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September 04, 2011

Postville Officials May Have Hated The Actions Of The Town's Black Sheep Jewish Landloard – Not Jews, Postville Author Says

Stephen Bloom "Maybe these local officials want the people who came to town to leave. It's not because they are Jewish. It may be because of the things they did," Stephen Bloom, a journalism professor and the author of a book on Postville said. "Postville was a pastoral, bucolic, beautiful town. ... Now Postville, by and large, is a very different kind of town."

Stephen Bloom
Stephen G. Bloom, author of the book "Postville: A Clash of Cultures in Heartland America."

Postville settles discrimination cases for $450K
Associated Press

The city of Postville has agreed to pay $450,000 and host a diversity workshop to settle two lawsuits filed by a Hasidic Jewish landlord who claimed city officials discriminated against him and his business.

City officials did not admit wrongdoing in the settlement reached last month with GAL Investments Ltd. owner Gabay Menahem and announced Thursday by his lawyers. But they did agree to the payout and to host a community workshop on diversity that will be sponsored by Iowa State University.

Menahem's company rented housing primarily to the employees of Agriprocessors, Inc., a kosher meatpacking plant that was Postville's largest employer until its bankruptcy following a 2008 federal raid that netted 389 illegal immigrants.

In similar state and federal lawsuits filed last year, Menahem claimed city officials helped ruin his business by falsely warning potential tenants he did not take good care of his properties and enforcing ordinances against him in a discriminatory and harassing manner. In particular, he said the city clerk ignored an ordinance and refused to disconnect water services when his tenants moved out, charging his company for the mounting bills and then filing liens against his properties after he refused to pay.

In addition, he claimed city officials would unfairly charge his properties for snow removal and single them out for inspections and repairs. He claimed his treatment was the result of longstanding anti-Semitism by some city officials that escalated following the raid on Agriprocessors, which devastated the local economy. The lawsuit cited public comments by two city council members criticizing the Jewish community for being insular, among other things.

City officials denied the discrimination claims and painted Menahem in court records as a confrontational landlord who fell behind on his bills and allowed his properties to fall into disrepair, which he denied.

David Goldman, a Des Moines lawyer who represented Menahem, said the case has taught Postville "a strong lesson" about discrimination by government officials. At the same time, he praised city officials for agreeing to settle the case and host the workshop.

"It will be very supportive for those people in Postville who are already trying to promote better community relations and better relations between the diverse cultures in Postville," he said. "There's always been a division within Postville from people who welcome diversity and those who were perhaps more xenophobic."

"I'm glad the good folks of Postville have chosen to do what we believe is the right thing. We hope that bodes well for the future."

City Clerk Darcy Radloff and City Councilor Virginia Medberry, who were named in the lawsuits, declined to comment Friday about the settlement.

Stephen G. Bloom, a University of Iowa journalism professor and author of the 2000 book "Postville: A Clash of Cultures in Heartland America," said local residents have often been unfairly deemed anti-Semitic simply for opposing actions taken by Hasidic Jews, who started moving to town in 1987 when the slaughterhouse opened. Many immigrants from Mexico and Latin America, Eastern Europe and elsewhere came to work in the plant. Problems like crime, pollution and substandard housing for workers developed, he said.

"Maybe these local officials want the people who came to town to leave. It's not because they are Jewish. It may be because of the things they did," he said. "Postville was a pastoral, bucolic, beautiful town. ... Now Postville, by and large, is a very different kind of town."

Bloom said some good could come out of the diversity workshop, but that Postville residents are already well-schooled in living with other cultures, given their experiences over the last two decades.

"Of all people in Iowa, I think the bulk of the residents in Postville really know diversity like the back of their hands," he said.

As I wrote when I posted on this settlement last week, the alleged discriminaltion was directed against the Rubashkin family's chief real eatate competitor.

Gabay Menahem's GAL competed for the then-limited amount of residential housing available for purchase, and for renters, almost all of whom worked for Agriprocessors.

As I reported in 2008, Sholom Rubashkin allegedly drove up the prices of many of these properties by launching bidding wars against Memahem, in order to push Menahem out of the business or weaken him financially.

At the time almost all of this alleged discrimination took place, the town's government frequently acted as an arm of Agriprocessors, and in a phone conversation I had with Menahem last week, he agreed that in the beginning, the allegedly discriminatory actions taken against him by town officials were most likely taken to help Rubashkin.

But Menahem also stressed that, as the alleged discrimination continued, Rubashkin's needs or desires took a back seat to antisemitism.

Before the immigration raid at Agriprocessors in May 2008, Menahem's renters were almost all newer Agriprocessors workers, most of whom were undocumented. Agriprocessors' workforce then was about 75% undocumented, with most of the workforce coming from Guatemala and Mexico.

The raid cost him many of his renters, and he compensated by renting whenever possible to staffing companies hired by Agriprocessors to fill its depleted workforce. This put Menahem's cash flow in Sholom Rubashkin's hands these rents were usually supposed to be paid by payroll deductions. All of this led to late payments for utilities and other problems that the city was allegedly addressing in a discriminatory way against Menahem.

Menahem also had no experience in the residential rental business, and that lack of experience made the problems he faced more difficult.

None of this should be understood to mean that Menahem is snow white in all of this.

His properties – especially after the raid – were often substandard. Some had leaking roofs. One had doors that could not completely close or lock. Another had holes in ceilings and exposed, leaky pipes, and most of the others were in some form of disrepair.

After the raid, destitute workers bused in from Texas and Indiana sometimes slept 2 or 3 to a room on bare mattresses placed directly on the floor. Small houses with one tiny bathroom had 7 or 8 residents. Each paid about $100 per week for this housing – a rate allegedly set by the staffing companies, but which may have actually been set by others.

By way of comparison, at the time, a room or full basement in a nice area of St. Paul, Minnesota – a much larger city with much higher property values and rental prices – cost on average $300 per month.

By this time, Menehem's renters were almost all destitute, even the one's that did not come through agreements with staffing companies.

They were unable to pay their utility bills.

To protect his properties from damage caused by cold weather, Menahem had to keep water and heat on. At the same time, the city and the utilities were threatening to shut off service, often in 24 hours, unless bills were paid in full.

The destitute Agriprocessors workers and former workers would have been left in very cold weather without heat, without water and without working toilets.

The city's then-mayor, Robert Pennrod, and the city council refused to do anything to help these people, some of whom had small children.

The workers brought to Postville after the raid by staffing companies were sometimes recruited from homeless shelters in Texas and Indianapolis. While many were nice people who were down on their luck, some were substance abusers and criminals, as were some of the other workers they recruited.

This caused Postville's crime rate to spike.

If I remember correctly, a day or two after the first group of these workers arrived in Postville, there was a knife fight in a bar involving several of these workers.

After their rent and other staffing company fees, including their transportation to Postville, was deducted from their paychecks, these workers were left with almost nothing. And because they weren't paid until after they had worked for two weeks, and because they were, to begin with, mostly destitute, many had to turn to the local food shelf in order to eat.

Sholom Rubashkin and Agriprocessors did nothing  to alleviate this burden on the town, even though it had $11 million dollars of meat in its freezers, some of which was non-kosher.

I have no doubt that there was and is some antisemitism in Postville.

But when you realize what the town suffered through (and what I described above is only a small portion of it), I'm surprised that antisemitism wasn't much worse.

When the town's Jewish community claimed to be out of food after Agriprocessors shut down, non-Jewish Postville residents literally went to grocery stores, looked for products with kosher supervision, bought them and gave them to Jewish neighbors, and no anti-Jewish violence of any kind took place – although at one point threats were made against the Rubashkin family.

Postville's anger was directed toward the Rubashkins, Menahem, and toward the new workers brought in after the raid, and it was almost exclusively sparked by behavior – not by skin color or religion.

Comments

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this is inside info why they pay. you are not correct on this one Shmarya ITS ALL ABOUT skin color and religion, see link:

http://www.megavideo.com/?v=ACZ5K17N

With apologies to Tyrone Green

Roof is leaking, door won't lock;
Kill my landlord, kill my landlord.
INS shows up, they won't knock;
Kill my landlord, kill my landlord.
Kill some cows
Slice their neck
Now this town
The Jew will wreck
What's his reason?
He is dreck.
Kill my landlord, kill my landlord.
C-I-L-L my land lord.

Kudos, BTW, Shmarya, for using the venerable spelling "Landloard," derived from the Anglo-Saxon "Laird." Much preferable to the moronic "Landl-rd." ;D

Spell check...

Stephen Bloom,
a *****jpurnalism ****
professor and the author of a book on Postville said. "Postville was a pastoral, bucolic, beautiful town. ... Now Postville, by and large, is a very different kind of town."

This is inside info why they pay. ITS ALL ABOUT skin color and religion, see this MEGAVIDEO link: http://www.megavideo.com/?v=ACZ5K17N

OCR..you are no YL!

I am reprinting my post of a few stories ago as follows:

I have studied the Petition and believe that this was a very valid lawsuit with a good chance to win at trial.

The analysis for discrimination lawsuits is outlined by the case of the Texas Department of Community Affairs vs. Green. In that case there was a shifting burdens tests:

1. The plaintiff must first establish a prima facie case of discrimination.

2. Once a prima facie case is established the burden shifts to the defendant. The defendant then must demonstrate that the complained of action (i.e., the discriminatory action) was not based upon discrimination but a legitimate business decision.

3. If the defendant can bear his burden (explained in paragraph 2) then the burden shifts back to the plaintiff. Now the plaintiff would have to show that the purported non-discriminatory business reason is unworthy of belief or otherwise bogus.

In this case, the Postville governmental authorities would be hard-pressed to demonstrate that their actions were legal. They could not even prove it was inadvertent or a mistake as the matter was brought to their attention but they continued in their illegal behavior.

The negative remarks about Jews would be the lynchpin hooking the illegal action to a discriminatory reason.

Whoever wants to get upset, is invited to go listen to a recording of Rabbi Reisman aired on Matzav 9/2/11.
35% into the recording, he tells a story of, how Reb Yosef Ch Sonnenfeld saw a non-jew dropping money and did not return it, because the victim happened not to be of jewish descent.
He did not care whether the non-jew was poor or whether he has needy family of his own, disgusting.

I read Bloom's book a few years ago. My impressions was that he was new to IOWA coming from California to teach at an Iowa university. He had a journalism background, as I recall. He saw a story and wanted to make a name for himself. He used his Jewish background to ingratiate himself with the Chabad community as if to worm himself in.

All along his intent was to deep six Chabad. It is not that I disagree with many of his observations or conclusions about Chabad members in Postville. Assuming his journalism was true and accurate, I was horrified and embarrassed as a Jew that fellow Jews were acting in such a manner.

However my critiques are as follows:

1) I do not believe that he was an objective reporter because his intent was to place Chabad in a bad light from the outset. In other words the subtitle of his book "Clash of Cultures in Heartland America" was probably conceived before he stepped into the town. Everything else was filling in the blanks.

2) He was trying to make a name for himself at the expense of the situation in Postville. He was the erudite, scholarly, modern, secular, witty, knowledgeable, acculturated Jewish professor who could write a book that only a Jew could and not be accused of anti-semitism. I am sure it helped his career greatly and he was welcomed with approving nods and back-slapping from the Iowans.

3) In this post we see Bloom repeating his mantra of Postville: ""Postville was a pastoral, bucolic, beautiful town." This is one of the themes throughout his book both articulated and suggested. From the picture Bloom paints, one can hear the dragonflies twitting in the summer air, and smell the newly turned soil after corn planting. --- INSERT MUSIC OF OMINOUS FOREBODING -- Now enter the Hassids, dark rain clouds appear, children become frightened. BLOOM in his book, at times, tries not to present this as a black/white issue; a good/bad issue; a right/wrong issue but he does all of that. Those of us who are sophisticated human beings know that the world is not designed as such. The phraseology that Bloom uses that Postville "was a pastoral, bucolic, beautiful town" is phrased in the past tense. The unarticulated (though clear) implication is that the Hassids destroyed all of that because they are bad.

This is a simplistic and child-like characterization. The problem with Bloom is that he inserts poison into his book (because his task was to deep-sex Chabad and make a name for himself) just as poison is inserted into a gallon of water. The water is not poison but it is poisoned -- so too I feel is Bloom's book.

-

It is also quite fashionable to slam landlords. I have recently become a humble and modest landlord, renting out a nice condo unit. My tenant generated a $350 water bill (not realizing that the lease says that SHE has to pay for the water). Now that she realizes she had to pay (ha! ha! ha!), she uses water in a reasonable way (like not leaving the lawn hose on for 3 hours. The largest water bill I received in 25 years was $70.00. I put $20,000 into renovating this unit (putting in a brand new kitchen, etc). The air conditioner malfunctioned because she refused to clean the air filter despite her many promises. She and her lazy son has cracked tiles, broken a sliding glass door handle, put a hole in the wall, etc.

A friend of mine rented a unit to a Mexican family. They built a brick taco oven in the living room causing a few thousand dollars worth of damage. When I was younger, I bought into the whole "slum-lord" poppycock. I now am older, wiser, a few grey hairs, and feel differently.

I also read Bloom's book a number of years ago, but I got a different impression of the author's motivation than mordecai did. If I remember correctly, after moving to Iowa, a place without very few Jews, Bloom, a secular Jew, started thinking about his own Judaism. When he heard about the chasidim in Postville he decided to try to get to know them. Over many trips to the town, Bloom observed how the chasidim behaved to the local townspeople and how Bloom himself was treated by the chasidim.

The chasidim blatantly ignored the unwritten laws of Iowa behavior and this then escalated to economic and social distress for the town. Bloom describes how some chasidim wouldn't pay their tab at local stores and how, in general, they brought many things in from Brooklyn instead of buying at the local stores. Both these actions caused economic distress to local businesses. These and other behaviors created for the town great problems (ie crime, property values declining, local businesses closing, etc.) and eventually the town had to take action to stop the decline of their town and distress they were experiencing.

I distinctly got the impression from Bloom's book that it was the behaviors of the chasidim that brought on the problems in Postville, not outright anti-semitism . The town intially tried to reach out to the chasidim but the chasidim ignored it and snubbed their noses at it.

It is an interesting book to read and I am sure an inexpensive (perhaps used) copy can be found through Amazon’s 3rd-party sellers.

Posted by: mordecai | September 04, 2011 at 07:22 AM

I was in real estate management for many years.

1 one needs to choose their tenants wisely
2, there are many slumlords around and some are frum who still get honors in their shul even when they are exposed publicly by newspapers

again no shame no reprimand from the community leaders and from the community itself.

we know the community are cable of shaming people and making them do things since if a person wife does not wear a sheitel reprimands would fly.

we see over and over that the leaders and community do not see fraud and or bad behavior towards gentile anything to get upset at

I also read Bloom's book a number of years ago, but I got a different impression of the author's motivation than mordecai did. If I remember correctly, after moving to Iowa, a place without very few Jews, Bloom, a secular Jew, started thinking about his own Judaism. When he heard about the chasidim in Postville he decided to try to get to know them.

Posted by: Rochel | September 04, 2011 at 08:22 AM

ROCHEL:

I respect the fact that your impression of the book is different from mine. But the story that BLOOM gave is really just the cover story for how he gets to this little town in Iowa (Postville) which is quite a distance away from the larger city where he intends to teach. SO I see, he comes from California (with a ton of Jews) and at this point his "interest in Judaism" is coincidentally just sparked. How convenient to fit into the plot of the book and to give him an ostensibly innocent reason to go to this backwater rural town (Postville).

Of course he chooses not to go to the following synogogues to "explore his Judaism":

1.Ames Jewish Congregation (in Ames Iowa)
2.Temple Emmanuel in Davenport
3.Beth El Jacob Sybagogue in Des Moines
4.Temple B'nai Jeshurun in Des Moines
5.Tifereth Israel in Des Moines
6.Temple Beth El in Dubuque
7.Agudath Agim Synagogue in Iowa City
8.Bnai Jacob in Ottumwa
9. Congregation Beth Shalom in Sioux City
10. Sons of Jacob in Waterloo

So though you are correct that there are not many Jews in Iowa. You are incorrect in your implication that he had to go to the backwater Postville (far out of his way) to "explore his Judaism."

I think that upon further consideration you may find your point weak.

Bloom describes how some chasidim wouldn't pay their tab at local stores and how, in general, they brought many things in from Brooklyn instead of buying at the local stores. Both these actions caused economic distress to local businesses
Posted by: Rochel | September 04, 2011 at 08:22 AM

ROCHEL:

Yes I recall reading that. These were the behaviors that horrified and embarrassed me. However here is where BLOOM tries to cook the books. His suggestion is that the community was economically hurt. How can building a major meat packing plant and slaughterhouse hurt this very small economy? I do not think that BLOOM is being particularly honest here. Large sums of money were being brought into Postville as a consequence of hiring hundreds of workers who then spent their money locally (food, gas, etc.) Economuists tell us that every dollar spent in a community travels within the community 7 times before it leaves the community, In other words, a dollar spent on a loaf of bread then goes in some portion to salary of the supermarket boy who then buys gas, etc. etc.

It is facile to accept at face value the absurd claim that business was hurt because a number of Hassids stiffed local businesses in paying their bills.

Rochel

I distinctly got the impression from Bloom's book that it was the behaviors of the chasidim that brought on the problems in Postville, not outright anti-semitism . The town intially tried to reach out to the chasidim but the chasidim ignored it and snubbed their noses at it.


they do this wherever they go and then complain why they are not treated well.

they dress differently to be different, they as is says in the torah keep your name to be different

and then when treated differently they complain

many halachas are created to make sure one does not mingle, associate with others,

What do they think the response would be to that?

I cannot eat your bread because of halacha is a common excuse

but the halacha itself was made for racist reasons. But many forgot why and the reasoning of many if not all reasons of why they do things. therefore cannot deal with it honestly

I just look at the megavideo link you can see the all story there,now I know why they pay him the $450,000 if he go to court he will get millionssssssss
www.megavideo.com/?v=ACZ5K17N

The Riverdale, Bronx, Apikorus
To Chief rabbi: "Your poetry does bore us.
Yochanan ha-Lavie
Is Moshiach, you see,
And we're hoping to sing in his chorus."

RA- I'm with you. What can you expect for 3AM? Sorry to have imposed.

mordecai- Bloom's book may have been biased, in a number of ways and for a variety of reasons, but it seems hard to believe that he made everything up out of whole cloth.

There is enough blame to go around-- the Postvillians were not familiar with religious Jews, much less Hasidim, and probably engaged in some stereotyping and various forms of "soft" discrimination/antisemitism. By the same token, the Hasidim seem to have been pretty crappy neighbors, unfriendly, insular, etc. Sure, you need to discount the things they couldn't participate in due to halakhic restrictions (such as eating in local restaurants or breaking bread with their neighbors in their homes), but the net effect, especially in a rural community in the midwest, was that they were deeply snubbing the locals.

Are there justifications for both parties? Probably. But no one is blameless.

Seymour,
Maintaining some level of separation from the gentiles is not a Hasidic idea, it predates them by thousands of years.
Bilaam the prophet observed this quality in the Israelites when he said "hen am levadad yishkon" see the commentary there.
In addition, the Talmud and Code of Jewish Law specifically mandate not eating bishul ikum etc precisely to discourage intermarriage.
Your beef is really with the Torah, Talmud and Code of Jewish Law.
I will grant you that observant communities need to be more vigilant at striking a proper balance. To maintain insularity while remaining cordial.

if you talk like this you need to see this link to the video that made them pay him the $450,000 then talk . see MagaVideo link: www.megavideo.com/?v=ACZ5K17N

B"H

hey - Stephen Bloom "Maybe" its what you think is possible.... or "MAYBE" they don't like anyone different.

Face it. A lot of people are still racist in this country and they discriminate based on skin color and religion.

That is why we have laws in place to stop a city clerk, councilmember or similar person in position of authority from doing the exact things these people did.

Did you watch the video? Don't rent from that shyster-- better you should call a local minister and he can tell you who is good folk to rent from.

agree with "Simple Jew" I also watch the video its unreal

Posted by: ultra haredi lite | September 04, 2011 at 11:32 AM

Most of the stuff you mention is not from the Torah
not even close it is all made by rabbinical Judaism.

Just like ask any Jew and they will tell you

no milk and meat, wearing tefillien, not cutting down a fruit tree in any circumstances, nor carrying on shoabbos even a tissue paper is torah law.

that is simple false and misleading perpetrated by rebbies who say "do not lie"

the hassideim when it comes to gentiles take it much further than other Orthodox Jews therefore the hate against them will be greater.

their disdain for others is an open secret and they wear it as a badge of honor.

even chabad a more open group follows their founder believes when it comes to others. need i mention and quote what he said

Did you watch the video? Don't rent from that shyster-- better you should call a local minister and he can tell you who is good folk to rent from.

Posted by: Simple Jew | September 04, 2011 at 11:49 AM

maybe you need to listen what frum Jews say about reform Jews, Conservative Jews, Mo Jews let alone gentiles

they should pay in the billions

That there were anti-Semitic views voiced - no argument. As I said elsewhere, those comments are in defensible.

That anti-Semitism was the basis for town policy would be hard to prove given that the town bent over backwards to accommodate Nevel Properties - another real estate company owned by Orthodox Jews.

It would be more accurate to say the town was guilty of discriminating against a landlord they deemed to be unreliable and untrustworthy based on objective criteria (Gabay's past performance).

B"H

hey - Stephen Bloom "Maybe" its what you think is possible.... or "MAYBE" they don't like anyone different.

Face it. A lot of people are still racist in this country and they discriminate based on skin color and religion.

That is why we have laws in place to stop a city clerk, councilmember or similar person in position of authority from doing the exact things these people did.

Did you watch the video? Don't rent from that shyster-- better you should call a local minister and he can tell you who is good folk to rent from.

Posted by: Simple Jew | September 04, 2011 at 11:49 AM
Goldsmith

agree with "Simple Jew" I also watch the video its unreal

Posted by: Goldsmith | September 04, 2011 at 11:59 AM


GAL properties were mostly in serious disrepair, as I noted in my post.

Suggesting that people look elsewhere for a home to rent may be illegal because it favors one business over the other.

But Sibert's properties were well managed and in good repair, so you can't attribute the suggestion to rent from him as sheer antisemitism.

But as I've noted several times in our previous discussions, and as you have admitted in writing to me, you disregard all negative information about the Rubashkins, Agriprocessors or the Postville Jewish community posted here. You also consider teh media to be biased against Jews and you disregard whatever negative things it reports, as well. And you consider the courts to be similarly biased, so you disregard anything they say that is negative, as well.

You have serious issues with truth that contradicts your religious fantasies, so you disregard it – no matter how much evidence and proof there is to back it up.

That is what cult members do.

It is unhealthy.

And you need to deal with that.

And the same can be said about you " You have serious issues with truth that contradicts your religious fantasies, so you disregard it – no matter how much evidence and proof there is to back it up." You are the one Shmarya thet can't see it , they are city officeres they can't say buy from Mike and not from Jon that's it can't brack the rulls not them not I not you and not sahlom

And the same can be said about you " You have serious issues with truth that contradicts your religious fantasies, so you disregard it – no matter how much evidence and proof there is to back it up." You are the one Shmarya thet can't see it , they are city officeres they can't say buy from Mike and not from Jon that's it can't brack the rulls not them not I not you and not sahlom

Posted by: Postville man | September 04, 2011 at 01:20 PM

There are no allegations of antisemitic actions taken against any other Jewish business, and even Gabay Menehem says the discrimination against him probably *started* as the town doing favors *for* Rubashkin to hurt GAL.

Those are the facts, no matter how much you want to wish them away.

So is it legal for them to do favors to one on the account of the adder ??? That have work aginst the law by favoring one aginst the adder I T S N O T L E G A L

So is it legal for them to do favors to one on the account of the adder ??? That have work aginst the law by favoring one aginst the adder I T S N O T L E G A L

It's the city follt not Gabay. No one pays 450k if its not there follt

So is it legal for them to do favors to one on the account of the adder ??? That have work aginst the law by favoring one aginst the adder I T S N O T L E G A L

Posted by: Postville man | September 04, 2011 at 01:57 PM
Postville man

It's the city follt not Gabay. No one pays 450k if its not there follt

Posted by: Postville man | September 04, 2011 at 02:02 PM


Maybe should find someone who reads, writes and speaks English who can explain what I wrote to you.

You clearly lack the ability to understand it by yourself.

I watched the video, who made this and why? It appears to me that it's people trying to catch the locals saying things in private while they don't know they are being taped? Trying to find a smoking gun of anti-semitism, and for the most part, I agree with everything the locals said.

And I lived there, I'm Jewish, and I would have given the same advice, stay away from this guy, he's bad news, he's a shyster.

The fact he is Jewish is only important to those that who want to make this about Anti-Semitism.

Bloom is right, Shamarya is right, and those of you who disagree, have never met and done business with Gabay!

In addition I knew the mayors, most of the city coucil, as well as most of the towns people; if you showed respect and were a productive, positive member of the community, people loved you regardless of your ethnicity or lack there of.

If you were a "shyster", a trouble maker, didn't take care of your property, talked down to non-Jews, or you were a black eye on the community people had a very different attitude.

Sholom and Gabay were the two biggest Jewish "shysters" and everyone knew it. The fact they were Jewish was always a secondary issue, but it reflected on the Jewish community as a whole.

We'll be hearing from the "King Shyster" soon, Amara puts these guys to shame!

In fact I could name several names of Jewish people in Postville that worked very well, hand in hand, with many of the most important and influential leaders of the Postville community and were praised in Postville as excellent community leaders themselves. Does that sound anti-semitic?

But these two idiots pull stupid stunts, hire a couple lawyers, and suddenly the whole town is racist!

For further proof of the stupidity of some of the Jews of Postville, try reading "Postville Mans" posts.

How do you think he is perceived in town?

He seems uneducated, weird, hard to understand, probably believes the Jews are superior and that the Goyiim are trief. He believes the City is anti-semitic, Gabay deserves every penny he recieved, and that Sholom is being unjustly incarcerated due to Anti-Semitism on a State level.

Would you want this guy as your neighbor? How about as a representative

Sadly, this is very typical of many of the Jews of Postville and why many people don't care for them.

I didn't/don't care for those Jews either and also wish they would leave Postville. They belong and fit in much better in a big city where people don't notice or care.

In a small town, people do notice, and people do care. If your not willing to live under those conditions, you shouldn't live there!

The Riverdale, Bronx, Apikorus
To Chief rabbi: "Your poetry does bore us.
Yochanan ha-Lavie
Is Moshiach, you see,
And we're hoping to sing in his chorus."

RA- I'm with you. What can you expect for 3AM? Sorry to have imposed.

Posted by: Office of the Chief Rabbi | September 04, 2011 at 11:00 AM

CHIEF:

I AM A FAN

mordecai- Bloom's book may have been biased, in a number of ways and for a variety of reasons, but it seems hard to believe that he made everything up out of whole cloth.

FRIAR YID


Friar:

I appreciate your balanced comment. I agree that BLOOM did not fabricate stories out of thin air. Furthermore I felt a sting while reading the book precisely because I knew that much of it was true.

However the point of my earlier posting was that BLOOM'S motivations were not pure and in making his points I believe he was cooking the books and engaging in over-dramatization to accentuate the points that he was trying to make. As a painter of words he portrayed the Postvillians as the salt of the earth and the CHABADS as shmucks. I know that many of the CHABADS are shmucks. However he was dishonest (in my view) when he represented that he went to Postville to search for his Jewish roots, he was dishonest when he wormed his way into the homes of CHABADS who opened their homes and hearts to him, and he has the morals of an alley cat. I can't swallow his tripe blindly.

"...he represented that he went to Postville to search for his Jewish roots, he was dishonest..."

Quite a crystal ball you have there. Do you know Bloom personally? Have you discussed his motives with him? Are you a Board certified Psychiatrist? Inquirying minds want to know.

BTW, I have not read Bloom's book and purposely chose not to do so before my first visit to Postville many years ago, because I had heard it portrayed Jews in a bad light and I didn't want it to prejudice my experience with the community. My own experiences with SMR and other members of the Jewish community was negative to say the least. While there are many fine and wonderful members of the Jewish community in Postville, there are also more than a few who conform to and confirm the worst of Jewish sterotypes.

And while Jews are very much part of the town of Postville, they are very much apart from that town. As a result Postville is a town but not a community.

One example: Communities develop through shared experiences and events, and in middle America these events are usually social in nature. Social events often involve shared food. While a few shared social events involving food sharing between Jews and non-Jews have ocurred (kosher food of course), they are the exception and not the rule. Yes, there are Jews and non-Jews who are friends, but deep binding friendships are rare. For obvious reasons of kashrut, covered dishes and pot-luck get togethers between families or groups of families, a staple midwest rural life, don't happen. Together with the frum worlds general view that they should mix as little as possible with non-Jews and the result is a seperate but equal self imposed status. As we have all learned, seperate but equal is not equal. This leads to suspicion and distrust.

All that said, GAL housing was the pits and everyone knew it. The town is guity of trying to protect a potential investor from harm. Would it have been morally correct to act like Goldman Sachs and have the investor put his money in what was known to be a worthless investment?

Posted by: state of disgust | September 04, 2011 at 08:45 PM

As with anything, we look at the statements people make and test them according to our common sense and other objective criteria. Then we make an assessment.

Yes it is my belief that BLOOM was dishonest. Why would he go to Postville to "search for his Jewish roots" when there were many temples much closer to the University where he was going to teach. None of that makes any sense.

Rather what does make sense is that he was a journalist looking for a story not looking for his "Jewish roots." That is my considered belief.

If you did not read the book as you quite honestly admit perhaps you are not in a position to comment as to this issue.

When renting to people who would get clothing dirty working long hours in a meatpacking plant, I didn't understand why a landlord couldn't leave (or put) a washing machine in a rental house instead of using the space where it and a dryer had been to put another mattress on the floor to get extra income. He had a storage building with furniture,appliances. When two representatives of that Hasidic community went on a weekend night spree and shot a gas station convienence clerk, leaving her with significant chronic pain,some seemed focused on protecting at least one of the men(Pinchas, Lew). Got him sent to a non-existant treatment program. The woman had not received any of the money of the settlement. This could have made an impression on people living in the counties near Postville.

Mordecai,
If you haven't already read the book, it's a great read. I wouldn't say he tries to "deep six" Chabad so much as he simply comes to sympathize with the locals much more than with Chabad.

Many of the locals made an attempt to be welcoming but were all but rejected. The Chabadniks also rejected the local custom of supporting local retail businesses in favour of wholesale suppliers. The locals were treated like after thoughts in their own town.

It's difficult not to sympathize with them a little bit, but I don't think that amounts to deep sixing.

I am actually liberal enough to respect the notion that Orthodox tendency to ignore the world around us tends to cause problems, but isn't it telling that Prof. Bloom, of all the subjects he could have chosen to focus on, chose not to write of the Asian slums of Flushing, New York where nary a word of English can be found on signs of any form, or the various neighborhoods of Brooklyn where one can be forgiven for thinking he somehow space-warped to the Middle East.

I don't know if Prof. Bloom is the classic, self-hating, embarrassed-to-be-Jewish-and doubly-embarrassed-by-the-Orthodox Jew... but his record sure makes it seem that way.

And, for the record, his rabble-rousing book actually made things a lot worse for Postville.

Posted by: Mendy Hecht | September 05, 2011 at 01:19 AM

If you had actually read Bloom's book – something you clearly have NOT done – you'd know why he wrote about Postville, and that reason pretty much precludes writing about Queens or Brooklyn.

But you're a Chabadnik, and you'd much rather smear the messenger than deal with the truth of the message.

And the book didn't make things worse in Postville.

The book exposed Sholom Rubashkin for what he really is, and his family for what they really are – thieves who treated almost everyone they did business with like crap, who broke the law to gain advantage, and who looked the other way when their supervisors raped women.

Stop covering for family's friends the Rubashkins.

Stop your transparent apologetics.

Confront the truth.

"And the book didn't make things worse in Postville."

Shamarya - I agreed with everything you say on Bloom/Gabay/Postville, except this statement.

I did not live in Postville while Bloom researched his book, but I did live there when the book came out. The book did do considerable damage to both the Jews and the Non-Jews in Postville.

Many of the Non-Jews including a long time realitor in Postville were very offended by how Bloom represented them and even confronted him on it. I read the book and could not believe the picture he painted of some of the people I knew.

Bloom came to the College in Decorah to promote his book on a Jewish Holiday when the Jews could not attend. The Goyiim of Postville showed up and confronted him publicly with how he portrayed them in the book until he left the stage and ended the event.

While the effects of the book were not long lived, when it came out, both the Jews and the Non-Jews felt very protrayed. The overall feelings were he sensationalized events and personalities to sell books.

Looking back on it, I would say another Jew became rich at the expense of the town, but that part of it is just my opinion.

To mendy Hecht,
You have no idea of anything andare too young to understand this , but be it your fathe or your Uncle who is Shea Hecht and your familly is collecting millions for the rubashkins(I am sure you all are living very nicely off the funds, as always,)you would sing a different tune. If you had your business shut down because of sholom rubashkin or lied to by Gabay when you rented his homes, you would sing a different tune.
It discust me, it has made me to want to eat Treif, what is Judaiasm all about today, money, money money. And your family is the biggest crooks of them all.

Many of the Non-Jews including a long time realitor in Postville were very offended by how Bloom represented them and even confronted him on it. I read the book and could not believe the picture he painted of some of the people I knew.

The overall feelings were he sensationalized events and personalities to sell books.

FORMERPOSTVILLIAN was there. I was not. His actual observations confirms the queasy feeling I got upon reading the book. Though I could agree with BLOOM about some of the horrific Chabad shenanigans there was an underlying discomfort I felt while reading as it appearec contrived even though it may have contained important nuggets of truth.

Posted by: FormerPostvillian | September 05, 2011 at 05:00 AM

YES!. This is what I was getting at in my posts. It is not that the CHABADS in Postville did not deserve to be slammed and exposed!

The point is that BLOOM crafted his book in such a way that people and events and the relationship of people to events became over-stylized, over-dramatized for the purpose of fitting into his theme and creating "a story" that fir into his pre-conceived template.

Even the cover of the book was bullshit. It shows a Satmar type of Chassid with a Streimel standing near a couple of Iowan farmer types. That was not a Chabad hassid on the cover. What was done on the cover, I strongly suspected, was done in the book.

Mordecai said ... "If you did not read the book as you quite honestly admit perhaps you are not in a position to comment as to this issue."

I have spent substantial time in Postville over many years and know people there quite well. My experience, based on professional training and years of practice puts me in a position to comment on this issue. Other then your "claim" to common sense, why should anyone take you seriously? Do you admit to not knowing Bloom? Are you a psychiatrist trained in forensic analysis capable of delving into the mind of an author?
As to why go to Postville, if you are interested in exploring the Chabad interpretation of orthodox Judaism (they have often billed themselves as the 'authentic Jews'), the Chabad in Postville constitute the largest Chabad community in the state - and it is cheaper then flying to 770 Eastern Parkway.
Mordecai, you keep trying to shoot the messenger rather then deal with the issues, incongruities and contradictions raised by the author.

Posted by: Mendy Hecht | September 05, 2011 at 01:19 AM


Jews will write and study Jews

i am sure there are books about the issues you mentioned and most likely written by one of their own.

as to your comment

I don't know if Prof. Bloom is the classic, self-hating, embarrassed-to-be-Jewish-and doubly-embarrassed-by-the-Orthodox Jew... but his record sure makes it seem that way.

nobody here hates or are self hating Jews

but when frum people act like asses, crooks, morons, unethical, we as Jews are embarrassed by the frum actions and even more by the non action of the rebbies to rein in these behaviors. also you make the perpetrators as some holy tzaddiuk like chabad does to SMR and his family even thought many of them are convicted felons. yet wherever you turn it is the Holy Rubashkin family. are people who commit fraud holy, how could that be? how many family members need to be imprisoned because of fraud before you remove the title holy?

simply, the frum have to realize if they act like asses they will get slammed since most people do not think like frum people do that any action frum people do is ok, (nebech he only did it to feed his family or he only did it to have money to give charity and so on) and other BS

or frum= innocent all the time

sorry charlie we call a spade a spade. embarrassed by it good that is our intention to force you into action.

however, it seems there is no shame within many frum people and their leaders since they have taken no action to rein in their fraudulent members and the fraudsters are still honored members of the community

Mordecai, you keep trying to shoot the messenger rather then deal with the issues, incongruities and contradictions raised by the author.

Posted by: state of disgust | September 05, 2011 at 09:07 AM

State of Disgust:

Since you have spent many years in Postville, I concede that you are probably in a far better position than I to comment as to the issue.

No I am not a trained psychiatrist however I am a trained and experienced criminal defense attorney. We are often presented with "a story". The murderer says: "I did not kill my wife." Not being a psychiatrist I guess I just have to accept his story by your calculations.

Just because somebody says something does not make it true. We then look at the facts and see if it holds up to inquiry. Yes, I have formulated an opinion here. I do not present my opinion as Holy Writ but as my view. I subject BLOOM to cross examination.

He says: "I went to Postville to explore my Judaism"

I say: Why did you not go to a dozen other temples closer to you to explore your Judaism.

State of Disgust says: Maybe he went to Postville because he was interested in Chabad.

The bottom line is I am exercising my skepticism.

However you are very very mistaken as to the issue of trying to shoot the messenger rather than deal with the issues. My posts have conceded the ring of truth in much of what BLOOM said. To recognize that truth and to still consider Bloom a self-serving alley cat is an issue that you cannot wrap your mind-around.

Posted by: Mendy Hecht | September 05, 2011 at 01:19 AM

By the way J.J. Hecht was my rabbi when I was a kid. He was a dynamic guy. I liked him. His schul was on 53rd Street between Linden Blvd and Church Ave. I was bar mitzvaed there.

But Chabad has its issues to deal with. It will either rise to the better angels of its nature or become exposed and revealed as time marches on.

Mordecai says ..."To recognize that truth and to still consider Bloom a self-serving alley cat..."

That Bloom may be self-serving? Sure. He didn't write this book as a charitable enterprise.
But by denegrating the messenger you also dengerate the message. Was he seriously exploring his own Judaism vis-a-vie his new life in the midwest? Quite possibly. I have known many others who did the same, including my own wife. She came from a reformadox (reform Mother, Orthodox Father) background and flirted with Chabad when she moved to the midwest until she found the contradictions in words, behavior and action too hypocritical.
In short I am unwilling to engage in impuning the reputation of the author - someone I do not know and have not interviewed, particularly since it would appear from the reports of others including yourself, his analysis is similar to my own. (see my comments above about town vs community, or culture clash)

"Even the cover of the book was bullshit. It shows a Satmar type of Chassid with a Streimel standing near a couple of Iowan farmer types. That was not a Chabad hassid on the cover. What was done on the cover, I strongly suspected, was done in the book."

Kudo's Mordacia - Excellent point and your exactly right. I read the book living in Postville and was so disgusted I actually returned it.

State of Disgust, your just wrong, let it go. You can argue until your blue in the face, but that won't change the realities.

But even though I think the book had a lot of agenda's, sensationalizing, half-truths and exagerations. I think this time, Bloom is right on the money, I'm surprised to agree with him.

However when he wrote the book, everything was realitively new. Now as time has passed and more events have occured,I think everyone including Bloom has a much better understanding.

And for the record, he made a tremendous amount of money selling his book to universities using it in Sociology classes as required reading. If you read the book keeping in mind college students at universities were his target market, it all makes a lot more sense.

Posted by: FormerPostvillian | September 05, 2011 at 05:00 AM

By "making things worse," Mendy Hecht meant the division between Jews and non-Jews in Postville.

But Bloom's book did not do that.

If anything, it did the opposite, no matter how residents felt about their portrayals – in fact, some of the new closeness between the two communities came in order to try to prove Boom and the media that covered his book wrong.

Posted by: mordecai | September 05, 2011 at 09:43 AM

…He says: "I went to Postville to explore my Judaism"

I say: Why did you not go to a dozen other temples closer to you to explore your Judaism.…

Mordechai, this statement of yours displays a level of ignorance about the Iowa Jewish community that puts every one of your other remarks referencing it into question.

There are not "a dozen other temples closer" to where Bloom was living.

The fact is, when Bloom wrote his book there was one synagogue in Iowa city.

It is now (and may have been then) affiliated with both the Reform and Conservative movements.

Bloom went to Postville to do a little magazine fluff piece on the oddity of a hasidic community located in a tiny Midwestern town.

No one complained about that article.

He came back because people invited him to come back, because they wanted to mekarev him – make him Orthodox.

They urged him to bring his little son for the same reason.

And Sholom Rubashkin was one of those people.

So Bloom went back.

And, as he did, it became clearer to him that there was a book to be written about Postville.

Publishers saw his magazine piece, negotiations were held, and…Bloom got a book deal.

But the more time he was in Postville, the more dirt he learned about the Rubashkins and the Jewish community.

He was in the room when Sholom Rubashkin and his brother-in-law Yossi Gourarie cheated their computer supplier and then laughed afterward at the dumb goyyim.

He heard from women who had been extorted and sexually abused by Rubashkin's supervisors.

He uncovered Aaron Rubashkin's pipeline of illegal Eastern European workers funneled from his Brooklyn butcher shop to Postville.

He watch many members of the Jewish community treat their non-Jewish neighbors like crap. (Most of these Jews were not Chabadniks, BTW.)

At the same time, he was exposed to the non-Jewish community's distrust of the Rubashkins and its growing resentment of the hasidic community.

And he also uncovered Chabad's role in covering up an attempted murder-armed robbery carried out by two Jewish employees of Agriprocessors.

Chabad bribed one of the pair – a person the Crown Heights Jewish community had already given up on – in order to reduce the culpability of the other, who is the son of a Chabad leader in England and a prominent internationally known speaker for Chabad.

Bloom's book isn't perfect.

I think he has a weak eye for descriptions.

(Leah Rubashkin never looked anything like Demi Moore, for example, although she could have been compared to a dark-haired Meg Ryan.)

But that does not change the fact that pretty much everything bad he reported about the Rubashkin and Agriprocessors and the overall behavior of the Jewish community in Postville have been proven true.

Those are the facts, Mordechai, and they refute your assertions.

"Even the cover of the book was bullshit. It shows a Satmar type of Chassid with a Streimel standing near a couple of Iowan farmer types. That was not a Chabad hassid on the cover. What was done on the cover, I strongly suspected, was done in the book."

Kudo's Mordacia - Excellent point and your exactly right. I read the book living in Postville and was so disgusted I actually returned it.

State of Disgust, your just wrong, let it go. You can argue until your blue in the face, but that won't change the realities.

Posted by: FormerPostvillian | September 05, 2011 at 12:24 PM

This displays more of Mordechai's ignorance of this subject.

The fact is, in 1999, many of the schochtim in Postville were NOT Chabad hasidim, and several of them wore shtreimels on Shabbat.

Past that, as a general rule, authors do not choose book covers and they most often have no say at all in how a book looks.

If a proposed cover is completely false in some way, an author can usually get it changed.

But in a case where some Jews did wear shtreimels on Shabbos?

There is little chance to get that changed, because a shtreimel is a great graphic image – which is exactly what a major publisher wants on the cover of its books.

I hope that clears up more of your misconceptions.

As for Former Postvillian's claim about Bloom's projected market for the book, Bloom was a newbie academic with close to zero contacts in the academic world.

There is ZERO chance Bloom planned to have the book force fed to college students (except his own, of course).

The book got very wide media coverage and sold very well to a general audience – far more books to a general audience, in fact, than it ever sold as a college text book.

And, for those of us familiar with the difference between the academic presses and general publishers, and the requirements of academic publishing versus general publishing, the claim that the book was intended for an academic market is ridiculous on its face.

Bloom's book sold well because Postivlle was – and still is – a good story.

Former Postvillian wrote:
"...your just wrong, let it go. You can argue until your blue in the face, but that won't change the realities."

Is impuning the reputation of the author OK with you?

Bloom was invited into the homes of CHABAD folk. While there he was surreptitiously gathering information to fit his template under false pretenses while accepting the hospitality of his guests. I find that disgusting and reprehensible.

His bogus cover story about "exploring Judaism" may be believable to the mentally deficient. He was a journalist and soon-to-be college professor and was all about making a name for himself. I suspect he researched the issue prior to stepping into Postville and all of this was cynically planned from the get go with a concept of how his book would unfold.

Police officers often get the bad guy. But they often do so by violating the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution as well as Miranda rights. They often mix truth and fallacy to get a conviction. In the end, it might be generally true that the defendant sold some cocaine. But the method by which the conviction was obtained is shocking, detestable, and illegal.

The fact is, it is very hard to prove this in Court but we all know it happens with regularity. Most of the populace could not give a rat's ass that a defendant's rights were violated as long as the asshole rots in prison. We get the nation we deserve and rights are whittled away without a care until it hits you. All of this is hypocrisy of the highest level.

This is not about getting it wrong about who had a Streimel or that there were other Hassids who did have Streimels. I concede as well that maybe there were Hassids in Postville with Streimels. This is by no means the central core of my comments.

I consider Bloom's tactics to be analogous to the aforementioned police officers who get the conviction. This is not to condone any of the behaviors of the CHABADS in POSTVILLE. As far as "impugning integrity" BLOOM did a lot of that in his book himself.

"He was a journalist and soon-to-be college professor ..."

Actually, I think he was already a Professor when he went to Postville.

"I suspect he researched the issue prior to stepping into Postville"

How did he do that? Think he read the book about Postville before he wrote it? I hope he at least read the few newspaper stories that existed about Postville - mostly puff pieces praising Agriprocessors and the Rubashkins. He is after all a professor. Maybe that makes him of bad character.

"... he was surreptitiously gathering information to fit his template..."

Ah, here we get to the conspiracy theory. Actually, Mordecai this sentence sounds like you are describing your own approach, trying to make the facts fit your psychological theory of Bloom's motivation.

Again, this isn't about Bloom. It is about whether or not the portrait he paints in his book is accurate. And, from reporters such as yourself, Shmarya and others it appears to be, for the most part, extremely accurate.

Posted by: mordecai | September 05, 2011 at 02:06 PM

Again, Mordecha, you show that you are confused about the facts you use to support your case.

Bloom was already a college professor when he first went to Postville – to write a magazine article about Postville.

All the Chabad people who invited him back, including Sholom Rubashkin, knew this.

His book deal came AFTER the magazine article was published.

You clearly object to police undercover operations in which cops lie about who they are and promise criminals things they never intend to deliver or that are absolutely false.

You are very, very worked up by this – probably because you have lost cases involving this type of evidence.

But the courts, Mordechai, the courts you are supposed to be an officer of, long ago settled this question – and that resolution rejects your complaints.

Cops can do those things.

They can tell dealers they want to buy heroin.

The can even sell heroin to dealers.

They can use deception and lies.

In other words, they can go undercover and do their jobs – catch the people who break laws and endanger society.

You don't like this. It bothers you very, very, much.

But it has been upheld by LIBERAL courts.

If Mordechai had his way, police would lose most of their tools to fight organized crime, drug lords, and terrorism.

But Mordechai – who, today at least, gets fact after fact wrong – extends his dislike to journalists who go undercover.

They, too, are evil in Mordechai's mind.

Why, by God! Bloom ate lunch at these Chabad homes! His child played with their child!

The sin of it all! Daring to report the truth after eating all that free food!

In other words, Mordechai, you logic, such that is, is completely flawed.

I don't think Bloom got everything right in his book, and I've written this at least as far back as 2008.

But I know emotional venting when I see it, and what you have written is nothing more than that, devoid of facts to back up your rant or your smears of Bloom.

Making significant errors about Bloom's employment, the chronology of his work, the nature of Iowa's Jewish community in the late 1990s and the composition of Postville's Jewish community then, especially when those errors all smear Bloom call everything else you write into question.

In fact, in a way, you're doing exactly what you accuse the cops of doing – making up facts and using them to railroad someone.

But there's something I can guarantee you, Mordechai – cops on average do a much better job at fact checking and accuracy than you do.

The courts – even courts run by liberal judges – have proven that over and over and over again.

Whether Bloom was a college Professor a month or two before going to Postville or a month or two after is a distinction without a difference, None of that goes to the core of his deception.

In part you are correct about the police. They can engage in cetain types of deception and that has been upheld by the courts. What I was referring to was not the kinds of deception that was upheld by the courts. I was referring to out and out lies with respect to whether police had probable cause to arrest. For example a police officer cannot detain an individual and search that individual for mere suspicion. The police may do a pat-down. That is called a "Terry Stop." But police often fabricate probable cause as a pretext to search. I am sure this is not the forum to go into exquisite detail as to these points. I just want to invite your attention to the points you raised.

I do not purport to be accurate on the dates when Bloom actually became a professor. My best recollection was that he was hired by Iowa State University and his visit to Postville was approximately contemporaneous with his hiring. Whether it was not Iowa State University but the University of Iowa is another distinction without a difference.

If I am incorrect about the college which hired him then feel free to castigate my confusion over minitiae.

Movies that show a black man as a criminal will then have a black man in the same movie as a hero to counter-balance any suggestion of discrimination. I saw in Blooms book the use of these kinds of techniques as well. His book appeared to me to be contrived. His stereotypes of the salt of the earth Iowans was also contrived. My perception was that there was much phoniness in that book.

I did not trust Bloom. I do not accept him as you do as an objective journalist even as there was no doubt truth as to what he said about the Chabad shenanigans in the town.

None of thoese "inaccuracies" which go to very small points affects my beliefs with respect to Bloom's tactics.

But I know emotional venting when I see it, and what you have written is nothing more than that, devoid of facts to back up your rant or your smears of Bloom.

Posted by: Shmarya | September 05, 2011 at 03:17 PM

Has it occurred to you that your entire web site is an emotional venting?

You are very, very worked up by this – probably because you have lost cases involving this type of evidence.
Posted by: Shmarya | September 05, 2011 at 03:17 PM

Actually, you appear to be worked up.

But it has been upheld by LIBERAL courts.

Posted by: Shmarya | September 05, 2011 at 03:17 PM

Oh, you mean like the liberals Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Roberts, and Alito???

Talk about getting facts confused!!!!

Actually, you appear to be worked up.

Posted by: mordecai | September 05, 2011 at 09:02 PM

I'm not the guy that made a whole slew of charges based on incorrect facts, Mordechai – you are.

And when you were told the facts were incorrect, you simply shifted your charges.

The truth is that Bloom's book isn't perfect.

But he appears to have made fewer errors in his book than you made here today.

Your complaints against Bloom all boil down to what you assume was undercover reporting.

You find it repellant just the way you find undercover police work repellant.

You have a near visceral reaction to both, despite the fact that both are legal and ethical.

Why that is, I don't know.

But I did venture a guess above, and your reaction to it tells me that I am, at least in part, correct.

But it has been upheld by LIBERAL courts.

Posted by: Shmarya | September 05, 2011 at 03:17 PM

Oh, you mean like the liberals Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Roberts, and Alito???

Talk about getting facts confused!!!!

Posted by: mordecai | September 05, 2011 at 09:06 PM
Shmarya

It was upheld long before any of them were on the Supreme Court, Mordechai.

By "making things worse," Mendy Hecht meant the division between Jews and non-Jews in Postville.But Bloom's book did not do that. If anything, it did the opposite, no matter how residents felt about their portrayals – in fact, some of the new closeness between the two communities came in order to try to prove Boom and the media that covered his book wrong.

Excellent point.

The fact is, when Bloom wrote his book there was one synagogue in Iowa city.

Posted by: Shmarya | September 05, 2011 at 12:53 PM

I have researched the synogues that I listed.

Ames Jewish Syogue was founded in 1961
Temple Emmanuel was founded 150 years ago
Beth El Jacob was founded in 1881
B'nai Jackob was foundedin 1915
Tifereth Israel in Des Moines was founded in 1901
.Tifereth Israel in Des Moines seems to have been founded 23 years ago.

So Shmarya where are you getting your information about one synagogue in Iowa when Bloom wrote his book? Maybe you are confused and your facts are wrong. If so you can just apologize.

So Shmarya where are you getting your information about one synagogue in Iowa when Bloom wrote his book? Maybe you are confused and your facts are wrong. If so you can just apologize.

Posted by: mordecai | September 05, 2011 at 09:25 PM

Um, Mordechai, if you carefully re-read what I wrote you'll see I wrote that there was only one synagogue in Iowa CITY.

Iowa City is the town where Bloom lives and teaches.

At some point, I think you owe Bloom and apology.

"As for Former Postvillian's claim about Bloom's projected market for the book, Bloom was a newbie academic with close to zero contacts in the academic world.

There is ZERO chance Bloom planned to have the book force fed to college students."

You may be right, my source for all those universtiy statements was Goldsmith, Blooms arch enemy. So he may have known what he was talking about or he may have been full of shit.

Former Postvillian wrote:

"...your just wrong, let it go. You can argue until your blue in the face, but that won't change the realities."

State of Disgust wrote:

Is impuning the reputation of the author OK with you?

FormerPostvillian:

Yes. Anybody can write a book and sell as many copies as they can. But just because someone writes a book doesn't mean everybody has to agree with what is said in the book. And just because you disagree with the author, it doesn't mean your "impuning" him.

Do you buy everything Sara Palin says in her books? What the hell's the difference?

"In short I am unwilling to engage in impuning the reputation of the author - someone I do not know and have not interviewed, particularly since it would appear from the reports of others including yourself, his analysis is similar to my own.

Are you serious? That may be the dumbest post ever!

You don't know the author, you have never interviewed him, you have never read his book, but from the reports of others, his analysis is similiar to your own?

And you expect us to listen to your analysis as crediable?

"I have not read Bloom's book and purposely chose not to do so before my first visit to Postville many years ago, because I had heard it portrayed Jews in a bad light and I didn't want it to prejudice my experience with the community.

So you agree with the analysis in the book portraying Jews in a bad light? "Since it would appear from the reports of others his analysis is similar to your own."

I have spent substantial time in Postville over many years and know people there quite well. My experience, based on professional training and years of practice puts me in a position to comment on this issue.

No it doesn't, your comments are wrong, uninformed, and you have lost all crediability. I don't care what your education is or how many years of practice you've had, you clearly don't know what your talking about on this issue.

My own experiences with SMR and other members of the Jewish community was negative to say the least.

No shit.

While there are many fine and wonderful members of the Jewish community in Postville, there are also more than a few who conform to and confirm the worst of Jewish sterotypes.

Ok, so you do agree with Bloom.

If Postville's Mayor had said all this he would have been called him a racist, Gaybay would have hired a lawyer and the city would be out another half a million. Good thing your Jewish!

Here are some highlights of the original post we were commenting on:

Mordecia wrote:

"FormerPostvillian was there. I was not. His actual observations confirms the queasy feeling I got upon reading the book. Though I could agree with BLOOM about some of the horrific Chabad shenanigans there was an underlying discomfort I felt while reading as it appeared contrived even though it may have contained important nuggets of truth...

...The point is that BLOOM crafted his book in such a way that people and events and the relationship of people to events became over-stylized, over-dramatized for the purpose of fitting into his theme and creating "a story" that fit into his pre-conceived template."

Which brings me back to my original post:

Kudo's Mordacia - Excellent point and your exactly right. I read the book living in Postville and was so disgusted I actually returned it.

State of Disgust, your just wrong, let it go. You can argue until your blue in the face, but that won't change the realities.


And the reality is, your defending a book you haven't even read and accusing me of "impuning" the author.

Wrong Shmarya!!

You attempted to counter my point about BLOOM's ability to go to any number of other temple's in Iowa if he really wanted to "explore his Jewish roots." Instead he goes to the backwater Postville.

There was no misrepresentation on my part of the Iowa Jewish community. I simply listed numerous other temples that exist in Iowa and countered ROCHEL's suggestion that Postville was the only place he could go to.

Once an author lies about his motivations he opens himself up to any number of other critiques and skepticism then is an appropriate response.

As the Romans were fond of saying:

Falso in uno, falso in omnibus
(Lie about one thing and you lie about all things)

I am not at all suggesting that BLOOM lied about all things. I am not nor have I even suggested there were not important nuggets of truth in his reporting. In fact I have been upfront with other posters here deferring to their greater expertise as they have lived in Postville and I had not. However I choose not to swallow what BLOOM says hook, line and sinker like some country rube who fell off the turnip truck (whether I lived in Postville or not).

You attempted to counter my point about BLOOM's ability to go to any number of other temple's in Iowa if he really wanted to "explore his Jewish roots." Instead he goes to the backwater Postville.

There was no misrepresentation on my part of the Iowa Jewish community. I simply listed numerous other temples that exist in Iowa and countered ROCHEL's suggestion that Postville was the only place he could go to.

No, Mordechai.

You are misrepresenting what you wrote and its context.

To refresh your memory, here is your claim that I responded to. It is YOUR quote. I have added emphasis:

…He [Bloom] says: "I went to Postville to explore my Judaism"

I say: Why did you not go to a dozen other temples closer to you to explore your Judaism.…

First of all, there aren't a "dozen other Temples" in the state of Iowa.

Secondly, the only place he could have gone would have been Des Moines, which is equidistant from Iowa City as Postvile.

And, as I wrote above, Iowa City – the place where Bloom lives – only had one.

And then you totally disregard the F-A-C-T that Bloom was invited to Postville by various Chabadniks, including Sholom Rubashkin.

You have been wrong about every fact you've cited to back up your claims.

EVERY one.

Your entire argument is based on your personal biases and grudges.

I hope to God you don't build arguments like this on behalf of your clients.

SHMARYA

PROCESS THIS

You want F-A-C-T-S. Here they are:
**********************
SHMARYA SAYS:
You are misrepresenting what you wrote and its context.

To refresh your memory, here is your claim that I responded to. It is YOUR quote. I have added emphasis:

…He [Bloom] says: "I went to Postville to explore my Judaism"

I say: Why did you not go to a dozen other temples closer to you to explore your Judaism.…

First of all, there aren't a "dozen other Temples" in the state of Iowa.
**************************************

F-A-C-T-U-A-L ANSWER- Yes there are a dozen other temples in Iowa. Now process the following list:

1. Temple Israel of Burlington, Iowa (date Founded Unknown)
2. Temple Emmanuel of Davenport (approx. 150 years old)
3. Beth El Jacob of Des Moines (approx. 120 years old)
4. Lubavitch of Iowa of Des Moines (Unknown)
5. Agudas Achim of Iowa City (approx. 95 years old)
6. Bnai Jacob of Ottumwa (Built 1915)
7. Congregation of Beth Shalom of Sioux City
8. Beth Shalom of Fairfield (Unknown)
9. Israel Adas of Mason City (founded 1912)
10. Israel B'nai of Council Bluffs (Unknown)
11. Israel Tiferth of Des Moines (Founded 1901)
12. Sons of Jacob of Waterloo (Founded 1905)
13. B'nai Jeshrurun of Des Moines (Founded 1873)
14. Temple Beth El Dubuque (Unknown)
15. Temple Judah of Cedar Rapids (Founded 1962)
16. United Orthodox of Sioux City (Unknown)
17. Ames Jewish Congregation of Ames (Founded 1961)
====================

Now let us proceed to your next misrepresentation born out of ignorance
==========================
Shmarya says:

"Secondly, the only place he could have gone would have been Des Moines, which is equidistant from Iowa City as Postvile."
========================

Look at the above list and process. Compare the list to your ridiculous assertion. No!!! He could have gone to any of the others not just to Des Moines.

Now as you interposed the issues of distance let us do a little geographical analysis for those who are somewhat slow.

POSTVILLE is 2 hours and 34 minutes away from IOWA CITY (where Bloom Lives) or 125 miles away.

All of the following temples are CLOSER to IOWA CITY (where BLOOM lives). These are F-A-C-T-S

1. Temple Israel of Burlington, Iowa - 79 miles
2. Temple Emmanuel of Davenport - 59 miles
3. Beth El Jacob of Des Moines - 114 miles
4. Agudas Achim of Iowa City (Same City where Bloom lives)
5. Bnai Jacob of Ottumwa - 97 miles
6. Beth Shalom of Fairfield - 72 miles
7. Israel Tiferth of Des Moines - 114 miles
8. Sons of Jacob of Waterloo - 82 miles
9. B'nai Jeshrurun of Des Moines (Same City where Bloom lives)
10. Temple Beth El of Dubuque - 84 miles
11. Temple Judah of Cedar Rapids - 32 miles
12. Ames Jewish Congregation of Ames -137 miles

You are also mistaken that Des Moines is equidistant from IOWA CITY with respect to POSTVILLE. I would not normally mention this point but for the fact that you pride yourself on being the king of minutiae and petty points and viciously flog anyone who gets a minor point wrong as being ignorant. So let me accentuate your ignorance of road travel in Iowa.

Yes it is true that IOWA CITY is 125 miles from Postville. It is also true that Des Moines is about 114 miles from IOWA CITY. This is basically equidistant as the crow flies. But people do not fly as crows; they drive cars.

MAPQUEST estimates that a drive to Postville from Iowa City would be 2 hours 34 minutes. Bu the drive from Iowa City to Des Moines would be about 1 hour 50 minutes. So BLOOM would have to have driven another 44 minutes to get to Postville. Though the Ames Jewish Congregation is a little further in distance it similarly is closer in driving time (2 hours 13 minutes.)

So as to your statement that I have been wrong -- no I think you are wrong!!!

Process that

Your entire argument is based on your personal biases and grudges.

Posted by: Shmarya | September 06, 2011 at 08:47 AM

Your entire blog is based upon personal grudges.

SHMARYA:

Here are some other gems of BLOOM'S hypocrisy as I know how much you hate hypocrisy. Oh, but you only hate ultra-orthodox hypocrisy I guess. These are comments of his book by other people (not me). Many people found the Hassid with the Streimel on the front cover an insult to their intelligence since the book is NOT about Satmars but the Lubavitch. PROCESS

1. Bloom bemoans the uninspiring High Holiday services at the Iowa City synagogue, and at the same time slams the Hasidim for the overtly raucous services in Postville. It seems he wants it both ways, or neither. Perhaps what he really wants is church.

2. Here are things in this book that don't ring true at all. Bloom for example, tells us that for the chasidim, Iowa was their first contact with cars. Apparently, he is confusing Lubavitcher chasidim with Amish people; in Brooklyn, many chasidim have cars.

3. Bloom tells us that when he passed a native Iowan while walking with a Lubavitcher chasid, the chasid rebuked him for saying good morning to the fellow. Either that chasid was insane or the story is exaggerated.

4. BLOOM'S ego looms so large that it obscures his reportage. The book is full of stereotypes and cheap shots, and the narrator's voice consistently gets in the way of the story he's telling.

5. This author has succeeded in furthering every stereotype about Iowans, farmers and midwesterners with this poorly-written book

6. He seems to be more caught up in the struggle with finding "Jewish" food in Iowa rather than finding his religion.

7. Bloom would never be considered an "outsider" in a university town such as Iowa City where there are almost 30,000 students from all over the world, not to mention the diverse faculty and staff.

8. Stephen Bloom, a self-admitted gastronomic Jew, approached the Postville Hasidim with a bizarre mixture of hostility and awe. What was he looking for ? Validation for his bacon and eggs breakfasts? His roots?

9. Stephen Bloom's "Postville" shows that Bloom understands very little about being Jewish. It shows his intolerance towards and embarrassment at the strangeness of Hasidic Jewish practices. Bloom presents as acceptable the Jew who is assimilationist. He does not, himself, accept differences. He is as narrowminded as the Iowa citizens of Postville and as gossipy. One criticism Bloom offered about Hasidic behavior and seemingly obvious blindness to social indelicacies was his section about the huge Chanukah menorah attached by a Hassid to a car and driven back and forth in the town. I read this as an almost hilarious Hasidic satire of Christian excesses at Christmas time--the deluge of Christmas music, lights, greetings, etc. that we all are subjected to each December. Bloom seems to miss the Hasidic point and offers this as a sign of Hasidic folly and gauchness.

10. It is interesting then that he should portray exactly that on the cover. Why not have the Lubavitcher chassidim in their traditional garb of long jacket (frock) and black hat, rather than a more pronounced European Hassid with a shtreimel? Frankly I feel it is an insult to my inteligence.

11. ..The book jacket shows a group of farmers, one in overalls, all wearing work shoes and hats, sitting on a bench on the sidewalk. Walking in front of them, his eyes focused on a small prayer book in his hand, is a chasid, dressed in a satin kapoteh and fur hat, or streimel. But the photo is a montage, the scene an illusion: The photo of the farmers was taken in Iowa (although not Postville), and the image of the chasid - likely a non-Lubavitcher, for the Lubavitchers don't wear streimels - was superimposed.

12. I found it hard to believe this book was written by either a Jewish person or a journalist because of the lengthy raves about how much he loves the smell of pig manure and describing the Hasid's bahavior as "atrocious" simply for being good at bargaining! I wonder if he would attack the traditional garb of a Hindu or Muslim with as much rancor as he does the Hasid's?

13. . I grew up and went to school with Midwestern farmers and Orthodox Jews (including Lubavitchers) and I barely recognized the people described in the book! For example, Bloom is carried away by the idea that Lubavitchers are obsessive bargainers, while German Lutherans in Iowa are culturally disposed to shun bargaining as an attack on the bona fides of the seller. Obviously, Mr. Bloom has never seen an Iowa farmer purchase a parcel of land, a John Deer tractor, or a car. Likewise, the book casts the Lubavitchers as unscrupulous for hiring illegal aliens to work in the slaughterhouse, and then compares such behavior to the honesty of the Iowans. While there is no defense for hiring illegal aliens, it is preposterous to associate it with the Lubavitcher's "foreign" culture. Anyone familiar with rural Iowa (including the INS) knows that practice of employing illegal aliens in slaughterhouses is rampant - among Jews and non-Jews

14. Finally, I was struck by Mr. Bloom's childishness in reducing the complexity of culture to local gastronomy. His obsessive association of his own Jewishness with food is silly and indicative of how ill-prepared he is to understand others' deeply-held relgious views. The culture of German Lutherans in Iowa is about much more than macaroni salad and Maid-Rite sandwiches

15. I was interested in this book, as an exploration of culture clash. What Bloom delivers instead is a facile juxtaposition of two groups bereft of any sort of nuance or true understanding. It's a series of farmers saying shucks and fanatics saying oy. He never looks beyond "jew" or "farmer" to see the people livingg inside the identities. None of his characters come off as more than a prototype for farmer or hasid. What is most disappointing about the book is the fact that he is so intent on deciding who is right and wrong, as if issues of tolerance and community and prejudice can be boiled down to such simplistic terms. Equally unforgiveable is his implicit assertion that only those who do not hold faith to be all embracing can truly be part of America, that in order to belong we all must join a melting pot after all. At times he seems to tiptoe close to exploring his own discomfort with religious identity (beyond bagels and pastrami, his silly, easy stand-in for "jewish identity).

Again you display a combination of ignorance, willful blindness and manipulation of truth.

Some of the synagogues you list barely had minyans. Others didn't have services except for the High Holidays and an occasional Shabbat.

Iowa City is equidistant from Des Moines and Postville.

Yes, the roads are different, but the travel time is not what Google's automated system thinks it is. The dispartiy is much smaller.

Someone used to Judaism in NYC and other major East Coast Jewish locations, no matter how much their Judaism was only cultural or gastronomic, would find little of what they might be looking for in Des Moines, and none of it anywhere else in Iowa – except for Postville.

These are all facts Mordechai, written by someone whose been there, who lives in a next door state, and who is familiar with NYC.

Your entire contention is complete and total hogwash written out of ignorance and outof arrogance.

I told you before that authors have no control over book covers. Perhaps you should read that sentence over a few times so it sticks in your mind.

The book describes an incident where Sholom Rubashkin haggles with his computer supplier in a clearly unethical way. When the computer supplier is off the phone, Rubashkin tells the other hasid in the room (who participated in the haggling) and Bloom that he has no intention to keep the bargain he just made, or to pay the computer supplier on time. He says this while snickering as if he had just outsmarted and swindled a backward Iowa farmer. He says he's going to rip off the computer supplier.

Anyone even remotely familiar with Iowa knows that type of behavior is absolutely foreign to the culture. People pay their bills on time, live within their means, and behave.

The few people who do not are ostracized – no matter their race, ethnicity or religion.

But you leave the computer incident out even though it looms large throughout the book, and you ignore what the culture of Iowa is.

Your remark about the conduct of prayer services in the two synagogues is, quite frankly, foolish.

What Bloom is lamenting is a lack of passion combined with decorum on one hand, and a near-complete lack of decorum combined with much more passion on the other.

That dichotomy, which is well known worldwide, has been the subject of sessions of the Reform Movement's national conference, and it is discussed in halakha and by kiruv rabbis worldwide.

What Bloom is looking for is the warmth of a hasidic shteibel combined with the sensibility of a Conservative or Reform synagogue – the exact same thing the Reform Movement wants to create and that kiruv rabbis worldwide try to create.

But you are ignorant Mordechai. You don't even realize that what Bloom is looking for is a hot topic for Jewish leaders worldwide.

That doesn't display a problem with Bloom – it displays a problem with you.

The hasid with the huge Hanukka menorah on his car, driving through Postville blaring Hanukkah songs at a high decibel level was Yossi Gourarie, Sholom Rubashkin's brother-in-law and one of the defacto rulers of Postville.

When he did this, I was still his friend and still a Chabadnik.

And almost every Chabadnik I knew thought what he did was excessive and hurtful. It was a form of staking out territory rather than celebrating and publicizing the holiday.

He could have done the same thing with the volume turned lower and by being a touch more polite and it would have been fine – but Yossi wanted to be in your face to the "goyyim," to show who really was in control of the town.

Anyway, Moprdechai, if you go back and read your previous comments on the post and my responses, you'll see that you are consistently wrong about the facts, that you consistently accuse Bloom of things that he has no control over (like the book's cover), and that you ignore or misrepresent key incidents from the book and key facts that weaken your case.

You don't have to agree with or like what Bloom wrote.

But you do need to know what you're talking about when you publicly attack him.

And time after time, Mordechai, you've proven that you do not.

==============
Some of the synagogues you list barely had minyans. Others didn't have services except for the High Holidays and an occasional Shabbat.
==============

Oh now you change your tune from denying that there is more than one Jewish temple in Iowa but attacking now the quality of those temples. Oh, they did not have a minyan!! Who is being dishonest?

That is a very valid point if you are Satmar or othodox. But Bloom was much more interested in bagels and lox as seen by his frequent allusions to food. I wonder if he even donned tefillin or draped a tallis around his shoulders. I doubt it. That is because he was in Postville on a mission and that WAS NOT TO EXPLORE HIS JEWISH ROOTS.

"barely had a minyan" --- Wow that is an "arrogant" statement if I ever heard one. Sounds like something you might hear in Crown Heights. You are sounding like the very people you broke away from, denigrating a shul because it does not have a minyan.

Now that you have been confronted with the MANY temples CLOSER to IOWA CITY you now "IMPUGN the INTEGRITY" of those temples. The rabbis are stupid there? Even though these temples have been around for 100 years, 95 years, 50 years they are not good enough for you. Who is "arrogant" and "blind"?

Are you saying that the Rabbi of Temple Judah of Cedar Rapids is no good? What about all those other temples? Are the rabbis phony? Are they not learned?

HERE IS WHAT THE RABBI OF SONS OF JACOB IN WATERLOO SAYS

"Sons of Jacob . . . is . . . different from other congregations. Big-City Jews rarely get to experience the intensity and inclusiveness of Jewish life which Waterloo, Iowa provided!" - Rabbi Arnold M. Turchick

"The values that guide me were imparted in years . . . at . . . Sons of Jacob, where I learned that being Jewish means, above all, caring for the oppressed, pursuing social justice and striving for empathy toward others." - David Schulman

WOW !!!! Sounds like a GREAT place but the arrogant Shmarya says they barely have a minyan. You sound like a stuck up yold.


=====================

About Beth El Jacob (From Their Web Page)

"Fun"..."Exciting"..."Cool"..."Meaningful"..."Open"..."Friendly". Often synagogue members may not describe their shul like this. We do. We find that it is important to care for people no matter their level or ability. Our entire reason for being here is dictated by our members. And, while the observance level of each family may vary, our goal is to help everyone learn how to do better. We are all, if you will, "works in progress".

That being said, we are proud to be affiliated with the Orthodox Union. We believe that the true meaning and purpose of human life is best expressed through devotion to the Torah through the principles of the OU. For 120 years, Beth El Jacob has functioned as a meaningful link for all Jews. We don't see that changing in the near future.
=====================

Beth El Jacob has been around for 120 years, has a mikvah. What!!! It is not good enough for you?

Accept the fact that you are arrogant, wrong, pig-headed. You are "impugning" all these fine Jewish Temples in Iowa.

You are a deceiver and maniopulator because you HAVE been to IOWA and KNOW. I have never been to IOWA and had to ferret out the truth to present to you to refute your lying claims.

Oh now you change your tune from denying that there is more than one Jewish temple in Iowa but attacking now the quality of those temples. Oh, they did not have a minyan!! Who is being dishonest?

I'm done coddling you, Mordechai.

Go back and read my comments and you will see that I CLEARLY and REPEATEDLY wrote that there is only one synagogue in Iowa CITY.

Iowa City is a town in Iowa, Mordechai.

That is a very valid point if you are Satmar or othodox. But Bloom was much more interested in bagels and lox as seen by his frequent allusions to food. I wonder if he even donned tefillin or draped a tallis around his shoulders. I doubt it. That is because he was in Postville on a mission and that WAS NOT TO EXPLORE HIS JEWISH ROOTS.

"barely had a minyan" --- Wow that is an "arrogant" statement if I ever heard one. Sounds like something you might hear in Crown Heights. You are sounding like the very people you broke away from, denigrating a shul because it does not have a minyan.

A person looking to explore his Judaism, which is, in part, what Bloom said he was doing, would hardly go to a place with few involved, learned Jews.

And you won't find much in the way of Jewish deli food in a place like that, either.

You are irrational and, I think ill.

I'll deal with your remaining points below, but you need psychological help.

I think the loss of your wife did great damage to you.

Now that you have been confronted with the MANY temples CLOSER to IOWA CITY you now "IMPUGN the INTEGRITY" of those temples.

Again, as I showed you a couple of times already, Iowa City is approximately equidistant from Des Moines and Postville.

The vast majority of synagogues in Iowa are in Des Moines.

But in the time Bloom was writing the book, there was no real functioning Chabad House there, and the Orthodox synagogue was small, and its membership aged.

As for the rest of your claims, you cannot say that what exists today is the same as what existed 12 or 13 years ago.

THis a simple fact, one you should understand and one you should have figured out immediately, without my intervention.

But you did not do this.

You are a deceiver and maniopulator because you HAVE been to IOWA and KNOW. I have never been to IOWA…

From your remarks, from your claims, it is very clear that you haven't been to Iowa and that you know next to nothing about it or about its culture.

What you done over the course of, what, about a dozen comments is to make more than a dozen unsubstantiated assertions and claims about places, people, and industries you know nothing about.

You're in a very unhealthy state, Mordechai.

Get yourself some help, please.

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