Sunday, March 16, 2008

Breaking: The Dream Team are set to bring down Kolko and the Moetzes.

BREAKING: Lawyers Against Kolko Seek Additional Victims; Trial Set For March 31

by Hella Winston
Special to the Jewish Week

Lawyers representing "several men" and "two young boys" who were allegedly sexually molested by a teacher at Yeshiva Torah Temimah in Brooklyn sent a letter March 13 to the families of more than 600 male students who had Rabbi Yehuda Kolko as an instructor.

The letter, from attorneys Jeffrey Herman and Michael Dowd, is "seeking any information that may be helpful to these important cases, including information that staff at Torah Temimah and/or [founder and head of school] Rabbi [Lipa] Margulies was aware of allegations against Rabbi Kolko."

According to the letter, "Two of the boys allege they were abused by Rabbi Kolko while attending the yeshiva during the past few years. Others allege they were abused by Rabbi Kolko at the yeshiva during the 1980s."

"[The letter] is part of our investigation," Herman told The Jewish Week Friday. "We are interested in speaking with families whose kids were with Rabbi Kolko at school and may have information that's relevant. We allege that there were complaints going back for decades about Rabbi Kolko.

"My sense is that the community is really coming around," Herman continued, "and that people [in the community] are much more willing to cooperate than they were a few years ago."

In December of 2006, Rabbi Kolko was arrested and indicted by a
Brooklyn grand jury on sexual abuse charges that involved a 6-year-
old boy and a 31-year-old man; the latter alleges he was abused by the rabbi
as a boy and again when he returned to visit the school in 2005.

Rabbi Kolko was arrested again in September 2007 on charges that he
molested a first grader at the school in 2005. Rabbi Kolko remains free on
$60,000 bail.

According to a spokesman for the Brooklyn District Attorney's office, preliminary hearings are set to begin in Rabbi Kolko's criminal case on March 31.

Over the past several years, YTT has been served with four civil lawsuits by five students. The most recent, filed in January 2007 on behalf of an underage "John Doe," alleges that the yeshiva covered up the abuse during the 2004-2005 school year, and seeks $10 million. The yeshiva has denied a cover-up.

"I have been deeply involved in cases involving child sexual abuse for the past 12 years," Dowd, who just joined Herman on the Torah Temimah case, told The Jewish Week Friday. "And whether it be the Boy Scouts or the Catholic Church, whoever does this to children, they have to be stopped, the children have to be made whole and the children have to be protected in the future.

"The only way you defeat evil in this world is by standing up to it," Dowd continued. "We are asking and appealing to the children of the community that have been subjected to this evil to come forward and confront this evil, which is to be condemned in the eyes of men and in the eyes of God. We protect the evildoers when we remain silent. There is no difference whether it be a priest or a Boy Scout leader, it's all wrong."

A message left for the attorney for YTT, Avi Moskowitz, was unreturned.

To view article:


APN Letter to America's Chief Rabbinical Associations said...

APN are idiots. They just don't get it. They expect us to just be killed and do nothing. That is not peace, that is acquiescence to terrorism. We will not sit idly by while amulek is destroying us!


APN today sent letters to America's chief rabbinical associations (those affiliated with the Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist movements), expressing alarm at the "hate-filled vitriol and the calls for violent revenge that are again emerging from some Israeli rabbis" and calling on U.S. rabbis to "raise your voices, loud and clear, against incitement and violence, against calls for revenge and acts of revenge, and in favor of responsible, law abiding behavior."

The letter was sent to:

* Rabbi Stephen A. Fox, Executive Vice President of the Central Conference of American Rabbis (Reform);
* Rabbi Richard Hirsh, Executive Director of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association;
* Rabbi Joel Meyers, Executive Vice President of the Rabbinical Assembly (Conservative);
* Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, Executive Vice President of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America.

Following is the full text of the letter. Please feel free to contact Americans for Peace Now Spokesman Ori Nir with any questions at:

Telephone: 202-728-1893 or

Here is the text of the letter, signed by APN President and CEO Debra DeLee and by APN Chair, Franklin Fisher:

Dear Rabbi,

Still horrified and outraged by the murderous terrorist attack at Merkaz Ha-Rav Yeshiva in Jerusalem last week, we are alarmed by the hate-filled vitriol and the calls for violent revenge that are again emerging from some Israeli rabbis.

Incitement, particularly when perceived as sanctioned by a religious authority, is akin to a loaded weapon. Regardless of what some politicians are saying publicly, many observant Israelis believe that rabbinical authorities have sanctioned violent revenge. According to some Israeli media reports, several of the national-religious spiritual leaders have done just that in private conversation with their followers.

While many Israeli rabbis spoke out against vigilantism, several alarming developments in recent days suggest that religious leaders are not doing their utmost to dissuade their followers from such actions:

* Placards posted in Jerusalem this week, signed by eleven rabbis practically call for revenge terrorism. "Each and everyone must imagine what the enemy is scheming to do to us and to match it measure for measure…" "Have no mercy for them because they have no mercy for you," read the pronouncement, which referenced the Book of Esther in calling on Jews to "strike those who wish upon them ill." Among the signatories to the street notice was Rabbi Yaakov Yosef, son of Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.
* Several organizations with a strong following among West Bank settlers say they are planning to invade the Palestinian village of Jabal Mukabbar and demolish the house of the terrorist who killed the Merkaz Ha-Rav Yeshiva students.
* Hours after the Yeshiva attack, the settlers' Council of Yesha Rabbis issued a statement saying that Israel's governments bear responsibility for the murder because of their "weakness" in the face of Palestinian terrorism.
* Minister of Education Yuli Tamir, on a condolences visit to the Merkaz Ha-Rav Yeshiva this week was verbally and physically attacked, kicked and spat upon, called a "murderer" and a "traitor."

Not too long ago, such rhetoric bred the assassination of an Israeli prime minister and encouraged the emergence of anti-Palestinian Jewish terrorists, such as the 2005 attack in Shfaram that killed 4 and the Purim attack in 1994 that killed 29 worshippers in Hebron's Ibrahimi Mosque.

This volatile moment calls for moral and spiritual leadership. It calls for the Jewish voices of conscience, for those immersed in Jewish law and in Jewish values to unite around a message of justice and respect for the rule of law, of respect for the authority and sovereignty of the Israeli government, of respect for human life.

As organizations that represent America's most influential rabbis, we call upon you to put aside political differences and raise your voices, loud and clear, against incitement and violence, against calls for revenge and acts of revenge, and in favor of responsible, law abiding behavior. Your opinion counts. Please make it heard so that this Purim can be one of joy and not one of blood.


Franklin Fisher, Chair
Debra DeLee, President & CEO
Americans for Peace Now

avi shafran and 42 broadway said...

We are against this. The only Jew is an orthodox Jew.

Non-Jews who immigrate to Israel under the Law of Return and wish to convert to Judaism will not be required to maintain an Orthodox lifestyle after the conversion, cabinet secretary Ovad Yehezkel has told The Jerusalem Post.

Anonymous said...

The "Moetzes" are a bunch of conceded lowlifes. I hope they fry kolko, Agudah, Margo, and anyone else involved in these cover ups.

looking forward to kolko going into the slammer said...

I hope Margo gets jail time. Yeshiva of Brooklyn and Shlomo mandel should be brought up on charges also. Yehuda Nussbaum molested me, and I know he did it to others too. I'm past the SOL and I wish something can be done to that hellhole.
Sex abuse shame of music star

Mar 16 2008 by Laura Kemp, Wales On Sunday

A SIXTIES pop star living in North Wales has been jailed for six years for abusing a young girl and downloading child porn.

Peter MacBeth, 71, of Trefriw, near Llanrwst, was founder member and bass player with chart-toppers The Foundations. Their hits included Build Me Up Buttercup and Baby Now That I Have Found You.

MacBeth eventually pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting the girl up until 2005, while she was between the ages of seven and 13, after initially denying the charge.

Mold Crown Court heard the traumatised victim, who was plied with alcohol by MacBeth during the abuse, had turned to sniffing petrol to escape from the horror of the attacks.

The court also heard the former star has terminal cancer and is expected to live three to five years.

But, sentencing him to six years imprisonment yesterday, Judge John Rogers QC said that fact had “very little weight compared to the damage you have done”.

MacBeth – who has lost his voice as a result of his cancer – had claimed he was downloading the porn as research for a book.

Arrested in June 2006, MacBeth told officers they would find images on his computer. There were about 500, which involved children from 15 years of age down to six months, included some disturbing images of sex between adults and children.

MacBeth said he did not feel that he could write with conviction without seeing what it was all about and claimed he found the images sickening.

He received five years for four offences of indecency, and a consecutive 12-month sentence for downloading the child porn. He was placed on the sex offender register for life.

Survivor said...

Brave sex-abuse survivor dedicating his life to helping others

Lisa Carty
March 16, 2008

BEN BLACKBURN is committed to trying to save children who are suffering at the hands of pedophiles.

Mr Blackburn, now 20, works for child-protection group Bravehearts.

After the conviction on Friday of Milton Orkopoulos on 28 child sex and drug charges, Mr Blackburn agreed to allow The Sun-Herald to identify him to show other victims that there was no need to hide away and that they must have courage to speak out. Mr Blackburn knows too well the pain of victims - or survivors, as Bravehearts calls them.

His first inquisitive but innocuous letter to Bravehearts, at a time when he was wrestling with his demons, gave little clue to his suffering.

Bravehearts research and policy officer Carol Ronken, a former Griffith University criminology lecturer, became his penpal.

"I assumed he was a survivor but I had no idea of his age or anything about his background," she said.

"We were opening the Sydney office and we needed a really strong voice; someone who was aware of the issues and was able to talk to politicians and the like about getting things changed in an intelligent and very clear way.

"From his letters I knew Ben had his finger on the pulse."

Ms Ronken and Bravehearts founder Hetty Johnston knew Mr Blackburn would be perfect to join the organisation - but had no idea he was at the centre of the sensational case which had rocked NSW politics.

Ms Ronken corresponded with him for eight months before he dropped the bombshell.

"I was completely floored," she said. "Sometimes with survivors their emotions take over, and it can be about vengeance, but Ben was very analytical and thinking about what would be of benefit in the long term including in terms of offenders and rehabilitation."

Ms Johnston said Mr Blackburn had a huge future. "He has a lot of passion and compassion," she said. "He just wants justice to be done and to dedicate his life to trying to prevent other people going through what he's been through."

The Orkopoulos case was "very typical of the grooming process".

"It's subversive and it sneaks up on you before you know what is happening. It usually starts with the parents because they have got to be comfortable about the people their kids spend time with. They are the best chameleons on the planet. They appear to be one thing but they are something else altogether."

This story was found at:

exposemolesters said...

"I'm past the SOL and I wish something can be done to that hellhole."


Just because you are beyond the Statute of Limitations, does not mean there is no hope to see your abuser(s) brought to justice. There are many in the same boat as you are. I promise you that YOB and Nussbaum will have to face the music one day in a court of law!

Until then, only through awareness can we deter others from falling victim to the Moetzes.

Kindly email me at:

There IS help. Certainly, you should not be suffering through this alone.

R' Shlomo Mandel said...

I don't believe in such nonsense.
Monitors for school buses planned after sex abuse reports

Last updated: 3/15/2008
Nashville school officials want to add monitors to every special-education bus after reports of sexual abuse.

Interim schools director Chris Henson on Friday released a plan calling for more training for drivers, cameras on every bus and more monitors for the district's 217 special-education buses. The district currently has 15 monitor positions.

The plan comes after two parents filed separate lawsuits against the district, claiming their special-needs children were sexually abused on buses.

Last month, a 14-year-old Rutherford County girl alleged an 18-year-old boy raped her on a regular school bus. He's been charged in the crime.

Nashville school officials say it would cost about $4.85 million to pay for the workers.

The district runs 589 buses daily and transports 45,000 students.

exposemolesters said...,5143,695261701,00.html

Secret shame: Utah's sex offenders and their victims
By Lucinda Dillon Kinkead and Dennis Romboy
Deseret Morning News
Published: March 16, 2008
Elizabeth Smart. Most Utahns have heard about her bizarre kidnapping and sexual assault at the hands of two fundamentalist religious zealots.

Oprah Winfrey. Most people know the media mogul was a victim of sexual abuse as a young girl.

But what about Angela, of Salt Lake City, whose teenage brother started sodomizing her when she was 6 years old?

Or Melissa, who was sexually abused by her father — and finally told on him when she saw her dad raping one of her childhood friends.

Or Michael, who was raped by a football coach at age 9. A victim who now, as an adult, says, "If I did not have therapy and was not able to reveal my secret of being sexually abused, there is no doubt that I would be an abuser today."

Without money, acclaim and notoriety, how are the thousands of nameless, faceless victims of sexual assault in Utah faring?

And what about the perpetrators of these crimes?

One third of Utah inmates are sex offenders, the highest percentage in the nation.

That means about one in three criminals has sexually abused a boy or girl, raped a woman, exploited a minor, enticed children over the Internet, had sex with a teenager or sodomized a child.

The vast majority of the 1,892 currently incarcerated sex offenders prey on children.

But how much do Utahns know — or want to know — about people like Robert Michael Tubbs, who used his position as youth baseball coach and Scout leader to sodomize teenage boys in northern Utah before ending up in prison?

What about David K. Resendez, convicted and sentenced for sexual abuse of his 11-year-old stepdaughter and her friend? Six times, the man got out of prison. Six times, he violated parole and had to go back. Today he is out again, living alone in a Spartan Salt Lake County apartment.

Utahns might have heard of the notorious "Capitol Hill Rapist," who was convicted in connection with the rapes of nearly a dozen women in 1986 and 1987. But do many know the rapist's name is Bob Lee Boog Jr.? Do they know Boog is now out of prison and on parole in Salt Lake City?

"There's no profile of a sex offender. There's no profile of a victim," said Kevin Gulley, a clinical psychologist for Primary Children's Medical Center.

Child therapist Angela Shields, pausing before an appointment with a 5-year-old who'd been raped by a 13-year-old neighbor boy, said, "People need to realize this can happen in any neighborhood at any time."

"I tried to make her believe: 'We aren't hurting anybody. I'm not hurting you.' " — Larry Burt 46, convicted of assaulting a young girl from 6 to 17, in a February

interview from the Utah State Prison

Every day, Utahns pass over headlines in the newspaper and clips on TV that lay out the legacy of sex abuse against adults and children.

This week: "Provo man arrested in sex-abuse probe."

Last week: "Teacher pleads guilty in teen sex case."

Last month: "Pedophile to waive rights in sentencing."

One year ago: "Church leader charged in child sex-abuse case."

Five years ago: "Orem molester gets life in prison."

And as it turns out, these headlines are only the tip of the iceberg, because for every sexual assault case prosecuted, there are hundreds more incidents where a victim didn't tell, wasn't believed, didn't pursue charges or wasn't brave enough to take the stand at trial.

"There's a lot of child sexual assault that goes on that doesn't get reported," said Alana Kindness, Utah Coalition Against Sexual Violence executive director. "And there are a lot of perpetrators that aren't being held accountable."

For every case where investigators do bring a person to court, experts say there are dozens where the offender didn't get caught, wasn't suspected, and dozens more where police or prosecutors didn't have enough evidence to move forward.

Still, the Utah State Prison is bursting at the seams with an unprecedented high population of sex offenders among its inmate population.

"He said if I told, he would go to jail and my mom would go into a mental hospital. He said my sister would leave me alone and I'd have to go to a foster home. He said no one would love me." — 11-year-old Jenny in a therapy session, talking about herstepfather's abuse

Perpetrators aren't, for the most part, guys who jump out of bushes. They are men you know. Men whose children play with your children. Men who attend your church. Men who teach or coach your children. Men who live in your house.

They are grandfathers, uncles, teachers, boyfriends, baby sitters and husbands. A few are women. Authorities say 80 percent of them know their victims.

"It's more likely to be uncle so-and-so rather than someone who grabs them," said Jeremy Shaw, a Adult Probation and Parole supervisor in the sex offender unit.

It is a dirty, exhausting, secretive, heartbreaking phenomenon, says Heather Stringfellow, who took over the helm of the Rape Recovery Center of Utah after nine years as a sex crimes and domestic violence detective.

And Utah is up to its neck in it.

"Sex crimes continue to be that place where nobody really wants to go." — Heather Stringfellow former sex crimes detective and director of Utah's Rape Recovery center

During a three-month investigation by the Deseret Morning News, reporters talked to 85 different people whose lives touch the pervasive and gut-wrenching issue of sexual abuse in Utah. Interviews included frank discussions with victims, therapists, investigators, judges, victim advocates, parole agents, doctors, corrections and government officials and more than two dozen sex offenders.

The investigation included a review of documents on the electrifying issue of sex offender recidivism.

Reporters observed children in therapy, accompanied a task force in a night raid to find fugitive sex offenders and went with parole officers on surprise visits of sex offenders at home. They went to the Utah State Prison to meet inmates and into the supervised halfway houses where inmates go to assimilate back into society.

The findings, reported in a four-day series that begins today, are startling and include the following details:

• One in four girls — and one in eight boys — is sexually abused before age 18.

• The average age of a victim is 10 years old.

• Only 2 percent of perpetrators are a stranger to the victim. The rest are friends, relatives, baby sitters, acquaintances or members of their own family.

• More than 70 percent of convicted sex offenders in the Utah State Prison are there for victimizing a child under age 18.

• At Children's Justice Centers throughout Utah, detectives interview children who are victims of all crimes. Between 85 and 90 percent of the crimes involve sexual abuse.

• Of nearly 1,900 sex offenders in prison, only 120 are receiving treatment there. Despite repeated requests, the Legislature has not increased sex offender treatment funding in more than 10 years.

"Sex abuse or assault is a life-changing event," said JoAnn Zaharias, Salt Lake County district attorney director of counseling. She prepares witnesses as young as age 3 to testify in court.

But the state does not provide any funding for services for victims of sexual violence or for prevention of sexual violence, Kindness said.

And experts say this should be Utahns' greatest cause for concern. Because victims of sexual abuse, especially children, become sexualized in unhealthy ways — and these inappropriately sexualized children often become offenders themselves.

"Abuse leads to abuse. It doesn't stop," said Doug Goldsmith, director of The Children's Center at the University of Utah. "If we turn our eyes, today's sexual abuse will lead to more."

The investigation also showed a startling increase in the numbers of juvenile sex offenders coming into Utah's criminal justice system.

Despite these facts and the awareness that nearly every resident knows someone whose life has been touched by sexual assault, the topic remains cloaked in shame, secrecy and blinding emotion.

Public officials with sex abuse in their own families were glad to see a media spotlight on what they called a vital issue but are unwilling to talk publicly for fear of judgments by neighbors, colleagues and friends.

The issue also highlights this society's reluctance to discuss sexuality and the difficult details of these intimate crimes.

"It is a heinous issue," says Rep. Paul Ray, R-Clearfield, who has pushed several pieces of legislation to toughen laws and requirements against sex offenders. "It's just not one you want to talk about."

"It's a really difficult topic for people to talk about. People are very uncomfortable when the subject comes up and often get defensive about it," Kindness said.

The consequences of what everyone agrees is widespread sexual abuse in Utah are evident in every segment of society that touches these crimes.

Law enforcement is exhausted. Underfunded victim services programs are taxed. Parole and probation officers are overloaded. The sex offender treatment program at the state prison has such a high turnover in counselors because few people can tolerate the details of that job. When they leave, that often means inmates admitted to the program's few valuable spots get booted out of therapy altogether.

In addition, experts in this field are up against Utah state lawmakers jonesing to be tough on sex offenders — but who dig in their heels on the unpopular subject of paying to make sex offender treatment available to more inmates. Many conservatives believe giving money to treat sex offenders is seen as being soft on crime.

"It's a challenge they'll have to work at for the rest of their lives." — Eric Hammond clinical director for Center for Family Development, which provides treatment for sex offenders

Today Utah has an unprecedented high makeup of inmates with sex crimes, said Tom Patterson, director of Utah's Department of Corrections.

"Those folks stay a very long time with us, so things are changing in terms of what kind of prisoners you have," Patterson said.

State Department of Corrections officials are hard-pressed to explain the unprecedented number of sex offenders in the system. Cliff Butter, director of the Bureau of Research and Planning for the corrections department, attributes the swelling populations to "culture change and ramping up penalties" in the past 20 years.

Since 1996, the number of felony sex offenders sent to prison each year increased by 42 percent.

Utah eliminated minimum mandatory sentences for sex offenses in 1996 in favor of indeterminate sentencing, which allows offenders to be considered for parole before serving the maximum term. Still, a first-degree felony sex offender will stay behind bars longer than another inmate with a non-sex-related, first-degree felony crime.

"As a single board member, I look at sex offenses in a much different light because of the trauma they have inflicted on their victim," said Jess Gallegos, a member of the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole for five years.

"Clearly, the mandatory minimum sentencing system in Utah was not protecting our children — even though the policy sounded tough," according to Mike Haddon, deputy administrator of the Department of Corrections.

"Deep inside she is filled with pain
She feels dirty, and full of shame.
innocence lost at a very young age
locked this child in a pain-filled cage ..." — excerpt from "Letting Go," a poem written by a 15-year-old victim

Utah tends to keep sex offenders locked up longer than other criminals. More than a third of those incarcerated are first-degree felons serving up to life sentences.

The number of sex offenders imprisoned on first-degree felony convictions doubled after Utah changed its sentencing laws in 1996. In 1995, under minimum mandatory sentencing guidelines, 13 percent of felony sex offenders received the maximum sentence of life in prison. In 2006, 26 percent received life sentences.

But nearly all of them will eventually be released into the community where conventional thinking has them committing the same crimes again.

Few people understand the complex dynamics that play out in the minds and behaviors of sex offenders. Even the seasoned therapists, parole officers, detectives and corrections officials who have spent years with them don't fully comprehend sex offenders' unique sexual, psychological and behavioral characteristics.

The prison has more sex offenders than it can provide treatment for.

"The system in place is obviously not working," Steve Caverly, prison health programming administrator, told a corrections department focus group last year.

For that reason, he said, the prison began contracting out for therapists. "We need more treatment, more halfway houses and more beds for these offenders in the community," he said.

But prison resources for sex offender treatment have not kept pace with the growing inmate population. The budget has stayed at $700,000 annually since 1996.

Officials say the lack of funding stresses the treatment staff, slows down offender progress and affects the possibility of early parole. The result is a prison bulging with sex offenders.

Lawmakers this past session rejected a $1.2 million corrections department request for sex offender treatment, including two more full-time employees. About one-third of the money would have gone to contract for treatment for offenders on probation and parole.

"We continue to ask the Legislature year after year — and it's been unanswered for 10 years," Patterson said. "For 10 years we've been at the same rate. Now we skyrocket to nearly 30 percent (of inmates) and we have the same treatment dollars we had when we were at 15 or 20 percent."

And Patterson believes if more treatment was available inside the prison, the parole board would be more inclined to let inmates leave sooner and have an assurance they would not reoffend.

"We think a lot of that exorbitant time they are spending (in prison) is the reluctance of the board — and rightfully so — to release someone who hasn't had treatment," Patterson said.

"Of all criminals, sex offenders are the hardest ones to get to say, 'I did something bad,' to admit their crime. And you can't treat someone if they won't admit what they did, and you can't counsel someone who won't admit what they did." — Greg Skordas a defense attorney, victim advocate and former head of the sex crimes division of the Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office

Yudi Kolko said...

Pervert jailed for filming sex abuse of young boys

A middle-aged sex offender who filmed his abuse of underage adolescent boys was caught when he showed the video to a relative of one of his victims.
Mark Rands, 45, showed homosexual pornographic films to two underage teenagers in Northampton before subjecting them to sexual assaults and filming the abuse.

But when he showed one of the films to another teenager, he recognised one of the boys as a relative and Rands was arrested soon after.

He was jailed for five years at Northampton Crown Court.

Passing sentence, Judge Thomas Corrie said Rands, of Clarence Avenue, Kingsthorpe, posed a danger to teenage boys.

He said: "It is clear that you are attracted to
young boys and it is clear there is a significant risk to young boys posed by you and that you show little insight into that risk.

"You played a significant part in their corruption for your own sexual gratification."

The court was told a 14-year-old boy would often visit Rands' home where he was given alcohol, before they engaged in sexual activity filmed by a 15-year-old teenager.

Pearl Willis said Rands would engage in sex acts with both teenagers, who cannot be named for legal reasons, and encourage them to film it.

Rands admitted three offences of sexual activity with a child, two counts of engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child for sexual gratification, three offences of causing a child to watch a sexual act, possessing indecent images of children and permitting an indecent video to be made.

Rands was also put on the sex offenders' register for life

Rabbi Matt Salomon said...

Only one slipped through our fingers, why are you making such a bilbul?

Rabbi Shlomo Mandel said...

The "Moetzes" are a bunch of conceded lowlifes. I hope they fry kolko, Agudah, Margo, and anyone else involved in these cover ups.
I hope anon doesn't mean me. I spoke about doing Tshuveh, during the yomim noraim, how can I possibly be guilty of sweeping shmootz under my living room rug?

chaim said...

Every Rabbi enabler of abuse should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. No freebies!

Kolko trial said...

If you are able to go to the trial do so. Show the moesdos you won't tolerate their lies and deceit. Show your support to the kolko victims with your presence.

shlomo mandel the putz said...

YTT Misnagid said...

Is Margo so arrogant that he's still sleeping at night or is reality finally catching up to the fat fraud?

Someone should also help Jeff Herman compile more lists to reach out to with the mailing.

Weinfeld's Shul
All camps in the Catskills (because of Lake Compounce outings)
Geldwerth's shul
Gissinger's shul
Yeshiva of Brooklyn (where Kolko proctored tests)
12:41 AM, March 16, 2008

Stop kvetching about some tests I allowed Kolko to proctor in my yeshive. Even a child molester needs to earn a parnassa. Nussbaum is a remez to that. In fact, you wanted to know if I still employ that sadistic child molester and my answer is yes. So shove it up your tuches yidden. (I also refer kids to him for tutoring and bar mitzva lessons - because Nussbaum really knows his trup well)

JDate said...

Matchmaking has long been considered a vital role of synagogues, but one Tucson rabbi is taking it to a new level.
Rabbi Robert Eisen of the Conservative Congregation Anshei Israel in Midtown is a Jewish Cupid with a 21st-century twist.
Eisen is offering his congregants free subscriptions to JDate — an Internet dating service for Jewish singles. He's tapping into his own bank account to fund the endeavor.
"I hope I go broke," said Eisen, whose synagogue has more than 2,000 members.
Eisen is following a trend that began late last year when a New Jersey rabbi, Donald Weber, called JDate and asked about buying bulk memberships at a discount rate. Since then, at least three other rabbis across the country, including Eisen, have followed Weber's lead.
The regular rate for a six-month subscription is $149.99.
An impetus for the rabbis who are stepping up their matchmaking roles is the high rate of Jews marrying outside their faith, combined with a low birthrate among Jewish couples and an aging Jewish population.
Eisen said his major motivator is simply helping people to find love that will endure...

avremel schorr & asher friedman said...

We were behind this ban too. We can't believe what a chilul hashem this putz made.
Chasidic actor quits Portman movie

A Chasidic actor cast as Natalie Portman's husband quit the movie after his community objected.

Abe Karpen, a cabinet salesman from Brooklyn, N.Y., filmed a scene Wednesday with Portman for "New York I Love You," which features 12 short love stories, according to The Associated Press. A rabbi raised objections and Karpen quit the project, saying his community was most important to him.

Members of the Chasidic community eschew going to the movies.

Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv said...

US envoy learns up close about haredi travel problems
Matthew Wagner , THE JERUSALEM POST Mar. 17, 2008

How do you explain to a skeptical non-Jewish consul worker that you have been chosen to be the sandak (godfather) at your grandson's circumcision and you need a travel visa fast? How do you get through US customs with a box of handmade matzot in time for Pessah? How do you prove to a passport agent that you are a father of 12 who enjoys subsidized housing and a close-knit neighborhood and have no intention of becoming an illegal alien in the US? And how do you do all this when your first language is Yiddish?

The Haredi Traveler's Service Office, in an attempt to foster greater understanding among US consul workers in Israel for the special needs of Israel's haredi community, invited US Ambassador to Israel Richard H. Jones to tour Mea She'arim on Monday. At the end of the tour, which included a visit to a matza bakery and a haredi housing complex, Jones was introduced to Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, the nonagenarian preeminent spiritual leader of haredi Judaism, at his modest home in Jerusalem.

Elyashiv expressed his appreciation to the US for its ongoing support for Israel, calling the superpower a "Kingdom of loving-kindness." Jones in turn expressed his country's commitment to Israel's security.

The tour and meeting were arranged by Matisiyahu Cheshin, known in ultra-Orthodox circles as the "haredi ambassador."

Cheshin heads the traveler's service office, which helps arrange last-minute travel visas and also deals with customs difficulties encountered by haredim traveling to the US and other countries with matzot, the four species used during the Sukkot holiday or other religious items.

Many haredim in Israel, the US and other countries feel there is a cultural gap that prevents consul workers from understanding their religious customs and needs.

Cheshin explained to Jones that many Mea She'arim residents live in special rent-controlled housing in which residents pay "key money," a large deposit that gives them the right to remain in the flat indefinitely. A low monthly rent of around $30 is charged. However, residents lose their rights to the apartment if they leave it vacant for over half a year.

"If consul workers were aware that haredim who live in special housing projects lose their rights after a vacancy of six months, they would understand that there is a strong incentive for these haredim to come home after their visit abroad," Cheshin said.

Jones said he learned a lot, and expressed his appreciation for Cheshin's tour for consulate workers.

Jones explained that the consulate has "very strict and clear-cut visa laws that require that the consul issuing the visa have an assurance that the person will return from the country to which he or she travels.

"We do not want people telling us that they are coming for business and tourism when, in fact, they are attempting to immigrate. It's good that Rabbi Cheshin is giving us a better understanding of how the community works," he said.

CHABAD said...

Several weeks ago The New York Times featured Shimon Waronker, principal of a South Bronx High School, on its front page. Waronker, a Chabad-Lubavitcher, was profiled for his success in rehabilitating a notoriously dangerous, failing school. Waronker credited the Lubavitcher Rebbe's inspiration in his educational values.

In the following article, asked our reporter to seek out notable alumni of Chabad-Lubavitch day schools, and consider how their schooling, and particularly their teachers, have influenced their life choices.

By Rebecca Rosenthal

Dr. Joel Wein is looking for the Lubavitch teacher who changed his life. As a youngster eager to earn a Cub Scout religion badge, he asked his Hebrew School teacher, a young Chabad-Lubavitch woman in her early twenties, for a synagogue where he could attend services. She walked him to the only Orthodox synagogue in the neighborhood. He stayed to pray, and he returned the next week, and the next.

“I was intrigued,” said Dr. Wein. “They took me in, and I found my place as a Jew.”

Now an observant Jew, Dr. Wein graduated from Harvard and MIT, married and is raising a house full of children with his wife Marjorie. All the Wein kids attend yeshiva and day school. With a single act, a young Lubavitch teacher strengthened the Jewish future for an entire family, and Dr. Wein would like the opportunity to say “thank you.”

If Jewish education forges strong links to Jewish continuity, educators are the blacksmiths. Famously unsung, extraordinarily underpaid, Jewish teachers take the goal of a strong Jewish future and make it happen day after day.

“Devotion to fulfilling the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s vision that every Jewish child deserves a quality Jewish education is the secret of the success of Lubavitch teachers,” said Rabbi Nochem Kaplan, director of the Chabad’s education office.

In Chabad-Lubavitch’s network of 140 elementary and high schools (outside of Israel where the numbers climb still higher), it’s the teachers who nurture, answer questions and provide living examples of what it means to live with Jewish teachings as a guide.

Rabbi Avi Shafran said...

I had to stop reading this once I realized it was pornographic material.

Sex, drugs and faith: the Rabbi's Daughter- Reva Mann

Last Updated: 12:01am GMT 18/03/2008

Reva Mann has caused scandal in the Orthodox community with her account of a life that veered between pious and promiscuous. She talks to Cassandra Jardine

Reva Mann lost her virginity in style. At the age of 15, she smuggled a boy into the Marble Arch synagogue, where her father was rabbi, and shouted out "Hallelujah" from the bima (pulpit) after the deed was done.

CEO David Mandel said...

Before you even think about going to yudi kolko's trial you must ask a rabbi if you are even allowed to.

Rabbi Yaakov Hopfer said...

Thank you David. You are totally correct. It's beshum oyfen prohibited to go. It's an inyan of rechilus and loshon harah, a very grave sin indeed. The Rabbonim will gladly even affix their signatures to a document which states such. My chushiveh chaver, Moses Heinemann concurs.

R' Lipa Margulis said...

This uoj guy mit his meshigune lawyers is beginning to cause me to have diarrhea. The ganzeh tug I vas in the bais hakesay.

meir said...

Shlomo Mandel and Yaakov Mandel are just two of the crazy animals of 'Haredi' society. They should be going to Rikers for what they did to kids.

Debka said...

DEBKAfile - We start where the media stop

Israel Air Force may buy vertical-takeoff planes to dodge Hizballah-Hamas rockets

March 17, 2008

This is reported in the American Defense News . The expanding Palestinian and Lebanese Hizballah’s missile threats to its southern and northern air bases have persuaded Israeli’s Air Force to consider switching its procurement plans from 100 US F-35A stealth jets to the F-35B Short Takeoff and Vertical Landing (STOVL) version, designed to serve the US Marine Corps under fire.

Israel’s southern and northern air bases have come within range of rockets from Hizballah in Lebanon and Hamas from the Gaza Strip, respectively, and possibly from the West Bank too. Air landings and takeoffs have therefore become hazardous. Israeli air bases and installations have been fortified against Palestinian rocket attack from the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

“Air base survivability is no longer hypothetical,” said one retired air force general.

DEBKAfile’s military sources report that IAF chiefs reckon that in any future flare-ups, the Palestinians will not be satisfied with hitting Sderot and Ashkelon but will go for its main air bases as well.

This information has been kept from the Israeli public as the Olmert government continues to avoid proactive options for knocking out the increasingly dangerous Hamas and Hizballah’s rocket capabilities - boosted by Iran, and remains fixed in defensive mode. This fixation is not lost on Iranian, Syrian, Hizballah and Hamas in charting their assault scenarios against Israel.

Most military strategists warn that a comprehensive ground operation is unavoidable and the longer it is delayed, the harder it will be and the more casualties.

Israel’s designated Air Force commander Maj.-Gen. Ido Nehushtan, who assumes his new duties on April 1, stated at a recent lecture: “Professionally speaking, if Israel wants to prevent high-trajectory rocket or mortar fire, it must establish good control on the ground.” He added: “…if Israeli forces are present on the ground... then we can stop the development and manufacture of rockets and other weapons in time.”

DEBKAfile’s military sources add that the government continues to lag behind Israel’s perceived security needs. The new Lockheed Martin planes will not be available in time for the confrontations widely predicted to erupt over the next two or three years. The rockets already in Hizballah and Hamas hands - not to mention Iran and Syria - may be able to prevent some Israeli warplanes from taking off from vulnerable runways.

Salvation will not come from the F-35B, which is still undergoing initial testing. On March 26, a Pentagon Acquisition Board will decide whether to approve the production of the first six STOVL F-35Bs, conditional on a successful first flight. In April, the first plane will begin propulsion system ground testing, ahead of its first flight by June. Its capabilities in relation to cost have still to be determined. There is no estimated timeline for the F-25B to go into service with the US Marines.

Israeli defense ministry’s director general Pinhas Buchris visits Washington in mid-March to discuss IAF procurements.

Tzipi Livni said...

Gee whiz! Again I show what a brilliant mind I have. Hamas are bad people. And the sky is blue. And 9/11 is a reality. And women give birth - as opposed to men. And Hillary Clinton is a bitch. If I come up with any more startling discoveries I'll be sure to keep you informed.

Now - I have to ask myself the question - Do I allow Israel to get bullied and stepped on by the Islamic Fundamentalist- by talking "peace" with a non existent partner; or do I act sensible and not cave to terror, and do everything within my power to save the people of Israel? That's a tough one for me because Olmert and I are in this thing together. I'm speaking of "land for Jewish blood", "bogus prisoner exchanges for Jewish blood", "Palestinian Intifada for Jewish blood", the more violent and deadly the instigators such as Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Palestinan Authority become - the weaker Israel retaliates. There is a pattern here.

This just in. We are ready to negotiate with Iran. We decided to reach out as a goodwill gesture. Olmert and I thought we should play nice, shake hands, and be friends with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Peace!

Livni: Hamas uses calm to replenish Iranian arms through Egypt

March 17, 2008, 6:23 PM (GMT+02:00)

In answer to a no-confidence motion in the Knesset Monday, foreign minister Tzipi Livni said Gaza is the source of terror because it is ruled by terrorists. For them, the truce is a chance to build up their arsenals with supplies from Tehran which reach Gaza through Egypt. The minister said she would meet former Palestinian PM Ahmed Qureia later in the day. Israel would persist in its war on terror, she said, just as it would continue peace talks with “pragmatic forces.”

Rabbi stabbed in Jerusalem said...

Published: 03/18/2008

A rabbi was stabbed in Jerusalem's Old City.

An assailant, presumed to be a Palestinian terrorist, stabbed the rabbi Tuesday as he was walking through the Damascus Gate en route to an Old City yeshiva.

The rabbi suffered moderate wounds and was taken to Jerusalem's Hadassah Hospital. His bodyguard chased the assailant but failed to catch him. A police manhunt is under way.

Israeli media said the rabbi is 49 years old but did not immediately provide more details.

Tensions in Jerusalem have been seething since a Palestinian gunman killed eight students at the Mercaz HaRav yeshiva before being shot dead. Many Palestinians welcomed the outrage as revenge for Israeli military offensives in the Gaza Strip, and Jerusalem police are on alert for more violence.

Rabbi Col. (res.) Moshe Hager-Lau said...

Leading rabbi: Yeshivas need rapid response teams
Matthew Wagner , THE JERUSALEM POST Mar. 16, 2008

In the wake of the terrorist shooting at Jerusalem's Mercaz Harav Yeshiva on March 6, a leading rabbi and high-ranking IDF officer called this week on all post-high school educational institutions to train rapid response teams capable of defending against future attacks.

Rabbi Col. (res.) Moshe Hager-Lau, chairman of the Premilitary Religious Academies and Assistant Divisional Commander of Reserve Forces in Judea and Samaria, sent a letter to a list of Torah institutions requesting that they beef up their security.

"The attack on Mercaz Harav was proof that terrorists are targeting the 'atomic core' of religious Zionism," Hager-Lau wrote.

"I detect a definite trend," added the rabbi, who goes everywhere with an M-16 rifle slung over his shoulder. "The latest attack was on Mercaz Harav. But there was an attack just two months ago at the Mekor Haim Yeshiva [in Gush Etzion], and before that there were attacks on Atzmona [in Gush Katif] and Otniel [in the South Hebron Hills]."

Hager-Lau, who heads the Premilitary Academy in Yatir, south of Hebron, said that in counterterrorism, the first 10 minutes - the minimum amount of time it takes for the IDF to respond - were critical.

"In the Mercaz Harav attack, the whole thing was over after about 10 minutes. The hope is to reduce the time it takes to respond by training an armed group of men who are present at all times on the yeshiva premises."

Part of the proposed security policy would include a limitation on employing Arabs, since both Palestinians and Israeli Arabs could potentially be terrorists or terrorist collaborators.

According to the family of Ala Abu Dhaim, the terrorist who killed eight Mercaz Harav students and wounded nine, the yeshiva had employed Abu Dhaim as a driver.

However, yeshiva head Rabbi Ya'acov Shapira denied that Abu Dhaim was a yeshiva employee.

Hager-Lau said that while he would prefer a Jewish-only entry policy to religious institutions, banning Arab labor entirely was unfeasible.

"If I have to choose between the ideal of Jewish labor only and continuing to build at a quick pace, I'd prefer to keep the building going," he said.

He said that in an attempt to reduce the chances of a worker having ties to a terrorist group, entry to the yeshiva for Palestinians would be limited to people aged 40 or over who were well-known.

A leading haredi spiritual leader and halachic authority ruled this week that due to the potential danger to Jewish life, it was forbidden to hire Arab workers, according to Yom Chadash, a new ultra-orthodox daily.

Rabbi Haim Kanyevsky told yeshiva administrators, "We are war with them [Arabs]," therefore "according to Jewish law it is prohibited to hire them," according to Yom Chadash.

Yeshiva administrators, after the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva attack, asked Kanyevsky whether they should fire their Arab employees.

Kanyevsky, who expressed surprise that Arab workers were preferred to Jews, asked, "Are there no Jews who can work and earn a living from the same work?"

He said that under normal circumstances it was always preferable to hire Jews rather than Arabs, unless there was a significant difference in cost. But in the present situation, due to the danger to Jewish life, there was a prohibition against hiring Arabs, he said.

Kanyevsky's ruling is likely to result in a mass firing of Arab employees at hundreds of haredi yeshivot across the country.

Haim Kanyevsky is the son of Rabbi Yaakov Yisrael Kanyevsky ("the Steipler"), the son-in-law of Rabbi Yosef Sholom Eliashiv, a leading rabbinical authority in Jerusalem, and a nephew of Rabbi Avraham Yeshayahu Karelitz, a leading Torah scholar known as the "Chazon Ish."

Haim Kanyevsky is known to refrain from engaging in politics.

Thousands of people visit him rabbi every year, seeking Torah-oriented advice on various topics.

In the West Bank, every male Israeli over the age of 18 is obligated by law to acquiesce to a demand by their home settlement to perform guard duty. Known as "Bar Shmira," the legal obligation permits young men to carry arms before they serve in the army.

The IDF provides M-16 rifles and ammunition to authorized rapid response teams in the West Bank under an understanding that maintaining a local defensive force is the best way to ensure security in Jewish settlements.

Inside the Green Line, young men who had completed army service would participate in the rapid response team training, said Hager-Lau. In addition to teams armed with IDF-supplied M-16s, there would also be teams armed with handguns.

Participants would be trained to track, locate and neutralize terrorist infiltrators operating in urban settings where the majority of the population is friendly.

Hager-Lau asked Mishmeret Yesha, an organization that has trained more than 100 rapid response teams throughout Judea and Samaria, to help train the yeshiva students.

Israel Danziger, head of operations at Mishmeret Yesha, said he had been asked by Hager-Lau to put together a general plan for educational institutions that would improve their preparedness to deal with terrorist infiltrations.

Danziger said the plan included an early-warning system; drills that would teach every settlement resident where to go in case of an attack; coordinating and practicing communications between emergency organizations and residents; and conducting periodic mock attacks.

However, one of Mishmeret Yesha's central security demands is a no-Arab policy.

"We don't want to have anything to do with any organization that employs Arabs," said Danziger. "There is no sense in training a rapid response team in a settlement or an institution where you have a bunch of Arabs walking around gathering information."

Pearl Kaufman from Be'er Hagolah said...

Ethiopians are not Jews, they are black. I hate colored people.

Chief Rabbi Amar: We have done Ethiopian Jewry a grievous wrong

Chief rabbis, Knesset Internal Affairs committee hold meeting concerning 8,000 members of Falash Mura still in Ethiopia. Rabbi Amar proposes amending the law, allowing them to make aliyah

Tani Goldstein
Published: 03.18.08, 08:01 / Israel Jewish Scene

Chief Sephardi Rabbi Shlomo Amar said Monday during a joint meeting with the Knesset’s Internal Affairs and Environment Committee that “the State of Israel, the Chief Rabbinate included, has done Ethiopia’s Jews a grievous wrong.,7340,L-3520152,00.html

Rabbi Yisroel Belsky said...

I'm still a respected posek, even though I knew about kids getting molested by yudi kolko and I did nothing about it.

Orthodox Union
A Milestone for Kosher Tidbits: OU Series Announces its 100th Program


Just in time for the Torah portion of Shemini, to be read March 29 and which introduces the laws of kashrut, OU Kosher will celebrate the production of the 100th and 101st Kosher Tidbits, the comprehensive series of 15-minute broadcasts by OU experts on a wide variety of kosher topics, and heard on

The century mark is reached by a program on Shemittah, the sabbatical year in Israel, recorded by Rabbi Moshe Elefant, Chief Operating Officer of OU Kosher; and the 101st on non-kosher kitchens, by Rabbi Eliyahu Ferrell, Rabbinic Consultant.

According to Rabbi Dr. Eliyahu Safran, OU Senior Rabbinic Consultant and Vice President of Marketing and Communications, who conceived the series and with Rabbi Ferrell puts it together, “The programs recognize that although kosher law is immutable, food technology keeps changing and the ancient must be applied to the new. How this is done is at the heart of Kosher Tidbits, and is greatly responsible for its success.”

In the series, which began in the fall of 2006, OU Kosher halachic consultants and rabbinic coordinators – all of whom spend their professional lives immersed in the complexities of kosher law -- provide detailed yet understandable explanations of a wide variety of subjects for an audience ranging from those with minimal knowledge of the laws but seeking to learn more, to rabbis and rabbinical students. The programs have a worldwide audience of 20,000, with listeners in the United States, Israel, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Sweden, The Netherlands, Brazil, Chile and Germany, among other locales, with programs not only available on the website, but being downloaded onto listeners’ personal computers, ipods and other electronic devices.

Now, the first 100 Tidbits are also available on one CD, for those who do not have the Internet or would like to carry the set around with them wherever they go. It can be ordered at no charge from Rabbi Safran at

Rabbi Menachem Genack, CEO of OU Kosher declared, “The extraordinary range of knowledge and experience of OU Kosher rabbis is available worldwide, and not only to the companies they serve, through Kosher Tidbits. I congratulate the staff and Rabbis Safran and Ferrell on this extraordinary series, a source of great pride to all of us with any connection to OU Kosher.”

The most basic household products are explored in Kosher Tidbits, with a touch of humor accompanying profound Torah knowledge: “The ‘Hole’ Truth: Bagels and the OU,” “Let’s ‘Ex-Salmon’ the Kashrut of Fish;” “Kosher Yogurt: An Uplifting Cultural Experience;” “As the World Churns: Aspects of Kosher Butter Production,” “Trix of the Trade: The Production of Kosher Cereals,” and “Cracking the Mysteries of the Egg,” to name but a few, go into refrigerators and food cabinets to clarify the mysteries of kosher.

In one of the most meaty categories, there is a four-part series on “The Certification of Meat,” accompanied by “A Guide for the Perplexed – About Purchasing Meat,” by OU halachic consultant Rabbi Yisroel Belsky.

The program proceeds from the kitchen to the supermarket for labeling issues and ingredient panels; goes behind the scenes of kosher certification for “The OU Mashgiach: Partner or Patrolman,” looks at Practical Halacha and Hashkafa (law and custom), with “Mission Not Impossible: The Kosher Jew in a Non-Kosher Milieu,” and delves into Science and Kashrut, with “Kosher Vinegar Manufacture: Where Divine Revelation Meets Ethanol Fermentation.”

A section on Passover, which has its own enormous set of kashrut issues, explores “Kitniyos: The Next Best Thing to Chometz,” and “L’Chaim! Behind-the-Scenes at Kosher Wine-Making.”

New segments will be added all the time, Rabbi Safran promises. “We will never run out of topics because as long as people eat, there will be issues to discuss and explain,” he said. “All the experience our rabbis gain in the field and from their learning will continue to be available around the globe. Kosher Tidbits is more than just a series; it is thorough explanation of how a basic human need, eating, is raised to the level of the sacred with each bite we take.”

Rabbi Avrohom Stone said...

“Kashrus is all about money,” said Stone, founder and director of the community kollel in his hometown of West Orange. “Nobody is out there manufacturing and producing any type of food that is kosher with a hechsher unless they can make money.”

Rev. Jeremiah Wright. said...

Jews are bloodsuckers. Voting for Obama is like voting for me.

Ari Fleischer said...

The Jerusalem Post Internet Edition

Former Bush spokesman slams Obama over pastor
Jacob Berkman / jta , THE JERUSALEM POST Mar. 18, 2008

One of President Bush's former White House spokesmen told a gathering of young Jewish activists here that he was deeply troubled by Barack Obama's relationship with his pastor.

Several national media outlets have aired video clips of inflammatory remarks made by the Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr., the recently retired pastor of the Trinity United Church of Christ, an Afrocentric church on Chicago's South Side, where Obama has been a member since the early 1990s.

Obama, a leading contender for the Democratic presidential nomination, has denounced Wright's harsh condemnations of American policy, which include an assertion that the United States brought the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks upon itself.

The US senator from Illinois said he only learned of those comments from news reports during the presidential campaign.

But on Sunday, former Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer said the pastor's comments were still a cause for concern.

"The statements that your clergy make when you join give a little bit of an indication of your own sense of right and wrong, and you cannot just divorce from that," Fleischer said during a plenary session of the United Jewish Communities' Washington 15, a gathering of more than 1,000 donors younger than 45 who are active in the Jewish federation system.

"If my rabbi had made those statements, I would have left the synagogue immediately," said Fleischer, an active board member of the Republican Jewish Coalition. "It really troubles me that Barack Obama only waited until now to speak out about this issue.

"He was like a typical politician: It became a controversy, so he distanced himself. This is a very worrisome sign to me."

In response to such comments about Obama, liberal pundits have noted that the presumptive Republican nominee, US Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), has embraced the support of several Christian conservative clergymen, including John Hagee, who also have made offensive statements.

After several days of mounting criticism, McCain said that if Hagee indeed had ever made anti-Catholic remarks, then he condemned them.

The controversy over Wright primarily revolves around harsh criticisms he has made about U.S. foreign policy, as well as his claims that Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) fits the mold of "rich, white people" who control America.

In a sermon shortly after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Wright said, "We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back to our own front yards."

And in a 2003 sermon, according to The New York Times, Wright said, "The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing 'God Bless America.' No, no, no, not God bless America, God damn America, that's in the Bible for killing innocent people."

He later said, "God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human."

Wright's church last year honored Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan with a lifetime achievement award - a move Obama repeatedly has criticized.

Obama, a Trinity United member since the early 1990s, has credited Wright for bringing him toward Christianity. The pastor married Obama and his wife, and baptized their two children.

During a meeting last month with Cleveland Jewish leaders prior to the Ohio primary, Obama compared Wright to an uncle you love, but becaue of generational differences says things with which you strongly disagree. The candidate expressed a reluctance to criticize Wright at a time when he is retiring.

In recent days, however, as the media focus on the story intensified, Obama went further in speaking out against Wright's remarks.

"Let me say at the outset that I vehemently disagree and strongly condemn the statements that have been the subject of this controversy," Obama said in a statement released to the liberal HuffingtonPost blog. "I categorically denounce any statement that disparages our great country or serves to divide us from our allies. I also believe that words that degrade individuals have no place in our public dialogue, whether it's on the campaign stump or in the pulpit. In sum, I reject outright the statements by Rev. Wright that are at issue."

Fleischer made his comments about Obama during a debate with Mark Mellman, a political pollster who is a consultant to the Democratic Congressional Leadership.

Mellman said the Wright controversy has been the toughest challenge for Obama, but the presidential nominee has responded appropriately.

"It's not like Barack Obama would know every statement his pastor would have ever made," Mellman said. "It is not a reasonable expectation. But once he became aware of the comment, he made it clear that he did not agree. I think that is the kind of response we want our candidates to have."

Mellman said Fleischer was trying to indict Obama based on "guilt by association," which he called a "scurrilous tactic."

Fleischer countered that Obama put Wright on his religious advisory committee two months after his announcement, "knowing what he had said about 9/11, and only removed him last week when the controversy broke anew."

"He says he doesn't agree with what Rev. Jeremiah Wright said," Fleischer added, "but he does not break with the man. He still has a fondness for the man. How can you have a fondness for a man who says G-D America?"

In his statement about Wright, Obama recounted what had attracted him to the pastor.

"I knew Rev. Wright as someone who served this nation with honor as a United States Marine, as a respected biblical scholar, and as someone who taught or lectured at seminaries across the country, from Union Theological Seminary to the University of Chicago," Obama said.

Obama also praised Wright's efforts at fighting AIDS, homelessness and other social ills plaguing the South Side, saying that he "preached the gospel of Jesus, a gospel on which I base my life."

"In other words, he has never been my political adviser; he's been my pastor," Obama said. "And the sermons I heard him preach always related to our obligation to love God and one another, to work on behalf of the poor, and to seek justice at every turn."

Obama said that when he learned of the remarks at the start of the campaign, he decided against leaving the church because Wright was on the verge of retirement.

"And while Wright's statements have pained and angered me," Obama concluded, "I believe that Americans will judge me not on the basis of what someone else said but on the basis of who I am and what I believe in; on my values, judgment and experience to be president of the United States."

exposemolesters said...

Young victim of alleged sex abuse testifies during trial

The Lufkin Daily News

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Editor's note: This story contains graphic language.

An 8-year-old girl testified Tuesday that a Fuller Springs man had placed a bandage on her thigh in an attempt to make it appear he was doctoring a wound after the girl's little brother saw the man giving her oral sex. The girl told Angelina County jurors Tuesday she was 6 years old when Frankie Lee Jones, now 49, molested her.

Jones is on trial this week for four counts of child sex crimes, including aggravated sexual assault of a child and indecency with a child by contact. He often cared for the children while their mother attended college and worked two jobs, according to testimony.

Her hair fixed in braided pigtails with pink ribbons, the girl spoke softly as she recalled being fondled by Jones on June 6, 2006.

"He said I would get in trouble if I told," she testified. Her mother was the first person she said she told after her brother alerted the family about what he had seen.

During cross examination, Jones' attorney Roger Moss asked the girl if anyone had talked to her about her testimony to "practice" what she would say in court. The girl said she had. Angelina County Assistant District Attorney Dawn Armstrong re-questioned the girl who clarified she had talked with her mother about her testimony, but could not remember the last time they talked about it.

In court Monday, the boy described to jurors how Jones reacted after he realized the boy had seen him touching the girl.

"He got up and said, 'I found it,'" the fourth grader testified. The man then threw something away and proceeded to make breakfast, the boy said.

Moss read testimony the boy gave a year-and-a-half ago during another court hearing about the case. That testimony did not match some of the testimony the boy gave regarding who he first told about the alleged sexual acts he said he saw. The boy testified Monday that his memory was better a year-and-a-half ago than it is now.

The girl's mother also took the stand Monday and recalled the morning she confronted her daughter about being molested.

"She said that it was disgusting," the mother said, her voice breaking.

She said she re-questioned her daughter several days later after realizing the story her son told did not match the one her daughter told.

Moss asked the mother why she waited several days to think about re-questioning her child after knowing all the information. She said she needed time to think about the right way to approach the subject and get Armstrong's input, whom she called to consult.

Testimony from was expected to continue at 9 a.m. Wednesday.

The Lufkin Daily News does not publish the names of victim's of sexual abuse, nor does it publish names of those whose relationship to the victim would identify them, such as parents or siblings.

Brooklyn Jew said...

What the heck is going on with these depraved New York politicians?

NYC councilman agrees to resign, pleads guilty to sex abuse

March 17, 2008


A city lawmaker agreed Monday to resign from the New York City Council after pleading guilty to sexually abusing a woman he met at a bar in his Queens district.

Republican Dennis Gallagher pleaded guilty Monday to forcible touching and sex abuse, both misdemeanor offenses, Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said.

Gallagher, 43, will not have to serve any time if he resigns from his council post, effective April 18, and completes an alcohol treatment program.

He apologized to his victim for the July 8 incident.

"While I was intoxicated, I intentionally and forcibly touched intimate parts of the complainant and subjected her to sexual contact without her consent," Gallagher said in court. "My conduct was wrong and I apologize."

The victim, who was in court, did not speak but issued a statement that was read aloud.

"I will never recover from the pain, anguish and humiliation I suffered as a result of this man's vicious assault and attack on me," her statement said. "He has scarred me for life and he took away my dignity and self-esteem."

In exchange for his plea, Gallagher will not have to register as a sex offender. He was ordered to stay away from the victim.

Gallagher, elected to the council in 2001, is one of three Republicans in the 51-member body. He lives in the Middle Village section of Queens with his wife and two sons.

The plea deal was reached after an indictment accusing the councilman of rape and assault was dismissed in January by a judge who said that prosecutors asked Gallagher improper questions before the grand jury.

The district attorney said at the time that he would present the case to another grand jury, noting that the judge had said there was sufficient evidence presented to support the charges.

The councilman had acknowledged an encounter with his accuser but said it was consensual. His accuser told authorities Gallagher offered to drive her home after they met in the bar, but instead took her to his Queens district office, where he attacked her.

In a statement Monday, his lawyers, Benjamin Brafman and Christopher Renfroe, said, "Mr. Gallagher has always maintained that he did not commit the crime of rape. Today's proceedings, however, embarrassing, should put that false allegation to rest once and for all."

Rabbinic hall of shame said...

A partial list of Rebbes and "mechanchim" guilty of sexual abuse
A.M. Leizerowitz - former dean of Gerrer Mesivta

Yehuda Kolko- former Rebbe at YTT

Rabbi Spiegel- BP Eruv agitator and child molestor.

Rabbi Sikorsky- This is a huge unfolding scandal-more details to follow.

Case of Unidentified student at Rabbi Meiselman's Yeshiva who recently committed suicide.

Yehuda Nussbaum - Rebbe at Yeshiva of Brooklyn an accused child molestor (Rabbi Mandel the Rosh Yeshiva covered up the abuse through threats and intimidation) see more here

Chaim Krauss- former Rebbe at Yeshiva of Brooklyn and Machon Beis Yaakov accused of preying on young boys and young women.

Shlomo Helbrans-Satmar style Rebbe and head of polygamist cult (Lev Tahor) based in Quebec . He is accused of marrying off his underage daughter to a man in his 30's and arranging similar such marriages among members of his cult. He was also involved in the notorious Shai Fhima abduction case, it is also interesting to note Fhima's own allegations that he was sexually molested while living among the cult. (Why isn't Helbrans on the FBI's 10 top most wanted list like that infamous Mormon pepophile cultist from Colorado?)

posted by Mendytauber at 9:58 PM 30 comments
A Partial list of Yeshiva Rebbes guilty of physical abuse of children
Yosef Wilner- Rebbe at Yeshiva Torah Vodaath accused of severe physical abuse of his young charges.

Nachum Klein- Menahel at Yeshiva Beis Hillel D'krasna accused of severely beating and publicly humiliating 2 elementary school boys at the schools summer camp among other atrocious behaviour.

Rabbi Kugelman- Rebbe at Beer Shmuel and former principal of Krasna Yeshiva

Ephraim Birnhak- Rebbe at Yeshiva Yagdil Torah accused of sadistic actions toward his students.

Meir Birnhak- Son of Ephraim (like father like son) and Rebbe at Yeshiva Or Shraga D'veretzki accused of horrific and sadistic acts toward his students (some as young as 5)

Chaim Epstein- 9th grade Rebbe at Breuers Yeshiva

Aaron Levine- Rebbe at Ner Yisrael of Toronto- accused of violent physical abuse

Yitzchak Lebovitch- Rosh Yeshiva Yashresh Yaakov of Woodridge, NY. Countless former students are said to have "gone off the derech because of him". He has also been accused of homosexual behaviour with some of his students

Leibish Rubin- Menahel of Yeshiva Imrei Yosef Spinka accused of physically abusing students at Spinka Yeshiva in Boro Park

Rabbi Kahan- creator of a popular Yiddish story tapes series and Rebbe at Yeshiva Imrei Yosef Spinka. Accused of physical abuse.

Naftuli Unger -Rebbe at Vien Cheder in Williamburg, Brooklyn accused-among other things- of violently assaulting a student (who incidentally was a top student with no previous "criminal record")

Allegation of severe physical abuse by unidentified melamdim at Tosh Cheder and Bobov cheder in Toronto

Rabbi Elefant -unidentified yeshiva, physical abuser

Rabbi Sekula - Rabbi and administrator at Yeshiva Torah Vodaath. Calls himself "Sadavna Rebbe". Serious allegations have been leveled against him for ignoring complaints about violent rebbes at the Yeshiva.

Rabbi Yaakov Mandel -Dean of Yeshiva of Brooklyn accused of a host of improper and outright irresponsible beahviour including covering up for and protecting a sex predator in his Yeshiva. Several former students claim to be no longer frum because of him.

Joel Braverman - Principal of Yeshiva of Flatbush accused of violently assaulting students.

Yaakov Mandel said...

Wait a minute! My violent psychotic outbursts were meant to be mechanech the boys so they'd grow up to be yirei shomayim. I never meant to tear their cheeks off, or smack their faces to the ground. The kid who I pulled his pants down in front of everybody (who ended up in Ohel) was a bit extreme, but chinuch-wise I did the best I can.

R' Lazer Ginsberg said...

I took Stefan Colmer under my wing before he ran off to Israel. I'm advocating that on Purim we should raise enough money to do the Mitzva of pidyon shevuim. This poor Jew is in need of your help so he can post bail.

Now let me tell you a great story about what I mean...

sad comment said...

Anonymous said...

Because of what "rabbi" Chaim Krause did to my mother, my parents were compelled to get divorced

12:32 AM

Rabbi Yaakov Applegrad said...

I invited Yudi Kolko to Regency Estates in the Catskills until his trial date, but he told me he likes it in Lakewood; being that there are many boys there.

Rabbi Yaakov Perlow said...

I still hold by this today and I'm not even embarrassed to admit it.

February 2006 – An Askan meets with Rabbi Yaakov Perlow and pleads with him to get involved in this matter. Rabbi Perlow refuses on the basis of his being a Yuchid and this being a Tzibur matter. After being pressed further Rabbi Perlow takes his final stand that this is a Flatbush matter and as he is a Boro Park Rabbi it would be unseemly for him to get involved in this matter.

yisroel belsky said...

Don't forget about me.
· February 17, 2006 – Eli Greenwald is served with a Hazmana issued by Rabbi Yisroel Belsky calling him to a Din Torah to answer the charge of Hotzoas Shem Rah allegedly committed against Rabbi Yehuda Kolko. Mr. Greenwald responds on February 21, 2006, that he will appear for a Din Torah before the Bais Din of America. To this day there has been no reply to Mr. Greenwald’s response by either Kolko or Rabbi Yisroel Belsky.

Rabbi Dov Lior said...

Rabbi: Don't hire, rent homes to Arabs
Matthew Wagner , THE JERUSALEM POST Mar. 19, 2008

Hebron and Kiryat Arba Chief Rabbi Dov Lior plans to issue a halachic ruling forbidding Israeli Jews from rent apartments to Israeli Arabs or Palestinians or to employ them.

In an interview with "Eretz Israel Shelanu" (Our Land of Israel), a pamphlet distributed in synagogues before Shabbat, Lior was quoted as saying it was "mortally dangerous" to do so, as proved by the terror attack at the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva. It was thus forbidden to hire Arab workers not only in yeshivot "but also in factories, hotels or anywhere," he said.

Lior could not be immediately reached. However, a spokesman said this had been Lior's position for some time.

Other leading religious Zionist rabbis, such as Rabbi Eliezer Melamed of Har Bracha and Rabbi Elyakim Levanon of Eilon Moreh, have also called to ban all Arab labor.

Lior's ruling comes just a few days after Rabbi Haim Kanyevsky, a highly respected haredi spiritual leader and halachic authority based in Bnei Brak, ruled it was forbidden for yeshivot to employ Arabs.

Kanyevsky's ruling is being enforced by haredi activists who are visiting yeshivot to ascertain no Arabs are being employed, according to Channel 1 news. The family of Ala Abu Dhaim, the terrorist who murdered eight Mercaz Harav students and wounded nine two weeks ago, said he was employed by the yeshiva as a driver.

However, yeshiva head Rabbi Ya'acov Shapira denied that Abu Dhaim was a yeshiva employee.

In response to Lior's comments, attorney Einat Horowitz, head of the Reform Movement's legal arm, said that "We view with concern the new wave of calls against Arabs since the terrible terrorist attack on Mercaz Harav.

"There is a phenomenon of rising racial incitement against Arabs that distorts Judaism and is also illegal. We call on the attorney-general to wake up and act to enforce the law and prohibit calls like this.

"It is inconceivable that public figures, including those who are salaried state employees, continue to voice discriminatory exhortations unchallenged. State officials need to intervene and make it clear that these comments are illegitimate."

In a related story, Mossawa, the Advocacy Center for Arab Citizens of Israel, released a report Wednesday that found Israeli Jews to be more supportive of the deportation of Israeli Arabs.

The report warned that ideas such as population exchange and racial segregation for Israeli Arabs are gaining support among Jews. It also warned that several Jewish politicians are gaining influence based on a platform of racial hatred.

Ehud Olmert said...

Is this how you treat a head of state?

In the interview, Rabbi Lior backed the decision made by the administration of the Mercaz Harav yeshiva in Jerusalem to prevent Prime Minister Ehud Olmert from visiting the school after an Israeli Arab terrorist killed eight students there two weeks ago. "How can you welcome a man who acts against our holy Torah and continues to lead the people of Israel toward great danger?" Lior said.

"They were right in refusing to welcome such a personality in the yeshiva's halls," he added.

World wide rally for Sderot said...

On Thursday March 20, a global internet-rally will be held in support of those living in Sderot. Speakers include Alan Dershowitz, the renowned American international lawyer and author of, "The Case for Israel," and Irwin Cotler, the former Canadian Minister of Justice, live from Sderot, Israel at 11 p.m. local time, 5 p.m. EDT

Other speakers include Yisroel Meir Lau, Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv; Israel's Chief Rabbi Yonah Metzger; Natan Sharansky, former Knesset member and Soviet Refusenik; David Trimble, former First Minister of Ireland; the Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom, Sir Jonathan Sacks; Reggae Star Matisyahu; Marvin Hier, Director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center; Academy Award winning actor, Jon Voight and the Mayor of Beverly Hills, Jimmy Del Shad. Pre-taped messages from the U.S. Presidential candidates -- Sen. Hillary Clinton, Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain -- will also be played for audiences.

Borat said...

In my hometown of Kazakhstan - there is a.. How do you say eh.. kosher restaurant. High five!

Kazakhstan Opens Its First Kosher Restaurant

Israel`s ambassador said: `I used to say the best kosher restaurant in Kazakhstan is in my kitchen, but now it`s obviously going to change.`
Kazakhstan's first kosher restaurant opened its doors for business on Wednesday in what Jewish community leaders said was a symbol of their culture's revival in the mainly Muslim Central Asian state.

Kazakhstan, a steppe nation of 15 million with nomadic roots, has prided itself on being relatively tolerant towards other religions compared with other ex-Soviet states.

Kazakhstan's chief Rabbi Yeshayah Cohen recited a prayer and greeted community members as the brick-and-wood tavern, called "Kosher" and financed by private investors, opened in the Kazakhstan's financial capital Almaty.

"It's an important event for all of us," Cohen said as other visitors, clad in traditional black suits and hats, surveyed the restaurant's elaborately painted walls and nibbled on dishes prepared in accordance with Jewish dietary laws.

Israel's ambassador Ran Ichay said: "I used to say the best kosher restaurant in Kazakhstan is in my kitchen, but now it's obviously going to change."

"There is a need for kosher food in Kazakhstan even after 70 years of Soviet rule, and that means something," he said.

Kazakhstan's tolerance, unlike its patchier human rights record, has been praised by the West which has criticised other former Soviet states, mainly Russia, for not doing enough to fight anti-Semitism.

In its report on anti-Semitism in 2004, the U.S. State Department quoted Kazakhstan's chief rabbi as telling officials in Brussels that "in his 10 years living in Kazakhstan, he had never faced a single case of anti-Semitism".

Community leaders said the opening of the restaurant, tucked inside an old Soviet furniture factory, was a symbolic act of closure for many of Kazakhstan's 30,000 Jews whose grandparents moved here as part of Josef Stalin's mass deportations.

Jewish communities have coexisted with Kazakhs and Uzbeks for 2,000 years.

The political upheavals of Soviet rule made more than a million of Jews abandon their homes across the former Soviet Union to look for better lives in Israel and Western Europe, although there are no official numbers on Central Asia.

Community leaders in Kazakhstan said some are now coming back, lured by Kazakhstan's double-digit economic growth and echoing a similar trend in Russia.

"Jews always felt at home here, even in Soviet times," Ichay said. "That is probably because of Kazakh's nomadic past when they had little contact with outside conflicts, unlike other Christian and Muslim countries."

Yehuda Nussbaum the molester said...

Sounds like a stiff sentence. What would they they give to someone who sexually and physically assaulted tons of boys at Yeshiva of Brooklyn - for years and years?

By Keith Kobland
An Oswego County man is facing more than 100-years behind bars, for physically and sexually abusing three boys several years ago.
Richard Kirk of Williamstown was sentenced to 131 years in prison this morning in Oswego County Court, but its likely he'll only serve 50-years of the sentence, due to state corrections laws. A jury found Kirk guilty of 25 counts of sex related crimes, involving the young boys ages 7, 8, and 11. His girlfriend faced similar charges after her arrest last year. Kirk will be 97 years old when he is eligible for parole.

Church paid $615 million on abuse claims in 2007 said...

The U.S. Catholic church paid out $615 million in costs related to sexual abuse claims in 2007, even as the number of victims coming forward fell for the third straight year, according to an annual report issued March 7 by the U.S. bishops’ conference.

More than $526 million went to settlements between victims and dioceses and religious orders last year. That’s an increase of 90 percent over 2006 and a new high for the U.S. church.

At the same time, according to the report, dioceses and religious orders received 691 credible reports of sexual abuse from 689 victims in 2007, down from 714 such reports in 2006.

Most of the sex attacks took place decades ago, according to the report, most frequently during the 1970s. Just five new instances of the molestation of a minor by Catholic staff during 2007 were reported.

The 84-page report is part of a yearly review inaugurated after the sexual abuse crisis exploded in the church in 2002. It is produced by the bishops’ National Review Board, with information provided by Georgetown University’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate and audits conducted by the independent Gavin Group Inc. of Boston.

All of the U.S. church’s 195 dioceses but one -- the diocese of Lincoln, Neb. -- undertook an audit. Lincoln Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz has steadfastly refused to comply.

In a public letter to conference president Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, Michael Merz, chair of the National Review Board, conceded that Bruskewitz’s recalcitrance “scandalizes the faithful, who cannot understand resistance to a simple measure for the protection of children.”

Eleven dioceses, archdioceses or eparchies were noncompliant with one or more stipulations in the bishops’ Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, according to the report. Most had not fully addressed the charter’s conditions for “safe environment” programs.

David Clohessy, national director for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, called the bishops’ charter “vague, weak and only sporadically enforced.”

Since 1950, sexual abuse-related costs have reached an estimated $2.4 billion and almost 14,000 abuse claims have been lodged, according to church figures.

-- Religion News Service

National Catholic Reporter, March 21, 2008

Shlomo Mandel the putz said...

This sounds like me. I still don't remember ever hearing about even a single abuse case in my yeshiveh. Could be it was brought to my attention, but I refused to be mekabel.

A new twist today in the mishandling of sex abuse allegations at a Buffalo school. Some are questioning why the Superintendent claimed he didn't know about the accusations even though the teacher sent him a certified letter about it.

Doctor James Williams signed for the letter back in November. It's from a teacher who says she saw an aide fondling a student at the Discovery School. But when the accusations finally became public recently, the superintendent said it would have been dealt with sooner had he known about the situation earlier.

Doctor Williams fired an administrator last week for mishandling the investigation. The teacher claims she saw a classroom aide fondling a five-year-old boy back in November. She told the principal and sent the superintendent the certified letter, but nothing happened.

Department spokesman Stephan Mychajliw says "It certainly should have been passed on to the authorities immediately and then let the Buffalo Police Department and Erie County District Attorney's office determine whether or not there is any truth in that allegation."

The superintendent's spokesperson is now issuing a statement saying the superintendent gets "hundreds, even thousands" of pieces of mail a week. They are forwarded to the appropriate department and Doctor Williams does not remember reading this particular letter sent in November.

The family of the five-year-old boy is considering a lawsuit against the school district.

An open letter to Rabbi Matisyahu Salomon said...

An open letter to Rabbi Matisyahu Salomon, Mashgiach, Bais Medrash Govoha, Lakewood, New Jersey:

Dear Rabbi Salomon:

I heard your speech at the Agudah Convention and have a few comments and questions I would like to share with you. I am writing this letter in an open forum as I believe the issues herein are of vital importance to our people and warrant the same circulation as your much publicized speech.

I take no issue with your well reasoned argument calling for civility in expression of disagreement. Bnai Torah should be able to agree to disagree. While I join you in condemning the deplorable language used by the few, I respectfully suggest that dissenters need not be placed in the category of “rasha,” or “maskil” for you to make your point. Likewise, suggestions of “hakei es shinov” and proclamations that children of select members of our community whose views you may disagree with have no place in our schools; do little to further civilized discourse.

In your speech you made a point of declaring your lack of cowardice in dealing with the issue of sexual abuse by rabbeim in yeshiva and insisted that keeping your efforts discreet or as you put it to “sweep under the carpet,” is a choice you make to protect human dignity. Whose dignity are you referring to? The dignity of those few victims courageous enough to step forward and confront these powerful monsters or the dignity of these monsters and their poor families? I respectfully suggest that by concerning yourself with the dignity of the pedophile and sweeping his heinous acts under the carpet, you subject his victims to another round of abuse at the hands of the community while enabling the predator to continue his reign of terror on unsuspecting victims.

We are taught “chochmah b’goyim, taamin.” Medical statistics tell us that a treated pedophile has a sixty percent rate of recidivism. This places the pedophile squarely in the category of a rodeph and as such we have a duty to our community to expose him so that potential victims are aware of this clear and present danger. Sex Offender Registries exist for a reason. Namely, the law and medical science recognize that these people are incapable of controlling themselves. You may be impressed by a heartfelt and tearful confession coupled with a commitment to never again succumb to temptation, (“teshuva”). However, you will not be present when this pedophile succumbs to his overwhelming urges and destroys another poor innocent life. Respectfully, you do not have the right to ignore universally accepted medical knowledge and take innocent children’s lives into your hands for the sake of a pedophile’s “dignity.”

Indeed, your strategy of not acting until the pedophile has been proved 100 percent guilty and using the Torah as your guide to protect our mosdos is not new. As will be shown below this very same strategy was followed by many other rabbonim with disastrous results. Rabbi Shalom Yosef Elyashiv puts it best while writing about this very issue. Rabbi Elyashiv quotes the Rashba who writes in his Responsa, III no. 393, “…Because if you will adjudicate based only on the laws established by the Torah, society will be destroyed…” (emphasis added).

Yes, we do need to stop “the terrible assault” and “immunize against a plague” of “insidious poison seeping in.” It is our duty to teach our children to “rise in their defense” and of course we must “give them the ammunition to fight back when they are attacked.” You and I differ only in our opinion of where the threat lies. You maintain with an impressive fervor that the threat lies with disrespectful bloggers. I respectfully disagree and see the threat to be that deadly minority of rabbeim who are morally corrupt and are destroying our children.

In your speech you alluded to the case of Rabbi Yehuda Kolko, a rebbe in Yeshiva Torah Temimah for over thirty-eight years. You express indignation that this one example of a pedophile that “slips through the fingers” is being used as an illustration of how Klal Yisroel behaves. Rabbi Salomon; unfortunately one is as one does. As such, this is who we are as a community today. Tragically, the story as depicted by the secular media in all its gory detail is but the tip of the iceberg.

The below bullet point history is general and merely touches upon events of the past forty years. If you want more details, I suggest you confer with Rabbi Ephraim Wachsman, who was employed by Kolko in Camp Ma-Na-Vu and will surely share his knowledge of events with you. Remind Rabbi Wachsman of his expression of remorse to his friends for not having informed his uncle, Rabbi Shloime Klein, of Kolko’s predilection for young boys when Rabbi Klein was embroiled in a difficult din torah with Kolko and Rabbi Lipa Geldwirth in or around 1990.

A Partial Biography of Rabbi Yehuda Kolko & Rabbi Lipa Margulies

· 1967 – While working as Dormitory Counselor at Yeshivas Mir, Rabbi Yehuda Kolko calls a student (name withheld) out of his dormitory room and begins discussing matters of a sexual nature with him while rubbing up against him in an aroused state. This abuse continues for the remainder of the school year and into the summer season at Camp Agudah. This student is now a distinguished Manhattan attorney living happily with his partner in New York City and insists that his lifestyle choice has absolutely nothing to do with his abuse by Kolko.

· 1969 thru 1971 - Rabbi Yehuda Kolko begins abusing Dovid Framowitz in Yeshiva Torah Vodaas of Flatbush (now known as Yeshiva Torah Temimah) and Camp Agudah, the details of which abuse are now public knowledge. Mr. Framowitz, a grandfather living in Eretz Yisroel, has not gone a day since being abused without reliving the unspeakable agony he suffered at Kolko’s hands.

· 1972 - Rabbi Yehuda Kolko sexually abuses two young campers (names withheld at the request of the victims) in Camp Agudah who complain to their counselor. Their counselor reports the complaint to Rabbi Simcha Kaufman. The abuse of these two boys cease for the remainder of that summer. Rabbi Simcha Kaufman is a co-worker of Kolko in Yeshiva Torah Temimah (more on Kaufman below) and was a co-worker of Kolko in Camp Agudah until 1976 when Kolko voluntarily left Camp Agudah after he co-founded Camp Ma-Na-Vu with Rabbi Lipa Geldwirth, another co-worker of his at Yeshiva Torah Temimah.

· 1977 – Rabbi Yehuda Kolko, employed as a rebbe in Yeshiva Torah Temimah in the morning, is employed in the afternoons by Yeshiva Karlin Stolin as Secular Studies Principal. During the course of his short tenure in Yeshiva Karlin Stolin numerous complaints are lodged by both students and parents (names withheld at the request of the victims) accusing Kolko of sexually abusing boys in the yeshiva. Rabbi Shmuel Dishon asks Kolko to leave the employ of the yeshiva.

· 1977 on – Eyewitness testimony and accusations of sexual abuse by Rabbi Yehuda Kolko of students at Yeshiva Torah Temimah and Camp Ma-Na-Vu reach a crescendo which culminates in several businessmen approaching Rabbi Lipa Margulies in 1984 and offering to fund a retirement package for Rabbi Yehuda Kolko provided he seeks employment away from children. Rabbi Lipa Margulies steadfastly refuses to accept the offer and suggests that those parents who disagree with his decision remove their children from his Yeshiva Torah Temimah.

· 1981 – Rabbi Yehuda Kolko sexually abuses a twelve year old student of Yeshiva Torah Temimah (name withheld at the request of the victim.) This victim publicizes the abuse and acts out, vandalizing Kolko’s home and car. Rabbi Lipa Margulies calls this victim's father and warns him that if this activity does not stop his other children would be expelled from yeshiva and the safety of his family could not be guaranteed. This victim is subsequently referred to Avrohom Mondrowitz for counseling.

· 1984 – As instructed by Rabbi Avigdor Miller, an askan calls for a meeting which takes place at the home of Rabbi Yakov Perlow (the Novominsker) and is attended by Rabbi Avrohom Pam, Rabbi Elya Svei, Rabbi Chaim Dov Keller, Rabbi Aharon Schechter, Rabbi Moshe Scheinerman, Rabbi Shia Fishman and Rabbi Yankel Bender. At this meeting, chaired by Rabbi Perlow, the askan discusses what is transpiring to innocent boys at the hands of Rabbi pedophiles and requests that Torah Umesorah and the rabbonim issue a statement calling for their removal from chinuch. Rabbi Svei informs this askan that Torah Umesorah has consulted their attorneys who advised that for Torah Umesorah to admit knowledge of such abuse would subject Torah Umesorah, its staff, all its member schools and their staff to liability for not having reported their knowledge to the authorities earlier. Accordingly, Rabbi Elya Svei informs the askan, neither he nor Torah Umesorah will do anything about this problem.

· 1984 thru 1985 – At directed by Rabbi Avrohom Pam an askan approaches Rabbi Moshe Scheinerman and the two meet with Rabbi Shia (Joshua) Fishman in the office of Torah Umesorah. Both Scheinerman and Fishman neglect to inform this askan that Fishman had been instructed by Torah Umesorah’s lawyer to do nothing about this issue. Rabbi Fishman requests the names of Kolko’s victims and promises absolute confidentiality. Names are provided to Rabbi Fishman who begins his own investigation of the allegations. He meets with and speaks with several victims who pour their hearts out to him after he guarantees them confidentiality. Rabbi Shia Fishman promptly discloses all he has learned to Rabbi Lipa Margulies who in turn publicly disparages and discredits each and every one of those boys who were brave enough to step forward.

· 1985 – A follow up meeting takes place at the home of Rabbi Simcha Kaufman and includes Rabbi Kaufman, Rabbi Lipa Margulies, Rabbi Shia Fishman, an askan and an eyewitness. The eyewitness recounts his personal knowledge of Rabbi Kolko’s sexual abuse of boys and discusses the information he had gleaned from others. Rabbi Lipa Margulies insists that the charges are all fabrications and attacks the reputations of everyone involved in seeking the removal of Kolko from his Yeshiva Torah Temimah. Rabbi Shia Fishman subsequently informs anyone who asks that he can not deal with this issue as he is old (50 at the time) and will lose his job if he pursues this matter.

· 1985 – Rabbi Moshe Scheinerman is offered a lucrative and prestigious position as rav of a shul (a position he holds to this day) and is told that he must cease and desist from his actions against Yeshiva Torah Temimah rabbeim (his own words) which he promptly does. Scheinerman abandons ship explaining that it is not appropriate for a rabbi of his stature to deal with these matters. Rabbi Yehoshua Leiman takes over.

· 1985 - Rabbi Yehoshua Leiman and others continue their quest for a solution and convene a bais din for this purpose. This bais din, consisting of Rabbi Menashe Klein, Rabbi Yechezkel Roth, Rabbi Aharon Stein, Rabbi Moshe Stern and Rabbi Chaim Yankel Tauber, is scheduled to hear testimony for two days after which they will rule on how to proceed. This panel meets and hears testimony for one day. Shortly thereafter, Rabbi Moshe Stern states that he is unable to participate in any more sessions and this bais din is disbanded without further explanation. In a private conversation with one of the askanim, Rabbi Stern disclosed that he had been approached by Rabbi Lipa Margulies which resulted in the discontinuance of the din torah.

· 1985 – Upon the dissolution of the above bais din, Rabbi Lipa Margulies retains Rabbi Pinchus Scheinberg to convene a second bais din for the purpose of clearing Rabbi Yehuda Kolko’s name. Rabbi Lipa Margulies then drafts Rabbi Friedman (the Tenka Rav) and Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Brown to serve on Rabbi Scheinberg’s bais din. Prior to convening the bais din, Rabbi Pinchus Scheinberg speaks with several of Kolko’s victims and asks them to describe what Kolko has done to them. Upon hearing the allegations Rabbi Scheinberg informs the boys that in the eyes of halacha they had not been molested. Rabbi Scheinberg also calls the askanim and tells them to cease and desist in their attempts to remove Kolko from chinuch. Rabbi Avigdor Miller disagrees and instructs the askanim in no uncertain terms to do whatever must be done to protect children from Kolko. Rabbi Pinchus Scheinberg convenes the bais din and takes the position that Rabbi Kolko has a chezkas kashrus absent any testimony by two adult witnesses to any single event. Rabbi Friedman takes the position that in light of the persistent rumors Rabbi Kolko must be kept away from children. Rabbi Brown ultimately concedes that there is no halachic evidence against Kolko and the din torah is concluded. Rabbi Lipa Margulies insists that he has a psak from this bais din but to this day has refused to produce it. Regardless, it is of note that no victims testified before this bais din.

· 1987 – Rabbi Yehuda Kolko, having groomed a former first grade student of his for years, begins systematically sexually abusing this boy (name withheld at the request of the victim) both in and out of the Yeshiva Torah Temimah building. When this boy complains to Rabbi Lipa Margulies that his grades are slipping because Kolko is removing him from class almost daily, Margulies responds by slapping the boy across the face and throwing him out of his office. This young man is now living down south where he is on leave of absence from the U.S. Army.

· 2001 – Rabbi Yehuda Kolko, takes a young Yeshiva Torah Temimah student under his wing (name withheld at the request of the victim) and begins removing him from class for “special projects.” These special projects include the boy being sexually molested by Kolko in the basement of the yeshiva, in Rabbi Kolko’s car and in Rabbi Kolko’s private office, which Rabbi Lipa Margulies has conveniently equipped with its own private bathroom. This young man is currently in therapy and hopes to be able to recover enough to be able to get married and start a family.

· 2005 – Dovid Framowitz, after years of searching on the internet, chances upon a post written by a blogger calling himself “Un-Orthodox Jew” which makes reference to Rabbi Lipa Margulies harboring Rabbi Yehuda Kolko, a known pedophile, in his Yeshiva Torah Temimah. Dovid begins communicating with this blogger via e-mail who in turn posts Dovid’s story on his blog. Over the course of several months other victims of Kolko begin to step forward with their stories.

· January 2006 – Several askonim decide that this four decade long chillul hashem must stop and approach both Rabbi Yehuda Kolko and Rabbi Lipa Margulies with a demand that Kolko be removed from Yeshiva Torah Temimah and Camp Silver Lake and further commit to spending the rest of his life in treatment and away from children. Both Kolko and Margulies refuse.

· February 2006 – A letter is drafted informing the public that Rabbi Yehuda Kolko is a dangerous pedophile and that Rabbi Lipa Margulies continues to employ him despite his knowledge of this fact. Copies of this draft letter are delivered to Kolko and Margulies. Both Kolko and Margulies are offered the opportunity to deal quietly with the issue and are informed that if they continue to refuse, the letter would be mass mailed to the entire community. Kolko responds by stating that “the matter has been taken care of” and Margulies responds by asking if anyone “thinks Kolko is still a threat” and declares “if anyone does not like the way I run my yeshiva let them not send their children to my yeshiva.” They refuse to comply and the letter is sent out in a mass mailing.

· February 2006 – Eli Greenwald, a graduate of Yeshiva and Mesivta Torah Temimah, son of one of the founders of the yeshiva and a parent in the yeshiva receives the letter and spends a few days investigating the matter. He calls Rabbi Yaakov Applegrad, the yeshiva’s Administrator, and requests a meeting of the Vaad Ha'horim in order to address this serious issue. Rabbi Applegrad informs him that there will be no meeting as the allegations are false and that he and Rabbi Margulies have the matter under control. Mr. Greenwald called Rabbi Lipa Margulies and makes the same request of him. Rabbi Margulies responds by shouting at him.

· February 17, 2006 – Eli Greenwald is served with a hazmana issued by Rabbi Yisroel Belsky calling him to a din torah to answer the charge of hotzoas shem rah allegedly committed against Rabbi Yehuda Kolko. Mr. Greenwald responds on February 21, 2006, that he will appear for a din torah before the Bais Din of America. To this day there has been no reply to Mr. Greenwald’s response by either Kolko or Rabbi Yisroel Belsky.

· February 2006 – An askan meets with Rabbi Yaakov Perlow and pleads with him to get involved in this matter. Rabbi Perlow refuses on the basis of his being a yuchid and this being a tzibur matter. After being pressed further Rabbi Perlow takes his final stand that this is a Flatbush matter and as he is a Boro Park rabbi it would be unseemly for him to get involved in this matter.

· March 2006 – Rabbi Lipa Margulies reaches a standstill agreement with the askonim by committing to appear before a panel consisting of two rabbonim and one frum lawyer, all three of whom had been chosen by him. Rabbi Lipa Margulies reneges on his promise to appear before this panel.

· March 23, 2006 – A hazmana to a din torah is sent to Rabbi Yehuda Kolko, Rabbi Lipa Margulies and Yeshiva Torah Temimah summoning them to a din torah before the Bais Din of Mechon L’Hoyroa or a bais din of ZBLA. The hazmana is ignored by all the defendants.

· March 30, 2006 – A second hazmana to a din torah is sent to Rabbi Yehuda Kolko, Rabbi Lipa Margulies and Yeshiva Torah Temimah summoning them to a din torah before the Bais Din of Mechon L’Hoyroa or a bais din of ZBLA. By fax sent on April 5, 2006, Rabbi Lipa Margulies responds to this hazmana stating he will not appear for a din torah “without a prior determination of the charges against Rabbi Kolko.” Rabbi Kolko continues to ignore the hazmanas.

· April 6, 2006 – A third hazmana to a din torah is sent to Rabbi Yehuda Kolko, Rabbi Lipa Margulies and Yeshiva Torah Temimah summoning them to a din torah before the Bais Din of Mechon L’Hoyroa or a bais din of ZBLA. By fax sent on April 10, 2006, Rabbi Lipa Margulies responds to this hazmana by stating “the Hazmonah that you sent to us was not a valid Hazmonah.” Rabbi Kolko does not respond at all. It is of note that Rabbi Yehuda Kolko is still teaching in Yeshiva Torah Temimah while these exchanges are taking place.

· May 4, 2006 – A lawsuit is filed in United States District Court: Eastern District of New York, naming Rabbi Yehuda Kolko; Yeshiva & Mesivta Torah Temimah, Inc. and Camp Agudah as defendants. Rabbi Yehuda Kolko remains in the classrooms of Yeshiva Torah Temimah.

· May 5, 2006 – Rabbi Simcha Kaufman approaches Dovid Framowitz and with tears in his eyes tells him that if only he had known what Rabbi Kolko was doing to him he would have put a stop to it. Of interest was Rabbi Simcha Kaufman’s complete denial of any prior knowledge of any accusation before Dovid Framowitz brought his lawsuit. Rabbi Simcha Kaufman pleads with Dovid to withdraw his lawsuit lest he hurt Rabbi Lipa Margulies and the Yeshiva.

· May 10, 2006 – After being approached for comment on several occasions by Robert Kolker, a reporter for New York Magazine, and with a 5:00 printing deadline looming, Rabbi Lipa Margulies issues a statement through his attorney at 4:30 PM. Beginning with a proclamation that Yeshiva Torah Temimah is the preeminent yeshiva in the world followed by an absolute denial of all the allegations, the statement concludes with an announcement that Rabbi Kolko has agreed to a “leave of absence” pending resolution of this matter. Despite this claim, Rabbi Yehuda Kolko remains in the classrooms of Yeshiva Torah Temimah.

· May 12, 2006 – A second lawsuit is filed in United States District Court: Eastern District of New York naming Rabbi Yehuda Kolko; Yeshiva & Mesivta Torah Temimah, Inc. as defendants. Still, Rabbi Yehuda Kolko remains in the classrooms of Yeshiva Torah Temimah.

· May 15, 2006 – “On the Rabbi’s Knees – Do the Orthodox Jews Have a Catholic Priest Problem” a feature article in New York Magazine, a publication with a circulation of three million, is published. Within days of the publication of the article and after thirty-eight years of committing unspeakable acts of perversion in Yeshiva Torah Temimah, Kolko leaves the classrooms of Yeshiva Torah Temimah. It was only after the magazine hit the newsstands that Margulies succumbed to pressure and removed Kolko from the classrooms of Yeshiva Torah Temimah.

· July 2006 – Over the vocal protest of many residents and with the help of his friend Rabbi Yaakov Applegrad, Rabbi Yehuda Kolko takes up summer residence at a home in Regency Estates in the Catskills. Despite the claim that Kolko was on a leave of absence from Yeshiva Torah Temimah, he continues working for Camp Silver Lake, Yeshiva Torah Temimah’s summer home. In addition, Kolko initiates and organizes a multi-camp excursion to Lake Compounce, a water park located in Connecticut, where he is seen frolicking with young boys in bathing suits. A secular media outcry ensues resulting in Kolko being banned from the park by its non-Jewish management. Astonishingly, in August Kolko organizes a second trip to Lake Compounce, which is attended by the same frum boy’s camps who participated in the July trip.

The above is but a sampling of the cases I am aware of. One need not be a great lamden to realize that I am aware of only a small percentage of Kolko’s abuse victims. As rachmonim bnai rachmonim, it is unbearable to grasp the stunning extent of this catastrophe.

To all who decry the “chillul hashem” the New York Magazine article resulted in, I say; embarrassing, yes. Chillul hashem, absolutely not! Indeed, it is ironic that this very article which has been condemned by many rabbonim is what got you and them to belatedly acknowledge Kolko’s guilt. Apparently a mere forty years of koila d’lo posuk was not enough. Were the lawsuits and the magazine article the chillul hashem? No! The decades long chillul hashem is that of Margulies's and Kolko’s actions coupled with the many decades of improper action and inaction by our rabbonim and organizations. Their chillul hashem was somewhat offset by the recent kiddush hashem of the action taken by a few askonim. They, who had the courage to do what had to be done to protect our children from the acts of monsters and the cowardice of our rabbonim. All this I say with the utmost respect and reverence.

I lay no blame at your doorstep for the above; you come from another part of the world, did not participate in and have no first hand knowledge of these events. I merely ask you to understand the world of pain and destruction that Rabbi Yehuda Kolko and his enablers; with a special note of distinction going to Rabbi Lipa Margulies; have left in their wake. I respectfully question your judgment in showing respect and support for Rabbi Lipa Margulies without having done a thorough investigation of his history. Surely, l'man yishmeu v’yirahu, a man such as Lipa Margulies must be publicly vilified; not cholila v’chas publicly honored by someone of your esteem.

I respectfully submit that despite the focus of your speech, this issue has nothing to do with an obnoxious blogger or kovod haTorah. No reasonable adult takes this blogger’s inane ravings as anything but. That he fell into this issue and “b’mokom she'ain ish” he chose to “hishtadail lehios ish” and participate in pushing it forward, is a sad commentary on the egregious failures of our leadership. Rather, the issue is the still unanswered question of where our leaders were all these decades while Rabbi Yehuda Kolko and Rabbi Lipa Margulies were savaging our children. I ask with the utmost respect and humility; how can you stand in front of us in good faith and turn this into an issue of kovod hatorah? I ask that you hear the constant cries of anguish laden souls destroyed by chronic inaction coupled with a misguided concern for the “dignity” of rabbeim who molest.

This is not a tale of something that somehow “slips through the fingers” but rather only one of many glaring examples of what occurs in a community whose leaders are unwilling to deal with an issue that sits under a spotlight for four decades and engulfs the souls of countless innocent children. Hashem yerachaim.

As parents we have every right to expect that accusations of sexual abuse by a rebbe be first verified post haste and then publicized so that we may protect our children from this predator and make informed decisions about where to send our children to yeshiva. In the face of pikuach nefesh; cries of kovod haTorah, chillul hashem and loshon harah have no relevance. To resort to such cries is simply am ha'haretzes and violates the precept not to be a merachaim al ha'achzoir. The issue all of us need to address, lay people and rabbonim alike, is why nothing was done for so many decades and what lessons we can learn from our past mistakes to prevent future catastrophes of this nature.

Respectfully yours,

exposemolesters said...

Jewish School’s Sex Scandal Rocks Australia

By Dan Goldberg
Wed. Mar 19, 2008

Sydney, Australia — Australia’s tight-knit ultra-Orthodox community is being roiled by allegations that the principal of a girls’ high school molested a number of her former students.

Malka Leifer, the headmistress of Melbourne’s Adass Israel Girls’ School for the past five years, left the country within 24 hours of board members confronting her with allegations of sexual misconduct on March 4, according to school board members.

Her departure is particularly controversial due to allegations that she left with up to $100,000 borrowed from community members. A teacher at the school told the Forward that Leifer borrowed money from members of the community who were unaware of the impending furor.

Leifer, a mother of eight in her late 40s, denied any wrongdoing to the school’s board, but since she was ordered to step aside pending a full investigation, she believed she “might as well resign,” according the school’s lawyer, Norman Rosenbaum. (Rosenbaum’s younger brother, Yankel, was murdered by an anti-Jewish mob in Brooklyn during the Crown Heights riots in 1991.)

A day after speaking with the school, Leifer left for Israel, where she was born.

The allegations and swift departure have traumatized the 1,200 members of Adass Israel, an ultra-Orthodox, non-Zionist community whose lingua franca is Yiddish. Unlike in America, where ultra-Orthodox, or Haredi, sects have their own communities, the Adass community here includes Satmar, Vishnitzer, Belz and other Hasidic groupings.

“My friend teaches there [at the school],” said Timmy Rubin, who runs the Chaya Moushke Schneerson Mikvah in Melbourne. “She’s been crying the whole time. Everybody’s devastated. It’s like 9/11 for them; it’s their wake-up call.”

Melbourne is home to a 45,000-person Jewish community, with a significant Orthodox contingent, including a strong Chabad-Lubavitch component. Adass Israel, however, is a virtually self-contained, reclusive community that has little contact with the wider Jewish population.

At least three alleged victims are believed to have come forward to counselors with allegations of misconduct by Leifer. Sources close to the school told the Forward that the alleged victims are all recent graduates who became teachers at the school.

Since the allegations emerged, the school has engaged a number of psychologists, including experts in sexual abuse, to counsel the school’s 250 students, as well their parents, former students and staff. It also flew in an expert from Israel to counsel the students.

The story broke last Thursday in The Australian Jewish News, and has been seized upon by the mainstream media.

“Principal ‘molested schoolgirls,’” screamed the front-page headline Melbourne’s The Age last Friday. “Fury over girls school sex claims,” thundered The Australian on Saturday. Talk radio and blogs have been ablaze with commentary — much of it negative, including inflammatory statements against individuals and defamation of Jews in general. In addition, a furious debate has been raging on the Web site and in this week’s letters’ pages of The Australian Jewish News about whether the newspaper should have reported the allegations on its front page last week.

The person who first told the school about the allegations spoke to the Forward on condition of anonymity. She said that three weeks ago she was told by a fellow counselor that a former student had revealed the alleged instances of molestation.

“One of my colleagues said she’d had a person in therapy say that someone behaved inappropriately with her,” the counselor said. “None of the current students have been abused, as far as we know. But who knows what might come out in the next few weeks?”

For the community, some of the most damaging reports have covered the way in which the school has handled the affair. The school only informed the Independent Association of Schools of Victoria, an umbrella organization for area schools, on March 6, the day after Leifer left the country.

Media reports have also alleged that Leifer, who arrived in Melbourne eight years ago, went to members of the community to borrow money just before she left.

Sholomo Boruch Abelesz, a former secretary of the Adass Israel community whose daughter is a former student of Leifer, blasted the media coverage.

“We are innocent people being made to look guilty,” Abelesz said.

“We have been besmirched by the actions of one woman,” he added.

Rosenbaum, the school’s lawyer, said he knew nothing about the financial allegations. The school acted “responsibly and expeditiously,” said Rosenbaum.

“The school’s first priority is the welfare and safety of all persons affected by her,” he added.

Yossi Aron, religious affairs editor of The Australian Jewish News and the author of a history on the Adass community in Melbourne, described the scandal as the “ultimate betrayal.”

“They are in absolute trauma; they are in a state of shock. It’s a disaster,” said Aron, whose late father was the first principal of the Adass Israel school.

“Many are of the view she must be outed and shamed,” he said. “But there are some who are concerned the status of the organization must be upheld.”

In his Sabbath sermon on March 8, Adass Chief Rabbi Avrohom Zvi Beck said Leifer should not be considered guilty because no charges have been brought against her. Beck, a Vishnitzer Hasidic rabbi whose brother is head of the anti-Zionist Neturei Karta in America, also warned his flock not to engage in malicious gossip.

Police are aware of the allegations but would neither confirm nor deny whether any girls had reported claims against Leifer or whether a police investigation is underway.

“I doubt that there can be a police case because, knowing our families, no girl or parent will report these allegations,” Abelesz, the former Adass secretary, said. “The girls are modest and shy and would only be further hurt by any publicity.”

Rosenbaum stressed that “not a single complaint had been made to the school by any person saying they were adversely affected by this woman.”

But, he added, “We will not under any circumstance compromise — from an ethical, legal, moral or halachic point of view— the rights of those who have been affected.”

A teacher at the girls’ school, who has known Leifer for six years, said she came across as “very charismatic” and “fun loving,” but “a little bit strange.”

“She was an odd woman who had odd relationships with people, but you don’t think along sinister lines,” the teacher said.

Raizl Fogel, an Adass member whose daughters are graduates of the school, said she was “totally blinded” by the allegations.

“People are up in arms about it,” Fogel said. “It’s havoc in our community. There are a lot of very disturbed people. They don’t know where to go.”

Agunot said...

The Jerusalem Post Internet Edition

Int'l Agunot Day: 'I want women to know it's not a mitzva to suffer in silence'
Ruth Eglash , THE JERUSALEM POST Mar. 19, 2008

Four days before International Aguna Day is marked worldwide and nine years after first filing for a get - or writ of divorce - from her long-time spouse, Zehava (not her real name) was celebrating Tuesday after hearing the day before that the Rabbinic Courts had finally forced her estranged husband to dissolve their marriage.

"They should have done this a long time ago," she told The Jerusalem Post Tuesday, adding, "Words can't express how I feel right now. It still doesn't feel real."

Zehava said she was just happy that someone in the rabbinate had finally taken the time to read her case through properly and recognize the pain suffered for many years by her and her two children.

According to Jewish law, a woman cannot remarry until her husband agrees to give her a get. Women waiting for an intransigent husband to give a get are known as agunot, or "chained" women. If agunot do marry without receiving a get from their previous husbands, the children born of the second marriage are considered illegitimate, or mamzerim, and are forbidden to marry.

The International Coalition of Aguna Rights (ICAR), which represents an affiliation of 27 organizations working to find a solution to the problem of women whose husbands are unable or unwilling to grant them a Jewish divorce, estimate that hundreds of women in Israel are currently caught in such limbo.

Activists for aguna rights will march at noon on Wednesday from the rabbinical courts in downtown Jerusalem to the Knesset to raise awareness about the issue. International Aguna Day is marked annually on Ta'anit Esther, 13 Adar-Bet according to the Hebrew calendar.

In her interview with the Post, Zehava described how she had put up with years of physical, verbal and emotional abuse at the hands of her husband, and how even after filing for a divorce in 1999, he kept insisting to the rabbinic judges that the couple could rebuild their relationship and work on 'shalom bayit' [domestic reconciliation].

"For the first 20 years I did keep forgiving him and going back to him," she said. "I suffered his abuse in silence and he never thought that I would ever stand up to him. When I finally filed for a divorce, he was shocked and begged for my forgiveness. He claimed he wanted us to try and work things out."

But Zehava refused and continued to press on with the divorce proceedings. For the first four years, however, she was forced to continue living in the same house as her husband. He only agreed to move out after she bought out his share of the property in 2003.

"I would walk the streets after work so that I would not have to go home, and on Shabbat and festivals I would go to friend's houses," she recalled to the Post.

In 2006, the rabbinate decided that the case could not be solved and closed the couple's file, leaving Zehava still married but separated. That was when she turned to non-profit organization Yad La'Isha, one of the ICAR affiliates, which provided her with legal counsel to re-open the case and finally put an end to her suffering this week.

"I want all women to know that it is not a mitzva to suffer in silence," said Zehava. "I urge them to speak out and seek help any way they can."

"Women go into a marriage of their own free will and they should be allowed to leave a marriage in the same way," said Robyn Shames, executive director of ICAR, who is also familiar with Zehava's case.

Shames said that Wednesday's demonstration would hopefully, among other things, encourage the legislature to push through a bill on the division of property between divorcing couples that has already passed its first reading in the Knesset and is an important step to affording agunot women and those refused a divorce their freedom.

She also said that the public had to be made aware that they should not accept individuals who refuse to give their partners a divorce.

"We do not have exact figures on how many women are agunot or have been refused a get by their husbands, but this is a potential problem for any woman who enters a marriage," she said.

In January, figures published by the rabbinic courts showed that a total of 9,765 couples had divorced in 2007 and the rabbinic courts claim that they are now imposing more sanctions against husbands who refuse to give their wives a get, such as the cancellation of drivers' licenses and exit visas, or even prison sentences. In 2007, 23 men were incarcerated for refusing to give a get, compared to nine in 2006.

exposemolesters said...

For This Defense Lawyer, Talmud Is Inspiration

by Doug Chandler
Special To The Jewish Week
He’s been receiving threats and insults during the last 10 weeks for his defense of Cesar Rodriguez, charged with the abuse and murder of his 7-year-old stepdaughter, Nixzmary Brown. And in the Jewish community, his name has cropped up as the lawyer representing Rabbi Yehuda Kolko, a former teacher at Midwood’s Yeshiva Torah Temimah now facing trial for allegedly molesting three students.
But Jeffrey Schwartz, the attorney in both cases, shrugs off the negative reaction to his work, saying that if nothing else during his 21 years of practice, he has learned how to be “thick-skinned.” He also turns to the Talmud for inspiration, says Schwartz, a Brooklyn native who attended the Yeshiva of Flatbush, Yeshiva University and YU’s Cardozo School of Law.
While studying at a Jerusalem yeshiva more than 20 years ago, Schwartz recalled in a recent interview, his rabbi there told him that Talmudic law “provides for both prosecutors and defense attorneys,” placing equal value on both positions. The rabbi also quoted the Talmud as saying that “one of the greatest mitzvahs is helping someone get released from prison.”
It’s a lesson that has stayed with Schwartz throughout the high-profile Nixzmary Brown trial, which the lawyer calls the most “morally challenging” case he has ever handled. In fact, Schwartz, 45, volunteered for the case after other lawyers had turned it down, he said. The offer came from a state panel that assigns counsel to indigent clients. (Rodriguez was convicted of first-degree manslaughter Tuesday but acquitted on murder charges; he faces 25 years in prison.)
“Part of the reason I took the case was to see whether I could do it and give it all I have,” said Schwartz, who considers it his moral and professional obligation to provide the best defense he can. The lawyer also wrestled with his conscience before making the choice, saying he had never contemplated taking a child-abuse or child-murder case. “I thought it was too disgusting and too nasty,” he said. “I didn’t want to defend a baby killer. I have 20 nephews and nieces, as well as a daughter; it’s not as if I don’t love kids.”
But Schwartz, whose daughter is 18, said turning the case down would have been “prima donnish.” Being a true defense lawyer requires taking any type of case, he added, just as being a doctor requires treating any patient who comes before you. He apparently felt the same way when Rabbi Kolko visited his office, having been referred to the attorney.
“If people think I’m a monster just because I’m representing a monster, then there’s a flaw with the system or how they perceive the system,” Schwartz said as he sat in an Upper West Side diner, close to where he lives. In response to one question, the lawyer said he could never have defended Hitler, who destroyed much of his family, “but I wouldn’t have hated the guy representing him.”
Much of the criticism aimed at Schwartz has stemmed from his aggressive defense of Rodriguez, which one of the case’s alternate jurors labeled “cocky.” Part of the lawyer’s strategy has involved questioning Nixzmary’s behavior, including suggestions that the emaciated child was a “little Houdini” — a reference to how she was able to slip from a chair in which she was bound — and that she bullied her five siblings.
But Schwartz made no apologies for his defense, which, he said, was partly intended to show jurors the chaotic situation that greeted his client, “a hard-working family man,” every time he returned home. He never meant to imply that the child brought the abuse on herself, as some of his critics have contended — only that she presented a further challenge to her “overwhelmed, stressed-out” parents.
While the Nixzmary Brown case was viewed by many observers as unwinnable for a defense lawyer, Schwartz believes Rabbi Kolko’s case is bound to be easier, said the lawyer, who began his career as an assistant district attorney in Queens. No stranger to high-profile cases, Schwartz counts among past clients Michael Kneitel, a Jewish Nazi from Borough Park convicted of weapons possession, and Erica Colon, who pled guilty to the murder of a livery cab driver. But his advocacy for the rabbi may stir just as many emotions.
“He seems to be very loved by most people and reviled by a few,” said Schwartz, who argues that many of the allegations against the rabbi came from a blog, the Unorthodox Jew, and that the blog master has recruited new victims in the case.
Meanwhile, Schwartz, a divorcee who comes across as boyishly charming and forthright, said he can’t wait to return to his normal routine, which includes attending synagogue every morning. The routine also includes a “Daf Yomi” class, in which participants study a page of Talmud each day.

Lipa Margulies said...

Ich vil zugen ein mul. This UOJ guy is making me soil in my grubbe hoisen. It's not fair. The whole purim i'l zicher be thinking jail for me. I can't even get shikkur because then I don't know what I may say in a mekach tuis.

osama bin laden said...

Senator Hillary Clinton understands that the terrorists are the winners. If she wasn't an American - I would ask her out.
Clinton: "We cannot win" Iraq war
Updated: 2008-03-18 08:04

WASHINGTON - Democrat Hillary Clinton charged on Monday the Iraq war may cost Americans $1 trillion and add strain to the buckling US economy as she made her case for a prompt troop pullout from a war "we cannot win."

rest: said...

Betting On Fannie And Freddie
Maurna Desmond, 03.19.08, 10:00 PM ET

Fannie and Freddie have been naughty in the past, but after a short stretch of good behavior, the U.S. government is giving them a lot of leeway to increase their business, hoping they can calm the troubled American mortgage market. The risk is that even if the troublesome twosome behaves, the unruly mortgage market could end up costing taxpayers a bundle.

On Wednesday, the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced a major initiative to bolster the U.S. mortgage business by increasing their lending authority to the tune of roughly $200 billion.

Fannie and Freddie have been involved in a string of accounting scandals this decade, rigging accounting to increase management bonuses and the like. Moreover, the two companies, born of government agencies but morphed into private-sector companies, seem to want to grow for the sake of getting bigger. They currently own or guarantee a combined $4.9 billion in home-loan debt, and, including the new authority granted Wednesday, can provide $2 trillion of new support to America's battered housing sector this year. Last year Freddie and Fannie handled a combined $1.3 trillion in mortgages.

The U.S. government has been of two minds about Fannie and Freddie. There have been calls to temper their growth, but businesses that help taxpayers buy homes are popular with Congress. On the other hand, even though they are legally private companies, investors generally think the two are too big for the government to allow them to fail. That means that if widespread defaults on mortgages were to strain their finances, the United States would be forced to bail them out.

What the oversight agency did on Wednesday was to reduce safeguards put in place in 2004 after the two companies were caught playing fast-and-loose with their books. The safeguards came in the form of enhanced capital requirements.

Most lenders are required to reserve some capital to account for bad loans. In the case of Fannie and Freddie, the capital is 0.45% of the loans that they guarantee and 2.5% of mortgages that they own themselves, which are financed with bonds they issue in their own names. To punish them for their misdeeds, the government required them to total those numbers and add 30%. On Wednesday, the penalty was reduced to 20%, which will have the effect of allowing them to expand lending. The two companies are also planning to raise new capital, which will allow further mortgage-making.

The good side of giving Fannie and Freddie expanded authority is that the money could be expected to support housing prices in America, which have come under pressure thanks to imprudent lending earlier in this decade. People who couldn't or wouldn't qualify for loans that conformed to standards for Fannie and Freddie guarantees were easily able to borrow from other sources. This had the effect of boosting U.S. home prices. But that bubble started to deflate around the start of 2007 when subprime borrowers began to miss payments, in part as housing prices cooled but also because low-cost introductory mortgage rates were ending and they couldn't afford the higher amounts.

As the mortgage market went into reverse, home prices began to fall, creating a snowball effect: borrowers who couldn't afford their payments put their homes up for sale, pushing prices ever-lower as the growing supply met decreasing demand. Lenders who had financed the boom, often via exotic securities, stopped lending.

That leads to the downside of Wednesday's move: if prices continue to decline and the government-sponsored enterprises increase their lending, they'll just be taking a growing chunk of a rancid pie, with less of a cushion from their capital reserves. (See "Sacrificing Fannie and Freddie")

Investors weren't buying that doomsday scenario on Wednesday, however. Despite a weak stock market, Freddie Mac shares rose 14.9%, or $3.88, to $29.90, while Fannie jumped 8.8%, or $2.49, to $30.71. On the other hand, while those gains were impressive, they were from historically low levels. In November 2006 prior to the onset of the subprime mortgage crisis, Freddie traded at $67.97 and Fannie at $58.30.

The Wednesday decision follows other government moves to loosen the strings on the two lenders. February's $168 billion U.S. economic stimulus plan temporarily increased the cap on mortgages that the companies can purchase or guarantee, to $729,750 in high-cost markets from $417,000. On March 1, Fannie and Freddie were released from a combined $1.5 trillion cap on their mortgage-investment holdings after filing timely financial statements following multibillion-dollar accounting scandals.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

fry margo too said...

He should be held accountable for a host of criminal activities. I hope they come to to 555 Ocean Parkway and bring his ass out in cuffs!

Boileau said...

L'ignorance est toujours prête à s'admirer.

Ignorance is always ready to admire itself

parent said...

When you look up "wicked" in the dictionary, there ought to be a picture of Lipa Margulies next to it. What's another word for deplorable? Dirty. Sleazy. Shady. Felonious. They all should work.

40 brutal years of kolko. That's inexcusable!

ny post said...



March 20, 2008 -- An assistant rabbi whose yarmulke was swiped by Arab men turned the tables on his tormentors, chasing one into a Brooklyn street where the thief was struck by a car and arrested, police said yesterday.

Uria Ohana, 25, a member of the Chabad Lubavitch movement, told The Post he entered a subway station alone at Fourth Avenue and Ninth Street in Park Slope at 6:20 p.m. Tuesday.

Ohana said he went through a turnstile and spotted a group of young Arabic men sitting on a bench.

"I wasn't afraid of anything. I didn't think anything would happen," he said.

But something did.

Ohana said he felt a hand grab his brown yarmulke off his head.

He then spun around and came face to face with one of the men, Ali Hussein, 18, police said.

"There were no words exchanged. I decided to chase him to get my yarmulke back," Ohana said.

Hussein's friends joined in the foot pursuit, screaming "Allah-hu Akbar," which means "God is great."

They ran outside and Hussein darted into the street, where he was hit by a blue Volvo and toppled to the ground, cops said.

"He couldn't move. He broke his leg. He was crying," said Ohana.

Hussein's friends then jumped into a suburban GMC and sped away.

Police arrested Hussein for alleged aggravated harassment as a hate crime.

Between clergy and congregant said...

Editor's Column
Between clergy and congregant
Andrew Silow-Carroll

by Andrew Silow-Carroll
NJJN Editor-in-Chief

March 20, 2008

Nothing I am going to write about Barack Obama and his controversial pastor — check that, former pastor — will help you better understand the issue than what Obama himself has to say on the subject. So I urge you to read the speech he gave in Philadelphia on Tuesday.

Many Jews are going to focus on his brief remarks on Israel. He called the Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s views on the subject “profoundly distorted” because they see “the conflicts in the Middle East as rooted primarily in the actions of stalwart allies like Israel, instead of emanating from the perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam.” That paragraph will undoubtedly be singled out in the dueling e-mails exchanged by many Jews over the next few months.

But in some ways I am even more intrigued by what the Obama-Wright affair has to say about relationships with our clergy. To what degree are any of us responsible for or implicated in whatever is said from the pulpit and beyond?

Obama addresses directly the question that’s been nagging at pro-Israel Democrats: why he associated himself with Wright in the first place. If all he knew of Wright “were the snippets that have run in an endless loop on television,” says Obama, he too might never have joined the church.

But Obama insists that the angry and sometimes shocking excerpts do not reflect the Wright he knows. That pastor “is a man who helped introduce me to my Christian faith, a man who spoke to me about our obligations to love one another, to care for the sick and lift up the poor.” Obama quotes from his description of the church in his 1995 memoir, Dreams from My Father. Because he is a superb writer, he conjures up the ecstatic attraction of any faith community, a place that becomes “a vessel carrying the story of a people into future generations and into a larger world.” And as he did in a meeting earlier this month with Jewish leaders in Cleveland, he likens Wright to a member of his family, warts and all.

My own experience tells me that the relationship between congregant and controversial clergy is more complex than the cable squawkers will acknowledge. For a few years before we moved to New Jersey, my family belonged to an Orthodox synagogue. Its rabbi is a national figure whom you would be as likely to find at a demonstration as on the bima. Before joining the shul, I mostly knew him as a right-wing firebrand, often on the side of the angels, but just as often making statements that — especially in that overwrought time that preceded the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin — would make my blood boil.

But say this about the rabbi: He built an amazing community. Shabbat services were rollicking, jam-packed affairs; holiday celebrations were vibrant; his insistence on hospitality spilled over into an endless round of invitations to Friday night dinners and Saturday afternoon lunches. The typical synagogue event was not a dinner-dance or bagel breakfast, but a bus ride to a United Nations protest or a model seder for developmentally disabled adults. By sheer force of his vision, his synagogue became a magnet not only for the area’s Orthodox but for families like mine who would normally have been more comfortable in a Conservative or Reform congregation.

The rabbi’s rhetoric in shul was never as divisive as Wright’s (which is why I won’t mention his name here), but I’d sometimes hear him quoted in the media. That’s where he’d say the kinds of things that made me worry whether my membership in his synagogue signaled that I condoned them. In the end, I measured him as a man whose political passions were of a piece with his passion to build Jewish community. The rabbi was someone who, as Obama says of Wright, “contains within him the contradictions — good and bad — of the community that he has served diligently for so many years.”
Applying scrutiny

This doesn’t forgive Wright his overheated rhetoric on race or support for Louis Farrakhan, but it helps me understand why Obama would be a part of his church in spite of that. And if you think that sounds apologetic, then consistency suggests that you begin to apply new scrutiny not only to rabbis, but to the non-Jewish clergy we consider friends and to the friends who consider them their clergy.

You can start with the evangelical ministers, like John Hagee, who move us with their commitment to Israel but insult Catholics, Mormons, homosexuals, and secular folk with their (literally) unforgiving theologies. For years, the pro-Israel strategy has been to separate the evangelicals’ Zionism from the darker, intolerant implications of their eschatological vision. In light of the Wright controversy, can we still do so?

Or you might consider the case of Rabbi Hershel Schachter, dean at Yeshiva University’s rabbinical school, who entertained some American yeshiva students in Israel by suggesting they should “shoot the rosh hamemshala” (prime minister of Israel) if the Israeli government were to “give away” Jerusalem. Confronted with the YouTube clip of the incident, Schachter apologized, saying the statements were “uttered spontaneously, off the cuff, and were not meant seriously.” (Shachter makes news like this every so often, once drawing an analogy between “monkeys and parrots” and women reading aloud from a marriage contract. Perhaps you had to be there.) Shachter is not running for president, but last time I checked he’s still got his job at YU and was recently appointed as one of three American rabbis who will oversee America’s Orthodox conversion process.

If we’re going to ramp up our outrage over angry political rhetoric from the pulpit, are we going to direct it at the rabbis who take a “problematic” Jewish text — say, the Purim Megilla, whose celebratory climax is the death of an untold number of the Jews’ enemies — and use it to suggest Israel isn’t being tough enough on its enemies? Would these rabbis pass the YouTube test?

There’s a precedent for this kind of scrutiny and action: In 1995, the Anti-Defamation League’s national director, Abraham Foxman, quit his Teaneck shul of 20 years because, as he told The New York Times, its rabbi “spews hate and vitriol toward the elected leaders of Israel.” Among some other choice statements, the rabbi had compared Rabin’s government to a Judenrat, the Jewish councils forced to carry out the Nazis’ ghetto policies. (The rabbi’s still in place, by the way.) Foxman’s act stands out because few can remember another.

You might argue that critics of Schachter or of angry right-wing rabbis don’t understand the internal language of Jewish life and the subtlety of speech that draws on the Torah. Indeed, in his own speech, Obama paraphrased the saying, often attributed to Martin Luther King Jr., that “the 11 o’clock hour on Sunday is the most segregated hour in American life.” Some exploit the ignorance that results, forgiving their clergy’s excesses by saying outsiders don’t understand the “coded” nature of their speech. And others ignore the differences, and presume to know exactly what can be found in another’s heart and faith.

So take your moral stands, tolerant or severe — just make sure you’re setting a standard that you and your leaders can meet.

Purim said...


Purim’s Culinary Mask
What food traditions of the holiday have been lost or hidden?

by Ted Merwin
Special To The Jewish Week
Reveling and revelation mark the holiday of Purim. We disguise ourselves in imitation of the biblical Queen Esther, who hid her Jewish identity until the last moment, when she needed to expose Haman’s genocidal plot to her husband, King Ahaseurus. As on Shavuot, when the ways of the Lord were revealed, Purim is a holiday in which the hidden is uncovered, secrets are exposed and people are seen in their true colors. But what Noshing is Sacred wants to know is, what are the culinary traditions of this holiday that have also been lost to us — and to our palates?
To find some answers, I turned first to Jayne Cohen, author of the just-published “Jewish Holiday Cooking: A Food Lover’s Treasury of Classics and

Improvisations” (Wiley).
Cohen told me that kreplach were typically enjoyed on Purim (as well as on Kol Nidrei night and on Simchat Torah) since they are made by “beating” the filling in the same way that Haman’s name is drowned out during the reading of the Megillah with sounds of beating and stamping.
Kreplach fillings were traditionally sweet rather than savory. According to John Cooper’s indispensable book on the history of Jewish food, “Eat and Be Satisfied,” Jews in Poland and Prague in the 17th century kneaded the dough for kreplach with honey and spices, and filled it with fruit, preserves, raisins and nuts. Other popular dessert-type dishes involved brushing choux pastry rings with oil and butter and sprinkling them with poppy seeds, or frying thin cakes in oil. Cooper notes that the latter were similar to pancakes eaten by Christians on Shrove Tuesday, which also falls close to the onset of spring.
For the Purim seudah, the meal that breaks the Fast of Esther, Cohen also prepares other foods that are filled or stuffed in some way, including garlic-mashed potato knishes, roast turkey with challah stuffing (served with roasted grape and chestnut gravy), braised breast of veal stuffed with kasha and mushrooms, roasted red peppers filled with mujaddarah (lentils) and served with tomato-garlic sauce, and cider-baked apples stuffed with halvah. She relies on ingredients like kasha, chickpeas and tahini, since Queen Esther is said to have consumed only seeds and legumes in order to maintain her beauty and avoid eating non-kosher food.
Turkey is included in the Purim feast, Cohen said, because King Ahaseurus was said to have ruled an empire that stretched from Ethiopia to India, and turkeys, which were discovered in the New World, were wrongly thought to have come from India. (They were also thought to be stupid, like Ahaseurus.) But Cohen also pointed out that salty, spicy foods are especially appropriate for Purim, since their consumption encourages drinking — an important part of the holiday.
Hamantaschen also have a long history. According to Rabbi Gil Marks, author of “The World of Jewish Cooking,” hamantaschen have little to do with Haman’s pockets (the literal translation of the word from German, sometimes associated with the pockets in which Haman carried the lots, or purim, that he used to determine the date of the intended massacre). They have more to do with Teutonic poppy seed pastries first mentioned in Jewish sources in the Mahzor Vitry, a seminal early 13th-century French prayer book that contains a parody for Purim.
Poppy seeds (mohn in German) were identified as Haman’s fleas, and thus made a staple of the holiday. Americans often call them “moon” cookies, but Marks told me that poppy seeds were an important spice in the Middle Ages and were also frequently used to make oil.
Some cooks are reinventing hamantaschen by departing from the traditional fillings. They are turning from poppy seed, apricot and lekvar (prune butter) to chocolate, fresh apples, pistachio nuts, lemon or lime curd, and gourmet jams like guava or mango. Rachel Rappaport, a food blogger in Baltimore who has appeared on National Public Radio, said that the one rule of picking hamantaschen fillings is that you “have to pick something on the thick side, or it oozes back out.” Last year, she made vegan hamantaschen, using canola oil rather than butter, and filled them with homemade jams made from kiwis and boysenberries.
Outside the Ashkenazic context, other traditions abound. Persian Jews traditionally brought vegetable omelets and halvah (flavored with cardamom, rosewater and saffron) to the synagogue to commemorate the deceased. Sephardic Jews connect Purim and Chanukah, both of which are post-biblical holidays rooted in Jewish history, by eating the same treats on both occasions, such as marzipan, baklava and Orejas de Haman (Haman’s Ears — Oznei Haman in Hebrew), which are fried strips of dough dipped in syrup or honey.
Marks pointed out that one reason for an emphasis on dessert rather than dinner foods for Purim is that the holiday “falls at a time when there weren’t a lot of excess animals — unlike Passover, with all the baby lambs, calves and goats.” But he conceded that some aspects of Purim food may remain shrouded in mystery. “It’s the one holiday in which there is no divine miracle that occurs. But the Jews are saved anyway. This lends a sense of the mysterious that extends even to the foods that we eat.”

Mahmoud Abbas said...

Civil Fights: Meet the world's most incompetent ethnic cleansers
Evelyn Gordon , THE JERUSALEM POST Mar. 19, 2008

It is hard to decide which aspect of Mahmoud Abbas's recent "ethnic cleansing" accusation is more worrying: what it reveals about him, or what it reveals about the world's willingness to tolerate even the vilest and most obviously nonsensical slanders against Israel.

Addressing the Organization of the Islamic Conference in Dakar last Thursday, the Palestinian Authority chairman declared: "Our people in the city [of Jerusalem] are facing an ethnic cleansing campaign through a set of Israeli decisions such as imposing heavy taxes, banning construction and closing Palestinian institutions, in addition to separating the city from the West Bank by the racist separation wall."

If Jerusalem's Arabs are facing ethnic cleansing, then Israelis are surely the most incompetent ethnic cleansers in human history. After all, ethnic cleansing usually aims at removing an unwanted population and substituting your own nationals.

But according to data from the Central Bureau of Statistics and the Jerusalem Institute of Israel Studies, Jerusalem's Arab population skyrocketed 266 percent between 1967, when Israel annexed east Jerusalem, and 2006 (the last year for which figures are available). That is almost double the Jewish population's growth during those years (143 percent); consequently, the city's ratio of Jews to Arabs shrank from 74:26 in 1967 to 66:34 in 2006.

Even during the intifada, which prompted the fence and the closed institutions that Abbas decries, the Arab population continued ballooning: It rose from 208,700 at the end of 2000 to 252,400 at the end of 2006, an increase of 21 percent in six years, or 3.5 percent a year. Jerusalem's Jewish population grew by only 4.7 percent during those years, or less than 1 percent a year. In absolute terms, the Arab increase (43,700 people) was double the Jewish increase (21,100).

Nor was the Arab growth solely due to natural increase: Ziad al-Hamouri, who heads the Jerusalem Center for Economic Rights, estimates that some 30,000 Arabs have moved to Jerusalem since construction of the fence began; others put the figure even higher.

IF ABBAS is truly unaware of these very well-publicized facts, this casts doubt on his viability as a negotiating partner. Since any deal must be rooted in reality, it is hard to negotiate with someone who remains determinedly ignorant even about "core issues" such as Jerusalem. But more importantly, how can you trust the good faith of someone who has no qualms about accusing you of one of the most heinous crimes in the modern lexicon without even bothering to check his facts? Almost certainly, however, Abbas does know the facts. After all, both Palestinians and Israelis frequently cite east Jerusalem's Arab majority to support Palestinian claims to part of the city.

But in that case, the question becomes even more troubling - because how can you trust the moderation, good faith and peaceful intentions of someone who has no qualms about publicly accusing you of such a heinous crime even knowing that it is false? Bluntly, this was nothing less than deliberate incitement against Israel, in a forum guaranteed to receive maximum coverage in the Arab world.

Nor was this a one-time aberration. Just last month, for instance, Abbas told the Jordanian daily Al Dustour: "At this time, I object to the armed struggle, since we are unable to conduct it; however, in future stages things may change." Yet if his only reason for opposing armed struggle is that he currently believes he cannot wage it successfully, that is hardly reassuring, as this reason would disappear following a peace agreement: With the IDF gone from the West Bank and Jordan border, Palestinians could easily import quantities of sophisticated arms and plan attacks unhindered.

THEN THERE was the PA's rejection in December of a French proposal, backed by senior UN officials, for a UN resolution mandating educational activities to support the peace process. The proposal would have amended an existing resolution that requires teaching about alleged Israeli crimes against the Palestinians, thereby fostering hatred rather than reconciliation. Yet Abbas evidently prefers fostering hatred.

It is hard to imagine anything more innocuous, or more vital to the success of the process, than peace education. If Abbas cannot even agree to that, one has to wonder about his commitment to peace.

There are numerous similar examples, such as his June 2006 charge that Israel was seeking to "eliminate the Palestinian people." Never mind that, by the PA's own figures, the Palestinian population of the territories has quadrupled under Israeli rule - including a 34 percent increase in the past decade alone.

But perhaps even more worrying than Abbas's statements is the world's response. Not a single international leader bothered to condemn last week's ethnic cleansing accusation. Nor did anyone condemn his Al-Dustour remarks, his rejection of the peace education resolution, or any of his other less-than-moderate statements and actions.

Given the world's fixation with resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, its reluctance to acknowledge that Abbas may be miscast as a peacemaker is understandable. Yet by tolerating such blatant incitement, the international community further undermines the prospects for peace.

First, such remarks scarcely encourage Israelis to believe that Abbas is acting in good faith, which is an obvious prerequisite for Israeli consent to any agreement. For that reason alone, the world should be interested in condemning such remarks.

Far more important, however, is the message this sends to Palestinians. If Abbas can hurl such vicious and patently false accusations at Israel without even a pro forma protest from world leaders, that tells Palestinians that willingness to live in peace with Israel is not necessary to retain international support. If the world has no objection to even the most vicious Palestinian incitement - despite knowing that such incitement routinely leads to actual violence - then it clearly cares nothing about peace; what it cares about is satisfying Palestinian demands.

That, in turn, encourages Palestinians to believe that eventually, the world will force Israel to accede to these demands even without peace - thereby obviating any need to stop the violence or make the kind of concessions negotiated agreements always entail. And as long as they believe this, peace will remain a distant dream.

penetration schinberg said...

Bilski to appeal guilty verdict in sex abuse case
Ocean Twp. resident Clement Bilski faces 1,940-year prison term
An attorney said he plans to appeal the recent jury verdict that found an Ocean Township handyman guilty on 143 counts of sexual abuse to a young girl.

Clement Bilski was convicted on March 12 by a 12-member jury in Superior Court in Freehold and faces 1,940 years behind bars if the maximum penalties for the crimes are upheld.

Bilski's attorney, John Goins of Elizabeth, said he plans to review the records from his client's trial before the appeal is filed.

"There will be an appeal," Goins said last week. "We are personally reviewing the pretrial and trial in order to give a proper recommendation as to what the appellate issues are."

Goins said he does not know what date the appeal will be filed and refused to comment further on the case.

Bilski, 45, of Maple Street in Ocean Township, appeared in Superior Court Judge Paul F. Chaiet's chambers during a twoweek trial on charges stemming from the sexual abuse of a girl from the time she was 2 years old to 6 years old.

Bilski, a contractor, was found guilty of sexually abusing the daughter of one of his clients while he was working as a handyman at their house, according to police reports.

Bilski was found guilty on 143 counts in connection with the crimes that occurred from 1998 through 2003.

Bilski is scheduled to appear before Chaiet in Freehold for sentencing onMay 30.

Bilski was convicted on several charges, including 52 counts of first-degree aggravated sexual assault, 15 counts of second-degree sexual assault, 74 counts of second-degree endangering the welfare of a child, one count of third-degree promoting obscene material, and one count of third-degree endangering the welfare of a child.

"Justice was served today by the conviction of Clement Bilski Jr.," Monmouth County Prosecutor Luis A. Valentin said in a press release from his office.

"The defendant will now face the full sanction of the criminal justice system for his egregious and abusive acts," Valentin said.

Bilski was originally indicted on 429 counts for sexually abusing 10 children, ranging in age from 23 months to 8 years old, throughout Monmouth and Ocean counties, according to police reports.

Bilski will be tried on the remaining indictments following the completion of his sentencing hearing, Monmouth County First Assistant Prosecutor Peter Warshaw said last week.

All 143 counts of which Bilski was convicted relate to the same female victim who was sexually abused by Bilski over the course of five years, according to the press release.

Bilski would gain access to the child through the use of his home contracting service, which ran under the names Bilski Home Improvement, Bilco Home Improvement and J&Z Construction, according to reports.

Bilski would frequently videotape, edit and save instances of the abuse for use in a private collection, according to reports.

During the two-week trial, the 12- member jury composed of nine females and three men was shown several hours of the homemade videotapes that Bilski had amassed over the years, according to reports.

"The thinking was that the state has the obligation to prove every element of the criminal evidence beyond a reasonable doubt," Warshaw said about the presentation of the tapes in the courtroom.

In addition to videotaping the abuses, Bilski also hid several cameras in his customers' bedrooms and bathrooms to videotape them in various states of undress, according to reports.

Valentin said that he wanted to thank the jurors for performing their civic duties during the trial.

"Their verdict was carefully considered and just," Valentin said.

"It is our hope that the victim's family can take some measure of solace in knowing that their cooperation and participation in the defendant's prosecution has ensured that Clement Bilski Jr. will never again harm another child," Valentin said.

Authorities were first made aware of Bilski when an agent from the Maryland State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force discovered that he was sharing a video on the Internet that depicted the sexual abuse of children, ac- cording to reports.

Officials from the Maryland State Police subsequently contacted the New Jersey State Police to report the incident.

An investigation into the link between Bilski and the distribution of the video allowed investigators to obtain a search warrant for Bilski's private residence.

Bilski was arrested and charged with endangering the welfare of a child for manufacturing the videos in which he engaged in sexual acts with children.

Bilski was also charged with endangering the welfare of a child for possessing the videos, according to reports.

A joint task force was subsequently formed between the New Jersey State Police Digital Technology Investigations Unit, The Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office Sex Crimes and Computer Crimes Units, The New Jersey Regional Computer Forensic Laboratory, and police from the Ocean Township, Long Branch and West Long Branch police departments.

The force worked together to identify the children in Bilski's tapes, according to reports, which state that 10 victims on the tapes were identified as a result of the joint effort.

The most serious instances of sexual abuse involved various types of sexual penetration of six female victims under the age of 13, according to reports.

YouTube said...

Jewish group seeks to purge YouTube of anti-Semitic videos

Hamburg - Germany's national Jewish body said Thursday it has filed suit against YouTube and its parent company Google, demanding a court order for the site to be permanently purged of anti-Semitic videos.

Stephan Kramer, secretary general of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, said in Hamburg, "we charge Google with aiding and abetting racial hatred and discrimination on its YouTube video- platform subsidiary.

"We applied this week for an injunction from a court in Hamburg."

He said one example was a video clip that showed a late president of the Central Council, Paul Spiegel, being burned alive. He charged that it had been available for download for months on end.

YouTube allows users to flag videos as inappropriate, leading to a review by YouTube editors who can delete videos that breach the platform's terms of use.

debka said...

Exclusive: Abbas threatens to quit peace talks, revive Fatah terror

March 18, 2008, 11:44 AM (GMT+02:00)

DEBKAfile’s Washington sources report that Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas has put President George W. Bush and secretary of state Condoleezza Rice on notice. He has sent them a warning that he means to break off peace talks with Israel unless prime minister Ehud Olmert comes through with concessions by April. After that, he says, the Palestinians may weigh “alternative actions on the ground” – a transparent threat for his Fatah organization to revive the Palestinian “uprising” (terror campaign) against Israel from the West Bank.

DEBKAfile’s Palestinians sources note this is Abbas’ second threat to reignite the Palestinian-Israeli war launched by Yasser Arafat in 2000. Two weeks ago, he told the Jordanian A Dustour , that while he prefers negotiations for now, he does not exclude an alternative option in the future.

Our Washington sources disclose the Palestinian leader’s conditions for the dialogue to continue:

1. The Israeli prime minister must meet Palestinian demands for concessions.

2. Foreign minister Tzipi Livni must satisfy her Palestinian opposition number Ahmed Qureia’s demand for a final list of Israeli concessions on the core issues of borders, refugees, Jerusalem and water.

3. Israeli must halt all construction in Jerusalem and the settlements forthwith.

According to DEBKAfile’s Middle East sources, Abbas’s ultimatum was timed to profit from three forthcoming events:

First: US Vice President Dick Cheney’s visit on March 22. Palestinian officials will emphasize to him that they have run out of patience with Olmert and that some American arm-twisting is needed to make him more forthcoming.

Second: The forthcoming Arab League summit on March 29 in Damascus. Abbas is jockeying for a position that will upstage the Gaza issue, which is high on the summit’s agenda, and steal the thunder from radical Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal’s triumphal performance. For this, he needs a more radical platform than tame submission to the US-sponsored peace line.

Third: A fighting stance would pave the way for reconciliation talks with Hamas on the formation of a Palestinian unity government. This would be applauded by all the Arab rulers present.

For Abbas, time is running out with his own people. A new Palestinian popularity poll in mid-March placed Hamas prime minister of Gaza Ismail Haniyeh in the lead - 47 percent to the PA chairman’s 46 percent. Significantly, Haniyeh gained 10 percent in popularity after Hamas smashed the Gaza-Egyptian border wall and escalated its missile onslaught on Israel.

Fourth: The Palestinian leader is under fire from his own followers for letting Israel celebrate its 60th year of statehood in May without discernible progress toward Palestinian independence. The resumption of a Fatah-dominated terror offensive to mar Israel’s anniversary events might quell the dissatisfaction with his leadership.

haaretz said...

14-year-old boy hurt in terror attack near Hebron
By Yuval Azoulay and Jonathan Lis, Haaretz Correspondents

A 14-year-old boy was wounded Thursday night in a terror attack targeting the car in which he was travelling near Hebron. The boy suffered light to moderate wounds and was evacuated to Hadassah University Hospital in Jerusalem for medical care.

Hospital officials reported that the boy sustained wounds in the leg, apparently from shrapnel, and was being treated in the trauma unit.

Israel Defense Forces troops arrived at the scene and began combing the area in search of the assailants.

The IDF believes that the explosion was caused by an explosive device at the side of the road. At first, the incident was thought to be a shooting attack aimed at the vehicle in which the boy was traveling, but the driver reported that she had heard a very loud explosion.

The militant Fatah offshoot Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades claimed responsibility for the attack, Army Radio reported.

Earlier Thursday, militants opened fire at an Israeli bus south Nablus. The bus sustained light damage but no casualties were reported.

On Tuesday, a Palestinian assailant stabbed a Haredi rabbi in the neck in Arab East Jerusalem, but medical workers said his wounds were light and not life-threatening.

The attack Tuesday came less than two weeks after a Palestinian from east Jerusalem shot and killed eight Israeli students at a Jewish religious school in west Jerusalem. Since then, tensions in the city have been high, and on Sunday, dozens of Jewish extremists tried to attack the Palestinian gunman's home.

NEWSMAX said...

The Media’s Blackout on Rev. Wright
Thursday, March 20, 2008 3:20 PM

By: Ronald Kessler

For more than a year, the media ignored Barack Obama’s close association with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Now media critics are asking why.

The answer is that reporters and editors are enamored of Obama and do not want to touch such a racially charged subject.

As chief Washington correspondent of Newsmax, I began doing stories about Wright’s Trinity United Church of Christ and its so-called Black Value System on Jan. 7 with “Barack Obama’s Racist Church.”

The story said the Black Value System asserts that America structures “an economic environment that induces captive youth to fill the jails and prisons” and takes other steps to “snare” blacks rather than “killing them off directly” or “placing them in concentration camps.”

I cited two exceptions to the media blackout about Obama and his church. Tucker Carlson of MSNBC had described Trinity as having a “racially exclusive theology” that “contradicts the basic tenets of Christianity.” Sean Hannity of Fox News had confronted Wright on TV and asked how a Black Value System would be any more acceptable than a white value system.

On Jan. 14, I broke the story on the church’s lifetime achievement award last December to Louis Farrakhan with “Obama Minister Honored Farrakhan.” The story on quoted Wright’s glowing praise of Wright in the church magazine, Trumpet.

The next day, Richard Cohen wrote a Washington Post column on the award.

“Maybe for Wright and some others, Farrakhan ‘epitomized greatness,’” Cohen wrote. “For most Americans, though, Farrakhan epitomizes racism, particularly in the form of anti-Semitism.”

In subsequent weeks, I wrote more stories, including one pointing out that Obama was dissembling about the reason for the award. Obama said that the award was for Farrakhan’s work with ex-offenders. In fact, the award presentation said nothing about ex-offenders.

On March 6, I wrote “Obama Minister Exudes Hatred.” That story quoted the full text of a sermon Wright gave at Howard University on Feb. 15, 2006. Based on that, I sent a proposed Op-Ed to the Washington Post’s editorial side. I sent a similar piece to the paper’s "Outlook" section. Both rejected the piece.

On March 12, Fox News ran a portion of a Wright sermon. ABC ran more excerpts the next day. On March 15, my Op-Ed, “Obama and the Minister,”appeared in The Wall Street Journal. Based on reporting for Newsmax, it included excerpts from the Howard University sermon. The Op-Ed had been submitted the previous week.

Referring to that piece, the March 15 New York Times said, “On Friday, Senator John McCain’s campaign forwarded to reporters an article in The Wall Street Journal in which Mr. Wright was quoted as saying, ‘Racism is how this country was founded and how this country is still run,’ and accusing the United States of importing drugs, exporting guns and training murderers.”

That same day, the Washington Post reported in a Page One story that “more examples of Wright’s rhetoric surfaced this week, including a speech Wright delivered in 2006 at Howard University in which he said: ‘Racism is how this country was founded and how this country was run . . . We believe in white supremacy and black inferiority and believe it more than we believe in God.’ The speech was quoted in an Op-Ed article in Friday’s Wall Street Journal.”

Beginning with the first story on Jan. 7, I sent my Newsmax stories and later The Wall Street Journal Op-Ed to key reporters, editors, and television producers at major news organizations.

Addressing Obama’s belated public criticism of Wright’s comments, Richard Cohen wrote in his March 16 Washington Post column, “How is it possible that a campaign apparatus that sniffed out Geraldine Ferraro’s offensive statement to a local California newspaper (the Daily Breeze, 12th paragraph) did not know that Wright’s statements condemning America were all over the internet and had been cited March 6 by the (reputable) anti-Obama columnist Ronald Kessler?”

As a former Wall Street Journal and Washington Post reporter myself, I have many contacts in the media. When I first began doing the stories, a reporter for one of the networks told me she could never propose such a story.

“The media love Obama,” she said. “If you want to do a critical story about him, you are considered by the network to be biased.”

Other contacts pointed out how the racial aspect of the story contributed to fear of touching it. In fact, I received many e-mails accusing me of being a racist. Despite the sensitivity, Chris Ruddy, CEO and editor in chief of Newsmax, never flinched.

According to pollsters, largely as a result of the recent stories about Wright, Obama’s double-digit lead over Hillary Clinton in national polls has now vanished. At the same time, John McCain has shot up in the polls.

Still, the media are hesitant to run critical stories about Obama. To date, no newspaper has pointed out that on April 11, 2007, Obama called for the firing of Don Imus over his racially offensive comment. Yet, in an exquisite example of a double standard, Obama spent two decades listening to Wright’s trademark denunciations of whites as racists and never walked out or called for his dismissal.

Instead, Obama looked to Wright as an adviser, sounding board, and friend. In a video on YouTube, Obama calls Wright a “great leader.” To this day, while Obama has distanced himself from Wright’s known paranoid and hate-filled statements about whites and America, he refuses to denounce Wright himself.

Now that the truth is out, the idea that Obama could ever be elected president is a joke. What is not a joke is the media’s refusal for more than a year to tell the truth about him.

Ronald Kessler is chief Washington correspondent of View his previous reports and get his dispatches sent to you free via e-mail. Go here now.

Dr. Laura Schlessinger said...

Dr. Laura's New Book an Instant Bestseller
Thursday, March 20, 2008

By: Jim Meyers

Talk radio host Dr. Laura Schlessinger’s latest book, published just a week ago, will debut at No. 2 on the New York Times list of bestsellers.

“Stop Whining, Start Living” (Harper) encourages “whiners” to reject negative thoughts and attitudes and embrace obligations to loved ones and the world in general. [Editor's Note; Get your copy of Dr. Laura's newest bestseller “Stop Whining, Start Living” by clicking here now]

“No matter what you’ve suffered or continue to suffer, while you are alive you have the opportunity to get something from this life, and I’m going to do my best to help you with that,” vows Dr. Schlessinger, a licensed marriage and family therapist whose advice column appears regularly in Newsmax Magazine.

She tells readers that if they don’t like their life they should quit talking about their unhappiness and resolve to fix it.

Her new book has reached No. 1 on’s list of books in the Women Studies and Happiness categories.

Dr. Schlessinger is the author of nine New York Times bestsellers, including “The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands.”

Anonymous said...

Have a Happy Purim EM!

exposemolesters said...

Purim Sameach!

be merry said...

but don't drink and drive

Rabbi Dov Lior said...

Rabbi Lior speaks out against hiring of arabs

Kiryat Arba rabbi rules Jews must not employ or rent houses to Arabs, following murderous terror attack at Mercaz Harav yeshiva
Efrat Weiss

"It is strictly prohibited to hire Arabs, or to rent houses on Israeli land to them," head of the Yesha Rabbis Council and chief rabbi of Kiryat Arba and Hebron, Rabbi Dov Lior ruled this week.

"Their employment is out of the question, not only in the yeshivas but also in hotels or factories; basically anywhere," he added.

Lior's statement comes a week after senior Lithuanian Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky ruled that Arabs were not to be hired at all, and especially in yeshivas.

In an interview for the pamphlet 'Our Land of Israel', of which about 100,000 copies are expected to be handed out this weekend in synagogues throughout Israel, Lior remarked that he expects the "difficult situation in the country" to deteriorate further in the near future.

He accused the Palestinian leaders of destroying houses and burning settlements without remorse, while Israeli leaders deny their citizens the right of building in Jerusalem and discuss giving Israeli territory away to the enemy.

The pamphlet is published by the World Headquarters to Save the People and Land of Israel.

Ahead of the Purim holiday, and following the attack on Mercaz Harav yeshiva in Jerusalem, in which eight students were killed, Lior said: "It was said to Mordecai not to kneel or prostrate himself, in the future tense. We should continue along Mordecai's path, and never surrender to murderous terrorism. Only if we stand strong can we defeat and cancel Haman's edict in future generations."

Lior calls for refusal in army

Lior related to the yeshiva heads' refusal to welcome Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's condolence visit. Lior supported their actions, and stated that Olmert is working against the Torah and leading his nation to great danger.

"How can one respect such a man?" he asked. "Until now he has never expressed regret for his anti-Israeli actions, and still they plan their (peace) conference, as they call it. Meanwhile he has been stopped from actively carrying out his destructive scheme, but they are still aiming for it. For this reason the yeshiva heads were correct in rejecting his visit."

He also commented on the halachic ruling that endorses military action against rocket launching sites, even when it endangers civilians. "There is no term in the Halacha that states one must consider innocents during war. Of course we must stop terrorists from shooting, even if the only way to do so includes harming civilians."

Once again, Lior called on IDF soldiers to refuse any orders to evacuate settlements. "We must inform IDF commanders that we will refuse to carry out orders that are illegal according to the laws of the Torah, and which involve evacuating settlements and giving away our forefathers' lands to our enemies."

h a a r e t z said...

Religious fuel for the bonfire
By Uzi Benziman

Zvia Sariel, a teen from Elon Moreh charged with attacking a Palestinian near her settlement, was released five days ago after three and a half months in detention. During that time, she refused to accept the authority of the Israeli court to deliberate her case and demanded to be tried by a court that follows the laws of the Torah. The judge, Navah Bechor, of the Kfar Sava Magistrate's Court, ruled that Sariel should be released because the accusations against her could not be proved, but gave a scathing condemnation of the young woman's behavior in court and her refusal to acknowledge its authority.

While in custody, Sariel was granted a strange arrangement under which she was tried by a private rabbinical court (a body that calls itself Sanhedrin, headed by Rabbi Yisrael Ariel). This court also exonerated her of all guilt, and lauded her refusal to allow her fate to be decided by the state judges.

On the face of it, this case deserved to be ignored as bizarre. But Nadav Shragai reminded us in Haaretz last Thursday that Sariel is not unique: The youth from several central Samaria settlements consider her worthy of emulation. Other teens arrested on suspicion of disturbing the peace are refusing to identify themselves, reject the authority of the law enforcement bodies and are prepared to remain in custody for a long time.

This was the approach of some of those arrested in connection with the riots in Jabal Mukkabar in Jerusalem. This phenomenon is connected to the "halakhic rulings" of the "New Sanhedrin," published after the murder of the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva students: "So long as the security forces do not deal with our enemies, leaving the duty of vengeance to others... likewise the government of the Jewish State is not conducting itself as a Jewish government but as an alien government, assuming its responsibility for safeguarding Jews in precisely the same [negligent] way."

The latest expressions of this mood are evident in the halakhic rulings of Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, who forbid the employment of Arabs, especially not in yeshivas, arguing that it poses a mortal threat. Rabbi Dov Lior, head of the Council of Judea and Samaria Rabbis, has forbidden employing Arabs or renting them housing.

Yitzhak Rabin's murder showed we should not belittle rabbis' instructions or dismiss them as the views of an extremist minority. Experience proved that there are rabbis on the extreme right with loyal audiences, and that the halakhic rulings of ultra-Orthodox rabbis more often than not become guideposts for their "moderate" peers. The fact that halakhic concepts are being included in state discussions (security, territories, the status of Arabs, etc.) threatens Israeli society's ability to function in ways that developed countries do. Including the religious codex in public discourse and day-to-day civil considerations is bound to distort the ability of the state to determine its fate in democratically acceptable ways. Jonathan Swift already said: "We have enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another."

The rabbis and their political followers claim to represent independent Israel, purified, tall, confident and God-graced. In practice, they educate their flock to behave like Jews from the Ghetto: to see Israeli rule as hostile, to try and trick it, to rebel against its laws, and to care for their small communities and not society as a whole. The juvenile rebellion of Zvia Sariel and her friends aims to alienate them (and their families) from the state, to undermine its unity, to challenge its stability, and thus destroy the basis on which it was established and which the settlers allegedly seek to bolster. Spreading the halakhic tunic over their behavior makes them immune to the state's arguments: They follow a different call - allegedly a divine one.

During its first years, the state defined the specific areas in which it allowed halakhic interference into the lives of its citizens. Since 1967, religion has spread over the entire spectrum of relations between Israelis and Palestinians. This fateful diversion is now coming back to haunt us and is playing into the hands of Islamic extremism, which aspires to cast the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a religious war.

Rabbi Yehuda Levin said... - A Division of American Family News Network
Recent political scandals reflect dearth of family values, says rabbi
Jim Brown - OneNewsNow - 3/21/2008 10:00:00 AM

David PatersonRabbi Yehuda Levin, a New York pro-family activist, says in the wake of the recent slew of sex scandals involving state governors, it's time to take a closer look at the family values of elected officials.

New York's newly sworn-in Governor David Paterson admitted on Tuesday that he and his wife have had several extramarital affairs. The Harlem Democrat, who took over for disgraced former Governor Eliot Spitzer, claimed he had not broken his commitment to the citizens of New York. He also told reporters, "I think we have a marriage like many Americans, maybe even like many of you. Elected officials are really just reflections of the people we represent."

Rabbi Yehuda Levin of New York-based Jews for Morality says Paterson might be "half-right."

"Governer Paterson is absolutely wrong that his activities in the rarified action of government officialdom reflect in any way the normal family unit and the family values of regular Americans," Levin offers. "When he's talking about reporters, though, I think that they share this same ... 'rarified atmosphere' -- and it's very likely he struck a responsive chord with them, because these are all the liberal elite."

The activist believes the sex scandal involving Paterson is even worse than the prostitution scandal that forced Spitzer to leave office. Unlike Spitzer, who Levin points out "had the grace to apologize for letting down his family," the Patersons have publicly attempted to justify their immorality, he says -- and in the process are sending a "terrible message" to children and families across the country.

"The Paterson family took it a whole step further where there was serial infidelity ongoing with mistresses, and Mrs. Paterson had her experiences that might have been serial experiences as well," says Levin. "So these people have put a stamp of kosher [on their activities] ... certifying this as normal behavior for what [a couple] does when they're experiencing difficulties in the marriage."

Levin says the Paterson and Spitzer scandals and the latest allegations surrounding homosexual former New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey should be a "wake-up" call for residents of New York, New Jersey, and the rest of the country that shows "personal misbehavior obviously spills over into the public arena."

Good Friday prayer said...

United Press International - News.

Rabbi blasts Good Friday prayer
Published: March 21, 2008

BERLIN, March 21 (UPI) -- A prominent German rabbi has blasted a new version of a Roman Catholic Good Friday prayer as insulting to Jews and indicative of anti-Semitism in the Vatican.

Rabbi Walter Homolka said the so-called "Good Friday Prayer for the Jews," which has been revised by Pope Benedict XVI, is likely to damage the Roman Catholic Church's relationship with Jews the world over, Der Spiegel reported Friday.

The prayer, which is only expected to be used at a small number of Catholic churches which use the Tridentine -- or Latin -- mass, translates as: "Let us also pray for the Jews: That our God and Lord may illuminate their hearts, that they acknowledge that Jesus Christ is the savior of all men."

"The Catholic Church does not have its anti-Semitic tendencies under control," Homolka said.

He said dialogue between the religions is likely to be strained by the new prayer.

"The purpose of the dialogue is not unification or incorporation. We want to learn to understand each other. That includes avoiding insults like the one we have received in the form of the pope's Good Friday Prayer. I am afraid that, on the Jewish side, Jews will begin voting with their feet, and people will withdraw from the dialogue," he told Der Spiegel.

Eretz Yisrael Shelanu said...

"Employing Arabs is forbidden not only at yeshivas but at factories, hotels and everywhere," said Lior in the interview in "Eretz Yisrael Shelanu" (Our Land of Israel). Lior lashed out at the country's leaders' and their "inconceivable idiocy" in carrying out the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005. He also said he supported the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva rabbis' decision to prevent Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's from visiting there after the terror attack two weeks ago

Police Seek Accomplices in Attack on Rabbi said...

Staff Reporter of the Sun
March 21, 2008

Police are searching for the accomplices of an Arab suspect who has been charged with a hate crime in connection to the assault of a Rabbi on Tuesday in Park Slope, officials said.

The victim, Rabbi Uria Ohana, said the five or six accomplices escaped in a sport utility vehicle after severely beating him in the middle of the street.

The incident began inside a Park Slope subway station on Tuesday at about 6:40 p.m., when the suspect, Ali Hussein, stole a brown yarmulke off of the head of Rabbi Ohana, police said.

Instead of allowing the suspect to steal the yarmulke, Rabbi Ohana, an assistant Rabbi at Wellesley-Weston Chabad Center in Wellesley, Massachusetts, ran after him, he said.

"He was running and I heard laughing. I decided to chase him," Rabbi Ohana, 25, said.

Friends of Mr. Hussein then joined in the pursuit, Rabbi Ohana said.

Once the chase moved outside, a Volvo hit Mr. Hussein, breaking at least one bone in his leg, police said. The friends of Mr. Hussein then began to strike Rabbi Ohana in the face, he said.

Mr. Hussein will be arraigned on hate crime charges in Brooklyn Criminal Court after he is released from the hospital, officials said.


Roland Arnall (1939-2008)
Subprime Pioneer Turned
To Diplomacy, Philanthropy
March 22, 2008; Page A7

Roland Arnall's subprime-mortgage company touted itself in Super Bowl advertisements as "proud sponsor of the American Dream." The company ran into trouble amid allegations of predatory lending, but the story of Mr. Arnall, whose family hid from the Nazis in World War II by pretending to be Catholic, had many elements of the dream he said he was offering to home buyers with poor credit.

Mr. Arnall, who died Monday at age 68, was the founder of Ameriquest Mortgage Co., in its heyday one of the largest subprime-mortgage issuers in the nation. He was also a co-founder of the Holocaust memorial Simon Wiesenthal Center.

In recent years, his companies handed out more than $20 million to state and federal political groups. That included $5 million to organizations that backed President Bush.

Mr. Arnall returned to his native continent in early 2006 as U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands. Just before his Senate confirmation as ambassador, Mr. Arnall's holding company, ACC Capital Holdings, agreed to put up $325 million to settle regulators' claims that it charged excessively high mortgage rates and didn't adequately disclose loan risks.

Having stepped aside as head of his companies, he watched from the sidelines as his business crumbled. As Wall Street financiers lost interest in buying subprime loans to be packaged into securities, Ameriquest stopped making mortgages in May 2006. Its loan-servicing operation was sold to Citigroup Inc. in October 2007 along with ACC's wholesale arm, Argent Mortgage Co. More than 270 offices around the nation were closed.

On March 7, Mr. Arnall resigned as ambassador to care for an ailing son. After feeling ill himself and going to the doctor, he was diagnosed with late-stage cancer and died less than a week later.

His two-year stint as ambassador included soothing European allies and helping coordinate Dutch involvement with North Atlantic Treaty Organization forces in Afghanistan.

In 2006, he helped bring to America Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali refugee who had settled in the Netherlands. Ms. Hirsi Ali gained notoriety for writings challenging the position of women in fundamentalist Islam and was elected to the Dutch Parliament. In addition to receiving death threats in the Netherlands for her outspoken views, she also faced having her citizenship revoked for lying about her name on her asylum application.

As Ms. Hirsi Ali was pondering where to go next, Mr. Arnall called. "He told me he would do anything he could, legally, to help me," she says. She credits Mr. Arnall with getting her a visa to the U.S. Today she is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington.

Ms. Hirsi Ali had more in common with the mortgage tycoon than she imagined. During World War II, when Mr. Arnall's family posed as Catholic to escape Nazi persecution, he was an altar boy in the southern French village of Pont-les-Bains. Only after the war, when his family settled in Montreal, did he learn that he was Jewish and that most of his relatives had perished in the Holocaust.

The family moved to Los Angeles in the 1950s, where Mr. Arnall at first made a living selling flowers on street corners. He later became a developer, and by the 1970s his REA Cos. was one of Los Angeles's largest closely held developers, with projects including large-scale rentals, office buildings and an inner-city retirement residence.

In 1979, he founded Long Beach Savings & Loan. In the early 1990s, Long Beach began selling subprime mortgages to financiers on Wall Street, where the mortgages were packaged into securities and sold to investors. With this new source of funding -- used also by such subprime pioneers as The Money Store Inc. and Equicredit Corp. -- the business took off.

In 1994, Long Beach surrendered its federal charter to become a private mortgage lender. In 1997, Long Beach split into Ameriquest and a publicly traded subsidiary, Long Beach Mortgage Co., which was bought by Washington Mutual Inc. in 1999 and became WaMu's subprime arm.

After surviving a credit crunch during the Asian debt crisis of the late 1990s, Ameriquest prospered in the new millennium as the Federal Reserve cut interest rates to the bone. The company advertised widely, and at one time the home stadium of baseball's Texas Rangers was called Ameriquest Field.

But from early in the company's rise to subprime stardom, it was dogged by allegations about its business practices. In 1996, it paid $4 million to settle a Department of Justice suit charging that it discriminated against minority borrowers. Suits brought against the firm in 49 states eventually resulted in the 2006 settlement, in which Ameriquest admitted no wrongdoing.

News reports included accounts from disgruntled employees alleging boiler-room-type conditions at its outlets, where employees pressured customers to refinance their homes. Mr. Arnall blamed rogue employees. Mr. Arnall's critics included Sen. Barack Obama, although Mr. Obama ended up voting to confirm him as ambassador.

Even as he built his business empire, Mr. Arnall was active in philanthropy and politics. In 1977, he joined a young rabbi, Marvin Hier, on a trip to Vienna, where they received permission from veteran Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal to use his name on a new Holocaust center.

Mr. Arnall was a benefactor of a Utah sanctuary for rejected pets, the Best Friends Animal Society, and adopted a cat and a dog from it. "Wherever he traveled, he took his pets with him," says Cyrus Mejia, a Best Friends director.

Mr. Arnall cultivated politicians from the 1960s, donating to governors, including Edmund G. Brown Jr. and Gray Davis. He later gave large sums to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, along with stacks of Rolling Stones tickets that were used to lure other big donors. Ameriquest gave widely to state legislators while lobbying against laws restricting subprime loans, The Wall Street Journal reported last year.

Mr. Arnall lived well. He owned a 10-acre Los Angeles estate that included the Pink Palace, a Mediterranean-style mansion that had once been home to Rudy Vallee, Jayne Mansfield, and Engelbert Humperdinck, as well as a 30-acre spread in Aspen, Colo. He had the Pink Palace razed in 2002.

Mr. Arnall's return to Europe as an ambassador was fraught with significance for the onetime refugee, says Rabbi Hier, who says he visited Mr. Arnall at the embassy and saw him meeting with Dutch Islamists to try to understand their views.

Rabbi Hier and Mr. Arnall also had three papal audiences, Rabbi Hier says, including one at which Mr. Arnall used some downtime in the papal residence to have himself photographed by his wife in a throne-type chair reserved for the pope.

"I said, 'You may think you're Roland I, but the cardinals will know you're not John Paul II,'" Rabbi Hier recalls.

Perhaps the most striking result of his time in the Netherlands was his bond with Ms. Hirsi Ali. "It was my first taste of close friendship with Americans, and it was wonderful," she says. "In Saudi Arabia and Somalia, the American Embassy is always a place with thick walls. He came from behind the walls and welcomed me."

She says he shared his political views with her, describing "how the welfare state prevented children from succeeding." And, she says, "he told me about his background. He said, 'I believe this kind of life is possible for every child.'"
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Yudi Kolko said...

I can still hear Megilla when I go to Jail.
Rabbis help inmates observe Purim

Rabbi Ephraim Rosenblum on Friday read aloud from the Book of Esther, not in temple but to three inmates at the Allegheny County Jail.

To celebrate the Jewish holiday Purim, the Aleph Institute, a Florida-based nonprofit, visited Jewish inmates across the country with a message that, though incarcerated, they are not forgotten.

"We feel that everyone has the right to learn where they come from and connect with God," said Leah Sherman, director of special projects for Aleph. "It keeps them connected to their heritage so they can learn more about their role.

"They have a role to play, a purpose they can serve, even while they serve their time," she said.

Purim is a celebration of Jews' salvation from a plot to annihilate them during the days of the Persian Empire. It is celebrated on the 14th day of the Jewish month Adar, which is usually in March.

The message of the day is that everyone has a choice to do good and that sinners will be forgiven if they repent, said Rabbi Pinchas Naiditch, who visits inmates at the Uptown lockup every week.

"It is a constant battle from the moment we are born until we pass," Naiditch told the inmates after the reading. "We have a constant battle to do good."

The three inmates who attended the reading, none of whom would give their names, said the rabbi's presence was a blessing.

"It's good to know we can celebrate our holidays and traditions, that we are not forgotten," one inmate said. "There is a spiritual calm from the rabbis that helps keep our spirits up."

Rabbi Moishe Mayir Vogel said the Aleph Institute identifies 6,000 Jewish inmates across the country, including 275 in Pennsylvania and about 10 in the county jail.

But, he said, that number might be much higher because it is believed many Jews do not claim their religion in jail for fear of anti-Semitism.

"In the prison system, there is enough to be fearful about," Vogel said.

He says the numbers are rising. Twenty years ago, he said, Vogel could visit all the regional inmates alone. Today, the Aleph Institute relies on volunteers.

Aleph recently opened a branch in Squirrel Hill that serves Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Maryland, Vogel said. It offers 350 programs and services and sends out a team of 40 rabbis to visit inmates, he said.

Inmates of other persuasions also observed religious ceremonies in jail yesterday.

The Rev. Malcolm McDonald, a Catholic priest and jail chaplain, said one-fifth of the 2,500 inmates participated, including about 300 Christians marking Good Friday and 200 Muslims who took part in Jumu'ah, a weekly prayer.

Chris Togneri can be reached at or 412-380-5632.

Posek Belsky said...

Do I hear correctly that there is a globalization issue with kashrus?

Globalization Threatens Kosher Food, Rabbis Say (BosNewsLife Feature)
Saturday, 22 March 2008
By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent BosNewsLife

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY (BosNewsLife)-- The kitchen in her Budapest apartment resembles a ballroom. It’s space 40-year-old Batsheva Oberlander desperately needs to prepare the daily Kosher meal for her husband, an American rabbi, and four children.

Cooking according to ancient Jewish Law as laid out in the Bible is not an easy task in 21st century Hungary; Some complain that in this fatty-meat-loving nation, the only Kosher product is Palinka, a traditional brandy.

"It's difficult to find Kosher ingredients and food products here," says Oberlander, still smiling while stirring soup and overlooking warm vegetables. Phone calls to companies didn’t calm her down. "It is somewhat better than when we arrived here from America in the 1990’s shortly after Communism. But factories still use the same machines for preparing meet and vegetables, while Hungarian margarine contains animal fat. That's not Kosher."

Hungary isn’t alone. Around the world, it has become increasingly difficult for consumers to trace the origins of and ingredients contained in food products, or the way they are processed, say Orthodox Rabbis from at least 15 countries who gathered near Budapest to discuss the impact of globalization on Kosher food.


"It used to be when someone wanted to eat Kosher, he went to his backyard and took it from there," explains Hungarian Rabbi Slomo Koves, who helped organize the conference held last week in the town of Rackeve. "Today, you go to the supermarket and take something from the shelf, which most likely doesn't come from the country where you live. Even if it does, the ingredients in that certain product come from 15 different countries all over the world," he complaints.

That’s why rabbis from Israel, Turkey, Germany and a dozen other European countries have decided to set up a database to help each other identify products and to approach companies to target the estimated 20 million potential Kosher customers, "including Muslims," adds Koves.

He tells BosNewsLife that the conference in Hungary also focused on China, which has become one of the world’s largest food producers. "In China we have two concerns. There is a concern about the quality of products and about the Kosher issue. Since there is no large Jewish community in China, we have to import rabbis from overseas to supervise Chinese factories."


However without a thriving Jewish community, rabbis are not queuing up to settle in a country where religion has been discouraged by the atheistic authorities, Koves admits.

He himself prefers to stay in Hungary, where the 28-year-old is the first Orthodox rabbi to be ordained since the Holocaust, when 600.000 Hungarian Jews were killed.

He praises his wife for managing to overcome Hungary’s clear love for cholesterol. Koves ends the interview with a prayer. "I have just eaten another great Kosher meal." And that’s something, he thanks God for. Every day. (Parts of this BosNewsLife News story have aired on Deutsche Welle Radio.).

Rabbi Zalman Melamed said...

Rabbi Melamed: Soldiers must refuse orders contradicting Jewish law

In op-ed published prior to Purim, prominent Zionist rabbi notes that IDF troops must boldly and directly defy orders instead of evading acting as ordered

Kobi Nahshoni
Published: 03.23.08,
Israel Jewish Scene

In an op-ed released prior to Purim, prominent Zionist Rabbi Zalman Melamed stated that “when an IDF soldier is given an order which contradicts halacha or Jewish law, he must not find ways to evade acting as ordered or make excuses for not following orders, but state outright and directly that he refuses to act in any manner which contradicts halacha.”,7340,L-3522409,00.html

An Israeli view of Obama and his pastor said...

From a new blog by two distinguished Israeli authors comes a commentary by Haim Watzman on Sen. Barack Obama and his former pastor -- a relationship that reminds Watzman of his own mixed feelings about his first rabbi in Israel.

Having moved from America to Israel as a young man 30 years ago, Watzman admired Rabbi Tzefaniah Drori for his dedication to the town of Kiryat Shmonah, a poor community that was the frequent target of Palestinian rockets. But while attending synagogue services, Watzman came to detest the messianic doctrine of Israeli territorial expansion that the rabbi preached.

"People choose religious communities for lots of different reasons," Watzman writes. "So, while I think the politics of Reverend Jeremiah Wright abhorrent, I assumed from the start that many in his church don't hold the same beliefs -- Barack Obama among them. Obama has done the right thing by making this explicit."

Watzman describes himself as a supporter of Sen. Hillary Clinton, Obama's rival for the Democratic presidential nomination. "But I admire Obama for having the courage and forthrightness to address the issue of Reverend Wright straight on. ... People may still have reasons for opposing Obama, but his association with Reverend Wright should not be one of them."

Watzman's comment highlights a difference in the way Israelis and Americans view Obama. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz, using a panel of experts to rate how "good for Israel" each U.S. presidential candidate would be, says Israelis find more fault with Obama for his willingness to speak to the president of Israel's arch-enemy Iran than with his association with his former pastor.

— Richard Boudreaux in Jerusalem

Torah Umesora said...

We are against fingerprinting and background checks of any kind. If Dr Lee worked for us, we would give him the benefit of the doubt.

Doctor arrested in sex abuse case involving children

Dr. Thomas Lee of Cedar Hills is in custody, charged with sexually abusing two young children.

A 39-year-old Cedar Hills doctor has been arrested in connection with the sex abuse of two young children.

Dr. Thomas Lee was taken into custody March 18 by Washington County sheriff’s deputies. On Friday, March 21, a county grand jury indicted Lee on four counts of first-degree unlawful sexual penetration and seven counts of first-degree sexual Abuse.

He is being held in the Washington County Jail $2.25 million bail.

Lee is a gynecologist working in Northwest Portland. On Feb. 15, sheriff’s deputies were told that Lee had touched two young children inappropriately at his home.

There is no indication that there are additional victims. The details are limited due to the continuing investigation and the age of the children.

Sheriff’s detectives from the Child Abuse Unit investigated the charges with Cares Northwest interviewing the two children.

Lee turned himself in to the sheriff’s office on March 18. He was arrested and released on bail pending the grand jury indictment.

Rabbi Shia Fishman said...

I have Jewish blood on my hands.


· 1984 – As instructed by Rabbi Avigdor Miller, an Askan calls for a meeting which takes place at the home of Rabbi Yakov Perlow (the Novominsker) and is attended by Rabbi Avrohom Pam, Rabbi Elya Svei, Rabbi Chaim Dov Keller, Rabbi Aharon Schechter, Rabbi Moshe Scheinerman, Rabbi Shia Fishman and Rabbi Yankel Bender. At this meeting, chaired by Rabbi Perlow, the Askan discusses what is transpiring to innocent boys at the hands of Rabbi pedophiles and requests that Torah Umesorah and the Rabbonim issue a statement calling for their removal from Chinuch. Rabbi Svei informs this Askan that Torah Umesorah has consulted their attorneys who advised that for Torah Umesorah to admit knowledge of such abuse would subject Torah Umesorah, its staff, all its member schools and their staff to liability for not having reported their knowledge to the authorities earlier. Accordingly, Rabbi Elya Svei informs the Askan, neither he nor Torah Umesorah will do anything about this problem.

· 1984 thru 1985 – At directed by Rabbi Avrohom Pam an Askan approaches Rabbi Moshe Scheinerman and the two meet with Rabbi Shia (Joshua) Fishman in the office of Torah Umesorah. Both Scheinerman and Fishman neglect to inform this Askan that Fishman had been instructed by Torah Umesorah’s lawyer to do nothing about this issue. Rabbi Fishman requests the names of Kolko’s victims and promises absolute confidentiality. Names are provided to Rabbi Fishman who begins his own investigation of the allegations. He meets with and speaks with several victims who pour their hearts out to him after he guarantees them confidentiality. Rabbi Shia Fishman promptly discloses all he has learned to Rabbi Lipa Margulies who in turn publicly disparages and discredits each and every one of those boys who were brave enough to step forward.

· 1985 – A follow up meeting takes place at the home of Rabbi Simcha Kaufman and includes Rabbi Kaufman, Rabbi Lipa Margulies, Rabbi Shia Fishman, an Askan and an eyewitness. The eyewitness recounts his personal knowledge of Rabbi Kolko’s sexual abuse of boys and discusses the information he had gleaned from others. Rabbi Lipa Margulies insists that the charges are all fabrications and attacks the reputations of everyone involved in seeking the removal of Kolko from his Yeshiva Torah Temimah. Rabbi Shia Fishman subsequently informs anyone who asks that he can not deal with this issue as he is old (50 at the time) and will lose his job if he pursues this matter.


Rabbi Pinchus Scheinberg said...

I too have Jewish blood on my hands.

· 1985 – Upon the dissolution of the above Bais Din, Rabbi Lipa Margulies retains Rabbi Pinchus Scheinberg to convene a second Bais Din for the purpose of clearing Rabbi Yehuda Kolko’s name. Rabbi Lipa Margulies then drafts Rabbi Friedman (the Tenka Rav) and Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Brown to serve on Rabbi Scheinberg’s Bais Din. Prior to convening the Bais Din, Rabbi Pinchus Scheinberg speaks with several of Kolko’s victims and asks them to describe what Kolko has done to them. Upon hearing the allegations Rabbi Scheinberg informs the boys that in the eyes of Halacha they had not been molested. Rabbi Scheinberg also calls the Askanim and tells them to cease and desist in their attempts to remove Kolko from Chinuch. Rabbi Avigdor Miller disagrees and instructs the Askanim in no uncertain terms to do whatever must be done to protect children from Kolko. Rabbi Pinchus Scheinberg convenes the Bais Din and takes the position that Rabbi Kolko has a Chezkas Kashrus absent any testimony by two adult witnesses to any single event. Rabbi Friedman takes the position that in light of the persistent rumors Rabbi Kolko must be kept away from children. Rabbi Brown ultimately concedes that there is no Halachic evidence against Kolko and the Din Torah is concluded. Rabbi Lipa Margulies insists that he has a Psak from this Bais Din but to this day has refused to produce it. Regardless, it is of note that no victims testified before this Bais Din.

Kolko and Margulies said...

How dare UOJ defy us.

· February 2006 – A letter is drafted informing the public that Rabbi Yehuda Kolko is a dangerous pedophile and that Rabbi Lipa Margulies continues to employ him despite his knowledge of this fact. Copies of this draft letter are delivered to Kolko and Margulies. Both Kolko and Margulies are offered the opportunity to deal quietly with the issue and are informed that if they continue to refuse, the letter would be mass mailed to the entire community. Kolko responds by stating that “the matter has been taken care of” and Margulies responds by asking if anyone “thinks Kolko is still a threat” and declares “if anyone does not like the way I run my yeshiva let them not send their children to my yeshiva.” They refuse to comply and the letter is sent out in a mass mailing.

Rubashkins said...

We had nothing to with this.

Article published: Mar 21, 2008
Sex abuse alleged in Johnson County case with 10-year-old

IOWA CITY An Iowa City man, Judah Micah Seruya, appeared in court this morning, accused of sexually molesting a 10-year-old boy in Iowa City and Coralville from 2005 to the present.

Seruya, 35, of 1120 N. Governor St., was in the Johnson County Jail in lieu of $10,000 cash bond after making an initial District Court appearance on a complaint accusing him of second-degree sexual abuse.

Police said in the complaint the boy told a school counselor and Child Protection Center interviewer about the incidents, which happened at various times. Second-degree sexual abuse is a Class B felony punishable by up to 25 years in prison.

stand up to abuse said...
Group Home Worker Charged With Sexual Abuse
Rezendes Assaulted Young Boy Over Four-Year Span, Police Say

March 22, 2008
WAREHAM, Mass. -- A state employee who works at a group home for people with disabilities is accused of sexually abusing a young boy over a four-year span.

The Cape Cod Times reported Russell Rezendes, 38, of Wareham, was arraigned Friday on a half-dozen charges, including rape of a child with force.

Rezendes was suspended from his job without pay, the deputy communications director at the state Executive Office of Human Services told the Times.

Police said the abuse occurred at Rezendes’s home, after the boy moved in with Rezendes because of alleged abuse by his mother.

Rezendes coerced the boy into having oral and anal sex, according to police.

"(The victim) said he didn't want to and Russell became abusive," according to the police interview. "(The victim) said Russell threatened to kill him if he didn't do what he wanted."

Police said the boy stood up for himself, which led to a fistfight between the two. When he moved back in with his mother, he told her of the abuse.

Rezendes was arrested Thursday.

R' Yaakov Hopfer said...

The Rabbonim of Baltimore don't care about a Jew, kal vechomer a non-Jew.
Porn ruled inadmissible in teacher's sex abuse case

By Tyeesha Dixon

sun reporter

March 21, 2008

A Howard County judge ruled yesterday that pornographic images seized from the home of a former teacher accused of sexually abusing three students cannot be presented at trial.

Alan Meade Beier, 53, a former chemistry and physics teacher at River Hill High School in Clarksville, was arrested in January 2007 after being accused of undressing and photographing a 16-year-old boy in a classroom.

Howard County prosecutor Mary Murphy argued in a pretrial motions hearing yesterday that the pornographic photographs found in Beier's home included adults in poses similar to those in the photos of the 16-year-old boy that were found on Beier's school computer, showing that Beier's intent in taking the photos was for nothing more than his own benefit.

According to charging documents, after school on Jan. 8, 2007, Beier took nude photographs of the victim, who used a pingpong paddle to cover his genitals, as well as photos of the victim's nude backside.

Beier's attorney, Joshua R. Treem, argued that the adult pornography was legal and does not help establish exploitation of the minor. Circuit Court Judge Diane O. Leasure ruled that showing the legal pornography to a jury would be too prejudicial and could not be included as evidence at Beier's trial, which is scheduled to begin Wednesday.

Beier, who is charged with four counts of sexual abuse of minors, three counts of fourth-degree sex offense and four counts of second-degree assault, is also accused of fondling a 17-year-old female student on two occasions and sexual misconduct with a third student.

He was one of three Howard County teachers arrested during the 2006-2007 school year for having inappropriate sexual contact with students.

Shlomo Mandel said...

I'm not the only one harboring sexual offenders.
---------------------------------- (Mar-21-2008 22:18)
Catholic Priest Sex Abuse Network Calls Secrecy and Pedophilia Rampant (VIDEO)
Tim King

Group describes problems as large and out of control and faults church politics for dealing with sex abuse of children behind closed doors.

Father John Shuster,'s Tim King and Catholic Priest sex abuse survivor Bill Crane. Shuster and Crane are members of SNAP, the Survivors Network for those who were Abused by Priests.

(SALEM, Ore.) - Members of SNAP, the Priest sex abuse network, say the Portland, Oregon Archdiocese is harboring pedophile priests and failing to comply with a court order to disclose private records. And they have been saying it for a while.

For those who have not seen it or are not extremely familiar with the story, you may want to check this article and video and see how the church was ordered to disclose the coveted records. (see: Oregon Sex Abuse Victims in Catholic Church Scandal Awarded Over $50 Million)

This article from April 18th 2007 gives the impression that transparency may at last be at hand as the church handed over millions to abuse survivors who took the time to take their cases against the Portland Archdiocese to court.

But in the ensuing months Arch Bishop Joseph Vlazny has apparently blocked and deflected all efforts to release the records of the offending priests that were ordered by the court and even celebrated that day just less than a year ago.

In this video you will hear from abuse survivor Bill Crane and married Roman Catholic Priest Father John Shuster. They say wounds are far from healed for all too many and that only a small fraction of abuse survivors ever come forward in the first place.

They describe the problems as large and out of control and fault church politics which deals with sex abuse of children behind closed doors and sees itself as clearly above the law, in their opinion and according to much documentation. Both admit that releasing the personnel files on the offending priests would likely expose many more, and they know that the release of those records could establish a precedent that other Catholic Archdiocese's would in turn have to follow.

Both say it is the only answer.

Father John Shuster and Bill Crane are interviewed by's Tim King in this riveting hour long program. The main point is the Portland, Oregon Catholic Archdiocese' refusal to release those private records that would potentially affect many more priests who have so far escaped prosecution for committing sexual acts against children.

The hook is that an Oregon court ordered the records to be released, what kind of pull does the Catholic Church have on Oregon's courts anyway?

The following video is produced by and brought to you courtesy of This is a five-minute preview and you can go to the VeohTV/Veoh Player to watch the full hour. This is high quality video, possibly the best we have ever brought you on, but there is an additional step involved in watching the full version.

If we can find a way to bring you the full hour here on in the meanwhile we will certainly do so. The video has also been uploaded to MySpace and YouTube and Google Video and the file name is SNAP_finished.


Online Videos by
Catholic Priest Sex Abuse Network Calls Secrecy and Pedophilia Rampant (VIDEO)

Yehuda Nussbaum said...

This guy should quit complaining. He probably deserved every bit of the abuse. That's been my shita over all the years. I sexually and physically abused hundreds of students during my tenure as a rebbe at Yeshiva of Brooklyn (I'm still employed by yob).

Sex abuse victim considers suing

By Natalie Harrison

A GUERNSEY-BORN former resident of Haut de la Garenne is considering suing the Jersey authorities.

Carl Denning, 50, lived at the former children’s home in Jersey from 1964 to 1970 after suffering domestic abuse in Guernsey. He says he was routinely sexually abused and wants the perpetrators and the authorities to be held responsible.

‘The Jersey authorities have a lot to answer for,’ said Mr Denning. ‘I am not going to claim compensation just for me, it has to be everybody. I think everyone deserves compensation. We were raped and what happens? They say, “well, that’s the past – it’s tough”.’

arch-terrorist Imad Mughniyeh said...

I never left Iran in over 20 years. The one time I leave, which was to see my mistress in Damascus, The Israelis are able to track down and assassinate me.

Israel, Jewish Communities on High Alert for Hizbullah Attacks
16 Adar Bet 5768, 23 March 08 10:22
by Avi Tuchmayer

Israel and Jewish communities around the world are on high alert for terrorist attacks as Hizbullah and Iran mark the end of the traditional 40-day mourning period for arch-terrorist Imad Mughniyeh, who was assassinated on February 12 in Damascus.

Hizbullah officials have called for a mass rally in Beirut to mark the end of the formal mourning period for Mughniyeh, and Hizbullah deputy chief Naim Kassem claimed on Iran's Press TV Saturday that the organization possessed "100 percent proof" that Israel was behind the assassination.

Israel denies any connection to the strike on Mughniyeh, and analysts in Israel and abroad suggested at the time of the killing that Mughniyeh could well have been targeted by Lebanese Christians, the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad or even political opponents within Hizbullah.

In Israel, the IDF has increased patrols along the northern and southern borders, and police and border patrol officers in major cities have been placed on high alert for Hizbullah attempts to stage a major terrorist attack to avenge Mughniyeh's death. In addition, IDF Army Radio reported that security officials have heightened security details for political and military leaders. A general closure is also in effect for PA Arabs until the three-day Purim holiday ends Sunday evening.

Jewish communities overseas have also been advised to take security precautions for the foreseeable future, in light of Hizbullah's history of attacking Jewish and Israeli targets abroad to avenge what they believe to be Israeli attacks on the organization. Following the 1992 assassination of former Hizbullah chief Abbas Musawi, terrorists believed to have been connected with Iran struck a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, Argentina with an explosives-laden van, leveling the seven-story building and killing 85 civilians. Specific kidnapping warnings have been issued for Cyprus, less than an hour's flight from Tel Aviv and a popular holiday destination for Israeli families.

Ehud Olmert is a killer said...

Olmert Government to Transfer 50 Armored Vehicles to Fatah
16 Adar Bet 5768, 23 March 08 10:24
by Ezra HaLevi and David Shamah

( Israel will transfer to the Palestinian Authority 25 armored vehicles from Russia for use in PA controlled areas of Judea and Samaria. Permission for the transfer was granted by the Olmert government during a high-level meeting Thursday night.

An additional 25 will be supplied if the first shipment is “properly used,” Israeli officials said.

Russia has been attempting to transfer the vehicles to the PA for several months, but until Thursday's meeting Israel had refused to permit the transfer. Israel's permission for such transfers is required by the Oslo agreements. PA sources said that Israel had opposed the transfer because of the PA and Russia's insistence that automatic weapons be installed on the vehicles. Israel agreed to permit the delivery after Russia agreed to ship the vehicles without the weapons.

MKs have criticized the proposal ever since it first cropped up last year. Many pointed out that all the armor and weapons supplied to Fatah in Gaza found their way to Hamas after the Islamist group decided to take over the rea.

“The prime minister will be personally responsible for each Jew that will be harmed [from the PA's use of the vehicles against Jews], and he will be put on trial for crimes against the Jewish people," MK Aryeh Eldad (NU-NRP) warned.

Legal Forum: Vehicle Transfer Repeat of Old Mistakes
In a statement issued Saturday night, the Land of Israel Legal Forum said that the transfer of 25 armored vehicles to the Palestinian Authority was a “repeat of old mistakes,” giving weapons to the PA that would eventually end up being used against Israelis.

“It stands to reason that the weapon used by the terrorist who killed the students in Mercaz Harav Yeshiva was transferred to the PA by Israel. Now the government is giving terrorists the ability to safely transport terrorists” in the armored vehicles to be transferred to the PA.

jpost said...

The Jerusalem Post Internet Edition

Barack Obama blasts pro-Hamas Op-Ed
Ron Kampeas/ JTA , THE JERUSALEM POST Mar. 23, 2008

Sen. Barack Obama says that a pro-Hamas op-ed printed in his church's bulletin was "outrageously wrong."

In an issue dated July 22, 2007, in a section titled "Pastor's Page," the Trinity United Church in Chicago reprinted an article by Hamas official Moussa Abu Marzook. The article, which originally appeared as an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times, justifies the Palestinian terrorist group's denial of Israel's right to exist.

The church's pastor, Jeremiah Wright Jr., who retired this year, has stirred controversy for Obama's campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination with statements likening Israel to colonialists and blaming attacks on the United States in part on its support for Israel.

In slamming the Hamas piece, Obama noted that he strongly rejects some of his longtime pastor's views.

"I have already condemned my former pastor's views on Israel in the strongest possible terms, and I certainly wasn't in church when that outrageously wrong Los Angeles Times piece was re-printed in the bulletin," Obama said in a statement e-mailed to JTA late Thursday.

"Hamas is a terrorist organization, responsible for the deaths of many innocents, and dedicated to Israel's destruction, as evidenced by their bombarding of Sderot in recent months. I support requiring Hamas to meet the international community's conditions of recognizing Israel, renouncing violence, and abiding by past agreements before they are treated as a legitimate actor."

Obama has consistently condemned Hamas and defended Israel's military responses to rock\et attacks.

The reports about the church bulletin and Obama's response come just days after intensifying focus on Wright's controversial anti-American statements prompted the Democratic candidate to deliver a major speech on race relations in America. In the speech, Obama, a senator from Illinois, condemned Wright's most inflammatory comments but said he would not "disown" the man who inspired him to embrace Jesus.

In a short introduction to the reprinted piece, Wright wrote, "Islam has as many manifestations as Christianity and Judaism, but most Americans are only fed a media diet on Islam as it relates to the 'war on terror' and the Palestinian muslim problem in the 'state' of Israel."

The newsletter was posted by BizzyBlog and reported by WorldNetDaily, a right-wing Web site that has played a key role in advancing the idea that Obama and his advisers are not supportive of Israel.

The WorldNetDaily report ran under the headline "Obama church published Hamas terror manifesto." One line in the op-ed directly defended strikes against Israeli targets: "Hamas," Marzook wrote, "has never supported attacks on Westerners, as even our harshest critics will concede; our struggle has always been focused on the occupier and our legal resistance to it - a right of occupied people that is explicitly supported by the Fourth Geneva Convention."

Dov Hikind, a New York state assemblyman, issued a news release condemning Wright and calling on Obama to sever his pastor and his church.

The New York lawmaker, who is in Sderot for Purim, urged Obama to visit the town "to see what support for Hamas terror looks like, and he will see why he must sever his ties to Wright and his church."

Hikind has his own ties to a controversial religious figure. Before being elected, he was an adviser to the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, a leading advocate for the mass transfer of Israeli and Palestinian Arabs out of Israel. Kahane founded the Jewish Defense League and Kach, a group that has been banned in Israel and classified as a terrorist organization by the US State Department.

In addition to his statement on the Hamas article, Obama issued a separate statement timed for Purim - a holiday rarely remarked upon by candidates or congressmen.

Obama's statement spoke of "the story of Queen Esther and her uncle Mordechai saving the Jews of ancient Persia from destruction."

"Even as the parties are held, the songs are sung, and the noisemakers are rattled, the history of a people that has had to fight for its survival, remains at the heart of the Purim story," the statement said. "In our day, the celebration is mingled with a determination to ensure that Israel remains safe and strong, that we fight anti-Semitism wherever it occurs, and that the American Jewish community continues to play such an active and vital role in the life of our nation."

This week, the Obama campaign circulated a photograph of former president Bill Clinton shaking hands with Wright at a September 1998 event for religious clerics, which was held the same day the Starr Report on Monica Lewinsky was made public.

The Obama campaign's move prompted a series of name-calling back-and-forths between it and the Clinton campaign, underscoring how potent the Wright issue has become.

"A picture - oooooooo!" was the mocking response of Howard Wolfson, a top Clinton campaign official, to the New York Times.

Jay Carson, another Clinton spokesman, told Politico that the Obama campaign was "pathetic" to peddle the photo. "Less than 48 hours after calling for a high-minded conversation on race, the Obama campaign is peddling photos of an occasion when President Clinton shook hands with Rev. Wright," he said. "To be clear, President Clinton took tens of thousands of photos during his eight years as president."

The Obama campaign countered, "After their top surrogates pushed this story line and Senator Clinton's campaign outlined this as a central strategy in her plan to overturn the will of Democratic voters, I can see why they wouldn't want a photo out there that shows the kind of hypocrisy we've all come to expect from their campaign."

It's hard to say who is peddling the Wright narrative at any given time, but those pushing the story to JTA, at least, are not part of the Clinton campaign. In any case, there may be a positive Jewish spin: At the White House breakfast for clerics, Clinton drew on a number of writings on repentance - particularly Yom Kippur.

Mercaz Harav said...

Hundreds celebrate Purim at attacked J'lem yeshiva

Religious Zionist members gather at Mercaz Harav rabbinical seminary to observe holiday mitzvahs 'despite the pain'

Hundreds of members of the Religious Zionist Movement celebrated Purim under heavy security Saturday night at the Mercaz Harav rabbinical seminary in Jerusalem, which lost eight of its students in a terror attack carried out by a Palestinian resident of the capital two weeks ago.

The celebrators, who arrived at the yeshiva in costume, danced in circles to hasidic renditions of traditional Purim songs.

During the festivities a drunken student of the yeshiva turned to the officers on hand and asked that they "better protect the establishment in case of another terror attack".

Another student said, "Despite the horrible attack and the ensuing pain, terrorists have not and will not prevent us from observing the holiday mitzvahs."

Tuvia Paz, one of the directors at Mercaz Harav, told Ynet "the grief and the harsh blow that we have suffered do not contradict tonight's (celebrations), although it is clear to everyone that this Purim is different.

Anonymous said...

Midwood Boy Struck By Minivan
March 21, 2008

A Brooklyn boy is in critical but stable condition after being hit by a car Friday in front of his house during a party.

Police say the 14-year-old boy ran into East 35th Street in Midwood Friday afternoon and was struck by a minivan that was backing up.

His family was celebrating the Jewish holiday Purim at the time of the accident.

The boy was taken to Kings County Hospital with head injuries.

As of Friday night, no charges were filed against the driver.

Dick Cheney is not a friend of Israel said...

U.S. Urged to Push Hamas-Israel Truce
Fatah's Abbas, Cheney Meet in West Bank

By Griff Witte
Washington Post Foreign Service
Monday, March 24, 2008; A09

JERUSALEM, March 23 -- Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told Vice President Cheney on Sunday that the United States needed to do more to back talks mediated by Egypt that are aimed at securing a truce between Israel and Hamas, Palestinian officials said.

Abbas's push for a cease-fire involving the main Palestinian rival to his Fatah party was a recognition that violence in the Hamas-dominated Gaza Strip is blocking progress toward the broader goal of creating a Palestinian state.

The United States has helped facilitate the talks in Egypt, with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice serving earlier this month as a go-between in arranging a temporary truce after an especially bloody exchange. Since then, Gaza has been quieter, although the calm appears tenuous.

Israel has not officially acknowledged taking part in the talks, and both sides say they reserve the right to attack the other at any time.

Abbas asked Cheney to do what he could "to have the Israeli government accept a reciprocal cease-fire," according to Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat.

Mark Regev, spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, said that "everyone understands that Hamas control of Gaza is a problem and that we have to make sure that threat is contained." But he said a cease-fire that allows Hamas to rearm and strengthen itself "is a recipe for much greater problems further down the line."

Hamas, a radical Islamist movement that has declared its intention to destroy Israel, seized control of Gaza from Abbas's government last June. Since then, intensifying rocket fire from the coastal strip into Israel has dampened hopes for a settlement between Israel and the more moderate Palestinian Authority, which still holds sway in the West Bank.

Israeli and Palestinian Authority officials concur that, in practice, any deal would be impossible to enforce as long as Hamas rules Gaza.

On Sunday, Hamas officials reported progress in negotiations aimed at reconciliation with Fatah, the party that dominates the Palestinian Authority, and said talks would continue face-to-face next month. But Erekat denied there had been any real movement and said Hamas must relinquish control of the strip before there can be serious talks.

Cheney, who visited Abbas at his West Bank headquarters, also met with Israeli leaders Sunday, the second day of a three-day visit to the area aimed at building momentum for the peace process that kicked off in Annapolis, Md., last November.

President Bush has called for Israel and the Palestinian Authority to agree on a framework for peace by the time he leaves office in January 2009. On Sunday, Cheney said the United States would continue to work toward the "long-overdue" goal of creating a Palestinian state.

"Achieving that vision will require tremendous effort at the negotiating table and painful concessions on both sides," Cheney said, adding that "it will also require a determination to defeat those who are committed to violence and who refuse to accept the basic right of the other side to exist."

Abbas criticized Israel for not following through on the 2003 "road map" for peace, which called for an end to settlement construction and the dismantling of internal West Bank checkpoints.

"Peace and security can't be achieved through settlement expansion and building barriers," he said.

Israel has said that the settlement construction is needed to accommodate the natural growth of existing settlement populations and that the West Bank barriers cannot be torn down until Abbas and his government do more to improve security in the territory.

Indyk was Hussein's target said...

Published: 03/23/2008

A former U.S. ambassador to Israel was targeted for assassination by the Saddam Hussein regime, according to top-secret Iraqi documents.

Martin Indyk, an Australian-bred Jew, was listed in a U.S. Institute for Defense Analyses report released this week by the Pentagon on the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq.

The Pentagon said the paper provides “strong evidence” of the links between Saddam’s regime and global terrorism.

Indyk, who served two separate diplomatic terms in Tel Aviv, is mentioned in a letter to Baghdad from terrorist leaders in the Gaza Strip. The suggestion to “eliminate” Indyk was based on his apparent
involvement in cooperative activities between Israelis and Palestinians.

An Australian newspaper reported Saturday that Indyk, a native of Britain, was unaware of the plot but said the letter was written on June 30, 2001 -- his last day as U.S. ambassador to Israel.

DEBKA said...

Syria masses three army divisions on Lebanese border

March 23, 2008, 7:56 PM (GMT+02:00)

DEBKAfile’s military sources report that the Syrian deployment is backed by the concentration of pro-Syrian Palestinian factions in the Beqaa valley of Lebanon, amid rising war tensions between Hizballah and Israel.

Hassan Nasrallah declared Hizballah would wage “open war” with Israel at the end of the 40-day mourning period the group observed for Imad Mughniyeh who was killed in Damascus February 12. His deputy has maintained that Hizballah had “100 percent solid evidence" that Israel had killed Mughniyeh, which Israel has consistently denied.

Monday, March 24, Nasrallah will address a big memorial rally in South Beirut. The Israeli army is on high alert for a possible Hizballah attack from Lebanon. The Magen David Adom ambulance service is on emergency standby across the country.

DEBKAfile - We start where the media stop

Cheney discusses Iran’s nuclear threat and expansion drive with Israeli officials

March 23, 2008, 4:16 PM (GMT+02:00)

The visiting US Vice President joined thousands of pilgrims from around the world at an Easter service in Jerusalem Sunday, March 23.

After breakfasting with Cheney, Israel’s opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu reported that the fate of Jerusalem came up in their discussion of the future Iranian threat and Tehran’s pursuit of forward bases in the region, from Gaza to Lebanon, including Jerusalem. Any part of the city evacuated by Israel would be overrun by Hamas, Iran and its affiliates, Netanyahu warned. They would pose a menace to peace, Israeli’s security and the freedom of worship for millions of non-Islam believers who now flock to the city’s holy sites.

On his arrival Saturday night for two days of talks, Cheney said the US wants a new beginning for the Palestinians, but will never pressure Israel to take steps that would jeopardize its security. While seeking an end to the conflict, the Vice President said his government would not dictate its outcome. His trip included talks with Palestinian leaders in Ramallah. At a joint news conference with Mahmoud Abbas, Cheney warned terror and rockets against Israel would kill Palestinian hopes for state. Its establishment, he said needs more efforts and painful concessions by both sides.

The Vice President’s most important discussion - centering on Iran and its heavy rearmament of Hizballah (40,000 extended-range surface rockets and Russian-made anti-aircraft weapons) - takes place with defense minister Ehud Barak. Cheney has also asked to meet the Mossad director and the chief of staff.

After his talks in Ramallah, the visitor will hold a final working session Monday with prime minister Ehud Olmert before leaving for Turkey.

Cheney’s Middle East tour started in Iraq and continued to Afghanistan, Oman and Saudi Arabia. Iran was the high point of his meetings which also covered Syria, Lebanon and rocketing oil prices.

flatbush yid said...

Just keep up your (our) fight. You are inspirational to many and also doing a great deed in saving lives.

yevarechcha hashem veyishmerecha.

Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv said...

Who besides myself issued a ruling that a child molester has a din of a rodef?

Rabbi Elyashiv asks for American aid

Lithuanian leader meets with US Ambassador to Israel Richard Jones, asks Americans to help Israelis 'in light of severe security threats.' Jones: We are working for peace, but not at expense of Israelis' security

Neta Sela
Published: 03.24.08, 08:10 / Israel Jewish Scene

Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, leader of Israel's Lithuanian non-Hasidic haredi Jews, has asked US Ambassador to Israel Richard Jones to help the people residing in Zion in its distress.

The two met at Rabbi Elyashiv's home on the eve of Purim. The meeting was mediated by Matityahu Cheshin, known as "the haredi consul," and was also attended by Beitar Illit Deputy Mayor Yitzhak Pindrus and the rabbi's right hand, Rabbi Yekutiel Efrati.

Sources who were present at the meeting reported that the American envoy listened attentively to the person who referred to as "the greatest religious leader in Israel."

Rabbi Elyashiv, on his part, asked Jones to convey his words of gratitude to the US government, which he referred to "a kingdom of grace."

The rabbi told the ambassador about the difficult situation of the Jewish settlement in the Holy Land and asked that the US help those residing in the Land of Israel, in light of the severe security threats in general and the Iranian threat in particular.

A visit to a Meah Shearim shul

Ambassador Jones clarified that although the United States was working to achieve peace between Israel and its neighbors, this should not be at the expense of Israelis' security.

Rabbi Elyashiv listened to the remarks, nodded approvingly and wished Jones success in his work for the people of Israel.

The visit to the Lithuanian leader's home was part of a several-hour tour of Jerusalem's ultra-Orthodox centers, which included visits to Talmud Torah schools and yeshivot and to homes to leading rabbis in the haredi public.

From the housetop of the Breslov synagogue ("the shul") in Meah Shearim, the ambassador used special binoculars to observe the Temple Mount, and listened to haredi journalist Yisrael Gliss who explained about the Temple's days of splendor.

Jones then toured the "Shomrei Hahaomot" Talmud Torah school and was present as Rabbi Avaraham Cheshin taught his students about the first two letters of the Hebrew alphabet. The ambassador surprised his people when he asked the rabbi to teach him how to pronounce the letters.

The delegation, which included other American diplomats apart from the ambassador, also visited a special flour station where the flour is used to bake matzot for Passover.

At the storehouse of the Jewish-American organization Mesamechi Lev, Jones examined the organization's special magnetic card which allows tens of thousands of families to receive shoes and holiday equipment for a symbolic price.

The tour ended at the luxurious center of Tikva Israel for former members of the Jewish community in Odessa, Ukraine. The meeting was attended by the ambassador's friends, Israel Mei-Ami of the Foreign Ministry who served as Israel's ambassador to Kazakhstan when Jones served there on behalf of the US, and ZAKA Chairman Yehuda Meshi Zahav.

poetic justice said...

Arab Teenager Hit by Car and Arrested After Stealing Yarmulke
by Ryan Thompson (, published online 03-24-2008

Jewish Man Appears Before Grand Jury Yesterday in Possible Bias Crime

PARK SLOPE – Ali Hussein, 18, was arrested and charged with grand theft and petty larceny after allegedly stealing the yarmulke from atop of an assistant rabbi’s head. He was apprehended by police after being struck by a car while attempting to escape the Jewish man who gave chase.

Hussein was crying after his leg was broken by the vehicle that hit him, and Hussein’s friends, who were reportedly screaming “Allahu Akbar” during the chase, fled in their own vehicle. “Allahu Akbar” means “God is great” in Arabic.

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef said...

I am for organ donation and my friend Rav Elyashiv is against it. Who do you think is right?

Shas swing vote pushes through organ donor law
By Shahar Ilan

The Knesset approved a law yesterday intended to regulate organ donations in compliance with Jewish law. The bill was passed with the support of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party.

The new law on brain and respiratory death was introduced by MK Otniel Schneller (Kadima), and it was accompanied by an exceptional process of discussion between rabbis and doctors. The bill enjoyed the support of senior rabbis from the Sephardic ultra-Orthodox community as well as from the National Religious camp, including the Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef and Sephardi Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar. Ashkenazi interpreters of halakah, however, were in disagreement on the bill.

Politicians say the real test of the new law will be the publication of calls by rabbis for organ donation, defining it as a religious obligation. Ultimately, success will be determined by the rabbis' ability to convince the religious and traditional public to support organ donations.

The law determines, among other things, that brokering sales of organs, whether in Israel or overseas, is a criminal offense punishable by up to three years in prison.

According to Tamar Ashkenazi, who heads the National Transplant Center, 55 percent of the families asked to donate the organs of a family member refuse, and the number of potential donors is quite small to begin with. Donors are mostly accident victims, rather than those who die of disease. Such potential donors must have organs in good condition and must still be alive when they arrive at the hospital.

Out of the 145 families asked to permit organ donations in 2007, only 61 agreed. The organs from these 61 donors were transplanted into 231 people. This means every donor saved about four others.

According to Ashkenazi, half of those families that refused said they did so for religious reasons, with some saying they wanted to preserve the wholeness of the body. In practice, it is very difficult to differentiate between the two explanations.

The new law is expected to add dozens of donors a year, and could save the lives of another 100 to 200 people every year.

Brain death usually precedes cardiac death. Most of the internal organs used for transplants - hearts, lungs and livers - need to be removed during the brain-death stage, since once the heart stops beating, they will no longer be fit for transplantation.

The Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox publics have almost completely refrained from donating organs until now. In the case of the ultra-Orthodox, their rabbis had not recognized the status of brain death, and therefore viewed the extraction of such organs as equivalent to murder.

Within the national religious community, there was a serious crisis of faith vis-a-vis the medical establishment, which led to a lack of agreement on determining the moment of death.

Schneller led a process intended to overcome this problem. According to the bill that was passed, a committee will be established to follow the situation and reach agreement. The committee will include rabbis, doctors and ethicists. It will also authorize doctors who will be responsible for determining brain death.

The doctors will determine brain death by using a series of different tests that will verify complete cessation of breathing and brain activity. The family can object to organ tranplantation, even if a patient is brain dead.

MK Chaim Amsellem (Shas) explained yesterday that the great advances in medical instrumentation of recent years are what enabled yesterday's breakthrough. "For the first time, there is a clear and final statement of rabbis that the end of brain activity is death. The minute a person is declared dead, it is clear that the donation is life-saving and a religious commandment," explained Amsellem.

The United Torah Judaism (UTJ) party objected to the law. Its leaders, led by Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, insist that religious law does not recognize brain death as death. MK Moshe Gafni (UTJ) told the Knesset plenum yesterday: "A brain-dead person is a living being." Such opinions are expected to make the promotion of organ donations difficult.

The law passed yesterday by a vote of 38 to 17.

Until now, the rules governing transplants were ordinances set by the director general of the Health Ministry. The courts have ruled a number of times that there was a need to legislate the matter in law. One of the results of a lack of a legal basis was the inability to prosecute organ brokers, said Ashkenazi. Instead, such cases usually were prosecuted on the basis of peripheral issues, such as tax evasion.

What was controversial was the acceptance of two amendments proposed by Finance Minister Roni Bar-On, which cancelled budgets intended to encourage donations. The main funding was to be for educational and promotional activites, at a cost of NIS 5 million a year.

'Mt. Meron is a terror attack waiting to happen' said...

The Jerusalem Post Internet Edition

'Mt. Meron is a terror attack waiting to happen'
Matthew Wagner , THE JERUSALEM POST Mar. 24, 2008

A terrorist attack is waiting to happen on Mount Meron, at the grave of Rabbi Shimon Bar-Yohai, the rabbi responsible for daily prayers there warned on Sunday.

"Every week thousands of people visit the site, but there are no security checks whatsoever," said Rabbi Mordechai Halperin, chairman of Moshav Meron, where the grave is located.

"Just this weekend a man who turned out to be an Arab was wandering around the place, apparently gathering information," said Halperin, who plans to present evidence of the security risk to a Knesset committee on Monday.

The security problem is just one of the pressing issues that has been left untouched as various groups vie for control over the holy site.

Halperin said there was also a general lack of upkeep at the site, which he described as dilapidated.

"It is an embarrassment to bring visitors from abroad to the grave," he said.

Other sources said that Meron, a center for nonprofit organizations including soup kitchens, had become an attraction for criminals and the homeless. With Purim over, Pessah a month away and Lag Ba'omer in the offing, the anarchy surrounding the burial place of the founding father of Kabbala, Israel's most visited holy site after the Western Wall, is once again being pushed to the forefront.

Every week, thousands, many of them not religiously observant, flock to the burial site of the talmudic sage who, according to tradition, authored the mystical work the Zohar, in search of a special connection to God that they believe can be obtained only by channeling into the energies of Bar-Yohai.

United Torah Judaism chairman Ya'acov Litzman initiated the discussion in the Knesset two months ahead of Lag Ba'omer (May 23), the anniversary of Bar-Yohai's death, in an attempt to sort out who is responsible for managing the site.

Approximately 500,000 people visit the grave each year on Lag Ba'omer, many of them camping out days in advance. On the night of the anniversary the entire Meron area is alight with bonfires, in accordance with the tradition that Bar-Yohai was taken up to heaven in a burst of flames.

Nearly 2,000 years after Bar-Yohai's death, control over the holy site is still disputed.

According to Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Safed Shmuel Eliahu, whose religious jurisdiction extends to the grave, the Sephardi hekdesh, or religious trust, has been responsible for the upkeep of the burial site and surrounding area for centuries.

"The Sephardi hekdesh has had power over the site for at least 700 years," said Eliahu, dating back to the period when Safed became a center for Jewish learning with figures such as Rabbi Yosef Karo and Rabbi Isaac Luria.

In contrast, an Ashkenazi source said that only in recent decades did the Sephardi trust gain control over the central part of the burial site, as a result of a deal reached between the National Religious Party's then-chairman Zevulun Hammer and minister Aharon Abuhatzeira as a part of an attempt by the NRP to woo Sephardi votes.

"But, historically, the place has always belonged to the Ashkenazi hekdesh," the source said.

Shlomo Levi, the head of the Merom Hagalil Regional Council, is interested in securing national control over the site. In the past, Levi has complained that although the site is in his jurisdiction, he "cannot bang in a nail" without getting permission from one of the religious trusts.

In a move seen as an attempt to shake off personal responsibility for what happens at the site during mass visits, Levi has issued orders prohibiting entry that are promptly ignored by the public and the local police. However, by issuing the orders, Levi exonerates himself from responsibility.

The last time Levi issued closure orders that were subsequently ignored was on 7 Adar (March 14), the traditional anniversary of both the birth and the death of Moses. Since Moses's burial place is not known, many commemorate it at Meron.

Ostensibly, the site is run by a national body called the National Center for Holy Sites, created by the NRP and placed under the auspices of the Religious Affairs Ministry.

However, with the dismantling of the Religious Affairs Ministry at the end of 2003, the national center was transferred to the Tourism Ministry.

The Galilee District police, who are responsible for security at the grave, said Safed police conducted regular daily patrols there.

"We have designated a community police officer who, together with volunteers, operates in the area," the Galilee District police spokesman said.

"The purpose of their presence there is to give visitors a feeling of security. We recommend that Rabbi Halperin file a complaint at the Safed police station."

This article can also be read at

Yisroel Belsky said...

This David Smith is wrong. I know what he's up to, he's trying to take away my Mohel parnassa. If he keeps blabbering his mouth I'll have to order him before bais din.

From The Times
March 24, 2008
Circumcision 'the unkindest cut of all'
David Baker

Barbaric, mutilation, child abuse, freaks, nutters, obsessives. The language on both sides of the debate about infant male circumcision is not always temperate. Put together new-born boys, their penises, knives and two of the world's oldest religions and passions are likely to run high.

While last month saw the fifth International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation, marking a fairly united global campaign against the practice in females, the arguments about the removal of a male infant's foreskin seem mired in misinformation, accusations and despair.

What is clear is that there are very few medical indications nowadays for choosing circumcision over other procedures.

Writing in the BMJ (British Medical Journal) last December[], Padraig Malone and Henrik Steinbrecher, of Southampton University Hospital, found only two absolute indications for circumcision: a chronic skin condition called balanitis xerotica obliterans, which may have links with penile cancer, and some specific abnormalities and scarring on the foreskin. Beyond that, they say, problems such as phimosis, when the foreskin is too tight to be pulled back over the glans, and inflammation of the glans and foreskin caused by bacterial infections - both of which often see the surgeon reaching for their scalpel - can usually be treated non surgically.

Yet infant male circumcision continues on a wide scale. According to Malone and Steinbrecher, one male in six worldwide will be circumcised at some point in his life. In the UK, rates have dropped significantly since the 1930s and 1940s, when it was almost de rigueur for boys of a certain class to be circumcised. But today the NHS still performs about 10,000 circumcisions a year on boys aged up to 15. Add to that hard-to-count religious circumcisions carried out at home and, say campaigners against it, you end up with a lot of unnecessary trauma and risk.

“Many men are damaged by it,” says David Smith, general manager of Norm-UK, which campaigns against male circumcision, “both physically and psychologically. The physical harm includes problems with sensitivity - either they have no sensitivity or too much ‘bad' sensitivity. The psychological damage is that men who are circumcised feel very different and can even suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.”

However, circumcision does appear to offer some important health benefits, particularly with sexually transmitted infections. Research published last year from Kenya showed that circumcision had a significant protective effect against HIV infection - at least in countries where HIV is extensive and spread predominantly through heterosexual intercourse. Penile cancer also appears to be less common among circumcised men. And a 1999 review of past research, published in the British Journal of Urology, indicated that uncircumcised males were more prone to diseases such as syphilis and herpes simplex. Which is enough to persuade some doctors that circumcision is the right course.

“When my boys were born,” says Dr Kirsten Patrick, a former hospital doctor and now an associate editor at the BMJ, “I did an enormous search of the literature and I thought [circumcision] was a good thing. It is much easier to do when they are small and less traumatic than waiting till later. I knew as a doctor that there was a way that they could go through this pain-free.”

Patrick has no truck with circumcision away from the medical establishment. “Holding a baby down, with no anaesthetic, that's dreadful,” she says. “There's no way anyone should do that. But I am in favour of saying that there is benefit to circumcision and it should be regulated.”

One part of the country that is moving quickly in this direction is Walsall, where the local hospital now offers a weekend male-circumcision clinic. “We have a large Muslim community here,” says Dr Sam Ramaiah, director of public health for Walsall Primary Care Trust, “and we wanted to provide local children with a service that is safe and secure. The procedure takes place in hospital with local anaesthetic and is done by a trained surgeon. The advantage is that there is care available in case of complications and, if necessary, the child can stay in.”

Programmes such as this are unlikely to satisfy anti-circumcision campaigners - who say that the physical effects of circumcision on an infant are only part of the story. Norm-UK's argument is that, for many men, circumcision reduces sexual pleasure and that the trauma of childhood circumcision can last a lifetime. “Circumcision is not like having your tonsils out,” says Smith. “You are physically different from a normal man and you start to shy away from using changing rooms or undressing in public. It affects men []in relationships. They feel inferior.”

As evidence, he e-mails me the transcript of a lecture he gave last year[], entitled “Circumcision: The Hidden Damage”, which includes a range of quotes from men blaming parents and doctors for the “mutilation” that they were subjected to as children. Yet his sample is inevitably self-selective, being made up of men who had already contacted Norm-UK for help.

“The psychological side of this debate is not easy to pin down,” says Andrew Samuels, professor of analytical psychology at the University of Essex and a psychotherapist. “If it were possible to generalise accurately about the impact of infant circumcision you should be able to research it and find evidence of trauma in the circumcised population. But the research has not been done. So we are in a kind of not-knowing state.” But, he says, “it may well be a bigger act, more problematic, more potentially upsetting, not to circumcise in a culture that circumcises. I don't think many Jews, for example, would deny the physical pain [of circumcision] but they might say that not to do it could lead to a psychologically distressing situation in which an uncircumcised boy might be denied a place in the group.”

Jonathan Romain is Rabbi of Maidenhead Synagogue and chairman of the Assembly of Rabbis, which oversees Reform Judaism in the UK. (No one from the more orthodox branches of Judaism or Islam responded to requests to be interviewed for this piece.) “Even the most lapsed Jew will circumcise his or her son, but there have been changes in the past 20 years,” he says. “In the wider society, circumcision is going out of favour. In the Jewish community there has been an increase in intermarriage and sometimes the non-Jewish partner has objections.” Romain, however, has no doubts about the safety of the procedure.

“If there was any hint that there was a physical or psychological problem it would have been suspended centuries ago, something that has happened to other practices in Judaism. And indeed things have changed already. Nowadays we will use only mohelim [people who perform ritual Jewish circumcision] who are doctors. We always use anaesthetic cream. If there is anything that indicates that we should delay the circumcision we will delay it,” he says.

Samuels, who is Jewish, feels it is time for a discussion within Judaism about how central circumcision is to Jewish identity. But he acknowledges that to get a frank discussion will need people to stick their necks out.

“Things will change,” he says, “but over a fairly long time scale. In 25 years there may be plenty of uncircumcised Jews who will identify as Jews and be accepted as Jews and that won't depend on their being circumcised or not.”

Others are not so sure. Ritual circumcision stretches back before the origins of Judaism and Islam and is so entrenched in those religions that it will take a lot to shift it.

“It can come as a surprise to many how custom and tradition are still powerful forces in liberal, secular societies,” says Justin Woodman, a lecturer in anthropology at Birkbeck College, University of London, who specialises in the anthropology of religion. “Circumcision is part of the politics of identity in a diverse and multicultural world. The act of cutting literally makes a line of division.”

Reversing the operation

John Turner (not his real name), a 60-year-old training manager from Birmingham, felt so affected by the fact that he had been circumcised as a boy that he is now taking steps to reverse the procedure. “I discovered I was circumcised when I was 4 and from that moment on it felt wrong,” he says. “As an adult I experienced a lack of sensitivity in my penis during sex. Then one day I saw an article on foreskin restoration in my son's Maxim magazine and I thought, ‘Whoa!'”

Restoration of the foreskin takes many forms, but one of the most popular - the one that Turner is now using - involves stretching the skin of the shaft of the penis up over the glans and securing it there to encourage new growth.

The idea, according to Norm-UK's Peter Ball, a former GP who himself has undergone foreskin restoration, is that skin under tension produces new skin. “It's a long process,” he says, “perhaps two to three years, and it requires dedication, but it results in a new foreskin, the glans becomes shiny, thinner and much more sensitive and sex is much more pleasurable.”

For Turner, there is still some way to go but, he says, “you have benefits as soon as you have some coverage. I don't blame my parents or anything and I don't think I have had psychological problems over it. I just lost of lot of sensitivity and now the glans is becoming sensitive again and intercourse is a lot better.

This is not something that should be swept under the carpet said...

News (march 24, 2008)
Adass denies paying for principal to flee


ADASS Israel girls school did not pay for former principal Malka Leifer to return to Israel, according to the school’s spokesperson, Norman Rosenbaum.

Rosenbaum said it was “categorically just not true” that the school purchased Leifer’s ticket to Israel after she resigned amid still unconfirmed rumours that she behaved inappropriately toward students.

Meanwhile, a prominent Orthodox psychologist, Zipporah Oliver, has encouraged anybody who feels traumatised by the events to seek help in a culturally appropriate way.

Rosenbaum told The AJN he would not comment on specifics of the situation because any potential victims deserved their privacy.

“Privacy laws and rights of confidentiality mean that the school is unable to make public comment on many aspects of this matter,” he said.

“The same laws apply across the board.

“Not withstanding that, the school is dedicated to ensuring the best interests of those affected are protected and their welfare is maintained.”

He denied the school had tried to cover up allegations, and said “the school has not yet received any complaints”.

But Jewish Community Council of Victoria president Anton Block – who this week offered a helping hand to Adass Israel congregation president Benjamin Koppel – warned the school that it has serious responsibilities.

“This is not something that should be swept under the carpet,” Block said.

Rabbi Ralph Genende from Caulfield Hebrew Congregation echoed these sentiments last Shabbat.

“Let there be no cover-up, no concealment, no attempts to rationalise or defend such actions,” Rabbi Genende said.

“There needs to be justice and accountability, and we as a wider Jewish community need to be exacting in our demands of Adass.”

At the same time, both Block and Rabbi Genende separately extended their sympathy and support to the Adass community.

“Our heart goes out to any children or families who might have been affected” and if the allegations prove correct, Block said, “she should be brought to justice”.

Psychologist Oliver, who has experience helping victims of abuse, said additional challenges could arise when assisting members of a community, such as the Adass.

“I think it is a very delicate situation because this is a culture that has a strong value of modesty and privacy,” Oliver said. She added that the prevalence of arranged marriages in the Adass community was an extra issue to consider.

“Whatever it is that has to be offered in the way of support services, it needs to be informed by an understanding of this culture.”

Oliver said there were two types of trauma that could arise out of an abusive event – the trauma of experience and information trauma. The former usually affects those who have been exposed and the latter was often experienced by people who have heard about a traumatic event, but have not personally experienced it.

“People can be carrying trauma and it can cause people to be anxious and frightened and worried and behaving in a panicky or angry way and they may not realise that they are suffering this other level of information trauma,” she said.

Oliver said that anybody who feels they may have been affected should seek assistance.

“The people within the Adass organisation, it behoves them to set up a very good system that can meet the needs of their community,” she said.

Sue William Silverman said...

Child-abuse victim Sue William Silverman reconciles with her Jewish faith
Posted by jseim March 22, 2008

GRAND RAPIDS -- Sue William Silverman clutched a rosary as a child, believing it would keep her safe.

She knew from stories of the Holocaust that bad things happened to little Jewish girls. But Christian girls, she believed, were protected.

In a literal sense, the rosary didn't work: Her father still molested her.

But Silverman says the rosary gave her hope that there were children out there who weren't being hurt by their fathers -- that it was possible to be safe.

"I could find these pockets of safety within my head," she said.
Press Photo/Rob KurtyczAuthor Sue William Silverman, seen in her Grand Haven home, discusses how she lost, then found, religion in her award-winning memoir, "Because I Remember Terror, Father, I Remember You."
Silverman, a Grand Haven resident, recently talked at Congregation Ahavas Israel about how the Jewish community has responded to her award-winning memoir, "Because I Remember Terror, Father, I Remember You."

In her book, she described how the molestation drove her from the Jewish faith.

"There's no way my family could have been a spiritual family," she said.

Silverman said she is now finding her way back to Judaism, though she struggles with the idea of a male deity.

The reception her memoir received, and the invitations by many in the Jewish faith to speak about her experiences, turned her perceptions of her childhood religion upside down, she said, and helped her come "home" to a sense of spirituality.

Rabbi David Krishef said he invited Silverman to speak after hearing about her from a member of his congregation.

"I invited her in order to make us feel uncomfortable," he said. "We should be uncomfortable. This is not a comfortable subject and our discomfort should move us to act in certain ways, either to prevent abuse in families, if we can, or, maybe, more within our grasp -- to be safe people and provide safe resources within the congregation, within the building."

Silverman said that is one of her hopes because a "safe person" might have saved her as a girl.

"We have our schools, we have our temples and our churches, and those are the places where groups of people congregate," she said. "Those are the places where people turn."

The Jewish community has a particular difficulty with issues of abuse within families, Silverman said.

"When you're a minority group, I think that there is the desire to look perfect and to give that appearance because there's been so much discrimination," she said. "And, so, it's just been very hard to overcome that."

Krishef said he hopes Silverman's speech raises awareness of the issue within the congregation and the area. He said Ahavas Israel will place posters in the women's restrooms advertising a local domestic crisis center and there has been discussion of an informational program for middle-

school children and older.

"I think having the program was an important step in just letting people know the synagogue is a place where this discussion is welcome," he said.

Silverman said her message is not intended to shame anyone.

"It's more a matter of offering hope and health and, regardless of religion," she said, "there is also this community of mankind, womankind -- that, in some ways, we're all in it together."
Categories: Editors' Choice

Anonymous said...

Drinking Not So “Geshmak,” After All

Drinking Not So “Geshmak,” After All
Dear Editor,

Purim that year started off like all others from years past, but it was almost the last Purim of my life. Beginning two weeks before Purim, Hatzalah started putting up signs saying, “This year don’t get carried away,” with a picture of some poor kid being carried away on a stretcher. To me, these signs blended right into the background with the other signs hanging up all around my hometown of Brooklyn.

You see, that year I had decided I would make the chag even more “geshmak” than in years past, because I would drink on Purim. Don’t get me wrong. I wasn’t planning on getting drunk—just enough to make me high. I started out collecting like the last year, going from house to house. I had the most geshmak group, I thought, but there was something missing. So when I was offered a drink at the next house, I took it. As I recall, it was Johnny Walker Black Label, which is 40% alcohol. I figured that if I took a cup, 8 oz., it would be better than taking eight individual shots, because I could drink the whole thing in just one shot.

After a few minutes, it starting hitting me, but I was able to continue collecting. About 15 minutes later, I had another 8 oz. and was already getting high. The next few houses passed in a blur. I remember sitting in the houses and just singing. I couldn’t really dance too much anymore, so I just sat down and sang.

I was starting to get a little headache, but I kept on going … after all, this was “geshmak.” No longer sober, and without my proper judgment skills, I took a cup and a bottle of Absolut Vodka. I remember my friends telling me not to take it, but I told them that I could handle it. “Just a little,” I thought, and this year would be most “geshmak.” I took one cup and, surprisingly, it didn’t burn when it went down. “Maybe I’m immune,” I thought. “This is great; I can drink and drink and I won’t feel it going down.” I took another cup, and another, and then another. Then I poured half of another cup and I couldn’t pour straight anymore, so I just drank what I had in my cup. I sat for about a minute without feeling anything. The alcohol didn’t have any effect on me.

“Why do they even put up posters telling people not to drink? It’s not even so dangerous!” The people of the house didn’t realize that I had drunk anything, because there were four or five groups bothering them for money. I suddenly started falling over. My head was attached to my shoulders as if on a rubber band. My head flew back, then front, then to the right, then back again. The whole room was turning upside down. People were screaming my name. Then I blacked out! They called Hatzalah and they were there in an instant. My eyes weren’t dilating. I was staring straight ahead at the wall and didn’t even feel the Hatzalah medic pinching me. They put me on a stretcher, but my body kept slipping off as though I was made of Jell-O.

They strapped me down, and off I went to the hospital. On the way out, Hatzalah took my picture and later asked my mother for permission to use it. That’s right: next year I would be the poor kid on the stretcher.

I woke up eight hours later tied down to a bed. The last thing I remember was my head hitting the table as I fell to the floor. I looked around and saw a white room. Then I saw my mother crying with a Tehillim in her hand and my father at her side. Then I heard beeping. I couldn’t get up because I was tied to the bed. So I just lifted my head. My mother asked me if I knew where I was. I thought maybe I was in my room at home, but my room isn’t white. Then I started thinking maybe we went away on a trip somewhere, but why was my mother crying? Then I remembered the table coming at my head and then it hit me: I was in a hospital. The beeping? That was my heart rate being monitored on a screen next to the bed.

A doctor came in to make sure I was OK and to tell me how lucky I was to be alive. They told me that since I came in “early,” I was able to get a bed in a room, as opposed to sleeping in the hallway. I still felt a little dizzy, but I was able to go home right away. The doctors told me my blood alcohol content and told me that the IV that they gave me lowered my BAC, so I would have nothing more than a bad hangover. And again he called me “lucky.” On the way out of the hospital, I saw that the halls were lined with bachurim, unconscious on stretchers and beds. Parents and rebbeim were crying and saying Tehillim. It looked more like a funeral than Purim.

On a visit to my pediatrician, I realized why that doctor kept telling me I was lucky. My doctor did a calculation based on my weight and how much I drank (approximately 50 oz. of 40% alcohol) and told me that, according to the charts, I should have been dead a long time ago. The fact that I was still alive was a miracle in itself. Most people with that BAC are usually, at the very least, brain damaged. I asked him why I was not dead if his calculations and his charts were right. He looked me straight in the eye and said, “Someone up there is watching over you.” I really am lucky.

Almost dead! Not a cold. Not the flu. Dead—because I wanted Purim to be more “geshmak.” The people in the hospital and of Hatzalah know that every year this happens to too many bachurim. Too many! Even one is too many. That’s why they put up signs telling you not to drink.

No, don’t get carried away. What else do they have to do?

Reuven Epstein

N.Y. Assembly Must Override Conflict Of Interest
Dear Editor,

As a retired police officer and as a member of Community Board 11 representing Bayside, I write to express my indignation over Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s ongoing relationship with New York’s largest personal-injury law firm, Weitz & Luxenberg. Mr. Silver, a founder of the firm, has remained “of counsel” throughout his time in the Assembly, refusing to disclose how much he is paid or who his clients are, according to the New York Post.

Silver has consistently opposed efforts to implement tort reform so that plaintiffs’ lawyers do not abuse the court system, tie up the dockets, and use the legal system as if it were a lottery system or slot machine. Naturally, when folks get hurt they deserve their day in court and they deserve a fair remedy, but Silver, the favorite of the trial lawyers’ lobby, has constantly passed laws making it easier to sue and has blocked reforms to rein in excesses.

Meanwhile, Queens assemblymen have been strangely silent as to Silver’s obvious conflict of interest. Indeed, most have been little more than rubber stamps for Silver’s self-serving legislation This is unacceptable, for as we teeter on the brink of a recession, tort-law abuse is putting even more financial pressure on employers and government. We are losing jobs to other states, and businesses are closing down or downsizing.

Furthermore, Silver, with the acquiescence of Senate Minority Leader Malcolm Smith, picked a partner in Silver’s own law firm, Arthur Luxenberg, to serve on a 13-member judicial-screening commission that recommends judicial candidates for the Appellate Division, Court of Claims, and State Supreme Court. Clearly, this is yet another conflict of interest perpetrated by Silver upon our state.

I call on our Queens assemblymen to finally speak out against this outrageous and self-evident conflict of interest. Our assemblymen in northeastern Queens, in particular, need only look to Brian McLaughlin’s sad example to find the courage to do the right thing. They may see Silver as their legislative boss, but they need to remember that they are still answerable to the voters and taxpayers right here in Queens.

Rob Speranza,

Schoolyard Safety
Dear fellow members of the Jewish community,

Spring is finally here, which means that our precious children will be outside running around and playing ball. Safety has to be a number one priority. I am therefore sending out a public alert: Sh’mor al nafshoseichem! As both a parent and a school social worker, I am writing this letter in order to publicize the danger that lurks on the playgrounds of our children’s yeshivas. I am referring to bats, paddles, and hockey sticks!

Last week, my 11-year-old son was playing tag with his classmates during recess in the small, crowded concrete schoolyard of his yeshiva. At the same time, some 8th graders were having their own game of baseball. A recipe for disaster! Unfortunately, my son was hit in the face with the bat; some of his permanent teeth were knocked out and his lips were split. He had to have emergency root canal done on the remaining stubs of his two top front teeth, and a third top front tooth is loose and needs to be monitored for possible nerve damage. My son has been in a lot of pain and has been left disfigured by this accident.

This was an unfortunate accident where there was no intent to hurt another child. Today, a parent from a different local yeshiva described a similar incident at her son’s yeshiva where her son was accidentally hit in the teeth with a bat and another child was hit in the eye.

I understand that “boys will be boys” and baseball is a great game. But it should be relegated to the baseball field or some other isolated, well-supervised section of the schoolyard. In general, recess activities need to be more carefully supervised.

Shari Leyman, LMSW

Banning Of Concert Raises Questions
Dear Editor,

I found your casual treatment of the concert-banning scandal to be severely off point (“The Dynamics of Leadership,” March 7). In response to Brooklyn activist Usher Friedman’s advocacy for a ban on Jewish concerts, you reduced the issue to the following question: “Did Rabbi Friedman and his associates misjudge the general needs of the k’lal and community?” You elaborated that the question was whether kids (and, presumably, adults) needing an outlet are entitled to concerts as said outlet.

Sorry, but this tepid comment does not begin to capture the enormity of the wrong perpetrated here. Let us review. A promoter invested in an event space, hired performers, and accepted front money from the charity that was to benefit from the proceeds. In other words, he did precisely what he and other promoters have been doing, unchallenged, for decades. This time, however, one man interfered and convinced certain rabbanim to sign a kol korei (proclamation) decrying concerts. I knowingly use the plural, because the kol korei clearly prohibits all concerts, not just the Big Event.

The questions are many, but are not related to misjudgment of the needs of the community. Rather, I ask: By what right does one man disrupt the plans for an event that is similar to hundreds of prior such concerts? Friedman should have aired his objections at a time when no single event would have been impacted. Which leads to question two: The Big Event was to raise money for an incredible tzedakah, Simchat Tzion, which makes weddings for destitute Israeli orphans. Is Friedman going to donate the lost money? And will he compensate the promoter and the performers? (I have made a donation at

My third question: Did the rabbanim read the kol korei before signing it? If they did, are they aware that it terms the concert performers “miktzeh ha’machaneh,” from the fringe of the camp? Why is it not hotza’as shem ra to publicly vilify these singers as coming from outside Orthodoxy’s mainstream? Likewise, at least the performers were not named in the main body of the text. How did Friedman arrogate to himself the right to add two lines under the signatures, wherein Lipa Schmeltzer is named? Is Friedman unaware that one who publicly embarrasses someone is guilty of an immeasurable sin?

Additionally, the kol korei declares that “the facts prove that in the past, great stumbling blocks have emerged from these performances and many bodies have fallen, slain.” I challenge the rabbanim and Usher Friedman to produce a list of these casualties. This charge is laughable.

Finally, you write that according to Friedman, he always consults da’as Torah. His wonderful organization, Nechomas Yisroel (to which I have contributed on many occasions), takes children out of public schools and puts them into yeshivos at minimal tuition. Until a few years ago, Nechomas Yisroel placed kids into both co-ed and single-sex schools, based on a p’sak received from Rav Avraham Pam, zt’l. After Rav Pam died, Nechomas Yisroel would no longer send children to co-ed schools. I asked Friedman about the change, and he replied that he had consulted da’as Torah. I ask: What was wrong with Rav Pam’s da’as Torah? Is da’as Torah something you shop for until you obtain the answer desired?

I have spoken to rashei yeshivah, rabbanim, and ba’alei battim who are all firmly within the yeshivish camp and, to a man (and some women), they have expressed their deep dismay at the actions that have taken place here. I have addressed some of the above questions to seven of the more prominent signatories, in a letter to which I await responses.

Avi Goldstein,
Far Rockaway

Publication Of Sarcastic Letter Denigrates Da’as Torah
Dear Editor,

I was distressed by your newspaper’s decision to publish (March 7) a thoughtless letter containing nothing more than an ad hominem attack against our gedolim. The writer sarcastically bemoaned the inability of “33 rabbanim” to get together and solve the agunah problem, while they were able to join together in issuing a ban prohibiting attendance at a concert which would have benefited “orphaned brides and grooms.”

Both of the issues supposedly troubling the writer are premised on sheer nonsense. Does the writer have any idea of the time and mesirus nefesh that these gedolim give of themselves to help K’lal Yisrael? Does he believe that any of these gedolim are, chas v’shalom, callous to the plight of agunos? It is well known that many of these gedolim, some of whom are well into their eighties, not only live and breathe Torah but also put in 20-hour days traveling the world to deal with countless k’lal issues and individual problems. And our gedolim, as in generations past, leave no stone unturned in their efforts to help agunos in any halachically sanctioned way. The writer seems to suggest that if these gedolim chose to get together and really put their minds to it, they could come up with some better solution to help agunos. What unmitigated chutzpah!

If the writer is upset that these gedolim have refused to accept novel proposals made by certain rabbis, let him come out and say so. Let him then analyze the issue and explain why he feels these gedolim are all wrong and he is right. But, of course the issue of agunos is not really what is on his mind.

Similarly, with respect to the ban on attending the concert, the author does not attempt to provide any rational discussion of the topic. The fact that a portion of the funds to be raised from the concert were to be used for tzedakah is a red herring. These gedolim concluded that the event, as planned, was not permitted. Would the writer also condone soccer matches played on Shabbos in Eretz Yisrael if some of the proceeds went to tzedakah?

None of the above should be construed as a concession that an individual may use a “Letters to the Editor” page as a forum for espousing his personal disagreement with gedolim. Certainly not. I only wish to highlight the more odious nature of the letter: the writer does not wish to discuss issues, he wishes to publicly attack gedolim.

Indeed, the writer betrays his true intentions in his opening words: “How sad that 33 rabbanim…” His agenda is not any issue; it is an attempt to belittle and to undermine the authority and wisdom of our gedolim. Even Korach, who shared similar motives, made an attempt to back up his rebellion against the gedolei ha’dor with “logical” (if twisted) arguments. This writer wants only to publicize the message that gedolim are fair game for anyone who chooses to attack them.

Ultimately, however, it is not the chutzpah of the letter itself that causes my greatest concern. I am far more troubled by the fact that a paper which holds itself out as a frum publication for the Five Towns would publish such a letter. I am aware of your disclaimer that “opinions expressed by writers and columnists are not necessarily those of the editor or publisher,” but where do you draw the line? Surely you would never publish a letter from a Reform rabbi challenging the authority of the frum community to decide halachah.

Perhaps if someone wishes to challenge a particular p’sak on an issue by citing a legitimate contemporary authority you may deem it appropriate to publish an article, with your disclaimer. But it cannot be gainsaid that this letter is nothing more than a replay of Korach mocking Moshe Rabbeinu.

Moreover, this letter was given by the editor the caption “Lipa Brings Rabbinical Unity”—giving the unmistakable impression to any reader that the editor and publisher find the contents of the letter acceptable if not agreeable.

Do you have any idea of the extent to which K’lal Yisrael, including the community you serve, suffers from a lack of kavod for da’as Torah? Picture the child who was disappointed that he would not be able to attend “The Big Event.” He doesn’t understand why it was suddenly canceled by people he doesn’t know and for reasons he doesn’t understand. He now reads that “Lipa Brings Rabbinical Unity” and concludes that it is because of 33 men who can’t agree about anything except ruining his night of fun. You may think that scenario is far-fetched, but I submit that anyone who held any bit of sinas chachamim in his heart will surely have had that thought strengthened after reading this letter. How can you, with a straight face, publish articles about shemiras halashon after publicly being motzi shem ra on our leaders?

While it is clear to me that the writer of the letter is required to ask mechillah from each of the 33 gedolim he publicly denigrated, it is equally clear your newspaper must publish a condemnation of the letter together with a statement describing the reverence which we must have for our gedolim.

Finally, I believe it is imperative that your paper, which writes on matters of halachah and hashkafah, include on its editorial board a halachic authority to assure that your articles and letters (and even advertisements!) meet with some halachic standard and do not create any further chillul Hashem.

Yaakov Miller

Editorial note: Some of the captions above the letters are supplied by the Five Towns Jewish Times. These should in no way be construed as conferring approval of or legitimacy to any opinions contained in such letters.

By:_ 5TJT Staff - 20/03/2008

exposemolesters said...

"yevarechcha hashem veyishmerecha."


Right back at you!

We are all in this together as in total team effort. Our goals of eradicating tyranny and corruption in the Jewish Orthodoxy branches is a just and moral cause. It is a no brainier. We are defending G-D's holy name. Justice will prevail!


Rabbi Aaron Shechter said...


After speaking with numerous Hatzoloh members it has been made clear that the people primarily responsible for the hiring of Michael Hersh and seeing Hatzoloh dragged into the public eye are Zelig Gitelis (F-19) who lives at 1319 East 26th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11210 [Cell no. 1-917-612-3519 – Home no. 1-718-434-5359] and Yitzi Stern (B-30) who lives at 1405 48th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11204 [Cell no. 1-917-559-8880 – Home no. 1-718-633-3905].

They were the active members of the Hatzoloh search committee and offered the most vocal support for his hire. They failed us and their executive responsibilities by hiring someone with no previous employment history and a record of child abuse. In addition, the fact that we’re paying him an annual salary $250,000 is an outrage.

All this on the say of Rabbi Aaron Schechter.

Their responsibilities are to Hatzoloh and the Jewish community who support Hatzoloh, not to any individual or other group. We hold them personally responsible for this embarrassment of Hatzoloh, Klal Yisroel’s proudest organization, and demand they take immediate action to see that Hatzoloh is kept out of the news and can return to their incredible mission of saving, not assisting in the destruction of, Jewish lives.

We are going to research and post the names of all the guilty members of the Hatzoloh board that caused this travesty and hold them personally responsible for their actions.
From independent sources as well on the JS Blog:

I am informed that Rabbi Aaron Schechter from Chaim Berlin and the Agudath Israel Moetzes Gedolei Torah of America - has approved of the incarceration of this child, and supports the parents Michael and Miriam Hersh! Schechter should be locked up in a nut-house!

Law Offices
Joshua M. Ambush, LLC
Hilton Plaza
1726 Reisterstown Rd., Suite 206
Baltimore, Maryland 21208

Contact: Joshua M. Ambush, Esquire, 410-484-2070



March 20, 2008, Baltimore, MD

The Washington Center for Peace and Justice, Inc. filed a federal lawsuit today on behalf of a 16 year old Brooklyn boy seeking injunctive relief to stop his abuse and to gain his release from a notorious behavior modification facility in Jamaica, West Indies, where he was sent after being brutally seized at the behest of his parents, Michael and Miriam Hersh. Michael Hersh is a former student of Yeshiva Chaim Berlin in Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, and a disciple of Rabbi Aaron M. Schechter, dean of the Yeshiva.

The complaint, filed in U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia, details the long history of abuse of the boy by his father that culminated in his being forcibly removed from his house in the early morning hours on June 13, 2007. The boy was sadistically handcuffed and dragged to a waiting van by two men hired by his parents while shocked witnesses helplessly watched him plead with his abductors.

It was not until several months later that worried family members learned that the boy had been sent by his parents to Tranquility Bay, an affiliate of World Wide Association of Specialty Schools and Programs, WWASPS. The complaint details documented cases of abuse at Tranquility Bay which includes beatings, sexual assault, food deprivation and excessive use of isolation.

Joshua Ambush, the lead counsel in the case, announced the filing of the action against the parents. Michael Hersh, father of the boy is the CEO of Chevra Hatzalah Volunteer Ambulance Corps, Inc., the largest all-volunteer ambulance service in the United States. The complaint also names the State Department for constitutional and civil rights violations.

Ambush emphasized that the lawsuit is not about tort damages, but rather is an effort to save the boy's life and rescue him from a modern day concentration camp. "Child abuse by a parent should not be tolerated in civilized society, and should not be tolerated when the parents hires surrogates to perpetrate the abuse. It is unconscionable that perpetrators of abuse are able to evade prosecution by virtue of the fact that the abuse is taking place outside the jurisdiction of the Untied States. In addition to rescuing this child, this suit seeks to demonstrate that federal courts, in such cases, retain jurisdiction over the abusers and those that aid and protect them."

A copy of the complaint that was failed in this case is attached.

Joshua Ambush will be available for interviews by phone appointment at 410-484-2070

Tranquility Bay said...

Tranquility Bay
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Tranquility Bay is a World Wide Association of Specialty Programs and Schools (WWASP) facility, operated on the island nation of Jamaica. It opened in 1997. The director is Jay Kay, son of WWASP president Ken Kay. The cost for one child ranges from $25,000 to $40,000 a year. Tranquility Bay is generally acknowledged as the toughest of the WWASP schools; in fact, many other WWASP schools who are not able to handle their most rebellious students will expel them from their respective schools and enroll them in Tranquility Bay.[citation needed]
Tranquility Bay, photo by Richard Titsch.
Tranquility Bay, photo by Richard Titsch.

Tranquility Bay states that it is dedicated to helping parents who are having difficulty with their children, whether they are doing drugs, breaking the law, disobeying them, or are disrespectful. Jay Kay told a reporter: "If I have kids, and they start giving me a problem, well they are going straight in the program. If I had to, I'd pull the trigger without hesitation." [1] Children as young as 12 have been admitted to Tranquility Bay, for reasons ranging from drug use to conflicts with a new stepmother.[citation needed]

Some critics and former enrollees accuse the facility of torture, unsanitary living conditions, inadequate medical care, and other mistreatments and say that the facility employs staff who are not appropriately qualified for work with troubled teenagers. [2]

Daily News said...

Jewish family sues Jamaican reform school for troubled teens


Tuesday, March 25th 2008, 4:00 AM
Boys lay prone on stone floor at Tranquility Bay, a reform school on the island of Jamaica that has been called a concentration camp.

Boys lay prone on stone floor at Tranquility Bay, a reform school on the island of Jamaica that has been called a concentration camp.
Isaac Hersh

Isaac Hersh

A battle has erupted in the Orthodox Jewish community over a Brooklyn teenager sent by his prominent family to a behavior boot camp accused of terrifying abuse.

Isaac Hersh, 16, has been trapped since last summer at Tranquility Bay, a reform school on the island of Jamaica with a soothing name - and harsh discipline, according to the lawyer hired to try to get him out.

"It's a modern-day concentration camp," said Maryland lawyer Joshua Ambush.

Isaac's estranged parents sent him to the boot camp last year after luring him back to Brooklyn from his new home in Texas, court papers claim.

Isaac's twin brother, Sol, is panicked he's next to go.

"He's very worried about his brother. He's very worried about himself, too," said a friend of the family who asked to remain anonymous.

Tranquility Bay offers the promise of turning bad boys into focused achievers, but the walled-off camp with barred windows has been called a nightmare.

Children have been beaten, forced to eat their vomit and made to stand in painful contortions for hours, according to a separate suit filed in Utah by former students against private boot camps, including Tranquility Bay.

The case has so riled up members of the normally insular Orthodox community that several are taking the rare step of publicizing Isaac's situation.

One one side is Isaac's informal Texas foster family, who are also Orthodox, and their supporters, who prompted a nonprofit to file suit in Washington last week on Isaac's behalf.

They claim he was lured to Brooklyn with the promise of a job, handcuffed and thrown into a van that took him to the boot camp as he cried and begged to be released, the suit says.

On the other side are the teen's father, Michael Hersh - CEO of Brooklyn's huge Orthodox volunteer ambulance service, Hatzalah - and his wife, Miriam.

"Hatzalah will carefully monitor these proceedings, taking into account the seriousness of the allegations," the organization said in a statement.

The couple has a prominent supporter in Rabbi Aaron Schecter, head of Brooklyn's tight-knit Yeshiva Rabbi Chaim Berlin, according to the suit.

It is unclear what prompted the parents to send Isaac to another country. Michael Hersh did not return a call for comment.

They had a troubled relationship for years, according to the suit.

Isaac, one of eight children, was sent to schools in Virginia and Long Island before the family moved to Israel in 2002, where the parents were accused of abusing Isaac, the suit says.

From there, the boys went to live with families in Texas, although the parents never lost custody.

"They're healthy, good, normal teenage boys," said the family friend.

Aaron Shechter is a thug said...

Reprinted from Cayman Net News
Tranquility Bay is 'private jail', author says
Published on Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Steel gate and high walls keep young people inside the “school” at Tranquility Bay.

Reports on the use of Tranquility Bay in Jamaica, as a rehabilitation facility for troubled youth in the Cayman Islands has come under fierce criticism from American journalist and author Maia Szalavitz.

Speaking to Cayman Net News in a telephone interview on Monday, 10 March, she said: “No other government has ever sent a child there.”

Ms Szalavitz, who contacted Net News after reading a previous article with family members raising concerns about a young Caymanian at the facility, is author of the book “Help at Any Cost: How the Troubled Teen Industry Cons Parents and Hurts Kids” (Riverhead Books, 2006). She said that whilst researching for her book she “spoke to dozens of parents and teens who report horrifying abuses at Tranquility Bay.”

According to Ms Szalavitz, she spent three years “looking at troubled teen programmes” when researching her book, and estimates that about 20 per cent of that time was spent on Tranquility Bay.

Her research took her to Jamaica in an attempt to get inside the facility, but she was refused entry. “It looks like a South American prison,” Ms Szalavitz said of what she observed from the outside.

She related seeing bars on windows which were blacked out, preventing anyone from looking in and keeping those inside from looking out.

“Basically, it is an unregulated, private jail,” she said. “They are complete amateurs; I don’t understand why any government agency would send children there.”

The privately run facility for troubled youth operates under the guidelines of the World Wide Association of Specialty Programs and Schools (WWASPS), located in St George, Utah.

According to their website, “The structured learning environment at our school allows students to acquire the skills necessary to succeed academically and socially at Tranquility Bay and throughout their life.”

However, a Google search for the facility produces a plethora of articles challenging this assertion and highlighting the questionable techniques used at the centre that is reportedly run by a former gas station attendant, Jay Kay.

The centre, which is reportedly reluctant to open its doors to the scrutiny of the press, is believed to have given access only to two reporters since its establishment in 1997; an American Time Magazine journalist in 1998 and Decca Aitkenhead, of the UK’s Observer newspaper, who visited the facility in 2003.

According to Mr Aitkenhead, “The first impression once inside Tranquility Bay’s perimeter walls is of disconcerting quiet. Students are moved around the property in silence by guards in single file, 3ft apart - a complicated operation, because girls and boys must be kept segregated at all times, forbidden to look at one another.”

Describing the close scrutiny that each young person is subject to at the facility he reports, “The only moment a student is alone is in a toilet cubicle; but a chaperone is standing right outside the door, and knows what he or she went in to do, because when students raise their hand for permission to go, they must hold up one finger for ‘a number one’, and two for ‘a number two’.”

In the article, Mr Kay’s disregard for proper qualifications to run the centre is startling. “Experience in this job is better than any degree” he is quoted as saying. “Am I an educational expert? No. But I know how to hire people to get the job done.”

In perhaps one of the most chilling observations made by Mr Aikenhead, he said, “Tranquility is basically a private detention camp. But it differs in one important respect. When courts jail a juvenile, he has a fixed sentence and may think what he likes while serving it, whereas no child arrives at Tranquility with a release date.”

According to Ms Szalavitz, the unregulated nature of the industry that has grown up around the treatment of troubled youth allows parents to be deceived into thinking that such centres are good for their children.

“The people who run these programmes are very slick and run a good game. The kids are not convicted of crimes,” she added. “Parents are drawn into it because it seems good” for their children.

Efforts to get comments from the Ministry of Health and Human Services proved unsuccessful before going to print.

Esti said...

Lawsuit claims boy kidnapped to boot camp
Published: March 25, 2008

NEW YORK, March 25 (UPI) -- A lawsuit claims that a prominent Orthodox Jewish couple in New York effectively kidnapped their son to send him to a Jamaican boot camp.

Advocates for 16-year-old Isaac Hersh say that his parents lured him back to Brooklyn under false pretenses last summer, the New York Daily News reported. He thought he was to be given a job but instead was sent to Tranquility Bay.

Isaac had been living with a foster family, also Orthodox, in Texas.

Joshua Ambush, a Maryland lawyer who has filed suit on the teenager's behalf, describes Tranquility Bay as a "modern-day concentration camp."

Isaac's father, Michael, heads Hatzalah, a volunteer ambulance organization that serves the Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn. Hatzalah released a statement saying it would monitor the legal proceedings.

On its Web site, Tranquility Bay describes itself as a "specialty boarding school."

Karen said...

Tranquility Bay: helping or harming Cayman's youth?
Published on Thursday, March 6, 2008

Boys lying on their faces in “observation placement” at Tranquility Bay.

Concerns are once again being voiced about the use of Tranquility Bay, in Jamaica, as a rehabilitation centre for young Caymanians.

The issue came to the public’s attention following reports of a juvenile who was allegedly swiftly moved from the Frances Bodden Girls Home in Grand Cayman to the facility without the family’s approval.

Described as a ‘specialty boarding school’, Tranquility Bay is a privately run educational facility for troubled youth. The institution operates under the guidelines of the World Wide Association of Specialty Programs and Schools (WWASPS), located in St George, Utah.

According to the institution’s website, the mission statement is “To challenge and motivate the student in a structured, individualized learning environment, which provides exposure to development of skills and attitudes necessary for academic and social success so they become mature, responsible and contributing members of society.”

In the absence of a secure, educational facility in the Cayman Islands, young people who are not part of the criminal justice system and cannot go to Eagle House, but who need a more secure facility than can be provided by the Frances Bodden Girls Home and Bonaventure Boys Home, are sent to Tranquility Bay.

In a letter to this publication, Maia Szalavitz expressed shock at learning that young people are sent to Tranquility Bay from the Cayman Islands. Ms Szalavitz is author of the book ‘Help at Any Cost: How the Troubled Teen Industry Cons Parents and Hurts Kids’ (Riverhead Books, 2006).

The author said that whilst researching for her book she “spoke to dozens of parents and teens who report horrifying abuses at Tranquility Bay”. She also said that the care provided by the institution was not linked with the successful treatment of children but, “with post-traumatic stress disorder and increased risk of ongoing problems like addiction”.

The Final Report of Cayman Islands Human Rights Committee’s (HRC) observations on a series of hearings involving females facing criminal allegations in the Youth Court during 2007 raised a ‘significant’ number of human rights concerns.

The Report recognises the difficulties faced by agencies in reaching an appropriate resolution in complex cases that have competing and conflicting priorities.

However, it points to various legal instruments that highlight the need to take account of the interest of juveniles, particularly the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice (otherwise known as The Beijing Rules) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).

“What is clear from both the Beijing Rules and the CRC is that the interests of the child should be the main concern,” reads the Report. It also refers to Article 3 of the CRC which states:

“In all actions involving children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interest of the child shall be a primary consideration.”

The issue of whether sending young people to the Jamaican facility is in ‘the best interest’ of Caymanian youth was questioned by the judge in the case of one of the aforementioned young females.

The Report quotes the judge as stating, “In the absence of formal ruling from ministers, young defendants go to Tranquility Bay. In our experience it is uniformly bad.”

“It is high time that we have a facility here or explore alternatives,” the judge is reported as saying.

“We need a secure facility with an education facility… We need a secure remand facility where (young people) can receive education and therapy… Eagle House does not begin to meet needs of boys and for girls there is nothing at all… Frances Bodden is a home, it does not offer counselling and is not properly built for re-training or re-education… We need some facility between home and prison.”

The HRC’s Report on the Convention of the Rights of the Child dated Wednesday, 13 September 2006 refers to the Children Law 2003, which was drawn up to protect children and to ensure their rights contained in the CRC. However at the time of the Report the Law had not been enforced and to date, still remains un-enforced.

One of the concerns raised by Latchmin ‘Charlene’ Scott, the mother of the young person recently sent to Tranquility Bay, is the apparent secrecy surrounding the centre and the inability for her child to make contact with family members by telephone.

When asked to comment on this practice Deanna Look Loy, Director of the Children and Family Services Department said, “The restrictions regarding parental contact via telephone is in accordance with the rules of Tranquility Bay.”

An email was sent to the Academic Administrator at Tranquility Bay, seeking comments on the institution’s educational provision. A response was not received prior to going to print.

Maia Szalavitz said...

Letter: Tranquility Bay in Jamaica
Published on Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Dear Sir,

I am completely horrified to learn that your country is sending children for “treatment” at Tranquility Bay in Jamaica. The programme is owned and operated by a former gas station worker who has admitted on video to using pepper spray on children and in print to having forced children to lie “on their faces” in isolation rooms for months. He has absolutely no medical or psychological qualifications-- nor does anyone else employed there to “treat” the children each day.

During my work on my book, Help at Any Cost: How the Troubled Teen Industry Cons Parents and Hurts Kids (Riverhead Books, 2006), I spoke to dozens of parents and teens who report horrifying abuses at Tranquility Bay.

Further, as a science reporter who covers child psychiatry, I know from the research data that the humiliating, confrontational and bullying “care” provided by this organisation is linked not with successful treatment of juveniles, but with post-traumatic stress disorder and increased risk of ongoing problems like addiction.

To put it bluntly, there is absolutely no peer-reviewed research to suggest this method works-- and there are lots of papers showing that the individual techniques utilised there have done harm to some.

I would be happy to send a copy of the book to anyone covering this issue and to talk with your reporter or editors. I can put you in touch with teens who have attended Tranquility Bay and testified in court to hideous treatment and with parents who are suing the organisation for permanently harming their children.

I can also provide information on testimony from the owners of the organisation with which Tranquility Bay is affiliated that admits to their own lack of qualifications for working with children.

Maia Szalavitz

Karen said...

The 16-year-old girl who was forcibly sent to Tranquility Bay in Jamaica for rehabilitation earlier this year has revealed more details of her experience at the facility in a recent letter to her elderly grandmother.

The minor’s plight first came to light after her mother, Latchmin ‘Charlene’ Scott, passed a letter she had received from her daughter to Cayman Net News in an effort to highlight her daughter’s anguish.

Since that article of Friday, 29 February, more information has been received raising concerns about human rights violations at the facility that appear to put the health and safety of its occupants at risk.

In her letter adated Sunday, 10 February, the minor states, “Here is worst than prison. At least in prison you can make phone calls, but here is like a boot camp. Trust me, I be up before six in the morning and can barely sleep.”

In a reference to the Frances Bodden Girls Home, where she lived before being transferred to Jamaica, the minor now appears to have changed her perspective of that institution.

“I would rather be in girls home until I’m 18 than to be here. But believe me I will and I’m going to prove to everybody who degrades and underestimates me who I am and what I can do because they don’t want to see me come out on top, but I will show them.”

The girl expresses her love for her grandmother, sister and other family members and asks her grandmother to “be strong until I see you again.”

“I pray for you every night and day while wiping my tears away,” she writes. “I just wish I could be by your side again so I can live my life with you until the very end.”

The website lists the accounts of young people who have stayed at the centre. Whilst it is possible to find a couple of positive comments, there are an overwhelming number of experiences that are very disturbing.

In a posting dated 15 August 2007, Mike Huffman, who stated that he had been at the facility for two and a half years, said, “I’ve seen staff break people’s jaws, I’ve seen kids get restrained into submission, I’ve seen kids get beat with wood boards and hit with radio, a staff (member) even had a baseball bat during the last riot at TB (Tranquility Bay) in February. I’ve even been restrained so many times that I cannot feel my ankles anymore for not laying down on my face.”

Another past student Ryan Pink states, “There is no exaggeration in saying that what goes on at Tranquility Bay is a categorical violation of basic human rights.  The mere fact that children are corralled in such living conditions negates any argument as to their guilt.

Whether I was out of control or not before being shipped to Jamaica is irrelevant. There is no excuse for treating a human being that way, let alone a child.”

Posted on the site is a letter from Amberly Knight, a former employee of the Dundee Ranch Academy - a similar facility in Costa Rica that was reportedly under the ownership of the same company that runs Tranquility Bay - who complained to the Child Protective Agency in Costa Rica about that institution.

“The purpose of Dundee Ranch is not to help teens in crisis or their families.  It is to make millions of dollars for the owner.  Although the profit margins are approximately 50 percent to 75 percent, Mr Lichfield (the manager) is unsatisfied,” the letter reads.

“He continues to try to squeeze out every penny he can.  This is achieved by hiring unqualified, untrained staff, providing the bare minimum of food and living essentials, and by adding huge margins to additional services.”

“There were many students who had psychological, medical, or special education needs that we could not meet.  When I suggested that they be sent to another place where they could receive the help they needed, I was told to ‘keep my mouth shut and make sure that their parents kept them there’,” Ms Knight said.

The Dundee Ranch Academy has since been closed.

We have submitted questions to the Ministry of Health, which is responsible for the Department of Children and Family Services, but no response was received before press time.

exposemolesters said...

A few points about Aaron Schechter:

I want to start off by saying something nice about this dimwit, but I have nothing but bitter feeling towards this guy. There is something very disturbing about Chaim Berlin. Schechter chasidim are some of the worst conceded numb-brains that I have ever come across. It seems they feel they are ABOVE everyone else and entitled to be prejudiced against "outside" groups.

Several years ago there was a talmid chochom who was not a "chaim berliner" who was studying in their bais medrash. Evidently, he was sitting in a regulars place. He was made to feel uncomfortable and told he wasn't welcomed there anymore.

Chaim Berlin B'tach Program is a money making scam.

Camp Morris is an extension of the Chaim Berlin discriminating mentality.

Aaron Schechter is a stupid bozo and we don't need his dopey fanaticism dictating our lives.

Rav Moshe Feinstein zt'l orders
Aaron Schechter and Abraham Fruchthandler to appear before a bais din - and what do these nincompoops do? They blow him off! They pull a koklo and margo by not appearing.

Schechter: You and many of your followers are donkeys who pollute the name of Hashem. You boycott a store owner selling wigs. You sign an earth shattering ban against Lipa Shmeltzer. You support child abuse and have the gall to sign your name to it. You defy an order from Rav Moshe Feinstein Ztv'kl. Are you that inept? You're insane!

Go take care of your wife. Be by her side. I understand she isn't in the best of health. Retire and disappear fast. You enrage me!

Mike said...

Aron Shlechter dances with a new sefer torah a couple of weeks ago. What a freaken dirt bag.

HAARETZ said...

Recent incidents suggest rise in violence between Haredi, messianic Jews 10 daily feature for March 24, 2008.
By Haaretz Staff and Channel 10

Recent incidents point to heightened tensions inside Israel between the ultra-Orthodox community and messianic Jews, who believe in Jesus but consider themselves Jewish.

In the desert town of Arad, a religious argument recently ended in an attempt by a messianic Jewish man to run over a member of Yad L'Achim, a Haredi anti-missionary organization.

Edwin Beckford, a messianic Jew and resident of Arad, has been charged with assault and is now under house arrest. He says his action was a result of years of provocation and abuse.

Just last week, the conflict appeared to have spread to Ariel, when a bomb seriously injured a teenage boy. Police suspect the boy's family was targeted due to their messianic Judaism.

Aaron Schechter Wikipedia said...

Aaron Schechter
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Rabbi Aaron Schechter (white beard) celebrating Purim in Yeshiva Rabbi Chaim Berlin during the late 1970s.
Rabbi Aaron Schechter (white beard) celebrating Purim in Yeshiva Rabbi Chaim Berlin during the late 1970s.

Aaron Moshe Schechter (also Aharon Mosheh Schechter) is the rosh yeshiva ("dean") of the Yeshiva Rabbi Chaim Berlin and its post-graduate Talmudical division Kollel Gur Aryeh as well as of all the branches of the yeshiva in Brooklyn, New York City that includes an elementary school and a high school for young Jewish boys, teenagers, and young men almost exclusively drawn from the surrounding community of Haredi Jews living in Flatbush, Brooklyn. The total number of students at the "Chaim Berlin" institutions is close to three thousand students.

Rabbi Schechter was born in Brooklyn in the 1920s and became a disciple of Rabbi Yitzchok Hutner after being enrolled in the Yeshiva Rabbi Chaim Berlin as a young child. His father belonged to the Young Israel movement and was befriended by Rabbi Hutner who had arrived in America in the 1930s.

* 1 Disciple of Rabbi Yitzchok Hutner
* 2 Rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Rabbi Chaim Berlin
* 3 Administration
* 4 Agudath Israel and Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah
* 5 Leadership beyond Brooklyn
* 6 See also
* 7 External links
* 8 References

[edit] Disciple of Rabbi Yitzchok Hutner

Rabbi Hutner chose Rabbi Schechter for leadearship positions in the yeshiva even prior to Rabbi Schechter's marriage. He encouraged Rabbi Schechter to write a rabbinic commentary on Maimonides that he called Avodas Aharon and Rabbi Hutner wrote a glowing approbation:

...I recognized in you that your heart is the heart of the lion in all areas of the Torah: In hilchot deiot ("laws of ideas"), chovot halevavot ("duties of the heart"), and in the mitzvot of the limbs. And now that I have merited to see you in terms of a man elevated as a gaon ("genius") in Torah and knowledge...

...Avodat Aharon is the the suitable name. Since this name combines the unique manner of your spiritual direction...that is combining the totality of the light of Torah and the light of avoda ("serving [God]") into one light. And I pray and my blessings to you is, my beloved, that these two lights of Torah and avoda will be purely upon your head, and from upon your brow shall shine forth the holy tzitz ("gold plate") like all the Torah and avoda of Aaron. And in its light shall you perceive light to complete your portion in the Torah, in depth and completion, like the good hand of God that is upon you, and may your friends rejoice, and may your disciples be raised through your hand to light up the world with the light of Torah and knowledge of God.

The one who loves you and desires the shalom ("completeness and greatness") of your Torah.

Yitzchok Hutner. [1]

[edit] Rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Rabbi Chaim Berlin

A number of years prior to his passing in 1980, Rabbi Hutner officially announced that Rabbi Schechter and Rabbi Yonasan David would both serve as co-equal roshei yeshiva of the Yeshiva Rabbi Chaim Berlin. This was done when the yeshiva moved to its location on Coney Island Avenue in 1966 and Rabbi Hutner declared to all present that henceforth Rabbi Schechter and Rabbi David would share seats at the front of the main beth midrash (the main study hall of the yeshiva) with Rabbi Schechter sitting at the front right and Rabbi David at the front left, and with Rabbi Hutner sitting in the center. Even after the death of Rabbi Hutner, the center seat has been left empty as a kind of "holy spot", with Rabbi Schechter continuing to occupy the front right position. When Rabbi David returns for brief visits from Israel he assumes his position in the front left of the beth midrash. The seating arrangements reflect both Rabbi Schechter's and Rabbi David's shared position of supreme authority within the totality of the yeshiva.

[edit] Administration

A great part of Rabbi Schechter's success in building and expanding the Yeshiva Rabbi Chaim Berlin and helping launch the careers of a number of his disciples as rosh yeshivas has been his ability to maintain good ties with alumni. In this regard, Rabbi Schechter enjoys one of the greatest human legacies that Rabbi Hutner bequithed as another key disciple is philanthropist Abraham Fruchthandler who serves as president of the Yeshiva Rabbi Chaim Berlin and heads its overall operations all under the guidance of Rabbi Schechter.

[edit] Agudath Israel and Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah

After the death of Rabbi Hutner in 1980 Rabbi Schechter joined the nesius ("presidium") of Agudath Israel of America. After the death in 1987 of Rabbi Yaakov Yitzchak Ruderman (the founder and rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Ner Yisrael in Baltimore) Rabbi Schechter was accepted as a one of the select members of the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah, the supreme rabbinical policy decision-making body of Agudath Israel of America that is loosely affiliated with the World Agudath Israel movement and its ideological kindred movements in Israel of Agudat Israel and Degel HaTorah. In this capacity Rabbi Schechter has become one of the foremost guides and leaders for Haredi Judaism in the United States, particularly of the Lithuanian Jewish misnagdim (although he does work closely with most branches of Hasidic Judaism.)

Rabbi Schechter works closely with two other early disciples of Rabbi Hutner on the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah, Rabbi Aharon Feldman of Yeshiva Ner Yisrael and Rabbi Yaakov Perlow ( who was appointed Rosh Agudas Yisroel -- "head [of]] Agudath Israel [of America]") the Hasidic Rebbe of the Novominsk (Hasidic dynasty) as well as with all the members of the Moetzes and the lay leadership of Agudath Israel that is headquartered in Manhattan.

[edit] Leadership beyond Brooklyn

Rabbi Schechter sits on the governing rabbinical boards of key Haredi insititutions in the United States, such as Torah Umesorah - National Society for Hebrew Day Schools and Chinuch Atzmai. Quite a number of his own disciples have become rosh yeshivas in their own right and many have become members of "out-of-town" Kollels (post graduate and outreach schools) and Jewish day school. Many of these young rabbis and their wives frequently look to him and seek out his counsel which he dispenses with great caution and in private as he rarely speaks in public (another of Rabbi Hutner's trademarks that he has adopted) preferring to focus the bulk of his energies on his students, yeshiva business and delivering his regular Talmudic shiurim ("lectures") which only his students are permitted to attend.

[edit] See also

* Daat Torah
* Torah study

[edit] External links

* Rabbi Schechter speaks to students on OU radio, December 28, 2006
* Participates in conference concerning conversions, February 7, 2007
* Signs appeal to release Jonathan Pollard, Januray 2007 (PDF)
* Endorses the outreach kiruv work of the organization
* Member of rabbinical committee, Vaad L'Hatzolas Nidchei Yisroel

[edit] References

1. ^ Aharon Moshe Schechter, Sefer Avodat Aharon (Shulsinger Brothers, 1957)

Mother of 12 suspected of abusing kids said...

Mother of 12 suspected of abusing kids
Etgar Lefkovits , THE JERUSALEM POST Mar. 25, 2008

A 54-year-old mother of 12 is under arrest for allegedly severely abusing her children, police said Tuesday.

The Beit Shemesh resident is also suspected of failing to report multiple cases of incest among her children. She was remanded for six days by the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court on Tuesday.

It is the latest in a spate of cases of alleged child abuse in Israel, and comes less than two weeks after a haredi US immigrant couple living in Jerusalem were arrested for seriously abusing their two small children, aged three and four. One of them remains hospitalized in critical condition.

The suspect, who cannot be named by order of the court, was arrested last month after neighbors heard a child crying for help and objects being broken in the home, a police investigator told a Jerusalem court at a remand hearing on Tuesday.

It took police two hours to gain entry to the home, with the intervention of local rabbis. Officers and social workers soon uncovered brutal physical abuse of several of the children, including whippings with both belts and electric cables, according to a police officer's court testimony.

The mother is also suspected of breaking one daughter's nose with a rolling pin, leaving her children to sleep outside in a locked shed when they came home late, and preventing them from receiving medical treatment for their injuries. The mother said it was all part of their "education," according to court documents.

The father of the family was abroad at the time of the arrest, seeking charity donations, and had not returned for the court hearing on Tuesday.

When the abuse was discovered last month, only two of the couple's 12 children, who range in age from eight to 33, lived at home.

The two clearly abused children, including a disabled teenager, have since been removed from the home by social workers, the police investigator told the court.

When the children of the family were treated by social workers, it emerged that the teenagers had committed incest with each other, over a long period of time, the police officer said.

The teenage boy who was removed from the house told social workers that he had had sexual relations with his 18-year-old sister, and that he had told his parents and his rabbis, and that the latter told him not to tell anybody else.

The defendant, who was covered in several layers of clothing, did not speak in court.

Her attorney, who obtained a court order barring publication of his client's name, over the opposition of police, said the woman "did not speak with men," according to a court protocol of the proceedings.

The judge rejected the attorney request to place her under house arrest instead of keeping her in police detention, citing investigative material that presented "a very difficult web of physical violence and even abuse."

Rabbi Ephrayim Byrks said...

Are they looking for me?

More Metro news
Suspected serial child molester sought by police

By Debbi Farr Baker

March 14, 2008

San Diego police said yesterday they're looking for a polygamist and suspected serial child molester who claimed to be an emissary of God and is accused of sexually abusing four family members.

Jose Luis Torres, 52, molested the girls daily for most of their lives, said San Diego police Detective Dianna Webb.

Torres claimed that he was the archangel Gabriel sent by God, which entitled him to have sex with the girls to pass on his seed and fulfill his sexual needs, Webb said.

The molestation started in the late 1980s and ended in 2003, Webb said.

Torres, who had two wives, has several aliases and has used the names Jose Luis Quiroz, Jose Luis Aureliano and Aureliano Torres. He is described as 5 feet 8 inches tall with a heavy build, brown hair and brown eyes.

He is a Mexican citizen and has a valid U.S. visa. His whereabouts are unknown. He has not been found at any of his family's previous homes in Mexico or San Diego, Webb said.

San Diego police began their investigation last year after one of the family members told detectives about it while talking about an unrelated matter, Webb said. The rest of the family then came forward.

“Whatever mental power he had over them, he had everyone convinced not to disclose,” Webb said.

Torres rebuilt cars, but he mainly lived off the salaries of his wives, who worked in white-collar jobs, Webb said. “He stayed home and took care of the kids,” she said.

He wrote a book about angels that was published in Spanish and detailed his religious beliefs, Webb said.

Webb portrayed Torres as controlling and domineering.

The oldest alleged victim is now 27. Webb said it is one of the worst cases of child molestation she has investigated.

Police suspect Torres may have started another family, Webb said.

Anyone with information about Torres is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477, where they can remain anonymous. A $1,000 reward is being offered for information leading to his arrest.

JTA said...

German group to Google: Pull hate videos

Published: 03/25/2008

A German Jewish group has demanded that Google pull hate videos from its YouTube subsidiary.

The Central Council of Jews in Germany filed a temporary injunction March 20 against Google, the U.S.-based search engine, in Hamburg District Court.

The injunction "is lying on their desk and they asked for some patience," Council President Stephan Kramer said of the court.

A court spokesman told JTA that it would not comment until Google representatives had replied officially, which was delayed by the long Easter weekend.

Among the offending videos was one in which a photo of the late president of the Central Council, Paul Spiegel, was burned against a background of swastikas. Kramer in a telephone interview Tuesday with JTA suggested this makes Google a collaborator in spreading hate.

Kramer said Google could handle the problem by "hiring more people and setting them down and letting them look through the 'Net for key words. And meanwhile [Google] can fiddle on technological developments."

Google Germany spokesman Stefan Keuchel told reporters last week that the firm agrees that such material is an abuse of the public forum and has been seeking ways to block it. He said the public should report potentially illegal videos, which experts review and can remove.

Keuchel said scanning lags because of the high volume of newly posted material, but once the material is banned a special filter prevents it from being reloaded.

YouTube, a free service, went online with its German edition on Nov. 8, 2007, one year after Google purchased the site. Observers of the far-right scene quickly found videos on the site from banned music groups, including Landser, and films that incite rumors about supposed Jewish conspiracies

Safed Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliahu said...

Safed's chief rabbi: State should have hanged 10 sons of terrorist
Matthew Wagner , THE JERUSALEM POST Mar. 26, 2008

Safed Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliahu called on the state to use brute force as a deterrent to future terror attacks, following the shooting at the capital's Mercaz Harav Yeshiva three weeks ago that killed eight students.

"A state that really respects the lives of its citizens would have hanged the 10 sons of the terrorist on a tree 50 amot [25 meters] tall, so that others would see it and be afraid," wrote Eliahu, referring figuratively to the Book of Esther's depiction of how the Jews of ancient Persia took revenge against Haman and his 10 sons.

Eliahu's comments will appear this weekend in a Hebrew-language pamphlet called "Eretz Yisrael Shelanu" [The Land of Israel Belongs to Us] that is distributed in thousands of synagogues across the nation.

"I am not talking about individuals," stipulated Eliahu. "I am talking about the State of Israel, which needs to make them hurt until they scream, 'Enough!' - until they lie sprawled on the ground groveling, 'Help us!'...

"We have to exact a revenge that is so painful, it will burn into their souls the message of all our enemies that Jewish blood is more valuable than gold and platinum."

Eliahu stressed that the aim of the revenge was solely to achieve deterrence. He added that the Torah's prohibitions against revenge referred solely to individuals, not to states.

"On the national level, "revenge is necessary. Every state that is attacked takes revenge. The US, Russia, Turkey and India, all European states and even Third World countries take revenge. Does the entire world have it wrong and only the Israeli Left have it right? The Israeli Left is tired. It has lost its will to live. We have to remove those tired leftists from political leadership and send them to the old age home, and choose leaders who know true morality," Eliahu continued.

Rabbi Gilad Kariv, legal adviser for the Reform Movement in Israel, said, "Jewish history is full of zealots whose zealotry has brought tragedies upon the nation while bringing about the moral corruption of the Jewish people.

"Unlike deterrence, revenge should be shunned by Israel as a democratic country of law and order and as the state of the Jewish people. It is hoped that the Jewish people, enjoying a renaissance in its land, will have the sense to expel from its midst dangerous extremists like Rabbi Eliahu," he added.

"Rabbi Eliahu's recent comments prove once again that the attorney-general made a big mistake when he decided to rescind an indictment against him for incitement to racism in exchange for a dubious retraction," Kariv said.

King Abdullah said...

Saudi King Calls for Interfaith Dialogue


RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — The Saudi king has made an impassioned plea for dialogue among Muslims, Christians and Jews — the first such proposal from a nation with no diplomatic ties to Israel and a ban on non-Muslim religious services and symbols.

The message from King Abdullah, which was welcomed by Jewish, Christian and Muslim leaders, comes at a time of stalled peace initiatives and escalating tensions in the region.

Muslims have been angered by cartoons published in European papers seen as insulting the Prophet Muhammad and by the pope's baptizing on Easter of a Muslim journalist who had converted to Catholicism.

Amalek said...

An Amalek in our times?
By Nadav Shragai

Purim 5768, just two weeks after the terrorist attack at the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva, transforms the annual, almost traditional, discussion over the image of Amalek and his offspring, Haman, into one that is more alert and pointed than ever.

The embodiment of the eternal evil, the one that attacked the weakness of the children of Israel as they left Egypt and which, according to a Torah commandment, must ostensibly be obliterated from the face of the earth (Deuteronomy 25:17-19), is each year associated by many in the religious public with Israel's enemies in contemporary times. The attack at the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva intensified this association. Numerous sermons, articles and classes are being devoted this year to the relevance or lack thereof of the obliteration of the memory of Amalek in practical terms in our day and age.

The first to draw publicly the analogy between modern times and bygone days was Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski, at the funeral of the murder victims. Then there was the resounding article published by the head of the Tzomet Institute, Rabbi Yisrael Rosen, who clarified, "Amalek as a concept and as the object of our battle and our hostility exists in each and every generation," and that "this does not refer to the ethnic Amalek, but to all those in whom there burns a deep and abiding hatred of Israel on a national or religious basis." The Holy One, Blessed Be He Himself, noted the rabbi, "with his own hands" confirmed the eternity of Amalek's hatred and the commandment to wage war against Amalek: "'Because the Lord has sworn by His throne.'" The hand of the Holy One, Blessed Be He, was raised in an oath on his throne that he will battle and be hostile to Amalek all over the world. We cannot, according to the rabbi, "flee from this Divine commandment even if we hide under the wings of 'the family of nations' and even if the commandment is difficult for us to bear and we have been discouraged."

Rabbi Rosen said: "Those who slaughter students poring over their Torah, those who rain Qassams down indiscriminately on men, women, old and young, babes and sucklings - those who hail the destruction of Israel and dance on the blood, are Amalek in our generation," and therefore "only with hostility, and by conquering our humane emotions that are contrary to that, will we be victorious."

The rabbi of Safed, Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, also "has no moral problem with quashing the wicked - destroying Amalek from beginning to end," and Rabbi Dov Lior of Kiryat Arba also makes it clear that "whoever wants to overpower and destroy the Jewish people, the law of Amalek applies to him, with all that that entails."

'Abhor any bloodshed'

However, not everyone has an easy time with the practical application of the halakhic rules that apply when Amalek in our day and age is seemingly identified. One of them is the head of the hesder yeshiva in Holon, Rabbi Elazar Aharonson. Aharonson is perhaps not deterred by labeling as "Amalek" the terror that afflicts us in Sderot and in Mercaz Harav, but at the same time, he thanks God for the fact that today it is no longer possible to identify Amalek and says of himself that he is very uncomfortable with the prophet Samuel's command to King Saul: "Now go and smite Amalek and utterly destroy all that they have and spare them not; and but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass" (I Samuel 15:3).

"Are we even capable of that?" asks Rabbi Aharonson. "Are we capable of going and slaughtering and killing infants and children, men and women and old people? It's hard for me to imagine ourselves in such a situation and it is absolutely clear to me that this must be how we all should feel, it is a normal and natural feeling to abhor any bloodshed and to view extremely negatively any mass murder." In practice, Aharonson explains, we don't look for Amalekites in order to kill them, because the Oral Torah exempts from doing so, just as we don't marry our daughters off when they are young, because the Oral Torah forbids us to do so, even though the Written Torah permits it.

Over the weekend, Rabbi Daniel Shilo, a former head of the Yesha Council of settlements rabbis, clearly said some things in this same spirit: "As far as halakha is concerned, Amalek does not exist. No member of the ancient peoples can be identified today. There is no Amalek that exists today whose memory must be erased, and even in the ancient period, the obligation to erase Amalek does not apply to an Amalek that came to terms with Israel and accepted on itself the laws of the sons of Noah."

Shilo stresses that even in the original Purim "the reins were not released. The Jews fought only their tormentors, their enemies and those who hate them, the 'armies and country that oppress them,' and not innocent people and not as an individual act, but 'they gathered' a community that takes responsibility and has no isolated individuals who break through fences."

Shilo, like many of his colleagues who dealt with this subject after the attack at Mercaz Harav Yeshiva, also wants revenge. Not the revenge of an individual, but rather "the revenge of a people, nation and army." Not revenge against random unfortunates and passersby, but official revenge against those who spur the killings, those who dispatch the murderers and those who encourage them, a "revenge of the mighty and not of the weak-minded."

The main thing, as far as Shilo is concerned, is the memory, and the understanding that even in our generation there may be a battle against an enemy with no conditions.

Margo said...

Now that Rabbi Eli Teitelbaum has dropped dead I don't have to worry about him running his mouth about my involvement in the kolko cover-up. The only bad part is we lost someone who was against bloggers - because all they do is talk looshin hora.

The Orthodox Jewish world mourns the loss of four prominent figures who passed away in recent days, Rabbi Eli Teitelbaum, Mr. Bentzion Dunner, Rabbi Moshe Fuller, and Rabbi Yitzchok Chinn, each of whom left a lasting contribution to the Jewish community at large.
Rabbi Eli Teitelbaum, director of Torah Communications Network and Camp S’dei Chemed International, brought the letter and spirit of Torah to hundreds of thousands of Jews during his lifetime, which was cut short at age 67 on Sunday.

Domestic abuse said...

Between The Lines Newspaper
From issue number 1613
Return to PrideSource
Domestic abuse: Everyone pays the price
By Donald V. Calamia
Originally printed 03/27/2008

One by one 11 women spanning three generations quietly enter the theater. When each reaches the stage, she takes a seat and looks out at the audience with no hint of emotion. There is nothing to distinguish them from the dozens of women staring back at them from the audience.

But as a rabbi's voice is heard describing the rules that women under Orthodox Jewish law must follow, the 11 stand up and silently, respectfully shed their modern-day garments and assume the modest coverings of a strict Haredi community. And once the transformation is complete, the audience is transported to Jerusalem and the home of Yankele Sheinhoff, a much-respected rabbi and scholar, where a heated argument is heard offstage. His longtime wife Chana then emerges with a bloody nose, and frantically storms out of the house.

Two years later she returns, armed with a police escort and a rabbinical court order that grants her permission to visit the 12 children she abandoned.

The document proves worthless, however; most of the children have been removed from the apartment. So the besieged mother pleads her case to the female relatives and friends she finds waiting for her in the apartment. "You judge me," she both begs and commands, and with the arrival of a tenth woman - her supposed lover - a "women's court" is formed to do just that.

But the deck has been stacked against her.

In her powerful and often emotional drama "Women's Minyan," now playing at the Jewish Ensemble Theatre, novelist and playwright Naomi Ragen explores the strict rules that govern the lives of Orthodox Jewish women. But more importantly, she sheds light on the subject of domestic abuse in a close-knit, religious community that prefers to keep its dirty laundry hidden.

Ragen's script is at its best when it details the many layers of subterfuge embarked upon by both the rabbis and the family to demonize Chana and erase her from their midst. And while there's little time to fully develop each of her many characters, most are given brief moments that allow the audience into their hearts and souls.

But the script falls somewhat short in two areas.

Positive images of men are rare, and marriage is depicted mostly as an unhappy state.

One must also question the play's second act climactic shift: The women only acquiesce after they learn of Yankele's complete history of abuse and infidelity; weren't Chana's own tragic experiences enough to convince the minyan?

Excellent performances by director Shauna Kanter's superb cast ARE convincing, however.

Although too young and svelte to be a mother of 12, Inga Wilson immediately erases the discrepancy with an honest and heart-wrenching portrayal of a determined woman who will do whatever is necessary to regain access to her children.

Especially fine support is offered by Henrietta Hermelin as Chana's mother and Yolanda Fleischer as mother-in-law Goldie.

Moving such a large cast about the JET stage couldn't have been easy for director Kanter, and for the most part, she succeeds. But certain traffic patterns seemed unexpectedly congested on opening night, and a few scenes in which an actor downstage totally blocked from view another delivering lines upstage were somewhat irritating.



'Women's Minyan'

Jewish Ensemble Theatre Company at the DeRoy Theatre on the campus of the Jewish Community Center, 6600 W. Maple Rd., West Bloomfield. Wed., Thu., Sat. & Sun., through April 13. Tickets: $29-$39. For information: 248-788-2900 or

Chaim said...

The Shmated has an ad this week on page 51 in which they are recruiting talmidim for Mesifta of Eatontown NJ.

WARNING: DO NOT take a risk by sending your boy there. The yeshiva's Rabbinical board include

Novminsker "don't want to get involved in saving lives"

Shmuel Kamenetsky "send a sex offender to molest in another city"

Avrohm "Ban" Schor AKA cult leader

destroy them said...

Israel has the military capabilities of waging war and defeating its enemies. Iran can be made into a speck of billowing dust within minutes. Syria, Nasrallah of Hizbollah, Hamas, Fatah, Jihad,and other Islamic terrorists all share in the same purpose, and that is to destroy Israel the State. You don't negotiate with evil, you defeat it!

The big problem is that the Israel Government is now run by a corrupt, cold blooded Prime Minister in Ehud Olmert. He botched up one Lebanon war and cost unnecessary loss of life. Every policy of this never ending love affair with appeasing bloodthirsty killers has failed miserably. Rockets and missiles fired at them on a daily basis. Subhuman; that's what they are. Mass murderers of men woman and children.

If Israel can get themselves a great leader, they can defeat, destroy, and obliterate Amalek.
Bye Bye Iran-
Bye Bye Palestinians-
Bye Bye Syria-
Bye Bye Hizbollah-
Bye Bye Hamas-

Rabbi Rosen said: "Those who slaughter students poring over their Torah, those who rain Qassams down indiscriminately on men, women, old and young, babes and sucklings - those who hail the destruction of Israel and dance on the blood, are Amalek in our generation," and therefore "only with hostility, and by conquering our humane emotions that are contrary to that, will we be victorious."

Rubashkin termination by KAJ letter said...

Yehuda Kolko said...

I think this bill was drafted after Margulis took my side.

The bill by Sen. Jack Scott, D-Pasadena, passed the Senate Education Committee 6-0. The committee delayed action on another bill that would close certain loopholes in California's teacher licensing system, including one that allows some teachers to remain in the classroom after they have been accused of serious crimes.

The London Free Press said...

Former teacher knew about sex abuse probe

A retired London teacher -- whose body was pulled from the Thames River on March 15 -- was told by police shortly before he disappeared that he was being investigated for sexually abusing boys about 35 years ago, The Free Press has learned.

Bill Yates, 61, who was buried on Saturday, was interviewed by police a day or two before he went missing from his Hamilton Road home on Jan. 8.

Police Chief Murray Faulkner declined comment about specific allegations, but said: "We had an investigation underway of a criminal allegation, but it was not completed by the time he went missing."

But a 50-year-old former London man says Yates was one of two men he identified to police as his abusers in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

"This guy wasn't a nice guy and the world needs to know about that," said the father of two, who lives in the Toronto area.

"Everybody thinks this guy was such a nice guy. He ruined my life."

Friends and colleagues of Yates, who've organized the collection of donations to a memorial fund through the Thames Valley Foundation, were stunned.

"I never saw any evidence of that, ever," said Wendy Travnicek, who Yates taught when she was a Grade 7 pupil at Woodland Heights school.

"It's very difficult when this is an historic accusation and there's no way (Yates) can ever answer for it."

Travnicek's husband Bruce, a teacher, was mentored by Yates for three years.

"In my observations he was a remarkable man who did everything he could to be the best teacher he could be," Bruce Travnicek said.

"I cannot believe he would ever do anything to hurt a child."

But Yates's accuser remained adamant. At times yelling and swearing, and other times weeping uncontrollably, the man said he knows other boys were abused by Yates. He urged them to come forward.

"I'll go to my grave with this," said the man, who asked not to be identified.

"For me, it's about telling the truth and being held accountable for your actions. Children have a right to be protected."

According to the man, Yates and another man used to lure boys to the house where they lived near the corner of Waterloo and St. James streets, by giving them rides on their motorcycles or horsing around with them.

The man said he was in Grade 5 when he first encountered Yates and the other man. The abuse continued until he entered Grade 9.

He remembers riding on the back of a motorcycle to the school where Yates taught (Woodland Heights) to set up a science fair.

The man said he became infuriated reading media reports of Yates's friends, former colleagues and students describing him as a dedicated teacher who would spend hours looking for a special book for a troubled student, or even provide food.

"Just because he did all these special things for (his students), doesn't mean he's a good person," he said.

"If it wasn't for sex, then he was just over-compensating for what he did before."

But when Yates went missing after the police interview, the man became frightened.

"I was scared," the man said.

"That little boy in me was still scared of these monsters. He went missing and I thought the guy was coming after me."

On Monday, Robert Hall, 69, of Aylmer was charged with one count of gross indecency. He was previously charged with two counts of indecent assault on a male and two counts of gross indecency.

Police said the charge relates to the suspect's alleged involvement with school-age boys befriended in the area of St. James and Waterloo streets in the late 1960s and early 1970s as they walked to school.

Anyone with information is asked to contact London police at 519-661-5670.

Gaywood Elementary School said...

Elementary School Administrator Indicted on Sex Abuse Charges
Last Edited: Wednesday, 26 Mar 2008, 10:41 PM EDT
Created: Wednesday, 26 Mar 2008, 4:14 PM EDT
Prosecutors say 39-year-old Shadrick Woods sexually abused a 6-year-old boy at Gaywood Elementary School in Seabrook, where Woods is the vice principal.

UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (AP) -- A vice principal at a Prince George's County elementary school has been indicted on child sex abuse charges.

Thirty-nine-year-old Shadrick Woods, of Lanham, is charged with two counts of child sex abuse and two counts of third degree sexual offense.

Prosecutors say Woods sexually abused a 6-year-old boy at Gaywood Elementary School in Seabrook, where Woods is the vice principal. The incidents allegedly occurred between December 2007 and March 10.

Woods turned himself in to Prince George's County police Wednesday morning and is being held on a $50,000 bond

organ donation fight said...,7340,L-3524163,00.html

On Wednesday morning two pashkevils ran the views of two of the most prominent rabbis belonging to the Lithuanian non-Hasidic ultra-Orthodox Jewish community. The first was a renewed publishing of a poster from 1991, the year in which Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv and Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach determined that the pronouncing one dead on the basis of brain death was tantamount to murder.

The second poster was published solely in Elyashiv's name, and said: "As I have already stated, as long as the heart (of the prospective organ donor) is still pumping blood, even in the case of 'brain death,' it is not permitted to remove any organ from the patient.'

Rabbi Naftali Rothenberg said...


Appropriate response to killings rests in Torah

By Rabbi Naftali Rothenberg

The pain felt by the family and near environment of any murder victim is deep and traumatic. The murder of adolescents in an educational institution is horrifying. But a murder that takes place within the walls of the house of study, the yeshiva, amplifies and extends the grief and suffering beyond the families that lost their dear ones and beyond the victims' close surroundings.

We immediately associate this slaughter with the picture that has become fixed in our minds as Jews schooled in millennia of persecution: The bloodthirsty non-Jews kill us as we stand in prayer in the synagogue and as we sit learning Gemara in the house of study.

In this old-new picture it is quite clear what symbolizes each side: We are symbolized by prayer and study; they are symbolized by the sword, the gun and acts of violence. We sit in the tents of Shem and learn Torah, motivated by a moral drive, self-criticism and a desire to repair the world. They engage in "Esau's labor," raining down the blood and fire of destruction on themselves and on us.

But as we delve deeper into our minds to agonize over this painfully sharp image of murder in the house of study, our field of view is blurred by other pictures that interfere with the age-old world order. A gang of Jewish fascists goes on a rampage in the neighborhood of the murderous terrorist; several hours later, we are told, in the name of a leader of the ultra-Orthodox Torah world, that yeshivot are forbidden to employ Arabs.

At first sight, these two Jewish reactions are quite unrelated: The band of neo-Kahanists is light years removed from the Lithuanian world of Torah study; the person who informed the media of Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky's opinion had no inkling that the riot and the ruling would be connected in the press and later in the public mind.

The general public -- both the sector that condemns these responses and the sector that sympathizes with them -- perceives them as "religious Judaism's reaction to the murder." How do "religious Jews" react to the murder at the yeshiva? They take the law into their own hands and run amok in the neighborhood where the murderer lived or cast collective guilt on all Arabs and call for dismissing them from their jobs and depriving them of their livelihood.

But we could also witness an appropriate Jewish response of another type, which rests on loyalty to the views of the Torah and halacha, as recorded in the pages of the very books whose pages were perforated by the murderer's bullets.

We might hear that those of us who sit and learn in the house of study adhere steadfastly to a moral position that begins by isolating violent murderers from all other human beings. We might hear that we clearly distinguish between the absolute majority of the Arab citizens of Israel and the violent murderers among them.

As Jews, we have a different language, which is not the language of force; a different language that is not based on violence.

Halacha defines the right of minorities to live among us in peace and security, to determine their place of residence according to their needs and free choice, without posing a security threat to us and without our discriminating against them or harming them by deed or humiliating word.

As with the modern return to Zion, it was also clear at the first return from Egypt that the future Jewish kingdom would include a non-Jewish minority. Halacha states a fundamental principle about the residence of a non-Jew in the Land of Israel:

"One does not let him settle on the frontier or in an unhealthy place but only in an attractive place in the middle of the Land of Israel, where his crafts are marketable, as we read, 'He shall live with you in any place he may choose among the settlements in your midst, wherever he pleases; you must not ill treat him'" (Deut. 23:17) (Tractate Gerim 3:4; also Sifre Tetze).

Halacha established dependence between the right of residence and the right of livelihood and insisted on the right of minorities to move up to a better neighborhood if they wished to do so. Developing from this statement of principle, the issue of the status of the non-Jewish minority in a Jewish state emerged as a broad and ramified halachic topic, with implications for security, employment, workers' rights, residential rights, welfare, commerce, agriculture and industry as well as for cultural ties and neighborly relations between Jews and non-Jews.

The Torah lays down the precept that we must provide for the basic livelihood and welfare of both Jews and non-Jews who live in the Land of Israel and strenuously insists that we not infringe the status and rights of the minority. All social rights, the laws against fraud and withholding wages, apply to both Jews and non-Jews.

Many halachic texts indicate that the Torah sees itself as the guardian of the minority and is careful to emphasize and define its rights in detail, because in the absence of a halachic fence to defend the minority, the majority is apt to discriminate against it.

According to the commentators, there are several reasons for this halachic stance:

* The acid test for the ethical nature of a Jewish majority society is how it treats minorities, or in contemporary terms, if we want the State of Israel to be a Jewish nation state we must meticulously respect the status and rights of the non-Jewish minority among us.

* As Jews, we have long experience of life as a minority and must display understanding of the pain of the minority. In the words of Sefer Hahinnukh (by Maimonides' disciple): "He reminded us that we have already been burned by that great pain, which is suffered by every human being who sees himself in the midst of strangers ... and we remember the great anxiety attached to this."

The widespread public expectation that religious or ultra-Orthodox Jews will conduct themselves in keeping with Jewish standards, that they will evince loyalty to the moral principles anchored in the precepts of the Torah, is manifested after every act of violence, corruption or immorality in which religious people are involved.

By the same token, what the two Jewish reactions mentioned above have in common is that they do not see the Torah as the source of obligatory moral behavior, whether toward ourselves or toward others.

They do not believe that we have a duty to present a clear alternative to the terrorists and murderers, an obligation to tell them: "You murdered innocent people who were learning Torah; you desecrated a holy place. But you will not deprive us of our values and essence.

"You may cry, 'Death to the Jews' and go out and murder. We will not respond with, 'Death to the Arabs' but with, 'He shall live with you' and with, 'You must not ill-treat him.'

You want to get us to assign collective guilt, to persecute and discriminate against all the Arab citizens on your account. But we, who have been victims of such an indictment, will endeavor, even at the height of the war you are waging against us, to improve the lot of the Arabs who live with and among us in peace."

Professor Naftali Rothenberg is a senior research fellow at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute and the rabbi of Har Adar.

aljazeera animals said...

The Rabbi of hate

Rabbi Yosef told his followers that Israeli soldiers need to be blessed by the Almighty for killing Palestinians.

By Khalid Amayreh

“So I believe that I act in the spirit of the Almighty God. By defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.” - Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, 1924

“A thousand non-Jewish lives are not worth a Jew’s fingernail” - Dov Lior, Rabbi of Kiryat Arba

“We will carry out a greater holocaust against the Palestinians,” - Matan Vilnai, Deputy Defense Minister, 1 March, 2006

Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual leader of the ultra-orthodox Shas party, which represents Jews from the Middle East, has urged Jews around the world to pray for Israeli soldiers, not only on the Jewish Sabbath, Saturday, but also on Mondays and Thursdays.

According to the Israeli newspaper, Ha’aretz, Yosef told his followers that Israeli soldiers need to be blessed by the Almighty for killing and maiming hundreds of Palestinians, mostly innocent civilians, in the past few days.

“Had it not been for them, would we have time to study the Torah? To turn the books,” Yosef was quoted as saying Saturday night during his weekly sermon in Jerusalem.

It is really lamentable that Yosef thinks that it is only through murder and genocide of Palestinians that Jews can sit down and study the Torah.

Jews, after all, have been studying the Torah for many centuries without “Jewish soldiers” engaging themselves in mass murder, mass terror and mass oppression. Does the rabbi think that linking Torah studies to mass murder in Gaza brings honor to the Torah and to Judaism?

Yosef, who on several occasions called Palestinians “rats,” is considered by many in Israel as one of the greatest living sages of the Torah. However, his enthusiastic support for ethnic cleansing and genocide against the Palestinians caricatures a sinister man who quotes ancient texts to justify every conceivable crime against humanity and every abomination against God and man.

Yosef is not unaware of the Nazi-like atrocities the soldiers he is blessing have committed and are committing in Gaza.

He knows too well that an army that murders innocent civilians, including babies in their mothers’ laps, is not an army of righteous soldiers, but rather an army of thugs and criminals, not unlike the Gestapo and SS and wehrmacht.

I understand that some Zionist rabbis tend to believe in the horrible idea that in war time, there is no such a thing as “innocent civilians of the enemy.” In other words, “All’s fair in love and war.”

But this is a stunningly immoral concept that degrades man to cannibalistic savagery. Because then every mass murderer from Adolph Hitler, to Joseph Stalin, to Ariel Sharon, to Ehud Olmert and Ehud Barak could justify the mass murder of civilians on the ground that in wartime, no holds are barred. Indeed, this would be the most comfortable justification for all the holocausts, genocides, pogroms and inquisitions in the world since Adam and Eve.

Well, I really wonder how these rabbis of evil, people such Yosef, Dov Lior, David Batsri, and many many others, would react if a Nazi apologist argued that the mass killings of Jews during the holocaust was a perfectly justified and legitimate act “since we viewed European Jewry as our number-1 enemy, and we were at war, and in wartime there is no such a thing as innocent civilians of the enemy.”

Now, what is the difference between a rabbi praying for and blessing an army that has just murdered and maimed hundreds of innocent people in Gaza, and a German Nazi priest praying for and blessed Nazi killers who had just carried out one of those pacification raids in central or Eastern Europe?

Does the rabbi think that a holocaust by Jews is kosher? Does he think that non-Jewish children and women and men are un-human, or lesser humans? What kind of Torah is he studying? Does he think that the Torah prohibition against murder covers only “Jews”?

Rabbi Yosef is more than just an unenlightened old man; he is actually an evil man. He is evil because in the name of the Torah and in the name of Judaism, he tries to make evil look good, ugliness look fair and cardinal sins against God and man look as great acts of charity.

It is really hypocritical that while many Zionists don’t stop denouncing Catholic religious leaders for supporting the Third Reich and for keeping silent in the face of the Holocaust, rabbis, even prominent rabbis, such as Yosef, are more or less indulging in the same evil behavior they are denouncing.

Yosef may be a learned man in matter of Jewish theology. But he seems to be a dwarf in understanding the moral messages of the Torah. Because if he were truly faithful to the true spirit of Judaism, he should realize that murdering innocent people-non-Jews as well as Jews- is the greatest crime under the sun.

Doesn’t he read “Thou Shall not murder”? Doesn’t he read “thou shall not oppress?” Is this his way of making “Tikkun Ha’olam,” or fixing the world, by blessing and encouraging child killers and mass murderers?

It is sad how men of religion who think they are hallowing the name of God are actually doing Satan’s work.

And we wonder why the world is in such a mess!

-- Khalid Amayreh resides in the West Bank

Ethiopian Community said...

Rabbis Call on Gov't to Fulfil Promise to Bring Falash Mura Home
21 Adar Bet 5768, 28 March 08
by Ezra HaLevi

( A conference at the Inbal Hotel in Jerusalem Wednesday was dedicated to a call for bringing 8,000 members of the Falash Mura group from Ethiopia to Israel.

The Falash Mura are Ethiopian Christians of Jewish descent. Thousands are awaiting the chance to immigrate to Israel in the Gondar transit camp.

Rabbi Menachem Waldman, an expert on the Ethiopian community who heads the Shvut Am organization, told Arutz-7 that the Falash Mura are "Jews by any definition."

Responding to claims that the Falash Mura were simply regular Christians seeking a better life, Rabbi Waldman said, “I am embarrassed to even respond to such a foolish statement like that. They were checked mother after mother. There was a phenomenon of conversion to Christianity there, but now they have returned to Judaism and live as Jews."

Rabbi Waldman said that the Ethiopian religious leaders, known as Kessim, along with both Rabbi Ovadia Yosef and Chief Sephardic Rabbi Shlomo Amar, have examined the subject and support bringing the Falash Mura to Israel.

The rabbi also dismisses claims that the 8,000 waiting in Gondar will soon transform into hundreds of thousands or even millions. “We are talking about a very specific group who was promised they would be brought by the Sharon government in 2003. On the basis of this promise they left their villages and camped in Gondar. At this time we are asking that this promise be fulfilled.”

Some Kessim Opposed in 2006
There are Ethiopian Jews who do not agree with Rabbi Waldman, however. A group of Ethiopian kessim and rabbis told a conference in Rehovot in 2006 that many of the Falash Mura conduct Christian missionary activity within the Ethiopian immigrant community. Hundreds of Ethiopian Jews attended the “Ending Missionary Activity in the Community” conference, claiming the Falash Mura have no desire to return to the Judaism of their ancestors.

“We came [to Israel] to be Jews,” said the community leaders. “We weren’t different from the Christians in skin color – we were different from them only because of our Judaism. The missionary activities have crossed red lines and could set the community aflame and cause bloodshed,” they warned.

Avi Shafran the putz said...

I told you so. You can't gossip about Koklo and Margulies; it's a terrible crime.

The campaign at the Jewish high schools has incorporated “shmirat halashon,” the Hebrew expression that translates to “guarding speech,” in a faith-based approach to fighting gossip.

According to the Torah, God forbids the sin of gossip, which is known as “lashon hara,” or “evil speech.” In the Talmud, some rabbis viewed the sin of gossip to be as grievous as murder.

Avrom Schor said...

Don't you dare blame me for this!

Police uncover 'Taliban' sect in Israel

Published: 03/27/2008

A child-abuse scandal has brought an extremist, fervently Orthodox women's sect to light in Israel.

Police announced this week the arrest of a woman in her 50s from Beit Shemesh on charges of assaulting and neglecting her 12 children, some of whom are believed to have committed incest.

It soon emerged that the suspect is a leader of a religious community with bases in Beit Shemesh and other Israeli towns that believes Jewish women should be entirely covered from view and refrain from speaking to men.

Video footage of the suspect's remand hearing showed her hooded and swaddled in many layers of dark clothing, no skin visible, and apparently in need of physical guidance to see which way to walk.

Established Orthodox communities, including the fervently Orthodox Chasidim and haredim, have dubbed the sect "the Taliban" and described it a Jewish aberration. Some believe its members were secular women who in embracing religion took it to an unusual extreme.

The suspect has denied the charges against her, but her self-imposed strictures on communication have slowed the legal proceedings.

exposemolesters said...

U.N. Taps American Jewish Critic of Israel as Rights Expert

By Marc Perelman
Thu. Mar 27, 2008

As if relations between Israel and the United Nations had not deteriorated enough, a new cause for strain arose this week when a prominent American Jewish law professor, who accuses Israel of genocidal policies in the Palestinian territories, was named by the world body’s top human rights entity to monitor the situation in the Palestinian territories.

Richard Falk, an emeritus professor of international law at Princeton University, was appointed on March 26 by the U.N.’s Human Rights Council to become the next special rapporteur on the Palestinian territories. He will replace South Africa’s John Dugard, a staunch critic of Israel whose six-year term is about to end. On the same day, the council elected another departing special rapporteur — and nemesis of the Israeli government — Switzerland’s Jean Ziegler, to an advisory position.

Pro-Israel advocates have for years criticized the human rights apparatus of the U.N. for its perceived anti-Israel bias, and the latest nominations are likely to fuel their disenchantment with the U.N.’s recent vows to become more even-handed. That effort appeared to take a step forward with the creation in 2006 of the Human Rights Council to replace the discredited Human Rights Commission, but the new appointments are seen as a step in the other direction.

“Unfortunately it seems that right now, the council is not missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity,” said Sybil Kessler, director of U.N. affairs for B’nai B’rith International. “Change on the margins feels ever more challenging when member states select and promote experts with obviously biased views toward Israel…. The struggle for change has just gotten that much harder, I am sad to say.”

Falk’s appointment was reached by a consensus of the Human Rights Council’s 47 members, despite efforts by Jewish groups to have Canada and the European Union publicly oppose his nomination. The E.U. remained silent, and Canada did not block the consensus, choosing instead to issue a statement dissociating itself from the choice. The United States, which is not a member of the council, also took the floor to criticize Falk’s published writings.

The terms of Falk’s position, which was created in 1993, are to investigate “Israel’s violations of the principles and bases of international law” while excluding Palestinian actions. No such mandate exists to examine Palestinian violations.

Falk, who is also a visiting professor at the University of California, has an extensive written record on the Israel-Palestinian issue, most of it critical of Jerusalem’s policies over the past 40 years. A recent article that has particularly irked his pro-Israeli critics is titled “Slouching Towards a Palestinian Holocaust.”

In it, Falk writes that “it is especially painful for me, as an American Jew, to feel compelled to portray the ongoing and intensifying abuse of the Palestinian people by Israel through a reliance on such an inflammatory metaphor as ‘holocaust.’”

After describing the Nazi horrors, he asked: “Is it an irresponsible overstatement to associate the treatment of Palestinians with this criminalized Nazi record of collective atrocity? I think not. The recent developments in Gaza are especially disturbing because they express so vividly a deliberate intention on the part of Israel and its allies to subject an entire human community to life-endangering conditions of utmost cruelty.”

The Human Rights Council overwhelmingly elected Ziegler, a Swiss socialist and university professor, to its 18-member advisory committee. He garnered 40 out of 47 votes. As the U.N. expert on the right to food for the past seven years, Ziegler was a fierce critic of Israel and the United States, prompting several Jewish groups to call for his resignation.

exposemolesters said...






News (march 27, 2008)
Rabbis urge victims to speak out


REPORTS of alleged sexual abuse by the former principal of the Adass Israel girls school have sparked Melbourne’s Orthodox rabbis into action amid reports that another high-profile figure within the community has been engaging in inappropriate behaviour.

The Rabbinical Council of Victoria (RCV) has shored up its processes and is seeking to reassure the community that victims of abuse can come forward and seek assistance from qualified legal, psychological and rabbinical authorities in a confidential manner.

The high-profile figure in question is not affiliated with the Adass school or congregation, nor a member of the RCV, but the person’s identity and details of alleged inappropriate behaviour have been the subject of widespread speculation throughout Melbourne’s Orthodox community for the past few weeks.

It is believed the latest allegations involve both inappropriate physical contact, as well as improper financial transactions.

In a statement to The AJN, the RCV said: “We have been aware for some time now that there have been concerns regarding alleged abuse by a trusted official in the Jewish community.

“During this period, the RCV has continued to encourage alleged victims to come forward and confidentially present their issues to the RCV, so that halachic and legal counsel may be provided.

“In light of recent occurrences, the RCV wishes to make it known that its good offices are available for the purpose of assisting victims and alleged victims of abuse by trusted officials in our community.

“A small, but highly-qualified group of professionals has been engaged by the RCV to assist with legal and psychological counselling as required.”

It is believed that until late last week, there was division within the RCV as to how to deal with the community identity in question, and it was felt that this was deterring some of the alleged victims from coming forward and seeking assistance.

But this issue was resolved after a series of meetings over the weekend, so that a completely confidential environment can be created for those who wish to seek comfort.

“It needs to be made clear that if alleged victims do come forward, there will be no cover-ups and no sweeping of any issues under the carpet,” said RCV president Rabbi Meir Kluwgant.

“We’re equipped to offer whatever sort of assistance is required.”

The AJN understands that two high-profile community identities, who have previously held leadership positions within the general Jewish community, have agreed to work with the RCV and talk to individuals who may come forward seeking assistance.

All approaches on this matter should be made directly to the RCV on (03) 8517 5684 during business hours. All discussions will be treated in the strictest confidence and will be directed with the permission of the complainant to the appropriate venue.

Flatbush Yid said...

Aron Schechter was mechubed with a bracha at a wedding of a 14 year old girl to a guy in his 30's.

C'est la vie said...

Even the French have their limits. What the hell is up with AIA. What the bleep? Can the story get any screwier then it already is? . Schechter - are you normal? What the ef is wrong with you? A. Fruchturtle - you're a rottin scum of the earth.

We don't have Rav Moshe zt'l and Reb Shamshon zt'l with us unfortunately. Klal Yisrael sorely lacks that kind of leadership today. Instead we have these so called "Rabbis" who are the total opposites. If anyone still trusts the moetzes they're totally out of their mind.

How the hell do these these frauds of Agudas Israel get away with such reckessless and criminal behavior? No wonder there are so many "teens at risk" out there. The "Rabbis" created them to begin with. Then they try to reap the credit for bullshit - like they're "saving" these "teens at risk."

Your a bunch of frauds!

People like =%#& effin shlomo mandel putz drek drwarf - abused boys when they were in his "house of horrors" - and then walks the streets on ocean pkwy only to find boys he once abused smoking a cigarettes on shabbos. How ludicrous!

More Shlechter/Frucht documents said...

Reported on UOJ blog.

Anonymous said...

My brother Mike is a molester. He molested both me and my brother, both of which went on to have homosexual experiences.
He put me in an old hand me down dress.
Mike instructed both his young brothers (appx 3 years old) to copulate him.
He married a woman who is a dead ringer for a transsexual, enabing him to relive his role as molester every night. I understand he prefers copulation so much he has problems with traditional intercourse.
I think you know who he is.

Anonymous said...

1. Alcohol
2. Drugs
3. Preditory "earning"
4. Homosexuality
5. Gambling
6. Something for nothing/irresponsibility (xtianity)
7. Polygamy/superiority over women/misogyny (Islam)
Much like the other prophets Mohhamed (polygamy/superiority over women/misogyny) and Jesus (forgiveness/savior), the gods use me for temptation as well. In today's modern society they feel people are most weak for popular culture/sensationalism, and the clues date back to WorldWarII and Unit731:TSUSHOGO.
It has been discussed that, similar to the Matrix concept, the gods will offer a REAL "Second Coming of Christ", while the "fake" Second Coming will come at the end and follow New Testiment scripture and their xtian positioning. I am that real Second Coming.
What I teach is the god's true way. It is what is expected of people, and only those who follow this truth will be eligible to ascend into heaven as children in a future life. They offered this event because the masses have just enough time to work on and fix their relationship with the gods and ascend, to move and grow past Planet Earth, before the obligatory xtian "consolation prize" of "1000 years with Jesus on Earth" begins.

Your job as a future mother is to learn the god's ways and to help your child understand despite the negative reinforcement and conditioning of today's society. Without consciousous parents the child will have no hope, and may even exaserbate their disfavor by becoming corrupted in today's environment.
Your ultimate goal is to fix your relationship wiith the gods and move on. You don't want to be comfortable here, and the changes in Western society in the last 100 years has achieved just that.
1000 years with Jesus is the consolation prize. Don't be deceived into thinking that is the goal.

Without the Holocaust the Nazis would have created an Eastern Block-style enviornment throught all of Europe until Reagan spent them into submission. But all Europeans would have received the extra time instead of just those from the east.
Chinese would have gotten more time, perhaps many decades more, if they resisted temptation when ultrasound promoted infantcide. Problem is the Chinese have a problem with growth and are stagnant. Their women are distracted and consumed excessively and it hurts the people as a whole.
Many Chinese may doubt infancide has hurt them, but typical of the god's tactics their punishment has already been administered:::::Western-style corporate capitalism.

Only children go to heaven. By the time you hit puberty it is too late. This is charecteristic of the gods:::Once you realize what you have lost it is too late.
Now you are faced with a lifetime to work and prepare for your next chance. Too many will waste this time, getting stoned, "Hiking!", working, etc.

About Me

My photo
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!!!!!!!