Sunday, August 07, 2011

UOJ Downgrades Standards & Poor Religion To D - *Outlook Negative*!

UOJ Keywords - Religious Jew, Length of Beard, Sexual Abuse of a Minor, Holy Man, Archbishop, Child Endangerment, Sexual Abuse, Transferring of Predatory Priests, Conspiracy & Dementia:

Behold the Mighty Beard, a Badge of Piety and Religious Belonging

by Mark Oppenheimer - THE NEW YORK TIMES
Published: August 6, 2011

Go ahead, picture a religious Jew.

Now picture a Muslim cleric.

Now an Amish farmer.

What do they have in common? Beards. And not neatly trimmed beards, but, in the popular stereotype, long, unruly beards, which connote piety, spiritual intensity and a life so hard at study that there is no time for a shave. The scholar, the mystic, the terrorist, the holy man — they all have beards.

Last month, the connection between hirsuteness and religiosity appeared in federal court, not for the first time. In this latest case, a federal court refused to consider the appeal of a Jewish prisoner in New Hampshire who had bristled against regulations limiting his beard to a quarter-inch.

In upholding a 2010 summary judgment against the prisoner, Albert Kuperman, convicted in 2002 of sexually molesting a minor, the First Circuit panel did not disagree that Mr. Kuperman had a religious obligation to refrain from shaving. But it concluded, in a decision issued July 14, that “alternative means remained open for Kuperman to exercise the constitutionally protected right at issue.” The prison, in other words, had to allow Mr. Kuperman, who has since been released, some avenue for religious observance, but not every avenue.

Being bearded is just one of many obligations that some strictly religious Jewish men uphold. Only one of the Torah’s 613 commandments applies to facial hair, and scholars disagree on the commandment’s interpretation.

But the beard is integral to many men’s religious identities, not just religious Jews’. The beard, especially the really big beard, constitutes a look, one that dictates how they are perceived by the world.

“Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard,” according to Leviticus 19:27. That commandment has produced reams of rabbinic commentary. Some traditional Jews believe only the chin must remain unshaven. Others argue the unshaven area is larger, and some teachings hold that the prohibition against shaving extends to the neck. Rabbis draw distinctions between shaving (forbidden) and practices like cutting the hair with scissors, plucking it with tweezers and removing it with depilatories (depending on whom you ask, possibly permitted).

But to focus on the legalisms misses the point. In many religious communities, the beard is the man’s ID badge, his sign of membership. Like the Hasid’s black hat or the Muslim’s kufi, it’s what he acquires when he joins the community, and it’s what he gets rid of when he leaves. It is a form of religious garb, with different versions in different religious tribes......"




Pennsylvania: Cardinal Is Summoned to Court

Published: August 6, 2011

A judge on Friday summoned the former Philadelphia archbishop to court on Sept. 12 to see if he should be deposed in a sexual abuse case. Prosecutors want to preserve the testimony of Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, 88, for next year’s trial because he has cancer and dementia. Monsignor William Lynn, 60, secretary for clergy under Cardinal Bevilacqua, is accused of transferring predatory priests to new parishes and is charged with child endangerment and conspiracy. Three priests and a former teacher are charged with rape.


Kol Dmei Achicha Part 1 said...


I truly hope that you will post this and not relegate it to the comments in another post.

I am a resident of Ramat Bet Shemesh, one of the fastest growing cities in the Jewish world. In its short history Ramat Bet Shemesh has become the home to scores of shuls, dozens of kollelim both for avreichim and "baalei batim". We have elected a charedi mayor and have a large number of charedim serving on our city council despite the fact that as a whole charedim are not the majority (yet) of the population.

The scariest statistic, however, are the number of reported cases of child molestation both in and out of schools. If there are so many reported cases one can just imagine how many go unreported.

Ramat Bet Shemesh has many potential Levi Arons walking around which can only mean that there are just as many potential Leiby Kletzkys as well, lo aleinu.

What makes this community with many Anlo olim such a breeding ground for molestation?

Tolerance. Not of other "types" of Jews. On the contrary. The budding Charedi population has little understanding and feeling for those they consider "less frum".

The tolerance of which I write is that of charedi criminals by charedi rabbonim.

In our great bastion of Torah many of the rabbonim work tirelessly to protect suspected molesters, interfere with police investigations and intimidate victims and their families. These rabbonim boast of their accomplishments in moving perpetrators to different schools and when that fails, different cities to prey on unsuspecting victims elsewhere.

This atmosphere of tolerance gained notoriety 3 years ago when an article appeared in the Jerusalem Post finally exposing Ramat Bet Shemesh's issues with abuse and cover-up.

Although no rabbonim were mentioned or even hinted to a raw nerve was struck and the rabbonim answered with their most potent tool..the cherem.

Lema'an Achai, one of the most noble charities in Ramat Bet Shemesh was targeted by several of these rabbis. They were no longer welcome to actively raise funds in certain shuls.

Why punish the poor? Simply due to the fact that Lema'an Achai founder David Morris had become an advocate for child protection. So these great men, these holy rabbis took their wrath out on the poor of the city by hitting the organization that looked out for them.

Kol Dmei Achicha Part 2 said...

Mr. Morris was undaunted. He gathered a group of concerned parents, professionals and yes rabbonim who really cared and began Magen, the child protection advocacy group.

Magen works to educate the masses, spread awareness and provide a hotline for parents and others who have abuse questions and concerns.

Since its founding Magen has been instrumental in the arrest of several suspected pedophiles. They have assisted families in getting proper and legal therapy. Many parents, even among the most charedi in Ramat Bet Shemesh, have turned to Magen.

Magen is now itself the victim of a predator. Several weeks ago, Rabbi Elimelech Kornfeld, a popular Anglo Charedi rav, gave a shiur for women entitled "Current Events".This shiur took place around the breaking of the Leiby Kletzky story.

'At the end of this "shiur" Rabbi Kornfeld turned his attention toward Magen calling it a "danger" and run by people who don't go to Rabbonim and Daas Torah. People who are not from "our tzibbur" He directed the audience to come to him as "he has a chush for these things". He assured the gathering that he works with police, professionals, etc and they should rather come to rabbonim than those from Magen.

As a parent living in Charedi Ramat Bet Shemesh I would like to challenge his "chush".

This is the same Rabbi Kornfeld who had knowledge of a pedophile in his congregation and did nothing about it. When police became involved (because there were victims) he tried to intimidate parents into not cooperating with the police.

This is the same Rabbi Kornfeld who had a pedophile as a supervising rebbe in his own cheder for several years (where was the chush)?

This is the same Rabbi Kornfeld who has played "musical cheder" with suspected pedophiles, sending from school to school and from city to city.

If you have friends or relatives in Ramat Bet Shemesh please warn them that their tolerance of this evil is in fact an intolerance of safety and innocence of children.

Tell them that if Rabbi Kornfeld and his friends continue to control the city, there are a potential 10,000 Leiby Kletzkys walking around.

Dovy said...

>Tell them that if Rabbi Kornfeld and his friends continue to control the city, there are a potential 10,000 Leiby Kletzkys walking around.<

You'd serve your cause better by sticking to the facts, and not engage in hyperbole-squawking.

Anonymous said...

dont think its any better in south florida

one rabbi is under investigation in south florida in miami beach
another former rosh kollel is a serial groper

2 beis yaacov girls were pregnant last year

one chabad worker was arrested for molesting his daughters but that case was covered up

the rabbi that runs the community mikva in nmb and has a shul on 175th has a candyman who crossed boundries with kids

and the list goes on and on

shaarie tefila has become grounds for a molester on the city watch list where he exposed himself to girls and is on probation

Also From RBS said...


While I agree that what "Kol" wrote may be hyperbole, you must understand that RBSA has an atmosphere of "whatever my rav says" even if it puts children (and marriages,etc) at risk.

Many children have already been victimized and others are in positions of risk.

In addition to his cheder "Avi Ezri" Rabbi Kornfeld has rabbinic authority over several others, some of which have also had suspicious activity.

I don't what it will take for these doe eyed followers to realize that when it comes to your kid's safety "asking a rabbi" might not always be the best solution.