Thursday, July 21, 2016

Criticizing Rabbi Levenstein is criticizing the Torah

Cross-Currents by Rabbi Avrohom Gordimer

Rabbi Yigal Levenstein, who heads the Bnei David academy in the Israeli town of Eli, made waves several days ago with some public remarks:
I said there are red lines and I am not willing to bring them up for discussion. I said: the Reform movement is not a Jewish movement. (The chief education officer) asked me ‘why?’ I said: ‘It’s a Christian movement. There were many branches that began in Judaism, then left Judaism and became other movements.’
And, regarding homosexuals, Rabbi Levenstein commented:
There’s a crazy movement of people who have lost sense of what’s normal in life. This group has whipped the entire country into a frenzy, they force their way into the IDF, and no one dares say anything. There are perverts giving lectures in [the officers’ training school] Bahad 1.
Rabbi Levenstein’s comments drew immediate condemnation from officials in the Israeli government and others in Israeli society, from IDF leaders, to liberal Orthodox rabbis, to the head of the Israeli Reform movement. On the other hand, hundreds of Israeli rabbis came out in support of Rabbi Levenstein, with some expressing occasional disagreement with his choice of words, yet nonetheless defending his basic ideas.

Now, an American institution has weighed in. Yeshivat Chovevei Torah just issued a statement entitled YCT Condems (sic) Rav Yigal Levenstein’s Hurtful and Divisive Remarks, which reads:

Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School joins the many rabbis, government officials, and institutions in Israel in rejecting the hurtful and unacceptable words of Rabbi Yigal Levenstein of the B’nai David Preparatory Seminary in Eli. In an act unbecoming of a leader preparing young Jewish men to serve in the IDF, Rabbi Levenstein lashed out both at the LGBT community, calling them perverted, and at the Reform community, which he called a Christian denomination.

From its inception, our Yeshiva has stood for inclusiveness, standing with the State of Israel and Jews everywhere to promote the unity of the Jewish people and the importance of learning from all Jews out of a deep sense of love for our fellow Jews and respect for our mutual covenantal (sic) relationship with God and Torah. Ahavat yisrael, the commandment to love our fellow Jew, does not come with qualifiers or limitations.

As Israel’s Minister of Education Naftali Bennett wrote, “Jewish law is not meant to be a divisive tool … One cannot denigrate an entire community and take shelter behind Jewish law.” On the contrary, Israel and the IDF have always been models for the difficult but critical task of unifying Jews of diverse backgrounds and origins, of advocating for respect for different religious beliefs and practices, and of treating people with different sexual orientations with the equality they deserve.

We are heartened by the overwhelming message coming from so many corners of the Jewish world that we will not allow narrow-minded partisans to drive us from our commitment to the Jewish people as an am echad.

It is interesting to read the public statements of Rav Yosef Dov Ha-Levi Soloveitchik zt”l of RIETS about the subjects for which Rabbi Levenstein is being castigated.

Concerning non-Orthodox houses of worship, in regard to their practice of mixed pews:

It would seem to me that our remembrance of history alone should keep us from imitating today the practice of primitive Christianity (which introduced mixed seating for worship – AG) almost 1900 years ago… In my opinion, Orthodoxy must mobilize all its forces and wage an indefatigable battle against the “Christianization” (I have no better word for it) of the synagogue – a practice which is being accomplished by people who have no sense of Halacha and no historical-philosophical concept of the nature of prayer; but they do have the arrogance to wreck principles and traditions which have become hallowed through blood and tears. (Community, Covenant and Commitment, pp. 134-135; The Sanctity of the Synagogue, B. Litvin)
And concerning homosexuality:
A philosophy of [homo]sexualism is being preached throughout the Western world, to such an extent that a certain rabbi came to me and said, “How can we defend ourselves against it?” I told him, take out a Chumash and read a pasuk. ואת זכר לא תשכב משכבי אשה. (“You shall not lie with a male as with a woman.” -Vayikra 18:22) We are on the defensive, you understand. Why? And the same is true of abortion and so forth. 
I can never predict what modern society will come up with. Everything is possible. The most abnormal, obnoxious, repellent ideas may be introduced in the form of legislation to Congress. And now, since it is modern to be liberal, it’s quite in vogue to be heretical, so any law can be adopted. The Supreme Court in America is the most unpredictable body. Did you see, did you read carefully, the decision about abortion? 
This is b’nei basar (“children of the flesh”). B’nei basar are oversensitive to beauty, to unredeemed beauty. We ourselves cherish beauty, but redeemed beauty. Unredeemed, vulgar, coarse people. And simply what the b’nei basar preach is non-interference on the part of ethics and morality. This man wants to enjoy life, that’s all. Because actually the pagan way of life rests upon the idea of egocentric hedonism. The latter was declared by the pagans to be morally desirable. In other words, free man is expected to reject any restrictive norm interfering with his hedonic freedom. The permissive society is the pagan society, which heads toward disaster. The permissive society consists of the b’nei basar, the children of the flesh, who are obedient to the flesh and its biological pressures. 
The main sin of pagan society consists in its exploiting nature for the sake of man’s enjoyment without the latter accepting responsibility for the very act he enjoyed. In a word, hedonic society, the Dor Ha-Mabul, drove itself and the environment to annihilation. That is exactly what happens to the Western part of the world, the so-called “democratic world” or the “free world”. 
What is the motto of modern man? ויראו בני האלהים. Modern man is very mighty… He is a wizard, as far as intellectual achievements are concerned… But the same wizard, a בני אלהים, is a fallen angel… He is tempted by vulgar beauty… ויקחו להם נשים – he surrendered. 
The man whose mathematic equations proved to be true 500 million light years from there surrendered to the בנות האדם, to vulgar beauty, to enjoyment. This is no way of life. This was the eser doros me’Adam v’ad Noach (ten generations from Adam to Noach) that were misgalgel (systematically declined) until they reached the bottom… (from 1974 public shiur in Boston, printed here on pp.91-94)
Should Rav Soloveitchik likewise be condemned? His words contain attitudes similar to those expressed by Rabbi Levenstein. Just asking.

Although I am quite removed from the scene, I cannot see myself making the public remarks articulated by Rabbi Levenstein, either using his phraseology or other, more delicate wording, due to public sensitivities and society’s hypercharged atmosphere, which usually render such remarks counterproductive on a pragmatic level. But the essence of Rabbi Levenstein’s remarks, even if expressed more artfully, cannot truly be condemned, and to read condemnation of the essence of his remarks is quite puzzling – no less than would be a condemnation of the Torah itself, in commanding “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.” -Vayikra 18:22.

Brooklyn math tutor busted with molesting student

NY Daily News    A Brooklyn math tutor charged with repeatedly violating a six-year-old student is expected to go to trial in the fall.

Moshe Friedman was hired by the young boy’s parents to conduct in-home tutorials in 2013. Instead, for over 10 months, Friedman allegedly repeatedly assaulted and sexually abused the child.

Friedman, 30, was arrested in January 2015 for first-degree sexual conduct against a child and other shocking charges.[...]

On another occasion, while the boy’s hand was in a cast, Friedman allegedly followed him into the bathroom and violated him, according to the criminal complaint.

Friedman allegedly sexually assaulted the boy, shoved a rag in his mouth and threatened him with a gun.

"You'd better not tell your parents or I'll kill you and your family," Friedman allegedly said to the boy.

Police on high alert for Jerusalem "pride" parade today

Arutz 7  2,000 policemen have been allocated to provide security for the gay pride parade in Jerusalem this afternoon (Thursday).

Tensions around this year's parade are even more heightened than usual, due to last year's murder of Shira Banki, 16, at the Jerusalem parade.

In anticipation of possible security problems, the police arrested the family of the murderer, Yishai Schlissel, in the early morning hours of yesterday. His mother and five of his brothers were taken into custody.

One of the brothers, Michael Schlissel, was brought to court, where his arrest was extended by a day. The mother and the rest of the brothers were released with a restraining order banning them from Jerusalem until Friday, when the parade will be safely over.

Central Jerusalem streets will be closed from 2:30 this afternoon in anticipation of the parade. [...]

In a related development, the police detained 4 women in their 30s for questioning last night, after it was discovered that the women had spray-painted several buildings located along the parade route with messages expressing support for the parade.

The police found cans of spray paint and other equipment in their possession.

The suspects were questioned overnight in a local police station, and said the wrote the messages in order to encourage people to attend the parade. They were later released amid an ongoing investigation.

Rabbi Stav of Tzohar: 'Not reporting sexual abuse violates the Torah'

Arutz 7   Head of the Rabbinical services organization 'Tzohar,' Rabbi David Stav, criticized on Wednesday rabbis who hush up sexual abuse cases in their communities rather than reporting them to the authorities.

"Sexual abuse is physical and psychological damage of the highest order. Rabbis that attempt to silence these matters without dealing with them through the appropriate channels are transgressing the Torah," he said.

Rabbi Stav asserted that one who has committed sexual abuse is likely to do so again if he is not treated by a qualified professional. "This is unrelated to the Talmudic adage that one should not think badly of a Torah scholar that sinned, for surely he has done Teshuva [repentance]; here, we are dealing with one who is sick, and a sick man does not heal by himself."

Rabbi Stav stresses that police and welfare services cannot be thought of as some foreign or hostile entity; they are part of the public like everyone else. It is therefore a moral and legal obligation to report incidents to the authorities. "A Rabbi is not a doctor or a psychologist, and a Rabbi that encounters cases of abuse in his community must report them to relevant professionals."

Rabbi Stav is scheduled to speak this Monday at the Binyanei Hauma complex in Jerusalem on the topic of sexual abuse.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Eliezar Berland: Returns to Israel and is arrested for alleged sex abuse and harassment

Haaretz    Rabbi Eliezer Berland, leader of the Shuvu Banim community, was extradited from South Africa and arrested after he landed in Israel on Tuesday, on suspicion of perpetrating sexual abuse and harassment, Israel Police said.

Hundreds of Berland supporters, many of whom were in their cars, were waiting outside the airport for the police van containing Berland.

Berland's extradition marks the end of an international saga that began when he fled Israel more than three years ago after he was suspected of a number of sex crimes against women, namely in his community.

Followers of the rabbi said a group of them accompanied him on an El Al flight from Johannesburg.
"Rabbi Eliezer Berland's extradition on suspicion of sex crimes has been completed," police said in a statement. "After a continuous effort, the Israel Police arrested Rabbi Eliezer Berland, wanted for some time for investigation on suspicion of perpetrating sexual abuse and harassment," a police statement said.[...]

Berland's lawyer said his decision to leave Israel had nothing to do with the investigation against him, of which "he did not know and could not know about."

She said that he was now returning to Israel "of his own free will and out of his wish to cooperate with law enforcement agencies."

"This is an elderly and man in his 80s, head of the Shuvu Banim Yeshiva… he trusts the authorities will end the matter quickly and efficiently. There is no doubt in our minds that the suspicions will be refuted once the investigation is concluded. 

Monday, July 18, 2016

Eliezar Berland: Son says recording purportedly made by him - saying his father is guilty - is a forgery


בנו של הרב ברלנד: "אבא זכאי. ההקלטה בשמי - זיוף" • האזינו

בעוד הרב אליעזר ברלנד עושה את ההכנות האחרונות לקראת הסגרתו לישראל, בארץ סוערות הרוחות. לאחר שפורסמה הקלטה של בנו בה תקף בחריפות את אביו, כעת 

מגיעה ההכחשה: "הכל מזויף. איך אפשר להכפיש כזה אדם. הוא זכאי" • האזינו

בעוד הרב אליעזר ברלנד עושה את ההכנות האחרונות בדרום אפריקה לקראת הסגרתו לישראל, בארץ סוערות הרוחות. לאחר שפורסמה הקלטה של בן הרב ברלנד, הרב נחמן, בה תקף בחריפות את אביו, כעת מכחיש הרב נחמן ברלנד את הדברים וטוען כי מדובר בזיוף. 

בקו המידע של 'שובו בנים' פורסם הערב (שני) ראיון עמו בו הוא טוען כי הדברים שפורסמו בשמו כנגד אביו אינם נכונים וכי הם מסולפים. "אני למעשה מזועזע מאוד מהמערכת המשומנת של אלה שמנסים לקבור את הישיבה, את הרב היקר ואותי אישית" אמר הרב נחמן. "הכל ממש זיופים, זה, ביחד עם כל המכתבים שמזייפים בשם הרבנים כנגד הרב. אלה דברים שלא היו. חס ושלום שנאמר דבר בשמי כנגד אבי שליט"א". 

כאמור, מוקדם יותר פורסמה ב"בחדרי חרדים" הקלטה של הרב נחמן ברלנד, בה הוא תוקף בחריפות את אביו. תאריך ההקלטה אינו ידוע ונראה כי היא בת כמה שנים. הרב נחמן נשמע אומר בהקלטה בין היתר: "אם אני רק ילך לרבנים ויספר מה אבא שלי עושה, הוא מתחזה לצדיק הדור. הוא לא מתבייש אבא שלי, צביקה גיסי מפחד שהוא יקבל מכות אז הוא לא הולך לתבוע אותו בבד"צ, הוא מפחד שיהרגו אותו. כשידעו את הפשעים שאבא שלי עושה יפסיקו להתקרב אליו, אבא שלי כזה פושע, או שהוא רשע או שהוא חולה נפש, לא אכפת לי מה".

בנו של הרב ברלנד נשמע מוסיף בהקלטה: "אבא שלי רוצה להחזיק את האנשים לידו, הכל הוא עושה בשביל שיהיו קשורים אליו. יש אומרים שהוא צדיק ושהוא פיצול אישיות, ושהוא שבע נשמות, יש ויכוח עליו, זה קושיא גדולה עליו. מה, סתם סגרנו אותו? אני משוגע? אני דיברתי על אבא שלי בחדרי חדרים, זה יצא החוצה אליו, הוא כעס עלי וזרק אותי. אני שמח שהוא זרק אותי, אני לא נבהל, אני לא איש שקר, אני לא אשרת אותו בשקר. כשאני תפסתי את הפשעים שלו רציתי ללכת לרבי יעקב מאיר שכטר, ראיתי שבאמת כולם צודקים אז סגרתי אותו ושלום. יש כל מיני שקרים שאומרים ברחוב, מכאן עד אמריקה, שיגידו, אני מוכן לבוא עם עדות כל אחת ואחת. לי יש אלף קבלות יותר ממך". 

"אז הם אומרים שאבא שלי אלוקים, אז הכל מותר לו, הוא אותו האיש, נצרות, אתם נוצרים אתם. הייתי צועק מה שאבא שלי עשה, הייתי אומר ברבים אם תופסים את הרב ברלנד על סעיף בשו"ע צריכים לדפוק על השולחן, וכאן זה חמורות שבחמורות. הם מתווכחים איתי. אנחנו צריכים להוקיע את זה ברבים. להתפלפל על זה. אני במסירות נפש, יום יום דיברתי נגד אבא שלי, אמרתי שהוא שמש והוא שורף. וצריך להיות בצל. בכל חבורה הייתי אומר את זה לפני ארבעים אברכים. כשהוא תפס את זה - הוא זרק אותי. זהו, מה אני יכול לעשות".[...]

Meyer Seewald criticized Yehuda Pogrow's competence as an advocate - Why wasn't this criticism defended or rejected by any of the known blogs or advocates?

Yehuda Pogrow appeared out of nowhere in the aftermath of the shock of the revelations of the abuse of his brother - and shot to the top level of advocates in revealing how he had been abused by his brother and mother and attacking the yeshivas and rabbis - and then plummeted down today with his apology to the public and survivors of abuse that he might have harmed by his actions. 
I wish to apologize to the Public, and particularly to Survivors of abuse, for any harm my actions have caused. My actions did not make me deserving of the public shaming I experienced. Nonetheless, I hold myself to a higher standard in both my personal and professional lives, and I am disappointed in myself for not living up to those standards. I intend to use this as a learning opportunity so that I do not make the same mistakes again.
Should anyone wish to share this, they may feel free to do so. Sincerely, Yehuda Pogrow
As detailed in a previous post, Meyer Seewald (founder of Jewish Community Watch) had strongly criticized Yehuda who in turn threatened to reveal confidential information to defend himself. Yehuda also threatened me with legal action for posting the Facebook information about the dispute. (This despite that I was careful to cite accurately -including noting that the original Facebook pages had been taken down )
Meyer Seewald
 Yehuda, I will not apologise for warning victims to stay away from you. After I posted the updated post explaining things that may have come out wrong. You threatened the survivors you will expose private things so I removed it. I do not consider you a advocate, nor will I ever work with you. I personally think you need help and until you get the right help you should stay away from working with victims. Please stop tagging me in your comments. I wish you luck on your healing process. 

Yehuda Pogrow Per his request, I will not tag Meyer. However, to shed some context around his remarks, I will explain what really happened behind the scenes yesterday. I possess evidence that proved that the allegations that supported Meyer's defamatory post were outrageously false. The quickest way for me to have proven that the post was defamatory would have been to publicly release this information. I did not do that because I did not want to cause pain to the individuals who promoted my defamation. Rather, I reached out through intermediaries to notify these individuals that if they did not bring their influence to bear on Meyer to delete the post I would feel forced to prove my innocence by releasing the exculpatory evidence. Thankfully, no such release of information was necessary.

Meyer Seewald

You are such a good manipulator it shocks me. Your version of the events are mind boggling. But if that is what makes you and the Ceo of עמותת מגן MAGEN sleep at night then continue on. This is not the first problem they had like this.

Now please just go away. You have caused nothing but havoc for people in the advocacy world. And I think I gave you enough attention. So going forward I will not be responding to your comments.
So now that the issue seems resolved - why am I making a new post rehashing some of the details?

The issue I want discussed is the total silence about Meyer Seewald's warning of potential harm to victims - on the blogs and webpages of advocates dealing with child abuse.

For example, one of Yehuda's advisors and strong advocates is Yerachmiel Lopin of Frum Follies. He not only featured Yehuda's long essay on his Frum Follies Blog  but stated that he was one of those who provided assistance to Yehuda in the writing of the essay. In addition, from Lopin's and other's comments on the Frum Follies blog - it is clear that Yehuda is viewed as a hero and a worthy advocate for victims. There is absolutely no discussion of the validity of Seewald's claims on this blog. While there is one comment that asks "Any input into this disagreement (to put it mildly) between Pogrow and Seewald?" But there is no response. Why not?  [update - FF when anti-abuse activists are wrong is what I  was looking for

Similarly a Google search of Yehuda Pogrow - does not provide any evidence for a discussion of Seewald's charges and Yehuda's defense - except on my blog! There is no discussion on the website of Magen, nor of Amudim nor of even Seewald's own organization Jewish Community Watch. I did not find any comment from Manny Waks either. There are a number of of other websites and blogs that deal with child abuse - I could find no mention of this issue.

So what this seems to mean is that when dealing with an agenda - criticizing yeshivas and rabbis for not going to the police or not being more transparent which are therefore considered to be strong legitimate targets to attack. Why? The answer is obvious the advocates answer - because it is needed to protect the victims.  However, if one of their own might be doing something in their advocacy and attacks on the establishment that is harming victims - well that should be handled privately. We don't want the reputation of the movement tarnished by lashon harah about squabbles and questions of personal integrity. We don't want to be a moser concerning a fellow advocate.

This unfortunately is very similar to the item I posted recently posted about the loud publicity against bias and discrimination against Blacks by the police. I have no doubt that there is bias and discrimination against Blacks and that something needs to be done about as President Obama has repeated stated. But at the same time - the far worse problem of Black on Black crimes not only is not discussed but it is viewed as a private internal issue of the Black community. Sound familiar?

Another example of this dual standard. The World community is very concerned about the alleged mistreatment and war crimes of Israelis against the Palestinians. There are protests around the world at every claim of the Arab press against Israel. There are calls to boycott and imprison Israelis for alleged war-crimes. However the vastly greater numbers of Arabs being killed, tortured raped and repressed by their fellow Arabs - well that is an internal matter for Arabs and it is not for public discussion. see Haaretz

Lest any of my readers think that this is only a problem for goyim or secular Jews. My efforts to publicize the perversions of halacha by the Kaminetsky's and Rav Greenblatt are treated the same way. The report of a Reform or Conservative Rabbi typing up some document of separation is greeted with scorn. There are campaigns against the Modern Orthodox use of prenuptial agreements. There are harsh words hurled at the Open Orthodox. But if a hareidi gadol does something much worse - well that is an internal matter for rabbis to solve. The failure to deal properly with child abuse was justified by - "This in an internal matters for the gedolim." Bloggers who pointed out the obvious are are being still vilified. Every non-Orthodox person instantly recognizes the hypocrisy  of the double standard - but very few frum Yidden did.

Black can kill blacks - but not policemen can't kill Blacks in the line of duty risking their lives to help the Black Community. Arabs can kill Arabs - but Israelis can't kill Arabs in the line of protecting themselves against terrorist attacks against bus loads of people or against defenseless women and children. Chareidi Jews can coverup the abuse done by other Chareid Jews - but not the evil bloggers. Advocates who claim to be protecting the victims of child abuse - can attack educational institutions, communities and rabbis for protecting abusers or for coverups. They can crucify anyone that are charged or even  that there are merely rumors that he committed abuse But they can't criticize one of their own whose actions are possibly harming victims.

It is time to acknowledge the cruelty of this approach in which only certain victims need to be protected and that other victims are off limited because their attacker is one of us. It is time to recognize that that we have met the enemy and he is US.

Yehuda Pogrow: Advocate Meyer Seewald (founder of Jewish Community Watch) - issues warning not to engage him or his new organization

update:Hopefully this ends the dispute. Wishing Yehuda success in his endeavors

facebook 5 hours ago 7/18/16
I wish to apologize to the Public, and particularly to Survivors of abuse, for any harm my actions have caused. My actions did not make me deserving of the public shaming I experienced. Nonetheless, I hold myself to a higher standard in both my personal and professional lives, and I am disappointed in myself for not living up to those standards. I intend to use this as a learning opportunity so that I do not make the same mistakes again.
Should anyone wish to share this, they may feel free to do so. Sincerely, Yehuda Pogrow

update: 18 hours ago 7/17/16
I wish to clarify that I believe Jewish Community Watch has done fantastic work and changed the world for the better. I commend Meyer Seewald for founding this incredible organization and playing such a pivotal role in its success. In no way do I wish to interfere with JCW's work. I ask that this dispute come to an immediate end so all can get back to focusing exclusively on what matters, helping Survivors, and making sure no children are ever abused. Sincerely, Yehuda Pogrow


update: Yehuda Pogrow asked this to be added 3:15 PM 7/17/16

Please post this as an update on the top of the page:
Yehuda Pogrow has asked that it be stated that the "victims information" to which Seewald referred is communications Pogrow possesses from the 2 people who supported Seewald's remarks that exonerates Pogrow. At no point did Pogrow ever suggest that he would release any information from victims other than the specific communications from these 2 people -- who happen to be victims of abuse -- that, in their own words, exonerates Pogrow.

update: Meyer Seewald posted the following on facebook on Friday 7/15/16


Meyer Seewald Yehuda, I will not apologise for warning victims to stay away from you. After I posted the updated post explaining things that may have come out wrong. You threatened the survivors you will expose private things so I removed it. I do not consider you a advocate, nor will I ever work with you. I personally think you need help and until you get the right help you should stay away from working with victims. Please stop tagging me in your comments. I wish you luck on your healing process.

Yehuda Pogrow Per his request, I will not tag Meyer. However, to shed some context around his remarks, I will explain what really happened behind the scenes yesterday. I possess evidence that proved that the allegations that supported Meyer's defamatory post were outrageously false. The quickest way for me to have proven that the post was defamatory would have been to publicly release this information. I did not do that because I did not want to cause pain to the individuals who promoted my defamation. Rather, I reached out through intermediaries to notify these individuals that if they did not bring their influence to bear on Meyer to delete the post I would feel forced to prove my innocence by releasing the exculpatory evidence. Thankfully, no such release of information was necessary.
LikeReply17 hrsEdited

Meyer Seewald You are such a good manipulator it shocks me. Your version of the events are mind boggling. But if that is what makes you and the Ceo of עמותת מגן MAGEN sleep at night then continue on. This is not the first problem they had like this.

Now please ju
st go away. You have caused nothing but havoc for people in the advocacy world. And I think I gave you enough attention. So going forward I will not be responding to your comments.

I also received the following email from Yehuda Pogrow which is a dishonest representation of reality as Meyer Seewald has stated above:

Yehuda Pogrow

5:11 pm Friday 7 15 2016
to me
You must delete it [your post] It is false as Seewald has deleted his post because I proved the allegations were baseless.
I replied to Yehuda Saturday night

so tell him to send me an email to remove it together with an apology to you 

Yehuda responded Saturday night with

That's ridiculousYou have a post claiming something is on facebook that is not on Facebook.And why haven't you posted my latest comment which includes me telling you that I will take legal action?
Leaving the post up destroys any credibility you may have had whatsoever.
it doesn't  *exist* on facebook. your whole page is now a lie.
Pogrow posted the following on his facebook page

Daniel Eidensohn has defamed me. He has left up on his blog the post written by Meyer Seewald last week, even though Meyer deleted it. I informed Eidensohn of this, he responded to my email, and still has not removed his post (so stating that he was unaware of the deletion of Meyer's post would be a lie). He has lost any credibility he may have had as a 'journalist' because the entire page (linked below) is now a lie. It claims what is no longer on Facebook is still on Facebook. I call upon all those of good conscience to demand Eidensohn delete this post, and issue me an apology.

Saturday night 10:30
The above claim is absurd. Pogrow claimed that Seewald removed the post because he proved to him that his information was wrong. Seewald in fact said he removed it solely because Pogrow threatened to reveal information that might harm victims. As I noted Pogrow is being dishonest in misrepresenting the facts. Furthermore he is bizarrely accusing me of claiming that what I posted is still on facebook - a blatant lie. I simply said that I wanted a letter from Seewald that he wanted the post of his statements removed and an apology to Pogrow. Seeing that Seewald has repeated his claims against Pogrow and refuses to issue an apology - there is absolutely no misrepresentation at all in keeping the original statement up.

upate: Seewald has removed the following because of what he claims are threats from Yehuda Pogrow to reveal victims information] but has restated the substance on comments posted above which are still on his facebook page.

Facebook    Meyer Seewald posted the following warning on his Facebook page. The warning is consisted with recent discussion and concerns expressed  on this blog -  Daas Torah

Please keep in mind this warning is the expression of an experienced advocate but it is not in itself proof of wrong doing. It is simply a warning to be cautious and careful because he thinks Yeudah's attempts to help are problematic - causing harm to victims rather than helping their cause. Please do your own research to confirm or deny it.


Due to numerous complaints from survivors and victim advocates, I am warning the public not to engage with Yehuda Pogrow. One victim advocate has come forward that he has made inappropriate comments to survivors. Another advocate has received complaints that he was undermining survivors stories. He has come out and said he wants to works with victims. Please take necessary precautions and do not engage with Yehuda Pogrow  or Survivors for Change. [update] I would like to clarify that this is not at all implying that he actually sexually abused anyone. As he did not.
update to the update
I am writing this to clarify the message of my previous post. I believe that I did not phrase all of it clearly, which led to confusion within many of the subsequent comments and arguments. Yehuda Pogrow I am truly sorry to hear about the abuse that you went through, I hope and pray that you are able to take your pain and turn it into healing and live a happy and healthy live. 
Several hours ago I edited the post to clarify that you have not been accused of sexually abusing anyone - just in case anyone misunderstood the to post imply that. I have also clarified that this message is intended for victims, not the general public. 
You began acting as a (very) public victim's advocate only a few short weeks ago; you immediately began calling upon and very aggressively pushing people to share your article, aggressively sought out endorsements from numerous individuals and professionals, and issued a public call for victims to contact you. As a result, one victim was re-traumatized and hurt by extremely insensitive remarks you made to her, and you crossed very serious boundaries with another survivor and fellow advocate that no advocate should ever, ever cross. 
I will not issue an apology for my previous Facebook post; while what you went through pains me, it does not give you a right to hurt victims and to push your agenda at the expense of any victims' pain. Your cause, however noble, can never take precedence over the well-being of the victims it purports to be advocating for. 
You must take care of your own health before you try and help others. My heartfelt advise to you is get the help you need, and if you wish, advocate in another way that does not involve interacting directly with victims so these problems won't arise again. Make amends to those you hurt, and inform the public you will stop soliciting victims for their stories and encourage those who need help to reach out to organizations such as Amudim, JCW, Magen, Tzedek and other such organizations. 
(Any comments left attacking anyone will be deleted)
Facebook  Yehuda Pogrow has responded

Meyer Seewald has defamed me. I ask him to please apologize publicly and retract his statement.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Jerusalem magiach accused of abuse:Lawyers claim he is not responsible for the monster in his brain

kikar haShabbat

התפתחות מפתיעה בפרשת "המשגיח התוקף", הנאשם במעשים קשים של תקיפת שלוש נשים, מאז היותן ילדות קטנות. עורכי דינו יהודה פריד וטל גבאי טענו בפני בית המשפט כי הוא סובל מבעיה פסיכיאטרית קשה וכי אינו אחראי למעשיו.
בחוות הדעת כותב פרופ' אלי זומר כי לא ניתן להטיל על המשגיח אחריות פלילית, זאת לאור כך שקיימת במוחו אישיות נוספת, מעין "מפלצת", שהיא זו שביצעה את המעשים.
על פי החוות דעת, הנאשם אינו זוכר כלל את מעשיו וככל הנראה צד מסוים באישיותו ביצע את המעשים מחוץ לשליטה של "האישיות המרכזית" שלו ומבלי שיהיה מודע לכך.
"הנאשם כלל אינו זוכר את מעשיו, דבר המעיד על כך שצד מסוים באישיותו ביצע את המעשים מחוץ לשליטה של 'האישיות המרכזית' שלו ומבלי שיהיה מודע לכך", הסביר פרופ' זומר, לדבריו, האיש פעל באופן אוטומטי וללא אחריות ומודעות למעשיו.

Eliezar Berland: Breslov leaders says he is dangerous and to stay way from him

kikar haShabbat

Suicide in our community: We need to be more sensitive and reach out to help

A Black Police Officer asks why the serious problem of Black On Black Homicide is being ignored in the Black Community?

Facebook of Officer Jay Stalien

I have come to realize something that is still hard for me to understand to this day. The following may be a shock to some coming from an African American, but the mere fact that it may be shocking to some is prima facie evidence of the sad state of affairs that we are in as Humans.
I used to be so torn inside growing up. Here I am, a young African-American born and raised in Brooklyn, NY wanting to be a cop. I watched and lived through the crime that took place in the hood. My own black people killing others over nothing. Crack heads and heroin addicts lined the lobby of my building as I shuffled around them to make my way to our 1 bedroom apartment with 6 of us living inside. I used to be woken up in the middle of the night by the sound of gun fire, only to look outside and see that it was 2 African Americans shooting at each other.
It never sat right with me. I wanted to help my community and stop watching the blood of African Americans spilled on the street at the hands of a fellow black man. I became a cop because black lives in my community, along with ALL lives, mattered to me, and wanted to help stop the bloodshed.
As time went by in my law enforcement career, I quickly began to realize something. I remember the countless times I stood 2 inches from a young black man, around my age, laying on his back, gasping for air as blood filled his lungs. I remember them bleeding profusely with the unforgettable smell of deoxygenated dark red blood in the air, as it leaked from the bullet holes in his body on to the hot sidewalk on a summer day. I remember the countless family members who attacked me, spit on me, cursed me out, as I put up crime scene tape to cordon off the crime scene, yelling and screaming out of pain and anger at the sight of their loved ones taking their last breath. I never took it personally, I knew they were hurting. I remember the countless times I had to order new uniforms, because the ones I had on, were bloody from the blood of another black victim…of black on black crime. I remember the countless times I got back in my patrol car, distraught after having watched another black male die in front me, having to start my preliminary report something like this:
Suspect- Black/ Male, Victim-Black /Male.
I remember the countless times I canvassed the area afterwards, and asked everyone “did you see who did it”, and the popular response from the very same family members was always, “F***  the Police, I ain't no snitch, Im gonna take care of this myself". This happened every single time, every single homicide, black on black, and then my realization became clearer.
I woke up every morning, put my freshly pressed uniform on, shined my badge, functioned checked my weapon, kissed my wife and kid, and waited for my wife to say the same thing she always does before I leave, “Make sure you come back home to us”. I always replied, “I will”, but the truth was I was never sure if I would. I almost lost my life on this job, and every call, every stop, every moment that I had this uniform on, was another possibility for me to almost lose my life again. I was a target in the very community I swore to protect, the very community I wanted to help. As a matter of fact, they hated my very presence. They called me “Uncle Tom”, and “wanna be white boy”, and I couldn’t understand why. My own fellow black men and women attacking me, wishing for my death, wishing for the death of my family. I was so confused, so torn, I couldn’t understand why my own black people would turn against me, when every time they called …I was there. Every time someone died….I was there. Every time they were going through one of the worst moments in their lives…I was there. So why was I the enemy? I dove deep into that question…Why was I the enemy? Then my realization became clearer.
I spoke to members of the community and listened to some of the complaints as to why they hated cops. I then did research on the facts. I also presented facts to these members of the community, and listened to their complaints in response. This is what I learned:
Complaint: Police always targeting us, they always messing with the black man.
Fact: A city where the majority of citizens are black (Baltimore for example) …will ALWAYS have a higher rate of black people getting arrested, it will ALWAYS have a higher rate of blacks getting stopped, and will ALWAYS have a higher rate of blacks getting killed, and the reason why is because a city with those characteristics will ALWAYS have a higher rate of blacks committing crime. The statistics will follow the same trend for Asians if you go to China, for Hispanics if you go to Puerto Rico, for whites if you go to Russia, and the list goes on. It’s called Demographics [...]

All of my realizations came to this conclusion. Black Lives do not matter to most black people. Only the lives that make the national news matter to them. Only the lives that are taken at the hands of cops or white people, matter. The other thousands of lives lost, the other black souls that I along with every cop, have seen taken at the hands of other blacks, do not matter. Their deaths are unnoticed, accepted as the “norm”, and swept underneath the rug by the very people who claim and post “black lives matter”. I realized that this country is full of ignorance, where an educated individual will watch the ratings-driven news media, and watch a couple YouTube video clips, and then come to the conclusion that they have all the knowledge they need to have in order to know what it feels like to have a bullet proof vest as part of your office equipment, “Stay Alive” as part of your daily to do list, and having insurance for your health insurance because of the high rate of death in your profession. They watch a couple videos and then they magically know in 2 minutes 35 seconds, how you are supposed to handle a violent encounter, which took you 6 months of Academy training, 2 – 3 months of field training, and countless years of blood, sweat, tears and broken bones experiencing violent encounters and fine tuning your execution of the Use of Force Continuum. I realized that there are even cops, COPS, duly sworn law enforcement officers, who are supposed to be decent investigators, who will publicly go on the media and call other white cops racist and KKK, based on a video clip that they watched thousands of miles away, which was filmed after the fact, based on a case where the details aren’t even known yet and the investigation hasn’t even begun. I realized that most in the African American community refuse to look at solving the bigger problem that I see and deal with every day, which is black on black crime taking hundreds of innocent black lives each year, and instead focus on the 9 questionable deaths of black men, where some were in the act of committing crimes [...]

I realized that the very reasons I became a cop, are the very reasons my own people hate me, and now in this toxic hateful racially charged political climate, I am now more likely to die,... and it is still hard for me to understand…. to this day.
click above facebook link for rest of article

Friday, July 15, 2016

Brooklyn Man Hangs Self — 26th New York Orthodox Suicide in Year

Forward   Brooklyn’s Orthodox community is mourning the apparent suicide of 22-year-old construction worker Yakov Krausz, whose body was discovered Wednesday in an elevator motor room, the Daily News reported.

His death marks at least the 26th suicide of a young adult in New York-area Orthodox community over the past ten months, according to Zvi Gluck, founder and director of the Orthodox social service group Amudim.

Members of the Boro Park Shomrim, a private Orthodox security patrol, organized a frantic search for Krausz on Wednesday afternoon after he missed a meeting with his wife, according to reports.

The Daily News reported that Krausz suffered from depression. [...]

Amudim’s Gluck, who has been tracking suicides among men and women under the age of 35 in the Orthodox community in the New York area since last Rosh Hashanah, said that the Orthodox community needs to cultivate greater awareness of mental health issues.

“Once we can, as a community, accept that mental illness, sex abuse and addiction is as big a problem as it is, we can create programming to provide services,” Gluck said. “We have to acknowledge that this is a problem that exists.”

Krausz’s suicide comes just weeks after Rebecca Wassertrum, 28, died after jumping off of the George Washington Bridge. That followed the July 2015 suicide of ex-Orthodox coder Faigy Mayer and the November 2015 suicide of Mayer’s sister, Sarah Mayer.

Gluck said that, until recently, any death of a young person was blamed on an “aneurysm.”

“It’s the shame factor that’s killing the next generation,” Gluck said. “That’s what we’re trying to take away.”

After Hasidic Suicide (Esti Weinstein), Israel Looks in the Mirror

NY Times   In death, Esti Weinstein has started a national conversation. A 50-year-old mother of eight, Ms. Weinstein disappeared on June 21 and was found dead in her car six days later in an apparent suicide. She left behind a note and a manuscript of a memoir. She also left a long list of questions that have rekindled animosity between Israel’s secular majority and its ultra-Orthodox minority.

Ms. Weinstein had been a member of the Hasidic sect known as Gur, Israel’s largest, and she came from a distinguished family within the community. She was married at age 17 by arrangement and thrown into a relationship that she ultimately decided she could not endure. She left her family and the closed-off community eight years ago to lead a secular life.

Her book — copies of which have been distributed by mail and social media throughout Israel — chronicles in detail some of the esoteric habits of the sect from which she escaped. (After I submitted this article, Kinneret-Zmora-Dvir Publishing, by which I am employed, acquired rights to the book.) The Gur sect is rigid in its approach to marriage and modesty, with the aim of reaching a higher level of “kedushah,” or holiness. As researchers have documented, and as newspaper reporters have further detailed, Gur Hasidim “have sexual intercourse only once a month” during which they aim “to minimize physical contact.” A Gur Hasidic man will not use his wife’s name and he will reportedly sometimes get prescriptions for antidepressants to suppress his sex drive.

Peeping into the bedrooms of the ultra-Orthodox, or Haredim, and mocking their habits — real or imaginary — has long been something of an Israeli national pastime. In Ms. Weinstein’s suicide story, the news media found a gold mine. But the issues go beyond mere voyeurism. [...]

Nonreligious Israelis are fascinated by the growing Haredi community — more than 10 percent of Israel’s Jewish population and projected to be more than 20 percent in 12 years — and are apprehensive about its future impact on Israel. The ultra-Orthodox community already has political power. The popular minister of health is a Gur Hasid. The mayor of Jerusalem was elected largely thanks to the resounding neutrality of the Gur rabbi-leader. Israel’s ruling coalition is supported by the two Haredi parties.

After Ms. Weinstein walked out on her Hasidic life, her ties with her old community and her family, including six of her seven children, were severed. (One of her daughters also decided to leave.) A suicide is always complicated, and Ms. Weinstein’s story of personal agony that began long before her departure from the Haredi community is no different. However, following her death, many secular Israelis came to believe she had been a casualty of ultra-Orthodoxy’s unbending, fanatical ways.

Her family and the Hasidic community are telling a different story. At Ms. Weinstein’s funeral, one of her daughters gave a eulogy saying that her mother “abandoned” her young children without much explanation, and was a troubled soul whose unique and tragic story is now being used in a culture war against the ultra-Orthodox.

The eulogy was an unusual public act for a Hasidic woman. It’s highly unlikely that Ms. Weinstein’s daughter would have delivered it without being asked to by a man of authority in her community. The Gur sect worries about its image among Israelis. Like all Haredi groups, it wants to shield itself from secular society and its unholy habits. It feels unsteady behind its walls of separation as the lure of the outside world — especially one in which Jewish life thrives — makes the habit of seclusion harder to explain and maintain. Ms. Weinstein ripped a hole in these walls and allowed other Israelis to see what’s behind.

The level of criticism and ridicule by secular Israel on the ways and habits of the Haredi community will determine the long-term impact of Ms. Weinstein’s tragic story on the community from which she fled. The more mockery Haredim have to stomach over their religious customs — even sexual practices that may seem bizarre to many Israelis — the more they will close themselves off to the outside world. The more Israelis indict them as a community for the heartbreaking death of a heartbroken mother, the more they will raise their guard and resist taking part in a very necessary conversation about openness. The more Haredis are demonized because of their choice to have a different lifestyle, the less safe they will feel to keep “integrating” into Israel’s larger society, as Israel wants them to do.

Israel will better serve Ms. Weinstein’s memory by refraining from sensationalizing her story and judging her and her family. At the same time, her final act handed Israel’s Haredim a mirror. It is now their turn to decide what they want it to reflect.