Wednesday, November 20, 2013

What Could Have Been!

The UOJ Classics - March 1, 2008

I wanted to know that in fact I had made a difference for the better of Judaism, for Jewish children, for children the world-over, and for people everywhere of all faiths and no faith, to understand that there is right and wrong, good and evil.

I was more than willing to give up my "successful career" as a Jew who happens to blog, rather than a blogger who happens to be Jewish --- for a new and improved Judaism - where rabbis really understood the seriousness of their deplorable conduct and fessed up. I care! I love Judaism! Without hesitation - I would die for the values I believe in! I know that we deserve better. We have been lied to by evil scoundrels without scruples! They took our beautiful heritage and turned in to a cult for peasants. I despise them and what they did, and if they died in the street, I would step over their dead bodies and not even call the morgue - chevrah kadisha!

Judaism is an ever evolving work of art - designed and painted by our Creator - at least it was. Every nuance was beautiful and destined to be a model to the world. We were envied - for the Judaism of unlimited beauty, our value system, our traditions, our holiness ---and then - oh yes - there's a big but(t) - enter "Gedolim" - pathetic ignoramuses who know nothing about human behavior, nothing about affairs of the world, nothing about the needs of our people, totally unschooled about our psychological make-up, know nothing about the needs of our children, care about nothing - other than themselves - who until today are proudly protecting child-rapists --- and then taking control over a Judaism we were once so proud of! They are destroying your lives and those of your children - with their distorted and ignorant world-view! The kollel crisis...will destroy your families. The lack of secular education - will destroy your children! The "singles" crisis - will get worse! The child-rapists crisis is going un-addressed - except when one gets caught by the Authorities - after all kinds of cover ups!

I would have gladly gone away....if.....

1- The rabbis would have admitted they have failed our children and our families by permitting scores of child rapists to have access to our children. And that they would have seriously addressed the issue in a meaningful manner...including active police involvement --- like human beings would!

2- Address the crisis --- of the future of our children - not being educated, not enabling them to be able to support themselves and their future families.

3-  Understanding that the vast majority of shalom bayit problems are caused because there is no parnassah - and kollel is a huge part of the problem!

4- The financial rape of our middle and lower income families - by schools that will unofficially blacklist children - simply because their parents are not affluent!

5- The kashrus crisis of bogus hashgachas and intentional fraud - by many more --- the likes of Moshe Finkel - who for at least a decade - sold non-kosher food to thousands of "kosher" consumers. It was not like this guy was Modern Orthodox or something - Rachmana litzlan! Beard, payos, bekisher - kids in Brisk and Lakewood -the whole Charedi nine yards!

What do we get - an urgent call to action - to ban a concert - and cause massive financial damage to an untold number of innocent bystanders! You beg the world to laugh at us - for the same reasons we mock the Islamic-Fascists! How could you do this - as the entire world is pointing at us Jews and are saying - "we told you these Jews are despicable people - they rape their own children!?"

You don't like concerts for your insane twisted reasons - for Heavens sake - sit down with the producers, organizers and entertainers and speak with them! Give them notice! Ask them to abide by your seventh century - throwback - Taliban-like - world view. Give them a chance to "fix" their "sinful" ways! Who do you think you are - destroying lives and causing suffering - without a darn phone call to anyone? You are not human! You are seriously disturbed! You are mentally and emotionally impaired! Retire - you criminals - before you do any further damage to us innocents!



So I'm staying around - and will mock you forever --- until the next, new generation takes over - hopefully with a normal and healthy understanding of what a rabbi should look and behave like!

Do me something - I love Judaism and will attempt to fix whatever I can, in any way I can - with every ounce of strength and God-given talents - even if it takes me the rest of my life!


Anonymous said...

Good Voch Mr Uoj,
just noticed an ad in the Hamodia which may interest you.
In this weekend edition page B19.
A full blown ad for a brand new matzoh bakery opening up in the five towns . Guess who thier mashgichim are. Non other then (Rabbi) Belsky and the ou.I guess he is getting a bit agressive with tryin to make a Buck or two or three.
Ahron Kaplan is the president Tiferesmatzah@yahoo.com. 1877-matzah1. in ny call 516-371-2327.
210 beach 2nd street lawrence ny

Warning to the OU & Steve Savitsky said...


You bums went ahead with the Sholom Tendler event this weekend.

We know that people complained yet you did nothing.

Don't say that UOJ didn't warn you!

NY Times said...


The same sorts of loans that drove the real estate boom now change the nature of foreclosure, giving borrowers incentives to walk away, said Todd Sinai, an associate professor of real estate at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.

“There’s a whole lot of people who would’ve been stuck as renters without these exotic loan products,” Professor Sinai said. “Now it’s like they can do their renting from the bank, and if house values go up, they become the owner. If they go down, you have the choice to give the house back to the bank. You aren’t any worse off than renting, and you got a chance to do extremely well. If it’s heads I win, tails the bank loses, it’s worth the gamble.”

Though many states give banks recourse to sue borrowers for their losses, Mr. Case said, in practice it’s not often done “It’s tough to do recourse,” he said. “It’s costly, and the amount of people’s nonhousing wealth tends to be pretty slim.”

Christian Menegatti, lead analyst at RGE Monitor, said the firm predicted more homeowners would walk away from their homes if prices continued to drop, regardless of their financial circumstances. If home prices drop an additional 10 percent, Mr. Menegatti said, 20 million households will owe more than the value of their homes.

Menachem Lubinsky said...

The USDA is obviously driven by anti-Semitism when they harass my clients the Rubashkins. To them, Lubavitchers with black beards & black hats are like Blackies.


WASHINGTON: Six members of the Congressional Black Caucus, including presidential candidate Barack Obama, are urging the U.S. Agriculture Department to explain why it refused to cooperate with a government audit about alleged discrimination against black farmers.

The lawmakers said in a letter to Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer that the incident continued a "troubling pattern of obstructing congressional efforts to understand and remedy decades of discrimination against African-American farmers."

Keith Williams, an Agriculture spokesman, said the department had not yet seen the letter, which was dated Friday.

"We would have appreciated the courtesy of receiving a letter before it went to The Associated Press," he said.

On Wednesday, Agriculture officials ordered auditors from the Government Accountability Office to leave its offices and told employees not to speak with them. The GAO is the nonpartisan investigative arm of Congress.

steve said...



Details on Shmarya's blog:


Yehue said...

But here's the silver lining: only Yidden speak out so brazenly against their own and hold their leaders to responsibility.

OU "Standards" in Denver said...


A second congregation—Orthodox Beth Hamedrosh Hagadol (BMH)—was formed in 1897 at 1447 Larimer Street by shoe merchant Henry Plonsky. In 1996, BMH merged with the Orthodox Beth Joseph Synagogue to become BMH-BJ. Although the shul is a member of the Orthodox Union, it has mixed-seating services in its main sanctuary on Saturdays as well as a separate-seating minyan with a mehitza in its Adelman Chapel.


It seems that they are not officially an OU member shul, but the OU does recommend this mixed-seating "sanctuary" on their website.


BMH-BJ does admit having mixed seating on their website. They speak of "vibrant prayer through multiple worship experiences" and when you click on the "Services" tab there is a subcategory with the minyan with the mechitzah.

This all fits in perfectly with the OU platform of Rubashkin, Le Marais, Catfish gefilte and treif bison.

OU Insider who will Not be Silenced said...

OK here is the story. The OU dropped the ball in a big way with Solomon bison meat and continues to wallow beshat nefesh. NO ONE from the OU is going down to see if the treif company has extra sleeves with the OU imprint that would allow for this disaster again. OU outsiders who know about it have complained only to be met with an illogical OU response that the OU needs permission to go down and inspect. Yes, you heard that right. The new improved Orthodox Union is allowing the Rubashkin infection to spread. This is the new way of doing kosher supervision, you let anyone dictate terms to the kosher supervisors.

The OU also broke their own rules about distributors.

Rubashkin Facility in Nebraska - Mad Cow Disease & Sewage said...


Government documents reveal failures at Agriprocessors’ Nebraska Plant to safeguard consumers from mad cow disease and E. coli, as well as more than 30 sanitation violations ranging from
sewage to insect infestation

WASHINGTON – A new investigative report documenting food safety issues at the Agriprocessors, Inc., Local Pride Plant in Gordon, Neb., shows a pattern of food safety violations, including failures to properly implement bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or “mad cow” disease, and E. coli safeguards, as well as more than 30 sanitation violations, ranging from sewage on the kill floor to insect infestation.

This report comes on the heals of the Westland/Hallmark Meat Company recall, which was the largest recall in United States Department of Agriculture history. With more than 143 million pounds of meat being recalled because of increased risk of mad cow contamination, consumers are extremely concerned about the safety of the products they purchase.

The new report, which was released today by the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union, analyzed government documents received through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

The documents revealed that Agriprocessors’ Gordon, Neb., plant had more than 115 Noncompliance Records (NR) from July 2005 to March 2007. These documents are issued when Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) personnel determine that a company has failed to meet certain safety or regulatory requirements.

In the case of Agriprocessors’ Local Pride Plant, food safety inspectors raised concerns regarding the company’s failure to implement mad cow and E. coli safeguards, as well as overall sanitation issues at the plant. Agriprocessors’ sells products under the Aaron’s Best and David’s labels and is a supplier for Nathan’s Famous Kosher Hot Dogs.

The new report states, “a critical aspect of any food safety system is sampling for E. coli. E. coli H157 is a bacteria found in the intestines of cattle.” According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), meat can become contaminated during the slaughter process. E. coli, the CDC states, “often causes severe bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps” and could result in “acute kidney failure in children.” E. coli has been responsible for at least 20 recalls in 2007 alone.

This new report comes after a UFCW food safety investigation in August of 2007 of Agriprocessors’ Postville, Ia., plant uncovered serious issues including recalled products, mad cow related safety concerns and repeated fecal and bile contamination.

In addition, several Members of Congress sent a letter to the USDA in November inquiring about the state of food safety at Agriprocessors and what actions the agency plans to implement given the repeated nature of food safety problems at the plant.

The full report is available by request at press@ufcw.org.

US Congress Questions Agriculture Dept on Rubashkin said...


Why did it take so long for this November letter to get out?

Anonymous said...

If anyone is threatening R' Yudel, we should know who they are.

Let's see how tough these gangsters are when there is a public backlash against them for trying to stop the truth from getting out.

Anonymous said...

I know personally what some of these Rabbis are capable of doing in the name of G-d. Ther is no haman being that they wouldn't sacrifice when they think the L-rds on their side. I learned the hard way. We need you and I will defend you.

A concerned and worried Monsey Parent said...

Bravo UOJ, Sure we need appologies from those that covered up the crimes of the molesters. Only that would not stop a sicko sexual pervert like the child molester Mordechai Wolmark of yeshiva shaarai torah of Monsey. Sure the Monsey community deserves an appology, but we also need action. The rabbonim must demand that the beast Mordechai Wolmark yemach shmo move away from the Jewish community stay away from our young teenage boys and the women in our community forever.

Belsky Terrorism - See Something, Say Something 1-866-NYC-SAFE said...



Belsky's supporters are laughing at you over last week's post on R' Matis Salomon & Schenki.

They say that if you have the power to do anything about child rapists, you would send the Lakewooders notice in writing and then go after them. They say that shouting about it on your blog is just grandstanding on your part.

The Wilhelm family leadership said...

Finding raw sewage on the floor at an "OU" meat plant is no surprise. Here on UOJ it was written some time back a demand to the Yeshiva Torah Vodaath that they flush out their walking sewage (a respectable reference to the bastard ben nidda Yisroel Belsky). It is therefore not a surprise that the foolish OU who like the Yeshiva Torah Vodaath pay a salary to that walking and talking excrement have such findings at their meat plants as well. After all when a USDA inspector walks into a meat plant and should he happen to encounter Yisroel Belsky cohabitating with the cows, what else should he do but write a summons for having found walking and talking sewage on the floor of the plant.

Like many families the Wilhelm family too has its drek. In our case its the family mamzer who goes by the name Yisroel Belsky.

Anyone Know Details? said...

JWB commented on FM that Mordechai Tendler's new son-in-law Elchonon Shoff has started a blog that attacks Vicky Polin and Rabbi Yosef Blau.

Which blog is it anyway?

Anonymous said...

Shmarya thinks that Lipa has an agreement with the rabbonim that he can continue performing at simchos as long as he stops doing concerts and that Lipa is fine with that because he makes most of his money at simchos.

Special to the New York Post said...

The New Aaron Kaplan Matzoh Bakery is happy to announce that they have entered into a contract with Catholic Archdiocese which was already approved by Pope Benedict XVI and will be supplying all Catholic churches for Easter with matzoh for religious bread breaking. Rabbi Belsky a devout follower of the Vatican teachings and that of Jesus, has been personally asked by Pope Benedict to bless all the mazohs at the time of baking in accordance with christian custom. This will be a first time in history that mazoh will be baked jointly for foth Christian and Jewish ritual.

Jerusalem Post said...


Cancellation of 'Big Event' becomes a big event


It was going to be the biggest night of Lipa Shmeltzer's musical career.

The venue was reserved months in advance, thousands of tickets were sold, and hundreds of thousands of dollars had been funneled into organizing what would have been the largest haredi music performance yet.

The "Big Event," scheduled to take place on March 9 was to feature the popular haredi performer live at Madison Square Gardens singing hits from albums such as "Gam Zu Letovah" (This, too, is for the best) or the more recent "Lipa Baderech" (Lipa on the way).

Shmeltzer's albums have gained tremendous popularity within the American Hasidic community due in part to his innovations in fusing traditional Hasidic music with contemporary music styles. But for that very reason his
music has also been criticized and rejected by more conservative elements in the community. Some say he relies too much on the outside world for inspiration, others suggest his music pokes fun at haredi life. But above all haredim are fundamentally suspicious of entertainment for its own sake, because it goes against the very essence of what it means to be haredi.

Rabbis were consulted, and preparations were made to ensure the event was "kosher." Attendees were guaranteed exclusively separate seating for men and women. And the intermission was nixed to avoid unwanted mingling between the sexes.

But despite these precautions, just weeks before the event, two community leaders who oppose this kind of entertainment, Asher Friedman and Avraham
Shor began circulating a petition to ban the event for "lightheartedness" and "immorality." In the end 33 rabbis stunned the public with an announcement, published Feb. 20 in the religious daily Hamodia, prohibiting the concert.

The blogs and radio talk shows were hotbeds of discussion, as people weighed in on whether Shmeltzer and the producer Sheya Mendlowitz should cancel the show. The community was split. Some urged Shmeltzer to continue despite the ban. Many were hesitant to criticize the rabbis but questioned the timing of their announcement and the way the prohibition was handled. Vos Iz Neias (What's New?), a popular religious blog, held a readers poll earlier this week on whether Shmeltzer should pull out.

"In today's GOYISHE world its better to have a concert like the BIG EVENT rather then a real GOYISHE concert RM"L. Don't you think so?" one person wrote on the site.

Another wrote: "If people would taste even just once true spiritual pleasure they would not even entertain the thought of going to such a concert. In today's world every one is pursuing PLEASURE but the true rich pleasures of life are in a daf gemara."

Late Saturday night Shmeltzer signed a pledge that he would not perform, and soon after the concert was officially cancelled. But the decision was not easy. Seventy five percent of the over 5000 tickets were sold, and the show
was expected to sell out.

"I was supposed to make more money from this than from any show I ever made in my life," Shmeltzer told the Hamodia. But "When 33
Rabbanim from different kehillos sign something, it means that Hashem is telling me, 'Lipa stop this concert; I don't want this concert." On a voicemail message on his cell phone Shmeltzer stresses that "Everything is

Shmeltzer's response made him even more popular than before, and some went so far as to call him a hero for so quickly catering to the rabbis wishes.

But the brouhaha has continued well into its second week. Many are wondering why the prohibition came at such short notice, and who is to be held responsible for the hundreds of thousands of dollars accrued in losses.

Some suggest that the rabbis were dragged into signing the ban by Friedman and Shor, who petitioned them to sign the document without ever contacting the singer or the producers of the show to express their concerns.

"In the end it narrowed down to two people that went and obtained signatures in a very slimy and shady way, two very dangerous people," said Mendlowtiz, the producer of the show, who has been involved in the haredi music scene for almost 30 years. "If he (Friedman) had a problem with it, he knew about it more than two months ago, he should have called us to discuss it like a mensch, not caused so much chaos and loss of funds."

Mendlowitz says he is owed roughly $700,000. Initially Friedman offered to pay part of that sum, but under the condition that Mendlowitz sign off concerts forever. "Who's he to tell me not to do concerts, this is absolutely ridiculous," said Mendlowtiz. "They want to shut down the Jewish concert business, because they don't feel it's the proper place for their

Though listening to live concerts with instrumentation for pleasure's sake is technically prohibited in the last section of Hilchot Tisha Be'av, it has never been strictly followed and live performances happen on a weekly basis.

Some say it is Shmeltzer's popularity, and the success of the Big Event that eventually sparked the harsh response. Popular singers are relatively new to the haredi world, and Shmeltzer has become a star in ways never before seen. The popularity he has earned is typically reserved for rabbis, and some think that's where it should remain.

His popularity is also criticized because many of his fans are men and women who grew up haredi but have chosen to stray slightly from the hard-line approach. They may wear their beards a little shorter or keep their sidecurls hidden.

Also at issue is the music itself, which sometimes borrows from non-Jewish sources, and has been perceived at time to poke fun of haredim. Following the ban Shmeltzer agreed to stop singing these songs. "In the end I think
this kol korei (public announcement) gave me an opportunity to turn over a new leaf," Shmeltzer told Hamodia.

It is his pious attitude, and the fact that Shmeltzer is himself haredi, that makes him more threatening than other less haredi singers who have come before. The fear is he is managing to legitimize music and entertainment
many think should remain off-limits.

"I see what I do-performing and helping Yidden besimcha-as a shelichus and I use my talents from Hashem to bring joy to people's lives," Shmeltzer explained in a recent interview with Hamodia. "Obviously many in the frum community don't need me to make them besimcha, but many do. That's whom I speak and sing for."

Some suggest that the cancellation of the Big Event will significantly impact the future of the haredi music scene, but Medlowitz is confident concerts will continue as they have up till now. "There are many rabbis, and I respect all of them, but I have enough to rely on for what I'm doing."

Avremel Schorr said...


I'm surprised UOJ & LVF didn't catch on earlier that this was a Gerrorist action.

Vicky Polin said...

Once again, Rabbi Avi Shafran who is the public spokesperson (Director of Public Affairs) of Agudath Israel of America is speaking out on a topic he knows very little about.

A few years ago I went back and forth with Shafran in an e-mail exchange regarding various statistics and issues pertaining to survivors and sex offenders. Unfortunately, the folks Rabbi Avi Shafran was quoting included Ralph Underwager and Hollida Wakefield. For those of you who are unaware of these two psychologists, they are well known for defending alleged and convicted sex offenders. They are both known to support the propaganda that "we should all be fighting to protect the civil rights of pedophiles as we fight for gay rights." Several years both Underwager and Wakefield provided interviews for Paidika - a European pro-pedophile publication (see links below). After going around in circles several times, I finally let Rabbi Avi Shafran know about the controversy behind his experts who he was quoting.

Part 1: Paidika - a European pro-pedophile publication
Part 2: Paidika - a European pro-pedophile publication
We need to demand that the news media require Rabbi Avi Shafran to show his credentials, proving or disproving his expertise in the sexual violence field, prior to publishing articles by him. I think we all deserve to read accurate information instead of theories created by a man who feels the need to defend the rabbonim of charedi community. His writings are very similar to those who defend the Catholic church after years of covering sex crimes.

Dr. Michael Salamon said...

Michael J. Salamon, Ph.D., FICPP
Adult Developmental Center - Senior Psychologist/Director.

As the Long Island psychologist Rabbi Shafran refers to I feel the need to respond. I should first make it clear that references were included in the Jewish Press article but were edited out by the editorial staff. It should also be noted that in addition to psychology I have an advanced degree in research and statistics. As far as the data is concerned, the approach being used to understand it by Rabbi Shafarn is, as I explained to him elsewhere, is completely inaccurate. We are dealing with a design known in the field as survey research. This is not a simple case of comparing two medications or two distinct groups, as Rabbi Shafran would have us believe. In order to perform a survey of this type, data has to be drawn from the population and examined on its own. In fact, there have been approximately seven such studies done since the 1980's all with similar findings. Further the CDC and the NYC Department of Mental Health compile data that is publicly available for analysis. Gathering this information requires something referred to as a multi-trait multi-method approach. In other words, if all the studies arrive at similar finding, regardless of the techniques used or the specific sub-sample, than conclusions are increasingly valid. Such is the case here. As far as being critical of frum society I find that a fallacious comment not worthy of responding to. What is, however, most troubling is how easy it is to miss the real point. There is a problem that is not being adequately addressed.

OU's Bitch on the Beach said...

Shalom Tendler led both maariv & shacharis this Shabbos at the beach instead of inside the shul.

It's high time that Steve Savitsky & Nathan Diament get a wake up call from UOJ, especially since Belsky is still on board.

Matzah Fresser said...

I heard that a big chiddush from Tiferes Matzah bakery is that Belsky figured out a way to be mattir matzos that come from chometz. It's based on an obsolete theory on wheat fermentation percentages that Dr. Randy Shaver's great-grandfather wrote in a dissertation over 100 years ago.

Sruly Belsky said...

Hey UOJ,

We nipped the Manhattan & London concerts in the bud and you couldn't do anything to stop us.

What's your next move, big guy?

Anonymous said...

The only way we can get rid of these gedoylim is to stop supporting them. This would include not giving to them even when your best friend or family member or business associate is honored. Do not buy any product owned by a chareidi unless you know he (women are rarely in control) is known not to be a supporter of this crookedness. All grape juice produced in the US is KOSHER. All schools that ban the classics and don't teach their students enough to earn an honest income should be put out of business by any means.
I have personal knowledge of the finest of our organizations demanding fraudulent bills so that they could get more government money. To report them is mesirah, yet these brilliant gedolim are causing unknown damage to klal yisroel and are suppose to have nevuah and not make mistakes.
Please start to go after the mosdos and rebbes who are causing the Eisav hates Yaakov for no reason.

boog said...

Message to Usher Friedman- The Tenker Tinkerer:

Pay up to the Yesomim, NOW!

Rubashkin Fresser said...


Nothing like a little Mad Cow with that OU & Weissmandel approved steak or hamburger.

Rubashkin using Stun Guns for "Kosher" Meat said...


12/20/2005 – FSIS inspector issues NR stating “The establishment did not follow their prerequisite program for SRMs.” The heavily redacted nature of the document
leaves the specifics unclear, but the inspector was “called to the slaughter floor to observe the humane stunning of two animals that were inadvertently caught in the restrainer and could not be removed or ritually (Kosher) slaughtered. Both animals were humanely stunned with a captive bolt stunner, then dressed
according to the plant’s procedures for Kosher slaughtered beef.” The heads from these animals were “harvested and the product saved.”

Sewage & Fly Swarms meet Lubinsky's "Quality" Criteria said...


In 2007, Agriprocessors was subject to two Class I recalls.

Of three different recall classes, Class I is the most serious. According to the FSIS a Class I recall is “a health hazard situation where there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death,” http://www.fsis.usda.gov/OA/recalls/prelease/pr055-2002.htm

Over 30 citations were issued to the Gordon plant for sanitary conditions or recordkeeping
related to sanitary conditions. On 7/19/2006, inspectors took a regulatory control action due to overwhelming fly populations on the kill floor. On 1/15/2007, the plumbing system was found to be inadequate to convey sewage and waste, creating unsanitary
conditions on the kill floor, as well as on equipment. An inspector issued a noncompliance on 8/17/2006 for unsanitary facility conditions and the inspector noted
that the trash barrels “smelled like sewage.”

Shmarya said...

Rabbi Yaakov Horowitz Wimps Out –

The New Music Ban, part 11

Rabbi Yaakov Horowitz, 'rebbe' to many J-bloggers, was interviewed on the Zev Brenner Show last night. Rabbi Horowitz refused to comment on the Lipa Schmeltzer-concerts ban, even though that was the show's topic.

(I have posted the entire show as an mp3 file after the jump in the extended post below.)

Rabbi Horowitz pleaded with listeners to not criticize 'gedolim.' He claimed he's never heard Lipa sing (like he couldn't take 10 minutes before the show and listen), so he couldn't comment on any potential reasons for the ban.


Worse than that, Rabbi Horowitz has made a clear, open and deliberate choice. He has decided to…

…sacrifice truth and fair play in order to keep "at-risk" kids inside haredism.

In effect what Rabbi Horowitz said and wrote is telling kids the truth about gedolim will cause many of these kids to leave the fold. So avoid that problem – lie.

Another rabbi, forced to chose between truth and convenience, between truth and unfairness, between truth and deceit has again chosen to take the easy, disingenuous way out.

Rabbi Horowitz knows full well that many of the so-called gedloim who signed that ban are nothing more than thugs, our own Taliban-wannabes in shtreimlach and kapotes. He knows some of them were duped, some of them are doddering, and others have little to no concern for those outside their narrow circle.

And he knows the big 'secret' most of us know –the vast majority of those rabbis were never gedolim in the first place.

But he also knows if the hierarchical structure of the haredi community collapses, so does haredism. So, he makes his deal with the devil, so to speak.

I've had some personal contact with Rabbi Horowitz over the years. I like him. Until I saw his most recent column and heard him on Zev Brenner, I considered him to be a figure I could look up to.

In fact, in the dark of some nights, on the very rare occasions when I've thought about what I would do if I decided to return to Orthodox observance, I thought perhaps I'd rely on Rabbi Horowitz to guide me.

No more.

But it's not just no more for Rabbi Horowitz; it's no more for return, as well.


As I heard Rabbi Horowitz carefully avoiding saying anything about the 'gedolim' that could even remotely be construed as critical, as I heard him shill for a concept, daas torah, that has killed more Jews than many epidemics and that today destroys the lives of many children whose rabbis – shielded by daas torah – rape and abuse them, it finally clicked.

There may be good haredim, but there is no good haredism.

There is no haredism to return to.

Horowitz claimed the 'gedolim' years ago gave him a daas torah (i.e., told him it was a good idea) to push for more recreation for haredi youth. A woman called in an pointedly told Rabbi Horowitz that no yeshiva in Borough Park allows its students to go to concerts, take swimming lessons, or play sports. Most of the so-called gedolim live in? You got it, Borough Park.

Rabbi Horowitz was briefly taken aback. Then he did what any good haredi has been trained to do since birth. He blamed the victims and their parents.

If the school doesn't allow recreation, Rabbi Horowitz said, send your kid elsewhere. It's the parents' fault.

But it is not the parents' fault. When leaders with 'daas torah' say no sports, no recreation, and these leaders are the rabbis of these parents, then by Rabbi Horowitz's own theology, shilled for over and over again last night, the parents must listen to those 'gedolim.'

Every supportive point Rabbi Horowitz made was made in response to pointed questions from Zev Brenner or from listeners. On his own, he was nothing but a mouthpiece for the 'gedolim.'

If BeyondBT, that besotted blog of group think that uses Rabbi Horowitz as an adviser, had any guts, they'd dump HaRav HaGoan Horowitz. But they won't.

But many others in the J-blog world have looked up to Rabbi Horowitz. We linked to his columns. We heaped praise. We rooted for him.

Will this continue?

I hope not.

For you J-Bloggers who missed last night's broadcast, here it is as an mp3 file. Listen to it all. Note how Rabbi Horowitz constantly avoids answering tough questions. Note how he shills for the so-called gedolim. Note how he blames the victims, not the rabbis who (non-sexually, this time, at least) abused them. Realize that every good statement the man makes is drawn out of him by a persistent, tough question.

Then treat Rabbi Horowitz as he should be treated – a nicer, kinder version of Rabbi Avi Shafran. A company man, not an honest man – certainly not a rebbe.

Dr. Tuvya Chaim "Bungalow Putz" Neuhoff said...

I am against Sheya Mendlowitz productions of any kind.

UOJ Vigilante Squad said...


Which Tenker Friedman is this? The one who heads the shtiebel at O & 21st?

I thought the Tenkers would have more common sense and decency as the alter Tenker rov was one of the lone voices who came out in opposition of Kolko, Margo and the "No-Penetration" Rabbi in the 1980s.

boog said...

"Which Tenker Friedman is this? The one who heads the shtiebel at O & 21st?"

Nephew of the Tenke 21 Street Rabbi.

Rabbi Miller said...

I just heard that Two Big Gedolim, 1 from EY and 1 from usa just said that Usher friedman and Yisroel Schorr are both considered Rodfim and you may take them both to secular courts with out question.

Vere's Valdo? said...

Asher Friedman
(718) 851-9699
1338 41st St,
Brooklyn, NY 11218

Nechomos Yisroel
(718) 436-1084
1338 41st St,
Brooklyn, NY 11218


When a permit was had from the DOB in 2004, this address & cell phone number belonged to "M. Wosner" according to the application made to the City.

boog said...

From The How Deep Does The Drek Go Department!?

Anonymous said (On VIN)

I DON'T SEE WHY THE INNOCENT CONCERT GOERS SHOULD PAY FOR THIS FIASCO. GO BACK TO FRIEDMAN 718 851 9699, 718 755 4880 AT 1338 41 ST. OR SHOR 718 232 6145, 347 576 3248.

Anonymous said...

THIS UOJ character acts like his thoughts are so noble- hard to really believe him with all the crass little tidbits throughout- Sorry but the ends dont justify the means. There are little children looking at this- Whatever-I guess its hopeless.Even someone trying to "save Judaism" is crude and lewd-that does not bode well for us

Attn Mr. Anon Know it all at 7:51 PM said...

What little children see here pales in comparison to what Kolko would be doing to them in the YTT boiler room or Mondrowitz in the dingy basement of some chassidish yeshiva.

The kids parents are also to blame for letting them surf the internet unsupervised where they can view kol davar assur.

Get your sense of importance in order, chum.

Bungalow Yenta said...

Which rabbonim say Friedman and Schorr are rodfim?

Can anyone verify this? said...

A year or two ago, someone left a comment here that Schorr publicly called UOJ "yemach shmoy".

Is this true?

Ahavah said...

Anonymous 7:51:

Why aren't you supervising your children? None of us let our little children read it. And, for that matter, why is your little child on the internet in the first place? Or you, for that matter? Did someone forget to tell you it was banned? Or did you "forget" to subscribe to their uber-filtered provider service? Shame on you for disobeying the gedolim. What kind of Jew are you, anyway, fraternizing in the sinful blogosphere?

Ver Reeft? said...

Abraham Schorr
(718) 232-6145
1860 52nd St,
Brooklyn, NY 11204

Phil Jacobs said...

The "Catholic Conference of Orthodox Rabbis
By Phil Jacobs
Baltimore Jewish Times Blog - February 29, 2008

It was as controlled an environment as a fish tank. The temperature was right, the filter was working perfectly, there was enough food sprinkled on top for feeding.

Over 500 people don’t just come to a meeting on a freezing February night to hear what the Vaad HaRabbonim wanted them to hear. They, for the most part, ate the “fish food.”

Questions were controlled and filtered.

The man we really all came to hear was ostensibly silenced by a time limitation.

Rabbi Yaakov Hopfer, a man who knows of so much community pain and victimization, is given the opportunity to speak…for an inordinately long period of time. He took from the time we could have used to get yet another question in for Dr. Pelcovitz.

So before we start thumping our chests about what a wonderful success story last Wednesday night was, this was opportunity missed.

Hug your kid, make him tougher, call your rabbi. That’s right, keep it in the fish tank, in the filtered water, in the community.

That’s pretty much all you have to know.

A letter from the Vaad went out on April 11 of 2007. Ten months later, we have a meeting. Did it ever occur to anyone why the numbers were so high at this meeting? Was it because we had nothing else to do on a Wednesday night? People are hurting. They need help. Some looked around the room nervously and took note of the friends and neighbors they saw there.

Where were the civil authorities to address us? Molestation is a felony, isn’t it? Who do we call if we suspect something is wrong, a rabbi? Should I call a rabbi if I see a house burning down?
Should I call a rabbi if a kid breaks his arm? Should I call a salesman if I want to learn about Shabbat?

Don’t accept last Wednesday evening. Demand that something better be presented.

Where were the 23 who so “bravely” signed that letter last April 11? I’d say less than half attended. A couple of the rabbis even left early

Maybe we should have a meeting without the rabbis. Maybe we’d feel less inhibited about asking real questions. Rabbis, did you look around the sanctuary last Wednesday? Did it dawn on you that some of these people were perhaps coming because they needed to be saved some how?

A small handful of rabbis showed admirable effort getting a full house last week. You brought the issue to the front, which I give you total credit for.

But we are all still wondering what to do now? Do we wait another 10 months?

The name of the program was “How To Protect Our Children.” An obviously frustrated man sitting near me had his own name for the evening. He simply renamed it a meeting of the “Catholic Conference of Orthodox Rabbis.”

Anonymous said...

Of course there are worse things out ther-I'm just saying that it is very pathetic that a person thinks he can save judaism while being a crass pig-thats very twisted. And im not a mr.

Anonymous said...

Aron Twerski's eidim Meilech Miller, a menahel in Bobov, works for Nechomas Yisroel although he's a quiet guy who is not prone to run around like a shlepper for signatures.

The extent of his involvement as far as I know is to be one of the rotating hosts for meetings and listen to a bunch of big mouths kvetch about the world's ills in his dining room. I was at one of those meetings many years ago. One self-styled askan was grumbling in his Hungarian accent that girls from Shulamis high school in Flatbush arrrr frrraterrnizing vit strrange men on da strreets.

Flatbush Askan said...

R' Shmuel Kaminetzky is very involved with Friedman's group at speaks at their events.

Anonymous said...

8:53, Mr. Putz
You're the pig.

Hamodia Diarrhea leaves out Margo & Belsky said...



Latest kol koray split into 2 JPG files.

boog said...

Why was tonight's mixed seating HASC concert not banned with a KK by Friedman and Schorr?

Schorr, you talk a big pious game, but you're a phony!

And where have the other 31 "D-ass Toiyreh" Heilige Rabbunim signatories disappeared to?

Hey Friedman, Dann Helige Zaide, ah Tzaddik! Z'L is not shepping Naches from you.

Anonymous said...

how am i a pig? oh-because i'm not going along with the theory that everything goes when confronting a molestor-excuse me for STILL having a conscience

Anonymous said...

face it- the fact that nobody is agreeing with me proves my point...-just continue making fun and ridiculing everyone under the sun-whatever floats your boat. i guess the only aveiros out there all belong to gedolim....this website-no-this web site is holy-i mean there are molestors out there-compared to them-this website is kadosh,right?

Anonymous said...

its very disheartening to know that there are evil rabbis out there. its equally disheartening to me to see how the "regular folk" are.i guess i'll shut up now-im ruining all the fun

Ahavah said...

Anonymous 9:34, (aka anon 8:53 and 7:51)

Then why are you still reading it?

And why are you afraid to actually sign your name?

Anonymous said...

I mean-if you're telling us that basically all daas torah is messed up-and this site with all of it's CUTE viagara pictures is obviously messed up-then what do you suggest for the masses-should we try the moon? mars(no i will not say that other planet that im sure some well honed dirty mind will retort)

Anonymous said...

My son who is 14 told me tocheck out this site that everyone in yeshivah is talking about

Anonymous said...

im not signing my name because after reading a little bit-im ashamed to be here-but i just want to see if anybody has anything to answer me to make me feel better. looks like its just another case of"it is what it is" im not looking for a fight-just any sign of life here-not getting any-just boring schmutz-bye bye

Anonymous said...

Breaking the language barrier

By Tamar Rotem HAARETZ

Tags: Haredim, English, success

"Want to be successful?" reads a tiny advertisement for English lessons, printed in a free weekly stuffed into mailboxes in Jerusalem's ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods. The ad is one indication of the growing popularity of English in the country?s Haredi community.

"There's an awareness now of the importance of knowing another language," says S., an English teacher from Jerusalem. "Parents who don't know English want to give their children the tools they themselves never had, because you never know where life can lead you. They understand that a basic knowledge of English is no longer sufficient and that one must have a rich vocabulary and a reasonable level of conversational ability."

This energetic teacher can be reached only after 11 P.M., when she finishes giving private lessons at her home. "The demand is insane," she says, almost apologetically.

Information about English classes in private homes is passed on by word of mouth. The classes and private lessons are intended solely for girls, although S. says she has recently noticed an interest among Haredi boys as well. She has students from all sectors of the Haredi community. "This year I received inquiries from Lithuanians and Hasidim. Each week I refer new students to other teachers, because I don't have space."

Another teacher, from Bnei Brak, says that yeshiva students come to her in secret for tutoring. She staggers the sessions slightly to prevent awkward encounters between her pupils. "If people found out that they are studying English privately, it could harm their matchmaking prospects," she explains.

The popularity of private English tutoring gives expression to the deepest longings within the Haredi community: the desire for success, as the ad seems to promise - if not for oneself, at least for one's children, who might attain it in the highly respected field of high-tech. It is no secret that most Israeli-born Haredi men have a poor command of English, the outcome of an ideology that frowns on any form of secular study for boys, who should be spending all their time learning Talmud.

While Haredi functionaries are outraged by the Education Ministry's demand that their schools adopt its compulsory core curriculum, more and more young couples with a connection to the work force are searching for an indirect way to help their children close the educational gap vis-a-vis their non-Haredi counterparts. English is considered the most important nonreligious subject.

Clandestine affair

G., a teachers' college graduate, and her husband A., a former yeshiva student, live in Jerusalem. They send their children to after-school programs and provide them with software, textbooks and encyclopedias to help close the education gap. The children study at their own pace, after their long school day. Like his wife, A. is in his 20s; he currently attends an academic institution. Although he admits that he has difficulty with English, he is not frustrated. "Academic institutions will never change their demands," he notes with a shrug.

This year, for the first time, G. was able to get together enough parents to persuade S. to open an English class for boys. Ten boys, including three of G.?s sons, attend it. "My father asked me why we need English. He is afraid of what the heads of my sons' heder (elementary school?=) might say." Her sons, in grades 2, 3 and 5, apparently prefer not to talk about their English lessons at school.

Despite the growing demand, English classes are still a clandestine affair in the Haredi community. It might be because the study of English is associated with the strict prohibition against the study of foreign languages (except for Yiddish), imposed on Jerusalem's Ashkenazi community 150 years ago. The Haredi ambivalence toward the study of foreign languages is strongest in Jerusalem.

The rabbis realized long ago that a language is not just a means of communication, it is the ticket to the wider world. The prohibition was aimed at creating a mental barrier to secularism and assimilation. During the Enlightenment, many yeshiva students broke through this barrier. That is one of the reasons for the ban issued in Jerusalem in the second half of the 19th century, after the opening of schools taught in a foreign language, such as Lemel (German), Alliance Israelite Universelle (French) and Evelina de Rothschild (English). The ban was intensified periodically, whenever the rabbis sensed a growing threat to their community. During the British Mandate, for example, the ban was tightened due to the fear of teenage girls talking with British soldiers.

There were ways to get around the prohibition, however. Some people moved to Jerusalem?s outskirts, such as Moshav Ora or Givat Shaul, and studied there. Occasionally, parents were permitted to rent rooms near their children?s heder for private English lessons.

Today, English is taught at all Haredi schools for girls (with the exception of the most extreme sects). Girls from families that observe the ban learn English in pairs, rather than with the rest of the class.

While the ban did not prevent Haredim from learning modern Hebrew, it was effective with regard to English. Only now does it appear that members of the community have begun recognizing the importance of knowing English. The head of English studies at a large Haredi girls' school admits that the community "didn't take the subject seriously enough." At her school, she says, the level of English language studies has greatly improved. The change has led the elementary schools to put more emphasis on English to ensure that their graduates can gain admittance to her school. "I've never heard anyone say that English isn't necessary," she says. "English is a very important language.

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

Asian stocks savaged as dollar plumbs new depths

By Tom Miles

HONG KONG (Reuters) - The dollar fell to a record low against a basket of currencies on Monday, dragging Asian stock markets down and compounding worries about a likely U.S. recession and more write-downs in the global financial sector.

A sliding dollar boosted safe-haven bonds and sent gold to a record high in Asia.

The dollar fell as low as 73.551 (.DXY) against a basket of six major currencies, taking it to the lowest since the index was started in 1973. It ploughed below 103 yen as a sell-off in Wall Street last Friday spurred an unwinding of carry trades.

The falling currency sent spot gold to a record high of $980.75 an ounce but hurt share prices, with Japan's Nikkei average stock price index (.N225) down 4 percent by 0147 GMT.

Exporters such as Honda Motor Co (7267.T) and Sony Corp (6758.T) were both trampled down more than 4 percent in the rush to get out of the stock market.

Asian stocks outside Japan, gauged by MSCI's index (.MIAPJ0000PUS), were down 2 percent, with the main Sydney (.AXJO) and Seoul (.KS11) indices both off about 3 percent.

"This is typical when you get into an early bear market, there are no real positives out there," said David Spry, research manager at F.W. Holst in Australia.

"There are a lot of pressures, but the real issue is around earnings, and profit expectations have been lowered. On top of that you have (rising) interest rates, the U.S. is going to get worse before it gets better, and credit markets are very tight."

Global investors have been glued to their screens for months for any sign that the U.S. economic malaise could spread around the world, with a falling dollar undermining Asia's exports and pushing prices for dollar-denominated commodities ever higher.


Last week's testimony by U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, in which he warned some small U.S. banks could fail and signaled more rate cuts might be needed, re-ignited the fears of recession that made January such a bloodbath for equity markets.

The latest round of weak U.S. economic data added to those fears on Friday, while a record loss at insurer American International Group Inc (AIG.N) underscored worries about more write-downs in the financial sector.

The major indexes fell more than 2 percent and ended the month in the red for the fourth month in a row. It marks the longest string of monthly losses for the Dow (.DJI) and S&P 500 (.SPX) since 2002.

Bernanke is due to speak again on Tuesday and analysts assume he will reiterate his willingness to cut rates even in the face of rising inflation.

The Reserve Bank of Australia is expected to lift rates to 7.25 percent from the current 11-year high of 7 percent, while the European Central Bank, the Bank of England, the Bank of Japan and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand are expected to hold steady.

But analysts were wary that ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet would soften his tone.

"The risk is that Trichet gives a nod to the deepening credit crunch and the recent signs of softness in the euro area," said Robert Rennie, chief currency strategist at Westpac. "If so, that could hurt the euro.

"On the other hand, the flow of U.S. data this week is likely to be dire, keeping the pressure on the Fed and the dollar," he added.

With stocks seeing red, investors looked for reliable returns elsewhere, driving up prices for fixed-income government bonds.

The scramble for sovereign debt pushed the yield on two-year U.S. Treasury notes down to 1.588 percent, the lowest since early 2004.

Japanese government bond futures also jumped to a fresh one-month high, with March 10-year futures at 138.74.

(Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

Tokyo Putz said...

He's not publicly traded but we hear Belsky has been hitting record lows too.

Bulletin said...


Sunday, March 02, 2008

Could this Be Another Victim of Rabbi Ephraim Shapiro?

In the winter of 1955, a 15-year-old by the name of Malcolm Walter Caplan passed away suddenly and shockingly.

He was a member of the Agudas Achim Synagogue and a teen who played his sandlot sports at the Towanda Playground.

The Jewish Times obit reported that he was the son of Harry and Tillie Caplan and the brother of Jeffrey Caplan. The family lived on Oswego.

If you remember Malcolm Caplan or know how to get in touch with any of his relatives, please call Phil Jacobs at 410-468-2711.

Jesse Jerkson said...

Keep hope alive!


Women's rights groups: Katsav ruling made us lose faith in the justice system

Hundreds march in Tel Aviv in protest of High Court's decision to uphold plea bargain signed between State, former president. 'Womens' sense of security shaken,' rights group says

Yael Branovsky Published: 02.27.08

Rabbi Eli Teitelbaum said...

Eckstein published an article from R' Teitelbaum and removed this important paragraph from it.


Things haven’t changed much since ancient times. Today, too, we have self proclaimed agitators and charlatans who have nothing to do with their time but to go around to our leading Torah sages and try to convince them that separate-seating concerts are a threat to our Yiddishkeit and to ban them. They falsely claim that there is pritzus in the hallways plus other fabrications. Exaggeration is a blood relative to falsehood, and almost as bad. A gossip is one who can give you all the details without knowing all the facts. Unfortunately, they often succeed in their mission. All it took was one Korach to convince the 250 heads of Sanhedrin of the holiness and purity of his mission.

Observant Jew said...

I didn't listen to the recording of Rabbi Yankel Horowitz but the often sensible blogger Garnel Ironheart says Shmarya is twisting his words out of context. Rabbi Horowitz responded to an upset woman, saying that if she thinks her kids yeshiva is messed up, she should switch them to a more sensible yeshiva. Shmarya twisted this into Horowitz blaming parents for gedolim not allowing concerts and swimming in Boro Park yeshivos.

And the fact that Shmarya admits in that angry rant that he is no longer observant speaks volumes of his axe to grind.

Rabbonim taking Positions to Avoid Lawsuits said...


VIN News has learned that many gedolim will come out tonight with a P'sak, stating that those people who want to help make a Kidish Hashem should donate the BIG EVENT tickets fund they bought and can claim it as Ma'aser money for tzedakah.

leading this effort is world-renowned Torah personality Rabbi Dovid Goldwasser.

Anonymous said...

Someone wrote on FM that Sheya Mendlowitz's first response is to sue Lipa Schmeltzer before going after the Rabbunim.

Incognito said...

A rov told me last night that the rabbonim don't really care about the mixed seating concerts as they think the patrons are lost causes anyway. They do have a problem when an event is promoted al kedushas hatahara where Lipa is acting like an Elvis impersonator or tryout for American Idol. Their big fear is that the purest among us will be corrupted.

Rabbi DW said...

The producer can sue Lipa for breach of contract and the rabbis for tortious interference with a valid contract. The Garden's contract is probably pretty ironclad by now. Generally they will not allow cancellation so close to the contract date as they canno rebook. The conceession staff may also be entitled to be paid depending on the language of the contract. Tell me, do you think that you can book 100 rooms for pesach in a hotel and then cancel 3 days before yom tov and not be liable? Most sophisticated contracts, and I am sure MSG has good attorneys, protect the company againdt cancellation and their is probably a substantial sum already being held in escrow that is now forfeit. MSG does not work on pledges.

Noclue said...

Whatever else, there is no action against the Rabbis for tortuous interference with contract because the actions they took are protected by the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of religion. Indeed, since they only used words, their action is protected by the Freedom of Speech clause even if it was not otherwise protected.

The Rabbis merely announced what Jewish law is and that, in their opinion, under Jewish law the concert was not permitted. Even had they put all the persons involved in Cherem their actions would be protected.

You may not like this, but it is reality. (Do not take this in any way to mean I agree with the ban, I do not.)

Most Rabbonim Today are Cowards said...

Wasn't Nechomas Yisroel started by Rav Pam ztl? How did it get hijacked by Friedman?

Rabbi DW said...

My understanding is that Lipa was threatened if he did not back off the contract. He was threatened with loss of income and his children were threatened with expulsion from their schools. It sounds almost criminal, and definitely tortious. Asc far as religious freedom, even that is not unlimited. Have you seen what the courts do to renegade mormons use of the religious defense in polygamy trials? It ignores the defense and sends people to jail. What would really be interesting is for the Rabbis to say why this concert went over the religious line as opposed to the circus and other concerts. It would seem to me to be a matter personal to Lipa, rather than a universal law. You never know what a jury would do, but I would not take the Rabbi's case. I would take the case of the producer.

Noclue said...

The case does not go to a jury. The rabbis do not have to justify their religious decisions because secular courts have consistently refused to resolve or get involved in matters of religious law.

As long as the threats did not consist of physical or otherwise illegal force then the Rabbis actions are protected. You may not like this conclusion or agree with it, but it accurately reflects the law as held by all courts. The protection extends to threats of boycotts of Lipa in the future and expulsion of his children from schools.

Rubashkin's Biggest Nightmare said...


WASHINGTON (AP)--A U.S. Senate spending panel chairman urged the Agriculture Department Thursday to install cameras in slaughterhouses and take other steps to ensure meat safety

Special Prosecutor Still Investigating Rubashkin said...


There were more than 30 sanitation violations alleged, including instances of sewage on the kill floor, insect infestations and pieces of fat littering the employee locker room.

Agriprocessors vice president Sholom Rubashkin said the union's allegations are an attempt to hurt his business because his workers have voted against unionizing for the past three years.

'The union is not the authority for wholesomeness,' he said. 'All they are tying to do is make these allegations to dirty someone's name and hurt commerce.'

But he stopped short of denying the violations: 'I don't have to deny it. Every pound of meat that goes out of the facility is USDA certified.'

Among the findings in the union report:

-- The plant didn't test any of its beef for E. coli on June 23, 2006, and failed to 'retain records of test results for 12 months' thereafter.

-- On January, 17, 2006, the report stated, an inspector noticed a food-safety issue and told the plant manager not ship the beef and lamb slaughtered that day. But, part of the beef and all of the lamb had already been shipped.

Local Pride opened in June 2006 under an agreement between the Rubashkin family of New York and the Oglala Sioux Tribe of South Dakota's Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. The plant employs 60 to 80 workers, according to Rubashkin.

The USDA and the Orthodox Union, the nation's leading kosher certifier, increased their monitoring of the plant in July, after People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals filed a complaint alleging animal mistreatment.

A special prosecutor was named to investigation the claims, but as of Friday, no charges had been filed in Sheridan County District Court.

The Rubashkins also own the world's largest kosher plant, Agriprocessors in Postville, Iowa.

In August of last year, the union issued a report raising concerns about sanitation conditions at the Postville plant, also citing USDA violations.

Rubashkin responded to the allegations at the Postville plant in a Nov. 14 letter to customers. In it, he said, 'The food we produce at Agriprocessors is safe and wholesome. You have my word on it.'

He also blamed that attack on failed efforts to unionize his workers.

Gordon is in northwest Nebraska, roughly 15 miles from the South Dakota border.

USDA's Food Inspection & Safety Service said...


Many kosher restaurants & take out stores are not careful when preparing foods with eggs. Besides that it is very unappetizing to suddenly chew crunchy eggshell pieces in your food, the outside of eggshells can be contaminated with salmonella poisoning.

La La Rubashkin Kishkes said...

I never even knew Rubashkin makes them. That's another thing you have to make sure caterers & take out stores are not using.



Congressional and Public Affairs
(202) 720-9113
Steven Cohen

WASHINGTON, July 6, 2007 - Agriprocessors, Inc., a Postville, Iowa, establishment is recalling approximately 35,860 pounds of frozen beef and chicken products because they may contain egg albumen, a known allergen, which is not declared on the label.

The following products are subject to recall: [View Labels]
20-pound bulk boxes of "AARON'S BEST NUGGET SHAPED CHICKEN BREAST PATTIES, GLATT KOSHER, FULLY COOKED." Each box contains the code "8692-1" and establishment number "P 4653A" inside the USDA mark of inspection.
20-pound bulk boxes of "AARON'S BEST MEATBALLS, MADE WITH BEEF, GLATT KOSHER, FULLY COOKED." Each box contains the code "8698-1" and the establishment number "EST. 4653A" inside the USDA mark of inspection.
12-pound boxes of "RUBASHKIN'S, AARON'S BEST, GLATT KOSHER Kishka, Fully Cooked." Each box contains the code "3852-1" and the establishment number "EST. 4653A" inside the USDA mark of inspection.
1-pound packages of "RUBASHKIN'S, AARON'S BEST, GLATT KOSHER Kishka, Fully Cooked." Each package contains the establishment number "EST. 4653A" inside the USDA mark of inspection and a date code of "014-07," "015-07," "040-07" or "042-07."

The frozen chicken and beef products were produced on various dates between Jan. 14 and July 3 and were distributed to food service establishments and institutions nationwide. In addition, the one-pound packages of Kishka were also distributed through retail stores.

The problem was discovered by FSIS. There have been no reports of illness to FSIS or the company due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about an allergic reaction should contact a physician.

Consumers and media with questions about the recall should contact company Technical Services Director William Kiernan at (563) 864-7811, ext. 2915.

Consumers with food safety questions can "Ask Karen," the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at AskKaren.gov. The toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) is available in English and Spanish and can be reached from l0 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day.

OU-Approved Rubashkin Spinal Cords & eColi said...


03-Mar-2008 - A new report accuses Agriprocessors, the largest kosher meat firm in the US, of violating food safety laws and failing to protect consumers from the risk of E.coli and mad cow disease.

The claims could put further pressure on the country's meat processors to step up to the food safety mark, as US lawmakers are now cracking down on food safety plants across the country.

The latest report was compiled by the United Food and Commercial Workers union (UFCW) from Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) documents, and details a number of food safety incidences that allegedly took place at Agriprocessors' Nebraska plant between 2005 and 2007.

According to the union, the company failed separate specified risk material (SRM) such as the spinal cord from meat products, "including one occasion in which products containing SRM was labelled, weighed and taped shut."

SRM material must by law be removed from the food chain due to the risk of mad cow disease, an acute infectious disease which causes fever and blisters, especially in the mouth and on the feet of animals such as cows, sheep and pigs.

The plant was also accused of transmitting the E. coli bacteria, a pathogen that can cause severe human food poisoning, through its meat. The report claims that the firm improperly tested for the bacteria on a number of occasions, leading to a non-compliance (NR) record being issued in March 2007.

The report claims in addition that the firm failed to comply with over 20 hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) controls - rules that are a systematic preventative approach to food safety aiming to spot hazards during the manufacturing process - and operated its plant in an unsanitary manner.

For example, FSIS found "overwhelming fly populations" in the plant, and stated that the plumbing system was inadequate to convey sewage and waste.

The company was issued with more than 115 non-compliance records in total, the report states.

However, Agriprocessors vice president Sholom Rubashkin told Forbes news agency that the union's allegations were an attempt to hurt the business as the workers have voted against unionizing for the past three years.

"The union is not the authority for wholesomeness," he said. "All they are tying to do is make these allegations to dirty someone's name and hurt commerce."

Anonymous said...

March 3, 2008

A Clash Between Popular Culture and Orthodox Piety


For thousands of Orthodox Jews, the “Big Event” — a concert featuring the popular Hasidic entertainer Lipa Schmeltzer — was supposed to happen next Sunday at the WaMu Theater at Madison Square Garden. But fans and organizers were shocked to learn late last month that a group of rabbis had issued an edict against the show, effectively canceling it.

The decree, published in Hebrew in the Orthodox newspaper Hamodia and signed by 33 rabbis, warned that the sight of dancing and singing performers would cause “ribaldry and lightheadedness” that would lure young people away from spiritual purity. It prohibited Orthodox Jews from attending the concert and called on Mr. Schmeltzer to back out.

The ban has inflamed tensions among ultra-Orthodox Jews over how to address the influences of popular culture, and it has thrust what has largely been an internal debate into public view.

Assemblyman Dov Hikind, whose Brooklyn district includes many Hasidic neighborhoods, said the ban had triggered unprecedented dissent and outrage among Hasidim. “In all my 26 years of representing this community, I can’t remember anything that has so shaken the people,” Mr. Hikind said on Sunday.

The growing fame of Mr. Schmeltzer, who weaves pop melodies with traditional Hasidic songs, has troubled some Hasidim, who have chided him for introducing Jewish youth to secular musical styles. Others fear his popularity could rival that of the rabbis, who wield spiritual authority over Hasidic daily life.

In an effort to assuage those fears and uphold the religious practice of modesty, the concert organizers had promised separate entrances and seating for the more than 5,000 men and women who had been expected to attend, and Mr. Schmeltzer had agreed to perform only traditional Hasidic songs.

But that was not enough to prevent two community leaders in Brooklyn from mobilizing opposition to the show, which was raising money for an Israeli charity that finances weddings for orphans. In late February, the two men, Asher Friedman and Rabbi Avraham Shor, demanded that the concert be canceled. Using the text of an edict that had been used to ban a concert in Israel, they warned that the concert would “strip the youth of every shred of fear of heaven.” They said they were acting on behalf of a group of Israeli rabbis, and ultimately, 33 American rabbis signed the edict.

Sheya Mendlowitz, the concert’s producer, said Mr. Friedman and Mr. Shor had known about the concert for months but had acted without warning, just two weeks before the show, causing $700,000 in losses.

“These two activists stirred up all the trouble,” said Mr. Mendlowitz, who has worked in the Hasidic music business for 27 years. “They just wanted to sabotage us.”

Days later, Mr. Schmeltzer, who lives in Monsey, N.Y., announced that he would not perform. In an interview on Rabbi Zev J. Brenner’s syndicated radio program, he said that he had no choice but to obey the decree. “I have a career, I have a wife and kids to support, I have a mortgage to pay, I have to get out of the fire,” Mr. Schmeltzer said. He then withdrew from a concert in London as well.

When Mr. Mendlowitz canceled the show, he insisted that advertisers, Madison Square Garden and the more than 3,000 ticket holders — who paid between $50 and $500 — would be reimbursed. He added that Mr. Friedman had offered to help offset the losses — but only if Mr. Mendlowitz agreed to retire from the Hasidic concert business, a condition Mr. Mendlowitz rejected.

A man answering Mr. Friedman’s cellphone, who declined to identify himself, refused to discuss the concert.

The controversy has provided a rare glimpse into the deeply secretive Hasidic world. In recent days, debate over the ban has raged on blogs and on the radio, which provide participants the anonymity to challenge their religious leaders. “The rabbis are dictators,” said one writer on the blog Vos Iz Neias. Others defended their spiritual leaders, saying that they were protecting young people. “Our rabbis must know more than we do, what effect this concert, or the performers in general have on our children,” wrote another.

Some critics say the rabbis were manipulated, and one signer, Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetzky of Philadelphia, told Hamodia that the rabbis did not verify the claim that the edict had been approved by Israeli rabbis. “Usually we meet together. This time, with time pressing, we did not meet together, and maybe it was not the right thing,” he said, according to Hamodia.

But Rabbi Brenner said that despite any misgivings, there was no indication that the rabbis were prepared to rescind the ban, which could call their infallibility into question. “They have the weight of the Torah behind them,” he said. “I don’t recall a ban ever being lifted.”

Assemblyman Hikind said he planned to meet with the rabbis involved. “Suddenly, when it comes to faith in the rabbis, there is this big question mark,” he said. “And when you don’t explain to the young people, you lose them, plain and simple.”

Warren Buffet Copies UOJ said...

Buffett says U.S. in recession 49 minutes ago

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Billionaire investor Warren Buffett said on Monday the U.S. economy is in recession and "stocks are not cheap."

Speaking on CNBC television, Buffett also said he is no longer offering to guarantee $800 billion of municipal bonds backed by MBIA Inc (MBI.N), Ambac Financial Group Inc (ABK.N) and FGIC Corp, three large bond insurers.

Buffett said that "from a common-sense standpoint right now, we're in a recession," though the U.S. economy has not yet recorded two straight quarters of declining gross domestic product, a traditional indicator of recession.

He said the environment is "nothing like '73 or '74 yet," referring to a deep economic downturn also marked by rising oil prices, higher inflation and falling stocks.

Still, he said investors should not rule out a significant economic downturn, and that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has a "very tough balancing act" in trying to boost economic growth without kindling inflation. Buffett said there is a fair chance that inflation may ignite in a "serious way."

On Friday, Buffett's insurance and investment company Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRKa.N) (BRKb.N) reported an 18 percent decline in fourth-quarter profit. This stemmed in part from weakness in businesses linked to housing, including units that make bricks and carpet, and that offer real estate brokerage services.

Buffett said he is finding more buying opportunities in stocks following a 16 percent decline in the Standard & Poor's 500 (.SPX) stock index from its recent high in October.

"I find more things to look at now than I did six months or a year ago," Buffett said. But he acknowledged that conditions have changed "more dramatically" in the bond market. Berkshire last year spent $19.11 billion on stocks and $13.39 billion on bonds.

Falling security values and liquidity have pummeled bond insurers, which normally insure relatively safe municipal bonds but also guaranteed billions of dollars of riskier debt, often tied to subprime mortgages.

On February 12, Buffett offered to reinsure $800 billion of municipal bonds, but only at a steep premium. The offer did not include the riskier debt. Bond insurers rejected the offer and have been seeking new sources of capital or possibly breaking themselves up.

Buffett on Monday said his earlier offer was "not on the table." In December, he started his own bond insurer, Berkshire Hathaway Assurance Corp.

Since 1965, Buffett has transformed Berkshire Hathaway Inc into a $216 billion conglomerate by acquiring out-of-favor companies with strong earnings and management, and investing in stocks. Berkshire said it has 76 operating companies that sell such things as insurance, ice cream, paint and underwear.

Berkshire's Class A shares closed Friday at $140,000. Through Friday, they had risen 32 percent in the last year.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel; Additional reporting by Kevin Plumberg and Dan Wilchins; Editing by Derek Caney and John Wallace)

Buyer Beware said...

Cadbury UK is under the London Beis Din. Cadbury USA is under the OU.


In June Cadbury was fined £1m after pleaded guilty in a UK court to three breaches of the country's food and hygiene regulations, admitting it was responsible for allowing salmonella-contaminated chocolate to be sold on the market last year.

The company was forced to recall about one million chocolate bars after 37 people fell sick across the country due to salmonella. Cadbury was cited as failing at the time to follow new EU-wide hygiene rules, known as Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) analysis.

Many Pastas from Italy have OU or OK said...


With the head of Europe's largest wheat mill under arrest, pasta makers are checking their supplies to see whether any came from a stock found to be contaminated with a cancer-causing toxin.

Francesco Casillo, the head of Molino Casillo, was arrested for allegedly adulterating stocks with contaminated wheat after a joint investigation by Italy's agricultural ministry and the fraud police.

The arrest follows the discovery that wheat imported from Canada was contaminated with ocratoxin, a carcinogenic substance. About 58,000 tonnes of durum wheat was confiscated at the port of Bari.

A statement by the minister of agriculture, Gianni Alemanno, says the case shows the need for stricter controls on tracing and tracking food imports. He said it also proved that Italy's system of safety inspections and tests was helping to keep contaminated food off the shelves.

"Once more foreign products have presented the greatest risk of counterfeiting and fraud, an episode that confirms the necessity of reinforcing label of origin guarantees on food products, to increase the protection both of consumers and producers who invest in quality," he stated in a press release today.

The ministry said Casillo had been arrested by customs police, who carried out an arrest warrant for a charge of tampering and counterfeiting of foodstuffs, as well as poisoning of foodstuffs.

The arrest warrant was issued by the preliminary investigative judge Michele Nardi. The judge is investigating the import from Canada of grain contaminated with cancer-causing toxins, which was shown to be over legal limits on an load seized last September onboard a ship in the port of Bari, according to a statement translated by AGI Online on behalf of the Italian government.

Italy's family-owned Molino Casillo is a group of four mills situated in southern Italy. The company says it is the European leader in the production of semolina for pasta and is the world's largest private buyer of durum wheat.

Molino Casillo buys about one million tonnes of durum wheat a year. and is one of the principal market makers in durum wheat and semolina.

A company spokesperson refused to speak to the media after contacted by FoodProductionDaily.com. He said someone would be available for comment this afternoon.

World production of durum wheat is forecast to fall to 35.4 million tonnes for the 2004 to 2005 growing season, down 5.8 million tonnes from the previous season.

Canada, one of the world's largest producers of durum wheat, sells about 40 per cent of its supply to Italy, according tow AWB Consultancy.

Italy's production the previous growing season fell by 33 per cent and is forecast to be unchanged or possibly lower this season, AWB stated.

Ocratoxin is produced by several fungi and occurs naturally in a variety of plant products such as cereals, coffee beans, beans, pulses and dried fruit.

It has been detected also in products such as coffee, wine, beer and grape juice.

Its presence depends on climatic conditions, abnormally long storage, transportation, wet or dry milling, roasting procedures and fermentation.

High concentrations in foods have been linked with damage to kidney function.

Anonymous said...

New York Magazine


Rabbinical Rant Cancels MSG Benefit
Secular tunes? Feh!

By Hella Winston
Published Mar 3, 2008

The wildly popular Hasidic wedding singer Lipa Schmeltzer was scheduled to headline “The Big Event,” a heavily promoted charity concert geared toward ultra-Orthodox Jews, at Madison Square Garden’s WaMu Theater on March 9. But after a group of 33 rabbis issued a decree banning the concert, he bowed out last week, forcing organizers to cancel the event. The rabbis published their fatwa in an ultra-Orthodox newspaper on February 20, arguing that the concert—with separate seating for men and women—would “cause frivolity and levity” and “remove from our youth any speck of the fear of God and cause them to fall into the lowest of depths.” Schmeltzer is known for setting his Hebrew and Yiddish lyrics to popular, secular melodies, including songs by the Spice Girls. The singer told the Orthodox radio show “Talkline” that the rabbis behind the ban were duped into signing on by extremist anti-Schmeltzerites who object to that practice and to his lively onstage banter. The pressure seems to have made a convert of the singer: He now says he’ll perform only Jewish music.

NY Times reads UOJ said...

"A man answering Mr. Friedman’s cellphone, who declined to identify himself, refused to discuss the concert. "

Where do you think they got Friedman's cell number from?

Heads Up to UOJ & Friends said...

The Talabanis are circulating rumors that Lipa "hott teshuva getonn" and that Sheya Mendlowitz deserves to lose his $1 million and more for daring to speak against the rabbonim.

Even sensible rabbonim who did not agree in signing are falling for this.

Via Machane Belsky said...

"They're upset at Mendlowitz because he brought in Matisyahu to the HASC concert"

Hey Belsky, is that enough for all the rabonim to make him go on welfare?

Larry Gordon of 5 Towns Jewish Times agrees with the issur? said...


As long as it’s the topic of the day in many circles, let me comment on the recent cancellation of the Big Event concert that had been scheduled to take place in the theater of Madison Square Garden on March 9. Due to rabbinic pressure, that program has been cancelled.

This has generated a lot of discussion and debate. There’s also a great deal of speculation surrounding what the catalyst of the ban on this particular program was in contrast to other concert programs, which will hopefully go forward.

The featured performer was scheduled to be Lipa Schmeltzer, a talented, creative, and energetic—as well as controversial—figure in today’s rather small Jewish music industry. Schmeltzer has been known to understand how to work an audience and how to push the envelope, so to speak, to the point where it’s possible to see the emergence of Jewish music dominated by holy lyrics placed in the context of contemporary rap and rock music, which, it can be argued, has influenced and changed more than one generation.

My feeling is that the rabbis got together and drew a line here at this show and this performer not just because of the music or the frivolity that was going to surround the venue. The feeling was that Mr. Schmeltzer—and he himself apparently consented to the sentiment—was exuding a message that so long as you had the look and the dress on the outside, inside it was all right to party hearty.

I have no way of knowing whether Mr. Schmeltzer ever felt that way when performing or recording his songs. However, it seems that some of our leading rabbinical figures became convinced that this was the message being received.

And whether that’s the case or not, it is just as important to deal with the issue, as this is the impression that is being created. Today’s youth cannot seem to weather an intellectually dishonest message. The insides have to match the outside. We can’t afford to have that human pause button pressed, because while on pause there are just too many other unhealthy things going on.

Comments for Larry Gordon are welcome at editor@5tjt.com.

Leopold Margulies said...

Vhy should I give a shit vat happens to somevon's parnusseh? Da most important ting about da issur iz I vas mechibed mit signing.

Let the Rip off Games begin said...

Banks are now putting the squeeze on merchants with higher credit card transaction fees. This is another way of recouping their losses elsewhere.

This is now translating into kosher restaurants stopping to accept credit cards and in some cases installing on-site ATM machines so they can milk you for exorbitant fees themselves like withdrawals limited to $100 with a $5 fee.

There was a scene at a busy sit down & take out restaurant yesterday when management all of a sudden put up a sign announcing no more credit card payments when an entire line up of people were ready to pay for their orders. They almost had a riot erupt as they told people to go down the street to an ATM or they could not fress their food. There was no such warning when the orders were placed.

boog said...


Lipa was coerced and threathened by these "Rabbis" who should be tarred and feathered for their Talibanism.

And where is Friedman, Der Groser Tzelieyger? Come out of your Bunker and face the "music" Big Boy.

no longer frum said...

"My intent is to expose the practices and the conflicts that have denigrated our religion; hopefully leading to a drastic change in the way we select our "leaders"...."

I am no longer religious, but I've been reading UOJ from the start. He never wavered from his noble goal, and without doubt, history will treat him as a visionary.

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

I've been watching the deterioration of our religion for some time. I've looked at this from every angle; and had no other moral choice than to take it public in any attention-grabbing manner. Visionary - no - realist and pragmatist - yes!

The very tool that they "banned" was the tool God chose to bring them down!

Anonymous said...

There was a report in a newspaper that HaRav Eliyahu ruled that baby dolls are included in the prohibition of owning statues. I have not independently confirmed this ruling, however Rav Elyashiv shlita in his sefer on Rosh Hashanah concurs with this ruling. I quote from the sefer below.

Jerusalem - In a tough break for the children of Orthodox Jewish families, a former grand rabbi of Israel has urged parents to amputate their dolls to avoid the perils of idolatry.

Basing the move on a Biblical ban on the possession of idols, Mordechai Eliyahu, a Sephardic rabbi, broadcast his edict on a religious radio station calling for an arm or a leg to be dismembered.

In the case of a teddy bear or other stuffed animals, the children will see their beloved toys lose an ear or an eye instead.

"It is very important that these toys do not remain intact so as to remove the element of idolatry," said Eliyahu.

His son, Shmuel Eliyahu, himself a rabbi in the northern town of Safed, said that it was inappropriate to own statues or dolls, even to play with or for artistic purposes.

"They need to be amputated or at least altered," he said.

Shmuel revealed that his father had forced one of his followers to snap off the ear of a replica of a statue of Moses by Michelangelo that he had bought at an exorbitant price.

Religious edicts are not legally obliging in Israel. - Sapa-AFP

The Maharit (2:32) states that dolls which are made for the sake of children to play with are considered a temporary action and they are not included in this prohibition. Rav Elyashiv shlita cites Acharonim who disagree with this ruling and state that it is a Biblical question and cannot be dismissed out of hand. Rav Elyashiv rules stringently and he says that one must deface the form of the dolls somewhat in order for it to be permitted to remain in the house.

Here is a summary of some of the conclusions from Harav Ovadia Yossef in regards to idolatry and specifically pertaining to dolls, where he rules that it is permitted.

1. It is forbidden to make a protruding image of a man, and it is forbidden to leave it in one's house. This is only if it is a complete image, but a portrait up to the chest is not forbidden. It is permitted to make dolls for children that look like a full person, and certainly to buy and sell them.

It is permitted to take a photograph and to paint the picture of a person, which is not protruding at all. Some are stringent about this, but the custom is to be lenient.

It is forbidden to make the image of the four forms that were on the Heavenly chariot: the lion, eagle, ox and person. This is only when one makes all four together.

2. A protruding image of a person, in which one only sees one side (a profile) is permitted since this is not a complete image of a person.

3. The Shulhan Aruch writes that one can not make the image of the sun, moon and stars, whether protruding or flat. Rabbi Yosef Hayim explained that it is permitted if one does not make the full picture of the sun. However, a picture of the moon is forbidden even if a part is missing, since that it is how it is seen at times. The Maharam Mirotenberg permitted a picture, made only of colors that is not protruding at all. However, many do not agree with his opinion, and it is best not to rely on it.

4. It is forbidden to build a house in the image of the Bet Hamikdash, in its exact measurements, It is also forbidden to make a shulhan or menorah with seven branches, as existed in the Bet Hamkidash. If the menorah has seven branches but has electric lights on top, with no place for oil, it is permitted.

5. A small model of the Mishkan, for educational purposes, is permitted.

6. A cross, which Christians hang around their necks, does not have the status of Avodah Zarah, since Christians do not bow down to them, and the crosses are only a reminder of their avodah zarah. If a Jew finds one, he may sell it to a gentile. If a medal is given to a Jew by the government on which there cross, he may wear it. It is better that he not do so regularly, but only when he is visiting government officials or on official occasions. (End of summary)

I heard a Shiur from Rabbi Eli Mansour who cited the sefer Halichos Olam (7:281) from HaRav Ovadia Yossef where he rules that it is permitted to buy dolls for the children. He explains the reasoning for this as follows: Everyone knows that the dolls are not intended for worshipping and therefore there is no concern that others will suspect that the dolls are for avoda zora. Secondly, he states, that most of the time, the dolls are mistreated and handled in a degrading manner and therefore it would not be prohibited. He does rule stringently regarding a trophy that is a full image and sits on top of a mantel with honor: there it is a legitimate concern and one should deface it somewhat.

Anonymous said...

Jerusalem Post, Israel: Chinese TV airs Elyashiv's opposition to organ harvesting

By Matthew Wagner

A Chinese-language international TV station called New Tang Dynasty TV (NTDTV) recently broadcast a news item on Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv's adamant prohibition of Jews deriving any benefit from Chinese organ harvesting, even in life-threatening situations.

Elyashiv, the most respected halachic authority among haredi Lithuanian Jewry, ruled over a month ago that it was forbidden to use organs harvested from members of the Falun Gong, a spiritual movement that is being persecuted by the Chinese Communist regime.

Although Elyashiv did not mention the Falun Gong by name, he said it was a desecration of God's name for Jews to exploit the moral corruption of the Chinese regime, which kills political prisoners with the aim of turning a profit by selling their heart, kidney, lungs and other organs.

NTDTV, which calls itself "one of the few sources of uncensored news for the Chinese people," thought its hundreds of millions of viewers would be interested in learning what Judaism has to say about organ trafficking.

Elyashiv's halachic opinion was voiced in response to a question posed by a Jewish doctor. The doctor asked him if he could accompany his Jewish patient to China for the organ transplant. The doctor explained to the nonagenarian rabbi that the Chinese authorities had set up detention camps for thousands of members of the Falun Gong, who are considered enemies of the state. The lives of these detainees were valueless in the eyes of the Chinese authorities, he said. However, the Chinese quickly realized that they could turn a quick profit from trafficking in the organs of the Falun Gong prisoners.

During a conference of Lev Le'achim, an organization that encourages secular Jews to embrace Orthodoxy, Rabbi Yitzhak Zilverstein, the son-in-law of Elyashiv and an expert in Jewish medical ethics, related his father-in-law's answer to the doctor's question.

"It is a desecration of God's name to use organs taken from political prisoners," said Zilverstein in the name of Elyashiv.

"Even in life-threatening cases it is forbidden to receive treatment, especially the chosen people, the Jewish people, who are commanded 'do not murder.' They must not travel to China to get an organ transplant."

Other rabbis who have come out against using Chinese organs include Menahem Porush, former Agudat Yisrael MK; Shlomo Aviner, head of the Ateret Yerushalayim Yeshiva; and Yuval Cherlow, one of the heads of the Petah Tikva Hesder Yeshiva and rabbis of the Sanhedrin, a revival of the ancient Jewish governing body.

According to Ro'i Bar-Ilan, an Israeli representative of the Falun Gong, all Israeli health funds suspended their funding of organ transplants in China. Some private insurance companies still fund Chinese organ transplants.

Dr. Jacob Levee, director of the heart transplant unit at Sheba Medical Center, put the figure since 2004 at 200-300 kidney transplants performed on Israelis in China, 20 heart transplants and 10 liver transplants.

In Israel there is no legislation prohibiting organ transplants. NTDTV in Israel commented that the TV station, which is broadcast from New York via satellite to China, has used its media to arouse public outrage against the organ harvesting and persecution of Falun Gong.

Falun Gong is a spiritual movement that advocates adhering to three principle traits: truthfulness, compassion and forbearance. Adherents try to constantly scrutinize their behavior in an attempt to act in accordance with these three traits. In addition, five meditations are used.

Anonymous said...

Israel - Rabbi Steinman And Rabbi Elyashiv Call For Ban Of Hiking.
'July 29 Pinned News'

Israel - Haredi leaders are warning their congregations against hiking, following two outdoor deaths of yeshiva students, both reported on Vos Iz Neias.

"Don't be tempted to hike because it's life-threatening," Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv and Rabbi Aharon Steinman wrote in a statement meant to be released to the community formally in the upcoming days.

The deaths caused great distress among the haredi community, becoming the main subject of discussion among congregations during the weekend.

"This is just the beginning of the vacation and two yeshiva students have already shortened their lives," the rabbis wrote in their statement.

The Teshabin Yeshiva in Jerusalem, where Miller had been a student prior to his death, announced they were cutting short the summer vacation and asking students to return to the yeshiva by the end of the week, in the hopes that Torah study would prevent additional tragedies. Several other yeshivas announced that they intended to follow suit. [ynet]

Oorah & National Choldren's Leukemia Foundation ptz job said...

See the clips on the charity frauds. Frum shemkle putzes. Unbelivable. Ich been nisht a new yorker, anyone know where this putz lives in Flatbush?

Love the toot-zachs with the cellphones and bazillion keys in the second clip who blocked the exit, called Lakewood police who told the shmucks that they could be arrested for illegal restraint.

I've got the oorah chineese auction flyer somewhere. Gonna send it back with a printout of the web site.

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

I'm getting all this information on Avrohom Schor's role in this ban insanity. Somebody may want to tell him that if he does NOT get the producers paid for their losses - in the entire amount - very quickly, I will go after him in a way he can never imagine!

Anonymous said...

Even some Belsky supporters are saying now that Friedman is probably finished with any organization and they are surprised that he would put his neck on the line to screw Lipa & Sheya the way he did.

Queens said...

Yesterday's unrest was at the Bagel's & Co / La Breeza restaurant on Union Turnpike. When the customers angrily asked how they can suddenly put up a sign after their orders were made, the Israeli mechutzefes in charge told them to shutup because she doesn't want to listen to them.

One guy who must be a UOJ agent told her off so the whole store could hear that A&A across the street charges half to two thirds less on some items for better quality. He then put on a hilarious fake Israeli accent that "Rak haYisraelim ossim kazeh".

boog said...

Good Luck, UOJ.

Nathan Lane said...


When I played Max Bialystock in "The Producers", Belsky, Friedman & Schorr were upset about my Lipa-style antics and tried to shut me down.

I want some money too.

Lakewood Talmid said...

Is this Avrohom Schorr / R' Gedalya's mishpocho related to the Chief Rabbi of Palestine in the 1930s who spells his name the same way?

Roger Clemens said...


So if I throw some fastballs at Friedman & Belsky, can UOJ make the Federal investigators go away?

Direct Link said...


Fact Finders
Donor Beware: Concerns Over Charity That Helps Kids With Cancer

February 19, 2008

It's a locally-based charity that collects money for kids with cancer, but why is only a fraction of the millions raised going to help the children who need it?

The obvious question lingering: where exactly is the rest of the money going. Peter Thorne went looking for answers in a Fact Finders investigaton:

Go to video

Anonymous said...

Many people find it difficult to acknowledge that all the crap we were fed in elementary school, high school and camps are nothing but bull and a pack of lies.

Anonymous said...

U.S. recession: A classic 12-act tragedy

Page-turning plot reads like Shakespeare, driven to dramatic climax

By Paul B. Farrell, MarketWatch
Last update: 7:33 p.m. EST March 3 (MarketWatch) -- The buck stops here: This is Bush's recession, his legacy.

It could be a chapter in a future edition of Jacob Weisberg's "The Bush Tragedy," with new comparisons to "Henry V" and other great Shakespearean tragedies. In a few sentences, the opening lines could highlight why this is now Bush's recession, and his alone.

Last week Bush told reporters: "I don't think we're headed to recession." But when one tried to puncture the denial, mentioning that America's energy analysts were predicting $4 gas, our oil-man president stopped him: "Wait, what did you just say? You're predicting $4-a-gallon gasoline?" No, Mr. President, experts are. "That's interesting. I hadn't heard that."

Once again, as in a classic tragedy, crucial facts never quite make it to the king's chambers in time, setting the stage for a fateful turn of events, propelling the plot to its tragic climax.
Indeed, the next 12 acts of this tragedy have already been written. And though many folks are in denial, the consequences are painfully clear. Last week we forecast a global recession.

One alerted us to a powerful economic report that reads like the plot lines in a Shakespearean tragedy. Twelve acts relentlessly drive the action forward in a dark yet realistic plot reading like a brutal military-style assault on markets and economies worldwide.
In The GRE Monitor, the Roubini Global Economics newsletter published by NYU Prof. Nouriel Roubini, we read of "The Rising Risk of a Systemic Financial Meltdown: Twelve Steps to Financial Disaster," a report that will never make it into any While House briefings.

Why? Roubini's 12-act drama is chilling, apocalyptic, coming at us in 12 relentless waves, tearing down the world's economic and financial system, triggering a severe recession in America that spreads globally, impacting every corner of every economy across the globe and creating havoc in world financial markets, leaving nothing intact.

This is Bush's legacy, an economic disaster no one can stop. And the more they try, the worse it gets.
Over the top? You decide. Then after you read Roubini's dark 12-act plot, we urge you to rethink your investment strategies for the years to come. Why? He warns: "The current recession looks fundamentally more severe than the [last] two for three reasons: we are experiencing the worst housing recession ever in U.S. history; a shopped-out, saving-less and debt-burdened consumer is now in financial trouble and retrenching; and we have a severe systemic financial crisis.

Forget about Washington's happy-talk about avoiding a recession.

They got us into this mess and don't know how to get us out.
You must read Roubini's dramatic plot, it's pure Shakespeare. Then add a comment: Tell us what you're doing to protect yourself. Worried you're just a "bit player" in Bush's recession? How this 12-act drama plays out will have an enormous impact on your future:

1. Home prices will fall 20% to 30% from the peak.
Roughly $4 trillion to $6 trillion of household wealth will vanish. Large home builders may go bankrupt, triggering further declines in home-builder stocks. Even Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke admitted last week that housing prices could fall into 2009.
2. Prime and near-prime mortgages losses
"This is a generalized mortgage crisis and meltdown, not just a subprime one," warns Roubini. "About 60% of all mortgage origination from 2005 through 2007 had these reckless and toxic features. And losses among all sorts of mortgages will sharply increase as home prices fall sharply and the economy." Add another $300 billion in losses.
3. Consumer debt defaults will increase sharply
Nothing's safe: "There are tens of millions in subprime credit cards and subprime auto loans in the United States." Defaults "will not be limited to subprime borrowers," adding "more to bank and financial-company losses, increasing the credit crunch."
4. The credit insurers rescue package is insufficient
Even $10 billion to $15 billion won't do the trick. Ratings downgrades will "add another $150 billion write-downs on asset-backed securities portfolios," triggering more losses to their muni and money-market portfolios, says Roubini.

Anonymous said...

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Construction spending in January took its biggest dive in 14 years, as problems spread beyond the ailing home-building sector.

The Commerce Department reported Monday that spending plunged by 1.7%. Although builders slashed spending on residential projects, the weakness was fairly widespread. There were cutbacks in spending on, among other things, hotels and motels, highways and various projects by state and local governments.

The latest showing on construction activity was worse than economists were expecting. They were forecasting a smaller decline of around 0.8%.

The 1.7% plunge in total construction spending came after a 1.3% decline in December. It was the largest drop since January 1994, when construction spending plummeted by 3.6%.

Sandor said...

The Rabbi Abraham Schorr in Palestine came from Galicia before WWI.

Toiv's shul is one big scam including the lowlife members said...


Some sharp eyed readers at VIN noticed that Rabbi Toiv has been running Jewish Heritage for the Blind and now his son "Steven" has just the plain Heritage for the blind. Another scam that gives almost nothing to tzedokah.

Anonymous said...

does anyone know the correct age of this THUG Schorr? and where was he brought up as a child??

New York Magazine said...


Of note, is that one of the signatures was that of a Rabbi Lipa Margolis whose ultra-orthodox Yeshiva was the center of the nascent controversy surrounding one if its teachers, Rabbi Yehuda Kolko, who has allegedly been molesting children for well over 30 years, reported on previously in this magazine. Not only is the hypocrisy astounding, but the fact that Margolis is still well regarded enough to have his signature sought after and included illustrates the amazing denial by the leadership and members of the ultra orthodox Jewish community as to the real problems in their midst. Perhaps child sexual abuse is too enormous and sophisticated a topic for simple minded people so they are fed dumbed down more manageable restrictions such as a this one.

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

Rabbi Gedalya Schorr's brother was a "Malach" and was thrown out of Yeshiva Torah Vodaath By Rav Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz ztvk"l.
More to come Avrumele....

Social Anthropologist said...

The "Malochim" are an obscure group that even most heimishe Brooklyn Yidden are not aware of. They dress in all white. After their expulsion from Torah Vodaath, they settled in Williamsburg where they run their own kehillah of sorts and even maintain a small kashrus supervision service.

Yehuda Toiv & Shrage Toiv said...


Sunday, January 20, 2008

Billboards for the Outreach Center may be ubiquitous, but it's hardly the only car-donation charity with an extensive local advertising campaign.

The radio airwaves in recent weeks were filled with ads seeking vehicle donations to organizations that help the blind, children in need or the poor generally.

One of them -- Heritage for the Blind -- is located on Nostrand Avenue in Brooklyn, just four blocks from the Avenue K building the Outreach Center shares with an Orthodox synagogue.

Heritage for the Blind claims on its Web site to use its car-donation money to pay for the publication of Braille and large-print materials.

"Each year, thousands of these texts are distributed free of charge to blind and visually impaired individuals and various organizations in the United States as well as overseas," the Web site states.

It also spends very little of the money it raises on those programs. According to its 2005 federal tax return (the most recent available), Heritage for the Blind raised $2.4 million that year, and spent nearly $3.3 million -- eating into its reserves.

But just $495,133 of that spending went for its programs. It spent more than $2.7 million on fund raising and management expenses. At the same time, Heritage paid its director, Steven Toiv, and two employees with the same last name -- Shrage Toiv and Yehuda Toiv -- a total of $300,384.

Steven Toiv declined to answer questions about Heritage's operation, instead providing a statement blaming the organization's financial difficulties on federal tax-law changes that took effect in 2005, restricting individual deductions for car donations.

JOY for Our Youth is the organization behind the Kars4Kids radio jingle broadcast in commercials across the metropolitan region.

The Lakewood-based group took in more than $9 million in 2006, according to its most recent tax return, and gave $7.6 million to Oorah, another Lakewood charity formed in 1980, which describes its purpose on its Web site as "awakening Jewish children and their families to their heritage. We enable children to enroll in Jewish day schools or yeshivas, where they receive a full religious and secular education straight through high school."

But donors listening to the Kars4Kids radio ads or looking at its Web site would be hard-pressed to know the group has a religious purpose. The radio spots make no mention of it.

On its Web site, the group calls itself "an international organization providing for the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of distressed and at-risk youth."

A photo prominently displayed on the page until this month pictured a classroom with three children -- two of them black. Links to three Jewish charities are listed at the bottom of the home page, in very small type.

Mark J. Kurzmann, a lawyer in Pearl River, N.Y., who represents Oorah, said neither group makes any attempt to hide its purpose. The pictures on the Web site are "stock photos," he said, adding that JOY has decided to remove them to avoid any confusion.

"Let me point out, however, that there are African-American and Asian-American children who go to the summer camps they support," Kurzmann said.

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

They out neuter the Neturei Karta...enter Avrumele Schorr!

Mullah Muhammed Omar said...


Blogger Joe Izrael has updated his post on Taliban Friedman being thrown out on his head by R' Zelig Epstein shlita. It turns out that Ezra Academy is not really co-ed but does allow boys & girls in separate classes on the same campus. Even for that the terrorist ignored the true gedolim and cut off the money.

Mill Basin said...

This putz Tzvi or Steve Shor has been featured on UOJ before. He is the cantor at the freye Temple Sholom in Mill Basin about 5 blocks down Ave U from his house. That shrink & palm reading Gypsy Ari Korenblit from the Jewish Press is the Temple's rabbi. Something tells me these guys don't have a heter to be doing this.

A Monsey lawyer who knows said...

If Mark J. Kurzmann had only studied law correctly and knew what he is supposed to know about practicing law. What a shame that the organization fell in with him. I don't believe that he ever pased the bar. If he did ever pass the bar the question is what did he drink before he passed it.

I would never recommend such a guy even for small claims court case. Remember when you hire a lawyer, an attorney needs to be responsible to his clients as well as his family.

Maybe Mark should try pepsi for a change over the stuff he has been drinking until now.

Hilarious said...

Shmarya is going ape about Friedman's organizational finances. He has a point that anyone shnorring should provide documentation to the public but an astute commentor puts him in his place and reminds him that since he shnorrs from readers he should also provide financials instead of ranting like a hypocrite.

Bungalow Yenta said...

Why were the Malochim kicked out of Torah Vodaas?

Mark Kurzmann said...


How do you like my lawyer speak to the investigative reporter? I brush him off with the claim that Oorah pays for Asian and Black kids to go to summer camp. Yeah, they probably gave a free campfire hotdog to a couple kids of gerim.

I'm a YU guy by the way.

This ought to be interesting said...

Shul rabbis are giving special droshos this week or weekday shiurim in which they are asking all mispalelim to attend. The topic of course is the gedolim and the ban.

While most will be giving the standard boilerplate, some rabbonim who put out the call are known to be fed up with the Moetzes. I wonder how they will handle this one.

I also predict that the Agudah Fressers will be organizing special public gatherings in Flatbush & Boro Park to try to save face for themselves. It's funny that Avremel Schorr has been from their featured speakers in the past.

Anonymous said...

Someone in Flatbush has been complaining that one of the Toivs owes him money but he won't pay citing the excuse that he doesn't have any. I'm going to inform him about the big fat salary that makes him a deadbeat.

Overlawyered said...

Does anyone want to check with Vanderbilt U if Kurzmann really is a Juris Doctor like he claims?

Anonymous said...

I really really hope Avremel schorr refuses to pay up because frankly i want to see this THUG Schor fry away and putaway forever. He is the lowest scum out there. Anyone thinking that he is Daas torah needs his/her head examined. Hes not a Rabbi or a RAv. Hes a self made REebel and pretty good at it and that why he needs to be taken down now!!

Anonymous said...

The only fire that Schorr ever experiences is the weekly heartburn that rots his gut from ingesting overspiced shabbos chulent and kishke.
The man is an asshole, a fine decendant of the many assholes who preceded him.
I wasn't surprised that schmucks like him continue to make Yiddishkeit a laughing stock in pages of major daily newspapers. I simply wondered what took him so long this time?
Within the sinecures of stupidity and crackpot kehilas, even some brain-addled talmidim of these crackpot rabbeim are beginning to suggest that their leaders maybe a bit unbalanced.
Could this be the beginning of the chareidi reformation?

Anonymous said...

who is vanderbuilt?

BME said...

Does anone know where this schor dude was brought up as a child? is he a son or grandson or nephew of Reb Gedalia schorr?

There Goes the Neighborhood said...

It sounds like some of the bitter cranks who follow their guru Shmarya have been migrating over here lately.

UOJ should stop the foul language and bashing of rabbonim from all periods in history from these miserable losers who have left Orthodoxy and wish to drag everyone else into their wretched orgies.

Low Klass Watch said...

What is Ari Korenblit's connection to the Klassless bunch / Jerry Greenwald that he's such a bigshot at the Jewish Fress?

Part of the Jewish Fress freak show are his ads offering group therapy for alter bochurim and bochurettes with issues.

Anonymous said...

Also on the video menu of Channel 11 News Factfinders are the reporters tracking down Rabbi Toiv & his sons.

It's near the bottom of the menu where the title discusses billboards.

Loi Toiv

Anonymous said...

Gorton's is under Rabbi Safra from the 5 Towns. Not exactly a hashgocho that is taken seriously.


HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (AP) -- Gorton's Inc. recalled about 1,000 cases of frozen fish in 10 states Friday after confirming a Pennsylvania customer found pills in her food.

Gorton's said it ordered the recall as a precaution while a laboratory works to determine the nature of the pills. Those tests should be complete early next week.

"Obviously product alteration is a very serious matter," said Jud Reis, vice president of marketing for the company, based in Gloucester, Massachusetts "We are conducting a full investigation into the source of the problem."

Tracy Rowan of New Freedom, Pennsylvania, called police after she bit into one of the pills Sunday and found another on her daughter's plate. On Friday, Reis said the material was some sort of pill, not compressed batter or bread crumbs.

Rowan described the pills as beige and aspirin-size.

Shneur Zalman Gurary said...


Bunch of wealthy deadbeats owe New York over $170M in back taxes


Sunday, March 2nd 2008, 4:00 AM

There are 47 individuals in all in New York State's tax deadbeat hall of shame, on the hook for more than $170 million.

There's a money manager, some infamous doctors, business executives galore, even a former rabbi and a minister.

In all, officials at the state Department of Taxation & Finance say 225,000 city tax debtors owe more than $1 billion in unpaid taxes and penalties.

To collect on what is owed, the state files a warrant after a tax debtor has ignored demands to pay up. The state can seize property or garnish wages to pay off the debt.

"Seizing assets is an act of last resort," department spokesman Tom Bergin said.

Some warrants were filed more than 15 years ago but are still open, an indication of how tough it can be to collect.

If a deadbeat dies, the process gets even tougher, though the estate can be held liable for the money.

"It's pointless to chase someone where you don't know where they are or they disappeared or they died," said Bergin. "You go where the money is."

He said the state has had some success in pursuing deadbeats, hauling in about $100 million a month in back taxes.

Here's a baker's dozen of New York's Cheapest:

Alberto Vilar: A money manager accused of stealing his clients' funds to buy his way into the opera world tops the list. Set to go on trial in Manhattan Federal Court in July, prosecutors say he used ill-gotten gains to donate to the Metropolitan Opera and pay bills. The state says he owes more than anyone else - $16,752,985.

Sam Waksal: A former cancer researcher turned stock cheat dragged pal Martha Stewart into an indictment - and jail. Waksal is serving time in federal prison. Due to get out in December 2009, he owes $9,098,782 officials say.
Richard Rubin: An apparel industry executive convicted of fraud in 1999. He and his wife owe $6,404,478.

The late Abe Hirschfeld: One-time publisher of the New York Post who made his fortune from owning parking lots, owes $13,171,671; The state plans to go after his estate.

Clayton Harris: An ex-Brooklyn minister who went to jail for filing false tax returns, he claimed his income in 2000 was $250 million and was entitled to a $5.4 million refund. The state sent it to him before discovering the scam. Harris was dubbed "Rev. Refund" on the front-page of the Daily News after his arrest. He owes $5,476,353.

Michael Zurawin: One-time head of a Queens painting supplies company, he owes $15,303,429.

Schenjer Zalman Gurary: A Brooklyn rabbi and garment center exec who went to prison in 1988 for a phony billing scheme that helped 170 firms and individuals - including himself - evade $130 million in taxes. He owes $3,421,194.

Irwin Feiner: A garment center exec and former racehorse owner who did time for not paying taxes on $26 million in Gurary's scam. He and his wife owe $6,024,768.

Edward Carey: Late oil company founder and former Gov. Hugh Carey's older brother, he helped bankroll his brother's campaign for governor. He owes $3,323.459.

Harvey Myerson: A flamboyant ex-lawyer who went to jail for overbilling clients and stealing from his partners, including former baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn. He owes $1,497,725.

Fred Neuberger: Late ex-chairman of Wedtech, a scandal-plagued South Bronx defense contractor, he was a key witness at the racketeering trial of former Rep. Mario Biaggi and ex-Bronx Borough President Stanley Simon. He owes $1,380,732.17.

Herman Finesod: The "King of Tax Shelters" owes $14,576,018. "He doesn't have that much income; I can't imagine he owes that much money," said a man who said he was Finesod's cousin.

Herbert Lindenbaum: A Manhattan lawyer who owes $1,251,344. Reached at his office, he said: "You're disgusting, goodbye."

The biggest income tax collection effort in New York was the attempt to get $137 million from Marc Rich, the fugitive multimillionaire pardoned by President Bill Clinton.

It paid off - more or less.

In November 2003, Rich quietly satisfied a warrant seeking $26.9 million in back taxes from 1980-82, $13.5 million in penalties and $97.4 million in interest.

Citing privacy laws, state officials would not reveal exactly how much Rich paid to settle the case. The warrant was filed weeks after Clinton granted the pardon - and the settlement came soon afterward.

Rich's lawyer, Robert Fink, did not return calls seeking comment.

At the time the state settled with Rich, Manhattan federal prosecutors were investigating allegations that Rich bought the pardon via his wife, Denise, a major Democratic fund-raiser. No charges were filed.

Rich was charged in 1983 with evading $48 million in federal taxes and buying illegal oil from Iran during the 1979 hostage crisis. He fled the country with Dovid Cohen's buddy Pinky Green to avoid trial.

Pizza Fresser said...


The price of a slice of pizza or a bagel is about to rise, but don't blame the poor guy behind the counter — point the finger toward far-away farms in Australia and Russia.

Lousy crop yields across the planet and growing consumption have made the price of flour rise like a loaf of bread with too much yeast, and New York restaurants, bakeries and pizzerias are reeling. Many have already begun to pass on the cost to customers, and it could get a lot worse, according to people in the industry.

"You're going to be paying four bucks for a slice of pizza soon," said Sal Casella, vice president of Howard Gordy Bakery Supplies in East New York, Brooklyn.

Hamlyn Seebaran, who owns "D" Original A & A Restaurant, a Caribbean eatery in Ozone Park, Queens, said he saw the price of a 50-pound bag of flour jump to $26 from $16 in a matter of two weeks. When he tried a new distributor a few days later, the best he could do was $36.

"I'm confused, just like the customers are confused," Seebaran said.

Back in 2006, when Seebaran opened his Liberty Ave. restaurant, a 50-pound bag of flour cost $9, and the price remained steady until recently. Now, he wonders how much longer he can stay open.

At Smiling Pizzeria, in Park Slope, Brooklyn, manager Steve Zito said he paid $10 for a bag of flour about a year ago. Last week, it was $30.

"I just talked to a distributor," said Zito, who's been in the business for 34 years. "He's been around just as long, and he's never seen anything like this."

Reluctantly, Zito said the store is considering raising the price of a slice by as much as 50 cents from $2.

Experts said much of the blame is due to bad weather around the globe. Major wheat exporting regions, including Australia, the European Union and Russia, have endured many poor harvests in recent years, said Joseph Sowers of U.S. Wheat Associates, a Washington-based industry group.

"Every major exporting country had problems," Sowers said.

Anonymous said...

Mark Kurzman is the most unrecommended attorney in Rockland County.

Anonymous said...

Mordechai Gimpel Wolmark of Monsey is at his office continiously blasting the UOJ.

Why Iraq has no concerts either.. said...

Generation Faithful
Violence Leaves Young Iraqis Doubting Clerics
Johan Spanner for The New York Times

Published: March 4, 2008

BAGHDAD — After almost five years of war, many young people in Iraq, exhausted by constant firsthand exposure to the violence of religious extremism, say they have grown disillusioned with religious leaders and skeptical of the faith that they preach.
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Generation Faithful
Skepticism and Anger

This is the second in a series of articles examining the lives of youth across the Muslim world at a time of religious revival.
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In Translation

A version of this article is available in Arabic.

* Download an Arabic version of this story. (pdf)

The Reach of War
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Johan Spanner for The New York Times

The youth prison wing of the Iraqi police compound in Baghdad. Many young people have taken part in Iraq’s sectarian violence.

In two months of interviews with 40 young people in five Iraqi cities, a pattern of disenchantment emerged, in which young Iraqis, both poor and middle class, blamed clerics for the violence and the restrictions that have narrowed their lives.

“I hate Islam and all the clerics because they limit our freedom every day and their instruction became heavy over us,” said Sara, a high school student in Basra. “Most of the girls in my high school hate that Islamic people control the authority because they don’t deserve to be rulers.”

Atheer, a 19-year-old from a poor, heavily Shiite neighborhood in southern Baghdad, said: “The religion men are liars. Young people don’t believe them. Guys my age are not interested in religion anymore.”

The shift in Iraq runs counter to trends of rising religious practice among young people across much of the Middle East, where religion has replaced nationalism as a unifying ideology.

While religious extremists are admired by a number of young people in other parts of the Arab world, Iraq offers a test case of what could happen when extremist theories are applied. Fingers caught in the act of smoking were broken. Long hair was cut and force-fed to its wearer. In that laboratory, disillusionment with Islamic leaders took hold.

It is far from clear whether the shift means a wholesale turn away from religion. A tremendous piety still predominates in the private lives of young Iraqis, and religious leaders, despite the increased skepticism, still wield tremendous power. Measuring religious adherence, furthermore, is a tricky business in Iraq, where access to cities and towns far from Baghdad is limited.

But a shift seems to be registering, at least anecdotally, in the choices some young Iraqis are making.

Professors reported difficulty in recruiting graduate students for religion classes. Attendance at weekly prayers appears to be down, even in areas where the violence has largely subsided, according to worshipers and imams in Baghdad and Falluja. In two visits to the weekly prayer session in Baghdad of the followers of the militant Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr this fall, vastly smaller crowds attended than had in 2004 or 2005.

Such patterns, if lasting, could lead to a weakening of the political power of religious leaders in Iraq. In a nod to those changing tastes, political parties are dropping overt references to religion.

‘You Cost Us This’

“In the beginning, they gave their eyes and minds to the clerics; they trusted them,” said Abu Mahmoud, a moderate Sunni cleric in Baghdad, who now works deprogramming religious extremists in American detention. “It’s painful to admit, but it’s changed. People have lost too much. They say to the clerics and the parties: You cost us this.”

“When they behead someone, they say ‘Allahu akbar,’ they read Koranic verse,” said a moderate Shiite sheik from Baghdad, using the phrase for “God is great.”

“The young people, they think that is Islam,” he said. “So Islam is a failure, not only in the students’ minds, but also in the community.”

A professor at Baghdad University’s School of Law, who identified herself only as Bushra, said of her students: “They have changed their views about religion. They started to hate religious men. They make jokes about them because they feel disgusted by them.”

That was not always the case. Saddam Hussein encouraged religion in Iraqi society in his later years, building Sunni mosques and injecting more religion into the public school curriculum, but always made sure it served his authoritarian needs.

Shiites, considered to be an opposing political force and a threat to Mr. Hussein’s power, were kept under close watch. Young Shiites who worshiped were seen as political subversives and risked attracting the attention of the police.

For that reason, the American liberation tasted sweetest to the Shiites, who for the first time were able to worship freely. They soon became a potent political force, as religious political leaders appealed to their shared and painful past and their respect for the Shiite religious hierarchy.

“After 2003, you couldn’t put your foot into the husseiniya, it was so crowded with worshipers,” said Sayeed Sabah, a Shiite religious leader from Baghdad, referring to a Shiite place of prayer.

Religion had moved abruptly into the Shiite public space, but often in ways that made educated, religious Iraqis uncomfortable. Militias were offering Koran courses. Titles came cheaply. In Mr. Mahmoud’s neighborhood, a butcher with no knowledge of Islam became the leader of a mosque.

A moderate Shiite cleric, Sheik Qasim, recalled watching in amazement as a former student, who never earned more than mediocre marks, whizzed by stalled traffic in a long convoy of sport utility vehicles in central Baghdad. He had become a religious leader.

“I thought I would get out of the car, grab him and slap him!” said the sheik. “These people don’t deserve their positions.”

An official for the Ministry of Education in Baghdad, a secular Shiite, described the newfound faith like this: “It was like they wanted to put on a new, stylish outfit.”

Religious Sunnis, for their part, also experienced a heady swell in mosque attendance, but soon became the hosts for groups of religious extremists, foreign and Iraqi, who were preparing to fight the United States.

Zane Mohammed, a gangly 19-year-old with an earnest face, watched with curiosity as the first Islamists in his Baghdad neighborhood came to barbershops, tea parlors and carpentry stores before taking over the mosques. They were neither uneducated nor poor, he said, though they focused on those who were.

Then, one morning while waiting for a bus to school, he watched a man walk up to a neighbor, a college professor whose sect Mr. Mohammed did not know, shoot the neighbor at point blank range three times, and walk back to his car as calmly “as if he was leaving a grocery store.”

“Nobody is thinking,” Mr. Mohammed said in an interview in October. “We use our minds just to know what to eat. This is something I am very sad about. We hear things and just believe them.”

Weary of Bloodshed

By 2006, even those who had initially taken part in the violence were growing weary. Haidar, a grade-school dropout, was proud to tell his family he was following a Shiite cleric in a fight against American soldiers in the summer of 2004. Two years later, however, he found himself in the company of gangsters.

Young militia members were abusing drugs. Gift mopeds had become gift guns. In three years, Haidar saw five killings, mostly of Sunnis, including that of a Sunni cab driver shot for his car.

It was just as bad, if not worse, for young Sunnis. Rubbed raw by Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, a homegrown Sunni insurgent group that American intelligence says is led by foreigners, they found themselves stranded in neighborhoods that were governed by seventh-century rules. During an interview with a dozen Sunni teenage boys in a Baghdad detention facility on several sticky days in September, several of them expressed relief at being in jail, so they could wear shorts, a form of dress they would have been punished for in their neighborhoods.

Some Iraqis argue that the religious-based politics was much more about identity than faith. When Shiites voted for religious parties in large numbers in an election in 2005, it was more an effort to show their numbers, than a victory of the religious over the secular.

“It was a fight to prove our existence,” said a young Shiite journalist from Sadr City. “We were embracing our existence, not religion.”

The war dragged on, and young people from both the Shiite and Sunni sects became more broadly involved. Criminals had begun using teenagers and younger boys to carry out killings. The number of Iraqi juveniles in American detention was up more than sevenfold in November from April last year, and Iraq’s main prison for youth, situated in Baghdad, has triple the prewar population.

Different Motivations

But while younger people were taking a more active role in the violence, their motivation was less likely than that of the adults to be religion-driven. Of the 900 juvenile detainees in American custody in November, fewer than 10 percent claimed to be fighting a holy war, according to the American military. About one-third of adults said they were.

A worker in the American detention system said that by her estimate, only about a third of the adult detainee population, which is overwhelmingly Sunni, prayed.

“As a group, they are not religious,” said Maj. Gen. Douglas Stone, the head of detainee operations for the American military. “When we ask if they are doing it for jihad, the answer is no.”

Muath, a slender, 19-year-old Sunni with distant eyes and hollow cheeks, is typical. He was selling cellphone credits and plastic flowers, struggling to keep his mother and five young siblings afloat, when an insurgent recruiter in western Baghdad, a man in his 30s who is a regular customer, offered him cash last spring to be part of an insurgent group whose motivations were a mix of money and sect.

Muath, the only wage earner in his family, agreed. Suddenly his family could afford to eat meat again, he said in an interview last September.

Indeed, at least part of the religious violence in Baghdad had money at its heart. An officer at the Kadhimiya detention center, where Muath was being held last fall, said recordings of beheadings fetched much higher prices than those of shooting executions in the CD markets, which explains why even nonreligious kidnappers will behead hostages.

“The terrorist loves the money,” said Capt. Omar, a prison worker who did not want to be identified by his full name. “The money has big magic. I give him $10,000 to do small thing. You think he refuse?”

When Muath was arrested last year, the police found two hostages, Shiite brothers, in a safe house that Muath told them about. Photographs showed the men looking wide-eyed into the camera; dark welts covered their bodies.

Violent struggle against the United States was easy to romanticize at a distance.

“I used to love Osama bin Laden,” proclaimed a 24-year-old Iraqi college student. She was referring to how she felt before the war took hold in her native Baghdad. The Sept. 11, 2001, strike at American supremacy was satisfying, and the deaths abstract.

Now, the student recites the familiar complaints: Her college has segregated the security checks; guards told her to stop wearing a revealing skirt; she covers her head for safety.

“Now I hate Islam,” she said, sitting in her family’s unadorned living room in central Baghdad. “Al Qaeda and the Mahdi Army are spreading hatred. People are being killed for nothing.”

Worried Parents

Parents have taken new precautions to keep their children out of trouble. Abu Tahsin, a Shiite from northern Baghdad, said that when his extended family had built a Shiite mosque, they did not register it with the religious authorities, even though it would have brought privileges, because they did not want to become entangled with any of the main religious Shiite groups that control Baghdad.

In Falluja, a Sunni city west of Baghdad that had been overrun by Al Qaeda, Sheik Khalid al-Mahamedie, a moderate cleric, said fathers now came with their sons to mosques to meet the instructors of Koran courses. Families used to worry most about their daughters in adolescence, but now, the sheik said, they worry more about their sons.

“Before, parents warned their sons not to smoke or drink,” said Mohammed Ali al-Jumaili, a Falluja father with a 20-year-old son. “Now all their energy is concentrated on not letting them be involved with terrorism.”

Recruiters are relentless, and, as it turns out, clever, peddling things their young targets need. General Stone compares it to as a sales pitch a pimp gives to a prospective prostitute. American military officers at the American detention center said it was the Qaeda detainees who were best prepared for group sessions and asked the most questions.

A Qaeda recruiter approached Mr. Mohammed, the 19-year-old, on a college campus with the offer of English lessons. Though lessons had been a personal ambition of Mr. Mohammed’s for months, once he knew what the man was after, he politely avoided him.

“When you talk with them, you find them very modern, very smart,” said Mr. Mohammed, a non-religious Shiite, who recalled feigning disdain for his own sect to avoid suspicion.

The population they focused on, however, was poor and uneducated. About 60 percent of the American adult detainee population is illiterate, and is unable to even read the Koran that religious recruiters are preaching.

That leads to strange twists. One young detainee, a client of Abu Mahmoud, the moderate Sunni cleric, was convinced that he had to kill his parents when he was released, because they were married in an insufficiently Islamic way. General Stone is trying to rectify the problem by offering religion classes taught by moderates.

There is a new favorite game in the lively household of the young Baghdad journalist. When they see a man with a turban on television, they yell and crack jokes. In one joke, people are warned not to give their cellphone numbers to a religious man.

“If he knows the number, he’ll steal the phone’s credit,” the journalist said. “The sheiks are making a society of nonbelievers.”

Redeem ALL Gift Cards Before they're Worthless said...


Not worth the plastic they're printed on

Sharper Image bankruptcy means consumers may find gift cards worthless

By Marty Orgel

Last update: 7:19 p.m. EST March 3, 2008

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- The Sharper Image's Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing reveals the downside of popular and convenient store gift cards.
Tens of millions of dollars in gift cards and certificates became worthless overnight in the wake of the Sharper Image's financial plight -- and customers holding those cards have little recourse.
Federal law allows a company to stop honoring store gift cards when it files Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and that's exactly what's happening at San Francisco-based Sharper Image. Sales clerks are telling customers they can no longer accept the plastic cards as payment, and the cards are no longer accepted when customers try to use them online.

Is UOJ Predicting a 1929-Style Run on the Banks? said...

Gulf investors may not save Citigroup, Dubai executive says

By Mirna Sleiman
March 4, 2008

DUBAI (Dow Jones) -- Mideast sovereign wealth funds may fail to save troubled U.S. banking giant Citigroup Inc. unless more cash is pumped into the lender, the head of a $13 billion Dubai-owned investment firm said Tuesday.
Sameer Al Ansari, Chief Executive of Dubai International Capital told delegates at a private equity conference that it will take more than the combined efforts of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, the Kuwait Investment Authority and Saudi investor Prince Alwaleed bin Talal to save the bank.
"It's going to take more than that to rescue Citi," Ansari said.

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

The run on the banks began last summer when over a billion dollars was withdrawn from E-Bank in 48 hours. Read on....

New recession worry: Bank failures

Construction loan problems threaten spike in smaller bank failures and add to worry over credit crunch.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- As if the economy wasn't already fighting enough strong headwinds, the risk of capital shortfalls and outright failure of the nation's banks is rising.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the federal agency that backs bank deposits, last week reported the biggest jump in "problem institutions" it has seen since the savings and loan crisis of the late 1980s. While the extent of the problem is still low by historic standards, it identified 76 banks as in trouble - a 52% increase from a year ago.

FDIC Commissioner Sheila Bair among regulators set to testify Tuesday at a Senate Banking Committee hearing on the state of the banking industry.

Experts say the 76 banks now under scrutiny are likely only a small part of the problems now looming over the banking sector.

Jaret Seiberg, the financial services analyst for policy research firm Stanford Group, said it appears that regulators are expecting about 200 bank failures in the coming year or two. If that occurs, it could rival the flood of bank failures seen during the S&L crisis. In 1989, the nation saw a post-Depression era record of 206 bank failures.

And Seiberg says even more than 200 troubled banks are likely to be purchased before they reach the point of failure.

"Many of these banks are highly dependent on construction lending, and that's the area of lending that is likely to come under the most stress," he said.

The FDIC stresses that not all those banks will fail. In fact in 2007 only three banks failed, even though 50 were on the watch list at the end of the previous year. So far this year, one bank - Douglass National Bank in Kansas City, Mo. - has failed.

Still, the head of the FDIC is looking to hire 25 staffers to deal with an anticipated increase in failures, a move that would increase its staff by 11%. Among those it hopes to hire are recent retirees who worked through the S&L crisis.

The banks most at risk for failure are generally smaller ones, not the huge global banks hit by billions in writedowns from subprime mortgage problems.

Smaller banks are big players in the business of construction loans made to homebuilders - loans that were backed by new homes now worth a fraction of the original estimated value.

In the past six months, the number of construction loans that are 30 days or more delinquent has spiked, according to Foresight Analytics, an Oakland, Calif., economic- and real-estate-research company. Its figures show 7.5% of single-family construction loans were delinquent in the fourth quarter of 2007, more than double the 3.1% rate as recently as the second quarter.

Matt Anderson, a partner with Foresight Analytics, said that it is the small- and mid-size banks, those with assets of $10 billion or less, that find themselves most at risk. Their construction loans outstanding equaled about 115% of their primary supply of capital as of Dec. 31, compared to the big banks for which construction spending represents only 43% of capital.

Anderson said even non-residential developers who have not been hurt by the downturn in housing could see their funding spigot turned off.

"The demise of smaller lenders probably won't have as noticeable impact on the national level, but in a lot of local markets around the U.S. it will be felt," Anderson said. "In the short-run, for folks that may have a viable projects, it could mean those projects will go under as well."

Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, agreed that it will be the smaller banks in markets with the greatest economic weakness that will fail, and that will only compound the troubles in those areas, even if customers don't lose their deposits.

"It's one more downdraft," he said. "For certain areas, Detroit, Cleveland, some of the areas where the housing bubble burst, it could be real bad news. I don't see the bigger banks rushing into those areas to provide credit."

Bernanke's high-wire act
But even if the big banks are somewhat protected from problems with construction loans and the risk of failure, it doesn't mean their balance sheet problems don't pose a threat to the economy.

In fact, Seiberg and some others say that tighter capital among the nation's major banks poses an even greater economic threat than hundreds of small bank failures.

Huge writedowns have caused losses at No. 1 bank Citigroup (C, Fortune 500), No. 1 thrift Washington Mutual (WM, Fortune 500) and leading mortgage lender Countrywide Financial (CFC, Fortune 500) in the fourth quarter.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told a Senate panel last week that while he doesn't expect the rising tide of bank failures to reach the major banks, he is worried about the need they face to raise additional outside capital.

"They have enough now certainly to remain solvent, and to remain well above their minimum capital levels," he testified. "But I'm concerned that banks will be pulling back and not making new loans and providing the credit which is the life blood of the economy."

Seiberg agreed that potential tightening of capital among the major banks is a far more serious threat to the economy than even hundreds of small bank failures.

"This economy lives and dies on credit," he said. "If the megabanks are stuck with billions in leveraged loans eating up precious space on their balance sheet, they won't be able to originate new loans. That's bad for everybody."

Anonymous said...

The rosh kollel who is a danger to the public because he drives like a reckless putz, causing severe injuries and a fatality, has been sentenced. More than 100 people from the kehillah appealed to the judge to not imprison him. He was given a 2 year deferred sentence, a $500 fine, 500 hours of community service that cannot be for any Jewish cause. His driver's license was revoked and he cannot reapply for 2 years. He must also pay for all medical and funeral expenses for his victims which is a huge sum of money. The rosh kollel told the judge that he has been getting all kinds of anti-Semitic hate mail. Maybe Avi Shafran can pen an op-ed to defend him.

Anonymous said...

What strikes me here is that if I was TRYING to destroy Charedi Judaism and the concept of Daas Torah, I could not have thought of a better strategy.

Scam leading Rabbis into signing a ban that’s not even written properly on the pretext that time is of the essence and then include the likes of Lipa Margolis as one of the signatories.

Anonymous said...

In a few years R' Schorr will be on the moetes gedolei hatorah. He is currently on the presidum of the agudah. So to all the chosuva parents and clean-cut children in charedei la-la land : Get Ready ! Your leader will soon be a rabid gerrer chosid and an economic hit man.

The gerrer chassidim are known for not walking with their wives. They have many other weird issues re : sexuality. As reported in chaptzem, schorr even had a mechitza at his daughter's chuppa.

YTT Misnagid said...

The judge in the YTT cases should make the following bums split all the mental health fees for the victims:

Dr. Bungalow Putz
Agudath Israel of America

Ben Bernanke After His emergency Meeting With UOJ said...

Face up to losses, Bernanke tells bankers
Fed chief beginning to understand extent of the mess
By MarketWatch
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- Rather than cling to the illusion that they'll get repaid in full, banks should face up to their losses from all those bad mortgages they underwrote, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told bankers Tuesday.
It's time to take the losses onto the books, so they and the rest of the economy can move on, he said.
All the debt counseling, foreclosure freezing, HOPE alliancing, and interest-rate reducing haven't made a dent in the problem yet. So far, he said, you haven't done nothing.
Bernanke's remarks were the clearest sign yet that he's beginning to understand the full extent of the mess the banks made.
"This situation calls for a vigorous response," Bernanke said in a speech to the Independent Community Bankers of America. The only way to avoid millions of foreclosures is to figure out how to reduce the principal amount the homeowner owes.
In other words, face up to the fact that home prices have plunged and won't go back to lofty levels for a long, long time.
Because foreclosure is so expensive (taking 50% of the principal in legal fees, missed payments and other expenses), it probably makes more sense (and dollars) for the lender to simply write down the value of the mortgage to what the home is actually worth on the market. Writing down the principal would allow the borrower to refinance into an affordable mortgage in many cases.
That would keep many families in their home, and help housing prices adjust.
Bernanke's idea is simple in theory but terribly complex in practice. Because most of these mortgages have been securitized, writing down the principal could require the agreement of dozens, or hundreds, or even thousands of "owners."
But Bernanke was optimistic that the brilliant minds who cooked up the complicated financial instruments that got us into this problem can also figure a way to get us out.
And if they can't, maybe it's time for more "vigorous" action from someone who can.

He's not joking, that's the problem... said...

March 4, 2008

Lipa - Response to Readers
Filed by Yitzchok Adlerstein @ 3:25 am

I asked a local posek who is highly regarded in the chareidi world and he told me that if everything is prohibited and there are no kosher outlets for our youth, then we are driving them to go off the derech. It seems that Rav Shmuel Kamenetzky made the same comment that kids need an outlet. Yet, he also said that he felt obliged to follow the lead of Rav Elyashiv and Rav Shteinman and therefore had to go along with the very last minute ban on the Lipa Concert.

Personally, I find it hard to believe that the complete disappearance of mega-concerts for all times would drive kids off the derech. (Note: I am not advocating or defending, just presenting a thought arguendo.) Kids (and adults) who need outlets need them on a regular basis, not twice a year. Banning music or mp3 players might help push hundreds of kids over the brink, but not banning concerts. (I will admit to harboring questions for decades about the permissibility of attending mass concerts because of the zecher l’churban halacha.) Perhaps they are contemplating a full music ban as the next move, but the way to handle that responsibly is for you to quietly and forcefully relay those impressions to Torah leaders that you know. It is not as satisfying to many people, and lacks the cathartic release of a good zinger in the blogosphere, but it will likely do more good.

I don’t understand why people cannot read between the lines of Rav Shmuel’s shlit”a words. I know very few of the other signatories; Rav Shmuel’s integrity I can swear by. I am obligated – and many of our readers as well – to bend over backwards to judge him favorably. (That is not an opinion, but a halachic requirement!) Rav Shmuel, even as one of the reigning gedolim of America, has his own obligation of kavod haTorah in regard to iconic representatives of Torah learning at its greatest in Israel . He has to discharge this both on a personal level, and to prevent anything that he does to be seen as slighting their honor – even if he disagrees. If you think about it, what he did makes ironic sense to people who can bottle up their rage for a while.

What follows is a guess, nothing more. I have not spoken with Rav Shmuel, neither directly nor indirectly. If I am completely wrong, I hope he will be mochel; my intention is to be mindful of his kavod and that of the Torah. Many leaders of groups – nations and others – must learn the language of diplomacy. This does not mean hypocrisy, but articulating in a manner that will send different messages simultaneously to different people. Rav Shmuel was beset by the kanoim on the one hand, the requirement of kavod haTorah on the other. Think of what he did. He paid the kavod HaTorah debt, and then effectively let the word out that this is not the way he would have preferred to see the matter handled. Why doesn’t anyone get it? He unmasked the kanaim! He essentially told people that when kanaim do this kind of thing, people have to be a bit more astute and probing, and make subtle inquiries, directly or through others, about what their own individual Torah authorities really think. Perhaps he actually meant what everyone is frothing at the mouth about: don’t take Kol Korehs at face value! He said it, not you!

Why did he not stand up to everyone, instead of going along with the group? Why does he not get up and clearly articulate his position? Why does he not publicly reassert the need for gedolim in America to make their own decisions instead of asking all questions thousands of miles away? (I will put money on Rav Elyashiv shlit”a and Rav Chaim Kanievsky shlit”a looking approvingly at such a proposal, just like in the old days of a few years ago.) I do not know. I can think of many reasons, and I’m sure I’m missing many more. There are times you can get up and fight, and times when you lose more in the long run. If I myself can understand such possibilities, I am certainly obligated to give Rav Shmuel the benefit of the doubt. So should many others.

One point of this article seems to be that some producers/musicians may be creating public spectacles which in themselves promote values foreign to Judaism. To me, this suggests there are hashkafah problems within the target audience. Nobody would put on a mega-event that was unlikely to fill up the house. What factors, then, have created the audience for these things, among the very group brought up to resist alien/pop culture the most? This may show the futility of a purely defensive strategy against the lures of our golus.

I’m not sure why. Certainly, there is a gradient of infection. While it may be too late for some, it will not be too late for others, both present and future. I am not saying that this was behind the ban. As I said, despite all the comments that we have printed and those we have not, I do not know what was really behind this. Perhaps in a few weeks we will find out.

I am traveling and cannot remember the name of the rav who gave the psak, but I believe Elbogen quotes a tshuva about chazannim that went MaiAchora HaKotel at the vatican to find musical inspiration; their actions were praised, I believe.

If memory serves me correctly (I should be in bed by now), Rav Ovadya shlit”a completely dismisses this report in his teshuva about non-Jewish music in Yabia Omer.

The people who signed the ban are “Chareidi” Gedolim. If NCSY followed the Hashkafa of Chareidi Gedolim it would not exist.

This is historical revisionism. NCSY had the support and participation of many, many gedolei Yisrael of the charedi world. When I worked as an advisor, the administration was top-heavy with Chaim Berliners, acting with the guidance and blessing of Rav Hutner. Eastern Seaboard region was called “Ner Israel Region” colloquially. Rav Yaakov Kaminetsky, acting as the head of the Bais Yaakov of Balitmore education committee, issued a ruling about girls participating in NCSY and Bnei Akiva. He banned the latter (not out of any anti-Zionism – while he was alive the school had an Israeli flag and recognized Yom Ha’atzmaut to some extent, or so I was told), but permitted the former to girls who had become observant through it. He once said (in Yiddish), “I am an NCSY’er.” The NCSYers out there will back me up with recollections of a host of black-frocked charedi leaders who visited National Convention.

I understand that you don’t have the inside facts, but you surely know the “Zealots” who are involved, and whose name(s) have been openly mentioned on the Yeshiva World web site. Here is your chance to expose them. Will you take advantage of this opportunity? (Don’t forget that in previous posts you have mentioned that these zealots represent a tremendous danger to Klal Yisroel).

I think I did! Read again. If a Kol Koreh seems bizarre, check it out. Don’t demand instant gratification. It may take a while. Find the most significant bnei Torah you know, and push them for an explanation. They will push others. In time you will learn the truth.

What would you say to those that felt no impact by the Slifkin banning? Yet you were quite horrified by that and the direction things were going. Do you not see this as the next step in that same direction?

Sorry, my friend. I cannot get as exercised over losing some moments of musical entertainment as over the delegitimizing of the works of geonim, rishonim and acharonim, particularly since said works were the lifeline to all the scientifically engaged people I had worked with in decades in kiruv. Besides, the problem you point to is not the here and now, but the “What will they think of next????” You are anticipating, perhaps rightfully so. My solution for the moment was clear. Ignore the work of the kanaim. Pick a responsible Torah authority of the highest caliber, and learn to get his opinion, quietly and discretely. And then follow it, whether it is comfortable or not.

Many kids raised in secular American homes found their way to Yiddishkeit via NCSY and Jewish music including songs which were based upon popular culture songs but “nitharu” with lyrics derived from Tanach or Jewish content. while, I’m sure that some of the kanoim who acted against Lipa might oppose these venues as well (and there is basis to do so) I suspect that the “over the top” nature of current “Big Events” type concerts which include You-Tube music video promotions is more likely the center of their ire.

I suspect that you are very correct.

It doesn’t affect you that the leaders of one part of American Orthodox Jewry willingly bow to the wills of others thousands of miles away (causing $1million of loss) without even investigating the situation or talking to those involved?

How do you know what they investigated and what they offered? Do we have no obligation at all to be dan lekaf zechus? If we can’t do it for the facts we believe we know, can’t we at least do it in the areas where we clearly don’t know? In the worst case scenario, I will admit that such action would indeed cause me great consternation – but only in the case of my personal rabbeim and mentors. I am not so heavily invested in the leaders of other parts of the community, may HKBH give them all long prosperous lives.

Analyst said...

It sounds like Bernanke is offering a no-go "solution" for public consumption. It's just a White House policy stunt to make everyone feel good until the next set of catastrophic figures come out.

The banks have no reason to agree to this. They are better off foreclosing so they can start the next vicious cycle of mortgages from the new homeowners.

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

The problem with the Fed is identical to the problems of the Bush presidency (I did vote for the putz)...there are no contingency plans in place. Every day is a head-scratching..."what do we do now?"

boog said...

Yitzchok Alderstin, You are a Mega-Putz, Shoiteh Oyem V'Noireh.

Spare me your 15 paragraphs of turgid, convoluted, incomprehensible blabbering and get off your lazy duff to call R' Kaminetsky to get it straight from him what he actually means, instead of surmising. We don't need your Boich Sevorahs.

The bottom line here is that 33 Tachtonim at the 11th hour, without considering the consequences of their actions and without following Halachic Due process caused tremendous financial losses and massive Chilul Hashem.

If you truly believe that this is "Dass Toiyreh", you can keep it.

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

Yitzchok Alderstin, You are a Mega-Putz, Shoiteh Oyem V'Noireh.
Yitzchok Alderstin, You are a Mega-Putz, Shoiteh Oyem V'Noireh.
Yitzchok Alderstin, You are a Mega-Putz, Shoiteh Oyem V'Noireh.
Yitzchok Alderstin, You are a Mega-Putz, Shoiteh Oyem V'Noireh.
Yitzchok Alderstin, You are a Mega-Putz, Shoiteh Oyem V'Noireh.
Yitzchok Alderstin, You are a Mega-Putz, Shoiteh Oyem V'Noireh.


Joe Kornfeld said...

Herbie Bomzer will get a kick out of this. After Cynthia McFadden asked him about Mondrowitz on ABC Nightline, Rabbi Toiv's kids claim she donated to their scam organization:


Heritage For The Blind - Vehicle Donation Program


“I wanted to tell you what a nice experience this has been. I was able to donate my car get a tax deduction and a great feeling knowing that I was able to help your cause. Good Job!"

- Cynthia Mcfadden
from New York

Donating is easy as 1-2-3!
We offer fast, free, no hassle pick-up nationwide!

There has never been an easier way to donate your car!

Removing All Vehicles
Cars, Trucks, Motorcycles, RVs, Trailers, and Boats.

Heritage for the Blind is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization listed in the IRS cumulative list of tax-exempt organizations with our IRS id number.

Abie said...

What LIARS! The Toivs make it sound like they are different than the other scams where the money gets lost before reaching those in need.


Why donate to Heritage for the Blind instead of the competitors?

Heritage for the Blind is a non-profit organization, while most of our competitors are for-profit companies that run a car donation program for one or more charities. Usually the for-profit companies receive the majority of the proceeds of the sale of auctioned vehicles, while the charity receives less than 10 percent of the donation.

What can I donate?

You can donate cars, vans, trucks, RVs, boats, heavy equipment, pianos and real estate. Vehicles do not have to run; however they cannot be stripped of doors, or parts.

Do I need a title? How much does a duplicate title cost? How long does it take to receive it?

Yes. If you don't have a title, Heritage for the Blind can help you get a duplicate title from the DMV. This generally costs $25 and takes about a week.

Dr. Stanley Boylan said...


I never knew all this from giving a shiur in Toiv's shul. Go down this page for all the exotic vacations they give away for your beaten up yeshivish jalopies. No wonder after the fat salaries & "program expenses" there's almost nothing left. These destinations are an Agudah Fresser's dream.

Country Yossi (Toiv) said...

Leave us Toivs alone! I'm warning you, UOJ! Or else I'll torture you by singing one of my songs!

Karl Rove said...

That putz Barry Toiv from the Clinton administration is some kind of cousin also.

Anonymous said...

KOVOD HATORAH has only been trampled upon those who dragged others names through the mud in public and have yet to issue an apology in public. No one has yet answered the 700,000 dollar question as to why noone bothered to contact Lipa or Shia before issuing a very disparaging letter. Zee toirah? V'Zee Chachumeha? I think not! If you are looking for a true godol betoire look for those who shun being driven around in a Lexus or Caddie. If they have a shingle up it is a likely simmin they are like your corner tarot card reader.

The "Lexus Rebbe" on 59th St said...

What about if the Rebbele drives the Lexus himself?

Brooklyn Alert said...

There is an evil shaytelmacher in Boro Park with a disgusting Hungarian accent who scams her customers. She is a thief who is not allowed on the premesis of some wholesalers because she stole from them. She tries taking women to a BP warehouse that specializes in defective schoyre and passes it off as regular at full price. When your wife / daughter realizes she has been scammed, it's too late to get back the deposit.

Another warning sign is she takes clients to her fellow scam artist Eva Rosenbluh of the Blue Rose hat store on 16th Ave where Eva jacks up the price and gives her a kickback.

This evil woman also has a police record after she was caught shoplifting at Macy's.

"Town Car" Friedman said...

Lexus Rebbe, you do look a little foolish fort that every bummy chassidishe putz in a green suit davens by you.

Son of Boog said...

Toiv's shul is about 5 addresses away from Scheinerman. He must be gloating over all the bad publicity.

John Diamond of Jewish Vegetarians of America said...

When Harry Truman was asked by Merle Miller in 1972 why he fired General MacArthur, he said, "I fired him because he wouldn't respect the authority of the President. That's the amswer to that. I didn't fire him because he was a dumb SOB, although he was, but that's not against the law for Generals. If it was, one half to three quarters of them would be in jail."

We have Orthodox Rabbinical authority today that does not respect the Authority of HaShem.

And the common Jew, very unfortunately, has no authority to fire them.

Anonymous said...

I know the reckless driver from yeshiva. Just watched the video from ABC TV. It seems that his crying & begging the judge for rachmonus and all the supporters at the trial worked. The judge, who is Black, is being blasted by politicians & the media for not sentencing him to a year in jail.

Leopold Margulies said...

Vat's wrong vit Hungarian accents?

Catch 22 said...

Avremel Schorr is up dreck's creek without a paddle.

If he gets people to donate to pay back Sheya Mendlowitz through Dovid Goldwasser's plan, Shmarya is threatening to report them to the IRS and Andrew Cuomo for inventing an illegal charitable donation scam.

If he doesn't raise the money, UOJ knows where he lives.

The Jury's Out said...

It seems that the judge had to decide whether the rosh kollel is a reckless jerk or if he's a temimiusdikke and tzefloygenne guy. In any case, it's good that his right to drive was revoked.

Gil Student said...

Aww shucks! Dovid Goldwasser had the mazal of thinking up that plan first. I'd also love some PR to help me sell my books.

What's the Halacha? said...

I don't even know if Goldwasser's idea works for maaser kessafim. Even though Sheya could be bankrupted by this insanity, he still has the recourse of going after the assets of Taliban Friedman and company so I dunno what the din is of outside donations.

Anonymous said...

Yitzchok Alderstein is seriously disturbed. On and on and on while ignoring the fact that R' Kaminetzky's decision cost people hundreds of thousands of dollars. Are you sure it's not one of Avi Shafran's pen names?

Marvin Schick said...

All the evidence still points to rosh kollels being better drivers than the general population.

Aron Twerski said...

The rosh kollel with the revoked license was an honorable driver.

Shea Fishman said...

I don't know about you guys but I'm danning the rosh kollel lekaf zchus that he was distracted by inclement weather.

Anonymous said...

which kolel is this driver from

Bungalow Yenta's Grocer said...

"which kolel is this driver from"

She ran in today and asked the same question to everyone in the store.

Anonymous said...

Regarding Rabbi Saffra from Lawrence who supervises Gorton's fish. What happened that he was in a lawsuit with his old shul in Howard Beach?