Rabbi Harry Maryles has written an homage to his dear friend Rabbi Morris Esformes. Rabbi Esformes is a large and frequent donor to charity, and supports many Orthodox Jewish causes worldwide, but especially in Chicago. Esformes lived for many years there, and was a principal of the Ida Crown Academy, Chicago's premier Orthodox Jewish day school. Rabbi Esformes received his rabbinic ordination, Harry notes, from Rabbi Ahron Soleveitchik.
Rabbi Morris Esformes is a despicable man, a nursing home robber baron whose homes have killed and endangered patients while Rabbi Esformes made off with money that should have been used for patient care and safety.
I have written about Rabbi Esformes several times over the years. A simple Google search turns up enough information to tell Rabbi Maryles what his dear friend Rabbi Esformes really does to make his money. But Harry did not do that Google search.
Residents in Rabbi Esformes homes died of heat stroke. Temperatures inside were found to be extraordinarily hot, in one case, the state found temperatures of at least 94º Fahrenheit. Rabbi Esformes housed unregistered sex offenders in his regular patient population and took no precautions to protect those vulnerable adults.
State regulators find Rabbi Esformes to be beyond the pale:
…Tammy Leonard, spokeswoman for the state health department, said while many facilities have deficiencies, Emerald Park's history is unique.
"We do have many facilities that don't have deficiencies," Leonard said. "Even those who do, don't have as many and at the severity that this facility has had. The history of this facility is unique, and that is the reason why we are taking these extraordinary measures. They have an egregious compliance history."
The state stepped up actions against Emerald Park because of its April 22 survey and past history.
"It had nothing to do with any outside pressure," Leonard said.
She said the state's main objective is residents' safety.
"If we see a situation where residents are imperiled, it is our job to fix it," Leonard said.
Lawyers for Emerald Park Health Care Center have until this afternoon to respond to the state health official's request that the Evergreen Park nursing home be placed in receivership and eventually closed.…
Rabbi Harry Mayles knows none of this. And he does not care. The same is true for hundreds of Orthodox rabbis worldwide, haredi and Modern Orthodox, who take money or benefit from Rabbi Morris Esformes.
Here's my question. Rabbi Esformes's took actions that killed elderly people. Did he intend to kill them? I don't think so. Still, they suffered and died as a result.
How can Jews take money from and honor a man whose actions killed innocents?
Yet they do. Orthodox rabbi after rabbi after rabbi line up to receive money from Rabbi Esformes. His name is placed on yeshiva and synagogue buildings worldwide.
These synagogues and yeshivas are built with the very lives of those elderly people, non-Jews, who wrongfully suffered and died under Rabbi Esformes substandard care.
Jews should have zero tolerance for this type of thing, but we do not. Like Harry Maryles, Jews are willfully blind to the truth of where the money that supports their Torah learning and institutions comes from.
When God calls in His accounts, I don't think he's going to look at all the Torah Harry Maryles learned in Orthodox institutions paid for by the blood of innocents and be happy. Instead, God will ask a simple series of questions – "When the weakest among you, the poor, sick elderly, were tortured and killed, you were silent. Why? You took money and praised the man who caused those wrongful deaths. Why? Is the blood of my creation meaningless to you?
You have no excuse, Harry, and neither do your fellow Orthodox rabbis. Say no to the money and take down your praise.
Here's Harry's piece in PDF for archival purposes:
UPDATE – A few minutes after posting this FailedMessiah readers left comments on Harry's blog proving Esformes is dirty. Harry edited or deleted those comments and then closed the comments to that post entirely. Here's what happened:
Rabbi Harry Maryles is a fraud. He is no more interested in the truth than he is in breaking his leg. Morrie's money is dirty, Harry, and so is the Torah it supports, stained and dripping with the blood of defenseless elderly people killed by his negligence and his thievery. That's your Torah, Harry, tattered and dripping in blood. Hope your God likes it.
Here is the entire comment thread from Harry's blog in PDF: