Thursday, December 27, 2007

Wrong And Strong

I don’t think I have to assert anyone my staunch support for Preserve Ramapo. Any resident of Rockland county with an IQ higher than 21 should support them, unless they want to end up living in a swamp and paying a very high price for it. One article on their site caught my attention. With all due respect to the author, he totally misses the point. I reproduce an abreged version here, (in italics) responding to his points one by one. Read the original here.

Ramapo’s Hasidic bloc vote provided victory for DA Zugibe and for Sheriff Kralik's re-elections." That "margin of victory" would be the villages of Kaser and New Square…
New Square Deputy Mayor Spitzer explains that neither New Square nor any other group that votes together has anything to apologize for when it comes to taking care of their own interests. Other ethnic and racial groups, as well as unions, traditionally vote for one party or another.” Spitzer suggests that New Square is just like other groups - taking care of their own interests. It is impossible to find an equivalent insult to truth.

1. Kaser and New Square are not an ethnic group; they are sects. There are no racial groups or unions that repeatedly vote 100% to 0. The only other 100 to 0 or 99 percent to 1 percent elections occurred in Saddam Hussein's Iraq and Joseph Stalin's Soviet Union.

This is circular reasoning – the very reason they reason as one is that they are a sect. One cannot leave his race, but dissidents do leave Square and Kaser (albeit too few). The comparison to Communism is disingenuous because in Russia and Iraq there was only one candidate. In unions elections are also pretty much self-rigged: those who vote are the interested parties. Those who don’t are those who joined their union because unions have every major organization by the throat, and you can’t get a job without signing on. For such people the vote is meaningless as the Union leaders make high six figures to cut sweetheart deals with big corporations on the backs of workers who get low hourly wages. The reason Kaser and Square vote in bloc and en masse because they know that each vote counts, and they know their little parasite paradise is at stake – and they know how to ensure it. As George Benson said - never give up on a good thing.

2. "Other groups" hear the pleadings of many candidates. Whom to vote for is not dictated by a community's leaders, who decide how the village would vote. "Other groups" do not obediently submit to the orders of "community leaders." They think for themselves. A community's interests may be similar but voters are never 100 percent in agreement about which candidates will best serve their interests.

Kaser and Square also heard all candidates, and systematically sell their souls to the highest (read: most corrupt) candidate. As per your caims that others think for themselves… we’ll get back to it. But according to my observations hardly anyone thinks at all. If anyone thinks for themselves, these are the Sqverers who know exactly what’s good for them, and don’t need the Rebbe (=ADMO”R , Shaman) to tell them what and how to get it.

3. More people vote in presidential and gubernatorial elections than in local elections, an indisputable fact. Not so in New Square and Kaser. The combined tally for the two villages in the local elections of 2003 and 2005 was 5,085. In the presidential and gubernatorial elections of 2004 and 2006, only 4,626. In the presidential and governor's elections of 2004 and 2006, 200,051 voted in Rockland, compared to 125,509 in local elections of 2003 and 2005; 60 percent more for president and governor. In New Square and Kaser, turnout is 10 percent higher in local elections.
Why are New Square and Kaser so distinguishably different from the rest of the county and the entire nation? As an editorial in this newspaper asked, "Are all the voters registered in the area living in the area?"

Now now. You just touched on a very painful topic. This country was originally conceived and built from the bottom up, and specifically opposed to the other possibility. This has, sadly, changed over the past several decades, because most people became addicted to comfort and entertainment. If not for people being so busy with Lidsey Lohan shaking herself and A-Rod clutching his ball or gulping another Bud, the Hassidim would not have nearly the weight they carry now. Any citizens’ first duty is to be well acquainted with local politics and politicians, even if MTV doesn’t tell you so.

As to why they are so different – because we live in a Democracy that allows Larry Flint and Summer Redstone to become millionaires, Nazis demonstrating openly and blacks rioting with impunity. So too, nutty groups like Amish, Mormon, Davidian and Hassidic sects are tolerated. What should not be tolerated is their fraudulent enterprises, bribery and government-milking frauds.

Your last question hits the nail on its head – we’ll come back to this later.

4. Rocklanders believe the county's poorest communities are Spring Valley and Haverstraw, where the median family income is $45,000. Not true! The county's poorest communities are Kaser and New Square where the median family income is $12,000 to $13,000, according to the 2000 U.S. Census. How do those village families with four, five and six kids exist? Is it a self-imposed poverty or are they victims of an unsympathetic economy? Please Deputy Mayor Spitzer, explain.

Again, a little more examining reality instead of J-Lo’s cutlets, and thinking for oneself instead of reading the Cosmopolitan wouldn’t hurt anyone. Poverty and richness aren’t defined by median income but by de-facto income, something John Zogby never told you and never will. Neither will Hillary, Pelosy or any pseudo-Republican sellouts. Have you ever walked the streets of New Square or Kaser? Have you ever been in their homes? They have huge, lavishly furnished houses, late-model fancy cars, not six but sixteen kids, all outfitted in matching European designer clothing, and the workweek averages 22 hours of schmoozing in the mikva. So where does the money come from? From you, idiot. Take out your last paystub, and look at all those deductions – where do you think the money goes? These people are “victims” of an economy that’s all too sympathetic to dependency, selling votes against turning a blind eye to corruption, racketeering and defrauding the treasury (how do you think that wild turkey Teddy Kennedy stays in power so long?). Of course half the voters come from Brooklyn! Where do you think all the residents went once (actually twice) they voted in Rockland? They went to reciprocate in Brooklyn! So why aren’t they investigated and prosecuted? Again, because as long as there’s running water and the beer is cold and Britney is hot, the Jones won’t do a thing.

5. Young people from all "other groups" are in the armed forces. Dozens of kids from Haverstraw and Spring Valley are, but none from New Square and Kaser. If this absence were due to a religious abhorrence to war and killing I would shout my support. Sadly, that is not the case.
I anticipate this view will trigger accusations of anti-Semitism or "self-hating Jew." I preempt the allegation. I am a very proud secular Jew. Proud of the contributions to humanity of secular Jews like Einstein, Freud and thousands of others in the sciences, literature and arts.
In my 83 years I have felt the searing sting of anti-Semitism, as has my extended family in a more tragic way. I saw with my own eyes, as a U.S. combat soldier in Germany, the holocaustic consequences of Nazi anti-Semitism. If this preemption doesn't shield me, I say to the accusers, if I am anti-Semitic and a "self-hating Jew" then so are millions of Israeli Jews who resent the "haredim"'s (Hebrew word for ultra-Orthodox) perversion of their democracy.

I hear this idiotic argument all too often. Recruitment in suburbia is usually 0%, except for the pockets of poverty (someone’s gotta do our dirty work, ain’t they? Can’t make ‘em commute from Rednecktown). Why do you think you mentioned Spring Valley and Haverstraw, not West Nyack or Bardonia?
The Charedim in Israel refuse to join the army because they are ideologically opposed to a secular, [anti] Jewish state. This is quite a complex issue, but to put it simply, you wouldn’t expect the Indian tribes to join Cortez’s army, would you? And yes, the “millions” of secular Israelis who hate Charedim are, in fact, racists and Anti-Semites. The bulk of IDF soldiers (not the fat armchair generals who have fun with the girls and have high salaries) come mostly from traditionalist homes, and are far less resentful of Charedim. In short, don’t confuse the media with the population.
Those who reject our Law, the Torah, and view themselves as “Jews” based on nothing but race, are, indeed, nothing but racists. Resentment of Charedim is really blatant mostly among the ultra-secular, leftist elites, who, for the most part, dodge the Army under different excuses.

Being a Jew has nothing to do with Einstein and Freud. They were secular-western people who contributed to modern society, but their Jewish lineage was accidental, and irrelevant to their accomplishment. If you credit Judaism with Einstein’s discoveries, shouldn’t you credit Judaism with David Twerski’s (ADMO”R of Square) evil and corruption?

In short, there’s nothing undemocratic with bloc-votes or belonging to a nutty sect. There is everything undemocratic with corruption, fraud and theft – as well as tolerating them. Those who listen to Lindey Lohan who tells them “don’t go to vote – look at my wares” are a thousand time nuttier sect that those who listen to a corrupt rebbe who tells them where to bet more bang for their buck.

© Joseph Izrael 2007

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Stained Class (Israel Syndrome Pt. IV)

The iron forge. The crucible. This is what Klal Yisroel’s residence - nay, cradle - is termed by Chazal. The Egyptian exodus is considered the independence of Jews and our becoming a nation. But wasn’t it meant to happen earlier?

Yaakov Avinu blesses his sons before his death. Each son by himself, the brothers - together them all. Seemingly, neither the brothers’ belief that they’d be kings and nations’ progenitors, nor Yossef’s dreams of a totally unified nation materialized. With the twelve brothers’ death come two centuries of incertitude and servitude, culminating in Kabbolas HaTorah – the acceptance of the Law – at Sinai. Under common Law and leadership, the Nation was now clearly defined – which became all the more evident with the conquest of the Patriarch’s Land.

The establishment of the Jewish monarchy wasn’t easy, nor did it happen fast. The way to the throne was fraught with many a bloodbath. Despite feuds, even until Shaul’s ascent to the throne, the Nation was one. Sadly, this wasn’t a given for too long. Shlomo Hamelech, the wisest of all men, committed a grave error – for which he was duly criticized. Duly – but not respectfully. His critic had to flee in exile, but when he spotted a moment of weakness in the reign of Shlomo’s successor, he came back with a vengeance.

Yerav’am ben Nevat split the kingdom and cast two golden calves on the way to the Bais Hamikdosh to prevent Jews from attending the Temple for worship. By doing so, he not only became one of the most infamous Jews in history, but set a precedent for all future dissidents. Unfortunately, he is followed by a long line of ideologues and sects that further harmed and weakened Israel through the generations. Helenizers, Esseans, Karaites, Jacob Frank, Shabtai Tzvi, Maskilim, Hassidism, Reform, Bundists, Zionism, Modern Orthodxy have all contributed to further chop and trim Klal Yisroel – some of these groups with the explicit intention of doing so.

Before you jump at my throat, accusing me of comparing this to that, let me make clear that I’m only comparing the process by which new groups form. Point is, every time Jews have an idea, are unhappy with a certain situation, or just want to reject authority, they form a new group, generally heralding some tremendous innovation – which G-D somehow couldn’t figure out for five thousand years.

Traditionally, Judaism has viewed any innovation –for good or otherwise- with suspicion. Even the groups and ideas that eventually became accepted were absorbed slowly, gradually, and their acceptance was fraught with opposition and controversy.

That people take their beliefs and ideals seriously – seriously enough to live by them to a rather high degree – is generally a good thing. Extremism is good if the ends are good and good is not arbitrarily self-defining (or defined self-servingly). But at a certain point extremism becomes fanaticism. Where and how exactly to define this is not easy and will vary according to one’s beliefs and perceptions. But I’m fairly convinced many would agree that forming segregated groups that won’t intermingle based on their ideology – and in many cases much less; the name of a godforsaken village in Galicia is often enough – is indeed fanaticism. The fact that in secular society there are almost no such barriers (e.g. marriage between political leftists and right-wingers or different branches of a religion) may be an indication they aren’t too dedicated. So how about the fact that the very same loyalty to G-d, in the name of which we seclude in groups within groups, is so blatantly disregarded in other areas? (Of course tolerating a grand ganef - or worse - in a community isn’t comparable to an openly different ideology, but it still doesn’t justify the airtight segregationism ubiquitous within Judaism.)

Alas, greed, corruption and hunger for power make this über-idealism even less rosy than it seems. Add to this the sad fact that the stubborn isolationism continues even in the face of existential danger, - makes you feel like checking in the nearest sanatorium. Or joining the KKK. Or getting a hook and a rope from Home Depot – you can do it, we can help. Oh, wait – that’s exactly what we’re doing, on a larger scale.

Is our idealism really as true as it seems? If so, how come so many practice only in a tribal, folkloristic way, couldn’t care less about the principles yet stay within a specific fold/mold? And how come the most principled people who have such a clear picture of the trees are blind to the forest?

Isn’t it possible, despite all obstacles, fears and doubts, to achieve at least a certain sense of unity and solidarity? For collaboration at least on the broadest levels? Can’t at least some of the stupidity, the selfishness, paranoia and corruption be trimmed away? Or do we want another dip in the crucible?

How History will unfold no one can tell, yet all can influence. How the script will play itself out until the grand finale largely depends on the cast.

© Joseph Izrael 2007

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Lickin' The Gun

United Patriots of America

Attention Ramos & Compean Supporters!

Remember when that fella’ Noah S. Feldman went to the Noo Yawn Timz and told ‘em how the intolerant Jooz don’t want to save Goyim’s lives on Shabbos? Rember how the entire MO establishment was set in motion, over 7463 frenzied articles were published: “yes we do!” “dada Feldman! You iz da liar, not we iz da liar!” (Notice how Harav Hagaon Dr. Norman Lamm SHLIT”A disingenuously stated that intermarriage is the step which definitely cuts off a Jew from his Nation and heritage, conveniently forgetting what he wrote before, namely that “Reform is not a legitimate form of Judaism yet is valid” – knowing full and well that Reform recognizes mixed marriages and their conversion standards are lower even than those of Marc Angel. But that’s not the issue now.) The real issue is that the Agudah and the RCA know very well what is important for them. While they have enough time on their hands to issue meaningless declarations for or against evolution, global warming and such petty idiosyncrasies, they never say a word that could ever offend any politician. And they don’t even live up to their own standards and principles.

When is the last time you heard a psak forbidding the employment of illegal immigrants? Wouldn’t it be better to employ “at risk kids”, dropouts or kids who can’t learn (either Yeshiva or HS) instead of Mexican gangbangers? Or do the elites in YU who hold academic “jobs” paid by taxpayers, really look down on the “proletariat” who build their houses, cook their food and sell them their goods? Why don’t they care the workers lose their jobs to illegals? (All this while accusing Yeshivaleit of looking down on baalei batim!) Will any bais din have the guts to pasken whether fraudulently obtaining government assistance of any kind is considered “מוסר ממון ישראל ביד עכו"ם”– delivering a Jew’s money to the Gentile authorities? After all, there are many who harp about mesirah regarding child molesters.

But back to the initial subject: where are the champions of humanitarian concern, diversity, tolerance and equality when border patrol agents Ramos and Compean rot in jail for the crime of doing their job? Where are the Nobel-Prize winning (well, almost) journalists of the tepid, vapid, mealy-mouthed Cross-Purposes who lecture us about how grateful we must be to this great nation, (to the extent that we may even be permitted to eat turkey with cranberry sauce – bshinuy, of course) while marines are accused of “massacre” for doing their job? Yes, I’m talking about the Marines led by Jeffrey Chessani who were set up by Tim McGuirk and John Murtha (you know, the one who called Marines “Nazis”, and also voted against a senate ethics committee (why?) yet Dov Bear didn’t throw a fit about it.) But there’s something you can actually do;

First read this, if you haven’t yet:
Mr. Delahunt said that between February 2005 and June 2007, there have been 1,982 incidents in which Border Patrol agents have been assaulted. He said the numbers would 'support the premise that Border Patrol agents operate in a climate of tension, danger and even fear for the safety of themselves and others”.

President Bush should immediately commute the prison sentences of two former U.S. Border Patrol agents convicted in the shooting of a drug-smuggling suspect, says the chairman of a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee.

Rep. Bill Delahunt, Massachusetts Democrat who heads the subcommittee on international organizations, human rights and oversight, said in a resolution yesterday the 11- and 12-year sentences for Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean, respectively, were "profoundly disproportionate" based on federal sentencing guidelines.
Read the full article here. Then go here to send faxes to your state & Fed senators on the issue. IT IS FREE and takes less than 3 minutes! Please do your minimal share of civil duty!

This request is coming directly from Joe Loya (Nacho's Father-in-law):

Mr. Loya has requested that each of you call the following three people (Congressman Delahunt, Senator Feinstein, and Congressman Conyers) and demand that they proceed with the investigation of U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton for his malicious and wrongful prosecution of our Border Patrol agents.
These members of Congress were specifically chosen because they each previously called for just such an investigation, but none has materialized

Feel free to call your Congressman and /or Senators as well, but please contact these three first. I have provided you (below) with as many pieces of contact information for each of these three people as possible.

Please, use this information to make yourself and our two heroes known.
Also, please reply to this email and let us know what progress you make along with whatever replies or information you receive.

Please, don't just wait for a miracle; this is your chance to BE THE MIRACLE! Thank you in advance for your work on this. Good luck and God bless. --

Congressman Bill Delahunt (10th District Massachussetts):
Bill Delahunt2454
Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 202-225-3111 Fax: 202-225-5658 eMail:

Senator Diane Feinstein (Senior Senator from California):
Senator Dianne Feinstein
331 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Phone: (202) 224-3841 Fax: (202) 228-3954

Congressman John Conyers (14th District Michigan):
John Conyers2426
Rayburn Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-5126 Fax : (202) 225-0072 eMail -

This e-mail has been forwarded to you by Ron Bass
United Patriots of America -

Heritage Foundation: SCHIP would increase illegals' access to Medicaid

The Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2007 (HR 3963), passed in the Senate and the House, significantly changes the law with respect to both legal and illegal immigrants. It affects not only the children's health program (SCHIP) but also the far larger general Medicaid program. Please read entire article!

So there are your Jewish leaders who are supposed to care about you. They’ll tell you to donate to this or that charity, set up committees and groups to solve educational and economical problems, yet refuse to take the first common-sense step. It’s OK to sing “seu sheorim” for Charlie Kushnir all the way to his cell, but in return for his support you must not challenge his reliance on cheap labor! Hey, if you can save 40 to 50% on your cleaning girl, isn’t it worth it to let gangbangers invade the neighboring areas and suck up even more social services? Uh-oh that might backfire! One day they’ll be more numerous than us… and than all your good friends, the politicians will tell you: “Asta la vista, rebi!”

Invest in Judaism – buy a rabbi!

Lickin' the gun, lickin' the hand that feeds you.
Lickin' the gun finger lickin' fun.
Senator husband going for broke
I've gotta prove I'm not a joke
Watch religion come and go
Watch corruption on their shows
Buy your silence, money for blood
Out of the ark and into the flood…”
-“Lickin’ the gun” by Bruce Dickinson (Tattoed Millionnaire, 1990)

© Joseph Izrael 2007

Monday, December 17, 2007

Turbo Lover (Twin Turbos)

Chananya Weissmann, who is greatly honored to hold the first reference in my links section, had an interesting article out a few months ago. The good ol’ schidduch crisis, again. Weissman, however, deviated this time from his usual approach of attacking the rigid social idiosyncrasies. Instead, he jumped on the masses’ bandwagon, blaming everything on the charedim in covert words. He generally addresses the subject as a whole, and when focusing on a specific community, it’s more the MO crowd. Yet this time he imports the Charedi meshigassen and blames the MO‘s problems on Charedim.

Guys and girls aren’t allowed to mix freely, a year in an Israeli Yeshiva turns the immaculate virginity of unsuspecting YU kids into rabid Yeshivish hard-liners, and Frisch grads simply cannot resist the temptation of deserting to the deepest darkest dungeons of Neturei Karta, right? I wonder whether Belz and Vizhnitz were successful in smuggling into the Young Israel crowd their demand for a spotless pedigree as a prerequisite to any prospective match?

In my opinion Weissmann totally misses the point. There is, of course, a common denominator in the schidduch crises on both sides of the aisle. But that is, so far, out dirty little secret. So let’s first give everyone a round of good bashing. The Charedi meshigassen are pretty easy for all to see: Hassidim want a fat schwer with lots of gelt, life support, a house, (“viz finish basmint tzi rent out for other chussid who vant hous viz finish basmint”) a Lexis, a Seberben and a beezniss. Of course, a “yichuss” to Rashi, Rabbi Yochanan HaSandlar and Dovid Hamelech goes without saying. Unfortunately, even in this wonderful America, the American dream isn’t yet a granted reality. All the more so the perfect schidduch – not so American, but much closer to a dream. Not everyone can be a millionaire, and even corrupt politicians haven’t yet figured out a way to hand out kallahs in a welfare program.

In the nasty world of kalter Litvaks, the situation is far more sophisticated: the girl (and the boy) must have clearly defined hashkafas, and must not veer astray - even a mashehu. Hashkoffeh, oy, die heilige Hashkoffeh! You see, litvaks aren’t just unwashed bums like those Chassidishe brutes. Each word, term, expression and name has a proper feel and touch to it, that little indescribable tone and facial countenance. “Lomdes”… “Chazon Ish”… “Teireh”… “Moron”… “Hasmodeh”… “Mesirus Nefesh”… woe onto the prospective chosson or kallah who roll their eyes the wrong way while these saintly words escape their lips! The chosson must, of course, unconditionally surrender to 24.3 hours of uninterrupted Torah toiling – the five cell-phones being only a necessary evil accessory to strengthen the bond with his rebbetzin. Of course, the kallah must be prepared for total devotion and absolute, selfless mesirus nefesh to Torah and a life of utter simplicity, even poverty – provided her father (preferably a Rosh Yeshiva – but if all he has is gelt, nu, we aren’t over-demanding) arranges for a fully paid apartment, furniture (used in top condition is OK – we Litvaks aren’t dirty materialists like you Hassidim or MO), maid and new Borsalino hat quarterly.
You can understand that for such a match made in heaven one must go through hell.

But the MO, oh, the true pioneers of derech haemtzais, pluralism, moderation, open-mindedness and academic freedom, nu, let’s give them a standing ovation. After all, how can one criticize these angels of absolute relativism, who freely mingle the sexes without the slightest shade of a doubt of improper behavior? Could anyone suspect the muses of moderation of dissociating themselves from a lower tier? Is it possible to even surmise the sublime disciples of Heidegger are capable of succumbing to material temptation? Could the exalted emulators of The Rav’s ways be suspected of vanity and looking down on people without PhD’s? See, coarse people like yourself, read a greasy blog by someone who actually touches a potato with his bare hands, performs an oil change on his non-late model gas-guzzler, and even –Darwin yishmerainu- drinks beer and smokes cigarettes! You guys can’t even begin to fathom the sophistication that goes into the shidduch decisions of an elated YU alumni. You have to understand that people who insist on their prospective life partner having a degree, a well-paying job, being able to converse about Hegelian nons… ooopppsssssss, um, genius, have a certain finesse that we “blackneck” Litvacks simply lack. Us, blues-listening, white-knuckled proletariat would never understand that a wife washes the dishes, laundry and children not because she happens to be a woman, -that’s horribly degrading- but for the mere fact that his Honor Mr. Chemical Engineer, Esq., PhD., EtC., who learns two shiurim and attends night collel simply doesn’t have the time to do these chores.

Schidduch crisis? Not in the least, no siree. The problem, essentially, is the same in all sectors; only the symptoms are slightly different. Scientific studies about the male to female ratio and the influence of a yeshiva year on one’s personality are good conversation for saleshidess, but in the real world are as irrelevant as Heidegger’s hogwash. Sinas chinom and “I” are the problem. The power that creates idiotic societal norms is called Sinas chinom. Then, it galvanizes segregated communities based on those meshigassen, to separate us from the other Yid. “I”, the ego, freezes our brains in such conceit that we can’t lower our honorable Self to accept second-class merchandise, lest we too be labeled second-grade.

Schidduch crisis? How about our complete egomania, our total infatuation with oilom hazeh, our reluctance to admit it and renounce it? Couple it with absolute laziness – we want to be the Gaon MiVilna overnight – and even on that night get a good sleep! – and there’s your perfect recipe for absolute disaster. So no, I don’t think there’s any schidduch crisis at all. There’s a “me” crisis raging.
Come to think about it – how good can a marriage of such people be? Mmmmmm, more schidduch crisis please!

© Joseph Izrael 2007

Saturday, December 15, 2007

A Monetary Lapse Of Reason

Yonason Rosenblum has a good article about helping Jewish schools cope with their financial burden. In short, he proposes a voluntary community “tax”, or fund, if you will, that would be evenly distributed between the local schools. Unfortunately, he leaves all too many variables out of the equation. This system worked well in the Windy City, where the community is by far not as large as in Brooklyn, Lakewood and Monsey. He also forgets that unlike Chicago, -home to more wealthy people and less schools-, in the aforementioned towns the ratio is vice-versa.

Rabbi Yaakov Horowitz tells us that we should deal with the challenge of Internet as small business owners facing a Wal-Mart arriving in Town. The hands-on details are to follow, he reassures us, and I am eagerly awaiting them.
Maybe lost on many of his readers, his comparison is a tongue-in-cheek joke on an actual Wal-Mart arriving straight to the heart of Monsey’s frum –mostly Hassidic- business district. The controversy has been dealt with upon the pages of Pinchy Salzberger’s rag, as well as a blog originating from Chic-ago. They both missed the point –or willfully distorted it- by saying that Hassidim oppose Wal-Mart because it would have a negative influence on their children, meaning the semi-pornographic celeb magazines at the check-out desks or the un-tsniusdik dolls in the store.

But they couldn’t have been more wrong. Many Hassidim shop in the Airmont Wal-Mart (two miles down the road from the controversial Wal-Mart in question). As they shop for “Bratz” dolls galore and other highlights of Western Civilisation, they don’t seem to be bothered by the mags, nor the fact that their young children stare at them. So what takeh motivates the Hassidim to join their dreaded enemies, Preserve Ramapo, in opposing the Monsey Wal-Mart? The simple fact is that it threatens many hassid-owned businesses, from groceries to toy stores.

Internet access for children is a totally different story. I’m not sure how it compares to a big business coming to town threatening small businesses. And perhaps the Internet raises a question of a much more global proportions: how to relate with Western civilization? So far, in my humble opinion, most approaches have, even if not outright failed, proved rather ineffective. The Hassidic emptiness has left real Judaism out of the picture, and absorbed the lowest of Western culture in an external frame of traditional garb and superficialities. Modern Orthodoxy has successfully integrated itself in left-wing intelligentsia while its adherents either leave the “Orthodox” or the “Modern”. The Yeshivish world is still somehow clinging on to Torah, albeit steeped in a little more oilom hazeh from Uncle Sam than they’d like to admit.

Now that the seven-headed dragon comes into our homes via his world wide web, we are forced to face reality – something we haven’t adequately done. Pasteur observed peasant women scratch off their cows’ pox and rub it on their children to immunize them. It is still a more a gut feeling of mine, rather than an opinion, that we could adopt a similar approach. The devil lies in the details, and the actual carrying out of the plan is not done as easily as said.

Ditto for the Rosenblum initiative that worked so well in Chicago. In all honesty, I doubt it would work in any Judeopolis at all. Who would contribute to a common school fund? The food-stamp father marrying off his ninth child, supporting another eight in collel, the MO actuary making $100K and having a budget of $300K, or the ‘gvir’ who donates millions to all the big mosdos anyway? And does anyone honestly believe that groups antagonistic to one another will gladly throw their money in the hat? Something tells me otherwise.

Hassidic groups are very protective, their money stays within the community, and teachers are basically paid by government subsidies and school freebies (free school and camp for a few kids – that’s not so little). Other schools are also secretive as to owners’ salaries and who gets tuition breaks and how much. I heard of a case when a parent offered to pay full tuition for his children (three, if memory serves) plus one extra as donation – on condition that the school opens the books. They refused.

I’m not sure there’s a magic solution to ease the burden on schools and tuition. A public school kid costs 11 to 18K, and the level of education is practically zero. Private schools achieve much more with much less, that’s unquestionable. But the voucher program wouldn’t be fair either. Orthodox Jewish families with numerous children would drain the state treasury faster than you could say “property tax”. But a little more openness and less exclusiveness from the schools would probably be of some help.

Perhaps if the spectator sport of schnorring and overall tolerating detrimental behaviors that breed poverty is successfully toned down, than schools could reach out to wealthy people outside their immediate constituency for support.

© Joseph Izrael 2007

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Danger Money

I just heard from a medicaid recipient, that when her child was born, she got a $15 gift card for Toys R Us. Now, in honor of her child's 1st birthday, she got another $45. Is my chanukah gelt tax deductible? Or forced charities are not deductible? Think about it: you have a co-pay. Your employer may not give you the best insurance. But every time an illegal immigrant, a hassid or slum resident poops a baby, you get to give it free nationalized healthcare, gift cards and free transportation to the doctor. All they need to do in return is cast that vote for the Dems.

Exposing the "Flying Imams":

On November 20, 2006, airline officials in Minneapolis removed six imams from U.S. Airways flight 300 to Phoenix after their behavior raised the suspicion of fellow travelers.[1] The imams decried the incident as racist and evidence of discrimination. On March 12, 2007, they filed suit against the airline, airport, and fellow passengers. Some of the imams' claims are exaggerated; many are false. In reality, the incident was a tactical move to support the imams' claim to leadership over the American Muslim community. Indeed, the "flying imams" case, Ahmed Shqeirat et al. vs. U.S. Airways,[2] appears to mark just the latest front in the war between Islamists and mainstream, pluralistic American Muslims. Read More

Phoenix AZ no more sanctuary for illegals.

CAIR leader concocts death threats and, like DB, refuses to condemn terrorists.

Stupid ignorant GOP-Juden invent stories to defame innocent terrorists.

Another right-wing lie. Saudis really fight terror tooth and nail. Such articles are pure inventions.

Save the planet: by taxing kids!

DB’s ideological twin, Rabbi George Soros, destroying yet another country. Oppsss… another right-wing nuttery-rhime… just ignore it.

Woman jailed for mohammed teddybear speaks of her treatment in jail for the first time. (according to some tedDy Bears, it never happened...)

DovBear personals (why he loves mass-murderers so much).

Mexican truckers allowed to roam the US freely.

A real estate company built a five-story building. Once it was completed, they discovered that somehow the builders forgot to install all toilets and plumbing. The board had an emergency meeting to discuss their options. It was decided that the building would be left as it is, and rented out for tenants who wouldn’t need bathrooms.
The first floor would be a nursery – they use diapers.
The second floor would be a kindergarten – they go on the potty.
The third floor would be a Catholic Church - their ....’s in Rome.
The fourth floor would be a Synagogue – the Jews make money from every….
The fifth floor would be the permanent home of the DNC - Democrats always smear all the ... on each other!

I bet you won't see this on DB TV - after all, if it's not a haredi or Republican who stole money, it's no news. Why would the "liberal bloggers who always objectively tell the truth" ever let you know about it?

D"I never said that!"B would give his/her life for this terrorist sympathizer who uses US freedoms to exonerate Terrorists.

© Joseph Izrael 2007

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Order On The Border!

Ron Bass of the UPA sends us some updates:

Attrition works!

[How about enforcing laws of welfare fraud? Maybe penalizing landlords who knowingly collect fraudulently obtained sec.8 and supermarkets that give cash or unauthorized items for food stamps? Oy, the rebbe would run out of business! Well, it's about time! - J.I.]

United Patriots of America

A must see video - State legislators standing tall:

Watch this video! A must see - an eye opener. Pay attention to the numbers! (This is not from youtube, I can't embed it. Open the link.)

State Legislators for Legal Immigration
A new group founded by Pennsylvania state legislator Rep. Daryl Metcalfe

12/07/2007 Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, speaking at a recent press conference in Washington, D.C., about issues surrounding illegal immigration, calls on both federal and state governments to defend our nation from the current illegal alien invasion.

After seeing this video you may want to encourage your state legislators to join this group. Get their e-mail address and send them this video.

The time to act is now.

If you have contacts in New Jersey send them this e-mail.
This is an opportunity to send a strong message to NJ Governor Jon Corzine.
New Jersey Residents
The Governor's Blue Ribbon Advisory Panel on Immigrant Policy will be holding their first official Public Hearing on December 10, 2007 from 6:30pm-8:30pm at:

We need your support.

You don't have to speak, just show up to support our side.

Don't let the open border advocates have their way unopposed.

If you believe our borders should be secured and our immigration laws enforced please attend this meeting in New Brunswick on Monday evening at 6:30-8:30

Ron Bass
United Patriots of America

For the widest distribution of this message please forward to your mailing list.

Calling an illegal alien an "undocumented immigrant" is like calling a drug dealer an "unlicensed pharmacist"!

Now ask yourself where are the big rabbincal organizations on this? Recommending you switch to hybrids and schnorring another jar of peanut butter for the yeshiva. And probably enjoying no one looks at the welfare abuse going on under their noses.

There's still a long long way to go. But the tide is shifting.

© Joseph Izrael 2007

Sunday, December 09, 2007

להודות ולהלל לשמך הגדול

Drrrrrrriinnggg! I looked at the phone with contempt. “Which moron could it be now? Can’t they leave me alone at least on Sundays?”
- Hello
- Hi, Joe?
- Yes?
- Hi, this is such and such, how are you?
- Oh, Mr. Such And Such, how are you feeling? Is everything OK with you? “Good, I actually liked him. But what does he want from me? Now?”
- I’ll be in a little later; I’d like to talk to you a little, is it OK?
- Yes sure. Are you coming back? Did anything happen?
- No, no, we’re having a Hanukah party in the auditorium. You sure know about it. “Of course I know.” I think to myself, “But why do you need to remind me about it now? I have nothing to do with it.”
- Sure, sure, so I’ll see you later.
What on earth does he want from me? Probably some Hanukkah presents for the kids, I thought.

After the usual how are yous, how are you feelings and some small talk, he hands me over an envelope. I tried to protest, but he was adamant. “You really shouldn’t,” I told him, “I just did my job”. No, no, he protests, I feel you went out of your way for me. There was barely any truth to this, as we just made sure he got his meals in his room on time, and when his wife would come to visit he’d get an extra portion. Big deal.

The point is, he probably never made what I make now. And it would have been a lot easier for me to give him that sum than vice versa. But people who don’t have it easy are more appreciative.

When my kids calmed down a bit, after coming home from zaidie’s Chanukah party, with tons of presents galore and more tons of nosh in their stomachs, I sat them down and told them Mr. Such A. Such’s story. He had only one son, with severe mental retardation. Ditto for his second wife. They would never have any grandchildren to give presents to. They never knew the joy of a kid coming home with a scorecard. To take their children to the park. To tell them a story. To come home or leave a home filled with children’s laughter. And he did very much appreciate what was done for him. He remembered me after several months. He thanked me just for doing my job. I wasn’t doing my job for him, he knows this, yet he felt obligated.

Many things are said about Chanukah. Resisting Hellenism, the oil miracle, Torah Shebeal-Peh… but what we insert in davening is להודות ולהלל – to thank and to praise. And that includes perhaps not only the Chanukah miracle, but any and all daily miracles that we take for granted. Maybe a time to reflect on what we really say in ברכות השחר.

I don’t want to take these $50. If you have or know an organization that looks out for lonely people or that visits people in hospitals, let me know. I’d also like to thank the YU guys who came on Purim to make a party for the patients.

Most people are so ungrateful to be alive. But not you. Not anymore.” Game not over!

© Joseph Izrael 2007

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Reptile Dysfunction

Now they bite each other. I got an email from someone calling himself “Cousin Oliver”, from DB’s team of invertebrates, offering me to harm his master behind his back - talk about ouroboros! He claims he got angry with DB over the new member “The Fray Of Bundie” (why do these blattodeans always watch the Loony Tunes?), and wants to expose his identity as revenge – but demands $500 for it. Nice little friends you got there, DB. They’re willing to stab you in the back for 500 bucks… I guess it’s a bit more than a lentil stew…
On one hand the idea is tempting. On the other, why get my hands dirty with these slimy creatures?

Here’s one DB would never ever tell you about… We know hate crimes are a one-way street, in minds of the DB-litated radical left.

Neither would he bother telling you how his dem buddies prop up bogus claims of anti-muzzie “hate-crimes”. Or that his darling CAIR human rights advocates use terrorist stooges to coerce presidential candidates on both sides of the aisle to cater to muzzies.

Or that his favorite website is sued for promoting neo-Nazism.

But the worst is yet to come. Since I heard about DB’s guru being busted on charges of child pornography, I’ve been looking into this subject… It’s darker than hell, let me tell you. And the scope of this atrocity is larger than anyone could imagine… And how twisted this web is – more than anyone would admit. (Gory details to follow, one of these days) Suffice to say that Larry Flynt, among the largest donors to the party for which DB constantly roots, is deeply involved, as well as many high-ranking democrats and leftist rulers around the globe. Here's a million dollar quote: "..."Dirty Pool," [a feature in DB's favorite publication, Hustler Magazine] which in January 1983 depicted a woman being gang-raped on a pool table. A few months after those pictures were published, a woman was gang-raped on a pool table in New Bedford, Mass. Mr. Flynt's response to the crime was to publish a postcard of another nude woman on a pool table, this time with the inscription, "Greetings from New Bedford, Mass. The Portuguese Gang-Rape Capital of America."" This is the darling of the Democratic Party. I don't know why the Republican candidates never mention this in ads or debates. I bet Pat Buchanan would. But DB detests molesters, doesn’t he?

© Joseph Izrael 2007

Friday, December 07, 2007

Hair Of The Dov

Breaking news: Dov Bear's mentor has been indicted on charges of posession of child pornography. Radical leftist radio host Bernie Ward -you'll only need to listen to him for 3 minutes to realize he's DB's main inspiration; same topics, same mindset, same perversion- has been put in the slammer for posessing kiddie porn. Seems he's a good The Who fan, or at least remembers well how Pete Townshend got out of it (not because he's rich and famous): he was researching the subject for writing a book! Hail to literacy! Rock musicians and radio hosts authoring books on children's sexuality! Ha ha ha, these guys have degrees in anthropology and sociology from Oxford! Isn't it kinda akin to bloggers explaining chazal and Torah?

ACLU boss who fought mandated internet filtering in public libraries arrested with kiddie porn. How many times did DB mention it to you?

Child rape, abuse and exploitation covered up by gov't-media complex. Where is the godfather of independent blogging? (Open link & scroll all the way down to 1st article on subject)

And of course, why would he ever bother telling you this?

© Joseph Izrael 2007

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Speed The Plough

As the Mondrowitz extradition case progresses, the charedi rabbinical establishment digs its head deeper in the sand, while the Jew-haters are having a field day. That chilul hashem, it seems, is of no concern to anyone. The problem, some PR artists reassure us with a straight face, is being taken seriously and being dealt with. And all who disagree with us are just alarmists who blow the problem out of proportions.

I simply cannot understand this attitude. What is wrong with us? I understand that there are alarmists out there. I know that facts are being distorted, taken out of context and sometimes outright invented. I’m also undecided about legislation on background checks. There are too many laws and regulations choking us as it is, but our children must be protected from potential harm, even if statistically small. Ideally, there would be self-imposed regulations, making certain information available to parents and board members… unfortunately, in real life it doesn’t work like that. Although victims of sexual abuse in general tend to hide their traumatic experiences, this is even more prevalent in a society that conceals a child’s ear infection at age three for fear of getting a less glitzy shidduch or not getting into that seminary.

Claims that most cases of child abuse are dealt within the community, and that rabbis can be fooled are not without merit. But “too little, too late” is not an unfair accusation. The rumors about serial rapist Mondrowitz have been around for a long time, and no amount of apologetics, either for the victims’ privacy or in favor of halachic approach or against false accusations can justify the mishandling of this affair.

In principle, I’d be all for dealing with such issues halachically within the community. I believe this would be more effective than endless hours of deliberations between judges and lawyers whose homes are probably full of child pornography anyway.

But halocha says: “-ובערת הרע מקרבך– you must eliminate evil from your midst”

And halocha says: “ועשית הישר והטוב בעיני 'ה– You must do the right and good in the eyes of G-d”

And: “לֹא תַעֲמֹד עַל-דַּם רֵעֶךָ – don’t ignore your brother's blood [=plight, danger]”

And halocha empowers Judges (Rabbonim) to act or override other obstacles. Such as the provision for “מכת מרדת” – flogging ‘rebels’ – i.e. punishing crimes without specific provision in the Torah.

And the principle of “עגלה ערופה – slaughtered calf” teaches that leaders are responsible for the community’s welfare, to bring criminals to justice, punish crimes, and prevent future crimes.

If any of this has been done, it had no effect. “Dealing with those problems within the community” cannot mean anything but these criminals (Mondrowitz is undeniably חיב מיתה) being eliminated like Mark Younglove –. Since we’ve failed to do this, the last option is to hand the matter over to the authorities. The secular justice system –if generalizations can be made- is not overly harsh on sex offenders. Although there are tendencies in both directions, I’d say they’re more lenient and “understanding” of criminals than the opposite. But looking the other way and downplaying the problem’s magnitude is even worse. Unfortunately, those who invent or even blow the “coverup” out of proportions only play to the hands of the “leave it to us” experts: “see! They all lie and make up stories! They have no credibility!”

Mainstream Charedi leadership will finally have to learn to face serious problems even if they come at the expense of their honor and image of immaculate sanctity.

It seems like Mondrowitz raped all he saw - now his abettors reap what they sow.

© Joseph Izrael 2007

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Night Boat To Cairo

CAIR, or the Council on American-Islamic Relations, is a “civil rights” group and the left’s darling. Rabid Jew-haters like D.B. just love them. But their name is more than just a cute acronym sounding like ‘care’. “Cair”, or rather Cahir, is Arabic for Cairo. What’s the connection? Well, Cairo is home to the Al Azhar University, the chief propagator of Islamic hatred and ideology of genocidal mania. Although they are experts in concealing their real intentions, by bogus lip-service condemnations of terror attacks and such, they are the instigators and engineers of Islamic fanaticism. Remember where DB darling Yassir Arafat came from? Same for the Islamic Brotherhood terroris organization. In any event, CAIR were a hair from being indicted as co-conspirators in terrorist and terror-funding groups. They were saved by the skin of their teeth by pressure groups such as Hillary Clinton’s Media Matters (although both deny any link to the other – financial tracks say otherwise).

Now these freedom of speech lovers are being sued by Michael Savage. They already withdrew a lawsuit against Andrew Whitehead, as going ahead with the process would have forced them to reveal their financial records, which in turn would have shown their true connections (to Hamas, Hizb’Allah and Hill'Ary).

Savage Lawsuit 1 Savage Lawsuit 2

Truth about CAIR and CAIR terrorist ties in great detail.

Whitehead lawsuit

Indonesia, according to my good friend Charlie Hall, is the world’s largest Moslem country and extremely tolerant. Doesn’t sound tolerant at all to me… 20 years for 9 lbs of pot, 14 years for murder…

© Joseph Izrael 2007

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Peace Sells... ...But Who's Buying?

Hindsight is always 20/20, and you don’t need to be a George Benson fan to understand this. Well, OK, that “always” was an exaggeration, I admit. In fact, I may be the only one to see things this way, but nevertheless I come from the unfair advantage of hindsight. In any event, we should be very careful when saying things that can be construed as criticism of great Talmidey Chachomim, especially about those of prior generations, who were undoubtly very honest, righteous and true leaders.

Tumultuous as Jewish life in Europe already was by the end of the 19th century, nothing compares to the upheavals of post-WWII Jewry. After the spiritual devastation and physical extermination, the Jewish Phoenix slowly started to rise from the ashes, in the USA and Israel. New places, new situations and new challenges faced the old people. Dedicated and determined, Rabbis, communal leaders and laymen worked day and night tirelessly on resurrecting Clal Yisroel. Sadly, what de-facto happened was the establishment of different communities based on leaders’ ideologies and religious tendencies rather than the whole people’s needs. The old factions were resurrected, and the old feuds were replanted.

But following the true teachings and traits of great leaders is not easy; the core ideas gave way to monkeying the external characteristics, which then galvanized into cultish group adherence. Although the protests of many leaders against this trend is well documented, they failed nonetheless, not least because many worked on resurrecting their own community instead of Clal Yisroel as a whole.

As time passed, prosperity rose, and the deep understanding of a Jew’s purpose in this world started to fade, giving way to his identity as part of group X before his identity as a Jew. It is unfair to blame this solely on selfish and childish motives, as great turmoils were still challenging the Jewish people. However, at this point “survival” had a totally different meaning than what it meant a mere decade or two prior. As I mentioned before, I’m coming with the power of hindsight, and by no means claim to be anywhere near the great wisdom and yiras shomayim or the great Gdolim of the previous generation. But I do feel that a great opportunity at reconciliation was lost. Of course, it is nearly inconceivable that Hassidim, Litvaks, Religious Zionists could have been completely synthesized. But far more could have been done to bring the sides closer.

Could the leaders have sat together and try to agree on certain things? On fixing problems common to us all? On some semblance of consensus despite the deep rifts? On mending the cultural gaps? I believe so. So why wasn’t it done? I don’t know. But I do know that Yanky Eisenbach from Meah Shearim will never attend a Jethro Tull concert, Rechavam Shefer from Kibbutz Sa’ad won’t back up on his Zionism, Jim Glickstein from YU will never renege evolution, and Berel Rabinowitz from Ponevezh will never agree to learn less than 18 hours a day. These approaches and ideologies are here, whether we want it or not, whether we agree or not. Ditto for many societal norms. Is there really no end in sight?

Two weeks ago, Ido Zoldan was murdered by Arab terrorists, enabled by Jewish politicians who sell their souls for less than a bowl of lentil stew. We all cried and bled for him. We all felt the pain of his wife and children. But until two weeks ago, he was nothing. Until two weeks ago he was jus another nameless “tsiyoini” whose wife doesn’t cover her hair properly, who relies on heter mechirah and wears jeans. Until Zaka volunteers had to put him in plastic bags, he wasn’t our brother. Until the Cheva Kadisha had to prepare him for burial, he wasn’t really one of us. Is there anything but tragedy that can unite us?

I got a fundraising letter from my local Hatzoloh-EMS chapter. One of the things I read just raised my hair on top of my head. “Our volunteers help everyone, regardless of their communal or religious affiliation” Really? How kind of you! Until now I though the right thing to do was leaving someone bleeding to death if he isn’t in your Chassidus. “Hallo! My son was electrocuted!” screams the frantic mother, “Ummm, is you husband yeshivish? What kind of hat does he wear? Oh, sorry we can’t help you. Call the other ambulance”. How sick and insane does a people have to be to even feel the need to put such a disclaimer in their pamphlet?

As I said before, in times when leaders refuse to carry their duty, there’s much more responsibility laid on each individual’s shoulders. And there is a lot we can do. Silent waters run deep, and sudden, drastic changes usually bear no good outcomes.

Maybe we can really include all Clal Yisroel in our silent prayers. Just insert a short individual plea, ask Him to assist us in getting united? To care for one another even without tragedy? To help out, to attend a simcha instead of a levayah? To ease a little of our meshigassen – not the core principles, of course, - just what we agree are meshigassen. Or to take in consideration the effect of our poisonous words – will they help or just add oil to the flames?

© Joseph Izrael 2007

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Gutter Ballet

An open letter to Rabbi Avi Shafran and some of his critics

Dear Rabbi Shafran,

After reading your article about sexual abuse in our community, I was left hurt, insulted and betrayed.

The traditional reading on Yom Kippur’s Mincha is parshas arayes. That parsha details some of the most horrendous and repulsive behaviors any human can possibly commit. Why does the holy Torah command us to read that specific segment on the holiest of our days? The Mishna Brurah, has a simple answer: since a man’s self desires sexual sins, and one may have transgressed these prohibitions, he should repent. The Shulchan Oruch doesn’t exempt anyone from hearing this reading. It doesn’t exempt Talmidei Chachomim, nor people with frocks or shtreimels or white beards.

I fully understand that exposing such criminals may shed our community in a bad light. But covering them up shed us in an even worse light. As a result of your article, Rabbi Shafran, wherever and whenever I go with my hat and jacket, I feel like I proclaim “I protect child molesters! I deny that there are problems within my community!” This chilul hashem is by far greater than that of exposing criminals. Most people today understand that there are sick deviants in any society. Most people are able to understand that one who transgresses the Torah by the most odious acts is not a shomer Torah umitsvos. But when the systematic cover-up of such incidents is exposed –and it is exposed, believe you me- that’s when our community as a whole is being demeaned, shamed and ridiculed.

I am fully aware of the abysmal injustices that the Orthodox –and especially the charedi- communities in Israel have suffered at the hand of the Bolshevik Zionists – in some cases even murder. I am fully aware that secular Zionism propagates hatred of true Jews and has a lot to answer for. But it is no excuse for us to behave like them. Since we know what it means to be betrayed, we should be all the more careful not to betray the wretched victims of sexual abuse. Since we decry secular Zionism’s denial of its crimes, we must not deny our crimes either. But all of this is besides the point. In the final analysis there are no excuses; we must do what is right for the simple reason that it is right.

Rabbi Shafran, I understand that there are hachic problems in dealing with this topic. But I also understand that the Torah has specifically empowered our sages with daas Torah in such cases. Daas Torah can rule that a criminal is to be turned over to the authorities even without two kosher witnesses. I would also remind you, that in Jewish Law, a criminal tried for capital punishment but found not guilty, isn’t free to roam à-la O.J. Simpson or Teddy Kennedy. In the time of the Temple, such criminals were left to die in solitary confinement.

I would like to address now some of Shafran’s critics;
not only are you no better than him, you are far worse. You have exploited the victims of sexual abuse for political gain, for your fame and for the pleasure of putting down your opponent. Rosenberg has an exposé on how haredi culture (which he either doesn’t know, as is obvious from his articles, or he willfully distorts the facts) breeds more abuse and cover-ups. Unfortunately there is some truth to his words. But he conveniently omits a few disturbing facts; he writes: “Look at it this way. If you could stop a murderer from killing by calling police, but choose not to do so because breaking omerts would result in less desirable shidduchim [matches] for your children, would your inaction be correct? Is your child's "better" shidduch more important than the victim's life, a life you do not have the power to restore? If this question is in any way difficult for you, you're in the wrong species. Check your lineage for apes.” Well, sweetheart, you full and well know that murder was actually covered up. Unfortunately for you, that didn’t happen in haredi communities. It happened among your darling Reform brothers. That’s right – there are at least three incidents I am aware of, when Reform “Rabbis” were committing adultery with their congregants wives. In two instances the cuckolded husbands opted to have their wives assassinated, while in the other, a Rabbi himself ordered the murder of his wife, in order to marry a woman he recently “converted” to Judaism. You’d imagine that according to Mr. Rosenberg’s analysis there’d be a tremendous outcry in those communities, harshly condemning the tragic events. Not so. Not only the community tried its best to hush the events and refused to talk to the media, but when one of their own tried to document the case, she was beaten, her nose was broken, she received death threats and was ostracized. So much for the great secular civilization many of you so much adore.

Then you have the bleeding heart ultra-righteous blogger who abhors sex abuse so much, that any comment containing the names of sexual predators is deleted from his blog’s comments section. Well, as long as they belong to his party. In other words, Ze’ev Kpolevitch, who was convicted of no less than 19 counts of rape and statutory rape, but after serving a nominal 3½ years sentence, was brought back to the yeshiva, doesn’t make it to the blog world. That’s right, the pervert is brought back to yeshiva after conviction, he is still there, and you remain silent. The Israeli media accused Rabbis Chaim Druckman and Avraham Shapiro of covering up the case and urging witnesses to remain silent. That somehow wasn’t detected by your radar, Mr. Righteous. Why? Since you don’t care about this, why are you so adamant other predators are brought to justice? And don’t you think your over-defensiveness just gives credence to other allegations? If you bar as much as mention of the name George Finkelstein, don’t you think it raises suspicion that the allegations against him, as well as allegations of cover-up against Norman Lamm may be true?
You criticize others for the very same thing you’re guilty of. At least Shafran doesn’t run around accusing others of cover-up. You have exploited sexual assault victims’ plight for your own sick games, for political gain and idiotic partisan politics.

© Joseph Izrael 2007

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


We just read about Shimon and Levi slaying an entire town for tolerating a tremendous injustice done in their midst. But there was something else at play too – maybe even deeper and more fundamental than the simple reason attributed to the retribution.

Yaakov chastises his sons, saying that by their action, they have placed him in peril. Their reply seems totally detached and unrelated to the rebuke: “? הַכְזוֹנָה, יַעֲשֶׂה אֶת-אֲחוֹתֵנוּ - Shall our sister be dealt with as a prostitute?” Communication breakdown? How does this possibly answer their father’s claim that their actions caused them to face extermination? No answer, no give and take. The chapter ends here.

So what was so convincing about this short snippet that left Yaakov Ovinu speechless? What can possibly make you agree that putting your life in danger was justified?

Had Yaakov’s sons taken their father’s reasoning into consideration, what would have been the outcome? Would the Hittites and surrounding nations have respected and honored Bnai Yisroel for being able to restrain themselves? Would they see the Daughters of Israel as dignified women with self-respect? Would they be safer that way?
In all probability that’s not exactly the message the Hittites would have gotten. And perhaps, they would not have been better off being constantly victimized by the neighboring bullies.
And maybe even if it wouldn’t have turned out exactly like that, what kind of life is it knowing you can be bought?

Well, certain things are worth fighting for. Dying for. Suffering for.

Certain things just cannot be prostituted, bastardized and sold out. The Torah is one of them. One’s integrity is another. Yes, there is a tremendous amount of flexibility. But there are red lines. And it really doesn’t matter whether you start by prostituting your integrity or the Torah. They’re bound together. If you start cutting corners “for the Torah”, first a little white lie, a little dishonesty here, a bissaleh fraud there… If you start cutting corners of the Torah… you’ll end up in the same place as well… you’ll eventually cut the fundamental corners, the cornerstones. You’ll willfully distort the Torah, as distortion will become part of you.

Maybe Shimon and Levi’s mistake was taking booty. They didn’t make it clear enough that their sole objective was doing justice. They declared to the entire world: “Don’t mess with us!” But then and there they also erred buy touching the material belonging. And perhaps that was Yaakov Ovinu’s claim against them: if you can’t carry out your duty in the purest possible form, you may as well not do it at all. But they still answer him There’s no prostituting the Torah!

'אין חכמה ואין תבונה ואין עצה נגד ה

© Joseph Izrael 2007

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Dallas 1PM

Today, forty-four years ago, Jack Ruby (nee Rubinstein to a frum family) emptied a single bullet from his Colt Cobra into Lee Harvey Oswald’s stomach. Oswald died of the wound a short while later, and Ruby died of illness after his appeal.

To this day, stipulations and conspiracy theories abound. Why was JFK assassinated and who was really behind it all are questions which will probably never be answered.

What the assassination did however achieve, was sugarcoating the Playboy President’s legacy, and downplaying his many failures and misdeeds. Claiming that without Oswald we’d be speaking Russian today might be an exaggeration, but it sure isn’t far from the truth.

Many times in history assassins of dictators are heralded, even if not outright heroes, as people who rid their countries of oppression. This is true even if the assassins turned out to be no better than their victims. Cromwell and Napoleon sure fit the description, and even today many are willing to downplay the Bolsheviks’ abysmal evil, brutality and cruelty because they dethroned the Czar. Yet one who’d dare even the slightest such nod in Oswald’s direction is regarded as a lunatic at best. The fact however is, despite the admiration, J.F. Kennedy was
at best a midget compared to his predecessor, Eisenhower.

Today we also have a feeling of betrayal and abandonment. Our so-called leaders play with our money, our education, our children and our lives with absolute impunity. There’s no accountability, wherever there’s a serious problem there’s someone who can help but turns away. “We can’t do a thing,” they say, but when they are always faster than lightning to pay back the man with the big wallet. This is true about many leaders at many levels. Or rather, just powerful people, for leaders they are not. They may parade as leaders, but their leadership fails with their inability –or unwillingness- to lead their own selves.

It is at such times that unity is most precious and of utmost importance. When responsibility is rejected by those who need it most, it falls on everyone else’s shoulders. That’s precisely what must be understood by all who want change. We don’t want animal farm all over again.

But we shouldn’t go overboard

© Joseph Izrael 2007

Thursday, November 22, 2007

A Stranger In Us All

A few days ago I came across an interesting post on Ben Chorin’s website. In short, the post quotes an article about Israeli football fans who booed during the moment of silence in honor of Rabin’s memory. In his analysis, he claims they did so to protest against their humiliation, i.e. the moment of silence is really meant force them to “…affirm the virtuousness of the secular Ashkenazi left and the barbarism of everyone else, first and foremost, people like themselves. Their reaction was a sign of healthy self-esteem combined with a certain, um, lack of inhibition.” An angry commenter there remarked -in typical leftist conceit- that those barbarians are indeed incapable of such deep analysis, and were just acting as, well, barbarians.

In the last few years I have been working around non-intellectuals, to say the least. They come from many backgrounds: WASPs, Jamaican Blacks, Hispanics, American Blacks, Africans – what not. I can affirm you with the greatest certainty that even primitve and uneducated people are not necessarily stupid, and they most certainly aren’t oblivious to their feelings. The Ego is an extremely powerful part of us, and is extremely sensitive. He loves himself more than anything and anyone else, and woe to the one who’d dare insult him.
Such people are probably not conscious or analytic of the world exactly in the way we are – perhaps their brains analyze reality differently. Those Beitar fans probably didn’t analyze reality in the same way Ben Chorin did. But they certainly felt it, to the deepest of their souls. This beside the prevalent Sepharadic complex of inferiority and resentment of the elitist Polish intelligentsia of Israel.

The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner is one of the greatest masterpieces of English poetry. The epic poem tells the story of a mariner who kills an Albatross –a bird of good omen- for no apparent reason. The rest of the crew are angry at him, but later justify him. Then a terrible curse, a thirst and draught begins as vengeance. In the end all the crew dies except the Mariner, who is doomed to live and tell his horrible tale wherever he goes.
Literary critics have written entire libraries of analyses about the poem. A point many ponder about - what exactly the morale of the story is? One lesson I believe we can learn from here is that idle bystanders who know a wrong has been done may be guiltier than the actual criminal. For we cannot know what posessed him in the momoent he carried out his act – but the others understand it is evil, yet later they justify the criminal. (Or just don’t denounce him.)

Yesterday I saw something that literally made me sick. Someone made the most odious, repulsive, puke-inducing and repugnant comments about our saints of saints, Yaakov Avinu and Leah Imeinu. I can’t even repeat what the putrid coward hiding behind the blog D.B. said. Go see for yourself if your stomach is strong enough.

Quite often we witness people outraged at their Rabbis being denigrated, or even not addressed with proper respect. Sometimes numerous articles are written against this or that journalist or blogger if they “mistakenly” ommit a rabbi's due title, or if one chas veshalom dares questioning this or that decision of one’s Gadol. A flurry of angry comments flood the site after such a snafu, and the war of words rages for days on end. The fierce defenders of Torah stand up with fire in their eyes to protest the disrespect showed to their Leader by that nasty individual, who must immediately apologize… or hang.

Yet… yet here… total silence. Not one protest. Not one condemnation, not an iota of outrage showed. I know, I know. There are a million excuses. He wants the attention, it’s better to ignore him, etc.

Are we really that shallow? What are we standing up for when we protest a Rav’s humiliation? Are we really standing up for Torah or that rabbi or gadol? Or are we standing up for our own little narcissitic ego? How come a little carelessness about a contemporary rabbi generates such emotions, yet when Yaakov Avinu is dragged through the mud, called a swindler, when Leah Imenu is compared to a Playboy bunny no one has anything to say? How can we not go crazy when we hear such utter defamation taken directly from ageless, classic anti-semitic propaganda? How can everyone keep quiet when one who proclaims to be an observant Jew quotes from Third Reich textbooks and pub-mob?

I think this is precisely our problem. Our idiotic sectarianism isn’t about truths anymore. It’s not about principles. It’s about me and myself and I and my. When a rav is insulted, it is not the insult of Torah or righteousness we protest. It’s our own insult we stand up against. That’s how low we got. Yaakov Avinu doesn’t matter anymore. Apparently, he’s not a treasured figure in our History. Apparently, he’s not a fundamental part of Yiddishkeit.

Well, he wasn’t in our club.

© Joseph Izrael 2007

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Rage

Like a tiger
In the cage
We begin to
Shake with rage!

-"The Rage", Judas Priest (British Steel, 1980)

If you’re sensitive I suggest you skip what follows. You may call it “the worst of Joe Izrael vol. I”. Or just “Yossi is angry”…

It now seems wounded and maimed veterans are asked by the gov’t to renounce part of their sign-on bonuses! Can you believe this? We feed millions of illegal immigrants, bums, academic parasites who are an embarrassment to education and intelligence, and welfare leeches who can’t speak English but get straight A’s on their section 8 applications! Did you know that Medicaid recipients are eligible for free taxi to the doctor? That’s right. Frimmet from Monsey can git a raid viz gantz comfy taxi to Nie Yirk Sitty so hubby Chaim Mayer can sit and shmeeze in bais medrish, while Marines who lost arms and legs have to give back their sign-on bonuses.

I have a brilliant politico-economic solution: let’s send the illegal immigrants to Iraq and force the hassidim as well as other welfare-suckers to pick cucumbers and cotton and pack orders at Chaim Yankel’s Sipermurkit.
In the meantime this soldier who lost his eye and the gov’t spat in his other eye could actually receive his full sign-on bonus, instead of Yoily Herskowics buying himself a new shtraimel with foodstamps and getting a tuition break because "the rusha goyim take me off di velfare". And white kids would do some work instead of getting drunk on daddy’s credit card.

Here’s what Michael Savage said about his letter from the GOP requesting a donation:
“I crossed out the amount to donate, and I wrote on it:
#1 stop immigration.
#2 pardon the Marines
#3 stop government spending.”

I would like to suggest you do the same with any further donation requests for any moisad. Write on it:

"#1 I demand transparency of all financial dealings of your mosad. Who gets how much and how is the money spent. How are employees and board members appointed?
#2 I demand your organization unconditionally condemn child molestation, pledges not to harbor such people and to fairly investigate allegations of sexual abuse. Ditto for other felonies.
#3 I demand your organization unconditionally condemn reliance on government funds as a way of life, and the obtaining of such funds illegally, fraudulently or by questionable means.

Until I get proof the above demand have been fulfilled I suggest you save your paper and stamps as I won’t donate you one cent more. Signed:__________."

In fact you can just send in such a letter to the Agudah, UJC, RCA and any other organization you know. Send it to hassidic rebbes too.

How come no one stands up against a huge cut of the population all living like leeches on the taxpayers’ backs? How come all Hassidic villages, as well as most of Fakewood are below poverty level, everyone has sec.8, single mom benefits (many frum people don’t get civil marriage), welfare, Medicaid, foodstamps, and perhaps benefits that haven’t even been yet signed into law, while the place is full of Lexuses, Suburbans, Town Cars, each house is bigger and fancier (and more distasteful) than the other. Kids prancing around in $400 outfits, renewed quarterly. How come when these people go to the doctor’s office or get pulled over by a cop they can’t speak English, yet when they fill out welfare and Medicaid forms, Shakespeare couldn’t make a better case for himself. Did I mention cash businesses and bribe? Did I mention Mr. Frankel’s endless love of his Yiddishe brothers? He owns a few houses in Monsey, but they all house illegal immigrants from Mexico, who needless to say are the most pleasant neighbors imaginable. One family per house – well, a family of 40, that is. They’re always sober, spotless clean, and their dogs barely ever bite. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (wink-wink, nod-nod, hehehe, they know who votes them in) approves them for section 8 benefits as long as they can provide a piece of cardboard with “Hernandez” scribbled on it.

So why can’t Mr. Millionnaire Frankel rent the houses to Yidden? Because he’s too cheap to renovate them. And he also knows if the tenant loses his sec 8 eligibility (in the unlikely case a HUD inspector puts 2 Lexus and 2 Suburbans and lavish furnishings and sixteen kids together) he’ll never see a payment again. Besides, of course, the not-so small danger of one of his fellow Skvindlers just swindling the house away from him. Of course, that doesn’t bother His Exalted Holiness Maran Hagaon Haadir Hagadol Hagibor Vehanora Kvod Kudshas David Twerski SHLIT”A, whose credentials include being the son of the previous Skverer rebbe and the grandson of the one before. In fact, he has been informed of the problem numerous times, but he has a hassidus to fihr. To his credit, after 15 years of complaints he instructed the heilige Koenig brothers to shut down "T&A’s adult entertainment" on RT 59. I guess tipping went down when hassidim became the predominant customers. Now they have to stick to their "Hy-Tech auto-wreckers" insurance-defrauding business. Nebach, only two Caribbean cruises this year…

Bad news for Mr Twersky and his devout followers: some Black Moslems beat you guys! And I thought Skwer was the best at least in one area. Shame on you!

A few more articles you'll never see on Adov Hitbear's site:

Snuff films have influence. But don't tell the Bare Dove good "liberals" can do harm.

Dovie swears Moslems are bad only from "our POV". (But haredim are objectively, unequivocally bad.) Islamic Law is the very essence of love, peace and compassion.

Dept. of Homeland security more incompetent than Agudah.

And to end with a good thing... finally a little good news on the border.

© Joseph Izrael 2007

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Civil War

The current conversion conference conflict opened up an old can of worms with numerous ramifications. These in turn may have long lasting repercussions, some possibly of unforeseeable magnitude.

There are real problems here, which most seem to ignore, either because they were carried away, or perhaps they’re only focusing on petty bickering. Suffice to say most people didn’t see farther than their noses, which isn’t too far, even if they’re Jews.

So let’s capitulate, let’s clear the air please;
There is a very serious problem of intermarriage. There is also a very serious problem of severe breaches in giyur procedures within orthodoxy.

EJF was founded to solve, or at least soothe these problems. But it turned out (or was so planned from the beginning) that money for nothing and chicks* for free make you forget your principles pretty quickly. So EJF is actively pursuing intermarried couples, employs leniencies, targets the children of intermarried couples, and tries to monopolize the business. There is also a great problem with centralizing halocha.

But the main focus of controversy was on an entirely different matter. Apparently rabis Eisenstein and Tropper officially declared, in the names of R’ Elyashiv and R Kanievski, that the conversion of one who believes the world is older than 5768 years is void. Similarly, one who holds this belief is a cofer (heretic), unfit for dayonus and as per consequence even past conversions performed by him are retroactively void.

Naturally, the Modern Orthodox were outraged, and rightly so. But they forgot all about the real problems and while they were busy screaming about being delegitimized, rabbi Tropper cashed another check, and EJF is still riding high.

Although hard to believe they are true, the statements were made, and will have to be dealt with. Is it a moment of truth for Modern Orthodoxy? Time will tell.

As a side note, I’d suggest that as a worst-case scenario, (i.e. the comments were actually made exactly so and they are true) even the most stringent hard-liner position, i.e. that Evolution is unequivocally heresy, shouldn’t retroactively void conversions. Even if one actually holds one heretic belief, if he keeps Torah and mitsvot he may not be entirely dismissed. This is especially in regards with Orthodox people holding evolutionary ideas (I almost put an L in there…), since they believe this conforms to halocha. In the worst case this shouldn’t be considered more than shogeg in one ‘un-kosher’ belief’.

As a matter of fact, in ’92 a group of RCA rabbis proposed to change the approach to intermarried couples, (labelled "the roundtable proposition") as an answer to the alarming rate of intermarriage. The RCA’s leading rabbis immediately released and unequivocal rejection of the proposal and reinforced the traditional approach.

Despite this, there are many rabbis, who, on a private basis (i.e. they have or serve on independent courts) employ very lax, and I’d say even heterodox practices. People with ultra-liberal agendas are liberal enough to enact laws of their own, at the community’s expense and detriment. (Note that Noah Feldman has more integrity than such people. He could have easily resorted to a giyur Maiden Japan and avoid all the fuss. No one would have ever accused him of throwing tantrums…) There is also a lot of corruption – dayonus can be quite a profitable business.

The real tragedy is that those gerim will be rejected in many Orthodox communities. The communities that will accept them will only alienate themselves from general Orthodoxy. And I fear that some are actually interested in this. There are at least two virulently anti-orthodox sites that vehemently oppose EJF specifically because it jeopardizes such rogue courts and rabbis. They, as well as the insulted MO people who resorted to personal smears against Tropper actually play into his hands. Now he’ll have proof that it’s Modern Orthodoxy’s extreme left wing together with some unsavory characters who are trying to smear and vilify him.

Instead of resorting to absolutely useless attacks, we should focus on the real problems, as well as stopping the commercialization of Judaism.

This is a huge silver lining to EJF’s black cloud, because come hell or high water, now everyone’s noses will be rubbed in their own dirty little secrets, lest EJF achieves its goal. But by now a few egos too much have been hurt, and the struggle won't be easy. In other words, by wanting to be bigger and better than everyone else, rabbi Tropper actually forced all to face reality.

And the episode may have an even more siginficant facet to it. Perhaps now those who really care may actually face up and sit together to discuss solutions and ways to ensure proper procedures.
Is there at least a glimpse of a chance, if not at reconciliation, at least a bit of tightening and mending the relations between the factions? Let’s hope so.

*Rubashkin glatt, of course.

© Joseph Izrael 2007

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Gay Ruth

A psak of the Eidah Charedis in Jerusalem about promoting conversions came out this Thursday.

So far it seems that they do not yet have complete information on what is going on, as the main focus is still on the children of intermarried couples. This is also one of EJF’s problems, so it is good that it has been addressed.

You can get these in PDF format by clicking on the pictures. I suggest you print them out and show it to your Rav and any influential people to stop this before it gets out of control.

I include here some material clearly showing that EJF is actively targeting intermarried couples and their children, ("Jews pushing conversions", "Rabbis easing conversion rules" etc) furthermore they use and manipulate special leniencies which are not widely accepted. Certainly in the area of geirus which is irrevocable and has long lasting influences we cannot rely on leniencies. (I have copied the material in case pressure is exerted on the original publishers to take off the articles. Original links provided within.)

It has come to my attention that I was accused on several blog comments of hating gerim, being against gerim or gerus and having anti-ger agenda. This is absolutely false. As I have mentioned before, and is widely known, many gerim had tremendous beneficial influence on the Jewish nation: Ruth HaMoaviah, Shmaya and Avtalion, Onkeles The Ger and some more. But there is no indication that the EJF and the ultra-liberal rabbis' conversions are so sincere.

I did mention the clear halocha that in times whem "Israel has the upper hand" - (יד ישראל תקיפה) which clearly applied in the times of Dovid Hamelech and Shlomo Hamelech, gerim are not to be accepted. It should at least be considered in light of the fact that Jews are now prosperous, there is a State called the "Jewish State" with its own army and independence, and is more prosperous and safer than many other countries in the world.

It is also an undeniable fact that there is a surge in gerus, which is due to many factors; open contact between Jews and Gentiles, intermarriage, the Aliayh from the former Soviet bloc to Israel etc. It is also undeniable that being a Jew is far more appealing now than it was 200 years ago - or even just 65. Judaism and Jewish Law discourage conversions, this is also an established fact. So it is not far-fetched to remind people of this.

Unfortunately there are many rabbis, even Orthodox ones, who are not careful and because of their liberal ideology find all kinds of leniencies which should not be liberally applied. What they cause is that their conversions will not be widely honored, hence causing distress and frustration to their gerim who will realize too late that they won't be universally accepted. Maybe those rabbis actually want this as they lose their congregants to both secular society and stricter orthodox circles. In any event I have no claim against the converts who, in near all cases, are not in a position to be aware of all these details and are not to be blamed for the converting rabbis' faulty practices.

I did mention that many gerim have detrimential influence for the sole reason that I did observe such people - people who convert because they are unprepared they either join the most exremist circles, or become disillusioned and abandon relgion. And there are those who do not intend to be religious at all and are interested in conversion only for the sake of marriage. Unfortunately, some Orthodox rabbis perform such conversions. Some out of corruption and for money, some because the aforementioned libertarien ideologies.

© Joseph Izrael 2007

Smears trump not the truth.