Friday, November 30, 2007

Read the new Chaptzem article in the Country Yossi Family Magazine

Make sure to pick up your free copy of the Country Yossi Family Magazine and read the brand new original article 'Got Inspiration?' written by Chaptzem, the only Heimishe blogger to make the transition from cyberspace to print.

Law firm sues to collect Satmar bill

There are more jokes, put-downs and one-liners about lawyers than there are lawyers, but let's all admit something: Everyone wants to get paid for the work that they do, and no one likes to get stiffed. Lawyers are just like anyone else. If you cut a lawyer, does he not bleed? And if you stiff him, does he not sue?

The Newburgh law firm of Rider, Weiner & Frankel got tired of being bled, figuratively if not literally, for legal fees that it contends are owed by a faction of Satmar Hasidim based at Congregation Yetev Lev D'Satmar in Brooklyn.

The case was a long-running dispute between the Brooklyn faction and the faction based in the Orange County Village of Kiryas Joel. The two sides wound up in court over an election for control of the board of the synagogue, which is a political powerhouse because of its ability to get out thousands of votes.

Rider, Weiner contends that the Brooklyn faction paid only $50,000 of an $87,888 legal bill, so earlier this month, the firm sued in state Supreme Court to recover the money.

It seems unlikely that the clients can claim that they have a beef about the firm's performance, since Rider, Weiner & Frankel won their case at the trial-court level in Goshen, and that victory held up on appeal recently in New York's highest court, the Court of Appeals.

The firm's lawsuit says that Congregation Yetev Lev of Brooklyn and its officers have failed to pay up, "despite repeated requests on the telephone and in writing."

The suit also notes that the synagogue's officers say they don't have the money to pay the bills.

The synagogue still had phone service yesterday, but no one answered.



Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Jewish Press Inquiring Photographer, Touro College, Boro-Park

Question: Does it bother you that an increasing number of Orthodox Jewish families don't celebrate Thanksgiving, viewing it as a secular holiday?

No. It's not a Jewish based holiday meaning it’s not halachically mandated, and besides, we as Jews don't need one day set aside on the calendar to appreciate this country like the secular world does. We express our gratitude for America and everything else every single day when we daven and thank Hashem.

-- Shmuli Hershovitz, student


Councilman Simcha Felder, hosts political meeting, should take precautions to avoid fowl retribution

Boro-Park's very own anti-feigele Councilman Simcha Felder is currently hosting a political meeting at the Georgie Ballroom. New York City Police Commissioner Kelly and many NYPD Chiefs are at the meeting which includes the agenda of discussing the safety and security of Boro-Park. Let's just hope they don't get sidetracked by a discussion on pigeon legislation. Who knows, maybe Kelly has aspirations to be the new Pigeon Czar.


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Maybe he should have spent the extra buck-fifty

This guy probably should have spent the extra money to write his full name out.

Shed Being Built at Pier in Brooklyn Bridge Park

The planned Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 2 is about to host its first big party. Workers on Tuesday began building a tent that would hold some 3,000 people from the fundamentalist Jewish Hasidic sect, the Satmars, who will be celebrating the arrival of the European Jews at the end of World War II, according to A.J. Carter, a spokesman for the Empire State Development Corporation. The annual event starts Saturday evening and ends at 2:30 a.m. Carter said many would be coming by bus, but there is parking available for 200 cars. Though movies are often shot on the piers, the only recent event there that Carter could recall was a smaller public film viewing.



Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Anti-Semites graffiti car at mall parking lot

Sent in by a reader -

Dear Chaptzem,

Please post the following story that happened to me:

I was parked by the Gateway Mall in the Starrett City section of Brooklyn, which is frequented by Brooklyn Jews of all persuasions.

Upon returning to my car, I realized that a Magen David that was not there earlier was drawn into the dirt on my driver's side window.

Apparently, some anti-Semite noticed a Jew with a yarmulka leaving his car and left me a "gift".

Since it was not a Swastika, I did not make a big deal, but I am confident that it was an anti-Semitic gesture.

I was so horrified by the incident that, unfortunately, I immediately used a
baby wipe (I had my 2 babies with me) to remove it. Thinking back, I should
have taken pictures first.

Additionally, I parked somewhere else shortly after and needed to remove it
so as to avoid having my vehicle "branded" as a "Jewish Vehicle".


Monday, November 26, 2007

Councilman Simcha Felder proposing law that abolishes a Minhag Yisrael

Our favorite New York City Councilman Simcha Felder has been quite busy lately. Between swiping filing cabinets from City Hall, replacing street garbage cans and giving himself a pay raise it makes one wonder how he finds the time. However, Simcha's latest piece of proposed legislature may be putting him into a halachic quandary. Simcha has been very busy lately doing the press circuit about placing a $1,000 fine on people that feed the pigeons. Now, while this possible new law and newly conceived office of 'Pigeon Czar' may be the best new law of the millennium, it may however come into conflict with a long established Minhag that Yidden the world over have been practicing for thousands of years. You see, as every Yiddishe kindergarden child knows, as a thanks to the birds for eating the Mun that Dussan and Aviram placed in the open on Shabbos to embarrass Moshe Rabbeinu, we put out crumbs for the birds to eat every year for Shabbos Parshas Beshalach. Councilman Felder however wants to put an end to this Minhag and make it illegal to feed the birds. We will cannot allow this to happen. We cannot tolerate this outright violation of 'Minhag Yisrael Toirah'.

Let's all band together and let Simcha know that what he is doing is neged the Toirah and we will not tolerate it.

Call, e-mail, fax and write Councilman Simcha Felder and let him that you are outraged at his flagrant disregard for the Torah and Mitzvahs

Below is the Councilman's contact information -

District Office Address:
4424 16th Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11204
District Office Phone No.: (718) 853-2704
District Office Fax No.: (718) 853-3858

Legislative Office Address:
250 Broadway, 17th Floor
NY, NY 10007
Legislative Office Phone No.: (212) 788-7357

Email: felder@council.nyc.ny.us


Sunday, November 25, 2007

Three Boro-Park homes robbed - possibly by 'frimme'

Three Boro-Park apartments occupied by young married couples were robbed early Friday night. The couples were away for the Shabbos meal at their parents' house when the robberies occurred. Two of the apartments that were robbed were on 54th Street and the other was on 53rd Street, all between 11th and 12th Avenues, with the backyards all adjoined. In all three robberies the thieves entered the apartment through the backyard. Neighbors say they saw a couple of 'frimme' that don't live there looking around the backyards. Police said that it seemed that the thieves were aware of the couples' schedule and knew that they wouldn't be home then and targeted them specifically.

If anyone has any information about the robberies or has seen a couple of chevrah snooping around backyards at night, please call the Bp Shomrim and let them know what you know.


Saturday, November 24, 2007

Maimonides Medical Center offers great service - for throwing out patients' family members

A Yingerman was thrown out of the Intensive Care Unit at Maimonides Medical Center by a hoard of security guards on Shabbos. A Yingerman came early Shabbos morning to Maimonides to be with his grandfather who was at the ICU. When the Yingerman got to the hospital he asked the security guard at the front desk if he could go up to his grandfather at the ICU, to which the guard replied yes. The Yingerman proceeded on his way to the ICU. However, as soon as he stepped into the unit a group of nurses began yelling at him telling him to leave and that they were calling security to throw him out. The Yingerman, completely confused by what had taken place, asked in a polite voice to know what was going on. The nurses just continued to shout at him and said that security was already on their way. Within a minute the Yingerman was surrounded by a platoon of security guards who forced him out of the unit, trying to push him into an elevator until he insisted that he would only go with the stairs because it was Shabbos. When the Yingerman asked when he would be allowed to see his grandfather he was told to come back later. The Yingerman waited around to be with his grandfather but was not allowed in until many hours later at 12 pm.


Friday, November 23, 2007

Philanthropist Yossi Gross davens with a bren - Chaptzem Exclusive

Not only is Yossi Gross a philanthropist, but he also davens very ehrlich.

Thanks Moish for the pic


Thursday, November 22, 2007

Rightful heir to Belzer throne is non-Frum man in Ukraine

Gentlemen start your engines!

Get ready for the battle of a lifetime. As it turns out, the real Belzer Rebbe is not in Israel at all. He is actually a non-Frum man that has been living in the Ukraine since all these years. The previous Belzer Rebbe, R' Arele Belzer, whom it was believed had lost all his children and grandchildren in the war, actually has a surviving grandchild, the son of his daughter and son-in-law Rav Shmiel Frankel. When R' Arele passed away, since he had no surviving children, his brother's son took over the Rabbisteve. However, now that this grandchild who is of direct Rebbishe lineage has been discovered, he may have halachic rights to the Belzer throne. Chasidim that have previously not been very happy with the current Belzer administration, are currently in talks of bringing this man back to Yiddishkeit and polishing him up to take over as Belzer Rebbe, putting these rogue Chasidim in control of the awesome Belzer assets.


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

B & H Photo stoops to shameless marketing techniques

B & H Photo's ad shamelessly states that it is looking to hire a person to register themselves in professional camera forums and to shamelessly promote B & H Photo as 'the ultimate resource for photo knowledge', regardless of the claim's merit and without disclosing to forum members that they are B & H employees, thereby knowingly and willing misleading forum members. This practice is not a legitimate form of site promotion, it is extremely deceitful and is both unethical and against the rules of most discussion boards.

From the Jewish Press

Original IntraVenous of Rabbi Solomon Shlomo Halberstam

You can own Reb Shloimele Bobover's intravenous for only $1,350,000 on auction


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Court decision wrests control from Kiryas Joel rabbi

A bitter court battle that has divided the Satmar Hasidim of Kiryas Joel and Brooklyn for six years has once again been decided in favor of the faction that now holds power in Brooklyn. The Court of Appeals released a decision this morning upholding lower court decisions in favor of supporters of Rabbi Zalmen Teitelbaum, one of two brothers with rival claims to leadership of the 100,000-strong religious sect.
The order leaves hundreds of millions of dollars worth of property and Satmar-owned businesses in Brooklyn and upstate in the hands of Rabbi Zalmen's faction. Supporters of his older brother, Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum -- the chief rabbi in Kiryas Joel for many years -- had sued to wrest control of those assets, contending they had won an election in 2001 for lay leadership of the sect's Brooklyn branch.


Real Estate Meets Facebook with Hasidic Based Social Networking

A lot of people are moving into the buildings arising from the soaring pace of residential construction throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn. But most of them will know nothing about their neighbors as they move into the giant high rises that have been criticized as “vertical suburbs.” It was here that Matthew Goldstein realized there was a role that needed to be filled.

At 866 Eastern Parkway, a mixed use building with 57 condo units in a Hasidic enclave of Crown Heights, Brooklyn, 35 residents have created profiles and use the network. They have publicly used the site to try and organize halloween parties, set up an art class, discuss concerns about where dog owners bring their pets to do their deeds, and engage in light flirting. (It also seems that quite a few residents have an addiction to the Nintendo Wii game console.) The building’s management uses the site to post news about the building.

Goldstein, a former television ad salesman, came up with the idea eleven months ago, and it has been growing ever since. “What was once a weekend idea for three months has turned into a bona fide business,” he says.

In two weeks, LifeAt will service 335 buildings nationwide, with 139 of them added within the past month. In New York, where 70 percent of the business’s buildings are located, 60 percent of them are owned and 40 percent are rentals. The smallest building LifeAt services is 42 units, and the largest, Stuyvesant Town in Manhattan, has 12,000 units. (Goldstein’s own building is considered too small, with only 16 units.) And in two months, residents will be able to interact with people from other buildings.



Monday, November 19, 2007

Mordechai Ben David performs for Mekimi at the home of a sick person - Chaptzem Exclusive

MBD made a personal private appearance on behalf of the Mekimi organization in the home of an ailing person to help uplift his spirits. MBD, along with other singers, gave an inspirational performance.

Drug-dealing Hasidim inspire comic drama

Call it "Meshuggah Full of Grace." A spate of 1990s-era crimes where Hasidic Jews were recruited as mules to smuggle drugs into the U.S. has inspired an indie comic drama that is slated to begin next spring in New York.

"Holy Rollers" follows an impressionable youth (Jesse Eisenberg) from an Orthodox Brooklyn community. He's lured into becoming an Ecstasy dealer by a friend (Justin Bartha) with ties to an Israeli drug cartel. Newcomer Danny Abeckaser is set to play the owner of a club where they do their decidedly unkosher business.

Set in 1999, the film marks the feature debut of Kevin Asch who directs from a screenplay by Antonio Macia.



Sunday, November 18, 2007

Boro-Park woman sells treifos in Flatbush with Arab partner

ON the morning in August 2005 when Sam Habib and Cindy Gluck opened their first Dunkin’ Donuts, they awoke at dawn to make sure that the glazed fritters and French crullers were out on the counter. Then Mr. Habib sneaked off to the neighboring mosque to pray, and Ms. Gluck, panicky about the prospects of their new venture, went to the back of the store to cry.

Mr. Habib, a bearish 47-year-old with a warm smile, is a Muslim immigrant from Egypt, and Ms. Gluck, 34, is a slim, petite Orthodox Jew from Borough Park, Brooklyn. Both had sunk their entire savings into buying the franchise, on a busy stretch of Church Avenue at East 17th Street in Flatbush.

It was a terrifying gamble. The two had known each other only a few months when Mr. Habib, who says he dreamed for decades of running a Dunkin’ Donuts, asked Ms. Gluck, a real estate broker he had met while looking for a location, to join him in business. He knew she was an Orthodox Jew but said he didn’t care.

Technically, Ms. Gluck is a silent partner, owner of just 49 percent of the business, but as Mr. Habib is quick to point out, there is nothing silent about her.

“I let him make all the decisions,” Ms. Gluck said.

“Really?” Mr. Habib replied, with raised eyebrows.

Sam Habib, whose first name is short for Essam, arrived in New York in 1982 with only the change he had in his pocket. He sold his return ticket home to pay rent and went to work in the kitchens of Brooklyn restaurants.

Cindy Gluck (her real name is Hindy) grew up in Hasidic Williamsburg, in a family that she says were so poor, they often couldn’t afford to eat. At 20, she was married off to a man of her parents’ choosing; four children later, she went into real estate to try to make some money.

“I had never met a Muslim before,” Ms. Gluck said the other day, sitting with her partner in the small office at the back of the Church Avenue store, a space heavy with the aroma of baking croissants. “The first thing I wanted to know was: ‘What kind of Muslim are you?’”

Mr. Habib chimed in with a laugh: “All her friends told her that she should be careful that her crazy terrorist Arab partner doesn’t put bombs in her packages.”

Under the ground rules the pair worked out before making their partnership official, Ms. Gluck takes off Saturdays to celebrate the Sabbath, and Mr. Habib worships at the mosque every Friday. The doughnuts come from a kosher bakery in Borough Park. On Jewish holidays, Mr. Habib technically owns the entire business because Ms. Gluck is not allowed to earn money on those days.

And there is one edict they both obey. “Neither of us is allowed to enjoy the profits of the pork,” Ms. Gluck said. Any money the business makes on the sale of bacon, sausage or ham — foods that are forbidden in both their religions — is split and given away, hers to her synagogue and to Israel, his to the workers as bonuses.

Mr. Habib often says a business partnership is like a marriage, and he acts accordingly; when he travels home to Egypt, he brings Ms. Gluck little gifts.



Saturday, November 17, 2007

Bobov election documents

Documents from the Bobover Rebbe election, including a list of all the officially sanctioned Bobover Chasidim. Don't feel bad if you're not on it.

Download PDF

To download the PDF click on above link, then scroll down to the bottom of the page and click the free option and wait for your download to begin.


Friday, November 16, 2007

Read the new Chaptzem article in the Country Yossi Family Magazine

Make sure to pick up your free copy of the Country Yossi Family Magazine and read the brand new original article 'Confessions of a Frum Addict' written by Chaptzem, the only Heimishe blogger to make the transition from cyberspace to print.

Heimishe man accused of cheating in poker game at Mohegan Sun Casino

State police have arrested a New York man accused of cheating while playing Texas hold 'em poker at the Mohegan Sun Casino.

State police say 26-year-old Sholem Weisner of Brooklyn was found with about $55,000 in his hotel room at the casino Thursday.

A state police investigator says Weisner was allegedly marking certain cards to determine their location during the game that he had played over several days.

Investigators say that Weisner had been ejected from the casino in September 2006 for allegedly cheating. State police say for this trip he brought along IDs belonging to a friend.

Weisner has been released on bond.


What a cute pair

Dagim Fish donates fish to Masbia Heimishe soup kitchen.


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Important - Missing Jewish child - Please read

Received from a reader:


This is serious. Please make a post about it. It can really help.

Forwarded Message:
Subj: Fw: Missing 16-year old girl
Date: 11/13/2007 1:46:07 P.M. Eastern Standard Time
From: ckeren@agudathisrael.org
To: ckeren@agudathisrael.org
Sent from the Internet (Details)

Chana Keren
Secretary for Deborah Zachai
Education Affairs
Agudath Israel of America
42 Broadway, 14th Floor
New York, NY 10004
T: 212-797-7386
F: 646-254-1650
E: ckeren@agudathisrael.org

----- Original Message -----

I'm trying to get this email out to as many people as possible in as short a time as i can.
I have a friend in Richmond, Va. that ran away last week.
I have been asked to get this email out to as many people as possible.
Her name is Shana Colby and she's 16 years old, blonde, and blue eyed.
There are a lot of theories that she may have gone to New York and the hope is that especially with the everyone-knows-everyone factor in the Jewish world that someone will know someone who has information.
We think she may be in danger and whatever anyone can do to help the situation would be appreciated. So if you guys could forward this email to as many people as you think would help that would be great (especially those of you in the metro-politan day schools).
Please guys. I know this girl personally and I know her mother. Who knows what forwarding one email or telling one friend can do?
There's a link here to her picture. I really appreciate all of your time.
Thank you,
~Eliana Ben-Ezra
this is the email from her mom:
Click on the link below to view Shana's poster from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.



Food Truck in Hasidic Williamsburg Raises Suspicions Among Ultra-Orthodox

When Nathan Lichtenstein first parked his truck in the Hasidic area of Williamsburg in early September, some other members of the ultra-conservative branch of Judaism handed out leaflets denouncing the truck. They feared it would tempt the devout out of their houses and into the street, where men and women might mingle and young Hasidim would neglect their studies.

The protests died out two months ago. But now some of the most conservative Hasidim see a new threat — hipsters.

The neighborhood, home mostly to members of the Satmar sect of Hasidism, is a place where most people cook dinner at home with their families, where small groceries outnumber restaurants, and where signs in Yiddish are as common as those in English.

Lichtenstein’s food wagon is parked on Lee Avenue where it crosses over the Brooklyn Queens Expressway, in the heart of the neighborhood.

Lined with small shops selling baked goods, discount items, jewelry and electronics, Lee Avenue is the main commercial strip. There are no chain stores. Women shoppers pushing strollers wear skirts to their ankles. The minivans and cell phones seem incongruous.

The gleaming silver food wagon, its sides lined with red and purple lights, stands out, too.

Lichtenstein named his business “Sub on Wheels.” The menu features a variety of subs, not surprisingly, as well as traditional Jewish foods like kugel and knishes, and street foods like hot dogs, hamburgers and “Philly Steaks.” Yes, that’s Philly Steak, not Philly Cheese steak.

The vast majority of Lichtenstein’s guests come from the local Hasidic community or from other Jewish neighborhoods in the city. A convenience store worker two blocks from Lichtenstein, on Broadway, said he gets hipsters all the time. But Broadway seems to be a dividing line. Except for the day when thousands of runners in shorts take over the strip of Bedford Avenue that runs through the neighborhood — another subject of criticism for conservative Satmars — the Hasidic area of Williamsburg seems to remain intact, untouched by the hipsters farther north.



Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Double-teaming a double double-parker in Boro-Park

A person gets two $115 double-parking tickets by two ticket agents on Thirteenth Avenue in Boro-Park.


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Medical lab in Monroe set to close

People who use Orange Regional Medical Center's Arden Hill Hospital Patient Service Center on Millpond Parkway will have to find another place to get their lab tests done.

Rob Lee, spokesman for Orange Regional Medical Center, which owns the lab, said there were structural issues with the building that made adding updated lab equipment too costly.

"It would be cost-prohibitive for us to make the necessary renovations to maintain the additional high level of technical excellence," he said. "It's a business decision, essentially."

The lab, at 52 Millpond Parkway, which serves a high number of Medicare and Medicaid patients, will shutter its doors on Dec. 28.

The closure will come as a blow to many residents in the Monroe-Woodbury area without cars, including Hasidic women from the Village of Kiryas Joel who can't drive, recent immigrants and seniors. The only other lab in the Monroe-Woodbury area is a private one on Gilbert Street.

Former Harriman Justice Philip Caiazza, however, said that lab is too small for the needs of the area and is not as flexible in processing patients. Caiazza has become the unofficial spokesman for those protesting the closure of the Orange Regional facility, where he goes for blood work every two weeks.

Caiazza, who is nearly blind, relies on the Town of Monroe's Dial-a-Bus to take him from his doorstep to the lab a few miles from his house, he said. With the lab's slated closure, he would have to go to either Orange Regional's diagnostic center on Hatfield Lane in Goshen or Orange Regional's Medical Pavilion in the Town of Wallkill, he said.

Since there are no buses that go door-to-door to the Goshen facility, the 70-year-old Caiazza said his wife of 48 years would have to drive him to Wallkill.

"We're not young. I try to get around on my own as best I can. But now here's another hardship," Caiazza said. "I mean, we don't do this once every two or three months; we have to do this every two weeks."

The closure came mixed with irony for Caiazza, whose wife, Maria, once served on the board of directors and did fundraising for what was once Arden Hill Hospital, and is now the Goshen campus of Orange Regional.

"People down here have been hung out to dry," Caiazza said.



Monday, November 12, 2007

Yingerman totals airplane while flying solo - Chaptzem Exclusive

If you thought it was difficult enough coming home to tell your wife that you totaled your car, try coming home and telling her you totaled an airplane. That's exactly what happened to a Heimishe Yingerman, he totaled an airplane while flying solo. The Yingerman, who is an avid aerophile, was four miles away from the runway and approaching to land when another plane hit his wing from above. The other plane crushed his wing and smashed his windshield causing him to descend six hundred feet, sending him down to the dangerously low altitude of only fourteen-hundred feet. The Yingerman was able to stabilize the plane and bring it in for a safe landing. The Yingerman walked away with no injuries. However, due to the severe damage that the plane sustained, it is no longer flyable. The FAA and NTSB have launched an investigation into the air-to-air crash.


Sunday, November 11, 2007

Original Eye Glasses of Rabbi Solomon Shlomo Halberstam

You can own Reb Shloimele Bobover's glasses for only $350,000 on auction at eBay

Item Description -
You are viewing original eyeglasses worn daily for over Two Decades by the Grand Rabbi Solomon Halberstam. These glasses secured a prime element of his facial features grace every picture of his saintly personage. Through these eyeglasses his Holy Eyes were able to imbue people with that penetrating look and ease every pain.

Introducing - The newest performing sensation - The Dancing Landaus


Saturday, November 10, 2007

N.Y. Man Takes Bible Literally for a Year

Author A.J. Jacobs did all that and more -- stoning suspected adulterers with pebbles gathered in Central Park, worshipping with snake handlers at a Tennessee church, sacrificing chickens -- while attempting to adhere as literally as possible to some of the 800 rules in the Bible.

Jacobs is the author of the new book "The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible."

Inspired by an uncle who at one point on his spiritual path tried living the Bible literally, Jacobs decided to do the same.

A Jew by birth and an agnostic by belief, Jacobs, 39, said he wanted to explore biblical literalism for two reasons: to understand a worldview shared by millions of Americans, and to live religion rather than study it in hopes of discovering if he was missing out on spiritual life.

After marshaling a group of clergy and academic advisers and taping copies of the Ten Commandments all over his apartment, Jacobs pursued what he called a "moral makeover."

He tackled myriad rules, both uplifting and obscure. He honored his parents and blew a trumpet once a month. He didn't cut his beard -- more on that in a minute -- and immersed himself in religious communities ranging from evangelicals to the Amish to Hasidic Jews.

Some rules proved more difficult than others.

"I think there were two types of rules that were hard to follow," said Jacobs, an editor at large at Esquire magazine. "The first was avoiding sins that we commit every day, all the time, like lying, gossiping, coveting, even stealing. . . . I work in the media, and I live in New York, so that's like 90 percent of my day right there. . . .

"Trying not to covet was a huge challenge. I coveted everything, you know, the iPhone. I do covet that. And my friends live in the suburbs, and they have these front yards, and I live in an apartment. I covet other authors' Amazon rankings. So, it's a disease, and I tried to get rid of it as much as I could."


New style caulked bedroom

Either he doesn't know what he's doing or the circular doesn't know what they're doing.
See further below the corrected ad

From Luach HaTzibur


Friday, November 09, 2007

Lipa Schmeltzer gets new custom Lipa glasses

Lipa Schmeltzer is his own biggest fan. He even autographed his own glasses.

The picture is an unaltered enlarged screenshot from this video at 5 min 57 sec


Thursday, November 08, 2007

Legal and moral implications for the Mega 53 sidewalk slope

Yes, it's true, the Mega 53 sidewalk slope does make their store much more accessible to customers and helps boost business. The question is, what does it do for the people that are just walking past the store?

Here's the answer.
It is an absolute pain in the neck any which way you slice it. The slope makes it difficult for people, especially the elderly to walk on this street. Women pushing their baby carriages, especially double strollers, now have the absurd task of having to navigate a steeply inclined slope in the middle of Thirteenth Avenue.

This slope, that has been built without any sound engineering is bound to cause personal and property damage. According to an expert on civil litigation that we consulted, if and when the slope causes injury to person or property, Mega 53 will be held completely responsible for both the physical and emotional damages, due to their gross negligence.

What was going through their minds when they decided to build it? Were they thinking about the elderly people that will be sliding all over the place as soon as the first snow comes? Or were they just thinking about making an extra buck, like when they crowd the entire sidewalk with their stock as if the entire street belongs to them and nobody else has a right to walk there.

The fact is, this slope is a Bor B'rshis HaRabim and an egregious violation of our basic quality of life. Sooner or later someone will get badly hurt because of it and it will end up costing Mega 53 some serious money.

So the question is, is it really worth it?


Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Levaya of Margeretener Rav - Currently in middle of Hesped

Noach, you won your Judgeship, now come and get your stickers

Noach Dear is a very happy person today. He can't believe he actually pulled it off and won an election.

Noach, we are extremely happy for you and share in your simcha. May you always be as happy as you are today.

But please come and get your stickers off of our polls, walls, Shuls, bus stops, phone booths and bathroom stalls.


Tuesday, November 06, 2007

First casualty of the Mega 53 sidewalk slope

A worker cuts open the sidewalk in front of Mega 53 grocery to alleviate the flooding caused by the slope recently built there. Another worker pumps the water out of a street manhole that flooded due to the slope.

Oh Dear! - Vote Dear for Civil Nuisance

Below; a Boro-Park Noach Dear poll


Monday, November 05, 2007

Circumcision in prison

Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin's assassin celebrated the birth of his son with a circumcision ceremony inside his heavily guarded prison Sunday, the 12th anniversary of the former leader's death. Yigal Amir, an Orthodox Jew, shot Rabin dead after a peace rally Nov. 4, 1995, because he opposed the prime minister's policy of ceding land for peace with the Palestinians. Amir was sentenced to life in prison and has been held in isolation since. But over the past year, he has been permitted conjugal visits with his wife, Larissa Trimbobler, whom he married while in prison. The boy was born last week, and according to Jewish tradition, a healthy Jewish male is circumcised eight days after his birth. Israeli media said the boy was named Yinon Elia Shalom Amir.



Sunday, November 04, 2007

Win $30,000 but get only $15,000


Saturday, November 03, 2007

Boro-Park Shomrim help apprehend 'water company' scammers

A team of five con artists believed to be responsible for a slew of burglaries throughout the borough were rounded up and arrested in Bensonhurst Friday moments after they scammed their way into an 87-year-old woman’s home and robbed her blind, cops said.

Police said that the arrest of the suspects – three men and two women – has stopped up the “water company” scams that have plagued the area for the time being.

Captain Jonathan Sprague, the commanding officer of the 62nd Precinct said that before the October 19 arrest at least six area seniors had been robbed by swindlers who conned their way into the elderly resident’s home by pretending to be water department inspectors or plumbers dispatched to see if their pipes were leaking.

Police allege that suspects Tommy Steve, 28, Samantha Vwanawich, 23, Jeremy John, 35, Michelle Harper, 41, and John Steven, 55, had just completed a similar burglary at a home on 84th Street near 21st Avenue when they were taken into custody.

Cops from the 62nd Precinct were tipped off to the con artists by members of the Shomrim Patrol, Orthodox volunteers who patrol Borough Park.

The Shomrim reportedly spotted the scam artists trying to con their way into homes in Borough Park and followed them from their neighborhood into Bay Ridge and then finally into Bensonhurst.



Friday, November 02, 2007

Brooklyn building watchdog group responsible for stop-work orders at Boro-Park construction sites

Work on a new synagogue on 60th Street was halted by the city after a neighborhood watchdog group discovered that the developers were planning to build a structure taller than current zoning allows, along with other violations within the building code.

The Department of Buildings blocked construction of the building, Congregation Tefiloh Ledovid, which is rising on a vacant lot near 21st Avenue, in July after neighbors lodged 18 complaints.

The year-old “Neighborhood Preservation Group” claims its members made the calls.

“In this case, the department disapproved the permit application after raising objections over non-compliance with the building code,” said Kate Lindquist, a Buildings Department spokeswoman.

According to Lindquist, the blueprints failed to demonstrate that sprinklers would be installed in the cellar, that exit signs would be put up, that the building would have handicap access, and that the walls would have the correct fire rating.

Also, the synagogue would have been 45 feet, a violation of the 33-foot height limitation.

“They wanted to do a lot of things in that building, but we smoked them out,” said Natalie DeNicola, a resident of 61st Street, and an organizer of the group.


Say no to Noach Dear - Why does everyone hate poor Noach?

Off-year elections sometimes suffer from a lack of attention, but one local race this year demands the attention of any voter who supports good government and rejects the cynical back-room deal-making that has long characterized the judicial section process in Brooklyn.

In the Fifth Civil Court District — which covers Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst, Windsor Terrace, Borough Park, Sunset Park and the southernmost part of Park Slope — Democratic nominee Noach Dear is so lacking in judicial qualifications and temperament that civic-minded residents must make time on Tuesday to go to the polls and vote for his worthy opponent, James McCall.

Generally, a ham sandwich listed on the Democratic line would beat Mother Teresa running as a Republican in a Brooklyn judicial race. So even though McCall is qualified to be a judge and Dear is not — and even though McCall’s record suggests an upright man of integrity while Dear has been anything but — McCall’s candidacy remains a long shot.

But because Dear is so unqualified — and his past so filled with ethical lapses and gay-baiting — the race has received enough attention to suggest that sanity may indeed prevail.

During his 18 years in the pre–term-limited Council, and in his unsuccessful runs for Congress and state Senate, Dear has shown himself to be ill-tempered and ethically challenged.

Much of the attention in this race focuses on Dear’s past comments about gays (whom he derided as practicing a “deviant behavior”).

But there are other reasons to say no to Dear. As the Village Voice has reported in a series of articles, Dear has had to give back campaign donations, pay fines and even refund a phony salary to a Jewish charity during his undistinguished career.

The Voice also reported that Dear’s campaign is receiving handsome donations from the taxi industry — a business that he is supposed to be regulating as a commissioner on the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission.

Dear has had ample opportunity to refute those charges and show that he has altered his opinions about gays, but he has declined to comment throughout the race — a reprehensible lack of openness from a candidate.


Williamsburg Yeshivah students will cheer on NYC Marathon runners this Sunday

The annual 26.2-mile (42.2-kilometer) race through all five boroughs gets under way Sunday with 38,000 runners, 12,000 volunteers and 2,000 medical personnel. There also will be about 2.5 million spectators and what Deputy Police Commissioner Paul Browne calls ``a highly visible police presence.'

The marathon, the highest-grossing single-day sporting event in New York City, boasts the largest field in marathoning, with the runners selected from more than 100,000 applicants. The race, sponsored by ING Groep NV, the largest Dutch financial- services company, will raise about $13 million for 20 charities, including Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, the American Heart Association and the Central Park Conservancy.

Sixty-four elite runners on Sunday and 133 Olympic candidates tomorrow will supply as many as 10 bottles of fluids custom-designed for their needs. Tringali's team must protect the bottles from tampering and place them in precise order at exact locations for the runners to pick up as they pass.

People like Rabbi Joseph Weber in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, are providing other kinds of support. Because Sunday is a school day at Yeshiva Kehilath Yakov, where he is a director, the rabbi had to smooth over concerns in the largely Hasidic Jewish community about the intrusion of secular activities. Students will be released from classes long enough to cheer the marathoners when they come through.

``I don't know if there are any Hasidic runners -- though there might be -- but we applaud all of them,'' Weber said.



Thursday, November 01, 2007

New Hebrew calendar extension for FireFox

Download and install the new Hebrew calendar extension for your FireFox browser. Once installed the Hebrew date will be displayed in the browser's status bar.

Download the Hebrew calendar extension here

If you don't have FireFox, you can download it here and avoid spyware.

New York State Education Department develops process to verify Touro College degrees



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