Wednesday, December 31, 2008

On The 6th Day Of Chanukah... Israel Retaliates... Hamas Thugs Blown To Hell

It was the 7Th day, Shabbat Kodesh, Shabbat Chanukah, Shabbat Rosh Chodesh - No ordinary day at all. This was a day in which grace after meals recitation included everything that can possibly be added to commemorate a special time in history. The "Al Hannissim" (praise on the miracles) would have extreme significance today as it had had when the Greeks (Yevanim) were defeated by the Chashmonaíim (Jews) during the times of the Bet Hamikdash. Dripping with flamboyancy, many top Hamas commanders decided to partake in a 'graduation ceremony' for their new recruits, figuring Israel won't attack on Shabbat. It was a deadly miscalculation. One that would later begin another chapter in the ever escalating Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

Israeli warplanes pounded the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip on Saturday, killing at least 229 people in one of the bloodiest days for the Palestinians in 60 years of conflict with the Jewish state. The bullies received a dose of their own medicine. A lethal dose sure to make the 70 virgins giggle in gnawing anticipation.

Hamas estimates that in four minutes, dozens of Israeli bombers and helicopters flattened 30 "high profile" sites. At least 350 Palestinians were killed, 90 percent of them Hamas operatives.

Throughout history Jews have been persecuted. Just like the Chashmonaíim - a small band of fighters - were able to battle and defeat their much larger, more powerful and stronger enemies, so too, little tiny Israel, surrounded and outnumbered by its hostile neighbors, will win and continue to win. Yes, 8 days of a one day jug of oil was a stupendous miracle of utmost proportions, but so was the brilliance in overpowering the Yevannites. Make no mistake about it. Strategically speaking, Israel by now; could have - would have - should have been annihilated.

An Israeli military spokesman said the Gaza operation is "just beginning" and would be expanded and intensified as necessary. And as DEBKAfile reports so diligent and accurately - Israel should hopefully have learned from their errors and tribulations:

While Israel's air attack is counted a success, its war chiefs are taking care not to be trapped by an early achievement into the sort of blunders which led to the Lebanon war's unsatisfactory conclusion in 2006. That campaign was commanded by a former airman, Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz, who saw no point in a ground operation after Hizballah's command center was razed by air – until it was too late.

There will be the usual condemnation of Israel. Should we expect otherwise? The terrorist infrastructure must be eradicated, will Israel finish the job this time round?

"There is a time for calm and a time for fighting, and now the time has come to fight," Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said.

Outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert warned that "it may take time, and each and every one of us must be patient so we can complete the mission."

Of course there was the expected rhetoric by baby killers/Jew haters known as Hamas.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said "Palestine has never seen an uglier massacre" and in Damascus, Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal called for a new Palestinian peoples' uprising against Israel.

"We will not leave our land, we will not raise white flags and we will not kneel except before God," Haniyeh said.

"I call upon you to carry out a third intifada (uprising)," Hamas leader Meshaal said on Al-Jazeera television.

if history is any indication, those words should not be taken lightly.

If you feel anger, frustration, boiling rage, anxiety, sadness, and despondency over Islamic terrorists who have made it their mission to kill and destroy the Jewish nation ---You will hopefully feel similarly in the atrocities committed by "Rabbinic leaders" who have structured a foundation of misery and facade in the name of the Torah.

Mondrowitz Accusers Seen Ready To Testify

by Hella Winston
Special To The Jewish Week

The Brooklyn District Attorney’s office has indicated to prosecutors in Israel that the alleged victims of an accused pedophile who fled to the Jewish state more than two decades ago will testify should he stand trial, The Jewish Week has learned.
An excerpt of the letter from the head of the sex crimes bureau was contained in a brief submitted to the Israeli Supreme Court by attorneys representing the State who have been arguing for the extradition of former Brooklyn youth counselor Avrohom Mondrowitz. He was arrested in Israel in late 2007 after a change in the Israeli-U.S. extradition treaty provided a basis for returning him to the U.S.
While a Jerusalem court ruled Mondrowitz extraditable earlier this year, he appealed that decision to the
Supreme Court, which heard his final appeal on Dec. 8.
At that hearing, the Justices asked the State’s attorneys to consider three issues: the propriety of retroactive application of extradition treaties; the prosecution’s decision to extradite Mondrowitz despite the many years that have passed since the commission of the alleged crimes; and whether Mondrowitz should be tried in Israel.
The excerpt from the letter from the sex crimes bureau chief, Rhonnie Jaus, was part of a larger brief responding to those questions and filed with the high court on Dec. 23.
“Over the last twenty-two years, these victims have had to live with this childhood trauma. Knowing that the efforts they made to testify against Mondrowitz [have] not brought them any justice [has] made living with this nightmare that much more difficult,” Jaus wrote. She was referring to testimony given by the victims to a Brooklyn grand jury, which indicted Mondrowitz in absentia in 1985 on four counts of sodomy and eight counts of sexual abuse in the first degree against four children in Brooklyn.
“Over the years when these victims, now grown men, have been contacted by our office, they have maintained their interest in the prosecution of Mondrowitz,” Jaus’ letter continued. “They are concerned for their own privacy and safety, but willing to pursue the case.”
A spokesman for the Brooklyn DA confirmed that the letter had been submitted and that the victims “have a continued interest in the case and have expressed a willingness to testify.” He also noted that Jaus’ letter communicated the fact that these victims were “in terror of Mondrowitz” in 1985.
Jaus’ letter is significant, according to Michael Lesher, a journalist and attorney who has been deeply involved in this case. Lesher says it is “the first direct statement in an official forum that specifically tells us that the original complainants are in contact with the DA’s office and [that they] are prepared and do want to proceed with prosecution. That’s an important and encouraging sign.”
Indeed, these victims’ identities have never been publicly revealed nor has any of them ever come forward to comment on the case. In fact, one of the many notable aspects of this case is the fact that the victims named in the original indictment are not from Jewish families. But comments over the years by those in law enforcement indicate that Mondrowitz may have had hundreds of Jewish victims, among them those sent to him for counseling, referred by the Brooklyn-based Ohel Children’s Home and Family Services, and other Orthodox communal institutions and individuals.
Several of Mondrowitz’s alleged Jewish victims have spoken to the media in recent years, though the statute of limitations bars them from being a part of any criminal or civil action.
Two of these men, Mark Weiss and Boruch Sandhaus, also wrote letters to the Israeli Supreme Court, as part of an amicus brief submitted to the Court by Survivors for Justice, an organization they helped to found which seeks to assist victims of sexual abuse in the Orthodox community obtain justice in the criminal and civil courts.
In the brief, submitted to the high court by SFJ’s pro bono Israeli counsel, the law firm Yigal Arnon & Co., Lonnie Soury, a spokesman for the group, writes that, “Returning Avrohom Mondrowitz to the United States to defend against the criminal charges will send a clear message to those who have been sexually abused in our community, and in the similarly insular haredi communities in Israel, that authorities from New York to Israel intend to do everything in their power to protect our children.”
Urging the Justices to uphold the lower court’s determination to extradite Mondrowitz, Sandhaus writes, “It is now over 20 years and Avrohom Mondrowitz has yet to face his victims in court and defend himself against the numerous horrific charges of abuse he committed against us when we were children. I live daily with the indescribable agony and torture of the memories Mondrowitz left permanently burned into my brain. Knowing that this monster is still out there amongst children just adds to the immeasurable agony I feel.”


Israel rejects truce call said...

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – Israel resisted mounting international pressure Wednesday to suspend its devastating air offensive against militants in Hamas-ruled Gaza, sending more troops and tanks to the border as signs of an impending ground invasion multiplied.

A long column of tanks and other army vehicles, two and three abreast, was strung out along an access road to Gaza. Dozens of tanks were parked in a rain-sodden field on the frontier.

Commanders were moving forward with preparations for a possible ground assault, said an Israeli defense official who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the information.

Earlier this week the government approved the callup of more than 9,000 reserves soldiers.

Heavy cloud cover that could encumber ground forces was expected to lift Thursday.

The diplomatic action was set in motion by Israel's aerial campaign, now in its fifth day, aimed at snuffing out militant rocket barrages that are striking ominously close to the Israeli heartland.

exposemolesters said...

For up to the minute news on the volatile situation in the Middle east, I would urge you to bookmark:

DEBKAfile - We start where the media stop

Israeli cabinet resolves to continue offensive against Hamas, MDA on highest alert

December 31, 2008, 6:24 PM (GMT+02:00)

On Day 5 of the Gaza operation, prime minister Ehud Olmert said: "Israel held back for years and finally decided to try a ceasefire. But it was violated by Hamas." As the scope of the Hamas cross-border attacks widened, his office said the French 48-hour truce idea was not on the table. There are others, Olmert said, but none are realistic enough to discuss. If conditions change and a solution that guarantees a better security situation in southern Israel comes up, we will reconsider. But we are not there yet.

From Wednesday night, Magen David Adom goes on highest level of preparedness in all parts of Israel in view of the widening radius of Hamas missile attacks and forecastsfor the coming weekend. For the first time in its history, MDA has enlisted hundreds of volunteers to man more than 600 ambulances, some brought out of emergency stores.

Two members of the security cabinet were interviewed by TV Channel 2:

Dep. Defense minister Vilnai said it was much too early to discuss a timeline for ending the Gaza operation and estimated it would take weeks. He added that the whole country was in a state of preparedness.

After the cabinet meeting, finance minister Ronnie Bar-On said Israel would not agree to a ceasefire until its Gaza offensive had achieved all its goals and "the balance of life in southern Israel was brought level with that of Jerusalem.

CEO David Mandel said...

Someone said this article I wrote is a bluff. I inquired as to why they thought this. They said because you David, told an audience to go to a rabbi, rather than reporting to the police, when sexual abuse is suspected, and now you try and bluff us that you care about them?
Divorce And Our Children

By: David Mandel

Date: Wednesday, December 31 2008

Rav Pam, zt"l, said the best antidote to divorce is a good marriage.

Unfortunately, there is no denying that divorce has become considerably more of a problem than historically was the case in our communities. Thankfully, the phenomenon is receiving some much-needed attention.

At the NEFESH Conference of Orthodox mental health professionals in December 2007, Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zweibel began his talk with comments on how the Agudah is confronting the issue of divorce.

In May 2008, Dr. David Pelcovitz spoke on divorce at a forum in the Bais Yaakov of Boro Park.

Newspapers and magazines serving our communities have increasingly included articles on divorce alongside articles on shalom bayis.

In The Peaceful Home: Thoughts and Insights of Rav Pam zt"l on the Topic of Shalom Bayis, a handbook compiled by Rabbi Sholom Smith, the author of several books on Rav Pam, we read these words from Rav Pam:

The Torah recognizes that there are situations where it may be necessary to terminate a marriage. Until a mere few decades ago, Jewish divorce was a rare occurrence. The stigma attached to it was very strong and only as a last resort, when everything humanly possible to save the marriage had failed, was this option exercised. In the present times, the divorce rate among Jews has skyrocketed and even among Torah Jews the frequency is shocking.

How many people know someone - relative, neighbor, friend, person in shul - who is divorced or going through a divorce? It was not uncommon in the 1960s and 1970s, when baby boomers were growing up, to hear of one divorce in a neighborhood. Today, it's not unusual to hear of one in every shul.

Consider for a moment the total number of children directly affected by divorce and transpose this to our classrooms. It is not an exaggeration to say that in many of our yeshivas today, one child in every classroom may have parents who are divorced. That's a dramatic and frightening shift in just one generation.

How many divorces are there? How many children and families are affected?

In a recent informal survey, Dr. David Pelcovitz estimated a five-percent rate in our communities. That's one in 20 couples.

At Ohel, seven percent of our calls for information or services are related to divorce. That's one in 14 couples.

(And bear in mind that Dr. Pelcovitz's study included only those who responded to the survey and that calls to Ohel are made primarily by people with mental health issues, so these figures can be viewed as a floor, a minimum - not a ceiling.)

Certainly there are circumstances where one member of a divorcing couple may have to take responsible action to protect family and personal interests. But in a bitterly contested, drawn-out and fractious divorce involving custody, orders of protection, financial disagreements, allegations of abuse against a spouse or child, extended family disputes, and police coming into the home in front of the children, the negative consequences on young people may be seen immediately and have long-lasting effects.

How could they not, when children see, hear and experience what warring spouses do to each other in acrimonious divorces that can take several years to conclude? And even when the divorce is settled, the children's lives often are not, as ex-spouses continue their personal battles.

Again, to quote Rav Pam:

The tzaros of a get does not end when that twelve-line document is delivered to the wife's possession. Often, it is only one part of a protracted, venomous struggle over custody of the children, visitation rights, division of the financial assets.

If the best antidote to divorce is a good marriage, the best prescription for maintaining strong, healthy, and resilient children in the face of divorce is to engage in legal proceedings that follow the dictum Do No Harm to the Children.

David Mandel is chief executive officer of Ohel Children's Home and Family Services, a not-for profit social services agency serving individuals with developmental and psychiatric disabilities as well as families at risk in the Jewish community. This article is based in part on comments delivered at the Agudath Israel Convention in November 2008. The author can be reached at

Avremel Schor said...

Lipa should watch his tumhadic music from ears that pasnish for a yid to listen to. I hear he's planning another "big event" at Madison Square Garden. I'ts time to get my Ban team together. We must ban this lightheadedness before all yidelach become tipshim.

Rabbi Shlomo Riskin said...,7340,L-3647929,00.html

WARWICK – "I don't object to gay-lesbian parents or single mothers bringing a child into the world, as long as they do so responsibly," said Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, the rabbi of the Efrat settlement, during a discussion on the subject of Orthodox Judaism and homosexuality Tuesday.

shimon said...

Plaut is 100% correct and this is a good article he write in this Weeks's Jewish Press.
Return of the Bad Old Middle East

By: Steven Plaut

Date: Wednesday, December 31 2008

For most of the past 16 years or so, a seemingly benign specter has been haunting the world - namely, the notion that there exists a New Middle East, one that plays by rules very different from those in the Bad Old Middle East.

Beginning with the first of the Oslo Accords in the early 1990s, Israel was launched by its own political leadership into a "peace process" whose main axiom was that the Old Middle East was dead and gone.

Oslo was based on the assumption that what was needed to resolve the conflict was a sincere willingness on Israel's part to reach an accommodation with the Arab world through unilateral concessions and especially through Israel's acknowledging the legitimacy of Palestinian demands for statehood.

But as we enter the year 2009, the conclusion is unavoidable that there is no such thing as a New Middle East. The Bad Old Middle East keeps reasserting itself - with a vengeance.

It is crucial at this point in history for all to abandon the campaign of peace through make-believe that has governed efforts at resolving the conflict since late 1992. No progress can be made until the world renews its acquaintance with Middle East reality and stares it straight in its unpleasant face. Unhappy truths and principles must again be understood and internalized. The most important ones follow.

I. Arab terrorism and military aggression are not caused by Israeli occupation but rather by the removal of Israeli occupation.

Since Oslo, the working hypothesis of the Israeli government, endorsed by nearly everyone on the planet, has been that the most urgent task at hand was to end the Israeli "occupation" and remove Israel from its position of control over the lives of Palestinian Arabs.

The Israeli Left and its amen chorus in the international media have been repeating for so many years that the ultimate cause of Palestinian terrorism and Arab grievances is the "occupation" of "Palestinian lands" by Israel that few are capable any longer of thinking about that assertion critically. It is wrong. The main
cause of anti-Israel terrorism today is the removal of Israeli occupation from Palestinian Arabs.

This is so obvious that it is a major intellectual challenge to explain why so few people understand it. Israel ended its occupation of the Gaza Strip in its entirety in 2004 and evicted all Jews who had been living there. The result was the massive ongoing rocket assaults launched from the Gaza Strip against Sderot, Ashkelon, and other towns in the south of Israel.

The Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon was unilaterally ended in the year 2000 by then-Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak. The direct result of that move was the launching of 4,000 Katyusha rockets from Lebanon against northern Israel in the summer of 2006 and several times that number now poised to strike Israel.

The worst waves of Palestinian suicide attacks were directly triggered by the early Oslo withdrawals - before which there were no suicide bombings.

The only possible exception to the rule that removal of Israeli occupation causes terrorism has been the Sinai Peninsula, which is largely empty. Yet given the role of the Sinai and its Egyptian-sponsored smuggling networks in providing a pipeline for rockets and explosives to Hamas in Gaza, it is not even clear that Israel's withdrawal from Sinai is an exception to this rule.

There can be no doubt that a complete Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and a return to pre-1967 borders would trigger a massive rocket and terror assault against the remaining rump areas of Israel, launched from the "liberated" lands in the West Bank. The same thing would result from relinquishing the Golan Heights to Syria.

There are worse things in the world than occupation, and the experiences of the past few years have demonstrated how much worse are the consequences that follow the removal of Israeli occupation. The inevitable consequence of a complete withdrawal by Israel to its 1967 borders would be a replay of 1967, when the Arab world hoped to achieve the military annihilation of Israel inside its Green Line borders. This time, though, the Arabs would be using 21st century military technology.

Academics can debate about whether animosity to Israel was itself initially stoked by the years of Palestinians living under occupation. But in fact there was more than sufficient Palestinian animosity and terrorism long before Israel occupied anything at all in the 1967 Six-Day War. Be that as it may, progress today can occur only if the starting point is the understanding that removal of Israeli occupation causes terror and violence.

II. Israeli goodwill concessions do not trigger goodwill among Arabs, they trigger Arab aggression and violence.

The Arabs interpret such goodwill measures as admission of weakness on Israel's part and as demonstrations of Israeli vulnerability and destructibility. More generally, the axiom that Israeli niceness toward Arabs can generate Arab moderation, reasonableness, and friendliness is also false. It cannot.

Attempts at buying Arab moderation through demonstrations of Jewish self-restraint and niceness go back decades and predate Israel's independence (back then it was termed havlaga). They have never worked. Present-day attempts to win over Arabs with niceness and restraint range from affirmative action programs that benefit Arabs, to turning a blind eye toward massive lawbreaking by Arabs, particularly regarding construction and squatting on public lands.

Niceness means never prosecuting Arab political leaders for treason and espionage or for endorsing terror, no matter how openly they do so. It means exempting Israeli Arabs from military conscription and even from civilian national service. It has even meant that families of Arabs killed while perpetrating terror atrocities against Jews were allowed to draw "survivor benefits" from Israel's social security system (the National Insurance Institute).

Outside the Green Line, niceness often consists of endless offers of cease-fires with the terrorists - cease-fires that consist of Palestinians shooting and Israelis not shooting back. It means delivering funds and sometimes weapons to the very groups engaged in terrorism, in an attempt to maintain the façade of an ongoing peace process.

None of these measures can assuage Arab bellicosity toward Israel and Jews; actually, each contributes toward its escalation. Should Israel ever nicely withdraw to its pre-1967 borders, the Arab world led by "Palestine" will launch a war against the remaining territory of the Jewish state. It is likely to do so in the name of the "oppressed" Arabs in the Negev and the Galilee supposedly suffering from "discrimination" in the Israeli "apartheid regime."

III. The Arab-Israeli war is not about land, and it cannot be resolved by Israel's relinquishing land.

The Arab world already controls territory nearly twice that of the United States (including Alaska), whereas all of Israel cannot be seen on most world maps. When Israel was occupying nothing outside of its pre-1967 borders, the Arab world refused to come to terms with its existence and is no more willing to do so today, even if Israel were to return to those same borders.

The Arab-Israeli conflict is not about Israel refusing to share land and resources with Palestinians but about the absolute refusal of the Arab world to acquiesce in the existence of any Jewish-majority political entity within any set of borders in the Middle East.

This misrepresentation of the conflict serves to prolong it, precisely because it misleads. The Arab world insists that Israel trade land for peace not because it is prepared to in turn offer Israel peace for the land it vacates, but because a smaller Israel will be that much easier to destroy. And even if Israel consisted of nothing more than downtown Tel Aviv, the Arab world would consider it to be an imperialist affront sitting on stolen Arab land - an illegal "settlement."

IV. Education and economic progress do not produce political moderation or a desire for peace in the Arab world.

To the contrary, there is reason to believe that wealth and education are negatively correlated with moderation, meaning that wealthier and better-educated Arabs are more likely to support terrorism and extremist political ideas. Arab students in European and American universities have been regular recruits for terrorist groups, and most of the al Qaeda terrorists who carried out the 9/11 atrocities had been students.

Suicide bombers in Israel often are university students or graduates of Palestinian universities. Some have been highly educated professionals, such as the lawyer who blew herself up in the Maxim restaurant in Haifa, killing 21 people on the spot. Public opinion polls among Arabs often show greater support for violence among the better educated.

More generally, in the Middle East poverty and political oppression do not produce terrorism. Anti-Israel terrorism was sparked by the imposition of an enlightened regime on Palestinians by Israel - a regime in which basic freedoms, including freedom of speech and the right to vote in local elections, were enjoyed.

Terrorism escalated with each concession by Israel, especially after it agreed to allow Palestinians political autonomy and then statehood. It escalated after Israel removed its administrative control of the Arab population in most of the "Palestinian territories."

V. "Talks" cannot produce peace in the Middle East and in fact have harmful effects.

There is a Western obsession with the idea that all world problems can be resolved through talking. But how many international conflicts can be said to have been resolved strictly through talking? Especially in the Middle East, there can be no doubt that talking does not resolve hostilities. It makes them worse.

The Arab-Israeli war is not a marital spat where bringing together the parties to sit around a table and socialize reduces anger, misunderstanding and tension. The conflict is not about hurt feelings but about the refusal of the Arab world to come to terms with Israel's existence, period, in any set of borders and regardless of whether Jerusalem remains under Israeli control.

VI. There is no "two-state solution" or "one-state solution" to the Arab Israeli conflict.

The latter solution is particularly popular on the left. Under that scenario, Israel is enfolded into a larger "secular democratic Arab state" with an Arab Muslim majority. It is in fact little more than a prescription for a Rwanda-style genocide of Jews. This is little doubt that a significant number of those proposing such a solution would really like to see this happen.

More important, there is no "two-state solution" to the Middle East conflict. Those speaking about a two-state solution really mean a 24-state solution, meaning the Arabs retain the 22 states they already have, adding a 23rd state of "Palestine" in parts of the West Bank and Gaza and pre-1967 Israeli territories, with Israel remaining the Jewish state - the 24th state in the plan - for the moment.

That such a solution will not end the conflict but only signal the commencement of its next stage has long been the quasi-official position of virtually all Palestinian groups, which have long insisted that any two-state solution is but a stage in a plan of stages, after which will come additional steps ultimately ending Israel's existence as a Jewish state.

The original partition plan of the United Nations had proposed that an Arab Palestinian state arise alongside Israel in 1948. The Arab world rejected this plan altogether. It had no interest in adding one more Arab Islamic state to its portfolio. It went to war to prevent the creation of any Jewish state.

The two-state solution is no more realistic an option today than it was in 1948. It is ultimately as much of an existential threat to Jewish survival in the Middle East as the one-state solution. Creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel would be a major step in the escalation of the Arab war against Israel's existence, even if that war is delayed for a time while the world celebrates the outbreak of peace in the Middle East thanks to the end of Israeli "occupation."

VII. Israeli Arabs form a potential fifth column, displaying massive animosity and disloyalty to the state in which they have lived for 60 years and openly identifying with the enemies of that state.

Sixty years of living under the only democratic government in the Middle East has had surprisingly little impact on the feelings and loyalties of Israeli Arabs, who are by and large hostile to the very existence of the state. They are no more resigned to living as a minority within a majority-Jewish state today than they were in 1948.

Their animosity toward Israel is apparent in their voting behavior: the bulk of Israeli Arabs vote for pro-terror Arab nationalist parties with strong fascist tendencies or for the Stalinist HADASH party.

When the opportunity presents itself - for example, during the riots in the fall of 2000 or earlier this year on Yom Kippur in Acre - Israeli Arab enmity toward Jews is candidly manifested, and not just in words.

Education and prosperity offer little hope of changing this reality. One proof is the behavior of Arab college students in Israel. Despite being beneficiaries of affirmative action preferences in college admissions and access to scarce dormitory space, Arab students are almost uniformly anti-Israel and pro-jihad.

Israeli Arabs have long played a Sudeten-like role in the conflict. In any new outbreak of hostilities with neighboring Arab countries, there is a clear and present danger that they will take to the streets in attempts to cripple the country from within. The Arab lynch mobs of the Galilee that operated in October 2000 may have been a small foretaste.

For too long the world, led by Israel's own deluded leaders, has been attempting to create peace via the pretense that war is over, misrepresenting the façade of negotiations as actual resolution of conflict.

It has been a sham, of course, and any short-lived lulls in the fighting have served only to weaken the resolve of Israelis, whose leaders have repeatedly presented them with a Potemkin peace based on the substitution of wish-making for statecraft.

Steven Plaut, a frequent contributor to The Jewish Press, is a professor at Haifa University. His book "The Scout" is available at He can be contacted at

AlJazeera said...

Abbas video portrays his idiocy

mad world said...

Kevin Bacon caught up in Bernard Madoff scandal
Christine Seib and Suzy Jagger in New York

The Bernard Madoff scandal widened last night when it emerged that Kevin Bacon, the actor, and his wife, Kyra Sedgwick, had been caught up in the financier's alleged $50billion (£34billion) scam.

The news is further evidence of how Mr Madoff and key hedge fund managers targeted tight social networks to entice new clients into his Ponzi scheme.

First, it was the wealthy Palm Beach golf set, then the New York Jewish community and part of the Hollywood Jewish film circle. Now it is the actors' circuit in New York.

A spokesman for Bacon, the New York-based actor who has starred in films such as Footloose, JFK, Mystic River and, more recently, Frost/Nixon, said yesterday that he and his wife, who is also an actor, had investments with Mr Madoff. Mr Bacon's spokesman said: “I can confirm that they had investments with Mr Madoff. I have no further specifics or comment beyond that.”
Related Links

* Austria makes move on Bank Medici

* FBI steps up investigation in Madoff scandal

It also emerged that Henry Kaufman, the former Salomon Brothers economist, lost money through Mr Madoff's schemes. Other apparent victims include Steven Spielberg, the film director, and Eric Roth, writer of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, a new hit film that stars Brad Pitt.

Happy New Year said...

2008 was filled with scandals. What will 2009 bring? Moshiach???

"The Educators." said...

A $10,000 sculpture stolen from the Florida home of Bernard Madoff, the financier accused of cheating investors out of $50 billion, resurfaces with a note -- one that urges him to pay heed to a lesson: "Return stolen property to rightful owners." It is signed by a group calling itself "The Educators."

Avi Shafran the putz said...

My new years resolution is to have my dusty Borsalino hat steamed every Friday on my way to the Staten Island ferry. My second resolution is chastising poets who do not take showers at least once a week.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said...

"We have no interest in a long war. We do not desire a broad campaign. We want quiet," Olmert said. "We don't want to display our might, but we will employ it if necessary."

Israel's foreign minister, Tzipi Livni said...

"We affected most of the infrastructure of terrorism in Gaza Strip and the question (of) whether it's enough or not will be according to our assessment on a daily basis," Livni said.

Hamas said...

"We are waiting for you to enter Gaza to kill you or make you into Schalits," the group said in a statement, referring to Sgt. Gilad Schalit who was seized by Hamas-affiliated militants 2- 1/2 years ago and remains in captivity.

Maj. Avital Leibovich said...

"The infantry, the artillery and other forces are ready. They're around the Gaza Strip, waiting for any calls to go inside," Leibovich said.

Israeli Vice Premier Haim Ramon said...

"We are trying to hit everybody who is a leader of the organization, and today we hit one of their leaders," Israeli Vice Premier Haim Ramon said in a television interview.

Nizar Rayan from hell said...

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – Israel dropped a one-ton bomb on the home of a Hamas strongman Thursday, killing him along with two wives and four children in the first attack on the top leadership of Gaza's rulers. As the aerial bombardment escalated, the army said it was also poised to launch a ground invasion. Israel also appeared to be sounding out a possible diplomatic exit from the 6-day-old military offensive against Hamas by demanding international monitors as a key term of any future truce.

The bombing targeted 49-year-old Nizar Rayan, ranked among Hamas' top five decision-makers in Gaza. His four-story apartment building crashed to the ground, sending a thick plume of smoke into the air and heavily damaging neighboring buildings. It killed Rayan and 11 others, including two of his four wives and four of his 12 children, Palestinian health officials said. The Muslim faith allows men to have up to four wives.

Israel has made clear that no one in Hamas is immune in this offensive, and the strike that flattened Rayan's apartment building in the northern town of Jebaliya drove that message home.

avi shafran said...

If a Jew has the hots for Michelle Obama, he or she is a pornographer.

Shine Woman of the Year: Michelle Obama

When the editors of Shine decided to name our 2008 Women of the Year, it took all of five seconds for us to agree that Michelle Obama was top of the list. The reasons, well, they are many.

Sure, we have gushed about her style and how quickly she has become a fashion icon. Who isn’t curious to see what she will wear to the inauguration? Caring about the clothes she wears and the style she creates to set herself apart from first ladies before her is a bit of luxury we are allowing ourselves in this dark economic hour. But Michelle Obama wins our hearts and minds with what she brings on the inside, not for her outward flair.

She is smart, strong, sassy, funny, and empathetic. Raised by loving, hard-working parents on the South Side of Chicago, she pushed herself to do as well as her high-achieving older brother, and her drive landed her at Princeton and then Harvard Law School. She is a working mom with an accomplished career all her own, yet she makes it clear her daughters come first. (Her mom is moving with them to the White House!) So when she says that issues facing women and military families balancing work and home will be high on her list as first lady, we believe her, and we welcome her sharp-eyed attention. She has lived the work-life balancing act, and is living it now in a way she surely did not foresee when her daughters were born.

“I wake up every morning wondering how on the earth I am going to pull off that next minor miracle of getting through the day,” she said at a campaign stop in Chicago. Sound familiar? So many women can relate to that early-morning thought. And, now so many women and young girls will have a barrier-breaking role model in the White House, fueling dreams that all of our daughters really can be what they choose to be.

You know this all probably came a bit too early and way too fast for her liking. She wanted to have a dual- career family but also the dinner-together-every-night childhood she had, as Newsweek notes. But Michelle Obama has handled the whirlwind that dropped her family dead-center of a historic storm with grace, smarts, energy and, yes, style.

True, she allowed a gentle image makeover on the campaign trail, softening her sometimes sharply pointed comments. She can go toe to toe with any broadcast news interviewer, but she went on The View to talk fashion and stockings and emerged a hit.

She has had to curb her sometimes biting sarcastic humor and her edgy opinions of her husband’s actions for the public, but we can rest easy knowing they will be fully aired inside the White House. We feel all the more hopeful for an Obama presidency knowing the commander in chief will be talking things through with Michelle at the end of the day. He trusts her counsel, and so do we.

smuggler video said...

youtube said...

Israel Kills Top Hamas Figure

neocons1345 said...

Love Israel...sent that bastard to hell with his 4 wives...well done...if we just can get Israel to take care of Mullhas in Iran, that would be just awesome...

Seattle Times said...

Alleged Jewish Federation shooter heads to trial in October

By Jennifer Sullivan

Seattle Times staff reporter

The man accused of killing one woman and wounding five others at the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle won't face a second trial until more than three years after the shootings.

Naveed Haq's first trial ended in a mistrial in June, after jurors said they were deadlocked on 14 of 15 criminal counts. He was scheduled to be retried in March, but on Wednesday King County Superior Court Judge Paris Kallas agreed to delay opening statements until Oct. 19 upon request by Haq's defense team.

"It is a very unfortunate delay," Kallas said.

Haq, 33, is charged with one count of aggravated first-degree murder for the death of employee Pamela Waechter; five counts of attempted first-degree murder; one count of first-degree kidnapping; one count of unlawful imprisonment; one count of first-degree burglary; and six counts of violating the state's hate-crime law.

Haq, who has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, is not facing the death penalty...

Molester Yehuda Nussbaum should be arrested said...

He is a brutal "Rabbi" who has caused somebody close to me much pain. He abused this boy when he was a child and derailed his life. Nussbaum probably still molests kids, these kinds of people never stop. I should add that aside from sexual molestation, Nussbaum physically beat kids to a pulp using his fists and a wooden ruler. The next time you see him getting out of his car - make sure you spit in his face.

survivor said...

For anybody who's ever been violated in any way, please talk with someone about it. Open up to a caring individual. We want to help. You will feel better getting it off your chest and the offender will face justice for what they've done to you.

This article shows how damaging abuse is. Call the SNAP hotline and they can assist you. 1-877-SNAP HEALS

Pahrump resident heads group for victims of clergy sex abuse


In 2002, Pahrump resident Rita Prince heard some shocking news from her sister.

Their 18-year-old brother Patrick Ryan, who hung himself in a jail cell in 1969, had been undergoing psychiatric counseling after being drugged and raped by a Catholic priest at St. John's University in Collegeville, Minn., a year before.

Prince set out to find out more details about the incident that was almost an unmentionable subject until recently when news broke the Catholic Church began paying out huge sums to victims of sexual abuse by priests.

Pope Benedict II on a trip to the U.S. recently asked for the healing to begin for victims of sexual abuse by priests.

Prince, who retired from San Diego County Health and Human Services and moved to Pahrump in 2003, joined SNAP three years ago -- Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

She took over as Las Vegas area chapter president Nov. 1.

Her brother was given psychiatric care in a mental hospital in San Diego, Calif., after the molestation incident and escaped Feb. 13, 1971, Prince said. He was picked up by police and taken to jail. Prince said her parents weren't allowed to see him in jail because they didn't fill out the proper paperwork, though her mother said he was suicidal. A few hours later, they were notified Patrick hung himself.

Prince said she was informed by the Edmunite religious order that her brother's attacker, the Rev. Paul GoPaul, a black history professor, died of AIDS in 1988.

Patrick was sent to the school by his father, who graduated from St. John's University in 1949 and wanted his son to have a good, quality education, she said.

Prince found out her father, who is now deceased and never mentioned the incident to her, wrote a letter in 1971, to the university president in Minnesota, informing him about the sexual assault, and was told university officials would look into it.

"They didn't discipline GoPaul except to deny him tenure at the school. That was his punishment," Priest said. "They told my father that (GoPaul) had left after he was confronted and they didn't know what his future plans held."

Prince found out GoPaul, a native of Trinidad, had transferred to California State University-Dominguez Hills and then to churches in Carson, and Long Beach, Calif. Prince charged St. John's University never informed officials in California about the priest's background.

St. John's University spokesman, the Rev. William Skudlarek, told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune in an article dated Sept. 25, 2006, it was "the first I'd heard" of an exchange between her father and the abbey. Skudlarek said abbey officials first heard of the case in 2002, when a victim's advocate forwarded GoPaul's name.

"There was no intent to hide his name or any names of perpetrators," Skudlarek told the newspaper.

GoPaul's name was listed on a Web site,, in September 2006, which brought another victim forward, Prince said.

"He said for 30 years he had been an alcoholic, had a failed mariage, lost jobs," Prince said of the victim who preferred to remain anonymous. "I was able to secure psychiatric treatment for him paid by the Catholic Church. A year later he is no longer on alcohol, he is a new person. He has a job.

"He did not have enough courage to come forward by himself. Once he saw his abuser listed, he said I can come forward now because I am not alone and that's the big thing with the victims. They're alone and they can't come forward."

Prince said 10 victims of the priest eventually came forward through her contacts with SNAP, including a woman who said GoPaul had a reputation for picking up hitchiking students and attempting to molest them.

There was a settlement between the university and victims of the priest in 2002, Prince said. The university claimed it didn't know how to contact her brother's family about the settlement, yet her father had a copy of the university alumni magazine on his coffee table when he died, she said.

Prince said her parents never sued the university or the religious order. She said lawsuits typically don't go to court. The Catholic Church pays out a judgment to prevent information from becoming public.

"The sad thing is a lot of people think these victims are after money. Money is not the issue. These people want their innocence back, their childhood back and, in my case, I want my brother," Prince said, breaking into tears.

SNAP is a self-help group, she said, hosting meetings with victims, providing peer counseling and helping people with resources, like Internet sites to look up priests.

Prince held press conferences at places like St. John's University and again in Los Angeles after she heard the Catholic Church was going to give out an award in GoPaul's name.

In November, she held a press conference at the archdiocese of Las Vegas.

"They need to clear up their paperwork. The church is still covering up. They know who is a pedophile, they know who they got complaints on. They know where they are. They're not turning this over to the police or to victims and they need to start doing that to help solve this problem once and for all," Prince said.

"Our Holy Father was here earlier this year and stated he wanted all the churches in the diocese and Catholics to open up and embrace the victims and help them heal. Churches are not doing that," she said.

As for herself, Prince said she now struggles with her faith and doesn't go to Mass.

"It would be very difficult for me to do that because you wonder, are they one of the 5,000 that's listed on the SNAP Web site as a sexual abuser? There have been over 200,000 victims come forward already. They figure that's 10 percent of the total victims out there becuase they figure it's so hard for people to come forward. It's years before people get the courage to tell their story," she said.

Children are seduced by those abusive priests by being told things like God has chosen that child to perform a sexual act with them, Prince said.

"The children are going to confession and confessing to another priest what this priest did to them and the priests are just giving them absolution, sending them on their way like this is par for the course," Prince said.

Prince requested any victims to contact her at or by calling SNAP at 1-877-SNAP HEALS.

Find this article at:

Debka said...

Hamas plans to defeat Israeli force with epic "last stand" at Gaza City

DEBKAfile Exclusive Report

January 1, 2009, 12:39 PM (GMT+02:00)

DEBKAfile's military sources report that Hamas does not propose to put its entire 15,000-strong army in harm's way against the expected Israeli military invasion. It will confine its resistance to small pockets and sabotage and let Israel troops occupy most of Gaza Strip territory. Assuming the incoming force will stop short of conquering Gaza City and put it to siege, Hamas planners believe this siege force will be Israel's Achilles heel. They propose to wear it down over weeks by nocturnal guerrilla forays from within Gaza City and force an inconclusive end to the conflict.

Thousands of Hamas combatants have begun infiltrating Gaza City after shedding their uniforms and are taking over civilian apartments.

DEBKAfile's military sources disclose that Israel's war planners have factored Hamas' thinking into their calculations and built tactics to catch them unawares.

Hamas strategists expect the Israeli ground operation to start with a simultaneous three-prong incursion of armor and special forces from the north, the east and the south. The invaders will occupy most of the 20x40-kilometer area of the Gaza Strip within 5 to 7 days at most, skirting and encircling Gaza City and other main towns. They will then, according to Hamas' calculations, carve the territory up into five pockets, each with its own military commander.

Pocket 1 will extend from the southernmost Philadelphi belt on the Egyptian border up to the southern outskirts of Khan Younis. Israeli units will then set about destroying the network of hundreds of smuggling tunnels which has kept Hamas supplied with arms, fuel and reinforcements through Sinai. Cairo may have tacitly approved the Israel plan.

Pocket 2 will cover the Khan Younes district up to the Kissufim junction.

Pocket 3 will cover the central region of the Gaza Strip up to the Karni Crossing, including the Moazi and El Bureij refugee camps.

Pocket 4 will encompass Jebalya, Beit Hanoun, Beit Lahiya, the primary rocket and missile sites, up to the northern border with Israel.

Pocket 5 An Israeli force will encircle Gaza City and send detachments into the town to liquidate Hamas targets and operatives from allied Palestinian terror groups.

Hamas believes the IDF force will be at its most vulnerable when its Gaza City siege force is faced with an active fighting front of 3,000-5,000 armed Palestinians. By day, they will mingle with the civilian population and by night emerge from hideouts in private homes to hit the Israeli armored forces from the rear with anti-tank weapons and suicide bombers.

The Palestinian group's leaders are counting on inflicting casualties that will mount up week after week and wear Israeli forces down until they are driven into an ignominious retreat.

Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai said...

State comptroller: Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai tomb in 'very sad' state

Rabbi Meir Kahane Z'TL said...

"Above all, it is not decency or goodness of gentleness that impresses the Middle East, but strength."

"But the Jew is not a cripple. G-d made him with two legs, and the authentic healthy Jew walks on both of them."

"Every man judges his own happiness and satisfaction with life in terms of his possession or lack of possession of those things that he considers worthwhile and valuable."

"For so long as the Jew has even one ally, he will be convinced - in his smallness of mind - that his salvation came from that ally. It is only when he is alone - against all of his own efforts and frantic attempts - that he will, through no choice, be compelled to turn to G-d."

"I know that elections must be limited only to those who understand that the Arabs are the deadly enemy of the Jewish state, who would bring on us a slow Auschwitz - not with gas, but with knives and hatchets."

"I see all this and know that if we are to save the Jewish state and its three-and-a-half million Jews from terrible horrors, we must rise up and demand a fundamental change in the very system of government."

"If we ever hope to rid the world of the political AIDS of our time, terrorism, the rule must be clear: One does not deal with terrorists; one does not bargain with terrorists; one kills terrorists."

Rabbi Meir Kahane Z'TL said...

"Jews have been in Egypt since Biblical times, and Alexandria had once been, at least partially, a Jewish city."

"Let us not suffer from a national amnesia that causes us to forget who and what we are."

"Life is essentially a question of values."

"Love has its place, as does hate. Peace has its place, as does war. Mercy has its place, as do cruelty and revenge."

"Never, ever deal with terrorists. Hunt them down and, more important, mercilessly punish those states and groups that fund, arm, support, or simply allow their territories to be used by the terrorists with impunity."

"No trait is more justified than revenge in the right time and place."

"One of the great problems with Americans is that - being a decent people - they assume that everyone else is equally decent."

"Only a people that believes that its G-d called the world and its inhabitants into being and controls and decrees their destiny, has any logical and intellectual reason to worship Him."

"Surely it is time for Jews, worried over the huge growth of Arabs in Israel, to consider finishing the exchange of populations that began 35 years ago."

"The banding together by the nations of the world against Israel is the guarantee that their time of destruction is near and the final redemption of the Jew at hand."

Anonymous said...

What is the latest on Mondrowitz?

Rabbi Meir Kahane Z'TL said...

"The difference is that if we turn from the Gentile first, we will have the Almighty as the immediate staff and our comfort. If not, we will have neither the Gentile nor, for a terrible stage, the Almighty."

"The fact is, that with the creation of the Jewish state in 1948, hundreds of thousands of Jews fled Arab countries, almost all of whom left behind all their property for which compensation was never paid."

"The G-d of History, the G-d of the Jewish people, called the world into being for one reason only and that was for the sake of the Jewish people and the Torah of Israel."

"The Jew does not wish to be isolated. He fears being alone, without allies."

"The Jew is upset because the nations of the world - the United Nations - lash him, brand him as racist and evil, hate him and openly demonstrate their desire to destroy him."

"The Jewish nation is indeed, the heart of the world and there is no reason for the existence of empires, kings, rulers, masses or systems aside from their reaction to the Jewish people."

"The observant Jew has his own sense of values. Torah Judaism is his blueprint for this life, his target for existence."

"There is the illusion of the world and the reality of the Torah."

"Today, Jewish defense is an accepted thing."

"We have our own values; we build our own special, our JEWISH life - and we are proud, so very proud."

Gabi said...

Haredim subject to multiple attacks in Haifa neighborhood

Public park in northern city's Hadar area turns into battleground for local immigrants, Orthodox residents
Doron Solomon

The ultra Orthodox community has recently expressed concerns that the crime rate in the Hadar area of the northern Israeli city of Haifa is on the rise.

Those concerns have been compounded by several violent attacks on residents of the area's religious neighborhoods.

Avi Weizmann, head of the Shas faction in the Haifa Municipality warned Thursday that unless the police crack down on crime in the area, local community members will have no choice but to take matters into their own hands.

"We will take to the streets and establish our own Orthodox patrols," he said. "We've come to a point where dozens of people have been brutally attacked in the Hadar Neighborhood. We cannot accept this violence and if the police won't take care of it, we will."

Most of the violent incidents have reportedly taken place in the area's Shtrug Park, which is frequented by the local Orthodox community, as well as the secular one, which is made up of many Russian immigrants.

"The park is the center of a violent turf war, between the haredim, who are an innately closed society, and the immigrants, some of whom are not Jewish, who view them as the enemy," said a local resident.

Haifa Police Chief Major-General Dudu Ben-Atia said that the police are aware of the problem, and that police forces have been called to the park on several occasions in order to disperse mass gatherings turned violent.

"We've removed several violent individuals from the area," he said, "but since no official complaints were filed, no arrests have been made. We are monitoring the situation."

Cancer Cure said...

Cancer Cure?: Blood cancers
Kanzius Treatment works on pancreatic and colon cancers, it may work on blood diseases
By Jennifer Stacy, WINK News

Story Created: Dec 23, 2008 at 3:25 PM EST

Story Updated: Dec 23, 2008 at 6:30 PM EST
SANIBEL ISLAND, Fla. - Doctors at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas have been testing a cancer treatment using radio waves, invented by Sanibel resident John Kanzius. On Friday, they announced the Kanzius method works.

Researchers have been able to completely destroy pancreatic and colon cancer cells in animals while leaving healthy cells intact.

John Kanzius was elated when WINK News spoke with him Friday.

"The manuscript today {Friday} is the most positive news one could wish for if you were working on this project. There is no better news than what we got today," explains Kanzius.

Here's how the treatment works:
Tiny pieces of metal called nanoparticles are injected into the body. They attach to specific cancer cells, and are then exposed to radio waves. The radio waves heat the metal, killing the cancer cell in a matter of minutes with no side effects.

Initially, researchers believed the process would not work for blood cancers like leukemia. Now, they are more optimistic.

"Because of the high efficacy of the nanoparticles that have been developed and the better equipment and the changes I have made in the equipment to cause the nanoparticles to release heat, it looks like blood cancers are one we'll be able to do," explains Kanzius. "We never planned on it."

John Kanzius tells WINK News his treatment is being tested on blood cancers right now, and preliminary indicators are positive. Data should be available by March or April of 2009.

In photos: 'Palestinian Israeli Conflict in Gaza Continues' said...

shira said...

Annie Lennox should have her house hit with rockets everyday. How long will she be singing the same tune then?


Stars call for ceasefire in Gaza

Singer Annie Lennox has joined high-profile campaigners to call for an end to Israel's bombing of the Gaza Strip.

At a news conference in London, she said TV footage of the attacks, which have killed more than 400 people, had left her "shaken to the core".

Comedian Alexei Sayle said Jewish people in the public eye should stress this was "not being done in our name".

Meanwhile, the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) is demanding a meeting with Foreign Secretary David Miliband.

The MCB, the country's largest Muslim group, has refused to attend a Foreign Office briefing on the situation in Gaza and instead want to speak to Mr Miliband directly.

Deputy secretary-general Dr Daud Abdullah said he found it "incomprehensible" that the British government, and the US, did not approve a Security Council vote calling for an immediate ceasefire.

Human values

The news conference was called ahead of Saturday's demonstration when thousands of people are expected to join a rally in central London to demand an immediate end to the Israeli attacks.

The violence in the Middle East has continued for a week, with both sides ignoring international calls for a ceasefire.

At least 13,000 people have been forced to leave their homes in Gaza since the attacks started, according to Save the Children.

On Friday, Israel continued to bomb targets in Gaza, including a mosque.

But, says Israel, Palestinian military group Hamas has also fired more rockets into Israel.

In an emotional speech, Annie Lennox said there had to be a different way forward.

"A few days after Christmas I came downstairs, put the television on and saw smoke pyres emanating from buildings and it shook me to the core," she said.

"I was thinking, as a mother and as a human being, how was this going to be a solution to peace?

"It's a question of human rights, human values that goes beyond Jewish, Muslim, nothing to do with any of that. There has to be a place ultimately where people come to the table."

In a strongly-worded condemnation of Israeli bombing, Jewish comedian Alexei Sayle said Israel has an idea it was being noble but was using the "psychology of the murderer" to explain the attacks.

Former Mayor of London Ken Livingstone called for the European Union and the UK to withdraw their ambassadors from Israel to signal disapproval with the "slaughter and systematic murder of innocent Arabs".

Appeal to Obama

Respect MP George Galloway suggested Israel's attacks would create a new generation of radicals around the world.

"We will be very, very lucky if the explosions taking place in Gaza today don't blow up in our own face at some time in the future," he said.

Meanwhile, activist Bianca Jagger condemned the attack by Hamas against innocent Israeli citizens, but called for the international community to guarantee the immediate halt of the "disproportionate, unlawful use of force by Israel".

She added: "I would like to make an appeal to President-elect Obama to speak up.

"People throughout the world were hopeful when he was elected and we must appeal to him to ask for the immediate cessation of the bombardment of the civilian population in the Gaza Strip."

Earlier, more than 100 protesters gathered outside Egypt's London embassy demanding the country fully open its border with Gaza to allow humanitarian aid in and let the sick and injured out so they could go to hospital.

General Secretary of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign Betty Hunter said: "Egypt has to stop colluding with Israel and do this now."

Story from BBC NEWS:

Anonymous said...

Combatting a stigma:
Mental illness in a Jewish world

by Betty Jampel
Special to NJJN

January 1, 2009

“No human is expendable. If one is slighted or excluded, the whole of society is unfit.”

— based on Vayikra Rabbah Emor 30:12

jihad against Israel said...

A must read article.

'rabbi' and molester yehuda nussbaum said...

It's scary that so many mothers out there want to kill me.
From the Los Angeles Times
Ellie Nesler dies at 56; woman killed her son's accused molester in courtroom
By Jon Thurber

December 30, 2008

Ellie Nesler, the mother who took the law into her own hands in a Northern California courtroom by shooting to death the man who allegedly molested her young son, has died. She was 56.

Nesler died Friday morning at UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, said Phyllis Brown, the hospital's public information officer. The cause of death was not revealed, but Nesler was known to have been diagnosed with breast cancer in 1994.

The story of Nesler and Daniel Mark Driver, the 35-year-old Christian camp employee who in summer 1988 allegedly sodomized then 7-year-old Willie Nesler, became national news after she shot Driver several times in the head and neck in the Tuolumne County community of Jamestown on April 2, 1993.

Ellie Nesler was praised by some as a protective mother driven to act by the prospect of having her traumatized son testify against Driver in open court. Others criticized her for brushing aside the legal system.

The sympathetic portrait of Nesler painted by her defense team began to erode within weeks of the crime, when tests found Nesler to have been high on methamphetamine at the time of the shooting. It also came to light that Nesler had a criminal record with a conviction at 18 for auto theft and served several months in a California Youth Authority facility.

Nevertheless, a television movie called "Judgment Day: The Ellie Nesler Story" was made about the case. Some supporters stuck by her with bumper stickers and T-shirts proclaiming, "Nice shooting, Ellie."

Although she reportedly told state investigators that she had first contemplated killing Driver more than two years before the shooting, Nesler pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity and was convicted on a lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter.

She was sentenced to 10 years in prison but won an appeal based on juror misconduct and was released after three years.

But her problems with the law did not end. In July 2002, she was convicted of buying 10,000 pseudoephedrine tablets used to make methamphetamine and was sentenced to six years in prison. She was granted an early release from the Central California Women's facility in Chowchilla in 2006.

Nesler was the eldest of three daughters born to a coal miner and his wife and grew up in the "hill country" around Jamestown. As a youngster, she drove a tractor for local cattle ranchers, dug ditches, installed irrigation pipes and worked on cars, her mother told The Times in 1993.

Married and divorced early, she later met Bill Nesler, a gold miner and crop-duster. The couple married, had their son, Willie, and quickly moved to a new gold rush country, Liberia, to seek their fortune. Ellie Nesler gave birth to a daughter while in the West African country but returned home with her children when civil war broke out. Her husband stayed in Liberia.

After returning to Tuolumne County, she got by on welfare checks and chopping wood.

Family members noticed that young Willie was acting strangely after visiting a summer camp where Driver worked as a dishwasher. During a sleepover at his aunt's house some months later, Willie confided that Driver had done what he termed "nasty things to me."

In 1989, Driver was arrested in Palo Alto for theft and was returned to Tuolumne County to face charges in the molestation of Nesler's son and three other boys. During the trial, it was revealed that years earlier, Driver had pleaded guilty to multiple counts of sex with boys in the San Jose area but had been given probation after the judge in the case received numerous letters from members of Driver's church vouching for his character.

Willie Nesler later had his own trouble with the law. Raised by an aunt while his mother was in prison for killing Driver, Willie repeatedly landed in juvenile hall, in teenage work camps and in jail as an adult. During a five-year period, he was arrested by sheriff's deputies and booked into county jail at least 18 times on charges that included robbery and drug-related offenses.

In 2005, he was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for stomping to death a man whom Willie Nesler had let live on the family property, in a dispute over tools. Nesler killed David Davis within an hour of being released early for good conduct from a 60-day sentence for an earlier assault on Davis.

Now incarcerated at High Desert State Prison near Susanville, Nesler was aware of his mother's declining health, according to Terry Thornton, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

"He knew she was very ill, and he was in communication with her -- as long as she was able to talk -- and then with family members the night before she passed away," Thornton told The Times.

Willie Nesler has requested temporary community leave to attend his mother's funeral. Prison officials are reviewing that request.

In addition to her son, Nesler is survived by her daughter.

Dear Amy: said...

Dear Amy: I belong to a synagogue that recently got a new rabbi. He has a policy that I find very disturbing. In the past, when a member of the congregation was ill or hospitalized, our former rabbi would share that information with senior clergy, and, if the person had requested help or visitors, with the chairman of the committee that arranged such things.

Our new rabbi is e-mailing this information to a listserv of about 30 people, including the entire staff (even the librarian), synagogue officers and the presidents of synagogue clubs. These e-mails include the nature of the person's problem, even when it could be considered sensitive. And, of course, a gossip could easily forward that e-mail to dozens of friends.

Isn't this a gross invasion of privacy?

—Concerned Congregant

Amy Dickinson Amy Dickinson Bio | E-mail | Recent columns

Dear Concerned: Someone should inform your rabbi that this practice could cause considerable discomfort to someone who is already hurting.

No doubt your rabbi's intentions are noble, and some people might not mind having news of their condition spread far and wide.

It is possible, too, that anyone who is aware of someone else's medical condition could spread the word through e-mail without your rabbi's help, but your clergy and synagogue leadership should set the tone by being discreet and handling these matters quietly and according to the wishes of the person who is ill.

Anonymous said...

What Madoff Missed in Hebrew School
Are Jews allowed to Steal?
Friday, January 02, 2009
By Menachem Posner

So a Jewish guy steals $50 billion from his friends and associates—most of them Jewish. Without fail, the predictable stereotypes involving Jews and money begin to pop up on blogs and chat rooms all over. They recycle the old calumny that Jewish tradition allows people to deal dishonestly with others as long as they live otherwise pious lives.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

In fact, Jewish tradition teaches that how you deal with your fellows is perhaps the most important aspect of your relation with your Creator. This idea has been expressed both in Jewish teachings as well as in personal example since almost the beginning of time.

Let us take a look at a small sampling of these teachings and anecdotes.

4,100 years ago:

The people are so bad that G‑d has no choice but to wipe the world clean and start all over again, with Noah and his children. What was the sin of that generation? To quote the Torah (Genesis 6:11): "The earth was corrupt before G‑d, and the earth became full of robbery." The Talmud tells us (Sanhedrin 108a) that despite all their depravity, their verdict was sealed only because of their robbery.

A few centuries later, the world is again in hot water (this time only figurative). Noah's descendents build a tower (Genesis 11:1-9), in order to combat G‑d (Rashi ad loc). What does G‑d do? How many does He kill? None. All He did was disperse them.

The Sages (Midrash Rabbah Genesis 38:6) explain that though they had the audacity to conspire against G‑d, they worked together in harmony. This as opposed to "the Generation of the Flood who were robbers and there was strife between them, and therefore they were destroyed."

3,700 years ago:

Abraham and Sarah arrive in the Land of Canaan, along with their nephew Lot. Shortly thereafter, a quarrel breaks out between Abraham's and Lot's shepherds (Genesis 13:7). What caused this fall out? Again the Midrash (Rabbah Genesis 41:5) sheds light: Lot's herdsmen pastured their animals in fields belonging to others, Abraham's herdsmen kept their cattle muzzled, and rebuked their counterparts for committing robbery...

3,300 years ago:

Seven weeks after their Exodus from Egypt, the nascent Jewish nation gathers at Sinai to enter into a covenant with G‑d. He chose ten of His 613 commandments to personally communicate to the nation. Five of them deal with interpersonal issues, and three of those discuss the importance of honesty: Thou shall not steal, thou shall not bear false witness, and thou shall not covet.

This sets the tone for all times to come.

2,900 years ago:

King David writes (Psalms 24:3-4), "Who will ascend upon G‑d's mountain and who will stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not taken My name in vain and has not sworn deceitfully."

2,600 years ago:

G‑d admonishes the people regarding their fasting ways which He found reprehensible (Isaiah 58:2-11):

"Daily they pretend to seek Me, desiring knowledge of My ways . . . 'Why have we fasted and You did not see?' they ask. 'We have afflicted our soul and You do not know?' Behold, on the day of your fast you pursue your affairs, and from all your debtors you forcibly exact payment. Behold, for quarrel and strife you fast, and to strike with a fist of wickedness..."

Instead, Isaiah teaches the Jews the proper way to fast:

"Loosen the fetters of wickedness, untie the bands of perverseness, send the oppressed free, and break every oppressive yoke. Offer your bread to the hungry, bring the wandering poor into your home. When you see someone naked, clothe him . . . Then you shall call and G‑d shall answer, you shall cry and He shall say, 'Here I am.' . . . G‑d will always guide you and satiate your soul with radiance..."

2,000 years ago:

The sage Hillel is approached by a non-Jew. "I am willing to convert to Judaism on the condition that you teach me the entire Torah while I stand on one foot."

"That which you detest," Hillel answers, "do not to others. All the rest is commentary" (Talmud, Shabbat 31a).

This tradition is exemplified in a teaching by Rabbi Yosi (Ethics 2:12): "The money of your fellow should be as precious to you as your own; prepare yourself to study Torah…"

One must first learn to respect the property of others, and only then can he approach G‑d and the study of His Torah.

1,900 years ago:

One of the holy Ten Martyrs was the great sage Rabbi Chanina ben Tradyon. The teaching of Torah is forbidden by the Roman regime, a capital offense, but he is undeterred. He publicly gathers disciples and, with a Torah scroll in his bosom, heroically teaches them Torah. Eventually he is captured while in the midst of a Torah lecture and burned alive for his deeds.

Shortly before his capture he visits a colleague, Rabbi Yosi ben Kisma. Rabbi Chanina turns to his friend and asks, "Will I be deserving of a portion in the World to Come?"

Rabbi Yosi's asks Rabbi Chanina whether he had done anything special in his lifetime. Rabbi Chanina responds that he once had two pouches of money—one earmarked for charity, and the other for his personal holiday expenses. He later discovered that he had accidentally given his holiday money to charity. Although he could have reimbursed himself from the other pouch, he chose not to and gave the second pouch to the poor as well.

"In that case," answers Rabbi Yosi, "may my portion be like your portion; my lot like your lot" (Talmud, Avodah Zarah 18a).

This is beyond astonishing. Rabbi Yosi knew very well that Rabbi Chanina devoted his life to the advancement of Torah, with utter disregard for his personal safety. Yet he only assured him that he would be admitted to the World to Come when he ascertained that he dealt honestly with public funds!

1,700 years ago:

Rabbah, the leading Talmudic sage of his day, teaches (Talmud, Shabbat 31a) that when a soul ascends to heaven, the very first question she is asked is: "Did you conduct your business honestly?"

1,000 years ago:

Rabbeinu Gershom "the Light of the Diaspora" forbids opening letters addressed to others. A millennium before the advent of the civil rights movement, the rabbis of old understood the importance of individual rights and how important it is to be utterly honest in all one's dealings.

700 years ago:

Rabbi Yaakov ben Asher, the "Baal Haturim," reworks the entire body of Jewish law into four sections. This structure will eventually become the framework for the Code of Jewish Law. One of the sections, Choshen Mishpat, is entirely devoted to the laws of interpersonal relationships and the minutiae of honest business practice.

65 years ago:

The Lubavitcher Rebbe publishes a calendar, the "Hayom Yom," that contained a chassidic aphorism for every day of the year. For the 8th of Av, the Rebbe writes:

"What good is Chassidic teaching and piety if the main quality, love of a fellow Jew, is lacking—even to the extent of, G‑d forbid, causing anguish to another!"

Anyone who thinks otherwise simply slept through Hebrew school.

Israeli Troops Rolling Into Gaza video said...

fox news said...
Hamas, Israel Wage War of Words Over Gaza Battle

Saturday , January 03, 2009


The military war over the Gaza Strip also is being fought through a war of words, with Hamas and Israel each lobbing sharp statements at the other.

As Israeli forces pushed across the border Saturday night, Hamas said the troops were approaching the trap it had prepared for them in Gaza that will turn the territory into "a graveyard" for them.

Meanwhile, an Israeli official, in an interview with FOX News, dismissed any "arrogant" talk by Hamas while affirming Israel's right to defend itself.

Israel launched its ground offensive into Gaza after nightfall. Defense officials have said about 10,000 soldiers have been massed along the border in recent days.

Hamas said it broadcast a message in Hebrew on Israeli military radio frequencies promising to kill and kidnap Israeli soldiers. The message warned troops they would "suffer mental illness from the horrors" its fighters would show them.

Hamas has long prepared for an Israeli invasion, digging tunnels and rigging some areas with explosives. Before moving the ground forces moved in, Israeli artillery shelled border areas, apparently to detonate hidden explosives and mines.

Israeli Welfare Minister Isaac Herzog said the aim of the offensive is to allow Israelis to return to normal life without threat of Hamas rocket attacks.

"Right now we've started a ground operation, which is aimed at preventing missile launchings against Israel from various sites in Gaza Strip," Herzog told FOX News. "It may take time. Hamas will try to show in their arrogant way that they are still around, and our aim is to protect our citizens like any normal society would do."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Rabbi Havivi:“Israel could no longer tolerate ongoing threats" said...

When Israel evacuated its citizens and towns and soldiers from Gaza in 2005, it was with the hope that the possibility of peace would increase and that Palestinians would use their autonomy to benefit their own people. But since Hamas took control of Gaza, and the rockets began -- the daily barrage of missiles, rockets and mortars aimed at Israel's civilian population, 6,300 since 2005 -- the quality of life in southern Israel has become unbearable..

Manhattan bigotry said...

Thousands poured into city streets Saturday in protest of the Israeli assault in Gaza.

Even the cold temperatures couldn't turn the massive group away as their anger and frustration over the hundreds of Palestinians killed so far brought them out for another day of demonstrations.

"We want the attacks to stop on gaza because gaza people are not animals," said one protester.

"It's just sad, like David versus and Goliath, we throw a rock and they throw a bomb, it's not fair," said another protester.

"Everyone has a right to live, not just Israelis, Palestinians also have a right to live," said another protester.

The fight for that right sparked one of the largest turnout of protesters since the conflict started a week ago.

After meeting in Times Square armed with signs, Palestinian flags, and bullhorns, the crowd then marched to the Israeli Consulate on 42nd Street and 2nd Avenue where masses of people stretched for blocks.

"As I was walking to the protest I saw so many people I wanted to cry, I didn't know so many people cared about us," said one protester.

But supporters of Israel also made their presence felt.

"If Israel doesn't exist than we are in big trouble and this will stop when Hamas stops launching rockets. I don't understand why people don't see that," said one protester.

A group of Rabbis marched with the protesters and many jumped at the chance to take pictures with these men, showing that at least in New York Jews and Palestinians can coexist.

"We pray for the Palestinian people in Gaza who suffer terrible atrocities from the zionist terrorists and murderers and that the evil will be stopped today," said Rabbi Yoel Loeb.

Calls for peace came from some of the rally's youngest participants.

"If I was in Palestine and I was getting bombed I would want people to come and help me," said one young protester.

Mayor Bloomberg is in Israel Sunday to show support for Israel.

Protesters in New York City said they will be back in the streets next Sunday where they expect an even bigger showing.

margo said...

vuht kind bus driviers are requirred to take dis safe root corse? did dey meen a roos yishive too?

yehuda nussbaum said...

"The next time you see him getting out of his car - make sure you spit in his face"

oy gevalt. Can you not leave me alone already? I don't want to c'v get a heart attack and crash.

DEBKAfile said...

Israeli forces tightens siege on Gaza City, deploy at Philadelphi to block Hamas' weapons route

DEBKAfile Special Report

January 4, 2009,

Israeli troops in Gaza

1st Sgt. Dvir Emanuelof, 22, from Givat Zeev was killed in battle with Hamas in Jibalya Sunday.

DEBKAfile's military sources report that on the second day of their ground offensive, Sunday, Jan 4, Day 9 of its offensive against Hamas, Israeli forces have closed their siege encirclement of Gaza City. One soldier was killed, 31 injured – one critically, an officer and soldier seriously, the rest moderately and lightly. At least 30 Hamas gunmen were killed in the first thrust of Israel armored infantry, tanks, engineering, artillery and intelligence units into the enclave after a week of intense airstrikes.

Western and Arab informants report that Sunday, Israeli armored forces had taken up position at Hamas launching sites in Beit Hanoun in the north and captured parts of the Zeitun refugee camp and Netzarim to cut off Gaza City and carve the enclave into three segments. They also fought their way into the disused airfield at Dahaniya.

Israeli warships were reported to have dropped troops in the southern Philadelphi enclave through which smuggling tunnels carry Hamas weapons supplies. Armored and infantry unites are fighting for control of the strategic sector after dozens of tunnels were destroyed in previous Israeli air strikes.

Foreign correspondents are not operating inside the Gaza Strip and both Israel and Hamas have cast "a fog of war" over developments.

Hamas gunmen engaging Israeli forces are first battered by fire from Israeli helicopters, artillery and navy. This accounts for their heavy casualties.

On Jan. 1, DEBKAfile reported that Hamas' tacticians did not plan to send the bulk of their elite fighting force against the Israeli invaders or the forces besieging Gaza City. Several hundred were to mingle with the Gaza City population and carry out nocturnal forays behind Israel lines.

Taking this into account, defense minister Ehud Barak warned shortly after the offensive began that it would not be short or easy. Besieging a city of 800,000 densely packed inhabitants is a daunting mission by any military reckoning, requiring large numbers of troops both to control the city and secure its environs up to the enclave's southern border at Rafah.

Hence the tens of thousands of Israeli reservists called up for combat duty.

Some are assigned to Israel's northern frontiers in case Hizballah decides to send Palestinians armed with rockets to open a second front from Lebanon.

DEBKAfile' sources report that in early December Hizballah's Hassan Nasrallah secretly visited Tehran and met with senior Revolutionary Guards officers. He later welcomed in Beirut the al Qods commander Gen. Qassem Suleimani. Another Iranian dignitary, Saeed Jalili, chairman of the national security council and senior nuclear negotiator was due in Beirut Sunday, Jan. 4 after talks in Damascus with Syria, Hamas and Jihad Islami leaders.

DEBKAfile said...

Can the IDF break Hamas' fighting motivation?

DEBKAfile Special Analysis

January 4, 2009,

Most military pundits agree that the Israel's Gaza operation is nothing like the 2006 Lebanon War. In the broader sense this is true. The differences are undeniable.

The Israeli Defense Forces which invaded Gaza Saturday night, Jan. 4, is not the same army as it was then. It is well-trained, its various arms are well-integrated, it is fighting according to a prepared script after practicing urban warfare at a mock Palestinian village in the Negev. The high command, under its post-Lebanon War chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Gaby Ashkenazi, shares a unity of purpose, and so do the three politicians running the campaign – prime minister Ehud Olmert, defense minister Ehud Barak and foreign minister Tzipi Livni.

Through normally at loggerheads, particularly as heads of rival parties facing a general election next month, they are working together smoothly as war leaders.

While the first defined Israeli objective is to seize Hamas' rocket launching sites in the Gaza Strip, its leaders understand that when the Israeli forces withdraw, the launchers will be back. Therefore the hope the ground forces will ultimately decapitate Hamas and break its will to restart its rocket terror by making it too painful.

At the same time, some of DEBKAfile's counter-terror experts do not believe this cure will work.

To prove their point, Olmert, Livni, Barak and Ashkenazi hold up the example of the destruction of Beirut's Shiite enclave in the war against Hizballah in 2006. In the intervening two and-a-half years, Hizballah has carefully avoided new belligerence. In the past week, its leader Hassan Narsrallah has delivered fiery speeches urging his Hamas allies to fight while refraining from offering help.

But, our sources stress, the Hizballah leader may overcome his fear of Israel at some point if he is ordered to open a northern front against Israel by his masters in Tehran. The Israeli offensive in Gaza is at its outset and the endgame hard to predict.

Although both are terrorist organizations, the analogy of the Palestinian fundamentalist Hamas to the Lebanese Shiite Hizballah does not hold up in another important sense.

Hizballah is more like a paramilitary militia, a belligerent arm of the extremist Iranian Islamic Revolution, whereas Hamas is a rogue Palestinian faction, a sort of hybrid between the Sunni fundamentalist Taliban of Afghanistan that seized power in Kabul and al Qaeda.

The American operational modes for overthrowing Taliban in Kabul in 2001 and ultimately defeating al Qaeda in Iraq would serve Israel better than the Hizballah model of 2006.

Case of Rabbi Avrohom Mondrowitz said...

Marvin Schick doesn't get it said...

If this newspaper believes that there isn’t a higher incidence of Orthodox abuse, how to explain why perhaps 98% of the space devoted to allegations of abuse of children concern the Orthodox? You can’t have it both ways. Perhaps more importantly, the newspaper cannot focus on alleged Orthodox abuse and then claim that the tendency among the Orthodox is to cover-up. To put the issue otherwise, if 1) the incidence of abuse is as great among the non-Orthodox and 2) there are few newspaper stories and cases involving the non-Orthodox, then 3), doesn’t this amount to a cover-up of abuse among the non-Orthodox?

penetration sheinberg said...

Clearly there is evidence this pastor penetrated the child, isn't that what they call sodomy?

Shelbyville Pastor Jailed On Sex Abuse Charges
Bell Turns Himself In Himself In To Police
updated 5:47 p.m. ET, Sat., Jan. 3, 2009

SHELBYVILLE, Ky. - A Shelbyville pastor is jailed, charged with sodomy and sexual abuse of a child less than 16 years old.

Watch The Story

James Howard Bell was arrested earlier this week. Kentucky State Police said they were notified about the case after Bell went to the authorities himself. Police said they sat down with Bell and he admitted to several crimes.

Trooper Ronald Turley said after Bell told them about his sexual encounters with the child, they went to find the victim.

After conducting more interviews, they searched Bell's house and arrested him. Bell is charged with sodomy, sexual abuse and wanton endangerment.

While police won't discuss the specifics of the case, Turley said Bell apparently thought someone else was going to turn him in to police.

According to the Web site for Bells' church, The Refuge Temple Church of God in Christ, Bell is married and has three children.

Those at the church said they had no comment on the case.

Bell is being held on a $50,000 full cash bond.

He denied an interview request from WLKY News.


margo said...

i vood like to know if hazoolola vill valk vit me just in case i chalesh.

Anonymous said...

why are you so biased against mondrowitz? has the man been proven guilty yet? he is in custody in israel is he not? let him face the court there. all we have now is rumors not facts.

david said...

I am no Rubashkin fan, but I do believe he is being discriminated due to his heritage.
Some members of Postville's Jewish community say a recent federal court ruling involving a former Agriprocessors CEO is religious discrimination.

Sholom Rubashkin continues to sit in the Dubuque County Jail as he awaits trial on federal charges related to the May immigration raid. Last week, a judge denied bail, calling Rubashkin a flight risk. Some say Rubashkin was denied bail because he is Jewish.

On Sunday, dozens of Jews from around eastern Iowa and mostly the Postville area came outside of the jail to say they want to see equal rights for Jews.

The demonstrators set-up a menorah outside of the Dubuque Law Enforcement Center where the jail is housed Sunday afternoon ,on the last night of Hanukah.

"Today is the 8th day of Hanukah. Hanukah is a festival of freedom, of lights, and it's supposed to celebrate freedom from oppression," organizer Amy Dickel said.

The demonstrators say Sholom Rubashkin is being oppressed, held because he is Jewish.

"The Bill of Rights is being totally violated here. To be held, not given bail simply because you're Jewish is wrong. Simply," Dickel said.

Prosecutors say part of Rubashkin's flight risk is Israel's "law of return", which says all Jews can be granted Israeli citizenship if they aren't a public threat. But demonstrators here say Rubashkin has no more direct connection to Israel than any other Jew and is not a flight risk.

"He's no more of a flight risk than you or I. Over 30 families offered to put up their houses as collateral in addition to an entire bail package up to ten million dollars," Dickel said.

Organizers say this demonstration is not about Agriprocessors or just about Rubashkin; it's about equal rights for all Jews.

"If one U.S. Attorney in one state in one town can say, 'all Jews are a flight risk simply because they're Jewish", because we have the Right of Return to become a citizen in iIsrael, then what does that mean for Jews everywhere?" Dickel said.

Organizers of the demonstration say they hope this raises awareness of people around the country about what is happening here Iowa.

In explaining Rubashkin's flight risk, the judge said when Rubashkin was out on bail for other charges two months ago, agents found travel bags of cash and passports packed in Rubashkin's home.

Rubashkin's lawyers maintain he would stay in Postville and say they plan to appeal the decision.

msnbc said...

As economy worsens, child abuse cases on the rise

avremel schor said...

We must ban lipa shmeltzer's 'big event' now. I warn all that plan on attending of the major danger of lightheadedness and letzunes.

rabbi avi shafran said...

Transgender is one thing. I count 3 strikes against him. 1. he is a transgendermeister 2. he is a reformeister 3. he calls himself a rabbi. Ha! A rabbi must be observant orthodox like myself and certainly have be born of natural manhood.

Transgender Rabbi Blazes Trail for Observant Jews
by Kilian Melloy
EDGE Contributor
Monday Jan 5, 2009

The Jewish community has largely embraced its GLB members, with transgendered Jews now also being more widely accepted.

A Han. 5 article at related the experience of Elliot Kukla, a rabbi in the Reform tradition of the Jewish faith, who disclosed that he was transgendered before he was ordained over two years ago.

In that short span of time, Kukla has seen the his faith open up to him.

The article quoted Rabbi Kukla as saying of his fellow Jews in the San Francisco area, "I’m so amazed at the old ladies who will turn to their friends and say, ’Did you meet the nice, young transgender rabbi?’"

Added the rabbi, "Some of that is San Francisco, but that conversation would never have happened a few years ago."

Jewish GLBT group Mosaic’s executive director, Gregg Drinkwater, noted, "Transgender issues are really the next set of issues that the Jewish community feels it needs to address."

Added Drinkwater, "It’s the next wave within the liberal Jewish community, certainly within the Reform and Reconstructionist movements, and in parts of the Conservative world."

Attitudes are evolving outside of the liberal wings of the faith, as well; the article referred to Leonard Sharzer, a Conservative Jew who, prior to becoming a rabbi, was a surgeon who performed gender reassignment operations for those who opted to change their genders physically, rather than by taking up names, dress, and habits in accordance with the gender with which they identified.

Sharzer, the article said, had weighed in with his own "rabbinic opinion" on a paper constituting an opinion by rabbi Mayer Rabinowitz that said that under Jewish law, transgendered individuals who opted for surgery to alter their physical genders ought to be honored as members of that gender.

The article quoted from Rabinowitz’s opinion, which reads in part, "Those who claim that we can not change God’s creation are closing their eyes to conversion, and to transplants as well as many other medical procedures which in fact do change God’s creation."

The document continues, "[Jewish law] has always been macroscopic and not microscopic.

"Therefore, external organs determine the sexual status of a person."

Rabinowitz, who is an associate professor on the Talmud at the Jewish Theological Seminary, saw his rabbinical opinion approved by leaders of the Conservative movement.

Sharzer’s contribution suggests that those who have not had such surgery ought also to be honored as members of the gender with which they identify.

The Ultra-Orthodox wing of the faith does not agree. The article quoted the director of public affairs for one Ultra-Orthodox group, Agudath Israel of America.

The director, Avi Shafran, said that under Jewish law, "and that’s all that should matter to an Orthodox Jew, if the physiology is clearly male or female, then they are considered that."

Added Shafran, "Certainly the surgery [for gender reassignment] is not permitted.

"If post facto there was a change, to the best of my knowledge it doesn’t make a difference either."

But ancient texts are more modern in some ways than may be widely known: said Congregation Sha’ar Zahav rabbinic intern Reuben Zellman, "Today in the Western world, we are very insistent about our binary gender system," but the Reform synagogue intern added that that was not necessarily an outlook shared by ancient scholars.

"Our sages talked about gender diversity in a much different way than we talk about it in contemporary America," Zellman, who himself is transgendered, said.

"They were, in some senses, much more open about what the range of human experience could really be."

Among various genders aside from "male" and "female" that ancient texts refer to, said the article, are "androgynos" (literally, "man/woman") and "tumtum," which is a gender in-between male and female.

Zellman cited the Babylonian Talmud, the article said, referencing a section in which rabbis consider whether Abraham’s wife Sarah, incapable of childbirth, might have fallen into that mid-gender category.

Said Zellman, "What they say is that maybe [Sarah] didn’t have a uterus."

Added the rabbinical intern, "In essence, maybe Sarah is not a woman in the way that we understand it."

Zellman and Kukla have created a resource called TransTexts, the article said, that looks at just such references to transgenderism and other non-binary gender issues in the faith’s ancient writings.

Moreover, Kukla helped to create the online resource

The article also quoted the rabbi Denise Eger, of the GLBT Reform synagogue in West Hollywood, who said that while such gender issues may seem thoroughly contemporary, they, too, are part of history.

Said Rabbi Eger, "It’s something that’s always been there, but now perhaps we’re able to shed a light on the journey and the spirituality of it."

Kilian Melloy reviews media, conducts interviews, and writes commentary for EDGEBoston, where he also serves as Assistant Arts Editor.

Meir said...

Watch this youtube clip and see why the Arab Muslims are the filthiest animals alive yemach shemam.

Sgt.Dvir Emmanueloff a'h said...

( As Israeli Defense Forces began the long anticipated ground operation to end rocket fire into the Southern communities, its soldiers are penetrating Gaza's dangerous interior and Chabad representatives are intensifying their own support efforts both for the soldiers and Israel's southern residents.

IDF sources confirmed one fatality, St. - Sgt.Dvir Emmanueloff, 22, of Givat Zeev. Emmanueloff died of wounds sustained in a mortar shell attack near Jabalya in the Gaza Strip on Sunday.
Create a Comment Print this story

Chabad's representatives in Givat Ze'ev, Rabbi Chaim and Ayelet Bachar received the news of Dvir's death with shock. They knew him personally, as Dvir was a student of Rabbi Bachar's in elementary school. "He was an outstanding student," says Rabbi Bachar. Emmanueloff will be buried Sunday night at Mt. Herzel.


IDF reports that 54 soldiers were injured, including four seriously, during Sunday's actions. Twenty one Israeli soldiers were hospitalized in Siroka Hospital in Beer’sheva and Tel Hashomer outside Tel Aviv. Chabad’s Terror Victims Project's Rabbi Menachem Kutner was joined by Rabbi Zalman Gorelik of Beer Sheva and Rabbi Levi Gopin of Tel Hashomer, making the rounds among the soldiers, providing services to family members, and offering support. Rabbi Kutner emailed the names of the wounded soldiers to Chabad representatives worldwide, who are leading prayers in their communities for their speedy recovery.

“The soldiers are recovering and in good spirits,” said Rabbi Kutner after his visit to Siroka. “We helped them and their family members with whatever immediate needs they had." Kutner also said he and the other Chabad representatives "let them know how appreciated they are,” at this critical time. Indeed, the strike against Hamas has widespread popular support in Israel, after frustrations at the mounting rocket attacks on its civilian population by Hamas.

Mrs. Mogilevsky told that her son and many other soldiers received extra clothing, food packages, and various other needs from the many Chabad representatives visiting the front lines in the days leading up to the ground invasion.

The advent of ground fighting is particularly difficult for the parents of soldiers, who have not had contact with their children since the army collected soldier's cell phones prior to the ground incursion to prevent security leaks. Margolit Mogilevsky of the Chabad community in Thornhill, Toronto said she last spoke to her son, Levi Yitzchok, a 19 year old soldier with the special forces and paratroopers, before Shabbat.

“He said we wouldn’t be able to reach him for a few days. I know we are doing what we have to do, but, for me, it’s not a good experience,” she said. “All I can do is pray to G-d.”

Mrs. Mogilevsky told that her son and many other soldiers received extra clothing, food packages, and various other needs from the many Chabad representatives visiting the front lines in the days leading up to the ground invasion.

Many Shluchim have increased their supportive efforts since Saturday night, travelling up to the front lines. Rabbi Mendy Ofen of Ohr Lachayal, a Chabad agency which provides religious services and products to soldiers, has been outfitting soldiers with a specially crafted prayer book, Tehillim, Torah and mini charity box combination that soldiers can tuck into their gear for extra protection.

“We bring them food and emotional support, offer them an opportunity to put on tefillin, and show them with our actions that we are with them every step of the way,” said Rabbi Ofen.


On the home front, the Chabad Terror Victims Project sent hundreds of gifts to the children of hard hit Netivot on Friday. Confined to shelters since the war began, children and parents rejoiced as Rabbis Isser Edrei, Benyamim Fodorovski, Yisrael Lipsch made the rounds of the city’s shelters to deliver the gifts which included games and children’s stories of faith in difficult times.

Throughout the Sabbath and on Sunday, residents of the South stayed in shelters away from the missile onslaught. In heavily hit Ashkelon, Rabbi Menachem Liberman met with the mayor Benny Vaknin and local officials on Friday to discuss the status of the city’s shelters and what additional services are needed. Last week, Rabbi Liberman bused his local yeshiva students north to Kiryat Atta to continue their studies in an alternative facility. Younger children, however, have been learning in various shelters throughout the city.

“We are trying to stock up in the shelters for times when kids and families need to be there for extended periods of time,” said Rabbi Liberman. “We’re gathering food, games for the kids, getting ready since the home front command raised the alert level.”

Rabbi Liberman told that the synagogue was almost empty on Shabbat and the streets quiet. While the rockets increased, so have the miracles, including a rocket which went through the window of a Russian immigrant family’s apartment. Despite the damage and explosion, the family, who was in another room, escaped harm.

“People are scared and nervous. Some hear the sirens and panic each time that they are going to be hit.”

please pray for the soldiers said...

Public Prayer Assembly Slated for Tuesday in Jerusalem

by Nissan Ratzlav-Katz

( An assembly has been called for 3:00 p.m. Tuesday at the Western Wall of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City to pray for the success of Israel's soldiers in their fight against Palestinian Authority terrorists and for all Jews in distress. Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, the "Rishon LeTzion" and former Chief Rabbi of the State of Israel, has called for the public to take part.

In addition to IDF soldiers at the front, prayers will focus on: residents of communities within the range of Hamas rockets; the nation's sick and those wounded as a result of the ongoing enemy attacks; abducted soldier Gilad Shalit, held by the Gaza jihadists; Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard, imprisoned in an American jail; and the blessing of rain in the Land of Israel.

One central message that organizers are emphasizing is the responsibility of each Jew for his fellow. This, against the backdrop of a fast day on the 10th of the Hebrew month of Tevet, which falls on Tuesday. The 10th of Tevet Fast marks the anniversary of the beginning of the Babylonian siege of Jerusalem, which culminated in the destruction of the First Temple in Jerusalem more than 2,500 years ago. The prayer assembly, organizers explained, is intended as a spiritual healing of the sins that led to the loss of the Temple.

Why Pollard?
"The prayer for the success of our soldiers and for the residents of the south is clear on the backdrop of the war we are in the midst of, but why pray specifically now for the salvation of our brother Jonathan Pollard?" the organizers of the assembly asked in promotional literature. "We are now very close to the most critical and important moment in the struggle for the salvation and release of our brother Jonathan Pollard, who is starting his 24th year in jail and whose situation is so serious it may be life threatening. In a short time (the 24th of Tevet), [US President] Bush is going to conclude his term, and this is the opportunity to save our brother Jonathan. Praying for his release is the least we can do for a Jew who dedicated himself to preserving our security...."

In a related effort, a special telephone line has been set up to allow Israelis to call the White House for the price of a local call and ask President George Bush to pardon Jonathan Pollard before he leaves office. Pollard has been behind bars for passing classified information to Israel; however, his sentence has far exceeded that of any other individual caught acting on behalf of an American ally. Fifteen thousand Israelis have already used the phone number, 0700-566-4305, to express their views to the White House.

Other Prayer Initiatives
A special prayer for the troops, recommended for reciting jointly, was read by IDF Chief Rabbi Avi Ronsky on Sunday to the troops about to join combat with Hamas terrorists in Gaza. A new prayer written specifically for the besieged residents of southern Israel was approved last week by Rabbi Eliyahu.

In addition, Rabbi Simcha HaCohen Kook, the chief rabbi of Rehovot, and Rabbi Levi Yitzchak Horowitz, the Bostoner Rebbe, have initiated a "prayer for every soldier" campaign. The objective is to have people add to their regular Torah study and prayers for the sake of IDF soldiers on the front lines.

The public has been asked to pray for IDF soldier Hoshea ben Miriam, who was critically wounded in Gaza fighting. The family told Arutz Sheva on Monday evening that his condition has improved since he was first evacuated from Gaza, but he is still in serious condition and in need of the public's prayers.

In total, seven soldiers suffered light to moderate wounds in fighting during the day Monday.

mad world said...

Contending that Bernard L. Madoff sent at least a million dollars worth of jewelry as gifts to family members and friends last month, federal prosecutors asked a judge on Monday to revoke his bail and send him to jail.

Mr. Madoff, who has been free after posting bail of $10 million when he was charged last month with securities fraud, remained free after the hearing pending a ruling by the magistrate judge, Ronald L. Ellis of United States District Court in Manhattan.

Judge Ellis ordered each side to submit legal briefs on the matter by Wednesday.

United States Attorney Marc O. Litt asked for revocation of Mr. Madoff’s bail, arguing that the gifts violated conditions that barred him from disposing of any of his assets.

The newly aggressive stance by prosecutors appeared to represent a serious deterioration in relations between the government and Mr. Madoff, who is said to have confessed to a huge Ponzi scheme last month and had seemed to be cooperating with investigators trying to unravel the fraud. In an interview on Monday evening, a lawyer for Mr. Madoff backed away from earlier statements that Mr. Madoff was helping investigators.

While Mr. Madoff faced the potential loss of his freedom in New York, the Securities and Exchange Commission came under heavy criticism from lawmakers in Washington.

At a hearing Monday afternoon, members of a House committee questioned why the agency had not uncovered Mr. Madoff’s fraud long before early December, when he is said to have confessed it to F.B.I. agents. The S.E.C.’s inspector general, H. David Kotz, promised a full investigation.

in the know said...

Bernard Freilich tried to coverup and intercede but the detective on this case would have none of it.

Outrage at Boro Park Y alleging child molester still has access to center


Sunday, January 4th 2009, 10:51 PM

An accused Brooklyn child molester charged with fondling a boy inside a Boro Park Y six years ago still frequents the kiddie-packed center, the Daily News has learned.

Arthur Samet, 48, was arrested in October and charged with sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child beginning in December 2001 at the 14th Ave. YM-YWHA's Jacuzzi, according to court records.

The victim, now 19, came forward last fall to report the alleged crime.

Officials at the Y were stunned to learn of the alleged incident.

"This is the first time I am hearing about this," said Boro Park YM-YWHA director Ellie Kastel, who was shown court documents detailing the encounters by a News reporter.

"I am very disturbed that we weren't informed. It is very important to us to protect our children," Kastel said.

Asked if Samet will lose his membership, Kastel replied: "I will do what my lawyers tell me to do."

Samet was arrested in 2007 on a charge of sexual misconduct, but the victim later refused to prosecute because of intense pressure from the Jewish community, police sources said. The case was later sealed.

In the current case, investigators wanted to protect the victim from outside influence and did not officially notify the YMHA, sources said.

Prosecutors took up the case even though it was six years before the teen came forward, because state law gives child victims of sex abuse up to five years past their 18th birthday to tell authorities, said a spokesman for Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes.

The teen told investigators in October that Samet molested him inside the Y three times, between December 2001 and March 2002. At least one instance occurred while they both sat inside the Y's Jacuzzi, sources said. Samet refused to comment at a December court appearance. His lawyer, Richard Finkel, said Samet is a "family man."

The issue of molestation has become more visible in the insular Borough Park community in recent months because of several arrests. Samet is the third man charged with sexually or physically abusing a child.

With Alison Gendar

exposemolesters said...

Cowardliness is synonymous with specimens of your ilk. Your logic is unpardonable. I will make no attempt(s) to persuade an idiot!

Anonymous said...

why are you so biased against mondrowitz? has the man been proven guilty yet? he is in custody in israel is he not? let him face the court there. all we have now is rumors not facts.

exposemolesters said...

KINGS Criminal Court
Docket: 2008KN080814
Defendant: SAMET, ARTHUR
Born 1950

Arrest/Incident Date/Time

Arrest Date: October 28, 2008
Arrest Time: 09:00
Incident Date: December 5, 2001
Incident Time:

Case Related Numbers

Criminal Justice Tracking Number: 63248172R
NYSID Number: 9737574P
Arrest Number: K08695605
Summons/Ticket Number:

Arresting Officer Info

Agency: NYPD
Officer Command: 66

Law Code and Code Section/Subsection

PL 130.60 02 *** TOP CHARGE ***

Charge Detail

A Misdemeanor, 6 count, Arrest charge, Arraignment charge
Description: SX ABSE:SX CNTCT W/IND<14


Law Code and Code Section/Subsection

PL 130.60 02

Charge Detail

A Misdemeanor, 6 count, Arrest charge, Arraignment charge
Description: SX ABSE:SX CNTCT W/IND<14


Law Code and Code Section/Subsection

PL 130.55 00

Charge Detail

B Misdemeanor, 6 count, Arrest charge, Arraignment charge
Description: SEXUAL ABUSE 3RD


Law Code and Code Section/Subsection

PL 260.10 01

Charge Detail

A Misdemeanor, 1 count, Arrest charge, Arraignment charge
Description: ACT MANR INJUR CHILD < 17


Law Code and Code Section/Subsection

PL 130.55 00

Charge Detail

B Misdemeanor, 6 count, Arrest charge, Arraignment charge
Description: SEXUAL ABUSE 3RD


Law Code and Code Section/Subsection

PL 130.60 02

Charge Detail

A Misdemeanor, 6 count, Arrest charge, Arraignment charge
Description: SX ABSE:SX CNTCT W/IND<14


Law Code and Code Section/Subsection

PL 130.60 02

Charge Detail

A Misdemeanor, 6 count, Arrest charge, Arraignment charge
Description: SX ABSE:SX CNTCT W/IND<14


Law Code and Code Section/Subsection

PL 130.60 02

Charge Detail

A Misdemeanor, 6 count, Arrest charge, Arraignment charge
Description: SX ABSE:SX CNTCT W/IND<14


Law Code and Code Section/Subsection

PL 130.60 02

Charge Detail

A Misdemeanor, 6 count, Arrest charge, Arraignment charge
Description: SX ABSE:SX CNTCT W/IND<14


Law Code and Code Section/Subsection

PL 130.55 00

Charge Detail

B Misdemeanor, 6 count, Arrest charge, Arraignment charge
Description: SEXUAL ABUSE 3RD


Law Code and Code Section/Subsection

PL 130.55 00

Charge Detail

B Misdemeanor, 6 count, Arrest charge, Arraignment charge
Description: SEXUAL ABUSE 3RD


Law Code and Code Section/Subsection

PL 130.55 00

Charge Detail

B Misdemeanor, 6 count, Arrest charge, Arraignment charge
Description: SEXUAL ABUSE 3RD


Law Code and Code Section/Subsection

PL 130.55 00

Charge Detail

B Misdemeanor, 6 count, Arrest charge, Arraignment charge
Description: SEXUAL ABUSE 3RD


Law Code and Code Section/Subsection

PL 240.26 01

Charge Detail

Violation, 1 count, Not an arrest charge, Arraignment charge


KINGS Criminal Court
Docket 2008KN080814

Appearance Information:
Part & Date Judge Calendar
Section Court
Reporter Release
Status Arraignment
Type Hearing
Type Docket
AP2, February 18, 2009 Pending No Type
AP2, December 9, 2008 KALISH,ROBERT D Pending PARISH, Bond $2,500 Cash $1,000 (Not Posted) No Type CASE CONTINUED (ADJOURNED) - Temporary Order of Protection Issued
APAR1, October 29, 2008 ZARO,S Pending BUTTERS, Bond $2,500 Cash $1,000 (Not Posted) Pre-Arraignment Deposition Given CASE CONTINUED (ADJOURNED) - Temporary Order of Protection Issued

Docket Information:
Standards and Goals Age Defendant Status

Docket Sentence Information:
Docket Sentence
No Data Available

Defense Attorney Information:
Name Type Court Date Court Part Firm Name Phone Number Address
Brooklyn Defender Service October 29, 2008 APAR1

Assistant District Attorney Information:
Name Assignment Date
RUSSO, December 9, 2008

17 years for sexually molesting a toddler said...

Child molester gets 17-year prison sentence
By Mary Schenk
Tuesday December 30, 2008

URBANA – An Urbana man who admitted sexually molesting a toddler earlier this year will spend at least the next 14 years in prison.

Kethan Garlick, 29, who listed an address in the 700 block of Scovill Drive, sobbed as he apologized to his family for the harm he had caused. Champaign County Judge Tom Difanis sentenced him to 17 years in prison, of which he'll have to serve at least 85 percent.

Garlick pleaded guilty in October to predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, admitting that between April and July 2008, he had sexual contact with a girl at a home in Champaign.

"I'm really sorry. I don't know how to say it except I just want help to make sure it never happens again," Garlick told the judge.

Assistant State's Attorney Duke Harris had asked for 25 years, the amount he said he would when Garlick pleaded guilty.

"This child was defenseless," said Harris. "This can't be allowed to happen."

Garlick's attorney, Public Defender Randy Rosenbaum, asked for a lower sentence, arguing that Garlick had pleaded guilty, that he wants treatment for sex offending, and that he has health problems. And while he said it was no excuse for his criminal behavior, Rosenbaum said Garlick came from a "dysfunctional" background in which he and his brother were emotionally and sexually abused as children, which landed them in the foster care system.

Garlick's brother, Morgan Garlick, 27, of Champaign, is also in jail awaiting trial on a charge of aggravated battery to a child that allegedly occurred in mid-June. He is accused of squeezing his then 4-month-old daughter's mid-section so forcefully that it caused bleeding in her brain.

The allegations against both Garlick brothers resulted in each of them having their parental rights to their children terminated.
Find this article at:

amen said...

Israel says it won't stop the assault until its southern towns are freed of the threat of Palestinian rocket fire and it receives international guarantees that Hamas, a militant group backed by Iran and Syria, will not restock its weapons stockpile. It blames Hamas for the civilian casualties, saying the group intentionally seeks cover in crowded residential areas.

Anonymous said...

Whatever people will say about outgoing President Bush, we should all remember he was a great friend of Israel and the Jews. Obama? We don't know but don't bet on it.

Mayor Bloomberg is also an outspoken advocate and showed it with his visit to Israel in this time of war.

We may not agree with all their policies, but forever we should be grateful for having such allies of the Jewish people.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said...

"The bottom line is that we have a special relationship with Israel," said Bloomberg, who toured Israel last week and met with city and government officials. "If terrorists win there, the terrorists will be on our doorstep next. We are all engaged collectively in trying to stop terrorism."

Anonymous said...

Yes SHAME ON HAMAS for missing him. Bomb Bloomberg, Mayor of Israel and King of NYC. he wants to fight for Israel since it is democratic (so he says) and yet he kill democracy in New York City. He overturn our votes to extend his and Quinn dictatorship. Also thanks NYPD commissioner, thanks for leaving the city when NYC can be vulnerable to attack.

quote of the week said...

Bloomberg also compared the Hamas attacks to "an emotionally disturbed person banging on your door."

Anonymous said...

CROWN HEIGHTS [CHI] — At 4:12pm, Friday, Erev Shabbos, a child called the Shomrim hotline asking for help. The child stated that he was just molested at the Empire Shtibel Mikvah and the perpetrator was still in the Mikvah.

Numerous Shomrim members arrived on the scene within seconds. After speaking to the child, they requested for Police to further investigate. The members had the suspect, a 23 year old Israeli, wait for Police.

The child told the Police what happened and the officers, then walked suspect to precinct, for further questioning by detectives.

After being interrogated at the precinct the suspect was formally arrested on charges pertaining to his crimes.

In case of an emergency never hesitate to call 911 and Shomrim at (718) 774-3333 24/7

avi "no comment" shafran said...

I will comment on just about anything except when orthodox Jews are molested by their Rebbeim.
The Ultra-Orthodox wing of the faith does not agree. The article quoted the director of public affairs for one Ultra-Orthodox group, Agudath Israel of America.

The director, Avi Shafran, said that under Jewish law, "and that’s all that should matter to an Orthodox Jew, if the physiology is clearly male or female, then they are considered that."

Added Shafran, "Certainly the surgery [for gender reassignment] is not permitted.

"If post facto there was a change, to the best of my knowledge it doesn’t make a difference either."

Sam said...

When will Kars4Kids ever stop spamming the public? I am so sick and tired of hearing them all over the radio, and they advertise on shabbos too - is that permissible?

failedmessiah reports said...

EXCLUSIVE: First In New Wave Of Evictions Hits Postville

youtube said...

When Hamas terrorists use civilians as shields this happens.

Why You’re Not Happy said...

Six common barriers to personal happiness and fulfillment and how to overcome them.
By Annie Stuart
WebMD Feature
Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD

Happiness can be a paradox: The more you reach for it, the more it seems to slip through your fingers. “Ask yourself if you’re happy, and you cease to be so,” says Darrin McMahon, PhD, author of Happiness: A History.

How could this be true? Could it be you’re looking for happiness in all the wrong places? Do you think happiness is what you get when you get what you want? Some say happiness is a little like falling in love, that you can’t make it happen. If that’s the case, then how can you become happier?

At the 2008 Happiness & Its Causes Conference in San Francisco, a wide range of people -- from scientists, doctors, and psychologists to artists, philosophers, and Tibetan Buddhists -- offered their thoughts on the topic. Here are a few of their tips for overcoming six common barriers to happiness.
Happiness Barrier No. 1: Complexity

Solution: Simplify

Schooled in Buddhist monasteries since childhood, Thupten Jinpa, PhD, knows a thing or two about the benefits of simplicity. Why do you think monks and nuns shave their heads, he asks? For one, it simplifies their lives.

A principal English translator to the Dalai Lama, Jinpa is no longer a monk. But he still holds on to some of the lifestyle's spartan values. “My family has a one-car policy,” he says, pointing out the hassles of owning more than one -- the costs, the maintenance, and the time managing the details. Multiple credit cards? They don’t create freedom or happiness, he argues -- although, these days, he might get less of an argument about that.

Modern life has elevated individual choice to the highest level, he says, but these choices come at a big price. “We often conflate quality of life with standard of life,” Jinpa says, “but after a point, the connection [between the two] disappears.”

If you simplify your life, you create more space in your day, making it possible to reflect on your life.
Happiness Barrier No. 2: A Breakneck Pace

Solution: Take a Pause

The same culture that entangles you in a web of complexity may also have you on the constant chase, Jinpa says. “That kind of tension takes a toll on your soul and your psyche.” Whether you call it meditation, silence, or prayer, taking a “pause” just a few minutes a day can help you “recharge your batteries” and make you feel happier. A good time to do this is in the morning. Without it, your life may feel out of control.

Venerable Robina Courtin, a Buddhist nun and organizer of the Happiness & Its Causes Conference, recommends spending these minutes practicing mindful meditation. “During the day, we’re completely absorbed by our senses,” she says, “so we don’t pay attention to our minds.” Sit in a quiet place and simply anchor your mind on your breathing. When your mind wanders, bring it back to your breath. Through this process, you learn to observe what your mind is saying.
Happiness Barrier No. 3: Negativity

Solution: Let go

“Your prison is nothing in comparison with the inner prison of ordinary people: the prison of attachment, the prison of anger, the prison of depression, the prison of pride.” wrote Lama Zopa Rinpoche to a California prisoner, a student of the Liberation Prison Project, which offers Buddhist teachings to people in prison.

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Some might view this statement as a bit of an exaggeration. But negative, compulsive thoughts do have a quality of stickiness to them, Jinpa says. How you see things and the way you experience the world are strongly linked, making it critical to adopt a positive outlook. “You interact with the world through your senses and mind,” he says. “If you can find a way to stand at the doorway of your senses, you can have a say in how you experience the world.”

In our culture, though, we take it as natural that people are angry, depressed, or dejected, Courtin says. “No wonder we get depressed -- it’s a depressing world view. It says you can’t do anything about it.” If you believe your abusive boss, father, or partner is the main cause of your suffering, for example, then you’ve tied your own hands and risk becoming imprisoned by toxic thoughts.

The Buddhist view, by contrast, is that happiness is what you get when you give up a neurotic state of mind, Courtin says. It’s empowering, she says, because knowing you can change it gives you the courage to look inside, pay attention, and take responsibility for your thoughts. Rather than judging negative thoughts, Courtin advises observing them with compassion. Then ask yourself, “What can I do about this?”

Techniques like mindful meditation can help with this, but may not be for everyone, especially those experiencing severe depression, says Philippe R. Goldin, PhD, research associate in the department of psychology at Stanford University.

But there are other simple steps you can take to counteract negativity and enhance your happiness. Practicing gratitude is one. People appear to have a certain set point for happiness, a range that’s influenced by genetics. But those who regularly practice gratitude can enhance this set point by as much as 25%, reports Robert Emmons, PhD in his book, Thanks!: How Practicing Gratitude Can Make You Happier. Through his research, Emmons found that people who kept gratitude journals felt better about their lives, exercised more, and were more optimistic.
Happiness Barrier No. 4: Despair

Solution: Stay hopeful

Did a parent attempt to protect you as a child by saying, “Don’t get your hopes up”? There’s no evidence that hope is hurtful, says David B. Feldman, PhD, assistant professor of counseling psychology at Santa Clara University in California. Instead, hope can greatly enhance happiness in people.
Happiness Barrier No. 4: Despair continued...

But genuine hope isn’t a yellow smiley face or the denial of death at the bedside of a loved one in hospice, says Feldman, who’s pursued research and clinical work addressing the question: “How do people maintain hope and meaning in the face of adversity?

Three components are essential for hope to thrive, Feldman says. They are having goals, as well as a plan and the motivation to achieve them. “Those who succeed don’t internalize the blame game, either internally or externally,” he says, “They ask, ‘what now?’”

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In addition to reaching goals, these people perform better in sports and school, Feldman says. They have a greater tolerance for pain. They use health-promoting behaviors. They also have a lower risk for depression, anxiety, and heart disease.

Feldman advises setting personally meaningful goals and checking to see where your hope falters -- is it with the plan or the motivation? Allow yourself to daydream, he says. It’s a wonderful source of hope and, therefore, happiness.
Happiness Barrier No. 5: Suppressing sadness

Solution: Feel the real

Having a positive outlook doesn’t mean you never allow yourself to feel sadness. The parents who try to protect their children from dashed hopes -- or any kind of sadness -- may actually produce the opposite effect than is intended, says James R. Doty, MD, director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University. Some suffering, he says, makes you a whole person and allows you to acclimate and move forward in your life. Doty speaks from experience. He had an alcoholic father and invalid mother. He lived on public assistance for much of his youth.

“Happiness is not the absence of sadness,” says David Spiegel, MD, medical director of the Center for Integrative Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine. It is not a stiff upper lip or the pop psychology mantra, intoning “always stay upbeat” in the face of cancer. “Phony happiness is not good.” By suppressing sadness, you suppress other, more positive emotions, as well, he says, so people who try to suppress emotions actually become more anxious and depressed.

By finding outlets for sadness and frustration, you gain some measure of control, Spiegel says. Using others as a sounding board -- not as a toxic dumping ground -- can help convert generalized anxiety and depression into targeted feelings you can address with specific solutions.
Happiness Barrier No. 6: Navel-gazing

Solution: Connect with others

How important are social networks to your happiness? Perhaps even more important than you realized. A recent 20-year study of more than 4,000 people showed that happiness is influenced not just by your immediate friends and family. The happiness of a friend of a friend of a friend -- someone you’ve never even met -- can also influence your happiness. It turns out that happiness can spread through social networks, like a virus.
Happiness Barrier No. 6: Navel-gazing continued...

Unfortunately, many people spend so much time by themselves navel gazing, they don’t benefit from this positive “contagion.”

The more self-absorbed you are, the more your world closes in, and the less realistic you become, all of which produces a vicious circle. “You become oblivious to the needs of others, and the world shrinks still more, making you less able to see outside yourself.” If asked, ‘Why are your problems so special?” says Jinpa, you might respond, “Because they’re mine!”

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Check out some of WebMD's popular health tools and slide shows:

* Chicken Soup for Your Child’s Cold?
* 9 Least Effective Exercises
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* Fibromyalgia: Check Your Symptoms

© 2008 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

“If you have such a huge ego, you’re setting yourself up as a huge target, which can easily get hit,” Jinpa says. But using a “wide-angle lens” instead helps you see connections you wouldn’t otherwise see, such as the universality of suffering. All it may take is having a loved one diagnosed with a serious disease to realize how many people are grappling with similar challenges. Feeling joined by others on this journey provides some comfort and happiness.

The straightest path to making connections like these? Compassion and caring for others.

Even primates seem to understand this, says Robert M. Sapolsky, PhD, author of Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers and research associate with the Institute of Primate Research at the National Museum of Kenya. Primates that groom each other after a stressful event experience a reduction in blood pressure. The clincher? Grooming others has a greater impact than getting groomed, says Sapolsky.

Compassion engages us with others, removes isolation, builds resilience, and leads to deep fulfillment, says Doty. “Without compassion, happiness is simply short-lived pleasure.”

Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, may have said it best: “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion; if you want to be happy, practice compassion.”

mad world said...

January 6, 2009
Wealth Matters
The Rules That Madoff’s Investors Ignored

Bernard L. Madoff, the Cheshire cat of financial swindlers, did what advisers to the very rich only dream about: he persuaded them to hand over a huge percentage of their net worth with less due diligence than they would do before purchasing a launch for their yacht.

Private banks wine and dine prospective clients, hold seminars for their children in exotic locales, offer them financing for everything a very rich person has to own — yachts, jets, sports teams — and still they are likely to get only a small percentage of a person’s assets to manage.

Yet Mr. Madoff, the picture of wealth and health, took the opposite approach. He was a sphinx, and instead of trying to solve his riddle, some of the wealthiest people in America, Europe and Asia primped and posed in the hope that he would select them to feed into his Rube Goldberg machine. If only his clients had given a bit more to the private banker waving United States Open tickets.

With hindsight, it is easy to say how foolishly those who invested in his fund acted — easy, but unfair. What he constructed was the investing equivalent of putting a red rope in front of an empty club and then letting no one in. He didn’t dream up impenetrable financial products; he offered consistently better-than-average returns. Who wouldn’t want that?

Delivering 20 percent every year for 30 years would have been too hard to believe (and pay out) while 5 percent would have sent most people searching for more elsewhere. Returning 10 to 12 percent year after year was a stroke of genius: it was within the realm of possibility, if just barely.

The point is that the mistakes his investors made are ones that anyone could make. While the stories of so much money lost are tragic, none had to occur. Much of this loss could have been prevented if people had questioned what they were doing.

THE 10 PERCENT RULE The saddest Madoff stories are the ones about life savings lost. These were people who had, say, $5 million in one of his funds and now have nothing. Honestly, the people themselves need to bear some responsibility for this. The most basic book on investing will tell you never to put more than 5 or 10 percent into any one investment, particularly one meant to preserve wealth.

In 2008, of course, a diversified portfolio did not protect people from loss — stocks and bonds, both here and abroad, all suffered. But a well-balanced portfolio did prevent financial ruin. A little bit of Lehman Brothers or Fannie Mae could be absorbed; vast concentrated positions could not be.

Having a concentrated stock position when you’re working for a company is sometimes unavoidable. If you were a senior executive at Lehman or Bear Stearns, a part of your bonus was paid in shares, and such restricted stock needs to be held for a period of time, generally two to seven years. Having a concentrated position in other circumstances, however, is foolish. Any responsible wealth manager works to reduce or hedge a person’s concentrated stock position. With Mr. Madoff, investors went the other way and added money year after year. Discipline is key: stick to 10 percent or less and remember that any investment can go bust.

CONSISTENCY IS BAD Even the New York Yankees don’t win the World Series every year (at least not anymore). And if anyone should have known this, it should have been Fred Wilpon, the owner of their crosstown rival, the Mets. For the last two seasons, he put together stunning teams, loaded with sluggers, fielders and ace pitchers, only to watch them collapse in the last weeks of the season.

What does this have to do with Mr. Madoff? It shows that consistency at the highest level isn’t bad; it’s impossible. There are too many variables that inhibit being great on a regular basis. Yet Mr. Wilpon, through his Sterling Equities, suffered undisclosed but reportedly significant losses from Mr. Madoff. It defies logic that someone so well versed in a market with as many unforeseeable glitches as baseball would believe that an equally imperfect world — investing — could be so steady.

This is where the people who suspected his fraud are gloating. Aksia, a research firm, released a letter the day Mr. Madoff was arrested that ticked off the warning signs. One of the biggest was the impossibility of the gains claimed by Mr. Madoff’s fund. “Its returns could not be nearly replicated by our quant analyst,” the letter said.

Good investment advisers plan for a modest return over the years. They know that one year they will get you 11 percent, the next year 6 percent and the year after that lose you 2 percent — so count on 5 percent. Mr. Madoff’s returns were too good to be true, but no one wanted to believe that.

THE GRAND FALLOON Kurt Vonnegut coined this phrase in “Cat’s Cradle,” and never did it have a more devastating application than in the Madoff scheme. In Vonnegut’s world, a grand falloon was a false association mistaken for friendship — two people from the same town, same university, same company meet somewhere and believe that coincidental connection has significant meaning. It doesn’t, no more so than belonging to the Palm Beach Country Club or the Fifth Avenue Synagogue did for those who used their proximity to Mr. Madoff to coax him into taking their money.

This is a crucial point particularly in opaque investments, from hedge funds to private equity partnerships: just because someone is a good golfer does not mean he should be trusted to invest your money. Private bankers are forever telling their clients not to try to get into someone’s hedge fund just because you enjoyed their conversation on the course — or, worse, want to play with them again. Like taking care of your health, picking an investment adviser should be done with the utmost rigor. However much you’ve amassed over a lifetime doesn’t mean you can be any less careful: what took decades to build can disappear over night. Just look at the United States stock market: six years of gains were wiped out in 2008.

‘DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL’ As much as the steady returns were enticing, Mr. Madoff’s investors wanted to bask in the glow of being part of such an elite, select group. They didn’t ask enough questions and seemingly assumed the person who got them in had vetted him. But nothing in which you are putting millions of dollars is so wonderful that it cannot withstand scrutiny.

Even more difficult to grasp was why investors didn’t ask more questions of the feeder funds that were channeling money to Mr. Madoff. Why didn’t anyone want to know more about Walter Noel and his investing strategy at Fairfield Greenwich? He lost $7.3 billion of client money to Mr. Madoff, collecting huge management fees for doing little more than passing money along to him. Again, those investors, like Aksia, who asked questions walked away without giving Mr. Madoff their money. They may have been excluded from his club, but they still have their money.

PUT MONEY IN BUCKETS Mortimer Zuckerman, the real estate developer and owner of The Daily News of New York, lost $30 million the right way — through his charitable foundation. As harsh as this may sound for the charity’s beneficiaries, he seems to have followed the popular wisdom of private bank investment strategists: divide your money into buckets to insure the money you need to live on will always be safe. Of course, Mr. Zuckerman may have gotten lucky in not losing money he depended on to live. Most strategists advise putting your riskiest assets into your philanthropy bucket — and so many people believed investing with Mr. Madoff was as safe as it got.

Associated Press said...

Analysis: In Gaza fight, Iran lurks in background
By SALLY BUZBEE, Associated Press Writer Sally Buzbee, Associated Press Writer Tue Jan 6, 2:41 pm ET

CAIRO, Egypt – Israel's fight with Hamas in Gaza, like the war with Hezbollah in Lebanon two years ago, is not just a struggle over the Palestinian issue but a broader proxy battle between Western allies and Iran for the very future of the Middle East.

Unlike the Lebanon war, the fighting in Gaza contains faint stirrings of change across the region that could bring a more hopeful outcome for Israel, the Palestinians and the West.

Chief among them is the inauguration of a new U.S. president. The Bush administration had long ago lost most ability to get even allies in the Middle East to robustly push U.S. goals. Incoming President Barack Obama won't, of course, instantly change Arab resentment toward America, and he has made clear that he will continue with traditionally strong U.S. support for Israel.

But Obama and the team he has chosen might be more willing to accept the type of arrangement that many believe is needed to relieve the suffering in Gaza and figure out a political solution. That will likely involve giving Hamas some face-saving partial authority role in the crowded territory it seized in 2007 after winning elections. That alone might end the blockade of Gaza that has frustrated the hopes of Palestinians there, who have long had little ability to work or move about or live normal lives. That anger and dismay has boosted support for Hamas.

Supporters of such a policy, including many Europeans, think it is the only way to lure Hamas toward eventual political accommodation with Israel, whose right to exist is rejected by the militants. They note that Hezbollah guerrillas on Israel's northern border seem loath to engage Israel again militarily since gaining a larger role in Lebanon's politics in the wake of the 2006 war.

It is surely a huge gamble that militants will trade political participation for violence. But such a tactic has worked in the past with other, once-radical Palestinian factions.

Obama also has indicated he may be willing to talk to Iran — a country most view as key to the overall Middle East puzzle. The Islamic Republic gained significant regional clout after its protege, Hezbollah, held out against Israel in the 2006 war. That in turn directly hurt the credibility and influence of many Arab moderates.

Iran is controlled by hard-liners whom the West accuses of seeking a nuclear capacity, and its president has called for an end to Israeli rule or for the Jewish state to be "wiped off the map." Iran also is said by Israel and the United States to provide economic and military support to Hamas and Hezbollah militants.

But factions in Iran have also long wanted some type of deal and recognition from the United States. In that reality could lie the seeds of negotiating power on issues the West cares about, such as Israel and alleged Iranian support for Islamic militants — as long as the U.S. bargains tough and with its eyes wide open.

More subtly, two recent trends could change the overall dynamic of Iran seemingly ascendant in the Middle East, while the West's Arab allies stumble and appear weak.

For one, Iran is poorer today than just a few months ago because of the plummet in the price of oil and its own economic mismanagement. The financial crisis does means its leaders must pay more attention to domestic woes and their own dissatisfied public, and not just on foreign issues and the Palestinians or Hezbollah. The hard-line president faces a tough re-election battle this summer.

Second and more profoundly, the Iraq war is going better. That may seem totally disconnected from Gaza for now, but it is, in fact, hugely important for the immediate and long-term future of the entire Middle East.

While violence in Iraq is sure to continue, there is now a definite end game in sight — the fact that the United States and Iraq have agreed on a general timetable for the drawdown of many U.S. troops, and reached a deal for more Iraqi sovereignty.

For American allies such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt, long dismayed by what they saw as a misguided U.S. occupation of Iraq, that change will create great relief.

Importantly, it gives them more credibility with other Arabs. No longer can they be criticized for their roles as "stooges" of the U.S. Iraq policy, and that in turn could strengthen their willingness — and their hand — to dig in for tough diplomacy on Gaza.

All along, Hamas and Hezbollah have played the spoiler role with great glee, provoking and poking at Israel, and when it responds with attacks, trumpeting that only they defend the Palestinians and their children.

One of Hamas' strengths has been its ability to criticize more moderate Arabs for weakness and an inability to improve the lives of Palestinians.

Indeed, Arab allies have been divided internally, more interested in scoring points against each other and competing on diplomacy — mainly Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Qatar — than in pulling together in the same direction to solve the big issues.

The Western and moderate Arab goal is to turn around that dynamic and convince the Arab public that political accommodation — that is, peace deals — are the real solution, not the current path of Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran.

Among the hopeful signs: This time, Egypt spoke strongly against Hamas, and even Saudi Arabia's cautious foreign minister obliquely blamed the militants for the fighting. Turkey is ideally placed to bring all players to the table if it gets some stronger backing from the West — Israel, the moderates, the militants and their backers.

But it will still take hard-nosed, smart and extremely committed diplomacy from the West and from the United States in particular.


Sally Buzbee is Chief of Middle East News, based in Cairo, for The Associated Press.

Anonymous said...

When Hamas deliberately target civilians, nations of the universe hold their tongues. When Israel takes every precaution in the book to spare civilians in retaliatory strikes aimed at Hamas; these same nations cry bloody murder. They cannot have it both ways. Israel must finish off every last terrorist if they want lasting peace and security.

judge this said...

A federal judge who was indicted last year for allegedly making unwanted sexual advances toward his court case manager was accused Tuesday of fondling another former court employee.

A federal grand jury in Houston added three new charges to the indictment it issued in August against U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent. The new charges — aggravated sexual abuse, abusive sexual contact and obstruction of justice — allege Kent engaged in unwanted sexual contact with a second former court employee and later lied about it to investigators.

"There is a gag order in the case which prohibits the parties from making any sort of comment with the exception of stating without elaboration what the defense is to these new charges," said Dick DeGuerin, Kent's attorney. "They are untrue and we believe the product of intense pressure and threats brought against the complainant."

In a press release, the Justice Department only gave a brief description of the additional charges against Kent.

Kent was scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday in connection with the new charges. After last year's indictment, he was released on his own recognizance and is still on the bench.

Jury selection in Kent's trial on the initial charges against him was set to begin on Jan. 26. It was not immediately known if the new charges would delay the trial.

If convicted, Kent faces up to life in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Kent initially faced two counts of abusive sexual contact and one count of attempted aggravated sexual abuse following a U.S. Justice Department investigation into complaints by case manager Cathy McBroom.

McBroom accused the judge of physical sexual harassment over a four-year period starting in 2003 when he was the only U.S. District Court judge in Galveston, an island beach town 50 miles southeast of Houston.

The new charges accuse Kent on one or more occasions between January 2004 and January 2005 of attempting to cause an unnamed former court employee to engage in a sexual act at the U.S. Post Office and federal courthouse in Galveston. The superseding indictment accuses Kent of trying to engage the former court employee in a sexual act by using force.

In addition to the two new sex charges, Kent is facing an obstruction of justice charge.

McBroom's accusations were first investigated by the Judicial Council of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

McBroom has said the alleged harassment culminated in March 2007, when the judge pulled up her blouse and bra and tried to force her to perform oral sex when they were interrupted.

The Associated Press does not normally name alleged victims of sexual abuse, but McBroom's attorney and her family have used her name in publicly discussing the case.

As part of the council's investigation of McBroom's accusations, an investigative committee of the judicial council met with Kent in June 2007 and asked him whether he had engaged in unwanted sexual contact with McBroom and other individuals.

"Kent falsely stated to the special investigative committee ... that the extent of his unwanted sexual contact with (the second court employee) was one kiss ... when in fact ... Kent had engaged in repeated unwanted sexual assaults ...," according to the superseding indictment.

The judicial council suspended Kent in September 2007 for four months with pay but didn't detail the allegations against him.

Kent was transferred to Houston last year as part of his punishment by the judicial council. McBroom was also relocated to Houston after reporting her allegations.

penertration sheinberg said...

Does sodomy mean there was penetration involved?

Man Charged with 50 Counts of Sodomy
Monday, 05 January 2009 13:00

He was already in jail charged with sex crime, but a Ledbetter man now faces additional charges after an investigation by the Paducah Police Department and the Kentucky State Police.

In November, 22-year-old Robert Blake was arrested and charged with multiple counts of rape, sodomy and sexual abuse for alleged offenses in Paducah. But a police investigation uncovered other offenses may have taken place in Ballard County.

Kentucky State Police were contacted to investigate.

On January 1st, Blake was charged 50 counts of Sodomy 1st Degree and 20 counts of Sexual Abuse 1st Degree for offenses that allegedly took place in Ballard County during the summer of 2008.

Blake is being held in the McCracken County Jail on a $100,000 cash bond.

The investigation is on-going.

yeshiva of brooklyn said...

The internet is shmootzik and tumadic. We only abuse kids leshem shomayim. Don't go believing all the sheker they write.

Sex abuse lawsuit alleges racketeering by diocese

December 31, 2008

HARTFORD, Conn. - A Connecticut woman has filed a racketeering lawsuit accusing the Roman Catholic Diocese of Norwich of conspiring to cover up sexual abuse of children by priests.

The woman is known only as Jane Doe in the lawsuit pending in U.S. District Court in Hartford. She alleges she was sexually abused by the late Rev. Thomas W. Shea in 1976 when she was 13 and he was assigned to St. Joseph's Church in New London.

The lawsuit claims the alleged cover-up conspiracy involved diocese officials transferring Shea and several other priests to other parishes numerous times after they were accused of sexual abuse.

The woman's lawyer, Robert Reardon, said he believes the lawsuit is the first racketeering case brought against the Catholic Church in Connecticut. Similar lawsuits have been filed around the country, but nearly all have failed, in attempts to get around time limits for taking legal action.

"We tried to demonstrate through a number of different instances, and through a course of certain conduct, how this conspiracy went," Reardon said. "Whenever there was a complaint, the priest would be transferred."

Norwich diocese spokesman Michael Strammiello released a written statement Tuesday in response to questions from The Hartford Courant.

"We cannot comment on active litigation and risk jeopardizing the proceedings," he wrote. "Allegations of abuse from the past are always difficult for everyone involved. The church and our diocese have come a long way in preventing and assuring that these issues will not be part of our present or future."

Abuse complaints were first filed against Shea in the 1950s and he was transferred numerous times after being accused until he was placed on leave in 1983, according to the lawsuit and published reports.

The lawsuit says the diocese and current and former diocese officials should be held accountable under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. It accuses the defendants of concealing priests' criminal conduct, obstructing justice, bribing victims to keep criminal conduct secret and other crimes.

Racketeering carries up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000 per count.

The lawsuit was first filed in New London Superior Court on Nov. 18, but was transferred recently to federal court at the request of the defendants.

The diocese and its insurance company have paid nearly $5 million to alleged victims of sexual abuse, according to the church.


Don Freid, well known author and playwright, wrote a book eight years ago, about the impact of a large Jewish community in a small town in Iowa.

This was based on the worlds largest Kosher abattoir, based in the small town of Postville and long before any of the current raids, when the town was invaded by thousands of Federal officers in May of this year, who arrested 397 meat workers.

The author who is writing a play based on the book, believes now that these new events and the impact on the small town should be included.

There is no doubt, with the CEO in prison awaiting trial, the national shortage of Kosher meat and the 800 people out of work, there is a story of some merit to be had.

Asher Friedman said...

I am the putz who helped organized the lipa schmeltzer ban last year with help from rav schor. I do not want people like this rabbi at Temple Shalom having a negative influence over any unsuspecting yidden. ---

When Brian Leiken was a young boy, he wanted to grow up to be a rock star. When that didn't work out, he settled for the logical second choice: a rabbi.

"Rock 'n' roll has been a part of my blood since I was 10 and wandered into my brother's room and heard the harmonica solo from (Bruce) Springsteen's 'Born to Run' album," said Leiken, a rabbi at Temple Shalom.

Despite the drastic change in career goals, Leiken has managed to find a way to combine his love for music with his love of his faith.

"I was driving in a car several years ago, and I heard a Simon and Garfunkel song," Leiken said. "I knew they were two Jewish boys from New York, but it got me wondering about how many Jewish artists there were. I learned that there were quite a few, and that the Jews had played a prominent role in the history of rock 'n' roll."

Leiken was excited to
discover the connection between his heritage and the music he grew up listening to. He continued his research and eventually had enough information to share his findings with others.

In March of 2008, Leiken held a rock concert at Temple Shalom. The band, made up of members of his congregation, played songs by Jewish rock stars such as Bob Dylan, Maroon 5, Steely Dan and the Beastie Boys.

"People were so excited about it. I mean, it was
a rock concert held in a synagogue," Leiken said. "People were dancing all over place."

In between songs, Leiken shared the narratives of the musicians whose music was being played and explained how many of them had abandoned their Jewish roots in order to "make it" as rock stars.

"One of the prime examples is Bob Dylan, who was born Robert Zimmerman, had his bar mitzvah and then really abandoned his whole identity when he went to Greenwich Village to join the folk scene," Leiken said. "It wasn't until his dad died (that) he went back to Israel and prayed at the Western Wall that he rediscovered his Jewish roots."

Leiken said the members of his congregation really enjoyed hearing the stories of these Jewish rockers, many of whom they didn't even know were Jewish.

"I call it the Adam Sandler effect," Leiken said. "In 1995 when he went on 'Saturday Night Live' and played the Hanukkah song, which was basically this laundry list of celebrities with Jewish backgrounds, American Jews loved it because he was outing these celebrities who were part of this assimilation to popular culture, and because it helped them connect with these celebrity 'heroes.'"

The rockin' rabbi got a lot of attention after the concert at Temple Shalom. Leiken's efforts were written up in the Connecticut Jewish Ledger, which is where Janet Macoska heard of him. Macoska is a photographer for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and was putting together a collection of photographs of Jewish rock 'n' roll artists and asked Leiken if Temple Shalom would be the first place to house the exhibit.

From that experience Leiken was asked to write the foreword to Macoska's coffee table book, "Jews Rock! A Celebration of Rock and Roll's Jewish Heritage," a newly published, 128-page book containing more than 100 photographs of Jewish rockers.

"I was really excited about this because as I did my research, I realized there were books about Jews and their early involvement in music but not much about the later years," Leiken said.

Leiken has also traveled to various locations throughout the country to give presentations on the history of Jews in rock 'n' roll.

On Jan. 11 at 10 a.m.,
at Temple Shalom, 259 Richards Ave., Leiken will give his multi-media presentation to explore Jewish contributions to rock 'n' roll. The event is free and open to the public.

"I think this is particularly interesting now because there are a slew of bands like Phish, Guster, that are taking ancient music and adding in rock 'n' roll beats, (and) DeLeon and Sway Machinery, who are bringing the Jewish tradition to light in new and exciting ways," Leiken said.

aljazeera said...

Arson attack on French synagogue

Rabbi Shea Hecht said...

“We are a group of guys who, No. 1, are looking to help Rubashkin get out on bail and, No. 2, to voice our concern because we believe that much of this attack is not just an attack on the Rubashkin family and Agriprocessors, but it's really an attack on kosher food.,” committee member Rabbi Shea Hecht told JTA. "And it's questionable if it's one step beyond that -- an attack on Jews.”

Stefan Colmer said...

It is not fair for me to have been extradited and not also Mondrowitz. If only I was a Ger Chosid..

Stefan Colmer became the first accused sex offender to be extradited from Israel under a revised treaty when he arrived in Brooklyn on Monday to face charges that he sodomized two 13-year-old boys in his home in 2006.
Colmer fled to Israel in February after learning he was under investigation, according to Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes.
Hynes is also seeking custody of Avrohom Mondrowitz, who was indicted in 1984 for sodomizing four young boys and has been arrested in Israel as extradition proceedings are pending.

NYPD said...

Terror threat just a terrible hoax, says NYPD

BY Matthew Lysiak and Simone Weichselbaum

Wednesday, January 7th 2009, 2:03 AM

A chilling terror warning spreading across the U.S. and Israel is a hoax, NYPD officials said Tuesday.

The threat, which has popped up on forwarded e-mails and blog posts across the world, warns of an attack in New York today. It says the warning originated with a Muslim cab driver who told a Jewish woman he picked up of a Jan. 7 plot.

"There is no terror plot or threat connected to the rumor that is circulating inNew York and in other cities abroad," said Deputy Police Commissioner Paul Browne.

"There are several variations on the rumor, but it is just that, the latest urban myth."

City Hall and the NYPD were alerted to the viral message days ago, officials said.

Synagogues across the city have added extra security because of the conflict in Gaza.

Meanwhile, the Web site of the Bay Ridge Jewish Center in Brooklyn was hacked by a man calling himself "EL_MuHAMMeD FOR PALESTINE."

Pictures of hooded men launching missiles appeared on the center's site.

common sense said...

Isak Haleva, chief rabbi of Jews in Turkey, called decision-makers for a common sense regarding the activities in the Middle East.

Lipa Schmeltzer said...

If I sing in yidish would you let me do it to the tune of Rock n roll?


I have a confession: I like Christmas music. The upbeat rhythms of a carol often bring a smile to my face. Hearing the soulful timbre of a song like "Silent Night" encourages contemplation. Yes, even a rabbi can appreciate Christmas music.

We should enjoy the cultural output of other cultures, and, yes, religions. Yet, isn't it strange that in recent ears one is less likely to hear "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Chanukah?" More often we get "Happy Holidays" or "Seasons Greetings" -- sometimes perhaps when we shouldn't.

An example appeared in the Chicago Tribune last week. "Santas All Revved Up to Spread Holiday Cheer," the headline read, along with a picture of Santa Clauses in the Toys for Tots parade. A wonderful organization to be sure, but since when does Santa spread "holiday" cheer? I don't recall Santa showing up to spin my dreidel. Santa's job is Christmas, which is why as a child I was OK living in a home with no chimney. Our presents arrived via UPS.

"Happy Holidays" is not a new phrase. Originally, it referred to Christmas and New Years. But now it's intended to convey best wishes for Christmas and Chanukah, as well as Kwanzaa, Devali, Winter Solstice and more. Wikipedia even includes "Festivus," the fictional holiday popularized by Seinfeld.

Some argue this conflation of the holidays is good, that we've learned sensitivity. But I'm not sure that's the whole story. I walk around with a kippah on my head and I think many people know that it means I'm Jewish. And yet, it's pretty rare for a store clerk or a passerby to say "Happy Chanukah!" It makes about as much sense to say "Happy Holidays" to someone wearing a yarmulke as it does to say it to someone with a crucifix. Are we embarrassed to point out the differences between us?

Surely, acknowledging the multiplicity of faiths is a good thing; I'm just not convinced that "Happy Holidays" is the only or best way to do it. And I wonder: Has a well-intentioned desire to be more inclusive and avoid mentioning "Christmas" actually led to increased ignorance of other winter holidays like Chanukah? Why bother learning about other beliefs if I can get away with a generic "Happy Holidays?"

Some say that we Jews, given our minority status, should appreciate this trend. After all, if this recent election proved anything, it's that we are ready to stop defining ourselves by what divides us.

Though there are many for whom Obama's skin color doesn't matter, there are ways in which the real victory for the American people was not simply one of color-blindness. For some, it was selecting a candidate based on ideas despite his race or "foreign" sounding name.

For others, Obama's election signaled a different achievement. During this election, narrative was front and center, and his narrative cannot be separated from his race or ethnicity. I would suggest that some people, whites included, voted for him, at least partially, because he is black. Many were proud to elect someone who looks and talks or even believes differently than they do.

So what does this have to do with saying "Happy Holidays?" I would argue that in recognizing others' differences, each of us secretly hopes that others will recognize our own uniqueness, our own differences as well.

In the Bible, 20 years after their estrangement, and immediately after their reconciliation, Esau says to Jacob: "I have enough, my brother; let what you have remain yours." Jewish tradition understands these two brothers were to father two nations: Israel and Rome, or, in more religious terms, Judaism and Christianity. Understood in this way, Esau's statement is a powerful example of how to celebrate differences.

We are a nation of immigrants, more tossed salad (or fruit cake, maybe?) than melting pot. There are some times when it's appropriate to say "Happy Holidays." But we should avoid complacence. Not knowing can give way to not bothering to know. In the meantime, let's remember the lesson of Jacob and Esau. True understanding comes when we deepen our appreciation of the other, when we recognize and honor our differences.

Daniel Cotzin Burg is a rabbi at Anshe Emet Synagogue in Chicago.

mordy tendler said...

Some girls are just asking for it and these were no exception, I would have molested them too.


LAS VEGAS, N.M. (AP) — The leader of a small religious sect was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years in prison for sexual misconduct with two teenage female followers.

Wayne Bent, 67, who claimed the encounters were spiritual, not sexual, was convicted this month of criminal sexual contact with a minor and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Judge Gerald Baca imposed the maximum sentence of 18 years but suspended eight years. He will have to serve at least 8 1/2 years before becoming eligible for release.

Bent, who calls himself Michael Travesser, is the leader of The Lord Our Righteousness Church. Its almost four dozen adult followers live in a compound called Strong City in a rural area of northeastern New Mexico.

A jury this month convicted Bent for lying in bed with naked 14- and 16-year-old sisters in separate incidents in 2006. But Bent maintained Tuesday that no crime was committed.

"Nobody has been molested," he said, adding that he had "never touched a girl sexually."

Bent and the sisters testified the incidents were spiritual exercises. The teens said Bent did not touch intimate areas, and Bent testified he had placed his hands on the chests, but not the breasts, of the girls.

The judge, in explaining his sentence, said Bent had "crossed the line" under state law in allowing the girls to lie naked with him.

"I am not punishing you for your religious beliefs," Baca told Bent.

However, Bent said prosecutors never tried to understand the group's religious beliefs and his actions before charging him with sex crimes.

"I have been accused and convicted over the rumors of my enemies who just hate our kind of living," Bent said.

Bent's lawyer, Sarah Montoya, said she would appeal his convictions and was surprised by the severity of his sentence. She had recommended that Bent be spared a prison term and instead be allowed to live on the sect's land while wearing an electronic monitor.

About a dozen of Bent's followers spoke to the court Tuesday, describing him as a kind and caring man who was unwavering in his religious beliefs.

His son, Jeff Bent, told the judge, "If he were a child molester, I would know it by now."

Jeff Bent said in an interview that his father would begin a fast. Wayne Bent refused to eat or drink while in jail after his arrest this year.

The elder Bent was a minister for the Seventh-day Adventist Church but separated from it more than 20 years ago. He claims God spoke to him in 2000 and told him he was the Messiah.

Anonymous said...

Rabbi Aaron Shlechter and Rabbi Israel Beslky in the Yated katanim section this week.

avi shafran said...

No mention of dusty Borsalino hats at all in here.

Ask the Rabbi: The way you wear your hat
Jan. 8, 2009

Q What is the source and reason for men to wear a kippa (yarmulke)?- A.S., Jerusalem

A Religious garb, and head coverings in particular, stirs strong religious and sociological emotions. The Muslim hijab, the Catholic miter and the Jewish yarmulke, to take a few examples, each represent, in their own ways, important symbolic messages and shape the identity of individuals and communities. The ambiguous legal origins of the kippa, as we shall see, only underscore its evocative power.

While the Babylonian Talmud depicts in multiple places male head coverings, known as sudra, it appears that in the talmudic era not all men covered their heads at all times. Covering one's head, the Talmud explains, expresses one's reverence for the divine power above (Kiddushin 31a). Indeed, the word sudra itself connotes those who fear Him (Shabbat 77b). As such, the Talmud implies that head coverings are only worn by those who possess this desired characteristic of fearing God, such as married scholars (Kiddushin 29b). In particular, it is worn on occasions that require greater reverence, such as court decisions (Shabbat 10a), life cycle ceremonies (Kiddushin 8a) or grace after meals (Brachot 51a).

Prof. Yitzhak Zimmer, author of an authoritative historical study on the kippa, has further noted that the Jerusalem Talmud never mentions a sudra or other coverings. Similarly, an eighth-century gaonic text contends that in the Land of Israel kohanim offered the priestly blessing with their heads uncovered, as opposed to their Babylonian counterparts (Hillukim Bein Bnei Mizrah Uma'arav 42). Collectively, these sources indicate the male head coverings originated in Babylonia and only spread to Israel and other localities in early medieval times.

Be that as it may, by early medieval times, the practice of wearing a kippa had extended to major Jewish populations and included the entire male populace. Spanish authorities in particular contended that one should always cover his head. They cited, for example, the talmudic statement prohibiting one from walking four ells with his hair uncovered (Shabbat 118b). Similarly, prayers and blessings require head coverings (Sofrim 14:12). Others, however, treated these sentiments as pietistic exhortations but not normative requirements, and a number of sources indicate that early medieval French males, among others, did not always cover their heads (Sefer Kolbo 11).

In his various writings, the preeminent 16th-century decisor Rabbi Yosef Karo argued that head coverings are mandatory for all males and all times (Beit Yosef OC 8), and this became the dominant position. Two notable detractors were Rabbi Shlomo Luria (16th century, Poland) and the Vilna Gaon (18th century, Lithuania), both of whom insisted that kippot are not always required. Nonetheless, even these sages acknowledged that popular practice adopted constant head coverings. Many Italian and Moroccan Jews still follow their heritage that asserts kippot are non-normative requirements.

As Prof. Zimmer speculates, the symbolic differentiation created by kippot helped distinguish the Jews from their gentile neighbors. A couple of 15th-century German sources, for example, indicate that leaving one's head uncovered inappropriately imitates gentile habits and leads to assimilation. Similarly, in the 17th century, Rabbi David Halevi Segal ostracized those Jews who, like their non-Jewish neighbors, remove their hats when sitting down (Taz OC 8:3).

Conversely, those who wanted to break down the laws and symbols that distinguish Jews from non-Jews historically fought against this practice. While the earliest Reform Jews did not abandon their kippot, by 1844 this requirement was dismissed as an act of talmudic pietism. American Reform Jews in particular downplayed this custom, ruling it unnecessary not only in public but in synagogues as well. Recent traditionalist trends within the Reform movement have reintroduced kippot to this community, and some Conservative and Reform women have begun to wear kippot as an egalitarian sign of their proud Jewish identity.

Some of the most fascinating questions regarding kippot shed much light on the larger cultural context. One 18th-century rabbi, for example, struggled to emphasize the obligation of always wearing a kippa while allowing his congregants to remove it in order to greet the king and other noblemen. Rabbi Samson R. Hirsch, the famed 19th-century German leader of neo-Orthodoxy, allowed local youth to remove their head coverings to attend gymnasium classes.

One decisor who dedicated much ink to these questions was Rabbi Moshe Feinstein (20th century, United States). He famously allowed American Jews to remove their kippot for work purposes, but insisted that they put them back on when returning home (Igrot Moshe OC 4:2) In one particularly fascinating responsum, he ruled it was better not to remove one's kippa when (sinfully) entering an inappropriate place like a dance club, even though some feared this would desecrate God's name (YD 2:33). As with many other decisors, Feinstein recognized that the kippa has served an important sociological role for many centuries, and refused to allow this person to remove himself, even in the most irreverent of places, from the community of those that fear God.

The writer, editor of, teaches at Yeshivat Hakotel and is pursuing a doctorate in Jewish philosophy at the Hebrew University.

YouTube said...

Rockets hit northern Israel

Leah Dunaief said...

The power of a simple act of kindness
Between you and me
By Leah Dunaief
write the author
January 08, 2009 | 07:43 AM
This first column of the New Year, 2009, should be a positive one, and I have an appropriate story to share with you that will fit the bill. It is about the triumph of love over hate, of humanity over bigotry. Best of all, it's a true story.

The time is 1991, the place is Lincoln, Neb., and the hero is Michael Weisser, a rabbi. Weisser was the cantor and spiritual leader of the South Street Temple, the oldest Jewish congregation in Lincoln. A few days after he had moved into his new house with his wife, Julie Michael, and three of their five children, the phone rang. The voice on the line called Weisser "Jew boy," and told him the KKK was watching him. The man also told him he would be sorry he had come there. Weisser, who goes to the gym five times a week, was not easily intimidated.

The caller, it turned out, was Larry Trapp, Grand Dragon of the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in Nebraska, who, according to a recent article by reporter Manny Fernandez in The New York Times, kept loaded weapons, pro-Hitler material and his clan robe in his cramped Lincoln apartment. He was 42, nearly blind and was a double amputee in a wheelchair, the victim of diabetes.

Rabbi Weisser did some sleuthing until he had a pretty good idea that his caller was Trapp. Weisser was able to get his phone number and then in turn began calling Trapp, leaving messages on his answering machine. Sometimes he spoke of love in the world, sometimes he pointed out that Trapp would have been one of Hitler's earliest victims because he was disabled. Then one day, Trapp actually answered the phone.

Prepped by his wife to "say something nice" in the event that might happen, Weisser said, "I heard you're disabled. I thought you might need a ride to the grocery."

One night soon after, Trapp called Weisser and said, "I'll never forget it, it was like a chilling moment, in a good way," referring to the kindness. He then added, "I want to get out of what I'm doing and I don't know how."

Weisser and his wife drove to Trapp's apartment that night, where the three talked for hours. Incredibly they formed a close friendship, and Trapp moved into the house of the rabbi and his wife so that they might oversee his care. As his health worsened, Ms. Michael became Trapp's caretaker and confidante.

The story becomes even more incredible. Eventually Trapp renounced the Klan, apologized to many of the people he had previously threatened and converted to Judaism in Rabbi Weisser's synagogue.

This story became a book in 1995 by Kathryn Watterson, titled "Not by the Sword: How the Love of a Cantor and His Family Transformed a Klansman."

Trapp ultimately died in Rabbi Weisser's home, and the rabbi spoke at his funeral.

A simple act of kindness, even just the offer of such an act — a lift to the grocery store — made such a profound change possible.

As we watch the Israelis and Palestinians battle each other, as we see hatred and violence seemingly unending, just this one story of the victory of forgiveness over bigotry lights a candle in the dark.

A Healthy and Happy New Year to All! And be sure to plan some fun for this last year of the decade.

Mohammed Nazzal said...

Mohammed Nazzal, a member of Hamas' Damascus-based political leadership, said, "We will never raise the white banner. I believe there are going to be fierce battles and the resistance factions will fight house to house, street to street and neighborhood to neighborhood."

fed up said...

Mondrowitz should have his balls cut off and fed to him. Agudas Israel is more concerned with the "law of return" and the slimy Rubashkins', than to beseech the Justice Department to extradite one of their own. When Iyov was silent he was punished severely. GOD should erase the individuals who disgrace their power, for the world would be far better off with those who seek justice, peace, and tranquility - of those trio, none does the Agudas Israel seek except when it serves their own depraved agenda.

exposemolesters said...

R'H - I hereby sanctify and anoint you to be the voice of reason. You are enshrined into the land of common sense. How refreshing it is. Who'd have ever thought an Orthodox Rabbi like yourself would have the spunk you've displayed. You are one of a handful!.


Why Avrohom Mondrowitz must be extradited
Jan. 8, 2009

I do not anticipate receiving an invitation to address the judge presiding over the extradition case of Avrohom Mondrowitz on charges of molesting young boys over two decades ago in Brooklyn. However, given the opportunity, here is what I would say:

Your Honor: One of the great Torah sages of the 19th century famously stated that one of the main functions of a rabbi is to advocate for and support the weakest members of his community. I respectfully suggest that our judicial system, as well, has a similar mission - to provide a venue for the downtrodden individuals among us to be heard and fairly represented.

I can think of no group of people who are in need of rabbinic and judicial support more than child-abuse victims. For the vast majority of them were abused or neglected many, many times - first by the monsters who ravaged their innocence and cruelly stole their childhood, later, inadvertently, by the adults in their lives who weren't attuned to their silent cries for help while the abuse was taking place, and finally by those who passively or actively protected the abuser rather than the victim once the abuse became known.

On behalf of the hundreds of abuse victims that I have tried my very best to comfort and support over the years, I beg you to remove the legal barriers that stand between Avrohom Mondrowitz and his long overdue date with justice in America.

MONDROWITZ CRUELLY abused and ruined the lives of many dozens, perhaps hundreds, of vulnerable kids who came to him for counseling and support. I personally have met many of his victims and know of at least one who committed suicide after years of a tortured existence. I met victims of his who became alcoholics, heroin and cocaine addicts, and those who are my age and unmarried - never becoming whole enough to love and be loved. This evil monster robbed them of the joy of holding their own child, while my wife and I became grandparents 18 months ago.

Thankfully, I was never molested as a child. But I often think of how I could very well have been one of the kids who were ruthlessly sodomized by Mondrowitz. I lost my father before my fourth birthday and, due to my restless nature, was a very poor student in school. In short, I was a perfect candidate for a ghoulish predator like Mondrowitz - who was a practicing social worker when I was struggling in school as a teenager. Because I was spared that horrific fate, I feel all the more morally compelled to stand with his nameless, voiceless victims and advocate on their behalf.

I am far from an expert in legal matters. But, one human being to another, I plead with you to do everything in your power to see to it that the people he violated finally gain a modicum of validation and support after all these years - seeing him stand before an American court of law and squarely face his victims. This is where he committed his crimes, and this is where he must face justice.

Two years ago, several months before the attempt was made to extradite Mondrowitz, I wrote a column in The Jewish Press decrying the fact that this fiend was permitted to live a peaceful life in Israel after the atrocious crimes he committed. At that time, the public at large was apathetic, as this case was under the radar of the average person on the street. Thankfully, the tide is turning and there is now a groundswell of support for his extradition. It is difficult to convey to you what a body blow it would be to the fragile emotional health of long-suffering abuse victims to see this high-profile case fall into the win column for this monster and the immoral people who are protecting him.

WORD ON the street is that there are powerful people backing Mondrowitz. Having him successfully avoid extradition will confirm that suspicion in the minds of many. It will also reinforce a horrible message to the public at large and more specifically to abuse victims - unfortunately the one that is prevalent - that the blood of innocent children can be washed away if the molester knows the right people. Additionally, it will be a huge step backward for those of us in the trenches who are begging abuse victims to step forward and assuring them that they will be taken seriously.

At the risk of overstepping my bounds, I appeal to you from the depths of my heart not to be a party to yet another rape of his victims - and of all survivors of abuse and molestation who are watching this case carefully - which offering Mondrowitz shelter from justice would most certainly be.

Thank you for offering me the opportunity to address the court.

The writer is the dean of a yeshiva in the New York area and the director of Project YES, a program that assists at-risk teens and their families across North America. He has authored books on parenting and recently received the 2008 Covenant Award for excellence in Jewish education.
This article can also be read at /servlet/Satellite?cid=1231167305942&pagename=JPArticle%2FShowFull

Anonymous said...

So Zev Brenner knew about Mondrowitz a month before he escaped to Israel but kept his mouth shut. Another enabler to add to the list.

Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Weinreb said...

Add me to the Rabbi-pedophile enabler list.

Rabbi Weinreb to speak at Chevra Kadisha Dinner

By Michael Feldstein
Published: Wednesday, January 7, 2009 1:40 PM EST

STAMFORD - Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, the executive director of the Orthodox Union, will be the featured speaker at the annual dinner of the Chevra Kadisha of Stamford, to be held on March 3, 2009.

His topic will be "Moshe as Our Model for Leadership in Contemporary Society."

"We're delighted to be able to have Rabbi Weinreb as our featured speaker this year," said Bernard Shapiro, president of the Jewish Burial Society of Stamford. "Rabbi Weinreb is one of the most important leaders in the Jewish community, and I'm certain that his words will inspire all those who attend the dinner."

Rabbi Weinreb has been executive vice president of the Orthodox Union since January 2002. In that role, he heads the multi-purpose agency that represents and serves Orthodox Jewry through hundreds of synagogues across North America and beyond. A teacher, writer and orator, Rabbi Weinreb was previously the spiritual leader of Congregation Shomrei Emunah in Baltimore, Md., which he joined in January 1989. Under his leadership, the congregation grew from approximately 160 to more than 400 families.

Rabbi Weinreb received his rabbinic ordination in 1962 from the Rabbi Jacob Joseph Yeshiva in New York. He received his Master's in Psychology from the New School for Social Research, and in 1970 earned his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland. Prior to assuming the pulpit of the Congregation Shomrei Emunah, Rabbi Weinreb served as Assistant Supervisor of Psychological Services for the Prince George's County Public Schools, as Chief Psychologist of the Potomac Foundation for Mental Health, and also maintained a private practice of psychotherapy.

Rabbi Weinreb is a vice-president of the Rabbinical Council of America and past chair of its annual convention. He is rabbinic liaison for NEFESH: the North American Network of Orthodox Mental Health Professionals, and is a member of the Ethics Committee of the Veterans Administration Hospitals. To make a reservation for the dinner, or to learn more about how you can volunteer to help the Chevra Kadisha of Stamford, please contact Phyllis Shapiro at or call (203) 327-6711.

impeach rabbi enablers of kiddie abuse said...

In an expected move, state legislators vote 114 to 1 to make Blagojevich the first Illinois governor to be impeached. The state's Senate will try him on the charge that he abused his power.

charles hynes is a screwup said...

7-year-old girl gives testimony in sex abuse case

Defendant once certified to drive children to county schools
Published January 09, 2009

Sitting in a county courtroom, her light-brown hair barely visible over the stuffed gray bunny in her hand, the 7-year-old girl didn't want to say what the man had done.

She started to explain how 62-year-old Michael Phillip Hein Sr. kissed her last March in Glen Burnie - only to stop and put the stuffed animal to the microphone in front of her. She wanted the bunny to tell the rest.

"He did it like seven times," the second-grader eventually told the jury as a prosecutor kneeled next to her.

The testimony - unusual in the fact that it came from a child so young - came yesterday during the trial of Mr. Hein, a friend of the girl's former baby sitter.

Mr. Hein, a former employee of Associated Cab in Glen Burnie who once was certified to drive children to county schools, is charged with two counts of sex abuse of a minor and several lesser crimes. If convicted of either top charge, he faces up to 25 years in prison.

Assistant Public Defender Denis O'Connell, Mr. Hein's attorney, told the jury his client is not guilty.

But when it came time to cross examine the young girl, he did not pounce on her disjointed and often halting answers. He simply clarified that she testified Mr. Hein never touched her under her clothes. Mr. O'Connell then let the girl leave the stand and join her mother outside the courtroom.

Deputy State's Attorney Laura Keissling and Mr. O'Connell declined to comment about the difficulties in questioning a child so young.

Frank Gray, a prominent Glen Burnie attorney and former prosecutor, said it's hard to do without looking like an "ogre."

"It's a very, very treacherous task that no one looks forward to doing," he said, noting how children usually are very good or very bad witnesses - but rarely in the middle.

Catherine Hereford, director of development for The National Children's Advocacy Center, said prosecutors try to avoid putting young children on the stand.

"It can be a very traumatic experience... but sometimes it is necessary," she said.

Ms. Hereford said the center recommends children participate in mock courtroom activities so they better understand what will happen the day of trial. She said it can be difficult even for adults to talk about sex crimes in front of strangers and their alleged attacker.

Mr. Gray, who left the county's State's Attorney's Office in 2000, said prosecutors regularly encourage children to bring stuffed animals and toys to the stand.

"Anything you can do to make the child more comfortable, you do it," he said.

The questioning yesterday proved difficult for the attorneys and the girl - who needed a 10-minute break from the courtroom before she could finish.

Down on her knees to be at the same level as the girl, Mrs. Keissling asked dozens of detailed questions - about where and how exactly Mr. Hein touched her last year. Over the objections of Mr. Connell, she would regularly provide the girl with some possible answers in an effort to solicit a response.

Despite the often leading questions, however, the girl repeatedly said she did not remember a key part of the state's case against Mr. Hein. Police arrested Mr. Hein on March 1 after witnesses said he sexually abused the girl in the back seat of a truck outside Marley Station mall. The girl told police at the time that Mr. Hein kissed her and touched her and Mr. Hein eventually confessed, police and prosecutors said.

Yesterday, however, the child said she did not remember the trip to the mall or talking to police. Instead, she spoke about several other incidents where Mr. Hein kissed and touched her at the home of her baby sitter.

Bob Mosier, a county school spokesman, said in March that Mr. Hein no longer was a certified driver with the schools and hadn't transported students for the system since 2002. He did not know of any problems involving Mr. Hein or Associated Cab, which is still under contract to the school system. Mr. Mosier said the company usually drives students who are homeless or live in isolated areas.

No charges have been filed against Mr. Hein in connection with his work with the schools, according to court records.

The trial is scheduled to continue today.

camp agudah said...

We understand that children experiment with each other. Our camp is extraordinary for that reason. Herr-Komf Kolko was the overseer er of the operation and will surely be missed. Any potential employees must submit their credentials and house of corrections address.

Child-On-Child Molestation 'A Complicated Issue'

Anonymous said...

Article published: Jan 8, 2009
Agriprocessors ramping up production

Bankrupt kosher meatpacker Agriprocessors is ramping up production of poultry and taking steps to reopen its beef lines to meet demands for the upcoming Passover season.

Joseph Sarachek discussed the steps in a prepared statement Wednesday discussing his desire to preserve the company's role as a leader in the kosher meat industry. His company, Triax Capital Advisors, was appointed to oversee the company's operation in bankruptcy by a federal judge.

"By way of underscoring our confidence in the future, we have placed new eggs for growing chickens which will allow us to meet increased demand during the upcoming Passover season," Sarachek said. "We are also taking steps to reopen the beef lines so that the plant is processing meat for Passover as well."

Sarachek hopes to find a buyer for the plant through a competitive bidding process. He said reopening the company's production lines and supplying customers is key to the sale process.

About a dozen interested bidders have come forward, Sarachek said, and all would like to continue production.

In an open letter to clients, Sarachek portrayed the company has having motivated, dedicated employees working with veteran meat industry executives Alan Glueck, Arnie Mikelberg and Marshall Samler.

"Together, we are reopening up many of Agri's production lines, ensuring that when this plant is sold to new owners it will have the means of assuming quickly its dominant position in the marketplace," Sarachek said.

Some customers have already begun returning, according to Sarachek.

Agriprocessors filed for bankruptcy protection in November after First Bank Business Capital of St. Louis, its primary lender, commenced foreclosure proceedings at the end of October. The company blamed the impact of a federal immigration raid in May which resulted in the arrest or detention of nearly 400 of its employees.

The bank was owed about $32 million by Agriprocessors when it commenced foreclosure. It has loaned millions more to keep Agriprocessors in operation with bankruptcy court approval.

Can be read at:

Anonymous said...

Israel is poised to teach Hamas terrorists a stinging lesson in the coming days. The bottom line is that most of the world hate Jews and Israel. The two go hand in hand.

So when they cry out "disproportionate," we should all remind the beastly thugs that they were right. It isn't equal footing. Hamas target civilians while Israel takes extreme precautions to limit citizen casualties.

DEBKAfile said...

Meshaal Intervenes to Stop Hamas-Gaza from Succumbing to a Ceasefire

DEBKAfile Special Analysis

January 10, 2009, 11:55 PM (GMT+02:00)

Saturday, Jan. 10, Day 15 of Israel's Gaza Strip offensive against Hamas, top Palestinian leaders gathered in Cairo for ceasefire talks with Egyptian officials.

DEBKAfile's military sources report that Jemal Abu Hashem, who rarely appears on public, Salah Bardaweel, leader of Hamas parliament faction, and Heiman Ta'a, member of the military wing's command, were allowed to exit Gaza Friday after signaling their willingness for the first time to discuss an unconditional ceasefire.

After traveling to El Arish in northern Sinai Friday, they were flown to Cairo by an Egyptian military plane.

Saturday, they were joined by two colleagues from Damascus, Hamas' senior operations chief Imad al Alami and politburo member Muhammad Nasser. Separately Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian Authority chairman and head of the rival Fatah also arrived in Cairo.

The Hamas delegates were preparing for their talks on Egypt's ceasefire proposals to begin Sunday with intelligence minister Gen. Omar Suleiman, when their Damascus leader, Khaled Meshaal, dropped his bombshell.

Speaking over Damascus TV, he declared Hamas must fight on until Israel ends its military offensive, withdraws from the Gaza Strip and opens the enclave's crossings. Egypt too must open the Rafah gate. Hamas would never accept any restrictions on its armament – a hint at Israel-Egyptian plans to block the Philadelphi route – and would treat international monitors as an "occupation" force.

Meshaal demanded an immediate Arab summmit which Egypt and Saudi Arabia have firmly refused. Israeli losses were much higher than admitted, he said, adding that Saturday, Hamas rockets had hit Israel's Palmachim missile and satellite base more than 50 miles away.

DEBKAfile's sources report that the Hamas leader's emotional tirade raised suspicions in Jerusalem that he may have obtained pledges from Tehran and Hizballah for a last-ditch operation to save Hamas from collapse. They also noted the widening rift between Hamas-Damascus and Hamas-Gaza, which is paying dearly for Palestinian "resistance."

The Hamas leaders' resort to Egypt's good offices three days after rejecting its proposals came after the failure of the UN Security Council resolution of Friday night, which stressed the urgency of a ceasefire and called on member-states to help "prevent illicit trafficking in arms and ammunition and to ensure the sustained reopening of the crossing points…"

Hamas also turned down the UN motion, while Israel said it was "unworkable" as long the rockets kept coming.

Our military sources report that Hamas was preparing to haggle over ceasefire terms, chiefly the opening of the crossing points, to save face, but had come closer than ever before to accepting a pause, any pause, without counter-demands – until Meshaal intervened.

Six developments brought Hamas near to breaking point, our military sources disclose:

1. Desertions are spreading among the 18,000 rank and file and police officers, who were left out in the open to shoot missiles and rockets and fight off Israeli attacks, while Hamas leaders and commanders stayed under cover in bunkers.

Seeing the fading resistance, Hamas' Grad rocket specialist, Ami Mansi, emerged from hiding Saturday and took over a mortar position against Israel troops. Quickly identified, he was killed by an Israeli helicopter missile with two aides. That night, Al Qaeda's Gaza commander, Ghassen Maqdad, was killed in Khan Younes in the south.

2. The Hamas hard core of fighters, estimated at 3,500 before the war, has suffered painful losses - at least 550 men, including high profile operatives. Israeli forces continued to press forward Saturday, disabling Hamas' bunker hideouts, booby-trapped tunnels and buried passages designed to serve as escape hatches and the abduction of Israeli soldiers. Their missile production workshops have been destroyed but Hamas is not finished yet, say Israeli military sources.

Saturday, 12 Israeli soldiers suffered minor injuries.

3. Signaling an intense push ahead, Israeli aircraft dropped leaflets over the Gaza Strip Saturday with this warning: "The IDF will soon raise the level of attacks on tunnels, weapons caches and terrorists. For your own safety and that of your families, keep your distance from places where terrorists are hiding, active and store weapons."

4. The commander of Hamas' military wing, Muhammad Jabry, has lost his credibility after failing to follow through on his vow that Israeli troops would never set foot in Gaza City. Our military sources disclose that as of Saturday, the Gazan capital is virtually defenseless after desertions left Hamas bunkers, defensive tunnels and anti-tank positions unmanned.

Hamas tacticians have decided to deploy their dwindling manpower to maintain the missile and rocket-fire, which began dipping from 40 Thursday, to 30 Friday and 20 Saturday.

5. The southern town of Rafah is in the same dire straits as Gaza City.

6. Gaza's population is increasingly estranged from its invisible Hamas rulers, accusing them of fighting their battles to the last civilian. Hamas has planted booby-traps, weapons caches and firing positions in private homes, so that civilians take the brunt of explosions and counter-attacks.

DEBKAfile's military sources report senior IDF commanders are anxious to build on Hamas' weakness at this moment to step up the tempo of their offensive and finally push Hamas to the wall. Israel will then be placed in position for attaining its targets – an end to Hamas' eight-year missile assault on the South and its ability to rearm as well as the release of the captive Israeli soldier Gil

President George W. Bush said...

WASHINGTON – President George W. Bush rejected a plea from Israel last year to help it raid Iran's main nuclear complex, opting instead to authorize a new U.S. covert action aimed at sabotaging Iran's suspected nuclear weapons program, The New York Times reported.

Israel's request was for specialized bunker-busting bombs that it wanted for an attack that tentatively involved flying over Iraq to reach Iran's major nuclear complex at Natanz, where the country's only known uranium enrichment plant is located, the Times reported Saturday in its online edition. The White House deflected requests for the bombs and flyover but said it would improve intelligence-sharing with Israel on covert U.S. efforts to sabotage Iran's nuclear program.

The covert efforts, which began in early 2008, involved plans to penetrate Iran's nuclear supply chain abroad and undermine electrical systems and other networks on which Iran relies, the Times said, citing interviews with current and former U.S. officials, outside experts and international nuclear inspectors who spoke on condition of anonymity. The covert program will be handed off to President-elect Barack Obama, who will deciding whether to continue it.

According to the Times, Bush decided against an overt attack based on input from top administration officials such as Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who believed that doing so would likely prove ineffective and could ignite a broader Middle East war.

Israel made the push for permission to fly over Iraq for an attack on Iran following its anger over a U.S. intelligence assessment in late 2007 that concluded Iran had effectively suspended its development of nuclear weapons four years earlier. Israel sought to rebut the report, providing evidence to U.S. intelligence officials that they said indicated the Iranians were still working on a weapon.

Gordon Johndroe, spokesman for the National Security Council, declined to comment Saturday.

In an interview with The Associated Press earlier this week, Stephen Hadley, Bush's national security adviser, said he believed that Iran is the biggest challenge Obama will face in the Middle East and that more sanctions will be needed to force Tehran to forgo its nuclear ambitions and support for extremists. He said the Bush administration has been trying to "shore up and store up leverage" to bequeath to the Obama administration.

Last month, Obama suggested that a combination of economic incentives and tighter sanctions might work. Tehran rejected the proposal. Obama also has said he would pursue tough-minded diplomacy.

Rabbi Avrohm Mondrowitz said...

How you all doing out there? Hope you don't mind my saying so, but the Israeli jail food is not as bad compared to American jails. This is one of the reasons I told anyone who'd listened that I will not let myself be extradited to Brooklyn. I have friends in high places who are working on my behalf.

this 'rabbi' is so foolish and stupid said...

Hamas uses innocent civilians as human shields and this "rabbi" expects them to agree (and most importantly live up to their word)on all these conditions? really?

Hamas don't play by the rules so why should Israel reward terror with infinite appeasement? For a terrorist organization so intent on destroying and killing Jews, as seen in the latest intifada, one would have hoped that such ridiculous lopsided gifts to the bad guys, the time of rewarding terrorism, should have long been over.
Rabbi: Israeli stupidity breaks my heart

American Rabbi and political activist, Michael Lerner, says that the Israeli military campaign in Gaza is "understandable, but stupid."

In an article published in The Times, Rabbi Lerner said that a military counterattack is not an acceptable response from the Israeli side, as Hamas can never pose any threat to its existence.

The editor of the progressive Jewish Tikkun magazine said a ceasefire is the only way to end the crisis in Gaza, adding that speaking in an empathic language "toward the suffering of each people in a climate of discourse in which both sides' stories are heard and understood", guarantees the existence of any declared ceasefire.

Rabbi Lerner, who is also the founder of the Beyt Tikkun Synagogue, proposed that the declared ceasefire entail the following clauses:

1- Hamas should stop the firing of missiles and other violent actions including any cooperation in actively jailing individuals from different factions.

2- Israel should stop bombings, targeted assassinations or other violent actions aiming to kill activists in the West Bank or Gaza.

3- Israel must open the border with Gaza and allow free access to and from the occupied territories. Israel must allow the free travel of food, gas, electricity, water and consumer goods.

4- Israel must release all Palestinians in detention and return them to the West Bank or Gaza. Hamas must release Gilad Schalit and anyone else held by Palestinian forces.

5- Both sides must invite an international force to implement these agreements.

6- Both sides must agree to end teaching and/or advocacy of violence against the other side in and outside educational institutions and the media.

7- This ceasefire would last for 20 years. The NATO, the UN, and the US must all agree to enforce this agreement and impose severe sanctions in the event of any violations.

Rabbi Lerner proposed that as the first step Israel implements a massive Marshall Plan in Gaza and the West Bank with the aim of tackling poverty and unemployment.

Israel would also have to rebuild infrastructure, encourage investment, and dismantle settlements or compel settlers to become citizens of a Palestinian state.

Rabbi Lerner also called on Tel Aviv to allow the return of 30,000 Palestinian refugees and recognize a Palestinian state within borders already defined by the 2003 Geneva Accord.

Jewish and Muslim said...

in breaking down the walls that separate them.

by Doug Chandler
Special To The Jewish Week
The Muslim-Jewish dialogue group he attends is small, private and unusually close-knit, says Rabbi Simkha Weintraub, a resident of Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, who works at a Jewish agency in the city and has been active in human rights advocacy.

Standing Together Against Rape said...

A convicted sex offender won a $500,000 Alaska raffle that was a fundraiser for a nonprofit organization that helps victims of sexual abuse.

Alec Ahsoak of Anchorage, 53, came forward Saturday to collect his prize.

The state sex offender registry lists Ahsoak as convicted of two counts of sexual abuse of a minor in 1993 and one count in 2000.

The raffle drawing was Friday night.

State law says all games of chance must benefit a charity. The designated beneficiary for the half-million dollar raffle was Standing Together Against Rape, or STAR.

Ahsoak says he plans to use the money to buy a home and to improve his life. He tells KTUU-TV he will donate $100,000 to STAR.

avi shafran said...

I submit exhibit A. It was my assertion all along that children lie and here is proof.

Man accused in Santa letter says family set him up

Adam Herrman Case said...

A timeline for the Adam Herrman case
The Wichita Eagle

From records and recent interviews, The Eagle compiled this timeline for Adam Herrman:
June 8, 1987: Adam is born in Wichita with the name Irvin Groeninger III. He becomes a foster child of Doug and Valerie Herrman, and they adopt him when he is between 2 and 3 years old. His new name is Adam Joseph Herrman. The Herrmans also adopt two of Adam's younger siblings.

1990 or 1991: The Herrmans lose their foster care license after an investigation, which they declined to discuss in detail during a recent Eagle interview.

August 1996: Adam is enrolled in the Derby school district as a fourth-grader at Pleasantview Elementary. Records show his previous schools were St. Mary's, a Derby Catholic school, and El Paso Elementary, a Derby public school.

Nov. 26, 1996: Derby police receive and investigate a report of suspected abuse of Adam at his Derby home, in the 900 block of North Westview.

The brief, public portion of the police report lists it as a child-in-need-of-care case. Derby police Lt. Tim Brant said in an e-mail about the case that "it was investigated by our detective and SRS. The matter was referred for counseling through SRS."

SRS spokeswoman Michelle Ponce said SRS knows of one case of suspected abuse of Adam in 1996. "It was investigated and found to be unsubstantiated," she said.

Ponce said she could also confirm Valerie Herrman's statement in the Eagle interview that Adam spent two days at the Wichita Children's Home. Valerie Herrman said Adam spent the two days at the Children's Home, then was returned home, after she spanked him with a belt. She said a psychological counselor saw bruises and called police. Doug Herrman said in the interview that they were told that Adam could not be disciplined with a belt.

"I don't think they felt he was in any danger," Doug Herrman said.

Jan. 9, 1998: Derby police receive a report, apparently from Adam's school, Pleasantview, of suspected abuse.

The report says the possible abuse occurred days earlier, on Christmas Day 1997 at Adam's home in Derby, in the 300 block of South Willow.

Derby police classified it as a miscellaneous report because an investigation found that no crime occurred, Brant said.

"The investigation revealed the injuries occurred while the child was engaged in sporting activity with siblings," Brant said in the e-mail.

Asked by The Eagle whether she could recall the incident, Valerie Herrman said: "They were out playing football... and he had just some bruises on his arms."

Jan. 14, 1998: Adam runs away, according to Derby police.

He "returned on his own within two hours of the report and no further action was taken," Brant said.

Valerie Herrman said that Adam ran away a total of six to eight times, to get attention. Usually, it was for an hour or two, "and we always found him," she said.

February 1998: Adam withdraws from Pleasantview while in the fifth grade. The family told the district it was moving, records show.

Around the same time, the Herrmans moved to a Towanda mobile home park, Valerie Herrman said. She was the park manager.

She said she might be mistaken but thought that Adam had gone to public school for a short time in Towanda. But the Circle school district, which includes Towanda, said it has no record of him being enrolled.

For most of the family's time in Towanda, Adam was home-schooled, Valerie Herman said. She said he disliked regular school and preferred the one-on-one attention he received from her. Home-schooling also was a better fit for him because he had psychological problems, she said. His younger siblings, meanwhile, attended public school.

First week of May 1999: Adam disappears from his Towanda home. Valerie Herrman said she thinks it was on the weekend.

The 11-year-old ran away after Valerie Herrman spanked him with a belt, she said in the Eagle interview. He didn't return and her husband searched for him, they said in the interview.

They said they didn't report him as a runaway because they feared the spanking would lead to him and his two younger siblings being removed from their home.

Around Thanksgiving 2008: The Herrmans' biological daughter, Crystal, calls SRS in the hopes of learning something about Adam.

She learns from SRS that records show Adam was with the Herrmans until 2005, which contradicts what her parents had told the family for years: that Adam went back to state custody in 1999. She shares this with SRS and voices her allegations that Adam had been abused by her mother, Valerie Herrman.

Crystal's contact with SRS uncovers the fact that Adam disappeared in 1999 and triggers a law enforcement investigation, led by the Butler County Sheriff's Office, of what happened to him.

Dec. 15, 2008: Investigators search the Herrmans' current home in Derby and take a computer, pictures of Adam and medical and psychological reports about him, among other items.

Dec. 31, 2008: Investigators search the Towanda mobile home park where Adam was last seen.

Jan. 3, 2009: Adam's biological parents, now living out of state, and his biological sister tell The Eagle that investigators are seeking samples of their DNA -- to match it with any possible evidence of Adam they might find. The biological parents and sisters say they are stunned to learn that Adam has been missing for nearly 10 years.

The Herrmans' attorney, Warner Eisenbise of Wichita, tells The Eagle that the couple feel "horribly guilty" for not reporting Adam missing in 1999.

Jan. 5, 2009: Butler County Sheriff Craig Murphy holds a news conference in El Dorado, telling reporters that detectives are treating Adam's disappearance as a death, although he could still be alive. Without elaborating, Murphy says investigators are "holding tightly" to something they found and not revealing it. He welcomes national attention to the case, saying it could help locate Adam if he is alive. He asks for the public's help and releases Adam's fourth-grade picture.

In an Eagle interview, Valerie Herrman's relatives accuse her of abusing Adam, including keeping him chained to a bathroom faucet -- allegations she denies. She says Adam had been a difficult child but that she has always loved him and misses him.

Jan. 6, 2009: Investigators release an age-progressed image of what Adam might look like now.

During an interview with The Eagle lasting more than two hours, Valerie and Doug Herrman say they love Adam and miss him. Valerie Herrman denies her relatives' accusations that she abused Adam. She says she did not chain him to a bathroom faucet but did keep him locked in the bathroom on the advice of a psychiatrist after Adam threatened the family.

The Herrmans say they continued to list Adam in court documents as late as 2003, and in a follow-up telephone call, she says they continued to accept $700 monthly adoption subsidy payments for Adam until his 18th birthday, in 2005 -- six years after he disappeared.

"I feel very guilty for stealing that money," she says.

Ponce, the SRS spokeswoman, said SRS has determined the total amount of subsidies the state paid to the Herrmans for Adam over the years. Ponce said SRS won't disclose the amount because it could hinder any potential criminal prosecution. She wouldn't elaborate, but added that if anyone knowingly gives false information to the state to get benefits, "that is a crime."

"We would pursue all legal avenues," she said.

To receive an adoption subsidy, a family must complete an annual, self-reported form asking whether they continue to be legally and financially responsible for the person adopted. The form's questions include whether a child lives with them and whether there are any changes that would affect payment eligibility.

Generally, adoption payments end when the child turns 18. Payments are negotiated before the adoption based on the child's needs, Ponce said. The subsidies are common when a family adopts siblings. Ponce said she couldn't say why the Herrmans received the payments in Adam's case.

The payments are designed to help in cases where adoption placement can be difficult because of a child's medical, emotional and social needs or because the adoption involves a number of siblings, she said.

Jan. 7, 2009: Investigators search the manufactured home that the Herrmans had moved from Towanda, in Butler County, to an area between Bentley and Sedgwick, in rural Sedgwick County.

Jan. 10, 2009: Investigators use dogs to search along the Whitewater River on the west side of Towanda.

rabbi yaakov hopfer the putz said...

{We in Baltimore have wonderful mechanchim and mechanchos...},0,4377361.story
Man convicted of sexual abuse of minor
Hein, 62, faces 25 years for abuse of 7-year-old girl

By Julie Scharper |

January 10, 2009
Click here to find out more!

Wearing a pink sweater and clutching a stuffed bunny rabbit, the 7-year-old girl spoke in a quavering voice as she answered the prosecutor's questions. The man she knew as "Mr. Mike" had kissed and fondled her numerous times, she told the jury, when her baby sitter left them alone.

The second-grader wiggled in her chair and colored furiously with markers as she told how the man had warned her to not to tell anyone. She put her hand up as if blocking from view the white-haired man sitting at the defense table.

That man, Michael Phillip Hein Sr., 62, was convicted of the sexual abuse of a minor, a third-degree sex offense, and two counts of second-degree assault by an Anne Arundel County Circuit jury in Judge J. Michael Wachs' courtroom yesterday.

Assistant State's Attorney Laura S. Kiessling said Hein had been "grooming" the girl. "He was doing his best to get access to her," she said, as the girl's mother quietly wept in the courtroom. "He was making it into a relationship of sorts."

Two teenage girls called police after they saw Hein kissing the girl in the back seat of a truck parked at Marley Station Mall on March 1.

The girl told police that Hein had kissed her or touched her inappropriately as many as seven times over a period of several months.

The baby sitter, Dorothy Simmons, testified that Hein was a friend who often visited her Glen Burnie apartment when she was taking care of the girl.

Twice she walked into a room to find the man and the girl kissing, she testified, but she did not tell the girl's mother.

Hein, of Brooklyn, told the jury that he was "longing for affection" and had a special bond with the girl but that he did not molest her. Defense attorney Denis O'Connell said that the kissing was "inappropriate" but did not rise to the level of sexual abuse.

Hein could be sentenced to as many as 25 years in prison at a hearing scheduled for Jan. 21.

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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!!!!!!!