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February 16, 2012

Did Deborah Feldman Lie?

Deborah Feldman closeupThe author of the much ballyhooed memoir “Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots,” which was published earlier this week by Simon and Schuster, claims that a 13-year-old Satmar boy was murdered by his father who, Feldman claimed, cut off the boy's penis and slashed his neck with a jig saw in the basement of their Kiryas Joel home because he caught the boy masturbating. Feldman further alleged that Hatzolah and Kiryas Joel leaders covered up the murder and buried the boy within 30 minutes of his body being discovered. She also said police were not called and that there was no death certificate issued. But all this appears to be a lie.

Deborah Feldman closeup
Deborah Feldman

Hella Winston reports in the Jewish Week:

With allegations of communal cover-ups involving child sexual abuse dogging the haredi community over the past several years, it may not be much of a stretch for some readers to believe a gruesome story that appears in a new memoir about growing up in, and leaving, the Satmar community.

The story, recounted by Deborah Feldman in “Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots” (Simon and Schuster), involves the alleged mutilation and murder of a boy by his own father — supposedly for masturbating — and the subsequent cover-up of the crime by Hatzolah, the community’s volunteer ambulance service.

The only problem, however, is that based on information obtained by The Jewish Week, the seems not be true.…

The Jewish Week notes that Feldman first wrote about this story on her anonymous blog Hasidic Femenist in December 2008.

The Jewish Week also lists the names of the two state police officers who responded to the call about the boy's death and it cites the death certificate, which it has a copy of:

Further, a death certificate obtained by The Jewish Week indicates that the death — which it noted occurred in a “storeroom” on a Friday afternoon in Kiryas Joel around the approximate date Feldman’s blog alleged — was ruled a suicide by coroner Thomas A. Murray, and lists the cause of death as “partial decapitation, severed carotid arteries due to circular saw.” The deceased’s age was listed as 20.  

Several e-mails to Feldman and her publisher, Simon and Schuster, seeking comment did not receive a response.

So the 13-year-old was really 20-years-old, he killed himself and his penis was not cut off.

A relative of the victim told The Jewish Week:

“I cannot understand how a person could possibly find it within themselves to fabricate such a gruesome story and slander a completely innocent, grieving and tragedy-stricken family in such a horrific way. The facts are that the boy had a long history of mental illness, and his family and the community did a lot to try and help this individual. It was a very tragic end to a life full of suffering.”

Read the entire report here.

Update 2:25 pm CST 2-23-2012 – The Jewish Week finally reached the New York State Police. Here is what they said:

Lt. Glenn Miner, a spokesman for the NY State Police told The Jewish Week the incident in question "was investigated by the state police and was determined not to be a homicide."

Comments

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If my penis was cut off every time I masturbated......

A relative of the victim told The Jewish Week:“I cannot understand how a person could possibly find it within themselves to fabricate such a gruesome story"

אשה זונה וחללה, אין צוגאבּ א שקרנט'ע אויך

She may be a liar but calling her a worthless whore is a bit much.

I don't think it matters whether the death happened as she wrote or not.

Did she write that she witnessed it? No. She wrote that she was told about it. If one reads the relevant portion of the book, it is all about a mother hearing about a murder and how she reacted to it.

Did the event happen as she described? I have no idea. But it's really beside the point.

I don't think it matters whether the death happened as she wrote or not.

Did she write that she witnessed it? No. She wrote that she was told about it. If one reads the relevant portion of the book, it is all about a mother hearing about a murder and how she reacted to it.

Did the event happen as she described? I have no idea. But it's really beside the point.

Posted by: David Lerner | February 16, 2012 at 05:16 PM

I think that depends on whether or not there are other lies associated with the book or not.

If there are, if there is a pattern, that would be a problem.

I think the point here is also that the point of her book is her escape (or whatever you want to call it) from Satmar.

And if this story she wrote that makes Satmar look very bad is false and if she had any reasonable way to know that (and seems she did – see the full JW article), that also is a major problem.

And I have to tell you, when a publicist doesn't respond to a newspaper's request for an author interview on something like this, that's a sign there is something amiss.

I really hope there is mitigating information here that we haven't heard about yet.

What exactly about her telling this story makes her a whore, whether it's true or false?

One young man stabs himself repeatedly all over his body? Another cuts his caratoid with a circular saw? These are strange suicides even for people who are mentally ill.

I wouldn't buy any stocks in Simon and Schuster if this is what they are all about.
A corporation based on hot air which will do anything for a buck even when a book is mostly based on lies.
She is a conniving little bitter girl who lies just about anything.
Besides what she is mocking Judaism in general and those things are true she is also making up almost everything.
Check out the many blogs by people who left the fold and you will find how little good they have to say about her.Mostly all of them say the same thing:she lies and exaggerates.

Little mrs Feldman,i said it from the get go that you are liar and now things are coming out.

Shame on Simon and Schuster


I have to agree. Feldman claims on her blog that she "stands by everything" she wrote in her book. Then why is she ashamed to publicly defend it now? I understand she's been busy with press and the view and the like, but now is the time to back up your fact and stand by your story. Or admit that it was a misunderstanding or a misrepresentation. Of course, doing that would eliminate any credibility from the rest of her book, so it's not likely. perhaps she has lawyers advising her to stay silent? Again, I'm speculating here. but something doesn't smell right to me. Of course, she could be right. There are always ways to cover things up, even grisly murders. But she should be able to have the courage to stand by her arguments and defend them if she had the courage to print them first anonymously on hasisic feminist and then publicly in her book.

Shame on Simon and Schuster


Posted by: Deremes | February 16, 2012 at 05:32 PM

Don't be too quick to blame S and S.

It is Feldman's responsibility to tell the truth.

I'm sure S and S must have asked her about this incident.

If she lied to them (as opposed to have been duped herself), she's in deep trouble.

But we don't know what S and S did or what Feldman did – all we know is what Feldman wrote and S and S published.

So we'll have to wait a bit before we go further.

And it is absolutely true that she is not well-liked or fully supported by the OTD community. She has made a lot of enemies and lost a lot of friends through lying and manipulating others, so the latest doesn't surprise me. She cycles through new groups of people every few months...

Let me ask you this:
Isn't a company like this on the line if they publish books with authors that are not credible?
Take a kid of 22-25 years old and don't check her out?
I cant say much becuase i know her family well.But if you would mention her name to me or anyone else who knows them/her without publishing this book i would say:who her she is known for a liar,enough said.

In other words,SHE cant tell the truth in her personal life neither if you anything about her.

Let me ask you this:
Isn't a company like this on the line if they publish books with authors that are not credible?
Take a kid of 22-25 years old and don't check her out?
I cant say much becuase i know her family well.But if you would mention her name to me or anyone else who knows them/her without publishing this book i would say:who her she is known for a liar,enough said.

Posted by: Deremes | February 16, 2012 at 05:44 PM

It depends what S and S did and how it did it.

Will this hurt S and S?

Sure it will, even if they're not at fault.

Nebech, most people who run from torah are not right in the head and this is an example. She shuld crawl back to her family and her rav and marry whoever they find for her and then be quiet and stop writing books for the goyim to laugh at us with.

But that could be a big hurt or a little hurt depending on what S and S did or didn't do.

And, again, we don't know that yet.

You are refereeing to this particular story which might turn out that she really believed and had first hand account that it is true. I have no clue about this story but i do know for certain that she lied and exaggerated about many things.
Hopefully this story will turn out to be false and hopefully it will bring her down and hurt Simon and Schuster as well.

Demeres: agreed completely.

Also I found it very interesting that throughout her interview on "The View" Barbara & Co. were quick to reiterate - almost incessantly so - that her book "is not a condemnation of the lifestyle" or community. So clearly she's heard/read how people are responding to what she's written and is getting nervous. or at least her PR team is, because i certainly haven't heard that phrase surrounding her interviews before. And i and many others, as evidenced in this forum/other blogs/comments on her interviews, feel that while the book and surrounding interviews may not be an ATTACK on hasidic culture, it is certainly a condemnation. Feldman has filled her interviews with blanket statements and a plethora of misinformation, hyperbole, and contradictions.

That said, S and S has one goal: to sell copies and to make money off Feldman. While her goal in writing the book may have been to bring about what she views as justice, (which to me, seems laughable) the publishing house is out for a buck. Horror stories sell. S and S was doing its job, whether ethical or not. it is feldman who, ultimately, must be held accountable. Plus, I can see how S and S would have been enamored and quick to accept her story, as so many have been. True, they should have checked their facts, but I can see her hand in the cookie jar here.

a lot of times when stories like this happen kids add details to the story and then they and their friends belive it as fact. s and s should of checked the facts first.

I am surprised because major publishers usually take the time to do some minimal fact checks on nonfiction. Apparently this slid off their radar - bad move on their part. Books have been withheld from publicRion, or from distribution after printing, for lesser error than this.

Makes her a liar perhaps, but not a whore. Watch where you sling your mud, too.

Apologies, that would be DEREMES. Spellcheck please :)

Damn iPhone keypads - that was publication, sorry.

I agree with Effie. Suicide by partial decapitation? Uh uh, I don't think so.

Shmarya, I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss this story. I remember reading it about it on a Satmar yiddish message board (which has since blocked access to anyone but screened members). The story on the site was how hatzola was called to a house in Kiryas Yoel, where a bloody corpse of a teenager was retrieved. The post claimed that he committed suicide with a chainsaw. I don't know what REALLY happened, but KJ hides some dark, dirty, hair raising secrets. I wouldn't be surprised if this was a murder made to look like a suicide.

And if this story is false then who's to believe any of it. Saw someone write that about the Torah once.

ultra haredi lite-hahahaha thats a good one

Unlike the overwhelming majority of those making noise about it on the Internet, I've actually  read the book. Cover-to cover.

I honestly don't know whether the murder happened, but note how nobody is claiming that the story she tells of the boy kicked out of yeshiva for being molested is a lie. You of all people know how that community shelters those who rape children, so is it that far a stretch for them to cover up a murder? Can the case the Jewish Week speaks of be a different one than Feldman's? I don't have the answer to those questions.

But like you said, Shmarya, this isn't a book about Satmar, it's about her escape. So it really doesn't matter whether she heard of a true incident or not, what matters is how she reacted to what she heard.

I don't believe Feldman is making it up.

Why do I believe her? Two reasons: She has not been found to be lying in any of the things SHE has written. More importantly though, why WOULD she make something like this up? Was she lacking for "dirt" on Chasidim?

I'll admit to being her friend and that I very much want to see her book succeed, but I would never defend something I thought to be lies.

yeah that article where they can't get in touch with any of the police officers involved and are going based on a coroners report and the word of a definitely jewish police chief from kiryas farkin joel does not convince me beyond a reasonable doubt that nothing shady was going on. She could have easily gotten the age and some of the details wrong, as she says herself she heard it from someone who heard it from someone else.

not saying she is definitely correct, but she is relaying a rumor she heard, the details are not all that far off from what they found and I don't see how that necessarily translates into "lying." I heard all sorts of crazy rumors when I was a (frum) kid too, and who knows what the truth of them were.

Posted by: David Lerner | February 16, 2012 at 06:38 PM

I haven't got much time to respond but people who left the fold say the same thing that she lies and exaggerates over and over.I'm not talking now about THIS particular story which i have no clue.

She lied on "The View" lied in the NY Post interview.As much as you will say that becuase i am hasidic i have an agenda,again,just look what the OTD folks say about her.
I can cite you numerous things she said where she LIES but got no time now.

I can cite you numerous things she said where she LIES but got no time now.

Posted by: Deremes | February 16, 2012 at 06:45 PM

If you can really do that, then do it.

Re: NY Post. She didn't write it. Some journalist interviews, they write it up, then the editors get ahold of it. I have first-hand knowledge of people whose words got twisted in interviews.

That said, I don't even see many inaccuracies in the article. Minutia, maybe, but nobody denies the central claims. Maybe that's her detractors' plan: quibble enough about minutia and hope everybody is too distracted to see the point.

If you believe the NY Post article proves that Feldman is a liar, I have a headless body in a topless bar shaped like the Brooklyn Bridge to sell you.

the typical chusid i can tell you this but wont what kind of behaviour is that deremes, it is a trademark of the chassidishe world

Deborah Feldman could be your perfect shidduch Shmarya !!

David Lerner -- You seem to want to believe her, you want to give her the benefit of the doubt, fine, I don't take issue with that. But there is a real pattern observed in both her writings and interviews, and the murder is by far not the only questionable thing she wrote. (Although perhaps the most gruesome and the one with the most consequences.)

I'll give a seemingly meaningless example, which (along with many other little tidbits) got me really unsettled.

She writes (in the book -- which, yes, I read) of 9/11 happening, and within the next week, right before Yom Kippur, the news spread that a carp in a New Square fish store opened its mouth to call upon Jews to repent. "Since this occurred just after the Twin Towers were attacked and right before Yom Kippur... the story was especially juicy." (direct quote)

Problem is, the New Square fish story happened in March of 2003, not Sep. 2011. I would know. I lived a block away from that fish store. What's more, there was an article both in the NY Times and the Guardian about it.

We might say, big deal. She's using some wacky story as a literary device and rearranging the chronology. Fine. Maybe it's an excuse, maybe it isn't. But to do that with events that appear in the public record, whose dates can so easily be verified, shows an ease with twisting the facts for the sake of heightening the drama in a way that is justifyingly disconcerting.

She writes of being the only girl in her class to visit not the public library but even Williamsburg's religious library. Nobody else was interested in reading what even the chasidic library itself allowed? I know the chasidish world intimately, and that's all kinds of ludicrous.

What she said on "The View" about Satmar girls graduating high school with a 4th-grade reading level is also absolutely false. True for men, yes, absolutely. But not for girls. No one is saying Satmar girls receive a stellar secular education, and they don't necessarily get high school diplomas, but what's wrong with saying simply that? Why embellish, again and again and again and again?

Finally, calling her tale an "escape" (as it is on the jacket cover) highlights this problem as well. I know hundreds and hundreds of ex-chasidish OTDs. Never have I heard anyone referring to themselves as "escaped" with any seriousness. What, did she leave in the dark of night with a garbage bag of clothes? Did she speed off while her husband and a gang of Chasidish men came after her in hot pursuit? What, tell me, is the point of calling it that if not an effort to sensationalize?

Add to that the things she said to the NY Post, the murder story, and lots of other little bits of distortion, and you get a picture of someone who simply doesn't realize that overdramatizing to that degree really does damage to her own credibility.

I'm not saying all of this adds up to an blatant campaign of spreading lies on her part, but you can't blame people for noticing them.

I should add, I was really hoping I'd like the book, and I did like many parts. Much of the first half was very nicely done. But these little problems really add up, especially if the sum total is to make a point not only about her own life experiences but also about an oppressive society. And sadly, she does damage to those who do seek to uncover chasidish society's real social ills.

Deborah, you may suck a dick better than your peers, but you are a lying tramp who has been ridden more than Seattle Slew. The tragedy you call a murder rubs salt in the wounds of a devastated family. Hell gonna be a biotch for you ho.

""Deborah Feldman could be your perfect shidduch Shmarya !!""

Yes, she's a self hating Jew but she down't have a peni so cross her off SR's short list.

Posted by: BiF | February 16, 2012 at 07:47 PM

It is completely unnecessary to use this type of language or to insult her by accusing her of slutiness.

It says a lot more bad about you than it does about her.

Bottom line, unless there is some real evidence for Feldman's claims, this is REAL bad for her credibility...

Books have been withheld from publicRion, or from distribution after printing, for lesser error than this.

Ha! Can you imagine how many books would disappear overnight from the shelves of judaica stores if Artscroll biographies were held to the same standard?


If my penis was cut off every time I masturbated......

Then masturbation would be a LOT easier?

Now this is a toughie for Shmerel,

On one hand she is a ex-haredi so she obviously is a straight person who never lies and has seen the light, but on the other hand she is a FFB haredi, so she must be a lier...

Shmerel was not a FFB so therefore being haredi for 10 minutes did not taint his truth telling.

To undo going to the mikvah all those times he did what comment #1 "netflix" wrote about.

If you can really do that, then do it.

In te last thread on the subject of this woman, Mordechai laid out a pretty good string of arguments against er story.......

That said, you are often (OK, daily) accused of not reporting both sides of te story. I've never bought into that, and this thread rather proves.....you DO report it when it appears that Charedi Jews are being slandered.

Maybe someday there will be more of this kind of story, and fewer stories where the "religious" are misbehaving?

Posted by: Shulem Deen | February 16, 2012 at 07:22 PM
------
welcome Mr.Unpious....

Please see her multiple distortions in an earlier news article in the comment section, on her interview with the NY post,


Let me bring out another point,

For example
In courtroom a hat is disrespectful,
But you know that a chasid will never sit at his Rabbis tish without a hat.

And when a chasid walks in into a courtroom, with a hat and the court officer has to remind him to take it off.

If an outsider will think or say that the chasid was disrespectful to the judge, its understandable,

But when a former chasid tries to twist and say that the chasid with his hat was disrespectful,
Then he/she is an outright liar.

Simon and Schuster has revenues in the range of 750 million a year. I seriously doubt this book will impact them much, no matter the outcome.

I am surprised because major publishers usually take the time to do some minimal fact checks on nonfiction. Apparently this slid off their radar - bad move on their part. Books have been withheld from publicRion, or from distribution after printing, for lesser error than this.

Posted by: Malka Gittel | February 16, 2012 at 06:01 PM

I really don't think they do take the time at all. Sadly, it would seem that they squeeze every penny and don't "waste" it on such trifles as editing and fact-checking. What about "A Million Little Pieces", which was published by Random House?

Also, they can always cop out on the basis it was her opinion or experience of events.

Posted by: Shmarya | February 16, 2012 at 07:51 PM
-------
As I wrote on the other thread,
People tend to answer (foolishness?maybe) a cheap shot for a cheap shot.

Her whole book and interviews comes across for people who know her and know our society as one huge cheap shot.

Shulem, I was very close with Deborah. Close enough in fact that my name is mentioned in the Acknowledgements at the end of the book itself. First and foremost, I am no longer close with Deborah as we once were. However, I would like point out the fact that at the beginning of the book itself there is a disclaimer. The disclaimer states there is rearranging of chronology, and that "all dialogue is as close to an approximation as possible to actual conversations that took place, to the best of [her] recollection." In that, it basically states that she is then legally "allowed" to do exactly what you are accusing her of, or the other option is that she is honestly recounting this story to the best of her ability and it could possibly be false information. While, I'll admit there is a possible third option that she is an outright liar, I'm not sure there is ANY basis for that in this discussion being that it is all alleged and accusatory. Unfortunately, these half-truths that many are accusing her of committing, add up to make her look dishonest.  Which I can understand, but in this case, I believe to be completely untrue. You and I have many friends in common and we all know what everyone is saying about her in our personal life. While I don't care to get into exactly what I've heard about her or what I believe about her personally, I will say that aside from this latest blip on the radar that is the release of her book, I've heard a lot of jealousy in the OTD community when it comes to those that have found any level of success. SIDEBAR::It also disgusts me that anyone is referring to her as a whore or anything of the sort. She is a mother of a small child and a far cry from a whore. Stick to the alleged facts about the book, people. Calling her a whore is misogynistic and childish behavior. That, my friend, is the truth (as I see it)

MD -- I saw that disclaimer. And if that was the only issue, I wouldn't have much of a problem with it. But taken together with everything else, sorry, it just adds up to something really problematic.

As for personal issues, etc. -- they have no relevance here. That would be the same as discounting Feldman b/c of her own personal issues, and I don't think that's fair either. (Like you said, "stick to the facts about the book...")

And I'm in total agreement with you that calling her names is shameful.

MD:

"I've heard a lot of jealousy in the OTD community when it comes to those that have found any level of success. "

Why jealousy? What makes what you "hear" be jealousy? Because Feldman calls all her critics jealous? It's probably alienation. Feldman mud-slings anyone from the OTD community who isn't 100% behind her.

Thanks MD. It seems that any time certain male posters want to disagree with something a woman has said, they are incapable of responding without casting aspersions on her sexuality rather than addressing the actual matter at hand. This reflects more on their issues than on the woman they comment about.

That said, you are often (OK, daily) accused of not reporting both sides of te story.
I've never bought into that, and this thread rather proves.....you DO report it
when it appears that Charedi Jews are being slandered. Posted by: Rebitzman | February 16, 2012 at 08:07 PM
------

This proves NOTHING.
If you know how the media works,
They can push a certain candidate with no shame.
But the second that candidate shows some cracks, they will be the first-knowing that it will eventually come out from other sources- to totally tear him down and make him into ashes.

And they too will claim that its part of their objectivity.

Maybe she was refering to someone else???

I don't know, I haven't read the book, but lying about something of this magnitude certainly would distort the problems that the escapees from the Hasidic communuity actually suffer from. It is a rather big stretch of the imagination if it is a lie, and yet I don't believe that something like this couldn't happen (Chas v'shalom if it ever would or does again).

That being said, I agree with Shmarya that something is definetly not right if she doesn't respond to the allegations.

I have seen the usual comments by the usual fanatics. So any Jew who dares to criticize a given form of Judaism is a self hating Jew?

I would say they we dare to speak our minds in an attempt to point out the flaws in our religion. And trust me, there are many. I assume I will be dragged to the entrance of a town and be stoned to death for it.

To those calling her bad names that puts in doubt her chastity as a woman, think about the definition of the words defamation, libel. Not to mention that it immediately brings up to the mind of a reasonable person...no wonder she left that community! You disagree with the men there, you are immediately called names that damage your reputation.

Deborah, I know you may not read this blog, but, good job in exposing this CULT

If I may paraphrase a term used by some other crazies in this country.

"Where's the death certificate?"

I have no personal axe to grind with Deborah Feldman, and certainly no wish to malign or deride her.

But I'm afraid I have to disagree with one of the posters who suggested that a fabricated story about a father's mutilation and murder of his son is somehow counterbalanced by a case of a Hasidic boy who was expelled from a yeshivah because he had been molested.

Far from seeing the second story (which may well be true) as mitigation, I think it underscores the seriousness of what Feldman seems to have done. To falsify one story not only wrongs the accused but robs all the true stories of the credibility they deserve. It's hard enough as it is to focus proper attention on the plight of genuine cover-up victims; it only gets harder when a public "witness" sounds a false alarm.

Dishonesty never cured injustice.

And by the way, isn't it time we looked past the sensational details? The worst offenders in these stories are generally the perfectly sane, functionally normal rabbis and lay leaders who tolerate crimes they prefer not to expose. Focusing on one rumored (and probably fictitious) incident, just because of its lurid violence, takes us far from the real point -- another reason this sort of literary mudslinging is indefensible.

And at the moment -- unless it can be decisively refuted -- the evidence certainly looks bad for Ms. Feldman.

On the other side of the ledger, Hella Winston and the Jewish Week deserve credit for taking the trouble to investigate, and to report this issue as any such allegation should be reported: carefully and accurately.

Michael, I fully agree, and would add FM to the list of those who deserve credit for not hesitating to reveal her credibility problems.
Again, we don't know the full story, but based upon the above posts (Shulem's comment about the fish market), Feldman should address the legitimate doubts being raised.
False accusations do a horrible damage that only starts with the pain and injustice suffered by those wrongly accused. I can only imagine how the family of a disturbed teenager who took his life could feel upon learning of how their loss was portrayed. If it is an invented story, it is just mean.
But the real victims are those who, in the future, may not have their cries for help taken as seriously, or may not feel comfortable raising them.
Falsely accusing someone of a crime is a crime itself, for good reason.

Two words:

Literary licence.

So the story goes by "Feldman claims she first learned of the grisly crime from her husband who had, in turn, heard about it from his brother, allegedly a member of Hatzolah at the time, who had been called to the blood-soaked scene. Apparently, the boy’s “penis was cut off with a jig saw and his throat was slit too,” Feldman writes.

Feldman recounts that her husband told her his brother “said the neighbors told him they heard loud arguing coming from the house. When he called the [volunteer ambulance] dispatch, they told him to go home and keep quiet about it, that they would take care of it. He said they buried him in thirty minutes and they didn’t even issue a death certificate.”

This classic hearsay, the same way urban legends are created. Why do you think hearsay is rarely (very few exceptios0 admitted in court?

This is like putting pieces of a puzzle together..."he Jewish Week confirmed that the state police do in fact have a record of the incident and its office provided the paper with the names of two of its investigators called to the scene, John Van Der Molen and Michael Colern. Calls to the two officers were not returned Thursday.

Further, a death certificate obtained by The Jewish Week indicates that the death — which it noted occurred in a “storeroom” on a Friday afternoon in Kiryas Joel around the approximate date Feldman’s blog alleged — was ruled a suicide by coroner Thomas A. Murray, and lists the cause of death as “partial decapitation, severed carotid arteries due to circular saw.” The deceased’s age was listed as 20.'

See how urban legends are created? Take one piece of story, get the information spread via hearsay , uncorroborated by 2 or 3 people, (her husband told her his brother “said the neighbors told him) these people add their own twist of their own and you got yourself an urban legend.

She just repeated some good old bullshit on a particular story and plastered it in her book which does make the book look less serious. I wonder what kind of damage control her team might be in right now.

its time shmarya did an in depth research article on mental illness amongst the chardeim/hardeim. promoting the concept of first cousins marring each other and second cousins marrying each other, is fraught with the danger of producing off spring that will need special care and special needs.is it not unlawfull for first cousins to marry in the U S A ? wny do some fanatical sects hsve these phaoroaonic conceptons of interbreeding as a way of life?

I haven't seen the book but she comes across on the View as very intelligent and poised. And where the heck is her Chassidic accent? She sounds like she's from Ohio.

What's OTD?

The Torah says it is okay for uncles to marry nieces. No of a couple of these too amongst the chasidim. The Litvish also think it is okay for first cousins to marry.

Since we are comfortible quoting friend of friends, may I share a story with you that hapened? This secular woman n the upper west side from one of those old german "reform families" who reformed herslef to spinsterhood and nebech, never married. So in her thirties she 'adopts" a stray dog that not even the goyim want as a pet and begins sleeping with it. Then another. By her late forties she is even more unhappy so she starts adoptping goyim. First she brings home a yellow girl from China and a few years later adopts a dark baby from nikeraqua. Of course neither one looks anything like a Jew. And she has a taste for chazer fleish. Meanwhile she kicks the dog out of her bed because the dog hates the kids. One day she drops a piece f a hotdog in the bed and dog jumps in to eat it ad she laughs. This goes on until she stops and now the dog is angyry. It jumps on her bed when she isnt looking and bites off the boy's thing. Everything was hushed up by the doctors, who tell her o raise the boy as a girl. Excpt he is growng up like an nba player and does not look like a girl. Never made the newspapers, she was never arrested, and plenty f things like this go on there that the seculars never report. We only hear when we see two men there marry eachother and wonder what went wrong, or when one of theyre women goes insane in public. I wonder when we will see a book from one of their china children describing what it was like for them growing up in such surcomstances so far from China and what they think of Yidden. Probably that book will never be published.

yom tov lipman heller 4:19 am!: "wny do some fanatical sects hsve these phaoroaonic conceptons of interbreeding as a way of life?

Because the Torah permits it 100% that does not make them fanatical, but it makes you an apikoras! now go back to sleep.

MD 8:26, “it basically states (the disclaimer) that she is then legally "allowed" to do exactly what you are accusing her of, or the other option is that she is honestly recounting this story to the best of her ability and it could possibly be false information. While, I'll admit there is a possible third option that she is an outright liar”

In other words she is allowed to lie even intentionally which she probably did! Otherwise why put this bizarre statement in the disclaimer?! Other than hoping no one who reads the book - as none fictional - for entertainment! will read the disclaimer?, which they probably didn’t

This proves NOTHING.

Somehow didn't think you'd agree, but it doesn't alter the fact that Shmarya did and does cove the edges, both ways.

His goal is to get us to read the blog, and while there are certainly FEWER stories like this one in the media than there are about the misbehavior of te religious, he does report them all.

Misbehavior and Orthodoxy are the key words. Giving or receiving a story will find space here if it contains those two elements.

Shmarya 7:51, It is completely unnecessary to use this type of language or to insult her by accusing her of slutiness. It says a lot more bad about you than it does about her.

Shmarya The insulter In General! Is getting soft look who is calling the kettle black! אשה זונה וחללה, אין צוגאבּ א שקרנט'ע אויך is right More so when she her self admits to it !

She writes: “But there’s a man I met in New Orleans. He has his life there, and I have mine here. On paper, we don’t make sense at all — he’s Irish Catholic (!) he grew up in the backwoods. But he’s the only person I ever met that never made me feel weird about my life. He saw me for me. I thought that was impossible.…”

feldman, wait until he sobers up, your Irish Catholic dude.

You fail to understand the genre of literature Ms Feldman's book falls into. It is one that is not expected to be 100% factual and true (not being authored by a journalist or historian) nor is it expected to be a complete work of fiction. It is an extremely personal genre.

Misery lit (or misery memoirs, misery porn) is a term ostensibly coined by The Bookseller magazine that describes a genre of biographical literature mostly concerned with the protagonist's triumph over personal trauma or abuse, often during childhood.
Works in the genre typically—though not exclusively—begin in the subject's childhood, and very often involve suffering some wrong, physical or sexual abuse, or neglect, perpetrated by an adult authority figure, often a parent. These tales usually culminate in some sort of emotional catharsis, redemption or escape from the abuse or situation. They are often written in the first person.

Most critics trace the beginning of the genre to A Child Called "It", a 1995 memoir by American Dave Pelzer, in which he details the outrageous abuse he claims to have suffered at the hands of his alcoholic mother, and two subsequent books which continue the story. Pelzer's three books spent a combined total of 448 weeks on the New York Times paperback nonfiction bestseller list created considerable controversy, including doubt as to the veracity of the claims.

Jung Chang's Wild Swans (1992) and Frank McCourt's Angela's Ashes (1996) are also seen as seminal works establishing the genre.

Misery lit has been described as "the book world's biggest boom sector".Works in the genre comprised 11 of the top 100 bestselling English paperbacks of 2006. The Waterstone’s chain of British book retailers even instituted a discrete "Painful Lives" section; the W H Smith chain, the section is entitled "Tragic Life Stories"; in each case side-stepping the dilemma of whether to categorize the books under Fiction or Non-fiction.

The readership for these books is estimated to be "80% or 90% female". Roughly 80% of the sales of misery lit books are made not in conventional bookstores but in mass-market outlets.

Well I have officially been blocked from her Facebook page, damn it and I was having so much fun

I hope the family sues the ahit outbid this bitch and the publisher! Fuckin liar!

She says her ex husband told her this. We should interview him. He's the liar.

Two thoughts: People generally need to feel positive about themselves and their lives. In the charedi world, if you don't fit in exactly, you start to hate your life. So you start looking for a new identity. So this young lady latched on to the college is wonderful, women breaking down doors, write a tell all book kind of thing. It's understandable that she would. She wants to feel some excitement about her life. But that world is full of garbage too in the end. (Note, the View producer pushing her to talk about sex.) She might find that eventually and she might not.

The other thing you see from this is an argument for women studying Torah, even Talmud. If she had studied the origin of the laws she might not find them to appear so illogical and archaic.

So once again I say that maybe modern orthodoxy would have been the answer. Unfortunately, the charedi world presents MO as the enemy, so their young people who don't fit in get turned off to the religion entirely before they have a chance to explore MO.

Some of the misery lit genre's authors have said they write in order to come to terms with their traumatic memories, and to help readers do the same. Supporters of the genre also claim the genre's popularity indicates a growing cultural willingness to directly confront topics—specifically child sexual abuse —that once would have been ignored or swept under the rug.

However, a common criticism of the genre is the suggestion that its appeal lies in prurience and voyeurism and the popularity of the genre is its combination of moral outrage and titillation.

Now once you understand what this genre is about and who writes it, you can accept it for what it is. It should be understood as a tabloid personal history which will have elements of truth but is likely to have serious factual flaws which one would expect of the traumatised.

"I, Rigoberta Menchú@ (1983) by Rigoberta Menchú (a book that won Menchú the Nobel Peace Prize in 1992) is one such book containing both truths and falsehoods.

The hook in these books which is expected to be truthful is the description of what the author suffered personally, not the authors understanding what happens to others.

The hook in Feldman's book is not the thirdhand story about the meeting of the penis and the jig saw but rather her personal story about having been married off by her mental father's family to a someone she did not know who made her shave her head and send off her underwear in a bag for inspection by some ancient rabbi. This hook (whose truth is unchallengeable) is the humiliation which the female readers of misery lit are drawn to.

The Hareidim hate Feldman of her publicizing of the aspect of Taharas HaMishpacha which for most people seems sick and pervy and open to mockery.

thank you anon but it does not make things right. downs syndome can be the result of close inter breeding.

to zemach. EPIKORAS if i understand the meaning, means i have hit a raw nerve, you feel pain and are irritable. you are forgiven your stupidity and now back to sleep,perhaps to dream sweet dreams.

ZEMACH,,,Where in the torah may my lost soul find your words that are in themselves to you,as pearls of wisdom, concerning first cousins mating , besides some of our forefathers who were short of females and often resorted to concubines[hagar/ sarah example..NOW I SHALL TRY TO SLEEP IN A BIT LONGER BEFORE TaCKLING MY WORDLY OBLIGATIONS. first off i must cach up on my tanya reading for this morning

W4M, interesting personal revelation. What did you end up doing with the dog?

Barry, your defense of Misery Lit is much too literate for the company of trolls here. (WFM's post above supports my point.) I also think there's a difference between literary falsification of events and false accusations against real people.

Rochelle Rochelle. A woman's journey from Milan to Minsk.

Had Feldman made a success of herself through hard work and overcome some real challenges in her life, I may have had some sort of respect for her. Running off screaming and kicking is childish behavior and should not be rewarded. Slinging mud on, or tainting the reputation of an entire community for the misdeeds of individuals (to include those that shove everything under the rug...) and cashing in on it, is the way of an unscrupulous person. Nothing to be respected. The trash bin is slowly piling up with these miserable OTD outcasts.
End of rant/troll.

Now about the book (on topic...)
I didn't read it, nor do I care to do so.
Miserable people seek not to convey complete truths; it serves not their interests... Fabrication of pseudo events and some fact altering in real affairs is their usual MO.

I believe that truth if supported by untruths/semi truths deems it all a falsehood.

שבת היא מלזעוק, ורפואה שלמה קרובה לבא
Shabbat Shalom to all

Yechiel, that's a little harsh. It's quite an accomplishment extricating oneself from that world. Watch her on the View. She's amazingly articulate for a Satmar. She's accomplished things. The disparaging portrayal of niddah is unfortunate. But that's our fault as a community. We make the religion into a lunacy with chumrahs and superstition and book bans and generally being blowhards. Blame the rabbis who make you think not having a job is a Torah commandment. You wind up with the whole Torah getting chucked. Picking on this little girl ain't the answer. A look in the mirror is much more like it.

You don't see too many suicides by circular saw.

Maybe that happened, but it would be interesting to have more details.

Here is an explanation offered by DF. make of it what you will
"The way I related that story in the book was exactly the way it happened to me: in a conversation. I described a dialogue word for word in which my husband told me the story his brother had told him. I made no claims about the story itself, or if it was true, I just described hearing it being told to me and my reaction to that telling. It was more about the conversation than the actual story. Since then I’ve received a lot of messages about that story; some people seem convinced it was a murder, others are inclined to dismiss it as a suicide. Either way it’s tragic, but again, I don’t make any claims as to its veracity. I hope someone does uncover the truth though."

If you Google Deborah Feldman this post wont show up on the first page,too bad.
Anyone who is bothered by her lies make sure to leave comments where ever you see the book review.
I would love to read the book but would rather spend twenty bucks on actual toilet paper.Also,reading the NY Post and watching The view spewing her lies why by a book that's not even fiction.

the gemara says in sanhedrin 63b that those who worshiped the idols didn't really believe in them but did so to permit them free sex.
these who say that they have a problem with yidishkeit is not true, because you can do whatever you want and still stay in the fold, but so that they can have free sex they knock the system.

Deremes, what lies have you heard from her in either the Post or the View? In the Post she said she talked about her stiff sex life and the oddity of cesem checking. It is quite odd, even if holy. On the view she said she met her husband once before marriage. What's the lie?

Here is an explanation offered by DF. make of it what you will
"The way I related that story in the book was exactly the way it happened to me: in a conversation. I described a dialogue word for word in which my husband told me the story his brother had told him. I made no claims about the story itself, or if it was true, I just described hearing it being told to me and my reaction to that telling. It was more about the conversation than the actual story. Since then I’ve received a lot of messages about that story; some people seem convinced it was a murder, others are inclined to dismiss it as a suicide. Either way it’s tragic, but again, I don’t make any claims as to its veracity. I hope someone does uncover the truth though."

In other words:
Hi I'm Deborah, and I'm too fucking stupid to actually think for myself. My husband - whose entire way of life I now reject - told me the father murdered his own son, so I just believe what I'm told when it comes to anything wrong with Satmer. So if the story involves murder, pedophilia, child molestation, adultery - the chassidim are guilty. I just don't have the bandwidth as a human with a brain to actually think - so I believe what I'm told.

But since I have daddy issues, suffered as a kid and want to dress like a ten dollar whore cause its my body - I am able to think when it comes to religion, which I reject.

In other words, this Deborah is a lunatic. Perfect for buck toothed backwater boyfriend - between the two of them dumber than a box of hammers.

BiF, the problem with your line of thought here is that she's not dumb and she does think for herself, sort of. You have to know the context of how she tells over the tale.

This story was widely disseminated in chassidish circles, I had heard it as well. I had thought it was another "urban myth", so I was surprised to find that at least some element of it was true.
Keep in mind that truth in the hungarian world is largely the circulation of rumors, since very little regarding actual bad things would be told in true form, back in the days before Failed Messiah, Luke Ford, and other bloggers.

Hal,
You seemingly misunderstood my comment. I believe in hard work and consider THAT an accomplishment. Being glorified by a few yutzes solely for her 'strength' in chucking her religious beliefs and not much more to show for it, is not quite praiseworthy in my book.
And yes, I opt to use harsh phraseology to give my points that extra keen edge...

Norman,
I could not have said it better.

That "explanation" is just pathetic.

DF claims;

She knows the story first hand from her brother in law, who wasn't even there and was not then even a Hatzoloh member. (liars need good memories…)

Claims “It was a lot worse then that”, yet she has "only heard a conversation".

She is warning "KJ, there is a murderer in your midst", but is only really “that’s what I have overheard 2 years ago”.

She is calling for "Justice against the father", on the basis of "a rumor she heard, but is not even sure that he is in fact a murderer".

This rumor, is nowhere to be found on the internet, EXCEPT IN DF'S OWN BLOG! IT IS NO WHERE ELSE! ITS BEEN 6 YEARS! Now DF is shamelessly quoting her own fabrication in order to "substantiate the rumor"! thats malicious!

And if DF wants to blow the lid open on ongoing in the community - of which there is plenty - why not stick yo facts?

And where is Feldmans moral highground over a "repressive community", when she herself would stoop as low as accusing an innocent father of murder without a shred of proof? my apologies, let me rephrase; "when she allows herself to publish horrific slander on a person without a shred of evidence, simply based on a overheard conversation that may or may not be true"?

Its despicable.

Some commentators try to shelter DF behind "disclaimers", "just about legally safe against libel", "offering an opinion", etc.

I am afraid that you don't realize how you are actually making the case against her stronger.

Dont you realize that in reducing the reliability of a story, you are actually supporting the accusations of viciousness in this slander?

I mean, the less reliable the story and the greater the need for legal shelter, the more outrageous it is to accuse individuals of murder!

And where the heck is her Chassidic accent? She sounds like she's from Ohio.

Posted by: Hal | February 17, 2012 at 05:43 AM
------

Satmar girls "all" speak and write a "perfect" english.
Even the ones who are not so sophisticated, as Feldman is proof to it...

Unfortunately, in her escape from frumkeit she has taken frumma values with her such as the accpetability of lying. She needs to be taught that this is not acceptable in the Jewish and non-Jewish world.

Even is Ms Feldman fabricated the story,

And slandered “innocent” Hasidic family, so what? THEY fabricate day and night. THEY change the real history according to their dogmas all the time. THEY postulate in all their books that every secular person and every non-religious family are evil a priori. THEY slander secular-humanistic values in every second phrase,

So, why not to fight THEM using their weapons?

If she says that she heard it from a friend of a friend AND the story as heard (even if false) is material to her mother's reaction, then telling any other story would be a lie. Her mother's reaction was to what she heard, not to the objective truth buried in a police report.

Let's face it. All communities, haredi and otherwise, have rumor mills and sometimes these rumor mills get out of hand. Why all this blame of her, rather than the rumor mill that presented the distorted story that she and her mother heard?

i seriously hope hatzolo would be professional and NOT disclose any details of such a case.
When the Holtzbergs were murdered some of the gruesome pix were said to have come via Zaka. I hoped that was untrue too. Professionalism is essential.

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