Monday, March 31, 2008

Fifth suit filed against Torah Temimah 

A fifth lawsuit was filed against a New York yeshiva alleged to have covered up the molestation of several students by a rabbi.

Two Miami attorneys filed the $10 million suit Monday against Yeshiva-Mesivta Torah Temimah in Brooklyn alleging that their client, identified only as John Doe No. 6, was abused on multiple occasions as a student in the mid-1990s by Rabbi Yehuda Kolko.

The suit claims that the yeshiva's head administrator, Rabbi Lipa Margulies, who is also named as a defendant, should have been aware of credible accusations against Kolko for at least 25 years prior to the plaintiff's alleged abuse.

Several former students have accused Kolko, a former teacher and assistant principal at the school, of sexual abuse. At least four other pending lawsuits have alleged that the school knew of Kolko's activities and took no action to protect the students.

Kolko was the subject of a 2006 story in New York magazine which said that molestation of young boys by rabbis was a "widespread problem" in the fervently Orthodox community. He is also facing criminal charges brought by the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office.



Margarine, Tam Tams hard to find for Passover 

Don't expect to pass the crispy Tam Tam crackers during Passover. Or maybe even brownies, cookies and cakes.

Two shortages are nibbling at the traditional meals surrounding the Jewish holiday, which begins at sundown Saturday, April 19.

Manischewitz, the largest maker of unleavened matzo crackers, announced this week that equipment problems halted this year's production of its bite-size Tam Tam.

The octagonal cracker, popular for appetizers and snacks, often outsells regular matzo in Northeast Ohio, according to Paul Haines of Midland Foods, a local distributor for the New Jersey-based manufacturer.

More critically, Manischewitz will not offer Mother's brand kosher-for-Passover stick margarine, a cornerstone of holiday baking for those adhering to strict interpretation of kosher dietary laws.

Haines said Midland was unable to get the margarine, which it supplies to most major supermarkets in the area. Calls to the manufacturer were not returned.

"This is going to be a nightmare," said Charlotte Price of Euclid. "Either you have to give up the idea or substitute. And I have no idea."

Neither does Bev Shaffer, Plain Dealer food-question columnist and teacher at Mustard Seed Markets. Tub margarine with its higher water content produces flattened cookies and cakes, she said.



Flour goes up in price $1 per bag this week 

Due to the rising costs of grain, flour will go up in price as much as $1 per bag this week. According to a supermarket manager the $1 price hike came from the distributor and not from the retailer.


Lakewood may implement new 11 man minyan takunah 

Lakewood is considering implementing a new 11 man minyan takunah. If this new takunah is approved by the Rabbanim 11 men will need to be present during every minyan. The new takunah will serve as a precaution in the event that one of the men from the minyan turn out to be not Jewish.


Sunday, March 30, 2008

Lakewood Bocher wanted for armed robbery 

A 19-year-old Lakewood man has been identified as the suspect sought by authorities in an armed robbery at Reich Jewelers, where two employees were held at gunpoint and forced to fill duffel bags with jewelry.

Law enforcement agencies are searching for fugitive Avraham Rotenberg, 19, of Birch Street, Lakewood, in connection with the Feb. 17 robbery.

Rotenberg is wanted on charges of first-degree armed robbery, theft and possession of a weapon — a shotgun — for an unlawful purpose, according to the arrest warrant, Howell police Detective Eileen Dodd said.

Some of the jewelry was recovered after a Lakewood rabbi received a mysterious call at about 4:30 a.m. March 6 telling him to look outside his door for packages, police said. The rabbi called Lakewood police and reported the call.

Lakewood police responded and found two bags of jewelry outside the home of Rabbi Michael Rottenberg on Heathwood Avenue. The bags contained some of the proceeds from the Reich Jewelry store robbery.

Dodd said Reich Jewelers was robbed about 11:35 a.m. Feb. 17 by Rotenberg, who then fled the store with bags of jewelry.

During the robbery, Rotenberg kept the shotgun trained on the employees while demanding that they fill two duffel bags with jewelry from the display cases and the safe.

There were two employees and two customers in the store at the time of the robbery, which is located in the Grebow Shopping Center on Route 9, Dodd said. The robber fled in a 2004 Acura TSX with New York tags, and was found abandoned by Lakewood police off Miller Road in Lakewood the day after the robbery.



Yeshivas John 


Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Satmare Meshichist 

Watch the video


Friday, March 28, 2008

Clothing drive for the poor in Israel charges to donate 

This truck purports to be running a clothing drive for people to donate clothing to be sent to poor people in Israel, yet they charge $12 a bag to 'donate'.


Thursday, March 27, 2008

Post-Tshuva Lipa Schmeltzer performs in front of mixed crowd 

Ban shman. A newly reformed Lipa Schmeltzer does a special Purim performance this year for a crowd of men and women.

From Gruntig


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Name that Glatt Kosher restaurant and win $3,000 

A Glatt Kosher restaurant is offering $3,000 to the person that can come up with a name for their place.

Link to contest


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Men arrested for soliciting attend a John School in Brooklyn 

How many Yarmulkas can you count?

It's a Tuesday evening in Brooklyn and "John School" is in session. Every couple of months, more than 100 men representing every race, background and social status gather to learn about the dangers of prostitution — to which some have had first-hand exposure.

Sitting in banquet-style chairs in a windowless lecture hall, they wear everything from sweats to designer suits. There are Yankees hats and yarmulkes. Briefcases, sneakers and loafers line the aisles.

But they do share one thing in common: every participant was arrested after offering undercover cops money for sex.



Mother of 12 suspected of abusing kids 

A 54-year-old mother of 12 is under arrest for allegedly severely abusing her children, police said Tuesday.

The Beit Shemesh resident is also suspected of failing to report multiple cases of incest among her children. She was remanded for six days by the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court on Tuesday.

It is the latest in a spate of cases of alleged child abuse in Israel, and comes less than two weeks after a haredi US immigrant couple living in Jerusalem were arrested for seriously abusing their two small children, aged three and four. One of them remains hospitalized in critical condition.

The suspect, who cannot be named by order of the court, was arrested last month after neighbors heard a child crying for help and objects being broken in the home, a police investigator told a Jerusalem court at a remand hearing on Tuesday.

It took police two hours to gain entry to the home, with the intervention of local rabbis. Officers and social workers soon uncovered brutal physical abuse of several of the children, including whippings with both belts and electric cables, according to a police officer's court testimony.

The mother is also suspected of breaking one daughter's nose with a rolling pin, leaving her children to sleep outside in a locked shed when they came home late, and preventing them from receiving medical treatment for their injuries. The mother said it was all part of their "education," according to court documents.



Barack Obama on disagreeing with Rabbis 


Hasidic Dunkin' Donuts owner Cindy Gluck may be forced to sell franchise 

A coffeehouse controversy is brewing at Dunkin' Donuts.

Furious franchise owners claim the caffeine kings are aggressively going after them for minor infractions in an effort to take over the businesses they built and then resell them for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

"It's really unfair," said Asam Habib, 48, a Muslim man in danger of losing the two Brooklyn franchises he runs with his Hasidic business partner, Cindy Gluck.

"It's simple," he said. "We build up the businesses for them, then they cut us out so they can resell them."

The partners were sued by Dunkin' Donuts last year when Gluck attempted to sell 15 percent of her shares to a manager - something she didn't realize violated their contract with corporate. When Gluck told Dunkin' Donuts of her plan, she was informed that it wasn't allowed, and she immediately pulled back the sale - but it was too late.

Nationally, Dunkin' Donuts has sued franchise owners 154 times since 2006, according to court records. By comparison, McDonald's sued its franchises five times, and Subway - which has four times the number of locations as Dunkin' Donuts - sued 12 times in the same period.

As for Gluck and Habib, Dunkin' Donuts then offered them a munchkin-sized buyout of $400,000 for the two stores they opened - stores they could resell for $700,000 or $800,000 each. And when the partners solicited offers elsewhere, Dunkin' Donuts nixed the deals - even though the potential buyers came from a corporate-approved list, Gluck said.

Dunkin' Donuts spokesman Stephen Caldeira said the company holds franchisees to very high standards, and "would never pursue legal action against a franchisee without clear cause."

Said Gluck, "I can't even go into a Dunkin' Donuts now without feeling sick."



Monday, March 24, 2008

Megilas Eliot 

Sent in by a Chaptzem reader

And it was in the days of Eliot, Governor of New York, he was Eliot who ruled from Brooklyn to Buffalo, sixty three counties, and he found favor in the eyes of all who voted for him. And he was elected by a landslide and his approval rating soared.

One night, his sleep was troubled and he said to Queen Silda, “But all of this means nothing to me when I see Bruno the Republican being driven around by State Troopers and he doesn’t bow down or prostate himself before me.” And Silda said, “Investigate and prosecute him, and hang him on a 50-foot gallows,” and it was good in the eyes of Eliot.

And it was in the second month of the second year of Eliot’s reign, on the eve of Valentine’s Day, that he traveled to the capital city of Washington to testify before Congress and to party. And he called upon Hagai the Webmaster, keeper of the women, President of the Emperors’ Club, and he ordered Hagai to send to the royal chambers at the Mayfair the fairest maiden in the land. And Hagai sent Kristen, also known as Ashley, also known as Alexandra, also known as Dupree, and she found favor in Eliot’s eyes, and he gave her up to one-half of his kingdom (or $4,300, whichever was less).

And when Queen Silda learned of the party to which she had not been invited, she flew into a rage and declared, “An evil and treacherous man is this wicked Eliot, who would deign to deface the Queen in the Mayfair House! McGreevey may be a faigele, but at least he included his wife in the festivities!” And Eliot was hung on the gallows that he had prepared for Bruno, Hevesi, Greenberg and countless other defendants.

And Shelly took the ring that had been given to Eliot and gave it to David, and the anger of the people subsided.


Rabbi touts city as place to live for New York's Orthodox Jews 

Edmonton is being sold as a haven for Orthodox Jews despairing the cost of living in North America's bastion of Jewish communities - New York City.

"Compared to Manhattan and some other big cities with large Jewish communities, we're not too bad (in terms of affordability), despite Alberta's booming economy," Rabbi Daniel Friedman, 32, of the Beth Israel synagogue, said yesterday.

Friedman's wife, Rebbetzin Batya Friedman, 31, will be in New York next month representing Edmonton as an alternative city well-suited to those practicing an observant lifestyle.

Othodox Jewish customs mean followers must live within walking distance of synagogues, buy food prepared in kosher fashion and send their children to Jewish schools - among other practices.

Travelling to New York in the Rabbi's stead because of his prior commitments, Rebbetzin will appear at a conference hosted by the Orthodox Union, which represents around 1,000 orthodox congregations across North America.



Sunday, March 23, 2008

Sleep all Pesach in Boro-Park 

From the Weekly Link


Saturday, March 22, 2008

Hasidic actor Abe Karpen makes it into the Time Magazine 

It just won't go away.

Aspiring actor and Hasidic Jew Abe Karpen has quit his role as Natalie Portman's husband in the film New York, I Love You under pressure from Hasidic rabbis, whose strict interpretation of Judaism forbids watching movies or TV.



Friday, March 21, 2008

Lynching of Haman and his ten kids in Boro-Park 



Thursday, March 20, 2008

Haman gives Yeshivah kids a ride 



Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Hasidic Williamsburg bank robber? 

Sent in by a Chaptzem reader;

Cops are asking for the public's help in finding find this thief who robbed two banks within a half-hour in Brooklyn and Queens.

The robber approached a teller at a Chase branch on Flushing Avenue near the Brooklyn Navy Yard last Wednesday at 12:51 p.m. and took off with an undisclosed amount.

The man, who is between 45 and 55, then confronted a teller at the Aguilar Avenue HSBC branch in Flushing.

He is 6 feet tall and weighs between 200 and 225 pounds.

He wore glasses, a black jacket, a black hat and white shirt during the robberies.



Another Kol Koreh 


New Lipa Schmeltzer wake up music video 

Couldn't tell if this was made pre-tshuvah or post-tsuvah.


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Out of the Inbox - Bocher in learning boy / working boy shidduch trap 

Sent in by a Chaptzem reader

Dear Chaptzem readers I am writing this letter to you in the hopes that some of my pain will get through and you will understand what many buchrim like me are going through.

I am nineteen years old and I am a chasidisher bucher with a biber hat. I am in yeshive now and I am looking for a shidduch. It is not easy for me. I learn a little bit here and there throughout the day, as much as I can. I know I am not even close to being a masmid, but I try to push myself as much as I can to learn.

What really breaks me into little pieces is that my mother goes around telling all the shadchunim what a big learner I am and that I need a girl that will support me in learning for many years. I don't know, but I just can't see myself having to sit in kolel for the next who knows how many years just because my future wife and father in law thinks that that is what I am. I can see myself having a shiur every day after work but not to be stuck in a kolel for many years. It's just not me.

I tried talking to my mother about this, but she just won't listen to anything I say. If a shadchan tries for me a girl that is my type (someone that is looking for a husband that works) then my mother says no before he can even say another word. And then if the girl is looking for a learning boy, most of the time they're not interested in me because the information comes back that I'm not such a learner.

People, do you see my situation here? I will either marry a girl who thinks I am a gevaldige learner and have to fake for the rest of my life and and go crazy in the meanwhile, or my mother will just say no to everything else.

I don't what I hope to get from this maybe it will be at least a bechina of 'tzures rabim chutzi nechume'.


Monday, March 17, 2008

Rabbi Yehuda Levin protests against the Agudah and Sheldon Silver 


Kalusenberg Yeshivah makes major cleanup 



Sunday, March 16, 2008

Exclusive pictures from the Police car accident 

Pictures from the scene of the accident on Coney Island Avenue where a Police car hit a pedestrian.

The damage on the Police car from the accident

The pool of blood from the victim


Cop car hits pedestrian while speeding without lights and sirens 

According to witnesses a 70th Precinct Police car was speeding without his lights and sirens and hit a man that was crossing Coney Island Avenue. The Police did not even stop after the accident happened but rather continued on driving and did not turn back until he was a couple of blocks away from the scene of the accident. The victim was whisked away in an ambulance, leaving over a pool of blood. The victim is in very serious condition and according to emergency personnel will probably not make it. Eleven Police cars, from three different Precincts, amongst them several from the top echelon are at the scene. Crowds are gathering at the scene and are shouting at the Cops. The Police are gathering witnesses for questioning and are trying to control the situation.


Saturday, March 15, 2008

Hasidic actor exits film amid uproar from fellow faithful 

An aspiring actor has quit a movie starring Natalie Portman because it outraged his ultra-Orthodox Jewish religious community, the actor said.

Rabbis "didn't like the idea of a Hasidic guy playing in Hollywood," said Abe Karpen, a Brooklyn cabinet salesman cast as Portman's husband in the upcoming "New York I Love You." The project, a collection of 12 short love stories, has been shooting in New York.

Karpen, 25, told the Daily News a rabbi raised objections after he filmed a scene with Portman on Wednesday.

A rabbi also told him his kids would be kicked out of their schools if he continued to film his role, so Karpen, a kitchen cabinet salesman, is kissing his silver screen dreams good-bye. He and his family left the city for the weekend (a friend said, "The community wants to kill him").

"This is when I woke up and saw that I made a big mistake," said Karpen, a father of three. "My community, where I live, means everything to me."

Hasidism, a form of mystical ultra-Orthodox Judaism, traces its roots to 18th-century Eastern Europe. Followers live in tightly woven communities, wear traditional dress — for men, beards, dark suits and felt hats — and avoid television.

"We don't go to the movies, so to be in a movie is the worst thing," said Hasidic community activist Isaac Weinberger.

Executive producer Jan Korbelin said he regretted that Karpen's role in the film had caused upset.

"This is the last thing this picture should be doing," Korbelin said. "This film is about love and understanding between different people and communities."



Maybe he owns the street 

Or at least they were available at printing time.

From the Weekly Link


Friday, March 14, 2008

Lawyers Against Kolko Seek Additional Victims; Trial Set For March 31 

Lawyers representing "several men" and "two young boys" who were allegedly sexually molested by a teacher at Yeshiva Torah Temimah in Brooklyn sent a letter March 13 to the families of more than 600 male students who had Rabbi Yehuda Kolko as an instructor.

The letter, from attorneys Jeffrey Herman and Michael Dowd, is "seeking any information that may be helpful to these important cases, including information that staff at Torah Temimah and/or [founder and head of school] Rabbi [Lipa] Margulies was aware of allegations against Rabbi Kolko."

According to the letter, "Two of the boys allege they were abused by Rabbi Kolko while attending the yeshiva during the past few years. Others allege they were abused by Rabbi Kolko at the yeshiva during the 1980s."

"[The letter] is part of our investigation," Herman told The Jewish Week Friday. "We are interested in speaking with families whose kids were with Rabbi Kolko at school and may have information that's relevant. We allege that there were complaints going back for decades about Rabbi Kolko.

"My sense is that the community is really coming around," Herman continued, "and that people [in the community] are much more willing to cooperate than they were a few years ago."

In December of 2006, Rabbi Kolko was arrested and indicted by a
Brooklyn grand jury on sexual abuse charges that involved a 6-year-
old boy and a 31-year-old man; the latter alleges he was abused by the rabbi
as a boy and again when he returned to visit the school in 2005.

Rabbi Kolko was arrested again in September 2007 on charges that he
molested a first grader at the school in 2005. Rabbi Kolko remains free on
$60,000 bail.

According to a spokesman for the Brooklyn District Attorney's office, preliminary hearings are set to begin in Rabbi Kolko's criminal case on March 31.



Equal opportunity renter - with some tiny exceptions 

From The Tzeitung


Six-thousand Purim costumes 

Pictures of the six-thousand Purim costumes to be sold by Bikur Cholim of Boro-Park for $10 each, at cost.


Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Bigger Better Event Live - Don't miss it! 


Fire at Satmar girl's school in Boro-Park 

Fire at Satmar girl's school in Boro-Park. Fire Department and Hatzalah are at the scene. Hundreds of students have been evacuated to the street.



Did they rename the srore or did the zealots make off with the 'D'?


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Cops fail to follow NYPD regulations when making traffic stop 

Two New York City Police Officers failed to follow the regulations put forth by the NYPD for stopping vehicles when they performed a routine traffic stop. According to NYPD regulations, when a traffic stop is performed the Police Officers must pull their Police vehicle up behind and to the left of the offending vehicle. This is to protect the Officer from being hit by passing traffic when he does the stop. Also, according to regulations, both Officers must exit their vehicle and surround both sides of the offending vehicle. This too is to protect the Officers from being shot at by the offending motorist. The Police Officers that made the traffic stop here, pulled ahead of the offending vehicle and one of the Officers were too lazy to even exit his vehicle, leaving his partner to to do the stop himself. If New York City Police Officers can't follow their own regulations that were instituted to protect them, how can they be expected to enforce laws on ordinary citizens?


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Out of the Inbox - The Seminary Situation 

Sent in by a Chaptzem reader

Dear Chaptzem,

I am a married 32 year old woman who currently has a sister graduating high school this year. She is a smart, frum, solid girl whom I dearly love. The reason why I find myself writing to you today is in reference to my sisters dilemma. She is just about to graduate a prominent Bais Yaakov high school and is feeling a lot of pressure to attend a local seminary. I live in Boro Park and so does she. I don't know if you know this but seminary has become the 'in' thing. It is a must on the ever-growing shidduch checklist. So, why may you ask, is this such a dilemma? Why not go with the flow? Well, you see my sister would like to marry a ben torah who will learn for a good couple of years after marriage and that as you may have already guessed is a costly expenditure. Therefore she initially made plans for a job as a secretary so that she can put away some money for supporting a husband in kollel and not completely depend on my father. The minute her principal got word of this (how I have no idea) she called up my mother and practically yelled at her for allowing such thought to even be pondered. (For the sake of confidentiality, I will address the principal as Mrs. Q.) My mother was shocked to hear the words that came out of Mrs. Q's mouth. She was roaring on and on about how seminary offers girls shelter from the real world and how terrible a thing it is to go straight to work. She also said that she ultimately looks-down at girls who skip the seminary process. In addition, Mrs. Q., who considers my sister a prized student (which she indeed is) decided to make it her business to call my mother on a daily basis to make sure that she's listened to. Wait 'till you hear what next transpired.

At Mrs. Q's behest, my sister decided that she wanted to see/understand what exactly her principal was so stressing; hence she decided to pay a visit to a nearby seminary. In the hallway enroute to peek into a classroom she heard what she thought was a loud shouting match amongst barbaric hoodlums. As she walked on she followed the commotion to a seminary classroom. There at the head of the class was a prominent and respected Rabbi being howled at by his students. Apparently he had asked for quiet and one of the students stood up and said (this is word for word, nothing added for effect): 'you think we want to sit here Rabbi _____? Think again. We are not here to learn. We're here because there is no other choice for us. Why do you expect my attention? ' And everyone starting clapping!

I did not believe this at first but knowing how honest my sister is, I soon after realized that sadly this was true. After calming both my sister and mother down I started thinking... In my days, seminary was not popular nor was it the common trend. I however do remember two girls that did attend seminary (intensive seminary was the only option at the time) they were real serious about what they wanted in life & ended up leading extremely simple yet fulfilling lives. These girls were as they say 'the real McCoy.' Today, es iz gevurin ah velt! Everybody goes to seminary. Why? You have to. It is a must and there is no two ways about it. No matter if you can afford it or not, if you are not cut out for it or not, if it's what you want or not----YOU GO.

It is worth pointing out, after much investigation (not solely based on the chutzpah/yelling incident), that a big chunk of seminary curriculum is dedicated to those who will choose a teaching career (another trend). As a matter of fact, observing teachers at other educational edifices is considered a common exercise. The rest of the program can be equated with regular school including subjects such as Chumash & Navi with optional tests. In essence, a thirteenth grade.

How about inculcating proper chinuch & hashkafah whilst our dear maidlech are still in school? Wouldn't that be wonderful? Preparing our students for the 'real world' when they are in the high school system rather than an entire non-useful year stuck in a classroom? And that is what it is; don't let anyone tell you differently! I have spoken to numerous parents who have reluctantly gone through the Seminary contrivance and am baffled as to why this has become such a big issue. Forgive me for thinking that my sister's initiatory goal of wanting to work in order to support a husband as noble & definitely something to look up to. Why all the negative press?

For those of you who don't know, there are three established seminary options wildly popular: 1)Over sea’s seminary 2) Intensive seminary -whole day 3) Half day seminary 8:15-12:00 noon. You might be wondering why my sister wouldn't chose option three, half day. Sounds reasonable, no? Not so fast. That would mean her having to accept a part-time job, which is really hard to find, and quite frankly, with her hours cut, she won't be making much.

So that your readers can better comment/discuss, allow me to let you in on my family background. I was brought up in a traditional Hungarian heimishe home. My grandparents immigrated to America in the late 40's after World War II. Both my parents are, how should I say, ill at ease about this 'situation.'

It's not advice that I'm asking for. It's awareness.

Henny R.


Monday, March 10, 2008

Boro-Park eatery keeps credit card customer blacklist 

According to a source, a prominent Boro-Park eatery keeps a list of customers that he will not serve. The proprietor of the eatery has told our source that he has had a nice amount of customers that would eat at his establishment regularly and charge their tab to a credit card. He further explained that at the end of the month these customers would dispute the charges with their credit card company, leaving the owner of the eatery to foot the bill. The owner said that his only way to deal with this widespread problem was to blacklist these offenders from being allowed to eat at his place.


The Boro-Park standard moves up once again 


Sunday, March 09, 2008

It's March 9th - Where are you tonight? 


100% goes to charity - besides the thousands spent on posters 

From their 2006 tax exempt filings


Saturday, March 08, 2008

A Plea to the Greater Boro Park Community from the Boro-Park West Community Association 

Sent in by a Chaptzem reader;

Dear Yidden:

Like you, we have a need for quality medical care. We have no argument over this issue. We also agree that it is a good thing to have a hospital located near our community, where we can deliver our babies and get quick help in times of medical emergencies.

However, Maimonides Hospital has a dark side that you may not be aware of—They have an unlimited desire for more and more growth and profit, which has nothing to do with better medical care for our community.

In fact, it undermines the mission of better medical care by distracting the management from medical quality issues to growth and expansion issues. At this time, Maimonides has established outpatient medical clinics all over Brooklyn, not just in Boro-Park.

Over the last 20 years, Maimonides has steadily encroached on the residential areas of Boro-Park West, the community, which surrounds the immediate area of the Hospital. Our community has been severely damaged by this irresponsible and uncontrolled growth and expansion policy .

The Hospital have converted hundreds of residential housing units to heavy-commercial use to the point that we are very concerned for the continued viability of our community.

While Boro-Park suffers from a desperate need for housing, Maimonides Corporation clearly intends to continue to use their money and their power to destroy more and more residential housing, in order to convert them to commercial use for their own profit.

The purpose of our zoning law is to segregate commercial areas away from residential areas, so that people can enjoy a normal quality of life, without being overwhelmed by the noise, traffic, and environmental problems associated with commercial zoning.

Maimonides has shown utter contempt for the spirit and the letter of our zoning laws. They have made no effort to shield their neighbors from high noise levels. Their ugly buildings deface our neighborhood. There is no buffering, no landscaping.

They have not made adequate provision for the increased parking that is necessary. Maimonides is foisting all the hidden costs of their many expansions on the unwary members of our community. They are steadily eroding our quality of life.


Friday, March 07, 2008

Chasidishe rescue team in $10,000 watch rescue effort 

A team of Chasidishe rescuers suited up in water-proof jumpsuits, boots and gloves and jumped into a Boro-Park storm drain to rescue a $10,000 watch that was accidentally dropped in.

Pictures from the aftermath of the rescue effort.


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 'Jews and Global Warming' written by Chaptzem, the only Heimishe blogger to make the transition from cyberspace to print.


Assemblyman Dov Hikind sends out letter for new Israel campaign 


Thursday, March 06, 2008

Moshiach Mobile is on his way - to the pound 

The Moshiach Mobile gets towed with over $3,000 in tickets.

You can check the outstanding tickets on the Moshiach Mobile at the NYC ticket site, select parking tickets and put in the NY State plate number; "EEJ2450"


Wednesday, March 05, 2008

At least someone is making money off the Big Event 


Google searches for Lipa reach an all new high 


Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Out of the Inbox - Got milk?! - Public nursing 

Sent in by a Chaptzem reader

Chaptzem, please post this as I am totally freaking out.

I am a thirty year old married woman with four children. I am not chasidish nor am I litvish, I am what you would call a typical Boro Park woman. I do not work outside the home as my husband B"H is able to provide for all of us. I often like to spend time outside on the street with my children (the younger ones that aren't at school) and do my shopping with them. On occasion we will go out for lunch and have a pizza or something of the sort.

During one such outing I was completely blown away by what I had witnessed. Right there in this busy pizza shop on thirteenth avenue was a woman sitting with her friends and nursing her baby while noshing on some fries. I craned my neck to make sure that what I thought I was seeing was indeed happening. There was no mistaking it, she was nursing her baby right in the open for all to see.

Don't get me wrong, I completely and all too well, understand the predicament of a nursing mother. When the kid has got to eat, he's got to eat. But, lady, there's a bathroom in the pizza shop. Why is it everyone's business what you're doing? Granted, there was only a handful of men present at the time, but it's still a public place. What ever happened to tznius? And the brazen noshing and loud yentering all the while was just too much. Never in a thousand years would I even imagine someone doing this. I don't know, I'm just blown away.


Monday, March 03, 2008

Big Event ticket refunds 

Or you can download it or fill it out online.


A Clash Between Popular Culture and Orthodox Piety 

For thousands of Orthodox Jews, the “Big Event” — a concert featuring the popular Hasidic entertainer Lipa Schmeltzer — was supposed to happen next Sunday at the WaMu Theater at Madison Square Garden. But fans and organizers were shocked to learn late last month that a group of rabbis had issued an edict against the show, effectively canceling it.

The decree, published in Hebrew in the Orthodox newspaper Hamodia and signed by 33 rabbis, warned that the sight of dancing and singing performers would cause “ribaldry and lightheadedness” that would lure young people away from spiritual purity. It prohibited Orthodox Jews from attending the concert and called on Mr. Schmeltzer to back out.

The ban has inflamed tensions among ultra-Orthodox Jews over how to address the influences of popular culture, and it has thrust what has largely been an internal debate into public view.

Assemblyman Dov Hikind, whose Brooklyn district includes many Hasidic neighborhoods, said the ban had triggered unprecedented dissent and outrage among Hasidim. “In all my 26 years of representing this community, I can’t remember anything that has so shaken the people,” Mr. Hikind said on Sunday.

The growing fame of Mr. Schmeltzer, who weaves pop melodies with traditional Hasidic songs, has troubled some Hasidim, who have chided him for introducing Jewish youth to secular musical styles. Others fear his popularity could rival that of the rabbis, who wield spiritual authority over Hasidic daily life.

In an effort to assuage those fears and uphold the religious practice of modesty, the concert organizers had promised separate entrances and seating for the more than 5,000 men and women who had been expected to attend, and Mr. Schmeltzer had agreed to perform only traditional Hasidic songs.

But that was not enough to prevent two community leaders in Brooklyn from mobilizing opposition to the show, which was raising money for an Israeli charity that finances weddings for orphans. In late February, the two men, Asher Friedman and Rabbi Avraham Shor, demanded that the concert be canceled. Using the text of an edict that had been used to ban a concert in Israel, they warned that the concert would “strip the youth of every shred of fear of heaven.” They said they were acting on behalf of a group of Israeli rabbis, and ultimately, 33 American rabbis signed the edict.

Sheya Mendlowitz, the concert’s producer, said Mr. Friedman and Mr. Shor had known about the concert for months but had acted without warning, just two weeks before the show, causing $700,000 in losses.

“These two activists stirred up all the trouble,” said Mr. Mendlowitz, who has worked in the Hasidic music business for 27 years. “They just wanted to sabotage us.”



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Sunday, March 02, 2008

A call for the oilem to assemble and help right this wrong 

Sent in by a Chaptzem reader;

Please post the following on your blog:

Urgently looking for someone to take the following cherem to as many Gedolim as possible and have them sign their names on it. It is imperative to accomplish this before Rosh Chodesh Adar Beit so it can be published in time.

Thank you.

(The cherem is attached).

אזהרה חמורה

סר טמא סר טמא

אל תשמח ישראל אל גיל כעמים

אחד מהחשובי העסקנים דכאן הביא לתשומת לבנו הבשורה הרעה והמרה כי הניגון הידוע אשר בכל כלל ישראל מורגלים לישר ל"משנכנס אדר מרבים בשמחה", מקורה הטמאה היא מהגוים הערלים, שאחד מהם הלחין את הניגון אל השיר הארור שלהם הנקרא לגנאי “Pick A Bale Of Cotton”, כמו שאפשר לראות בעליל על אתר האינטרנט


והנה ידוע שיצאו משכולות גדולות רח"ל מאלו ששרו שירות שמקורם מהגוים, ורבים חללים הפילה ח"ו, וכבר התריעו ע"ז גדולי ישראל בכל הדורות שאין לשיר שום ניגון שאין מקורה מקדושים וצדיקים, ולא ר"ל מאלו שהלחינו הגוים השפלים בבתי המשתאות והזנות שלהם.

ע"כ אנו פונים לכל החרדים לדבר ה'

אנא חוסה נא על נפשכם ועל נפשות ילדיכם הרכים והטהורים

ותפסיקו מלשיר הניגון הזה

ואנו אוסרים באיסור חמור על כל אחד מלשיר ניגון זה בכל מסיבה או משתה בשום פנים ואופן

וחיובא רמיא על ההורים להשגיח ולהזהיר את המנחכים שבגני הילדים לא ישמעו ולא ישירו הניגון הזה.

ויעמוד לכל כלל ישראל זכות זה שלא הלכו בחוקת הגוים שנזכה לגאולה שלימה במהרה בימנו אמן


Az der Rebbe tantzt, tantzen alle Chasidim 


Saturday, March 01, 2008

D'Var Yoim B'Yoimoi takes Di Classifieds to Beis Din 

An established Williamsburg daily ad paper, D'var Yoim B'yoimoi, has taken the new startup ad paper, Di Classifieds to Beis Din for Hasogas G'vil. DYB claims that since they were the first to come out with this idea in Williamsburg DC should not be able to do the same. DYB called DC to Hisachdus Beis Din, but DC said they would go only to the Tartikover Beis Din. DYB agreed and the P'sak of the Din Torah is currently pending.


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