Wednesday, September 18, 2019

The UOJ Perspective

A Time to Cry - A Time to Learn What is Genuine and What Are Lies!

The # 1 Most Widely Read Post of all 2011 

The events of the past several years, very obviously demonstrate the way you and your leaders understand our cultural history. But for the few of us that truly understand our history, as I do, untangling some of its complex strands has practical and intellectual consequences.

In my own case, the hardest - and the most challenging - is my never-ending research of Judaism's core values. I had to unlearn what I thought I knew, and was forced to shed presuppositions I had grown up with and taken for granted internally and intellectually.

This type of introspection, difficult to the extreme, has given me the depth of understanding of the Jewish doctrines to which is part of my very being, embedded in my DNA, and has assisted me in determining, at least for myself, what is divine and what is human.

For those who will never experience my struggle, there is no contradiction at all to the divine and human perception, the challenge is integrating the two. They are not diametrically opposed to one another as your ignorant rabbis would have you believe. They rule out that learned and spiritually inclined Jews, have always sought to discern spiritual truth via their intuition, reflection, senses, and creative imagination.

The rabbis that will deny you your God-given intellect, to experience on your own what humankind was destined to evolve into, a mirror-image of the beauty of what could and should be the Divine will of chochmat ha'briah; the understanding of the evolution of the intellect to adapt to today's realities of truth and practicality. What they would want you to forget, that only with the shedding of the "Church" as the arbiter of truth and morality in the U.S. Constitution, a mere couple of hundred of years ago, was then civilization, at least the United States, able to remove its intellectual shackles burdened and encumbered by nonsense, cruelty, ignorance and hell.

We've developed more in the last few hundred years, than we have in the last untold thousands. That does not come without a price, however. But that is not the thrust of this post.

Rabbis who will deny such experiences, can teach us anything they choose to about God,and have always identified themselves as our "guardians" of the ancient traditions, or Mesorah. They will preach with fire in their eyes and bimah-banging that it is only they that can determine your faithfulness - by your ability to abide by their interpretation of what was handed down from ancient witnesses -- never adding or subtracting anything unless you consult with them first. And these "guardians", who refer to themselves as the "eini ha'edah" or the eyes of the community, that this view of their role expresses appropriate humility; and it vests them and them alone of the Divine Truth, with God's own authority.

These so-called leaders, of course could not ban the imagination entirely, but they effectively channeled your religious imagination to support their opinions, no matter how cruel and ignorant they may be. Everything you are, they teach, is because you are merely an extension of them, not individuals who have the ability to know right from wrong. And if you stray; like Heaven forbid, do not consult with them if an ongoing series of heinous crimes and cover ups are transpiring under your noses, by the very rabbis that will have you consult with them only, than it is you that is the heretic, the maskil, the sheigetz, the oisvorf and the menuvel.

But in fact, these "heretics" having left the intellectual Jewish ghettos of New York, have impoverished the very system that they outgrew. These "heretics" often walk alone - despite the fact that the spiritual inquiry that they undertook, forcing them to leave their ghettos of origin behind, have become primary sources of inspiration to tens of thousands, and eventually their ideas to the vast majority of Jews, because ultimately I pray "right makes might"!

What such people seek, however, is NOT a different set of rules and obligations to their faith, but rather insights or intimations of the Divine, that would validate themselves in experience. Some who have engaged on this path pursue it in voluntary solitude; others participate in various forms of worship, prayer and action, or a combination of the above.

Engaging in such a practice requires the highest form of faith, or belief, but it also involves so much more; the trust that enables us to commit ourselves to what we hope and love. We have the knowledge and experience to declare boldly; "THIS IS NOT SO, I DO NOT ACCEPT THAT!"

The sociologist Peter Berger points out that everyone who participates in tradition today chooses among elements of that tradition. We survived thousands of years BECAUSE we were able to relive, reinvent, and transform what we received.

This act of choice - which the term heresy originally meant - leads us back to the problem that Orthodoxy meant to resolve; how can we tell truth from lies? What is genuine and thus connects us with one another and with reality, and what is shallow, self-serving, or evil? Anyone who has seen foolishness, sentimentality, delusion, and murderous rage disguised as God's truth, knows that there is no easy answer to this dichotomy. Orthodox Judaism distrusts your capacity to make such discrimination and insists on making them for us. Given the often notorious human capacity for self-deception, we can thank your so-called rabbis for this. And the many of you that wish to be spared hard work, gladly accept what these rabbis tell you.

But the fact that we do not have a simple answer, does not mean we should evade the question. We have also seen the hazards - even terrible harm - that sometimes result from unquestioning of religious authority. Rabbi Elchonon Wasserman's tyrannical, unforgivable conduct during the Holocaust comes immediately to mind. Thousands went to their death upon instruction from him. How many hundreds of thousands of "modeh ani l'fanechahs" will forever remain unsaid every morning from the mouths of children?, perhaps only God knows, but I suspect that He does not know either.

Many of us, however, sooner or later, at critical points in our lives, will have to make our own path where none exists. And that, done correctly, is a good thing. As for me, I am resolute, passionate in my beliefs, non-yielding to any ideological foe that crosses my path. I live in my head and in my contemplative soul. Any setback I view as temporary and a challenge to outhink my opponent. I never concede to evil, never...and I never will. My children and your children are counting on me, whether they know it or not.

And so are you....

As the posuk in יְשַׁעְיָהוּ Isaiah - 10:13 says, "The light of Israel will be fire and its Holy One - flame, it will burn and consume its thorns..."


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Paul Mendlowitz said...

While Forty Eighter makes some valid points, the community must be programmed to call the police in ALL cases of alleged child abuse and suspected predatory behavior.

Shomrim is holding on to a list of suspected child molesters that have not been turned into the police.

What would the community say if one or more of them acted out again?

We need to start thinking big picture and long term!

Anonymous said...

21 years ago, there was a drug addict who robbed Mirrer & Chaim Berliner bochurim with guns to their heads. He actually came inside the Mirrer yeshiva. At that time, Shomrim were not very organized, Hatzolah was only mobilizing in the case of child abductions and there was no Chaverim and Misaskim to provide extra emergency manpower. The only special help the bochurim got was from Josh Mehlman who started making phone calls to top Police brass in the middle of the night while pacing around with a cordless phone in his shtatty bathrobe. The NYPD believe it or not said they couldn't find anyone to stand guard at the yeshivos or to investigate, even though the perp continued to hold up yeshiva guys throughout the night and threatened to return to kill people. Mehlman finally reached a top Commander in Manhattan who sent two dumb looking undercovers to sit in the Mirrer beis medrash for the rest of the night. When the detectives showed up in Mehlman's living room at 4 am to take statements from the victims, they looked like stand-ins for Laurel & Hardy. When asked if they could call the precinct with the perp's description so that the squad cars could start looking for him, they said gosh no, we don't do that. The precinct will get our report some time tomorrow after it is submitted. I'm sure the NYPD has improved dramatically since Dinkins the Pinkins was voted out as Mayor, but still.

Villiamsburg said...


Sullivan County Deputy Sheriff, Kevin Rogers was flagged down by a passerby, Tuesday, July 19 and told the deputy of a burglary happening at the Crossroad Estates bungalow colony located at 338 Anawana Lake Road in the Town of Thompson.

Shulem Klein, 46, of Skillman Street in Brooklyn, NY was confronted by the deputy. He was loading furniture into a van from two unoccupied bungalows at the colony.

The suspect did not have an explanation for his actions when he was arrested. He was charged with burglary in the 3rd degree, a Felony, and Petit Larceny.

Klein was arraigned before Thompson Town Judge Martin Miller and sent to the Sullivan County Jail in lieu of $7,500 bail.

YTT back office operations said...


Suspect charged with harrassing Katsav witnesses has criminal background

The suspect is a 49-year-old retired commander who was dishonorably discharged, has been tried and served prison time for fraud, embezzlement, extortion.

By Tomer Zarchin

He has since been involved in other illicit activities and in March last year was brought in for using a bugging device, intending to blackmail a Carmiel rabbi.

The suspect arrived at the Rabbinate in Carmiel pretending to be a businessman wishing to open a restaurant. He then offered the rabbi cash in exchange for assistance, hoping he could then frame and extort him.

Sheftel Neuberger said...


I was hoping the press wouldn't find out that Shlomo Dreck is living in Pikesville which is Ner Yisroel territory. If everyone assumed he lived in Baltimore proper, Heinemann would get the blame

Anonymous said...

Are Persian rabbis in LA covering up for a crook?


Rabbi David Shofet, the leader of Nessah Synagogue, and Rabbi David Zargary have been urged repeatedly to publicly require Ezri Namvar's brothers to repay his debts. They have demurred, leading many to conclude that they are in the pocket of the Namvars. Last fall, Shofet and Zargary issued a letter saying they lacked expertise in this area and recommending that the case be referred to a Jewish court known as a Beit Din. The letter also criticized "the aggressive route of forced bankruptcy." In language that seemed to give more weight to Namvar's view of events, the rabbis attributed his downfall to "rumors and panic coupled with plummeting real estate prices, as well as mistakes and lapse of judgment committed by Mr. Ezri Namvar." For many, that wasn't good enough. Chief among them was Benjamin Hakakha, who launched a blog denouncing the Namvars and the rabbis.


In the quiet of a Beverly Hills synagogue, a man shouts in Farsi. Something about a bankruptcy that never should have happened.
As a security guard escorts him out, he switches to English: "I have not done anything," he says, suddenly calm. "This is a free country. Tell the rabbi to come."

From the pulpit, a group of attorneys has been trying for an hour to placate a crowd of people angry over the bankruptcy. Each person in the pews has lost a lot of money — perhaps everything they have — and many are beyond calming.

"When I came to this country, I had a lot of respect for the government," a man shouts. "My respect is zero now. It is no different than Iran or Iraq!"

A woman cries out: "Nobody can take their money back from the gangster!"

The gangster in question is Ezri Namvar — better known as the "Bernie Madoff of Beverly Hills." When he was forced into bankruptcy three years ago, he left a trail of ruin and more than $1 billion in claims.

Namvar had built his business on the tight-knit relationships within the Persian Jewish community, and his collapse shattered that trust. With Namvar's affairs in shambles, his creditors have turned on each other — and even on their rabbis. By failing to condemn Namvar in the strongest terms, many say the rabbis have been complicit.

Until Namvar was forced out in disgrace, he served on the board of directors of the Nessah Synagogue. Outside the sanctuary, there is a plaque on the wall: "The dedication of the Hakham Yedidia Shofet Sanctuary was possible by the donation of [the] Namvar Family."

The recent meeting at the synagogue was intended to update creditors on the progress of the unwinding of the Namvar estate. There has been little progress. They want to know why.

A few miles to the west, in the hills of Brentwood, Namvar is under house arrest. He's living in an $8 million mansion while he awaits sentencing for wire fraud. The mansion has been foreclosed and the bank is trying to evict him. There is a dispute over the water bill, and the lawn has turned to weeds.

Namvar is allowed to attend Saturday services at a Chabad temple near his house.

Anonymous said...


"We are, today, a wounded and perplexed community," novelist Gina Nahai wrote in a column for The Jewish Journal. "For us, the question is no longer what a Jew will and will not do; it's what we, as a community, will and won't tolerate. It's whether our increasingly Orthodox rabbis will take a public stand against larceny in our own midst, or choose to look away."

Namvar's most formidable and dogged opponent has been Abraham Assil, a wealthy real estate investor who had parked $6 million with Namvar.

Assil has harsh words for federal investigators, who, he says, barely scratched the surface of Namvar's crimes. He also is unsparing with the leaders of the Orthodox community. He believes they should have spoken out more forcefully and compelled the Namvar family to repay creditors.

"The religious authorities have an obligation to protect those who cannot defend themselves," he says. "Their silence speaks volumes."

Assil had hoped to be semiretired by now, but without the $6 million he lost to Namvar, he must keep working. Still, he acknowledges that he remains comfortable.

He is still following the money with grim determination. He believes "suitcases full of cash" went to Israel. Some may be in Turkey.

"He misjudged me," Assil says. "He miscalculated my abilities and my perseverance. This is not over yet. This is just the beginning."

The creditors continue to fight over whether Assil was correct to force the bankruptcy. To some, he was extremely brave. If he had not done what he did, Namvar might have been allowed to dissipate whatever was left of the estate. Thanks to him, the creditors will at least get something — maybe between 5 percent and 15 percent of what they lost.

But many others believe Assil made a mistake by tying Namvar's hands. The bankruptcy trustees have consumed more than $20 million in fees for attorneys and forensic accountants. Many believe the trustees have sold off properties at fire-sale prices. So far, the creditors have not received anything.

If he had been given more time, they believe, Namvar would have found a way to pay.

"Ezri is not an angel. He's a terrible person," says Alex Hakakian, one of the creditors who has been most critical of Assil. "At the same time, he was trying to work something out. I think this would have been resolved by now if that was allowed to happen."

Brad Sharp, the trustee in charge of Namco Capital Group, rejects that out of hand. The bankruptcy would not cost so much, he says, if the parties involved were not fighting at every turn in court. They have taken untenable positions, and lost, and then appealed. They have demanded extensive discovery.

Much of the Namvar estate was lost to foreclosure. But the trustees have filed some 250 lawsuits to recover whatever assets are still out there. They have sued Namvar's wife, Ilana, to recover a $390,000 diamond. Another suit alleges that $200,000 was spent on Namvar's younger brother's wedding. The trustees have sued the Namvar brothers and other relatives for $300 million.

Mousa says they are chasing phantoms.

"This is bullshit," he says. "I swear to that. I bring the Torah. I put my blood on the line. ... There is no money. Do you think anybody can hide $300 million without a trace?"

The trustees are spending something like $800,000 per month. Unlike the creditors, they will get paid in full.

Anonymous said...


Benjamin Hakakha, who launched a blog denouncing the Namvars and the rabbis.

"Here's the problem with the rabbis," Hakakha says. "They're not some sort of outside, uninvolved, disassociated entity. They're actually beneficiaries of funds given to them by the Namvars for many years. The same funds that were the clients' moneys fed those guys for years."

Hakakha accused the rabbis of "backstabbing" the community.

"They need to be put on the microscope and come to answer for what they've done," he says.

Zargary referred questions to Shofet. Reached by cellphone, Shofet declined to comment.

"Sir, I have nothing to tell you," he said. "Thank you very much. Bye-bye."

Many creditors have called for a Beit Din. That is how it would be handled back in Iran, where Persian Jews preferred, where possible, to settle matters among themselves rather than through the Islamic court system.

The issue with the rabbis has introduced one more point of conflict into an already labyrinthine case. Like Namvar, the rabbis do not lack for defenders. One of them, Isaac Khanzadeh, addressed an open letter to Hakakha, calling him "deranged" and "dim-witted trash."

"Spineless rodents like you are a plague upon our community," he wrote. He said he was "revolted by your lack of tact, absence of logic, guttural personality, vitriolic demeanor, dark aura and your absolute disregard for facts and truth."

There also is a brewing fight between the trustees and the creditors' committees over how to manage the bankruptcy, which promises to be every bit as nasty.

"It's all about columns and swimming pools," Diaan says. "Iranians like houses with tennis courts, so they can throw big parties on their tennis court. If you search the entire house, you won't find a racket."

Namvar is small, maybe 5 feet 1, with an ebullient mien. He is putting on weight because he can't leave the house. His lawyers have asked for a new trial, arguing that he intended to pay his depositors back but was prevented from doing so by the bankruptcy.

Namvar's a compulsive guy, and he continues to make real estate deals over the phone. He has asked for permission to work for an investment company, but the U.S. Attorney has objected, saying a convicted "fraudster" should not be entrusted with other people's money.

He still hopes he will not go to prison, and says he feels sorrow for the creditors.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Dweck, the only fugitive in that story still being sought is the cash courier Yoely Gertner. The Newark Star Ledger is reporting in today's edition that the FBI has traced him to England. No word if they trying to extradite.

Anonymous said...

The drug addict did not make it inside Chaim Berlin. He chased some bochurim one of whom made it inside under protection of electronically sealed doors. Another bochur who was not able to run so fast was held up on the side street that leads to Shulamis girls school.

Colmo the Homo said...

"Dinkins the Pinkins"

How dare you make such a bigoted statement against those with leanings in shades of red!

Q said...

Dreck, AKA Dwek, is in Baltimore. Fact.
Dreck wholly and fully supported Heinnemen's brother's yeshiva in New Jersey, I think it was Bayonne, but I'm not positive.
So Drek lives in Baltimore now, because Heinemann owes him a favor?
I think so.
Vu Zugt Tu, UOJ?

Boog said...

That Shomrim Perp List should be plastered on every lightpole, grober yenta tuchis, and fress gesheft in Buhru Pahk and Fletboosh.

For how long did the Shomrim Cowboys know about Aron Perpie? and not say a word? Aiding & Abetting? What are you Cowboys waiting for? another grope & poke incident?

Betcha Aron Perpie's slicing & dicing of poor Leiby Z"L wasn't his first action. Cops will find more korbanos in NY and TN.

Rafi G. ..Watchdog of RBSA said...


Boruch mechayei hameisim said...

C'mon Boog, it took Leiby's tragic story to drag you back from retirement? And where's Gross?

Oy Wu! said...

Congressman Wu Talks To Nancy Pelosi About Sex Allegation!


Anonymous said...

Heinemann's yeshiva is Belmar NJ which is very close to Deal NJ.

Bayonne, that toxic dump that it is, is run by a Philly talmid which is why they had some hard core Philly robots that were learning there in the beginning. Bayonne is north of Staten Island and south of Jersey City.

Anonymous said...

And Colmo the Homo (Colmer), the star pupil who dropped out of Ohel sex offender rehab without Ohel reporting him to the DA's office, I believe grew up in Belmar and started molesting kids there.

Anonymous said...

From Leiby's memorial site:

Liam Neeson
5 hours, 5 minutes ago
My name is Liam Neeson .I played in the movie schindlers list. The entire cast at paramount studio was talking about what happen to your beautiful son AND WE WANT TO DO SOMETHING IN memory of leiby.The name leiby kletzky name must not be forgotton and i will get together with the board of directors at paramount studio and discuss what we can do. Till then my heart goes out for the entire family and especially the jewish community for such a loss. GOD BLESS Liam neeson

East 2nd St said...

Erev Shabbos was day 10 that CSI was ripping apart Aron's house. They spent most of the day going through the basement where they retrieved an old cellphone and old computer which will be analyzed. They also removed another 5 boxes and 3 large bags of evidence.

Today was day 12 and CSI is still there.

Anonymous said...

Liam Neeson is a big mentch which is why it's weird that his shvigger is the notorious anti-Semite Vanessa Redgrave.


60 Minutes did a segment on her anti-Semitism even.


Redgrave has spent huge amounts of personal money to support Arab terrorism. She has spent at least $200,000 bailing out from jail, al Qaeda & other Muslim terrorists.

Australia said...


How does Rabbi Telsner of the Lubavitcher yeshiva in Melbourne keep intimidating "mosrim" on child molesters and then deny to inquiring reporters that he is doing so? After he denied that his Shabbos drasha on lashon harah and mesirah was meant to discourage people from speaking to police, another article besides this one says he personally approached victims who gave statements to police and asked them who gave permission to talk to authorities. He denies that this too would constitute any kind of intimidation or discouragement !!

Forbes said...


Don’t Get Caught Holding Dollars When The U.S. Default Arrives

Vos zogt UOJ? said...


Is Rabbi Pinto the real deal, a fraudster using kochos hatumah or a lucky guesser?

Paul Mendlowitz said...

Pinto is a con - period!

Anonymous said...

Did anyone read the editorial and the news analysis in the latest issue of AMI magazine, attacking activists trying to help children as being "anti-rabbonim"?

Also: why glorify the attorney, Marrone, who withdrew from the defense?

Dovy said...

In light of the terrible Leiby K. tragedy, have those who supported Martin Grossman last year had any second thoughts?

Leopold Margulies said...

UOJ disabling the comments on the 60 million YUGE post because he don't vant anyvone asking qvestions if he fudging da numbers

Brooklynite said...

Another massive cover up by Agudah:



Fress und Gedenk said...


in the picture here, Rabbi Shain seems to be verifying the horrifying sight that UOJ witnessed by breakfast at the 1959 Agudah Convention

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