Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Bizarre shooting on the streets of Crown Heights

A man was killed, apparently by random gunfire, as he moved his car for alternative side parking on a street in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn.
Eyewitness News reporter Ken Rosato is live in Crown Heights with the story.

Police say 47-year-old Frederick Klein was shot as he moved his car for alternate side of the street parking on Carroll Street just before 1:30 a.m. Klein was shot at least twice, once in the right arm and once in the upper right side of his chest.

Hit by the gunfire, he lost control of his blue Dodge Caravan and careened into five or six parked cars, setting his van on fire.

He was pulled from the blazing vehicle and rushed to Kings County Hospital, where he pronounced dead.

Eyewitness News has learned Klein was not believed to have been a target and was believed to have been hit by random gunfire. No arrests were made.

Shots were reported fired in the area moments before the victim was hit.

Members of the Lubavitch sect of Orthodox Jews, of which Klein was a member, said they were posting a $10,000 reward for information leading to his killer.



Sunday, February 26, 2006

Madness breaks out at Zichron Shloime Chinese Auction

Thousands of women and children swamped the Zichron Shloime Refuah Fund Chinese Auction today. Besides the usual prizes being raffled off at the auction there were various forms of entertainment for the children. At one point there was a balloonist that was working steady at creating beautiful balloon art, however as soon as any one of his masterpieces were done, he was stormed by hundreds of mothers whom each one felt that their child was the one that deserved the balloon. A little while later when a show was about to begin, children were at risk of being trampled by caring mothers trying to get their child to the front row. What we don't do for our children.


Saturday, February 25, 2006

R' Ahron rocks the Shul

In an interesting twist, this Shabbos R' Ahron rocked the Satmar Shul on 53rd Street in a very unusual way. Rather than the usual sounds of grunting, screaming and slapping, this time during R' Ahron's visit to Brooklyn for Shabbos there were the spiritually uplifting sounds of Z'miros being sung and the feeling of warmth was felt all throughout the large crowd. I'll bet the entire 66th Precinct was shocked too.

Neturei Karta Weiss strikes again

Approximately one thousand anti Zionist Orthodox Jews will gather in the Boro Park section of Brooklyn, to protest the honoring of a representative of the State of "Israel".

The State of "Israel", which is the fruition of the Zionist ideology, is in its essence a rebellion against the Almighty. In a clear and unequivocal edict, the Almighty has expressly forbidden us, the Jewish people, from ending His decreed exile, by creating our own State.

This Zionist entity, the State of "Israel", has compounded its rebellion against the Almighty immeasurably, by creating and developing its State by means of the use of a land inhabited by the Palestinian people, against their will.

A litany of evils has emanated from the creation of the State, the desecration of the Sabbath, loss of modesty, promoting immorality, promiscuity and the secularization of the Jewish masses. The endless list of violations against the laws of our faith and Jewish teachings includes the deportation and oppression of the Palestinian people.

The State of "Israel" is the root cause of the strife and suffering in the Holy Land.

The State of "Israel" is the cause for the colossal exacerbation of anti Semitism in our time.

As "mayor" of Jerusalem, a representative of the illegitimate State of "Israel", Mr. Uri Lupolianski is a partner in crime to this rebellion against the Almighty and shares responsibility for all its actions.

Uri Lupolianski should be vilified and most certainly not honored.



Friday, February 24, 2006

Missionaries proselytizing in Boro-Park

Two missionaries have been seen going around Boro-Park and handing out religious literature written in Yiddish. The missionaries are attempting to lure people to read about their religious beliefs. These missionaries are obviously very inexperienced, or else they would know that if they want people to read their literature they should just write on top in bold block letters "SHAIGETZ" and throw it on the ground in front of Satmar. That way they can be sure that everyone will read it.

Cholent a tasty Sabbath tradition

Brisket baked overnight in a low oven is simply a modern method of keeping the Sabbath for observant Jews. We published a recipe for J.E., who reminisced about the dish her mother made with brisket and prunes, but learned from readers that there are endless ethnic variations of the dish, known as cholent.

Overnight baking is necessary because ''Orthodox Jews cannot light a fire or oven on the Sabbath, which begins at sundown Friday and ends at sundown Saturday,'' Estelle Rubenstein e-mailed. ``So the cook puts the meat in the oven on low heat before sundown Friday, and it is ready to eat on Saturday.''

The overnight oven method has its roots in times when ''Jewish housewives would bring their cholent dishes to the baker's oven on the way to synagogue on Friday evening,'' Rosalyn Herman of Davie wrote. ``Although the fires in the oven were banked, the cholent would stay hot till the dishes were picked up after services on Saturday.''

Herman makes a savory Eastern European cholent of brisket or chuck layered with onions, dried lima beans and chunks of white potato.

``The onions and meat are browned in hot oil, and each layer is seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika. Sprinkle some flour and paprika on top and add boiling water to cover one inch above mixture. Bake, covered, in a heavy saucepan or Dutch oven at 250 degrees overnight.''

''I've tried different recipes for cholent from every nation of the Jewish diaspora,'' wrote Esther Frank. In ancient times, cholent was made with grains such as barley, dried beans and little or no meat, Frank says. As Jews moved to different lands, they adapted the dish.

``I've made cholent with barley, buckwheat kasha, couscous, wild rice, matzoh, cornmeal and orzo. For beans you can use anything -- I like to use a mix of red and white, such as kidney beans and chickpeas.''

Frank provided the foundation for the recipe here, a blueprint that can be adapted to suit your tastes. I made this using cannellini and dark kidney beans, chopped green pepper and spinach, and limited the seasoning to paprika. I omitted the fruit and used Valencia rice rather than barley. The result was a wonderfully flavored casserole, and I'm eager to try other combinations.


JDate comes out of the closet

For all the nice Jewish boys looking for other nice Jewish boys - and nice Jewish lesbians looking for love - JDate.com has come to the rescue.

The popular Jewish online dating site expanded its search capabilities this month to allow gay men and lesbians to seek matches. The Web site, which is popular among Jews of all ages, now asks people for their gender and the gender they're searching, allowing men to search for men and women to search for women.

When his sister didn't marry a Jewish boy, Gary Pinsky was told by his mother that he had to. Pinsky, 32, joined JDate several weeks ago after returning to New Jersey after living in South Africa for several years. He said he thinks he can find more serious suitors on the Jewish dating site.

"I've gotten three responses since I've joined," said Pinsky, a production stage manager. "They've all been very nice and seem to have a good head on their shoulders." That's a big difference from other gay and lesbian dating sites, he said, where potential matches are less serious, and largely not Jewish.



Thursday, February 23, 2006

Yeshivah Bais Yisroel spends a Shabbos in Monsey

They were joined by the Rosh Yeshivah of Yeshivah of Stamford.


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Partner to provide kosher cell phones

After refusing to comply with recommendations on kosher cellular phones by the Rabbinical Committee for Communications, the leading Israeli mobile communications operator Partner Communications decided to surrender.
The company will be launching a kosher cellular phone for ultra-Orthodox users, Israel’s leading newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported Monday.
The phone functions are restricted to calls only, as text message services, internet connection and video and voicemail applications are disabled.
By doing so, Partner will be joining rivals MIRS Communication, Pelephone, and Cellcom, who have recently launched kosher phones.
Partner has been under pressure from its ultra-Orthodox costumers to provide kosher phones after rabbis urged their communities to use the new invention.
Kosher phones proved popular among the 1 million-strong Orthodox community, forcing Partner to reconsider its strategy.
For a long period Partner refused to answer the committee’s call to provide kosher phones, arguing that its costumers should benefit from all the services it provides.



Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Vocational building in Kiryas Joel nears readiness

For two years it has sat empty: 5,000 square feet of space built with $400,000 in state money to put more Kiryas Joel citizens to work and help its businesses thrive.

Village officials blame utility problems for the delayed opening. But now that everything except natural gas is hooked up, they vow to roll out all they have touted for the Kiryas Joel Workforce Development Center: computer courses, English lessons, job placement, a chamber of commerce and more.

More than 20 computers once used for night classes in the basement of a Kiryas Joel nursery school have been set up in two classrooms. A phone system and thousands of dollars' worth of furniture, including desks for 100 students, are on order.

And just this month, SUNY Orange President Bill Richards and two of his assistants visited the center to discuss offering SUNY courses there. Village officials say the college is providing a survey that will be sent to every household in the next few weeks to determine what courses residents want.

"I want to have this building providing all sorts of training potential, whether it be community-related or business-related," Kiryas Joel Administrator Gedalye Szegedin said yesterday during a building tour.

He hopes to begin classes after Passover, in May.

The vocational needs in this Hasidic community of 18,000 are formidable. Focused much more intently on religion than careers, young people here enter adulthood virtually bereft of work skills. Men who become the main breadwinners for families will have studied only religious texts and spoken only Yiddish or Hebrew in the classroom since the age of 12.

The result is Orange County's lowest median household income - just more than $15,000 when the 2000 census was taken - and heavy dependence on government assistance. Village leaders have responded in recent years with an economic development push, which includes the work-force center and a five-story office building now under construction.

The work-force center is the second story of the village's new fire station, which was completed two years ago. Its centerpiece is a 1,800-square-foot classroom that can hold 100 students and commands a sweeping view of a huge condominium complex that has overtaken a hillside in this fast-growing community.

Among the next steps in activating the work-force center, Szegedin said yesterday, is hiring an economic development director or czar to run its programs.



Monday, February 20, 2006

Little Rock, Arkansas Police get first Rabbi chaplain

At the first Little Rock Police Department prayer breakfast in a Jewish synagogue, Rabbi Martin Applebaum joked with some of the officers about the lack of bacon and ham in the meal before leading a brief prayer.
“God will give you strength to do what you do,” he said.
Last week Little Rock Police Chief Stuart Thomas and about a dozen officers gathered at the 100-year-old Synagogue Agudath Achim to meet Applebaum, the newest addition to the department’s growing chaplain program. He’s Little Rock’s first Jewish police chaplain and, according to Applebaum, the first ever in Arkansas.
After the meal the officers listened and sipped coffee as synagogue President Robert Safirstein worked the medieval Jewish sage Maimonides into a brief lecture on police officers’ relationship with the public.
Most police gatherings are raucous, boisterous affairs, even prayer breakfasts in churches, police say. But the officers at the synagogue were quiet and composed — a reflection of the novel circumstances, said a police spokesman.
Fewer than 1,000 Jews live in Little Rock, and Applebaum knows of only one Jewish police officer in Little Rock, but police chaplaincy is a peculiar form of ministry. It’s nondenominational, and chaplains are legally and ethically discouraged from promoting their faiths. At the same time, the department wants its eight-person chaplain corps — which includes Methodist, Baptist, Church of Christ and nondenominational Christian ministers — to serve every group in the city, police officials say.
“The whole purpose of the chaplain program is trying to reach everyone where they are,” said spokesman Sgt. Terry Hastings. The Jewish community “is something we need to be aware of.”
Applebaum, who traveled around the world during his 13 years as a chaplain in the U.S. Army, moved to Little Rock in September to take the helm at Agudath Achim. He had already served as a police chaplain for police departments in Des Moines, Iowa; Niagara, Ontario; for locallevel police agencies while in the Army; and had volunteered with Little Rock police.
He was accepted to the unpaid position after a brief background check and will eventually attend the department’s Citizen’s Police Academy to learn more about the department.



Saturday, February 18, 2006

Brotherly bond unites Hasidic boxer, black manager

The hometown fighter climbs into the ring to the thumping bass of Matisyahu, the Hasidic reggae singer. Orthodox Jewish men in black suits with long beards and unlit cigars bounce and chant to the rhythm.




"Dima" is Dmitriy Salita, a 23-year-old super lightweight from Brooklyn, by way of Odessa, Ukraine. He is also a Hasidic Jew.

He is 5 foot 9, and officially 143 1/4 pounds, with close-cropped brown hair and an unscarred alabaster face. His robe is black silk with white lettering: "Dmitriy 'Star of David' Salita."

It's a Thursday night. There's more money in a Friday night fight _ live TV and bigger crowds. But Salita doesn't fight on the Sabbath.

The Manhattan Center is packed anyway. Fans from Brownsville, Brooklyn, have come for Curtis Stevens, a hard-hitting middleweight backed by the hip-hop money of producer Irv "Gotti" Lorenzo and his brother Chris. Fans from Spanish Harlem are here for Edgar "El Chamaco" Santana, also fighting on the under card. They all mingle with the Orthodox crowd. They all scream for Dima.



Friday, February 17, 2006

Fire in a Flatbush home

A home on East 29th Street between Avenues I and J was on fire.

Boro-Park Bochur assaulted by Firemen

A Boro-Park Bochur was driving at 13th Avenue and 54th Street and cut around an off-duty fire engine to get through at the corner. All of a sudden the fire engine driver tried to corner him in. Other fire engines were called to the scene and they cornered the Bochur in completely. A fireman exited the engine and asked the Bochur for his license and registration. When the Bochur refused, the firemen proceeded to yank the Bochur from his car and his keys were confiscated. Within moments hundreds of Heimishe people showed up at the scene and began demanding that the Police Department come and that the firemen had no right to do this. Police were summoned to the scene and when they arrived the offending firemen disappeared from the scene. The Bochur filed a Police report and is intending to press charges.


Thursday, February 16, 2006

Antennas cell out our safety?

A new trend has sprouted on rooftops across the city that is making landlords rich - but may also be making people sick.

Cellular antennas and related equipment have flooded the cityscape, as cell phone companies scramble to keep up with the constant surge in mobile phone use.

The federal government and company officials insist the technology is safe and that any radiation emitted is far below the accepted exposure levels.

But a growing chorus of community groups and elected officials across the city - and the country - charge the long-term health effects even at low levels are unknown, and are pushing for more regulation.

"It's like the Wild West out there," said Assemblyman Michael Gianaris (D-Queens), who introduced legislation that would create a siting board and ban antennas from within 500 feet of schools. "No one is watching."

Advocates point to one Brooklyn apartment building on Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights as an extreme example - with at least 27 antennas from three companies.

Panicked residents, most of them Orthodox Jews, charge that since the bulk of the antennas arrived, they suffer from headaches, dizziness, lethargy and other ailments.

"It's scary," said one resident, who asked not to be named for fear of retaliation. "It seems like everyone has something."

Company officials insist the levels are safe except when standing directly in front of the panels for extended periods. But not all experts are convinced.

"Part of the problem is there is very little research on this," said Dr. David Carpenter, director of the University at Albany's Institute for Health and the Environment.

Ground Zero may be the Eastern Parkway building.

An ominous sign hangs from the door to the roof. It reads, "Radio Frequency emissions may exceed FCC standards for general exposure," and "Do not stop in front of antennas."

"Twenty-seven cell towers is too much for any one building," said City Councilwoman Letitia James (Working Families Party-Brooklyn).

The building's owners, Serhof Realty Corp., declined to discuss how much they receive for the towers. But a man who answered the phone at their Long Island office insisted they were "complying with the laws."

City code allows landlords to install a cell antenna after filing an application with the Buildings Department and getting an alteration permit, similar to one needed to add a wall.

However, a surge of community protests from Astoria to Bay Ridge has prompted elected officials from both sides of the aisle and from city, state and federal government to form a coalition to push for stricter laws. The group plans to hold a news conference today at City Hall.

In the meantime, some Eastern Parkway residents said they plan to move.

"Even if there's only a small percent chance that it's dangerous, how can you make money at the expense of other people?" asked another resident.



Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Rabbi Yidi Kolko accuser gets threatened

In the last couple of weeks a letter has been circulated on the internet regarding an alleged chronic child molester that is employed as a Rebbe at Yeshiva Torah Temima. The letter not only alleges that this Rebbe has molested many children but it also says that the administration of the Yeshiva knows about this but won't do anything about it. However to add insult to injury, Yeshiva Torah Temima has not only totally ignored the letter and refused to take action against this vile being, but rather they have put out a threat to retaliate against the originator of this letter. More so, Yeshiva Torah Temima has said that since it has no legal recourse to the letter writer because he has not violated any law, they will nevertheless 'take matters into their own hands' with regard to their recourse against him. Hey, I didn't know Torah Temima was Catholic institution.

Link to letter


Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Of tchotchkes, mavens, shmattes and other English words

No matter what my word-processor maven tells me, it is not only The Washington Post which knows that the word tchotchkes is English; so do the people at Christie’s and The New York Times.

The latter, for example, informed its readers that “Brando knew that celebrity tchotchkes (no italics or explanation) don’t reveal much,” when turquoise jewelry, a fringed coat and vest were put up for sale.

Two Ohio items are also noteworthy: the first, a column in The Plain Dealer on the coin-investment scandal rocking the state. It characterized the coins, Beanie Babies and baseball cards which the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation invested in as “memorabilia,” collectibles … and (you guessed it) tchotchkes, spelled correctly and with no additional explanation.


He's a mystic, mon

Nothing in the Talmud specifically forbids Orthodox Jews from stage-diving at live gigs. And nowhere does Jewish scripture recommend precisely how one should behave in the mosh pit.

So Jewish reggae phenom Matisyahu had to learn through trial and error that it was a good idea to clip his yarmulke into his hair so it wouldn't fall off when he bobbed his head to a hip-hop beat. And that if he tucked his tzitzit into his trousers, the tassels of his prayer shawl were less likely to be yanked away in the pit's mass of writhing limbs.

Such are the travails of the world's foremost Hasidic reggae star, a guy who might've sprung fully formed from a United Colors of Benetton ad. He convincingly melds Jamaican roots rock with messages of spiritual uplift peppered with religious imagery, rapping and singing over reggae "riddims" intermixed with ancient Jewish melodies.

Dressed according to Orthodox custom in a starchy black suit and sporting the heavy beard of a yeshiva student, he launched into fans' outstretched hands at the end of nearly every show he performed last year. It became his signature move.

Late last fall, however, Matisyahu, 26, renounced stage-diving after he learned the cherished punk practice could run afoul of Talmudic rules dictating the separation of unmarried women and men. "There could be a girl in a crowd full of guys when you stage-dive," he explained from his home in Brooklyn's Crown Heights. "Women aren't supposed to touch me."



Monday, February 13, 2006

Chaptzem! Polls

Here is a listing of all previous polls.

Did 48th Street masser on 45th Street?

View poll results

Should R' Mordche Dovid start wearing a Kolpik?

View poll results

Judge: Inmates entitled to kosher meals

A federal judge has ruled that three Oklahoma prisoners are entitled to receive kosher meals from the Oklahoma Department of Corrections.
A temporary order issued last January established that the three men have a First Amendment right to kosher food because of their religious beliefs as Orthodox Jews. U-S District Judge Lee West made that order permanent last week.

Convicted sex offenders Dennis Earl Fulbright, Jon Andrew Cottriel and Jerry Harmon sued the state in 2003 because they were being forced to pay for their own kosher meals.



Sunday, February 12, 2006

Chaptzem! caption contest

And the winner for the best caption is...

"jew-do" chasidim receiving their black belts from their master

Comment Credit ---This article posted by Anonymous : February 13, 2006 2:27 AM

Thank you for all the participants, the entries were really great.

What is going on here?

Can you come up with an interesting alternate caption for this picture?

Just post your caption here.


Chaptzem! caption contest WINNER - Last week

And the winner for the best caption is...

Caption contest and winner - Last week


Saturday, February 11, 2006

Kiryas Joel Satmarstry to block wife's leaving

When police arrived at the apartment building that Sunday afternoon in December, a crowd had gathered on Lizensk Boulevard for what appeared to be a domestic dispute that had somehow aroused a lot of attention.

Since then, a curious tale has emerged, one of a teenage Jewish couple spirited out of the Middle Eastern country of Yemen 11 years ago and absorbed into this insular Hasidic community. This is where they had seven children in rapid succession and then found themselves at loggerheads.

What went wrong in the Alnahari household is a matter of dispute, soon to play out in Family Court. Seven young children are caught in the middle, pawns in a larger struggle involving the Satmar Hasidim and the Yemenite Jews they rescued from persecution.

The Satmar hosts are cast as sinister prison guards, bent on separating Yemenite children from their parents; the self-described rescuers are reviled for seeking to corrupt fellow Jews by dispatching them to a secular Israel.

The story might have stayed within the Satmar world, but for the repeated police involvement. The conflict rose a notch when state troopers arrested three men who allegedly forced their way into the Alnahari apartment to berate the 27-year-old mother, Sanaa, and two women who have been helping her.

Felony burglary charges were filed against Israel Grunhut, 27; Issac Weinstock, 29; and Israel Rolnitsky, 44. The three Kiryas Joel men were briefly held in the Orange County Jail in Goshen until each posted $25,000 cash bail.



An upstate judge yesterday awarded control of an Orange County cemetery to one faction of the divided Satmar Hasidim — a ruling that could affect the sect's eight-year succession dispute.

Justice Stewart Rosenwasser ruled that the faction supporting Aaron Teitelbaum, the older son of ailing Grand Rebbe Moses Teitelbaum, should control the Kiryas Joel cemetery.

"What it means is that the people who are supporters of Aaron are now in control of the Satmar operation," said their lawyer, Israel Goldberg.

But supporters of Teitelbaum's younger son, Zalman, insisted the ruling affects only the cemetery, and not the group's main synagogue in Brooklyn.

A feud between the groups has been simmering since 1998 when Rabbi Teitelbaum, the supreme leader of 40,000 Satmars around the world, named Zalman to head the synagogue.



Friday, February 10, 2006

Jewish newspaper runs Mohammed cartoons

The Algemeiner Journal, a Yiddish and English newspaper, was one of the only American, and also Jewish newspapers to run the infamous Mohammed cartoons that have caused so much rioting all over Europe over the past week. The step taken by the Algemeiner Journal is either extremely stupid or extremely brave. Either way I'm sure the Hamodia is kicking themselves now why they didn't do the same, or maybe this goes into their policy of not getting involved with Rebbeshe politics.

Chaptzem! caption contest WINNER

And the winner for the best caption is...

The new Mizrach compass in use

Comment Credit ---This article posted by yaakovr : January 29, 2006 2:51 PM

Thank you for all the participants, the entries were really great.

The next Chaptzem! caption contest will be posted soon.

Chaptzem! caption contest

What is going on here?

Can you come up with an interesting caption for this picture?

The best entry will win a free Chaptzem! t-shirt - (below).

Just post your caption along with your e-mail address.



Thursday, February 09, 2006

Group claims right to assemble

A lawyer for the Chabad Jewish center said the constitutional right to freedom of religion trumps local zoning and state construction code laws.

The center is challenging zoning and construction codes so it can continue to religious services in the home of Rabbi Avraham Bechor on West Hanover Avenue.

Bechor was due to appear before Municipal Court Judge Ira Cohen on Wednesday, Feb. 1, to respond to summonses that had been issued by the township. Bechor did not speak but his new attorney, Ronald S. Heymann, told Judge Ira Cohen that his client intended to take the matter to trial.

Responding to several neighbor complaints of increased traffic and parking problems, Zoning Officer Barrie Krause issued a summons in December stating that Bechor’s home, constructed as a single-family dwelling, violates local zoning because it is being used as a place of assembly.

Construction Code Official Frank Howard said on Feb. 3 that Bechor’s home does not meet state code requirements for places of assembly, as it does not have sufficient firewalls, sprinkler systems, and handicap accessible bathrooms.

“Rabbi Bechor has the right to worship in his own home under the provisions of the (federal) Religious Lane Use and Institutional Persons Act (RULIPA),” said Heymann in an interview on Friday, Feb. 3. “The act prohibits any government from imposing any regulation, including assembly, unless they can demonstrate a compelling governmental interest, and any imposition has to be by the least restrictive method.”



Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Yidden - The German version

Yes, we have it, the German version of Yidden. Or rather MBD has the Jewish version of Dschinghis Khan. Either way you can listen to it here.

Listen To Yidden / Dschinghis Khan


Tuesday, February 07, 2006

With sermon and slow-cooker, rabbi has nourished his congregation with Cholent for 25 years

Rabbi cooking up some fresh Cholent

After a floor-shaking rendition of Adon Olam, the closing hymn of the Sabbath service at Temple Beth David, congregants stream out of the sanctuary and into the social hall, chatting and wishing each other Shabbat Shalom or Good Shabbos (good or peaceful Sabbath).

A Saturday morning of such lively singing and worshipping works up fierce midday appetites. Consequently, a long line quickly snakes its way to a serving cart in the center of the room where a girl ladles out healthy portions of stew onto small Styrofoam plates. Some members of this Conservative synagogue in Irondequoit sprinkle their food with hot sauce.

The stew's creator, Rabbi Laurence Skopitz, describes his humble yet rib-sticking blend of beans, lentils, potatoes, rice and onions as "Jewish refried beans."

Cholent, the dish's official name, is not just any one-pot wonder but an age-old Sabbath stew that Jews throughout the world eat every week.

"You are supposed to delight in the Sabbath with a variety of good foods — it's a chidur mitzvah (a way to beautify a religious commandment)," explains the 57-year-old rabbi, who has been making cholent for his congregants for the past 25 years.


Judge OKs wall for splittin' Hasidic spouses

A judge has ordered a soon-to-be divorced couple to live unhappily ever after in the Borough Park home they shared for 18 years - by having a wall built smack dab in the middle of their dining room.

Millionaire sweater manufacturer Simon Taub was granted permission during divorce proceedings in August to divide the home with sheetrock walls, so he wouldn't have to relinquish it to wife, Chana Taub.

Simon, 57, would have his own kitchen, bedroom and bathroom in a 900-square-foot area on two floors of the 49th St. home.

"I don't wish this on anybody," said Chana Taub, 56, whose husband owns homes across the borough, including the house next door. "I hope God will help, and somebody will straighten out this whole thing."

Chana Taub has appealed Judge Sarah Krauss' ruling. But if the decision is upheld, the former lovebirds could be walking into the same home, divided in two - just like in the 1989 film starring Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner.

The wall drama began in August when Krauss granted the wife an order of protection against Simon Taub, who owns TechKnits Inc. of Williamsburg.

But citing the husband's heart condition, Krauss approved his bid to build the wall, saying, "I am not going to be excluding him entirely from his home.

"The best way to deal with this is to split the home," Krauss said, according to court documents - even though the husband owns the house next door.

Krauss, who recused herself in December following objections from Chana Taub's attorney, Susan Settenbrino, also offered a court-mandated outline for postmatrimonial bliss.

"Neither party shall interfere with any of the electrical, plumbing, phones or other systems located in their respective portions of the marital residence," Krauss wrote.

"No litigant should have to endure this kind of abuse," Settenbrino said of Krauss' decision. "There should be recourse for such orders without having to spend $200,000 [on the appeal]."

Simon Taub's attorney, Frank Snitow, said the wall would separate portions of two floors, but only give about 25% of the home to his client.

Snitow cited the home's proximity to Simon's doctor's office, a nearby synagogue and his four kids, two of whom still live in the house with his wife. "I don't think it's an extraordinary measure under these circumstances," he said. "This is one of the largest homes in Borough Park. You could even call it a mansion."



Monday, February 06, 2006

The Goyishe Chevra

Check out this Goy lipsyncing to the Chevra's Y'hay.

Watch video


Sunday, February 05, 2006

Hatzolah garage plan thwarted

The plan for a Hatzolah ambulance garage on 54th Street and 12th Avenue was stopped in its tracks. The garage, which is owned by the Skverer Shul on 54th Street corner 12th Avenue, was sketched out to be a local parking place for one of the Boro-Park Hatzolah ambulances. However someone went to the housing authorities and let them know that the project was being done without a permit. The authorities sent down inspectors to the scene and they promptly put a stop to the plans and issued the Skverer Shul multiple summonses for the garage.


Saturday, February 04, 2006

Gedolim cards under litigation

The producers of the collectible Gedolim cards are being hit with major litigation. Copyright owners of the pictures that have been featured on the cards are claiming that the pictures were used without any permission or compensation for them. Now this is an interesting twist, stealing Gedolim to make money.


Friday, February 03, 2006

Viener Rav spends Shabbos at Saratoga Springs

The Viener Rav will be spending this Shabbos at Saratoga Springs, New York, along with the Bocherim of his Yeshivah. The Yeshivah promises a fully loaded itinerary for the participants of this momentous event and the weather should be quite accommodating as well. Lets just hope there are some Yidden that live there, or else there might be a problem with having a full minyan between the Yeshivah Bocherim.


Thursday, February 02, 2006

New Safety Cards series four on the market

The new fourth series of the collectible safety cards are now in stores. The cards, which depict various emergency and safety vehicles, are a popular item that kids have been collecting for some time. While it is very commendable that kids collect these cards and learn about safety, it is however interesting that these cards have outsold the Gedolim cards over and over again. It just goes to show you what kids these days are taught to look up to.

Jewish man jumped to his death from Empire State Building in apparent suicide

A 21-year-old man jumped to his death from the Empire State Building in an apparent suicide, police said Thursday.

Dovid Abramowitz, who lived in Manhattan, had bought a ticket to the 86th-floor observation deck, but he found his way to a vacant office on the 66th floor, where he jumped around 3 p.m. Wednesday, said police spokesman Lt. John Grimpel. His body was discovered on a sixth-floor landing.

Abramowitz did not work in the building, said Detective John Sweeney. Sweeney did not know how the man reached the 66th floor office.

More than 30 people have committed suicide at the Empire State Building since it opened in 1931. Before Wednesday, the most recent was believed to have been in 2004, when a man jumped from the observation deck.

The 102-story skyscraper reaches 1,454 feet to the top of its lightning rod.



Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Author Insists 'New York Times' Buried the Shoah in Its Back Pages

On a relatively slow news day for war time, the front page of The New York Times contained stories about the Allied army holding off the Germans in Italy and the Soviet army taking back territories once captured by the Third Reich. On the next couple of pages, articles highlighted West Point's undefeated basketball season and falling prices in the stock market. On Page 4 - amid 13 other stories - was a five-paragraph item about Jews in a Polish town who predicted that their dwindling population would go from 250,000 to 50,000 in just a few weeks if someone didn't stop the murderous Nazi rampage.

" 'In our last moment before death, the remnants of Polish Jewry appeals for help from the whole world. May this, perhaps our last voice from the abyss, reach the ears of the whole world,' " read Laurel Leff, author of Buried by the Times: The Holocaust and America's Most Important Newspaper, quoting from that 1944 report to a crowd of about 80 people at Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel on Jan. 25. "The journalists at The New York Times did not respond to that anguished cry."



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