Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Hynes’ office dissuaded families ready to let their children testify about alleged abuse. Charlie Hynes is a disgrace!

Has blood on his hands.



No Sex Charge For Kolko; Boys’ Parents Foiled By DA

Hynes’ office dissuaded families ready to let their children testify about alleged abuse.

Questions about Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes’ willingness to press cases in the Orthodox community are now being reignited.

by Hella Winston and Larry Cohler-Esses

In a surprise move, Rabbi Yehuda Kolko, the Brooklyn yeshiva teacher charged with having sexually molested his students, pleaded guilty Monday to two lesser counts of child endangerment and was sentenced to three years’ probation.
Under the plea agreement, Rabbi Kolko, 62, made no admission of sexual wrongdoing. He will not have to register as a sex offender, and pleaded guilty only to a misdemeanor — not a felony.
Before the plea bargain, Rabbi Kolko, of Yeshiva Torah Temimah in Flatbush, had been facing felony charges of touching two first-graders in their sexual areas and forcing an adult former student to touch him during a visit to the school. Five former students have also filed suit against the prominent yeshiva, alleging school administrators knew

about Rabbi Kolko’s molestation of students over many years but sought to conceal it and intimidate students who spoke out.
Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes would give no public explanation of why he suddenly dropped the high-profile molestation case. But its collapse resurrected questions in some quarters about Hynes’ competence or his political will in pursuing allegations of wrongdoing involving prominent institutions and individuals in Brooklyn’s politically powerful Orthodox community.
Those questions were underscored by contradictions between the alleged victims’ account of how Hynes’ office secured their agreement to the plea deal and the account offered by the government.
A law enforcement source told The Jewish Week that parents of the two child witnesses had reveresed their decision to allow the children to testify that Rabbi Kolko had molested them. The source said this fatally weakened the prosecution’s case in the wake of the discovery that the alleged adult victim had made false claims in an unrelated matter.
But the alleged victims offered starkly different accounts.
“My son was ready to go to trial, and we feel he would have done an excellent job,” the father of one of the children said. “The damage, pain and emotional stress Joel Kolko caused my family, and especially my son — we will never forgive him for this. ... We are sorry to hear [the molestation] charges against him will not proceed.”
The father, whose child is now 10, said that it was Hynes’ prosecutors who pressed him — not the other way around — to keep his son from testifying. The father said he eventually agreed when the prosecutors told him they could better pursue not just Rabbi Kolko but school administrators and the school itself via an alternative route.
“I know all the hotshots at the DA,” the father said. “They actually want to get him on something more serious.”
He declined to say what they told him this was. But a source close to the families of both alleged child victims who has been intimately involved in the case said the prosecutors spoke to the father about going after Rabbi Kolko and Rabbi Lipa Margulies, the yeshiva’s founder and administrator, on tax fraud charges, based on recently obtained school financial records that were reported by The Jewish Week. That would preempt any need for testimony from his son.
But, according to the source, the same prosecutors offered a very different rationale when they approached the family of the second child and convinced the parents they need not put their son forward.
“The DA told them that they think it’s best to do a plea deal because the other child was too young and his family was not allowing him to testify,” the source said. “This family was also ready and willing to put their child on the stand to testify and face Kolko. In fact, they believed, while difficult for their son to endure, it would be cathartic and benefit him.”
The family declined to speak with a reporter. But the source, who has been with the family through the entire legal process, said they had asked him to speak for them. He spoke on condition of anonymity, citing fear that the children, wo have not been publicly named, could be identified through him.
“This child’s parents were from day one ready to have their son testify if it was necessary,” he stated. “And they were ready to go to trial. They had come to terms with the reality that their son was going to testify on the stand.”
Both children, in fact, remain as plaintiffs in the civil suit against Yeshiva Torah Temimah, and are expected to be witnesses in that case, according to Michael Dowd, a plaintiffs’ attorney in that case.
Dowd said the plea deal would not harm his prospects for success in the civil suit since the guilty plea would allow him to press Rabbi Kolko on the stand for specifics on what acts he committed that had endangered children.
Meanwhile, Rabbi Kolko’s alleged adult victim told The Jewish Week that prosecutors informed him two months ago they had no intention of putting the children on the stand in their criminal case.
“They said they will not put kids on the stand,” he related. “They said the reason why you are so important is because you are an adult, and you can explain yourself, and therefore you are extremely important; that the kids are not going to go on the stand because they can’t explain themselves.”
He said the prosecutors’ remarks came during a discussion in which they told him that a false affidavit he had submitted to government authority in 2000 — in which he had denied knowledge of wrongdoing by a friend — now made it too risky to put him on the stand.
“They told me at the end, we’re unsure what we’re going to do at this point,” Rabbi Kolko’s alleged adult victim said. He said he heard nothing further until an article appeared in The New York Daily News Monday reporting on the plea deal.
Told that the father of one child had told The Jewish Week he wanted his son to testify, the law enforcement official who said the children’s families had changed their minds replied, “Oh, really? I know one of them didn’t want their kid to testify. I thought it was both.”
The law enforcement source explained later that the real problem was that “there was a kid who didn’t want to testify at all, and there was a kid whose parents wanted him to testify only by closed-circuit TV.”
“If you have a victim who won’t testify, that’s going to be a real hard case to try,” he said. “And the idea that this one victim would only testify if they get a closed-circuit TV — judges rarely approve those kinds of things. So, it didn’t seem like the safest bet.”
But the father of the alleged child victim said, “We already had the closed-circuit TV set up. ... It had been approved [by the court].
“It’s crap,” he said of the law enforcement official’s account.
Hynes Back In The Spotlight
Jeffrey Schwartz, Rabbi Kolko’s attorney, said he and his client were satisfied with the case’s outcome.
“Endangering the welfare of a child could mean anything,” he said. “It could mean that [Rabbi Kolko] took the kids to a park and didn’t watch them on the sliding post. It’s not a sex offense. He doesn’t have to register as a sex offender. There’s nothing else attached to it except the three years of probation. There are no conditions. He just has to lead a law-abiding life and stay out of trouble.”
But for some, the collapse of the molestation charges recalled earlier cases involving high-profile figures in Brooklyn’s Orthodox community that Hynes was accused of failing to pursue with vigor.
Rabbi Avrohom Mondrowitz was indicted in 1984 on four counts of sodomy and eight counts of sexual abuse in the first degree after years as a school counselor in the Brooklyn Orthodox community. When he fled to Israel, Hynes’ predecessor, Elizabeth Holtzman, pushed for his extradition. But Hynes dropped the effort when he was elected, in 1989. He said Israel’s extradition treaty with the United States made the effort futile — a position the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv explicitly rejected.
Hynes renewed the effort in 2006 under prodding from new individuals who, after attention from several media outlets about the Rabbi Kolko case, came forward alleging Rabbi Mondrowitz had molested them as students, too. Hynes’ renewal of the extradition request, combined with the efforts of advocates and media pressure in Israel led to Rabbi Mondrowitz’s arrest there last year. A court has ruled him extraditable. But he awaits a final appeal on this ruling that is to take place May 29.
In an indication of the kind of resistance such efforts by Hynes face in parts of Brooklyn’s highly organized ultra-traditionalist Orthodox neighborhoods, Rabbi Herbert Bomzer, president of the Rabbinical Board of Flatbush, told the Jewish weekly The Forward flatly: “If he [Rabbi Mondrowitz] has managed to get to Israel and is protected by the law there — then leave it alone.”
The case of Shai Fhima, a 13-year-old Jewish boy whose non-Orthodox parents said he was kidnapped by an ultra-traditional Orthodox rabbi giving him bar mitzvah lessons, also brought scrutiny to Hynes as it dragged on through the 1990s. The parents accused Hynes of failing to press the case vigorously because he did not want to alienate Orthodox leaders. A judge ultimately rejected the plea agreement Hynes reached with the rabbi that would have imposed only probation and community service.
In another case, police in 1993 reported that Augustine Hazim, a Puerto Rican man, was beaten in Borough Park by a group of Orthodox Jews after his motorcycle came close to striking a child. It took seven months for the District Attorney’s office to conduct a lineup, according to police officials and Hazim’s lawyer, The New York Times reported. The district attorney’s office told Hazim that a witness had developed a “memory lapse” and only one man was ever arrested.
Pattern Of Inaction Charged
Michael Lesher, an attorney and community advocate specializing in child sexual abuse cases, said he could cite at least two other cases “off the top of my head” in which Hynes failed to diligently pursue child sexual abuse cases in the Orthodox community.
“I say it reluctantly that there has been a pattern of inaction by Charles Hynes’ office in cases of this kind,” said Lesher. “That’s a statement I make based upon hard evidence in specific cases. ... I must at this point consider it to be a politically motivated pattern.”
Hynes’ office did not respond to two detailed messages seeking reaction to this critique.
Marci Hamilton, a professor of constitutional law at Yeshiva University’s Cardozo School of Law and author of the forthcoming book, “Justice Denied: What America Must Do to Protect Its Children,” termed the outcome of the Kolko case “the worst of all possible worlds.”
“It’s such a joke,” she said. “It’s really a travesty of justice the way it’s been handled.”
“The sad part,” said Hamilton, “is that . . . more children are going to be endangered. They really have not solved any of the public’s legal problems with this person, and the tragedy is that you end up with communities not vigorously going after the clergy in their own communities. Then it’s their communities that suffer, [and] the children who are most likely to be at risk in the future are the children within the same community.
“That’s a tragedy that has repeated itself in one religious organization after another,” she said.

Come protest against DA Charles Joe Hynes's curruption and the slap on the wrist plea deal by kolko

When: TBD (To be decided)
Where: In front of Kings County District Attorney's office
Address: 350 Jay street Brooklyn, New York 11201

Click on link below for directions and map.

Pass this on to as many people as possible. Spread the word. You could stand up to corruption all by yourself! Your voice counts. Make it heard loud and clear. Enough of the bullshit by MR. Hynes. Enough of listening to the Haredi powers who are applying pressure for lenient outcomes. Enough of this crap and drek. How much more of putting kids lives at jeopardy can we take from Charles Blippin Joe Hynes? Why did he lie to the Parents? Why did he let down these kids who were ready and willing to testify against Kolko? Why the pattern of unbelievable injustices?

1) Lipa Brenner (no jail) molested and sodomized boy for 3 years in a shul bathroom.

2) Avrohm Mondrowitz - Indicted in 1984. Not made a priority by Hynes (23 years later still)

3) Yehuda Kolko - (no jail, no sex offenders registry)
What a complete miscarriage of justice!

Kolko can probably get a job in Lakewood in a Yeshiva if he so desired. He can claim he plead guilty to child endangerment, but not to sex charges. Yes, I know - it's sick and it's getting sicker!

4) I know for a fact Hynes has went very easy on some people in the Bobov community who were accused of sexual abuse.

5) Syrian who killed two girls with his car




Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.

Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)



exposemolesters said...

I hold Charles Joe Hynes and the "frum" community personally responsible for this injustice. It's okay for a Rabbi/Principal to abuse and molest little boys, as long as it's not your boy being abused. Haredi Drek Society - along with this corrupt Brooklyn District Attorney - will have to answer to a higher power real soon. Shame on these scoundrels. When elections come up for Hynes he will undergo some real hurdles that he won't be able to hide from.

How pathetic and cruel that an abuser for over 40 years has gotten off with a slap on the wrist, while his many victims are left to suffer in agony and pain for the rest of their lives.


traitor hynes said...

The feds should investigate this shmuck. Smells very bad.

malka leifer said...

Cafeteria lunch lady accused of sex abuse of student in Ludlow, Ill.

April 16, 2008


LUDLOW, Ill. — A 36-year-old eastern Illinois woman is in jail after being accused of having sex with a student at a school where she once worked.

Champaign County Sheriff’s Lieutenant Ed Ogle said Deborah L. Kissell of Ludlow has been charged with aggravated criminal sexual abuse after her Monday arrest. She is also charged with indecent solicitation of a child. Ludlow is about 18 miles north of Champaign.

Prosecutors say Kissell met the student while working at the Ludlow Middle School cafeteria in 2005. The student’s mother found nude photos of Kissell and text messages from her on the student’s cell phone.

The student, now still younger than 16, also said the two had sex in 2006.

A message left Tuesday at a phone listed for Kissell was not immediately returned.

SNAP said...

SNAP: Clergy Sex Abuse Victims List 'America's Worst Cardinals'

Group cites 5 prelates who are mishandling child molestation
SNAP wants Pope to 'show he means business' by censuring 'at least one of
The cases show that 'church cover ups and recklessness continue,' self help
group says
Heads of Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston and Boston archdioceses are

WASHINGTON, April 16 /PRNewswire/ --


At sidewalk news conferences, while holding signs and childhood photos,
clergy sex abuse victims will

-- disclose a list of what they call 'America's five worst Cardinals' (in
terms of the sex abuse & cover-up scandal),
-- outline recent incidents by each that show their continuing
recklessness, secrecy and duplicity, and
-- publicly urge the Pope to chastise just one of them for the recent

Wednesday, April 16, from 1:00 p.m. until 2:30 p.m.

Outside the Guy Mason Recreation Center & Park (202-282-2180), 3600
Calvert NW (corner of Observatory Circle) in Washington DC


A handful of women and men who were molested as kids by Catholic clergy
and who head a nationwide support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network
of those Abused by Priests (


Today, at 1:00 p.m., Pope Benedict meets with roughly 16 US Cardinals.
A few blocks away, victims will hold 5 large signs, with color photos of
(and fact sheets about) the five current US Cardinals who, they feel, have
mishandled or are severely mishandling recent child sex abuse cases.

SNAP's focus is less on the cardinals' overall track record on child
molestation and cover ups, but rather highlights the prelates' misdeeds
since 2002, when the US bishops adopted an allegedly binding national sex
abuse policy.

The list includes Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, Cardinal Daniel
DiNardo of Houston, Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles, and Cardinal Sean
O'Malley of Boston.

George is cited for ignoring the 2005 advice of his lay review board to
suspend a young accused pedophile priest, Fr. Daniel McCormack, who'd been
recently arrested because of abuse allegations. George kept McCormack in
active parish ministry despite repeated reports of McCormack's suspected
abuse (going back to his seminary days). Months later, prosecutors say he
molested several boys, one "on an almost daily basis" until he was arrested
again in 2006.

O'Malley is cited because last month, church officials disclosed that
his archdiocese (the epicenter of the US abuse crisis) is in serious
violation of the national sex abuse policy for the second year in a row.
One in five Boston Catholic kids are not getting the sex abuse prevention
training that was promised for each child by O'Malley and his peers six
years ago.

The Pope/Cardinals meeting is at the Vatican Embassy on Massachusetts
Avenue (in the residence across from the US Naval Observatory).

David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP national director 314 566 9790 cell
Peter Isely of Milwaukee, SNAP board chair emeritus 414 429 7259 cell
Barbara Blaine of Chicago, SNAP president 312 399 4747 cell
Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, SNAP 314 503 0003 cell


exposemolesters said...







Pope Benedict said...

Sounds like another insincere attempt by the pope. When he was in the Vatican all these years he said nothing. And now... Bum.

Lipa Margulies the putz said...

If the goyim can get away with their sex abuse scandals, kal vechomer I should also be able to.

Portland Archdiocese releases 2,000 pages of documents on the priest sex abuse scandal
The unscheduled release of the documents has nothing to do with Pope Benedict XVI's U.S. visit a spokesman for Portland Archbishop John Vlazny says
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
The Oregonian Staff

In a surprise move Tuesday, Portland Archbishop John G. Vlazny released 2,000 pages of documents on priests accused of sexually abusing Oregon children.

Vlazny described the release in a statement as "part of the healing process and in the interest of transparency."
Bud Bunce, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Portland, said the release had nothing to do with Pope Benedict XVI's trip to the United States or the pope's apology for the priest sexual abuse scandal.

Hynes is a fraudster said...

This incompetent man should be investigated and brought up on charges. He is a corrupt politician. There is a pattern to him going very easy on Haredi Child molesters. He did it with Lipa Brenner, he did it with the Bobov community, he's done it with Mondrowitz, and now he finished off his worst blunder by far, the Kolko fiasco. With complete recklessness and utter abandonment - Hynes failed the citizens once again. He betrayed the brave survivors and their parents. He needed for the parents to agree and okay the Kolko deal. He duped them by falsely claiming to go after that fat pig Margo. Brooklyn has the worst name in political corruption, ask any lawyer and they'll tell you so.

exposemolesters said...

Hynes didn't want the children testifying. Charlie only likes adult testifiers. The parents and the children wanted to testify, but Hynes said no, and tells the parents they're going after Margo for tax evasion (what that has to do with molesting a boy - we're still trying to figure out).

Alarm bells go off in the brave parents minds. Next thing they know it's in the daily news. A sweet deal from Satan was a done deal! Cam you spell ROTTEN APPLE?

“They said they will not put kids on the stand,” he related. “They said the reason why you are so important is because you are an adult, and you can explain yourself, and therefore you are extremely important; that the kids are not going to go on the stand because they can’t explain themselves.”

exposemolesters said...

Bravo to THE JEWISH WEEK for a superb article. A special thanks to Hella Winston and Larry Cohler-Esses for authoring it.

Joe Hynese is not aggressive with the powerful Jewish community - he wants to stay on good terms with them. It's clear as day. We need this inept DA out of office.

I blame the Jewish community for not demanding the stiffest penalty out there for this vicious child molester. Instead, it's the other war around. The so called powerful leaders are asking their buddy c.h to give kolko a deal even an Idiot will grab. This D.A is full of horse dong. Blow it out of your ass - Charlie blippin Hynes.

German Muslim said...

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) -- A 23-year-old German Muslim has told a Frankfurt state court at the opening of his trial that he felt threatened by a rabbi and acted in self defense when he attacked him last year.
Rabbi Zalman Gurevitch was stabbed last year by Sajed Aziz

Rabbi Zalman Gurevitch was stabbed in September last year by Sajed Aziz

Sajed Aziz told the court he first had a testy verbal exchange on a street in the city in September last year.

He claimed that the orthodox Jewish rabbi then grabbed him by the collar of his jacket and screamed at him.

Aziz said he reacted by pulling a knife and stabbing at the rabbi, but insisted he could not recall what had happened next. He said he did not intend to kill the rabbi.

Aziz testified he later looked at the knife, but did not see any blood on it.

The young man apologized to Gurevitch at the opening of the trial.

Aziz is a German citizen born of Afghan parents. He faces charges of attempted manslaughter, dangerous bodily harm and invasion of privacy.

Aziz told police before his trial opened Thursday that the attack had no anti-Semitic motive. He has been held in detention since his arrest last year because he has a criminal record.

A verdict in the trial is expected on May 19

Passover said...

A Rabbi’s Fresh Look at Passover
Jewish Center leader deconstructs what Seder traditions mean today

By Carissa Katz

shimon said...

Charles Hynes is a bust. Throw him to the lions!

Rabbi Henoch Leibowitz Z'L said...

Dean of Chafetz Chaim Yeshiva Passes Away
13 Nissan 5768, 18 April 08 01:27
by Hillel Fendel

( Rabbi Henoch Leibowitz, Dean of Yeshivat Chafetz Chaim in Queens, New York, passed away this week at the age of 92. Students described him as "one of the last great rashei yeshiva [Yeshiva deans] and baalei mussar [masters of Jewish ethics] of the previous generation."

Rav Henoch, as he was known, was the only son of his saintly father, Rabbi Dovid Leibowitz, who founded Yeshiva Rabbeinu Yisroel Meir HaCohen, known as the Chafetz Chaim Yeshiva, in 1933.

Rabbi Leibowitz the father - a nephew of the saintly Chafetz Chaim, the author of the Mishna Berurah - is credited with having brought to the United States the teachings of high behavioral and character standards based on the "majesty of man," known as the Slabodka school of Jewish ethics.

On December 7, 1941, when his father passed away, Rav Henoch took over the helm of the yeshiva, basing it on mussar, reaching out to the Jewish public at large, and intense, precise study of Talmud.

In the coming years, Chafetz Chaim yeshiva high schools were opened in New York, Rochester, St. Louis, Milwaukee, Miami, Los Angeles, Ottawa, and elsewhere across North America. A branch of the yeshiva was opened in Jerusalem in the early 1970's as well.

Rabbi Rubenstein and Wife Killed in Fire
The New York rabbinical world suffered another loss this week as well, when the rabbi of the Young Israel of Scarsdale for the past 25 years, Rabbi Jacob Rubenstein, and his wife Deborah, were killed in a fire that broke out in their home over the Sabbath. A past president of the Rabbinical Council of America, Rabbi Rubenstein was highly regarded as a talented teacher and public spokesman for Orthodox Judaism, and was beloved among his congregants for his role in their everyday lives and communal affairs. His wife Deborah was a teacher of Jewish studies. They are survived by four children.

Torah Temima said...

The pope will also be meeting with Kolko victims.

Pope Meets with Victims of Clergy Sex Abuse

by Tovia Smith, April 17, 2008 · Pope Benedict XVI met privately Thursday afternoon with some of the people sexually abused by Catholic clergy.

Only a handful of victims from the Boston area were invited to the private discussion, which lasted about an hour, church officials said.

For some of the victims, it was a pastoral session with the Holy Father. For others, it was an opportunity to demand more accountability and action from the head of the Catholic Church, which has been criticized for its slow response to the clergy sexual-abuse scandal.

Five victims from the Boston area were secretly invited by the Vatican through the Archdiocese of Boston. The plans were kept secret for weeks, even as some victims protested that the pope was not making time for them.

Vatican officials have said in the past that publicizing any meeting with victims would create a public spectacle and only re-open victims' wounds.

But some of those who were abused said it would hurt more to find out about a private meeting after the fact. One victim said it had been secrets and closed doors that allowed the clergy sexual abuse to happen in the first place.

Yeshiva of Brooklyn said...

The honorable pope will also be meeting with YOB victims.

pope prays with victims of clergy sex abuse scandal


WASHINGTON (AP) — Pope Benedict XVI prayed with tearful victims of clergy sex abuse in a chapel Thursday, an extraordinary and likely unprecedented gesture from a pontiff who has made atoning for the great shame of the U.S. church the cornerstone of his first papal trip to America.

Benedict's third day in the U.S. began with a packed open-air Mass celebrated in 10 languages at a baseball stadium, and it included a speech to Roman Catholic college and university presidents.

But the real drama happened privately, in the chapal of the papal embassy between events.

The Rev. Federico Lombardi, a papal spokesman, said that Benedict and Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley met with a group of five or six clergy sex abuse victims for about 25 minutes, offering them encouragement and hope.

"They prayed together. Also, each of them had their own individual time with the Holy Father," Lombardi said. "Some were in tears."

Well over 4,000 priests have been accused of molesting minors in the U.S. since 1950, and the church has paid out more than $2 billion, much of it in just the last six years, after the case of a serial molester in Boston gained national attention and inspired many victims to step forward. Six dioceses have been forced into bankruptcy because of abuse costs.

Expected to adress the problem only once during his six-day trip — at a Mass with priests in New York City on Saturday — Benedict has instead returned to the issue repeatedly, beginning in a news conference on the flight from Rome to the U.S.

He has called the crisis a cause of "deep shame," pledged to keep pedophiles out of the priesthood and decried the "enormous pain" that communities have suffered from such "gravely immoral behavior" by priests.

On Wednesday, he told bishops the problem has sometimes been very "badly handled" and said it was their God-given duty to heal the wounds caused by abuse. He asked each parishioner at Mass on Thursday "to do what you can to foster healing and reconciliation, and to assist those who have been hurt."

Thursday afternoon's session went a step further. Lombardi said it was believed to be the first-ever such session between a pope and abuse victims.

Gary Bergeron, an outspoken abuse survivor from Boston who was not in Thursday's session, failed in his attempt to meet with Pope John Paul II, Benedict's predecessor, when he spent a week at the Vatican a few years ago.

He called Thursday's meeting "a long-sought-for step in the right direction."

"The Catholic Church is partly based on symbolism, and I think the symbolism had he not met with survivors would have been horrendous," the 45-year-old Bergeron said.

In the meeting, O'Malley presented Benedict with a notebook listing the names victims of sexual abuse from the Boston Archdiocese. There were more than 1,000 names.

The session came just hours after the pope celebrated the first public Mass of his U.S. pilgrimage.

More than 45,000 people filled Nationals Park on a clear spring day as the pope led the service from an altar erected in centerfield.

In his homily, Benedict called the United States a land of opportunity and hope but decried that the nation's promise has been left unfulfilled for some. He said he detected anger and alienation, increasing violence and a "growing forgetfulness of God."

"Americans have always been a people of hope," the pontiff said. "Your ancestors came to this country with the experience of finding new freedom and opportunity.

"To be sure, this promise was not experienced by all the inhabitants of this land; one thinks of the injustices endured by the native American peoples and by those brought here forcibly from Africa as slaves."

At 5:45 a.m., more than four hours before the Mass, it was standing-room only on Washington subways. Vendors hawked Vatican flags and souvenir buttons, but there were few takers as people hurried toward the stadium.

For others, there was nothing more important than getting in, and many people without tickets stood outside the subway station with signs pleading for extras.

Patty Trail, 54, pastoral associate at a church in Virginia Beach, Va., drove overnight to bring two priests to the Mass. She didn't have a ticket but said she was happy to at least be in the vicinity of the pope.

"Just to be out here, just to be in the presence," she said. "D.C. feels different."

At the end of the two-hour Mass, Benedict blessed the cheering crowd, some of them waving Vatican flags. Worried-looking papal bodyguards stood close and cleared a way for him as he walked out, while many worshippers tried to shake his hand or touch his robes.

A number of lawmakers who support abortion rights attended the Mass, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sen. John Kerry, the former Democratic presidential candidate. During the 2004 campaign, several bishops questioned whether Kerry should receive Communion because of his stand on abortion. The Massachusetts Democrat who took Communion from a priest far from the papal altar.

For some, the experience of Mass with Benedict was overwhelming. It made Barbara Loh of Williamsburg, Va., tear up.

"I've been Catholic all my life," she said. "My dream has always been to see the pope."

Avi Shafran the putz said...

The pope used the word "sometimes." This proves that other times it was handled properly. See, the orthodox people also sometimes do it right and sometimes do it wrong. We're not perfect (I can't think of a time we handled it right though, but let's not stress that).

On Wednesday, he told bishops the problem has sometimes been very "badly handled"

rabbi Shlomo mandel the weasel said...

Why would the pope even admit that sexual abuse is a problem, he should have denied it like I always do.

Pope Meets With Boston Sex Abuse Victims
Meeting Not On Pope's Original Agenda

April 17, 2008
BOSTON -- Pope Benedict XVI met with five or six Boston clergy sex abuse victims after celebrating an open-air Mass in Washington, D.C., on Thursday.

The private meeting, not originally on the pontiff's agenda, was arranged by Cardinal Sean O'Malley.

The Rev. Federico Lombardi, a papal spokesman, said that Benedict spent a few minutes with each of the victims privately in the chapel of the papal embassy, and that some of the victims were in tears during the meeting. Benedict offered the victims encouragement and hope and said he would pray for them, their families and all victims of clergy sex abuse, Lombardi said.

On Tuesday, the pope said the crisis caused "deep shame" for the church. He also told the nation's bishops that the crisis was "sometimes very badly handled," and said they must reach out with love and compassion to victims.

During Thursday's Mass at Nationals Stadium, Benedict urged Catholics to work to heal the wounds created by the scandal.

"I acknowledge the pain which the church in America has experienced as a result of the sexual abuse of minors. No words of man could describe the pain and harm inflicted by such abuse," Benedict told the crowd of about 48,000 parishioners gathered at the stadium.

Thousands of priests have been accused of molesting minors in the U.S. since 1950 and the church has paid out more than $2 billion, much of it in just the last six years, when the case of a serial molester in Boston gained national attention and prompted many victims to step forward.

Yaakov Mandel said...

Was the pope referring to me when he spoke about abuse? I could remember one time when I pulled a boys pants down in front of everybody because he wasn't behaving.

newsday said...,0,7485091.story
Ex-priest faces prison in sex case on same day as pope visit


Associated Press Writer

April 17, 2008


Only hours after Pope Benedict XVI arrives in New York on Friday, a defrocked Roman Catholic priest who molested a Pennsylvania teenager in the 1980s will be sentenced to prison after admitting he drove to Long Island in 2006 for what he thought would be a tryst with a 15-year-old boy.

Thomas Bender is expected to receive at least five years in prison after pleading guilty last year to a federal charge of enticing a minor for sex. He also faces sentencing in Nassau County on state charges related to the same incident.

The sentence comes as the pope makes his first official visit to the United States. He has repeatedly expressed regret since his arrival this week over the clergy sex abuse scandal that has rocked the American church in recent years.

"No words of mine could describe the pain and harm inflicted by such abuse," the pontiff said during a Mass on Thursday in Washington.

Although the Bender case had no direct ties to the church on Long Island, a Suffolk County grand jury report in 2003 cited abuse cases involving 23 priests over several decades in the Diocese of Rockville Centre _ the sixth-largest diocese in the country. None of those cases was prosecuted, because statutes of limitations had expired.

Bender, 74, was arrested in March 2006 when he arrived at a Levittown pizzeria intending to meet a boy and take him to a motel for sex, prosecutors said. He admitted in an affidavit that he was carrying condoms, beer, a DVD of gay pornography, a digital camera, candy, gum, toothpaste, KY Jelly and a laptop computer.

The meeting followed many months of online conversations, some of a graphic sexual nature, with what Bender thought was a teenager.

The "boy" turned out to be an undercover Nassau County police detective, a common police tactic that Bender apparently was wary of, but ultimately disregarded, according to his statement.

"I had previously arranged a meeting with this person who I thought was a 14-year-old boy, but I canceled the meeting because I thought it might have been a police sting," he said. "I had heard about police stings occurring to catch persons in these types of situations."

Bender was sentenced in 1988 to seven years of probation for molesting a teenage boy while serving as pastor at Most Blessed Sacrament in Bally, Pa.

He told authorities in his affidavit that the pope determined in May 2005 that his ordination as a priest was "null and void" and he was banned from performing any duties as a priest. Prior to his arrest, he told authorities he was working as a part-time drug and alcohol rehabilitation counselor.

The federal charge focuses on Bender's crossing state lines to engage in the sexual acts, while the state charges are tied to his actual attempts to meet with the boy for sex, prosecutors said.

Bender's Legal Aid attorney did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment.

exposemolesters said...


Democrat suggests spying on p2p to combat child sex abuse

17 Apr 2008 | 18:47 BST

By Sylvie Barak

Watching the defectives

A DEMOCRATIC PARTY SENATOR in the US has told a Senate Judiciary subcommittee that he believes police should be using special software that would allow them to spy on p2p networks, purportedly for tracking illegal activity like child sex abuse.

According to CNET, Senator Joe Biden, apparently reckons that it's "pretty easy to pick out the person engaged in either transmitting or downloading violent scenes of rape, molestation" just by looking at file names. Now that sounds foolproof doesn’t it?

The special software, which is called "Operation Fairplay" purportedly offers police a "big picture" on child sex abuse files being transferred in the US. It apparently facilitates undercover operations involving p2p file-sharing applications, chat rooms, Web sites, and mobile phones, which all sounds rather big brotherish and prone to overzealous use in fields other than tracking down child abusers.

But Biden insists that its not the file sharing system he’s going after, saying "blaming this problem on peer-to-peer innovation is like blaming the interstate highway system when someone uses it to transport drugs". Hmmm… still, you have to wonder how long it will be before the DMCA get their grubby paws on this.

Still, we might be being a bit harsh here, because apparently in 2008 alone, police officers using the software managed to gather over 1,400 IP addresses that were linked to the transmission of child sexual abuse images and videos on hundreds of different occasions, according to the software’s creator, Special Agent Flint Waters.

The way the software works is that police log onto the file-sharing networks and start looking for files that appear to have keywords relating to child pornography in them. They then have to download these files to their computers, where they can then use Fairplay to track down an IP address linked to the file poster, and sometimes, if they’re lucky, even a map of where he could be.

Armed with a suspect’s IP, and the date and time of the download, police can then subpoena the ISP, requesting additional details about the user, like his name and even address. Of course there would appear to be several flaws in the logic of this method, one being that file names can be deceiving, and the second being that cyber criminals have always been fairly astute at hiding or masking their IP.

But apparently, the way Fairplay works is to gather "unique serial numbers" off the perp's computer, which it can then keep hold of to see how often the user transfers the flagged files. To date, the programmes advocates claim that it has tracked over 642,000 of these "unique serial numbers" directly to users in the US with another 650,000 untraceable.

Unit commander of the Delaware State Police High Technology Crimes Unit, Lt. Robert Moses, spoke to the commission to tell them that Fairplay had been crucial to investigators in "proactively" identifying criminal peadophiles who swap child abuse material online, and that it has even led to arrests and convictions.

If Biden gets his way, and the bill, which has been dubbed the “Combating Child Exploitation Act” would receive over $1 billion in taxpayer’s money, spread out over the next eight years. The money would purportedly go towards hiring new staff to work on combating online crimes against children, as well as for regional computer forensics labs, and grants to regional Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task forces.

Just so long as it’s used in the way it’s supposed to be, and not as another big brother tactic to spy on file sharers for the DMCA. µ


Rabbi Jake Perlow said...

Blow it out of your ass - Charlie blippin Hynes

This is not a Boro Park issue so need for me to get involved.

Which direction do you mean? his mouth or his privates?

Mr. Obama said...

Will the Clinton camp stop spreading rumors about me. No need for childish behavior.

Obama's Tax Evasion
April 18, 2008; Page A16

The parsons of the press corps are furious with Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos of ABC News, which means the pair must have done a pretty good job moderating Wednesday's Democratic debate in Philadelphia. Barack Obama had an off-night, so his media choir wants to shoot the questioners.

We thought the debate was one of the best yet, precisely because it probed the evasive rhetoric we've heard from both Democratic candidates throughout the campaign. Nowhere was this more apparent than during the exchanges between Mr. Gibson and Mr. Obama over taxes.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton said...

Who do you want answering the phone on the other side at 3:00am?

You want a strong woman like me don't you? Someone who can land amidst sniper fire on a Bosnia mission. Someone who isn't particularly rich with experience.

Also you want somebody like me for the Jews because I'll pardon every child molester in return for voting for me. (and whatever else)

Clinton Invokes '90s

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. -- Framed by the neon green lights of the Mayflower Mayfair Diner, a Northeast Philadelphia landmark, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) swiped at Sen. Barack Obama over his evaluation of her husband's administration.

"Sometimes during this campaign my opponent criticizes the '90s [and] criticizes what my husband did," Clinton said. "And that's fair. But when I hear him criticizing the '90s, I keep wondering what part he didn't like -- the peace or the prosperity -- because I liked both."

The line drew huge applause from the crowd that encircled the stage on which Clinton appeared along with Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell and her daughter, Chelsea. The event was billed as a block party and for hours before Clinton arrived people milled about -- many wearing the trademark black and yellow shirts of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades.

She cast the race -- as she has done regularly on the stump of late -- as an "extended job interview."

"You're hiring somebody for the toughest job in the world," Clinton said. "I'm asking you to give me a chance to be hired."

Haredi Drek Society said...

All units proceed southbound for 20 yards. A cesspool at the end of the field is where you can hide from shame.

The Pope has embarrassed the Jews. At least he is talking and meeting with victims - while the Jews are still in denial mode.

This doesn't look too good for us.

Anonymous said...

I'm with you. I think we need to gather as many folks as we can and demonstrate. It's for the good of all mankind. One just has to ask themselves this one question?

If a Rebbe sexually abused your child, how would you react to it?

Come to the protest on 5/13/08

Hynes protest said...

Come protest against DA Charles Joe Hynes's curruption and the slap on the wrist plea deal by kolko
When: Thursday, April 24, 2008 at 12:00 pm.
(3rd day chol hamoed Pesach)
Where: In front of Kings County District Attorney's office
Address: 350 Jay street Brooklyn, New York 11201

Click on link below for directions and map.

Pass this on to as many people as possible. Spread the word. You could stand up to corruption all by yourself! Your voice counts. Make it heard loud and clear on April 24, 2008. Enough of the bullshit by MR. Hynes. Enough of listening to the Haredi powers who are applying pressure for lenient outcomes. Enough of this crap and drek. How much more of putting kids lives at jepoardy can we take from Charles Blippin Joe Hynes? Why did he lie to the Parents? Why did he let down these kids who were ready and willing to testify against Kolko? Why the pattern of unbelievable injustices?

1) Lipa Brenner (no jail) molested and sodomized boy for 3 years in a shul bathroom.

2) Avrohm Mondrowitz - Indicted in 1984. Not made a priority by Hynes (23 years later still)

3) Yehuda Kolko - (no jail, no sex offenders registry)
What a complete miscarriage of justice!

Kolko can probably get a job in Lakewood in a Yeshiva if he so desired. He can claim he plead guilty to child endangerment, but not to sex charges. Yes, I know - it's sick and it's getting sicker!

4) I know for a fact Hynes has went very easy on some people in the Bobov community who were accused of sexual abuse.




Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.

Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

ephraim byrks said...

More Than 20 Teens From Polygamist Ranch Got Pregnant
Judge to Lawyer Swarm: 'Get to the Point'

SAN ANGELO, Texas April 18, 2008 —

More than 20 girls taken from a polygamist Texas ranch became pregnant or gave birth before they were 16 or 17, according to testimony today in the giant child custody case.

The testimony came from Angie Voss, a supervisor of investigations at the Texas Department of Child Protective Services. Voss was part of the week-long raid by Texas authorities of the polygamist compound that calls itself the Yearning for Zion Ranch.

Since the raid began on April 3, 416 children taken from the ranch have been in state custody and have been interviewed by child welfare officials.

Relying on the interviews and records taken from the sect's compound, Voss told the court that more than 20 of the girls either conceived or gave birth before they were 16 or 17. "There is a culture of young girls being pregnant by older men," Voss testified under cross examination.

While on the stand Thursday, Voss said that girls from the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints had told child welfare interviewers that there is "no age too young to be married and they wanted to have as many babies as they could."

The state's testimony before state District Judge Barbara Walther is meant bolster the argument that returning the children to their parents would put the children in danger of physical and sexual abuse.

The help make that point, child psychiatrist Bruce Perry described the FLDS as a very authoritarian community.

"Obedience is a very important element of their belief system" and disobeying the sect's prophet is thought to lead to eternal damnation, he said.

Perry said he interviewed three underage girls from the sect and they told him they had a choice in whether they got married.

He said, however, "It doesn't feel to me like it's a true choice."

Children raised in such an authoritarian atmosphere, Perry said, have the "independent thinking capability of a much younger child."

He said a 15-year-old from a sect would have the critical thinking of a 6-year-old.

"So much of what they do out there is wonderful. But there is a part of what they do that is very destructive," Perry testified. He said he wished the sect's leaders wouldn't teach their children to be so fearful of the outside world.

The judge said she hopes to conclude hearing, which involves more than 350 lawyers, by the end of today.

For the second day in a row, hundreds of lawyers filled up the courtroom in the Tom Green County Courthouse as well as an overflow room in a nearby building, where lawyers and the press watched the proceedings on a video screen.

And for the second day, progress in the case was slow and frustrating, with Walther struggling to keep things focused in what is believed to be the largest child custody case in the country's history.

The judge repeatedly cut off lawyers' questions with a curt, "Get to the point." She demanded of one attorney, "How is this relevant to my decision whether or not to return the children?"

Most of the 416 children are being cared for in the San Angelo Coliseum, while 27 teenage boys have been sent to a camp for juvenile boys and girls 400 miles away.

Watching quietly among the lawyers were more than a dozen of the sect's mothers, dressed in their trademark pastel pioneer-style dresses.

As the hearings grind on, investigators are trying to locate the person who triggered the raid with a phone call to a domestic abuse hotline. The caller said that she was a 16-year-old name Sarah who had an 8-month-old baby and that she believed she was pregnant a second time. She complained that her 49-year-old husband beat her and forced her to have sex.

The sect's women claim that "Sarah" doesn't exist, but Voss said that when she first went to the ranch and spoke to some of the sect's girls, several said they knew who Sarah was but didn't know where she was.

Voss said the atmosphere when she visited the ranch was "a scary environment, intimidating."

Walther is being asked to make several decisions that will affect the 416 children.

Most immediate is the state's request to keep custody of the children and to be able to place them in foster homes outside the normal five-county region acceptable for foster care. The state also wants Walther to order the parents to submit to DNA tests to establish parentage of the children, and to undergo psychological testing.

The judge will also have to decide whether each child gets an individual hearing.

exposemolesters said...

Families rip plea by sex-rap rabbi


Friday, April 18th 2008, 4:00 AM

The families of two boys allegedly molested by a Brooklyn rabbi are upset at a deal that allowed the clergyman to plead guilty to a misdemeanor with no jail time.

Rabbi Joel Kolko, 62, was facing felony child sex abuse charges and should have never been allowed to plead out to child endangerment on Monday, one parent told the Daily News on Thursday.

"I'm very disappointed. I feel justice was not served," said the father, whose story first appeared on the Jewish Week Web site. "You have no idea how much pain this guy caused us. And this SOB walks away a free man."

Kolko, who taught first-graders for years at the Yeshiva Torah Teminah in Flatbush, was charged in 2006 with sexually abusing three children.

The families approved the deal, but they say prosecutors talked them into it and they regret it, Jewish Week reported.

"They said it would be better this way," the father told the Daily News. "The whole thing is just a smack in the face....It's a joke."

The case started falling apart when prosecutors learned the oldest victim, now an adult, had lied in an unrelated matter, law enforcement sources said. Also, the children would have had to testify in court, not on video, said Jerry Schmetterer, spokesman for the Brooklyn district attorney.

"This plea deal is a measure of justice," said Schmetterer. "Looking at what we had to present in court, this was the deal we needed to work out."

Kolko, who is still facing a civil suit from the alleged victims and from three others, has maintained his innocence, defense lawyer Jeffrey Schwartz said.

"It was an irresponsible investigation," he said. "These prosecutors just didn't think it through, and they didn't investigate it properly."

yudi kolko said...

I hope she is as lucky as me and gets no jail time.

Woman charged with sex abuse of young boy
By Wade McIntyre, The Weekly Citizen
Published: Thursday, April 17, 2008 3:44 PM CDT
E-mail this story | Print this page

Gonzales Police Chief Bill Landry confirmed Monday that a 19-year-old woman from Gonzales was arrested last week on sex-abuse charges pertaining to a boy under seven years of age.

Landry said Megan N. Partin, of 42157 Conifer Drive was initially arrested March 11 for possession of marijuana. During that arrest officers confirmed evidence of drug use on her cell phone, and obtained a search warrant which when executed led to "“explicit cell phone videos involving a male child under seven years of age," according to Landry.

Partin was then booked into Ascension Parish jail on charges of possession of child pornography, indecent behavior with a juvenile, two counts of molestation of a juvenile, and contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile, the chief said.

The child was not a relative of the woman, Landry said.

Landry said the investigation was continuing, and that the State Office of Child Protection was asked to investigate the case. The parish sheriff's office is involved in the investigation to determine if arrests outside the city limits of Gonzales will be made.

Judge calls school officer a monster for sex abuse said...

Article published April 17, 2008

Judge calls school officer a monster for sex abuse
Weatherholt gets 12 years behind bars
Harry Weatherholt, a former Toledo Public Schools security officer sentenced yesterday to 12 years in prison on three counts of sexual battery of a 13-year-old student, is shown in an appearance last month in Lucas County Common Pleas Court. The convictions date back to incidents that began when the girl was 12.
Zoom | Photo Reprints


The mother of the 13-year-old girl who was sexually abused by Harry Weatherholt said the Toledo Public Schools security officer should have protected her daughter instead of robbing her of her innocence.

Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Ruth Ann Franks, who sentenced Weatherholt to 12 years in prison on three counts of sexual battery, agreed.

The judge told Weatherholt he was a monster who groomed the girl by buying her gifts, then committed the "most ugly, violent, vicious acts" on a child.

"You are nothing but a sexual predator," she said. "This little girl was used in the most perverse way."

Until he was arrested in November, Weatherholt, 51, of 1010 Bowlus Ave., Lot 15, was a campus protection officer at Leverette Junior High School, where he began a relationship with the victim.

Authorities said he showered the girl and her brother with gifts and talked to her on a cell phone he bought for her.

They said he wrote passes for her to get out of classes and she would stay after school, and kissing and inappropriate touching by the defendant escalated into sexual contact.

Judge Franks said similar accusations were made against Weatherholt in 1993 and 2002 by high school students. One of the incidents was brushed aside by school officials as innocent behavior.

She said the "substantiated" incidents should have alerted the district to potential problems. "In this day and age, very few things can be labeled as innocent," she said.

TALK BACK: Join Forums to talk about this story.
Weatherholt was hired by the district in 1981. He had been at Leverette since 2003.

The teen's mother, who was comforted by a court victims advocate, sobbed as she said she felt responsible because she failed to protect her daughter, who is now being home-schooled because she doesn't feel comfortable at the junior high.

"This monster needs to go away for taking her innocence, and put away where he will never hurt anyone again," she said.

The prosecutor's office had recommended a sentence of eight years in return for Weatherholt's plea. However, Judge Franks said his conduct merited a more severe punishment.

The convictions stem from incidents between Sept. 1, when the victim was 12, and Nov. 8.

Weatherholt was arrested after the victim's parents learned of text messages and phone calls that he made to their daughter.

Defense attorney Sam Kaplan told Judge Franks that his client entered into the plea with a clean record and that investigations into the accusations made by the high school students didn't result in any charges.

He said the plea agreement that resulted in one count of sexual battery being dismissed resolved the case and spared the victim from testifying.

Contact Mark Reiter at:
or 419-724-6096.

Anonymous said...

ah gitten mohed!

good moehd agudas chazerim said...

to the Agudah fressmeisters. How's the hotel so far? Are you enjoying the non-gebrukst chocolate cake? To the women: Did you have enough outfits and jewelery to change into?

How was the two sedorim? Did you eat enough maror with the matzoh; or did you put on too much charoses? Was there enough food? Which meal did you enjoy more. Duck wings in salsa sauce, or Lamb tongue in sour cream sauce?

posek belsky said...

I swear on my 18 minute shmurah Matzohs that this naked man was not me. I'm a bit older you know.

Haredi undresses in Tiv Ta'am branch Staff , THE JERUSALEM POST Apr. 21, 2008

A 27-year-old man claiming to be a yeshiva student decided to give his own interpretation to the recent ruling that stores may sell hametz on Pessah if it is not publicly displayed, when he stripped naked in a Bat Yam supermarket on Monday.

The man entered the Tiv Ta'am store and took off his clothes, leaving only a sock covering his genitalia. To drive his point home, he had inscribed on his abdomen the words "This is not [a] public [place]."

He explained that in keeping with a Jerusalem court's interpretation of the Hametz Law two weeks ago, which defined the petitioning establishments - a burger restaurant and a pizzeria in the capital - as non-public places, a supermarket did not constitute a public place, either.

Employees at Tiv Ta'am alerted Ayalon District Police, and officers who rushed to the scene forced the man to put his clothes back on, arrested him and took him away.

During his interrogation, he claimed to be a student at several Bat Yam yeshivas. He insisted that in light of the court's ruling, he had not broken any laws.

Haredim to hold anti-hametz protest said...

Haredim to hold anti-hametz protest
Matthew Wagner , THE JERUSALEM POST Apr. 21, 2008

With thousands of haredi students on vacation for Pessah, a demonstration slated for Tuesday against the public sale of hametz has the potential to attract huge crowds, haredi sources estimated Monday.

The Edah Haredit, a collection of some of the most zealous, ultra-Orthodox streams of Judaism, has called on its followers to converge on Kikar Shabbat in the heart of Jerusalem's haredi Mea She'arim neighborhood to protest a recent court decision that permits restaurants and markets to display and sell hametz.

"The Holy Land will shudder at the blasphemy of Jewish criminals... selling hametz during Pessah," reads the headline of Ha'edah, the weekly mouthpiece of the Edah Haredit.

Rabbi Moshe Sternbach, head judge of the Edah Haredit's rabbinic court, is quoted as saying that "the public sale of hametz is a desecration of God's name... the haredi public is obligated to voice its opposition."

The demonstrations will also protest recent legislation that permits the removal of organs for transplants after brain death but before cardiovascular failure. Edah Haredit rabbis consider this legislation to be tantamount to condoning murder, though many leading rabbis have supported the practice.

Hundreds of black and white notices, called pishkevilim in Yiddish, announcing the obligation to take part in the demonstrations, are plastered on the walls of Jerusalem's haredi neighborhoods.

The timing of the demonstrations corresponds with the Pessah vacation.

Often haredi demonstrations fail to garner support because heads of yeshivot are loath to permit their students to skip their studies.

Although the Edah Haredit represents a minority of the haredi populace, its ideological purism, which rejects any and all cooperation with the secular state - including participation in voting, both municipal and national - is respected by many as uncompromising and authentic.

The Edah Haredit was the driving force behind last summer demonstrations, which quickly received huge backing from wider circles within haredi Judaism, against a gay pride parade.

MK Avraham Ravitz (United Torah Judaism) said that he warned haredi Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupoliansky of the potential dangers of an anti-hametz demonstration during the Pessah vacation.

"There are a lot of people out there who don't have anything else better to do," said Ravitz.

"What could be more attractive to a young haredi man than a demonstration against the sale of hametz? There's plenty of action and you are also furthering a positive goal at the same time."

Ravitz voiced concern that the demonstration, which rabbinic leaders have ordered to be non-violent, might get out of hand. He said that he hoped no attempts would be made to attack stores in Jerusalem that sell hametz.

A source close to Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, a mainstream haredi leader, estimated that demonstrations against the sale of hametz and against organ donations after brain death would receive wide backing.

"Rabbi Elyashiv opposed the organ donation bill and obviously he does not want to see hametz being sold in Jerusalem," said the source.

At the beginning of the month, a Municipal Court judge ruled that private businesses had the right to sell hametz.

The judge reinterpreted legislation that prohibits the "public display" of hametz. "Public display" referred only to places readily accessible to the public, which ruled out the inside of a restaurant or supermarket.

Rabbi Avi Shafran said...

Thought I can put in my two cents. Sense and cents are the same anyhow. Now i'm getting ahead of myself here. The bottom line is that this sold-out inaugural Passover retreat is not as good as ours.

'Adventure Rabbi' leads first-ever Moab Passover hike
By Jessica Ravitz
The Salt Lake Tribune
Salt Lake Tribune
Article Last Updated:
MOAB - Staff in hand, draped in a blanket, his wig askew, Jeff Kagan stood atop a ledge and, in his best Moses voice, bellowed out the words, "Let my people go!"
Below, about 185 hikers laughed and continued their exodus to the promised Corona Arch.
Across the globe Saturday evening, Jews observed the start of Passover, a holiday that fulfills the commandment to retell the story of their journey to freedom from the land of Egypt. The group that gathered at the Gold Bar campground did this in a way that was anything but typical.
No-frills and rooted in the great outdoors, the Boulder, Colo.- based Adventure Rabbi program, headed by Rabbi Jamie Korngold, offered an approach that resonated with those who signed up for the sold-out inaugural Passover retreat.
The rabbi, lauded by many for her "living approach to Judaism," asked departing hikers to speak about what enslaves them today and to discuss what sets them free.
For some this was their first desert trek. For others, including an Israeli family from the Negev desert, it felt like coming home.
Evie Cohen, 65, one of the older participants, was raised by Holocaust survivors who were ambivalent about religion. But Cohen said she hungered for a spiritual connection, which she eventually found in redrock canyons.
Many participants came looking for inspiration. Neil Silverman hadn't celebrated Passover in 10 years. When he moved to Colorado, he went to a few synagogue-sponsored Passover Seders, the festive meal where the exodus story is retold, but said he left feeling empty. This opportunity was one he could get behind.
So could Bill Goldberg, but for different reasons. "This is how we got out of going to the in-laws," he quipped.
Beneath the majestic red arch, instruments came out, and rituals began. They sang songs between readings from the Adventure Rabbi's Haggadah, the book that serves as a guide in telling the Passover story.
"What is it that sustains us?" asked Korngold, who invited people to symbolically put drops of water in a silver goblet while sharing their thoughts. Some mentioned loved ones or nature. One woman said she was "sustained by the knowledge that I can make a difference."
Jordy Gertner, 9, approached the microphone in his tie-dyed T-shirt and long flowing curls to announce, "I'm sustained by psychedelic rock music."
They unfurled the "backpack Torah," and a soon-to-be ordained rabbi from New York read the Hebrew and translated into English an excerpt directly from Exodus. Before heading back to the campsite for their Seder meal, 50 windblown women joined hands, dancing and singing with tambourines in celebration of the Jewish people's freedom.
Not everyone on the retreat was Jewish. The Adventure Rabbi program has appealed to interfaith couples and their children. Steve Mertz, a Catholic, said by taking Judaism outside of sanctuary walls, Korngold has created "an approachable way where people can share spiritual experiences."
The youngest hikers didn't necessarily absorb the full reality of what they were doing or where they were. Ashton Bialek-Kling, 4, said the best part of Passover was "the beach," pointing to a pile of redrock sand. But that didn't mean they didn't have lessons to teach.
When Margalit Goldberg, 5, was asked how many Jews originally wandered in the desert, she peered up through her floral sunglasses and answered, "googolplex." The traditional answer is 600,000, but she schooled at least one adult who had never heard this word.
At the campsite, the crowd sat in camping chairs and reclined on cushions along tables of blue fabric affixed to the ground. They sang, drank wine and ate Passover's symbolic foods, including matzoh, unleavened bread, to recall how Israelites fled Egypt without time to let bread rise.
Some items had been forgotten, a reality in camping, Korngold said. For instance, there was no salt water to represent tears, "but you're sweaty so just lick your hands," she laughed.
As the full moon began to rise, Noah Finkelstein, president of the Adventure Rabbi's leadership council, thought about what the group had accomplished that day and night. Whether it was "the most spiritual experience of a lifetime," he couldn't be sure, "but the experience we had, without a doubt, was unique."
They formed a community, made an exodus through the desert, sang Jewish songs and heard excerpts of the Torah amid howling winds.
Something different was exactly what Dena Singer set out to give to her 12-year-old son, her "cerebral one - who's just not sure about this God thing," she said.
"I hope this provides some nontraditional rooting in Judaism that he'll remember forever."

Shalom Tendler. Aron Tendler, and Mordechai Tendler said...

Is your rabbi a hottie?

David_wolpe_hot_rabbi_says_newsweek Asked - and answered - in this week's issue of Newsweek. It's the second year in a row the weekly has taken on rabbinical pulchritude, pegged to (why, exactly?) the annual Passover holiday.

L.A.'s own Rabbi David Wolpe of Temple Sinai (pictured at right) takes top honors again. In fact, the City of Angels dominates the list. Are SoCal rabbis just cuter than the rest, or is that the list-makers are from LA?

To see Rabbi Wople in action, check him out in a debate about whether God exists. Criteria and this year's list are here.

--Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Anacleto Rapping / Los Angeles Time

Chabad Synagogue Destroyed By Fire said...

Chabad Synagogue Destroyed By Fire, Rabbi Pledges To Rebound
MIAMI BEACH, FL -- (April 22, 2008)

( Police and fire fighters are investigating a fire that severely damaged a Miami Beach Chabad synagogue late Monday night. The synagogue’s only Torah was stolen and all the religious objects in the shul, including all the prayer books and prayer shawls were burnt.

The night before the fire, 175 guests participated at a communal Passover seder led by Rabbi Zev Katz in the shul, a rented building. The shul typically gets about as many worshipers on Shabbos.

Miami’s Mayor Matti Herrera Bower visited the scene of the fire at 2401 Pinetree. “These are hateful crimes that we can’t tolerate here,” she said.

Speaking with, the Chabad representative was emphatic: “We’re not going to stop our shul activities. We’re going to get bigger and stronger,” in spite of the sadness by the viciousness of the destruction.

Rabbi Katz said he has no intention of closing down, not even temporarily, and is expecting 1,000 to attend Friday night services on the lot of the destroyed synagogue, in a show of support.

Rabbi Katz is appealing for help to rebound, and has set up a webpage on his website where friends can contribute.

A Torah expert faults the rabbis said...

Last update - 02:49 23/04/2008
A Torah expert faults the rabbis
By Yair Sheleg

"Jewish halakhic decisions," says Rabbi Prof. Daniel Sperber, "tended throughout most of the generations to be user-friendly. There are impressive examples in halakhic history of the willingness of poskim (arbiters of Jewish law) to allow the taking of interest or to prevent the cancellation of debts in order to make economic life possible; to allow the sale of chametz on Pesach and a heter mechira (permission to sell land to a non-Jew) during the sabbatical year to prevent losses; even to impose severe sanctions on those who refused to grant a get (a religious divorce) or to release agunot (chained women, whose husbands cannot or will not grant them a divorce) under lenient conditions. Only in recent generations has pesika (issuing a halakhic ruling) become extreme and increasingly stringent."

This argument is not new, of course. For many years it was voiced by Conservative and Reform Jews, women's organizations and ordinary liberal religious Jews. The innovation lies in the speaker, his background and the knowledge that he brings to his argument. An Israel Prize laureate for his talmudic research, Sperber is president of the Institute of Advanced Torah Studies at Bar-Ilan University. A reknowned scholar of Jewish law and the Talmud, he also is the rabbi of a congregation the neighborhood where he lives in Jerusalem, the Jewish Quarter of the Old City.

In two books recently published in Hebrew by Reuben Mass "Darka shel Halakha" (The Path of Halakha) and "Netivot Pesika" (Modes of Decision), Sperber spells out his arguments against the halakhic decision-making of recent generations; he says it is characterized mainly by disregard for the personal situation of the person requesting the ruling and an absence of humane consideration for the applicant's suffering and dignity in favor of comprehensive decisions designed for a general public and tending to be stringent.

He traces the origin of the problem, as did many of his respected predecessors (chiefly historian Jacob Katz) to the extreme reaction of religious society in Europe to the phenomenon of Reform and the Haskala (Jewish Enlightenment movement). Since Reform Jews wanted to innovate, traditional Jews had to refrain from any innovation. This extreme position was reflected symbolically by the famous statement by the Hatam Sofer, the leader of the ultra-Orthodox community in Hungary in the 19th century, who declared that hadash (the new) is "forbidden by the Torah." (This was a paraphrase of a Jewish law in Temple times forbidding the eating of the new grain crop before the ceremony marking the Counting of the Omer). In short, any attempt at innovation regarding a specific custom was enough to invalidate it, even if there is no halakhic prohibition.

The Hatam Sofer influenced poskim and communities all over Europe, and the situation reached the absurd, according to Sperber: "Recently a book was published about the customs of the Mattersdorf community [in Hungary- Y.S.] in the mid-19th century. And it turns out that in this community the rabbis refused to allow a heater into the study hall and consequently it was so cold that most members of the community refrained from coming to the synagogue in the winter, and there's evidence that those who came had icicles running down from their beards, only because 'our forefathers did not have heaters.' In that same community they also avoided placing benches in the synagogue, and elderly people were forced to stand during the entire prayer service, for the same reason that 'Hadash is forbidden by the Torah.'"

Even major poskim, experts in the halakhic tradition, avoided innovation to the point of absurdity. Sperber tells of the testimony of the son of the Hafetz Haim (Rabbi Yisrael Hacohen of Radin, the main Ashkenazi posek of modern times) regarding his father, who refrained from introducing electricity into the synagogue, even on weekdays, because of the innovation it represented.

Ivory tower phenomenon

The second and more recent cause of extremism, says Sperber, is the central role that the large yeshivas and their heads began to assume in the Ashkenazi (European) halakhic world: "In the past it was common for the pesika to be issued in each community by the local rabbi. The rabbi was familiar with the nature of the community, its ability to observe various stringencies and the needs of the people, and therefore the decisions suited the community. The moment that the yeshiva heads became the main poskim the rulings became 'academic,' issued from an ivory tower, unconnected to the actual situation of the public, and in any case also tending to be stringent."

Incidentally, he points out, because the two phenomena - Reform Judaism and the large yeshivas - were not found in Sephardic Judaism (in southern Europe, North Africa and the Middle East), the phenomenon of halakhic extremism was avoided there.

In "Darka shel Halakha," Sperber deals particularly with what he considers a central example of "unfriendly" pesika: the subject of Torah reading by women. A priori, the Talmud determines that there is no problem with women being called up to the Torah, and only when it came to reading from the Torah "the Sages said that they shouldn't read because of the dignity of the public"; the most common interpretation of this explanation is that this could humiliate those men who didn't know how to read from the Torah.

For most of Jewish history the ruling did not even come up for discussion because the women didn't see themselves as candidates for reading from the Torah. But in recent decades feminism has also affected the desire of religious women to be full partners in religious life, including reading from the Torah. Sperber is convinced, and that is also what he rules, that they should be allowed to do so, adopting an approach of "friendly" pesika:

"First of all, today most religious men who come to the synagogue know how to read from the Torah, so, in any case, they should not be insulted by a woman reading. Second, just as there is concern for a public that is insulted when women read, another public can also "forgo its dignity' and decide that it is not insulted by this reading. And primarily - in contrast to the value of 'the dignity of the public' - preference should be given to the universal value of human dignity, because the moment women feel insulted by not being allowed to read, this insult is more important."

In the second book Sperber discusses another major problem that he sees as an obstacle to the poskim - the absence of sufficient scientific knowledge. He is referring mainly to their ignorance of the academic field of Jewish studies, which causes them to be unfamiliar with sources discovered in recent generations or differences of opinion between versions of various manuscripts, which could influence the pesika. As a basic example of that he mentions that Rabbi Yosef Caro, the compiler of the Shulkhan Arukh, which from the time it was written in the 16th century up to the present, has been considered the central book of halakha in the Jewish world, made his halakhic decisions by following the majority opinion in three previous books of halakha with which he was familiar: those of Maimonides, the Rif (Rabbi Yitzhak Alfasi) and the Rosh (Rabbi Asher ben Yehiel). "But in recent generations," says Sperber, "many halakhic sources that were totally unfamiliar to the author of the Shulkhan Arukh have been discovered, for example extensive halakhic literature from Provence. This literature could change the entire balance of majority and minority opinion in halakha, but the poskim will not allow any expression of that. The Hazon Ish [a central posek who lived in Israel in the 20th century -Y.S.] even said there is no need to take this literature into consideration, because apparently it was determined from above that this literature would not be discovered before the halakhic tradition was consolidated. Incidentally, Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef is actually willing to rely on the new literature, and in several places he rules contrary to the Shulkhan Arukh, in accordance with new sources that have been discovered."

Occasionally, it must be admitted, unfamiliarity with the various sources actually causes lenient halakhic rulings. For example, Sperber brings the famous case of the permission given by Rabbi Avraham Kook to sell the lands of the country during the sabbatical year. This permission was based, among other things, on previous poskim who ruled that there is no prohibition against selling land from Eretz Israel to goyim in our time, because the prohibition written in the Torah on this matter relates only to idol worshipers, and today's Arabs are not considered as such.

But manuscripts discovered in recent decades reveal that these quotes stemmed from censorship imposed by Christian rulers on the original pesika, which actually prohibited the sale of land from Eretz Israel to all the goyim, and not only to idol worshipers.

In the test of results, Sperber is not afraid of the practical significance of his discovery, "because there are enough other ways and reasons to allow the sale," but the basic principle is important.

Hametz law sparks protests in Jerusalem said...

Hametz law sparks protests in Jerusalem

Court decision to allow sale of leavened bread during Passover draws hundreds of Haredim to demonstrate in Jerusalem. On secular side: 10 people from Tel Aviv
Neta Sela

Hundreds of ultra-Orthodox Israelis demonstrated on Tuesday in Jerusalem's Sabbath Square, in protest against the court's ruling in favor of the sale of leavened bread during Passover. Facing them were only ten secular Jews, most of them from Tel Aviv, demonstrating in favor of the ruling. The seculars waved banners with anti-haredi slogans, and three of the demonstrators were detained by the police and later released.

About 3,500 men gathered in Jerusalem's main ultra-Orthodox neighborhood to pray and listen to rabbis warn that selling leavened food during Passover in contravention of Jewish law risked bringing destruction upon the city they regard as holy.

Rabbi Yitzhak Tuvia Weiss compared those who eat leavened bread during the holiday to the wicked son in the Passover Haggadah, and said: "We need to speak out, because for the first time in 60 years, during which we have had a Jewish State, a law has been passed which harms the very soul of the Israeli people."

Rabbi Amram Hoffman cried, "Brothers and sisters, are you not Jewish? Does this not bother you? Leavened bread on Passover will cause the destruction of Jerusalem. If you don't cry out over this, Jerusalem will no longer be ours."

Meah Shearim residents protesting. (Photo: Gil Yohanan)

The secular Jews planned to make their way over to the haredi demonstration, but were stopped by Border Guard officers. When they asked by what right the officers were preventing them from demonstrating they were answered that those were the orders they received. The officers then prevented them from leaving the city's center.

One of the secular demonstrators admitted that those wishing to buy leavened bread on Passover could do so with ease, and explained that the issue was a principle. "It's time religion was put in its place and everyone will be allowed to do as they please," he said. "The country and its institutions must be free of religion."

One of the passers by, a student living in Jerusalem, told Ynet he supported the demonstration, and explained, "Everything began with a provocation by Jerusalem's Mayor Uri Lupolianski, who sent inspectors last year to check for stores selling leavened bread. If not for this, most people would never have known about it being sold in Jerusalem."

Anonymous said...,7340,L-3532266,00.html

Lupolianski asks businesses to ignore court ruling, says he believes in dialogue rather than coercion

Published: 04.15.08, 20:54 / Israel Money

A few hours after Attorney General Menachem Mazuz backed the court ruling permitting the sale of leavened goods during Passover, Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski urged businesses in Jerusalem to refrain from doing so.

Bread Ruling
Mazuz endorses selling of bread on Passover / Aviram Zino
Attorney general publishes legal brief supporting recent Jerusalem court ruling that authorized selling of leavened goods on Passover, as long as they are not displayed publicly
Full Story
In a letter to business owners, Lupolianski wrote: "I am no fan of coercion, but rather, of dialogue."

He added that "the city of Jerusalem's magic and uniqueness lies in the fact that different and diverse communities featuring a special character…live side by side in harmony, while respecting the others and taking them into consideration."

"I do the same when every single year, in the traditional reception held for non-Jewish sect leaders, I make a toast with a soft drink instead of wine, in order to show consideration to the Muslims taking part in the event," Lupolianski wrote. "In this spirit, restaurants that do not posses a kosher certificate nonetheless refrain from selling leavened foods, not because of the law or because of fears of inspectors, but rather, because of genuine consideration to the feelings of city residents."

According to the mayor, "all polls show us that eating matza and avoiding leavened food are mitzvahs that the majority of the Jewish people make sure to maintain, regardless of whether we are talking about an Orthodox, religious, traditional, or secular Jew, as the majority of the secular public also does not eat leavened food in Passover."

"As the mayor of Jerusalem, I turn to you and ask that this year too, during Passover, we shall continue the customary tradition in Jerusalem, which takes public sentiments into consideration," Lupolianski concluded.

posek belsky said...

let me state for the oylam that I am against what Attorney General Menachem Mazuzis stands for. Chometz is an issur deoraiseh. even to glance at is an issur. (that's why I don't look in the mirror during pesach) To sell bread on peseach is forbidden. private, public, whatever, who cares what the courts ruled. As a side thing, I'm warning the frummer yidden not to chas vesholom forge my signature on something that I didn't sign.

Now where is mendel epsteins number. There are some Chumetz business establishments that need a roughing up!

Mazuz endorses selling of bread on Passover

Attorney general publishes legal brief supporting recent Jerusalem court ruling that authorized selling of leavened goods on Passover, as long as they are not displayed publicly

Aviram Zino
Published: 04.15.08, 10:41 / Israel News

Attorney General Menachem Mazuz published a legal brief Tuesday endorsing a recent court ruling that authorized the selling of leavened goods on Passover, as long as they are not publicly displayed.

Rest here:,7340,L-3531965,00.html

Anonymous said...,7340,L-3528494,00.html

Poll: 70% of Israelis won't eat bread on Passover

Vast majority of Israeli Jews say they'll stick to matzahs throughout Passover. More educated individuals and those with higher income found to be less observant on subject

Yehudit Yahav
Published: 04.07.08, 09:09 / Israel Jewish Scene

Saying no to pitas: Some 69% of Jewish Israelis will not eat leavened goods this coming Passover, a new poll conducted by Market Watch for Mazot Aviv food company recently revealed.

New Ruling
Ruling: Stores allowed to sell bread on Passover / Aviram Zino
New court ruling indicates that pizza parlors, restaurants, grocery stores are not ‘public arenas’ by law, can sell leavened goods on Passover

According to the survey, only 18% of Israelis eat both leavened goods and matzahs during the holiday. Six percent said they eat bread and other leavened goods throughout Pesach and 5% stated they only plan to eat matzahs on Passover eve.

The poll, carried out among a representative sample of the adult Jewish population in the country, showed that university graduates were less observant when it came to eating leavened goods in Passover: Only 57% of academics said they only eat matzahs during the holiday, compared to 84% of high school graduates.

The average income was also found to be a contributing factor to the question of whether or people observe the Pesach mitzvah. While 82% of individuals with a low income said they would refrain from eating bread on Passover, only 55% of those with a higher-than-average income stated they would stick to matzahs this holiday.

Agudath Israel Of America said...

We believe that gays can be cured in the same way pedophiles can be rehabilitated.

Rabbi calls for 'rehabilitation of gays'

Rabbi Arussi responds to letter from gay community calling for acceptance by Orthodox rabbis; those with homosexual tendencies should receive treatment, he says

Kobi Nachshoni
Published: 04.23.08, 19:32 / Israel Jewish Scene

Homosexuality is a disease that should be treated, the chief rabbi of KIryat Ono, near Tel Aviv, wrote in response to a letter from the gay community published in Ynet weeks ago.

"It is doubtlessly a disease, seeing as anything in nature that deviates from the norm is a disease," wrote Rabbi Ratzon Arussi, referring to homosexual tendencies. He was responding to a letter sent to dozens of rabbis throughout Israel by operators of a website catering to the homosexual community, HOD.

Yehuda Kolko said...

I feel for this guy. He should get off easy like I did.
Indictment unsealed in alleged sex abuse of brothers


April 23, 2008

He was there to help an autistic boy's family care for their son. Instead a Commack home attendant sexually abused the 5-year-old boy and his 7-year-old brother in their home, according to an indictment unsealed in Riverhead Tuesday.

Marc Pipitone, 31, of 93 Fulton Blvd., pleaded not guilty before Suffolk County Court Judge Barbara Kahn on an 11-count indictment charging him with six counts of first-degree sexual abuse, two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, two counts of second-degree aggravated harassment and one count of first-degree harassment.

Pipitone, a licensed special education teacher who has worked as a substitute, was held on bail of $250,000 cash or $500,000 bond. The judge also issued orders of protection for the victims.

His attorney, Kevin Kearon, of Rockville Centre, said Pipitone "is devastated by these allegations. "

"He is a responsible, caring and conscientious teacher," said Kearon, adding that Pipitone has never faced allegations of impropriety.

Prosecutors said Pipitone, who received his teaching license from New York State in 2005, has in the past worked for the Deer Park and Smithtown school districts.

According to prosecutor Dana Brown, Pipitone, a special-education teacher for the Developmental Disabilities Institute, was hired to teach and care for the disabled boy, whose autism is so severe he doesn't speak.

He began going to the boy's home in the summer of 2007, and only went on Saturdays.

Seven months later, in February, he was fired by the boy's mother, for "overstepping his boundaries" in how he taught the younger boy, Brown said.

In the following months, Brown said, Pipitone harassed and stalked the family, sending e-mail messages in which he threatened the boys and their mother.

He was arrested by police on harassment and sex abuse charges earlier this month, and given a desk appearance ticket to return to court in June. The next day, after police confronted him about the allegations of sexual abuse, Pipitone returned to speak with them and made statements incriminating himself, Brown said.

The 7-year-old boy has since told his family that Pipitone molested him, Brown said.

Kearon said Pipitone denies making any admissions of guilt, and would fight the case at trial.

He said literature shows that young children are "susceptible to the power of suggestion. I am very convinced that that is exactly what happened here."

Pope Ignores the War, Gets Free Pass on Sex Abuse said...

Pope Ignores the War, Gets Free Pass on Sex Abuse
By Ray McGovern, Consortium News
Posted on April 23, 2008, Printed on April 23, 2008

Torture: Fresh reporting by ABC from inside sources depicted George W. Bush's most senior aides (Cheney, Powell, Rumsfeld, Ashcroft, Rice and Tenet) meeting dozens of times in the White House during 2002/03 to sort out the most efficient mix of torture techniques for captured "terrorists."

When initially ABC attempted to insulate the president from this sordid activity, Bush abruptly bragged that he knew all about it and approved. That comment and the action memorandum Bush signed on Feb. 7, 2002, dispelled any lingering doubt regarding his personal responsibility for authorizing torture.

Execution: Meanwhile, the U.S. Supreme Court, with a majority of judges calling themselves Catholic, was openly deliberating on whether one gram, or two, or perhaps three of this or that chemical would be the preferred way to execute people.

Always colorful prominent Catholic layman Antonin Scalia complained impatiently, "Where does it say in the Constitution that executions have to be painless?"

Scalia did not seem at all concerned that the Pope might remind him and his Catholic colleagues about the Church's teaching on capital punishment, i.e., the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity "are very rare, if not practically nonexistent." (Evangelium Vitae 56).

It was enough to bring this student of German history (and five-year resident there) vivid memories of frequenting those places where precisely these kinds of torture and execution policy reviews were conducted at similarly high levels by Hitler's inner circle -- yes, including judges.

War: Can the Pope possibly be so suffused with his peculiar brand of theology that he is oblivious to what happened when he was a young man during the Third Reich?

Is it possible that papal advisers forgot to tell him that the post-WWII Nuremberg Tribunal described an unprovoked war of aggression, of the kind that the Third Reich and George W. Bush launched, as the "supreme international crime, differing from other war crimes only in that it contains the accumulated evil of the whole?"

Could they have failed to tell the Pope he would be hobnobbing with war criminals, torturers and the enabling cowards in Congress who refuse to remove them from office?

For this Catholic, it was a profoundly sad spectacle -- profoundly sad.

Not since WWII, when the Reich's bishops swore personal oaths of allegiance to Hitler (as did the German Supreme Court and army generals) have the papacy and bishops acted in such a fawning, un-Christ-like way.

With very few exceptions, the bishops (Catholic and Evangelical Lutheran) collaborated with the Nazis. Meanwhile, Hamlet-like Pius XII kept trying to make up his mind as to whether he should put the Catholic Church at some risk, while Jews were being murdered by the thousands.

Albert Camus

In 1948, in the shadow of that monstrous world war, the French author/philosopher Albert Camus accepted an invitation from the Dominican Monastery of Latour-Maubourg.

To their credit, the Dominicans wanted to know what an "unbeliever" thought about Christians in the light of their behavior during the '30s and '40s. Camus' words seem so terribly relevant today that it is difficult to trim them:

"For a long time during those frightful years, I waited for a great voice to speak up in Rome. I, an unbeliever? Precisely. For I knew that the spirit would be lost if it did not utter a cry of condemnation ...

"It has been explained to me since, that the condemnation was indeed voiced. But that it was in the style of the encyclicals, which is not all that clear. The condemnation was voiced and it was not understood. Who could fail to feel where the true condemnation lies in this case?

"What the world expects of Christians is that Christians should speak out, loud and clear, and that they should voice their condemnation in such a way that never a doubt, never the slightest doubt, could rise in the heart of the simplest man.

"That they should get away from abstraction and confront the blood-stained face history has taken on today.

"It may be ... that Christianity will insist on maintaining a compromise, or else on giving its condemnations the obscure form of the encyclical. Possibly it will insist on losing once and for all the virtue of revolt and indignation that belonged to it long ago.

"What I know -- and what sometimes creates a deep longing in me -- is that if Christians made up their mind to it, millions of voices -- millions, I say -- throughout the world would be added to the appeal of a handful of isolated individuals, who, without any sort of affiliation, today intercede almost everywhere and ceaselessly for children and other people." (Excerpted from Resistance, Rebellion, and Death: Essays)

Sixty years ago!

Perhaps the Dominican monks took Camus seriously; monks tend to listen. Vatican functionaries, on the other hand, tend to know it all, and to urge the Pope to be "discrete."

You saw that this past week with the Pope in Washington and New York, as he forfeited the opportunity to follow the biblical injunction to speak truth to power -- to speak out clearly, as Camus suggested, with moral authority.

Catholics all around

Think back to last week and all the prominent Catholics who flocked to see the Pope -- many of them officials with considerable influence in the judiciary and legislature, with some important players in the executive branch as well.

There they were, with their families, the five Catholic Supreme Court justices, fresh from detailed deliberations on how best to implement state-sponsored killings, executions that are banned by virtually every civilized country.

Justice Scalia audibly salivated over how much noxious chemical should be shot into the veins of a "condemned," and how quickly. (For those with strong stomachs, C-SPAN captured the proceedings.)

I am embarrassed to acknowledge that, like me, Scalia is the product of a Jesuit education (Xavier H.S. in Manhattan and Georgetown College). Despite his advocacy of "soft" torture techniques like driving nails under fingernails, Scalia continues to be lionized by many Jesuits and bishops alike.

In the House? Speaker Nancy Pelosi, erstwhile doyenne of the Archdiocese of Baltimore and now San Francisco, and minority leader John Boehner, R-Ohio -- Catholics both -- are about to allocate another hundred billion dollars to death and destruction in Iraq and Afghanistan for the most reprehensibly crass of political purposes -- the coming election.

Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., last week tried to guild the lily, noting that Pelosi now insists that, in McGovern's words, "We're an equal branch of government; we're no longer a cheap date." Right.

Sadly, it appears that Pelosi's key functionaries on House Appropriations (both of them Catholics) will cave in once again.

It is not as though they do not know the right thing to do. Just six months ago, Appropriations chair Dave Obey, D-Wisconsin, declared, "I have no intention of reporting out of committee anytime in this session of Congress any such [funding] request that simply serves to continue the status quo."

Subcommittee chair John Murtha, D-Pa., put it even more strongly a year before Obey did, and came close to calling the occupation of Iraq a lost cause -- which, of course, it is. But it is not politic to say that before the election. Never mind the troops on the front lines.

Obey and Murtha caved last time. I will find it particularly devastating if Obey caves again now, for I have always considered him among the best legislators in Congress.

And since he is from Wisconsin, Obey recognizes better than others the McCarthy-ite demagoguery coming from the likes of Texas Republican Michael Burgess, to the effect that anything short of giving the president all the war funding he demands is "basically giving aid and comfort to the enemy."

Pelosi also has been unusually candid in admitting that it is electoral politics, pure and simple, that explain her resistance to holding President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney accountable for high crimes and misdemeanors via the orderly procedure given us by the Founders for precisely this purpose -- impeachment in the House, trial in the Senate.

If, as widely expected, the war funding goes through, several hundred more American troops are likely to die before some common sense can be injected into U.S. policy next year -- not to mention how many Iraqis.

Iraq is a shambles. Two million Iraqis have fled abroad; another two million are internal refugees. Am I the only one who finds macabre the raging debate as to whether the attack and occupation of Iraq has resulted in a million or "only 300,000" Iraqis dead?

Apparently, the Pope did not have any opinion on the Iraq War.

But torture?

Surely the Pope would speak out against the kind of torture for which our country has become famous: Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, CIA "black sites" -- the more so, since Jesus of Nazareth was tortured to death.

The Pope chose silence, which presumably came as welcome relief to four-star torturer's apprentice Gen. Michael Hayden, now head of the CIA.

The White House has made clear that Hayden is ready to instruct his torturers to waterboard again, upon Caesar's approval.

Hayden proved his mettle when he was head of the National Security Agency. He saluted smartly when the president and vice president told him to disregard the Foreign Intelligence and Surveillance Act and his oath to defend the Constitution.

One of Hayden's predecessors as NSA director asserted that Hayden should have been court-martialed. Pelosi was briefed both on the illegal surveillance and the torture, but did nothing.

Having demonstrated his allegiance to the president, Hayden was picked to head the CIA. The general likes to brag about his moral training and Catholic credentials. At his nomination hearing, he noted that he was the beneficiary of 18 years of Catholic education.

All the while it was quite clear he was positively lusting to be in charge of waterboarding and other torture techniques -- whatever you say, boss.

I was somewhat crestfallen after adding up my own years of Catholic education -- only 17. Clearly I missed "Enhanced Interrogation Techniques 301."

Keep it general, focus on others' sins

Saturday at the U.N., the pontiff pontificated on "God-given human rights" and "massive human rights abuses," but pretty much left it at that. The Washington Post reported that the Pope was "short on specifics and long on broad themes."

But there was one specific. Here in the U.S., the Pope seemed to prefer to dwell on the pedophilia scandal -- to the exclusion of much else. He is to be applauded for meeting with victims of clergy sexual abuse and expressing deep shame, but he got a free pass from the media in disguising his own role in trying to cover the whole thing up.

While still Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, he headed the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith -- the Vatican office that once ran the Inquisition. In that capacity he sent a letter in May 2001 to all Catholic bishops throwing a curtain of secrecy over the widespread sexual abuse by clergy, warning the bishops of severe penalties, including excommunication for breaching "pontifical secrets."

Lawyers acting for the sexually abused accused Ratzinger of "clear obstruction of justice."

Very few American bishops have been disciplined. And when Bernard Cardinal Law was run out of Boston for failing to protect children from predator priests, he was given a cushy sinecure in Rome; many believe he should be behind bars.

In an interview with the Catholic News Service in 2002, Ratzinger branded media coverage of the pedophilia scandal "a planned campaign ... intentional, manipulated, a desire to discredit the church."

It is nice that the Pope has now changed his tune. Nicer still for him, he found himself mostly in the congenial atmosphere of Washington, where very few powerful miscreants are held accountable.

So what did you expect?

I do wish my friends would stop asking me that.

While it was good that the Pope addressed the pedophilia issue head on, it seemed as though he made a decision to devote time and energy to the issue.

The side benefit, of course, was being able to speak in glorious generality on other major issues -- war, torture, capital punishment -- in all of which, as we have seen, many of "the faithful" are deeply engaged -- embarrassingly engaged.

I had hoped -- naively, it turned out -- that the Pope might encourage his brother bishops to find the courage to state plainly what 88 bishops of the Methodist faith, George W. Bush's tradition, declared on Nov. 8, 2005:

"We repent of our complicity in what we believe to be the unjust and immoral invasion and occupation of Iraq. In the face of the United States administration's rush toward military action based on misleading information, too many of us were silent.

"We confess our preoccupation with institutional enhancement and limited agendas while American men and women are sent to Iraq to kill and be killed, while thousands of Iraqi people needlessly suffer and die."

I thought that perhaps the U.S. Catholic bishops could adopt the kind of resolution that 125 Methodist bishops signed on Nov. 9, 2007. It called for an immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq and the reversal of any plans to establish permanent military bases there.

The Methodist bishops' resolution noted: "Every day that the war continues, more soldiers and innocent civilians are killed with no end in sight to the violence, bloodshed, and carnage." And Bishop Jack Meadors summed up the situation nicely:

"The Iraq war is not just a political issue or a military issue. It is a moral issue."

Holocaust museum in Jerusalem

Visiting Yad VaShem, the Holocaust museum in West Jerusalem last summer, I experienced painful reminders of what happens when the church allows itself to be captured by empire. An acquiescent church, it is clear, loses whatever residual moral authority it may have had.

At the entrance to the museum, a quotation by German essayist Kurt Tucholsky set a universally applicable tone:

"A country is not just what it does -- it is also what it tolerates."

Still more compelling words came from Imre Bathory, a Hungarian who put his own life at grave risk by helping to save Jews from the concentration camps:

"I know that when I stand before God on Judgment Day, I shall not be asked the question posed to Cain: 'Where were you when your brother's blood was crying out to God?'"

According to former President George H. W. Bush, George W. has "read the Bible straight through -- twice." Perhaps he skipped by that passage too quickly; or maybe he is highly selective as to whom he considers his brothers.

No excuse for Benedict, though; he knows better. And yet he opted to squander his glorious chance to speak out and make a difference.

Methodist Bishop Meadors is right; the war is a moral issue. But President Bush has refused, time and time again, to meet with his Methodist bishops. And now he has the imprimatur of the Pope.

The bottom line is challenging: to the degree that right and wrong, moral and immoral considerations are to be injected into discussions about war, executions, torture -- well, let's face it. There is only us.

Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.

Daniel Weinreb said...

Sex abuse victim starts Web site support group
By Erin Smith
GateHouse News Service
Posted Apr 23, 2008 @ 01:27 PM

A man who says a convicted pedophile teacher sexually abused him at his exclusive Cambridge private school in the 1980s has launched an Internet campaign to help other potential victims.

Daniel Weinreb said Edward Washburn — his seventh-grade English teacher at Buckingham, Browne & Nichols — sexually abused him from 1983 to 1985. Washburn, who taught at the school for more than two decades, pleaded guilty to molesting two children in 1987.

Weinreb believes Washburn could have abused more students and created last week as a virtual support group after he ran into dead ends trying to convince school administrators to help connect alumni and potential sexual abuse victims of Washburn.

“I wanted them to know that if they had been abused, they could contact someone … that they had done nothing wrong and shouldn’t be ashamed,” Weinreb told the Chronicle. “The idea is — if there are survivors out there — I would organize a retreat or a one-day workshop.”

Weinreb said he found it helpful when he attended a retreat for sexual abuse victims in October.

Washburn’s high profile case created a media firestorm in the 1980s. In a controversial move, the judge only gave Washburn community service for the crimes and the school was also criminally prosecuted for breaking the law by not immediately reporting the abuse to authorities, according to David E. Meier, the former prosecutor for the case. The school later paid $70,000 to settle a civil lawsuit for breaking the law, according to past reports in MetroWest Daily News.

Weinreb believes there could be more than two victims because Washburn was known to socialize with students outside of school in Cambridge and take students to his summerhouse in New Hampshire.

“Now we couldn’t prosecute him for crimes in New Hampshire because we didn’t have jurisdiction over New Hampshire,” said Meier, a 20-year veteran prosecutor who now works at Boston law firm Todd & Weld.

Meier refused to speculate whether there could be more victims because he is still bound to keep the grand jury proceedings of the case a secret.

Washburn told the Chronicle he hadn’t seen the Web site.

“I have no idea. I haven’t worked there in over 20 years,” said Washburn when reached by telephone Monday.

Washburn, who now works as the studio director for the local office of Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic in East Cambridge, would not comment on his past conviction or allegations he abused more children while at the school.
“I have no comment, please,” said Washburn.

Since he’s launched the Web site, Weinreb said 40 people — not all of them claiming to be victims of abuse — have contacted him and been in support of his Web site and mission.

School officials have been less receptive, according to Weinreb.

“Daniel is a valued alumnus and member of the BB&N community,” said Rebecca Upham, head of the school, in a released statement. “We are all united in our hope that he can heal and have offered to assist him directly in this regard. Since Daniel contacted us, we have repeatedly sought to be as responsive as possible to his requests for assistance. In considering Daniel’s requests on his Web site, it is my job as head of school to respond in a way that most appropriately balances the past, present and future responsibilities of the school and our obligations to all members of our community.”

In a letter dated Jan. 18, Upham told Weinreb that she believes alumni and parents want to move on from the “dark and disturbing chapter” in the school’s history and declines to help in his outreach efforts to contact other potential victims. In the letter, Upham maintains the school already sent a letter to parents seeking to assist potential victims in 1987, during the immediate aftermath of the abuse scandal. She also offers Weinreb $5,000 to pay for counseling and hinting that she believes Weinreb is preparing to sue the school, directs him to only speak to school officials through the school’s lawyers in the future.

Weinreb recently retained Mitchell Garabedian, a Boston attorney famed for his work representing victims of the Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal, to help him navigate conversations with the school on the sensitive topic. Weinreb said he has no current plans to sue the school and didn’t ask for the $5,000 school officials offered him.

“It’s very important to Daniel that no child be sexually molested and that Buckingham Browne & Nichols help victims obtain at least some closure for sexual abuse,” said Garabedian. “Daniel is just trying to do what is best for children and victims of sexual abuse.”

Weinreb said he hopes school officials change their minds about refusing to help him contact other alumni about his outreach campaign.

Said Weinreb, “I think a very important first step is to help other survivors get in touch with me.”

Cambridge Chronicle

Lepoid Margulis said...

i vonder vhy Hynes didn't go after me for not reporting yudi kolko.

Mother charged with failure to report sons' sex abuse claims turns down plea deal

Wednesday, April 23, 2008 1:30 PM EDT

SARATOGA SPRINGS -- The mother of two teenage boys who are believed to be victims of sexual abuse appeared in City Court this morning in connection with charges that she had knowledge of the abuse and failed to report it to authorities.

The allegations of abuse were made by her sons against former school district employee Douglas Conrad and his roommate, James Wiley.

The 37-year-old woman, whose name is being withheld by The Post-Star to protect the identity of her children, was charged with two misdemeanor counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

Her attorney, John Aretakis, said he turned down a plea deal that was offered during conversations he had in the judge’s chambers with special prosecutor Jessica Lorusso.

"The plea offer was not acceptable to us because my client hasn’t done anything wrong," said Aretakis, after emerging from the meeting, which lasted approximately an hour.

The mother’s case was adjourned, and she is scheduled to return to City Court on May 30.

Earlier in the day, Douglas Conrad appeared in Mechanicville City Court to answer misdemeanor abuse charges. His case was adjourned to May 28.

Conrad briefly worked as a substitute teacher’s aide in the Saratoga Springs City School District in 2002 and was later employed by the school district as bus driver from December 2004 until Feb. 28, 2008, when he resigned. He also worked as a part-time substitute bus driver for the town of Wilton’s Summer Recreation Program in 2005 and 2006, and as a youth leader at his church in Saratoga Springs, where the mother of the two boys who were allegedly abused is also a member.

In addition to the charges in Mechanicville, Conrad is facing six misdemeanor counts of forcible touching in Saratoga Springs that involve three boys, including one disabled boy whom he allegedly met while working on his bus route.

Wednesday morning, Aretakis said he had learned "in the past 48 hours" that one of the boys named in the misdemeanor charges was coming forward with more serious allegations against Conrad than the boy had originally reported to police.

Aretakis said the allegations involved two incidents of "violent sexual crimes" that occurred in Saratoga Springs, and that he was preparing to deliver a signed affidavit from the alleged victim to the district attorney’s office.

Conrad is free on $5,000 bail.

Shlomo Mandel the putz said...

I am not ashamed that Yudel Nussbaum sexually molested several students in my yeshiveh.

Church needs to act on sex abuse

By Maureen Paul Turlish

> Pope Benedict XVI last week lamented his "deep shame" over the clergy sex-abuse scandal, decrying the "enormous pain" that individuals and communities have suffered from "gravely immoral behavior" by priests. He vowed to "do what is possible so this cannot happen again in the future."

> Do what is possible?

> Not one bishop has been removed from office because of his own complicity, collusion or cover-up of the church's continuing sexual-abuse problems. Nor has anyone been forced to resign for violating Canon Law or criminal or civil laws.

> Even when the Archdiocese of Boston imploded in 2002, church authorities were quick to say former Archbishop Bernard Law's resignation had nothing to do with his leadership style.

> Do what is possible?

> Some bishops in their own dioceses continue to fight the release of records, even the names and locations of known predators, in their episcopal jurisdictions. The Portland, Oregon, Archdiocese has been dribbling records out to the public as recently as last week while the Archdiocese of Los Angeles continues to oppose releasing its thousands of files.

> Rest assured that the institutional church's loud protestations of commitment to victims of sexual abuse in the future offer neither absolution nor justice for the sins and the crimes of the past.

> The "scandal" that attaches to the church's sexual abuse problems is that there was, in fact, a cover-up of unimaginable proportions that aided and abetted the continued sexual abuse and molestation of thousands of children, as well as young men, women and vulnerable adults.

> Do what is possible?

> The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has hailed diocesan programs across the country celebrating this month as Child Abuse Awareness Month. "We can never rest when it comes to protecting children and teenagers," said Bishop Gregory Aymond, chairman of the conference's Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People.

> However, Catholic conferences and church lobbyists in such states as Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland, Colorado and Ohio have been ruthless in their opposition to the complete removal of statutes of limitation regarding the sexual abuse of minors.

> Superior Court Judge Robert B. Young ruled last Wednesday that Delaware's Child Victims Act does not violate the state constitution, based on the fact that federal courts already have set a precedent for upholding similar laws. The act was passed in 2007 to eliminate the civil statute of limitations for child-sexual abuse and to allow a two-year window during which previously barred suits could be filed.

> Removing statutes of limitations is the single most effective method of holding sexual predators - and any possibly complicit or enabling individuals or institutions - accountable along with the inclusion of "window legislation" such as Delaware's to bring forth previously time-barred cases of abuse.

> I love my church, and together with Pope Benedict XVI I am ashamed, deeply ashamed of what has been done to children in God's name. I fully expect my church leadership to initiate actions that more faithfully follow their words.

> This is possible.

> Anything less is "sounding brass and tinkling cymbals" (1 Corinthians 13:1-2) because words without action remain hollow.

Sister Maureen Paul Turlish of Delaware is a victims' advocate and educator.

Find this article at:;!category=pa;&randomOrd=042308015123

exposemolesters said...

Pope is another shmuck claiming to heal sexual abuse when in fact he was a major contributer to covering it up for all these years.

April 20, 2008 at 15:01:05


by Allen L Roland

It appears that then Cardinal Thomas Ratzinger ( now Pope Benedict XVl ) initiated a explicit written policy to cover up cases of child sexual abuse by the clergy and to punish those who would call attention to these crimes by the churchmen: Allen L Roland

What goes around, comes around and the work of the vatican-approved enforcer Cardinal Thomas Ratzinger in protecting the church versus its abuse victims has come back to haunt the Cardinal ~ who is now Pope Benedict XVI and he is anything but infallible.

EWAN FLETCHER , tells the sordid story which was featured on BBC I ( Panorama ) last night and can be seen video.Clickon~

Excerpt: Patrick Wall, a former Vatican-approved enforcer of the Crimen Sollicitationis in America, tells the programme: "I found out I wasn't working for a holy institution, but an institution that was wholly concentrated on protecting itself."

Doesn't that also sound like the Bush administration? Perhaps absolute power does absolutely corrupt.

Allen L Roland

Pope'led cover-up of child abuse by priests'

"put the Church's interests ahead of child safety- OR FACE EXCOMMUNICATION"

Last updated at 22:00pm on 30th September 2006

The Pope played a leading role in a systematic cover-up of child sex abuse by Roman Catholic priests, according to a shocking documentary to be screened by the BBC tonight.

In 2001, while he was a cardinal, he issued a secret Vatican edict to Catholic bishops all over the world, instructing them to put the Church's interests ahead of child safety.

The document recommended that rather than reporting sexual abuse to the relevant legal authorities, bishops should encourage the victim, witnesses and perpetrator not to talk about it. And, to keep victims quiet, it threatened that if they repeat the allegations they would be excommunicated.

The Panorama special, Sex Crimes And The Vatican, investigates the details of this little-known document for the first time. The programme also accuses the Catholic Church of knowingly harbouring paedophile clergymen. It reveals that priests accused of child abuse are generally not struck off or arrested but simply moved to another parish, often to reoffend. It gives examples of hush funds being used to silence the victims.

Before being elected as Pope Benedict XVI in April last year, the pontiff was Cardinal Thomas Ratzinger who had, for 24 years, been the head of the powerful Congregation of the Doctrine of The Faith, the department of the Roman Catholic Church charged with promoting Catholic teachings on morals and matters of faith. An arch-Conservative, he was regarded as the 'enforcer' of Pope John Paul II in cracking down on liberal challenges to traditional Catholic teachings.

Five years ago he sent out an updated version of the notorious 1962 Vatican document Crimen Sollicitationis - Latin for The Crime of Solicitation - which laid down the Vatican's strict instructions on covering up sexual scandal. It was regarded as so secret that it came with instructions that bishops had to keep it locked in a safe at all times.

Cardinal Ratzinger reinforced the strict cover-up policy by introducing a new principle: that the Vatican must have what it calls Exclusive Competence. In other words, he commanded that all child abuse allegations should be dealt with direct by Rome.

Patrick Wall, a former Vatican-approved enforcer of the Crimen Sollicitationis in America, tells the programme: "I found out I wasn't working for a holy institution, but an institution that was wholly concentrated on protecting itself."

And Father Tom Doyle, a Vatican lawyer until he was sacked for criticizing the church's handling of child abuse claims, says: "What you have here is an explicit written policy to cover up cases of child sexual abuse by the clergy and to punish those who would call attention to these crimes by the churchmen.
"When abusive priests are discovered, the response has been not to investigate and prosecute but to move them from one place to another. So there's total disregard for the victims and for the fact that you are going to have a whole new crop of victims in the next place. This is happening all over the world."

The investigation could not come at a worse time for Pope Benedict, who is desperately trying to mend the Church's relations with the Muslim world after a speech in which he quoted a 14th Century Byzantine emperor who said that Islam was spread by holy war and had brought only evil to the world.

The Panorama programme is presented by Colm O'Gorman, who was raped by a priest when he was 14. He said: "What gets me is that it's the same story every time and every place. Bishops appoint priests who they know have abused children in the past to new parishes and new communities and more abuse happens."

Last night Eileen Shearer, director of the Catholic Office for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults said: "The Catholic Church in England and Wales (has) established a single set of national policies and procedures for child protection work. We are making excellent progress in protecting children and preventing abuse."

Allen L Roland
Freelance Online columnist and recognized therapist Allen L Roland is available for comments, interviews, speaking engagements and private consultations consultations ( )
Allen L Roland is a practicing psychotherapist, author and lecturer who also shares a daily political and social commentary on his weblog and website He also guest hosts a monthly national radio show TRUTHTALK on

Cartoon courtesy of Pat Oliphant / Washington Post

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Agudas Chazerim Fressers said...

A feast full of traditions
Jewish Passover features several foods with a storied history
Posted 17 hours ago

Don't let Passover pass you over. The traditional religious celebration commemorating Jewish liberation from slavery is an occasion for family to gather around and feast.

Passover began April 19 and runs through April 27. The food eaten during this time is more than simply Kosher.

Every dish at the Seder, the traditional Passover meal, is a tribute to Jewish ancestry.

"The food is symbolic of the deliverance from slavery and oppression," says Emily Caruso Parnell, a member of the Sudbury's Jewish community.

In the spirit of deliverance, adults are required to drink four glasses of wine at various moments in the ceremony.

Symbolizing the four stages of exodus - freedom, deliverance, redemption and release - a final glass of Kosher wine is left for Elijah the prophet.

If the idea of forcing down Kosher wine doesn't win you over, hopefully the food will.

The centrepiece of the Passover table is the Seder plate, holding five foods symbolizing the exodus.

"Roasted lamb bone signifies the lamb that was sacrificed to mark the doors of Israelites," says Caruso Parnell. Other items, such as matzah, roasted egg, bitter herbs, greens, salt water and charoset, have individual significance.

Symbolizing everything from the eternal life cycle to the bitterness of slavery, every food item has a connection to the past.

A simple bread, matzah, is made from flour and water. Cooked quickly and made completely without yeast, matzah is at the heart of the feast.

Coming up with many inventive ways to use matzah, it's available in a variety of textures for cooking.

Matzah flour is finely ground for cakes and cookies. It can be coarsely ground for a breadcrumb substitute and matzah farfel can be used to make noodles.

As with every food item, the story of matzah connects family to the past.

"The tradition says we left Egypt in such a hurry that we didn't have time for the bread to rise," says Caruso Parnell.

It's also a symbolic way of removing "puffiness" or pride from ourselves, she adds.

One of the most popular and traditional Jewish dishes, says Caruso Parnell, is chicken soup with matzah balls.

And while grains are not permitted during Passover, quinoa is exempt because it is actually an herb. It can be used to make an excellent pilaf dish. Quinoa is available in most health and natural food stores.

Here are two recipes for your family to try during Passover:

Chicken soup with matzah balls

Serves eight


1 whole chicken (cut in eighths) - Kosher chicken is recommended

4 stalks of celery (washed, leaves left on)

4 whole carrots (peeled)

2 chopped onions

salt and pepper to taste

1 bunch of parsley

2 tbsp olive oil

2-3 cloves garlic diced (optional)

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Lightly brown the onions and garlic in the oil.

Place the chicken pieces in the saucepan and brown on all sides.

Add the carrots, celery and parsley and fill with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil.

Skim off any fat scum that rises to the surface with a slotted spoon. Reduce heat and continue to simmer for one hour or to taste. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Remove the chicken and vegetables from the soup and strain to remove any small pieces. You can use the chicken in any recipe calling for cooked chicken.

For the matzah, You can purchase matzah ball mix, or try this recipe from scratch. Note: matzah meal is available year-round at Paris Natural Foods.

Matzah balls

4 eggs, slightly beaten

4 tbsp oil

4 tbsp ice cold water

1 cup matzah meal

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl.

Mix well with a fork.

Using damp hands, form small balls (depending on how large you like your matzah).

Place the balls in your pot of soup and cover as it boils gently. Leave covered for approximately 3-5 minutes.

Serve each bowl of soup with one or two matzah balls

Quinoa pilaf

Serves four

1 cup quinoa

1 cup celery, chopped small

1/2 cup red pepper, chopped small

1/2 cup raw cashews

2 tbsp olive oil

1 crushed garlic clove

1 bay leaf

1/2 tsp thyme leaf

1/4 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp dried ginger

1/2 tsp salt

1 3/4 cup water

1/4 cup minced parsley or cilantro

fresh ground pepper

Soak quinoa 30 minutes, rinse twice, leave to drain.

Heat olive oil on medium in a three-quart saucepan.

Chop celery and red pepper. Add garlic, celery, red pepper and cashews. Stir-fry until cashews are golden.

Add the spices except for the parsley. Add the quinoa and stir until dry.

Stove top method: Add 1 3/4 cups of water, bring to a boil, cover and simmer 15-20 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed.

Stir in the chopped parsley or cilantro, fresh ground pepper and serve.

Hillary Clinton said...

I'll fight to the death.

Clinton plays up her security credentials

During the ABC debate held here last week, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton singled out one of her supporters from the stage, and it was neither of her top local boosters, Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell nor Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter.

Instead, the New York senator pointed to a retired four-star general who once served as the supreme commander of NATO.

"General Wesley Clark is here in the audience with me, as one of my major supporters," she said, as the camera focused on him acknowledging her words.

His support, and that of other military figures, has been key as Clinton has tried to make the case that she would be the best commander-in-chief - no small task for a female candidate. She has cultivated deep ties with the military during her service on the US Senate's Armed Forces Committee, ties on which she has called throughout her campaign and particularly in recent weeks when she has tried to argue that her rival, Illinois Senator Barack Obama, doesn't have the national security credentials for the job.

Clark has been at the top of the pack of Clinton's military cadre, appearing with her at major foreign policy addresses and surfacing in rumors as a possible running mate.

Yet Clark could pose a potential liability among Jewish voters, just as the Jewish Rendell poses a benefit.

At least, that's something the Obama campaign is quietly suggesting, mentioning Clark's name as Obama himself comes under attack for ties to people who don't sit well with certain segments of the Jewish community.

Obama has come under sustained scrutiny for his affiliation with his former pastor, Jeremiah Wright, who has made harsh anti-Israel statements, and endorsers such as Zbigniew Brzezinski, who is largely perceived as unfriendly to Israel.

Clinton's supporters have received significantly less attention. Yet Clark made some Jews uncomfortable back in January 2007 in comments to liberal blogger Arianna Huffington.

In the interview, he referred to the concept of bombing Iran before exhausting diplomatic options as "outrageous," and then reportedly answered that what made him sure the United States was moving towards such an attack was that, "You just have to read what's in the Israeli press. The Jewish community is divided, but there is so much pressure being channeled from the New York money people to the office-seekers."

Anti-Defamation League National Director Abraham Foxman spoke to Clark about his comments, particularly the offense taken at the phrase "New York money people." He later told The Forward newspaper, "He is a friend of Israel and is not an anti-Semite... but some of the things he said are very, very unfortunate." When asked about the possibility that he represented a liability with Jewish voters because of his controversial comments, Clark became visibly agitated.

"I haven't made any comments that have caused any problem," he said and referred to his biological father's background.

"My father was Jewish. Do you know that? Do you know that? My father was Jewish, okay?" he said. "I was in Israel in September. I've got a lot of friends there. I'm very well-respected in the Jewish community, and in the Israeli Jewish community. Thank you."

the jewish week said...

Papal Visit Gets Mixed Reviews
While most Jewish leaders praise the symbolism and substance of Benedict’s recent actions, some are disappointed.

by Walter Ruby
Special To The JewishWeek
While most of the Jewish leaders who took part in meetings with Pope Benedict XVI during his just-completed visit to Washington, D.C., and New York responded glowingly to their encounters with the pontiff, at least one veteran interfaith leader responded less favorably.
“I think the pope came up a little short,” Rabbi James Rudin, senior interreligious adviser to the American Jewish Committee, told The Jewish Week. The rabbi was the only Jewish leader selected by The New York Times to contribute accounts to a special blog documenting reactions to the pope’s visit by religious leaders and observers.
Rabbi Rudin noted that during Benedict’s appearances in Washington (on April 17) before 150 religious leaders (including Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus and Jains) and at a special session

he held with the 40 Jews attending the interfaith event and again the following day during his visit to Park East Synagogue in New York, the pope “failed to mention the need to fight anti-Semitism and to teach about the Shoah.
“Instead,” the rabbi continued, “his remarks in both places were of a more general nature — congratulating the Jewish community on the advent of Passover and stating that he looked forward to strengthening Jewish-Catholic relations. But frankly, I was looking for a bit more in his speeches, especially in such never-to-be-repeated situations.”
Rabbi Rudin said that if Benedict had wanted to condemn anti-Semitism and stress the importance of keeping memory of the Holocaust alive, “He need only have cited strong statements by his predecessor, John Paul II, who said that anti-Semitism is against God and spoke of the importance of reverently teaching the Shoah. But, it is also true that we really shouldn’t compare him with John Paul, who focused on outreach to the Jews and the rest of humanity, while Benedict’s basic mission is to solidify the Church from within by overcoming problems like the sexual abuse scandal within the Church.
“Without a doubt,” he continued, “Benedict made clear he cares about Catholic-Jewish relations by holding a special meeting with the Jewish delegation to the interfaith event, which he did not do with any of the other faith groups in attendance, and by making his visit to Park East Synagogue.
“Still, I wish he had done a bit more with those occasions than he did.”
Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, however, argued...

Haredi Judaism said...

The Zionists' bread and butter
By Yair Ettinger

Exactly 50 years ago, the streets of Jerusalem were in an uproar because of the opening of the "pool of contention," the first swimming pool in the city at which mixed swimming by men and women was permitted. The reporter of the ultra-Orthodox newspaper Hamodia reported on "bitterness among all of Haredi Judaism," particularly in the wake of the conviction of some of the participants in the demonstrations, headed by the legendary ultra-Orthodox extremist, Rabbi Amram Blau. Blau and the other accused men, according to the newspaper, claimed in their defense in court that the street demonstrations were, "The only way they had to protest against the building of the pool, since they do not recognize the state and its laws. The judge emphasized that they were not being accused for this non-recognition but for not obeying the law, which obligates them."

No ultra-Orthodox person thought in the late 1950s about the possibility that in Jerusalem they would also sell chametz (leaven) on Pesach. Rabbi Yisrael Gellis, an ultra-Orthodox journalist from Jerusalem, recalled the family's regular holiday hike, from the area of Mea Shearim to the Sha'arei Hesed neighborhood, where his aunt lived. "The way to Sha'arei Hesed passed through Narkiss Street, but there was a rumor that someone on that street, inside his own private home, ate chametz. Because of this rumor, we made sure not to walk on Narkiss Street on Pesach, and we took a half-hour detour. In the shops in Jerusalem, nobody sold chametz, except in the Old City, of course."

Now, the successors of Rabbi Blau, the members of the anti-Zionist Eda Haredit, are going out to demonstrate against the ruling of the Jerusalem Municipal Affairs Court that allowed increased exposure for chametz in the city's places of business. If you ask the members of the Eda, they will draw a direct line between the demonstrations in 1958 over the "pool of contention," the demonstrations in 2006 against an international gay pride parade and the demonstration earlier this week against the sale of chametz in the city. These self-titled "people of Jerusalem" will say that in all of these instances, they refuse to recognize the government of the heretics, but insisted on protesting what is happening in the city out of a sense of local patriotism that obligates them to "shout the protest of Jerusalem."

Haeda, the newspaper of the Eda Haredit, explained before the demonstration at Shabbat Square, "All of Israel must be shocked at the terrible edict passed this year to allow the sale of chametz on Pesach in the holy city of Jerusalem, and every Jew must protest in honor of God and his Torah." It also said that, "When the Sodomite judge, may the name of the wicked rot, decided to allow chametz on Pesach openly and in public, and found the necessary arguments and her brilliant theories, it is clear and simple that this should shock every Jewish heart everywhere, without exception."

Clear and simple? Not quite. When Trade Minister Eli Yishai of Shas or MK Moshe Gafni of United Torah Judaism promise to pass a law that will bypass the ruling of Judge Tamar Bar-Asher Zaban, it is almost self-explanatory. But in extremist circles, to whom the Eda caters, there is a longstanding debate regarding the boundaries of protest against what is done outside the borders of the ultra-Orthodox community. Since the anti-Zionist view has it that even under Zionist rule, the Exile continues, what difference does it make to an ultra-Orthodox person what the Zionists do? The members of the Satmar Hasidic sect, for example, claim that a true extremist will ignore what is happening in the secular neighborhoods of the city. On the other hand, the demonstration earlier this week is part of a trend toward stepped-up efforts by the ultra-Orthodox, including those anti-Zionist circles that are not represented in the Knesset, to fight against the symbols of the Jewish state.

From a secular point of view, this ultra-Orthodox battle against the Chametz Law is likely to be infuriating, but from the point of view of the radical ultra-Orthodox, this is another reflection of the trend toward more involvement, and even responsibility, for secular life in Israel. This struggle reached a climax in the demonstrations against the gay pride parade, which were led by the Eda Haredit, and the demonstration earlier this week is a direct continuation of that. It should be mentioned in this connection that what is in the balance is one of the most sacred of ultra-Orthodox values - separatism - which was already under question in light of the most recent statement by the Admor (chief rabbi) of Satmar, who demonstrated exceptional identification with victims of the attack on the Zionist Mercaz Harav Yeshiva.

However, Gellis, the ultra-Orthodox journalist, wants to put things in proportion, and mentions, "The Eda Haredit is not going overboard on the issue of the Chametz Law. Anyone who is familiar with the eruv boundary line of the Eda Haredit understands that the sale of chametz is not being done in 'our Jerusalem,' but rather in an area appended to it. The gay pride march was something far more important, which could not be ignored." In the present case, he says, the Eda is reacting with moderation.

exposemolesters said...

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Rabbi Paysach Krohn certified mohel said...

I am against prosecuting child molesters because I am related to two of them - Lipa Brenner and Ephraim Byrks. I think Hynes is a Tzadik.

Crazed Rabbi Circumcizes David
Written by PP Rega
Tourists looked on in horror as a mad-crazed Rabbi performed a bris - a circumcision upon Michelangelo's masterpiece, David, yesterday in Florence, Italy.

During the peak morning hours at the Galleria dell'Accademia as tourists were queued for hours to view the Renaissance masterpiece, Meir Halevi, a 66-year-old Rabbi of the ultra-Orthodox sect, Neturei Karta, jumped the queue and attacked the Carrara marble icon with hammer and chisel.

Before anyone could apprehend the rabbi, he had succeeded in chiseling off most of the foreskin. Unfortunately, in the melee, David's left testicle had also been broken off. The Carabinieri were carting the rabbi off when he yelled out, "Justice has been served. David was Jewish after all." He is currently in the local jail awaiting charges.

The Accademia has been closed until further notice. Meanwhile, a team of art historians, restorers, and urologists have been appraising the extensive damage done to David. One artisan who has been hired to supervise the restoration stated that David's glans now exposed to the world "actually is one of the most sublime examples of Renaissance manliness that has ever been created."

There have been no clues as to the whereabouts of the wayward testicle. Speculation is that it is now in the hands of some American tourist.

Printed from:

Blood Brothers said...


Blood Brothers: How a gift of lifesaving bone marrow united two strangers

Hospitals get crash course in Jewish observance

By Nancy Sokoler Steiner, Contributing Writer

Although they live more than 12,000 miles apart, Yosef Eliezrie and Moshe Price have a lot in common. Eliezrie, 21, is a Los Angeles yeshiva student preparing to become rabbi, like his father. Price, 24, studies in a Jerusalem yeshiva. His father is also a rabbi. The two are not related, and until this year, they had never met. Yet the same blood runs through their veins.

In October 2006, Eliezrie received a bone marrow transplant provided by Price. It was his only hope for survival after a recurrence of acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), a fast-growing cancer of the blood and bone marrow. This month, Eliezrie got the chance to meet Price in person, thank him for his lifesaving gift and embark on a unique new friendship.

At the time of the transplant, however, neither man knew how much they had in common. Bone marrow registry protocols prevent donors and recipients from learning anything about one another beyond age and gender. After a year, the donor or recipient can request contact information, but the other must agree before any information is released.

After the prescribed period, both Eliezrie and Price independently contacted their registries to initiate contact. The two were united first by phone, then met face-to-face in a private gathering April 7.

"It was amazing," Eliezrie said. "It was one of the greatest days of my life."

The following day, the pair visited the physicians and medical staff at Children's Hospital of Orange County (CHOC), where Eliezrie's transplant had been performed.

"As staff, we get caught up in day-to-day demands," said Dr. Steven Neudorf, one of Eliezrie's principal physicians. "Seeing Yosef and his donor together puts things in perspective and reminds us of why we do this work."

Dr. Leonard Sender, Eliezrie's doctor and the medical director for both UC Irvine's Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Cancer Institute at CHOC, showed Price where his bone marrow cells had been delivered and the small oncology intensive-care unit where Eliezrie spent almost a year.

"He's someone who did something selfless in a selfish age," Sender said.

After the hospital event, Price, Eliezrie, physicians, family and friends participated in a seudat hodaa, a meal of thanksgiving, hosted by Eliezrie's parents, Stella and Rabbi Dovid Eliezrie. The senior Eliezrie is director of the North County Chabad Center in Yorba Linda.

"Judaism considers doctors to be agents of God," Rabbi Eliezrie had said earlier at CHOC. "This hospital was an agent of God. May the bone marrow transplant team see tremendous success and have the fortitude to continue this lifesaving work."

Yosef Eliezrie's odyssey began in the summer of 2005. At the time a Yeshiva student in Morristown, N.J., he was anticipating a trip to Lithuania to assist with Chabad's outreach to the Jewish community of Vilnius. Eliezrie had felt "fluish" for about a month prior to his departure and visited a doctor in New York just before leaving. The doctor said Eliezrie had bronchitis. So despite his fever, Eliezrie went ahead with his trip.

But he grew sicker and weaker with each day and soon went to a clinic, where doctors suspected -- but couldn't confirm -- that he had leukemia. Eliezrie flew home and went straight from the airport to the UC Irvine Medical Center to see Sender, the pediatric hematologist/oncologist who had successfully treated his brother for testicular cancer seven years earlier.

Within an hour, Sender had diagnosed Eliezrie with AML. Less then two days later, Eliezrie's condition severely deteriorated, and he was put on a ventilator to control his breathing.

"He was extremely ill," Sender said. "We weren't sure if he would make it."

Doctors eventually stabilized Eliezrie, and in the following months, he endured five rounds of chemotherapy and countless infections, but by Passover, Eliezrie was considered to be in remission.

During Eliezrie's chemotherapy, Sender wanted to identify a potential bone marrow donor in the event that the cancer recurred. Family members have a 30 percent chance of being compatible donors, but neither Eliezrie's parents nor any of his five siblings were a match.

Sender contacted the National Marrow Donor Program, but none of the program's 7 million potential donors were compatible, either. However, through the program's partnership with registries around the world, two possible donors were identified by Ezer Mizion, the national bone marrow registry of Israel: Moshe Price and his sister.

The largest Jewish bone marrow registry in the world, Ezer Mizion lists more than 338,000 potential donors. The organization's registry has grown dramatically in recent years as a result of nationwide donor drives and voluntary testing routinely offered to new Israel Defense Forces recruits. However, only about 60 percent of those who contact the registry find a potential match, according to Ofra Konikoff, chief bone marrow transplant coordinator for Ezer Mizion, who traveled to the United States to facilitate Eliezrie and Price's meeting.

Sender's fear came to pass in August, when he discovered that Eliezrie's cancer had recurred. Bone marrow transplantation was Eliezrie's only option.

Ezer Mizion contacted Price, who underwent additional tests that confirmed his compatibility as a donor. Eliezrie then began 10 days of conditioning chemotherapy and radiation, a brutal regimen designed to destroy his bone marrow and prepare the body to receive foreign cells.

On Oct. 18, physicians extracted bone marrow from Price's hip bone during a two-and-a half-hour surgery. The procedure can sometimes be done through the process of aphaeresis, where the donor's blood is removed through a needle in one arm, passed through a machine that removes certain cells and is returned through the other arm. The donor first undergoes five daily injections of a drug that increases the production of blood-forming cells.

A courier took the package of Price's cells directly to the airport and flew to California to deliver it to CHOC.

Eliezrie received the transplant on Oct. 19; he then he spent 55 days in isolation, where only a few family members could visit.

For the next six months, Eliezrie experienced the chemotherapy induced pain and nausea, along with bouts of infections caused by graft vs. host disease, a common complication following bone marrow transplantation. However, he slowly began to recover.

"Generally, he's done really well. He's had an occasional setback, but the further out he gets, the better he's done," Sender said. In cases of bone marrow transplantation, "we don't say someone is 'cured,' but I tell him to enjoy life and make plans for the future."

Eliezrie has resumed his studies, transferring to the Chabad yeshiva in Los Angeles in order to be closer to his family and his doctors. As soon as he was able, he requested to contact his bone marrow donor.

"It was amazing," he said about the experience of meeting Price. "It was one of the greatest days of my life. He is not only physically a perfect match but spiritually, also. That's an even greater miracle."

A Bikur Cholim Blood Drive will take place at Nessah on Sunday, May 4 from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Please make appointments at or call (323) 852-1900.

For information about how to register as a potential bone marrow donor, visit

Hospitals Get Crash Course in Jewish Observance

When Yosef Eliezrie was admitted to UC Irvine Medical Center and later to Children's Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) for treatment of acute myelogenous leukemia, neither institution realized they would be receiving a crash course in Jewish observance. However, after more than two years of exposure to the Eliezrie family and their Chabad community, staff in both hospitals learned about the nuances of kashrut, witnessed what it meant to be Sabbath observant and some even started taking Torah classes.

Rabbi Dovid Eliezrie, Yosef's father and director of the North County Chabad Center in Yorba Linda, said the staff at both UCI and CHOC "bent over backwards" to accommodate the family's religious practices.

"This wasn't Cedars-Sinai. They'd never had a frum [Orthodox] patient," he said. "We did a lot of meshuggeneh [crazy] things in these hospitals."

Dr. Leonard Sender, Yosef Eliezrie's doctor and the medical director of the cancer centers at both hospitals, concurred with the elder Eliezrie's assessment.

"They tried to find any Jewish doctors that they could get to put on tefillin. They can't help themselves," he said.

Sender, who identifies as a Reconstructionist Jew, declined the tefillin offer, but said that the Eliezries' presence presented a valuable cultural learning opportunity for physicians and staff.

Every Shabbat, Yosef Eliezrie eschewed lights, television or other electronic devices. He would pray with family members or fellow yeshiva students, often receiving more than 20 visitors in the course of a single day.

"They saw a kid who was proud and comfortable as a Jew," said his father. "He was wearing a yarmulke and tzitzis, but he was also tech savvy." (Yosef designed the Web site from a hospital bed while being treated for shingles.)

Each week, a van would deliver food prepared for the Eliezries by Los Angeles and Long Beach Chabad families.

"You could fill a country with the food they brought," Sender said.

"We had a remarkable support system," Eliezrie said. "Both hospitals saw the overwhelming sense of community that surrounds us."

Simchat Torah fell while Yosef Eliezrie was critically ill at CHOC. As he lay in his hospital bed, yeshiva students danced around his bed with a Torah. He said that out of respect, hospital staff even set aside a special room for the Torah to be placed when it wasn't being used.

After a discussion between Rabbi Eliezrie and Dr. Eugene Spiritus, UCI Medical Center's chief medical officer, the patient began teaching a Torah class at the hospital to Jewish faculty, students and physicians -- including Spiritus. It became a monthly session, which is attended by more than a dozen people and has been going for two-and-a-half years.

A new Torah was started in Eliezrie's UCI hospital room, with a scribe present to write the first words of the text. First, there was a service.

"Yosef had an aliyah, and I had an aliyah...," Spiritus said. And, of course, Spiritus was asked to don tefillen, something he hadn't done since the morning of his bar mitzvah. "One of the rabbis told me, 'You understand, it's God working through your hands.'"

Sender said the exchange of ideas and learning went in both directions. "They met other families who were Hispanic, who were indigent, who were highly educated and not very educated .... They had Filipino nurses and Caucasian nurses and ... Muslim doctors.... The hospital nurses and doctors got a glimpse into the world of Lubavitch Chabad Judaism, and hopefully, they, in turn, got a glimpse into the real world issues we face in taking care of all people."

It appears both parties were affected by what they witnessed. "We learned the remarkable dedication of the medical staff in the preservation of life," Eliezrie said. "These are people who truly care about saving human lives."

Cottonseed Oil: Just the Thing for Pesach said...


Long deemed a kosher vegetable oil by the Jewish community, cottonseed oil is the perfect ingredient for Passover.

Cottonseed oil contains no animal byproducts and originates from the cottonseed rather than one of the five grains that are forbidden during Passover, including oats, wheat, barley, rye and spelt. Legumes also are forbidden.

Rabbi Zushe Blech, the author of Kosher Food Production and the administrator of EarthKosher Kosher Certification Services, notes that cottonseed oil offers several direct advantages in the kosher market.

"First, it is a domestic oil, and is not subject to the potential significant kosher issues relating to the shipment of tropical oils that also may transport animal fats," he says. "Second, most opinions approve its use for Passover, a status not enjoyed by soy, corn and canola oils."

Menachem Lubinsky, president of Lubicom Marketing Consulting, and editor-in-chief of, a trade publication for the kosher-food industry, notes that kosher-certified products are becoming increasingly popular with the mainstream consumer.

"Kosher represents quality and safety," he says. "More than 11 million consumers buy kosher products in the United States, and that number is growing annually by 15 percent."

John Fricke of Planters Cottonseed Mill in Pine Bluff, Ark., which produces 100 million pounds of cottonseed oil each year, says that most oil mills turning out kosher oil do so exclusively.

"Kosher consumers want kosher oil, and nonkosher consumers are reassured with the safety and quality of the oil that is kosher," he said. "It's a win-win."

To earn official kosher certification, explains Scott Middleton of Delta Oil Mill in Jonestown, Miss., many cottonseed oil mills are supervised by rabbis affiliated with a certification organization like the Orthodox Union, the largest and most well-known of the nearly 900 agencies and individuals certifying kosher products.

"A rabbi tours our facility and carefully checks the storage tanks to be sure no outside materials have come in contact with the oil-manufacturing process," he says.

According to Ben Morgan, executive director of the National Cottonseed Products Association, Cordova, Tenn.: "We're seeing an increased interest in cottonseed oil not only as a kosher food, but as a healthy, trans-fat-free ingredient for food manufacturing and the food-service industry. Because of its natural stability, cotton seed oil does not require hydrogenation -- the process that produces artificial trans fats."

Cottonseed oil is generally consumed in commercial quantities by food processors and food-service operators. The oil is also available in consumer- friendly sizes that typically can be purchased at sporting-goods or kitchen-supply stores.

The National Cottonseed Products Association is the national trade association for the cottonseed-processing industry.

jdate said...

Jewish dating site JDate wins 'Oscars of the internet' honor
By Haaretz Service
Tags: Webby Awards, Jewish, singles

JDate, the leading dating Web site catering to the Jewish community, has been selected as an official honoree in the 12th annual Webby Awards, otherwise known as the "Oscars of the internet," CNN reported Thursday.

The dating Web site was honored in the social networking category out of more than 10,000 entries submitted from 60 countries.

"The Webby Awards honors the outstanding work that is setting the standard for the Internet," said the executive director of the Webby Awards. "JDate's Official Honoree selection is a testament to the skill, ingenuity and vision of its creators," he said.
According to the Jdate Web site it is the premier Jewish singles community on the Net. The site claims responsibility for countless marriages and claims to be the undisputed leader in Jewish dating.

Jdate offers a variety of different services, including email, instant messaging, private or group calls, video chat and message boards.

"We are proud to provide a site for Jewish singles looking for serious relationships with likeminded singles," said Greg Liberman, president and COO of Spark Networks, the owner and operator of JDate. "Our unique offerings, both online and beyond the browser, have resulted in countless member success stories and our reputation as the #1 community for Jewish singles."

The Webby Awards is the leading international award honoring excellence on the Internet. Established in 1996 during the Web's infancy, the Webbys are presented by The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, a 550-member body of leading Web experts, business figures, luminaries, visionaries and creative celebrities.

The Academy is an intellectually diverse organization that includes members such as musicians Beck and David Bowie, Internet inventor Vint Cerf, political columnist Arianna Huffington, Real Networks CEO Rob Glaser, "The Simpsons" creator Matt Groening, R/GA Founder and Chairman Robert Greenberg, Virgin Atlantic Chairman and Founder Richard Branson, and The Weinstein Company Co-Founder Harvey Weinstein. Members also include writers and editors from publications such as The New York Times, Wired, Details, Fast Company, Elle, The Los Angeles Times, Vibe, and WallPaper. The 11th Annual Webby Awards received over 8,000 entries from over 60 countries and all 50 states and generated over 750 million media impressions worldwide.

Hypocrite Hynes in the news said...

"He's an excellent young man, and I met with him personally to assure him that I would do everything in my power to bring to justice those who humiliated him," Hynes said Wednesday.

Grand jury to investigate attack on black man by Jews in Crown Heights


Thursday, April 24th 2008, 4:00 AM
Andrew Charles Rosier/News

Andrew Charles

The Brooklyn district attorney will seat an investigative grand jury to probe the beating of an unarmed black man by two Jewish men in Crown Heights, the Daily News has learned.

The victim - a 20-year-old college student and the son of a cop - has met with prosecutor Charles Hynes about the April14 attack in a neighborhood with a long history of racial tension.

"He's an excellent young man, and I met with him personally to assure him that I would do everything in my power to bring to justice those who humiliated him," Hynes said Wednesday.

Daily News columnist Errol Louis revealed details of the troubling attack in Wednesday's editions, citing fears of unrest if arrests are not made soon.

Police sources say their investigation has been slowed by the refusal of neighborhood Hasidic residents to cooperate with authorities.

"Right now, the Hasidic community is taking a page from the rappers' 'don't snitch' campaign," said a police source. The investigative grand jury can subpoena witnesses and compel them to testify.

Andrew Charles, a sophomore at Kingsbridge Community College, was walking along Albany Ave. when a white attacker on a bicycle sprayed him with Mace, police sources said.

A GMC Envoy then pulled up, with a second man emerging from the vehicle to smash Charles in the back and arm with a nightstick, police said. An adviser to the Charles family said both the attackers were wearing yarmulkes.

Charles was treated at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center and released.

Hynes' grand jury move was hailed by the Charles family.

"When he spoke to them Monday, he pretty much said he was going to do everything in his power," said family adviser Taharka Robinson of Hynes. "He's following through now, and I really have to commend him for that."

Police said the SUV, with its front plate missing, was later recovered - and they identified Menachem Ezagui, a member of a local Hasidic anti-crime patrol, as its suspected driver.

Ezagui arrived at the 71st Precinct stationhouse last week with a lawyer, but refused to answer questions or cooperate with the investigation, police sources said.

The victim could not identify the driver in a lineup, and he was released while the investigation continued, the sources said.

Police also went to the alleged driver's apartment on Eastern Parkway and broke down the door when the people inside refused to let them enter, sources said.

The suspected driver's brother, Aron Ezagui, was arrested, although the charges were dismissed. The family has since filed a complaint with the police Civilian Complaint Review Board about the incident, sources said.

The Brooklyn neighborhood erupted in riots 17 years ago after a 7-year-old black child was accidentally killed by a Jewish driver. The ensuing violence left a Jewish student mortally wounded by a black mob.

Neighborhood leaders will gather to discuss the Charles case this afternoon at the Crown Heights Community Mediation Center.

Anonymous said...

Pulpit to culprit: Sex trap claim plunges cantors into war

By ARON HELLER – 3 hours ago

JERUSALEM (AP) — A rivalry between two of Israel's most famous cantors has spilled over from the exalted world of prayer into allegations of a sexual entrapment plot that includes hidden cameras, a police inquiry and a female private detective hired by one of the men to seduce his adversary.

the canadian press said...

Man and woman face total of 14 charges in child sex abuse case

TORONTO — A Toronto man and a woman from Maple, Ont., face a total of 14 charges stemming from a child sexual abuse investigation.

Toronto police allege the accused were both involved in the sexual abuse of two young people between January 2001 and last Monday. Peter Randall Bernier of Toronto is charged with two counts of sexual assault and two more of invitation to sexual touching.

The 34-year-old man is also charged with two counts of sexual interference and four counts of making and possessing child pornography.

His co-accused, 32-year-old Sandra Veloso, is charged with two counts of sexual assault, sexual interference and possession of child porn.

She is scheduled to appear in court today while Bernier is scheduled to appear tomorrow.

SNAP said... (Apr-21-2008 22:17)
Statement From SNAP On Catholic Sex Abuse Developments

The group that represents victims and survivors of priest sex abuse speaks out on the local impact of top level Catholic admissions of pedophile priest abuse.
Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict XVI

(PORTLAND, Ore.) - Pope Benedict XVI has spoken out with compassion to almost 74 million Catholics in America on the reality of the sex abuse scandal that has shook the church nationally.

Pope Benedict has communicated how ashamed he is for priests sexually abusing minors in America. The Pope has made an appeal to bishops to foster healing and reconciliation to victims in their diocese.

SNAP is hopeful that Archbishop Vlazny who has not spoken publicly on the sex abuse scandal since the bankruptcy will heed the Popes appeal to foster reconciliation and healing here in the Portland Archdiocese and that it will not be business as usual for Vlazny upon his return.

We hope that he will address the issue publicly and not continue to hide behind his spokesperson Bud Bunce.

Archbishop Vlazny has a responsibility to speak publicly just as the Pope has done, the problem will not go away by being silent.

SNAP hopes to meet with Archbishop Vlazny and exchange olive branches as an outward illustration that their will be a long term commitment to victims and their families and that victims will have a voice and be able to meet with Vlazny monthly and work shoulder to shoulder to in the healing process and a long overdue reform on how local victims are treated.

SNAP is also hopeful that all documents will be released on the Archbishops initiative and not a court order that is currently costing local Catholics tens of thousands of dollars. Let us all be reminded that April is also national child sexual abuse awareness month. Lets not forget those victims in Portland who took their own lives.

SNAP is encouraged by the Pope to speak publicly about that sex abuse scandal but would like to see the Pope administer discipline among the bishops who knowingly put children in harms way. SNAP sees that step as being problematic because Cardinal Levada who heads up the Vatican office in Rome on sex abuse cases.

Levada was Archbishop of the Portland Archdiocese from 1986-95 played a big part in putting abusive priest back in ministry and had access to all the files of abusive priests that circulated through the Portland Archdiocese. That baton of secrecy was later passed into the hands of Archbishop Vlazny who still kept abusive priest in ministry. It does not make senses that Levada heads up this office of the Vatican.

How could he initiate disciplinary measures among US bishops when he is guilty himself. In an article below Levada communicates they were mistakes based on counsel that was given to bishops at the time. The Dallas Morning News reported in June of 2002 that 75 percent of US Bishops knowingly aided and shuffled abusive Priests.

If this report was to be updated Bishop Vlazny would be one of the bishops recognized in how he handled the Rev. Baccellieri and Fr. Spraur and secret documents (that came out through the bankruptcy) about abusive priests that totaled nearly 100 priests in the Portland Archdiocese.

The ball is in Archbishop Vlazny court, he is under the Vatican powers as the spiritual leader of the state of Oregon. If we are to witness change in the days ahead it is up to Archbishop Vlazny.

SNAP and local victims along with their families are tired of empty ill-willed promises of policies such as the Dallas Charter of 2002 we want to witness change by actions that Pope Benedict has communicated this week.

For the first time in the history of the ongoing sex abuse scandal a message came first hand to 74 million Catholics from the Pope himself that there is ongoing problem in the US in how sex abuse victims are treated by bishops and members of the clergy.

Its time for change. SNAP believes that reality hit many Catholics for the first time because the Pope communicated that there a problem that need to be addressed with sincerity and the days of secrecy among bishops needs to be confronted and come to an end.

Will the two Portland area priests who met with the Pope have a message of healing for local victims?

Roughly two-thirds of top U.S. Catholic leaders have allowed priests accused of sexual abuse to keep working, a systematic practice that spans decades and continues today, a three-month Dallas Morning News review shows.

The study - the first of its kind - looked at the records of the top leaders of the nation?s 178 mainstream Roman Catholic dioceses, including acting administrators in cases where the top job is vacant.

Excluded from the study were auxiliary bishops who, in larger dioceses, serve in subordinate roles but still can vote on many matters before the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the 17 bishops who lead eparchies, which are diocese-like entities that worship according to the Eastern rite.

In checking whether a bishop had protected priests or other church representatives accused of sexual abuse, reporters Brooks Egerton and Reese Dunklin relied on published reports, court records, interviews and church records obtained in civil litigation.

Most protected priests were accused of sexually abusing minors - primarily adolescent boys, but also younger ones, and a sizable number of girls of various ages.

The newspaper's study also covered behavior that indicated a sexual attraction to minors, such as viewing child pornography or, in one case, trading sexually charged e-mails with someone a priest believed was a minor.

Here are links to four stories that SNAP suggest for people who want to learn more about this serious problem:

Statement From SNAP On Catholic Sex Abuse Developments

exposemolesters said...

Letter: Be vigilant against child abuse

By TCPalm Staff

Thursday, April 24, 2008

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. There are too many ways our kids are abused. Domestic violence is one. Our innocent children need adult help more than just advice. Talking about the dangers of strangers and the tricks they use on our kids to lure them should be constant. But we can do much more.

My niece, a school teacher, who comes from a large police family, was shopping in the supermarket when she noticed a man who did not seem to be putting anything in his cart, staring at children in the store, seemingly oblivious to anything else. This type of behavior is not unusual for child molesters, but could be missed unless you are particularly diligent. As a result, Beth called the police and a convicted child molester, who had unlawfully left his home state of Florida, where he was a registered and convicted sex offender, was identified and tracked down.

We must all be as diligent to safeguard our kids, not only around schools, but anywhere they congregate. Log on to to view and know your nearest sex offenders. This is not an invasion of privacy; it is our first line of defense in protecting our children.

Patrick A. Mahoney

retired sheriff of Suffolk County, N.Y.

Port St. Lucie

Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Joe Hynes curruption exposed said...

Joe Hynes & the Crash Family Cash
Posted by Tom Robbins at 3:38 PM, September 6, 2005

Hynes cuts it up with Domestic Violence Commish Jimenez, Hizzoner the mayor, and Selma Hayek. (Credit: Brooklyn DA's office)

Brooklyn District Attorney Joe Hynes may be the only candidate to have prosecuted a member of the wealthy Chehebar family, which owns a chain of clothing stores, but he's hardly the only one to rake in campaign donations from the clan.

The New York Post reported Monday that Hynes accepted some $80,000 from donors it said were tied to the family of Isaac Chehebar who received a six-month sentence from Hynes' office after an auto accident in which the 21-year-old hit and killed two sisters out for a Sunday stroll on Ocean Parkway in 2001. Hynes said the plea bargain was expressly approved by the victims' family, although the father of the girls later expressed dismay at the sentence.

Fast forward to 2004: Hynes holds a fundraiser in Deal, N.J., a seaside town that is summer home to many wealthy Sephardic Jewish families, and an increasingly popular campaign watering hole for city pols on the make. Several business associates of the Chehebars are among those attending. A Hynes spokesman said the campaign immediately returned two checks from Chehebar family members, but accepted some $10,000 from business associates without realizing the connection to the family.

The donations were hardly unique. Campaign records show the Chehebars and their associates have been a campaign treasure trove for years, going back to Rudy Giuliani's 1989 campaign when they shelled out over $10,000 to him. This year alone, Democratic mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner has hauled in $15,000 from the family, and another $24,000 from associates, filings show. Two other mayoral wannabes, Gifford Miller and Fernando Ferrer, have received $11,400 and $9,950. Others receiving donations this year include Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum, along with councilmembers Mike Nelson, James Sanders, James Gennaro, and Dominic Recchia.
previous entry: Campaigns Get Clubbed
next entry: Roosevelt Island Seethes!

more: The Money Trail

exposemolesters said...

Hynes is not going to walk away from his atrocious reign of injustices . He is a Coward and a punk.

His depraved "plea deals" all have a perverse agenda that conveniently benefits two sides - Hynes, and the perpetrators of crimes.

Hynes is a miscreant. Let's make our voices heard loud and strong. We don't want a District Attorney who has only his best interests at mind. Only a politically driven weasel can deteriorate a whole city and more. That fits the profile of Mr. Hynes. Good Riddance to you - we pray for sooner rather than later.

more of hynes crazy plea deals - this time a rabbi child molester - yudi kolko said...

Reported on failed messiah blog:

UPDATED: Kolko Victims' Families Tell Daily News "Justice Not Served," D.A. Pressured Them To Accept Plea

In a weak but still valuable report, the Daily News confirms what the Jewish Week first reported Wednesday –

Brooklyn's D.A. pushed victims' families to accept a horrible plea deal that allows Kolko to walk free.

The Daily News reports:


What the Daily News has done here is truly irresponsible.

First, it takes at their word "law enforcement sources" (see my comments here) mentioned in an earlier Daily News piece who claim it was the sudden discovery that the adult victim had once lied (not in court, not on a witness stand) that made the case fall apart.

The Daily News first claimed, based on their "law enforcement sources," that the adult victim "had been charged with making up unrelated accusations against others." These sources and the Daily News were later changed that to read, "had lied in an unrelated matter."

That matter, it seems, was a very minor crime. The adult victim lied to protect a friend. He did not make up false allegations about others or about sexual abuse.

I've also been told prosecutors were aware of that problem for a long time – not days before the plea.

Adult victims of child sexual abuse often have problems. This is something juries know well and prosecutors around the country – except in Brooklyn – deal with easily, and do so without smearing these victims in the media.

Further, the Daily News hangs the whole ridiculous plea on the adult victim, something that, even taking the D.A. at his word, is patently false.

As for the issue of testifying in person rather than through closed circuit television, as far as I know the judge did not forbid such testimony. In fact, the father of one of the child victims told the Jewish Week that prosecutors told him the judge had approved closed circuit television testimony for his son.

New York State law both provides for and encourages this type of testimony when dealing with children who are victims of sexual molestation. Psychologists with experience with the court maintain that judges tend ot go out of their way to approve closed circuit television testimony to protect the welfare to the children testifying.

While it is certainly possible the judge would have said no, that possibility – always present in these types of trials – is no reason to accept a plea that allowed Kolko to avoid registering as a sex offender and sees him serve no jail time.

I'd also note that there were only two child victims in this case, not three as the Daily News incorrectly reports.

Yet, as the Daily News and the Jewish Week have now made clear, the D.A.'s prosecutors pressured the parents of the child victims into accepting Kolko's plea.

This is not the first time a high profile case against a figure in the Orthodox Jewish community has been handled this way.

Indeed, in of these cases, first exposed by the Village Voice, Hynes let a the son of a prominent Syrian Jew off with a slap on the wrist.

What did the Syrian do?

He drove his car down a Brooklyn street recklessly, far exceeding the speed limit. And he struck and killed two sisters out for an innocent walk.

He received a six month suspended sentence.

The boy's farther and family were large donors to Hynes election campaign.

Hynes's office said the victim's family agreed to the plea deal. The family of the dead girls, however, complained bitterly that Hynes had sold them out.

Make no mistake about it – Charles Hynes is an ethically challenged man who should be removed from office.

Will he be?

I think so. And I think this will happen much sooner than Hynes thinks possible.

UPDATE 4-18-08, 9:00 am – I spoke today with a source close to the adult victim.

He told me the incident the D.A. referred to was known to the D.A. even before Kolko's first arrest in 2006.

Further, the source described the incident as being minor. A friend of the victim was suspected of writing graffiti and doing some related property damage.

The victim was asked to fill out a government form about the incident. He did, denying knowledge of it.
The government later discovered that the victim had in fact witnessed the graffiti-writing.

This became "false swearing in the course of a federal investigation." His friend was cited with destroying government property valued in excess of $100.

This took place eight years ago.

Please read my earlier post for more details on this plea deal, and for the Jewish Week's groundbreaking coverage of it.

Jimmy Carter said...

I like the sound of 'bigot'. Do the Israelis realize the Palestinians are suffering?

Israel's UN envoy calls Jimmy Carter 'bigot'
Thu Apr 24, 2008 11:45pm EDT
NEW YORK, April 24 (Reuters) - Israel's U.N. Ambassador Dan Gillerman said on Thursday that former U.S. President Jimmy Carter was a "bigot" for meeting in Syria with the leader of the Palestinian militant group Hamas.

Speaking to reporters at a gathering in New York organized by The Israel Project, Gillerman said that he was saddened by the meeting and that in his mind Carter had become "what I believe to be a bigot" for having the meeting.

Carter "went to the region with soiled hands and came back with bloody hands," he said.

The Carter Center in Atlanta was not available for a comment.

The former U.S. president, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, has said Hamas' top official Khaled Meshaal told him during meetings in Damascus last week that Hamas would "accept a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders if approved by Palestinians."

The United States brushed off the comments on Monday, arguing that Hamas' basic stance, which includes a call in its charter for the destruction of Israel, had not changed.

The State Department has said a top U.S. diplomat for the Middle East urged Carter not to meet with Hamas, a position restated by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, but Carter denied this.

Hamas, which controls Gaza, is viewed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union and Israel.

Carter's reference to the 1967 borders spoke of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, which Israel occupied in the 1967 Middle East War, and to a referendum on a peace deal Washington hopes to clinch this year.

Hamas won a 2006 election and briefly formed a unity government with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. It seized control of Gaza from Abbas' secular Fatah faction in fighting in June 2007. (Reporting by Louis Charbonneau, Editing by Eric Walsh)

Rabbi Hershey Novack said...

Rabbi Hershey Novack
Chabad on Campus

Passover 2008

The number four is a motif of the Passover holiday. In the book of Exodus, four expressions are used with regard to the redemption from Egypt: "I will release you... I will save you... I will liberate you... I will take you...." Our Sages note that the four cups of wine which we drink during the Passover Seder correspond to these four expressions. There is also a fifth verse at the beginning of Exodus: "I will bring you in to the Promised Land." This verse parallels the Cup of Elijah, who will herald the coming of the Moshiach.

At the Passover Seder we hear from the four sons: the wise son, the wicked son, the simpleton, and the son who does not know how to ask. The Lubavitcher Rebbe, of blessed memory, taught an important lesson: There is a fifth son as well -- the Jewish child who does not even participate in the Seder. We must strive to educate and inspire both the "four sons" and the "fifth son" to meaningfully experience the richness of Judaism. If you know of someone who has yet to experience a Seder, I encourage you to give them a call and welcome them to your home with open arms.

I conclude with blessings for a kosher and happy Passover. May you enjoy much Nachas from those dear to you during Passover and throughout the year.

Rabbi Hershey Novack
Chabad on Campus

exposemolesters said...


It can happen in the best of families
By Avi Novis-Deutsch

Until not long ago, most of us had hardly heard about cases of familial violence within ultra-Orthodox society, so the recent media reports have come as something of a shock. It may be hard to imagine such things happening in any family, let alone among those whose lives are led in such close observance of Jewish law. It would be a mistake, however, to lump all the recent cases in the same category. There is, in fact, little to link violence that appears to be motivated by a religious authority, and sexual violence and incest that are committed by ultra-Orthodox Jews.

The first phenomenon, in which cult-like leaders have been reported to have gathered around them small groups of followers, who, in obedience to a religious doctrine set out by those leaders, have tortured their children, can be attributed to the perverse direction religion and religious authorities can sometimes take. It is a chilling reminder of how religion can sometimes overcome our moral will and become the motivation for immoral acts.

Much more common, however, is the phenomenon of religious people being involved in incest and sexual abuse. In fact, such acts have nothing to do with the religious identity of the perpetrator. Ongoing research into domestic sexual abuse demonstrates the near-impossibility of predicting whether someone is at risk of becoming either a victim or a predator. On the contrary, from studies, and from the calls received at various telephone hotlines, we know that violators are as likely to be from families of means as from a working-class background; can range from religiously secular to Haredi; and are both Ashkenazi and Mizrahi. The numbers pretty much correlate to the general ethnic and social breakdown in society.

The message, then, is that not only is each one of us at risk of becoming a victim, but also that any one of us has the potential to be a perpetrator. That perhaps is the hardest thing to digest - and that might be where the main problem lies. For, to contend properly with this problem as a society, we must acknowledge that sex crimes happen here, among us - whoever that "us" might be. The numbers are shocking: One out of six to seven males and one out of three females will be a victim at some point during their lives. It can be a colleague from work, a neighbor, one of our children, or us.

In the last weekly Torah portion we read, Aharei Mot, as well as next week's (Kedoshim), we encounter a list of restrictions on sexual behavior (Leviticus 18, 20), the same list that is read in synagogue on Yom Kippur, and which was presented by Moses to the Children of Israel just after the dedication of the Tabernacle. The list serves to remind us that we can't hide from this issue, that we can't argue that it is not relevant to us.

From the picture being drawn, it is clear, too, that sexual abuse has nothing to do with the victim's behavior or character: He or she can be young or old, attractive or less so, dressed provocatively or modestly. Most incidents occur in the home of either the victim or the abuser, and in most cases the attacker is known to the victim. It becomes clear, then, that no place is safe from sexual abuse.

Sounds ominous, no? I would suggest, however, that resolving never again to let your kids out of your sight would be the wrong conclusion to draw. The fact that sexual abuse can happen to anyone, anywhere, is underlined by the Talmudic notion that everyone is subject to the temptation to become an abuser ("ein apotropus le'arayot"). Accepting this reality is a necessary step to being able to talk about it.

We must also become more attentive to those who may have endured sexual abuse. Once we open our ears, we enable the victims to share their secrets, so those secrets will stop eating them up from inside. When a story of abuse is told, we should believe it, and provide the victim with understanding, and remember that he or she did not do anything wrong.

Last week, on this page, Roni Singer-Heruti lamented the way our society relates to female perpetrators more harshly than those who are male. She was right, but I wish for the day when men who have been the victims of sexual abuse will be as willing to speak up like their female counterparts. If women today are more easily able to share their secrets, in the understanding that people will believe them, it is in large part due to 30 years of hard work by women's organizations.

The message of reading the section on sexual sins during the holiest day of the Hebrew calendar should be clear: We can talk about sexual abuse and we can listen. If you wish to make the setting where you teach or work a safe place for victims of sexual abuse, volunteers from the rape-crisis and other centers have been trained to help. Their support is not mean to invite a discourse on things that never happened, but rather to help create a safe environment in which people who suffer in silence speak out. You can learn more about the topic by calling the hotline for abused women (dial 1202) or for men (1203). And of course we are always looking for more volunteers.

Rabbi Avi Novis-Deutsch, rabbi of Mayanot Congregation in Jerusalem's Talpiot neighborhood, is a volunteer at the national religious hotline for abused men and youth (02-532-8000).

Debka said...

White House is convinced North Korea helped Syria build secret nuclear reactor

April 25, 2008, 1:26 AM (GMT+02:00)

“We have good reason to believe that the reactor, which was damaged beyond repair on Sept. 6 of last year was not intended for peaceful purposes,” said White House spokeswoman Dana Perino in a statement Thursday, April 24, after intelligence officials briefed US lawmakers about the Syrian nuclear facility destroyed by Israel last year.

A Syrian nuclear reactor built with North Korean help was weeks away from functioning, a top U.S. official told lawmakers.

The Syrian ambassador denied the report as a “fantasy.” He said the US had a record of “fabricating evidence of nuclear activity in its allegations against Iraq before the 2003 invasion.”

Perino's statement, which broke White House silence on the raid, did not mention Israel. It said Syria was building a "covert nuclear reactor" in its eastern desert that was capable of producing plutonium.

Syria did not inform the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency about the construction of the reactor and after it was destroyed, Syria "moved quickly to bury evidence of its existence," the White House said.

The United States has long been "seriously concerned" about North Korea's nuclear weapons program and its proliferation activities and Pyongyang's cooperation with Syria was a "dangerous manifestation" of those activities, the White House said.

North Korea missed a December 31 deadline to make a declaration of its nuclear programs in a deal with the United States, Russia, China, Japan, and South Korea.

"The construction of this (Syrian) reactor was a dangerous and potentially destabilizing development for the region and the world," Perino said.

That development underscored the international community was right to be concerned about the nuclear activities of Iran and "must take further steps" to confront that challenge, she said.

Debka said...

Two Israelis found shot dead at Nitsanei Oz opposite West Bank

April 25, 2008, 8:09 AM (GMT+02:00)

The bodies of two security guards were found Friday morning, April 25, at the Nitsanei Oz industrial park on the junction between Highway 6 and the Netanya Road opposite the Palestinian town of Tulkarm. A large security force is hunting for the killers. A large security force is hunting for the killers, believed Palestinian infiltrators who murdered the guards at the park's gate and escaped in the direction of Tulkarm.

NYPD said...

April 26, 2008
3 Detectives Acquitted in Bell Shooting

Three detectives were found not guilty Friday on all charges in the shooting death of Sean Bell, who died in a hail of 50 police bullets outside a club in Jamaica, Queens, in November 2006. The verdict prompted calls for calm from the mayor, angry promises of protests by those speaking for the Bell family and expressions of relief by the detectives.

Detective Michael Oliver, who fired 31 bullets the night of the shooting and faced manslaughter charges, said Justice Arthur J. Cooperman had made a “fair and just decision.”

Justice Cooperman delivered the verdict in State Supreme Court at 9 a.m. Describing the evidence, he said it was reasonable for the detectives to fear that someone in the crowd that night carried a gun. He added that many of the prosecution’s witnesses, including Mr. Bell’s friends and the two wounded victims, were simply not believable. “At times, the testimony of those witnesses just didn’t make sense,” the judge said.

Several supporters of Mr. Bell stormed out of the courtroom, and a few small scuffles followed outside the courthouse. By midafternoon, there were no suggestions of any broader unrest around the city. Mr. Bell’s family and fiancée left without making any comments and drove to visit his grave at the Nassau Knolls Cemetery and Memorial Park in Port Washington.

The verdict comes 17 months to the day since the Nov. 25, 2006, shooting of Mr. Bell, 23, and his friends, Joseph Guzman and Trent Benefield, outside the Club Kalua in Jamaica, Queens, hours before Mr. Bell was to be married.

It was delivered in a packed courtroom. Mr. Bell’s family sat silently as Justice Cooperman spoke from the bench. Behind them, a woman was heard to ask, “Did he just say, ‘Not guilty?’ ” Detective Oliver and the two other defendants, Detectives Gescard F. Isnora and Marc Cooper, were escorted out a side doorway as court adjourned.

The acquittals do not necessarily mean the officers’ legal battles are over. Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said the three men could still face disciplinary action from the Police Department, but that he had been asked to wait on any internal measures until the United States attorney’s office determines whether or not it would pursue federal charges against them.

The seven-week trial, which ended on April 14, was heard by Justice Cooperman after the defendants waived their right to a jury, a strategy some lawyers called risky at the time. But it clearly paid off.

Before rendering his verdict, Justice Cooperman ran through a narrative of the chilly November evening when Mr. Bell died, and concluded “the police response with respect to each defendant was not found to be criminal.”

“The people have not proved beyond a reasonable doubt” that each defendant was not justified in shooting, the judge said, quickly adding that the men were not guilty of all of the eight counts, five felonies and three misdemeanors against them.

Roughly 30 court officers stood by, around the courtroom and in the aisles. At one point as he read, Justice Cooperman paused to insist that a crying baby be taken from the courtroom. Immediately a young woman who appeared to be among the Bell contingent got up and left with a baby.

The Rev. Al Sharpton accompanied Bell family members to the cemetery, and said later that they will join him on Saturday at a rally protesting the verdict. He said he had spoken to the governor and the mayor, and that he believed a federal civil rights prosecution of the officers would be appropriate.

“This verdict is one round down, but the fight is far from over,” Mr. Sharpton said.

He promised protests “to demonstrate to the federal government that New Yorkers will not take this abortion of justice lying down.” He even raised the possibility of taking protests directly to Justice Cooperman’s home.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg called for calm. “There are no winners in a trial like this,” he said. “An innocent man lost his life, a bride lost her groom, two daughters lost their father and a mother and a father lost their son.”

The mayor continued: “Judge Cooperman’s responsibility, however, was to decide the case based on the evidence presented in the courtroom. America is a nation of laws, and though not everyone will agree with the verdicts and opinions issued by the courts, we accept their authority.”

He added: “There will be opportunities for peaceful dissent and potentially for further legal recourse — those are the rights we enjoy in a democratic nation. We don’t expect violence or law-breaking, nor is there any place for it.”

A subdued Queens district attorney, Richard A. Brown, whose office prosecuted the case, said at a news conference: “Judge Cooperman discharged his responsibilities fairly and conscientiously under the law. I accept his verdict, and I urge all fair-minded individuals in this city to do the same.”

Commissioner Kelly, speaking in Brooklyn, would not comment on the verdict itself. But he did say that while there were no reports of unrest in response to the acquittals, the Police Department was ready should it occur.

“We have prepared, we have done some drills and some practice with appropriate units and personnel if there is any violence, but again, we don’t anticipate violence,” Mr. Kelly said. “There have been no problems. Obviously there will be some people who are disappointed with the verdict. We understand that.”

Detectives Isnora and Oliver had faced the most charges: first- and second-degree manslaughter, with a possible sentence of 25 years in prison; felony assault, first and second degree; and a misdemeanor, reckless endangerment, with a possible one-year sentence. Detective Oliver also faced a second count of first-degree assault. Detective Cooper was charged only with two counts of reckless endangerment.

All three of the detectives, none of whom took the stand during the trial, spoke at the offices of their union on Friday afternoon. “I’ve just started my life back,” Detective Cooper said.

During the 26 days of testimony, the prosecution sought to show, with an array of 50 witnesses, that the shooting was the act of a frightened group of disorganized police officers who began their shift that night hoping to arrest a prostitute or two and, in suspecting Mr. Bell and his friends of possessing a gun, quickly got in over their heads.

“We ask police to risk their lives to protect ours,” said an assistant district attorney, Charles A. Testagrossa, in his closing arguments. “Not to risk our lives to protect their own.”

The defense, through weeks of often heated cross-examinations, their own witnesses and the words of the detectives themselves, portrayed the shooting as the tragic end to a nonetheless justified confrontation, with Detective Isnora having what it called solid reasons to believe he was the only thing standing between Mr. Bell’s car and a drive-by shooting around the corner.

Several witnesses testified that they heard talk of guns in an argument between Mr. Bell and a stranger, Fabio Coicou, outside Kalua, an argument, the defense claimed, that was fueled by bravado and Mr. Bell’s intoxicated state. Defense lawyers pointed their fingers at Mr. Guzman, who, they said, in shouting for Mr. Bell to drive away when Detective Isnora approached, may have instigated his death.

Detective Isnora told grand jurors last year that he clipped his badge to his collar and drew his gun, shouting, “Police! Don’t move!” as he approached Mr. Bell’s Nissan Altima.

Other witnesses, mostly friends of Mr. Bell, said they never heard shouts of “Police!” Mr. Guzman and Mr. Benefield testified that they had no idea that Detective Isnora was a police officer when he walked up with his gun drawn.

Avi Shafran the putz said...

I find this off to be very offensive. No reform Rabbi is a Jew.

Beth Israel’s rabbi named tops among Reform rabbis

Rabbi David Lyon, senior rabbi of Congregation Beth Israel, has been named one of the Top 25 Pulpit Rabbis in the Nation by Newsweek magazine.

Criteria for the selection were based on the ability to inspire the congregation through scholarship and oratory; success in growing and expanding the congregation; community leadership and innovation; ability to meet spiritual and personal needs and goals of the congregation and leadership within the denominational movement.

Rabbi Lyon was listed number 4 among the 25 rabbis and the first of the Reform rabbis on the list.

down syndrome said...

In 'Praying,' faith makes a world of difference

By Janice Page, Globe Correspondent | April 25, 2008

Before Rabbi Devora Bartnoff died of breast cancer in 1997, she wrote about parenting a son with Down syndrome. One poignant article in a Jewish newspaper recalls her overhearing someone whisper: "Can you imagine what his bar mitzvah is going to be like?"

Cruel words for any parent to take in. But what the rabbi may not have realized at that moment was they were also an invitation.

In director Ilana Trachtman's "Praying With Lior," Bartnoff's boy becomes a man, celebrating his 2004 bar mitzvah amid more love and tolerance than that whispering cynic could possibly have imagined.

Yes, this is the latest feel-good documentary to turn a spotlight on a much-misunderstood disorder, and per usual it demands that you unleash your sense of humor and table your pity. Fortunately for Trachtman, the lead subject, Lior Liebling, makes that unbelievably easy for audiences to do.

Even in the earliest home movies chronicling his struggles with - and triumphs despite - Down syndrome, Lior is a high-functioning charmer. He smiles continuously, loves unconditionally, and says the darnedest things. But the breadth and impact of his spirit is conveyed most fully in more recent footage compiled when Trachtman follows him around his home city of Philadelphia interviewing family, friends, and Lior himself. As one classmate puts it: Everyone gets tested in life; Down syndrome is Lior's test.

If so, he's passing with flying colors, and part of the reason for that is prayer.

Lior isn't only the recipient of his religious community's blessings and well-wishes, he's also their biggest, purest, least self-conscious voice. Singing louder and flatter than any other worshiper, he davens (prays) day and night, in the temple and on the playground, for no other reason than the joy it brings him.

One of the great things about this movie, which won an Audience Award at last year's Boston Jewish Film Festival, is that no one makes the boy out to be some sort of spiritual leader or miracle just because he's able to chant the Torah and summon speech-ready buzzwords. There's an honest, unfiltered quality to what you see and hear. Lior's devoted older brother remembers calling him a "Chinese frog." His pouty younger sister admits to still being annoyed and embarrassed by him. And his father, Rabbi Mordechai Liebling, reflects on the many tears shed at Lior's birth: "We were mourning hope and possibility," he explains.

That said, a lot of what makes it into this low-budget documentary is mundane, potentially forgettable stuff. There's Lior's speech therapy, a Little League baseball game . . . even a trip to the mall for shoes and other bar mitzvah apparel. It all leads up to a giant party with rich food and awkward dancing, no different from the celebrations thrown for countless other 13-year-old Jewish males.

Can you imagine?

Janice Page can be reached at For more on movies, go to

Matza brawl said...

Religious Affairs: Matza brawl
Matthew Wagner , THE JERUSALEM POST Apr. 24, 2008

On Pessah eve, Jerusalem's haredi mayor, Uri Lupoliansky, sent out letters to food vendors throughout the capital, including those who regularly sell non-kosher food, urging them not to sell hametz (unleavened products).

"Even restaurants that do not have kosher supervision [tend to] refrain from selling hametz," he wrote, "not out of fear of punishment for breaking the law, rather out of a real consideration for Jerusalemites' feelings."

Lupoliansky's letter was written after the municipality lost a legal battle against four non-kosher eateries and a mini-market which sold hametz last Pessah and refused to pay their fines.

At the beginning of April, Local Affairs Court Judge Tamar Bar-Asher-Tsaban ruled against the municipality and in favor of the hametz sellers. In a novel interpretation of the 1986 Prohibition on the Display of Hametz Law, which rabbis and religious MKs said deviated from the original intention of legislators, the judge, herself religious, ruled that the law only prohibited "very public" displays of hametz, such as in open-air markets or shop windows facing the street. But hametz sold inside a restaurant or a mini-market could not be considered "publicly displayed."

After it became clear that the municipality could not coerce food vendors to refrain from selling hametz on Pessah as long as they kept it inside, Lupoliansky hoped, nevertheless, to rid the streets of Jerusalem of hametz by appealing to Jewish conscience.

Some non-kosher restaurants adopted their own version of Pessah. For instance, Yehuda Assalan, owner of several eateries, including Link, Mona, Yehoshua Bar and Za-Za restaurant-bar, told In Jerusalem's Peggy Cidor that he intended to sell hametz, but not bread.

"For me, it's a symbol, I am a Jew. I will not serve bread and even less display it publicly, and believe me, I am not the only one who acts this way here."

In non-kosher hamburger chains across the nation it is possible to get a cheeseburger, which mixes meat and milk products and is strictly prohibited according to Jewish law, on a kosher-for-Pessah bun. You can even have it cooked up on Shabbat. Culinary paradoxes like these are the result of the conflation of religion with national identity embodied in the hametz law. Lawmakers ruled that it was inappropriate to openly display hametz, even though there is no halachic prohibition against seeing the stuff, only owning it or deriving benefit from it. (The opinions are split on whether it is permissible to enjoy the smell of hametz on Pessah.)

Like pigs or the music of the anti-Semitic German composer Richard Wagner, argued Israeli lawmakers, hametz on Pessah is an abomination, and those who display it are ignoring the sensitivities of the Jewish majority. They tried to set down in law what they felt should be the visceral reaction of every proud Jew, religious or not, to the public peddling of leavened foodstuffs, an act which seems to reject, or at least ignore, the commemoration of the miraculous biblical Exodus that created the Jewish people.

AS A result of Judge Bar-Asher-Tsaban's narrow interpretation of the law, several disgruntled haredi MKs, such as Shas chairman Eli Yishai and United Torah Judaism MKs Meir Porush and Shmuel Halpert, vowed to present bills that would outlaw the sale of hametz altogether, in accordance with Jewish law.

As MK Moshe Gafni (UTJ) put it, the judge "left them no choice but to resort to religious coercion."

In contrast, most religious Zionist MKs refrained from pushing for more stringent anti-hametz legislation.

In fact, there is a fundamental argument between haredim and religious Zionists over the legitimacy of using legislation to enforce religious observance in inherently personal matters, such as selling hametz on Pessah.

Generally speaking, haredi rabbis are much more inclined to use legislation as a means of enforcing halacha [Jewish law]. In contrast, religious Zionists tend to support laws that are not solely halachic in nature but also have a nationalist element, such as the hametz law.

Haredi rabbis are concerned that if they do not do everything in their power to enforce halacha, they will be held responsible for the sins of their wayward Jewish brothers. They see it as placing a figurative "obstacle before the blind."

If haredi legislators do not do their best to legislate laws which prevent innocent Jews from sinning, it is as if they themselves are sinning.

In haredi circles, rabbis are more likely to perceive their obligation to enforce halacha via legislation, even if it entails coercion, as an extension of mutual responsibility (kol yisrael areivim zeh b'zeh). Politicians, rabbis of the Chief Rabbinate, kashrut supervisors, IDF chaplains and religious functionaries are personally responsible for the sins of those Jewish brothers who have strayed off the path.

Religious-Zionist rabbis, meanwhile, are more sensitive to the downside of religious coercion: It creates a backlash of opposition among secular Israelis who do not want to be told what to do.

For instance, Rabbi Yuval Cherlow, one of the heads of the Petah Tikva Yeshiva, in response to Bar-Asher-Tsaban's decision, wrote that "legislation cannot be a used as a means of coercing Jews to perform the commandments. Rather practice must emanate from religious faith."

Rabbi Ya'acov Ariel, chief rabbi of Ramat Gan, in an interview with The Jerusalem Post, also voiced opposition to the use of legislation as a coercive measure. "But the hametz law has nothing to do with halacha," said Ariel. "It reflects Jewish sensibilities. Just as you don't strip in public, you shouldn't display hametz in public. It should be that self-evident."

Religious-Zionist rabbis hope to reach a consensus with secular Israelis through dialogue over the Jewish character of the state of Israel. The most striking example of an attempt at reaching an agreement through cooperation between religious and secular on church-state issues is the Gavison-Medan Covenant. Law professor Ruth Gavison and Rabbi Ya'acov Medan, head of the Har Etzion Yeshiva in Alon Shvut, suggest abandoning nearly all religious legislation and replacing it with a mutually agreed-upon covenant that cannot be adjudicated by the courts.

Not surprisingly, the covenant, which was first published in 2002, has not made much headway. Secular Israelis reject the religious aspects of the covenant - for instance, its proposal to close large commercial centers on Shabbat. The religious oppose the relinquishing of legislation that enforces adherence to Jewish law, such as the covenant's call to permit civil marriages among Jews.

Haredim, who totally reject the covenant, are not oblivious to the negative ramifications of using coercive legislation to enforce Jewish law. However, as MK Avraham Ravitz put it this week, "In the long run, I believe that laws like the hametz law end up causing more people to refrain from eating hametz. And doing away with these kinds of laws gives legitimacy to transgressing halacha. I cannot be held responsible for that."

Shimon said...

The Haredi Rabbis and their followers are making a big mistake here. They act with extremism when it's improper (such as trying to control what they cannot with store owners selling chametz on pesach in Jerusalem). However, they act not so extreme when dealing with child abuse and sexual abuse. Such stupid hypocrites!

BBC NEWS said...

China trains collision 'kills 43'

Forty-three people have died and 247 were injured after two passenger trains collided in eastern China, said state media agency Xinhua.

Ten carriages of one train reportedly toppled into a ditch in the pre-dawn crash at Zibo city, Shandong province.

A train travelling from Beijing to the eastern city of Qingdao reportedly derailed and hit the other, which was going from Yantai to Xuzhou.

The head of the Ministry of Railways, Liu Zhijun, is at the scene.

The crash happened at 0443 local time on Monday (2143 BST on Sunday), and rescue workers and local government leaders are at the scene.

There are reports it was a head-on collision but a clear picture of what happened is yet to emerge, says the BBC's Michael Bristow in Beijing.

He also said rail journeys in the area had been disrupted.

Xinhua says its reporters have been prevented from reaching the crash site.

In January, 18 people died near the city of Anqiu in Shandong province when a train hit a group of track maintenance workers.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Senator John McCain said...

I'm the one in the drivers seat. Neither Obama nor Hillary will ever defeat me. I'm sure of that!

April 28, 2008
McCain Criticizes Remarks by Obama’s Former Pastor

CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Senator John McCain delved on Sunday into remarks made by Senator Barack Obama’s former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., saying it was “beyond belief” that Mr. Wright had likened the Romans at the time of Jesus’ crucifixion to the Marines and had suggested that the United States was acting like Al Qaeda under a different color flag.

Up to now, Mr. McCain had largely avoided talking about the incendiary views of Mr. Wright, saying he wanted to run a “respectful” campaign. He has even called on the North Carolina Republican Party to pull an advertisement that focuses on Mr. Wright.

But Mr. McCain took a different approach at a news conference here when he criticized Mr. Wright for, as the senator paraphrased him, “comparing the United States Marine Corps with Roman legionnaires who were responsible for the death of our Savior, I mean being involved in that” and for “saying that Al Qaeda and the American flag were the same flags.”

“So I can understand, I can understand why people are upset about this,” said Mr. McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee for president. “I can understand why Americans, when viewing these kinds of comments, are angry and upset.”

Mr. McCain said that he did not believe that Mr. Obama, Democrat of Illinois, shared those views and that he was still against the advertisement in North Carolina. But he suggested that Mr. Obama had made the subject fair play by declaring in an interview shown over the weekend on “Fox News Sunday” that questions about Mr. Wright were “a legitimate political issue.”

“If he believes that,” Mr. McCain said, “then it will probably be a political issue.”

The Obama campaign accused Mr. McCain of breaking his promise to run a respectful campaign.

“By sinking to a level that he specifically said he’d avoid,” said an Obama campaign spokesman, Hari Sevugan, “John McCain has broken his word to the American people and rendered hollow his promise of a respectful campaign.”

Mr. McCain’s remarks were a shift in tone. Just last week, he wrote a letter to Linda Daves, the chairwoman of the North Carolina Republican Party, in which he said that “in the strongest terms I implore you not to run this advertisement.”

“The television advertisement you are planning to air,” he added in the letter, “degrades our civics and distracts us from the very real differences we have with the Democrats.”

The party ignored his entreaty, prompting Democrats to question how hard Mr. McCain had tried to get the spot pulled. At the news conference on Sunday, he said that while he still did not believe the advertisement should run, he would not continue to try to be “the referee.”

Some Republicans have worried that by not using the Wright issue, Mr. McCain was denying himself a potentially potent weapon.

But in recent days, Mr. McCain has stepped up his attacks on Mr. Obama on other fronts. He questioned Mr. Obama’s association with William Ayers, a former member of the radical group Weather Underground. And he also said of a supportive statement that a member of Hamas had made about Mr. Obama: “It’s clear who Hamas wants to be the next president of the United States.”

Rabbi Zalman Melamed said...

"Our ideal objective is for the land of Israel, on all its borders, to be filled with the people of Israel, as was promised to Abraham our father. For the country to operate in accordance with the Torah of Israel," said the rabbi, adding that Knesset Member Uri Ariel (National Union–National Religious Party) is already working towards legislating such a bill.

Rabbi: Revoke citizenship of non-Jews

Prominent Religous-Zionist Rabbi Zalman Melamed suggests conferring Israeli citizenship on all Jews worldwide while stripping rights of 'gentiles striving to undermine the country',7340,L-3536627,00.html

Israel Air Force Chief said...

Israel Air Force Chief: Iran is a serious threat. We should trust only ourselves

April 25, 2008, 7:37 PM (GMT+02:00)

Maj. Gen. Eliezer Shkedy tells CBCNews 60 Minutes Bob Simon that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s threats against Israel must be taken extremely seriously. In an interview to be aired Sunday, April 27, the general said: “I think it is a very serious threat to the state of Israel, but more than this, to the whole world. They are talking about what destroying and wiping us from the earth.”

He said it reminds him of the Holocaust. “We should remember. We cannot forget, We should trust only ourselves.”

Gen. Shkedy likened ignoring Ahmadinejad today to the atmosphere that enabled the Holocaust yesterday. “In those days, people didn’t believe Hitler was serious about what he said. I suggest we do not repeat this way of thinking and… prepare ourselves for everything.”

Veterans of the 1981 Israeli mission which destroyed Saddam Hussein’s nuclear reactor told the CBS interviewer: “Israelis hope they won’t have to undertake such a mission today, but a bombing mission to Iran… is a different thing.

Zeev Raz, commander of that mission, compared the situations to Simon: “We had one point to destroy. They have many points, many of them deep under the mountains… underground and it’s a much more complicated problem than in 1981. I hope it will be solved another way.”

Raz commented: “The only thing worse than the Israeli air force having to do it – Iran having a nuclear bomb.”

Col. Ziv Levy, an air force base commander said: “We spend a lot of time and a lot of effort in training and being prepared for the worst. We cannot lose a single war. The first war we lose, Israel will cease to exist,” said Col. Levy.

Adm. Michael Mullen said...

Addressing a news conference in Washington, Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Friday, April 25, the Pentagon is planning for “potential military courses of action” against Iran. He spoke of the Tehran government’s “increasingly lethal and malign influence” in Iraq. A conflict with Iran would be “extremely stressing” he said, but not impossible and “it would be a mistake to think that we are out of combat capability.” The admiral stressed the reserve capabilities of the Navy and Air Force.

DEBKA said...

Israeli border forces capture two armed Palestinian infiltrators from Gaza

April 27, 2008, 1:42 PM (GMT+02:00)

After breaching the border fence opposite Kissufim Saturday night, April 26, the two Palestinians, armed and wearing flak vests, were seen heading east. Until they were caught, Israelis living in the area were told to stay indoors. This is the fourth time in two weeks that Palestinian terrorists broke through the border fence.

On Wednesday, April 23, Israel reopened all the Gaza crossings, including those attacked last week by Hamas: Kerem Shalom, Erez and the Nahal Oz fuel terminal, and restored fuel supplies to the Gaza population. DEBKAfile reports: Four hours after the opening, Israeli forces were alerted to Palestinian gunmen threatening the Sufa crossing as the supply trucks rolled through.

Our sources disclose this step as being a unilateral Israel gesture to Hamas to encourage the Palestinian terrorist group to accept the Egyptian-brokered arrangement for Gaza.

Israeli Mossad said...

That's 2 consecutive hits on our part. Our agents are infiltrated deep into Syria. We hunt down terrorists wherever they are.

Exclusive: Closest aide of Hamas hard-line Khaled Meshaal dies in suspicious "accident"

April 25, 2008, 10:07 AM (GMT+02:00)

DEBKAfile’s counter-terror sources report that Hisham Faiz Abu Libda, Khaled Meshaal’s chef de bureau, was killed in Damascus by a hit-and-run car. Syrian authorities have ordered a blackout on the incident. His was the second mysterious death of a high-profile terrorist in the Syrian capital in recent weeks after Hizballah’s military chief Imad Mughniyeh was blown up in a high-security district on Feb. 13.

His boss was in Doha at the time, closeted with the emir of Qatar.

Our sources note that Abu Labda’s death the day after the Syria’s North Korean nuclear reactor and its destruction by Israeli raiders were exposed in Washington, will serve as a warning to Damascus. It is Bashar Assad’s second reminder that his undercover agencies are seriously penetrated.

Abu Libda organized Meshaal’s contacts with Hamas operations chiefs in Gaza and other places and his regular meetings with Syrian and Iranian officials.

DEBKAfile’s exclusive sources also reveal that Assad has decided not to publish the findings of the inquiry into Mughniyeh’s death.

Ethiopian Rabbi said...

Convicted Shas MK to be Replaced by Ethiopian Rabbi

by Hillel Fendel

( Shas MK Shlomo Benizri, sentenced to 1.5 years in prison and an 80,000-shekel fine, will be replaced in the Knesset by Ethiopian Rabbi Mazor Bahaina. The court ruled also that Benizri's crimes bore a "mark of shame," thus banning him from serving in public office for the next ten years.

In addition, Benizri's membership in the Knesset is automatically suspended - though he has said he will resign only when he appeals the verdict. He will be replaced in the Knesset by the next-in-line on the Shas party list, heretofore nationally unknown Rabbi Mazor Bahaina. If Benizri is successful in his appeal, he can return to the Knesset in place of Bahaina...

Agudah fresser said...

A gutten motzei yom tov. I must say the food at the hotel was so yummy that it tasted better than chumetz food. The cakes and desserts all tasted so incredibly good that we're thinking of switching to an all year round peasch recipe diet.

yehuda kolko said...

I can't believe it. I got no jail for fondling little boys while this guy gets 11 months just for looking at dirty pictures.

Jailed for child sex abuse pictures
Monday, 28 April 2008, 3:33 pm
Press Release: ECPAT

Jailed for child sex abuse pictures

A 38-year-old Wanganui man was jailed for 11 months when he was re-sentenced on 10 charges of possessing objectionable publications – pictures of children being sexually abused by adults.

Terrence Paul Cavanagh, was originally sentenced in June 2007 to community work and supervision for the offences. Judge John Clapham warned him then that imprisonment would result if he breached the terms of the sentence.

ECPAT NZ believes longer sentences must be imposed by the judges.

ECPAT NZ director Lyn Mayson states that Commercial child pornography on the Internet is a global business operated mainly by organised crime syndicates. The scale of this business is estimated to have increased 400% over the last five years and turnover is estimated at over US$3 billion a year. There is also increasing evidence that people who view these images actively perpetrate sexual abuse of children.

Reporting and blocking these websites and the illegal and dangerous materials they contain protects children in New Zealand.
New Zealand’s Government has made some good moves in strengthening the legislation regarding the sexual exploitation of children and this is to be commended.

(In February 2005. Penalties for making and distributing objectionable images went from a maximum of one year in jail to 10 years and, possession of objectionable material charges went from a maximum fine of $2000 to five years in prison on each charge.) This includes offences related to possessing and/or distributing child sex abuse images on the internet and the grooming of children for sexual exploitation. ECPAT NZ believes these longer sentences must be imposed by the judges.

The DIA team of inspectors constantly monitor the Internet and are part of the worldwide fight against this trade. It is only a matter of time before offenders receive a visit from our team.


Rabbi Eliyahu recovering after heart attack said...

Jerusalem hospital reports of improvement in former chief rabbi's condition following bypass operation

Kobi Nahshoni
Published: 04.27.08, 12:33 / Israel Jewish Scene

An improvement has been noted in the condition of former Chief Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem reported Sunday morning. The rabbi, who suffered a heart attack Friday night, is recovering from a bypass operation to his doctors satisfaction.

A hospital source defined the rabbi's condition as "good" and estimated that he would be released from the intensive care unit during the day. The rabbi's followers continue to pray for his good health.,7340,L-3536337,00.html

Lakewood man sought in robbery of Howell jewelry store said...

April 28, 2008

Lakewood man sought in robbery of Howell jewelry store


Police are continuing their search for a 19-year-old Lakewood man who has been charged with robbing a Howell jewelry store at gunpoint.

Avraham Rotenberg, of Birch Street, is wanted on warrants charging him with armed robbery, theft, unlawful possession of a weapon, and possession of a weapon for unlawful purposes.

Police said he went into Reich Jewelers on Feb. 17, armed with a shotgun, and told the two employees to fill duffel bags with jewelry. Two customers were also in the store in the Grebow Shopping Center on Route 9 south.

Rotenberg fled in a 2004 Acura TSX with New York license plates, and that car was found abandoned in Lakewood the next day, police said.

About 2 1/2 weeks later, police recovered some of the proceeds of the robbery after a mysterious caller telephoned a Lakewood rabbi and told him to look outside for packages, authorities said. The rabbi called police, and they found two bags of jewelry outside his Heathwood Avenue home.

Rotenberg is described as a white man, who is about 6 feet 2 inches tall, weights about 190 to 200 pounds, and has a medium build, brown hair and brown eyes.

Anyone with information about the case or Rotenberg's whereabouts is asked to call Detective Eileen Dodd at (732) 938-4575, ext. 2883.

IDF said...

Headline News
Monday, April 28, 2008 by Staff Writer

IDF to stop protecting 50 Jewish towns

The government of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has reportedly ordered the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) to withdraw protection of some 50 Jewish towns and villages in Judea and Samaria, the so-called "West Bank" that the Palestinian Arabs claim as their own sovereign territory.

According to Israel National News, security in 40 of the towns will be turned over to private firms, while another 10 will be left completely undefended.

The news follows reports last month that the IDF, acting on government orders, had begun collecting weapons previously issued to Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria for protection against Palestinian terrorist attacks.

Right-wing Israeli lawmaker Aryeh Eldad said in an interview with Israel National Radio that the recent government decisions appear to be a coordinated effort to drive Jews out of the areas Olmert intends to surrender to the Palestinians by making life there untenable.

WorldNetDaily said...

As Hamas negotiates truce, 'peace partner' attacks Israel
Rockets, mortars devastating Jewish population centers
Posted: April 28, 2008
11:20 am Eastern

By Aaron Klein

JERUSALEM – As the Hamas terrorist organization negotiates a possible truce with Israel, terrorists from Palestinian Authority President Maumoud Abbas' Fatah party today launched a series of rocket attacks that devastated Jewish population centers near the Gaza Strip.

At least seven Qassam rockets and nine mortar shells were fired from Gaza-based terrorists today, landing in the Israeli cities of Sderot and Ashkelon.

Of the rockets that slammed into Sderot – a city of about 25,000 people nearly three miles from the Gaza border – one scored a direct hit on a house and another landed near an elementary school. Damage and injuries were still being assessed.

At least two rockets were fired at Ashkelon, a city of 120,000 residents about 12 miles from Gaza that is home to Israel's main electric supply station and critical gas and oil pipelines.

Hamas claimed responsibility for two of the rockets, while the rest were launched by Fatah's Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in conjunction with the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization, according to Brigades sources speaking to WND.

(Story continues below)

The Brigades, listed by the U.S. State Department as a terror group, took responsibility along with the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization for every suicide bombing in Israel since 2005 and for hundreds of shootings and rocket attacks against Jewish civilian population centers.

Fatah's Brigades the past few days has carried out more attacks than Hamas both from the Gaza Strip and from the West Bank. The Brigades launched rockets and mortars, engaged in clashes with Israel Defense Force troops near the Gaza town of Khan Yunis and carried out a shooting attack against Jewish motorists in the northern West Bank.

In a statement to WND, the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades said they would not be party to any cease-fire with Israel

"We refuse any cease-fire with the Zionist occupation. It is our right to keep fighting and implementing resistance against the enemy" said Abu Ahmed, leader of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in the northern West Bank.

Hamas reportedly has been talking with Egyptian mediators about a truce agreement with Israel. Still, Hamas has perpetuated scores of attacks, including a massive Israeli border raid and bombing last week that was described by Israeli officials as the most sophisticated Hamas operation since Israel evacuated the Gaza Strip in 2005.

Israeli security officials say Hamas' interest in a cease-fire largely stems from fear the Jewish state will launch a large-scale ground operation in the Gaza Strip following next month's visit to the region by President Bush to take part in Israel's 60th anniversary celebrations. Until Bush's visit, Israel is loathe to start a major flare-up in Gaza.

The Israeli security officials told WND Fatah has made a strategic decision to continue terror attacks in an attempt to scuttle the possibility of a cease-fire for fear of the political consequences of a Hamas-brokered truce.

"If Hamas is the one to broker a cease-fire, and it takes effect in the West Bank as well as in Gaza, this would demonstrate Hamas are the deal makers and major players in the West Bank, which is supposed to be controlled by Fatah," said a security official. "Fatah doesn't want that, so they are attacking Israel."

Some of today's rocket attacks from Gaza came after seven Palestinians reportedly were killed during an IDF anti-rocket operation in the northern Gaza Strip. Media accounts stated Israel shelled a house, killing Palestinian civilians, including four young siblings and their mother.

But the IDF denied the media accounts, which quoted Gaza-based medics and Hamas officials. An IDF source told Israel's Army Radio the explosion at the house was caused after Hamas terrorists carrying an ammunitions bag were hit by IDF fire.

Following the strike, Defense Minister Ehud Barak placed blame for the incident on the ruling Hamas faction.

"We see Hamas as responsible for everything that happens there, for all injuries. ... The army is acting, and will continue to act, against Hamas, including inside the Gaza Strip. Hamas is also responsible, by way of its activity within the civilian population, for part of the casualties among uninvolved civilians," Barak said.

To interview Aaron Klein, contact M. Sliwa Public Relations by e-mail, or call 973-272-2861 or 212-202-4453.

The Sapirstein Campus said...

The butcher of children, Rabbi Shlomo Mandel, graced us with his presence.

Sapirstein Campus
The Sapirstein Campus hosted Rabbi Shlomo Mandel, Rosh Yeshiva, Yeshiva of Brooklyn, who
joined us for davening this week. Rabbi Mandel is a former Clevelander and a former Rebbi of Me-
sivta High School

Rabbi Shlomo Mandel butcher of children said...

Did you catch my picture in the Shmated? I was sandek for the twins that my son just had.

Rabbi Yehuda Nussbaum said...

My chaver Shloime Mandel let me come back to work at YOB after I was accused of molesting boys, so what's the big tumble about?

Sex Abuse Advocates Outraged After Priest Returns to Parish Work

Monday, April 28, 2008

BOSTON — Advocates for clergy sex abuse victims are outraged that a priest accused of drunkenly propositioning a 12-year-old girl has been allowed to return to parish work.

The Rev. Jerome Gillispie was in a Chelsea restaurant three years ago when he allegedly offered to pay the girl and her mother for oral sex.

A court dismissed charges against Gillespie, who has also undergone court-ordered evaluations for alcohol, psychiatric and sexual problems.

The Boston Archdiocese says Gillispie has satisfied all court obligations and been determined fit to return to ministry. He has been assisting area parishes on an interim basis.

David Clohessy of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests tells The Boston Globe Gillispie's return is not worth the risk.

He also criticized the archdiocese for failing to immediately announce Gillespie was back in parishes.,2933,352863,00.html

Hynes the hypocrite said...

Dateline : Thursday, April 10, 2008
New Initiative Hopes to Save Children in Brooklyn
By Henrick A. Karoliszyn
Kings County District Attorney Charles Hynes is teaming up with the New York Foundling Fontana Center for Child Protection to co-sponsor Brooklyn Child Watch, a new child abuse prevention program that asks community volunteers to help protect the welfare of young ones.
Brooklyn Child Watch was created to keep children safe from abuse and neglect by motivating citizen involvement. The program's goal is to raise awareness by encouraging participation in child abuse prevention workshops held at the AME Zion Church in Brooklyn.
Hynes said this initiative should help communities get tougher on child abuse.
"This program will improve the quality of life in Brooklyn communities by fostering participation in violence prevention programs and workshops," he said.
He added that many cases of child abuse do not get reported.
"This is where the community comes in," he said. "With the neighborhood involved, we can become aware of many more cases of child abuse and ensure the safety of our children."
Bill Baccaglini, executive director of The New York Foundling Fontana Center for Child Protection, said the safety of children will be in the hands of neighborhood residents. "We believe that every child is everyone's concern, and The Foundling and the D.A.'s office are uniquely equipped to empower the good people of this borough to help and support each other in protecting the children in their communities," he said.
Ama Dwimoh, chief of the DA's Crime Against Children Bureau, said it was the responsibility of neighborhood members to participate in the initiative.
"Every child in our country needs to be everyone's concern and our community must strive to accomplish the goal that every child is afforded the basic human right to live in homes free of abuse and neglect," she said.
The program will launch with a series of workshops taught by staff of The New York Foundling Fontana Center and the Kings County DA's Office Crimes Against Children Bureau. The second of these will be held at the AME Zion Church, located at 54 MacDougal Street in Bedford-Stuyvesant from 7 to 9 p.m. on April 10. A subsequent workshop will be hosted at the same time on April 17. With a successful launch, the program will expand to other Brooklyn neighborhoods in hopes of keeping children safe.

Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb said...

For the first time, an American rabbi will be traveling to Iran Tuesday on a mission of interfaith dialogue and understanding.

Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb, one of the early forces behind the Jewish Renewal movement in America, will co-lead a delegation of 21 peace activists to the Islamic Republic on a mission "to humanize the face of Iran, lest we end up with a disaster of global proportions we cannot imagine," she told The Jerusalem Post by phone on Monday.

Gottlieb, a longtime peace activist and recent cofounder of the Shomer Shalom Institute for Jewish Non-Violence, said her participation in the mission came out of Tuesday's threat by Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton that an Iranian assault on Israel would be met with an American response that would "obliterate" Iran.

"It is important to negotiate and not threaten obliteration," Gottlieb believes, "in particular because there are between 30,000 and 40,000 Jewish people living in Iran, the oldest extant Jewish community in the Middle East, which has been there since the first exile in 586 BCE."

Computer Repair Long Island said...

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It is unfortunate that it has come to this. It is a big darn shame it has come to this. It is very hurtful that it has come to this. But yet, IT HAS COME TO THIS. It has come at the price of a GREAT CHILUL HASHEM. It has come to Hashem having to allow his holy name to be DESECRATED so that his CHILDREN remain SAFE. Shame on all those responsible for enabling and permitting Hashem's name to be desecrated! When you save children you save the future. You save the future you save generations. You save generations you save lives. You save lives you have saved the world!!!!!!!