Tuesday, September 29, 2009

300 People In Attendance At Cong. Ahavas Yisroel Erev Yom Kippur!

Here is a link to the audio of the event that took place the night before Yom Kippur at Ahavas Israel in Passaic with Rabbi Eisenman. There were over 300 people in attendance at this historic event.

It is well worth your time to listen to it in its entirety.

Best wishes for a wonderful New Year.

Mark (Mutty) Weiss -- Co-Founder Survivors For Justice

Link to file:



The first day of Sukkot is Shabbos; the mitzva min ha'Torah to "take a lulav and esrog" ( the 4 minim) is only the first day of the chag - which is muktzah this year because of Shabbos (for various reasons beyond the scope of this psak).

There is absolutely no reason to pay more than $20-$40 for a lulav and esrog this year -- walk out of the store and go to another one if your esrog dealer does not agree to accept your offer. The cost to them on average for the 4 minim is approximately $10.


Dayan UOJ --- PPPPPPPosek/Paskunyak

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Leib Tropper - Alleged Fraud Par Excellence!

Alleged Fraud Par Excellence - Leib Tropper - Center

By Tropper is Troubled

Leib Tropper has only himself to blame for the grim situation he is in facing Guma Aguiar's mighty billionare's wrath.

When Tropper and Guma met, presumably through the good graces of Guma's uncle Dr. Tom Kaplan who had become a dyed in the wool Tropper disciple, they all bonded together strongly and intimately. They were all going to fulfil each other's big visions and dreams. If this sounds grandiose, it was. Tropper was willing to overlook that at that time Guma was living with his then still not converted wife Jamie and even having kids with her. So what? Tropper had kept his own first wife an aguna for a long time, until one day he bumped into his next wife a pretty model who wasn't even religious, but that was solved after a couple of months of quick brainwashing at a seminary, besides she had excellent connections too, like a sister who was major PR executive in the "Mad Men" style and by now Tropper was swimming deep in the Upper East and West Sides jet set scenes and wanted to make it big time there too. If Steven Riskin could do it, so could he.

All he needed was mega-bucks from blind disciples wowed by his charisma and supposed Torah spouting status, and he was about to get it from Kaplan and Guma to launch his name up high in the Jewish world with constant fake articles in The Jewish Press and other Jewish and even secular media outlets.

By now Tropper has had someone fill out an egomanical "biography" of himself on Wikipedia. Read it carefully. Forget his titles and his half dozen claims of semichas. It clearly says that first and foremost he is the disciple of R' Pinchas Scheinberg who must have implanted in him more ideas of grandeur and "saving the Jews" than he needed.

At some point early in his life, while in Israel, Tropper latched on to the potential of the new Kiruv movement in the 1970s. He was hired by Ohr Somayach, even while Noach Weinberg was there. Weinberg soon worked to get rid of Tropper. Tropper never forgave them for tossing him out. He was going to outdo them and outsmart them, and he would recruit from the widening open pools of starry-eyed BTs that were all over the place to create his own brand of Tropper disciples. His method, regardless if he knew it or not, was that of a cult, exactly like Scientology, where the members must give up their personalities, ideas, and most importantly empty their bank accounts for "the cause".

Tropper's sixth and seventh senses are well honed. He has his ears close to the ground and can clearly sniff a trend years before anyone else can, especially in the "saving the Jews" business of which he is a supposed, self-declared, grand leader.

As the 21st century beckoned, most of the world's searching Jews were already from mixed interfaith marriages or living with gentiles. The old time BTs were now joined by people with only one Jewish parent, often not the mother, and even gentiles are looking like Madonna's Kabbalah Centre style, some who even wish to become "Jews by choice" and many are gladly willing to convert to snare a Jewish wealthy man, or for other thought-out personal agendas, nothing to do with sincerely accepting the yoke of the Torah and mitzvos.

So conversion to Judaism was now the hot button central problem for many of these "spiritual seeking" folks that Tropper set out to exploit, and he was going to do it under the guise of fighting for higher standards of conversion, what he cunningly called "universal standards" in conversion; the game plan was to sell the higher standards argument to the big rabbis, pay them off with free conventions and a few small grants here and there, and use the big money to launch Tropper's new role of seller and owner of conversions to the world.

Kaplan was a partner in all of this and Guma, and just as Kaplan trusted Guma in the business world, so too they were co-founders and co-chairmen of the EJF plot as they set about to finance to the hilt Tropper's and their "dreams" for "saving the intermarried Jews" like a kind of misbegotten step-child new "Reform movement", grabbing at straws when it legitimated patrilineal descent thirty years ago. Since Judaism historically forbids reaching out to gentiles to convert them in mass movements, in the guise of Tropper's seemingly very Haredi EJF movement to make everyone into a Tropper approved ger or disciple was going well beyond teaching a handful of BTs in Monsey, like Tropper used to do.

Tropper latched onto this new cohort very quickly and when Guma Aguiar and Tom Kaplan came along and met Tropper about ten years ago, falling into his by then well-tuned and finely honed entrapment skills, they were putty in his hands as he quickly spun his spider's web and got them hooked on his personality, which naturally they equated with "Torah-true Judaism", which it was certainly not.

What came out of the nexus and uniting of Tropper, Kaplan and Guma was their brainchild the Eternal Jewish Family (EJF), to be funded by a new philanthropy to be called the Lillian Jean Kaplan Foundation.

For a long time only Tom Kaplan's name was presented to the world and the haredi rabbonim as being the lay leader of EJF and the Kaplan Foundation. But it was not so. As it transpires, just as Guma Aguiar was an equal partner with his uncle Tom Kaplan in their main Leor Energy gas drilling business in Texas that they eventually sold off for over two billion dollars, likewise they were equal partners in setting up the Eternal Jewish Family and the Lillian Jean Kaplan Foundation. In fact as a Florida court recently found, Guma Aguiar and his mother Ellen Kaplan Aguiar had more legal authority in the case of the dispute concerning control of the Lillian Jean Kaplan Foundation and awarded full continiung control to them.

The same legal battle is now going on in US courts about who controls the more than two billion dollars that was paid for Leor Energy, and Tropper is running scared that if Kaplan loses the Leor Energy profits case like he lost the Lillian Jean Kaplan Foundation case, he is up the creek for good, and will be revealed as the manipulative haredi Rasputin that he is.

So it's no surprise that Tropper will create crazy claims. Break his own nominal principles, which he lacks in case like any sociopath, running to the anti-religious Israeli police in Jerusalem that's beating up Tropper's own haredi brothers, and press charages in secular Israeli courts against Guma, and then drag that into the case now ongoing in Florida that he needs a "protection order" from Guma. Weird. What does he think Guma is going to do to him? And even weirder, what is Tropper doing being involved in the case of the dispute between Tom Kaplan and Guma Aguiar in the two billion and more profits from Leor Energy?

The only answer has to be that this is like the Scientologists going to fight for what they view as "their" assets, meaning what belongs to their disciples they regard as "theirs" and so therefore in Tropper's eyes, Kaplan's stake in the two billion are not Kaplan's, they are his, the mighty Tropper, whom Guma Aguiar has now revealed to be a manipulative crook who cannot account for the ten million dollars he recived from Guma.

Allegedly, Shmuel Kaminetzky has received large sums of money from Leib Tropper and Reuvein Feinstein received $3 million dollars.

Kaminetzky at the podium at a EJF event, Feinstein seated to Kaminetzky's left.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

About Denial - The Rosh HaYeshiva, Sex-Abuse & Ramat Bet Shemesh


By A Guest Writer - A Survivor of Abuse

I was one of those “kids at risk” who went off the derech and no one could figure out why. I was from a chashuv family. I was a good kid, a quiet kid. I had everything going for me. My grandfather was a Rosh Yeshiva. No one knew, or wanted to know, that for years I was molested in the yeshiva by my grandfather the Rosh Yeshiva and also by some of his students. One of those students was my father. When I tried to talk about it no one believed me. They said I was crazy. They said I was lying. They said I was saying it to get attention. (I could think many better, less painful, ways that I could have gotten attention!) They said I had a memory problem. They said I had a “vendetta” against my father. They said everything they could think of to try to discredit me and to avoid the truth. They were in denial.

What's unusual about my story is not that I was molested by frum yeshiva bochurim and a Rosh Yeshiva. Child sexual abuse knows no social or religious boundaries. I believe it happens far more than we care to contemplate. What is unusual about me is that I came back to my roots and I am now living a fulfilling Jewish life. I know so many who went through similar experiences and never looked back. Their souls are lost to Judaism forever.

It took years of soul searching and healing to come back. Child sexual abuse is one of the hardest minhagim for families to change. It's pain and shame handed down from one generation to the next. Until someone swims against the tide of denial, stops the flow, builds a dam, and changes the minhag child sexual abuse doesn't go away on its own.

As I began to heal, It slowly became clear to me that I was not created in my abusers image of God, and that they did not own Torah. It became clear to me that the frum talmidai chachamim who abused me perhaps really were frum and really were talmid chacham...But they had a serious problem that they didn't have the tools or support to deal with. They suffered from an addiction they couldn't even admit to themselves that they struggled with. So they passed the molestation problem down to me, and to other children. For years I battled the current of denial, nearly drowned in it, lost my entire family because of it, and eventually thank God dealt with it, for me, for my children and grandchildren, for the future of klal yisroel.

Or so I thought.

A few years back I made Aliyah and moved to Ramat Bet Shemesh. I thought that I was in a safe place to raise my children. Then, last summer my sons first grade rebbe was accused of molesting some of his classmates. It was horrible, and retraumatizing for me. It brought back my own past. I was ready to leave again, this time for good.

Not because it happened. These things happen in every community. But because of the denial. Denial hurts worse then the actual acts of abuse. When I, or my child, is sexually abused our world is ripped apart. One of the saddest affects of abuse is the loss of trust. Trust in oneself, trust in people, trust in God and in the Torah community. It's hard enough believing that the unthinkable happened. That someone I trusted could molest a child. But when my reality is assaulted at every turn by the people I turn to for support it creates deeper and deeper wounds. Denial is our best defense against that which is too horrible to imagine. But it is insidious and hurtful. It takes a lot of courage to face denial and challenge our existing beliefs.

When I saw what the family of the victims went through because of denial I knew I had to speak up. I wish people would think twice about the possible affect that some of their thoughtless comments have on an already traumatized person or family.

We condemn and our horrified by holocaust deniers and yet we do the very same thing to victims of sexual abuse within our community. Survivors of child sexual abuse have gone through a personal holocaust. It would be unthinkable to question the memories of a holocaust survivor. We wouldn't grill them for details of their experiences. We would wait and see if they needed to talk. Neither would we deny them the need to speak of their experiences. Why do we do these hurtful things to people who have already been so hurt and traumatized by sexual abuse?

If you find out that someone, or someone's child has been a victim of abuse:Offer your empathy and support and ask how you can help.

Just listen.

Don't try to defend the alleged perpetrator because you know them or trust them and can't imagine them molesting.

Perpetrators of child sexual abuse are addicts not monsters.

My father and grandfather were not monsters. They did many good things in their lives. Molesting me was not one of them. Their actions caused a lot of pain.

Don't try to place the blame on someone else.

Don't try to figure out if the child is “lying.”

Frum children especially, don't know how to lie about this.

Believe that something bad happened.

Know that no person would willingly offer themselves to the frum community for the kind of stigma and punishment that families of individuals who have been abused go through when they dare to speak out.

The community reaction of denial and blaming the victim is far worse than the abuse.

Know that until your own child is a victim you really don't understand.

Don't put your child into a school where an alleged perpetrator is teaching.

You are supporting community denial when you do that. You are enabling perpetrators to continue molesting.

Let's end the denial and keep our children safe!

A grateful survivor.