Thursday, October 20, 2016

Haskel Lookstein's & Hershel Schechter's "Orthodox", Partially Clothed Convert! Blessed by the RCA and their thousand rabbis.

The Trump Freak Show is ending. So Sad!

 Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump greets his wife, Melania, his son Eric and his daughter Ivanka after the third and final 2016 presidential debate at UNLV in Las Vegas on Wednesday night - October 19, 2016. (Photo: Joe Raedle/Pool/Reuters)

Top rabbinical court nixes conversions by Ivanka Trump’s rabbi


Calling credentials of Haskel Lookstein into question, leading Israeli panel forces US immigrant to undergo additional ritual to get married...Israel’s Supreme Rabbinical Court on Wednesday night ruled it does not recognize conversions by US Orthodox rabbi Haskel Lookstein, forcing a woman seeking to get married to reconvert and calling into question other people converted by Lookstein, including the daughter of Republican  nominee Donald Trump. 



A middle-aged priest, A 26-year-old woman, A registered Jewish sex offender Get On An Airplane...The Jew Is Not Looking For A Minyan....

Recent Incidents Put a New Focus on Sexual Assault on Airplanes

A middle-aged priest. A 26-year-old woman. A registered sex offender.

Three seemingly very different people with one thing in common: All three were accused of sexually assaulting fellow passengers on airplanes.

Even before Jessica Leeds alleged last week that Donald Trump touched her inappropriately during a flight in 1979, many frequent fliers had concluded that increasingly cramped planes with fewer flight attendants walking the aisle seem to embolden gropers.

“Sexual harassment and assault is happening on aircraft, and we believe it’s happening more often because of the conditions on board,” said Sara Nelson, the international president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA union. She cited cramped, confined spaces; alcohol and drugs; fewer flight attendants; and dark cabins on night flights as factors that likely embolden offenders.

Prosecutors said that the Rev. Marcelo De Jesumaria testified that he considered his touching his sleeping victim on a US Airways flight from Philadelphia to Los Angeles in 2014 “consensual because she did not reject his touches and he interpreted her silence, because she was asleep, as ‘coyness.’ ”

The woman said she awoke on the flight to feel Mr. De Jesumaria’s hand on the top of her leg, and then on her breast, according to the United States attorney’s office, Central District of California.
When Mr. De Jesumaria relaxed his grip, the victim went to the bathroom and used the call button to summon a flight attendant.

The flight crew reseated him between two male passengers, and law enforcement was waiting when the plane landed in Los Angeles.

Mr. De Jesumaria, 47, who previously served in the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Bernardino, Calif., was sentenced to six months in prison and six months of home confinement after being convicted of abusive sexual contact.

Mr. De Jesumaria had not been seated next to his victim initially, but switched seats by asking a flight attendant if he could “sit next to his wife.”

Heidi Anne McKinney, 26, was charged with touching another woman on the thigh and groin during an Alaska Airlines flight from Las Vegas to Portland on May 8 this year.

Airplane - Left - Yoel Oberlander - Right
 In another case, according to a criminal complaint filed in United States District Court in New Jersey, a woman allegedly assaulted by Yoel Oberlander on an overnight El Al flight from Tel Aviv to Newark on May 29 was seated between him and her mother when he began to grope her. She kept repositioning herself to shake his hand off her hand, thigh and breast. It wasn’t until her mother awoke that she asked her to switch seats, and eventually reported to the crew what had taken place.
Mr. Oberlander, 35, was charged with one count of abusive sexual contact on an airplane. He is a registered sex offender convicted in 2002 of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl in New York.

Just how frequent sexual assault is during air travel is difficult to determine, but F.B.I. investigations into in-flight sexual assaults have increased 45 percent so far this year. The bureau said that it had opened 58 investigations into sexual assault on aircraft from January through September 2016, compared with 40 for all of 2015. That increase doesn’t include incidents reported to local and airport police. It also doesn’t account for the 75 percent of sexual assaults that generally go unreported, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, a division of the Department of Justice.

Among the airborne sexual assaults reported to the F.B.I. this year was that of a 13-year-old unaccompanied minor who may have been touched inappropriately by a man who had been drinking at the Dallas airport before boarding an American Airlines flight to Portland, Ore., and a woman who said she awoke on a Virgin America redeye flight from Los Angeles to Newark to find the man next to her massaging her genitals and rubbing his bare feet against her.

There is no centralized system for collecting sexual assault reports from airlines, and no special training for flight attendants in handling sexual assault.

“This is a unique crime,” said Ms. Nelson, who in addition to her union position is a United Airlines flight attendant with 20 years of experience. “It’s really not the same as asking, ‘How much did that person hurt you when they hit you on the head?’ ”

Unless police are called to meet the flight, it is up to the crew to decide whether to report disruptive behavior to the Federal Aviation Administration. When disturbances are reported, there is no separate category for sexual assault.

Jessica Leeds, 74, who said that Donald J. Trump touched her inappropriately on an airplane in the early 1980s. Credit George Etheredge for The New York Times
“It’s one thing to talk about the alertness to security concerns, but this is a crime that has not even been specifically identified” by the airlines, Ms. Nelson said.

An American Airlines spokesman, Ross Feinstein, said that it is not up to the crew to assess whether a crime, or what type of crime, occurred.

“We’re reporting misconduct that occurred on the aircraft. It’s up to law enforcement to determine if any criminal misconduct occurred,” he said. Regardless of the situation, all conflicts on aircraft are handled the same way by separating those involved, deciding if a diversion of the plane is necessary, and calling ahead for law enforcement to meet it.

But the lack of data on airplane sexual assault makes it difficult to study.

“It’s hard to assess what’s going on if we don’t know the extent of what’s happening,” said Elizabeth L. Jeglic, an associate professor specializing in sex offender policy and treatment at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City. She said she did not know of any studies on airplane sexual assaults.

Still, with about 712 million passengers on United States flights in the last year, the number of passengers who are sexually assaulted is a tiny percentage of overall air travelers.
Unruly passenger behavior has been increasing worldwide, jumping 17 percent from 2014 to 2015, according to numbers reported to the International Air Transport Association by its 265 member airlines.

Alcohol or drugs were identified as a factor in 23 percent of the 10,854 disruptive incidents last year, the trade association said.

Those who commit sexual violence use alcohol to exploit their victims’ vulnerability and to lower their own inhibitions, said Laura Palumbo, communications director for the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. 

“The third thing that people count on when alcohol is involved is that it will excuse their own actions,” she said.

Crew members already receive training on serving alcohol responsibly. The Air Transport Association is now calling on airport bars and duty-free shops to voluntarily follow suit so that passengers aren’t drunk when they board the plane.

Ms. Palumbo said that there were other factors involved in sexual assaults as well.

“You don’t necessarily get to choose what your physical boundaries are from the people around you because of the nature of transportation,” she said.

Today’s smaller seats — some only 16.5 inches wide — put airplane passengers even closer together. (An effort by Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York, to regulate seat size failed in the spring.)

“You have the close proximity, and with the proximity there is forced intimacy,” Dr. Jeglic said.
There also are fewer flight attendants on planes to keep an eye on what’s happening between the rows. Although the Federal Aviation Administration specifies minimum crew staffing for each type of aircraft based on evacuation times, airline cutbacks in the travel downturn following Sept. 11 eliminated some flight attendants, according to a study by Diane L. Damos published in the International Journal of Aviation Psychology in 2013.

“If there were more flight attendants who were able to monitor the cabin and trained in what signs to look for, and we were actually able to identify this as a potential threat on board the aircraft, we might be able to better address this problem,” Ms. Nelson said.

The flight attendants’ union has been working with members of Congress and victim advocacy groups on legislation that would expand crew training to include dealing with victims of sexual assault on a flight, as well as to create new industry reporting standards. She said it was too soon to provide specifics.

An F.A.A. spokeswoman said the agency wouldnott comment on pending legislation.
An earlier effort by Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, Democrat from the District of Columbia, failed in 2014. Her bill, “The Protecting Airline Passengers From Sexual Assaults Act,” would have required the F.A.A. to collect and publish data on sexual assault. Her office did not return a phone call seeking comment.

The National Sexual Violence Resource Center, which was involved in helping the Transportation Safety Administration change its passenger screening guidelines, has not been involved with the legislative efforts, but its spokeswoman said that, based on other research, more can be done to address airline sexual assault.

“There is a strong body of research that lets us know when people are given the tools to understand what sexual violence is, how best to intervene in instances of sexual violence, and have training and policies as well as those steps, it can lower rates of sexual violence and can be in the best interest of passenger safety,” Ms. Palumbo said.



For too long, believers have ignored warnings signs that their rights were under siege. ‘That should not happen in America,” exclaimed a left-leaning friend of mine upon hearing that a federal judge had prohibited some Jewish Californians from engaging in a ritual that Jews have performed for thousands of years. Unfortunately, it did happen in America, and it is not an isolated event. It is part of what Supreme Court justice Samuel Alito has described as an “ominous” trend that should cause “great concern” to “those who value religious freedom.” In United Poultry Concerns v. Chabad of Irvine, a group of chickens’-rights activists petitioned a federal judge to prohibit a California Jewish organization, Chabad of Irvine, from engaging in Kapparot, a Jewish ritual.

This tradition is associated with Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, and involves symbolically casting off one’s sins. Some Jews, including the defendants in this case, symbolically “transfer” their sins to live chickens. The chickens are then killed and, typically, donated to needy families. The judge initially granted the plaintiffs’ request and prohibited the Chabad rabbi, Alter Tenenbaum, from engaging in the ritual use of live chickens. Eventually the judge lifted the ban, but only after it was already too late for Chabad to perform the ritual this year.

The damage had been done and can never be entirely remedied. That a federal judge granted such a ban highlights a disturbing trend currently playing out in America’s public and legal understandings of religious liberty. I have written about how foes of religious liberty seek to re-categorize that liberty as an indulgence, doled out at the discretion and convenience of the majority, rather than a fundamental right that may be denied only in rare and exceptional cases. That desire is manifest in this case.

 In their briefing, the United Poultry plaintiffs lay out a vision in which private morality and individual conscience are replaced by a one-size-fits-all, government-mandated morality. Religious liberty stands in the way of their dystopian dream, and therefore they and their allies seek to diminish and ultimately eliminate it. For the same reason, every American who values living in a religiously tolerant country that respects individual conscience ought to oppose the plaintiffs’ project. The plaintiffs (“chicken people”) are not subtle about their hostility toward religion and its role in American life. In their complaint, the chicken people caricature religious liberty as a matter of religious people asserting that “they are above the law and can conduct themselves as they wish because of their religious beliefs.” The plaintiffs’ objections are not limited to the realm of law. They object to Chabad’s desire to “determine for themselves what is . . . moral conduct.” They argue that only the legislature can determine “legal and moral behavior in the State of California.” The plaintiffs do not want to control only Chabad’s conduct.

They want to control its conscience. The chicken people describe the Jewish tradition as a “societal evil” and mock Kapparot as “taking out vengeance on an innocent animal for one’s own shortcomings.” These are not quotes cherry-picked from the comments section of an anti-Semitic blog; they are quotes taken from a legal document that won a favorable ruling from a federal judge. The plaintiffs are no more subtle about the scope of their ambitions. They acknowledge that their lawsuit is merely “the first step” toward their “ultimate goal” of banning the religious ceremony nationwide. The legal arguments advanced by the chicken people make it clear that they want American courts to view the exercise of religion as an ordinary activity enjoying no special legal, moral, or constitutional status. The chicken people sued Chabad under California’s Business and Professionals Code, citing a provision aimed at prohibiting unfair competition. The plaintiffs admit that the statute applies only to activities that “can properly be called a business practice.”

They cite cases indicating that courts have previously held that religious organizations can sometimes engage in “business practices” within the meaning of the statute, but they do cite not a single case indicating that a religious ceremony has ever been considered a business practice. It is one thing to argue that a religious institution engages in a business practice if it runs a restaurant or a shoe store. It is an entirely different matter to argue as the plaintiffs do here: that core religious functions are business practices. Jewish synagogues typically sell holiday seats as a fundraiser. Some synagogues even auction off the honor of leading particular prayers. Under the plaintiffs’ preferred interpretation, this would make Jewish holiday services into business practices open to government regulation. The plaintiffs asked the court to take the extraordinary step of granting a temporary restraining order to stop Chabad from exercising its faith while the lawsuit progressed.

The plaintiffs were not content merely to sue Chabad. They also asked the court to take the extraordinary step of granting a temporary restraining order to stop Chabad from exercising its faith while the lawsuit progressed. The chicken people expressly asked the court to rule on matters of Jewish doctrine and to determine that Chabad and Rabbi Tenenbaum would suffer “no harm” if they were prevented from exercising their religion in the manner that they desired. In order to grant a temporary restraining order, a court must determine that the harm caused to the plaintiff absent the entry of the restraining order outweighs the harm that the order would cause to the defendant. In other words, the chicken people had to show they would suffer more harm if Chabad were allowed to exercise their religion than Chabad would suffer if it were prohibited from doing so. One might assume that, in a country that considers the free exercise of religion a fundamental constitutional right, a prohibition to practice one’s religion would be seen as the infliction of a grave injury.

Astonishingly, the plaintiffs did not see it that way. Even more amazingly, the judge, at least initially, agreed.

The plaintiffs openly dismissed the importance of Chabad’s fulfillment of its religious obligation as understood by Rabbi Tenenbaum. They argued that “the relative harm to Defendants” in preventing them from exercising their religion was “minimal.” The chicken people argued that not all Jews use live chickens for the ritual and that therefore doing so must be “completely optional” and a “mere preference.” They implied that Rabbi Tenenbaum preferred to use live chickens because doing so was “more lucrative.” Whether the chicken people’s explanation of Jewish law is the only valid interpretation of Judaism — it is not — is beyond the point. Even if such a “single correct” form of Judaism existed, American courts would be neither qualified nor constitutionally empowered to settle such doctrinal disputes. And yet, on October 10, the District Court for the Central District of California granted the plaintiffs’ request for a temporary restraining order, without explanation. In order to grant the request, the court necessarily accepted the plaintiffs’ argument that the rabbi’s religious practice was less important than he believed. Such a holding is ominous. The court did lift the restraining order moments before the start of the holiday, but the plaintiffs had already been irreparably harmed — it was too late for the rabbi and his coreligionists to exercise their religion. Giving the judge the benefit of the doubt, we might say that he did not understand the cruelty that he was inflicting on Rabbi Tenenbaum and his congregation. But the judge’s inability to understand the importance of a religious obligation demonstrates precisely why the American notion of religious liberty has traditionally prohibited — and must continue to prohibit — judges from making such determinations in all but the most extreme of cases.

 Despite the dire facts of this case, there are hopeful signs. Some of the largest and most prominent religious organizations in American Jewry quickly condemned the judge’s anti-Kapparot order and defended Rabbi Tenenbaum’s religious liberty. In perhaps the swiftest and most forceful demonstration of this awaking, the executive vice president of the Rabbinical Council of America, America’s largest association of Orthodox Rabbis, properly recognized that the judge’s initial decision represented part of a “worrisome trend” whereby “government actions . . . aim to limit religious expression when it clashes with values embraced by parts of society.” One practical step that religious organizations can take is to support the passage of a Religious Freedom Restoration Act in all 50 states.

 For far too long, religious Americans in general, and Jews in particular, have ignored warnings signs that their fundamental rights were under siege. However, recent events, including the Obama administration’s attempt to coerce nuns into providing their employees with abortion-inducing drugs, have started to alert religious Americans to the mounting danger. One practical step that religious organizations can take is to support the passage of a Religious Freedom Restoration Act in all 50 states. Opponents of such laws have successfully misrepresented them as being “anti-gay” and providing a “license to discriminate.” Such critiques are nonsense. Those laws merely state that the government cannot substantially punish a religious believer for exercising his religion unless it can prove that it has a compelling reason to do so and that it would not be possible to further that interest while preserving the adherent’s religious liberty. Defenders of religious liberty — and, in fact, of individual liberty — should stand united and refute the chicken people’s argument that only the government can determine morality and that an individual’s understanding of his own consciences has “minimal” value. —