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Sunday, June 01, 2008

Dear Arthur --- and all Jews of whatever color clothing, hats, and yarmulkes, and no yarmulkes.

Arthur writes:

To UOJ:

I have been an avid follower of your blog for quite a while. I think that the issues you bring up and your opinions about them are right on target. However your type of blog attracts a large amount of professional haters and wackos. The kind that think or say "don't confuse with the facts, my mind is made up".

I'm not going to attempt to respond to their vile attacks on the Rebbi ZT"L and Chabad in general because it won't make an iota of difference to these haters, but I do find that most of the bashers had issues with Lubavitch way before the Rebbi's ptirah.

By the way your "friend" Kolko worked for me as a counselor when I was head counselor at camp Gan Yisroel many moons ago.He was a virulent hater of Chabad and was quite vocal about it at the time, and look what happened to the self righteous SOB.

My doubts with this whole Rubashkin story is that we have set ourselves up as policeman, judge, jury and executioners.The only thing we are sure of at this time, is the illegal alien issue. All the other issues are still in abeyance. This whole attack on Agri seems to be, at least to me, a lynch mob situation. If all these other accusations turn out to be false then we will all be guilty of shfichas dam mamosh. What I do know is that without Agri the price of kosher meat will be sky high and I am a firm believer in not biting the hand that feeds me. There are a lot of factors at play here. Peta,the Mafia run butchers union, the Conservitive so called hechser are behind most of these allegations.

Lets not make this a Lubavitch issue, Moshiach-Rebbe issue, or some other inane issue. If the allegations turn to be true, then I will be in the front lines together with you and everyone else to close them down.

What I'm saying is lets put this on hold until all the facts come out rather then lynch them outright.

Just in case you think that I am a Rubashkin as some loony blogger claims, I don't have the remotest familial relationship with them. I barely know them personally.

The closest contact I've had with them is eating in the Crown restaurant, which is owned by Rubaskin, on 13th Ave., many years ago as a bochur. My uncle Z"L was a lubavitcher chosid and a Rosh Hayishiva in Torah Vodaas.

Enough said.**************************


Dear Arthur,

Your conciliatory words and generous comments, provide a window to a caring and thoughtful person.

We, essentially, do not have opposing views on Rubashkin. You hesitate to go along with the lynch mob - I fault you not. Actually, I commend you for not buying into every piece of gossip that floats around the community - like shnorrers in Borough Park.

Here is were we differ.

You claim you have no information - yet --- that would condemn them - I claim I do!

Condemn for what you may ask.

Illegal immigrants en masse, working at their plants! So what...everybody does it. Wrong! The everybodys that do it are committing a crime. We are a country of laws - based on sound reasoning (mostly) - whether we like it or not.

Laws were meant to keep society and civilization alive - at least in the USA - until the Kennedys and their miserable ilk of left-wing Marxist whack jobs - gained entrance into the American psyche.

But there are dividing lines; and as Jews, we, under all circumstances, must never cross them. Any act - repeat - any act that dehumanizes creation; men, women, children - undue abuse of animals - distorts nature by creating "new fabricated laws of nature" - and is an abominable crime; - besides destroying the tenets of a viable society.

The water dripping effect on concrete comes to mind --- first it stains, then an indentation forms - then a hole; and over time, it cracks. Yes - water can crack concrete over time.

So, let's add up the Rubashkin "water dripping" effect on our society.

1 - No kosher slaughterhouse is permitted to have a non-kosher division under the same roof.
2 - A long and vile record of documented and recorded - intentional, undue animal abuse.
3-Recruiting and hiring illegals - a crime!
4-Selling chicken, knowingly - bacteria and feces laden.
5-Serious credible allegations of physical abuse of their employees.
6- Selling fake ID and Social Security cards on their premises.
7-Having created a network of people --- selling fraudulent documentation for serious money - permitting illegal entry in to the USA under false pretenses.
8-I tell you this with authority. The KAJ left Rubashkin because there was mass co-mingling of kosher and non-kosher meat - and sick animals - which rendered them dangerous to eat --- and non-kosher, were sold as kosher. Many continuous allegations from insiders, that the shochtim are unreliable - because of the quotas they have to fill - and incompetence abound.
9-Every Rubashkin truck driver had thousands of spare "glatt kosher" labels on their trucks. WHY?!
10- I happen to know that the Rubashkins are not closet Meshichisits! WHO CARES? I DO! They are posul eidus at chupas - and by their beliefs - kofer b'ikur!

I'm certain that there are some nice Rubashkins. I don't condemn the name - I condemn the vile acts. I condemn their belief system - trying to pass themselves off as a legitimate sect of Judaism.

I knew and revered your uncle and his Rebbetzin Necha. I took the rebbetzin shopping for Shabbos on Kingston Av - Minkowicz. I helped her pick out a hat for the Rosh Yeshiva at the hat store on Kingston, Mr. Mike - and bought seforim with her for the Rosh Yeshiva at Drimmers. I sat around their kitchen table as the rebbetzin and my saintly rebbe traded verbal jabs lovingly.

I completed a good part of the Shulchan Aruch Harav ( the Chaya Adam, the Mishna Berurah, the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch (one chelek), and the Ben Ish Chai are derivative works) --- with your uncle at his residence, on Eastern Parkway and Brooklyn Av., over an almost five year span.

I attended many a "fabrengen" at the behest of my father and your uncle. I had "yechidus" with the Rebbe four times, prior to becoming a member of the Chai Club for nine years. (that allowed me another nine private meetings)

I learned Tanya as a teenager - as was taught by the tzaddik Rav Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz ztvk"l (zchuso yagen aleinu), in Yeshivah Torah Vodaath.

AND THEN LUBAVITCH COLLAPSED --- as a Jewish sect.

The incubation period was over (Freud), and it became --- "Moshiach was the Rebbe" psychotic movement ---- and I said NO THANKS - I'M OUTTA HERE! I believe with my whole heart, that dementia, neurosis and delusional behavior overtook the genius and gaon - Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson - as it did with all the previous charismatic Moshiach psychotics. While the legacy of his chessed lives on - the destruction of his sect as "Torah Jews" is his legacy. He permitted this delusion and mass psychosis to fester and inebriate the mindset of thousands of Jews - creating Jew-style Jews.

Yes, Lubavitch has the most soup kitchens for anybody that appears Jewish. No mean feat! Judaism - NO! A cult with many good and kind people - Yes! TRUST THEM WITH KASHRUTH - NO!

....And only a minuscule portion of the story has been told!

B'yididus,

UOJ

119 comments:

LVF said...

Uoj, I have one word for you ""WOW"", that was nice.

"Laws were meant to keep society and civilization alive - at least in the USA - until the Kennedys and their miserable ilk of left-wing Marxist and whack jobs - gained entrance into the American psyche."

Uoj, this paragraph was taken straight out of mark levin's show, you should be careful who you steal words from, he might sue you under the copy right laws we have in place.

All kidding aside I heard a story but cannot confirm it, if anyone has more details on this please post.

The gedoilem in eretz yisroel called an assifa among themselves to see what can be done with the way lubavitch was heading with everyone of his chassidem beleiving that he is moshiach, they came to the conclusion that he has to flat out deny it in front of the entire chassidus, and the pnei menachem of ger who was then the rosh yeshiva of sfas emes was chosen to go to america and have a talk with him and tell him what was decided in the name of all the gedoilem, since hashem has his ways before the pnei menachem made it to the u.s. the lubavitcher rebbe fell seriously ill and was taken to the hospital, and the rest is history...

if anyone out there knows if the above story is true please fill in the blanks, thanks.

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

Uoj, this paragraph was taken straight out of mark levin's show,
----------------

Boruch shekevanti....I don't listen to Mark Levin, but he's got a pretty acerbic way of expressing himself.

The Damn Krauts said...

It’s an absolute joke to place KAJ on the pedestal as a reliable hashgacha. They are as fraudulent as Star-K. The yekke putzes look kosher and yosher, and trust every moron they meet. Why did Finkel choose a yekke for hashgacha? to show that he’s kosher, and reliable. The flunky mashgiach Ulman came for five minutes every three months because he relied on Finkel’s black hat and was scared about his blackmail. That’s what a yekke hashgacha is worth. So you trust these krauts to say what’s kosher??

How the heck was KAJ who’s supposed to be the epitome of morality and business ethics giving a hashgacha on “Glatt Kosher” Chickens when according to their own shita even a cow can’t be glatt because nothing is 100% certainly not chickens??

Heine-man from Baltimore is also a yekke, look at his ethics, scruples and morals.

Look at the Novominsker, he was a rosh yeshiva in Breuer’s. Look at his cover-ups and ugly behaviors. That is Towrah Im Derech Eretz.

Like no molestation happens among the KAJ KEHILLO families?

You are putting these bums up as standard bearers?

Come on UOJ don’t insult our intelligence by bringing a PROOF from these bums how Rubashkin is no good.

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

I believe that the KAJ - as long as Chaim Kohn was there - was a hashgocho one was able to rely on.

Most Rabbonim Today are Cowards said...

It's true that R' Chaim Kohn is the biggest bokee in America in Choshen Mishpot. And it's true that Rubashkin barred him from stepping foot on his property but a lot of people are upset that he was mattir the throat ripping meshugass. The KAJ should be ashamed of themselves for whoring themselves to Rubashkin after he ganged up on their dayan with Weissmandel.

Ja Wohl! said...

The Neubergers from NIRC are also Yekkes.

Rabbi Breslauer from the Yekkishe shul in Monsey wouldn't listen to Yudel Shain's "loshon hara" about Finkel.

Anonymous said...

8-I tell you this with authority. The KAJ left Rubashkin because there was mass co-mingling of kosher and non-kosher meat - and sick animals - which rendered them dangerous to eat --- and non-kosher, were sold as kosher...

Where is the statement from the KAJ that this was the case? If this were in fact going on they would not have hung around for another 5 months from the date of their December letter; they would have pulled the plug immediately. Or maybe you are suggesting that KAJ is masim michshol lifnei iveir by keeping quiet about a ma'achil tarfus.

More likely, however, you are making this up out of whole cloth.

Anonymous said...

I had not realized that UOJ was a Lubavitcher

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

I never was a Lubavitcher, I sought knowledge by many great people.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting because you come across as a hot headed ranting lunatic, yet in some of your writings such as this one (you should really share more about your life because the more you write, the more impressive you appear) you come across as a yid truly dedicated to Torah. I think this is the true you. Sharing this side will only help your cause.

Though you might not care, opposition has painted you as an Oisvorf with no real connection to Yiddishkeit. In reality, you are quite accomplished.

I do wonder, though, given your obviouis love for torah, how you write some of the things that you write - off color remarks, etc. Even if it is just a charade as you have once stated, it is difficult to reconcile your ways as UOJ with the exemplary character that your non-UOJ/real life persona clearly possesses.

You are one complicated guy. A book about your life would be quite interesting.

You appear to be the same age as Arthur having been influenced by his father. Arthur had Kolko in his camp some 40 years ago. At the time Arthur was a head counsleor - must have been 25-30 years old. That would make Arthur between 65-70 today.

This would make UOJ pretty old - just an interesting thought...

Moish Finkel said...

Don't forget me, I'm also a yekke. I even davened in KAJ MOnsey after I got thrown out of every other shul in town. Ich bin ein Frankforter. Kosher or not is another story!!

Anonymous said...

Chareidi paedophile arrested in London. Wanted for extradition to Israel where he was convicted in 2006 for raping a 14 year old boy.

steve said...

UOJ,

As usual who hit a homerun with this post. You touched upon all the important issues and did so very eloquently. A big Yasher Koach!

steve said...

Forgive me for being off-color, but didn't you have a post about this fellow once:

http://chaptzem.blogspot.com/2008/05/breaking-news-man-found-dead-in-fron-of.html#comments

BREAKING NEWS - Man found dead in front of Avenue Plaza Hotel in Boro-Park
A man was found dead on the street in a pool of blood in front of the Avenue Plaza Hotel on 13th Avenue in Boro-Park. It is uncertain whether the man jumped from the building to his death or if he was struck by a hit and run driver.


Leave Comment ---This article posted by Chaptzem : 9:47 PM

Comments:
ii was there. the guy jumped

Comment Credit ---This article posted by Anonymous : May 31, 2008 10:45 PM

Arthur said...

To UOJ
I can understand where your coming from when you attack Lubavitch.We have a lot to answer for by allowing a group of very vocal crazies to continue to besmirch the name of Lubavitch and the memory of the Rebbi ZT"L.However your way of base by your blanket condemnation of all of Lubavitch.I know that what I'm saying will not change your convictions by the slightest iota and therefore I'm not going to go into any vikuach with you about this matter so lets agree to disagree.However when you attack the Rebbi ZT"L in such a vile manner you have crossed a red line which I find unforgiveable.Again I"m not going to argue with you about this matter to.There are many people who are much more capable then myself who can do so.What I definitely do know is that if my uncle Z"L was alive he would vehemently disapprove of your attack against the Rebbi.
I just would like to end by relating the following incident.On a Erev Rosh Hashona when it was customary to hand kvitlach to the Rebbi,one crazy handed the Rebbi a kvitel with the words "Likvod Kedusahas Admur Melech Hamoshiach".Without batting an eye lash the Rebbi said "When I will see him I will pass it on to him".This is not glatt a bubbe maise because I was next in line behind this individual and heard it with my own ears.
Good luck in your battle against the the true iniquities of this world.

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

South Korea asks US to change beef import agreement over mad cow disease fears


SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- South Korea's president suggested Tuesday that his country would seek to ban imports of U.S. beef from older cattle amid a public backlash against his government over fears of mad cow disease.

Agriculture Minister Chung Woon-chun said earlier Tuesday that Seoul had asked the U.S. to refrain from exporting any beef that comes from cattle 30 months of age and older, considered at greater risk of the illness.

A spokesman for President Lee Myung-bak said the president told a weekly Cabinet meeting that "it is natural not to bring in meat from cattle 30 months of age and older as long as the people do not want it."

Spokesman Lee Dong-kwan also expressed hope that the United States would respect South Korea's position following large-scale anti-government protests over the weekend.

Alexander Vershbow, the U.S Ambassador to South Korea, said Washington saw no need to renegotiate an April agreement the two countries reached to resume imports.

"I can't deny that we're disappointed by this," he told reporters Tuesday after meeting South Korea's minister of foreign affairs and trade.

Vershbow said the deal is "based on international science and there is no scientific justification to postpone implementation."

South Korea agreed in April to reopen its market to U.S. beef after it was blocked for most of the past four and a half years in a ban sparked by the first case of the brain-wasting cattle sickness in the U.S. in late 2003.

However, after protests over the weekend involving tens of thousands of people and a request from the ruling party, the government said Monday it was delaying the implementation of the agreement.

The government decided on the delay to "humbly accept the people's will," Chung said.

He said quarantine inspections of any U.S. beef will not resume until South Korea receives a response from Washington on the request to avoid exports of older cattle.

South Korea last year briefly allowed imports of boneless beef from cattle under 30 months of age, but they were suspended after bones were found in some shipments from U.S. meatpackers.

The April 18 accord allowed for a resumption of almost all imports -- except for cattle parts known as specified risk material such as the brain, skull, eyes and spinal cord -- in what had been third largest overseas market for U.S. beef. But the much-criticized deal sparked near daily street protests.

Those demonstrations escalated dramatically over the weekend after the government announced it would begin inspections of U.S. beef this week, the last step before resuming the imports.

A total of almost 60,000 people rallied in downtown Seoul over the weekend to denounce the government and call for the agreement to be scrapped. Police estimated 38,000 protesters turned out Saturday followed by 20,000 on Sunday.

The weekend rallies were the biggest yet in a month of demonstrations.

Protesters claim U.S. beef is unsafe and say Lee is ignoring their concerns, behaving arrogantly and kowtowing to Washington.

Americans consumed 28.1 billion pounds of beef in 2007, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show, and both U.S. and South Korean officials have repeatedly said American beef poses no safety risk.

The timing of the import deal -- reached just hours before a summit between Lee and U.S. President George W. Bush at his Camp David retreat -- has also fueled anger.

On Monday, several leading U.S. beef companies said they would begin labeling shipments to South Korea to indicate the age of cattle at time of slaughter.

The companies -- including Tyson Foods Inc. and JBS Swift & Co. -- said the labels would show whether the cattle were younger or older than 30 months when slaughtered.

Scientists believe mad cow disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy, spreads when farmers feed cattle recycled meat and bones from infected animals. The U.S. banned recycled feeds in 1997.

In humans, eating meat products contaminated with the brain-wasting cattle disease is linked to variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, a rare and fatal malady.

South Korea bought about $813 million worth of American beef in 2003, before imports were banned. American beef accounted for almost half of the beef market in South Korea and nearly 70 percent of imports that year.

Anonymous said...

what's the deal with mondrowitz. when will the creep get his day in court?

Anonymous said...

While I agree with you wholeheartedly about the innapropriateness of the host to speak ill of the Rebbe the way he did; I fail to see why he is not enetiled to criticize the entire movement. After all the entire movement or most of them agrees with the other half (or the majority) about the contents of the ideology? They only disagree as to the publicity thereof? Why are they not subject to criticism when they hold the very same foreign ideas?

Furthermore: While you rightly feel that it is innapropriate to ciriticize the Rebbe the way he did, you should also put the same idea into action when you and your friends speak and write about leaders of other groups. Lubavitchers have no "Red lines" where not to ciriticize any respected Rabbi or LEader or Admoor who disagrees with it's philosophy. They do not shudder to speak and write and teadch their masses negative messages about other revered leaders. May this serve you as a lesson for the ills in yuor community!

Menachem Lubinsky said...

South Korea's unwarranted fears over Mad Cow are part of the left-wing gang up on Rubashkin.

We don't care because Koreans are not "core" customers of ours.

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

I thought I was rather clear that I was mesermized by the Lubavitcher Rebbe. He was a genius and a gaon atzum.

Then illness set in. I'm convinced of that. Mental illness is no different than any other illness that affects a human. Some take their toll physically, and some mentally.

He probably lost control of his faculties completely, sometime in the mid 1980's. Certainly he had no control of himself when Shmuel But(t)man...rolled him on stage.

Arthur said...

"May this serve you as a lesson for the ills in yuor community"
Sad to say but we (Klal Yisroel)have illnesses in all our communities.Just take a look at the posts on "UOJ".

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

UOJ the blog - is probably the only place in the blogosphere - that almost everyone who chooses to vent - can.

I do not view my opinion of what happened to the Rebbe as an attack.

I am convinced that history will give witness to my view.

Anonymous said...

I have found that Lubavitchers are very arrogant in that they think their mehalech is the only true way of Yiddishkeit.

I also know of cases where Chabad rabbonim have applied tremendous pressure on BTs and gerim to only date / marry those who subscribe to Lubavitcher philosophy. Who knows how many wonderful opportunities have been squandered by these closed minded, self-serving and selfish Chabad rabbis.

History said...

UOJ was of course correct!

When was he ever wrong?

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

The companies -- including Tyson Foods Inc. and JBS Swift & Co. -- said the labels would show whether the cattle were younger or older than 30 months when slaughtered.

Scientists believe mad cow disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy, spreads when farmers feed cattle recycled meat and bones from infected animals. The U.S. banned recycled feeds in 1997.

In humans, eating meat products contaminated with the brain-wasting cattle disease is linked to variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, a rare and fatal malady.
---------------------

When are the kosher slaughterhouses going to implement this policy!?

BTW - Guess who led the way in getting kosher airline food dated?

The Suspense is too much for us said...

"BTW - Guess who led the way in getting kosher airline food dated?"

Nu?

R' Binyomin Finkelstein, Mashgiach Gashmi of BMG Lakewood said...

I know all about dates on airline foods. Someone donated tons of frozen airline dreck to the yeshiva that was 2 years expired. The chicken wings disintegrated to the touch and the carrots & peas turned white from age.

Oy, those poor bochurim.

Kenneth Starr said...

"The companies -- including Tyson Foods Inc. and JBS Swift & Co. -- said the labels would show whether the cattle were younger or older than 30 months"

That's like trusting Rubashkin with labels.

Do you have any idea how corrupt Tyson is? He's a personal friend of Bubba Clinton and is suspected of being behind various unsolved murders and assaults of witnesses who were to testify against Bill & Hillary.

There was one infamous murder case of a kid who stumbled across something at a private airstrip owned by Tyson. The murder investigation was restarted a half dozen times then closed down by various branches of the Federal govt. It's suspected that Tyson was allowing use of his airfield to launch planes for Iran-Contra. The Republicans don't want Tyson to get in trouble either because of the can of worms that would be opened.

French Bastard from Le Marais said...

"beef that comes from cattle 30 months of age and older, considered at greater risk of the illness."

Hee hee! When we advertise we specialize in "AGED" beef, little do you know what kind of dreck we are feeding the Agudah Fressers. Would you like a side of salad with that, garnished with BIG BEATLES?

Arthur said...

"UOJ was of course correct!

When was he ever wrong?"
As rav Y.B. Soloveichick Z"L once said about Rav Shamshon Rephoel Hirsh Z"l "We are not ready to canonize him yet".Al achos kamo vokamo.......

Bartley Kulp said...

OUJ said...

He probably lost control of his faculties completely, sometime in the mid 1980's. Certainly he had no control of himself when Shmuel But(t)man...rolled him on stage.

10:31 AM, June 03, 2008

Actually I have met witnesses who saw and heard The Rebbe read Butman the riot act. I also the Rosh Yeshiva of Dvar Yerushalyim relate that he actually asked the Rebbe if it was true what many of his followers are saying regarding being the moshiach. The rebbe replied "chas ve shalom."

There is also a famous video that was taken during the 80's where some followers were having a fabreingen or something. They were all pounding the tables singing Yechi Adoneinu. The rebbe then came flying out of his office screaming and yelling. This is something that I do not think that anybody had witnessed before.

I remember that it was only when he lost his voice after the stroke that all of the flags and bumper stickers came out proclaiming the presence of the moshiach.

Now as for that video that moshichists like play where everybody is singing yechi and the rebbe with his arm swinging in what semmed as some sort of approval, he might have been having a small mal seizure. In physical state he was in, he probably was not cognizing properly what everybody was singing. This is different than saying he was senile but it boils down to the same lack of clarity.

Had he not had that stroke the whole mashichist movement may have been nipped in the bud.

Arthur said...

"After all the entire movement or most of them agrees with the other half (or the majority) about the contents of the ideology? They only disagree as to the publicity thereof? Why are they not subject to criticism when they hold the very same foreign ideas?"
When a lie is repeated long enough it seems to become truth.Just ask Goebbels yimach shemo.
Tell me you and all the others who have this fixation with Lubavitch and repeat this same mantra about "the other half" over and over,have you hired Gallup to take a poll of the "other half" that makes you so sure of what we think? Are you all mind readers? Have you asked everyone of the "other half" or even half, a quarter or even ten of the "other half" what they think? Or is it"I heard","we heard","he said" "they said","every one knows" type of hearsay that goes on ad nauseum?
To IVF,
The story you heard is pure bubbe maise.There were a number of farbrengins where I heard the Rebbi say clearly "Di velicha zogen oder trachten az ich bin Moshiach hoben ah milchoma mit meer"
in additin there was one time that the Rebbi threatened to walk out of the farbregin when some individuals started singing "Yechi......

LVF said...

To IVF,
The story you heard is pure bubbe maise.There were a number of farbrengins where I heard the Rebbi say clearly "Di velicha zogen oder trachten az ich bin Moshiach hoben ah milchoma mit meer"
--------------------------------
Arthur, 2 points I wish to bring up with you,
1) can you state it as a fact that such an assifa of gedoilei eretz yisroel never took place?
2)If those words were in fact what the rebbe said to his chassidim, then there are no lubavitcher chassidim today, for they are openly defying the rebbas will and are at war with him.

Gumshoe said...

Rabbi Dovid Berger from YU has thoroughly researched the Meshichist sickness. His book on the topic is well documented & scholarly work, not "hearsay".

Don't tell me, is he another "baal machlokes" like Rav Schach?

Arthur said...

IVF,
1)If the Rebbi said on a number of occasions lifnei kol am veidah that he is not Moshiach,why would there be a need to send someone to demand that he do so?
2)I am not going to repeat an answer to your second question.I wrote about this in my previous post in response to another blogger.

Arthur said...

My wife, who was a student of Berger at Brooklyn College many years ago, said he had issues with Chabad way before there was a meshichist issue.His so called "scholarly work" is based on pure amaratzus in Chassidic and more specifically Chabad Philosophy and terminoligy.It definitely is not his field of expertise.

The Problem of "Attacking" the Moshiach said...

Arthur says that it is wrong to "attack" the rebbe as being senile. Despite the anecdotes of the Rebbe saying he was not mashiach, his behavior b'sof yomov was so incredibly difficult for those of us who loved and revered him (but are not Lubavitchers) to make heads or tails of. How could he not have seen what was about to happen? How could he not have acted not in a case by case basis, but rather in the way he acted so often in his life on big issues: with courage, power, vision, passion and clarity. Why didn't he say publicly in his writing, his sichos, or any other venue that the talk of him being mashiach is NUTSO! And that it would lead to half of the chasidim making a huge chilul hashem and to the other half being accused of supporting the crazy half, and of police involvement in 770 etc. I'm not asking for him to have been a Navi, although, again, many chasidim think he was (how many don't believe he single handedly prevented a hurricane from striking a Chabad community in Florida, or that the Gutnik(?) diamond mine was discovered through the rebbes prophetic powers?). I'm just saying, Ayzehu Chacham Haroeh Es Hanolad.

The only fair thing to say is that he was suffering from the effects of aging, or else you have to believe that with all his tremendous chochma, he really wasn't a chacham.

Here's the catch though, Arthur. When Reb Elya Svei loses it publicly at a Torah Umesorah convention, its okay with Arthur for Jews to say that he is nebach "Overbatul" or what the Gemorah refers to as "Shivrei Luchos." But it is a BLASPHEMOUS attack to say this about the Rebbe. Why this double standard?

Because we all know that the Rebbe really WAS the Moshiach and Moshiach cannot be subject to human illness (or death/mortality). So, we are back to the beginning again. Either you believe he really was/is mashiach, or he was a great but ordinary mortal man, in which case it is ok for UOJ to defend crazy behavior by saying he went crazy. You can't have it both ways...unless you want us to say you're crazy too, nebach.

Anonymous said...

"Tell me you and all the others who have this fixation with Lubavitch and repeat this same mantra about "the other half" over and over,have you hired Gallup to take a poll of the "other half" that makes you so sure of what we think? Are you all mind readers? Have you asked everyone of the "other half" or even half, a quarter or even ten of the "other half" what they think? Or is it"I heard","we heard","he said" "they said","every one knows" type of hearsay that goes on ad nauseum?"

You know that you are bieng disingenous! You know what: point me a *written publication* by the "other half" where they state that the Rebbe is not the Mashiach (or at least that it is not certain that he will be the mashiach)! Point me to a written statement by R' Yoel KAhn where he writes that the meshichistim are wrong about this
!

Besides two mavericks right after 3 of tammuz (R B' Levin, R' Y Sofer) there was and there is NO ONE with the courage to write this. You know why? Because the "other half" really beleives like "the other half" and no one woulddare challenge the "other half"!

Deconstructing Arthur's Hogwash said...

Is Arthur the only Lubab who hasn't been held prisoner on some G-d forsaken island? We have never heard anyone else claiming the Rebbe said in PRIVATE, let alone bifnei am veaidah, that he is not the Moshiach. I have met many a Lubab who knew the Rebbe personally and hung around 770, yet none of them knew the Rebbe to say anything of the sort - even third hand.

The Brisker Rov & Rav Aharon Kotler had a problem with the Rebbe already in the early 1950s because of the Moshiachist insinuations in his sichos.

Deconstructing Arthur's Hogwash said...

I had no idea that Rabbi Rivkin is not feeling well these days. Er zol hoben a refuah shleimah. Because I don't wish to kick anyone who is down so to say, I will leave out the issue about the man himself. My other point is that St Louie is not the ideal place to be a rov. The city is full of bitter losers who have fought every yeshiva that ever existed there. R' Elchonon Wasserman said it was nisgalegel min hashamayem that he had to collect funds there because there were people who would never hear a shtikl Torah otherwise. Rav Faivelson in Monsey left St Louis in 1970 in disgust, calling it an ir hanidachas and discouraging anyone else from opening a yeshiva there.

I have never heard of Rav Schach having a machlokes with Gur. Maybe LVF can shed some light on that.

The secret letter from KAJ has been posted here and on several other blogs.

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

Rav Faivelson in Monsey left St Louis in 1970 in disgust, calling it an ir hanidachas and discouraging anyone else from opening a yeshiva there.
--------------

For the historical record:

Faivelson destroyed the yeshiva in St. Louis with his pathetic, power grubbing issues.

Green subsequently threw him out, and guess who Feivelson took with him to Monsey???

His prize talmid: ELIEZER EISGRAU!

Feivelson practically destroyed Mesifta Bais Shraga - until his brother in-law, Rav Shea Shiff, threw him out of there.

Feivelson is a charlatan. He gave a shiur in the L.A. Kollel - the entire kollel waited until he took the shtender - and walked out - leaving him talking to the wall.

steve said...

To Steve,
I see that you get around the blogs because I didn't write anything about beards on UOJ.I did write about the importance of having a beard on that other blog but I was not the one that said thats it's more important then dina dmalchusa.


I don't know which blogs you are referring to, but I was quoting your exact words that you posted here on May 30 at 5:29PM:

And yes, wearing a beard is far more important than the "law of the land".

Does that mean that you are retracting that statement? Any other retractions while we're at it? Perhaps an apology to the holy neshama of Rav Shach zt"l? That attack was totally uncalled for. Rav Shach and Rav Ovadya
were trying to get the rebbe to publicly announce that he was not the messiah. I do not fault the rebbe for ignoring their pleas for perhaps he was ill at the time and perhaps his "advisers" never showed him the letters. In my opinion the Rebbe was a tzaddik gammur. It's what these meshichists have done to his legacy and the lack of a strong response from mainstream Chabad and the mainstream Charedi leadership that I object to. What these lunatics are practicing is not Judaism and some of them are pure idolators(check out that maniac from Boston's website). We need more people like UOJ and Rabbi Berger that tell it like it is.

Arthur said...

To UOJ,
As I said to you on a previous post.I will not have a vikuach with you on this issue.Neither of us will change our minds.Once again lets agree to disagree. I'm new to blogging and am not a word spinner as you are.
When did I ever say that Rav Svie shlita was oiverbutel?The fact that he "lost it" at a Torah Umesorah convention is news to me and I never even heard it being discussed in Lubavitcher kriezen.So whats your point?

Deconstructing Arthur's Hogwash said...

Perhaps I fell for "Peewee" Kleiman's St Louis propaganda. The later regime would use the Faivelson story to explain their opponents in town. I must say however that the behavior of the locals goes beyond the pale no matter how bad Faivelson and Kleiman may have been. Especially, the stories of tires being slashed in R' Faivelson's days, if true.

Is Rav Faivelson not still the rosh yeshiva of Beis Shraga?

Why is he a "charlatan" and what was the LA story? Hallevay the yungerleit should be so proactive with the Tendlers and the other frauds in LA.

Fact Checker said...

- Arthur seems to have trouble keeping track of his own posts. He did write that silly beard comment on this blog as well.

- There are reports that Rav Ovadya Yosef bought into the Meshichist theory, as posted on Wikipedia

- The maniac from Boston and resident gadfly on Shmarya's blog, otherwise known as Ariel Sokolovsky, has toned down his stance in recent years. There are worse examples out there of the "Elokistim" who are much nuttier than meshichistim.

Shea Fishman said...

For the benefits of the Lubobs just tuning in, that incident with R' Elya at the Torah Umesorah Fresser Convention was before UOJ forced my retirement.

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

To UOJ,
As I said to you on a previous post.I will not have a vikuach with you on this issue.Neither of us will change our minds.Once again lets agree to disagree. I'm new to blogging and am not a word spinner as you are.
-----------

Word spinner am I? I'm open-minded - please lay out a rational argument for me to change my mind.

I'm very human ( I guess it depends who you speak to) and very fallible - Lay it out Arthur - any topic at all - I'm ready to change my mind if you can convince me that I made an error.

I don't buy into BS of any sort - never did - never will.

Bungalow Yenta said...

What did R' Elya say at the TU convention? Is there an audiotape or a YouTube video?

Dr. Bungalow Putz Neuhoff said...

Now UOJ claims to be human of all things?

steve said...

There are reports that Rav Ovadya Yosef bought into the Meshichist theory, as posted on Wikipedia

Wow, Wikipedia is an irrefutable source! Seriously, Rav Ovadya did write that letter to the rebbe around twenty years ago, I remember seeing a copy of it in one of the magazines. There is no way, shape or form that he believes that Rabbi Schneerson is/was the messiah.

The maniac from Boston and resident gadfly on Shmarya's blog, otherwise known as Ariel Sokolovsky, has toned down his stance in recent years. There are worse examples out there of the "Elokistim" who are much nuttier than meshichistim

Toned down? He recently posted that G-d came cloaked in the body of Rabbi Schneerson. He even brought down psukim, similar to Jews for J. The man is a messit umadiach in every sense of the word and a pure idolator. I suggested he take his followers to Postville where they can build altars and shect Rubashkin cattle to their rebbegod. This way Rubashkin can be their exclusive supplier. Maybe they can supply Arthur also if he doesn't want to join the Islamburg style rites.

Arthur said...

To Steve and Fact Finder
If you look at at my post of May 30 carefully you will notice that I was quating someone from a different blog in it's entirety.My point had nothing to do with "beards" or Dinah demalchusa but was only directed at the Rubashkin issue.I didn't realize there was a mention of it until you called it to my attention.Sorry for the misunderstanding.

Arthur said...

To UOJ,Let it lie.This can only lead to ain ledover sof.Again as I said to you on a previous post there are those that are much more qualified then I am to disscuss this issue with you.
Can I direct you to two different trails of posts on Crosscurrents about this issue?I know it's not one of your favorite sites but there are some interesting posts for and against.

Arthur said...

"Point me to a written statement by R' Yoel KAhn where he writes that the meshichistim are wrong about this"
Why don't you call Reb Yoel and speak to him yourself? He left the Meshichist camp right after the Rebbis Petirah.
There are a number of lomdishe Kuntreisim that were written by some prominent Lubavitchers that state clearly that the Rebbi is not Moshiach.One that comes to mind is written by Reb Avrohom Garlitzky a Rosh Hayishiva in Oholei Torah.

Arthur said...

To UOJ,
This is where I get off.I get very emotionally involved when the professional haters,I mean those that always had issues with Chabad and the Rebbi,come crawling out of the woodwork and oh there are so many of them.Perhaps it's because sheker hates emes ,just as little Israel has so many haters.
My Aishes Chayil has made me swear to get of this blogging binge.She's afraid it's going to affect my health.In spite of all I still respect your honesty and look forward to following your future posts.

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

R' Arthur,

I wish you well. Say hello every once in a while. ( Tell your aishes chayil she is married to a m'yuchas and a good man...if she disagrees, she's welcome to blast you right here on UOJ:-)

Sincerely.....

Anonymous said...

"Point me to a written statement by R' Yoel KAhn where he writes that the meshichistim are wrong about this"

Arthur:
"Why don't you call Reb Yoel and speak to him yourself? He left the Meshichist camp right after the Rebbis Petirah".

Arthur, i have followed him around. I have heard him talk....He NEVER wrote nt even spoke publicly that the REbbeis not mashiach...on the contrary he publicly will continue to claim that the rebbe is mashiach but we do not have to and we should not publicize it!

Funny that you write:
"There are a number of lomdishe Kuntreisim that were written by some prominent Lubavitchers that state clearly that the Rebbi is not Moshiach.One that comes to mind is written by Reb Avrohom Garlitzky a Rosh Hayishiva in Oholei Torah".

that is exactly the kovetz where R. B. Levin wrote this kovetz (not R. Gerlitzky) and the only one who stted clealry that the REbbe is not mashich was R. B. L others who wtote like him did not PUT THEIR NAME IN WRITING! Furthermore, Rav YK writes in *that* kuntress defending the right and the obligation that a chossid still thinks the REbbe is the mashiach but we sohuld not publicize it!
I challenge you to find *one* written article by *anyone* since 5757 that quotes someone with a name that claims that the REbbe is not mashiach (or that he may not be the mashiach).Then you will be entitled to argue that the "other half" does not beleive in this...

Anonymous said...

To UOJ

This is the first time i was shown your blog, and I was just blown away!!
although im familiar with 90% of the junk going on in our community, I have one question to you: Why are YOU in the "bloteh? surely someone who has such a sick fascination with shmutz shares in it vicariously to some degree, albeit from far. A person who has the time to think up such shtuss, is obviously going to cover it up and say its in the name of community "good"..and you now what? b'mokom shel machshavto shel adom,shom hu!"

This seems to be your involvement for the betterment of the community!!??

I am convinced that if you would really care about the improvemt of the community, you would NOT have time for such shtuss, but would be out there volunteering ,or assisting in some form or other, or even G-D forbid, going to a shiur and learning!

When the brothers threw yosef into the pit, it says "v'habor raik, ein bo mayim".and chazal ask: why the repitive statement? surely saying the the pit was empty would have been enough..but they add "because nature abhores a vacuum. When a persons head is empy then Akravim, snakes, and vermin enter..'nuf said.

may I humbly suggest that you begin using your precious hours, minutes,and days,to do some positive good for the klall..get your hands wet on truly using the gifts Hashem gave you and stop Squandering your life.Remember: life is not a rehearsal-its the real thing and you dont get to do it again!!

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

Above Anon:

Now that you really hurt my feelings, are you happy?

Anonymous said...

In my experience, I have also bumped into people who bash Chabad.

First, just to clarify things, I am not Lubavitch, but I daven in a Chabad shule and I have hung around with them, off and on, for decades.

Now, I listen to their anti- rantings, and then I ask, what is their personal experience with Lubavitchers? Do they know any very well? Often the answer is, “No”. I then point out the weakness of their position because they are only recounting lashon hara. It usually doesn’t matter and I just stop responding and listen, as I don’t think I’m going to accomplish anything positive by argueing.

Sure, Lubavitchers ain’t perfect. They certainly are big fans of their mesora, and their rebbe, maybe too much. But I like to look at the good side of person. We all have our flaws. If we were only judged by our flaws, we could all be deemed rashoim. When I was looking to get married, when I was asked what I was looking for in a wife, about the only requirement I had was that I was looking for someone who could love me in spite of my flaws.

I love Chabad in spite of their flaws. I love the YU folks in spite of their flaws. We are all Klal Yisroel, and we owe each other no less. And part of that love is respect, and civil discourse and disagreement.

One unique strength of Chabad that I rarely if ever hear mentioned is their Ahavas Yisroel. They are about as good as it gets in this regard. I think Moishe himself would find them admirable in this regard. Think of it. Who goes voluntarily to the most inhospitable places in the world just to take care of other Jews? And it’s not a hobby, like it is for so many of us, but a life dedicated to such persuits. Sure, there are others who do it. They set up shop in such terrible places as Brooklyn, Baltimore, Cleveland, LA. You don’t find Aish branches in places like small-town campuses. Not that I fault Aish, they do valuable work, it’s just that there is meserash nefesh, and then there is meserash nefesh.

I also get really upset when I see these Rebbe-Moshiah banners and signs all over the place. It’s not that I really care what a guy’s personal religious beliefs are. That is a matter between him and Hashem, and it’s none of my business. However, the Rebbe dedicated a major part of his life to building a movement with one purpose - to bring Jews back. In my eyes, that is enough reason to hold him in the highest esteem. If you want to throw in his learning and other wonderful character traits, it only adds to the honor that he deserves. And until his death, I don’t think I recall any serious objections to the Rebbe. But now, these M’s, perhaps with the best intentions, but misguided nevertheless, are, by their actions, causing this great man to be subjected to insults and dishonor, and I can’t forgive them for that — and I’m not even a Lubavitcher!!!

One reason I hang out so much with with Chabad is, even if you want to say that they are stuck with their own siddur and Shulchan Aruch and customs, is that I have never known a place where someone with a different derech can feel as welcome and accepted. Ever notice how a Chabad shule tends to attact a rather motely crowd of social misfits and weird-o’s? It drives a lot of people away from such minyans. But that’s a big mistake. Think about why such lost souls find a place among Chabad. It seems to me that Chabad will accept, even love them, and take care of them, when others won’t. What does that say about their inner essence? Isn’t that how we are supposed to treat other Jews? How come only Chabad is famous for it? Shouldn’t all shules aspire to be a haven for the outcasts and rejects?

And in some ways, it depends on how you look at these outcasts and social rejects. I’ve noticed that they are often some of the finest people around. Sure, they don’t have much fashion-sense. They don’t seem to care about such nonsense. They are not objectionable if you only realize that they are not concerned about the externialities and facade that so many of us erect around ourselves. They are often kind, sensitive, caring individuals. Rough diamonds, perhaps. Often full of midos that we can aspire to. But because they don’t dress nice, a lot of people are afraid to get close to them. Pity.

In the end, I choose to surround myself with people of uncommon character. I look around my shule, at the Lubavitchers and the hangers-on, and I am happy and satisfied. I’ve found a place where some of the finest Erlich Yidden congregate and I want to be among the finest.

Anonymous said...

You will notice with all the time defending our selves from the vile accusation of Avoda Zara, it’s difficult to get into the discussion of the supposedly “kfira” beliefs. It’s not clear out Avodah Zorah by any stretch and saying so wont make it, though some in the Litvish velt continue to insist it is without bringing any clear-cut proof and without any public support from major poskim. They bring the Rambam that says if Moshiach is killed we then know he isn’t anymore Chezkas Moshiach.

Lets quote the whole Rambam Hilchos Melochim Chapter 11 seif 3: “And don’t assume that the king Moshiach has to do miracles and wonders and create new things in the world. The matter isn’t so. For behold Rabbi Akiva [one of the] great[est] sages from the sages of the Mishna, and he would hold the instruments of Ben Kuziba [Bar Kachva] the king. And he considered AND ALL THE SAGES OF HIS GENERATION that he [Ben Kuziba] was King Moshiach. Untill he was killed because of his sins. When he was killed it became known to them that he isn’t [king Moshiach]. And the sages didn’t ask from him [Ben Kuziba] no sign and no wonder. And the fundamentals [of the Torah] are such. Because this Torah, it’s statutes and it’s laws are for ever and ever, and we don’t add to them and we don’t retract.”

What do we learn from this Rambam. First of all it’s perfectly legitimate to consider someone as a candidate for Moshiach without any miraculous “Missanic” events. He just has to fulfill the criteria of the next paragraph which I quoted above, which basically says he has to strengthen Yidishkeit; nothing miraculous.
So lets take this a step at a time. Before the Rebbe passed away was the Rebbe a possible candidate? Many Chasidim and many, many non-lubavitch people would of answered Yes. There are even accounts of Litvishe Gedolim insinuating that mayby the Rebbe is the best candidate.

So to say before Gimmel Tamuz that this is appikursos is simply wrong and vicious.

Now, after Gimmel Tammuz, the belief that it MIGHT be possible that the Rebbe retains his previous status, at first glance in the Rambam seems wrong. The Rambam says that if Chezkas Moshiach is killed - its over. But some Meshichistim will argue the Rambam says if he was “killed” not died implying that in the case of natural death he might still retain his previous status.

OK, I’m not saying that they are right. I’m saying it’s not against Yidishkeit such a belief. I have heard there are sources that such a possibility is possible, though to be honest I don’t know the sources off hand. The reason I don’t is because that’s not what I believe the Rebbe wanted from us. The Rebbe was upset when people proclaimed publicly that he is Moshaich. I know this much: the Meshichistim might be wrong and foolish but they are not apirkusim. (And all this “boreinu” stuff is pure LIES. I haven’t seen a single chabadnik say this boreinu stuff. That is pure lies and pure hate-slander.) That is why even Litvish Gedolim have refrained of paskening that this is apirkusos because it might be wrong and it might be very damaging and very foolish and it’s AGAINST the Rebbe’s wishes but it falls short of being apirkusos.

And all these hate-mongers demand :Chabad should get up and declare that the Rebbe is not Moshiach.” They can’t declae that, the same way they can’t declare that Dovid Hamelech is not Moshiach, The same way you can’t declare the Mahral of Prauge is not Moshaich. THe same way you can’t declare ELIYAH Hanavi is moshiach. (By the way there are many arguments in the Gemmoro about Moshiach. There is even an argumant that Moshiach won’t come, though that is not accepted as halach. But the Amora who said that wasn’t an apikores. And Rabbi Akivah wasn’t an apikores. An Apikores is someone who belives in Avodah Zara and This ISN’T Avodah Zara). You can’t declare that. The times of and the actual events of Moshiach is a mystery and NO ONE knows (NOT EVEN CHABADNIKS know) WHO Moshiach is. We can only say such and such is or was a CANDIDATE of Moshiach.

And when Chabad try to explain the difference between chezkas Moshiach and Moshiach Vadai (which most in the Jewish world assume that when a meshichist is saying the Rebbe is/was moshiach they assume he means Moshiach vadai.) But these subtleties get lost in the hubris and vilification thats gets thrown around. If one approaches the subject objectively and studies the sources in depth one will come to the conclusion, that though the Meshichist view might be incorrect, it nevertheless is not Apirkusos. (Of course if you read Berger’s book you come to the opposite conclusion. But there has been 2 books printed to rebut his accusations and it seems no one in the Litvish Velt bothered to read them and come to the subject with an open mind). But all the defense is pointless when one has already decided and come to a verdict beforehand.

Who are all these laymen who are not poskim or Gedolim to sit in haughty judgment over a fellow yiden if he is kosher or not?

It seems, in the litvish velt, everyone who has a different shita, a different hashkafa are guilty until proven innocent. Maybe the Litvish should do a bit of introspecting about the way they treat their fellow yidden. Chabd is no good, Chasidish are no good, the medina is trayf (but it’s OK to take the medina’s money and then to refuse to serve in their treyfe army) You won’t normally find Chabad tearing apart the whole Yeshivish life cycle, even though there are plenty of errors haughty attitudes that have to be corrected. Chabad have better things to do all day then to sit a judge other kehilos. But sometimes when we are pushed into the corner we have to defend ourselves and show you guys a mirror. It would be nice if you guys did some introspection and root out some of the evil midos in your midst. Every community can improve and you are no exception.

LVF said...

To the above anon at 10:30,

Did you forget the saying of the great sage hillel of only a few short weeks ago in avos"u'bimakom sh'ein anushim hishtadel leyois ish".

Uoj has been just that and more!

Look around you with wide open eyes, the rape that was going on in torah temima for 40+ years, with many rabbonim & askanim over the years knowing about it & noone stepped up to the plate until uoj opened this blog & brought the entire kolko issue to the forefront of every jew in this neighborhood & beyond.

Now open your eyes even wider and look how Leizerowitz from the ger mesivtah fled to canada like a stinken skunk and then to israel 2 years ago, for years he was molesting young teenage boys who barely knew what husband & wife do after marriage, and he did so with the rabbonim of ger knowing about him & his sickness for young boys, I know this for a fact! & leizerowitz continued his holy work in his orgy infested office until UOJ stepped in.

Can you still keep your eyes open? if yes then look at the Dr. mengela Mondrowitz story and cry, WHY in heavens name was he alowed to go on for so long to litterally destroy hundreds of little boys, jewish and gentile alike, and the rabbonim were silent, only after some italian kids called the police did the rabbonim jump into action in "HELPING" this mass murderer escape to israel, once again thanks to uoj and freinds like m.lesher that we have a sense of justice will prevail in the end.

The list goes on & on But if you still did not get the picture then your a lost cause, For it was people like you that led us to this point of allowing our kids rebbeim to rape them, without fear of being ousted for you were all so naive.

Chodesh Tov UOJ! keep it up

Anonymous said...

look at rambam kings 11:4 where he clearly rules that person who was deedm andprsumed mashiach and "loy hitzliach" did not succeed to bring about the final redemption, he is known that he is not the mashiach!

Anonymous said...

One rather simple, though effective, method for determining a group’s beliefs, ideals, philosophies, and priorities is to examine what children of the group are being taught at the basic level of education. It is basic instruction that lays down the foundation of thinking and believing upon which more complex concepts and structures are built. While children are hardly learned representatives capable of explaining the nuances of a group’s believe system, their innocence, concrete thinking, and absence of guile make them valuable reporters of the group’s mindset.
It’s a simple enough “experiment” to ask elementary school children from various frum day schools what they have been taught about the Rosh Hayeshiva, Rebbe, Spiritual Leader, etc., under whose aegis the school was established, to know what critical ideas are passed on to the next generation. Given the enormity of the debate as to where mainstream Chabad is in regard to Meshichist/anti-Meshichist thought - and for that matter what ideas about the person of Mashiach have been put forward in other frum groups - it seems worthwhile to examine such data. Perhaps it might lay some concerns to rest or offer valuable facts as to what is being heard, despite what people may think they are saying. Of course, the challenge would then be to accept the facts and not reject them if they do not conform to a priori assumptions.

Rabbi Teichman really gets around said...

http://www.booksite.com/texis/scripts/oop/click_ord/list.html?sid=4382&list=MM40

You just can't make this stuff up. Teichman's Heart-K hashgocho appears on this coffee from Uganda that is sold at Liberal synagogues around the country. It has an X-tian Cross and Muslim Crescent and a Magen Dovid. What's next? A rov that I showed this to was completely flabbergasted.

Report on KAJ said...

A rov wondered what guidance
is being given by the KAJ as to what their members should eat
now that they have terminated their supervision of Rubashkin. He visited Washington Heights last week, and went into Key Food supermarket which had the only kosher meat in Washington Heights since the last kosher butcher closed. It had been a Rubashkin outlet with mashgichim on the Breuer's payroll cutting and packing the meat until Pesach. They still have kosher meat. It is freshly packaged with little stick on labels saying Rubashkin under supervision of Weissmandel and OU. Since the store is more or less adjacent to their shul and school, one can assume it is with the KAJ people's consent and that the caterers with KAJ (Nesher & Lechaim) are also still using Rubashkin.

Further investigation revealed that there is a sign in the shul at Breuer's saying, incredibly, that everyone should buy Alle or Rubashkin meat until the Kehilla has its own shechita gain. But chickens must be exclusively from Empire. Lechaim is also required to adhere to the same rules, chicken from Empire and meat from Rubashkin or Alle.

The YU crowd apparently feels that Rubashkin could do no wrong, otherwise R' Hershel Schechter would come out against the company. This holds true even for those who are not so naive to think that the OU is honest.

Maybe Rubashkin is still paying some kind of royalty to KAJ. If you ask me, this insanity makes no sense otherwise. We are talking about the same KAJ that dumped Rubashkin for kashrus violations. HELLLOOOOO ??????

Ipso Facto said...

"And all these hate-mongers demand :Chabad should get up and declare that the Rebbe is not Moshiach.” They can’t declae that, the same way they can’t declare that Dovid Hamelech is not Moshiach, The same way you can’t declare the Mahral of Prauge is not Moshaich. THe same way you can’t declare ELIYAH Hanavi is moshiach."

----------------------------

David Hamelech is not Moshiach. He's dead.

The Mahral of Prague is not Moshaich. He's dead.

Eliyahu Hanavi is not Mashiach, whether he's dead or alive.

Is there something we're missing here?

Tendler Fornicator said...

Arguments heard in case of New Hempstead rabbi accused of seducing woman
By Jay Gallagher • Albany Bureau • June 4, 2008

ALBANY - The state's highest court heard arguments yesterday about whether a claim of emotional distress and breach of fiduciary duty should be reinstated against a New Hempstead rabbi on behalf of a woman who says he seduced her.

The case involves Adina Marmelstein, a Manhattan woman, and Rabbi Mordechai Tendler, founder and spiritual leader of Kehillat New Hempstead.


Marmelstein claims the two had a sexual relationship from November 2001 to May 2005 after he induced her into having intercourse "as part of a course of sexual therapy which he represented would lead to her achieving her goals of marriage and children."

"Should the predator be allowed to cloak himself in clerical garb to prey on his clients?" Marmelstein's lawyer, Lenore Kramer, asked the seven-member Court of Appeals panel.

But Tendler's lawyer, Richard Bliss, said: "What we have here is consensual conduct. I don't think we should criminalize it."

Bliss pointed to a statute passed by the state Legislature in 1935 that abolished the right to seek monetary damages for seduction.

But Kramer argued that because Tendler was a rabbi, it put him in a position of power over Marmelstein and that this position separated their relationship from a mere affair.

"This man is a predator," she said.

Could he have seduced her and not faced criminal sanctions if he was not a rabbi? Judge Robert Smith asked Kramer.

"It is an indispensable element" of the action that he was a rabbi, Kramer said. "This is not some man she met in a bar."

The trial-level court, the Court of Appeals, upheld Marmelstein's right to seek damages, but the mid-level appeals court reversed that decision in a 3-2 vote.

A decision from the Court of Appeals is expected by early next month.

Reach Jay Gallagher at jgallagh@gannett.com.

Anonymous said...

Here we have the interesting situation of a Chabadnik (R Levin) learning pshat of Sanhedrin 98 and Rashi that Mshaiach can NOT come from those that have died, (thus the Rebbe can not be Moshiach);
While we have the Artscroll (the bastion the litvish/yeshivish velt) learning into the same Gemmoro and Rashi and bringing support from the “Yeshuas Meshicho” that Moshiach can come from those who have died. And he’ll arrive with Techiyas Hameisim.

Many Chabad detractors contend this is not within “noramative” Judaism. So then why does the Artscroll (!) bring this Meforash if this scenario is “out of bounds” from “normative” Judaism?

This might explain the almost complete silence of the poskim on the issue of the M.’s.

What can we learn from all this? Maybe one thing we can learn is to withhold judgment until one has THOROUGHLY learned all the relevant Gemorras, Rashi, Meforshim, Rishonim etc.

It turns out there IS credible sources for such a belief. Though by no means conclusive evidence to prove the M.’s case, there is room for support of their beliefs within halachic, agadaik, and meforshim and Rishonim. (Where I as a chabad chosid believe they go wrong is placing the Rebbe as CERTAINLY (vadai)moshiach, instead of being humble and realizing it’s arrogant to say you know who Moshiach is especially after Gimmel Tamuz, especially when the Rebbe expressed displeasure about such announcements. And especially when it doesn’t fit Rambam’s Halacha.)

This is by no means an exhaustive in depth study of Moshiach and all the different agados that are part of the mesora of topic “Moshiach”. To study all Torah texts from the Talmud to the Zohar on the Topic of Moshiach would be like learning hilchos Shabbos. The amount of texts on the subject of Moshiach is exhaustive.

Most of this blog saw opinions and emotions running high with very little actual quoting from Torah sources. Both sides should step back and debate by QUOTING from TORAH sources and leave politics and preconceived judgments for the politicians.

Gadol Hador said...

The Rebbe can't be Moshiach; I don't accept him. In order for someone to be Moshiach,it has to be apparent to all of his choseness, and I don't think he is the chosen one!

Misnagid said...

Many Meshichistim believe the Rebbe is still alive, which is crazy. The issue of Moshiach from techiyas hamesim is then a moot point.

Nosson Scherman said...

"So then why does the Artscroll (!) bring this Meforash if this scenario is “out of bounds” from “normative” Judaism?"

This is Artscroll's definition of normative Judaism:

Books authored by super-goniv Leib Pinter & Moishe Eisemann.

Books by Pesach Krohn that cover up for convicted child rapist Lipa Brenner.

Pinter & Fruchthandler giving huge "donations" to the "non-profit" division as a way of buying prestigious jobs with 6 figure salaries for their kids.

Serving on the same hanhala as Yudi Kolko before the formation of Artscroll.

Anonymous said...

DEAR uoj

I HAVE BEEN AN ADMIRER OF YOURS FOR QUITE SOME TIME AND RESPECT YOUR EFFORTS TO CLEAN UP THE CRAP THAT EXISTS

I TAKE EXCEPTION WITH THE WRITINGS ON LUBAVITCH AND WHILE YOU AND I CAN DISSAGREE AND I ALSO HAVING MET THE REBBE NUMEROUS TIMES AND WAS GUIDED BY HIS SAGE ADVICE I WISH YOUR BLOG WOULD REFOCUS ITS EFFORTS ON THE MOLESTERS AND TORAH TEMMIMAN AND SHEA FISHMAN .

WHILE I DONT DAVEN IN A LUBAVITCH SHUL BECAUSE OF SOME CRAZIES I DONT FOR ONCE SECOND BELIEVE THAT ANY COMMENT DISPARAGING THE REBBE IS A GOOD THING FOR KLAL YISROEL AS THE NETWORK THE REBBE BUILT IS REALLY INCREDIBLE .
IMAGINE THAT HAD THESE SHLUCHIM WENT INTO BUSSINESS THE REBBE WOULD HAVE BILLIONS AVAILABLE TO HIM AND THE FACT REMAINS THAT MANY OF THEM STRUGGLE AND DO INCREDIBLE THINGS FOR YIDDEN EVERYWHERE
TO SAY THE THE LITVISH OLEM IS THE LEARNERS IS TO DISPARAGE THE CHASSIDISHE OLEM AND ALSO I ASK YOU
SINCE WHEN IS IT OK FOR LAKEWOOD TO ARRANGE SECTION 8 AND MEDICAID AND HIP FOR ALL THEIR STUDENTS ALL IN THE NAME OF TORAH
HOW MUCH FRAUD IS COMMITTED IN THE NNAME OF TORAH

SO uoj LETS GET BACK TO THE BASCICS

LET KOLKO GERT SENT TO JAIL
MONDOROWITZ AND BELSKY AND MARGOLIS SHOULD ALSO GO WITH HIM

BEST WISHES

YOUR FRIEND WHO DISAGREES WITH YOU

Monsey said...

Gee, it looks like Tendler is in a real pickle now. He was forced to admit he had sex, which he labels as "consentual". If he didn't, the court would for sure find him guilty based on the evidence and force him to pay astronomical damages.

Where are those moron rabbis who still claim he is "innocent"?

BUSTED BASTARD said...

Sao Paulo Brazil - An Israeli fugitive who is considered to be the ringleader of - and ’spiritual mentor’ responsible for - one of the worst child abuse cases in Israeli history turned himself in to Sao Paulo police on Tuesday night. Elior Chen, who calls himself a “rabbi,” is expected to be extradited to Israel in the coming days.

Chen turned himself in after realizing that police were closing in on him, Jerusalem Police spokesman Shmuel Ben-Ruby said.

However, Chen’s lawyer Ariel Atari claimed that his client had turned himself in “so as to prevent Brazil’s Jewish community from coming to harm.”

“There were reports that the Jewish community was hosting a man who had perpetrated terrible deeds, and that is why he turned himself in,” Atari told Israel Radio, asserting that “The reason for his turning himself in has nothing to do with Israel Police.”

Chen originally flew from Israel to Canada to avoid arrest after police uncovered the abuse, then immediately continued to Brazil.

In an apparently successful attempt to attain information about his whereabouts, Chen’s wife Ruth and their four children were sent to Belgium from Brazil last week, the police said.

Chen had apparently sought refuge with members of a vehemently anti-Zionist haredi sect in the Brazilian city.

Nachum Eisenstein said...

RABBI Tendler has an honorable spot on my shul mizrach vant and can give shiurim in my shul in Maalot Dafna. I am also in charge of geirus. I KNOW he is innocent.

steve said...

It turns out there IS credible sources for such a belief. Though by no means conclusive evidence to prove the M.’s case, there is room for support of their beliefs within halachic, agadaik, and meforshim and Rishonim.

This is the same lame arguments the Jews for J make and the Christian missionaries make. Realizing that they can't get you to embrace their religion, they resort to the old "but you can't prove that he isn't the messiah. We have pesukim, blah, blah, blah." It's time for all Chabadniks to get over this already and come back into the fold of Judaism. The man is dead, alav hashalom. He's been dead for fourteen years. Let him rest in peace.

Anonymous said...

"Here we have the interesting situation of a Chabadnik (R Levin) learning pshat of Sanhedrin 98 and Rashi that Mshaiach can NOT come from those that have died, (thus the Rebbe can not be Moshiach);
While we have the Artscroll (the bastion the litvish/yeshivish velt) learning into the same Gemmoro and Rashi and bringing support from the “Yeshuas Meshicho” that Moshiach can come from those who have died. And he’ll arrive with Techiyas Hameisim.

Many Chabad detractors contend this is not within “noramative” Judaism. So then why does the Artscroll (!) bring this Meforash if this scenario is “out of bounds” from “normative” Judaism?"

Beccause even if one agrees with your first premise (which could be art scroll is wrong and Rashi right!), you have to contend with a few aberrations in chabad position:

1) that there is no source whatsoever to identify the REbbew from the other departed one's to be the mashiach. TSanhedrin 98 says that if that is the case it mut be Daniel and not Rebbe!

2) because sanhedrin 98 does not endorse a messaiah that began his job and then departed the world before finishing the job. When that happens there is a clear ruling by Rambam that the person is KNOWN not to be the messiah!

chabad by another name said...

Messianic Judaism
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


The Baruch HaShem Messianic Synagogue in Dallas, Texas. This article is about a religious movement or sect. For the Jewish religion, see Judaism. For the messiah in Judaism, see Jewish messianism. For specific claimants to messianism, see Jewish messianic claimants.

Messianic Judaism is a religious movement whose adherents believe that Jesus of Nazareth, whom they call Yeshua, is both the resurrected Jewish Messiah and their Divine Savior.[1][2]

As of 1993 there were 160,000 adherents of Messianic Judaism in the United States and 350,000 worldwide. As of 2003, there were at least 150 Messianic synagogues in the U.S. and over 400 worldwide.[3] The number of Messianic Jews in Israel is 15,000 members.[4]

Messianic Jews consider themselves to be Jewish.[5] However, Jews[6] of all denominations[7] do not consider Messianic Judaism to be a form of Judaism. Many Christians consider Messianic Judaism to be a form of Christianity.[8]

Anonymous said...

To Steve,You decided to read that part of my post that furthers your agenda against all of Lubavitch.How's about reading the rest of the post instead of using one phrase out of context,and maybe you should look into the halachichic,agadic, meforship and rishonim instead of using personal attacks.Learning a little might open your eyes,maybe.The Christian missionaries don't believe in using any of the above they only they only believe in "scripture" which they twist around to their means.Which places you right into their camp and you continue with your blah,blah,blah...rants against Lubavitch

Shmeril Herring Fresser said...

To lighten up on the rhetoric and recriminations posted I think a bon mot would be in place.
The following story was told to me by my Gerrer cousins and a number of other Gerrer Chassidim. The Bais Yisroel of Ger ZY”A, who was well known for his sharpness and wit, would take a daily constitutional usually together with a number of his Chassidim. During one of these walks his followers turned to him and said “De Lubavitcher Chassidim halten az zeyer Rebbe iz Moshiach”.(”The Lubavitcher Chassidim claim that their Rebbi is Moshiach”) To which the Bais Yisroel retorted with the rhetorical question “un etz haisd Chassidim?” (and you consider yourselves Chassidim?”).

Chasidim of UOJ, let's step up our game! said...

UOJ

This is an awesome discussion of the Chabbad issue. People are passionate, knowledgeable and very concerned. It is not about hate mongering. Awesome.

Now, please Reb UOJ, can we get some good news about child molestation being uncovered and exposed?

Do you have any evidence yet that you can come out with about Reb Shmuel Kaminetsky (and of course Reb Elya, zol zein gezunt und shtark) knowingly shipping Eiseman to NIRC?

Do you have any news on Mondrowitz? Perhaps even a sneak peek at what to expect will come out when he's put on trial eventually? (Ohel's involvement, which rabbis helped him "relocate", how much direct shmearing of Chucky Hines was involved?)

What can we as a community do to encourage more Kolko victims to come forward? All it will take is ONE more kid, especially a teen-ager who is more believable but still within statute of limitations
and he will be convicted. The D.A. cannot impede this forever. Not in the United States of America. There is a limit.

What do you think of this idea? An advertisement in the Jewish Week from the lawyer Jeff Herman AND the victims who have been suing explaining the heroism of those who come forward for the sake of justice. Furthermore, the ad should be signed like a petition, by all those of us who would publicly like to express outrage at YTT and the so-called Jewish community for allowing this travesty to happen.

This idea is because the victims need to see tangibly that there is a silent majority out there that wants this to happen and will thank them one day. Let's not be silent. Let's express our Hakkoras Hatov to the victims who have come forward and encourage and embrace those who may be considering doing so. Let's "bombard the airwaves" with messages of gratitude and support and admiration. Let's let these survivors know we are with them. Let's let them know we care about their suffering.

Perhaps with that kind of support, more will come forward and we will finally see community wide change.

Anonymous said...

Sao Paulo, Brazil - Interpol suspects that the Jewish community in Sao Paulo hid an an ultra-Orthodox rabbi suspected of seriously abusing Jerusalem children, one of whom is in a vegetative state.

Local police arrested Rabbi Elior Chen Wednesday on a street corner in the Bom Retiro neighborhood after conducting an extensive search through the Jewish neighborhood.

“Apparently he was being protected by the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in Sao Paulo, who supposedly didn’t know about the accusations against him in Israel,” said Menoti Barros de Oliveira, the Interpol sheriff in Sao Paulo. “He was found alone, in the street of Julio Conceicao, so we think he was already separated from his peers.”

Chen is considered the spiritual leader of a Jerusalem sect that was found to have abused young children, two of whom, aged 3 and 4, were hospitalized in March in critical condition.

On Wednesday, Chen was reported to have turned himself over to the Brazilian police. Later in the day, however, Sao Paulo police informed their counterparts in Israel that he had not turned himself in, but was arrested.

Chen’s lawyer Ariel Atari denied reports on Wednesday that Chen had been arrested and insisted he had turned himself in. “When Elior Chen arrived at the Sao Paulo police department in the morning, he threw police into great confusion. None of them expected him to turn himself in,” Atari said.

“Israeli police did not ask the Brazilian police to carry out an extensive search for him,” said Moti Edri, a police official in Jerusalem. “It was the Brazilian police’s own initiative, undertaken due to a similar case of child abuse there recently.”

Police sources say Chen’s extradition is currently awaiting approval by the Brazilian Supreme Court. They expect him to be extradited to Israel within a few weeks.

Brazilian Federal Police released a communique Wednesday to the Jewish community in Sao Paulo informing them of the serious offenses Chen allegedly committed. “Elior Noam Chen, also known as Eliyahu Abuhatzeira, frequented a synagogue in Bom Retiro and we’re sure that Sao Paulo’s Israeli community, upon learning of the torture cases, alerted the religious representatives of the city and prohibited the community to cover for the fugitive,” the statement said

Rabbi Heine-Mini-Mann said...

http://matzav.com/clients/matzav/Oven.pdf

OK wiseguy UOJ, was it you who put up the Mechon Lehoyruah & R' Chatzkel Roth to join R' Shloyma Miller in publicly attacking me?

Gumshoe said...

Could UOJ kindly explain the cryptic comment about expiry dates on airline meals?

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

Gumshoe:

After having a near death experience after eating a "kosher" airline meal, I contacted the three major American "kosher" airline suppliers and urged them to start dating the day of the preparation of the meal.

They said they would look into it.

"I looked into it myself"....I urged the major American airlines over a two year period, to start dating the food or I'll go to the media.

Now you have expiration/preparation dates on kosher airline food. I personally would NEVER touch the drek! I'm a bring your own sandwich guy!

The olam should say thank you!

This still does not prevent you from getting sick for lack of proper refrigeration; and the worst drek in the world, leftover chara, goes into that aluminum garbage can.

OU Weasel Words to defend going against Rav Moishe Feinstein said...

http://yudelstake.blogspot.com/2008/05/thou-shall-not-consume-any-rubashkin.html

Anonymous said...
Rav Yudel, I spoke to the OU about this issue, and they gave me the following unusual answer:
A) Alle also makes good use of the meat which they can't sell as kosher. They own their animals, and shecht them in a non Jewish facility for free, in return to giving the non-Jews all of the treif meat. (In my opinion, although not as bad as Rubashkin, this could still be problem if it's true, since it would mean that Alle is gaining more from every additional animal classed as kosher, as well as using the forbidden animal parts of each animal as a trade.)
B) The Issur only applies to a kosher section in a place whose sole purpose is to sell treif. Rubashkin's main purpose, on the other hand, is to sell kosher, and whatever they can't class as kosher (70%) they sell as treif. They are a KOSHER FACTORY, that sells what they can't use as treif, and this is not what the issur is referring to.
P.S. This answer does not satisfy me, as the issur was made due to the taiva of $$. Rav Yudel, please respond to this.

Yudel Shain said...
A response from ALLE / Mealmart:(yudel)

Alle in its history has never owned a solitary live animal. Was this written information that was communicated to you by the OU?

Yudel Shain said...
RESPONSE FROM THE NIRBARTER RAV;
It's the first time i hear this in the 25 years i work for alle. therefore if you tell me who in the ou told you this, i could maybe explain where this misunderstanding came from.

Agudah Fresser said...

Many heimisher food manufacturers don't put dates on product even now.

Sometimes because the stuff is old, bugs start appearing. The hashgochos usually take the stand that they are not responsible.

Fairmont said...

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601068&refer=home&sid=ahEcmuOjgr4U

U.S. Mortgage Delinquencies, Foreclosures Rise to 29-Year High

By Kathleen M. Howley

June 5 (Bloomberg) -- The number of Americans in danger of losing their homes to foreclosure rose to the highest in almost three decades during the first quarter as borrowers who fell behind on payments were unable to sell their homes.

New foreclosures rose to a seasonally adjusted 0.99 percent of all U.S. home loans, up from 0.83 percent in the fourth quarter, the Mortgage Bankers Association said in a report today. The total inventory of homes in foreclosure increased to 2.47 percent and the delinquency rate, loans with one or more payments overdue, grew to 6.35 percent. All were the highest since 1979, the Washington-based trade group said.

Falling home prices have stalled U.S. real estate sales, making it difficult for people who can't pay their mortgages to sell the properties.

This week a spokesman for Ed McMahon, who appeared on television's ``The Tonight Show'' for three decades, said the 85- year-old entertainer may lose his Los Angeles estate to foreclosure after trying to sell it for two years for enough to cover his $4.8 million mortgage.

The Mortgage Bankers report is based on a survey of 45.2 million loans by mortgage companies, commercial banks, thrifts, credit unions and other financial institutions.

The delinquency rate for subprime loans was 18.79 percent, up from 17.31 percent in the fourth quarter, according to the report. The gain was led by loans 30 to 59 days late, at 8.83 percent.

The delinquency rate for subprime adjustable-rate mortgages was 22.07 percent and the so-called seriously delinquent share, loans 90 days or more overdue, was 24.11 percent, the report said.

Fed President imitates UOJ said...

June 5 (Bloomberg) -- Richmond Federal Reserve Bank President Jeffrey Lacker said the lending to securities firms that the central bank introduced in March may lay the seeds of further financial crises.

``The danger is that the effect of the recent credit extension on the incentives of financial-market participants might induce greater risk taking,'' Lacker said in a speech to the European Economics and Financial Centre in London. That ``in turn could give rise to more frequent crises,'' he said.

Lacker urged that the central bank now ``clearly'' set boundaries for its help to financial markets. In an interview yesterday on the themes of his speech, Lacker said even those new boundaries may not be believed by investors unless a financial firm fails ``in a costly way.''

The remarks are the strongest warning by an official about the consequences of the Fed's aid to securities dealers, the first lending to nonbanks since the Great Depression.

eli weisel said...

Eli Weisel Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, 10 December 1986

“There has been enough killing in the world.”

Rav Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz, Founding Dean of New York’s Mesivta Torah VoDaath, on why he became a vegetarian after the Holocaust.

Adapted from Shmarya said...

RCA division of the OU: Believe Rubashkin, Not Workers, Not Evidence

As you read this new RCA "policy statement" issued today, keep in mind that as of early last week almost 300 of those arrested at Agriprocessors in the largest immigration raid in US history had already pleaded guilty or been convicted. And realize these pleas and convictions are nowhere mentioned in the RCA's statement:

RCA Issues Statement re Agriprocessors
Regarding Recent Developments at Agriprocessors Meat Processing Plant in Postville, Iowa

Jun 3, 2008 -- The Rabbinical Council of America has been following recent developments taking place at the AgriProcessors kosher meat plant in Postville, Iowa. Like many others, both within and beyond the Jewish community, we have been concerned to determine the facts and the realities surrounding the many reports that have appeared in the print and online media, so as to respond appropriately, and responsibly.

Given the gravity of the allegations, and the potential impact on the Jewish community and kosher consumers, it would be inappropriate to rush to judgment before all relevant facts are clarified. It is important to keep in mind that to date conflicting reports have been issued, denials of improper behavior have been heard, and the recent events have occurred against a background of long-standing conflicts involving competing interest groups. Nonetheless it is important even at this time to clarify what in our view should be guiding principles in addressing this issue, once the facts will be known.

Relevant Principles of Jewish Law
The Torah, Halacha, and our sacred tradition require that we show ethical sensitivity on many levels:
1. We are required to respect our fellow human beings, who must be treated with fairness and dignity at all times. This applies whether they be Jew or non-Jew, rich or poor, and for that legal or illegal immigrants.
2. Inseparable from the requirement of ethical treatment of our fellows is the requirement to not judge them prematurely, without knowledge of the facts, and without providing an opportunity to rebut allegations in appropriate fashion.
3. We are required to obey all of the laws and regulations of the land if promulgated lawfully, and enforced without discrimination, to adhere to them in letter as well as in spirit, whether or not we approve or make sense of them.
4. We must show sensitivity to needless animal suffering, preventing it where possible, and minimizing it when unavoidable. This is particularly true when it comes to practicing humane methods of animal slaughter, a matter of great concern to rabbis in every generation.
5. We must above all take every reasonable step to prevent the disgrace, even in appearance, of the Jewish people and the Torah. Thus even if an act is technically permitted, if it nonetheless brings discredit to us and our faith, be it in Jewish or non-Jews eyes, it must be avoided.

Public Interest Principles
The availability of reliably supervised kosher meat (as with other kosher food) at a reasonable cost to the consumer is essential to Jewish life (and indeed to many who are not Jewish.) This requires an appropriate understanding of current business models as well as the requirements of Jewish law in providing and supervising such products.

Without necessarily impugning the current motives of various parties involved in any given dispute, we must keep in mind lessons learned during the course of the long history of unwarranted attacks on kosher slaughter practices in Europe and elsewhere, carried out by groups with agendas of their own.

In this connection one can raise for consideration whether or not the laws of the land, in themselves entirely legal and proper, have been consistently enforced, or whether a particular group or company has been singled out for such enforcement or legal action.

The Proper Parameters of Kosher Food Supervision
There are some who have called on kosher supervising agencies to take responsibility for comprehensive supervision of all "ethical" aspects of the kosher food industry. They would have rabbis provide informed and reliable judgments regarding financial auditing, human resource department practices involving hiring, firing, promotion, workplace safety issues, treatment of animals, tax and financial compliance, compliance with immigration law, et al. In our view such expectations of kosher supervising agencies are unreasonable, impractical, and without merit. Kashrus agencies do not have the expertise, resources, or enforcement powers to adjudicate such matters.

Extending kosher supervision to the full gamut of business practices raises many difficult questions. For instance, do we want ethical certification of practices involved in the production and distribution anywhere in the world of clothing, appliances, and furniture? This type of certification requires very different skills, and a very different arena of activity, from that involved in kosher certification. It requires looking at the company's books, human resources practices, suppliers and distributors, all by experts in the field – at significant cost to the consumers who, even if such broad-ranging review is possible, will end up paying for such investigations.

On the other hand it is certainly appropriate for supervising agencies to incorporate into contractual agreements from the outset, an expectation of adherence to the principles outlined above. It is also appropriate that if improper practices are found to have occurred as a result of regulatory or other substantiated revelations, the kashrus agencies should review their relationship to the businesses involved. Such review should consider, and balance, all of the relevant factors, including
a. The nature, severity, and frequency of the infractions involved. Who was responsible for them – ownership, management, a failure in oversight by government or other supervisory agencies?
b. The likely impact on kosher consumers of continuation or discontinuation of supervision, including the availability and cost of the products in question.
c. The likelihood of continued improper activity by the company, versus its willingness to improve its record going forward in verifiable fashion.

The Rights and Responsibilities of Individual Consumers
Kosher consumers certainly should be free, at any time, to choose to purchase kosher products based on whatever halachic or ethical criteria they value. Some may choose to withhold their business even on the basis of rumor or media reports until such time as the facts emerge. That is their right.

At the same, in the absence of hard facts, they too should exercise appropriate restraint, and not rush to premature judgments that might unnecessarily imperil the availability or affordability of kosher products and services, or impute guilt where none, or little, exists.

They should also be wary of any group that would seek to exploit the kosher food industry, or any particular company, based on ulterior motives of an economic, philosophical, or even religious, nature. Here the principle of caveat emptor, in its broadest meaning, applies.

Conclusion
In the matter of recent allegations against Agriprocessors and its company policies, the RCA is certainly concerned at news reports published to date. But both Jewish Law (Halacha) and civil law require a presumption of innocence by all parties, including the concerned public, as well as an understanding of the broad implications involved on all sides, until the facts will have been clarified, especially in a case that is as complex as the one at hand.
A few quick points:

Rabbis are not taught mechanical engineering or food chemistry as part of smicha (ordination). Yet rabbis working for the OU must regularly make kashrut decisions based on both fields of study because of the nature of modern food production. How is this achieved? The OU sought out expert advice while at the same time hiring rabbis with secular educational backgrounds in these fields.
Yet, the RCA would have you believe that expertise in basic legal compliance – is that worker being paid at least minimum wage? is he allowed enough break time each shift to eat a meal and attend to his personal needs? are employees being openly mistreated? – is beyond their capability.
The RCA therefore leaves compliance of basic Jewish ethical law (as opposed to ritual law – kashrut) completely in the hands of the government, which it then criticizes for not doing its job.
Using the same logic, the RCA should leave the composition of foods – the ingredients – up to government labeling laws. Why should the presence of a mashgiach (rabbinical kosher supervisor) be necessary?
This appears to demonstrate that, to the RCA, ritual laws (the laws between man and God) are more important than Jewish ethical laws (the laws between man and man). But that is in itself a perversion of Judaism.
The RCA persists on treating all evidence against Agriprocessors and the Rubashkin family as unproved, even though many allegations are supported by multiple sources and have documentary evidence – like pay stubs – to support them. And the RCA totally ignores almost 300 convictions already on the books, and the large volume of regulatory enforcement against the company – and against the Rubashkin family personally. It is as if these allegations were made in a vacuum.
The RCA plays the PETA / Conservative Rabbis - Hechsher Tzedek card. In the RCA's world, all messengers are suspect and all Rubashkins are clean.
The RCA attempts to stop boycotts against Agriprocessors.
The RCA seems much more concerned about availability of kosher meat than it does about the massive criminal enterprise used to produce that meat or the hundreds of exploited workers often forced to produce it.
The RCA also plays the antisemitism card, questioning whether the law has been enforced against Agriprocessors but not against other, non-Orthodox-Jewish-owned businesses. To date, while the raid against Agriprocessors is the largest of its kind in US history, the vast majority of raids and enforcement efforts have been against non-Orthodox, non-Jewish-owned companies.
This RCA statement is a reprehensible document issued by an organization that, in truth, is wholly dependent on the OU for its existence.

It isn't how much you abuse or hurt your employees that matters – as long as you don't get caught or outed.

All that matters is the minutia of kashrut, production lines koshered at 212º rather than 198º and the like.

And that is the OU's version of Orthodox Judaism's message to the world, its sine qua non of existence, its 'light' unto the nations. How sad.

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

Please go to UOJGROUP.BLOGSPOT.COM - for a brilliant post by Ahavah!

The Economic Future of Our Communities, Part I

Anonymous said...

To IVF:

Im not as "farshlufen" as you would like to think...Im aware of the junk (the word i would like to use is probably not allowed on line) going on in the frum community.. I do keep up with the news,ALL of it, good and bad..But to make it sound like we are all going to hell because there isnt one decent person among us, is total meshugaas!!! and a good excuse for bitul Torah as well.Yes there are sickos amongst us, but must we constantly focus on the negative? Trust me, Mr. UOJ does not have very clean hands as well...Id love to see his tax returns. Hey man, nobody is a complete tzaddik in this world (well, except for a very few..) and there are so many teire jews out there, quietly and modestly doing good deeds, without publicizing their actions and wanting acclaim, or claiming they are saving klall yisroel..get over yourselves!! You people sure are not R. Levi Yitzchok Berditchever, looking for the good in every yid, no matter how low he has fallen..As R. Meir said-or was it his wife Beruria? Hate the sin, not the sinner..and to be more specific -get a life, stop blogging and remember: Hayom Katzair V"Hamelacha Meruba, etc, and do your good deeds without fanfare and expecting accolades from all..Be a yirei shomayim b'saiser..

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

Mr. UOJ does not have very clean hands as well...Id love to see his tax returns.

----------------------

Take a number and get on line!

Kashrus Insider said...

http://uojgroup.blogspot.com/2008/06/economic-future-of-our-communities-part.html

Here is the direct link to Ahavah's post.

I don't think goyishe food companies will drop hashgochos to save money. They view the hashgocho as a tool to access millions of people who want kosher, most of whom are not even Jewish. There may be some companies who drop the OU for competing hashgochos however after being shown the Kolko-Belsky link and other dirt by UOJ.

Kashrus Insider said...

Rubashkin, whose output used to equal 60% of the US "kosher" chicken supply, has had another big setback which is going to cost us.

http://www.desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080530/NEWS/80530025

A temp staffing provider who had sent 150 workers to Postville has pulled every single one of their workers out, citing hazardous conditions at the plant.

After just raising prices on June 1st, Alle is raising prices again on June 18th by another 15%.

Anonymous said...

"Hate the sin, not the sinner.."

I don't think that applies to a chotei umachtee ess harabim like someone who gives you treif food labeled as kosher.

Rubashkin conviction = White collar investigation that could take years said...

Genack must know he has plenty of breathing room.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/06/01/AR2008060101059_pf.html

Rep. Timothy Bishop, D-New York, raised concerns about the federal action during a May 20 hearing of the Workforce Protections Subcommittee of the House Committee on Education and Labor.

"Is it not reasonable to assume that if over a third of the work force employed at this plant violated labor law in one form or another that management has to have some complicity in those violations?" he asked James Spero, a deputy assistant director for ICE.

Spero answered that he couldn't comment on a potential ongoing investigation but said immigration enforcement at workplaces does include investigations into violations by management and owners.

"The goal for our work site operations is to target and develop cases against the egregious employers who are committing violations," he said.

Spero said investigations of the employers often take more time, and he noted that agents in Postville had search warrants and seized numerous documents from the company.

Kelly Nantel, a spokeswoman for the agency, said in a statement that it targets employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants but "must build work site investigations in stages."

"Developing sufficient evidence against employers requires complex, white-collar crime investigations that can take years to bear fruit," she said.

Rubashkin Horror Show said...

http://iowaindependent.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=2405

Juanita, who came to this country from Petapa, Guatemala, said she worked at the Postville plant on the chicken production line. She was assigned to work graveyard shift and, although she had asked for a promotion or shift change, she was refused.

"My supervisor, who was also from Guatemala, tried to force himself on me in the parking lot in my car after I had asked for a job change," she said. "When I pushed him off me, I began to hear that I was not working hard enough or fast enough. I am a good worker. I did my job well. It was because I would not have sex with him that I was pushed so hard. He told me that I could always change my mind and that, if I did, he would put in a good word for me."

No longer working at the plant, Juanita and her 16-year-old sister, who did not wish to be interviewed, are trying to decide what they will do next.

"I don't know where we will end up or what we will do," she said.

The story of sexual coercion is echoed by Jenaro Rucal, who says he went to work at Agriprocessors after purchasing fake documents at the age of 13.

"My girlfriend was 16 when she came to work at the plant," he said in a telephone interview Friday morning. "I had a fight with the supervisor because he told my girlfriend that she could get 'perks' if he got 'perks' from her."

In addition to the personal stories that have come out in the days following the raid, documents filed by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) outline a scheme that involved the purchase and registration of automobiles. An unnamed plant supervisor worked with a Cedar Rapids car dealership to provide vehicles to what was believed to be undocumented workers. The dealership would purchase specific makes and models at car auctions and provide them to the plant supervisor, who would then sell the vehicles to workers.

Although the documents do not indicate the amount of money charged for the vehicles, Rucal said he purchased a Ford from his supervisor for $3,500 after the supervisor promised to grant preferred working conditions for Rucal's mother, a worker who was detained in the immigration raid and subsequently released to care for children.

"Just as a matter of policy, we don't comment on any ongoing investigation," said Tim Counts, spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), when asked if stories of sexual exploitation now being told by former plant employees have been validated by government officials. "But, as I think any law enforcement agency would say, if anybody believes they are a victim of a crime, they should immediately report that to the appropriate authorities."

Such responses, while reasonable, have been both commonplace and frustrating for those attempting to determine how much cooperation is taking place between federal agencies, between now criminally convicted former plant workers, as well as between federal and state agencies. Company representatives have also been close-mouthed when it comes to the raid or any of the myriad of ongoing investigations in relation to the plant. Requests made to Jim Fallon, spokesman for Agriprocessors, have continued to go unanswered.

"Those who knowingly employ or supervise illegal aliens, knowing their unlawful status, are able to exploit illegal aliens because illegal aliens are unlikely to contact authorities for fear they will be arrested and/or deported," wrote David Hoagland, senior special agent with ICE, in the affidavit for a search warrant of Agriprocessors. "Exploitation can take on many forms, such as requiring employees to provide money or other things of value to maintain employment or secure better working hours or tasks, providing sub-par working conditions, failing to pay overtime, and physically harassing or mistreating employees."

Rabbi Harold Kravitz of Minnesota was part of a group visiting Postville this week so that he could see for himself if the things he was reading about were true.

"We spent hours hearing about appalling working conditions and the abuses that have taken place at Agriprocessors," he wrote following his visit to the community. "We heard allegations of all kinds of abuses: underage workers, the poorest pay of any slaughterhouse in Iowa, supervisors who demanded payments and sexual favors in exchange for jobs or particular assignments. Workers consistently described being cursed at and screamed at to work faster and harder. We heard of people working in demanding and dangerous jobs with no training. We heard two stories of workers being struck. We repeatedly heard workers describe how a lead supervisor would demand that they buy a used car from him for more than its value in order to get a job at the plant, even though they were not eligible for a driver's license."

Kravitz said the people he spoke with were in the process of being deported and had "nothing to gain or lose from what they now say about their experiences."

"We have stood by, enjoying our kosher meat and chicken at the expense of simple folks who have been severely mistreated and whose lives are now in utter disarray," he said. "We have a responsibility to speak out about this. ... We must urge all quarters of the Jewish community to respond to this travesty."

Aron Rubashkin said...

I told the JTA I "wouldn't hurt a cat". That doesn't mean I let cats (or human beings) go peepee or poopoo.

http://www.ww4report.com/node/5600

Polk County attorney Sonia Parras Konrad interviewed over 50 detainees who told her that Agriprocessors procured false identification for its immigrant employees; withheld money from their paychecks for "immigration fees"; didn't allow employees to use the restroom during 10-hour shifts; didn't compensate employees for overtime; and were physically abused by supervisors. The lawsuit argues that the workers, as victims of these alleged crimes, would be eligible for special visas, and that if they are transferred from Iowa they would be deprived of their rights under the Crime Victims' Rights Act. "As victims they would need to participate in the investigations of the alleged crimes and may be needed to testify as to personal experiences," the lawsuit said.

Was UOJ around in 1902? said...

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/US-Israel/bc1902.html

In mid-May, 1902, the retail price of kosher meat on the Lower East Side of New York jumped from 12 to 18 cents per pound. In the Gilded Age, such dramatic price fluctuations were common as great "Trusts" -- oligopolies controlled by industrial barons -- cornered the market on commodities such as beef, steel and oil. In response to the rise in beef prices, for a week the small retail kosher butchers of New York refused to sell meat, their way of protesting the Beef Trust’s arrogance. However, the butchers’ boycott failed to bring wholesale prices down. Consumers had no choice but to pay the increase at the meat counter, or do without beef.

Influenced by the emerging labor and women’s suffrage movements, Jewish homemakers on the Lower East Side began to agitate for a strike against kosher meat. Fanny Levy, whose husband was a unionized cloakmaker, and Sarah Edelson, who owned a small restaurant, mobilized the neighborhood women by going door-to-door to persuade them not to buy kosher beef, and to urge their neighbors to do the same.

On May 15, 1902, the press reported that 20,000 women on the Lower East Side broke into kosher butcher shops and rendered the meat inedible by taking it into the street, soaking it in gasoline and setting it on fire. The crowds also confiscated meat from women who had purchased it from kosher butchers and destroyed that meat as well. According to historian Paula Hyman, writing in the journal of the American Jewish Historical Society, the Herald reported that "an excitable and aroused crowd [mostly of women] roamed the streets . . . armed with sticks, vocabularies and well-sharpened nails" in an effort to keep other women from purchasing kosher meat. One woman complained that her husband was sick and needed to eat beef to recover. She was told by a woman in a traditional sheitel that "a sick man can eat tref meat," and so she must abide by the boycott. By the end of the day, the police had arrested 85 persons, 70 of them Jewish women, for disorderly conduct. The Herald reported that the women "were pushed and hustled about [by the police], thrown to the pavement . . . and trampled upon." One of the women responded by slapping a police officer in the face with a moist piece of liver.

The Yiddish press supported the protest. The Forward ran the headline, "Bravo, Bravo, Bravo, Jewish women!" By contrast, the New York Times called for the repression of this "dangerous class . . .especially the women [who] are very ignorant [and] . . . mostly speak a foreign language."

Not all the mainstream press was hostile to the boycott. "Muckraking" journalists such as Lincoln Steffens and Ida Tarbell had been exposing the excesses of industrial monopolies, especially the oil and steel trusts, in the pages of daily newspapers. The Times, despite its opposition to the boycotters tactics, hoped that "the disturbances on the crowded east side in this city might give the Beef Combine something to think about rather seriously. [The boycott] is the most violent and general manifestation of resentment toward . . . the Combine that has been made, and it is more noteworthy than anything of its kind that has ever happened in this country."

The boycott spread to the Jewish communities of Brooklyn, Harlem, Newark, Boston and Philadelphia. It also spread to the synagogues, where women asked for rabbinic endorsement of their tactics. They even ascended bimahs, sometimes uninvited, to address men gathered in prayer. As Paula Hyman notes, "‘For once, urged a boycott leader . . . let the men use the power of ‘And he shall rule over her,’ to the good – by seeing to it that their wives refrain from purchasing meat."

Under pressure from their customers, on May 22nd the Retail Butchers Association once more aligned itself with the boycotters ands refused to sell kosher beef in member shops. Five days later, Orthodox religious leaders, who had mostly remained on the sidelines, formally endorsed the boycott. By June 9th, the retail price of kosher beef had dropped back to 14 cents and the boycott began to lose steam. The retail shops did a thriving business once again.

The example set by the kosher meat boycotters was later emulated in Jewish neighborhood rent strikers in 1904 and 1907-08, and in food boycotts in 1907, 1912 and 1917.

Lubinsky is glued to UOJ & Yudelstake said...

http://blogs.jta.org/telegraph/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/kosher_today_060208.png

Lubinsky knows from reading the blogs that Baumann from Glatt Mart is being called a liar when he says "not one" person asked if he sells Rubashkin. Lubinsky then respun Baumann's words that "virtually" no one asked, which is not what Baumann said.

Lubinsky also lies in this KosherToday propaganda piece about meat prices remaining unchanged. This was after prices have doubled in some cities with even New York seeing a small increase.

And they know in Florida that Lubinsky & Genack are Lying said...

http://blogs.jta.org/telegraph/2008/06/04/449/let-them-eat-cake/

Speaking of production capacity, contrary to assurances we are getting from company spokespeople, the supply of kosher meat is beginning to be affected. Several butchers told us they were able to find other meat suppliers after Agriprocessors was unable to fill orders. But at least one kosher caterer in Florida told JTA she was running from store to store trying to find supplies, and that if Rubashkin shuts down, it will destroy her business since there are no alternatives in her area. JTA’s Sue Fishkoff will have more on this later in the week.

And finally, a piece of news we neglected to note earlier. Agriprocessors has been placing ads for new workers in a Guatemalan newspaper – NOT newspapers for the Guatemalan community in the United States, but newspapers in Guatamela. There’s a PDF of the ad over at FailedMessiah.

Late yesterday we heard that a bunch of Jewish bigs had signed on to the Uri L’tzedek petition, which vows a boycott June 15 if Agriprocessors doesn’t commit to establishing an externally transparent department to ensure compliance with American and Jewish legal requirements concerning treatment of workers. A spokesman for UL confirmed they are in discussions with the company.

Your Influence Counts - Use It! said...

http://www.jta.org/cgi-bin/iowa/breaking/108924.html

Several prominent Jews signed on to a boycott threat against the kosher meatpacker Agriprocessors.

Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, Ruth Messinger and Rabbi Avi Weiss are among the 1,000 signers of a petition organized by Uri L'tzedek, according to its co-director, Shmuly Yanklowitz.

"We believe we have the right as consumers to be assured that Agriprocessors, a company that controls 60 percent of the kosher beef market, is committed to protecting its workers by upholding the law," Yanklowitz said in a statement.

Uri L'tzedek, a group founded by students at the liberal Orthodox seminary Yeshivat Chovevei Torah in New York, says the company must set up a transparent and accountable department to ensure compliance with the labor requirements of both Jewish and secular law.

If Agriprocessors does not, the group will begin to boycott the company and businesses that purchase from it on June 15.

An even Bigger Liar than Lubinsky said...

http://www.desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080605/NEWS/806050384/-1/SPORTS09

Aaron Rubashkin, shown outside his Brooklyn, N.Y., butcher shop Tuesday, told a Jewish news agency that his company had no way of knowing that workers' immigration papers were false.

Shortage of Kosher Meat in Philadelphia said...

Vos vet zein mit di Agudah Fressers?

Lubinsky is being forced to backtrack somewhat for the first time.

http://www.jewishexponent.com/article/16297/

Maryanne Crager is facing a bit of a problem. The stores she represents as public-affairs manager for Genuardi's supermarkets are known for their sizable kosher departments, but at the Wynnewood and Rockledge locations right now, customers may be disappointed. At the moment, Crager reported, Genuardi's has a "limited supply" of kosher deli meat.

The reason is that the market's kosher-meat supplier, Agriprocessors, Inc. -- the nation's largest kosher meat-packing plant -- is having a crisis of its own to contend with.

That doesn't help area Genuardi's markets, which use Agriprocessors as a main supplier. While the shelves are not empty, Crager said, "we don't know how long [this disruption] will last."

"We are trying to do the best we can under these circumstances, but it is a supplier issue," she continued, noting that the two stores continue to have kosher lunch meat and chicken, which they receive from other suppliers. Genuardi's is actively seeking an alternate source of kosher meat, she added, but, "unfortunately, there are not many suppliers for kosher beef."

Genuardi's is not alone. Don O'Brien, head of Acme's kosher division, said that the kosher-meat supply chain has been affected as a result of the Iowa situation. While two of Acme's local stores -- Jenkintown and Narberth -- have considerable kosher sections and carry Agriprocessors items, Acme is "stepping up" the supply it receives from other vendors.

Menachem Lubinsky, editor of Kosher Today and owner of Lubicon Marketing and Consulting, who's serving as spokesman for the Rubashkins, said there should be no shortage "whatsoever," as most of the "process kitchen [is] up and running."

However, he acknowledged "spot shortages here and there" -- in Los Angeles; Teaneck, N.J.; and South Florida -- but added that the plant resumed production the day after the raid and has increased its output recently as the company continues to hire additional workers.

Several local business owners, such as Arie Lipinsky of Narberth's Main Line Kosher Meats, a glatt-kosher market under Orthodox supervision, report that shoppers have been inquiring if any of their products come from Agriprocessors. Main Line, along with other independent kosher butchers, does not use Agriprocessors, but has tried to field questions from customers.

Jeff Kalinsky, sales manager for Betty the Caterer, said that he's noticed that the price of kosher meat from multiple suppliers has risen 10 percent in the last two weeks, in what he called a "supply-and-demand scenario." He's not sure if it's all due to the Agriprocessors situation -- prices for everything have gone up recently, he noted -- but does attribute at least a percentage of the increase to fallout from Iowa.

Steven Katz, owner of Max & David's, a kosher restaurant in Elkins Park, said that he does use some Agriprocessors' items, mostly steaks, though he's been looking for additional suppliers.

However, he said that the situation with Agriprocessors "has prioritized it a lot" and "heightened the pace at which we're looking. We are taking no shortcuts from a kashrut perspective," even, he said, if it means buying more expensive meat elsewhere.

Over the last few weeks, Jewish papers, blogs and newsletters have been buzzing with postings regarding Agriprocessors. All of this amounts to nothing more than lashon hara -- or gossip -- said Jesse Klapholz, owner of Klapholz's Kosher Delicatessen in Jenkintown.

He noted that rumors have run rampant over this issue.

"This is just about immigration, not about kashrut or whatever else may have taken place," he added. "The Jewish community is rushing to judgment."

Baltimore, the City that Fresses said...

http://www.forward.com/articles/13536/

“It doesn’t seem to be as big an issue with the religious community that [Agriprocessors] had illegals there,” said Chaim Fishman, head of the kosher meat department at Seven Mile Market in Baltimore.

One possible reason for the apparent consumer indifference to the raid simply may be ignorance. Despite extensive coverage of the raid and its aftermath by national media and Jewish newspapers of all stripes, an informal survey by the Forward of customers at two kosher meat stores in Brooklyn found that the majority of customers said they had not heard anything about the raid.

“I’m busy with this one,” one female customer said, pointing to her daughter as she wheeled a shopping cart into Moishe’s Supermarket in Brooklyn.

A few people who knew about the raid nonetheless said that it had not changed the way they shop. One woman at Moishe’s, who identified herself as Evelyn, said that while she was conscious of the raid as she shopped for meat, she continued to buy Agriprocessors products as long as they were fresh.

“The same thing must be going on in all the slaughterhouses,” she told the Forward.

Another factor in smaller cities is that Agriprocessors meats are often the only kosher meat available. Rabbi Daniel Isaak of the Conservative-affiliated Congregation Neveh Shalom in Portland, Ore., said that one congregant e-mailed with concerns about Rubashkin’s meat but complained that the only alternatives were to give up kosher meat or stop eating meat altogether, neither of which was desirable. Isaak said the e-mail was the lone mention of the issue, though he estimates that 20% to 25% of his congregants keep kosher in some form.

Cohen suggested that buying patterns might not change unless a clearer message emerges from pulpits and organizations about the moral implications of eating various kosher meats.

Rabbi Teichman jumps to defend Rubashkin said...

http://www.jewishjournal.com/los_angeles/article/meat_packing_raid_stirs_larger_ethical_and_economic_concerns/

"They don't have a lot of things," said Albert Zadeh, owner of kosher supermarket Pico Glatt, of Agriprocessors. "If you order five cases of meat, you might get two cases." Chicken is a particular problem, he said.

Rabbi Avrohom Teichman, Kehilla's rabbinic administrator, believes the effects of the raid will be short term.

"As far as I understand, this is a temporary situation," he said, noting that Agriprocessors is trying to address the labor issue. And while there are other kosher meat suppliers, "I don't think anyone can ramp up production to cover the shortfall."

But it's not a crisis, he emphasized -- especially at this time of year; "It's the Omer [the period between Passover and Shavuot when many religious Jews do not eat meat], and generally after Pesach, there is a reduction in spending."

Teichman stressed that this situation has nothing to do with kashrut (dietary law).

But what about the ethical issues pertaining to the use of illegal immigrants as a labor force at a kosher facility? Are kashrut supervisors concerned with issues of Jewish observance beyond the technicalities of the slaughtering process?

Teichman believes the company was not aware of the illegal immigrants who were using fraudulent paperwork.

"We support all legal activities," he said of Kehilla.

Rabbi Yakov Vann agrees. "We do deal with ethical issues," said Vann, director of kashrut services at the Rabbinical Council of California (RCC), the other main kosher supervisory agency here. Although he would not comment on the Agriprocessors case or on immigration violation, he said the RCC is very concerned with "work practice issues and the way you treat your employees."

Coincidentally, the RCC is about to begin importing meat from a new plant in Wichita, Kan., under the label California Delight.

"We have been working on this for a year and a half," he said. The important thing for meat, he said, is "never to rely on one source."

The ethical issues of "Mitzvot ben Adam L'Chaveiro" -- commandments between human beings (as opposed to those between God and man) -- has prompted some local Orthodox rabbis to consider taking action.

On Sunday, May 18, Rabbi Daniel Korobkin of the Orthodox Union, Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky of B'nai David-Judea Congregation and Rabbi Elazar Muskin of Young Israel of Century City met to discuss creating a hechsher (kosher certification) for ethical issues.

Although the discussions are "way too premature" to know specifics, Muskin said that in general, "we want to make sure that kashrut is not only a ritual issue but a human issue -- that the human interrelationship between proprietor and worker is also according to halacha, or Jewish law."

In fact, he said, the issues of whether workers are being treated well, whether they are getting paid minimum wage, whether they are being paid on time -- and for overtime -- and if the work conditions are sufficient, these are all issues covered in the Shulchan Aruch, the Code of Jewish law.

The rabbis don't yet know how this new oversight would take place but know that "we have to be sensitive to these issues," Muskin said. "If we haven't been in the past, we must now be extra sensitive. This is part of halacha, and it can't be ignored."

Gerrorist Nachman Stal said...

http://www.thejc.com/home.aspx?ParentId=m11s18&SecId=18&AId=60505&ATypeId=1

06/06/2008
By Candice Krieger
A convicted rapist who fled Israel before he could be jailed for a sex attack on an underage boy was caught last week when police stopped to help him change a wheel on a busy road.

Nachman Stal, 37, is understood to have been living in secret among the Charedi community of Stamford Hill, North London, since skipping the country two years ago.

But he was recaptured last Wednesday when his car had a puncture on the Westway stretch of the A40 in Ladbroke Grove, West London.

Mr Stal, rumoured to be working as a driver in the London area and using a false passport, had pulled over to change the tyre when police in a passing patrol car stopped to help. He was arrested on a provisional extradition warrant after a routine check of police records revealed the driver to be the fugitive Stal.

On Wednesday he appeared at Westminster extradition court via video-link from Wandsworth Prison, where he is being held in custody.

Stal, a Ger Chasid, was convicted of raping a boy under the age of 16 in Tel Aviv between April and May 1998 and indecently assaulting a boy under the age of 16 in Tel Aviv between December 1998 and February 1999.

The incidents allegedly took place in his car. He was convicted in 2006 but fled the jurisdiction — not the first time he had gone missing.

Stal, who used to live in Kiryat Sefer, east of Tel Aviv, was first indicted in 2000 but did not turn up for the trial hearing, and the indictment was cancelled.

It was thought he had fled to Britain. The charges were renewed in September 2004 when he returned to Israel. He was convicted in 2006 but managed to escape for a second time, fleeing the jurisdiction, even though police were holding his passport.

A new remand hearing, again via video-link, will take place on June 25 at Westminster extradition court.

A spokesperson from the Israeli Embassy said: “The Israeli Embassy only knows about such cases when the Israeli citizen involved chooses to notify us and in this case he hasn’t.’”

Stamford Hill’s Rabbi Avraham Pinter said he was not aware of Stal or that he had been hiding in London.

Moishe Reichman from Vishnitz said...

http://www.thejc.com/home.aspx?ParentId=m11s18&SecId=18&AId=60505&ATypeId=1

A Charedi man was due to appear at Snaresbrook Crown Court today (Friday) accused of raping a 12-year-old boy in a London synagogue toilet.

Moshe Reichman, 24, was charged under the Sexual Offences Act 2003.

The rape is alleged to have taken place at the Vinstz Synagogue in Stamford Hill, home to Europe’s largest Charedi population.

Moetzes Resign! said...

http://www.rightsidenews.com/200805281056/global-terrorism/olmert-is-finished.html

Olmert is Finished

Hugo Chavez said...

http://www.worldtribune.com/worldtribune/WTARC/2008/me_israel0202_06_02.html

Olmert pushed satellite deal with Venezuela

Tuesday, June 3, 2008
TEL AVIV — Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert secretly promoted the sale of satellite services to Venezuela in defiance of the U.S., a newspaper here reported.

The Israeli daily Maariv said Olmert sought to facilitate the sale of satellite services to the government of President Hugo Chavez by the Israeli firm ImageSat. Olmert, the newspaper said, was blocked by the Israeli Defense Ministry, which did not want to spark a crisis with the Bush administration.

The United States has opposed Israeli military or satellite services to Venezuela. Chavez has been regarded as a key ally of Iran.

The prime minister, investigated on charges of bribery and tax evasion, was said to have ordered an Israeli diplomat in Venezuela to facilitate the ImageSat deal. Olmert also sent a letter to Columbia's defense minister in which the prime minister promoted ImageSat, owned largely by Israel Aerospace Industries.

Olmert, who leaves Monday for the United States and a meeting with President George Bush, has denied the Maariv report, published in late May. The prime minister, however, did not deny sending the letter to Colombia's defense minister.

The police allegations against Olmert have stemmed from testimony from an American businessman who said he relayed more than $150,000 in cash to the prime minister. The businessman, Morris Talansky, was also involved in ImageSat's dealing with Venezuela.

Talansky, an investor in ImageSat, was one of a handful of investors who sued IAI for blocking a satellite deal with Venezuela. The suit was filed in 2007 in U.S. district court in New York City.

In 2006, the United States blocked an Israeli attempt to upgrade Venezuela's fleet of F-16 multi-role fighters. Defense industry sources said Washington was likely to reward Israel by approving an upgrade project by Israel's Elbit Systems for F-16A/Bs sought by Romania.

You can't make this stuff up said...

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1212659672704&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Morris Talansky, the wealthy Long Island businessman at the center of the corruption scandal that threatens to bring down Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, is due to appear in court in Hempstead, New York, on Tuesday over an altercation with his longtime dentist.

Talansky is currently in Israel for a grandson's wedding.

One of his many legal embroilments, this one concerns Talanksy's dentist, Leonard Barashick, 84, who said the 75-year-old slammed him in a heavy steel chair and threw him against a wall with a fist as big as a "kosher ham" in a Baldwin, New York, dental lab.

Police arrested Talansky last July and charged him with third-degree assault, said Eric Phillips, communications director for the Nassau County District Attorney's Office.

Talansky's lawyer, Ralph Bontempo, did not return several calls from The Jerusalem Post.

The argument with Talansky took place at the Ralph Ragucci dental lab, where the two went to pick up "dental caps," according to Barashick, and Talansky was upset that Barashick was asking to be paid for dental procedures.

"Talansky said he paid enough money over 40 years and doesn't have to pay any more money," said Barashick. "So even though I quoted him the fees labeled on the expenses, I couldn't satisfy him. He wanted the work without having to pay the couple thousand dollars."

Despite the alleged assault, Barashick said he was still prepared to drive back with Talansky, but instead Talansky "charged" at him with his car "as if to run me over" and drove away, first throwing a bag of dental impressions that belonged to another patient out the window.

Barashick, who served in an infantry unit in World War II and is a decorated war hero, said, "a friend who slams me with a chair and wants to kill me is like a mosquito biting you."

Barashick said he ended up in the emergency room and was hospitalized for two weeks. He said he had "swelling the size of an egg" on his left shin, and "broken skin" on both legs.

Police took down two messages saved on his voicemail with threats to his life from Talansky, Barashick said. One said "thunder and lightning were going to strike me," he added.

Initially hesitant, Barashick said he was convinced by the policewoman working on his case to have Talansky arrested. "I felt he was more to be pitied than censored," Barashick said.

But now he intends to sue Talansky for damages.

"I am accusing Rabbi Morris Talansky of being a liar, a thief, a philanderer and a homicidal maniac."

Barashick also said Talansky had involved him and several other dentists in their 80s in a "life insurance scheme" for which he was promised $200,000 in cash.

A local rabbi who asked to remain anonymous said Talansky was known as a "tumler," someone who makes "a lot of noise."

"He liked to throw his weight around, and be close to the gedolim (big shots)," the rabbi said.

Though he has a "good heart" and wanted to "do things for the Jewish people," the rabbi said Talansky was "a guy who people wouldn't have bought a used car from."

Friends of Olmert & Talansky said...

http://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/other_views/story/560153.html

The pile of terrorism evidence against President Hugo Chávez soars higher than any mountain in the hemisphere, but few want to look. The 37,872 computer files of Colombia's No. 2 FARC rebel terrorist Raúl Reyes were captured after a March 1 missile attack that killed him and two dozen guerillas in a secret safe haven a few miles north of Colombia's border with Ecuador. The files, certified by Interpol, were laughed off by Chávez as a ''circus,'' as he called Interpol a ''Mafia,'' whereupon The New York Times and the Economist characterized the files as ``uncorroborated.''

In fact, the files were corroborated by two smoking guns in a matter of days. In Costa Rica, police found $480,000 of the FARC's drug profits precisely where the files said they were hidden. And outside Bogota, the files showed police where 30 kilograms of nonenriched uranium -- dirty nuclear weapon material -- were concealed.

The files also indicate that:

• The FARC -- the Spanish acronym for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia -- gave Chávez $150,000 while in jail for his failed Venezuelan coup of 1992.

• Chávez promised $300 million and an oil supply to the FARC in 2007.

• Chávez is facilitating arms sales including surface-to-air missiles to the FARC.

• Chávez is providing safe havens for the FARC.

• Chávez is conspiring with the FARC to overthrow the democratically elected government of Alvaro Uribe in Colombia.

These are gross violations of the Organization of American States charter and U.N. Security Council resolutions 1373 and 1566 prohibiting safe havens or money for terrorist groups. Yet they represent only the tip of a supersized iceberg of intelligence that includes 983 encrypted files, 452 spreadsheets, 22,481 Web pages and 7,989 e-mail addresses that are likely to incriminate thousands of powerful officials and individuals all over the world.

Little of this is new to security experts who have tracked Chávez for years. They know that since late 2004, Chávez has embarked upon an asymmetric war against U.S. power in Latin America and the Middle East. He uses the weapons of oil, terror, drugs and financial crime with overt backing from Cuba and Iran and covert support for the FARC, Hezbollah, Hamas and other terror organizations.

But Chávez is being given a pass -- both internationally and domestically -- for behavior that in any other case would make of him a global pariah.

• Domestically, no Venezuelan prosecutor, judge, legislator or journalist who wants to keep his or her job is free to act on truth that Chávez doesn't like. In fact, if this article were printed in Venezuela, the writers could technically be jailed for two years under an edict that prohibits the publication of ''secret'' information such as the Reyes files, which the authorities deem to be lies.

• Chávez's international pass is harder to explain. Surely Venezuela's uranium mining, uranium shipments to Iran and the confiscated 30 kilos of nonenriched uranium are as weighty evidence as the U2 spy plane photos of Cuba's site preparations for Soviet missiles in 1962. Faced with that photographic evidence by President Kennedy, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev lied, saying that everything Russia was doing in Cuba was ''defensive in nature,'' which prompted Kennedy to warn him, ``If it turns out otherwise, the gravest issues will arise.''

That evidence provoked a narrowly avoided nuclear war. Today, Chávez offers the same lie as Khrushchev: He claims that he is defending Venezuela from imaginary U.S. invasions and assassination attempts that he has predicted countless times since 2001 but that never materialize.

So Chávez -- who has handed out $100 billion since 2004 to nations that applaud his anti-American rant, take his oil money or both -- is sitting pretty. While Sens. John McCain, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton debate the conditions under which they might meet with rogues like Chávez, he is going about the terrorism, kidnapping, money-laundering, drugs and arms businesses as if none of it matters.

Spooked by Ahavah's post on UOJ Group said...

Tomatoes are now $3 a piece at the supermarket. $3 for a lousy tomato! So many people are now turning to planting their own in their backyards that the NY Times is reporting there is nowhere in Tri-State area that isn't sold out of baby tomato plants. We just ordered a plant on the internet from one of only two companies in the United States that still have any stock. If they're not planted by mid-June it's also too late for them to grow.

Baltimore, the city that breeds said...

Yeah, right. That's why 7 Mile has a Meal Mart sign suddenly appear over the butcher cases over the past couple of weeks. They also decided to only carry "Supreme" but were allowed by Star K to "use out" the current stock. Glad to see that educated consumers may not be their best customers.

I can't go vegetarian since *everything* is bug infested, can't buy cholov yishmael since it spoils, especially now in the summer when the "refrigerated" truck delivers it "fresh" from NY, and can't buy Rubashkin meat. That leaves the Hod Lavan stuff at $10/lb, and the Empire chicken hot dogs. Forget the sale cheeses, they all have expiration dates 2 days away and are ususally moldy. Yum Yum. At least mold does not have to be checked for bugs.

Sounds like a kosher diet to me.

Anonymous said...

ARTICLE ADVOCATES THAT THE MODERN ORTHODOX SHOULD REACH OUT TO OTHER DENOMINATIONS AND DISTANCE ITSELF FROM SELECT ULTRA-ORTHODOX POLICIES
June 6, 2008 – The inaugural issue of the journal Conversations includes an article by Targum Shlishi’s director, Aryeh Rubin, entitled “Toward a Kinder, Gentler, More Tolerant and Flexible Orthodoxy.” The article, which is pasted below and also linked to, contends that the modern Orthodox should play a leading role in healing the rift between different denominations, and should provide guidance and direction to a much wider range of Jews than only the modern Orthodox.



Conversations is published by the Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals, which offers a vision of Orthodox Judaism that is intellectually sound, spiritually compelling, and emotionally satisfying.”

Link to article: http://www.jewishideas.org/content/toward-kinder-gentler-more-tolerant-and-flexible-orthodoxy-aryeh-rubin

Text of article:

Toward a Kinder, Gentler, More Tolerant and Flexible Orthodoxy

By Aryeh Rubin

Since the end of World War II, both in America and Israel, Jews have been at odds with one another for political, ethnic, ideological, religious and/or denominational reasons. That different groups have divergent worldviews has been the case since Biblical times. But the competing factions today appear more hostile than ever before. The Orthodox -- particularly the ultra-Orthodox with their high birth rates, expanding schools systems, and increased political clout, coupled with a sense of triumphalism -- are often perceived as the most vociferous and intolerant participants in these internecine squabbles of our people.

I believe that the Orthodox, who have contributed their fair share of the hostility that prevails among the different groups, could and should lead a healing process, and lead all of kelal yisrael (the people of Israel) to a shared vision. Because of our adherence to halakha (Jewish Law), our connection to traditional learning, our historical authenticity, and our success, modern Orthodoxy should be providing guidance, leadership, and direction -- not only to its own enclave but to a much wider berth of Jewry. Regrettably, modern Orthodoxy has shrunk from this task.

However, I believe that in order for this essential healing and unity to occur, the modern Orthodox may need to distance themselves from the ultra-Orthodox. Orthodoxy must shift back to the center, a center that addresses the pluralistic needs of, and provides the leadership for, all of Jewry. To accomplish this, we have to reconsider our historic allegiances to the halakhic hegemony of the Lithuanian roshei yeshiva, (revered terms for heads of yeshivot) and the Hassidic leaders. In most instances, they view the modern Orthodox as Hellenizers. We are really not part of their world, yet they seek to dictate our philosophy and political thought. Hence there is a need to create a distance between us, to enable us to act independently of their authority, yet be able to work together when called for.

Before I continue, let me state that I do not refer to myself as Orthodox. Nevertheless, an Orthodox synagogue is the locus of my spiritual aspirations, the hub of my communal activities, it’s where I go to prayer services and where I go to say kaddish (mourner’s prayer), and to celebrate my family semahot (life cycle events). Though my lifestyle falls within the parameters of the modern Orthodox gestalt, I believe that the term “orthodox” is misunderstood, and limits one’s ability to interact positively with the rest of the Jewish world. Hence, like a good number of us who came of age in observant homes during the decades after the war, I consider myself a post-denominational Jew. However, for purposes of this article, I include myself when using “we” to refer to the modern Orthodox.

While I respect and admire certain individual leaders for their scholarship and attributes, I do not consider myself at all under the guidance of the ultra-Orthodox. By freeing myself from the dictates of the “gedolei hador” (giants of the generation), I am at liberty to interact with Jews of all denominations. My tsedaka (charity) is targeted to organizations and projects based on their merit and not their affiliations. I can praise and accept the teachings of those in all movements and can ignore what I see as the arbitrariness and narrowness of the ultra-Orthodox or others when warranted.

What I also see is a Jewish educational system that is lacking, day schools and congregational schools that are short in funding and teachers, assimilation at an all time high, and enemies who pose true threats -- and yet we obsess over minutiae. With all of these issues engulfing us, the Orthodox most often do not have dialogue or interaction with over 80% of our fellow Jews to find common ground.

At one level, our problems are the reverse of the rest of modern Jewry. Outside of the Orthodox, most leaders are plutocrats; that is, the moneyed class that contributes the largest donations has most of the seats at the ruling tables. In the Haredi world, in contrast, it is only the roshei yeshiva who call the shots. Very few businessmen, almost no women, and no independent thinkers play a role. There is very little challenge to the Torah scholars who believe, and have convinced many of us, that they are infallible and that their interpretation of halakhic decisions overrides all other considerations.

Menachem Kellner, in the November 2006 issue of Covenant, notes the fallacy of the prevailing concept of Maimonides’ influence on modern Judaism. Maimonides, the rationalist, the physician, envisioned a “remarkably naturalist religion of radical responsibility.” It was Judaism that was “deeply elitist and profoundly universalist.” Kellner points out, as many of us have already observed, that Orthodox Judaism of today does not adhere to a Maimonidean rationality, but rather to a Kabbalistic worldview in which, Kellner says, “spiritual guides provide indispensible intercession.” In such a mystical world the “gedolei hador” relying on daat Torah (knowledge of Torah) are deemed infallible, and their word is binding. This belief is held by the Orthodox masses despite the fact that they advised the pre-war Jewish populations of Europe not to escape to Palestine or other parts. Most offensive to the sensibilities of modern Orthodox constituency are the outrageous comments made by certain haredi leaders. The former chief rabbi of Israel and spiritual leader of the Shas party, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef has said on various occasions that the Holocaust victims are the reincarnated souls of sinners and that Hurricane Katrina was retribution for President Bush’s support of disengagement from Gaza.

The influence of the haredi world has penetrated and continues to affect an ever larger swath of traditional Jewry, primarily through teaching in modern Jewish day schools. For the most part, the haredim’s children do not get a higher education, or go to trade school. They learn in the kollel (advanced study institute) until it’s time to make a living. One profession that is open and welcoming to them is teaching in the modern Jewish day school, which suffers a shortage of teachers because our own children are encouraged to seek more lucrative careers. So our students have, for two generations, been subject to the influence of these teachers and their haredi visions. As the haredi community has shifted to the right, they have dragged the modern Orthodox along. Very few leaders speak out against the newest “humra (restriction) of the week,” for fear that they, or their children, will be ostracized. The children, for their own part, have bought into the haredi thinking because of the influence of their teachers and peer pressure. Such ostracization is not trivial, and can be harmful to their prospects for jobs and marriage.

II

I suggest that a new leadership of enlightened rabbinical and lay leaders be formed and assert their leadership. If the modern Orthodox are to provide guidance and direction to the entire House of Israel, we must find common ground and work with the Conservative, Reform, and the unaffiliated. While Orthodoxy has veered to the right over the last half century under the spell of the haredim, the Conservative shifted even further on the scale to the left (widening a gap that was extremely narrow from the 1930s to the early 1960s) and the Reform movement has dropped off the halakhic charts. We need to formulate a weltanschauung to Jewry that acknowledges that the majority of the Jews in the United States, or the world for that matter, are not, and for the foreseeable future, will not be traditionally observant. Once that fact is accepted by the Orthodox, policies can be implemented that will allow the modern Orthodox to influence, provide leadership for, and participate in the governing of all of Jewry.

A possible strategy, in part, is to follow the example of Habad. Some of their emissaries sit on councils, Federation Continuity Commissions, and the like under the guise of recognizing non-Orthodox clergy not as clergy, but as leaders of the Jewish Community -- a thin veil, that gives them some sort of halakhic cover. For those who look for precedents, the Ibn Ezra admired a commentator on the Humash (Pentateuch), R. Jeshua b. Judah – a prolific 11th century writer, religious teacher and philosopher who also happened to be a Karaite – a sect that recognized only the Scriptures as the sole and direct source of the law, and that excluded the Oral tradition of the Rabbis. Despite the fundamental theological differences, Maimonides was of the “belief that the Karaites should be treated with respect, honor and kindness… as long as they do not slander the Talmud (that they did not believe in). They may be associated with and one may enter their homes, teach their children, bury their dead and comfort their mourners.” This suggests that the Orthodox attitude for the past century to our fellow Jews may have been a bit overdone.

A more recent example is Marc Shapiro’s book “Saul Lieberman and the Orthodox”. He cites numerous examples of prominent halakhic authorities quoting, corresponding and socializing with Rabbis Saul Lieberman and Louis Ginsburg, the stalwarts of the Conservative movement and exalted professors and directors at the Jewish Theological Seminary. It is of interest to note that in instances where the scholarship of Lieberman and Ginsburg was indispensable, some haredi authorities quoted only their initials, others cited their work anonymously, or plagiarized it in their own name.

If ahavat yisrael (love of the fellow Jew) is not enough of an incentive to be creative in reaching out across denominational lines (and to date it hasn’t been), and if kol yisrael arevim zeh lazeh, (all of Jewry is responsible one to another) does not motivate Orthodox Jews to aspire to leadership of more than just their 20 % of the house of Israel, then perhaps one should consider simple survival. The fate of all Jews is one, in many respects. If the numbers of Jews continue to decline over time (assimilation and low birth rate) as the general population increases, the influence of all Jews is bound to wane. Within the United States, the American political process pays close attention to the Jewish community partly because of the swing vote that Jews may carry in key states and localities and because of the funding provided by the wealthy and primarily non-Orthodox Democratic and Republican donors. (It is ironic that while the ultra-Orthodox are the most vociferous opponents of pluralism, in some rapidly growing and financially impoverished communities it is government assistance programs that help to support the haredi lifestyle.)

However, it would be naïve to believe that the ultra-Orthodox will amend their predispositions for any practical purpose that would violate what they believe to be the halakhic norm. Any creative solutions for leadership and the future must come from the modern Orthodox world.

The cohabitation of ultra-Orthodoxy with its modern cousin has endured for half a century. While there have been benefits for the modernists, (more learning, more schools, more books, and more kosher facilities) the disadvantages are significant. The haredim are enclavist, the modernists are universalists, the former are inward looking, the latter are outward looking. The modernists have had little influence on the ultras, but the latter have shaped the former. As a result, many in the formerly modern community have become less Zionistic, less tolerant, and less likely to get involved outside their community. They focus more on the minutiae heeding the latest humrot and less on the majesty of our heritage. They shy away from the national umbrella organizations and as a result get less in funding for Jewish education. Finally, were it not for the influence of the ultra-Orthodox, women’s issues regarding prayer and learning would have advanced at a far more rapid pace.

We shall remain respectful of our brethren on the right and continue to regard them as standard-bearers of the thinking that emerged in late 19th century yeshivas of Lithuania and among the Hassidic leaders of Central and Eastern Europe. We learn from their Torah insights, pray at their shtibelich (houses of prayer) at times, eat from their shehita (kosher dietary products) if we so desire, and, if one is so inclined, solicit a blessing from their holy men. We may admire certain positive traits. But if we continue to follow their leadership, we will continue to be dragged into a microcosm where the modern Orthodox do not want to go.

III

Because of some the charity work in which I engage, I interact with Jews and their organizations across all spectrums. And while there is some innovation in the modern Orthodox world, much of the creativity is coming from outside it. Prayer groups, technology innovators, and incubators for new ideas operate primarily within the realm of the other denominations and the unaffiliated; all the while the Orthodox are missing the boat. Unprecedented amounts of financial resources are available now -- probably more than in any period in our history -- with which to do good, and the modern Orthodox are not getting a substantial piece of that pie. There is talent outside our community that we are not tapping. Much of the gene pool of yesterday’s towering Torah giants do not opt for the cloistered world of a religious order, and are today’s hedge fund managers, Goldman Sachs partners, chairmen of philosophy departments, and directors of medical centers. If we are to thrive, we must tap into their talents, not only their resources. For that to happen, we need a kinder, gentler, more tolerant and flexible Orthodoxy.

With so much from our rich heritage to offer, and with the knowledge and facility to promote an authentic Judaism on an intellectual and emotional level, it is a travesty that we have not been doing so at a more optimal level. We need to promote our message, one that is non-coercive, to a much wider audience, without proselytizing. We should learn from the models that seem to work. Habad, whose success has been staggering in reaching out to thousands of previously unaffiliated Jews, has catered very successfully to a particular segment of Jewish society, and aspects of their work should be emulated. Yet a much wider audience of young Jews would not find Habad appealing. Hence, we must go outside the comfort zone of the Orthodox, and create a halakhic version of the West Side’s B’nai Jeshurun. Whatever issues one may have with their approach, about 2,500 young people are observing a form of Shabbat on 87th Street on Friday nights who otherwise would be partying at a club. If we believe that our Judaic tradition is for the Jewish people, and that its doctrine, morals and ethics are for all of humanity, then we need to muster the will and creativity to overcome the halakhic obstacles to move forward in reaching out to our Jewish brethren and all of humankind.

While I doubt that the divisions of patrilineal descent and gay clergy will ever be resolved, there have been overtures and positive steps taken to reverse the trend of hostility and move forward toward recognizing a commonality among all Jews. The Reform have been leaning towards tradition, and in Israel the Kinneret Declaration stated a core agreement on Israel’s democratic values as a home to secular, traditional and religious Jews. Flashes of creative leadership have begun to move a process along that many thought impossible.

Those streams of Judaism that differ with the modern Orthodox tradition, even those that ignore fundamental aspects of traditional theology, do share a common language, an affinity to a more majestic vision, and may share a common fate, if not destiny, with the Jewish people. If we, as modern Orthodox, could maintain a degree of flexibility and tolerance, we could lead klal yisrael toward a Jewish unity with bonds much stronger, deeper, and far more meaningful than today’s vague notion of a tribal connection.

Let us move forward. Let us rely on those leaders whose vision is shared by a large part of the modern Orthodox world. Let the haredim continue in their historical role, while we uphold our tradition looking forward, relating to and tapping into the talents of all of Jewry, embracing what is good in world culture, and accepting universalism within the bounds of tradition. We have an immense amount to offer world Jewry. If we succeed in reducing the tensions among our people and help to reestablish a Judaism of all Jews, we will have achieved a major accomplishment. If our destiny is to be a light unto the nations, then getting our house in order is a good first step on the road toward doing our share in saving the world.

www.targumshlishi.org

Anonymous said...

Lets get one thing straight: Arthur is a demented liar who wrote things about gedolei yisroel like Rav Shach which indicates, clearly, that he is not a serious person with whom one must contend with. He is a naar, a boor, and vacuous piece of garbage. his rebbe may have been a brilliant man, but he made some serious mistakes, too.

Anonymous said...

Torah Temimah has A RABBI IN ITS MIDST TEACHING YOUNG CHILDREN WHILE MOLESTATION TOOK PLACE IN HIS FAMILY BY HIS NEPHEW NOT REPORTED EVEN TO HIS OWN FAMILY AND ALLOWED HIS NEPHEW BACK INTO HIS HOME AFTER HE FOUND OUT THAT THE NEPHEW MOLESTED HIW OWN SON WHO LATER TRIED TO KILL HIMSELF USED DRUGS AND WENT INTO DEPRESSION.