Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Jacko's Anti-Semitic Remarks Could Hurt Child-Custody Battle

Jacko has been fighting Jewish ex-wife Debbie Rowe over custody of kids Prince Michael, 8, and Paris, 7.

The celebrity news Web site www.tmz.com is reporting that Jackson family lawyer, Michael Abrams, wrote in secret court papers that The Gloved One's past anti-Semitic comments may work against him in his fight.

Rowe and Jackson agreed to air their case in front of a privately hired arbitrator, retired L.A. County Superior Court Judge Stephen Lachs.

Abrams, in previous court documents cited by the site, said, "Judge Lachs is Jewish, as am I. He has made me aware of this in the past and I understand Judge Lachs' concern about anti-Semitism."

In his song "They Don't Care About Us," Jackson says: "Jew me, sue me, everybody do me, kick me, kike me."


First $4.2 million disbursed in World War II Nazi Gold Train case

The first $4.2 million (€3.5 million) has been distributed to needy Holocaust survivors from the settlement of a lawsuit stemming from the U.S. seizure in 1945 of a Nazi "Gold Train" loaded with valuables belonging to Hungarian Jews, lawyers involved in the case said Monday.

The money, part of an overall $25.5 million (€21.1 million) settlement approved in September by a Miami federal judge, has been distributed to Jewish social services agencies for the benefit of Holocaust survivors in the United States, Australia, Canada, Hungary, Israel, Romania and Sweden.

"While there isn't enough money in the world to compensate Holocaust survivors for what they went through, the government's acknowledgment of responsibility and fair, just settlement will foster healing and bring closure to this unfortunate episode in American history," said Jonathan Cuneo, lead lawyer for the plaintiffs.

The "Gold Train" carried jewelry, gold, artwork, Oriental rugs, china and other valuables confiscated by the Nazis from Hungarian Jews during World War II. The train was seized by U.S. forces in Austria after the war ended in May 1945; some items were stolen and others were used by American officers to furnish offices and homes during the U.S. occupation of Austria.

The U.S. government issued an apology for those actions in October as part of the settlement. The remaining items were auctioned in New York in 1948, with the proceeds going to Jewish relief efforts.

It is unknown when the rest of the money will be distributed.

Original Chaptzem! article on this topic



Sunday, January 29, 2006

Lipa Schmeltzer pleads ignorance

During an interview with Zev Brenner last night on the radio, Lipa Schmeltzer, when confronted by a caller as to why he had used a goyishe tune from the Lion King for his Abi Meleibt video, Lipa said that he had no knowledge of the tune being from a famous Broadway play. Lipa explained himself by saying that Sheya Mendlowitz had just approached him with a tune and asked him to write words for it. Other than that he claims he had no knowledge about the tune or as to its origin. The funny thing is that from the blank expression on Lipa's face you can almost believe what he is saying as being true.

Rabbi Ephraim Wachsman hosts dinner tonight

Rabbi Ephraim Wachsman, from Monsey, the known overpriced badchen and internet hypocrite, will be hosting a dinner tonight at Ateres Charna. Rabbi Wachsman, who is known to take over 'tzen toazent tuler' to do his badchunis at a single chasunah, has lately been the center of controversy. The issue came up for Rabbi Wachsman when shortly after signing a clear statement against internet use by people of the heimishe community, he was found to be guilty of hypocrisy by launching a full-fledged internet fund-raising campaign. I'm actually shocked that this time he has decided to make the dinner at a bricks and mortar establishment rather than online.


Saturday, January 28, 2006

Rabbi Yitzchak Kaduri Passes Away in Jerusalem at 108

Elder Kabbalist Rabbi Yitzchak Kaduri passed away Saturday night at Jerusalem's Bikur Cholim Hospital. His funeral will take place Sunday at noon.

Rav Kaduri, born in 1898, was 108 years old. He was hospitalized for 13 days prior to his death.

Rabbi Kaduri's funeral will set out at 12 PM Sunday from Jerusalem's Nahalat Yitzchak Yeshiva, which he headed. The Yeshiva is located in 19 David Street in the capital's Bucharian neighborhood. The procession will continue until Har HaMenuchot.

Arutz-7 Hebrew Radio show host Yehoshua Meiri, a student of Rabbi Kaduri, visited Rabbi Kaduri at his hospital bedside two weeks ago with the Kabbalist's grandson, Rabbi Yossi Kaduri. Meiri reported that the elder Rabbi Kaduri told them, "The time of Redemption has come."

Rabbi Kaduri made Aliyah (moved to Israel) in 1908. He then returned to Iraq to study with the famed Ben Ish Chai, and later returned to the Holy Land in 1916. He studied in Yeshivat Porat Yosef in the Old City of Jerusalem, and later in Yeshivat Nachlat Yitzchak in Jerusalem's Bucharian neighborhood. The Rabbi quickly gained a reputation for his profound study of Torah law and Kabbalah, piercing insights, and great piety.

Former Sephardic Chief Rabbi Ovadia Yosef and the Council of Sages of the Shas Party said, "We are mourning the passing of the elder kabbalist, the remnant of the Great Assembly, Rabbi Yitzchak Kaduri."

Shas Chairman Eli Yishai said, "All of Israel is one family in mourning today he who all his life prayed on behalf of the Nation of Israel and rose in a tempest heavenward."



Friday, January 27, 2006

It's erev Shabbos again -- Topic pinned for Friday.

It's erev Shabbos again and it's time to buy your Shabbos reading material, vote on what you like to read.

Vote here

New Matisyahu video

Watch the new Matisyahu vdeo.

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Thursday, January 26, 2006

Sympathy for the Abramoff Devil?

A rule in Jewish law holds that when all the judges on the Jewish high court unanimously condemned an accused criminal, he must be set free. The very unanimity was suspicious and called into question the justice of the proceedings.

Talk about unanimity. By now thousands of published articles, ranging from critical to hateful, have appeared about the famous Jack Abramoff � Orthodox Jew, former Washington super-lobbyist, product of an affluent Beverly Hills upbringing and future inmate of the Federal Bureau of Prisons. He has pleaded guilty to mail fraud, tax evasion and conspiracy.

As Abramoff told The Jewish Journal in a series of phone interviews earlier this month, �I had lost a sense of proportion and judgment. God sent me 1,000 hints that He didn�t want me to keep doing what I was doing. But I didn�t listen, so He set off a nuclear bomb.�

In such a case, can there be room for giving the universally condemned man the benefit of the doubt?

�What hurts the most is the way my co-religionists want to cut my head off,� Abramoff says.

Predictably, he has been excoriated by some Jews who seem transparently thrilled to point to an Orthodox Jew with failings. The response from the Orthodox community is more aptly described as shock and frequently expressions of shame at the thought that Abramoff, a Jew, did what he did.

But the story has another side.

In presenting this alternate view, I don�t pretend to be disinterested. I have met Abramoff twice, and 10 years ago I enjoyed spending the first two festival days of Sukkot in his home. His fundraising efforts, related in his plea agreement, supported many Republican and Jewish causes including an organization I admire and once worked for � Toward Tradition.http://www.jewishjournal.com/home/preview.php?id=15327


Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Orthodox Jews Will Assemble to Protest Against AIPAC

Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss, a spokesman for Neturei Karta International, Jews United Against Zionism, stated at a recent meeting: "Philanthropists and government representatives, should be apprised of the reality, that supporting Zionism and the State of 'Israel,' does not help Jews or Judaism, but only helps to perpetuate the tragic impasse and constant bloodshed in the Middle East."

He further explained: "History clearly attests to the fact that the Jewish existence in all Muslim countries, was mostly harmonious and only since the inception of Zionism, has this relationship been destroyed." "Remove the intimidation and hyperbole of AIPAC and its ilk, and any logical person will conclude that the difference of religion, is not the cause of the deep seated rift between Jews and Arabs. The new ideology, the political movement of Zionism, which culminated in the form of the State of 'Israel,' is the real culprit.

"Not supporting the State of 'Israel,' does not make one, in any way, less of a friend of the Jewish people and most certainly does not label one, an anti-Semite."

The Rabbi further stated: "The Jewish principles of exile, may be a shock and a complete surprise to the well meaning friends and supporters of the Jewish people, but facts can not be disputed. The Torah explicitly forbids us, the Jewish nation, from having our own State in this Heavenly decreed exile. We must patiently await the day, when the Almighty Himself, without any human intervention, will bring the hearts of all mankind together to serve Him in peace and harmony.

"Rabbis, Orthodox Jewish leaders and laymen, have fought Zionism continuously since its inception and up until the present day. True Torah Jews will never accept Zionism and the State of 'Israel.'

"May we merit to see, soon in our days, the peaceful and speedy dismantlement of the State of 'Israel,' and the fulfillment of Isaiah's prophesies 'And they will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. No nation will lift its sword against any other, nor will they learn warfare anymore.'"


Enclosure Sought by Jews Approved in N.J.

After a six-year legal battle, a group of Orthodox Jews won the right to create a symbolic enclosure around the community by attaching plastic strips to utility poles.

In a 5-0 vote, the Tenafly Borough Council, whose efforts to restrict the strips had been rebuffed by the courts, agreed Tuesday to let the enclosure, known as an eruv, stand. The council also agreed to pay the group's $325,000 in court costs.

An eruv is created by connecting objects both natural and manmade to form an unbroken boundary line. Inside that district, Orthodox Jews can perform tasks that are otherwise forbidden outside the home on the Sabbath, such as carrying objects or pushing baby strollers. The eruv symbolically extends the boundaries of home.

To help create the eruv, strips called lechis are attached to utility poles.

In 2000, a portion of the eruv was found at the Tenafly Nature Center, prompting the borough to ban it. The borough argued that allowing the markings could be construed as preferential government treatment toward certain religious groups, since it is illegal in Tenafly to put posters or other objects on utility poles.

The Tenafly Eruv Association, which had obtained permission for the markings from two utility companies and the county, sued.

A federal judge ruled in 2001 that the borough had the right to ban the lechis, but an appeals court disagreed, saying the borough had selectively enforced the ban on utility pole attachments. The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the case.

"This was a dark period in Tenafly history," Councilman Joseph Salvatore said. "If I had one wish, it would be that the Orthodox community was welcomed with open arms."



Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Satmars were right about Israel

Nobel Prize Laureate for Economics, Professor Israel Aumann said Tuesday that the Satmars, an anti-Zionist Hasidic sect, were right in saying that an independent Jewish state should not be established before the messiah’s arrival.

Speaking at a Bnei Akiva conference in Ramat-Gan, Aumann reiterated his criticism of the government’s treatment of Gush Katif evacuees, referring to it as a "national disgrace."

He also slammed decision-makers for continuing to allow Palestinian incitement, as he called it, which “is even worse than terror attacks or Qassams.”

During his keynote speech at the event, Aumann said he believes Israel is “in deep trouble,” adding that “perhaps only the national religious Jews and the Bnei Akiva yeshivas can salvage the situation.”

“I fear the Satmars were right. As God did not build a home here, the Zionists’ work is for nothing,” he said.

Aumann proceeded to incorporate the game theory he developed into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying Israel’s yearning for immediate peace makes it even harder to achieve.

“If we could say to our neighbors, ‘You have time? So do we. You’re sticking to your goal? So are we.’ If they understand this, peace will be attainable,” he said.

Aumann presented the Cold War era as an example of his theory, claiming that the fact that one side realized any attack would result in nuclear retaliation actually helped preserve the calm.


No welcome for Jews staying near hospital

"This is what I'm talking about," said Cathy Mills as she stood in her driveway across from Good Samaritan Hospital watching a young Hasidic man wearing a black suit and stovepipe hat walk briskly from the hospital into the house next door.

"This will go on all day and tomorrow. Complete strangers coming and going, coming and going," Mills said Friday.

The stranger was Isaac Guttman from Kiryas Joel. He was nervous and hungry, but mostly nervous. His wife was at Good Samaritan Hospital about to give birth to their first child.

Inside the house, he paced in the living room. Minutes later, as if readying for a deep-water plunge, he drew a large breath, opened the door and started back to the hospital.

On Friday and Saturday, Guttman had - at no charge - free reign of the house, which is owned and operated by Bikur Cholim ("visiting the sick"). The Monsey-based nonprofit group offers Orthodox Jews who are visiting family members at Good Samaritan a place to eat and sleep (and pace) during the Sabbath, which lasts from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday. Orthodox Jews are forbidden to drive during the Sabbath.

But Mills and her neighbors, along with village officials, call the yellow two-story house at 5 Hillcrest Road an illegal transient motel and say it should be shuttered. In response, Bikur Cholim has filed a federal lawsuit, claiming its religious rights are being violated.

The village denied a zoning variance for the home in November on the grounds that it was located on a residential block. Village Attorney Terry Rice said nowhere in the village is there zoning that would allow the Bikur Cholim house.

Bikur Cholim, which operates similar homes at hospitals in Nyack and Westchester Medical Center, had operated a Shabbos house a few streets over for years without any complaints or interference from the village.

Only when the group bought the home on Hillcrest in April did the village step in, citing the house for code violations and for illegal use.



Sunday, January 22, 2006

We have the Lipa Schmeltzer Abi Meleibt video

After being posted on the Chaptzem! Blog, the Lipa Scmeltzer Abi Meleibt video became the most requested video on google videos. However the entity that posted the video has removed it since and it can no longer be downloaded via google. Nevertheless, we have made sure that no one will have to forgo the opportunity to watch this video. The video is now exclusively available in its entirety to watch and download from the site that has brought you so many other things, the Chaptzem! Blog.


Watch streaming video high quality

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Saturday, January 21, 2006

Videos of R' Bentzion's Chasunah for a Polish ger

Check out these videos from the Chasunah that R' Bentzion made in Bobover Beis Medrash for a Polish ger.

Watch videos


Friday, January 20, 2006

Abramoff scandal shouldn't keep us from wearing hats

I've been known to wear a hat or two. I once picked up the sobriquet, the Hat Man, after appearing on a TV show with a hat on. But I had a practical reason behind - or should I say beneath - that: the TV appearance was outdoors in Albany, New York, in the dead of winter, and it was cold. In fact, I have not understood the contemporary disparagement of hats simply because I find them so practical, not to mention stylish. Which is why the current clucking over disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff's hat is problematic.

For those who have had their heads in the sand - or their hats pulled down over their eyes - Abramoff is the former American lobbyist who recently pleaded guilty to several charges, including attempts to influence the political decisions of politicians in Washington, D.C. He's also an observant Jew, and the combination of being Jewish and wearing a black fedora during his "perp walk" has gotten a lot of people talking. In fact, Orthodox Jews are quite concerned about Abramoff's behatted appearance. They are worried about the fallout of this equation: Jew + money + backroom influence + sleazy dealings + black hat = bad for the Jews.

There has been speculation that Abramoff was consciously trying to play the religion card by wearing his hat. I take the opposite stand. Few outside the Jewish community even realized the black fedora was code for religious Jew. If you didn't know, Orthodox Jews of all shades wear what I call a Model-T hat: available in any kind of style and shape, as long as it is black.


New Matisyahu video

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Police car pulling over cars at stop sign

A Police car is pulling over cars on 14th Avenue and 56th Street that pull out to far at the stop sign. The patrol car circles around the block continuously and keeps on coming around and pulls over the car, sometimes even two cars at a time. Now who said the 66th Precinct was good for nothing?

Wiiliamsburg Hasidic party photos launch police probe

An "appreciation party" where Brooklyn cops got free dinner and drinks — and expensive electronic goodies, in some cases — is now the subject of an NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau investigation, the Daily News has learned.

The lavish New Year's celebration was thrown in January 2005 at Manhattan's Prime Grill, where sources said cops were entertained by a magician and walked out with presents and "prizes" in green gift boxes.

"We want to look at photos taken at the event," said a police source. "We'll identify who was there, have them in for questioning and see where it goes from there."

A uniformed guard snapped to a salute in the icy rain on Jan. 3, 2005, as officers, including high-ranking brass in suits, got out of unmarked cars and strolled into the E. 49th St. steakhouse.

Both sides of the street had been cordoned off for police parking.

The News observed dozens of cops, some who got out of cabs at the corner, often with dates, enter the party.

The affair was hosted by Abe Friedman, an orthodox Jewish leader from South Williamsburg — a Brooklyn neighborhood where different religious sects and ethnic groups often compete over housing, jobs, city services and political pull.

It wasn't the first time Friedman had thrown New Year's celebrations at exclusive eateries for cops, sources said.

On other occasions, revelers were invited to Abigael's On Broadway for a Jan. 6, 2003, bash and again to the Prime Grill on Jan. 5, 2004. All invitations name Friedman as the "host," and described him as an "NYPD liaison."



Thursday, January 19, 2006

Crown Heights Shomrim Apprehend Career Shoplifter

At around 2:00pm today Shomrim had received complaints of an alleged shoplifter going up and down Kingston Ave. at that time an alert member spotted a man carrying a large garbage bag down Crown St. towards Troy Ave. and when the Shomrim member approached he threw the bag at the member and began to run. The member put in the call for a chase on foot and immediately there were over 10 members responding and had stopped him a mere block away on Troy between Carroll and Crown streets.

The police were then called in, and arrived instantly, and began a search of his person and the bag that the man tried to get rid of was brought to the scene, and found 6 brand new coats in the bag and in a makeshift hidden compartment of the coat he was wearing police found a bunch of air fresheners and other assorted items!

Police then held him until witnesses that had seen him in the store where he allegedly lifted the coats from, were brought by another Shomrim member to the scene and identified him as the shoplifter. Down in the police station they locked him up and ran his name which came back with more then 20 prior arrests ranging from shoplifting to burglary.



Wednesday, January 18, 2006


There was a question going around Williamsburg a few years ago, about the h-words vs. the Hasidim: Who had more sex?

The h-words did it loudly, on mattresses on the floor, without condoms and with iPod speakers pumping Sade, played ironically. The Hasidim did it quietly but produced visible results, doubling their population over the last 20 years.

Now that growth is forcing one Brooklyn Hasidic community to look across the East River and down the Turnpike to secure its future—in Philadelphia.

Lubavitcher Rabbi Solomon Isaacson of Borough Park sees Philly, where a tax-abatement program is creating a real estate resurgence, as the new Brooklyn. The rabbi has spent the past year petitioning Mayor John Street and Governor Ed Rendell to have dozens of acres in northeastern Philly developed for 300 to 1000 of his constituent families, punctuating his pitches with gifted loaves of rye.

Solomon’s efforts underscore years of success for the Hasidim, who numbered only 40,000 in Williamsburg in the 1960s, and whose very survival was questioned at the time by the Hasidic sociologist George Kranzler. The Brooklyn fixtures have prospered due to a high birth rate (eight children is fairly common), dedicated internal efforts to address poverty and powerful deals with city government—rabbis like Isaacson can deliver 5,000 ironclad votes to the Council member who comes to the table. There are now anywhere from 165,000 to 250,000 Hasidic Jews in Brooklyn, with exact figures difficult to pin down as the group tends to ignore census forms. (Every time a census takes place in the Bible, a plague or disaster is sure to follow.)

But in neighborhoods where single-family homes cost $1.5 million, this breeding success brings genuine concern about space to raise the next generation. And while there isn’t any risk of Hasidic Jews abandoning Brooklyn entirely—there have already been decampments to Lakewood, NJ, and Monsey, NY, with no appreciable loss of the borough faithful—there is a sense that Solomon’s proposed move is one of several recent growing pains.


The Orthodox OT Boom

Tamar Fromm had planned to spend Shabbat in her hotel room. Friday night dinner would entail little more than a peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich. An Orthodox Jew, Fromm, who keeps kosher, brought sandwich ingredients from home in New York to Long Beach, Calif., where she was attending the annual conference of the American Occupational Therapy Association.

By Friday afternoon, however, Fromm, an occupational therapist who treats people with multiple sclerosis, had met several other observant Jews attending the conference in May. Fromm, 25, scrapped her plans for a sandwich dinner, in favor of a makeshift celebration with about ten Shabbat-observant OTs. They lit candles on the hotel pool deck, and then gathered in a conference room for dinner. There was schnitzel from a local kosher restaurant, salad prepared by one conference-goer, and a jar of gefilte fish picked up by another.

The dinner launched Orthodox Jewish Occupational Therapy Chavrusa (www.ojotc.org). The caucus advocates on behalf of observant Jews working in occupational therapy, a field that in the past decade has become increasingly populated by Orthodox women. Though this particular group has long been a presence in the profession, Orthodox women now account for more than a third of students pursuing master’s degrees in OT at several New York-area universities, including Columbia University, State University of New York-Downstate, and Touro College, according to anecdotal evidence.

Occupational therapists teach fine motor and independent living skills to children and adults. An OT might show a wheelchair-bound sixth-grader how to maneuver the lunch line in the middle school cafeteria; coach a developmentally delayed adult on workplace-appropriate social skills; or help maximize hand use and teach personal grooming techniques to an elderly stroke victim who has lost the use of her right arm.

Fromm surmises that the flexibility many OT jobs afford accounts in part for its popularity among Orthodox women looking to balance a career with domestic responsibilities.



Monday, January 16, 2006

Williamsburg Shomrim member arrested

A Williamsburg Shomrim member was arrested last night after an altercation with a Puerto Rican man. The Puerto Rican man was being held by Shomrim until Police arrived at the scene. However as soon as the Police had arrived, the man pointed out a Shomrim member and accused him of beating him up. The Shomrim member, who actually otherwise has a good rapport with the Police Department, was handcuffed and taken into the Police Station. Regardless of whatever the member would say, the Cops insisted on holding him as a criminal. Only until later when a Community Liaison phoned the Precinct was action taken to help the Shomrim member. After the Liaison's phone call, the restraints on the Shomrim member were relaxed and he was allowed to sit in an office in the Precinct rather than in a holding cell along with other criminals. After further urging from the Liaison, the Police conducted an investigation and concluded that the Puerto Rican man's story was false and that the Shomrim member was falsely accused. The Shomrim guy was released without being processed and having to go through the system.

Kiryas Yoel Lipa Schmeltzer ban

Letter from Kiryas Yoel Vaad Hachinuch against Lipa's new album
Click to enlarge

English translation of the letter

We'd like to raise awareness and let the respected elders know that we should guard our homes from all kinds of Jewish-Yiddish music tapes.

Especially the new fearful (JEZZY-ROCK-N-ROLL) tape "Keneinahora" [Ed. the title of Schmeltzer's new CD] which is very bad for the spirituality of those who hear it.

Hashem should help save us from all bad influences which come cloaked in many different guises, especially during these holy Chanuka days, during which Hashem saved us from the Hellenists and Greeks, and we should all merit to see righteous and blessed future generations without any bad influences in any fashion.

We should all merit the fullfillment of the blessing of one who lights Chanukah candles will be blessed with sons that are Torah scholars, Amen, so be his will.

Vaad Hachinuch.


Sunday, January 15, 2006

Rabbi Balkany back to his old tricks

Rabbi Milton Balkany is Boruch Hashem back with his old license plate. During his political / legal crisis, Rabbi Balkany, in an attempt not to attract attention to himself, had given up his custom license plates that he had on his blue Mercury Grand Marquis. The plates, that read BYB 1, the acronym for Bais Yakov of Brooklyn 1, were a dead giveaway of his presence and served as a media magnet to himself. Now after the wind of crisis has blown over however he has decided to take back his plates. He can now be seen proudly displaying the characters BYB 1 on his license plates once again.


Saturday, January 14, 2006

Lipa Abi Meleibt music video

The most requsted Jewish music video, Lipa Schmeltzer - Abi Meleibt.

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Thursday, January 12, 2006

Lipa Schmeltzer at Kosher Delight

Religious rap artist Lipa Schmeltzer was spotted at Kosher Delight enjoying some special dining ambiance in Boro-Park on this lyle shishi. Chasidishe children walking by Kosher delight, stopped and came in to catch a glimpse of their favorite star. Grown men walked in and waved to Lipa on their way up to the counter to get their order. Lipa was accompanied by an older gentleman and was seated up front near the sink. His wife however was nowhere to be seen. I guess she was back in Skverer Shteitel taking care of the kinderlech and thinking about the delicious dishes and dining elegance her husband was enjoying at the time.


Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Abramoff's Troubles Worsen, for Him and Jews

Reading the indictment against Jack Abramoff, you might not know that he was prominent in Washington Jewish circles. But in coming months, his ties with Jewish and Israeli organizations may play a large role in the web of illegal activity to which the lobbyist has pled guilty.

While Abramoff has been portrayed as a man willing to do nearly anything to further his political goals, he also has been an idiosyncratic player in the nation's capital, starting several short-lived, money-losing ventures to fill religious gaps he saw in the city's Jewish world.

He also used his largess to further Israeli businesses and charities that appealed to his conservative worldview.

Specifically, Abramoff is accused of using money from a Washington charity he oversaw to fund military-type programs in the West Bank. Indian tribes donated money to tax-exempt charities, believing they were supporting anti-gambling foundations, but the money was redirected to help purchase equipment for an Israeli "sniper school" in the West Bank, operated by a friend of Abramoff.

Abramoff also allegedly worked on behalf of an Israeli firm that sought to wire the Capitol for cellular-phone use. While leading cell phone manufacturers in the United States settled on JGC Wireless to install antennas in repeaters in House buildings, an Israeli company with ties to Abramoff, Foxcom Wireless, ultimately won the bid.

The switch is allegedly linked to Rep. Bob Ney (R-Ohio), chairman of the House Administration Committee, who accepted numerous favors from Abramoff over the years, and placed comments in the Congressional Record favorable to Abramoff's ventures.

Foxcom didn't pay Abramoff to lobby for the House job, but it did donate $50,000 to the Capitol Athletic Foundation, an Abramoff charity, The Washington Post reported.

Foxcom has changed its name to MobileAccess and moved its headquarters to Virginia.

'Promoting Ethics'
Abramoff also has been tied to two rabbis, the Lapin brothers from South Africa, who aided his political and personal ventures.

David Lapin was hired to run a Jewish school Abramoff created in suburban Maryland to teach his children and others. He also received close to $1.2 million to promote "ethics in government" to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, one of Abramoff's clients. Officials on the island said Lapin did little for the money.

His brother, Daniel Lapin, is president of Toward Tradition. Abramoff allegedly asked him to create an award to bestow upon Abramoff to help his acceptance into Washington's Cosmos Club. Abramoff suggested he could be a "scholar of talmudic studies" or "distinguished biblical scholar.''

Lapin said yes, according to e-mail obtained by congressional investigators, and asked whether Abramoff needed a letter or plaque. Lapin told the Post that he meant the exchange to be tongue-in-cheek, and never produced an award for Abramoff.

Two other Abramoff aides moved to Israel last year as investigators continued their probe. Sam Hook and his wife, Shana Tesler, both worked at Abramoff's law firm and had been cooperating with investigators before moving to Israel in July, according to The Hill, a Washington newspaper. The Orthodox Jews had long planned to move to Israel, their attorney said last year.

Abramoff also made contributions to several Jewish lawmakers, among many congressmen that Abramoff and his associates helped finance. Last week, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) donated $7,000, the amount he received from Abramoff, to charity.

A spokesman for Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) did not respond to questions about the $1,000 he received from Abramoff, according to filings by the Federal Election Commission.

In Washington, Abramoff was known for his idiosyncratic use of his money. He shunned area religious schools, choosing to open Eshkol Academy specifically for his children's education and needs.

The school closed within two years, and several teachers say they are owed back pay. David Lapin, the school's dean, was not an active administrator, according to former teachers.

Abramoff also opened several kosher restaurants that failed quickly. Stacks, a deli, was welcomed by the city's Jewish community, but it never made money. A more formal restaurant upstairs, Archives, never stayed open for more than a few weeks at a time.

Some Jewish professionals found it noteworthy that Abramoff appeared outside a Washington courthouse Jan. 3 with a long, double-breasted black coat and black hat, resembling a devout Jew. When he appeared at a Miami courthouse to plead guilty to two counts of fraud on Jan. 4, his head was covered again - this time by a baseball cap promoting a luxury golf resort.

As Abramoff faces more political trouble, he may continue to foster ties to the Jewish world.

Last year in a New York Times interview, he compared himself to the biblical character Jacob, saying his involvement in lobbying was similar to Jacob's taking the identity of his brother, Esau. A spokesman for Abramoff later said his client was misquoted.



Tuesday, January 10, 2006

R' Bentzion takes action as boss

Teachers at B'nos Tzion of Bobov have what to celebrate about, at least somewhat. The teachers at Bobov girl's school had been owed back pay for eight months. That however has now changed. Ever since R' Bentzion took over the girl's school many things have changed. All the teachers were immediately paid the eight months that they were owed and were told that from now on things would be different. All the teachers were also warned that they were hired to teach and not to get involved in politics. The teachers were told in no uncertain terms that if any of their personal political beliefs were to be expressed, they would be fired immediately. Wow, now talk about communism


Sunday, January 08, 2006

Watch the exclusive infamous Satmar short film

Here's a second chance to watch and download the exclusive infamous Satmar short film which has already become a mega-hit in the short while that it has been available to view.

Check it out


Saturday, January 07, 2006

Bochur given a pink ticket while on a date

A bochur was given a pink ticket by a Police Officer while on a Shidduch date. The Bochur had taken his prospective mate on a date for a walk in the park, when a Police car passed by and waved to them. The Bochur feeling safe that there was a Police patrol going by, waved back to the Officer. About ten minutes later, the patrol car passed by again and stopped. A Police Officer got out of the car and asked the bochur and his date for ID. After handing his license over to the cop he was issued a pink ticket and an appearance date in court. When he asked the Officer what the ticket for, he said it was for being in the park passed closing time. He said that parks in New York have a sign posted at the gate that they are closed from dusk to dawn and that being in the park between those hours was violation of the law.


Friday, January 06, 2006

Orthodox Lobbyist, Jack Abramoff's, Black Hat Is a Borsalino From Bencraft Hatters in Brooklyn

After pleading guilty to three felony counts of mail fraud, tax evasion, and conspiracy, lobbyist Jack Abramoff walked out of federal court in Washington, D.C., in a black fedora purchased from Bencraft Hatters, a Brooklyn-based haberdasher that caters largely to Orthodox Jews.
Two conservative commentators suggested that Abramoff's hat was intended to make a religious statement. In a posting on the National Review Online, John Podhoretz wrote that Abramoff was wearing "the black hat of a very Orthodox Jew" while New York Times columnist David Brooks described the hat as "a pseudo-Hasidic homburg [sic]."

Implicit in the speculation is that Abramoff, an observant Orthodox Jew, was trying to use his Judaism to counter his negative public image. That impression was bolstered by his statement during his plea bargain in the Washington court, which struck a religious tone. "I only hope that I can merit forgiveness from the Almighty and from those I have wronged or caused to suffer," Abramoff told the court. "I will work hard to earn that redemption."

The hat in question, a Como II fedora made by Borsalino, retails on the Bencraft Web site for $200. Salesman Asher, who declined to give his last name, told the Forward that Bencraft sells the majority of its hats to religious Jews, but that Abramoff's model “is not a particularly religious hat.” He said the hats Bencraft sells to religious Jews typically have “a bit higher crown and a bigger brim.”

I wonder if Bencraft Hatters delivers to jail cells.


Mayor Balances Hasidic Ritual Against Fears for Babies' Health

Orthodox Jewish men visited Gracie Mansion Thursday
for a meeting with Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.

With three days to go before Election Day, ultra-Orthodox Jewish leaders in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, held what was by far the largest rally of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's campaign. With searchlights bouncing across the Brooklyn sky and klezmer music blaring from speakers hoisted on cranes, thousands of Hasidic Jews, in black hats or head scarves, cheered the beaming mayor from rooftops and blocks upon blocks of bleachers.

When one of the most revered Orthodox leaders, Rabbi David Niederman, addressed the throngs, he praised the mayor for his push to create more affordable housing, his takeover of the public schools and his support for the constitutional separation of church and state.

For many in the crowd, the last reference was code for the administration's decision to hold off from taking action against an ancient form of ritualistic circumcision practiced by some Hasidic rabbis that had been linked to three cases of neonatal herpes in late 2004, one of them fatal.

But now, with the election over, the city's Health Department, while not banning the procedure, is angering those Hasidic leaders just the same by pushing a public health campaign against the rite, in which the practitioner, or mohel, sucks the blood from the circumcision wound to clean it. The department took the action after linking the rite to additional cases of herpes in infants, one of whom suffered brain damage as a result.

Some in the Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox communities say the city is infringing upon their religious rights. They go so far as to accuse Mr. Bloomberg of reneging on what they say they took as an election-year assurance that the administration would leave the matter to rabbinical authorities. But others outside those communities had been harshly critical of the administration, saying that it failed to take adequate action against a practice that has been endangering the lives of infants.



Thursday, January 05, 2006


Drivers entering this central New Jersey township pass block after block of new housing developments — many so fresh that the front lawns have not fully grown in. In the front window of most of these houses is a menorah.

Lakewood, home to the nation's largest rabbinical school, has seen a population explosion, fed by ultra-Orthodox students and families who have flooded into the town over the last two decades. Ultra-Orthodox, or haredi, Jews now constitute almost half of Lakewood's population of 70,000. Until this week, however, the community never has had a mayor from its own ranks.

That changed on New Year's day, when Meir Lichtenstein was sworn in for a one-year term — becoming what appears to be the only ultra-Orthodox mayor in the United States responsible for governing a municipality with a significant non-Jewish population. Perhaps only Jerusalem, with haredi Mayor Uri Lopoliansky, can be seen as a precedent.

Lichtenstein's inauguration is especially notable because it comes soon after the Lakewood Jewish community took a high-profile step to insulate itself from the outside world. This fall, the Jewish schools in Lakewood issued a ruling that all houses with Jewish children had to disable or lock up any computers with Internet access. In the township, the ultra-Orthodox have avoided many forms of civic involvement — there are no haredi employees in the police department or department of public works. But the sheer numbers of Jews in Lakewood have forced the community to step into the civic spotlight after avoiding it for years.



Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Jewish group files federal suit against Suffern

A Monsey health-service agency is suing the village so it can continue to operate at its current location and shelter Orthodox Jews during the Sabbath and religious holidays.

In a lawsuit filed Friday in federal court in White Plains, Bikur Cholim charged that the village, by citing the nonprofit organization for illegal use of a single-family home, was violating the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000, or RLUIPA.

Since the organization purchased the Hillcrest Road home as a Shabbos House last year, it has received numerous citations from the village, Nanuet attorney Paul Savad, who is representing Bikur Cholim, said yesterday.

The group offers a respite to Orthodox Jews visiting family at Good Samaritan Hospital on the Sabbath, when they are forbidden to drive, he said.

"We're not seeking monetary compensation. We're only asking for the right to exist in the village of Suffern and to service the people of the Jewish faith," he said.



Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Masbia promotional video

Watch this interesting video that was used as a promotion for Masbia, a Heimishe soup kitchen.

Watch video


Monday, January 02, 2006

Bobover girls suspended from Bnos Tzion

A couple of Bobover girls were suspended from Bnos Tzion Bobover Girl's School. The grave transgression on their behalf was that during Chanukah Rebbetzin Hessy Halberstam had decided to give out Chanukah gelt to the women Chasidistes, these girls had also decided to go by and get their own Chanukah gelt. Being seen as disloyal to R' Bentzion by this act, the girls were quickly branded traitors and suspended from the school. I can only imagine what would have happened if those girls would have gone to take Chanukah gelt from R' Mordche Dovid.


Sunday, January 01, 2006


From the famous auctioneers who brought you the indian-hair shaitels, we now bring you our latest and greatest auction;

Attention modern orthodox fundraisers: Do you have a yeshiva that is trying to raise money? Well, if you are thinking of making a Chinese auction, we have a great opportunity for you. Due to an embarrassing mistake by an overzealous chairlady, 10,000 beautiful, glossy catalogues with pictures of the most ostentatious prizes you can imagine are available for sale. These are sure to be a big hit with your kind of people. Inside are countless over-the-top prizes that modern orthodox people will embrace. There are also many pictures of yeshiva students that can easily be edited to depict colored shirts and smaller yarmulkes that can pass for members of your yeshiva. For a small fee, we will remove the front cover and replace it with your logo (provided that it makes no mention of Torah uMada).

Christian, Catholic, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Scientologist, Atheist and Agnostic charities also welcome to bid.

Link to Ebay auction

Chasidstud Busted

Chasidstud is busted, he has been exposed as a fraud.

Chasidstud had originally posted a picture on his site that was supposed to be of his muscled body, however it was discovered that the picture was not of him but was rather taken from another site. When he was sent this picture, he immediately removed the post and the picture from his site. Unfortunately for him, it was already too late because the post had already been saved and is posted here.

I know that this fraud is not worth my time, I just feel compelled to let my readership know when someone tries to defraud them and put down other people.


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