“You homo, I’m going to cut off your schmeckle!” A transvestite who makes frequent guest appearances on the Howard Stern Show was standing outside Chabad-Lubavitch’s main synagogue at 770 Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, New York Saturday night when he was confronted by a hasid who assaulted him in a repeat hate crime.
The woman, who was born into a haredi family but who is no longer Orthodox, has now filed a petition with the Lod District Court that claims she is in isolation only because she is transgender. She has a history of robbery and prostitution and is serving her third jail term, this time for robbery and assault of her clients.
The results help show why so-called conversion therapy (also known as reparative therapy), like that offered by JONAH and backed by haredi and Modern Orthodox rabbis, is dangerous. The results also establish a group of people that are, in effect, bona fide heterosexuals. Then there's another group that is not a continuum but an assemblage, a variety of people united in their same-sex sexual orientation but who may reflect diverse sexual identities. Discrimination and bigotry shown to people with same-sex attraction is thought be a significant cause of the much higher rate of depression and related disorders found among same-sex people.
"…Because of the Rabbinate’s monopoly over burial practices in Israel, there is no way May can be buried in Jerusalem as a woman. In her will, May wrote "Judaism does not recognize me as the woman that I am. Religious burial would be an insult to my life, my legacy and my values.” She directed in her will that her body be cremated, and that her ashes be buried beneath a kurrajong tree, known for having both male and female flowers, to be planted in her memory. Lacking other options, this is the only way May saw to preserve her identity. [But] last week, May’s estranged mother filed papers in court demanding an ultra-Orthodox burial that would dress May in male shrouds and refer to her with her male birth name.…"
Sruly Stein, who left the Brooklyn hasidic community four years ago, is now in the process of transitioning to be a woman. As you might expect, people within the hasidic community are appalled, and some have voiced that confusion and disgust through some pretty awful text messages and the like, and many people don't understand why she didn't just suffer quietly inside the community and keep up appearances so as not to shame her family and their wider hasidic community – especially because Stein is supposedly descended from the founder of the hasidic movement, the Baal Shem Tov.
For hasidic rebbes and haredi gedolim, the idea that homosexuality is an "abomination" that must be staunchly opposed is axiomatic, so much so that haredi rabbis and publications never refer to homosexuality by name and instead only refer to it as "the abomination." But the Torah also calls other things an "abomination" and these haredi leaders don't really actively fight those – and, in some cases, openly benefit from them. What section of the Torah is it that these top haredi rabbis ignore?
“God, the creator of the world, did not give you authority to judge me, and so I am not interested in asking questions or responding to them,” Shlissel told the court. The court asked Shlissel, who is representing himself, to stand when addressing the court, but Shlissel refused. “I am not interested in getting up,” he said.
“The [Gay] Pride Parade must be canceled to elevate Shira Banki’s soul. If you care for her wellbeing, you must cease this blasphemy against God. The [Gay Pride Parades] bring harsh decrees on Israel.…Whenever there is a Gay Pride Parade, stop the blasphemy against God. Stop the madness and all the people of Israel should repent."
Yishai Shlissel was released from prison only three weeks before this year’s terror attack, but police failed to put him under surveillance despite his open threats to attack the parade again. Shlissel walked right into the parade past police, calmly pulled large knife from his black coat, and began stabbing marchers as horrified onlookers screamed in terror.
…[A]bout 25 years before a jury found that JONAH had engaged in “unconscionable” business practices, Arthur Goldberg pleaded guilty to mail fraud and conspiracy in connection with what the U.S. attorney alleged was a fraudulent scheme of “spectacular” scope, involving bribery and deception related to his work as an underwriter of municipal bonds. And while that case and the lawsuit against JONAH share virtually nothing of substance in common, they both involved Jewish communities with which Goldberg had nurtured ties, ties that those communities likely came to regret.…
"…I chanted my bar mitzvah portion in 1946 to a relatively full synagogue, including several dozen of my relatives, but this, for me, was the end of formal Jewish practice. I did not embrace the ritual duties of a Jewish adult — praying every day, putting on tefillin before prayer each weekday morning — and I gradually became more indifferent to the beliefs and habits of my parents, though there was no particular point of rupture until I was 18. It was then that my father, inquiring into my sexual feelings, compelled me to admit that I liked boys.…"
"…More recently, we have become aware of other matters and controversies relating to Dr Goldwasser. Amongst other things, we have taken on board concerns raised by the LGBTI community. As a result we have reviewed the matter and decided that it is no longer appropriate for Dr Goldwasser to speak at the forum.…"
Earlier today, Israeli Police summoned Rabbi Bentzion “Bentzi” Gopstein – a hard right-wing follower of the late extremist Rabbi Meir Kahane – for questioning after Gopstein made public comments last week supporting church-burning and then doubled down on that incitement to violence in a Facebook post.
At a recent JCW event you allegedly described a patient who "was abused as a child and now lives in South Beach.…I don't need to tell you what's in South Beach.” Did you say this? “I don't remember each word that I say when I speak but I do remember something to that effect.” Did you say, “sexual abuse impacts sexual orientation in very bad ways”? “I do not recall that at all, but if I did, and if you heard that on a tape, then that was inappropriate and ill-advised.”
Israeli President Reuven “Ruby” Rivlin was supposed to go to the Kehillat Yaakov haredi school in the Ramot neighborhood of Jerusalem this coming Sunday to open the school year. But Rivlin’s visit to the school had to be cancelled after the school’s rabbis became enraged with Rivlin because he spoke out against Jewish terrorism and against homophobia.
A psychologist was suspended in Florida for breaching a patient's confidentiality and related issues, and then suspended again (twice) for failing to pay the fines and get the extra continuing education mandated by the state licensing authority in order for him to continue practicing. This psychologist also supports dangerous and discredited reparative therapy/conversion therapy which claims to able to change gay men into heterosexuals. And now Tzedek, the Australian Jewish group formed by Manny Waks and several others to fight child sex abuse, has invited this psychologist to speak. Who is this psychologist?
“The mere fact of my coming here means addressing my deepest fears,” one of the haredi men said. “We’re very homophobic,” another haredi man, who is reportedly prominent in the haredi community, said. “The haredi…community fears homosexuals and all those related concepts. As long as it’s in Tel Aviv that’s one thing, but when they come to Jerusalem it’s terrible.”
Pashkivils (wall posters) posted in the haredi neighborhood of Mea Shearim in Jerusalem praise Yishai Shlissel, the haredi man who stabbed six people at last week's Gay Pride Parade. One of Shlissel's victims, a 16-year-old girl, died from her wounds. Among other things, the poster says Shlissel did the deeds of the biblical figure Pinchas, who killed a prince of one of the tribe of Israel as the prince was having sex in public with a non-Israelite woman.
Belz hasid Jiří Langer argued that “brotherly love,” i.e. love of a man for a man, is in fact the deepest basic urge in Judaism, at the basis of the commandment of “love thy fellow man as thyself.” In his view, in early Judaism the erotic stream of love between men prevailed, but over the generations “love of woman” prevailed.. He also argued that an erotic relationship, which not actualized in the form of intercourse, is what connects yeshiva students to one another and to their rabbi.
The rabbi’s wife, who police believe knew about the attack ahead of time but failed to warn police or parade organizers, was first briefly detained by police Thursday night as they tried unsuccessfully to locate her husband. When police returned to the rabbi’s home Saturday night to detain the woman for additional questioning and to find her husband (who was not home), the woman collapsed in shock and was rushed to a local hospital for treatment.
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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."