Friday, February 15, 2008

Origins of the "ban"!

"Islamic Guidelines" (for individual and social reform) By Muhammad bin Jamil Zino.

Islamic Rulings on Music and Songs

1. Allah the Exalted says: (translation)

" And of mankind is he who purchases idle discourse (like music, singing, etc) to mislead (men) from the path of Allah without knowledge, and takes it by the way of mockery." [31.6]

Many interpreters of the Qur'an said that the idle discourse in this verse means songs. Ibn Mas'ud(r) also said that it is songs. Al-hasan Al-Basri also said it means songs and music playing.

2.Allah the Exalted said addressing the Satan:

"And befool them whom you can with your voice(songs,and music and any other call for disobedience)...[18;64]

3. The Prophet (PBUH) Said:

" There shall be a portion of my nation who will consider adultery, silk(for men), wine and music permissible."(Buhkari and Abu Dawud).

This means that some people would no consider adultery, wine, silk wearing and Music unlawdul though none of them has been ever made lawful. An instrument of music is an instrument which gives a tune of dancing-Flute, violin, drums, and bells etc. The Prophet (PBUH) said: "Bells are musical instruments of the Satan." (Muslim).

The bells are abominable instruments which the Arabs used to play and hang on to the camel necks. This type of bell looked like that of the Christians. Bell sound can be replaced by the sound of the nightingale in the door-bells etc.

4. Imam Ash-Safi'i (r) in his Book Of Rulings said: "Singing is an abominable amusement and whoever gives much importance is a food and his testimony should be rejected."

Harms of Song and Music

In Islam whatever is prohibited does not have any beneficial use. Music and songs may appear harmless, but they harm too much. Sheikh Al-Islam Ibn Yaiamiyah (r) said:

1. Music is the wine of the souls and if affects them more than does the wine. When the soul becomes like the drunk, polytheism creeps into it and people turn to sex and crime. Shirk, murder and adultery are common among the musicians and the music lovers as well as the listeners of clapping and whistling.

2. The Sufis who love music also love their Sheikh(spiritual guide) the same way true Muslims love Allah. And eventually they associate him with Allah.

3. As for singing, it is the prelude to adultry. Innocent men, women and boys start listening to music and songs, and their soulds get corrupt. Consequently, they practice adultery as mucis and song act on them just like alchol.

4. The communities of music and songs often commit homicide because the Satan plays a role in it. One whose Satan is stronger kills the other.

5. There is no benefit in listening to music and songs, but at the same time they always lead to drugs and alcohol. Actually music the alcohol of the soul. So it acts on it just as alcohol acts on the body. Those who enjoy msuic do it much more than the alcoholics enjoy alcohol.

6. Satans mix up with these people and incarnate in them so that some of them may make miraculous acts like piercing a hot iron bar into chest or tongue. Such things can never happen when they perform the prayers or reicte the Qur'an because these are acts of worship relevant to Faith and Muhammad's tradition wherein Satan can have no role. On the other hand, the above works are Satanic, heretical, and philosophical.

Music Today

Today music and songs at weddings and concerts, and on radio and T.V. mostly promote sex relations by describing cheeks, physique and other provocative elements of carnal beauty that sends the youth astray and lead them to adultery. These types of songs destroy moralz and do not have any benefit.

Some singers, besides corrupting the people by their songs collect money from the poor nations and buy villas and cars in Europe. Some actors and actresses also do the same by selling their obscence films. They have really ruined the youth. The jews were, in their 1967 war against the Arabs, thanking Allah for vicotry whereas a news-reader in an Arab radio was supporting the Arabs by singers and songs. What a Deterioration!

Even the so-called religious songs are not free from adominable thigns. a song goes thus:' Every prophet has a grade. As for you O Muhammaed, the Throne is yours; so possess it.' The throne is not Muhammad's is belongs to ALLAH.

Songs of other Sex

Al-Bara bin Malik(r) was known for his splendid voice. When the Prophet(PBUH) was traveling, Al-bara use to sing for him(without an instrument) innocent songs. if there were women to hear Al-Bara., The Prophet(PBUH) would ask him to stop singing; men should not sing for women and vice versa. "The Prophet(PBUH) did not like women to listen to Al-bara."( Al-Hakim and Adh-Dhahabi).

The Prophet's(PBUH) dislike for listening to the songs of other sex is very important. What about hte songs and music today if they could have been listened to by the Prophet(PBUH)!

Clapping and Whistling

Handclapping and whistling are abodimable acts which one should abandon. Whistling here means all types including instrumental and oral whistling. Allah the Exalted disliked handclapping and Whistling. He the Exatled said " Their prayer at the house(the Ka'bah) was nothing but whistling and clapping of hands..."[8:35]

Whistling and handclapping do not suit a Muslim. What one should do when he admires or hears something he likes is to say :' It is what Allah wills!' Or ' Glory be to Allah'.

Singing increases Hypocrisy

1. Ibn Mas'ud (r) said: "Singing grows hypocrisy in the heart as water grows seeds; remembrance of Allah grows faith as water grows a Plant."

2. Ibn Al-Qaiyim(r) said: "whoever practices singing cannot help growing hypocrisy n his heart though he not know it. If he knew the reality of hypocrisy, he would have seen it himself. One cannot love songs and the Qur'an at a time; one of them expels the other. We have seen that the Qu'ran is heavy for the singers and the lovers of songs. They can hardly benefit by listening to the Qur'an. But to a song their hearts move and immediately respond; they stay up singing and listeing to music. They definitely prefer singing to listening to the Qur'an. People who love music and songs scarely take care of prayers. If they ever happy to perform them in the mosque, they can be seen the most careless and laziest.

3. Ibn Aqeel(r), one of the Hanbali scholares, said: " if a singer is an alien women, one can marry her; but listening to her songs is not permissable(before marriage)."

4. Ibn Hazm(r) said:" It is not permissable for men to enjoy a single note of an alien women."

Remedy for Music and Songs

1. Keep away from listening to songs on TV, Radio or other mdica, especially a song with sharp music and obscene tone.

2. The strongest anti-song remedy is recitation of the Qu'ran and remembrance of Allah. In particular you can read Surah Al-Baqarah. The Prophet(PBUH) said " The Satan runs away form the house where the Surah Al-Barqarah is read."(Muslim)

Allah the Exlated described the Qur'an as the best remedy for hearts diseases:

"O Mankind! there has come to you a good advice from your Lord(i.e., the Qur'an) and a healing for what is in your breasts-- a guidance and a mercy for the believers."[10:57]

3. Read the life stories of Muhammad(PBUH) and his companions.

Allowed Songs

1. Singing of innocent songs of decent meaning is allowed on occasions like Eid festivals. The Prophet(PBUH) went to Aishah(R) while two small gils were singing by beating the tambourines. Abu Bakr(father of Aishah) shouted at the maids to stop singing. The Prophet(PBUH) asked ABu Bakr To leave them singing and Added:"Let them sing because every nation has a festival and ours is today."(Bukhari).

2. You can sing using tambourines on the occasion of marriage to encourage and declare a legal marriage. The Prophet(PBUH) saod: "the difference between the legal(marriage) and the illegal(adultery) is beating the tambourince and singing(of wonemn only)."(Ahmad).

3. While at work you can sing the songs of encouragement (like those of harvesting) because this will activate the workers, especially if they contain supplications. The Prophet(PBUH) used to encourage his Companions which they were digging a tunnel for war by saying following rhythmically: "O Allah! There is no real leaving except the Hereafter. O' Allah! Forgive the Emigrants and the Helpers.' Then the Companions would answer in chorus: ' We are the ones who gaave Muhammed a pldge to perform Jihad as long as we live.'(agreed upon)

4. You can sing the songs of Oneness of Allah or the love of the Prophet(PBUH) of course without any music . Songs of decent meaning on Jihad and fighting the enemy can also be exemepted from the impermissible songs. LIkewise the song of love, cooperationg, morals, and brotherhood can also be exempted. Singing the merits of Islam for propagation is also Permitted.

5. Tambourine is the only instrument allowed in Islam in wedding and Eid Festivals. But it should not be used for chanting the Names of ALlah because neither the Prophet nor his Companiions did so. But sufis have made it necessity for remembrance; it is an innocation of their own. the Prophet(PBUH) said:

" Beware of innovated things in your religion as every invention in religion is a heresy and every heresy is a deviations."(Tirmidhi).

Restrictions Placed on Women by the Taliban

compiled by the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA), a political/social organization of Afghan women struggling for peace, freedom, democracy and women's rights.

Some of the restrictions the Taliban have placed upon Women:

Complete ban on women working outside their homes, including teachers, doctors and engineers.

Complete restriction on women's movement outside of their houses without a mahram (father, brother or husband).

Ban on dealing with male shopkeepers.

Ban on being treated by a male doctor.

Ban on studying at school, university or any other educational institution.

Compulsory wearing of a long veil (Burqa) which covers women from head to toe.

Whipping, beating and verbal abuse of women whose Burqa is not worn in accordance to Taliban rules. The same applies to women found in public without a mahram.

Whipping of women in public for having non-covered ankles.

Public stoning of women for having sex outside marriage (a number of lovers are stoned to death under this rule.)

Ban on all use of make-up (a number of women's fingers have been amputated for having painted nails).

A ban on women from talking or shaking hands with non-mahram males.

A ban on women for laughing loudly (no stranger should hear the voice of a women).

A ban on wearing high heeled shoes which would produce sound while walking as hearing the sound of a women's step is forbidden.

A ban on women using a taxi without a mahram.

Banning women's presence in radio, television and gatherings of any kind.

Banning women from playing any sport or entering a sports centre or club.

A ban on women riding a bicycle or a motorcycle even with their mahrams.

A ban on women wearing brightly coloured clothing (in their terms "sexually attracting colours").

Banning women's gatherings on festive occasions such as the Eids or for a recreational purpose.

Banning women from washing clothes next to rivers or at public places.

All place names with the word 'women' in it have been changed. For example "women's garden" has been renamed "spring garden".

Banning women from appearing on the balcony of their apartments or houses.

Compulsory painting of all windows so women can not be seen from the outside.

Banning male tailors from taking measurements or sewing women's clothes.

Banned from using female public baths.

Public buses have been separated into male and female buses.

A Ban on being photographed or filmed.

A Ban on women's pictures being printed on newspapers and books or even hung their own houses.

Ban on listening to music not for women but for men as well.

Total ban on watching movies, television and video for everyone.


Anonymous said...

The Japan Times, July 17, 1998
Afghan Taliban punishes violators of ban on music
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) Afghanistan's Taliban Islamic movement said Wednesday it had punished 13 people in the eastern province of Logar for violating a ban on music.
The Taliban government's department for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice found musical instruments in a house in Logar, the Taliban-controlled Voice of Shariat radio said without giving the date of the action.
All 13 people found using these musical instruments were punished for violating the ban, said the broadcast monitored in Islamabad.

Anonymous said...

A culture muted

By banning music, reports Nicholas Wroe, the Taliban have removed an important force for unity

Saturday October 13, 2001
The Guardian

An Afghani rubab

In December 1998 an official notice was placed in a local newspaper in the city of Herat in western Afghanistan. It reported that a "number of unlawful instruments and goods" had been collected and publicly burned. The inventory included televisions, cassette players and VCRs and thousands of tapes. The list also included "musical instruments and accessories", items justified by an accompanying hadith [a report of the sayings or actions of the Prophet Mohammed] declaring that "those who listen to music and songs in this world, on the Day of Judgment molten lead will be poured into their ears".

Anonymous said...

The censorship of music in Afghanistan

by Dr John Baily
Freemuse (Freedom of musical expression), London, April 24, 2001

The people of Afghanistan under Taliban rule are subjected to an extreme form of music censorship. The only musical activity permitted is the singing of certain types of religious song and Taliban "chants".

The report traces the gradual imposition of music censorship since 1978, when the communist government of Nur Ahmad Taraki (the correct name is Noor Mohammad Taraki -RAWA) came to power in a violent coup d'etat. During 14 years of communist rule, music in Afghanistan was heavily controlled by the Ministry for Information and Culture, while in the refugee camps in Pakistan and Iran all music was prohibited in order to maintain a continual state of mourning. The roots of the Taliban ban on music lie in the way these camps were run.

In the Rabbani period (1992-1996) music was again heavily censored. In the provincial city of Herat, which the author visited for 7 weeks in 1994, professional musicians had to apply for a licence, which specified the kinds of material they could perform, songs in praise of the Mujahideen and songs with texts drawn from the mystical Sufi poetry of the region. This cut out a large amount of other music, such as love songs and music for dancing. The licences also stipulated that musicians must play without amplification. Music could be performed by male musicians at private parties indoors, but Herat's women professional musicians were forbidden to perform. While in theory male musicians could perform at wedding parties or Spring country fairs, experience had shown that often in such cases the agents of the Office for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, religious police, had arrived to break up the party and confiscate the instruments, which were usually returned to the musicians some days later when a fine or bribe had been paid.

There was very little music on local radio or television in Herat. Broadcasting time was anyway severely curtailed, to about two hours per day. If a song was broadcast on television one did not see the performers on screen but a vase of flowers. Names of performers were not announced on radio or television. Instrument maker had re-opened their businesses, and the audio cassette business continued, with a number of shops in the bazaars of Herat selling music cassettes, some of locally recorded Herat musicians.

When the Taliban took control of Kabul in 1996 a number of edicts were published against music. For example:

"To prevent music... In shops, hotels, vehicles and rickshaws cassettes and music are prohibited... If any music cassette found in a shop, the shopkeeper should be imprisoned and the shop locked. If five people guarantee, the shop should be opened, the criminal released later. If cassette found in the vehicle, the vehicle and the driver will be imprisoned. If five people guarantee, the vehicle will be released and the criminal released later.

To prevent music and dances in wedding parties. In the case of violation the head of the family will be arrested and punished.

To prevent the playing of music drum. The prohibition of this should be announced. If anybody does this then the religious elders can decide about it."

All musical instruments are banned, and when discovered by agents of the Office for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice are destroyed, sometimes being burnt in public along with confiscated audio and video cassettes, TV sets and VCRs (all visual representation of animate being is also prohibited).

The only forms of musical expression permitted today are the singing of certain kinds of religious poetry, and so-called Taliban "chants", which are panegyrics to Taliban principles and commemorations of those who have died of the field of battle. These chants are themselves highly musical: the singing uses the melodic modes of Pashtun regional music, is nicely in tune, strongly rhythmic, and many items have the two-part song structure that is typical of the region. There is also heavy use of reverberation. But without musical instruments this is not "music".

The effects of censorship of music in Afghanistan are deep and wide ranging for the Afghans, both inside and outside the country. In the past, the people of Afghanistan were great music lovers and enjoyed a rich musical life. Music was an integral part of many rites of passage, such as celebrations of birth, circumcision (male only), and most important of all, marriage. Only death was a rite of passage lacking in musical expression. The lives of professional musicians have been completely disrupted, and most have had to go into exile for their economic survival. The continuation of these rich musical traditions is also under treat.

The report makes the following recommendations.

(1) To highlight the critical situation as it exists today.

(2) To try to give musicians both inside and outside the country economic support, and in the transnational communities, to persuade aid agencies of the importance of music in the lives of refugees.

(3) To make sure that what is left from the past is adequately documented, so that something is left for the future.

(4) To support the craftsmen who make traditional Afghan musical instruments, for traditional music cannot be played without the appropriate instruments.

(5) To support practical musical education programmes in the transnational community and to persuade the relevant agencies of the importance of music coping with the traumas of refugee life.

Wikepedia said...

Ban on culture

Movie theaters were closed and music banned. Hundreds of cultural artifacts that were deemed polytheistic were also destroyed including major museum and countless private art collections.

A sample Taliban edict issued after their capture of Kabul is one decreed in December 1996 by the "General Presidency of Amr Bil Maruf and Nahi Anil Munkar" (or Religious Police) banning a variety of things and activities: music, shaving of beards, keeping of pigeons, flying kites, displaying of pictures or portraits, western hairstyles, music and dancing at weddings, gambling, "sorcery," and not praying at prayer times.[46] In February 2001, Taliban used sledgehammers to destroy representational works of art at the National Museum of Afghanistan.[52]

Non-Western festivities were not exempt from bannings. The Taliban banned the traditional Afghan New Year's celebration of Nowruz as anti-Islamic, and "for a time they also banned Ashura, the Shia Islamic month of mourning and even restricted any show of festivity at Eid."[53] The Afghan people were not allowed to have any cultural celebrations if the women were there. If there were only men at the celebration it would be allowed to go forth, so long as it did not go over the curfew time of 9:00 pm.

Taliban official Mullah Mohammed Hassan explained that "of course we realize that people need some entertainment but they can go to the parks and see the flowers, and from this they will learn about Islam." The Education Minister Mullahs Abdul Hanifi told questioners that the Taliban "oppose music because it creates a strain in the mind and hampers study of Islam."[53]

Anonymous said...

23 August 2007

Taliban group issues new ban on sale of music

If you sell music CDs and cassettes in Zargari and other areas in the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan, you will now be fined 50,000 rupees, reports Daily India on 22 August 2007

By Freemuse

A ban on music has been imposed by a local Taliban council in Zargari, Shanawari, Chappari Naryab, Naryab, Kahi villages and some other areas, reports a correspondent for Daily India from Peshawar on 22 August 2007.

According to officials and residents, the local Taliban 'shura' has also set a deadline for owners of music shops to wind up their businesses, or face dire consequences.

District Police Officer Ghulam Mohammad Khan was quoted by the newspaper The Dawn as saying that the move would help eliminate the menace of narcotics and other illegal activities in the area.

More music shops bombed
In June and July 2007, more than 25 music shops were attacked and destroyed in north-west Pakistan. On 14 August 2007, three more music shops were damaged by explosive devices in the Landi Kotal bazaar, five kilometres from the Afghan border in the area of Khyber Agency. Three other shops were also damaged.

Officials said a letter was found near one of the targeted shops which warned of further attacks against owners of music shop if they did not wind up their business. The letter was supposedly issued by a little-known religious organisation, “Amr Bil Maroof Wa Nahi Anil Munkir”.

Owners of music shops said they had not received any warning from any religious organisation or cleric. The political tehsildar, however, said the administration had warned local shopkeepers to be vigilant against such attacks. He said additional personnel of the Khasadar force had been deployed in the Landi Kotal bazaar.

Parallel government
Local as well as the federal government of Pakistan is blamed for accepting or even encouraging the extremist elements.

"Taliban and other extremist groups, like Lashkar-i-Islam, are openly functioning in many districts. They are running a parallel government, but nobody stops them,” said a member of the minority non-Muslim community.According to Aftab Alexander Mughal, writing for Countercurrents.org, the militants are operating in 19 of the 24 districts of the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan. Since 2004 more than a hundred people have died and many more have been injured in the province.

People in Peshawar of Christian, Hindu and Sikh belief are living under constant fear after a threatening event in which they were asked by the militants to convert to Islam. On 7 and 8 August 2007 anonymous threatening letters in urdu language were reportedly dropped in peoples’ houses and posted to the various churches as well. The letters asked the religious minorities to convert to Islam by 17 August and if they failed to do so their locality would be destroyed.

About the Taliban
The Taliban is a political group aiming to realize Islamic fundamentalism. The word Taliban literally means ‘religious students’. The group was in power in Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001 where it aimed at establishing “the purest Islamist state in the world”. It bans music, movies and tv, and forces women to wear traditional clothing and stay in the home. It also bans shaving of beards, keeping of pigeons, flying kites, displaying of pictures or portraits, western hairstyles, music and dancing at weddings, gambling, "sorcery," and not praying at prayer times.

The overwhelming majority of the Taliban movement are Pashtuns from southern Afghanistan and western Pakistan.

According to a report published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, SIPRI, entitled 'The Taliban’s Propaganda Activities', the Taliban uses flyers, and the Internet, which used to be banned in the past, as means of propaganda activity. Their messages are simple, often underpinned by threats and violence, and appear to be most effective when directed to the Pashtun tribal audience on both sides of the Afghan–Pakistani border.

The Jewish Week said...

Playing With The Banned
Rabbinic prohibition of chasidic music concert here — ‘sin, ribaldry, looseness’ — causes furor.
Lipa is sealed: Orthodox singing star Lipa Schmeltzer can’t have a Garden party, rabbis decree.

by Hella Winston
Special To The Jewish Week

Did the haredi rabbis go too far this time?
That’s the question being asked in some circles after a ban issued by 33 fervently Orthodox rabbinic authorities forced the cancellation of a major charity concert slated to feature chasidic singing sensation Lipa Schmeltzer this week at the WaMu Theater at Madison Square Garden.
The offense?
That the planned March 9 program — featuring separate seating for men and women and widely billed in Orthodox neighborhoods as “The Big Event” (intended to support an all-volunteer organization that funds weddings for Israeli orphans), would cause “ribaldry and lightheadedness” and “strip the youth of every shred of Fear of Heaven and [lower] them into a pit of destruction,” according to the ban.
Published in Hebrew on Feb.

20 in the fervently Orthodox newspaper Hamodia, with language lifted from a decree against such events in Israel, the ban also took aim at the “organizers and singers” for “causing the multitudes to sin,” and warned that they should not be invited to perform at “any joyous gathering or public appeals for charity,” imperiling their livelihood.
The ban came as a shock to the event’s organizers and performers, who claim they secured rabbinic approval prior to the show’s planning, and it led to Schmeltzer feeling pressured to breach his contract and back out, forfeiting his reported $100,000 fee.
Schmeltzer’s withdrawal, in turn, forced the event’s producer, Sheya Mendlowitz, to cancel the show, which had sold more than 3,000 tickets, incurring losses “in the realm of $500,000,” he said, a “good portion” of which was fronted to the producers by the charity.
The whole affair has left many in the haredi world perplexed and others angry, prompting a raft of questions about the genesis and execution of the ban itself, and what it might portend for the future of musical entertainment in the community.
It has also caused criticism of the rabbinic leadership, who, it appears, may have been duped into signing the ban, and who, some people believe, are woefully out of touch with their communities.
“How can they do this?” asked Miriam Hertz, a Brooklyn Bais Yaakov student, on hearing the news. “What about the poor orphans who need this tzedakah money to get married?”
When approached by The Jewish Week, a Flatbush resident who would identify himself only as Mendy, commented: “With all the problems our community is grappling with — teens leaving in unprecedented numbers, prominent yeshivas accused of knowingly employing pedophile teachers, chasidim rioting in the streets of Borough Park while their rebbes engage in public court battles over succession, I am astonished that this is the issue these 33 illustrious rabbis have chosen to tackle.
“Our children need an outlet,” Mendy continued, “and what could be better than a frum concert? Riots are OK, concerts are ossur [forbidden]?”
The Schmeltzer incident is not the first attempt by rabbinic authorities to raise the barrier between their community and the wider culture, and it seems to highlight the tension in the haredi world over how to deal with elements of modernity seeping into their culture. Bans have been issued against the use of television, the Internet, secular newspapers and certain Jewish books, including one that seemed too close to a Darwinian reading of evolution.
Regarding Schmeltzer, Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who is Orthodox, noted, “there are questions that people have raised. Does this mean the end of concerts? It’s not clear. What are the rules?”
He added that it is important for people to have entertainment outlets, “to enjoy things that are kosher.” And for a community that worries about losing children to a secular culture viewed as hedonistic, many see the popular chasidic music concerts as a healthy outlet.
But not, apparently, leading rabbinic authorities from the Agudath Israel Council of Torah Sages, Yeshiva Torah Vodaas, the Lakewood Yeshiva, various chasidic sects and others among the rabbinic authorities who signed on to the ban.
Schmeltzer, who lives in Monsey, earns his living primarily by performing at weddings, but his albums have gained widespread popularity among chasidim in large part because he sometimes sets his own Hebrew or Yiddish lyrics, as well as liturgy, to pop music melodies. His live performances and videos, available on YouTube, often involve dancing — male only — and humor, both of which have drawn the wrath of critics who feel he is “too goyish.”
His own rebbe’s name — The Skverer Rebbe, David Twersky — did not appear on the recent ban.
How did the others come to sign on to it, and without warning Schmeltzer or the concert organizers?
A spokesman for Mendlowitz, the event’s producer, said that he believes the rabbis who signed were “bamboozled” by extremist activists who disapprove of Schmeltzer’s use of non-Jewish melodies and onstage “antics” that “drive the crowds a little wild,” and who ultimately want to “stop all concerts.”
Such concerts are big business for performers like Mordechai Ben David, Avraham Fried and others.
The spokesman specifically cited Asher Friedman, a Brooklyn resident who heads Nechomas Yisroel, an organization that pays yeshiva tuition for children who would otherwise be forced to go to public school, and Avrohom Schorr, a Flatbush rabbi, as the instigators of the ban. Mendlowitz’s representative believes that Friedman, with Schorr’s backing, obtained the signatures by using some manner of deception to get the first few rabbis to sign on, and then used those signatures to persuade others to add their names as well.
Numerous calls to Friedman went unreturned, and Schorr, when reached at home, told The Jewish Week that he was “not available to answer questions over the phone.” When asked if he would answer questions in person, Schorr said that he was going out of town for “a couple of weeks.”
Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetzky, rosh yeshiva of the Talmudical Yeshiva of Philadelphia and one of the signatories to the ban, admitted that the rabbis who signed it did not consult with one another. When asked about the ban’s origins, Rabbi Kamenetsky was vague, saying only that “it seems there was some input from Israel.” He added that he did not think this ban would affect other concerts, because it was issued specifically “for a certain looseness.”
His assessment seems to be contradicted by an advertisement published on Feb. 27 in Hamodia, signed by eight of the 33 rabbis, praising Schmeltzer for backing out of the New York event and another one planned in London, and supporting a ban on all future concerts. Indeed, radio show host Zev Brenner told The Jewish Week that he is “hearing through the grapevine that this ban is chilling any future concerts [and might] seriously affect the Passover entertainment and concert scene.”
Numerous other signatories were contacted but would not comment or did not return calls.
There are those in the fervently Orthodox community who believe that, while the rabbis might have been misled about some of the specifics, they were well aware of what they were doing when they signed the ban.
Binyamin Jolkovsky, publisher of JewishWorldReview.com and a close observer of the haredi community, said he believes the rabbis intend to “put a stop” to “the cultural trend” within the Orthodox community that emulates secular society, complete with music “superstars and concerts and Madison Square Garden and billboards.
“It’s one thing when you have the music on when you’re eating dinner, or while you’re driving,” he said. “It’s another when you’re on Avenue M [in Brooklyn] and see this chasidic face with curly payes staring down at you. It’s enough. If there is anyone whose picture belongs on a billboard to literally look up to, it should be a rebbe [not] a chasidic singer, and they’re putting an end to it.”
While legal issues regarding the concert cancellation are sure to go on — and the rabbis are now urging ticket holders for The Big Event not to request refunds so that the charity will receive the money — one observer of Jewish life noted that, ironically, the whole affair might boost Schmeltzer’s career.
Marc Shapiro, a professor of Judaic studies at the University of Scranton, in Pennsylvania, pointed out that previous rabbinic bans, like those against certain books, have spurred increased interest, and sales, for the books.
“I think 50 percent of the people went out to get them just because they were banned” and the other half adhered to the prohibition, he said.
But Schmeltzer doesn’t seem to feel that way. Interviewed on Zev Brenner’s radio show, he said he felt he had no choice but to obey the ban. “I have a career,” he said. “I have a wife and kids to support, I have a mortgage to pay. I have to get out of the fire.”
Hella Winston, a sociologist, is the author of “Unchosen: The Hidden Lives of Hasidic Rebels.”

Is Shea Fishman next? said...

Weather Channel Founder Wants to Sue Al Gore

John Coleman wants to sue Al Gore for fraud. Coleman, who founded the Weather Channel in 1982, thinks taking legal action against Al Gore would be a great "vehicle to finally put some light on the fraud of global warming." Coleman rejects the notion that people must take drastic actions to reduce their energy use.

Speaking at the 2008 International Conference on Climate Change on Monday, Coleman sharply chastised those who further global warming alarmism. Coleman believes that the station he founded has been captured by alarmists, such as the Weather Channel’s Heidi Cullen, who has advocated revoking the license of meteorologists that believe global warming can be explained by cyclical weather patterns and not human activity.

The majority of the scientific community seems to agree that humans are contributing to climate change. Do you think there's any merit to raising concerns about global alarmism? Would a lawsuit against Al Gore help the public determine fact from fiction?

Only Shea Fishman knows for sure!

Malkiel Kotler said...

Boruch Hashem Harav Zino had the courage to come out publicly and support my psak.

Public Appeal said...

Does UOJ or anyone know which journalists would be interested in doing an investigation on Michoel Streicher and his host of legal name changes to aliases. It's about time someone reversed how he covers up his thieving tracks.

Rabbi Jeffrey (Yitzchok) Adlerstein said...

Who's Rav Zino?

Zev Brenner said...

Zev Brenner told The Jewish Week that he is “hearing through the grapevine that this ban is chilling any future concerts [and might] seriously affect the Passover entertainment and concert scene.”

Wall Street Journal said...

The WSJ editorial page says that people like Adlerstein are as bright as the pieces of furniture they are titled after.

Adlerstein is the Sydney Irmas Chair in Jewish Law and Ethics at Loyola Law School.

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

Re: Streicher,

If he is a petty con-man and putz-thief - with no connections to Jewish organizations, I'm assuming it's not of interest to the secular media. You are welcome to post verifiable details; many people in the media pay a visit here daily. The fact that he sings may help him in the showers at Rikers, and may curry some favors with Leroy, but won't necessarily get him any media attention.

Shmarya said...

Let's see. You instigate a ban that causes damages in excess of $700,000. You lurk around in the shadows, orchestrating this ban. You give none of the people banned or impacted by the ban a fair hearing. You do nothing to try to work out your dispute first; you just ban. Then, a reporter wants you to answer questions about the ban and you hide.

What a pathetic coward. Have a nice 'vacation,' Avomele…

Comment left on FM said...

Avrumi Schorr is not on vacation, he's home. This lunatic has a history of building up a following, doing something outrageous which forces him to move and start again. I think he's ready for round three.

There's no way his supporters are going to fund his plans for a new building after this fiasco and his landlord wants him out. They can't have him near the nice normal teens they are educating.

Stefan Colmo the Homo said...

If Streicher comes on board at Rikers it would be a welcome change from the baritones and the high pitches shrieks when someone gets attacked.

Avi Shafran picks a Bad Time to Criticize the Taliban said...


Mere days before I was privileged to participate in a Washington, D.C. symposium on religious freedom in Israel, the Malaysian government threatened to withhold a Catholic newspaper's publishing permit, to punish it for having dared to use the Muslim appellation for the Creator in its Malay-language pages.

A week later, an Afghan judge sentenced a journalism student in that country to death for distributing an article critical of Islam's founder.

Gumshoe said...

Where exactly in Flatbush is Schorr's shul?

Bubba Cohen makes an Exception for Kolko said...


... the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act, which would legalize same-sex marriages in Maryland.

People on both sides of this issue say the legislative debate has taken on added importance in the wake of the Maryland Court of Appeals' decision last September to uphold the state's ban on same-sex marriage.

"The court case and the new bill does create a new and different reality, one that we're concerned about and one we believe we must respond to as quickly and forcefully as possible," said Rabbi Abba Cohen of Baltimore, a same-sex marriage opponent who directs the Washington office of the Orthodox Jewish organization Agudath Israel of America.

"On the one hand, even the leaders have told us that the chances for such a bill passing are slim at best. ... On the other hand, that there are such supreme moral and practical issues at stake makes it an issue that we must respond to," the rabbi said.

On Thursday, the Senate's Judicial Proceedings Committee will hold a hearing on the bill, which has 49 co-sponsors, as well as opposing legislation that would amend the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage. The House Judiciary Committee hearing on the issue is scheduled for Feb. 28.

The bill that would legalize same-sex marriage appears to have a better chance of passage in the House of Delegates than in the more conservative Senate, though it remains unclear if it will even make it out of committee.

"It may well pass the House," said Republican Sen. Andy Harris, a same-sex marriage opponent who represents Baltimore and Harford counties and is running for Congress. "But in the Senate, there will be enough opposition to stop the bill. ... I think we have the number of votes, if not to defeat it on a straight up-and-down vote, certainly to defeat it in a filibuster."

"The issue, we know, is not going away. If it's not front and center this year, it might be front and center next year," said Cohen. "We have to simply start momentum and continue momentum."


Avi L. Shafran said...


I'm a very busy man. Did you know I'm also "director of communications" for the Staten Island Agudah?

Anonymous said...

LMAO the taliban video is great.

Throw the Bum Out said...


The Putz-Fresser Juda Engelmeyer who was payed to shill for the OU and French bastards from Le Marais, is now a big shot with the Republican Jewish Coalition. He's also been pressing to put up an eruv on the Lower East Side against the wishes of R' Moishe Feinstein.

Pizza Fresser said...


This guy sure looks like he eats whole pizza pies at a time!

boog said...

Watch out, Schorr has a decent left hook and not afraid to use it.

Chief Doofis said...

My wife just met a nice lady who bought tickets for the concert. She will not be reimbursed. There are hundreds of similar people. In my Gemara there is a saying "Chus Rachmona al mamona D'Yisrael" (The Lord is worried / concerned about the money of Jews)

I may be a "Chief Doofis", but I'm also a musmach of a bona - fide Yeshiva. And, I'm convinced that someone will have to give "Din V'Cheshbon" (an answer) for this wanton waste of Yiddisher Gelt!

Comment on FM said...

Avrumie schorr was kicked out of krasne, beis meir (bluzhov) and tosh. He is a wild man who will act like a bulldozer to get his way.

Ronnie Schreiber Spokesman said...

We wanted to make some Lipa T-shirts to capitalize on all the buzz but we suspect UOJ had our Paypal account revoked.

boog said...

Somebody call David Mamet.

"The Ban of the 33 'Tachtonim'"

Great material for his next play.

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

Sheya and Co. will never see their "promised" money! Kotler and Kaminetzky should mortgage their buildings to repay the massive losses. They don't have an honest bone in their body. All you hear is weasel-words and double talk!

Fertig (Jewish Star) should ask Kaminetzky point blank: RABBI - HOW ARE YOU GOING TO COMPENSATE FOR THE LOSSES YOU CAUSED?

Accept nothing less than a - when - not - if. - What a chevra shkatzim - low-lives!

Tell me about it said...

Do you really think Fertig has the baytzim to confront R' Shmuel like that and write about it? He presents scumbags like Belsky & Bryks in his paper as if they are choshuv.

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

Avremele Schorr is a filthy shaigetz, low-life, pig! Tell him I said so!

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

If Mayer Fertig won't do it - Avi is certainly capable of asking the tough questions. No more softball to these peasants.

Anonymous said...

The local Taliban Shura (Council) in Pakistan’s tribal area of North Waziristan has imposed a ban on the sale of CDs and cassettes and music in buses and passenger coaches. The Shura on Monday also ordered owners of music and video shops in the regional capital of Miran Shah to wind up their businesses immediately. Armed volunteers raided music centres and CD shops in the town and asked the shopkeepers to stop playing music.
Eyewitnesses said the militants stopped passenger vehicles on the Miran Shah-Mirali road and removed cassette and CD players.
Locals said that the militants, who virtually control the region, also asked people not to play or listen to music in public places, including Miran Shah Bazaar.
The Shura announcement said that anybody violating the order would have to face “consequences”. (more…)

Read more at wecite

Washington Post said...

Moody's Economy.com estimates that mortgage defaults this year will exceed 2 million.

Anonymous said...

Taliban music ban said destroying Afghan heritage
By Karen Matusic

LONDON (Reuters) - Music is high on the list of activities banned by the Taliban, the movement that rules most of Afghanistan with a religious zeal that has led it to declare that dancing, singing and television are also anti-Islamic.

British musicologist John Baily gave details Monday of a report on music censorship in Afghanistan and said the assault on music was a tragedy that the world should condemn.

Baily, who has spent almost 30 years studying Afghan music, said the only musical activity now permitted in the impoverished Asian land is singing religious songs and Taliban "chants."

"To most people, music means with musical instruments and the Taliban has banned musical instruments. Those caught in possession of musical instruments are imprisoned, fined or even beaten and their instruments are destroyed. They often have bonfires of confiscated instruments," Baily told Reuters.

"The lives of professional musicians have been completely disrupted, and most have had to go into exile for their economic survival. The continuation of these rich musical traditions is also under threat."

The crackdown on music long preceded the fundamentalist Islamic movement's destruction last month of centuries-old Buddhist statues, which provoked world outrage.

In a report for Freemuse, the world forum on music and censorship, Baily warns that the country's rich musical traditions are threatened by the increasingly harsh rule of the Taliban, which also exerts its authority among refugees in neighboring countries like Pakistan.

"Most professional musicians have fled, so they keep the traditions alive in neighboring countries for now. But we note a crackdown by Taliban inside countries like Pakistan," he said.

"We need to bring world attention to monitor these neighboring countries."


Baily, a professor at London University's Goldsmith College, says the censorship of music began in 1978, when the communist government of Nur Ahmad Taraki came to power in a violent coup.

During 14 years of communist rule in the poor, mountainous country, music was heavily controlled by the Information and Culture Ministry, while in refugee camps in Pakistan and Iran all music was prohibited in order to maintain a continual state of mourning.

"The roots of the Taliban ban on music lie in the way these camps were run," Baily said.

The Taliban, which seized Kabul in 1996 and now rules more than 90 percent of Afghanistan, has faced severe criticism from the West and from many Islamic countries.

Its harsh policies include banning women from education and most work, and forcing them to wear the all-enveloping burqa robe whenever they venture outside their homes.

Reflecting on the harsh regime, Baily said: "Being a great believer in the power of music, I believe that it is very unfortunate that the people of Afghanistan cannot enjoy the simple pleasures to make their days a little more enjoyable."

Kabul Putz said...

Belsky, Schorr and Friedman tell me dat Sheya Mendlowitz iz very, very bad man!

Infirmary at 42 Broadway said...

That putz Taliban Friedman was down here today rummaging through everything to make sure there weren't any condoms in the first aid kits. Shafran got very upset until he was assured that Friedman wasn't competing with him over Band-aids.

Anonymous said...

Give credit where credit is due. The street is saying that Belsky was putting together a clarification of the ban that would have allowed the concert to go on, but that it fell through when many Rabbonim would not sign.

boog said...

"Avrumie schorr was kicked out of krasne, beis meir (bluzhov) and tosh. He is a wild man who will act like a bulldozer to get his way."

Watch his left-hook.

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

The street is saying that ..


Now the street is talking!

Anonymous said...

Cats and dogs banned by Saudi religious police Muhammad was a cat person, but some say pets signal Western influence

elton john said...

Sir Elton: Ban organised religion

Sir Elton has said a "conclave" of religious leaders has to be held
Sir Elton John has said he would like to see all organised religion banned and accused it of trying to "turn hatred towards gay people".

Organised religion lacked compassion and turned people into "hateful lemmings", he told the Observer.

But the musician said he loved the idea of the teachings of Jesus Christ and the beautiful stories about it which he had learned at Sunday school.

And he said there were many gays he knew who loved their religion.

'Doesn't work'

His comments were made in a special gay edition of the Observer Music Monthly Magazine, where he was interviewed by Scissor Sisters' Jake Shears.

"I think religion has always tried to turn hatred towards gay people," he said. "Religion promotes the hatred and spite against gays.

"But there are so many people I know who are gay and love their religion."

According to the singer-songwriter, 59, his solution would be to "ban religion completely, even though there are some wonderful things about it".

He added: "I love the idea of the teachings of Jesus Christ and the beautiful stories about it, which I loved in Sunday school and I collected all the little stickers and put them in my book.

"But the reality is that organised religion doesn't seem to work. It turns people into hateful lemmings and it's not really compassionate."

He also said that the problems experienced by many gays in former nations of the Soviet bloc, such as Poland, Latvia and Russia were caused by the church supporting anti-gay movements.

'God's people'

And he called on the leaders of major religions to hold a "conclave" to discuss the fate of the world - which he said was "near escalating to World War Three".

"I said this after 9/11 and people thought I was nuts," he said. "It's all got to be dialogue - that's the only way. Get everybody from each religion together and say 'Listen, this can't go on. Why do we have all this hatred?'

"We are all God's people; we have to get along and the [religious leaders] have to lead the way. If they don't do it, who else is going to do it? They're not going to do it and it's left to musicians or to someone else to deal with it."

He also said he would continue to campaign for gay rights.

"I'm going to fight for them, whether I do it silently behind the scenes or so vocally that I get locked up."

Anonymous said...

Saudi Arabia's religious police have banned red roses ahead of Valentine's Day, forcing couples in the conservative Muslim nation to think of new ways to show their love.

The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice has ordered florists and gift shop owners in the capital Riyadh to remove any items coloured scarlet, which is widely seen as symbolising love, newspapers said.

"They visited us last night," the Saudi Gazette quoted an unidentified florist as saying.

It is not unusual for the Saudi vice squad to clamp down ahead of Valentine's Day, which it sees as encouraging relations between men and women outside of wedlock, the newspaper said.

Saudi Arabia imposes an austere form of Sunni Islam that prevents unrelated men and women from mixing, bans women from driving and demands that women wear a headscarf and a cloak.

Shalom Elyashiv said...

Ban religious conversion through law:

www.mostholyfamilymoPress Trust of India, Press Trust Of India

Vishwa Hindu Parishad has demanded a Central law to stop religious conversions, particularly in Mizoram and Kashmir valley.

VHP central secretary Mohan Joshi says that If conversion is not stopped through law then the Hindus will be reduced to a minority in so many states and they will be thrown out from the respective states. "Kashmir valley and Mizoram are examples," he said.

He asked Union and state governments to ban religious conversion through enactment of a law in Parliament and state assemblies and also called for enforcement of a Common Civil Code.

Flow of foreign funds in the name of service and public welfare activities through NGOs should also be strictly stopped, he said.

He congratulated the Tamil Nadu government for passing a law against religious conversion.

Mr. Mattel said...

Banned in: Saudi Arabia

Why? One of the more bizarre bannings has religious foundations - in 2001 Pokémon and all its associated spin-off games were the subject of a fatwa in Saudi Arabia, which said the games featured the Star of David, which Saudis associate with Israel and international Zionism. It was suggested the games had "possessed the minds" of Saudi children. The edict was expected to be followed rather strictly, as punishments would likely include lashings and deportation.

Avrumi Talibani said...

The Taliban have been accused of:

Banning all paper bags, with the death penalty for possession.

The stated reason is that the recycled paper used to make the bags could come from the Qur'an. The Associated Press reported that it was banned in Kabul, but only quotes an anonymous "official." ( It doesn't say anything about the bag situation, other than that they were banned. Where? Kabul or nationwide? Why? Could this be in response to an actual case? Was it temporary, like other edicts? If I imported paper bags, could I skirt the prohibition? The article is dated 1997, how come it was not mentioned or reported anywhere else? This just goes against common sense.

Residents of eMkhuphulangwenya said...

Religious ban upsets community
Sipho Khumalo
September 26 2007 at 06:26AM

Members of the eMazimeleni tribe who live near Empangeni, where a local chief has allegedly banned social functions on Tuesdays, say they feel abandoned by the government which has done nothing tangible to help them.

Residents of eMkhuphulangwenya, eKuphumuleni and Makholokholo, under Inkosi Mpiyezintombi Mzimela - a senior IFP member - said the chief had banned functions such as funerals, weddings and other social functions on Tuesdays.

Today's Daas Torah said...

I was walking across a bridge one day, and I saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump off. So I ran over and said "Stop! don't do it!" "Why shouldn't I?" he said. I said, "Well, there's so much to live for!" He said, "Like what?" I said, "Well...are you religious or atheist?" He said, "Religious." I said, "Me too! Are you Christian or Buddhist?" He said, "Christian." I said, "Me too! Are you catholic or protestant?" He said, "Protestant." I said, "Me too! Are you Episcopalian or Baptist?" He said, "Baptist!" I said,"Wow! Me too! Are you Baptist church of god or Baptist church of the lord?" He said, "Baptist church of god!" I said, "Me too! Are you original Baptist church of god, or are you reformed Baptist church of god?" He said,"Reformed Baptist church of god!" I said, "Me too! Are you reformed Baptist church of god, reformation of 1879, or reformed Baptist church of god, reformation of 1915?" He said, "Reformed Baptist church of god, reformation of 1915!" I said, "Die, heretic scum", and pushed him off. -- Emo Phillips

Shmuck said...

How is shmuel kaminetzky a rabbi? He destroyed more people than he helped and if not for his father he would be a toll booth clerk. Shorr is a learned man but a total putz and lunatic. Why would any sane person cling to him?


"Yidden" everywhere should be placed in cherem! Schorr & Friedman, get your rears in gear!!!

'''Unforgiven''' said...

How is shmuel kaminetzky a rabbi? He destroyed more people than he helped and if not for his father he would be a toll booth clerk. Shorr is a learned man but a total putz and lunatic. Why would any sane person cling to him?

Good point about Shumuel Kamenetzky.

Avremel Shorr is learned and also very crazy minded. He's extreme. His nasty "I know it all stare" can pierce as no other humans can.

In all this man is very wicked and twisted. He's crazy, scary, a stirrer of toxic poisons, thuggish specimen dressed in hasidc garb - and who is held in high regards by Agudah.

He has a following with a bunch of hasidim/haredi crack-pots just like him. The congregation adheres to his royal tuches's every command. He says drashas in yiddish that seem to impress those interested in extreme Kabalah and Jewish radicalism.

Shorr is next door to a "teens at risk" Yeshivah and Beth Medrash program "Ohr Yitzchak." The people from Shorr don't always take to kindly to them.

One year, Ohr Yitzchok came dancing in to shorr's shul on Simchat Torah and began dancing with the Torah; but the congregates and baal gabbai started yelling with disgust in his voice for the yeshiva to get out. Shorr wore a very displeasing look to kill on his face that said it all!

I don't believe the Belsky story said...

He was the guy who who did a hit job on the mashgiach from Le Marais without speaking to him to get his side of the story.

Nochum Segal's Father Reported Missing said...


Thursday, March 06, 2008
Jersey City police are seeking the public's help in finding a 91-year-old rabbi who vanished after doing a radio show in Downtown Jersey City yesterday morning.

Zev Segal, a Manhattan resident, was last seen at 8:15 a.m. after doing a radio talk show for WFMU at 43 Montgomery St., according to police. He was given directions by his son to Kushner Academy in Livingston to pick up mail, but never arrived and efforts to contact him by cell phone failed.

He is described as in good mental health, 6-2, 190 pounds and was wearing a gray felt hat, gray suit and tie and glasses. He was driving a dark green four-door 1999 Mercury with New York license plate ALT3961.

Anyone with information is urged to call Jersey City police at 201-547-5427 or 201-547-5477.


Zev Segal of Manhattan was last seen around 8:15 a.m. as he left WFMU, a radio station in Jersey City where his son, Nachem Segal, is a host. Segal's show "JM in the AM" just celebrated 25 years on the air.

Rosho, Lamma Sakkeh Reyecha? said...

"Watch out, Schorr has a decent left hook and not afraid to use it."

Puke said...

The story about that fag Elton John is just plain stupid and doesn't belong here.

Marvin Schick makes some sense for a change said...

If anyone has a scan of the Mishpocho Magazine editorials please send them to UOJ.

March 2008, Adar I & II 5768

The RJJ Newsletter

There have been about two-hundred of these newsletters in the thirty-five years that I have been president of the Rabbi Jacob Joseph School. I believe that this is the first that includes material published elsewhere, an editorial written by Rabbi Moshe Grylak, the editor of Mishpacha which is an excellent weekly magazine published in Israel in Hebrew and English language editions. Its readership is primarily in the yeshiva world. Mishpacha has given us permission to circulate what Rabbi Grylak wrote.

The editorial isn’t his first excursion into the difficult journalistic territory of describing painful developments in our community and even sharply criticizing certain yeshiva-world practices, as well as the leadership of this vital segment of Orthodoxy. There have been pieces challenging attitudes and practices that have come to be accepted, although they deviate significantly from the way our community was led in previous periods. Rabbi Grylak has asked sharp questions about the extraordinary situation in Beitar and Kiryat Sefer, large and expanding fervently Orthodox towns in Israel where Orthodox Jews who are thought to have deviated even minimally from certain mores have been harshly treated and forced out or excluded. This is a disgraceful development.

For all of the departure from the norm of Orthodox journalism that invariably dictates avoidance of criticism of the yeshiva world, Rabbi Grylak’s writings, as well as other material of a similar nature that has been published in Mishpacha, have been respectful and judicious.

This writing mirrors much of what I have written and said for more years than I can recount, my feeling that, as I put it in a speech twenty years ago at the Torah Umesorah dinner when I was the guest of honor, through our exclusionary attitudes, decisions and other actions, the yeshiva world has become engaged in “Richuk Kerovim,” the alienation of those who are close. As our community has grown stronger and more self-confident and has numerous impressive achievements to point to, we have embraced ever-more restrictive approaches that were not part of our mindset a generation ago when we were far weaker but were led by Torah giants of transcendent stature.

There is now a culture of exclusion and prohibition in the yeshiva world, a dynamic that feeds on itself and therefore accelerates. In recent days, there was the extraordinary ban on a concert scheduled in a Madison Square Garden auditorium. The prohibition has been effective and the concert has been cancelled. Painful scars remain. If the event was deemed inappropriate in any way, a prohibition was in order, although its sponsorship by a respected Israeli charity and it already being scheduled and planned at great cost should have been factors that were taken into account. What is striking about this episode and even frightening is the violence of the language utilized in the ban, the impression being that in addition to prohibiting that which may have been inappropriate, the intent was to destroy.

The language utilized in this issur or prohibition that was signed by many prominent yeshiva deans and rabbis ought to be contrasted with the prohibition declared a half century go by eleven great Torah leaders, the foremost being Rav Aharon Kotler, ztl, against participation in the Synagogue Council and other rabbinical and congregational bodies together with Reform and Conservative clergy. This was probably the seminal event in the contemporary development of American Orthodoxy. For all of the enormous significance of that prohibition, the statement announcing it does not come close in vehemence to the language employed in the prohibition of a minor event and a particular singer who apart from being a truly religious Jew has done much chesed through his personal visits to critically ill children in our community.

Our leadership needs to reflect on this episode and also what it means to lead. They should pay attention to a recent article by Jonathan Rosenblum, also in Mishpacha. Its title was “Bans are not Chinuch,” a title that tells it all and echoes an article that I wrote several years ago called, “Lead Us by Teaching, Not by Prohibitions.” I have often underscored that in the more than twenty years of his leadership of the Torah community in this country, the Great Rosh Yeshiva of Lakewood rarely issued or joined in prohibitions, the Synagogue Council issue being the great exception. Rosenblum quotes Rav Yitzchak Hutner, ztl, the eminent Rosh Yeshiva of Chaim Berlin, as saying, “One does not educate with issurim.”

I am pessimistic that the forces within our community that impel the flow of harsh statements and prohibitions will be tempered any time soon or that the attitudes that foster exclusionary and too often cruel policies regarding yeshiva admission and retention will be altered. We are increasingly trapped in a culture of prohibition and exclusion and this means that we are increasingly at war against our own. Only when our Roshei Yeshiva who are our leaders and certainly merit our respect speak out against harsh policies and come to understand that refusing to sign prohibitory statements may be a greater manifestation of authority and leadership will the darkness be lifted.

It is not possible to know how many we are losing because of our harshness, how many we are losing because we are too ready to demonize and cast out. I continue to believe that the primary contributory factor to Rabbi Grylak’s “Chareidi Gehinnom” is the outside world, its strong seductive pull away from Torah values and practices and not what parents do or schools do or Torah leaders say or sanction. Parents, schools and Torah leaders are contributory factors when they fail to sufficiently appreciate that there are good children who cannot study for long hours or who are not ideal in their behavior, children who need to feel that they are loved and respected for who they are and who are not cast out, either literally or through painful words. Because this truth is not sufficiently appreciated, our words and actions contribute to a limited extent to the statistics of drop-out from Yiddishkeit.

Furthermore, prohibitions and the harshness of some of our pronouncements and actions make it more difficult for us to retain or reach out to our youth who are at risk. We could retain more at-risk children and reclaim some who have moved beyond being at risk if we would show more kindness, more patience.

The message conveyed by the Rav Shach incident that Rabbi Grylak recounts is that there is much wrong with our approach and attitudes. I am skeptical about certain of the details – the original source is a book – yet what is striking about this episode is Rav Shach’s anger at the Roshei Yeshiva who came to see him about expelling a student for a very serious violation of halacha. For the Gadol Hador to call these Roshei Yeshiva “murderers” is more than extraordinary. What is also remarkable is Rabbi Grylak’s writing about this in a publication that is embedded in the yeshiva world. We are, after all, taught from a young age to have enormous respect for Roshei Yeshiva and Torah leaders and not in any way to criticize them. Rabbi Grylak conveyed the story although he was cautioned not to “write about this issue.” His answer was, “I’m not writing it, I’m screaming it.”

This is probably the most troubling aspect of what is happening within our community. There is spreading discontent over the culture of issur. In all my years of klal activity I have never seen similar pain or heard such words of criticism as are now being expressed in yeshiva-world families among whom obedience has been the hallmark. I have heard nasty words about Torah leaders from outside of our four cubits and I have been the target of nastiness and hostility because of my advocacy of the primacy of the Torah world and its leaders. Never has there been such anguish and even discontent within our own ranks.

I cannot adequately express the pain that I feel now over this brief essay. This world has been my spiritual home and much more. It is what I have given much of my life to. I am crying inside as I write these lines. Something is terribly wrong. The culture of issur is wrong. The alienation of too many of our young is wrong.

The existence alone of what is referred as the Chareidi Gehinnom should give all of us pause.

Israel Belsky Kashers Moish Finkel said...


Reply #1 submitted by: GreenbaumM on Sep 7th 2006
Rabbi Yisroel Belsky has paskened that there is no need to kasher any keilim.He based his psak on the following. First, if Tumah is hutra b'tzibur than he said it is a kal v'chomer that non kosher meat is also hutra b'tzibur. Secondly, rabbi Belsky stated that he knows the owner of thebutcher store and that he is certainly an "ish neeman" and therefore the rule of "eid echad neeman b'issurin" applies. Rabbi Belsky stated that many companies and hotels under the OU are beleived to have purchased meat from that store owner and that he feels there is no problem and no need to kasher.

Frankel's Shul Mizrach Shvantz said...

Does anyone know exactly which story that was were Rav Schach z"l called roshei yeshiva who wanted to expel a bochur "murderers"?

There was a story in Lakewood were a bochur related to Mrs. Esther Koenig from Frankel's shul was allegedly caught raping a boy. Esther Koenig was spreading rumors around that if anyone says anything about her relative, Rav Schach says you are a rotzeyech.

Did Rav Schach say it in connection to this bochur or is Esther Koenig trying to apply it herself mimakom acher?

Anonymous said...

You don't mean to say that you think R' SHmuel doesn't know how to learn, do you? You are ridiculous.

Mordechai Ben David (Werdyger) father of Pedophile Yeedle said...


Please listen to me darshan that according to Rav Elyashev & alla poskim it is geneva for you to copy my MBD tapes even though I steal from German rock groups like Dschengis Khan.

Israel Singer said...

I'm not mekabel. UOJ is probably the anonymous tipster trying to launch another smear campaign.


Conservative Movement Probing Its Finances

N.Y. Region exec on paid leave amid possible intermingling of personal, business expenses

by Staff Writer

An internal investigation into possible financial wrongdoing at the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism forced the longtime executive director of its New York region, Bruce Greenfield, to take a paid leave of absence Tuesday.
Greenfield, 61, of North Bellmore, L.I., has served as head of the New York Metropolitan Region since 1987, having previously served as its youth director. He has been with the organization for nearly 35 years.

Rabbi Jerome Epstein, the United Synagogue’s executive vice president, said the investigation has been going on “for several months.” He said an anonymous e-mail sent within the last two weeks to the METNY executive board alleging financial improprieties “raised issues that ought to be looked at and that we are looking at.” Among them, he said, was the possible intermingling of personal and business expenses.
“We have been looking at [the possible improprieties] for awhile because of our own concerns,” Rabbi Epstein said.
“Some of [the e-mail allegations] are new. Whether they are credible or not I don’t know. We’re in the process [of investigating]. ...

The president of the METNY Region, Irwin Scharf, said that he and his executive board all received the anonymous e-mail. “I was really surprised,” he said, adding that he had been unaware of the United Synagogue’s internal investigation.

The anonymous tipster wrote that the Charities Bureau of the New York State Attorney General’s Office had received tips about the alleged financial irregularities and had launched an investigation that would be ended if the United Synagogue “takes real action to correct the problems.”

Lakewood said...

The story in Lakewood happened in the dorm in the middle of Rosh Hashana davening. While it is suspicious that the accuser himself is related to not one, but two, child rapists, there was a shemuah among the Brisker oylam that the alleged perp had been accused before by yugerleit of touching their children inappropriately. In any case, Mrs. Koenig's rumor mongering should be taken with several grains of salt. I too had heard that rumor and it makes perfect sense that she was behind it.

boog said...

What has happened to Marvin Schick?

He finally actually makes sense and is on target.

Something must have changed in the water he drinks.


Times Square said...

There was a petty sort of terrorist attack this morning at the Armed Forces recruiting booth in Times Square. Some putz on bicycle rode by and tossed a small explosive device which demolished part of the booth. Has anyone seen Taliban Friedman? He may be responding to reports that Lipa sends free CDs to Jewish Army soldiers. The FBI believes that it is the same terrorist who launched similar devices at 2 embassies in Manhattan in the last 2 years.

Edgar Bronfman said...

The tipster emailed me that Bruce Greenfield was using Sruly to steal cash out of my desk drawers.

Isaac Bitton said...

My sources tell me that Taliban Friedman was riding piggyback on a bicycle this morning with Belsky. They were seen scooting around the corner from Times Square to Le Marais where Chef Hennessy & owner Jose quickly helped them get inside.

The OU's Rabbi Genack is arguing with the FBI director that no one is allowed inside establishments like Le Marais or Rubashkin to investigate without a prior appointment.

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


Marvin Schick reminds me of the guy who comes to the World Trade Ctr. Sept. 12, 2001...and says - I think we have a problem here!

Rafi Bitton from Bistro Grill said...

Some putz in a disguise who looked like Avremele Schorr showed up at my restaurant in Great Neck last night. We serve Rubashkin only and he was heartily Fressing away on a big juicy steak au trois poivres. I guess Nassau County qualifies as a "vacation" destination.

Gumshoe said...

Are you guys sure that Avremel is on the Agudah Fresser Presidium and not Yisroel Simcha Schorr, Rosh Yeshiva of Ohr Somayach Monsey?

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

A little good news doesn't hurt.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- A surprising rebound in February sales gave retailers a much-needed respite after a very difficult winter sales season that had pointed convincingly to a pullback in consumer spending.

"It's very interesting that consumers are actually showing some signs of life," said Ken Perkins, president of sales tracking firm Retail Metrics.

Perkins said part of last month's sales strength, which came on the heels of broad-based softness in December and January, was in part because of "pent up demand."

"The sales numbers were just so weak in December and January that you almost had to expect consumers would come back at some point," he said.

Early refund checks from 2007 income tax returns were probably also contributing to consumers wallets, he said.

What's more, Perkins said a strong spring fashion cycle helped lift clothing sales and would continue to do so in the weeks ahead.

"All this has to be very encouraging to retailers. Even Wal-Mart said its discretionary items were selling well," Perkins said. "This is certainly a step in the right direction for the economy."

That's because consumer spending fuels two-thirds of the nation's economy.

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

And then there's this:

Homeowner equity is lowest since 1945 ------ By J.W. ELPHINSTONE, AP Business Writer

NEW YORK - Americans' percentage of equity in their homes fell below 50 percent for the first time on record since 1945, the Federal Reserve said Thursday.

Homeowners' portion of equity slipped to downwardly revised 49.6 percent in the second quarter of 2007, the central bank reported in its quarterly U.S. Flow of Funds Accounts, and declined further to 47.9 percent in the fourth quarter — the third straight quarter it was under 50 percent.

That marks the first time homeowners' debt on their houses exceeds their equity since the Fed started tracking the data in 1945.

The total value of equity also fell for the third straight quarter to $9.65 trillion from a downwardly revised $9.93 trillion in the third quarter.

Home equity, which is equal to the percentage of a home's market value minus mortgage-related debt, has steadily decreased even as home prices jumped earlier this decade due to a surge in cash-out refinances, home equity loans and lines of credit and an increase in 100 percent or more home financing.

Economists expect this figure to drop even further as declining home prices eat into the value of most Americans' single largest asset.

Moody's Economy.com estimates that 8.8 million homeowners, or about 10.3 percent of homes, will have zero or negative equity by the end of the month. Even more disturbing, about 13.8 million households, or 15.9 percent, will be "upside down" if prices fall 20 percent from their peak.

The latest Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller index showed U.S. home prices plunging 8.9 percent in the final quarter of 2007 compared with a year ago, the steepest decline in the 20-year history of the index.

The news follows a report from the Mortgage Bankers Association on Thursday that home foreclosures skyrocketed to an all-time high in the final quarter of last year. The proportion of all mortgages nationwide that fell into foreclosure surged to a record of 0.83 percent, while the percentage of adjustable-rate mortgages to borrowers with risky credit that entered the foreclosure process soared to a record of 5.29 percent.

Experts expect foreclosures to rise as more homeowners struggle with adjusting rates on their mortgages, making their monthly payments unaffordable. Problems in the credit markets and eroding home values are making it harder to refinance out of unmanageable loans.

The threat of so-called "mortgage walkers," or homeowners who can afford their payments but decide not to pay, also increases as home values depreciate and equity diminishes. Banks and credit-rating agencies already are seeing early evidence of this.

Anonymous said...

Didn't Michoel Streicher move to Eretz Yisroel?

Political Putz said...

Is Bruce Greenfield related to David Greenfield who is running for Simcha Felder's Council seat?

Shtussim mit Yoghurt said...


By Yair Ettinger

The first edition of Yom Hadash, a free daily newspaper for the ultra-Orthodox community, appeared yesterday. The 16-page publication reflects a leadership crisis in the ultra-Orthodox community.

It will be distributed from Sunday to Thursday to compete with the existing daily ultra-Orthodox papers Yated Ne'eman and Hamodia. Media analysts and advertisers yesterday expressed doubts that the new paper will survive given a Haredi audience that is already saturated with dailies, weeklies and radio stations.

The front page announces "the newspaper for all the Haredi public" on a bright red background. The editorial on page 2 declares its intentions, such as "providing reports and news in due humility and recognition that a newspaper is not a vessel or value in itself." Or: "A means of expression directed by all Israel's sages for all shades of the Haredi public."

The real declaration of intentions, however, lies in the paper's main headline: "Traveler's prayer from Israel's great sages." Underneath, color photos of two senior Haredi leaders, Rabbi Michel Yehuda Lefkowitz and Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky appear, reading pilot editions of Yom Hadash. These are the leaders of the ultra-Orthodox Lithuanian community and its Degel Hatorah party, which publishes its own daily newspaper.

Yated Ne'eman was founded in 1985 in defiance of Agudat Yisrael's newspaper Hamodia, which the Lithuanian rabbis accused of ignoring their activity. Some time later the rabbis quit Agudat Yisrael to form Degel Hatorah.

Now Yom Hadash is defying Yated Neeman for similar reasons. Its editors say that Yated Neeman discriminates against some Lithuanian rabbis, while preferring others.

It all began when a yoghurt cup was hurled at Rabbi Gershon Edelstein, a supporter of Rabbi Eliezer Kahneman, one of the two rival rabbis in Bnei Brak's prestigious Ponevezh yeshiva.

For years this Lithuanian yeshiva has been torn by power struggles between its two leading rabbis, Kahneman and Shmuel Markovitz, who are also brothers-in-law.

The rupture in the college goes all the way up to the Lithuanian community's leadership. Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv supports Markovitz while others, including Kanievsky, Lefkowitz and to a certain extent Rabbi Aharon Steinman, support Kahneman.

After the yoghurt incident the rabbis held an emergency meeting in Ponevezh yeshiva in protest at the "assault." The event, which was attended by thousands of students, was not even mentioned in Yated Neeman. People from that newspaper say they were under direct orders from Elyashiv not to write a word about the dispute at the yeshiva.

Two months ago a small group of the Bnei Brak rabbis tried to publish a newspaper to compete with Yated Neeman, named Hamakor, but failed. Now they found a group of investors to support Yom Hadash, which is associated with the independent weekly Sha'a Tova.

Nahum Bernstein, Yom Hadash's marketing manager, says the investors wish to remain anonymous. He also refuses to name any of the journalists, some of whom hide behind pseudonyms. He says the paper wants peace among the Haredi public. For example, he says, the first edition covers not merely Lithuanian community affairs but the bar mitzva party in the Belz Rabbi's Hasidic court received a centerfold splash.

But he does not conceal the paper's intention to challenge Yated Neeman and Hamodia's policy. Both these partisan newspapers "don't give certain rabbis their stage, while others receive exposure or elevated titles and photos, due to internal disputes," he says.

"Our paper will give everyone the honor and titles he deserves."

Hamodia also takes part in the Haredi wars. A few months ago it ignored the local elections in Betar Illit, where MK Meir Porush, of Agudat Yisrael, was fielding his own candidate. Party chairman MK Yaakov Litzman said he had instructed the paper to ignore the elections, because the two Hasidic courts represented by the party were on opposite sides.

Yom Hadash yesterday gave prominent coverage to Porush's statement that the government discriminated against the Haredi community in allocating the state budget and published a photo of him.

Yom Hadash's publication was seen as an earthquake by many, despite doubts over its ability to survive.

Yated Neeman people however remained unfazed. Its journalists were instructed to ignore the new paper. One Haredi journalist who wished to remain anonymous, objected to the photos of the two senior rabbis on the newspaper's front page.

"Rabbis Kanievsky and Lefkowitz did not issue a letter of support in Yom Hadash. They're only quoted as congratulating it in a general way. It's making cynical use of the sages, to publish their photo reading the paper, as though it were their newspaper," he said.

Yankel Applegrad said...

After reading the above article, Margulies has decided to triple the price of yoghurt in the YTT dining room to make someone think twice before throwing a cup at him.

boog said...


RE: Marvin Schick.

You're right.

Front-runner who always has had his index finger constantly up in the air to see which way the wind of public opinion is blowing.

Hey Marvin; time for you to switch to your middle finger and point it directly at the 33 "Dass-Taliban" Tachtonim who gave us all a Louima.

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


All the "Yankel - come -latelys" will be sticking out their heads from under their desks - with their "wisdom". Crawl back in your holes, Marvin & Co...you should have seen this coming and start the battle a long time ago.

Thousands of good people have left us while you were covering for the momzeirim. Marvin - YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM -PUTZ!

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

29 minutes ago Yeshiva Merkaz Harav!

JERUSALEM - Two gunmen infiltrated a Jewish seminary in Jerusalem and opened fire in a dining hall Thursday night, killing at least seven people, police and rescue workers said.

Israeli media said about 35 people were wounded.

Jerusalem police spokesman Shmuel Ben Ruby said one of the infiltrators was wearing an explosive belt. He said students were being evacuated from the building.

Anonymous said...

A rosh yeshiva gave a shiur on the ban that's available online. He basically said he didn't agree with the ban the way it was done. He hinted he didn't even agree with the entire basis for the ban until after the ban was already out when he met by chance a chassidishe Yid who said Lipa's music was machariv his son.

He quoted the Rishon, Sefer Hachinuch, that we are mechuyev midoraysah to listen to gedolim even when we know they are wrong. I believe however that that shtikel Chinuch needs to be tempered with RSFM vort of no kovod for rabbonim who are mechalel shem shamayim.

He went on about Rav Elyashev which may have left many listeners with the mistaken impression that Rav Elyashev came out against this concert in the Gardens. That was actually a lie made up by Friedman. Rav Elyashev did ban MBD in Israel which I believe he has a right to do with proper notice which was seemingly the case.

He said over a maaseh with R' Yaakov Kaminetzky that a Lubavitch rabbi in Toronto many decades ago asked that all Jewish shopkeepers in the city close their shops on Shabbos to bring Moshiach. R' Yaakov issued a letter asking people not to listen to the Lubavitcher. Is UOJ aware of this story?

Sept 12th Putz said...

Hey, I also heard a rumor that some kids may have been molested in Brooklyn.

Does UOJ know anything about that?

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

First - I don't believe - even for a moment - that a child "goes off the derech", because of music. I believe good children leave Orthodox Judaism for a host of reasons -- but music is NOT one of them. Music -- is way after the child decided that for --- all the good reasons in his mind ---- that it's a lie! So the father that made that claim - is certainly -- one of the major reasons for his child saying goodbye to Orthodox Judaism. There are NO bad children --- ONLY bad parenting!!!!

I do not know the story in Toronto --- however in that vein --- the Lubavitcher Rebbe in Crown Heights - said in the sixties -- nobody should frequent any store in Crown Heights that is open on Shabbos!

Rav Yaakov was asked -- he said --- that he disagrees with that type of behavior -- and said there would be nothing wrong frequenting the store -- and try to be m'karev the storekeeper - of course - assuming the shopkeeper was a Jew.

That is sort of congruent with the Toronto story.

Anonymous said...

R' Yaakov's reasoning was explained as follows. He assumed that many shopkeepers might be persuaded to close just one day to see if Moshiach comes. If Moshiach then did not come, people would be so turned off that we might end up with more mechalelaei Shabbes than we started with.

Niggunishe State of Mind said...

A Rosh yeshiva has said publicly for decades that music has a tremendous koyach to harm.

First he is against anyone ever becoming a singer or being involved in the industry because he believes they will never learn properly.

He is also against any infiltration of goyishe niggunim because he believes they make a big royshem in a bad way. He says he has seen normally eidella bochurim act way out of line when listening. He will not be mesader kiddushin for anyone unless they pledge to instruct the band to not play any niggun with goyishe origins.

I would like to hear the reaction of UOJ and others before I reveal who this is.

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

Rav Yakov was not an arm twister -- he was a man of great intelligence and vision. He knew that you can't force something down someone's throat and make it stick. These were temporary fixes by fools.

Rav Pam ztvk"l...was threatened by Rav Shach -- that when the Lubavitcher Rebbe was sitting shiva for his rebbetzin -- that if he went to be menachem avel - he would be thrown out of the Moetzes.

Rav Pam was menachem avel -- there is life after being threatened -- and I asked Rav Pam the reason -- his answer was so pashut -- you can't create ahavas Yisroel with sinah!

Chaim Berliner said...

Didn't Rav Pam afterwards ask Rav Schach for mechilla? Jacob Perlow was in the same boat on that one by the way.

Chaim Berliner said...

Speaking of Jacob Perlow, does anyone know the details of the run in he had somewhere with Schmeltzer? The word around is that R' Jacob really has it in for him.

Avremele Schorr said...

Ah, vacation is the life! Does anyone know of a cholov Yisroel brand of pina colada?

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

I agree that music has certain kochas l'ra and l'tov! I am musically inclined myself - and played at a few melave malkes (in shuls) as a teen. I realized that there was an effect on my learning - and gave it up. Not for any other reason than it required much practice - and it consumed me - because I had to be perfect at it. I had other passions that I preferred to spend my time on.

Music is very much part of my life - real music - and I believe that it adds great spirituality and joy to my existence.

There are good and bad people in all professions - and a profession is what it is.

While Lipa may be entertaining - I don't consider that music!

Son of Boog said...


Hold off there on the luxuries until you pay back Sheya. Did you get your exotic vacation after donating your old clunker car to Toiv?

Mercaz Harav Death Toll Now at 8 said...


Hezbollah taking responsibility.

Congratulated by Hamas.

No word yet if Taliban Friedman is hailing the attack for Mercaz not being yeshivish enough.

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

Didn't Rav Pam afterwards ask Rav Schach for mechilla?

NY Times said...

March 6, 2008
Mortgage Defaults Reach a New High

Defaults on home mortgages touched another all-time high at the end of the last year as foreclosures surged on adjustable-rate mortgages, an industry group reported on Thursday.

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported Thursday that the number of loans past due or in foreclosure jumped to 7.9 percent ... the rate had never risen past 7 percent since the survey began in 1979.

The report helped drive down the stock and credit markets on Thursday. The Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index fell 1.2 percent and the Dow Jones industrial average fell about 130 points, or 1.1 percent.

Chinese Toxins said...


Dental patients urged to ask about foreign lab use



March 4, 2008

In the wake of a Midwestern woman being sickened by lead-tainted dental work that was outsourced to China, consumers are being asked to inquire about the origins of their crowns, veneers, bridges and dentures.

Millions of dental prostheses are being prescribed by dentists in the United States but are made in labs in China, India, the Philippines, Mexico, Eastern Europe, Costa Rica and elsewhere. Many experts are concerned about the outsourcing because raw materials used abroad may not meet U.S. standards.

Foreign labs produce a substantial proportion of Americans' restorative appliances, and are supposed to follow rules, said Bennett Napier, co-executive director of the National Association of Dental Laboratories in Tallahassee. "The FDA regulates the raw materials used ... [and] these labs have to register with the FDA and they are supposed to use FDA-approved materials. But the FDA is inspecting less than 1 percent of the restorations that are coming in from foreign dental laboratories," he said.

The new scare rekindles memories of lead-contaminated products from China last year.

Long Island dental lab owners Leslie and Terry Cloper say consumers should be concerned because "patients do not know where their lab work is being done. When you buy food or clothing there is a label requirement," she said. "But when you have something inserted in your mouth there isn't," Leslie Cloper said.

The couple, who own Lema Dental Lab in East Setauket, receive constant inquiries from foreign laboratories seeking work. Although the Clopers say they've resisted the pressure, other area labs and dentists find overseas pricing attractive. With the aid of global overnight shipping, dental appliances are ready in about the same amount of time they would have taken locally.

Toxic levels of lead were found in the dental work of a 73-year-old Ohio woman whose crown was made in China. The case was reported last week by an Ohio television station.

Afterward, officials at the American Dental Association notified federal regulatory agencies, calling on the government to investigate the case and to determine whether it's isolated or indicative of a wider trend. In a statement last week, the dental association said it has begun its own investigation.

"We will communicate our findings to the public and the dental profession, as well as to the appropriate government agencies," association officials said in a statement. Dental officials added: "The ADA is taking this report very seriously. However, we do want to keep it in perspective. There simply isn't enough information available to presume that the presence of lead in dental crowns or other prostheses is widespread."

The National Association of Dental Laboratories estimates between 15 and 20 percent of all restoration work is outsourced - and patients are unaware.

Dentists, often affected by what insurers are willing to pay, find the low-cost foreign work attractive, the Clopers said. Their lab, for example, charges dentists $128 for a single crown fused to a metal base, but labs in China do it for $29.

Questions for the dentist

The American Dental Association encourages patients to discuss concerns about the safety of their dental crowns or other prosthetic devices with their dentists. The quality and the safety of dental materials you receive should matter most. Some questions you can discuss with your dentist:

Do you fashion your own crowns, bridges and other dental materials in the office or buy them from a dental lab?

Where is the dental lab located?

Does the lab outsource crowns or bridges to a foreign country?

What materials are going to be used in my restoration?

What other options do I have?

"Mentalist" Ted Saint James said...


The OU hired me to keep them apprised of UOJ's next move against Belsky.

You just can't make this kind of stuff up about the OU.

From Ponivitch to Young Israel of Beverly Hills said...



Food fight

By David Suissa

A mysterious resignation. Legal papers served during evening prayers. Police called after a mid-day altercation. A missing contract. Accusations of betrayal.

Many heated conversations.

What is this, a new episode of "Law and Order"? A rerun of "Columbo"?

Actually, it's another day at the office at Young Israel of Beverly Hills, a venerable 40-year-old shul in Pico-Robertson that has seen better days.

After weeks of escalating tension, the story came to a head recently when a few tough-looking gentlemen interrupted the post-Shabbat evening prayers and served the president of the shul with a legal summons charging Young Israel of Beverly Hills with fraud and breach of contract. The summons was on behalf of a local caterer who had rented kitchen space from the synagogue about six months ago and who was now engaged in a bitter dispute with the shul on a host of issues, such as: the terms and validity of the agreement, who is allowed to enter the social hall and whether the kosher certification prevented open access to the hall, who should prepare the Shabbos Kiddush, whether the president of the shul was in fact a duly elected president or even a member of the shul and whether the shul had the right to terminate the agreement.

I got most of this from the summons itself, which is available to the public.

As expected, when I checked out the other side, I got a whole other story. I don't know who's right, but it's clear that both sides made a sloppy deal. Nevertheless, the shul is planning a vigorous defense, including a possible eviction notice. They feel they've been taken advantage of, and this will be expressed in their answer to the summons. Eventually, there will be two aggrieved parties facing off, and a judge or jury will decide what is fair and balanced— unless the parties reach a settlement first.

But the damage will have been done, and scars will remain. This is a shul that has gone without a rabbi for more than a year, and it was hoping to rejuvenate itself this year. Instead, it's been mired in a petty and ugly quarrel in a deal gone sour.

So how should we look at this kind of infighting among Jews? Should we be saddened by it or see it as just another saga in the affairs of men?

I have an idealistic, almost naïve side to me that says Jews have enough enemies in the world and the last thing we need is to fight among ourselves. I think I got this from my father, who was known to be oblivious to the quarrels that swirled around him at the Sephardic shul he attended in Montreal for 30 years.

Anonymous said...


What do they mean there's no rabbi? The shul website says it's Rabbi Harry Greenspan.

Shmarya said...

Over the years, the fight for control of Poneviz Yeshiva between Rabbis Kahaneman and Markovitz has involved fistfights, pipe bombs and stabbings. A hurled yogurt cup is mild by comparison. What is significant, though, is the emergency meeting held in response that attracted thousands of students.

The haredi world has no true journalism and no transparency. Rabbis seek to suppress information, in large part ot keep haredim docile. But this is also done to freeze out competing rabbis and yeshivot, to keep the competition out of sight and out of mind.

Be that as it may, what passes for journalism in haredi land is little more than hagiography writ cheap and disposable. It is ArtScroll 'biography' combined with Pravda-like news.

Shmuel said...

According to Rabbi Dr. JJ Schachter in Torah U'Maddah Journal some time ago, in his 80 page article about Volozhin, "My Uncle The Netziv" and the ban on that book, it was lively in Volozhin 130 years ago, when the students of the Beis HaLevi and the Netziv squared off and fought for their rabbis to become the rosh yeshiva. Who said anything about "niskatnu hadoros"? We're using PIPE BOMBS today! More lethal than what they used in the alter heim!

rcc said...


Dear Friends,

We are pleased to inform you that as of Monday, March 3, 2008, the RCC Hashgacha for Doheny Kosher Meats will be fully reinstated. We want to reiterate that there were never any questions regarding Doheny Kosher Meats,but the issue was with the plant in Postville, Iowa. These issues have been

We are very grateful to the RCC for going to great efforts to clarify all of the pertinent issues and instituting new measures and safeguards to assure
our community that its Kashrut needs are being met. We would like to thank all our friends for your patience while this matter was being resolved.

Please note that in order to avoid any consumer confusion betweenglatt and non-glatt meats (there have been such cases in the past), the non-glatt meats will carry a new label, "Prime Kosher Non-Glatt."

The new label will
of course state that the Kashrut is under the supervision of the RCC.

Yours truly,

Rabbi Steve Weil

Rabbi Elazar Muskin

Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky

Avi Shafran Lives up to his Dunce Cap Again said...


A Unified Chareidi Non-Response to the Lipa Ban
Today's Hamodia has five opinion pieces on the Lipa ban controversy.

The editors write:
In the aftermath of the events surrounding the "Big Event" concert ban, Hamodia was deluged by reactions from readers that demonstrated the wide range of their views and the passion they had towards their views. The volume of this response was unusally high -- both from those complimenting Hamodia and from those criticizing us -- and many questions were raised.

That being the case, we opened our pages to the input of Rabbanim, educators, and various professionals for their views on this topic.
None of the pieces address the main issues raised by the ban. More on that shortly, but first, some brief summaries of the pieces. Hamodia blurbs the first two. Here's how Hamodia framed them.
Rabbi Avi Shafran, director of Public Affairs for Agudath Israel of America, uses his classic elegant pen to portray the lengths to which the media will resort in order to pursue and promote their agenda. Whether the subtle inaccuracies he cites are a result of shoddy or slanted journalism is anyone's guess, buth the damage is done in any case.

Rabbi Yaakov Horowitz, menahel of Yeshiva Darchei Noam and Director of Project Y.E.S., distinguished himself as a calm voice of reason last week, when he disseminated an email to his large list of readers and spoke at length on a popular Jewish call-in radio program reminding people to publicly and privately model appropriate derech eretz for daas Torah despite their personal feelings on a particular subject.
The pieces can be found in today's Hamodia on pages D32-D34.

Rabbi Shafran's piece is called "The Really Big Event."

Rabbi Shafan criticizes the Fourth Estate, bloggers, talk show hosts, and the Jewish Star. In my opinion, this criticism is misplaced. I think much of the public commentary, although not the comments left on some blogs, has been respectful of the rabbonim even as it questions they're handling of the situation. Those who feel it is forbidden to question rabbonim will find the notion of "non-gedolim" raising questions to be chutzpah. But I don't buy it. I suspect, given what I've seen of his writings, that Rabbi Shafran doesn't really believe so either.

Rabbi Shafran says that he had an informal off-the-record conversation with the editor of the Jewish Star and was surprised to find himself quoted in that article. He says a more accurate rendering of his opinion would have said that he "knew nothing about the circumstances surrounding the ban."

In my opinion, Rabbi Shafran is being disingenuous here. I'm not going to start parsing his words, but it seems obvious that the quotes attributed to him in the Jewish Star represent his current opinion of the text of the ban, even if that was not yet his opinion then.

As I've noted, it is self-evident from the ban itself. Any thinking person would have some of these questions.

Rabbi Shafran has some criticisms of the NY Times piece. Most of these are inconsequential.

Addressing the issue of Rav Kamenetzky's statement as quoted in the Times, Rabbi Shafran writes:
And right after noting that "Some critics say the rabbis were manipulated," the Times quoted Harav Shmuel Kamenetzky, shlita, as regretting that time constraints did not allow the Rabbanim to "meet together" as they often do before issuing a Kol Korei of this nature. Asked about the juxtaposition later, Rav Kamenetzky stated unequivocally that he was in no way manipulated and that the sentiment of the ban reflected his intention entirely.
I may not be parsing words today, but Rabbi Shafran is. Rabbi Shafran ignores the fact that Rav Kamenetzky has said that he is not opposed to all concerts. Yet, the text of the ban explicitly says that the Gedolim have prohibited all concerts.

This is tangential anyway. The main issue here, which Rabbi Shafran does not address in his essay, but Rav Kamenetzky acknowledges, is the abuse of process surrounding the ban. Put simply, even if you agree with the goals and ideals of the ban, as Rabbi Shafran quotes Rav Kamenetzky, the way it was implemented was wrong. Rav Kamenetzky admits as much. Rabbi Shafran is tap-dancing around this admission.

At the end of his essay, Rabbi Shafran acknowledges some other questions that were raised, most notably about the two-lines under the text of the ban signed by the "Vaad Mishmeres Hakodesh", which contained demonstrable falsehood. He doesn't address them though. I think he should have.

Rabbi Yaakov Horowitz penned another piece on parenting called "A Steady Hand."

Rabbi Horowitz once again offers advice on how parents should continue to demonstrate respect for gedolim, but punts on almost all of the questions raised about this episode. This is especially disappointing, because many of the commentors on his site have raised valid questions that need to be answered. Incidentally, that post now has 7734 page views and 210 comments.

Rabbi Horowitz offers a possible solution to the issues raised when a Kol Koreh is issued. He suggests printing a phone number at the bottom where people can call for further information.

With all due respect, I do not think this suggestion would work. It is evident --as Rav Kamenetzky said-- that the people organizing the ban lied. Having a phone number that they answer -- and make no mistake about it; it will be the people behind the ban answering the phone, not the Roshei Yeshivah who signed it -- would not provide clarification or emes.

Rabbi Eli Teitlebaum wrote "What's Jewish About Jewish Music."
This is a fluff piece that addresses none of the questions raised by the ban. The only somewhat relevant point to Lipa at all, though not really to the ban, is that Rabbi Teitlebaum feels that "songs sung by those who model and inspire deviant behaviour and immorality are far from Jewish, no matter what holy words they are sung to."

Rabbi Teitlebaum has gone on the record criticizing askanim in general for organizing these sorts of bans. Its ironic that he avoids the issue entirely here.

Dr. Yitzchok Levine's essay is called "The Concert Was Cancelled. Where Do We Go From Here." (Sounds like a Jewish Observer article title.)

Dr. Levine makes two main points.

1) Much of today's "Jewish music" sounds innappropriate to him.
2) We need to provide "kosher" creative activities for the frum community.

I suspect that Dr. Levine and I share musical tastes to a degree. Article title aside, he doesn't really address the ban at all.

Eytan Kobre's article "Of Gardens and Mazes" is a labyrinth of irrelevant side commentary on the New York Philharmonic's trip to North Korea. He contrasts the moral obtuseness of Philharmonic director Lorin Maazel with Lipa's acceptance of Daas Torah. He also doesn't address any of the questions raised by the ban.

Rabbi Shafran's insinuations aside, there have been many troubling questions about this ban that have been raised in a respectful manner. For the most part, these questions stand even for people who support the goals of the ban.

It's a shame that the Chareidi leadership keeps punting. This is the best they can come up with? The lack of answers is telling, the failure to engage the questions even more so, and the result is a standing chillul Hashem with effects that will reverberate for years.

Shmarya said...

The idea that some of the gedolim were manipulated by Friedman and Schorr was broached by Sheya Medlowitz and others well before the Times report was published.

Also, as the NY Jewish Week piece shows, at least some of the rabbis who signed the ban (and one who arranged it, as well) viewed it as a ban against all concerts, not just one.

It is true the Times piece had several errors, including erroneously attributing Rabbi Kamentzky's quote to Hamodia when it really came from the Jewish Star, and calling Zev Brenner "Rabbi."

But the basics of the report were accurate and true.

It is understandable that Shafran would write to protect the gedolim he, after all, works for.

What is not acceptable, however, is Shafran's constant attacks on those who disagree with the actions taken by these gedolim or those who report the facts of the ban.

The ban itself; the lack of due process given and the lack of basic mentchlikeit shown to Schmeltzer, Mendlowitz and the others banned; what the ban means for the future of haredi music; and how the ban has effected the haredi street – these are the issues at hand – along with this:

“With all the problems our community is grappling with — teens leaving in unprecedented numbers, prominent yeshivas accused of knowingly employing pedophile teachers, chasidim rioting in the streets of Borough Park while their rebbes engage in public court battles over succession, I am astonished that this is the issue these 33 illustrious rabbis have chosen to tackle.

“Our children need an outlet,” Mendy continued, “and what could be better than a frum concert? Riots are OK, concerts are ossur [forbidden]?”

Rabbi Shafran will not address these issues. Neither will Agudath Israel of America.

And that is the real story behind this ban.

Schorr Defender on FM said...

>>Avrumie schorr was kicked out of krasne, beis meir (bluzhov) and tosh. He is a wild man who will act like a bulldozer to get his way.

This a complete lie. I was in Yeshiva with HaRav Schorr, shlit"a. He was the best boy in yeshiva, mesivta, and kollel--by far.

Malach said...

Schorr might be a "huge" talmid chachom. But he and asher friedman are still 1st rate goons.

Um, what does the torah say about treating widows and orphans ???

Understanding a reb akiva eiger better then 99% of the rest of us doesn't make you into a decent human being. Being a talmid chocham doesn't make you a tzadik.

By the way, His brothers are humble and are tzaddikim.

He is not only a gerrer chossid, He was personally recruited by the gerrer rebbe the late bais yisroel who was the one that implemented all the nutty chumros in ger.

Any sane chossid in israel or america that has a daughter of shidduch age would never be mishadech with a gerrer family.

The reason why bais yaakov of ger in brooklyn was created is because NO CHASSIDIHE GIRL IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WOULD MARRY A GERRER BOY. Until the school was created the american boys ended up marrying israeli gerrer girls (many still do).

By the way, where was r' schorr (better ?) when lipa margulies was protecting a child molester in his yeshiva for over 35 years. Obviously he wasn't going around like a screaming hyena. Why didn't he and asher friedman pressure all the major rosh yeshivos to come out against any child going to torah temmimah.

The "gedoilim" and their hyena askanim can financially destroy many lives. And you and others would still follow them. That is until your own ox is gored.

big bro said...

If Teitelbaum criticized Lipa for his music, then he's a hypocrite. He writes for (and gets money from) Country Yossi magazine, a guy who made a name for himself by taking non-Jewish tunes and putting Jewish words to them.

Avrohom Schorr has a problem with pizza fressers said...


In his shiur here in mp3 form he says he can't comprehend that people eat in pizza stores at the hour of 11 am during aseress ymei tshuva. It's not clear what they are supposed to do if they don't have a meal prepared at home and want to grab a quick bite. He says it at 5 to 6 minutes into the shiur.

JTA said...


A spokesman for the show's producer, Sheya Mendlowitz, told JTA that the cancellation had left organizers more than $100,000 in the hole with no way to reimburse ticket holders.

Negotiations between representatives of Mendlowitz and the rabbis aimed at finding a way to let the show go on apparently were fruitless.

The concert was to benefit Simchat Tzion, an organization that covers the cost of catering weddings for poor Israeli orphans.

Schmeltzer, a widely sought wedding singer, said in a statement that after studying one on one with a leading rabbi, he had resolved never again to perform music composed by a non-Jew. That would preclude performances of the popular wedding song "Yiddin," whose melody is taken from the 1979 disco track "Dschinghis Khan" by a German pop group of the same name.

News of the ruling and the show's cancellation have been major news items in haredi circles. One prominent singer, quoted anonymously in Hamodia, said the ruling could have a major impact on the Jewish music industry.

"This is an awakening, a turning point," the singer said. "It could positively affect the style of music for years to come."

In issuing the ruling, the rabbis appeared to have decreed a blanket prohibition against all Jewish concerts. But sources familiar with the haredi community told JTA there was much uncertainty surrounding the ruling.

The uncertainty is compounded by the fact that the ruling was said to be a verbatim copy of a similar one issued by Israeli rabbis that resulted in the cancellation of a concert by two popular American Orthodox singers last year. Several observers noted that the ruling published in Hamodia even included references to the earlier Israeli concert.

According to a report in the Jewish Star, a weekly serving a Modern Orthodox readership on Long Island, the ban was the handiwork of a Brooklyn man, Asher Friedman. One signatory confirmed to the paper that Friedman had contacted him about the concert and acknowledged that with timeliness an issue, the rabbis may not have investigated the matter sufficiently.

Friedman declined JTA's request for comment.

Attempts by JTA to reach several rabbis who had signed the ruling also were unsuccessful. But Binyomin Jolkovsky, the publisher of the Web site Jewish World Review, told JTA that the ruling's ambiguity may have been intentional.

"The people who understand them understand them," Jolkovsky said of the rabbis, adding that the rabbinic ruling appears to be a reaction to a creeping secular influence in haredi music.

"I think that the haredi world believes there is a cult of personality that slowly but surely surrounds a lot of the haredi singers," Jolkovsky said. "I think it's an effort to stop that."

The Day the Music Died said...


How obnoxious.

No One Needs his Opinion but here goes said...


In the wake of the recent Lipa Shmelzer imbroglio, people are looking for public statements—and VIN News is pleased and honored to have had a conversation with the king of Jewish music, R' Mordechai Werydger, shlita, a.k.a. Mordechai Ben David.

MBD was not willing to talk at first, but then broadly shared his own experiences and insights regarding canceling concerts.

R' Mordechai served as the Holy Ribnitzer Rebbe's Zt"l gabbai for appox. 5years. But during those years—when concerts still had mixed seating audiences — he asked his Rebbe many times: "Es pas nisht…", feeling strange serving as a Rebbe's gabbai on the one hand and singing at such concerts at the other. Nevertheless, R' Mordechai reports, the Rebbe never told him to stop but rather always encouraged him to continue with his success.

About 20 years ago, after a draining 10-concert/10-city world tour, MBD felt he didn't have the energy to continue doing concerts, and thus decided to stop performing. But he kept receiving calls. Upon a visit to Israel he mentioned it to the the Lelover Rebbe, Rabbi Moshe Mordche Biderman Zt'L with whom he had a close relationship, of his decision. to which the Rebbe responded, "Who gave you permission to stop? Did you ask anyone? When you get a matana from Hashem, you can't just stop. Continue singing and have great Hatzlocho. "

Ten years ago, before a major concert in Israel for the Zichron Menachem organization, two askanim tried to stop it, even meeting with the Amshinover Rebbe trying to get him to convince MBD not to appear. Nevertheless, the Rebbe told MBD not to stop, and even gave him chizuk to do the concert.

But the most intriguing point is that MBD himself claims that He and Shyea Mendlowirz have introduced the concept of separate seating concerts which didn't exist before. Although some major concerts regularly highlighted by MBD agreed to switch to separate seating as a result, they later reverted to mixed seating with the star's departure from their stage.

Bottom line: On the issue of "Lipagate," R' Mordechai was hesitant to speak, but did say that "it's very sad that a few irresponsible people who call themselves askanim are the ones who go around sedlling lies to the rabbonim about what's going on at concerts when it's not any different than a regular yiddishe simcha with separate seating, and it's a disgrace what they're trying to do to Klal Yisroel," "what a shame that they're busy with this rather than addressing the real issues that are troubling Klal Yisroel" opines MBD.

Stickler for details said...

Avremel Schorr was sneering about seeing an Ave J pizza shop at 11:15 pm while driving by.

Accountant said...

Is the figure attributed to Sheya correct? Does that mean that if he keeps all ticket proceeds that he's still out 100k?

Yeridas Hadoros said...

Indeed, when asked if owning a radio was forbidden decades ago, the Satmar Rav said that he could not forbid it because to decree something that the population could not/would not uphold would decrease the esteem of rabbinical authorities in the eyes of the people.

Bungalow Yenta said...

Schorr didn't say anything about Kosher Delight on Ave J, probably because everything is yoshon there as opposed to the pizza stores. Something tells me Boog would throw a felafel at him if he saw him slowing down to look inside J II.

Boruch Dayan Haemes on the death of Rabbi Zev Segal said...

1:00AM EST: (Thursday) At this time, hundreds of Hatzolah members from Flatbush, Boro Park, Williamsburg, Queens, Monsey, Staten Island, Passaic NJ, Union City NJ, Elizabeth NJ, Kiryas Yoel and other neighborhoods have joined the massive search - being coordinated by the Misaskim, and Hatzolah Mobile Command Centers.

Additionally, there are Chaveirim members from multiple areas, as well as Shomrim units from all neighborhoods.

The command center has been set up in Jersey City, NJ - and dozens of police officers from Jersey City PD in conjunction with the NJ State Police are working aggressively in the search. K-9 units are searching the sides and exits of Route 280 - and two choppers are scheduled to join the search first thing in the morning.

UPDATE 11:00AM EST: (Thursday) Senator Carl Kruger (D-Brooklyn) has established a special 24 hour hotline and is offering a reward in the disappearance of the 91-year-old father of Nachum Segal, WFMU radio host of the “JM in the AM” show. The lawmaker is offering a $2,500 reward for substantive information leading to the senior’s discovery. Anyone with information should call the special hotline number at 917-204-6415. Sen. Kruger is also urging the community to add to the reward offer. Anyone wishing to do so may call his office at (718) 743-8610.

UPDATE 12:41PM EST: (Thursday) At this time there are three choppers combing the areas in Northern NJ - including the NYPD, PAPD, and NJSP choppers. Central Hatzolah has just announced that they are requesting any available Hatzolah members to respond to Jersey City, NJ to assist in the search.

UPDATE 12:56PM EST: (Thursday) Misaskim and Boro Park Shomrim have asked that although there are hundreds of ordinary civilians who would like to lend a hand in searching, they should please await for an official announcement. This announcement should come in approximately the next two hours.

UPDATE 1:24PM EST: (Thursday) The police are currently on the scene of a confirmed car seen floating in the Hackensack River. Divers are currently enroute to investigate.

UPDATE 1:33PM EST: (Thursday) Divers are in the water attempting to gain access to the vehicle. SkyFox Chopper on the scene reports strong resemblance in vehicles.

UPDATE 1:45PM EST: (Thursday) We sadly report to you that the body of Rabbi Zev Segal has been retrieved from the vehicle found in the Hackensack River.

Jacob Perlow forgot about the Wolves on Ocean Pkwy said...

קול קורא אל אחב”י במדינתנו ארה”ב
כבר הורו חכמים, גדולי תורה מדורות
שלפנינו, שראוי לכל בן ישראל להשתתף ולהצביע בבחירות במדינתנו של חסד, ארצות הברית. וזה מטעם כמה סיבות.

לראשונה, עלינו לדאוג לאינטרסים של אחינו בית ישראל, וכבר זכינו לראות בעבר את ההשגות הגדולות שהשיגו יהדות ארה”ב, בסייעתא דשמיא, בכח הבחירות שלה. שנית, ההשגחה העליונה בימינו העמידה את ארה”ב כאומה העיקרית הדואגת על העם היושב בציון להצילו מה”שבעים זאבים” העומדים מסביבו לכלותו ר”ל.

ויש בזה גם ענין של הכרת הטוב, שהוא מיסודי הדת, ועלינו להביע הכרתינו להמלכות של חסד שבה אנו גרים על ידי השתתפותינו בבחירות.

ואל יפטר האדם את עצמו מחיובו לבחור עם הטענה שבארץ כל כך גדולה כמו ארה”ב אין הקול היחידי שלו מעלה ומוריד, כי כבר ראינו כמה בחירות, ובמיוחד הבחירות לנשיא של לפני שנים אחדות, שהוכרעו על ידי כמה מאות קולות.

ויה”ר שהקב”ה ישמרנו ויצילנו מכל צרה ומכל גזירה רעה, ומן השעות הקשות שבהן אנחנו חיים, ונזכה בקרוב בימינו לביאת גואל צדק, ויקויים בנו מה שנאמר “וראו כל עמי הארץ כי שם ה’ נקרא עליך”.
מועצת גדולי התורה באמריקה
ב’ שבט, תשס”ח

Rubashkin Fresser said...

Rumors are circulating regarding a possible Treifa meat scandal at a well-known Chinese restaurant in North Miami Beach. Kosher Miami issued the following statement: Please be advised that effective March 3, 2008, Fu Xing restaurant in North Miami Beach is no longer certified by Kosher Miami.

The restaurant is located at 1688 NE 164th Street in NMB, Florida. Rumors are being spread that the store is “partially” owned by a Frum person. YWN spoke with Miami Kosher, and they have not confirmed that to us.

“We have surveillance of suspicious activity at Fu Xing. We are now actively investigating the situation. As a precautionary measure we are suspending the KM hashgacha.”

Although Miami Kosher has not confirmed that Treifa meat was being used at the establishment, they have advised anyone with any concerns about Keilim that may have come in contact with food from Fu Xing, to please contact your local Rov.

Additionally, another statement is expected to follow later today.

It is interesting to note, that this is the fourth Chinese restaurant in North Miami Beach to lose its Kashrus certification in approximately one year. Wing Wang restaurant lost its Hechsher for unknown reasons - but has since taken a new Kashrus certification.

Anonymous said...

R' Zev Segal was the rov of Young Israel of Newark.

Maimonides Hospital Horror Show said...


A ruv in Satmar named "William"? That's a first.

Anonymous said...

If I'm not mistaken, R' Zev Segal's other son, Nate, is the most powerful guy in Torah Umesorah besides Shea Fishman / Gottesman. He's also the rov of the shul in the New Springville section of Staten Island.

Telemarketers Fraudulently Identifying Themselves As Hatzolah Israel said...

Hatzolah Israel, the original Emergency First Responders in Israel, wishes to thank Klal Yisrael for their continued support and response to our recent mail campaign.

It has come to our attention that people have been receiving telemarketing calls from an organization in Flatbush that fraudulently identifies themselves as Hatzolah Israel or Hatzolah of Israel. We wish to notify you that these people have no affiliation with our organization nor do they represent us in any way- nor can we verify where these funds are directed.

As of this week our Israel office will begin our own phone campaign from Israel. These calls can be distinguished from the fraudulent calls by the pleasant demeanor of our callers as well as by the fact that our calls are all being made from our central office in Israel and will identify themselves as such. If you are in doubt, you may contact us at our US office 845-918-1520 ext. 101 or visit our website: www.HatzolahIsraelUSA.org and e-mail us.
We appreciate and respect your support and do not give out or sell our list to any other organization.

Our brothers in Eretz Yisrael urgently need our support and are the direct beneficiaries of all of our campaigns.

Best Wishes for Good Health, Nachas and Shalom in Eretz Yisrael,

Friends of Hatzolah Israel
Rabbi Herschel Leiner
International Director

359 Spook Rock Road Suffern, New York 10901
Tel 845-918-1520 Fax 845-368-0540 www.HatzolahIsraelUSA.org

Shloime Gertner said...


Don't ask me what it means to "serve" Klal Yisroel.

Time Warner News said...


Bravo Channel may want to check out muppet-faced yenta Patti Stanger's credentials, because last night's finale of TV show "Millionaire Matchmaker" featured two successful men on dates with "educated women of high pedigree and social standing" -- more like Playboy cybergirls and hookers!

Cidney was made out to be a wholesome Jewish girl with a Masters in Journalism -- but they forgot to mention she models for Playboy and was something called Cybergirl of the Month. While Cidney accepted a marriage proposal from Vegas real estate mogul Paul Murad after just one date, turns out the couple have already split. Shocker!

On the show "Marcela" was said to be a travel agent, in actuality she looks a lot like "Victoria" from an escort / prostitution website in Miami. But you don't have to be a millionaire to date Victoria -- she can be all yours for $300/hour!

Paul Murad said...


There's a shidduch crisis out there so why is UOJ making fun of me for proposing on the first date?

Rabbi Yom Tov Glaser said...


This picture is funnier than anything on UOJ's sidebar


Article about me is here

Satmar Garbage Dumps said...


What Slobs!

The Mattress where Belsky hid his $$$ ? said...


Kiryas Joel — A mattress fire at the United Talmudical Academy resulted in the evacuation of some 200-plus boys studying at the private religious school yesterday morning.

Shafran, you Mechutzef !!!! said...

"Shafran criticizes the Fourth Estate, bloggers, talk show hosts, and the Jewish Star."

Fourth Estate refers to "the mob" (as in mob rule) or the proletariat, the poorest class of industrial wage earners who, possessing neither home ownership, capital nor production means, must earn their living by selling their labor. In ancient Rome, the proletariat were poor landless freemen who, crowded out of the labour market by the extension of slavery, became parasites on the economy. Karl Marx used the term to refer to unemployable workers, paupers, beggars, and criminals. Marx believed that the seizure of power by the proletariat from the capitalist class was a necessary step to a classless society. Under Lenin and the Bolsheviks, this revolution was to be directed by the Communist party, as the vanguard of the dictatorship of the proletariat. Scottish historian Thomas Carlyle referred to the press as the Fourth Estate in 1821.

Yitzchok Meir Schorr said...

Are you looking for my brother?

Khal Tiferes Yaakov
Avrohom Schorr
1212 East 15th St

Alter Kletzker said...

R' Gedalye Schorr ztl was a Sadiger chusid who learned by R' Aron Kotler in the alter heim. He married an Isbee.

Teaneck said...

Avraham Schorr comes around to speak in modern orthodox communities to raise money for Nechomas Yisrael. He usually comes with his bosom buddy Rabbi Shmuel Kaminetzky.

Wishful Thinking said...


Rabbi Matthisyahu and Rabbi Avraham Schorr can talk until they are green; there is no chance to put the genie back into the bottle, even in Lakewood or Flatbush. The internet with its cheekiness, gossip and high spirits is here to stay. If I were Rabbi Schorr, a man who has a deep and powerful Torah outlook but is hysterically opposed to the internet, I would allow someone to transcribe my thoughts to a blog, and try to push the internet conversation towards greater depth and seriousness.

The Schorr Revolution said...


A few years ago, a former blogger complained bitterly that he’d gotten dirty looks at a Jewish-music concert because he’d had the unmitigated chutzpah/gall to sit with his own daughters, rather than sending them to sit with total strangers who just happened to be female. The nerve!

Why is Schorr's Chassidish Fanaticism setting the larger Agudah agenda? said...

As recently as 35 years ago, a rosh yeshiva who had learned in the yeshivos of Europe made a chassuna for his daughter. When R' Nosson Wachtfogel zl was invited he inquired if there would be a mechitza. When he heard there would not be a mechitza he initially declined the invitation but then changed his mind when the rosh yeshiva reminded R' Nosson that there were no mechitzos in Lita and that we are being drowned with Chassidishe influence.

Vos Zogt UOJ? said...

Why is the Agudah takka letting Schorr get away with it?

Blog in DM said...

Adlerstein reads like Kafka or Wonderland! It's just bizarre. Rav Shmuel had to sign because of "Kavod HaTorah" even though it was wrong. But then he can disown it, essentially. His statements to the Jewish Star were honest and necessary. However, they clearly impugn the Kavod HaTorah he supposedly needs to uphold at all costs. Plus, since he says he was lied to, and in fact the Gedolim in E"Y had not requested this ban, there was no Kavod haTorah obligation in the first place.

Also, is this the way we ought to do things? Issue public rulings and then "walk them back" later? What about Emes?

Michoel Halberstam said...

Rather than comment on the very disturbing issues raised by this affair, I recommend that you read the Gemara in Sanhedrin Daf 101b through 102a, in which the history of the first Kol Koreh is described in detail. The author of that Kol Koreh was Yerovom ben Navat who managed to get Zaddikim and Neviim to sign on a document urging jews to follow Yerovom into Avoda Zorah. The gemara says that this kol koreh continued to work its evils for years and brought horrible results to Klal Yisroel. The genius of the Kol Koreh is that it works by pressuring people to sign in spite of their better judgment, and then gives everybody something to hide behind when the flaws in that judgment are exposed. From the day of Yerovom to this day, these dynamics still operate. My vote is to abolish the institution of Kol Koreh. The need is far more urgent than the abolition of blogs.

Upcoming Trials of Kolko & Margo said...

To me, an interesting part of the Kolko / Margo civil trial is if and what Rabbi Kaufman's part in this was. Did he really aid Margo and Kolko in the mental and physical duress to keep defendants from calling the authorities or suing? And if he did, how the heck is he still head counsellor at Camp Agudah? (I don't care if he is or isn't in Torah Temimah b/c nothing in that cesspool can explain why he's willing to work for a lowlife that ignored a bais din that awarded Torah Vodaas

Are the allegations that he passed names with Shea Fishman from Torah Umesorah to Margo true? This means as proved in court. This doesn't necessarily come out in a criminal
case b/c of the right of no self incrimination, but would come out at a civil trial (assuming he doesn't perjure himself).

The other very fascinating issue here is what did Rav Sheinberg say. I wonder if that comes out in court? Do they depose him for the civil case?

Anonymous said...

Aside, does anyone know if MBD got permission before he plagiarized "Dschinghis Khan" to make Yidden or did he not bother because they were just goyim?

Anonymous said...

mbd is a fraud
his son yeedle was accused of raping a 15 yold girl

how come none on the signers signed a ban on yeedle