Saturday, November 19, 2011

Mazal Tov!

good news to share as Leah announces her engagement...Mazal Tov - Mazal Tov!

Leah's good news

You have been a source of strength and encouragement for all survivors and please know that you have our best wishes always... Frumguy

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Erev Tish B'Av

We all know that everything occurs for a specific reason. I am sure that many frum people will feel that the NY Post's editorial Shomrim Shanda is just another example of the secular world treating us with the same hatred that we remember throughout the three weeks and especially the Nine Days. Truthfully, the NY Post is right in many respects. The Shomrim do, in fact, obstruct the police. The frum community views the Shomrim as being better than the police (especially when they give priority to our own). But the fact is that these groups act in a way that is just plain disgusting. Covering up for drunk drivers is just the tip of the iceberg and well known by those involved.

We need to take advantage of this time of introspection and of course with the upcoming Elul - to rethink how we interact with the outside world. Instead of promoting our own version of "frum" bias, we need to practice tolerance and respect. Groups like Shomrim and Hatzaloh need to be put back in the right perspective. Not unrelated is the outrageous attempt by a major Jewish organization to continue to suggest that sexual abuse of children should be reviewed by a Rabbi before calling in secular authorities. We have long since learned that these matters must be handled by professionals.

We have terrible tragedy from within and from outside our community. We need to recalibrate our sense of what is right and what is wrong. Too many of our leaders have gotten us into a place where we are acting in a biased and dishonest way. It is time for us to revisit true Torah values and get ourselves back on track.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Three weeks and tragedy

The three weeks are always a time to feel a deep sense of grief for the Jewish people. Last year at this time, we had a parade of "frum" people carted off to jail for money laundering. This year we have a striking incident of tragedy made even more painful by the revelation that the tendency to avoid secular authorities may have endangered other children. The article in the NY Post - whether true or not - so clearly sums up the Brooklyn mentality to call the Shomrim before the police.

NY Post Article on Orthodox rules shielding fiends

It is no secret that the Hatzolah and Shomrim groups display a disgusting level of bias and bigotry that would be a source of much outcry among the Jewish community if any other group tried to run around in fake police cars and uniforms. Covering up drunk driving and menacing non-Jewish drivers at car accidents are just normal operating procedures for these groups. Attending to victims at a car accident often provides an all too clear display of caring first for "one's own" (and in fact is required for membership in Hatzolah). Imagine if any other group did that?

Imagine if any other group sent members to a car accident to simply intimidate the other driver in the false notion that somehow the non-Jewish driver is always the one threatening the Jew. Imagine if any other group interfered with police investigations with an obvious bias towards one group of people. Imagine if any other group intentionally covered up for drunk driving. Is this really what we are about?

It is time for frum people to realize that G-d put us on this planet to be a "light among the nations" and groups that exhibit bias cannot be accepted within the Jewish Community. This is as bad as last years parade of money laundering topped off by a "Rabbi" selling body parts. We need to stop excusing bad behavior when it comes from "within" and judge everyone with fairness and honesty.

Finally, when there is any evidence of sexual abuse against children we need to ignore the biased advice from the Agudath Israel of America, who recently affirmed that someone who suspects sexual abuse by a community member must first consult a rabbi "with experience in these issues." We clearly cannot handle these matters "internally" and it would be better to become part of the system and work with ALL people of good will to protect our children.


Monday, September 28, 2009

Please recognize Vicki as a Jewish Community Hero

While others ignored the problem of Rabbinic sexual abuse of children, Vicki let her voice be heard on this obviously unpopular topic. Her tent was open on all four sides for anyone who needed help. We must recognize her as the Jewish Community Hero that she is. Below is the note that Vicki sent out asking for our help and support.

The Jewish Community Hero Award honors those making strides to repair the world, starting in their own communities. The campaign celebrates the selflessness and courage of those who put others before themselves. The Jewish Federation of North America will invest $25,000 into the organization associated with the winner. As you know The Awareness Center desperately needs funding. This award would put us back up running at full speed. If you feel comfortable and believe The Awareness Center deserves a chance at serving the Jewish community internationally, please take time and cast your vote.

Click here to vote:

The rules state that each individual can cast a new vote for the same person every 12 hours, so please if you have time keep voting. The deadline for voting is October 8, 2009.

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Saturday, September 05, 2009

Barack Hussein Obama coming out against Israel

The White House is making Barack Hussein Obama's agenda against Israel very clear

Statement by the Press Secretary on Israeli Settlements

We regret the reports of Israel's plans to approve additional settlement construction. Continued settlement activity is inconsistent with Israel's commitment under the Roadmap.

As the President has said before, the United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued settlement expansion and we urge that it stop. We are working to create a climate in which negotiations can take place, and such actions make it harder to create such a climate.

We do appreciate Israel's stated intent to place limits on settlement activity and will continue to discuss this with the Israelis as these limitations are defined.

The U.S. commitment to Israel’s security is and will remain unshakeable. We believe it can best be achieved through comprehensive peace in the region, including a two-state solution with a Palestinian state living side by side in peace with Israel.

That is the ultimate goal to which the President is deeply and personally committed.

Our objective remains to resume meaningful negotiations as soon as possible in pursuit of this goal. We are working with all parties – Israelis, Palestinians, and Arab states -- on the steps they must take to achieve that objective.

Whitehouse Statement on Israeli Settlements

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

From the 9 days to Elul

The month of Elul has a mystical ability to draw each and every Jew closer to his Creator. This year, many of us are still shaking from the events that occurred during the 9 days in which a number of Jews were arrested for money laundering and one bizarre horrible arrest of someone (I can't bring myself to say Jew) who was allegedly profiting from selling human organs. This person was accused of profiting from pressuring people into making an organ donation and then pocketing large sums of money for his efforts. I don’t know this person so I do not know if the accusations were truthful or not.

Sadly, we all know that there are widespread problems with religious people thinking that money laundering (among other illegal and dishonest behavior) is a great way to make money. If this was really investigated thoroughly many people would be indicted and the Minyans in the Federal Jails would continue to thrive. What I do know is that the fiction makers in our midst were hard at work trying to explain away these arrests as just another form of anti-Semitism, and of course, insisting that these accusations – even if true – were an aberration instead of the tip of an ethically challenged iceberg.

There is something else that I believe everyone completely missed. President Barack Obama truly showed his desire to turn his back on the State of Israel for the sake of his desired relationship win with the Muslim world. Obama has shown an amazing ability to produce absurd fiction in his quest for self promotion (including his “health-care” bill that will destroy the US healthcare system). Obama has shown the same lack of integrity and honesty that so many in our community are doing by not facing our own communal dishonesty head-on with the strength and light of the Torah.

We need to evaluate actions (including crimes) without the bias of considering whether or not the criminal is part of our religion. We need to shed our bias completely and strive for complete honesty. This is especially true in people’s willingness to ignore and gloss over the accusations of Rabbinical sexual abuse. Now we see that powerful influential people – including the current (pathetic) leader of the free world – are willing to do the same to us. Obama's past and relationships with biased people should have been a clear indication, but yet so many people supported this person - who now, we see, is showing his true colors. We are now stuck with a man who is truly (literally) a racist for President of the United States.

Let’s be clear. The Jewish community has a vast majority of people who are honest, kind and loving. But we are also biased in that we will do anything to avoid what we think is a “chillul-Hashem” (desecration of G-d’s name). Sadly, that means that we are not always fair in our judgments. Now Obama is showing us the same treatment and we need to wake up fast and start being fair and unbiased in all of our dealings. That may take a new generation of Rabbinical leaders and hopefully a new US President (before the US is destroyed by the current inept and incompetent administration). Let’s work on being the Light unto the Nations that we were meant to be. That includes judging actions in a fair and unbiased way.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Does Judaism have their own Barack Obama?

regardless of your political views, recent comments from Barack Obama's racist and bigoted "Priests" really makes us wonder how someone who obvously has racist views himself could be running for President of the United States. Now does that mean that Jewish people should react by voting Republican? I think that the proper reaction is to ask ourselves whether or not we have racists giving drashas in our own Shuls - sadly being heard by our children as well as ourselves.

Now I am not trying to draw a parallel between a specific Rabbi and Barack's racist "spiritual advisors", but we do, sadly, have racist and biased Rabbi's preaching from the pulpit as well. At best we have religious leaders who give advice based upon race.

A recent note from Vicky Polin noted that Rabbi Moshe Sternbuch gave guidance for calling the Police in this amazing blog entry

Now would the Rav have given the same criteria if the bad guy was a black guy working as a maintenance worker? I think not. We set the bar much higher if the bad guy is someone who we refer to as being "frum". That just makes no sense.

I think that it is really clear to thinking people that - sadly - very sadly - our Rabbis cannot provide honest and clear headed guidance on this topic. There is too much of a cultural acceptance of covering up crimes committed by "Rabbis" and other supposedly "frum" people. The Jewish Press blatantly lies and the RCA actively blames the victims. The corruption is disgusting.

We need to separate ourselves from racist people. They are toxic. It doesn't matter what religion they are or their political orientation. We need to think clearly about the action - without weighing the religion of the person commiting the crime.

And rest assured that, if someone is going to hurt you, or someone else - call the Police and get the help that you deserve. As Vicky noted, "We need to leave all the investigating and fact finding/gathering to law enforcement and not our rabbonim". It pains us all a great deal to note that our Rabbinical leadership lacks the basic skills needed to deal with these problems and they must never be allowed to cover up sexual abuse of children again. We have no choice but to disregard these misguided psack Halachah. It saddens me to say this. It destroy my world in many ways - but I must first protect those who cannot protect themselves.

Some members of the community may be willing to listen to racist "Priests" but that should not be for Jewish people. We MUST - absolutely MUST - separate ourselves from racist and biased thinking regardless of where it comes from. We KNOW that Avrohom Avinu loved and treated everyone with kindness. Our Torah teaches us this value. We have a test before us now and we must pursue the path of truth. Its not going to be easy, but it must be done. We must trust that Hashem will carry us on this journey if only we take the first step.