Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Weberman trial: Satmar Rebbe's denunciation of accuser


Last Saturday night the Satmar Rebbe, Aron Teitelbaum of Kiryas Joel spoke about the Weberman trial. The following is  a transcript of his words . Frumfollies has a recording of it as well as a translation.

Update #1: My brother has an interesting question in a comment to this post. Is the Satmar Rebbe claiming that the accusations against Weberman are totally false or is he acknowledging that they are true but is condeming the victim for publicly accusing Weberman of rape and pressing charges with the secular authorities against Weberman. In other words is he claiming she is a liar or a moser? His speech supports both interpretations!

Update #2: After listening several times to the audio. It seems clear that the Rebbe was simply using the verse as an asmachta and was not concerned at all with the context and pshat of the verse. In short he is calling the victim a zona. He is also denouncing her and her supporters for making a public spectacle. Thus he is placing the whole burden on the victim and is not acknowledging that she is a victim or that Weberman did anything wrong.

My basic translation:
 I was Shabbos in Williamsburg where I heard that people were greatly distraught. Who ever is aware of the incredible news of Willamsbug knows about the low level reached by a Jewish daughter.  It is truly frightening! In this weeks parsha the Torah records the outrage of Dina's brothers who asked in astonishment, "Should our sister be made a prostitute?" (Bereishis 34:31). This is truly terrible. This is in accord with the general rule [of Chazal] that when Jews go down they go all the way down to the ground [Megila 16a]. This is truly upsetting and extremely painful. I don't think that there has been such a disgusting episode in the history of the chareidi world . Offspring of Yaakov have been ruined. Nebech! Satan has succeeded in impactings Yaakov's desendants because she is also a daughter of our father Yaakov. This is such a terrible  degradation and is unbelievably painful. What incredible anguish, Oy! Unfortunately she is not acting alone but there is a whole group. This is terrible. I am telling you that I was in Williamsburg on Shabbos and everyone was broken over this matter. You should know that this group comes from Chasidic parents who wear streimels and bekitshes. Despite the fact that they have chasidic parents we find ourself in this situation. Consequently we have to give greater attention to the education of our sons and the education of our daughters and not miss the slightest thing. G-d should preserve every Jew and every Jewish home...

45 comments:

  1. What does this mean? Does this mean that the accused is completely innocent and whoever made up lies about him is wrong Or does it mean that no good Jewish woman would complain about being raped even if she could prevent other people from being raped? And if so, why did Shimon and Levi kill Schechem, the rapist, and not Dinah, who was raped?

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    1. Since Weberman already had a Bris, you can't make a Gezera Shova between Ben Chamor and Weberman.

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  2. Is it possible that there is a misunderstanding? That when the Rebbe said, "when Jews go down they go all the way down to the ground," he was referring to Weberman, he was comparing the victim to Dina as having been treated as a prostitute, and "she is not acting alone but there is a whole group" was a mis-hearing of something like, "she was not the only [victim] but there is a whole group of them"?

    I'm not a Yiddish speaker and so I don't know whether such an alternative understanding is possible, but I hope it is.

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  3. it is very much unclear what he meant. Can you have someone that speaks a good Yiddish translate the original recording?



    Michoel

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  4. I read it in Yiddish and English. The whole flow of sentences makes little sense. "Hakezonah...?" Has nothing to do with people going downward spiritually. It;s what Dina's brothers said when she was raped. Then he goes on to bash the girl! The supposed Dina!
    I really think that the Rebbe doesn't understand the passuk.

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  5. Yaniv Oren reported on his twitter feed that he spoke to the attorney of the accusers boyfriend/husband, who was at one point charged with statutory rape and he said that he heard nothing about webberman during his clients trial!!
    https://mobile.twitter.com/OrenNYDN/status/275626441633316864?p=v

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    1. Your comment in and of itself is an error. The boy freind who was arrested is someone other then her husband. She did not marry that earlier boyfriend.

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    2. Observer II is correct that the earlier episode involved someone other than the husband. Many of us danced at their very chasidish chasene in Brooklyn in October.

      BTW, people have a way of jumping from sex contact of any sort to intercourse so with abuse they jump to the word rape. It is not clear to me that there was a statuatory rape charge. But there was some sort of charge involving sexual contact.

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  6. I think it is very clear he is bashing the victim. Pearl Engelman wrote that she informed a Satmar rebbe (she does not say which one) about other cases of Weberman victims, with the necessary details. So one Satmar rebbe knows more about this case, details that would make it difficult to believe in Weberman's innocence, and still the victim-bashing goes on...

    Spin doctor Gestettener, who spoke at the fundraiser for Weberman, now, all of sudden, acts as if he were outraged that Weberman is called a "community leader" in a New york daily news article about the trial. This might be progress. Or this might just show how far they go in their hypocrisy. (See last motzei shabbes' zev brenner show, where Gestetener was interviewed about the Weberman trial).

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    1. Might suggest that he can read the tea leaves and anticipates a conviction. Status is nice to deflect charges, but even as they defend him they are trying to diminish the potential damage of a conviction.

      Over the last week I have been following all his tweets and have exchanged a few hundred frustrating ones with him. I do not say this lightly but here I go: he is an obfuscating dishonest PR hack. His goal is to deflect attention from the main question. Many of his tweets are attempts to change the topic. Others are attempts to put the other side on the defensive again to change the topic. If the newspapers had denied him the title of rabbi he might have turned on a dime and complained about that. Others working with him (based on echoing and cross messaging) have been impersonating Oren Yaniv with various similar tweet accounts. As each gets shut down another pops up. Why Oren. Because he is a Daily News reporter who can use his smart phone to tweet from the court room and he is the single best impartial source of real-time reporting of the trial as it unfolds. The real one is @OrenNYDN not mispelled Oran or with the O replaced with a zero. I have maintained a master listing of my key postings and updates at the top of my blog (frumfollies.wordpress.com). I have the names of a few other good tweeters and other relevant links.

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  7. http://m.nypost.com/p/news/local/mom_had_to_pay_to_this_sex_fiend_M73CCGJs4ZGww1Gbbm5ZxJ?utm_medium=rss&utm_content=Local

    Here a report about the testimony of the victim's mother...

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  8. here is an audio of the yiddish original, provided by Yerachmiel Lopin

    http://archive.org/details/AronTeitelbaumSatmarRebbeKjOnWebermanCase12-1-12

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    1. thanks - I provided a link in the original post to frumfollies which has the mp3 as well as his translation

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  9. After listening several times to the audio. It seems clear that the Rebbe was simply using the verse as an asmachta and was not concerned at all with the context and pshat of the verse. In short he is calling the victim a zona. He is also denouncing her and her supporters for making a public spectacle. Thus he is placing the whole burden on the victim and is not acknowledging that she is a victim or that Weberman did anything wrong.

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  10. http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/brooklyn/mom_had_to_pay_to_this_sex_fiend_M73CCGJs4ZGww1Gbbm5ZxJ

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  11. Plus, according to Yerachmiel Lopin, the Satmer rebbe of Kiriat Yoel knew that Weberman was a danger (to young girls), since he drove him out of Kiriyt yoel...

    "Because the Aron knows that Weberman is menuval and forced him out of KJ for similar acts about 4 years ago."

    http://frumfollies.wordpress.com/2012/12/04/supporters-of-victim-of-weberman-to-protest-satmar-rebbe-speech-on-tuesday-dec-4-pm/

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  12. Recipients and PublicityDecember 5, 2012 at 1:07 AM

    Aron Teitelbaum should get together with Aron Schechter, they have a lot in common. Just as Aron Schechter backs his talmid Michael Hersh and could never see the point of view of the teenage victim Isaac Hersh, likewise Aron Teitelbaucm backs his chosid Nechemya Weberman and cannot see the point of view of the teenage female victim.

    It's all about an "us versus them" mentality with "us" always being the "good guys" and "them" always being the "bad guys" because after all, a rosh yeshiva and a chasidic rebbe always knows what's best, they have "access" to "divine visions" while everyone else is taken for a fool and dumb-bell. When the truth is that all that's happening is that young victims who really are symptoms of a deeper malaise are being bullied and harassed simply because they are too small to fight the big machine of Chaim Berlin of Aron Schechter or Aron Teitelbaum's Satmar machine. But they are learning that in courts of law, and not in corrupt batei din, the little guys can still win big sometimes and can stop and even bring down the big bullies hiding behind big bushy beards and the fake regalia of outward piety.

    Blame the victim mentality is so blatantly stupid, when both Aron Schechter and Aron Teitelbaucm should be putting a leash and a muzzle on manipulative and sicko goons like Hersh and Weberman, and just cut them loose and let them face the world on their own, without giving the fake imprimatur of Halacha and Torah leadership as shields for perverts and malcontents to hide behind.

    The time for such chicanery is over. Aron Teitelbaum and Aron Schechter are the best arguments for why the glory days of rosh yeshivas and chasidic rebbes are long gone!

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  13. Recipients and Publicity,

    Even though these 2 rabbonim may be examples of people who are mistaken it is too sweeping to condemn all Rosh Yeshivas and all Rebbes. It is indeed very disconcerting to see the Satmar Rebbe take such an approach that will encourage all the perverts in his group.

    I also heard another Rov who was a speaker at an Aguda meeting who was asked about coercion from the community against a valid accuser. He responded in a way that made it clear that he wasn't aware of this. This disqualifies him from having any say on the matter at all if he doesn't know the basics.

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    1. Recipients and PublicityDecember 5, 2012 at 12:35 PM

      "tzoorba said...Even though these 2 rabbonim may be examples of people who are mistaken it is too sweeping to condemn all Rosh Yeshivas and all Rebbes."

      But the trouble is that these are two of the most prominent and powerful leading examples of a rosh yeshiva (Aron Schechter -- who acts like a rebbe) and Aron Teitelbaum (who acts like a big lamden) that dominate the yeshiva and chasidic world in America. Is there a more powerfil rosh yeshiva in America today than Aron Schechter and is there a more powerful rebbe in America today than Aron Teitelbaum? So they are at the top of the Charedi pyramid and reflect everyone else since everyone dances to their pipers' tunes and no one dares to defy them. If anything too many silly people try to imitate and mimic them.

      Thus when they act in a manner that defies simple fairness and human decency by picking on powerless and weak victims, by backing their own egoistical and megalomaniacal manipulative ABUSIVE followers like Hersh and Weberman against teenagers struggling with their sturm und drang adolescence and sexual identity and personal struggles, and the adult abusers fragrantly do as they please because they known "big daddy" Schechter or Teitelbaum will always back them up no matter what, they therefore lose their right to be leaders of the weak and powerless and voiceless and instead take on the mantle of MESAYEI'AH LIDVAR AVEIRAH (by assisting the bullying abusers instead of the bullied victims) acting exactly like dictators and tyrants as they slip into a mode of behavior befitting totalitarians and not that of Jewish leaders.

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    2. Recipients and PublicityDecember 5, 2012 at 12:35 PM

      To tzoorba, continued...

      --And yes, sure, one can cite all sorts of chazals about how Moshe Rabbeinu and Dovid HaMelech killed mordim, and how a moser should be treated (forgetting that both Moshe and Dovid were first taught to be humble SHEPHERDS and take care of shepselach), but that too will not win them points in Western civilization in a democratic society and a democratic environment -- and NOT like the old model of Eastern European of Czars, Kaisers, tyrants, demagogues, dictators -- which they think they need to emulate in a false longing for the type of "rule of law" that was actually a ruthless system that crushed opponents that will just not work in modern day America, Israel and Britain, and is a big reason why so many rabbis are running afoul of the established legal and judicial system in America, Israel and the UK that gives equal rights to the weak to women and to children.

      Aron Schechter and Aron Teitelbaum even though both are American-born yet they are both caught in a time warp were they see themselves and function like tyrants for life. They do NOT face democratic elections. They are in power for life. They answer to no one but themselves. No one can impeach them. No one can criticize them. They are the worst sort of leader, a combination of a spiritual and temporal overlord, as if one would weld the power and position of a pope with the power and influence of an absolute monarch or dictator, who can do and act as he pleases. Thus people FEAR them as if they were Mafia godfathers and they "can do no wrong" they are to be viewed as literally "god encased in a body" as in the Tanya's teachings of a "tzadik" but in this case, they are very shvache tzadikim with clay feet and emperors with no clothes as they support miscreants like Hersh and Weberman and support attacks against powerless teenage weaklings.

      Where is the kiruv rechokim??? Where is the ahavas Yisroel??? Where is the rachmonus and mercy for the "yasom and almona"??? No wonder such a system is crumbling in front of our eyes as so many abandon it in so many ways, even if they keep the levush so many yeshiva people and chasidim see through the cynicism and hypocrisy and power plays and it cannot last.

      Eventually all rebbes and rosh yeshivas will be put out of commission and told to leave klal Yisroel alone by the true Mashiach who will come riding in on a simple chamor. He will be very quiet until he is revealed. He will not be mistreating the weak. He will punish abusers. There will be no more monkey-business.

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  14. http://www.vosizneias.com/118751/2012/12/04/new-york-in-explosive-radio-interview-brooklyn-da-addresses-satmar-rebbe-over-remarks-on-williamsburg-abuse-case

    Da Hynes criticizes Satmar Rebbe on Zev Brenner show for inappropriate remarks about Weberman victim.

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  15. I speak Yiddish fluently. It is clear to me that R' Aaron is supporting the victim and is bashing Mr. Weberman. He clearly says that there are other victims and that Weberman treated her (and the others)as a protitue. He then says that he (Weberman) wers a shreimal and shamfully, is from our society. Am I the only here than understands yiddish??

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    1. Recipients and PublicityDecember 5, 2012 at 11:57 AM

      "observer said...Am I the only here than understands yiddish??"

      You know this reminds me of the perfect double-speak that the Arab leaders have mastered, while they speak in Arabic to their followers who understand that the "infidels" are "evil" while to the outside world it sounds like some sort of paeon to the victims. In the heyday of Communism the totalitarian leaders and spokespeople would also talk in 1984 Orwellian-style "double-talk" that the followers get the coded message loud and clear, while the unsuspecting world thinks it could plausibly mean something else.

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  16. In square they paid the victim of attempted. Murder $5000000... perhaps they should have tried that here.

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  17. This issue is fast becoming one where those who try to be Metaher the Temeim become Tomei themselves. One caveat though: they fail to be metaher anyone in their folly based processes.

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  18. hijacking the TruthDecember 5, 2012 at 5:55 PM

    This is mind boggling.

    Ask any person in BP, Willi, Flatbush or any other yiddish speaking community: "What did the 'Rebbe" say?
    The answer is: 'Er hut g'ret vaigen Vebermaan voos faar ah shaigetz er iz'.

    So the false message from these ignorant and biased activists, looking to promote a non-existing situation
    is obvious and just shows how they hate Chassiidim and hareidi Jews at large.

    Just remember. The 'Rebbe' was talking to his followers in the language that they understand. They understood it just as he wanted them to understand it, and that was AGAINST Weberman NOT against the victim.

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    1. Could you provide any evidence that anyone beside you understood him to be saying that? Did Weberman's supporters announce that they changed their minds? Are there any public notices or items in newspapers indicating a reversal of the masses? If you can't provide any tangible evidence of your assertion - then we will continue believing that the Rebbe in fact supports Weberman and denounced the accuser.

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    2. could you provide a full record of the speech, so that we could hear the part where he quotes Weberman and says he is sheygetz.

      One of the organisers of a Satmar-dinner on this Motzaei Shabbat (where supporters of the victims held a protest) said on tv that the satmar rebbe had spoken strictly about education and that he had made no allusion whatsoever to the trial...

      http://landing.newsinc.com/wpix/video.html?freewheel=91044&sitesection=wpix_loc_590&VID=23907946

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    3. http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/weberman-suspected-sexual-assault-testify-article-1.1213602?localLinksEnabled=false

      the school principal feuerwerger confirmed that victim's family had to pay over $ 12'000 up front at the start of the school year for Weberman counceling...

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  19. As I'm an insider, I see that noone here knows what's going on. Enough said.

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  20. A principal of the Satmar school was put on the stand to deny any collusion with the vaad hatznius. He even claimed there was no vaad hatznius and he did not know those words except as terms in a dictionary. Everyone in Williamsburg knows he is lying. Rachmuna Litzlon (Ari Mandel) ridiculed that claim on Twitter and Facebook. One of Weberman’s supporters challenged him to provide their address and phone number. Of course we all know that the vaad is a shadowy entity with no official listing, but most everyone in hasidic Williamsburg can name its activists. Ari’s witty reply was “1 (800) MAFIA-11.” He also posted on FaceBook a copy of a KJ vaad hatznius letter to a parent telling him his kids could no longer attend Satmar schools because he shaved his beard. I am sure similar letters will surface for Williamsburg and other compelling evidence that there is a vaad hatznius in Williamsburg and that he has worked with them in deciding whether to expel kids or refer them into "therapy."

    He perjured himself under oath. It is a chillul hashem. It shows blatant contempt for the intelligence of the DA, the courts, and the public.

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  21. Rabbi Eidensohn, I agree with your reading of the text as an insult aimed at the victim. Frankly, the context of his talk was universal Satmar rejection of mesirah and lamentation over the threat of a long sentence. Nothing in his speech suggested that he felt a Jewish girl was victimized. Nothing suggested concern about the tragedy of Jewish children being molested. Finally there was no context for the quote other than the parshah.

    In addition, Aron Teitelbaum is recurrently fulminating about yeridos hadoros with particular reference to the younger generation. So that is another reason to think he was putting down the victim. He was explicit about her lack of religiosity. In his book her recent portrayal of herself as modern orthodox does not count as good. He defined the parents as good by reference to wearing caftans and streimels.

    All told it sounds like the classic slut attack on a victim in chasidish style. I do not know a single chasidic supporter of the victim who read it any other way. He was devious enough to sustain plausible deniability with outsiders not confident enough about their understanding of the text.

    Something very funny happened after it was put out for circulation. It was alternately posted and pulled several times in a row over a period of a few hours. That happened once before when he told his chasidim to use the internet to confirm his claim about weather in the area he prefers for growing his matzah wheat.

    They knew they had a hot potato and finally decided to go with slurring the victim. He fully earned the criticism and the demonstration that followed.

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    1. You are claiming he is deliberately blurring his words so that it could be read either way - but that his followers understood it as an attack contrary to what Danny and Moshe Aaron are claiming below?

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  22. Here we have a guy sitting in another country blogging all day in the name of the those same gedolim who are against the internet. Hears things second and third hand and decides what people said or meant. Then demands proof that his interpertation is not correct.
    Were you at the drooshe? Do you know what the day's issues are in the Satmar community? Do you really think that Satmar is preoccupied with this 'idiotic' trial?
    They all agree that if its true he should rot in jail - and thats pretty much what he said in spite of the fact that the rabble-rousers claim otherwise.

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    1. I am glad to hear that Satmar thinks Weberman should rot in jail if he is guilty. However it is obvious that they don't think that it is possible that he is guilty.

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  23. H"kazona? What the rebbi said was that the victim was made into a zona , a prostitute and a villian and its a shamefull act. The rebbi clearly supports the victim and not Weberman

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    1. so why would satmar day schools pray for Weberman as a victim of Alila, false accusations?

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    2. Again, I am shocked by the poor truth-finding skills of grand rebbes...

      At least, he should understand that he does not know the truth...

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    3. Assuming you truly understood the words of the Rebbe - why didn't his chassidim understand it that way? If his chassidim misunderstood his message - why doesn't he saying more directly?

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  24. Years ago I spoke with a Jewish NYC police lieutenant about Mondrowitz. He asked me the following question: "This man was caught time and again in Yeshivas molesting children. He then went to another Yeshiva and got a job with children whom he molested again. This happened time and again. Why did the Yeshivas who knew he molested children not inform the other Yeshivas about this?" The good officer then asked, "Don't you care about your children?"

    But he got it all wrong. Of course the rebbes and the Rosh Yeshivas care about the children, but the main thing is that the children should live in an environment where nobody knows about certain things. Let's keep the rape quiet. Now, that is the modern Daas Torah! By the way, I am a Talmid of Reb Shalom Schwadron who told me, "A Yeshiva is Haschoso." I asked a living Gadole about this and he agreed. The Torah system in the Haredi world produces frustrations that lead to sickness which is then covered up. I work with Gittin and family and you aint see nothin yet. This new Torah is completely treifeh, such as the Agudah Gedolim openly backing gays in Washington DC regarding hate crimes. I asked the leading Rosh Yeshivas why they did this and they replied, "We are against hate." It doesn't say that in my Torah. In my Torah it says that those who fight the Torah must be fought, not helped. (Unless, of course, you need money for Yeshivas and Hassidic communities...)

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    please use either your real name or a pseudonym.

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  26. "In short he is calling the victim a zona."

    The author of this is revealing his contempt for basic matters of justice, by referring to the girl (whose name should be given, under the Constitutional ban on anonymous accusations) as a "victim" rather than as an "accuser". I think it illustrates the author simply assumed her story true, which amounts to the position of an accused being guilty until proved Innocent. For shame!

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    1. why do you call yourself "secular Jew"?

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  27. Mi K'amcha Yisroel? Exactly. We are supposed to be a light unto the other nations. We cannot even deal with famiies in crisis, children in need. We look down on each other and pass judgements. We just finished with the klop called Sandy, external devastation never experienced on such a magnitude. Now we have internal devastation. It is a blot on all of us, not just Satmar.

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  28. The Rebbe isn't shocked that a jew went to court against a jew. He is shocked that according to the gossip a jew(ess) sinned in znus. This is what he claimed was unheard of until this time. Seemingly, Rebbes don't get the news reports.

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