Thursday, January 31, 2008

The abolitionist and the radical loose canon!

Some people go off the edge in life. They totally lose it and become dangerously unpredictable. It's hard to measure extremists. Was Baruch Glodstein a nihilistic unpeacful Jew? Or should he to be considered a militant hero? Was he right in doing what he did? Was he wrong? Who is worse in your mind, Baruch Glodstein or a member of Hamas? Are they both equally guilty? Do you see a scenario where one is better over the other?

between Noam Federman, one of the great "Hilltop" boys and leader of Rabbi Kahane's (ztk"l) still vibrant movement in Judea. It appears (more)
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By Dr. Manfred R. lehmann

A year will soon have passed since Purim 1994--and it is likely that the leftist press will use the opportunity to heap again lies, abuse and distortions on the memory of Dr. Baruch Goldslein.

Here are some of the things they will spread throughout the media: Goldstein wonted to derail the peace process...Goldstcin refused to treat Arabs... Goldstein was a poor soldier...his atack was unprovoked ...his victims were peaceful Arab weapon was found in the Machpelah... the Shamgar Report found no evidence of hostility by the Arabs against the Jews... this incident was proof that Jews are terrorists no less tihan the Arabs.. the Hebron incident justifies Arab terrorism... Goldslein is typical for violence by all settlers...

All these statements are false and malicious. Before analyzing them we should perhaps ask ourselves: which are the motives of the leftist fanatics to use Goldstein for their purposes? Here are some of the sinister motivations:

1. Firstly,the Leftists are keen to help their PLO friends to clear out the Land of Israel of Jews, starting with Hebron and "setllements."
Immediately after Purim they raised a clamor for the disarming of all setllers throughout Israel. This would make them exposed to murderous Arab attacks, and would force them to abondon the setllements and surrender them to the Arabs.

2. The leftists have, on ideological/materialistic grounds, determined to destroy the image of any Jewish hero. In this vein they have caried out the "debunking" of our greatest heroes in our history: they claim that the martyrs of Massada did not really commit suicide, they denounce the hero of the Second Revolt, Bar Kochba, as not a great hero at all, they deny that Josef Trumpeldor, the early Zionist martyr, said "It is good to die for our Land" they even claim that Hanna Senesh, the great Holocaust martyr, was really a traitor who denounced her fellow partisans to the Nazis ...Recenlly a TV program was produced in Israel attacking the story of Hanna Senesh's martyrdom - when a storm of protest arose, the author had to admit that his story was pure fiction and that the evidence of Hanna's heroism still stood. But the image of Goldstein as a hero has to be destroyed!

3. The leftists need an excuse for the Arab murderers who have killed scores since last Purim. It is convenient to imply that these murders somehow were provoked by Goldstein instead of by the inherent Islamic hatred for jews, which has been allowed to take violent form since the Oslo "peace"agreement.


On my last stay in Israel, I invited Mr. and Mrs. Israel Goldstein to come from their home in Kiryat Arba to visit me in Jerusalem. It was a very significant and emotionol meeting. On the personal side the deep mourning over their beloved son was of course with them every moment.

They related to me the many details of Baruch's childhood and youth. His life in the USA was so similar to that of thousands of young Orthodox boys and girls, brought up in Day Schools and Yeshivoth. Only Baruch yearned for making aliyah and making a contribution in Israel as a doctor. His family ancestry, through his mother, went back eight ganerotions to the Baal Hatanya founder of the Lubavitch dynasty. Members of his family had been victims of the Arab pogrom of Jews in Hebron in 1929, when some 69 Jews were slaughtered, without the British troops interfering. The memory of this tragedy weighs heavily on all residents of Hebron, it shows that the lribe of Arabs in Hebron, the Hebronite Arabs, more than most other Arab tribes are known for their violence and blood thirst. They are the descendants of the Arabs who on June 17,1839, almost murdered Sir Moses and Lady Judith Montefiore when they visited the Machpelah with the Turkish Governor. His diary reports the near-outbreak of an Arab pogrom of the large old Jewish community in Hebron after that near-fatal visit.

In tear-drenched moments, Goldslein's mother. told me of her son's total commitment after his years as a student ot Yeshiva University and Albert Einstein Medical School to his profession as a doctor. She showed me confirmation of his healing an Arab terrorist.

The details ond facts the Goldsteins documented to me, reflected some of the findings in the 338 page Shamgar Commission Report of which I obtained a copy - but were not widely published under the obvious leftist inspired censorship which had been imposed on many of its findings. Thus on page 77 the Report confirms that Goldstein treated ond healed an Arab terrorist in October 1990. If this had been publicized, the world press, including Time Magazine could not have claimed that Goldstein hated Arabs and refused to treat them.

The central feature in the actual events, clouded in the official versions, came out crystal clear from Ihe documents his parents brought.


A. On February 21,1994 The Kiryat Arba Town Council near Hebron had an emergency meeting called at short notice by General Mofaz and Brigadier General Kalifi who warned the residents that the Army had concrete evidence that the Arabs were planning a serious attack, and the Jewish medical officers be ready for emergency aid (this referred to Dr. Goldstein as the head medical officer in Kiryat Arba).

B. At the same time a leading Israel newspaper Yediot Aharonot, published a news report before Purim with a report that Hamas forces in Hebron had for days circulated through their terror group Ez a-Adin Alquasam,the murderers who recently had killed the Lapides and other Hebronite Jews, an alert to all Arabs in Hebron to stock up with food and provisions since a great attack on Jews would take place ond that it could be expected that, afterwards,the Israeli government woule impose a curfew on the Arab populalion. This all-important clue to the impending Arab pogrom is contained in the Shamgar Report (Page 236): "This being a Friday, the end of the Ramadan holy month, warnings of an attack had been given. There were no grounds for expecting a Jewish attack on Arab worshippers - but to the contrary an attack by the Hamas was expected." The background to these warnings is elaborated on, on page 235 of the Report with a description of the violent ond hostile mood of the Arabs and their cries of "Etbach el Yahud".

C. The Report also contains an account (page 139) of the appeal by the Sheikh Tayassar Temimi in the Machpelah to kill Jews, which set the bellicose mood of the Arabs.

D. The Israeli Press (Hatzofeh of February 27th) reported that on the eve of Purim some 2000 Arabs gathered during the time of the reading of the Megillah and shouted the infamous warcry "Etbach el - Yahud" - slaughter the Jews. These blood curdling cries must have shocked and unnerved every Jew and were foreboding for what the Arabs had prepared for the next day. In 1929, too, the pogrom had been preceded by the dreaded warcry. Baruch Goldstein understood full well what was impeding. The Lapids, recent murder victims of the same terror group, had died in his arms.?..

E. At least one witness, Mordechai Sayed, heard from inside the Machpelah that a gun, wrapped in an Arab "kafiye" was found in tha Machpelah, proving that the Arabs-fariom being peacful worshippers, were armed for their planned pogrom. The witness to this discovery offered the Shamgar Ccommission to testify about his discovery, but was informed by Commission by their letter to him of April 12, 1994 that "there is no need for your testimony." This refusal is most curious and indicates a preconceived prejudice to rule out evidence of Arab provocations. (No body search was conducted on Arabs entering the Machpelah.)

F. I was shown various personal eye witness accounts describing the threatening position prior to Purim: Carl Bishop, an American visitor with a group from the States, encountered violence at the Machpelah one week before Purim. Betya Cohen, local resident, testified that she heard in the days before Purim Arab appeals by loadspeaker "screaming in flowery language that the Holy Land must be recovered from the evil people (the Jews)." Mrs. E.S., a local resident, testified about the Arab broadcasts before Purim heralding Arab attacks on Jews. When she reported this to the Israeli Army she was told "we know." Similar Arab broadcasts had been heard some weeks before which were followed by the attacks on the Lapides, resulting in killing of 2 of their members. Yisrael Ben Ahron, an Army reservist in Kiryat Arba, testified that he saw Arabs storing food before Purim, and that although the Army knew this, they did nothing about it. Yitshak Matoof, local resident, testified that "Arab storekeepers told me not to come to the Machpelah on Purim as it will not be good for Jews there." Ilan Tor, local resident, who was used to reciting Tehillim every morning in the Machpelah was terrified Purim morning "by fhe Arabs howling 'Slaughter the Jews' and their threaiening gestures." Mr. Tor was sure that he would be killed by Ihe Arabs. IDF major D.S. testified before the Shamgar Commission that he was afraid to sleep in his usual place on Purim eve "because he knew that something terrible was going to take place and he wanted to be ready."

Dr. Goldstein had gone to the Machpelah Purim eve, Thursday evening, to attend the reading of the megillah, but could not pray because of 1he howls of the Arabs "Etbach el Yahud" (Slaughter the Jews). He later told his father that when he turned to an IDF soldier and asked him to stop the Arabs, the officer just shrugged his shoulders and turned away. Goldstein left the Machpelah and atiended the Megillah reading in the Community Center in Kirya Arba. The Shamgar Commission never interviewed Goldstein's parents.

These testimonies give ample proof of the explosive atmosphere which the Arabs had created in the Jewish population. David Bar-lan, the Chief Editor of Jerusalem Post, writes to me in a letter: "The Shamgar Report says 'It should be pointed out that a day before the massacre, a proclamation was distributed in Hebron from a terrorist organization saying that a terrorist action would take place within one or two days." It lakes only common sense to conclude precisely that Goldstein acted to forestall a massacre."
G. lt is cryslal clear that nothing was further from Goldstein's mind than "derailing the peace process." He felt responsible for the entire community which faced a blood bath, for which ample threats and notifications had been given. In his anguish about the impending loss of lives especially in light of the Israeli Army's apathy in similar situations in the past, he must have felt that he had to take the defense of his fellow Jews into his own hands. No doubt a well - established Jewish legal rule was also on his mind "Ha-Ba le-horgecha hashkem le-horgo."-If you are threatened by murder, you can preempt it by killing the murderer in self defense. It is also evident that his act thwarted a blood bath which would have killed and maimed countless Jews - much as in the Arab pogrom in Hebron of 1929. His act was therefore thoroughly provoked - not unprovoked as the leftist propaganda wants us to believe. The Arabs were not peaceful worshippers but hostile fanatics, partly armed, ready to launch their pogrom against Jews.
H.The incident cannot have any bearing on the position of "settlers" anywhere else, nor can it ever be used to justify unprovoked acts of murder and massacres being perpetrated by Arabs in fulfillment of Islamic religious commands. It has not before been pointed out that the Purim pogrom would have fallen on Friday, the holy day of Moslems on which many of the murders of Jews committed since the Oslo "peace" agreement have taken place. Generally unknown, but undoubtedly known to Baruch Goldstein is the fact that the 1929 Hebron Pogrom also broke out on a Friday - August 23! No wonder that a blood bath was also to take place Fraiday Purim 1994. Some of the murderers have openly confessed that by sacrificing Jews to Allah, thay come closer to him. That fact, too, must have weighed on Goldstein's mind - the threat of a pogrom on a Friday was more threatening than on any other day.

I. Goldstein parents handed me proudly some certificates issued by the Israeli Army certifying Baruchws exemplary character and service record: He had just been promoted to the rank of Major. In the lengthy ietter of promotion it says: "All his services have always been performed without monetary awards, worthy of highest praise. If there is an officer in the District of Judea and Samaria worthy of promotion in rank it is wihout doubt Dr. (Captain) Baruch Goldstein."

In another diplomo the Medical Chief of the Army thanks Goldstein for miraculously saving the lives of soldiers who had been wounded by Arab terrorists: "With your dedication you saved the lives of the wounded and you saved an entire world."

Another magnificent diploma thanked Goldstein for his committed medical services beyond the call of duty. After he served in Lebanon, the army issued a certificatc thanking him for his "devoted, efficient, diligent, enterprising, thorough, disciplined and expert exercise of his medical profession."

All these documents should lay to rest the malicious, totally unfounded criticism of this exemplary soldier and doctor

A year after the event, there is every reason to honor Goldstein's memory as a Jewish patriot who, only in the last desperate resort available to him preempted a vast blood both of Jews being prepared for Purim morning 1994. As a self - sacrificing comnassionate doctor his aim was to heal and save lives. He was incapable of an act of murder. Forced by the impending disater and convinced that the Government would not sufficiently protect the Jews against Arab attack, he took their defense into his own hands. We can think of outstanding acts of preemptive strikes in our long history, ranging from Pinheas and Samson in Biblical days, to incidents during the Crusades, the Warsaw Ghetto uprising of 1943, the uprisings in Nazi death camps, to the preemptive attack, under Rabin, in the 6-Day War. They are all remembered with awe and reverence.

I am grateful to Goldstein's wonderful parents for sharing the evidence with me, and its publication should serve as a well deserved consolation to them in their grief. Those who rushed to judgment last year, should rightfully hang their heads in shame.



Anonymous said...

Baruch Goldstein is nothing compared to Hamas. I can see people making an argument that he is like Pinchas Ben Elazar. Hamas goes out of their way to kill all Jews all the time. They are terrorists.

Anonymous said...

What a video. Really good.

Wikipedia said...

Baruch Goldstein
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Baruch Kappel Goldstein (December 9 or December 12, 1956 – February 25, 1994, Hebrew: ברוך גולדשטיין‎) was an American born Israeli physician who perpetrated the 1994 Cave of the Patriarchs massacre in the city of Hebron, killing 29 Muslims at prayer in the Ibrahimi Mosque (within the Cave of the Patriarchs) and wounding another 150 in a shooting attack.

* 1 Biography
* 2 Cave of the Patriarchs massacre
* 3 Treatment of non-Jews
* 4 Gravesite and commemoration
* 5 References
* 6 See also
* 7 External links

[edit] Biography

Goldstein was born in Brooklyn, New York to an Orthodox Jewish family. He attended the Yeshivah of Flatbush religious day school and Yeshiva University.[1] He received his medical training at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He belonged to the Jewish Defense League (JDL), a militant Jewish organization founded by Rabbi Meir Kahane. [2]

After emigrating to Israel, he served as a physician in the Israeli Defense Force, first as a conscript, then in the reserve forces. Following the end of his active duty, Goldstein worked as a physician and lived in the Kiryat Arba settlement near Hebron, where he served as an emergency doctor[3].

In the autumn of 1993, in recognition of his medical work, Goldstein received two citations from the Israeli Army"[4]. In January 1994, Major Dr Yitzchak Ashkenazi, the local medical Officer of the district of Judea and Samaria recommended Goldstein for promotion to the rank of Major in the Israeli Army"[5]

[edit] Cave of the Patriarchs massacre

Main article: Cave of the Patriarchs massacre

On February 25, 1994, that year's Purim day, Goldstein entered a room in the Cave of the Patriarchs serving as a mosque, wearing "his army uniform with the insignia of rank, creating the image of a reserve officer on active duty" (Shamgar report). He then opened fire, killing 29 Arab Muslims and wounding 150. Mosque guard Mohammad Suleiman Abu Saleh said he thought that Goldstein was trying to kill as many people as possible and described how there were "bodies and blood everywhere." After being subdued with a fire extinguisher and disarmed, Goldstein was beaten to death.[6]

The death certificate issued by the Israeli Ministry of the Interior lists the cause of his death as "murder."[7] Although the Israeli authorities knew (via an Arab source who was present that morning) the names of those who killed Goldstein, they were never brought to trial although his wife requested that they be charged with homicide.[8]

Palestinian rioting immediately followed the shooting, leading in the following week to the deaths of 25 Palestinians and five Israelis.[9] Following the massacre, Israel imposed curfews on the 20,000 Palestinians in the Hebron market area.[10] The Israeli government condemned the massacre.

[edit] Treatment of non-Jews

Contradictory evidence exists as to whether he refused to treat non-Jews in his service as a civilian physician or while serving in the Israeli Army. Israeli press-reports state that he refused to treat non-Jews, even those serving in the IDF. When Goldstein was threatened with court-martial he declared: "I am not willing to treat any non-Jew. I recognize as legitimate only two religious authorities: Maimonides and Kahane."[11]

The Shamgar Commission, which later investigated Goldstein's role in the Cave of the Patriachs massacre, noted that Goldstein had treated an Arab militant in October 1990. Also, Moshe Givati, the former Brigade Commander in Hebron,"[12] Colonel Dr. Arie Eldad, Medical Officer of the Central Command,"[13] Major Nachman Ash, Medical Officer of the Judea and Samaria Division,"[14] and Moti Unger, the Night Security Officer of the Kiryat Arba Local Council"[15] all testified that Goldstein had treated Jew and Arab alike. Evidence was also given by Superintendent Uri Weisskop, who was acting Commander of the Hebron Police Station, that he had not come across any case of Goldstein refusing to give medical aid to a wounded Arab."[16]

[edit] Gravesite and commemoration

Goldstein is buried at the Meir Kahane Memorial Park in Kiryat Arba, a Jewish settlement next to Hebron. The park is named in memory of Rabbi Meir Kahane, founder of the Israeli far-right political party Kach, a group classified by the United States and Israeli governments as a terrorist organization. Goldstein was a long-time devotee of the rabbi.[17]

The gravesite has become a pilgrimage site for those with extreme right-wing political views; a plaque near the grave reads "To the holy Baruch Goldstein, who gave his life for the Jewish people, the Torah and the nation of Israel." In 2000, admirers gathered at his grave on Purim dressed as Goldstein, wearing lab coats, false beards, and carrying guns.[18] Between the killings and 2000, an estimated 10,000 people have visited the grave.[19] Members of the Labor Party called for the shrine-like landscaped prayer area near the grave to be removed, and Israeli security officials have expressed concern that the grave will encourage extremists.[20]

[edit] References

1. ^ Precker, Michael. "Brooklyn's image as extremist hotbed disputed by some Borough defenders say ties to Israel cherished, but radical groups aren't", The Dallas Morning News, March 20, 1994. Accessed August 6, 2007. "'This is not what we are teaching,' said Rabbi David Eliach, principal at the Yeshiva of Flatbush, where Dr. Goldstein attended high school."
2. ^ BBC NEWS "Goldstein had been a member of the Jewish Defense League."
3. ^ BBC NEWS "Goldstein had lived in Israel for 11 years and was a doctor in the Jewish settlement of Kiryat Arba, just outside Hebron." "As the settlement's main emergency doctor he was involved in treating victims of Arab-Israeli violence."
4. ^ Certificate of Esteem from the Medical Department of the district of Judea and Samaria, dated 22 September 1993; Certificate of Esteem and Thanks from the Commander of the Medical Command, dated Tishri 5754 (September 1993)
5. ^ Recommendation for promotion on [Israel] Independence Day, signed by Major Dr Yitzchak Ashkenazi, Local Medical Officer of the district of Judea and Samaria, dated 18 January 1994.
6. ^ Shamgar Commission: Report pp. 15, 47-48.
7. ^ Official Death Certificate dated 9 March 1994, issued by Ministry of Interior of the State of Israel.
8. ^ Tel Aviv District Court Archives file I.S. 1160/94, Para. 4, 5 (February 11, 1998).
9. ^ Middle East Journal, Chronology, vol 48, no 3 (Summer 1994) p. 511 ff.
10. ^ Fabled town, divided and bruised], 'The Hindu, May 21, 2006.
11. ^ Arych Kizel in Yediot Aharonot, 1 March 1994.
12. ^ Shamgar Commission Minutes pp.1615-16
13. ^ Shamgar Commission Minutes pp.78
14. ^ Shamgar Commission Minutes pp.420
15. ^ Shamgar Commission Minutes pp.730
16. ^ Shamgar Commission Minutes pp.336
17. ^,9171,980282,00.html The Making of a Murderous Fanatic], 'Time, March 7, 1994.
18. ^ "Graveside party celebrates Hebron massacre." BBC News, 21 March, 2000 [1]
19. ^ "Graveside party celebrates Hebron massacre." BBC News, 21 March, 2000 [2]
20. ^ "Goldstein's grave draws extremists." Jewish Telegraphic Agency, November 22, 1996. [3]

[edit] See also

* Mosque of Abraham massacre
* Jewish fundamentalism
* Kach
* Israeli-Palestinian conflict
* Militancy
* List of terrorist incidents
* Jewish Defense League

[edit] External links

* Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs -- Excerpts from the report of the Commission of Inquiry Into the Massacre at the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron (aka the "Shamgar Report")
* UN document containing extracts of the Israeli inquiry report
* An Israeli opinion piece on the 1994 massacre

HAMAS Wikipedia said...

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
This article may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards.
Please improve this article if you can. (January 2008)
حركة المقاومة الاسلامية
Hamas emblem
Leader Khaled Mashaal,
Ismail Haniyah,
Mahmoud Zahar
Founded 1987
Headquarters Gaza
Official ideology/
political position Islamic democracy

Hamas (حركة حماس; acronym: حركة المقاومة الاسلامية, or Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islamiyya or "Islamic Resistance Movement,"[1]) is a Palestinian Islamist[2][3] militant organization and political party, that since January 2006 was elected the government of the Palestinian people.[2]

Hamas was created in 1987 by Sheikh Ahmed Yassin of the Gaza wing of the Muslim Brotherhood at the beginning of the First Intifada. Best known in Israel and the West for its suicide bombings and other attacks[4] directed against civilians and Israeli military and security forces targets, Hamas' charter (written in 1988 and still in effect) calls for the destruction of the State of Israel and its replacement with a Palestinian Islamic state in the area that is now Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip.[5] The organization is widely described as antisemitic.[6]

Hamas is listed as a terrorist organization by Canada,[7] the European Union,[8] Israel,[9] Japan,[10] and the United States,[11] and is banned from Jordan[12] Australia[13] and the United Kingdom[14] and list the militant wing of Hamas, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, as a terrorist organization. In recent years Hamas has grown in popularity, though in the last year Hamas's popularity has started to wane.

Since the death of Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat, Hamas's political wing has entered and won many local elections in Gaza, Qalqilya, and Nablus. In January 2006, Hamas won a surprise victory in the Palestinian parliamentary elections, taking 76 of the 132 seats in the chamber, while the ruling Fatah party took 43.[15] The Hamas charter states: "There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad,"[16] and this stance has found a receptive audience among Palestinians; many perceived the preceding Fatah government as corrupt and ineffective, and Hamas's supporters see it as an "armed resistance"[17] movement defending Palestinians from the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.[18] Hamas has further gained popularity by establishing hospitals, education systems, libraries and social services[19] throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip.[20] The Palestinian territories have experienced internal conflicts for many years; since Hamas's election victory, particularly sharp infighting has occurred between Hamas and Fatah, leading to many Palestinian deaths.[21][22]

After coming to power, Hamas announced it was giving up suicide attacks and "offered a 10-year truce [with Israel] in return for a complete Israeli withdrawal from the occupied Palestinian territories: the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem."[23][24][25] Hamas also declared a unilateral ceasefire with Israel which, after Israeli air strikes in response to Hamas smuggling weapons into Gaza, was formally renounced.[26]

Following the Battle for Gaza in June 2007, when Hamas used force to take control of the Gaza Strip after Fatah refused to hand over control to the new government, elected Hamas officials were ousted from their positions in the Palestinian National Authority government in the West Bank and were replaced by rival Fatah members as well as independents.[27][28] On June 18, 2007, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (Fatah) issued a decree outlawing the Hamas militia and executive force.[2][3]

According to the US State Department, the group is funded by Iran, Palestinian expatriates, and private benefactors in Saudi Arabia and other Arab states.[11] In a 2002 report, Human Rights Watch stated that Hamas' leaders "should be held accountable for the war crimes and crimes against humanity" that have been committed by its members.[29]

* 1 Name
* 2 History
* 3 Beliefs
o 3.1 Islam
o 3.2 The Covenant of Hamas
o 3.3 Antisemitism
* 4 Activities
o 4.1 Provision of social welfare and education
o 4.2 Funding
o 4.3 Children's web site
o 4.4 "Mickey Mouse" children's program controversy
o 4.5 Crackdown on dissent and on the Press
o 4.6 Other
* 5 Militancy and terrorism
o 5.1 Suicide attacks
o 5.2 Shelling and rocket attacks on civilians
o 5.3 Guerilla warfare
o 5.4 Others attacked
o 5.5 Call to attack United States targets
o 5.6 Summary executions
* 6 International perception of Hamas
* 7 Legal action against Hamas
* 8 See also
* 9 Sources
* 10 Notes and references
* 11 External links

[edit] Name

Some disagreement exists over the meaning of the word "Hamas" itself. Hamas is an acronym of the Arabic phrase حركة المقاومة الاسلامية, or Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islamiyya or "Islamic Resistance Movement". Ami Isseroff on MidEast web states that the acronym is also the Arabic word for "zeal".[3] Hamas's charter itself on MidEast web states: "Hamas (means) strength and bravery - (according to) Al-Mua'jam al-Wasit".[30]

The military wing of Hamas, formed in 1992, is known as the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades to commemorate Sheikh Izz ad-Din al-Qassam, the father of modern Arab resistance, killed by the British in 1935. Armed Hamas cells also sometimes refer to themselves as "Students of Ayyash", "Students of the Engineer", or "Yahya Ayyash Units",[31] to commemorate Yahya Ayyash, an early Hamas bomb-maker killed in 1996.[32]

[edit] History

Main article: History of Hamas

Sheikh Ahmed Yassin founded Hamas in 1987 as an offshoot of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood. The acronym "Hamas" first appeared in 1987 in a leaflet that accused the Israeli intelligence services of undermining the moral fiber of Palestinian youth as part of Mossad's recruitment of what Hamas termed "collaborators". The Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military branch, was created in 1992, a year before the Oslo Accords.

Hamas' charter (written in 1988 and still in effect) calls for the destruction of the State of Israel and its replacement with a Palestinian Islamic state in the area that is now Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip.[33][34][35] During the 1990s and 2000s it became best known in the Western world for its suicide bombings[4] and other attacks directed against civilians, including the Dolphinarium massacre and the Passover massacre.

On January 26, 2004, senior Hamas official Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi offered a 10-year truce, or hudna, in return for a complete withdrawal by Israel from the territories captured in the Six Day War, and the establishment of a Palestinian state (it remade the same offer after winning the majority in the PLC, accepting the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative[36]). Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin stated that the group could accept a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Rantissi confirmed that Hamas had come to the conclusion that it was "difficult to liberate all our land at this stage, so we accept a phased liberation." He said the truce could last 10 years, though "not more than 10 years".

From the time of an attack on the Israeli southern town of Be'er Sheva in August 2004, in which 15 people were killed and 125 wounded, the truce was generally observed. Hamas violated once, in August 2005, with an attack on the same bus station, wounding seven, and in several attacks on Israeli motorists — killing six in several attacks.[37][38]

While Hamas had boycotted the January 2005 presidential election, during which Mahmoud Abbas was elected to replace Yasser Arafat, it did participate in the municipal elections held between January and May 2005, in which it took control of Beit Lahia and Rafah in the Gaza Strip and Qalqilyah in the West Bank. The January 2006 legislative elections marked another victory for Hamas, which gained the majority of seats in the first fair and democratic elections held in Palestine,[39] defeating the ruling Fatah party. The "List of Change and Reform", as Hamas presented itself, obtained 42.9% of the vote and 74 of the 132 seats.[40]

Although Hamas omitted its call for the destruction of Israel from its election manifesto, calling instead for "the establishment of an independent state whose capital is Jerusalem," several Hamas candidates insisted that the charter remains in force.[41][42] On February 8, Hamas head Khaled Mashal speaking in Cairo had clarified that "Anyone who thinks Hamas will change is wrong", stating that while Hamas is willing for a ceasefire with Israel, its long term goal remains: elimination of Israel by Islam via a jihad against what Hamas sees as Zionist Jewish settler-colonial invaders in all of what he called Palestine.[43]

On February 13, 2006, in an interview in Russian newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta,[44] the same Khaled Mashal declared that Hamas would stop armed struggle against Israel if it recognized the 1967 borders, withdrew itself from all Palestinian occupied territories (including the West Bank and East Jerusalem) and recognized Palestinian rights that would include the "right of return". Mashal would not acknowledge the Road map for peace, adopted by the Quartet in June 2003, because "The problem is not Hamas' stance, but Israel's stance. It is in fact not honoring the Road Map".[45] The Road map projected the establishment of an independent Palestinian state in 2005.[46]

In May 2006, Hamas leaders threatened a new Intifada, as well as to decapitate anyone who tried to bring down their cabinet.[47] Further, Hamas took a flexible stance that renewed support for the 2002 Arab peace initiative offering to restore normal relations with Israel in exchange for the creation of a Palestinian state.[48]

After the formation of the Hamas cabinet on March 20, 2006, tensions have progressively risen in the Gaza strip between Fatah and Hamas militants, leading to demonstrations and violence, along with repeated attempts at a truce.[49]

On June 27, 2006 Hamas and Fatah reached an agreement which included the forming of a national unity government. On February 8, 2007, Hamas and Fatah signed a deal to end factional warfare that had killed nearly 200 Palestinians and to form a coalition, hoping this would lead Western powers to lift crippling sanctions imposed on the Hamas-led government.[50]

The events leading to the 2006 Israel-Gaza conflict began on June 9, 2006. An Israeli operation, an explosion occurred on a busy Gaza beach, killing eight Palestinian civilians.[51][52] It was initially assumed that Israeli shellings were responsible for the killings, although Israeli government officials later denied this. Hamas formally withdrew from its 16-month ceasefire on June 10, taking responsibility for the subsequent Qassam rocket attacks launched from Gaza into Israel.[4]

On June 29, Israel captured 64 Hamas officials. Amongst them were eight Palestinian Authority cabinet ministers and up to twenty members of the Palestinian Legislative Council,[53] as well as heads of regional councils, and the mayor of Qalqilyah and his deputy. At least a third of the Hamas cabinet was captured and held by Israel. On 6 August Israeli forces detained the Hamas' Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Aziz Dweik, at his home in the West Bank.

In June, renewed fighting broke out between Hamas and Fatah. As of June 14, 2007, the current Palestinian government has been dissolved. President Mahmoud Abbas has dismissed the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority government. [5].

There was a brief war in which Hamas seized control of Gaza and the Palestinian Authority was effectively split in two: Hamas controlling of Gaza and Fatah controlling the West Bank. It is reported that violence continued as of June 16th, 2007.

[edit] Beliefs
A flag, with the Shahadah, frequently used by Hamas supporters
A flag, with the Shahadah, frequently used by Hamas supporters

Founded in 1987, Hamas was the Gaza Strip branch of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood movement founded in Egypt. Hamas is opposed to the existence of Israel, with one Hamas parliamentarian denouncing the 1993 Oslo Accords as "not a peace process" and "a process of deception and cheating and lies which enabled Israel to truncate our homeland with settlements and separation walls and roadblocks and closed military zones."[54] In 2004 Hamas offered a 10-year truce, or hudna, in exchange for several conditions including a complete withdrawal from Israeli-occupied territories (see below).

Hamas regards the territory of the present-day State of Israel — as well as the Gaza Strip and the West Bank — as an inalienable Islamic waqf or religious bequest, which can never be surrendered to non-Muslims. It asserts that struggle (jihad) to regain control of the land from Israel is the religious duty of every Muslim (fard `ain). Hamas does not recognize Israel as a sovereign state, unlike the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), which has recognized it since 1988, and calls it the "Zionist entity". Its charter calls for an end to Israel. During the election campaign, Hamas did not mention its call for the destruction of Israel in its electoral manifesto.[41] But several Hamas candidates insist that the charter is still in force and often called for Israel to be "wiped off the map" in campaign speeches. On January 25, 2006, after winning the Palestinian elections, Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar gave an interview to Al-Manar TV denouncing foreign demands that Hamas recognize Israel's right to exist.[55] After the establishment of Hamas government, Dr Al-Zahar stated his "dreams of hanging a huge map of the world on the wall at my Gaza home which does not show Israel on it...I hope that our dream to have our independent state on all historic Palestine (including Israel). This dream will become real one day. I'm certain of this because there is no place for the state of Israel on this land". He also "didn't rule out the possibility of having Jews, Muslims and Christians living under the sovereignty of an Islamic state, adding that the Palestinians never hated the Jews and that only the Israeli occupation was their enemy".[56] Hamas is not only a military branch, but a social branch as well. They have set up schools, and hospitals throughout Palestine. Jerusalem is seen as the third holiest site in Islam, after Makkah Mecca, and Madinah Medina, this would give reasoning behind the effort for maintaining Islamic control over the area.

Hamas's charter calls for the eventual creation of an Islamic Republic in place of Israel.[57] Hamas sees this view as an Islamic religious duty and prophesy that comes directly from Hadith. In 1999, late Hamas co-founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin mentioned the year 2027 as the possible date for the "disappearance" of Israel.[58][59] The group has not issued a clear statement about how it would deal with the current population of Israel, should it succeed in overthrowing Israeli and secular Palestinian government. Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi, one of its co-founders, stated that the movement's goal is "to remove Israel from the map".[60] On February 13, 2005, Hamas leader Khaled Mashal declared that Hamas would stop armed struggle against Israel if Israel recognized the 1967 borders, withdrew from all Palestinian territories and accept the demand for Palestinian "Right of Return" (see below).

According to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Hamas views the Arab-Israeli conflict as "a religious struggle between Islam and Judaism that can only be resolved by the destruction of the State of Israel".[61] Hamas uses both political activities and violence to pursue its goal of establishing an Islamic Palestinian state in place of Israel and the secular Palestinian Authority. Israeli military operations during the al-Aqsa Intifada in 2002 put pressure on Hamas in the West Bank following several bombings in Israel for which Hamas claimed responsibility. Hamas has also engaged in peaceful political activities, including running candidates in West Bank Chamber of commerce elections.

During the election campaign the organization toned down criticism of Israel in its election manifesto, stating only that it was prepared to use "armed resistance to end the occupation".[62]

The slogan of Hamas is "God is its target, the Prophet is its model, the Qur'an its constitution: Jihad is its path and death for the sake of God is the loftiest of its wishes." Hamas states that its objective is to support the oppressed and wronged and "to bring about justice and defeat injustice, in word and deed." Hamas believes that "the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf (trust) consecrated for future Muslim generations until Judgement Day," and as such, the land cannot be negotiated away by any political leader. Hamas rejects "so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences" as "in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement", stating "there is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad".[citation needed]

[edit] Islam

Like the Muslim Brotherhood, which Hamas branched off from, Hamas believes the rules of Islam, or the Shariah to be a sufficient guide for all areas of life. Since Hamas sees Islam as a sufficient guide for all areas in life, and as a way of life, they, as the Covenant of Hamas says, tries to make Islam its base for all of its efforts. programme.[63]

[edit] The Covenant of Hamas

See also: wikisource:Hamas Covenant

The 1988 Hamas Covenant (or Charter) states that the organization's goal is to "raise the banner of God over every inch of Palestine," in order to establish an Islamic Republic.

The thirty-six articles of the Covenant detail the movement's Islamist beliefs regarding the primacy of Islam in all aspects of life. The Covenant identifies Hamas as the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine and considers its members to be Muslims who "fear God and raise the banner of Jihad in the face of the oppressors." Hamas describes resisting and quelling the enemy as the individual duty of every Muslim and prescribes vigilant roles for all members of society; including men and women, professionals, scientists and students.

The Covenant outlines the organization's position on various issues, including social and economic development and ideological influences, education, as well as its position regarding Israel. Amongst many other things, it reiterates the group's rejection of the coexistence principle of the peace process in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

[edit] Antisemitism

Hamas' critics argue that Hamas is "full of hatred towards the Jews." It is known that Islam gives the duty to fight against those who do not believe, but more importantly, those who drive Muslims from their homes. The actions of Hamas are often refered to as terrorism. According to international law, State Terror is worse than Terrorism itself. And according to international law, what the Israeli Military is doing is State Terrorism. Israel is setting up bunkers and villages inside what is considered by the United Nations the Territories of Palestine. The State is building walls around its land, given by western powers, and then going past those walls and invading Palestinian areas.[64] Critics also state Hamas is primarily anti-Zionist, but perceives Judaism as wholly embracing Zionism, and therefore has often failed to distinguish between the two.

The Covenant cites The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the propagandist book falsely attributed to Jews, stating it embodies a "Zionist plan" for "limitless" territorial expansion:

Today it is Palestine, tomorrow it will be one country or another. The Zionist plan is limitless. After Palestine, the Zionists aspire to expand from the Nile to the Euphrates. When they will have digested the region they overtook, they will aspire to further expansion, and so on. Their plan is embodied in the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion"

Other articles of the Hamas Covenant refer to fighting the Jews. According to Robert Wistrich,

"Like other Islamists, the Hamas uses antisemitic language, full of hatred towards Jews, ever since its foundation in 1987. In its Sacred Covenant [18 August 1988], there are frequent references to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which would have gladdened the hearts of Hitler and Goebbels. It is difficult to see what any of this has to do with spirituality, works of charity, dialogue or the search for peace."[65]

In 1998, Esther Webman of the Project for the Study of Anti-Semitism at the Tel Aviv University wrote: "...the anti-Semitic rhetoric in Hamas leaflets is frequent and intense. Nevertheless, anti-Semitism is not the main tenet of Hamas ideology. Generally no differentiation was made in the leaflets between Jew and Zionist, in as much as Judaism was perceived as embracing Zionism, although in other Hamas publications and in interviews with its leaders attempts at this differentiation have been made."[66]

According to Meir Litvak's 2003 study, "In Hamas' literature, antisemitism became almost dominant. Earlier antisemitic motifs are developed time and again in their magazine Falastin al-Muslama. Almost every issue contains anti-Jewish articles using elements from the Islamic tradition. Judaism is presented as a religion based on lies, which from its origin called for aggression against others and their exploitation."[67]

Co-founder of Hamas Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi reiterated beliefs of Holocaust denial in 2003, contending that the Holocaust was a Zionist – Nazi collaboration for the purpose of encouraging emigration to Israel.[68]

Also in 2003, the director of Hamas Children’s Summer Camp in Gaza City, Sohab Alissa, was anti-Semitic:

“The first thing we want to teach them is their cause. They know from daily experience that their enemy is the Jew — our job is to explain why. In the Koran much is said about the bad behavior of the Jew. Some teachings say God cursed the Jews”[69]

The chief of Hamas's political bureau Khaled Meshaal also denied antisemitism in Hamas's ideology in February, 2006:

"Our message to the Israelis is this: We do not fight you because you belong to a certain faith or culture. Jews have lived in the Muslim world for 13 centuries in peace and harmony; they are in our religion "the people of the book" who have a covenant from God and his messenger, Muhammad (peace be upon him), to be respected and protected." "Our conflict with you is not religious but political. We have no problem with Jews who have not attacked us — our problem is with those who came to our land, imposed themselves on us by force, destroyed our society and banished our people."[70]

On 30 March 2007, Hamas spokesman Ismail Radwan ended his "prayers to Allah" in a sermon broadcast on the Palestinian Authority’s TV quoting the hadith "The Hour [of Resurrection] will not take place until the Muslims fight the Jews and the Muslims kill them, and the rock and the tree will say: 'Oh, Muslim, servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, kill him!'" Al Aqsa mosque would be "liberated" "through the rifle", since the Israeli occupation knew no other language. He asked "Jihad-fighting worshippers" in "Palestine and everywhere" and Allah to take away the oppressor Jews and Americans and their supporters!"[71]

In April 2007, Palestinian Media Watch released a video in which "Dr. Ahmad Bahar, acting speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council," refers to Israel's Jewish citizens as a "cancerous lump" and prays to Allah to "count them and kill them to the last one, and don't leave even one."[72]

In an article published on April 23, 2007 in the Hamas paper Al-Risalah, its author Kan'an Ubayd stated: "... the extermination of Jews is good for the inhabitants of the worlds on a land, to which Allah gave his blessing for the sake of the inhabitants of the worlds.”[73]

[edit] Activities

[edit] Provision of social welfare and education

Hamas is particularly popular among Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, though it also has a following in the West Bank, and to a lesser extent in other Middle Eastern countries. Since its formation in 1987, Hamas has conducted numerous social, political, and military actions. Its popularity stems in part from its welfare and social services to Palestinians in the occupied territories, including school and hospital construction. The group devotes much of its estimated $70 million annual budget to an extensive social services network, running many relief and education programs, and funds schools, orphanages, mosques, healthcare clinics, soup kitchens, and sports leagues. According to the Israeli scholar Reuven Paz "approximately 90 percent of the organization's work is in social, welfare, cultural, and educational activities".[74] These programs are viewed variously as part of a sincere social development agenda, an integrated para-state policy, as propaganda and recruitment exercises, or any combination thereof.[citation needed] In fact, by providing these services they succeeded in acquiring popularity among the Palestine people and gaining their political allegiance; this is related to the concept of a political machine. Their funds come from OPEC representatives in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iran, as well as charitable donations from local and international community.[citation needed]

In 1973, the Islamic center 'Mujamma' was established in Gaza and started to offer clinics, blood banks, day care, medical treatment, meals and youth clubs. The centre plays an important role for providing social care to the people, particularly those living in refugee camps. It also extended financial aid and scholarships to young people who wanted to study in Saudi Arabia and the West.[75] In particular, Hamas funded health services where people could receive free or inexpensive medical treatment. Hamas greatly contributed to the health sector, and facilitated hospital and physician services in the Palestinian territory. On the other hand, Hamas’s use of hospitals is sometimes criticised as purportedly serving the promotion of suicide bombings and other forms of violence against Israel. Hamas also funded education as well as the health service, and built Islamic charities, libraries, mosques, education centers for women. They also built nurseries, kindergartens and supervised religious schools that provide free meals to children. When children attend their schools and mosques, parents are required to sign oaths of allegiance. Refugees, as well as those left without homes, are able to claim financial and technical assistance from Hamas.[76]

In any case, Hamas has significantly increased literacy in areas where it is active[citation needed]. Hamas also funds a number of other charitable activities, primarily in the Gaza Strip[citation needed]. These include religious institutions, medical facilities, and social needs of the area's residents.[citation needed] The work of Hamas in these fields supplements that provided by the United Nations Relief Works Agency (UNRWA). The charitable trust Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development was accused in December 2001 of funding Hamas[citation needed]. Hamas is also well regarded by Palestinians for its efficiency and perceived lack of corruption compared to Fatah.[77][78]

[edit] Funding

The majority of Hamas funding comes from Saudi Arabia.[79][80] According to the U.S. State Dept,[11] Hamas is funded by Iran (led by a Shi'i Islamic regime), Palestinian expatriates, and private benefactors in Saudi Arabia and other Arab states. The party is known to support families of suicide bombers after their deaths. Some believe the financial support includes a monthly allowance.[81] Various sources, among them United Press International,[82] Le Canard enchaîné, Bill Baar, Gérard Chaliand[83] and L'Humanité[84] have highlighted that Hamas' early growth — before its official founding and the creation of the military branch — had been supported by the Mossad as a "counterbalance to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)". Furthermore, the French investigative newspaper Le Canard enchaîné stated that Shin Bet had also supported Hamas as a counterweight to the PLO and Fatah, in an attempt to give "a religious slant to the conflict, in order to make the West believe that the conflict was between Jews and Muslims", thus supporting the controversial thesis of a "clash of civilizations".[85]

[edit] Children's web site

Al Fateh is Hamas' web site for children [6]. According to The Museum of Harmony and Golden Section, "Al-Fateh" means "first".[86] According to Our Jerusalem, it means "conqueror".[87] The site says it is for "the young builders of the future."

Several Israeli reviews and news coverages of the site describe it as hate mongering and accuse it of teaching violence and terrorism to children [7], [8], [9]

According to Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America "Issue number 38 of Al-Fateh, includes a photograph of the decapitated head of a female suicide bomber. The caption reads "Zaynab Abu Salem who carried out the suicide bombing attack. Her head was severed from her pure body and her headscarf remained to decorate her face. Your place is in heaven in the upper sky, Zaynab ... sister [raised to the status of heroic] men." Abu Salem had killed two Israeli border policemen and wounded 17." The Al Fateh web site contains images of graphic violence that may be shocking to some. Some of the sites reviewing the Al Fateh site contain examples of those images. [10], [11], [12],News report

[edit] "Mickey Mouse" children's program controversy
Farfur, in an episode of the series Tomorrow's Pioneers, mimes carrying a rifle while teaching young viewers about such topics as "Resistance Jihad."
Farfur, in an episode of the series Tomorrow's Pioneers, mimes carrying a rifle while teaching young viewers about such topics as "Resistance Jihad."[88][89]

In April 2007 Hamas-affiliated al-Aqsa channel used a Mickey Mouse lookalike on a children's program called Tomorrow's Pioneers which "critics said was spreading anti-US and anti-Israeli messages to children."[90] The character, named "Farfour" and host Saraa taught children to seek Islamic leadership of the world and invited them to recite violent songs and poems about resistance.[91]

Criticism has come from many quarters. Mark Regev, Israel's Foreign Ministry spokesman, was outraged that "children are taught that killing Jews is a good thing." Basem Abu Sumaya, head of the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation, stated "I don't think it's professional or even humane to use children in such harsh political programs."[92]

On May 9, at the request of the Palestinian Information Ministry, Hamas suspended the program. Information minister Mustafa Barghouti said it was wrong to direct political messages at children and that "Any media outlet that breaks Palestinian broadcasting law will be penalized by the Information Ministry."[93] But according to the British Daily Telegraph, a spokesman for the station, which is owned and run by Hamas, later announced that the program would continue and that to remove it would be a political surrender to Israel.[94]

The program then returned to Palestinian TV,[95] again garnering international attention when in an episode which aired on June 29, 2007, Farfour [the mouse] was shown being beaten to death by an Israeli who had tried to buy his land, and whom he labels a terrorist. The presenter Saraa said that he was "martyred defending his land", and was killed "by the killers of children".[41] The program has since returned to regular broadcast, with Farfour replaced by a new character, Nahoul the Bumblebee.

On 24/8/2007, News media reported the Hamas Al-Aqsa TV aired a 'Lion King' cartoon to portray the Hamas victory in the Gaza.[96]

[edit] Crackdown on dissent and on the Press

Human rights groups and ordinary Gazans accuse Hamas of forcefully clamping down dissent. Hamas is using means which are criminal including: Torture, political detentions and firing on un-armed protestors who object Hamas policies.[13].

Hamas have also been harassing and arresting Palestinian journalists in Gaza [14],[15]. On August 29, 2007 Palestinian health officials reported that Hamas has been shuting down Gaza clinic as retaliation for doctor strikes - Hamas confirmed that "punitive measure against doctors" who - according to Hamas - "incite others to strike and suspend services" have been taken. [16]

On August 28th, 2007 Hamas media workers slipped into an anti-Hamas rally in intention to disperse it from within.[17]

On August 31st, 2007 two French journalists were hit by an explosive device as they were covering a Fatah demo in which Hamas forces used violence[18]

On September 6th, Hamas disbands journalists union and arrested 5 journalist[19]

On September 7th, 2007 Hamas prevented public prayers in Gaza [20] while Hamas security forces beat those who attempted to pray[21]

On November 14, 2007 Hamas arrested a British journalist and canceled all press cards in Gaza. No news photography is allowed without a license from Hamas [22], [23]

[edit] Other

The main website of Hamas provides translations of official communiqués in Persian language, Urdu, Malay, Russian, English, and Arabic.

In 2005, Hamas announced its intention to launch an experimental TV channel, "Al-Aqsa". The station was launched on January 7, 2006, less than three weeks before the Palestinian legislative elections.[97] It included a TV show for children.

[edit] Militancy and terrorism

[edit] Suicide attacks

Suicide attacks are the main element of what the group sees as its asymmetric warfare against Israel. Since the group considers all Israel to be a "militarized society" Hamas condones attacks on civilian targets. The group's willingness to target civilian facilities including buses, supermarkets, and restaurants is the reason why some governments classify it as a terrorist movement (although Hamas claims being a national liberation movement).

Hamas' first use of suicide bombing occurred on April 16, 1993 when a suicide bomber driving an explosive-laden van detonated between two buses parked at a restaurant. It was Hamas' 19th known attack since 1989 (the others being shootings, kidnappings and knife attacks).[98]

Hamas continued to launch suicide attacks during the Oslo Accords period (see List of Hamas suicide attacks).

During the second Intifada, Hamas, along with the Islamic Jihad Movement, spearheaded the violence through the years of the Palestinian uprising.[99] Since then Hamas has conducted many attacks on Israel, mainly through its military wing — the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades. These attacks have included large-scale suicide bombings against Israeli civilian targets, the most deadly of which was the bombing of a Netanya hotel on March 27, 2002, in which 30 people were killed and 140 were wounded. This attack has also been referred to as the Passover massacre since it took place on the first night of the Jewish festival of Passover. Overall, from November 2000 to April 2004, 377 Israeli citizens and soldiers were killed and 2,076 wounded in 425 attacks by Hamas. (Source: IDF website.) The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs maintains a comprehensive list of Hamas attacks. March 2004.htm

A few female suicide bombers, including a mother of six and a mother of two children under the age of 10 have also executed suicide bombings. Abdel Aziz Rantisi has said,

"The Hamas movement is prepared to stop terror against Israeli civilians if Israel stops killing Palestinian civilians ... We have told (Palestinian Authority Prime Minister) Abu Mazen in our meetings that there is an opportunity to stop targeting Israeli civilians if the Israelis stop assassinations and raids and stop brutalizing Palestinian civilians."[100]

In May 2006 Israel arrested Hamas top official Ibrahim Hamed whom Israeli security officials claim was responsible for dozens of suicide bombings and other attacks on Israelis.[101]

[edit] Shelling and rocket attacks on civilians

Since 2002, Hamas has used homemade Qassam rockets to hit Israeli towns in the Negev, such as Sderot. The introduction of the Qassam-2 rocket has allowed Hamas to reach large Israeli cities such as Ashkelon, bringing great concern to the Israeli populace and many attempts by the Israeli military to stop the proliferation and use of the rockets.

[edit] Guerilla warfare
Two Hamas militants with Yasin Rocket-propelled grenade.
Two Hamas militants with Yasin Rocket-propelled grenade.

Hamas has made great use of guerrilla tactics in the Gaza Strip and to a lesser degree the West Bank.[102] Hamas has successfully adapted these techniques over the years since its inception. According to a 2006 report by rival Fatah party, Hamas had smuggled "between several hundred and 1,300 tons" of advanced rockets, along with other weaponry, into Gaza. Some Israelis and some Gazans both noted similarities in Hamas's military buildup to that of Hezbollah in the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah war.[103]

Hamas has used IEDs and anti-tank rockets against the IDF in Gaza. The latter include standard RPG-7 warheads and home-made rockets such as the Al-Bana, Al-Batar and Al-Yasin. The home-made rockets proved ineffective against Israeli armor[citation needed], while Popular Resistance Committees' IEDs destroyed 3 Israeli tanks in 2002. The IDF has a difficult, if not impossible time trying to find hidden weapons caches in Palestinian areas — this is due to the high local support base Hamas enjoys.[104]

[edit] Others attacked

In addition to killing Israeli civilians, Hamas has also attacked Israeli military and security forces (occasionally inside Israel), suspected Palestinian collaborators, and Fatah rivals.[105]

[edit] Call to attack United States targets

On November 8, 2006 the military wing of Hamas called on Muslims around the world to attack American targets. "America is offering political, financial and logistic cover for the Zionist occupation crimes, and it is responsible for the Beit Hanoun massacre. Therefore, the people and the nation all over the globe are required to teach the American enemy tough lessons," Hamas said in a statement sent to The Associated Press. Ghazi Hamad, spokesman for the Hamas-led Palestinian government said that the group had no intention of attacking American targets and denied any involvement with the statement.[106]

It has been argued that Hamas threatens the United States due to the number of alleged Hamas covert cells the FBI and United States Department of Justice are aware of on U.S. soil.[107][108] Hamas has repeatedly stated that it is only interested in operations against the Israeli occupation and not one single suicide attack outside Israel/Gaza/West Bank has ever been attributed to Hamas.

[edit] Summary executions

Human Rights Watch has cited a number of summary executions as particular examples of violations of the rules of warfare, including the case of Muhammad Swairki, 28, a cook for Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's presidential guard, who was thrown to his death, with his hands and legs tied, from a 15-story apartment building in Gaza City. [24],[25],[26]

Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups frequently extrajudicially execute or otherwise punish those they consider collaborators with Israel, or those accused of criminal or "immoral" behaviour. Frequent killings of unarmed people have also occurred during Hamas-Fatah clashes.[27],[28], [29],[30],[31]

[edit] International perception of Hamas

According to the United States National Public Radio, "Israel and many Western powers have struggled with how best to interact with a group that is at once labeled terrorist and, at the same time, is the legitimately elected leadership of the Palestinian National Authority."[109]

Canada describes Hamas as a "a radical Sunni Muslim terrorist organization".[110][111]

The European Union lists Hamas among its list of entities against which it applies restrictions in order to combat terrorism.[8]

Israel's ministry of foreign affairs claims that "Hamas maintains a terrorist infrastructure in Gaza and the West Bank, and acts to carry out terrorist attacks in the territories and Israel."[112]

Japan stated in 2005 that it froze the assets of "terrorist organizations, including... Hamas."[113]

The United States lists HAMAS as a "Foreign Terrorist Organization".[11]

Jordan has banned Hamas.[12]

The military wing of Hamas, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, is listed as a terrorist organization by Australia,[114] and the United Kingdom.[14] According to the US State Department, the group is funded by Iran, Palestinian expatriates, and private benefactors in Saudi Arabia and other Arab states.[11]

In a recent poll [32] "About six-in-ten Palestinians (62%) have a favorable opinion of the organization (Hamas),[citation needed] as do majorities or pluralities in Jordan and Morocco. Opinions of Hamas are divided in Egypt and Kuwait, and Hamas is viewed negatively in Turkey. The balance of public opinion in Lebanon is against Hamas (67% unfavorable), although the organization is rated favorably by half of the country’s Shia community. Hamas – an organization made mostly up of Sunnis – is overwhelmingly unpopular among Lebanese Sunnis."[citation needed]

[edit] Legal action against Hamas

In a 2002 report, Human Rights Watch stated that Hamas' leaders "should be held accountable for the war crimes and crimes against humanity" that have been committed by its members.[115]

In 2004, a federal court in the United States found Hamas liable in a civil lawsuit for the 1996 murders of Yaron and Efrat Ungar near Bet Shemesh, Israel. Hamas has been ordered to pay the families of the Ungars $116 million.[116] On July 5, 2004, the court issued a default judgment against the PNA and the PLO regarding the Ungars' claim that the Palestinian Authority and the PLO provide safe haven to Hamas.

On August 20, 2004, three Palestinians, one a naturalized American citizen, were charged with a "lengthy racketeering conspiracy to provide money for terrorist acts in Israel". The indicted include Mousa Mohammed Abu Marzook, senior member of Hamas, believed to be currently in Damascus, Syria and considered a fugitive by the U.S..

On 1 February 2007, two men were acquitted of contravening US law by supporting Hamas.[33] Both men argued that they helped move money for Palestinian causes aimed at helping the Palestinian people and not to promote terrorism.

kahaneright video said...

כהנא בבוורלי הילטון חלק 2 + תרגום

Rabbi Meir Kahane Zt'l was right!

The Weekly Torah Portion - Mishpatim said...

The Weekly Torah Portion - Mishpatim

Riddle of life חידת החיים said...

Rabbi Shteinman in Los Angeles at Rabbi Krause home said...

Rabbi Shteinman in Los Angeles at Rabbi Krause home saying over a dvar torah from reb chaim.

Aish Passaic video said...

Miracles, free will, humans, the natural world & Creation

Islam said...

The Jewish Standard -
Friday the rabbi talked about Islam
Lois Goldrich

By Lois Goldrich
Published on Today

"My goal is to dispel myths about Islam," said Dr. David Freidenreich, professor of religious studies at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa. "There’s more to Islam than Al Qaeda and Hamas, and it’s important to understand the beliefs and practices that have inspired the world’s Muslims for centuries."

Freidenreich, guest presenter at the Glen Rock Jewish Center’s weekend of learning on Feb. 8 and 9, does more than teach comparative religion; he is also a rabbi.

"People ask, why is a rabbi talking to Jews about Islam?" said Freidenreich. "It’s a kind of translation. I speak the same cultural language as the audience. It’s a less threatening space for Jews to ask questions they might not feel as comfortable asking Muslims. A kind of first step."
Friday the rabbi talked about Islam

My goal is to dispel myths about Islam," said Dr. David Freidenreich, professor of religious studies at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa. "There’s more to Islam than Al Qaeda and Hamas, and it’s important to understand the beliefs and practices that have inspired the world’s Muslims for centuries."

Freidenreich, guest presenter at the Glen Rock Jewish Center’s weekend of learning on Feb. 8 and 9, does more than teach comparative religion; he is also a rabbi.

"People ask, why is a rabbi talking to Jews about Islam?" said Freidenreich. "It’s a kind of translation. I speak the same cultural language as the audience. It’s a less threatening space for Jews to ask questions they might not feel as comfortable asking Muslims. A kind of first step."

The speaker, who holds a doctorate in religion, lectures widely on Islam and interreligious understanding. On Friday night and Saturday morning, he will teach about the history and core principles of Islam, with particular attention to relations between Islam and Judaism. On Saturday night, he will screen the award-winning documentary "A Son’s Sacrifice," followed by a discussion about Islam in America. The events are open to the public.

"Most people have an awareness and concern about Islam, but it’s not rooted in real knowledge," said Freidenreich. "I want to provide the background knowledge, the bigger picture, to make sense of what they read in the media and of what’s going on in the world."

According to Freidenreich, what we see in the media "is only a small fragment. Islam is not more prone to violence than Judaism and Christianity," he said. "Every community has its group of radicals, but most of us do not condone it."

The religion teacher said he was inspired to pursue his studies by his early experiences at Brandeis University, where he engaged in Arab-Jewish dialogue, something he continued during his later studies in Israel.

"I found that a greater understanding of Muslims led to a better understanding of myself," he said. As a case in point, he cited the movie that will be shown at the synagogue.

"A Son’s Sacrifice," he said, depicts the experience of an American child of Pakistani immigrants. "You can see parallels to our own experience as immigrants," said Freidenreich. "It made me think of ‘Crossing Delancey.’"

Still, he said, while it "resonates with what our people experienced," the world is different now. So while there is a parallel track, it’s not quite the same. "Understanding this will help us collaborate on issues of mutual concern and better understand our own past," he said.

Calling his presentation "apolitical," the speaker stressed that "there’s a value in building a deeper understanding." First, he said, "It helps us make sense of the world around us." There are a billion Muslims in the world, he pointed out, and it is important to know the things in which these people find meaning. In addition, he said, the Muslim community is "vibrant and growing" locally, as well.

It is also important to study the material, he said, because "it helps put current events in context." While we see Islam as anti-West and anti-Israel, he noted, during much of history, Muslim nations were "among the most open countries and Jews benefited.

"We’re seeing one particular historical moment that is not shaped by the Koran or by Mohammed but by the experience of colonialism," said Freidenreich.

Finally, he said, "understanding helps us appreciate what we believe as Jews." We are a parallel group, he said; we are both religious communities and "we tell the same stories about the same biblical figures."

Freidenreich noted that "much of Judaism developed in Islamic lands. In the Middle Ages," he said, "90 percent of Jews lived in Islamic lands."

"Jews and Muslims share a long history," said Rabbi Neil Tow, religious leader of the Glen Rock Jewish Center. "This weekend can help us understand those connections as Americans and as Jews."

For further information about the weekend program, call the Glen Rock Jewish Center at (201) 652-6624 or e-mail

Down syndrome said...

February 1, 2008
An Obsessive Love of Prayer

Published: February 1, 2008

Shot over three years in a close-knit Jewish Reconstructionist community in Philadelphia, “Praying With Lior” documents the extraordinary life of Lior Liebling, a rabbi’s son with Down syndrome and an obsessive love of prayer.

While family and friends marvel over Lior’s putative spirituality, the director, Ilana Trachtman, captures a larger story. As the Lieblings engage in exhaustive preparations for Lior’s bar mitzvah, we see a sweet-natured, high-functioning young man enjoy a level of assimilation — and attention — granted to few of the mentally disabled. A near-celebrity within his neighborhood, Lior seems unaware of his real-world limitations — a fact that worries his stepmother, Lynne Iser, though not his father, Mordechai.

Patiently and delicately, Ms. Trachtman teases out the tricky dynamics of a family dealing with a disabled child. Lior’s devoted brother, Yoni, sometimes resents being expected to take on parental responsibilities (“This is not my job”), while his older sister, Reena, recalls becoming a surrogate mother after the death of their mother in 1997.

Most touching is the 11-year-old Anna, who, as the youngest, laments her displacement as the center of attention. “It’s kind of annoying,” she tells us with charming candor. And watching everything in the household revolve around Lior, it’s clear that the price of his happiness may be steeper for some than for others.


Opens on Friday in Manhattan.

Produced and directed by Ilana Trachtman; directors of photography, Slawomir Grunberg and Ari Haberberg; edited by Zelda Greenstein; music by Andy Statman; released by First Run Features. At the Cinema Village, 22 East 12th Street, Greenwich Village. Running time: 1 hour 28 minutes. This film is not rated.

exposemolesters said...

February 1, 2008, 9:41 am
Clinton, Obama and the Jews

By Glenn Collins
new york

The notion that New York’s Jewish electorate could be easily characterized has long been debatable. But the looming primary election on Tuesday is raising new speculation about how strongly Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama will appeal to Jewish Democrats.

“I don’t speak for the Jewish community,” said former Mayor Edward I. Koch, “and nobody speaks for the Jewish community. The Jews, individually, speak for themselves.”

And though these days he, himself, is speaking up for Senator Clinton, Mr. Koch acknowledges that “lots of people — Jews and others — will be voting for Barack.”

Indeed, “it’s almost an embarrassment of riches for the Jewish voter,” said Ammiel Hirsch, senior rabbi of the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. “Perhaps there is a certain amount of distress that they have to choose between the two, because they are both enormously appealing to the Jewish community.”

He added, “It is a very exciting time for us, because I think the Jewish primary vote in the New York area is up for grabs in the next five days.”

To Sid Davidoff, a senior partner at one of New York’s largest lobbying firms who is not working for either of the campaigns, “I think there is going to be a split between established older voters in the Jewish community, with whom Hillary will do well, and younger and more liberal Jews who see Obama as an agent of change.”

Although it would seem likely that Senator Clinton might capture the larger share of voters in her stronghold state, including Jews, even the slightest shift in Jewish support is a subject of interest. Some local blogs recently claimed that Councilman Simcha Felder of Brooklyn had switched his support to Senator Obama from Senator Clinton.

A spokesman for the councilman, Eric Kuo, said Thursday that Mr. Felder has not campaigned for either candidate, or previously announced support. Then, during a radio program on Tuesday night, according to Mr. Kuo, Councilman Felder said that he would be voting for Senator Obama.

An important reason for such intense scrutiny is that “the Jewish community tends to vote, and make contributions, far in excess of its proportion of the population,” said Gary Rosenblatt, editor and publisher of Jewish Week, the nation’s largest Jewish weekly.

Not everyone is being swept away by the primary deadline, of course.

“Generally speaking, I am suspicious of all politicians on the Jewish issue,” said Marvin Kitman, a media critic for The Huffington Post. “With friends like them we don’t need enemies. The basic question we of the Hebrew persuasion tend to ask on all issues, whether it is the Giants in the Super Bowl, or Amy Winehouse, or global warming, is: Is it good or bad for the Jews?”

This week, trying to make it clear that he is good for the Jews, Senator Obama answered questions from reporters at Jewish news outlets in a conference call. His aim was to counter concerns about his positions on issues like his hope for a dialogue with Iran, saying that the control of nuclear weapons by Iran would be a threat to Israeli and United States interests. He added that he had long spoken against anti-Semitism, and had always denounced the views of Louis Farrakhan.

In the Senate, Senator Obama backed Israel during its 2006 war with Hezbollah in Lebanon, and in the Monday conference call he said that Palestinians must control terrorist activity and violent anti-Israel actions before Israel should make concessions.

Both senators “are supportive of Israel, and few question that,” said Rabbi Steve Gutow, executive director of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, a nonprofit group that promotes consensus among Jewish groups and oversees the Israel Advocacy Initiative, which tries to communicate pro-Israel views.

The American Jewish Committee and other Jewish groups have criticized a campaign of e-mails that made false claims that Senator Obama was, among other things, a secret Muslim. (He is a Christian who has attended Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago since the 1980s.)

“I think Obama has dealt effectively with those rumors that he is really a secret agent,” Mr. Rosenblatt said.

And to Rabbi Hirsch, “Most Jews are too sophisticated to fall for that garbage,” he said, adding, “It’s almost embarrassing that there would be an attempt to sway us in that manner.”

As for Senator Clinton, “I don’t think the Suha issue has any resonance anymore,” Mr. Koch said. In 1999, Mrs. Clinton attended an event in Ramallah where the wife of Yasir Arafat, Suha, accused Israel of poisoning Palestinian women and children with toxic gases. Mrs. Clinton listened with obvious discomfort but left politely, giving Mrs. Arafat a kiss.

Mrs. Arafat’s remarks were denounced by Prime Minister Ehud Barak of Israel, and in New York, Mrs. Clinton was criticized in newspaper editorials and by several groups for her silence and the kiss. Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, then a possible Senate candidate, sharply attacked her.

Mr. Koch added: “I said that Suha wasn’t an issue in a Hillary commercial then. And I’d say it again in a commercial now if she asked me.”

Both senators are still looking for endorsements, and hoping that the ones they have will influence Tuesday’s vote. “Both Hillary and Obama have prominent people in the Jewish community supporting them,” Mr. Rosenblatt said.

Aside from Mr. Koch, prominent Jewish politicians supporting Mrs. Clinton include New York’s other senator, Charles E. Schumer; Senator Dianne Feinstein of California; and Representatives Gary L. Ackerman of Queens, Eliot L. Engel of the Bronx, Jerrold L. Nadler of Manhattan and Anthony D. Weiner of Queens and Brooklyn.

Among Senator Obama’s supporters are several Jewish members of Congress: Representatives Steve Rothman of New Jersey, Adam B. Schiff of California, Jan Schakowsky of Illinois and Robert Wexler of Florida.

Although the candidates have focused on public appearances in other states, “my sense is that there is a huge amount of enthusiasm for both candidates in the Jewish community, and that both represent an important breakthrough in American political and social life,” Rabbi Hirsch said.

He added: “The community was disproportionately active in favor of the civil-rights movement, and so the prospect of an African-American president is enormously moving for the Jewish community. But then, the prospect of a woman president is also very moving for the Jewish community.”

In the American Jewish Committee’s national Annual Survey of American Jewish Opinion, 70 percent of Jewish Democrats said they had a favorable opinion of Senator Clinton, in comparison with 45 percent for Senator Obama. The telephone poll in November studied 1,000 self-identifying Jewish respondents in a sample that had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.

A victory in New York’s Jewish community for Senator Obama would be remarkable. “In the Chicago community Jewish voters know Obama well and like him,” said Malcolm I. Hoenlein, vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, an umbrella organization that focuses on Jewish issues. “But in New York, Jewish voters don’t know him well.”

None would predict who would sway Jewish voters on Tuesday. “I think that the Jewish vote is supporting Hillary at this point,” Mr. Davidoff said. “But Obama has the buzz. And with the primary less than a week away, this is very volatile.”

Read more Primary Journal blog entries from the New York region.

Anonymous said...

I graduated Be'er Hagolah in the late 90's. I was constantly beaten by my Rabbi in front of other students. When I complained, the assistant principal would just make up some story and tell me to forget it. I remember I was scared to tell my parents about it because I thought that this was completely normal given the fact that it was a Jewish religious school. When the rabbi finally realized that he was in fact beating me, he immediatly invited me to his house for a shabbaton.

I dont know what occurs there now, since I graduated over 10 years ago, but if its the same, the school must be shut down!

As far as Rebetzin German, she was one of the nicest and most dedicated people I have ever met. May she rest in Peace.

jta said...

Israeli rabbi condemns Chinese atrocities

Published: 02/03/2008

An Israeli rabbi has called on Jews to condemn China for its human rights abuses against Chinese citizens.

Rabbi David Druckman, chief rabbi of the city of Kiryat Motzkin, near Haifa, made the call protesting the alleged holding of thousands of political prisoners without trial, beating people who protest being thrown out of their homes and employing slave labor -- in a recently released video, Arutz-7 reported.

Druckman was most critical of the Chinese government's persecution of the Falun Gong sect, a Buddhist sect outlawed in China.

Rabbi Reuven Bulka, head of the Canadian branch of the Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong in China, has called on Israel to pressure the Chinese government to stop alleged organ harvesting from Falun Gong prisoners by quitting the Olympic Games.

"We as Jews must therefore stand at the front lines of this war, and employ every possible tactic in order that the world expunge atrocities such as this," Druckman said on the video. "When there is evil in the world, every person with a human conscience, and every person with intelligence, must protest against it."

Druckman called on Israelis to protest China's human rights abuses by rallying against them when the Olympic torch passes through Israel later this month. China will be hosting the 2008 summer Olympics.

In November, more than 220 Israelis, including academics, eight Knesset members and more than 40 rabbis, signed a petition calling for an end to the Chinese atrocities, the Arutz-7 report said.

Olmert and the goat said...

Never before have we seen politicians so overjoyed about grave war report

Uri Orbach
Published: 02.02.08,
Israel Opinion

It is no coincidence that the most overused Jewish joke in the world talks about the Jew who complained to his rabbi about his overly crowded home. The rabbi advised him to bring a goat into his house. When the man came to the rabbi again two weeks later to complain about the over-crowded conditions, the rabbi instructed him to remove the goat, and suddenly the Jew and his family felt great relief.

Oh, the Jew and the goat, the goat and the Jew. After all, it is such a Jewish trait to be overjoyed when the sword against your throat is removed. When you realize that it could have been worse.

You relax and go back to your good old regular troubles. You know how to deal with those ones splendidly well. More than the goat safeguarded the Jews, it was the Jews who safeguarded the goat.

Someone charged that Ehud Olmert’s decision to embark on the final 60-hour operation of the war stemmed from political considerations. This is a grave charge. Olmert was justifiably insulted by this charge. He was so badly insulted that he clung to the charge like a Jew clings to the goat.

Olmert embraced the goat, and with the facial expression of a martyr said: “Look what they charged me with! What terrible libel!”

Olmert is well familiar with the people he’s leading. He knew that he will be cleared of this charge. And now that the goat has been removed, and the report, thank God, cleared him of the suspicion of such terrible malice, he can truly rejoice. He is innocent! All we’re left with are the good old regular charges, the ones we got used to.

Olmert’s close associate Haim Ramon proceeded to declare that his master deserves an apology, and all the other close associates, and their own associates, “sighed with relief.”

Sighs of relief shocking

Indeed, the goat has been removed, and we were left with minor issues: A failed prime minister who doesn’t know how to manage an army or a war. A prime minister who fails to seriously examine the various alternatives, who fails to properly consult, who is unfamiliar with the material, who is unprepared, and who fails to grasp the implications of his decisions.

There are so many bad words about the prime minister in both the interim and final Winograd report that it is simply shocking to see the sighs of relief among Olmert and his cronies. Never before have we seen politicians so overjoyed over such a grave report, just because one of the clauses notes that a decision was reasonable.

They were able to remove the goat. “We got out of it,” Olmert said when he called former Defense Minister Amir Peretz following the report’s release. Yes, dear citizens, Olmert is not evil, he’s merely negligent. Bravo, Jews, let’s dance on tables. Let’s uncork the champagne bottles while chanting “we should study the report well.” Let’s start singing. Because the world “failure” only appears in the report 190 times and the word “flaws” appears in it only 213 times. Indeed, it is quite unclear why the commission did not recommend that Olmert be awarded a citation.

exposemolesters said...

Loony bins!,7340,L-3501975,00.html

Say no to ‘kosher buses’

Segregated buses that discriminate against women are illegal, undemocratic
Zahava Fisher

Last week Ynet reported that the High Court of Justice is hearing a petition filed by the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism against segregated buses – those where men sit at the front and women at the back. The petitioners demanded that a committee be set up in order to regularize the desired seating arrangement on such buses to the satisfaction of all passengers, and also make sure that every such bus route would also include regular buses with no segregation.

The type of petition submitted by the petitioners made the court understand that the very existence of segregation is a legitimate given situation that apparently does not require any discussion. One of the petitioners justified this in a private conversation when he said that a multicultural society must respect everyone’s lifestyle. In fact, there was not even a minimal effort to understand how segregation that creates an inferior status for women can be perceived as a cultural necessity that must be given consideration.

Even when the court was seemingly protecting women, after Judge Rubinstein said that “it is unthinkable that a driver will not allow a woman wearing pants to board the bus,” this in fact harmed women. His words imply that “pants are ok,” but what about other clothing? Is it thinkable that a driver will prevent a women dressed in a revealing shirt to board the bus? Here too there was no minimal effort to look into the question of whether a judge is allowed to determine the proper dress code for women, or whether it is even appropriate to talk about how women dress.

We already lost

These facts arouse great fear in me that we have already been defeated, because a false and dangerous perception is overwhelming us and finding a dignified place in the holy of holies of Israeli democracy: The High Court of Justice.

This false perception views women as dangerous creatures because they are seductive, and it views men as weak and miserable creatures who become aroused in the face of any woman they meet. In the name of these insights, we see men (including supreme court judges) who allow themselves to express views on the female dress code, while there are others who just send the women to their “rightful place:” The back door, the ghetto at the back – using angry hand gestures, curse words, or even violence.

We cannot say that a woman who is minimally dressed is immodest and therefore conclude that she is or is not allowed to be present at certain places. A man or woman should be perceived as immodest if they make it clear, explicitly or implicitly, that they are available for sexual liaison. A woman can be completely covered, from head to toe, and at the same time make herself sexually available, while another woman may wear revealing clothing but make it clear that she is unavailable for sexual relations.

Segregation between the sexes is what creates eroticism within public space – the women become “seductive” and the men, Heaven forbid, become “seduced.” Therefore, we must put away the seductresses and hide them.

What else will be segregated?

When the court takes this twisted world of insights for granted it undergoes dangerous transformation. Suddenly we hear about segregated post office outlets and about demands by national-religious rabbis to segregated male and female teachers’ lounges at schools.

Until the mid 1950s, buses in the southern United States were segregated and distinguished between blacks and whites. The white passengers sat at the front and the blacks would pay the driver, get off the bus, and board it again through the back door. In 1955, a black woman called Rosa Parks set in the white section and did not get up. When she was later asked why she did it, she answered: “I was tired.” This is how the movement that annulled race laws got underway and made segregation illegal.

Yet in 2008, the High Court of Justice may force the crime of segregation into Israeli society. The judges must regain their senses, stop themselves from falling into this trap, and explicitly rule that this segregation in and of itself is false, illegal, undemocratic, and very bad.

exposemolesters said...

"I was constantly beaten by my Rabbi in front of other students."
I am caused great pain to hear this. Be'er hagolus is a dangerous place to send ones kid to. There will be a part II expose in the near future!

Barack Obama said...

Hillary, you are a wannabe president. Stop whining and do something else with your life, the presidency belongs to me!

Obama Says He Can Win Votes That Clinton Cannot

Justin Blum

Feb. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Presidential candidate Barack Obama said he can win votes in the November general election that Hillary Clinton, his Democratic opponent, can't get.

``We can attract independents and Republicans in a way that Senator Clinton cannot,'' Obama, 46, of Illinois, said on ``Face the Nation'' on CBS. Republicans view Clinton as a ``polarizing figure,'' he said.

Clinton, who is running slightly ahead of Obama in recent polls, countered that she is battle-tested and most able to defeat Senator John McCain of Arizona, the leading Republican candidate, in November.

Obama and Clinton, both Democratic senators, appeared on Sunday television talk shows to rally support before 22 states hold nominating contests Feb. 5. Voters in states including New York, Massachusetts and California will choose about half the delegates needed for the Democratic nomination in the contests, known as Super Tuesday.

Clinton, 60, of New York, said on ABC's ``This Week'' that she is better able to withstand Republican attacks and attract voters who ``know how serious the issues are that we face.''

``In his prior election in Illinois, Senator Obama didn't face anyone who ran attack ads against him,'' she said, referring to Obama's Senate race. ``He ran against a very weak opponent, without resources or credibility.''

`Ups and Downs'

McCain, whose lead over former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has widened in recently released national polls, declined to predict the Republican winner on Super Tuesday, saying on the ``Fox News Sunday'' program that ``there've been too many ups and downs'' in the race.

``Primaries are very tough, and there's a lot of strong feelings,'' said McCain, 71.

McCain said that ``the key is to unite the party'' after a candidate is chosen, and he defended himself against attacks from Republican conservatives.

``I'm proud of the conservative support I have,'' McCain said on CBS. ``If you examine my record, it's more conservative than Governor Romney's is.''

Romney, 60, appearing on ``This Week,'' said the fight for the Republican nomination has become a battle for the ``heart and soul of the Republican Party.''


``If we want a party that is indistinguishable from Hillary Clinton on an issue like illegal immigration, then we're going to have John McCain as a nominee,'' Romney said.

Romney said his victory yesterday in Maine's presidential caucuses ``had to shock the McCain folks'' because the Arizona senator was supported by Maine's two Republican senators, Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe. The Maine caucuses were non-binding, in effect a preference poll that didn't award any delegates.

Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor, rejected Romney's contention that the party's nomination battle is a two-man race between McCain and Romney.

``It is ludicrous'' for Romney ``to suggest that with only 8 percent of the delegates counted and us being very close to the same delegate count, that somehow that makes me irrelevant,'' Huckabee, 52, said on CNN's ``Late Edition.''

Clinton adviser Doug Hattaway said the campaign is focusing its advertising for the Feb. 5 vote on states where they believe she is strongest, including California, New York and Arkansas, and battleground states such as Tennessee, Missouri and Massachusetts.

`The Right Balance'

``We're trying to strike the right balance'' between strong states and battleground states, Hattaway said. ``You can't deploy resources in all 22 states so you have to make choices.''

A Washington Post/ABC News poll released today showed 47 percent of likely Democratic voters said they back Clinton, while 43 percent said the same for Obama. The difference is within the survey's margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

A separate poll by the Pew Research Center for the People and Press showed that 46 percent of Democrats nationwide favor Clinton compared with Obama's 38 percent.

Among Republicans, McCain is supported in the Post-ABC poll by 48 percent of likely Republican voters, compared with 24 percent for Romney, 16 percent for Huckabee and 7 percent for Texas Representative Ron Paul.

The Pew survey, released today, showed McCain leading nationwide among Republicans with 42 percent, a 13-point increase from a similar mid-January poll. Romney followed with 22 percent and Huckabee with 20 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Justin Blum in Washington at .

Day schools act to address substance abuse said...

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

by Richard Greenberg, Associate Editor

Aside from providing a Jewish education, day schools have traditionally offered a refuge symbolic, if not actual from many of the more distasteful aspects of contemporary society, including drug and alcohol abuse.

Hard-edged reality, however, is intruding on that idyllic image. While drinking and drugging remain relatively rare among area Jewish day school students (compared with their public school counterparts), according to seasoned observers, they are occurring often enough for some administrators to adopt tough policies to combat them.

That includes random drug screening of upper school students as well as policies stated and otherwise that enable schools to punish even off-campus abuse of substances. In one noteworthy local case, action was taken against several day school students who attended an off-campus party at which underage drinking was involved.

In addition, area day schools have beefed up anti-drug and anti-alcohol education programs, some of which are now part of the curriculum. Some programs are targeted specifically at parents, and others cater to both parents and students. Since the anti-abuse campaigns apply primarily to grades nine through 12, day schools serving only younger students were not surveyed.

"These are difficult times," explained Joshua Levisohn, head of Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy in Rockville.

"We're not naive," said Jonathan Cannon, head of school at Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville. "We realize that some of our students will be involved with drugs or will be present when they are being used. It's not endemic or out of control, but it is there. Our goal is to help students make good decisions under those circumstances."

Likewise, Rabbi Dovid Niman, principal of the boys division of the Yeshiva of Greater Washington in Silver Spring, said drugs and alcohol "are out there and our kids are exposed to it, and we're not naive enough to think that they're above it."

The stringent anti-abuse measures adopted by Berman, JDS and YGW to address the problem have generated internal debate, but they now enjoy widespread support among both students and parents, according to the three school chiefs.

In December, Berman began conducting random drug tests of upper school students. The testing, which involves analysis of a hair follicle and is paid for by the school, was initiated after a 90-day hands-off period that enabled students, in the words of the upper school handbook, to "test clean." The goal of random testing, the handbook explains, "is to provide students with a tool that will enable them to withstand pressures that might otherwise cause them to experiment with drugs."

As of last week, "a couple dozen" students had been tested, according to Levisohn. (The upper school has 155 students.) However, he declined to reveal whether any of them had tested positive, citing confidentiality concerns. He said none of the students refused to be tested. "We were bracing for widespread complaints," he added, "but it's gone over much better than we had anticipated. The students have been very compliant."

Berman 10th-grader Gavi Brown of Silver Spring supports the policy. He estimated that about 70 percent of his classmates concur, although many of them are concerned that it could infringe on students' privacy rights.

Fellow 10th-grader Nathan Franco sees random screening as an effective deterrent. "There are many kids who know other students who take drugs, and the administration doesn't really know about it," said Franco, a Silver Spring resident. "Besides, they're not trying to catch anybody; they're just trying to stop it."

Berman also has a policy that says students can be punished if they have used illegal substances (including alcohol) off-campus, even if the infraction occurred at an event that had no official connection with the school. No students have been disciplined under this provision.

"This is not a witch hunt; we're not going after people," said Levisohn, who conceded that the policy does occupy a jurisdictional "gray area." The rationale for the measure: "We are part of a community," he said, that extends beyond the walls of the school, a realm in which the behavior of one individual is "not irrelevant" to other members of the community.

Levisohn said this policy like the one authorizing random drug screening was strictly "proactive" and was not a response to any documentable incidents involving Berman students. Rather, it was a reaction to a changing moral environment that has spared few American institutions, including day schools.

"Although in the day school environment, drugs play a smaller role than elsewhere," Levisohn added, "penetration of illegal substances has increased quite significantly over the past 20 years."

The educational component of Berman's anti-abuse campaign features a mandatory evening lecture session, initiated two years ago, that is attended by upper school students and their parents. They hear testimonials from speakers who explain how drugs and alcohol have destroyed their lives and those of loved ones. "This hits on the emotions," said Levisohn.

At JDS, Cannon said the school's anti-substance abuse program has three main elements: educating students as to the risks and consequences of drinking and drugging, involving families in the process and demanding that students be accountable for their behavior.

Like Berman and YGW, JDS reserves the right to take action against students for alcohol- or drug-related incidents that occur off campus. That was demonstrated in November when several students (Cannon declined to say how many) were punished by the administration for their involvement in an off-campus party on Sept. 29 that had been organized by JDS students, but was not sanctioned by the school. A Montgomery County police officer had brought the incident, which involved drinking, to the attention of school officials.

The students involved were subjected to a range of sanctions, according to Cannon, including loss of after-school privileges, but none was suspended. In that instance, which Cannon termed "very unusual," JDS took action, he said, because the party was orchestrated in part by JDS students, drinking was an integral part of the event, and the incident was severe enough to warrant police response.

JDS 12th-grader Kerry Brodie of Potomac said although she endorses in principle the school's right to respond to off-site incidents, the majority of students disagree, and "think the school was overstepping its bounds" by disciplining the students involved in the Sept. 29 party.

Unlike Berman and YGW, JDS has no random drug screening. "We are able to be effective without it," said Cannon. But the school does test students who are strongly suspected of abusing substances or who have already been found in violation, according to Cannon, who said only a "small number" of students fit that profile.

He declined to estimate the size of the group. Cannon also declined comment when asked if any students suspected of substance abuse have tested positive. However, he said he knows of no prior offenders who have tested positive. (Two years ago, three local teens who were on the Alexander Muss Institute for Israel Education program under the auspices of JDS, were taken into custody in Israel for possession and sale of marijuana.)

As part of the school's educational approach, students regularly meet in small groups (or individually, if they chose) with guidance counselors to discuss how to cope with various challenges, including drug-taking, alcohol abuse and other problems related to peer pressure.

In addition, JDS is a member of Community of Concern, a nationwide consortium of schools devoted to combating substance abuse. COC has provided JDS with expert speakers in the field of substance abuse recently, for example, the director of the Addiction Treatment Center at Suburban Hospital and a 32-page booklet, "A Parent's Guide for the Prevention of Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Use," that is distributed to all parents of JDS upper school students. Upper school enrollment is 687, according to the current JDS handbook.

The high school boys division of YGW began random drug screening in late 2006, and in first year of the policy, virtually all 60 students were tested. Since then, roughly half of the high school boys student body has been screened. None of the students has tested positive, according to Niman, who noted that students have the option of admitting they are substance abusers prior to being tested. Rather than being suspended or expelled, they agree to undergo counseling and periodic screening. Niman declined to say how many students have fallen into this category.

"We're not out to catch kids," he added. "This gives them an opportunity to say no [to drugs]. It's another piece of ammunition they can use, a defense mechanism for kids."

YGW's relevent educational effort includes talks by experts in the field of substance abuse that students are required to attend.

Students at YGW's girls division are not screened for drugs because, according to experts, they are less likely than boys to abuse substances, said Rabbi Zev Katz, principal of Judaics at YGW's girls division. However, the girls' curriculum does include an anti-drug and anti-alcohol component, Katz added. Girls, he noted, are more likely to be engaged in such things as eating disorders and cutting, which are addressed.

Silver Spring's Lianne Heller, the parent of a YGW 11th-grader, termed the boys school's random testing regime "excellent."

"I really applaud the fact that the yeshiva has taken a proactive campaign to have zero tolerance in this area," she said.

Potomac's Avrami Singer, an 11th-grader at YGW, said screening is beneficial because it "gives you an out," or a convenient way to refuse an offer of drugs. Singer declined comment when asked if he himself has been approached and offered illicit substances by classmates.

nun said...

Nun Sentenced to Jail in Sex Abuse Case
Feb 2, 2008

A 79-year-old nun in Milwaukee will go to jail -- for crimes of sexual abuse committed 40 years ago.

Sister Norma Giannini sat in the same Milwaukee Circuit courtroom as some of her victims on Friday -- before she was sentenced to one year in jail.

The nun was a teacher and principal at St. Patrick's School during the 60's when police say she had dozens of sexual encounters with two teen-age male students.

Giannini pleaded no contest in November to two counts of indecent behavior with a child.

Rabbi Menachem Froman said...

w w w . h a a r e t z . c o m
W. Bank rabbi, Palestinian reporter present PM, Hamas draft truce
By Yair Ettinger, Haaretz Correspondent

Israelis and Palestinians involved in interfaith contacts recently drafted a cease-fire agreement between Israel and Hamas. The document, whose implementation includes the release of abducted Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, was submitted to the cabinet and to the Hamas government in the Gaza Strip.

Rabbi Menachem Froman of the West Bank settlement of Tekoa has for years been involved in interfaith dialogue toward Israeli-Palestinians peace. For several months he has been working closely with Khaled Amayreh, a Hebron-area journalist who is close to Hamas.

"Our proposal was presented to the highest political echelon in the Hamas government in Gaza and gained 100-percent approval," Amayreh told Haaretz Sunday, while refusing to name the government officials. Froman said the document was presented to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who has yet to respond to it.

Even if the attempt turns out to be merely an academic exercise, say Froman and Amayreh, its elements could be used by the Jerusalem and Gaza governments. It does not, for example, include the recognition by Hamas of the State of Israel, instead "recognizing that there are Jews living in the Holy Land," according to Froman.

The Hebrew and Arabic document contains verses from the Koran and the Bible and states, "God is the greatest of all and He alone can bring an end to the problems between the noble Palestinian people and the distinguished Jewish people in the Holy Land."

The proposal calls for Israel to lift its sanctions on the Gaza Strip, permit economic relations between Gaza and the outside world and open all border crossings. The Israel Defense Forces would end "all hostile activities toward the Gaza Strip, including targeted assassinations, the setting of ambushes, aerial bombardments and all penetrations into Gazan territory, in addition to ending the arrest, detention and persecution of Palestinians in the Strip."

The Palestinians would be obligated "to take all the necessary steps to completely end the attacks against Israel," including stopping "indefinitely all rocket attacks on Israel," assaults "on Israeli civilians and soldiers" and "to impose a cease-fire on all groups, factions and individuals operating in the Strip."

Related articles:
# Hamas policy: Escalation to force Israel into cease-fire in Gaza
# Hamas no-shows at interfaith meeting in West Jerusalem
# Interfaith parley ends with calls for concern

Chief Rabbi Yonah Metzger said...

w w w . h a a r e t z . c o m
Metzger to return to key religious court position next month
By Yuval Yoaz, Haaretz Correspondent

Chief Rabbi Yonah Metzger intends to end his voluntary suspension and return next month to his position as a member of the Supreme Rabbinical Court and as a member of the committee that appoints religious court judges even though this appointments committee is in the midst of discussions as to whether to remove Metzger from these panels.

The Ometz non-profit organization for good government organization, which is conducting a legal battle in the High Court of Justice to remove Metzger as chief rabbi, is planning on filing another petition within a week if Metzger does not change his mind.

In April 2006, Attorney General Menachem Mazuz published a report in which he called for Metzger's resignation as chief rabbi, following a criminal investigation into the rabbi's stays in Jerusalem hotels, free of charge. But at the same time, Mazuz said he would not be issuing an indictment against Metzger, even though he accused him of lying during the investigation.

In reaction to this report, Metzger filed a petition against Mazuz at the High Court, and the court last year criticized the attorney general for calling for Metzger's resignation, saying he did not have the authority to do so, and recommended that he rewrite that section of his report.

But based on the rest of the report, Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann asked the rabbinical judicial appointments committee to meet to discuss Metzger's removal from this committee, and that of the Supreme Rabbinical Court.

About a month ago, the committee decided to allow Mazuz to air additional claims before it, and postponed further deliberations until the end of January; but even at last week's meeting no decision was made concerning Metzger.

"We feel there is no cause for continuing the rabbi's voluntary suspension," wrote David Libai, Metzger's attorney. "The criminal file has been closed for almost two years, there is no disciplinary procedure against the rabbi, and the attorney general also has changed his mind about calling for the rabbi's resignation. "To the best of our understanding there is no obstacle for Rabbi Metzger to return to his position as religious court judge and member of the appointments committee for religious court judges," Libai said.

Nevertheless, Libai announced in Metzger's name that he did not intend in participating in the committee's meeting which would discuss his removal.

In response to Libai's announcement, Ometz attorney Boaz Arad asked Friedman to prevent meetings of the committee if Metzger returns to serve on the committee - except for meetings to discuss his removal.

"The committee on appointments of religious judges has been unable to reach a decision for a long time, and the circumstances created a feeling for Metzger that the causes that led him to suspend himself at the time from his judicial position and participation in the committee have ended and no longer exist," Arad wrote to Friedman.

"But the return of a figure with morals such as those of Rabbi Metzger to a judicial role, and even more to a judgeship on the Supreme Rabbinical Court, is unbearable from any public perspective," he said.

Metzger's commitment to suspend himself came as a result of a petition to the High Court by Ometz to force the justice minister to take steps to remove Metzger, as recommended by Mazuz in his 2006 report.

The committee is not empowered to remove Metzger from his post as chief rabbi, but it is unlikely that he will continue to serve in this role if he is removed from his positions as a Supreme Rabbinical Court judge and judicial appointments committee member.

rabbi Israel Belsky the putz said...

I takeh thought this would make a geshmackeh dvar torah al hilchos mishkav zachar.

On another note. Just so you know, for a ten thousand dollar fee, I can epes bend the rules and annul any kind of marriage - should you find yourself having sholom bayis machlokes of any kind- altz leshem shomyim we can do some business together!

New website launched for religious gay community

New website for religious gay community launched last week. Founders struggle to juggle both identities, seek to garner legitimacy within the greater religious community
Kobi Nahshoni

They appealed to rabbis, petitioned the press, and tried to raise awareness through movies and plays. Now the religious gay community is establishing a website in an attempt to yet again try and touch base with the religious world, which has condemned them at best, and shunned them at worst.

Gay Pride
Jerusalem proudly presents / Nurit Felter
Ministry of Tourism's next target: Bringing gay and lesbian tourists to Israel. The means: A campaign featuring a same-sex couple on a camel, two men in yarmulkes kissing in Jerusalem
full article
Last week the religious organization HOD (an acronym for religious gays in Hebrew) launched what they described as the “first independent website run by and intended for the gay and lesbian religious community.”

This new website is far from being stereotypically ‘gay’: alongside kippa clad figures under a bright sky painted in the colors of the ‘gay pride’ flag, the site also features articles on halachic issues as well as a page on the weekly Torah portion. Like many other sites, the HOD site also allows for some virtual Q&A. “Users can contact Rabbi R. regarding halachic concerns either by telephone or through the following link,” states the website.

Jewish thought thus clearly abounds on the site. As for gay pride, it is still a difficult notion. The site managers, as well as the aforementioned rabbi, still staunchly refuse to disclose their identity.

‘A gay person cannot become straight’

Itay, one of the founders of the site, explained to Ynet that this new website is innovative in its approach to homosexuality and religion.

“Up to now the only website catering to the religious gay community was atzat-nefesh (, which was basically run by straight people that publicly stated that a religious person cannot be gay. They tried to ‘turn’ gay religious people straight, which is something that we know cannot be done. We try to help people reconcile their religious beliefs and their sexual orientation,” he explained.

The founders of the HOD site, young religious individuals themselves, founded the site as part of an overall larger agenda to not only remain part of the religious community, but to reach out to the religious world and attempt to garner its acceptance.

“Both the religious community and the religious gay community are experiencing a lot of changes in thought and perception as of late. One clear indication of such changes is the willingness of the part of many rabbis to hear what we have to say,” explained Itay. One such rabbi is Rabbi Yuval Sharlo, with whom the site managers had what they describe as a “wonderful meeting.”

‘Breaking the silence’
Open dialogue aside, Rabbi Sharlo still stated in the HaTzofe Newspaper, as well as in the HOD website that “in spite of my clear sympathy to people who have ‘alternate tendencies’, the Halacha point of view on this matter is unequivocal and cannot be changed.”

If the Halacha cannot be altered, why meet with the rabbis at all? According to Itay, “the meetings with the rabbis are not an all or nothing thing. First of all we want the rabbis to see the human faces behind the social phenomenon, and to realize that we are here and that we exist….Down the road we want to come to a situation where everyone can find a niche for themselves within more flexible halachic bounds.”

Recognition and acceptance are therefore foremost on the site operators’ agenda, “We want to embrace both identities, gay and religious,” explained Itay, noting that “we (religious gays) can be found everywhere in the religious world, and simply want to eliminate the stigma, disgrace and sometimes outright violence that has been leveled against us within the religious community.”

“We are your beloved sons,” site operators made an impassioned plea to the religious community, its rabbis and public leaders, also quoting Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook who stated that he would “rather transgress with reckless love to fellow Jews than unwarranted hatred.”

rabbi avi shafran said...

I wouldn't read this shtus. I wouldn't even attempt to sneak a peek at my fellow passenger-mates newspaper while riding the Staten island ferry after spending long hours at 42 Broadway after a busy and long day at the office.

A Rabbi Talks With Jesus

Pope Benedict has a favorite rabbi, none other than the distinguished Jewish scholar Jacob Neusner. At first glance this is a puzzle. Many years ago Neusner wrote a book called A Rabbi Talks With Jesus. In it, he noted, "I explain why, if I had been in the land of Israel in the first century, I would not have joined the circle of Jesus' disciples."

Neusner sent his book to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, asking him to write a blurb. Ratzinger agreed, and then even more remarkably, praised the book again when he became Pope Benedict. More than a dozen pages of Benedict's Jesus of Nazareth are devoted to discussing Neusner's argument. Benedict writes that Neusner's work "has opened my eyes to the greatness of Jesus' words and to the choice that the gospel places before us."

To understand what Benedict is getting at, recall atheist Richard Dawkins' famous claim that we are all atheists when it comes to other people's gods. For instance, I am an atheist when it comes to the gods of the ancient Greeks and Romans. By the same token Neusner is an atheist when it comes to the Christian notion of the divinity.

Even so, Neusner's treatment of Christ could not be more different than that of Dawkins. One of the main differences is that Dawkins is a biologist and Neusner is a scholar of ancient texts and history. Consequently Dawkins' historical and literary understanding is at the eighth grade level, while Neusner brings to his work a depth and sophistication worthy of a man regarded as perhaps the greatest living scholar of Judaism...

BBC News said...

Jerusalem Diary: Monday 4 February
By Tim Franks
BBC News, Jerusalem


There is a minority in Israel who believe that Justice Eliyahu Winograd missed the point, in his report on the war between Israel and Hezbollah in the summer of 2006.

One of the big reasons, they say, that the IDF flopped - that, in the Winograd committee's words "a semi-military organisation of a few thousand men [Hezbollah] resisted, for a few weeks, the strongest army in the Middle East" - was because of the occupation.

A Hebrew-speaking colleague of mine scoured the 171 unclassified pages of the report that are posted on the internet, and could find little mention of the Israeli army's obligations in the West Bank, beyond testimony from the then deputy chief of staff that the second intifada had left the army worried about overstretch if a northern front opened up.

But there are some who say that the damage comes from a full 40 years of military occupation.

Baruch is one of them. He is a reservist who fought in the Second Lebanon War.

How can you remain an elite combat force if you spend your time policing?
Israeli reservist
He left his postgraduate psychology studies to fight in a classified combat reconnaissance unit.

For the past 16 years, he has refused to serve his annual reserve duty in the occupied territories. His refusal, he says, is because of his left-wing political views.

But in military terms, he says, the occupation has done much damage.

Soldiers deployed there feel "false power". Furthermore, he asks: "How can you remain an elite combat force if you spend your time policing?"


One theory that appears nowhere in the report is that of the spiritual leader of Shas, one of the parties in the governing coalition.

Last August, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef was reported as suggesting that those soldiers who died had not kept the "mitzvot", or commandments, expected of observant Jews.

To our regret, houses that dead or injured people lived in, mezuzot were not kosher. Where we saw miracles, we saw mezuzot to the highest standard
Rabbi Moshe Zeev Pizam

"Should it come as a surprise if, God forbid, soldiers are killed in war", the Israeli newspapers quoted him as saying, "when they do not adhere to the laws of Shabbat, they do not keep the Torah, they do not pray every day?"

Rabbi Yosef's reported comments sparked much outrage. But now, down in Sderot, a group of rabbis have noticed a new pattern.

Sderot is the Israeli town which has suffered more than any other from almost daily missile attack from Palestinian militants.

These ultra-orthodox rabbis believe that houses which do not have good quality "mezuzot" (encased scrolls of Jewish liturgy, attached to the exterior and interior doorposts), have suffered more damage.

"To our regret," Rabbi Moshe Zeev Pizam told me, "houses that dead or injured people lived in, mezuzot were not kosher. Where we saw miracles, we saw mezuzot that were kosher to the highest standard."

Rabbi Pizam has brought a team of four experts to Sderot to inspect mezuzot in private homes and public buildings.

The service, which normally costs 10 shekels ($2.75) a go, is being offered for free.

Rabbi Oren Malka, the deputy mayor of Sderot, says that the project is a private venture. But the municipality is happy to have its mezuzot checked.

As Rabbi Malka explains, in his 15-plus years in the rabbinate, he has a big case-history.

"For example," he told me, "if the phrase 'upon your heart' (from the prayer on the scroll in the mezuzah) is damaged, then that person may have heart trouble."

In the week of the Winograd report, most Israelis would say that life, and war, are a little more complex.

Send us your thoughts and comments on Tim Franks' latest diary.

Your E-mail address
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Haham Ovadia Yosef is 100% correct. As long as we Jews are not cleaving to G-d and following the laws of His Torah, our neighbours will continue to be "a thorn in our sides". I pray that the Jewish people will repent and walk in the way of G-d. Only then will we merit peace with our neighbours and the coming of the Messiah!
Akiva Goldberg, Jerusalem, Israel

No one is suggesting that life is not complex. A soldier that does not wear a helmet in battle is not killed just because he lacks a helmet, nor does it always help. Nonetheless, soldiers wear helmets because they often help. The same with Kosher Mezzuzot on a Jew's doors. We know that God sees the heart and rewards the fulfilment of this commandment with extra protection. It is not merely the parchment, but the desire to do God's bidding.
Israel Dalven, Emanuel, Israel

Story from BBC NEWS:

Los Angeles Times said...,0,4101537.story
From the Los Angeles Times
Column One
The challenge of keeping China kosher
The country is a fast-growing producer of kosher-certified food. But inspection and approval require a cultural balancing act -- how do you explain the Book of Leviticus in an atheist nation?
By Ching-Ching Ni
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

February 5, 2008

NINGBO, CHINA — It isn't easy being a kosher food inspector in the land of moo shu pork. No matter how hard you try.

"Once, they got me into a restaurant and they ordered a whole plate of food and put it in front of me," recalls Rabbi Martin Grunberg, who has the unusual task of ensuring that Chinese factories that make food for export comply with ancient Jewish dietary laws. "They were putting me to the test because they really don't understand why I can't eat Chinese cuisine."

Keeping kosher is a breeze back home in Jerusalem, but it's a daily challenge here in China, where food is practically a religion and people say they'll eat anything with four legs -- except for the table. It means Grunberg can't travel light on his monthly trips through China: He carries two or three suitcases packed with dry goods, canned meats and vacuum-sealed packets, so he can feed himself breakfast, lunch and dinner. That way, he never has to step into a Chinese restaurant where about the only thing he can order is a fruit plate and can of Coke.

Although many here have never heard the word "kosher," China is now the world's fastest-growing producer of kosher-certified food, with more than 500 Chinese factories producing the approved products. That number is expected to soar, not because this country that is still officially atheist has embraced Judaism, but because it's good for business.

"I used to get this puzzled look, 'What is kosher?' " said Grunberg, 54, a field inspector for the New York-based Orthodox Union, which is responsible for certifying more than 300 plants in China. "Now a lot of people know it as a marketing tool to increase their market share, especially in the United States."

The largest kosher market in the world is the U.S., where a growing number of the consumers are non-Jews who see kosher-certified food as generally safer and healthier.

That's important in China, which is trying to recover from the recent spate of tainted-food scandals. Eager to regain consumer trust, the "Made in China" label has found an unexpected ally in the once-obscure kosher symbol.

"People have been looking for some other measure of security for products coming out of China," said Rabbi Shimon Freundlich, one of a handful of Beijing-based independent kosher field inspectors. "They want to see quality control, and kosher is a standard people know."

As China in recent years has become a factory for the world, practically anything can be made here at a bargain. The unlikely kosher business flourished simply because of supply and demand: The global appetite for kosher products exploded and China is happy to feed the frenzy.

But even after the Chinese learned basic kosher rules -- no pork, no shellfish, no fish without fins or scales -- misunderstandings remain.

As the calls poured in from Chinese companies looking for kosher approval, Freundlich recalls explaining why he couldn't certify a toy maker that produced plastic food.

"They sent me samples of fake apples, fake vegetables," Freundlich said. "They were right about the food aspect. They didn't know we don't do wooden toys or plastic toys."

Then there was the guy who makes dining room tables.

"Since food goes on the table he thought we needed a kosher table," Freundlich said. "Of course, every table is kosher."

It's even hard for many Chinese to grasp the meaning of "rabbi."

"Sometimes they call me 'rabbit,' " Grunberg said. "I start hopping. They don't get it. I let it pass. It doesn't pay to explain."

In the frigid Chinese winter, Grunberg, a grandfather of five, keeps his white beard relatively short and covers his head with a wool hat. He keeps his yarmulke in his pocket and puts it on only when the room is warm enough. The Israeli resident has long given up on wearing his wide-brimmed black hat when traveling across China. "They get squashed," he said, during the extended transits by plane, bus and train.

It's harder for Freundlich, 34, to blend in. His black beard is much longer and bushier, and some Chinese he meets can't resist tugging at it with their fingers.

"They used to call me Santa Claus," said Freundlich, who moved to Beijing with his family in 2001 to start a Jewish community center. Then came the Sept. 11 attacks. "They started calling me Bin Laden, which is unfortunate."

But they don't mean any harm by it, he said. For the most part, rabbis are treated with respect, even if the Chinese know very little about the Jewish people and their religion.

"In China, we have very little contact with the Jewish people," said Lucy Qian, the general manager at Ningbo Gooddays Food, a factory that makes mostly novelty candies here in one of China's manufacturing hubs. "We are doing this purely because of market demand."

Since the factory went kosher a few years ago, sales have soared 40%, she said. Her primary customers are Israelis and Americans who want such things as kosher lipstick-shaped Barbie candy, some of which ends up on the shelves of places like Wal-Mart.

The tainted-food scandals, she said, had no impact on her business last year. In fact, sales grew.

"I'm sure the kosher certification helped," Qian said.

For now, finished products such as candy, fish and some dehydrated vegetables are a small component of the Chinese-made kosher market. The bulk of the business is in raw materials and food additives, but that is likely to change very soon, according to the Orthodox Union, which expects huge growth in the demand for kosher snacks, soft drinks and even beef.

Jewish dietary rules originate in the Hebrew Bible, particularly the Book of Leviticus. But rabbis working in China try to sidestep serious discussions on religion to avoid political minefields in a country where anything other than state-sanctioned church activities are strictly forbidden.

Once, Grunberg said, an official asked him during a public function to explain what religious law kosher is based on. Caught off guard, the rabbi quickly emphasized the common ground between the Chinese and Jewish people, who share long histories of pride and persecution.

"I didn't bring religion or God into the equation," Grunberg said.

That's just fine to pragmatic Communist Party officials, who see little contradiction in describing their brand of unbridled capitalism as "socialism with Chinese characteristics." Tolerating unfamiliar foreign ideas seems a small price to keep the export-driven economy humming.

"The biggest benefit of going kosher is that it introduces more accountability," said Ray Cheung, a Chinese broker who acts as a bridge between Chinese companies seeking kosher approval and Jewish agencies that certify them. "The rabbi inspectors need to know where each ingredient is made and be able to trace it back to the factory that made it. If you don't provide that information, we don't give you the certification."

Certification can be labor-intensive for the rabbis.

During a recent trip to the Gooddays candy factory, which requires four annual inspections, Grunberg checked long lists of raw materials and poked around every warehouse and factory floor, picking up bottles of sweetener and food coloring, asking if there had been any changes in the suppliers and if the buckets on the floor were used to store anything other than kosher products.

Sometimes, despite the best of intentions, he has to turn the applicant down.

Once, he said, he traveled to far western China to watch Tibetan herders using a primitive method to turn yak milk into casein, a dairy protein used as a food additive.

"It was like a million Tibetans all privately cooking this on their stoves -- every home is a little factory," Grunberg said. "It would be an impossible type of supervision."

Then the Chinese government stepped in to form a company that supplied the Tibetans with cows and a place to milk them by machine. Grunberg went back and certified the liquid milk that will be used for the casein.

The rabbi's requirements don't always go over well with productivity-crazed Chinese plant owners.

"Somebody once called me and asked me to come bless the fish," said Freundlich, referring to a company that processes Alaskan fish for the American market.

"I told him that's not the way it works."

But even Freundlich wasn't prepared for what he faced when he got to the fish plant.

Jewish law says fish must have fins and scales to be kosher. But with frozen fish, it is difficult to tell which ones do. So even though the plant had processed thousands of fish, Freundlich says he rolled up his sleeves to check them by hand. He and a partner worked three days straight, scratching each one of the 37,000 fish with their gloved fingers.

So many fish in the sea look the same," said Freundlich. "If I can't find the scale or the fin, it can't be eaten."

If you want other stories on this topic, search the Archives at

Western Wall said...

Haredis and religious zionists to hold mass prayer against J'lem partition
By Nadav Shragai, Haaretz Correspondent

Religious zionist rabbis and ultra-Orthodox community leaders will hold a joint prayer rally on Tuesday at the Western Wall to protest the partition of Jerusalem, in what is considered an unusual collaboration between these two sectors.

The event has received the blessings of Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, the leader of the Lithuanian Haredi community, Rabbi Ovadia Yossef, the spiritual leader of Shas, and former Sephardi chief rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu.

Large banners advertising the event were posted in ultra-Orthodox streets on Monday, sponsored by the Council of Torah Sages of the United Torah Judaism party, while in the religious zionist sector, pamphlets were spread on behalf of the Rabbis for the Land of Israel.

These pamphlets mentioned the "difficult state of security in Sderot and in the entire country," as well as "plans that endanger the whole nation that could tear Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem to pieces."

Arun Gandhi a grandson of Hohandas Ghandhi said...

How dare Rabbi Avi Shafran not accept my apologies. At least I apologized. What has the loser pr loudmouth of agudas israel of america ever done besides enabling abuse to blossom in his midst?

No Thanks, Mr. Gandhi
by Rabbi Avi Shafran

I reject your apology simply because you seem to have missed the entire point of why your original post was so offensive.

In a 1938 essay, Mohandas ("Mahatma") Gandhi, the spiritual and political leader of the Indian independence movement, counseled Jews in Nazi Germany to neither flee nor resist but rather offer themselves up to be killed by their enemies, since their "suffering voluntarily undergone will bring them an inner strength and joy."

When all hope is lost, a Jew about to be killed "al Kiddush Hashem" -- as a Jewish martyr -- is indeed to reach for serenity, even happiness, at the opportunity to give up his life because of who he is. When Rabbi Elchonon Wasserman, the great Lithuanian Jewish religious leader and scholar, was murdered by Hitler's henchmen in 1941, he reportedly told the students about to be killed with him that "In Heaven it appears that they deem us to be righteous because our bodies have been chosen to atone for the Jewish people... In this way we will save the lives of our brethren overseas... We are now fulfilling the greatest commandment... The very fire that consumes our bodies will one day rebuild the Jewish people."

But Jewish martyrdom is not something to be courted. And so Mr. Gandhi's advice for Jews during the Holocaust was, even if consonant with his personal beliefs, from Judaism's point of view profoundly wrong.

And Gandhi's advice was even more disturbing in light of his admission, in that same essay, that the "cry for the national home for the Jews does not make much appeal to me." Jews, he said, should "make... their home where they are born." It is, moreover, he went on, "inhuman to impose the Jews on the Arabs."

Apples, they say, don't fall far from trees. A rotten one fell with a loud splat recently over at The Washington Post. On a weblog -- "On Faith" -- sponsored by that paper in conjunction with Newsweek Magazine, Arun Gandhi, a grandson of Mohandas and co-founder of the M. K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence at the University of Rochester, opined that "the Jews today" are intent on making Germans feel guilty for the Holocaust (which he chose to spell with a lower-case "h") and that they insist that "the whole world must regret what happened to the Jews."

"The world did feel sorry," he reminded his readers, "for the episode." But "when an individual or a nation refuses to forgive and move on, the regret turns into anger."

Ah, yes, that unpleasant "episode," more than 60 years ago. And those Jews still can't bring themselves to forgive the Nazis.

Like his grandfather was, Mr. Gandhi petit-fils is also concerned with Israel. Addressing those who defend the Jewish State's security barrier and use of weapons to fight terrorism, he challenged: "[Y]ou believe that you can create a snake pit -- with many deadly snakes in it -- and expect to live in the pit secure and alive?"

And so the man of peace, grandson of the same, reached the conclusion that actions like Israel's "created a culture of violence, and that Culture of Violence is eventually going to destroy humanity."

Interesting. Although his own concern about Jews was not exactly their militarism, Hitler similarly saw them as jeopardizing humanity's survival. Well, whatever.

Grandson Gandhi subsequently apologized for his "poorly worded post." In the course of his apology he even took care to capitalize "Holocaust." But his apology itself, unfortunately, consisted solely of his regret at having implied that "the policies of the Israeli government are reflective of the views of all Jewish people." Many Jews, he explained, "are as concerned as I am by the use of violence for state purposes..."

Well, thank you, Mr. Gandhi. But no thanks. I cannot speak for all of the Jewish people, of course, but for my part I must decline your apology. Not because I bear you any grudge or ill will and certainly not because I am hard-hearted. I don't think I have ever rejected an apology in my life, until now.

It's not because I am blinded by some ethnic rage over the unpleasantness of that World War II episode. And not because I am a knee-jerk defender of Israel in whatever her leaders decide to do; I am not.

No, I reject your apology simply because you seem to have missed the entire point of why your original post was so offensive -- frankly, revolting. It is astounding that you still don't seem to realize your insult and error.

They lie in where you directed your words. You are welcome to criticize Israeli decisions, even the wisdom of Israel's establishment itself, if you agree with your grandfather's views. But if your ultimate concerns are in fact peace and humanity's survival, then in a world where Jews are regularly attacked simply for being Jews and Israelis simply for being Israelis, where Jewish tombstones are defaced and broken, where Arab countries will not permit Israelis to enter their borders and Arab textbooks teach children to hate Jews as a matter of religious and cultural obligation, where a United Nations routinely ignores murder, mayhem and unspeakable cruelty in scores of countries but just as routinely condemns Israel for defending herself, the primary focus of your ire should have been not those living in the snake pit, but rather the snakes themselves.

This article can also be read at:

Brooklyn Jew said...

Dr. Baruch Goldstein a'h is a hero. It's a shame that those who hate Israel and Zionisms so much; will do anything to destroy it.

rabbi shlomo mandel said...

The catholics are not as smooth as I thought. I was choyshesh they knew how to cover up their sex abuse breakouts. I gradeh was just going to phone father Juan Carlos Patino; but after this settlement of what good use can he be anymore?
Top stories

Feb. 4, 2008, 10:03PM
Settlement reached in Houston church sex abuse case


Four young men who said they were sexually abused a decade ago by a Catholic seminary student training in Houston have settled their lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston and other defendants.

The plaintiffs, listed as John Does I, II, III and IV, claim Juan Carlos Patino Arango molested them in 1996 while he was an intern at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church. He was in a pastoral internship to become a deacon, the next step toward priesthood. At least two of the accusers were students at the parish school. All four claim they were inappropriately touched in the seminarian's bedroom in the church rectory.

An order of dismissal signed Monday by U.S. District Judge Lee Rosenthal says lawyers on both sides "advised the court that an amicable settlement has been reached." Lawyers have the right to reinstate the case in three months if the deal falls apart, the judge wrote.

The case named Patino Arango, the archdiocese, Monsignor William Pickard, former Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza and Pope Benedict XVI (when he was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger) as defendants.

The order did not disclose the terms of the agreement.

The suit alleged that the archdiocese was negligent in hiring and supervising Patino Arango. The plaintiffs also claimed church officials failed to report the seminarian's abuse to law enforcement and that the pope conspired with local Catholic officials to cover up the alleged sexual abuse.

Church lawyers said that neither the archdiocese nor its priests were liable for Patino Arango's actions because they could not have foreseen his behavior nor did their decisions cause the boys' abuse.

Parents of the first child to come forward reported the abuse to the church in 1996.

"Patino admitted the abuse," according to a 77-page memo Rosenthal wrote last year summarizing the case. Patino Arango was dismissed from the parish and sent to counseling.

He fled to his native Colombia after being indicted by a Harris County grand jury.

Both Fiorenza, the former head of the diocese, and Pickard, the former pastor of St. Francis who was Patino Arango's supervisor, have retired.

The lawsuit, originally filed in Harris County state court in 2004, was moved to federal court after Ratzinger was added. Rosenthal removed Ratzinger in 2005 after he became the spiritual head of the Catholic Church and Vatican City's leader. A letter from the U.S. State Department giving the pope sovereign immunity as a head of state shielded him from further legal action, the judge ruled.

In September, Rosenthal declined the defendants' request to resolve the case without a trial. Jury selection was scheduled to begin later this month.

Lawyers for both sides could not be reached for comment late Monday.

"We're not making any further comments until this becomes a definite dismissal. Right now, it's still tentative," said diocese spokeswoman Claudia Deschamps.

Roman Catholic Church crimes said...

So much for Church 'remorse' over the sex abuse scandal

There are occasions when I genuinely despair of the direction our society is headed. Within the past seven days, the Government has sentenced the family of an autistic child to a future of bankruptcy; a cache of secret files has been unearthed, recounting the most abominable abuse of helpless residents in our nursing homes; and the Roman Catholic Church has provedyet again that it has absolutely no intention of dealing with the predators it has harboured and protected for decades.

Of the three bitter injustices listed above, the latter is perhaps the most infuriating, as the Church hierarchy has had ample time to come to terms with the horrific damage their callous mismanagement of abuse cases has inflicted on countless victims.

The hypocrisy of 'moral leaders' like Cardinal Connell is almost laughable. The thought of him scuttling to his lawyers in an attempt to stem the avalanche of criticism and condemnation that was surely about to rain down on him would actually be funny, if it were not for the fact that the documents he is trying to suppress could mean the end of a cycle of anguish for so many.

"Anger doesn't even begin to describe what's inside me right now" Ben (not his real name) told me. Ben is a survivor of clerical abuse, and his case is awaiting trial.

"There is a culture of secrecy and collusion within the religious community in Ireland. It's obvious that nothing has changed.

"If the Church really wanted to see those bastards brought to justice, they would have stopped Cardinal Connell from getting his injunction. He's part of a larger organisation, and has to follow orders. They're all in it together."

Ben was abused by two different priests. His ordeal began when he was four years old, and ended when he was 16.

He is in his 30s now, and tells me that he still carries the memories of what happened to him "like a tattoo -- I see that damaged kid every time I look in the mirror.'

So far, one of his abusers has been prosecuted, but not for his molestation of Ben.

"I was so young when he did it to me, I couldn't remember dates or precise details. So, when they were putting the case together, my situation wasn't much good to them.

"You read about these monsters who have been raping kids for decades, and they're put away for five years on 20 counts of indecent assault -- the reality is they interfered with children literally thousands of times. But they can only get them on what they can prove."

Ben is very clear about how the behaviour of Cardinal Connell makes him feel. "Worthless," he says.

"At the end of the day, this man was the boss of the creeps who ruined my life, and here he is saying that he values them more than he does me. He is telling me very directly that he doesn't give a damn about the frightened kid that I was. I know it shouldn't hurt, but it does."

Ben is articulating a prominent aspect in the psychology of the abuse victim, something that is particularly relevant for survivors of clerical abuse.

We must not forget that for countless children who experienced abuse at the hands of the clergy during the Seventies and Eighties, a major barrier to disclosure was the apparent unbelievability of their experience.

Priests and nuns were supposed to be closer to God than anyone else, and therefore beyond reproach. Sex was still a taboo subject. The suggestion that a priest or nun might behave in such an abhorrent manner was utterly unthinkable.

Therefore, recognition of the suffering experienced by clerical abuse survivors is a hugely symbolic thing. To have somebody in authority in the Church -- as Ben puts it, 'the boss' -- acknowledge the rightness and truth of their plight validates what happened.

In one fell swoop Cardinal Connell has demonstrated complete and utter apathy towards the foul social evil his organisation allowed to flourish unchecked, begetting levels of hurt, grief and despair that he probably cannot even begin to comprehend.

The Roman Catholic Church has many things for which it should feel remorse. The industrial schools, the Magdalene Laundries, the persecution of the gay community, the marginalisation of women, the suppression of contraception, the condemnation of the labour movement -- all these things illustrate an institution clearly out of step with the needs of the people it professes to serve.

As the investigations into clerical abuse continue, the Church has an opportunity to show that it is truly sorry for what it did (and failed to do).

It is time for someone in the Church to stand up and cry: 'enough'. The sleight of hand, the smoke and mirrors has to stop.

Shane Dunphy is a child protection expert and lecturer. He is the author of 'Wednesday's Child' and 'Last Ditch House'

Agudas Yisroel of America fraudmeisters said...


Stepfather gets 10 years for sex abuse
The sentence is added to a five-year term imposed for an attempted kidnapping.

A London man was sentenced to 10 years in prison yesterday for years of sexual abuse on his stepdaughters.

The man, 40, will serve the sentence on top of the five years he's already serving for an attack and attempted kidnapping of a stranger 13 months ago -- an arrest that led the two women to come forward with their stories of sexual abuse.

Last month, he pleaded guilty to six charges. Four charges -- two for sexual interference with a person under the age of 14 and two for sexual assault -- involved the long-term abuse of the women.

Another charge of sexual assault and forcible confinement stemmed from an overnight trip to Port Huron, Mich., where one of the women was tied to the bed of a hotel room and repeatedly abused.

Both women, their mother and other supporters were in the courtroom yesterday to see the man for the last time before he's sent to prison.

"(The man) must, without a doubt, be separated from society in order to protect the victims and other vulnerable persons from future harm," Ontario Court Justice Ted McGrath said in a written decision released yesterday.

"Hopefully the accused will take advantage of his time in prison to consider the gravity of the harm that he is responsible for and to seek out methods of rehabilitation."

McGrath was told at a previous court appearance the man began abusing the two women when they were 11 and nine, after he began a relationship with their mother.

He would go into their bedrooms at night and touch them sexually in their beds.

One of the women reported having to perform sex acts on the man while she was in elementary school.

The other woman, who was the victim in the Port Huron case, did not fight back when she was tied up and raped because she could see a handgun -- ultimately determined to be a fake -- on the nightstand.

McGrath noted in his decision that one of the women, in her victim impact statement, reported "she feels dirty and worthless, like used goods."

The other woman said she "feels lower than dirt and is afraid of male authority figures -- even doctors."

The man is originally from El Salvador and served in the El Salvadoran army. He came to Canada and became a registered practical nurse.

Police found him to be in possession of medications belonging to patients from the facility where he worked.

McGrath ordered the man be prohibited from owning weapons for life and to provide a sample of his DNA.

His name will be placed on the national sex offender registry for 20 years and the provincial registry for the rest of his life.

And for 25 years he cannot seek employment involving children under 14, use a computer to communicate with children or attend public parks where children are present.

McGrath recommended the man be given sex offender counselling and be treated for substance abuse.

the way it is said...

I just met a parent who still sends his kid to YTT. He tells me that he KNEW 10 years ago that kolko was a child predator. He tells me that he used to ask his son every night if kolko abused him. I asked him why he placed his son in such dangerous surroundings knowing good and well what kolko and margulies were accused of. His response. CHILUL HASHEM! I was shocked to hear it even though I know that there are hundreds of these fools floating around town permitting the ongoing sexual abuse of children by keeping silent. Shshshshshshshashashah! CHILUL HASHEM!

Yudi Kolko Pretrial Hearing inquirer said...

I think Kolko had to be in court yesterday for his pretrial hearing. Nu! Any news on this Rasha?


Take a look at our linup of dayanim and bet dinnim to better service klal yisroel. We have branches everywhere.

Note the great posek Israel Belsky gives 24 hours of his time, just for you - klal Yisrael.

Elazar M. Teitz
Eliyahu Teitz
Howard Jachter
Other dayyanim appointed as needed

Confidential; does not reveal names

Aryeh Ralbag
Chaim Kraus
Elemelech Liebowitz
Yisroel Belsky

Gedalia Dov Schwartz, Rosh, Mordechai Willig, Ass't. Av Beit Din, Yonah Reiss, Menahel, Michael Broyde, Chaver Beit Din, Shlomo Wahrman, Herschel Schachter, Moshe Dovid Tendler, Aaron Levine, Yosef Blau, Steven Pruzansky, Ronald Warburg, Daniel Rapp, Joseph Karasick, Julius Berman, Kenneth Auman, Michael Hecht, Yossi Prager, Adam Berner, Richard Stone, David Pelcovitz, Yaakov Lichter
(Dayyanim rotate; not all give equal time)

Emanuel Rackman
Haim Toledano
Asher Murciano
Eugene Cohen

Rabbis Steinberg, Brissman, Epstein, Singer, Elbaz, Lustig, Kurzrock, Belsky, and Hecht
(Some dayyanim sit more often than others)

Rabbi Yisroel Belsky said...

All my rulings are final!

Iggud HaRabbonim
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Igud HaRabonim (Rabbinical Alliance) is a prominent beth din (rabbinical court) in the greater New York City metropolitan area.

It counts many prominent rabbis as its dayanim. Its decisions are binding in civil courts if the litigants agree to appoint the beth din to arbitrate their dispute.

Edward Schlaeger said...


BRIDGEPORT — A former West Haven rabbi now working as a social worker for the state pleaded guilty Monday to possessing child pornography almost four years ago.

Edward Schlaeger, 51, of Hawthorne Avenue, Shelton, will receive a suspended five-year sentence March 28 and up to five years probation. The judge will determine the terms and conditions of probation at the time of sentencing. Senior Assistant State's Attorney Howard Stein said Schlaeger's now ex-wife discovered the suspected child pornography on Sept. 23, 2005, which was more than a year after her former husband moved out of their home on Stonehouse Road in Trumbull. She gave the two computer discs to Richard Albrecht, her divorce lawyer, who, in turn, brought them to Stein's office, the prosecutor said.

Stein said the resulting investigation determined that one of the files included child pornography and a victim that had been identified by the German Federation police. The prosecutor said 15 other files were given to the Yale-New Haven pediatric unit, which identified eight of the children as being younger than 15 years old. The unit was unable to see sufficient details to determine an age range for children on the other seven files.

Stein advised the judge that the files were made between April 26, 2003, and July 16, 2004. Schlaeger is the former rabbi of Congregation Sinai in West Haven. More recently he worked as a counselor for the Southwest Connecticut Mental Health System in Bridgeport, which is a

division of the state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. He was arrested after surrendering to Trumbull police on Aug. 24, 2006. Police searched Schlaeger's former home in Trumbull as well as his Shelton home during their investigation. J. Robert Gulash, Schlaeger's lawyer, said no child pornography was found in the Shelton home.

The Nazareth District Court said...
Court rejects gov't bid to partially control Meron pilgrimage
By Eli Ashkenazi, Haaretz Correspondent
Tags: meron, jews, israel

The Nazareth District Court recently rejected the state's request to temporarily take over running a major Jewish pilgrimage site, the grave of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yohai in Meron.

Currently, the site is run by a conglomeration of 11 different organizations and rabbis, each responsible for a different part of the site. These groups have been embroiled in a lengthy legal battle with each other and the state sought temporary control of the site, until a less cumbersome arrangement for the site's management is established.

However, this process could take years, and in the meantime, the state's authority at the site is strictly supervisory.
As the body responsible for the public's health and safety, the state argued, "it cannot stand aside when private parties who represent their own private interests control a site that is public in essence." The current management, it charged, has brought the site to a miserable state and endangers the welfare and safety of the multitudes that visit it.

The Morning Call said...,0,3249211.story
Building owner admits to storing chemical waste
Man's son also pleads guilty to lying about who owned the property.

By Dalondo Moultrie

Of The Morning Call

February 5, 2008

A Brooklyn, N.Y., man pleaded guilty Monday to storing chemical waste at his former textile mill in Allentown, and his son pleaded guilty last month to lying about who owned the building, the U.S. attorney's office said.

Moshe Rubashkin, 49, ran Montex Textiles at 1101 S. Sixth St. until about 2002, then stored chemical waste at the site without a permit, according to a statement released from the office of U.S. Attorney Patrick Meehan.

Sholom Rubashkin, 28, also of Brooklyn, lied to federal investigators when he said his family didn't own the building during the time the chemicals were stored there, the statement says.

As part of the plea deals, Moshe and Sholom Rubashkin agreed to be held responsible for paying the government $450,000 for the site cleanup. The money will be divided between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Allentown.

Moshe Rubashkin pleaded guilty to one count of illegal storage of hazardous waste without a permit. Sholom Rubashkin pleaded guilty Jan. 7 to one count of making a materially false statement. The charges were recommended by a federal grand jury.

Sentencing for Moshe Rubashkin is scheduled for July 16. Sholom Rubashkin is scheduled to be sentenced March 18. Each faces a maximum of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Montex was a textile dyeing, bleaching and weaving business at S. Sixth and Cumberland streets.

Fires at the building prompted the EPA to initiate a major cleanup of the property in October 2005. The cleanup included removing containers of hazardous waste.

Allentown fire officials ruled that a blaze on April 19, 2005, was arson. There were three other fires at the old mill that year -- May 19, July 21 and July 25.


Rabbi Shlomo Mandel said...

This sounds a lot like what I did trying to hush up and intimidate parents and victims about some alleged crime in which we don't know 100% occurred. My younger brother - yaakov mandel was in on it too. My father - manis knew all along too. We all agreed altz leshem shomayim and altz avoiding a chilul hashem - it would be in everybody's best interest to make believe and forget that this ever happened.

Former NWT premier knew of abuse in schools, victims' lawyer says


Special to The Globe and Mail

February 5, 2008

IQALUIT -- A Newfoundland lawyer will be in Iqaluit court today to argue that the Northwest Territories government and former premier Joe Handley knew about the sexual abuse of Inuit students in isolated Arctic schools, but chose to deal quietly with offending teachers instead of reporting allegations to the RCMP.

Geoffrey Budden represents 69 Inuit who say they were victims of convicted sex offender Ed Horne when they were between six and 17 years old and Mr. Horne was their teacher in the 1970s and 1980s. Mr. Budden launched the lawsuit in 2004, seeking compensation from the governments of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. (Nunavut was created out of the original Northwest Territories in 1999.)

On Jan. 11, Mr. Budden filed a motion in the Nunavut Court of Justice saying there is evidence that the government, like the Catholic Church, had "policies or procedures" that treated child sexual abuse by teachers as an internal matter.

"Rather than the school reporting it to the police, the teacher being fired and investigated and charged, the practice seems to have been to allow the teacher to resign or perhaps transfer," Mr. Budden said in an interview, reiterating the claim in his motion filed in court..

Rabbi Lepoid Margulies said...

I was happy my Yeshiva didn't get smacked around by Tornadoes. The kesivas sefer torah in lakewood went ganz fine. I was actually thinking of epes starting a swimming club mixed with torah and yiras shomayim and aleh gitte zachin for the boys. Who better to provide the entertainment than my good chaver harav yudi kolko. Swimming lessons one on one offered at a fair price by yudel.
Tornadoes Rip Through South, Killing 15


ATKINS, Ark. (AP) — Tornadoes across four Southern states tore through homes, ripped the roof off a shopping mall and blew apart warehouses in a rare spasm of violent winter weather that killed at least 15 people and injured dozens more.

The twisters that slammed Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee and Kentucky were part of a line of storms that raged across the nation's midsection at the end of a day of Super Tuesday primaries in several states. Candidates including Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barack Obama and Mike Huckabee even paused their victory speeches to remember the victims.

A couple and their 11-year-old daughter were killed in their home after a tornado touched down near the center of Atkins, a community of 3,000 along the Arkansas River in the central part of the state, the Pope County Sheriff's Office said. Authorities across Arkansas, where at least seven people died, searched in the night for additional victims.

"This was an extraordinary night," said Gov. Mike Beebe. "When it's compounded by darkness, that makes it that much more difficult."

Authorities in Tennessee said storms killed at least five people there, and Kentucky State Trooper Stuart Recke said three adults died outside Greenville, in the western part of the state. At least 60 people were injured in the four states, authorities said.

The power was knocked out briefly at a Little Rock convention hall that hosted an watch party for GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, a former Arkansas governor.

"While we hope tonight is a time for us to celebrate election results, we are reminded that nothing is as important as the lives of these fellow Arkansans, and our hearts go out to their families," Huckabee said.

At the W.J. Matthews Civic Center in Atkins, a shelter was empty except for a American Red Cross volunteers and a single touchscreen voting machine. The civic center had hosted an election precinct earlier Tuesday.

Cell phone pictures sent to television stations showed a dark, broad funnel approaching Atkins. Traffic was snarled on nearby Interstate 40, with tractor-trailers on their sides.

At least six tornadoes touched down between Oxford, Miss., and Jackson, Tenn., said Richard Okulski of the National Weather Service in Memphis.

One storm tore a large part of the north wall off Hickory Ridge Mall in Memphis. Steve Cole of the Memphis Police Department said a few people north of the mall took shelter under a bridge and were washed away, but were pulled out of the Wolf River with only scrapes.

Later, the same system damaged a dormitory at Union University in Jackson, where a 2003 tornado killed 11 people and one in 1999 killed nine. Eight students were trapped Tuesday but weren't seriously injured, school spokesman Tim Ellsworth said.

In Arkansas, the Baxter County Sheriff's Office said debris, including parts of houses, blocked U.S. Highway 62. The town of Gassville was sealed off because of the possibility of gas leaks resulting in an explosion, and injury reports could not be confirmed because phone lines were down.

The three dead at Atkins were family members who died after their home took a direct hit, Pope County Coroner Leonard Krout said.

"Neighbors and friends who were there said, 'There used to be a home there,'" Krout said.

Two people died in Hardin County, Tenn.; two died in Memphis when the roof collapsed at a warehouse; and one died in Fayette County, authorities said.

At least 13 people in Memphis were taken to a hospital, and two were critical, said Lt. Keith Staples of the Memphis Fire Department.

A tornado shredded warehouses in an industrial park in Southaven, in northern Mississippi, said Desoto County Sheriff's Department Cmdr. Steve Atkinson.

"It ripped the warehouses apart. The best way to describe it is it looks like a bomb went off," Atkinson said. "A lot of fire departments are here and we're searching each warehouse to see if there was anybody in there. It's going to be a time consuming thing and we'll probably be searching into the morning."

Contributing to this report were Associated Press writers Holbrook Mohr in Jackson, Miss., and Woody Baird in Memphis, Tenn.

Rabbi Effy Wachsman said...

I bichlal don't agree with calling chushiveh rabonim and tyerdica yidden "enablers." That's not fair. They should have a chezkas kashrus, no? You also have to take into consideration the chilul hashem involved, chas vesholom. Better they should stay silent while children are sexually abused then to cause a great chilul hashem. No?

Moshe and Sholom Rubashkin said...

Top U.S. Chabad rabbi fined $0.5 million in toxic waste case
By Saul Sadka

Rabbi Moshe Rubashkin, senior Chabad rabbi and leader of the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council, has pleaded guilty to illegally storing chemical waste at a textile mill owned by his family. In a plea bargain with prosecutors, Rubashkin and his son Sholom agreed to pay nearly half a million dollars to reimburse the local and federal agencies that were forced to clean up the mill site after the Rubashkin family denied ownership of the plant.

The rabbi's son, Sholom Rubashkin, confessed last month to lying to federal agents when he falsely claimed his family had no interest in the mill at the time the offenses were committed. Moshe Rubashkin, 49, and his son Sholom Rubashkin, 28, face sentencing later in the year, and each face a maximum of $250,000 in fines and 5 years in jail.

The Montex Textiles mill in Allentown, Pennsylvania was purchased by the Rubashkin family in 1989, and was operated by them until its closure in 2001. In 2002, the family sold the mill to a corporation called "Skyline Industries." The mill suffered a series of fires in in 2005, one of which was ruled to be caused by arson.

According to the indictment in the case, Skyline refused to clean up the waste that was subsequently found at the site by the Environmental Protection Agency, and local and federal agencies were forced to undertake the cleanup.

According to prosecutors, the waste posed a critical health hazard to the surrounding residents, with highly flammable material stored. The EPA found aluminium powder and hydrogen peroxide stored alongside corrosive acids.

Prosecutors alleged that the Rubashkin family had maintained an interest in the plant, following its sale to Skyline and during subsequent complex financial transactions relating to the site. Prosecutors had alleged that when questioned by the EPA, Sholom Rubashkin had knowingly made false statements regarding the interests that his family held in the mill.

Moshe Rubashkin has a police record going back to the 1980s. In 2002, he pleaded guilty to a count of bank fraud for passing bad checks and was fined over $200,000 and jailed for 15 months with a subsequent five-year probation period. In 1995, Rubashkin was found to have engaged in inequitable labor practices at another textile mill under his family's ownership in Brooklyn.

After leaving jail, he was elected to head the Chabad community board in Crown Heights despite being on probation for fraud. The Crown Heights Jewish Community Council is elected by members of the local Chabad affiliating community based in the Brooklyn neighborhood where the movements headquarters are located. The community is thought to number around 15,000.

The Rubashkin family is prominent in the Chabad movement. Moshe Rubashkin's father, Rabbi Aaron Rubashkin, established the major kosher abattoir AgriProcessors in Postville, Iowa in 1987. The plant is the largest supplier of kosher meat in the United States and was the subject of an infiltration by the animal rights group PETA, which has accused the company of mistreatment of cattle. Rubashkin's brother-in-law is the prominent Republican fundraiser Rabbi Milton Balkany, nicknamed the Brooklyn Bundler, due to his fundraising tactics.

Rabbi Milton Balkany aka Brooklyn Bundler said...

"Rabbi Milton Balkany, nicknamed the Brooklyn Bundler, due to his fundraising tactics."
I'm a dirty lowlife who not only cheats and steals from the handicap, but I excuse child molesters like yudi kolko.

avi shafran dumbass said...

I find this to be very offensive.
February 6, 2008
Pope’s Rewrite of Latin Prayer Draws Criticism From 2 Sides

ROME — Pope Benedict XVI on Tuesday issued a replacement for a contentious Good Friday prayer in Latin, removing language that many Jewish groups found offensive but still calling for the Jews’ conversion.

However, representatives of Jewish groups as well as traditionalist Catholics quickly condemned the new prayer, though for different reasons. Jewish groups said it was still offensive, and traditionalists said they preferred the version that was replaced.

“It’s disappointing,” said Rabbi David Rosen, director of inter-religious affairs for the American Jewish Committee, who for 20 years has worked on Jewish-Catholic relations with Benedict as pope and, earlier, when he was a cardinal.

The prayer was a focus of dispute last year when Benedict allowed for greater use of a traditional version of the Latin Mass, called the Tridentine rite. That decree improved ties with Catholic traditionalists, who oppose the sweeping changes to church liturgy made from 1962 through 1965 during the Second Vatican Council.

The prayer is not part of the standard service used by most of the world’s 1.1 billion Catholics, who celebrate Mass in their local languages.

The new prayer, published only in Latin on Tuesday in the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, deletes a reference to Jews’ “blindness” and a call that God “may lift the veil from their hearts.”

An unofficial translation of the new prayer reads: “Let us pray for the Jews. May the Lord Our God enlighten their hearts so that they may acknowledge Jesus Christ, the savior of all men.

“Almighty and everlasting God,” it continues, “you who want all men to be saved and to reach the awareness of the truth, graciously grant that, with the fullness of peoples entering into your church, all Israel may be saved.”

Rabbi Rosen, while saying he was pleased that language he found offensive was removed, objected to the new prayer because it specified that Jews should find redemption specifically in Christ. He noted that the standard Mass, issued after the liberalizations of the Second Vatican Council, also contained a prayer for the Jews’ “redemption” but did not specifically invoke Christ, stressing rather God’s original covenant with Jews.

“Pope Benedict XVI really does care about positive Catholic-Jewish relations — that I know for a fact,” Rabbi Rosen said.

“It is therefore particularly disappointing,” he said, “that this text doesn’t seem to show any sensitivity as to how this new text will be read within Jewish circles.”

On the other side of the debate, Kenneth J. Wolfe, a columnist for the traditionalist Catholic newspaper The Remnant, said traditionalists would have preferred no change at all.

Mr. Wolfe said that the change “rattles the cage of traditionalists” and that it would probably make more difficult any rapprochement with traditionalist groups like the Society of St. Pius X, which rejects the Second Vatican Council and has appointed its own bishops.

The full prayer also contains calls for the conversion of other groups, including Protestants, the Orthodox and pagans.

In discussing changes to the prayer, Vatican officials have said in the past that it is the church’s right, believing in the truth of Catholicism, to pray for the salvation of all those who do not believe.

The Vatican said the new version of the prayer should be used by the traditionalist minority starting this Good Friday, March 21.

The Jewish Week said...

Undecided On The Bima
Rabbis torn between Obama and Clinton, with some predicting sizeable numbers of Jews will favor McCain in the general election.

Rabbi Sue Levi Elwell said...

New Reform chumash
showcases depth of
women scholars

By Lee Chottiner
Executive Editor

There's a difference, Rabbi Sue Levi Elwell will tell you, between the Talmud and the chumash recently published by the Reform movement.

Well, maybe several differences, but one difference in particular.

"Most of the people who contributed to this volume have the ability to meet in time because they are still alive," Elwell said. The scholars who contributed to the Talmud lived over a period of centuries and never met - except through their timeless written discourse, which is kept alive through Torah study.

For Elwell, that difference can't be underestimated. In the last 100 years, the rise of women scholarship in all four streams of Judaism has been dramatic. Now, with the recent publication of the chumash, "The Torah: A Women's Commentary," the voices of those scholars have been given a platform on which to become better known and studied.

Elwell, who sat on the editorial board of the chumash and shepherded the work on an entire section of the book, introduced it last week to a special gathering of the Greater Pittsburgh Rabbinic Association. Rabbis from all four movements studied parshat Mishpatim as it is interpreted by the new chumash. "The Torah: Women's Commentary," differs in some distinct ways from other chumashim (the five books of the Torah).

It contains core, post-biblical and contemporary commentary on each parshah. But there is a fourth section - or "doorway" as Elwell described it - to the text: specially selected poetry, which falls under the title "Voices."

"I love poetry; I've used a great deal-----

Hitchens and Boteach’s Great Debate said...

By Zachary Goelman
Wed. Feb 06, 2008

Acclaimed polemicist and atheist Christopher Hitchens traded wit on science and scripture last week at a debate titled “Does God Exist?” with his opponent, Orthodox rabbi and television host Shmuley Boteach.

Ticket holders filled the auditorium at Manhattan’s 92nd Street Y to capacity; many hoped that Hitchens would demonstrate his irreverent, razor-edged reasoning. The fans weren’t disappointed.

“We’re all atheists,” Hitchens argued in his dry British timbre. “We no longer believe we need to tear the beating heart out of a virgin to make the sun rise. We no longer believe in the sun god Ra or in Zeus, and we now must go one step further.”

A critical essayist known for his caustic prose and attempted literary assassinations of popular figures (including the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa and Mahatma Gandhi), Hitchens recently aimed his arrows at the divine with his book “God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything.”

Bezeq launches 'kosher' phone service said...

with all the gedolims' blessings

Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv said...

I approve!

w w w . h a a r e t z . c o m
Last update - 04/02/2008
Kosher karate
By Ariel Rubinsky

"When I pray my kavana (intent) and my concentration are above average, because I train in tora dojo," says Ari Fuld, a resident of Efrat in the West Bank, a third dan in the unique martial art form known in the United States as the "Jewish karate."

Tora dojo is a method that combines "hard," sharp Japanese karate with "soft" Chinese martial arts, which focus on inner strength and flowing movement. This method encourages advanced students to study and experience other methods; each student who reaches the level of black belt receives a reading list of recommended Chinese texts. Moreover, there are no competitions. Practitioners, both religiously observant and secular, end each training session with chi kong (Chinese meditation).

At a time when the trend in martial arts is forgoing the spiritual aspect in favor of the most effective fighting techniques, tora dojo, which started within the American Jewish community, stands out. Through the rank of black belt, tora dojo is not very different from any other type of Japanese karate; training concentrates mostly on techniques from the Japanese shotokan method. However, after that point, students begin learning various types of kung fu, including pa kwa and white crane, as well as tai chi and other Chinese methods.

"Tora dojo is essentially a school of general martial arts. It enables personal development in the wide world of the martial arts," says Yali Rothenberg, 34, who has been practicing tora dojo for 18 years. "We aren't trying to prove which school is better or more effective - in the end, it all depends on the fighter, not the school. The focus is on learning and development."

"This is a Jewish discipline in the familial, traditional sense," adds Fuld, noting that three of his four children train. "After all, Judaism is about traditional learning and teaching, because something important is lost or eradicated with every change. This is also the case in the Chinese-Japanese world, and this is how we train, with much respect for the method."

Training with Gaydamak

Tora dojo began in the 1960s at Yeshiva University in New York, when professor Harvey Sober, a martial arts expert, concluded that yeshiva students needed karate training to strengthen their backs. The method's name is a play on words: "Tora" sounds like Torah but also means "tiger" in Japanese; dojo is a center for martial arts. The discipline received its kashrut certificate from the community and its rabbis.

It was imported to Israel in the early 1980s. There are now several clubs in the Jerusalem area and the center of the country. Disciples include Arcadi Gaydamak, who has frequent private lessons at his Caesarea home, led by his close adviser Gidi Marinovsky, a senior teacher of the method.

In the United States the system is taught at Jewish educational and cultural centers, including synagogues, and therefore the vast majority of the practitioners are Jews, many of them religiously observant. In Israel, many of the instructors have English-language accents, and many of the students wear skullcaps.

"This isn't a religious discipline, but it respects tradition, be it Jewish, Chinese or something else. Therefore, religious people feel more comfortable with us," says Arthur Gribetz, the chief trainer in Jerusalem and head of the school in Israel. He does not wear a skullcap, and considers himself Conservative.

"Openness is necessary for learning, and when you hear somebody religious explaining that during meditation he connects to a kind of higher power, it helps you to open yourself to the other," says Rothenberg, who is secular.

Gribetz notes that the founder of the system, Sober, was well-versed in Eastern philosophies and ideas. "Sober compared and contrasted Eastern and Jewish meditation, especially kabbala. He lectures about this at annual seminars in Israel," he says.

Fuld adds: "I am religious, and when I was studying at a yeshiva I was told that I have to pray with kavana but no rabbi told me how. I found I could connect to kavana through tora dojo, especially the meditation and guided imaging. After all, all prayer is a kind of meditation or trance."

Fuld says he once turned to "a great rabbi," and asked whether he was "transgressing boundaries." He says the rabbi told him, "Of course not. That is how prayer is supposed to be; the individual should be seeing himself as though he is standing before the Shekhinah," God's presence on earth.

Why is it so important that a karate student meditate?

"Because without this, the movement is technical and lacks content, and this is palpable at the higher levels. If the inner feeling isn't there, something is missing," says Fuld.

For Rothenberg, meditation is the most essential part of martial arts. "What distinguishes martial arts from other sports is the profundity, the inward contemplation," he says. "A good fighter is always aware of himself and his surroundings, because the victor is the one who adapts most quickly to changes. Therefore he has to be alert to his emotions and his opponent's emotions in order to read the opponent's moves and react accordingly - not in terms of thought, because there is no time for that, but rather movement. Meditation affords the tools for this, the concentration, the inner awareness and the awareness of the opponent's smallest nuances."

Rothenberg, who works at the Finance Ministry, says a fighter can take in everything the opponent does. "Not to clash with him head on, but rather to connect to him, to understand him. And this is good for all interactions, be it in fraught negotiations or a within a relationship or the family."

As for the lack of competitions, Gribetz explains, "If you want to win in competition, you have to neglect other things. Therefore, we feel that a discipline with competitions loses its principles and gradually disconnects from tradition."

Fuld adds that the school has more sublime aims than winning competitions. "Tora dojo includes hard physical work and it is also effective as self defense, but the aim is inner progress, progress as a human being, to neutralize the ego," he says.

yudel nussbaum the molester said...

Ich veis. The poor guy. He took the easy way out.

Swiss priest in sex-abuse probe commits suicide

Fribourg, Feb. 6, 2008 ( - A Swiss priest who had been accused of pedophilia committed suicide on Sunday, February 4, Vatican Radio reports.

The 45-year-old priest, whose name has not been released, shot and killed himself at his home near Fribourg, police reveal. Although he was not the subject of any criminal investigation, the priest was evidently concerned about probes by reporters who were seeking to learn his identity, after general revelations about sex-abuse charges. Before taking his own life, he composed a message criticizing the media for sensationalizing the charges.

rabbi efrayim byrks said...

This could have been me!

Man gets 80 years for sex abuse of child
By Mary Schenk
Tuesday February 5, 2008

URBANA – A Tolono man convicted by a jury of repeatedly sexually molesting a young girl in his home was sentenced Monday to 80 years in prison.

Under truth-in-sentencing, Bryan Ramsay, 39, will not be eligible for release from prison for at least 68 years. He will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

In imposing the sentence for four counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child and two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse involving one child, Champaign County Judge Heidi Ladd said Ramsay presented a "real and intolerable risk" to the children of this community.

"This court's message is there will be severe and meaningful sanctions," Ladd said.

A jury convicted Ramsay of sex acts that occurred with the girl between February and July 2007. The abuse came to light when the girl told her mother July 5. Ramsay, a caretaker for the child, was arrested four days later.

At his trial in November, the girl testified in detail about what Ramsay called their "special moments." She gave consistent stories to the Department of Children and Family Services investigator, police and a doctor about what Ramsay had done to her.

"He had an insidious scheme to take advantage of her when no one else was around," Ladd said.

Given the great amount of detail the girl gave about the abuse and her young age, Ladd said she had no doubt that it happened. "There was no reason for this child to have made this up," the judge said.

Ramsay's defense at trial was that the girl was angry with him over discipline issues and that she wrongly accused him to get back at him. Ramsay testified he believed something may have happened to the girl and that perhaps she was protecting someone else in accusing him.

Ladd rejected the retaliation theory, noting that the evidence was that as soon as he was confronted with the allegations, Ramsay tried to persuade the girl to tell her mother that she was lying.

"To this day he has not shown one shred of remorse or regret," Ladd said.

The sentencing came on the heels of a lengthy hearing on a post-trial motion filed by Ramsay's attorney, Bob Auler of Urbana, asking that the verdict be set aside or that Ramsay be granted a new trial. He argued that Ramsay's court-appointed attorney, Assistant Public Defender Anthony Ortega, was ineffective in representing Ramsay at trial.

But Ladd denied the motion, saying that Ortega's representation was "competent and professional" and that he vigorously defended Ramsay "in the face of overwhelming guilt."
Find this article at:

yisroel belsky said...

I'm zoycheh to be me on Wikipedia


Yisroel Belsky
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Rabbi Yisroel Belsky is an important posek in the United States, residing in Brooklyn, New York.He Serves as Rosh Yeshiva in Yeshiva Torah Vodaas. He also serves as the Rav of Camp Agudah. He is the son of Rabbi Berel and Chana Belsky. His maternal grandfather is Binyomin Wilhelm, the founder of Yeshiva Torah Vodaas.

Rabbi Belsky received his Semicha from Yeshiva Torah Vodaas in 1962, where he currently serves as Rosh yeshiva, and from Rabbi Moshe Feinstein in 1965.He also studied in Beth Medrash Elyon for a number of years. He also serves as a senior Halachic decisor for the Orthodox Union, a post he has dually filled since 1987.

Although Belsky never attended secular college, he is extremely knowledgeable in the sciences (particularly astronomy and anatomy) and technology. He was also a teacher of mathematics at the high school division of Torah Vodaas.

Some of his recent legal positions as posek of OU Kashrut, as found on web announcements, include[citation needed]:

1. Allowing genetically modified food.
2. Allowing unfiltered NYC water.
3. Allowing human hair wigs from India.
4. Accepting meat from Postville, Iowa despite the scandals, stating that the kashrus was never impacted.
5. Forbidding the use of the Borough Park and Flatbush Eruv.
6. Encourages strictness concerning "bishul akum" by discouraging the reliance on igniting pilot lights.

[edit] Works

* Piske halakhot (Brooklyn 2002) - responsa
* Einei Yisroel on Chumash (currently Bereishis and Shemos) (Kiryat Sefer 2005) - adapted from the lectures by Moshe Armel and Reuven Mathieson
* Sha'alos U'Teshuvos Shulchan Halevi, on a wide variety of topics, is in the final stages of publication

* Rabbi Belsky also answers moral questions on a series called "Honesty" found on

A response to Yisroel Belsky said...

Rabbi Yisroel Belsky, or someone claiming to be him, posted the following on Failed Messiah and elsewhere regarding the whole Yehuda Kolko fiasco:

As the most accepted possek of this generation, I, Rabbi Yisroel (Israel) Belsky, feel the olam needs to know my daas regarding Rabbi Yidi Kolko Shlita. Rabbi Yidi Kolko should never have been arrested. A child, whether he is six years or nine years of age should not be assumed to be telling the truth accurately. And even if it were true that the child was touched inappropriately, these type of things happen all the time, its not enough of a reason to label the man a pedophile and danger to society. In the early 70's,Yidi and I were together in Camp Agudah. I heard occasionally complaints from young campers that they had been fondled by Rabbi Yidi Kolko. Always I suggested that they allow me to go public with their accusation. It was my way of testing them for the truth. Each and every time, I heard the accusing child refuse. It was then clear to me that these campers were lying. Children are known to make up stories. To this day Yidi Kolko was never found to be dangerous to any children. To the contrary, Rav Pinchas Scheinberg Shlita and Rabbi Lipa Margulis Shlita, after carefully investigating many of the accusers, made a very clear determination that Yidi Kolko was innocent of mishkav zachar, and that the claims of inappropriate touching was nothing more than his showing of affection. That was their psak many years ago, and the olam remains obligated to accept it without any question. We therefore must give no credence to the shouting voices of Yidi's most recent accusers. These are people seeking false publicity and to make an easy dollar off the back of a Yeshiva which in reality they should be very grateful to. I therefore, as always continue to stand behind Rabbi Yidi Kolko Shlita and give him my fullest support. I am fully certain that at the end Rabbi Kolko will be acquitted of all the false charges.

Do yourself a favor, Belsky; ensure that your brain is in gear prior to engaging your mouth.

As the most accepted possek of this generation -

posek belsky said... Home



I argue with people about the ethics of downloaded music files from the Internet. I say that downloading songs or copying your own songs to give to someone else, without a copyright owner's permission, or not compensating the owner, is stealing. What do you say about this?


Rabbi Moshe Feinstein ztl said that it's not permitted to copy any item that is being sold by the creator of that item. Every time you copy it, you're taking away sales from him. Anybody who downloads it, copies it, or does something else is really just turning someone else's money into ashes. And that's really the bottom line. It's taking something from someone else.

This is one of the areas where people say, "Everyone does it, and it really should be mutar (permitted)". People copy tapes and download from the Internet. Everything becomes "public domain". There's nothing private. People just download it and copy it and they'll wipe the owner out.

But even if everyone does it, it's wrong. You're taking away something from someone and you're harming him.

Sometimes people object to this argument and say, "Well, in that case, I'm probably not even allowed to copy down a shtikel (piece of) Torah that I heard." But that's not true - the Shach says "Ein gezel b'divrei Torah (there's no stealing when it comes to Torah)", that is, if you copy it down for yourself.

The guideline here involves whether or not what you're doing is taking away a sale from the owner. One might say, if asked this question, "Oh, I would never have bought that anyway." But in fact you shouldn't say that. You do like it ... and you would have bought it.

However, if you buy one and make a copy for yourself so that you can have, say, one in the car and one at home - that kind of copying is permitted. No one buys two of something for such a purpose, so copying the merchandise in this case doesn't take the place of a sale. If you told a person who wanted one copy for the house and one for the car that he had to buy two, then he wouldn't buy two. He would figure a way to carry it back and forth each time.

Since buying two copies for such a purpose is never done, then making a copy for yourself for two locations is not taking away a sale.


Is copying music a different type of stealing than any other type of stealing? Or is it just like any kind of stealing? Is there a principal that stealing is stealing and there are no distinctions? Is it just like walking over to someone with a gun? In this case we're talking about intellectual property. So is that a lesser degree of stealing?


The concept of 'stealing' intellectual property has limitations because in certain cases it is permitted to copy an idea. For example, if someone comes up with some idea about how to sell something, that idea is probably not subject to being copyrighted or patented. But a song is copyrighted, and people do business by selling records or tapes with songs. This is an item that brings a livelihood to people. Therefore, if you're taking it, you're taking away the livelihood of a person.

That's very important to remember. Someone sweated nights and invested money and time in order to create a certain item that the public is interested in, and then he's ready to sell it. And then it turns out that some Napster type of enterprise gets its hands on it, and people end up paying zero for it.


The municipal parking meter requires that you add money to a magnetic stripe ticket for as long as you expect to stay. If I'm ready to leave, and there is still time left on my ticket, can I leave the ticket in or near the machine for the next person to add money to it, so they can use the money I have left on the ticket? Or is that stealing from the city?

Participate in the Honesty Forum, and discuss the issues we confront in this class!

Subscribe to Honesty and receive this class via e- mail.

Honesty Archives

kashrus magazine said...

Rabbi Yisroel Belsky, 506 E. 7th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11218. (718) 941-0112. said...

Hetera Bala

Rabbi Yisroel Belsky

Download Audio Lecture (right-click)

nyanei Nikur Cheilev Bedikas Tolayim Gid Hanasheh

Rabbi Yisroel Belsky

Download Audio Lecture (right-click)

Dairy English Muffins

By Rabbi Dovid Cohen

“Cow Water”

Rabbi Dovid Cohen

birds said...

If you have any shieles about eating birds go go ask fraud Belsky.

OU Policy on the Mesorah of Birds and Animals - Questions and Answer Session
Presenter - Rabbi Yisroel Belsky

HAMODIA said...

Take a look at the picture of
Harav Dovid Olewsky, Rosh Yeshivah, Mesivta Beis Yisroel, speaking at the Bonei Olam dinner in Williamsburg.

Mendel Epstein, Yisroel Belsky, Martin Wolmark said...

Anonymous said...

A RABBI'S TALE OF ABDUCTION, TORTURE Newsday (New York) March 8, 1998, Sunday,

Copyright 1998 Newsday, Inc.

Newsday (New York)

March 8, 1998, Sunday, ALL EDITIONS


LENGTH: 1049 words



On the evening of Oct. 23, 1996, as Rabbi Abraham Rubin walked home from synagogue toward his Borough Park home, two cars collided up the block at the intersection of 56th Street and 14th Avenue.

Rubin, 31, ran toward the scene of the accident, an apparent diversion. A man standing on the sidewalk in front of him suddenly turned and started punching him and grabbed his glasses. He was dragged into a waiting van, he says, where several assailants began beating him.

He did not have to ask why.

For five years, Rubin, an Orthodox Jew, had been involved in a bitter dispute with his estranged wife.

Rubin says he has refused to this day to grant his wife a religious divorce, known as a get, until she lets him see his two children, who live with her in Montreal.

In an interview that elaborated on charges in a lawsuit he has filed against his alleged captors, Rubin described his abduction and torture.

"I was expecting it, sooner or later," he said.

Inside the van, he said, paid assailants wrapped a black laundry bag around his head. As he was handcuffed and choked, a voice said in sarcastic Yiddish, "Ess vet zein gut It will be good . . . Mir vilen nor die zalst a yid We only want you to be a Jew ."

As the van sped through Brooklyn, Rubin said, he was asked if he knew Kol D'Alim G'var, a Talmudic commentary on the theory that might makes right.

The van stopped, and all the attackers left, except one, he said. "The rabbi is coming," he said he heard one of his assailants say. The door opened and new passengers entered.

"Do you understand English?" Rubin said he was asked. "Repeat my words."

Rubin said that when he refused to repeat the 12-line oath that grants a Jewish wife a divorce, punches and electric shocks rained down on him, first just a few and then a torrent - so many that he began reciting the "Viduy," the traditional Jewish deathbed prayer of repentance.

According to the lawsuit Rubin filed against his alleged captors, they zapped him with an electronic stun gun - in all, more than 30 times - including shocks to his genitals.

After passing out for about an hour, Rubin said, he was shaken awake. "Rabbi, wake up," a voice said. "The get is done."

He was transferred from the van to a car. "Don't be a moser," an informer, he said he was told. "If you know what's good for you, don't be a moser."

He said he was thrown from the car, still handcuffed and shrouded, and dumped outside a Brooklyn cemetery. A cab driver found the bloody rabbi and took him to the 66th Precinct. No arrests have been made in the attack.

Rubin, represented by Manhattan attorney Thomas Stickel, charges in a civil racketeering lawsuit filed in State Supreme Court in Brooklyn that Mendel Epstein, a well-known divorce mediator, took part in his "abduction and torture." Rubin said he learned the details of the plot during an investigation he and his friends conducted over several months.

Epstein's attorney has denied the charges. The suit also charges several other rabbis with planning or participating in the attack, including Martin Wolmark, a rabbi from the upstate Orthodox enclave of Monsey, and Israel Belsky, a rabbi from the Ditmas Park section of Brooklyn.

In a telephone interview, Belsky denied taking part in the attack. "I have no connection to any of this," he said. "The guy is a crackpot. The whole thing is a frivolous action."

Robert Rimberg, an attorney for Wolmark, also denied the charges listed in the lawsuit. "As far as I know, and based on my investigation, there is no basis for it," he said.

The suit also charges Rubin's former wife and her brother with participating in planning the attack. They did not respond to letters and telephone calls requesting comments.

The day after the Rubin attack, a Borough Park plumber, who also was involved in a dispute with his estranged wife, received a phone call. "The message was after one o'clock at night," he said in an interview.

"You better give your wife a get, otherwise you'll be next," he recalled the voice saying. "It was a tape on my answering machine; caller ID did not identify the location of the call so I made a copy of the tape from the answering machine. I took it down to the 66th precinct."

Police records show he made a complaint at the 66th Precinct the day after the alleged threat. "I have not heard any follow-up on this," he said of the alleged threat. (The man is currently in jail in the Bronx for failure to pay $875 a week in child support. His attorney is appealing the judge's order.)

Other beatings reviewed by Newsday followed a similar pattern: One man is attacked, and another receives a warning, or one man is warned and another is attacked.

On Aug. 11, 1997, a corporate attorney received an anonymous call at his Manhattan office warning that he would soon be beaten, he said.

The next day, on the solemn Jewish holiday of Tisha b'Av, a Midwood businessman was abducted in front of his home, beaten and shocked with a stun gun. The man's wife denies any link to the attack.

On the morning of Oct. 20, 1997, the corporate attorney was shot while walking to the subway from his Borough Park home. The small-caliber bullet entered just below his right buttock and came to rest inside his thigh, two inches from his femoral artery.

A police official who asked not to be identified linked the shooting to a pattern of similar attacks in the Orthodox Jewish community. No arrests have been made.

An attorney for the shooting victim's estranged wife denied that she had any connection to the shooting.

While no one has ever been prosecuted for a get-related attack in New York City, that may soon change. Det. Robert Roddenberg of the 66th Precinct said Rubin's case might be the first of its kind to make it into a courtroom.

"Rubin is entitled to his day in court and the best investigation we can do," Roddenberg said. "Rubin is one of the few who have stood up. He was abducted. They beat the - - - out of him.

"They investigators spent an awful lot of time doing this case and it was really nitpicked to do it right," Roddenberg said. "It was done as well as any homicide case could be done. Just like not every homicide case gets solved, will this case get solved? That's up to the DA's office."

GRAPHIC: Photo - 1) Rabbi Abraham Rubin shortly after he was beaten in 1996. 2-3) Photos by David Schaer - Rubin charges that Rabbi Israel Belsky of Ditmas Park, left, and divorce mediator Mendel Epstein had roles in an attack in which Rubin was punched and shocked with a stun gun. 4) Cover Photo-Rabbi Abraham Rubin says he was tortured because he refuses to grant his wife a get, a religious divorce (Bulldog cover)

LOAD-DATE: March 8, 1998
2:15 PM, September 15, 2006

exposemolesters said...


shoshana said...

I was in a bad marriage and very pregnant. I called Rav Belsky up and told him I want a divorce. He said no problem just come over and we'll do it. He wanted to charge me $500 which I thought was reasonable. He struck me odd though and I never ended up going to him.

Rabbi Zalman Melamed said...

Prominent rabbi: Celebrating Pesach abroad a distorted custom

'Jews must be close to the holy sites during the holiday,' Religious Zionist Rabbi Zalman Melamed writes in weekly op-ed
Kobi Nahshoni

"There is nothing more distorted than celebrating Pesach (Passover) overseas," prominent Zionist Rabbi Zalman Melamed said in a weekly op-ed published in the Komemuyot Movement's pamphlet.

The holiday is still two-and-a-half months away, but the religious press is already filled with ads offering attractive travel deals to numerous destinations abroad.

"During the holiday, we call on people to be close to the (Jewish) holy sites, to the Land of Israel and to Jerusalem, and not drift away from holiness, God forbid," the rabbi wrote.

Melamed praised the organizers of the "Pesach Operation," which is aimed at filling the capital with worshipers during the holiday.

"Talks regarding the division of the holy city of Jerusalem, which stem from weakness and lack of faith, obligate us to strengthen our bond with (the capital)," he said in the article.

"Those who are able purchase homes in the Old City, the City of David and the surrounding area are called upon to do so."

avi shafran said...,7340,L-3503381,00.html

What a kidush hashem. The reformeisters need to learn a lesson from this. Orthodoxmeisters are far superior!
Religious soldiers refuse to be trained by female soldiers

Three hesder yeshiva soldiers refuse to attend course delivered by female instructors, sent to jail

Yossi Yehoshua
Published: 02.06.08, 09:27 / Israel Jewish Scene

The tumultuous relations between the IDF and its religious soldiers suffered another blow this week after three religious soldiers have been incarcerated for refusing an order.

The affair began when four hesder yeshiva soldiers who were sent to undergo an observation balloon operating course several days ago, refused to enter the classroom when they found out that the course would be delivered by female soldiers.

JTA said...

Crown Heights leader pleads guilty

Published: 02/07/2008

A leader of the Crown Heights Chabad community will pay $500,000 for illegally storing chemical waste.

Rabbi Moshe Rubashkin pleaded guilty Tuesday to illegally storing chemical waste at a textile mill owned by his family. His son, Sholom, confessed last month to lying to federal agents, telling them that the family did not own the mill when it became contaminated.

Both Rubashkins will be sentenced later this year and could spend up to five years in jail.

The fine will be used to reimburse the local and federal agencies that cleaned up the site.

Moshe Rubashkin, who also pleaded guilty to a count of bank fraud for passing bad checks in 2002 and spent 15 months in jail, heads the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council. Chabad Lubavitch's international headquarters are located in the enclave in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Moshe Rubashkin's father, Rabbi Aaron Rubashkin, founded the AgriProcessors slaughterhouse in Postville, Iowa, the largest supplier of kosher meat in the United States.

exposemolesters said...

Yisroel Belsky uses trickery and deceit to protect human garbage. What does that say about this posek from Brooklyn who cheats, distorts, and bullies his way through things. He's a gangster too. One that millions of Jews are paying the price for.

To be blunt about it and straight to the point - "Rabbi" Israel Belsky is a dangerously ill specimen. He controls the sins of your souls. He gave the nod for Rubashkins. He kept silent and covered up for yudi kolko. Issued bogus Hazmanas. Suspected and accused of strong arm tactics and torture against men who didn't want to give their wives a get for whatever reason. The list goes on and on - and on - just like an energizer battery. This man has been involved in immoral methods for a long time. Yet, he is considered to be a major posek, respected by many. The Yated and Hamodiah will snap a few pictures each week of fraud Belsky, and put him on display like he's some holy saintly guy.

This scumbag swindler from the gates of hell has to quit having control of what is sacred to all Jews - He's not a leader and shouldn't be treated such. We don't want impostors. We cherish the Torah and True Authentic Judiasim!

exposemolesters said...

We should also not forget about "Rabbi" Milton Balkany. Went on the radio show and made a fool out of himself trying to defend Kolko with that stupid nonsense speech. Believe not the 90% thats says he's guilty. Rather, you must give him the benefit of the doubt for the 10% chance he's not guilty.

Seems he may have some connections in trying to influence lenient sentences for Moshe and Sholom Rubashkin. I guess we shall find out in the future - if indeed his clout helped - or if it didn't.

Both Rubashkins will be sentenced later this year and could spend up to five years in jail.


JTA link.

Los Angeles Times said...,1,1101824.story
From the Los Angeles Times
Mistrial declared in bid for molester's freedom
For the second time a jury can't agree on whether Sid Landau, who admitted abusing 10 boys, remains a danger.
By Christine Hanley
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

February 7, 2008

An Orange County jury deadlocked Wednesday on whether an aging pedophile who admitted he molested 10 boys should be released from a state mental facility. It was the second time a jury had failed to reach a decision in the case.

Sid Landau, wearing a hearing aid, showed little reaction as jurors reported that they were at an impasse after 3 1/2 days of deliberations, leaning 8 to 4 in favor of the petition by prosecutors to keep him hospitalized because he remained a danger to society.

Judge Richard M. King declared a mistrial and ordered a hearing Friday on whether Landau should face a third trial. The 68-year-old's first trial, in June 2006, ended in a mistrial after jurors deadlocked 11 to 1 in favor of setting him free.

After court adjourned Wednesday, Deputy Dist. Atty. Amy Pope said she believed "unequivocally" that Landau remained a danger but declined to say whether her office would retry the case.

Landau's attorney, Leonard Levine, said, "We believe 12 people may never agree unanimously on a verdict."

Landau has been hospitalized at state mental facilities for nearly eight years while prosecutors have pursued a petition under the state's Sexually Violent Predator Statute, which allows offenders deemed a continual threat to remain in state custody after their prison sentences are completed.

In the 1990s, police, armed with the newly enacted Megan's Law, distributed fliers to his Placentia neighbors identifying him as a sex offender. He had served two years in prison for molesting a 10-year-old boy and eight for molesting an 8-year-old boy. He admitted molesting eight other boys.

Chased from his home by death threats and protests, Landau moved from one Orange County motel to the next until he was jailed for parole violations, first in 1997 for striking a TV photographer and then again a year later after authorities found family photographs of him with his young grandnephews in his room. A condition of his parole was to avoid children.

Over the years, the debate about whether Landau should be released has been delayed by the replacement of attorneys on both sides. He has undergone bypass surgery and wears a pacemaker.

During the trial, the government cast him as an athletically fit man who walks three hours a day for at least 10 miles. Two victims and experts were among the witnesses who sought to show that Landau is incurable and has no boundaries when it comes to children.

The defense team countered with its own experts and research in an attempt to show that age has curtailed Landau's sexual appetites and that prostate cancer and other illnesses have made it unlikely he could act on any urges.

As in the first trial, Landau's sister-in-law testified that Landau could live with her and her husband in Queens, N.Y., where he would be closely supervised.

The jury indicated they were first deadlocked at 7 to 5 in favor of the petition.

Mark DeLuca, 50, said he was the juror who changed his mind, initially leaning against the petition because he believed research that showed a decreased likelihood of Landau's re-offending as he aged. DeLuca said he eventually concluded those studies were outweighed by factors including Landau's mental condition and the high number of victims.

"If sparked, I think he could ignite again," DeLuca said. "I wouldn't want to see this happen to another child."

One of the four jurors who voted against the petition said he believed Landau's age and illnesses made it unlikely that Landau was still a danger, and that "everything the prosecutors brought up were things he did way in the past."

Although they were "terrible things," Landau is a "changed man," said the juror, a 49-year-old Fullerton resident who asked not to be named.

yudi kolko said...

Judge blocks molester's move
By Karen Maeshiro, Staff Writer
Article Last Updated: 02/06/2008

A judge Wednesday denied a request by a twice-convicted child molester from Santa Barbara to move to Los Angeles County, possibly to the Antelope Valley.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Dennis Landin left open the option for the attorney of Kenneth Rasmuson, 46, described by authorities as a sexually violent predator, to file a formal motion but said at the moment he saw no justification for the transfer.

His rejection was met with jubilation by Antelope Valley residents, more than 40 of whom came to the downtown Los Angeles court hearing on a chartered bus. Roughly two dozen more drove themselves.

"We are paying attention. We are not going away," Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford said after the hearing. "For this type of individual to come in the back door of the valley, it's not going to happen in our valley."

The state law governing the release of sexually violent predators requires that a judge find extraordinary circumstances exist to allow Rasmuson's transfer.

"It was our position that extraordinary circumstances do not exist," Deputy District Attorney Karen Tandler said after the hearing.

"The reality is for any sexually violent predator, the fact they can't find housing is an issue in any county that the sexually violent predator will wind up in."

Rasmuson's attorney, Deputy Public Defender Ellen Coleman, said in court that Los Angeles County was a "much more viable location."

Avrohm Mondrowitz said...

Suspected child molester found hiding in Beaverton closet

Thursday, February 7, 2008


BEAVERTON -- A suspected child molester was found hiding in a closet under a pile of clothes inside a Beaverton townhouse Wednesday night.

Wilfredo DeJesus Santos as shown in a police mug shot.

Wilfredo DeJesus Santos, 36, is accused of first degree rape of a child and or first degree child molestation, a Class A felony. The alleged crime happened last January when the child was under the age of 7, police said. Santos also has prior convictions for assault.

Members of the U.S. Marshals Oregon Fugitive Task Force arrested Santos inside the home on SW Stepping Stone Drive after getting a tip that he may be living with a family member.

Officers first tried to get Santos to surrender, but he refused.

He was eventualy captured and lodged on the state warrant at the Washington County Jail.

Santos faces a maximum penalty of life in prison and a $50,000 fine.

Belsky the putz said...

She's lying. She's too young to be considered credible adus. Her testimony is false.

Girl 'too scared to tell molester to stop'

February 05, 2008 05:28pm

A NINE-year-old girl was too scared to tell a 63-year-old Hunter Valley man to stop sexually molesting her as her sister slept in the same room, a jury has been told.

In the girl's videoed police interview, she said: "I was too scared to get up and say 'Don't do that'".

The video was shown at the NSW District Court trial of the man, who has pleaded not guilty to two counts of having sexual intercourse - involving digital penetration - with a girl aged under 10.

Crown prosecutor Huw Baker told the jury the man had molested the girl on two separate occasions when the sisters stayed overnight at his Hunter Valley home.

He said he was a family friend who regularly spent time with the girls and bought them gifts.

But Terry Healey, for the accused, who cannot be named, told the jury he would be calling witnesses to speak of his good character, as well as giving evidence under oath denying the charges.

In one of two interviews shown to the jury, the girl - now 11 - said the first assault occurred after the man took her and her sister to a shopping centre, where he bought her some shoes.

The sisters stayed overnight and after a DVD was shown, the man sexually molested her while her sister was asleep on another lounge, the girl said.

She said the second incident happened when they again stayed overnight after he had taken them to a swimming pool.

Mr Baker told the jury the girls' mother contacted police last April after her daughter told her something about the two incidents.

The trial is continuing before Judge Robert Toner.

Stefan Colmer said...

I thought that if I'd run away to Israel and change my name to Dovid Cohen - I can outrun the law; but boy was I wrong. Molesters like me can never catch a break. The Jews who are bothered by kids getting molested had to spoil it for me!

Nevada Appeal

Serial child molester pleads guilty

by Sheila Gardner,
February 6, 2008

Convicted child molester James Hope faces additional life sentences after he pleaded guilty to similar charges in Douglas County and Carson City.

Hope, 43, pleaded guilty Monday before District Judge Michael Gibbons to one count of lewdness with a child under 14. Last month, he pleaded guilty to two counts of lewdness with a child under 14 in Carson City in a separate case.

He faces life in prison with the possibility of parole after 10 years and a $10,000 fine in each jurisdiction.

Hope, a former painter and Carson City police cadet, is serving a life sentence in Washington for a similar offense committed in 2006 after he fled Nevada.

He was returned to Douglas County Jail in July where he has been held without bail.

Hope did not admit any wrongdoing on Monday, but entered an Alford plea. That means he doesn't admit the allegation, but believes there is enough evidence against him for a conviction.

In return for the guilty plea, the district attorney will not file additional charges or add a sentencing enhancement that could mean life in prison without parole.

Gibbons set sentencing for March 31, two weeks after Hope is sentenced in Carson City.

He is not eligible for probation and the judge can decide whether the sentences will be served consecutively or concurrently.

Under questioning by Gibbons, Hope admitted he knew the victim who was 10 at the time of the Sept. 19, 2004, molestation.

"The court is free to impose concurrent or consecutive sentences," Gibbons said. "You could end up with life sentences in Carson City and Douglas County consecutive to each other. Do you realize that?"

Hope paused for a moment before answering "yes."

"Is Mr. Hope denying he touched this child?" Gibbons asked.

Hope's lawyer, Matthew Ence, said his client was not admitting the allegation.

"I'm pretty much taking the state's offer without admitting the elements," Hope said.

When asked if he knew the girl, Hope said, "a little bit."

Prosecutor Kris Brown said evidence would show that Hope was the boyfriend of the victim's mother who was asleep when the molestation took place.

She said after Hope touched the victim and made sexually suggestive comments, the girl ran to wake her mother. Brown said the mother yelled at Hope and he left the house.

She reported the incident to the Douglas County Sheriff's Office.

Before deputies could arrest Hope, he went to Mexico, then Washington state, where he committed a similar felony for which he is serving a life sentence.

When asked by Gibbons if he wished to dispute any of Brown's allegations, Hope said, "I'll remain silent."

He is set for sentencing in Carson City on March 17, accused of molesting two sisters in 2001.

Under terms of the Douglas County plea agreement, Hope will be under lifetime supervision if he is released or paroled. He must register as a sex offender and any community where he lives would be notified.

He must pay restitution to the victim if ordered.

He was accused of five felony counts in Carson City and pleaded guilty to two counts of lewdness with a child under 14.

In Washington, he comes up for parole in 2011, but must complete a two-year treatment program for sex offenders and pass a psycho-sexual evaluation that he is at low risk to offend before he is considered for release, according to court reports.

Hope originally pleaded not guilty to the Nevada charges and was set for trial this week in Carson City and Feb. 19 in Douglas County.

With the guilty pleas, those dates were vacated.

yudel nussbaum the molester said...

Molester banned from teaching again
Posted: January 30, 2008, 2:04 PM by Rob Roberts

Story by Canwest News Service

The Ontario College of Teachers revoked the credentials of a teacher convicted of sexually assaulting several of his students during the 1980s.
John Inglis plead no contest to the allegations of professional misconduct at the disciplinary hearing, which comes nearly two years after the former private-school teacher plead guilty to gross indecency, indecent assault and sexual assault in court.
Inglis was a private-school teacher at Crescent School in Toronto but stopped teaching and tutoring in 1988.
He was sentenced in 2006 to a conditional sentence of two years less a day.
He was also ordered to register as a convicted sex offender with the province’s registry.

newsday said...,0,6656073.story
Convicted child molester seeks reinstatement as a lawyer

January 29, 2008


A former Stamford lawyer who has spent time in prison for molesting children is seeking reinstatement of his law license.

Jonathan Rapoport, convicted of molesting three boys in the 1990s, Monday asked a special panel to restore his law license.

Under questioning by the Standing Committee for Admission, Rapoport admitted that in addition to the three children he was convicted of molesting, he had molested another three or four children since the 1970s.

The panel members will make a recommendation to a three-judge Superior Court panel on whether to allow Rapoport to resume practicing law.

The 54-year-old Rapoport served a three-year prison term and is currently on probation.

Anonymous said...

I think it's sick that Rav Belsky hasn't already been relieved of his duties long ago. This man is a danger.

yid who cares said...

I really appreciate all the hard work you put into helping others. Yasher Koach. You should have lots of hatzlacha in all your endeavors.

moel said...

Iowa Man Reverses Decision to Donate Foreskin to Rabbi's Museum
Written by rkcaughman
Harley Henry Hardon, of South Bluff City, Iowa, has reneged on his pledge to donate his Foreskin to a Museum that exclusively displays foreskins from different countries. Hardon, who was circumcised at age 52, because, "The dang thang just quit oiling, and it was painful for Mama and me, when we was intimate, you know."

Harley said the Rabbi was outraged because as Hardon said "He wanted mine it was pretty large, and he thought it would become the focal foreskin of this world class museum. But Mama said no way. So me and Mama have other plans."

Asked what those plans were and Hardon replied, "Well I told the Rabbi that whatever was left over after I made the little woman a lampshade, he could have for his museum."

Printed from:

Rabbi Shem Tov said...

Tefillin Tailgate Party

This past Sunday, Jay Greenfield of Roslyn, Long Island, was wearing his lucky Eli Manning jersey along with his lucky jeans. Jay, his brother Todd, and seven of his closest friends — all die-hard New York Giants fans — were of course in Arizona for the Super Bowl, in which the Giants beat the previously undefeated New England Patriots, 17–14.

Jay, 46, confesses to having been a Giants fan since he was six years old. His younger brother Todd also follows the Giants with what would seem to some an unusual intensity. The Greenfield brothers are in the “shmatte” business, manufacturing suits for Brooks Brothers, among others. One of their clients is a store in Brooklyn that sells kapottes for Lubavitcher chassidim in Crown Heights.

This story begins at the start of this just-concluded football season, when the Giants lost the first two games they played. Jay, in a meeting with the kapotte seller, Rabbi Israel Shem Tov, told the rabbi that in his estimation the entire football season for the Giants was lost; Manning was not living up to his promise, or his family reputation for producing quarterbacks, and the Giants were going nowhere.

“I told him that if he wanted to see the Giants turn things around, he should agree to put on tefillin with greater frequency,” said Rabbi Shem Tov in a phone interview this past Monday. The rabbi said that Jay was putting on tefillin whenever the rabbi would visit, which wasn’t that regularly or often. For his part, Todd Greenfield took Rabbi Shem Tov aside at one point and said he would bet him $10,000 that he would not get Jay to agree to put on tefillin regularly.

But things were so bad for the Giants at the beginning of the season that apparently Jay was willing to try anything. Rabbi Shem Tov asked him to commit to putting on tefillin and saying Shema Yisrael at least three times a week. As the weeks progressed and Jay and Todd kept up their commitment, the Giants kept winning—particularly on the road, where they set a record this season by winning ten games away from their home field in the Meadowlands.

At the same time, Rabbi Shem Tov, who stems from a long line of Chabad chassidim, kept on visiting and leaving notes at the kever of his Rebbe in Cambria Heights, Queens, apparently asking that in the Rebbe’s merit the football Giants keep on winning. Rabbi Shem Tov is not a sports fan at all and was not asking for Divine intervention or for the uprooting of any Heavenly plan for the benefit of a ballgame. His concern was that these two very good and sensitive men, along with their football-loving friends, continue to put on tefillin and do other mitzvos.

As the Giants traveled around the country, Rabbi Shem Tov would contact the Lubavitcher emissaries in the various locations to set up a rendezvous with the local rabbi and Jay, Todd, and their friends in order to supply and put on tefillin with them prior to each game, sort of the way others might make a barbecue in the stadium parking lots. Before some games, sometimes as many as 20 men participated in the tefillin tailgate party.

The Giants fans were at the game played against Green Bay and traveled to Tampa Bay for the game prior to the Super Bowl against the Buccaneers. In the meantime, both Jay and Todd purchased their own tefillin—and it was a good thing they did, because in Tampa Bay Rabbi Shem Tov gave the local shaliach the wrong time to meet them. Once in the stadium, Jay and company had to stay inside; they could leave only at the risk of not being allowed reentry to the stadium. Rabbi Shem Tov called Jay on his cell phone to tell him that he was very disappointed that the pre-game tefillin ritual had been missed. A half hour later, Jay called the rabbi back to say that the rabbi should be very proud of him, because he and his 20 or so friends in the stands had just finished putting on tefillin.

For his part, Jay Greenfield does not necessarily see a direct correlation between the mitzvah done by him and his friends putting on tefillin and the Giants’ miracle season. But, he told the Five Towns Jewish Times on Monday, “I think that when we put on our tefillin prior to the game and on the other days of the week, it creates a unique unity between us that spills over into another indefinable realm.” Plus, he added, the rabbi always says that a little good luck never hurt anyone.

This past Sunday—“Super Sunday,” often referred to as the biggest unofficial holiday on the American calendar—Jay, Todd, and about seven friends traveled to Arizona to represent the group at the big game. Back home on Long Island, about 70 men gathered in two homes for a bash that was preceded earlier in the day by all the men donning tefillin. “This was not a matter of some Jewish men who [purposely] chose a different path than what we see as traditional observant Judaism,” Rabbi Shem Tov said. “Most of these men, Jewish men in their forties and fifties, had never put on tefillin in their lives, even as teenagers.”

The Patriots were heavily favored to beat the Giants last Sunday. And Todd was concerned. “Rabbi, what if the Giants lose? You’ll fall on your face; the whole thing will fall apart.” Rabbi Shem Tov had been to the Rebbe’s kever earlier on Super Sunday, and he told Todd that he was not concerned about that.

The game itself is now history. For football fans, and especially for New York Giants fans, it was indeed a huge thrill to see the Giants upend the previously undefeated Patriots in such dramatic fashion. For many it was a David-and-Goliath moment. As the psalmist so profoundly says, “the stone which the builders scorned has become the chief cornerstone.” For many this was not just some spectator sporting event that had a dramatic flair to it. The game was about overcoming obstacles, being the underdog, and being perceived as not having a chance in the world to succeed. This game was indeed about life itself.

I asked Jay, now that the game is behind us, whether he would continue to put on tefillin. He said that of course he would and mentioned that he had been putting on tefillin with the rabbi for years, albeit just once a week. Rabbi Shem Tov plans on intensifying his tefillin campaign and, in the aftermath of Sunday’s Giants, victory has asked Jay and some of his friends to consider putting up mezuzos on the doorposts of their homes.

As for whether Rabbi Shem Tov enjoyed the game—well, he says he’s really not a sports fan and never was. But he admits that when he came home he put the radio on to listen to the game for about ten minutes. “The truth is I was very tired Sunday night, so I lay down and told my son to please wake me up when the Giants win.” He did.

Comments for Larry Gordon are welcome at

our children poses cultural challenge said...


The journey to inclusion

Seeing differences in our children poses cultural challenge

By William Kolbrener

My son, Shmuel, was born four years ago on the 10th of Cheshvan. My wife woke me at 3 a.m.; we were at the hospital a bit after 3:30. Not her first delivery, the labor was quick. By 5:45, she gave birth.

So efficient she was, I thought that there would be time to make it to my regular 7 a.m. minyan in the Bayit Vegan neighborhood of Jerusalem. Our newborn would fit into my schedule -- everything according to expectations; everything as planned.

I accompanied the baby to the post-delivery room. The doctor, flanked by two nurses, labored over the baby with unexpected focus and intensity. Finally, the doctor emerged. Our newborn, he suspected -- really, he knew -- had Down syndrome.

A close friend of ours, a nurse, whispered to my wife moments after we received the news that she would be happy to take the baby and foster him -- even before my wife would be released from the hospital. The doctors and hospital staff, who in the past had been unswerving in their aversion to early discharge, happily acquiesced to my wife's request to go home after only one day, relieved that we would be taking the baby home.

Friends visited. Two of them conducted a dispute in my presence about whether a father of a child with Down syndrome should be wished a congratulatory mazal tov (the answer is yes). A rabbinical authority in my neighborhood averred upon hearing the news that the event could only be looked at as a manifestation of unadulterated din, Divine judgment.

Someone else recounted the story of a father of a similar child who had proclaimed at the brit milah of his son that the birth of such a child was a manifestation of pure rachamim, Divine mercy. A neighbor advised that we really should foster the child. Raising such a child -- though, of course, a blessing -- would be too large a burden, not to mention a source of embarrassment to our family.

Amid all of this, the languages of advice, explanation and consolation -- and I had hardly noticed -- there was an infant nursing in my wife's steadfast arms.

The irony -- unappreciated then and for many months, even years after -- was that I had devoted much of my personal and professional energies to understanding conceptions of diversity and difference, first in relation to the works of the Western literary tradition and then on a different path in relation to Torah and the teachings of Chazal------

mendel epstein said...

Be careful. If you don't give your wife a get, I will kidnap and torture you. Rav Belsky agrees with me.

Lipa Marguelis said...

I am relieved they didn't come after me. Now I can go to the mikvah in peace!

Feds bust Gambino bigs


Friday, February 8th 2008, 4:00 AM
Jackie Nose has come a long way since carrying umbrella for John Gotti in 1990. Sabo/News

Jackie Nose has come a long way since carrying umbrella for John Gotti in 1990.
Domenico (The Greaseball) Cefalu Sabo/News

Domenico (The Greaseball) Cefalu
Charles (Charlie Canig) Carneglia and Joseph (JoJo) Corozzo Sabo/News

Charles (Charlie Canig) Carneglia and Joseph (JoJo) Corozzo

The feds decimated the Gambino crime family's leadership Thursday - including the last vestiges of John Gotti's reign - by arresting more than 60 mobsters here and in Sicily on charges that include murder, extortion and racketeering.

Gambino acting boss John (Jackie Nose) D'Amico, 71, wasn't around when the FBI raided his homes in New Jersey and the upper East Side early yesterday, but surrendered later in the afternoon.

Also arrested were reputed consigliere Joseph (JoJo) Corozzo, 66, and underboss Domenico (The Greaseball) Cefalu, 61.

Reputed capo Nicholas (Little Nick) Corozzo, 67, was apparently tipped off about the roundup and fled his home in Bellmore, L.I., shortly before agents arrived.

"He was in a rush, he left his wallet behind," a source said. Authorities now consider him a fugitive.

"This was a bad day for organized crime, its killers and its cash producers," Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.

Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Benton Campbell announced the 80-count indictment which spans more than 30 years in the life of crimes and brutal deaths of the Gambino family.

Sources said parts of the case were developed by a mob informant identified as Joseph Vollaro, owner of Andrews Trucking in Staten Island. He began as an informant for the state attorney general's office and then for the FBI.

The sources said Vollaro, an associate of Nicholas Corozzo, secretly recorded conversations with some of the mobsters. He reportedly disappeared from his usual hanuts more than a week ago and is believed to be in protective custody.

There were no charges against John A. (Junior) Gotti, but the Dapper Don's legacy was not lost: JoJo Corozzo once served as his driver; D'Amico was Gotti's aide-de-camp; and Gotti's brother Vincent and nephew Richard were charged with trying to kill a Howard Beach, Queens, bagel shop owner.

There was also a reminder of Gotti's thirst for blood with the arrest of hit man Charles (Charlie Canig) Carneglia, who was hit with five cold case murders.

One was the 1976 assassination of decorated court officer Albert Gelb, who was shot dead four days before he was to testify against Carneglia.

In addition to killing Gelb, Carneglia is charged in the murders of:

Michael Cotillo, who was stabbed to death on Nov.6, 1977, in a fight in Queens.
* Salvatore Puma, who was stabbed in a fight over money on on July 29, 1983.
* Gambino soldier Louis DiBono in a parking garage of the World Trade Center on the orders of John Gotti.
* Armored car driver Jose Rivera during a Kennedy Airport heist in 1990.
* Nicholas Corozzo is charged with ordering the murder of Luchese crime associate Robert Arena and unintended victim Thomas Maranga in Brooklyn in 1996.

"Today we have been able to bring closure to crimes that have never been forgotten as we seek justice for these men and their families," Campbell said.

Much of the 170-page indictment deals with organized crime's bread-and-butter staples like imposing mob "taxes" on construction work at the proposed NASCAR race track in Staten Island and a cement plant in Jersey City, illegal gambling, and narcotics trafficking.

Authorities also arrested Gambino soldier Frank Cali and Sicilian mobster Felippo Casamento who, they said, were trying to build a bridge between the Gambinos and the Inzerillo crime family of Palermo.

In a coordinated effort with U.S. authorities, Italian police rounded up 23 members of the Sicilian mob.

"Cali, who is also a member of the Sicilian Cosa Nostra, and Casamento supported the return of the Inzerillos to Palermo," said Raffaele Grassi of the Italian National Police.

The immediate effect of taking out the Gambino hierarchy is unclear. Peter Gotti remains the official boss, but he's jailed for life.

"I suspect the family will have a power vacuum," said Thomas Seigel, the former chief of the organized crime section of the Brooklyn U.S. Attorney's office.

Debka said...

DEBKAfile - We start where the media stop

An 8-year old boy and his brother aged 19 seriously wounded in four-missile attack on Sderot Saturday

February 9, 2008

The young boy is in serious condition. Both his legs were crushed.

The Palestinians in Gaza have kept up a massive Qassam attack on Sderot, the surrounding population and Ashkelon to the north since Tuesday. Friday, they fired more than 30 missiles, causing serious damage to homes in Sderot and Netiv Ha’asara greenhouses. A spokesman of the umbrella Popular Resistance Committees warned Sderot residents to leave town.

DEBKAfile’s military sources report: Israel defense minister Ehud Barak has more than once threatened firmer and broader military action to stop the missile blitz from Gaza. So far he has kept the military on a tight leash.

Israeli ground forces are restricted to areas 2 km inside Gaza, usually in the north, whereas the missile fire comes from the villages and camps deeper inside the enclave, which Israeli forces are ordered not to enter.

Thursday, an Israeli infantry unit discovered for the first time new underground silos for shooting missiles by remote control, making the launches and crews harder than ever to detect by air surveillance drones. Military sources believed they were installed with the help of the Lebanese Hizballah.

Israeli Mossad said...

DEBKAfile: Syrian military intelligence heaps allegations on Israeli Mossad, blackens Siniora

February 9, 2008

Its agents are planting tales that an Israeli Mossad officer, abetted by the pro-Western Lebanese prime minister, Fouad Siniora, colluded in orchestrating the assassination of former prime minister Rafiq Hariri three years ago. This tale seeks to turn suspicions away from President Bashar Assad’s closest aides in Damascus. Another tale going around minor Syrian, Lebanese and Gulf media, quotes Chief of Staff Gen. Hassan Turkemeni as directing his senior officers to beware of planted Israeli satellite phones.

More about the Syrian campaign against the Israeli Mossad in DEBKAfile Exclusive Report below.

Hamas Terrorists said...

DEBKAfile - We start where the media stop

DEBKAfile: Egypt braces for border showdown with Hamas, Israel sustains 30-missile pounding from Gaza

February 9, 2008

Friday, Feb. 8, Egyptian troops manning the Gaza-Sinai border were given extra security after Hamas threatened to attack them and stage kidnappings, if 15 of their gunmen were not released. The Egyptians were told to stay together in armed groups of three and posted snipers on the rooftops on their side of the divided Gazan town of Rafah.

The escalation of Palestinian violence from Gaza has created an explosive situation on its Israel and Egyptian borders. Friday, terrorist groups fired 30 missiles at Israeli civilians, targeting Ashkelon as well as Sderot and its neighbors. At least 10 people suffered shock and minor injuries. The damage was heavy. Terrorist spokesmen advised Israeli civilians to leave town as more intensive barrages were ahead. Israel and its emergency services are on high weekend alert.

An intelligence source told DEBKAfile that if the situation veers out of control, Egyptian troops may be ordered to cross into the Gaza Strip to capture Palestinian terrorists. Hamas threatens to retaliate against Egyptian forces in Sinai.

The 15 armed Palestinians arrested in the Egyptian peninsula crossed from Gaza after Hamas blew up the wall separating Gaza from Sinai 12 days ago and set off a general exodus. More armed bands are suspected at large on the Egyptian-Israeli border poised for incursions.

DEBKA-Net-Weekly disclosed Friday that President Hosni Mubarak decided to crack down on the Hamas-led mass Palestinian invasion of Sinai after Saudi King Abdullah, a former Hamas patron, warned him that the Palestinian fundamentalists were on a rampage which unchecked could provoke destabilizing radical violence against Arab regimes.

DEBKA-Net-Weekly published the details of the exchange of messages between the two Arab rulers in its latest issue.

Thursday, Egyptian foreign minister Ahmed Abul Gheit warned anyone crossing the border would have their legs broken. He mocked Hamas for firing rockets into Israel - thereby provoking the Israel blockade of Gaza - as “a laughable caricature.” Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhum advised the Egyptian minister to stop making threats.

In Cairo, defense minister Mohammed Tantawi backed Abu Gheit by saying no one was allowed to violate national security and Egypt has an arsenal “that conforms with the most modern technology in the world."

NEWSMAX said...

Democrats Battle; Huckabee Wins Kan.
Saturday, February 9

WASHINGTON -- Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton competed for Democratic convention delegates across three states on Saturday, locked in a landmark struggle for the party's presidential nomination. In the first Republican contest of the day, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee defeated John McCain in Kansas.

A total of 158 delegates was at stake in the Louisiana primary and caucuses in Nebraska and Washington. Caucuses in the Virgin Islands offered three more.

Clinton began the day with a slender delegate lead in The Associated Press count. She had 1,055 delegates to 998 for Obama. A total of 2,025 is required to win the nomination at the party convention in Denver.

Republican contests in Louisiana, Kansas and Guam provided McCain a chance to advance closer to the 1,191 delegates he needs to make his nomination official.

The Arizona senator began the day with 719 delegates. Huckabee, with 198, and Texas Rep. Ron Paul, with 14, were his only remaining rivals following Mitt Romney's withdrawal from the race.

The day's contests opened a new phase in the Democratic race between Clinton, attempting to become the first woman in the White House, and Obama, hoping to become the first black.

The Feb. 5 Super Tuesday primaries and caucuses in 22 states, which once looked likely to effectively settle the race, instead produced a near-equal delegate split.

That left Obama and Clinton facing the likelihood of a grind-it-out competition lasting into spring _ if not to the convention itself.

With the night's events, 29 of the 50 states have selected delegates.

Two more _ Michigan and Florida _ held renegade primaries and the Democratic National Committee has vowed not to seat any delegates chosen at either of them.

Maine, with 24 delegates, holds caucuses on Sunday. Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia and voting by Americans overseas are next, on Tuesday, with 175 combined.

Then follows a brief intermission, followed by a string of election nights, some crowded, some not.

The date of March 4 looms large, 370 delegates in primaries in Ohio, Texas, Rhode Island and Vermont.

Mississippi is alone in holding a primary one week later, with a relatively small 33 delegates at stake.

Puerto Rico anchors the Democratic calendar, with 55 delegates chosen in caucuses on June 7.

People were turned away from a University of Maine student center Saturday morning as Clinton spoke to a capacity crowd of about 1,750 people. She urged supporters to participate in Sunday's caucuses.

"This is your chance to be part of helping Maine pick a president," she said. "So I hope even if you've never, ever caucused before, tomorrow will be your first time ... because there is so much at stake in this election."

Obama, also campaigning in Maine, looked ahead to the general election, criticizing Republican McCain without mentioning his Democratic rival.

McCain initially "stood up to George Bush and opposed his first cuts," Obama said at Nicky's Diner in Bangor. Now the GOP senator is calling for continuing those tax cuts, which grant significant breaks to high-income taxpayers, "in his rush to embrace the worst of the Bush legacy."

If Super Tuesday failed to settle the campaign, it produced a remarkable surge in fundraising.

Obama's aides announced he had raised more than $7 million on line in the two days that followed.

Clinton disclosed she had loaned her campaign $5 million late last month in an attempt to counter her rival's Super Tuesday television advertising. She raised more than $6 million in the two days after the busiest night in primary history.

The television ad wars continued unabated.

Obama has been airing commercials for more than a week in television markets serving every state that has a contest though Feb 19.

Clinton began airing ads midweek in Washington state, Maine and Nebraska, and added Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia on Friday.

Prineville man arrested on 164 sex-abuse counts said...

Prineville man arrested on 164 sex-abuse counts

Posted: Feb 9, 2008

Female victim alleges decade of abuse; bail at $6.85 million

By Barney Lerten, KTVZ.COM

A 48-year-old Prineville man active in coaching youth sports teams was in the Crook County Jail on $6.85 million bail Saturday following his arrest on 164 rape and sex abuse counts involving a teen who came forward to report she'd been molested by him over a decade-long period.

Brad William Hill, who also was active with the Boys & Girls Club of Central Oregon's Crook County Chapter, was arrested at 3:30 p.m. Friday at the Oregon State Police Prineville office.

OSP Det. Andrew McCool said he believes that could be other victims who have not contacted police, and urged them or others to contact him with any information to help in the case.

The investigation began two weeks earlier, on Jan. 25, when a 19-year-old woman came forward with allegations she was sexually abused by Hill since the third grade and that it continued into her high school years, said Daina Vitolins, a deputy district attorney with the Crook County DA's Office. The victim now lives in Grant County.

Hill moved to Crook County in the late 1990s, having previously lived in Hermiston since the mid-‘90s and earlier in the northeast Oregon town of Union in the early ‘90s.

He faces 84 counts of first-degree sex abuse, 20 counts of first-degree rape, 30 counts of first-degree sodomy and 30 counts of second-degree sex abuse.

Anyone with information to assist in the investigation was asked to contact Detective McCool at (541) 388-6213.

Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse said...

Group calls for boycott over sex abuse scandal

A Christchurch men's support group is urging Catholics to boycott the collection plate at Mass tomorrow in protest at how a long-running historic sex abuse scandal is being handled.

The Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse Trust made the call in response to a High Court judge excusing a member of the St John of God Order from standing trial because of a four-year delay in the case going to court.

A permanent stay was granted on Thursday and the jury panel stood down.

The member, whose name is suppressed, was charged in 2003 with eight counts relating to indecent assaults on boys or inducing indecent acts by them, dating back to the late 1960s.

Trust manager Ken Clearwater said the men he supported were incensed with the judgment and delays in bringing other clergy members to trial.

The idea for a collection plate boycott came from the United States where it had been used by a support group for victims abused by priests.

"Would parishioners who really care about children who have been sexually violated within Catholic orders be prepared to withhold their donation to the collection on Sunday as a protest?" said Clearwater.

"The only way to hit the Church where it hurts is in the pocket."

But Catholic Communications director Lyndsay Freer said the protest would be ineffective because it would target innocent parish priests and parishioners.

Donations to the collection plate went towards running the parish and the diocese.

"The point needs to be very strongly and clearly emphasised that St John of God is an order with its headquarters in Australia," Freer said.

"The offending by a member of that order has nothing to do with the diocese or the diocesan clergy or the parishes.

"To boycott the collection plate, if people want to lodge a protest, would not be targeting those affected. They would be targeting the parishes' innocent priests and others who have no bearing at all on this particular case."

The latest court judgment has raised questions about whether cases against two other St John of God members will proceed.

Brother Rodger Moloney, 71, and Father Raymond Garchow, 59, lost protracted battles against extradition from Australia to face historic charges.

Greg King, defence counsel for Moloney, had not yet read the judgment.

"Until I have had an opportunity to properly consider it, then I can't make any type of comment."

Moloney's case is set down for a pre-trial hearing early next month.

rabbi yaakov hopfer said...

I don't believe the victims.
Bill would make it easier to file sex-abuse suits

February 7, 2008

A Baltimore County legislator has introduced a bill that would make it easier for victims of child sexual abuse to sue for damages, despite pressure brought on him not to do so by the Catholic school from which he graduated.

The bill, sponsored by Del. Eric M. Bromwell, would extend the statute of limitations on filing lawsuits claiming sexual abuse in childhood.

Bromwell, a Democrat who graduated from Calvert Hall College High School in 1994, said he has been flooded with calls and e-mail from alumni and families of students of the school.

Calvert Hall's president recently sent a letter to school supporters warning that the bill could cause "a severe, perhaps fatal, decline in enrollment" by opening up the Towson school to lawsuits by people contending that they were molested years ago by two former priests once assigned to Calvert Hall.

As many as 14 victims of the former priests at Calvert Hall have been identified, but Bromwell said his bill is meant to help a much larger number of victims of abuse. "The news from Calvert Hall hasn't been good," he said. "But I wouldn't be where I am today if it weren't for my Calvert Hall education. So it's a difficult situation."

"Children's Protection Bill." said...

Lawmaker wants to eliminate statute of limitations on sex abuse lawsuits
posted by: Jeffrey Wolf , Web Producer
written by: Anastasiya Bolton , Reporter

created: 2/6/2008 5:39:59 PM
Last updated: 2/7/2008 6:16:20 AM
DENVER - A state legislator wants to eliminate the statute of limitations on civil actions when it comes to sexual assaults on children.

Rep. Gwyn Green (D-Golden) is sponsoring the "Children's Protection Bill."

She says current law doesn't consider that sexual abuse is often not reported by children and is remembered much later in life.

"The child is so traumatized they're not able to deal with that, many times even to acknowledge that it damaged them, until they're in their 40s, 50s, 60s. By that time, their statute runs out. This gives them a chance to come forward," Green said.

The current statute of limitations when it comes to civil suits is six years after the victim turns 18.

Green introduced the bill Wednesday in the House Judiciary Committee. Based on the proposed statute, a victim would be able to sue an organization or an agency if it knew about the abuse and failed to take reasonable steps to prevent the perpetrator from committing the abuse.

Green proposes, in case the perpetrator is dead, the victim will be able to sue the entity or the employer.

The bill was scrutinized by committee members Wednesday despite the nearly 40 people who signed up to speak in support of it. Much of the testimony was from victims of sexual abuse.

Opponents say eliminating the statute of limitation creates an injustice for employers and entities that may be punished for the actions of individuals.

"Memories fade, witnesses die or disappear, evidence is lost and as a result. If the claim is brought 10, 20, 30 years later, it's a real burden on the justice system to discern what really happened and it makes it really difficult for entities to take appropriate steps to defend themselves," said Jeff Ruebel with the Colorado Defense Lawyers' Association.

The judiciary committee is expected to take a vote on the measure next week.

P'TACH said...

Our annual scholarship dinner will take place Sunday Evening, the second of March, 2008.

Location: Grand Hyatt
Park Avenue at Grand Central
New York City

Schedule for the evening:

Introduction and lies.
We will show videos from 15 years ago showing past Alumni who received a very shvacheh education. We will lie and tell the audience that "our doors are open to everybody" and that we "don't turn anybody away."

We won't mention how many people and parents were turned off yiddeshkeit because of us.

"Rabbi" Burton Jaffa the putz will enlighten everybody on his methods of milking every last cent from Parents who can't afford it. He will say over some stories such as how for 2 and 1/2 months he did not allow a P'TACH kid to attend school and ordered this kid's father to go raise the money by knocking on door to door begging from complete strangers.

Jaffa, will then go over some fundamental points such as; what is the best scare tactics he has ever pulled on a parents? Which bullying methods were the most effective.

Later, Dr, Judah Weller - will introduce the awful education B'tach students receive. He will try to make a case that $30,000 for tuition is not that expensive, even though the teachers and staff are not overly qualified for the job.

Later in the evening, a guest speaker will ramble away and expound on the Scholarships they offer through the Government (assuming you qualify). There will be much made out of this, even though it is just a pr spin. Of course, P'TACH will try to take credit for their so-called accomplishments and dedication to every child. They will conveniently leave out the part, that they run their school purely as a business for profit and not for helping needy children who are behind or slow in their studies.

They will end off the night by asking for your support and donations. They will fool many, but they will not fool this writer!

Aaron Twerski said...

Harav Yisroel Belsky is an honorable donkey's ass!

1. - [Cached]

Published on: 12/17/2007 Last Visited: 1/27/2008
KosherToday has learned that the bakery will be located on the border between Atlantic Beach and Far Rockaway, under the kosher supervision of Rabbi Yisroel Belsky, a renowned authority on kashrus, who holds a senior consulting position at the Orthodox Union (OU).
2. Empire Kosher Poultry, Inc. - [Cached]

Published on: 8/25/2004 Last Visited: 4/1/2006
In a related move, Rabbi Menachem Genack, Rabbinic Administrator of Kashrus for the OU is pleased to announce the interim appointment of Rabbi Yisroel Belsky, senior Halachic consultant to the OU, as Rav Hamachshir at Empire.
Rabbi Yisroel Belsky is among the nation's most eminent Rabbinical Authorities, having received Semicha from Rav Moshe Feinstein in 1965 and from Yeshiva Torah Vodaath in 1962, where he currently serves as Rabbinical Lecturer (Rosh Yeshiva). Rabbi Belsky has served as senior consultant for the Orthodox Union since 1987. Rabbi Belsky stated, "I am very pleased to accept this important responsibility for the preeminent firm in our industry.
With Rabbi Yisroel Belsky at the helm that tradition continues."
I am very comfortable that it is being left in the best possible hands - those of Rabbi Belsky, with whom I have studied and collaborated for years."
3. - [Cached]

Published on: 6/18/2004 Last Visited: 1/31/2006
While there is much blood, explains Rabbi Yisroel Belsky, one of the nation's leading authorities on the kosher slaughtering process, and a head of the kosher division of the Orthodox Union, it is precisely the bleeding that renders the slaughter the most humane because it makes sure the animal feels absolutely no pain because it is totally unconscious.

Mr. Lewin charges that "all PETA wants to do is inflame the public against kosher slaughter." The group, he added, "just doesn't understand shechita - what's permitted under Jewish, and consequently, American Law."

The video also shows cows appearing to still be alive after the slaughtering process. But, "reflexive movement", wherein dead creatures appear to be alive is quite common, Rabbi Belsky said. "Think of chickens running without heads," he said ...

salmon fillets said...

K A S H R U T . C O M©
The Premier Kosher Information Source on the Internet

Salmon Colored With Astaxanthin

By Rabbi Chaim Goldberg

Orthodox Union RC – Fish Industry

© 2003 Orthodox Union
Reprinted with permission of the Orthodox Union
originally printed in The Daf HaKashrus, Vol 11, NO.8, Iyar 5763, May, 2003

The following article addresses identification of salmon fillets through its unique red color. This method is recommended for kashrus professionals who are intimately familiar with hues and textures of various fish. For retail customers, it is recommended that salmon be purchased only when the skin is intact and the scales ae discernable. When purchasing cut fish, additional consideration must be given to the kosher status of the knife and cutting board.

Although kosher fish are usually identified only by the presence of scales1, the Orthodox Union has a long standing policy of accepting as kosher all reddish-pinkish fillets, even without a piece of skin by which the fillet can be identified. The basis for this policy is that there is no fish2 that has a reddish-pinkish flesh underneath its skin except salmon, trout and possibly some carp, which are all kosher fish (see below).

The recent use of an artificial vitamin supplement, designed to redden the flesh of farm-raised salmon, has raised a question about whether the Orthodox Union can continue to assume that all reddish-pinkish fish are kosher. If this vitamin can be used to redden the flesh of kosher fish, could it not be used to redden the flesh of non-kosher fish as well? Based on my research, I hope in the following article to explain why this worry is an insufficient reason to discontinue accepting reddish-pinkish fillets as kosher.

The basis for our policy of accepting all reddish-pinkish fillets as kosher comes from a psak that Rabbi Yisroel Belsky, Shlita, received from Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, zt”l, that a fish fillet with a reddish-pinkish color could be accepted as a siman-muvhak of kashrus, if one could be reasonably certain that no non-kosher reddish-pinkish fleshed fish exists in nature. Rabbi Belsky maintains that the matter has been sufficiently investigated and no non-kosher red-fleshed fish exists.3

Rabbi Feinstein’s psak, however, could only apply to fish whose flesh are naturally red, such as wild salmon and trout. The flesh of the farmed varieties of these fish would (if not for supplementation) be a sickly pale-white. The reason for farmed salmon’s natural absence of redness is a lack of astaxanthin, an anti-oxidant that wild salmon and trout absorb from their diet of lobster, shrimp, krill, plankton and algae. Farmed salmon’s diet lacks the aforementioned delicacies, and must be fed an artificial astaxanthin, such as Carophyll-pink manufactured by Hoffman-La Roche, in order for them to mirror the color of wild fish. It is the color altering property of this nutrient that is causing concern in the kosher community. If astaxanthin can alter the color of the flesh of farmed salmon and trout, could it not alter the color of the flesh of non-kosher fish as well?

To answer this question, it is important for one to understand exactly what carotenes are. Astaxanthin (the primary carotene found in wild salmon) is in the same family as beta-carotene, the chief anti-oxidant (and principal pigment provider) found in carrots, apricots, squash and sweet potatoes. But carotenes do much more than provide yellow, orange or red color. Carotenes are essential to the health of both humans and fish as they also eliminate free radicals and oxygen singlets from the blood, enhance immune functions, act as anti-mutagens and anti-carcinogens and are resource for the body’s manufacture of Vitamin A. Excess carotenes, which the body does not need for maintaining life functions, are stored in different parts of the body in different creatures, depending on their genetic make-up. In salmon and trout, carotenes are stored in the muscle tissue (i.e. flesh), making the flesh pink or red. (The skin on the other hand, in an Atlantic salmon for example, would retain a blue/silver color.)

Only fish such as salmon and trout retain natural carotenes in their reddish-pinkish flesh. Only fish that have the ability to store natural carotenes in their flesh can retain artificial carotenes, such as Hoffman-La Roche’s astaxanthin “Carophyll-pink”, in their flesh. Other fish are not red because they do not store carotenes whether natural or artificial in their flesh.

it is interesting to note that in humans, carotenes are stored (amongst other places) in skin (as opposed to flesh). That is the reason why eating excessive amounts of yellow-orange fruits can cause a person to develop a “jaundiced” look, and why astaxanthin is marketed for human consumption as the active ingredient in oral tanning pills (though it does have the undesirable side effect of causing one’s perspiration to be orange). Astaxanthin does not change the skin color of farmed salmon and trout, nor does it change the flesh color of humans or other fish.

In conclusion, the OU Poskim maintain that red flesh is still a siman muvhak for a kosher fish, as only salmon and trout have a red or pink flesh4, and that our policy of accepting reddish-pinkish fillets without skin is justified.

1 Shulchan Aruch 83:1

2 Though some small tropical fish have red flesh, they are not available for commercial consumption.

3 This is not an extension of the Beis Yosef’s mesorah regarding red fish roe (see Shulchan Aruch 83:8 and Shach ad loc. #27) but is based on modern-day independent research about salmon fillets.

4 Rabbi Belsky was recently sent a sample of a “white” wild king salmon steak from British Columbia. He confirmed that even this was pink enough to clearly be a salmon, and that no other fish could be substituted even as a “white” salmon.
Comments to
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Einei Yisroel- Bereishis said...

Looks like Adolf Belsky borrowed an up-hat for this picture. What a fake!
Brilliant! Grounbreaking! Piercing analysis by one of the great minds of our generation. Rabbi Belsky examines the lessons of Sefer Bereishis through the lens of his extraordinary, vast knowledge of the length and breadth of Torah thought as well as the secular sciences and disciplines. The result is unique, refreshing and invigorating for the mind and soul. A Torah gem of rare value!

416 Pages

Our Price : $24.95

Chief rabbi prohibits single women from going to mikve said...

The Jerusalem Post Internet Edition

Chief rabbi prohibits single women from going to mikve
Matthew Wagner , THE JERUSALEM POST Feb. 10, 2008

In an attempt to stem a trend of quasi-condoned premarital sex among young modern Orthodox men and women, Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Yona Metzger has issued a prohibition against allowing single women to use mikvaot (ritual baths).

In a letter dated January 24 and addressed to the rabbis of the Land of Israel, Metzger warns of a trend in which young modern Orthodox men and women use mikvaot to circumvent one of the severest prohibitions connected with sexual intercourse.

"It is absolutely prohibited to allow a single woman to immerse herself in a mikve," wrote Metzger. "And it is an obligation to prevent her from doing so."

Metzger also advised that ritual bath attendants should be told to prevent single women from immersing themselves.

Jewish law proscribes sexual relations with a woman during and after menstruation until she immerses herself in a mikve. This prohibition is known as nidda.

Traditionally, only married women have been permitted to remove the prohibition of nidda via a mikve, so they can have sexual relations with their husbands.

In contrast, single women have traditionally been prevented from using a mikve because it would, in theory, remove the main prohibition against sexual intercourse.

There is no Biblical prohibition against a male and a female having sexual intercourse once the obstacle of nidda has been removed.

There is, however, a less stringent rabbinic injunction against premarital sex.

In recent years modern Orthodox men and women have been postponing marriage to pursue higher education and careers. Others have simply not found the right person with whom to settle down.

As a result, some young Orthodox people, who feel obligated to adhere to Halacha, but who also find celibacy impossibly difficult, have used the mikvaot to remove the main legal obstacle to premarital sex.

Prof. Tzvi Zohar of Bar-Ilan University wrote an article in March 2006 condoning premarital sex that aroused fervent debate in religious Zionist circles.

Zohar's article, printed in Akdamot, an academic journal on Jewish thought published by Beit Morasha, analyzed the opinions of leading halachic authorities from the Middle Ages, such as Nachmanides, and those of the modern era, such as Rabbi Ya'acov Emden, and showed that many permitted sexual relations without marriage.

In an arrangement sanctioned by Jewish law, according to these opinions, the woman becomes a pilegesh, or concubine. Neither the man nor the woman has any obligations or rights, but both must adhere to family purity laws in accordance with Halacha.

Rabbi David Halivni said...

Halivni wins Israel Prize

Published: 02/10/2008

Rabbi David Halivni won the Israel Prize for Talmud.

Halivni, who made aliyah in 2005, wrote a seven-volume commentary on the Talmud. He teaches at Bar-Ilan University and Hebrew University, and was a professor for many years at Columbia University in New York.

The founder of the Union for Traditional Judaism, a transdenominational religious organization that has attracted thousands of Orthodox and traditionally observant Jews, Halivni was born in Ukraine in 1927 and was ordained at the age of 15. He was the only member of his family to survive the Holocaust.

The Israel Prize, the highest honor in Israel, will be awarded on Israel Independence Day, observed this year on May 8.

Haredi homosexuals seek acceptance said...,7340,L-3504952,00.html

Haredi homosexuals seek acceptance

After establishing first website, ultra-Orthodox gays appeal in letter written to religious leadership, ‘Accept us as a living, viable part of ultra-Orthodox society’

Kobi Nahshoni
Published: 02.10.08, 14:37 / Israel Jewish Scene

Not 10 days after its inception, the HOD website, catering to the ultra-Orthodox gay community, has broadened its operations. In a letter distributed to Orthodox community leaders Saturday night, site operators appealed to the Orthodox community to recognize them as “a living, viable part of its rank and file.”

Orthodox Gays
New website launched for religious gay community / Kobi Nahshoni
New website for religious gay community launched last week. Founders struggle to juggle both identities, seek to garner legitimacy within the greater religious community
Full story
The letter was sent to a wide array of rabbis, religious MKs, mayors, community leaders, and organization heads, including Conversion Authority head Rabbi Haim Druckman and Rabbi Yuval Sherlo, and notes that it is only ignorance and lack of awareness that lead to the senseless hatred against homosexuals within the ultra-Orthodox community------

Archaeologist said...

Digging Up Jerusalem's Past Is Tricky


JERUSALEM (AP) — Underneath the homes and ragged streets of the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan lie the remnants of a glorious Jewish past: coins, seals, a water tunnel hewn by a Judean king 2,700 years ago, a road that led to a biblical Temple.

But archaeology is hard-wired into the politics of modern-day Arab-Israeli strife, and new digs to unearth more of this past are cutting to the heart of the charged argument over who owns the holy city today.

Israel says it's reconnecting with its ancient heritage. Palestinians contend the archaeology is a political weapon to undermine their own links to Jerusalem.

Lying on a densely populated slope outside the walled Old City, the area is known to Israelis as the City of David, named for the legendary monarch who ruled a Jewish kingdom from this spot 3,000 years ago. It is the kernel from which Jerusalem grew.

But Silwan is in east Jerusalem, which Israel captured from Jordan in 1967 and which Palestinians claim for the capital of a future state.

Palestinians and Israelis are trying again to negotiate a peace deal, one which must include an agreement to share Jerusalem. The collision in this neighborhood — between Silwan and the City of David — encapsulates the complexities ahead.

The organization funding the digs, the Elad Foundation, is associated with the religious settlement movement and is committed to preventing Israel from ever ceding the area in a peace deal. It says it has a yearly budget of close to $10 million, nearly all of it from donations, and is buying up Palestinian homes in Silwan to accommodate Jewish families. Around 50 have moved in so far, living in houses flying Israeli flags and guarded by armed security men paid for by the Israeli government.

At the same time, the City of David digs have expanded through the neighborhood, carried out by respected Israeli government archaeologists with funding from Elad.

Fakhri Abu Diab, a neighborhood activist, said the Elad Foundation has made it clear that he and his neighbors are in the way.

"They want the land without the people," he said.

None of the finds that

Rabbi Avi Shafran said...

This is not according to Halachic standards. I find this offensive.

Rabbis fear prayer to convert Jews will harm ties with Vatican
By Reuters
Tags: Vatican, Prayer

Conservative rabbis could vote this week on a resolution warning that a Latin prayer backed by Pope Benedict XVI, urging Jews to embrace Christ, could endanger strengthening Jewish-Catholic ties.

"We fear that the new Latin text ... may cast a harsh shadow over the spirit of mutual respect and collaboration that has marked these past four decades, making it more difficult for Jews to engage constructively in dialogue with Catholics," a draft of the resolution reads.

The draft could go to a vote as early as Monday, when 400 members of the Rabbinical Assembly, representing Judaism's conservative movement, will be in Washington for their annual meeting, assembly officials said.

exposemolesters said...

The Jerusalem Post Internet Edition

Obama, Clinton and Jewish good fortune

He doesn't look like your typical presidential candidate and he is too inexperienced, with only a few years in Congress from Illinois and no track record in foreign affairs.

Despite these "shortcomings," an overly tall, lanky, intellectual lawyer from Illinois who had served only two years in the US House of Representatives was elected president in 1860. His name was Abraham Lincoln.

Now, nearly a century and a half later, Barack Obama is facing some of the same questions - plus a raging e-mail campaign that cites his middle name, Hussein, to paint him as anti-Israel and a radical Muslim who refuses to pledge allegiance to the United States.

With Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama locked in a tight battle for the Democratic Party's nomination for US president, it is high time to dispose once and for all of some singularly stupid attacks on Obama and to focus instead on the issues that truly matter.

IN THE INTEREST of full disclosure, I actively campaigned for Bill Clinton in both 1992 and 1996 and was twice appointed by him to the US Holocaust Memorial Council; I greatly respect and admire Hillary Clinton; in early 2007 I made a contribution to John Edwards' campaign; and I have no involvement or affiliation whatsoever with the Obama campaign.

The idiots among us who consider someone's given name to be an indication of anything, let alone political ideology, should bear in mind that there are no more American, patriotic, motherhood and apple pie names than George (Washington), (Abraham) Lincoln and (Norman) Rockwell. Put them together, however, and you get George Lincoln Rockwell, the notorious long-time leader of the American Nazi party.

Those who are irrationally suspicious of Obama's middle name, Hussein, would do well to remember that Jordan's late King Hussein was considered one of the most respected, most moderate and most enlightened Middle East leaders long before he signed a peace treaty with Israel in October 1994.

Relative youth and the absence of years of executive or legislative experience also should not be considered automatic disqualifications for the presidency. Theodore Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy and Bill Clinton were all younger than Obama when they first took the presidential oath of office. And, as mentioned above, Lincoln's resume upon being elected president consisted of two years in the US House of Representatives (1847 to 1849) and a losing 1858 bid for the Senate.

WHY IS ANY of this relevant? Because Obama has been the target of a mean-spirited campaign designed to discredit him among Jewish voters.

One need not take my word for that. Nine prominent American Jewish communal leaders, including David Harris of the American Jewish Committee, Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League, Rabbi David Saperstein of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, Nathan J. Diament of Orthodox Union and Phyllis Snyder of the National Council of Jewish Women have taken the unusual step of publicly condemning the "hateful e-mails" that "use falsehood and innuendo to mischaracterize Senator Barack Obama's religious beliefs and who he is as a person." They denounced what they described as an "attempt to drive a wedge between our community and a presidential candidate based on despicable and false attacks and innuendo based on religion."

From the Jewish perspective, Clinton and Obama have equally strong credentials. Both have longstanding connections to the Jewish community. Both have demonstrated a strong commitment to Israel's security and to achieving a just and lasting end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Clinton has former secretary of state Madeline Albright in her corner. One of Obama's Middle East advisers is Dennis Ross, who headed the State Department's Middle East negotiating team for the George H. W. Bush and Clinton administrations.

CLINTON AND Obama espouse the same social justice principles as the overwhelming majority of American Jews. Whichever of them emerges as the Democratic nominee is certain to retain the historically broad support of Jewish voters.

Obama also was quick to distance himself unambiguously from an award that a newspaper published by his Chicago church had given last year to Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam.

"I decry racism and anti-Semitism in every form and strongly condemn the anti-Semitic statements made by Minister Farrakhan," Obama declared. "I assume that Trumpet Magazine made its own decision to honor Farrakhan based on his efforts to rehabilitate ex-offenders, but it is not a decision with which I agree."

Most significantly, Obama's repudiation of anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry has not been mere lip service intended for Jewish audiences.

"We have scorned our gay brothers and sisters instead of embracing them," he told the African-American Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta last month on Martin Luther King Day. "The scourge of anti-Semitism has, at times, revealed itself in our community. For too long, some of us have seen immigrants as competitors for jobs instead of companions in the fight for opportunity."

THE FACT is that Clinton and Obama are both superbly qualified to be president.

What, then, is the difference between them? One evokes the nostalgia of the Clinton years, an era that on balance was far better than what we have now. The other offers the promise of a different, more idealistic, but also by definition more uncertain, future.

Clinton is the establishment's candidate, the more conventional politician of the two. Obama, by contrast, inspires the young and brings a fresh, exciting dimension to the campaign.

Those of us who came of age during the 1960s feel as if we have been here before. Clinton in many ways is the alter ego of Hubert Humphrey, the admirable liberal veteran who remained far too long in Lyndon Johnson's shadow. The charismatic Obama, meanwhile, resembles no one as much as Robert F. Kennedy during the winter and spring of 1968, before his assassination. And yes, John Edwards in some ways appears cast in the supporting role of Eugene McCarthy.

In contrast to the mainstream Humphrey, the 42-year-old RFK inspired the young, promised an expedited end to the Vietnam War and held forth the vision of an ideals-based alternative to the status quo.

MANY JEWS of a certain generation - probably most of us - were prepared to take the risk inherent in supporting the younger, more unconventional Kennedy. With his death, we remained with the lackluster alternative. Because of the intense mutual antagonism between the Kennedy and Humphrey camps, many of RFK's disillusioned supporters sat out the 1968 election in protest, and what we got was Richard Nixon, a prolonged war and Watergate.

This year, for a change, Democrats have two viable, attractive, even if different, options. Whether one chooses Clinton or Obama, Jewish voters should not base their decision on a negative campaign of personal attacks and destruction.

The writer, a lawyer in New York and a former national president of the Labor Zionist Alliance, has never voted for a Republican presidential or state-wide candidate.

This article can also be read at /servlet/Satellite?cid=1202246356760&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

יוסף שלום אלישיב Yosef Sholom Elyashiv said...

Goyish music for IDF soldiers? This is wrong. One must not listen to rock music.

New Organization Sends Jewish Rockers to Boost IDF Morale
4 Adar 5768, 10 February 08 11:47
by Ezra HaLevi

( A new American Jewish initiative seeks to raise the morale of IDF soldiers through rock music and the forging of bonds with young American Jews.

The Israel Service Organization, launched last year, was founded by professional Jewish musicians. “The ISO funnels its love of Israel and her troops through the prism of music, comedy, and other programming,” the group’s mission statement says.

IDF soldiers have long joined tour groups such as those run Birthright Israel to increase awareness and Zionist education among visitors to Israel. Now, the ISO seeks to return the favor.

The group, modeled after the American USO, has already put its plan into action at dozens of army bases across the Jewish state last summer – with incredible results.

The Summer 2007 concert tour, dubbed the Humble Kings Project, “used the power of music to present messages of admiration and support on behalf of various community groups outside of Israel,” explained Ben Hyman, the group’s co-founder and a musician in the band. The musicians, from various groups around the US, were hand-picked for the Humble Kings specifically for the Israel tour.

“Before each performance, the soldiers are treated to a special BBQ, and an opening act warms up the crowd before the main show. Afterwards, a DJ spins music for the soldiers until curfew. Both before and after the performance, the band members and crew spend time with the soldiers, re-emphasizing the message of respect and gratitude. The band and crew also sleep in the same quarters and under the same conditions as the soldiers.”

Moshe, an air force commander whose soldiers were treated to a show last summer, said he had never seen his men dance like they did that night. “With all the media and with everything that goes on, sometimes my men don’t feel appreciated when they go home. Sometimes you just want to get home and feel like a hero.”

“To have a band from the United States come here and want to know how we are doing is unbelievable,” said First-Sergeant Ohad Poraz of the Air Force’s 194th Battalion.

“It took us a whole year to get here to tell you that you guys are great,” declared a shirtless Jon Weisz from the stage to the cheers of the thousands of soldiers.

ISO also seeks to involve North American Jewish students in connecting and supporting their Israeli counterparts as they defend the Jewish people. The group organizes the packing of care packages and hand-delivers letters from students to the soldiers for whom it arranges concerts.

This year’s tour will take place in August and will visit front-line infantry bases as well. The group hopes to bring different genres of musicians on tour in the future, as well as sports teams from Jewish high schools to compete against IDF soldiers.

Rabbi Avi Weiss of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale and Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, along with New Rochelle Young Israel Rabbi Reuven Fink sit on the group’s board, lending the project their full backing.

“The ISO is using the most universal mode of communication – music,” explains Rabbi Fink. “Music is able to do things and to heal breaches that nothing else can do. It warms the heart and warms the soul and is something that is desperately needed and the ISO has the ability to do it. This comes at a time when the IDF needs to know that people abroad are thinking of them. There are plenty of organizations that take care of their physical needs, but their spirit is very damaged.”

Students of all ages are invited to write letters to be hand-delivered to the soldiers and send them to: Israel Service Organization, 151 Oxford Rd., New Rochelle, NY 10804.

Rabbi Matty Solomon said...

This is not Tznius. We cannot have singles meeting over the evil internet. Anyone thinking of meeting in this way must obtain special reshus from myself or a qualified beis din.
A Jewish singles' site combines online profiles with the personal fixup


Saturday, February 9th 2008,

The archetype of the Jewish matchmaker goes back long before "Fiddler on the Roof" danced her into the mainstream.

Now, Yente's gotten a makeover. She has expanded business and manages thousands of clients. And she's doing it all online.

New Yorker Marc Goldmann, the founder of, was no stranger to matchmaking or to online dating. He just didn't like either on its own.

"I had issues with the sites regarding their privacy, how personalized it was," he says of cruising the Internet for missus material. "How did you know what was fraud? How did you know what was real?"

Goldmann's solution mixed Jewish tradition with Internet convenience. He built a social-networking Web site, beefed up the application process, increased the privacy, and hired just under 50 matchmakers to sort through members' profiles.

In fact, users of don't peruse for themselves. Their potential dates are selected not by a computer-based compatibility test, but by a human being. If they like one of the chosen profiles, they can ask for a date.

Since the site's founding in August 2006, 10 couples have married. More than 1,000 are dating. The key to the success, says Goldmann, is the matchmaking corps.

"In the Jewish community, quite often people are really happy to set other people up," he says. "The problem is they usually have a very small pool per matchmaker."

Not so online. One of the site's top matchmakers, Lesley Silver-Winick, has 250 profiles under her personal command - and that's before she chats with her colleagues to research the site's approximately 7,000 members.

"I always let my members know," says Silver-Winick, "I say, I will search for you weekly ... I'm usually working 30 to 35 hours a week. On Sundays I can put in seven to nine hours."

The beauty of the job, for Silver-Winick, once a social worker for the city of Toronto, is that she can do it from home. She lives just outside Jerusalem, where she moved with her husband and family after the site hired her in December 2006. She calls her Los Angeles clients in the early morning, phones New York in the late evening and serves an increasing number of local and European singles.

And she knows a thing or two about looking for love.

"I actually got married at 40," says Silver-Winick, "so I went through, pretty much, 20 years of dating. I felt that I could relate to a lot of different people."

Mel Gibson said...

I am not an Anti-Semite. Wink Wink.

Gibson honor roils Irish rabbi

Published: 02/10/2008

An Irish rabbi has reportedly assailed the decision to honor Mel Gibson.

The Irish Film and Television Academy will pay tribute to Gibson, an actor and director, at its award ceremony Feb. 17 for his contributions to world cinema.

According to the Irish newspaper the Independent, a leading rabbi in Ireland condemned the recognition for Gibson in light of widely publicized anti-Semitic comments he made to California police officers after being arrested for drunk driving in 2006.

"We find it very puzzling," said the rabbi, who wished to remain anonymous. "He has made blatant anti-Semitic remarks, and you'd think they'd give him a miss this year."

The rabbi said the academy should reconsider its decision.

The citation stresses Gibson's Irish roots -- his mother and paternal great-grandfather were Irish. Gibson also made his movie "Braveheart" in Ireland.

Ireland's Department of Arts, Sports and Tourism has been named an official partner of the ceremony, though the department does not fund the academy.

The Gibson controversy comes on the heels of a department inquiry into accusations that paintings stolen by the Nazis were on display in the Limerick Hunt Museum.

Israel Belsky said...

One must not be oyver 'Mesira'. Even if I order the kidnapping and torture of a husband that refuses to give his wife a get, you must not tell the secular authorities about it.
Guest Column: Telling tales out of shul
Andrew Silow-Carroll , THE JERUSALEM POST Feb. 7, 2008

In a recent Post column I wrote about scandals involving Orthodox Jews and the complicated reaction they provoke among the non-Orthodox ("From here to affinity," February 3). I described the glee, the rue, and above all the sense that, as the most visibly Jewish Jews, the Orthodox bear a burden and responsibility for the rest of us. The street term is "representing."

Many readers were grateful that the column also described Orthodox-bashing for what it is: bigotry, plain and simple. But apparently neither plain nor simple, according to a number of other readers. They felt I failed to account for attitudes in the Orthodox community that can lead to disdain for secular law, and for fellow Jews.

Here's an excerpt from perhaps the mildest of these replies, from a non-Orthodox rabbi: "I just read your op-ed about Orthodox wrongdoing, and while I largely agree with your point as it applies to modern Orthodox Jews, I think you missed a point as the issue applies to at least some haredim. Part of that world actively teaches that dina d'malkhuta dina, the principle that requires Jews to follow secular law unless it is evil in nature, need not be followed in the United States at least in regard to certain kinds of civil proprieties.

"Furthermore, part of that world teaches an active contempt for Jews who are not members of their sub-community. These two factors result in at least tacit encouragement of some kinds of fraud."

Other letters in this vein noted a current news story that I didn't mention in my article: the Spinka affair. Rabbi Naftali Tzvi Weisz, one of the grand rabbis of the Spinka hassidic movement, faces a 37-count federal indictment for conspiracy, mail fraud, and money laundering. Weisz and five other Spinka adherents pleaded not guilty this month to charges that they arranged and profited from inflated charitable donations.

The case is a sensation in Los Angeles, where four of the defendants lived. And it's taken a peculiar, and perhaps peculiarly Orthodox, twist: The case is based on tips from a Spinka insider. This act of mesira - the injunction against informing on Jewish misbehavior to secular authorities - has apparently scandalized the LA Orthodox community as much if not more than the allegations themselves.

"People are very shell-shocked about the whole thing on many levels," Rabbi Daniel Korobkin, a West Coast representative of the Orthodox Union, told the Forward. "Number one, that our neighbors and friends are implicated, and number two, that an act of mesira on this level was perpetrated by one of our own."

As a matter of Jewish law, mesira reflects the fear - well-founded in Jewish history - that informing to the secular authorities will only shame the Jews, and worse. But critics suggest it can be used as a way to cover up wrongdoing.

ONE OF THE angriest responses I received came from a writer who was educated in Orthodox schools. He railed against a religious system "which openly disdains western civilization and the rule of law, and which settles its own disputes through corrupt courts that lack all transparency."

If this were only the criticism of a few disgruntled outsiders, I would hesitate to print or discuss it. But there's no use pretending that this is not a debate within Orthodoxy itself. Important rabbis regularly ask whether the community has the ability to investigate charges of child abuse. In discussing the rise of Chabad-Lubavitch, Orthodox thinkers ask whether God's will is best served in inward-looking communities, or in "outreach" to the non-Orthodox masses.
And some Orthodox Jews are warning about the costs of haredi insularity. At the Web site Cross-Currents, written by Orthodox rabbis and activists, Yitzchok Adlerstein, director of interfaith affairs for the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says this about the Spinka scandal:

"Insularity has its merits, but it seems to come at a price as well. Part of that price is living in a time warp, where little has changed from hundreds of years ago, and all non-Jews are assumed to be cut of the same cloth. Those who promote insularity as a hedge against dilution of spiritual energy had better come up with a way of injecting a bit of an update in attitudes towards non-Jews and non-Jewish governments, or scandals such as the present one will continue to plague the community.... The bottom line is that if your children are absorbing inappropriate conceptions about the worthlessness of everything in the non-Jewish world, you had better modify their instruction. If not, you may be visiting them in prison some day."

Adlerstein's essay is a surprising example of public Orthodox self-criticism. But Orthodox readers who commented on his article seemed relieved the topic was out in the open. Nearly all applauded his frankness and seconded his call for teachers and rabbis to speak about "the need to reexamine issues of personal honesty and integrity."

I still think too many Jews bash the Orthodox out of malice and their own insecurity. It's clear, however, that there are few among us who wouldn't benefit from heshbon nefesh - a spiritual accounting - and a pledge to live up to the ideals of Judaism, however we wish to express them.

The writer is editor in chief of the New Jersey Jewish News. He blogs at

Vt. diocese settles abuse suit for $170k said...

Vt. diocese settles abuse suit for $170k
Case was to go to trial this week

By Associated Press | February 10, 2008

BURLINGTON, Vt. - Three days before it was to go to trial, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington agreed to pay $170,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by a man who blamed the church for his 1980 molestation by a priest.

The case, filed by John Perrotte, 41, of South Hero, centered on allegations that Alfred Willis, who has been defrocked, sexually abused Perrotte and that the acts caused Perrotte lifelong pain. The diocese didn't dispute Perrotte's contention; Willis, who now lives in Virginia, settled out of court with Perrotte for what his lawyers say was a "modest amount."

The settlement was reached Friday. Perrotte's case was to go to trial tomorrow.

It's the fifth such settlement in priest sex-abuse cases involving the Diocese of Burlington. The biggest one was for $965,000, in 2006.

The diocese faces 24 other sex abuse lawsuits.

"Bishop Salvatore Matano deeply regrets any hurt that John Perrotte has experienced because of the actions of Alfred Willis," the diocese said in a statement released by church lawyer Kavi Shahi. "The Bishop sincerely prays for John Perrotte and all victims of sexual abuse."

Perrotte's lawyer, Jerome O'Neill, said his client wanted an apology from the diocese.

"He was frustrated that the diocese was unwilling to take responsibility for what it did to put Willis in a position to molest him, but he is relieved to have all this behind him," O'Neill said.

According to court papers, Willis was removed from St. Ann Church in Milton in 1980 amid complaints about his sexual conduct with boys.

The bishop at the time, John Marshall, knew about Willis's conduct with boys at St. Anthony's Church in Burlington when Willis was assigned to St. Ann Church, according to church records.

But he didn't tell the Milton parish until irate parents took their concerns to St. Ann's pastor, according to church records.

In a deposition, Perrotte said he was 13 when he met Willis in 1979 and that Willis molested him as they slept together in a tent at his parents' home.

In the first sex case against the diocese to go to trial, a jury found in December that the diocese failed to adequately supervise Willis, but said that under the statute of limitations, Turner should have brought the claim by 1998.

Rabbi Shlomo Mandel said...

The church should have just denied and made believe the abuse never happened. That's what I did trying to cover up abuse at Yeshiva of Brooklyn by my buddy Yudel Nussbaum.

The Arizona Daily Star
Published: 02.10.2008

Clergy abuse victims to get more money
By Stephanie Innes
In 2002, the year a crisis involving sexual abuse of children by priests erupted in the Catholic Church locally and nationwide, the Tucson diocese reached a $14 million settlement with 10 men who said they were abused by four local clergy members during the 1960s, '70s and '80s.
The local diocese has since created an office specifically for child, adolescent and adult protection; launched training sessions introducing a new code of conduct and reminding employees of Arizona's mandatory child-abuse reporting law; appointed representatives to monitor compliance at each of the diocese's 75 parishes and its schools; and created a new application process for all prospective employees and volunteers for parishes and schools.
The diocese also has made public a list of 30 priests, two deacons and one nun with credible allegations of abuse against them.
On Sept. 20, 2004, the diocese filed for federal Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the face of 22 lawsuits alleging sexual abuse of children by priests. The reorganization process was completed one year later.
Twenty-six victims of sexual abuse by local Catholic clergy will be getting more money.
The payout brings the total per-person settlement money for five men who say they were abused by a priest in Yuma to more than $900,000.
The extra money comes after a federal judge ordered the release last week of $1 million from a $5 million "future claims" fund, in connection with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson's Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization.
The money had been set aside for future claims by people who said they were sexually abused as children by clergy. But as time goes on and the money remains largely untapped, the court is releasing some of it back to existing victims.
Of that $1 million payout, $800,000 will go to people whose claims of abuse were deemed valid in the bankruptcy case. The other $200,000 will go to the diocese, to pay for programs that support sexual abuse prevention, said diocese bankruptcy attorney Susan G. Boswell.
The payout means an additional $54,000 each to five men in "tier four" of the victims' category in the reorganization — the category the court deemed most serious.
The five say they were abused by the Rev. Juan Guillen in Yuma between the late 1980s and 2002. The extra $54,000 will bring their total settlement amount to $927,639 apiece, minus legal fees. Lawyers' fees are typically 33 to 40 percent of the settlement amount.
Those five men, who range in age from 19 to 30, are eventually expected to receive total payments of more than $1 million apiece.
"Having money in the bank lowers stress and increases their options and adds security," said attorney Lynne M. Cadigan, who represented a majority of the 56 people who received payouts in the bankruptcy reorganization, among them all the Yuma claims.
"For them to get $1 million each is comparable with the rest of the settlements around the country, and we are in a state with a strict statute and in a relatively poor diocese," she said.
Cadigan added that the victims she represented were by and large from economically poor families and that the money is giving them opportunities, such as going to college.
The total settlement pool was $22.4 million, created as a resolution to the diocese's bankruptcy case.
The diocese filed for bankruptcy protection in 2004 in the face of potentially expensive litigation concerning sexual abuse by priests. The bankruptcy reorganization was completed in 2005.
Including last week's added payout, roughly $16 million to $17 million of the pool money will have been distributed, Boswell said.
The remainder of the settlement pool is on reserve for litigating disputed claims, for future claims by people who may be suffering repressed memories and for claims by people who are not yet 18, said Thomas A. Groom, who chairs the bankruptcy case's tort claimants' committee.
Groom says the remaining $4 million of the future claims fund will be released at the discretion of the federal court.
In accordance with the bankruptcy plan, the diocese receives 20 percent of any remaining future claims funds with the other 80 percent going to victims.
Groom is among those who will be getting an extra payment. He is part of a group of claimants in tier three of the settlement, whose per-person total settlements will top $500,000, minus legal fees, with the most recent payout.
Both Groom and his brother, now both in their 50s, filed claims that they were sexually abused by the Rev. Robert Gluch at a church in Phoenix during the 1960s, when Phoenix churches were part of the Diocese of Tucson.
Groom's brother is one of 20 people who received "compromise claims" of $15,000 apiece. The diocese gave those to people whose claims were barred by the statute of limitations but whose allegations of sexual abuse appeared valid.
Groom said he was a 13-year-old altar boy when he was abused by Gluch. Gluch died of cancer in 1993 at age 56. He worked at St. Gregory from 1964 to 1968.
Groom has struggled with anger problems, particularly when it comes to authority figures. He has had bouts of sadness and questioned his faith. His wife wonders if stress from repressing memories is what caused him to have heart trouble that resulted in triple bypass surgery when he was 50.
"It has taken a lot of pressure off of me," Groom said of the settlement he received.
Cadigan and others involved with the case have praised the diocese and its attorneys for emerging from bankruptcy and settling with the victims within a year of filing.
In 2002, the year a crisis involving sexual abuse of children by priests erupted in the Catholic Church locally and nationwide, the Tucson diocese reached a $14 million settlement with 10 men who said they were abused by four local clergy members during the 1960s, '70s and '80s.
The local diocese has since created an office specifically for child, adolescent and adult protection; launched training sessions introducing a new code of conduct and reminding employees of Arizona's mandatory child-abuse reporting law; appointed representatives to monitor compliance at each of the diocese's 75 parishes and its schools; and created a new application process for all prospective employees and volunteers for parishes and schools.
The diocese also has made public a list of 30 priests, two deacons and one nun with credible allegations of abuse against them.
On Sept. 20, 2004, the diocese filed for federal Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the face of 22 lawsuits alleging sexual abuse of children by priests. The reorganization process was completed one year later.
● Contact reporter Stephanie Innes at 573-4134 or at

Rabbi and predator Ephraim Byrks said...

How Much Longer Are We Going To Tolerate Sexual Predators?
By Waleed PD Mahdini

Bandar Seri Begawan - The recent capture of a 39 year old local man, Khairul Hj Dagang, by officers from the Jerudong Police District and the Royal Brunei Police Force's Forest Rangers, who had escaped their custody after raping several women in the Bengkurong/Masin area, sent shockwaves through that immediate community for the fear that the escaped fugitive had put them through. Despite the persistent tenacity and quick coordination of the RBPF, his capture had already sadly left ugly scars permanently etched on the souls of the victims.

The question that many of us asked ourselves, not just those living in the area, but nationwide, was what can be done to make our women more secure?

Shouldn't we be, doing more to protect women against these sexual predators? And shouldn't it now be timely to introduce sterner measures to deter these predatory attacks in the future?

The Department of Community Development, of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (Japem) has stated that they have been recording an increase in-the number of sexual abuse cases over the years with crimes such as rape, incest, sodomy as well as women and children abuses.

As a result, by way of spreading awareness and educational tips to the public, they have been conducting roadshows by primarily targeting educational institutions as a means to protect our younger girls from these abuses.

Datin Hjh Adina Hj Othman, the Director of Japem, explained that from the department's experience, some of the abuse victims were not fully aware of their ordeal, especially in cases of incest.

Whilst we empathise with the victims of rape and incest, shouldn't we lend more support to better educate the public, and at the same time, make it very clear to would-be perpetrators that this country, which prides itself on being law-abiding and devout to the teachings of Islam, must now mete out sterner punishment for these unforgivable crimes of passion.

We still hold firm to our traditional' culture and values, that remain strong after six hundred years, whilst most of the developed countries shun theirs due to the perception that it is an impediment to economic development.

So how is it, that in most of these advanced countries, rapists, pedophiles and women and children abusers are the ones who face the most risk from fellow prisoners during their incarceration.

This just goes to show that despite their cultural nihilism, their ethical values, even those in prison, loathe and detest predators who prey on the weak and the young.

But it seems that here in Brunei, judging from media reports that have been made on cases of incest and rape offenders, the punishment that they receive does not exact the satisfactory measure of justice for the crimes committed.

We still hear of fathers, brothers, uncles, and even grandfathers preying on their innocent young.,

In fact, from the media's point of view, the cases are kept so silent, that one begins to wonder whether the authorities are trying to keep quiet about it. And for what? Why? For casting our society in a negative light? Sweeping it under the rug is doing more actual harm than good.

Japem has been doing a tremendously laudable job by carrying out these informative roadshows as well as setting up an abuse hotline, 141. The RBPF too, for that matter, in apprehending the serial rapist. But shouldn't our justice system take a long hard look at our society and finally decide that enough is enough and send this clear message out soon that we will not tolerate these kinds of crimes any more?

Remember that when we choose the lesser of two evils, always remember that it is still an evil. And we owe it to all the victims of sexual crimes as we remember this.

For the victims that were violated by the Bengkurong/ Masin serial rapist, as well as the many innocent others before them, not to, mention the undeserving victims of incest, despite the generosity and support that family and government have poured out towards their rehabilitation back to some semblance of normalcy, the reality is, that until society enforces a stronger punishment against the offenders for stealing away their priceless innocence, their modesty, their dignity and their self-respect, no amount of encouragement or support will ever be enough to coax back forgiveness from their family members or self-healing from the victims themselves.-- Courtesy of The Brunei Times

exposemolesters said...

Baruch Hashem!

International Herald Tribune
Israeli court approves extradition of US Orthodox Jew wanted for sexual attacks

The Associated Press
Sunday, February 10, 2008

JERUSALEM: An Israeli court on Sunday approved extradition to the U.S. of an American Orthodox Jew wanted on suspicion of multiple sexual attacks two decades ago, the Justice Ministry said.

Abraham Mondrowitz, 60, a member of the Gur Hasidic Jewish sect, was arrested in Jerusalem in November for allegedly abusing dozens of children at his unlicensed private clinic at his Brooklyn, New York home during the 1980s. He fled to Israel in 1985 as police were investigating charges against him.

Israeli Justice Ministry spokesman Moshe Cohen said the Jerusalem District Court approved the extradition order, but Mondrowitz has the right to appeal.

Court spokeswoman Tal Rosner said the state would make the final decision about whether to extradite Mondrowitz, who could appeal to the Israeli Supreme Court against Sunday's ruling.

Last September, the United States resubmitted an extradition request first made in 1985, months after Mondrowitz fled Brooklyn for Israel.

The renewed U.S. request came after Israel and the United States amended their extradition treaty to include all crimes whose punishment is more than one year imprisonment, according to the Israeli state prosecutor's office. Before the change that took effect a year ago, the extradition treaty between Israel and the United States did not include sodomy.

exposemolesters said...

Av Arachamim. Thank you!

w w w . h a a r e t z . c o m
Last update - 22:03 10/02/2008
Court rules to extradite alleged U.S. serial molester Mondrowitz
By Ofra Edelman, Haaretz Correspondent

Alleged child molester Avrohom Mondrowitz can be extradited to the United States, the Jerusalem District Court ruled on Sunday.

Mondrowitz, a member of the Ger Hassidic sect in Brooklyn who posed as a rabbi and psychologist specializing in treating troubled children, fled to Israel in 1984 as New York law enforcement authorities were preparing to arrest him.

In 1985 he was charged with sodomy and other sex crimes against five minors, aged 9 to 15, from the ultra-Orthodox community in Brooklyn. The case first came to light after a report in Haaretz Magazine (November 17, 2007).

The U.S. Justice Department twice applied for his extradition, but legal hurdles prevented this until now. The first extradition request was denied because at the time, 22 years ago, sodomy was not an extraditable offense under the IsraeliAmerican extradition treaty.

The treaty was amended in January 2007, making it possible to extradite anyone who has been charged with a crime that carries more than a one-year prison sentence.

The U.S. submitted a second extradition request in September 2007, and two months later Mondrowitz was arrested in Jerusalem.

In Sunday's court decision, Judge Nava Ben Or ruled that since legal reasons prevented bringing Mondrowitz to justice, the statute of limitations on the crime with which he was charged stopped running the moment Mondrowitz arrived in Israel.

With the statute of limitations still valid, she ruled, he can be extradited to the U.S.

Related articles:
# Court rules alleged U.S. pedophile Mondrowitz must stay in custody
# 'I planned to murder Mondrowitz'

Hillary Clinton said...

Obama, I have a message for you. If you continue sweeping me like this - I will go on the attack again. There's always the 'cry me a river' method which I can work to my advantage. Gullible voters always fall for that trap.

The New York Times
February 11, 2008
Obama Wins in Maine; Clinton Replaces Her Manager

VIRGINIA BEACH — Senator Barack Obama racked up his fourth decisive victory this weekend, winning the Maine caucuses on Sunday, as Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton replaced her campaign manager and longtime aide in the biggest shakeup of her campaign to date.

In a fast-paced day of striking contrasts, Mr. Obama showed new confidence as he soaked up the roar of his crowds, drawing a crowd the campaign estimated at 18,000 people to a convention center here. He referred only in passing to his victory in Maine, where he won 59 percent of the vote in a state that Mrs. Clinton had thought could be hers.

Mrs. Clinton, meanwhile, replaced Patti Solis Doyle, who led her campaign since it began last year and whom she regarded almost as an adopted daughter. In her place, she named another longtime aide, Maggie Williams.

The switch occurred at a time when Mrs. Clinton has found her campaign in a slump, coming off a split victory in a multistate round of nominating contests on Feb. 5 and losing badly in a string of state caucuses that relied on a high level of on-the-ground organizational skills at which the Obama campaign excelled.

At the same time, she suffered a setback over money, although in recent days the campaign has boasted of a $10 million month and many new donors.

The replacement of Ms. Doyle was in part a signal to donors and other supporters that the campaign was regrouping and was poised to right itself.

The shake-up came as Mrs. Clinton’s sliver of hope for February, in Maine, disappeared. She had been hopeful because Maine’s demographics — blue-collar voters, who are older and make less than $50,000 — fit the profile of voters who have supported her elsewhere.

But Maine is a caucus state, and Mr. Obama has won almost all caucuses, which depend on deep organization and a passionate following. With turnout high, despite heavy snow throughout the state, Mr. Obama won big, 18 points over Mrs. Clinton.

Speaking later at a rally in Virginia Beach, Mr. Obama acknowledged his latest victory.

“We won by a sizable margin in Maine and I want to thank the people of Maine,” he said to the cheers of thousands of people. “We have now won on the Atlantic coast, we’ve won in the Gulf Coast, we won on the Pacific Coast and we won in between those coasts.”

On top of it all, Mr. Obama beat out Bill Clinton for a Grammy, winning the spoken word award for the audio-book version of his memoir, “The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream.”

At the same time, the Clinton camp confirmed that Mrs. Clinton had met secretly with former Senator John Edwards on Thursday in North Carolina. Mr. Edwards, who has dropped out of the race, has not made an endorsement. But Mr. Obama is scheduled to meet with him too, on Monday night, according to Obama allies, and is also flying to Mr. Edwards’s home in North Carolina.

The fact that both candidates are taking time out of their campaign schedule to meet with Mr. Edwards is a measure of their competitiveness for his support as the race comes down to a state-by-state battle for delegates and, as important, momentum.

Mr. Obama’s victory in Maine — after decisive victories Saturday in Louisiana, Nebraska and Washington State — positioned him to run the table this month until the calendar flips to March. At that point, the campaign moves to Ohio and Texas, where polls suggest that voters are more favorable to Mrs. Clinton.

On Sunday, Mrs. Clinton did not mention the weekend’s nominating contests, focusing instead on Senator John McCain, the likely Republican nominee.

In Manassas, Va., where 1,500 people filled a gymnasium to capacity and 2,000 people waited outside, she told the audience that she was the strongest candidate on homeland security and foreign policy.

“If Senator McCain is the nominee for the Republicans, as it appears he will be,” she said, “you know that they will do everything in their power to make this election about national security, about homeland security, and that is exactly what will happen.” She said she could win that fight.

At his rally, Mr. Obama, too, focused on Mr. McCain.

“He is a genuine American war hero,” Mr. Obama said. But, he said, Mr. McCain “has decided to saddle himself up with George Bush.” “We need a candidate for the Democrats who will offer a clear contrast,” Mr. Obama said, not mentioning Mrs. Clinton. “Are we going to go backwards or are we going to go forwards?”

Meanwhile, Mr. Obama intensified his criticisms of Mrs. Clinton — and her husband — saying that when Mr. Clinton was president Democrats lost at every level of government, and that Mrs. Clinton could not bridge the nation’s political divide.

“Senator Clinton starts off with 47 percent of the country against her,” he said in response to a question in Alexandria. “That’s a hard place to start.”

Mr. Obama said the Clintons had been unable to assemble a working majority in Congress in the 1990s, when Mr. Clinton was president.

“She’s a smart person, she’s a capable person, she would be a vast improvement over the incumbent,” he said in response to a question at a rally with 3,000 people, with 1,200 more listening in an overflow room. “What is also true is, I think it’s very hard for Senator Clinton to break out of the politics of the last 15 years.”

Mr. Obama said the country was divided politically, with about 47 percent on each side and the rest in the middle and that Mrs. Clinton would be unable to bring people together.

“You battle it out and you never actually even if you win, you don’t have a working majority for change and the Congress doesn’t change,” he said. “Keep in mind, we had Bill Clinton as president when, in ’94, we lost the House, we lost the Senate, we lost governorships, we lost state houses. And so, regardless of what policies they wanted to promote, they didn’t have a working majority to bring change about.”

Mr. Obama said he would be able to create a working majority because he did not “demonize” his opponents and because he had been able to attract independents and Republicans.

Mrs. Clinton was campaigning nearby at the time and dealing with the resignation of Ms. Doyle and the announcement of Ms. Williams as her successor. Ms. Williams was her chief of staff when Mrs. Clinton was first lady, and was widely seen as someone who could deal frankly with Mrs. Clinton on the most sensitive matters.

Mrs. Clinton’s supporters were increasingly surprised that Mr. Obama had out-organized her in state after state, and those losses were adding to their concern.

Mrs. Clinton has explained her losses by saying that caucuses disenfranchise voters because their hours are limited and that she does better when a broader cross-section of voters can participate. But the stream of losses came at the same time that the campaign announced that it was low on money and had required a $5 million loan from Mrs. Clinton to keep going. The campaign has raised more than $10 million since Feb. 1, but the image of a campaign in trouble has lingered.

At the same time, Ms. Doyle had come into the campaign with a plan to build a vast online network of donors who can be tapped at any time for infusions of cash. That goal appears to have been achieved by the Obama campaign, while Mrs. Clinton continues to rely on big donors who months ago gave the limit, $2,300, to the primary campaign.

The campaign, too, was never supposed to go on this long. The campaign’s expectation was to wrap it all up by Feb. 5, but with Mr. Obama picking up states and delegates there is widespread anticipation that the race can continue through late spring, with even some thought that it will not be resolved until the Democratic National Convention in August.

The campaign had braced for a shake-up ever since Mrs. Clinton lost Iowa, but it was delayed because Mrs. Clinton unexpectedly won New Hampshire. At that point, Ms. Williams, a longtime friend of Mrs. Clinton’s, had been worked into the campaign structure along with Ms. Doyle, and over time “it just became untenable for both of them to be essentially sharing the same job,” as one campaign ally put it.

Some Clinton campaign advisers pointed out that Mark Penn, the author of “Micro-Trends,” is the campaign’s chief strategist and that Ms. Doyle had to operate within his plan, which some characterized as small bore and lacking the inspiration of Mr. Obama’s message. It was not immediately clear if other campaign aides would be replaced.

Some Clinton advisers rued the timing, noting that Matt Drudge referred to the switch on his Web site as the departure of the campaign’s “top Latina” — an emphasis on Ms. Doyle’s ethnicity that Mrs. Clinton does not need as she heads toward a Texas primary on March 4 and tries to court the state’s large Hispanic vote.

Julie Bosman contributed reporting from Manassas, Va., and John Harwood and Raymond Hernandez from Washington.

Senator Barack Obama said...

My hometown is chilly and below zero, but I am on a roll and sizzling hot. Hillary, first i'm going to step on you hard, and then I'm going to bury you in the polls.

Wind chill advisory issued, bitter below zero wind chills continue

February 10, 2008

The National Weather Service has issued a wind chill advisory Sunday night, with wind chills expected to remain 20 to 30 degrees below zero most of the night.

A wind chill advisory has been issued for Cook, McHenry, Lake, DeKalb, Kane, DuPage and Kankakee counties and will be in effect until 10 p.m. Sunday.

Temperatures Sunday night are expected to remain below zero, with a wind chill valuing as low as 22 degrees below zero. Winds are expected to be between 5 and 15 mph, the National Weather Service said.

After the Arctic chills have passed, Chicagoland will be hit with snow Monday, with a 60 percent chance of precipitation beginning after noon. With temperatures rising by Monday night, 3 to 5 inches of snow are possible, the National Weather Service said.

A snow advisory will be in effect from 3 p.m. on Monday until 12 p.m on Tusesday.

exposemolesters said...

Olmert should resign. Enough already!

w w w . h a a r e t z . c o m
Last update - 05:10 11/02/2008
Olmert, Barak want more time before ordering Gaza offensive
By Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff, Haaretz Correspondents

The injuries suffered by the two Twito brothers as a result of Saturday night's Qassam rocket strike on Sderot has still not sent the Israel Defense Forces into the Gaza Strip on a major ground offensive. Israel's political leadership remains unconvinced that the military plan will necessarily bring about a positive change to the situation along the border with the Strip.

In spite of the political pressure to take action, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Ehud Barak would like to maximize the room they have to maneuver before they order a large-scale military operation.

However, the direction of developments in recent weeks is clear. It is hinting more and more toward a direct confrontation, in the near future, between Hamas and the IDF. One of the main reasons for the escalation stems from the attempt by Hamas to establish a new deterrent against Israel.

Since mid-January, Hamas has operated differently in the Strip. It no longer uses short-term and irrational responses to IDF ground raids or air attacks. For each Israeli operation, especially if it involves a large number of casualties from the ranks of the organization, Hamas responds with a drawn-out rocket barrage of three to four days. At its completion, Hamas lowers the intensity, until the next round of violence.

The latest example of this occurred last week. On Tuesday, nine members of Hamas were killed in an IDF operation. Two days later, seven more Palestinians were killed, six gunmen and a civilian. Hamas fired, according to its press release, no less than 135 Qassam rockets and mortars between Tuesday and Saturday night, in addition to shooting from various smaller groups. On Sunday, Hamas stopped shooting.

The message: henceforth, every Israeli operation will result in a similar response. Hamas is hoping that Israel will agree, after repeated bombing of Sderot, to a tahdiye (calm) in the territories, and even believe they can bring about an end to the arrests that the IDF is carrying out in the West Bank.

Behind the Hamas decision lies the assumption that the Israeli leadership is wary of a large-scale ground operation. This is based on the traumatic experience of the Second Lebanon War and Israeli concern that it may suffer heavy casualties. Senior officials inthe Islamic organization believe that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is too concerned with his political future to risk initiating a broad IDF operation in the Strip.

The heated statements of Israeli ministers during Sunday's cabinet meeting were seen in the Strip as empty threats. Hamas' main concern is that Israel will now choose a campaign of assassinations against senior figures in the military wing of the group, but perhaps also political leaders. This explains the Hamas threats that they will react with attacks of unprecedented nature if their leaders are targeted.

The IDF's relative failure is evident when confronted with the main Hamas weapon ¬ the Qassam. Since the disengagement, a great deal of money and effort has been invested in the development of a doctrine and the means to quickly identify the launch of missiles and then strike at the crews launching them from the air and the ground. The results to date have been minimal, even in conditions of good visibility.

The operation by Golani soldiers in the northern Gaza Strip last week offered a glimpse into the reasons for these poor results. Hamas has begun launching rockets from crude underground silos, using timers - a method used by Hezbollah in Lebanon.

But when Hamas conducts its own internal assessment, it knows that its achievement have also been limited. Indeed, it has managed to terrorize an entire city, but it is not claiming the same kind of casualties that it did during the first three years of the intifada. And contrary to those years, its threat is not felt in the center of the country, nor has the Israeli economy suffered any significant consequences.

The main difference between the two sides now is the ability of their societies to absorb punishment and the different way they respond to casualties: the Palestinians are nearly resigned to their enormous losses, while in Israel even wounded children are a strategic problem.

At this stage, while the IDF is completing its preparations for a much more extensive operation, it seems that Israel will not divert significantly from its current approach: ground operations near the border fence, air strikes, assassinations (these will likely increase). Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi shares the view of Defense Minister Ehud Barak that there are still parts of the plan that are not yet complete, and only then will he be ready to give his full support for a broad offensive.

Related articles:
# Amir Oren / Between Gadot and Sderot
# Haaretz Editorial / Restraint is not possible
# PA negotiator Qureia warns IDF escalation in Gaza will hurt talks

Business Week said...

Valley Girl February 11, 2008,
Why We Should Mourn Yahoo
The Web giant will probably fall to Microsoft, and that's too bad, because it could have become the model for a new-media empire

by Sarah Lacy

To say that a lot has already been written about Microsoft's (MSFT) proposed Yahoo! (YHOO) takeover would be understatement in the extreme. But I'm offering my two cents anyway, from a perspective that's uncomfortably unique.

Starting on Feb. 11, I'll be spending part of my time as the Silicon Valley host of Yahoo Finance's new show, TechTicker. (Not to worry; I'll still be in print as's Valley Girl and as a contributor to Henry Blodget's SiliconAlleyInsider blog). Part live news cast, part video blog, TechTicker will cover the technology industry from Wall Street and Silicon Valley.

One guess as to what's the biggest story we'll be reporting right out of the gate.

It's not like reporters at other outlets aren't placed in similarly awkward positions. Consider The Wall Street Journal reporting on News Corp. (NWS), CNBC covering General Electric (GE), or BusinessWeek writing about The McGraw-Hill Companies (MHP). But the comparison only illustrates what I consider lamentable about Microsoft's irresistible bid for my new employer.

There's plenty not to like about Yahoo's predicament. I agree with those who have said this deal will go through. No, it's not a good thing for Yahoo, the Valley, or the Internet. And no, in the long run it may not do Microsoft much good either. I don't agree with Google's (GOOG) alarmist view that Microsoft will monopolize the Internet, but I am concerned Yahoo won't flourish under its new owner. I'm equally concerned that the best employees won't stay. But Yahoo didn't leave investors any other choice. Former CEO Terry Semel blew it, and current CEO Jerry Yang didn't do enough to help. Yahoo has simply run out of chances.
Snapped Up

Yet given my new role as a television journalist, I can't help but consider this deal from the media angle as well. And it's from that perspective that I find Microsoft's acquisition most troublesome—and tragic. Web companies revolutionized the way we distribute and consume news and information, yet none has been able to emerge as a standalone media titan.

MySpace was snapped up by News Corp. And as much as I'd like to think TechCrunch, Gawker Media, or even Digg could become the model new-media empire, they're more likely to get flogged to old media names. CNET Networks (CNET) may not long be able to resist pressure from the consortium of activist investors agitating for board control, and Time Warner (TWX) is still unraveling the debacle that was its takeover by AOL (, 2/7/08).

Yahoo is (or was) the closest we've come to creating a media empire on the back of the Web. Granted, the bulk of its content is aggregated, not homegrown. Yet that content is a big reason Yahoo draws hundreds of millions of visitors a month. Yahoo Finance is among the biggest personal finance portals on the Web, and some of the world's most prestigious publications depend on Yahoo for a big chunk of traffic. I'd argue Yahoo is the biggest force in media that's not called a media company.

This is one reason I took the job at Yahoo. Sure, I could have joined a hipper startup or a storied print publication. But the traditional media business is disintegrating and in desperate need of a new business model that supports high-quality journalism and makes money. People want the brevity of a blog, the vibrancy of video, and the in-depth reporting of magazines and newspapers—all via the Web. Yahoo was one of the few sites poised to bring those elements together, to put original and aggregated content in front of more eyeballs than a printed paper or TV screen could promise.

As a business, it's hardly Google-sexy, but Yahoo wasn't going to beat Google in search anyway. At least Yahoo was making money and growing. And if that, along with one of the largest audiences online, wasn't enough for Wall Street, will any public company ever have sexy enough numbers to become the next great media empire? Time was, they didn't have to. Media companies were frequently private, there were fewer activist hedge funds demanding over-the-top growth, and empires were often built by families who felt a thriving press was vital to national interests.

Not that I'm letting Yahoo off the hook. But as a reporter, I'm sad to see a media platform that could have been so promising turn into Microsoft's latest conquest.

Lacy has been a business reporter for 10 years, most recently covering technology for BusinessWeek. Her book on the new generation of Internet moguls and the rise of Web 2.0 will be published by Penguin Publishing in 2008.

Roger Clemens said...

Not only is Brian McNamee a crazy liar who has it in for me, but now he has to bring my wife into this? That shows he's desperate and would do anything to ruin my reputation and my chances of getting voted into the hall of fame.

you can find this article at:

Clemens, McNamee now have to stick to their stories
February 10, 2008

Mike Florio

As Roger Clemens and his former trainer, Brian McNamee, prepare for their much-anticipated Capitol Hill close-ups this week, the stakes riding on this he-said/he-said couldn't be higher.

One of these two men eventually could be going to jail.

For the naive and the sheltered out there, let's be clear on one thing: People lie under oath. It happens all the time. And the decision not to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth is rarely the product of a late-night soul-search. The roots of perjury are planted long before hands are pressed onto the front covers of Bibles. Witnesses lock into false stories when a controversy first arises, and they continue to dig their heels deeper and deeper into the quicksand as they repeat the fib to others. By the time any oath is involved, the only way to tell the truth would be to admit past lying.

For Clemens and McNamee, it's already too late to have a change of heart. Both submitted to sworn depositions in advance of their congressional testimony, locking them into their stories and preventing any 11th-hour epiphanies. One of them already has lied under oath. And the high-profile nature of this spat justifies a full-blown prosecution; otherwise, the message to the rest of us will be that there's no real penalty for perjury.

But who's telling the truth, and who isn't? For many disputes of this nature, the question depends on which of the two witnesses gives a more compelling account of the facts, and whether one of them projects body language and demeanor consistent with truthfulness - and whether the other one doesn't. It's an inherently subjective exercise, and the sad reality is that some liars are smoother than a waxed apple. And some honest people come across like a 5-year-old who denies raiding the cookie jar while crumbs are still dancing on his lips.

In some cases, the conflict is resolved by objective proof that corroborates one version of the events, and debunks the other. In this case, that objective proof possibly comes from a beer can full of biological waste. Specifically, McNamee kept syringes and vials and blood-stained gauze for at least seven years.

Sure, the notion that McNamee opted to hang onto such material seems more than a little creepy. But it's no more unsettling than a black cocktail dress with a certain presidential, um, quality that surfaced at about this same time in 1998 as part of the Monica Lewinsky mess. The mere existence of the soiled garment prompted an unexpected confession, and ultimately triggered an impeachment.

Ironically, Clemens' legal team now includes Lanny Breuer, who represented Bill Clinton in that debacle of a decade ago. Breuer claims that McNamee's decision to keep the evidence of steroids and HGH use by Clemens "defies all sensibility."

Actually, it makes perfect sense for a guy to want to be able to persuade others that he's not lying, and to save physical proof that would support his version. And it makes even more sense for Clemens' blue-suited sharks to take the opposing view. Regardless of the truth, the playbook requires the lawyers for Clemens to do whatever they can to discredit McNamee, and that process already has begun.

As to whether McNamee's evidence has any value, Clemens has yet to show publicly any sign that he's troubled by it. When he testifies this week, Clemens surely won't cave. Thus, absent a DNA test, there's no way to determine whether the proof is legit. But if Clemens is genuinely interested in exonerating himself, he should declare in no uncertain terms a strong desire to submit a blood sample.

The other side of the coin for McNamee is that, if he has manufactured the evidence, it's further evidence of his own guilt, not only in lying but also in giving to congressional investigators doctored proof. So Clemens actually should be eager to see a DNA test conducted, since doing so could result in McNamee's scheme being exposed.

This story still has plenty of chapters, and it's impossible at this point to predict where it all might lead. Still, what began as an effort by the Rocket and his team of lawyers to preserve his legacy is now an endeavor that ultimately could jeopardize his liberty.

Let's think about that for a second. Clemens could go from being regarded as one of the best pitchers in major league history to occupying a spot in the constellation of baseball's fallen stars somewhere between Pete Rose and Shoeless Joe. More important, he could end up spending plenty of time as an unwilling guest of the federal government.

Mike Florio, a practicing attorney, is a legal analyst for Sporting News.

International Herald Tribune said...

International Herald Tribune
Calls for tough action as more rockets hit Israel
By Isabel Kershner
Sunday, February 10, 2008

JERUSALEM: Israeli cabinet ministers pressed Sunday for sharper military action in Gaza after a rocket attack by Palestinian militants the night before seriously wounded two brothers, 8 and 19, in the border town of Sderot.

Dozens of residents of Sderot came to Jerusalem to protest what they said was government inaction in the face of the continued rocket fire. Joined by sympathizers, they sat down on the highway and blocked the main entrance to the city at midday before marching to the prime minister's office, paralyzing traffic on central routes.

The Israeli Air Force carried out a strike in Gaza late Saturday night against a Hamas operative in the south who the Israelis asserted was involved in weapons smuggling. Hamas said that one of its local commanders had been killed. Three other airstrikes were aimed against a militants' training camp and two weapons stores but caused no known casualties.

Meir Sheetrit, a minister from the governing Kadima party, said on Israel Radio that the army ought to "make an example, to take a neighborhood in Gaza and erase it" after warning the residents to leave.

Shaul Mofaz, another minister and a former army chief of staff, asked why the army had not yet hit Mahmoud Zahar, an influential leader of Hamas, the Islamic group that controls Gaza.

Thirteen Israelis have been killed by rocket fire from Gaza over the past seven years, many of them in Sderot. The attack Saturday caused an uproar in part because of the age of the boys who were wounded. The rocket caught them out in the street; the alert system sounded, but did not give them enough time to take cover. The younger boy has had part of one leg amputated, but his doctors said the condition of both brothers had stabilized by Sunday. About 40 rockets were launched Friday and Saturday, army officials said.

In remarks before a cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said "the outrage is natural, but it must be clear that outrage is not a plan for action."

He added that Israel was acting in a "systematic and orderly fashion over time" and will "continue to reach all the responsible terrorists including those who dispatch and operate them."

According to Olmert, the latest rocket assault came, among other things, in response to "very aggressive, vigorous and comprehensive action" by the army that has killed approximately 200 Hamas and Islamic Jihad militants and wounded hundreds more in recent months.

Among those killed was Zahar's son, Hussam, 21, a member of the military wing of Hamas. He was traveling with in a car that was struck by an Israeli missile last month.

Khaled Zahar, another of Zahar's sons, was killed in 2003 in an Israeli air raid on the family's house.

Despite pressure from some opposition politicians and residents of Sderot, the government has so far avoided giving a green light for a broad invasion of Gaza. Israeli security experts say such an action would exact a high price in lives on both sides and question what could be achieved.

But some ministers called Sunday for more decisive action. Avi Dichter, the minister for public security, said the government's handling of Sderot suffered from the same lack of clarity and purpose that marred Israel's war against Hezbollah in Lebanon in 2006.

A spokesman in Gaza for the Popular Resistance Committees, one of the groups that fires rockets at Israel, told the Israeli Internet site Ynet on Friday that worse was to come. He advised the residents of Sderot to evacuate the town "in order to ensure their safety and that of their children."

The demonstrators from Sderot entered Jerusalem with a mobile system that sounded the alert for incoming rockets and lay down on the road at regular intervals as they would during a rocket attack. Amotz Avreki, 22, a student at a yeshiva in Sderot, was carrying the twisted metal remains of an exploded rocket. "We came here to demonstrate because it is impossible to live this way," he said, adding that the government should "wake up."

Brooklyn Jew said...

I'm disappointed and angered by many of the actions and non-actions of the Rabbinic organizations. I feel they are hiding and burying many things the public ought to know. I'm surprised by how moronic Jews can act. This is not a game, children's' lives are at stake. The Rabbi's that deserve the least kovod receive the most. It can work Vice Versa too. I'm turned off by the whole so-called religious orthodox people; because they are the biggest violators of children and the most likely to sweep things under the rug. Proof is in the pudding. (not including the Catholic Church).

Ask the rabbi: said...

The Jerusalem Post Internet Edition

Ask the rabbi: Child of unmarried Jewish mother
Rabbi Chaim Brovender , THE JERUSALEM POST Aug. 21, 2007 is happy to announce the launch of its newest Ask the Expert column -- Ask the Rabbi, in cooperation with Rabbi Chaim Brovender, president of the ATID Foundation ( and Rosh Yeshiva of Web Yeshiva.

To read more about Rabbi Brovender, click here for Jerusalem Post columnist Barbara Sofer's June 22, 2007 article titled, "The Human Spirit: Synthesizing past and present," in which she details the Rabbi's achievements.

Or click here for the recent "In Jerusalem" profile.

Send us your questions

* * *

For Vol I-III Click here

For Vol IV-V Click here

For Vol VI-IX Click here

For Vol X-XII Click here

For Vol XIII-XV Click here

For Vol XVI-XVIII Click here


Q: My mother is suffering from Alzheimer's and my father is her main carer. Sometimes she think my father is her father and sometimes doesn't seem to know who I am. When she thinks she quite young, she can't grasp that her son has grey hair and is about to turn 60, older than she thinks she is. From the point of view of honoring parents, how does one best respond to these situations?

A: The miztvah to honor one's parent is considered very serious and obligatory even when demanding.

The Yerusahalmi (beginning of Peah) says: Honoring the father and mother is a very serious obligation.

In Massechet Kiddushin (31b) we are taught that "Honoring father and mother is compared to giving honor to Gd. It is well known that all three (father mother and Hashem ) are partners in the creation of the child.

The Rambam adds (Mamrim 5:1): "Honoring father and mother is a great mizva".

And in the Shulchan Aruch: (Yoreh Deah 240:1) "One has to be very careful in the fulfillment of the mizva of honoring father and mother.

None of this changes and the obligation may even be increased when the parent needs special care. The fact that your mother has strange ideas of reality because of the Alzheimer's does not change that fact. To the contrary, the situation gives more opportunities to do the miztva than were available when the parent was well and healthy. The question becomes what are the exact parameters of the new obligation and if they interfere with other obligations that the Torah has imposed upon us.

For example: I would like my mother to live in my home but my wife and or my children find this an impossible burden, what do I do?

If a shiduch is about to be broken because the sick parent takes too much time and effort and disrupts the household, what am I to do?

It is a great opportunity when a parent need ongoing care. The Torah wants us to accept the obligation happily.

Q: I have heard different views on whether I have to keep two days Yom Tov when I am in Israel. The chap who sits next to me in Shul has a flat in Israel and tends to use it for yomim Tovim. He therefore appears to be allowed to keep one day. Others I know have been told by their Dayan they can keep only one day. The general view seems to be that I must keep two days. If I'm in a hotel I keep two days, but if I'm with family and I have to keep Pesach one day longer it's awkward. I can't really afford hotels and I'm embarrassed to cause problems. What's your view?

A: Two days of Yom Tov for those living in the diaspora, when visiting Israel is an old question. In the days of the Bet Yosef, there was a special synagogue in Jerusalem that was opened only on the second day of Yom Tov and attended by the visitors. The Chacham Zvi, Rabbi in Amsterdam. wrote that there is no possibility of keeping two days in Erez Yisrael. The two day possibility existed only in the diaspora. The Rav Shulchan Aruch was also of the opinion that one day in Eretz Yisrael was the rule.

This discussion has been renewed in modern times when it has become very common for the diaspora Jews to travel often to Israel to own homes there, and to stay at times for long periods.

Many poskim disagree with the Chacham Zvi and say that it is question of minhag (tradition) and if they are returning to the place of the two-day minhag they should keep that practice in eretz yisrael. A minority side with the Rav and the Chacham Zvi.

In a particular case there are other factors that might influence the halachic decision and you should consult with your posek.

Q: My parents never got married since mom is Jewish and dad was catholic. I know that I'm a Jew since mom is, too. My question is: as far as I'm not a child of a married (Jewish) woman, is there anything that could disqualify me according to the traditions and/or the Jewish law?

A: There is nothing preventing you from being a serious and devoted Jew. I hope that that is you decision.

Q: I have discovered that my mother in law did not receive a halachically valid 'ghet' (divorce papers) and she has " remarried. (The ghet was issued by liberal non orthodox beit din in the United States.)

May I eat in my mother in laws home? Does she still have a chezkat kashrut ?

In all other ways she is seen by the outside world as being Orthodox. ( Schule affiliation, head covering etc.)

A: One should not jump to conclusions about important halachic status questions without investigating the situation carefully. As far as your mother in law's status I suggest that you clarify with a posek who knows the issues involved.

Your mother in law covers her hair and is formally orthodox; I assume that she does not question her status, and that her standards of kashrut should not be questioned.

Q: I just retired from 30+ years as a CIA clandestine operative where my work took me mainly behind the old Iron Curtain and extensively to the Middle East. I was, at times, ordered to takes a life by my commanders/country. Is it ever allowed to violate "Thou shall not kill?"

A: I can't relate to the past. The halacha directs us that we are obliged to protect ourselves from a rodef, a person who pursues us with intention to do serious harm. This can be extended at times to include people who are planning to do harm, and who have the where with all to inflict serious damage. I can't say about your situation but the possibility exists that your action was within the context of halacha.

Q: Armageddon is described in the Christian New Testament as a "Hebrew" word.
Can the Rabbi please indicate if this word can be split into 2 or 3 parts and what does the word signify in Hebrew?

A: Armageddon seems to be a difficult word whose source or root is unclear. Some associate it with the place name (found in the Bible) Meggido. This is possible.

Q: My next-door neighbor is a lady in her nineties. She has outlived her family and friends, and for the past three years has been in a Jewish Care nursing home. Her will, written about thirty years ago said she wanted to be cremated, and her husband was cremated some years back. She has told me repeatedly she does not want to be cremated, but the social workers say she has been declared mentally incapable of making decisions or a new will and her old will must stand. Jewish Care is under the orthodox Chief Rabbinate. Can the Rabbinate overrule the social workers?

A: Our assumption is that a Jew always wants to do the right thing. When the original will indicating cremation was written, that was done against her purer intention to do the right thing. It is important that all the information be brought to the attention of the local rabbinate and that they try to fight for the proper kind of burial. I imagine that your witness will be crucial; even if she is incompetent in most things she may be reasonable about others.

I wish you well on your efforts.

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Avi Shafran and Agudah said...

A Rabbi from a Conservative congregation? Do we as Jews mourn the loss of a non-orthodox Jew? Sounds like a good question to ask the most accepted posek of our generation. You know damn well who I'm referring to - the godfather of salami brains - hagoan Harav Yisroel Belsky Shlita.
Longtime S.J. Rabbi Albert Lewis dies

Courier-Post Staff


Rabbi Albert L. Lewis, a leader of South Jersey's Jewish community for 60 years, died Sunday at Virtua-West Jersey Hospital, Voorhees, of complications from a stroke.

Rabbi Lewis, who was the only pulpit rabbi at Temple Beth Sholom from 1948 until he retired in 1992, was 90.

He was the temple's rabbi emeritus and remained active there for the rest of his life.

"He was in the synagogue on Shabbat, and was in the office several days a week. When he walked into the building, everybody just perked up. He lit up the place," said Rabbi Steven Lindemann, senior rabbi at Beth Sholom.

A native of the Bronx, Rabbi Lewis came to Temple Beth Sholom as a student rabbi in 1948 and never left. He became spiritual leader of the Conservative congregation when it was in Haddon Heights and its membership included 50 families. When he retired in 1992, four years after the synagogue relocated to Cherry Hill, Temple Beth Sholom was serving 1,000 families.

"He lived until 90 1/2, full of life with his faculties to the end. It was a privilege to live with him and to know that he ended his life as he wanted, without pain and surrounded by his family," said Rabbi Lewis' daughter, Orahcq Lipsky of Jerusalem.

"He was the best -- as a human being, a father, grandfather and uncle. He was there for all of us whenever we needed him. He will be missed, but we have our memories," Lipsky said.

Rabbi Lewis graduated with a bachelor of arts degree from Yeshiva College, received a master of science degree in education from City College of New York and a master of arts degree in Hebrew literature from the Jewish Theological Seminary, where he also was ordained.

During his 44-year tenure as Temple Beth Sholom's pulpit rabbi, he served as vice president of the World Council of Synagogues and was president of the International Rabbinical Assembly in 1988. He led the first United Synagogue Youth pilgrimage to Israel in 1956, was the USY's Youth Commission chairman for five years, and lectured in homiletics for 10 years at the Jewish Theological Seminary.

He pursued further study at Dropsie College, now the Center for Advanced Judaic Studies in Philadelphia, and received an honorary doctorate from the Jewish Theological Seminary.

On a sabbatical year in Israel, he taught at Oranim Teacher Training Seminary.

Rabbi Lewis served as a correspondent for South Jersey's "Catholic Star Herald" newspaper during his sabbatical in Israel and wrote articles published in leading Jewish magazines and newspapers. He authored two books, "So It Isn't Perfect" and "What's Your Glory?"

As a congregational rabbi, he served on the board of the Bureau of Jewish Education as president of the Tri-County Board of Rabbis. With Rabbi Max Weine, he founded Midrashah (post-confirmation studies) and the Inter Congregation Hebrew High School.

For 15 years, Rabbi Lewis served as chaplain at Camden County Mental Hospital, part of the county's health and human service department at the Lakeland Campus in Blackwood.

Rabbi Lindemann called his predecessor an extraordinary man and spectacular rabbi who will be missed and remembered as a mentor to many rabbis, including himself, and to many congregants over the years.

"He was innovative, he was creative, but most of all, he touched people's lives. He had a capacity to talk to people and listen to people, helping them through his sensitivity and out of the tradition of Judaism that he so loved," Rabbi Lindemann said.

"Out of people's lives, he was able to extract lessons that they could hear and accept with a full heart. His memory will keep the synagogue going," he said.

Among his innovations at Temple Beth Sholom, Rabbi Lewis eliminated the Shabbat morning sermon, conducting commentary and discussion in its place, and encouraged congregants to ask questions and make comments during Torah study.

He inspired eight of his students, including two women, to become rabbis in Conservative, Reform and Orthodox institutions. Other congregants he inspired include Haddon Township native Mitch Albom, best-selling author of "Tuesdays with Morrie" and "The Five People You Meet in Heaven," now based in Detroit.

"Mitch is a child of the congregation who continued his relationship with Rabbi Lewis through the years. Whenever he was in town, he'd visit, and he will be at the funeral," Rabbi Lindemann said.

Albom cut short a vacation in France and was flying back today so he could deliver Tuesday's eulogy, said Marc Rosenthal, another Haddon Township native and Beth Sholom product who produces Albom's daily radio show at WJR in Detroit.

Rosenthal fondly recalled the rabbi who called him "maestro."

"He was my rabbi my entire life. For me, he was the first rock star. He was it," Rosenthal said.

"He made Judaism relevant, practical and entertaining. There was never a barrier between the rabbi and his congregation," Rosenthal said.

The radio-show producer recalled that when he and his wife were preparing to be married by Rabbi Lewis, the couple remarked that their jobs made it hard to sit down for Sabbath dinner on Friday nights.

"Rabbi Lewis told us to move the Sabbath to a different day. The important thing was that the family be together," Rosenthal said.

Rosenthal remembered how Rabbi Lewis came off the pulpit at services and invited everyone to participate in discussions.

"He loved to sing, he loved music, and everything he said was very sing-song and lilting, but very entertaining. He knew everybody by their first name, and touched everyone in a special way. It doesn't get better than that," Rosenthal said.

Rabbi Lewis is survived by his wife, Sarah (nee Einhorn) of Cherry Hill; a son, Rabbi Shalom Lewis of Marietta, Ga.; two daughters, Orah Lipsky of Jerusalem and Gilah Sietz of Cherry Hill; and seven grandchildren.

Relatives and friends are invited to Temple Beth Sholom, 1901 Kresson Road, on Tuesdaybeginning at 10 a.m. Funeral services will start at 10:30 a.m., with interment following at Cedar Park Cemetery in Emerson. Shiva (mourning) will be observed at the Lewis residence Tuesday from 2 to 5 p.m. and will resume at 7:30 p.m.

The family has asked that contributions in Rabbi Lewis' memory be made to Temple Beth Sholom, 1901 Kresson Road, Cherry Hill 08003; Jewish Theological Seminary, Development Office, Box 62, 3080 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10027; or Masorti, 475 Riverside Drive, Suite 832, New York, N.Y. 10115-0122.

Reach Barbara S. Rothschild at (856) 486-2416 or
Published: February 11. 2008 1:53PM

Lubavitcher said...

Chabad Lubavitch Global Network
Rabbi Zelig Sharfstein, Halachik Authority, Passes Away
CINCINNATI, OHIO -- (February 11, 2008)

( The international Chabad-Lubavitch community mourns the passing early Monday morning, of Rabbi Zelig Sharfstein, 79, of Cincinnati, Ohio.

Rabbi Sharfstein was a long time, distinguished member of the Executive Committee of Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbis.

Born in New York City on the Lower East Side, he was sent by the Lubavitcher Rebbe to Cincinnati in 1954, where, after the passing of the renowned luminary, Rabbi Eliezer Silver, he became Chief Rabbi of the Vaad Ha-Ir of Cincinnati in the late 1960s.

Rabbi Sharfstein, known for his erudite grasp of Jewish law and its practical application, was sought out by Chabad Shluchim, rabbis and lay individuals worldwide, for his halachik expertise.

He is survived by his wife, Rebbetzin Reba Sharfstein, his children:

Zev Sharfstein, Brooklyn, NY, Shiffy Landa of St. Louis, MO, Esti Gutnik of Sydney, Australia, and Mendel Sharfstein, Brooklyn, NY, and his brother, Rabbi Mottel Sharfstein, Brooklyn.

The funeral will leave at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow morning from Shomrei Hadas Funeral Chapel in Brooklyn, and pass by Lubavitch Headquarters at 770 Eastern Parkway at approximately 9:30 a.m.

Kings County District Attorney’s Office said...

Armed With New Treaty, Israeli Judge Orders ‘Rabbi’ Back to Brooklyn
by Ryan Thompson (, published online 02-11-2008

After 23 Years Abroad, Alleged Pedophile To Be Prosecuted

By Ryan Thompson
Brooklyn Daily Eagle

JERUSALEM — After two decades of asylum in Israel, the infamous Rabbi Avrohom Mondrowitz appears to be headed home — where he will be prosecuted for sex abuse and sodomy of children. On Sunday, a judge in Jerusalem ordered the Hasidic man who claimed to be a rabbi to be extradited back to Brooklyn, where he will face sex abuse and sodomy charges that were filed against him in 1984. Eluding police, Mondrowitz and his family fled to Israel 23 years ago where they have lived outside the reach of U.S. authorities ever since...

nydaily news said...
NY Crime
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Brooklyn rabbi accused of sexual abuse loses extradition battle

BY MATTHEW KALMAN in Jerusalem and DAVE GOLDINER in New York

Monday, February 11th 2008, 4:00 AM
Rabbi Avrohom Mondrowitz Matthew Kalman

Rabbi Avrohom Mondrowitz

An Israeli judge ruled Sunday that a disgraced Brooklyn rabbi accused of sexually abusing children more than two decades ago can be extradited to the U.S.

Rabbi Avrohom Mondrowitz, who fled to the Jewish state in 1984 to avoid prosecution, could now be headed back to Brooklyn within a matter of months to face sodomy and sex abuse charges.

"It's good news," said Michael Lesher, who represents several of the rabbi's alleged victims. "This order means he'll be on the way back to face trial."

Mondrowitz, 60, a married father of seven, could still appeal the decision to the Israeli Supreme Court, a move that could take nearly a year to resolve.

"There's still some work to be done," said Jerry Schmetterer, a spokesman for Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes. "We look forward to bringing him to justice in Brooklyn."

Mondrowitz was arrested last year after the U.S. and Israel agreed to broaden their extradition pact.

The rabbi argued that the statute of limitations had run out on his alleged crimes.

But Judge Nava Ben-Or ruled Mondrowitz should not benefit from fleeing prosecution.

"When someone is escaping justice it is only fair and reasonable that this period of time is not taken into account," said Gal Levertov, an Israeli Justice Department official.

Dressed in a long black coat and yarmulke, the shackled Mondrowitz sat impassively as the judge read his decision.

His wife and children sat behind him, but were prevented by two guards from touching or talking to him.

"I'm very proud of my kids. I'm always proud of my kids," Mondrowitz said to his family as he was led away.

"We're proud of you, too," one of his sons cried out.

Mondrowitz was once a popular child psychologist and youth counselor in Borough Park, where he was especially well-known among Hasidic Jews.

He fled to Israel after several boys filed horrific complaints claiming he sodomized them after befriending them or taking them on outings to amusement parks and movies.

One of Mondrowitz's victims told Lesher he was pleased that the rabbi is one step closer to facing trial for his alleged crimes.

"It's been a long time to see any sort of justice," Lesher said. "We feel we are tangibly closer now."

penetration scheinberg said...

I'm not opposed to Orthodox homosexuals, but I am machmir. If it's nogeah an inyen of penetration - then lechatchila si nisht erlich. But being oyver Bedi Eved, is nuch azach and is not so geferlich!

Gay Orthodox group emerges on Web
Matthew Wagner , THE JERUSALEM POST Feb. 11, 2008

A burgeoning, newly formed Internet community of male Orthodox homosexuals called Hod was keeping a low profile one day after recognition of same-sex couples as candidates for adoption sparked a wave of indignation among religious MKs.

Established just two weeks ago, there is nothing on Hod's Web site about the revolutionary decision published Sunday by Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz to allow the Welfare and Social Services Ministry to recognize same-sex couples as legitimate adoptive families; nor will there be in the near future.

"We are being watched with a magnifying glass right now," said 'Rabbi Ron,' perhaps Israel's only outwardly gay Orthodox rabbi, who helped establish Hod.

"We have to be careful not to ruin our relations with the Orthodox establishment. Besides, we are not at the stage where we can express our opinions about same-sex partnerships and families. Our battles are at a much more elementary level. We are trying to convince rabbis, educators, lay leaders and even the general public that homosexuality is not a mental sickness," he continued.

The breadth of the ideological>>>>

CHABAD said...

Self-Made Millionaire Who Supported Education Dead at 72

By Dovid Zaklikowski
Feb 11, 2008

Mel Landow, a self-made South Florida millionaire and benefactor of Jewish education in the region, died Feb. 4 after suffering a heart attack while playing a game of tennis. He was 72.

Born in 1926 in Philadelphia, the Boca Raton, Fla., businessman and author of How to Make a Million in Retailing, as well as other books, saw much of the countryside and the world by the time he was an adult. His father, Simcha Landow, supported the family as a cantor, and his job took him from synagogue to synagogue on one-year contracts. The search for work sometimes left the family without a livelihood for months on end.

By the time of his bar mitzvah in New York City's Coney Island, Mel Landow had already lived in Detroit, Philadelphia and the Bronx in New York. He said years later that, although the family lived through tough times, their home – wherever it was found – was loving and warm. He once wrote that he learned from these early childhood experiences that "a strong religious belief" portends a good future.

Moshe Cohen said...

Israeli Court Extradites Brooklyn Man

By Associated Press
February 11, 2008

JERUSALEM — An Israeli court yesterday approved extradition to America of an American Orthodox Jew wanted on suspicion of multiple sexual attacks two decades ago at his New York home, the Justice Ministry said.

The 60-year-old man, a member of the Gur Hasidic Jewish sect, was arrested in Jerusalem in November after being accused of abusing dozens of children at his unlicensed private clinic at his Brooklyn home during the 1980s. He fled to Israel in 1985 as police were investigating charges against him.

A spokesman for the Israeli Justice Ministry, Moshe Cohen, said the Jerusalem District Court approved the extradition order but the man has the right to appeal.

A court spokeswoman, Tal Rosner, said the state would make the final decision about whether to extradite the man, who could appeal to the Israeli Supreme Court against yesterday's ruling.

Last September, America resubmitted an extradition request first made in 1985, months after the man fled Brooklyn for Israel.

The renewed request came after Israel and America amended their extradition treaty to include all crimes whose punishment is more than one year's imprisonment, according to the Israeli state prosecutor's office. Before the change, which took effect a year ago, the extradition treaty between Israel and America did not include sodomy.

SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) said...

Victory over molester can inspire others:

Congratulations to William Picher (article, Jan. 29) who found the strength and courage to take legal action against the priest who molested him. His victory over Father Raymond Melville shows that when victims come forward, at least in some instances, predators are exposed, kids are protected, and justice is done.

We hope Picher's example will prod others who have been sexually abused as children to get help, speak up, and take steps to warn parents about other pedophile priests.

David Clohessy, national director

SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests)

St. Louis, Mo.

Bakersfield Lodge said...

Molester Motel: Part Two

This morning on 17 News at sunrise, you heard about the stacking of 20 sex offenders in the same south Bakersfield motel.

Neighbors say it's too close to their homes and kids, and they're angry they weren't informed by the Parole Department first.

Alfred Coleman is a convicted child molester living at the Bakersfield Lodge who says he's trying to move on with life.

But in the new world of online registries, the stigma of being a sex offender is hard to shake.

"I guess it's the only place they can put us," Coleman told 17 News reporter Kiyoshi Tomono.

Coleman is philosophical about being stuck in the motel off Union avenue with 19 other registered sex offenders on parole.

I was that was years ago, but I'm not that way no more," Coleman said. "Actually, I'm just trying to get on with my life and start over again and do what I have to do."

Many of the offenders living at the Bakersfield Lodge are child molesters in the high risk category.

There's too many there, there's too many kids in our neighborhood, said area resident Leticia Chavez. "God forbid, there is anything happening to one of our kids."

Under Jessica's law passed by voters two years ago, the offenders' every move is tracked by GPS ankle bracelets.

"They come out here and check what you're doing," Coleman said. "I have to wear this thing right here, in order for them to monitor me.

Coleman was charged with a lewd and lascivious act with a child under the age of 14, a crime he committed 20 years ago.

"What you've done in the past should be marked off, go ahead live your life, as the way a normal person would live," Coleman said.

But many of the motel's neighbors say they can't live a normal life either.

"Twenty is a little ridiculous," Chavez said. "Can't they find another place for them?"

In some cases, the answer is no.

Jessica's Law prevents offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a school or park.

In this case, the Bakersfield Lodge is farther than that from Sequoia School, Wayside Park and Casa Loma elementary.

With appropriate places at a premium, the parole department has turned to packing numerous offenders in the same location.

"I have three other complexes i am working on right now. I would rather have three, four or five rather than two," said parole district administrator John Bailey.

"I can sleep at night with that, and like I said, I sleep here in Bakersfield. I can sleep with that," he continued.
As for Coleman, he's unsure about where he goes from here.

"It makes you feel not wanted in the neighborhood," Coleman said. "That's the way I feel."

rabbi ephrayim byrks said...

Alleged child molester freed on bail

Christine Kellett | February 10, 2008 - 7:09AM
Stop accusing me of things you cannot prove. I can sue your ass you know.

A man accused of stalking a 10 year-old girl around a Brisbane shopping centre before repeatedly molesting her while her mother stood by has been released on bail.

The 35 year-old, of Holland Park, appeared in the Brisbane Magistrates Court yesterday on charges of unlawful stalking, indecent assault and three counts of indecent treatment of a child under 12.

Police said child was with her mother at Upper Mount Gravatt shopping centre, in the city's south, about 5pm on Tuesday when she was followed into three separate stores and touched inappropriately on the bottom.

A second complaint was made by a woman about a similar incident at the same shopping centre just 15 minutes after the girl's alleged attack.

The man fled but was eventually arrested after store security footage was released to the media.

He was freed on bail yesterday and will reappear in court on March 3.

Avrohm Mondrowitz said...

I want this judge to preside over my case.

Girl's molester gets no time
4-year probation for Garrett man's years of abuse
By Rebecca S. Green
The Journal Gazette

An Allen County judge handed out a suspended prison sentence Friday for a 38-year-old man who admitted to molesting a young girl in 2000.

The sentence – four years’ probation – was part of a plea agreement reached with Brian K. Smith, of Garrett, after he pleaded guilty to two charges of Class C felony child molesting last month. The first two years of probation will be served on the community control program. Three additional charges of child molesting were dismissed at sentencing by Allen Superior Court Judge Fran Gull.

During the investigation, the girl told police Smith molested her “every day of the week” when her mother was at work, with the first molestation occurring in the summer of 2000. The molestations stopped in January 2004 when her mother said they would be moving out of his home.

Peter Maxwell Stewart said...

Justice Panckhurst said the indecency offences had happened first, involving touching, masturbation, and one of oral contact. The sodomy on the girl had been "thankfully a single and isolated incident" when she was aged about 13, and had caused bleeding.

exposemolesters said...,23599,23199899-29277,00.html

'Don't dismiss' childrens' abuse talk

February 12, 2008

AMID the grim statistics revealing the rate of child sexual abuse in Australia, there's one figure that particularly sticks in Bernadette McMenamin's craw.

That's the estimated 31 per cent of Australians who say they wouldn't believe a child if they confided they were being abused.

"It's like, 'I don't want to go there'", said Ms McMenamin, who founded a child protection charity in Thailand in 1992.

"They could be alerted to it by indicators ... or a child discloses, which is very rare, and they do nothing.

"We have to create a culture where children feel safe to speak up."

Ms McMenamin's charity, now active in more than 70 countries, is known in Australia as Childwise.

It will today launch a new national campaign to educate parents and to target those adults who could dismiss the word of a child abuse victim.

It is estimated that as many as one in four girls and one in seven boys are victims of child sexual abuse in Australia.

Ms McMenamin said those children should only have to muster the courage to alert one adult before they are given help.

The campaign's theme is "Speak Up About Child Sex Abuse - because often they can't".

"Australians are completely unaware of the extent of child sexual abuse, it's a hidden epidemic," Ms McMenamin said.

"There has been a lot of attention on the indigenous epidemic of child sexual abuse - what we're trying to say here is it's a national epidemic.

"This is a serious national problem with huge proportions of children being sexually abused, who will go on to lead a life that is not happy, or fulfilled.

"We can do so much more to prevent it."

The campaign will feature hundreds of thousands of posters, postcards and booklets which will be on display in childcare centres, schools, libraries and other public places used by parents and carers.

Free seminars will also be staged around the country during April and May, offering advice on how to find child-safe organisations, identify paedophiles and where to report abuse.

A survey of 720 adults conducted as part of the 2006 Australian Childhood Foundation report found 31 per cent of respondents said they would not believe a child's story about being abused.

On the question of whether sex involving an adult and a 14-year-old was abuse, 16 per cent also said they were "unclear".

One in five said they did not know what to do, or lacked confidence to act, if they suspected child abuse.

Ms McMenamin said flags that a child may be a victim of abuse include displaying unusually sophisticated sexual behaviour or knowledge, a drop-off in their performance at school, complaints of headaches or abdominal pain, problems sleeping or becoming withdrawn.

In almost all cases, the abuser was known to the child and they could be part of their family or extended family, school community, sports club or church.

Ms McMenamin also said some adults erred on the side of not reporting suspected child abuse because they felt, even if it was happening, the child "won't remember it".

"Well, we see through our doors every day - as all the sexual assault centres would - adult survivors of abuse who are suicidal who have struggled all their lives with this abuse," she said.

"People should believe children, it is rare that children lie (about abuse)."

More information and dates for the free seminars can be found at, and seminar participants must register by calling 1800 99 10 99.

protection agencies said...

Errors led to girl suffering more abuse by stepfather

Feb 12 2008 by Steffan Rhys, Western Mail

INVESTIGATION failures by several protection agencies contributed to a young girl being subjected to prolonged sexual abuse by her stepfather and stepbrother, according to a damning new report.

A Serious Case Review, published yesterday, looked into the roles played by organisations including Pembrokeshire County Council’s Child Care Service, and its Social Care, Housing and Education directorates, Dyfed- Powys Police and Pembrokeshire and Derwen NHS Trust.

The independent report highlighted several worrying shortcomings in the case, including:

The failure of the victim’s primary school headteacher to report to the police or social services that he had been told by another parent of serious sexual abuse in the family;

The classification of the case by social services as “low priority” despite the perpetrator twice standing trial (but being acquitted) on sexual offence charges;

A failure to properly interview other children living in the home, one of whom turned out to also be an abuser;

Archbishop Martin said...

"I wish to assure them, as well as priests and parish congregations, of my continued commitment to seeking the truth about the past.

exposemolesters said...

Colo. State Rep. Gwyn Green (D), the key sponsor of the bill, is a great human being with unbelievable courage. Hopefully, other states such as New York, will follow suit. It's a matter of time that they will, but we need people like you that care, to write our politicians and ask them to vote for a bill that is aimed at giving victims of childhood sexual abuse more time to sue both the abuser and the organization employing the abuser. Your voices do count. Mondrowitz is our catch of drek. Everyone who did their part shares in the credit for securing that justice has the last word!

Proposed Colo. Sex Offenders Law Sparks Controversy
By Joe Murray , The Bulletin

In a move that has created a political clash between advocates of victim's rights and defenders of the Catholic Church, a Colorado lawmaker has introduced a bill in the Colorado General Assembly aimed at giving victims of childhood sexual abuse more time to sue both the abuser and the organization employing the abuser.

"Most children who are abused by a person who is in a position of trust are not able to come forward until they are in their 40s, 50s, 60s," Colo. State Rep. Gwyn Green (D), the key sponsor of the bill, told The Denver Post. "And by then the statute has long since run out. Meanwhile, those pedophiles who assaulted them as children are continuing to assault other children."

Under H.B. 1011, the statute of limitations would be suspended for any new or recent incidences of sexual abuse and it would also open a window of opportunity permitting those abuse victims with tolled limitations to be able to file charges. The law, as written, would apply only to private institutions, such as a church, and not public institutions, such as a school.

"This has nothing to do with justice - it's pure politics," stated William Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.

Mr. Donahue explained that H.B. 1011 is strikingly similar to a bill Ms. Green attempted to pass in 2006. When opponents to the bill exposed the fact that it gave public schools a pass, controversy crushed the bill.

"When this was exposed as a witch hunt, the public schools were blanketed with the same legislation. But then the Colorado education establishment saw the handwriting on the wall and effectively killed the bill," Mr. Donohue explained. He also noted that the Colorado Catholic bishops, along with the Catholic League, supported the bill, so long as it was all-inclusive.

Ms. Green states that she learned her lesson last time and is drafting a bill that would strip immunity from public institutions. Such a measure will not be included in H.B. 1011 but will be introduced as its own bill.

Agreeing that sexual abuse of a child is an egregious sin, the Colorado bishops issued a statement asking, "What should Colorado's public policy be on civil lawsuits arising from such sexual abuse? And should two unequal kinds of justice apply: a soft version when the sexual offender works for a public entity and another, much harder version, when the offender works for a Catholic or private institution?"

For instance, under Colorado law the application of sovereign immunity sharply limits the rights of an abuse victim suing a public school district for abuse. Even if there is no sovereign immunity, the abuse victim of a schoolteacher must file an initial claim within 180 days or the claim could be void. And even after the administrative hurdle is complete, damages are capped at $150,000. No such limitations are present when a victim sues a private entity.

But Ms. Green said a bill to level the playing field will be coming shortly. Concerned Catholics question her credibility.

"Now Rep. Green is back, targeting only private institutions again, saying she will introduce another bill that will address public institutions. What a shell game: If there is to be no difference in liability for private and public institutions, then they can be treated equally in the same bill," stated Mr. Donohue.

Joe Murray can be reach at

Argentina said...,7340,L-3506083,00.html

Argentina: Conservative rabbi killed in car crash

Jewish community in Buoenos Aires mourns death of Ariel Korob; his wife still hospitalized. Jewish Agency emissary: His reputation preceded him in the community, both as a young and talented rabbi and due to his work as a Judaism researcher

Yael Branovsky
Published: 02.12.08
Israel Jewish Scene

The Jewish community in Argentina is in mourning. Ariel Korob, the rabbi of the conservative community which includes hundreds of families in Bueonos Aires, was killed Sunday in a car crash.

He was survived by his wife, who is still hospitalized in serious condition, and three children.

The accident took place Sunday evening, about 1,000 kilometers from the Argentinean capital. The family members were on a private trip when the car they were traveling in collided with a truck.

Korob, 37, was killed on the spot. His funeral was expected to take place in Bueonos Aires on Wednesday.

Yoel Schwartz, the Jewish Agency emissary to Argentina, told Ynet that although Rabbi Korob was relatively young, his reputation preceded him among the Jewish community in the country, both as a young and talented rabbi and due to his work as a researcher into Judaism.

Conservative Jew said...

For more than half a century, Rabbi William Berkowitz of New York, who died February 3 at 83, led free, public dialogues with prominent world figures and heads of state.

Starting in 1951, Berkowitz invited American and Israeli politicians, authors, artists, and thinkers to participate in public conversations that welcomed diverse points of view, a trait that also defined his tenure as a Conservative rabbi in New York City.

"He was really a bridge builder. He sought to move beyond superficiality and shallowness," his son, Rabbi Perry Berkowitz, said.

Anonymous said...

Hi EM. You are doing a wonderful service to Klal Yisrael. I have followed this and other blogs for a long time. I find it informative and precise. Keep doing what you do. We need more people such as yourself.

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It is unfortunate that it has come to this. It is a big darn shame it has come to this. It is very hurtful that it has come to this. But yet, IT HAS COME TO THIS. It has come at the price of a GREAT CHILUL HASHEM. It has come to Hashem having to allow his holy name to be DESECRATED so that his CHILDREN remain SAFE. Shame on all those responsible for enabling and permitting Hashem's name to be desecrated! When you save children you save the future. You save the future you save generations. You save generations you save lives. You save lives you have saved the world!!!!!!!