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Thursday, August 31, 2006

Skverer Rebbe In FB 

Skverer Rebbe is now in Flatbush at the Beis HaMedrash of his son Duvid who is making a Vach Nacht.

2 comments

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Shomrim Rejoice 

Shomrim are overjoyed that Korn's is no longer in Boro-Park. The traffic had long been a point of contention.

4 comments

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Eichler's To Move 

Eichler's Judaica in Boro-Park will be moving to a new location a block away to where M & H Cosmetics was.

14 comments

Monday, August 28, 2006

Korn's Reopens 

Korn's Bakery has reopened and is now baking at Steinberg's Bakery in the Five Towns.

4 comments

Friday, August 25, 2006

Jackie Mason sues Jews for Jesus over pamphlet



Comedian Jackie Mason is suing Jews for Jesus, claiming the missionary group damaged him by using his name and likeness in a pamphlet.

"While I have the utmost respect for people who practice the Christian faith, the fact is, as everyone knows, I am as Jewish as a matzo ball or kosher salami," Mason said in documents filed in state Supreme Court in Manhattan.

Founded in the 1970s, Jews for Jesus practices Judaism but regards Jesus as the Messiah.

The $2 million lawsuit seeks the immediate destruction of the pamphlets, which Jews for Jesus members have been handing out at various points around New York City. The pamphlets feature an image of Mason next to the words "Jackie Mason ... A Jew for Jesus!?" with information inside that outlines the similarities between Jews and Christians.

"The pamphlet uses my name, my likeness, my 'shtick' (if you will), and my very act, which is derived from my personality, to attract attention and converts," Mason said in an affidavit.

Susan Perlman, a spokeswoman for Jews for Jesus, said the pamphlet was "good-natured."

"Shame on him for getting so upset about this," she said.

Mason, 75, has starred on Broadway and films including "Caddyshack II."

http://www.newsday.com/news/local/wire/newyork/ny-bc-ny--mason-lawsuit0825aug25,0,5076437.story?coll=ny-region-apnewyork

7 comments

Thursday, August 24, 2006

To snip or not to snip?

As if New York does not have enough problems, there arises yet another kerfuffle over the un-orthodox manner in which Orthodox Jews in New York are performing “do it yourself circumcisions.” Albeit a Jewish tradition, sanctioned, it is claimed, by Abraham, there are outcries from some in the big apple that the procedure is barbaric, excruciatingly painful and well, just, plain cruelty to children. I hesitate in this family oriented daily to describe the in-house procedure, except to say that a proper circumcision by licensed professionals is a mere bagatelle compared to the ritualistic removing of excess manhood from a new born. The Mayor of New York finds himself in the untenable position of protecting freedom of religion on the one hand and quelling the demands for criminal prosecution on the other.
For at least a century medical professionals and scientists have endorsed the biblical ritual of circumcision and other doctors and scientists have boo-hooed equally hard against the practice as barbaric. Even though recent (cursory) studies indicate that circumcision reduces the incidents of aids by contact, the war over its medical utility rages on. Cultural Anthropologist Leonard Glick has devoted much of his life to this subject and has published scholarly works on the procedure. He writes with deference about those who practice this ritual while also establishing, in painful descriptions, how the health benefit is often over-stated (marginal actually). The procedure, according to Glick, is not only extremely painful, it is irreversible and the newborn child cannot consent. Glick cites the 12th century Jewish physician and Philosopher Moses Maimonides who wrote “If at birth a member is taken away, made to bleed and lost forever, it indubitably weakens the person so deprived.”
In today’s society there are some who believe that attacking circumcision (for any reason) is tantamount to attacking Judaism. Jews take their argument for the procedure to a higher level by postulating that the Abraham-style (not described above) circumcision points up the dichotomy of Jewish religious ritual and Christian hypocrisy. As this schism widened between Jews and Christians, 19th century doctors began to notice that Jewish male patients had less occurrence of venereal disease and quickly attributed this finding to the “snip.” Non-Jewish physicians also got behind circumcisions, though performed them in hospitals and not by Mohels, a lay Jew ordained to perform the ritual in the Abraham-style, (not described above). By 1910 more than a third of all male babies in the U.S. were circumcised. By 1940, 60 percent were snipped; by 1970, 80 percent. Currently, the majority of American baby boys, 1.2 million a year, continue to be circumcised.
Medical endorsement of the procedure, though is waning. While there is evidence that circumcision is prudent for the sake of hygiene and a lower rate of penile cancer, it is also known that penile cancer is extremely rare---9 to 10 cases per year, per 1 million men. Urinary tract infections (thought to be the result of no circumcision) today are mere annoyances and not life threatening. According to a policy statement of the Academy of Pediatrics, the “potential benefits of snipping aren’t great enough to recommend it routinely.” When the AAP was asked to be more specific, they punted thusly: “ When the procedure is not essential to the child’s current well-being, parents should determine what is in the best interest of the child.” Huh? What’d they say?
In South Africa 3000 men (one half circumcised, the other, not) participated in a study to determine if circumcision substantially affected the transmission of HIV and other venereal disease. The study was to last for 21 months, but was suspended after 10 because the circumcised men were dodging the virus in much greater numbers than their counter-parts. The president of the International Aids Vaccine Initiative, Seth Beckly, set out to convince as many adult African men he could to be circumcised. However, the risk of contracting aids in the U.S. is low, ergo, why rush to snip surgery? The American debate, at least, over circumcision will most likely never be settled by science. Here are a few reasons why? Professor Glick offers these questions: a) Why do many fathers think their sons should look just like their fathers, b) Why do secular Jews who rarely or never set foot in a synagogue still circumcise their kids? c) Why would half the human race be born needing immediate surgery?” One Jewish father whose two sons were circumcised Abraham-style, opined, “Both my boys screamed and then cried hard until the Mohel stuffed a gauze pad soaked in Manischewitz wine in their mouths. Then they nursed and fell into a deep sleep. On a Richter scale of pain, I’d say their newborn vaccine shots were a 3, a circumcision a 7, about the same level as a spinal tap.”
If you want to know more about the Abraham-style circumcision, grab your Webster’s; go to the M’s for Mohel, but first grab yourself a tall glass of Manischewitz; you’ll need it.

http://www.henryherald.com/opinion/local_story_235214252.html?keyword=secondarystory

3 comments

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

New Jersey Rabbinical student 'moons' crowd

A student of the Rabbinical College of America was arrested for punching a man, trying to steal his car and then "mooning" onlookers.

Police were called at 10:27 p.m. Saturday after a resident of Tikvah Way, a residential condominium area for the Rabbinical College community, approached Yaakov Lipskier, 19, of Crown Heights, N.Y., a student, who appeared to be intoxicated and walking on the street.

The resident asked Lipskier if he needed help and even offered him a ride home. Police said Lipskier responded by grabbing the man's car keys and then got into the man's car and tried to put the car into reverse.

When the man tried to stop Lipskier, the rabbinical student punched the man in the face, according to police accounts. Lipskier then got out of the car, threw the car keys to the ground and exposed his buttocks to the crowd that was attracted by the commotion.

Police soon found Lipskier farther up the road. He was charged with robbery, aggravated assault, theft and lewdness and released on $5,000 bail.

http://www.dailyrecord.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060822/UPDATES01/608220371/1005/NEWS01

10 comments

Monday, August 21, 2006

Two cars flip over on the Grand Central Parkway - Exclusive Chaptzem! pictures

The cars hit each other causing them to flip over. Nobody was seriously injured.











4 comments
JEWS IN A 'JAM' IN BORO PARK

Orthodox Jews with large families are so intent on living in Borough Park, Brooklyn, it's the neighborhood with the most crowded households in the city, a new report states.

The 2005 "State of New York City's Housing and Neighborhoods" report, issued by NYU's Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy, found that 13.1 percent of Borough Park's homes fell into the "severely crowded" category, defined as more than 1.5 persons for each room.

Borough Park was ranked the most congested neighborhood out of 55 around the city.

By comparison, Bedford-Stuyvesant a few miles away came in 51st, with just 0.8 percent of the units severely crowded.

"That's not a surprise, not at all," said City Councilman Simcha Felder, whose district includes Borough Park.

"Even in a neighborhood like Williamsburg [which is also heavily populated by Orthodox Jews], there are commercial zones being turned into housing.

"There's really not much place to go in Borough Park."

Felder said many Orthodox families have six or seven members.

"Some are more - not many are much less," he said.

Overall, the housing picture in the city last year was mixed, with more units being produced - but the shortfall was still estimated at more than 100,000.

"The big-picture story is the loss of units affordable to working families over the last three years," said Professor Vicki Been, director of the Furman Center.

http://www.nypost.com/news/regionalnews/jews_in_a_jam_in_boro_park_regionalnews_david_seifman__city_hall_bureau_chief.htm

0 comments

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Vizhnitz gets court decision on Bnei-Brak Shul in Williamsburg

After months of fighting and ongoing Supreme Court intervention over the fate of the Bnei-Brak Vizhnitzer Shul in Williamsburg, a Court decision has been rendered. The Shul's ownership was thrown into chaos after the unexpected change in power in Vizhnitz of Bnei-Brak between R' Mendel and R' Yisroel Hager, leaving it with a tough decision to make. Should the Shul be handed over to the now majority membership faction, or should the Shul be run by the largest donating faction (rov minyon or rov binyon). The case, which was brought in front of the Heimishe Mentch on the Bench,
Supreme Court Justice David Schmidt, was finally put to rest. Justice Schmidt, a known hard-core advocate for settling cases, especially in Beis-Din, got both parties to agree to go to Beis-Din to settle the case. The agreement was that a Beis-Din made up of five people, including HaRav Eichenstein and HaRav Zilber, would decide the Shul's ownership and that both sides would follow with the Beis Din's decision.

4 comments

Friday, August 18, 2006

Koppell Goes Too Far for Felder



















Although Councilman Simcha Felder joined yesterday's rally criticizing the way the city's Board of Elections is testing new voting machines under the Help America Vote Act, he ended up protesting the rally itself.

HAVA is the federal law that funds upgrades in local voting machines so hanging chads and punch cards will be a thing of the past. Albany didn't agree on how exactly to comply with HAVA until recently. Now, some worry that the new voting machines will only face their first real test in 2008, during the presidential primaries.

At the rally, Felder and others said the upgrades in voting technology were desperately needed. Councilman Oliver Koppell took it one step further, connecting the need for new voting machines here to allegations that the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections were basically stolen in places like Ohio and Florida, which use not-so-tech-savvy voting machines.

Upon hearing this, Felder turned and walked away from the crowd, saying in a stage whisper, "I don't believe that."

http://thepoliticker.observer.com/2006/08/koppell-goes-too-far-for-felder.html

2 comments

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Single bidder for 20-acre East Ramapo parcel

The East Ramapo school district's controversial call for buyers for its vacant Wesley Hills property has drawn a single bidder.

American Investment Group LLC, a Brooklyn-based company, has offered to pay $7,350,000 for the 20.7-acre property that is adjacent to Lime Kiln Elementary School.

Reached by phone at his Monsey office yesterday, Michael Goldstein, who co-owns American Investment Group with Brooklyn resident Mendel Greenbaum, said that, if awarded the bid, the company would develop single-family homes on the parcel. Goldstein said that he has been involved in the development of single-family homes on other properties in Rockland County.

The company's bid was announced yesterday morning by school district attorney Stephen Fromson at the district's administrative building.

The district has previously stated that it reserves the right to reject any and all bids on the property. Fromson said the East Ramapo Board of Education would discuss the American Investment Group's application at next week's board meeting.

The company's bid is $850,000 over what the district set as its minimum acceptable bid. Its application included a bid deposit of $367,500. Conditions set by the district required that any potential buyers make a deposit amounting to 5 percent of the bid amount as part of a bid application.

Last week, Ramapo Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence said the town would be willing to pay $2 million as part of a join effort with the county and village buy the property. But St. Lawrence said yesterday that the town opted not to submit a bid because the district's asking price was too high. The property, he said, was assessed at $3 million.

"We're interested in trying to preserve the property, but we weren't going to bid over $6.5 million," he said.

The potential sale of the Wesley Hills property has generated controversy in the district, with many — including St. Lawrence — arguing that the land should be preserved as open space and as a place for East Ramapo students to study ecology.

"I would very much like to have that property left the way it is, to keep the tone of the neighborhood and the environment where you have groups of houses and free space," said Zelda Pepper, a village resident and a former East Ramapo teacher.

"We don't want an increase in density in Wesley Hills as has occurred in Monsey," she said.

The property is zoned as R-50, which requires 50,000-square-foot plots for single family homes.

Wesley Hills resident Ronald Steiner said he feared that development could pose a problem to neighborhood infrastructure. If so-called McMansions were built, he said, the land could "not support that kind of housing because of our water supply, the inadequacy of the sewers and the inadequacy of the roads."

Pepper said she worried that if the land is sold, its buyer would challenge its zoning and build a more dense development that would tax local infrastructure even more.

But Wesley Hills Mayor Robert Frankl sounded a more positive note about the property's prospective development and about American Investment Group.

"I'm sure they have plans to build a magnificently beautiful subdivision," he said. "I'm sure they're professional people and they know what they're doing and we're going to get along famously."

http://www.thejournalnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060817/NEWS03/608170315/1024/NEWS08

0 comments

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Exclusive Chaptzem! pictures of the bomb scare at Assemblyman Dov Hikind's office

Exclusive pictures from inside the Police perimeter.











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13 Avenue package - Update

After x-raying, and almost exploding, the suspicious package that was left at Assemblyman Dov Hikind's office, the bomb squad had determined that the box actually was filled with toys as it was marked. The bomb squad and Police have left the area, but interestingly enough they have not yet opened 13th Avenue for traffic.

0 comments
13th Avenue closed down due to possible bomb

13th Avenue in Boro-Park has been closed down by the bomb squad because of the possibility of a bomb at the location. A non-Jewish looking man walked into the office of Assemblyman Dov Hikind on 48th Street and 13th Avenue, plopped down a package on his desk and left. The package was addressed to Dov Hikind and said on it, "Toys from Mayer Kahane." Police were immediately called and they dispatched the bomb squad who immediately closed down the Avenue are now investigating the situation.

1 comments

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Terrorist training camp found in New York


13 comments
Fighting like Katz and Katz

Rabbi Leibel Katz and his brother are on the verge of going to court to settle a dispute over some money. Although the brothers keep threatening each other to go to court if the other one won't give in, they are nevertheless reluctant to actually do so because of what may come out in the public because of it.

170 comments

Monday, August 14, 2006

Korn's Bakery on 15th Avenue closes down - again

Korn's Bakery on 15th Avenue in Boro-Park has closed its doors to business once again. The bakery, which had been fighting against union workers for years, had received a court injunction forcing it to take in union workers. In order to avoid having to go along with this judicial decree, the bakery rather closed down and ceased all of its operations. The bakery will no doubt open again under a new name as it has done numerous times in the past.

Links to the original court decisions regarding unions, when Korn's Bakery still went by the name Korn's Bakery.

Document 1 (HTML format) - Document 1 (PDF format) - Document 2

7 comments

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Arabs threaten to kill Heimishe

Some Heimishe people that spent this past Shabbos on vacation in Lincoln, New Hampshire were given a Middle-Eastern Arab greeting. While taking a walk in the neighborhood, Arabs began to yell at the Heimishe men, "You Jews, we're gonna hurt you and we'll kill you." The Arabs were yelling and waving sticks at the Heimishe people. Within minutes more Heimishe people came. The Arab men started yelling for other people to come and help them "Kill the Jews." The tension started growing and the eruption of violence was imminent. A Fireman happened to pass by and called Police. Lincoln Police came down and said that they could not arrest anyone because it was a 'he said, she said' scenario. However, the Police did make a report and warned that if something did happen it would be ugly for both sides.

2 comments

Friday, August 11, 2006

Minor injuries for Bobover children in bus crash

None of the 48 Hasidic children on a bus that barreled over a guardrail at the bottom of Ferndale-Loomis Road last evening appeared to be seriously hurt, authorities said.
The bus, on the way to a water park, was carrying kids from Camp Shalva D’Bobov near Monticello Raceway, landed in a ditch along the Middle Mongaup River.
At least 10 of the children were carried away on stretchers. But none appeared to have more than bumps and bruises.
Heavy skid marks were visible on the steep decline toward the intersection with Old Route 17. The bus broke through a fence near the Ferndale Antiques Marketplace before going over the rail.
Ryan Lagattuta, who lives above the store, said the bus was traveling fast, possibly 45 mph.
“It looked like it just totally lost control,” she said. “It just kept going.”
This is the second time in two years that a school bus failed to come to a stop at the bottom of the hill.
On May 23, 2004, excessive speed was the primary cause of a charter-bus crash that injured 54 teenage girls returning from a religious retreat.

http://www.recordonline.com/archive/2006/08/11/brf48.htm

5 comments
Voters OK new village

An overwhelming majority of town voters decided yesterday that the higher taxes and political uncertainty of a new layer of government was worth whatever protection it would give against an expansion of Kiryas Joel.

Residents voted 2,092 to 583 to create a 36.8-square-mile village that encompasses all of Woodbury except its share of Harriman. The new village will be governed by a mayor and trustees, independent of the Town Board that now runs Woodbury.

A line of voters stretched out the front door and down the steps of Town Hall for much of the day, with people lining up even before the voting began at noon. Police stood at the back of the line to turn people away at 9 p.m., when the poll was supposed to close. Those already in line were allowed to vote.

The tallying of votes was delayed because many of the remaining voters belonged to a group of Hasidic voters who registered last week after the deadline to be placed on the rolls. They had to approach poll workers, one by one, and present evidence to show they were eligible to vote.

Residents petitioned to form the village in 2004 at a time of intense anxiety about a potential expansion of neighboring Kiryas Joel and its high-density housing. But the proposal was challenged and languished in court until an appeals court cleared the way in July.

Since then, it has gone through the meat grinder of Woodbury politics.

Proponents argued it would prevent Kiryas Joel or anyone else from creating its own village in Woodbury and changing the zoning. They claimed the new government wouldn't change existing services or impose too much of a tax burden.

Opponents challenged the motives of "the village people" and the accuracy of their information. They argued the new village would drive up taxes and do little to thwart Kiryas Joel's designs on southwestern Woodbury.

But "yes" voters said outside the polling station said yesterday that they either doubted the new village would create much of a tax burden or decided that its benefits outweighed the cost - whatever that turns out to be.

"As crass as it may sound, sometimes you have to pay to protect what you have," Teresa Bianco said.

John Houlahan, another supporter, said: "I believed that if we voted 'no' now, a second Kiryas Joel may be incorporated. I feel strongly that we should keep the zoning the way it is now."

http://www.recordonline.com/archive/2006/08/11/news-camvillage3-08-11.html

0 comments

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Bank of America ordered to defend role in lawsuit

A federal appeals court has ruled Bank of America Corp. and two other banks must defend themselves against a lawsuit related to a scheme that defrauded Orthodox Jews and others out of millions of dollars.

According to Reuters, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals has reinstated state law claims brought by dozens of investors alleging the banks were negligent.

Along with Charlotte, N.C.-based BofA (NYSE: BAC), the banks involved in the suit are HSBC Holdings plc (NYSE: HBC) and Sterling Bancorp (NYSE: STL).

The case involves David Schick, a New York real estate lawyer who in the early 1990s convinced investors he had devised a no-risk scheme to generate high returns by bidding on and subsequently selling pools of mortgages.

According to the appeals court, investors would advance funds to Schick, who would then claim to deposit them in escrow accounts at Fleet Bank, now part of BofA; Republic National Bank, now part of HSBC; and Sterling National Bank.

Instead, the court said Schick raided the accounts, stealing $82 million before his fraud was discovered.

According to the news agency, investors claimed the banks were liable because they failed to report overdrafts on Schick's accounts to a state bar committee overseeing client funds, even though he repeatedly bounced checks.

BofA spokeswoman Shirley Norton told Reuters the bank intends to vigorously defend itself in the case.

http://sanfrancisco.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/stories/2006/08/07/daily38.html

0 comments
Monsey roadwork set to begin by 2007

An extensive road-improvement project in a notoriously congested area of Monsey is expected to begin by early next year.

The nearly $2 million project includes widening Maple Avenue between Route 306 and Monsey Boulevard, as well as adding antique lamp posts, turn lanes, sidewalks and curbs on both sides of the avenue, said Howard Lampert, the town's traffic consultant.

"This is one of the largest projects the town has ever done," said Lampert, who is based in New Rochelle. "This is a total reconstruction of the road. This should have been done years ago."

The stretch of road serves a walking community — comprised mostly of Orthodox Jews, whose population has grown in the area over the years — and the lack of sidewalks creates a potential hazard for drivers and pedestrians.

Lampert said the town's plan includes flattening that section of Maple Avenue, which may appear level but in certain areas has a 6 percent grade, and widening the road from about 24 feet to 34 feet.

The widening would include adding a westbound right-turn lane on Maple and another lane to allow drivers to make a left turn at every intersection, Lampert said.

He said the project also includes widening Monsey Boulevard to two lanes and adding a left-turn lane.

"That area is a bottleneck," Lampert said. "That'll be eliminated when we're finished."

He added that the town was applying to the state for money from the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program to create other turn lanes, one of which would provide a right turn onto Route 306.

Accidents that have caused deaths and serious injuries in the surrounding area in the past few months have prompted the town to look for ways to make the Route 306 corridor safer.

"We are going to continue to look at ways to separate vehicles from pedestrian traffic," Ramapo Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence said.

He said he planned to go to Washington, D.C., next month to seek federal funding to install sidewalks along portions of Route 59.

In addition, the town and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority are close to signing a 25-year lease for land on an abandoned rail line that the town plans to use for a 3,000-foot-long, paved walkway.

http://www.thejournalnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060810/NEWS03/608100343/1019/NEWS03

0 comments

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Fight at Fialkoff's Pizza Shop

A fight broke out between two mechanics from the nearby Landfield Garage on Route 42 in Monticello and workers at Fialkoff Pizza. During the fight one of the Pizza Shop workers grabbed one of the mechanic's jacket. The two mechanics took off, leaving the jacket behind. The Pizza Shop workers called the Police and two marked cars from the Monticello Police Department and one unmarked car showed up. A Tuv-Taam truck driver happened to be there at the time and photographed the fight on his camera phone. Police questioned both sides and viewed the pictures on the phone. The cops then returned the mechanic's jacket and told everyone to go back to work and they left the scene.

4 comments

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Hurleyville development 'becomes' Heimish

The latest development by D. R. Horton, the largest developer in the United Sates, has been completed and is now up for sale. The development of 107 units which is built on 87 acres right on Main St. originally had come under great scrutiny by the anti-Semitic Town Board as to assure that the residents of the development would not be Jewish. At Town Board meetings Board members would repeatedly ask for assurance from the developer that he was not planning on selling to Jews. Also Board members asked the developer many times for to promise that he was not building a Shul. The developer went along with all of the Town's requests and advertised the coming development as a place for working professionals to buy affordable houses. However, much to the Town's dismay, this all changed once the development had reached completion. Once the houses were ready to be sold, the developer began a massive advertisement campaign in all the Jewish Newspapers and is targeting the Heimishe Oilem exclusively.

Link to the developer's site

11 comments

Monday, August 07, 2006

Watch a video clip from the Emes and the Law seminar

A compilation of brief, but poignant, clips from the Emes and the Law seminar, including speeches by Rabbi Yissocher Frand, Joseph Leshkowitz, Jacob Laufer, Supreme Court Justice David Schmidt and Sheldon Eisenberger, Emceed by Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel.



Tapes and CD's are available through Iv'Lechtecha Ba'Derech (845)783-7900

6 comments

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Gibson will have to do much more than fake sincerity



















R' Mel Gibson - Der Mellertzer Rebbe

So, Mel doesn't know where the words came from. Mr Gibson, superstar, went into an anti-Semitic rant when he was arrested by police on a drink-driving charge. It's alleged that the celebrated Australian movie star, after swinging like a monkey on the bars of his cell, asked a police officer if he was a Jew before going on to accuse the "****ing Jews" of being "responsible for all the wars in the world".
Charming. Gibson is now contrite, apologising for saying "despicable things he did not believe to be true". He says he hopes to meet Jewish leaders to help him "understand where those vicious words came from". The implication of this is that he is not really anti-Semitic. Somehow, under the influence of alcohol, words that didn't represent his true beliefs popped out. Aye, right. No doubt some of his best friends are Jews, and all that. A number of issues need to be disentangled here. They have to do with alcoholic self-deception, the rise of "respectable" anti-Semitism, self-interest, the actions of Israel's government and the nature of repentance. So let's go.
Mel Gibson's morning-after grovelling may have as much to do with the fact that he is due to film a TV series about the Holocaust, and this project is now under serious threat. Gibson, at the top of his game, has done a spectacular Zidane headbutt on his own reputation before an audience of millions.
What of the claim that the booze made him say things he didn't believe to be true? I'm sure that some who love Mel will believe him. The fact is that drink loosens inhibitions and allows people to utter the words that they believe deep down but dare not say in polite company. Many an over-refreshed ex-employee who decided to share his true feelings with the boss at the office party will testify sorrowfully to that. Under the influence of drink, when the socialised masks have been stripped away, the truth is often spoken. In vino veritas.
The problem for Gibson is that the charge of anti-Semitism is not a new one. Long before his production of The Passion, the director had been accused of anti-Jewish sentiment. And several reputable Gentile scholars have detected in Gibson's blockbuster life of Christ an anti-Semitic subtext. So where did his drunken words come from? Here's a good place to start: the father of the Braveheart actor was a well-known anti-Semite.

http://www.theherald.co.uk/features/67293.html

12 comments

Saturday, August 05, 2006

More Exclusive Chaptzem! Pictures - More pictures from the front line

Tisha B'Av Mincha



0 comments

Friday, August 04, 2006

An open letter from a civillian at the front line

I was e-mailed this letter and asked to please post it on this site.

After reviewing the pictures from the front lines that I had posted in the last couple of days and seeing what is going on, I think this letter could not have expressed the situation any better.


Tisha B'av night / August 2, 2006
Kiryat Shemona, Israel

Dear friend,


My name is Yoel. I live in Brooklyn, New York but I now have the privilege of corresponding with you from Beis Chabad / Chabad house at Chabad of Kiryat Shemona on the Israeli/Lebanese border.

For three weeks already Northern Israel has been, and continues to be, bombarded by hundreds of rockets a day and as of today more rockets have fallen on the region than during any other day in this conflict. And while the entire area has been affected no city has been at the receiving end of more rockets than Kiryat Shemona.

Tonight was the first time in the fourteen year history of Chabad of Kiryat Shemonah that there was no minyan for the reading of Eichah. In fact there were only five of us. It is simply too dangerous to venture out of the bomb shelters. As I write to you now the air raid siren has been sounding on and off for hours now and I can hear the deafening explosions of Katyusha rockets landing around us and the return fire of Israeli artillery. It is non-stop, at least one every ten seconds. So far during this conflict Kiryat Shemona was hit by over 400 rockets.

In the past hour two Katyusha rockets have landed within a mile of here.

This place is a war zone. It is not by the front lines, it is the front lines.

Over half of Kiryat Shemona's residents have fled for safer parts of the country. Those that haven't fled have been holed up in bomb shelters day in day out 24 hours a day for three weeks now. Only one store is open and only for two hours a day. The economy here has not slowed down. It has disintegrated. All other stores are closed. All banks are closed. All factories are closed. And all the people are out of work.

People have neither the money for food nor the wherewithal or capability to procure it. You can only imagine that if they’re not willing to leave the shelters to hear Eichah on Tisha B'av night then surely they won't leave to purchase food and supplies at the only store that is – barely – open.

Enter the heroes of Chabad of Kiryat Shemona. Rabbi Yigal Tzipori and two brave students from Kfar Chabad daily put their lives in danger so that others may eat. Over 4,800 sandwiches and meals are prepared by their soup kitchen daily.

In addition Chabad distributes crates of diapers and basic necessities to those in need and provides toys and games for the thousands of children still stuck in shelters. These supplies are very much in demand and are very costly.

Last but not least Chabad daily treks out to the IDF artillery units that ring this city and provide them with sandwiches, tehilims, and lay tefilin to those who desire. Words cannot describe how much the soldiers appreciate the caring and love shown to them by these brave people of Chabad who come to visit them on the front lines.

Friends, Chabad cannot continue their heroic work without your support. They are in dire need of donations. Their daily budget is in excess of $4,000 and opportunities for fundraising here in Kiryat Shemona are non-exstent. Please contribute what you can to this worthy cause. Here on the front-lines it would be greatly appreciated.

Please send your urgently needed tax deductible contributions to Chabad Lubavitch shluchim office @ 816 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, New York 11213. Those who do not need a US tax deduction may send their contributions to Chabad of Kiryat Shemona, PO Box 2225, Kiryat Shemona, Israel.

Yours truly,

Yoel

Please use the link at the bottom of this post to e-mail this letter to everyone you know.

9 comments

Thursday, August 03, 2006

More Exclusive Chaptzem! Pictures - More pictures from the front line

Tisha B'Av Shachris





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Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Exclusive Chaptzem! Pictures - Pictures from the front line

These are exclusive pictures from the front line on the Israeli Lebanese border. You will not see these pictures anywhere, not even in the media.

Lubavitchers are giving food and are putting on Tefilin on the soldiers at an army base near Kiryat Shmonah. The Chabad House was the only place that was open for business there.


















11 comments

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Hikind group finds itself in middle of mortar attack

The Hikind solidarity group was rushed onto their bus and into a shelter by members of the IDF when the area in Kiryat Shmonah where they were came under mortar attack. The soldiers began yelling that they had to go find cover right away, because it was to dangerous to stay there. Dov was heard saying that this trip was by far his most incredible and most rewarding trip to Israel ever. The group also brought fresh hot pizza to overjoyed troops, which they had purchased at the only pizza shop in north Israel that was still open for business.

9 comments
Route 42 roadblock - update

The Sheriffs have now left the roadblock and are no longer stopping cars. However, there is now a State Trooper 4x4 parked at the area where the roadblock had previously been and he is hiding behind a yellow Thompson Township van.

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Roadblock On Rt. 42 

Sheriffs have setup a roadblock on both sides of Route 42 near exit 105b and are randomly stopping cars.

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Emes and the Law seminar - Update

As in the previous years, the Emes and the Law seminar was an outstanding success. The program began with Rabbi Yissocher Frand speaking about sheker and the pitfalls of when one sinks into this mode of conducting business. Yosef Leshkowitz related a story about an assumption in the court system of Jews being uneducated and not understanding English, when in fact most Jews are extremely educated and knowledgeable. Jacob Laufer also spoke about emes and the importance of conducting oneself in this manner at all times. Supreme Court Justice David Schmidt as reported spoke about the chillul Hashem that takes place when a Jew goes to court. He related some real life experiences as to what is said about Jews when they can't solve their disputes on their own. Judge Schmidt rattled of scores of quotes from the Gemorah and Rishonim about the extreme issur of going to court. He also said that while businessmen usually use the excuse that Beis Din makes P'shoras, as a heter to go to court, the secular court settles over 96% of cases anyway. Besides that point, he said, it is the Halacha that Beis Din should make P'shoras. As a solution to this problem, the Judge said that if people would write out their business contracts according to Halacha they would not have to go to court, because the court would have to rule exactly as the Beis Din would. The last speaker, Sheldon Eisenberger, spoke about doing business the right and straight way and relayed some personal experiences about himself as an attorney. The fire Department came down several times throughout the seminar to make sure that everything was up to standard. Rabbi Zwiebel, the Chairman, announced a couple of times to make sure that the exits were not blocked because there were 'chushive' guests present that were watching for that. The seminar was video taped and audio recorded for those who could not make it.

8 comments

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