Rabbi Israel Dresner argues that there was a direct line between the Holocaust and the American civil rights struggle. "Jews are opposed to injustice. We are opposed to hatred and bigotry and bias and racism and exploitation and so forth. And that's what we are supposed to be opposed to." But do we in 2013? Arguably not.
"According to Halacha (Jewish law), we are not allowed to save a goy (non-Jew) from death. For example, if one sees a goy drowning in a river and he cries to the Jew that he should rescue him by throwing the safety ring, if no other goy will ever know that this cry was ignored and no danger will emerge from it to Jews, the Jew is not allowed to throw the safety ring according to the Halacha"
One month after Yossi reported the abuse to police, Taubenfeld turned himself in. He was charged with 30 counts of forcible touching, endangering the welfare of a child and third-degree sex abuse. And then pleaded guilty. But the sweetheart plea deal Taubenfeld was offered meant he would serve no time in prison. Instead, he was sentenced to six years probation. Taubenfeld is still reportedly teaching at one of New Square’s largest yeshivas.
The Australian-based Joe Gutnick, the late Chabad-Lubavitch Rebbe's handpicked emissary to Israel and an internationally known mining magnate who has allegedly swindled hundreds of millions of dollars from fellow Chabadniks (mostly ba'al teshuvas) and others, has just lost a $1 million dollar suit. Gutnick in effect swindled a fellow Chabadnik, Roy Tashi, out of a million Australian dollars after offering to help Tashi get out of his financial crisis. the judge also found that Gutnick's testimony was unreliable and evasive.
The warring factions have reached an agreement with the help of the Williamsburg Satmar Rebbe Zalman Teitelbaum. Rabbi Eliyahu Posen, named by non-Edah-Haredit haredi leader Rabbi Nissim Karelitz will be appointed as the haredi inspector of the Beit Shemesh construction site at the root of the violence. Posen will watch to make sure no graves are being disturbed. All complaints from haredim about the site will be directed to him, and construction can now go on unabated. The agreement is based on the fact that, despite the false claims by Edah Haredit's #1 Rabbi Yitzhchok Tuvia Weiss and his Asra Kadisha extortionist-thugs, there are no ancient Jewish graves at the site.
Mass deportations of Eritrean refugees is also planned for after Rosh Hashana despite international law and treaties Israel signed which prohibit it. Even foreign workers hired to take care of elderly Israelis denied gas masks. IDF says if crisis develops, it will distribute gas masks to them. "The foreign population is mainly in big cities, in houses without a safe space, and their exposure to injury is huge. But Israel isn't even taking care of its own citizens right now. So it's important that first thing's [are done] first."
There is an expensive type of mask used for elderly, disabled and seriously ill people that has an air pump built in that reportedly could provide protection to many (but probably not all) haredim with beards. But the government does not have enough of those masks to give them to haredim. Instead, haredim are refusing to shave their beards, with most opting to wait until leading haredi rabbis tell them they must shave – something many believe will not happen until an actual chemical weapon has struck Israel or such an attack is undeniably imminent.
An unidentified leading haredi rabbi from the Mea-Shearim-based Edah Haredit haredi umbrella organization who is allegedly "from among the poskei ha-dor" allegedly convinced a Zionist Orthodox wife not to donate her husband's organs – even though her husband allegedy died of cardiac failure, not brain stem death. The woman had already agreed to donate her husband's organs. Eight recipients who had already been told they would be receiving transplants had to be told that instead of a new chance for life, they may die while waiting for a transplant.
Rabbi Elya Ber Wachtfogel, the rosh yeshiva (dean) of the Yeshiva of South Fallsburg, who is considered to be a haredi “gadol” (a most senior, important haredi rabbi, has allegedly so far raised $200,000 to pay new attorneys for haredi über fraudster and thief Eliyahu Weinstein’s appeal and has promised those attorneys that he will provide up to $400,000 in total.
MSNBC's Chris Hayes did an excellent report last night on measles outbreaks due to lack of vaccination – including the recent outbreak in haredi Brooklyn caused by parents who refused to vaccinate their kids and a much smaller outbreak in a fundamentalist megachurch caused by parents who refused to vaccinate their kids. (Notice a parallel?)
As Satmar power-broker Rabbi David Niederman gave his NYC mayoral endorsement to Bill Thompson, promising Thompson more than 10,000 Satmar votes, Thompson responded by promising Satmar that he would help them on the metzitzah b'peh (MBP) issue, the direct mouth-to-bloody-penis-sucking done (primarily) by haredi mohels after cutting off the baby's foreskin and removing it and the membrane beneath it.
Diaspora Relations Minister Naftali Bennett, who is also israel's Religious Services Minister and a Zionist Orthodox Jew, misrepresents the history and location of the new "egalitarian" plaza south of the actual Kotel (Western Wall) prayer area. Not only that, Bennett did it on a self-made video in English.
Commenting on the steep cuts in government social services and welfare programs that have been the staple of haredi life for decades, the push by the government to compel haredi schools to teach math and other secular subjects, and the looming haredi draft, a prominent haredi community activist has called on haredim to consider separating from the State of Israel.
Haredim want women – even female IDF officers – banned from all public ceremonies and performances haredi soldiers might have to attend due to “immodesty” and due to a derivative rabbinic law that forbids males to hear a female sing. (Males can hear a group of females sing or a female sing a religious, rather than a secular, song according to most normative understandings of that law, but haredim reject those interpretations.)
Why does Weinstein say he shouldn't be prosecuted? The Lakewood-based thief claims the US Attorney knew he was stealing and accepted his guilty plea in another fraud case. Since this second fraud took place during the end of the time the first fraud was ongoing, he argues that his second fraud – which wiped out generations of wealth from one non-Jewish family – should have been included in his original guilty plea. Indeed, the consummate liar and thief says, he thought it was – even though no mention of the second fraud is made in his guilty plea.
"Earlier today, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP released its report marking the completion of the firm’s eight-month investigation into allegations of past abuse at Yeshiva University High School for Boys. There are findings set forth in this report that serve as a source of profound shame and sadness for our institution. On behalf of the Board of Trustees and the entire University community, I express my deepest and most heartfelt remorse, and truly hope that our recognition of these issues provides some level of comfort and closure to the victims."
Many, if not most, haredim in Europe in 1939 would have been unable to fluently speak, read or write their native country’s language, and they would have known little of their native country’s history or its government structure. The same is true for many hasidim in today’s New Square, as well. Yet the Government of Israel is using similar tests to change the classifications of African refugees in a bid to skirt international treaties and deport them back to the countries from which they fled, often in terror.
"The Investigative Team has concluded that multiple incidents of varying types of sexual and physical abuse took place at YUHSB during the relevant time period. This conduct was carried out by a number of individuals in positions of authority at the High Schools at various times throughout the period covered by the Investigation, including, in certain instances, after members of the administration had been made aware of such conduct. In addition, the Investigative Team found that, during the relevant time period, sexual and physical abuse took place at other schools comprising the University as well."
"We call upon Tzipi Livni Minister of Justice to reject this plan, to demand equal rights for women to pray at the women’s section of the Western Wall. Women of the Wall is calling for a 24 hour sit-in at the Western Wall in the hopes that the government will reject this plan and support the District Court Decision in which all women can pray freely at the Western Wall."
Disgraced former Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty CEO William Rapfogel allegedly stole millions from the Met Council in a conspiracy with the Breslov hasid-run Century Coverage insurance agency. The scheme, which along with Rapfogel is currently being investigated by New York's attorney general and other law enforcement and regulatory agencies, allegedly involved Century Coverage overcharging the Met Council for insurance and then kicking back a portion of those overcharges to Rapfogel, both as cash and as campaign contributions to Rapfogel's chosen candidates. Now proof of those illegal campaign contributions has been found.
YU allegedly did not tell AIG about alleged child sexual abuse at its affiliated Manhattan all-boys high school as YU became aware of it. In fact, YU allegedly continued to hide this alleged abuse from AIG even after the bombshell $380 million lawsuit was filed against it by alleged abuse victims earlier this year – and settlements with some (or even all) of the alleged victims may not be covered by AIG as a result.
The fact that communal leaders in these two cases are protecting and enabling abusers, or condemning legitimate accusers, underscores that our community still has a long way to go. And given the high stakes of life and death and mental health of our children, we can’t afford to wait. Things will only change if our community loudly and articulately demands it.
“It's all a matter of supply and demand. We examine what people need and want, and sanction it. Many people want mehadrin kashrut, and they trust mehadrin meat even if its production wasn't supervised in Jerusalem. We're willing to supply this need. It's not really up to us, we only sense what the public wants, and allow the public a chance to chose. I don't see anything divisive about it. Someone might wish to buy more expensive diapers. This is the same thing, we only supply the variety.…Believe me, the regular kashrut is also a good kashrut. Anyone can come in and eat."
Four prominent Breslov Shuvu Banim leaders – including the son and grandson of Shuvu Banim’s head, Rabbi Eliezer Berland – who were arrested last week for alleged money laundering, tax fraud and related crimes had their remands extended for five more days yesterday, and a fifth was released to house arrest.
Wendy Runge, who pleaded guilty to defrauding the State of Iowa's film support program, was released from prison last week after her sentence was reconsidered. But Runge, whose insincerity and her false claims of anti-Semitism on the part of prosecutors and judges got her a 10-year sentence instead of probation, is doing it again, intimating in Ami Magazine that anti-Semitism was behind her long prison sentence.
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The New York Times: "The legal conflict has revealed a deep tension within the Orthodox community that has been reported in the Jewish weekly press, and has been the almost exclusive topic of discussion on some Orthodox Jewish Web sites like failedmessiah.com and unorthodoxjew.blogspot.com in the months since Mr. Hikind brought up sexual abuse."
The New York Times: "In Postville, residents were dismayed by a report posted on a Jewish Web site, FailedMessiah.com, saying that Sholom Rubashkin held a celebration in Postville last week after he was released from detention on $1 million bail."
THE COLUMBIA JOURNALISM REVIEW: "[Jeff] Abbas passed the video to Shmarya Rosenberg, a blogger in St. Paul, Minnesota, who has provided some of the best coverage of the raid and its aftermath; a few days later, the video was referenced in The New York Times."
The Forward: Postville’s City Council initially voted to support the idea of a community benefits agreement, but later voted to withdraw support for such an agreement — a development first reported on the blog Failed Messiah.
Samuel Freedman in the Jerusalem Post: "[T]the scandal of Agriprocessors has been chronicled from Stephen Bloom's book Postville to Nathaniel Popper's investigative reports in the Forward to Julia Preston's coverage in The New York Times to the muckraking blogger FailedMessiah.com."
Religion In The News: "So authoritative has Rosenberg become that he is now regularly quoted by the Register; and his site has been referenced by the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and both the Forward and the JTA."
Tablet Magazine: “If you’re Jewish and you were married five years ago, you have not confronted the problem that exists today,” Rosenberg says. “The problem is much worse for anyone who isn’t Orthodox. As the Haredi strength grows and their control grows, that’ll become clearer.”
Religion Dispatches: "The best collection of articles I’ve found can be perused at failedmessiah.com, the blog of Shmarya Rosenberg, who, with the perspective of insider turned disillusioned outsider, has been probing the nuances and hypocrisies of the ultra-Orthodox establishment since 2004."