Monday, January 02, 2006

The Wrong Message From The Gun For Hire Charedi Stooge

by Jonathan Rosenblum

Though the economic crisis of the chareidi community in Israel is much discussed subject, that discussion typically focuses on the threat to our yeshivos or trumpeting the percentage of children under the poverty line to demonstrate the failure of the government's social and economic program. Much less frequently discussed is the impact of poverty on our homes and families.

I know of no authoritative statistics on the number of gittin in the chareidi community, but each one of us is privy to plenty of anecdotal evidence of the rise in divorce, in particular among young couples. Prior to the Gaza withdrawal, the black humor in at least one community with a high concentration of younger couples went: "Yehudi aino m'garesh Yehudi, aval Yehudi megaresh Yehudiah -- A Jew does not expel another Jew, but a Jew does divorce a Jewess."

Economic factors are rarely the only factors behind divorce. But no one would deny that economic pressures are adding new stresses to marriage, and that many marriages are not standing up to the strain. As Chazal say, "Arguments are not found in a man's home, except as a consequece of [a lack of] grain" (Bava Metziah 59b).

One of the leaders of the generation recently asked a respected talmid chacham to undertake a kollel in a community with many young couples. He couched his request not in terms of limud HaTorah, but rather in terms of "pikuach nefesh". The gadol told him that he personally knew of 12 cases of gittin in that community in which economic pressures were a major factor.

In many of these cases, the problems begin soon after the wedding, when the husband is unable to secure a place in Kollel. The areas to which young couples are attracted by virtue of relatively lower housing costs, are also furthest removed from major population centers and good jobs. As a consequence, many young married women find themselves with little, or no, work.

Even if the husband in such a situation spends most of the day in a beis hamedrash --by no means an easy matter, if one is not a member of a kollel -- the young couple inevitably find themselves too much in one another's company. Too frequently, each feels that their spouse has somehow failed him or her, either by failing to secure a place in kollel or to find a job, and as the pressures caused by a lack of incoming income mount so do the mutual recriminations.

The economic pressures on young couples are only one aspect of the problem. Unfortunately, those pressures do not abate with time and the growth of the family. A rosh yeshiva of a yeshiva ketana recently told me that even families in which both parents work, are often unable to pay full tuition, especially if they have already married off one or two children and are heavily in debt. By that time, of course, the marriage is on a much sounder basis than for young couples but daily, grinding pressure takes its toll on the ability of even the finest people to deal with the challenges that all married couples face.

NOT UNRELATED TO THE STRESS ON MARRIAGES from a lack of money even for basic necessities is the adverse impact on children.

We would like to think that the simplicity with which we live conveys to our children a message of mesirus nefesh for Torah. And that is no doubt true in many cases.

But where there is constant discussion in the house of a lack of money or squabbling between parents over monetary matters, the children may end up receiving a message far different than that which the parents intended to convey. The message for many children in such a situation is that money is the solution to all problems and that Torah learning is the cause. And that may be true even where the parents mesirus nefesh is in fact extraordinary and a reflection of both parents' sincere desire to sacrifice for the husband's growth in Torah learning.

Someone close to one of the leaders of the generation once told me of a young boy just a few years after bar mitzvah, who came into the gadol's house and demonstratively threw down his kippah. The gadol asked him to explain his dramatic act. The boy's reply: "Everything is no, no, no. We can't afford that because Tatte learns Torah. Even when all I want is a cheap candy, the answer is still, "No, because Tatte learns." That teenager viewed Torah study as a source of deprivation, rather than of the greatest imaginable joy, with predictable consequences for his future learning and mitzvah observance.

During his years as a rav in Tzitevian, Rabbi Yaakov Kaminetsky was very poor. His salary was collected from the members of the town in the smallest possible coins. Reb Yaakov and his Rebbetzin possessed only one pair of galoshes between them, and he had only one shirt to wear. Yet whenever the children asked for something, Reb Yaakov was careful not to tell them that he could not afford the item in question. Instead he always explained why the item in question was not really necessary.

Better that the children should see him as a tightwad, Reb Yaakov felt, than that they should feel that their father was unable to provide for them. Not only do too many of our children lack the security of feeling that their parents are able to supply their basic needs, but they feel that they too are destined for a life of even deeper poverty.

In the end the hidden costs of rampant poverty on the quality of our marriages and our children may turn out to be even greater than the more obvious consequences of poverty.

UOJ Comments


Now I know you have lost it completely. Are you suggesting that the opening of new kollelim is a matter of life and death?? Do We need MORE kollelim and more young men breeding poverty?

How confused have you become? How many kids are you willing or able to support in kollel?

Assuming the average Charedi family has only five kids and each kid has five kids, add their spouses into the equation and in no time there are 30 people added to the welfare roles.

What kind of advice is this from a Yale graduate? Either you have become a dishonest broker for the Fundies, or you have gone off the deep end.

Then you end the article with an imaginary Art Scroll story, pathetic!

Shame on you!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

what do you do for a living? hey, you UOJ?

Monday, January 02, 2006 11:05:00 PM  
Anonymous MIKVAHYID said...


Monday, January 02, 2006 11:08:00 PM  
Anonymous BT Watch said...

Jonathan Rosenblum - BT Troublemaker. Typical BT BS.

Monday, January 02, 2006 11:19:00 PM  
Blogger rodefemes said...

Rosenblum is a hook, line and sinker BT. He's the frum Pravda. There are other types, including

This article, which I think appeared in Mishpacha, is typical. First paragraph: "failure of the government's social and economic program". Talk about preaching to the choir. Of course, blame the Israeli Government, not the Haredi leaders who shrei, Learn baby learn. Everything else is bitul.

He's a Yale Law School graduate and a former practicing lawyer. He's got a head, but he uses it for clever defenses of the Haredi lifestyle - this article is typical. Let's feel sorry for the Haredim. You'd think he could write some articles about those Haredim who do work, and use them as a model for others to follow. But that would require some independent judgment, which he obviously does not have.

And now for some news from Haredi Lakewood. Yeshivaorthodoxy.blogspot has shut down. Maybe Rosenblum will write an article justifying it.

Monday, January 02, 2006 11:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Suggesting that the solution to financial pressure among young couples is to increase the number of Kollels, is akin to suggesting that the solution to the problem of drug addiction is to open more opium dens and heroin shooting galleries.

Aaron Kotler is spinning in his grave.

Monday, January 02, 2006 11:49:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

What upsets me about Rosenblum is that I think he's dishonest, and peddling his wares to unsuspecting BT's and others.

How many more lives is he willing to ruin to get another Art Scroll book deal?

Monday, January 02, 2006 11:50:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Anon, 11;49

Well said.

Monday, January 02, 2006 11:52:00 PM  
Blogger rodefemes said...

You gotta read another recent article of his, Will An Apology Be Forthcoming?, on cross-currents.com. He wants an apology from the entire Conservative movement, because they're a complete failure.

This is so typical. The Agudists fighting wars already fought and done with - arguing with the maskilim, the Bundists, the Zionists, Mizrachists, the modern orthodox, the reform and conservatives. What they always overlook is that THESE MOVEMENTS CAME ABOUT BECAUSE JEWS RUN AWAY FROM AGUDIST, RIGID, COLD, ROBOTIC, PIPULISTIC JUDAISM.

The Chassidim had a major innovation. Let's sing and dance a little bit, and drink too, and maybe people will join us. Let's also not be Agudah snobs. To that extent, THEY WERE RIGHT!

When will Rosenblum write an article about Agudah failures in the 1930s? About the European rabbis who said, stay where you are, don't go to Israel, don't go to America. Instead, he wants an apology from the Conservative movement. And blames the Israeli government for the whole Haredi economic mess. Pathetic.

And what exactly is Agudah doing about anything today? Sex abuse? Tuition crisis? Divorce? Kids at risk? Gornisht.

We're a community led by fools. Rosenblum is Jewish Soviet Union.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 12:15:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was recently watching a movie whose plot included Islamic fundamentalism. When they showed the Imam indoctrinating the yungerleit, I had flashbacks of Yeshiva.

How’s this for an idea. The Saudis finance the Madrassas to the tune of hundreds of millions. Let’s fold our fundamentalist yeshivas into their system. No-one will notice the difference (black hats may have to go) and our community will save a fortune with little discernable change in the product.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 12:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Conservative Jews kind of normal as a group. Could they be the only true Litvaks left?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 12:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apropos your piece, read this fellows comments.


"One, however, who makes up his mind to study Torah and not to work but live on charity, profanes the name of God, brings the Torah into contempt, extinguishes the light of religion, brings evil upon himself, and deprives himself of the world to come, for it is forbidden to derive any temporal advantage from the words of the Torah. The sages said: "Whoever makes selfish use of the teachings of the Torah takes his own life." They further told us: "Do not make of them a crown wherewith to magnify yourself, nor a spade wherewith to dig." They urged us strongly moreover: "Love work, and hate arrogance. All Torah study with is not combined with some work must at length fail and occasion sin" (Pirkai Avot). The end of such a person will be that he will rob his fellow man." (Mishnah Torah, Hilchot Talmud Torah. 3:10)

"Whoever does not teach his son a trade, it is as though he taught him to commit robbery." (Kiddushin 29a)

This is just a comment on the modern kollel movement where married men are lead not to go to college or to work, but to be largely dependent on their communities, families, and on their wives. Now, I'm not totally lambasting the kollel practice. I do think it is important to have a learned class of Jews who are deeply familiar with a good chunk of our cultural texts and the historical sources for Halacha. But at the same time such efforts should not be used as an excuse not to begin one's real life or to be wasted on fakers who don't really care to learn.

I think Jews of all stripes can appreciate that.

posted by Orthoprax

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 12:51:00 AM  
Anonymous anonymous123 said...

Maybe I haven't read JR's article carefully enough, but my feeling from looking at it and from knowing him personally, is that he is actually trying desperately to try to get across the pro-work message in a form which can get past all the Haredi censors.
Read it again with that in mind, and see if it doesn't fit.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 5:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"he is actually trying desperately to try to get across the pro-work message in a form which can get past all the Haredi censors"

Balderdash. Sounds like you are suffering from an overdose of Gemarrah. Stick to Pashut P'shat, it usually works best.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 8:24:00 AM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Rosenblum is not one of the baalei Tosfos, the last time I checked he was writing a Humpty Dumpty book for Art Scroll.

"in most cases the problems begin when the husband is unable to secure a place in kollel".

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 8:48:00 AM  
Anonymous gross said...

"...but my feeling from looking at it and from knowing him personally, is that he is actually trying desperately to try to get across the pro-work message in a form which can get past all the Haredi censors."

So you know him "personally." Means nothing. "Lipshits" is a nice guy too, I'm sure, in his personal life but it is his responsibility to grow a spine and quit being the Charedi puppet.

JRs message is a little too cryptic for your argument. Funny how you "haven't read the article carefully enough" but you can quickly identify what is "hinted at" between the lines.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 9:13:00 AM  
Anonymous gross said...


Ignore my "JR" reference. I meant to write Harav Yonasan Rosenblum.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 9:15:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a BT,married,learn full time and have two part time jobs that I love,my wife works part time and loves her job,we get no support from any welfare organizations,get no support from any relatives or friends,and we're happy.We are not the exception to the rule.If you don't believe,maybe we can arrange for you to spend Shabbas with us and some of my friends and you can see for yourself.Send your email and we'll be happy to reply.The only reason this message is anonymous is that I see that there's a lot of verbal abuse and ona'at devarim on this blog and it all begins from the top.If you're serious about our offer though then we'll be happy to hear from you.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 9:22:00 AM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Shame on you Gross,

Calling him JR demonstrates a total lack of respect for daas Torah..A man who needs to get by Charedi censors requires you to stand up when you say his name(or initials).
You've been hanging around with apikursim like me way too long.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 9:26:00 AM  
Anonymous VFB said...

--- whenever the children asked for something, Reb Yaakov was careful not to tell them that he could not afford the item in question. Instead he always explained why the item in question was not really necessary. ---

My mom grew up in a very poor but prominent Litvish family. She had the same experience, where if she asked for something, her parents said she did not need it, rather than admit that they could not afford it. She always felt that this was a big mistake on her parent’s part.

Reb Yaakov’s approach is wrong for two reasons.

Firstly, it’s a lie. Apparently Reb Yaakov had no compunction about lying to his children. However, children often pick up more than adults realize. When children realize when their parents lie to them, and that can cause them to be very disillusioned.

Secondly, it causes the children to feel that their parents cannot relate to them or how they feel about things and is more likely to alienate children. Imagine a tween complains to her parents that she needs new clothing because her clothing are old and unfashionable. In response, the parents tell her that clothing is not so important. Whatever reason they provide for why that is the case, it will not be convincing to a tween, because she is at an age when peer pressure is great, and tweens tend to care about such stuff. Reb Yaakov probably overrated his powers of persuasion if he thinks he was always successful in convincing his children that what they wanted was not important.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 9:27:00 AM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Anon, 9:22,

Kol hakovod!

You are the exception, not the rule.

P.S. Do you have kids in yeshiva, how many?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 9:28:00 AM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...


Right on!

The next version of the R' Yaakov story will be that the rebbetzin and R' Yaakov did not need galoshes, because wherever they walked in the rain, Hashem dried up the puddles. R' Yaakov DID NOT walk on water, surprised?

Great parenting skills, saying NO to everything with a lie.
JR-You're a shmuck for repeating this crap.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 9:34:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

B'H,I know for a fact that I'm not the exception to the rule.We live in a completely religious Jewish community,B'H,I have many friends and we've compared notes.I admit I'm not familiar with the statistics but I can go by my experiences.I'm sure you can respect that.If you don't believe me the offer still stands.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 9:35:00 AM  
Anonymous seen it all said...

kollel is not just about learning. it's an entire lifestyle.
if done right ,it will enhance their married life forever. when parents , encourage a lifestyle, not becoming of a kollel couple,they harm their children, and the kollel concept.
if the first talmid in lakewood that should up with a "new leased car ", would of been asked to leave,how different things could of been.
maybe a couple that gets to learn after the chasuna, doesn't need a lavish wedding.
maybe it should be a condition of kollel life.
no one has limitless funds. how it's spent, the values that come with it makes the difference.
the children understand this. do the parent's

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 9:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe instead of making takanas on Balabattim who actually work for their gelt, takanas should be made on the Lakewood talmidim re: types of car they can drive.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 9:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

B'H,we're not the exception to the rule.We live in a completely religious Jewish community,we have lots of friends,and we've compared notes.I admit that I'm not familiar with the official statistics.I can only go by my experiences.I'm sure you can respect that.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 9:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I forgot to add that if you don't believe me the Shabbos offer still stands.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 9:48:00 AM  
Blogger The Jewish Freak said...

Kollel is a boil on the butttocks of judaism. - JF

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 9:48:00 AM  
Anonymous boog said...

How tough is it really to "secure" a place in Kolell? Gimmee a break, please.

This is frumkeit? More like krumkeit.

Hey, when is the next Lakewood Chinese Auction?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 9:49:00 AM  
Anonymous seen it all said...

making takanas is no soloution. learning the first sentence in mislat yesharim is.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 9:49:00 AM  
Anonymous takana suggesting anon said...

you're right

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 9:53:00 AM  
Anonymous VFB said...

Anonymous 9:22 AM

--- I'm a BT, married, learn full time and have two part time jobs that I love, my wife works part time and loves her job, we get no support from any welfare organizations, get no support from any relatives or friends, and we're happy. We are not the exception to the rule. ---

You are most definitely an exception. The percentage of people who are learning that are gets neither government assistance, (often fraudulently) nor support from their parents very small. You misrepresent how people support themselves learning in Kollel. If you would like to defend the Kollel lifestyle, you should defend it as it is, not as you pretend it is. You lose credibility by misrepresenting the facts so much.

--- If you don't believe, maybe we can arrange for you to spend Shabbas with us and some of my friends and you can see for yourself. ---

I appreciate the kind offer, but I am not sure how spending a Shabbos with you will allow me to determine whether the typical person learning in Kollel is getting government and family support.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 10:03:00 AM  
Blogger rodefemes said...

Anonynmous 123: I think you happen to be a little bit close to being right. But JR's message is far too subtle. He blames the Israeli Government for Haredi economic woes; he decries the effects of poverty on Haredim; he seems to say build more kollels; then he leaves it to the reader to figure out what to do if you can't get a job in kollel.


I highly recommend a book called, Real Jews, the story about the Haredim in Israel. Rosenblum actually snuck past a positive review about it in the Jewish Pravda Observer. The next month, though, there was a retraction.

VFB, good analysis of the Rav Yaakov story.

I wish somebody would start a blog with the theme, Agudah Stinks. They're killing people, they really are. Not intentional homicide, but high degree of negligence. Maybe Yalie JR can write an article about that.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 10:06:00 AM  
Blogger rodefemes said...


Tuesday, January 03, 2006 10:12:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

VFB,come to us with an open mind and you'll see for yourself.Boog,if you've ever tried to get in and stay in kollel then you know it's not as easy as you think.There are weekly and monthly tests,both oral and written.If you're seen goofing off,are not trying your best,not passing the tests,etc.,then you're asked to leave the kollel.Being late,speaking devarim betalim,sleeping during seder are not tolerated.Each kollel has a slightly different atmosphere and different rules and requirements,but I've given a general picture.The next time you have vacation from work why not attend an advanced kollel and see for yourself?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 10:31:00 AM  
Anonymous gross said...

BS! - Most Kollels do NOT enforce these "rigourous" requirements you speak of.

MAJORITY of Kollel people apply for and receive govt. assistance by default. It's an automatic thing for them and they think because they're learning, the'yre entitled. I'm just preaching to the choir, as most reasonable people agree with me.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 11:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous123 said...

This blog has the merit of addressing quite a lot of important issues that aren't being talked about openly elsewhere (or are being actively suppressed.)
That said, if the tone of discussion here doesn't rise above the sewer, none of this is going to achieve anything.
I made a simple comment (complete with a disclaimer about my ability to analyze the subject) suggesting the possibility that JR is trying to break the ice here and at least point out to people that financial issues do matter, that one can't live on luft as they say, and for this I get ridiculed and put down.
I personally am appalled at the insanity of the Kollel world today, and I hope and pray that Klal Yisrael will return to its senses. The kind of insults and leitzanus that are so common on this blog will not help that cause.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 11:41:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If what you suspect regarding JR's "implications" are true, then that precisely is the issue. It is unbelievable that he would have to "beat around the bush" in order to bring up a legitimate - and important - issue.

The "censors" and the cause for him being unable to voice his true feelings will have a lot to answer after 120.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 11:48:00 AM  
Anonymous boog said...

anon 10:31 am

Try that bullshit on someone else, my friend. I'm very familiar with the Kollel scene. What's next from you? A bridge in Brooklyn?

If the RAM's really enforced these rules/regulations, they'd struggle to have a consistent minyan. They are going to jeopardize their parnassah? Are you kidding?

It's a shanda. Why must 25 year old Kollel wives look like they're 75 and have their fathers working their a--es off. The majority of Kollel guys should be out in the workforce. Have you seen some of these hard-working horavanyeh "Kollel" guys? Within 1-2 years after they get married, they look like the GoodYear Blimp. This is the "Pas B'Melach Tochal"?

Yes, the singular and talented R' Akiva's deserve our support, but they are the minority.

If these Kolel laydigayers were out in the workforce where they belong instead of kvetching der banhk
we all would have a healthier and more productive system.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 12:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


did you copy & paste from cross currents or are you the same person who posted there?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 12:04:00 PM  
Anonymous VFB said...

anonymous 12:04 PM:

I posted in both places. I actually posted here first.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 12:06:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

You certainly get it.
May I ask, how long are you a BT? ( I use that term with respect, although I don't like labels)

The other Anon BT,
Please answer a few questions for me:

1-Do you have kids in yeshiva, how many?
2-What Kollel are you referring to with exams and rigorous standards?
3-How much money annually do you need to live on?
4-Do you get help from any outside sources?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 12:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two of many Kollel people I know:

One, a cousin, always tries to shmooze me in the morning while he slowly puts his Tallis on (after going to the bathroom 20 times to wash his hands and g-d knows what else) at the 10am minyan at his Kollel (I work nights so don't start!)

The other is unfortunately an even closer relative of mine and he loves to daven anytime after 10am at Munkatcz in BP. The bum never has and never will work a day in his life. His wife is a shmatta and his parents are doormats. His Kollel check, shnorred gelt, and govt assistance helps him continue. He's going away Pesach to a hotel with his lovely family - on his Daddy's dime. I don't get SHIT (nor do I want) because I WORK!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 12:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Frum From Birth said...


Another disgrace to Judaism and our schools is the infamous Mrs. Zilberberg from Yeshivas Ahavas Torah in Flatbush (Obermeisters Yeshiva).

How many cases of blatant child abuse have been covered up by you and your school?

You realize that you are a Court-Mandated reporter.

There have been recent reports of specific child abuse cover-ups in your school.

How many other skeletons reside in the Ahavas Torah closet of Jekyll & Hyde (Obermeister/Zilberberg)??

And do you know what....as much as they try to sweep this under the rug, parents still have the ability to get a read on the pulse of this "school".

Small wonder that this school is absolutely nowhere on the radar for the discerning parent.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 1:19:00 PM  
Anonymous xyz said...

WOW - Are you sure about Zylberberg. I am VERY acquainted w/ the family and this is news to me?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 1:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK,one at a time.Seen it all said it accurately when he says kollel is about a lifestyle and when done correctly can enhance married life forever.He's also correct to say that living a gashmius lifestyle is a chillul hashem,and I add it makes no difference whether you're in kollel or not.Anonymous123has said the best thing yet;as long as you speak sewer talk virtually everyone that visits this blog is going to be turned off and you will never get your message across. If you really want to succeed UOJ, you have to set rules for this blog based on halacha and derech eretz.Boog,have you ever learnt in kollel yourself?Are you ,i.e.,capable of learning a daf a day with closed book tests?Or pop quizzes on what you learnt b'iyun two months ago?Are you capable of giving and being critiqued on a chabura?To gross, you say you know the kollel scene very well.How so?Which kollelim have you studied in?If the answer is none, then you're not even an outsider.And to UOJ,when, and only when, you spend a Shabbos with us will I be happy to answer your questions.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 2:15:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Anonymous 123,

Please understand that the people that come to this blog are people that care about the welfare of fellow Jews and/or have been hurt directly or indirectly by the system.
Since you are anonymous, nobody is seeking to insult you personally.

People are frustrated and disgruntled and we vent....
Sometimes words are used as an expression of frustration.

I for example will use words and comments that I would not use in my personal life, but use on this blog.
I'm not apologizing for myself or anyone else, just explaining.

We are doing a lot of good, and people are scared silly about being exposed here.

We get approx. 8000 hits per day.
My e-mails are from a cross-section of Yiddishkeit, mostly encouraging me in my work.

Rabbonim, principles, teachers, victims.....all e-mail their thoughts which I take seriously.
Many chashuver Charedim as well.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 2:19:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Anon, 2:15, I would love to come to your house for Shabbos, and maybe one day I will.

For now I must remain anonymous, in order for me to be able to keep applying the relentless pressure that this blog generates.

No crooked or scheming rosh yeshiva is sleeping well, and I plan to chase them around forever.

You have no legitimate reason not to answer my generic questions, unless you're making this stuff up.

I don't know you, and those questions are designed to purely get general information that would either validate or invalidate your haughty claims.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 2:28:00 PM  
Anonymous boog said...

anon 2:15 PM

What is it about yeshiva kolel leit that your reading comprehension stinks?

Read my comments once again.

I will be the first one to champion the support of those that deserve it.
The great majority don't and have developed into a welfare dependency class with an attitude that "Es Koomt Mere". The deleterious fall-out can be seen in B.P, WM, Lakewood, V'Chulu.
It is a Chilul Hashem of the first magnitude.

You guys ever do a Chabura on the Rambam? Is this what the Rambam had in mind; taking welfare money so that you can sit and learn in Kolel, so that your wife can work herself to the bone and look like a worn-out dish mop in her mid-twenties? Or has the Rambam been relegated to the Modern Orthodox-Y.U. camp to be dismissed with your nose up in the air? Probably so.

I don't need a closed book test to see the devastating consequences.

And tell Marvin Schick to stop wasting his time and ink writing 12-page polemics on how to save Jewish education.

The answer is clear:

Sweep out the dead-wood from the Kollelim and have them join the work-force. Increasing incomes will lead to increasing maaser money being donated to yeshiva's which in turn will help in their support and lighten their financial burden. That's for starters.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 2:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

UOJ,since everything one does is either a mitzva or aveira,including what one says and how it's said,then the question is whether your words and comments on this blog is a mitzva or aveira,a kiddush hashem or chillul hashem,bottom line.ALL of us carry baggage in our life;no exceptions.The question is how is one going to carry and use the baggage.That's the bottom line.As an asside the ONLY reason that I remain anonymous is because of the verbal abuse,ona'at devarim,and needless nivel peh that's on this site.When you set rules for bidding this and encourage RESPECTFUL dialogue without namecalling,digs,barbs,and putdowns I'll be happy to identify myself and at the same time you'll be more likely to win people over,otherwise you're only defeating yourself.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 2:45:00 PM  
Anonymous WTF said...

Hold up,dont mean to get sidetracked. FFB,what was that about zylberberg/obermeister.This is the first I have heard about a problem in Ahavas Torah.I find it hard to believe.Do you have an ax to grind or is there some truth to what you said?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 2:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Kylie said...


The previous dude is right. I didn't know that people already knew about this......

City agencies are working on a recent case that has come to light.

I am in a position to know this. Don't ask me how and that is all I'll say on this.

Check it out.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 3:10:00 PM  
Anonymous wtf said...

Recent case of physical abuse or abuse of another variety

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 3:18:00 PM  
Anonymous kylie said...

Repeat: Check it out.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 3:20:00 PM  
Anonymous boog said...

anon, 2:45 PM

Oxfordian English and aristocratic table manners will no doubt get you a ring side seat at the next (meaningless) Agudah Convention where you may have the Z'chus to hear HaRav Ginsburg, RAM Mir, Brooklyn give the Keynote address on the evils of taking your children to the Pizza shop.
(Don't laugh, I once heard him give a fire and brimstone shmuess on this topic).

On this blog we go from 0 to 60 in 2.3 seconds. Fasten your seatbelt. For the faint of heart, take a digitalis and get off now.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 3:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Id like to hear more on this avas torah topic

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 3:45:00 PM  
Blogger rodefemes said...

UOJ: 20 plus years BT. And will always be a BT.

Anonymous 123: Yes, there's some nivel peh here, and latzanus, now what's your point? Seriously, its pikuach nefesh. Klal Yisroel is like a covered boiling pot. People are ready to explode, unless we blow off some steam. Keeping it inside is just not healthy. Some of us need to vent at times. Its unhealthy at every level, emotionally, spiritually, physically, not to shrei in times like this. Have some rachmunus, and tolerance. I really never remember things being so difficult for so many of us in all of my frum years - shidduchim crisis, tuition crisis, sex abuse, kids at risk, the list goes on and on.

Now I got some good news, my friends. I sense change in the air. And so do a lot of other people.

Hello anybody: What is RAM.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 3:58:00 PM  
Anonymous boog said...

RAM = Rosh Mesifta,aka Head Honcho, aka Big Cahuna

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 4:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Boog,are you unconditionally shomrei Torah and mitzvot,yes or no.Rodefemes,I don't have the studies at my fingertips,but the evidence is much stronger showing that people that let off steam have more health problems than people that don't.A Good place to start the research is the AHA and the APA.It's healthier to be in control of ones emotions,then there's no steam to let off and there's nothing to keep inside.Rav Pliskin knows the sources if you're really interested.I might be able to get his phone no. if you want or you can contact Aish.Bottom line,is yelling and swearing and ranting a mitzva or aveira?Current and past sources please.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 4:26:00 PM  
Anonymous boog said...

anon, 4:26 PM

You are either a set-up or legitimetly screwed up.

Studies have shown exactly the opposite.
What are you reading, The Chelm Medical Journal?

I already answered you. I am from the Bnai Korach and I will pursue you until I have achieved your redemption.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 4:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Boog,2:37PM,you didn't answer the questions one at a time.You'll gain more by answering any and all questions to you directly of anonymous2:15PM and anyone else that asks you direct questions.Your arguments will be stronger and you'll gain more respect in the short and long run.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 4:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Boog4:32PM,name the studies that show the exact opposite.Better yet,name the studies on both sides of the argument.Are you objective and nonbiased enough to be able to?Do you have the integrity to be able to?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 4:41:00 PM  
Anonymous wtf said...

anon, 4:26 PM
Thats right you don't have studies at your fingertips and until you do why dont you keep your mouth shut.You have nerve to demad sources when you yourself have none.Do you realize how insane you sound.It must be better to keep all your emotions to yourself or not let off steam.IN WHAT WORLD????
Find me one person who doesnt have anything pent up and has achieved perfect inner harmony.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 4:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wtf,have you ever met the Dalai Lama?I feel sorry for you wtf,I truly do.THE only reason that I have don't the studies at my fingertips is that I simply don't have the time to produce them.That doesn't mean that I haven't seen them.I gave 3 sources where to look.I'll say them again:the AHA,the APA,and Rav Pliskin.If you're interested I'll be happy to give sources from the Torah.But please stop being verbally abusive.It's no better than physical abuse.Thank you.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 5:02:00 PM  
Blogger rodefemes said...

WTF is right - Anon 4:26, you have the burden of proof, you're claiming studies show...so show us the stuff.

Who hasn't heard a Rav or RY shrei? They can and I can't? Why do you think Yiddish is such a colorful, and at times salty language. It reflects our Jewish personalities.

So now I can cite, again, an article I once cited before, about one of my rebbeim, Rav Bulman. The same JR wrote a Mishpacha/Am Echad/Jewish Observer hesped about him - and its on the web - saying that when sometimes talking to Rav Bulman, he had to keep the phone away from his ear, because he was screaming so loud. And his favorite epithet about incompetent people in frum circles was "peabrain".

Control emotions almost all of the time, yes, but there is a time to vent and scream.

We also have something called mechila. I blew my top a few days ago when somebody referred to UOJ and some of the bloggers here as Korach, and i unleashed some ammunition. I then apologized.

Today's problems are just too serious for us to be lecturing each other on nivel peh, latzanus, etc.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 5:04:00 PM  
Anonymous boog said...

anon 4:26,

You are a loser. You wouldn't understand a medical journal article if it hit you upside the head. Farshteist Ah Krenk.

Time for you to go to your next Chabura.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 5:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One question for Anonymous BT. Did you go to yeshiva as a kid or teenager? If yes, was said yeshiva in the NY Metro area?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 5:15:00 PM  
Blogger rodefemes said...

"Have you ever met the Dalai Lama?" What the hell does that mean? Gee, I hope not.

To hell with the Dalai Lama. The man's a freak who walks around in orange pajamas all day long. With a shaven head. This is normal? I should emulate this guy? Jew to Dalai Lama: get a life, moron. Put on some clothes, for Christ's sake.

I assume APA is American Psychiatric Association. What is AHA?

And Anon. I'm really sowwy if I hurt your itty bitty feelings. Really. I'm so sowwy. I feel so bad. Why don't you lie down, and have a glass of warm milk. And toast. But of course, dip the toast in the milk before you eat it. We know how sensitive you are.

Now let's all sing the Barney song. I love you, you love me, we're a happy family, with a great big Dalai Lama kiss and a hug from me to you, won't you say you love me too.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 5:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rodefemes, I showed 3 sources where the studies are,therefore the burden of proof goes the other way.And, by the way, Rav Pliskin is well known in both the Jewish world and non-Jewish world and he has written books about the physical,psychological,and spiritual harm that anger and venting off steam causes.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 5:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who is strong?He that is in control of his emotions.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 5:22:00 PM  
Anonymous boog said...

anon, 4:26 PM.

Very impressive.

Call Bloom or Gertzulin over at the Agudah and see if they're interested in slotting you as a speaker at the next Convention. Better yet, maybe you'll lead a discussion group.

Their speakers have the unique talent of taking the most mundane ideas and instilling deep profundities. You will right in.

Remember to wear your knee boots.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 5:23:00 PM  
Blogger rodefemes said...

You cited one orthodox rabbi. Fine.

"Citing" to two professional associaitons is not a cite. The name of an actual journal is a cite, with a volume number, an article, author's name, and page numbers. Or at least something close to it, as I've done.

Listen, I don't want to belabor this. Most of us are intelligent people here. I'm sure there are opinions both ways. But my seichel tells me not to keep things pent up, and blow off some steam once in a while. I know I always feel better when I do, and I probably speak for most of us, or at least, the men.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 5:25:00 PM  
Anonymous wtf said...

anon, 4:26 PM
Im sorry your right and im wrong.I forgot that today in this insane world,if your rabbi tells you its better keep it all to yourself then that must be the right thing to do!!!!Thats why we have the problems we have.People are afraid to let it all out,g-d forbid take a stand for once(I know,what a very unjewish thing to do!!!) maybe if they did some of our so called leaders would stop whatever they are doing out of fear of exposure!!!! but thats a whole other story. I did note though that you still have no foundation to your statements and are continuously name dropping to make up for that fact

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 5:27:00 PM  
Blogger rodefemes said...

By the way, I did start to read Pliskin's book about controlling anger, but it made me so angry, I took the damn thing and threw it out the friggin' window.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 5:30:00 PM  
Blogger rodefemes said...

I just remembered...I was once in a private meeting with a Rosh Yeshiva, in his actual home, I consider him to be my dear friend, and rav, and, with my actual two ears, I heard him say, Damn.

See, more proof.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 5:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a BT,married,learn full time and have two part time jobs that I love,my wife works part time and loves her job,we get no support from any welfare organizations,get no support from any relatives or friends,and we're happy."

And I’m happy for you, Mr. BT. Having joined our society of your own choice for your own reasons, you bring a Pollyanna like attitude to this forum. Apparently, you have little knowledge of the operators who have hijacked American Orthodox Judaism. As such, it behooves you to continue enjoying your fantasy; may it continue for the rest of your life; but you lack the knowledge to opine or lecture on the issues this blog covers. Pray that you never acquire this knowledge. After all, ignorance is bliss.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 5:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

rodefemes,I'm happy you're able to admit that there are opinions both ways.Boog,making fun of any Torah sources is spiritually harmful to your health.WTF,the secret to peace of mind,total peace of mind is complete emunah and btachon in Hashem.ALL OF US ARE WORKING ON THAT.Tefilla does wonders and I give a 100% guarantee that it works better than venting off steam or double your money back.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 5:37:00 PM  
Blogger rodefemes said...

The more knowledge, the more pain. Shlomo Hamelech, Koheles?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 5:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BT. Two jobs, full time Kollel. How do you have time for this blog? Are you a fraud?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 5:40:00 PM  
Anonymous wtf said...

Are you joking,whats the question.He's in kollel,thats how he has time to blog

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 5:42:00 PM  
Blogger rodefemes said...


I admitted nothing. I said, I'm sure there are opinions both ways. That's an assumption, giving you some benefit of the doubt. But here's the key part. There are right opinions, and wrong opinions. And majority opinions and minority opinions. It just strikes most of us here as being very unhealthy not to vent once in a while on the very difficult issues of the day.

And I'm still waiting for an answer: What the hell is AHA?

Tefila does wonders? I think tefila and histadlus does wonders. Accomplishments do wonders. Doing things do wonders. Somebody who just prays is a fool - a damn fool.

Double your money back? Guarantee? What are you talking about? Maybe apply for a job at ArtScroll.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 5:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous Ihappen to be home with a stomach ailment today.Too much Hannukah stuff.I really care and love all Jews,including you guys.However,I admit I don't know how much longer I can keep this up.I'd love to say more of what I do but then I may be identifying myself.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 5:49:00 PM  
Blogger rodefemes said...

Tell the truth, Anon.

If you had a real job, would you show up for work, and work through your stomach ailment?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 5:52:00 PM  
Anonymous wtf said...

Emunah and bitachon in Hashem does nothing to give me piece of mind when it comes to the scandals and misguidance of todays "leaders"

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 5:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No.There are certain red lines that I have for not going.Three of them are vomiting,diarrhea,and fever.And rodefemes all honest jobs are real jobs that contribute to society, whether it's being a janitor or a Phd. researching acrosomes.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 6:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BT: Repressed feelings of anger or hostility are a leading cause of stomach problems.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 6:00:00 PM  
Blogger rodefemes said...

Refuah shlaimah.

Are you just praying for your own recovery, or are you also taking medicine, and even going to a doctor? Tefila and hishtadlus, get my point?

One more time: WHAT IS AHA?

And now I have to ask, What are acrosomes?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 6:08:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...


You're getting funnier than me...
I love it.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 6:11:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

The BT anon is being dishonest...he gives us a shpiel how he makes it on his own but won't answer general simple questions.

He needs to move on to some sissy blog, he's not up to this one.


Tuesday, January 03, 2006 6:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the NIH website:

The acrosome reaction is an exocytotic process that enables a sperm to penetrate the zona pellucida and fertilize an egg. The process involves the fenestration and vesiculation of the sperm plasma membrane and outer acrosomal membrane releasing the acro somal contents.

Perhaps BT's profession is animal husbandry?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 6:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

AHA is the American Heart Association.Acrosomes are the enzymes at the end of sperm that break the shell of the egg so that the sperm can enter the egg(I hope I'm 100% correct in my definition).And yes, I have an excellent doctor that I've been in touch with.Thanks.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 6:20:00 PM  
Blogger rodefemes said...

UOJ, yes, you're quite right.

Anon. BT, and as one BT to another. Be a man, dammit. You don't have time to give us cites? - tough crap. Give us the cites on one or two articles saying people should keep things pent up, and never, never yell.


Tuesday, January 03, 2006 6:21:00 PM  
Blogger rodefemes said...

Now I'm sorry I asked about the acrosomes. Couldn't you think of a better example?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 6:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who said that the emotions should be pent up?I'm merely saying that there are spiritually and psychologically more productive ways of chanelling ones emotions.EFT,chedva,tefilla,speaking to a friend,etc..There are plenty of mental health spetialists that will take my side.Why not start with Dr.Meir Wikler or Dr.Yael Respler?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 6:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Why not start with Dr. Meir Wikler or Dr. Yael Respler?"

So your sources are these Artscroll and Jewish Press contributors. No wonder you are home with stomach pain.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 6:46:00 PM  
Blogger rodefemes said...

How about Dr. Johnny Walker, Dr. Jim Beam, and Dr. Jack Daniels?

EFT? Chedva? What in tarnation are you talking about?

A young BT guy in kollel shouldn't know from such things.

On the other hand, maybe you need to, I mean no disrespect, its OK if you do.

"Spiritually and psychologically..." Hmmm. What about maasim tovim? G'milas chesed?

This is why I left BT yeshiva a little early. Too much self-absorption on the part of some of my classmates.

You sound like a nice guy though - I think there's hope.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 6:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous6:46PM,do you have a DSW or Phd.in psychology?Do you have a private practice?And which articles have you contributed?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 6:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Anonymous6:46PM,do you have a DSW or Phd.in psychology?Do you have a private practice?And which articles have you contributed?"

Precisely. I don't publish because I'm neither a quack nor qualified. Respler is a quack who should be run out of town.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 6:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is anyone her familiar with Respler's number system? It is scary. This nincompoop writes books!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 6:58:00 PM  
Anonymous sechel said...

This blog is in fact THE place to express your heart-felt feelings.It is a goup with similar cultural and religious wishes.It is structured,nobody is getting hit and it ultimately is for the TOELES of the individual and the community.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 7:30:00 PM  
Anonymous seeker said...

All working frum jews do not need to be apologetic to any kkollel or yshiva guy for working and supporting their families with dignity.Im tired of having to apologize for being a worker. Many yeshiva and kollel have the audacity to ask if we have ever attented a kollel or yeshiva? Please have a little derech eretz.
Learn something while in kollel,perhapes derech ertz is a good place to start.Get off your high horse. Conceit stinks,take a humility bath please.People in kollel who have been learning for 10,15 ,20 years ,please learn shas and shulchan aruch so that you can posken a shaila.Many of us who work have learned in yeshiva and kollel, maybe to your surprise.Do not assume that since we left we could not hack it or have the brains for it.I hear some kollel guys learning with their Fake lomdus trying to impress everyone with their great intellect, but when you ask them a couple questions it comes apart,and then they have the audacity to come up with another twist even further from the emes than the original fake lomdus.While in kollel learn some practical halacha.How can you assume to be great without even finishing shas or shulchan aruch?
Working people are just as smart or smarter than you, so grow up.
Do not bash your father because hes a worker,its disgracefull.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 8:08:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

AHA!!! BT Anon is a shmuck.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 8:39:00 PM  
Anonymous gross said...


You, as an elitist BT - with God knows what type of past - have the audacity to question my opinion of Kollel as if I know nothing about it.

Listen you piece of drek! When I was ten years old, I was in Yeshiva from 7:30 am straight until 8:00pm Mishmar or 9:45 night seder! You, on the other hand, came home from public school at 3:00 and sat in front of the TV watching Scooby Doo while eating treif!

At 14 years of age, I arrived in Yeshiva at 7:45 in the morning and quite often didn’t arrive home until 11pm – while you were in little league chasing girls! I grew up exposed to the real frumkeit. My grandfather lost his job here in America every Friday because he refused to show up on Shabbos, while your Grandpa went to baseball games. My father shlepped to the city every single day by subway (with smicha!) and arrived home exhausted every night yet still had time to learn several HOURS each night! What have you accomplished Mr. Newcomer? Don’t tell me I don’t know what Kollel is all about! I know what true sacrifice for Torah is – it’s in my f****g blood - and it sure as hell is not what the Kollel lifestyle represents today.

I’m sick of the BTs who think their on a level to compare. Suddenly you discover frumkeit and now you’re a big yungerman telling me I don’t know what Kollel is all about?!


Tuesday, January 03, 2006 8:58:00 PM  
Blogger Yungerman said...

Just to clarify, there are two types of kollel. The first kind is a Lakewood, Mir, etc. They don't pay, and the overwhelming majority of yungerliet goof off and support themselves with government aid. The second type is a paying kollel with tests and strict attendance requirements. Most guys who tell you they are "learning" in kollel go to a Lakewood type place (bench warmers). Ever notice that the yeshivas with the least amount of accountability are the most popular?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 9:01:00 PM  
Anonymous gross said...


Distinction noted, however many of the guys in "Pay Kollel" "goof off" too, even with tests and attendance requirements. And quite often, those who meet these "requirements" are either stealing from the govt. or their parent/in-laws.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 9:11:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...


Tuesday, January 03, 2006 9:18:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...


Relax a bit, this particular Anon is a Kool-Aid freak.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 9:19:00 PM  
Anonymous gross said...

FFB & Kylie:

You have blown the Ahavas Torah issue WAY out of proportion. There was no cover up. A speech therapist who visited the schhol and was employed by an outside agency supposedly had reason to believe that a child was being abused. The administration was upset at the therapist because she did not even mention her "findings" to the school principal before running to the authorities. The City is now investigating and the Yeshiva is fully cooperating. I can see why Zylberberg/Obermeister are upset. There was apparently another case a while back where a kid was bruised (it was later confirmed that he fell off his bed) and when an unknown person called the authorities, the child was almost taken away from his parents. This caused a lot of grief. Sure there are many cases of real absuse but in this instance I am siding with Ahavas Torah. It is not unreasonable for them to excpect to be notified before a speech therapist takes matters into her own hands.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 9:19:00 PM  
Anonymous gross said...

Let me clarify. The current case where the speech therapist reported her findings to the authorities involves possible abuse by the parent(s) not any member of the school.

Only once did a teacher slap a child in Ahavas Torah. That was 18 years ago and the teacher was fired the same day.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 9:23:00 PM  
Anonymous gross said...


Lakewood pays, perhaps not like the others, but they do pay.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 9:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous Rabbi said...

Anon - I understand you!

"Anger the Inner Teacher" Pliskin

You are right. Venting isn't all what it is cracked up to be. There is much more power in controlling ones emotions and immediately channeling angry feelings and thoughts.

Our feelings come from our thoughts. But not everyone is on this level to where they are 1. interested in not venting or 2. capable

Anon, I believe that attraction not promotion is the best tool for winning friends and influencing people.

Perhaps you may want to think about not insisting on behaviors of others and just be an example by your own behavior.

UOJ - you have helped many Jews know that they are not alone in their feelings regarding the state of Orthodoxy today. This is a good thing. May hashem continue to bless you with the right words to make the necesary changes with our Yidden.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 9:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Boog said...


I've been busy checking on this.

Child Services (aka, Bureau of Child Welfare) has documented from the mother that she and her children, including the child in this Yeshiva, have been consistently physically abused by their father for years.

Zylberberg/Obermeister have known about this all along and done nothing.

The therapist is directly employed by an outside agency that has a contract with the Board of Education, NOT the school.
As such and as a Court Mandated reporter she has a clear responsibility to report this to the proper authorities, not Zylberberg, which she did. Zylberberg and Obermeister are also Court Mandated Reporters, and as such, have had a clear responsibility to report this abuse. They did nothing.

Child Services wants to know how is it that Zylberberg has known about this child abuse for years and kept quiet???? Zylberberg is no doubt upset that she was not notified so that further under the rug sweeping could be carried out, yeshiva reputation maintained, and tuition money kept flowing. Shame on you Zylberberg/Obermeister.

This family, and particularly the father, are now undergoing counseling and therapy under the direction of Child Services.

The therapist should be highly commended, not villified. Her professional intervention may possibly have stopped another "Daniel Levin" from occurring.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 10:47:00 PM  
Anonymous gross said...

"Zylberberg/Obermeister have known about this all along and done nothing."

How do you know this?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 10:56:00 PM  
Anonymous gross said...

Of course the contract is with the Board of Ed, I never implied it was w/ the school. It's always w/ the Board of Ed - that's how it remains free.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 10:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Boog said...

Reliable sources.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 11:13:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Anonymous Rabbi,

Thanks for the chizuk.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 11:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I'm told they have their financials posted on the Web.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 11:29:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

When you find the Lakewood Financials, ALL FIVE SETS OF BOOKS, let me know where I can see them.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 11:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Me thinks they only file one of them online. You'll have to visit the kotlers for the others.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 11:41:00 PM  
Anonymous gross said...

Whatever. You may be right but you haven't shown me proof (for reasons I can understand) to convince me so. My sources are very reliable too. It's a he-said-she-said game so we'll agree to disagree, I guess.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 11:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous123 said...

It's interesting how my comment got the whole thread onto questions of psychological and mental health; this wasn't my point at all.
All I meant to say, is that there isn't a hell of a lot of communication going on here. (There, I also used a 'naughty' word.) Maybe everyone here (including me) should buy a punching bag with a picture of Rav Aharon Kotler on it, but words are made for getting ideas across, not for 'letting off steam'.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006 3:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Boog said...

Sounds like your "sources" are Zilberberg/Obermeister. Typical self-serving protect my ass bullshit.

Let's wait for the Child Services report which will show a severely out of control father who inflicted very painful physical, emotional, and psychological damage on his children and wife for many years which resulted in this family displaying all signs of the "Stockholm Syndrome." The mother is extremely relieved that this is finally out in the open and that now she and her family can get the help they need and deserve.

It is extremely discomfiting to see that in spite of this blog's attempts to bring these abuse situations out into the open and change the pervasive culture of protecting the predators and those school administrators that are responsible for protecting our children, it is still business as usual. Protect the Administration and to hell with the victims.

It will come out that Zylberberg knew of this family's plight for years and sat on her tuchis and did nothing.

"Lo Ta'Amod Al Di'am Rey'Ehcho."

Wednesday, January 04, 2006 4:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Kylie said...

Hey Gross,

Your o.k. but on this issue you do not have the whole scoop. Boog is absolutely correct.

Zylberberg SPECIFICALLY, new about this ongoing abuse of at least one particular child by his father for quite some time, years in fact, and did absolutely NOTHING ABOUT IT. NADA, ZILCH, ZERO. You wanna know why?? Well, figure it out. I think the answer is quite clear.

And yes, a Speech therapist is NOT mandated to report to Zylberberg when that therapist works for an outside company.

I did not know the part about the therapist not approaching Zylberberg first, but you know what..thank G-d it didn't go down that way, because Zylberberg wouldn't have done a damn thing the same way she hasn't for years with this particular family...and yes I know this for fact.

The nerve of Zylberberg to be "upset" at a therapist for doing the halachically and legally appropriate thing, only because it will now compromise her posit$ion and her cover is blown!??

Screw her! This therapist is saving lives and a family here...and I kid you not.

If and when the facts come out, and indeed the appropriate agencies are now getting involved (hey boog, how the hell do you know this?? I can only hope that they won't find more skeletons (cover ups) in the Avas Torah closet.

And Gross, trust me, this particular case that you brought up is one that I am familiar with, and no.. the child did not simply "fall down and get a bruise" and YES, ZYLBERBERG ABSOLUTELY NEW ABOUT THIS ONGOING ABUSE AND DID NOTHING, FOR VARIOUS REASONS, ALL OF THEM BEING MISGUIDED, AND IMPROPERLY MOTIVATED. WHAT SHE HAS DONE HERE IS DISGRACEFUL.

Theere is no excuse for allowing a child to endure terrible physical abuse at home. And save the "protect the family unit" crap for someone else. In this type of situation, the family needs extensive counseling and therapy (which they are going to get now..)or the CHILD SHOULD BE TAKEN AWAY SO THAT MAYBE HE WILL HAVE A CHANCE TO DEVELOP PROPERLY AND LIVE A NORMAL LIFE.

Even without you having all the facts Gross, (which apparently you do not..) I simply cannot believe that YOU, out of all people (and based upon reading your contributions on this blog) would assert that this was being "blown out of proportion".

If you don't have all the facts, admit as much and realize that you don't have a right to then assert that anybody is blowing this out of proportion.

This is a very important development indeed.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006 10:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Kylie said...

Oh...and one other thing Gross, and then I'm done with this (I hope)

You say that your "sources" are reliable..... O.k. I'll accept that as fact.

But I can also tell you for damn sure, just as the sky is blue WHO YOUR SOURCES ARE NOT:

They are not the family that has been suffering in silence until now, I swear it.

Ask yourself whether your sources have any sort of vested interest in downplaying this episode so that (at least in your mind) it becomes a "he said, she said" type thing.

There is enough crap in our community (abuse, scandal, teens at risk, etc.)that nobody is looking to fabricate a story of abuse for a boy who "fell down and bruised himself"

Grow up, or grow a pair.

Your comments don't even jive with your whole persona here on this blog. So who the hell are you protecting?

That's all I'm gonna say on this..

Wednesday, January 04, 2006 10:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Kylie said...

Hey Boog,

You sound like your doing quite a bit of research on this Yeshivas ahavas torah scandal.

Why don't you write up a blog entry on your findings for ou to put up on the main page??

this zylberberg needs to be exposed.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006 10:48:00 AM  
Anonymous gross said...

I never said the child was not abused! Unless you have EVIDENCE that the school administration KNEW of the alleged abuse, you have no argument.
If you or your sources “knew” that this child was being abused then you or your sources are just as guilty!

My position on irresponsible school administrations and perpetrators of abuse has been made clear many times over on this blog. I have NO VESTED INTEREST IN PROTECTING THE SCHOOL OR ITS ADMINISTRATION. This alone speaks volumes of the credibility of my opinion in this matter. My interest lies with the truth and frankly, the burden of proof lies with YOU who accuse the administration of knowing and hiding the alleged abuse.

Most people don’t physically abuse their children and if it suspected by an outside speech therapist in a Yeshiva it is in the child and families BEST INTEREST for the therapist to approach the school administration first and to ensure that they follow up with proper measure. (Of course, legally speaking, they don’t HAVE to do this but it is the wisest thing to do.) One would be to contact an organization like Ohel, which unfortunately has lots of experience in matters like this. It is NOT in the best interest of anyone to have an overzealous BCW social worker tear any child away without examining the facts. This is a certainty.

Kylie, it is evident that YOU have a bone to pick with Mrs. Zylberberg as you mention her as if she is the only virtual defendant in your unsubstantiated accusation. You say “this Zylberberg needs to be exposed” No mention of Obermeister, no mention of the school…Perhaps you are the one that should be exposed. Are you friendly with the speech therapist whose little feelings were hurt when (and if) Mrs. Zylberberg reprimanded her?

”But I can also tell you for damn sure, just as the sky is blue WHO YOUR SOURCES ARE NOT:

They are not the family that has been suffering in silence until now, I swear it.

Oh, is that your source? You knew too? Stop “Oprahizing” this and let’s examine the facts without jumping to estrogen-charged conclusions. While a “family who suffers” is deserving of sympathy and is a terrible thing, this doesn’t show that it was KNOWN by the school which is the basis of the argument.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006 2:12:00 PM  
Anonymous boog said...

Therapists are Court Mandated reporters and are legally required to report child abuse to the proper City Agencies. They are not required to report to the School Administration.

The physical, emotional, and psychological abuse endured by this particular family at the hands of their
disturbed father has been on-going for many years and there are reliable indications that the school administration knew about this situation and did nothing.

The coming report by Child Services will be an interesting read.

Kylie, get back on your Meds.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006 4:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Cynic said...

"When you find the Lakewood Financials, ALL FIVE SETS OF BOOKS, let me know where I can see them." UOJ -- go to guidestar.com, register (its free)or log in, and do a search of "Govoha"... you will see 14 institutions come up... BETH MEDRASH GOVOHA OF AMERICA, BETH MEDRASH GOVOHA OF LAKEWOOD INC, BETH MEDRASH GOVOHA OF NEW YORK, HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL STUDY CENTER INC (sorry for the caps -- I cut and pasted) are all BMG related entities... you can view their most recent Form 990s which are revealing... later

Wednesday, January 04, 2006 5:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous rabbi,thanks for the advice and for saying it in a positive way.I'll do my best.Rodef,I have specific sources on anger and health if you're still interested.Keep in touch and kol tuv to klal Yisrael.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006 5:47:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...


14 that are recored, I am told there are 2-3 sets of books for the cash that is kept in different safety deposit boxes.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006 6:02:00 PM  
Anonymous boog said...

Anyone say "Cash Cow"!

Sheesh, but the yungerleit are shown all the ways to get Section-8, WIC, gov't hand-outs, etc.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006 6:26:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...


All of them are showing paper losses; of course, they're sucking out the cash and hiding it in vaults.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006 7:07:00 PM  
Anonymous boog said...

Wonderful people.

They should throw themselves a Chinese Auction.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006 9:04:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...


Torah Lishma!!!!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006 9:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Boog said...


Aunt Jemima says: Gimmee back that Ol' time religion.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006 9:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everyone should just get along

Wednesday, February 01, 2006 6:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

poverty for most of these kollel students is a choice, not a last resort. my experience with most of them is that they are extremely bright and perfectly capable of success in the business world, they just aspire to other pursuits. i used to think it was selfish and uncaring for newly-married couples to live off their in-laws so the husband could study in kollel. but this is their choice, and it is made with perfect consent (most of the time). true, it requires sacrifice, but why shouldn't our community demand of our children the responsibility to make these choices? it is not a rabbi's fault if he opens up a kollel, it is the couple's misjudgment of their spiritual strengths--which, in their adulthood, they must work out. in addition, the scholarship produced by these unhindered study sessions in the beit k'nesset make our people stronger and more connected to our past, one of the reasons the jewish community has lasted this long.

Monday, May 15, 2006 5:47:00 PM  
Blogger emeslyaakov said...

Children need to be trained and taught to make good choices. If a choice made turns out to be bad, they also need to be able to change direction.

I think that there is a significant difference between kollelim in America and in Israel.

In Israel, there are also two types of Kollelim - those that merely pass on the government money (which last time I checked was 700 shekels - not enough to do anything with) and those that pay what passes for real money - up to $500.

The former may not require rigorous testing, but the latter have real regular tests. if you come late to seder or miss a day, you have your pay docked. if you miss a couple of days in one week, you may loose the whole week's pay. If you do poorly on the test, you will have your pay docked. These kollelim are not easy to get into and you do have enforcement of rules by financial repurcussions.

I have not received any kollel money myself since I left YU in 1978. The amount YU gave then is not bad compared to many kollelim today, but I was in Kollel two sedarim, and at night worked as a sopher. My father, who was not frum, gave me $300 per month while i was in kollel.

I have a son in kollel in NY and a son in law in kollel in Jerusalem - the kind which only gives the government money. I myself work 2.5-3 months per year and support fully my wife, a daughter in Gateshead ($10,000) per year and give my son $5-10,000 per year, and my son in law probably $5,000+ per year. I also give $1,000 or more to my unmarried daughter who works in NY, because living in Manhattan with a good professional job also doesn't leave much for extras.

Besides this, I support an educational type institution to the extent of $1,000-1,500 per month.

All of this means, since I only work for a couple of months per year, that we don't live a life of luxury.

All of the above is personal choice. I am not asking for applause or abuse. People can make choices.

Rogefemes - the Aguda is by and large hassidim.

The bundists and maskilim came from the litvaks, not because they were cold and rigid, but because the litvaks are intellectuals and so are the bundists and maskilim. Bundists and Maskilim are also cold and rigid - much more rigid than any hareidi.

The growth of hassidism was because the amei ha'aretz felt that they were considered worthless, and the went to a movement that could say that a kid saying cockadoodle-doo was worth as much as a talmid chacham careful saying every word of the tephillah.

The end result of this hassidism today is rebbe worship which in its most extreme form - habad is neochristianity.

The conservatives are not the only true Litvaks, they are not the true anything.

If you want to see an example of true Litvaks and true Torah true Jews go to the old city of Jerusalem to the Zilberman Yeshivah. Rav Yitschak Sh'lomo Zilberman z"l (whose father translated the Silberman Chumash and rashi) did not want his sons to be beggars or thieves. (He had 9 sons and 9 daughters. one of the daughters Hashem Yikom et Damah was murdered by Arabs.) He taught all of his sons to be sophrim.

They are not in the contest to see who can start gemorra in the earliest grade. They learn all of Tanach before they start Mishnah. Siyum haTanach is in grade five. They continue to review Tanach while they learn Mishnah. Once they know (and i mean know) Tanach and Mishnah, they start gemorra.

If they are not married by 18, they are thrown out of the dormitory as an encouragement to get married. Once married, they are encouraged to learn as much as possible all day, and to support their families.

Rav Yitzchak Sh'lomo, in the course of an hour conversation with my oldest daughter, three times in response to her saying she wanted a good parnassa to support someone in kollel told her "Hu m'chuyov l'pharnes otach" (he is obligated to support you). The married men in the yeshiva and kollel are sophrim, teacher, plumbers, electricians and all kinds of things. The ideal is that they wife does not have to go to work, though in some cases she does.

The cheder is in session every day of the year except Tish'a B'av - that means Shabbes, Yom Tov and even Yom Kippur. If the rebbe thinks that the kids need a break, he can take them on an outing whenever he wants to. There is no vacation or bein haz'manim. I remember my first Yom Kippur in Yerushalayim 11 years ago. After Musaph (about 9:30am) they announced that Cheder would start in 15 minutes. The kids raced out to see who could be forst to cheder.

These are the true Litvaks (though the Zilbermans themselves are yekkes in origin). This is Torah lishma. This is Ahavas Hatorah. This is Torah im derech Erets. They do need donations, not for the kollel but to keep the tuition low in the lower school and to subsidise the bochurim in Beit Midrash.

Remember that b'zei'at apecha tochal lechem was not said as a b'rocho but as a curse. You are better because you don't take tsedaka, but you are not better because you fill your day with work instead of learning Torah.

Children need to have decent looking clean clothes and healthy nourishing food and some stimulating fun toys, but they do not need every luxury under the son and as the Chofets Chayim said (and no I don't have the exact citation at my fingertips) you must teach children at a very early age that they can't have everything that they want.

The whole concept by the way of taking money to teach Torah, to be a dayan, to be a rav or to learn Torah was a hora'at sha'ah - -not the original intent of Hashem - as someone pointed out from the Rambam. The need was renewed after the sho'ah. Whether the need is still in place is open to dispute.

If you wish to direct your tsedaka money to places other than kollels, then do so. If you don't like to support yeshivas which you suspect swindle money, donate to ones that don't such as Chofetz Chayim in Forest Hills.

As for Yeshivas and day schools, start your own. When the school in Los Angeles where my youngest daughter folded, one other father and i decided to keep her class alive. We had only eight parents. Each family paid what it could. We hired teachers and continued for four years (one year after I made aliyah). If the alternative is corrupt institutions which cover up child abuse, then what is the sophek, just do it. If tuition is 10,000 per year, it doesn't take that many parents to pay for a teacher (or a few teachers, part time). Do it your living room or basement. They will get a better education and you will have more of a hand on the pulse.

Do not support corrupt leaders, expose them, take away their funding, whatever is necessary, but the Torah is still the Torah and you must then create noncorrupt institutions of Torah.

Sunday, June 11, 2006 12:06:00 PM  

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