Protocols
Protocols
A group of Jews endeavors towards total domination of the blogosphere.


Saturday, September 11, 2004  

Getting to this late, but on Thursday two other papers chimed in on the World Jewish Congress turmoil.
Up first is the Forward's take, which contains a bevy of unsubstantiated assertions, starting with the lede:

The World Jewish Congress is embroiled in an internal slugfest, with top leaders exchanging charges that observers say threaten to destroy the organization. [Emphasis added.]
That latter part is not supported by any evidence in the article, and we have no reason to believe it's true. This lede starts us on an article that is of a piece with the crappy reporting on this story. The Forward's angle is very much a "he said/he said."
The New York Sun, which, oddly for a daily, was only able to run the story after all the Jewish papers, does a take somewhat similar to the Forward's, with less hyperbole and more focus on the history of the organization over the past few years.
Of all the articles, it is the NYJWeek that gets the most specific refutation of the financial irregularities claim, from Yoram Dinstein, who was appointed by the guy making the claim, Isi Leibler. Again, odd that it is the NYJWeek's story, then, that makes the most overt lean in Leibler's favor.
When four papers deal with a story within 24 hours, it's obvious that none has an exclusive on any information, and that none of the sources could be all that difficult to contact. Why only one paper got in touch with Dinstein is beyond me, and that none of them managed to construct a coherent narrative that addresses all of the allegations is pathetic.

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 9:16 PM |


Friday, September 10, 2004  

Jewish Federation to End Donor Subscriptions To Jewish Journal of Los Angeles

posted by LukeFord | 1:39 PM |
 

From Haaretz:

Bogner, the writer of Treppenwitz.com, was one of some 25 participants in the first "Anglo-Israeli Blogger Bash," a gathering of the writers of 21 English-language "blogs" (short for "Web log") produced in Israel. A blog is an online diary in which a writer posts his or her daily reflections, political opinions or comments on world events, often anonymously. Thus, the attendees at last week's Blogger Bash, were in the unusual position of knowing intimate details about the lives and thoughts of people they were meeting for the first time.

posted by LukeFord | 1:34 PM |
 

Rabbi Avi Shafran's Yom Kippur column. Momentous Moments. The Howard Dean scream.

posted by LukeFord | 1:19 PM |
 

A new blog - Psychotoddler. By Dr. Mark Skier in WI. He used to play music with Sam Glaser. He comments on MoChassid shutting down his blog.

"[Sam Glaser] came to Milwaukee a few years back, before I had my regular band, and we put together a backing band for him. I also played with Shlock Rock and was the founder of Kabbalah (not the one with Madonna…esther, whatever). New wave/classic rock jewish stuff. I think you and me are about the same age, so you can probably appreciate the influences. Here’s the band site: www.mosheskier.com"

posted by LukeFord | 11:35 AM |
 

Why is it that when I read on article on commercial sex, it's by a Jew?

David Steinberg writes: How a DA's decision to drop prostitution charges against lap dancers will change the sexual culture of S.F. -- and, perhaps, the country

posted by LukeFord | 1:48 AM |


Thursday, September 09, 2004  

Aaron rants:


Can you see putting today’s women as inspirational nose art on fighter jets? Femininity used to elevate and civilize. Contemporary feminism doesn’t celebrate ANYTHING feminine. It is masculinism. And, worse, it aspires to control and emulate the worst of masculinism. Feminism is NOT about choice and opportunity or else you’d see celebration of women who chose to raise their own families. No, there is only scorn.


posted by LukeFord | 11:22 PM |
 

Sheldon Teitelbaum writes in the Forward:


There was that declaration by one of the billionaire backers, Michael Steinhardt, that if the participants preferred to pair off and head for their rooms — to rectify American Jews' lamentable failure, in his eyes, to replenish their numbers — he, for one, would not stop them, nor consider his money ill-spent. "Take phone numbers," he said. "Flirt, meet, breed, do whatever is necessary, and know that what you are doing is for the right reason."


posted by LukeFord | 10:41 PM |
 

Dennis Prager rallies Jews for Bush Thursday afternoon. Pictures and commentary from Your Moral Leader.

posted by LukeFord | 5:59 PM |
 

"EVERY human being to have been killed in the course of a hijacking over the previous twenty years or so has died at the hands of a Muslim. Ditto every human being to be murdered in an office tower or blown up on a bus or beheaded. Not all muslims are fanatic killers - likely most are not, perhaps not even in spirit - but all of these fanatic killers are muslim. If you want to enter the [Luke Ford] wife pool, you have to be able to see this."

posted by LukeFord | 3:38 PM |
 

If nominated for Miriam Shaviv's Jew of the year award, I will not run; if elected, I will not serve.

posted by LukeFord | 3:28 PM |
 

Married Miriam says denominational lines are crumbling.

posted by LukeFord | 3:24 PM |
 

I've been so pleasurably occupied with Lisa On My Face the past few weeks, I've forgotten to plug Chayyei Sarah as often as I should have.
I think there's a law in the Torah about the minimum amount of linky love you have to give your cyber-girlfriends.
I'm not weird or stalkerish in my intentions towards Chayyei Sarah. I'm strictly honorable. I only have the unconditional positive regard that a Torah Man has for his special Torah woman.

posted by LukeFord | 3:09 PM |
 

"Drugs and dance as Israelis blot out intifada: Nightlife in Tel Aviv on a par with the best in London and New York"

posted by LukeFord | 2:16 PM |
 

Allison Kaplan Sommer writes:

And then there's some good stuff on Cathy Seipp's blog. A friend's fiance converts to Judaism and the girls head to Palm Springs, with trusty Luke in the role of chauffeur and nanny.
Cathy and her daughter act as important character witnesses for Luke Ford. I've had quite a few bloggers who he's taken a slightly obsessive interest in and a people I know in real life that he's contacted for his book research ask me if he's nuts in a harmless way, or might border on dangerous.
Cathy and Cecile seem like pretty sensible people, and they are friends someone I know from college. So I tell the people who ask that if Ford were truly a stalker/axe murderer type, I doubt they'd be taking him along on road trips.
I think that Cathy and Cecile should use their show biz connections and create a television show based on their lives -- I envision an edgy right-wing-Jewish-California version of the Gilmore Girls, with Luke as their charming but insane former Seventh Day Adventist converted to Orthodox Judaism turned showbiz/porn journalist/blogger friend.
Lisa On The Face writes Allison:
I love your TV pilot idea: we'll have Luke running a kosher cafe in a trendy L.A. neighbourhood.
As for his interest in my blog - all I can say is that I'm flattered: since we've never met in person, I know for sure that he respects me for my mind.

JSinger writes:
Despite (or maybe because of) my own history as a Pico-Robertson Jew, I just can't begin to take any interest in any of these folks, let alone find Luke Ford significant.

Allison writes:
I find Luke entertaining. Significant? The jury's still out.
Lisa, when I met you in person at the blogger bash, my first thought was, "Lord, if Luke knew what she looked like, he'd be even more seriously obsessed with this girl."

posted by LukeFord | 1:37 PM |
 

Dennis Prager bought a new cell phone/PDA in Minneapolis for $450. Three days later, he dropped it in the toilet and it stopped working. Is he morally obliged to tell the company he broke it by dropping it in the toilet (without them asking how it broke?) If they pressed him how it broke, should he lie? What would the halachah say?
Prager went into Verizon in Minneapolis and told them the truth. The help looked up Prager's contract. He said, you don't have insurance. DP said, "I don't recall anybody asking me if I wanted insurance. Normally I do get insurance on these things."
He said, they are not offering everybody in CA the insurance. You'll pay for the insurance. Put down for the $50 deductible. Here's the new phone.
DP says: Early on in life, I vowed that I would be strict with myself in truth telling. I did not cheat in high school. The dominant factor was self-image. I want to like myself. I want to respect myself. I believe you have to earn these things, from yourself, others and God. And you only earn it by how you act. But there was a powerful voice in me that said, if they ask you, tell the truth, but if they don't, don't.

posted by LukeFord | 1:26 PM |
 

My book XXX-Communicated: A Rebel Without A Shul ebook is ranked number 735 among all books on Amazon.com. You can download the ebook for $6.
My book The Producers: Profiles in Frustration is the #2653 best selling book on Amazon.com and the #78 best selling book ebook on Amazon.
I can't tell you how satisfying it is to see these books taking off like Valuejet.

posted by LukeFord | 1:19 PM |
 

Detroit Jewish News decides to publish same-sex announcements

posted by LukeFord | 11:21 AM |
 

Simcha writes:

In the Jewish calendar, today is the anniversary (yahrtzeit) of 9-11. It is hard to believe that it was three years ago that the whole terrifying tragedy took place. One of the mourners told me this morning that he still receives e-mails and letters every month from people who were inspired by the acts of his brother, an Orthodox Jew who stayed behind in 1 WTC to help his (Christian) paraplegic colleague. Both were killed when the building collapsed, but the memory of their deeds lives on. May the memory of all the deceased be a blessing for us, and may the Lord prevent such a tragedy from ever happening again.

posted by LukeFord | 11:01 AM |
 

Ha'Aretz

The Franklin affair raises the question about the transfer of classified information from diplomats to foreign elements. If the matter involves Israeli diplomats, this sort of act is ostensibly a disciplinary violation of the service regulations, as well as a criminal violation. The Penal Code forbids the transfer of any information that came into the possession of an employee "by virtue of his position." In the event that the information is "secret," the law calls for a more severe punishment.

posted by LukeFord | 5:43 AM |
 

Josh Waxman Fisks an opinion piece by Rabbi Strassfeld (who wants to abolish the prohibition of idolatry) in the New York Jewish Week.

posted by LukeFord | 2:57 AM |
 

LA Press Club party recap and pictures for XXX-Communicated: A Rebel Without A Shul.

posted by LukeFord | 2:51 AM |
 

Lisa On Your Face tries to make ends meet in the Holy Land.

posted by LukeFord | 2:07 AM |
 

I just found this lengthy interview with my father:

Dr. Desmond Ford is an accomplished Adventist theologian and scholar who has addressed many tens of thousands of persons through seminars, sermons and lectures, as well as through books, magazines, radio, and television. His Gospel ministry takes him throughout the United States and to numerous foreign countries on a regular basis. He is also the President and Founder of Good News Unlimited, a non-profit, non-denominational gospel ministry headquartered in Auburn, California. Dr. Ford’s gospel-focused magazine, entitled Good News Unlimited, is distributed in over 80 countries.

posted by LukeFord | 1:48 AM |
 

Getting religion for your products.

posted by LukeFord | 1:36 AM |
 

The turmoil at the World Jewish Congress continues to spill over the pages of the J-media, as Ha'Aretz files a report that presents a very different version of events from the NYJWeek article.
Basically, the NYJW says that two officials -- Isi Leibler and Elan Steinberg -- are preparing to get rid of two others -- Israel Singer and Edgar Bronfman. Ha'Aretz has the latter two getting rid of the former two.
So, basically, one paper was sold a bill of goods.
Also interesting is the posting of the stories. The NYJW story is on their site, but the paper's main page currently has only articles from last week's issue. Protocols got the link to the story in a 6:45 PM EST e-mail (suggesting it was posted then or earlier), while the Ha'Aretz story was posted at 6:39 PM EST, according to the time stamp. Did the NYJW post the new issue and then quickly pull it back? Will either story be edited without notice (save both and check)?
More to come, obviously.

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 1:02 AM |


Wednesday, September 08, 2004  

An internal dispute among the top leaders of the World Jewish Congress centered on power, personality and politics is threatening to implode the venerable organization amid calls for resignations and threats of lawsuits.

posted by LukeFord | 10:13 PM |
 

Jewish Week article on Shlomo Carlebach's legacy

Awareness Center page on Shlomo Carlebach

Online petition

posted by LukeFord | 10:09 PM |
 

Tomorrow:

2:30 p.m. -- Israel Ministry of Tourism and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations kick of ``Israel. I Care. And I'm Going'' pledge campaign.
The slogan's been around for a while now. One wonders what this will add.

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 9:37 PM |
 

Haaretz:

The manifesto signed by the heads of the yeshivot and the heads of the Yesha Rabbis Council, which says that the enemy must be fought even when it is known that innocents will be killed in an attack, should be examined for its legal ramifications in light of the law against incitement to violence or terror.
The dangers of the rabbis' declaration.

posted by LukeFord | 7:45 PM |
 

Occasionally asked questions about Cathy Seipp.

Cathy on Nikki Finker.

posted by LukeFord | 7:32 PM |
 

Chakira writes on his class in the psychology of religion.

posted by LukeFord | 7:21 PM |
 

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach writes:

I was working on my laptop from one of the press desks when a Secret Service agent suddenly walked in and told me that the empty seat next to me would now have an occupant. A moment later Michael Moore sat down beside me. He was there to write a column on the convention for USA Today. I shook his hand, welcomed him, and asked him if he was feeling comfortable surrounded by Republicans. He told me that everyone had been friendly and kind to him since his arrival.

posted by LukeFord | 6:21 PM |
 

Rosh Hashanah with Rabbi Shmuley
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach will be conducting High Holy Day Services for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur in his hometown of Englewood, NJ, at the home of Nader and Mondanna Balour. Englewood is just over the George Washington Bridge from New York City.
No membership of any kind is necessary in order to attend and there is no charge. The services will be explanatory, yet brisk, and Rabbi Shmuley will be speaking on the contemporary relevance of each of the High Holy Day themes to today's momentous and historical events.
Those wishing to attend should lease RSVP to debbie@rabbishmuley.com.

posted by LukeFord | 6:19 PM |
 

When I was at UCLA 1988-89, I took two economics classes from a baal teshuva, Dr. Russell Roberts. We got into many wonderful discussions after class. He influenced me to convert to Judaism. I just Googled him and I see that he has gone on to great success, publishing books that he was thinking about during the time I knew him.

posted by LukeFord | 5:02 PM |
 

Bnai David Judea (O) returns to its sanctuary after four months away for reconstruction:

It seems like not so long ago that we were all sitting around the construction-paper campfire in the Gold Room, looking toward the next few months, not really knowing where our wandering would take us or when we would be back home. Well, pack up those foot lockers, because Camp BDJ is officially coming to an end.
We are back home, in our building this Shabbat, Sept. 10-11, and we couldn’t be more amazed or more excited.
The fact that we fully renovated and updated a 78-year-old building in just FOUR MONTHS should get us our own reality series of Extreme Shul Makeover.
They said it couldn’t be done, that construction surprises and delays were inevitable. They were right about the surprises, but not the delays.
It took tremendous nudging, dedication and hard work from everyone involved in the project – lay committees, donors, architect, contractor, project manager, Amram and down to the last painter and drywall guy.
And it paid off, because we’re in for Rosh Hashana, just like we hoped and dreamed and hoped again.

posted by LukeFord | 4:15 PM |
 

By Noam Scheiber: What Orthodox Jews will be doing for Bush — and, more importantly, why it matters

FBI witch hunt? By Frank J. Gaffney Jr. Think the mole that became a molehill incident is over? Think again!

By Melanie Phillips: Terrorism only became such a potent weapon because the West allowed it to happen

posted by LukeFord | 4:12 PM |
 

Robert J. Avrech on friends who take offense when he suggests they read his blog to learn how he's feeling.

posted by LukeFord | 4:09 PM |
 

Dwight Owen Schweitzer, former editor and publisher The Jewish Star Times out of Miami, has started a new blog.

posted by LukeFord | 4:05 PM |


Tuesday, September 07, 2004  

Ari Goes Down On Bush.

posted by LukeFord | 10:05 PM |
 

Good place to meet women? Santa Monica Synagogue Beth Shir Sholom to Host Only Los Angeles Exhibition of 9/11 Quilts on Anniversary of Tragedy

posted by LukeFord | 6:43 PM |
 

Putin to Guardian, not what he says to Israel about the Palestinians.

posted by LukeFord | 6:02 PM |
 

Well, it's comin' up to the New Year, and since I still think like a journalist, it's time for.... Jew of the Year. Nominations with explanation to my email please. Winner of this prestigious competition to be announced on Bloghead on Erev Rosh Hashana, together with runners-up and honorable mentions.
May the best Jew win!

posted by Miriam | 2:15 PM |
 

My first taste of Abby Horowitz was delicious:

Into his shoulder bag goes Jonathan's box of tefillin, along with his toothbrush. Yael's roommate is away for the weekend, so it will be one of those nights. A night of sharing her bed. By his twenty-sixth year, Jonathan has learned to weigh which obligations you will follow and which you will forsake. With his tefillin in his shoulder bag, he plans on reciting his morning prayers, even if he does overlook another commandment or two during the night preceding those prayers.

............

Luke says: It reminds me of the time in 1994 when I crossed the street from shul one morning. I was still wearing my tefillin. I saw my shiksa girlfriend. She liked me in tefillin.

We gathered up my washing and took it to the washing room. We stuffed it in the washer. We turned it on. My girlfriend sat on the vibrating washing machine. I closed and locked the door. Still wearing my tefillin, I climbed on top of the machine and explained to her all the detailed halachot regarding the wearing of tefilin, several of which I proceeded to violate.

She eventually went to the rabbi, on her own initiative, to begin the process of converting to Judaism.

Then I moved from Orlando to LA. She married an atheist and never finished her conversion.

Shmarya's Tefillin Date

posted by LukeFord | 1:06 PM |
 

I'm Instituting a Regime of IQ Tests for Potential Mates

A political platform to get me married

posted by LukeFord | 10:53 AM |
 

The jihadists' dream is a return to empire By Zev Chafets

Being sad isn't enough By Mark Steyn

They shoot children, don't they? By Dennis Prager

They're TERRORISTS — not activists or victims By Daniel Pipes

Wesley Pruden: Time to wake up the girlie men




posted by LukeFord | 1:13 AM |


Monday, September 06, 2004  

Atlas writes: Do you know that English folks have been buying Jewish media in USA including the Jewish Advocate in Boston?

http://www.totallyplc.com

What do you know about Y. A. Korff, who calls himself "Grand Rabbi Y. A. Korff." Claims he's a Hasidic rebbe. He's a baal teshuva. Comes from a Hasidic family. He owned the Jewish Advocate and sold it to TotallyPlc.com.

Source: "His previous wife was Sumner Redstone daughter who's now CEO of Viacom. He himself used to be on Viacom board when he was married to Redstone's daughter. He is a character."

From the site: The Rebbe is Chaplain of The City of Boston, spiritual leader of the Zvhil - Mezbuz Beis Medrash of Boston and Newton Ctre, and a Judge on Boston's Rabbinical Court of Justice.

In addition to serving as an advisor to elected officials and numerous busineses in the US and abroad, he served as President of National Amusements, and as Director and Executive Vice-President of media-entertainment company Viacom International Inc.

posted by LukeFord | 10:31 PM |
 

Why do you follow Jewish law? Because God said? For ethnic reasons? For anthropological reasons?

For me, the first reason is most important, than the last reason.

posted by LukeFord | 7:33 PM |
 

Elf writes: I've been idly composing liturgy for a same-sex wedding/commitment ceremony...

posted by LukeFord | 7:29 PM |
 

Apikorsus writes: I wonder what Rav Shachter was thinking last night when Rebbetzin Jungreis delivered a "benediction" before the entire Republican National Convention. He was probably proud to see an Orthodox Jew standing up for the president. For some reason, modesty is only an issue in Orthodox settings. Keep women behind a curtain in shul, and the rest of their lives is irrelevant.

posted by LukeFord | 7:25 PM |
 

New York Times Girls Gone Wild by Evan Gahr

posted by LukeFord | 7:17 PM |
 

By YICC rabbi Elazar Muskin: It was September 1975 when I arrived as a new student at Yeshiva College. I had just finished three years of learning at Yeshivat Kerem B'Yavneh in Israel and didn't know what to expect as I started this new chapter in my life. Actually I was reluctant to enroll at Yeshiva College. From my earliest memories as a child in Cleveland, I recalled how my teachers at the Hebrew Academy told me that no serious Torah student would go to Yeshiva University. From their more insular perspective, the combination of a Yeshiva with college simply wasn't acceptable. At best, YU was a compromise; at worst it was a "Makom Tumah," a place where one would be inspired to reject the Torah values that they had instilled in their students. Even the presence of Rabbi Soloveitchik wasn't a mediating factor. My elementary and high school rabbis had no respect for the Rav. They couldn't understand how a Torah scholar could have a PhD in philosophy and endorse secular studies.

posted by LukeFord | 6:23 PM |
 

Allison Kaplan Sommer writes: The lead story in Yediot Aharonot today had me in tears.

It recounted the actions of a brave teacher in the Russian school whom the terrorists offered to allow to leave, and he refused, saying he wouldn't leave his pupils -- how he stood up to the terrorists and demanded water for the children -- who told them that they should be ashamed of themselves for what they were doing -- and who, ultimately, threw himself on a grenade in order to spare the children's lives and was killed.

posted by LukeFord | 6:03 PM |
 

Mobius: Why we love to hate the Kabbalah Centre.

posted by LukeFord | 5:59 PM |
 

Lisa On The Face writes on Israeli sex: Monday evening, following a late coffee with a couple of friends at Orna and Ella's on Sheinkin Street, I was stopped by a young woman standing just outside the sex shop across the street from the restaurant. She was wearing a white lab coat and carrying a clipboard. "Excuse me," she said politely, "Would you be interested in attending a free 30-minute lecture on sexuality at the sex shop?"

posted by LukeFord | 5:54 PM |
 

From OOSJ: De'ot, the journal of Ne'emanei Torah Va'avodah (English) has a few interesting articles and I would like to focus on two over the next few days. The first piece is actually an interview with the R. Nachum Rabinowitz, Rosh Yeshiva of the Yeshivat Hesder in Ma'ale Adumim. R. Rabinowitz is an interesting man, born in Montreal, learned at Ner Israel in Baltimore with R. Ruderman. He completed a masters in mathematics at Johns Hopkins and later received his doctorate in the History and Philosophy of Science in Toronto.

He is also in the midst of a scientific edition and commentary on the Rambam's Mishneh Torah called "Yad Peshuta".

posted by LukeFord | 5:50 PM |
 

Out of Step Jew on Generation Whiners: Didn't we all feel a "sense of disconnect" and therefore affiliate with youth organizations and movements to which our parents and their friends couldn't come? Some of us rebelled and "left town" so to speak, to return when we matured. We didn't whine about the fact that the AJC and the ADL and the JCC's didn't let us into leadership positions – BECAUSE WE DIDN'T WANT TO JOIN THOSE ESTABLISHMENT ORGANIZATIONS ANYWAY !

Boys, Girls and Torah

posted by LukeFord | 5:38 PM |
 

The greatest blog I've seen - JamesWolcott.com

posted by LukeFord | 4:44 PM |
 

Amy Sohn writes: More and more men are perfecting an infuriating alternative to the painful, drawn-out breakup: the disappearing act.

Luke says: I often do this. I never like to break-up, rather, I prefer to slowly drift away.

posted by LukeFord | 1:48 PM |
 

Cathy Seipp: Back-to-school, or: the difference between 15 and 14

Cecile du Bois, Cathy's 15yo daughter, on returning to school.

posted by LukeFord | 1:34 PM |
 

The article linked in Luke's post below [at 10:18], about the professor arrested for trading grades for sex, has inspired me to share the following personal experience:

I'm going to be a TA this semester, so last week I was required to attend 3-hours of training about sexual harrassment (the university is against it). Most of the time was spent telling us about how it is illegal - or at least, against university regulations - for a TA to maintain even a consensual sexual relationhship with any student in his class, because that would give the student an advantage over his or her peers.

My question is this: What if one were to engage in a consensual sexual relationship with every student in the class? No student would have an advantage over any other, so would it be ok? (And, after all, what is a TA other than the seamless union of T & A?)

posted by Deranged GOT Fan | 1:31 PM |
 

REMBRANDT, David and Uriah 1665 The Hermitage, St. Petersburg

posted by LukeFord | 1:30 PM |
 

Shmarya writes: There's some new information on the Thomas / Feurst case.

Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the latest information. It now seems that R. Gedaliya Schwartz, ABD of the CRC is refusing to make public a letter that would help to clear Thomas and at the same time implicate R. Feurst and the alleged abusers. Reason he won't release the letter? Because, even though the topic of the letter was Beit Din business and the Thomas excommunication, it was sent to R. Schwartz as a 'private' citizen, and not to the CRC's beit din. Therefore, R. Schwartz won't release it.

Shouldn't we be reading about this in the Forward or the Jewish Week?

posted by LukeFord | 1:29 PM |
 

Is absinthe Kosher? Depends.

posted by LukeFord | 11:54 AM |
 

Tikva writes on kashrut.org: i was just reading a post about brothers not touching sisters. I suppose my 13 year old son should not touch my 12 year old daughter?
to what extent are they not to touch, etc?

Reply: Kissing, hugging, shaking hands is not permitted.

Helping her up if she falls, handing things to each other, or any non-social types of touching is OK.

I am impressed that you care!

This is hard for many people, but so is keeping Shabbat. As a matter of fact keeping Shabbat is much harder. We got used to keeping Shabbat, so we don't see the comparison. Many of us grew up thinking touching any relatives is OK. Thius is often in the frumest (most religious style) homes in our communities.

Well, guess what! Religion is based on God's commands, not on a social behavior of any specific group. You open the book and see what it says and you follow.

This type of irrational talk causes me to be ridiculed by the "holy black hat" culture, because although they dress the dress, walk the walk, and talk the talk, they often transgress laws like this. Now who do I think I am to criticize their lifestyle? I don't even wear a hat by Davening (Praying). What a Shaigetz!

Most people just live a lifestyle and it is easy to keep MItzvot that fit into that lifestyle. The real Judaism is to follow God's Laws in any area, especially when it is contrary to your will, and contrary to your upbringing.

You can go to any wedding today and see everyone kissing aunts, uncles, and of course brothers and sisters. Black hat and all. Yet, an elderly woman tries to get down a flight of stairs and everyone runs for the hills.

Oops! You got it backwards. You can help the woman down the stairs, but the other stuff? No way.
AA

posted by LukeFord | 11:21 AM |
 

Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are approaching. Are you right with God? I'm offering forgiveness of sin at special rates for Protocols readers (particularly female young single hot ones). Get two sins deducted for the price of one if you act now with this special coupon offer. When emailing me, put "Dennis Prager" in the subject line.

posted by LukeFord | 11:13 AM |
 

This self-help network is sponsored by The Awareness Center, which is the Jewish Coaltion Against Sexual Abuse/Assault (JCASA).

This particular self-help group is open to any Jewish male survivor of sexual violence who is orthodox or in process of becoming more observant. Please note that it is suggested you use a yahoo or hotmail address for this egroup or any of the other self-help networks offered by The Awareness Center, to help with confidentiality.

posted by LukeFord | 10:59 AM |
 

Anon writes: The Jewish Press has a special relationship with the RAA (Rabbinical Alliance of America, which Tannenbaum is director of) because Rabbi Sholom Klass, the late publisher of the JP, was a member of the group, which was the Rabbinical group for alumni of Yeshiva Torah Vodaath in Brooklyn, where he had studied. Alumni of RIETS/YU had the RCA, European born Rabbis had the Agudath Horabbonim and the YTV and like folks were left out. The JP has been giving them loads of free space for years. Tannenbaum writes up propaganda reports after their meetings and the JP prints them. The RAA created an award in memory of Rabbi Sholom Klass after his passing.

Note an interesting article by Tannebaum showing how concerned he is about incarcerated 'frum' criminals, who he thinks 'just made errors'. Who is he fooling ? Seems that some of his remarks may be alluding to his personal experiences.

Protocoler writes: If Tannenbaum was just an ordinary newspaper correspondent, perhaps his record would be less of an issue - but for him to 1) be the director of a Rabbinic organization 2) write a column on daf yomi for the JP 3) be the Haredi / Hassidic world correspondent for the JP 4) be the Rabbi of a Shul in Boro Park, NY (Bnai Israel, as cited on the website), seems inappropriate. Rabbis should be an example - not an embarassment.

If the Forward or the Jewish Week had such a swindler-Rabbi on their staff, would the JP think it was okay?

Me writes to Jason Maoz:

1) Does character matter to you?
2) Is Judaism to you more about form than substance?
3) Will you minimize the financial (Tannenbaum) and sexual abuses (Tendler) of any jew simply because they "look" and "act" frum publically?
4) Last year when Newsdaty printed an expose on abusive Rabbis your paper responded with the following editorial http://www.jewishpress.com/news_article.asp?article=2461

In that editorial there was false information that was clearly referring to Rabbi Ephraim Bryks "...and authorities declined to charge another because there was no evidence to do so."

There in fact has been no final disposition to these charges or the investigation.
The case in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada in fact remains open. To date Rabbi Bryks has not cooperated with the Winnipeg police or made himself available to answer the charges against him. There is no Statute of Limitations in Canada on criminal charges regarding the sexual assault of children. Your editorial claim has no basis in fact.

I would note that your paper that week ran several advertisements for Bryks' mortgage broker company called REB International LLC.

One of your columnists I'm told has and continues to promote Rabbi Bryks' counselling services to women.

Do you have any commitment to the truth as a journalist or as a Jew or will you take liberties and ignore facts when it comes to friends, people who buy advertisements and people who look/act/talk like you believe Orthodox Jews should (form over substance)?

5) Does the word "press" in Jewish Press stand for "pushing an agenda", "pushing the advertising" and "pushing an ideology" (devoid of substance)? I see no commitment in your "paper" to any journalistic value. In particular no commitment to truth or accuracy.

Fishel writes: There is a column by one Abraham Stone, weekly. On the byline he is 'reported' as 'residing' in 770 Eastern Parkway, Lubavitch headquarters. The 'only' problem is:The said individual in his mid fifties at least, has not 'lived or learned in 770 Eastern Pkwy for at least 30 years! Why the big deal? You see for Lubavitchers, the sect that Stone is a member of, any mention of their headquarters has significant 'mystical' qualities.

Why would The Jewish Press go along with putting the wrong place of residence on the weekly column? Because it's a silly, infantile newspaper.

Gaon writes: Rabbi Abraham Stone is the rabbi of Congregation Adas Yeshurun on Flatlands Avenue near E. 35th st., in the Marine Park section of Brooklyn (miles from Crown Heights).

I'll add that he acknowledges that the Lubavitcher Rebbe has died, but has a big picture of the Rebbe in the mizrach of his shul, where everyone faces when they pray. The shul, which Barbara Streisand reportedly attended as a child, is on its last leg.

Me writes: If anyone has access to these documents, please post any important details:

A) Civil judgements and tax liens:

1. Debtors: SARAH TANNENBAUM; GERSHON TANNENBAUM, Secured Parties: THE CITY OF NEW YORK DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING PRESERVATION & DEVELOPMENT, INITIAL FILING, 9/27/1993, 93204576, NYUCC

2. TANNENBAUM, GERSHON, JUDGMENTS DOCKET, 11/08/2002, 98-2277JWL, US DISTRICT COURT, QUEENS COUNTY CLERKS OFFICE

3. TANNENBAUM, GERSHON, JUDGMENTS DOCKET, 11/08/2002, 98-2277JWL, US DISTRICT COURT, KINGS COUNTY CLERKS OFFICE

4. TANNENBAUM, SARAH, INITIAL FILING, 10/01/1993, 93PK17660, NY City UCC Filings

5. TANNENBAUM, GERSHON, 2606496, 5/31/1996, JUDGMENT, JUDGMENT - CITY COURT OF NEW YORK - BROOKLYN

6. TANNENBAUM, GERSHON, 2606496, 5/31/1996, JUDGMENT, VACATED, JUDGMENT - CITY COURT OF NEW YORK - BROOKLYN

7. TANNENBAUM, GERSHON, 2606596, 5/31/1996, JUDGMENT, JUDGMENT - CITY COURT OF NEW YORK - BROOKLYN

8. TANNENBAUM, GERSHON, 2606596, 5/31/1996, JUDGMENT, VACATED, JUDGMENT - CITY COURT OF NEW YORK - BROOKLYN

9. TANNENBAUM, GERSHON, JUDGMENTS DOCKET, 01/07/2003, 98-2277JWL, US DISTRICT COURT, NEW YORK COUNTY CLERKS OFFICE

10. TANNENBAUM, GERSHON, DJ-506479-1997, DJ-00506479-1997, 11/6/1997, TAX LIEN, NJTXLN

11. TANNENBAUM, GERSHON, FEDERAL LIEN - INITIAL FILING, 06/11/1997, 97FL30225, NY City UCC Filings

12. TANNENBAUM, GERSHON, FEDERAL LIEN - INITIAL FILING, 03/04/1998, 98FL00308, NY City UCC Filings

13. TANNENBAUM, GERSHON, FEDERAL LIEN - INITIAL FILING, 04/14/1998, 98FL00577, NY City UCC Filings

14. TANNENBAUM, GERSHON, 308, 3/4/1998, FEDERAL TAX LIEN, KINGS COUNTY CLERK LIEN

B) Assets with his name on the registration documentation:

1. GERSHON TANNENBAUM, xxx BROOKLYN, NY 11219, Kings County, New York, NYPROP

2. JUNGREIS, ISAAC; JUNGREIS, HINDA, xxx MIAMI BEACH, FL 33140-4008, 2/16/2002, Miami-Dade County, Florida, FLSALE

posted by LukeFord | 10:42 AM |
 

Gil Student writes: When I first published my book on Lubavitch and the Moshiach issue (www.moshiachtalk.com), The Jewish Press refused to allow me to place
a paid advertisment in their paper because they needed to be balanced on the issue and would then have to find someone to place a "pro" ad to balance my "con." Aside from the silliness of the argument, I have been following The Jewish Press closely since then and have noticed plenty of "pro" advertisments, including the announcement of lectures defending the messiahship of the late Lubavitcher Rebbe.

I will also note that other Jewish newspapers, such as The NY Jewish Week, the LA Jewish Journal and the Intermountain Jewish News, have no such policy of "balance" in their paid avertisements and gladly took my money and placed my ad.

posted by LukeFord | 10:37 AM |
 

Shmarya says: Makes those Yemenite Jews with two wives look positively Gay . . .

posted by LukeFord | 10:37 AM |
 

The Indian Jewish general who beat Pakistan

posted by LukeFord | 10:35 AM |
 

College lecturer held after offering exam answers for sex.

posted by LukeFord | 10:18 AM |
 

Allison Kaplan Sommer reports: Jerusalem Post Editor in chief Bret Stephens is leaving to go back to the Wall Street Journal.

The current editor of the Jerusalem Report -- and author -- David Horovitz, has been named as his replacement.

........

Luke says: I can never hear David Horovitz's name without remembering that he did me out of about $50.

In the summer of 2001, his magazine, Jerusalem Report, was doing a two-pager on me. They wanted a photo. At their request, and on their assurance they would foot the bill, I sent three photos Fed Ex. I had to sign guaranteeing payment if the Report did not pay their bill.

Guess what? The Report never paid their bill. I sent them emails. When the Report finally answered, they told me to mail a hardcopy of the bill. I did that. Then they told me that Fed Ex was stiffing them, that I should not pay the bill. That's the email I got from David Horovitz.

Easy for him to say. My credit was at stake. Credit collectors came after me. It was easier for me to pay the bill. But the Report and David Horovitz stole $50 from me. They (the Report and David) were impossible to deal with. Basically crooks in their double dealings them. I can never hear the name of the magazine or of David Horovitz without remembering the aggravation they caused me, the repeated emails and appeals I had to send through their correspondent in LA, and all for no good. They stole from me. They were also routinely months late on their payments to their writers.

I wish I could just forget all this, forgive the debt and the tsures, but obviously, I can't, so I might as well admit it publicly.

Joe Schick writes: "If you ever get Horovitz to pay the $50 back, maybe ask him for the $400 or so that the Jerusalem Post still owes me from the early 90's when I covered sports for them as a freelancer. At one point after much complaining, they simply told me they weren't "authorized" to pay any more, though they had already published my articles."

posted by LukeFord | 1:34 AM |
 

Rodger Jacobs writes: Just read what I presume to be the foreword to your Jewish Journalism book and I admit I am still perplexed by your selection of this topic for book, let alone a series of online interviews. It just doesn’t jive with your crucifixion of Frank Del Olmo for his work to advance Latino journalists. Not one bit. If you are intent on setting a different latitude for Jewish journalism then you owe a major public mea culpa to Frank, his family, and his associates for your ugly portrayal of him after his passing for his dedication to “Latino journalism”. You seem to want to have it both ways: you hate the idea of marginalization and yet you embrace marginal themes such as adult entertainment and, well, Jewish journalism.

I think what I have trouble coming to intellectual terms with is the idea of having to compartmentalize anything: Jewish journalism, black cinema, Italian gangsters. There’s journalism, cinema, and gangsters in the culture. When you start slicing off one wedge of the bigger hunk of cheese and begin examining it for deep insights it seems to me that one is playing a game that is aimed at a limited table of interested parties, a form of mental masturbation really. Sure, the essay I sent you about how Fitzgerald’s Catholicism informed his writing is pertinent in a way to what you are writing about but I can guarantee that you did not approach your subject with anywhere near the passion of the writer of that particular dissertation. In point of fact, your stated thesis is : Jewish Journalism Sucks. More bees with honey than vinegar, if you get my drift. Would you want to read a book about, say, Rock Hudson if you knew that going in to the project the writer’s objective was: Rock Hudson was an asshole? Of course not because you know that you’re not going to get a well-rounded presentation of the actor in that book, not when that was the writer’s stated agenda.

Luke replies:

* The book has meaning to me because I am passionate about journalism and Judaism but bored by most journalism about Judaism.

* Nowhere in the book do I call for affirmative action for Jews or for any group, let alone affirmative action based on national origin, ethnicity or race.

* Jews are not a race. They are a people defined by their religion (even though most Jews do not observe the religion, it defines who is a Jew). Anyone can become a Jew while not anyone can become black or latino or asian.

* I didn't criticize Frank del Olmo's work to advance latino journalists as much as I decried the overwhelmingly race-based criteria used to judge his life and work. I think it is far more worthy to devote oneself to values, such as Christian or Jewish ones, than to one's ethnic group. Still, if a Jewish editor at a major secular paper like The Los Angeles Times, was primarily feted for what he had done to advance the cause of Jewish journalists, I as a Jew would not be proud. That is not the primary task of a journalist for a major secular paper. The problem is that Frank had few journalistic accomplishments other than being a savvy player of the affirmative action game at the LA Times, where he was advanced far beyond his capabilities, so he had to concentrate on running his Mexican Mafia.

* My book on Jewish journalism rises and falls on what I get out of the folks who know the subject 100 times better than I do. Sometimes provocation is a good way to get stuff out of people. Sometimes it is not. Either way, I went into my project deadly honest about my feelings on the subject, but I listened hard to what others had to say, even when it contradicted my own views on the topic.

Yes, I would like to do a book about black journalism, latino journalism et al as well, though it would not have the same meaning for me as Jewish journalism.

posted by LukeFord | 1:32 AM |
 

The wit and wisdom of Jason Maoz in one easy-to-find handy dandy place.

posted by LukeFord | 1:28 AM |
 

Joseph Schick writes about the TNR article on Bush's outreach to the Orthodox: I don't buy the idea that Orthodox Jews in swing states like Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania are going to vote for Bush because the Jewish Press or Yated Neeman have nice things to say about Republican leaders meeting rabbis in Boro Park. The modern Orthodox certainly do not rely on Orthodox weeklies for their primary source of news; nor do most charedim. Ballabon presumably wants to express his importance to the Bush campaign; he should do so without being condescending toward his fellow frum Jews. Unfortunately, it seems that in every election a few observant Jews claim the mantle of community leader on behalf of this or that politician, pretending that we are primitive idiots who bloc vote en masse. As someone who has lived within disparate Orthodox communities, I can certainly attest to the fact that observant Jews are not a political monolith.

posted by LukeFord | 1:06 AM |
 

Jason Maoz of The Jewish Press writes: Re Gershon Tannenbaum: I don't think I've ever spoken with him. He doesn't work out of the offices of The Jewish Press and I don't handle his "My Machberes" feature. What I do know is that anyone who's ever spoken with me about him has had only nice things to say. And the "Machberes" column, while not everyone's cup of tea, has an enormous following. I have no familiarity with the issues brought up here and, frankly, feel that vilifying someone over legal matters that are either years or decades old offers little or no edification.

PS: I am not "Surfer," for those who made the charge.

Luke says: Ladies and gentleman, I don't know of a Jewish editor who has made himself so available to us as Jason has over the past few days. Thank you Jason. He's certainly paid far more attention to blogs than any other Jewish editor and made the most dramatic improvement with his paper.

Shmarya writes: I found Jason's remark, "I have no familiarity with the issues brought up here and, frankly, feel that vilifying someone over legal matters that are either years or decades old offers little or no edification," to be puzzling. If someone has fraud convictions and fraud charges that span three decades or more, it demonstrates a character flaw so deep that it would seem to exclude that individual from community leadership roles. Yet he writes for the Jewish Press, is the rabbi of a shul, and serves as the Executive Director of the Rabbinical Alliance of America (RAA / Igud HaRabbonim). If that isn't news, I don't know what is. It should be a front page story in this week's Jewish Press. Of course, we all know that it won't be. More old-time Brooklyn cronyism from the Jewish Press, Jason Maoz included . . .

Here's a link on Rabbi Tenenbaum. And another on Dr. Laura vs homosexuality. (Links thanks to Shmarya.

Note signatories and titles to the year 2000 press release on Dr Laura:

Abraham B. Hecht
President

Gershon Tannenbaum
Director

Rabbi Gershon Tannenbaum's 1999 SEC fraud complaints case in html. In PDF format.

Shmarya writes: Note that the reason the plaintiff lost was the inability to pin down which of the defendants made which of the false statements. The question is not whether the statements are false, the question is which of those scumbags told which lie at what exact time.

How the good rabbi beat the rap.

More:

" . . . In addition, civil suits have already been filed by investors alleging securities fraud based on activities on the Internet. In one case, an investor alleged that he learned about a company via an online chat room and was induced to purchase stock in the company by numerous fraudulent means including misleading e-mails. 3 . . ."

The SEC sued Rabbi Tannenbaum in addition to a disgruntled investor.

From SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 16303 / September 28, 1999:


" . . . The complaint further alleges that two stock promoters, Tannebaum and Jay Vermonty, actively and fraudulently touted the stock of Power Phone and TMC Agroworld to the investing public and then sold their stock in those entities at artificially inflated prices. According to the complaint, Tannenbaum has a disciplinary history which includes the revocation of his brokerage license by the NASD. . . ."

.........

Your Moral Leader Luke Ford says, fresh off his stand-up-for-morality appearance on 60 Minutes, that I don't think we should care if the good rabbi rips off secular liberal Jews and dumb goyim so long as he uses the proceeds to do mitzvot and uphold the righteous cause of Orthodox triumphalism. At least he isn't falling off buildings with drugged and naked female students. Try to see the good in people, Protocols readers.

posted by LukeFord | 1:01 AM |


Sunday, September 05, 2004  

Spy Case Renews Debate Over Pro-Israel Lobby's Ties to Pentagon
By JAMES RISEN and DAVID JOHNSTON

Published: September 6, 2004

WASHINGTON, Sept. 5 - It began like most national security investigations, with a squad of Federal Bureau of Investigation agents surreptitiously tailing two men, noting where they went and whom they met. What was different about this case was that the surveillance subjects were lobbyists for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, and one of their contacts turned out to be a policy analyst at the Pentagon.

posted by LukeFord | 11:57 PM |
 

Me writes: The JP Rabbi Gershon Tannenbaum is 55 years old and lives in Brooklyn, NY. I believe he also has ties to Huntington, WV. He is chairperson of the Guardians of the Sick Blood Drive a Brooklyn-based blood donor organization.

The security fraud one see:

1. The Associated Press, September 29, 1999, Wednesday, PM cycle, Business News, 787 words

2. Associated Press Online, September 28, 1999; Tuesday, Financial pages, 834 words, Cos., Individuals in SEC Fraud Case, The Associated Press

3. The Associated Press, September 28, 1999, Tuesday, AM cycle, Business News, 787 words

4. Copyright 1999 Associated Press All Rights Reserved, September 28, 1999, Tuesday, BC cycle, Business News, 787 words, With SEC-Accounting Fraud, By The Associated Press.

My sources indicate it is likely (note the word I used) the same person. It is likely as Rabbi Gershon Tannenbaum has a criminal fraud record in the 70s.

He was charged and convicted (he plead guilty, withdrew the plea and then plead guilty again) for selling false fake diplomas. He got a fine.

see:
1) Four Accused of Using Mails for Diploma Fraud
By MORRIS KAPLAN
New York Times May 26, 1972, pg. 40

2) Two Rabbis Plead Guilty In Phony-University Plot
By MORRIS KAPLAN
New York Times Jul 14, 1972

3) 2 Brooklyn Rabbis Fined For Running Bogus School
New York Times; Oct 8, 1972

Two Rabbis Plead Guilty in Phony-University Plot
By Morris Kaplan
New York Times
July 14, 1972
p.36

Two Orthodox rabbis pleaded guilty in Federal Court in Brooklyn yesterday to mail-fraud charges arising from their having enrolled students in a fictitious university.

The two mild-mannered defendants – Bernard Fuchs, 22 years old, of 1639 45th Street, and Gershon Tannenbaum, 23, of 1537 41st Street, both in the Borough Park section – admitted that they had mailed brochures, pamphlets and other correspondence under the mythical name of Marlowe University in Mount Holly, N.J.

United States Attorney Robert A. Morse said that prospective students were bilked out of more than $200,000, having paid $400 to $500 apiece for baccalaureate, masters and doctorate degrees they never received.

“Marlowe University” never issued a diploma or conducted any courses and its administrators never intended it to, according to Emanuel A. Moore, an assistant United States attorney in charge of the Eastern District’s consumer protection division.

Postal inspectors said that the amount of the swindle probably would never be learned. A Federal warrant authorized a search of the Rabbinical Assembly Corporation, a Hebrew School at 1319 50th Street, Brooklyn, where the rabbis taught, but the search uncovered nothing.

The rabbis cleaned out all their own files at the school – including records of financial transactions – just before the search, a Postal Service spokesman explained. “The best we can do is to estimate the losses of their victims,” he said. “We learned that they made more than $2,500 in the three weeks preceding their arrest.”

Two Rabbis Rabbis Fined For Running Bogus School
New York Times
October 8, 1972

Two Brooklyn rabbis who had withdrawn pleas of guilty to operating a bogus mail-order university again pleaded guilty in Federal Court in Brooklyn Friday and received suspended sentences and $250 fines.

The two, Bernard Fuchs, 22 years old, of 1639 45th Street and Gershon Tannenbaum, 23, of 1537 41st Street, admitted that they had collected $2,000 from prospective students who enrolled in the fictitious Marlowe University. Its only “campus” was a post office box in Mount Holly, N.J.

Judge George Rosling placed both men on one year’s probation and ordered them to repay the $2,000. An assistant United States attorney, Emanuel A. Moore, said that additional proceeds had been returned.

............

Me writes: I would also note the securities case takes place in the mid to late 90's. If, as I suspect now, the securities case relates to the same person it shows a life long pattern of gneivah [theft].

As a side note, this would not be the first prominant member of the Rabbinical Alliance of America (Igud HaRabanim) to be involved in fraud or criminal activities.

There is a former vice-president of the RAA from the 50s/60s that was involved in 10s of millions of dollars of governmen fraud and is a registered sex-offender in NY (confessed in court).

O writes: It seems that he is close with Rabbi Yaakov Klass, nephew of late JP publisher Rabbi Sholom Klass - perhaps from living near each other in the past in Brooklyn. I suspect that that is how he got into the Jewish Press.

Anon writes: [Rabbi Gershon] Tannenbaum is also director of the 'Rabbinical Alliance of America', an orthodox Rabbinical organization (of certain non-YU type Rabbis) of which Lubavitcher Rabbi Abraham Hecht is the longtime President. Seems he is pushing them to open an office in DC now. If indeed his background is questionable, he should not be leading a Rabbinical organization. I believe he is basically the executive director and writes propaganda columns (although they are, at least lately, often placed under the names of other organization members, the writing style is that of Tannenbaum) for it regularly in the Jewish Press, reporting on their monthly meetings.

Shmarya writes: Looks like 'me' has nailed it about Rabbi Gershon Tannenbaum. Check out his posts. Also, note the pattern: the court case I sent you took place in KANSAS, where the victim lived. In the cases 'me' found, while the trial was in New York or New Jersey (because the crime was committed there), the victims were for the most part overseas or in the south or midwest. In other words, steal from goyyim in Kansas, live as a respected 'rabbi' in Brooklyn. Also note that the name of the Hebrew school Tannenbaum taught at (and where the fraud was staged) bears an incredible likeness to the name of the organization he now runs -- the Rabbinical Alliance of America (RAA).

Anyway, try to make Jason pony up on this one. My guess is, he won't.

posted by LukeFord | 11:25 PM |
 

Jason Maoz, editor of The Jewish Press, writes in:

Ordinarily I wouldn't bother responding to the ladies of the fish market who hang out at Protocols and try to sound as though they have anything meaningful to say. But a few recent remarks warrant a response beyond that which I offered on Friday.

I don't think I need to elaborate further on the Lubavitch issue other than to ask the poster named Sidney if he would be kind enough to take a few moments --from what I'm certain must be a busy and challenging schedule of intellectual pursuit -- to explain what he means by "Lubavitch slant." Yes, as I noted in my Friday comments, we take ads from Lubavitch organizations. And we do have a few Lubavitcher columnists -- among the dozens our regular columnists and contributors who cover the spectrum of Orthodoxy from Modern to yeshivish to chassidish. (We also frequently feature pieces by secular Jews and non-Jews; I suppose this means we have a "secular slant" or a "Christian slant" to go along with that alleged "Lubavitch slant.")

So please, Sid (you'll pardon the informality), ads and opinion columns aside, tell me where exactly you detect that old-time Chabad religion in our news stories or our editorials. I'm sure someone blessed with your Alpine intellect knows the difference between reporting on a Lubavitch-affiliated institution or event and, as you so strikingly phrased it (tell me you write for Yated and I promise I won't doubt it for a second ), being a paper "that allowed/s Lubavitch 'Christians' to still proclaim their leader as the second coming [sic] messiah."

One more thing, Sid. Show me when and where we turned Baruch Goldstein into a "Jewish saviour." (Shhh -- don't tell the Lubavitchers; we wouldn't want them to think we practice a polytheistic form of messianism.) If nothing else, your timing is exquisitely bad, since this very week in our Letters to the Editor section, one of our frequent contributors, Steven Plaut, strongly admonishes two readers who saw fit to defend the actions of the same Baruch Goldstein you posit as one of our paper's designated "Jewish saviours." Since I oversee the Letters section and solicited Plaut's rejoinder to the aforementioned readers, I'm afraid that makes me the house heretic. Stoning commences immediately after Mincha tomorrow. (Bongs optional.)

Which brings me to the poster known as Mike Da Kike -- (my, the time and thought that had to have gone into formulating such a sensitive and literate moniker) -- and his story about "interviewing for a job" here.

Remember that marvelous scene in "Annie Hall" where Woody Allen (as Alvy Singer) encounters a blowhard on line in a movie theater spouting off about Marshall McLuhan? Woody/Alvy summons forth the real Marshall McLuhan who shuts up the pretentious bore by telling him, "You know nothing of my work." At which point Woody/Alvy turns to the camera and says, "Boy, if life were only like this!"

Well, life is like that, at least in this instance, as I have the luxury of summoning myself to question the claims of Mr. Kike, who, when he made them early Friday, had no idea I would involve myself in this little discussion.

I happen to be in the unique position of knowing that we have not had an editorial opening at The Jewish Press for at least five years now. There was a spot open about five, maybe five and a half, years ago, but we hired someone very quickly. Before that, there was an editorial hire in 1997 -- me. So unless Mr. Kike was one of the four or five interviewees who didn't get the job five and a half years ago(and I believe all of them were women) -- or unless he interviewed before 1997, which would make his story irrelevant at best because The Jewish Press was a far different paper from what it is today -- his story doesn't hold up.

(In reviewing Mr. Kike's post, I see he doesn't describe the position for which he supposedly applied, and so perhaps I jumped the gun in assuming it was related in any manner to editorial work. We have filled a couple of custodial positions over the past few years, and perhaps that is what he is referring to -- which, come to think of it, makes perfect sense when one considers the quality of his prose.)

Finally, poster Benjy throws around some IQ figures. I'm thumbing through the last few issues of The Jewish Press where I see such notorious exemplars of low IQ as Jonathan Tobin, Joseph Schick, Phyllis Chesler, Victor Davis Hanson, Dr. Yitzchok Levine, Ed Koch, Rabbi Dovid Goldwasser, Rabbi Moshe Meir Weiss, Rabbi Steven Riskin, Marvin Schick, Professor Louis Rene Beres, and arts critic Richard McBee (none of them Lubavitch and all of them, I'd wager, considerably more intelligent than Benjy).

Not a bad lineup at all, and one that definitely can do without the services of Mike Da Kike. But do send us an updated resume, Mr. Kike -- those custodial positions tend to have a high turnover rate, and you never know when you'll get lucky.

posted by LukeFord | 11:24 PM |
 

I just saw a great film about 1930s Budapest and the Holocaust, Gloomy Sunday.

Julane writes:

For one thing, the beginning and ending create and resolve a compelling mystery (most of the film is a flashback). For another, you may or may not believe that a song could drive people to suicide, but you must admit it is a beautiful, sad and haunting melody. The story held my interest, as did the characters. The other obvious appeal was the opportunity to gaze endlessly at the incredibly lovely and angelic Erika Marozsán. I am female and straight and I could not get enough of looking at her; I could easily believe that she might inspire a piece of music that conveyed its composer's hopeless longing for her.

According to the Los Angeles Times review of this film, "The song was actually composed in 1935 by Rezsö Seress, with lyrics by László Jávor, and did in fact accompany a number of suicides as Europe grew darker; Billie Holliday recorded a popular American version." So I guess it's not so far-fetched after all! Who knew?

posted by LukeFord | 11:21 PM |
 

Hey, peoples. If anyone's interested, TNR printed the point I made in this post on SourKraut in the forthcoming, Sept. 13 edition. Unfortunately, they were unwilling to print a link to the blog. But it's pretty cool anyway.

As might be expected, Jonathan Chait did not agree with my criticism of his analysis. And as might be expected, I do not agree with his disagreement with my criticism of his analysis. I hope to write a response soon. (In brief, for anyone who's dying to know, Chait's clarified point basically amounts to saying that if the deck were to be deliberately stacked in the Democrats' favor - not, as he implies, that it were to be "balanced" - then the Democrats would have a majority.)

EDIT: Yikes, I just read that buddy Luke is appearing (or has appeared, I guess) on 60 Minutes. And here I am hypeing a letter in TNR. Sorry, Luke, didn't mean to insinuate my self-promotion on a night in which your status as Protocols' high-profile contributor is being evidenced so clearly. [Though, I'm still pretty tickled about the letter].

posted by Deranged GOT Fan | 10:52 PM |
 

What does the Torah have to say about sledging?

posted by LukeFord | 4:53 PM |
 

Hitler the disco fuhrer.

posted by LukeFord | 2:40 PM |
 

Douglas Rushkoff: The Real Threat of Blogs

posted by LukeFord | 1:32 PM |
 

My book, Yesterday's News Tomorrow: Inside American Jewish Journalism, went to the publisher today. It will be out in less than three months with new material not available on my Web site.

posted by LukeFord | 1:29 PM |
 

Dear Luke,

I just saw your profile on Amnon Finkelstein. I want to thank you for making that available to the public. I too am one of his many student victims. I can corroborate your statement that yes, indeed he is a shameless womanizer. Luckily, I did not fall out of any windows! My affair with him happened several years ago now, when I was in my very early 20s. He was my college professor at the time. He used to suggest wild sex
scenarios to me, but being so young, I was simply intimidated and must have became a real bore to him, so he moved on. I would have truly benefitted from such information on him before getting involved at all. Even back then, something in my head told me that things with him were not quite right. But I had such a crush on him, as many of my fellow students did. And he was so charming that I ignored my instincts and trusted him. (Big mistake!) He is, in my admittedly unprofessional opinion, a pathological liar. He told wild and heroic stories about himself as a youth. Stories which I later investigated to be false. He used to ask to borrow large amounts of money from me and then pretend he didn't remember when I asked
for repayment. The most disturbing thing was his apparent disrespect for the Jewish community. He used to give me pro-Palestinian books to read. He also studied on a scholarship from the German government and had many German lady lovers (I found out later.) I'm not sure what it all means, but I feel he has a very dangerous personality. I urge you to keep your profile of him up on the web, so that other young girls don't fall victim to him. This girl ending up in a coma does not surprise me. I thought that I had not heard the end of him.

posted by LukeFord | 1:26 PM |
 

From NYT: Like a lot of Christian colleges in the United States, Biola has in recent years made serious efforts to compete academically with secular and more mainstream religiously affiliated colleges. That hasn't meant a reduced emphasis on religious teachings. If anything, the school has intensified its commitment to cultivating devout Christians. But it does mean that the school has expanded its curriculum in areas of study like psychology, bioethics and popular culture, and that it is encouraging a new level of engagement with the secular world. Detweiler, a screenwriter who is something of a maverick on campus and in the evangelical Christian community, is on the front lines of that effort at Biola.

posted by LukeFord | 1:00 PM |
 

I've never been able to make heads or tails of Bible scholar Aviva Gottlieb Zornberg, but the Forward says she has a rock star following.

posted by LukeFord | 10:33 AM |
 

Surfer: "Where was Tannenbaum residing before the JP gave him the platform to write a few columns a week (hint) ? Wonder what his resume/record looks like..... "

Looks like he was involved in Securities Fraud:

" . . . CONCLUSION

In sum, we reverse the dismissal of the following claims against defendants Jay Vermonty, Carmen Vermonty, and Gershon Tannenbaum: § 12(2) Security Act claims; § 10(b) Exchange Act claims; controlling person liability claims under the Securities Act and the Exchange Act; Kansas Securities Act claims; and common-law fraud, conspiracy, and unjust enrichment claims. These claims are remanded for further proceedings consistent with this order and judgment. . . . "

posted by LukeFord | 10:02 AM |
 

I frequently berate myself for not being more successful. In particular, I am perplexed why the gift of prophecy has not arisen within me. I've done everything I can to become a proper vessel. I even blog on Protocols. Oh well, even Moshe Rabbenu never got into the Promised Land.

posted by LukeFord | 2:33 AM |
 

I never read anything by Cynthia Ozick that gave me pleasure. A NYT review of her latest. I find reading the review a dull trudge.

posted by LukeFord | 1:55 AM |
 

Orthodox teens run riot on El Al flight.

A group of unruly American-Jewish youths turned Tuesday’s El Al flight from New York into a total shambles.

The flight contained two groups of young adults. One was composed of over a hundred orthodox youth, flying to Israel to begin a one-year yeshiva study program. The other was a Na’aleh group, organized by the Jewish Agency,

During the flight, members of both groups began running wild. “I have never seen anything like this”, said a cabin crew member. “Kids from both groups were totally out of control, behaving like hooligans. They were smoking on the flight, and drinking large quantities of alcohol. Some of them bought a bottle of whiskey from the duty free, and drank the entire bottle, arriving in Israel totally pickled”.

Many of the passengers behaved inappropriately, making out on the seats. One particularly enterprising couple was caught trying to have sex in the restroom, but were interrupted before being able to fully implement their plans.

Other passengers confirmed these reports, including the fact that the orthodox youth were active participants in the mayhem.

posted by LukeFord | 1:24 AM |
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