Wednesday, January 08, 2014

The Future of American Orthodoxy

 The UOJ Archives....Tuesday, November 08, 2005

by Jonathan D. Sarna

In the struggle for the soul of American Jewry, the Orthodox model has triumphed," Samuel G. Freedman announced in his widely discussed volume titled Jew vs. Jew. Freedman, himself raised as a secularist, is far from alone in his analysis. In the thirty-five years that have passed since Charles Liebman, writing in the American Jewish Year Book, first pronounced Orthodoxy to be "on the upsurge" and concluded that it was "the only group which today contains within it a strength and will to live that may yet nourish all the Jewish world," Orthodoxy has emerged as the great success story of late 20th-century American Judaism. Some of its leaders proudly proclaim themselves the winners in the race to save American Judaism, and insist that non-Orthodox Jews, with their high rate of intermarriage, will have no Jewish grandchildren and no Jewish future.

History warns against triumphalistic claims of this sort.

In the post-Civil War era, Reform Jews believed that they would define American Judaism. The architect of American Reform Judaism, Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise, called his prayer book Minhag Amerika and, given the number of synagogues that moved into the Reform camp in his day, his vision did not seem farfetched. Many in the mid-1870s believed as he did that Reform would in time become "the custom of American Jews." Of course, with mass East European Jewish immigration that did not happen and within half-a-century Reform Judaism had stagnated.

Conservative Judaism, meanwhile, became the fastest growing movement on the American Jewish scene and it too enjoyed a moment of triumphalism, especially in the immediate post-World War II era. But its success proved no more long lasting. In recent decades, its numbers have declined both absolutely and relatively.

The question now is whether Orthodoxy will follow the same trajectory.

History, of course, does not always repeat itself, but insiders in the Orthodox world know that their movement suffers from many "dilemmas and vulnerabilities."

Indeed a symposium organized by the Orthodox Union in 1998 spoke of "a sense of triumph mixed with trepidation." I want to focus on six reasons for this trepidation. Without discounting any of American Orthodoxy's obvious strengths, anyone who is seriously interested in the future of American Orthodoxy needs to confront these issues.

First of all, Orthodox Judaism in America has had trouble retaining its members.

Indeed, according to a demographic study by Sergio Della Pergola and Uzi Rebhun, published in the Orthodox flagship publication, Jewish Action, Orthodoxy loses more of its members over time than does any other Jewish religious movement.

Even among the younger and supposedly more committed Orthodox (born 1950-1970), according to the survey, Orthodoxy retained only 42 percent of those born into its fold.

To be sure, some of these losses are compensated for by gains of new followers, and Orthodox Jews also enjoy a higher birthrate than their non-Orthodox counterparts. Figures from the 2000 National Jewish Population Survey, one suspects, will show an improved rate of Orthodox retention. Notwithstanding all of these factors, however, the demographers concluded that, "overall, the size of Orthodoxy does not seem to be bound to dramatic growth." (perhaps in numbers but not in faithful adherents)

Considering that not even 10 percent of American Jews are currently Orthodox, this represents a significant problem.

Second, Orthodoxy in America is suffering from a severe leadership crisis.

The greatest of its 20th-century leaders - Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, Rabbi Moses Feinstein, and the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Schneerson - all have passed from the scene, and no worthy successors have emerged. Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein, Rabbi Soloveitchik's son-in-law and now the Rosh Yeshivah of Yeshivat Har Etzion, in Israel, has recently acknowledged and bemoaned "the current dearth of first-rank gedolim [giants]" in America.

"One can think," he writes, "of no indigenous American gadol certain to be remembered with wistful awe a century hence...of no giant majestically bestriding the contemporary scene and securely moving American Orthodoxy into the future."

Perhaps for this reason, American Orthodox Jews increasingly look to Israeli rabbis and yeshivah heads for direction. When a young American Orthodox Jew speaks of "my rebbe," chances are that he is referring to someone in Israel.

One cannot but wonder, however, whether Israeli Orthodox leaders really understand the American Jewish scene well enough to exercise leadership here. Historically, at least, religious movements that cannot count on indigenous leadership to direct them have not fared well in America - at least, not for long.

Third, American Orthodoxy is experiencing a significant brain drain.

It sends its best and brightest to Israel for long periods of yeshivah study, and unsurprisingly many of them never return. Even those who do come back and succeed feel a spiritual longing to return to the Holy Land, and count the days until they can do so. Thus, Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, one of the most successful American Orthodox rabbis of recent decades, left his congregation in New York in order to make aliyah to Efrat. His success at building that community is remarkable, but in the meanwhile his former congregation grievously declined and American Orthodoxy lost one of its most dynamic leaders. One can think of literally dozens of similar examples: remarkable Orthodox men and women who might have transformed American Jewish religious life but preferred to cast their lot with Zion. This may be terrific from an Israeli perspective, but can a movement that sends its most illustrious sons and daughters there truly expect to triumph here?

Fourth, American Orthodoxy is deeply divided over the issue of how to confront modernity.

There is nothing new about this: Jeffrey Gurock has shown that the tension between "accommodators" and "resisters" in Orthodox life dates back to the 19th century. Parallel debates have animated many other American religious movements. Indeed, such debates have also often proved salutary: each side checks and balances the excesses of the other.

The problem is that, in the absence of broadly respected leaders, the fault lines between modern and right-wing Orthodox Jews have deepened.

In one particularly vitriolic attack, Rabbi Elya Svei, a prominent member of the right-wing Agudat Israel, characterized Yeshiva University's President Norman Lamm as "an enemy of God" - a charge that he subsequently refused to retract.

More broadly, Modern Orthodox Jews - including, recently, Senator Joseph Lieberman - have found themselves written out of Orthodoxy altogether by some right-wing critics. No wonder that Professors William B. Helmreich and Reuel Shinnar, in a recent analysis, described Modern Orthodoxy as "a movement under siege." The question, however, is not whether Modern Orthodoxy will survive - in fact, it retains thousands of adherents. The question is whether Orthodoxy itself can survive as a single movement or whether, like so many Protestant denominations that have faced similar challenges, it will ultimately polarize so far as to crack.

The fact that Orthodox Judaism, unlike its Conservative and Reform counterparts, does not have any strong institutional ties binding all of its factions together makes the danger of such a schism all the greater.

Fifth, American Orthodoxy faces sweeping challenges from contemporary feminism.

Jewish Action calls this "perhaps the most explosive issue facing Orthodoxy" and wonders aloud whether it "will estrange feminists and their supporters from the rest of Orthodoxy."

In many communities, the answer would seem to be yes.

So-called "women's issues" - whether, for example, women may organize separate prayer groups on a regular basis, or dance with the Torah on Simchat Torah, or celebrate ritually the bat mitzvah of their daughters, or wear tallit and tefillin - divide Orthodox synagogues one from another in many of the major communities where Orthodox Jews live, and have divided many synagogues internally as well. Indeed, it can be argued that these issues are to contemporary Orthodoxy what debates over mixed seating and the height of the mehitzah were to an earlier generation. Those issues turned out to be defining ones for Orthodox Judaism: in time, synagogues with mixed seating had to stop calling themselves Orthodox. Will the women's issues today prove similarly divisive? The heated rhetoric on both sides hardly hints at the possibility of compromise. The question, as Orthodoxy ponders its future, is whether "the most explosive issue facing Orthodoxy" will ultimately blow up, fragmenting American Orthodoxy in the process.

Finally, American Orthodoxy is currently mired in several ugly scandals that have undermined the credibility of some of its foremost lay and professional leaders.

The mystery surrounding missing tape recordings of Rabbi Soloveitchik's lectures has already tarnished several reputations.

Meanwhile, the far more serious scandal surrounding the alleged sexual misdeeds of a charismatic figure in the National Council of Synagogue Youth along with the alleged widespread cover-up that allowed him to maintain his job for years, accusations against him notwithstanding, threaten the credibility of the entire Orthodox Union. So far, the impact of these scandals has been circumscribed. The long-term damage to the movement, however, may prove more far-reaching, just as the scandals involving television evangelists did untold damage to the fortunes of Evangelical Protestantism.

Taken together, all of these "dilemmas and vulnerabilities" demonstrate that the Orthodox model has not triumphed in America.

The question instead is whether Orthodoxy's unexpected rise will be followed by an equally precipitous decline.

Such cycles are familiar in religion, just as they are in economics, but they are by no means inevitable.

In the end, Orthodoxy's future will actually depend upon its own actions.

Will it confront the challenges that it faces, or will it discover only in retrospect that success blinded it to the internal problems that ultimately proved its undoing?




boog said...

Cogent analysis.

Current events indicate that orthodox jewry is in an irreversible free-fall.

LVF said...

Young Jews walk out on religious life
By Martin Patience
BBC News, Kiryat Tivon

As a member of the Jewish ultra-Orthodox community, David wore a long black coat and a black hat covering his Jewish skullcap.
He spent 10 hours a day studying the Torah, the Jewish holy book, and the Talmud, rabbinical discussions on Jewish law, ethics and customs.
David says that he used to want to be a rabbi - but that was then.

Ultra-orthodox Jews represent some 8% of Israel's population
Now, David, 24, wears blue jeans and loose-fitting T-shirts. He no longer believes in religion, saying that he is completely secular.
He is currently at university and hopes to become an engineer.
David - who does not want use his full name - is one of hundreds of young Israelis who leave their ultra-orthodox communities to join the secular world, according to Daat Emet, an organisation that works on the issue.
People who leave the ultra-orthodox community are considered unbelievers who have lost their way in life. The community is very closed and senior religious officials rarely comment on this phenomenon.
For many who do choose to leave, the journey is one mired with difficulties and full of pain.
But it also symbolises the division between Israel's ultra-religious communities and its secular population.
The ultra-orthodox community represents about 8% of the population. Its members adhere to strict interpretation of Jewish law and are shut off from mainstream society.
David grew up as the second eldest in a family of eight in an ultra-Orthodox community located in Jerusalem.
His education was exclusively religious studies from the age of 13 onwards. He was bright, but had only a basic knowledge of maths and other subjects.
Military service
"It was like a wall blocking us from the rest of the world," he says.
But one evening he attended a lecture that questioned the beliefs of the ultra-Orthodox community.
"I wanted to prove that they were wrong," says David, explaining why he attended the lecture.
"I was angry that they would say such things. But I left that night thinking they might be right."
For the next four months, he wrestled with his beliefs - particularly with Talmudic law.
He asked his rabbis a series of questions about biology and the natural world but they went unanswered.
From this point on, his whole faith started quickly unravelling.
David then decided to perform Israeli military service. The ultra-Orthodox community are exempt from this service.
Family separation
"It was a hard step," he says. "But I knew that I couldn't continue living in the community when I didn't believe in the religion. I would be cheating myself."
When David's mother saw a letter from the army she instantly knew that her son had lost his faith.
His family moved quickly to ostracise him.
"My mother told me that I had to leave the family because I would be a bad influence on my brothers and sisters," he says, recalling the incident five years ago.
His father has not spoken to him since that day. And David has only sporadic contact with his mother and his siblings.
He joined the army and served the obligatory three years.
But during leave, he had nowhere to go. An organisation which supports young people leaving religious communities provided David with a surrogate family.
It was difficult. "I left the community without any tools to start my new life," he says.
But David appears happy with his new life and says he has no regrets.
"I see the ultra-Orthodox as fundamentalists," he says. "And now I'm leading an enlightened life."

Observant Jew said...

C'mon UOJ, Jonathan Sarna has an agenda. Did you know he is a keynote speaker at the COnservative conventions? He ends his biased piece with what sounds like his wish that Orthodoxy should "unravel".

He laments that Joe Lieberman is not considered Orthodox by the Orthodox. I have news for you. Senator Joe is NOT Orthodox. He's a bum who will whore himself for votes, davens in a COnservative temple half the time and has terrible hashkafos that are anything but Orthodox.

Then he triumphs Riskin who also has hashkafa issues and has pulled stunts like instituting a dysfunctional "mechitza" at Wink n' Stare Synagogue that he claims had the backing of Rav Soloveitchik. How convenient that he waited to make the claim until after the Rav had passed from the scene.

The feminism thing is a meshugass that threatens only the most left wing fringes. Someone needs to pull Sarna's perch from out under him. In the real world, Orthodoxy is growing despite it's problems and it's Sarna's COnservative that are intermarrying and lost to Judaism forever.

Instead of all this doomsday soothsaying, why don't we muster a little optimism that we are going to fix the problems. Sending Kolko and Margulies to jail is a good start.

"You are either with The Un-Orthodox Jew - "UOJ"- or against him!"....... said...

There are many elements in Sarna's piece that are right on the money. The amount of kids leaving the fold, the ones you see and the ones you don't, are staggering. Emunah, even by the ones who seemingly buy it, are in tatters.
More than 50% of Orthodox Judaism is living a double life. Take that to the Convention!

Clerk said...

Don't forget that Yudi Kolko's criminal trial is set to commence a week from today.

LVF said...

To observant jew..
I back you on this one,

"Instead of all this doomsday soothsaying, why don't we muster a little optimism that we are going to fix the problems. Sending Kolko and Margulies to jail is a good start."

R' Yosef Frankel said...

"More than 50% of Orthodox Judaism is living a double life."

The figure may be higher in some Flatbush circles. Have you ever seen women from my shul in FLorida who lose everything but the tichel when they strip down to a bikini?

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know why there are many cases such as this one where a yeshiva is suing a defendant whose name is removed from the public record?:

Kings Civil Supreme Index Number: 010044/2007 Upstate RJI Number:
Case Type: Other
Track: Standard
Disposition Date: 03/28/2007
Date NOI Due: 03/26/2008 NOI Filed: Disposition Deadline:
Calendar Number: RJI Filed: 03/27/2007
Jury Status:

CNN said...

UOJ is going to pre-empt us no doubt on reporting from Kolko's trial. We wonder how many reporters he will have inside that will report on the blog in real time.

Julie Berman said...

I am heading the Claims Conference as well as acting as their defense attorney. No comment if this suit has anything to do with Sruly Singer:

New York Civil Supreme Index Number: 100767/2007 Upstate RJI Number:
Case Type: Other
Track: Expedited
Disposition Date:
Date NOI Due: 12/16/2007 NOI Filed: Disposition Deadline:
Calendar Number: RJI Filed: 04/17/2007
Jury Status:
Justice Name: YORK, LOUIS B.

Attorney/Firm For Plaintiff: SOLOMON ZABROWSKY Attorney Type: Attorney Of Record Status: Active
250 WEST 57TH ST., SUITE 1401
(212) 265-2800

Attorney/Firm For Defendant:
O.PINCAS & J.BERMAN/KAYE SCHOLER, LLP Attorney Type: Attorney Of Record Status: Active
1-212 836-8000

"You are either with The Un-Orthodox Jew - "UOJ"- or against him!"....... said...

FYI- There are many incidents where convicted sex offenders-people who did jail time-had their entire files-ENTIRE FILES-removed from the public domain!

I found them with the help of my colleagues...if they are no longer viewed as a threat to children, I will not post the info.

Anonymous said...

UOJ, Were any of them Orthodox rabbis? Were any of them affiliated with the mainstream Orthodox Jewish organizations?

Anonymous said...

I know a loser who at 30 years old was working but was ashamed. He tried to pretend he was still learning in Chaim Berlin. He wouldn't bum around anywhere in Brooklyn because people might see him. He would do the Manhattan nightclub circuit where he could sit & stare at scantily clad shiksos. (He was too much of a chicken to make any advances and too much of a dweeb that any women would make a move on him.) When trying to explain his behavior in the City: "It's like the prikas ol at a Florida hotel during Pesach."

Once he went up to an Upper West Side pizza shop and built up enough courage to approach a table of modern orthodox girls. They just stared at him in standoffish silence until one girl said: "Oh, you must be from Brooklyn."

"You are either with The Un-Orthodox Jew - "UOJ"- or against him!"....... said...


Yes unfortunately, one convicted sex offender, who did some serious jail time worked for Torah Umesorah.

Gumshoe said...

"There are many incidents where convicted sex offenders-people who did jail time-had their entire files-ENTIRE FILES-removed from the public domain!"

That would explain what happened to the case of molester Tuvya Rokach from Monsey / Toronto. His case vanished from the court website.

Do Hynes and other whore politicians do this or is this coming from the judicial branch? Is it legal or are there whores influenced there too by Zweibel & Twerski, etc?

Anonymous said...

"...if they are no longer viewed as a threat to children, I will not post the info."

The experts say that virtually every offender reoffends.

Who was the pervert at Torah Umesorah?

"You are either with The Un-Orthodox Jew - "UOJ"- or against him!"....... said...

The experts say that virtually every offender reoffends.

Who was the pervert at Torah Umesorah?

It was a very difficult decision I had to make not to post the info...although I passed the information along to another site...where the info. is posted.

I'm in contact with the parole officer and monitoring the situation very closely.

Anonymous said...

Other yeshivos suing defendents with no name. (Records going back 10 years)

Many of them are not listed here because the names of the yeshivos are incomplete / obscured - perhaps intentionally. One such case looks like it might be YTT. The Index Number is 019678/2006


Ohel Moshe
Mikdash Melech (Syrian)
Magen David (Syrian)
Ahava ve ahaba (Egyptian)
Bnei Shimon
Beis Limudei Hashem
Beis Reuven
Bais Yisroel (R' Shmuel Miller or Ger?)
Nesivos Chaim
Arugas habosem
Tiferes Shmiel
YTV (filed suit in Queens)
Chasan Sofer (ditto)


Darchei Noam
Karlin Stolin
Ohr Reuven
New Square
Yeshiva D'Monsey
Machzikei Torah
Dvar Yeshorim
Spring Valley
Zichron Yaakov
Ohr V'Daas
Yeshiva of Rockland
Beis Yehuda v'Chaim
"YESHIVA STUDENTS ENHANCEMENTS" (whatever the heck that is)
Bais Yehuda
Telshe Minyan
Degel Hatorah
Chofetz Chaim


Torah V'Emuna


Har Hatorah
Yeshiva of Far Rockaway
Mercaz Hatorah


South Fallsburg
Belz (Saratoga)
Mountaindale yeshiva
Vizhnitz (Orange county)

Veganovich said...

I have strong doubts about the sustainability of Orthodox Judaism in its current form. However, the author of this article left out the two key factors, as to why it might be headed for a decline.

The first one is that is simply not economically sustainable. Among the Charedim, as the kollel population grows, there will be simply less charitable funds to spread around to support people in kollel. Many people in kollel are relying on their parents for economic support, but the next generation will not be able to count on their parents for support, since their parents forswore higher education and themselves were in kollel for many years. The Modern Orthodox do not learn in kollel, but rising tuition costs in MO schools, which substantially outpace inflation, make being MO to expensive for people who are middle class.

The author completely left out the issue of belief, and how it is being challenged by the information age. Unless you accept that the Torah was handed down from god, there is no good reason not to flip on a light on shabbos. Evidence that the Torah cannot be true, are not new. Things like evolution, and the documentary hypothesis, which challenge the divinity and historical accuracy of the Torah have been around for over one hundred years. But what has changed is that the internet makes this knowledge more accessible.

Spectator said...

The Ahava veAhaba Egyptians are a bunch of lowlives. They are right next door to Mirrer yeshiva, on both sides of the yeshiva. They were originally only on Ave R until they had a riot - literally - when the board decided to throw out Rabbi Israel. The NYPD came down in full riot gear along with all the TV reporters. Rabbi Israel's group moved into the attic of the Young Israel on the other side of the yeshiva. You can find such luminaries in that Young Israel for the earliest motzaei Shabbos marriv such as Leib Pinter & Abramcyzk. When Rabbi Israel wouldn't give his wife a get, there were a new series of riots in response to the women chanting on Ocean Pkwy: "Rabbi Israel, give your wife a get". The Egyptian men came bowling out of the building to punch & kick the women. When the Egyptians tried to draw Mirrer yungerleit into the fray by convincing them of their lomdus why it's mutter to hit women, R' Moishe Weissman screamed at them that they should stick to selling radios in Taiwan and allowing mixed dancing in the Sefardi catering halls. What a circus. There was all kinds of yelling for a year including Murray Maslaton yelling to "BE QUIET!!"

Lakewood Talmid said...

Veganovich, you usually have insights I appreciate, but "Evolution" and other theories are easily disproved by science itself.

I don't think there has been much change over time. Lost neshomos would once seek books in the library. The internet is just a different format.

Rav Shteiman of all people understands that the kollel model in it's current form is not sustainable. He supports education to provide parnossa. Many American roshei yeshiva are on board.

Comment from the Peanut Gallery said...

"rising tuition costs in MO schools, which substantially outpace inflation, make being MO to expensive for people"

There was a movement in the 5 Towns to detour around the highway robbery of schools charging 20 to 25 grand in tuition. The idea was to bring privately paid rebbes into public schools where the secular classes would be free.

Has anything happened on that end?

Latest Belsky Outrage? said...


Yudel Shain claims in the comments section here that Belsky made up a bubba maayse to allow treif milk mixed with cholov stam that is not bottul beshishim.

The meat of this post is exposing Rav Steinmetz of Viznitz Monsey who he says along with Rabbi Spiegel of New Hempstead are running a bogus hashgocho. He claims that Spiegel was booted out of Empire after the shochtim revolted against his shenanigans.

Anonymous said...

Did any of the molestation cases in Baltimore make it to the beis din or were they suffocated by the rabbonim before making it there?

The Baltimore rosh beis din Rabbi Shuchatowitz is heading a new beis din in Brooklyn that every leading rosh yeshiva has signed a letter to promote.

Anonymous said...

Beware of doing business with the Egyptians. Many of them have the same scruples as the Arabs they lived amongst for centuries. Most of the electronics stores that were fined by NYC Consumer Affairs for bait and switch & other dirty tricks are owned by Egyptian Sefardim. I'm in a different industry where the Egyptians have a 100% deadbeat rate on paying bills. They are worse than any other group I've dealt with.

"You are either with The Un-Orthodox Jew - "UOJ"- or against him!"....... said...

Lakewood Talmid,

The mainstream and the majority of Haredism have not bought into R' Shteinman's views. The amount of poverty in Israel, (I recently got back from an in-depth tour of the matzav), is staggering and increasing geometrically. I monitor it very closely because it is a cause very close to my heart.

In the U.S.A. it's not better and getting worse as well. I'm in the know and have first hand knowledge of the increasing poverty of the kollel families and their parents and grandparents.

Regarding evolution, there are mounds of scientific evidence to prove unequivocally that single-cell organisms have evolved into multi-cell organisms. You choose to read what you choose-I read it all. Evolution is a fact, not a theory...the only question in my mind so far - is to what extent!

Anonymous said...

UOJ writes well. We've been had by too many rabbis.

The RCA and the Orthodox Union are ascendant. Charedism has peaked, and now begins a long state of decline. Poverty, ignorance, child abuse, domestic abuse, substance abuse, corruption.....the list of failures is too long for any government, group, or organization to withstand.

Lakewood Talmid said...

Rav Shteinman has many supporters who are often terrified to speak up lest they be targeted for ostracism and violence by common thugs.

A suprising number of American roshei yeshiva support secular education to prepare for the workforce - after the chassuna. Because Lakewood has become such a fad, not many are heeding the advice. This is not the fault of our zekeinim. This is the fault of bochurim, some of them lazy batlonim who are waiting to fall in the lap of a shver with a fat wallet. The girls are also programmed in seminary to look for a Brisker, the "gold card" in shidduchim. The shvers may be the biggest buffoons of all. They don't want to hear about any bochur not in Lakewood. Rav Pam ztl had been actively asking shpitz yeshivishe bochurim, not even from his yeshiva, what they planned to do to support themselves. Others will provide their advice to those who ask.

Single cells evolving into plant and animal life may not be a stira to Breishis. Der Eybishter however has the monopoly on intelligent life as in bnei Adam. Carbon 14 dating has been more than adequately disproved and yes I have read much of the subject.

I would also suggest that deep discussions such as this are best not discussed here. They are beyond many readers who can be easily influenced to give up ikkrei emunah.

Joe Putz said...

At least no one can say Klohr isn't a good businessman. He opened modern ortho schools as well as yeshivish places, recognizing where the opportunities are to cash in.

"You are either with The Un-Orthodox Jew - "UOJ"- or against him!"....... said...

Single cells evolving into plant and animal life may not be a stira to Breishis. Der Eybishter however has the monopoly on intelligent life as in bnei Adam. Carbon 14 dating has been more than adequately disproved and yes I have read much of the subject.

I would also suggest that deep discussions such as this are best not discussed here. They are beyond many readers who can be easily influenced to give up ikkrei emunah.

Lakewood Talmid,

The day is upon us where - not talking about it - is destroying neshamos. We must talk about it and come up with Torah-compatible answers!

mt mehdi said...

Lakewood Talmid,

The day is upon us where - not talking about it - is destroying neshamos. We must talk about it and come up with Torah-compatible answers!
What's the big deal? If evolution is a fact, then God created the evolutionary process.

Surprise Surprise said...

The Agudah believe it or not is co-sponsoring an event with the OU, Ohel and others tomorrow night at Khal Chassidim in Boro Park on internet addiction. I wonder if the Novominsker is going to have heads rolling or if the title is a farce and you will just be told not to use it at all.

The presenters are Rebbitzen Esti Reisman, Rabbi Dr AJ Twerski (Tort Putz's brother) and "computer forensic investigator" Philip Rosenthal.

In deference to Boog, the ad in the Jewish Fress signs off with a yasher koach to Shelly Silver.

Correction said...

It's not tomorrow *night* at Khal Chassidim. It's a fress-fest brunch for 3 and a half hours starting at 11:30 am.

You can always count on the Agudah to let people gorge themselves with food.

AJ Soloveitchik said...

Dos haist der Agudas Yisroel. Meh zitzt dort und meh shtupt zich fun kol minei taanugei oylam hazeh und tzemitten, meh hert eppis a vort.

Anonymous said...

Anything of note at last night's YTV dinner?

Flatbush Askan said...

The Jewish Press has given a column to Rabbi Hecht from the parent organization of the Iggud Haganovim. He notes in the column called "Voice of Iggud" an Iggud conference that was held in R' Tzvi Mandel's shul on East 7th. Rabbi Weiner from the KIC showed up to offer the following pearl of wisdom. He attacked the Conservative over the "tzedek hechsher". I would think I should be dan Weiner lekaf zechus, that Hecht distorted his words. The preposterous reasoning for the attack is that any social, civil, moral considerations like treating employees properly is already enforced by hashgochos, so there is no need for the freye idea.

Cut it out already. This is not true. Stop the chilul Hashem and the freye won't have a pischon peh.


Flatbush Askan said...

The Agudah doesn't have the exclusive on fress fests. Hecht reports on another Iggud event with catering paid for by Hynes backer Ben Barber at the Beled beis medrash in Boro park. I'm surprised that Young Israel's Rabbi Pesach Lerner showed up to speak.

UOJ didn't get results - YET said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kugel Fresser said...

At a certain restaurant, the waitresses are terrified of the tough owner if they make any little screw up. They will beg the customers to just pay a little more to cover for their mistake because the boss will have their head. I can see the fear in their eyes and I know it's true because I saw the owner go beserko once when the waitress didn't catch a customer taking a drink out of the fridge case.

Most of these restaurants have illegal Israelis or Mexicans workers and treat them like garbage because they can. Some also have illegal Arabs who they shouldn't employ to begin with.

Hecht & Weiner need to get their heads out of their rear ends.

Anonymous said...

What about the "frum" married restaurant owner who fools around with his waitresses? After intimidating one into a relationship, he got her pregnant and sent her back to Israel.

Is Weiner so out to lunch that he deosn't know he recommends eating in restaurants that are drug laundering fronts? Or should I say what has he been smoking?

Tzedek Tzedek.

Most Rabbonim Today are Cowards said...

Seems like I picked a good time to tune in.

Tell Weiner to zip his mouth until after the hashgochos stop restaurants from stealing tips left for employees. When they get Bayrach Steinfeld and the gang to fix that problem, I've got some more items for them.

There's also breaking news with Weiss Bakery. It seems that Satmar & Vien weren't enough to let them get away with bug infestation so they've now added two more "hashgochos". That would be the OK and upon request, the Crown Heights Vaad.

Most Rabbonim Today are Cowards said...

I know for a fact from either personal experience or eidus from independent rabbonim, that whenever they approach a hashgocho from the OU on down about a civil matter, they almost all say it's not their problem. The only exception I know of is Rabbi Goldberg from the Flatbush Vaad who also takes to heart health code violations that the others ignore.

Zalmi Teitelbaum said...

Those bums from Weiss's bakery! Ich hub gemeint that the challos they donated for tish had raisins & little crunchies. Maybe the bugs were chogovim, but only the Sfardish have a mesora.

Stam Fresser said...

The root of many of the restaurant problems is that Gornish, Scheinerman, etc put their stamp on a bunch of shady Israelis, many of whom may not be frum. I'm not saying that chassidim & litvaks are immune, but that when a frey person goes into business lechatchila to trick people that he's frum, then all his behavior becomes suspect and is more prone to act like a lowlife to his staff.

Ohel Watch said...

I'm surprised that David Mandel is backing the internet addiction forum. Isn't the topic too salacious to be discussed? I wonder if he got permission from Uncle Margo.

JWB will probably uncover a plot here by Ohel treasurer Jacobson.

Anonymous said...

Here are the audio clips of the regarding the Le Marais issue:


"You are either with The Un-Orthodox Jew - "UOJ"- or against him!"....... said...



Alex said...


Please consider writing news pieces or an op-ed for Jewrusalem: Israeli Uncensored News. We strive to present different views and opinions while rejecting political correctness. Ideally, we try to make the news "smart and funny." Thus, your input is very welcome.


Moetzes Resign said...

Jewish Week wrote a column this week about why Orthodox Judaism is on a very slippery slope. Malcolm Hoenlein was very candid in his assessment of the situation. These factors include:

A severe shortage of young leaders.

“Misuses of power” by current, older leaders.

Numerical stagnation.

Little “collective identification” or sense of “group cohesion".

The complexities of the issues we address today require that people be educated and understand the nuances of the issues.


Unless young leaders are listened to and respected, Judaism is going to pot in a bread basket. The regime of Balkany, Belsky, Feldman, Kaminetsky, Perlow, Solomon et.al. must end.

The Reshoim who arranged the Agudath Israel/Catholic Church (Zweibel and his shick yingel Shafran) must get off the national representation of Judaism scene.

Anonymous said...


$500,000 for Sex-Abuse Prevention and Education!

Uncle Shimmy said...


Thanks for re-posting this article.

Speaking of divisions I have a new post on Rabbi Deborah Lapidoth who resigned because of the Moetzes announcement. http://wp.me/pFbfD-fX

As long as you are in the archives when do we get more of the Torah Vodath saga. We know you are busy. So why not give it to us in short segments?

Take care,

Ohel CEO David Mandel said...

I love how Shelly Silver & Dov Hikind got Paterson to funnel me half a million bucks to ensure that no cover up is uncovered.


Ben Hirsch, president of Survivors for Justice, a group that advocates for victims of sexual abuse in the Jewish community, said the funding was welcome, but that it should go to organizations with a track record of addressing this issue.

“We applaud Governor Paterson’s funding of programs aimed at addressing sexual abuse within the Orthodox Jewish community and hope it presages the passage of the Child Victims Act,” said Hirsch in a statement, referring to a bill that would temporarily extend the statute of limitations for lawsuits related to sex crimes.

“At the same time,” Hirsch continued, “we are left to wonder why funding is being directed to Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, a very worthy organization but one with no connection to the issue of childhood sexual abuse in the Orthodox Jewish community.”

Hirsch cited JSafe, Jewish Board of Advocates for Children and Jewish Survivors Network as examples of organizations that have been active on that topic.

“We find it frightening that a respected organization such as Met Council will be channeling this funding to large ‘licensed’ Brooklyn-based social services organizations with a history of protecting pedophiles and a total disregard for victims of childhood sexual abuse,” he said. “Established organizations don’t need more funding so they can create programs with nice-sounding names. Politicians shouldn’t be allowed to spread patronage on the backs of long-suffering victims and their families.”

“Frankly,” Hirsch concluded, “we’d prefer the money stayed in Albany instead of being sent to Brooklyn where it will likely further harm our long-suffering community.”

The organization that would implement the new program has not yet been named, but the leading social service provider in the area of abuse counseling is Borough Park-based Ohel Children’s Home and Family Services.

Ohel therapists treat survivors of sexual abuse and for years the organization ran a now-defunct offender treatment program as well, something for which it has come under fire. While some of those in the offender treatment program were mandated for treatment by the courts, others were coerced into treatment by rabbis and community leaders, who did not report them to the police.

Ohel is also a partner with Met Council in Kol Tzedek.

Another possible group that could implement the new program is Shalom Task Force, a rabbinically endorsed organization that deals with domestic violence in the Orthodox community. Its director of training is Lisa Goodman Twerski, the sister-in-law of Benzion Twerski, who served briefly on Hikind’s sex abuse task force but resigned citing pressure from members of his community and family.

Paterson’s press office did not respond to a request for comment on the funding at press time. In a statement relayed through a spokesperson, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said the funds were necessary even with the state facing a massive budget deficit.

“While these are very difficult financial times, it is critical that we fight for programs that help protect our children from terrible instances of childhood sexual abuse,” Silver said.

Hikind is a political ally of Paterson since the governor’s early days as a state senator

Real Estate Attorney said...

As I am one of the tribe, although reformed at best, when these sanctimonious ass holes pop up as real estate experts, it is usually in the case where they buy something for a dollar, probably someone else’s, and then tries to sell it for $10.

I don’t know if you heard about the priest and the rabbi walking past the playground. The priest says, “Look at that boy, let’s fuck him.”

The rabbi responds, “Out of what?”

Sometimes I have a hard time being an Eagle Scout in this very corrupt world, thank you for keeping tabs on the dishonest, you are doing us all a good service in shining a light where it belongs.

Talmidei Margo said...


A key figure in the domestic abuse scandal bedeviling Gov. David A. Paterson told investigators that the governor phoned to enlist her help in quieting the accuser, according to a person with knowledge of her account.

Deneane Brown, a state worker, was friends with both the governor and the woman who had accused a senior aide to Mr. Paterson of assaulting her last fall. The person with knowledge of Ms. Brown’s version of events said Ms. Brown was told by Mr. Paterson several weeks ago to convey a message to the accuser: “Tell her the governor wants her to make this go away.”

UOJ gets results said...

ROME — Seven people accused of illegally selling arms to Iran via Eastern Europe have been arrested in Italy, Milan’s Treasury police said Wednesday.

Italy’s veteran counterterrorism prosecutor, Armando Spataro, told a news conference in Milan on Wednesday details of a nine-month investigation intercepted phone conversations and e-mail messages indicating that the group was trafficking in weapons to Iran via Romania and Germany, Britain and Switzerland.

Mr. Spataro said that UOJ, British authorities, Swiss and Romanian authorities had joined the investigation and that shipments of dual-use materials had been intercepted, including 1,000 rifle scopes, bullet-proof vests, scuba vests, parachutes and a helicopter

Shea Fishman said...


It's getting harder to predict what UOJ will do.

Moetzes Resign! said...


The state Commission on Public Integrity charged Gov. David A. Paterson on Wednesday with violating state ethics laws when he secured free tickets to the opening game of the World Series from the Yankees last fall for himself and others. The announcement came as the governor, already mired in scandal, met with his cabinet and insisted he would stay in office.

In addition to violating the state’s ban on gifts to public officials, the commission found that Mr. Paterson falsely testified under oath that he had intended to pay for the tickets for his son and his son’s friend when. The commission determined that Mr. Paterson had never intended to pay for the tickets and only did so after inquiries from the media, after which he submitted a backdated check as payment.

The commission had referred the case to the Albany County District Attorney, P. David Soares, as well as Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo, for further investigation. Mr. Cuomo is already investigating Mr. Paterson’s role in allegedly trying to suppress a domestic-violence case involving a close aide, David Johnson.

Mr. Johson also attended the Yankees game in question and was involved in soliciting the tickets from Yankees officials. The tickets, with a face value of $425 each, seated them a few rows behind home plate.

State law forbids officials in the executive branch from soliciting or accepting gifts of more than nominal value from any lobbyist if the gift appears intended to sway the official. The Yankees organization is registered to lobby the Paterson administration, as well as the State Legislature, in connection with financing for the stadium.

The commission charged Mr. Paterson with violating two provisions of the Public Officers Law, each of which carries a maximum penalty of $40,000. The commission also charged Mr. Paterson with violated three sections of the State Code of Ethics, including one that prohibits the Governor from using his official position to secure unwarranted privileges, which carries a civil penalty of $10,000.

The referral came less than an hour after Mr. Paterson convened an extraordinary full session of his Ccabinet in Albany as he faced stepped-up pressure from fellow Democrats to resign.

The Cabinet meeting came after Mr. Paterson’s own appointee to the United States Senate, Kirsten E. Gillibrand, became the latest ranking Democrat to call for the governor’s resignation, saying in a television interview Tuesday night that if “all the allegations of the abuse of power are true, then the governor will be unable to govern, and he will have to step down.”

"Uncle Milty" Balkany said...

I told you Steve Cohen was doing illegal stuff at SAC.

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. Justice Department has launched an investigation into whether hedge funds might have acted together in betting against the euro, a source familiar with the situation said on Wednesday.

The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter, said the department has asked hedge funds including SAC Capital Advisors LP, Greenlight Capital Inc, Soros Fund Management LLC and Paulson & Co to retain trading records and emails relating to the euro.

Fake, Phony, Fraud said...


Greenfield said, "My personal view is that we shouldn't sell out for political expediency . I believe in a higher power. I believe in da'as Torah . I am proud of the fact that I have religious views and I will take those views which are the same as my Catholic friends and are the same as the constituents - I will take those views to Albany."

Avi L. Shafran said...

UOJ resign!


Captain Chesley 'Sully' Sullenberger, Flight 1549 'Miracle on the Hudson' pilot, to retire

Shmarya groupie said...


Meanwhile, New York’s leading black Democrats grappled with what they said felt like twin calamities: the temporary withdrawal of Rep. Charles Rangel of Harlem as chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, and Mr. Paterson’s ongoing travails.

"There’s a real sense of shock right now regarding the governor and regarding the congressman," said Assemblyman Keith L.T. Wright, an ally of the governor and the Manhattan Democratic chairman, in a telephone interview. "Some people might say there are conspiratorial theories moving around. People have to catch their breath." He added, "People are saying there is no way, no how, that this is an accident that people are trying to get rid of our governor and trying to get rid of our congressman."

Mr. Wright insisted that Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo’s investigation of the Paterson administration’s role in the domestic-violence case would have to take its course before any decision could be made about Mr. Paterson’s future. But he conceded that the drip-drip of allegations and explanations, overlapping and sometimes contradicting, had left people demoralized.

"I don’t mind going into battle, I just want to know where the enemy is," Mr. Wright said.

"UOJ" - "The Un-Orthodox Jew" said...


In response to the Matzav belated Purim shpiel you referred to:

Rav Alexander Linchner z"tl, the former financial rosh yeshiva and secular studies principal of Yeshiva Torah Vodaath, son in-law of Rav Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz z"tl and founder of Boys Town Jerusalem, when seeking a shidduch for his one and only daughter in the early 1960's - conferred with Rav Yaakov Kaminetzky z"tl.

By that time Rav Linchner spent almost all of his time in Eretz Yisroel, so he asked Rav Yaakov to suggest a shidduch for his daughter, of the quality that he would pick for his own.

Rav Yaakov did NOT hesitate; he said the bochur he would pick for his own daughter, and by far and away the best bochur the yeshiva ever produced, and Rav Yaakov himself seeks pshat in a shverer sugya for himself, was R' Gershon Rothstein shlita.

R' Gershon attended and graduated college, eventually became a senior V.P. at IBM in the sixties, and was the anonymous voice and founder of Torah Tapes that were recorded in Mayer Apfelbaum's basement.

Rav Gershon spends most of his day learning, and as Rav Yaakov said on R' Gershon, "there was no one before or after Gershon that he could liken to the living Sefer Torah.

Yankel Applegrad said...


Mr. Paterson quickly disputed the commission’s findings. He held an unannounced press conference at the Capitol on Tuesday afternoon in which he tried to tamp down speculation that he would have to resign and denied that he ever provided false testimony.

When asked if he lied under oath, the governor responded with a stern, “no.”

steve said...

Matzav/Al Jazeera posted a letter from 1979 signed by Rav Moshe, Rav Yaakov, Rav Schach and the Steipler opposing Touro College. The Al Jazeerists failed to mention that their opposition was to Touro opening a branch in Israel, and that it was not against Rabbi Dr. Lander starting Touro some nine years earlier. They want Jonathan Rosenblum to condemn Rabbi Dr. Lander in the obiturary because he didn't follow "Daas Torah". In the words of the immortal Boog, "It's sick out there and getting sicker". Today a kollel in Williamsburg named a gemach in memory of the cold blooded murderer Martin Grossman. Tomorrow they will name a yeshiva for Mondrowitz. Jewish children are being molested and are drinking themselves to death and our leadership is working overtime to protect, defend, enable and honor the criminals amongst us. Sure, we need to be proud of "our criminals"! Achdus! Please, leave me out of this "achdus". I prefer to show my achdus with the abused, attacked, intimidated and shunned victims of our society rather than with the criminal element.

Anonymous said...

There's a Vaad that is currently involved in closing down a fine restaurant because the owner isn't Jewish. The Vaad, located in NY, has put a ban on the restaurant and has intimidated people into not patronizing it. The owner is being forced to sell because of the downturn in business. After 15 years or so in business this guy, because he's not of our faith, is getting shafted. Oh doesn't faze you - it should, it happens to us in every generation.

Vaad said...

If there is a ban that means it's public knowledge, so who is the Vaad and what are the details?

Anonymous said...

Solgar has a lot of products under Chof K


A group including a California nonprofit organization is suing fish oil manufacturers and pharmacies that sell the popular supplements over their purported toxicity.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in San Francisco Superior Court, claims that the makers and sellers of certain supplements found to contain high levels of PCB compounds -- man-made industrial chemicals -- have failed to alert consumers as required under California's right-to-know law.

The Mateel Environmental Justice Foundation, one of three named plaintiffs, tested 10 fish oil supplements out of more than 100 on the market. The other plaintiffs in the case are New Jersey residents.

Defendants include the world's largest producer of omega-3 fish oil, Houston-based Omega Protein, as well as drug stores Rite Aid Corp and CVS Caremark Corp.

"The people buying these fish oil supplements are not being told the PCBs are there," said plaintiff's attorney David Roe.

People consume fish oil supplements for the health benefits obtained from omega-3 fatty acids, but there are currently no standards for PCB contamination in fish oil in the United States, according to Roe.

Also named as defendants are General Nutrition Corp, a subsidiary of GNC Acquisition Holdings Corp, Now Health Group Inc, Pharmavite LLC, the maker of the NatureMade brand of supplements, Solgar Inc and TwinLab Corp.

Putz thieves said...


By Tony Barboza

March 3, 2010

When prolific Israeli burglar Na'aman Diller discovered he was dying of cancer in 2003, he decided to leave his widow a collection of some 100 artifacts of decidedly questionable origin.

They included rare clocks, manuscripts, paintings and an item billed as "the world's most expensive watch": a gold and rock crystal pocket watch made for Marie Antoinette in the 18th century.

All the items had allegedly been stolen during a storied heist at Jerusalem's L.A. Mayer Museum for Islamic Art in 1983.

But that didn't stop Diller's widow, Nili Shamrat, 64, of Tarzana, from trying to sell dozens of the timepieces back to the museum no questions asked, authorities said.

Her effort set in motion a lengthy international investigation that ended a few weeks ago when Shamrat was sentenced in L.A. County Superior Court to five years' probation and 300 hours of community service for receiving the stolen property.

The California insurance commissioner's office announced the end of the case Tuesday, saying most of the valuables had been sent back to the museum.


Diller was a well-known burglar who operated in Israel and Europe in the 1960s and early '70s. He met Shamrat in Tel Aviv in 1970, and the two dated until he went to prison in 1972. Shamrat moved to the Los Angeles area soon after that, but regularly met up with Diller in Europe and Israel. They married in Tel Aviv in 2003 and it was then, investigators said, that Diller confided in her about the heist that he had pulled off 20 years earlier, willing her his entire estate.

Together they removed the stolen timepieces from Diller's Tel Aviv apartment and stored them in a safety deposit box under her name, according to state investigators. After Diller's death, Shamrat retrieved the stolen clocks from safety deposit boxes throughout Europe and hired an attorney to help sell them, investigators said.

In August 2006, a Tel Aviv watchmaker appraising 40 timepieces for an attorney hired by Shamrat recognized them as part of the renowned collection. The watchmaker told the museum. The same day, the museum board of directors contacted the attorney, who said her client would return the clocks to the museum if she were paid and granted anonymity and the police were not called, investigators said.

The next day, the attorney turned over cardboard boxes containing 40 antique clocks. The museum paid her $35,000, officials said.

In 2007, the story of the artifacts' return surfaced in the Israeli media, and the Israeli national police reopened their investigation.

"That's when the cold case got hot again and she got busted," said California Department of Insurance spokesman Mark Billingsley. "Why she tried to go through official channels to try to sell this back is beyond me."

Investigators with the Israeli police and California insurance detectives searched Shamrat's Tarzana home in May 2008, recovering millions of dollars' worth of items from the stolen museum collection, including three 18th century paintings and an antique Latin manuscript, authorities said. The search also turned up evidence linking Diller to the 1983 burglary, including display placards from the exhibit.

A year later, Shamrat was arrested.

The artifacts were part of a collection that belonged to Sir David Salomons, London's first Jewish lord mayor. The most notable pieces were crafted by French watchmaker Abraham Louis Breguet. Of the 106 artifacts stolen, 96, including the famed Marie Antoinette watch, have been returned.

Bim Bam identity said...


A string of electoral defeats and the great unpopularity of ObamaCare can't stop Democrats from their self-appointed rendezvous with liberal destiny—ramming a bill through Congress on a narrow partisan vote. What we are about to witness is an extraordinary abuse of traditional Senate rules to pass a bill merely because they think it's good for the rest of us, and because they fear their chance to build a European welfare state may never come again.

Sickening said...

Someone should photograph the lowlives coming to court to support Lebovits and post the pictures here.


In a halting voice, a 22-year-old man on Wednesday accused a Brooklyn rabbi of repeatedly molesting him when he was a teenager.

Supporters of Rabbi Baruch Lebovits packed the courtroom as the accuser took the witness stand to describe a series of assaults in a car between 2004 and 2005.

"Did he say anything?" Assistant District Attorney Miss Gregory asked.
"He said something but I don't remember," murmured the young man, dressed in jeans, white shirt, tie and a yarmulke on shoulder-length black scraggly hair.

He spoke so softly and with such hesitation that Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Patricia DiMango repeatedly asked him to speak up.

"How did you feel?" Gregory asked of the alleged attacks.

"Very uncomfortable and confused," he said.

He sat less than 20 feet from Lebovits, 59, who was surrounded by supporters.

The rabbi, who owns a Borough Park travel agency, faces up to seven years in prison if convicted of a criminal sexual act in the second-degree.

He's also awaiting trial on charges of molesting two others.

The man accusing him yesterday admitted he was in rehab for heroin and crack addiction that began after the incidents.

"It's a shame to talk about it and I have low self-esteem," he said, explaining to jurors why he didn't lodge charges until he'd left the Hasidic community.

Lebovits' lawyer hammered him in opening statements, calling him a con man with a history of drugs, crime and missed court dates.

"You're going to be sold a bill of goods," lawyer Arthur Aidala said, claiming the accuser intends to sue his client. "This is a con man that's going to take the stand.

"There's no video, there's no eyewitness, no DNA, there's no fingerprints... That evidence doesn't exist because all these acts Miss Gregory described didn't happen."

For UOJ's rogue gallery said...


First clear picture of monster Lebovits.

OU Crony Watch said...


Rabbi Yitzhok Adler, spiritual leader of Beth David Synagogue in West Hartford, questioned Agudath Israel's condemnation of Rabbi Weiss, whose congregation is a member of the Orthodox Union (OU) and not Agudas Israel.

"What is troublesome about the statement by [Agudath Israel] is, number one, what business does any agency have in poking its nose in the operations of an independent congregation? Hebrew Institute of Riverdale is not an affiliate of Agudath Israel."

Rabbi Adler added that he thinks this Weiss' move has the potential to affect not only the Orthodox world, but other Jewish movements as well.

"The establishment of Yeshivat Maharat has the capacity not only to impact Orthodox congregational life, it also has the capacity to impact congregational life outside of the Orthodox community," he said. "We know there are unaffiliated and unaligned congregations around the country who select and hire clergy not based on denominational training but on spiritual ideology and there very well might be congregations not aligned with national Orthodox movements that might feel their constituencies would be best served with female clergy leadership."

Adler said that he would consider bringing a graduate of Yeshivat Maharat to Beth David.

"I would definitely consider bringing an intern to my congregation, if I believe that person, male or female, had a significant and meaningful message and contribution. I personally do not believe that what Rabbi Weiss has instituted at Yeshivat Maharat is, to be honest, a legitimate rabbinical training program. I, however, would never negate the virtues of what he is doing, the Torah that he is teaching and the capacity of his students to make significant, positive differences in Jewish communities."

Vos zogt UOJ? said...


"UOJ" - "The Un-Orthodox Jew" said...

Every bit of knowledge one can acquire, not only betters the world around himself/herself, but makes the person a better individual - better parent, better child, and on their way to striving to be a mushlem - which only should end when the person's heart stops!

Albert Bendahan said...


A Hendon kosher butcher's has lost a battle to prevent a competitor starting up a few doors away.

The fourth branch of Albert Bendahan's Kosher Delicatessen chain opened on Monday in Brent Street, on the corner of Heriot Road, close to the premises of Nissim Glatt Kosher, established by Nissim Chabbat eight years ago. Both are under the supervision of the London Board for Shechitah (LBS).

"We fought against this," said Mr Chabbat's wife Lilian. "We wrote letters and we spoke to the LBS but nobody listened. Many of our suppliers complained on our behalf.

"We fear that this will harm our business because there is not enough business for two of us."

British Agudah Fresser said...


Police arrested two Jewish revellers as a group of 300 people caused "havoc" during rowdy Purim celebrations.

The men were arrested on suspicion of affray in north west London on Saturday night after residents called for officers to disperse the crowds.

Barnet Police said there had been "fighting, throwing of fireworks and general havoc" in Brent Street, Hendon, and Golders Green Road, Golders Green, between 10pm and 12.30am on Sunday morning.

Officers and Community Security Trust volunteers separated Jewish men who were drunk and fighting with each other. Members of the Orthodox Shomrim volunteers were also in the area during the Purim celebrations.

Those who were arrested were later released without charge.

A police source said: "We thought it was going to be a quiet affair and then a group of young males came out, charging around and drinking. We were not expecting it.

"We always thought Golders Green was a quiet sort of place, but obviously not. We encouraged them to chill out."

Chumra of the month club said...

Who says they can just make such a takana? Besides, they used Tachash fur in the Mishkan and animals are made for us to benefit from as long as we try to minimize the pain.


Chief Rabbis Yonah Metzger and Shlomo Amar are in favor of banning fur imports. An official opinion authored by the two on the matter will be presented at a discussion of the Knesset Education Committee Wednesday, which is preparing the bill for a Knesset vote.

According to the opinion, Rabbi Amar says that certain rabbinical laws surrounding the Sabbath were suspended to prevent the suffering of animals, "which shows us how important it is to prevent such suffering." Rabbi Metzger writes that "it is our obligation to prevent cruelty to animals and to be a light to the nations in rejecting the use of products that were made as a result of the suffering of animals."

Anonymous said...

Dear Vaad,

Rockland County and the restaurant is Kyo. I think the owner should do a mechiras chametz in reverse and sell his business to a Yid for a nominal sum. Since the business would have Jewish ownership, it wouldn't have to close. More so the chain that supplies the restaurant, Jewish businesses included, wouldn't suffer a loss. And the Jewish citizery of Monsey would have one less thing to be terrorized about.

Who will stand up for me? said...

There are more molestation cases brewing in RBS. One case even involves a member of Malinowitz's shul. Of course the Rav is doing nothing about it.

Because of the beating that Lema'an Achai and David Morris have taken no one will stand up for the victims and their families.

UOJ...where are you? Malinowitz and company must be "rooted" out.

Get your facts straight in Monsey said...

The goyishe owners of Kyo have been cheating on kashrus and have threatened rabbonim at times with lawsuits.

According to R' Yudel Shain, they only stayed in business until now because some Monsey rabbonim who are known for scandal and Rabbi Gissinger from Lakewood covered it up so they could make money.

Politically incorrect said...


Not that I am a fan of the Meshichist Butman family, but Shmarya has been lying that Chabad was only in Haiti to see if any Jews were stuck there and not interested in helping the Blacks.

Roll Call said...

From a Matzav report on Chabad's visit to RIKERS ISLAND on Purim:

Inside the room, awaiting the bochurim, are approximately 20 tables of almost 100 inmates. Almost all of them are Jewish.

Maybe Zweibel and HIS Moetzes will see the falacy of their idea of having the Spinker speak about business ethics. It's the blind leading the blind!

Shmarya groupie said...

This is outrageous! There should at least be an exemption for blogger underwear!


ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- A renewed call to tax clothing in Minnesota came Thursday from Senate Taxes Committee Chairman Tom Bakk, one of 13 Democrats running for governor.

Bakk proposed extending the 6.875 percent state sales tax to clothing in July, raising more than $250 million the first year and about $300 million a year afterward. Clothing and shoes are now exempt from the sales tax as basic necessities, along with food, prescriptions and diapers.

Shelly Silver said...


Henry J. Stern, the director of New York Civic, expressed dismay that in some political circles the low regard that lawmakers are held in has elevated Sheldon Silver, the Assembly speaker, to a paragon of statesmanship since Mr. Stern does not share the same view. “To think there’s an area where Shelly Silver is the giant is ridiculous,” Mr. Stern said.

Anonymous said...

Everything is shtark and fine in the orthodox world.
please- kol davar Hadash Assur min Hatorah.

Anonymous said...

Bilaam's Ass notes on Orthodoxy; explain this-

The prior sages of the generations are called sofrim {"scribe (s)," and "they who count"} they counted all the letters of the Torah. They said: a Vav of the word ga'chon (Lev; 11:42) is the middle of (all) the Tora's letters; the words daarosh daarash (Lev: 11:16) are the middle of (all) the words; the verse 'Vahitgalach...' (Ibid: 13:33) is the middle of (all) the verses."
Bavli Kidushin: 30a

Yet take any modern Torah scroll to count and you will find: The middle letter of the Torah is actually an aleph of the word Hu in Lev; 8:28. (you can easily do this with some of Bar Illans software I am told...)

1. Thus Hu is actually 93 Pasukim- verses distant from Kiddushins' Lev 11:42, where the word Gahon (Lev 11:42) makes its only appearance in a Torah scroll spelled gimel-het-vav-nunn sofit, as claimed by Kiddushin 30a.


2. The distance of these two letters is 4829 letters - a massive difference of 4829 letters between the ancient Sages' Torah scrolls and ours. note: In Laws of safrut or kriah, reading- but one letter is enough to invalidate an entire torah.

3. The middle verse of our Torah is "Vayasem alav et hachoshen... vulu" (Leviticus 8:8). Its distance from bavlis kiddushin "Vahitgalach..." is 164 pasukim, verses. Must we therefore conclude that there are 164 verses of our Torah was different the Torah the ancient Sages had? Could they have contained a lot of important laws, information and details which could completely change the meaning of a Tora's text?

4. Also in Bavli's Kid 30a the Gemara brings a Tannaitic statement that there are 5888 verses in the Torah - an even pasuk number in which no single odd pasuk, verse could be called "the middle of the verses" of the Torah?

"UOJ" - "The Un-Orthodox Jew" said...

I have done a very thorough study on the issues of ELS (Bible Codes), gematrias and all forms of numerology claims. I have come to the conclusion that Rav Weissmandel zt"l erred in his belief that there is such a code, and firmly believe that all of the above is nonsense and it is forbidden to believe in this utter ridiculous rubbish.

FYI said...

Al Jazeera/Matzav has announced that they want to supress the voice of the readership and refuse to allow reader comments. Three of their key advertisers have privately mentioned dropping the site at as a result.

Will Al Jazeera/Matzav shoot itself in the leg and be forced to close, or will it follow a Glasnost/Perestroika approach??

Editor David Bernstein is said to be about to have a nervous breakdown.

Yerachmiel Lopin said...

Daas baal habatim is let us speak or don't waste our time making us listen. The idea of web sites without comments. Wow. They really want to drive the traffic to the truly open blogs.

Moetzes Resign! said...

Mr. Paterson’s communications director, Peter E. Kauffmann, announced his resignation on Thursday, saying that he could not “in good conscience” continue in his job. He has been with the governor for just over a year.

A report issued on Wednesday by the New York State Commission on Public Integrity concluded that Mr. Paterson lied under oath while testifying about his acceptance of free tickets to the first game of the World Series last fall. The report also stated that while Mr. Paterson testified that he always planned to pay for the tickets and had taken a check with him to the game for that purpose, he told Mr. Kauffmann the opposite.

steve said...

They would be better off shutting down that joke of a blog altogether. Their attack on Rabbi Dr. Lander a"h should be the last straw.

Anonymous said...

Albert (Alberto) Bendahan (London Kosher Nostra) is the brother of Amram Bendahan (NCSY molester) of Hollywood FL.

Anonymous said...

well check out mamzeralert.blogspot.com also
rabbiniccorruptionatrcc.blogspot.com and you will see what some of the "orthodox" rabbis are doing stealthfully!

Product certified by OK said...


March 4, 2010

Food Products Recalled for Salmonella


Thousands of processed food products - from chilis to hot dogs to dips - contain an ingredient that federal food regulators say was contaminated with salmonella, although so far only a few dozen have been recalled because most were cooked before being sold.

Basic Food Flavors of Las Vegas, Nev., sold its hydrolyzed vegetable protein to food manufacturers across the country. But one of the company’s customers found salmonella in supplies sent from Basic Food Flavors, and the customer alerted the Food and Drug Administration, which inspected the Las Vegas plant.

The inspection uncovered salmonella contamination in the company’s processing equipment, leading Basic Flavors to recall all its hydrolyzed vegetable protein made since Sept. 17, 2009.

Food makers who used the product often cooked it again, killing the salmonella. And Health officials have yet to identify anyone who has been sickened by the contaminant. But the nation’s disease tracking system is poor, so the lack of evidence of a contamination does not mean that no one has been sickened by the contaminated products.

“This situation clearly underscores the need for new food safety legislation to equip F.D.A. with the tools we need to prevent contamination,” said Dr. Jeff Farrar, F.D.A.’s associate commissioner for food safety.

Congress is presently considering legislation that would give the F.D.A. more money to inspect food facilities and greater power to force manufacturers to recall foods suspected of being contaminated.



Special request said...

Could UOJ possibly scan and post the original Yiddish letter in the journal Licht from R' Shraga Feivel ztl that addresses corrupt rabbonim?

I need to show it to a chassidishe ruv who didn't believe many things I told him until I gave him documentation.

March of the shvantzes said...

Shame on YU President Richard Joel for giving credence to the militant anti-halacha feminists at JOFA


And Rosenblatt tries to pass off Drisha Institute as orthodox when it's run by a bunch of Avi Weiss talmidim and even a Reconstructionist woman "rabbi"


by Gary Rosenblatt
Editor And Publisher

I consider myself a feminist

Just last week, the Council of Torah Sages of Agudath Israel issued a statement noting that having Rabba Sara Hurwitz as “a full member of the rabbinic staff” at Hebrew Institute of Riverdale “represents a radical and dangerous departure from Jewish tradition and the mesoras haTorah, and must be condemned in the strongest terms. Any congregation with a woman in a rabbinical position of any sort cannot be considered Orthodox.” (See story on page 17.)

The move seemed calculated to pressure the Rabbinical Council of America, the largest body of Orthodox rabbis in the U.S. and affiliated with the centrist Orthodox Union, to come down hard on the notion of women rabbis.

One might assume that despite such protests, the trend is inexorably moving toward wider acceptance of Orthodox women rabbis. Radical change always results in resistance, even if it is only temporary. For example, the majority of the more traditional world opposed the founding of the Bais Yaakov schools for girls in 1917 in Poland, since at the time teaching Torah to women was generally prohibited. But today the Bais Yaakov movement is a mainstay of the Agudath Israel and charedi communities here and around the world.

Still, the path toward greater acceptance for women’s leadership and ritual authority is neither smooth nor assured.

Women-only prayer services, which long preceded JOFA and have been supported by the group, may now be in decline. Ironically, a number of younger women, whose mothers helped found JOFA, have not embraced this form of tefillah. Some have opted for attendance at normative synagogues, while others, feeling increasingly empowered, choose to pray in “partnership minyanim,” a coed mechitza service where women lead parts of the davening and are called to the Torah.

These minyanim, which began in Israel and are now in about a dozen cities in North America, would not have been possible without the all-female prayer services, which trained and gave women confidence to lead the service.

Audrey Trachtman, a JOFA vice president who is chairing next week’s conference, said most activists see partnership minyanim — in which women share liturgical duties with men — as “the next step” in the move toward full equality for Orthodox women in terms of prayer.

One session at next Sunday’s JOFA conference is entitled “A Foot in Both Shuls,” and explores the relationship between “the partnership movement and the rest of Orthodoxy.”

Richard Joel, the president of Yeshiva University, will be speaking on “Jewish education for the next generation” — a less than provocative topic. But his very presence is sure to spark interest since it marks the first time a YU president is participating at a JOFA conference.

I’d like to think that over time, more members of the Orthodox community will come to see JOFA’s mission as their own: deepening and enhancing Jewish life, individually and communally. But that depends on whether further empowering women is seen as a danger or a blessing.

A few years ago, our family attended Yom Kippur services in Manhattan sponsored by The Drisha Institute, the adult education program for advanced Judaic study for women. The rabbi announced that some people were upset because on Rosh HaShanah he had allowed women to carry the Torah through the women’s section on its way from the ark to the reading stand.

The only thing remarkable about the event, he said dryly, was that the women were generous and compassionate enough to return to the Torah to the men.

Ben Brafman = Slimy Putz said...


By Ellen Tumposky, March 4, 2010

A string of arrests of Orthodox rabbis and leaders in the US, accused of financial crimes, has raised concerns in the community and sparked debate about whether a spirit of corruption or an other-worldy naivete about money underlies the apparent crime spree.

The arrests include that of Jewish school director Rabbi Milton Balkany, a prominent director of a Jewish school who is accused of trying to extort a hedge fund; the Spinka Grand Rebbe, who got two years for tax fraud; and five rabbis arrested in a New Jersey money-laundering scandal.

Other cases include the conviction of meat plant owner Sholom Rubashkin on 86 charges of fraud; the prosecution of money manager Ezra Merkin for allegedly helping Bernard Madoff; and the jailing of a New York synagogue gabbai, Chaim Regensberg, for his own $11 million Ponzi scheme.

"In some of these cases there is a level of misunderstanding, in others there is a level of corrupt intent. It's not fair to paint with a broad brush," says criminal lawyer Benjamin Brafman, who is defending Rabbi Balkany.

"There is a lack of sophistication and a degree of naivete as to how highly regulated the United States has become and how complicated criminal statutes are in the area of white-collar crime. It's not necessarily a legal defence - it's a reality I have to deal with."

Mr Brafman spoke in July at a seminar on business ethics in an Orthodox area of Brooklyn, where he joked of looking out at a sea of black hats and "trying to figure out who the FBI agents are".

Tropper double standard said...


Agudath Israel spokesman Rabbi Avi Shafran said the ordination of a woman ran counter to the concept of tzniut, or modesty.

"It includes the idea that women are demeaned, not honoured, when they are placed in the public eye," said Rabbi Shafran, "and that a position like the one suggested here is violative of that concept."

Archie Bunker said...

Did Rosenblatt pay Shmarya for the piece about Tropper in the end or is Shmarya still whining that Rosenblatt is ashamed to be associated with him and dropped his name from the by-line at the last minute?

Archie Bunker said...


LOS ANGELES — His name has not been released, so it was not possible Thursday to ascertain what an elementary school teacher here was thinking when he pinned a photo of O. J. Simpson on the shirt of a second-grader who was marching in a Black History Month parade.

But that decision, and others like it by two other teachers, led to the suspension of the three teachers by the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Harlem Moetzes said...

NEW YORK (AP) Rev. Al Sharpton: Most in group of NY black leaders say Gov. Paterson should stay in office.

Zweibel The Weatherman said...

The MTA has been holding public hearings this week on several proposed changes designed to reduce the agency’s expenses, including the eventual elimination of fare discounts for New York City students.

“This plan,” Rabbi Zwiebel stated in written testimony to the MTA, “will have a devastating effect on all public and nonpublic school children in the city who rely on their half and full fare student discount MetroCards to attend school. The loss of these discounts for students would impose an extreme hardship on families, especially now during this difficult financial climate.”

Dr. Bungalow Hundt said...

A Brooklyn man was doused with acid because his dog barked at someone on the street, police said Thursday.

Igor Dubrovinsky, 29, was at Staten Island University Hospital with burns to his neck, hands and face the Wednesday confrontation. His injuries were not life-threatening, police said.

Dubrovinsky was walking the dog around the corner from his Sheepshead Bay home when he passed a man wearing all black.

"The dog starting barking at him," said a source. "I guess the guy got upset."

He flung the acid at Dubrovinsky and fled. The dog was not harmed, police said.

No one has been arrested.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/ny_crime/2010/03/04/2010-03-04_dogwalker_gets_burned_brooklynite_splashed_with_acid_after_dog_barks_at_man_in_b.html

Ann Coulter imitates UOJ said...


Posted by Ann Coulter
Mar 4th 2010

It looks like Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes is on track to win another endorsement from ACORN!

This week, Hynes announced that “no criminality has been found” after his investigation of the videotapes made by investigative journalists James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles, which show ACORN employees counseling the pair on getting a mortgage for a house of prostitution.

I’m just glad to know that Hynes conducted a thorough “investigation” first. Who did he have screen the videotapes, Gov. Paterson?

If his investigators had actually watched the videotapes, they would have found ACORN employees apparently advising a pimp and prostitute on how to defraud mortgage lenders, deposit prostitution money in a bank, hide money from the government and avoid detection while running a whorehouse with teenage girls from El Salvador.

I’m not a lawyer — oh, wait, yes, I am — but I count approximately a half-dozen state law crimes being discussed on those tapes, from money laundering to advancing prostitution.

Oylem Goylem said...


Rabbi Avi Shafran, director of public affairs for Agudath Israel of America, said Grossman “showed profound remorse and regret.”

Yet for 25 years, Grossman never expressed remorse to the Park family until the night of his execution.

Dershowitz wrote to the governor that this murder was not “heinous” enough for the death penalty. Crist said by e-mail: “Officer Park’s autopsy revealed lacerations on top of her head, hemorrhaging inside the scalp and extensive fracturing of the skull. All of these injuries resulted from Mr. Grossman’s attack. The facts of this crime clearly meet the definition of heinous, atrocious and cruel.”

Dershowitz and Grossman’s rabbinic supporters were saying two opposite things at once in his defense. On the one hand, Grossman was an introspective and serious baal teshuvah, capable of “profound” remorse, and yet, on the other hand, that Grossman could not comprehend the basic law against murder because he had such a low IQ that he was “borderline retarded,” according to Rabbi Kurinsky’s site. Yet long and detailed letters written by Grossman, posted on www.savemartingrossman.com, as well as on Yeshiva World News, reveal an intelligent letter-writer by any reasonable standard, someone who could write about his legal appeals and how “cognizant” he was of other people’s feelings, and the meaning of tefillin. Borderline retarded? As Crist said in his e-mail, Grossman’s actions after the murder demonstrated “his well-reasoned attempts to cover it up.”
As for the widespread claim by Grossman’s defenders that he only murdered Park under the influence of drugs and alcohol, how does anyone know? Grossman wasn’t tested for drugs or alcohol until 11 days after the murder, when he was arrested.

More than a few Orthodox bloggers were put off by it all. On the Frum Satire blog, “Jew for Justice” writes: “As someone who has spent years working on behalf of death row inmates and someone who is very much against the death penalty as practiced, this massive effort on his behalf sickens me.”

Rabbi Shafran, disavowing the extremists, explained Agudah’s support: “We did what anyone would do if their own son or daughter did a crime like that. We’d be outraged, furious, and yet if it was your child facing execution you’d do everything you could to plead for mercy — not to forgive, not to let him go, but to commute the sentence to life imprisonment.”

As his last afternoon ticked away, Grossman ordered his last meal from the prison canteen: a banana cream, peanut butter cookies, canned fruit punch and a chicken sandwich.

Just prior to being lethally injected at 6:04 p.m., Grossman confessed, sort of: “Everything that was done, whether I remember everything or not, I accept responsibility.” Then he said Shema Yisroel, adding “Ahavas Yisroel,” the transcendent love of one Jew for another that inspired so much of his support.

The body of Michoel Yechiel Ben-Avraham Grossman, a native of Florida, was shipped north to a funeral service at the Niklesberg Bais Medrash in Monsey, N.Y., where a car drove through the streets, blaring, “zecher tzaddik v’kudosh livrucha,” the memory of a righteous and holy man should be a blessing.

Anonymous said...


Did you know that the multivitamins you ingest everyday most likely contain vitamin ingredients from China?

Over the past decade, China has become the worlds largest maker of vitamin ingredients. Yet, most consumers are completely unaware that multivitamin ingredients they ingest are likely from China. U.S. laws don’t require multivitamin companies to inform consumers of where ingredients are coming from, so they dont. Some multivitamin labels say Made in USA or Made in Germany when, in fact, they use vitamin ingredients from China. Considering the quality issues that have plagued Chinas food and drug industry including the melamine contamination and the blood thinner scandals its clear that multivitamin sellers have little incentive to disclose ingredient origins on their own.

In 2007, research by ConsumerLab.com showed only 10 of the 21 less than half of the multivitamins tested met the quality claims on the label. As revealed in US News and World Report, one of the multivitamins was contaminated with lead. That same year, NPR reported that lead-contaminated multivitamins showed up on the shelves of U.S. retailers and vitamin A from China was contaminated with dangerous bacteria. According to the Washington Post, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Government Reform Committee, has deplored dangerous levels of lead in vitamin products originating in China.

Chinese companies, according to the New York Times, continue to take advantage of the country’s chronically weak enforcement of regulations, choosing to blend fake ingredients into products; to sign contracts agreeing to sell one thing only to later switch the raw materials for something cheaper; and to doctor, adulterate or even color foods to make them look fresher or more appetizing. The Wall Street Journal pointed to a disturbing mindset in China that makes this possible. In China, operators display an incredible willingness to place public safety at risk in exchange for only the smallest gains in profit.

Unfortunately, American consumers cant rely on the FDA to protect them from contaminated ingredients from China. William Hubbard, former senior associate commissioner at the FDA explained to NPR in 2007 that with 13 million food imports last year and only several hundred inspectors, the FDA was able to look at only about 1 percent of shipments at U.S. ports. And it rarely looks at food ingredients at all such as the Chinese imports of wheat gluten (a protein in wheat) associated with the melamine contamination. Whats more, US law treats supplements like food and allows them to go straight to market. No FDA approval is required and it can only intervene after consumers get sick or a safety issues comes to light.

Talmidei Rubashkin said...


The practice of pumping up poultry with salt water is basically a hidden tax of up to 15 percent that extracts about $2 billion from American consumers each year. This isn’t about "enhancing" chicken, it's about enhancing profits.
Think of it this way. You think you’re buying 7.5 pounds of chicken, if 15 percent is water weight; you're really getting less than six and a half pounds of chicken and more than one pound of added water.

Harm to our pocketbook would be bad enough, but adulterated chicken is also harmful to our health.
Sodium chloride, or salt, is probably the single most harmful ingredient in the food supply. It’s a major promoter of high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, and other ailments.

Fresser said...

Does anyone know if it's possible to get a kosher chicken sandwich from a prison canteen in Florida of all places? I mean it's not Otisville with a large heimisher population.

If Grossman would have eaten treif chicken for his last meal, that shatters another myth put out by the establishment that he was a baal teshuva.

Product certified by OK said...


La Mexicana Inc, a Seattle-based manufacturer and distributor of Mexican food, has some food safety problems.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sent investigators to the food processing facility for four days last October and they concluded La Mexicana has "documented serious deviations" from manufacturing regulations.

FDA says La Mexicana allowed a worker with an "open lesion" to handle "dough with a sore approximately half an inch in diameter on the employee's right forearm, including placing his right forearm into the bulk dough in direct contact with the sore on his arm."

Anyone with illness, open lesions--including boils, sores, or infected wounds, or any other abnormal source of microbial contamination--should not be working with food, food contact services, or packaging, according to Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMP).

FDA says its investigators observed several instances of La Mexicana workers failing to conform to hygienic practices. Examples included an employee who tied gloves around an apron strap when on break and returned to handling food without washing and sanitizing her gloved hands or replacing soiled gloves with new ones; and a half dozen employees who did not wash their hands when arriving on shift.

In manufacturing, FDA says La Mexicana allows a conveyer belt exiting the oven section of its tortilla machine to pass under a vent that has an accumulation of flour residue and dust that is starting to flake. Another problem are two large fans that are covered with dust and flour that blows onto finished tortillas.

FDA found considerable evidence of pests inside the facility, including packages that had been gnawed upon, excreta pellets in the packaging and other areas. And utensils and food contact surfaces also need attention. One example is the residue build up in circular cutting blades.

La Mexicana also cannot keep pests out because its facility lacks tight doors and good screening. There are large gaps around bay doors.

A Feb. 16 "Warning Letter" to La Mexicana was made public Tuesday. FDA's Seattle District Director Charles M. Breen urged the Mexican food maker to "take prompt action to correct all the violations noted in this letter."



Oy Oy OY GedOYlim said...

Everyone is held accountable for his particular level of awareness and response. There are those whose hearts are hardened, and they are not moved as they hear of the difficult conditions of others. This is a tragic situation and there is a heavenly claim which is registered against these people. Yet, as unfortunate as
this may seem, the accountability is more demanding towards one who is sensitive and caring, and yet, after he responds by pledging his support, his resolve dwindles with the passage of time, and he neglects to follow through and actually pay his share. Due to the
fact that he did display some sensitivity toward others in need, the expectations are greater for him to follow through on his offer, and his failure to act upon his resolve places him at a higher level of accountability.

Our Sages (Ta'anis 8b) have declared that it is directly in response to this sin that the
rains are withheld and the world experiences drought.

Now that Mr. Zweibel and the Moetzes have acknowledged the problem of child molestation and have pledged to "solve" the issue, but because the direct pressure of Markey has diminished they have lost their drive to help. They will be held a greater accountability for their neglect and dereliction of duty.

It's been almost a year and we hear nothing about this issue. All they care about is women rabbis, cold blooded murderers, and other very 'vital' issues. When was the last time any member of the Moetzes or anyone at Agudah headquarters shed for molestation victims even one quarter the amount of tears as they shed for Martin Grossman?

Israel Belsky SHLITA said...


Don’t eat poop, take my dog’s bark for it

Posted: March 4th, 2010 - 9:40pm by Doug Powell

Our lovely puppy – 56-pound yellow lab – decided to go for an all-poop-that-you-can-eat buffet in our backyard, when she was just supposed to be frolicking and enjoying the cold weather after having dinner. So, if your dessert consists of poop, you will most likely barf it all out, unless you are a rabbit, in which case you are fine. That’s what our dog did. She barfed all that poop all over our kitchen floor.

The question is, besides whether you still love your dog or not, how to clean all that poop?

- If you own a pair of disposable or rubber gloves, now is a good time to put them on.

- Tie the dog outside somewhere, so that she won’t keep stepping on poop and spreading it.

- Remove the dog’s bed, which is covered in poop and place it in the washer, with detergent and if available, bleach.

- Collect excess poop with paper towels and put them in a leak-proof trash bag.

- Once all the excess is gone, spray everything with the disinfectant of your choosing.

- Wipe with paper towels and repeat.

I went a step further and cleaned the whole floor with a swiffer and bleach, and then I even polished it, just to try to get rid of the smell from my hardwood floor. By the time I was done cleaning this mess it was around 4 a.m.

Happy Days Are Coming Soon said...

UOJ and Distinguished Readers fighting for the cause of children safety, don't give up on Hashem's abilities to switch everything around.

Rabbi Staum has a beautiful essay posted on why to keep living with faith in Hashem and not give up in the face of the Haman's walking around nowadays.

Big Dave said...

To UOJ and anonymous from yesterday:

There are clearly problems understanding what Chazal meant with their Torah codes. In the case of Rabbi Weissmandel, his budding career as a Torah giant was unfortunately crushed by his war experiences. To say with certainty that "he erred", though polite, is still presumptuous.

Personally, I believe that the Torah has hidden codes within it, but I also believe that there is no one in our generation, or perhaps in many generations, who is qualified or capable of understanding these codes and how to apply them.

Hurray for our brilliant generation that we have supercomputers and intricate programs that can generate math models that were previously undreamed of. We still don't know much in the grand scheme of things (or of the grand scheme of things).

The problem is that organizations like Aish (TM) have been using codes to give the timeless Torah better appeal to those for whom Torah is anachronistic mindlessness. The intent may be okay, but the result is all kinds of ignorami telling everyone that they can predict the future or reveal past events (if only we had known!) by manipulating codes. This is both arrogant and dangerous.

You may consider this a cop out, but I am quite comfortable with the fact that I don't know everything. It shouldn't stop me from seeking the truth, but it does not diminish me for accepting my non-Mensa status either.

Ronnie Schreiber spokesman said...


03/01/10 4:11 PM EST

Just another day in Detroit:

Two undercover informants entered Jefferson's Liquor Palace and spotted the owner at the register. "Big baby," said one, "we gon' do this?"

The man behind the counter provided $50 in cash, two bottles of liquor, two porn DVDs and two Viagra pills — all in exchange for taking $280.85 off a food-stamp card, say federal investigators who recorded the deal.

One store actually arranged for food stamp wire transfers to Somalia, for which it would take a 25 percent fee.

The estimate in this Associated Press article for food stamp fraud is $100 million since 2007 -- in fairness, a relatively small number compared to the program's $40 billion annual budget. Then again, it's your money. Nice to know that the stimulus package contained supplemental food stamp funding.

Israel Belsky SHLITA said...


An Oneonta car-wash owner said he is working on an expansion _ for dogs.

Breck Tarbell said he has been following a trend for self-serve dog-wash businesses elsewhere and decided to grow his 536 Main St. site into All Star Auto and Pet Wash.

The price to wash a dog will start at $8 for 10 minutes, Tarbell said, and money can be added for an extended cleaning. The pet wash will offer options such as tearless shampoo, conditioner, oatmeal treatment shampoo, de-skunking treatment, a veterinary-grade shampoo and two speeds of blow drying, according to a media release. Vending products planned are edible dental brush chews, drying towels and dog treats.

For more information about the business and the grand opening of the pet wash, call Tarbell at 432-3090.

"UOJ" - "The Un-Orthodox Jew" said...

I'm always open to differing opinions; --- based on the science of today, ELS has been proven scientifically to be no more accurate when gleaned from the Torah or any encyclopedia (lengthy set of words) ....actually it's fascinating what ELS produced from Moby Dick.

If the science should change, I'm certainly open to view the findings and even change my mind if it's not produced by (computer) scientists that have pre-conceived leanings towards one view or the other.

I just completed Gerald Schroeder's new book on his "reconciliation" of the Big Bang with the Torah's depiction of briat ha'olam -- one of the most laughable works ever produced by a scientist!

Gumshoe said...

Didn't the Vilna Gaon also have some kind of system?

If the codes are going to work anywhere it's the Torah.

How do you disprove the methodology from the Nitra Rov and Aish btw?

Archie Bunker Groupie on Blog War Over At Shmarya said...

Do not blame the JP. Blame yourself,

Its easy to let Google etal. do the interent crawling for you at no cost and then copy and paste the stories you think fit your blog.

You have morphed into just an aggregator. Today there is nothing value added in your blog. Once in a while there was original content but it seems it is a thing of the past.

The story as you had it was dated 00:00:00 on March 5,2010. It never ran on the JP web site. They did not post it for public consumption. Google has this nasty habit of taking everything off a web site whether its live or not.

I learned the hard way when I opened my google-alert recently and found out that
a suicide bomber had blown up a bus in Jerusalem and there were numerous dearhs.
My father ad meah vesreim shana lives there and my son studies there. As you can imagine, I was very concerned. Doing my own investigating, I found out the story was from 2002 or 2003, In my case it was once burned, twice shy. It is a pity you did not adopt the same policy,

Posted by: mkarpas | March 05, 2010 at 08:54 AM

Shmoron –

I would have expected something more like:
"The following article was reposted on the Jerusalem Post's new website with today's date on it, prompting this blogger to write 'Apparently, no amount of thuggery and sexual exploitation is enough to remove Rabbi Leib Tropper from public Jewish life'. ...Oops!"

Mr. Apikorus,

Shmarya's beef with the Jerusalem Post stems from the fact that the paper fired its token lefty columnist, a Goldstone apologist, after she sued the paper because it published an ad mocking her.

Also, and more importantly, for the fluff piece on 5WPR's Ronn Torossian.


You said it well.

Posted by: Maskil | March 05, 2010 at 10:45 AM

Lakewood bucher said...


When NBC cancelled “Southland,” Michael Cudlitz vented on Twitter.

Cudlitz, 45, has moved on. The Flushing native and former Lakewood, NJ, resident, has aroused a lot of interest in his portrayal of Cooper, who has many personal issues, including his developing gay identity, a prescription drug dependency and a job-threatening back injury, and an ex-wife who figures into his pill-popping problem.

Chometz for Pesach Lerner said...

Belsky, do the dogs still get the oatmeal shampoo on Passover?

"UOJ" - "The Un-Orthodox Jew" said...

The onus of proof of ELS is on the people making the claim.

I went to an Aish Discovery class -- I stopped giving them a dime when I realized it's a hoax.

You can't possibly convince anyone with the most basic education and reasonable mind that ELS is for real. They never predicted any future event PRIOR to the event happening --- it's a rehash of the Nostradamus nonsense!

hamaivin yovin said...

Steve and to the Oy Oy OY GedOYlim said...

You don't seem to realize the infinite wisdom of our "Gedolim": they are bochen levavas and they know the level of repent and remorse that lies within the hearts of the Kolko's and Martin Grossman's of our time.

Realistically: it's simply less painful to depict a repented heart then trying to grasp what lies within the hearts of the "abused, attacked, intimidated and shunned victims".

For the rest of the staff at the Agudah: its simply not cool to deal with heart wrenching sadness and lead a generation differently then the way the polished Rabbi Sherrer's of yesteryear lead. Lip service is the safest way out to win on both ends.

Assuming though an ounze of sincerity; the l'shaim shamaim mentality is rooted in weak hearts and weak convictions.

As the Kotsker Rebbi used to say: "even when you do something l'shaim shamaim you should do it l'shaim shamaim"

Hamaivin yovin

Shea Fishman said...


I was wondering the other day why Margo was down on his hands and knees checking out the foundation of YTT.

Moetzes Resign! said...


Representative Eric J. Massa, a freshman Democrat from upstate New York who is under investigation for harassing a male aide, said on Friday that he would resign from the House.

Anonymous said...

USA Today - ‎17 minutes ago‎

Ben Roethlisberger is back in the news, the kind that could have serious ramifications for the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback. TMZ is reporting that Roethlisberger has been accused of sexual assault by a Georgia women stemming from an incident Friday ...

Urgent Kashrus Alert said...

According to the KAJ the ONLY items certified under their hashgacha being sold by S. Bertram Inc. is labeled either Haolam or Eden. They DO NOT give hashgacha to ANY matza or matza products being distributed by S.Bertram Inc. all hand shemura matzo boxes under the brand name YARDEN bearing the KAJ label is a serious breach.

Yarden is under the O-U and never was under the KAJ supervision. All boxes with KAJ certification are fraudulent.

Marvin Hier said...


So what does UOJ have against little people anyway?

Free lunch said...

In his capacity as chairman of the Committee of Religious and Independent School Officials of the City of New York, Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel, Agudath Israel of America’s executive vice president, voiced strong opposition to a New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority plan to phase out student fare discounts.

The MTA has been holding public hearings this week on several proposed changes designed to reduce the agency’s expenses, including the eventual elimination of fare discounts for New York City students.

“This plan,” Rabbi Zwiebel stated in written testimony to the MTA, “will have a devastating effect on all public and nonpublic school children in the city who rely on their half and full fare student discount MetroCards to attend school. The loss of these discounts for students would impose an extreme hardship on families, especially now during this difficult financial climate.”

Writing on behalf of the entire nonpublic school community, Rabbi Zwiebel noted that many of the nearly 21% of New York City elementary and secondary student population enrolled in religious and independent schools come from the lowest socio-economic levels of the city. The impact of the MTA’s proposal will be felt most severely in this sector, the Agudath Israel leader noted, because nonpublic school students often live farther away from their schools and require public transportation to get to and from school.

He also called attention to the fact that “children who attend religious schools whose school day concludes after 4:30 PM (as it does for many Jewish school students above grade 3), when the Department of Education does not provide yellow bus service, have no choice but to use public transportation to get home.”

Their parents, he continued, “will therefore have to bear the additional significant expense of daily public transportation - further exacerbating the disproportionate impact the MTA’s plan will have on the nonpublic school sector.”

Kolko lawyer Jeffrey Schwartz said...


I learned in daf yomi that it's a mitzva to defend the Vatican against sexual allegations.

Bim Bam identity said...


U.S. Enriches Companies Defying Its Policy on Iran

22 minutes ago

A Times analysis shows that the U.S. has awarded companies with more than $107 billion in contracts and other benefits while they were doing business with Iran, despite efforts to block investment there.

Yerachmiel Lopin said...

I have done a few posts about the Baruch Lebovits trial including this great tidbit about his lawyer's other famous client, Brigitte Harris. http://wp.me/pFbfD-gx

YoelB said...

Mene, mene, tekel...

Jack Wertheimer, the Joseph and Martha Mendelson Professor of American Jewish History at the Jewish Theological Seminary, has an article in the current Commentary Magazine called The High Cost of Jewish Living.

Important points:

•"According to estimates of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, 350,000 of the 1.4 million Jews in the New York area live at or below subsistence levels; in Chicago, Jewish leaders believe that 20 percent of the local population is living close to the federal poverty line. Among the poorest are the elderly, Holocaust survivors, immigrants from the former Soviet Union, and the most self-isolating pockets of Orthodox Jews, as well as individuals who earn a minimum wage or less because they are in some way disabled."
•Declining donor base, due to aging leaders and major donors
•Non-Orthodox Jewish philanthropy and volunteers increasingly going to non-sectarian causes.
•High cost of Orthodox life

His suggestions include:
Before they invest even more funding and direct still more volunteers to nonsectarian causes, Jewish philanthropists should consider a different path. Think of what they could do for the cause of Jewish literacy by creating a Jewish Teach for America. Such a program would serve the dual purpose of deepening the Judaic knowledge of volunteers, while simultaneously directing much needed personnel to the understaffed field of Jewish education. Philanthropists could also create a Jewish Service Corps with the mission of sending volunteers to Jewish communities in the United States and around the world where poverty, inadequate Jewish education, and social problems exist. Imagine what several thousand dedicated volunteers serving in Jewish educational and social-service institutions for two years might do to lessen the two-fold crises of affordability faced by families and understaffing afflicting most major agencies.

New initiatives might also strive self-consciously to teach Jews what they need to know, not only what they want to hear. They could begin by explaining that Jews, too, suffer from poverty and illiteracy. Remarkably, this obvious point is not widely understood. After working in a service program aiding Jews in the former Soviet Union, a volunteer expressed amazement that in all her years in a Jewish day school, she had never heard about poor Jews who require help. With some knowledge, idealistic young Jews who have grown up in the suburbs of the large American cities will discover that they do not have to trek around the globe to find human beings living in poverty; all they have to do is look in their own communities to find Jews trying to make ends meet and who could benefit from their help.


Itche Meyer Greenwald said...

מאת גערער

אברך חסיד גור מלייקווד, בשם יהודה מרגלית, העוסק בתחום ניהול נדלן, חשוד בגניבות מליוני דולרים מאנשים, רובם ישראלים, רוב הכסף הוא השקיע במלון בפוקונוס, פלסנביה, יש במלון עוד שותף עיקרי בשם יצחק מאיר גרינוולד, שיש לו קייטרינג בלייקווד, אולם אדון מרגלית מכר המון דירות של אנשים תוך כדי זיוף החתימה שלהם, והשקיע את הכסף במלון. המלון עומד על סף פשיטת רגל.

מרגלית הזה, היה משמן את יונתן בורנשטיין מגור בכספים גנובים.

פרשת הגניבות התפוצצה שבוע שעבר, כל מי שמתעסק בנדל"ן בלייקווד שמע מזה ושותפיו לעסקים, שגם אותם הוא גנב, והם, מוטי פליגמן, ממנו גנב מרגלית כמעט 4 מליון דולר, וגוטמן, שממנו גנב מרגלית קרוב ל-2 מליון דולר ועוד הרשימה ארוכה.

זוהי פרשת נדלן שהולכת לצאת בקול תרועה החוצה וכשישמעו מזה רוב המשקיעים שלו מהארץ, הם יפתחו בתביעת ענק נגדו