Monday, August 03, 2009

Klal Yisroel Mourns The Petirah Of Moreinu Harav Zelig Epstein ztvk"l!

Circa 1982 -- L-R --- Rav Avrohom Pam, Rav Zelig Epstein, Rav Yaakov Kaminetzky, Rav Yitzchok Karpf - zechusot yagen aleinu!


Vechol Yisroel yivku ... said...

I used to be somewhat comforted that America had at least one true adam gadol still alive.

My tears stream even more with the petira of R' Zelig ztl when I try to think if there is anyone else like him and if we have seen the end of an era.

I figure he must have been at least 97.

Anonymous said...

Does any blog have details from the levaye?

Old Torah Vodaas (and even earlier) said...


Rav Zelik Epstein, zt’l: An Appreciation

By Rabbi Yair Hoffman
Published on Monday, August 03, 2009

Wickliffe, Ohio said...

R' Chaim Stein is still alive even if his yeshiva is being destroyed by troublemakers.

Anonymous said...

And don't forget R' Lipa margulies Shlit"a is also B"H still doing well.

Anonymous said...

Baruch Dayan Emes. My father n"y learned by him in Torah Voddath. I myself learnt 2 summers in camp Ohr Shraga and my son & son in law n"y learned by him for many summers in Ohr Shraga. The word "ilui" is used is used so often, that when we actually see or learn by one, then we realize "this is an iliu". This describes Rev Zelik z'l. He was tryly a remarkable Ben torah. People have no idea, besides his amkus, his yadias Hatorah was vast. Wether it was Gemarah,Halacah, dikduk etc... He actually taught Dikduk in Torah Voddath many years ago. There was no fanfare. He acted like a poshiter yid and one would never know the wealth of his Torah knoweledge. I will miss him dearly and he should be a melatz Yosher for klal yisroel.

Nafla ateres rosheinu said...

The narrow-minded yeshivishe think that R' Zelig was more bakant in chochmos chitzoniyos being that he had a Phd in Chemistry from the University of Toronto. They couldn't touch him in learning either.

Not that he needed any of it but R' Zelig had a number of maysas with famous personalities including Alan Greenspan and Bill Clinton.

Anonymous said...

Is anyone aware of any hidden gedolim around? My heart aches to think we are yesomim from gedolei Torah. (The real kind who are not Agudah figureheads).

Update on Child Molester Michael Sabo said...

I don't like to disturb hespedim on kedoshei elyon but this story is in the spirit of R' Zelig zatzal who did the right thing in cases of abused children that were brought to him.

A rov who has been quietly cheering on UOJ's war against Kolko and Margulies has now been instrumental in getting Clearview Bungalow Colony to ban Michael Sabo from the premises.

UOJ Is Not Hiding said...

Is anyone aware of any hidden gedolim around?

Mir Yerusholoyim said...

(IsraelNN.com) The Israeli funeral of Rabbi Zelig Epstein, the head of Yeshiva Shaar HaTorah (Grodna) in Queens, New York, is scheduled for 3 pm Tuesday at the Mirrer Yeshiva in Jerusalem

UOJ gets results said...

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Sen. Arlen Specter got a preview Sunday of the tough sell lawmakers will face over health care as audience members booed and jeered them during a town hall meeting in Philadelphia.

Among those at odds with the officials touting the $1 trillion, 10-year plan was a woman who earned loud applause when she said she doesn't want Washington interfering with her health care choices.

"I look at this health care plan and I see nothing that is about health or about care. What I see is a bureaucratic nightmare, senator. Medicaid is broke, Medicare is broke, Social Security is broke and you want us to believe that a government that can't even run a cash for clunkers program is going to run one-seventh of our U.S. economy? No sir, no," she said.

Specter was shouted down when he said that lawmakers divide up the bills into sections and have their staffs read portions because, "We have to make judgments very fast."

He then said he will have read the Senate bill before he votes on it, which Sebelius pointed out hasn't been written yet.

"The Senate bill isn't written so don't boo the senator for not reading a bill that isn't written," she said.

That explanation, which undermined an earlier failed argument that the legislation should be passed quickly, didn't satisfy many of the more than 400 people estimated in attendance.

Dozens in the back shouted at Sebelius when she said the bill would stop the system of rationing that insurance companies use. Sebelius then scolded the audience who jeered her, saying she would take questions if people could stop shouting at each other.

The anger is just a sample of the reaction lawmakers are bracing for as they try to sell the massive plan wending its way through Congress. The House Energy and Commerce Committee passed its version -- one of five in Congress - late Friday before the House broke for the August recess.

They are using that month's time to sell the plan to voters. For those Democrats who haven't read the 1,000 pages of legislation, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has handed out cards with talking points to address constituents' concerns.

The card, labeled "health insurance reform to hold insurance companies accountable" drives home two points -- one, that the health care bill is good for consumers, and two, that Congress will hold the insurance industry accountable.

But while insurance companies are low on voter opinion polls, Congress is viewed even less favorably. And Republicans are seeking to capitalize on the intense scrutiny President Obama is facing over his top priority, issuing a new ad out Monday that tries to make light of the situation.

"Like the old joke goes, President Obama isn't a doctor, but he plays one on TV," said House Minority Leader John Boehner, calling the ad lighthearted but pinpointing a serious issue.

"Americans want lower health care costs -- not a trillion-dollar government takeover of health care that increases costs and lets Washington bureaucrats make decisions that should be made by doctors and patients."

Agudah Fresser said...


For years, aides to Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg routed hundreds of thousands of dollars in city money to at least two politically connected nonprofit groups in violation of government contracting rules, according to records and interviews.

The mayor’s office, from 2002 to 2006, gave $1.1 million to Agudath Israel of America Community Services and more than $400,000 to Ohel Children’s Home and Family Services, using a little-known pot of discretionary money that it controls.

By law, the mayor’s office can give the money only if it has been requested by a City Council member or borough president, but in these two instances, records and interviews show, the money was given by the Bloomberg administration, then later attributed to a council member without his knowledge.

Agudath Israel and Ohel provide services including career counseling and mental health care and are powerful institutions in the city’s Orthodox Jewish communities — political forces long courted by the mayor.

And the organizations have substantial ties to the Bloomberg administration: Mr. Bloomberg, since becoming mayor, has personally donated $200,000 to Agudath Israel, and a former top aide to the mayor is a lobbyist for Ohel.

In documents, the Bloomberg administration contends that since 2002, it distributed money annually to the two groups at the request of Councilman Simcha Felder, a Bloomberg ally. But Mr. Felder, a Brooklyn Democrat, says he never sought the money.

“I did not ask for it,” Mr. Felder said in an interview.

A spokesman for the mayor said the administration disagreed with Mr. Felder’s account. He said City Hall had conducted a formal audit of all money distributed through the mayor’s fund and determined that all grants had been done at the request of an elected official.

“We have no reason to think that the funding analysis contains any errors,” the spokesman, Marc LaVorgna, said. “And we disagree with the councilman’s recollection.”

But the mayor’s office said it had no documentation showing that Mr. Felder had made the requests. In fact, the mayor’s office could not provide documents for much of the money it had distributed and said it relied on interviews with its own staff to conduct its audit.

When asked whether Agudath Israel had requested the money from Mr. Felder, David Zwiebel, an executive vice president of the group, said that the group had sought the money directly from the mayor’s office.

“It was news to us that the mayor’s money was being funneled through the City Council,” Mr. Zwiebel said.

Agudah Funny money part 2 said...

Much has been revealed over the last year about a discretionary fund operated by the Council to finance hundreds of nonprofit groups, some of which were fictitious companies or organizations that employed the relatives of lawmakers. A wide-ranging criminal inquiry into that fund, conducted by federal and city investigators, led to the indictment of two Council aides and the resignation of a Council member, Miguel Martinez, who pleaded guilty last month to misusing public money.

But much less is known about the mayor’s fund, the existence of which was kept from many in city government until it was revealed by the Bloomberg administration last year in the wake of the Council fund embarrassment.

Like the Council fund, the mayor’s fund allowed lawmakers to finance nonprofit groups and small projects in their districts without going through a formal competitive bidding process. Records show that from 2002 to 2008, when the fund was shut down, the Bloomberg administration gave nearly $30 million from the fund to more than 500 groups on behalf of more than two dozen council members, most close political allies of the mayor’s.

Many Council members who received money said they got it after convincing the mayor’s staff of legitimate needs in their districts. But money also went to members who sided with the mayor on major initiatives like the overhaul of the city’s garbage system in 2006 and his failed plans to build a stadium on the West Side for the New York Jets. Groups championed by Mr. Felder received the most: nearly $6 million over six years.

City law bars the mayor from sending money from the fund to groups of his choosing. In two memorandums issued last year, City Hall acknowledged that the distribution process lacked transparency, leaving the impression that the mayor was directly financing nonprofit groups.

“Unlike the City Council and borough presidents, the mayor’s office cannot designate contractors to receive funds through the discretionary funding process,” wrote Edward Skyler, a deputy mayor.

Yet that appears to be what the Bloomberg administration did in the case of Agudath and Ohel. Mr. Felder said it was not until the 2007 fiscal year that he even learned that money was being given to the groups in his name. That year, he said, the mayor’s director of intergovernmental affairs, Haeda Mihaltses, asked him whether she could attach his name to the allocations.

“We can’t do it without you,” he recalled her saying.

Agudah Funny money part 3 said...

Mr. Felder said he agreed to let his named be used, but at a price: he wanted the mayor’s office to distribute an additional $700,000 to his favorite nonprofit groups the next year.

The following year, Mr. Felder got nearly all of the extra $700,000 he asked for. Mr. Felder said the extra money allowed him to finance deserving groups.

Mr. LaVorgna said that Ms. Mihaltses remembered only that Mr. Felder requested the money for the groups, and he disputed the claim that Mr. Felder was offered $700,000 as part of a deal.

By 2008, the mayor’s office had given the two groups nearly $3 million in Mr. Felder’s name.

Mr. Felder declined to characterize his feelings about the mayor’s office’s use of his name.

“I don’t know what to tell you. I have nothing to say,” Mr. Felder said. “I am trying to be as honest as I can without ruining my relationships with people who will be annoyed with what they read.”

Agudath Israel said it never asked Mr. Felder for the money, going instead straight to the mayor’s office and the commissioner of the community assistance unit at the time, Jonathan Greenspun, who served as Mr. Bloomberg’s liaison to the Jewish community.

“We always worked with the mayor’s office,” Mr. Zwiebel said.

Agudath Israel and Ohel, like all nonprofit organizations, cannot make political endorsements. But it is clear that both were admirers of Mr. Bloomberg’s. The mayor was a guest speaker at Agudath Israel’s annual dinner this year. He also chose a board member of Agudath Israel’s parent organization, the real estate developer George Klein, to serve on his transition team after his election in 2001.

Mr. Klein said he did not “recall playing any role” in securing money from the mayor’s office for Agudath Israel.

Ohel had its own ally within the Bloomberg administration: Mr. Greenspun. In 2007, after he left the mayor’s office, he became Ohel’s lobbyist, records show.

Councilman Felder said that in his conversations with the Bloomberg administration after 2007, aides “indicated it was Greenspun” who had requested the money from the fund.

Mr. Greenspun said that while he was a commissioner, both Agudath Israel and Ohel sought his help to obtain money from the fund. But at the time, he believed the money had been requested by a council member, he said.

After he left City Hall, however, Mr. Greenspun said he never lobbied his old colleagues to give either group money from the fund.

A spokesman for Ohel, Derek Saker, wrote in an e-mail message: “Ohel has been fortunate to receive critical government funding to assist the city’s most vulnerable populations.”

He added that the group is “grateful” to Mr. Bloomberg but did not mention Mr. Felder, who, according to the Bloomberg administration, ostensibly requested money for the group six years in a row.

Anonymous said...

I have cried many tears since last night when I first heard of R' Zelig's petira. I knew him well and was not aware to attend the levaya while returning to NY from out of town yesterday, which pains me even more.

I first got to know the rosh yeshiva from a terrible story which I unfortunately endured but which I would be completely lost without his help and sagely advice. R' Zelig minced no words and was very critical of some rabbonim and roshei yeshiva who allowed the situation to evolve. He wished that he had been aware of it before it turned into a disaster so that he could prevent it from ever occurring.

And I cry to the Eibishter asking who else in America will still stand up for the downtrodden and abused children and take a stand against the thugs at the Agudah.

Order of maspidim for R' Zelig ztkvl said...

1) R’ Kalman Epstein
2) R’ Sholom Spitz (a Kohen, speaking from outside)
3) R’ Yankel Bergman
4) R’ Shloyma Feivel Schustal
5) R’ Chaim Ozer Gorelick
6) Rav Wulliger
7) R’ Shmuel Ismach (R’ Kalman’s son-in-law)
8) R’ Shimon Epstein (R’ Kalman’s son)
9) Another grandson (Morduchowitz)
10) R' Leib Roberts

Anonymous said...

Rav Zelig, zichrono livrocho, was the oldest alter Mirrer.

The story with Clinton was thanks to Avrohom Fruchthandler who kept being meshabeach the rosh yeshiva so much whenever fressing breakfast with Clinton during his NY visits that he insisted on meeting him.

R' Zelig had much better things to do than meeting with that menuval.

moishe said...

Disgusting chillul hashems seems to be an almost daily occurence recently. What I don't understand is why so many of the gedolim are so much more concerned with censoring books and fail to be equally vigilant when it comes to instilling matters of ethics and morals (and the resultant horrible chillul hashems arising from it).

Just recently I learned that the Mishanyos Yachin Uboaz was republished in Israel this time leaving out the famous drush from the Tiferes Yisroel (which has been in every edition since it was first published over 100 years ago and nobody ever seemed to have a problem with it) where he tackles tough issues of his time like evolution and the age of universe.

Why not dispaly equal kannois when it comes to moral and ethical corruption in our communities? we can no longer live under the allusion that we are immune to immoral behavior, can we?

steve said...

Our tax dollars at work! The Agudah and Ohel use our money to
'vigorously" lobby and oppose any legislation that would protect our children.

EvanstonJew said...

So when will this long promised post on Torah Vodaath and it's internal disintegration be forthcoming. Methinks it is always tommorrow but never today...morgen,morgen, nisht nur heint.

With all your insights about yeshivism, brilliant as they are, many details remain to be laid out. On this very sad day of the levaya of R. Zelig Epstein, memories of the 50's and 60's return.

Do your many readers a favor. Write up your memories and insights about post WW2 Williamsburg and Torah Vodaath from 1950-1970. The only thing worse than lashon harah is hints and innuendos, half baked and unsubstantiated. No one is asking for documentation. All that is needed is a coherent, continuous narrative. If not you, all that we have is Art Scroll.

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

........If not you, all that we have is Art Scroll.


You know how to push my buttons!

I'll do it; and yes it will be brutally ugly. I wanted to avoid any aggravation to R' Zelig zt"l - because he was the rosh yeshiva designee by R' Yaakov until Louis Septimus and his gang of rishaim and thieves, pushed R' Yaakov and R' Zelig out and Gedalya Schorr in.

shaar hatorah alum said...

R' zelig was true

Eckstein thinks he's cool calling himself Drudge-stein said...

9:45PM EST: Two Shuls & a wedding hall have just been evacuated in Deal, NJ following bomb threats.

Sources tell YWN that the Brothers Of Israel Shul (”Ashkenaz Shul”) as well as the Congregation Ohel Simcha - both located on Park Avenue - have received bomb threats, and police have evacuated the buildings. The Sifrei Torah from both Shuls have been removed as a precaution.

At Congregation Ohel Simcha, there is a wedding ongoing, with approximately 400 people in attendance. Eye-witnesses tell YWN that the singing and dancing continued in the street in front of the Shul/Hall. Gracious neighbors have now opened their large back-yard across the street, and the crowd has moved there amidst much Achdus and singing & dancing.

Hatzolah of Jersey Shore is staging at both locations, and police from Long Branch, New Jersey State Police, Homeland Security & NJ Transit Police are on the scene with bomb-sniffing-dogs.

Further details will be posted shortly.

(Yehuda Drudgestein - YWN)

50 Congressmen imitate Steve said...

More than 50 members of the House fired off a letter decrying "indecent" and "abhorrent" art projects funded by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts -- perhaps the most stimulating piece of the $787 billion economic recovery package.

By Joseph Abrams
Friday, July 31, 2009

More than 50 congressmen sent a letter blasting what they called "indecent" and "abhorrent" art projects funded by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts as part of the $787 billion economic stimulus bill.

The NEA may be spending some of the money it received from the Recovery and Reinvestment Act to fund nude simulated-sex dances, Saturday night "pervert" revues and the airing of pornographic horror films at art houses in San Francisco, as first reported Thursday by FOXNews.com.

"These are funds intended to create permanent jobs, not to feed prurient interests," wrote Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., in a letter signed by 50 colleagues in the House and fired off to Patrice Walker Powell, the acting chairman of the NEA. "I find it unconscionable that taxpayers are funding objectionable and obscene movies, plays and exhibitions."

Click here to read the letter.

The NEA was given $80 million from the government's stimulus package to spread around to needy artists nationwide, and most of the money is being spent to help preserve jobs in museums, orchestras, theaters and dance troupes that have been hit hard by the recession.

But a few of the NEA's grants are spicing up more than the economy, including these offerings to some risque art houses in San Francisco:

A $50,000 infusion for the Frameline film house, which recently screened Thundercrack, "the world's only underground kinky art porno horror film, complete with four men, three women and a gorilla."

A $25,000 injection for Jess Curtis/Gravity, a dance troupe whose "Symmetry Project" looks something like two people writhing naked on the floor.

A $25,000 check for CounterPULSE, which offers a weekly production of "Perverts Put Out" -- the "long-running pansexual performance series" that invites guests to "join your fellow pervs for some explicit, twisted fun."

Son of Boog said...


With her deportation hearing still six months away, the controversial Kenyan aunt of President Obama has quietly resurfaced in public housing in South Boston, the Herald has learned.

“Beggars can’t be choosers,” Obama’s “Auntie Zeituni” Onyango, 57, told the Herald yesterday with a mischievous smile, wearing a string of pearls and a sleeveless forest-green sheath she said her nephew bought her years before he became leader of the free world.

“I’d like to live in a castle and have a limousine,” she said, “but I don’t. My wealth is my health.”

Zeituni Polly Onyango, the half-sister of Obama’s late father Barack Obama Sr., moved into a discreet apartment complex this past month while she waits to fight a Feb. 4, 2010, removal proceeding brought against her by the Department of Homeland Security in U.S. Immigration Court in Boston.

Onyango, a computer programmer, was ordered to leave the country in 2004 after her request for political asylum from the violence in Africa was turned down. Instead, she stayed illegally and was revealed to be living in government-subsidized housing on Flaherty Way in Southie last October by The Times of London during the final stretch of Obama’s run for the White House.

Though reluctant to discuss her case yesterday, Onyango bristled when asked if she’ll request her nephew stand up for her as a character witness.

“Why should he?” she said. “My problem is my problem. I carry my own cross. I’m an adult.”

Mike Rogers, spokesman for the Cleveland, Ohio, law firm representing Onyango, said her attorneys are “not discussing legal strategy,” but, “they’re very optimistic about the outcome.”

Rogers said Onyango is “very proud” of Obama. “For a woman who has a lot of things against her, she seemed to be of strong spirit,” he said.

Attorneys Margaret Wong and Scott Bratton have asked that Onyango’s immigration hearing be closed to the public, according to Elaine Komis, a spokeswoman for the Executive Office for Immigration Review, an agency of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Onyango said she’s been enjoying her privacy since escaping the heat of last year’s worldwide spotlight on her and enjoys joining in on conversations about her nephew with people who don’t recognize her.

“Boston is my second home,” she said. “(South Boston) is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever lived in. People are very kind, and I’m enjoying the beaches.”

As usual, Eckstein misses the boat said...

Weprin is a left wing modern orthodox guy who supports Obama.


NYC Councilman David Weprin who is running for NYC Comptroller visited Camp Sva-Rotzon in the Catskills. He mentioned Issac Abraham who is running for city council in Willamsburg in his stump speech. He had to correct the chant from “vote for David” to “vote for Weprin” because there is another David in the race, (David Yassky) he explained. Claiming to be one of the two Shomer-Shabbos councilmember’s got him the biggest applause.

Click HERE for photos, and HERE for a video.

Maimonides Hospital Horror Show said...


Only three New York City hospitals scored above the national average of 65.

They are the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan, which scored an 83, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, also in Manhattan, which had a 70, and Montefiore Medical Center in The Bronx, which scored a 68.

Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn scored a 46

Politically incorrect said...

You should have seen what happened when Archie Bunker once wrote on Failed Messiah that Africans spread AIDS to the rest of the world after they got it from monkeys. Shmarya and his groupies went ape and attacked Archie over it for weeks:

European scientists have discovered a new strain of the virus that causes AIDS and linked it to gorillas, creating a mystery about when and how the first patient found to have the strain became infected.

It is thought to be likely that this is the first time scientists have documented the jump of a simian immunodeficiency virus to humans from a gorilla. All three other known strains of the human immunodeficiency virus, H.I.V.-1, have been linked to chimpanzees. But genetic tests showed that the new virus was closely related to a recently recognized gorilla virus.

But the scientists said they could not dismiss the possibility that the chimpanzee virus linked to H.I.V.-1 was transmitted to gorillas and then to humans, or was directly transmitted to humans and then to gorillas the scientists said in reporting the discovery, in the Aug. 2 issue of the journal Nature Medicine.

Pedophile-enablers Duvid Niederman and Vito Lopez said...


Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has made a plan to create housing for half a million low and moderate-income New Yorkers one of his signature initiatives, driving the rezoning of swaths of New York City to create what city planners call the largest municipal affordable housing plan in the nation.

But in one neighborhood, the rush to build affordable housing, which rarely attracts opposition, has done exactly that — and the rush seems to be part of the problem: A coalition of community groups in Williamsburg say the city and its powerful allies have charged forward with a plan to rezone a 31-acre patch called the Broadway Triangle, ignoring vociferous protests about a planning process they called opaque.

Many of the complaints stem from a decision by the Department of Housing Preservation and Development to grant early rights to develop city-owned sites in the Triangle to two nonprofit groups, the United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg, who represent part of the fast-growing Hasidic community, and the Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council, without competitive bids — a relatively rare but legal move.

Ridgewood Bushwick, was founded by a young social worker named Vito J. Lopez, who had a knack for political organizing and a talent for finding public funds for his elderly clients. Mr. Lopez is now chairman of the State Assembly Committee on Housing and the Brooklyn Democratic Party chairman.

Mr. Lopez and U.J.O.’s director, Rabbi David Niederman, worked with the city to control the planning to ensure development privileges for their favored nonprofit groups.

In that version of events, the planning process was complicated by local rivalries and political sideshows, including Mr. Lopez’s falling-out with his former chief of staff, Councilwoman Diana Reyna; and the competition between Satmar factions.

But in interviews, Mr. Lopez and Rabbi Niederman both said that the rezoning process was inclusive, and that the complaints amounted to sour grapes from rival developers.

“It’s absurd,” said Mr. Lopez, who is regarded, even by his detractors, as one of the city’s most prolific and successful advocates for affordable housing. “Isn’t it better that in a year or two this is 80 or 90 percent built, with the housing units given out by lottery, rather than having an empty, rat-filled lot?”

Rabbi Niederman expressed a similar thought, saying, “I believe at the end of the day, when families have housing, all of this jealousy will disappear.”

But Rob Solano, executive director of Churches United for Fair Housing, part of a coalition that opposes the current rezoning plan, said the mistrust had built up because of closed-door planning meetings.

UOJ special edition of Apple iPhone said...

Call it the iPerv.

New iPhone applications that allow users to easily locate nearby registered sex offenders are a big hit, helping perturbed parents track down predators.

An app called Offender Locator, which has been out for two months, was No. 3 on the iPhone Store's top-seller list Monday.

It uses the phone's built-in Global Positioning System to display a list of sex crime convicts in a given location.

"They know where you and your family are," an ad for the product warns ominously. "Now it's time to turn the tables."

A competing program dubbed SOS (for Sex Offenders Search) was released late last week to rave reviews. Its interactive map lets users simply tap on the screen and get more information and a picture of a potential perv.

"The more sunlight we hit sex offenders with, the less space they can crawl into," said City Councilman Peter Vallone (D-Queens), who heads the Public Safety Committee.

Trip Wakefield, CEO of ThinAir Wireless, which released Offender Locator, called his product "a convenience tool."

It costs 99 cents, a dollar less than SOS. Both use information that is available free online.

The mobile device can come in handy for home hunters or parents at a new playground.

Not everybody's happy.

"It's a dangerous thing," said Derek Logue, who runs a support Web site for sex offenders.

He said it could increase vigilantism, and noted that some registries include people who pose little danger.

He also blasted the companies for selling free information.
"Not only sex sells - but sex offenders sell," Logue said.

Roberto Franceschetti, who came up with the SOS app, knows that. He sold 2,000 of them in five days.

Anonymous said...

Does UOJ or anyone know if R' Zelig zt"l was involved in the yeshiva in Toronto with R' Yaakov? Another gadol baTorah was involved there who was the last link to an even earlier era. R' Avrohom Aron Price was niftar 18 years ago at over 100 years old. He was a talmid of the Sochatchover & the Imrei Emess of Ger. I think the yeshiva is called Eitz Chaim which still exists today.

Michael Hersh said...

So if I send my son back to get tortured in Jamaica, Reb Zelik isn't around anymore to stop R' Aron Schechter.

Breaking news from Eckstein said...

50 rabbonim, described as Mekubalim, will take part in a flight over Eretz Yisrael as part of a tikun against swine flu. They will recite tehillim, blow shofarot, and recite other tikunim as an act in response to the spread of the illness in Eretz Yisrael, with three fatalities to date and some 20 people in serious condition in hospitals around the country.

According to Rabbi Benayahu Shmueli, rosh yeshiva of Nahar Shalom in Yerushalayim, the illness may chas v’sholom spread rampantly in Eretz Yisrael due to the “immorality and indecency” that exists. “To my sorrow, many in Am Yisrael are guilty of this” the rav stated.

The rav added it is not coincidental that one can become infected by mouth, explaining in the frum community the tikun lies in the mouth, the absolute need to stop loshon hora, calling on the tzibur to make a greater effort to guard one’s speech.

Toldos Aron child abuse said...

In Toldos Aaron, some are pleased the case of the Meah Shearim mom is going to trial, confident the Jerusalem District Court will serve as a forum to reveal the state’s plot against the mother and chareidi community, confident her true identity as a devoted mother will be known to all.

The state appears equally confident however, explaining no less than 125 doctors, nurses, department heads and hospital support staff appears on the state’s witness list, to bring testimony to support the state’s contention that the mother abused her son, starved him, and interfered with and hampered medical treatment.

The state maintains that the mother’s abuse resulted in many problems and is responsible for stunting C’s growth and contributing to the convoluted medical picture that left doctors confused for a prolonged period.

In Meah Shearim, one of the questions being asked is if so many people knew of the child’s condition, referring to the state’s witnesses, they will be compelled to file legal action against all of them for remaining silent and not taking action on behalf of the small child, whose condition was permitted to deteriorate to near starvation.

Yomtov Bensasson said...


Agriprocessors executive pleads guilty to conspiracy

By GRANT SCHULTE • Des Moines Register

A one-time executive at Agriprocessors Inc. pleaded guilty today to a conspiracy charge related to alleged bank fraud at the Postville slaughterhouse.

Yomtov “Toby” Bensasson was convicted of conspiracy to make false statements to a bank. The 56-year-old admitted that he conspired between September 2007 and October 2008 to lie to a bank to receive advances on a loan.

Bensasson told authorities that he “overstated the value of collateral as part of his employer’s request for an advance on a loan,” the U.S. attorney’s office said in a statement.

Prosecutors declined to confirm that Bensasson worked for Agriprocessors, and made no mention of the plant in court papers. But federal work-visa records for Iowa identify Bensasson as the chief financial officer at the struggling kosher meat plant. It is unknown if he still holds that job.

Agriprocessors was the site of a May 2008 immigration raid that led to the arrest of 389 immigrant workers and criminal charges against top executives. Among the allegations are claims that former executive Sholom Rubashkin lied to a St. Louis bank to collect advances on a revolving $35 million loan.

Rubashkin maintains his innocence.

It remains unclear what role, if any, Bensasson will play in the larger federal case against Rubashkin and other employees. Bob Teig, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney, declined to elaborate on the information published in court records.

Rubashkin’s lawyer, Guy Cook, said: “The defense team sees this plea as entirely consistent with Rubashkin’s defense that he was not responsible for all the bad at Agriprocessors.”

Bensasson remains free on bond until he is sentenced. He faces a maximum five-year prison sentence, a $250,000 fine, a $100 special court assessment and three years of supervised release.

The case was handled by Peter Deegan, C.J. Williams and Matthew Cole, the same three U.S. attorneys who are prosecuting Agriprocessors.

Rubashkin’s lawyers, Cook and F. Montgomery Brown, also filed a list of witnesses today they say will provide alibis for Rubashkin. The names include Bensasson; Rubashkin’s brother, Heshy; and his wife, Leah.

The list was filed “to put the government on notice that we intent to present evidence that (Rubashkin) was not present on the dates” when crimes at the plant allegedly occurred, Cook said.

Anonymous said...

Dwek would be stupid to make these calls while in the Witness Protection Program.

Avi Aboud was in Torah Vodaas once upon a time.

Bomb threats at Jersey synagogues


Hundreds of people were evacuated Tuesday night from synagogues on the Jersey Shore - including one at the center of an FBI corruption probe - after a series of bomb threats were phoned in, authorities said.

Dozens of cops, state police and federal agents swarmed the synagogues in Deal and Long Branch about 8:30 p.m. after receiving the threats, said Avi Aboud, captain of Hatzoloh Ambulance Jersey Shore Division.

Aboud helped police shepherd about 300 people out of a wedding at Congregation Ohel Simcha in Long Branch.

"The wedding went on like nothing happened. It went from the parking lot to the street, the celebration continued," said a 42-year-old witness who declined to give his name. He said he lives on the same block as the synagogue and cops asked him to temporarily leave his home.

"Apparently, it is a phone call threat," said Aboud, who was briefed by cops. "Police said they traced the number back to somewhere in the Midwest."

Lt. Robert Wiener of the Long Branch Police Department told reporters that cops responded to a bomb threat to two area synagogues but declined to give more details.

Congregation Brothers of Israel, down the street from the wedding, was also under police watch last night.

Aboud said the threats directly targeted Ohel Simcha and Deal Synagogue in nearby Deal - the center of a federal investigation leading to the July 23 mass arrest of rabbis and politicians throughout New Jersey and New York City.

Solomon Dwek, the son of Rabbi Isaac Dwek of Deal Synagogue, was a secret FBI informant for two years of the probe.

"With the rabbis getting arrested, I don't know who might have done this," said Long Branch resident Anna Kelly, 83, watching officers comb through her usually quiet street.

"The cops raced here. They had big lights going behind the synagogue. Me and my neighbors went outside. We were shocked," she said.

Local police said the Monmouth County prosecutor's office was handling the investigation.
Prosecutors could not be reached for comment last night.

Officials from the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and the New Jersey State Police were also on the case, Aboud said.

"They found nothing [explosive] in the synagogues," he told the Daily News.

Malach HaMovies said...

Now with the passing of Rav Zelig Z'L, maybe we can finally hear the story re: UOJ's conversation with Reb Yakov Z'L before he passed away. I know for a fact that Re: the machlokas with Rabbi Schorr, R' Zelig was somewhat involved.

I think the rumor was that Rab Yakov wanted Reb Zelig to be Rosh Yeshiva instead of Rabbi Schorr. But someone obviously knbows the whole story. I don't.

As far as i know Reb Yakov did not even go to the funeral of Rabbi Schorr. How sad. Again,i don't know all of the details. But there must have been some uncomfortable history over there.

Hey Greenfield, you Putz! said...


In the wake of criminal financial allegations at the top of the Syrian Jewish community’s leadership, the larger Sephardic community is working to reform the way its charities operate, demanding more transparency and oversight, The Jewish Week has learned.

In a series of conference calls and meetings in recent days, Sephardic lay leaders and rabbis have proposed stringent measures that would discourage the widespread practice of individual rabbis holding sole control over discretionary charitable funds, and call for routine audits of charities, sources told The Jewish Week.

At the same time, an international network of 800 donors to Jewish charities — including major family foundations — is considering barring grants to nonprofits that use a federal tax law loophole for religious organizations to avoid filing full financial disclosures.

“We are considering recommending to our members that they demand a higher level of accountability for religious organizations before making grants,” said Mark Charendoff, president of the Jewish Funders Network. “Our community has an obligation to exceed the standards that the government is imposing specifically in the areas of transparency and governance.”

The proposal is a direct result of last week’s allegations that five rabbis misused charitable funds to launder questionable cash, he said.

Three of the 17 people charged last week with money laundering, in a sweeping federal roundup that included 27 other people, are highly respected Sephardic leaders.

They are accused of using a small network of charitable funds, including one controlled by Syrian Chief Rabbi Saul Kassin, to launder money in a sting operation. The FBI and U.S. attorney for New Jersey, Ralph Marra, Jr., allege that Rabbi Kassin, 87 and the leader of Brooklyn’s Shaare Zion congregation, laundered $200,000, including funds provided by a federal informant who said the cash came from a bank fraud and the sale of counterfeit handbags.

Another defendant, Rabbi Eliahu Ben Haim of Congregation Ohel Yacob, in the Syrian enclave of Deal, N.J., is accused of laundering $1.5 million from illegal sources through several charitable funds in exchange for a 10 percent fee, while Rabbi Edmond Nahum of the Deal Synagogue is accused of laundering $185,000 in charitable funds with Rabbi Kassin.

Believed to number close to 100,000 in Brooklyn, Long Island, New Jersey and elsewhere, the local Sephardic community includes families of Lebanese, Moroccan, Egyptian, South American and Israeli origin or descent, in addition to the Syrians, a large share of whom are wealthy but also count among them a segment of poor, recent immigrants.

If approved by all segments of the diverse community, the charitable reforms would affect the disbursement of tens of millions of dollars distributed between the community’s haves and have-nots.

“The Sephardic Jewish community prides itself on upholding the highest standards of both religious and civic ethics and law,” David G. Greenfield, executive vice president of the Sephardic Community Federation, an umbrella public policy group, told The Jewish Week Tuesday. “While the community knows that most nonprofit organizations already operate in accordance with these high standards, in light of recent events the community is taking the unprecedented step of having an independent accounting firm affirm that community charities are operating at the highest legal and ethical standards.”


Those are really "high standards" when you help the Agudah & Satmar protect molesters from legislation in Albany.

Toronto said...

Yes Eitz Chaim does still exist but it is not exactly stacked with chashuvim like it used to be.

The menahel in Ner Israel Toronto, Aaron Levine, who had a nasty habit of pushing boys down flights of stairs, switched to Eitz Chaim when R' Gavriel Ginsberg pushed him out. Some of the Eitz Chaim rebbes like his brother Malcolm Levine also had bad habits like slapping boys in the face and physically roughing them up.

It is a very sad irony that it was Rav Yaakov Kaminetzky of all people who was very outspoken against rebbes who hit boys and what kind of onesh is waiting for them.

Anonymous said...

Dear UOJ

As the old YTV guys know Reb. Yackov wanted to appoint Reb Zelig as his Memaleh Mokom as Menahel. Reb Gedalia said NO. Your zeida RSFM appointed you ( Reb Yackov) with no power to appoint a yoresh of the position. FYI Reb Elya Chazan ZTL was the power amongst the rebbeim that stopped Reb Zelig. Reb Gedalia alone did not stop him.

Point # 2 The Board was always involved in the situation involving Hiring/Firing for better or for worse.

Look @ the mess they just created firing Rav Sekula who worked there for 50 years, with the dirty work done by Belsky, Reisman, and the white interloper Savitzky a mistake hired 15 years ago when Rav Fein was nifter.

Nichum avelim said...

anyone know where R' Kalman Epstein is sitting shiva?

Leopold Margulies said...

Toronto, vat's wrong vit slapping boys in da punim?

YTV said...

I have reason to suspect that Savitsky is a supporter of Belsky.

I don't understand the Savitsky family. While they act out the part of groyse Brisker kanoyim, some of them have been very close to the scene of fraud and other crimes, even if the Feds cannot actually nail them.

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

YTV today looks exactly like Belsky and Savitzky - one behaima and one shlub!

Old Toronto said...

My father was in R' Yaakov's yeshiva in the old days. He does not remember R' Zelig although his memory is not what it used to be.

Besides the fact that rebbeim have no recht whatsoever to hit, the reason R' Yaakov was so against it is because it causes talmidim to develop a dislike for learning, if not go off the derech entirely. R' Yaakov mentioned that one of his own rebbeim had hit him when he was only 6 years old. R' Yaakov was late for yeshiva because he had stopped to help an alter Yid who had fallen in the street. The shvantz did not even allow the young R' Yaakov to explain his tardiness.

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

Your zeida RSFM appointed you ( Reb Yackov) with no power to appoint a yoresh of the position


Schorr spin - wrong!

The little known about din Torah by R' Aron Kotler clearly sent RGS to BME and at most he could say a chumash shiur in YTV on Fridays. As soon as R' Aron was niftar, RGS started crawling back to YTV - that's where the power and glory was in those days, until of course RGS destroyed both BME and YTV.

Brisker said...

At least one of the Savitzkys is a complete nutjob even by Brisker standards. He had the nerve to bashmutz R' Zelig as some kind of maskil or something who was poyshea by eating in the home of his modern orthodox son. He bashmutzes Rav Elyashev because he poshut misunderstands something that the Brisker Rov said many years ago and he says one hashgocho is no good because whoever was on their Vaad 60 years ago, and have been dead almost as long, used to speak to Conservative rabbis.

Bungalow Yenta said...

Why was Rav Sekula kicked out of Torah Vodaas?

If anyone should get kicked out it's that lowlife Yossi Ungar who gives Daf Yomi shiur by Rav Sekula's son.

Anonymous said...

Torah Vodaas was also overrun by chassidishe guys just like what happened at Beis Hatalmud and Stamford.

Joe Putz said...

And after Rav Schorr was niftar, how many people that moved up to mizrach vant were actually invited to make the move?

Kew Gardens said...

R' Kalman is sitting shiva at his home.

8448 120th St
Kew Gardens, NY

Archie Bunker said...

Steve, if you don't mind me taking issue with your comment on FM. I can't reply there since that coward Shmarya is constantly blocking any IP I use and immediately erases anything I write.

Shmarya is setting up the public readership to take his bait on kiruv bashing and even intelligent, thoughtful people are falling for his latest deceptive post.

While unquestionably, there is a problem with some kiruv orgs, you cannot blame the large numbers of secular Jews on bad techniques by rabbonim, or at least not in their entirety.

R' Chaim Volozhiner brings a raaye that every secular Jew is given an opportunity to return. Sadly, not every neshama "answers the knock on the door" as he puts it.

Moetzes Resign! said...

By Zachary A. Goldfarb
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, August 5, 2009; 2:58 PM

The head of the federal agency that seized and now controls Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac has decided to step down, according to sources familiar with the matter.

James B. Lockhart III, the director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, helped orchestrate the takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac last September as the financial crisis worsened and his agency, working with the Treasury Department, determined the companies were unstable and posed a serious risk to the global financial system.

He fought with lobbyists of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as they tried to block Congress from granting his agency tougher regulatory powers. But he also was the subject of criticism for not moving aggressively enough to stop the companies from moving into the riskier lines of business that turned out to be their undoing.

It was under Lockhart's watch that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, once among the most competitive and important financial companies in the world as the buyers and insurers of trillions of dollars in home loans, came to be essentially wards of the state.

Margo's personal chef said...

WASHINGTON, Aug 4 (Reuters) - People who have even slightly elevated cholesterol when they are middle-aged have a higher risk of dementia later on, researchers reported on Tuesday.

The study of nearly 10,000 people found that those with high cholesterol in their 40s -- a reading of 240 or higher -- had a 66 percent higher risk

evanstonjew said...

UOJ...You write "The little known about din Torah by R' Aron Kotler clearly sent RGS to BME and at most he could say a chumash shiur in YTV on Fridays. As soon as R' Aron was niftar, RGS started crawling back to YTV."

Three questions. Could you give the approximate date for this din torah? And was there ever a time when Rav Schorr was actually banished from YTV except for Friday? Did he actually spend the rest of the week in BME? How long did this period last? And when he returned, how long was it before Rav Yaakov and RZE left?

I would also like you to comment at some point if there were deeper haskafah issues involved, and if so what were these issues?

And how do you see this fight in connection to older Williamsburg rivalries? I take it from reading your blog and taking notes, you are not very fond of the Belsky or Wilhelm families, and I now see your affinity for Louis Septimus and the Rav Schorr supporters (which I now discover included Rav Chazan) also leaves something to be desired. I assume Mike Tress, Rabbi Scherrer and the Agudah people of that generation are also in the dumps on your view. So how do you see the genuine YTV mesorah...is it RSFM to Reb Yaakov to RZE and that's it? From Hungary to Grodno without passing GO?

From Boog's "caught with his pants down department" said...

How did Archie Bunker miss this?

Shmarya tried to attack the rabbis in the Dwek sting and smeared the wrong Rabbi Ben Chaim from Queens who is not even related to the one in NJ.

Lakewood talmid said...

I too had the zchus of knowing R' Zelig and feel like something was ripped out. And his rebbitzen, R' Shimon Shkop's granddaughter, is a very humble woman who really put herself out to facilitate all the baalei yisurin who came to her husband for help.

It's agav interesant that the oldest alter Mirrer, R' Zelig, and the youngest, R' Reuven Fein, an iluy who entered the Mir before his bar mitzvah, both passed through Torah Vodaas.

Federal judge warns Rubashkin's lawyer said...

The Gazette

U.S. District Chief Judge Linda Reade today told the government and defense in the Agriprocessors case to stop wasting her time and theirs with discovery discussions and to give her “the full story.”

Reade said she was concerned about the defense’s information that they received additional discovery the day after the government told her it didn’t have any more.

Attorneys for Agriprocessors and former company vice president Sholom Rubashkin filed a renewed motion to continue the financial trial, currently set for Sept. 15, based on the government’s “tactics and apparent misrepresentation” to the court regarding additional discovery. They claim the changes would affect how they prepare their defense.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Rich Murphy told Reade that when Assistant U.S. Attorney C.J. Williams told Reade he didn’t have additional discovery, he was referring to bank records evidence, not other discovery. Williams didn’t mean to mislead the court, Murphy said.

Murphy said they have disclosed everything to the defense and has exceeded what’s required of them.

Reade said she realizes it wasn’t intentional but stressed both sides need to keep her informed of developments in the case.

U.S. Attorney Pete Deegan then informed Reade of the guilty plea made Tuesday by former Agriprocessors controller Yomtov Bensasson. He pleaded to conspiracy to make false statements and reports to a bank regarding an Agriprocessors revolving loan.

Reade then gave Guy Cook, Rubashkin’s attorney, a stern warning about attempting to try the case in the media in an effort to get a change in venue. Cook told a reporter Tuesday that Bensasson’s plea is consistent with Rubashkin’s defense that he’s not responsible for all the “bad” at the company.

Reade warned Cook that the comment to the media should be his last, and that further statements would result in a hearing on ethical issues.

Reade said she would make a ruling soon on the motion to continue the trial

Skverrer Homowack fresser said...


Judge Burton Ledina ordered a Hasidic sect to leave the former Homowack Lodge by 5 p.m. Thursday — a move that is expected to end the group's near month-long standoff with state and emergency officials who have called the resort a potential deathtrap.

Ledina granted the temporary restraining order, saying that Congregation Bais Trana was operating a girls' camp without a permit and there was "ample proof" of code violations and dangers.

Ledina said he wants children moved out quickly for safety reasons. By not ordering the group out, he said, he would be "flying in the face of state laws and regulations."

The Congregation was denied a permit on June 30 but occupied the buildings anyway and later declined to leave in spite of warnings from state, county and town emergency officials that the place is a serious fire hazard.

The group's attorney, Perry Meltzer, asked the judge to allow the group two more weeks.

"They have to be returned to their parents," Meltzer said. "They need a reasonable opportunity to contact each one of their parents."

He estimated about 150 to 160 people were still in two buildings, including about 100 to 120 children.

During the three-hour hearing in Monticello, Meltzer attempted to prove existing conditions presented no danger.

Contractors who worked on the sprinkler and fire alarm systems testified the systems were working in the two buildings where the girls were staying. A mold-remediation contractor indicated that mold in these two buildings was under control. The operators have carted out several truck loads of garbage and debris from the basement.

On Monday, health officials and Mamakating's code enforcement officer walked through several areas again. Assistant Attorney General Nick Garin played an 18-minute video of the tour during the hearing. The video revealed numerous violations, including evidence of mold, missing ceiling tiles, exposed wiring, leaks and water running over electrical boxes. It also showed that several rooms and a mikvah — a ritual bath — were filthy.

"It isn't fit for human habitation," Garin said.

Garin served one of the camp operators, Malka Neustadt, with Ledina's order while she was sitting in the courtroom.

Neustadt walked away from a reporter seeking comment.

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


Without stealing the thunder of the series of posts forthcoming, I'll address some of your well thought out inquiries.

1- The Din Torah by RAK was after the petirah of R' Reuvain Grozofsky ztvk"l, where a "Rosh Yeshiva" slot became vacant; RGS was titled Menahel. (1958)

2 - RAK paskened definitively, that RGS was not to intervene in the affairs of YTV, and that RYK was not to intefere in the affairs of BME. It was RYK that agreed with much hesitation and on his own volition to permit RGS access to a "classroom" not the bais midrash, for a Chumash only shiur; no chassidus per se.

3 - RGS was "banished" unofficially, although he maintained an office at YTV, next to R' Yaakov, and was a source of contention between the two. All H*** broke loose on S. Third st, before the move to Flatbush,... for another time.

4 - It was a mystery to many where RGS spent his time, he was hardly in BME and until 1965 came to Williamsburgh primarily on Fridays.

5 - Note that RGS was a talmid of R' Yaakov, and never afforded him the proper kavod other than glib lip service.

6 - The yeshiva moved to Flatbush in 1967, RGS set up shop in Flatbush, RYK retired permanently in 1970, he was on the verge of getting ill; RGS chose to set up his office right next to RYK. RGS passed away in 1979, leaving both the Yeshiva and BME in shambles. RYK was gone, RZE was gone, and the rest of them were fighting for control, including a fistfight between two of the rosh yeshivas that landed one in the hospital and permanently affected his eyesight.

Much more...just a bit of what's coming. Brace yourselves!

Anonymous said...


What is the real story behind this story?


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

I am not at all familiar with the current political situation at YTV.

A "Vaad" is a buzzword for trouble, there is no such thing as a vaad of rabbonim controlling a yeshiva.

Rav Wolfson will never get involved in the daily operations and will defer to Belsky. Reisman and Savitsky will never stand up to Belsky on anything.

I sincerely doubt that Sekula left willingly.

This is just an opinion, my hunch is Belsky got Sekula out of the way so he can take over. Truly a sad day for the Torah world.

Observant Jew said...

If the Health Dept has a say about the mikva at the Homowack, why don't they do anything about filthy chassidish mikvas downstate?

Letzonus said...

Why doesn't Belsky appoint Mendel Epstein as Mashgiach?

Mendel Epstein Shlita said...

I'm already rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Genaivas Daas.

Yonason Epstein said...

And I am tatty's outpost on Ave S in Marine Park. I'm learning the ropes to fill his shoes as a gangster in the pretend dinei Torah business.

Lipa Brenner said...

I don't have any big hasogos for high flying shtellers. If my good friend Belsky lets me become attendant of the YTV boys restroom so I can rape kids like I did in my Boro Park shul, I'll be tzefreeden.

Rav Pam assered me from setting foot in the yeshiva but I'm sure Belsky doesn't give a damn.

brooklyn refugee said...

UOJ - on point 3 above - was that when RYK came into the beis midrash and started learning out loud during RGS' unauthroized shiur in the main BM, and the next week when he was locked out and banged on the door? or was that earlier in time?

Lubavitch, Food Stamps and WIC said...


Shmarya groupie said...


Amos Kenan, an iconoclastic Israeli writer whose anti-religious and anti-Zionist views made him a longstanding irritant to the political establishment, died on Tuesday in Tel Aviv. He was 82.

Mr. Kenan, who fought in the 1948 Arab-Israeli war but also belonged to the anti-Zionist and anti-religious Canaanite movement, consistently roiled Israel’s political and cultural waters as a columnist, novelist, playwright, painter, sculptor, screenwriter and filmmaker. Somehow he maintained a career as a restaurant critic as well.

He was a scathing critic of Israeli religious leaders, and when the mood suited, extended his range beyond Judaism.

His play “Friends Talk About Jesus” was banned from the stage by the Israeli Supreme Court in 1972 for being unacceptably contemptuous of religion.

Politically he was unpredictable. In the 1980s he scandalized his old comrades from the pre-1948 underground when he compared the Palestinian struggle to their own youthful campaign, and in his fiction he took an absurdist, dystopian view of Israel’s future.

Mr. Kenan was born as Amos Levine in Tel Aviv. His parents were secular socialists, and as a teenager he joined the socialist-Zionist Hashomer Hatzair (Youth Guard) and dropped out of high school to work in a factory.

As the struggle for Israeli statehood gathered momentum, he joined the Lehi, referred to by the British as the Stern Gang, the most extreme of the underground paramilitary organizations in Palestine.

At the same time, influenced by the poet Yonatan Ratosh, he joined the Canaanites, a small but influential group of artists and writers who hoped to build a Hebrew rather than a Jewish state in the biblical land of Canaan that would embrace both Arabs and Jews. It regarded Judaism and Islam as retrograde, and dissociated itself from the Jewish Diaspora. He was a founder of the group’s magazine, Alef.

After fighting in the Israel Defense Forces during the 1948 war, in which he was wounded, he began writing a satirical column, Uzi & Co., in the newspaper Haaretz, and began taking potshots at important religious figures.

In 1953 he was arrested on suspicion of throwing a bomb into the garden of the transportation minister, who had just banned driving on the Sabbath. Although the courts acquitted him, the newspaper’s publisher fired him.

From 1954 to 1962 he lived in Paris, where he wrote several plays influenced by the Theater of the Absurd.

He also wrote two newspaper columns, the Wandering Knife for Haolam Hazeh and Sparks From the City of Lights for Yediot Aharonot.

After returning to Israel in 1962, he picked up where he left off. He inaugurated a new column in Yediot Aharonot that ran for the next 40 years and published his first novella, “At the Station” (1963).

His most successful novel was “The Road to Ein Harod,” an Orwellian mixture of history, fantasy and philosophy in which an Israeli and an Arab are thrown together after a military coup sends Israel hurtling toward fascism.

Pakistan imitates Margo and Belsky said...


Justice in Pakistan is often derailed by intimidation and poor policing, leaving criminals free and witnesses fearful

Malach HaMovies said...

About 6 months ago, i was sitting next to a older gentleman who was a talmid of Reb Yakov in YTV.

He was speaking glowingly about Reb Yakov and remincising about the old days.

As soon as i asked him about the machlokes between RYK amd RGS, he got up from his seat. waved his hand at me and repeatedly said in a pained expression " I don't want to talk about it" !!

So much pent up emotions from so many people !! Unbelieveable !!

Malach HaMovies said...

RGS went to the dedication of the new Torah Temimmah building on Ocean Parkway. RYK obviously did not go.

It seems like Margolius was close with RGS and his family.

Nosson Scherman from Artscroll claims to be a Talmid of RGS. But seemed to be close to RYK as well.

As i mentioned in my last comment, emotions are still running high today, especially on RYK's side.

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


Not quite the way you described it. I will address the "machloket", the conflicting hashkofot, the corruption and theft of yeshiva property on a massive scale over a long period of time, and the personalities of the various people involved.

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that if RZE stayed in YTV, it would have remained the premier yeshiva it once was, and the chances of Margulies perpetrating his fraud on YTV and getting away with it for so long, would have been addressed vigorously by RZE.

Anonymous said...

Blogger is blocking for some strange reason the Fortune Magazine article on the clever fraud engineered by Dina Wein Reis. I cannot even link to the URL or post snippets.

In the article, Marvin Schick tells Fortune he is "good friends" with these ganovim.

The article is a must read and can be found on the CNN website.

Ombudsman said...

If Nosson Scherman was a true talmid of R' Yaakov he would have done more to stop Margulies other than offering lip service as a Monday Morning Quarterback.

And he wouldn't be a shameless enabler of pedophiles and ganovim on Artscroll's payroll.

Can UOJ confirm this? said...

He is allegedly the brother of R' Shmuel Kaminetzky's eidim Berkowitz, the rosh yeshiva in Ner Yisroel.


JERUSALEM, Aug. 3 (UPI) -- An ex-rabbi who allegedly led an effort to obtain illegally $35 million in state and U.S. income tax refunds was arrested in Israel, U.S. officials said Monday.
The alleged ringleader, Marvin Berkowitz, is a former Chicago rabbi accused of directing the fraud from Jerusalem, where he was arrested Sunday night, U.S. official said. He is among 10 defendants indicted in Chicago on 41 counts in February. The indictments were unsealed Monday.

The U.S. Justice Department said Berkowitz allegedly caused at least $800,000 in tax refunds to be paid to, or for the benefit of, at least eight family members, including son Yair Berkowitz and son-in-law Eric Berkowitz, both arrested in Chicago Sunday night. Another son, David Berkowitz, was arrested in the Los Angeles area.

All 10 were charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States by impeding the Internal Revenue Service in the collection of income taxes, as well as defrauding numerous state tax departments.

The Justice Department said the scheme, dubbed operation "American Pie" by investigators in Israel, fell short of its goal of $35 million. The indictment seeks forfeiture of $4 million.

The department alleges Marvin Berkowitz, who also is charged with six counts of identity theft, recruited dozens of co-conspirators to submit more than 2,900 federal income tax returns and more than 400 false state income tax returns. Officials said the returns were filed using Social Security numbers of federal prison inmates without their knowledge or consent.

Son of Sam? said...

"Another son, David Berkowitz, was arrested in the Los Angeles area."

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

"He is allegedly the brother of R' Shmuel Kaminetzky's eidim Berkowitz, the rosh yeshiva in Ner Yisroel."


I have been told that they are brothers; I do not have any independent information that would confirm that. Don't know b'laaz!

Yankel Applegrad said...

The prosecutor's office had a break in on Shabbos. Why are they blaming Berkowitz?


The police are investigating whether the seven suspects laundered the funds through fictitious real estate deals.

The seven suspects include the alleged "brains" of the operation Marvin Berkowitz, 62, of Jerusalem and a rabbi from Chicago who since 1984 has been preparing US tax statements. In 1988 he was sentenced to five years in prison for obstruction of justice and stealing documents from the public prosecutor's office regarding the case in which he as convicted of tax fraud. He escaped from the US to Israel in 2003.
Also named among those arrested as accomplices of Berkowitz are, Adv. Yaakov Abrahams, Rachel Ellis, Ephraim Novak, Tigran Ajiziran, Igor Tzimmerman and Anton Voker.

Yossi Ungar said...

Berkowitz sounds like my kind of guy, even though his fraud didn't threaten anyone's life.

R' Shmuel Kaminetzky and myself share a common mechutan so I will look into it and get back to you.

evanstonjew said...

Let's go slowly here...

Lipa Margulis was close to Rav Schorr. Maybe...he might have been at BME, he's chasidish...so let's say yes.

Nosson Scherman was close to Rav Schorr and Nosson Scherman printed Pinter's book...so let's say Scherman enables ganovim. (I don't know of enabling pedophiles, but I'll ask around.)

Nothing follows about Rav Schorr. We are reading history backwards. Back in the 60's there was no shanda to be friendly with Lipa Marguiles. I take it even today few if any of the YTT staff have resigned.

I truly doubt that Rav Schorr would be friendly with Leib Pinter. And here btw, I gather from reading this blog that Pinter is treated bekavod in the Mir. This Tinker to Evers to Chance ...Sherman is a chusid of RGS, so RGS must approve of Pinter is silly.

The claim that RZE would have been good for YTV and the community at large, a hypothesis I have no reason to doubt, is not in and of itself a reason to say RGS was bad for YTV or would have been bad for Orthodoxy had he been alive today. Being less good than someone or other is true of most every gadol.

Look...from what I gather from UOJ's comments by the time UOJ is done very serious charges will have been made against a bunch of people including, or maybe especially RGS. There is no reason to first besmirch his name with guilt by association type innuendos.

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

The claim that RZE would have been good for YTV and the community at large, a hypothesis I have no reason to doubt, is not in and of itself a reason to say RGS was bad for YTV or would have been bad for Orthodoxy had he been alive today. Being less good than someone or other is true of most every gadol.


I agree with the rest of your above comments, except the above.

YTV was malchut up until RYK left, RZE would have had a platform and a megaphone second to none; certainly as RYK's designee as THE Rosh Yeshiva, he would not have to have gone off to Queens to start some obscure yeshiva from scratch.

Lakewood had their ideology, but RAK was gone, although R' Shneur did a yeoman's job of continuing his ideology.

Mir, Chaim Berlin, RJJ, MTJ...were second rate yeshivas at that time.

Your thoughts about RGS being bad for YTV (or not as good) as RZE, IMO, is an inherently flawed argument. Especially, that we now know that under the tenure of RGS, BME collapsed, and YTV become a third rate yeshiva with no hashkafa that can be carried forward with lasting integrity, and an established fraud and a master manipulator Belsky at the Helm.

Don't take my word for it, ask R' Shlomo Miller from Toronto, a son in-law of R' Moshe Rivlin a"h of YTV.

But there's much more about RGS yet to be publicized, that will knock everybody's socks off!

Brisker said...

Now I get it. The particular Savitzky brother who I have heard bashmutzing the gedolim also has it in for R' Shlomo Miller. I actually didn't know that his shver Rav Rivlin once gave a shiur at YTV.

Since this jerk seems to be otherwise eating up Belsky's propaganda, it makes sense that he is attacking R' Shlomo. R' Shlomo is an outspoken critic of Belsky's fraudulent ways, plus who knows if Belsky was also at odds with the shver.

Do you believe Milton Cantor? said...

You can also follow the links from here to the main story of the Wein Reis fraud.


Quality King and another big diversion firm, Victory Wholesale Grocers, were, at different times, Wein Reis customers, according to court records. Milt Cantor, founder of Victory, says he stopped doing business with Wein Reis soon after Unilever (UL) filed suit. "I never dreamt she was doing anything dishonest," he said. "I never knew how she got her product." A lawyer for Quality King said that that firm, too, didn't know where or how Wein Reis obtained merchandise.

Mirrer, Mirrer on the wall said...

It's my understanding that R' Shmuel Berenbaum kicked Leib Pinter out of the yeshiva office while he was still living.

Pinter was able to shmear some of the younger roshei yeshiva there to weasel his way in. Although he lived a 2 minutes walk away, he kimat didn't step foot in the place until he had his eye on getting his son a shteller in the mesivta. All of a sudden he's hanging out in the Mir day and night and giving them plenty of the money he stole.

The biggest mystery in all of this however is how almost no one knows that Pinter pulled a Moish Finkel in the 1970s with tarfus labeled as kosher. When I tell people about the NY Times article, they look at me like deer in the headlights.

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

I actually didn't know that his shver Rav Rivlin once gave a shiur at YTV.


Did not give a shiur; he managed the office, instrumental in the PR dept., active in fundraising -- in particular placing YTV pushkas throughout the USA, and alumni contacts. He was monitoring the mailroom for a long time and uncovered all kinds of genaiva from the inside. He was a tzaddik and I was from his group of "tzadekels".

steve said...


I was not criticizing the kiruv organizations. After all, the work they do is priceless and thankless. I aimed my comment at the rabbinical leadership that we have today. Their the ones that must lead by example. The reason we have a silent holocaust of epic proportions is because we are leaderless. We are constantly fed a steady diet of corruption, paranoia, hypocrisy and apologetics. Read the latest Pinny screed on Matzav and you will have a pretty good idea of why so many are going OTD. Until the major problems are dealt with head on, without the "what's wrong, we are so wonderful" attitude, the numbers will continue to grow at a staggering rate.

UOJ gets results said...


Comptroller William C. Thompson Jr. and Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum asked the mayor on Thursday for all documents relating to his office’s use of discretionary funds to finance nonprofit groups after The New York Times reported that the Bloomberg administration had sent hundreds of thousands of dollars to two politically connected groups in violation of city contracting rules.

“As Chief Financial Officer of the City of New York, I have the authority under the New York City Charter to investigate all matters relating to or affecting the finances of the city,” Mr. Thompson, who is challenging the mayor in this fall’s mayoral race, said in a letter to Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. He called The Times report “extremely troubling.”

In a separate letter to the mayor on Thursday, Ms. Gotbaum, who has disagreed with Mr. Bloomberg over term limits and budget cuts for her office, said, “I urge you to address these allegations immediately and to shed light on your office’s discretionary spending since you have been in office.”

On Tuesday, The Times reported that City Councilman Simcha Felder never asked that City Hall give two nonprofit groups $3 million in what are known as discretionary funds. Without that request, the administration lacked the authority to give the money to the groups, Agudath Israel of America Community Services and Ohel Children’s Home and Family Services, except through competitive bidding.

Mayor Bloomberg has questioned Mr. Felder’s memory, and aides to the mayor say a thorough review of the spending last year found no illegality. That analysis detailed nearly $30 million in spending between 2002 and 2008, including nearly $20 million on behalf of more than two dozen council members.

In his letter on Thursday, Mr. Thompson demanded a copy of the audit and all supporting documents.

“Despite my office’s critical role in registering all contracts and agreements, that audit has, to my knowledge, never been shared with my office,” Mr. Thompson wrote.

Asked what Mr. Thompson intended to do with the information, his spokesman, Jeff Simmons, said, “Once we receive it, we will review it as soon as possible and determine the next course of action, including referral to an appropriate investigative body, if warranted.”

Anonymous said...

Reb Moshe Lefkovitz one of the 7 original talmidim that Hagoen Rav Ruderman ZATZAL brought with him to Baltimore to start Yeshivas Ner Yisroel. He was a member of the Cleveland community for 80 years and them moved to Baltimore.

Reb Moshe was nifter today at the age of 97. He is survived by his son Reb Yehuda Lefkovitz of Baltimore and daughter Mrs. Nancy Skaist of Staten Island as well as many grandchildren and great-grandchildern.

The Levaya will take place today in Cleveland at the Berkowitz Funeral Home at 5:00 PM and the kevurah will be in Cleveland as well. Shiva will take place at the Lefkovitz home, 1115 Scotts Hill Drive,Baltimore ,Md. beginning tomorrow (Aug. 7).

Boruch Dayan Emmes…

Catskills Emergency said...

Please be Mispallel for Shmuel ben Rochel Yonina, a 3-year-old child who was pulled out of a swimming pool in respiratory arrest.

The near drowning took place at approximately 5:30M in Greenfield Meadows on Tamarack Road in Ulster County, and Hatzolah Paramedics were rushed to the scene.

The child has been air-lifted by Medevac to Westchester County Trauma Center in critical, but stable condition.

Old Ner Yisroel said...

That figure of 7 Rav Ruderman talmidim comes from Shmeckstein.

I don't know where he gets that number as someone still alive who was in the shiur told me there were more than that.

Anonymous said...

I know which Savitsky brother that is. He has also been protecting a thief who has been stealing from the rabim for decades.

Where's the yosher?

Malach HaMovies said...

YTV was malchut up until RYK left, RZE would have had a platform and a megaphone second to none; certainly as RYK's designee as THE Rosh Yeshiva, he would not have to have gone off to Queens to start some obscure yeshiva from scratch.

Lakewood had their ideology, but RAK was gone, although R' Shneur did a yeoman's job of continuing his ideology.

Mir, Chaim Berlin, RJJ, MTJ...were second rate yeshivas at that time.


You are blowing out the well-known argument that because there are so many yeshivas today, YTV became much smaller.

People should remember that if everyhting would have worked out YTV would have been the premier yeshiva and would have blown everyone else out of the water.

They would probably have opened branches throughout the country and would have changed the face of yiddishkeit.

During the 1960's,with all of their problems, they had branches in williamsburg, crown heights and flatbush (later to become YTT).

Up until the 1980's YTV produced many ehrlicher baal habatim and talmeidei chachamim. After that they produced vasertreiger zombie/peasents like all the other yeshivas are doing today.

Lakewood and Brisk would never have had the strength like they have now.

Also, RSFM was interested in having a small semblance of chassidus in YTV. Meaning to learn an occasional chassidishe sefer, a chassidishe boy should feel comfortable in the yeshiva, occasionally sing a chassidsh nigun together.... I'm assuming all of this,of course.

He certainly did not want to blend chassidishe concepts with the yeshiva !!

He went to war against Mr. Weberman (brother-in-law of Rabbi Wilhelm and also one of the founders of YTV) and the students in YTV who became Malochim chassidim in the 1930's !!

He basically looked at YTV as an open tent.

Also Nusach Sefard is the Nusach of the yeshiva,not Ashkenaz !!

Malach HaMovies said...

And how do you see this fight in connection to older Williamsburg rivalries? I take it from reading your blog and taking notes, you are not very fond of the Belsky or Wilhelm families, and I now see your affinity for Louis Septimus and the Rav Schorr supporters (which I now discover included Rav Chazan) also leaves something to be desired. I assume Mike Tress, Rabbi Scherrer and the Agudah people of that generation are also in the dumps on your view. So how do you see the genuine YTV mesorah...is it RSFM to Reb Yaakov to RZE and that's it? From Hungary to Grodno without passing GO?


I don't thik that you could look at anything as a 'Chain" or "YTV mesorah"

Obviously, there were good guys and bad guys over here.

Look, Uoj isn't so hot about Yisroel Belsky. Yet, R' Belsky's holds RYK as his Rebbi Muvhak/Guru.

I'm sure haskafas had plenty do to do with YTV's meltdown.

But i'm also sure there was alot of "the Good, the Bad and the Ugly" as well.

Malach HaMovies said...

A quote from UOJ in 2005

Mamash Nevius !!

Un-Orthodox Jew said...
Modern Orthodoxy will be the Judaism that will be here in a hundred years,Black Hat Judaism will have committed suicide by then.

Malach HaMovies said...


Do you hvae any insight on what happened to the all of the old YTV real estate (including the building in Crown Heights) ??

The one in CH is very personal to me because i went to yeshiva there.

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


Thanks for the many compliments, too kind.

I do not know what happened with the real estate; I'm certain you can get that info. from county records. Too kind, too kind, too kind... dats it? Finished?

Malach HaMovies said...


You are welcome !!

Malach HaMovies said...

By thw way, was my analysis of what RSFM vision of a yeshiva correct ?

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


Your analysis is about right. RSFM was a chassidishe Yid himself, a talmid of the Arugas Habosem, but would not identify with any particular group. He taught Tanya in YTV, he wore his talis Koton over his shirt (big deal everybody does that in Willy), but in the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s you could not find 5 Jews that did that in America (except the Malochim). He refused to don a shtreimel.

He wanted the "bren" of chassidus, but his hand selected roshei yeshiva were R' Shlomo Heiman, R' Reuvain Grozofsky, R' Yaakov Kaminetzky and a high school secular department run by R' Alexander Linchner (a son in-law), as good or better than any public high school.

If I may say so myself, RSFM was very unique, and a bit unorthodox himself.

Now back to me; too kind, too kind, too......

Malach HaMovies said...

Why do you think he was so fire against the malochim ??

Maybe he had the feeling that they were the seeds of right wing fanaticism that he feared (no college,marrying young,american bochurim looking too chassidish etc..)

Who knows ??

Bty the way, i understand that at one time RYK berated many of the chassidishe boys in the yeshiva because they didn't trust the yeshivas kashrus.

You learn something new every day said...

So Belsky is related to Weberman of the Malochim? Those chevra in Willy are also giving their own hashgocho but they have only signed up one or two accounts.

Anonymous said...

It's interesting that Torah Vodaas has a history where entire groups were tossed out of the yeshiva on their fannies.

Besides the white-clad Malochim there was also that chabura that infuriated R' Yaakov by feifing on him and learning a different masechta.

More recently, there was that group of lowlives that Rav Sekula called the mentchen vos shteyen arum fun der bimah. They didn;t learn anything. They just stood there having bull sessions. They were a bunch of sicko Hungarians who are today in places like Rubenstein's shtiebel in Monsey. They still do the same thing. Instead of davening, they have bull sessions at the bima mitten davenen using all kinds of filthy language.

Look who's talking said...

I heard Ben Brafman’s recent speech where he decried the fact that many frum people won’t serve on jury duty.

Hey Ben, I decry the fact that many sleazy "frum" lawyers lie through their teeth to defend any scumbag rotzeach, crook or pedophile.

Nosybody said...

What happened to Moshe Finkel? Where is he today?

Free lunch for Shmarya and his favorite people said...


August 7, 2009
Another Hurdle for the Jobless: Credit Inquiries

Digging out of debt keeps getting harder for the unemployed as more companies use detailed credit checks to screen job prospects.

Out of work since December, Juan Ochoa was delighted when a staffing firm recently responded to his posting on Hotjobs.com with an opening for a data entry clerk. Before he could do much more, though, the firm checked his credit history.

The interest vanished. There were too many collections claims against him, the firm said.

Once reserved for government jobs or payroll positions that could involve significant sums of money, credit checks are now fast, cheap and used for all manner of work. Employers, often winnowing a big pool of job applicants in days of nearly 10 percent unemployment, view the credit check as a valuable tool for assessing someone’s judgment.

Others say that the credit check can be used to provide cover for discriminatory practices. (In other words, you can't target shlemazals if they happen to be Black). Responding to complaints from constituents, lawmakers in a few states have recently proposed legislation that would restrict employers’ use of credit checks.

Business executives say that they have an obligation to be diligent and to protect themselves from employees who may be unreliable, unwise or too susceptible to temptation to steal, and that credit checks are a help.

Anonymous said...

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The percentage of U.S. homeowners who owe more than their house is worth will nearly double to 48 percent in 2011 from 26 percent at the end of March, portending another blow to the housing market, Deutsche Bank said on Wednesday.

Covering 100 U.S. metropolitan areas, Deutsche Bank in June forecast home prices would fall 14 percent through the first quarter of 2011, for a total drop of 41.7 percent.

The drop in home prices is fueling a vicious cycle of foreclosures as it eliminates homeowner equity and gives borrowers an incentive to walk away from their mortgages. The more severe the negative equity, the more likely are defaults, since many borrowers believe prices will not recover enough.

Florida and California will see 90 percent or more of their loans underwater by 2011, it added.
"For many, the home has morphed from piggy bank to albatross," the analysts said.

Forbes said...

For the first time, more than 34 million Americans received food stamps, which help poor people buy groceries, government figures said on Thursday, a sign of the longest and one of the deepest recessions since the Great Depression.

42 Broadway? said...

The Associated Press - Suzanne Ma - ‎40 minutes ago‎

NEW YORK - An aging water main burst in Lower Manhattan early Friday, flooding about 15 buildings, causing evacuations and closing streets within a three block radius.

Margo's accountant said...


The recent mass arrest of politicians and rabbis in New Jersey and Brooklyn, coming on the heels of a tentative plea agreement by a Brooklyn Chasidic rabbinical leader in an unrelated Los Angeles tax-fraud case, effectively confirmed that our fears have been more than just the usual "Jewish paranoia."

The shady dealings of a relative few have, in fact, cast a cloud over Jewish tax-exempt organizations.The IRS has reacted accordingly by working with the FBI to scrutinize more intensely yeshivas and Jewish charities.

American tax-exempt organizations are now playing a new ballgame in a new ballpark. There are more regulations, more interactions with bureaucrats and more chances of losing tax-exempt status for failure to comply with the added rules. Indeed, the IRS has of late been withdrawing the organizations' tax exemptions in greater numbers than in the past (and therefore, tax advantages for the donors). Above all, greater accountability is imposed upon the tax-exempts and the individuals who operate them.

Jewish communal institutions cannot continue with a "business-as-usual" attitude. Their tax-exempt status -- and consequent ability to affect charitable, religious and educational ventures -- is at stake.

Shea Fishman said...

Avi Shafran's hoyzen & gatchkas got soaked from the water main break on the way to work. Misaskim are ferrying him a nice dry replacement as we speak.

Why does everything always happen to that poor guy?

Avi L. Shafran said...


It's not pshat that I'm a klutz who got trapped by the flood. I was trying to help the firefighters contain the situation when a FDNY battalion commander recognized me from UOJ and sprayed me with his hose.

Obama Country said...

NAIROBI, Kenya - A Kenyan man's offer of 40 goats and 20 cows for Chelsea Clinton's hand in marriage may still be on the table — and Hillary Rodham Clinton has promised to convey the "very kind offer" to her daughter.

To laughter at a town hall meeting Thursday in Kenya, CNN's Fareed Zakaria asked the U.S. Secretary of State if the Clintons had made a decision on the dowry offer. In 2000, a Kenyan man wrote to then-president Bill Clinton offering the animals in accordance with African tradition.

After a pause, Clinton said, "My daughter is her own person, very independent, so I will convey this very kind offer."

Clinton has denied rumors that her daughter, 29, is planning to get married this summer.

evanstonjew said...

I might be over reading but my takeaway of your overriding narrative is that both the sexual and financial crimes as well as the ever increasing fanaticism is related to a seminal moment in the internal history of YTV. Had certain counterfactuals taken place, the type of charedi life worth preserving and that has any chance of success going forward, failed to develop. Alas, today the best hope for sanity lies in MO.

I seriously doubt that your protagonists despite some weak, actually very weak, haskala patinas would have made a huge difference. This is a litvish-whig reading of history, reminiscent of the YU fairy tale that there is a straight line of development from the Gra's interest in geometry to RJBS.

The view of the yeshiva as central to all of life is a common denominator of the entire Shanghai-Mirer cohort. From this somewhat stunted vision comes the torah-torah-torah mentality, the kolel forever as normal, the depreciation of work and ordinary people. Both RYK and RZE come from that world and essentially remained in that world. Between Shanghai and Transylvania, a post WW2 tsunami of frumkeit rolled over Jewish life that finally became visible post 1967.No one individual from those worlds could have made that big a difference.

The bold experiment begun by RSFM was an attempt to fuse chasidus and litvish lumdus with a laity of working ehrliche baalebatim, a sort of chasidish TIDE populated by Jews who were both lumdim & had a wide bekius in all aspects of our mesorah. It depended in an essential way on a delicate balance between BME and YTV. Crazy as this may sound, the road to sanity required BOTH a RYK and a RGS. RGS on his own , unhinged from any haskalah leads to his grandson Rav Tzvi Meyer Silberberg, who to my assimilated eyes appears totally insane. RYK’s derech leads to the saintly Rav Pam, but ultimately to most of what we have today, the dominance of Israeli charedi life. Whether it’s Brisk or the CI chabura, or Rav Eliyashiv and Co.,it makes no difference, America folds. The tragedy imho in the legacy of RSFM was the failure of RYK and RGS to create a more lasting synthesis. RYK and RGS alone are reactionaries; together, especially in conflict they could have been a progressive force.

One more thing...everything is still possible despite the barbarians at the gate. It is possible to keep one foot in charedi life and one foot in the world, deep into torah while understanding and appreciating all that secular life has to offer. But now instead of a movement with a leadership, it is the de facto practice of yechidim who are for the most part silent and isolated.

My apologies for ranting.

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


You make some very salient points.

I will respond to your interesting and educated thoughts with a post that I'll try to get up by late Sunday evening.

Some side comments if I may.

Seemingly, you're a former Williamsburgh boy, who either became secular or keeps some of the mitzvos. Not that it makes a difference at all, I just like to know why the interest and how it is that you are so knowledgable about this period in Jewish history that was pivotal in Orthodox Judaism.

While I don't believe at all that what was necessarily good for YTV per se, was good for Orthodox Judaism, I somehow do believe what was a fiasco at YTV leading to the crumbling of RSFM's legacy for YTV and BME, was very bad for Orthodox Judaism.

I'm certainly not a prophet, but I absolutely feel, had RSFM's legacy lived on, which would have included a state chartered college for designated talmidim, and mitzuyonim only headed into chinuch and kolel at BME -- Right Wing (now called charedi) Judaism would not look like the cesspool it evolved into.

BTW, when I say Modern Orthodox, I really mean Centrist Judaism; black yarmulkes and kipa sruga all under one umbrella.

Malach HaMovies said...

I'm certainly not a prophet, but I absolutely feel, had RSFM's legacy lived on, which would have included a state chartered college for designated talmidim, and mitzuyonim only headed into chinuch and kolel at BME -- Right Wing (now called charedi) Judaism would not look like the cesspool it evolved into.

YTV could have morphed into a real kehilla for jews in the US. Thay could have had open forums on yeshiva tuition, shidduchim and other issues. Although, i doubt that they would have given too much freedom to the balei batim

They could have been strong enough to counter (and possibly an option to) the Agudah, Lakewood and even Satmar. Alas, it never will happen.

Archie Bunker said...


Shmarya should stop being a fool.

Haredim do not want these posters up in their neighborhoods for good reasons.

1. There is no proof orthodox Jews committed the Tel Aviv murders so the gays have no business putting up posters in Meah SHearim to begin with.

2. Haredim do not want their young children exposed to the concept of homosexuality. That is the agenda of flaming fags and their Liberal enablers, not wholesome people opposed to same sex immorality. The activists may have themselves appeared to be gay, itself a public statement, which is the same reason why Sascha Baron Cohen was attacked when playing "Bruno".

Archie Bunker said...

And it's getting tiresome to read Shmarya's favorite and arrogant comeback of "Please" 50 times during every argument with readers where he doesn't have a leg to stand on.

Earth to Shmarya: that syllable that you blurt out over & over again just doesn't cut it.

Told to avoid YTV said...

Torah Vodaas developed a reputation of a hefker velt when I was graduating high school over 20 years ago. There were roshei yeshiva who implored everyone not to go there. Someone I know who was there said there was actually a large chabura who did not learn a SINGLE word all day.

I heard R' Yisroel Reisman almost incited a riot when he instituted bechinos on Gemara, Rashi & Tosafos.

Mirrer cohort said...


I'm puzzled as to why you are lumping R' Yaakov, R' Zelig and all the yotzei Shangchai together.

R' Zelig had a Phd and encouraged others to get a secular education. Relatives of R' Yaakov also encourage some people to go to college. Even the tremendous masmid R' Shmuel Berenbaum who threw bochurim out of the Mir for attending college, approved Jewish and X-tian colleges (as opposed to State schools) for yungerleit needing parnossa. True, Beis Hatalmud separated from the Mir over the perceived heresy (figurative) of Rav Kalmanowitz allowing secular studies in high school, but they were a miut.

The increase in frumkeit was due in part to a large chassidish presence in the NY area and R' Aron Kotler starting satellite yeshivos out of town. More recently, it has devolved into a dangerous tsunami thanks to the forces being battled by UOJ.

Anonymous said...


For the first time since the Depression, the American economy has added virtually no jobs in the private sector over a 10-year period. The total number of jobs has grown a bit, but that is only because of government hiring.


For the first time ever — or at least since the government started counting the figures in 1948 — more than a third of the unemployed have been out of work for at least 27 weeks.

Professor Sarna said...


The Long Shadow of Scandal
Now and Then

By Jonathan D. Sarna

The Monsey Tzadik said...

It pains my father who was talmid of RYK to hear behaima Leib Tropper tell people that RYK told him to open his yeshiva Kol Eisav.
Sheker Vekazav - Lo Haya Velo Nivra! RYK would have nothing to do with evil person like Tropper.

Maybe one of those "maggids" Tropper sees in his dreams pretneded to be RYK.

Old friend of Margo said...

BUDAPEST, Hungary, Aug. 5 (UPI) -- An estimated 6 1/2-foot-long, 220-pound catfish attacked an Austrian tourist while he was fishing on a lake outside Gyor, west Hungary, lifeguards said.
A Ternberg, Austria, teacher, 36, was assisting his friend in pulling out the catfish from the water when it bit the man in the leg and pulled him into the lake, the Hungarian news agency MTI said Wednesday.

The man kicked the fish several times before it loosened its mouth and vanished in the lake, MTI said quoting the Austrian Kronen Zeitung daily.

evanstonjew said...

Mirrer cohort…I understand that RZE was a bar sechel and a miyushuvdig mensch. I have no reason to doubt he had more lenient positions with respect to a college education. So did many, up to the 1970’s. I am not aware of the details of what happened next, but my general impression is that every yeshiva tightened the possibilities from a sort of a grudging lekatchila-to a bedieved if there is no choice- to a not in our backyard. The details are less important than the change in atmosphere. If going to college is taught as a third best, the people who do go become more problematic bocherim. I once joked that no wants his daughter to marry a guy who is going to college rather than learning full time, but everyone wouldn’t mind someone who actually somehow graduated college and is now a dermatologist.

My claim is neither RZE or RYK could or would have changed this atmosphere. And the proof is RYK and the schools he and his children established are anti –college. And RZE’s yeshiva, whatever their current standards with respect to college has not changed the equation. The tipping point occurred when the girls started chalishing for guys who would learn in kolel. At that moment and ever since, the basic culture was transformed. Suddenly the understanding of masculinity itself changed from someone who is responsible for the economic well being of his family, to someone who is a brave knight in the pursuit of the depths of the torah. It became more heroic, more phallic in current academic jargon, to conquer a difficult tractate than to be nebech an accountant.

Malach HaMovies said...

Much more...just a bit of what's coming. Brace yourselves!

I'm attaching my shoulder and seat belts. I hope the air bags won't have to be deployed.

From Shmarya said...

Taglit-Birthright Israel announced today that 5W Public Relations, one of the nation's 25 largest PR agencies, has been appointed to proactively direct and implement their public relations programs. Taglit-Birthright Israel (www.birthrightisrael.com) provides the gift of first time, peer group, educational trips to Israel for Jewish young adults ages 18 to 26.

"We are thrilled to represent Taglit-Birthright Israel," said Ronn Torossian, CEO of 5W Public Relations.

For those who don't remember, Torossian's firm was hired by Agriprocessors after the May 2008 immigration raid. In its capacity as Agriprocessors PR agency, it impersonated Conservative Rabbi Morris Allen and other Agriprocessors critics online – starting right here on FailedMessiah.

Among those impersonated along with Allen were our own readers Yochanan Lavie and John Diamond.

I outed 5WPR and my report was picked up by Gawker, the NY Times, the JTA and The Forward, along with many other publications.

Under pressure of a lawsuit from the Allen and the Conservative Hechsher Tzedek, Torossian issued a pathetically weak apology at the start of a long holiday weekend and the suit was dropped.

I told Allen that allowing Torossian and his deputy Judah Engelmayer to get off this easy was a mistake. I pointed out Torossian's alleged history of threatening competing PR professionals.

A favored Torossian tactic is allegedly to tell a woman PR executive that he knows she is having an affair and will tell her husband if the woman ever crosses Torossian or 5WPR again. These affairs are usually non-existent. But who wants to explain that to their spouse?

I told Allen that Torossian is a thug who needs to be stopped. Suing him would in all likelihood do that.

But the choice was made by committee and, as so often happens in the Conservative Movement, the choice made was bad.

So now we have this lying, vindictive sleaze controlling public relations for, of all things, Birthright Israel – a program that takes Jews from all streams to Israel.

How do you feel about that now, Conservative leaders?

A better question, though, is how Birthright's funders feel about this. Does billionaire Michael Steinhardt approve of this?

If the answer is no, Steinhardt needs to clearly and publicly state it. Otherwise, we all might be led to believe that lying and stealing people's identities are things Steinhardt approves of.

I don't for a moment think Steinhardt approves of Torossian's misbehavior, and I doubt he would have approved the choice to hire Ronn if asked.

But Steinhardt needs to make this clear.

Meanwhile Conservative and Reform leaders should be asking themselves whether they want to continue to support Birthright.

I would suggest that, as long as Torossian and 5WPR are associated with Birthright, the answer to that question should be no.

AP said...

The wife of singer Micky Dolenz, frontman for the made-for-tv '60s rock-band The Monkees, has been arrested on charges that she was monkeying around with a housing program in New York City.

Authorities in the city's Department of Investigation say Donna Quinter illegally received nearly $137,000 in government rental subsidies for her Manhattan apartment at the Ruppert Yorkville Towers. The subsidies were intended for middle-income families.

She didn't tell anyone that she had married Dolenz and was living primarily in a gated community outside Los Angeles.

“This tenant, with a residence in California, also enjoyed a great deal on a terrific apartment in Manhattan, courtesy of a public housing subsidy that she obtained by fraud, according to the criminal complaint," DOI Commissioner Rose Gill Hearn said in a statement. "Law abiding New Yorkers struggling to pay their rents and mortgages cannot afford to subsidize cheaters who abuse public housing resources to support privileged lifestyles.”

Quinter surrendered to authorities early Friday and was expected to be arraigned in a Manhattan court later in the afternoon.

Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau's office is prosecuting the case against Quinter, who was charged with second-degree grand larceny. If convicted, she faces up to 15 years in prison.

The city discovered the alleged fraud as a result of an investigation initiated in 2008 to make sure rental subsidies were going to their intended recipients.
One of The Monkees' most memorable hits was "I'm a Believer," which was actually written by Neil Diamond.

Ohel CEO David Mandel said...


Why me? I got a call from the defense lawyers in the case asking if I could help them cover this up.

Yochanan Lavie said...

Obama is to give Irish anti-Semite Mary Robinson of Durbin infamy the Medal of Freedom.

And heil to you, Mary Robinson
Adolph loves you more than you will know (Woe, woe, woe)
Allah bless you please, Mary Robinson
Durbin holds a place for those who hate
(Oy, oy, oy...oy, oy, oy)

We'd like to know a little bit about you for our song
We'd like to help you learn to like the Jews
Look around you, all you see are sycophantic eyes
Stroll around the White House and you'll feel at home

And heil to you, Mary Robinson
Adolph loves you more than you will know (Woe, woe, woe)
Allah bless you please, Mary Robinson
Durbin holds a place for those who hate
(Oy, oy, oy...oy, oy, oy)

Hide nukes in a hiding place where no one ever goes
Put it in your bookcase with your Protocols
It's a little secret, just the Robinsons' affair
Most of all, you've got to hide it from the Yids

You hate the Jews, Mary Robinson
Adolph loves you more than you will know (Woe, woe, woe)
Allah bless you please, Mary Robinson
Durbin holds a place for those who hate
(Hate, hate, hate...hate, hate, hate)

Sitting on a chair in the General Assembly
Going to the Zionism debate
Laugh about it, shout about it
When you've got the Jews
Ev'ry way you look at it, they lose

Where have you gone, Joseph Stalin
The comrades turn their lonely eyes to you (Not the Jews)
What's that you say, Mary Robinson
Uncle Joe has left and gone away
(Hey, hey, hey...hey, hey, hey)

boog said...

From the Pinny Lipshitz Drivel Dept:

His Page-3 Op Ed on page-3.

Read this, Pinny:


Avi L. Shafran's Type Of Pilot said...

Recovery workers have retrieved seven bodies following the deadly mid-air collision Saturday between a small private plane and a tourist helicopter over the Hudson River, even as investigators worked on Sunday to determine the cause of the accident.

Anonymous said...

There is a Rubashkin cousin named Minkowicz who is running or fronting a new beef shechita called Springfield which is now part of the supply in the NY area under the Queens Vaad and possibly other hashgochos.

I'm not sure if this Hirshy Minkowicz of Chabad of Alpharetta, Georgia or one of his brothers.

Hirshy Minkowicz showed up on Eckstein's website after Sholom Rubashkin was arrested. He was criticizing VIN as one chossid bashmutzing another (as if Satmar has affinity for Lubabs) and was begging the yeshivishe oylam to come to the Rubashkins aid with donations and lines of credit. Lubavitcher blogs were buzzing with agitation that they had to "stoop" to begging for help from the Lakewood oylam

brooklyn refugee said...

"More recently, there was that group of lowlives that Rav Sekula called the mentchen vos shteyen arum fun der bimah. They didn;t learn anything. They just stood there having bull sessions. They were a bunch of sicko Hungarians who are today in places like Rubenstein's shtiebel in Monsey. They still do the same thing. Instead of davening, they have bull sessions at the bima mitten davenen using all kinds of filthy language."

I'm sure that at least they weren't wearing suede yarmulkes so how terrible could they have been as far as sekula is concerned?

Anonymous said...

R' Berel said that R' Zelig could not say something krum even if he tried.

Anonymous said...

To the guy who asked,"Is Rav Zelik a gadol?":

Rav Zelik was certainly a gadol. A gadol by requirement is a human being, not a malach. After every drink, you say, Borai Nefashos Rabos V'Chesronan, Hashem created many human being, and their faults. All human beings have faults. Rav Zelik made mistakes too, but that is human. No matter how great any gadol is, money blinds the judgements of the wise. It's a fact of life, and is warned about in the Torah.

I USED to be a major supporter of Sha'ar Hatorah. I looked up to Rav Zelik, and USED to feel it was a zechus to support the yeshiva. Until, I was made aware of one mistake in judgement. One mistake, was one too many.