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October 24, 2006


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I would agree with some of your sentiments
Disagree with others
But who really cares about my personal opinion so I'll spare you the details.
Just one question, and asked purely out of interest.
Do you believe God has a special relationship with the Jewish people?
No need to answer. I fully understand not feeling g required to answer every nudniks question about your personal beliefs.


Shalom, Maybe it is time we ask Hashem if maybe another branch of Judaism should be made. One that will carry out what we should be doing and not man made things. Yes to everything there should be an order and we should not add anything to it.
Maybe another branch of Judaism needs to begin Now and with each other to help one another we can grow and be more open with one another and honest. I do believe in the old But there are somethings that need to be updated that will allow us to grow and be strong. Strong not in ourselves BUT in Hashem Our G-D and our everything in our lives. no wonder other branches of Judaism have left the Orthodox way and began their Journey.

Witter new

that ashley madison email is unverified.

Witter new

There is a yossel@chabad.info
in the ashley madison database.

Binyomin Prager

Mr. Shmarya, you are a mentally sick person that needs a lot of Tefillos and psychiatric help. May Hashem give you a Refuoh Sheleimoh soon.


I see that most of the comments above were made in 2007.
Have your views, beliefs and ideas evolved any further since then?
I really would like to know.
Email me and let me know.
Thank you,


Can someone please explain to me, why nobody has murdered this filthy, fat, disgusting, lying, pig with a pony tail, you guys often refer to as Shmarya Rosenberg??? Like really? This abomination is still living and breathing and no body has yet to rid us of this turd!? If he was a Muslim, they would have chopped his head off long ago. Here is a lesson we must actually learn from the Arabs. We need to start preparing for the Messiah, which firstly has to include somewhere killing Shmarya Rosenberg, and shutting down this horrid site.


Hi Shmarya,

I come from time to time to your site and finally decided to post a comment of your "what I believe" which I found quite inspiring.

I saw that your post dates back to 9 years ago so I imagine that you moved further in your journey (maybe an update would be nice), but anyway I'll send you my thoughts. [Apologies if you find them irrelevant.]

I am a Torah observant Jew and a scientist. Maybe because I grew up in a milieu with people from very different backgrounds, including non-Jews, I developped an outlook that allows for a healthy acknowlegment of our sages' humanity and failure. This does not reduce the respect and love I have for them (although some people do feel it does, I disagree).

I do not believe in perfect mesora, but I believe in our sages' extreme efforts to preserve it. Sometimes they failed and made mistakes, "mistakes even we can see". Yes, there will always be people who will use the Rambam (or another venerable source, but I am quoting the Rambam here since he apparently believed in a perfect mesora and wrote explicitly about it) to silence rather than to enlighten you. (A simple glance at the comments should suffice.)

I wonder also how you would react to David Halivni's approach to the mesora. And the tiqun it implies.

But this is true also in science. And strange as it may seem, there are more and more ignorant scientists. Science in our day is much more efficient than in the Rambam's, and you may laugh at the Middle Age scholastics but then you have to acknowledge that the scope of science has also been greatly reduced since. The true and hard questions that Aristotles, Descartes and Newton and others asked have not been answered by modern science. Many scientists have no clue about this (most of them do not even care). See for instance
(This is hardly the only way to approach these questions, but the point is that even someone who certainly cannot be labelled as a postmodernist recognizes the necessity to deal with these questions)

Even science (with all the ambiguity of its changing definition through the ages) needs a "mesora". This is what even Chomsky says, quite convincingly.

So I guess my point is this: a broken mesora but a mesora nevertheless. You need the tools of science to criticize the mesora but you need the mesora to criticize science.

So the criticism goes both ways. And you do not need to make haste to make religion and modern science coincide. A healthy gap can be maintained. (And please don't take this to mean one should go all the way back to creationnism'...)


Patrick in Michigan

I think you need to accept Christ and really get to know God.

ona malik

Hi HaHaHa
This is wonderful This man loves HAshem sooo much and sees with wondrous eyes what others have no eyes too c. His points are human and NOW in such a time not only to truly help a Jew but to b a Jew and work for HAshem is the true call of duty.Cant anyone hear his cries are for U. I so admire that he noticed all the the incidentals. But what makes us tick is the doing and he did do. Cheers


Dear Shmarya,
After reading your website I came to a maskanah that
The best words for you are the words of the Lubavitcher rebbe shlita
That you should be spending your energy with the Jews around you
And you are doing it trough your website just not in the right direction
May H' help you to see the light and use your powerful neshama to encourage others to bring iden close to the creator ,and use your talent to teach the Ethiopians that your feel so much for them the 7 nohahide laws
May H' help you to do teshuva and gedola theshuva that brings the Geulah
Bessorot tovot


wow, freakin frimaks....

how about now? what are your current views?


Thanks for telling your "truth" and to be brave enough to say it. I am an Orthodox Jew not because I necessarily believe the stories literally, but because I think one needs a solid framework to grow spiritually, and I happen to be Jewish. That doesn't mean I can't question Rabbinical authority. But I am still careful in my observance of Shabbat and Kashrut, for example.


You seem to be very disappointed with Rabbis. Google "Karaite" - this may be for you.



Jacob kon

Come home God loves you

Please we need you.

Stop this none sense you are confusing people, and pushing
Our God farther away.



Fact is, my friend, you "doth protest too much"!

In answer to your admired friend who asked you clarify your beliefs, you rap away at what you DO NOT BELIEVE IN!

I will summarize the heft of it: You feel Jewish tradition embodies MANY LIES.

But rather than determine the validity of this one key claim, cleanly, neatly and BRIEFLY - you accept it and bombast away, shooting from the hip at anything that moves, left or right.


Dear Shmarya,

I am sorry that you have been going through this seemingly endless wilderness of man-made traditions and doctrines which have formed a seemingly impenetrable wall of endless opinions , debates and discussions around what is known as the Torah and the Tanahk... I pray that Adonai Himself will draw You into His Tabernacle... beyond the Veil... Into the Holy of Holies... And meet with You there... And I want You to know... That if You want to Know Him... He will reveal Himself to You... He never meant for it to be as hard to understand... Just let go of commentary and read His Tanahk for Yourself... And spend time just being at peace in His Secret Place... I Promise He will put the pieces together better than Rashi, Rambam or any human being... Shalom


A very interesting site. What a journey you've been on. I am not a scholar, but grew up between two religions and ultimately chose Judaism. I am not a fan of any orthodoxy, for many of the reasons you cite. I was turned off by the blind faith, hate and vitriol that I've heard from the mouths of devout Christians and Chasidic Jews. However, I believe that there are many wonderful traditions and teachings that we can still embrace.

May your journey continue to lead you to peace. You have a good soul.

Diane Kruas

I came to your blog looking for more information regarding the recent tragic murder of the Levy children and find your views interesting.

I am the daughter of a former Sutmar Chasid. My father was born in Sutmar in 1923 and narrowly escaped the Holocaust. He had playmates and distant relatives on the Kastner train (ransomed to the Nazis) which carried the Sutmar Rebbe and wealthy members of the community to safety and later freedom. My grandparents died in Auschwitz. Why? Well, a couple of reasons. #1, in the 1920s when they had the opportunity to emigrate to the US, the Rebbe convinced them that it was an evil, amoral place where they would not prosper and would lose their Judaism. #2, in 1944, they were told they didn't have enough money to join the train, also they needed to stay behind and would come with the 2nd wave.

In reality, they died because they were lied to by the Sutmar Rebbe. Perhaps my family did not have the money or yiches but the Rebbe and his cronies were saved. They ended up in Williamsburg (NYC).

After the war, my father cut off his payess and threw away his straimle. He no longer had to observe the law as made by liars. Interestingly, I am sure he would have supported your cause of Ethopian Jews. He supported many civil rights protests in the 1960s and gave many jobs to the dis-advantaged, ensured they had the means to put themselves through college and "make something" of themselves.

Diane Kraus


Today, 20 October 2013, I have for the first time become aware of this site. I am at once disappointed that I had not seen it years ago, and yet elated that it even exists. After reading the "About" section evidently written 7 years ago and many of the comments (why the vitriol when nothing more than social discourse is needed??), I can immediately say that this is a new home for my approach to being Jewish. I will support this site in any way and all ways that I can. I consider myself what is now more commonly know as an "atheist ritual Jew" although much of what was written in the About section has meaning and I am ruminating on the content with eyes wide open and the exhilaration of finding this wonderful site. Thank you.


I've read through some of your bio and blog, and find you intriguing. I'm a secular American Ashkenazi Jew, Brooklyn born and raised - still live here too. :) I was Bar Mitzvah'ed at age 13 in a Reformed shuel, and the family never kept Kosher - but I always strongly identified culturally as a Jew despite being so ignorant of our faith. I'm over 50 years old, and some time in my late 40's I started doing lots of reading about our faith, especially about our heritage (Google led me to your Khazar page).
The reason I'm adding this to your comments page is because I'm wondering if you've thought of practicing and following the Karaite Jewish tradition? When I consider your strong identification with our faith and the devotion to the faith that you've already demonstrated it would seem that your ONLY "beef" is with the EXACT same "people" that caused a schism in the faith generations ago. The more I read about the seeds of Karaite Judaism and the struggles they had with Rabbinites, it reads very similar to your own plight. While many would ascribe Karaite Judaism to something akin to the Reform Judaism movement, Karaites were in fact strict adherents to the faith, and it was only their contention that each generation must interpret Tenach for themselves WITHOUT the burden of thousands of years of previous rabbinic interpretation - interpretations that have distorted our understanding and practice of the faith as the Karaites knew it.
I'm quite interested in your opinion on this matter, and was surprised that you didn't pursue a modern day American Karaite approach to the faith following your excommunication - it would seem a natural fit.


Exactly what type of mental illness do you have? Are you off your medication?

Or are illiteracy, gross stupidity and false allegations your baseline?


Sad so sad I have sent an email addressing issues which I feel may be applicable.
If the Rabbi wants to change the world go ahead and live in peace however do not engage in such bitterness and anti-Semitism by publishing photos of bearded Jewish men displaying the Shoah star which led to millions of our people being murdered. I am really sad at heart for this person as they want to belong and have not realized that you do not need validation of others to lead a good life and do Mitzvoh. Please do not publish the name of G-d in such a manner and this is the first thing a child learns, I hope you find healing and comfort and indeed peace of mind.

Karaite-oriented Jew

Additionally, there is substantial evidence that the Tanakh is mostly factual. Read this article here by Professor Gary Rendsburg: http://jewish30yrs.mcgill.ca/rendsburg/index.html The archaeological record actually does support much of the Tanakh. But revisionists have attempted to erase and write this out of history.

Karaite-oriented Jew

You should look into Karaite Judaism. It is more focused on the Tanakh itself and disagreement and debate about interpretation is a key facet. There are no rabbis to obey. There are hakhams to help understanding, but you can disagree with them and not be condemned for it.


Pedo priests. Autocorrect fail


You sound just like the secularists that criticize the Catholic Church and all other Christian religions. Do you really think God is going to take your objections to other people's behavior as an excuse to not be as devout to him as possible? I am sure Judaism must have went through worse corruption and scandal throughout the centuries. My Messiah recognized this and brought it to light. But he is also the Son of God. He said he who is without sin, cast the first stone. So you would have to ask yourself how many of the over 300 commandments have you broken yourself. No one is perfect. No one can be. We are flawed since Eden. You have to turn away from these things that distract you from your faith and turn to God. I mean Catholicism has perk priests too, but we also survived the Borgias and many other horrible things. But God even had a use for the Borgias. Maybe God has a positive use for those rabbis too. Don't get yourself discouraged. I spent a good chunk of my life as a pagan because I catered to the kinds of thoughts you are having. Be careful.


Have been here before, just read this page for the first time. Wow.

Chills are running up and down my body. So exquisitely written, not least because of the solid foundation of fact it is built upon. Your opinions and feelings come across almost as an afterthought... aside from the instant identification of revulsion at behavior that does not promote (frankly, is antithetical to) the beliefs we were given as children.

Remarkably astute, and well-written. Portions of your work are likely to be admired generations from now. Thank you, thank you, for voicing what so many of us feel. Nailed it!


You honor God more than these hate filled rabbis you cover in your posts.


You should really look into Islam.

Geraldine Leale

I'm not Jewish, I'm lapsed Catholic, a bit HIndu and falling in love with Sufi.
I really commend your journey and your courage.
In the words of the Buddha, walk on. Its what we all have to do.


I think you'd probably do much better in this world and the next if you refrained from telling people what to do – especially when you don't know them and you have no idea who they are.

If this is a difficult concept for you – and I suspect that it is – go see a mental health professional.


God gives everyone the ability to answer their own questions.

Because, a mind capable of a high level question can find the high level answer.

It is only limited by the amount of work you want to do to answer them.

You should write less and work more. If you are satisfied with your answer then yes the next step is to test your answer in fire and in debate as the Truth will always win.

Are you merely soliciting fire here?
I would not suggest you tempt others to your path; at least until you know have done the due process to test your thoughts.

who is to say that you will have yet another revelation and change your mind again and leave a wake of confused souls behind you, waiting for their bolt of lightning (moment of inspiration) to catch up again.


Hi Shmarya,
I accidentally came across this blog while ironically trying to find the address of a particular Bet Chabad at which I was supposed to attend a service. I've been reading your posts and comments and I want to commend your efforts. Many people, such as myself, grew up with an orthodox upbringing and found it to be unfulfilling, dishonest, irrational, corrupt, and based on faith in fallible men, with little to no historical credibility to these sacred "mesorahs." Unfortunately, people just see us as disturbed, pitiful and unlearned (it's actually the learning which has driven many of us away. While it is clear that many of these brainwashed cretins do not think critically or listen to reason, as evident by these antagonistic comments, I hope you realize that these criticisms NEED to be brought to light and cannot be silenced any longer by these insular communities.
Kol hakavod, and hazak ubaruch

Account Deleted

My pleasure Shmarya and don't ever feel alone in this We must all stay strong and hold on to emunah (faith) in the face of a shape-shifting enemy which forces us to ask such existentially difficult questions about the past, present and future of our little nation.


Thank you for your kind words and for your support, Eugene.

Account Deleted

Hello Shmarya,

Thank you for sharing your story and experience. I feel very relieved and inspired to know that there others out there who had similar negative experiences in the Frum community. I became Frum in Boro Park after doing a Gerus because I was 3/4 Jewish except for my mother's mother. The relationship with my Rebbi and community was severed when my friend from Shul, who was 17 at the time and a 1/2 Jewish ger was almost molested in an alley in Boro Park by my Shul's yom tov/shabbos Chazan.
After bringing this up we were both accused of lying, conspiring, trouble-making and I was accused of not keeping shabbos even though my old Rebbi, his Rebbi, the rebbitzens and other members of the community knew that this Chazan has been kicked out of his own community of Bobov and most other shuls for trying to touch boys and has been found sodomizing other men in the local mikvas for years. Nothing was ever done about him and my friend made alyah while I am no longer frum but happily married with two babies.

Thank you for starting this blog site Mr. Rosenberg, I only recently discovered it. It's reassuring to know there are others not afraid of Emes. Also thank you for bringing these stories to light and forcing this growing evil to face justice for their crimes.




G-d wants us to be close to Him. Talk to G-d ask Him to reveal Himself to you. I promise you He will answer!


Dear Shmarya

The Rebbe may have not extended an open hand to Ethiopioans, but Rebbe overal did much good, no Shlichim force the Jewish faith on people, and the mitzvot we have in Tohrah form a moral code for all humanity, it may not be perfect, but I believe we must believe in Hashem.
I hope you will find and marry an Ethiopian Jew. it would help their own cause if they stayed more religious, but same could be said for Russian Jews. Shmarya, Jews have enough people in world who hate us - Why should we add to this by spreading Intrafaith hate, It encorages Antisemitism if we do that. Many religious Jews have not accepted Rebbe as a Mesiah without rejecting Judiaism itself, if Rebbe was not Messiah, that is not a blemish on all the rest of Jews in world, is Islam better? Surely not!


I agree with you. Mesora is broken, and the Bible is not literal truth. But you know that because you respect the truth, so respect the truth: all of it. It is true that despite the ugliness, Judaism is a religion full of beautiful and wonderful things, and wonderful and beautiful people. It is also yours, by virtue of your accident of birth and all the work you have done. So love the human things that are yours, and keep doing your work.


I have many liberal friends who are disappointed in Obama. They expected great things from him. They wanted him to close our secret prisons, end DOMA, support unions, and to take a strong moral stand against everything they consider wrong with modern life and particularly more conversative movements in America.

I myself have never been disappointed with Obama. This is because I never expected him to be Moshiach and I never expected him to fulfill various progressive fantasies. I simply expected him to be better than the alternative, to be smart, and to make the best decisions he could. He has done that (and more) from my point of view and so I am happy with him.

Chabad Lubavitch is everything you thought it was when you entered and it is also everything you think it is now. It is full of wonderful, kind, open-hearted people who will help a Jew in South Dakota make a minyan to say kaddish for his father and it is full of people who will lie and steal and cheat and cover up sin and who will harm their own children and who will turn out their children when they fall out of line.

This is true of many, many insular cultures. When you're in, you're in and there is a level of support and love that is absent in modern American life. But the flip side of unconditional love is unconditional hatred. When you're out, you are out, lest you ruin the party for those who are still inside.

There is nothing wrong with your blog. It is important, it is needed. But I am a little bit worried about you as a fellow Yid because Chabad gave you something you needed and you have not yet found another way back to G-d.

This other way to G-d will be less satisfying and more complex because belonging to a cult is always more satisfying than dealing with the complexity of life. But it is still important to seek it. This is because G-d is beyond these human limitations and human problems. G-d is always seeking us so we should at least try to return the favor.

I do not know where you will find G-d now but I hope that you will continue to seek. When you find a new community and new way to connect to G-d, you will be able to deliver tochechot with more compassion and less frustration. This is what I wish for you -- a warm place where you can continue to enjoy the best of our tradition. It does not, despite the marketing, contain everything. But it does contain a lot.

Sarah Chava

I am sure that you've been withstanding lectures, torment, and ostracizing for years now. I commend you on your truth and honesty in reporting. I think what you're doing is quite remarkable and in REALITY (where haters tend not to reside), it is a mitzvah you are doing for Klal Yisrael. Kol ha kavod!

Vania Melamed


They won't recognize Pathans, either, or any Hodu Jews of Afghanistan. 'Makes me want to cry. I'm trying to snatch up any literature I can find documenting displaced Jews to translate and reproduce them. I wish there were a Sephardic orthodox missionary specifically that can help with this besides with just Indian Jews. However, you may want to contact Kulanu's Harriet Bograd regarding Ethiopian Jews. She has devoted an entire organization to feeding, education, clothing, and providing religious services to black and displaced Jews around the world. She is wonderful!


Try Christ

Susan Benton

I wish you had a reply button because I'd like to make replies to many of these posters.

In particular,I'd like to point out that in my experience bait and switch has been the standard type of lie told. You really believe one thing, and then they yank your chain and tell you that you didn't have it right, but in fact they just lied to you (again). Chabad and Aish are particularly good at this - I once went to a woman's shir with a title which led me to think it was about one thing - only to discover that had nothing to do with contents. When I complained to one woman she said 'what difference does it make?' To her it was just a night out, to me it was time and hard earned money for something I wasn't interested in. I consider that theft - of my time and money. Aish use to cover a bit of science - now they touch on it, refuse to answer questions, and treat the women like 2nd class citizens (which if they are single is true).

Ditto singles events - billed as a place to met your match, these are frequently used to prove to a congregation that they are 'doing something,' or as an opportunity to fill the shul's freezer (thru high registration fees and twice as much food as necessary - the rest goes into the shul freezer), as a way to generate business for the caterer, and the shul/rabbi is seldom are serious about actually making matches. I've met a lot of people with serious, I mean serious impediments to marriage(once met a mentally retarded dwarf), seen lots of girls in their 20s at over-30 signle events (who provide competition for ALL the other women there). Very often at single events attendees are forced to leave the hallways and places where they might be having a serious conversation with a potential mate so they can listen to some visiting rabbi drone on about the obvious. The fact is they aren't interested in any match they cannot control.

And then there is the charming rabbi who was my sponsor for conversion. At the time I didn't like him but had no choice. Years later this Kohen divorced his wife, married a divorcee and claimed that he found out he wasn't a Kohen after all.

I'd say more, but the fact is I have moved entirely away from religion now and find that it is more important to fight tyranny - religious or secular.


P.s. Hillel used to say to not do to others what we would not want others to do to ourselves. I personally want to be judged favorably when judged, so I try to remember that it is a mitzva to judge others favorably too.


Hello Mr. Rosenberg, by writting this comment I hope BS"D to remind you of something you already know by dharing with you a little bit of my own experience with Torah Judaism. I am a single goya undergoing an orthodox conversion (not for marriage). What convinced me that Torah judaism was the best and only way to be a jew and serve HaShem as a jew was that I learned and know that the Torah is true, that HaShem The Creator of the world is its Author and so is the mesorah and today's halachah. How do I know? Because of the same facts you claim to be lies by Chabad and Aish. I am not part and do not want to be part of their movements/community but I know the same facts that they know and you know. The truth is universal.

That those facts instruct me not to believe a deceased person can be Messiah and to not assiociate myself with those who do, does not mean it excuses me (definitely more after the mikveh) from following all 613 Torah mitzvot and 7 Rabbinical mitzvot instituted with authority and knowledge from the same Div-ne Torah, regardless of the unfortunate physical and moral conduct of those who either ignore or knowlingly go agaisnt the Torah with the evil inclination's help.

I wish you with HaSh-m's help and blessing to have a spiritual and emotional refuah. Shabbat Shalom.


I also don't mean Catholicism or the whole hoard of money hungering, abuse covering, cult-ish examples that is associated with Christianity. It's true as you wrote in one comment, that Christianity today is not what Jesus preached.

I know you think science has proved so many portions of the bible as fallible, however there's a certain point where you just need faith, as written in Hebrews 12.

Have you really opened your mind and heart to the teachings in the whole bible? Many things you wrote about the crumbling of Rabbi's and their congregations are fairly close with what Jesus preached.

I know I sound like a "Bible-basher" I am not really and honestly I don't really ever comment on peoples blogs. And if you think you know what kind of Christianity I belong to, I doubt it. So please don't stereotype me.

I do see all these comments, the anger and hostility is astounding. Who has that much time on their hands to sit and write verbal hatred?


I mean this in the sincerest form, if you feel disenchanted with Judaism, why don't you try Christianity?


I left the Catholic Church because of the same type of ordeal.
People are people.
It says in psalms and proverbs-
not to trust in man.

G-d is always Good, Beauty, and Truth
and loves us unconditionally

Despite of whatever happens to us in this life,
I do know the wicked are punished by G-d
and the humble are rewarded by G-d.

Go to anger management- and live life in the present.
You and I can not serve G-d with anger.

Judaism is a beautiful religion-
Never think the RELIGION is flawed, because of a few people.


Regarding: "the song by Eric Bazillian made famous by Joan Osborne"-- He was,,, Shalom brother and don't stop searching for the truth---- as another famous person was quoted "you will seek me and find me when you seek me with all of your heart"


Nothing says 'strong theology' like quoting pop music.

John Adda

I think you might like this article...



Maybe Karaite Judaism is more for you.


Thank you, Benyomin.


Thank you for this brief but insightful bio into your intellectual world.
Your work is very important, because we need people like you who speak truth to power.
I was also hypnotized by Haredism and so much of what you write on your blog is familiar to me on a very personal level.
Thank God, I never had to be molested or raped in order to see through the lies of the rabbinate - I just had to go through a Haredi marriage and divorce to finally decide things had gone out of control.

Please keep up posting your opinions, facts, infographs, et al. and don't let any of the poor schlemazels bring your spirits down; they're simply sick and don't even realize it.


Instead of debating with you whether there is a "fixed" misora or a "broken" misora I would like to call to question your thirst for evil; tracing it, discussing it, promoting it.

You say that your work is to heal people, to allow them to defend themselves, but you are not healthy or safe.

You spend endless day savoring the pain, the corruption, the hurt.

Are there no good people and rabbis out there who have benefited from their faith?

Do you think that if you catch thousands of people doing bad things all good will be erased?

What would your world view be if you collected every selfless thing anyone ever did?

I call to question your "saving" of the Ethiopian Jews so many years ago.
Was it out of love, or were you looking for the most hurt people to think about?

The media lust for "catching child molesters" is not a outcome of people's own identification to some degree?

Those who follow the Rebbi's teachings are not filling their heads with the sickness every day many times a day, but enlightened people like you suffer much more than any abused child ever was.

BTW how about you post the Rebbi's "insensitive letter" here for people to come and see "how insensitive" it was?

You questions about the Rebbi being bad, you never had on g-d?

Seeing your profile now, and wondering if it was the Rebbi's cold shoulder that did this to you, or something you always had, i would have to conclude it to be the second.

The greatest doter couldn't heal you, but the Rebbi was wrong for not healing you?

I don't hold any of this against you, and I hope you find healing and peace.



I've had a similar experience in my religion, and it's so refreshing to see how genuine and open you are with how you're feeling.

I went away for a year to live in a community that was extremely poor, so that I could know what it was like to be poor instead of just throwing change in our version of the Tzedakah box.

That year changed my life and outlook on God forever. So many of the churches I'll go to have all these super ornate images of God with all these stained glass images of white people.

But, I think maybe it's different than that. I think He can be seen next to the starving children, the underprivileged, the broken-hearted, and people who aren't white.

Society is not a society filled with life, and though it's true people try to serve God in the way they're taught is the "right way", every person I've tried to explain the God of the Poor to rejects it and chooses comfort and ignorance.

It's frustrating. It's heart-breaking.

I hope you'll find a place to daven in which you're allowed to ask those questions, and free to encourage others to talk about the almost extinct Ethiopan Jews.

I've learned that it's good to bring about awareness and truth. But, people get crazy and attack-y if they feel it's presented in a way that attacks who they are or what they know. Don't make it about knowing.

See if you can make it about "just seeing", or coming with you to learn about it. Their own experiences will teach them much more than online Theological battles. That was hard and lonely to learn.

Be careful not to seclude yourself. A place for bitterness to fester will become your source of comfort, and this can change your actions to be less life-giving than originally planned. I see you. I see your heart.

It's beautiful.


I found this site mainly due to the article on Deborah Feldman. But I very much wanted to thank you for your literate explanation here. Many Jews, perhaps secular ones such as myself, feel as you do, little inspiration from our own religion, most certainly not a light unto the world and an increase in Hasidim of all ilks who have leaders who have virtually invented cults as they went along, with some of them thinking that living persons, now deceased, could have been the Messiah, despite this new Messiah having done nothing to make the world a wonderful place.

We are left with nothing because we cannot make a G-d out of the Christian god and so we look for religous inspiration anywhere, somewhere, if only we could find it.

I understand why some Jews are returning to Orthodoxy - they want something, anything. The problem is that instead of all Jewish leaders getting together and somehow reforming, updating, making palatable our religion, we are a fragmented lot. It is so very sad. This complete with the inclusion of anti-Semitism whenever the rest of the world wants it, we stand as part of a community that is offering little to us.

I do not write this lightly. I write this instead, after 70 years of trying to figure out why the religion I was born into offers me absolutely nothing in the way of spiritual inspiration.


I have learned that the stories of past be they myths or parables or fables are all layered insights into our ever evolving souls. that the knowing of a child is enhanced as he becomes a young adult and then an adult and finally a senior. This on the smaller scale is how our teachings are, they imbue greater greater meaning as we ascend through time and of course space ... the learning is never ending ...


I urge any Jew who can see Chabad for what it is and wishes to leave, to do so immediately and see a therapist and get a good job and stay away from abusive cults.

Cheryl Crandall

Shmarya: You're RIGHT ON! Tell it like it is; you're telling the truth and you're a very brave woman.

Yasher Koach!


You are seeing God as Mother Theresa did…But to come closer to the God forsaken we have to be touched by the grace to hear his voice among the chaos…to find Him with auto discipline and humbleness in the silence of the desert that our humblness strive to create...a replaced desert..where God spoke the first time. Do not fear…you will be found if it is your deepest desire by the lost meek and suffering God that you already feel true. I found him…in my own suffering and the love sacrifice offered for me. I truly wish you a truly beautiful voyage where you will relish the loss of your burden


A mouthpiece for the truth this blog is. My admiration for the job you are doing, in particular for exposing the stenching sectarian essence of Chabad.


Think of the Joseph story. No where else do so many people, including criminals, one of whom is about to die, have dreams from Almighty God! So common were these dreams that being able to interpret them was the only thing seen as a gift. Yet the story is wonderful & our Talmudic ancestors explanations are fabulous in their interpretations. It would be wonderful if ten of us moderns had as much wisdom.

As for your site, it's definitely needed. The last thing any one, especially Jews, want is for our rabbis to be seen as being like Caesar's wife. They are no different than anyone else. Most rabbis, like most clergymen in general, are wonderful people doing a relatively low paying job, with incredible headaches (imagine being a marriage counselor without even one year's training), with horrific hours, all to help people become more likely to do good deeds and avoid evil ones.

Maybe if people see websites like this one (there should be ones for Protestant Ministers & Imams as well), those Catholic priests would be given a bit of leeway. I swear that all clergy have pedophiles.


Thanks, Paul.

Paul Allen

Wow, first of all Shmarya, thank you for this blog and for this post about your beliefs. Your path and perspective are inspiring.

As a non-orthodox and non-student of all the branches of Jewish observance, I can't really follow all of the rabbinic and liturgical references here -- nor am I all that interested in them.

Regardless, I consider myself very Jewish, and I fear for the evolution of Judaism and Jewish values in the world. It seems to me that in our increasingly connected world, as in other religions, it's the less creative, the less thoughtful, the less literate, the less tolerant, and the less intellectual, that dominate. What this means to me is at the precise moment in history when the Jewish people need another Moses, we are bereft with idealogues on one end of the spectrum and lightweights on the other.

Shmarya I hope you grow in strength on your journey and gain confidence from all the ad hominem attacks -- confidence that you're on the right path.

Bernie Waltzer

I was born a Jew but I have always questioned the practices of the orthodox. Now I see that the "most religious and pious" are a bunch of phonies.

I believe in the State of Israel but unless they stop being controlled by the religious right the country will fall into the dustbin of history and accompany the other middle east religions that we only read about in history books.

Not all Black Hats follow the extreme practices of the few but if they don't change politics internally, they will also loose their children to the outside world.

Keep up the very good work.


The rabbi was probably Motti Berger.

Mike in Miami

Shmarya, this is NOT sarcasm or an attack. I agree with you. I just want to point out the deeper implications as I imagine them.

look at what you said on October 24, 2006 at 12:00 PM: - The issue is not whether there were ever good, honest rabbis and Jewish leaders. Of course there were. The point is the mesora is broken, and the preponderance of evidence is that it always was.-

I say - Something can only be broken if it can be seen now as having been intact at some earlier point. But, what the investigations into language, history and psychology have strongly suggested is that things are SAID to have been intact, whole, fully themselves as an expediency. Something that has "always" been broken never existed - (to use the phrase associated with postmodernism or critical philosophy "always-already") If mesora has always-already been broken then it was never what it claimed to be. What you are not saying is that Jewish tradition is false, something made up, an expediency.

But what has emerged is the awareness that all histories are expediencies. There is no culture, big or small, that is not the product of its own imagination, that is, not a reconstruction: a story that a group tells itself about how they began, their purpose, what their value is. That is, their meta-narrative.

I went to Israel and studied at Aish ha-torah in 1987. It was the first time I studied torah, really. I was not a good student and felt very torn by it. To some degree I still do. But what was at hand for me was the feeling that I was being invited to narrow my life though it was presented as an enlargement. This was something I didn't want to do.

One thing that put my whole relationship to the "rabbis" in perspective what this: During a class session a rabbi said that it was permissible to lie in order to do good. The context was of course narrow. The lie was something like telling your wife that she was a great cook when she was not in order to not ruin her sabbath. But the implications were clear to me. I never thought that there was any going back. The whole of the Torah had been revealed.

Jack Rosenthal

The Haredim are an abomination and a blight on all of Jewry. They should be shunned by all other Jews. In Israel, they are a cancer to the national security, economic viability, social cohestion and national patriotism of the country. The overwhelming majority of them cannot be compromised with; they are a menace to the rest of us with the totally phony, obscessive, hypocritical "Torah-observant lifestyle" and frankly, many of the so-called "modern orthodox" are their enablers and sympathizers. If Israel could wake up, it would take them by their beards and tzitzes and their ugly women by their ankle-length skirts and hurl them over the border into Gaza or the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon where they could "exist" with Hamas and Hezbollah until they got their throats slit.


This is fabulously fun and reminds me of what it is to be a Jew. Thanks for the pilpul. I may be late to the party but it's a window on a life that I never had.


Wow ! I have succeeded in annoying you ! now we are getting somewhere. Your response is sooo telling of your emotional state of mind. Can be used as a text book example.


Posted by: psychiatrist | November 01, 2011 at 07:59 AM

Well, I hope your teachers aren't foolish enough to grant you a degree.

You clearly don't have even a basic idea of what you're talking about.

Now I realize this will be a very difficult concept for your very small mind to grasp, but do try to process: being upset with bad things done, like criminal acts against children, for example, is *not* a sign that someone needs mental health counseling.

In the same way, being upset that religious leaders abuse their positions of power to hurt or entrap is *not* a sign that someone needs mental health counseling.

And responding to personal attacks by reams of illiterate, obnoxious, unintelligent and dishonest followers of said religious leaders by using the only language most can understand is *not* a sign that someone needs mental health counseling.

However, a psychology student who opens his anonymous critique of a person he does not know by writing, "bobalah, you are hurting so much, did you have a difficult childhood. There is so much pain in your article. And that need for talking dirty........ find a good psychiatrist" is clearly unethical, dishonest and not particularly well educated. (Not to mention semi-literate.)

You're projecting your own psychological issues on me, and you're misusing the small amount of psychology you've actually learned.

You may not know this but if you had a license to practice, it could easily be revoked for this.

And if your teachers knew that wrote these comments they could (and should) legitimately bounce you from any psychology program you're enrolled in.

Process that.


So you have been to one already...... If you see someone shouting, crying, displaying emotion, it is not projection to assume that he is angry, sad etc. as social norms predict that this is the case. Actually you are the one projecting when you are talking dirty "the operation of expelling feelings or wishes the individual finds wholly unacceptable—too shameful, too obscene, too dangerous—by attributing them to another"


bobalah, you are hurting so much, did you have a difficult childhood. There is so much pain in your article. And that need for talking dirty........ find a good psychiatrist. Psych Student

Posted by: psychiatrist | October 31, 2011 at 07:57 PM

I think you need to ask your teachers about projection.

I'm not hurting in the least.

You, however, may very well be.


bobalah, you are hurting so much, did you have a difficult childhood. There is so much pain in your article. And that need for talking dirty........ find a good psychiatrist. Psych Student


As you can see by the date of this post, I am strictly secular. However, my friends who are more spiritually inclined, whether Jews, Christians, Buddhist or Muslim, all gather strength from being part of a spiritual community. You've commented on what you believe. I'm curious about with whom you gather. I'm sure there is a minyan out there that would welcome you, even without the approval of a rabbi in Brooklyn. There are plenty of spiritual communities that also believe that the bible is not to be taken literally. So with whom do you practice?

Sigmund Schlomo Freund

so this is how the douche bag was born

a female faust

bless you, and yours, and all that you create;

may you live long, and healthily, and happily, and well;

keep up the Great Work:

thank you.


Shmarya, I sympathize with you. I agree that many Jews today are obsessed with pointless details of halakha and seem to have forgotten the most important, as you said, to have God in our hearts and actions and carry this message to the world. You seem to be profoundly disappointed by the lack of wisdom of many of today's rabbis, and angered by some of their actions. I am too. But please keep in mind that semicha was lost about 1500 years ago, and we are not obliged to follow rabbinical decisions since then. If you study Tanakh and Talmud yourself and come to certain conclusions, you have the total right to disagree with them. I wish more Jews knew this, and I have the impression that today's rabbis try to hide this fact.

You pose a valid question regarding the integrity of the tradition. If you don't trust the people who brought the tradition through the generations all the way to you, how can you know that it has not been corrupted? I can't definitely answer your question, but I can give you some reasons for why I think the Tanakh we have today is mostly the same as the original, and why it is not entirely allegorical:

1. The oldest known surviving text of the Tanakh is about 2000 years old, and the differences between it and today's text are minuscule. If you extrapolate this small divergence to about 3500 years ago, it will still be considerably small, and you can safely conclude that the present text is almost the same as the original. The text of the Talmud today is likewise practically the same as what was originally written, and the Talmud lists a continuous sequence of people, from Moses until their times, who passed the tradition through the generations.

2. The rabbis who wrote the Talmud did discuss what was literal and what was allegorical in the Tanakh. For example, some of them speculated that the story of Job did not actually happen, but was only a fictional story written by Moses to convey its meaning. However, as far as I know, none of them ever thought that the Exodus could have been fictional.

3. From what I understand, the six days of creation were not actual days, the snake was not an actual snake, the flood may have occurred only in the Middle East, some miracles were probably only visions, angels are virtual, Joshua did not make the Earth stop spinning, and Iftakh did not sacrifice his daughter. These and other passages are highly subject to interpretation. However, the slavery of Jews in Egypt, their redemption and their receiving the Torah is described in too much detail to be simply an allegory.

4. Many religions, such as Christianity, Islam and Buddhism, are based on teachings of one person who declares having a divine revelation, and who is able to convince many people of his ideas. Therefore, it is easy to refute the ideas by saying that the person who brought them lied. Judaism, however, has a fundamentally different basis. Although Moses was the prophet who gave the Torah to the people, the Torah describes all the stories lived by the people themselves, and even states that they heard the voice of God directly at Sinai. It does not make any sense that the Jewish people would have accepted a holy text that described them doing something that they did not really do. Even if you think that the Torah was written centuries later, the people would still not believe a text describing what their ancestors did if they had never heard of such things. There is no point when the Torah could have been "introduced", other than the way that is described in it. And as I explained above, I don't think that the text has changed much over time.

In sum, what I'm trying to say is that you can and should question many parts of the Jewish tradition we have today, especially where it contradicts itself or where it defies logic, but you can't say that the whole tradition and texts are invalid or corrupted, as this would be illogical too.

All the best in your search for the truth.


Find Jesus and you will never again wonder who God actually is.

Nothing personal, but you quite obviously know nothing about the Judaism Jesus practiced, what the early Church was, or why the Christianity you practice would be completely foreign to him.

Past that, if there's one thing I'm certain about regarding God, it is that he would be very upset by what you wrote.

E.T. (Eternal Truth)

Your honesty is refreshing. The men who do in this day and time what Pharasaic Judaism did in their own time live on and lie as good as ever. You used the word "cult." This encapsulates Judaism with all it's chicaneries and sleight of hand tricks. Find Jesus and you will never again wonder who God actually is. God bless you for creating this truth blog!


Refusing to help dying people isn't kosher. The Rebbe's inaction wasn't kosher. His lies were not kosher.

As for you, I'm sure no amount of proof will dissuade you from believing your fantasies.

a jew that cares

just because a minority percentage of religious jews are making chillul hashem and act in a way contrary to torah and halacha does not mean that all rabbis are false and fake. your judging the entire religious jewish world based on the incidents of a few retards, which is complete ignorance. there are way more religious jews, whether chassidic, charedi, or modern orthodox, who make alot of kiddush hashem, do lots of chesed for the poor and others, and are true examples of a ben Torah. ESCPECIALLY CHABAD

also,your hate towards the rebbe is completely foolish. as well all know, the rebbe was one the top leaders, if not, THE leader of this generation who brought thousands of jews back to judaism with complete ahavat yisrael and did it leshem shamayim. and just because he didnt do anything for your cause doesnt mean hes false. every answer the rebbe had to any persons question whether positive or negative wa always for the best. obviously if he didnt go ahead with your plan to save the ethiopian jews, it was for a good,m logicial, specific reason. maybe you werent meant to do it? maybe your mission to do in life was for some other positive purpose/mitza? allow me to share you a personal story:

years ago, my aunt and his husband's marriage was falling apart after she found out that he had a gambling problem among other things. my uncle (her brother) went to the rebbe for advice to see if he could help the husband or not. when he approached the rebbe, he kept pushing him away and the rebbe kept shaking his head (my uncle didnt even mention a word). a year later, my aunt found out he was cheating on her, lost alot of $ in gambling, and after the divorce, for a few years after, kept harrassing the kids and mother.

the rebbe the guy would cause much more damage and hurt to my family and he was 110% right.

also, HASHEM in the torah commands us to follow the advice of our leaders and rabbis no matter what (unless obviously it goes completely against halacha):

And you shall do according to the word they tell you, from the place the Lord will choose, and you shall observe to do according to all they instruct you.

11. According to the law they instruct you and according to the judgment they say to you, you shall do; you shall not divert from the word they tell you, either right or left.

(Devarim 16:10-11)

also, you said in your post that even though you observe halacha, you have little spiritual inspiration for it. I feel that besides from your experience, you probably feel like this due to a lack of belief in the divinity of the Torah and in Hashem (I hope I am wrong). I HIGHLY RECCOMEND you to watch this shiur by Rabbi Yossi Mizrachi (a baal teshuva Spehardic rabbi from monsey who makes tens of hundreds of jews observant every week without exaggeration, and I am one of many examples):



Do u even know what the truth is?


Come on Leave Shmarya alone? He is only telling the truth!


Deear Shmarya,
U are a disgusting piece of sh*t and the only good thing you have going for your name is that your jewish...so why don't you start looking at judaism from a view other then your f*ckin bias opinion on it.maybe think that the
reason why Rav Shmuel Kamenetsky said to go to
rabbis not to the police maybe so that when things go public after being brought to the police, *ssholes like yourself won't take the information out of context and base your blog and your view of your religion on it.


you just need the attention,no matter how much truth is thrown at you


Hi - I found this blog today and spent a fascinated few hours reading through your posts and these comments. I admire your commitment to social justice, and cheer the combative tone in your responses to the captive, unquestioning folk whom your blog has thoroughly freaked out.

I was also attracted to social service and mysticism as a young guy, and over time the commitment to the former became the one I lived. (I work on projects that aim in various ways to develop education systems in low-income countries.) The latter attraction waned, or perhaps became something else.

My question for you is - as long as this started as a post on your theological orientation - what happened to your interest in religious mystery? Did it disappear when you lost respect for contemporary Orthodoxy, or when found your calling as a muckraker? Or do you now have other outlets for it, other means of expressing it?


How come your bio does not mention your time at Kol Yaakov in Monsey? And why and how you decided to leave Monsey... I notice that you omit from frum scandals the news about Nathan Rothschild from Monsey and assume you have fond memories of the local yekkies.

Posted by: MonseyJames | July 06, 2011 at 03:11 PM

I never lived in or near Monsey and I never attended or set foot in Kol Yaakov.


How come your bio does not mention your time at Kol Yaakov in Monsey? And why and how you decided to leave Monsey... I notice that you omit from frum scandals the news about Nathan Rothschild from Monsey and assume you have fond memories of the local yekkies.


You are prolific in your writings.
I see you referenced from time to time but, to the best of my remembering, it's mostly what you hate about Jews or Judaism...
It is good to be passionate but, I would humbly suggest that you might try and reconstruct a world that you love as opposed to expressing your feeling of victimization by a world that you hate.

Anshel Bomberger

I find your work at your blog extremely important. I found myself involved with a closeted lesbian that is from South African Chabad Jewry. I did a form of sick twisted dance with her for eight years. I learned during the process of getting to know her that she was abused terribly and remains stuck in a system that she somehow loves and adores. A Stockholm Syndrome style of Chabad Judaism. Depending on who she was affiliating with at the time, she was either an out lesbian, closeted lesbian, out Chabadnik, closeted Chabadnik, or pretending she waa goyim in secret on the internet. She was abusive to me because she herself was abused. I refused to go along with what she was doing and I eventually went away. She was not healthy for me. I came to the conclusion that organized religion of all forms is child abuse. It should be illegal to force children into such indoctrination from a young age on. The same way it is illegal to subject minors to alcohol, drugs, tobacco, and porn. In any Ultra-Orthodox system (Fundamental Christianity as well), Children are not afforded the opportunity to become critical thinkers. Children in these cults are brainwashed from a young age and they learn to lie, hate, and fear, based on their upbringing of being lied to, seeing their role models hate others, and motivated by fear to leave secular life behind or never enter into it or they too will be ostracized, shunned, and mistreated. Children are stripped of their opportunity to form their own identities separate from the uniforms and regulations imposed by not only the Torah, but also the Tanya, which repeats in a loop the requirement of Torah study and the mitzvah train nightmare. For me, personally, I may be Jewish from birth, but I am not Jewish in the way I practice my daily life. I refuse to observe what the Torah teaches. It is my way of creating a healthy boundary. I live a life filled with random acts of Chesed, Kavod, and Emet. To me that is Jewing perfectly. I am an intellectual rebel. I have no formal education in Hebrew or Orthodoxy. I have advanced secular degrees in Law (J.D.) and Psychology (M.A.). My secular training has taught me well. I find the teaching of the Torah repulsive and abusive from a psychological point of view and it should be illegal, just as any form of emotional, psychological, or physical abuse is in every other criminal law towards children. The separation of church and state allows this abuse to continue and that is horribly wrong. Anyone that believes in the teaching and myths of the Torah are like secular Christian adults that would still believe in Santa Claus. They are still using their child's mind, not their adult critical minds. Anyone that honestly believes that G-d wrote a book, probably still believes the Earth is flat too. I am outraged and repulsed by the Torah and organized religion. So much, that I contracted with the local Jewish mortuary to be cremated. I do not desire to honor the teaching of the Torah and have my body buried. I want nothing to do with Torah observant Jews. I will forever be a Left-Wing Secular-Humanistic Zionist Jew. I was born to Jewish parents, but I find the teaching of the Torah mean-spirited, hateful, and oppressive. G-d that made the mountains and the seas, never would be such an awful G-d. G-d didn't write a book, man did. Because of my belief system, I don't believe in idolizing the Torah. That to me is placing a text that man wrote ("biblio idolatry") above HaShem, not honoring HaShem alone. I find that sort of Jewing a contradiction to the Shema itself. I have read many books on Falling Off The Derech, Leaving the Fold, etc. Many Jews born into Chabad and Ultra-Orthodox practice as Orthoprax Jews or closeted OTD Jews, do so secretly in order to remain in a community that abuses them. It makes me bitter and angry that their own parents instilled fear toward their family members and their neighbors in order to keep them stuck within a system that is painful, abusive, and not healthy. I am grateful I am out. To those that will read this and post whatever about the Torah being so wonderful, I leave you with this... Arguing about one's belief is like arguing about who has the best imaginary friend. The Torah is repulsive. Ultra-Orthodoxy should be scrutinized by the government and the children taken from the homes of the parents abusing their children in the name of G-d. The only way that would happen is if there were an amendment to the Constitution allowing the amendment of portion around the Separation of Church and State. Until that ever happens more and more children will be abused and grow up to abuse their own children and the cycle of abuse in the name of HaShem continues.


We see in Torah, in the holy writings, that our people have failed in practically every generation since the beginning.
Number one, Torah is perfect. Number two, there have been great Jews. Number three in this generation they are very hard to find.
Every generation is lower than the last.
It says in Bereishis 6;5 that "every product of the thoughts of mans heart are evil always".
You should get away from bad people and seek out the good ones even if you die trying.
Don't bash good people and group them together with the sinners.
Don't be surprised when large groups of people and brilliant tyrants flourish. That is the way of the world. It's nothing new. Broaden your perspective.
You should not leave something so precious just because many sinners are vying for it as well.
I wish you only the best of the best my beloved Brother. All good things are to come..


Very many Orthodox Jews, the majority, in fact, were Zionist before the Rebbe.

Being a Zionist does not automatically equal hard right views on Land for Peace.


I think much of the problem today is that Jews of all stripes are worshiping Israel instead of God. We have made an idol out of the state and now sacrifice everything to it, including our ethics and humanity. The Lubavitcher Rebbe played a big part in leading us down this false path by merging nationalism with Torah. Prior to him, very few Orthodox Jews were Zionists (I am old enough to remember this), and everyone pretty much agreed that land for peace was a viable option. Then along comes the Lubie making it a "sin" to give back "even one inch" of land, exerting this influence over lots of important people who are not observant themselves but got a vicarious something from supporting Chabad, thereby setting a pattern of intransigence about the peace process that has gone over well with the militant end of the Zionist movement -- hence the huge growth of Chabad. As long as we keep trying to justify the occupation of another people in the name of religion, the corruption will only get worse. So yeah, the Lubie was definitely a failed messiah -- or at least, his followers made him into one.


Thank you very much, Deborah.


I am a non-observant jew living in Rockland that discovered your website about a year ago. I keep having a reason to come back to read an article here or there. Today I followed a link to this article and I have to say that I am deeply touched by this explanation of who you are. It makes so much sense to me and I for one am pleased that you were able to redefine yourself. I am constantly facing the pain of looking at our local issues and the frustration that no one can speak out against specific practices without being labeled an anti-Semite. Thanks for doing this.

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