only is Judaism gently included in the rehab process — “by attraction rather than promotion,” in Abrams’ words — but the center has a close relationship with the surrounding Orthodox community.

Abrams explained how the previous Yatzkan Center in Mount Vernon established close ties with a local synagogue, with the rabbi and his congregants warmly courting the patients.

“These families in the community,” said Abrams, in reference to the Mount Vernon residents, “without any prodding, said they didn’t want the kids to feel vulnerable. We’re hoping to establish similar relationships as we had in Mount Vernon.”

That may prove to be the most difficult aspect of all, Fogel said, noting that while the Orthodox community in Brooklyn has made substantial improvements in dealing with its youth drug problem, the problems of denial and embarrassment still persist.

“By having FEGS in Brooklyn, I think it could help the community deal with the issue,” Fogel said.

At the Yatzkan Division’s opening ceremony last Thursday, many of the over 150 guests — including state officials and leaders of Jewish organizations — were taken with the look of the center and expressed pride in its existence.

Jonas Waizer, the COO of FEGS, led the ceremony and gave a speech about the extraordinary efforts by the state officials, Miller, Messing and Debbie Jonas, among many others.

But, he ended on a muted note: “Beauty isn’t the trappings. It’s all about the outcomes. We will succeed when the kids go back to their families.”




Agudah, which often favors advocacy out of the limelight, made a public statement because “we felt it was important as a signal to our people … if they would say a prayer for him it is a good thing,” said Rabbi Avi Shafran, an Agudah spokesman.

Rabbi Shafran said Agudah, which has issued public statements on Pollard’s behalf in past years, all with the blessing of its Council of Torah Sages, acted this week at the suggestion of Young Israel. “Rabbi Lerner certainly has our ear.”

Pollard “is not a hero to us,” Rabbi Shafran said. “He’s a Jew in distress who needs our help. There’s absolutely no condoning of what he did.”

aaron from los angeles said...

you must remember,however,that Rabbi Wasserman sincerely believed that Olam Habah was more important.Coming to America would have exposed yeshiva students in Europe to all sorts of spiritual dangers resulting in Gehinom,including non- cholov yisroel Hershey bars,a secular as well as religious education,and,Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby records.(I have even been told that some brazen and shameless young men and women used to dance to them,MIXED,no less!

Left Coast said...

Aaron from Los Angeles, what is your big hang up with mixed dancing? I've seen you joke about it in other places. It is ervah you know. Young Israel doesn't allow it in any of their functions for decades now.

Anonymous said...

Here is the problem with this blog. The good guys get attacked as well as the evil doers.

Rabbi Sruly Reissmann is from the good guys. All it takes is one person with a bad impression of him (and even the great ones will never have a % favorable rating) to post a negative story on the blog. A discussion ensues with people taking sides and suddenly a truly good guy - a leader - is seen as one of the bad guys.

This is not fair at all. Same thing with R Yanky Horowitz.

If we want credibility when we attack the issues and the Rabbonim who are not worthy of the title, it would help our cause if we were careful to give respect to the good guys.

Anonymous said...


You mentioned that you davened at Rabbi Herbst shul.

1. Funny that when it is a guy you like, you simply gloss over a "small minor discretion" that Rabbi Herbst was alleged to have committed. Had one of the bad Rabbonim that you rail against been accused of the same we would not hear the end of it. I do not know the truth in this case and do not want this to become a slugfest against Rabbi Herbst. My point is addressed at Gross.

2. You fit the description of fat, overweight, bald, ill-groomed, unemployed kugel fresser who sometimes davens at Herbst. Is that you or is this a case of mistaken identity?

cognitive dissonace said...

Does anyone know more about the kid from KJ who comitted suicide?

Why has this been hushed up?

(Are his initials D.S. by any chance?)

steve said...

What's shocking is the number of "heimishe" grocery stores that carry the Rubashkin/Aaron's/Supreme line. The allegations against their Postville plant regarding kashrut violations, tzaar baalei chayim and employee rights violations, should have closed them down a long time ago. Remember, nobody believed Rabbi Shain eight years ago regarding Shevach. Many of those same people were crying last Yom Kippur night during Kol Nidre, "ki lchol haam bishgaga". According to Rav Yudel, "Rubashkin was the forerunner to Shevach, only they are more elaborate with their schemes." When you have a cholei bsakana and the only food you have available for him is Hebrew National or Rubashkin, he says to feed the sick person Hebrew National. A well respected mashgiach as Rabbi Shain would not put his reputation on the line if there were not serious issues with Rubashkin. Personally, I stopped buying their products when the Kosher Spot scandal broke, with the owner buying "kosher" meat from Rubashkin and labelling it "glatt kosher". The foul-mouthed truck drivers have full access to labels and plumbas that they can sell to any lowlife storeowner looking to cheat. When you have a company that's in the treife meat business as well, where they cannot compete in that market, it behooves them to label as much as possible "glatt kosher". Now they came up with the fraudulent label "glatt kosher chicken". As far back as I can remember, chicken was either kosher or not kosher. This is another means to defraud the consumer into thinking their product is superior. Then they place the phony OU symbol, while nobody from the OU even visited their plant. As long as the OU gets paid, it doesn't really matter, does it? They are certifying that they know tbe mashgiach, whatever that's worth. It's reached a point where I know certain rabbis that have become vegetarians, not even eating meat on Shabbos and Yom Tov.

The state of kashrut today is probably as bad as it was 70 years ago during the days of RSFM. The phony mashgichim go under the title of "kulo ohev shochad verodef salmonim", and there's plenty that run abound. Phony mashgichim that cover up kashrut violations and phony rashei yeshivos that cover up sexual abuse. This is the sad state of affairs we are in today. One can choose to ignore Rabbi Shain's rantings to stop buying Rubashkin as well as one can choose to ignore UOJ's rantings to stop sending your kids to YTT. Just remember that Rav Yudel was right regarding Shevach and UOJ was right regarding Kolko, Nussbaum, Eiseman and Leizerowitz. Just remember, next Kol Nidre, you can no longer claim "ki lchol haam bishgaga". You have been duly warned!!

Anonymous said...


Please, rachmonim bnei rachmonim. This sweet baby (pictured) needs 500,000 to cover a complex operation in order to help him survive.

Please donate generously to

הפועלים, סניף 594, שכונה ט' בבאר שבע, חשבון 106419.

Bank Hapoalim branch 594, Beer Sheba, Israel. account number 106419

boog said...

good if it leads to mixed dancing.

Then maybe these pervs wouldn't have to get their jollies by molesting little kids.

Anonymous said...

Rabbi Reisman left the original basement minyan as it was a "youth" minyan and he wanted to be the rav of a regular minyan. He was offered to "move up" to a real minyan. How can you say that a rav/rabbi who switches jobs is abandoning his people? I can't believe anyone can fault him for that...

Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Anon, 3:00,

You have a valid point. I'm caught between the people that need to vent with "their" perspective, and the ones that have valid taanis that have a place, but not here. If it winds up on a comment, it is probably ONLY 1 out of the 15 or so I let go through.

So there is a need for a place to vent, and many times the taanis are real, many times they're not. I don't endorse necessarily the views expressed by the commenters, but I feel an achrayis in many cases to put them up, because they come from a variety of different sources.

The rudest and crudest DO NOT go up, as well as the ones that don't pass the very liberal UOJ smell test.

People in public positions will get criticized, that's the way it is. In the comments section, I do not vouch for the accuracy, I don't know.

A very successful businessman I know says "If I don't get sued at the very least once a month, that means I'm not doing enough business."

A rabbi that's not criticized means he's not doing enough for the klal! That's it! Nothing more!

Aaron from L..A. said...

to Left Coast: Actually,it's my idea of a joke---- one with a message behind it,namely:with all the really serious threats(physical and spiritual) Jews are now exposed to,I go nuts when people sweat the small stuff...like who say S. Monica instead of Santa Monica,ginger kale instead of ginger ale,and those who won't mix fish and milk.....some really dumb stuff!

Anonymous said...

Hey, Aaron -

Educate me.

What's wrong with saying Santa Monica?

What's wrong with eating fish and milk together?

aaron from L.A. said...

To Left Coast:notice how the really(at least outwardly) frum molesters seem to only go after boys....could it be that molesting girls might lead to,well you know what......

Un-Orthodox Jew said...


A very well thought out and accurate post.


Un-Orthodox Jew said...

One more thing!

Better to vent here than during krias haTorah:-)

Aaron from L..A. said...

what's wrong with saying Santa monica?"Santa" is Spanish for "saint".It's all pretty dumb ,of course,but I've heard S.Monica on more than one occasion( especially from people from Crown Heights....There's nothing wrong with eating fish and milk together,either.But some people,(based on a misprint) think that it's forbidden.More dumb stuff,I know...And by the way,never make hamentaschen with four corners;otherwise there's a sh'ayla of tzitzis.

gross said...


You mentioned that you davened at Rabbi Herbst shul.

1. Funny that when it is a guy you like, you simply gloss over a "small minor discretion" that Rabbi Herbst was alleged to have committed. Had one of the bad Rabbonim that you rail against been accused of the same we would not hear the end of it. I do not know the truth in this case and do not want this to become a slugfest against Rabbi Herbst. My point is addressed at Gross.

2. You fit the description of fat, overweight, bald, ill-groomed, unemployed kugel fresser who sometimes davens at Herbst. Is that you or is this a case of mistaken identity?


Anonymous: Here is the text of my statement: "...On second thought, Rabbi Herbst in Brooklyn is pretty authentic and a humble person, with exceptional middos. I know he was mentioned in a lawsuit regarding a messy divorce, but my dealings with him left me with a positive feeling..."
I don't think I "glossed over a minor [in]discretion." My intentions were to convey my personal encounters with him. I purposely mentioned the lawsuit against him because I wanted to be fair to the readers and illustrate that he is not without controversy. I don't know if it's true and I leave that isolated incident to the discretion of whomever reads my comment. On a side note, from what I understand, the lawsuit was about a get in which the woman claimed that he, along with several other rabbonim accepted a bribe from the husband. I happen to know people who used R' Herbst for their divorce and they were pleased - I'm referring to both sides. My respect for R' Herbst was rather limited in scope. I simply related my feelings about what I believe is authentic humility and how I was further impressed with his neilah speech. As far as your claim that I probably ignored the issue of controversy because I like him...perhaps it's true and maybe you "got me." If you want me to say that I am not crazy over him because of a woman's claim (an isolated incident, by the way) then fine - I don't daven there and I don't even live in Flatbush.

In response to your last paragraph, I don't see, from what I wrote, how you might come to that physical conclusion of me. You remind me of someone who once commented (suddenly "suspecting" that I was rather young, after reading something I wrote) that they always thought "for sure" that I was "in my 40s." Your description of me could not be further from reality - in every aspect.

As a long time supporter of UOJ and probably one of the first commenters (and first "member of the board" :)) I am curious as to how people conceive of me as a person. I wonder how old people think I am...what I do for a living...what type I am...the image I portray...what kind of yeshiva I went to...shul I daven in...do I even daven in shul...married...children??? It would be interesting to know as I haven't offered any real personal information before. By the way, I don't particularly like kugel. Okay, maybe a spice yerushalmi...

In any case, no hard feelings and you brought up a valid point, which I hope I've addressed.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the info, Aaron.

We've all seen stuff like this. At Torah Academy for Girls in Far Rockaway, New York, considered a moderate Bais Yaakov-type school, my daughters are instructed, when writing the "t" letter, with a loop at the bottom of the vertical line, as it appears here by the way. Without the loop, its a crucifix.

I told my daughters that official Church doctrine towards the Jews has completely changed, and also, many, many Catholics and Protestants are friends of the Jews and the State of Israel, and it is therefore unnecessary to act so extremely by writing the letter "t" in such a manner. We are now friends, not enemies. The Moslem world is mostly our enemy now. I also told them that for the sake of darchei shalom, not to argue with their teachers, to pick their battles, and for schoolwork, write the letter "t" with a loop.

I also told them that this type of silliness occupies too much of our minds, rather than important, positive things.

Un-Orthodox Jew said...

R' Gross shlita is indeed a founding member and one of the first true, hard-core, "cynical" commenters on UOJ! I recognize this type of talent immediately and recruited him as chairman of the board. He continues to assist me in many aspects, and has not asked for a raise in 23 months:-)

Yasher K. my friend!

Ihatescheinerman said...

Scheinerman is a selfish self- centered Chazir that loves Money and Kavod more than G-d. But above all he loves himself.


Anonymous said...
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wikipedia said...

Rabbi Elchonon was taken and murdered by the Lithuanians on the 12th of Tammuz, 1941. Before he was taken he gave this statement: "In Heaven it appears that they deem us to be righteous because our bodies have been chosen to atone for the Jewish people. Therefore, we must repent now, immediately. There is not much time. We must keep in mind that we will be better offerings if we repent. In this way we will save the lives of our brethren overseas."

"Let no thought enter our minds, God forbid, which is abominable and which renders an offering unfit. We are now fulfilling the greatest mitzvah. With fire she (Jerusalem) was destroyed and with fire she will be rebuilt. The very fire which consumes our bodies will one day rebuild the Jewish people."

Anonymous said...

If this is an accurate quote about Rabbi Wasserman, he was a very ill and dangerous person.

Rabbi Dovid Eidensohn on Daas Torah And Gedolim said...

On the issue of gedolim. This is an issue that deserves a column of its own, especially today when the Torah world is going against the grain of the Talmud niglo and nistor. Today what people think is Daas Torah is often the opposite.

At any rate, even before I write that column assuming that I do, I make it clear that what goes on, on every level, for Daas Torah, has no source in the Talmud or anywhere else, and is the figment of someone's twisted imagination.

But this requires more writing than I have energy for at this point. I have heard support for this from gedolim of the past and present generation. One even gave me permission to write a sefer attacking the Yeshiva system!

Anonymous said...

"To Left Coast:notice how the really(at least outwardly) frum molesters seem to only go after boys....could it be that molesting girls might lead to,well you know what......"

paternity tests?

Yaakov R. said...

What chutzpah for Rabbi Salomon to attack UOJ who is only trying to help the klal and protect the children from molesters. R' Salomon should be more concerned with what goes on in his own backyard. He is the supposed mashgiach of the BMG in Lakewood. As you walk in, there stands a monument to the greed and corruption that has engulfed yiddishkeit in the past decade or so. There is a wall dedicated to Charles Kushner, the same Kushner who was convicted for tax evasion, witness tampering and pimping (he even set up Mcgreevy's boy toy Cipel with a house and salary). I don't care how much money he gave. This money is dirty, like an etnan zonah. Give it back to him. The late great President Ronald Reagan once stood at the Berlin Wall and defied then Soviet leader Gorbachev with these words: "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" I hereby defy R' Salomon with these same words: "Rabbi Salomon, tear down that wall! Tear down the wall of greed, arrogance and corruption that separates the Jewish people from the truth and from the leadership they truly deserve!"

Hear Yea, Hear Yea said...

To those of you who harrassed / tampered with victims and advocates of Kolko, Tendler and other monsters. You know who you are:

Bungalow Putz
Meteorologist Shea Fishman
Pro-fresser Twerski
Charles Hynes
Hersh Ginzberg (Agudas haganovim)
Harlan (Tzvi) Kilstein
Susan Rosenbluth (Jewish Voice & Opinion of Teaneck)


Remember witness tampering is illegal in this country. If anyone in a community harasses a victim or witness to a sex crime they can end up in prison.

Legal Compliance Dept said...

Maybe yeshivos should have a clause that anyone convicted of a felony will have his name removed without getting his money back. Unless of course Leib Pinter & friends successfully lobby against such bylaws.

Anonymous said...

What the goyim say about kiryas joel


Anonymous said...

I am still shaken up about the Kiryas Yoel suicide.

Anyone know more info?

were his initials D.S. by any chance?

Re TAG Far Rockaway said...

Avoiding any appearance of a tzelem (cross) has nothing to do with how hostile or friendly the goyim are. There are halachos governing this because of avoda zara issues. There are shitos that coincidental crosses are mutter or that even specifically religious ones are ok in some circumstances as R' Tuvya Goldstein has said, so forcing this on school girls may be excessive. Christians are mostly friendly today either because they are not frum like they used to be and therefore do not dwell on the radical anti-Semitic beliefs that they did for over 1000 years or because they wish we all move to Israel for an apocalyptic end game.

Is there a Doctor in the House? said...

Seriously, like s clinical psychologist or something who can answer this question. I know an older bochur type who I always thought was strange. I have heard him make bizarre comments to children about 5 years old about them taking all their clothes off. He does not hesitate from loudly announcing it in front of adults in the vicinity. Are these odd comments a red flag that he could be an abuser or is he just a loser?

Anonymous said...

There are several different types of Rabbonim.

1) Means to do well, just not very good at it (hey, haven't you ever had a car mechanic who was a real sweetheart, a real mentsch, honest, not a gelt frsser, but just wasn't very good at fixing cars?) I'm thinking of Leibel Katz, Rabbi "the hugger" Twersky, etc.

2) Good all around, but hey nobody's perfect & someone will always find a "tainah", let's say Rabbi Yisroel Reisman, Rabbi Avraham Schor, Rabbi Breuer (Agudah Ave L), etc.

3) Don't really mean to do well & don't do well at all; Margo, etc. (I don't want to mention others; it's less than 8 months to "yoim ha-din")

4) Evil and dangerous people like Moishe Scheinerman.

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