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Friday, May 30, 2014

“It’s the fact that a leader would make such disparaging comments about our people. The real problem is someone could make these kinds of statements to disparage 90% of the Jewish community.”



Rabbi Yaakov Perlow blasted non-Orthodox streams of Judaism.UW-MADISON POLICE/ASSOCIATED PRESSRabbi Yaakov Perlow blasted non-Orthodox streams of Judaism.
Mayor de Blasio was too distracted by well-wishers to listen when an Orthodox rabbi went on a tirade against reform and Conservative Judaism at a dinner Tuesday night, aides said.
De Blasio stayed mum after Yaakov Perlow, the leading rabbi of Agudath Israel of America — a huge backer of the mayor and host of the event — blasted the secular orientation of non-Orthodox streams of Judaism.

“They’ve become oblivious, and they’ve fallen into the pit of intermarriage and assimilation,” Perlow said, according to the Jewish Daily Forward. They have no future, they almost have no present.”

"They will be relegated to the dustbins of Jewish history," he added.

But de Blasio, who spoke at the dinner, didn’t take issue with the comments. He couldn’t understand Perlow, who spoke with a heavy accent peppered with Yiddish and Hebrew, aides said Thursday. The aides added that de Blasio was also distracted by people at the dinner who were greeting him.

“The mayor came to thank the organization for its decades of service to the city,” said City Hall spokesman Phil Walzak. “Even though the mayor may not agree with every element of every speaker’s remarks at this event, he is still going to recognize the good work the group does every day.”

Agudath Israel, an ultra-Orthodox group, has backed de Blasio since he was a city councilman in Brooklyn’s 39th District, which includes Park Slope and Borough Park.

“It’s not so much what the mayor did or didn’t do,” said Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, executive director of the New York Board of Rabbis. “It’s the fact that a leader would make such disparaging comments about our people. The real problem is someone could make these kinds of statements to disparage 90% of the Jewish community.”

Rabbi David-Seth Kirshner echoed the sentiment.

“In Judaism, it’s a considered a major transgression to publicly shame a person or a group of people,” said the conservative rabbi, who leads a temple in New Jersey. “To me, if the mayor would have publicly rebuked them, he would have put himself on the same level.”

SPOKESPERSON FOR  "UNITED JEWISH MENTAL MIDGETS OF AMERICA", Avi Shafran, defended Perlow’s comments, saying the rabbi was not disparaging Jews who have followed “misguided paths.”

“Rabbi Perlow did not disparage fellow Jews, but rather theologies that claim to be faithful to the Jewish religious tradition but are not,” he wrote in an email. “What he addressed were ideas and beliefs, not innocent Jews who may have been misled by the Zeitgeist and its blandishments.

“Anyone who knows Rabbi Perlow knows well that he has only love and concern for all Jews, no matter what misguided paths they may have been led, sadly, to take,” he added.


Read morehttp://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/mayor-distracted-focus-rabbi-tirade-article-1.1810711#ixzz33AC48qv0

Thursday, May 29, 2014

"This means malicious gossip, evil tongue and waste of time, all prohibited by the Torah"...Except for Rabbi Perlow of course...

EXCERPTS FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES:

"Rabbi Perlow offered a shower of condemnation for Reform and Conservative Jews, who he said were among those who “subvert and destroy the eternal values of our people." These movements, he said, “have disintegrated themselves, become oblivious, fallen into an abyss of intermarriage and assimilation.”“They will be relegated,” he added, “to the dustbins of Jewish history.”

This was a striking statement because a majority of the Jews in this city identify as non-Orthodox. The mayor himself proudly celebrates his own mixed-race marriage.Mr. Zwiebel was a key figure in the last decade as hundreds of child sex abuse cases were reported in Brooklyn’s ultra-Orthodox community. 

Mr. Zwiebel told the authorities that his ultra-Orthodox leaders were offering this advice to their followers:If a rabbi tells a follower not to go to the authorities, under religious law, that follower must follow that ruling.The lack of moral clarity was striking, and time did not enrich Mr. Zwiebel’s perspective. 

Two years ago, he talked of the ultra-Orthodox dissidents who spoke up on sexual abuse. This, he said, is “it’s rechilus, lashon hara, and bittul zman.” This means malicious gossip, evil tongue and waste of time, all prohibited by the Torah.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

THE NEW "YUTZ"!


I miss the "olden times"...where the YUTZ stood out so apparently! He'd do anything to get attention!

He would be the guy that would wait all year to daven Mussaf on Simchat Torah. (Looking forward to getting drenched...the recipient of flying objects to his head...carried out to the street...etc..)

He would be the guy bullying the kid doing Galilla (tying the Torah strap)...not high enough or tight enough. The loudest SHUSHER at krias haTorah...chastising the congregants to have respect for the Torah...and after shul, he'd go home to physically abuse his wife. The guy who would hold up his pinky finger the longest...at hagbaos haTorah.

The guy that stood closest to the baal koreh - to catch any mispronounced word at the speed of sound. Made sure everyone saw him putting the siddurim on the shelves...chastising the guys who wouldn't. Left his talis on the longest after Mussaf.... Ah...those were the days my friend.

NEW YUTZ


OLD YUTZ









Today, the NEW YUTZ is more subtle.


He cloaks  himself as some sort of self-descriptive ombudsman to nobody groups. He could be an adviser to a Jewish death museum to the stars (who isn't an anti-Semite?),...a spokesperson for a group United Jewish Mental Midgets of America,...another person who agrees with everyone that has a beard, even if these beards have conflicting opinions that are rooted in ignorance, he agrees with both sides of the issue as far apart as they may be. And these "new yutzes" ...get forums to present their rubbish, because anyone titled "rabbi" must know what they're talking about. 

These  NEW YUTZES even get credit for speaking to people who have differing opinions than theirs. Oh my! Historic!

I yearn for the good ol' days...a yutz's behavior was local and limited. His buffoonery was only an embarrassment to those that could physically see him.   

Over the weekend I read Think Like a Freak --- "Now, with Think Like a Freak, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner have written their most revolutionary book yet. With their trademark blend of captivating storytelling and unconventional analysis, they take us inside their thought process and teach us all to think a bit more productively, more creatively, more rationally—to think, that is, like a Freak"

I enjoyed their story --- how they gave wine mavens the opportunity to identify the most expensive wines from the cheapest -  they got it wrong an astounding amount of time.

The NEW YUTZ  is the above wine maven. They could not tell right from wrong, truth from fiction, history from fable, if their entire self-created job description depended on it. 

Give me the old YUTZ!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Children are often so victimized by abuse, in particular sexual abuse that they cannot tell anyone about it

Believe the Child


Dr. Michael J. Salamon
It sounded just a bit too quiet when her 12 year old son and his friend were supposed to be playing in his bedroom so Mom decided to check in and see what was going on. “What I saw” she told me “practically gave me a heart attack.” Mom walked in on the two boys undressed and physically pleasuring one another, she said “in a way that I never thought they could possibly know at this age.” I asked her how she handled it. “I sent the other boy home and sat my son down for a conversation. I did my best to stay calm and I asked him how long this type of behavior has been going on. He seemed very honest when he said since he was 10. I am still shocked by that answer. So I asked him when it started and who taught him these things.”

This particular Mother’s answer is not that significant. What is essential is that I have heard the same story from numerous parents and from the many children and adult sexual abuse victims I have counseled. The response is that they learned it from a relative, a neighbor, a teacher, or a coach, the abuse is always first learned from someone they know. But this fact too is not as critical as the following point.

A vast majority of the parents I have dealt with refuse to believe their children, at least initially. Even a mother who is told that her husband is abusing one of their children has often refused to hear the child’s testimony. Many of the parents are too shocked by their child’s revelation about the causes of their child’s behavior changes and sexual acting out and just who the abuser actually is. Those parents who are willing to accept the facts are simply unwilling to report to the authorities. They do not want their children to become involved in court cases and subject to vilification from community members who, perhaps unwillingly and unknowingly, support abusers. The result is that abusers are free to keep finding, grooming and abusing their prey.

When a case is brought to the attention of the authorities most cannot be brought forward to court due to a lack of testimony. The saddest part of this scenario is that many people believe that it is a sign of someone’s innocence. I have listened to too many parents say, and unfortunately believe, that the charges were the creation of a child’s imagination totally discounting the pain that a child is in at the point that they actually report abuse. When a case is brought to court and cannot lead to a conviction on the charges because of community intimidation or defense attorney harassment there are still many who are convinced that the abuser was himself victimized by a falsehood. When an abuser is given the opportunity to take a plea for a lesser charge still more intelligent adults see that as a sign that an abuser was railroaded and not that it was the only way the case could be moved forward without testimony from victims.

This is all not simply sad – it is amazingly common. I have just finished reading The Witch Hunt Narrative: Politics, Psychology, and the Sexual Abuse of Children by Ross E. Cheit. This is a long and at times arduous text to read but it was one of the most gratifying works on the topic I have ever had the pleasure of indulging in. So much so that I actually contacted the author to thank him for his scholarship and bravery, not something I usually do. The books’ focus is on several cases of childhood sexual abuse in the U.S. that were poorly prosecuted and ultimately dismissed leading many to believe that children are “suggestible.” Professor Cheit’s research of the many sources indicates quite the opposite. There was and continues to be a trend of minimizing or even denying reports of sexual abuse and approaching sexual predators with a leniency not observed in other crimes.

Children are often so victimized by abuse, in particular sexual abuse that they cannot tell anyone about it. I have always told parents that at the point a child finally comes forward and overcomes the fear of reporting what has been done to them it is a statement of truth. It should never be minimized or discarded. Victims can heal only if their feelings are validated.

http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/believe-the-child/

"IF THERE ARE ANY CHILDREN LEFT, PLEASE MAKE SOME NOISE!"

Thursday, May 22, 2014

...But for those familiar with the Brooklyn ultra-Orthodox community’s repeated failure to report sexual abuse, seeing Rabbi Samuel Waldman arrested for the alleged possession of child pornography is no shocker.



The Brooklyn Rabbi and His Child Porn Collection


Samuel Waldman, one of the main alleged child porn purveyors named in ‘Operation Caireen,’ is only the latest in a series of scandals buffeting Brooklyn's ultra-Orthodox community.
Among the 71 people charged in Wednesday’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement child porn ring bust, there are more than a handful of surprising offenders, including a Little League coach and a former Westchester police chief. But for those familiar with the Brooklyn ultra-Orthodox community’s repeated failure to report sexual abuse, seeing Rabbi Samuel Waldman arrested for the alleged possession of child pornography is no shocker.

It was Waldman’s own disturbing collection of child pornography, law enforcement officials say, that helped lead them to uncover dozens of other purveyors in “Operation Caireen.” 
His was one of two initial investigations—the other was of Brian Fanelli, a one-time Mount Pleasant police chief—that eventually led to Wednesday’s announcement of 71 arrests. 
On March 5, Waldman, 52, was charged with the transportation and distribution of child pornography. According to a criminal complaint filed in federal court, Waldman shared multiple child pornography files on publicly available peer-to-peer networks out of his home in the Kensington section of Brooklyn. 
These files, the complaint alleges, included a video of girls “between the ages of approximately four and eleven years of age” performing oral sex and being anally and vaginally penetrated by older men, and a clip of a naked prepubescent boy “being masturbated by another unknown person until the child ejaculates.”
At the time, Waldman was a teacher at the all-girls Beth Jacobs Teachers Seminary in Brooklyn. While the school declined to disclose any information about the ages of students to The Daily Beast, the National Center for Education Statistics says Beth Jacobs offers ninth- through 12th-grade education. Waldman was ordered not to engage in any employment with access to children; when asked if he was still teaching at the school, a woman who answered the phone at the school hung up.
The Brooklyn ultra-Orthodox community has been plagued with sexual molestation charges in recent years, many of them stemming back decades. It has a history of harboring and protecting alleged molesters while shaming and intimidating those who attempt to come forward with allegations of abuse.
In 2012, when an ultra-Orthodox family decided to sue Yeshiva Torah Temimah, the school where their son allegedly was molested by a teacher, they were pressured to drop their lawsuit. A prominent Brooklyn rabbi and Yaakov Applegrad, an administrator at the Flatbush seminary, “compared the parents to Nazis for attempting to ‘bankrupt’ the yeshiva,” The Jewish Week reported.
The teacher Applegrad was defending, Rabbi Yehuda Kolko, allegedly sexually abused his students for more than three decades. In 2008, he was accused of molesting two first-graders but pleaded guilty to lesser charges and was sentenced to three years’ probation. According to a New York magazine investigation, Kolko’s abuse went as far back as the 1970s.
Sexual abuse often goes unpunished in the ultra-Orthodox community because victims are shamed into silence or blatantly pressured, as in the Kolko case, never to reveal information to the secular world.

In 2012, Rabbi David Zweibel, the executive vice president of Agudath Israel of America, a powerful ultra-Orthodox group, instructed members of the community not to report abuse to police until they consulted with their rabbis first. “We’re not going to compromise our essence and our integrity because we are nervous about a relationship that may be damaged with a government leader,” he said.
Even if the claims are pursued within the community, justice is imperfect , to say the least. According to a letter from Rabbi Chaim Pinchos Scheinberg posted on the blog FailedMessiah, Kolko was investigated on sexual abuse charges by a council of rabbis in 1985 and found innocent. “Because Kolko did not penetrate his victims, there was no actual abuse,” said the lead rabbi, according to witnesses to the ruling.
Unsurprisingly, Waldman received public support from the ultra-Orthodox community after his March 5 arrest. “I’m certain he’ll be acquitted of everything. He’s a nice, honorable, respectable person,” a neighbor told PIX 11. When told federal officials had traced child porn to the IP address on Waldman’s computer, the neighbor said: “I’m even surprised he has a computer.”
Whether Waldman will find the same level of support now that he is linked to an even bigger and more disturbing child pornography bust remains to be seen.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Two more babies stricken with herpes after ritual ultra-orthodox Jewish oral blood sucking circumcision in New York City

Since 2000 --- 13 known cases of herpes have been contracted from the religious practice


  • Two deaths and two babies suffering brain damage have resulted

  • Department of health warns there being no safe way to perform the ritual that dates back more than 5,000 years


Two more infants have been infected with a deadly herpes virus in the last three months after undergoing a controversial religious oral circumcision in New York City.

The latest cases bring the count to 13 infants since 2000, two of which suffered brain damage and two died from the virus which can rapidly spread throughout its body.

The ultra-Orthodox Jewish practice of metzitzah b'peh requires a practitioner to orally suck the baby's penis to 'cleanse' the open wound following its circumcision, making them susceptible to the virus.

Contraction: The ultra-Orthodox practice of metzitzah b'peh requires a practitioner to orally suck the baby's penis to 'cleanse' the open wound following its circumcision, making them susceptible to the virus (file photo)
Contraction: The ultra-Orthodox practice of metzitzah b'peh requires a practitioner to orally suck the baby's penis to 'cleanse' the open wound following its circumcision, making them susceptible to the virus (file photo)

The department of health says one of the latest infants to contract the virus developed a fever and a lesion on its scrotum, seven days after the procedure. The boy later tested positive for HSV-1. That virus differs from HSV-2, the genital herpes, which is contracted during sexual intercourse.

'A herpes infection in a newborn baby has the risk of leading to severe illness and death,' Jay Varma, deputy commissioner for disease control at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene told ABC News.
    'The reason is that the baby doesn't have the same fully developed immune system as an adult. Instead of staying in the genital area, it extends throughout different organs in the body,' he explained.

    He said it's too soon to tell whether the boys will suffer permanent effects.

    The identify of the rabbi who performed the circumcision is being withheld by the boys' parents, preventing the health department to step in, they said.

    Dangers: Since 2000 13 known cases of herpes have resulted from the practice, two of which suffered brain damage and two others died
    Dangers: Since 2000 - 13 known cases of herpes have resulted from the practice, two of which suffered brain damage and two others died

    The religious practice that dates back to more than 5,000 years defies warning by the city's department of health which says there is no safe way to perform the oral suction on an open wound.

    More modern Jewish practices use a sterile aspiration device to clean the wound or a pipette opposed to the oral sucking.

    But some rabbis stand grounded behind the practice, calling it a religious freedom while noting its long history.

    In September the department voted to require parents to sign forms consenting to the risks of the practice after the death of two children who contracted the virus through the practice.

    The parents of those newly infected boys are said to have not signed those forms.

    According to Rabbi David Zwiebel, executive vice president of the Orthodox Jewish organization Agudath Israel of America, two-thirds of boys born in New York City's Hasidic communities are circumcised in the oral suction matter.

    The health department claims they've had complaints in past by parents who say they weren't made aware that the oral practice would be performed on their child.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2304793/Two-babies-stricken-HERPES-ritual-oral-blood-sucking-circumcision-New-York-City.html#ixzz32NehIuje 

    Did They Call The Cops Or A Rabbi?

    Pleasant Plains man 

    accused of stealing

     $50K in checks 

    from Yeshiva of Staten Island

    yeshiva.jpg
    Yeshiva of Staten Island is located in Pleasant Plains. (Staten Island Advance/Maura Grunlund)
    STATEN ISLAND, N.J. -- A Staten Island man cashed more than $50,000 worth of checks stole from the Yeshiva of Staten Island over a five-month period, police allege.
    Back in 2011, two checkbooks were lifted from a drawer inside an office in the Pleasant Plains school, according to a law enforcement source.
    That led to 16 separate checks, all from a Staten Island account belonging to the Yeshiva's Manhattan affiliate, Mesivtha Tifereth Jerusalem, cashed between August and December of that year, all at a Pay-O-Matic in Brooklyn, according to court papers.
    Police identified a person wanted for questioning in the theft -- Yehuda Rubin, 31, of Hallister Street in Pleasant Plains, authorities said.

    On Thursday, after a routine car stop led to Rubin's arrest on drug charges, police brought him in for questioning, linked him to the theft and hit him with multiple felony charges.

    A law enforcement source familiar with the case said Rubin was a student at the Yeshiva back in 2001, but the head rabbi there didn't recognize him from surveillance footage. A family with the same last name had a recent affiliation with the Yeshiva, though, the source said, and court papers show he lives just a few blocks away.

    Rabbi David Ceder, the Yeshiva's head of security, said he had no knowledge of the case.

    The criminal complaint against Rubin alleges that Rubin started with smaller amounts, cashing checks for $1,800 or $2,400 in August and September of 2011. By that October, though, the amounts started to grow, and between Oct. 12 and Dec. 14, 2011, he cashed seven checks for $4,000 each, court records show.

    He'd cash many of the checks late at night, and, in a few instances, at 2:55 a.m. or 4:34 a.m., and each time, he'd use the Pay-O-Matic at 1813 Kings Highway, police allege.

    Rubin referred to the allegations as a "misunderstanding" when questioned by police, the law enforcement source said.

    When police arrested him on Thursday, on the 100 block on Pleasant Plains Avenue, not far from his home, he had in his possession marijuana, the painkiller oxycodone, the anti-anxiety drug alprazolam (marketed as Xanax), and amphetamine dextromephetamine (marketed as Adderall), court papers allege.

    That led to misdemeanor drug possession charges, while the checks led to multiple counts of second, third- and fourth degree grand larceny, and third- and fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property charges, according to information from District Attorney Daniel Donovan's office.

    He was arraigned Friday in Stapleton Criminal Court, where his bail was set at $35,000. He's slated to return to court Wednesday.

    http://www.silive.com/news/index.ssf/2014/05/pleasant_plains_man_accused_of.html

    New Jersey Passes Jessica's Law Today - Mandatory 25 Year Minimum 1st offense for sex crimes against children~!

    In February 2005, a nine year old Florida girl named Jessica Lunsford was raped and murdered. The accused offender lived across the street from Jessica and had a history of crimes against children. He was required to register as a sex offender under Florida law but failed to keep his registration information current, as required. This case prompted Florida House Bill 1877 later that year, which increased punishment and monitoring of child sex offenders.

      Two major components of the bill include a mandatory 25 years to life prison sentence for first time offenders convicted of sex crimes against children and the use of global positioning satellites (GPS) or electronic devices to track the location of sex offenders following release.

    Several states have since passed similar versions of the original Jessica's Law although the title of acts may vary by state.

    At least 25 states have enacted mandatory 25 year minimum sentences for first time child sex crime offenders; at least 39 states have enacted GPS or electronic monitoring provisions specific to sex
    offenders; and at least 23 states have enacted both GPS or electronic monitoring and 25 year minimums, identified below by an asterisk next to the state name. Some states have not yet enacted
    these Jessica's Law components but may have comparable or related provisions; that information is also included below.

    http://www.leg.state.vt.us/WorkGroups/sexoffenders/NCSLs_Jessicas_Law_Summary.pdf

    Tuesday, May 20, 2014

    Rabbinical Tyranny and Freedom of Thought

    The primary concern of Judaism is the art of living.

    To accomplish this, it is committed to a strong sense of tradition and a determination to realize certain optimal goals. It is this that has made Judaism unique, standing out among the community of religions. This direct path--from a historical past to a messianic future, from the mysterious revelation at Mount Sinai to the categorical demand for justice for the orphan, widow and stranger--has saved Judaism from death by fire and ice, from freezing in awe of a rigid tradition, and from evaporating into a utopian reverie.

    What we Jews have always looked for in the Torah is not just a way of living, nor is it the discovery of truth alone, but rather everything. And this is scarcely an exaggeration. Our love for the Torah was not just molded by particular teachings, but by our conviction that really everything can be found within its pages. God is no doubt central to Judaism, but because we never lost our intimate awareness of the multifarious colors of the Torah and its tradition, no dogma could ever gain authority. Even after Maimonides attempted, under the influence of Islamic theology, to lay down definite formulations of Jewish belief, Judaism refused to accept them as sacrosanct and did not allow such attempts to come between it and the inexhaustible Torah text. It is for this reason that tension between religion and the quest for truth is almost unknown in Judaism.

     No sacrifice of the intellect is demanded.

    One look into the Talmud proves this point beyond doubt. The flow of thoughts and opposing ideas are abundant, as are the formulation and rejection of opinions and insights. The interaction between legality, prose, narrative, illusion and hard reality is astonishing and earns the Talmud its reputation as the richest ever literary creation. Not even Greek philosophy was able to produce such a symphony of ideas in which the waves of the human intellect interweave with those of divinity, moving forward and backward. There is an absolute lack of systematization and it is clear that any such attempt was nipped in the bud. From a modern point of view, one might argue that the search for truth in the Torah was not directed toward proportional truth because such a notion was lacking by definition.

    The most persistent intellectual energy and analytic efforts were devoted to the continual contrivance of beautiful and profound interpretation to discover the totality of life.

    Since the Torah was considered God-given, it might have been logical that fundamentalism would ultimately triumph and lead to conflict with science and other disciplines. But this inference is founded on a major misconception. Precisely because the text is seen as the word of God, its essential ambiguity was granted implicitly, and every verse by definition has many levels of interpretation, both poetic and legal. There is even the compatibility of playfulness with seriousness, since the former is a most important component of human existence as created by God.

    The attempt to streamline and straightjacket the Jewish Tradition and create a final Jewish theology--which took place long after the Talmud was completed, and in our days has nearly become an article of faith--is a major mistake and a complete misreading of its very character.

    While for practical reasons there is a need to put halachic living into pragmatic context, which requires conformity in action, this should never be the goal when focusing on Judaism's beliefs. It is the task of the rabbis to do everything in their power to rescue Judaism from dogmatism. While it can't be denied that Judaism incorporates certain definite beliefs, they were always kept to a minimum and were constantly a source of fierce debate. Most important, one must remember that such dogmas never led to conclusions of reductio ad absurdum. Freedom in doctrine and conformity in action was the overall policy to which the Talmudic rabbis were committed, even when convinced of certain fundamental truths. This is evident when one studies the relationship between the biblical text and the Oral Torah: minimum words and maximum interpretation.

    It is detrimental to Jewish Tradition to transform words into fixed clusters of thought and store up definite theories. The idea is not to become the owner of masses of information entrusted firmly to one's memory and carefully transmitted into notes. Once one does so, one becomes scared and disturbed by new ideas, since the new puts into question the fixed information that one has stored in one's mind. As such, ideas that cannot easily be pinned down are frightening, like everything else that grows and is flexible.

    Instead of being passive receptacles of words and ideas, the ideal is to hear and, most important, to receive and respond in an active, productive way. It should stimulate a thinking process, which ultimately leads to the transformation of the student.

    To halacha-ize and legalize Jewish thought is to miss the whole message of the Talmudic way of thinking. Doing so will undermine the Halacha since it will kill its underlying spirit. There is little doubt that due to the pan-halachic attitudes that we now experience in certain rabbinical circles, we see negative symptoms in the form of Halacha becoming suffocated and often rejected by intelligent, broad-minded people. A plant may continue to stay alive, even in apparent health, after its roots have been cut, but its days are numbered.

    If the rabbinical censorship that we have lately encountered concerning certain books and ideas on Orthodox Judaism were to be applied to the Talmudic text, it would mean that the best part of this great compendium on Jewish thought and law would be censored and burned.

    Freedom of thought must be guaranteed if we want the Jewish Tradition to have a future.

     This applies in particular to teaching and writing. A man or woman who holds a teaching post should not be forced to repress his or her opinions for the sake of upholding popular, simplistic notions or even more sophisticated ones. As long as his or her opinions are rooted in the authentic Jewish Tradition and expressed with the awe of Heaven, they must be encouraged, no matter how much they are disliked by some rabbinic authorities.

    Uniformity in the opinions expressed by teachers should not be sought, and if possible, should even be avoided since diversity of opinion among preceptors is essential to any sound education. No religious Jewish student can pass as educated if he has heard only one side of the debates that divided the earlier and later sages. One of the most important skills to teach is the power of weighing arguments, and this is the foundation of all Talmudic debate. To prevent the teacher from doing so or to deny him the opportunity to bring this to the attention of his students is misplaced rabbinic tyranny, which has no place in the Jewish Tradition.

    It is the Christianization of Judaism by rabbis.

    As soon as censorship is imposed on the opinions voiced by teachers, Jewish education ceases to serve its purpose and, instead of producing a nation of men, runs the risk of creating a herd of fanatical bigots.

    Today's Talmudists must realize that they can easily become imprisoned by their own knowledge and drowned by it. They may have tremendous Talmudic expertise, but they have perhaps forgotten that one needs to know more than just all the intricacies of text. One needs to hear the distinctiveness of its content, the spirit it breathes, and the many often opposing ideological foundations on which it stands. To know the Talmud is to know more than its sum total.

    Techniques for dealing with people whose opinions are disliked have been well perfected, especially when the condemners are men of power.

     In the case of those more experienced, public hostility is stirred by means of misrepresentation and character assassination. Since most teachers do not care to expose themselves to these risks, they will avoid giving public expression to their less-mainstream-Orthodox opinions. This is a most dangerous state of affairs and must be stopped. These methods are used to quash genuine and important knowledge and to deny people insight. But above all, it allows obscurantism to triumph.

     Everything must be done to allow and encourage these teachers, who are in love with Judaism as few people are, and who are creative thinkers, to say what they have on their minds without fear, and to build a great future for Judaism. It is the obligation of the religious community to create an environment where these thinkers can flourish without unpleasant repercussions.

    Certain religious leaders, including rabbis, may believe that these tactics of repression and character assassination work. They should know, however, that they may be able to burn books, but the ideas expressed in them will not die. In fact, the more they condemn these books the more they will be read by intelligent students. No man or force can put thoughts in a concentration camp. Trying to do so is similar to somebody who is so afraid of being murdered, that he decides to commit suicide.


    Monday, May 19, 2014

    Kaplan Doesn't Happen In A Vacuum!

    Nissan Kaplan
    Nissan Kaplan, a rabbi at the prestigious Mir Yeshivah, whose classes draw upwards of 200 students, said in a recent discourse on the weekly Torah portion that he not only advocates killing ministers, but also that he educates his children in this spirit.
    He told students that his five-year-old son said: “Daddy, we don't have a sword in the house, I'm looking... maybe a hammer is also good? I was very happy, I gave him a kiss... I was so proud of my son, he's looking for a sword to kill all these government ministers.”
    His logic was that because the government plans to draft the strictly-Orthodox to the army, its ministers are the modern equivalent of Haman, who tried to kill the Jews in the Purim story. They are also representatives of “Amalek”, the ancient foe of the Jews whose elimination is prescribed by the Bible. He claimed to be invoking proclamations of the Aharon Leib Shteinman, one of the best-respected Charedi rabbis today, in this assertion.

    Here is the relevant quote from Kaplan: (Compliments of Shmarya)
    "…On Shabbos I spoke to my kids, and I said that Rav Steinman spoke that lemayseh [in actuality], we have today Haman and Amalek, all this [Israeli] government, and really the way is to take knives and to kill them, just as with the Yevanim [Greeks at the time of Hanukkah more than 2,000 years ago]. This is what Rav Steinman said. You have to take a sword and to kill them. So why are we not doing it? Because, he said, I don't know yet who is the [suitable replacement] general who could run the war. But if I would know who's the general, we'd go out with knives. This is what Rav Steinman said. There's a war against religion... I explained this to my kids... then, in the middle of the meal, my kid, five years old, says, "Aba, we don't have a sword in the house, I'm looking... maybe a hammer is also good?" I was very happy, I gave him a kiss... I was so proud of my son, he's looking for a sword to kill all these government ministers..."

    Jonathan Rosenblum in his own vile & shameful words - March 2014:


    ..."He (Yair Lapid - Israeli Member of Parliament - Finance Minister) might be compared to Yasir Arafat, who told President Clinton at Camp David that signing a peace agreement would effectively seal his death warrant. That plea attested to Arafat's failure to educate his Palestinian supporters to the necessity of major concessions if they hoped to gain a state, including renunciation of the so-called "right of return." Instead he spent his time post-Oslo whipping the Palestinian population into a frenzy of hate -- much as Lapid has whipped up hatred of the chareidi population -- and was thus in no position to respond to Ehud Barak's dangerously generous offer of Palestinian statehood...."

    Jacob Perlow
    JACOB PERLOW IN HIS OWN PATHETICALLY IGNORANT WORDS - MARCH 2014

     "THE SECULARS WANT TO CRIMINALIZE LIMUD HATORAH!"

     CLICK: http://theunorthodoxjew.blogspot.com/2014/03/perlow-seculars-want-to-criminalize.html

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