Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Ethics of the Rabbis - The Forward - Gets It Exactly Right!

Where does one find "the emes and the law" in the Jewish community? Not in Dovid Zwiebel's mouth! Nor at the OU or in Hassidic communities ---- So where for God's sake does the lying, deceiving, cover-ups, feigned ignorance... get us - and where do we find Torah values? --- In a secular Jewish newspaper - the Forward!.... Moetzes resign, I'm pleading with you --- before you totally destroy whatever is left, not very much I might add, of Torah values in the U.S.A.!

The Ethics of the Rabbis - The Forward - Editorial

On the surface, the crisis besetting America’s largest kosher meatpacker looks a lot like the larger infection that is crippling the nation’s economy and undoing so many iconic brands, from Lehman Brothers to AIG to Circuit City. Like other firms, Agriprocessors fell victim to the arrogance of its owners and the dereliction of outside regulators. Like others, the crippling of Agriprocessors hits hard in thousands of households where daily life was dependent on the smooth operations of a trusted company.

Unlike the others, however, Agriprocessors’ downfall is not simply an economic crisis, but also a spiritual and moral one. Kosher food is not meant to be a mere foodstuff, but rather a vehicle for bringing sanctity into one of the most basic activities of daily life. Those who choose to live by that discipline rely on kosher certification to guarantee that the food they eat has been produced in a manner worthy of its spiritual mission. The behavior attributed to Agriprocessors and its owners — abusing employees, illegally hiring and endangering children, befouling the environment, overlooking sanitation rules — ought to disqualify the company’s products from receiving religious certification by any standard worthy of the name. That the products continue to be accepted as kosher, even as the company’s owners face massive fines and jail time on suspicion of misdeeds that have shocked a nation, is a scandal nearly as great as the owners’ actions themselves.

Ever since the Forward published its first reports two years ago on working conditions at the Agriprocessors slaughterhouse in Postville, Iowa, Orthodox rabbinic authorities have insisted that the violations attributed to the company are not directly related to the rules of kosher slaughter, and therefore are outside the certifying rabbis’ jurisdiction. Kosher certification, they have explained, follows time-honored biblical and talmudic principles that cannot be altered by modern rabbinic fiat. Many have derided and even ridiculed the Conservative rabbinate for seeking to develop a new form of certification, Hekhsher Tzedek, that would consider a company’s ethical behavior alongside its slaughtering techniques.

Besides, Orthodox rabbis told us, protecting workers and safeguarding the environment are the job of government, not the clergy. If the government with all its lawyers has not acted against the Postville plant, why should rabbis presume to?

The arguments were specious from the outset, as we have argued before. Kosher certification standards have been altered repeatedly over the years in response to behavior unrelated to the slaughter itself. A generation ago, kosher restaurants in New York were commonly open on Saturdays. Today the practice has all but disappeared, shut down by kosher certifiers. Kosher hotels in Israel used to offer New Year’s Eve parties, mixed dancing and even belly dancers. Nowadays such activities lead to loss of certification.

Rabbis routinely use their certification power to regulate activities that have nothing to do with knives. It’s one of the only enforcement powers they have in the modern world. Qualified rabbinic authorities could have used that power in response to growing evidence of Agriprocessors’ abuses. They did not. Instead, they crossed their fingers, hoped for the best and waited for the government to act.

Why did the kosher authorities not take action? Part of the reason was fear for the integrity of the community’s food supply. Agriprocessors had managed, by cutting costs and beating back the competition — in ways that deserve their own examination — to dominate the nationwide market for kosher beef. Rabbis feared that if the company were to stonewall in the face of a rabbinic threat of decertification they might be forced to ban much of the country’s kosher meat supply, leaving their public without a food staple.

In part, too, rabbis were deterred by mistrust of the labor, animal rights and other liberal groups that led the protests against the company. There was a widespread suspicion in the Orthodox community that the protesters were motivated by concerns other than simple ethics. Acknowledging the abuses, many thought, would have put traditional Judaism and the Jewish community in a bad light. In the choice between siding with critics and circling the wagons of their community, most Orthodox leaders chose the latter. Only a handful of mostly young activists chose to speak out against the abuse. Their protests were mostly ignored by the kosher consuming public.

In the end, events took their own course. Government authorities acted far more harshly than anyone had anticipated, with terrible results for both the kosher marketplace and the reputation of traditional Judaism. Agriprocessors was forced to shut down production amid a circus of theatrical law enforcement and front-page media coverage. News media across the country have responded gleefully to images of a company run by devout Jews, its primary mission to enable the observance of Jewish religious rules, acting in ways that violate the ethical and moral standards of everyone else. And the bottom fell out of the kosher meat supply.

For all that, it must not be forgotten that the real victims in this saga are the Agriprocessors’ employees whose mistreatment sparked the controversy in the first place. During the long months that Jewish community leaders debated the ethics of Agriprocessors and its certification, the mostly immigrant workers toiled on in largely unchanged conditions. The same long hours, short pay, dangerous conditions and on-the-job harassment that they had endured unseen for years continued in daylight while outsiders discussed whether and how to act.

And when the government finally did step in, as the rabbis had said it should, it did not act to protect workers’ legal rights and public safety standards — but rather to punish the workers for being on the job. In one of the largest workplace law-enforcement raids in American history, close to 400 Agriprocessors employees were arrested for immigration violations and taken without notice from their homes and families. In a move of astonishing callousness, authorities did not simply deport the detainees to their home countries, but first jailed them on charges of stealing identity documents — papers whose illegality the workers themselves had no way of knowing about.

Now, five months later, as our Nathaniel Popper reports, dozens of them are out of prison, their sentences completed, but they are not free. In a Kafkaesque turn of events, they are being held in Iowa so that they can testify against their former employers on charges of child labor and employing illegal immigrants. They cannot leave, they cannot see their families, they cannot yet work and the government will not provide them with the wherewithal to live while they wait. They live day to day on the charity of a Catholic church as they prepare to help the government prosecute their former abusers for the suffering that they continue to endure, now at the government’s hands.

The rules of kashruth are a legacy of the Jewish spiritual tradition, preserved by the courage of countless generations as a gift to the present. Dishonoring them and violating their spirit shames all Jews. Those who honor the laws must stand up to their abuse.


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Anonymous said...

The heart of Motl Brody, the 12 year old chassidic boy whose hospital literally made a federal case out of his parents' refuaal to let doctors pull the plug, finally stopped beating over
Shabbos. The levaya is planned for 10AM Sunday at his school in Boro Park.
Thank you to all those who politely contacted the hospital and media and pleaded for them to let the family decide his fate.

Arthur said...

Again with those evil Chassidim?
Never the less a little humor taken from another blog.
"Long ago, before the Europeans reached the New World, in what is now central New Jersey, lived a great tribe of Indians. These were the Govoha Indians. The Govohas were a very proud tribe and considered themselves the highest tribe upon the continent. Legend has it that the Govohas grew out of a very small tribe that was exiled from the White Plains. The Govohas were not a homogeneous nation. They would accept young braves from other tribes as long as these tribes were descendants of an ancient sect of Native Americans known as the Litwaukee Indians. Many came from the long beaches of Nassau, from Ramapo and the Spring Valley, the Phila delta where the Schuylkill and Delaware rivers meet, from the Scranton tribe on the banks of the Lackawanna, from Chesapeake Bay, from the Cuyahoga plains, and even some from the Great Lakes region and the Western territories in the Colorado Rockies. Though they were a very friendly tribe, the Govohas kept to themselves. They would have nothing to do with the Irigoys whom they considered to be of anothercreed.

Even from among their creed they also had some rivals with which they were
constantly at war. Among their opponents were the members of the loathed Mizrache tribes. Another opponent was the Lupapache Tribe that originated at the crowning Heights of the Eastern Darkway and, from there, spread to the West, East, North, and South. Their leader was the revered Chief Son of Daughter-In-Law who they referred to as Chief Oil on Head the Immortal Savior. He was renowned as a master of Wisdom, Understanding, and Knowledge. He would sit at large gatherings and hand out fire water and green tobacco leaves that would be valued today at around one dollar. His spirit is long departed but there remain many legends. Even after he had not been seen for many, many rains, some Lupapache elders claimed that his body and spirit still walk. This group would imbibe on peace pipes and fire water. Many Govohas shun them as they do the Irigoys.

Their most fiercest opponent were the M.O.hicans whose empire stretched from the lower Hudson Valley near Fort Washington and Fort Lee, all the way North to Plymouth Rock and Massachusetts Bay where the great warrior Chief Jay Bear of the Solapachik tribe once reigned. After Chief Jay Bear's spirit departed, his brother, Arrow Horn, former chief of the Skokies, was summoned from the Blackhawk lands on the shores of Lake Michigan to lead the tribe. Though claiming to be a true M.O.hican, Arrow Horn of the Solapachiks was noted to display tendencies that mirrored the Govohas such as prohibiting the November Thanksgiving at Plymouth Rock because the grains of the new harvest cannot be eaten until the following spring and opposing the ancient Indian custom of surrounding the villages with totem poles joined by thin ropes to unite all the teepees as one. As such, Chief Arrow Horn was not accepted by all. In fact, since the death of Chief Jay Bear, the tribe has never been able to produce a warrior capable of filling his moccasins and so he is known as "the last ofthe great M.O.hicans."

The Govohas were a relatively primitive people who shunned ideas and philosophies that were foreign to their ancient lifestyle. They would spend most of their time discussing the origins of their tribe and their ways. How to practice their rituals, how to settle disputes, and the Laws of the Squaws. Of major concern was how to deal with the crazy ideas and newfangled devices that many of the rival tribes were picking up from the abominable white man. Often these discussions would escalate into fiery debates and trigger one of their frequent pow-wows. The Govohas were great hunters and traders. They fished in the lakes and hunted in the woods. One of their rituals was to dip all their arrows, hunting knives and tomahawks in Lake Carasaljo before initiating their use. The most precious commodities were the scalps of their enemies and dark hats made of rabbit and beaver furs. The scalps would adorn the heads of their wives and many competed to obtain the fairest scalps. No price was too high. The Govohas would often travel up the trade routes to do business with the white men in New Amsterdam. Early attempts to establish trade routes met with failure, but they had great success on the 9th attempt - and so, for many generations, they traveled mainly on trade route number 9.

Of great interest is the family lives and mating rituals of the Govohas. There were actually two classes within the Govohas. One who had not yet taken a wife was a brave and one who had a wife was a worrier. The braves lived in large caves full of bats, foxes, raccoons, and other loathsome creatures. The worriers lived with their wives and children in individual tepees in colonies. Typically the openings of each tepee faced another teepee so everybody could know what's going on in everyone else's tepee. Some of the worriers were in a Golden state but most weren't. The Govohas were generally a monogamous tribe. Only the great Chief Milky Eel was allowed two wives (this, by a special counsel of 100 elders). In a bit of historical irony, his first wife was descended from the same Solapachik tribe as was Chief Jay Bear.

The Govohas had some unique mating rituals. One was that they would store up snow and ice from the harsh winters. When a new brave was accepted into the tribe, he would be packed into the ice for a period of four months or until the first signs of spring in the middle of the month of Shawatte. Only after this ritual was he allowed to unfreeze and search for a squaw. The motto was, "No squaw until after the thaw!" To thaw them out, they would need large doses of fire water. So they would head northward up the trade routes to the area near Fort Hamilton or the Great Spring Valley where there were plenty of maidens. Indian maidens from every corner of the continent would congregate there for it was a great privilege to be chosen as a squaw for one of the Govohas. They would choose a maiden and bring them to the Island of Manhattan. (The name Manhattan is derived from the word manahachtanienk which in the Munsee dialect of Lenape means: "place of general inebriation" - Wikipedia). There they would drink much fire water to thaw themselves out and to win over the heart and the gold of the maiden.

The Govohas also had a belief that a mouse is impure. And as such, anyone or anything that is attached to a mouse is impure. Even touching a live mouse would make the one who touches it impure. To rid themselves of these mice, they would try to trap them in nets. Of course this would immediately render the Net impure. When they did trap a mouse in the Net, they were required to inform a special band of witch doctors that "I have a mouse In the Net!" and the witch doctors would use special incantations and spells to rid the Worrier of his impurity. The Worrier would be required to detach himself from the mouse and the Net. If he was unable to do so, he would have to dwell outside of the village until he could be free of the Net. In extreme cases, his children would not be allowed to the village schools until he expunged the mouse and the Net. Such were the ways of the Govohas. All this was before the White man came and drove the Indians out. The Govoha tribe is now extinct. But what a proud nation they were. There is a memorial to the Govohas between the Forest and Private Way close to where Squankum Trail meets the old trade Route number 9. Some of the white men still have the rabbit fur hats and adorn their wives with thoseprized scalps. And so, their legacy lives on."

Pesach Lerner said...

How could this be if these companies are state of the art?


Prices for the flat screens in televisions, personal computers and cellphones have plummeted in recent years — but the decline would have been even faster if it hadn’t been for an international price-fixing cartel, the Justice Department said on Wednesday.

Three leading flat-screen producers — LG Display of South Korea, Sharp of Japan and Chunghwa Picture Tubes of Taiwan — pleaded guilty and agreed to pay a total of $585 million in criminal fines for their role in fixing the price of liquid-crystal display panels.

LG is paying the most: a $400 million fine, the second-highest criminal fine ever imposed by the Justice Department’s antitrust division. The largest was the $500 million paid in 1999 by F. Hoffmann-La Roche, a Swiss pharmaceutical giant, for leading a price-fixing cartel in vitamin supplements.

Upgelernt fun Leib Pinter said...


ANDY A. LEWIS, the former executive director of a nonprofit agency known as the Better Brooklyn Community Center (“Better Brooklyn”), was arrested today on charges that he defrauded the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Child Food Program of more than $500,000 in funds that were supposed to have been used to feed children participating in Better Brooklyn’s after-school programs.

Anonymous said...

Chicago has real rabbis to look up to with admiration.

They have Rabbi C.D. Keller who threatened to pull Rav Zalman Gifter’s pants down.

They have Rabbi C.D. Keller a Yeshiva University graduate who lambasts Rabbi Norman Lamm.

They have Rabbi C.D. Keller who calls other rosh yeshiva’s lowlives when they don’t kowtow to his thievery and scams vis-à-vis the Telshe accounting scandals.

They have Rabbi A.C. Levin who passed a molester rebbe to three schools because he was so concerned for his family.

They have Rabbi A.C. Levin who pushed out Mondrowitz without warning what he’s up to.

They have Rabbi Shmuel Fuerst who threatens molestation victims lives.

They have a Rabbi (who will not be named yet) who raped a boy at the mikvah.

They have a stooge bais din of Rabbi A.C. Levin, Rabbi Shmuel Fuerst, and Rabbi Zev Cohen who determined that it would ruin the above rabbi’s life if anything was done to protect his congregants and community from this vile piece of human waste.

Chicago rabbis are true leaders of our hopeless flock of Orthodox Jews.

They don’t call it the Windy City for nothing!

Maybe they should talk to Margo and Sholom Rubashkin about what happens when you give the finger to the community long enough.

Boruch said...

After reading this article on the assumed connection between business ethics and kashrus I sit here aghast at the presumption that Rabbis alone are responsible for this atrocity. I'm not a vegan or a radical in terms of the health issues with eating drugged cow meat. I'm a simple person that believes that the Eybishter gave us certain privileges and with those privileges he gave us responsibility. Any of us who are shaking our heads and wringing our hands at the abuse and disengagement of the Rabbis needs to look closer in the mirror. It is our imperative to examine ourselves when a gezerah of such impact implodes and threatens our existence as well as our ability to function according to HIS will. We live too high on the hog (yes that is a pig, without lipstick. We have become victims of our own spirit of entitlement. We have abrogated our binah and daas to thugs. We have become the goyim that we obsess over and qvell over.
We have themes for all occasions and we have excuses for all travesties. We have obliterated the line between going lifnei meshores hadin and taking the low road. We congratulate ourselves on our cleverness when we trot out the venerated "Sages". The true leaders aren't there as they see the Emperor without clothes and would say so. This past Shabbos we saw how a father should back up his son. Hineni, Avrohom Avinu says to Yitchok. I'm here my son. We have no father who will back us up now. We have themes, we have cleverness, we have atrocities dressed up in spit and polish - without clothes. The proliferation of sheker that we have allowed to overrun our lives is beyond measure. The neviim emes knew these times and they were stoned, denounced and thwarted by deceitful kings whom wished to hear a better (that is in line with their own thinking ) message.
I think that the Eybishter has remembered these times and is applying the same consequences.

This makes me mamash angry said...

I asked at different times if Brach's in Lawrence uses ANY Rubashkin. Both a mashgiach and a Brach family member told me they never do.

You can't trust anyone, sometimes because they lie and sometimes because they don't even know.

And why is Brach being meshabeyach Alle for not raising prices when they did just that?


Local suppliers, such as Brach’s and Gourmet Glatt, are starting to feel the effects.

Yanky Brach, the owner of Brach’s supermarket in Lawrence, says that his store has not bought Rubashkin meat in years, and “very occasionally” uses their poultry. Though meat supply at his own store likely won’t be affected, he said he has received “desperate” phone calls from other local businesses.

“We haven’t felt the pinch at all, but we have seen it a lot here,” Brach told The Jewish Star Tuesday. “Half a dozen restaurants have called me in the last week alone asking if I can supply them with meat.”

Brach said while he would accommodate such requests as best as possible, his own customers come first.

“Unless the Rubashkins can get something together – and I certainly hope they can because they performed a good service – the meat supply will have to be increased somewhere,” Brach asserted.

“Agri was definitely a huge part of the business,” said Aron Hirtz, manager of Gourmet Glatt on Spruce Street in Cedarhurst, though he pointed out that Rubashkin supplied boxed beef only to his store, as opposed to “hanging” beef, which Gourmet Glatt processes in its own meat department and obtained from other sources.

“Because we have our own in-house menaker, we are able to do our own nikur [the de-veining which is part of the koshering process], so we don’t really buy so much boxed beef, as opposed to other stores who don’t have that luxury,” Hirtz explained.

However, during the yom tov period, when consumers buy larger quantities, “you cannot physically provide all the meat from hanging beef,” Hirtz said. “There’s only so much in each animal…You must buy boxed beef.”

The timing of the bankruptcy filing, post yom tov, and not at a time when demand was greater, lessened the blow somewhat.

“It’s after yom tov, so it’s not such a disaster,” Hirtz commented. But he added that for certain foods, such as poultry and turkey, suppliers “are going to have to scramble.”

Hirtz also observed that while the price for cattle is getting lower, kosher prices are increasing and stores have to call up suppliers to beg for products. In better times, stores were “chased” by salesmen who offered competitive prices.

“There’s no more calling up and saying ‘I’ll get you a better price,’” Hirtz said. “A year ago, I was having a field day calling around [to get the best prices]…That’s all in the garbage.”

Brach cautioned that people used to getting Rubashkin meat “will pay more… The Rubashkin family worked very hard to create an unsustainably low price point.”

He noted that the company could afford to sell their kosher meat for lower prices because they also made a profit on the non-kosher half of the business, which kept prices down. Typically, only about half of an animal is sold as kosher. Also, since Rubashkin’s meat was vacuum packed, without ice, its lower shipping weight resulted in lower prices.

“You can’t compare the meat of an Alle frank with a Rubashkin frank, but the Rubashkin frank was always cheaper,” Brach noted. “I choose to pay a slightly higher price to Alle for what I consider a vastly superior product.”

Alle currently is not accepting any new customers, Brach said, which he found out after referring a local restaurant owner.

“That really prompted me to realize how bad it is for people who relied on other sources,” Brach observed.
He also praised Alle for “not raising their prices as much as they could have,” to reflect the added expenses incurred during the holiday season that only allowed for one or at most two days of slaughter per week, instead of the usual four.

He said he has been told the company is scouring the U.S. looking for ways to increase supply. “The meat’s going to have to come from somewhere and I don’t see where that’s coming from now. We’ve had adequate supply, but if demand increases by 40 percent, unless I can get 40 percent more in my supply, somebody will be disappointed.”

Concerning poultry, Elie Rosenfeld, a spokesman for Empire Kosher Poultry, said that the company is constantly analyzing the demands of the market.

“Empire is evaluating almost hour by hour, at least day by day, the needs of their customers in the consumer market, in adjustment to the reality of our business,” he said.

Though he acknowledges that there is currently a shortage of kosher beef and there will definitely be less available in the coming months, he believes that poultry supply will not be affected in the long term.

“In terms of poultry, it will become less of a problem as time goes on as different suppliers increase their production, based on each different company’s size,” he observed.

Obama's Bimbo Rahm-bo said...


November 13, 2008

Emanuel Apologizes for Father’s ‘Arab’ Comments

By Sarah Wheaton

Representative Rahm Emanuel, left, President-elect Barack Obama’s chief of staff, called the president of an Arab-American group today to apologize for comments his father made to an Israeli newspaper.

In the remarks, Benjamin Emanuel discussed the potential impact of his son’s new position on U.S.-Israeli relations.

“Obviously he’ll influence the president to be pro-Israel. Why wouldn’t he? What is he, an Arab? He’s not going to be mopping floors at the White House,” the elder Mr. Emanuel told the Israeli daily Ma’ariv, according to English-language reports in The Jerusalem Post and The Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

Calling the comment an “unacceptable smear,” the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee had sent the younger Emanuel a letter (copied to Mr. Obama) calling on him to “disavow and repudiate these remarks publicly.”

“All we ask is to be treated in the same way as any other ethnic, racial or minority group,” said Kareem Shora, the A.D.C.’s executive director. “We’re not treating it as simply an Arab-American issue, we’re trying to treat it as an American issue.”

That led to Rahm Emanuel’s apology today.

“Today, Representative Emanuel called Mary Rose Oakar, president of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, apologized on behalf of his family and offered to meet with representatives of the Arab-American community at an appropriate time in the future,” said Nick Papas, a spokesman for the congressman.

Before Mr. Emanuel made his apology, Mr. Shora said the structure of the elder Mr. Emanuel’s remarks made their meaning clear. “The sequence of the statement was very important,” he said, adding that the ‘Arab’ line “was not separated in any way” from the ‘mopping’ line. He said there would be public outcry if “Arab” had been replaced with the name of any other ethnic group.

Benjamin Emanuel is not yet available for comment, according to an associate at the office of Ari Emanuel, a Hollywood agent and the congressman’s brother, to whom a message on the father’s answering machine referred press calls.

Arutz Sheva said...

Report: Obama Favors 1949 Border
by Maayana Miskin

United States President-Elect Barack Obama will support the Saudi Initiative for peace between Israel and Arab nations, the British Sunday Times reported Sunday. Obama told Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, “The Israelis would be crazy not to accept this initiative,” according to the Times.

The initiative calls on Israel to withdraw completely to its 1949 borders in exchange for normalized relations with Arab League countries. It includes a full retreat from the eastern half of Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount, and from the strategic Golan Heights in northern Israel.

Friend of Sruly Singer said...


Obama mulls naming Jewish economist secretary of treasury

Former Fed chair, who headed committee tasked with securing Swiss restitution funds for Holocaust survivors, shortlisted for two of new administration's top financial positions

Roni Sofer

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker is on the shortlist for the US secretary of the treasury position in the Obama administration, Ynet has learned.

Should Volcker, 82, be passed for the position, he is likely to be named head of the US Financial Council.

Volcker, who chaired the Federal Reserve for eight years, was appointed head of the committee which probed the liability of Swiss banks to holocaust victims, in 1995. The committee's effort yielded $1.5 billion in restitutions to Holocaust survivors.

While spearheaded by Volcker, the committee met once a moth, usually in Zurich. The committee was made up of five Swiss members, representing the banks, and five Jewish members - Avraham Burg, Ron Lauder, Israel Singer, Dr. Reuven Bracha and Attorney Zvi Barak.

"There is no doubt that a big part of the restitution was achieved due to Volcker's involvement," said Attorney Barak. "To this day, there is a restitution fund that's based in New York and is distributing these funds to the survivors and their heirs.

"The five years Volcker spent working with an Israeli team have made him well versed in Israeli matters. Should he be named secretary of the treasury or head of the Financial Council, Israel will have a friend there," he added.

Volcker headed the Federal Reserve between 1979 and 1987, under presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. After leaving the Fed, he went into private practice, becoming chairman of the prominent New York investment banking firm, J. Rothschild, Wolfensohn & Co.; but he was occasionally asked to head public committees – the most famous of all probed possible corruption in the Iraqi Oil for Food program, in 2004.

Born to a Jewish family in New Jersey in 1927, Volcker attended Princeton University, Harvard and the London School of Economics. In January of 2008, he endorsed Barack Obama's presidency bid and was his closest financial adviser.

Volcker was one of the advisers responsible for wording Obama's speech calling for a comprehensive reform in the US financial regulatory system.

Famed economist and Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz endorsed Volcker's nomination for secretary of the treasury, saying that he possessed the knowledge necessary to restore confidence in the financial and credit markets.

Arthur said...

A story I came across on a blog site last night about the Minchas Elozer,the UOJ of yesteryear

"A heartwarming yet chilling story told by Rav Baruch Rabinovitch of Munkacs, son in law of the Minchas Elozor and father of the present Munkacser Rebbe about his late shver, zt"l, and his great Ahavas Yisroel despite his reputation as a "firebrand."

Reb Baruch had a son named Tzvi Nosson Dovid, the Minchas Elozor would call him Tzvi, whereas his father would call him "Dov'che." Tzvi after the Minchas Elozor's father and Nosson Dovid after Reb Baruch's father. For a long period of time Reb Baruch was separated from his wife and lived in Warsaw, the reason being arguments with the shvigger over some matter, and the wife - of course - sided with her mother, so the two split up... The Minchas Elozor finally sent his daughter to go live with her husband in Warsaw, far from the shvigger, but after 3 months fell ill with yenne machla and begged them to come back - which they did. Reb Boruch would say that his shver loved his dear grandchild in an "exaggerated way," being that his daughter waited for along time to have that first child. He would play with and spoil the child, and Hershelle would sit on his zeide's lap at the tish.

In the final year of his life the Minchas Elozor took the shofar on Rosh Chodesh Elul and tried the horn to see if it was in OK condition. Hershelle was in the room then and was very visibly excited with the shofar and its sounds; he asked his zeide for "noch ein blooz," one more blast, which his zeide gladly obliged. From then on, for the next month, this became a ritual; the Rov blowing once for little Hershelle. On Erev Rosh Hashonoh Hershelle was there awaiting his daily blast, but he was disappointed. "Haynt iz Erev Rosh Hashoone, Haynt bloozt men nisht, morgen vet men bloozen asach mool in shil," his zeide told him. The child knew no Chochmes. He kicked and screamed, telling his zeide "Nor Ein Blooz! Nor Ein Blooz!" After a while his zeide had rachmones on his favorite eynikel and took the shofar and blew one blooz.

On Rosh Hashoneh before Tekios the minhag in Munkacs was that the Rov spoke. That year the Rov went up before the aron kodesh, opened the ark and said: "Ribono Shel Olam, Ich darf tshiveh tuhn, ich hub over geven af an halochoh. It's written that on ERH one mustn't blow shofar, yet I did. He began to sob uncontrollably and called out: Ribono shel olam, do you know why I transgressed that halochoh? it was because my young (grand)child lay on the floor and begged me and cried that I should only blow one blooz for him. My heart melted, I couldn't bear to watch him cry like that, so I blew once for him, despite the fact that I shouldn't have. Tatte, how can you stand by and see how millions of your children are down on the floor and cry out to you, Tatte eyn blooz - TeKa BeShofar Godol LeChayruseynu, Even if the time is not right for it yet, the time for Moshiach has yet to arrive, but your children cry out to you, how can you stand idly by?!"

When Reb Baruch told the story he cried, and recounted how at that time the crowd cried along with the Rov, the Tekios were delayed, and for a long time they could not "come to themselves, loud wailing was heard throughout the shul." (Such stories can always be told, and one can always learn from them.)

Excellent Parody by Steve said...

To the tune of "We didn't start the fire" by Billy Joel:


Shmarya didn't start the fire....





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

A beautiful story, R' Arthur. Todah!

Some legacy said...

A cousin of the Munkatcher who is also named Nosson Dovid is a weirdo who has been caught plagiarizing the sefer of a Reform rabbi from the 1800s as his own.

Tom Cruise said...

Weissmandl's eyes must have been wide shut when Rubashkin managers were coercing female employees for znus.

What an Outrage! said...


Look who was just honored on Capitol Hill by ZAKA.

ZAKA itself is run by Meshi-Zahav who's brother is a pedophile.

Tendler's perverted disciple & drunk driver Ryan Karben.

Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) who's fat triple chin bobs up and down every time he lies to cover for Barack Obama.

Shelley Berkley (D-Nevada) who was involved in the cover up for a pedophile chazan at a Las Vegas shul.

Agudah Fresser & revisionist historian Chaim Dovid Zweibel Esq.. (No word if he was wearing the new tie proposed by his stylist, Boog)

Agudah Fresser and protector of Baltimore pedophiles, Bubba Cohen.

Hungarian ambassador Fernec Somogyi-batchi (representing YTT).

Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL), one of the chief propagandists of the Obama campaign.

John Lewis (D-GA), the putz who said McCain-Palin would inspire the Klu Klux Klan to kill little Black girls.

What Larry Gordon & the 5 Towns Jewish Times also don't tell you is that this is a new law firm for Ryan Karben. He was kicked out of his original law firm when he neglected to inform his partners that he was embroiled in a sex scandal with underage boys. The firm was besieged by TV cameras which is how they learned about it.

Anonymous said...

Willy Rapfogel was also at the ZAKA fresser event. He's in bed with Shelly Silver and his wife helps Silver stonewall the sex offender registry.

John McCain said...


Sen. John McCain said Monday that Rep. John Lewis' controversial remarks were "so disturbing" that they "stopped me in my tracks."

Mordechai Tendler said...

I hope they don't get me on tape.


A loose coalition of community activists, lawmakers and government officials are working together to get an explicit billboard on Rockaway Turnpike taken down. The billboard belongs to a ‘gentleman’s club’ and is part of a new advertising campaign.

Lenore Davis, an estate attorney and the owner of thefivetowns.com, is leading the community effort. She collected more than 50 signatures on a petition against the billboard in less than two days. She maintains that the sign’s location next to, in her words, a family-oriented Orthodox Jewish population, makes its explicitness almost illegal.

“The argument should at least be brought that this billboard is tantamount to saying fire in a movie theatre,” Davis told The Jewish Star.

If the billboard is not removed, Davis said, she would consider other ways to persuade the owner to do so, such as videotaping patrons entering the club and posting the videos on Youtube.

Jeff Toback, who represents the seventh legislative district, said that his office has been waiting for a response from the New York City Buildings Department to examine whether the billboard received initial approval. If the billboard had been approved, Toback said, he would challenge the legality of it in court.

“The first amendment says you have the right to free-speech, but commercial free speech can be regulated,” Toback explained. “The issue for the judge to determine is that [since] commercial speech can be regulated, does this rise to the level that it should be regulated?”

Donovan Richards, the district manager for Councilman James Sanders, said that Sanders was prepared to stage protests in front of the store if the billboard was not taken down. He said that members of Sanders’ staff had already been to the club to locate the owners but were unsuccessful.

He maintained that the fight needed to be “won on the ground” through community action and that any added media attention would help persuade the store to give up the advertising campaign.

“We found a lot of people who attend those places don’t like to be seen,” Richards said.

However, the billboard has been a cause of insight for some.

“Sometimes we need reminders in the comfortable area in the Five Towns that we’re still in galus,” Davis said. “This is G-d’s way of reminding us, especially after Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, that we always have to protect ourselves and keep guard against all the material and disgusting intrusions that want to infiltrate our lives.”

Calls and e-mails to the Platinum Club have not been returned.

Binyomin Yoel - We didn't start Rubashkin's Fire said...


The original niggun is here.

Accountant of Boog said...


Representative Charles B. Rangel announced on Thursday that he had hired a forensic accounting firm to determine whether there were additional errors and omissions on his tax returns and public disclosure forms.


Al Sharpton got $500G in illegal cash during White House run, audit says

Anti-Religious Phony Marci Hamilton is right on this issue said...


Support State Measures to Prevent and Prosecute Child Sex Abuse, Even When It Occurs Within Religious Communities

There is now incontrovertible evidence that religious communities hide child sex abuse. Too often, they seek to protect the perpetrator and the religious institution's public image at the expense of children suffering abuse. This is not just a Catholic problem, or a Latter-Day Saints problem, or a Jehovah's Witnesses problem. We also now know that it is also an Orthodox Jewish problem, among others; it spans all beliefs and creeds. Abuse is wholly nondenominational. Wherever it appears, whether in a religious or secular context or community, it must be stopped.

Tragically, American culture is structured to make it harder to identify perpetrators within these communities, as prosecutors and other powerful figures frequently either defer to religious leaders, or simply lack the courage to rock the boat of their own religious group. We learned recently, due to the brave reporting of Hella Winston at Jewish Week, that Assemblyman Dov Hikind of the New York General Assembly has been keeping records of known abusers within the Orthodox community - but has failed to alert the police, and that this was true even when Hikind knew that one perpetrator, in particular, had abused a child in the very recent past. This pattern of cover-up is not unusual; it happens all the time, in both religious and secular organizations. Hikind's behavior is comparable to that of Fr. Andrew Greeley -who has bragged publicly that he knows who many perpetrators are in the Catholic Church, but has refused to name them publicly, as I discuss in a previous column.

The net result of such religious leaders' abdication of responsibility is that all of our children might as well wear "Come and Get Me" T-shirts, because these predators do not necessarily stick to victims within their own communities. They want children for sex, period. So when the fellow believer keeps the identity of the predator from police, he or she puts all children at potential risk.

The evidence cannot be more clear: Many entities, both secular and religious, cover up the identities of perpetrators within their ranks. With state-level solutions falling woefully short, the federal government needs to step in to encourage the states to make it easier for victims themselves to name perpetrators when religious leaders won't.

There is only one route that works on this score: letting victims go to court whenever they are ready. Right now, in most states, the statutes of limitations bar most victims from testifying by the time they are psychologically ready to do so, and thus allow perpetrators to expand their search-and-destroy missions. As I suggest in my book Justice Denied: What America Must Do to Protect Its Children, the federal government can do a great deal to help children by creating financial incentives (or disincentives) for states to open their courts to child sex abuse victims.

Arthur said...

Postville, IA - As Agriprocessors and the town of Postville stand on the edge of a financial cliff, hope has emerged that the plant will soon find rescue via outside investors, a well-placed employee at the company said this weekend.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, he said a group of investors toured the plant shortly before the company filed for bankruptcy on Nov. 4, and another group is scheduled to arrive this week.

There is optimism that a deal can be reached within the next month, he said.

The news, which has spread through Postville's Jewish community, gives hope to people struggling to pay the mortgage and feed large families. They are teachers, rabbis and small businessmen and employees at the plant itself, all of whom depend on Agriprocessors for income.

"They're hoping something comes in and there's a new beginning on the horizon," he said. "There's a potential for renewal in a very big way because the company gets bought up by a corporate company, and with corporate you have a cash flow we haven't seen before."

Despite Agriprocessors' multitude of legal problems, its sophisticated kosher meat operation, built up over the company's 20-year existence, remains attractive because its product commands a premium on the market, which results in higher profit margins than non-kosher meat.

Companies from Costco and Sam's Club have approached the company as recently as a month ago because their product has proved popular, he said.

But with production at a near standstill, those relationships have been put on hold, he said.

Agriprocessors, at its peak the nation's largest kosher meat producer, was raided by federal immigration agents on May 12. The company and its top officials have been charged by state and federal officials for immigration, child labor and payroll violations.

The company now employs only 200 workers, down from more than 900 before the raid, and has shut down its beef line.

Agriprocessors owes the city of Postville $100,000 in utilities and other payments, a debt that rises every month.

The kosher plant pays the city $334,000 every year for a waste water facility it uses. The city operates a $2.5 million annual budget.

"Right now we're not having any financial distress. Will it probably be coming? Probably so. We hear there's not a lot of people left there, but it's too early to tell," said Darcy Radloff, the city clerk.

Most of those who relied on Agriprocessors for a living, including a few Jewish families, have decided to leave town.

Its workers after the raid, most brought in through labor companies from around the country, packed up for greener pastures more than two weeks ago when Agriprocessors ran out of money.

Hundreds of Somalis from Minneapolis who arrived in July left several weeks ago.

boog said...

From the: "Change You Can Believe In" Dept."

"In the case of Hillary, Bill could once again be the biggest piece of baggage for Obama. The former President has built-in conflicts of interests galore, and it will be tough to separate his pronouncements and investments from the administration's," says the University of Virginia's Larry Sabato.

At the same time, Sabato added, "Obama gets a lot from this, too - not least, the removal of Hillary as a potential adversary in the Senate [or] a challenger in the Democratic primaries in 2012."

In another Clinton-related pick, the Politico Web site reported Saturday that Obama has chosen Washington lawyer Gregory Craig - who led the former President's impeachment defense - as his White House counsel.

Democratic strategist Christopher Lehane, a former Clinton White House official, sees Bill Clinton as more boon than burden. "One of the reasons why [Hillary's] going to instantaneously have all these relationships is because the Clinton name is really the gold standard in the international community," Lehane said. "It would allow Obama to hit the ground running - at 110 miles an hour."


"Yes, We Can!" Ohh-Baa-Maah!

The Bim Bam Identity

Toronto Fraud said...

Toronto Tzedakah Has Tax-Exempt Status Revoked; Issued $177 Million In Receipts In 2004-2005

November 16, 2008

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has stripped a Jewish organization of its charitable status after finding its primary purpose was to serve as part of a tax-avoidance scheme.

In a letter to the Choson Kallah Fund of Toronto, Terry de March, director general of the CRA’s charities directorate, stated that the organization’s charitable status will be revoked, preventing it from issuing official donation receipts. Choson Kallah is no longer exempt from paying tax, unless it qualifies as a non-profit organization, and it may be taxed on its remaining assets, CRA stated.

“It remains our view that the charity has willingly lent its name and tax-receipting privileges to the tax shelter in exchange for monetary compensation. In our view, the charity has participated in a program designed to abuse the charitable gifts incentive provisions of the Income Tax Act,” stated a CRA document outlining the reasons behind the revocation.

“Between 2004 and 2005, the charity issued receipts in excess of $177 million, or 90 per cent of the charity’s total income, for donations of pharmaceuticals earmarked for international programs… In 2006 alone… the charity issued receipts totalling over $131 million,” far above the charity’s previous average of between $4 million to $6 million per year, the CRA said.

In receiving the pharmaceuticals and issuing tax receipts “the charity was merely operating as the receipting agent in this arrangement – issuing receipts for property it did not see, need or want and passing this property to a third-party organization,”the CRA said.

In exchange, Choson Kallah received a little more than one per cent of the value receipted, from which it paid a fee to an administrator, the letter stated. The charity did not attempt to independently verify the values of the donations for which it issued receipts, the agency said.

The CRA noted the charity netted only .05 per cent of the value of the donation receipts after expenses, and it failed to maintain the documentation necessary to prove recipients of allocated funds met the definition of charity required by law. Some recipients were not suffering poverty, but received money for wedding assistance, fertility treatments and to pay private debts.

Rabbi Gross, the President of Choson Kallah Fund, said the decision will be appealed.

“Right now, I don’t think I will be able to continue our good works,” Rabbi Gross is quoted as telling the Toronto Star. “I don’t know the mechanics of the tax fund, the legality of it or how it works.”

He told the Star that Choson Kallah has been operating for more than 20 years. It started as a small operation that helped people get married, but grew to provide $4 million in poverty relief, mostly to Israel.

Anonymous said...

TOKYO (AP) -- Japan fell into a recession in the third quarter for the first time since 2001, as the impact of the global slowdown took its toll on the world's No. 2 economy.

Japan's gross domestic product, or the total value of the nation's goods and services, dropped at an annual pace of 0.4 percent in the July-Septebmer period as companies sharply curtailed spending, the government said Monday.

The weaker-than-expected result indicates that Japan, along with the euro-zone, is now technically in a recession, defined as two straight quarters of negative growth. GDP in the April-June period fell a revised 3.7 percent and rose 4.0 in the first quarter.

Economists surveyed by Kyodo news agency had predicted an annualized 0.1 percent rise in the third quarter.

On a quarterly basis, GDP contracted 0.1 percent, the government said. Business investment -- a main driver of Japan's six-year economic recovery since 2002 -- slid 1.7 percent from the previous quarter.

But the worst may be yet to come, economists say, especially with dramatic falls in demand overseas for trademark Japanese products like cars and gadgets. As a result, major exporters including Toyota Motor Corp. and Nissan Motor Co. have slashed their profit forecasts and sales projections for the full year.

Since taking office in late September, Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso has so far unveiled two economic stimulus packages in an effort to cushion the blow.

The deteriorating conditions led Masamichi Adachi, senior economist at JPMorgan Securities in Tokyo, to recently downgrade his outlook on the Japanese economy.

"We are now looking for a severe recession, similar to that during Japan's own financial market crisis in 1997 to 1998, and to the current U.S. recession, in terms of depth of real GDP contraction," he said in a report.

In trading Monday, the benchmark Nikkei 225 stock index was down 2.7 percent.

Putz Shyster said...

Marvin Schick
Comments can be e-mailed to mschick@mindspring.com.

Friday, November 14, 2008
Jewish Journalism and Sexual Abuse

The opening words of the lead editorial two weeks ago in this newspaper declared, “We do not believe that there is more incidence of sexual abuse in the Orthodox community than there is among other denominations or groupings of Jews.” Reassuring words, perhaps. Then comes the next sentence which states as fact and not just belief, “But among the Orthodox, such cases tend to be underreported to the authorities.”

It is difficult to write about sexual abuse. The topic evokes strong emotions. Those who are accused, whether by prosecutors or in the media, are presumed guilty. There is a strong prospect that my words will be misunderstood, even distorted.

This is what I believe: Sexual abuse is sinful and criminal and when children are the victims, the crime is heinous because of the scars that remain. Those who cover-up are guilty of a grave sin, even if they do so out of motives that they regard as just, because there is the likelihood that covering up will result in additional victims.

Those who are accused must be regarded as innocent until proven guilty, yet because of the risks involved and the high obligation to protect children, when credible charges are made, it is incumbent to remove the accused from the classroom or other settings that result in on-going contact with children. This holds true even if the accused is never formally charged. Furthermore, schools and other places where children are supervised by adults must instruct faculty and staff that all physical contact with children, except for medical purposes, is absolutely forbidden, whether the contact is intended to punish or encourage the child or for any other purpose. This unfortunately means that to avoid suspicion of untoward conduct, spontaneous acts of encouragement and appreciation would not be permitted.

The Orthodox are part of the real world and there are credible cases of sexual abuse of children, as well as times when the wrongdoing has been covered up. This must be acknowledged, as must the truth that there have been charges that have not held up. We must pay heed to the too many instances of trumped up accusations of sexual child abuse of children documented years ago by Dorothy Rabinowitz in her many Wall Street Journal articles. Dozens were falsely accused and many innocent people were convicted. Lives were ruined, families destroyed. There were suicides. These, too, were victims and their pain must not be shoved aside in the understandable determination to protect children.

There is the additional question of the reliability of memory, especially when charges are made years later. Scholars have debated the issue of repressed memory. In short, children must be protected, as must the innocent, and this requires a challenging balancing act.

I faced the issue of reliability in mid-September when, as often happens, a family seeking admission of their child to a Jewish high school contacted me. He had been rejected and although the odds of success were slim, I said that I would call the principal. I did and the results were as expected. When I relayed this to the parents, their immediate angry response was that they would now go to the authorities and charge that their son was sexually abused at a different school last year.

Accuracy is not the only factor in determining whether sexual abuse reportage adheres to journalistic standards. As I wrote years ago, even if every negative story about an ethnic group is accurate, the coverage may be biased. If a newspaper publishes an article each day about a violent crime committed by a Black person, the cumulative impact would be bigoted journalism because the message conveyed would be that this is representative of all Blacks. The same is true of stories regarding Orthodox abuse, particularly when each story dredges up what had previously been published.

If this newspaper believes that there isn’t a higher incidence of Orthodox abuse, how to explain why perhaps 98% of the space devoted to allegations of abuse of children concern the Orthodox? You can’t have it both ways. Perhaps more importantly, the newspaper cannot focus on alleged Orthodox abuse and then claim that the tendency among the Orthodox is to cover-up. To put the issue otherwise, if 1) the incidence of abuse is as great among the non-Orthodox and 2) there are few newspaper stories and cases involving the non-Orthodox, then 3), doesn’t this amount to a cover-up of abuse among the non-Orthodox?

My assessment is that there is a greater tendency these days to report abuse among the Orthodox because unlike most other American Jews and Americans they are not just faces in the huge crowd of American society. There are entry points in Orthodox life for those who feel that abuse has occurred. There are visible and vocal professionals and others who now constantly beat the drums on the subject.

These include Assemblyman Dov Hikind. In a letter published last week in this newspaper, he wrote, referring to the Orthodox, that “I firmly believe that there are likely thousands of people who are affected by sexual abuse in some form or another” and that “the total number of cases of rabbinic sexual abuse in our community is closer to ‘hundreds’ of individuals.”

A community leader told me that Hikind is guilty of “a blood libel.” If his statistics are accurate, given the tiny size of our community compared to the Catholic Church, the only possible conclusion is that our rabbis are out-abusing priests by a large margin. With all of the information that he claims to have, why aren’t there many more stories? Why aren’t there many more prosecutions? Has he gone to the authorities? If he hasn’t, he is being irresponsible.

The more important point is this: Sexual abuse is an awful crime. The subject requires vigilance and, at times, courage and not bogus numbers and biased journalism.

Where's Kolko's Putz Lawyer? said...

Wasn't Jeffrey Schwartz trying to get her off the hook?


Saying that Nixzaliz Santiago had failed in her “duty” to save her own dying daughter, a judge on Wednesday sentenced the mother of 7-year-old Nixzmary Brown to up to 43 years in prison for her role in a case of abuse that horrified New Yorkers and prompted an overhaul of the city’s child welfare system.

NY Daily News said...

Food stamps soar in the hungry city


Sunday, November 16th 2008, 4:00 AM

More than 1.2 million people get food stamps in the city, a 23% spike over the past five years.

But Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Queens/Brooklyn) urged Mayor Bloomberg to loosen restrictions so that even more eligible New Yorkers can receive benefits.

"There is more that needs to be done to lower the barriers to getting food assistance," said Weiner, who is expected to battle Bloomberg for mayor next year.

Weiner fears thousands of needy families aren't applying for them because of a fingerprinting requirement.

The mayoral hopeful showered a little bit of credit on the Bloomberg administration, saying they streamlined the process by allowing online applications.

"Imagine what you can do to if you reduced the obstacles further," Weiner said.

Joel Berg of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger agreed.

Struggling families must take time off from work to provide fingerprints "just to provide evidence that they are not criminals," Berg said.

An estimated 500,000 New Yorkers qualify for the benefit but aren't registered, Berg said.

Gov. Paterson allows counties to waive the fingerprinting requirement, but Bloomberg has continued the practice, charging it prevents fraud. City officials say they're trying to prevent applicants from double-dipping.

"We have made the program much more attractive to low-income, working New Yorkers," said Robert Doar, commissioner of the Human Resources Administration. "And we have achieved this without giving up important fraud and waste controls like finger imaging."

Officials expect the number of people applying for food stamps to climb over the next several months in the wake of record job losses.

Family Values said...


Fraud charges familiar to the Rubashkin family

Brother and father have also been implicated in financial deception

By Lynda Waddington 11/14/08

Yaakov Kramer said...


Accused molestor asked senior his religion before assault



Friday, November 14th 2008, 4:44 AM

A Torah scholar accused of fondling an elderly man lying in a Manhattan hospital bed first asked his frail victim whether he was Jewish before grabbing his genitals, prosecutors said Thursday.

When the 72-year-old senior replied that he was an atheist, Yakov Kramer allegedly lifted the man's gown and molested him Wednesday afternoon at New York-Presbyterian Hospital Columbia, prosecutors said.

The 27-year-old was arraigned Thursday at Manhattan Criminal Court on charges of sexual abuse and burglary as a sexually motivated felony. He posted a $50,000 bond, and is due back in court Tuesday.

After the hearing, Kramer's lawyer Israel Fried told The Daily News that the biblical expert was merely trying to help the old man after hearing his pleas for help.

"There was a person in pain. He saw him. Assisted him. And when his assistance was done. He left," Fried said.

Although Kramer is from Spring Valley in Rockland County, his family, part of the Skver Hasidic sect, still lives in Williamsburg.

Neighbors on quiet Morton Street, home to Kramer's father, Jeremias, were tight-lipped about the family's whereabouts. But the news of the outrageous crime was the talk of the insular community Thursday afternoon.

Religious leaders defended Kramer, calling him a brainiac with a passion for writing about God.

"He is an author of religious books," said Rabbi Leib Glanz, executive vice president of United Jewish Care in Williamsburg. "He is a Torah scholar."

"His wife is expecting a baby. That is why he was in the hospital," said Glanz.

Kramer's lawyer said his client took his pregnant wife to the hospital for a routine check-up Wednesday.

He left his spouse to head to the hospitality room intended for Jewish patients and their guests, and picked up a book.

But the cries of the old man stopped Kramer, his lawyer said.

The senior "lifted his gown to indicate where he was in pain," Fried said in court.

After checking on the man, Kramer returned to his wife, Fried said.

A nurse later caught Kramer in the old man's room, during Kamer's second visit, and alerted authorities.

"Abuse is a real problem," said Assemblyman Dov Hikind, (D-Brooklyn).

Hikind called the Kramer case "depressing."

"It is horrible," he said.


67 years to life said...


Anand Jon, the designer who once seemed poised to achieve international catwalk fame, has been convicted in a Los Angeles court on charges involving seven girls and young women.

After deliberating for seven days, a jury found Jon – full name Anand Jon Alexander – guilty on one count of rape, multiple counts of committing a lewd act on a child, forcible oral sex and attempted sexual assault. He was acquitted on four other charges; the jury failed to reach a verdict on three other counts. He is likely to spend the rest of his life in prison.

Jon, who has worked with the singer Mary J Blige and whose clients, according to his website, have included Paris Hilton, will be sentenced in January. However, because he has been convicted of multiple counts of sexual assault against several victims he faces a mandatory life sentence with the first possibility of parole arising only after 67 years served. He is therefore unlikely to see freedom again.

He rose to fame earlier this decade. After graduating from the Parsons School of Design in New York in 1999, he launched his own fashion line, was featured in an episode of the reality show America's Next Top Model and was tipped as a person to watch by Newsweek magazine. However, he was arrested in Los Angeles in March 2007 after a woman claimed she had been raped by the designer.

During a two-month trial which was often characterised by tawdry testimony and offering glimpses of the fashion world that were hardly flattering, prosecutors said that Jon, 34, had lured young women and girls into a Beverly Hills apartment with the promise of securing them modelling careers. His intentions were very different, however.

Leaving the Los Angeles courthouse, deputy district attorney, Frances Young, said: "Similar to the way paedophiles surround themselves with children, he chose a career where be could be surrounded by young, very naive, very impressionable girls."

"This jury today sent a message that our communities will not tolerate serial rapists and child molesters like Anand Jon. They will be held accountable and the victims will get justice."

Abe Foxman's ADL (Apologist "Defense" League) said...

Army Rabbi Jacob Goldstein is a Chabadnik from Crown Hts.

The Jewish Welfare board will be dealt with in a separate post.


ADL's Handling of Fort Benning Anti-Semitism Case Under Fire

By Jason Leopold
The Public Record
Saturday, November 15, 2008

The parents of a Fort Benning Army soldier who was brutally beaten by other soldiers two months ago in what appeared to be a case of anti-Semitism are upset that criminal charges were not leveled against the individuals responsible for the attack.

Moreover, Randi and Jonathan Handman criticized the director of the southeast chapter of the Anti-Defamation League for entering into secret discussions with Fort Benning officials earlier this month to apparently negotiate closure of the matter without including them or the head of the military watchdog organization that first exposed the attack and had been working closely with the family on a more severe course of action.

The discussions Fort Benning officials had with Bill Nigut, the ADL’s southeast regional director, were coincident with one soldier being kicked out of the Army under Article 15 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice and “administratively separated for misconduct.”

That solider, whose name was not released by Fort Benning officials, was believed to be the one primarily responsible for the assault on Pvt. Michael Handman Sept. 24, which occurred after Handman was lured into a laundry room by other soldiers.

The attack, first reported by The Public Record, occurred four days after Handman, 20, complained to his parents that his drill sergeants had used anti-Semitic slurs against him because he wore a yarmulke and another ordered him to remove it while he ate dinner. The drill sergeants were reprimanded for their actions.

But, the Jewish Lay Leader responsible for protecting the interest of Jewish soldiers at Fort Benning, who after Pvt. Handman was beaten accused him of playing the victim and orchestrating his own attack, has not been dealt with, which the Handmans said is unacceptable.

The Handmans said that they tried to get the ADL to help them when they were first notified about their son’s beating and the anti-Semitism he was subjected to by his drill sergeants. But the ADL, the Handmans said, did not show interest until the story received widespread coverage in the media.

“I'm not really satisfied at all with the ADL or the punishment,” Randi Handman said. “I question why we as Michael's parents were never contacted by the ADL through any of their meetings. I feel that without severe punishment, the problems within will continue for years to come.”

Jonathan Handman said the Army should have court-martialed the soldier who attacked his son.

"If this was civilian life, he would've been arrested under a hate crime," he said. "Why should it be any different under the military?"

The Handmans said they had never spoken with the ADL about the incident and were surprised when they were contacted by reports about internal discussions that led to one soldier’s dismissal.

Yet in a news release issued Nov. 2, Nigut said the ADL had been working on Handman’s case and the organization’s “top concern in dealing with the Handman case has been to make sure the Army sends a strong message that they will punish acts of bigotry and bullying severely.”

The ADL’s involvement also caught Mikey Weinstein by surprise.
Weinstein, the founder and president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), had spent several weeks in late September and early October working very closely with the Handmans pursuing a more severe form of punishment against the soldiers who attacked Pvt. Handman, the drill sergeants who used anti-Semitic slurs against him, and the Jewish Lay Leaders who Weinstein said did not take the case seriously.

“We at the Military Religious Freedom Foundation are thunderstruck that, after our many weeks of assiduously working around the clock to bring the perpetrators of the wretched hate crime to military justice, the ADL would suddenly come waltzing into this travesty of justice against Pvt. Handman and his family, unilaterally “declare victory” and then actually praise the Army for its hideous racist actions,” Weinstein said. “Sadly, it seems that in this pathetic matter the acronym ‘ADL’ now stands ignominiously for ‘Apologists Defense League.’”

Weinstein had become involved in the case just days after Jonathan Handman received a telephone call in late September from a Fort Benning official alerting him that his son was hospitalized with a concussion and severe facial bruising.

Handman reached out to Weinstein because he said he did not receive help from other organizations he contacted, including the ADL.

Weinstein said as soon as he got the call “MRFF did what it always does in these ever more frequent, tragic matters of unbridled, military-sponsored Christian religious oppression; we moved at light speed to ensure the victim's immediate safety.”

“Next, we demanded that the victim's chain of command comprehensively and fairly investigate and punish those responsible,” Weinstein said. “As that would only happen "when hell freezes over", I wanted the Army to understand that MRFF will now use this entire incident in our just-filed Federal litigation against the Department of Defense.”

Weinstein’s involvement led the U.S. Army’s Chief of Staff, General George W. Casey, to make an unprecedented, personal phone call to Fort Benning shortly after Pvt. Handman's beating was reported by The Public Record, and others, to inquire about Pvt. Handman’s safety, the Pentagon confirmed.

Then, in an interview with The Public Record about the case, Neil Block, Fort Benning’s Jewish Lay Leader, seemed to place blame for the brutal attack and the prior incidents of anti-Semitism on Pvt. Handman for naively believing that wearing a yarmulke would not invite ridicule by his fellow soldiers.

Block also fired off a harshly worded email to Weinstein accusing him of creating a “disaster for us as Jews in and out of the military” due to Weinstein’s alleged failure to verify or substantiate the information.

“When he told me that he was going to wear a keepah (the Hebrew word for yarmulke) I said God bless you, but be prepared, there’s a consequence to it and you’re going to be challenged,” said Block, who has been the advocate for Jewish soldiers at Fort Benning for the past eight years. The military uses volunteer Jewish lay leaders due to the shortage of rabbis at the nearly 1,000 Department of Defense military installations around the world.

“He has a drill sergeant who has never seen a keepah in his life and treated him less than mommy and daddy would and made some derogatory comments about his faith," Block said. “This whole thing is an issue of overreaction. Should his drill sergeants have known better? Yeah. But they didn’t. I was at a party where people talking about Jewing somebody down. It goes on. Does it make it right? No. But it’s basic training. You can’t control 100 or so soldiers. I mean everybody uses the “N” word now and then” to refer to African Americans.”

In addition, Block suggested that Pvt. Handman used his “minority status” as a Jew to play the “Jew card,” in other words, a “victim.”

“Any young Jew who uses his minority status to play the system is villainous,” Block said. “There’s that element that I am being discriminated against.”

Outraged that he would trivialize the matter, Weinstein contacted the NAACP to get involved as a result of Block’s example about the use of the “N” word. Additionally, Weinstein contacted the rabbi who oversees the Jewish Lay Leaders at military installations.

“It’s the New York based Jewish Welfare Board which administratively oversees military Jewish Lay Leaders. But the board ignored our pleas for aid and intervention,” Weinstein said.

The board’s head rabbi said he was not inclined to replace Block or discipline him other than issuing a verbal reprimand for the way in which he handled the Handman case.

“Block’s scurrilous written and verbal attacks on Pvt. Handman, his family and even MRFF clearly provided the substantial basis for MRFF’s demand that he and his co-Jewish Lay Leader be immediately removed from their positions at Fort Benning,” Weinstein said. “The NAACP joined MRFF in demanding that [Secretary of Defense] Robert Gates expeditiously effectuate this corrective action and that appropriate justice be done to those who committed these crimes. The Army’s resultant reaction has been nothing short of a disgusting, if not predictable, travesty.”

As Weinstein and his foundation were working on the matter and the incident began to receive media coverage, Nigut, the ADL’s southeast director, met with Fort Benning officials as well as the Army's Chief of Chaplains Major General Douglas Carver, Senior Army Rabbi Jacob Goldstein, and Col. Chuck Durr, Fort Benning Chief of Staff.

But Nigut nor anyone else at the ADL invited Weinstein or representatives from MRFF to participate nor did the organization alert the Handmans that they had become involved.

“It seems the Army and the ADL had an eleventh hour, secret, get-together ‘star chamber’ which specifically excluded MRFF and the Handman family,” Weinstein said. “The net result was the ADL thanking the Army for its fine efforts and walking off into the sunset claiming yet another ADL triumph; except there has been no such thing, save a ‘triumph’ for a disgraceful miscarriage of justice. MRFF and the Handman family were conveniently, deliberately and completely shut out.”

Jonathan Handman said he believes the ADL did not contact him “because they knew I would not be happy with the bare minimum that they could do to look good in the press.”

Weinstein, meanwhile, said he would continue to work with Pvt. Handman and his parents to ensure “they get the justice they deserve.”

“Indeed, Pvt. Handman at this very hour continues to suffer in a Byzantine, Army-directed purgatory of static administrative limbo,” Weinstein said. “Thus, we are strongly considering the initiation of federal civil rights litigation to end the Army’s unbridled, unconstitutional intolerance. Stay tuned.”

Jewish Welfare Board Director Read Admiral "Rabbi" Harold Robinson said...

Why should a Reform "rabbi" give a hoot about an Orthodox Jew beaten for wearing a yarmulke?


Rear Admiral Harold L. Robinson earned a Bachelor of Arts from Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in 1968. He earned a Bachelor of Hebrew Letters in 1972, a Master of Arts and ordination as a Rabbi in 1974 all from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1999 the College Institute awarded him the degree of Doctor of Divinity, and in 2005 Coe College conferred the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.

He was Rabbi of Temple Israel of Gary, Ind., (1974-1977), the Cape Cod Synagogue (1977-1998) and of B'nai Zion Congregation in Shreveport, La. (1998-2006) During this time, he has served on numerous boards and commissions, including 12 years on the Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism, six years on the Resolutions Committee of Reform Judaism and four years on the Commission on Religious Living of Reform Judaism. He served for seven years as Chair of the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, Cape and Islands Advisory Council. He currently serves as the Director of the Jewish Welfare Board-Jewish Chaplains Council.

Commissioned an Ensign in the U.S. Naval Reserve in 1971, Rear Adm. Robinson received a superseding commission as a Chaplain in 1975. His Reserve Component assignments have included Training Officer, Executive Officer and twice Commanding Officer of MAF Rel 101; and Regimental Chaplain, 25th Marine Regiment 4th Marine Division. He was assigned as Executive Officer and Commanding Officer of SUBLANT Rel 101, and as Force Chaplain, Iceland Defense Force. He served as the Group Chaplain for the 4th Force Service Support Group, USMC, and as Seabee National Chaplain.

In 2000 he was assigned to the Chief of Naval Chaplains Office as Special Assistant for Reserve Manpower. His Flag assignment is: Deputy Chief of Chaplains for Reserve Matters and Director of Religious Programs, Marine Force Reserve.

Rear Adm. Robinson also served as the President of the COMNAVRESFOR Policy Board FY 2005, the first staff corps officer so assigned. Rear Adm. Robinson is a Fleet Marine Force Qualified Officer.

Overseas active duty assignments have included: Naples, Italy: Holy Lock, Scotland; Keflavik, Iceland; Okinawa, Japan; Guam; Manama, Bahrain; and Djibouti. He has visited our forces in Iraq, Afghanistan, Qatar and Kuwait.

Personal awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Naval Commendation Medal with two Gold Stars, and the Navy and Marine Corps Overseas Deployment Ribbon.

Jewish Welfare Board Deputy Director "Rabbi" Barry Baron said...


I'm also a Reform "rabbi".

We claim to speak for all Jewish chaplains in the US Military.

We don't need any orthodox boys stirring up trouble by complaining.

boog said...

Anthony (Weenie) Wiener is a real piece of work.

Anonymous said...

Feds Honor Koenig for Child Porn Investigations
by Steve Lieberman.
November 14, 2008


Rockland Sheriff’s Detective Shlomo Koenig recently got kudos from the U.S. Secret Service for helping investigated people dealing in child pornography on the Internet.

Koenig, a member of the Rockland Sheriff’s Computer Crime Task Force, has been named “2008 Outstanding Law Enforcement Officer of the Year” by the Secret Service and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Miami.

He was co-recipent with two special agents who worked with him on investigating a man who was trading child pornography on-line.

The man was from Flint, Mich., and Koenig used the man’s screen name to develop additional leads and information on a prolific child pornographer in Florida, according to a letter of commendation from John Lange, a deputy special agent for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Koenig also is assigned to the New York Field Office of Electronics Crime Task Force, which also presented him with a plaque of appreciation for his investigative work on pedophile and child pornographers.

Sheriff James Kralik was giddy with pride over the honors bestowed on Koenig, who joined the department in 1996 as the nation’s first Hasidic Jewish police officer. He remains a Kaser village trustee and deputy mayor of the Ramapo village.

Kralik said Koenig has attained national and potentially an international reputation for his work on the Internet involving people who prey on children.

Estimating Koenig has participated in 160 convictions, Kralik called Koenig a “world-class officer who has reached the top of his profession.”

“I am extremely proud of Sholom,” Kralik said. “He has become not only a national figure in computer crime case, especially in child porn and pedophila, he’s become international,” Kralik said. “His assistance has been requested by the Israel National Police on computer crimes.”

In above photo, Koenig holds certificate given to him by Secret Service, represented by agent Rafael Praigo of White Plains. They are standing with Kralik

Anonymous said...

U.S. in Recession, Jobless Rate to Peak at 7.5 Percent: Survey- Reuters

The U.S. economy is in recession and will contract at a faster pace in the fourth quarter, extending the decline into early 2009 as high unemployment crimps consumer spending, a survey showed. The National Association of Business Economists' poll of 50 professional forecasters released on Monday found that real gross domestic product was expected to fall 2.6 percent in the fourth quarter and slump 1.3 percent in the first three months of 2009.

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

How many people must get killed, poisoned, raped by the people they trusted - before "we'll look into it"?


FDA to open China offices after product scares

Monday November 17, 7:37 am ET
US Food and Drug Administration to open China offices in effort to protect safety of exports

BEIJING (AP) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration will open three offices in China this week in an unprecedented effort to improve the safety of exports headed to America amid recurring product safety scares.

The new FDA offices, which are the first outside of the United States, will increase effectiveness in protecting for American and Chinese consumers, according to the office of U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt.

Leavitt and the agency's Food and Drug Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach will open the first office in Beijing on Wednesday, followed by one in Guangzhou and another in Shanghai.

"Establishing a permanent FDA presence in China will greatly enhance the speed and effectiveness of our regulatory cooperation and our efforts to protect consumers in both countries," Leavitt's office said in a statement last week.

Safety issues involving the blood thinner heparin, food and other products imported from China has put pressure on the FDA to boost its international presence. In the heparin case, a Chinese-made component contained a contaminant linked to as many as 81 deaths and hundreds of allergic reactions.

In October, cribs made in China were included in a recall of 1.6 million cribs issued by New York-based Delta Enterprises.

Last year, U.S.-based Mattel Inc. recalled more than 21 million Chinese-made toys worldwide. Products including Barbie doll accessories and toy cars were pulled off shelves because of concerns about lead paint or tiny, detachable magnets that might be swallowed.

Leavitt has said 13 employees will be assigned to work in the FDA offices in China but has not said what their role will be. He plans to make opening facilities in India and Central America his next priority.

Leavitt plans to attend two workshops conducted by American and Chinese government during his visit to Beijing.

The sessions will address outbreaks of food-related illnesses in the U.S. related to fresh produce as well as melamine contamination in Chinese dairy products which have sickened tens of thousands of babies, the HHS statement said. The nitrogen-rich chemical is used in the manufacture of plastics and fertilizer.

The groups will also discuss reforms that could improve the safety of consumer products and will exchange data on the toxicity to humans of melamine, which was added to Chinese milk to make it appear protein-rich in quality tests that measure nitrogen.

On Monday, the European Union and China signed an agreement to cooperate better on consumer safety. Under the agreement, the two sides will more quickly swap information on tainted food and other dangerous goods. The deal also allows officials from the EU and China to carry out coordinated checks on producers to ensure safety standards are met.

Anonymous said...

"Kramer's lawyer Israel Fried told The Daily News that the biblical expert was merely trying to help the old man after hearing his pleas for help"

Izzy Fried is a lawyer on call for "Yenataik", a frum group operating 24 hours a day that helps people arrested on various charges.

He does a lot of good work especially where the charges are frivolous and he knows how to work the system in specific precincts. I just hope he doesn't cross the line to spring dangerous predators that he should be getting off the street and behind bars.

Pulka Fresser said...

Empire Kosher Increasing Chicken Production by 50%
Price of Chicken Cutlets to Drop


MIFFLINTOWN, PA -- Empire Kosher Poultry announced today that effective November 24, it will significantly expand production of Kosher chicken, increasing its output by 50%. This increase will allay any fear of a widespread Kosher poultry shortage. Additionally, Empire announced that it will reduce the price of fresh chicken cutlets (skinless and boneless chicken breast) by at least 10%, also effective November 24.

This is the second increase in production for Empire in 2008, having already increased its output earlier this year, responding then to concerns about reduced supply conditions in the marketplace. The expansion announced today will be far more significant, as Empire will now be adding over 100,000 additional Kosher chickens each week into the consumer market.

Greg Rosenbaum, Chairman and CEO of Empire commented, “Empire is proud to be able to ‘step-up to the plate’ and be sure that consumers throughout the United States have easy access to Kosher poultry at their local supermarkets and butcher shops. We are extremely grateful for the cooperation of our Kosher certifying agencies, the OU, KAJ and Star-K, as well as the United Food and Commercial Workers Union to make this rapid expansion possible.”

“Furthermore”, Rosenbaum continued, “by reducing the price of our cutlet product, we hope to make it more affordable for consumers who, in light of the current economy, may have forgone their taste preference for chicken breast, to save a little money.”

Rabbi Menachem Genack, CEO of OU Kosher, praised Empire’s actions, saying, “By taking these bold steps, Empire has once again demonstrated its leadership in the Kosher food industry and its commitment to the Kosher keeping community. The OU believes this action will satisfy the demand for Kosher chickens throughout the country, as Empire products are distributed nationwide. We also salute Empire for its responsible action in lowering some prices during this tough economic time. The OU has a longstanding relationship with Empire and we have never been more proud of that relationship than we are today.”

Although some poultry producers have begun to restrict purchases, such as requiring the purchase of a whole bird or whole bird equivalent, rather than individual parts of a chicken, Empire will continue to allow customers to order whatever combination of whole chickens and chicken parts they need, while making popular chicken cutlets more affordable for its customers.
This production increase of chicken follows a major expansion of turkey production for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday and the recent introduction of a new formulation of its signature Chicken Nugget product line, now made with 100% whole chicken breast meat.

About Empire Kosher Poultry, Inc.
Empire Kosher Poultry, Inc. is the largest Kosher poultry producer in the world. With facilities in central Pennsylvania, Empire produces Kosher chickens and Kosher turkeys for the North American market through a fully integrated process, including breeder farms, egg hatcheries, feed mill, grow out houses and processing facilities. Through this fully vertically integrated approach Empire continues to deliver the highest quality poultry products available anywhere. Empire products have won numerous national and international poultry taste-test competitions, and are available in supermarkets, warehouse clubs and butcher shops. For more information visit www.empireKosher.com.

State of the Jews said...

I'm sure 6-7 weeks ago Empire saw the writing on the wall and ordered their breeders to increase flock production. November 24th is show time.

Interesting side note: when you pay your workers decent wages and benefits, and treat them like human beings,you have no trouble finding good workers and ramping up production.

Vineland has also substantially increased production as have others.

People are jumping in to fill the glatt meat void as well, including many small operations: people who are making shabbos for themselves and their clients - so to speak.

Chickenman said...

strong rumors that Agri has indeed lined up a possible bail out investor...Russians!

Sage said...

It's really sickening to see Genack in action.

Here he trumpets increase in Empire chicken production which will, of course, increase the cash flow into the OU coffers.

But where was his clarion call to action back in 2004 and beyond to bring Agri into line?

And why has the OU not given a cent of relief to help the folks in the Postville humanitarian disaster, something the the OU was complicit in?

bill from wamu, Russia, Iceland, Citigroup said...

Citigroup to Cut Another 53,000 Jobs- AP

A person briefed on Citigroup's plans says the banking giant is cutting another 53,000 jobs in the coming quarters. CEO Vikram Pandit is revealing the plan at the company's town hall meeting Monday with employees.

Rubashkin Fresser said...


Some Agriprocessors employees also reported not receiving paychecks on Friday and were told they would get them on Monday. But, there were doubts the money would come through.

"The company dropped us like used tissue paper," said Agriprocessors worker, Timothy Frye, of Detroit.

Israel Belsky said...

It's ok that Rubashkin dropped a bunch of shkotzim like used toilet paper because Agri bathrooms use this stuff under my hashgocho:



Click to Enlarge Approval
and read Translation from
HaRav Yisroel Belsky Shli'tah


It's finally here! A brand new product from Kosher Innovations; the Shabbos Bathroom Tissue.

It's unique! It's innovative! And you'll love it!

The Kosher Innovations Shabbos Bathroom Tissue replaces the regular roll of toilet paper and hangs within easy reach. It's pre-cut 2-ply toilet paper in a unique box. It pulls easily from the box just like facial tissue but unlike facial tissue, it is sized just right and won't clog the toilet, requiring a visit chas vesholom from UOJ, the Roto Rooter guy.

The Shabbos Bathroom Tissue is pre-cut so there's no tearing on Shabbos. The decorative dispenser box clearly indicates to you, your family and your guests that this bathroom tissue is made especially for Shabbos. Look at the chart below to see what the Shabbos Bathroom Tissue can do for you.

Look for our in-store displays
to see how it works!


Eichler’s Boro Park
KRM Kollel Supermarket
Buzz Electronics
Judaica Corner
Shloimy’s Judaica
14th Ave. Hardware
Medical Arts Pharmacy
Wilhelm’s Houseware
16th Ave. Pharmacy


Judaica Plaza


Five Towns Judaica


J. Levine Books & Judaica


Safra Judaica


H&T Variety


Kol Tuv Kosher Foods


East Side Kosher Deli

Los Angeles:

Brenco Sterling


Kosher City Plus

Rubashkin Tush Wiper said...

The tissue paper is being sold at "Buzz Electronics"????

No sick jokes please!

Marvin Schick's latest retarded outburst said...

"A community leader told me that Hikind is guilty of “a blood libel.” If his statistics are accurate, given the tiny size of our community compared to the Catholic Church, the only possible conclusion is that our rabbis are out-abusing priests by a large margin. With all of the information that he claims to have, why aren’t there many more stories? Why aren’t there many more prosecutions? Has he gone to the authorities? If he hasn’t, he is being irresponsible."

Could the community "leader" be anyone but one of the Losers at 42 Broadway?

And if Hikind does go to the cops with everything he has, they will call him a reckless moyser who should have dealt with things internally.

Socialist economics, Shmarya-style said...


Shmarya keeps whining that Israel won't pay to bring thousands of so called Falash Mura from Ethiopa. People that have been known to be Christians for centuries but suddenly claim to be Jewish when they sniff opportunitie$ in I$rael.

Get off your rear end, get a job and help pay for your welfare projects, Shmarya. Stop demanding that everyone else pay for your Black fantasies.

Lipa Geldwerth said...

These guys work for Torah Temimah so Eli Greenwald should watch his mouth.


Last update - 16:29 17/11/2008

Crime boss killed in underworld Tel Aviv car blast

By Haaretz Service and News Agencies

A car explosion in central Tel Aviv killed one of Israel’s top mafia kingpins on Monday, threatening to unleash an all-out war in Israel’s increasingly violent underworld.

Israel Police officials identified the dead man as Ya’akov Alperon - known informally as Don Alperon - the head of one of the country’s most powerful crime families. Medics said three bystanders were also lightly wounded in the explosion, including a 13-year-old boy.

In recent years, mob wars have plagued Israeli towns and cities.

Rival underworld gangs have waged bloody battles for control of gambling and protection rackets, targeting each other with bullets, bombs and even anti-tank missiles in violence that has killed dozens of gangsters and at least eight bystanders in the last three years. Monday’s attack was by far the most high-profile incident to date.

“An extremely serious event took place today, and its consequences are completely clear to us,” Ilan Franco, the Tel Aviv police commander, said at the scene. “It likely happened because of an internal conflict within the Tel Aviv crime world.... If there are consequences to this attack we will have to deal with them.”

Police officials identified the victim as Alperon, speaking on condition of anonymity because the identification had not been officially made public.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld would say only that he was a well-known underworld figure.

Alperon, Israel’s most famous criminal, had also become something of a cultural icon. He and his brothers have given frequent TV interviews and were parodied on comedy shows. His immediate family even took part in a reality TV show.

Organized crime, long overshadowed by the Arab-Israeli conflict, has become such a part of everyday life that Israel has its own Sopranos-style TV series, The Arbitrator, in which even synagogues are no refuge from hit men.

The brazen, midday assassination quickly dominated the news, pushing Palestinian rocket attacks from Gaza and a summit between the Israeli and Palestinian leaders off the airwaves. TV stations broke into their scheduled programming and dispatched reporters to Alperon’s home in an upper-class Tel Aviv suburb.

Alperon’s rental car went up in flames around noon as it was traveling on one of Tel Aviv’s main thoroughfares. Police closed the street and TV footage showed his lifeless body slumped out the door.

The bloodied body was wearing the same polo shirt Alperon was seen sporting earlier in the day at a Tel Aviv courthouse, where his son, Dror, was facing indictment on a separate charge.

Alperon had many enemies, including convicted drug lord Zeev Rosenstein - who himself has survived at least seven assassination attempts - and the rival Abutbul and Abergil families, with whom the Alperons battled over a lucrative bottle-recycling racket.

Bottle recycling adds up to a $5 million-a-year industry, according to estimates by police and environmental groups. Police say criminals sell restaurants protection in exchange for empties, which leave no paper trail and offer crime families a relatively legitimate source of income.

Alperon has also had an open account with another gangster, Amir Mulner, dating to a January 2006 arbitration summit that went wrong. Knives and guns were drawn and Mulner emerged with a stab wound to the neck that was widely attributed to Alperon.

Alperon went undercover, along with his son, and police searched the country in vain for two months before both Alperons struck a deal to turn themselves in voluntarily. They were never charged.

For Israelis, the violence brought back traumatic memories of the Palestinian bomb attacks that blew up buses and shops across Israel. But while those attacks have dropped dramatically in recent years, it seems Monday’s blast marks a dramatic rise in mob violence.

In the past, rival families would settle their scores quietly. But as the pot gets richer they are getting bolder, taking more risks and posing a greater threat to public safety. Most crime bosses now travel with bodyguards in armored vehicles.

Last May, Yaakov Alperon’s older brother, Nissim, survived the ninth assassination attempt against him. A three-man hit team dispatched to get him was intercepted by police, and in the ensuing gunbattle a policeman was seriously wounded and one of the gunman was killed.

Over the years, the Alperons have encountered numerous police interrogations and have passed through multiple courtrooms, but police most recently focused their attention on brothers Ya’akov and Nissim as heads of the crime family.

Ya’akov Alperon was killed just days after the prosecution filed charges for indictment against his son, Dror, and another minor for alleged extortion, threats and assault of a police officer on duty.

According to the indictment, Dror Alperon allegedly extorted a promoter for Herzliya nightclub parties, threatening to injure the promoter if the latter did not hand over part of his profits.

The indictment alleges that the younger Alperon acquainted himself with the Herzliya promoter last August, under the pretense of helping him deal with certain money mishandlings. The promoter answered that he was in no need of protection, at which point Alperon allegedly demanded he pay him NIS 1,500 for each party.

Earlier this year, the Tel Aviv District Court convicted Shalom Sheetrit and Yaron Sanker for attempting to murder Ya’akov Alperon, but acquitted four others, Belarussian citizens, who were allegedly hired as hitmen by the Ohana crime family.

According to the indictment, the Ohanas had a business dispute with the Alperons and another businessman over gambling cafes. When the judges rendered their ruling, they hinted that the Alperons were targets for many of their enemies.

“The spirits of many other crime families in Israel hovered in the air of the police interrogation rooms, and especially in the courtroom,” they said.

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

If anyone knows any person of any denomination that has lost their homes to the fires in California - and needs a temporary place to stay - please write to the e-mail address below - attn: owner! There are kitchen, showers, and all the amenities needed to help them through this crisis!


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

Get the message?


Atlanta – In rural Georgia, a group of high-schoolers gets a visit from the Secret Service after posting "inappropriate" comments about President-elect Barack Obama on the Web.

Shalom Tendler said...


When can I move in to the executive suites?

Shmarya can take a hike said...


Help Ethiopians in Israel, not the Falash Mura

November 12, 2008

By Howard Lenhoff and Nathan Shapiro

CHICAGO (JTA)—When the leaders of Jewish federations from across North America gather in Jerusalem next week for the annual General Assembly, the issue of Ethiopian immigration and absorption undoubtedly will be a top concern.

While it is imperative that the federations help Israel absorb the Ethiopian immigrants already living in the Jewish state, the federations should not press Israel to accept the Falash Mura remaining in Africa—Ethiopians who claim they are linked to descendants of true Ethiopian Jews forced to convert to Christianity.

We address this issue because from 1978 through 1993, we served as presidents of the American Association for Ethiopian Jews, also known as the AAEJ. As pioneer advocates for the rescue of the Ethiopian Jews, we believe that the continued immigration of Falash Mura does a disservice to the Ethiopian Jewish community in Israel, known as Beta Israel.

Any Falash Mura left in Ethiopia should be accepted into Israel only if they qualify to immigrate under Israel’s Law of Return. Under that law, most Falash Mura would not be eligible.

Current news reports and editorial commentary may confuse well-meaning American Jews into thinking Israel must accept all the Falash Mura.

The issue is complex.

Advocates claim the Falash Mura are Ethiopians linked to Jewish ancestors who were forced to convert to Christianity. Scholars, however, find no evidence that during the last century Beta Israel—true Ethiopian Jews—were forced to convert. What happened was that some Ethiopian Jews converted voluntarily to escape social and economic discrimination while others, in order to get an education, attended missionary schools. None were forced to convert. Those who did abandoned their faith.

What do the Ethiopian Jews who came to Israel in Operations Moses and Solomon say about bringing the Falash Mura to Israel?

A minority have held demonstrations in front of the Israeli Knesset in favor of bringing them to Israel. Others oppose bringing the Falash Mura but are silent, some for fear of physical harm from the pro-Falash Mura activists. Some doubt the sincerity and authenticity of the more militant activists in favor of Falash Mura immigration, many of whom we suspect are non-Jewish Ethiopians claiming to be linked to Ethiopian Jews who converted to Christianity.

Donkey Party Mafia said...


From the beginning, the Republican and Democratic candidates competed for support in the Jewish community. They elaborated on their solutions for critical issues like our troubled economy, the threat of a nuclear Iran, continued Hamas violence against Israel and the need for energy independence. The Republican Jewish Coalition helped not only raise these critical issues, but helped the Jewish community get clear answers.

Since the first days of the election campaign, the RJC challenged President-elect Barack Obama to articulate his positions on these issues, and through our actions, let him know that the Jewish community would carefully examine his responses. As a result, neither party nor candidate took the support of the Jewish community for granted. The RJC is proud to have played a role in facilitating this important debate.

Early on, there were serious and legitimate reasons to be concerned by Obama’s positions on Israel, Iran and the Middle East. Nervous Jewish Democrats mobilized as never before. Numerous third-party groups formed and scores of high-profile surrogates flooded the community dedicated to addressing these concerns and to electing the Democratic candidate for president. The Obama campaign itself deployed an unprecedented amount of resources and manpower into the Jewish community to maintain this traditional support.

Despite this tsunami of Democratic resources, Obama was unable to exceed Bill Clinton or Al Gore, and only slightly improved on John Kerry’s support in the Jewish community. Unlike many other constituencies that had huge increases in support for Obama, Jewish support for him showed only slight gains and lagged far behind other key demographics.

When the RJC brought up legitimate policy differences, some Democratic surrogates reflexively called our questions “smear and fear” tactics and refused to discuss the important issues. Some discourse was marred by episodes of vicious attacks against our organization—at times even becoming personal. One Democratic surrogate, and former Clinton administration official, likened the RJC to Yasser Arafat. Clearly this goes beyond any acceptable level of discourse.

Unfortunately, the trend of Democrats punishing those who disagree with their policies seems to be continuing past Election Day. Only two days after President-elect Obama’s victory, there are reports that Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), the Senate majority leader, is contemplating threats, rebukes and penalties against Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) over Lieberman’s decision to back McCain’s presidential campaign. Throughout the campaign, Obama promised a post-partisan era of cooperation. If he is truly sincere about that commitment, seeking retribution against Lieberman is not the right way to start his administration.

The kind of behavior Reid is exhibiting is an all-too-familiar hallmark of the Obama campaign and other Jewish Democratic entities. Particularly regarding the actions of Jewish Democrats who engaged in these blackball, retributive tactics, it is unfortunate that they do not revere, as we do, the Jewish intellectual tradition of debate.

(Matt Brooks is the executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition, a grass-roots political organization based in Washington, D.C.)

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

The owner meant to add - Men who wear women's underwear - sexual deviants - adulterers - perjurers - frauds - criminals - are not welcome!

Shalom Tendler said...

How unAmerican of you!

Haven't you ever heard of innocent until proven guilty?!

Much lower support for Israel among Democrats said...


November 16, 2008

JERUSALEM (JTA)—The United States must work hard to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and stand with Israel, a poll of American voters found.

Some 72 percent of those who voted Nov. 4 agreed that "even with all the problems that America faces at home now, we must still work hard to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons," according to the Election Day survey of 800 commissioned by The Israel Project.

In addition, 66 percent said America should be a supporter of Israel, with just 6 percent saying America should be a supporter of the Palestinians. Some 80 percent of those who called themselves Republicans and 59 percent of Democrats said America should support Israel.

Asked about the top two foreign policy priorities of the next president, "ending the war in Iraq" garnered 56 percent; "restoring global economic growth" garnered 41 percent; and "defeating al-Qaida and the Taliban" received 35 percent. Lower priorities included "making peace between Israel and the Palestinians" at 19 percent, "dealing with the instability in Pakistan" at 15 percent and "meeting the threat of Putin’s Russia with 8 percent.

"Even though Americans endured a long and difficult election, at the end of the day there is very strong support for Israel and significant concern about Iran as a threat not just to Israel but to the U.S.," said Neil Newhouse of Public Opinion Strategies, which conducted the poll in conjunction with Greenberg Quinlan Rosner.

boog said...

Pressure on Joe Lieberman by Reid has subsided at this time awaiting the outcome of the Minnesota Senate election. If Al (Blowhard) Franken and minions succeed in acorning the results, Joe is safe. If Coleman wins, the Dems return to put the clamps on Yossi's balls.

Hey Joe, McConnell is waiting for you. Come Home where you belong and fight the good fight.

Mordy and Aron Tendler said...

UOJ what about sniffers?

UOJ gets results said...

Nov. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Goldman Sachs Group Inc., the firm that set a record for Wall Street pay last year, became the first U.S. bank to scrap 2008 bonuses for senior officers in the face of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein, 54, and six deputies told the New York-based bank's compensation committee yesterday that they would forgo the year-end awards, according to Goldman spokesman Lucas van Praag. Each of the executives receives a salary of $600,000; Blankfein's bonus last year was almost $70 million.

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who demanded pay information last month from banks that received bailout funds, lauded Goldman for taking a ``step in the right direction.''

Pssst, Yo Queiro Taco Bell said...

Irvine-based Taco Bell Corp. is set to see an undisclosed number of layoffs as its parent company cuts hundreds of jobs. Louisville, Ky.-based Yum Brands Inc. said Wednesday it is cutting “several hundred” jobs at Taco Bell and its Pizza Hut subsidiary. Cuts are coming at Yum’s Kentucky headquarters, at Pizza Hut’s base in Dallas and in Irvine at Taco Bell, the company said. It wasn’t disclosed how many jobs would be cut at Taco Bell

shabbes goy in brooklyn said...

Economy Cutbacks

A husband and wife are shopping in Costco when the man
picks up a case of Budweiser Beer and sticks it into the shopping cart.

'What do you think you're doing?'
asks the wife 'They're on saletoday, only $10.00
for 24 cans', he says. 'Put them back. We can't afford it,' says the wife and they
continue on shopping....

A few aisles later the woman picks up a $20.00 jar of face cream and sticks it into the shopping cart.'What do you think you're doing?' asks the
man. 'It's my face cream. It makes me look beautiful,' she says.
The man replies... 'SO DOES

Services are at 2pm at St Gregorys Catholic Church.
It will be a CLOSED casket.

Agudah Fresser said...


According to this profile, Shmuel Bloom is already out but Leibish Becker got a higher position that Zweibel.

Agudah Transvestyte said...

"Men who wear women's underwear ... are not welcome!"

No exceptions for Agudah amicus brief underwear?

Shea Fishman said...


Shlomo Gottesman was apparently only a temporary flunky, I mean replacement, when UOJ forced me to resign in a hurry.

The new head of Torah Umesorah is Rabbi Dovid Nojovitz, who was rosh kollel in Melbourne, Australia for 25 years.

UOJ Housecleaning Service said...


Of the more than 40 Republican House Members who are either retiring or were defeated this cycle, at least seven potential top recruits will leave Congress with significant ethical or personal baggage: Reps. Tom Feeney (Fla.), Randy Kuhl (N.Y.), Heather Wilson (N.M.), John Doolittle (Calif.), Vito Fossella (N.Y.), Rick Renzi (Ariz.) and Jerry Weller (Ill.).

Feeney, whose 2003 trip to Scotland with jailed lobbyist Jack Abramoff contributed to his defeat at the polls, sits on the Financial Services panel, while Kuhl, who allegedly pulled two shotguns on his wife more than a decade ago, sits on the Agriculture panel.

Wilson, who sits on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, acknowledged asking a U.S. attorney to follow up on politically charged voter fraud cases two years ago. Meanwhile, Doolittle, whose Virginia house was raided by the FBI last year, sat on the House Appropriations panel until he was stripped of his committee assignments.

Fossella, who sits on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, awaits sentencing on drunken-driving charges, an arrest that also first exposed the married Member’s long-term affair and love child.

On Friday, the Justice Department lodged new charges against Renzi, who once sat on the House Financial Services Committee, for racketeering and tax fraud. Earlier this year, he was indicted on 35 additional corruption charges. And Weller, who announced his retirement in late 2007 after a local newspaper explored his questionable Central American land deals, sits on the Ways and Means panel.

Moetzes resign! said...

November 13, 2008, 2:31 p.m.
By John Stanton

Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) is reportedly calling his Republican colleagues in the hope of shoring up support before an expected vote Tuesday on whether to expel him from the Conference because of his seven felony convictions.
Although it was unclear how many lawmakers Stevens has reached out to, GOP aides said he has been making calls urging his colleagues to withhold judgement until the appeals process is exhausted. Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) has proposed expelling him from the Conference and stripping him of his committee assignments, and a vote on that proposal could occur Tuesday.

Big Mamma's House said...


Billionaire investor Mark Cuban the owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team, the HDNet television channels and various other assets, has been charged by the SEC with insider trading in shares of Mamma.com, a company now called Copernic (CNIC), according to the Wall Street Journal. Cuban built his fortune largely through the same of Broadcast.com to Yahoo for $4.6 billion in 1999.

An excerpt from the WSJ story:

The SEC alleges in a civil action that Mr. Cuban sold his entire 6% ownership stake on June 28, 2004, after learning that Mamma.com was raising money through a private investment in a public entity, or PIPE. The next day, on June 29, the company announced the PIPE financing and shares of the company dropped by more than 10%. By selling his stake, the SEC alleges, Mr. Cuban avoided more than $750,000 in losses.

This would not seem to help Cuban’s bid to acquire the Chicago Cubs.

Arthur sang "Sweet Home Alabama" under the chuppa said...


Families joined in wedding rarely seen in Birmingham

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Greg Garrison
Staff Report
What may have been the first-ever Hasidic Jewish wedding in Birmingham was held Tuesday at the Wynfrey Hotel for Chanie Posner of Mountain Brook and Laibel Berkowitz of Southfield, Mich.

“It is rare,” said Rabbi Yossi Posner of the Chabad House on Overton Road, the father of the bride.

Food Fight! said...


MK Ya'acov Litzman, a representativeof the Ger Hassidim in the United Torah Judaism party was attacked Saturday evening by orthodox Jews belonging to the Slonim sect. Allegedly, a group of Slonim hassidic Jews threw food at Litzman, pushed him and tauntingly threw his hat over his head.

The attack apparently comes on the heels of the Ger sect's rejection of Meir Porush's mayoral candidacy. Porush lost the rest to investor Nir Barkat, who was elected Jerusalem mayor on Tuesday.

The Slonim spiritual leader told his disciples that he will not see any of them privately before they apologize to Litzman.

Litzman expressed sorrow for the fact that "a wild bunch from a hassidic sect to which I have helped in the past and will continue to help, have behaved inappropriately." Litzman nevertheless praised the Slonim Rabbi. The MK is expected to give police the names of the men who attacked him on Sunday.

Shik Yingel Watch said...

Joe Biden has appointed Ronald Klain as his Chief of Staff.

Arthur said...

Subject: Passing of a good friend

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Mr. Common Sense. Mr. Sense had been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.

He will be remembered as having cultivated such value lessons as knowing when to come in out of the rain; why the early bird gets the worm; and that life isn't always fair.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you earn) and reliable parenting strategies (adults, not kids, are in charge).

His health began to rapidly deteriorate when well intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. - Reports of a six-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Mr. Sense declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer aspirin to a student; but, could not inform the parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Finally, Common Sense lost the will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband; churches became businesses; criminals received better treatment than their victims.

Common Sense finally gave up the ghost after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot, she spilled a bit in her lap, and was awarded a huge financial settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust, his wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; and his son, Reason. He is survived by two stepbrothers; My Rights and Ima Whiner.

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone. If you still remember him, pass this on; if not, join the majority and do nothing.

Kugel Varfer said...


Liztman was kicked, pushed, cursed and pelted with kugel pies. The attackers targeted the MK over the reported endorsement of Porush's rival – the secular mayor-elect, Nir Barkat - by the Ger Hasidim, to which Litzman belongs.

The MK was forced to leave the scene but did require medical attention.

The assault on Litzman appears to signal a further escalation in the tensions between groups in the ultra-Orthodox community following Porush's defeat.

The schism was deepened after an audio recording of a telephone conversation between a Ger yeshiva student and (Mondrowitz supporter) Rabbi Meir Zilberstein – the sect's prominent leader in Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh – surfaced prior to the elections.

In the recording, which was posted to a website frequented by the community, Rabbi Zilberstein is heard telling the young man there was no need to vote for Porush, and that he could cast his ballot for Barkat.

The Porush campaign accused the Ger Hasidim of costing him the elections. Unofficial estimates within the ultra-Orthodox community indicate that some 5,000 ultra-Orthodox residents voted for Barkat while an additional 4,000 opted for an empty ballot.

Gerrorist said...


Composed of several groups, the hassidic half of the UTJ includes the "Central" faction of Gur Hassidim controlled by Litzman, the "United" faction of the Vishnitz Hassidim and the "Keepers of the Faith" faction of the small hassidic courts led by Porush along with his partner, Jerusalem's Deputy Mayor Yehoshua Pollack.

Pollack, who heads the city's Planning and Construction Committee, refused to authorize plans Litzman presented on behalf of Gur to build on a 700-square-meter lot in the capital's Romema neighborhood earlier this year.

Already at odds with Porush, Litzman and the Gur took the refusal as a declaration of war, and from that point on began actively undermining Porush's campaign for mayor.

This approach took various forms over the course of intense campaigning by both candidates.

There were reported cases of Gur Hassidim calling voters at 4 a.m. and pretending to be Porush canvassers, asking the rudely awakened residents to kindly vote for Porush, hoping to sway grumpy, half-awake voters into changing their minds.

Other accounts had Gur Hassidim actively campaigning on behalf of Barkat, the secular victor in last week's municipal elections - walking through Jerusalem's secular and modern Orthodox neighborhoods, and warning about the strict religious policies Porush would impose if he were to be elected.

That won the Gur little support among the vast majority of the capital's haredi population, giving rise to accusations that the Gur were in cahoots with a Shabbat desecrater.

Porush supporters also responded, most notably when rocks and other debris were thrown at Litzman as he visited the haredi town of Elad on election day.

Porush supporters also led public denunciations of the Gur and Litzman on haredi blogs and on-line chat forums, in which Litzman was labeled a "traitor" and taunted for "hiding away in his house."

Now, in the aftermath of Barkat's election, the initial shock and disillusionment felt in the capital's haredi neighborhoods has been redirected as anger at the Gur.

Adding fuel to the fire, Barkat is rumored to have met with Litzman over a possible handover of the municipality's planning and construction portfolio to Gur representatives from UTJ.

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

Talking about common sense:

If the Agudah had an ounce of sechel and menchlichkeit - just a wee-bit, they would show rachmonus and solidarity with the tens of thousands of Jews and non-Jews who are suffering from the deepening financial crisis - here, in Eretz Yisroel, and around the globe ----


What a public relations coup as well! Not them - Behaimas fressing behaimas!

shalom tendler said...

Repairs to 'Big Bang' machine will cost at least $21 million - AP

It's all UOJ's fault.

boog said...

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

Talking about common sense:

If the Agudah had an ounce of sechel and menchlichkeit - just a wee-bit, they would show rachmonus and solidarity with the tens of thousands of Jews and non-Jews who are suffering from the deepening financial crisis - here, in Eretz Yisroel, and around the globe ----


What a public relations coup as well! Not them - Behaimas fressing behaimas!

Not only will they not cancel it but take a look at one of the scheduled panel discussions:

Sol Werdyger is moderating a panel
discussion on the effect of the current economic crisis on Jewish families.

Just the right guy to "feel your pain".

How disconnected from reality can you get?

Me: I'm gonna spend that weekend watching Jerry Springer re-runs.

J-E-R-R-Y, J-E-R-R-Y, J-E-R-R-E-Y!

Maseches Shabbos said...

The Gemara of "kol hamenavel es peev" does not mean the nivul peh of silly profanities. It goes on alluding to maaseh biah.

It's one thing if you want to mock Shalom Tendler but I suggest you not use those kind of references if you want to avoid all the klalos uttered by Chazal in the warning of nivul peh.

Anonymous said...

This blogspot reads like The National Enquirer. I can't stand it!It is Loshon Horah personified

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


To all Skeptics - here's one more proof that God exists!

Only He can assemble such a group of patheic brainless idiots under one roof at 42 Broadway! This can not be a coincidence or an accident!

Rubashkin Turkey Fresser, Shea Hecht said...


The Agudah fressers don't have to worry about Rubashkin production problemmen affecting the Thanksgiving weekend Fresser Convention. Agri-pro-fressers still managed to pump out plenty of those rotting nevaylos before closing on erev Shabbos.

Look at the pictures here of the 1000s of Rubashkin turkeys I distributed to the tunkelach.

5 Towns Putz Leon Schwarzbaum said...



A late endorsement

To the Editor:

I don’t know if I have been placed under a cheirem or nidui, but I have riled up a well-attended Jewish news group on the Internet, including the moderators. I expressed my resentment at the Israelis who participate in the
discussions, who advise Americans
on how to vote and what to vote for. I pointed out the transgressions of the Prime Ministers and the corruption in the Knesset as apt subjects for their scrutiny, rather than how I vote.

“Discussions” in private e-mail
messages have revealed the hidden
agenda of these otherwise rational Jews, and many of the Jews in the U.S. Like the pope, their driving obsession is abortion. Is this why my neighbors wanted an old, physically ailing man to be elected president of the U.S.? Along with his Pentecostal bimbo running mate? Is this why The Jewish Star endorsed the Republican ticket? A man whose
campaign hit new lows in unfair
innuendo and character assassination and a woman whose husband believes Alaska should
secede from the U.S. and who
believes G-d wants “the Jews” to
accept Jesus as our Savior? All of these are acceptable as long as the Republican platform contains an anti-abortion plank.

Now, look at the first two appointees Barack Obama has announced. They are both Jews. One of them is the son of an Irgun fighter in Israel’s war for
independence. While I can understand the preference of many
Jews for a ban on abortion, I think the survival of Israel and the U.S. depends on more than that
one issue.

Maybe after the hotheads in Israel calm down and accept my
well-meaning but harsh criticism,
and maybe after my neighbors here see what the Republican administration will be doing to in
the days they are still in power,
some will realize that blind acceptance of Republican candidates is not the best way to go.

North Woodmere

Scott Tulman said...

Shea Hecht is right!

Agriprocessors was fine when the plant closed down before Shabbos.

Bikur Cholim said...


The Rabbi opened a letter one day
signed by 24 “grandchildren” of Rose Kramer (name changed for this article). The letter thanked the Rabbi for allowing these 24 grandchildren to enjoy “Grandma
Rose” for 15 years, 15 years that
should not have been.

Rose Kramer was 73 years old when
she took ill and was hospitalized. She lived in a small Midwestern city where access to orthodox Jewish rabbinic personalities was scarce. Torah scholarship was absent except for a few Sages that
would pass through town on various missions.

No one in Rose’s family was orthodox and religious questions regarding her hospital care were never an issue. Her condition deteriorated after a few weeks in the hospital, to the point where machines were doing the bulk of
the work in maintaining her life. The doctors were prepared to terminate life support machinery as no improvement in her condition had occurred or was ever expected to occur.

The family, for reasons unclear even to them, consulted a local Reform Rabbi (the one Conservative Rabbi was away and there was no Orthodox Rabbi) who acquiesced to the doctor’s point of view and who informed the family that there would be nothing improper from a Jewish law point of view, in “pulling the plug.” The orders were added to the chart, but the family requested that the actual termination be delayed until the next day, Rose’s birthday.

The next morning, the family gathered around Rose’s bedside preparing to say their final good-bye on her 75th birthday.

Rabbi Yaakov Cohen, (name changed) a highly respected Torah Sage in his community was unheard of in Rose Kramer’s community. Nevertheless, he found himself stranded out of town, in Rose Kramer’s town, on the very day life
support was to be terminated. With hours at his disposal and nothing
to do, he decided to place a phone
call to the local hospital and see if there were any Jewish patients he could visit. Two such Jewish patients existed. One of them was Rose Kramer. He presented himself at her room just as the family was
saying their final good-byes. He inquired about the circumstances and was told how the local Reform Rabbi had said it was permissible to end life support. He knew that he would never be able to convince
the family to abandon that ruling.
He knew the family would not accept the opposite ruling of an Orthodox Rabbi they never met. He suggested the following: “Let your mother and grandmother live out her complete birthday. Wait until nightfall when this day will end and a new day will begin. There is something holy and special about living a complete amount of years.”

And so the family conveyed that
message to the doctors and the hospital. That for religious reasons, Rose Kramer’s life should be extended until nightfall, just another three hours away. Two hours later, for reasons unexplained medically, Rose Kramer awoke from her coma. And her 24 grandchildren enjoyed fifteen more years with her. Eleven of those 24 grandchildren were not even born yet on the day Rose was “scheduled” to leave this world.

The letter thanking Rabbi Cohen
came as quite a surprise to him. For he never knew until the letter came, how the story ended, the story that began on his chance visit to Rose Kramer’s hospital

David Seidemann is a partner with the law firm of Seidemann & Mermelstein. He can be reached at (718) 692-1013 and at ds@lawofficesm.com.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:39
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Arthur said...

To Arthur sang "Sweet Home Alabama" under the chuppa.
I may be getting oiver botul because of my old age but what's your excuse?
I fail to see the point of your post and my relevancy to it.

Archie On Shmarya said...

Perhaps most people within a 2 hours drive of NYC that I speak to have an idea who Shmarya is, among modern orthodox & yeshiva circles. Most of them are too disgusted with his non-stop anti-orthodox venom to read his screeds, let alone participate in any effort that he is leading. Many of these people will try to discourage anyone from giving Shmarya any credence by so much as reading what he writes.

This is not the head-in-the-sand crowd as they respect figures like UOJ to try to stop corruption within orthodoxy but not orthodoxy itself.

I didn't want to raise out loud the point that Sam did, but I and others could see Shmarya rationalizing that he is entitled to a cut of the proceeds to cover his time and expenses. That is actually legal even if you keep up to 90% or 95% of what you bring in. I don't know Shmarya well enough to what he would do but he hasn't exactly garnered a lot of trust among religious Jews.

Lynyrd Skynyrd said...


Rubashkin truck big wheels keep on turning
Carry me home to see my kin
Singing songs about the southland
I miss Alabamy once again
And I think its a sin, yes

Well I heard Avrom Fried sing about it
Well, I heard him be menagen niggunim
Well, I hope Matisyahu will remember
A southern man dont need him around anyhow

Sweet home Alabama
Where the skies are so blue
Sweet home Alabama
Lord Rebbe, Im coming home to you

In Birmingham they love Aaron's Best pastrami
Now we all did what we could do
Now Postville-gate does not bother me
Does your conscience bother you?
Tell the truth

Sweet home Alabama
Where the skies are so blue
Sweet home Alabama
Lord Rebbe, Im coming home to you
Here I come Alabama

Now Rubashkin has got the chickens
And theyve been known to pick up a disease or two
Lord Rebbe they get me off so much
They zetz me and make me feel & look blue
Now how about you?

Sweet home Alabama
Where the skies are so blue
Sweet home Alabama
Lord Rebbe, Im coming home to you

Sweet home Alabama
Oh sweet home baby
Where the skies are so blue
Sweet home Alabama
Lordy Lord Rebbe, Im coming home to you
Yea, yea Arthur's got the answer

Anonymous said...

Insurance companies Lincoln National and The Hartford have applied today to become holding banks.

The Hartford was already bailed out by Allianz but it wasn't enough to keep them from going under.

Philosophical Putz Menachem Genack promotes Obama said...


By Menachem Genack · November 16, 2008

ENGLEWOOD, N.J. (JTA)—The Greek philosopher Heraclitus believed that reality is ever in flux. "You cannot step into the same river twice" he taught, emphasizing that the only constant is change. In this political season, everyone wanted to be the candidate of change. But on election night, Heraclitus’ mantle clearly belonged to U.S. Sen. Barack Obama.

Likewise, the American poet Archibald MacLeish observed, "The American journey has not ended. America is never accomplished. America is always still to build." Nearly two centuries previously Edmund Burke wrote, "A state without the means of some change is without the means of its conservation."

Change was the mantra of this election, and change is what brought Obama to the White House. America’s capacity for change is different from the kind that exists in other countries, where change connotes a complete rupture from the past. Change in America is a continuing American revolution, rooted in the principles of the founders, a search for a more perfect union.

Those two ideas—the need for change, but a search for something better rather than complete revolution—found expression in Obama’s elegant words on election night in which he reminded us that the dream of the founders is very much alive in our time.

Sen. John McCain’s extremely gracious concession speech, reflecting his decency and patriotism, also represented change without rupture. Both candidates made it clear that it was a day of celebration because on this day, America redeemed itself from its tortured history of racism.

This election has special meaning for me because my cousin, Julius Genachowski, is an old friend and longtime adviser of Obama. Julius was very active in the successful campaign and now is a member of the transition team. He and Obama attended Harvard Law School together in the early 1990s and both served on Law Review. They attended each other’s weddings—Obama participated in the Jewish dances at Julius’ wedding—and have remained close to this day.

Julius attended yeshiva through high school and studied in yeshiva in Israel before going to Columbia and then Harvard, where he met Obama. Julius later clerked for Supreme Court Justice David Souter. Obama and Julius bonded in part because both were outsiders—one a former yeshiva boy and son of immigrants, the other an African American with international roots.

Julius tells me that Obama has always been able to relate to the Jewish experience because of his own background, as well as the African-American experience of slavery and discrimination. Julius knows that part of Obama’s agenda is to heal the breach between Jews and blacks and to restore the close ties that existed during the civil rights movement.

Obama affirmed those ties at the AIPAC Policy Conference in June.

"In the great social movements in our country’s history, Jewish and African Americans have stood shoulder to shoulder," he said. "They took buses down south together. They marched together. They bled together. And Jewish Americans like Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner were willing to die alongside a black man—James Chaney—on behalf of freedom and equality. Their legacy is our inheritance."

Julius also surely enjoyed these words from Obama at the conference: "I have been proud to be part of a strong, bipartisan consensus that has stood by Israel in the face of all threats. That is a commitment that both John McCain and I share because support for Israel in this country goes beyond party."

Obama later said, "Those who threaten Israel threaten us," and "I will bring to the White House an unshakeable commitment to Israel’s security."

Over the last eight years the American brand has been eroded and its prestige in the world diminished as we have become a go-alone nation, now with an economy in crisis. If America is weakened, Israel is weakened. When people asked me who to vote for, I would respond, "Vote for the person who you think is best for America. He is the person who is best for Israel."

What we need is a president who is more cerebral and less intuitive; who responds with his head and not his gut; who is more empirical and less ideological. Obama has demonstrated these qualities again and again.

To those who say—and did so vociferously during the campaign—that Obama is too young and inexperienced to accomplish these goals, that he makes great speeches but that words are not enough, I would counter not to hold Obama’s age and oratory against him.

Only four presidents in their 40s have been elected: Teddy Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Bill Clinton and now Obama. They all brought their intellect and vigor to the art of governance and went on to be extremely successful presidencies.

They also were were gifted speakers. Abraham Lincoln proved that words can save a nation during wartime; Franklin Roosevelt re-taught that lesson during a subsequent time of crisis. Don’t underestimate the power of words in the hands of a talented leader. Words can inspire, set forth a vision and lead the nation to fulfill its potential.

Obama’s life story positions him perfectly to restore America’s place in the world and reaffirm old alliances. The multiracial blood that courses in his veins; his experiences as the child of a single mother and as a child who saw his father just once in his life; and his moving around the country and to Indonesia enable him to relate to a world no longer dominated by Pax Americana. These experiences are certain to help him rebuild America’s standing in the community of nations—as noted, an important element in safeguarding Israel’s security and existence.

How Barack Obama manages change—in both domestic and foreign affairs—will be a major element of how well he succeeds as president. He is untested, for sure, and is young as presidents go. But Obama has the capacity to manage change in the interests of enhancing human freedom and opportunity; in restoring to America its genuine spirit; in making both the United States and Israel more secure in a dangerous world; and in rebuilding the ties that once joined Jews and African Americans in the struggle against inequality.

So we wake up to a new America, the America of Archibald MacLeish, an America that "is always still to build." Barack Obama has the capacity to build something very good. Let us wish him well and pray for his success.

(Rabbi Menachem Genack, of Englewood, N.J., is the chief executive officer of the Orthodox Union Kosher Division.)

Genack's Ancient Greek Hero Heraclitus said...


Heraclitus had a poor opinion of human affairs. He believed that Hesiod and Pythagoras lacked understanding though learned and that Homer and Archilochus deserved to be beaten. Timon is said to have called him a "mob-reviler" who did his reviling, either really or figuratively, in a voice as shrill as a cuckoo.

Says Diogenes: "Finally, he became a hater of his kind (misanthrope) and wandered the mountains ... making his diet of grass and herbs."

Heraclitus' life as a highland herbivore was interrupted by a general edema and impairment of vision. The physicians he consulted were unable to prescribe a cure. He treated himself with a liniment of cow manure and baking in the sun, believing that this method would remove the fluid. After 24 hours of treatment he died and was interred in the marketplace.

Genack's favorite poet Archibald MacLeish said...


During World War II MacLeish also served as director of the War Department's Office of Facts and Figures and as the assistant director of the Office of War Information. These jobs were heavily involved with propaganda, which was well-suited to MacLeish's talents; he had written quite a bit of politically motivated work in the previous decade.

He spent a year as the Assistant Secretary of State for cultural affairs and a further year representing the U.S. at the creation of UNESCO. After this, he retired from public service and returned to academia.

Despite a long history of criticizing Marxism, MacLeish came under fire from conservative politicians of the 1940s and 1950s, including J. Edgar Hoover and Joseph McCarthy. Much of this was due to his involvement with anti-fascist organizations like the League of American Writers, and to his friendships with prominent left-wing writers.

Genack's favorite philosopher Edmund Burke said...

The Liberal historian Lord Acton considered Burke as one of the three greatest liberals

boog said...

At the rate of these bail(hand)outs, we will soon see a chain across America and the world.

Get your Printing Presses ready

Genack's cousin Julius Genachowski said...


Barack Obama will probably appoint him FCC Chairman.

He was Chief of business operations for the homosexual media mogul Barry Diller.

Genachowski previously clerked for Clinton's scumbag lawyer Abner Mikva, a Jimmy Carter style Liberal.

Barack Obama said...


Thank you to Menachem Genack's cousin for running my website during the campaign.

Fresser said...


Corn prices have fallen by more than half but the chazirs are still charging top dollar.

Quack Quack Menachem Genack said...

The ancient Greeks knew all about Louima before Boog and even before Louima knew about himself.

Go figure with Genack said...

If MacLeish was a top figure in the State Dept in those days, it's about 100% for sure that he was an anti-Semite.

Archie Bunker said...

The Des Moines Register reached Chaim Abrahams on his cellphone and learned that he is in Manhattan Federal bankruptcy court with Attorney Bernie.

Agri still does not have court permission to pay the workers which Rubashkin apparently just used and kept on the job until Shabbos without telling them they might never get paid.

Windmills coming to the roof of 555 Ocean Pkwy? said...


The New York Times is hyping a sensational announcement by Mayor Bloomberg to site windmills across New York city on buildings, bridges and other locations on land and sea, including Long Island Sound. Apparently Bloomberg's aides are asleep at the switch. It was just one year ago that the Long Island Power Authority cancelled ambitious plans to construct a 140 megawatt wind project 3 miles off the south shore of Long Island. The project's estimated costs had ballooned to more than $800 million including transmission lines, making it financially unfeasible, even with huge government subsidies.

Siting windmills offshore is deceptively attractive. An article last year in the German magazine Der Spiegel spoke directly to this point. Citing two of the leading wind turbine makers, German company Enercon and the Danish firm Vestas

"Many constructors of such offshore facilities in other countries have run into difficulties. Danish company and world market leader Vestas, for example, had to remove the turbines from an entire wind park along Denmark's western coast in 2004 because the turbines were not sufficiently resilient to withstand the local sea and weather conditions. Similar problems were encountered off the British coast in 2005.

"German wind turbine giant Enercon, for its part, considers the risks associated with offshore wind power generation too great, says Enercon spokesman Andreas Düser says. While the growth potential is tempting, he says, the company does not want to lose its good standing on the high seas."

It appears unless there are dramatic engineering improvements to the turbines, let alone the inherent unreliability of the wind, effectively excluding it as source for a base load source that wind power is not viable without the heavy government subsidies now extended by the Europeans and Americans.

With the buffoons at the NYT covering him, Mayor Bloomberg can get away with making these ridiculous public relations announcements that are completely divorced from reality.

Private Eye of Boog said...


November 17, 2008

The Soros Connection in the Minnesota Senate Race Vote Count

By Ed Lasky

R' Elya Spitzer said...

Eliot L. Spitzer (remember him?) returns with an op ed in the Washington Post titled
How to Ground The Street
The Former 'Enforcer' On the Best Way to Keep Financial Markets in Check.
Oh go ahead, make your own jokes; these troubled times deserve a bit of laughter. If you don't remember Spitzer the WaPo helpfully identifies him
Eliot L. Spitzer was governor of New York from 2007-08 and state attorney general from 1999-2006.
But the WaPo somehow forgot to mention that Spitzer was/is a Democrat. But you knew that because his party affiliation was not included. Nor did they mention that he had to resign in disgrace.

But you knew that too.

Les said...

I saw Chaim Abrahams at the plant in Postville at 9:30 AM this morning.

So personnaly I don't believe what he is telling the DMR. This comment of his would require a transporter.

I would like to know how the WARN law fits into all of this.


This law does not apply when unforeseeable business circumstances create the failure of the company. But when the owners are breaking every bussiness law on the books, that doesn't seem unforeseeable.

State of the Jews said...

Archie said...

“So in other words, Agri had no way of knowing if the court would let them pay the workers but kept the workers going until Friday anyway, just using them”

While I disagree with Archie’s analysis of SR’s motivation, his statement above is correct. This is a cynical malevolent use of loyal employees. Agri promised the rabbonim and other workers full and timely payment, when in fact they knew they didn’t have the funds to meet their obligations. Now they have the chutzpah to say to the court let us have our way or everything evil that befalls these employees and our creditors will be on your head and “its not our fault.”

Spinka Rebbe From Wisconsin said...

MAUSTON, Wis. – A woman accused of helping her religious leader hide a decaying corpse on her toilet so they could continue collecting her Social Security was convicted of a misdemeanor in a deal for her to testify against the leader, a prosecutor said Monday.

Tammy Lewis, 36, of Necedah, pleaded no contest to obstructing a police officer and fined $350 in a plea bargain that defers prosecution of more serious charges. Juneau County Circuit John Roemer ordered her to pay the fine within 60 days or serve a seven-day jail sentence.

Lewis and Alan Bushey, 58, were accused of hiding 90-year-old Magdeline Alvina Middlesworth's body on a toilet in Lewis' home after she died in March. Investigators said Middlesworth and Lewis were members of a religious sect Bushey led called the Order of the Divine Will.

Bushey told Lewis that God would revive Middlesworth, who friends and family said was from Washington state, investigators said.

Lewis in May initially told a sheriff's deputy that Middlesworth was on vacation.

The deputy later discovered the elderly woman's rotting body in Lewis' stench-filled home.

She also told authorities she was Middlesworth's power of attorney, and the older woman used all of her money to support their six-member religious group.

Investigators believe Middlesworth's Social Security and annuity checks totaling nearly $3,000 were deposited after her death into a bank account she shared with Lewis.

As part of Lewis' plea deal, five other charges, including three felony counts of hiding a corpse and causing mental harm to a child, will be dismissed in two years if she cooperates with prosecutors and follows other court orders involving her children, District Attorney Scott Southworth said.

"We view her as a victim as well of Alan Bushey," Southworth said. "We also understand the power, the mental power, that Alan Bushey was exercising over her, the coercion he was exerting over her."

A deferred prosecution agreement calls for Lewis to continue to receive mental health treatment and testify against Bushey in a trial set to begin in April, the prosecutor said.

She and her two children, now ages 12 and 15, will be witnesses in the trial, he said.

Lewis' son told detectives Bushey told him demons were destroying Middlesworth's appearance as she decayed in the bathroom to make it look like she wouldn't rise from the dead, the criminal complaint said.

The mother certainly engaged in odd activities, Southworth said Monday.

"I realize some people may say she just got off with a slap on the hand or whatever," he said. "There is a volume of information on the case, a lot of which I cannot divulge to the public. Based on everything we learned, I do believe this was a fair and just way of handling her matter."

Lewis' attorney, Dan Berkos, said his client turned to Bushey and the sect for support about three years ago after she separated from her husband. "She had no work skills. She didn't have a way to provide for her children."

Bushey provided security for her, the attorney said. "It appeared he was using money from other people to support everybody."

The attorney said he didn't know whether Lewis believed that praying would bring Middlesworth back to life. But Bushey had convinced her to follow whatever he said to do, Berkos said.

Lewis is "very relieved" her case has been resolved, he said. "She has made some really great progress emotionally and even physically. She is looking forward. She is no longer looking backward at how things should have been different. Everybody is geared toward reunifying her with the kids and getting the family back together."

That could happen within the next year, "assuming things go well," he said.

Southworth said no plea negotiations are taking place with Bushey.

Ronnie was at the chassuna said...

November 16, 2008

Committee Chairman seeking Detroit bailout married to GM exec

Ed Lasky

Congressman John Dingell has used his powerful position as chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee to protect the auto industry. He represents a district in Michigan, so this should come as no surprise. What does come as a surprise is that his wife is a high-powered executive at General Motors (now seeking a billion dollar bailout) and a descendant of the Fisher Brothers, one of the pioneering car families of Detroit whose corporation was absorbed by General Motors decades ago. The New York Time s mentions this in passing and focuses instead on the battle between Dingell and Waxman for chairmanship of the committee. Naturally...

This is no ordinary family drama. Representative John D. Dingell of Michigan, the at-times-irascible Democratic chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, is trying to stave off a challenge to his chairmanship from Representative Henry A. Waxman, the anything-but-mellow California Democrat. Mr. Dingell's wife, Deborah Insley Dingell, is a senior executive at General Motors and a member of the family who founded the company.

This is a major conflict of interest that should have been widely publicized years ago (and would have been had Dingell been a Republican).

It's Not Giuliani Time - It's Obama Time said...

November 16, 2008

Berkeley's Idea of Tolerance

Ethel C. Fenig

At the home of the politically correct, liberal University of California at Berkeley, Israel National News reports on how the school reacted when still yet another pro Israel event - this time a hip hop concert sponsored by the student Zionist Freedom Alliance,(ZFA) - was disrupted by Arabs and their supporters.

The latter group unfurled a large Arab flag and when asked to remove it, the outnumbered pro Israeli students were beaten, some severely. Several also alleged the pro Arab students shouted racist remarks.

The ZFA issued the following statement

We call on state officials, the President of the University of California, the Chancellor, the Dean of Students, faculty, and the student body to take a unified stand against the continued harassment of Jewish and pro-Israel students on this campus, particularly by members of Students for Justice in Palestine,” the anti-Israel group whose leaders began the incitement and attacked the concert goers.

But this is Berkeley.
Pro-Israel students at UC Berkeley have long complained of the anti-Israel and anti-Semitic harassment they have been subject to. Tikvah, a Jewish student group at the college, displayed on its web site numerous examples of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic graffiti, with anti-Israel elements defacing property with their screed. Jewish students complained that the only media coverage given to the event, in the Berkeley campus newspaper, was one sided. “Funny how the battery citation against Husam of SJP isn't even mentioned [in the article], and the comment which purports to be from an objective bystander is actually from one of the top people in Students for Justice in Palestine,” commented Ariel, one of the concert goers.

Yes, this is Berkeley, where the Free Speech Movement (for some) originated.

Meanwhile, the anti-Israel group is planning to file a petition to remove from office Moghtader, who tried to break up the fight.

Rubashkin employees? said...


The Houston Chronicle continues an investigative series today describing an immigration system so broken that Federal officials allowed thousands of illegal immigrants held in jail – including violent criminals -- to return to the streets.

"I never lied about who I am or where I'm from. I'm 100 percent Mexican," Miguel Mejia Rodriguez, 36, told the Chronicle in a jail house interview. In 2006, the unemployed drifter served a 25-day jail sentence for lewdly touching himself in public. However, immigration agents failed to detain him -- even though he'd identified himself as an illegal immigrant. Today, Rodriguez is accused of raping and sodomizing a second-grader. Earlier, he'd served earlier sentences for drug possession, theft, and trespassing.

Avraham Burg said...


Chasid said...


Since it is obvious you knew R' Shraga Feivel Mendelowitz, you must be quite an old man. Who will take you over when you go "after 120"?

Will it be your son or your eidim?

Will your children fight like cats and dogs over the yerusha? How will we know who to follow if we don't even know your name?

Perhaps a Tzevo'uh with specific instructions for the "Chasidim"!

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

Will your children fight like cats and dogs over the yerusha? How will we know who to follow if we don't even know your name?


They are fighting already and I'm still breathing!

Follow the money..........

Arthur said...

To Lynyrd Skynyrd
I'm really touched to be included in
your follow up to Beethoven's ninth.
I really don't know the couple that got married in Alabama but whoever they are I wish them hatzlocha begashmiyus ubruchniyus and may they give Yiddishe and Chassideshe nachas to their families and klal Yisroel and the ikkur to the the Ribbono Shel Olom.
Oh, but I forget their Lubavitcher and can only be allowed into "mainstream Judaism" by a Bais Din of three consisting of Steve, Shmarya the Failed Jew from Minneapolis and you, the successor to Beethoven.Or is it Bach?

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

R' Arthur,

For a guy that's not feeling that well, you're doing pretty good.

Vos zugt der rebbetzin?

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

Op-Ed Contributor
Our Home-Grown Melamine Problem

Published: November 17, 2008
Austin, Tex.

CHINA’S food supply appears to be awash in the industrial chemical melamine. Dangerous levels have been detected not only in milk and eggs, but also in chicken feed and wheat gluten, meaning that melamine is almost impossible to avoid in processed foods. Melamine in baby formula has killed at least four infants in China and sickened tens of thousands more.

In response, the United States has blasted lax Chinese regulations, while the Food and Drug Administration, in a rare move, announced last week that Chinese food products containing milk would be detained at the border until they were proved safe.

For all the outrage about Chinese melamine, what American consumers and government agencies have studiously failed to scrutinize is how much melamine has pervaded our own food system. In casting stones, we’ve forgotten that our own house has more than its share of exposed glass.

To be sure, in China some food manufacturers deliberately added melamine to products to increase profits. Makers of baby formula, for example, watered down their product, lowering the amount of protein and nutrients, then added melamine, which is cheap and fools tests measuring protein levels.

But melamine is also integral to the material life of any industrialized society. It’s a common ingredient in cleaning products, waterproof plywood, plastic compounds, cement, ink and fire-retardant paint. Chemical plants throughout the United States produce millions of pounds of melamine a year.

Given the pervasiveness of melamine, it’s always possible that trace elements will end up in food. The F.D.A. thus sets the legal limit for melamine in food at 2.5 parts per million. This amount is indeed minuscule, a couple of sand grains in an expanse of desert that pose no real threat to public health. Moreover, the 2.5 p.p.m. figure is calculated for a person weighing 132 pounds — a cautious benchmark given that the average adult weighs 150 to 180 pounds.

But these figures obscure more than they reveal. First, while adults eat about one-fortieth of their weight every day, toddlers consume closer to one-tenth. Although scientists haven’t measured the differential impact of melamine on infants versus adults, it’s likely that this intensified ratio would at least double (if not quadruple) the impact of legal levels of melamine on toddlers.

This doubled exposure might not land a child in the hospital, but it could certainly contribute to the long-term kidney and liver problems that we know are caused by chronic exposure to melamine.

On a more concrete note, melamine not only has widespread industrial applications, but is also used to buttress the foundation of American agriculture.

Fertilizer companies commonly add melamine to their products because it helps control the rate at which nitrogen seeps into soil, thereby allowing the farmer to get more nutrient bang for the fertilizer buck. But the government doesn’t regulate how much melamine is applied to the soil. This melamine accumulates as salt crystals in the ground, tainting the soil through which American food sucks up American nutrients.

A related area of agricultural concern is animal feed. Chinese eggs seized last month in Hong Kong, for instance, contained elevated levels of melamine because of the melamine-laden wheat gluten used in the feed for the chickens that produced the eggs.

To think American consumers are immune to this unscrupulous behavior is to ignore the Byzantine reality of the global gluten trade. Tracking the flow of wheat gluten around the world, much less evaluating its quality, is like trying to contain a drop of dye in a churning whirlpool.

More ominous, the United States imports most of its wheat gluten. Last year, for instance, the F.D.A. reported that millions of Americans had eaten chicken fattened on feed with melamine-tainted gluten imported from China. Around the same time, Tyson Foods slaughtered and processed hogs that had eaten melamine-contaminated feed. The government decided not to recall the meat.

Only a week earlier, however, the F.D.A. had announced that thousands of cats and dogs had died from melamine-laden pet food. This high-profile pet scandal did not prove to be a spur to reform so much as a red herring. Our attention was diverted to Fido and away from the animals we happen to kill and eat rather than spoil.

Frightening as this all sounds, the concerned consumer is not completely helpless. We can seek out organic foods, which are grown with fertilizer without melamine — unless that fertilizer was composted with manure from animals fed melamine-laden feed (always possible, as the Tyson example suggests).

We could further protect ourselves by choosing meat from grass-fed or truly free-range animals, assuming the grass was not fertilized with a conventional product (something that’s also very hard to know).

But as all the caveats above indicate, these precautions will only go so far. Melamine, after all, points to the much larger relationship between industrial waste and American food production. Regulations might be lax when it comes to animal feed and fertilizer in China, but take a closer look at similar regulations in the United States and it becomes clear that they’re vague enough to allow industries to “recycle” much of their waste into fertilizer and other products that form the basis of our domestic food supply.

As a result, toxic chemicals routinely enter our agricultural system through the back channels of this under-explored but insidious relationship.

So, sure, let’s keep the heat on China. And, yes, let’s take with a big dose of skepticism the Chinese government’s assurances that they’re improving the food supply.

At the same time, though, instead of delivering righteous condemnation, the United States should seize upon the melamine scandal as an opportunity to pass federal fertilizer standards backed by consistent testing for this compound, which could very well be hidden in plain sight.

James E. McWilliams, a history professor at Texas State University at San Marcos, is the author of “American Pests: The Losing War on Insects From Colonial Times to DDT.”

Arthur said...

To Reb UOJ
Vos vinsiker ze vaist is altz besser.The truth of the matter is I'm home with bronchitis.Thanks for asking.

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

R' Arthur,

Du bist takeh a zayre kluger Yid! A refuah shleima - der rebbetzin iz zayre a gliklicher frau tzu hubben a za man! Ich vel kain mul nit der sod iberzogen - der gantze velt vaist - uber nisht fun meer.

Anonymous said...

UOJ happens to be the grandson of reb shraga mendelowits

Arthur said...

Reb UOJ,
Der gantze velt vaist? Oy vey.Ich muz zach bahalten unter dem tish.

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

R' Arthur,

Zurg zach nit mine tiere Yid - Oib ze vet oisgefunen der meesa sod - du darfs nur zugen du bist mine a chaver - ze vet aintlofen azoi vite - der polizei vellen nit kennen ze gefunen!

Arthur said...


steve said...



Halachic Responsa of Rav Yisroel Belsky Released

A new English sefer, Shulchan Halevi, featuring halachic response from the desk of Harav Yisroel Belsky, world renowned posek and rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Torah Vodaas, has been released. This new volume is a first in Torah literature, providing the public with shailos uteshuvos of one of the leading poskei hador, in English.
This practical and useful sefer includes discussions on a wide range of issues, from negel vasser next to the bed to eruvin in big cities, from mezonos rolls to professional kashrus issues and gentile labor in kosher meat processing, from watering lawns to the shaitel controversy, and much more. The volume is distributed by Israel Book Shop.

Aron Twerski said...

Why didn't Margulies tell me that he is in a sense from Marmarosh?

In any case, I strongly disagree with UOJ's opinion that it is the armpit of der alter heim where the stupidest morons come from.


Travel to Maramures. Romania.

Oas, Lapus, Satmar , Baia Mare, Sighet, are all parts or cities of Maramures, as this is one of the largest regions in the country.

LVF said...

Steve, I just swished some leftover chicken soup from shabbos, and decided its not good, so I spit it out, can you look up belchkys new sefer and give me a tshuva if im milchig, fleishig or pareve, let me know asap, I have to know if I can have my coffee with a cigarette.

Anonymous said...

Is Israel Book Shop still owned by Levine from Boston?

His brother is that yeshiva principal best known for throwing boys down stairs in fits of rage.

Israel Belsky said...


Extra discount for UOJ readers.

Shulchan Halevi is dedicated with funding from an attorney from Back Lawrence named Kriger.

Rubashkin Fresser said...

Effective November 11 2008, Subway Restaurant, located at 28 Water Street, New York, NY, will no longer be certified OU Kosher.

Flatbush Fresser said...

Effective immediately the Vaad of Flatbush has removed its hashgacha at Shwarmah Express, 1012 East 15th Street Brooklyn, NY. Any use of the Vaad's name or symbol by this establishment is unauthorized.

Rubashkin Forgeries said...


The following kashrus alert is from the K'hal Adath Jeshurun on October 24, 2008.

The following statement is from KAJ: "We remind the public that K’hal Adath Jeshurun (“KAJ”) terminated its supervision of Agriprocessors (Rubashkin, Aaron’s Best) effective April 16, 2008. Only those products produced prior to April 16, 2008 are under the supervision of our Rabbinate. Recently, certain Agriprocessors products have appeared bearing our label. We have no knowledge as to whether those products were produced before or after April 16, 2008."

Tendlers prison said...


Dr. Bungalow Putz Neuhoff said...

The discount code for buying Maran Horav Belsky's sefer online is "hazmona".

Williamsburg said...


Interesting that gantz Satmar voted for McCain in the end even though they usually go for Democrats who give them more welfare money.

More than 50% of prescription drugs in Israel are Counterfeit said...


Nov. 16, 2008
Judy Siegel-Itzkovich , THE JERUSALEM POST

Purchasing prescription medications via the Internet, newspaper advertisements or from any source other than licensed pharmacies is dangerous, according to the Health Ministry, which together with the Israel Police has seized thousands of pills suspected of being counterfeit.

The effort by the police and the ministry's unit against pharmaceutical crime was part of an international law-enforcement campaign now being carried out in coordination with the World Health Organization (WHO) aimed at combating the smuggling of counterfeit medications and those not approved for marketing as well as protecting public health.

November 12 was set by the WHO as the date for a simultaneous effort to catch such criminals.

Inspectors went to the Tel Aviv package warehouse of the Israel Postal Company and other facilities last week, seizing drugs prohibited in Israel and others suspected of being counterfeit that had been shipped from India and China.

Among the drugs suspected of being fake were erectile dysfunction (impotence), anti-narcolepsy, contraceptive, antibiotic and psychotropic drugs. Some 3,000 pills were seized in Tel Aviv, with a similar number being confiscated in Haifa and Jerusalem that have not yet been examined. Three men suspected of belonging to a counterfeit drug gang were arrested by the police unit that protects intellectual property, headed by Rav-Pakad Yossi Ofir.

According to the ministry, more than half of prescription medications advertised in Israel's print media are counterfeit. The Dutch health authorities said that counterfeit drugs they have intercepted have either lower amounts of active ingredients, none at all - or completely different (and potentially dangerous) drugs such as antibiotics, antidepressants and psychedelic drugs.

Health authorities in Singapore recently reported one death and 89 cases of hospitalization of people who took fake Cialis (an erectile dysfunction drug) or "natural food supplements" with dangerous levels of anti-diabetes chemicals.

Drugs not sold in pharmacies, the ministry said, were likely to have been manufactured under poor sanitary conditions, made out of unsuitable raw materials and stored and shipped at the wrong temperatures - all without supervision.

There are some pharmacies authorized by the ministry to market prescription drugs via the Internet, but most Web site and e-mailed ads are placed by unauthorized sources, the ministry continued. If there is no official pharmacy logo on a Web site or on documents, and if the site does not demand a doctor's prescription for the drugs, the likelihood that the service is illegal is high.

Consumers should be suspicious when they are offered drugs via "junk mail" that they did not request; sites that don't list the full address of the pharmacy (but only an e-mail address or phone number) and don't insist on an doctor's official prescription. Often, the e-mail comes from Africa or Asia, and the drug names are generic and different than those known in the Western world, without the name and location of the manufacturer being given.

Complaints from consumers about drugs suspected of being counterfeit can be sent to UOJ or the the Health Ministry's Unit for the Fight against Pharmaceutical Crime, Tel (02) 6551772, fax (02) 6551776 and e-mail modin@eliav.health.gov.il.

Anonymous said...

>Lewis and Alan Bushey, 58, were accused of hiding 90-year-old Magdeline Alvina Middlesworth's body on a toilet in Lewis' home after she died in March.<

Probably was a darned sight prettier than Margo's ugly mug.

Arthur said...

Gulling Americans into making terror legit?
By Diana West


| How dumb does President-elect Barack Obama think we are?

Let me rephrase the question: Are we as dumb as Obama thinks?

Before answering, let me lay out the background that prompts the question. Last spring, back when Hamas, the Muslim-Brotherhood-linked terror group dedicated to the annihilation of Israel through jihad, endorsed the Obama's candidacy, the young Democratic candidate was still assumed to falter when it came to support for Israel, the United States' greatest and most beleaguered ally in the Middle East. Obama may well have rejected Hamas's support, but those were still the days when the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and sidekick Lewis Farrakhan were making at least some news for both their anti-Semitic, anti-white views and their support for Obama. Those were also still the days before Hillary Clinton's ship of state completely foundered and sunk.

Obama did a few things to pivot off the Hamas endorsement and his alliance with the Farrakhan-connected Wright, whose church newsletter, don't forget, actually made room for terrorist propaganda by Hamas chieftain Mousa Abu Marzook. Obama spoke of his "unshakeable commitment" to Israel, and when John McCain noted that Obama was Hamas' choice for president, Obama called that fact a "smear" and said McCain had "lost his bearings." Obama also publicly criticized former President Jimmy Carter for meeting, also last spring, with leaders of Hamas, a rancid charade complete with hugs for living terrorists, and red roses for dead ones (at Arafat's grave). Obama declared, "I have a fundamental difference with President Carter and disagree with his decision to meet with Hamas. We must not negotiate with a terrorist group intent on Israel's destruction. We should only sit down with Hamas if they renounce terrorism, recognize Israel's right to exist and abide by past agreements."

Well, Hamas hasn't renounced terrorism, recognized Israel's right to exist or abided by past agreements — the three conditions for parleying with Hamas as enumerated by the "international community." This week, however, top Hamas adviser Ahmed Yousef — the same Hamas official who endorsed Obama last spring — revealed to an Arabic newspaper that during the presidential campaign, aides to Obama were already, as Obama might say, "sitting down" with members of the terrorist organization.

"We were in contact with a number of Obama's aides through the Internet, and later met with some of them in Gaza, but they advised us not to come out with any statements, as they may have a negative effect on his election campaign," Yousef told the London-based Al-Hayat. According to Yousef, Al-Hayat reported, Hamas's contact with Obama's advisers was "ongoing, adding that he was still on good terms with some of the aides he had befriended while residing in the U.S."

How interesting. "While residing in the U.S." — that is, before fleeing the country to avoid arrest on terror-related charges in 2005 — Yousef worked for the United Association for Studies and Research (UASR), a Muslim-Brotherhood-affiliated organization founded by Hamas chieftain Mousa Abu Marzook (the same Marzook whose propaganda appeared in Wright's church newsletter) that served as the political command of Hamas in the United States. Along with an interlocking network of Islamic organizations, the UASR has since been designated by the U.S. government as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terror-financing trial.

This raises a fascinating question. Which aides to the next president of the United States might Yousef have "befriended" while "residing in the U.S." — in other words, while Yousef was serving Hamas?

One possibility is Robert Malley, the pro-Hamas, Arafat-revering on-again/off-again Obama adviser who heads the Middle East program at the George Soros-funded International Crisis Group (ICG). Last spring, Malley "severed his ties to the Obama campaign," as The New York Times put it, after learning that "the Times of London was preparing to publish an article disclosing direct contacts he had with Hamas." At that time, Tommy Vietor, a spokesman for the Obama campaign, said: "He has no formal role in the campaign and will not play one in the future."

Really? Last month, Forbes.com reported on Malley's October meeting with Syrian strongman Bashar Al-Assad, noting that Syrian government-controlled media — which, in one case referred to Malley as "a senior adviser to Barack Obama" — reported that discussions included Malley's explanation of "the role ICG would have in briefing the new U.S. administration about Syria's important role in the region." ICG, not incidentally, is home to assorted luminaries of the notably anti-Israel persuasion, including Zbigniew Brzezinski, retired Gen. Wesley Clark (who called U.S. support for Israel's 2006 war against Hezbollah a "serious mistake"), and another on-off Obama adviser, Samantha Powers.

Naturally, there's more. This week, Middle East Newsline reported that President-elect Obama recently sent "senior foreign policy adviser" Malley to Egypt and Syria where he "relayed a pledge from Obama that the United States would seek to enhance relations with Cairo as well as reconcile with Damascus." According to an unnamed aide, "The tenor of the messages was that the Obama administration would take into greater account Egyptian and Syrian interests."

No denial so far from the Obama administration-in-waiting on this report, which is beginning to bounce around Israeli media. As for the Hamas story about secret contact with Obama aides, an Obama spokesman recently told The Jerusalem Post, "This assertion is just plain false."

Time will tell, of course. There is no doubletalk fancy enough to disguise a new era of accommodation of jihad terrorists bent on Israel's — and the West's — destruction, if that is the era we are heading into.

Or is there? This takes me back to my original question: Are we as dumb as Obama thinks we are?

I'm afraid — really afraid — we are.

cholent fresser said...

Truth be told, were it not for Lubavitch's infatuation with being recognized for their work I never would've heard of the "Forward 50." It's supposed to be a list of 50 of the most influential or news-making Rabbis, politicians, "activists" and what-nots of the year. The fact that Yudel Krinsky would usually make the list got some people very excited, so they would publish the fact every year. This year Rabbi Krinsky didn't make the list, Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky did, so the fact that a Lubavitcher made it was again trumpeted on all Chabad websites. Well, now, what they didn't tell you was who else made the list, and this year - if the regular Rubashkin-bashing in the guise of muckraking wasn't enough - it was anybody - and I mean ANYBODY - who said anything negative about Rubashkin and Agri. You could've been a 20 year old with jock-itch who had too much time on his hands who said something to say about the "terrible conditions" at Agri and you were on. Oh, that and anything related to BHO, but that's beside the point. I guess the Forward is trying to return its Socialist roots...

When we speak of Scott Rosenberg of failedmessiah the word "obsessed" comes to mind. Here's a man who sits in his underwear in frigid Minnesota and does nothing but update his blog with anti-Orthodox, mostly anti-Rubashkin stories. How do I know this? I just do. TRUST me. Even I get tired of bashing misnagdim after a while and need long breaks. It seems like he DOES You might wonder how and why a man like that comes to be obsessed with one man and his family to that extent. Now it's easy for any wannabe 'activist" to gang up on Rubashkin, but what prompted Scotty to do that years ago? The answer is LUBAVITCH. Rubashkin represents Lubavitch to ol' Scott, and he's angry with Lubavitch. Something about the Rebbe not heeding Scotty's call to save Ethiopian Falashas. I guess he saved them all by himself, without the Rebbe's help... Scotty, like some others, is a 50-something bachelor who has lots of time on his hands. Not that it's his fault, but the fact remains that he has plenty of free time to dig up dirt. Sort of like "alternative-lifestyle" activists; they have no families so they have plenty of time to demonstrate and boycott, something REGULAR people have no time for, since they have families and real worries. Scotty made the vaunted Forward 50. Yipee!

Here's what they say about him. The fact that any so-called respectable newspaper would give the time of day to a blo-gger is a chiddush onto itself. But in this case the Forward has some loser in Minnesota doing their dirty work for them, so they rubbed his back and put him on the "list." Young, inexperienced readers of his blog are shocked and dismayed at what he writes there, and it often takes them a while to recover from the aforementioned shock. Sometimes it'll even place doubt into some of Rubashkin's greatest supporters, but those of you who are concerned needn't worry. They may never climb out of the financial and legal mess they're in, but you needn't worry about Scotty. I have it on good authority that even the Rubashkin family itself is very hurt by davka what Scotty writes. Not because of what he writes, but, rather, who it is that's doing the writing. You see my friends, Scotty LIVED IN THEIR HOUSE FOR THREE YEARS. THAT'S RIGHT, THE SCUM HAD THREE YEARS OF FREE ROOM AND BOARD AT THE RUBASHKIN'S EXPENSE. HE ATE THEIR FOOD, WASHED HIS SORRY BEHIND IN THEIR BATHROOMS, AND THEY CHANGED HIS SOILED BED EVERY SINGLE DAY, NEVER ASKING ANYTHING IN RETURN, DOING IT BECAUSE IT WAS THE RIGHT THING TO DO; HELP A DISTRAUGHT YOUNG FELLOW IN AN UNFAMILIAR ENVIRONMENT.

You bet I'm angry. You'd be angry too if that was how your kindness was repaid, and that why it hurts so bad. The loser would never tell you that, and I'm sure his buddies at that Socialist rag don't know it either. None of those JewNazis at the Forward would have him over for a store-bought dinner, let alone allow him near their sorry children. Scum of the earth is an understatement. This isn't about whether or not they were right in hiring young Paluans or Mexicans and paying them 7 dollars an hour or moving money around. It's about common decency and gratitude. The fact is that these people, who helped hundreds and hundreds of people survive with dignity, fed them, clothed them and paid their tuition, are now destitute. They didn't stash money in Swiss bank accounts. Money is being collected as we speak for that once-proud family, and for those who are stuck there with their livelihoods on the line. My heart aches as I write these words; it aches also because of the self-righteous morons who know NOTHING about these noble people, and who choose to shoot their mouths off. Zol der eybershter rachmones hobben of zei, and may we hear good news.

I apologize for the uncouth language...

Anonymous said...

NY Daily News: Perv-fighting rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg: They're out to kill me

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

Cholent Fresser:

The Rubashkin story is a tragedy for many reasons, and I'm contemplating a calm, reasoned, post on the topic.

The question is NOT whether Shmarya is sitting in his underwear in Minnesota --- The real question is why the Rubashkins did what they have done klapei Shomayim, klapei yashrus, klapei menchlichkeit, klapei Halacha, klapei dina d'malchutei- medina shel chesed, klapei chutz.....

I do not believe he reported anything that was not already in the national media - nor is anyone accusing him of distorting the facts.

Regarding his anger level towards the Rubashkins - I don't think it's any greater than any one else that feels, or should feel, when they feel scammed by a BT kiruv system - that focuses on railroading the "victims" into their club - versus education of Torah values.

I can relate to that anger although I'm a FFB. Jews - because of the Torah --- especially the ones that wear their badges of frumkeit in the way their dress, owe it to all of us and themselves - to be a beacon of light in a world of filth and depravity.

While I hesitated in putting up your post --- I consider Shmarya a friend --- I felt that you sounded sincere - and I wanted to respond.

The entire kashruth industry, the supervisory agencies, the rabbis that make boatloads of money off of it --- all of this needs to be put under a Hubbel-type microscope.

It stinks - and is a disgrace to all humankind!

OU Crony Watch said...

The OU pulling for Obama goes deeper than most know. The OU's Nathan Diament, a former Harvard Law buddy of the President Elect, may become the shik yingel White House liason to the Jewish community.

And if you speak to Ami Eden, former executive editor of the Forward and now editor-in-chief of the JTA, he thinks Diament actually might get as far up as an Administration post.

Israel Belsky said...

I made Diament promise that his first task in the White House is to establish a national "Rubashkin truck driver" month.

Archie Bunker said...

I don't know how Rubashkin pulled this off, but they have managed to convince the Federal bankruptcy judge to allow using bank-owned collateral to pay their bills and continue operations.

The court appointed Abraham Getzler as receiver. Getzler is a YU grad from the Upper West Side. An exec at Getzler's firm is a Mark Samson who may be related to Young Israel whiskered lawyer and pro-molester activist Marty Samson.

boog said...

Interesting to note the small waves of doubt beginning to creep in by the Liberal media regarding Bim-Bam and his policies. Read todays column by George Will. Where were you during the election campaign, George?


More doubters on the horizon.

Boro Park said...


How Wall Street affects Borough Park

Nov. 13, 2008

Medium box. I need a large! I have my children to feed, please - please can I have a large box?

Sorry. Medium box.

That's how it went on a recent Thursday night at the Tomche Shabbos food pantry in Brooklyn's Borough Park neighborhood, one of the several that provide weekly baskets of strictly kosher food to 500 needy haredi families.

Jeno Herschkowits, who has run the pantry since 1975, says supplicants have gotten noticeably edgier in recent months, as people who were narrowly avoiding ruin before this fall's stock market crash find themselves slipping over the brink, now that the American consumer economy has ground to a near halt.

"People are desperate; they get aggressive," he said. "And there are more people, but less money."

Evidence of pain is everywhere, from deep discounts at chain stores - as much as 60 percent off fall merchandise, that began weeks before the traditional Thanksgiving sales - to empty restaurants and upticks in late-night subway ridership by those who might previously have splurged on cabs. But in New York's haredi neighborhoods, where most families subsist on a single income, the strain shows up in weekly debates over "small," "medium" or "large."

A WEEK ago, New York exploded with euphoria after the historic landslide election of Barack Obama to the presidency on promises of bringing change, and hope, to America. Now, his transition team is already racing to craft plans for his first weeks in office, among them a $175 billion stimulus package that would include extended unemployment benefits and food assistance.

But inauguration is still 68 days away, and in the meantime, financial markets are continuing their downward spiral, with Bush administration officials taking steps to make bailout money available to credit-card and student-loan companies, in hopes of keeping cash flowing into consumers' wallets. Investors have responded to the apparent uncertainty over how to spend the $700 billion in bailout funds, driving the Dow Jones industrial average down another 400 points on Wednesday alone.

That, in turn, threatens to empty state coffers of much-needed tax revenue next year. New York State officials are already bickering over a proposed $5 billion in education and health-care cuts to close a yawning budget deficit, stoking concerns that food-stamp programs might be next on the chopping block.

Private charities say that if that happens, they will be ill-prepared to make up the difference, because donations have dried up, and fund-raisers are working overtime just to get donors to satisfy their current pledges, let alone worry about those to come next year.

"We lost one donor who used to give us $400 a week," said Alexander Rapaport, whose Masbia kosher soup kitchen provides about 160 meals a day, prepared by a caterer at a local school. He said he has taken out advertising on local radio stations citing this week's Torah portion - on Sodom and Gomorrah - to inspire donations.

While Masbia qualifies for some government grant programs, the organization's strict observance of kosher standards means he can't make use of many restaurant or overstock giveaways available for those following more relaxed codes.

Pantries that follow looser restrictions said they had seen a spike in requests from non-Jews, along with more Jews asking for help. One, the Oneg Shabbos pantry - run by Rabbi Shaul Shimon Deutsch and his wife, Pe'er - has installed a fence along the sidewalk to protect bags of carrots and potatoes waiting to be packed in with containers of Sabra-brand feta cheese and other goodies for people who wait in a line snaking up the block.

"We're seeing families who never in their lives thought they would have to ask for food," Pe'er Deutsch told The Jerusalem Post. "The thing about us is that we pack it into boxes, and it looks like groceries - people know they can come here and the kids never have to know."

LEADERS OF haredi organizations understand the irony of their constituents - most of whom backed Republican presidential candidate John McCain - waiting for a rescue from the incoming Obama administration.

"Our man always wins," said Rabbi Avi Shafran of Agudath Israel of America, winking. He said his organization, which has a staffer taking calls for assistance from the newly jobless or helpless, has always been able to work with both political parties, even if "people on the ground" disagree with one side or the other.

So, he said, there is hope. But with the first cold snap, the clock is already ticking.

Agudah Pornography? said...


Award-winning comedy writer Alan Zweibel will talk about “Clothing Optional,” a collection of short pieces about life, death, nudity, the Old Testament, parenthood and New York.

YTT = Migdal Bavel said...


$8 billion, modern-day Tower of Babel being built?

By Rabbi Avi Shafran

Hadron Collider — the 17-mile-circumference particle accelerator that, over 15 years and at a cost of some $8 billion, was built by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) underneath the French-Swiss border.

The builders of the Tower of Babel, the Torah tells us, sought to erect a structure whose top would pierce the heavens, the better to assert their independence from the Divine and "make for ourselves a name." Their plans, of course, were dashed; their arrogance did them in. The LHC was supposed to have already yielded its harvest of new particles by now. On September 10, proton beams were successfully circulated in the main ring of the structure. Nine days later, though, operations were halted, as an electrical fault caused liquid helium to leak into the tunnel, damaging dozens of the LHC's superconducting magnets and contaminating the "collider's ring." Physicists say it will take until next summer to make the necessary repairs.

"Man contemplates, G-d laughs" goes the Yiddish expression (and in that language it nicely rhymes). I don't know if G-d laughed as the glitch rained on the LHC parade. I certainly didn't; I was deeply disappointed. My thoughts, thought, did go back to the builders of Babel, and to how, in monumental projects, success or failure may ultimately hang on intentions.

Especially when the kids get molested? said...


Edward Cardinal Egan, archbishop of New York, says that faith-based schools offer a counterweight to the downward trend in popular culture.

Educators and religious leaders from around the region resolved to mobilize in support of faith-based schools that have proven they can help at-risk students.

Attendees on Tuesday included Edward Cardinal Egan, archbishop of New York, and Rabbi David Zwiebel, vice president for government affairs for Agudath Israel of America, and Archbishop Demetrios, the primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America. The meeting also drew state legislators and federal representatives.

Another company tied to Shereshevsky goes bust said...


sounds complicated

Yossi Shereshevsky said...


Byers and Shereshevsky were arrested on Aug. 11. Both are scheduled to be arraigned on the indictment by U.S. District Judge Denny Chin on Nov. 14

If you believe you were a victim of this crime, including a victim entitled to restitution, and you wish to provide information to law enforcement and/or receive notice of future developments in the case or additional information, please contact Wendy Olsen-Clancy, the victim witness coordinator at the U.S Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, at (866) 874-8900 or Wendy.Olsen@usdoj.gov.

For additional information, go to:


5 Towns said...


Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

Pedophile Michael Jackson (bigger shnorrer than Shmarya) said...


LONDON - A Bahraini prince took the King of Pop to court Monday in a seven-million-dollar breach of contract lawsuit, demanding the repayment of several advances which the artist has argued were gifts.

Sheikh Abdulla bin Hamad Al Khalifa, second son of the King of Bahrain, helped support the cash-strapped Michael Jackson in the aftermath of his child molestation trial, the shiekh's lawyer Bankim Thanki told London's High Court.

The two men had a "close personal relationship," and discussed the possibility of Jackson moving to Bahrain after the 2005 trial.

They even collaborated on a musical project -- Jackson recorded a song written by Sheikh Abdulla which was planned as a charity single.

"Sheikh Abdulla began to support Mr Jackson financially after 2005 when it became clear that Mr Jackson was in very serious financial difficulties, much to Sheikh Abdulla's surprise," Thanki told the court.

Assistants of Jackson initially asked the sheikh for 35,000 dollars (27,500 euros or 23,000 pounds) to pay utility bills at the pop star's Neverland ranch, followed by a request for one million dollars in April 2005, Thanki said.

"Sheikh Abdulla made many more payments on his behalf or to others," including Jackson's 2.2-million-dollar legal bill for his criminal trial, he said.

The sheikh planned to revive Jackson's musical career, releasing records through their own label -- including a song recorded the day after his trial ended, which the sheikh wanted released to help victims of the 2004 tsunami.

A recording of the song will be played in court during the trial.

"It shows the quality of Sheikh Abdulla's songwriting skills and that of Mr Jackson's voice," said Thanki.

The sheikh is suing Jackson for breaching the 4.7-million-pound "pay-back" deal designed to repay money he advanced to Jackson when he was having his worst financial problems.

Jackson, who was not in court but has been called on to give evidence via video link from Los Angeles, contests the claim, saying the sheikh's case is based on "mistake, misrepresentation and undue influence."

He has argued that the payments were "gifts," and claims that no project was finalised between the two.

Though the pop megastar has acknowledged that he did sign an agreement which he understood as giving him a shareholding in a recording company owned by the sheikh, he has said that the contract was entered into on the basis of "false repsentations."

He also argues that the sheikh exercised "undue influence" over him in the aftermath of the 2005 trial, at which point he was emotionally exhausted.

Gerrorist said...


Porush, whose Shlomei Emunim faction within Agudat Yisrael represents an amalgam of small hassidic sects such as Chabad, Sanz, Seret-Viznitz, Slonim and Karlin, will probably be unable to work together with Ger Hassidim in the wake of the Jerusalem elections.

Ger sources told The Jerusalem Post that not only had Jerusalem's Ger voters, who number as many as 8,000, refrained from voting for Porush, many voted for Barkat.

Meanwhile, in Beit Shemesh's mayoral race, Ger supported Shalom Lerner, a modern Orthodox candidate representing the National Religious Party, against Moshe Abutbul, a Shas candidate who enjoyed wide haredi support.

Ger's willingness to support Lerner, whose religious Zionist ideology is as much of an anathema, if not more so, to some haredi sensibilities as secularism, so enraged the zealously anti-Zionist Eda Haredit followers in Ramat Beit Shemesh Bet that hundreds disregarded an age-old tradition of boycotting the elections of the "evil Zionist state" and flocked to the voting booths.

"It was an embarrassment to see the faithful going to the polls and voting," said Shmuel Poppenheim, a spokesman for the Eda Haredit. "This is not our way. Our rabbis have taught us that we must not have any connection with a group of apostates that rebelled against God. We will have to work hard to educate people that what they did was wrong even if the outcome was positive and Lerner lost."

Undoubtedly, a power struggle for control of Agudat Yisrael will play itself out between Porush and Ger.

Sources close to Porush confirmed Wednesday evening that Porush would seriously consider running on an independent list if pushed out of Aguda or given an unrealistic place on Aguda's list in the upcoming Knesset elections.

If Porush does run alone, it would hurt both Aguda and Degel Hatorah, the two parties making up the Untied Torah Judaism list.

Aguda would be hurt by lost hassidic votes such as Chabad, Breslav, and other smaller sects that Porush would take. But Porush might also appeal to a growing number of haredim of different backgrounds that have suffered discrimination.

Lithuanian haredim who work, Sephardim not affiliated with Shas, American haredim and the newly religious all have difficulty integrating into mainstream haredi society. TOV, a party that attempted to cater to those groups, managed to receive a seat on the Beit Shemesh city council.

Another interesting development is Shas's strong showing. In three haredi towns - Beit Shemesh, Elad and Emmanuel - Shas managed to get mayoral candidates elected.

In Ashdod, a candidate with strong ties to Shas, Yehiel Lasry, replaced incumbent Zvi Zilker, putting an end to his almost 40-year stint as mayor.

Archie Bunker said...

So much for Rabbi Lopatin and halachic standards. Rahm-bo's wife Amy Rule is dressed very immodestly in the video here.

When it comes to the Jared Kushner story, at least Ivanka Trump dresses modestly, even thought that too is a questionable conversion.


Footage emerges of Obama poking fun at 'foul-mouthed' Rahm Emanuel

Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg Lied said...

Per the Daily News Article on Rosenberg, Nuchem Rosenberg lied about him being shot in the head, as UOJ suspected. If he happens to be dishonest in the story of a shot wound, which is widely publicised (Israeli assasin etc..), it would completely destroy his credibility and thus all of his testimonies regarding rabbi on boy child abuse in haredi communities. After all we have plenty of people with mental illness that imaginge themselves to be Napoleons for example.
Sad development indeed.

Shmarya said...

Was Rabbi Nochum Rosenberg Really Shot?

Rabbi Nochum (Nuchem) Rosenberg has been trying to do something about haredi rabbi-on-boy sexual abuse. For his trouble, Rabbi Rosenberg has been threatened, denounced, chased by an angry mob, and shot…or was he?

Rosenberg, who told the Awareness Center (and the world, through a series of YouTube videos), that he was shot on the Brooklyn Bridge, has apparently told a different story to the New York Daily News, which today reports the cut on Rosenberg's head came from being hit on Berry Street in Brooklyn.

The Daily News photo caption tells the story:

Rabbi Nachum Rosenberg said he has received death threats from the Jewish community for opening a help line for victims of sexual abuser.

He said the cut on his forehead is from being hit on Oct. 17th on Berry street in Williamsburg.

Rosenberg told the Awareness Center his wound came from being shot while on the Brooklyn Bridge.

What is the truth?

Not so Fast, Nuchem Rosenberg Accuser said...

Even Failed Shnorrer Shmarya doesn't accuse him of lying:

Rabbi Nochum (Nuchem) Rosenberg has been trying to do something about haredi rabbi-on-boy sexual abuse. For his trouble, Rabbi Rosenberg has been threatened, denounced, chased by an angry mob, and shot…or was he?

Rosenberg, who told the Awareness Center (and the world, through a series of YouTube videos), that he was shot on the Brooklyn Bridge, has apparently told a different story to the New York Daily News, which today reports the cut on Rosenberg's head came from being hit on Beery Street in Brooklyn.

The Daily News photo caption tells the story:

Rabbi Nachum Rosenberg said he has received death threats from the Jewish community for opening a help line for victims of sexual abuser. He said the cut on his forehead is from being hit on Oct. 17th on Berry street in Williamsburg.

Rosenberg told the Awareness Center his wound came from being shot while on the Brooklyn Bridge.

What is the truth?

Let's see:


Perv-fighting rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg: They're out to kill me


Rabbi Nachum Rosenberg said he has received death threats from the Jewish community for opening a help line for victims of sexual abuser. He said the cut on his forehead is from being hit on Oct. 17th on Berry street in Williamsburg.

A Brooklyn Rabbi who has been outspoken about child molestation in the city's ultra-Orthodox Jewish community said yesterday he's been targeted with death threats.

Nuchem (Nathan) Rosenberg, 58, complained outside the 90th Precinct in Williamsburg that cops have ignored his pleas for help since the summer.

The threats were so frightening, Rosenberg said, that he closed down a hotline he had set up in February 2007 for victims of abuse.

"And I am still afraid for my life, even though the hotline is closed, because they are still after me," Rosenberg said.

The NYPD confirmed that Rosenberg has gone to cops three times since July but said there is little they can do.

The threats came after a rabbinical decree, in the form of flyers written in Hebrew, popped up across Williamsburg in August calling him a liar, Rosenberg said.

"If you see him, scream [dirty Jew], [evil person], [immoral] & spit on him," read one text message sent to Rosenberg's phone.

Death threats came in calls to his cell phone, he said.

Sexual abuse in the Hasidic community is rarely discussed and not commonly prosecuted in secular courts.

In one unusual case, Rabbi Yehuda Kolko, a teacher at Brooklyn's Yeshiva Torah Temimah in Brooklyn, was charged with sexual abuse in 2006. He ultimately pleaded guilty to child endangerment.

Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) has recently begun collecting his own stories of pedophilia in the ultra-Orthodox world and claims he has "hundreds" of complaints against rabbis and other Orthodox leaders.

In September, a psychologist stepped down from a task force that Hikind formed to explore the problem, saying he had been threatened. "I was prosecuted in the street for daring to join such a venture," Dr. Benzion Twerski told Jewish Week.

"We all live here in prison," Rosenberg said. "We can't talk about what is bothering us."

End of article.

A caveat: It is always possible the Daily News made a mistake and confused what Rosenberg told them.

And there is no doubt Rosenberg has been threatened and attacked. Late this summer in London, he was saved from an angry mob of hasidim by a passing police car, and the incident – including police eyewitness testimony – made the British papers.

There is Rosenberg has been under intense pressure to give up his anti-molestation campaign. There is also no doubt the police have done little to protect him.

Sometimes desperate people do things they would not otherwise do.

Perhaps Rabbi Rosenberg thought an assault against him with a firearm would get the attention of the police, while a simple assault would not.

I know people who have spoken with Rabbi Rosenberg in depth about both the abuse issue and the threats against him find much of what he says credible.

There is no doubt Rabbi Rosenberg was threatened and continues to be threatened because he dared to tell abused children to call the police.

In the end, that is what is important.

Yisroel Vallis said...

Man who killed infant son gets 6 years


The Jerusalem District Court on Tuesday sentenced Yisrael Valis, convicted of killing his infant son in 2006, to six years imprisonment and a two-year suspended sentence. Valis was convicted of manslaughter earlier this year for beating his three-month-old son to death.

The baby died in the hospital on April 10 2006, a week after his then-19-year-old father hurled him against the wall when he started to cry.

The young father's arrest led to days of haredi rioting in Jerusalem, after leaders of the vehemently anti-Zionist Edah Haredit community - which the Valis family was part of - accused police of concocting a 'blood libel' identical to European blood libels against the Jews.

Valis, who was arrested after he admitted during police questioning to repeatedly beating his child, later retracted his confession in a court hearing, saying that it had been coerced by police.

Anonymous said...

Do the Rubashkins follow a Chabad thinking pattern?

It seems that all monies that come to lubavitchers are theirs to use as they desire.

I was asked to leave a so called "chabad" congregation because I took issue with the possible misappropriation of state funds. (I don't think the Rebbe z"l would have condoned such behavior - that's why I put chabad in quotation marks).

Archie Bunker said...

I think there is something to what Cholent Fresser is saying and I plan on asking Shmarya for a response.

The level of hakaras hatov that we are required to have is very demanding. We know that from the story of Avrohom Avinu and Og.

Cholent Fresser, why would Shmarya be freeloading as a resident at the Rubashkin home for 3 years if they both lived in Minneapolis at the time? And does Shmarya currently live with his parents or does he have his own place? You say he's in his 50s but he contends that he is 48 btw.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to Arthur for the awesome indian piece which is the second item in the list. With his permission I would like to distribute it . On another note UOJ quite rightly objected to some racial comments about Obama. I would suggest that that the his cread - politely stated that civility be damned for the cause - will generate uncivil comments. I also think that your effectiveness with serious issues would be enhanced if you could stick on current issues. Your rant about Sherer who treated you in a condencending manner - he was super egotistic and an expert at it - is a prime example. He is dead. The guys who took his place have their own issues. Talk about theirs. You thankfully are winning a big fight - enjoy.

CUNY Journalism Dept Blog said...


November 16th, 2008

by Joe Walker

A little under 100 protesters marched ten blocks down 14th Avenue in Borough Park, Brooklyn this afternoon to hold a demonstration across the street from Rubashkin’s butcher shop, a fixture for over 50 years in the largely Orthodox Jewish neighborhood.

To be honest, the first I ever heard of Agriprocessors was this morning at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Harlem where I happened to be attending mass for a different story. A parishioner there made an announcement about the march and I became interested.

Between leaving Harlem at 12:30 p.m. and stopping at home in Northern Brooklyn (Bushwick) to quickly grab a bite to eat before heading down to Borough Park (South Brooklyn), I didn’t have time to properly research the issue I was covering–I admit that.

I arrived at Church Avenue and McDonald Street, where the march was to meet. A day that had started very warmly, the sun seeming to rest close to the earth, had become very cold by 3 p.m.

It was windy as all hell on the street corner where White, Black, and Latino people gathered to protest Rubashkin’s. I bundled up tightly along with the rest of the people on the street.

An organizer spoke from a microphone and mini P.A. system as NYPD stood by, watching, but mostly talking among themselves and sending messages on their Blackberrys.

“We don’t want the march to be attacked and we don’t want to attack anyone. We want a peaceful march. We have our own security–they’re wearing blue arm bands–in case anyone tries to provoke us. The police will also be there,” the organizer said, preparing the demonstrators for their entrance in to what was presumed to be a possibly hostile neighborhood.

“Anti-immigrant raids are racist raids,” he said.

“These racist raids led to the muder of Marcello Lucero in Long Island.” He was referring to the crime that took place this month in Patchouge, Long Island, where several local teens went looking for a Hispanic to kill.

I asked one of the demonstrators, Sandy Spier, to draw the connection more clearly between the practices of Agriprocessors and the murder of Lucero.

“If you have the notion that you can treat undocumented workers like garbage, then you can treat illegal immigrants like they’re less than human,” said Spier, a hospital worker who lives in Kensington, Brooklyn.

The protesters marched down the street chanting slogans.

“Citizens, Black and White! Workers of the World Unite!”

“Jobs, Yes! Agriprocessing, No! Exploitation Has Got to Go.”

“We are Workers! We Are Not Illegals!”

Chants and speeches were given both in English and Spanish.

A woman carried a sign that read, “Shalom: Peace Means Justice,” with the word Shalom translated in Hebrew.

Along 4th Avenue, many Orthodox in the neighborhood paid attention. One man at a gas station emphatically gave the thumbs-down sign to the protesters. I asked if he would like to comment on the reasons for his displeasure, but declined, saying that he was in a rush.

The marchers ended up across the street from Rubashkin’s, walking in circles, chanting their slogans, as Orthodox Jews around the neighborhood gathered on the street to watch.

I noticed that across the street, at Rubashkin’s butcher shop, a group of Orthodox men stood, staring at the festivities only 50 feet away from them.

I crossed the street–making sure to obey all jay-walking laws, what with all the cops around–and approached the small group of maybe six or seven men.

I identified myself by name and as a reporter covering the march, notebook in hand.

Immediately, one bearded, black-hatted man took charge, saying that they had nothing to say.

“So, you don’t care about the protest?” I asked.

“Do you care?”

I thought for a minute and then answered, “I’m an observer. I don’t feel one way or the other about it.” That was true, I didn’t, having no real context to even take a side.

“Well, if you don’t care, I don’t care.”

But from there, the conversation escalated into a hostile Socratic dialogue that lasted twenty minutes and by the end of which I would be surrounded by more than 25 Orthodox men, women, and children.

“Do you know what they’re marching for?” he asked.

“I think it’s for the rights of unions,”

“Do you belong to a union?”

“No, I’m a student.”

“What is a union,” he asked.

“Well,” I said, put into the unfortunate journalistic position of having to defend the position for which I was trying to get a rebuttal. “i think unions are things that people use to conduct collective bargaining. The idea being that the collective has more leverage than the individual in trying to gain higher wages and better benefits.”

“So the collective uses the union to choke the owner?”

“I guess so, if that’s how you want to put it,” I said.

“Then we have nothing more to talk about.”

Spanning the group with eye contact, I asked if everyone felt that way.

“Yes, we all feel this way,” said the alpha-dog.

“i know what you think. I want to know what everyone else thinks.”

Most of the men among the now growing crowd nodded their approval, though some abstained without voicing dissent.

A short, elderly man with a white beard piped up. “Unions are like the mafia.”

Thus far no one had been willing to give me their name. I asked again and told them them that if this is what they believe, I want to report it and the statements will have that much more force if someone is willing to put their name behind it.

“Write that ‘the Jewish community says,’” said one man.

Another man said that the demonstration was an attack against Jews. I asked if that was how everyone felt.

Most people nodded their heads in agreement, but one young brown-bearded man, who spoke in a measured tone, said “I don’t think there is anyone who thinks this is an attack against the Jews, but it will hurt the Jews.” He was quickly drowned out by others voicing the opposite opinion. He soon walked away.

“Are you offended that these protesters are coming into your community?” I asked.

“No,” said alpha-dog. “Everyone is welcome.”

I again brought up the quoting business.

Alpha-dog said that I could use the name “O.J. Simpson…Or Mike Tyson.” He and I and several other people all had a good laugh over that one.

By the then, I was surrounded–little children and women with baby strollers stood laughing at me. We were all in on the joke, I thought.

Then I felt something sticky on my sleave. I took off my backpack, brought it in front of me and showed everyone the smashed egg on it. Some 20 community members stood by.

“What’s that?!” a man with a baby stroller asked and then laughed. Everyone present seemed to think it was a great gag.

“I see. Everyone is welcome,” I said.

I took the cracked egg shell and yolk and threw it onto the street. Someone handed me a napkin from their pocket.

Many laughed. But two men apologized and one went to get me a paper towel.

“You saw whoever did this and you didn’t say anything,” I said.

“No, this is unacceptable,” a man said.

“But you were here with me the whole time.”

He extended to me a paper towel that I refused.

“I didn’t see it,” he said.

The man had, I suspect, seen it happen, just as everyone else had. He probably did feel bad about it, but was too much of a coward to say something to one of his own people while it happened.

I stood for a few minutes, checking everyone out.

“Thank you for your hospitality,” I said and walked away.

I asked Ms.Spier, the activist, about the charges that the demonstration was aimed against the Jews.

“It’s an atack on capitalist bosses who exploit the undocumented workers,” she said. “If it were an Italian or a Mexican boss, we would be doing the same thing.”

Kollel Supermarket clerk (39th St) said...

I was wondering why Gershon Tannenbaum came in with Pesach Lerner looking to buy rotten eggs at a discount.

They must have lobbed them at the reporter by Rubashkin's butcher store.

Pesach Lerner said...

Stop trying to blame me for everything.

I was at Kollel Supermarket because it's cheaper than Pomegranite in Flatbush and as they're a major Rubashkin distributor, there was a distinct chance I could find plenty of Aaron's Bust, I mean Best, to stock up on. It's a rare commodity nowadays ya know.

When we were checking out, Tannenbaum reminded me that we had to hurry over the Rubashkin demonstration and he said "last one there's a rotten egg!"

I don't do rude things like actually throw rotten eggs so the clerk should get his hearing checked out.

This blog is nothing but a constant case of "broken telephone".

Anonymous said...

Oil sank to $54 earlier.

Gershon "the shvindler" Tannenbaum said...

Lerner had an unfair advantage and beat me to Rubashkin's store. He could run faster because he wears a bend-down fedora that's more aerodynamic. Homburgs blow off all the time in the wind.

That bum Shea Fishman blew it again and told me before hand that the weather was going to be very calm.

Avi L. Shafran said...

It's always much windier in Staten Island. My Borsalino is constantly blowing off on the street even though it's a bend-down. And I have the same problem when I go to work because 42 Broadway is in a canyon of highrises that's like a windtunnel. Is it any wonder why it gets so dusty?

UOJ is always making fun of me that it's filthy but what am I supposed to do? Staple it to my ears?

cholent fresser said...

We're not discussing guilt nor blame. I'm talking about Rosenberg and what he does.Shmadiya and the three losers that perpetuate his fountain of vomit have no shot at "rachmones" or any of those other good things that you bestow upon them. these people are the worse of the worst, they live to hate and unfortunately Internet made it possible for scum like that to do actual tangible damage to very real people. You can't just write them off as a gang of irrelevant loonies since it looks like the concerted defamation by him and by PETA played a substantial role in governments' selection of the "poster child" victim of the unfair and arbitrary enforcement of "dina demalchusa" - Agri. So let's all hope that he chokes on his next cheeseburger. I bet there won't be anyone to care until the whole street block will begin stinking ...

Bungalow Yenta said...

Pesach Lerner is trying to cover up. I was at the supermarket and saw him and Tannenbaum opening up all the egg cartons to find the rotten ones.

Then I was in the checkout line next to them and snooped in the shopping cart to see what else they were buying. Tannenbaum mentioned he had to pick up a toiletry for Colmer before he visits him in Rikers - I noticed he was buying some Preparation H.

Lowlives! said...

FDIC head Sheila Bair is pushing for a taxpayer bailout of underwater mortgages.

The CNBC gang just crapped all over her pointing out that she wants to stay on under the Obama Administration and knows she has to sing the Pelosi-Reid song to accomplish that.

CNBC correctly points out that if the bailout is a go, most other people will just quit making mortgage bailouts to get a freebie too.

Nathan Lewin looking Foolish said...

Nathan Lewin's insane appeal has been proved to be frivolous. A crass delaying tactic to save Rubashkin money.

The Supreme Court rejected it just as expected.

Meatingplace.com reports:


Supremes reject Agri appeal, but investors reportedly tour plant

By Lisa M. Keefe on 11/17/2008

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case of Agriprocessors Inc. v. National Labor Relations Board, letting stand a lower court decision that should open the door to union representation at an Agriprocessors facility in New York.

The case revolved around the company's refusal to honor a union vote taken at its Brooklyn distribution center. (See Agriprocessors appeals to Supreme Court, Meatingplace, Sept. 3, 2008.) The company's position was that, because most of the workers were undocumented immigrants, the union vote, in which the workers chose to be represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers, wasn't valid.

The National Labor Relations Board has ordered Agriprocessors to recognize the union, in accordance with a 1984 Supreme Court ruling that affirmed the right of illegal immigrants to join unions, and the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington rejected the company's argument earlier this year.

Meanwhile, the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reported over the weekend that a highly placed Agriprocessors executive said one investor group already has toured the plant and another is due to visit soon, with an eye toward investing in the company and reinvigorating production at the Postville, Ia. facility.

The executive, who asked not to be identified and who did not identify the prospective investor groups, said stakeholders are optimistic that a deal can be reached within the next month, the newspaper said.

correction said...

... most other people will just quit making mortgage payments (not bailouts) to get a freebie too.

Lakewood Talmid said...

Cholent fresser is mistaken. While Shmarya may have had a hand in some of the criminal charges, there are so many charges in so many different areas of criminal law, that the Rubashkins are probably going to be lifers in prison anyway.

The word on UOJ gets out really quick! said...


It was recently revealed that Rosenberg had been a frequent guest of some members of the Rubashkin Agriprocessors family when they resided in St Paul, Minnesota.[citation needed]

Figures said...

I was long wondering why Shmarya's #2 target after Lubavitch is Aish Hatorah. I just read on another blog that he once had a job with Aish.

The kfuy tov stinks from his head. It's probably the only paying job he ever had and now he smears them.

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

Cholent Fresser (I can't believe the names we all use),

Agriprocessors destroyed themselves - nobody did it to them!

I believe - but am not certain, that the Forward began the original expose' --- Yudel Shain has been jumping up and down for atleast a decade about the standard of kashrus at Agri.

Shmarya took up the cause with a passion - for whatever the reasons are - I'm certain in part, because of the way he feels he was treated as a BT at Chabad.

Ultimately, the Rubashkins have nobody to blame but themselves - an entire family destroyed over greed, lies, compromising true kashrus standards --- their inabilty to act as ehrliche yiden - that includes all kinds of behavior to all kinds of people.

It's painful to watch and I sense you must be a family member - so the pain you feel must be devastating. We all need to look at ourselves and understand that it is WE that pay the price for OUR actions.

I wish you well and a speedy healing from your grief.


Anonymous said...

It just never ends with Rubashkin screwing people.

Archie Bunker just posted an article at FM that federal agents from GIPSA or the Grain Inspection Packers and Stockyards Administration are investigating Rubashkin now for taking cattle from ranchers that he had no intention of paying for.

Anonymous said...

This is a huge tragedy all around!

It's unlikely that mr scotty had any major real role in what happened with Rubashkin but he sure spent/spends a lot of time hakking in kop about it ad naseum on his "failed messiah" blog.

Now that he BHO won the election maybe mr scotty will be happy that East Africans (Kenya is close to Ethiopia) have come out on top some place some how.

Unfortunately mr scotty is virulently anti-frum and is opposed to ANYTHING remotely frum/Haredi/Orthodox and is a state of virtual jihad against religious Jews and Yiddishkiet, so it's not just Chabad he hates but everything and anything remotely connected with the Haredi world. He is in state of siege and the fact that he is single makes it worse because he has all that pent up energy that is going nowhere, and unbeknownst to him he may in fact already be slowly but surely turning senile as a result of not having a true ezer kenegdo, keyadua.

Yet, he does make some valid points though along the way about being oisgehalten, so let's avoid totally wiping him out, and he can be granted that. He could still do teshuva, yet again.

In this age of the Blogosphere he rightfully also seen, even though one may not like it, as a news conduit of sorts from the outside world to the Jewish world, and as I have pointed out, he received a very important letter from none-other than Rahm Emanuel's rabbi in Chicago who admits that Rahm had a governmental hand in the anti-Rubashkin crusade by the feds:

Says Rahm's rabbi:

"I doubt I have had any influence on Rahm Emanuel regarding Agriprocessors – in fact, I don't think it is my role to get involved with influencing my members on political issues. I have spoken in shul of my concern with Agriprocessors, but not in the context of what a Congressman should do or say."

See the full letter below.

What Rahm Emanuel's role was and the extent of it needs to be known, since Rahm is now about to be the chief honcho in BHO's office, and it came to light on "the failed messiah" blog, so that even though there are serious problems with it, it does lead to uncovering some important news but not in the way mr scotty intended it.

Ok, so it happens to be that according to "The Failed Messiah" blog at http://failedmessiah.typepad.com/failed_messiahcom/2008/11/obamas-mo-chief.html and http://failedmessiah.typepad.com/failed_messiahcom/2008/11/guest-post-rabb.html it is clearly stated that Rahm was one of the people behind the government attacks on Rubashkin according to his rabbi, see the rabbi's letter, reproduced below...

Following is the letter wherin Rahm Emanuel's rabbi admits that Rahm was a key player behind the government attacks on the Rubashkins and justifying it, (and also that as far as he [the rabbi] is concerned Rahm's wife and hence his kids are not Halachically Jewish even though they are members of his supposedly Modern Orthodox synagogue [why is that not worse for Yiddishkeit than anything the Rubashkin's allegedly did according to "Rahm & his Rabbi"?]):

See http://failedmessiah.typepad.com/failed_messiahcom/2008/11/guest-post-rabb.html

"November 10, 2008
GUEST POST: Rabbi Asher Lopatin On Rahm Emmanuel...

In response to comments left on this previous post, Rabbi Asher Lopatin writes:

Dear Fellow Readers of the Failed Messiah Blog:

Please read and reread Wikipedia carefully: It does not mention who converted Amy Rule, nor does it say that it was an Orthodox conversion. Rahm Emanuel and his family are well liked members of our Modern Orthodox synagogue, but we are proud that Anshe Sholom attracts many members who would not necessarily classify themselves as Orthodox – or as any denomination. We strive to be inclusive and non-judgmental. People would have to ask Rahm and Amy what denomination, if any, they feel they are part of.

When giving Rahm a heter for being on a conference call on Rosh Hashana, I did tell him that if he could have a gentile make the call it would be preferable. I feel as strongly now as I did a month a go that passing the bailout was a critical part of preventing the melt-down of the world economy, and that that is a Pikuach Nefesh issue. My Rav, Rav Ahron Soloveichik was a hawk, as all Briskers are, when it comes to enforcing Pikuach Nefesh even in a case of Chashasha Rechoka. People may disagree whether the bailout was the right thing to do, but Rahm felt it was critical, and my p'sak was based on his take on the situation, which I feel was appropriate.

I doubt I have had any influence on Rahm Emanuel regarding Agriprocessors – in fact, I don't think it is my role to get involved with influencing my members on political issues. I have spoken in shul of my concern with Agriprocessors, but not in the context of what a Congressman should do or say.

Finally, even though I was not involved in Amy Rule's conversion, I remain deeply concerned about the rejection of many halachically valid conversions, and also at the lack of communal effort to halachically convert legitimate adult and child candidates to Judaism. I salute Rabbi Marc Angel for his voice on this matter as well as Rabbi Michael Broyde who is working towards explaining the halachic options with Ger Katan.

Rabbi Asher Lopatin"

Arthur said...

This is along one but important

Let the Sun Shine


Beit Shemesh is a modern, attractive town 10 miles west of Jerusalem, in the midst of a building boom. Lush, multi-colored bougainvilleas cascade down the terraces of the apartment houses that line wide boulevards. Building cranes dot the skyline and real-estate billboards sing the praises of the latest development. Two homes in one project were recently purchased for $1 million apiece and a free-standing private home in another neighborhood fetched $2 million.
Beit Shemesh means "house of the sun." It is built near the site of an ancient city named after the Canaanite sun-goddess Shemesh, who was worshiped there in pre-biblical antiquity. Today it is one of Israel's fastest growing cities, having developed from a sleepy backwater of tiny one-family homes and drab low-rise tenements housing immigrants from Bulgaria, Iran, Iraq, Romania, Morocco and Kurdistan who were settled there in the 1950s to a city with a population of 73,000.
Beit Shemesh has a local winery, a small mall (called BIG) and two industrial zones, which host small industry. During the high-tech boom between 1996 and 2001, it was home to several start-ups. Matrix Global, a subsidiary of one of the country's largest information technology companies, is based in Beit Shemesh and employs several hundred ultra-Orthodox women.
The greatest change occurred in the 1990s, when immigrants from the former Soviet Union and Ethiopia were settled there, and large numbers of religious Jews from North America and Europe, both modern-Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox, chose to make their homes in new developments there. Many of them were professionals and they were attracted both by the suburban environment and the proximity to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv - about 25 and 35 minutes by road, respectively. A quarter of the population is made up of new immigrants: Russian-speakers constitute the largest group, 53 percent; Ethiopians, 10 percent; French and North Americans, 15 percent each.
Growth has brought turf wars to Beit Shemesh. One well-documented culture clash took place several years ago in the old part of town between secular Russian-speakers and traditional Sephardim over the sale of pork products in local shops - a controversy which died down when City Hall passed local laws forcing such shop owners to areas on the periphery of the city. There have been counter lawsuits and the issue is currently before the courts.
Today's religious battles are being waged between different Orthodox factions in the suburban neighborhoods south of the city center known as Ramat Beit Shemesh (Beit Shemesh Heights). In the early 90s ultra-Orthodox haredi families, forced out of Jerusalem by the tight real estate market, settled there. Some of them are adherents of the Eida Haredit, a small group of anti-Zionist extremists.
An unusual coalition of modern-Orthodox religious Zionists and moderate, mainstream ultra-Orthodox residents complain that for the past year, a small group (60 families, it is estimated) of these zealots (kanaim in Hebrew) have engaged in acts of religious coercion and intimidation in order to impose their lifestyle on the majority. For now, the zealots are most vocal about women's modesty in dress and observance of Sabbath laws, although some anti-state activity has also taken place such as flag desecrations on Independence Day. There have also been reports in recent years of attacks on young people who stroll in co-ed groups together on Friday night; and of burning oil and gasoline thrown into a pizzeria where men and women sat together.
An unofficial zealot spokesman, Eli Tombeck, married and in his thirties, defends the attitude of his group. He tells The Jerusalem Report in an interview by telephone, "We are merely trying to preserve our way of life." He denies belonging to the Eida Haredit, which is thought to have only 15,000 adherents across the nation, saying he's of Litvak orientation (i.e. more mainstream) and serves as a beadle at a large, normative ultra-Orthodox Beit Shemesh synagogue known as Kehillat Yaakov, led by Rabbi Mordechai Goldstein.
Tombeck charges that it is the modern Orthodox who are escalating the war by holding demonstrations, using political muscle and speaking to the media. Moderates admit that they retaliate against the kanaim by waving Israeli flags from rooftops and terraces, hoping to irk the anti-state zealots.
Modern Orthodox residents paint a very different picture. "Rocks, dirty diapers and tomatoes have been pelted at and damaged our hospital van," says Judy Lev, an emergency room nurse, who works at the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem and is required to work on Saturdays. The zealots' loud screeching at cars traveling on Shabbat near religious precincts is offensive to the moderates, although they too would prefer cars to stay away from their neighborhoods on the day of rest.
Sharon Ra'anan, an ex-Californian married with three children and a resident of bucolic Nofei Aviv, a modern Orthodox neighborhood of single family homes, reports that even "on a Tuesday" a friend's car was stoned as she drove through an adjoining zealot's neighborhood, Ramat Beit Shemesh Bet. A burning baby carriage was placed in the road, says Ra'anan. When her friend stopped her car to remove it, a brick was thrown into her back window narrowly missing her son. Ra'anan says it is unclear exactly why the woman was accosted, but the incident, she says, underscores the kind of hostile atmosphere, which has erupted in the town. She also knows of a doctor whose arm was broken "by hooligans" but could not elaborate on specific details and another modern Orthodox man who was roughed up by zealots. She also cites the case of a woman who had been harassed after she chose to sit in the forward "men's section" seating area of a neighborhood bus. Ra'anan, 43, who works as a technical writer in Jerusalem, immigrated 10 years ago. She says she was brought up as a "serious Conservative." She does not wear a head covering and she co-founded a women's payer group in Beit Shemesh after she moved in.
She says local police prefer not to react to complaints against zealot violence and have on occasion refused to respond to calls. Ilan Geal-Dor, a modern Orthodox community activist and former city councilman (1999-2004), who has lived in Beit Shemesh for the past 15 years, confirms that police in Beit Shemesh once told him that "this is not serious urban crime." Yehuda Gur-Aryeh, a spokesman for Beit Shemesh, dismisses the criticism and says police "take all calls seriously."
What angers the moderates most is that mainstream ultra-Orthodox rabbis and politicians have not loudly condemned the violence, either out of tacit agreement with zealot behavior, out of fear, or out of a desire to make political capital.
Beit Shemesh has been quiet in recent months, although in mid-July the violence flared. Eida Haredit adherents torched a municipal car, set fire to garbage bins and plastered new angry wall posters decrying City Hall, after municipal employees demolished two pre-fabricated homes, which were being used as makeshift Eida Haredit synagogues and were operating without the relevant permits.
Indeed, as the city readies itself for new municipal elections in November and the interlocking interests of religion and politics stir old tensions, an unsettling stand-off prevails and tensions are bound to resurface, say moderate residents. Beit Shemesh's long-serving, three-term mayor (15 years) Daniel Vaknin, 59, is running for re-election on the Likud party slate. Modern Orthodox himself, he has been blamed, some say unfairly, by all sides for turning a blind eye to the conflict, and, worse, playing off one faction against the other.
"He's been in the job too long. And the city is stagnating in many respects," says Ra'anan. Specifically, he's accused by moderates of poor urban planning as reflected by his decision to place a central road, open on Shabbat smack in the middle of the zealot's neighborhood, Ramat Beit Shemesh Bet. A by-pass road is being built. The zealots, Ra'anan says, belong in a "less central and more isolated area."
Others say Vaknin has kowtowed to the zealots, citing a recent article in an ultra-Orthodox paper describing a hush-hush meeting between Vaknin and ultra-Orthodox rabbis sympathetic to the zealots, over building a new haredi girls' school in an area near modern Orthodox homes. Critics fear that this school will become a hotbed of zealot hostility and cause the neighboring modern Orthodox to relocate. Till now, moderate politicians have succeeded in blocking the project as part of a "carrot and stick" policy to rein in the zealots, meaning that "we refuse to reward bad behavior with a gift of land," says Deputy Mayor Shalom Lerner.
In the upcoming elections, Vaknin will be facing stiff opposition from Lerner, 55 (National Religious Party-National Front), who was born in Brazil, has lived in London and the United States, and has been active in battling the violence and intimidation. Lerner, who is currently part of Vaknin's 17-member city council coalition (only the Labor councilman is not part of the coalition), faults the mayor for indifference to the religious problems in Ramat Beit Shemesh. Lerner is one of the leading opponents against building the girls' school. "It's just too close to modern Orthodox homes," he says. He favors giving the group an alternate site.
In an interview in his office, Vaknin dismissed the criticism and said that reports of violence are "greatly exaggerated" by the media and the troublemakers are a "tiny minority." He paints a rosy picture of his city, avoids difficult questions and prefers to focus on the positive aspects such as the low unemployment rate (2.7 percent); ties forged with other cities (Cocoa, Florida and Ramapo, New York); the mutual benefits of having a popular modern Orthodox yeshiva in town (Raishit Yerushalayim) as well as a privately-run program in which American teen volunteers work with disadvantaged Ethiopian youths.
Soft-spoken but steely, Vaknin says he believes in a live-and-let-live policy and says he spearheaded an ambitious urban plan whereby Beit Shemesh more than tripled its size. He recalls that the first ultra-Orthodox neighborhood, Nahala U'menucha, was built in Beit Shemesh in the early 1990s when ultra-Orthodox Knesset member Avraham Ravitz was deputy housing minister. "And there was no problem." The trouble started in 1998 when Ramat Beit Shemesh was developed, practically doubling the size of Beit Shemesh. As he sees it, most Beit Shemesh residents of all religious stripes get along. "It's a few zealous punks," who create strife, he says dismissively. Vaknin believes "quiet dialogue" with religious communal leaders who will rein in "the troublemakers," and will end the religious strife. "The worst thing is to give the zealots publicity," he says.
Experts are divided in their opinions about the broader significance of the conflict in Ramat Beit Shemesh. Shoshi Becker, director of Gesher, a Jerusalem-based religious-secular dialogue group, says communal religious disputes (as opposed to national battles) are generally less frequent these days because Israelis tend to "self-segregate," she says and mixed neighborhoods are altogether vanishing. As for the prevalence of intra-religious communal strife, she can hardly recall another all- Orthodox incident, "because religious people usually understand each other's communal needs."
Former councilman Geal-Dor doesn't consider what's going on in Beit Shemesh to be a real kulturkampf because he believes even mainstream ultra-Orthodox residents do not support the zealots. Geal-Dor, 44, asserts that the mainstream ultra-Orthodox "have the most to lose if the zealots get any real power. And they know it." He says the zealots will not hesitate to make even more stringent demands on the ultra-Orthodox.
But Tel Aviv University Jewish history professor David Assaf, an expert on the 19th-century hasidic movement, says historically ultra-Orthodox infighting was common and is usually connected to some hidden agenda. Assaf says ultra-Orthodox tumult over women's modesty or Sabbath observance or any other theological topic often masks a true issue of "economic self-interest." For example, one ultra-Orthodox group may want to assert a monopoly over kashrut supervision, or ritual slaughter and may orchestrate riots as a display of power. Mainstream ultra-Orthodox silence in Beit Shemesh over zealot aggression, he says, may be part of a wider strategy on that group to "flush out the modern Orthodox like they did in Har Nof," an ultra-Orthodox Jerusalem suburb largely cleansed of moderate Orthodox and secular residents. He says Vaknin may prefer to accommodate the zealots because "it helps him politically."
"The zealots are convenient henchmen," meaning that they do the bidding of the mainstream ultra-Orthodox, says Assaf. He says Ashkenazi ultra-Orthodox Jews are generally more intolerant than Sephardi, and that the clash between modern Orthodox religious Zionism and Ashkenazi ultra-Orthodoxy is especially keen because of their sharp differences on Zionism. (Indeed, graffiti in Ramat Beit Shemesh Bet likened Palestine's first chief rabbi, Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, godfather of religious Zionism, to Shabtai Zvi, the 17th-century kabbalist who claimed he was the messiah and converted to Islam.)
"Moshe Cohen," 33, an ultra-Orthodox man who immigrated from New York some 11 years ago and asked that his real name or profession not be published out of concern for his personal safety, agrees with Assaf but says what is unfolding in Ramat Beit Shemesh is more complicated and nuanced and underlines changing norms in ultra-Orthodoxy. He was roughed up by a gang of zealots several months ago for his efforts to cooperate with modern Orthodox residents to end the violence. "Cohen" believes that the conflict in Beit Shemesh reflects a power struggle between mainstream ultra-Orthodox groups and the Eida Haredit, which he says is deeply fragmented, has lost its Jerusalem power base to the vagaries of real estate and modern times, is widely ignored by mainstream ultra-Orthodox and hopes to reinvent itself in Beit Shemesh.
In a drive around town, Deputy Mayor Lerner
says he is puzzled how "a city of immigrants" developed these pockets of suburban religious radicalism. "Westerners aren't quite prepared to face this sort of religious intolerance" in the Jewish state, he says. He points out the most obvious examples of that intolerance in Beit Shemesh: the rash of wall signs and graffiti requesting that women dress modestly, specifying that "collars be buttoned to the neck; long sleeves and skirts; not too fitted." These signs are on display in Ramat Beit Shemesh Bet, which one must drive through in order to reach other neighborhoods such as Ramat Beit Shemesh Aleph, a mixed modern- and ultra-Orthodox area. But they are also elsewhere. In Aleph's sprawling outdoor shopping arcade, nearly every store displays a uniform English and Hebrew sign (provided free by the zealots) instructing women how to dress "to respect our way of life." A particularly large metal sign is displayed on the wall of the supermarket.
Lerner says the city council voted to have signs placed on local government property removed, including a large one above the supermarket at the shopping area in Aleph. But he says Vaknin caved into pressure by zealot-affiliated rabbis to put them back. As for the signs in stores, Lerner says shopkeepers "go along with the charade" out of fear of the zealots, but until someone files a police complaint "there is nothing we can do on private property." Lerner says that if he's elected mayor, he will remove the signs.
One modern Orthodox Israeli shop owner at the Aleph shopping arcade, who asked not to be identified, says he was coerced to display the window sign, which he finds "insulting and distasteful." A resident of a nearby village, he was approached two years ago by several ultra-Orthodox men who came into his store, saying that the sign was meant for secular women from downtown Beit Shemesh, who came to shop in Aleph clad in scanty clothes. Just to be sure, the shop owner put the sign in the front window because he does not, he says, carry insurance and "it's better than getting a rock. The enforcers are wild people." Once, he witnessed a young scantily clad woman being harassed by ultra-Orthodox men, but says things have since quieted down.
A different shop owner, a (newly religious) Maine-born wine seller, said he was not particularly bothered by the request to display a modesty sign. His only negative encounter with the enforcers was when they asked him not to sell "open bottles" because they did not want a bar in town. "But I do have a wine-tasting every Thursday," he added somewhat sheepishly.
In mid-July 2008, a young woman in tank top and shorts, escorted by an older burly man with a yarmulke, walked briskly through the Aleph shopping area undisturbed, as did other women in slacks and short-sleeved tops. Zealot spokesman Tombeck, who has been known to station himself outside Shefa Shuk, a supermarket in Aleph, and warn women to cover up, was nowhere to be seen. In the phone interview he admits to having hung signs and passing out flyers calling for women to dress modestly but denies partaking in violent activity. "Israeli women often dress in public as though they are going to the beach," he says. "And our streets are not beaches."
Last year, Nofei Aviv resident Ra'anan co-founded with Catriel Lev and others an Action Committee Against Violence in Beit Shemesh. Lev, 52, the father of five, followed his brother from Baltimore to Ramat Beit Shemesh Aleph, where he has lived for eight years. A tall, soft-spoken translator and editor, he says it pains him to look at "my Jewish brothers as enemies." He also worries that the sociology of ultra-Orthodox culture promotes extremism. "It's like a contest among them to out-extreme each other."
The Action Committee attempted but failed to create a fruitful communal dialogue with the mayor and police, says Ra'anan. (Last December, Police Chief Oz Eliasi held secret talks with zealot rabbi leaders, it was reported.) But the Action Committee helped organize what is regarded as a successful rally in November, which was attended by 1,500 moderate residents, mostly English-speaking. "The purpose of the rally was to protest against mainstream ultra-Orthodox silence against the violence," says Geal-Dor, who served as the master of ceremony of the event. The Action Committee has since also distributed a carefully worded petition composed with rabbinic approval, says Lev, which condemns violence.
Not surprisingly, some locals have already moved out to more tranquil and tolerant areas elsewhere, such as nearby Modi'in to the north. David Resnick, a 29-year-old computer programmer who is married with two children and not religiously observant, did just that. (There are several "For Sale" signs on Nahal Dolev, a main residential street in Aleph.) Brought to Israel as a child in 1980, Resnick settled in Aleph in 2002 but left for Modi'in three years later, because "I could no longer ignore the hostility of the people in the neighborhood." Resnick told The Report that he felt hostility from "all black kippa" wearers, referring to all ultra Orthodox.
But "Moshe Cohen" insists distinctions are in order. All ultra-Orthodox groups have fought their battles with the Eida Haredit, he says, including the large hasidic groups of Belz, Gur and Vizhnitz, and the smaller ones, such as Boyaner and Karlin-Stolin. Each sect, has ignored the Eida which has taken on issues which "no one else would touch," says "Cohen," such as attacking scholar Adin Steinzaltz in the 1980s for translating the Talmud into different languages. The same holds true for the non-hasidic Lithuanian groups in Israel, who follow rabbis Yosef Shalom Elyashiv and Aharon Leib Shteinman, says "Cohen." Nevertheless, he says, the Eida Haredit insists that it represents all ultra-Orthodox Jews, and imposes its view on others.
Having lost their power base in Jerusalem (mainly because young couples could not afford apartments there and their outdated ideological anti-work and anti-state ethos) and unwilling to settle over the Green Line (because that could be seen as supporting Zionism), the Eida decided to assert themselves in Beit Shemesh "where they have the express intention of taking over, that means, establishing their standards and imposing those standards on everyone," says "Cohen." He says the group planted its own rabbis, supporters and activists in various Beit Shemesh neighborhoods and "dragged non-Eida rabbis to support Eida causes."
Besides violence, "Cohen" says the Eida also uses connections made by sympathetic mainstream ultra-Orthodox rabbis meeting on the Eida's behalf with political figures. "They scream against the Zionist state and secretly work with it," he says. Another weapon used by the Eida effectively against the mainstream ultra-Orthodox is the threat of excommunication, says "Cohen." He has formulated a confidential memo, in which he with anti-violence leaders (including Lerner) name Beit Shemesh rabbis whom he says are plainly sympathetic to the zealot cause and condone violence. Included on "Cohen's" list, obtained by The Report, are some of the most "anti-Zionist ultra-Orthodox religious figures" operating in Israel, according to "Cohen."
But the subtleties of the ultra-Orthodox
world are lost on many Beit Shemesh Western immigrants. "Jews should get along with other Jews," declares Catriel Lev's mother, Sarah Lee Wolff, a retired social worker from Baltimore, Maryland, who lives in Ramat Beit Shemesh Aleph, near her married sons and grandchildren. And for the most part they do.
Despite the tumult, Beit Shemesh is filled with contented residents. Geal-Dor insists that Ramat Beit Shemesh has a "fantastic community and is a wonderful place to live." What he fears most, he says, is that negative publicity might unjustly give Beit Shemesh a bad reputation. Similar thoughts trouble his friend and neighbor, modern Orthodox Daniel Goldmann, 39, who came from Newcastle, England in 1992. A private investor who lives and works in Beit Shemesh, Goldmann is active in the two-year-old Beit Shemesh Foundation, which is modeled on the Jerusalem Foundation and promotes cultural and charitable events in town, such as cycling events and concerts. Goldmann is married and the father of four. He believes the way to affect change is by "building things up" and not giving extremists publicity. He refuses to shop in Aleph because he is offended by the modesty signs, which represent a form of religious coercion, he says. "I care about my city and want it to be a pluralistic, welcoming place for all." He says the way to achieve change with the ultra-Orthodox is to facilitate more employment and recreational opportunities for them. "Fact is," he says, "many thousands of them do work."
Goldmann says that Beit Shemesh's image is hardly helped by the phenomenon of a small bizarre sect of women, who espouse a hyper-radical form of modesty and chastity. Donning floor-length garments which conceal their bodies and have drawn comparison with Muslim burkas, the women (mostly newly religious) appeared to be followers of a local guru and mother of 12 known as Bruria Keren, who in late March was indicted for allegedly abusing some of her children and failing to report incest among them, and is under house arrest. She has denied the accusations in media interviews.
Some believe there is a connection between the Beit Shemesh "burka ladies" and the zealots, and point out that Keren's son-in-law allegedly belongs to the latter group. Others, including Tombeck, brush the women off as "total nutcases." (This reporter did not see any "burka ladies" per se, although one middle-aged turban-topped woman appeared to be wearing a heavy overcoat on a particularly hot summer day.)
Technical writer Ra'anan worries that fewer Western newcomers may decide to settle in Beit Shemesh. "I don't want to move," she says. But as of now she has to "think twice" about what to wear before going shopping at the shopping center in Beit Shemesh Aleph. A modern professional woman, she finds the plethora of signs offensive to look at. Once she was handed a skirt upon entering the supermarket to cover up. "It's very demeaning to say the least."
Lerner hopes the suburban zealots and other radicals of Beit Shemesh get the message that "violence and religious coercion will not be tolerated here." With its diverse population, Beit Shemesh is a microcosm of Israel itself, says the would-be mayor, and its different types of Jews, he says, "must not be silenced by fear or intimidation." •

Vile Comment 25 said...

Rabbi Horowitz is being harassed and slandered by the supporters of the former Chicago Community Kollel fellow turned pursuer. None of the lies and innuendo is remotely factual. It is sad that one rotten apple can destroy an institution the entire community built. Rabbi Zucker and Francis should repudiate the nasty comments, and the kollel should disassociate itself from pursuers.

Anonymous said...

As GM Goes, So Goes the GOP

Understandably, Republicans are seething.

When Hank Paulson demanded $700 billion to haul away the trash in the dumpsters of JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs -- assuring us we could hold a garage sale of the junk -- they rebelled. They acted as the nation, by 100 to one, demanded. They killed the Wall Street bailout.

The Dow quickly sank another 1,000 points, and, charged with criminal irresponsibility by the elites, the GOP buckled, reversed itself, rescued the bailout -- and was wiped out on Nov. 4.

Now we hear from Paulson that the $700 billion Congress voted will not, after all, be used to buy up all that rotten paper on the books of the big banks. Some banks are using the cash to buy other banks.

So Republicans are right to be enraged. They are victims of the biggest bait-and-switch in political history. But they are now about to do something terminally stupid. With GM, Ford and Chrysler teetering on the brink, they are turning a cold stone face to Detroit and are about to follow the counsel of that quintessential Bushite Dick Darman, who said of our computer chip industry, "If our guys can't hack it, let 'em go."

America responded -- by letting George H.W. Bush and Darman go.

Are Republicans aware of what they are about to do?

When workers, execs, engineers, dealers, salesmen and suppliers are all factored in, the Big Three employ 3 million people who contribute $21 billion a year to Social Security and Medicare, and $25 billion in federal income taxes. Add in all the businesses that depend on the auto industry, and we are talking about one-tenth of the U.S. labor force.

As columnist Tom Piatak of Chronicles and Takimag.com writes, 850,000 retirees, and their families, depend for pensions and health care on the Big Three. If they go under, the burden falls on us.

And to let the auto industry die is to write America out of much of the economic future of the planet.

In a good year, like 2005, Americans buy more than 17 million new cars, and West Europeans as many. Tens of millions in Eastern Europe, Russia, China, India and Southeast Asia are now moving into the middle class each year. These folks will all need or want one or two family cars. If we let the U.S. auto industry die, that immense and burgeoning market will be lost forever to America, and ceded to Asia.

"Who cares?" comes the free-traders' reply. Japanese and Koreans are setting up factories here. They can pick up the slack.

But that means Americans will work for and depend on foreign companies for a necessity of our national life as vital as the imported oil and gas on which our cars and trucks operate. All the profits of the mighty automobile industry in America will be sent abroad.

Before Republicans follow this free-trade fanaticism to their final interment, they might study the results of a poll by Peter Hart:

-- Seventy-eight percent of Americans believe the U.S. auto industry is highly or extremely important. Three percent think we can do without it.

-- Ninety percent of Americans believe the death of the U.S. auto industry would do great damage to our economic future.

-- By 55 percent to 30 percent, Americans favor federal loans to save it. And by 64 percent to 25 percent Americans back President-elect Obama's resolve not to let the U.S. auto industry go under.

If the GOP blocks these loans, and the industry dies, the party can forget about Ohio, Michigan and the industrial Midwest. For the Reagan Democrats will never come home again. Nor should they.

By the choices we make, we define ourselves and reveal what we truly care about. Thus, consider:

We bail out the New York and D.C. governments of Abe Beame and Marion Barry. We bail out a corrupt Mexico. We bail out public schools that have failed us for 40 years.

We bail out with International Monetary Fund and World Bank loans and foreign aid worthless Third World regimes.

We bail out Wall Street plutocrats and big banks.

But the most magnificent industry, the auto industry that was the pride of America and envy of the world, we surrender to predator-traders from Asia and Europe, lest we violate the tenets of some 19th-century ideological scribblers that the old Republicans considered the apogee of British stupidity.

Nancy Pelosi is talking about tying loans to a restructuring of the industry. But Congress is not competent to do that.

What needs to be restructured is the U.S. tax-and-trade regime.

Dump globalism. Instruct Japan, Canada, Korea, Germany and China that if they wish to sell cars here, they will assemble them here and produce the parts here. And we shall have the same free access to and same share of their auto market as they have of ours.

To accomplish this, use the same import quotas and tariffs Ronald Reagan used to save the steel industry and Harley-Davidson.

Reciprocal trade. Even Democrats like FDR used to practice it.

Anonymous said...

Crony Capitalism, Predatory Politicians, and the Detroit Three
by Newt Gingrich


There’s a term that’s commonly applied to the economic systems of some Asian and Latin American countries. It’s “crony capitalism.”

Crony capitalism is when government controls significant parts of the economy. Under this kind of bureaucratic micromanagement, politicians -- not the free market -- call the shots. And that means that the decisions that control the economy are of necessity political decisions, not economic ones.

Crony capitalism is bad for government. Economic power in the hands of politicians breeds corruption.

Crony capitalism is bad for democracy. Individuals and businesses outside favored industries have an unequal voice in self-government.

Crony capitalism is bad for business. Politicians wedded to the status quo stifle growth and innovation.

And there’s one more thing about crony capitalism: It’s come to America.

Predatory Politicians Practicing Crony Capitalism Created the Economic Crisis

It’s the nature of crony capitalism to expand -- for government to acquire more and more of the economy.

The agents of this expansion are elected officials. Call them “predatory politicians.”

Crony capitalism practiced by predatory politicians is at the root of the current financial meltdown.

In exchange for campaign cash and support for favored constituents, predatory politicians aided and abetted the government-backed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as they created and fed the subprime mortgage market.

Now Predatory Politicians Are About to Make It Worse

And to fix the mess they created, what have predatory politicians turned to? Why, more crony capitalism of course.

First, they designed Wall Street bailouts in which a former chairman of Goldman Sachs got a blank check to disburse hundreds of billions of dollars to his former colleagues on Wall Street.

Then they took over an insurance company at a hugely inflated cost.

Now predatory politicians want taxpayers to fund a bailout of three bloated, stagnant companies that have been losing money for years, one of which is currently hemorrhaging over $1 billion a month.

The Detroit Three: An Investment Only a Predatory Politician Would Propose

To reward the unions that helped produce its electoral victory, the newly empowered Democratic Congress is proposing that American taxpayers pony up $25 billion to bail out the Detroit Three automakers, Ford, GM and Chrysler.

Democrats are using the current financial crisis as their excuse to bailout the autos. But in fact, the Detroit three were unprofitable long before the current crisis hit.

According to one economist, GM and Ford made more money-losing investments in the 1980s than any other U.S. companies. And the Detroit money pit only got deeper in the ensuing two decades. Since 1998, GM has been losing an astonishing $1.5 billion a month.

That’s an investment only a predatory politician would propose.

Bringing Fannie and Freddie Style Accountability to the Auto Industry

One of the things that makes crony capitalism so profitable for politicians is that Washington exempts itself from the economic and financial rules it imposes on private industry.

For example, in 2003, federal regulators discovered that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had engaged in Enron-style accounting fraud. But while executives at private companies who engaged in similar fraud went to prison -- and Congress responded by imposing the draconian and business-killing Sarbanes-Oxley bill on private businesses -- Fannie and Freddie executives barely received a slap on the wrist.

One of the reasons was House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.). Frank fought tenaciously against the regulation that would have held Fannie and Freddie executives accountable and might have averted the financial crisis.

Now Chairman Frank wants to bring his particular style of crony capitalism to the auto industry.

Any Detroit Bailout Government Board Should Be Subject To Sarbanes-Oxley

On “Face the Nation” this Sunday, Chairman Frank announced that not only would he push for a taxpayer bailout of the Detroit Three during the special session of Congress this week, but he would also create a government oversight board for the three companies -- in effect, a board of directors made up of predatory politicians.

I believe that it would be a mistake for the taxpayers to be forced to bail out Detroit. Companies at which union workers make $71 an hour in wages and benefits -- compared to just $47 an hour at Toyota’s U.S. plants -- are not going to be saved by a $25 billion government check.

But if Democrats do find the votes to bring crony capitalism to Detroit, Americans should at the very least insist that any government board of directors created for the auto industry be subject to the criminal penalties and lengthy prison sentences in Sarbanes-Oxley.

What’s fair for the rest of us is fair for predatory politicians.

A Chance For President-Elect Obama to Deliver Real Change

The solution to our economic problems, be they in Detroit or on Wall Street, isn’t more crony capitalism; it’s economic growth.

While politicians in Washington are constantly calling on taxpayers to put up more and more money to bail out flagging businesses, there are practical things that wouldn't cost the taxpayers a penny that we could do to make America a better place to create jobs.

One of these things is to repeal Sarbanes-Oxley. As I outline in more detail here, Sarbanes-Oxley has had the unintended consequences of stifling innovation, killing new business start-ups and driving listings overseas.

President-elect Obama won an historic victory two weeks ago on the promise of delivering change to the American people. Bailing out the Detroit auto dinosaurs is not change. It is crony capitalism in service of a failed status quo.

President-elect Obama should stand up to congressional Democrats and say “no” -- “no” to saddling future generations of Americans with the bill for today’s crony capitalism.

That would be change we could believe in.

Arthur said...

I am forwarding a letter to you translated from the Loshon Kodesh that Rav Y"B Soloveitchik ZT"L sent to my uncle ZT"L after he received a copy of the sefer "Ashkavte Drebbe" that my uncle authored.I am doing so because I know you admired and loved him as I did.Whether you post it for whatever purpose is your choice.I am using this means of communication because I have no other way of communicating with you.There were truely giants in those days.
Byididus. A

Erev Rosh ha-Shana, 5715

Honored friend, the great and brilliant rabbi, (gefen aderet) a pride to Israel, our esteemed teacher and Rabbi, Moshe Duvber Rivkin, shlita,

Blessings and greetings,

I received your letter. I am pressed to respond to it immediately, for wherever the shadow of slander is cast, the expeditious are quick to rectify the distortion and uncover the truth. I was deeply disturbed that your mind was agitated due to a mutilated and twisted report. You were informed of only an incomplete account, a partial statement. What actually occurred was as follows: When I received your book, I dedicated a good deal of time to it, and studied it all- which is out of character for me- with utmost seriousness. There are three reasons for my interest in your writings.

1. I profoundly respect you, and all that you write I will read with interest.

2. I possess a special fondness for the Lubavitch movement. As I speak, I recall the visions of my youth, paved with the pure impressions of childhood, enveloped by romantic splendor. Patriarchal images still hover before me, crowned with ancient glory. Behold, the likeness of my mentor, R. Barukh Ya'akov Reisberg, z'l, appears to me. I can still picture his facial expression, which radiated both solemnity and intelligence, as well as sweep and imagination. To this day, I hear his voice in the silence of the twilight, sad, saturated with sorrow and longing, his words emerging from the distance- words full of passion and fascination regarding his stay in Lubavitch during his youth. I still carry in the recesses of my soul, the image of the Alter Rebbe which gazed upon us, (tinokot shel beit rabban) from the whitewashed walls of the heder, a broad forehead, commanding intelligence, deep eyes gazing at Divine infinite distances, fastened upon wondrous visions. The beard which flowed upon his garments enchanted us with its majesty and mystery. My eyes still perceive the portrait of the Tzemah Tzedek, robed in white, who in our childhood fantasy appeared to us as the high priest exiting the Holy of Holies. My ears still detect strange sounds, both pleasant and appealing, detached phrases and scattered words uttered by the "hozrim" by dim candlelight during the long winter nights, referring to "all-encompassing lights" and "returning lights," concealment and revelation, internal love and the soul of Israel hewn from the celestial throne. As I continue to dream, I see the image of elderly hasidim on the night of Shemini Atzeret, dancing around my father and teacher of blessed memory in a quick rhythmic beat. Images such as these will not be erased from my heart; they are deeply rooted in the mystery of my being. Therefore, all that is written regarding this great movement is of enormous interest to me.

3. Your work fascinated me because of its unique character. I found in it a paradoxical blend of intellect and emotion, two traits which as a rule do not merge well. On the one hand I found sharp, clear halakhic logic, pleasing and accurate comments based upon subtle analysis. You use this to pinpoint the focal points of each and every issue. In a word, I found first-class Lithuanian lomdut. On the other hand, I encountered hasidic passion, with emotional excitement and honest, faithful devotion to the hasidic masters, which reaches the level of pure and rockfast faith in the righteous.

In the presence of friends and students I dealt with this phenomenon. I praised your book and related its wondrous characteristic, halakhic rigor and hasidic joy joined in harmony. As proof and example of this dualism which encompasses his entire work, I quoted your comments regarding the ritual defilement of kohanim via contact with graves of the righteous. I noted to those gathered, that the halakhist is wrestling with the faithful hasid. It is self-evident to the former that any grave defiles, irrespective of who was interred therein; there is no room here for sentimentality or a sense of veneration. However, the hasidic personality desires to be lenient regarding this issue. I believe that I subsequently stressed how you express astonishment regarding the custom of certain kohanim prostrating themselves over the graves of the righteous, but nevertheless both understands as well as senses the emotional need which drives them to it. The mind and the heart struggle, and the author admits the legitimacy of both. Believe me, my friend, that this schism- thought and feeling- sunders my soul as well. At times I tend to listen to the murmur of my heart. A strand of hasidut [hasidism] is buried deep within me.

Unfortunately, I still have not been able to properly study your work. My preoccupation prior to the days of grace and mercy overwhem me, and I hope to return to it later. However, I am confident that everything which flows from the pen of a great individual such as your honor is both proper and pleasing.

Please accept my blessing for the renewal of the year. May you be inscribed and sealed instantly in the book of the righteous for a year of life, peace and prosperity. May we all be privileged to fulfill the verse, "with trumpets and the sound of the shofar raise a shout before the Lord, the King" [Ps. 98:6].

Your friend, who admires and respects you,
Yosef Dov ha-Levi Soloveitchik

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

R' Arthur,

It brings tears to my eyes and my heart aches for the time that there were Jews of this caliber.

The present generation will never understand what we mean --- they have the gedolim "pictures" - we were fortunate to be in the presence of these tzaddikim, lomdim, true yirei Hashem. Their aura of holiness filled the neighborhood and our very being.

Days gone....Todah!


Organizational insider said...

I assume UOJ already knew that people very high up in the OU and RCA chains of command monitor this blog.

They are aware of the excesses of RCA member Rabbi Lopatin. The question is will they do anything about it besides tell him to stop making a scene in public.

I could get more details if I wanted to but I want to save my privileged information "capital" for more important stories.

Edith Bunker said...

"Their aura of holiness filled the neighborhood and our very being ... Days gone...."


Boy the way Yossele Rosenblatt played
Nigunim that made the hit parade.
Guys like us we had it made,
Those were the days.

And you knew who you were then,
Gedolim were takke gedolim and men were men,
Mister Rosh Yeshiva we could use a Moetzes led by R' Moishe Feinstein again.

Didn't need no kollel welfare state,
Everybody pulled his weight.
Before a bus driver started YTT yeshivos ran great.

Those were the days!

R' Dovid Brooks said...


At the beginning of every recession, there are people who see the downturn as an occasion for moral revival: Americans will learn to live without material extravagances. They’ll simplify their lives. They’ll rediscover what really matters: home, friends and family.

But recessions are about more than material deprivation. They’re also about fear and diminished expectations. The cultural consequences of recessions are rarely uplifting.

The economic slowdown of the 1880s and 1890s produced a surge of agrarian populism and nativism, with particular hostility directed toward Catholics, Jews and blacks. The Great Depression was not only a time of F.D.R.’s optimism and escapist movies, it was also a time of apocalyptic forebodings and collectivist movements that crushed individual rights.

The recession of the 1970s produced a cynicism that has never really gone away. The share of students who admitted to cheating jumped from 34 percent in 1969 to 60 percent a decade later. More than a quarter of all employees said the goods they produced were so shoddily made that they wouldn’t buy them for themselves. As David Frum noted in his book, “How We Got Here,” job dissatisfaction in 1977 was higher than at any time in the previous quarter-century.

Recessions breed pessimism. That’s why birthrates tend to drop and suicide rates tend to rise. That’s why hemlines go down. Tamar Lewin of The New York Times reported on studies that show that the women selected to be Playboy Playmates of the Year tend to look more mature during recessions — older, heavier, more reassuring — though I have not verified this personally.

This recession will probably have its own social profile. In particular, it’s likely to produce a new social group: the formerly middle class. These are people who achieved middle-class status at the tail end of the long boom, and then lost it. To them, the gap between where they are and where they used to be will seem wide and daunting.

The phenomenon is noticeable in developing nations. Over the past decade, millions of people in these societies have climbed out of poverty. But the global recession is pushing them back down. Many seem furious with democracy and capitalism, which they believe led to their shattered dreams. It’s possible that the downturn will produce a profusion of Hugo Chávezes. It’s possible that the Obama administration will spend much of its time battling a global protest movement that doesn’t even exist yet.

In this country, there are also millions of people facing the psychological and social pressures of downward mobility.

In the months ahead, the members of the formerly middle class will suffer career reversals. Paco Underhill, the retailing expert, tells me that 20 percent of the mall storefronts could soon be empty. That fact alone means that thousands of service-economy workers will experience the self-doubt that goes with unemployment.

They will suffer lifestyle reversals. Over the past decade, millions of Americans have had unprecedented access to affordable luxuries, thanks to brands like Coach, Whole Foods, Tiffany and Starbucks. These indulgences were signs of upward mobility. But these affordable luxuries will no longer be so affordable. Suddenly, the door to the land of the upscale will slam shut for millions of Americans.

The members of the formerly middle class will suffer housing reversals. The current mortgage crisis is having its most concentrated effect on people on the lowest rungs of middle-class life — people who live in fast-growing exurbs in Florida and Nevada that are now rife with foreclosures; people who just moved out of their urban neighborhoods and made it to modest, older suburbs in California and Michigan. Suddenly, the home of one’s own is gone, and it’s back to the apartment complex.

Finally, they will suffer a drop in social capital. In times of recession, people spend more time at home. But this will be the first steep recession since the revolution in household formation. Nesting amongst an extended family rich in social capital is very different from nesting in a one-person household that is isolated from family and community bonds. People in the lower middle class have much higher divorce rates and many fewer community ties. For them, cocooning is more likely to be a perilous psychological spiral.

In this recession, maybe even more than other ones, the last ones to join the middle class will be the first ones out. And it won’t only be material deprivations that bites. It will be the loss of a social identity, the loss of social networks, the loss of the little status symbols that suggest an elevated place in the social order. These reversals are bound to produce alienation and a political response. If you want to know where the next big social movements will come from, I’d say the formerly middle class.

Inspired by UOJ said...


November 18, 2008

Web Sites That Dig for News Rise as Watchdogs


Senators for UOJ said...

“I do not support the use of U.S. taxpayer dollars to reward the mismanagement of Detroit-based auto manufacturers,” said Senator Richard Shelby, the ranking Republican on the Senate Banking Committee

Is "Yeshivish" a South American dialect? said...


When Immigration and Customs Enforcement detained 389 illegal workers at the Agriprocessors meatpacking plant in Postville, Iowa, on May 12, 32 certified Spanish interpreters were flown in, according to Robert Phelps, clerk of the U.S. District Court in Cedar Rapids. Even so, there were snags.

"People were unable to talk some of the South American dialects people were speaking," says Kathleen Campbell Walker, an immigration attorney who has worked in Texas for 20 years.

The Administrative Office spends $11 million a year in interpreting services, Carelli says, most of which go to travel expenses.

The skills to pass these tests are "phenomenal," Romberger says. In 2007, only 77 of 459 candidates passed the Federal Court Interpreter Certification Examination, according to the Administrative Office of U.S. Courts.

Courts sometimes hire uncertified interpreters because they are cheaper, Framer says.

According to the Administrative Office of U.S. Courts, a federal certified or qualified court interpreter is paid $376 a day ($112,000 a year). Others are paid $181.

IMF bails out Hungarian shmucks said...


Hungary's currency, the forint, rose against the dollar, as did the Polish zloty, Romanian leu, both the Czech and Slovak koruna and the Bulgarian lev, as markets digested a loan to Budapest from the IMF, the European Union and the World Bank. The loan was twice as large as analysts had predicted.

"This loan package was very good news and gave some relief to investors in the region," said Andras Pinter of fund management company Budapest Alapkezelo.

The size of the deal though also revealed the scale of the problem facing Hungary and its neighbours, most of which have enjoyed well over a decade of growth but now face a sharp slowdown and trouble servicing the budget deficits and large external debt.

"This clearly illustrates that the financial crisis is significantly greater in central and eastern Europe than most market participants have been willing to accept until now," said Danske Bank chief analyst Lars Christensen.

"The fact the EU is so directly involved indicates that the EU is afraid that, if Hungary were allowed to implode, the crisis could rapidly spread to the other central and eastern European countries."

Rabbi Ronnie Greenwald said...

Ronnie Schreiber called Chuckie Schumer at home. Publicity-Whore Schumer agreed to make this dumb statement on the condition that he got to stick his snout into TV cameras:

Senator Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat, said automakers are ``too vital to let fail,'' though he was concerned they would be back in months to seek more dollars unless Congress requires an industry overhaul.

Gedaliah Weinberger said...

The company I run is a division of Siemens.

Nov. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Two former Siemens AG managers were given suspended sentences by a German court after they confessed to helping to organize bribery payments.

The men, who under German law can only be identified as Wolfgang Ru., 69, and Heinz K.-von J., 58, helped hide illegal payments by putting 73 million euros ($92 million) of Siemens money into slush funds. Some of the money was later used to pay bribes in Nigeria and Russia.

K.-von J. received a two-year suspended sentence and a fine of 12,000 euros. Ru. got a suspended sentence of nine months and was ordered to give 20,000 euros to charity. The verdict is the second in the Munich bribery probe, following the conviction of a former Siemens unit manager in July.

``What the accused did was a crime, regardless of whether Siemens profited from bribery payments by winning orders,'' said Presiding Judge Peter Noll. ``Once the money was in slush funds, no one at the company had any control over how it would be used.''

Siemens, Europe's biggest engineering company, has been dogged since November 2006 by corruption probes that have spread to at least 12 countries including the U.S. over bribes to customers. The Munich-based company, which is cooperating with the authorities, has set aside 1 billion euros to settle U.S. and German charges.

The confessions and today's verdict were the result of an agreement between the Munich court, prosecutors and defense lawyers. A suspended sentence means the men can avoid jail time if they commit no other offenses during that period.

Boog's vote counting dept said...

Alaska's Republican Senator Ted Stevens has lost his bid for a seventh term in office after a knife-edge race against Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich.

The Democratic candidate led the Senate's longest-serving Republican by 3,724 after Tuesday's count, with only 2,500 overseas votes to be tallied.

If the Democrats win two more Senate seats they would be able to prevent the Republicans from blocking legislation.

Minnesota's vote is due to be recounted while Georgia will hold a run-off vote.

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

Mrs. Bunker hatznua - I enjoyed - let's see some more of that talent.

R' Arthur - I was wondering if you could scan the original lashon kodesh document from Rav JBS zt'l to Rav DBR zt'l.


I would be very honored to add that to my library.

Another "brilliant" Obama move said...

Making Eric Holder the Attorney General.

Who is Holder? Some guy who has been bitching for 30 years that cops "profile" him for "driving while Black".

In the Clinton Justice Dept he was behind the scandalous pardon of Marc Rich.

Shmelly Shmelka Pinter said...


Report: Nursing home's residents abused

By KIM ARCHER World Staff Writer

Surveyors determined Aug. 13 that Pleasant Manor was subjecting residents to immediate jeopardy. The home was fined $10,000 per day — from Aug. 13 to Aug. 15 — until the status was removed. The fine then fell to $1,200 a day, where it will remain until the home achieves compliance with federal and state regulations, said Dorya Huser, the Health Department's director of long-term care.

Records show that Pleasant Manor is owned by Samuel and Fagie Pinter of New York City but is in receivership


Read the state Department of Health report on Pleasant Manor Nursing Home

Another Pinter Lowlife said...


Robert Pinter was looking for a DVD and perhaps a good time when he visited Blue Door Video on First Avenue in the East Village. He was approached by an attractive young Asian-American man.

"He is smiling, he's really a cute guy, very friendly," said Pinter, 52. "He initiated the conversation and drove the whole conversation."

Pinter said they agreed to have sex and the young man, who told Pinter he was 29, suggested they leave the shop and go to his car, which was parked outside. As they were exiting, the young man, who never told Pinter his name, mentioned money for the first time.

"He sort of threw in 'Oh, I want to pay you $50 to **** your ****,'" Pinter said.

Pinter said nothing in response and continued walking with the young man. Once outside, they were surrounded by a group of men who Pinter soon learned were police.

"At first I thought it was a gang because they didn't say anything, they didn't identify themselves as police," Pinter said. "They took my bag, started going through my possessions. I must have asked them four or five times, 'Why are you putting me under arrest?'"

Pinter, who has no prior arrests, was charged with prostitution. He was held handcuffed in a van for hours while officers made additional arrests around Manhattan, then photographed and fingerprinted at a Lower East Side police precinct, and finally arraigned on October 11, roughly 24 hours after his arrest, in the criminal courts downtown.

On the advice of a Legal Aid Society attorney, he pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct. On October 14, Pinter was sentenced to attend five health classes and he paid a small fine.

Pinter, a licensed massage therapist, has a thriving business. When he was arrested, he had $207 and a check for $110 in his pocket, according to the police voucher.

His arrest is just one of a number of improbable arrests that officers from the Manhattan South Vice Enforcement Squad made in Blue Door Video this year and in at least one other city porn shop in the past three years.

Blue Door was closed in June under the city nuisance abatement law after vice cops made ten prostitution arrests there in January and February. The criminal complaints in those arrests were filed as part of that lawsuit. In every case, it was police who first mentioned money.

Two men were a couple, one was 36 and the other was 43, who gave a Central Park West hotel as their address and appeared to be out-of-town visitors. The couple, the police alleged, agreed to be paid $20 each to have anal sex with an undercover cop.

Russell Novack, a senior staff attorney with Legal Aid who handles thousands of prostitution cases each year, said he has seen European gay men prosecuted for prostitution in Blue Door.

"The police send undercovers in there to solicit guys."

Like Pinter, all ten pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct. Their records will be sealed by mid-2010, so it will be as if the arrests never happened. Pleading to that lesser charge is the cheapest and fastest way to make the case disappear.

"You really do have to walk away," said Linda Poust Lopez, a Legal Aid supervising attorney. "Say very clearly 'No, thank you' and walk away."

Vice cops made one prostitution arrest in The Blue Store, an Eighth Avenue porn shop, in 2004, and a second in 2005. In those arrests, police claimed the fees the men sought for sex were $100 dollars and $300 dollars. That shop was briefly closed by the city in 2005 after those arrests were made.

The prostitution busts in Blue Door Video and The Blue Store do not appear to be all the arrests vice cops have made of gay men.

Asked if the police were entrapping gay men in city porn shops, Paul J. Browne, the police department's spokesman, wrote in an email, "Robert Pinter was arrested for prostitution on October 10 after he asked the officer how much money he had, and then offered to perform oral sex on the officer for $50. The location, Blue Door Video, has been the subject of prostitution complaints previously. It's currently enjoined by the court from conducting, permitting, or promoting prostitution. Blue Door Video and the landlord paid $2,500 in settlement costs stemming from the injunction."

Steve Greenberg said...


November 15, 2008

Beware: The Gay Enemies List

Rick Moran

Opponents of gay marriage in California are suffering the effects of a childish tantrum thrown by those who lost on Proposition 8. There have been attacks on Mormons for leading the fight for the ballot initiative as well as racial epithets hurled at African Americans because 70% of them voted "Yes" to define marriage as between a man and a woman.

Now these activists have taken their derangement to another level; they are publishing lists of ordinary people who donated to the "Yes on 8" coalition:

In addition to protests, gay activists have begun publishing lists online exposing individuals and organizations who have donated money in support of Proposition 8. On AntiGayBlacklist.com, individuals who gave money toward Proposition 8 are publicized, with readers urged not to patronize their businesses or services. The list of donors was culled from data on ElectionTrack.com, which follows all contributions of over $1,000 and all contributions of over $100 given before October 17. Dentists, accountants, veterinarians and the like who gave a few thousand dollars to the cause are listed alongside major donors like the Container Supply Co., Inc. of Garden Grove, Calif., which gave $250,000.

Yuval Aviv said...


Juval Aviv was the Israeli Agent upon whom the movie 'Munich' was based.

He was Golda Meir's bodyguard--she appointed him to track down and bring to justice the Palestinian terrorists who took the Israeli athletes hostage and killed them during the Munich Olympic Games.

In a lecture in New York City a few weeks ago, he shared information that EVERY American needs to know--but that our government has not yet shared with us. (Aviv's bio is noted at end.)

He predicted the London subway bombing on the Bill O'Reilly show on Fox News stating publicly that it would happen within a week. At the time, O'Reilly laughed and mocked him saying that in a week he wanted him back on the show. But, unfortunately, within a week the terrorist attack had occurred.

Juval Aviv gave intelligence (via what he had gathered in Israel and the Middle East) to the Bush Administration about 9/11 a month before it occurred. His report specifically said they would use planes as bombs and target high profile buildings and monuments. But he was not taken seriously by the Bush Administration, and they refused to respond to his concerns. Congress has since hired him as a security consultant, but he's frustrated as the Administration still does not really listen to him or his advice.

He didn't agree with Bush going into Iraq, saying that it didn't make sense to do so if what we really wanted was the terrorists responsible for 9/11. He also believes in Golda Meir's approach, which was to bring justice to the terrorists, but not to take down civilians. Aviv feels that killing civilians only creates more terrorists. However, similar to George Bush, Israeli leaders since Meir are not as insightful about such matters as she was.

For example, Aviv articulately states that Israel's greatest mistake against their war on terror was to invade the West Bank and Gaza and then to stay there. He says they should have followed the proven anti-terrorist strategy which is to 'Hit and Leave,' instead of 'Hit and Stay.'

He fears we are now 'stuck in Iraq' and that the consequences will be worse than that of Vietnam. Iraq has become the U.S. version of Israel's West Bank/ Gaza strip debacle Aviv doesn't believe we will ever be able to truly leave Iraq; because even when we are able to pull our troops back, we will still have to go back regularly to keep order which will keep us quagmired. We should have hit hard and left immediately.

Now for his future predictions. He predicts the next terrorist attack on the U.S. will occur within the next few months.

Forget hijacking airplanes, because he says terrorists will NEVER try and hijack a plane again as they know the people onboard will never go down quietly again. Aviv believes our airport security is a joke--that we have been reactionary rather than proactive in developing strategies that are truly effective.

For example(s):

1) our airport technology is outdated. We look for metal, and the new explosives are made of plastic.

2) He talked about how some idiot tried to light his shoe on fire. Because of that, now everyone has to take off their shoes. A group of idiots tried to bring aboard liquid explosives. Now we can't bring liquids on board. He says he's waiting for some suicidal maniac to pour liquid explosive on his underwear; at which point, security will have us all traveling naked! Every strategy we have is 'reactionary.'

3) We only focus on security when people are heading to the gates.

Aviv says that if a terrorist attack targets airports in the future, they will target busy times on the front end of the airport when/where people are checking in. It would be easy for someone to take two suitcases of explosives, walk up to a busy check-in line, ask a person next to them to watch their bags for a minute while they run to the restroom or get a drink, and then detonate the bags BEFORE security even gets involved. In Israel, security checks bags BEFORE people can even ENTER the airport.

Aviv says the next terrorist attack here in America is imminent and will involve suicide bombers and non-suicide bombers in places where large groups of people congregate. (i.e., Disneyland, Las Vegas casinos, big cities (New York, San Francisco, Chicago, etc.) and that it will also include shopping malls, subways in rush hour, train stations, etc., as well as rural America this time (Wyoming, Montana, etc.).

The attack will be characterized by simultaneous detonations around the country (terrorists like big impact), involving at least 5-8 cities, including rural areas. Aviv says terrorists won't need to use suicide bombers in many of the larger cities, because at places like the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, they can simply valet park a car loaded with explosives and walk away.

Aviv says all of the above is well known in intelligence circles, but that our U. S. government does not want to 'alarm American citizens' with the facts.

Aviv also predicts that the U. S. will attack Iran & Syria BEFORE Bush leaves office. Since our troop force is stretched at the moment, the U.S. will likely resort to using small, strategic nuclear weapons, even though the headlines the next day will read 'US Nukes Islamic World'.

The world is quickly going to become 'a different place,' and issues like 'global warming' and political correctness will become totally irrelevant.

On an encouraging note, he says that Americans don't have to be concerned about being nuked. Aviv says the terrorists who want to destroy America will not use sophisticated weapons. They like to use suicide as a front-line approach. It's cheap, it's easy, it's effective; and they have an infinite abundance of young militants more than willing to 'meet their destiny.'

He also says the next level of terrorists, over which America should be most concerned, will not be coming from abroad. But will be, instead, 'homegrown' - having attended and been educated in our own schools and universities right here in the U. S. He says to look for 'students' who frequently travel back and forth to the Middle East. These young terrorists will be most dangerous because they will know our language and will fully understand the habits of Americans; but that we Americans won't know/understand a thing about them.

Aviv says that, as a people, Americans are unaware and uneducated about the terroristic threats we will, inevitably, face. America still has only have a handful of Arabic and Farsi speaking people in our intelligence networks, and Aviv says it is critical that we change that fact - SOON.

So, what can America do to protect itself?

From an intelligence perspective, Aviv says the U.S. needs to stop relying on satellites and technology for intelligence. We need to, instead, follow Israel's, Ireland's and England's hands-on examples of human intelligence, both from an infiltration perspective as well as to trust 'aware' citizens to help.

We need to engage and educate ourselves as citizens; however, our U. S. government continues to treat us, its citizens, 'like babies.' Our government thinks we 'can't handle the truth' and are concerned that we'll panic if we understand the realities of terrorism. Aviv says this is a deadly mistake.

Aviv recently created/executed a security test for our Congress, by placing an empty briefcase in five well-traveled spots in five major cities. The results? Not one person called 911 or sought a policeman to check it out. In fact, in Chicago, someone tried to steal the briefcase!

In comparison, Aviv says that citizens of Israel are so well 'trained' that an unattended bag or package would be reported in seconds by citizen(s) who know to publicly shout, 'Unattended Bag.' The area would be quickly & calmly cleared by the citizens themselves. But, unfortunately, America hasn't been yet 'hurt enough' by terrorism for their government to fully understand the need to educate its citizens or for the government to understand that it's their citizens who are, inevitably, the best first-line of defense against terrorism.

Aviv also was concerned about the high number of children here in America who were in preschool and kindergarten after 9/11, who were 'lost' without parents being able to pick them up, and about ours schools that had no plan in place to best care for the students until parents could get there. (In New York City, this was days, in some cases!)

He stresses the importance of having a plan, that's agreed upon within your family, to respond to in the event of a terroristic emergency. He urges parents to contact their children's schools and demand that the schools, too, develop plans of actions, as they do in Israel.

Does your family know what to do if you can't contact one another by phone? Where would you gather in an emergency? He says we should all have a plan that is easy enough for even our youngest children to remember and follow.

Aviv says that the U. S. government has in force a plan that, in the event of another terrorist attack, will immediately cut-off EVERYONE's ability to use cell phones, blackberries, etc., as this is the preferred communication source used by terrorists and is often the way that their bombs are detonated.

How will you communicate with your loved ones in the event you cannot speak? You need to have a plan.

Aviv'sBio as follows:

Juval Aviv holds an M.A. in Business from Tel Aviv University and is President and CEO of Interfor, Inc., an international corporate intelligence and investigations firm.

Interfor, Inc. is now based in New York, with offices around the world. It was founded in 1979 and provides foreign and domestic intelligence services to legal, corporate and financial communities around the world. Interfor, Inc. also conducts investigations into terrorism and Mr. Aviv now serves as a special consultant to the U. S. Congress, and other policy makers, here within the U. S. on issues of terrorism, fraud and money laundering.

Interfor's services encompass white-collar crime investigations, asset search and recovery, corporate due diligence, litigation support, fraud investigations, internal compliance investigations and
security and vulnerability assessments. Since its inception, Interfor's asset investigation services have recovered over $2 billion worldwide for its clients.

A leading authority on terrorist networks, Mr. Aviv served as lead investigator for Pan Am Airways into the Pan Am 103-Lockerbie terrorist bombing. He was featured in the recent film, Munich, as the
leader of the Israeli team that tracked down the terrorists who kidnapped the Israeli Olympic team.

Before founding Interfor, Mr. Aviv served as an officer in the Israel Defense Force (Major, retired) leading an elite Commando/Intelligence Unit, and was later selected by the Israeli Secret Service (Mossad) to participate in a number of intelligence special operations, serving in many countries in the late 1960s and 1970s.

While working as a consultant with El Al, Mr. Aviv surveyed the existing security measures in place and updated El Al's security program, making El Al the safest airline in business today.

Most recently, Mr. Aviv wrote a book entitled, 'Staying Safe: The Complete Guide to Protecting Yourself, Your Family, and Youcr Business.' (2004, Harper Resource)

He has been a featured guest on ABC Nightline, FOX News, CNN, BBC, ZDF (German National Television) and RAI (Italian National Television)--and has been featured in numerous articles in major magazines and newspapers worldwide

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