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January 01, 2007

Kiryas Joel: Stealing From The Goyyim?

The Times Herald Record has an exposé of NY State grants to Kiryas Joel. More important than the article, read the comments from readers there. Haredim are bad neighbors. The hatred for them generated by the rabbinic ordered corruption and sleeze spills over onto the rest of us. In other words, haredim do the crimes but all Jews will suffer for them. And there is no solution to this problem.

[Hat Tip: Dr. R-F.]

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And there is no solution to this problem.

The solution is for honest Jews, including "black hat" types, to distance themselves from this behavior, and denounce it as not authentically Jewish.

The problem is, our leaders are wimps.

There are two separate issues with Chassidim. That they are willing to lie to obtain funds from the government is outrageous. However, the article cites no new examples of this.

The article and the comments seem to imply that its somehow wrong that they apply for and receive a disproportionate amount of government resources. But the nature of democracy is that groups that want funding have to "work the system." Chassidim do not do so more often than others, they are just better at is because they are so tight nit. If Chassidim didn't work the system, they would get screwed over, like everyone else. In fact, they did get screwed over in the 1970 redistricting, which intentionally divided the Chassidic community in Brooklyn into separate state senate and assembly districts, to create more "majority minority districts" under the Voting Rights Act of 1965. This greatly limited their power. They challenged the redistricting all the way to the supreme court, but lost. United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburgh, Inc. v. Carey 430 U.S. 144, 97 S.Ct. 996 ( 1977.)

Ultimately, democracy cannot last if people perceive the function of government as to get the most benefits for one's particular group, rather than to advance policies for the common good. This is because the minority group, has no hope of ever working within the system, that will never work for it. If one is a democrat, even after losing an election, one can hope that with political activism, better campaigning, etc. they can regain power. If one is a Sunni in Iraq, where voting is strictly according to sectarian lines, one will be in the permanent minority, and thus has no reason to desire the success of democratic institutions. But to the extent that in this country much power is given to particular groups, there is nothing wrong with Chassidim playing by the rules as they found them.

YL wrote:

"The solution is for honest Jews, including "black hat" types, to distance themselves from this behavior, and denounce it as not authentically Jewish.

The problem is, our leaders are wimps."

Speak for yourself and your "conservative" leaders.

Shmarya and the many other charedi-bashers on the blogosphere (I don't think there are so many in real life) are constantly pointing at disrepuatble individuals with black hats (or white srugies) and declaring that these indiviuals are the natural product of a perverted and malignant runaway theolological society (hereidism, black-hatness, yeshivacentrism, what-have-you). You antagonists are either outsiders or just poisoned by the misery of your own personal failings. Either way, you shout from your virtual rooftops that orthodoxy fosters these bad behaviors and that its leaders don't denounce it. Nothing can be further from the truth.

In orthodox communities from coast to coast (including Brooklyn), the pulpit themes are resonant with calls for piety and honesty. The masses of American orthodoxy, although not a perfect society, are generally sincere about "behaving well" and with fear of God in all their pursuits.

Every society has their bad folks. Unfortunately that is true of orthodoxy too. However, when they're busted, they lose their chezkas kashrus, and are not generally viewed with favor.

Dear Uncola,

What shuls in Brooklyn?

They seem to give everything to the richest or those from the best families. The Kolko affair did not happen in a vacuum. The unorthodox divorce did not happen in a vacuum. Bobov's money scandal did not happen in a vacuum. Yeshiva of Flatbush's scandal did not happen in a vacuum. Need I say more.

anon,

The aggresive among us are most likely to become both prominent and disreputable. So, of course, you will find shamefully agressive people doing not nice stuff and seeming to get away with it for awhile. That is not standard orthodoxy. Any cheder yingel will tell you that Jewish crooks act without fear of God, and that, of course, without fear of God, a Jew is not admirable. So when these crooks are outed, they are not heroes. The rabbis don't give them any sort of license to do what they do. They are just plain aggressive and often without scruples.

Shmarya is also an aggressive person, but he failed in the sense of spiritual or secular success, so he is actuating his shameless aggressiveness by blazing trails in the "new" movement of anthema for torah.

To the uncola:

If that were true, then the Rabbis wouldn't be hiding, aiding, and abetting the criminals. It has been shown over and over and over that instead of punishing abusers, for example, the rabbis just moved them on to a new smorgasbord of victims. Every time. If that's not complicity, then there's no such thing. As a woman, I can tell you for a fact that the needs of abused and neglected wives and children are completely ignored. You can call me a liar if it makes you happy, but the evil is widespread and endemic - that fact that you choose to turn a blind eye to it doesn't change that. And do you not get it? It DOESN'T MATTER if "your" shul or "your" community "doesn't" do these things (that you know of) - because to the goyim and the news reporters and the government EVERYBODY who wears the black suit and hat LOOKS THE SAME. We will ALL be persecuted because of their actions - and in truth we deserve it because we let it happen. We stood by and denied it and did nothing - just like you're doing right now.

Ahavahahah,

Whichever rabbis are aiding, abeting and sheltering criminals are not doing the right thing. However orthodoxy (hareidism whatever), has not developed into the decadent and corrupt society that the Shmarya crew paint it to be.

99% of us American black hatters wouldn't let anyone get away with molesting our child, or our neighbor's. I'm not familiar with the cases involving the Kolko story or others, but I know that the people-power of the orthodox world would never let these things be swept under the carpet.

To tell me that I and other truly devout Jews are doing nothing to combat the criminal acts by those with a black cloak is wrong. A Torah Jew would issue rebuke if in a position to do so, would inform the rabbinic leaders of the community which is affected, and speak out against the criminals and their actions regularly.

Are you telling me that I'm unique in the orthodox world? The rest are robots? Don't be stupid. We, as a society, are not intersted in letting a few crooks ruin our community. Why would a typical orthodox Jew go along with covering up for criminals, molesters, etc?

And if you tell me that we are all blinded by our institutionally corrupt rabbis, then you are just a hateful fool who may have been absed or whatever, but certainly don't have a broad enough scope of vision to understand that bad stuff happens, but it's not institutional.

The reporters/Goyim/ government etc. whom you say are going to view us all as one big Jewish problem is to accuse them all of being unAmerican. I come from America, where people are mostly judged as individuals. You must feel that goyim are your watchful enemy, because you are afraid that they will overwhelmingly lash out against you and your community in an unAmerican way. To bad you don't have more regard for Goyim. I guess you have the typical racist MO/conservative attitude toward goyim, but the majority of American orthodox do not.

Sure I'm ashamed of the Chillul Hashems, but I wouldn'y blame chareidism for ruining the Jewish image. And my gentile friends wouldn't either.


To the uncola:

I love it. Your defense is that I must not be one of you if I think that. There's no point in even arguing with you, because you're so blind you cannot see. All evil comes from the outside, you say. No one puts up with that, you say. I say differently. We do put up with it. We are silenced with social terrorism, with ostracization, with threatening our kids marriage prospects, with harassement, and yes, even with physical violence. You say it's not happening, I say it is. He said, she said. I say your grasp of reality is lacking. If it's not happening, we wouldn't all be here, the news wouldn't be reporting on it, and people wouldn't be sharing their verifiable stories about it. Some of us no longer believe it's a bigger sin to speak out than it is for the thugs to do their dirty work. Did you even read the article? Did you read the comments by the goy neighbors? I did. Maybe you should. There's not a single thing they said that was untrue. It's all true, and we all know it. We just try and pretend it doesn't matter what they think. We pretend if we just ignore it, it will go away. That worked really well in Germany, didn't it?

This article and the comments reminded me of what I observed when I lived in Crown Heights back in 1980. All of the cheating the system and underground economy opened my eyes to the dishonest nature of these people who call themselves Jews. It was rather common knowledge that police raids in Times Square would result in a disproportionate number of Chossidim coming out of the various places. Boro Park and Williamsburg were no different than Crown Heights either.

You can't go around and say "anti-semite" whenever a some real crime committed by Jews exist. I'm getting really tired of hearing this. What happened to the idea that Jews should cause kavod HaShem and not chillul HaShem? This behavior hurts all Jews because it fulfills many goyishe stereotypes.

While the majority of our people aren't like this, we must admit that such DO exist and rightfully admonish them without pulling the anti-Semite or self-hating Jew card. Enough already!

Jews aren't supposed to bring the crimes or errors of other Jews to the attention of goyim. Perhaps the best way to do that would be to make sure these crimes and errors are not tolerated in the communities in the first place. Perhaps because no one is listening, it has become necessary to admit to the public our errors - lest they think that all Jews try to cover things up and thus there is even more chasvechalila anti-Semitism.

The situation is a true chillul HaShem.

Ahavahaha,

Let's go back. I wasn't commenting on the KJ story (actually didn't read it). I KNOW that plenty of fraud and abuse goes on in parts of the Jewish world. I am disturbed by it. I also abhor it and speak out against it, as do the majority of torah Jews when they become aware of such a thing.

I was commenting on the remark by Yochanan that the black hat Jews (for the most part) aren't distancing themselves from this type of behavior and denouncing it and that the leaders are wimps. In responding to Yochanan, I also addressed the improper characterization (by the Shmarya types)of the Torah and the "rabbis" incidence to the acts of Chillul Hashem.

Those commenters, who constantly declare that orthodoxy and its rabbinic system are the incubator for this behavior and that these criminal acts are commited disproportionately by Charedim, are dead wrong. Bad people do bad things. There is a certain tolerance of that sociological fact in a constitutional society. The only people that finger point at the "dirty Jew" are the antisemites and the Shmaryas. (The existence of antisemitism is also to be tolerated in a constitutional society, so they are here to stay.) The Torah Jews are just as upset about the chillul Hashem, but are rational enough to know that it is not institutional. The community rabbis in general serve their communities and wouldn't get away with presiding over their devolvement.

Ahavah, if you are not an outsider, then you are at least from a socially dysfunctional and warped background. You were never in a position to gain a rational perspective of the Torah's powerfully positive influence on contemporary orthodoxy, and you probably never seeked it out.

Ahavahaha,

Let's go back. I wasn't commenting on the KJ story (actually didn't read it). I KNOW that plenty of fraud and abuse goes on in parts of the Jewish world. I am disturbed by it. I also abhor it and speak out against it, as do the majority of torah Jews when they become aware of such a thing.

I was commenting on the remark by Yochanan that the black hat Jews (for the most part) aren't distancing themselves from this type of behavior and denouncing it and that the leaders are wimps. In responding to Yochanan, I also addressed the improper characterization (by the Shmarya types)of the Torah and the "rabbis" incidence to the acts of Chillul Hashem.

Those commenters, who constantly declare that orthodoxy and its rabbinic system are the incubator for this behavior and that these criminal acts are commited disproportionately by Charedim, are dead wrong. Bad people do bad things. There is a certain tolerance of that sociological fact in a constitutional society. The only people that finger point at the "dirty Jew" are the antisemites and the Shmaryas. (The existence of antisemitism is also to be tolerated in a constitutional society, so they are here to stay.) The Torah Jews are just as upset about the chillul Hashem, but are rational enough to know that it is not institutional. The community rabbis in general serve their communities and wouldn't get away with presiding over their devolvement.

Ahavah, if you are not an outsider, then you are at least from a socially dysfunctional and warped background. You were never in a position to gain a rational perspective of the Torah's powerfully positive influence on contemporary orthodoxy, and you probably never seeked it out.

"Who cares? They're just silly goyim" seems to be the prevailing attitude. Who can blame them for not taking goyim seriously? One isn't even allowed to say anything nice about a goy. Take this Rashi on Devarim 7:3 for example:

ולא תחנם: לא תתן להם חן אסור לו לאדם לומר: כמה נאה גוי זה

Uncola:

"Speak for yourself and your "conservative" leaders?"

I have issues with the Conservative movement, too. I am an independent, but I daven at a Modern Orthodox shul. By "leaders" I meant all movements.

Don't presume to speak for me, and who my "leaders" are.

Nigritude,
Maybe in your ghetto that is the "prevailing" attitude. That is a ghetto mentality that some foreigners brought here with them, and it takes a couple generations to get it out of a family. This "old country" mentality exists among many ethnic and cultural groups in this country and is hardly a Jewish trademark.

Regarding Rashi, there is nothing derogatory or derisive toward gentiles there.

However, the importance of Kiddush Hashem is a fundamental concept which is reiterated throughout Tanach, Talmud and Halacha. And that fundamental is being universally taught in charedi schools today, as always.

Just because you've witnessed hypocrisy, that doesn't give you the right to condemn masses of people who have a chezkas kashrus, nor to ridicule the Torah, r"l.

Quote Uncola

"To tell me that I and other truly devout Jews are doing nothing to combat the criminal acts by those with a black cloak is wrong. A Torah Jew would issue rebuke if in a position to do so, would inform the rabbinic leaders (however they are the problem) of the community which is affected, and speak out against the criminals and their actions regularly."

Are you living in a dream world? I do not want to mention names but many rabbis in Boro park and head of yeshivas where stealing from the government. For example, lunch programs, however provided no lunches, lunches where thrown in the trash. The Rabbi in charge of this program was hiding in the Yeshiva of Montreal. Another example, Youth Core, no jobs where provided they just listed fake jobs to get funded. Another example, program for mentally disabled, no program really existed. This is just to name a few examples. Oh I am forgetting a few who now have a large following with new buildings. One, hid dead bodies in a freezer so they still could get funding for their nursing home as if they where still keeping them alive and was arrested for smuggling also. Another one was involved in a major insurance scandal. I could go on and on.

The point is what backlash was there to those people, Rabbis who committed these sins, nothing. As a matter of fact they just became more popular, bigger following, and nicer buildings.

Of course this is not to say when someone in the community (Boro Park, Williamsburg) does something really sinful, like wearing shorts even a guy, or if one eats non Cholef Yisreal Ice cream like carvel, then you will see truly devout Jews come to action, to combat the criminal acts by those with a black cloak is wrong. A Torah Jew would issue rebuke if in a position to do so, would inform the rabbinic leaders.

How do I know, been there, seen that.

PS How many parents took their children
out of Torah Timimae (Rabbi Kolco school)
after the scandel hit the public? As
far as I know no many and not even one maybe.

Seymour,

You poor soul. Bad people do bad stuff. Nothing you said addresses the point that the aggressive among us are the ones who behave disreputably and, often, get caught eventually. Neither the torah, nor its scholars approve of anything criminal even lshem shomayim. That is a fact. Businessmen-rabbis are not the community's spiritual guide. When they are shamed, they are disrespected. I don't know the details of the in-town scandal stories that you cite, but I suspect that if the businessman-rabbis involved did not lose any grace with the community, then there are more sides to the story. Also realize that not every aggressive act is actually a violation. So if they were not convicted, they *may* not have done something so terrible.

My point isn't to discuss whether the hypocrites are good. Rather it is that the majority of orthodox (certainly the great number of nonaggressors) strive to be true to the torah and morally sterling.

The incidence of aggressive Jews is no greater than of any other group, and that is a truth that Americans by and large understand.

I find very little to nothing wrong in the acts alleged in the so called "expose." Kiryat Joel engaged in agressive and creative grant writing.

There is very little to nothing wrong with this. A grant writer is an advocate, not a dispassionate objective observer. As long as there is full disclosure (even if this disclosure comes in fine print) and no
blatantly false misreprsentation (as opposed to exaggeration) then Kiryat Joel played by the rules.

Here, Kiryat Joel apparently played by the rules.


Uncola argues that "bad people do bad stuff." But there sure seems to be an unusually large amount of "bad stuff" coming out of the charedi community, not MO or Conservative or Reform communities. Now, why is that?
Why the non-stop financial scandals, often involving rabbis themselves?
Why the 40+ years of rabbinic child abuse, and its attendant rabbinic cover up? Uncola doesn't have a clue; he admits he knows nothing of the Kolko matter.
The problem: Kolko is not the only child abuser in charediland. And he had lots of help to stay employed. And lots of rabbis intimidated lots of parents. And police can't comprehend the fear that exists in those charedi communities, such that they're fearful to report crimes to the police. They'd rather be cowed by their rabbis. We've all seen the statements by those in the know who attest that charedi communities will bring violence upon those who do an act of "mesirah." And that's precisely how it's done in charediville.
And why is it that way among Charedim? Because they really do still live in a ghetto in Europe. All goyim are bad. Pagans. Not worthy of our respect. When that poison is taught with one's mother's milk, don't be surprised when it develops into a warped society which feels it has carte blanche to steal, steal, steal whatever, whenever, it can.
And uncola? He knows no evil, sees no evil. But he sures knows how to make fun of Ahavah's name.

That's just the Jolly Uncola trademark laugh.

AHhahah

It fit in nicely with his name.

By the way, my remarks aren't about that I hear no evil etc. I am saying that it is not institutional, which is true. Regarding your claim that there is a disproportionate amount of scandal. That's not true. It falls within the norm. Where are all the convictions? Learn about criminology.

You may have a beef with some rabbis' ways of doing things, but that doesn't make them criminal. And if they are busted, I actually cheer, because I hate to see anyone get away with egregious crimes. If they are busted, they are as a matter of fact disrespected in their community.

You never heard of people power? Well it exists in the Chareidi world. You've been an outsider for too long, so you aren't aware of that. Intimidation and violence in the institution of rabbinic orthodoxy? I KNOW that's not true.

To tell you how I know is to give away my identity.

To The Uncola

I think you missed my point. I never said that the Torah (the Torah was a great leap for mankind morals etc. no matter who wrote it) approves any of the things discussed in this post.

My main point is the community reaction to this things. If the community finds someone sold empire kosher chicken instead of Satmer
chicken all hell would break lose. Why not the same outrage over the rabbi child abuse cases and the schools rabbis who protected them.

Nobody said that the frum have more bad people than others. They just like to point out that religion is not the cure all to all
humanities problem and if everybody becomes frum we still would have the problem evil we have now

About the ghetto attitude that many confuse with haridism...

The "OK to steal from the Czar" mode as well as other disturbing attitudes among much of the brooklyn chassidic culture will develop in one of two ways. (this is my opinion)

The attitude will largely dissipate in a generation or so, which is normal with close knit immigrant communities after a couple generations. And/or, the communities will become host to more corruption, but also become less identified as followers of a Rebbi or rabbis. If the corruption becomes more intense, the communities will shrink in size as many move away either because "frumkeit" doesn't suit them or because they seek a more moral Chareidi identity. The chassidic enclaves may just end up as a shell of a culture which suits the insiders well. Sort of a culture club.

I'm rooting for the former.

nor to ridicule the Torah, r"l.

I'm not ridiculing the Torah.

/sorry you think along those lines

Regarding Rashi, there is nothing derogatory or derisive toward gentiles there.

You're right, just don't say anything nice about them.

/it's a formula for positive attitudes and peaceful relations

"I'm not ridiculing the Torah. /sorry you think along those lines"

Actually, you are. No matter how hard you try to deny it.

"You're right, just don't say anything nice about them. /it's a formula for positive attitudes and peaceful relations"

The application of Lo S'chanem in halacha is beyond just a Rashi on chumash, the meaning of which must be understood in context. However, even to the extent that it seems not magnanimous to the gentiles, it is part of a formula for good attitudes and peaceful relations. It is an element of a much greater code of behavior which is designed to subjugate our mortal caprice and and encourage us to act in all situations with an illuminated seichel, which is as close to divine as you can get. The gentiles really go for the near-divine behavior of a good Jew, you know.

Now the little Cheder yingel, who of course is nowhere near divine, is still not deriving a poor lesson in mentschlichkeit from this Rashi, because his curriculum is full of stress on positive middos and the cardinality of Kiddush Hashem. He certainly is being thought to take care in his dealings with other people, including his gentile neighbors.

Actually, you are. No matter how hard you try to deny it.

Really, I'm not. I'm just trying to figure out how "religious" people think nothing of stealing from goyim.

/ By the way, the Torah does allow us to ask legitimate questions
// dismissing my question reveals a reluctance to deal with real questions

The application of Lo S'chanem in halacha is beyond just a Rashi on chumash

Well, tell me. What does Rashi mean?

The application of Lo S'chanem in halacha is beyond just a Rashi on chumash

Well, tell me. What does Rashi mean? How does his understanding of the verse foster goodwill toward goyim?

Apropos of nothing, the name Kiryas Joel always reminds me of Curious George.

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