Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tropper - update

Troppenstein's monster cites Failed Messiah

The following charlatans sent a "discharge" letter to Yeshiva Kol Yaakov over a month ago proclaiming themselves as the "roshei yeshiva & mashgichim" and dismissing the current administration:

Leib Tropper
Chaim Weiss
Mendel Ashkanazy
Nachman Kramer (Bais Yaakov Monsey)
Eliyahu Berney (son of Nosson Berney)

Then 2 weeks ago, Tropper submitted a notarized affirmation to the the court that while he was oyver on some little "indiscretion", he remains the "rosh yeshiva" and the people running the yeshiva, specifically Moishe Raice, are "immoral".

Tropper claims to the court that R' Moishe Green, R' Aron Schechter & R' Elya Ber Wachtfogel agree with him on this.

Kol Yaakov's lawyer filed a counter-affirmation as follows:

Tropper had once invested $1 million of the yeshiva's money with Nosson Berney's investment firm. They are now trying to bankrupt the yeshiva by giving much of the money away to Tropper's friends in the Rabbonus with the remainder being pocketed by Tropper. Nachman Kramer padlocked the yeshiva office so that no one can get all the documents that prove this.

R' Reuvein Feinstein issued a written psak to the Monsey beis din that Tropper cannot take back his resignation and that there is no issur arkaos to stop him in court. (Does this mean there is no more money being doled out by Tom Kaplan?)

Meanwhile, Berney sent the following checks out to the rabbonim, as submitted as evidence to the court:
Rabbi Zaks, Chofetz Chaim Monsey $75k R' Shmuel Gorelick, Kollel Beer Mordechai Monsey $50k
Rabbi Malick, Ohr Moshe Monsey $40k
Keren Ezra, 11 Gwen Lane Monsey $25kRabbi Holzcer, Ohel Avrohom Monsey $25k
R' Amram Rosenberg, Chasidim Tovim Monsey $25k
Chasdei Avos, 8 Elyon Rd Monsey $25k
Mesila Baarav, Yerucham Israel $15k
R' Moshe Mosebacher, 5 Carlton Lane Monsey $15k
R' Michel Yuda Lefkowitz, Ponvizh $5k
R' Doniel Alter, Gur $5k
R' Shaul Kanievsky $3.5k
R' Eliyahu Levin $2.5k
R' Chaim Kanievsky, Bnei Brak $2k
R' Moshe Solomon $2k
R' Zalman Dovid Zuckerman $2k
R' Dovid Rotenberg, Yershalayim $2k
R' Yaakov Kupshitz, Beit Shemesh $2k
R' Yosef Kupshitz, Beit Shemesh $2k
R' Efraim Kupshitz, Beit Shemesh $2k
R' Tzvi Kupshitz, Yerushalayim $2k
R' Nechemia Waldenberger, Beit Shemesh $2k
R' Efraim Frank, Beit Shemesh $2k
R' Pesachya Sternberg, Beit Shemesh $2k
R' Yoel Turczin, Beit Shemesh $2k
Rav Sokolover, Beit Shemesh $2k
R' Nosson Kupshitz $1.8k
R' Moishe Mordche Schlesinger $1.8k
R' Yitzchok Scheiner, Kaminetz $1.8k
R' Shmuel Deutsch, Kol Torah $1.8k
R' Y. Levy $1.8k
R' Nechemia Zuckerman $1.5k
R' Avrohom Yeshaya Karelitz $1.5k
R' Moshe Carlebach $1.5k
R' Yomtov Stern $1.5k
R' Nochum Schiller $1.2k
R' Moshe Sumter $1.2k
R' Yitzchok Kalmanowitz $1k
R' Osher Kalmanowitz, Mir $1k
R' Yehuda Kravetz $1k
R' Chaim Zeibald $1k
R' Eliyahu Rimmer $1k
R' Sar Shalom Marzel $1k
Rav Schmeltzer (Telz / Monsey / Miami?) $1k
R' Yitzchok Kossovsky $1k
Rav Eltovitzky $1k
R' Netz Elzas $1k
R' Aryeh Kanievsky $1k
R' Mordechai Carlebach $1k
R' Refoel Shapiro, Beit Shemesh $1k
R' Avrohom Rivlin, Beit Shemesh $1k
R' Chaim Jacobowitz, Beit Shemesh $1k
R' Eliyahu Mittelman, Beit Shemesh $1k
R' Chaim Solomon $800
R' Refoel Solomon $800
R' Moshe Battelman $800
Rav Klein $600
R' Avrohom Bernstein $600

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Barzilai emergency room to be built on graveyard


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Monday that Barzilai Medical Center's fortified emergency room will be built according to plan, despite the discovery of ancient burial ground in its intended location.

Netanyahu made the decision in his capacity as acting health minister, ordering the graves be relocated.[...]

Baruch Lebovitz given 10-32 years for sexual abuse


A New York rabbi was sentenced today to a maximum of 32 years in jail for the repeated sexual abuse of a 16-year-old boy, prosecutors said.

Baruch Lebovits, 59, was convicted last month on eight charges of abuse of the teenager between 2004 and 2005, and was given the maximum sentence on each count -- meaning he would serve between 10 years and eight months and 32 years behind bars.

The rabbi is also a prominent businessman in the Borough Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, where the teenager also lived, said Kings County District Attorney Charles Hynes.

Two separate cases of Lebovits's alleged sexual assaults on minors are still pending.[...]

Gay & Ger - Hiding at the Seminary

United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism

There have been times in my life when I have felt like the prophet Jonah, pushed by life, or by God, to embrace the destiny from which I had run away.

In 1996, after three years working as student-rabbi for the Orthodox Jewish community of Naples, Italy, I quit my position. I had loved every moment of those years. The interactions with the various members of the community, the closeness that the position allowed me to have with them, the intellectual challenges, the spiritual high, had given new meaning to my life.

But I did feel a subtle, increasing pressure from the rabbinical establishment that I should get both an Orthodox smichah – ordination – and a wife. While I would have agreed to the smichah in a heartbeat (after all, it was my dream) I could not deal with the idea of a wife. I was a closeted gay man.[...]

Monday, April 12, 2010

Reconsidering anonymous online comments


From the start, Internet users have taken for granted that the territory was both a free-for-all and a digital disguise, allowing them to revel in their power to address the world while keeping their identities concealed.

A New Yorker cartoon from 1993, during the Web’s infancy, with one mutt saying to another, “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog,” became an emblem of that freedom. For years, it was the magazine’s most reproduced cartoon.

When news sites, after years of hanging back, embraced the idea of allowing readers to post comments, the near-universal assumption was that anyone could weigh in and remain anonymous. But now, that idea is under attack from several directions, and journalists, more than ever, are questioning whether anonymity should be a given on news sites.[...]

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Teaching kids about the Internet


When Kevin Jenkins wanted to teach his fourth-grade students at Spangler Elementary here how to use the Internet, he created a site where they could post photographs, drawings and surveys.

And they did. But to his dismay, some of his students posted surveys like “Who’s the most popular classmate?” and “Who’s the best-liked?”

Mr. Jenkins’s students “liked being able to express themselves in a place where they’re basically by themselves at a computer,” he said. “They’re not thinking that everyone’s going to see it.”[...]

Journalist turns in pedophile sources


To say that pedophilia is a hot-button issue is an understatement. But in France, a new dose of controversy was added this week when a television exposé on cyber-predators ignited a debate over journalists' ethics in the era of hidden-camera reportage. While conducting research for a program called Pedophiles: The Predators, the most recent installment of the France 2 network's hidden-camera investigative series, Les Infiltrés, reporter Laurent Richard communicated with multiple alleged pedophiles online and in person — and then turned them in to the police. But in betraying his sources — repugnant as they were — did Richard and his producers betray their profession?  [...]

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Palestinians try less violent path


Senior Palestinian leaders — men who once commanded militias — are joining unarmed protest marches against Israeli policies and are being arrested. Goods produced in Israeli settlements have been burned in public demonstrations. The Palestinian prime minister has entered West Bank areas officially off limits to his authority, to plant trees and declare the land part of a future state.

Something is stirring in the West Bank. With both diplomacy and armed struggle out of favor for having failed to end the Israeli occupation, the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority, joined by the business community, is trying to forge a third way: to rouse popular passions while avoiding violence. The idea, as Fatah struggles to revitalize its leadership, is to build a virtual state and body politic through acts of popular resistance.[...]

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Catholic Church's Catastrophe

Wall Street Journal

There is an interesting and very modern thing that often happens when individuals join and rise within mighty and venerable institutions. They come to think of the institution as invulnerable—to think that there is nothing they can do to really damage it, that the big, strong, proud establishment they’re part of can take any amount of abuse, that it doesn’t require from its members an attitude of protectiveness because it’s so strong, and has lasted so long.

And so people become blithely damaging. It happened the past decade on Wall Street, where those who said they loved what the street stood for, what it symbolized in American life, took actions that in the end tore it down, tore it to pieces. They loved Wall Street and killed it. It happens with legislators in Washington who’ve grown to old and middle age in the most powerful country in the world, and who can’t get it through their heads that the actions they’ve taken, most obviously in the area of spending, not only might deeply damage America but actually do it in.[...]

Dying peacefully or fighting?


By the time she was 38, Dr. Desiree Pardi had become a leading practitioner in palliative care, one of the fastest-growing fields in medicine, counseling terminally ill patients on their choices.

She preached the gentle gospel of her profession, persuading patients to confront their illnesses and get their affairs in order and, above all, ensuring that their last weeks were not spent in unbearable pain. She was convinced that her own experience as a cancer survivor — the disease was first diagnosed when she was 31 — made her perfect for the job.[...]

Friday, April 2, 2010

Vatican Priest:Criticising Church in abuse cases is like anti-Semitism


A senior Vatican priest speaking at a Good Friday service compared the uproar over sexual abuse scandals in the Catholic Church — which have included reports about Pope Benedict XVI’s oversight role in two cases — to the persecution of the Jews, sharply raising the volume in the Vatican’s counterattack.

The remarks, on the day Christians mark the crucifixion, underscored how much the Catholic Church has felt under attack from recent news reports and criticism over how it has handled charges of child molestation against priests in the past, and sought to focus attention on the church as the central victim.[...]

White Shul: Shir HaShirim

This Shabbos afternoon between  6:15 & 7:00  I will be talking about Shir HaShirim at the White Shul in Far Rockaway. I will being discussing the issues of the relationship between physicality and spirituality as well as reality and metaphor.

Child abuser: Jail or therapy?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Cycling & Parkinson's disease


The man had had Parkinson’s disease for 10 years, and it had progressed until he was severely affected. Parkinson’s, a neurological disorder in which some of the brain cells that control movement die, had made him unable to walk. He trembled and could walk only a few steps before falling. He froze in place, his feet feeling as if they were bolted to the floor.

But the man told Dr. Bloem something amazing: he said he was a regular exerciser — a cyclist, in fact — something that should not be possible for patients at his stage of the disease, Dr. Bloem thought.

“He said, ‘Just yesterday I rode my bicycle for 10 kilometers’ — six miles,” Dr. Bloem said. “He said he rides his bicycle for miles and miles every day.” [...]