EVERY SIGNATURE MATTERS - THIS BILL MUST PASS!

EVERY SIGNATURE MATTERS - THIS BILL MUST PASS!
CLICK - GOAL - 100,000 NEW SIGNATURES! 75,000 SIGNATURES HAVE ALREADY BEEN SUBMITTED TO GOVERNOR CUOMO!

CLICK!

Friday, August 29, 2008

CHILD ABUSE!

****PRESS ADVISORY****

"THE DOV HIKIND SHOW" - WMCA 570 AM Saturday night @11:00 PM Special September 6th broadcast........... Survivor of Sexual Abuse Speaks Out About the Torment of Abuse Fifteen Years Ago, As a Child, at the Hands of Two Community Members Living with the Trauma, Living with the Terror, & Living with the Truth. Sexual Abuse can be repressed with the trauma revisited in sensory triggers and stressors which set off a vivid revisiting of the molestation and exploitation. The horror can be replayed on the mind's eye without reprieve, muting and dulling life's joys and exacerbating life's reversals. It is a rape of the soul. Call in to the radio program: 718-436-1700
*************************************************************
What Can We Do to Prevent it?
By Rabbi Simon Jacobson


Afflicted one, storm-ravaged and disconsolate; behold, I will set your stones in fair colors, and lay the foundations with sapphires. I will make your windows of rubies, your gates of carbuncles, and all your boundaries of precious gems. And all your children will be taught about G-d; great will be the peace of your children. – This week’s Haftorah reading (Isaiah 54:11-55:5)

Dear Rabbi Jacobson,

I am one of the victims of sustained sexual abuse you so sensitively wrote about in your powerful and profound article The Destruction and Restoration of Dignity. My life has been rendered into one battle after another in my desperate search for love, and above all – self-love. The single most damaging effect of abuse is, as you accurately describe, the assault on dignity and violation of self-worth. Feeling like "damaged goods."

Your article deeply moved me and made me feel free. I will read it many times over. To have someone of your stature speaking about these issues is extremely encouraging. It may be an opening – as it was for me – to help wounded spirits breath again.

Now, my greatest concern is my own children. How, as you ask, can I protect them? Having experienced first-hand the damage of abuse, I work very hard, to cultivate and nurture my children’s self-esteem, through sustained efforts to reinforce and validate their beings and their malchus (as you put it), with unconditional love.

But how can we protect our children from the predators outside our homes? I shudder whenever I think – which is quite often – about of the potential dangers that lurk out there.

No words can describe my appreciation to you for bringing to the surface these issues, which is in itself part of the process of healing, like fresh air on deeply ingrained infections. Now let us continue the dialogue by addressing what can and must be done to protect our children.

Blessings to you,

(signed)

One of the most resonating and powerful statements you made in your last article is that “only a radical jolt to the psyche will cause someone to explicitly break away from their peer group.” You cited a psychologist who stated: “In my experience I am slowly coming to the conclusion that in many of these cases the radical jolt began with some form of sexual molestation, in which the child’s inner dignity was violated. When someone is hurt on that level it defiles the innermost, intimate dimensions of the psyche; it drives the child into silence (out of shame and fear he will not speak about the abuse with parents or teachers), a silence andloneliness that eats away, like a cancer, at the child’s inner dignity.”

So what can be done to prevent such jarring experiences that can so alter our children’s lives? Can we do anything to create safer environments for our sons and daughters? Or are we resigned, as some of my friends contend, that nothing can be done, and basically minimize or ignore the issues (the thing called “denial”) to make the horror a bit more tolerable.

One of my colleagues put it this way: Sending our kids to school and camp is like sending them into a minefield. All we can do is close our eyes and pray that they will come out intact.

Do you agree with that, Rabbi?

(signed)

No, I unequivocally disagree with that last statement. We are not victims and we are never helpless. Is life a challenge? Absolutely. Are there predators in our midst? Undeniably. But we are not powerless. A fundamental principle in Torah is that there is no challenge that we cannot overcome. We never face adversary, are never asked to do something that is beyond our capacity.

Our true challenge is not to retreat in fear or convince ourselves that this is “somebody else’s” problem and could “never happen to me and my family.” We must put our heads and hearts together and once and for all take on this man-made plague. As those involved in healing say: Anything that can be broken can be fixed (does anyone know the source?).

The axiom that we can do something about abuse (and about all life’s predicaments) is based on the fundamental principle that a good G-d created this universe and imbued in existence is inherent beauty. That no matter what wounds we sustain, our souls always remain intact. The Divine spirit in each in of us can go under cover – concealed by many, many layers – due to abuse; but it nevertheless always remains alive within. As we read in this week’s Haftorah (the third of the seven weeks of comfort): Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, that your soul will live.

If, for example, you believe that “survival of the fittest” is the driving engine of life, then the logical conclusion is that life is not fair and often predators will prevail and their victims will forever remain damaged. The inevitable consequence of this depressing attitude is, as the Haftorah begins, that the afflicted one, storm-ravaged does not feel comforted.

But when you know that beneath and within all the narcissism of material existence lay profound beauty and sublime energy – that a gentle child remains hidden under the hard crust of your adult armor – then nothing, absolutely nothing (except your won self-doubt), can vanquish your spirit.

Take away this principle and you may as well give up. Our challenge is to hold on to this faith and trust even in the darkest moments.

So, in the process of joining together to address the challenge of abuse in our communities, I have been asking this very question to many people: What would you suggest we do to protect our children from abuse?

Though hardly scientific, the grass-roots consensus of the people I spoke to (so far) focused primarily on the effort we must exert on educating our children, from a young age, to protect themselves from anyone who may touch them inappropriately. Explain to them no one has a right to violate their privacy, and that they should report any such violation.

“At what age,” I asked, “should we begin to speak to our children?” Some said as early as they can understand.

Without taking away from the merits of this strategy, we have to examine whether speaking to children is actually effective. Does it help to warn children? I can tell you from personal experience that when I was warned to watch out from predators it actually terrified me. Whenever I saw adults hanging around in certain corners, I would suspiciously look at them like criminals. Monsters lurking everywhere. Remember, children hear things differently than adults. They inherently trust, and when they are warned about threatening elements, they can take it to extremes, like the goblins in a fairy tale.

But even more important is the fact that most abuse does not happen at the hands of strangers sitting in cars at street corners near schools, offering candies or toys to unsuspecting children. Though such pedophiles exist, and children can be taught to avoid such situations, most abuse happens in far more “innocent” ways, usually at the hands of a older friend or relative, someone close to the child, someone the child would never suspect, and someone the child would find difficult to resist. Then, once violated, the child would in most cases not tell anyone, even when pre-warned.

Above all, this approach to speak to our children (which, again, I am not opposed to) is still addressing only symptoms, instead of roots. It speaks to the potential victims, instead of to the perpetrators and the causes for abuse.

What struck me about this attitude – reflected in most of the suggestions people were offering – was that they were all focusing on the receiving end of abuse. As if to suggest, however subtly, that it is the victim’s fault. Had the child protected himself, had she protested, had he reported the abuse, things would have been fine. This approach further feeds into the victimization mentality.

It also suggests, however subtly, that predators are a given, and we can do nothing about them. All we can do is create strong defenses. This too essentially further reinforces a defensive mode to life. Is that a way to live? In constant fear and suspicion of predators, focusing on protective measures to shield ourselves and our children?

I would like to propose another, perhaps radical, not so subtle, suggestion:

Focus on the predators, not on the victims. Beyond the more “documented” cases of abusers, most (undocumented) abuse is perpetrated by friends who are “having fun” and are not necessarily clinical pedophiles. They are experimenting and have no clue how much damage they are doing in their pursuit.

We need to initiate a massive campaign of informing kids that touching and in any way violating the private space of another is not a “game.” It has devastating consequences.

Sexuality is the most intimate and most vulnerable place in the human psyche. When violated it is not like a brawl with a bully, which leaves temporary bruises, but one that remains etched in the psyche and memory, leaving permanent wounds, many which haunt us for the rest of our lives.

Though we must do everything possible to deal with the symptoms of abuse (no different than band-aids and aspirins) with short-term solutions or whatever may possibly work, the biggest challenge is to address the root of the issue: Abuse is only possible because there is a climate, an environment, a breeding ground as it were, that allows abuse to fester and thrive. That breeding ground is the utter ignorance and lack of appreciation of the fundamental sanctity of sexuality. Society as a whole has allowed (or even encouraged) sexuality to be divorced of its intimate mystique; it has been turned into commodity instead of mystery; casual instead of permanent; mechanics instead of relationship; a verb istead of a noun.

The Torah calls sexuality “knowledge” – “Adam knew Eve.” Knowledge is an intimate bond, not a “quick fix.” Knowledge takes years to develop, to nurture, to cultivate. The dignity of the princess is within, more than the golden clothing which she wears (Psalms, 45:14). It is an internal experience, one that works from the inside out, not from the outside in.

Accordingly, we must come out with a massive educational campaign, treated subtly and sensitively, to re-indoctrinate all of us – including our children – in the meaning of intimacy. And how violating someone’s intimate space has far-reaching implications.

To address and prevent a state of abuse – Afflicted one, storm-ravaged and disconsolate ­– the verse continues: And all your children will be taught about G-d; great will be the peace of your children. By teaching our children about the sanctity of life and intimacy, great will be their peace and comfort they will find amidst the storms surrounding us.

Sexuality, by its very nature, is provoked and fueled by discussion. Therefore, great care must be taken that it should be addressed with the appropriate modesty and subtlety. There are some who address the issue of intimacy in non-intimate ways, like speaking about modesty in an immodest fashion; they say the right things in the wrong way. The sanctity and privacy of our most vulnerable place must taught by sensitive professionals who will avoid any provocative expressions or associations. It should be discussed privately with a student, or at most with two or three students, and it should be discussed separately with boys and girls, to keep the boundaries clear. (For more on this, please see te chapter on Intimacy in Toward A Meaningful Life, and also here)

I have no doubt that if kids knew what they were tampering with, and sexual sensitivity would become a social standard (yeh, I know that it’s not happening overnight), even if it would not solve all our problems, it would have visible impact.

In addition: Awareness of the power of sexuality and the damage of abuse should lead to instituting a policy of zero tolerance of predators. As a deterrent they should know that they will be ostracized. Every school and institution where children congregate can appoint a professional to look for signs of abuse. Any detection, any suspicion, should be pursued (obviously, with great care not to accuse innocent people, and with the knowledge that accusation can sometimes be made out of acrimony). Anyone violated would be encouraged to speak up, and when enough reports come in – approach the predator and threaten him. Fear of this nature can have powerful impact.

As we move through the seven weeks of comfort, which coincides with the beginning of the new school year, this is a perfect time to set new standards and declare for all, and especially our children, to hear and see that we will do whatever it takes to protect them, so that no weapon that is formed against you shall prosper.

[This article focused on sexual abuse, though there are other destructive forms of abuse that violate human dignity, which deserve to be addressed].

Please send me your thoughts and suggestions how to help protect our children. It would be a great service to create a public forum and dialogue to bring this matter to the fore, where we can learn from each other and benefit from our collective wisdom.

mlc | Meaningful Life Center
www.meaningfullife.com
E-mail: wisdomreb@meaningfullife.com. Phone: 718.774.6448

~~~~~

30 comments:

Kollel Putz with a Gold Watch said...

http://money.aol.com/news/articles/_a/bbdp/laboring-longer-is-growing-trend-for/154664?cid=5

Americans are changing the game plan for retirement, with millions laboring right past the traditional retirement age and working into their late 60s and beyond.

While the average retirement age remains 63, that standard may soon be going the way of the gold watch — a trend expected to accelerate as baby boomers close in on retirement without sufficient savings.

But for Melissa Fodor, a retired travel agent who works part-time as a caregiver for the elderly, the extra work "keeps my head above water" and there's no end in sight to that financial need at age 68.

Divorced and with no children, she says she will have to work "forever" to make up for a lack of savings since Social Security doesn't go far enough to make ends meet.

Caring for seniors, a job she loves, pays just $9 an hour and dog walking pays less. Squeezed by rising prices and still $20,000 in debt on her condo, she stopped buying meat, beer and pricier vegetables and cheeses this year and is making other cutbacks.
"I feel blessed with the good health that I have. But I'm a little bit bitter because I don't think I should be scared financially at 68," she said, adding that she blames only herself for not saving more.
What disturbs her more than her situation, though, is that of all the men in their 60s, 70s and even 80s she worked with at Lowe's .
After losing their jobs as engineers and scientists, they now stock shelves just to survive. But they hide when fellow retirees come in, she said, because they don't want people they knew from their country clubs and higher-income jobs to see them.
When people work out of desperation and not choice, in other words, it carries little dignity.

"That's just not right," she said. "That hurts me to see that. Some of these people are supporting their grandchildren."

Anonymous said...

The solution is simple. No orthodox schools. Public school and the Boy Scouts. Send them with Kosher lunches and teach themn Gemara in the afternoon when they come home.
I know this sounds radical, but My experience with orthodox schools just goes to prove everything this blog has been saying.
(Not sefardic schools though. When In Israel I send my kids to a sefardic Cheder and I was very pleased. The kids always came home very happy0--daily)

Robert said...

UOJ, that's true - it'sa horrible. I want to ask you: are you doing anything about MOSHE EISEMANN too?

Rabbi Chaim Silver said...

After I vouch for Shereshevsky so people will invest in his pyramid scam, I give a drasha that no one should speak lashon harah.

How convenient.

http://hamptonroads.com/2008/08/little-outcry-heard-alleged-victims-pyramid-scheme

At the first Saturday service after Shereshevsky's Aug. 11 arrest, Rabbi Chaim Silver reminded members that Judaism forbids gossip, also known as "lashon hara," or evil speech.

Participants at the service said Silver did not cite the scandal. But they said the connection was as obvious as the shock generated by the allegations against Shereshevsky.

"I don't think there's a single person in the community it hasn't affected in some way, just because he was a benefactor and so many people had invested in or worked for him," said a member who asked not to be identified.

Silver did not return several calls for comment. Other members also did not return calls, or refused to comment on Shereshevsky.

Prosecutors call it an affinity-fraud case because Shereshevsky allegedly targeted other Orthodox Jews, in addition to other individuals.

In South Hampton Roads' small Orthodox community, he became known in recent years as a generous donor to B'nai Israel, charities and the Orthodox day school that was launched in 2002.

Known as the Rabbi Chaim Shereshevsky Institute of Mesorah Learning, the school is named for Shereshevsky's father. Directors of the school did not return calls.

The silences may reflect not only the ban on gossip but a Jewish custom that frowns on being a "moser," or informant, said Samuel Heilman. A sociologist at City University of New York, Heilman writes about American Judaism and Orthodox Jews.

"The moser is somebody who hands over, literally, information that is hurtful regarding Jews to someone - to the authorities," he said. The custom harkens to Jewish historical experience with anti-Semitic civic authorities.

"The silence speaks volumes - there's an obvious embarrassment about this," Heilman said of the Norfolk congregation's quiet.

Banned from criticism, reluctant perhaps to commend the accused, for most members, "the most obvious and best tactic is to say nothing," Heilman said.

Jonathan D. Sarna, a Brandeis University scholar of Jewish history, said close-knit Orthodox communities can sometimes function as sub-economies, or networks for doing business or trading information.

"The price you pay is that that can also be abused and it's always very painful, much as it is in a family when a family member turns out to not be honest," he said.

Rabbi Lawrence Forman, a longtime Reform clergyman in Norfolk, said he was not close to the Orthodox but was nonetheless outraged as a Jew by Shereshevsky's alleged crimes.

"He's forcing a bad name on the community," Forman said. "It starts with his fellow Orthodox and extends to anybody who calls himself Jewish."

Either way, the case will have an obvious fascination for outsiders, much as past scandals involving Protestant televangelists or the Catholic priest sex-abuse revelations, Heilman said.

"The question arises: How could a person who is so religious do something illegal or immoral, and that's what makes this a story," he said.

Steven G. Vegh, (757) 446-2417, steven.vegh@pilotonline.com

Archie Bunker said...

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_DCGOA_RlajQ/SLyZmDXOPtI/AAAAAAAACHI/1DVExHJbHCs/s1600-h/kos-tref-.jpg

Sholom & Getzel Rubashkin can eat crow along with the rest of their treif at Agri.

Shame on the OU for allowing this violation of halachic edict that allows Rubashkin to cheat (and the Star-K at Zalman's meats too).

Joe Putz said...

Does anyone know the name of the rabbi immediately prior to Chaim Silver who left the shul to open an office for Shereshevsky in Tennessee?

Bais Faige Hall in Lakewood said...

I was there for a simcha I think it was the first time I've been there to a simcha and the first time I've been to Lakewood in a long time. I was surprised to see my ambrosia had whole blueberries inside.
I don't recall the last simcha I've been to that served what looked like whole ones drowned in a dark colored drink (imagine if someone just drank it and choked on the berries?).

Service was horrible, food was terrible.

they served soup, I asked for soup and they took away all the soup bowls (and didn't give me soup) in front of my face and ignored my request. It was like they had x amount of food and couldn't feed x+y.

they waited so long to serve the main dish (after the dancing, nothing was happening), so people left. After a long wait (I never recall waiting so long at a wedding) they served the men but not the women (was it not enough women left?).

One of the most bizarre weddings I've ever been to and what a shlep to boot. A night of misery.

Maybe Yudel Shain is so miserable about food issues b/c he's been to one too many simchas at Bais Faige?

Elka Shereshevsky said...

http://hamptonroads.com/2008/08/wextrust-owners-wife-added-list-defendants

By Tom Shean
The Virginian-Pilot
© August 30, 2008
NORFOLK

The Securities and Exchange Commission added the wife of a WexTrust Capital owner to its list of defendants in a complaint of securities fraud by WexTrust and two of the investment firm's owners.

In an amended complaint filed in federal court in Manhattan on Thursday, the SEC named Elka Shereshevsky of Norfolk as a relief defendant, someone who received ill-gotten assets through the actions of a named defendant.

Her husband, Joseph Shereshevsky of Norfolk, is an owner of WexTrust and one of the defendants named in the SEC's initial complaint, filed Aug. 11.

At the SEC's request, the court on Thursday ordered that Elka Shereshevsky's assets be frozen.

"She received money from WexTrust operations and from her husband that she shouldn't have received," said Andrew Calamari, the SEC's associate regional director in Manhattan, on Friday.

The regulatory agency had already obtained court orders that froze the assets of her husband and other defendants.

The SEC contends that Joseph Shereshevsky, Steven Byers of Oak Brook, Ill., their Chicago-based firm, and four WexTrust affiliates defrauded investors by diverting $100 million of funds for unauthorized purposes. Some of the money, the SEC said, was used to pay investors in earlier projects and for company and personal expenses.

Joseph Shereshevsky and Byers also have been charged with securities fraud in a separate criminal case brought by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

Michael Bachner, a New York attorney representing Elka Shereshevsky, said Friday that his client consented to the court's temporary freeze of her assets.

"We are going to be able to demonstrate that some of the assets frozen were clearly unrelated to investor monies," said Bachner, a specialist in securities and white-collar criminal cases. "If we cannot amicably resolve the property issue, our intention is to litigate it."

Elka Shereshevsky, according to the SEC's amended complaint, owns a 20 percent stake in WexTrust through the Shereshevsky Family Partnership and is general partner of the partnership. She also is employed by WexTrust Securities, the brokerage firm-affiliate of WexTrust Capital, the complaint said.

She and her husband received transaction-based compensation from the sales of private placements through WexTrust Securities, the SEC said.

Private placements involve the sale of securities to a limited number of financially sophisticated buyers without using a public offering.

The SEC contends that Joseph Shereshevsky was instrumental in launching and managing WexTrust Securities but wasn't licensed to engage in selling securities.

Israel said...

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1015481.html

The Search for Rose / A family with a history of abuse

By Fadi Eyadat

The neglect and abuse that led to the apparent murder of Rose Pizem by her grandfather Ronny Ron seem to have been endemic in the family, as arises from the story of Ronny Ron's sister, Sigalit Kirschner.

In an unrelated incident, Kirschner was murdered along with her husband Dudi Katzstecher in July, two weeks after the couple married. She accused her family of abusing her as a child, and had been estranged from them for more than 25 years.

"Mom left her family in Netanya when she was 17," Ziv Kirschner, Sigalit Kirschner's eldest son from her first marriage, told Haaretz yesterday. "Ronny was neither at the funeral nor at the shiva, and I've only seen him once or twice."

Meanwhile, neighbors of the Ron family who knew Sigalit Kirschner as a child were surprised to hear she had been murdered. They said that as a child, Kirschner had been neglected by her mother, Vivien Yaakov, and had even complained that she had been sexually assaulted, a claim the neighbors said was never investigated. "She severed ties with them because she had a difficult family life," they said. "She was the sweetest girl in the world. [Her mother] Vivien didn't sit shiva for her or tell us [that she died.]"

Shortly before he died, Sigalit's father, Yehezkel Yaakov, went to see his daughter and ask for forgiveness for the abuse she suffered as a child. "Mom was like a slave in that house," Ziv Kirschner said. "Vivien and Ronny abused her, so she had to run away. She served in the army and then built herself a life without outside support. Got married, had children and educated us."

Sigalit Kirschner and Katzstecher were murdered only two weeks after their wedding by security guard Erez Ben Ezra, who had encountered financial difficulties. Ben Ezra asked Katzstecher, a taxi driver, to drive him to a rabbi's grave near Safed. On the way, he killed Katzstecher and his wife, who had accompanied him, near the town of Kadita and stole NIS 600. Police matched the bullets at the scene of the crime with Ben Ezra's gun. Two days after the murder, with the police on his trail, Ben Ezra committed suicide.

"Luckily, she separated from her family and had us," Ziv Kirschner said yesterday. "I still can't understand why someone would murder for NIS 600, but killing a little girl for no apparent reason is even more brutal."

"Uncle Morris" said...

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1015797.html

Morris Talansky, the American fundraiser at the center of a corruption scandal involving Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, has been summoned for questioning by federal investigators in the United States, Talansky's attorneys said in a petition filed on Wednesday with Jerusalem District Court.

Although details of the investigation in the U.S. are sketchy, senior police officials maintain that it is customary for the FBI to become involved in Israeli investigations being conducted within the U.S.

"The legal system in the U.S. is viewed as very tough on anything having to do with the transfer of money to politicians, and especially foreign politicians," said an Israeli police official.

The New York-based businessman, who is scheduled to undergo further cross-examination from Olmert's attorneys next week, is requesting to postpone the appearance until U.S. prosecutors agree not to use his testimony in Israel as evidence against him in American courts.

Ronny Ronn Torossian said...

No relation to the stam Ronny Ron.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1015649.html

Police: We will do all we can to give Rose a proper burial

By Roni Singer-Heruti, Haaretz Correspondent, and Haaretz Service

Police consulted with private professionals on Wednesday regarding the option of drying up the area of the Yarkon River where Rose Pizem's paternal grandfather, Ronny Ron, allegedly tossed a suitcase containing her 4-year-old body.

Experts believe that drying up the area will cost hundreds of thousands of shekels. Additionally, police are conducting searches for Rose in Netanya and the surrounding areas.

In the search for the missing 4-year-old, the police are using search-dogs, volunteers and a device to pinpoint the cellular telephones of the suspects.

Police said the tracking record of Ronny Ron's cellular phone did not contradict his testimony however it was not clear if Ron was carrying his phone at the time he allegedly tossed Rose's body in the Yarkon River.

For the past two weeks, police have searched in locales as diverse as a Netanya nursery school, a French convent in Jaffa and Palestinian villages in the West Bank.

Police Commissioner Dudi Cohen said Wednesday that the police were still unsure of the whereabouts of Rose Pizem, as they widened their search for the girl.

Police think that Ronny Ron, Rose's paternal grandfather, who is also the live-in lover of her mother, Marie-Charlotte Renault, killed her some three months ago. Ron admits murdering his granddaughter, and says he put her body in a suitcase and threw it in a Tel Aviv river.

But, said Cohen: "We are all full of doubt as to the whereabouts of Rose, but we are centered around the Yarkon River at present and this is the process of the probe, and the central angle of investigation."

Both Renault and Rose's father, Benjamin Pizem (who is also Ron's son)  are French, and Rose lived in Paris until last December.

The police chief told Army Radio that they also were conducting searches in two other areas apart from the river: near the child's home in Netanya and in the city's southern districts.

Both Ron and Renault were remanded for another eight days on Tuesday, as the court lifted the strict gag order that had been imposed on the case.

The story of the missing girl has sparked international interest. The search for Rose is being followed in France, where she was born, and in Britain, where comparisons are being made to the case of Madeleine McCann, the four-year-old who disappeared in May 2007 during a family vacation in Portugal. Rose's physical similarity to Madeleine - both have blond hair and blue eyes - has also been remarked upon.

Ron, a 45-year-old resident of Netanya, confessed to the murder earlier this week, police said. He also brought them to the spot where he allegedly threw Rose into the Yarkon River after stuffing her body into a suitcase.

Ron murdered the girl, police said, because he could not cope with the problems entailed in raising her.

Renault, in contrast, is not suspected of involvement in the actual murder. However, police believe the killing was premeditated, and that she helped plan it.

Ron denies that the murder was premeditated. He told the police that three months ago, as he was driving in the car with Rose in the backseat, her noisy chewing as she ate a cookie irritated him, and he yelled at her. She then went crazy, interfering with his driving, so he struck her.

He continued driving, he said, but after some time during which he heard no sounds from her, he turned around and saw that her head was at a funny angle. He stopped the car, discovered that she was not breathing and panicked. So he stuffed her into a suitcase and threw her into the Yarkon.

Police, however, do not believe this account. Nor do they believe Renault's story that she knew nothing about Rose's murder.

Renault claimed that Ron told her he had arranged for Rose to be put in an institution in France, and she believed him and asked no questions.

Ron seconded this story. When he got home after the murder, he said, Marie was asleep, so he quickly washed his clothes, and the next morning, he told her he had sent Rose to an institution in France. His greatest fear, he explained, was that Marie would leave him if she knew what he had done.

However, police find it hard to believe that Marie truly asked no questions after hearing Ron's story about the French institution.

They also claim to have evidence that she helped conceal the murder after the fact. For instance, police said, when she learned that police and social workers were searching for Rose, she called a family friend and urged him: "Get me a 5-year-old girl," since otherwise, "Ronny is liable to go to jail."

Police also said that Marie had asked Ron to "get rid of" Rose for her, though not specifically to kill her. "I don't want to see this girl; get rid of her!" one quoted her as saying.

Though the child died in May, police learned of Rose's disappearance only a little over two weeks ago. That was when Rose's great-grandmother, Vivien Yaakov, wrote to the National Council for the Child, saying she had not seen Rose since Ron removed the child from her house in May. Until then, Yaakov had been caring for the girl most of the time.

The council passed the letter on to Netanya's welfare department, which in turn sent it on to the police.

However, it was only early last week that police concluded that Rose had been either kidnapped or killed. At that point, every investigator in the Central District Police's Central Unit began working full-time on the search for Rose. Every other case was put on hold.

Rose was born in Paris in 2004, when neither of her parents had yet turned 20. When she was a year old, the family went to Israel so Benjamin Pizem could meet Ron, the Israeli father he had never seen.

At the end of that visit, however, Pizem and Rose returned to France alone: Marie announced that she had fallen in love with Ron and was staying with him.

Benjamin Pizem apparently had trouble raising the baby on his own, and periodically handed her over to the welfare authorities. Meanwhile, Renault and Ron lived together and had two daughters.

About a year ago, Renault learned that Rose had been hospitalized in France, apparently due to abuse or neglect by her father. She and Ron therefore began a legal battle to gain custody of the girl. Last December, they finally won, and Rose was brought to Israel.

However, they soon discovered that she suffered from severe speech and behavioral problems, felt unable to cope and began to neglect her. Their solution was to leave Rose with Ron's mother, Vivien Yaakov, for most of every day.

But Yaakov also felt unable to cope, and repeatedly demanded that Ron find some other solution for Rose. Finally, on May 12, after Yaakov and Ron had yet another bitter fight over this issue, Ron grabbed the child, stuffed her things into a suitcase and stormed out. Yaakov never saw Rose again.

Three months later, when the police and welfare authorities finally learned of the girl's disappearance, they initially had trouble figuring out what had happened. Police officers and social workers visited Ron's apartment three times in the ensuing 10 days in an effort to question Ron and Renault, but only on the third visit, early last week, did they find anyone home.

Initially, Ron refused to open the door to them, which immediately aroused the police's suspicions. When he finally agreed to let them in, they asked where Rose was, and he stammered that she was at her nursery school. They then demanded that he show them where, and he took them to a school, which was closed. Then he took them to Yaakov's house, claiming that Rose was there.

When they arrived, Yaakov immediately screamed at him that she had not seen Rose in three months. Ron then replied: "You don't remember that I told you I was sending her to an institution in France?"

At that point, police realized that something highly fishy was going on, and promptly arrested both Ron and Yaakov. Other officers were sent to arrest Marie Renault, who had remained at home. Yaakov has since been released to house arrest.

At first, police suspected that Ron was hiding Rose somewhere. When questioned, his responses were contradictory: First, he said he killed Rose and threw her body into the Yarkon; then he said he had handed her over to a Bratslav yeshiva. When asked for the yeshiva's location, he changed his story again, saying he sold Rose to Palestinians from the territories. Next, he said he gave her to a French convent, which had returned her to her father in France.

Meanwhile, testimony from other people led police to believe that Ron had frequently abused Rose.

Despite their skepticism about Ron's ever-changing stories, police pursued every one: They visited French convents, checked out local yeshivas and asked the intelligence agencies to query their informants in the territories. They also searched the Yarkon, as well as the dunes near Rishon Letzion, where Ron claimed to have buried Rose in yet another of his accounts.

Finally, however, Ron returned to his original story - that he killed Rose and threw her body into the Yarkon.

Shmuel Levi said...

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1017485.html

The Tel Aviv prosecutor's office on Tuesday filed an amended and harsher indictment against a former aide to Defense Minister Ehud Barak, charging him with manslaughter over the killing of a homeless man.

On August 12, A Tel Aviv court charged Shmuel Levi with premeditated aggravated assault for the attack he perpetrated the previous week. The homeless man, 63-year-old Rana Avraham, died of his wounds later in the month.

Levi made headlines due to his role as Ehud Barak's grassroots campaign manager during the successful 1999 run for prime minister.

After the assault, Avraham suffered head injuries, inner cranial bleeding, and damage to his ears.

According to the August indictment in the Avraham case, Levi is alleged to have noticed him in the street. He then approached him and began kicking him. When Levi saw Avraham on his feet a short time later, he once again accosted him and proceeded to beat him, knocking him to the pavement. Levi allegedly kicked Avraham in the head repeatedly, before stepping on his head.

Civilian bystanders yelled for him to stop, and police subsequently arrived at the scene and arrested him.

Levi told police that he hit Avraham because he witnessed him improperly make contact with a minor. A Haaretz investigation concluded however that Avraham has no prior record of pedophilia.

Aliza Olmert said...

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1016314.html

Police quiz Olmert's wife on purchase of Jerusalem home

Yasser Margulies said...

Vhy do you tink Hynes is scared to bodder Yidi Kolko?

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1016861.html

CIA papers show Arafat ordered murder of U.S. diplomats in Sudan

Avi L. Shafran said...

What, you think Ehud Barak has to denouce Shmuel Levi because he once worked for him?

Feh...

Besides, the "murder" is only alleged at this point.

Simon Wiesenthal said...

http://www.wiesenthal.com/site/pp.asp?c=fwLYKnN8LzH&b=3627923

"Midget Marvin" isn't the only Hier in the business.

Anonymous said...

The SS Tznius Brigades can beat the stuffing and break bones of club goers. Now at least people are trying to use these tactics to protect kids.

Yudi Kolko said...

Leopold Arafat can only protect me at YTT, not back home.

http://www.edgeboston.com/index.php?ch=news&sc=glbt&sc2=news&sc3=&id=79666

Living on the Edge: Gay Palestinians Suffer National & Personal Trauma
by Scott Stiffler
EDGE Contributor

Hold the sushi said...

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/127427

A letter written by a yeshiva boy imprisoned in Japan for apparently-unwitting drug-trafficking contains pages of spiritual encouragement.

The youth has been imprisoned in Japan since April of this year, together with two friends. The three are yeshiva students from Bnei Brak and Jerusalem, and were arrested after Japanese authorities said they found "an unprecedented amount" of narcotics concealed in artifacts inside their suitcase. An attorney for one of the detainees, Mordechai Tzibin, said they had fallen victim to a hareidi-looking trickster who paid them to take "ancient holy Jewish books" to Japan.

Trial to Begin in a Month
The trial of the 20-year-old youths is set to begin within a month. They are charged with drug trafficking - the Japanese authorities do not believe their claim that they did not know what was hidden inside the books - and face a possible sentence of several years in prison."

While the youths await trial, their jail conditions are described as merely "difficult," especially in terms of being able to fulfill the religious obligations of avoiding non-kosher food and wearing tefillin. If they are ultimately convicted, however, the conditions are expected to worsen significantly. Japanese prison conditions are known to be cruel, including hard labor, beatings, solitary confinement, long periods in which the prisoners are barely permitted to move or are restrained with handcuffs, and the like.

A glimmer of hope is that one or two of the youths were under age 20 when arrested, and were therefore still considered minors according to Japanese law.

Israeli authorities hope that they will be able to reach an agreement with Japan, as has been done in the past, that in the event of conviction, the sentences will be served in Israeli jail. Arrangements for such can only begin, however, once a conviction is handed down - and then are expected to take a few months.

The 8-Page Letter
The eight-page letter written by Yaakov Yosef, and published first on the Hebrew-language religious news website Ladaat.net, avoids mention of the physical and spiritual hardships he and his friends are undergoing, "in order to avoid hurting you."

The writer notes that he chose not to write a long letter to his friends and family, but rather to 'my brothers, the House of Israel' in general. He quotes extensively from an ethical work named Shomer Emunim [Remaining Faithful, or Guardian of the Faith]. The work was written by Rabbi Aharon Roth, known as Reb Areleh, who headed the Toldos Aharon Hassidic sect in the Meah She'arim section of Jerusalem.

The letter includes a short introduction that the author wrote afterwards, in which he explains:

"This letter is written by one of the 'eunuchs of the King of Kings, the Holy One Blessed be He' ... I barely wrote anything from my own head, but only sayings of our Sages and that which is quoted in the name of the Baal Shem Tov and his holy students in the work Shomer Emunim. I wanted to write more of that type, but at the time of writing I did not remember [everything], so I realized that it was not the will of the Creator, blessed be He and His Name... for it is not the time now.

"And I also did not want to write about my own matters, both spiritually and physically, because this is not the time, and especially since I didn't want to break you too much, for there are things that above nature, and this happens every single day, without exaggeration.

"And because this is the first letter that the Holy One Blessed be He is meriting me to write, it will be very general and not to my family or to my friends, and the reason is because we, too, have received letters from people we don't know, for all Israel is responsible one for another; 'Who is like Your nation Israel'... and just as you [plural] wish to know about our reception of your letters, so too and even more I want to know how you [will accept] this letter, to which I have dedicated more than a week... and also, I saw your letter only a month after you sent it, and who knows how long it will be before you receive this. I will end here, with G-d's help... saying, 'Even if I walk in the valley of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me, Your staff and rod will comfort me.'

"Your son, grandson, friend, acquaintance, etc., Yaakov Yosef Greenwald."

The letter itself contains references to Talmudic passages referring to trust in G-d, prayer for oneself and for others, love of fellow Jews, and the like.

The families of the three have asked that prayers be recited for them. Their names are Yaakov Yosef ben [son of] Raizel, Yoel Zev ben Mirel Risa Chava, and Yosef ben Ita Rivka.

Breslov said...

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3587545,00.html

Women locked inside Breslov synagogue

New guidelines imposed by Safed's Breslov community determine women must leave Shabbat service before final prayer or they are locked inside gallery until men make their exit

Gerrorist said...

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1016870.html

In an old office in a residential building in Jerusalem's Geula neighborhood, sparsely furnished and with no air conditioning, four men sit behind desks piled high with papers and old issues of Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) newspapers. The hands on the yellowing clocks show that it is already 5 P.M., but activity here is at its height. The secretary lights another cigarette and picks up the ringing phone. Someone wants to know whether it is permitted to bathe at Tel Aviv's single-sex Sheraton Beach. The conversation will last for five seconds: "Taref [unclean], pork," he rules dryly. "It's not only the beach, all the entrances are no good. Both for men and for women."

Deviants and pedophiles

That is how the headquarters of the Committee for Preserving Our Camp's Purity works. The Jerusalem-based committee is in charge of modesty issues among the ultra-Orthodox public. This is where questions about what is permitted and what is prohibited stream in; this is where pashkevils [posters] are produced against businesses that sell "unclean appliances" like MP4s, or anything else that could "cause many casualties" among the Haredi public. This is also the address for complaints or informing against those who have strayed from the path: deviants, traitors and pedophiles.

"What we do is confirm the details, a public service," said the secretary. "At most we issue a warning. Everything is done is a pleasant manner."

The police believe they have discovered the "modesty patrols" that terrorize the ultra-Orthodox public, and have even investigated the committee's head, Rabbi Yitzhak Meir Shpernovitz.

Police have already arrested Binyamin Meirovich, who used to frequent this office; they believe he played a central role in a case in which a formerly Haredi woman was attacked because she was suspected of having improper ties with married men. They also arrested Shmuel Weissfish, on suspicion of harassing and torching shops in the Geula neighborhood. And an indictment was filed against Elhanan Buzaglo, which accuses him of being a "fist for hire" in the service of the modesty patrols and Meirovich and of playing an active role in attacking the formerly ultra-Orthodox woman. Meirovich and Weissfish were recently released under restrictive conditions, but police promise that they will be indicted, and there may be additional indictments as well.

In June 1990, the body of Avi Edri was found in Jerusalem's Ramot Forest bearing marks of severe of violence. The police then declared that the murdered man had been a victim of modesty patrol members, who suspected him of carrying on an affair with a married ultra-Orthodox woman.

Though the police believed the attackers had meant only to frighten Edri, not to kill him, they were convinced that they had finally cracked the modesty patrols. But their investigation did not yield a single indictment.

Does the latest indictment mean that the modesty patrols have finally been caught?

The attack in question came to light due to a complaint by a 31-year-old woman who lives in Jerusalem's Ma'alot Dafna neighborhood. Until her divorce three years ago, she led a Haredi lifestyle, and after she abandoned this way of life, she continued to live in the Haredi neighborhood. According to the indictment, the modesty patrols suspected that she "was carrying on improper relationships with married men," and therefore planned to attack her in order to cause her to leave and to "pay her back" for her deeds.

Buzaglo participated in the attack for a fee of $2,000, the indictment said, and his fingerprints were found in the plaintiff's apartment. On June 1 of this year, it continued, he showed up in the woman's apartment along with six other men, armed with cudgels and tear gas.

"The defendant and the others pushed the plaintiff, threw her to the floor, banged her head against the floor and kicked her all over her body," the indictment stated.

"The defendant or one of the others sat on her head to prevent her from seeing what was going on and also to prevent her from fighting back. The defendant and the others also gagged the plaintiff with a piece of fabric and threatened that if she opened her eyes, tear gas would be sprayed into them. The defendant or one of the others interrogated the plaintiff regarding her relationships with men and asked for details about those men."

The assailants also took two cell phones away with them, in order to check the names of her callers, the charge sheet continued. And before leaving, they threatened that if she did not move out of her apartment, she would be murdered.

Cudgels and tear gas have also been used in other attacks on people suspected of sexual licentiousness in Haredi neighborhoods.

In an article on the modesty patrols published in the Haredi weekly Mishpaha in 1995, these weapons were mentioned as a key part of the patrols' arsenal.

The article also addressed a more interesting question: What is the group's mandate? A "veteran activist" told the newspaper: "There are no spontaneous blows, every blow requires permission from a Torah sage ... We have instructions in particularly severe cases to break arms and legs, not to kill."

Many people interviewed for the current article, however, believe that the recent attack in Ma'alot Dafna was a local operation "related to family honor," and had no connection to the modesty patrols or the Committee for Preserving Our Camp's Purity.

Either way, caution is warranted about the police's declaration that they are engaged in "a campaign against the modesty patrols." It is doubtful whether Weissfish, for example, is connected to the attack on the woman, and as far as is known, he is also not connected to the committee for preserving purity, but rather to a relatively new and nonestablishment extremist gang that operates in Jerusalem's Mea Shearim neighborhood and is called the Sicarii ("dagger men," after a group of extremists active during the Second Temple period). "As opposed to the Sicarii, who operate as a violent and disdained street gang, the modesty patrols are a positive thing, and are essential everywhere," said one Mea Shearim resident.

Yoel Kreus, who is nicknamed the "operations officer" of the ultra-Orthodox Eda Haredit, believes that the police are more interested in the leaders of the Sicarii than in stopping the activity of the modesty patrols.

"The patrols' activity does not disturb the police, on the contrary," he said. "They know that the modesty patrols do not resort to violence. If there is a pedophile in the neighborhood, only the modesty patrols can get him. But they usually don't beat people up."

Back to the office of the Committee for Preserving Our Camp's Purity: When Rabbi Yitzhak Meir Shpernovitz sits in his office toward evening, it is hard to see him as the infamous mashgiah (spiritual supervisor) of the Gur Hasidim's yeshivas, who reportedly terrorizes hundreds and thousands of young boys. "You probably thought you would arrive in a dark cave here," he told the visitor.

Shpernovitz asserted that what is now being attributed to the modesty patrols is nothing more than journalistic myth.

"Once, there was such a thing as the modesty patrols," he said - perhaps defensively, or perhaps waxing nostalgic about days gone by. "Today, there are no such things. The things that the police are attributing to Meirovich are nonsense. After all, a Haredi person cannot engage in such activity."

Jack Abramoff said...

http://washingtontimes.com/news/2008/aug/29/abramoff-attorneys-ask-for-reduced-sentence/

Abramoff lawyers want reduced term
Press for fewer than 4 years

Ben Conery
Friday, August 29, 2008

Get some Maalox for Boog said...

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1016076.html

Record yeshiva enrollment predicted to cost economy NIS 5 billion

By Shahar Ilan, Haaretz Correspondent

Some 63,000 young men are expected to begin studying this week in kollels - yeshivas, or Talmudic academies for married men, the Education Ministry announced Wednesday. The cost of funding this year's studies is estimated at NIS 5 billion.

The figure represents an all-time high in kollel registration, an increase of 4,500 from last year and 67 percent from 10 years ago.

Joe Biden said...

I also grew up in Scranton where the shkutzim are very anti-Semitic.

Chicago Sun Times - Biden has described himself as a 30-year friend of a key figure in the Rezko trial who's pleaded guilty to a federal extortion charge in Chicago and is awaiting sentencing. When the Delaware senator began contemplating his own 2008 presidential run, he initially was helped by Chicago lawyer Joseph Cari Jr., who also served as Biden's Midwest field director in his failed 1988 bid for president.

In 2005, Cari admitted to taking part in an $850,000 kickback scheme that prosecutors say was part of a larger political fund-raising operation for Gov. Blagojevich overseen by Rezko, who was convicted in June of wide-ranging corruption involving state deals.

On the day Cari's name first surfaced in the federal probe of the state Teachers Retirement System, the former finance chairman for the Democratic National Committee and for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee was to have hosted a Biden fund-raiser in Chicago. Cari was a no-show at that July 25, 2005, event. Offering Cari a vote of confidence at the time, Biden said, "All I know is Joe Cari is a friend, and he's an honorable guy, but I don't know anything beyond that.". . .

The Obama campaign downplayed the significance of Cari's contributions to Biden

Washington Post - A son and a brother of Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.) are accused in two lawsuits of defrauding a former business partner and an investor of millions of dollars in a hedge fund deal that went sour, court records show. The Democratic vice presidential candidate's son Hunter, 38, and brother James, 59, assert instead that their former partner defrauded them by misrepresenting his experience in the hedge fund industry and recommending that they hire a lawyer with felony convictions. . . A lawsuit filed by their former partner Anthony Lotito Jr. asserts in court papers that the deal was crafted to get Hunter Biden out of lobbying because his father was concerned about the impact it would have on his bid for the White House. Biden was running for the Democratic nomination at the time the suit was filed. Hunter Biden was made president with an annual salary of $1.2 million, despite his inexperience in the hedge fund industry, the lawsuit said. . . Hunter Biden is one of many children and relatives of prominent members of Congress who have made their careers as lobbyists. He returned to lobbying after less than a year with Paradigm.

Anonymous said...

In the wake of massive layoffs on Wall Street, law firms have been quietly letting go of staffers whose services are no longer needed now that financial deals have dried up, according to Crain's New York Business.
The targeted layoffs that began late last year have turned into a torrent that will likely continue into 2009.

Up to 200 New York-based attorneys from a dozen of the country's top law firms have lost their jobs in the past year.

An even higher number of paralegals, secretaries and other support personnel have also been axed. Some firms are postponing the start dates of new associates in an effort to save money, since their salaries now hover at about $160,000.

TZIONI said...

Read the link to see what we as JEWS are in for if God Forbid Obama isn't defeated.

Medical Ethics presenter at Agudah Fresser convention said...

http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/08_36/b4098040915634.htm?chan=rss_topStories_ssi_5

In a controversial practice known as "balance billing," health-care providers are going after patients for money they don't owe

Editor's note: For a CBS Evening News report on balance billing that was made in collaboration with BusinessWeek, go to: www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/08/29/eveningnews
/main4398133.shtml.

As health-care costs continue to soar, millions of confused consumers are paying medical bills they don't actually owe. Typically this occurs when an insurance plan covers less than what a doctor, hospital, or lab service wants to be paid. The health-care provider demands the balance from the patient. Uncertain and fearing the calls of a debt collector, the patient pays up.

Most consumers don't realize it, but this common practice, known as balance billing, often is illegal. When doctors or hospitals think an insurer has reimbursed too little, state and federal laws generally bar the medical providers from pressuring patients to pay the difference. Instead, doctors and hospitals should be wrangling directly with insurers. Economists and patient advocates estimate that consumers pay $1 billion or more a year for which they're not responsible.

Yolanda Fil, a 59-year-old McDonald's (MCD) cashier in Maple Shade, N.J., got tangled up with balance billing after gall bladder surgery in 2005. She and her husband, Leon, a retired state transportation worker, have coverage through Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey. Horizon made payments on Fil's behalf to the hospital, surgeon, and anesthesiologist. Then, in 2006, Vanguard Anesthesia Associates billed Fil for an unpaid balance of $518. Soon, a collection agency hired by Vanguard started calling Fil once a week, she says. Although she thought her co-payment and insurance should have covered the surgery, Fil eventually paid the $518, plus a $20 transaction fee. "I didn't have any choice," she says. "They threatened me with bad credit."

CAUGHT IN THE MIDDLE
Luckily for Fil, her insurer decided to get tough with Vanguard. In December 2006, Horizon Blue Cross sued the medical practice for balance billing Fil and more than 8,000 other policyholders who received invoices for a total of $4.3 million for service from 2004 to 2006. A New Jersey judge last year ordered Vanguard to stop billing the patients and provide refunds to those who had paid. Fil is awaiting her $538 refund. Vanguard didn't respond to requests for comment.

National statistics aren't available, but there's little doubt that many consumers unwittingly fall victim to balance billing. The California Association of Health Plans, a trade group in Sacramento, estimates that 1.76 million policyholders in that state received such bills in the past two years, totaling $528 million. The group found that 56% paid the bills. "Patients think they owe this money, and it causes tremendous stress and anxiety for people," says Cindy Ehnes, director of the California Managed Health Care Dept. "It is inappropriate to put the patient in the middle of this."

Some physicians, hospitals, and labs take advantage of consumer befuddlement, argues Jane Cooper, CEO of Patient Care, a Milwaukee firm that employers hire to help insured workers fight billing mistakes. "Medical providers count on the fact people will pay these bills because they don't have time to figure it out," Cooper says.

Quest Diagnostics, the country's largest lab chain, with revenue last year of $6.7 billion, has faced investigations and lawsuits over allegations of balance billing. A private suit that seeks class-action status in federal court in Newark, N.J., alleges that Quest has balance-billed thousands of patients covered by private insurance and Medicare, turning over many accounts to debt collectors. Quest, based in Madison, N.J., denies any wrongdoing.

In a separate case in 2003, the New York Attorney General's Office alleged that Quest encouraged consumers to overpay or billed them after Quest had already been paid by insurers. The company denied wrongdoing in the New York case and said only five people were due modest refunds. Quest agreed to pay New York $150,000 in legal costs and revise some practices, such as waiting longer to dun patients while a claim is pending with an insurer.

Many lack the resources to fight balance billing on their own. With an eye on their legal fees, private attorneys hesitate to take on individual disputes over amounts that usually don't exceed $1,000. Glenn Siglinger is one exception. He fought a lengthy battle against a surgeon all the way to the Connecticut Supreme Court. In 2006 that court upheld a trial verdict awarding the Siglinger family nearly $40,000 in punitive damages from a doctor.

The case began in December 1995, when Siglinger's wife, Laura, and his daughter, Allison, then three, were injured in a car accident. Both were taken to the emergency room at Bridgeport Hospital, where Dr. Charles Gianetti, the plastic surgeon on call, stitched a cut on Allison's face. The Siglingers' insurer paid Gianetti $1,981 under a contract with the family's health plan. Later in 1996, he claimed the Siglingers owed him an unpaid balance of $4,496. The Siglingers refused to pay, and Gianetti sued them. Ruling for the Siglingers, the trial judge ordered Gianetti to pay their legal fees, in addition to the punitive damages. The Siglingers say he hasn't paid them anything.

"It was traumatic enough seeing my daughter go through a serious accident, but then to go through this," says Siglinger, a real estate investor. He and his wife have since divorced; Allison is now 15. "I wonder how many people paid these bills without giving it a second thought," he says. The Siglingers are among 150 patients Gianetti has sued for unpaid balances, according to state records. The Connecticut Attorney General's Office is scheduled to go to trial next year against Gianetti, having accused him in a civil suit of improper billing.

Gianetti, 69, no longer practices medicine, but he continues to pursue former patients in court. He says the state of Connecticut has "nothing on me," declining other comment.

Even routine office visits can lead to balance billing. In Illinois, federal prosecutors say Dr. Janet Despot and Rickey Weir, her husband and office manager at the Cardinal Respiratory medical practice in Springfield, overbilled Medicare, private insurers, and patients by more than $800,000 from 1997 through 2007. Despot, 50, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of balance-billing Medicare patients in February. She didn't receive jail time, but has paid a $10,000 fine and forfeited $2.5 million that will be used for restitution and additional fines. Federal officials are considering barring her from the Medicare program; the Illinois medical board separately is seeking to discipline her. For now she remains in business.

William Gass, a 41-year-old recycling coordinator, successfully took Despot to small-claims court in 1999 to get $300 in improper bills erased from his credit report. "It's unconscionable to me she can still practice medicine," Gass says.

Despot says her husband, Weir, from whom she is getting divorced, handled all billing. She claims she wasn't aware that patients were being hounded for money they didn't owe. A Medicare ban "would end my career," she says. "I didn't understand medical billing." Weir has pleaded not guilty to fraud charges and awaits trial in November. He declined to comment.

Regulators in most states have been slow to take action in billing disputes.

R' Yudel Shain said...

http://yudelstake.blogspot.com/2006/11/reb-shraga-feivel-mendelowitz-zl.html

Tuesday, September 02, 2008
"WE ARE LOOSING OUR KIDS"! WHY?? -READ THE POWERFUL ANSWER!!...

TODAY IS THE YORTZAIT OF REB SHRAGE FEIVEL MENDELOWITZ, OB"M 3 ELLUL

The author of the basic following article was the great gaon and tzaddik Rabbi Shraga Feivel Mendelowitz OB”M, founder of Yeshiva Torah Vodaas.

And if I say: ‘I will not make mention of him nor speak anymore in his name’ then there is in my heart a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I weary myself to hold it in, but cannot. (Jeremiah 20:9)

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

The Kashrus question has recently been discussed in the Yiddish press, but only one side of the question, viz. concerning unscrupulous purveyors & butchers who sell treifos or questionable products without a reliable hechsher or with a false one.

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

I Accuse!
I accuse many Rabbis, Kosher certifiers & their Rabbis, who grant hechsherim, who knowingly or otherwise, or out of neglect, permit non-kosher meat & other allegedly kosher products to be processed & sold under their stamp of approval both wholesale & retail; the seller is an unscrupulous person with a Torah sanction.

I accuse many Rabbis & Roshei Yeshiva, who although they themselves have no part in the hechsherim, nevertheless, know about them & still remain silent, at times may even be indirectly sanctioning them. There is a sort of mutual reciprocal agreement to keep quiet & sanction each other including their false hechsherim. Perhaps it’s because they wish to avoid Chilul-Hashem. They forget that where there is Chilul-hashem we do not impart honor to a Rabbi etc.

I accuse the very great Rabbis, Roshei Yeshiva, the leaders of our people, because of internal strife. These disputes are not for the sake of heaven; if one says something is prohibited the other must say it is permissible, if one says something is contaminated the other must say it is pure (vidu’y Erev Yom Kippur). It is impossible to bring order & reliability to the chaotic kashrus situation, especially & including the kashrus standards of meat and poultry.

I accuse the Rabbis, Roshei Yeshiva etc. because of whose negligence; the laws of chalav- akum have virtually been forgotten. I know that there were (not any more, due to chalav treifa) various heterim for this, but they apply only when it is i m p o s i b l e to obtain chalav-yisroel. In our situation, however, with a little concerned effort of the individuals, order could be brought to this chaos, and “if one can be good, why should he be bad?”

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

I accuse our orthodoxy, do you know that all of the fortresses of Judaism, which have heretofore protected us from destruction, the only one left is kashrus, that other mitzvos are observed very laxly even in orthodox homes? And now kashrus too is being smashed!? Yet we sleep, but how much longer?

I accuse the very great Rabbis, Roshei Yeshiva, Rabei-im & Menhalim etc. don’t you see what has become of your youth? Don’t you know that Jewish children have become tramps, gamblers, gangsters, candidates for the electric chair, and all kinds of “ist’s” only because they have been raised on neveilos & treifos R”L, yet you sleep, but how much longer?

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

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

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

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

Fellow Jews, have you no fear for the great and terrible Day of Judgment? In that day you will no longer be able to come up with excuses (I didn’t know) or with a shrug of the shoulder.
(R’ Shraga Feivel Mendelowitz Z”L)

And I ask you “how much longer?” And I say,
“you sleepers, awaken from your slumber!”
*
[WE CAN'T STRESS ENOUGH THE IMPORTANCE OF ASCERTAINING THE
*
KASHRUS STANDARDS BEING USED BY THE
*
MOISDOS / CAMPS YOUR CHILDREN ATTEND !
*
e.g. are they using Supreme, Kesser, KAJ, Rubashkin,Aaron's meat products R"L? ,
*
GOLAN, Morning select, AHAVA dairy items? ]
*
They SHOULD BE using PRODUCTS THAT ARE OF A KASHRUS STANDARD ACCEPTABLE
*
TO ALL.
*
TOMCHEI SHABBOS & BIKUR CHOILIM SHOULD ALSO ADHERE TO A
*
KASHRUS STANDARD ACCEPTABLE TO ALL.

Trying to help said...

how do i answer the brainwashed yeshiva guys when after ripping into fake rabbis, they call me a "koifer" and walk away? how do i get them to really listen to what im saying? how do i get them to hear the truth?

Boruch said...

The truth stands on it's own two feet and is heard by those who willingly accept the words as truth. You cannot expect "brainwashed yeshiva guys" or brainwashed meidels to accept your truth regardless of how many proofs you bring. By the very fact that they are brainwashed they are already insulated from the truth.