Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I feel we should develop appropriate ways of using the existing criminal justice systems to our advantage. What else could work?

Dr. Benzion Twerski Writes:

There seems to be some disagreement whether there is a rampant problem of molestation and abuse in the schools as opposed to non-school related incidents. In the absence of empirical data, no one really knows. Obtaining reliable data is also close to impossible when we are dealing with an issue that is associated with shame and stigma. However, there is another angle (and I am sure I am stating the obvious). The school based molestation, even if the actual numbers are low, is so alarming and horrifying. We send our children to be in the care of the school staff and faculty. And it is caregivers that are not only failing to protect the children, but are perpetrating the crimes themselves! This takes even low numbers to soaring heights.

Much of the apprehension is the issue of reporting. The belief, with merit, is that this can result in criminal charges, incarceration, etc. This also affects the reputation of the school, since the safeguards to prevent were not in place. The establishment seems to take the stance of “Let us handle the issue internally without resorting to the criminal justice system that is out of our control.” While I can appreciate this, I must appeal to my conscience about the consequences. Do our Batei Din have any real clout when it comes to punishment and enforcement? Doesn’t halacha require us to allow the shiltonos to handle such affairs?

I share the horror that is elicited by such traumatic events. Every incident I hear makes my blood boil. Ask my wife – she sees me coming back home with a different mood and recognizes I just heard about an incident of this type. My knee jerk reaction is respond with drama. Report it, get the perpetrator fired, publicize the person’s name in every form of media, include those in supervisory positions who failed to establish safety and prevent the trauma, etc. None of these reactions are irrational. Someone posted here about having a single recognized organization take the reins to guide families through the painful process. Not that I am optimistic that any one organization would undertake such a mammoth responsibility, but the idea that there should be a process that would have some structure to it that would avoid the heated reactions such as those I listed is inviting.

Someone told me several years ago that terminating a yeshiva rebbe or other faculty is terribly hard to do, even if identified as a perpetrator of such violence. The reason given is that the Batei Din routinely obligate the yeshiva to continue the employee’s salary in full for two years to allow him to find another job. This is to insure that the family will not be thrust into poverty for a crime they did not commit. I cannot verify this, though it is understandable. If anything of this sort is true, who would expend two salaries to get one person to do a job? I know the judgment of allowing a molester into a classroom is poor, to say the least (actually criminal), but I have never faced a yeshiva budget with loads of red ink and financial pressures. Such conditions have led others to other forms of crime.

Let’s take an inventory of what we have here. Rabbi X. is alleged of perpetrating an incident of trauma. These are the option:

1- Bring this issue to yeshiva administration. Unlikely to produce much beyond denial, or at best the promise to discuss the matter with Rabbi X.

2- Approach a local Rav, Posek, or Bais Din. This will most likely elicit additional denial, and all forms of manipulation of the system will be attempted.

3- Try a grass roots effort of bringing the issue to other parents. This will prompt an understandable backlash of retaliation. How dare an accuser create havoc among the parent body!

4- Report the incident to authorities. Expect to be ostracized in the community as a “moser”. Expect all other children to be expelled from the yeshiva. Expulsion may also spread to other schools if there are other children there, as the schools will all be guided to expect similar accusations. Getting rid of all members of the family is a good protection from such accusations.

5- Ignore the problem, hoping that it will go away. That type of parental neglect is inexcusable.

In my earlier posts, I made my feelings clear, that we should not be holding the gedolim responsible any more than anyone else in the community. However, I ask, if this is your child, chas veshalom, who was a victim, which of the above options would you choose? I hear the frustration and the hopelessness. I feel we should develop appropriate ways of using the existing criminal justice systems to our advantage. What else could work?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

All the horrible abuses inflicted on the Jews in the Holocaust, did not do as much permanent damage as them being sexually molested!

A study by Professor Rachel Lev-Wiesel

All the horrible abuses inflicted on the Jews in the Holocaust, did not do as much permanent damage as them being sexually molested.There can be no t'shuva for this great crime against children, the victims are tormented for the rest of their lives. I hold the rabbis/"gedolim" personally responsible! All of you who knew and did nothing, or worse, covered up these heinous crimes, if you have one ounce of humanity, you should resign your positions immediately, or the klal should throw you out!


According to new study, sexual abuse traumas have greater effect on survivors than any other experienced during Holocaust years. 'Abuse still causes incessant thoughts, nightmares,' researcher says.

A new study conducted at the Haifa University reveals that Holocaust survivors who suffered sexual abuse during World War II were much more traumatized by molestation than by any other of the horrifying experiences they went through during that period.

The study, the first ever to focus on the subject, is set to be presented next Sunday in the framework of a conference to mark the international Holocaust Memorial Day at the university.

Prof. Rachel Lev-Wiesel, who conducted the research, said that although the survivors experienced other traumatic events during the holocaust, including the loss of parents, physical abuse and hunger, the memory of sexual abuse remained etched in their minds more than anything else.

"This abuse still causes incessant thoughts on the subject and nightmares," Lev-Wiesel said.

'Survivors told stories with clarity, precision'

The study consists of interviews with 22 men and women in Israel and the United States, who were willing to share with the researcher stories about the abuse they underwent during the war.

Lev-Wiesel said that some people who offered to take part in the study were rejected, because she believed they would not be able to cope with the burden of memories and the self-exposure involved with the interview.

The average age of the interviewees stood at 68 years, and Lev-Wiesel said all have told their story with clarity and precision, in contradiction to how people usually speak of a traumatic event.

This is proof, Lev-Wiesel said, that the survivors retell the story in their heads over and over again, reliving the past daily.

All the survivors interviewed for the study have spent the war years on the run from the Nazis, some at hiding in the houses of Christians, others moving from place to place with the partisans, an easy prey for menacing adults along the way.

According to Prof. Lev-Wiesel, this fact does not eliminate the possibility similar incidents took place at ghettos as well.

Abuser usually close to victim

In some of the cases revealed in the study, the abuse was carried out by relatives or other Jews, which alleviated the trauma and embarrassment among survivors.

In one of the cases the abuser was a man who helped smuggle children from one place to another, in another it was a father who sexually abused his daughter, and in several other incidents – mothers who molested their sons.

Prof. Lev-Wiesel stressed that situations of stress and war do not create pedophiles, but that they enable such people to operate more freely.

Yisroel Belsky's Bogus Loshon Hara Hazmana ...


Download the Belsky files here:
(copy & paste)

Monday, January 14, 2008

Once Upon A Time There Was A Rabbi......

People thought him strange!

He had these weird ideas...like every Jewish child must be granted a Jewish education...free if necessary. Every major city in the world, starting with the United States...should have a Hebrew school staffed with educated, qualified, religious, career teachers.

Every Jewish child should be educated according to his/her abilities; set up separate parallel classes for the brightest...and classes for the beautiful children that did not necessarily like learning, that would rather play ball. He actually understood that. He forced his best students out of the bais medrash during the lunch hour and on to the playground. Exercise was important for everyone.

Children that came from "modern" homes were not permitted to change their dress - to "hasidic" garb. Tzizis...were to be neatly kept in their pants pockets, and peyos were to be combed around the ear - if you came to the yeshiva with them -- if not -- you needed to keep and respect the dress code of your parents. You had to be immaculate in your appearance.

This was some strange guy!

Girls had to be formally educated - both in limudei kodesh - Hebrew studies - and secular studies. He fought tooth and nail against the fanatics that wanted to keep girls at home - learning to cook and clean and some home-study. (Urged them to learn that from their mothers' - at their leisure.)

He despised religious fanatics!

Boys had to excel - according to their abilities - both in their Hebrew and secular studies. If you failed in mathematics, history or English - you risked being penalized. (knass - or money sanctions...or even expulsion)

Where did this strange dude come from?

He was brought to tears, everyday, at least three times...at v'Yerushalayim ircha b'rachamim tashuv...v'sihkon b'socha k'asher dibarta....He cried real tears when his students were in pain, emotional or otherwise. It affected his ulcers drastically when people suffered; all Jewish pain was personal. He understood pain - if any one ever did. He understood "responsibility." He understood dedication to the klal...and every living, breathing moment was on fire...with that commitment.

He never had a personal savings bank account...it was a failure in bitachon. Hashem provides, and will always.... if you do your part - with serious hishtadlut ! When Mr. Irving Bunim put down the down payment ($5G) for his house in Monsey - New York, this rabbi made certain it was in the name of the yeshiva (against the express wishes of the benefactor), and that fair market value rent - was deducted from his meager paycheck.

He borrowed money for students that he felt needed to leave the yeshiva...and helped them to start businesses with personal loans. He encouraged others to get jobs. He encouraged many to go to college - in to the professions - and only the few totally dedicated boys were to stay in learning - full time - for more than a very brief period of time. This was a man who understood the stark realities of life...and what it meant not to make a living; and the broad - forever - wide-reaching ramifications on the entire family's well-being if there was no food in the ice-box.

This was a wild & crazzzzy guy!

Where are those rabbis? What happened to us? How did we drift so far apart from Torah values - that we don't know right from wrong, legal from illegal, sane from insanity, truth from blatant falsehoods, real from unreal, rational from irrational, and seemingly profane from seriously profane?............

We sold away our traditions for money, kavod, power, a few minutes in the spotlight; and whored ourselves for every single secular - anti-Torah value that we once died for!

Authentic Orthodox Judaism is pronounced dead...and I blame the prostitutes!

Court rules alleged U.S. pedophile Mondrowitz must stay in custody

Last update - 15:00 14/01/2008

Court rules alleged U.S. pedophile Mondrowitz must stay in custody

By Haaretz Service

Tags: Gur Hasid, Avrohom Mondrowitz

The Jerusalem District Court ruled on Monday that Avrohom Mondrowitz, an ultra-Orthodox man who fled the United States for Israel two decades ago to avoid sexual abuse charges, must remain in custody until the end of legal proceedings against him.

The United States seeks the extradition of Mondrowitz, 60, a member of the Gur Hasidic sect, and the court ruling stemmed from the suspicion he may attempt to escape Israel before his extradition.

Mondrowitz was arrested in Jerusalem in November of last year for allegedly abusing dozens of children at his unlicensed psychology clinic at his Brooklyn, New York home during the 1980s. He fled to Israel in 1985 as police were investigating charges against him.

Two months ago, the United States resubmitted an extradition request first made in 1985, months after Mondrowitz fled Brooklyn for Israel, said Justice Ministry spokesman Moshe Cohen.

The renewed U.S. request came after Israel and the United States amended their extradition treaty to include all crimes whose punishment is more than one year imprisonment, according to Israel's State Prosecutor's Office. Before the change that took effect last January, the extradition treaty between Israel and the United States did not include sodomy.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The First Documented Sexual Abuse Case At Ner Israel - (NIRC) - Baltimore!

The UOJ Archives. (Originally published by The Awareness Ctr. - Credit was given on the original republishing of his story...subsequently I verified Mr. Fishman's story.)

There was much more, however, he did not explicitly give me permission to write about it, therefore I will not.

The sole purpose of me posting this is to demonstrate that molestation of children by people in authority is not a new phenomena; how it took Israel fifty years to tell his story, and that the very graphic details of his molestation were absolutely burned into his memory for his entire life. He was continually physically molested by NTL until he left the yeshiva.

Sexual molestation generally begins by encouraging children to openly discuss their private personal behavior,(grooming)... talking about their innermost normal thoughts, converting them into sins and horrible guilt. Once the victim's secrets are exposed, the predator uses that information to threaten the victim with exposure, and now can perpetrate their crime with little fear of being exposed. In just about every case of sexual abuse that I'm aware of, the abusers' MO are practically identical.

Israel Fishman wanted his story told. He passed away a few years ago.



by Israel Fishman

Please note the following is graphic. The article below tells of the experiences of an incest survivor that occurred over 50 years ago.

The following took place in 1953. I am not quite 15 years old and the youngest student at the Ner Israel Rabbinical Academy in Baltimore Maryland, which was then located at 4411 Garrison Boulevard.

When I arrived a few months earlier I had been the second youngest student, but the boy who was then the youngest was caught in flagrant delicto with another boy and was tossed out. The boy's father, a rabbi from Richmond, Virginia was the mashgiakh (kosher supervisor) for the large FFV Baking Company there. He must have come in to stay for that particular Sabbath, as traveling on that day is strictly forbidden.

So on that sacred day he approached the head of the Yeshiva, Rabbi Jacob L. Ruderman, who was sitting at the front of the large bais medrash (study hall) pleading with him to give his son a second chance. In front of all the students and teachers, Rabbi Ruderman screamed at the boy's father that he could not talk with him because the matter was absolutely closed, and that the boy must leave immediately. Meanwhile I am living in constant fear that either somebody in the yeshiva will find out all my dark secrets, or that God will surely punish me most severely for my unmentionable, abominable sins.

All the time, however I can't stop thinking of the beautifully gorgeous, angelic looking, red-haired and freckled boy, Hochberg from Hartford, and what might have been. I still shudder when I recall the recent Friday night when a whole bunch of fellow students came to visit me in my dorm room when I was sick. It was a Friday night there were no lights on in the room and all sat or stood around in total darkness. Hochberg, though, sat on my bed, and put his hand under the blanket and groped me. I was so scared, because I was worried that it was an entrapment, and I remained absolutely soft. This is the yeshiva environment in which the following event is taking place.

I have just shut the lights leaving my room for the study hall's evening session. It is a weekday and therefore we have study sessions every evening. Before I actually leave the room I feel somebody's hand on my shoulder who gently but firmly leads me back into my room. The lights remain turned off. His name is NTL. He is an older bokhur, that is, one of the senior students who took responsibility for the moral training of the younger students on a one-to-one basis.

He leads me to the bed where he sits very closely besides me and holds me very tightly around the waist. He is stronger and more powerful than I am. He is also an older bokhur that you have to respect and listen to. I was immobile and frozen.

He tells me that he could tell from the lines under my eyes that I was masturbating (which I already knew was a grave sin, that is the masturbation and not the lines under the eyes per se!), Before long I am confessing to him all the other evil things that I had been doing, including the sex that I had had for many years with my older brother, Calmin. I tell him that it had gone on for nearly six years and had only ended when we separated a few months earlier, with him going to seminary in Cleveland and I, as I said earlier, coming to Baltimore. I feel so relieved in unburdening myself to someone who is so interested in me.

Through the whole long evening (and it feels that it it a very long evening) I am so scared and afraid, feeling that I dare not make a single move, let alone excuse myself to take a pee, which is getting more and more urgent.

I continue to remain in NTL's close embrace, although by now we are standing against a closet door with one of my hands squeezed against the doorknob. By now I don't know what is hurting more, my hand against the doorknob, or having to pee so urgently. But still I dare not move. I am trapped.

NTL makes me promise that I will never, ever, urinate standing up (because doing that I would be touching myself and that might very well lead to masturbation). I must also immediately train myself to sleep only on my side, and not on my belly or back (in order to avoid having a nocturnal emission, which, of course, is also sinful). I am to tell him every time that I transgressed, even if it was just a matter of having a wet dream. Finally, he tells me that I am so indebted to him for what he is doing for me that, even if I had a million dollars, I would have to give it all to him.

I have no awareness of how long I am with NTL; only that my hand is hurting and that I need to pee so badly. I am so afraid of him and I am so overwhelmed by this evening. No one has ever talked to me at such length and especially helping me to overcome my sinful desires.

I have no idea or comprehension where this evening's experience and my relationship with NTL will undeniably and inescapably take me, and what tragic and painful consequences I will have to endure down the road. But all that is in the future (or at least four or so months away.)

Monday, January 07, 2008

BORUCH DAYAN HA'EMES! - MOREINU RAV SHMUEL BERENBAUM ZT"L - הרב רבי רפאל שמואל ברנבוים זצוק'’ל

Mir Yeshiva Release On Yeshiva World:.......Photograph of funeral - The Associated Press.

אוי לספינה שאבדה קברניטה

נפלה עטרת ראשינו פאר הדור ותפארתו

הי גאון הי חסיד

עמוד התורה והחסד

זקן ראש הישיבות משרידי הדור הישן

מורינו ורבינו מרן

הגאון האדיר רשכבה”ג

הרב רבי רפאל שמואל ברנבוים זצוק'’ל

ראש הישיבה דישיבת מיר

הלוי’ה יתקיים בבית מדרשו


ביום ב’ בשעה 8:45 בבקר

ישיבת מיר

The levaya will be leaving the Yeshiva at 11 A.M.

to JFK, EL AL Cargo, Bldg. 23

וכל בית ישראל יבכו את השרפה אשר שרף ד’

Sunday, January 06, 2008

"UOJ - Please Listen. The abuse of power, molestation, and cover-up that you know about does not allow you to rest peacefully....."

Saturday, July 01, 2006 - The UOJ Archives

"UOJ - Please Listen. The abuse of power, molestation, and cover-up that you know about does not allow you to rest peacefully....."

A Sophisticated Reader Writes And UOJ Responds.

I'd like to comment on the many opinions being offered whether the good that UOJ has accomplished is being "offset" by the bad.

UOJ - please listen. I can tell from some of your recent comments that you really care. The abuse of power, molestation, and cover-up that you know about does not allow you to rest peacefully. You have been very successful in changing our culture to some degree over the last months. Suddenly, a topic that was never spoken about is on the tips of our tongues. Yeshivas are wary of you. The organizations are on the lookout. The climate is right for change.

As you successfully point out the hypocrisy and evil in our midst, you and many other commenters should make a strong effort to:

1. Use appropriate language instead of the lexicon now used.

2. Attack only those that truly deserve to be attacked - the abusers of power and the molesters. The potshots taken at rabbonim, rabbayim, or even laymen that we have seen on this blog is not appropriate and needs to be curtailed.

3. Stop ridiculing anyone (including this commenter) who calls for a more civil discourse. I believe that most of us are parents. We would be the first to instruct our children that two wrongs do not make a right. We can't justify the feeling of gossip, frivolity and laxity that this blog is identified with on the basis that we are taking up a higher cause - especially when we can accomplish the same thing without resorting to these tactics.

Let's fight the issue of molestation in a strong, take-no-prisoners type of way, but keep foul language, off color, and insulting remarks out of the dialogue. I believe that - as you call for a higher level of Judaism - a yearning for the holy religion that it once was - it is a critical error to allow and foster this type of dialogue which decreases individual holiness. As a group, the effect is contagious and more devastating.

UOJ, I respectfully ask you and your readers to think before you respond with knee jerk reactions. Please consider my words which are heartfelt.

I must specifically comment on Rav Elchonon Wasserman. Despite your strong feelings about the decision that Rav Elchonon made, going after him so harshly has left a bad taste in many people's mouths. Now, you have said that we should not read your blog if we don't like your opinions.

You are missing the point which is that we like what you are doing. You are important to us. We would like to visit your blog which is the only vehicle where we can have an open discussion about abuse. However, we respect certain boundaries that you have crossed. It is very simple for you to tell us to leave the blog, but you would lose many interested and loyal supporters. Please reconsider your adamant position on certain Gedolim that you have severely criticized.

Regarding R' Elchanan, perhaps your point could have been that people aren't perfect and that you believe that his advice was wrong and that even Rav Elchonon may have realized this. You could extend that further with the Art Scroll type biographies where Gedolim are superhuman and explain why you believe that is dangerous. But the manner that you attacked him, conveys a message that G-D forbid - R' Elchanan is in the same category as a Margulies. This is unequivocally wrong. As mentioned, the blog should criticize and publicize the real abusers - not Gedolim or laymen that make mistakes or are imperfect in one way or another.

To the readers:

It is time to get involved. Following the blog and making clever comments is not very difficult. Meanwhile, UOJ is fighting a one man battle. Are you ready to advocate for the independent board that UOJ has spoken about? Would you dare challenge your Yeshiva if an issue of abuse came up? It is easy to feel comfortable on this blog with UOJ as your super hero. It is convenient to wait for UOJ to "take down" the next molester, but where are the parents? You need to get involved in real life. I believe that UOJ has been saying that of late, but I haven't seen any responses. I'd like to see readers respond by name - no more hiding behind anonymous - and offer to support a parent advocacy group.

Let's continuously examine and reexamine our motives. It is easy to insult those who critique this blog, it is much more difficult to absorb good advice even if it is coming from those that you disagree with.

Let's clean up this blog so that it can be a place that we would be proud to take our children to visit. Let's support UOJ by becoming involved parents. Let's move forward by continuing with the positive aspects of this blog while filtering out the negative aspects that we know in our heart of hearts has no place in our very important dialogue.*****


The pain that all thinking people feel as well as the outrage, is expressed by myself and thousands of readers of this blog. Going through an overwhelming amount of comments and e-mails per week, I am able to put up only a fraction of the comments and read only some of the e-mails. The one time I took off comment moderation as a test, there were 1030 comments until I started moderating again. Unprecedented in Blog history; Jewish or otherwise.

You do make some excellent points and your sincerity has captured my attention.

I am guilty...guilty of letting it take years for me to transform my generally mild-mannered personality, (until I'm yanked around) into the "wild-man" UOJ. I'm watching this Jim Jones-like behavior for years while trying gently to make a difference by attending board meetings, writing essays under pseudonyms, donating large sums of money anonmyously; all with the proper intent to get a system in the yeshivas and Rabbanut that is guided by the beauty of our Torah. Not a system governed by individual needs, not beautiful edifices, not ostentatious dinners and conventions...simply a system run by yirei Hashem with no other interest than the needs of the klal first, foremost, and only!

Instead, we have a system that is corrupt from the mail-room person up to the decision-makers, and everyone in between. How did we get here? Where did this disease of abuse of power and utter corruption come from? Are we students of our holy Torah or are we just a bunch of people dressed in dark clothing, hats, wigs, and tzitzis? (some fools wear more than one pair at a time)

The answer my friends, is the pass we gave to our rabbis that are no more than mortal humans. They have the same temptations that all of us have, and many of them, not all, fall victim to their humanity. They steal, they cheat, they are corrupt. You know why? There is no system of checks and balances that all humanity requires. They are - the rabbis/gedolim...who is going to keep them in check?

We have erred. We have turned our rabbis into gods..they are not, not at all. They are influenced and corrupted by money and power just as we are. We are scrutinized by our peers, they get a pass.

Therefore the trembling anger I have displayed towards R' Elchonon Wasserman. He was a Torah giant; but he was not God, just a mere human, fallible just like any other human. Was he brilliant in Torah? Absolutely! Therefore what exactly? A student wants to escape Nazi Germany...and he writes him back to stay put? Pikuach nefesh replaces a personal theory or opinion that "Y.U.",- R' Yitzckok Elchonon in those days, is more dangerous to his talmidim than Hitler? Rabbi Gedalya Schorr and Mike Tress obtain hundreds of visas for his talmidim and he tells them, NO THANKS!?

I was sitting at the hospital bed several years ago of a true "tzaddik gamur"; he was nebach at the end of his life. He was at one of the meetings where his family hosted a reception to honor R' Elchonon in the late 1930's. I was holding his frail, trembling hand as he described to me what transpired after that meeting. The host and the hostess threw themselves at the feet of R' Elchonon in the living room, sobbing and begging uncontrollably...pleading with him NOT to go back to Europe, and to bring his talmidim to the United States.

R' Elchonon was trance-like...he wouldn't budge. "HE KNEW WHAT HASHEM WANTED!" He in fact played God...thousands died against the wishes of Hashem, who commanded us to violate Yom Kippur, Shabbos, Kashrut...do everything one must do to save a single life! For everyone's information, what ArtScroll will NOT tell you, is that Rav Yitzchok Scheiner, the present Rosh Hayeshiva of Kaminetz in Israel, was a talmid of Y.U. at that time. Not too shabby a black hatter I might comment. He was right up there on the infamous list of people banning Noson Slifkin's works.

So my passion is, in my opinion, well-founded, rooted in common sense and Torah inspired fact. No chassidic rebbe or any rabbi has godly powers, they are mere mortals. Remember we are Jews - not Christians; there are NO intermediaries in our religion. WE have a direct line to God, not one bit less than a person who is wearing eighty pairs of tzitzis, fur hats, round hats, square hats, velvet ones, silk jackets, white Kabbalah coats or any of the cult-like dress that we have succumbed to - like children lost in a store full of toys and costumes.

We have let the pied-pipers flute us into a generation of meaningless rituals and chumras that are nothing more than the works of dangerous and foolish power grabbers.

Some rabbis do this intentionally, and some are led to this madness - by a circle of their leidegayers; people who are human parasites...eating off the flesh of the naive and trusting. When I met with R' Shteinman, to find out that he knew nothing of a virus called herpes, only for him to categorize the New York Dept.of Health as goyim out to destroy Judaism, I knew this gedolim thing has to go!

When R' Shmuel Kaminetzky responded in the Kolko matter, that we MUST assume Kolko did t'shuva - if a recent victim, that was not victimized in the last few months, did NOT come forward, I knew that it was a mitzva to come out with the heavy artillery; lawsuits, secular media, private investigators, the D.A....and anything else I can think of to bring to light the cesspool of leaders that we have selected to guide us through difficult times. When Aaron Twerski disgraces the very essence of our intellect by calling Lipa Margulies an honorable man...there is no stopping me!

So I am upset to the point of being a " crazy person" and every other adjective my detractors can think of. But my accounting will be given to Hashem, not some earthly human; and whenever that day comes, I will go proudly and absolutely unafraid, knowing full well my intentions were pure; no money, plaques, chicken dinners, or any other human reward. I do not want to sully any reward I may or may not get from my Creator.

There will be more...much, much more; this Thursday I will go public with the next yeshiva cover-up and their in-house molester (Ner Israel). I will not stop until we have an abuse-free yeshiva system, that includes their enablers, and a corrupt-free rabbinic leadership.

I will let God judge me and my language; after all, I am human and certainly have shortcomings. I'm willing to take that chance.

Posted by "UOJ" - "The Un-Orthodox Jew" at Saturday, July 01, 2006

Tuesday, January 01, 2008


From Our Resident Kashrus Expert, R' Steve:




From The UOJ Archives:

"I accuse our Orthodoxy for sleeping the sleep of Choni Ha’maagil who slept seventy years. Orthodoxy sleeps, how much longer?"

The following article appeared many years ago (1923) in "Dos Yiddish Licht", founded by the saintly Rabbi Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz zt"l for the purpose of strengthening the observance of mitzvos, and to arouse the public concerning kashrut of foods, which at that time was very neglected, and sadly is not any better in our day and age.

The author was the great gaon and tzaddik, the "Shlucha D'Rachmona" of his generation, the "architect" of Torah values in America, Rabbi Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz zt"l, the founder of Yeshiva Torah Vodaath and Torah U'Mesorah.

(Translated from the Yiddish)

And if I say: "I will not make mention of him nor speak anymore in his name" then there is in my heart a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I weary myself to hold it in, but cannot (Ver. 20:29)

I use the above prophetic words as a preface to my article concerning kashrus, because this article will not bring honor to me. On the contrary, I will be attacked with ridicule from all sides. But what can I do? A fire is burning within me, and within a thousand Jews like me... A fire, which cannot be extinguished.

The kashrus question has recently been discussed in the Yiddish press, but only one side of the question, viz. concerning the unscrupulous butchers who sell treifos without a hechsher or with a false one. The press has remained silent, however, concerning the second side of the question, about the treifos being sold under rabbinical supervision and under rabbinical signs in butcher shops.

The press is silent about this problem, perhaps because of the honor of the rabbis, or, perhaps, because of other reasons. The honor of the rabbis is dear to me too. But, the honor of the Torah which is lying in the garbage, and the honor of the truth, which is trodden under foot, are dearer to me. Where there is chillul Hashem we do not impart honor to a rabbi, I, therefore come forward with an accusation.

I accuse - many rabbis, who grant hechsherim, who knowingly or otherwise, or out of neglect, permit non-kosher meat to be sold under their stamp of approval both wholesale and retail; the seller is an unscrupulous person with Torah sanction.

I accuse - many rabbis, who although they themselves have no part in the hechsherim, nevertheless, know about them and still remain silent. There is a sort of mutual reciprocal agreement to keep quiet about each other's false hechserim. Perhaps it is because they wish to avoid chillul Hashem. They forget, however, that where there is chillul Hashem we do not impart honor to a rabbi.

I accuse - the very great rabbis, the leaders of our people, because of internal strife. These disputes are not for the sake of Heaven; if one says that something is prohibited the other must say it is permissible, if one says something is contaminated the other must say it is pure. It is impossible to bring order to the chaotic kashrus situation, especially the chicken and meat markets.

I accuse - the rabbis because of whose negligence; the laws of chalav akum have virtually been forgotten. I know that there various heterim for this, but they apply only when it is impossible to get chalav Yisrael. In our situation, however, with a little effort, order could be brought to this chaos, and "if one can be good, why should he be bad?"

I accuse - our Orthodoxy, for sleeping the sleep of Choni Ha'maagil, who slept seventy years. They are completely unaware of what is happening around them and how our strongest ramparts are being smashed by our internal foes. They are unaware that all our holy traditions are being trampled underfoot, that our three thousand year old heritage has all but completely disappeared. Yet, Orthodoxy sleeps, but how much longer?

Do you know that all of the fortresses of Judaism, which have heretofore protected us from destruction, the only one left is kashrus, that other mitzvos are observed very laxly even in Orthodox homes? And now kashrus too is being smashed, yet we sleep, but how much longer?

Don't you see what has become of your youth? Don't you know that Jewish children have become tramps, gamblers, gangsters, candidates for the electric chair, and all kinds of "ISTS", only because they have been raised on neveilos and treifos, yet you sleep, but how much longer?

Don't you know that going to the mikvah every day to purify yourself will be to no avail? Not even all the waters in the world can help, not with sheretz tamei (a carcass of a creeping thing) in your hand, but inside of you! And when you daven every morning and evening, or when you learn your daily shiur, don't you know that the breath that emanates from your mouth is the breath of sin because it reeks of neveilos and treifos!? Yet you sleep, but how much longer?

When you wash your hands for bread, or when you make Kiddush on Shabbos, and your table is bedecked with all sorts of delicacies, and you say with each bite, in honor of the Shabbos, you are angering Hashem when you break bread. Yet you sleep, but how much longer?

I know that you will reply, "Jacob is small and poor" But look what Jacob's brother on East Broadway has accomplished, how he erected a fortress through the poor laborers, a fortress against Judaism, because he has united forces. Yet you sleep and do nothing, but how much longer?

Gentlemen! Do a little soul searching and see how far you have strayed; remember that our parents have sacrificed their lives for kiddush Hashem; they allowed themselves to be burned in order to uphold our holy Torah, whereas you are not required to make any sacrifices; with but a handful you can save the situation. Yet you sleep, but how much longer?

Fellow Jews, have you no fear for the great and terrible Day of Judgment? In that day you will no longer be able to come up with excuses or with a shrug of the shoulder.

And I ask you "how much longer?" And I say, "you sleepers, awaken from your slumber!"

Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz