Monday, October 31, 2005

Hassidic rabbi suspected of officiating marriages of underage couples

By Eli Ashkenazi and Vered Levy-Barzilay, Haaretz Correspondents

Police on Monday detained for questioning a Hassidic rabbi suspected of officiating the marriages of minors.

Rabbi Shlomo Eliezer Schick, the spiritual leader of the Bratslav Hassidic movement in Yavne'el, near Lake Kinneret, is suspected of officiating the marriages of some 20 underage couples, mostly ages 12 to 16. Tiberias police began investigating the case some two and a half years ago, following complaints from the secular residents of the community.

Police detained Schick for questioning at the Ben Gurion International Airport upon his arrival from New York.

Schick denied all allegations against him and was released after the investigation, though he is currently forbidden from visiting Yavne'el.

The Bratslav community in Yavne'el has also dismissed the allegations made by police, calling them rumors concocted by the secular farmers in the community who they say have embarked on a hate campaign against them.

Followers of rabbi Schick settled in Yavne'el, a farming community, in 1986. The Hassidic residents, who are mostly newly religious, comprise just a few hundred of Yavne'el's 3,000 residents.

The Hassidic residents of the community are known as "Schickim," or devotees of rabbi Schick, who lives in New York and visits the community every few months.

Since the establishment of the Hassidic community in Yavne'el, there have been countless tense incidents between them and the veteran residents of the community.

The veteran residents have accused the Hassidim of assault, threats, arson, sabotage, vandalism, obscense language, spitting and making insulting remarks to the secular residents. The veteran residents also raised their suspicions of widespread underage marriage in an interview with Haaretz two and a half years ago.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Leading Kabbalist Urges Jews to Israel , Says More Disasters Coming- Also Woman sees Jesus In A Tree

Leading Kabbalist Urges Jews to Israel - More Disasters Coming

By Baruch Gordon

On Thursday night, Rabbi Yitzhak Kaduri said, "Jews must come to the land of Israel to receive our righteous Mashiach (Messiah), who has begun his influence and will reveal himself in the future."(WOWEEE!!)

It was during the meal after the 24-hour Yom Kippur fast that several followers approached the 104-year-old leading known Kabbalist Rabbi in Israel. A family member asked him about his remarks last month regarding natural disasters in the world. The Rabbi said that the disasters are directly related to the redemption process, which will culminate in the coming of the Mashiach.

The Rabbi added that in the near future, another wave of natural disasters will strike the world.(WOWEEE!)

Last week before Yom Kippur, Rabbi Yitzhak Kaduri's grandson, Rabbi Yosef Kaduri had a private audience with the elder Rabbi, along with an Arutz-7 journalist who is closely linked to Kaduri's court. Rabbi Yosef Kaduri said to his grandfather, "Not many Jews are coming from overseas. Why should they come? ?"( There's no bigger Asshole than this guy who drags his grandfather around to cash in on him.)

The Kabbalist answered, "Because of impending danger." Rabbi Yitzhak Kaduri then added a quote from Deuteronomy 4:15: "Be extremely protective of your lives."(like it's safe in Israel)

According to Rabbi Yosef Kaduri and the Arutz-7 journalist, the Kabbalist elder referred to a known esoteric concept of a "struggle between the oceans," and said that the large oceans [Haokeanus hagadol] would strike the world. Rabbi Yosef Kaduri said that grandfather's warning includes were Jews of the Americas.( How the F*** does he know?, pathetic whore)

The elder Rabbi Kaduri told the two that on Yom Kippur he would have more things to say.(WOWEEE, can't wait)

During the afternoon Mincha prayer on Yom Kippur, the Kabbalist scholar surprised his students and fellow worshippers with secrets relating to the coming of the Mashiach. During the service, Rabbi Kaduri lowered his head and entered a deep mystical concentration which lasted uninterrupted for some 45 minutes. The Rabbi covered his eyes as though reciting the Sh'ma prayer and only his lips were seen moving.That's about the only part of his body that still moves The Alter Kaker fell asleep

Students who thought the elderly Rabbi was suffering an attack of sort tried to communicate with him, but he did not break his intense concentration for a moment, even to nod.(Dead people don't move.)

Only after some 45 minutes, the Rabbi raised his head and looked around the room at the students and worshippers who were gathered at his Nachalat Yitzhak Yeshiva, in the Bucharim neighborhood of Jerusalem. With a broad smile on his face familiar to his students when he has a revelation, he declared, "With the help of G-d, the soul of the Mashiach has attached itself to a person in Israel" GIMMEEE A BREAK [In the original Hebrew: 'Hit'abra bezrat hashem nishmat mashiach b'adam m'yisrael'].

At the conclusion of his short declaration, murmuring was heard among the congregants as the Kabbalists' words were repeated for those who could not hear. A few congregants farted as well.

Rabbi Kaduri has spoken repeatedly about the Final Redemption and referred to the calculations of the Vilna Gaon regarding the redemption, which appear in the Gaon's writings and are considered difficult to decipher.

The Vilna Gaon (1720 - 1797)
According to the writings of the Vilna Gaon, a sign of the Gog and Magog war is its breaking out on the Jewish holiday of Hoshana Rabba (the 7th day of the Sukkot holiday), just after the conclusion of the 7th or shemittah [agricultural sabbatical] year.

On September 24, 2001, Channel One Israel TV broadcast an item on what Torah and other mystics were saying in the wake of the World Trade Center attack. Speaking from the room adjacent to where Rabbi Yitzhak Kaduri receives visitors, Arutz Sheva Hebrew radio showhost Yehoshua Meiri, a close confident of the Kabbalist, explained to the cameras Rabbi Kaduri's understanding of the events based on the calculations of the Vilna Gaon: "On Hashanah Rabba, the actual war of Gog and Magog will commence and will last for some seven years," said Meiri.

Precise to the minute, 13 days later on October 7th as the sun was setting and the Jewish holiday of Hoshana Rabba was ushered in, US and British forces began an aerial bombing campaign targeting Taliban forces and Al-Qaida. That year was the Hoshana Rabba just after the shemitta year of 5761.

According to the calculation, a 7-year count from that Hoshana Rabba is the date of a major revelation associated with Mashiach. Those close to Rabbi Kaduri say in his name that the 5th year of this redemption process is now beginning.

They explain that the above-mentioned "attaching" of a righteous soul to a person of Israel makes the recipient a candidate for Mashiach, but not yet the actual Mashiach. This person gets an additional soul which finds expression in the adding of a letter to his name, without changing its pronunciation. The elder Rabbi Kaduri says that the letter added to this person's name is "vav" and the secret of his power is a Star of David hidden in his attire.

Before he reached the age of 13, the young Yitzhak Kaduri studied with the renowned Rabbi Yosef Chaim (the Ben Ish Chai) of Iraq. Rabbi Kaduri tells that the Ben Ish Chai blessed him that he would live to see the revelation of the Mashiach. The Ben Ish Chai passed away, and Rabbi Yitzhak Kaduri immigrated to Israel soon after.

What happens when Kaduri dies and Mr. Moshiach is not here???

In a similar bullshit story!

"Image of Jesus seen on city tree"

'This is God giving us a sign,' one believer says of silver maple

Greg Livadas
Staff writer

(October 26, 2005) — Call it a cry for peace, a test of faith or a random act of nature, a tree growing on Rochester's North Clinton Avenue so far has attracted several dozen believers who say they see the image of Jesus Christ on the tree's trunk.

"I see it clearly," said Yomaira Otero of Rochester, who stood in the pouring rain Tuesday with six members of her family to see the tree. She spoke in Spanish to her relatives and pointed out the facial features, including the beard of bark she saw. "He looks like he's sleeping."

The "Jesus tree," as some are calling it, is a silver maple growing on the front lawn of the Hickey-Freeman Co. factory at 1155 N. Clinton Ave. It's a few feet from the sidewalk and behind a black metal fence.

The factory, which makes Hickey-Freeman, Bobby Jones and Burberry tailored clothing, has been at the site for 92 years. It sits in the heart of Rochester's infamous "crescent," known for high crime rates.

"It's a sign from God that there should be peace," said Maria Trinidad, who lives on Clifford Avenue. "There is a lot of crime here. People should have faith in God. This is God giving us a sign."

Her daughter, Keila Negron, 13, said she also believed it was a divine sign, but admitted she had trouble visualizing the image on the tree in the rain, which darkened the bark. She vowed to return in better weather and take pictures of the tree.

Jim Holtz, 54, of Greece, said he noticed the image Monday when he stopped in the Cash King pawn shop directly across the street from Hickey-Freeman.

"I was looking out that way as I usually do and saw that on the tree," Holtz said. "I said, 'Am I seeing things?'"

Holtz walked across the street to see whether the image had been spray-painted on. It wasn't.

"I said, 'We gotta get some pictures of this,'" he said, and he contacted the media.

Holtz doesn't know whether the image is a coincidence or a message. He says he believes in God but doesn't regularly attend church.

Karen Marshall, 43, of Rochester also stood on the sidewalk looking at the tree Tuesday. She held newspapers over her head to help keep dry as she pointed out the tree's features to her sister, Ann Manigoult, who had trouble picking out the image.

"We can't physically see Jesus, so we only have signs," Marshall said. "The only way we can know he's here is through signs. He's everywhere. You just have to have faith."

Officials from Hickey-Freeman Co., who were unavailable Tuesday to discuss the tree, so far have tolerated the cars stopping in front of their building and the groups of gawkers on the sidewalk. They aren't sure what else to do because, as the facilities manager said, "there's no protocol for this sort of thing."

Mark Day, 30, a shipping clerk at Hickey-Freeman, took a picture of the tree after seeing others standing outside the factory looking at it.

Day said he believes the tree's design is a coincidence. "I don't think it's a message because God is everywhere," he said.

Doug Mandelaro, a spokesman for Rochester's Roman Catholic Diocese, said he "wouldn't dare to comment on someone else's moment of inspiration or religious experience. Religious experience is and always has been a mystery and very personal."


Jesus in a tree, Moshiach in Israel already with a vuv attached to his name, and Kaduri will live long enough to see the Moshiach!!!

Enough already you delusional sick Moshiach whores!!!!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Twelve new Orthodox women halachic advisers ordained

12 new women halachic advisers ordained

Twelve new female halachic advisers, ordained in Jerusalem on Wednesday, will help mitigate inhibitions felt by religious women in need of halachic advice on the intimacies of Jewish family purity laws.

These 12 women, the fourth graduating class of halachic advisers produced by Nishmat, a college for higher Jewish learning in Bayit Vagan, are trained to answer the same questions normally directed at a male rabbi. But as women answering questions posed by women these advisers minimize the awkwardness that often accompanies exposing intimate details on, for example, menstruation to a male stranger.

Dean of Nishmat Chana Henkin said that in many cases religious women who were apprehensive about asking a rabbi about family purity laws were needlessly stringent on themselves.

"Women remain separated from their husbands needlessly," said Henkin. "There are quite a few babies in this world that probably never would have been born if our advisers had not helped make the halacha more accessible."

However, Henkin's husband, Rabbi Yehuda Henkin, who, together with Rabbi Ya'acov Warhaftig, supervises the fielding of dozens of questions via Internet and a special daily hot-line, said that the advisers are not a substitute for male halachic authority.

"We purposely call them halachic 'advisers' to emphasize their role in citing known, undisputed Jewish law. But none of the women are poskei halacha (halachic authorities). None of them make decisions on new, unprecedented issues in halacha."

He added that "very few men have enough halachic knowledge to make groundbreaking halachic decisions let alone women...But the time will come when women will have the appropriate background necessary to make innovative halachic decisions."

Although Henkin did not admit it, his willingness to accept the possibility of a female halachic authority equal to men, even in theory, is a radical idea not just in haredi circles. Even many religious Zionist rabbis would be opposed to a female rabbi deciding precedent-making questions in halacha.

Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, admittedly a conservative though widely respected religious Zionist halachic authority, announced several years ago that any man who learns Torah from a woman should be pitied.

In the meantime, rabbis Warhaftig and Henkin answer the tough questions. Chana Henkin said that six to eight questions are fielded daily on Nishmat's Internet site [www.yoatzot.org] and over the past five years about 50,000 questions have been answered on Nishmat's Golda Koschitzky Women's Halachic Hotline.

Rabbi Henkin said that during their two-year course of studies female halachic advisers cover all of the studies demanded by the Israeli Rabbinate for rabbinic ordination.

But unlike the men, the women are required to study physiology, anatomy and certain medical issues such as the effect of birth control on the body and fertility problems.

"We also require women to learn basic psychology, sexology and counseling," Rabbi Henkin said.

Henkin does not rule out the possibility that additional fields of halachic will be taught to women. "We've thought about opening a course to teach women the halachot of kashrut. But it is still in the planning stages," he said.

Ira and Charlotte Green sponsored Wednesday evening's ordination ceremony for the new advisers who will join the other 28 who have already been trained. Other major supporters of the program include Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein and Moshael, Zahava and Bethia Straus. Dr. Norman Lamm, former rector of Yeshiva University, is an academic adviser to Nishmat.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Chassidic rabbis implicated in Colombian drug trade

I will keep posting the criminal behavior that is so prevalent in the Jewish community. Let the readers decide how low the community has sunk and what to do about what has become acceptable behavior.

N.Y. Jewish Week

Berish Grunfeld, 64, president of the Bobover yeshiva and an executive director of Bobov's New York institutions, said nothing as federal prosecutors charged him and 11 others in a conspiracy to launder millions of dollars in illegal drug profits for Colombian drug dealers through the bank accounts of the yeshiva and synagogue of Bobov. The largest Chassidic sect in Boro Park and the second largest in the state after Satmar, it has perhaps as many as 30,000 adherents.

The complaint charges that Grunfeld and Rabbi Mahir Reiss, 47, laundered tens of millions in drug money through the bank accounts of the Bobover Yeshiva, Congregation Eitz Chaim and Chaim Shel Shulem, believed to be a free-loan society and apparently located at the Bobover World Headquarters on 47th Street.

They are accused also of helping the drug dealers buy an airplane that is commonly used to transport illegal drugs.

The rabbis and others allegedly skimmed 15 percent to 18 percent of each transaction for themselves, federal officials said.

"Money launderers are indispensable partners of major drug traffic, and the cynical act of using religious institutions to conceal drug proceeds is particularly reprehensible," declared Zachary Carter, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, in announcing the charges at the downtown Brooklyn courthouse Monday.

Grunfeld and Reiss, as well as Reiss' brother Abraham, who also was charged, face up to 20 years in prison and $1.5 million in fines. They each were released on a $750,000 bond. Reiss secured his bond in part by committing his $3 million residence.

Reaction to news of the arrests on the streets of Boro Park was a mix of shock and anger. One resident, asked for comment, said testily, "Look elsewhere for a story."

Others, like Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who represents Boro Park, downplayed the fact that those arrested were rabbis, saying, "Everyone in this community is a rabbi."

Still others stressed that the matter should be seen in personal, not communal, terms. And still others surmised that Grunfeld may not have been fully aware that the money he was allegedly being asked to launder was connected to the drug trade.

But Assistant U.S. Attorney Lee Dunst said evidence indicated that "Bernard Grunfeld knew that this was the proceeds of drug trafficking or was deliberately closing his eyes, which under the legal standard makes him criminally culpable."

It is not the first time a Chassidic sect has been linked with the billion-dollar Colombian drug cartels.

In 1994, Satmar Rabbi Abraham Low, married to the niece of the Satmar rebbe, Rabbi Moshe Teitelbaum, was convicted for conspiring to launder drug money -- part of an international network that laundered up to $5 million a week. Other cases have involved a Brooklyn shtiebel (elementary school) and a Lower Manhattan yeshiva.

A 100-page federal complaint announced charges that the rabbis and other Orthodox Jews joined with five New York members of a Colombian drug gang to launder $1.75 million in drug profits.

The complaint said Grunfeld was brought into the operation by Reiss, president of Realex Capital on Park Avenue, and his brother Abraham, a real estate executive from the Upper West Side.

In the complaint, Reiss is referred to by other defendants as "The Rabbi," "Uncle" or "Barbas," Spanish for "beard." Abraham Reiss was known also as "Roomie."

Nine others were also indicted Tuesday, the result of a three-year federal undercover operation that employed wiretaps and other devices, authorities said.

Federal officials said the alleged Bobov-Colombian connection worked like this:

Three middlemen went from a Long Island home to Manhattan, where they would pick up the drug money from Colombian drug dealers. The three would bring the cash to a safe house, an apartment at 243 W. 75th St., to be counted. Investigators said Abraham Reiss would bring the money to Grunfeld, who would cut checks to people named on a list faxed to the Reiss brothers, according to Dunst, the assistant U.S. attorney prosecuting the case.

A key part of the scam, officials said, was the attempt to hide the bank transactions from federal authorities by keeping each check under $10,000 -- the amount that triggers automatic review by federal banking officials.

The complaint charges that Grunfeld and Israel Knobloch, who was also charged, created the structure to divide $1 million into 95 separate deposits to avoid federal scrutiny.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The New Square Gangsta' Rapper (Rebbe) And His"Shtreimel Rappers Band" Of Thieves

Anatomy Of A Pardon
How four New Square felons got their sentences commuted, and what Hillary had to do with it.

By Eric J. Greenberg
The New York Jewish Week

NEW YORK — Several weeks after her historic victory in New York's U.S. Senate race, First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton attended a meeting at the White House with President Bill Clinton and the Skverer rebbe -- Rabbi David Twersky, spiritual leader of the scandal-scarred New Square chasidic sect in Rockland County.

But this was not the first meeting between New York's new junior senator and the 60-year-old grand rebbe of the 7,000-member village -- the first incorporated Jewish community in the U.S.

Clinton first campaigned there last August. That visit launched a series of events that last week culminated in a controversial last-minute clemency action on behalf of New Square by outgoing President Clinton.

His act came 10 weeks after New Square, breaking with most Orthodox communities, heartily supported Clinton's Senate campaign, delivered almost all of the village's votes for her.

The decision by President Clinton to commute the sentences of four prominent New Square men who stole tens of millions from the federal government in a phony yeshiva scheme is being criticized this week by law enforcement officials.

Questions are being raised about whether the first lady unduly capitalized on her relationship with her husband, who had the unregulated power to pardon or commute prison sentences.

New Square officials and a spokesman for Senator Clinton emphatically deny that any ``deal" was made before the election to deliver votes for her in return for the commutations of the ``New Square Four." Both say the subject was never even raised until December.

Clinton said Wednesday she played ``no role whatsoever" in the commutation. ``I had no opinion about it," she said.

But some critics don't believe it.

``Just look at the math," said a Republican operative familiar with the Senate race. ``She gets all of New Square's votes and two months later she [helps commute the sentences of] four people from the village."

The New Square commutations came among a blizzard of last-minute pardons and commutations -- many controversial -- directed by President Clinton on his last day in office. But New Square seems to be the only one connected to his wife's unprecedented race for the Senate.

New Square advocates argue the sentences were too harsh and that the convicted men did not gain personal profit from ill-gotten federal money -- a claim disputed by the federal judge during sentencing. New York law enforcement officials were irate over the New Square commutations.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White said they bypassed Justice Department procedures and did not give her office enough time to prepare arguments against them.

White's office learned of the New Square commutations on Jan 16 -- four days before the decision to pardon -- and was given a one-day deadline to reply. ``We found out about the New Square virtually at the last moment," said a law enforcement official.

In contrast to New Square, Clinton also publicly expressed concern about the Jonathan Pollard case, but no action was taken to commute Pollard's life sentence for spying on behalf of Israel (see accompanying story).

On Aug. 8, Clinton visited New Square, about 40 miles north of New York City. She visited the girls yeshiva and schmoozed with Rabbi Twersky's wife, Chana. She also had a private meeting with the rebbe.

At the time, Clinton's campaign was desperately trying to boost stagnant support for her among the state's key Jewish voters. Her opponent, former Long Island Republican Rep. Rick Lazio, seemed to be gaining momentum.

For Clinton, it was already clear that New York's Orthodox and chasidic communities would be a hard sell, as they were expressing their personal dislike for her and her positions, particularly regarding Israel. She needed to show she could win some support in Orthodox circles.

Meanwhile, New Square was coping with a series of scandals in which top village officials were going to jail or fleeing the country for swindling tens of millions of dollars in federal education, housing and small-business subsidies in a decade-long scam.

One widely publicized case included laundering money through a phony yeshiva set up in Brooklyn.

Rabbi Twersky desperately wanted to win clemency for the four noted New Square residents who on Jan. 25, 1999 were convicted of 21 charges including conspiracy, embezzlement, and wire and mail fraud. Kalmen Stern, 42, was sentenced to 78 months; David Goldstein, 54, of Brooklyn, 70 months; Jacob Elbaum 40, 57 months; and Benjamin Berger, 30 months. They were ordered to pay back millions of dollars.

(In addition, two others fled the country: New Square founders Chaim Berger, Benjamin's father, and Avraham David Friesel, son of Mayor Mattus Friesel. Chaim Berger, who fled to Israel, is awaiting extradition pending an Israeli Supreme Court hearing, while Abraham Friesel is still listed as a fugitive, authorities said.)

``The [prison sentences] were weighing heavily upon the rebbe's soul and mind," said an Orthodox leader familiar with Rabbi Twersky.(UOJ SAYS BULLSHIT, IT'S WEIGHING ON HIS POCKET)

For Clinton, the Aug. 8 meeting was a like a splash of cool water in the desert. Unlike more hostile receptions in Orthodox quarters, New Square welcomed her with warmth, participants agreed.

``The rebbetzin and Hillary got along extremely well," a Democratic campaign source recalled. ``The rebbe endorsed her."

But spokesmen for Clinton and New Square emphatically state that the issue of the four imprisoned men was not brought up then or anytime before Election Day.

``It was raised sometime after the election," Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson told The Jewish Week Tuesday. Asked specifically when, Wolfson said he did not know.

New Square spokesman Rabbi Mayer Schiller also vigorously assured that the issue was not brought up in August. But other Rockland County political insiders dispute their claims.

``From day one [the issue of commutation] was part and parcel of the whole thing," said one source, who spoke on condition of anonymity. ``[New Square representatives] spelled out clearly their interest in her helping those who were incarcerated."

After the August meeting, New Square officials began campaigning for Clinton, even outside the village, though Clinton's positions on such core issues as school vouchers, abortion and Israel were in opposition to New Square.

Community members drove around in cars with loudspeakers urging -- in Yiddish -- for Rockland County Orthodox residents to vote for her. A Yiddish weekly endorsed her based on lobbying from New Square.

``It's not a secret their support was based on the hope that she would look kindly towards the people that are incarcerated," said Rabbi Ronnie Greenwald, a prominent Orthodox leader who lives in nearby Monsey. ``They really went out and helped her. It was an honest attempt to get votes and get support for Hillary Clinton."

On Election Day, Clinton carried New Square, 1,400 to 12. It was a glaring exception to much of the Orthodox world and New Square's chasidic neighbors, who voted overwhelmingly for Lazio.

``I would say in general that chasidic voting blocs are motivated greatly by self interest," explained Rabbi Schiller when asked about the anomaly. ``New Square tends to vote in blocs, usually based upon personal relationships developed with politicians."

Six weeks after the election, Rabbi Twersky and New Square Deputy Mayor Israel Spitzer found themselves sitting in the White House map room with President Clinton and Sen.-elect Hillary Clinton. It was the first time Rabbi Twersky had ever been in the White House, Rabbi Schiller said. (Rabbi Twersky does not grant interviews and Spitzer declined to be interviewed directly.)

During a scheduled 15-minute meeting on Dec. 22 that stretched into 45 minutes, according to New Square officials, Rabbi Twersky raised the issue of seeking mercy for the New Square four and help for fugitive Chaim Berger in Israel.

Rabbi Twersky has never publicly commented about the sins of his community members, and repeatedly turned down interviews to explain the scandal.

Spitzer related that Rabbi Twersky told the president about ``a dark cloud" over the community, referring to the prison sentences. The rabbi then presented a letter to President Clinton signed by several Jewish organizations asking for mercy.

``[Clinton] read the letter and said he would look into it," Rabbi Schiller quoted Spitzer. Rabbi Schiller said he could not provide a copy of the letter.

Asked to see any photos taken with the rabbi and the Clintons, Rabbi Schiller denied they existed. But a former White House spokesman confirmed photos were taken and sent to New Square.

Meanwhile, following the White House session, New Square hired Washington attorney Samuel Rosenthal to file the forms necessary to request presidential pardons and commutations -- actions an outgoing president traditionally takes in the last weeks of his term.

On Saturday, Clinton commuted the sentences of the New Square four. In all Clinton pardoned 140 people and commuted 36 prison sentences.

Also under attack is the pardon of Susan Rosenberg, found guilty of possession of 700 pounds of explosives and a submachine gun in a 1984 New Jersey case.

In the case of the New Square four, Clinton commuted Benjamin Berger's sentence to 24 months and the rest to 30 months. All will serve about another 18 months.

But according to a Justice Department spokeswoman, Clinton's commutation does not dismiss the court's order that they repay millions of dollars in restitution and undergo several years of supervised release. Stern still owes the government $11.2 million; Elbaum $11.1 million; Goldstein, $10.1 million; and Berger $522,977.

Experts said commutations, unlike pardons, are generally granted to shorten a sentence that is deemed too long or otherwise unfair, or to reward cooperation with the government.

White, in a statement speaking of the New York related cases, said: ``The facts of several of these cases in particular raise significant law enforcement concerns, the seriousness of the crimes is diminished, and the fact and the appearance of evenhanded justice is compromised." This apparently referred to claims by New Square that her office was overzealous and biased against the village.

But criminal justice experts said the New Square commutations sends a dangerous message about the workings of the justice system to a community that in 1996 was fined $1 million by a federal judge for contempt for refusing to comply with his order to provide evidence.

(Those Bastards set a F***** building on fire to destroy the records and then collected fire insurance to boot)

Observers also fear the commutations will have negative repercussions among New Square's non-Jewish neighbors, who believe that Orthodox Jews already receive special treatment from elected officials.

``This is not justice, this is politics," said Rockland County Sheriff James Kralik, whose office began the investigation years ago.

``This was a situation in my opinion that grew out of the election campaign of Mrs. Clinton and possibly Al Gore," he told the Rockland Journal newspaper Tuesday. ``And the community certainly showed their respect for Mrs. Clinton with their votes.''

It just makes you puke! These gangsters do not practice Judaism, they USE their filthy disguises to steal, lie, cheat, and destroy our religion. CHASSIDISM IS NOT JUDAISM. David Twersky AKA the Rebbe is the same worthless low-life scumbag as the rest of his gang of hoodlums. The people who seek him out for brachas, will have those words turned into curses. All of them will rot in Hell as they should. There is a special place in HELL for ALL the fur hat gangsters, or whatever they call themselves!

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Hasidic Village Keeps Women Out of the Driver's Seat

Steven I. Weiss
The Forward

Even as the White House presses Saudi Arabia to permit women to drive, an ultra-Orthodox community in New York has launched a campaign to reassert its ban on female motorists.

During her trip last month to Saudi Arabia, Undersecretary of State Karen Hughes delivered a speech in which she stressed the Bush administration's determination to see Saudi women obtain more rights — including the right to drive.

Meanwhile, in the Hasidic village of New Square, N.Y., religious leaders recently issued a document reminding residents that "women should not sit in the front of a car." Released in July by the community's top rabbinical court, the document was aimed at shoring up several communal standards — especially those regarding women's conduct.

"It's considered not tzniusdik [modest] for a woman to be a driver, not in keeping with the out-of-public-view [attitude]," village spokesman Rabbi Mayer Schiller said. "If you can imagine in Europe, would a woman have been a coach driver, a wagon driver? It would've been completely inappropriate."

The village's religious leaders have made an exemption for an 80-year-old woman who was one of the community's original residents and hadn't known about the driving prohibition before she moved there.

New Square, a 7,000-person enclave located 40 miles north of New York City, was founded by the late Skverer rebbe Rabbi Yaakov Yosef Twersky, a Holocaust survivor, and his followers. The village was established in 1954 and officially incorporated seven years later. It relies heavily on private charitable donations and on government-assistance programs.

In the recent document, New Square religious leaders reiterated the prohibition against girls riding bicycles; also, women are forbidden from going outside in their long housecoats, a common fashion staple in many Orthodox communities.

The rules "are nothing new," Schiller said, but "there's just a sense that for some of the young people they need to reinforce them." He added that in the village's entire history, similar comprehensive lists of communal standards have been posted "maybe five or 10 times, but probably no more than that."

"If you would poll the community... 97.5% would say, 'Yes, this is what we want,'" Schiller said.

While the rules are meant to apply to residents, clearly they're not part of the criteria for endorsing candidates for elective office. New Square's top rabbis endorsed Hillary Clinton in her successful run for the senate in 2000, and delivered all but a few votes for the former first lady.
Clinton spokeswoman Me-ah Zonah did not return repeated requests for comment.

The recent document in New Square addressed a wide range of prohibitions. One rule requires that a fence be constructed around houses that have a trampoline.

Another states that exercise groups can be formed only with the permission of a rabbinical court and that they require a mashgiach (religious inspector) to oversee them.

Some of the regulations are targeted at men, including a clause instructing male worshippers to keep their cell phones off and to refrain from talking during prayer times. But it is the rules pertaining to women — in particular, those related to driving — that bear a striking resemblance to the Saudi practices criticized by the Bush administration.

In some ways, Saudi Arabia's laws regarding women are more permissive than the religious edicts in New Square. For example, a Saudi woman is allowed to ride in the front seat of a car if the driver is her husband. While husbands and wives in Saudi Arabia are allowed to walk with each other, New Square men and women always must walk on different sides of the street. In strong contrast to Saudi Arabia, the government does not enforce the religious rules in New Square; violations do not result in any form of corporal punishment. But those who frequently violate the rules in New Square are blackballed from the community.

"I can think of just a handful of cases over the years" in which someone was expelled from New Square's religious community, Schiller said.

"I don't think any of these transgressions would get you to be expelled from the community," Schiller said. But, he added, "If a young woman was driving, that would be fairly serious."

Schiller warned against drawing any negative conclusions about New Square based on the Saudi situation. "It is a mistake to view a religious practice negatively just because another culture, aspects of which we may find troubling, also practices it," he said. At the same time, the New Square spokesman was critical of the Bush administration's efforts in the Middle East.

"American foreign policy has moved towards a messianic, crusading secularism which judges all other peoples by the standards of our own 'fashionable' elites," he said. "This monolithic utopianism inevitably yields spiritual, moral and practical disasters."

UOJ Comments
Schiller did not comment about the fire that destroyed all the financial records at New Square as the Government was investigating millions of dollars of theft.
Schiller also did not make mention of the convicted felons from New Square, close associates of the Rebbe, that were pardoned by Bill Clinton on his last day in office.
New Square has become a sewer of corruption led by a smiling Howdy Doody buffoon.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Orthodox Criminals

A great e-mail from a new Frum Skeptic

A- the community has a tendency to live in self-denial and delusional
grandeur ("it doesn't happen here"), and to sweep things under the rug
when it does happen: talking about such things is taboo. (examples of
such taboos are someone who: served time; was in a clinic for
addiction, mental ilness, eating disorder, chronical problem (such as
a young person with congenital heart problems), or any
"non-conventional illness"; came out of the closet; had troubles with
the law; ran away for a while (either from home, yiddishkeit or both)
but returned and so forth - not to mention the presence of a
handicapped individual in the family, see more below). therefore,
voicing disapproval is by extension forbidden because one cannot say
loshon hora, "be motzei shem ra" (i hate the yeshivish english) or
accuse another yid of something false ("do YOU have ANY proof of it?
no? then don't accuse if you cannot prove! never mind what the new
york times says, YOU do not have proof and the press is
anti-semitic!"). simply put, it never happened - and if it did, the
person does not exist or was absolved by wither previous holiness,
denial, or some type of perceived teshivah.

B- as practical examples:
there is a head of a beis din in north america whose son is serving
time in an american prison for armed robbery - and nobody ever talks
about him, not even cousins - and there are members of his family who
even do not know that this person exists (kids who are almost
teenagers, spouses of cousins, etc.)!

There is the camp in new york state for handicapped children whose
counsellors are required to sign a legal document of non-disclosure of
names or the identity of any of the campers and their families; the
campers are taken to and from camp by hired drivers (almost always
non-jews) and whose families do not visit them, unless it is already
"public knowledge" that such handicapped individuals exist.

Although no crime is involved in the second instance, the attitude is
symptomatic of an intolerance of any deffect in those who should be
holy above all reproach - even when it is not their fault and others
could actually help them make things better for themselves and the
community (in my community, large as it is, there is no organized
group home for disabled individuals from frum families - there are
other "jewish" places, but without kosher food, etc. but the frum are
either homebound or shipped away until they die and are "found out"
only to vanish again after the shloshim when all mourning ends).

A- it really depends on what his "illegal activities" were.
oftentimes, it will not diminish his respect in the eyes of the
community as a rabbi, and this rabbi will rule as he pleases in all
matters, even if it blatantly contradicts his own behavior. see #3.

B- as an example: it happened with a head of a beis din in south
america that he attempted to leave the country with a briefcase filled
with american dollars (note: u.s. federal law requires that anyone
entering or leaving the country with more than 10,000 dollars declare
it - and many other countries have similar rules; the rabbi had much
more than ten thousand dollars). stopped by the police at the airport
(during a random security check, way before 9/11) he refused to talk
about the money, saying "i am a man of g-d, and it is none of your
business what i do". long story short, he missed the flight, spent at
least one night in detention and was freed with posting of bail and
bribes to clear his record (with the bribery making it 2 wrongs, but
still making it all right). but the said rabbi is very strict in his
rulings about business honesty, and no one even talks about this
incident anymore!

A- money-related offenses, especially financial fraud against the
government, is not seen as a crime by the frum community - especially
if the perpetrator/s use the money obtained to support a community
cause. the most famous case is perhaps that of zalman "jimmy" Gourary
of crown heights, who served time in federal prison for tax evasion
and fraud, but was seen in lubavitch - even by the rebbe - as a pillar
of righteousness and charity, mainly for his sponsorship of printing
of the rebbe's books and of a free mikvah right next to 770. other
cases - which happen daily and any yeshiva bochur heard of at least
one - include cheating car rental companies, long-distance providers,
insurance companies, purchase return policies (who never heard of the
"borrowed simcha outfit"?) and many other "soft" crimes (in one
instance there was even a way to obtain a driver's license without
knowing either english or how to drive, but technological changes to
the process ended that one). halacha clearly prohibits cheating
anyone, but since these involve cheating "the government, who steals
enough from us through taxes" or "the goyim", it is seen as no problem
("those companies/the government have so much money anyway!").

B- there is alwasy the "relocation" method: one commits a crime
somewhere and moves away to another community where s/he is either
unknown or out of reach of the jurisdiction of the first one. cases to
point include draft-dodgers who flee israel (too many to mention, but
nevertheless illegal aliens in the usa), people who run away from
their spouses with a lover (one such case now heads a
kashrut-supervising agency in North America), and one businessman
Fischer who pocketed money and building and land deeds from the crown
heights community council, fled to israel and avoids all cherem
provisions just by being out of the crown heights beis din
jurisdiction. the case became famous when it went to court and the
RICO act was invoked.

the bottom line:
Unfortunately, the orthodox community has created a self-perpetuating
vicious cycle of tolerance to crime and corruption, sometimes in the
name of jewish holiness ("lashon hara"), sometimes in the name of
protection of the families (e.g shidduchim, innocence of children
about crimes), but most often out of honor for some persons who do not
deserve it, safe for the position they currently hold and should lose
for their crimes.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Charedi Women Get To Be On Top

Charedi women get green light to bike

Chief of Bnei Brak traffic police says women are now allowed to ride motorbikes while respecting Charedi values.This heter came from the Moetzes Gedolei Haputzim just in time for Yom K' "Purim".

Bnei Brak- After a quarter of a century of being denied the pleasure of riding a motorbike, Charedi women appear to have been given the green light to straddle a two-wheeler and cruise away solo.Finally, a KOSHER way for women to receive much needed attention to their physical needs.

Most of the married Charedi women were quoted as saying, "Finally after centuries, we have something between our legs that actually moves!"

"It is not an offence for women to ride motorbikes and they can apply, just like men, for a driving license and ride while respecting Charedi values," Moshe Laitzunos, the chief of Charedi traffic police, was quoted as saying by the Yated Sheker daily.

Pinky LipShits, the editor, would not publish this news until it was formally approved by the majority of the Alzheimers Bais Din.This did create some complications because ALL the rabbis on the Bais Din did not remember they were on the Bais Din.

Going solo on a motorcycle has been off limits since the 1979 "Mikve" revolution given that wind resistance encountered by the rider could negate the efficiency of a Charedi dress code designed to hide bodily curves. So why couldn't/didn't the Ayatollah Elyashiv Cockamaime issue a fatwa that women are permitted only to ride bikes in the direction of the wind??
How come NO KOL KOREH and NO Tehillim gathering?
Why NO full page ad in the toilet paper of record, the Yated?

Charedi women are not allowed to drive cars; riding bicycles has been tolerated provided they ride their bikes in Syria. Since the 1990's women are also allowed to ride pillion on a motorbike in Iraq. True,some poskim allow them to drive cars, but only from the back seat, so the accident rate across Bnei Brak has been excessive.

The latest sign of further change, however, could prove to be a false alarm.

In 2002, thousands of women lined up for free motorcycle lessons offered by a manufacturer, but the classes were quickly called off due to apparent opposition from rabbinical authorities. Hey, can you blame the dames for crowding like that? Simple math: straddle a vibrating motorcycle engine for free vs. paying for a Halacha-approved dildo. (Assuming they could find one!)

P.S.- Late breaking news; the OU, the KAJ, the OK are sending their rebbetzins' out to test this vibrating bike.We may get hechsherim just in time for Simchas Torah.
As the men are jumping with the Torah, the women on the other side of the mechitza are HUMPING their bikes.

I parodied this correspondence from an e-mail I received and added much "wisdom" of my own.
I changed some names and words(Iran,Koran...)just to piss off ALL fundamentalists,especially the Jews.
Everyone I see and talk to is so tzetumult and depressed, I figured a good laugh could be healing! Remember the "Unorthodox Jew" gets to do whatever he wants, whenever he wants.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

The Jewish Bin Ladens

Ultra-Orthodox Jews and the State of Israel

What Shall I Do With This People? Jews and the Fractious Politics of Judaism
By Milton Viorst

“After 2,000 years of strenuous survival in exile, it would be a grim irony if homecoming is remembered by history not as the seed of the Jews’ redemption but of their self-destruction.”

These final words in Milton Viorst’s latest book, What Shall I Do With This People? sums up his exhaustive study of Judaism and the conflicting ideologies within this faith that could lead to civil war or worse in Israel.

Viorst selected the title from Exodus 17:4 in which an exasperated Moses, trying to lead Jews out of Sinai, cried out to the Lord; what shall I do with this people? Before long they will stone me.

At that early time, God called the Jews a stiff-necked people, and the author contends it is this attitude of the ultra-Orthodox that could bring about disaster in Israel.

In his earlier works, Viorst has explored Arab states and argues that religious fundamentalism holds them back from developing viable democracies and high tech economies.

In this book, he demonstrates that Ultra-Orthodox Jews share negative traits of so-called fundamentalist Muslims. Both divide society according to faith; reject temptations of modernity; exalt ancient texts and glorify the distant past. Both are politically authoritarian, male-dominated, impose restrictive dress codes and enforce strong sexual taboos.

The lay reader will learn more than he ever hoped to about Jewish history, but through this approach, Viorst documents earlier catastrophes brought about by the Zealots and other Jews with tunnel-vision nationalistic ambitions. They seem to have been reincarnated in the right-wing religious militants seeking political and societal control of Israel today.

Viorst cites the late Israeli historian Yehoshafat Harkabi, a retired general, who theorized that the Jews from King David to Simon Bar-Kokhba (who precipitated the Roman destruction of Judea) were blinded by nationalism that cost them their survival.

The early Maccabean victory over the Romans led to a pride that fell when they were defeated in two subsequent wars with Rome. This feeling of omnipotence after the victory of the 1967 Six-Day War may be a repetition of history, Harkabi warned.

The rift between Sephardi and Ashkenazi cultures was hardly noticed at its outset, Viorst contends. Rabbinic Judaism (Othodox) which began with the ancient sage Hillel ended in the yeshivot of eastern Europe. Rabbinic Judaism, Viorst writes, maintained the Jewish identity separate from the temptations of the Gentile world. But the arrival of the Enlightenment at the close of the 18th century tantalized European Jews and brought about Conservative and Reform movements.

In the U.S., Conservative and Reform Jews arrived in the early 19th century and prospered. Eastern European Orthodox Jews arrived at the turn of the century and were not welcomed into the temples of their co-religionists. But, the author stresses, Jews knew that in the U.S., their sectarian battles between Orthodox and Conservative and Reform would be unacceptable. It was only when Israel was founded that they had a terrain on which to resume their struggle.

“Sovereignty, moreover, brought a rise in the stakes,” Viorst writes. “Without Gentiles to overrule them, Jews went at the conflict more bitterly. What Orthodox Judaism saw in sovereignty was an opportunity to make up the losses of the centuries since the Enlightenment. What Reform and Conservative Judaism saw was a chance to have their legitimacy formally acknowledged. All three sought to enlist the secular state on its side, as tolerance among them seemed to grow increasingly distant.”

Even though the Zionist movement was founded by Theodor Herzl, a secular Jew, Rabbi Issac Reines, who founded the Mizrachi movement in Russia in 1902, insisted on a place for religious Jews in the Zionist cause. This opened the door for the Orthodox to be a legitimate faction within the Zionist movement.

After World War I, the Mizrachi World Organization moved to Palestine where it represented Orthodox interests and eventually became the National Religious Party. Nonetheless, Haredim badgered Mizrachi for failing to lead Zionism back to the faith.

Religious Zionists always accepted the legitimacy of Israel as a state, Viiorst points out, while the Ultra-Orthodoxy insist that only the Messiah can legitimize the state – hence they are still living in exile.

Whereas Western democracies separate church and state, Israel has followed the opposite path and accepts Orthodox Judaism at the nation’s one official faith. Israel has two chief rabbis (one Ashkenazi, the other Sephardi, both Orthodox).

Viorst states: “(Israel) maintains at public expense all Orthodox rabbis and their synagogues. It finances religious education at every level, run by Orthodox administrators. It empowers a system of Orthodox courts to preside over the enforcement of Halachic law in personal matters. It also sets enforcement of Halachic law in personal matters. It also sets Orthodox standards for naturalization and waives military service for students at Orthodox yeshivot.”

Over the centuries, Jews had observed the Three Oaths, Viorst informs the reader. These were (1) not to return en masse to the Holy Land, (2) not rebel against the host nation they lived in, and (3) in return for their quietude, the host nation would not unduly oppress them.

Because they observed the rule not to return to the Holy Land, the Hasidim called Zionism a sin. Some Hasidic rabbis went so far, Viorst notes, as to claim the Jews brought the Holocaust on themselves for failing to uphold the Three Oaths.

However, in 1948, when Israel offered a refuge to the Haredim, they took a more pragmatic point of view. Nonetheless, Ben Gurion refused to promise them a “state according to Torah.” They retaliated by threatening to go to the United Nations and testify against the establishment of Israel. Even though he denounced this as extortion, Ben Gurion compromised with the “status quo agreement.” In return for political – but not religious – recognition of the state, the Orthodox received special privileges: an official Sabbath, rabbinic jurisdiction over marriage and divorce, rabbinic administration and public financing of religious schools, application of kosher dietary laws in state institutions and exemption of yeshiva students and Haredi women from military service.

This, Viorst emphasizes, has produced a parasitic class of cloistered Haredi men who do not work and live off government subsidies. Haredim vote in blocks which perpetuates a system that drains the economy.

Religious Zionism has its roots in the teachings of Rabbi Abraham Issac Kook, who, Viorst says, put the Messiah back in Zionism. “By settling the land, Jews hasten the return of the Messiah,” Rabbi Kook prophesied. He emigrated from Latvia in 1904 and became the first Ashkenazi chief rabbi after World War I.

It was Rabbi Kook’s son, Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Kook, who shifted the religious focus from the Torah to territory. Following the 1967 War, he demanded that the government erase forever the demarcation line of 1948 separating Israel from “Judea and Samaria.” Out of this extremism emerged Rabbi Kook’s disciple, Rabbi Moshe Levinger, who holed up in the Hebron Park Hotel and launched the settler movement in 1968 with the militant settlement of Kiryat Arba.

Viorst traces the development of the hardline extremists. After the Yom Kippur War of 1973, Gush Emunim (Block of the Faithful) spouted its call for a Maccabean theocracy. These are the bearded men we see in photos wearing jeans, the knitted kippot and shouldering machine guns. In the 1980s, their Jewish Underground terrorized Palestinians, booby-trapped the cars of three West Bank mayors, maiming two of them. They killed three students and wounded 30 more at Hebron’s Islamic college. Rabbi Kook’s followers publicly applauded this while Labor and Likud did nothing.

On May 14, 1948, the day of its establishment, Israel was to have a signed and sealed Constitution within five months.

“If a country is to survive,” Viorst states, “it must hammer out a foundation of common values, which all of its citizens, or nearly all, willingly accept. That has not happened to this new nation of Jews, at least not yet.”

Just as the founding fathers of the U.S. avoided a decision on slavery, the rift between religious and secular communities was too wide to hammer out a compromise – let alone even consider the needs of Arab citizens.

The founding fathers of the U.S skirted the unpleasant controversy around slavery and decades later, the nation was divided by a crushing civil war. Has Israel fallen into the same trap?

Viorst starts this important work and ends it with the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin by a militant yehsiva student, Yigal Amir.

“Amir was a zealot who wouldn’t have acted without the backing of the rabbis,” Viorst told me at a book signing. “Rabin, the only prime minister who tried to stop the settlements, paid for this decision with his life.”

This is a very thought-provoking book whose depressing prophesy that the militant Ultra-Orthdox element is on the ascendancy may, unfortunately, prove true. If so, will secular Jews remain in a state hog tied by the authoritarian strictures of religious fundamentalism?

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The Real Gay Agenda - Destroy The Family Structure

The sky doesn’t fall in a day
by Alan Sears

In the arena of political discourse, a “straw man” is often a weak or extreme argument one side in a debate falsely attributes to their opponents. It’s an age-old tactic that presents a nice-sounding argument that is, in reality, easily refuted or “knocked down.”

That is the tactic now being used to defend the court-ordered legalization of same-sex “marriage” in Massachusetts last year.

With over 6,000 same-sex couples “wedding” in the Bay State since May 2004, proponents of this change are crying, “See, the sky didn’t fall. The world hasn’t come to an end. And everything is just lovely!”

However, virtually no one in support of authentic marriage ever said that marriage would be destroyed or the country would fall into anarchy the moment same-sex “marriage” in one corner of our nation became a temporary reality. Setting up and knocking down this kind of straw man may feel good, but it does little to deal with the real issues involved.

It’s a bit like a “friend” of a patient with slow-growing cancer saying, “Don’t worry, your cancer really isn’t affecting your health yet. Everything’s fine.” This is a much more apt analogy. Furthermore, the other side calls what is distorted “good,” so it’s no surprise they don’t see a problem.

The pro-family community has always maintained that the oxymoron of same-sex “marriage” is detrimental to the institutions of marriage and family, harmful to children, and ultimately destructive to our society. Nothing taking place in Massachusetts over the last 15 months or so has altered that prognosis. You see, this debate is really not about “equal rights,” as the proponents of homosexual behavior like to frame it, but about redefining marriage, family, and, yes, American culture. And such things don’t happen over night (they’re not designed to).

Nonetheless, if allowed to proceed, like the proverbial frog in the pot, we may well wake up one day in the not-too-distant future to find that marriage and family have lost all present meaning.

If that sounds extreme, consider this comment by activist Michaelangelo Signorile, who ardently promotes homosexual behavior:

[You should] fight for same-sex marriage and its benefits, and then, once granted, redefine the definition of marriage entirely. The most subversive action lesbians and gay men can undertake is to transform the definition of “family” entirely.

This is no idle or isolated threat, but a definitive statement of their strategy. In Sweden, the Feminist Initiative, a new political party, has already essentially called for the abolition of marriage as the next step of “progress” in their nation, promoting instead “a cohabitation law that ignores gender and allows more than two people in a partnership.”

Of course, when put to a vote, the American people overwhelmingly reject the legalization of same-sex “marriage.” So the demands of homosexual activists depend heavily on activist judges to either command state legislatures to rewrite long-standing marriage laws, as in Massachusetts, or to declare laws—even state constitutions—that seek to preserve marriage unconstitutional.

Since the Massachusetts court order, this very thing has been happening. If radicals have their way, they will effectively nullify the clear will of the people and further erode the foundations of our republic. Ultimately, they hope to have this issue settled by the Supreme Court, which is one of the reasons President Bush’s final Supreme Court nominee will likely undergo intense scrutiny.

Nonetheless, even in left-leaning congressional districts in New England, it remains far from certain that the people want same-sex “marriage.” Outraged over blatant judicial tyranny exercised by the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, signatures are being gathered for a constitutional amendment, supported by Gov. Mitt Romney, preserving marriage as the union of one man and one woman so that it can go before the people for a vote. Even where the media says the fight is “over,” the people want to have their say.

No, the sky hasn’t fallen yet because of the actions of a few arrogant judges in Massachusetts.

But make no mistake: the goals of those who would impose same-sex “marriage” on this country are nothing short of subversive, and they don’t care if the sky does fall. In order to validate their sexual choices, activists in support of homosexual behavior will stop at nothing—even if it means destroying marriage, redefining the family (so that it can mean virtually anything), outlawing all opposition as “hate speech,” and undermining our precious heritage of government “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”

Sunday, October 02, 2005

A Message Of Hope And Priorities

It's Cancer
Tony Snow

People respond in different ways to such news. My first reaction was to think it was cool, in a bizarre way — as if I had been inducted into a club known not just for its danger and darkness, but also for promising survivors something precious and rare: a fuller glimpse of life itself.

That feeling didn't last long. Within hours, the novelty dissolved and panic set in. My wife and I lay numbly in bed, fretting about what might be. A neighborhood friend had died of cancer only weeks before, leaving behind young children. We both thought, "What if ... ?"

Meanwhile, I felt pings and pangs in every conceivable organ and extremity. I interpreted transitory pains as evidence that micro-tumors had begun spreading wildly throughout my body and were attacking with fiendish efficiency. At one point, I mistook normal, allergy-related sinus pain for a brain tumor.

Fortunately, this panic didn't last long, either — mainly because I received a very important visit from a friend. She came over to our house, armed with books and advice. Lounging on the couch, she talked about how she survived simultaneous cancers of the breast, lungs and lymph nodes.

There's nothing quite like a pep talk from a cancer survivor, especially one who by normal calculations ought to have died long ago.

Here is the most important thing she said: "When I was sick, my husband and I would sit in a group with other women who had the same thing. We sat in a circle, the same people each week.

"Some looked strong and vigorous; others were pale and weak. But none of that mattered. We discovered that we could figure out who was going to live and who would die just by looking into their eyes. The ones who were afraid didn't make it. The ones who were pessimistic didn't make it. The women who made it were the ones who wanted to live, and were ready to fight. Some of the big, strong women weren't ready to fight."

From that moment on, I haven't felt a pang of fear or trepidation. My friend inspired me to stop acting like a passive nut-job, performing diagnoses based on toe twinges and random gas pains, and to get moving. Suddenly, I couldn't wait to enter the hospital, where a terrific surgeon removed my colon, and then to undertake a six-month course of chemotherapy, complete with annoying side-effects and days of dreary exhaustion.

And so I did.

Winston Churchill once noted that there is nothing quite so thrilling as being shot at without effect. One can say much the same thing of grappling with cancer, with one difference: When a bullet passes, you know it. When cancer passes, you have to wait at least five years to mop your brow in relief.

Still, the last few months — my time of surgery and chemo — have been the happiest and most thrilling of my life. They have confirmed lessons that seem at once too good to be true, and too important and vital not to be.

Here is a short inventory:

Faith matters. Prayers heal. Love overcomes.

People want to do good for others; they just need excuses.

Fear is a waste of time. The worst that can happen is that we'll die — which happens to everybody, anyway. Until the Grim Reaper comes knocking, we're alive.

We can count our hardships, but not our blessings.

Life does not revolve around us. It envelops us.

There is no condition that someone else has not already overcome.

Nothing makes one feel more alive than the prospect of death and the requirement that one fight for the things that give life its richness, meaning and joy.

Seven months into my little adventure, I love my wife and children more than ever; relish my work more than I could have imagined; and feel joy that I cannot begin to describe. I also have some street credibility when it comes to counseling cancer patients. I now can do what my friend did: Dispense a little advice and encouragement, so someone else can replace fear with hope and anxiety with determination.

Which leads to the final healing lesson. When you find a good thing, don't be selfish. Pass it on. You'll feel better — and so will someone you love.

A k'sviva v'chasima tova to all.May Hashem bless all that need a refuah shleima, and ALL of Klal Yisroel.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Judaism And Homosexuality

Rabbi Chaim Rapoport
Member of The Chief Rabbi's Cabinet

In his summary of the orthodox position on homosexuality, Rabbi Dr Alan Unterman writes: "…it is not demanded that one should be sexually attracted to members of the opposite sex, but it is demanded that, attracted or not, one should still get married and have children."

I disagree. To be sure, marriage and procreation are supreme values in Judaism. It is antithetical to the spirit of Judaism to initiate a procedure whereby children will be conceived, born and bred outside the normative family nucleus. Where the potential for a healthy and stable marriage exists, one ought to respond positively to the Divine calling "Be fruitful and multiply." Yet those unable to find a suitable spouse or are constrained by mental or physical incapacity are exempt from fulfilling this Commandment. Emotional incapacity for a heterosexual relationship may, likewise, exonerate the individual from embarking upon a marriage that is likely to bring untold suffering to both partners.

Hence, notwithstanding our high regard for marriage, a confirmed homosexual would be best advised to invest his or her energies and talents in other areas. Rabbi Aharon Feldman is closer to the mark when he writes that: "a homosexual who does not have a family can make serious contributions to Judaism which others cannot." Not being restricted to the rigours of family life, the homosexual can undertake many projects to which a married person could not commit himself. Rabbi Feldman speaks of individuals, highly respected for their communal achievements, "even though it was well known that they had no interest in marriage."

One should not jump to conclusions. Many people who have experienced manifestations of homosexuality may still be enabled, with therapeutic assistance, to engage in a mutually satisfying heterosexual relationship. Transitional homosexuality amongst teenagers, bisexuality, ambiguous sexuality or even confirmed sexuality amongst people who have been constrained in close-knit same gender settings, are all scientifically recognised phenomena. Even some 'confirmed' homosexuals have been able to get married and have children after intensive, albeit somewhat gruelling, therapy. But where therapy is either unattainable or ineffective, it would be inadvisable to draw a member of the opposite gender into a relationship where the basic ingredients for harmony and emotional security are lacking ab initio.

Jewish Law forbids premarital, extra marital, promiscuous and homosexual relations. Consequently the bachelor, the spinster, the homosexual or a person trapped in a sexless marriage, all face a formidable challenge: they have to remain celibate. It is, admittedly, theologically challenging to accept that Divine Providence has deprived the blessings of marriage and the bliss of intimacy from so many people. Yet the believing Jew accepts that ultimately the Torah's teachings are for the benefit of mankind, both the individual and society. Some temptations may require a Herculean effort to be overcome and as Rabbi Feldman asserts, cessation of homosexual activity will often "be difficult and will have to be accomplished over a period of time." Accordingly "a Jewish homosexual has to make a commitment to embark on a course through which he will ultimately rid himself of homosexual activity."

However people cannot ordinarily be blamed or penalised for experiencing homosexual feelings. Rather understanding and empathy for those facing such challenges are called for. The ethos of imitatio Dei - emulating G-d's kindness - particularly for the oppressed, surely dictates that we do not ostracise or alienate people who may well face untold loneliness, misery and sexual frustration. Sadly, some otherwise 'progressive' thinkers, don the mantle of zealousness when dismissing the plight of homosexuals. In reality they are merely projecting their own personal prejudices under the guise of religious teaching. Yet whilst we may not judge a person "until we stand in his place," we are likewise forbidden to abandon all moral objectivity and allow chaos to reign in the hierarchy of Jewish and ethical values.

Furthermore, our advocacy of tolerance and patience for the homosexual refers to the individual. It does not apply to organisations that promote homosexuality as a cause celebre or even as an equally acceptable 'alternative lifestyle.' '

Gay Synagogues' are anathema to the religiously sensitive because their aim is not only to condone behaviour that the Torah proscribes but, moreover to sanctify such practices. As to the retort sometimes advanced 'where should Gays daven?' - the answer is - in the same Synagogue that Jews who eat shrimps, desecrate the Sabbath and behave promiscuously render service to their Father in Heaven. Would they be made welcome? - yes, provided they do not proselytise. Flamboyant displays of 'gay pride' demonstrate a lack of sensitivity for the teachings that the Synagogue represents.

Many Synagogues may sometimes offer an aliyah to someone who dined in MacDonalds the previous night, so long as he does not flaunt the bill for his cheeseburger in Shul. We would likewise welcome a Jew whose sexual life is not in accordance with the Torah unless there is reason to believe that he may parade his 'cause' or attempt to win over new 'converts'. Nothing is more objectionable in our Tradition than one who seeks to lead others astray.

Taking all the above into consideration, a number of conclusions emerge:

Homosexual intercourse is forbidden for Jews and Gentiles alike. Yet when counselling homosexuals it is unrealistic to expect that prohibited behaviour should cease immediately. In the interim, we must help the homosexual avoid the pitfalls of promiscuity, despair and the various ailments to which he may be more vulnerable. Depression and suicide attempts among homosexuals are not rare occurrences. Rabbis, teachers and counsellors must be alert to these issues and "not stand idly by" in matters of pikuach nefesh. On a national level, we must endeavour to curb the worrying trend of personal attacks on homosexuals, which are reminiscent of Nazi policies.
Jewish Homosexuals should be encouraged to participate in every aspect of Jewish life that they feel able to. We are enjoined to promote the spiritual welfare of every Jew. Judaism does not advocate a 'take it or leave it' position. The journey to religious perfection is a long and indefinite one. Everyone should be supported to make progress on his or her own level.
G-d Almighty loves all His 'children' irrespective of their sexual orientations. He cares for the errant Jew even if his wrongdoing is inexcusable, a fortori when his or her behaviour has invariably been influenced by the predominantly secular and liberal nature of contemporary society and culture. We, too, should endeavour to emulate G-d's ways and befriend all our 'brothers and sisters'. In this way we can hope to create a society which will indeed reflect the G-dly attributes of love and benevolence.