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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

US bans Chinese dairy products - FDA finds traces of melamine in US infant formula!

FDA finds traces of melamine in US infant formula - Associated Press
Reuters – US bans Chinese dairy products

Traces of the industrial chemical melamine have been detected in samples of top-selling U.S. infant formula, but federal regulators insist the products are safe. The Food and Drug Administration said last month it was unable to identify any melamine exposure level as safe for infants, but a top official said it would be a "dangerous overreaction" for parents to stop feeding infant formula to babies who depend on it.

"The levels that we are detecting are extremely low," said Dr. Stephen Sundlof, director of the FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. "They should not be changing the diet. If they've been feeding a particular product, they should continue to feed that product. That's in the best interest of the baby."

Melamine is the chemical found in Chinese infant formula — in far larger concentrations — that has been blamed for killing at least three babies and making at least 50,000 others ill.

Previously undisclosed tests, obtained by The Associated Press under the Freedom of Information Act, show that the FDA has detected melamine in a sample of one popular formula and the presence of cyanuric acid, a chemical relative of melamine, in the formula of a second manufacturer.

Separately, a third major formula maker told AP that in-house tests had detected trace levels of melamine in its infant formula.

The three firms — Abbott Laboratories, Nestle and Mead Johnson — manufacture more than 90 percent of all infant formula produced in the United States.

The FDA and other experts said the melamine contamination in U.S.-made formula had occurred during the manufacturing process, rather than intentionally.

The U.S. government quietly began testing domestically produced infant formula in September, soon after problems with melamine-spiked formula surfaced in China.

Sundlof said there have been no reports of human illness in the United States from melamine, which can bind with other chemicals in urine, potentially causing damaging stones in the kidney or bladder and, in extreme cases, kidney failure.

Melamine is used in some U.S. plastic food packaging and can rub off onto what we eat; it's also contained in a cleaning solution used on some food processing equipment and can leach into the products being prepared.

Sundlof told the AP the positive test results "so far are in the trace range, and from a public health or infant health perspective, we consider those to be perfectly fine."

That's different from the impression of zero tolerance the agency left on Oct. 3, when it stated: "FDA is currently unable to establish any level of melamine and melamine-related compounds in infant formula that does not raise public health concerns."

FDA scientists said then that they couldn't set an acceptable level of melamine exposure in infant formula because science hadn't had enough time to understand the chemical's effects on infants' underdeveloped kidneys. Plus, there is the complicating factor that infant formula often constitutes a newborn's entire diet.

The agency added, however, that its position did not mean that any exposure to a detectable level of melamine and melamine-related compounds in infant formula would result in harm to infants.

Still, the announcement was widely interpreted by manufacturers, the news media and Congress to mean that infant formula that tested positive at any level could not be sold in the United States.

The Grocery Manufacturers Association, for example, told its members: "FDA could not identify a safe level for melamine and related compounds in infant formula; thus it can be concluded they will not accept any detectable melamine in infant formula."

It was not until the AP inquired about tests on domestic formula that the FDA articulated that while it couldn't set a safe exposure for infants, it would accept some melamine in formula — raising the question of whether the decision to accept very low concentrations was made only after traces were detected.

On Sunday, Sundlof said the agency had never said, nor implied, that domestic infant formula was going to be entirely free of melamine. He said he didn't know if the agency's statements on infant formula had been misinterpreted.

In China, melamine was intentionally dumped into watered-down milk to trick food quality tests into showing higher protein levels than actually existed. Byproducts of the milk ended up in infant formula, coffee creamers, even biscuits.

The concentrations of melamine there were extraordinarily high, as much as 2,500 parts per million. The concentrations detected in the FDA samples were 10,000 times smaller — the equivalent of a drop in a 64-gallon trash bin.

There would be no economic advantage to spiking U.S.-made formula at the extremely low levels found in the FDA testing. It neither raises the protein count nor saves valuable protein, said University of California, Davis chemist Michael Filigenzi, a melamine detection expert.

According to FDA data for tests of 77 infant formula samples, a trace concentration of melamine was detected in one product — Mead Johnson's Infant Formula Powder, Enfamil LIPIL with Iron. An FDA spreadsheet shows two tests were conducted on the Enfamil, with readings of 0.137 and 0.14 parts per million.

Three tests of Nestle's Good Start Supreme Infant Formula with Iron detected an average of 0.247 parts per million of cyanuric acid, a melamine byproduct.

The FDA said last month that the toxicity of cyanuric acid is under study, but that meanwhile it is "prudent" to assume that its potency is equal to that of melamine.

And while the FDA said tests of 18 samples of formula made by Abbott Laboratories, including its Similac brand, did not detect melamine, spokesman Colin McBean said some company tests did find the chemical. He did not identify the specific product or the number of positive tests.

McBean did say the detections were at levels far below the health limits set by all countries in the world, including Taiwan, where the limit is 0.05 parts per million.

"We're talking about trace amounts right here, and you know there's a lot of scientific bodies out there that say low levels of melamine are always present in certain types of foods," said McBean.

Mead Johnson spokeswoman Gail Wood said her company's in-house tests had not detected any melamine, and that the company had not been informed of the FDA test results, even during a confidential agency conference call Monday with infant formula makers about melamine contamination.

The FDA tests also detected melamine in two samples of nutritional supplements for very sick children who have trouble digesting regular food. Nestle's Peptamen Junior medical food showed 0.201 and 0.206 parts per million of melamine while Nestle's Nutren Junior-Fiber showed 0.16 and 0.184 parts per million.

The agency said that while there are no established exposure levels for infant formula, pediatric medical food — often used in feeding tubes for very sick, young children — can have 2.5 parts per million of melamine, just like food products other than infant formula.

The head of manufacturing for Nestle Nutrition in North America, Walter Huber, said in an interview that the company took samples alongside FDA officials who visited a manufacturing plant, and that those samples showed similar results to what FDA found for the two pediatric medical foods. Huber added that Nestle didn't fund cyanuric acid in any of the samples.

The FDA shared its results with Nestle a few weeks ago, Huber said. He said he wasn't sure whether Nestle had tested other of its products beyond what it did related to the FDA.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., who heads a panel that oversees the FDA budget, said the agency was taking a "marketplace first, science last" approach.

"The FDA should be insisting on a zero-tolerance policy for melamine in domestic infant formula until it is able to determine conclusively based on sound independent science that the trace levels would not pose a health risk to infants," DeLauro said.

Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., a frequent critic of the FDA, said: "If no safe level of melamine has been established for consumption by children, then the FDA should immediately recall any formula that has tested positive for even trace amounts of the contaminant."

Several medical experts said trace concentrations would be diluted even in an infant, and are highly unlikely to be harmful.

"It's just a tiny amount, it's very unlikely to cause stones," said Stanford University Medical School pediatrics professor Dr. Paul Grimm.

Dr. Jerome Paulson, an associate professor of pediatrics at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., said he didn't think the FDA's decision was unreasonable. He added, however, that the agency should research the impacts of long-term, low-dose exposure, "and not just assume it's safe, and then 15 years from now find out that it's not."

{AP}

• Nestle's Good Start Supreme Infant Formula with Iron had two positive tests for melamine on one sample, with readings of 0.137 and 0.14 parts per million.

• Mead Johnson's Infant Formula Powder, Enfamil LIPIL with Iron had three positive tests for cyanuric acid, at an average of 0.247 parts per million.

Separately, a third major formula maker — Abbott Laboratories, whose brands include Similac — told AP that in-house tests had detected trace levels of melamine in its infant formula. Those levels were below what FDA found in the other formulas, an Abbott spokesman said, and below any nation's safety guidelines.

The three firms — Abbott Laboratories, Nestle and Mead Johnson — manufacture more than 90 percent of all infant formula produced in the United States.

118 comments:

Arthur said...

Filed by Yitzchok Adlerstein @ 3:53 am

“Loose lips sink ships,” went the World War II slogan urging Americans to be more discreet about sensitive security matters. Today’s advice to the frum community might be “loose lips kill neshamos.” It is more than clear that the price of using ethnic humor and racial slurs is souls lost to the community of practicing Jews.

She was witty, charming, frum, and a Harvard Law School graduate. She was also black, and living as a single woman in an Orthodox neighborhood. One Purim, she was treated in a local shul to the sight of a young mother with a few children in tow. As her Purim get-up, the mother had chosen to adorn herself and her kids with blackface and thick lips. The connection to Purim was not clear. The black Jewess, recounting to me why she eventually left that community and relocated to another state, outside of a frum area, had this comment. “What was that woman trying to tell me? What was she trying to say?”

In all likelihood, she was saying nothing at all. She probably gave no conscious thought to the message that she broadcast. She did not mean to deliberately offend anyone; it just seemed like a quirky thing to do. Her lack of malice, however, did not reduce the collateral damage of her actions.

This was no isolated incident. Frum teachers in our community use racial and ethnic slurs in the classroom; too many rabbonim still use disparaging language – or words like shvartze – thinking that they are harmless within the “in” group.

They aren’t. There isn’t an in-group anymore. Too much of what begins within quickly finds its way out. The in-group is not so homogenous anymore either. Many of those people wearing black hats have relatives who are not Jewish, and members of some of the minority groups that are mocked. They are hurt, offended, or worse when they hear words they cannot accept from those they are supposed to look up to. The very authority of those people sometimes shrinks in the process. Still more people have joined the community with some of their old sensitivities intact, and are turned off when they hear words that they stopped using in grade school. Yet others have just dropped in for a visit to a shul or a Shabbos table, and are so shocked by the language they hear, that they never, ever return for another visit. (It does not take much to convince someone just testing the waters of the observant community that it is not for them. We should be making it easier for them to stay, not to exit.)

Like it or not, many people look down on those who have no issue with racist humor or remarks. To them, it is the antithesis of the refinement and discernment that they expect to see in an elevated soul. Racial humor is built upon stereotyping, upon ignoring the differences between individuals rather than noting and savoring them. It is about looking at an amorphous collective, rather than respecting individuals as individuals. It is about blaming, rather than understanding. It is about focusing on the negative, and giving little or no credit for the positive. It is suspect of coming from a place of insecurity, where one’s own faults don’t seem so onerous when they can be compared with group that is assumed to be even more blameworthy. Anyone who can take these reactions lightly must have a Torah bookshelf from which the words “chilul Hashem” have been elided.

There is a good chance that the woman in our story harbored no animus towards black people. She had to have realized, however, that people who viewed her would find her appearance humorous. She could safely predict the reaction of people would include people who are not racists, but tolerate racist language.

Why should anything disparaging of others exist in our community? I can think of three reasons, and have probably missed a few more.

One reason is that many of us are still only a generation or two removed from forebears had good reason to despise all non-Jews, and thought – just as their despised non-Jewish neighbors – in terms of the hostilities of different European groups for each other. Much of this has mercifully disappeared in the course of time; much still remains.

Patterns of Jewish settlement provide a second reason. American Orthodox Jews live primarily in larger cities. Within those cities, Jews are often cheek by jowl with other ethnic groups, and often not at the higher end of the socio-economic scale. Part of the Jewish experience therefore has been to relate to populations of deviancy and criminal activity. People too often define groups by their own experience. (Where I grew up in Manhattan, non-Jews were “Catholics,” especially Irish-Catholics. You stayed clear of them, unless you preferred your bones broken rather than whole. All people who spoke Spanish were called Puerto Ricans.) A by-product of the map of Jewish habitation was a dismissive, contemptuous attitude concerning non-Jews.

A third reason can be found in the selective reading and misappropriation of rabbinic texts. Many people “know” that all non-Jews hate all Jews. Chazal said so. הלכה היא בידוע שעשיו שונא את יעקב. Underscoring “halacha” means that this is a fixed, immutable rule.

Just how Esav turned into all non-Jews, rather than just one group of them, is a bit of a mystery. In fact, I have a hard time figuring out how Esav the person turned into Esav the nation. Searching a few Torah databases a few years ago, I could find no source before the end of the 19th century that took Esav to mean a group of people, rather than Esav the biblical figure – who had every reason to hate Yaakov!

Moreover, it is not at all clear whether the word “halacha” belongs there. One source has הלא instead of “halacha.”

Even if we were certain that Chazal meant Esav the nation, rather than Esav the man, would it mean all of his descendants, without exception? Could they ever change? To assume that Chazal meant a fixed, unchanging principle would pit our own experience (where we arguably have met up with some very determined philo-semites) against their word, and force us to mistrust our own senses. We would have to argue that despite what seems real to us, scratch the surface of every friendly non-Jew, and you will find a latent anti-Semite. Furthermore, we would have to ignore works like the Netziv and R. Shamshon Raphael Hirsch, who speak of the reality of times in which Esav (the nation) is moved to compassionate behavior to Klal Yisrael. Is all this really compelling?

More puzzling is the assumption by some of us that Genesis 9:25, 27 consigns all black people to perpetual servitude. This becomes the basis of looking down upon black people. The assumption is perplexing for a number of reasons. It is not at all clear whom Noach meant to curse. He could have meant Canaan, the person, or even Canaan and his descendants. This would still not include many/most black people. (Cush, who is sometimes taken as emblematic of all black people, was a brother of Canaan, not a descendant.) Rav Saadia Gaon does assume that Canaan means his father, Cham, and his progeny. So does Radak. Ibn Ezra considers this, and rejects it. He points out that the very first king mentioned by Chumash after the Noach drinking episode – obviously not a slave – came from Cush! Tosfos, Sanhedrin 70A write that the curse could not have been directed against Cham, because he had been previously blessed, and curses are incompatible with blessings. Chazal, at least in part, seem to extend the curse at least to Canaan’s descendants, since they see Eliezer as caught up in its net.

Even if we were to seize upon one pshat as definitve (I have no way of understanding such a conclusion), we would have to ask the same question we asked above. Would it mean all black people, for all time? (Netziv explicitly denies this, pointing to slaves from all of Noach’s progeny, and very emancipated behavior among Canaan’s descendants.)

Most importantly, isn’t the entire approach antithetical to the way we approach biblical curses? When anesthesia was first made available to women in labor, some church groups resisted, claiming that the curse of Eve demanded that women feel the pain of childbirth. I know of no such attitude in the responsa. If there was such a voice, it was drowned out by others, who apparently held that a curse is a challenge, not a description of reality. Adam’s curse means we generally have to toil to make a living. An heir is under no obligation to force his brow to sweat to keep his part of the bargain; the rest of us are permitted to make working conditions easier for ourselves. Eve’s curse is not prescriptive. It does make it necessary for a woman approaching the end of pregnancy to deal with pain-management plans.

Our job, in general, is to work against the effects of curses, not to accept them. (Some, like the curse of Eve, may be predicted by Kabbalistic sources to wane as we get closer to the days of Moshiach, as Devorah Heshelis outlined in The Moon’s Lost Light.) If we were to assume (and I don’t understand the reasoning for such an assumption) that rabbinic sources saw a black race saddled with the weight of an ancient curse of cultural inferiority, our task, I would think, would be to find ways to educate and refine the unfortunate victims of that curse and allow as many to escape it as possible. The presidential victory of Barack Obama – beyond any political misgivings – would be met with a certain amount of jubilation for his having travelled so far, just as we cheer when Eliezer manages to transcend the curse.

Statements that have been attributed to names in New York and Israel simply elude my comprehension, if there is any truth to them in the first place. Perhaps I am cursed with intellectual dullness. Hopefully, the curse is not irreversible.

Watcher said...

Leib Tropper goes berserk when challenged at conversion conference!
See
http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2008/11/rabbi-tropper-prague-what-happened.html

Canvasser of Boog said...

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122765786687858249.html

The Battle for Minnesota Is Just Getting Started

Al Franken demands to know the identity of every voter whose absentee ballot was rejected.

By JOHN FUND

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

AMERICA HAS LOST SIGHT OF ITS ORIGINAL WORK ETHIC

Tue Nov 25, 6:42 pm Georgie Anne Geyer:

About The Author:
Georgie Anne Geyer has delivered distinctive foreign commentary from a variety of foreign fronts for more than 30 years.

WASHINGTON -- They are "the" questions, unspoken but bitterly nagging, that are on everyone's minds. They haven't come up in any major public manner -- not quite yet. But they did begin to reveal themselves last weekend, when 70-some demonstrators marched on Wall Street protesting you-surely-know-what.

As I pondered this, I received a thoughtful e-mail from a friend in Japan, one of our foremost foreign correspondents and a man of high integrity.

"I find it disturbing that, in America, we jail bank robbers but give lavish payoffs to bankers who bankrupt banks," he wrote at the end. "I'm reminded of that fact at the end of every month when I receive my Merrill Lynch statements."

That same day, The New York Times, in one of its front-page articles on what could come to be the collapse of the American economy, noted that even President-elect Barack Obama, despite surely wanting to do the right thing on re-regulation of our gone-wild economy, nevertheless brought into his economic team men like Robert E. Rubin and Lawrence H. Summers. No one questions these men's brittle brilliance and star power, as the Times noted, but it was "Mr. Rubin, with Mr. Summers, (who) helped tear down the regulatory walls between banks, brokerages and insurance companies, and freed them to trade in unregulated and little-understood derivatives worth trillions of dollars."

And thus, the questions: Is nobody really going to pay for these horrible mistakes? Are the same people who so thoughtlessly and greedily got us into this mess now going to sit at the head of the White House team ostensibly trying to get us OUT? And, above all, how do we effectively "remoralize" our economic society, which seems to have forgotten and/or thrown aside the original moral basis of Western, and especially American, capitalism?

Let's back up for a minute and recall the old "Protestant ethic." This was the principle that underlay all of America's original settlers. It said, in effect, that mankind would profit from hard work, thrift and efficiency in one's worldly calling -- but it also tied human beings to one another in honest labor and the profits from it.

I especially like the old story about J.C. Penney, the founder of the Penney chain, who, having made it possible for 2,000 others to have and run their own stores in his chain, said happily, "And now I have 2,000 partners!" Funny thing about the Protestant ethic -- it provided prosperity through morality.

Today, one can still find in America small businessmen, like my late, respected father who ran his own dairy on the South Side of Chicago, who still exemplify this historic ethic. But one has only to look at the decline, and even disappearance in public life, of the largely Eastern Establishment families who carried these moral precepts down through two centuries of American life to see what we have lost. Where, indeed, do you see a Rockefeller, a Carnegie or a Morgan in public life today? Instead, we read that:

As late as September 2007, Citigroup's chief executive, Charles O. Prince III, learned for the first time that the bank owned about $43 billion in mortgage-related assets and was told that "no big losses were looming." The bank's risk managers never investigated deeply enough because of "longstanding ties that clouded their judgment" and, of course, booming short-term earnings (The New York Times). And this week, we are bailing out them out.

Investors in the U.S. stock market, including hard-working middle-income Americans like ourselves, have lost more than $9 trillion since the market's peak a year ago. But 15 corporate chieftains of large home-building and financial-services firms each reaped more than $100 million in cash compensation and proceeds from stock sales during the past five years (The Wall Street Journal special analysis). Four of them have now filed for bankruptcy protection.

When Countrywide Financial felt pressured by federal agencies charged with overseeing it, "executives at the giant mortgage lender simply switched regulators in the spring of 2007." The new regulator, the Office of Thrift Supervision, promised "more flexible oversight" (The Washington Post). At last count, the combined assets of the failed thrifts "overseen" by OTS totaled $355.7 billion.

If one believed in the original American message to the economies of the world, to open a major newspaper any day now is to have one's heart broken anew. One looks in vain for some American, man or woman, in this sad story who said "no." One searches for the moralist who will ask, "Isn't anyone going to pay?" Except, of course, us?

And now -- indeed, already -- we face the latest indignity: The very people who blithely caused all of this, with some personal and professional intention that balances between sheer carelessness and cold, precise deliberation, will come out of it just swell. While we ...

The problem that this president-elect faces, then, is a moment not only of grave economic collapse outside, but essentially of profound moral collapse inside. But how do you redo a country's moral credo when so many have played the squandering game? How do you do what creative financier George Soros suggests, which is to "abandon the prevailing theory of market behavior"? Which is, since Ronald Reagan's era, that markets will monitor and essentially regulate themselves.

Finally, how do we update the Protestant ethic? How do we return to a modernized version of, as that pretty song puts it, "the way we were"?

Malki Noname said...

I am 24 female and divorced I had a very strict upbringing, I attended a VERY large strict all girls school (obviously). The abuse still goes on till this day, what a surprise beating a girls behind for wearing a skirt a bit too long isnt a solution, the abuse in boys and girls school have to stop already!

Ombudsman said...

I love the elegant way that Rav Eidensohn describes Leib Tropper's massive ego:

"Tropper is a zealot. A man driven by a vision of the way things should be, must be. A man who is driven by a pure and simple understanding of Truth - and his indispensable role in achieving it."

Extortion by Williamsburg Mishmeres Hatzniyus said...

http://www.thejewishweek.com/viewArticle/c36_a14069/News/New_York.html

Speaking at a press conference outside the 90th Precinct Police Headquarters in Williamsburg, Rabbi Rosenberg complained that police were unable to protect him. He pointed to a scarlet wound seared in the middle of his forehead to indicate the spot where he was hit.

But in interviews he gave before and after the press conference, Rabbi Rosenberg said he was actually uncertain just what hit him on the forehead, saying it could have been a pellet gun or even a rock. “A car flew by as I was walking, and I felt something hit me,” he told The Jewish Week. “I didn’t see what it was.”

Police sources confirmed Rabbi Rosenberg had filed at least three complaints about being harassed or threatened over the last several months. But he acknowledged that he filed a complaint about the attack on him last month several days after it had occurred. Rabbi Rosenberg said the assault took place on Oct. 16, the fourth day of Sukkot, but that he went to the police only after the eight-day Jewish holiday.

Rabbi Rosenberg, 58, said that prior to this incident he was threatened twice at gunpoint by an unknown person speaking Hebrew who warned him to close down a telephone hotline he operated. The Yiddish language hotline featured recorded messages on which Rabbi Rosenberg addressed a host of sensitive community issues, including child sex abuse, and on which he made often incendiary charges. On one recorded message obtained by The Jewish Week, Rabbi Rosenberg denounced various individuals by name as an “extortionist,” and a “mafia thug.”

The hotline messages also offered educational warnings to children and their families about what to do if confronted by molesting teachers or other adults and advice on how to protect against it.

On both the recorded messages and at his press conference, Rabbi Rosenberg claimed that a group in the Williamsburg community known as the Meshmeris Ha’Tznius, or Guardians of Modesty, protected pedophiles and other sexual offenders in exchange for money.

“It’s a gang,” he said at the press conference. “They’re getting white envelopes with green leaves inside.”

Rabbi Rosenberg said that in exchange for extortion payoffs by perpetrators, Meshmeris Ha’Tznius in Williamsburg protected sexual predators from exposure and pressured the families of any victims that might think of going to the authorities not to do so.

On his hotline, “I said who they are and what they are,” he said. “I told the stories that they tried to extort $10,000 from this one and $10,000 from that one.

“I even told them stories that when a girl was raped, they went to the rapist and they took out the money from him, and they never gave help to the girl that was raped. They tell the father don’t you dare have anything to do with the people that are trying to investigate. It’s against the Jewish law.”
Rabbi Rosenberg’s claims could not be independently confirmed. But there is no doubt the hotline provoked a fierce firestorm of denunciation against Rabbi Rosenberg.

Last July, 33 rabbis signed a public condemnation of Rabbi Rosenberg published in Der Blatt, a Yiddish language weekly paper based in Williamsburg.
“He speaks all kinds of dirt that the mind can’t tolerate, that come from places that are impure and makes other people impure,” the ad said, warning readers not to call his hotline. “He should stop from his bad ways and shut his dirty mouth.

“This destroyer is like a stone that is thrown at the Jewish people, and his position is like a transgressor who makes the public transgress,” the ad said.

The rabbis stated that Rabbi Rosenberg should not be allowed to pray with any congregation and that no one should hire him as a consultant on the building of ritual baths, which is his profession.
Yitzchak Glick, a member of the Central Rabbinical Congress, a body that represents many of the rabbis who signed onto the ban, declined to comment about the decree or Rosenberg’s allegations.
Another tract, distributed anonymously throughout Williamsburg, depicted a twisting snake with Rabbi Rosenberg’s head superimposed over the serpent’s, his forked tongue sticking out.
“Cursed are you from every wild animal,” the leaflet decried, citing him by name. “The name of this evil person should be obliterated. Get out unholy one. Obliterate the snake (Nuchem Satan) from all corners of the world.”

The ad by the 33 rabbis and others signed by the “Meshmeris Ha’Tznius” denounced Rabbi Rosenberg as a moser, one who endangers a Jewish community by informing on it to secular authorities.
Historically, in the shtetls of Europe, when Jews were persecuted, someone found to be a moser could be put to death. But “there is a general consensus today that this doesn’t apply,” said Rabbi Mark Dratch of JSafe, a group dedicated to preventing child abuse and domestic violence in the Jewish community. “I would [assume] that none of these rabbis were literally calling for his assassination. That said, I am not saying that they did not mean to intimidate him. He was being intimidated.”

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

The Leib Tropper I know:

The filthy con-man is a pathetic fraud - perverter of the truth and the Torah. He makes Marvin Hier look like an amateur!

Anonymous said...

The Leib Tropper I know:

The filthy con-man is a pathetic fraud - perverter of the truth and the Torah. He makes Marvin Hier look like an amateur!

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Sounds a lot like the Chicago rabbi who raped a boy in the mikvah.

Dress frum, act frum and kiss up to the rabbis, and you get a free pass for a year.

The year is up!!!

The Boors of Boor-o Park said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/05/realestate/keymagazine/105divorce-t.html?ref=keymagazine&pagewanted=print

October 5, 2008

Chana and Simon Love Their House, but . . . They Loathe Each Other

By RUTH PADAWER

Anonymous said...

Feds Warn of Terror Plot Against New York Subways

Wednesday, November 26, 2008 10:04 AM

Federal authorities are warning law enforcement personnel of a possible terror plot against the New York City subway system during the holiday season.

An internal memo obtained by The Associated Press says the FBI has received a "plausible but unsubstantiated" report that al-Qaida terrorists in late September may have discussed attacking the subway system.

The report indicates that al-Qaida terrorists "in late September may have discussed targeting transit systems in and around New York City. These discussions reportedly involved the use of suicide bombers or explosives placed on subway/passenger rail systems," according to the document.

"We have no specific details to confirm that this plot has developed beyond aspirational planning, but we are issuing this warning out of concern that such an attack could possibly be conducted during the forthcoming holiday season," states the warning, which is dated Tuesday.

While federal agencies regularly issue all sorts of advisory warnings, the language of this one is particularly blunt.

Intelligence and homeland security officials are working with local authorities to try to corroborate the information "and will continue to investigate every possible lead," the memo says.

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

Some of the nicest, most honest and honorable, most charitable people I know, are secular people of all denominations. Wolpe's book is one of the shallowest books, on reasons to believe, I ever read. In short, I disagree totally with the below piece --- what say you?

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


A Question of Faith

Cheshvan 28, 5769, 26 November 08 12:13by by Jeff Jacoby

(IsraelNN.com) At the age of 12, David Wolpe lost his religious faith. Shaken by a film on the aftermath of the Nazi atrocities, he concluded there could be no God in a world that harbored such evil. His efforts to understand a godless universe led him, in time, to Bertrand Russell's biting essays against religion, which he keenly read and reread.

That is what he was doing one day at the Jewish summer camp he attended as a teen, when one of the staff rabbis strolled by and asked what he was reading. To Wolpe's defiant answer - "Bertrand Russell" - the rabbi made a surprising reply: "Good." Startled, Wolpe asked what he meant.

"David, how old are you?" the rabbi asked in return.

"Seventeen."

"Well, I'd rather have you grow out of him than grow into him."

Grow out of him he did, and one result of that growth is Why Faith Matters, a wonderfully tender and engaging new book in which Wolpe - for the past 21 years a rabbi himself - makes the case that religion is an indispensable force for goodness and meaning in the world.

It is interesting to experience, in the same week, both Wolpe's book and Religulous, Bill Maher's cinematic assault on organized religion. Maher, a caustic comedian and TV host, also turned his back on religion in his teens. "I hated church; it scared me," he says near the start of Religulous. He also says, somewhat inconsistently, that he found religion "boring" and that it "wasn't relevant" to his life.

Like Wolpe's book, Maher's movie raises questions about faith; unlike Wolpe, Maher isn't interested in answers. Religulous is a profane, condescending, and often funny rant against religion - Christianity especially, but also Judaism, Mormonism and Islam. Maher's mocking documentary promotes the idea that only oddballs, cranks and nincompoops can take religion seriously. That's a fairly easy case to make if you focus, as Maher's interviews mostly do, on oddballs, cranks and nincompoops: the Puerto Rican cult leader who claims to be the Antichrist, the pothead in Amsterdam with his marijuana "ministry," the misfit rabbi who embraces Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the young-earth creationist who teaches that human beings and dinosaurs co-existed.

It's also easy to portray faith as a goofy fairy tale if you spend your time deriding tales of ancient miracles - a burning bush! A virgin birth! A prophet swallowed by a fish! - but never pause to acknowledge the far-fetched improbabilities inherent in atheism.

Maher characterizes religion as "fantasy and nonsense." Yet atheism is no guarantee of enlightened rationality. In a study released this past September, researchers at Baylor University found that adherence to "traditional... religion greatly decreases credulity, as measured by beliefs in such things as dreams, Bigfoot, UFOs, haunted houses, communicating with the dead, and astrology." By contrast, those who reject traditional religion - "self-identified theological liberals and the irreligious" - are "far more likely" to believe in superstition and the occult. Or other nonsense: Maher, for example, claims that aspirin is lethal, doubts that the Salk vaccine eradicated polio, and has praised the horse that threw Christopher Reeve.

So it is unsurprising that Maher sees only the foolishness and evil that religious people, like all people, are capable of, and misses entirely the extraordinary good that religion engenders. As Wolpe notes, numerous researchers have found that "religious people are happier, more charitable, have more stable families, and contribute more to their communities." They are less likely to suffer depression or commit suicide, to use drugs or be involved with crime, to drink to excess, or to smoke.

The Los Angeles Times reported last year on research showing that people without faith were less likely to help a poor or homeless person than religious believers. While both were equally likely to describe themselves as "good citizens," their charitable practices were strikingly different. Americans of no faith donated an annual average of $200 to charity; active-faith adults typically contributed $1,500. Even when church-based giving was subtracted from the mix, religious Americans donated twice as much to charity as the nonreligious.

It is no coincidence that so many hospitals, schools, homeless shelters, and aid organizations have been started and sustained by religious groups. "We are creatures designed to flourish - to heal and to help - when we believe," Wolpe writes. Religion makes the world better, notwithstanding all the ways in which it has been perverted. A world without God and faith would be hellish and lonely. Perhaps it is also no coincidence that Why Faith Matters ends with the word "love," while the final word in Maher's film is "die."

This article originally appeared in the Boston Globe on Sunday, November 23, 2008.

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

Three excellent picks for Obama -

Robert Gates - remains at Defense

Retired General Jones - National Security Advisor

Paul Volcker - head-up Economic Recovery Advisory Board

Dov Hikind said...

Phew! The headline sounds ominous but Hella Winston couldn't dig up any new shmootz on me.

http://www.thejewishweek.com/viewArticle/c36_a14102/News/New_York.html

Scrutiny Of Hikind Intensifies

by Hella Winston
Special To The Jewish Week

Huh? said...

Isn't Volcker friends with Sruly Singer?

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

Singer had no friends - only victims and people he could manipulate.

Volcker - atleast when he was younger - was considered a genius in Economics. I guess, we'll see what age (81) has wrought - wisdom or senility.

Rubashkin's Lubavitcher Hypocrisy said...

Adapted from yener blog.

The Palauan workers have a litany of complaints including:

1. On recruitment, promised free round trip airfare, but forced to agree to pay $1400 after arrival in Postville.

2. On recruitment, promised free housing and utilities for the first three months, but forced to pay after arrival in Postville.

3. On recruitment, promised $10 per hour with raises after 3 months, but paid only $9 per hour and told no raises after 3 months after arrival in Postville.

4. On recruitment, misled about the cost of living in Postville.

5. And, for some Palauans, having their heat and electricity shut off by their landlord, CHabad-owned GAL Investments, last Friday.

6. Add to that the very real fear their overdue paychecks may never come.

When the Palauan Ambassador to the US, Hersey Kyota came to Postville Friday, shortly after power was shut off to some of the Palauan workers, he was met by an angry mob:

…Hours after the arrest of former Agriprocessors CEO Sholom Rubashkin, the workers piled into the station seeking assistance and answers but did not find many.

When the ambassador first arrived, the Palauans, frustrated and angry, confronted him over why they were ever allowed to make the trip.

"If I knew it was going to happen like this, I would have stayed home," said Tommy Blelai, 32.…
As I read this, I remembered that Agriprocessors made these Palauans study the Sheva mitzvos Bnei Noach before coming to Postville:

Orientation training will include an introduction to the universal principles of morality known as the Seven Noachide Laws which the US Congress has encouraged the whole world to study and observe as the bedrock foundations of civilization since the ancient days.

Here is how Chabad.org explains the Noachide prohibition against theft:

Respect the rights and property of others. Be honest in all your business dealings. By relying on G-d rather than on our own conniving, we express our trust in Him as the Provider of Life.
The prohibition against theft is, like the other six Noachide laws, exceedingly broad. Here is a short list:

1. Overcharging
2. profiteering
3. false weights and measures, the physical damage done when injuring another person
4. the damage done to another person by raping
5. kidnapping
6. land theft by moving landmarks and the like
7. non-payment of loans or bills when one has the money to pay
8. all forms of deception – especially when there is a monetary benefit to the deceiver
9. embezzlement
11. deliberate property damager
12. demanding payment from a debtor who cannot pay
13. breech of promise
13. not paying workers on time
14. robbery
15. theft
All of those prohibitions listed above apply to Jews and well as non-Jews (although the penalty for violating them and some of the minutia defining them differ between them).

Many of these thou shalt nots were everyday Agriprocessors' business practices.

One has to wonder how people who call themselves Chasidim could behave this way, especially when their late rebbe mad the Noachide laws a centerpiece of his theology, and started an international campaign to publicize them.

Even more so, one has to wonder how dozens of rabbis stood by while these laws were violated openly and on a daily basis.

And one also must wonder how so many thousands of Chabad Chasidim, many more thousands of Orthodox of many stripes; Agudah, OU and Young Israel, can so stridently defend the men who callously violated them.

The Palauans learned about the Noachide laws, all right. So did Somalis, Guatemalans, Mexicans, Ukrainians, and Americans.

What they learned is that Jewish religious laws and the ethics and morality they are meant to engender are hollow empty shells.

I would think Chasidim, haredim and the center and right of Modern Orthodoxy would want to repair this damage.

So far, most have done nothing other than clamor for more meat.

More Rubashkin money laundering said...

Adapted from yener blog.

BREAKING! Chabad Raises Tax Deductible Dollars For Rubashkin's Defense – Agriprocessors' VP Defended With Money Raised Directly By Chabad
There is no more denying it. Chabad is officially raising money for Sholom M. Rubashkin's legal costs.

Earlier today, I received an email from a reader who told me Chabad was raising money through an official Chabad organization for Sholom M. Rubashkin's defense.

The reader claimed Chabad was camouflaging its role. He said people asking to help (or encouraged to help) Sholom M. Rubashkin are told to send an email to protestforkosher@aol.com. In response, the reader told me, you are sent a link to the Aleph Institute's "Legal Defense Fund."

And then I heard this again.

The Aleph Institute is Chabad's national prisoner outreach organization. It is headed by Rabbi Sholem DovBer Lipskar, who is, I believe, a cousin of Sholom M. Rubashkin. One of Aleph's board members is the brother of Colel Chabad head (and Lipskar and Rubashkin cousin, I believe) Rabbi Sholom Duchman.

Here, Chabad.org lists the Aleph Institute as one of Chabad's official centers:

Could it be that Chabad was funneling money to the Aleph Institute to be used for the defense of Sholom M. Rubashkin?

Yes. It not only could be true, it is true. And I'll now I'll show you why.

All screenshots posted below can be clicked to enlarge.

Chabad of Greater Monsey has blog it has run for several years. On that blog is a post, posted Wednesday, November 19, 2008 entitled Pidyon Shvuyim [ransoming captives]:

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2008
Pidyon Shevuim
The Rubashkin family is asking one and all - especially children - to please say Tehillim today, Wednesday, at 3:00 PM EST, for Sholom Mordechai HaLevi ben Rivka. This is the time of his hearing. The hearing will decide if he can get out tomorrow or if ch’v he has to stay until the trial which could be months.

Click here to contribute to the special fund.

For more inforomation or if you can help in any way please email protestforkosher@aol.com.
The email address posted matches the email address I was sent by that reader. The link? It leads to the Aleph Institute's Legal Defense Fund.

In case Chabad of Greater Monsey removes the link, here is a screenshot of the source code for that post with the link marked in red:

Here is a screenshot of the Aleph Institute's Legal Defense Fund page. Please click to enlarge:

So we know Chabad is funneling donations to the Aleph Institute for Sholom M. Rubashkin's legal defense.

But there is no provision on this Aleph Institute Legal Defense Fund donate page for specifying where the money should go, or whose defense should be funded.

Even stranger, there is no mention I can find on the Aleph Institute website of a legal defense fund.

Here's why. It seems the Aleph Institute's legal defense fund was started to aide Sholom M. Rubashkin specifically. Indeed, there is no Google cache of this donation page.

But there is a Google cache of the Aleph Institute's home page, taken Friday morning, November 14, 2008 at 5:08 am GMT, 12:08 am in Surfside, Florida where Aleph is located.

That Google cache tells the story:

Now, here is a screenshot of the same Aleph Institute home page taken about 11:55 pm CST, Wednesday evening, November 19, 2008:

The Google cache version of Aleph Institute's home page, taken just hours before Sholom M. Rubashkin's second arrest, makes no mention of a legal defense fund.

The current version of the Aleph Institute's home page carries a banner headline: "Click Here to Donate To The Aleph Legal Defense Fund."

The fund was clearly set up to raise money for Sholom M. Rubashkin's defense.

Here is a screenshot of the Aleph Institute's regular donation page, so you can see that both this page and the legal defense fund page exist:

The Aleph Institute is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit. Here is It's most recent IRS filing currently available online, from 2006:

Aleph 990 2006.pdf

Rabbi Sholom DovBer Lipskar is Aleph's founder and head. What other roles does Lipskar play in Chabad?

He is also the founder and head of the Shul of Bal Harbour. Aleph has it's offices in the synagogue building, on the border between Surfside and Bal Harbour, Florida.

Lipskar is a senior rabbi in the Chabad-Lubavitch movement. Aleph is Chabad's prisons outreach arm.

Is Chabad officially raising money for Sholom M. Rubashkin's legal defense?

You bet it is.

Anonymous said...

I saw Archie's investigative work on the Rubashkin receivership.

It seems that the modern orthodox Getzlers, father & son from the West Side and Teaneck either quit or were removed by the judge.

The new receiver, Joseph Sarachek of Great Neck / Scarsdale, is not frum himself but is partners with a bigwig at the Young Israel of Harrison in Westchester:

http://www.triaxcapitaladvisors.com/team.htm#sarachek

Joseph E. Sarachek
Mr. Sarachek has over 15 years advising distressed and special situation companies and their creditors. Prior to performing advisory work, he served as a portfolio manager and consultant with Balfour Investors, Inc. While at Balfour, Mr. Sarachek undertook a number of turnaround advisory assignments for portfolio investments, as well as assignments for non-portfolio companies. Mr. Sarachek also has several engagements relating to troubled real estate assets. Prior to originally joining Balfour, Mr. Sarachek was a partner at the New York office of the law firm of McDermott, Will & Emery where his primary focus was principal outside counsel to several investment partnerships, which acquired bank debt, trade claims, and distressed assets. In addition to counseling investment firms, he has represented numerous debtors, trustees, creditors committees, and secured creditors over the ten years he actively practiced law. Mr. Sarachek is a member of the advisory board of an investment fund, Rumpere Capital.

Mr. Sarachek holds a Juris Doctor from New York Law School and a Bachelor of Science in Economics and Political Science from Cornell University .

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUS222703+31-Jan-2008+PRN20080131

Sarachek was appointed CEO of PubliCard in 2006. Two years later the company went broke under him and was renamed "Chazak Value Corp."

Doesn't sound like a great track record.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601088&refer=home&sid=aobQyQnXZvsc

Not bad work, if you can get it.

Rubashkin trustee Sarachek is paid $50,000 a month as Chief Restructuring Officer of a bankrupt art gallery.

He's probably the grandson of this earlier Joseph Sarachek who graduated from JTS in 1916.

The elder Joseph Sarachek headed the NY Board of Rabbis in the 1940s before Joseph Lookstein.

http://www.allbookstores.com/author/Joseph_Sarachek.html

The Doctrine of the Messiah in Medieval
by Joseph Sarachek

Faith and Reason : The Conflict over the Rationalism of Maimonides
by Joseph Sarachek

http://www.techagreements.com/agreement-preview.aspx?num=226527

And up to $75,000 a month to restructure US Plastic Lumber Corp.

http://biz.yahoo.com/ic/11/11224.html

Chazak Value (formerly PubliCARD)

Key People
• Chairman: Harry I. Freund
• President and CEO: Joseph Sarachek

Harry Freund is the big shot in Hadassah who davens at the Young Israel of Harrison. Freund's step-father was Harry Rosenthal of Minnesota who founded the Herzl Camp in Webster, Wisconsin.

Harry Rosenthal's daughter, the neocon matron Midge Decter, is wife of Norman Podhoretz, mother of John Podhoretz and shvigger of Elliot Abrams.

5W said...

Rubashkin flack & criminal impersonator Juda Engelmayer is back in the public eye again as spokesman for a group of NY State Democrats led by Brooklyn's Carl Kruger.

Maybe Juda is hired to impersonate Republicans on the blogs.

Actually, the Rubashkin saga is the 2nd impersonation blitz that we know Engelmayer was behind. The first was for Le Marais and the OU.

If some political junkie has spare time, it would be interesting to find impersonations going back even further when Engelmayer was spokesman for NY State Comptroller H. Carl McCall. McCall's political opponents at the time included Dennis Vacco and George Pataki.

Anonymous said...

http://www.thejc.com/node/8133

The world's biggest Jewish outreach group faces a cash crisis fuelled by fears that its biggest donor, billionaire diamond mogul Lev Leviev, may slash funding due to his own financial difficulties.

Chabad has around 4,000 emissaries in 70 countries, running 3,300 community centres worldwide.
Sources within the movement say many of the emissaries in charge of running Jewish religious activities around the globe have been told that their funding will be stopped.

The Chief Rabbi of Russia, Rabbi Berel Lazar, has been holding emergency meetings in recent days with his emissaries to discuss the crisis.

One philanthropist who works with Chabad said: "Dozens of shlichim are coming to me asking for help. Some of them have taken bank loans on the assumption that Mr Leviev's funds would repay the loans and now they are distraught."

The Or Avner network of 120 schools and 60 kindergartens in the FSU, Eastern Europe, Germany, North America and Israel - the world's biggest private Jewish education network - was founded by Mr Leviev, who has given it an estimated £50 million a year over the past few years.

Mr Leviev is also the main benefactior for the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia, the Chabad-dominated largest Jewish organisation in Russia, of which he is president. Another major donor of the Federation is billionaire Roman Abramovich.

http://www.thejewishweek.com/viewArticle/c36_a14003/News/New_York.html

The largest system of Jewish schools in the former Soviet Union appears to be in danger of collapse as its main benefactor, Israeli billionaire Lev Leviev, makes major cutbacks in funding to the Or Avner Foundation network. Leviev, who reportedly pumped some $20 million a year into the Or Avner system, is facing severe financial reverses to his international business empire due to the world economic crisis.

Well-placed sources in Israel told The Jewish Week Monday that Leviev’s funding has been “frozen” and that some Or Avner schools may have already closed. Or Avner officials deny this, saying only that Leviev has asked schools to cut their budgets.

Leviev, an Uzbekistan-born self-made magnate who made his fortune in diamonds and real estate, has seen the

value of his Africa-Israel Group stock plummet 90 percent over the past 18 months on the Tel Aviv stock market.

Leviev’s money woes have also caused financial crises for several Or Avner schools in the U.S., including the Queens Gymnasia in Elmhurst. The school is populated largely with Bukharian Jewish students who have — until now — attended free, thanks to Leviev’s largesse.

According to Zalman Zvulunov, director of Or Avner in the U.S., parents at the Queens Gymnasium are being asked for the first time to pay a portion of their children’s tuition. Some teachers’ jobs are being eliminated, Zvulunov said, while others are being asked to work longer hours.

Other sources of funding are Russian-Jewish billionaire Roman Abramovich, New York-based financier George Rohr and wealthy Jews throughout the FSU.

Rohr declined comment when asked whether he will continue funding Or Avner schools at the same level as he has done in the past.

The unraveling of Leviev’s financial empire goes much further than the stunning fall of the value of Africa-Israel stock on the Tel Aviv market. The company’s credit rating has also plunged in recent months.

According to a recent report in Ha’aretz, capital markets “seem dubious as to their ability to repay the NIS 23 billion the group owes. The bankers are also worried and want more collateral from Leviev.”

Rabbi Pinchas Goldshmidt, the chief rabbi of Moscow, who has had a long and bitter rivalry with the Federation’s Lazar for control of the religious life of the Russian Jewish community said, “There has been no united community response to this situation because unfortunately the Russian Jewish community is not united. Everyone is on their own, and maybe it’s better that way.”

BizJournals said...

Miami, FL - More than two years after a valuable pink diamond mysteriously went missing, Stafford Jewelers has won a lawsuit worth nearly $7 million to compensate for the loss.

The judgement was handed down by a jury in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. The jury awarded Miami Township-based Stafford Jewelers at least $6.9 million in compensatory damages and lawyers’ fees because of the loss.

The lawsuit, filed in October 2006 by John Stafford, president of Stafford Jewelers, claimed that a $1.5 million pink diamond he sent to a potential buyer disappeared. The intended recipient in New York — Julius Klein Diamonds LLC — said it never received the 5.56-karat stone.

Julius Klein Diamonds was preparing a response to the decision.

The stone had been sent in February 2006 and sealed in a series of envelopes, bags and boxes. Stafford bought insurance for the stone from Jewelers Mutual Insurance through Brink’s. The following day, Stafford said he was informed by Julius Klein Diamonds that his package had arrived open and empty.

In his affidavit, Stafford claims he was led to believe that the diamond was reported missing to the FBI and the New York Police Department, but later learned that no reports were filed.

In court documents, Julius Klein Diamonds denied all of Stafford’s allegations and said the box was empty when it arrived in New York. Since it never received the diamond, the firm says it never could have lost or stole it.

According to an investigation by Brink’s, the package carrying the diamond arrived unopened and showed no signs of tampering.

The jury found in favor of Stafford, deciding that Julius Klein Diamonds was unjustly enriched by its acquisition of the valuable pink diamond without compensating Stafford Jewelers, that the company wrongfully converted and exercised dominion and control over the pink diamond and that the company was found liable of civil liability for a criminal act (theft).

Lawyer Dianne Marx of Dayton-based law firm of Sebaly Shillito & Dyer represented Stafford Jewelers in the lawsuit.

“The jury sent a strong, strong message that this kind of conduct absolutely will not be tolerated in our society,” Marx said.

Anonymous said...

Be Proactive To Protect Kids From Abuse

by Michelle Friedman
Special To The Jewish Week

Note: With the debut of a monthly column, Dr. Michelle Friedman, a psychiatrist, psychoanalyst and the director of pastoral counseling at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School, invites Jewish Week readers to send questions to advice@jewishweek.org. Any issues related to psychology, psychiatry, and the interface of mental health, Jewish life and general culture are welcome.

‘Almost every day we read in the news some story about sexual abuse of children. I’m shocked that there is so much of this in the Jewish community. What should I do to protect my children?”

You are right to be shocked. No society is immune to this scourge. Sexual abuse of children can cause profound physical and emotional damage to boys and girls. I urge
you to harness your outrage and be proactive on two fronts — first, make sure that child-oriented institutions in your community (schools, camps, programs) have specific policies regarding proper boundaries and sexual abuse and second, talk to your children directly about their own bodies.
On the institutional side, community members need to maintain awareness about abuse while checking out programs or hiring personnel. Think about the questions parents typically ask when inquiring about a nursery school or camp — “What is the student/teacher ratio?” or “Is there a lunch program?” How often have you heard someone ask “What kind of training do your teachers get about physical contact with children?” or “How do you investigate allegations of molestation?” How many search committees routinely ask prospective rabbis or educators “What is your training in counseling and who do you turn to when you have questions in this area?”

When it comes to talking to children about sexual matters, many parents feel awkward. We need to ask ourselves why this is so. Perhaps our own parents were silent on this topic and we unconsciously follow their cue. Perhaps we are looking to be especially modest given a sense of secular society as crassly sex saturated. Awareness of the impact of our own upbringing can free us to engage in necessary dialogue with our children. Silence about sex is not helpful. It gives the message that “this is something we don’t talk about” and inhibits boys and girls from coming to their parents either with questions which reflect healthy curiosity or requests for help with more complex situations.

Popular molestation safeguards for parents of young children include instructions to report any touch “inside the bathing suit line” and discriminating between “good touch and bad touch.”
While both of these concepts have merits, I encourage a much simpler instruction, “Tell me if anyone touches you in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable.”

Inappropriate touch can be a stroke on the cheek and can feel pleasant and creepy at the same time. Rather than making either the location or quality of touch the issue, the simple directive to tell a parent when touch feels uncomfortable opens up the possibility for further inquiry and discussion.

“I’m very worried about my boyfriend. He is unhappy all the time, barely gets to work, and can’t seem to focus. I want to get him to see a therapist but he says that’s only for people who are really sick.”

Getting a distressed friend or relative through the door of a mental health professional can be a challenge. I get phone calls like this all the time from parents, spouses and friends of people in distress. The person making the call is caught between anxious concern about their loved one’s health and fear of angering or alienating that same person.


Your boyfriend sounds like he is struggling with depression and also with feeling ashamed of having a rough time. Your support is crucial. First, do some advance work to obtain names and contact information of reputable mental health professionals who can do a basic evaluation and make a treatment recommendation. You might ask your physician, rabbi, or other trusted person to guide you to psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers whom they know and trust. Jewish agencies such as UJA-Federation of New York or its constituent agency, the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services also offer resources and guidance in mental health.


Next, tell your boyfriend why you are worried and how much you care about him getting help. In fact, you care so much that you have done the work of finding a professional to consult. Just like you wouldn’t sit by if he broke a bone or was having an asthma attack, you shouldn’t wait for a marked decline in mood or functioning to get better on it’s own. It’s best if your boyfriend gets on the phone and arranges an appointment himself, but it might help if you are in the room when he makes the call. He might even want you to go with him to the visit, if only to sit in the waiting room. All of this helps normalize the experience of going through a bout of depression or anxiety. Knowing that someone else believes that there is a light at the end of what can feel like a dark tunnel can make all the difference.

Have a question for Dr. Friedman? Send it to her at advice@jewishweek.org

Rubashkin stupidity watch said...

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/Waronkosher?page=150

How can you even have a petition when most people sign as anonymous?

On the first page, the comments already start from the fressers who only care about stuffing their face with geshmacka fleish.

What about the Disgraceful Balkany-Rubashkin agenda? said...

# 214:

Nov 6, 2008,

Elisheva Balkany, New York

I am sickened that the government has been involved in such a disgraceful agenda.

Lying Lubavitcher Putz said...

# 291:

Nov 6, 2008,

Levi Shemtov, New York

the rubashkin family have done more kindness for human beings, homeless... then any other family, anywhere in the world. they are true role models. i would do anything in my power to help them. they are an amazing family. i wish them the best of luck. g-d bless aaron rubashkin & family.

Head Shaliach of Chabad Utah said...

# 297:

Nov 6, 2008,

Benny Zippel, Utah

This is plain and simply a matter of envy and jealousy on behalf of Rubashkin's competitors who feel threatened and cornered by the impact of their worldwide success. Shame on them!!!

Horrible said...

I shudder to think that they might get the 15,000 signatures from these moron Chabadniks, Agudah fressers and others with added lunatic commentary.

Can you imagine how stupid the goyim will think the Jews are?

Arthur said...

"No fist fights or rioting this year? said...

http://lubavitch.com/news/article/2024534/When-Shluchim-Come-Marching-In-Gala-Banquet-Concludes-Chabad-Lubavitch-Conference.html

When Shluchim Come Marching In: Gala Banquet Concludes Chabad-Lubavitch Conference"

Of course the almost daily physical altercations going on in Ponovitch over who knows what and the infighting Ibber de yerusha at Telz are the new derech in Ahavas Yisroel.

what a country - free rubashkin now said...

What a country where innocent tzadikim like the rubashkins go to jail and these ganavim go free.
Rubin, Weill, Pandit, Prince: Many to Blame for Citi Debacle, None Owning Up

Posted Nov 26, 2008 12:34pm EST by Aaron Task

Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit appeared on The Charlie Rose Show last night, where he steadfastly declined to take responsibility for the firm's predicament.

"As I got into this job about 11 months ago, I came in with a set of assets were which unduly concentrated against the U.S. residential market, and we have been working down steadily," Pandit said, effectively laying the blame at the feet of his predecessor Chuck Prince.

Prince, who became CEO of Citigroup in 2003 and then chairman in 2006, certainly deserves a share of the blame for the company's use of leverage and other decisions that ultimately left the bank at the mercy of the U.S. government.

But as with any debacle of this magnitude, there's plenty of blame to go around.

What about Sandy Weil, the architect of Citi's "supermarket" strategy and the man who handpicked Prince to succeed him?

Then there's board member and former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, who has received over $100 million in compensation from Citi in 10-plus years, according to the New York Post.

"I don't feel responsible, in light of the facts as I knew them in my role," Rubin told the New York Times back in April. "In hindsight, there are a lot of things we'd do differently. But in the context of the facts as I knew them and my role, I'm inclined to think probably not."

Rubin is one of several directors, including current chairman Sir Win Bischoff, who've been on Citi's board for at least 10 years, the WSJ notes.

To this point, not one of the directors has been fired, stepped down or even had the decency to apologize to shareholders or U.S. taxpayers.

Yep, there's billions of losses at Citi but no one willing to take any responsibility.

What a country!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

free rubashkin now free rubaskin now said...

free rubassken now

Arthur said...

"I shudder to think that they might get the 15,000 signatures from these moron Chabadniks, Agudah fressers and others with added lunatic commentary.

Can you imagine how stupid the goyim will think the Jews are?"

I don't know why you shudder to think what the "goyim" (oh my G_D,a derogatory term) think about these "moron Chabadniks".Their not really Jews any more.

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

Keeping Score:

Arthur - 2

Chabad Bashers - 0

Recount: Misnagdim 3, Arthur 0 said...

It's a disgrace what happens at Telz & Ponivizh but 770 manages to always get in the secular newspapers & TV every time.

The Chabadster violence and rioting is also much more widespread with many more people involved.

A good percentage of the 4000 shluchim and 100s of Meshichistin were involved in last year's riot that ended with serious injuries from flying fists and even benklach that put some in the hospital..

Al Franken From Minnesota said...

I want a recount of the absentee misnagdisher ballots.

Al Gore said...

Arthur is challenging the legality of the Misnagdish absentee ballots because Litvaks leave hanging chads.

Arthur said...

"A good percentage of the 4000 shluchim and 100s of Meshichistin were involved in last year's riot that ended with serious injuries from flying fists and even benklach that put some in the hospital.."
First of all it was a Milchemes Mitzvah.The Realistim versus the meshichistim.Second of all it only occurred once whereas Ponivitch and perhaps Telz to a lesser degree are ongoing situations.
The Shluchem incident occurred in NYC where anything negative in the frum community makes the news.Satmar,Bobov and others to numerous to mention have also made the headlines.

Anonymous said...

Agriprocessors former CEO pleads not guilty to 12 charges
By Trish Mehaffey

The Gazette
trish.mehaffey@gazcomm.com

Baltimore Fressers in a Panic said...

http://www.jewishtimes.com/index.php/jewishtimes/news/jt/local_news/upscale_kosher_eatery_closes/8764

Upscale Kosher Eatery Closes

Maayan Jaffe
Staff Reporter

Polsky told the BALTIMORE JEWISH TIMES, “I couldn’t figure out why this city couldn’t sustain a white tablecloth restaurant

Telzer said...

Al Gore you putz, all of a sudden you don't want to make sure all the votes are counted?

UOJ Gets Results said...

MC Mortgage Fraud Part 2 - Florida TV 20
November 25, 2008

It's a well orchestrated scheme to make money through real estate fraud, and it's being called a major factor in the melt down of the economy.

The Florida Attorney General's Office is calling it a major factor in the meltdown of the economy, mortgage fraud.

Investigators say real estate scams like one we uncovered in Marion County have been going on for years.

It starts out when the con artist offers someone money in exchange for the use of their name and identity, that person becomes what is known as a straw buyer.

The scammer then purchases a house using the straw buyer's identity from a seller who is most likely in on the scam, for an inflated price.

Let's say the house is worth one hundred thousand dollars, the con artist will offer the seller two hundred thousand, and will get that amount from the lender.

The con artist then keeps the difference, the mortgage never gets paid, and the straw buyer is stuck with the foreclosure.

Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum says,

"With the downturn in the housing bubble when it burst...we see a lot of fraud as a result of that."

The fraud is well orchestrated and requires several participants, all who investigators believe receive a monetary kickback.

Rubashkin plays the Judge for a Shoyte said...

http://iowaindependent.com/8974/regulators-and-creditors-want-agriprocessors-bankruptcy-moved-to-iowa

One of the firm’s private sector creditors complained about Agricprocessor’s request for a delay.

“The irony of the debtor’s request should not be lost on the court,” wrote Brian Walsh, attorney for First Bank Business Capital, a creditor that filed suit against Agriprocessors for $35 million in unpaid debt.

“Although the debtor contends that its principal place of business is located in New York and that it would be inconvenient if the case were transferred to Iowa, Mr. Feldman proposes to travel to Iowa (where his presence is not required) and to be unavailable for the scheduled hearing,” he said in a motion filed Monday.

It was the second time Agriprocessors attorneys have sought a such a continuance, Walsh noted.

“For the second Friday in a row, the debtor has sought last-moment relief to address an urgency that is of its own creation,” he argued. “We understand that Mr. Feldman’s presence in Iowas has not been required by the trustee and that, indeed, the trustee has requested that Mr. Feldman not make the trip if it would interfere with the determination of the pending venue motion.”

While many creditors have joined with First Bank in requesting the venue change, only one creditor has filed formal opposition with the court. Moriah Capital, an unsecured creditor listing at least $1.5 million in unrecovered debt, hopes the court will keep the proceedings in New York. Moriah indicated its loans were made to Cottonball, L.L.C., an Agriprocessors-affiliate that owns several chicken coops.

...

I figured Moriah would be a haymisher outfit in NY.

http://moriahcapital.com/team.htm

Greg Zilberstein is a YU guy. He used to be finance director at Howard Jonas's ITT.

But what the heck is wrong with him? How can he support the Rubashkins when they stiffed him?

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/Waronkosher?page=150

# 7,454: 9:37 am PST, Nov 24,

Greg Zilberstein, New York

I've done business with Rubashkins in the past and they have been honest people. It's an outrage what is being done to them and their company.

...

And here's Zilberstein as panelist at the Distressed Debt conference at the NY Hilton:

http://www.dealflowmedia.com/conferences/dd_conference_08_agenda.cfm

Due Diligence, Fraud and Quality of Earnings

4:05 – 4:55 PM
Some observers believe the next round of restructurings can only unearth similar instances of widespread accounting fraud. The now historic marketplace of high liquidity and generous lending standards might prove to have facilitated activities of unscrupulous borrowers. This panel explores whether debt players will be dragged into the allegations, and if more litigious hedge funds will pursue opportunities for handsome court payouts.
MODERATOR: MICHAEL EGAN, Monroe Capital;
PANELISTS: MICHAEL BOGDAN, Atalaya Capital Management; MAGGIE GOOD, The Meridian Group; ROBERT SMITH, National City Investment Banking; GREGORY ZILBERSTEIN, Moriah Capital

He's talking about such Rubashkin hallmarks as fraud and unscrupulous borrowing. Go figure.

National City by the way lent hoards of money to Agri and has gone bankrupt, being taken over by PNC or some other larger bank.

http://www.gazetteonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081126/NEWS/711269940/1006

Agriprocessors' former CEO Sholom Rubashkin pleaded not guilty today in U.S. District Court to 12-counts involving illegal immigrants, identity theft and bank fraud.

Rubashkin, 49, of Postville, was charged with two additional charges in this second superseding indictment of harboring undocumented aliens for profit and conspiracy to commit document fraud. He was previously charged with conspiracy to harbor undocumented aliens for profit, aiding and abetting document fraud, six counts of aiding and abetting aggravated identity theft and two counts of bank fraud.

Rubashkin, who remains in custody until his Jan. 20, 2009 trial, appeared in court wearing a bright orange sweat jacket over a jail jumpsuit and shackled in wrist and ankle chains. He was humming to himself when he entered the courtroom.

Several family members attended the hearing. The U.S. Marshal's warned the members after the hearing that contact was prohibited. Rubashkin greeted them with a big smile and some told him "We'll see you soon."

F. Montgomery Brown of West Des Moines, Rusbashkin's attorney, asked the judge for clarification on motion filing dates. The dates had been confusing because of the two superseding indictments.

U.S. Magistrate Jon Scoles agreed with Brown that this was a confusing case because of the number of defendants and the different indictments.

Brown said he may be asking for a continuance.

Scoles also said Agriprocessors, Inc., as a company, will be arraigned Dec. 5, on the 12 counts it faces in this indictment.

Let's Not Have Another Telshe Story Here said...

The Roshei Kollel of the Chicago Community Kollel are still not condemning the former kollel fellow’s criminal pursuit of innocent members of our community. While it is heartwarming to honor Rav Moshe for his ahavas habrios, we are still waiting for the kollel to act decisively with their alumnus. His behaviors are appalling, and are putting doubts into our minds whether the Chicago Community Kollel is turning our city into a liability. It is time to choose whether to rely on one individual’s special assets, or remain a community institution.

great uoj archive said...

Monday, January 23, 2006
Orthodox Senator Joe Lieberman Calls For Special Session Of Congress To Replace George Washington As The Father Of Our Country With The Tendler Boys
Special To UOJ

Senator Joseph Lieberman was urged by Rabbi Milton Balkany to replace George Washington as the "father of our country", with the Tendler brothers.
At an urgent meeting last week at the home of Uncle Milty, Pesach Lerner from the Young Israel suggested that the Tendler brothers "slept here & slept there", covering both coasts, whereas the first president only spent his time on the East Coast.

The Orthodox senator understood the importance of such a change. He contacted Newt Gingrich and Dick Morris to assist him in getting this legislation through the Senate. Assisting Gingrich and Morris in the "down & dirty," is Ms. Paula Jones from Arkansas.

George Tsuris has set up a new organization called "MoveonJewishwomen.mit/organ", and Michael Moore offered to produce a film called "105 degrees fahrenheit in the rabbinate".

UOJ is pleased to see the positive impact Orthodox rabbis are playing in the United States government.

Forget about silly legislation like tuition tax credits or vouchers; or really stupid legislation like registering sex offenders so the yeshivas would not hire them.

We have really important stuff to do with our political clout.

Rubashkin said...

I hope that the president does'nt think that he can get away with pardoning an Iowa turkey instead of me.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – President Bush will grant clemency this morning in a special Rose Garden ceremony to two distinguished White House guests: The National Thanksgiving Turkeys.

Every president since Harry Truman has pardoned a turkey in the days before Thanksgiving. The public votes on names for a pair of the birds on the White House Web site: this year's choices include Yam and Jam, and Roost and Run.

Watch how the Thanksgiving turkeys spend the night before their presidential pardon

CNN will have live coverage of the turkey pardoning ceremony during the 10 am ET hour.

The two unnamed turkeys began their road to the White House in Iowa, naturally, at the Ellsworth at the Hill family farm.


Raucous caucusing in a flock of 4,500 poults resulted in 13 turkeys rising to the top of the pile. The Hills chose two toms (male turkeys), who seemed to poll consistently well in the likeability category (for their strutting, fanning and preening) to “represent” the farm in the Rose Garden today.

The lucky birds — one, the official Thanksgiving turkey, the other an alternate — spent the night at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel two blocks from the White House. Their stay included room service, a special meal prepared by the executive chef, and mini-bar stocked with — of course — Wild Turkey.

Like the Thanksgiving holiday, the Hill farm is a family affair. Paul Hill is the Chairman of the National Turkey Federation; he and his wife Mary will officially present the turkeys to President Bush. Nathan Hill, Paul’s son — along with his wife, Betsy and two sons Collin and Conner — raised the special flock of turkeys.

You won’t want to miss anchor Betty Nguyen’s interview with the Hills on CNN Newsroom, which airs 9 to 11 am every weekday.

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

Tom Friedman - "on the money"!

------

Op-Ed Columnist
All Fall Down

By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN

Published: November 25, 2008

I spent Sunday afternoon brooding over a great piece of Times reporting by Eric Dash and Julie Creswell about Citigroup. Maybe brooding isn’t the right word. The front-page article, entitled “Citigroup Pays for a Rush to Risk,” actually left me totally disgusted.

Why? Because in searing detail it exposed — using Citigroup as Exhibit A — how some of our country’s best-paid bankers were overrated dopes who had no idea what they were selling, or greedy cynics who did know and turned a blind eye. But it wasn’t only the bankers. This financial meltdown involved a broad national breakdown in personal responsibility, government regulation and financial ethics.

So many people were in on it: People who had no business buying a home, with nothing down and nothing to pay for two years; people who had no business pushing such mortgages, but made fortunes doing so; people who had no business bundling those loans into securities and selling them to third parties, as if they were AAA bonds, but made fortunes doing so; people who had no business rating those loans as AAA, but made a fortunes doing so; and people who had no business buying those bonds and putting them on their balance sheets so they could earn a little better yield, but made fortunes doing so.

Citigroup was involved in, and made money from, almost every link in that chain. And the bank’s executives, including, sad to see, the former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, were clueless about the reckless financial instruments they were creating, or were so ensnared by the cronyism between the bank’s risk managers and risk takers (and so bought off by their bonuses) that they had no interest in stopping it.

These are the people whom taxpayers bailed out on Monday to the tune of what could be more than $300 billion. We probably had no choice. Just letting Citigroup melt down could have been catastrophic. But when the government throws together a bailout that could end up being hundreds of billions of dollars in 48 hours, you can bet there will be unintended consequences — many, many, many.

Also check out Michael Lewis’s superb essay, “The End of Wall Street’s Boom,” on Portfolio.com. Lewis, who first chronicled Wall Street’s excesses in “Liar’s Poker,” profiles some of the decent people on Wall Street who tried to expose the credit binge — including Meredith Whitney, a little known banking analyst who declared, over a year ago, that “Citigroup had so mismanaged its affairs that it would need to slash its dividend or go bust,” wrote Lewis.

“This woman wasn’t saying that Wall Street bankers were corrupt,” he added. “She was saying they were stupid. Her message was clear. If you want to know what these Wall Street firms are really worth, take a hard look at the crappy assets they bought with huge sums of borrowed money, and imagine what they’d fetch in a fire sale... For better than a year now, Whitney has responded to the claims by bankers and brokers that they had put their problems behind them with this write-down or that capital raise with a claim of her own: You’re wrong. You’re still not facing up to how badly you have mismanaged your business.”

Lewis also tracked down Steve Eisman, the hedge fund investor who early on saw through the subprime mortgages and shorted the companies engaged in them, like Long Beach Financial, owned by Washington Mutual.

“Long Beach Financial,” wrote Lewis, “was moving money out the door as fast as it could, few questions asked, in loans built to self-destruct. It specialized in asking homeowners with bad credit and no proof of income to put no money down and defer interest payments for as long as possible. In Bakersfield, Calif., a Mexican strawberry picker with an income of $14,000 and no English was lent every penny he needed to buy a house for $720,000.”

Lewis continued: Eisman knew that subprime lenders could be disreputable. “What he underestimated was the total unabashed complicity of the upper class of American capitalism... ‘We always asked the same question,’ says Eisman. ‘Where are the rating agencies in all of this? And I’d always get the same reaction. It was a smirk.’ He called Standard & Poor’s and asked what would happen to default rates if real estate prices fell. The man at S.& P. couldn’t say; its model for home prices had no ability to accept a negative number. ‘They were just assuming home prices would keep going up,’ Eisman says.”

That’s how we got here — a near total breakdown of responsibility at every link in our financial chain, and now we either bail out the people who brought us here or risk a total systemic crash. These are the wages of our sins. I used to say our kids will pay dearly for this. But actually, it’s our problem. For the next few years we’re all going to be working harder for less money and fewer government services — if we’re lucky.

boog said...

Not to totally absolve the bankers who will never miss an opportunity to make money, but Tom Friedman conveniently does not put the blame where it really squarely belongs and that is on:

Barney (Feigele) Frank,
Chris Dodd,
Maxine Walters,
Barbara Boxer
and the rest of the dreck-fresser democrats in Congress that loosened the regulations via Fannie Mae and Fannie Mac and made it legally mandatory for the Banks to extend loans to people that they otherwise would never lend a penny precisely because these people didn't have a rats chance in hell of ever repaying. This was the PC Police and affirmative action run amuck.

Indeed Congressional Republicans and Pres. Bush did seek to tighten the lending rules by FM/FMAC but lost.

So today it has become fashionable to bash the bankers and all the others who were led to the open cookie jar by Barney and Chris and put us into the financial Tinaf we find ourselves today.

And what is Bim-Bam's answer to this crisis?

Create 2.5 million new jobs to build/repair infrastructure by building bridges, roads, and various public works. And who will comprise this new work-force? The non-calloused hands of the unemployed bankers and business owners?

While they're building infrastructure, have them also build a new wing at Gitmo for the above mentioned Democratic legislators.

The Bim-Bam Identity.

no more credit cards said...

In my community spending has just about come to a hault. People are just not buying....anything.

It's crazy.

One good thing will come out of this entire crisis.
People will buy what only they can afford. No more paying with plastic and deffering the payments.......forever, while paying just the minimum balance.

Cash in pocket? You buy.

Pocket empty? Go home empty-handed

The way it always was. The way it should be. The way it will be now.

Unless Obama has his way.....

J Post said...

Rabbi Yigal Shandrapi, the head of Yeshuat Mordechai Yeshiva, is expected to be brought before the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court on Wednesday for a remand hearing, after police from the Judea and Samaria Division arrested him on Tuesday on suspicion of inciting Jewish youth to riot.

Arthur said...

From todays Jerusalem Post
Chabad-Lubavitch is asking people to say prayers for its director in Mumbai, Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg, and his wife Rivka Holtzberg, whose whereabouts it has been unable to establish following Wednesday's terrorist attacks in the city.



"Pray that we should hear good news," urged a Chabad spokesman, Rabbi Zalman Shmotkin, in a telephone conversation with The Jerusalem Post from New York in the early hours of Thursday morning, Israel time.

Joshua Runyan, the news editor of the Chabad.org/news website, told the Post that there had been "several reports that shots were fired in the vicinity of the Chabad House, and unconfirmed reports on CNN of casualties in the Nariman House." Nariman House, Runyan said, was the original name of the Chabad House, which was purchased two years ago.

The Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem confirmed the possibility that hostages had been taken in the Chabad House area, Israel Radio reported.

Runyan, who is in Jerusalem, said that a friend of the rabbi's had received an email from Holtzberg, unrelated to the attacks, at around the time of the attacks or shortly before they began, but that there had been no contact with Holtzberg since. "Since then, we've been trying all the numbers," he said.

Phone calls by the Post to the Chabad House and to the Holtzbergs went unanswered late Wednesday night and in the small hours of Thursday morning.

Friends of the Holtzbergs placed messages on various internet sites appealing for information about them.

The Foreign Ministry repeated at 2 am that it had no reports of Israeli casualties in the attacks. Runyan said that the Israeli consulate in Mumbai also had no reports of Israeli casualties.

Israel Radio reported that staff from the Consulate were visiting local hospitals. Runyan said the Chabad House was a popular tourist destination and that "Israelis regularly come by and visit."

In an article on the chabad.org Web site, Runyan wrote that "Chabad-Lubavitch representatives in New York and Israel are working alongside the Israeli Foreign Ministry, the US Consulate in Mumbai and a volunteer team of local residents to ascertain the well being of the Holtzbergs and other Jews in the area."

He added: "People are urged to say Psalms for Gavriel Noach ben Freida Bluma and Rivka bas Yehudis, and anyone affected by the tragedy."

India Times said...

Mumbai, India - Armed terrorists have struck several crowded spots in south Mumbai, killing several dozens and injuring hundreds. The attacks happened Wednesday night inside the Chhatrapati Shivaji train terminus as well as inside some posh hotels in southern Mumbai. Several train stations have been evacuated and the domestic as well as international airports are on high alert.

There are unconfirmed reports of firings and possible blasts inside the famous Taj hotel where guests were being ushered to safer places inside. Several people have claimed to have witnessed assailants armed with sophisticated weapons including AK-47 guns.

Around midnight Wednesday, the armed terrorists were said to be holed up in Taj and Oberoi Hotels and they have several hostages. A petrol pump was said to have been blown up in Colaba, killing several people. A blast inside a taxi has also been reported.

Latest reports indicate that India’s anti-terrorism squad chief Hemant Karkare, Mumbai’s encounter specialist Vijay Salaskar, and DIG Kamte have been killed. Home minister Patil said to be flying to Mumbai. A group of 200 NSG commandos are also said to be reaching Mumbai soon.

Only 3 days ago, I wrote that India’s home ministry was not able to handle the terrorists and the task should be handed over to India’s military. At this time, India’s military has entered the Taj Hotel to combat the armed insurgents who have several people hostage, including some members of India’s parliament and several British and American citizens. Also, 20 people are said to have been taken hostage on the 18th floor of the Oberoi hotel.

In the nearby Nariman House, an Israeli family had been taken hostage and latest reports indicate that 3 members of that family have been shot by the terrorists.

Chabad House said...

In an unfortunate incident, an entire building in the heart of Colaba called Nariman House is now held hostage by five suspected terrorists. It is being feared that lives of Jewish families, who live in the building is under serious threat.

Four people were killed after terrorists struck in the highly crowded area and fired gun shots indiscriminately. National Security Guard commandos are planning to attack the house from behind to ensure that they are able to free the hostages.
Initial reports said that a group of terrorists escaped in a police vehicle and reached Colaba, where they threw a grenade on a petrol pump.

Anonymous said...

Talkback



Title: Nariman House - Mumbai

Name: Debbie

City: Mumbai State: Maharashtra


Nariman House is a building that has Israelis and local Jews living in it. Apparently, there is a hostage situation there too. And there are now reports that all the people there have been killed. Just thought you`d want to know about this too.

Anonymous said...

Chabad Mumbai



Address: 5 Hormusji Street - Nariman House - Colaba
Mumbai, 400-005 India
Phone: 91-22-2283-6921
Web: www.chabad.org.in

Rabbi Gavriel Noach Holtzberg, Co-director
Mrs. Rivka Holtzberg, Co-director



Israeli Center Kitchen Koshering Circumcision
Hospital Visitation Prison Visitation Prison Chaplaincy
Regular Classes Marriage Prep Medical Services
Women's Group Food Package Distribution Humanitarian Aid
Shabbat Hospitality Adult Education Judaica Shop
Synagogue Library After School Programs
Chevrah Kadishah Bar/Bat Mitzvah Instruction Mezuzah and Tefillin Checking
One-on-One Study Kosher Meal Plan Jewish Learning Institute
Drug Prevention

Haaretz said...

Last update - 05:25 27/11/2008


Foreign Ministry searching for missing Israelis in Mumbai

By Haaretz Staff and News Agencies

Tags: mumbai, israel news, terror

Israel's Foreign Ministry early Thursday morning said it is attempting to locate approximately 20 Israeli nationals missing in the Indian city of Mumbai.

A report early Thursday morning from CNN's Indian affiliate said that gunfire was heard in Mumbai's Chabad House, and three people were killed there, including a couple and 16-year-old youth.

Indian media is also reporting that there is a possibility hostages are being held in and near the Chabad House, which is located in a building called Nariman House at 5 Hormusji Street.

Members of the Israeli consulate staff were also conducting searches in Mumbai hospitals for injured or missing Israelis, Israel Radio reported.

Indian and Bahraini media reported that gunfire was heard at Nariman House on Wednesday night.

On its Web site, Chabad expressed concern for the welfare of its representative to Mumbai, Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg, and his wife, Rivka Holtzberg, who have not been heard from since the attacks.

Chabad said its personnel are "working closely with the Israeli Foreign Ministry and the U.S. government" to locate the Holtzbergs and other missing persons in the Chabad House area.

Mumbai's Chabad House is said to be a popular stop for Israeli tourists. The Holtzbergs offer visitors a host of programs, including providing kosher food.

The attacks began across India's financial capital Wednesday night, as teams of heavily armed gunmen stormed luxury hotels, a popular restaurant, hospitals and a crowded train station in coordinated attacks, killing at least 87 people and taking Westerners hostage, police said. A previously unknown group called Deccan Mujahideen, apparently Muslim militants, took responsibility for the attacks.

cnn said...

Unconfirmed reports on CNN of casualties in the Nariman House.

Arthur said...

Eli Willner said...

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

Rabboisai, as a frequent visitor to Mumbai and guest of Reb Gavriel I can testify that he is a “taireh yid”, a talmid chochom, an emmeser oisek b’tzorchei tzibur b’emunah, a machnis orach in the spirit of Avrohom Avinu who makes every yid of every stripe, feel welcome and at home. I am a litvisher yid and, honestly, had some misgivings about spending Shabbos at a Chabad house before my first visit. They were quickly laid to rest when I experienced Gabi’s varmkeit, saw how he feired tish and talked with him in learning. He is an “old school” Chabad chossid and I’m honored to have become his friend. Please join me in being mispallel for his well being and that of his rebbetzin.

Antwerp said...

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601085&sid=a5.68x7FyDbA&refer=europe

To make matters worse, diamond traders are the focus of a police crackdown on tax fraud. Officers have raided about 25 Antwerp diamond companies over the last 18 months, Claes said.

While an Antwerp police spokesman said they are simply weeding out traders who don't play by the rules, Claes is concerned about the city's reputation. Ten dealers have left because of the probe, and the number of diamond companies may shrink further given the state of the market, he said.

``Five minutes after the raid, everyone in Antwerp knows about it,'' said Claes. ``Ten minutes later, the entire world knows about it, and we're getting calls from New York, Dubai, India wanting to know is Antwerp a safe place to do business.''

`Bubble'

Rival centers, though, are also feeling the pinch. In Israel, where some of Antwerp's Jewish traders settled after World War II, exports of polished diamonds fell 46 percent in October from a year earlier, according to the Rapaport News Web site. An Indian industry grouping of diamond companies this month asked members to stop importing rough rocks for a month.

At a one-day conference in Antwerp last week, ZAO Alrosa, Russia's diamond monopoly, said it may cut gem supply by as much as 40 percent. On Nov. 19, Sotheby's failed to sell three of the top diamonds offered in a Geneva auction.

``We are all aware of the sort of speculative bubble that was created by dealers taking advantage of the ill-conceived credit policy of a number of banks,'' Alrosa President Sergey Vybornovtold the traders, cutters and bankers gathered at Antwerp's Province House.

Telz Molesters Named said...

This is just the tip of the iceberg of Rav A.C. Levin's perverted coverups.

Every Telshe molester will be smoked out. Let the chips fall where they may. Including the Chicago mikvah rapist.

Rick Wagoner said...

Maybe we shouldn't have sold half of GMAC to the three headed dog and instead just called ourselves a bank that makes a few cars on the side. That way we could have gotten the money we need.

Hey UOJ, who screwed up more, Citi or us? What's worse, buying a lemon or having your 401K gutted.

At least the guys at Citi get to keep their jets.

Ezra Merkin said...

By Kendra Marr
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, November 27, 2008; Page D02

German automaker Daimler said yesterday that the sale of its remaining stake in Chrysler has been complicated by the "exaggerated demands" of Cerberus Capital Management.

The price tags Cerberus put on Daimlers' 19.9 percent stake in Chrysler "exceed the value of Cerberus' investment in Chrysler," an 80.1 percent stake purchased for $7.2 billion last year, Daimler said in a statement yesterday.

Cerberus fired back in a statement saying the lengthy negotiations are the result of Daimler's own misconduct. Daimler "intentionally and materially" misled Cerberus before it sold Chrysler last year, the private equity firm said. Cerberus alleges that Daimler breached its contract by not disclosing Chrysler's leasing and financing practices prior to the sale.

"Daimler has, unfortunately, refused to recognize the gravity of the claims relating to its deliberate conduct that resulted in the impairment of Chrysler's business and added to and multiplied the adverse effects of the current automotive and macro economic environment," Cerberus said. "We are disappointed that Daimler has refused to negotiate in good faith in the face of the plain facts of which they are well aware."

Daimler, parent company of Mercedes, said the claims were "absurd allegations" and "completely without substance."

Margo's banker said...

By Lisa Jucca and Albert Schmieder

LUCERNE, Switzerland (Reuters) - UBS said on Thursday it has discovered a few cases of tax fraud as part of a U.S. inquiry into whether it helped wealthy Americans dodge taxes through accounts in Switzerland.

Sky News said...

Commandos Surround Chabad House
by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu and Hana Levi Julian

Sky News is reporting that two powerful explosions were heard an hour ago from the Nariman House building which houses Mumbai's Chabad House, in India, where at least five Islamist terrorists are still holed up. It is believed that five Israelis are being held hostage.

Hundreds of commandos have surrounded the building and have already killed one terrorist, but five others are still believed to be hiding in the building. Unconfirmed reports said that another terrorist at the nearby Taj Mahal Hotel may have been caught alive.

Chabad-Lubavitch emissary Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife Rivka were both reported unconscious, as were several of the Israelis, according to a babysitter who managed to escape and called the family shortly after the siege began. The Foreign Ministry reported that between 10 and 15 Israelis believed to be in Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay, have not been reached and their whereabouts and condition are still unknown.

Local police previously secured the release of the couple's one and a half-year-old son Moshe, but both parents were still being held captive.

Rivka Holtzberg's father, Rabbi Shimon Rozenberg, is reportedly flying out to the scene. Rabbi Rozenberg is the principal of Migdal Ohr Girls' High School in Migdal Emek, which was founded by his brother-in-law, Rabbi Yitzchak David Grossman, winner of the Israel Prize and numerous other public awards.

A previously unknown Muslim terrorist group linked to the international Al Qaeda terrorist organization calling itself the Deccan Mujahedin claimed responsibility for the massive multi-site terror attack carried out late Wednesday night in the city formerly known as Bombay. Mumbai is home to some 15 million people and is India's largest city.

The terrorists struck two luxury hotels frequented by Americans and British nationals, the Taj Mahal Hotel and the Oberoi Hotel as well as the city's largest train station, a movie theater and the Cama Hospital with automatic weapons and grenades. Intelligence sources said the level of sophisticated training and weapons employed by the terrorists made it clear that they were not local criminals. The terrorists were armed with AK-47 assault rifles and grenades.

Also among the nine sites struck by the group throughout "the city that never sleeps" was the Chabad House, a popular stop for Israeli tourists passing through the area who are provided with kosher food and Jewish programs there.

Three top police officials were among at least 101 dead in the attacks, including Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) Chief Hemant Karkare, Additional Commissioner Ashok Kamte and encounter specialist Vijay Salaskar, reported IBN News, which said Karkare had received death threats in phone calls at his home within the past several days.

The terrorists have demanded that India release "all mujahedins," and that "only after that will we release the people," as they told a local television station. Several other Israelis have maintained telephone contact from their eighth-floor hotel rooms. The Chabad website reported that "the situation is grim."

American and British nationals were reportedly being separated out from among other foreigners and held as hostages, according to one British citizen who told Sky News television that he had watched as a gunman asked a group of some 40 hostages for their country of origin. Those who were from Italy, he said, were released, but British and American citizens were held.

British European Parliament Member Sajjad Karim told the television network before his cell phone went dead that he was barricaded in a darkened restaurant in the basement of the Oberoi Hotel. "We are now in the dark in this room and we have barricaded all the doors. It's really bad," he said. Some 200 people were reported being held hostage at the Oberoi Hotel.

It is also estimated that there are still between 45 to 50 hostages being held by the terrorists at the Taj Mahal Hotel. Five terrorists were reported dead and 14 police officers were killed as well in the exchange of gunfire at the hotel, where thick black smoke billowed from the windows on the upper floors.

NDTV reported that Indian security officials believe the terrorists may have infiltrated into the city by sea. There is little regulation in the Bombay Harbor, noted the journalist in his report. Nariman House is located in the southern part of the city, along the water.

The sophisticated terrorist attacks, the worst ever in Mumbai and India, hit as Mumbai is involved in elections.

Lakewood Talmid said...

Yasher koyech to Rav Eidensohn.

I think the petition circulated among European rabbonim to ban Leib Tropper from future conferences on gerus should be sent here for American rabbonim to sign, as well as to Eretz Yisroel.

Lakewood Talmid said...

I can't find any news on the meshuloch in India. WCBS spoke to Chabad spokesman Zalman Shmotkin this morning who as of 8 am didn't know anything.

Anything on the blogs?

Captain Of UOJ Swat Team said...

Post the names of the Telzer molesters and ALL enablers.

$8.5 Trillion and counting said...

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/object/article?f=/c/a/2008/11/26/MNVN14C8QR.DTL&o=0

What a depressing chart.

And as a University of Chicago professor points out, the Citigroup bailout was the dumbest move yet. For the same price, the Treasury could have just bought the whole company considering the share price.

Chabad said...

The baby Moshe was released - Rabbi and Mrs. Holtzberg still hostage.

California said...

San Mateo -- It's the stuff of a suburban nightmare.

The woman shot to death in her San Mateo home while handing her two small children out the window to police was fleeing a stalker who had sneaked into her home through a partially opened garage door as her husband left for work Tuesday, Police Chief Susan Manheimer said Wednesday.

"This was not a random attack or a home invasion robbery, but an incident of stalking," Manheimer said at an evening news conference. "In the past several weeks, he has pursued her through the Internet

A 911 call apparently from Nguyen's husband alerted police, who spotted a man inside the house with a handgun beating a woman, Manheimer said. As officers approached the house, yelling at the man to drop the gun, he fired a shot that barely missed them, the chief said.

Nguyen escaped into a bedroom, where she barricaded herself with her children, a 3-year-old son and 1-year-old daughter. As she handed the second of her children out the window to police officers, Gee opened fire through an adjoining bathroom wall. Police fired back, and Nguyen was fatally struck in the exchange.

Yenner Blog said...

FBI RAID 770 EASTERN PARKWAY - HOME OF CHABAD

You are right when you say that \"The FBI would not need or seek a warrant to enter for that purpose. It would not need a warrant, and Chabad would not demand one.

A search warrant is used to search a place where the occupants will not give permission for that search.\"

From what I have heard in Chabad, there are fears that Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky who heads the organization is very likely to be arrested and charged with Tax Evasion, Money Laundering, Bank Fraud and other related crimes.

Remember that not to long ago, the head of Chabad in Israel was arrested for similar charges.

http://failedmessiah.typepad.com/failed_messiahcom/2007/11/more-details-on.html

There are other Chabad reports indicating that the Rubashkin Crime Family had also used Rabbi Yehuda Krisnky\'s Chabad Headquarters to help perpetrate the Rubashkin Fraudulent Bank Fraud activities.

One thing is for sure, that everyone is now expecting Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky himself and his top aids to all be arrested in the very near future.

It is not clear yet if the FBI will make any arrests today or if they will seize their computers for evidence, first and Arrest the Chabad Leaders, several weeks or months later, as they have done with the investigation of Rubashkin.

Rabbi Yehuda Krisnky\'s office raises literally countless billions of dollars (not millions). Much of that money comes from people the likes of the Rubashkin Criminals and so we should not be surprised at all, as to what exactly the FBI is looking for.

AP said...

MUMBAI, India – Black-clad Indian commandoes raided two luxury hotels to try to free hostages Thursday, and explosions and gunshots shook India's financial capital a day after suspected Muslim militants killed 110 people.

A top Indian general says about 10 to 12 gunmen remain holed up inside a pair of luxury Mumbai hotels and a Jewish center. Maj. Gen. R.K. Huda told New Delhi Television that the rest of the gunmen appeared to have been killed or captured.

Authorities say 110 people were killed and 300 injured when suspected Islamic militants attacked 10 sites in Mumbai.

Rescue efforts continued throughout the day amid sporadic gunfire, with some hostages escaping and others rescued by police. Several bodies were carried out of the five-star Taj Mahal Palace and Tower hotel, one of 10 sites seized by gunmen on Wednesday night.

More than 300 were also wounded in the highly coordinated attacks by bands of gunmen armed with assault rifles, hand grenades and explosives.

Flames burst from the hotel's top floors and dome shortly after the attack began Wednesday night, and erupted again after commandoes raided the building Thursday.

After dusk Thursday, the soldiers ushered several dozen captives out of the Oberoi hotel, another Mumbai landmark.

One of the freed hostages who did not give his name told reporters he had seen many bodies inside the hotel. He refused to give more details, saying he had promised police not to discuss the rescue while it was ongoing.

The Maharashtra state home ministry said 45 captives had been freed from the Oberoi and 35 were still trapped inside.

Police said they were going slowly to protect the captives.

"The safety of the people trapped is very important," said A. N. Roy, a senior police officer. "It will take time but it will be completed successfully," he said.

Among the dead were at least one Australian, a Japanese and a British national, said Pradeep Indulkar, a senior government official of Maharashtra state, whose capital is Mumbai. An Italian and a German were also killed, according to their foreign ministries.

Police said 104 people were killed and 314 injured. Officials said eight militants were also killed.

The most high-profile target was the Taj, a landmark of Mumbai luxury since 1903, and a favorite watering hole of the city's elite.

Soldiers outside the hotel said the operation would take a long time as forces were moving slowly, from room to room, looking for gunmen and traps.

In the afternoon, bodies and hostages slowly emerged from the building. At least three bodies, covered in white cloth, were wheeled out.

About a dozen people, including foreigners, were also evacuated from the hotel and whisked into a waiting ambulance. Several of them carried small pieces of luggage. One older man was carried into the ambulance by police.

The attackers, dressed in black shirts and jeans, had stormed into the hotel at about 9:45 p.m. Wednesday and opened fire indiscriminately.

"I was in the main lobby and there was all of a sudden a lot of firing outside," said Sajjad Karim, part of a delegation of European lawmakers visiting Mumbai before a European Union-India summit.

Suddenly "another gunmen appeared in front of us, carrying machine gun-type weapons. And he just started firing at us ... I just turned and ran in the opposite direction," he told The Associated Press over his mobile phone.

The shooting was followed by a series of explosions that set fire to parts of the century-old edifice on Mumbai's waterfront. Screams were heard and black smoke and flames billowed, continuing to burn until dawn.

Dalbir Bains, who runs a lingerie shop in Mumbai, was about to eat her steak by the pool at the hotel when she heard the sound of gunfire. She said she ran upstairs, taking refuge in the Sea Lounge restaurant, with about 50 other people.

They huddled beneath tables in the dark, trying to remain as quiet as possible while explosions were going off.

"We were trying not to draw attention to ourselves," she said. The group managed to escape before dawn.

The gunmen also seized the Mumbai headquarters of the ultra-orthodox Jewish outreach group Chabad Lubavitch. Around 10:30 a.m., a woman, a child and an Indian cook were seen being led out of the building by police, said one witness.

Chabad spokesman Moni Ender in Israel said there were eight Israelis inside the house, including Rabbi Gavriel Noach Holtzberg and his wife.

Dozens of Indian commandoes surrounded the five-story building, where heavy curtains hung behind windows broken by gunfire. Outside the center, thousands of people stood in the narrow alleyways watching the standoff.

Among those foreigners still held captive in all three buildings were Americans, British, Italians, Swedes, Canadians, Yemenis, New Zealanders, Spaniards, Turks, a Singaporean and Israelis.

At least three top Indian police officers — including the chief of the anti-terror squad — were among those killed, said Roy.

The United States and Pakistan were among the countries that condemned the attacks.

In Washington, President George W. Bush offered Singh "support and assistance" as he works to restore order in the populous and growing Southwest Asian nation, according to White House press secretary Dana Perino.

The motive for the onslaught was not immediately clear, but Mumbai has frequently been targeted in terrorist attacks blamed on Islamic extremists, including a series of bombings in July 2006 that killed 187 people.

An Indian media report said a previously unknown group calling itself the Deccan Mujahideen claimed responsibility for the attacks in e-mails to several media outlets. There was no way to verify that claim.

Magnus Ranstorp, a terrorism specialist with the Swedish National Defense College, said there are "very strong suspicions" that the coordinated Mumbai attacks have a link to al-Qaida.

He said the fact that Britons and Americans were singled out is one indicator, along with the coordinated style of the attacks.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh blamed "external forces."

"The well-planned and well-orchestrated attacks, probably with external linkages, were intended to create a sense of panic, by choosing high profile targets and indiscriminately killing foreigners," he said in address to the nation.

Later Thursday, the Indian navy said its forces were boarding a cargo vessel suspected of ties to the attacks.

Navy spokesman Capt. Manohar Nambiar said Thursday that the ship, the MV Alpha, had recently come to Mumbai from Karachi, Pakistan.

Mumbai, on the western coast of India overlooking the Arabian Sea, is home to splendid Victorian architecture built during the British Raj and is one of the most populated cities in the world with some 18 million crammed into shantytowns, high rises and crumbling mansions.

Among the other places attacked was the 19th century Chhatrapati Shivaji railroad station — a beautiful example of Victorian Gothic architecture — where gunmen sprayed bullets into the crowded terminal, leaving the floor splattered with blood.

"They just fired randomly at people and then ran away. In seconds, people fell to the ground," said Nasim Inam, a witness.

Other gunmen attacked Leopold's restaurant, a landmark popular with foreigners, and the police headquarters in southern Mumbai, the area where most of the attacks took place. Gunmen also attacked Cama and Albless Hospital and G.T. Hospital, though it was not immediately clear if anyone was killed.

LA Times reporting from Mumbai said...

More terrorists hailed a taxi and blew themselves up in the middle of rush hour traffic.

Mattress Stuffer said...

Yom Iyum at Yeshiva PTI BITACHON:Dealing With The Current Economic Crisis Shiur Given By Harav Yisrael Belsky Shlit"a 11:00 AM for info: 973-594-4774

Reuters said...

Indian Army commandos have decided to "hold off" for now on assaulting the Chabad building.

CNN said...

One terrorist was killed inside Chabad when police snipers got a clear shot and fired on him.

stupid report of the day said...

England and India cricket boards canceled their last two games in a seven-match series following the attacks.

aguda fresser said...

What, chabad dont bother me now.

Anonymous said...

Woolworths desperate for buyer amid retail turmoil

Thursday November 27, 11:15 am ET
By Jane Wardell, AP Business Writer

Woolworths on the verge of collapse as credit crunch hits British retail industry


LONDON (AP) -- Just a year shy of celebrating its centenary, retailer Woolworths Group PLC was on the verge of collapse Thursday as financial administrators appointed to the company raced to find a buyer for its 800-strong chain of outmoded stores.

boogs sick and getting sicker said...

Wachovia execs may get $98M from Wells deal

San Francisco Business Times
Wachovia execs may get $98M from Wells deal

Wachovia Corp.’s top 10 executives would be eligible for a total of $98.1 million in severance pay after the bank is acquired by Wells Fargo & Co. next month.

According to a company filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Wachovia shareholders will vote on the merger Dec. 23.

Wachovia said the executives will receive severance under their employment agreements if the merger closes by Dec. 31 and their jobs are subsequently terminated.

Leib Tropper said...

BEIJING (Reuters) – China has executed the leader of a bogus scheme for breeding ants to make aphrodisiacs that conned investors out of 3 billion yuan ($439 million), the official Xinhua news agency said on Thursday.

Wang Zhendong was executed on Wednesday in the northeastern province of Liaoning, Xinhua cited an unnamed local official as saying.

The fictitious ant-breeding project that Wang fronted features prominently in posters and other government educational materials warning of the risks of pyramid schemes and other investment schemes that sound too good to be true.

Wang promised investors in the fictitious project returns of 35 to 60 percent, Xinhua said. The ants were to be used for making liquor, herbal remedies and aphrodisiacs.

One investor committed suicide after realizing he had been duped, while many others suffered from depression, Xinhua said.

Arthur said...

D Lichtenstein said...

I was in Mumbai this year on business. A city from Dante's hell, filthy and crowded beyond a westerners nightmares. There is no kosher food or minyan in Mumbai, so i went to the Chabad house. They have 3 minyanim a day and after every meal the shaliach and his wife serve meals. There are 20 to 50 people eating there per meal, mostly traveling Israelis and businessmen, many frei. I asked Rabbi Holtzberg "where do you get the food from?" He replied "I shecht 100 chickens a week to serve 400 fleishig meals, and my wife cleans them. Sinve there's no pas yisroel here my wife bakes bread . (for about 800 people per week) every bit of food is home made."
They ask for no money and charge nothing. By every meal he says a dvar torah, to inspire the orchim. Avraham Avinu would be proud of Rabbi Holtzberg
May hashem who rescued Avraham from Nimrod's furnace save the shaliach and his family

Anonymous said...

Emergency Declared at Thai Airports

New York Times - 47 minutes ago

NYPD said...

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the NYPD are encouraging New Yorkers to remain alert and tell police or an MTA employee about any suspicious people or packages.

bologna said...

yiddishreport.come

click on "live" for live news from India

boog said...

From" "There Is Good In The World" Dept.


http://www.nypost.com/seven/11272008/news/regionalnews/survivors_savior_141142.htm

Anonymous said...

Acheinu Kol Bais Yisroel

Tehillim in Beth Medrash Govoha for Yidden in Mumbai
Posted: 27.NOV.08
Beth Medrash Govoha in Lakewood, NJ, the largest yeshiva in North America, will be holding a massive atzeres tefillah at 1:30 p.m. "l'acheinu bnei Yisroel b'eretz hodu," to pray for the welfare of all those who have been affected by the terrible events in India. All our asked to say Tehillim for R' Gavriel Noach ben Freida Blumah (R' Gabby Holtzberg); Rivkah bas Yehudis (Mrs. Rivky Holtzberg); R' Aryeh Leib ben Elta Nechama Maltshi (R' Leibish Teitelbaum, son of the Volover Rov of Boro Park and son-in-law of the Toldos Avrohom Yitzchok Rebbe of Yerushalayim); and Bentzion ben Elka (R' Bentzion Chroman).

Cover up in progress said...

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&refer=home&sid=afrKemH3i.2Y

Nov. 27 (Bloomberg) -- General Motors Corp., criticized by U.S. lawmakers for its use of corporate jets, asked aviation regulators to block the public’s ability to track a plane it uses.

“We availed ourselves of the option as others do to have the aircraft removed” from a Federal Aviation Administration tracking service, a GM spokesman, Greg Martin, said yesterday in an interview. He declined to discuss why GM made the request.

Flight data show that the leased Gulfstream Aerospace G-IV jet flew Nov. 18 from Detroit to Washington, where Chief Executive Officer Richard Wagoner Jr. spoke to a Senate committee that day and a House panel the next day on behalf of a $25 billion auto-industry rescue plan.

Representatives at the Nov. 19 House hearing including Democrat Gary Ackerman of New York faulted Wagoner, Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally and Chrysler LLC CEO Robert Nardelli for taking private jets to Washington to plead their case.

Breaking said...

Massive explosion heard at the Chabad house.

Anonymous said...

The Arab / Paki bastards have blown up a 2nd taxi stuck in a traffic jam.

NY Times said...

Terrorists have hijacked a police vehicle and are driving around shooting from it.

Anonymous said...

According to TV reports, the Indian navy seized one Gemini craft laden with ammunition, as well as a satellite phone, the London-based Guardian newspaper reported. Authorities were investigating a vessel at sea, the MV Alfa, that it suspected of being the gunmen’s “mothership.”

One man who spoke to a local Indian television station said he saw a speedboat with eight men land near the luxury hotel at about 9:15 p.m. Wednesday night.

“Six young men with large bags came ashore, after which the two who remained in the boat started the outboard motor again and sped off,” he said. “They were fair, chikna (well-off) and looked around 20, 22, 25 years old. They said they were students. When we tried to find out what they were doing, they spoke very aggressively, and I got scared.”

ZAKA said...

The fate of Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife Rivka, along with other Israeli citizens inside the besieged Chabad House in Mumbai is still uncertain, but the Israel-based ZAKA organization was not waiting for news. The Israeli rescue and relief organization sent a team of two paramedics, four medics and two volunteers to Mumbai. Also on the plane were the parents of Rivka Holtzberg: Rabbi Shimon Rosenberg and his wife Yehudit, from Afula, Israel.

Andy David, a spokesman for Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told CNN that the couple were taken hostage but acknowledged it was difficult to get accurate information. “We have a lot of concern for their lives,” he said. Their 2-year-old son, Moishe, is safe, carried out in the arms of the cook of the Chabad House, according to several reports.

Mati Goldstein, a ZAKA medic, left with the Rosenbergs, said his chief medical colleague, Dov Maisel, who spoke with Mr. Goldstein. “He said that they are emotionally very, very stressed,” Mr. Maisel said in a telephone interview from Israel. “They are on a mission to get their grandson. But they are very, very nervous since some 24 hours have passed and they have heard nothing.”

Because no commercial flights were leaving soon enough, the parents and ZAKA members were able to leave on a private plane to Istanbul. from Tel Aviv, said Mr. Maisel, because of the philanthropy of an anonymous donor. Mr. Maisel said the cost of the private plane was roughly $30,000.

The plane was to land in Istanbul, and from there the group would fly to Delhi and connect to Mumbai, arriving early Friday morning in Mumbai.

ZAKA officials are working with Chabad officials in New York, having responded to a request for immediate aid. They flew with equipment of a full intensive care unit, prepared to stabilize the injured. “If, God forbid, there is nothing left to do, they will take care of the recovery and the proper care of the bodies,” Mr. Maisel said. “But we are thinking positively.”

The Magen David Adom, the Red Star of David, Israel’s relief organization also sent a crew to India.

Rabbi Holtzberg, 29, was born in Israel and moved with his family to Brooklyn when he was 10, according to the Jerusalem Post. He has dual citizenship. His wife, Rivka, 28, is an Israeli citizen. The couple has been in Mumbai since 2003 as leaders of the Chabad mission there.

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

Various sources in the U.S. Government, in U.S. law enforcement, and from Chabad - have confirmed the very worst news! They believe there are probably no survivors in the Chabad House in Mumbai India!

self rightous fresser said...

Global tzores and tragedies in the global age!

My mind reels. There IS a connection between the showdowm in Postville and the one in Mumbai (used to be called Bombay). They are so close in time to each other. They share so many commonalities. A Yid is in prison and others are forced out of their parnossah in one place and in another Yidden are attacked and taken as hostages mamash.

The various factions that fought the fight to shut down the Rubashkin operation in Postville are kindred spirits of, and the same mashchisim as, the animals that have now "fought" to fight to a tragic standstill a puny Chabad House in India that was only doing good.

Was Postville such a threat to all those that sought its shut-down? No! On the contrary. Did anyone suffer from the work of the Chabad House in Mumbai? No! On the contrary, like Postville that fed millions of Jews from the middle of nowhere (as it gave parnossah to thousands of gentiles, not just in Iowa but all over) the Chabad House in Mumbai is in an even bigger nowhere as an oasis of Yiddishkeit and hachnosas orchim for any Jew (including the parnosah it gave to those Indians who worked for and with it.)

To all those who felt smug and self-righteous about the demise of the Rubashkins in Postville Iowa, take a good look at how your actions are mirrored by the terrorists as they crush the life out of the Chabad House in Mumbai. Hashem yerachem!

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

Your point and rage is close to my heart!

To the Haters - Jews are not segregated out as to any particular group. In Germany - if one had a Jewish sounding name, they were Jews.

We may kill each other internally - but, nebach in tzures, we are all one!

New York Times said...

Brooklyn Rabbi and His Wife Caught in Mumbai Attacks

By FERNANDA SANTOS
Published: November 27, 2008

In 2003, barely out of their teens and newly married, Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife, Rivka, moved from Brooklyn to the coastal city of Mumbai, India, to manage a mix of educational center, synagogue and social hall known as a Chabad house, one of about 3,500 outposts around the world run by the Lubavitch Hasidic movement.

The place soon became a year-round magnet for Israeli backpackers and the Jewish businessmen and tourists who flock to Mumbai, as well as for the Iraqi and Indian Jews who live there. Mrs. Holtzberg served visitors coffee and homemade kosher delicacies. Rabbi Holtzberg always offered a helping hand to someone who was sick or stranded, often calling worried parents or spouses miles and miles away to calm them.

On Wednesday, the Holtzbergs’ Chabad house became an unlikely target of the terrorist gunmen who unleashed a series of bloody coordinated attacks at locations in and around Mumbai’s commercial center. They stormed the city’s largest train station, a movie theater and hospital, a popular restaurant and two luxury hotels, including the iconic Taj Mahal, on the Arabian Sea.

Firing grenades and automatic weapons, the men also took the Holtzbergs and at least six other people hostage in the Chabad house, according to friends of the Holtzbergs. The couple’s 2-year-old son, Moshe, and a cook managed to escape about 12 hours into the siege, the friends said. The boy’s pants were soaked in blood when he walked out of the house. By late Thursday afternoon in New York, there was still no news of his parents’ fate.

It is not known if the Jewish center was strategically chosen, or if it was an accidental hostage scene. But if the center lacked the size and prominence of the attackers’ other targets, the news of its fate reverberated among Chabad houses in Australia, Argentina, Tunisia, Kazakhstan, Norway and 67 other countries.

But perhaps nowhere was it felt more strongly than in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, the nerve center of the Lubavitch community and the neighborhood where Rabbi Holtzberg grew up. At the group’s world headquarters on Eastern Parkway and Kingston Avenue, men filed into the synagogue all day to pray for the Holtzbergs’ safe release. In a separate room, women swayed on their knees as they read the Torah. In the offices upstairs, rabbis and friends of the couple manned telephones, staying in contact with a sizable network of volunteers at the house in Mumbai, waiting for news.

“We were up all night, trying to sort fact from fiction, figure out what their status is,” Rabbi Dovid Zaklikowski, 28, a friend of Rabbi Holtzberg since high school, said in an interview.

The Lubavitchers’ headquarters occupies a wide five-story building that is the tallest on the block. It is the site of an annual conference for the emissaries who run Chabad houses. This year’s conference ended last weekend, but many of the participants stayed behind to spend Thanksgiving with relatives in the area.

On Thursday, they found themselves drawn to the synagogue, even those who said they knew Rabbi Holtzberg only by name. Someone scribbled an English translation of the Hebrew sign affixed to the temple’s doors, bearing the couples’ names. The translation read, in part: “Think positive thoughts and good will come.”

“For our movement, this is a very somber day,” said Rabbi Sagee Harshefer, who heads the Chabad house in Ness Ziona, Israel, about 12 miles south of Tel Aviv. “But there is hope.”

Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg were born in Israel, though he and his siblings were brought to Crown Heights as children by their parents. The couple married a year before they went to Mumbai, to fulfill a role that Rabbi Zaklikowski said fit perfectly with Rabbi Holtzberg’s personality.

“He has a huge heart, always willing to help somebody in need,” the rabbi said. “It’s only natural that he would give himself to the community.”

Rabbi Moseh Kotlarsky, who directed the Chabad emissaries’ conference, said of Rabbi Holtzberg, “He is a very dynamic, energetic individual” who turned Mumbai’s Chabad house into “a home away from home for thousands and thousands of Jews.”

At midafternoon in New York on Wednesday, the first reports of the attacks in Mumbai hit the news, but no one in the Crown Heights Lubavitch community knew exactly where they had occurred — and no one suspected that the Chabad house had been hit. Still, some friends wanted to make sure that Rabbi Holtzberg and his wife and son were all right, so they phoned. There was no answer.

Yacov Young, Rabbi Holtzberg’s cousin, said he had been at home in Crown Heights, celebrating the birth of his son and a brother-in-law’s marriage, when his phone rang about midnight.

“Our hearts sank when we heard the bad news,” Mr. Young said as he dashed into the synagogue.

Rabbi Holtzberg’s parents, Noah and Freida, spent most of Thursday holed up in their house in Crown Heights, but left for Israel late in the afternoon. Meanwhile, Mrs. Holtzberg’s parents, Rabbi Shimon and Yehudit Rosenberg, who live in Israel, boarded a plane to Mumbai. They were accompanied by a crew from the Israeli relief organization ZAKA, said Dov Maisel, a medic with the group, by telephone from Israel.

“They are on a mission to get their grandson, but they are very, very nervous” about their daughter and son-in-law, Mr. Maisel said. “Some 24 hours have passed, and they have heard nothing.”

Arthur said...

AT THE END OF AN ALLEY IN MUMBAI
By Rabbi Shimon Posner -
7:19:PM Thursday, Nov 27, 2008

Like me, you and your family have been glued to streaming internet since news broke out from India. I never knew that Bombay had changed names to Mumbai. I didn't know that 'the Taj' was a swanky hotel and that it competed with the Trident (not the Tic-Tac). I didn't know that south Mumbai was the ritzy side of town, a thin peninsula stretching south. I didn't know Colaba was the penultimate section or that the Chabad House, known as Nariman House, was at the end of an alley.

We are in the Age of Information, so the information streamed into my conscience very quickly and mounted all night long. So did the misinformation. Hearing good news and then hearing it cancelled is crushing.

So we daven so we add mitzvahs and we get everyone involved as we can. And we realize, we realize that this nondescript five- storey apartment at the end of an alley in Mumbai was chosen because it is a place where Israelis and Jews gather. For no other reason. They are out to get a bunch of back-packing college-age kids and a rabbi and his wife. And his little son.

And you see videos from two years ago of the rabbi and his wife -- two little doves -- that left their families and friends to make challah and kosher chicken on the southern end of the Colaba peninsula of Mumbai India because there, there is a secret passage which leads into a Jewish heart . Because the way to a man's heart – and the way to a college –age women's heart, it seems – is through their stomach. So Gabi and Rivkie have to go to India to find that secret passage.

And you watch the videos of them and their cook (the one who rescued their baby) how she loves working for the Holtzberg family and their little enterprise because 'there's action there'. And on the road of this little passage you come across another passage, this one not to the Jewish heart but to the Jewish mind – and ultimately to the Jewish gut.

Just yesterday I was standing outside the Pavilion's supermarket here in our glorious Rancho Mirage talking with a friend who is smart as they come. As people walked by, my friend muttered to me. "They're trying to act like they are not looking at you; they are trying to act like they aren't asking who is that strange looking man with a yarmulke and beard? You don't notice it because you grew up with it. But I see it. ... . "

We are, my friends, marked men. And women. And taking off a yarmulke and shaitel might not unmark you. And now it seems that people who stop over to our house for dinner are marked too, even if their markings were not so easily recognizable before they broke bread with us. No one ever promised you that it is safe to be a Jew. Ever.

Little Moshe Holtzberg was rescued by the Chabad House cook/maid/assistant. We pray he will have no emotional scars. That this encounter will end with rejoicing soon, and boy! will they have a tale to tell.

But we, safe, here; ensconced in our fantasy- induced safety have a tale to tell, too.

It is not enough to be marked as a Jew. You have to enjoy being marked as a Jew. You have to choose it... you have to love it so much that Ashreinu mah tov chelkaynu! How lucky we are to be Jews. How lucky to be chosen to be marked...because while this mark may elicit terrible responses, this mark is a kiss from the A-lmighty.

This mark is a legacy from the love of Abraham, from the tears of Isaac's sacrifice, from the agony of Jacob, from their triumph too. And this legacy we must preserve at all cost because from this humanity gets sustenance.

This mark elicits such baseless hatred because it was born in a bottomless love. But dare we allow Jewish children to grow up and the most emotionally charged moment of their Jewish lives is when they are marked by terrorists?? Dare we let them live out their lives without ever knowing how fortunate that mark. How the king Himself marked us and promised He will never leave us? Dare we allow terrorists to dictate the worth of our heritage??

I apologize. Such emotions are not dignified for polite company. But these are not polite times.

This then is the ultimate Never again. Never again shall a Jewish child not know Ashreinu!! Fortunate are we and happy our lot. This is secret passage which begins at the end of a narrow alley off Fourth Pasta and the Colaba Causeway in Mumbai.

We found the secret passage, and we have a Jew -- who rarely left his Brooklyn office for nearly five decades – to thank.

Now back to saying Tehillim.

Observant Jew said...

For the Rosh Hashana immediately following 9/11, al Qaeda had plotted attacking shuls across Western Europe and killing everyone inside with machine guns & grenades.

Baruch Hashem, German intelligence agents were listening in and tipped off police in 6 countries who arrested all kinds of Arabs involved.

AP said...

On Thursday morning, a woman, child and an Indian cook were led out of the building by police, said one witness. The child was identified as Moshe Holtzberg, 2, the son of Rabbi Gavriel Noach Holtzberg, the main representative at Chabad house. The child was unharmed, but his clothes were soaked in blood.

Arthur said...

Rav Shalom Yosef Elyashiv recently told Rabbi Noach Weinberg of Aish HaTorah that world Jewry faces a threat as great as that it confronted in the midst of the Holocaust. (That widespread report was confirmed to me by senior officials at Aish HaTorah.) Rav Elyashiv was referring preeminently to the threat of a nuclear Iran, though no doubt the simultaneous threat to the citadels of Torah learning in Eretz Yisrael and abroad as a consequence of the world financial crisis only magnifies the concerns about Iran.

I doubt Rav Elyashiv read an AP story this week about a study being prepared for President-elect Barack Obama by a group of former State Department diplomats and academic “experts” on Iran. Had he done so, however, his fears for the future would likely have been ratcheted up a notch or two. Among the conclusions of the report: (1) any military attack on Iran would almost certainly fail in its goal of significantly setting back Iran’s nuclear weapons program; (2) economic sanctions have very little chance of success; (3) American threats to date are “not cowing Iran and the current regime is not in imminent peril.” Taken together those three points basically amount to a declaration that the United States can do nothing to keep Iran from going nuclear.

In addition, the report states that it is wrong to focus on Ahmadinejad’s rhetoric, as he is not the one calling the shots on Iran’s nuclear policy. That would be Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamanei, who the report describes as a “cautious decision maker who acts after consulting advisors holding a wide range of views, including those highly critical of Ahmadinejad,” despite his admitted proclivity for “frequent and hostile rhetoric directed at the West.” In other words, the authors of the report first counsel passivity towards the threat of nuclear Iran, and then wish to tell President Obama that it won’t be so bad, as Khamanei does not appear to be a complete nutcase, and therefore will not expose his country to nuclear destruction.

That counsel of passivity is hardly surprising given its source – the State Department and denizens of the Middle East Studies departments pilloried by Professor Martin Kramer in Ivory Towers on Sand: the Failure of Middle Eastern Studies in America, for their complete failure to provide American policymakers with any remotely useful information on the Middle East, including prior warning of the threat of Al Qaeda, in particular, and Islamic jihadism, in general. (Far from emphasizing the danger posed by Islamic jihad, American Middle East scholars were busy developing elaborate theories about why Islam constitutes a modernizing force in the Arab world.)

The Middle East scholars are close cousins of the academic Sovietologists of the 1980’s, who, almost to a man, failed to see the vulnerability of the Soviet Union and who counseled against confronting it. Not one anticipated the impact of President Reagan’s arms buildup on the ultimate dissolution of the Soviet Union.

The report’s conclusion that economic sanctions are doomed to fail seems unduly pessimistic in light of Iran’s economic vulnerability, and prior to the implementation of any truly biting sanctions. Iran’s Achilles heel is its need to import refined petroleum products, despite being the world’s fourth largest oil producer. A serious effort to block the import of refined petroleum products would bring the country to a virtual standstill. The question, then, is not so much whether sanctions might work, but whether the political will can be found.

Iran’s economy was in shambles even before the global economic meltdown, and is far worse shape today in the wake of a more than 65% drop in oil prices from their high last summer. Even the government admits to 30% inflation, and the actual figure is much higher. Rather than build up cash reserves when oil prices were sky high, Ahmadinejad constantly raided Iran’s foreign reserves in an attempt to mollify the population fed up with the skyrocketing prices, widespread unemployment, and unaffordable housing.

While the regime may be in no imminent peril, as the study states, that is more a function of the ruthlessness of the Revolutionary Guard than any popular support. And it certainly does not mean that the regime could not find itself subject to much greater internal pressure than at present, if a serious sanctions regime were put in place.

The report’s authors state, “[the Iranian people] have seen the outcome of U.S.-sponsored regime change in Afghanistan and Iraq. They want no part of it.” Since no one is suggesting U.S. military action to overthrow the mullahs, that statement is, on its face, irrelevant. But it also reflects the consistent devaluation of political freedom by Western academics. I do not know of a single study to suggest that the Iraqi people regret the overthrow of Saddam Hussein’s regime or the Afghanistani people the overthrow of the Taliban, despite all that they have suffered as a consequence. Indeed the evidence is very much to the contrary.

The suggestion that the West can live with a nuclear Iran flies in the face of most expert opinion. Former senators Daniel Coats and Charles Robb, co-chairmen of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s national security task force, wrote in the Washington Post last month, “an Islamic Republic of Iran with nuclear weapons capability would be strategically untenable. It would threaten U.S. national security, regional peace and stability, energy security, the efficacy of multilateralism, and the Non-Proliferation Treaty regime.” And as Coats and Robb stress, those consequences will follow even absent a worse-case scenario in which Iran deploys nuclear weapons.

Nor can the latter possibility be dismissed out of hand. True, the Supreme Leader may be a perfectly rational fellow, with little inclination for self-immmolation, but the question remains: Is that supposition, enough for Israel and the West to rely upon? Can Western and Israeli leaders responsibly place the lives of millions at risk on the same kinds of odds one could get for betting all one’s life savings on black at the roulette wheel in Monte Carlo.

Westerners have great difficulty grasping that highly ideological regimes are usually dead serious about their proclaimed goals, and willing to embark upon suicidal policies in pursuit of those goals. Recent history is replete with examples of dictators adopting a course of action that proved suicidal for them and their regimes. Saddam Hussein did so twice – first, when he refused to withdraw from Kuwait, in defiance of a U.S.-led military alliance gathered to force him to do so, and the second time, when he refused to allow U.N. weapons inspectors into Iraq, and thereby convinced every security service in the world that he had amassed large stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction. The refusal of the Taliban in Afghanistan to evict Al Qaeda after 9/11, despite Western demands that it do so, also turned out to spell the end of Taliban rule.

Numerous Iranian leaders have expressed their willingness to sacrifice millions of Iranian citizens to the cause. One of Ahmadinejad’s predecessors Akbar Rafsanjani, considered the leading candidate to replace ailing Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, is on record as declaring it “not irrational to contemplate a nuclear exchange with Israel” on the grounds that even one nuclear bomb would devastate Israel. A 2006 fatwa issued by clerics in the Shiite holy city of Qom provides religious sanction for nuclear war. Already in 1980, the Ayatollah Khomeini, the father of the Iranian revolution, stressed that the mullahs do not worship Iran but only Al-lah, and that the destruction of Iran would not be too great a price to pay for the triumph of Islam over the infidels.

More telling, the mullahs have followed the logic of their own rhetoric. During the Iraq-Iran war, they sacrificed hundreds of thousands of unarmed child soldiers in mass attacks against Iraqi tanks. Against this evidence, one would need something more than assurances that the current Iranian Supreme Leader seems like a cautious enough fellow to conclude that Iran will never initiate a nuclear conflagration.

The idea that the United States can (or should) make an offer to the mullahs so sweet – particularly in the absence of a credible threat of greatly intensified sanctions and/or military action – that they might willingly forego their nuclear ambitions strikes me as one of those ideas so silly that only an academic could possibly believe it. Iranian journalist Amir Taheri points out that for the past 30 years every U.S. administration has tried to engage in dialogue with Teheran only to end up with spit on its face.

As Supreme Leader Khameini has said, “You have nothing to say to us. . . . We do not agree to a relationship with you! We are not prepared to establish relations with powerful world devourers like you! The Iranian nation has not need of the United States, nor is the Iranian nations afraid of the United States. We . . . reject your behavior, your oppression, and intervention in various parts of the world.” Over the last six years of fruitless negotiations, the Europeans have offered Iran immunity from sanctions, membership in the World Trade Organization, an energy partnership with Europe to modernize its oil industry, and fully-fueled nuclear reactor for peaceful domestic needs, and membership in the Persian Gulf security forum – all without budging the Iranians one iota.

Former Ambassador James Dobbins, one of the leading figures in the preparation of the report on relations with Iran, described the approach advocated as one “focused on communication and with a view to making progress over time on a range of issues.” But, of course, time is precisely what the Iranians want in order to complete the enrichment of the enough fissile fuel for one or more bombs and what the West cannot grant them.

Growing hysterical about every academic folly is not a recipe for sound mental health. But what makes this one so frightening is that it is being specifically prepared for President-elect Obama’s edification, and perhaps at his invitation. And it is carefully designed to resonate with his own preferred approach to foreign policy – one that eschews the use of American military power or the threat thereof and is enchanted with the potential of “direct diplomacy.”

The report can be read as the first salvo of a campaign to prepare the American people for acquiescence in Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons. If that is the case, Rav Elyashiv’s terrible fears are readily understood even by those of us who lack his sources of information.

This article appeared in the Yated on 19 November, 2008

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

I saw that piece by Jonathon Rosenblum; here's where we part ways.

He assumes, that R' Elyashiv has some "insider" information - from you know Who, that we don't have.

Wrong Jonny wrong - see Jonny drink kool-aid!

Ombudsman said...

The Yated article cited by Arthur was written by Yonosson Rosenblum. I don't know why he narrowly applies Rav Elyashev's words to Iran's threat to Eretz Yisroel only.

Der Chofetz Chaim hot amol gezogt that by der dritter Velt's milchomo, there will be no country in the world that safety is guaranteed, as opposed to the first two World Wars that did not affect every corner of the planet.

The only way to stop this insanity is mass deportations of Arabs. But if even Dubya was afraid to rock the boat, you can forget about Obama.

Ombudsman said...

UOJ, I think you may be mistaken.

Rav Elyashev locks himself in a room to learn 14 hours a day.

Like his politics or not, there are not many as great as him in learning and avodah. People like him do have special koychos that us commoners do not.

Picture of Baby Moishy Holtzberg said...

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/11/28/world/asia/28mumbai.HoltzbergChild.190.jpg

Malolan R Cadambi writing to the NY Times said...

I pray for the safety of the captives. The Jewish people have always been strong friends of India.

As an Indian Hindu who studied in America, i deeply respect the Jewish people for their courage.

I pray for their safety and well being.

AP said...

MUMBAI, India – Indian snipers at the site of a besieged Jewish center in Mumbai have opened fire.

Sharpshooters in buildings opposite the headquarters of the ultra-orthodox Jewish outreach group Chabad Lubavitch began shooting early Friday as a helicopter circled overhead.

Militants were believed to be holed up inside the building — possibly with hostages.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE.

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

Any bar-sechel knows that the entire universe is at the brink.

Yes, R' Elyashiv is "the" godol hador --- no direct e-mail to the "Big Guy". Wake up!

Breaking said...

NY Times reporting that Indian special forces were dropped on the Chabad house roof 40 minutes ago.

Ombudsman said...

Look, ain hochee nammee that any bar sechel knows that things look grim.

But 2 points.

R' Moishe had a direct line at least sometimes according to information I have and RYSE is not THAT far removed from him.

Even if RYSE does not have a DIRECT line, there are things he can know from seforim (nigle AND nistar), nevuos of acharis hayomim, that most of us don't.

I will concede it's possible that whatever was said is being trumped up by Aish Hatorah / Rosenblum / Yated. Farvos nit? It sells kiruv and newspapers.

CNN said...

8 commandos dropped by a helicopter are INSIDE the Chabad house engaged in a room by room gunbattle with the terrorists.

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

Torat Hashem Temima - Machkimat Pesi...

No direct lines! Trust me on this one!

Rabbi Elyashav said...

Terrorists cornered in Oberoi, Nariman House

ibnlive.com

Rabbi Shteinman said...

3 terror suspects, including a Pakistani, arrested from the Taj hotel

FBI sending unit from LA to Mumbai because of potential American hostages



NSG announces all-clear at Taj Hotel, says all terrorists killed



A cell phone, suspected to be one of the terrorists, with a foreign SIM card found outside Taj

Munkatcher Rebbe said...

- Japan's Nikkei average climbed 0.6 percent on Friday as hopes that a rate cut by China would help its economy prompted investors to pick up stocks, but a plunge in Panasonic Corp (Tokyo:6752.T - News) limited the rise for the broader market.
The Nikkei (Osaka:^N225 - News) rose 47.70 points to 8,421.09. The Topix (^TOPX - News) was little changed on the day at 828.82.

Breaking said...

Massive explosions heard inside Chabad house 10 minutes ago.

There seem to be more terrorists inside the building than originally thought.

Sayeret Matkal commandos from Israel will soon be there to join the assault.

NYT said...

MUMBAI, India — Indian snipers opened fire on a Jewish community center Friday morning in what appeared to be an assault against armed gunmen who had seized the center during bloody and widespread attacks on Mumbai, India’s commercial capital.

Sharpshooters fired from buildings across from Nariman House, home to the Orthodox Jewish group Chabad Lubavitch, where militants were holed up, news agencies reported. Commandos were seen being dropped from helicopters onto the roof of the building.

It was not known if hostages were being held inside.

Important News said...

In past economic slumps, luxury-car makers have withstood the downturn better than their mass-market counterparts. Not so this year.

Sales for the U.S. luxury-car market, which includes everything from a Lexus to a Lamborghini, fell 30% last month from a year earlier -- on par with the 31.9% decline for the overall market, according to Autodata Corp., a market research firm.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
The Leib Tropper I know:

The filthy con-man is a pathetic fraud - perverter of the truth and the Torah. He makes Marvin Hier look like an amateur!

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Sounds a lot like the Chicago rabbi who raped a boy in the mikvah.

Dress frum, act frum and kiss up to the rabbis, and you get a free pass for a year.

The year is up!!!

Enough referencing a dangerous rabbi in the Chicago community. If there is such a person in our midst please publish the name so the rest of us could take the necessary precautions, what are you waiting for? Doesn't your silence put us all at risk? Your coverup is no different than the coverups you constantly criticize. Put up or shut up