Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Electronic Frontier Foundation Successfully gets Court to Throw out Subpoenas against UOJ & other Bloggers!

IMPORTANT - Zev Brenner's Radio Show Will Be About Israel Weingarten SATURDAY EVENING MIDNIGHT!

This coming Saturday night, January 29, at midnight, , the Zev Brenner show will lead off with with a segment about Yisroel Moshe Weingarten. Weingarten is a Satmar hasid convicted of crimes relating to sexual abuse of his daughter. There will be important new information from Mr. Max Gold, an attorney from the United Kingdom. He represented Leah Weingarten against her father at the request of leading ultra orthodox rabbis in Gateshead. He will discuss the reasons these rabbis got involved and some of the evidence against Weingarten. Others on that segment include Rabbi Yosef Blau and Mr. Abe Kiss of Monsey.

The Zev Brenner Show airs in NYC on WMCA 570 AM, WSNR 620 AM, and in Miami on WKAT 1360 AM.

The show is also live streamed at http://www.talklinecommunications.com/


On Friday, January 21, 2011, The court tossed out the subpoenas seeking the identities of UOJ's anonymous commenters in the Hersh v. Cohen matter. This means that Google and Yahoo will not be required to turn over the names in question pursuant to the subpoenas. The court noted during the hearing (and as we had argued), the Plaintiffs had not been able to satisfy their burden to demonstrate that any of the statements generally complained about were actionable or even relevant to the current litigation.

On behalf of myself and all Bloggers (Jewish or otherwise) nationwide, I am grateful to the EFF, Matt Zimmerman Esq. and his team, the Fordham Law Clinic and Ron Lazebnik Esq. for their tireless efforts on our behalf and on behalf of all Americans guaranteed under our Constitution to Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Expression.

Thanks Matt. Thanks Ron.


Monday, January 24, 2011

This Man (Rabbi Malinowitz) is a Danger and Must Be Stopped!

Dear UOJ,

I am a member of Bais Tfilla Yona Avraham, the shul of Rabbi Malinowitz in Ramat Bet Shemesh. As you know Rabbi Malinowitz has put a cherem on Lema'an Achai, the great chesed organization of our city.

His ban has to do with his strong opinion of not reporting child abuse to the authorities. David Morris, the founder of Lema'an Achai is an advocate for children safety and protection. This has put him at odds with Malinowitz.

Instead of making a personal issue with Morris, Malinowitz has chosen to punish David through a ban on Lema'an Achai. Although I continue to support tham I do know that most of our shul follows the ban and this has hurt Lema'an Achai in a serious way.

Well it looks like someone has finally had enough. I received this letter in the mail which addresses the issue and provides a letter of support for Lema'an Achai that Rabbi Malinowitz signed before david Morris became invloved with child abuse.

It is simple then that the ONLY reason Malinowitz has banned them is their founder's stance on child protection.

This man (Malinowitz) is a danger and must be stopped.




Dear Fellow BTYA Member,

A terrible situation exists in our community and the time has come to address it. For way too long the exceptional organization, Lema'an Achai, has been banned from official fundraising inside BTYA. The time has come for us to open our hearts to this noble cause and the great work that they do in Ramat Bet Shemesh.

ולא שת לבו גם לזאת

Our Rav, a well known תלמיד חכם doesn't allow Lema'an Achai to actively fundraise in our shul. This is the case even though there are members of BTYA as well as scores of RBS families who receive assistance on a regular basis from them. The Rav is aware of this and yet….
ולא שת לבו גם לזאת

Why doesn't the Rav allow them to fundraise? Why does he encourage people to give elsewhere? Only because he has a personal issue with a board member of Lema'an Achai. And what is the issue? The policy of whether or not to report child abuse to the authorities. So rather than agree to disagree agreeably with this board member our Rav has decided to punish him through Lema'an Achai and the poor of our community.

ולא שת לבו גם לזאת

New members to our community who don't know the history mistakenly think that there is something inherently wrong with Lema'an Achai. Nothing can be further from the truth. The Rav has openly supported Lema'an Achai in the past as the attached letter proves. He now uses this campaign against Lema'an Achai simply as a tool of revenge.

ולא שת לבו גם לזאת

Lema'an Achai has nothing to do with this issue and yet the Rav continues to ban them from the shul. The Rav must know that we can hold him as our rav and posek and still disagree with his policy against a most worthy tzedaka and chesed organization. We can support the Rav and Lema'an Achai. Let us use this time of the שובבי''ם to fix the avla being carried out in our community. Lema'an Achai doesn't discriminate in who it helps because of the person's shul. We shouldn't discriminate against Lema'an Achai because of our shul!

Ask yourself…am I doing all that I can and should for Lema'an Achai?


BTYA Members Who Love the Rav and Lema'an Achai

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Yated gears up for war on Jewish bloggers!

Guest post by poster "Tropper-Hersh-Kranczer"

The latest USA English Hamodia ALSO had the same ad as the Yated of January 14, 2011, denouncing the Internet by the Moetzes Council of Torah Sages of Agudath Israel of America:

On page C17 of January 12, 2011 HAMODIA, in Hebrew with English translation is the full page "Kol Koreh" ad against the Internet, signed by Rabbis Aron Shechter, Aron Feldman, Avroham Levin, Harari Raful, Dovid Feinstein, Aryeh Kotler, Shmuel Kaminetsky, Yaakov Perlow, Yitzchok Feigelstock, Simcha Ehrenfeld.

The ad was put in both the Yated and Hamodia to make sure that all sectors get the message, since Yated is geared for the "Litvish" crowd and the Hamodia is meant for the "Chasidish" crowd.

But here is the really BIG news, in case anyone has any remaining doubts that the new front, and it is a serious one, being opened up here is against the entire Internet, specifically the Jewish blogosphere, that does not take its orders from Agudah World Headquarters, go read the lead EDITORIAL in the same edition of the Yated that carries the anti-Internet ad from the Agudah rabbis, written by none other than the Yated's publisher and editor in chief Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz with the screaming headline on the USA English Yated Ne'eman, January 14, 2011, page 3, continued on page 48, that shouts out:

"Editor's View


by Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz"

Go out and buy or get a copy, it's still around, and read it for yourself! It is an outrageous and provocative DECLARATION OF WAR against the Jewish blogosphere by Rabbi Lipschutz in turn now acting as a puppet for his bosses, a move so blind and reckless, that it's obvious he has been ordered to do so and it is in sync with the unfolding WAR ON THE JEWISH BLOGS that really started in all seriousness with the Hersh case when he included them in his legal (?) defenses/attacks, then with the recent attacks against the VIN news blog, the attack on Jewish blogger Harry Maryles by Matzav.com a puppet site of Yated, and now the reposting and repetition of old "bans" against the Internet in general in the Yated and Hamodia, and now the Yated owner driving home the message, in case anyone was in any doubt what the aim is here, in Rabbi Lipschutz own words based on contorted logic:

"...Liberal bloggers and journalists have for days been blaming Rush Limbaugh [for the shooting by a deranged man of a congresswoman in Tucson, Arizona]...A similar campaign to disparage frum Yidden in the religious Jewish media has been underway for some time...by anonymous BLOGGERS, and certain publications...these people, by virtue of their access to the public through a so-called "religious" BLOG, have the ability to promote their agenda...the purveyors of daily doses of scandal and morbidity are able to draw in a wide circle of unsuspecting readers...On these BLOGS, religious leaders are consistently vilified...they are portrayed as corrupt, willing tools of strongmen. The people who write, post and comment on the insiduous BLOGS are upset about the way frum Yidden help each other...those who take aim at our leadership...will be EXPOSED and SHUNNED".

Thank you Rabbi Lipschutz for clarifying what is going on and who is in your gun-sights. It proves that the simultaneous "kol koreh" is NOT really aimed at the problem of online porn, but on a much "bigger" (for you) problem, the bloggers you hate so much because they feel free to exercise their democratic right to freedom of expression and freedom of speech, indicating freedom of thought.

Thank you Rabbi Lipschutz for also clarifying that you have now openly aligned yourself with Michael Hersh whose attacks on freedom of speech are being fought by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) (retained by UOJ on behalf of all Jewish bloggers) posted at "Hersh v. Cohen" http://www.eff.org/cases/hersh-v-cohen. Child-abuser Hersh has the full backing of Rabbi Aron Shechter, who you are now trying to cover for at all costs by creating more side-shows who is nervous after posts on a truly "religious blog" run by a Haredi rabbi in Jerusalem revealed that Hersh lawsuit:Case dismissed with prejudice against most defendants, January 4, 2011, and that what may be next in line about Hersh appeals dismissal of case - next step might be a countersuit involving Yeshiva Chaim Berlin! January 7, 2011, and not backing off that Hersh case: Everything was done under Rav Aaron Schechter, shlita's supervision January 9, 2011, on such a "religious blog" run by Rabbi Dr. Daniel Eidensohn who in turn seeks his guidance from Rav Moshe Sternbuch whose weekly Torah teachings you approvingly publish each week in your paper.

So what are you going to do? Start a WAR ON THE JEWISH BLOGGERS that will backfire because it will:

1. Irrevocably drag you and your paper the Yated and your OWN Matzav.com blog into a morass of legal and ethical questions revolving around the hot button issues of freedom of speech and freedom of the press in the freedom loving USA. Remember, you are not in Czarist Russia now.

2. Irrevocably tie you in and drag you down with the drawn out unpopular (except with Aron Schechter) case of Michael Hersh that already has the Electronic Frontier Foundation fighting on behalf of the bloggers and Jewish media: "July 14th, 2010 - EFF Urges Court to Block Dragnet Subpoenas Targeting Online Commenters Privacy and Anonymity at Risk in New York Conspiracy Suit, that first Hersh/Shechter wanted to destroy and now joined by you through the Yated and your Matzav.com news blog. Is this the road you want to go down? The EFF will be more than happy to take you on!!!

3. Your WAR ON THE JEWISH BLOGS will get the attention of the general media and will certainly get the attention of the worldwide blogosphere on the world-wide-web, and the kind of things you are threatening like destroying anonymity and fighting bloggers rather than dealing and writing and responding to the legitimate issues they raise.

4. It will make you look so tyrannical and old fashioned that you may lose what little readership you have. At most your paper that reaches tens of thousands of your already-converted flocks, who don't have time for papers because the serious ones are learning daf yomi, struggling with parnosah, or in kollel or raising and supporting large families, will lose out as millions, perhaps even hundreds of millions of Jewish and non-Jewish readers online will be disgusted with your tactics and goals and zeal to do the wrong thing by covering up corruption and shutting up people who are seeking the redress they don't normally get.

5. By launching an all out WAR ON JEWISH BLOGS you will be compounding the problems by adding fuel to the flames and you will not be able to get away alleging that you are merely protecting the innocent from online pornography or the good name of the Gedolim, but you, and the people behind you, meaning the very Moetzes Council of Torah Sages that you are trying to "shield" will be seen for what it is once questions will be asked what all the fuss is about, and then you will have to answer why you remain silent about the Tropper-Hersh-Kranczer and other scandals, yet you attack those who do want to talk about it and seek realistic solutions. This will reveal not just how out of touch you are about the realities of technology, the Internet, the Information Age and modern communications, and stifling debate in a free society, but YOU will be responsible for creating a truly global chillul Hashem.

Unfortunately the omens are not good for you. The three mega chillul Hashem's of the Tropper-Hersh-Kranczer fiascos under the tutelage of Rabbi Aron Shechter, have not resulted in him pausing in his mad quest to destroy and stifle all murmurings he hates, but now with this WAR ON THE JEWISH BLOGGERS being twinned by you to that same battle that Hersh/Shechter have been waging against the same Jewish bloggers, will make you, the Yated, Matzav.com, partners to an even bigger chillul Hashem, r"l.

Kindly also note that Aron Shechter is already in automatic cherem (because he is a lo tzayis dino and being a mesarev ledin) after he refused to answer a hazmona to a din Torah from Rav Moshe Feinstein z"l and after rejecting three hazmonas from the Satmar CRC Bais Din over 30 years ago, see CRC Summons 7392, CRC Summons 7572, CRC Summons 7573.

Think it over, is it worth it for you and your backers? Remember you will never be able to shut down the Internet and it is all-pervasive, as you well know. You can still pull back from the cliff.

Thursday, January 13, 2011



Rabbi Israel Weingarten found guilty of molesting daughter
BY John Marzulli

Wednesday, March 11th 2009, 9:21 PM

A Hasidic rabbi who defended himself against charges of molesting his daughter over a seven-year period was convicted on all counts Wednesday by a jury in Brooklyn Federal Court.

The victim, now 27, was escorted into the courtroom by U.S. marshals for the verdict, and sat in the front row opposite six siblings, ages 13 to 23, who support their father Israel Weingarten.

Showing no emotion after he was found guilty of transporting the victim to Belgium, Israel and New York to commit sex crimes against her, Weingarten complained to the judge that he did not have time to prepare for the trial.

Weingarten faces up to 50 years in prison when he's sentenced by Judge John Gleeson on April 3.

The victim dresses in modern clothes, wears makeup and has left the Satmar sect. She agreed to speak to reporters and was asked how she felt being cross-examined on the witness stand by her father.

"Like being molested again," she said. "He thought he still had power over me. I think it was cruel to do that to me."

"I wish he wasn't my father."

The victim was adamant about being in the courtroom for the verdict. "I've been waiting my whole life for this," she said. "I didn't think the day would come when there would be justice, and I had to see it with my own eyes."

The mother and a brother of the victim testified on her behalf, with the mother saying she caught the pair in bed once and the brother saying their father had brainwashed them. They were not in court Wednesday, but the other six of Weingarten's children lashed out at the victim, their mother and the government.

"My sister? I didn't look at her. She's not even human," said Yakev Weingarten, 18.

Another sibling, Chayeh, who testified that her mother molested the victim, said they will hire a lawyer to appeal the conviction.

Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Benton Campbell called the verdict "an important vindication for victims who have the courage not only to survive the ordeal of sexual abuse, but to come forward despite outside pressure."



Wednesday, January 12, 2011

May God Bless You Mr. President!


President Obama's Arizona Speech: Transcript
By Garance Franke-Ruta
Jan 12 2011, 8:55 PM ET
As Prepared for Delivery.

To the families of those we've lost; to all who called them friends; to the students of this university, the public servants gathered tonight, and the people of Tucson and Arizona: I have come here tonight as an American who, like all Americans, kneels to pray with you today, and will stand by you tomorrow.

There is nothing I can say that will fill the sudden hole torn in your hearts. But know this: the hopes of a nation are here tonight. We mourn with you for the fallen. We join you in your grief. And we add our faith to yours that Representative Gabrielle Giffords and the other living victims of this tragedy pull through.

As Scripture tells us:

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.

On Saturday morning, Gabby, her staff, and many of her constituents gathered outside a supermarket to exercise their right to peaceful assembly and free speech. They were fulfilling a central tenet of the democracy envisioned by our founders - representatives of the people answering to their constituents, so as to carry their concerns to our nation's capital. Gabby called it "Congress on Your Corner" - just an updated version of government of and by and for the people.

That is the quintessentially American scene that was shattered by a gunman's bullets. And the six people who lost their lives on Saturday - they too represented what is best in America.

Judge John Roll served our legal system for nearly 40 years. A graduate of this university and its law school, Judge Roll was recommended for the federal bench by John McCain twenty years ago, appointed by President George H.W. Bush, and rose to become Arizona's chief federal judge. His colleagues described him as the hardest-working judge within the Ninth Circuit. He was on his way back from attending Mass, as he did every day, when he decided to stop by and say hi to his Representative. John is survived by his loving wife, Maureen, his three sons, and his five grandchildren.

George and Dorothy Morris - "Dot" to her friends - were high school sweethearts who got married and had two daughters. They did everything together, traveling the open road in their RV, enjoying what their friends called a 50-year honeymoon. Saturday morning, they went by the Safeway to hear what their Congresswoman had to say. When gunfire rang out, George, a former Marine, instinctively tried to shield his wife. Both were shot. Dot passed away.

A New Jersey native, Phyllis Schneck retired to Tucson to beat the snow. But in the summer, she would return East, where her world revolved around her 3 children, 7 grandchildren, and 2 year-old great-granddaughter. A gifted quilter, she'd often work under her favorite tree, or sometimes sew aprons with the logos of the Jets and the Giants to give out at the church where she volunteered. A Republican, she took a liking to Gabby, and wanted to get to know her better.

Dorwan and Mavy Stoddard grew up in Tucson together - about seventy years ago. They moved apart and started their own respective families, but after both were widowed they found their way back here, to, as one of Mavy's daughters put it, "be boyfriend and girlfriend again." When they weren't out on the road in their motor home, you could find them just up the road, helping folks in need at the Mountain Avenue Church of Christ. A retired construction worker, Dorwan spent his spare time fixing up the church along with their dog, Tux. His final act of selflessness was to dive on top of his wife, sacrificing his life for hers.

Everything Gabe Zimmerman did, he did with passion - but his true passion was people. As Gabby's outreach director, he made the cares of thousands of her constituents his own, seeing to it that seniors got the Medicare benefits they had earned, that veterans got the medals and care they deserved, that government was working for ordinary folks. He died doing what he loved - talking with people and seeing how he could help. Gabe is survived by his parents, Ross and Emily, his brother, Ben, and his fiancée, Kelly, who he planned to marry next year.

And then there is nine year-old Christina Taylor Green. Christina was an A student, a dancer, a gymnast, and a swimmer. She often proclaimed that she wanted to be the first woman to play in the major leagues, and as the only girl on her Little League team, no one put it past her. She showed an appreciation for life uncommon for a girl her age, and would remind her mother, "We are so blessed. We have the best life." And she'd pay those blessings back by participating in a charity that helped children who were less fortunate.

Our hearts are broken by their sudden passing. Our hearts are broken - and yet, our hearts also have reason for fullness.

Our hearts are full of hope and thanks for the 13 Americans who survived the shooting, including the congresswoman many of them went to see on Saturday. I have just come from the University Medical Center, just a mile from here, where our friend Gabby courageously fights to recover even as we speak. And I can tell you this - she knows we're here and she knows we love her and she knows that we will be rooting for her throughout what will be a difficult journey.

And our hearts are full of gratitude for those who saved others. We are grateful for Daniel Hernandez, a volunteer in Gabby's office who ran through the chaos to minister to his boss, tending to her wounds to keep her alive. We are grateful for the men who tackled the gunman as he stopped to reload. We are grateful for a petite 61 year-old, Patricia Maisch, who wrestled away the killer's ammunition, undoubtedly saving some lives. And we are grateful for the doctors and nurses and emergency medics who worked wonders to heal those who'd been hurt.

These men and women remind us that heroism is found not only on the fields of battle. They remind us that heroism does not require special training or physical strength. Heroism is here, all around us, in the hearts of so many of our fellow citizens, just waiting to be summoned - as it was on Saturday morning.

Their actions, their selflessness, also pose a challenge to each of us. It raises the question of what, beyond the prayers and expressions of concern, is required of us going forward. How can we honor the fallen? How can we be true to their memory?

You see, when a tragedy like this strikes, it is part of our nature to demand explanations - to try to impose some order on the chaos, and make sense out of that which seems senseless. Already we've seen a national conversation commence, not only about the motivations behind these killings, but about everything from the merits of gun safety laws to the adequacy of our mental health systems. Much of this process, of debating what might be done to prevent such tragedies in the future, is an essential ingredient in our exercise of self-government.

But at a time when our discourse has become so sharply polarized - at a time when we are far too eager to lay the blame for all that ails the world at the feet of those who think differently than we do - it's important for us to pause for a moment and make sure that we are talking with each other in a way that heals, not a way that wounds.

Scripture tells us that there is evil in the world, and that terrible things happen for reasons that defy human understanding. In the words of Job, "when I looked for light, then came darkness." Bad things happen, and we must guard against simple explanations in the aftermath.

For the truth is that none of us can know exactly what triggered this vicious attack. None of us can know with any certainty what might have stopped those shots from being fired, or what thoughts lurked in the inner recesses of a violent man's mind.

So yes, we must examine all the facts behind this tragedy. We cannot and will not be passive in the face of such violence. We should be willing to challenge old assumptions in order to lessen the prospects of violence in the future.

But what we can't do is use this tragedy as one more occasion to turn on one another. As we discuss these issues, let each of us do so with a good dose of humility. Rather than pointing fingers or assigning blame, let us use this occasion to expand our moral imaginations, to listen to each other more carefully, to sharpen our instincts for empathy, and remind ourselves of all the ways our hopes and dreams are bound together.

After all, that's what most of us do when we lose someone in our family - especially if the loss is unexpected. We're shaken from our routines, and forced to look inward. We reflect on the past. Did we spend enough time with an aging parent, we wonder. Did we express our gratitude for all the sacrifices they made for us? Did we tell a spouse just how desperately we loved them, not just once in awhile but every single day?

So sudden loss causes us to look backward - but it also forces us to look forward, to reflect on the present and the future, on the manner in which we live our lives and nurture our relationships with those who are still with us. We may ask ourselves if we've shown enough kindness and generosity and compassion to the people in our lives. Perhaps we question whether we are doing right by our children, or our community, and whether our priorities are in order. We recognize our own mortality, and are reminded that in the fleeting time we have on this earth, what matters is not wealth, or status, or power, or fame - but rather, how well we have loved, and what small part we have played in bettering the lives of others.

That process of reflection, of making sure we align our values with our actions - that, I believe, is what a tragedy like this requires. For those who were harmed, those who were killed - they are part of our family, an American family 300 million strong. We may not have known them personally, but we surely see ourselves in them. In George and Dot, in Dorwan and Mavy, we sense the abiding love we have for our own husbands, our own wives, our own life partners. Phyllis - she's our mom or grandma; Gabe our brother or son. In Judge Roll, we recognize not only a man who prized his family and doing his job well, but also a man who embodied America's fidelity to the law. In Gabby, we see a reflection of our public spiritedness, that desire to participate in that sometimes frustrating, sometimes contentious, but always necessary and never-ending process to form a more perfect union.

And in Christina we see all of our children. So curious, so trusting, so energetic and full of magic.

So deserving of our love.

And so deserving of our good example. If this tragedy prompts reflection and debate, as it should, let's make sure it's worthy of those we have lost. Let's make sure it's not on the usual plane of politics and point scoring and pettiness that drifts away with the next news cycle.

The loss of these wonderful people should make every one of us strive to be better in our private lives - to be better friends and neighbors, co-workers and parents. And if, as has been discussed in recent days, their deaths help usher in more civility in our public discourse, let's remember that it is not because a simple lack of civility caused this tragedy, but rather because only a more civil and honest public discourse can help us face up to our challenges as a nation, in a way that would make them proud. It should be because we want to live up to the example of public servants like John Roll and Gabby Giffords, who knew first and foremost that we are all Americans, and that we can question each other's ideas without questioning each other's love of country, and that our task, working together, is to constantly widen the circle of our concern so that we bequeath the American dream to future generations.

I believe we can be better. Those who died here, those who saved lives here - they help me believe. We may not be able to stop all evil in the world, but I know that how we treat one another is entirely up to us. I believe that for all our imperfections, we are full of decency and goodness, and that the forces that divide us are not as strong as those that unite us.

That's what I believe, in part because that's what a child like Christina Taylor Green believed. Imagine: here was a young girl who was just becoming aware of our democracy; just beginning to understand the obligations of citizenship; just starting to glimpse the fact that someday she too might play a part in shaping her nation's future. She had been elected to her student council; she saw public service as something exciting, something hopeful. She was off to meet her congresswoman, someone she was sure was good and important and might be a role model. She saw all this through the eyes of a child, undimmed by the cynicism or vitriol that we adults all too often just take for granted.

I want us to live up to her expectations. I want our democracy to be as good as she imagined it. All of us - we should do everything we can to make sure this country lives up to our children's expectations.

Christina was given to us on September 11th, 2001, one of 50 babies born that day to be pictured in a book called "Faces of Hope." On either side of her photo in that book were simple wishes for a child's life. "I hope you help those in need," read one. "I hope you know all of the words to the National Anthem and sing it with your hand over your heart. I hope you jump in rain puddles."

If there are rain puddles in heaven, Christina is jumping in them today. And here on Earth, we place our hands over our hearts, and commit ourselves as Americans to forging a country that is forever worthy of her gentle, happy spirit.

May God bless and keep those we've lost in restful and eternal peace. May He love and watch over the survivors. And may He bless the United States of America.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Monday's Cholent!

Transcript of conversation that went on in scene pictured above: (The picture was in the NY Times)

Bishop Dolan: Hi, Reb Chaim Dovid. How is the molestation cover up going?

Rabbi Zweibel:
Well, so far only one major lawsuit against Torah Temimah, Baruch Hashem. But people are starting to go to the police.

Dolan: Well, as long as we can make sure that the Markey Bill doesn't pass, the Statutes of Limitations should keep the molesters safe in New York. You know we have been paying a big price to protect the pedophile priests around the world. Over 3 billion dollars in settlements so far.

Zweibel: Why didn't you do something to stop this horrible scandalous situation?

We tried. We sent the predators to therapy and switched them to new parishes.

You want to hear a good one? Some Jewish people are saying you should have actually gotten rid of the pedophiles!

Both of them share an intimate chuckle.

Dolan: Right, like we would ever admit that we have perverts in our church, and that we made mistakes. Don't they realize that our religion says the the Pope is infallible and therefore we can't really say we did anything wrong?

Zweibel: I know. I know. We have a doctrine called "Daas Torah". It is more recent, because traditionally Judaism gave respect to rabbis but never had a concept of Gedolim being perfect and knowing the answers to all issues. Around 1984, Reb Elya Svei and students of Rav Shach came up with this idea in order to consolidate political power. But you would not believe what we have to go through in order to maintain people believing in this hoax.

Dolan: I'm sure you have propaganda newspapers magazines and websites, no? What is it called, Yated Ne'eman?

Yes, and Hamodia, and Mishpacha magazine, and Yeshiva World News and Matzav.com, but now there are blogs like UOJ and Failed Messiah that expose all of our crimes and every attempt we make to convince the people that we actually give a damn about their children's safety.

And Orthodox Jews read them?

Zweibel: Not so many, because the Moetzes Gedolim has enough respect that when they attacked the bloggers and the advocates for children's safety as presumptuous promoters of the idea that they know what's better for the Jewish people, most people fell for it. But there are many learned Orthodox Jews who are starting to publicize the true Torah perspective and show how we have hijacked the religion, which is making us look very bad. They now have this site called VIN that simply tells the stories of the child abuse.

Dolan: Sounds scandalous! What can you do?

Zweibel: We put a ban on the site, and that should show them who's boss. They have not discussed the issue of child abuse ONCE since the ban. It is holding strong.

Wow you rabbis know what you are doing. If I were a molester (and I'm not saying I'm not) I wish I was an Orthodox rabbi so I would have you guys backing me and my religious right to molest. What about the legislation for safe schools?

Zweibel: Well, because of the JBAC, we had to go along with the idea of fingerprinting being mandatory, but we are not too worried about it actually happening. I mean if it did happen, that would be terrible. So many child abusers who are trained as teachers, would be out of a job, and their families out of a breadwinner. But as long as Shelly Silver is in power, the bill will never even come to a vote, yet alone actually pass. I mean, we were recently able to stop New Jersey from making Yeshivas safe from bullying. That would have been terrible.

Dolan: To tell you the truth, I wasn't quite sure why you were against the anti-bullying law.

Zweibel: No offense, but you have a "goyishe kup". Don't you see that if they can tell us not to bully then it could lead to forcing us to accept the homosexual lifestyle? I mean gay rabbis and teachers is one thing, but gay marriage??? Gay kock in yam!

I hear you Dovidel. I never heard that "yam" thing before, some special yontiff food huh? Anyway... You know, the Pope actually had to make a couple of apologies. It was very precarious for a moment with the risk that people would see this as an admission that he acted immorally, because apologies usually mean that you did something wrong, and when that thing is allowing the rape and sodomy of innocent children it usually causes people to think you are a bad person. But Baruch Hashem, as you say, people are still falling for the pomp and circumstance of the Vatican, believing that the Pope is holy and that the Catholic Church is actually a spiritual enterprise.

Zweibel: By the way, wasn't the current Pope in the Hitler Youth Movement as a teenager? Is he an anti-Semite?

Dolan: True, and that did get in the way of one of our plans for defending ourselves. We tried to blame the whole sex abuse scandal on the liberal Jewish media, but people called that anti-Semitism, so we were back to the drawing board.

Zweibel: People can be so cruel. Look at what they are doing to unborn children with abortions.....and then the way society wants to treat innocent child molesters.....Its truly an outrage.

Dolan: All I'm saying is lets lower the rate of abortions. And lets lower the rate of attacks on child molesters. The Church has always taught to turn the other cheek. We want the victims of abuse to do that. To turn the other cheek to their molesters (or as Cardinal Bernard Law used to say to his priests, "turn to other cheeks") and allow them to continue to fulfill their God given appetite for young kids.

Zweibel: We don't have that particular doctrine, but I could not agree with you more. We believe in Mesirah, that forbids turning dangerous criminals over to the authorities who could throw them in jail and deprive their families of a breadwinner. We also have a similar concept of "Pidyon Shvuim" getting Jewish criminals out of jail. We will go all out for Jewish criminals. We bring all segments of Orthodox society, Chassidish, Yeshivish, Modern (they are not really Orthodox according to Rav Svei and Rav Gifter, but we need their financial backing so we pretend sometimes) in order to show the federal government what we have shown the Brooklyn D.A.. That you can't just make a power grab from the rabbis. That if you arrest one Jew, whether innocent or guilty, it is as if you arrested all of us. This way the Feds will think twice.

Dolan: Brilliant. What do you think would happen if you let up on this campaign?

Think about it. If the government thought they could prosecute us at will, they would have to put a fence around Williamsburg, Borough Park and Lakewood for all the tax evasion, money laundering, fraud and corruption. Then they would start with the Rabbinic sex offenders and Orthodox child abusers. Don't ask. We Agudah rabbis ourselves are covering up for Mondrowitz, Eiseman, Shapiro, Juravel, Storch, Weinberg, Kolko, various Tendlers, Michael Hirsch, Nussbaum, Reichman, Abrahamson, Gelbwachs, Eisgrau, Bryks, Templer, Brenner, Borger, Reich, Levitt, Kolko, Jr., Tropper, and on and on. We're even helping a recent fugitive from justice, Kranczer who ran to Israel. We have our connections there hiding him.

Dolan: Makes you long for the good old days when no law enforcement agency would dare start up with religious leaders who are the real arbiters of morality. The days when a cover-up was a cover-up! And when wearing a collar or a beard and payos meant never having to say you were sorry. We clergy were able to dupe people into trusting us with their money, their minds and their children.

Zweibel: Oy. We need Moshiach.

Dolan: Amen, brother, amen. He'll be back soon!....And Dovidel my liebling, if you're not busy after this meeting, come on over to my office, I want to show you a very little thing.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Remembering R' Kamyan a"h

Those of us from old Williamsburgh , Torah Vodaath of South Third St., Bais Medrash Elyon probably would remember Kamyan. To most he was a vagabond, a survivor of the Camps that found his way to Torah Vodaath, a person who lost his mind - nebach, who always needed a shower and whose last meal was always on his beard.

Not to me.

When my family moved from Williamsburgh to the new neighborhood, they thought it would be a great idea for me to spend many Shabbosim at the home of Rav Yitzchak Karp zt"l and Rav Alexander Linchner zt"l. They shared a Brownstone right around the corner from the Mesifta. Of course we davened in the yeshiva on South Third St.

Rabbi Linchner sat in the absolute rear-est chair in the bais medrash and Rav Karp a few rows before him. So when I came for Shabbos, sometimes I would sit next to Rav Linchner and sometimes next to Rav Karp. By kriat haTorah, I would stand in close proximity to the bimah, watching with fascination the process that would go into deciding who would get an aliyah.

If my memory serves me right, R' Shmuel Dishon was gabbai for at least part of the years of my visits to Williamsburgh, beginning when I was about 8 years old, up until my bar-mitzvah.

I was 8 or 9 years of age when this distinguished looking visiting rav was given shishi. Years later, I learned his name was Rabbi Chaim Kreiswirth, who eventually became the Chief Rabbi of Belgium and a nephew of Rav Yaakov Kaminetzky ztvk"l, the Rosh Hayeshiva.

And the reason I even remember the incident, was because one hour before Mincha, he was going to address the bais medrash with his brilliance in Torah, "unsurpassed by anyone in America" with his ability to recite any blatt in the entire gemora with his photographic memory (Shas - or the entire Talmud Bavli) by the page number and within a few words of getting it right by the line.

The Rosh Yeshiva would almost always get the third aliyah, shlishi, and the sixth aliyah, shishi, for the most part, was reserved for visiting dignitaries.

Of course I went with my hosts to the highly anticipated drasha from this visiting "rare" talmud chochom, "one in the world"!

I used to stare at R' Kamyan when I visited, he would walk around the bais medrash mumbling to himself, totally disheveled, once I even remember he had no shoes. He would scour the trash cans for food, look underneath the tables for any signs of left over food, although the bais medrash was cleaned immaculately before Shabbos. Tears always welled up in my eyes, especially once I was told that RSFM ztvk"l, had obtained a student visa for him from Poland - after he literally saw his entire family shot to death in front of him as he was left for dead. Somehow he survived and lived in the YTV dormitory until he passed.

I was told he rarely had any lucid moments, but on that very rare occasion that he was lucid, he cited and recited Torah from all over Shas flawlessly.

So when the "distinguished" talmud chochom took the shtender from the omud to give his drasha, the bais medrash was - standing room only - you could hear a pin drop!

Now I was about 8 years old so please cut me some slack on the tiniest of details, but some 20 minutes into the drasha, Kamyan strolls into the bais medrash. He was mumbling to himself and looked like he was crying, but he was absolutely not disturbing anyone. This "distinguished" visitor looked over at him. Now Kamyan was never seen in public without a black hat and dark suit and a flowing beard, so it was not like some Puerto Rican walked in or something. Rabbi Kreiswirth seemed very agitated by this "intruder", but he continued as Kamyan walked the aisles.

Kamyan stops; he shouts "DAF YUD DALED AMUD ALEPH"! AGAIN AND AGAIN!

There was a commotion, people running over to Kamyan, trying to silence him as he keeps repeating himself! Now, I'm at the bimah, and this "distingushed" rav is now angry and shouts repeatedly "VER IS DER MISHUGENER?"

By now, Kamyan is silenced and escorted out of the bais medrash, and some minutes later Rabbi Kreiswirth continues until Mincha.

After we arrived home for Havdalah, the two rabbonim were explaining to their rebbetzins, my Shabbos hosts, the incident that had transpired at the yeshiva as I stood bewildered in the corner of the small kitchen.

R' Kamyan was right, Rabbi Kreiswirth was wrong when he had quoted a blatt by its page number in mesechta Zvachim.



Thursday, January 06, 2011

In my view: Banning bans

by Dr. Michael Salamon

Last week we were informed that we can no longer visit Vosizneias.com whose tag line is “The Voice of the Orthodox Jewish Community” and is a website devoted to bringing news, albeit in a somewhat sanitized version, to the ultra-Orthodox community. This widely advertised ban which was approved and signed by over 30 Rabbis was collective and directed at all of us. All good Jews were instructed to stop reading this news site. Some investigative news sources tied this specific ban directly to a news article which appeared on the site that linked members of the community to illegal activities that resulted in a criminal investigation. Therefore, because of legitimate news reports that certain individuals wish to keep buried the wide readership who get their news from this source are now being told that this news service is a non-kosher resource.

Then just a few days later we were notified that we may not listen to radio, even Haredi radio stations, by another group of Rabbis who endorsed this ban. This prohibition is a larger problem then the prior bans we have heard against selected musicians and music stations that may have played secular music or music played on guitars. This ban is against listening to the radio, any radio, at all. It seems to me that these latest two sanctions are, at least for me, a new way of viewing the philosophy of bans in their entirety. I do not mean because the prohibitions impact me directly, at best their impact is very secondary. I mean that many of the people who use Vosizneias and listen to appropriate Jewish radio programs are caught in a conflict between what they are led to believe is reasonable and fair and part of normative religious practice and what they are now told is illegitimate to do if they are to be a member of the tribe.

To read the entire "Banning Bans" click on the link below:


Yu Know I Feel Allchrright!