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New York - Rabbis Advocate For Leniency In Silver Sentencing WhIle Wife Cites Health Concerns

Published on: April 21, 2016 10:45 PM
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FILE - Former New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver leaves a courthouse in New York November 30, 2015.ReutersFILE - Former New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver leaves a courthouse in New York November 30, 2015.Reuters

New York - Less than two weeks before he is due to be sentenced on corruption charges, Sheldon Silver’s wife is asking a federal judge to go easy on her husband, citing his recent battle with prostate cancer.

“It terrifies me that his father and brother both died from the same kind of cancer Shelly was diagnosed with,” wrote Rosa Silver in a letter written several weeks ago.  According to the Daily News, the letter was made public this week and emphasized the 72 year old Silver’s many accomplishments on behalf of the people of the State of New York.

Mrs. Silver asked Judge Valerie Caproni for leniency while prosecutors are asking for a sentence of more than 14 years in a federal penitentiary.

Several prominent rabbis have also gone to bat for Silver, as reported by The Forward, citing his long record of community service.

The Novominsker Rebbe, Rabbi Yaakov Perlow, acknowledged Silver’s misdeeds while requesting a lesser sentence.

“I would respectfully urge that you focus on the entirety of Mr. Silver’s career, not just his unfortunate deviations from legal strictures,” wrote Rabbi Perlow.

Rabbi Menachem Genack, CEO of the Orthodox Union, wrote a letter on Silver’s behalf, citing an instance of Silver reaching out to an insurance company to advocate for a sick person who needed help covering their medical expenses.  That letter, which described Silver as a “good person” was written by Rabbi Genack on the stationery of his synagogue, Congregation Shomrei Emunah of Teaneck, and not that of the OU.

Other who wrote letters to Judge Caproni on Silver’s behalf include former New York City mayor David Dinkins, United Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten, Silver’s former chief of staff Judy Rapfogel, and executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations Malcolm Hoenlein.

“In the four decades of our association, Mr. Silver volunteered his assistance, participation and support for many important civil and human rights, for advancing intergroup relations, and aiding charitable and communal undertakings,” Hoenlein wrote. “He did so without seeking public recognition.”
In a letter of his own written to Judge Caproni, Silver admitted that he failed the people of New York, but asked her to consider his years of public service and to consider his “lifetime of hard work and many good deeds.

Silver will be sentenced in federal court on May 3rd in Manhattan federal court.


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Read Comments (33)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Apr 21, 2016 at 11:04 PM Anonymous Says:

Rabbis should stay out if this....they knew about his huge ego and fraud and should have tried to make him atone

Prostate cancer can be treated in prison. The government should allow him and his son in law to share a cell.

2

 Apr 21, 2016 at 11:08 PM Anonymous Says:

If my husband had several Mistresses and shamed me, I would not ask for leniency. He broke his marriage vows too many times.

Bye bye

3

 Apr 21, 2016 at 11:50 PM PaulinSaudi Says:

He is seventy-two years old, does he get a pass because of hi age? He will die in jail.

4

 Apr 22, 2016 at 12:00 AM AESCHW Says:

Rabbi Genack's shul is in Englewood, not Teaneck.

5

 Apr 22, 2016 at 06:49 AM Shimon Says:

Typical begging for rachmanis when criminals are caught. They either cloak themselves in religion and/or cite their "accomplishmnets." Silver is a shanda and should serve considerable time.

6

 Apr 22, 2016 at 07:09 AM Anonymous Says:

Rosa enjoyed the millions he stole and should have thought about his prostate and age back then. Did you really need those 5 thousand dollar purses or designer jewelry?

7

 Apr 22, 2016 at 08:29 AM Boochie Says:

When he was doing crime he wasn't thinking of the time, now that he's doing the time he can think about the crime

8

 Apr 22, 2016 at 08:44 AM HeshyEmes Says:

I cannot believe the "sineh" VIN posters have towards Shelly! He was definitely helpful to the frum community and to the Klal. If the temptation to make a few dollars was too much, who knows how they would be able to withstand such a "nesoyin"? He did not live "large", he kept a low profile, and he wasn't a shvitzer. It seems to me that people are just unhappy, jealous, and petty, and enjoy seeing others being cut down. Pathetic.

9

 Apr 22, 2016 at 09:22 AM Anonymous Says:

Reading The Vitriol In previous comments I am both saddened and appalled. I get it, he lined his pockets, but why do the readers of this blog feel enriched by pleading for him to suffer. You will be unsatisfied and disappointed if he receives anything less than the maximum. Why? What happened to Rachmanim bnai Rachmanim.

10

 Apr 22, 2016 at 10:29 AM SI2 Says:

I remember years ago when a Ner Yisroel yeshiva student was victimized by a corrupt police officer - it was sheldon silver who helped out that family. That yeshiva student later went on to be a principal in a top school. How quickly we forget the people who helped us, even if they did do wrong..

11

 Apr 22, 2016 at 10:30 AM stealth Says:

He did do wrong and he did let things go to his head, but he helped tons of people.
No hakaras hatov

The only difference between him and de Blasio is that de Blasio is out of jail, and Shelly will soon be in - just like every other politician including Hillary.

A buncha ganuvim

12

 Apr 22, 2016 at 09:35 AM bennyt Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

Rabbis should stay out if this....they knew about his huge ego and fraud and should have tried to make him atone

Prostate cancer can be treated in prison. The government should allow him and his son in law to share a cell.

Why should his son-on-law have to suffer more than he is already?

13

 Apr 22, 2016 at 09:39 AM bennyt Says:

Reply to #9  
Anonymous Says:

Reading The Vitriol In previous comments I am both saddened and appalled. I get it, he lined his pockets, but why do the readers of this blog feel enriched by pleading for him to suffer. You will be unsatisfied and disappointed if he receives anything less than the maximum. Why? What happened to Rachmanim bnai Rachmanim.

Because the chillul HaShem that he committed is inexcusable. The goyim look at him and think that Jews who think they're so special are no better than anyone else.

14

 Apr 22, 2016 at 09:40 AM kenyaninwhitehouse Says:

#8 and #9 leave your rachmunus to the people he harmed TUITION paying parents who suffer due to his OBVIOUS support of UFT whereas their TOEIVA president Randi Weingarten even wrote a letter on his behalf. Shelly is as corrupt as they come.

15

 Apr 22, 2016 at 09:48 AM Voice-of-Reason Says:

If they let out a pan am bomber early for health reasons they can let him off easy too.

16

 Apr 22, 2016 at 09:57 AM Anonymous Says:

I never felt that Sheldon really cared about new Yorkers. I don't think he did much for the Jews That being said what does it help me if he suffers. more of my taxpayer money will be spent to care for him in prison. I hope he gets a light sentence ( although he should be forced to sell all his properties to pay the city back)

17

 Apr 22, 2016 at 10:33 AM Chaim Says:

Reply to #9  
Anonymous Says:

Reading The Vitriol In previous comments I am both saddened and appalled. I get it, he lined his pockets, but why do the readers of this blog feel enriched by pleading for him to suffer. You will be unsatisfied and disappointed if he receives anything less than the maximum. Why? What happened to Rachmanim bnai Rachmanim.

Shelly will still win on appeal. The government had the weakest case I've ever watched. I attended the trial.

40 years of working for the Klal is not to flushed down the toilet.
I strongly believe Shelly will win on Appeal.

Dr Taub's testimony (under a non- prosecutional agreement) was a pure embarrassment to the prosecution.

I also believe and it was reported that there was a rabble-rouser in the jury that convinced/ coerced half of the jury to change their mind to vote guilty, which was a big violation of the jury instructions. This is far from over.
Preet is not done with public officials. He knows he can win a case even with zero or at best. Circumstantial evidence. Hopefully that will change.
He reminds me of the please officer stopping cars on the bottom of the hill on rolling down above the speed limit, it's simply not a chochma. Public officials are extremely vulnerable because the public and their voters are constantly trying to kiss up to them for things in return (general Chnifa), that's the way the world works, we kiss up to anyone when we need things done.

If the government is not required to prove a clear illegal exchange (quid pro-quo) we can practically say that we vote for appointed officials for favors in return. And by the way one can bribe ppl with Kovad such as public speeches and awards etc etc, it doesn't necessarily have to be done with money..
Where does it end??

18

 Apr 22, 2016 at 10:38 AM Shvitzer Says:

Most hateful bloggers on this site are not rachmonim benai rachmonim, because they are not emesdike yidden. Check ur yichus. Rachmones is in our DNA, if u don't have it..... U r not a yid!!!!

19

 Apr 22, 2016 at 10:45 AM getitright Says:

TO all the commentators above-
i say, the way you Judge others is the way others will judge you, and the way GOD will judge you.
i do not know shelly and never benefited from him, the law can find wrong with any of us. unfortunately they are given the tools to do so.its how they advance their career.
if every person who had a mistress or affair went to jail many more people would be there.
did he steal from you?
did he hurt you?
he abused power.
i ask, you don't abuse power?
you do everything right 100% of the time.

why should a judge not focus on the GOOD- why only on the mistakes.
is that how you want yourself JUDGED.

burn the chometz out of your heart.

20

 Apr 22, 2016 at 10:52 AM RocklandRes Says:

Reply to #8  
HeshyEmes Says:

I cannot believe the "sineh" VIN posters have towards Shelly! He was definitely helpful to the frum community and to the Klal. If the temptation to make a few dollars was too much, who knows how they would be able to withstand such a "nesoyin"? He did not live "large", he kept a low profile, and he wasn't a shvitzer. It seems to me that people are just unhappy, jealous, and petty, and enjoy seeing others being cut down. Pathetic.

Yeah but he was supposed to help all his constituents. Not just the frum. Shelly represents everything crooked in NY politics.

21

 Apr 22, 2016 at 11:22 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #8  
HeshyEmes Says:

I cannot believe the "sineh" VIN posters have towards Shelly! He was definitely helpful to the frum community and to the Klal. If the temptation to make a few dollars was too much, who knows how they would be able to withstand such a "nesoyin"? He did not live "large", he kept a low profile, and he wasn't a shvitzer. It seems to me that people are just unhappy, jealous, and petty, and enjoy seeing others being cut down. Pathetic.

YoU say he didn't live large? Two thousand dollar suits, rolexes, taking his mistresses on vacations in fancy places. That's large to me. He shook down every frum I know for cash.

22

 Apr 22, 2016 at 12:41 PM Anonymous Says:

To number 14. Yes he absolutely committed a chillul hashem, and chillul Hashem is so severe that even after teshuva, only death affords Mechila. But as much as we need to avoid Chillul Hashem and to prevent it at all costs, that does not convey upon us the right to wish ill upon him after the fact. Even Bais Din, can not punish an individual for it. It's Bain Adam Lamakom. You however have a chiyuv of Bain Adam Lachavairo. I hate what he did, and I hate the result. I don't hate him nor do I relish the future pain he will be going through. Neither should you.

23

 Apr 22, 2016 at 12:43 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #7  
Boochie Says:

When he was doing crime he wasn't thinking of the time, now that he's doing the time he can think about the crime

The notion if you do the crime do the time is wrong and silly in so many ways. For starters we believe in repentance. Everyone makes mistakes.

24

 Apr 22, 2016 at 12:44 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #11  
stealth Says:

He did do wrong and he did let things go to his head, but he helped tons of people.
No hakaras hatov

The only difference between him and de Blasio is that de Blasio is out of jail, and Shelly will soon be in - just like every other politician including Hillary.

A buncha ganuvim

Hilary a ganef??? Huh? She stole anythong ever??

25

 Apr 22, 2016 at 01:30 PM Esther Says:

Reply to #8  
HeshyEmes Says:

I cannot believe the "sineh" VIN posters have towards Shelly! He was definitely helpful to the frum community and to the Klal. If the temptation to make a few dollars was too much, who knows how they would be able to withstand such a "nesoyin"? He did not live "large", he kept a low profile, and he wasn't a shvitzer. It seems to me that people are just unhappy, jealous, and petty, and enjoy seeing others being cut down. Pathetic.

I agree with you. Money is a tremendous nisoyon and his misdeeds don't erase the good that he did.

26

 Apr 22, 2016 at 01:39 PM Esther Says:

Reply to #17  
Chaim Says:

Shelly will still win on appeal. The government had the weakest case I've ever watched. I attended the trial.

40 years of working for the Klal is not to flushed down the toilet.
I strongly believe Shelly will win on Appeal.

Dr Taub's testimony (under a non- prosecutional agreement) was a pure embarrassment to the prosecution.

I also believe and it was reported that there was a rabble-rouser in the jury that convinced/ coerced half of the jury to change their mind to vote guilty, which was a big violation of the jury instructions. This is far from over.
Preet is not done with public officials. He knows he can win a case even with zero or at best. Circumstantial evidence. Hopefully that will change.
He reminds me of the please officer stopping cars on the bottom of the hill on rolling down above the speed limit, it's simply not a chochma. Public officials are extremely vulnerable because the public and their voters are constantly trying to kiss up to them for things in return (general Chnifa), that's the way the world works, we kiss up to anyone when we need things done.

If the government is not required to prove a clear illegal exchange (quid pro-quo) we can practically say that we vote for appointed officials for favors in return. And by the way one can bribe ppl with Kovad such as public speeches and awards etc etc, it doesn't necessarily have to be done with money..
Where does it end??

Politicians are not extremely vulnerable and blaming Preet or anyone else for enforcing the law is pathetic.Making ridiculous excuses for politicians isn't helpful or productive either. Our justice system ,although of course not perfect,protects innocent people. Too many politicians are corrupt,casting a great pall on the entire political system.

27

 Apr 22, 2016 at 01:50 PM Tzi_Bar_David Says:

I have friends among the goyim and they don't view Yidden any worse for Silver than they view the Greeks because of Skelos. Everyone knows ALL NY politicians are dirty to a degree, otherwise they would get honest jobs. As for the medical nonsense...there are prison doctors who will be able to look after Shelly as he spends his remaining years "vacationing" on the south shores of the St Lawrence River.

28

 Apr 22, 2016 at 02:53 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #23  
Anonymous Says:

The notion if you do the crime do the time is wrong and silly in so many ways. For starters we believe in repentance. Everyone makes mistakes.

Yes, we all make mistakes, but not all of us steal millions and millions of dollars. Stop making excuses because he is frum!

29

 Apr 22, 2016 at 04:25 PM farrockgrandma Says:

As upset as we all are at the public attention and hillul Hashem, I can't celebrate anyone's suffering. He is certainly no danger to anyone anymore.

30

 Apr 24, 2016 at 02:22 AM ExpatriateOwl Says:

Reply to #19  
getitright Says:

TO all the commentators above-
i say, the way you Judge others is the way others will judge you, and the way GOD will judge you.
i do not know shelly and never benefited from him, the law can find wrong with any of us. unfortunately they are given the tools to do so.its how they advance their career.
if every person who had a mistress or affair went to jail many more people would be there.
did he steal from you?
did he hurt you?
he abused power.
i ask, you don't abuse power?
you do everything right 100% of the time.

why should a judge not focus on the GOOD- why only on the mistakes.
is that how you want yourself JUDGED.

burn the chometz out of your heart.

As a New York State taxpayer, yes, Shelly DID steal from me!

31

 Apr 25, 2016 at 01:03 AM PASHUT Says:

So many judges! To all those who have part-time jobs as anonymous judges on-line, I wish upon you some judgements just like your own. Then maybe you'll develop a live and let live attitude. I wish Shelly well, simply because he's a jew in a tough spot. Why should I care about the rest? I'm not a judge, and it's not my business.

32

 Apr 25, 2016 at 04:09 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #29  
farrockgrandma Says:

As upset as we all are at the public attention and hillul Hashem, I can't celebrate anyone's suffering. He is certainly no danger to anyone anymore.

No danger to anyone? How about his wife? Ever hear of std?
Sexually transmitted disease

33

 Apr 25, 2016 at 11:41 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #31  
PASHUT Says:

So many judges! To all those who have part-time jobs as anonymous judges on-line, I wish upon you some judgements just like your own. Then maybe you'll develop a live and let live attitude. I wish Shelly well, simply because he's a jew in a tough spot. Why should I care about the rest? I'm not a judge, and it's not my business.

If he were a goy, you would want him jailed. Stop making excuses for our fraudulent and promiscuous men!

34

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