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:



Join the "Banned" Wagon said...

The ultimate ban is in effect here in Ramat Bet Shemesh.

"Rabbi" Chaim Malinowitz has banned Lema'an Achai, one of the greatest tzedaka organizations in existence from his shul.


Because David Morris, a board member, believes that child abuse should be reported to the authorities contrary to "Rabbi" Malinowitz's policy not to go to the authorities.

To punish Morris and try and force him to capitulate Malinowitz punishes the poor and bans tzedaka.

And to think that this "Rabbi" is the editor general for Artscroll shas.

What a shanda we are!

Boruch said...

2012 Presidential Debate:

Moderator: Are you able to predict when a disaster will strike at the United States or any of it's interests and be on the scene at a moments notice?

Candidate: No.

Moderator: Then you are simply not qualified to be President of the United States.

In light of the 2011 Blizzard questions to elected officials to remember Katrina and BP oil spills, it seems to be a great question.

Based on my hours of field work with emotionally disturbed and mentally ill people (with the exception of those I'm related to), I believe I qualify to open my own clinic.

NY Sanit Guy: The tires are bald, the trucks are old, and the chains are rusty.

NY Wise Guy: But the operations budget exists to replace those things.

NY Sanit Guy: The Mayor cut 400 workers.

NY Wiser Guy: And with them the tires would have treads, the chains wouldn't be rusty and the equipment would be brand new?

Gompers did not have this in mind when he created unions to protect workers from the thuggery of unscrupulous employers. Now the unions are the thugs. Hostages no more - take pictures and e-mail them to newspapers and TV stations when our public servants shovel on us.

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

I tried to stay out of this fight, but I have been asked/urged to state my opinion:

1 - Rav Shlomo Miller is absolutely right on this halachic issue, the only thing he's guilty of is over the top language -- which I can relate to as a vehicle for making certain that his voice is heard.

2 - Rabbi Broyde, a man of great integrity erred big-time in this case -- a huge talmud chochom in his own right and a very honorable man.

3 - Yisroel Belsky got this one right - even a broken messed up clock is right at least once a day.

4 - Shmuel Kaminetzky belongs in the R' Meier Al. Z. Heimers nursing home already.

5 - ORA is an agenda driven organization, unfazed by the truth in any particular case.

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

The above comment refers to two separate issues.

Michael Litigant Hersh said...

These are not good days for Michael Hersh and his Chaim Berlin backers after the judge in his absurd case to punish his detractors by demanding 411 million dollars in damages informed four of the key defendants that they are off the hook and that Hersh may no longer sue them, and now that Hersh's present crop of lawyers are quitting with the excuse that Hersh owes them close to $100,000 in back payments it's a disgrace for Hersh, even though he imagines she can continue being his own "lawyer" when he better at being a liar.

What an absurd situation this all is. It makes Hersh and his chief rabbinical backer Aron Schechter of the Chaim Berlin Yeshiva look like "held in gatges" (loosely translated as "the emperor has no clothes") for their over-reaching megalomaniacal acts of frustration.

It does makes sense why Aron Schechter, for his own reasons and not related to Satmar or Lakewood's reasons, has now also latched on to and signed the "ban" against the VIN news blog because the Hersh case was also directed at VIN as well as multiple other bloggers, online posters and journalists that are now targeted in Stalin-like witch hunts to eradicate the voices protesting the likes of Hersh's and Schechter's rash of anti-social dictatorial actions to impose their warped will, in the case of Hersh on his own sons who chose to be more modern than him and in the case of Schechter to crush anyone standing in the way of his fake imperial rule of the Chaim Berlin and Agudsist communities.

Schechter also truly believes that Leib Tropper is innocent and that Tropper was an innocent babe in the woods who was "tricked" to fall but cannot fathom that in fact Tropper is a deeply troubled individual. Similarly Schechter cannot accept that Hersh is an ultra-manipulator causing huge damage not just to himself but to the Chaim Berlin yeshiva that shields him and allows him to pray there to this day sitting right behind Schechter on Shabbat almost in Schchter's lap, or like a monkey on Schechter's now very-stooped shoulders.

So as Hersh's case against the Jewish blogosphere egged on and blessed by Schechter falls apart and Schechter blesses and signs on to new bans against the same Jewish blogosphere, the world watches in amazement as money, time and effort are wasted and flushed down the toilet on such utterly idiotic and stupid legal and "kol koreh" moves.

Hersh's lawyers motion to withdraw from case for non-payment said...

"Recipients and Publicity said...

No surprise here because Hersh did exactly this to Steven Mostovsky Esq. who was stiffed out of $40,000 of legal fees by Hersh as well first time around when he was probing and attacking those who questioned his behavior, instead of recognizing his own faults, when the story first broke a couple of years ago that he had sent his kid off to (the now closed) "Tranquility Bay" camp on Jamaica via a kidnapping.

Just what were these second set of "super lawyers" thinking that Hersh would not stiff when he had already stiffed his first legal team???

What needs to be asked is who exactly hooked Hersh up with this new set of corporate lawyers in the first place and thereby got Hersh's hopes up that they would back him up all the way?

One must conclude that Hersh is just the tip of the iceberg in a more complex "pyramid" that consists of players like Rav Aron Schechter's son in law Eliyahu Yorkmark who was named in the court papers as serving as the ongoing character witness for Hersh and the point man of his father in law who is still giving Hersh enough signals to keep the "good fight" going, unlike others with deeper pockets but now have higher order financial worries to carry and who may have been chipping in to Hersh's now depleted legal "defense fund" when Hersh launched his latest legal attack but now have obviously told him to go fly a kite.

Hersh's attack is not directed at any one person but against the entire Jewish Internet and blogging community that does share his narrow twisted views and in this way he is still a useful tool to Rav Aron Schechter who is furious at those in the Jewish media and bloggers who question him and is probably behind why he also signed on to the recent ban against the VIN news blog together with some Satmar and Lakewood rabbis as well as inspiring attacks by Matzav.com against longtime bloggers like Harry Maryles and Yair Hoffman.

Hersh views himself in "heroic" terms as the one who is willing to "sacrifice" his own self for the "higher purpose" of fighting the "satan" of the Internet and blogging that Rav Aron Schechter is totally against. In this way, Hersh is only a pawn and doing his master's will and it will require a serious confrontation, or Hersh running into more walls and REALITY TESTING as his case is thrown out entirely. This is not unlike the Tropper fiasco who was and still is very much supported by Rav Aron Schechter but it was only when Tropper self-destructed and the rabbis of Monsey booted him out of the community that he was forced to resign by circumstances (and look how he still clings to Monsey as if nothing happened!) and REALITY TESTING and not by appeals to Rav Aron Schechter."

Hersh's lawyers motion to withdraw from case for non-payment said...

"Recipients and Publicity said...

There is an additional dimension as well that once the new team of lawyers were faced with the REALITY that the judge had thrown out their ludicrous $411 MILLION case against four of the key "defendants" as reported in a previous post ...(see Hersh lawsuit: Case dismissed with prejudice against most defendants) it created a hole in the case big enough to sink a thousand Titanics in a fishpond and the lawyers saw very clearly that they were doomed and there was no chance they could collect a "cut" of any hoped for "future settlement" either in or out of court, so they smelled the coffee and headed for the exit putting the blame on their client who is left dead in the water holding his still-born claims as a nice cover for backtracking from their hoped for pie in the sky killing that maybe some of the "defendants" with bucks to their names could be forced to fork over money and lawyers normally get one third plus costs of any final settlement.

Either way, at this juncture it leaves Hersh hanging and twisting in the wind, looking like a fool for starting out on this crazy venture of suing people who helped his own sons escape his rotten lack of human and humane parenting and for victimizing the bloggers who cried out in pain and focused a clear light on something that Hersh and his supporters would have liked to keep as a dark and hidden secret, Hersh's kidnapping of his son, to be buried on the far-off island of Jamaica in its now defunct misnamed "Tranquility Bay" incarceration facility where kids had died at the hands of their captors.

Instead, a successful rescue mission was launched, Isaac was brought back to the USA, the general media took note, Jewish bloggers opened up the case to the world, Hersh sued the rescuers in revenge but lost, then decided to take an even broader second swipe at the rescuers as well as a whole litany of bloggers and news sites he deemed to have undermined him personally when none of that was true, he just shot himself in the foot and accused the world of doing him in.

Paranoia knows no bounds and is very dangerous when it is justified and backed up by presumed false and delusional notions of self-righteousness based on "religious" grounds that have nothing to do with either truth or religion. This is something that Hersh still does not get."

Moetzes Resign! said...

Ellen Weiss, the senior vice president of news at National Public Radio whose quick firing of senior news analyst Juan Williams last October ignited a political and public relations firestorm, resigned Thursday.

Her resignation comes at the conclusion of an internal investigation into the firing conducted by the NPR board and the outside law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges.

Ms. Weiss’s quick dismissal of Mr. Williams, by phone, after he made controversial comments about Muslims on Fox News Channel, was found by the investigation to be legal under terms of his contract. But the way it was handled “became a flash point” in the debate that ensued, said NPR media reporter David Folkenflik. In the resulting political uproar, some Republicans called for an end to federal financing of NPR.

Ms. Weiss is a former executive producer of “All Things Considered” who had been at NPR since 1982.

NPR’s board expressed its confidence going forward in Vivian Schiller, NPR’s chief executive, but voted to withhold her 2010 bonus given its concern over her role in Williams’ termination.

Anonymous said...

to the poster who continues posting about the hersh tropper and kranczer stories. I myself was emotionally abused by Chaim Berliners, and I have many questions for you. Is there a way for us to further discuss this through email?

Shmarya gets results said...


"The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" is a favorite target for book-banners, Publisher's Weekly notes: "For decades, it has been disappearing from grade school curricula across the country, relegated to optional reading lists, or banned outright, appearing again and again on lists of the nation's most challenged books, and all for its repeated use of a single, singularly offensive word: 'nigger.' "

Tropper-Hersh-Kranczer said...

"Anonymous said...to the poster who continues posting about the hersh tropper and kranczer stories. I myself was emotionally abused by Chaim Berliners, and I have many questions for you. Is there a way for us to further discuss this through email?"

Feel free to post the questions right here in the open! Then maybe they can be dealt with. No doubt others would be helped by this and you would still remain "Anonymous."

Otherwise please seek professional help ASAP if you are suffering from residual emotional and other types of abuse.

Hersh appeals dismissal of case - next step might be a countersuit involving Yeshiva Chaim Berlin! said...

"Friday, January 7, 2011 Hersh appeals dismissal of case - next step might be a countersuit involving Yeshiva Chaim Berlin!


As mentioned [Hersh lawsuit: Case dismissed with prejudice against most defendants] the case that Michael Hersh had against Mrs & Mrs Raphael Cohen, Sara Kreisler, and Rabbi Wolbe was thrown out by the court. His lawyers quit [Hersh's lawyers motion to withdraw from case for non-payment] because he was not able continue paying them and the lawyers were stuck with an unpaid bill for $93,000. The latest development in this pathetic saga is that Michael and Miriam Hersh - serving as their own lawyers - have filed an appeal against the dismissal of defendants. While this has very little chance of success, Michael Hersh seems to be intent on a war of attrition. In other words - if he can't win a 400 million dollar lawsuit on its merits at least he can try to bankrupt the defendants. At some point the defendants will take of their gloves and countersue. That probably means also suing Yeshiva Chaim Berlin - since that is apparently the source of encouragement that keeps Hersh going for the fantasy of unconditional surrender of the defendants. If any Chaim Berliners are reading this you need to ask yourself whether you want to pay significantly higher tuition bills defending a lawsuit that bypassed beis din and went right to secular courts - a strategy that it is claimed was initiated at the advice of Rav Ahron Schecther, shlita."

Moetzes Resign! said...


Snow Plowed by City Toppled Gravestones in Brooklyn Cemetery

Both versions of the story are correct said...


... the Taliban had said it would study the WikiLeaks documents to punish collaborators with the Americans.


... Margulies had said he would study the leaks to Shea Fishman about Kolko to punish any possible collaborators with UOJ.

Spotlight on the Queens Vaad said...


Poskim have ruled that summoning kochos in this fashion - even without the aid of idols - is the classic issur d'Oraysah of kosem ksomim.

But someone at the Queens Vaad with an ego even bigger than his groysah payos, continues to akshen zich and will not remove an idol from the Japanese Shinto religion whose purpose is to summon kochos of good luck and increased sales for a frum Jewish store owner.

JJJ said...


After breakfast, Rabbi Green was joined by Rabbi Simchah Shorr, Rosh Yeshivah of Yeshivas Ohr Somayach in Monsey, and Rabbi Jacob Joseph Moskowitz, a scion of the illustrious Shotzer Hasidic Dynasty and Rosh Yeshivah of Yeshivas Ner HaTorah in Monsey, who arrived by airplane together with Rabbi Chaim Hersh Freund and Rabbi Hershel Friedman, who are prominent activists who work in prison outreach. They then continued together Hopewell, VA, for the main purpose of their visit, which was to give spiritual encouragement to the Jewish inmate community at the Petersburg Federal Prison in Hopewell, VA. Among the inmates is a prominent Hasidic Rabbi from the Monsey community.

The Rabbis were accompanied by Rabbi Joseph Kolakowski, who is the Rabbi of the Nachalei Emunah Hasidic Institute of Richmond, VA, and also provides Rabbinical services to Congregation Kol Emes/Young Israel of Richmond, as well as to the Petersburg Federal Prison.

The Rabbis spent several hours with the Jewish inmates in the chapel of the prison. One of the inmates described the horrors of prison life, stating that not only is the body in prison but so is every level of his soul. As their visit ended, the Rabbis engaged in a Hasidic dance singing the words from the daily liturgy ממצרים גאלתנו ומבית עבדים פדיתנו "The Lord our God helped us out from Egypt and redeemed us from slavery", referring both to the Torah reading from Exodus and the hope that those wrongfully imprisoned should be freed. As the rabbis left, the inmates began to cry, and the rabbis wished their blessings.

Netziv said...

pictture of Harav Chaim Berlin


Chometz for Pesach Lerner said...

Yossi Kolakowski is going to be getting an earful from me! He is primarily the Young Israel rabbi in Richmond. What does that mean "also provides services to Young Israel"? He happens to be the only Young Israel rabbi with a shtreimel.

Will the "real" Queens Vaad please stand up said...


It's great that VHQ shul member David Yudell decided to stop driving a car on Shabbos & attending a Conservative temple but it is a tragedy that his profession, which he cannot practice without exposing himself on a daily basis to ervah, is embraced and promoted by his Queens Vaad shul so that everyone else can be nichshol along with him.


His Queens Vaad shul is selling reduced price tickets & encouraging it's membership to attend the Broadway production Jekyll and Hyde that DY stars in as the lead actor while several supporting actresses treat everyone to high pitched kol isha. Even if there was no ervah, it doesn't seem to bother them either that DY's character in this story is a psychopathic murderer. DY has acted the part of shady characters in previous productions like Che Guevara, the Marxist leader of the Cuban Communist revolution and mechaber of a manual used worldwide by terrorists and filthy rotzchim.

This is all being cheered on by Gary Rosenblatt's Jewish Week newspaper where they love the notion of living your life with no restrictions except maybe not driving on Shabbos. They cheerfully point out that DY is following in the footsteps of Dudu Fisher who plunges into the ervah of Broadway when he is not busy as chazan of Marc Schneier's synagogue, Schneier being the lowlife "rabbi" who the RCA is considering expelling from their ranks after a video surfaced of him committing adultery.

It must be a very conflicted existence for Chaim Schwartz who is always at the ready to fight anyone questioning his modern orthodox masters at the Queens Vaad when his former employer the Agudah has criticized tzedakah organizations who give away Broadway tickets through auctions and raffles.

Tort Putz Twerski said...


In the Wonderland of these statistics, a remarkable number of law school grads are not just busy — they are raking it in. Many schools, even those that have failed to break into the U.S. News top 40, state that the median starting salary of graduates in the private sector is $160,000. That seems highly unlikely, given that Harvard and Yale, at the top of the pile, list the exact same figure.

How do law schools depict a feast amid so much famine?

“Enron-type accounting standards have become the norm,” says William Henderson of Indiana University, one of many exasperated law professors who are asking the American Bar Association to overhaul the way law schools assess themselves. “Every time I look at this data, I feel dirty.”

IT is an open secret, Professor Henderson and others say, that schools finesse survey information in dozens of ways.

Number-fudging games are endemic, professors and deans say, because the fortunes of law schools rise and fall on rankings, with reputations and huge sums of money hanging in the balance. You may think of law schools as training grounds for new lawyers, but that is just part of it.

They are also cash cows.

Tuition at even mediocre law schools can cost up to $43,000 a year. Those huge lecture-hall classes — remember “The Paper Chase”? — keep teaching costs down. There are no labs or expensive equipment to maintain. So much money flows into law schools that law professors are among the highest paid in academia

Albany said...

Colonie is where Rubashkin's convicted pedophile son in law has a shul


ALBANY- Phillip Riback, 41, of Cohoes, pled guilty to one count of Sex Abuse in the First Degree.

On December 17, 2001, at 3 Atrium Drive, Suite 200 (Upstate Neurology Consultants), in the Town of Colonie, Riback subjected a child less than 11 years old to sexual contact consisting of placing his face in contact with the child’s genitals through clothing for his own sexual gratification.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, Riback will be credited with the 5 ½ years he already served in prison, will be monitored on an additional term of 10 years of sex offender probation, will be required to register as a sex offender, and will forfeit his license to practice medicine.

“The guilty plea today ended an era of denial by this defendant, helping to bring closure to more than a dozen victims and their families. Today, after a decade of proclaiming innocence, this defendant admitted that he engaged in sexual conduct with a child for his own sexual gratification,” commented District Attorney P. David Soares. “And most importantly, this plea ensures that he will never again be in a position of authority or power over vulnerable children and their families looking for medical help.”

Hatzolas Rubashkin said...

5 Towns Jewish Times once had a glowing write up about a personal friend of publisher Larry Gordon, making it sound like the guy was a tzadik yesod oylam like Rav Pam or something. Omitted from the biography was that the zhlob was in the secular music industry and would always brazenly justify to people there's no problem with constantly exposing himself to women singing "because it's my parnossah". Just the appearance of this guy with his white kippah srugah and wild mane of overgrown 'bloiriss' hair extending back to almost his shoulders would be enough to make Larry's new best friend, Pinny Lipschitz, faint. Larry did manage to find a more civilized looking picture of him after he took a haircut. More coming up soon about this week's latest attack by the newspaper on roshei yeshiva & rabbonim who did not attend the Hatzolas Rubashkin assifah in the 5 Towns.