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New York - Do We Fear More From Bugs On Raspberries Than Standards of Law

Published on: July 28, 2009 10:23 AM
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New York - It’s hard to adequately express the sense of outrage one feels at seeing the news of New Jersey and New York rabbis arrested in a money-laundering scheme this past week. These men are accused of using charitable and educational institutions to launder millions of dollars in the past several years. And let’s not forget the gruesome sideshow of trafficking in organ sales.

One has to assume that if they are guilty as charged, there is a special place in hell reserved for these individuals. Not only did they play the part of pious clergy while pursuing their criminal paths but they made religious and charitable institutions into (one hopes unwitting) accomplices. If the Deity commands and rewards us for being a light unto the nations, for glorifying His great Name, the corollary punishment for those who so totally and completely disgrace that same Name must be awesome indeed.
There will, of course, be those who will condemn the inevitable breast-beating that will follow. There are bad apples in every bunch, they’ll tell us. Let’s not condemn a community for the acts of an aberrant few. Perhaps. But bad behavior can always be excused, ignored or explained. Occasionally there is cause for deeper reflection.

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Is it possible that there is something in the Orthodox community in general and the haredi community in particular that creates fertile ground for this type of fraud? I’ve too often witnessed, here and in Israel, a perverse notion that we few who feel bound by the laws of God are free to flaunt the laws of man. That the seriousness with which we hold halacha (or, Jewish law) forces us to view state law as trite, flawed — unimportant at best, a nuisance at worst.

I remember as a yeshiva student in Israel being urged to spend the day learning at a settlement. “Why today?” I inquired. It was the day the government was auditing the number of full-time students to determine the level of state subsidy. It was a mitzvah, I was told — we’d be keeping the state from subsidizing non-kosher kibbutzim. We’d be keeping pork out of peoples’ mouths, I was told. (The yeshiva greatly overestimated the State’s budget line for bacon subsidies). I declined.
We see the same sort of flouting of laws in Israel today by some members of the haredi community — whether it is rioting to protest the opening of parking lots on the Sabbath or stone throwing and garbage burning to support a woman suspected of starving her toddler son. Municipal services had to be suspended in these neighborhoods out of fear for the safety of city workers.

Yes, I know — a few bad apples. But where is the outrage? Where are the haredi leaders jumping up to protest? Where are the public vigils or the excommunications? This is a community that is pretty good at enforcing standards of behavior when they are motivated to do so. Have we actually convinced ourselves that we can be good Jews and bad people at the same time?
Many years ago, when I first heard Rabbi Norman Lamm speak, the then-president of Yeshiva University accused his fellow Orthodox Jews of losing sight of the forest of Torah because of the trees of halacha. Those words were never more true than today. Is it really possible that we, as Orthodox Jews, believe that we can create better societies and more caring communities by avoiding raspberries for fear that they may have bugs in them while not holding ourselves to even the basic standards of law and decency? Is it really possible that we believe we are in greater danger from women appearing at the pulpit than from rabbis appearing at a perp walk? Perhaps it is time to stop waiting for the perfection of the world that will come along with the building of the Third Temple and engage in perfecting ourselves and the communities we live in.

Mark Charendoff is the President of the Jewish Funders Network . and can be reached at mark@jfunders.org


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1

 Jul 28, 2009 at 09:28 AM Anonymous Says:

Amen

2

 Jul 28, 2009 at 09:31 AM Anonymous Says:

it's strawberries, and they have bugs, I've seen it. They are almost unavoidable without proper washing. And it's 5 avairos for each bugs.

Why do you have to make fun of shemeiros hamitzvos to make your point?

3

 Jul 28, 2009 at 09:31 AM ..........BPer Says:

I remember the bakery on 49th selling cookies with bugs...and they have a hechsher.....whatever

4

 Jul 28, 2009 at 09:49 AM Anonymous Says:

Thank you for your erudite statements. While I do not dispute your comments, I think that we must continue to wait for the perfection of the Third Temple however it will only arrive when we perfect ourselves and when we realize that we can not pick and choose those parts of Torah that we like, we must embrace Torah the H"KB expects us to, we must pattern our lives to live by ALL the precepts of the Torah. I see a degradation of our way of life. Our children show less & less respect towards each other and consequently less respect to the older generation. Our pride & self determination has declined to a never before low. Our young men are not being taught how to earn a living, so they subsequently jump at every get rich scheme that comes along. Our young boys are looking for girls whoose fathers have money and girls are looking for boys whoose parents have money. When I got married my parents or inlaws didn't buy us a house or furniture or anything else. We both had jobs and worked hard and davened hard that our lives would be good together. We were both taught a respect for the law of the land and respect for our elders. I have been married for 40 years to the same Ayshes Chayil and we still both work to support ourselves. WE have never been arested or accused of fraud or any other crime,we pay our taxes, we still daven and ask H'KB to watch over us and our children and Klal Yisroel. We are not rich and we hope that we will be able to retire, but that does not look to good at this point, however we will leave that to the Abishter. My late Tate, told me many times over in life you only have your good name "mach iis nisht shmutzik". Do Mitzvahs, not Chillul HaShem.

5

 Jul 28, 2009 at 09:49 AM Strivingfortruth Says:

What a terrible point to stand on! This whole issue is extremely unfortunate for klal yisrael, but it's quite pathetic and disappointing that you need to downplay a crucial kashrus concern to make a point. One has nothing to do with the other. Open a shulchan aruch! Bedikas Tolayim is a chiyuv.

6

 Jul 28, 2009 at 09:51 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
Anonymous Says:

it's strawberries, and they have bugs, I've seen it. They are almost unavoidable without proper washing. And it's 5 avairos for each bugs.

Why do you have to make fun of shemeiros hamitzvos to make your point?

I don't beleive the writer was making fun of mitzvas only that people are more concerned with certain mitzvahs then with certain avairos.

7

 Jul 28, 2009 at 09:52 AM moish Says:

Once upon a time there used to be people that would always look for the good in klal yisroel, such as the heilige berditchever zt"l, a famous story with him when there was a tobacco ban, he raised his eyes to heaven and said mi kamcha yisroel, although being found with the tobacco would result in great punishment from the authorities, the yidden could all be found hiding it, but search there houses on pesach and although there are no policemen you won't find a morsel of chametz. And I say mi kamcha yisroel that you have moira shomayim and are scared of possibly eating bugs that no one would know whether you ate it or not, but the moira bosor vedom does not come close to it.
But what should we do in ikveso dmshicha, yirei chet yimosu. So instead of saneigoron shel yisroel we have kateigorin shel yisroel together with all the other bloggers who thats there favorite sport.

8

 Jul 28, 2009 at 09:55 AM Batsheva Says:

why does one area of halacha exclude the other? we can be careful about being honest, good citizens in addition to checking our food for bugs

9

 Jul 28, 2009 at 09:55 AM Anonymous Says:

It's nice that you recognize that there are issues. But do you really expect that there will be outrage? haredi leaders jumping up to protest? excommunications? Of course you don't. The establishment is entrenched and it's not in crisis. The establishment leaders are not planning to do anything about these issues.

But what are you going to do? Where's the "therefore", Mark? Because without the "therefore", you article is just so many vibrations in the ether...

10

 Jul 28, 2009 at 09:50 AM Anonymous Says:

Shame Shame who ever wrote this article,
I'm involved in helping some of these people, I can clearly state that if possible there are some rotten apples like the con artist the informant the FBi agent a freind of every one he and the FBI entrapped, we should all protest on the method and system used to carry out the so called ring of thugs bust, ANTI SEMETISM is clear its a system used by KGB in russia, with the worst scenario entrapping a chief Rabbi with his two associates then coming with 300+ agents in the middle of prayers with the media on hand making the arrests, I did ask this question to some of the agent/officers and they had no answer other than an act of anti semitism which should be protested, yes we have to fight and correst every rotten apple, it is no excuse for them to take ANTI SEMITIC acts to destroy the beuty of our communities, I asked one agent I spoke to one of many questions where you ever in a homeless shelter did you see any chasidic homeless do you know why not because our community is engulfed in good deed not in criminal, these same Rabbis arrested where the ones who arrange his bail and he was freindly with and entrapped them.
Were are your brains who did what in this case the FBI used their highest level of expertee to entrap such people and arrewst all at once to boost their reputation with such success, it's ahuge balloon with cold air.


11

 Jul 28, 2009 at 09:46 AM Anonymous Says:

It does kind of seem to be the height of stupidity to ridicule an attempt to inform the public about a potential halachic pitfall which obviously not everyone is aware of (e.g. bugs etc.) with the presumed lack of public notification about stealing and engaging in illegal activity which despite the publics perhaps unwillingness to listen, they are certainly aware. Are you saying that we should transgress all the mitzvos because some have transgressed on a few? How shortsighted and stupid...

12

 Jul 28, 2009 at 09:45 AM Anonymous Says:

great article how people are so niker on kasherous
what comes into thier mouth is an aveira that is avoidable
what comes out ones mouth can be tantamount to murder and destruction

13

 Jul 28, 2009 at 09:42 AM Anonymous Says:

There is absolutely no need to knock our aversion to eating bugs in order to make your point. Eating bugs is an issur and no amount of wishing will make that go away. If you have evidence that it's not a problem, state it, but don't confuse that issue with your main point.
When people confuse the issues I begin to suspect that they're motives are not as pure as they allege.

14

 Jul 28, 2009 at 10:01 AM Use Your Head Says:

The man is 100% right. He's not saying that the prohibition against eating bugs is not important. He's just saying that there is something terribly wrong with the Orthodox world when we place greater emphasis on such prohibitions than on the most basic tenets of honesty and decency, which form the essence of the Torah. Of course we should not eat bugs, either. But how come the Orthodox world can go wild over bugs in strawberrys or avodah zarah in wigs while at the same time completely overlooking basic issues of honesty in financial dealings and the like? If you are going to prioritize, these matters should be at the top of the list because they can cause tremendous chillul Hashem and really are the foundation of a Torah life.

15

 Jul 28, 2009 at 09:34 AM Anonymous Says:

If he thinks only Charedim are the worst offenders (with the premise of innocent until proven guilty suspended for the purpose of this obviously biased article), then Bernie Madoff, Ezra Merkin etc., were all Charedi and had no connection whatsoever to Norman Lamm and Yeshiva University.
There are a few bad apples in every bunch, and anyone who actually does go ahead and launder money, sell organs etc. (assuming the charges are true and were not the results of a set up), then they have no right to call themselves Charedi.

16

 Jul 28, 2009 at 10:11 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
..........BPer Says:

I remember the bakery on 49th selling cookies with bugs...and they have a hechsher.....whatever

I just recently bought a cupcake in a grocery in Boro Park. When I got home the entire bag had a million tiny ants on it. I will never buy an unwrapped bakery item again in that store or in any other.

17

 Jul 28, 2009 at 10:11 AM Anonymous Says:

modern orthedoxy is reform , there is nothing wrong with reagular old judiasem that has not changed in thousands of years . telol these clowns to shut up , they will be history soon

18

 Jul 28, 2009 at 10:10 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
Anonymous Says:

it's strawberries, and they have bugs, I've seen it. They are almost unavoidable without proper washing. And it's 5 avairos for each bugs.

Why do you have to make fun of shemeiros hamitzvos to make your point?

And raspberries are so infested, that even after washing with soap and hot water, the bugs are still crawling, visible without any magnification. Blackberries too.
Who wants to eat bugs?

19

 Jul 28, 2009 at 10:10 AM Anonymous Says:

I was always looking for that squealy squirmy bug in the raspberry-he wrote an article-Wow

20

 Jul 28, 2009 at 10:09 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #14  
Use Your Head Says:

The man is 100% right. He's not saying that the prohibition against eating bugs is not important. He's just saying that there is something terribly wrong with the Orthodox world when we place greater emphasis on such prohibitions than on the most basic tenets of honesty and decency, which form the essence of the Torah. Of course we should not eat bugs, either. But how come the Orthodox world can go wild over bugs in strawberrys or avodah zarah in wigs while at the same time completely overlooking basic issues of honesty in financial dealings and the like? If you are going to prioritize, these matters should be at the top of the list because they can cause tremendous chillul Hashem and really are the foundation of a Torah life.

avodah zarah is not the foundation of Torah life?!It's the first dibrah!

22

 Jul 28, 2009 at 09:48 AM Askupeh Says:

This writer is an opportunist with an agenda, and "perfecting ourselves" is sure not it. What a hypocrite!

What analogies he uses to make his point, tells it all. For whom do you think is a “special place in hell” waiting; for this writer or for Rabbi Kassin? I would rather be in Gehenom with Rabbi Kassin then with this writer in Gan Eden.

23

 Jul 28, 2009 at 10:21 AM NB Says:

Reply to #10  
Anonymous Says:

Shame Shame who ever wrote this article,
I'm involved in helping some of these people, I can clearly state that if possible there are some rotten apples like the con artist the informant the FBi agent a freind of every one he and the FBI entrapped, we should all protest on the method and system used to carry out the so called ring of thugs bust, ANTI SEMETISM is clear its a system used by KGB in russia, with the worst scenario entrapping a chief Rabbi with his two associates then coming with 300+ agents in the middle of prayers with the media on hand making the arrests, I did ask this question to some of the agent/officers and they had no answer other than an act of anti semitism which should be protested, yes we have to fight and correst every rotten apple, it is no excuse for them to take ANTI SEMITIC acts to destroy the beuty of our communities, I asked one agent I spoke to one of many questions where you ever in a homeless shelter did you see any chasidic homeless do you know why not because our community is engulfed in good deed not in criminal, these same Rabbis arrested where the ones who arrange his bail and he was freindly with and entrapped them.
Were are your brains who did what in this case the FBI used their highest level of expertee to entrap such people and arrewst all at once to boost their reputation with such success, it's ahuge balloon with cold air.


This is such a classic case of how we love to deflect attention by pointing out to...but look at the chessed we do...

Here's a little parable...
There was once a city bus driver named Herman who was given a route up 2nd Ave to drive every morning. It was a quiet yet integral route in the vast bus route network. At the end of the day Herman would come back to the depot with about $150.

One day at 6:00PM Herman came striding into the bus depot with a huge grin on his face. He made his way to his bosses office and desk and placed $565 down and sat down across from his bosses puzzled expression.
"What's this Herman?"
"Boss I found a route...down 5th ave..I'm telling you..it's a goldmine!"

Hermans folly is clear. He doesn't see the big picture..and while he certainly meant well..if he were to continue that 5th ave route he would most definitely be fired..no matter how much money he brings in. That's because the 5th ave route is not HIS route. He's not doing anyone a favor by going down 5th ave.

The lesson is that every person has one primary goal and assignment to accomplish and deep down everyone knows what that is. It is the one thing that the Yetzer Horah really puts his energy into.
For every person it's different.
But we try to avoid this by focusing on other things..thinking that somehow davening better, or giving alot of tzedakah etc..will help distract us from our true monumental task
We think that somehow we can come into Hashems office at the end of the day and place a wad of cash and he'll forget about our true job.

It's the most base form of divine bribery.....

24

 Jul 28, 2009 at 10:21 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #4  
Anonymous Says:

Thank you for your erudite statements. While I do not dispute your comments, I think that we must continue to wait for the perfection of the Third Temple however it will only arrive when we perfect ourselves and when we realize that we can not pick and choose those parts of Torah that we like, we must embrace Torah the H"KB expects us to, we must pattern our lives to live by ALL the precepts of the Torah. I see a degradation of our way of life. Our children show less & less respect towards each other and consequently less respect to the older generation. Our pride & self determination has declined to a never before low. Our young men are not being taught how to earn a living, so they subsequently jump at every get rich scheme that comes along. Our young boys are looking for girls whoose fathers have money and girls are looking for boys whoose parents have money. When I got married my parents or inlaws didn't buy us a house or furniture or anything else. We both had jobs and worked hard and davened hard that our lives would be good together. We were both taught a respect for the law of the land and respect for our elders. I have been married for 40 years to the same Ayshes Chayil and we still both work to support ourselves. WE have never been arested or accused of fraud or any other crime,we pay our taxes, we still daven and ask H'KB to watch over us and our children and Klal Yisroel. We are not rich and we hope that we will be able to retire, but that does not look to good at this point, however we will leave that to the Abishter. My late Tate, told me many times over in life you only have your good name "mach iis nisht shmutzik". Do Mitzvahs, not Chillul HaShem.

you are the rock upon which a community gets built. yeasher koahc. great talkback

25

 Jul 28, 2009 at 10:20 AM Donna Says:

All the people I know have the ability to avoid both eating bugs and money laundering simultaneously.

26

 Jul 28, 2009 at 10:17 AM m.b. Says:

i dont know you ,your qualifications,background,etc but to inform you ,we yidden are an am kodosh bnai kl choi and no anti semite fbi thug ,us judge ,media ,etc is qualified to pass judgement on the simple one of us! there is much more honesty ,ethics,charity, kindness,emunah,etc in our criminals[mosrim excluded] than any member of the fbi team who are using & abusing their position of authority to destroy whoever they please! who gives these thugs the right to embaress a elected offical before he convicted of any crime ? what is the legal,financial , & social recourse granted to defandant who will be acquited? will this fbi [kgb] thug call a national press conference to publicly appoligise to an innocent person ,pay his legal bills,etc? who made these laws anway lets examine these legislators one by one , life styles, etc they are non entities for an am kodosh ! all this notwithstanding , we are in golus & most avoid negative spotlighting at all cost even when our illegalities towers well above their of law
but to have them & yes their jewish cohorts judge & moralise to us no way!

27

 Jul 28, 2009 at 10:16 AM Poshuteryid Says:

By the way. those were devorim hayotzim min halev geshriben durch treren!

28

 Jul 28, 2009 at 10:15 AM Poshuteryid Says:

Yes we do and we a re proud of it! Reminds me of the story of the berditziver on Pesach asked for outlawed wartime metals and fabrics found tons asked for chometz nobody had any, said RS"O look at how great your people are:despite a tangible threat of imprisonment or worse, they are not overly meticulous in observance of man made laws, You say chometz is an issur koreis (even though, most don't even know what that means) nobody has a drop.
The tragic side of what has occured is obvious. Look below the surface and there is an much needed at this time obvious limud zchus for klal yisroel.
Let's stop examining everything mit a linke eig. We need zchusen They are here to be found. Too many think that they are lawyers employed by the sitra acher. Don't worry, he has good ones already and doesn't pay well.
The Oibershter, on the other hand. pays well and bleibt nisht kein baal chov.
Time for VIN readers to become defens attorneys to be melamed zchus yidden. In that zchus may the Oibershter be melamed zchus you and all of klkal Yisroel and take us once and for all out of the dark, painful and drawn out, yoser midai (!) golus!

29

 Jul 28, 2009 at 10:14 AM Anonymous Says:

The bugs have five lavin per bug. The discussion of money laundering is tax evasion. and Dina De'malchusa. Period. I would love to see the authors tax returns. Don't get so high and mighty here. I am not condoning the behavior but get a grip. You are making it sound as these are the most evil people in the world -Special place in Gehenom- The most it is is Genaivah- Special place in gehennom? In addition maybe you should ask if these individuals are pocketing the money or supplementing your moisads tuition needs? Special place in Gehennom?

Gruesome organ trade..... all consenting people..if it were donated for which one may need to wait years if CH"V one needs one it isn't gruesome anymore....Amazing.

This article is about Chareidi bashing and nothing else....
If the author were a G-d fearing person he would not be deciding which Issurei hatorah are more of concern...HE IS NOT. His priorities are based on perceived social mores and the outrage in the press. Nothing more.

30

 Jul 28, 2009 at 10:34 AM Moshe Says:

The rabbi (yes the author has s'micha from a chareidi yeshiva) makes what should be an obvious point. The comments here focusing on bugs sadly just confirm that that we have been conditioned to focus on certain mitzvos to the exclusion of others. This has nothing to do with the fact that checking for bugs is also important. If we are honest with ourselves, we all have seen the unfortunate attitude in our community of doing whatever you can get away with.

31

 Jul 28, 2009 at 10:41 AM Anonymous Says:

The article in no way made light of the issur deoraisa of achilas tolaim. The point argued--and it is downright valid--is that we have completely lost our sense of perspective and priorities. We should keep ALL the mitzvos with all our hearts, but even with this goal the priorities of the Torah are clear. Every second grader can tell you why Dor Haflaga was saved while Dor Hamabul perished. Personally, i would categorize the aveiros of Dor Haflagah with issurei tolaim, and there is no question that the events of recent weeks correlate with those tht precipitated the mabul.

32

 Jul 28, 2009 at 10:38 AM Chabadnick Says:

"It's a bug," said father.
"It has wings" said Yoely.
Mother said, "Look, six legs!
What else do we know?"

"It eats other bugs.
The harmful ones, you see.
It's also called criminals,"
Said my uncle leib.

Yankel zurech exclaimed,
That the real bug is the yoshve butelnicks that only look for creating problems for am yisroel

33

 Jul 28, 2009 at 10:37 AM Barzilai Says:

The writer knows that eating tola'im is assur, and that it's more than one lahv. The point of the essay is that Chillul Hashem and gneiva is also not a good thing. Generally, it's hard to weigh one aveira against another. But chillul hashem is definitely both a greater rish'us and more severely punished than eating bugs, if you judge by the Gemara in Sanhedrin that says that only missa and yesurim are mechapeir for c'h. If you want to argue with the writer, argue about whether laundering is wicked or merely illegal.

34

 Jul 28, 2009 at 10:55 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #31  
Anonymous Says:

The article in no way made light of the issur deoraisa of achilas tolaim. The point argued--and it is downright valid--is that we have completely lost our sense of perspective and priorities. We should keep ALL the mitzvos with all our hearts, but even with this goal the priorities of the Torah are clear. Every second grader can tell you why Dor Haflaga was saved while Dor Hamabul perished. Personally, i would categorize the aveiros of Dor Haflagah with issurei tolaim, and there is no question that the events of recent weeks correlate with those tht precipitated the mabul.

If the Dor Hamabul would have only done Chamas it would not have beeen destroyed either. It did not have the attribute of peace among them to save them. But the sins were as appears in the torah, see text, Arrayus.

By the way sometimes you need to read between the lines. The author is not saying what your saying, He is denegrating the chareidi attitude towards everything. AND TOLAIM.

35

 Jul 28, 2009 at 11:02 AM A Yid Fin Derheim Says:

I think you should be ashamed and embarrassed of yourself for posting such comments and you should hide in your grave for saying this on klal yisroel, its a bishu and a charpah that a yid should talk on another yid like this, you know very well that all those people are really innocent and they were trapped by leider a yidishe muser with the help of the friendly anti-semitic FBI agents, and instead of being dan l'kaf zchis specially in the 9 days when sinahs chinum created the churban, you're doing the opposite, i can just tell you once again SHAME ON YOU !!!

36

 Jul 28, 2009 at 10:54 AM the truth Says:

Someone once asked a shola of R' moshe fienstien z'l about hatzula on shobes. If its miter certain things.. So the great true posek said its miter. So the gentleman asked what about chilel shobes? Are u not mokpet on chilel shobes? The great true posek answered.. Yes I am. But I am more mokpit on pekiech nefesh.. Only a true das tora can say which one u need to me more mokpit... Yes this writer does not mention that the CW came in begging for mercy for his wife and 5 kids. That they don't have what to eat. And please have mercy.. This was the only weapon that the CW knew will work. Cuse we r mezare avruhum yitchuk vyokov we strive to help another fellow jew we r ready sometimes to be mora heter to help another yid.. This writer looks like on rosh hashuna he will starve a jew on order to have a real uni for purim to give motuned L'evyunim.. Yes he might not be mokpit on a small bug. Cuse its between him and the all mighty.. But if he can say no to others. That's his joy especially if we can find a isser. That will be great so we can give musser as well and boast I'm. A tzodik.. We choridim love to help ppl that even the greatest crook btrayer drwk we helped. We got him out of bail we did anything and everything to help him. But I think its even deeper. Cuse this writer might even be considered worshiping the idol.. Cuse he only does things that depends what other ppl will say. I would like to c how much charity he give and how much orgeniztions he has running doing for the klol..he is probably like theu guys running around the street its a isser to help. that guy, and the other. In other words he finds and is mokpit not to help. No were in the WORLD can u find a thick yellow pges full of chesed from hatzula to takeing rides to the hospitals. And chovirim. Changine tires 3am. This writer is probably saying and is mokpit. On his sleep. And says probably its cold out there I might get a cold. So I'm not allowed to endanger my self

37

 Jul 28, 2009 at 11:01 AM der ir miklater rebbe Says:

All the above comments just reinforce the main point of the article unknowingly.

Not only are we more worried about not eating bugs that may or may not exist more than we are interested in being a light onto the nations in order to bring the geualh shleimah, we find that standing up for our chumros is paramount to taking a little mussar in an area where we lack greatly.
How come non of the above comments can't address the issue discussed but rather tries to over analyze the heading.
Again we are giving the nations what they want. For them to justify the teachings of their leader ; the one who overturned the money changing tables to proclaim his disgust with the bureaucracy and corruption of the ones in power.
Let's prove them wrong!!
Vhoyo bayoim hahu yehyeh hashem echad ushmoi echad !!
It's our responsibility ...

38

 Jul 28, 2009 at 10:36 AM Avraham Says:

By the way, even if some of these accused are innocent, there are dozens of these scams going on in shtiblech and most people wink at it. There have been numerous convictions in the past. So let's not blame the FBI

39

 Jul 28, 2009 at 11:00 AM Anonymous Says:

The writer was definitely not making fun of mitzvos. However he was bringing across a strong point. That we seem to value establishing chumros over observance of integral matters. Fraud and dishonesty tear at the fabric of society, a concept very valued by the Torah. The first question the beis din shel maaloh asks is if you were honest in your business activities. Maybe if Hashem would have made dishonesty a "plain" minhag rather than a "lav" in the Torah, people would observe it with more alactrity. Too bad. There's a famous story about this guy who had a bottle of milk in the kolel fridge and everybody used it. He put up a sign "lo signov" to no avail. Finally he hit on a plan. He put up a sign "cholov akum" and nobody used his milk again.

40

 Jul 28, 2009 at 10:31 AM Jason Says:

All these comments are so asinine! There is no greater support for this article then these very comments. The author is not mocking strawberries or other mitzvos. He is merely putting it in perspective!

How we can be so careful about one thing, but others thing (which are perhaps more important) are somehow forgotten.

41

 Jul 28, 2009 at 11:15 AM Anonymous Says:

"Norman Lamm speak, the then-president of Yeshiva University accused his fellow Orthodox Jews of losing sight of the forest of Torah because of the trees of halacha" and lamm and co long lost sight of the trees of halacha for the forest of goyishe society.
We also know daas baalei batim hepech daas torah, so if we want to know daas torah, we only have to induce the opposite of this article, and the special place in hell will be for the people who think halachos are flexible and need to be "modernized" to change with the times r"l and that the law of the land is more important than the law of the torah r"l.

42

 Jul 28, 2009 at 11:42 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #35  
A Yid Fin Derheim Says:

I think you should be ashamed and embarrassed of yourself for posting such comments and you should hide in your grave for saying this on klal yisroel, its a bishu and a charpah that a yid should talk on another yid like this, you know very well that all those people are really innocent and they were trapped by leider a yidishe muser with the help of the friendly anti-semitic FBI agents, and instead of being dan l'kaf zchis specially in the 9 days when sinahs chinum created the churban, you're doing the opposite, i can just tell you once again SHAME ON YOU !!!

I can not beleive that you are from derheim. These people all had the opportunity to say NO to what they knew to be a vilolation of the law. They chose to ignore this fact. Why do you say they are inocent. If they were inocent they would not have said yes and refused the requests of Mr. Drek. All it takes is one simple word NO!

43

 Jul 28, 2009 at 11:42 AM Anonymous Says:

Do we really have to care about anything in the jewish bleak???

44

 Jul 28, 2009 at 11:41 AM Abe Says:

Yes Mr. cherendoff, we all agree that obeying social laws is more important than avoiding the bugs in "raspberries". But please don't spite the people that might be more observant than you who indeed do check their "raspberries". Many of these individuals are truly G-D fearing and law obeying citizens. Instead of poking fun of the pious, simply state your logical solution and move on. I have no respect for people that make fun of the more observant. As our rabbis have taught and history has proven, because of their jealousy and sense of emptiness these individuals turn to spite and anger.

45

 Jul 28, 2009 at 11:41 AM Moshe Says:

His point with the Strawberries was: that according to many "פוסקים" you don’t have to be "חושש" but we chose to be "מחמיר". But as far the law, and “Dina Dmlcisa” is concerned, we try to get every excuse.

46

 Jul 28, 2009 at 11:37 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #41  
Anonymous Says:

"Norman Lamm speak, the then-president of Yeshiva University accused his fellow Orthodox Jews of losing sight of the forest of Torah because of the trees of halacha" and lamm and co long lost sight of the trees of halacha for the forest of goyishe society.
We also know daas baalei batim hepech daas torah, so if we want to know daas torah, we only have to induce the opposite of this article, and the special place in hell will be for the people who think halachos are flexible and need to be "modernized" to change with the times r"l and that the law of the land is more important than the law of the torah r"l.

I do not beleive that anyone said that, however observnce of Torah does not give anyone the privelage of violation the laws of the country we live in. The reason we have some hatred from the Goyim is that we think that we are above the laws and we can blatantly ignore them. There is nothing written in Torah that says we should act like common criminals.

47

 Jul 28, 2009 at 11:49 AM Eli Says:

Reply to #29  
Anonymous Says:

The bugs have five lavin per bug. The discussion of money laundering is tax evasion. and Dina De'malchusa. Period. I would love to see the authors tax returns. Don't get so high and mighty here. I am not condoning the behavior but get a grip. You are making it sound as these are the most evil people in the world -Special place in Gehenom- The most it is is Genaivah- Special place in gehennom? In addition maybe you should ask if these individuals are pocketing the money or supplementing your moisads tuition needs? Special place in Gehennom?

Gruesome organ trade..... all consenting people..if it were donated for which one may need to wait years if CH"V one needs one it isn't gruesome anymore....Amazing.

This article is about Chareidi bashing and nothing else....
If the author were a G-d fearing person he would not be deciding which Issurei hatorah are more of concern...HE IS NOT. His priorities are based on perceived social mores and the outrage in the press. Nothing more.

If acting honestly in business is no big deal, how come after 120 that's one of the questions you're asked in Shamayim? THERE'S NO QUESTION ABOUT BUGS! Of course all aveiros will be considered in the din v'cheshbon in Shamayim, but it's not one of the primary questions that our entire faith is based on. The dealing honestly in business question, however, is!!

48

 Jul 28, 2009 at 11:46 AM Anonymous Says:

Two wrongs don't make a right

49

 Jul 28, 2009 at 11:34 AM Anonymous Says:

who do u yhink u r to say such a thing

50

 Jul 28, 2009 at 11:30 AM Anonymous Says:

Dear fundraiser network,

id like to meet you,i have no doubt that i can dissect you with all the flaws you are made up of and expose you for what you are, and are not.

the Torah was given to the jews, all of them.
that some have dumped it long ago, and keep the part or parts that "shtim" with the american culture or the culture they are living in, is sad.
that "orthodox" or as i like to think "observant" jews are careful to observe and heed all mitzvos (positive and negative) including the prohibition to eat bugs is commendable.
you to can choose to keep and observe all mitzvos and in fact are as obligated as any jew to do so. the companies that provide bug free product will sell to you as well.

why though do you need to bash all the sanctity that observant jews are careful to observe.by mixing in so many ridiculous points. and i mean that every single one of your points is dull wrong and agenda driven.
yes each one, every last one. and worse when combined to speak bad about the nation of yidden.

do you truly think that the modern or yu people, centrists and the rest down to conservative and reform have no issues. or do you hold them to a different standard because they are NON hareidi,observant or orthodox.

torah states that all jews no matter who are required to observe, when the ones who usualy perform this and are associated with being the Standard Setters act in- appropriately they are simply Non- observant.
the fact that they wear certain clotthes or dont is something that none of us control
and is certainly no reason for you to grab headlines and denounce all.
were you to say that Jews in the news being accused of chilul hashem and i repeat alleged accused and you would sort the facts and do the same for the hadassah mom and the same for the kedushas shabbos issues and recognize that leaders have spoke out and on and on in favor of the half full view, you would
a- be more knowledgable
b-write the facts
c-make your point without being condenscending and inaccurate.

my recommendation is be honest with your soul and do your homework.

51

 Jul 28, 2009 at 11:28 AM Anonymous Says:

Was your article a critique of klal yisroel, whose purpose was to spark reflection, or was its purpose to pat yourself on the back? I refer to the following excerpt:
"We’d be keeping pork out of peoples’ mouths, I was told. (The yeshiva greatly overestimated the State’s budget line for bacon subsidies). 'I declined'"
What exactly does the fact that you declined have to do with your point? If you want to break your arm patting yourself on the back, by all means feel free, but I'll thank you not to break MY nation's arm for your own self agrandizement.

52

 Jul 28, 2009 at 11:15 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #36  
the truth Says:

Someone once asked a shola of R' moshe fienstien z'l about hatzula on shobes. If its miter certain things.. So the great true posek said its miter. So the gentleman asked what about chilel shobes? Are u not mokpet on chilel shobes? The great true posek answered.. Yes I am. But I am more mokpit on pekiech nefesh.. Only a true das tora can say which one u need to me more mokpit... Yes this writer does not mention that the CW came in begging for mercy for his wife and 5 kids. That they don't have what to eat. And please have mercy.. This was the only weapon that the CW knew will work. Cuse we r mezare avruhum yitchuk vyokov we strive to help another fellow jew we r ready sometimes to be mora heter to help another yid.. This writer looks like on rosh hashuna he will starve a jew on order to have a real uni for purim to give motuned L'evyunim.. Yes he might not be mokpit on a small bug. Cuse its between him and the all mighty.. But if he can say no to others. That's his joy especially if we can find a isser. That will be great so we can give musser as well and boast I'm. A tzodik.. We choridim love to help ppl that even the greatest crook btrayer drwk we helped. We got him out of bail we did anything and everything to help him. But I think its even deeper. Cuse this writer might even be considered worshiping the idol.. Cuse he only does things that depends what other ppl will say. I would like to c how much charity he give and how much orgeniztions he has running doing for the klol..he is probably like theu guys running around the street its a isser to help. that guy, and the other. In other words he finds and is mokpit not to help. No were in the WORLD can u find a thick yellow pges full of chesed from hatzula to takeing rides to the hospitals. And chovirim. Changine tires 3am. This writer is probably saying and is mokpit. On his sleep. And says probably its cold out there I might get a cold. So I'm not allowed to endanger my self

I am sure as other readers probably have some difficulty understanding what you wrote as do I. If you are saying it is okay to steal in order to help another life? I am completely befuddled as to what Torah, Mishnah, Gemorrah, Shulchan Aruch etc you are learning. I am sure your community uses Hatzalah and is vastly available - C"V should you need it on shabbos. Comparing Hatzalah to stealing is WRONG!

53

 Jul 28, 2009 at 12:02 PM Askupeh Says:

Reply to #42  
Anonymous Says:

I can not beleive that you are from derheim. These people all had the opportunity to say NO to what they knew to be a vilolation of the law. They chose to ignore this fact. Why do you say they are inocent. If they were inocent they would not have said yes and refused the requests of Mr. Drek. All it takes is one simple word NO!

Are you a Tzadik? Have you always said "NO"? As many have pointed out; every human being has a breaking point; even YOU.

54

 Jul 28, 2009 at 12:07 PM Anonymous Says:

This heading is one of the typical old time "maskilim" style, poking fun at one mitzva in order to stress another.
He has a point that people have to aware of how to stay away from even minor unlawful activity to make a kidush hashem.
But this writer appears to portray himself as "Mr. Perfect", talking to thousands of "ignorant criminals".. what a chutzpa!
Go around check out thousands and thousands of Jewish businesses running 100 percent proffessional and clean! we are all doing everythibg legal, we pay taxes, we don't launder money, we obey all laws rules and regulations. We struggle, but still pay our taxes with honesty and integrity.
How dear one journalist come and smear one big wrong picture.

55

 Jul 28, 2009 at 12:15 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #44  
Abe Says:

Yes Mr. cherendoff, we all agree that obeying social laws is more important than avoiding the bugs in "raspberries". But please don't spite the people that might be more observant than you who indeed do check their "raspberries". Many of these individuals are truly G-D fearing and law obeying citizens. Instead of poking fun of the pious, simply state your logical solution and move on. I have no respect for people that make fun of the more observant. As our rabbis have taught and history has proven, because of their jealousy and sense of emptiness these individuals turn to spite and anger.

if they truly were law abiding, they would not have taken dweck up on his scheme...

56

 Jul 28, 2009 at 12:15 PM Law Abiding Says:

Reply to #46  
Anonymous Says:

I do not beleive that anyone said that, however observnce of Torah does not give anyone the privelage of violation the laws of the country we live in. The reason we have some hatred from the Goyim is that we think that we are above the laws and we can blatantly ignore them. There is nothing written in Torah that says we should act like common criminals.

Quote .."we think that we are above the laws and we can blatantly ignore them"..
Who is the WE?? my father is not ignoring the laws, I'm not ignoring the laws, neither do my kids friends and family, we don NOT feel we are above any laws.
So whom are you referring to? maybe to yourself? GO AHEAD CORRECT YOURSELF and don't criticize other people with your own failures.

57

 Jul 28, 2009 at 12:22 PM Anonymous Says:

Boy, this article hits it right on the nail!! The so-called askonim would have you be more makpid on rasberries and other chumras to deflect attention away from the more serious hypocrises and financial shenanigans that we all see with our own eyes. What has the Am Hanivchar become???

58

 Jul 28, 2009 at 12:22 PM Anonymous Says:

1. Was Madoff considered charedi? or was he from the modern orthodox/conservative, (similar to the "picture perfect" (?) writer of article).
2. did Madoff or his counterparts check the Raspberries?
3. is he or his circle the example of law obeying and keeping out of criminal activity?
4. enlighten us what exactly you're aiming here, besides trying to wash your own hands with those "frumme"..
Who is telling what for whom?

59

 Jul 28, 2009 at 12:21 PM Mike Says:

as one who was raised in the charedi world surrounded with Rabonim and big Tzadikim, I can say from my own experience and I hope I'm not defending anyone, being religious isn't necessarily being moral and a good man. and chas veshalom I dont want to bring examples from otheres but us a frum jews we may be afraid of hell but it dosn't make us betteyr persons. I have may examples to support that but I think you all know many yourself. bottom line is, some people are good in nature, others try to occupied their bad nature, but that's all. being frum has nothing to do with being a moral guy and a good guy. not to mention keeping the civil law which is not my point here. before anyone attacks me, please look into your own family and rabonim.

60

 Jul 28, 2009 at 12:18 PM I read it but can't beleive it Says:

Reply to #38  
Avraham Says:

By the way, even if some of these accused are innocent, there are dozens of these scams going on in shtiblech and most people wink at it. There have been numerous convictions in the past. So let's not blame the FBI

So... What now U want maybe to become the next mosser?????
and earn a very special place next to Dreck .....

61

 Jul 28, 2009 at 12:17 PM The Truth Says:

You are right and he is right.
The problem is - what are we going to actually DO about it rather than just post derogatory comments.
Do you eat tolayim? - I try my hardest not to.
Are your accounts 100% kosher? - I hope so, but there are a few loopholes I use...
We have a Torah guiding us in every step in life, make sure to follow EVERYTHING it says.

62

 Jul 28, 2009 at 12:16 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #53  
Askupeh Says:

Are you a Tzadik? Have you always said "NO"? As many have pointed out; every human being has a breaking point; even YOU.

people who break the law should not complain when they are caught.

63

 Jul 28, 2009 at 11:12 AM Robert Says:

Reply to #22  
Askupeh Says:

This writer is an opportunist with an agenda, and "perfecting ourselves" is sure not it. What a hypocrite!

What analogies he uses to make his point, tells it all. For whom do you think is a “special place in hell” waiting; for this writer or for Rabbi Kassin? I would rather be in Gehenom with Rabbi Kassin then with this writer in Gan Eden.

there is an old saying
dont challenge God, he may take you up on the challenge
i hope and pray that all of you , the writer, rabbi Kassin, mr Askupeh have a special positive place in the world to come as well as myself and all of Israel
its the 9 days
ahavat chinam is the message we should be taking in

64

 Jul 28, 2009 at 11:11 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
Anonymous Says:

it's strawberries, and they have bugs, I've seen it. They are almost unavoidable without proper washing. And it's 5 avairos for each bugs.

Why do you have to make fun of shemeiros hamitzvos to make your point?

The bugs must have been HUGE if you saw them. If you wash fruits and vegetables properly and do a check in the light then you are able to eat the fruits and vegies. Where does it say 5 aveiros per bug?? Makor please??

65

 Jul 28, 2009 at 11:08 AM Robert Says:

Reply to #17  
Anonymous Says:

modern orthedoxy is reform , there is nothing wrong with reagular old judiasem that has not changed in thousands of years . telol these clowns to shut up , they will be history soon

I am not a rabbi but i suspect these "anonymous" words are a sin..
eilu v'eilu divrei elokim chaim..we need to respect orthodox, chasid, chareidi, sephardic these are all equal and valid manifestations of the Almights command.
we need jewsih unity now more thasn ever..
modern orthodoxy is ofcourse not reform..( i dont beleive you you really beleive that staement)
the reform movement doesnt even require a belief in God
the reform is deserving of our help love and example of following the torah..
the recent events of last week for multiple crimes is not the exaample we need to display punlicly.

66

 Jul 28, 2009 at 12:24 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #47  
Eli Says:

If acting honestly in business is no big deal, how come after 120 that's one of the questions you're asked in Shamayim? THERE'S NO QUESTION ABOUT BUGS! Of course all aveiros will be considered in the din v'cheshbon in Shamayim, but it's not one of the primary questions that our entire faith is based on. The dealing honestly in business question, however, is!!

And so is Kovatta Ittim Latorah. So by your analogy. That is also of more concern than the bugs.....Very Questionable. By the way I suspect they will not be referring to tax evasion as the first question...Again I do not condone it but that would put the Geithner and Madoff in the same cell. By the way all the money launderers ought to apply for jobs in the Obama administration

67

 Jul 28, 2009 at 12:23 PM DACON9 Says:

ARTICLE STATES: Is it really possible that we believe we are in greater danger from women appearing at the pulpit than from rabbis appearing at a perp walk.

IS THERE A DIFFERENCE?
THEY ARE BOTH NOT OUR WAY.
are you making one less then another?
how about gays adopting children?
how about a cheese burger?

YOU GO ON TO SAY: Is it possible that there is something in the Orthodox community in general and the haredi community in particular that creates fertile ground for this type of fraud?

Being I am a simple Jew, I need to know what was i suppose to learn from this article.

Other then he fulfilled his commitment to create a 600 word essay.

THANKS
DACON9

68

 Jul 28, 2009 at 12:52 PM Raphael Kaufman Says:

Reply to #17  
Anonymous Says:

modern orthedoxy is reform , there is nothing wrong with reagular old judiasem that has not changed in thousands of years . telol these clowns to shut up , they will be history soon

The "regular old Judaism" that your talking about is about 250 years old. Rava and Abaye would not recognize your brand of Judaism.

69

 Jul 28, 2009 at 01:09 PM Anonymous Says:

In another news flash today, a non frum yid (hot dog dealer in Co.) was indicted of misdeeds. But don't worry, the reform jewish week won't devote an article to give mussar to that circle, after all the biggest mitzva is to criticize the real frum..

70

 Jul 28, 2009 at 12:43 PM Kappo Bar Kamsa Says:

He couldn't wait until Sunday to write this? Frum Yidden are all over the media for one reason alone: it is such a rare and unusual occurrence. Were it really an epidemic Haredi crime, the FBI wouldn't have needed to use mosers.

71

 Jul 28, 2009 at 01:55 PM Anonymous Says:

Two wrongs don't make a right

72

 Jul 28, 2009 at 02:03 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #70  
Kappo Bar Kamsa Says:

He couldn't wait until Sunday to write this? Frum Yidden are all over the media for one reason alone: it is such a rare and unusual occurrence. Were it really an epidemic Haredi crime, the FBI wouldn't have needed to use mosers.

So does that mean when the FBI uses informants against the Mafia, there's no real organized crime?

73

 Jul 28, 2009 at 01:26 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #69  
Anonymous Says:

In another news flash today, a non frum yid (hot dog dealer in Co.) was indicted of misdeeds. But don't worry, the reform jewish week won't devote an article to give mussar to that circle, after all the biggest mitzva is to criticize the real frum..

thats because the reform community will not defend him * simply because * he is Jewish. They realize that Jews are no more immune to criminal activity than anyone else.

74

 Jul 28, 2009 at 02:23 PM Barzilai Says:

Reply to #64  
Anonymous Says:

The bugs must have been HUGE if you saw them. If you wash fruits and vegetables properly and do a check in the light then you are able to eat the fruits and vegies. Where does it say 5 aveiros per bug?? Makor please??

Makkos 16b.

75

 Jul 28, 2009 at 03:01 PM A Yid Fin Derheim Says:

Reply to #42  
Anonymous Says:

I can not beleive that you are from derheim. These people all had the opportunity to say NO to what they knew to be a vilolation of the law. They chose to ignore this fact. Why do you say they are inocent. If they were inocent they would not have said yes and refused the requests of Mr. Drek. All it takes is one simple word NO!

You're right, but i think that if you or me would have the same nisoiyen i'm not so sure that we would be able to pass the test, and as the mishne says " al tudin es chavirechu ad shtagiea limkoimoi" and we should daven to hashem not to bring us any nisoiyen, and again you know it very well the FBI took Mr. "drek" and forced to put inocent people into trouble for no good reason other then anti-semitic.

76

 Jul 28, 2009 at 03:40 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #33  
Barzilai Says:

The writer knows that eating tola'im is assur, and that it's more than one lahv. The point of the essay is that Chillul Hashem and gneiva is also not a good thing. Generally, it's hard to weigh one aveira against another. But chillul hashem is definitely both a greater rish'us and more severely punished than eating bugs, if you judge by the Gemara in Sanhedrin that says that only missa and yesurim are mechapeir for c'h. If you want to argue with the writer, argue about whether laundering is wicked or merely illegal.

You are correct eating bugs is an aveira bein adam lamokom but geneivah is not only bein adam lamokom it is also bein adom l'adom. We know the latter is much worse. There are huge ethical issue over black market organ sales. You might wait sometime till you get one but it also means that by cutting the line you are inadvertantly causing someone elses life to be cut short too.

77

 Jul 28, 2009 at 03:22 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #10  
Anonymous Says:

Shame Shame who ever wrote this article,
I'm involved in helping some of these people, I can clearly state that if possible there are some rotten apples like the con artist the informant the FBi agent a freind of every one he and the FBI entrapped, we should all protest on the method and system used to carry out the so called ring of thugs bust, ANTI SEMETISM is clear its a system used by KGB in russia, with the worst scenario entrapping a chief Rabbi with his two associates then coming with 300+ agents in the middle of prayers with the media on hand making the arrests, I did ask this question to some of the agent/officers and they had no answer other than an act of anti semitism which should be protested, yes we have to fight and correst every rotten apple, it is no excuse for them to take ANTI SEMITIC acts to destroy the beuty of our communities, I asked one agent I spoke to one of many questions where you ever in a homeless shelter did you see any chasidic homeless do you know why not because our community is engulfed in good deed not in criminal, these same Rabbis arrested where the ones who arrange his bail and he was freindly with and entrapped them.
Were are your brains who did what in this case the FBI used their highest level of expertee to entrap such people and arrewst all at once to boost their reputation with such success, it's ahuge balloon with cold air.


Please stop crying bloody murder. If they really did anything illegal then I will ever be so happy to be on the prosecution. When the FBI bust someone they there's a whole entourage of them to cuff the person. I even heard people in shock that they arrested the 87 year old Rav, because is he is old what can he do. I laughed at them because not too long ago we arrested an 89 year old for being a WWII prison gaurd and no one made a big deal that he was too old to stand trial. This is life, if you're caught doing something illegal then what do you want, an award?

78

 Jul 28, 2009 at 03:20 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #75  
A Yid Fin Derheim Says:

You're right, but i think that if you or me would have the same nisoiyen i'm not so sure that we would be able to pass the test, and as the mishne says " al tudin es chavirechu ad shtagiea limkoimoi" and we should daven to hashem not to bring us any nisoiyen, and again you know it very well the FBI took Mr. "drek" and forced to put inocent people into trouble for no good reason other then anti-semitic.

if they indeed commit the crimes they are accused of, they are hardly innocent.

79

 Jul 28, 2009 at 03:52 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #35  
A Yid Fin Derheim Says:

I think you should be ashamed and embarrassed of yourself for posting such comments and you should hide in your grave for saying this on klal yisroel, its a bishu and a charpah that a yid should talk on another yid like this, you know very well that all those people are really innocent and they were trapped by leider a yidishe muser with the help of the friendly anti-semitic FBI agents, and instead of being dan l'kaf zchis specially in the 9 days when sinahs chinum created the churban, you're doing the opposite, i can just tell you once again SHAME ON YOU !!!

I am sorry to tell you perhaps you should learn more what a muser is and under what circumstances. In this situation there is no muser. Again people stop blaming people for doing there jobs and stop putting your rebbis on pedastels, they are humans just like anyone else. IN pirkei avot it says al tamin b'aztmicha ad yom motcha, this also applies to tzadikim. The author is very valid in his remarks and it is only for our folly that we follow our rabbis without questions. This is the reason why our generation makes up what constitutes as avairot or mitzvot.Stop defending the rabbis because they are g-d c"v, be impartial to the case. If they have done illegal things no matter how pure their intentions are they are still committing a grave aveirah just like any other.

80

 Jul 28, 2009 at 04:13 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #68  
Raphael Kaufman Says:

The "regular old Judaism" that your talking about is about 250 years old. Rava and Abaye would not recognize your brand of Judaism.

You stole it out of my mouth (should send the FBI on you lol). I agree with the last part of the statement and I am willing to open our own brand of judiasm with you.

81

 Jul 28, 2009 at 04:33 PM formally Says:

Reply to #39  
Anonymous Says:

The writer was definitely not making fun of mitzvos. However he was bringing across a strong point. That we seem to value establishing chumros over observance of integral matters. Fraud and dishonesty tear at the fabric of society, a concept very valued by the Torah. The first question the beis din shel maaloh asks is if you were honest in your business activities. Maybe if Hashem would have made dishonesty a "plain" minhag rather than a "lav" in the Torah, people would observe it with more alactrity. Too bad. There's a famous story about this guy who had a bottle of milk in the kolel fridge and everybody used it. He put up a sign "lo signov" to no avail. Finally he hit on a plan. He put up a sign "cholov akum" and nobody used his milk again.

unfortunately, you joke/story really his the nail on the head. And if people do not get it, that is even scarier

82

 Jul 28, 2009 at 04:42 PM Anonymous Says:

Two wrongs don't make a right

83

 Jul 28, 2009 at 04:42 PM Anonymous Says:

>Dwek has been portrayed as the Judas of the story, who apparently agreed to help the government break apart money-laundering operations in the Syrian community. According to the court documents, Dwek approached Nahum and another rabbi, Eliahu Ben Haim, head of Ohel Yaacob, a congregation in Deal, with checks he claimed came from selling counterfeit Prada and Gucci handbags. He told the rabbis he was trying to avoid getting noticed by the authorities; he wanted, he said, “an effective way to get rid of the money.” Nahum and Ben Haim provided the introduction to Kassin, undoubtedly considered the government’s “big fish”; at repeated meetings in Gravesend and Deal, the court documents describe Kassin asking why Dwek needed him at all. At one point, Kassin, who said he was trying to be careful with his accounts, asked Dwek what he was supposed to say should anyone “ever come ask me, ‘what’s this, this money that you’re taking.’” Dwek said the money couldn’t ever be traced to him, and Kassin allegedly went ahead with the deal, taking $2,500 to issue Dwek a check drawn on his charitable accounts that one of the other rabbis agreed to cash.

All told, Kassin allegedly washed $200,000 for Dwek between June 2007 and December 2008—at which point, investigators appear to have decided they had enough evidence against the rabbis, and shifted their focus to New Jersey’s political structure. So far, the community has rallied around him, insisting to television cameras that the rabbi is innocent; Kassin’s attorney, Robert Stahl, who secured the rabbi’s release on $200,000 bail, told reporters yesterday that the rabbi “remains confident that the truth will come out,” and that his name will be cleared.

84

 Jul 28, 2009 at 05:31 PM Big Masmid Says:

the real question is, do we fear more from the FBI than Hashem

85

 Jul 28, 2009 at 05:33 PM Anonymous Says:

WHH

What I really want to know is whether the black market organs have bugs or worms prior to being transplanted into a Jewish patient. Has anyone considered the serious ramifications of such a scenario? Surprised by the picture accompanying this article; is anyone else confused or offended by the photo choice?

86

 Jul 28, 2009 at 06:22 PM fellow yid Says:

I just wished a Yasher Koach to VIN for their new set of rules to judge and speak favorably about others. Perhaps you need to apply this same set of rules to your writers, and choose the articles which seek to find the good in people. These Rabbis have not yet had their day in court. I, for one have read so much misinformation about them in the press, certainly enough to make one wonder what the real story is! And there is always a real story that differs greatly from the printed version.

Let's follow the Chachomim's words and "Don Bikaf Z'chus",

87

 Jul 28, 2009 at 06:52 PM ProudofbeingJewish Says:

Reply to #17  
Anonymous Says:

modern orthedoxy is reform , there is nothing wrong with reagular old judiasem that has not changed in thousands of years . telol these clowns to shut up , they will be history soon

I totally agree. Judiasm is real, and can only be followed the original way. There can not be any "modern" changes to halacha from Moshe miSinai.

88

 Jul 28, 2009 at 08:08 PM Anonymous Says:

1. Was Madoff considered charedi? or was he from the modern orthodox/conservative, (similar to the "picture perfect" (?) writer of article).
2. did Madoff or his counterparts check the Raspberries?
3. is he or his circle the example of law obeying and keeping out of criminal activity?
4. enlighten us what exactly you're aiming here, besides trying to wash your own hands with those "frumme"..
Who is telling what for whom?

89

 Jul 28, 2009 at 08:48 PM Anonymous Says:

Just mention the word bugs and the comments come flying in. BTW Who says these launderers care about bugs in their food. From the tone of the title the implication is that perhaps all of us are not makpid enough. What does one have to do the other. Why is the title of the article not "Do we concern ourselves more with wearing tefillin than standards of law" Think about this. A bug is five lavim anf the author is clealy making light of that.

90

 Jul 28, 2009 at 11:24 PM Anonymous Says:

Mark is comparing rasperries to oranges -- is it either eat bugs or basic law? Women at the pulpit or be arrested?

And like #89 says, do you really think these people cared about the bugs in their food? Kashrus? Probably not until they land in prison and will begin requesting their constitutional rights of "kosher" fare.

91

 Jul 28, 2009 at 11:20 PM Anonymous Says:

In response to #7:

One should have "moira shomayim" both for eating bugs & for stealing - we don't avoid stealing ONLY b/c it's against secular law. There are halachos about that too, remember?

92

 Jul 29, 2009 at 07:32 AM DACON9 Says:

From Salant Foundation Email: based on Chachmah V'Mussar of Rav Simchah Zissel Ziv

The Talmud (Yoma 9b) states: "The First Temple was destroyed because of three sins that took place in that era - idol worship, adultery, and murder. Whereas during the period of the Second Temple the people where engaged in Torah study, the performance of Mitzvoth, and good deeds. If so, why was the Second Temple destroyed? It was destroyed because the people of that generation were affected with the trait of baseless hatred."

Rabbi Akiva taught that the axiomatic principle of the Torah is: "Love your fellow as you love yourself." There are two components of love: (1) Deed and (2) Thought. "Deeds of Love" means to perform acts of kindness - unconditionally, abundantly, and unceasingly.
Whereas "Thoughts of Love" consists of two ideals: Firstly, is the contemplation of the great benefit of each member of our community, as well as the value of the community at large. The very awareness of these precious thoughts, i.e., the love and worthiness of other people, is the basis of the world's existence.

Accordingly, the baseless hatred of the people of the Second Temple period caused the Temple to be destroyed. The Temple was the link between the Nation of Israel and Heaven. The Torah urges us to love and value each other. When the love is replaced with baseless hatred, we no longer have the merit to have the Presence of HaShem dwell among us. Consequently, the Temple, i.e., the dwelling place of HaShem, can no longer exist on earth.

The second ideal of "Thoughts of Love" concerns sensitivity to others, i.e., to feel the joy, pain, and needs of our fellow human beings.

The Tikun (rectification) for the sin of baseless hatred is to relate to others with unconditional Love. Let us endeavor to view all of our family members and friends with a positive eye (including yourself.)

In this way, we will re-establish the awareness of "Love for our Fellow," which is the required condition for the Temple to be re-built.

May we merit seeing the return of the Divine Presence amongst the People of Israel. [Based on Chachmah V'Mussar of Rav Simchah Zissel Ziv]

Today: Rebuff all negative thoughts of others and fill your mind with positive thoughts about them.

93

 Jul 29, 2009 at 07:16 AM DACON9 Says:

MANY COMMENTS MOCKINGLY ASK, DO THOSE RABBIS really care about bugs in their food. If you were to judge your observance of shabbat and kashruth an study time against what you should be doing you would fail by your own judgement against who and what you do not know.
IF YOU WERE TO STUDY JUST CHESED ALONE, based on your comments you may have applied for gehinom.

I dont know and you dont know, but remember we are in galut here and in Israel.
They want to destroy us anyway they can..the enemy within and without
Hashem wants to test us.
Which test will you pass?
being part of self destruction?
or
being part of self improvement and lifting our nation with hope and inspiration?

We have many rabbis runnning like the goyeem screaming satan fire gog magog.
enough of that......
WHY NOT BE PART OF HOPE, INSPIRATION, THINKING OF MASHIACH SOON, IMPROVE OURSELFS AS EXAMPLES FOR OUR CHILDREN TO SEE WHAT HASHEM WANTS FROM US
MOSHE RABBEINU FELL AND PICKED HIMSELF UP
ABRAHAM AVEINU HAD HIS TRIALS AND PICKED HIMSELF UP
DAVEED HAMELECH HAD HIS TRIALS AND PICKED HIMSELF UP
BY CORRECTING THEMSELFS
THEREBY BEING THE EXAMPLE FOR ALL ISRAEL TO SEE.

so many of you had years of learning.
so many of you can write what I am trying to say so much better then I can.
In simple language. Why not do it......

observing life and the miracles
** I learned to love Hashem the hard way through years of trials
** I learned how holy I am and our nation is
** I learned to count the blessings that G"D blessed me with..
the 'good and the 'bad' , I learned its ALL GOOD.

PLEASE SHOW US SOME INSPIRATION OF OUR FUTURE FROM OUR PAINS
May we have the zechut to see the coming of Mashiach .
AM YISRAEL CHAI
MEANINGFUL FAST TO ALL







94

 Jul 29, 2009 at 10:42 AM DG Says:

To those who are missing the point and bitching about the author 'cheapening' kashrut, ask yourselves this: השומר אחי אנוכי?

Debug your strawberries all you want. But don't delude yourselves into thinking that it somehow frees you of your other obligations towards Hashem and your people.

95

 Jul 29, 2009 at 12:02 PM moving to the left Says:

We sit and learn the minutea of halacha all day, but so so little time,if ever, with others is put into learning true ethics. It seems that the choice has been made for us to pick "bug" mitzvos over mentchlikeit. If there is a choice between bein adam l'chaveiro (dealings with others) and bein adam l'makom (between man and God), bein adam l'chaveiro wins hands down. After all God put us in this world with others. If we can't have a decent relationship with them, there is no way God would want to have one with us.

96

 Jul 29, 2009 at 05:04 PM Anonymous Says:

After reading many of the postings critisizing this article, I am deeply ashamed of my fellow Jews. Mark is simply saying that Hashem commanded us to follow laws. One cannot decide arbitrarily to follow certain ones and not others. I don't understand why people would make such a huge point of not eating bugs, but decide to break all sorts of civil laws, including organ trading. I know plenty of 'Orthodox' people, who talk nastily to their non-Jewish help, but make a huge point of setting the table for Seudat Shlishit by the correct time.

I don't understand a religious viewpoint that being mean to our fellow humans and breaking civil laws is OK, but eating bugs is completely unacceptable.

I am disgusted by many of you and I hope one day you feel some remorse. G-d help us.

97

 Jul 29, 2009 at 08:58 PM Carly Says:

I believe the author meant to display a sort of 'kal vechomer' idea: If we keep a more private/ less chilul Hashem mitzvah, (look so thoroughly at our vegetables/ fruit), even more so we should watch ourselves when in the public eye.
The author meant that it's a shame that we put more pressure on more simple mitzvot when the harder mitzvot are not talked about.

98

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