Friday, March 31, 2006

`Kosher phones’ to U.S. Jewish and Arab market

Israeli manufacturers of a “kosher cell phone” that blocks pictures and ads are considering bringing it to U.S. and Arab markets.

Mirs, an Israeli subsidiary of Motorola, has sold 20,000 of the phones to fervently Orthodox Jews, The Associated Press reported this week. The technology limits the phones to incoming and outgoing calls and prevents upgrades. It also blocks about 10,000 numbers offering sex and other services.

U.S. Orthodox Jews and conservative Arabs, operating through Jordanian businessmen, have expressed interest in the technology.



Thursday, March 30, 2006

The Jewish music challenge

Take the Jewish music challenge. Post the name of the last Jewish music album that you actually enjoyed listening to.


Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Rise of the Hasidic 'Cuddle Party'

Hasidic Jews are cuddling with gay men on the floor of a local community centre. A bicycle courier just asked a millionaire to rub his feet. A 60-year-old woman is enjoying the non-sexual touches of four different men.

No, this isn't an orgy, nor an elaborately orchestrated slumber party for a 14-year-old and her best gal pals, but a Platonic grouping of consenting adults just looking for some PG-rated "affectionate play."

Spouting dissatisfaction with the superficiality of the bar scene and the remoteness of Internet-based friend sites like MySpace, Friendster and the Facebook, and reacting against the ever-decreasing frequency of meaningful connections with others and increasing taboos on social non-sexual touching, it seems cuddle party fans everywhere want to get down, but not dirty.



Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Goshen wants to change law

The law before the Goshen Village Board names no religious group. But it was clear to both sides that packed Village Hall last night: They came to talk about the Chabad of Orange County.

The group of Orthodox Jews, led by Rabbi Meir Borenstein, violated local zoning laws last year by operating a religious school and prayer center in a business district storefront. Now, the group sits at the center of a debate over how to balance religious tolerance with community identity.

In response to the Chabad and a similar petition from four of the village's five Christian churches, the village wants to amend its zoning law to allow religious groups to set roots or expand in downtown business zones.

Village leaders say the change is needed to conform with a 2000 federal law that prevents local zoning from infringing on Americans' right to worship.

Several speakers last night said they were worried that allowing more religious organizations on Main Street would open the historic village's fragile business district to a wave of nonprofits.

"It's not an anti-Jewish thing why we're here - I'm Jewish!" Goshen resident Harold Seidenberg said. "I'm here because you're changing the village. You're establishing a precedent by doing it and I suggest you shouldn't do it."

The Chabad also had supporters among the crowd of 80, which Mayor Scott Wohl said was the largest since the village considered drilling a public well in the pesticide-ridden Black Dirt farm region. Chabad supporters made their case on constitutional grounds.

"We want to establish a new place of worship," Phyllis Nathan of Monroe said. "We don't want to be singled out. We don't want anything to be denied to any specific group. We feel that's against the Constitution and against the Pledge of Allegiance we just recited."

After more than an hour of comments, the Village Board closed the public hearing and agreed to take up the issue again April 10 at a larger venue. Wohl said the board stood firm in its intent to make local zoning comply with federal law.

"The law is crystal clear," Wohl said. "This is not an issue where the Village of Goshen has a choice."


Abramoff lobbies judge for leniency in sentence

When the new year began, superlobbyist Jack Abramoff pleaded guilty to ripping off Native American clients, bribing congressmen and lying to lenders to buy a South Florida fleet of gambling ships.

On Wednesday, Abramoff, 46, faces the stone-cold reality of being sentenced to up to seven years in prison in a Miami federal court for his part in the fraudulent purchase of SunCruz Casinos.

Abramoff and his top-notch lawyers have written a sympathetic biography that seeks to elicit leniency from the judge:

• He grew up in Atlantic City, the son of Jewish parents who endured the Great Depression, wrote his lawyers, Neal Sonnett and Abbe Lowell.

• In the late 1960s, Abramoff moved with his family to Beverly Hills, where his family was ''among the non-upper class in a land of spoiled kids,'' according to a friend's letter filed with the court. He went on to set records as a weight lifter and was named an All-City and All-Conference football player in high school.

• For Abramoff, ''the biggest life-changing event'' was his conversion from a secular Jewish life to Orthodox Judaism. Abramoff bought a book on the Jewish holidays, but misunderstood a rule that he thought prevented Orthodox Jews from wearing leather or driving on major days of fasting.

''Mr. Abramoff laughs at himself when he remembers how he would walk to synagogue wearing only his socks, wondering what was wrong with all of those people from his synagogue who would stop to ask him if he wanted a ride home,'' the memo said.

• During high school, Abramoff did charity work for the Sugar Ray Robinson Youth Foundation to benefit inner-city children. The legendary boxer returned the favor when Sugar Ray asked him what he planned to do with his life.

''Mr. Abramoff told him that he wanted to go to Brandeis University, but probably could not get in because his 3.4 G.P.A. was not high enough,'' the memo said. ``Sugar Ray Robinson -- who was never known to back down from a challenge -- personally called Brandeis University and sang young Jack's praises.''



Monday, March 27, 2006

Letter from R' Yechezkel Roth, R' Moishe Stern and R' Yisroel Chaim Menashe Friedman about tape copying

Here is a letter from R' Yechezkel Roth, R' Moishe Stern and R' Yisroel Chaim Menashe Friedman about copying tapes. This letter has been posted on Mostly Music's website under the heading that it is against halacha to duplicate tapes. First of all, for anyone who can read, the letter clearly states that the issur is only for copying and selling tapes, which is the extent of massig g'vul. Second, the letter is addressed to Mordechai Ben David and his family, who incidentally are the owners of Aderet Music, and yes that's right, Mostly Music. So once again, it's all in the family, both the music and the deception.

Kiryas Joel borrows $4 million for new center

Kiryas Joel officials have borrowed $4 million through bonds to finish building a massive convalescence center for mothers on a hill behind the village fire station. They plan to cobble together state and federal grants, a mortgage and private donations to pay off the debt in one year, Village Administrator Gedalye Szegedin said last week.

The entire project is expected to cost $9 million.



Sunday, March 26, 2006

Yarmulka on Hasidic Recruit's Head Keeps Him From Serving in Coast Guard

Jack Rosenberg wants to serve his country.

Mr. Rosenberg, a 34-year-old tire technician and a certified pilot from Spring Valley, N.Y., signed up for the Coast Guard Auxiliary last year, hoping to fly on search-and-rescue missions and the like.

He underwent a full military background check. He had several sets of fingerprints taken. He passed the boating test and the written course.

"But as soon as I got sworn in and got ready to put on the uniform," Mr. Rosenberg said, "the commander came to me and said it's going to be a problem."

The problem was on top of Mr. Rosenberg's head. He is a Hasidic Jew, and he wears a skullcap at all times except when showering or swimming. The skullcap clashed with the uniform.

Wearing a visible piece of religious garb violates Coast Guard regulations. It says so in the Coast Guard manual, right between "Umbrellas" ("Plain black or navy blue, expandable, straight handle. Must be carried in left hand.") and "Backpacks" ("Must be carried in left hand when in uniform"). "Religious Items," the manual says. "Concealed or worn only during religious services."

Mr. Rosenberg's main skullcap, a black velvet model, is about six inches across. On occasions when Coast Guard protocol calls for wearing the official cap, including most outdoor activities, it would conceal the skullcap.



Saturday, March 25, 2006

Study: File sharing boosts music sales

Hundreds of millions of songs may illegally trade hands online every month, but file swapping may actually be causing people to spend more money on music, according to a new research report.

A study released this week by Jupiter Research reports that about 34 percent of veteran file swappers say they are spending more on music than they did before they started downloading files. About 14 percent of heavy file traders say they now spend less on music.

The findings, which are drawn from a survey of 3,319 people conducted last summer, are contrasted with claims from the record industry that file sharing and CD burning have been key contributors to a drop in major-label music sales in 2001.

"It is safe to say that active usage of online music content is one of the best predictors of increased consumer purchasing," lead author Aram Sinnreich wrote in the report. "Music sellers should devote their limited resources to online marketing and distribution--rather than eradicating the phantom threat of file sharing--if they truly wish to stanch the blood flow and turn the music market around."

The report comes at a moment when file sharing has reestablished itself as a hugely popular mainstream phenomenon, despite Napster's disappearance. Software such as Kazaa, MusicCity's Morpheus and Audiogalaxy continue to attract millions of downloads a week.

According to Jupiter's report, about 19 percent of average online music fans say they buy more music than they did before going online. About 34 percent of "experienced file sharers," or those who have used file-trading networks for more than six months, say they now buy more music. About 36 percent of people who are veteran file traders and have CD burners said they have increased spending.

Among those who own recordable CD drives and subscribe to high-speed Internet access--but don't swap files--the report found that about the same number of people reported increasing and decreasing spending on music. Jupiter concluded that each of these technologies has little net affect on record sales.

The Jupiter study did note that the average drop in an individual's music spending was larger than the average increase in spending. That effect could explain the overall drop in record sales, the authors noted.

Critics of this type of study, including some in the record industry, have speculated that people don't always tell the truth to researchers on controversial issues such as this.

Figures released by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) last month reported what appeared to be a different effect. The global industry trade group said that 35 percent of people who download more than 20 songs a month say they buy less music as a result.

The figures from both sides of the debate have been key bits of evidence as policy-makers try to decide how to address the issue of digital piracy. A closely watched bill in Washington, D.C., would ultimately require all consumer-electronics manufacturers and computer companies to include technology that blocks piracy.

That bill has drawn bitter opposition from companies across the technology sector.



Friday, March 24, 2006

Intellectual Property Rights in the Torah

According to Halacha there is no such thing as Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). There is one Halacha that is commonly quoted by Jewish music production companies in an erroneous attempt at backing up their claim that copying or downloading music is usser. This Halacha is 'Issur hasogas g'vul'. However, there is only one problem with that. The issur of 'Hasogas g'vul' pertains only to a person who is making money off of someone else's product by selling it to his potential customers. Therefore, someone that is merely copying, or even distributing to others, at no cost is actually not being oiver any issur at all. I have yet to find out in which Torah Mordechai Ben David and his ilk, or better yet, the Rabbonim in that blurry illegible p'sak din that was posted, have found that copying music is usser. The Jewish music industry has to understand that they are losing money, not because of downloading or coyping, but rather because they have not produced anything of quality for years.


Thursday, March 23, 2006

Splitting the difference

When Highland Park Conservative Temple and Center began to move toward an egalitarian service two years ago, tensions were inevitable. Years after most Conservative congregations in the country had embraced full participation by women in ritual life, a vocal faction of the Highland Park synagogue resisted the change.

Several months into a compromise plan that ushered in double minyanim, or prayer services, on Shabbat, tensions have eased considerably.

“We have an egalitarian service and a non-egalitarian service simultaneously, and we rotate the venue each week between the sanctuary and the chapel,” explained the temple’s Rabbi Eliot Malomet,. “We’ve been doing it since Bereshit,” the Torah portion read on Oct. 29. “So far it’s been wonderful. A lot of people have come to visit and joined the synagogue. There’s a lot of joy in the sense that everybody has something they need.”

Malomet and Cantor Robert Menes lead whatever service is in the sanctuary. The service in the chapel is led by volunteers from among the congregants. Many congregants were knowledgeable enough to lead a service; others have learned along the way.



Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Mordechai Ben David throws a fit

Watch the video clip of Mordechai Ben David throwing a fit about copying music and how it is nebech bankrupting the almost non-existent Jewish music industry. The gevaldige Hollywood like production was included on his new CD 'Efsher L'Takken'. If you look real closely at the clip you can almost see him cry about the extra millions that he could be making.

Watch the clip - High quality

Watch the clip - medium quality

Watch clip - low quality


Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Rabbi Batzri to be probed for incitement

The state prosecution ordered an investigation into prominent kabbalist Rabbi David Batzri and his son, Rabbi Yitzhak Batzri, for suspected incitement to racism.

According to prosecution lawyer Shai Nitzan, the two used unacceptable means in attempt to convince residents of Jerusalem’s Pat neighborhood to protest a local bi-lingual school where Arab and Jewish children study together.

The Arabic-Hebrew school opened nine years ago and until recently enrolled students from first through sixth grade. After a recent initiative to expand the school to serve seventh and eight grades as well, it was decided to construct a new building on the seam line between the Jewish neighborhood Pat and the Arab neighborhood Beit Safafa.

Construction on the school begins next week with a ceremony for the laying of the cornerstone, and its completion is expected in two-and-a-half years.

The project has met some enthusiasm, and recently a philanthropist from England contributed USD 3.5 million towards the school. However, not everyone is thrilled about the program. Leading an initiative against the school, Rabbi Batzri and his son held a conference two-and-a-half months ago where they made racist slurs against Arabs: “Arabs are a misfortune, a problem, Satan,” the two said, according to the prosecution.



Monday, March 20, 2006

Orthodox grapple with alcoholism

Alcohol and drug addiction exist in every sector of American Jewry, but addiction and recovery specialists say Gould is part of a growing problem in the Orthodox community — a problem that, because of the pressures and particularities of an observant Jewish lifestyle, has hit the Orthodox community in different and sometimes more troubling ways than other segments of the Jewish community.

“The Orthodox community really does have a need,” said Adrienne Bannon, executive director of Baltimore’s Jewish Recovery Houses, two centers in suburban Baltimore that house recovering Jewish drug addicts and alcoholics. “I thought most of the addicts and alcoholics filling this house would be long-estranged from religion, but it isn’t true,” she says.

Pinchas, who has been sober for 19 years and asked that his real name not be used, is one example of a recovering alcoholic who never gave up on religion.

A Potomac resident, Pinchas said he joined JACS, the Jewish Alcoholics, Chemically Dependent Persons and Significant Others because “when I got sober, I found very few synagogues would hold meetings” for recovering alcoholics, and he wanted Judaism to play a role in his recovery.

“[I thought], ‘I’m Jewish, how do I handle this?’ Because the 12 Steps were written by two Episcopalians and they wrote it from an Episcopalian perspective,” he said, referring to the famed rehabilitation mantra of Alcoholics Anonymous and the two professionals who created it in 1935.

“I almost killed myself,” continued Pinchas, who attends meetings at both groups. “I’d been drinking pretty successfully for about 11 years [and] was living by myself between my junior and senior years in college. I had four things happen to me in a row.”

First, he woke up next to someone he didn’t remember meeting.

Then, in a blackout state, he walked through a floor-to-ceiling glass pane.

Third, he lost a summer job because he missed so much work.

“Then I decided to go to shul,” he said, “and I got kicked out for being drunk.”

Asked if he had noticed an increase in the numbers of Jews he sees at A.A. meetings, which he attends weekly, Pinchas said: “I don’t think there’s been an upsurge, per se, I think the Orthodox community … is not as accepting of the fact that there’s alcoholics or drug addicts in the community. They have more blinders on than the general population.”

He recalled a time when he spoke about his experiences at an Orthodox synagogue, only to have the rabbi ask afterward if he had been adopted, believing, Pinchas said, that adoption was the only explanation for an alcoholic Jew.



Sunday, March 19, 2006

Hasidim come out on top

Dmitriy Salita met his match — and still managed to stay unbeaten.

Salita, a Hasidic Jew whose nickname is "The Star of David," rallied from a pair of knockdowns to fight Ramon Montano to a draw on the undercard of the Rahman- Toney fight.

Because of his religious beliefs, the 23-year-old junior welterweight only takes Saturday night fights if they are scheduled for after sundown, the end of the Sabbath. "Anyone who wants a good whuppin' from me is just going to have to wait until sundown," he says.



Saturday, March 18, 2006

Funny, you don't look ...

GROWING up in Beverly Hills, Jessica Shokrian often felt like an outsider at family gatherings. Her American-born mother was a convert to Judaism. And though English was the language spoken at home, the older members of her father's Iranian family would speak to one another in Farsi, a language she neither knew nor understood.

When she was 16, her father bought her a camera, and everything changed. "His family came from another place. They have this whole other history, this whole past I wasn't a part of," Shokrian explains. "Through photography, I was able to connect with my family in a way that didn't need words."

Today a professional photographer and filmmaker, Shokrian is one of 13 artists commissioned by New York's Jewish Museum to create photography, videos and multimedia installations on the topic of Jewish identity. Chronicling a panoply of Jews — young and old, native-born and émigré, black and white, Latino and Asian, assimilated and unassimilated — the artists ask and try to answer the question of who is Jewish.

Their investigations make up "The Jewish Identity Project: New American Photography," opening at the Skirball Cultural Center this week. "You cannot make easy assumptions about who anybody is in the 21st century in America," says Lori Starr, Skirball senior vice president and museum director. "The story of Ellis Island and New York's Lower East Side is, by and large, the overwhelming story that people have of Jewish emigration to America. But this show really turns those assumptions upside down, saying Jews are not a monolithic single culture in America but in fact a very heterogeneous mix of people."

Chris Verene's "Prairie Jews," depicts his family and friends in Galesburg, Ill., where he grew up and where Jews were already living within 20 years of the city's founding in 1837. Verene's subjects, Jews and non-Jews, clown for the camera, pose with their friends, live alone into their 90s and otherwise go about their lives.



Friday, March 17, 2006

Official With No Campaign Is Still Spending Campaign Cash

Blair Horner, the legislative director for the New York Public Interest Research Group, which is urging the state to strengthen its campaign finance laws, questioned how Mr. Mills's expenses could be related to a campaign if he is not running for office.

"I think that the governor should prohibit the practice," Mr. Horner said. "I don't think that agency heads with vast regulatory authority should be out shaking the fund-raising tree under the theory that they might, someday, run for office."

The campaign filings show that on Aug. 24, Mr. Mills's campaign account received $2,500 donations from Abraham Rubin, Lipa Rubin and Malky Landau, all of Brooklyn. A month later it received a fourth $2,500 donation, from Joshua Steinberg, also of Brooklyn. None had contributed to his Assembly campaign before.

The Brooklyn donors did not return repeated calls seeking comment.

Rabbi Jacob Freund, a village trustee from Kiryas Joel, in Orange County, said in an interview that he solicited the donations for Mr. Mills. He said the Brooklyn donors all had ties to Kiryas Joel, a booming village of Hasidic Jews 45 miles north of New York City.

Throughout the 1990's, Kiryas Joel sought Albany's help to create a school district for its disabled students. After several courts, including the United States Supreme Court, struck down early versions of state laws that had authorized the creation of the district on the ground that they violated the separation of church and state, Albany passed a revised law and the village got its district.

Rabbi Freund said that Mr. Mills had not asked him to solicit the funds, but that he had wanted to do so to thank him for his service as an assemblyman, and because he thinks Mr. Mills will be a rising political star. He said he would only solicit donors who do not have business before the Insurance Department.

"He's not 100 percent kosher; he has to be 110 percent," Rabbi Freund said.


Orthodox Jews find love is only a mouse click away

Batsheva Frankel was tired of being told she should be happy simply to find a husband who was breathing, let alone someone with a good sense of humor or similar to her in age.

But thanks to a Web site called Frumster.com, the Elizabeth school teacher proved them wrong and met Yossie, the man who later became her husband.

"Yossie and I think about it: could we have met another time or another way?" said Batsheva Frankel, speaking at her Elizabeth home, while balancing their 8-month-old son on one knee. "There's no way. Our worlds don't really intersect."

While there are plenty of Internet dating sites _ including many that cater to Jews _ what makes Passaic-based Frumster different is that it focuses on Jewish singles looking for marriage with someone who shares their religious values. The name comes from the Yiddish word "frum" which means "modest" _ no relation to the word frumpy, said Derek Saker, the site's marketing director.

Many clients said they turned to Frumster after being disappointed with mainstream sites or other methods of dating in the Orthodox community, such as using a matchmaker or being set up by friends and family.



Thursday, March 16, 2006

Second Tendler loses Shul

Upon allegations of being 'too friendly' to his female congregants, the second Tendler, Mordy's brother, has had to give up his position as Rabbi of his Shul in L.A. As news of these alleged incidents began to surface, the Rabbi decided to rather give up his post than to wait around until legal action is taken and he gets booted by the board like his brother. I guess Tendler and Metzitza really are synonymous.

New York City Department of Buildings violation complaint

Here is the image of the New York City Department of Buildings complaint for the location where R' Mordche Dovid was going to make the Melave Malka.


Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Chabad Outfit To Endorse Military Chaplains

An ultra-Orthodox organization will start endorsing chaplains for the United States military, ending the 88-year-long monopoly on endorsements held by the multi-denominational body that had vetted all previous candidates.

The Aleph Institute, an organization linked to the Chabad-Lubavitch movement previously known for helping Jewish prisoners, was approved last month by the Department of Defense to endorse chaplains. Endorsing agencies provide a required seal of approval for any religious leader who wants to join one of the three branches of the military. The Miami-based Aleph Institute will join the Jewish Welfare Board's Jewish Chaplains Council, which, since 1918, has been the only body endorsing Jewish chaplains. The chaplains council is run by the Jewish Community Center Association and brings together the Reform, Conservative and Orthodox movements to vet candidates.

The approval of a Chabad-Lubavitch body is particularly notable because Chabad rabbis — known for their eagerness in reaching out to unaffiliated Jews — are currently not able to become chaplains because of a military regulation banning beards. The new body will endorse rabbis from other corners of the Orthodox world, but it is also likely to lead any efforts to overturn the military's prohibition on chaplains having beards. In the past, Orthodox rabbis have quietly complained that the Jewish Chaplains Council did not seem interested in working to change the rule. The chaplains council also has been under pressure because of a general shortage of Jewish chaplains in the military.


Route 42 widening ahead

Gone are plans for looping roundabout intersections.

Gone are the planned high-powered lights around the intersections.

But the Department of Transportation will begin work this year on a $3.9 million road-widening project along Sullivan County’s main shopping strip, a notoriously busy stretch of Route 42 in the Town of Thompson.

The DOT has pushed the project ahead of other major Sullivan projects, like a total revamping of Broadway in the Village of Monticello, because of the many accidents and bottlenecks.

“Ask anybody who has driven down there in the summertime,” Thompson Councilman Bill Rieber said. “Just to continue any prosperity we have in the town we have to mitigate traffic problems in that section.”

Recently, the DOT was ripping up plans and proposing three roundabouts along the stretch from Anawana Lake Road to Concord Road. The DOT has now settled on a design with no roundabouts, one that requires no taking of private property or bulldozing of buildings. The project should be under construction in the fall and be completed in late 2007.

The project focuses on a roughly blocklong stretch running past a strip mall, The Home Depot, ShopRite and Town Hall.

The road will be widened by two 12-foot lanes, past the shopping mall and to the Town Hall intersection. Other features include sidewalks on both sides of the road; an extra turning lane on Anawana Lake Road to make it easier to get into Wal-Mart; a second lane to the Route 17 “Kiamesha” off ramp at Exit 105B; and various signal and signage improvements.

While under construction, drivers could face a daily nightmare attempting to get into the village or out to the towns of Fallsburg and Neversink.

The DOT has set a public information meeting for 6:30 tonight at the Town Hall, seeking input from residents on the project’s scope and construction times.



Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Simchas Poorhim - Enjoy the new Lipa Lipa Video L'kovod Purim

Watch this new exclusive Lipa Schmeltzer Lipa Lipa Music Video.

Watch Video


Monday, March 13, 2006


They are part of the scenery every Sunday in Teaneck's Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods -- Israeli, Russian and Brooklyn Jews going house to house asking for money.

In an uneven stream, poor widows, parents of ill children, men out of work, and emissaries for Israeli schools and charities descend on streets around Teaneck's dozen or so Orthodox synagogues.

The trips are regularly fruitful.

In just weeks of unannounced stops to Orthodox neighborhoods in the New York metropolitan area, many collectors, as they are called, can receive several thousands of dollars -- often more than $10,000 -- from other Jews who try to follow their religion's instructions on charity.

This unusual model of giving, unfamiliar to those outside the neighborhoods -- even to many Conservative and Reform Jews -- is a fact of life in many Orthodox neighborhoods.

In Teaneck, the number of collectors has skyrocketed in the last year, largely because of Israeli government cutbacks in social services and payments to families with children, according to rabbis and community members.

The most reliable measure of the growth is the number of certificates issued to collectors by a local charity board. Called the Teaneck-Bergenfield tzedakah committee (tzedakah means charity in Hebrew), it distributed 300 certificates last year, up from 180 in 2004.

On two recent Sundays on Warwick Street, down the road from a Teaneck synagogue, hired drivers pulled up near houses where Orthodox residents have known records of generosity, or to other houses identified as Jewish by mezuzahs -- the enclosed parchments that Jews place on door frames.

An Orthodox man from Israel, Rabbi Menachem Rubin, made the rounds, collecting for a Jerusalem school and rehabilitation center he heads that caters to young girls who once lived in poverty in Russia.

"We run on a minimal budget," Rubin said. "When the (Israeli) government made budget cuts, it cost us about $360,000 a year."



Sunday, March 12, 2006


A 22-year-old man was in critical condition last night after an early morning shooting in an Orthodox Jewish section of Brooklyn.

The man, whose identity was not released, was shot several times, police said.

The incident in front of an apartment building at 526 Dahill Ave., near 41st Street, shocked residents of the Borough Park neighborhood, usually very quiet on Saturdays, the Jewish Sabbath.

People who live near the shooting scene said they were awakened to the sound of gunshots - and many were too scared to even look out their windows.

One resident, who would only give her name as Zobeyza, said she thought at first it was a car accident. "After that I couldn't sleep all morning because of it," she said.



Saturday, March 11, 2006

R' Mordche Dovid's Chevra make phone calls on Shabbos

People all over Boro-Park were shocked this Shabbos when their phone rang after the z'man on Friday and even more so when they heard the message on their answering machine. No, it wasn't a telemarketer calling or a wrong number, it was a phone call from R' Mordche Dovid's Chevra urging people to come to the Melava Malka this Motzei Shabbos. At its conclusion the phone message wished everyone a Gut Shabbos, which couldn't have been more accurate since it actually was on Shabbos.


Friday, March 10, 2006

Chaptzem! caption contest

The winning caption...

Future Rebbe split
jelouse of the elders, let's start young

Comment Credit ---This article posted by Anonymous : March 08, 2006 2:41 AM

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

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Chaptzem! caption contest WINNER - Last week

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Caption contest and winner - Last week

Mother of fire victims sees way to honor them

Nearly a year has passed since Philyss Seidenfeld lost four of her seven children in a Teaneck fire that still haunts the hearts of neighbors and grieves the souls of strangers.

In the months since the March 22 blaze, friends and strangers have joined together to share tears and ponder how to cope with the tragedy.

They need only look to Seidenfeld for inspiration.

As she journeys through the darkness, never to understand the why of it all, she clings to her belief. "It was God's will," she said. "Their souls had a job to do and they were finished."

She will not allow the grief to consume her. Instead she aims to transform her sorrow into something beautiful by making her children's legacy one of joy and spiritual growth.

Saturday, on the first anniversary of her children's death according to the Jewish (lunar) calendar, Seidenfeld wants to mark the day with worldwide prayer, study and acts of kindness. She wishes for people of all religions to remember her children by reciting Psalms.



Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Bomb threat in three Florida Shuls

Bomb threats were made today to three different Shuls in Florida. Authorities evacuated the Shuls and did a full search for explosives. The search did not turn up anything and the people were allowed to reenter the Shuls. Ironically none of the Shuls belonged to Satmar.

Thompson temporarily halts bungalow construction

The Town of Thompson, which is home to a large number of summer bungalow colonies, has put a temporary halt on construction of new bungalows.

The town board Tuesday night imposed a six-month moratorium to give council members the opportunity to review the situation, said Town Supervisor Anthony Cellini.

“At our last planning board meeting, we had nine items on the agenda and eight of them were either for expansions of bungalow colonies or new bungalow colonies,” he said.

The town may impose a new local zoning law regulating bungalows once the review has been completed.



Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Ramapo planners to adopt 'positive' declaration on Monsey Wal-Mart

The Town of Ramapo Planning Board is expected tonight to adopt a positive environmental declaration for the proposed Wal-Mart Supercenter at the former Rockland Drive-In Theater site in Monsey.

The declaration would mean that National Realty & Development Corp. of Purchase, which is seeking to build a single, 35-foot-high building on the 22-acre site for use as a 215,000-square-foot Wal-Mart, would have to do a complete study on the proposal and how it would affect, among other things, traffic, the environment and other businesses.

An existing 99,000-square-foot Wal-Mart in Airmont is less than half the size of the proposed Monsey store. The Monsey store would contain a full-service grocery store, which would compete with the nearby Pathmark; a 1,750-square-foot gas station; a tire and lubrication service area; and 992 parking spaces. The site rests next to land owned by the state Department of Transportation that was promised to Spring Valley and the town for parkland.

The proposed Wal-Mart would be built near a senior center complex and two apartment houses.


Jews pray for the immediate disintegration of the Zionist Regime

The anti-Zionist Jewish movement of Neturei Karta International stated that the community of Orthodox Jews have always and will constantly pray to God for the immediate and peaceful disintegration of the Zionist Regime and the Israeli state.
Neturei Karta International added, "all the Orthodox Jews world wide are upset about the recent ploys, propaganda and tensions which have been created by the West regarding the statements of the Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad about a world free from Zionism since this is nothing more than wishing for a better world dominated by peace and calm."
"This means a true hope for a peaceful life and coexistence between the Jewish and Muslim communities following the disintegration of the Zionist Regime, the same way that it was in Palestine and all throughout the world prior to the manifestation of Zionism and establishment of the Zionist Israeli state," it added.
The anti-Zionist Jews stressed, "this is a dangerous deviation to pretend that the Iranian president is an anti-Jewish or anti-Semitic personality since president Ahmadinejad, in fact, restated what the late founder of the Islamic Republic Ayatollah Khomeini had frequently stated, that is, Zionism is different from Judaism and while the Zionist state of Israel must be disintegrated, the Jewish communities world wide and the religion of Judaism must be respected."



Monday, March 06, 2006

CRC issues letter against Lipa Schmeltzer

CRC has printed a letter condemning Lipa Schmeltzer and his albums. The letter states that anyone that already owns any of his albums must get rid of them right away. Also the letter states that they are planning to print a full list of albums that they fell are inappropriate for a Yiddishe Shtieb.

Judaism explored in scholarly work

Many educated readers of book reviews obtain their understanding of Judaism from their liberal-minded Jewish colleagues. Some of these Jews are not religious, and many of those who are have an attenuated Judaism, perhaps Reform rather than Orthodox, or at least at the liberal end of the Orthodox spectrum.

The merit of this book is that it comes from the heartland, indeed its author is none other than the Chief Rabbi of South Africa. Thus it is a book from the head of the Orthodox Jewish community, but is seriously misleading in some important respects. On the other hand, there is a great deal of scholarly work on the historical and contemporary failings of non-Jewish Western society.

The message of the book is that Judaism, with its deep concern for the weak and powerless, which the author refers to as the "vulnerability principle", has shown the way, and only now is Western society catching up with Jewish law.

Rabbi Goldstein deals with political power, oppression of women, criminal justice and finally, poverty and the law.

The section on political power emphasises the importance of the rule of law in Judaism's long history and rightly condemns the appalling abuses of power by absolute rulers in Europe. The centrality in Judaism of the religious framework has often tempered kingly power. Rabbi Goldstein is on good ground here and also in praising the growth of respect for the rule of law in secular Western democracies such as post-apartheid South Africa.

However, not a word is spoken of the cruelty inflicted on Jewish "sinners" despite or within the law, through the exercise of rabbinical power in Jewish communities in, for example, 17th and 18th century Europe.



Saturday, March 04, 2006

R' Ahron Teitelbaum visits Rubashkin in Iowa

R' Ahron Teitelbaum made a highly secretive trip with a small group of close Chasidim to Rubashkin's Shlacht House in Iowa. R' Ahron was given a full tour of the facilities by Mr. Rubashkin and was even given the honor of putting up a Mezuzah. R' Ahron also got very hands-on and was personally inspecting the animals that were slaughtered. The reason for the visit was that Satmar of Monroe is planning to begin Shecting beheima gasos at Rubashkin's place in Iowa. Meal-Mart, fearing the competition of the Satmar Lubavitch Shecting alliance, reportedly contacting all the Yiddish newspapers and threatened them to keep the story under wraps and not print a word of it. For this reason the trip has been kept very covert and has not been reported anywhere else.

Lipa Schmeltzer HASC Concert advertisement Music Video

Watch the Lipa Scmeltzer Gelt HASC Concert advertisement Video.

Watch video


Friday, March 03, 2006

Chaptzem! caption contest

And the winner for the best caption is...

Don't tell the Rebbe I skipped class to go play.

Comment Credit ---This article posted by Lawman : March 01, 2006 4:55 PM

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

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

An Ugly Day in the Neighborhood

Dr. Warren Lent is sure he knows why he was treated with such contempt and hostility that day last June. It was the kippah he wore on his head.

He had come to vote in neighborhood council elections at a jam-packed fire station in Hancock Park. Amid the tension and confusion, an angry poll worker repeatedly accused Lent, a soft-spoken surgeon, of trying to vote twice.

Things escalated to the point where the poll worker asked Lent if he was “man enough to step outside” to settle it, Lent said.

The poll worker eventually backed down, but Lent reported the incident to Michael Rosenberg, a candidate for the council who, along with a group of allies, was recording slights against Orthodox Jewish voters. From his spot the requisite 100 feet away from the polling place, and from his office desk, Rosenberg gathered reports on shouting matches, fraudulent ballots and tense stand-offs between Orthodox Jews and other voters, many of them non-Orthodox Jews.

More proof, to Rosenberg’s mind, that the upscale neighborhood of Hancock Park was out to get Orthodox Jews.

On the other side, non-Orthodox residents were just as disgusted by what they say they saw on Election Day — fake membership cards, line jumping and all manner of deception by Orthodox Jews trying to secure as many votes as they could. Yet more evidence that this group of Orthodox Jews is willing to bend — no, break — the rules to get what they want.



Thursday, March 02, 2006

Maimonides Medical Center lauds Bobover Rebbes' Doctor

Maimonides Medical Center in Boro-Park has begun a new blitz advertisement campaign to help bring in new business to the hospital (as if that is necessary). As part of this campaign, one of their ads feature a list of doctors that they employ that made the list of best doctors in New York. One of the doctors on the list is 'Doctor to the Rebbes' Dr. Yitzchak Y. Kupfer, who has been the personal doctor for the Lubavitcher Rebbe and for both previous Bobover Rebbes. He is a pulmonary specialist and is the head of Maimonide's MICU. I guess now there's one more thing that R' Bentzion and R' Mordche Dovid can fight over.


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