Sunday, February 23, 2014

When Words Utterly Fail!

Years back I had a neighbor, we'll call him Mr. Klein, not his real name, who was the only person, from his extremely large chassidic family, to survive Hitler's death camps. He seemed like a nice enough guy; on Shabbos, if we bumped into each other, he'd always respectfully say good Shabbos.

He was not observant in any way, but was not in your face about it. I always nodded back and wished him Shabbat shalom. I tried many times to get to say good Shabbos first, but he always beat me to it. I invited him over many times, with the promise of "no proselytizing", and he always politely refused.

It was on a summertime Friday night on my way back from shul, when I saw him get out of his car, that I waited to bid him good Shabbos. He was somehow taken aback by the gesture, why, I am not certain. We shmoozed for a bit then he asked me if I'd like to see a photo of his family pre-war, I responded, "absolutely!"

He took his wallet out of his rear pocket, we moved under a fluorescent lamppost, there were 14 people in his handsome family. His father was a man with a black hat with a well-trimmed black beard and bulging peyos. His mother was an aristocratic woman with the traditional chassidic headgear. He was a middle child, about 12 years old at the time of the photo, he beamed with pride at his long peyos and big black yarmulke, and went on to tell me all the names of his siblings (I still remember every name). The baby, he said was 4 months old, and could have been a model for Gerber; a cherubic-like beautiful baby girl, the likes of are indeed rare.

And then he broke down!

"How could He let this happen"? What did Rivkele do at 4 months old to be tossed into an oven alive? He sobbed uncontrollably! What to say? What do you say to a person who has a question with no good answers? I cried unashamedly. "How can people blame me for not believing in God - how could they" - he cried, barely able to catch his breath?

He sat down on the sidewalk, I sat there right along side him holding his shoulder.

I told him finally, not thinking I was capable of any consoling words; "the question is how could anyone believe in God after what you saw, and not the other way around. "You understand?" -- Of course I do, I always did. I told him that every thinking person of faith struggles with their belief system; certainly someone who went through the hell that he experienced.

It resonated with him; by that time I was sweating bullets, the emotions and the humid New York night almost caused me to faint. We lifted each other up off the sidewalk, we bid each other good Shabbos, and we went to our homes.

Back to Mr. Klein later.

We are watching the collapse of meaningful institutional Yiddishkeit. Not because the Agudath Israel is a fraud. But because there is NOT one single Orthodox institution that is not tainted with criminal activity, be it legal or moral.

Organizations like EJF, run by the ghastly ill psychopath Leib Tropper sprung up, because everyone involved in vocally supporting that criminal enterprise was being paid off.

The ramifications are telling! Everyone permitted phony conversions in a typical pay for play scheme. From rabbis Hershel Schechter, Shlomo Miller, Avrohom Union - to the Reform Movement -- there is a commonality that they all share --- look aside, get paid, and let every drek, scoundrel, thief, prostitute, adulterer, become a member of what was once an exclusive club, the Jewish Nation. We have more than enough of our own scum, without admitting members from the outside. (No offense please to the blessed sincere Converts - factually they are however in the minority)

The Israeli Rabbinate discovered that an astounding 97.2 per cent of converts between 1996 and 2008 had not kept mitzvot — and as a result, their conversions could be invalidated retroactively, and if they married, no Get would be required.

Mishneh Torah, Book of Holiness, Laws of Forbidden Relations, 13:8
Maimonides wrote that gerim do not have a very high success rate: Most trip over some event along the way that alienates them from the Jewish people. But most drop out -- and some of them have even become vicious enemies.

And then you have Leib Tropper creating a new conversion ritual; sleeping with the convert - and his "rebbetzin" -- and a few Satmar chassidim added for aroma and ambiance.

Kashruth is no better now, than when my grandfather zt"l ranted about it in the 1920s - 1940s. The certifying rabbis were criminals then, as they are now. At the top of that list is Yisroel Belsky - the titular head of Yeshiva Torah Vodaath -- a dirty trick the Ribbono Shel Olam played on my grandfather's memory. I always did think that HKBH has a weird sense of humor.

And the Yeshiva Movement that my zeide built, brick by figurative brick, has child molesters and their enablers under many a yeshiva's desks, in every other administrator's office and in every Orthodox organization. But no, we don't want legislation to rip out the metastasized cancer from our ill bodies, we want to do it ourselves, just like our honorable Catholic cousins. Lest we forget, the administrator of Torah Umesorah's "Torah Online" program for children, did time in a federal prison for possession of kiddie porn. Another rotten trick on my zeide's holy memory and legacy.

So what's left?

A group of crafty Jewish investors, including the Satmar goniff Hertz Frankel, get together and create a new glossy magazine. They know what trash will sell in their neighborhoods. Their "centerfold" is every bit as pornographic as Hefner's, Flynt and the rest of these perverters of every sacred thing on this planet. But now we put on display, in full color, our own dear struggling brothers. You know, the ones that have every reason in the world to struggle with their faith - BECAUSE - of the self-proclaimed holy representatives of our God, here on Earth, who uncannily aborted every logical reason to believe in Hashem, from our stout bellies.

Worse than Planned Parenthood, at least you know their murderous agenda. It is no longer just a leap of faith to have emunah, now it is just about - how can you have emunah?, just like my aforementioned neighbor Mr. Klein. Call these good, honest people "sick" or "emotionally ill?" Our babies and ourselves are being tossed into ovens of lies, distortions, criminal behavior and negligence, and being gassed by Bans, chumras and insane proclamations - by these so-called representatives of our Mesorah. We are "railroaded" to a spiritual death, by the very gangsters that have created the environment of disgust that permeates our communities.

They preach poverty as a way of life, and own millions of dollars of real estate and other holdings. Not one dime of these holdings belong to them, but go try and take it away. Did anyone hear of Lipa Margulies? You know the menuvel that owns almost a square block on Ocean Parkway! Do you know why the Kotlers from Lakewood wanted Corzine elected over Governor Christie? Because Corzine allegedly promised them huge government grants for their same-sex dormitories, as part of government grants allotted to the Gay and Lesbian community. How come they're all still there? They get caught or are involved in one illegal scheme or another, and throw parties if they somehow make a deal with Charlie Hynes, or get out on bail?


We survived every inquisition, crusade, pogrom, holocaust... because whatever was left of our broken bodies, our moral compass was untouchable, unscathed and fully intact. But now that's gone, and they blame the Internet and Bloggers?

Did Dwek, Balkany, Margulies, Kolko, Lebovitz, Hertz Frankel, Jack Perlow, Mondrowitz, Rubashkin, Belsky, Sholom Tendler, Mordecai Tendler, Aron Tendler, Spinka and hundreds more - blog? Did they become corrupt because of the Internet? Did they molest children because of the Internet? Did they enable and embolden hordes of child rapists because of cyberspace?


And our brothers are struggling with their emunah; AND THEY ARE SICK AND EMOTIONALLY ILL? You want to blackball them for seeing what we now all see - and we can't take it anymore - and you blame the collective we? Do you know the trauma that these sincere people may have gone through to lose their faith? Perhaps it's a temporary state of mind? Or is it just simpler to write these people off!


On a recent trip, a yungerman comes over to me at the airport; "excuse me, aren't you UOJ?" I nodded! He asked if he could introduce his family to me. He pointed to his large beautiful family. I walked over to the seating area with him and met his rebbetzin. After his way too kind introduction, he and his wife thanked me for my work, introduced me to their children name by name, and asked the boys to give me sholom aleichem. I counted 9 children, the boys in velvet yarmulkes and peyos, and the girls in traditional chassidic dress.

He told me his zeide, who was davening Mincha in a wheelchair in the corner, was a survivor of the Nazis. His zeide supported them almost exclusively he volunteered, he was a rosh yeshiva in Eretz Yisroel and his wife had a full time job raising the children. He could not possibly live without his zeide's generosity to him, his family, and to his yeshiva.

I looked at the man in the wheelchair; he had a white flowing beard, bulging neat peyos tucked behind his ears, and dressed in chassidic garb. I immediately recognized my former neighbor, Mr. Klein.


Anonymous said...

Your story is amazing, though b'etzem, you don't seem to subscribe to the concept of the zaidy supporting his grandson sitting and learning forever. Set that aside because the grandson is undoubtedly one of the meyuchodim who should be properly supported, and the fact that he represents the zaidy's revenge on the world's evil and hakaras hatov to Hashem's ultimate goodness, whether we understand it or not.

It is not just that the crazies are running the asylum. You have listed and alluded to a number of our community who have perpetrated (alleged or not) truly heinous acts for which we should react with revulsion. The fact is that in our "tolerent" society, we have come to have tolerence for all sorts of lowlives who live among us. We hear of a marriage breakup because the husband was cheating on the wife for years with many different women, both married and not, and we shrug and give him maftir. He is oveir on a yehareg v'al ya'avor and we pat him on the back in shul and raise a l'chaim of single malt. We have lost all sense of kedusha in our lives. In fact, the only people we don't have tolerence for are those who protest, in loneliness, against this g'vir or chevra-man who utilizes the tact of the chazir to prove how kosher he is.

It is truly a terrifying time to be raising our children.

Teach your kids to use their own brain. Let them learn, but question everything. And pray that just as "Mr. Klein" found his answers, we should also get the s'yata dishmaya to raise our kids with an understanding that there is a right and a wrong. They should stay away from those that are metamei our community.

Anonymous said...

I used to be religious till I started reading your blog. I trusted rabbis, and had a simple meaningful life. However, when I started reading your revelations, I could no longer stand idly by. I gradually gave up doing mitzvos. Why bother? I am now an atheist and I treat Pesach and Yom Kippur like any other day.

Thank you UOJ!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Me too. I also became irreligious because of your blog.


Anonymous said...

Dear UOJ

What an incredible story.
I personally never understood how my late mother kept the faith after having witnessed the murder of her parents and most of her siblings at Auschwitz and passing the selection process of Mengele YM"S.
She had a tremendous respect for rabbonim without any of the cynicism that even young people today display.
Why is that?
Is it that the rabbonim were different or that your typical frum person was different?
Probably a bit of both.
We live in a very morally corrosive society where the spiritual nisyanos we face on a daily basis probably never had to be dealt with by our parents and grandparents and we are not doing a very good job.
You have accomplished much in the last number of years but much still has to be done to try and keep Am Yisroel on the straight and narrow.
Do not underestimate the critical value of your work. I truly envy your Gan Eden after 120.

Anonymous said...

One of your best. Thank you

Anonymous said...

a incredible and well written article

and yet we allow the mondorowitza, and the kolkos wiengarten and others like the former rosh kolel in north miami beach to go and be hired again and again now hes of to montreal and hurt our children again and again when we will we learn

Anonymous said...

It just brings to mind of when Henious Heinnemenn in Baltimore put the publication and journalist that exposed multiple molestors in Cherem. Nothing about the crimes that actually happened, NOTHING about the hundreds of victims of Shapiros and Eismann, just a sign in his shul saying that these publications should be banned.

While back in Israel, we have Elior Chen doing a lot of time for his hundreds of counts of child rape and molestation, sodimization, limb burning, and more, but ha had the Haskama of all the Gedolim.

Judaism is so beutiful; from history, Patriarchs, Exodus, Shabbos, YT, etc, etc.... but look who is at the helm today.

Anonymous said...

High Rabbinic Court: Annul conversions


In an unprecedented decision, the High Rabbinical Court of Israel has called to invalidate all conversions performed since 1999 by Rabbi Haim Drukman, the head of the Conversion Authority.

The decision was made after the court rejected an appeal of a ruling by Ashdod's Regional Rabbinical Court rendering a woman's conversion invalid.

In a 50-page decision, a panel of three high court judges ruled that all conversions conducted since 1999 by Rabbi Drukman - who heads the Conversion Authority - and another rabbi, must be declared invalid.

They also ruled that it was permitted to retroactively cancel the conversion of someone who does not observe the Sabbath.

Finally, the high court ruled the Jewish status of the woman questionable and ordered that she and her children must be added to the list of me'ukvei nissu'in (people who cannot marry under Jewish law). Out of extra caution, her husband was also added to the list of illegal marriages despite his being a Jew by birth.

The story began in the course of divorce proceedings between the woman, who was converted by Rabbi Drukman's court 15 years ago, and her Jewish-born husband. After issuing her a get (Jewish divorce document), one of the judges at the Ashdod Regional Rabbinical Court inquired about her conversion and her Jewish observance.

On the basis of the ensuing discussion, the judge ruled the woman's conversion invalid, and in consequence, that her children, who were born after her conversion, are not Jewish.

As the decision was made after the court had already granted the woman a get in accordance with Jewish law, the court proceeded to write a document stating that the get was unnecessary, since the woman's marriage was also invalid under Jewish law.

The verdict put in question the Jewish status of thousands of converts, and could require them to convert a second time.

Paul Mendlowitz said...

Mishne Torah - Hilchos Deos - in response to above commenter, kollelniks and Agudah Fressers.

ה,ב כיצד--תלמיד חכמים לא יהיה גרגרן, אלא אוכל מאכל הראוי להברות גופו, ולא יאכל ממנו אכילה גסה. ולא יהא רודף למלאות בטנו, כאלו שמתמלאין ממאכל ומשקה עד שתפוח כרסן; ועליהם מפורש בקבלה, "וזיריתי פרש על פניכם, פרש חגיכם" (מלאכי ב,ג)--אמרו חכמים, אלו בני אדם שאוכלין ושותין ועושין כל ימיהם כחגים.

ה,ג והם האומרים "אכול ושתה, כי מחר נמות" (ישעיהו כב,יג). וזה הוא מאכל הרשעים; ושולחנות אלו, הם שגינה הכתוב ואמר "כי כל שולחנות, מלאו קיא צואה, בלי, מקום" (ישעיהו כח,ח). אבל החכם אינו אוכל אלא תבשיל אחד או שניים, ואוכל ממנו כדי חייו ודייו; הוא שאמר שלמה, "צדיק--אוכל, לשובע נפשו" (משלי יג,כה).

ה,ד [ב] כשהחכם אוכל מעט זה הראוי לו, לא יאכלנו אלא בביתו על שולחנו. לא יאכל בחנות ולא בשוק אלא לפי צורך גדול, כדי ה,כג [יא] דרך בעלי דעה, שיקבע לו אדם מלאכה המפרנסת אותו תחילה, ואחר כך יקנה בית דירה, ואחר כך יישא אישה--שנאמר "מי האיש אשר נטע כרם, ולא חיללו . . . אשר בנה בית חדש . . . אשר אירש אישה" (ראה דברים כ,ה-ז).

ה,כד אבל הטיפשים, מתחילין לישא אישה, ואחר כך אם תמצא ידו יקנה בית, ואחר כך בסוף ימיו יחזור לבקש אומנות או יתפרנס מן הצדקה; וכן הוא אומר בקללות, "אישה תארש . . . בית תבנה . . . כרם תיטע" (דברים כח,ל)--כלומר יהיו מעשיך הפוכין, כדי שלא תצליח דרכיך. ובברכה מה הוא אומר, "ויהי דויד לכל דרכיו, משכיל; וה', עימו" (שמואל א יח,יד).

Baruch said...

For them, this day (25 of Nissan) will forever remain as the day of the royal wedding. For us, it will forever remain as the day of Moshe Kanovsky's untimely death.

I have been told by a local rabbi that there are exactly 626 days separating the "suicides" of Moshe Kanovsky and Zvi Zahler: the value of זבחי יד משה הלוי אייזעמאן (Slaughtered by Moshe Halevi Eisemann). What a fearsome "coincidence"!

UOJ Gets Results said...

Friday, April 29, 2011, 2:19 PM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) GOP Ind. Gov. Daniels says he'll sign tough abortion bill that cuts Planned Parenthood funding.

evanstonjew said...

Inspiring story. Thank you UOJ.

I want to bring to your readers attention an eye opening story in this weeks The Nation. Perhaps this is common knowledge, but for someone like myself who does not pay much attention to the politics of Catholicism it was an eye-opener.


Daniel Z said...

It was the holy UOJ who first went after the menuval way back in 2007


I'll come after you as an exterminator goes after poisonous rats! I'm on to you and your pathetic scam! You're going down - BIG!

Is is unbeliveable how most of teh haredi rabbis and many of the modern orthodox (yes, it is you Hershel Schachter) went after Tropper giving him (EDIT) and eating from his hands

Paul Mendlowitz said...


Thanks EJ; indeed an important read!

itchiemayer said...

Speaking of the menuval, I just finished reading "Just One Jew". So how does the one Jew known as UOJ break the news to his bro that several of these guys (including Tropper) on whom he lavishes great praise in his book are not worthy of such praise.

Paul Mendlowitz said...


Just One Jew agreed to have Unorthodox Jew proof read his next book:-)

Anonymous said...

"I have been told by a local rabbi that there are exactly 626 days separating the "suicides" of Moshe Kanovsky and Zvi Zahler: the value of זבחי יד משה הלוי אייזעמאן (Slaughtered by Moshe Halevi Eisemann). What a fearsome "coincidence"!"

I knew both Moshes mentioned; could you elaborate a little on what you seem to be implying and how you know this. Thank you.

UOJ gets results said...

WASHINGTON (AP) Osama bin Laden is dead and US has body, says person familiar with developments.

Paul Mendlowitz said...

Various arguments are forwarded to justify the validity of conversions performed for the sake of marriage. It is worthwhile to review these arguments and to point out their flaws.

The first argument is based on the principle that “devarim she’balev, einam devarim,” which literally means that “tacit thoughts are inconsequential.” Some people use this principle to prove that the insincere convert’s mental negations of the precepts, cannot nullify his positive oral acceptance of them.

However, nearly all of our rabbinic authorities, assert that this claim is invalid. In Teshuvos Achiezer (111, no.26), HaRav Chaim Ozer Grodzinski maintains that one who mentally negates the precepts, while orally accepting them, is not a true convert. He bases his argument on the rationale that because conversion is in itself a “davar she’balev” “a matter of the heart,” it is the candidate’s inner conviction which determines the validity of his conversion. Other authorities invalidate the claim of “tacit thoughts are inconsequential” as it pertains to conversions, on the grounds that this principle applies only to matters of transaction, and not to ritual acts.

Rabbi Moshe Feinstein views the problem from a different vantagepoint. He accepts the argument that tacit thoughts cannot invalidate ritual acts.

However, he points out that it is inapplicable in the case of such conversions, because the very marriage of a gentile woman to a non observant Jew, is equivalent to an open declaration that she will not observe the precepts. As we have already explained, this is so, because it is highly unlikely that the gentile member of such a union, will be more committed to Judaism than her remiss Jewish husband. Unlike mental or tacit negations, explains Rav Feinstein, open declarations do invalidate conversions. When such cases appear before a rabbinical court, its members actually become witnesses to an acceptance declaration that is not sincere.

Therefore, it is no longer a tacit insincerity, but rather an obvious one. As such, they are forbidden to sanction the conversion.

There are rabbis who permit such conversions, even when it is highly unlikely that the converting partner will observe the precepts. They base themselves on the principle advanced in the Talmud Shabbos 34, that “one who converted amidst gentiles, is still a convert.” This principle is referring to one who converted, even though he knew very little about the precepts, particularly the Sabbath.

Paul Mendlowitz said...

These modern rabbis claim that such candidates assume that the precepts are merely ceremonial and not obligatory, and therefore place them in the category of those who have accepted Judaism on the basis of a very meager knowledge.

However, this argument is faulty for two reasons. Firstly, the Talmud is speaking of one who would observe the Sabbath, if informed of its laws. Generally, people who convert only to facilitate marriage, have no interest in leading Torah lives, and as such, cannot be equated with the above mentioned Talmudic archetype.

In addition (as taught by the Chazon Ish: Rabbi Karelitz), the conversion of one who does not believe that the Divine origin of the Torah is the binding force of all the precepts, is invalid. As a rule, most people who convert for the purpose of marriage, lack this basic inner belief.

The acceptance of the yoke of the commandments must be sincere at the time of the conversion and must be meant to include all the precepts. The conversion of a person who agrees to observe all the commandments, except one Rabbinic precept, is not valid.

According to the Chazon Ish, the willingness to observe the commandments, is not the only factor that validates an acceptance declaration. He says: “The acceptance of the commandments, must be backed by both firm inner belief in the Divine origin of the commandments and by the understanding that conversion is included in this principle. A declaration not based on this belief is null and void.”

Sometimes, so called Orthodox rabbis perform conversions that are invalid, according to Jewish Law. Such conversions are generally referred to as “wholesale” or “quickie” conversions, because of the non thorough manner in which they are conducted. What invalidates these conversions, is the fact that the candidate does not sincerely intend to observe the commandments after his conversion, even though he has orally stated that he will do so at the time of his conversion. A conversion may not be performed until the court is completely certain and convinced, that the candidate will observe the commandments.

But how does a judge know what is occurring in the mind of a candidate? Can he always discern an applicant’s inner sentiments?

Nearly all the candidates who desire to convert in order to facilitate marriage to a Jew, are not acceptable, because their future marriage partners generally lack Jewish awareness and commitment. (Were this not so, they would not have interdated.) Because it is highly unlikely that such a couple will build a Torah observant home, the conversion cannot be sanctioned.

Rav Moshe Feinstein speaks out against conversions performed to facilitate marriage, especially when the future convert has no intention to observe the precepts.

In Iggros Moshe, Letters of Moshe (Yoreh De’ah, no. 157), he writes that “According to the Law, it is certain that one who converts for the sake of marriage, yet does not intend to keep the commandments, is not a proselyte at all.”

Anonymous said...

UOJ, sadly you are no different from the people you are criticizing on your blog. You are censoring comments removing ones that are not fitting your narrative. You are making impossible demands to converts, just like the people who are abusing them in Aguda.
It looks like you are not a compassionate forward looking seeker of truth, but a fundamentalist purity seeker of Ibn Qutb and Bin Laden kind.

I know that this message will not be published, but suggest you examine your thoughts. Regardless of your retoric, I have to conclude that your are an evil person UOJ.

Boruch said...

@Anonymous 5/5/2011:

Can't determine what your complaint is about. A sham is a sham regardless of it's intentions. Would it be any less of a sham if we were talking about a cure for cancer instead of conversions? A convert is one of the highest forms of ahavas Hashem you can find. Besmirching it by buying into Yiddishkeit or worse, being the suit without the corpus, is an anathema. You can't compare a convert who doesn't observe halacha to one who is Jewish by birth and non-observant of halacha. What did they convert to, then? You may think it evil to expose this type of sham, in reality, it's just another nuance of UOJ's mission. Kol HaKovod to him.

Anonymous said...

When people create a system in which a person is gulty till proven innocent. They create an evil system.
Your approach to converts is evil because you make them guilty by default. Since it is impossible to prove person's intentions beyond any doubt, every convert is guilty till proven innocent (which can never happen to 100% level) in your system. Such system you'd never apply to yourself. This makes me to conlude that you are either unaware of tremendous harm you cause to converts and their progeny, or that you are evil abusive man.