Published with the Permission of the Author
WRITTEN BY WARREN BURSTEIN AND FOUND ON HIS FACEBOOK PAGE
This is going to be long. It’s a review of the video behind this article https://www.israelhayom.com/…/popular-rabbi-warns-follower…/ (Popular rabbi warns followers COVID vaccine ‘could make you gay’). I’m not going to link to the video, but if you want to watch it for yourself, search on YouTube for הרב דניאל עשור and find the video he posted on Jan 10. It’s all in Hebrew, so if your Hebrew isn’t good or nonexistent, read on.
If you only want to hear about the claim that the vaccine makes people gay, skip to the paragraph that starts with “15:50”
The video is 42 minutes long, throughout all you see is a still of the speaker and the title of the video, over a background of a blackboard full of equations and diagrams that keeps zooming in and repeating. Most of it is hidden by the still images, but I was able to see the equation for zero point energy, and velocity of an object in a gravitational field as a function of distance fallen. This is the only video on his channel with this (at least in the thumbnail), so it may have been chosen to give the impression that this video contains some science, but those two equations have nothing to do with the COVID-19 vaccine.
00:55 There’s no plague, there might be a disease
01:00 The number of people vaccinated in Israel is “Aravushi” propaganda, like during wartime. The word in quotes is a Hebrew derogatory word for Arabs. It’s a a diminutive, and usually is positive (for example, you might call a child, lover, or close friend “Danielush”) but this is an exception. See here (in Hebrew) https://he.wikipedia.org/…/%D7%9B%D7%99%D7%A0%D7%95%D7%99_%…
02:10 Jews are being used as test subjects (this is somewhat true, Israel is collecting data for Pfizer, but Israel isn’t the only country currently administering the vaccine. I don’t think Great Britain is experimenting on Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip, now if they gave it to Charles, but I digress) and this is reminiscent of medical experimentation during the Holocaust. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin%27s_law)
02:25 He explains how the vaccine works, mRNA doesn’t change DNA so there’s no cause for concern, it makes proteins in ribosomes which stimulates the immune system, and he at least gives a good explanation of what he disagrees with, conspiracy theorists very often do not do that.
05:00 A Professor Alon Sadeh claims that if it didn’t change DNA, immunity wouldn’t last. This is wrong, because the immune system doesn’t require continuous production of the spike protein, it has memory. I found Sadeh’s article about the vaccine (https://drive.google.com/…/15flcRcrqY3l1m2ettOXoOuJgvG…/view), and after the amount of time it took to watch the video I don’t feel like reading six pages in Hebrew so I’m only responding to Asor’s summary of what Sadeh said. However he doesn’t seem to be a professor, he’s been a researcher at universities in the past, but he only has a Masters degree and currently teaches at an elementary school in Rechovot (https://shuvu-rehovot.tik-tak.net/%D7%90%D7%95%D7%93%D7%95…/)
06:50 The vaccine is intended to change DNA. Mentions Yuval Harari who has written about changing human DNA, but has not, as far as I can tell, said that the vaccine is an instance of that.
08:46 Goes back to Alon Sadeh and (unnamed) others who think the vaccine is designed to alter DNA
09:23 Raises the possibility that the immune system would attack cells that are making spike proteins. I haven’t found an article dealing with this, but the vaccine went into Stage 1 tests in August and mRNA vaccines have been in veterinary use for longer.
14:00 There is a protein in the human placenta similar to the spike protein so this could prevent pregnancies and repeats the misinterpretation of Bill Gates’ claim that vaccination would reduce overpopulation (but it’s not by killing people, it’s by parents not having large families so at least some children survive). There have been woman who got pregnant after receiving the vaccine in Phase 3 trials, the only pregnancy loss was in the placebo group (https://hartfordhealthcare.org/abou…/news-press/news-detail…)
15:50 The vaccine contains fetal tissues, and this is known to cause “inverted tendencies” (religious Hebrew for homosexuality) but he gives no evidence.. In fact, while Pfizer and Moderna tested the vaccines on fetal cell lines, there are no fetal cells in the vaccine (https://www.nebraskamed.com/…/you-asked-we-answered-do-the-…)
16:37 Either Bill Gates or someone from Pfizer who resembles him somewhat gave a speech, which is on the net, but he doesn’t say where, about how religious fundamentalist extremists have an unnamed hormone in their brain, and speculates that if a vaccine could be made to neutralize it, religious fundamentalist extremism could be eliminated. He confuses religious fundamentalist extremism with all religion, but that may not be an accident … In any case, there’s no evidence that this vaccine would have that effect.
18:20 While the vaccine does not contain chips, it does contain an unnamed nanotechnology ingredient. In fact, it’s a nanoparticle lipid which helps the mRNA get to where it needs to (https://www.reuters.com/…/fact-check-lipid-nanoparticles-in…)
The rest of the video is religious arguments and repetitions of earlier claims that I’ll skip, the only point I want to highlight is that at 36:25 he refers to the belief, common among religious Jewish conspiracy-messianic-theorists, that before the coming of the Messiah, the “erev rav” will rule the land of Israel. The phrase is found in Exodus 12:38 and is understood to refer to non-Hebrew people who joined in the Exodus from Egypt, and classical rabbinic sources blame them for problems such as the sin of Golden Calf. In mystical sources they are said to be reincarnated and cause problems of Jews in later generations. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erev_Rav), and in contemporary discussions is used rather the same way as the phrase “Jews in Name Only”. It sometimes turns up in discussions around Yitzchak Rabin’s assassination, but in this video the implication is that the current Prime Minister is no better.
Reprinted with Permission of the Author:
In 2014 Canadian Rabbi Mark Zirkind was caught speeding on a highway leading to Montreal. Mark had just flown into the Toronto airport and was heading back to Montreal in a rental car. Mark had picked up over a million dollars in cash from an international narco drug dealer at a shopping mall near the Toronto airport. Lesson to learn from Mark: If you have over a million dollars in narco cash you should obey the traffic laws.
Mark got busted by the Canadian Mounties and went to trial. At trial Mark claimed that he was duped by rabbis and narco dealers. Mark thought he was transporting “Shoah Gelt.” Mark told the Canadian jury that he thought he was delivering cash for safekeeping for Jews in Europe who were afraid of a second Holocaust. Mark told the jury that he was doing a mitzvah. The jury didn’t believe Mark. Mark got sentenced to four years in a Canadian prison in Saskatchewan where he learned how to smoke salmon and tan pelts.
Rabbi Mark enlisted his American brother Rabbi Zalman Zirkind to help him launder money for international drug dealers. Rabbi Zalman in turn enlisted his nephew Rabbi Benzion Zirkind to join him in the family business. The Rabbis laundered tens of millions in cash through New York, Hong Kong, Israel, Columbia, Canada and Mexico. Zalman and Benzion both got busted by the Feds. Zalman pleaded guilty. Zalman is getting sentenced tomorrow in Federal Court before Judge Denise Cote in New York City. Zalman was facing 14 years of incarceration based on the Federal sentencing guidelines. The Justice Department agreed to lower their recommendation to five years based on Zalman’s health and family issues. Zalman has many children and has some personal medical issues, as well as medical issues related to his children.
Zalman’s nephew Benzion pleaded not guilty. Benzion will be facing trial with his co-conspirators Emiliano Bomba, Brian Para Machado, Jose Baez, and Andy Garibaldi Lopez. I don’t believe that you can count Benzion’s co-conspirators for a minyan.
Zalman’s attorney has made the following arguments for leniency in court filings: “In contrast to many men in Zirkinds’ Orthodox Jewish community, including his own father, who relinquished all child rearing responsibilities, ie., never change diapers, grocery shop, or take their children to community outings, Zirkind proudly and fully shared home and child rearing responsibilities with his wife…. he would also fill the family car with gas, take out the garbage, pay the bills, deal with the bank, take the children to school and doctors’ appointments, and for the Sabbath, would make the cholent a special meal prepared on Friday to be enjoyed on Saturday… The reactions from people in Zalman’s community upon learning of his crime include scorn, ridicule and ostracism. Even some family members no longer want to have anything to do with him… Though now of marriage age, Zalman’s son appears to be ostracized by the matchmakers and mothers in his community. Before Zalman’s arrest, mothers and matchmakers were promoting others to marry his oldest son. Before his arrest, a marriage was on the short horizon. The Zirkind family, now shamed in the community by Zalman’s sins, and plea of guilt, the heretofore imminent marriage appears as a black hole in that young man’s future.”
The Feds will argue at sentencing that Zalman continued to launder millions of dollars of narco dollars after his brother Mark got busted in Canada in 2014. Didn’t Zalman see the writing on the wall? Zalman’s attorneys argued in response: “In the exercise of its informed discretion, the Government continued to allow Mr. Zirkind to deal with others after he was identified as a money transmitter. Had the Government chosen to arrest Mr. Zirkind in 2018 Zalman could have cooperated and might be facing a lower sentence or guideline range.”
Zalman received numerous character letters of support from prominent Rabbis in the United States and Canada. Zalman also received a character letter signed by renowned Canadian Professor of Mathematics, and author of many inspirational books, Rabbi Doctor Abraham Boyarsky. Dr. Boyarsky wrote the following: “I believe Zalman is a victim of an educational system that I battled fiercely for years… in 1990 I founded TAV College with a mission of training young men like Zalman to acquire a profession such as computer training and earn an honest living. For attempting to do the unthinkable, I was called a traitor by the rabbinical leaders in the community and threatened with cheirim, excommunication. My novel, The Chassidic Trauma Unit, portrays life in this educationally impoverished community. It is my good fortune that most people in my community can’t read English, otherwise I would have been lynched a long time ago.”Zirkind Letters
How Far Will We Go In Our Support of…
This is being written in direct response to calls to publish more about the arrests in Washington, DC, particularly as they relate to the Jewish community and the arrest of a resident of Kings County. For a host of reasons I decided to stay away from the topic; but its absence on these pages has raised as many questions as it has avoided. I will begin by stating that I have shied away from this topic because, on the one hand, if there is one thing I have come to adopt in the last few years it is a firm belief that the system of electing judges and politicians in Kings County, NY is entirely corrupt. The law firms who are on the committees to elect judges, who control the slate, and who are in positions within the power structure in Kings County are in direct conflict of interest with the public’s right to judicial integrity. As such, both the attorneys and their hand-picked elected judges and politicians are ripe for manipulation and all is lost for a fair playing field for anyone on the other side of the kingmakers. I posit that only a judge who is independent can possibly be impartial. And it is my belief that absolute power corrupts absolutely. On the other hand, and taking a consistent view on fairness, reporting the subject of those arrested should also be fair. And, I do not believe it has been.
If I am honest, my feelings about Kings County politics, both judicial and governmental have tempered my approach to anything related to that subject. However, my position as a parent, an idealist and someone who believes that we should be more charitable and kind and that sites like mine should have integrity provides guidance on how I will treat the arrest of a Kings County native, something that will be clear as you continue reading.
Before you read further, be warned. I was not a fan of Trumpism. But, that was more about his brash, childish, vindictive, narcissistic and self-serving traits as a human being. Old-school Republicanism is something I go back and forth on. The office of President in all of its old school formalities are requirements to which I ascribe whomever holds that position. We spent years building up our government; and the office of President should be dignified regardless of the affiliation of the politician who sits there. Even Nixon respected the office and wanted to leave with dignity. Trump, not so much. And Trumpism, the embodiment of the man and his politics, is a frightening window into extremism American style. The following editorial will reflect this view. If you are a forever Trumper, my comments after the first few paragraphs will not be for you. Let’s agree to disagree.
I will start with this: HOW THE DC ARRESTS ARE BEING REPORTED AND SIGNIFICANT BIASES
The arrests of the people in Washington, DC for the role they played in the coup d’etat has highlighted famous figures, likely because it seems so shocking. I premise later some thoughts on that. For now, all of the arrests should be about the individuals, not their families. Some of those arrested are police officers, some governmental figures, GOP lawmakers, some military figures, some violent, some less so, and some Olympic athletes. They were each, in my view, a victim of ideological, neo-Fascist indoctrination with few exceptions. They were following what I firmly believe to have been a false narrative: “Stop the Steal.” That narrative has been a recurring theme through Trump’s entire Presidency, one that attributes his failures to things “stolen from him.” Each person that attended that rally but crossed the line of violence and organized coup is individually accountable for his or her actions. But collectively their leaders, whether governmental, social or religious are no less culpable.
The media coverage of each arrest has focused on the name of the person, not who that person’s parents are, with extremely rare exception. In New York the high profile arrest of a 34-year-old son of a Kings County Practicing Orthodox Jewish judge is one such exception and an unfair stain on the father for the actions of the son. The subject’s father is a registered Democrat and his brother is the executive director of Chovevei Zion, a politically conservative Orthodox advocacy organization as well as a Brooklyn district leader and vice president of the South Brooklyn Conservative club. Clearly there is a difference of opinion on politics within that family. Sitting at the Passover Seder must be an interesting, if not potentially volatile experience. Both of the sons are adults. They both can think for themselves. What happens next is up to the family; but unless the arrested man’s father convinced him to take an active stand in DC, a potentially violent stand, his father should be given his privacy and not made the focus of news articles or media attention.Continue reading
As our regular readers know, the lack of accountability of nursing home owners and operators is one of our central focuses. If this blog could solve just one problem on the “Bucket List” it would be improving the quality of care for our nation’s elderly and infirmed and ending the associated fraud scheme that makes neglect profitable.
As a single example, the pardon of Philip Esformes was a travesty of justice and a slap in the face of every elderly resident who suffered in his nursing homes, and a disregard for the taxpayers who fund Medicare and Medicaid. The lack of transparency and accountability fosters an environment fraud and neglect and likely President Trump and members of his party benefited from the pardon.
Owners and operators should not be able to deny accountability when their patients die of Covid-19. In many cases, the deaths were the result of lacking staff, rationing of PPP and profit. Many of the owners and operators of some of the worst homes had a “last clear chance” to add safety measures (though that is not generally the standard of care used).
The Covid-19 pandemic has brought years and years of neglect within nursing care to the surface. This is nothing new. These homes have been historically understaffed and many of them are not strangers to subpar care. Death is harder to hide than neglect, though many continue to hide their mortality rates.
Nursing home owners and operators should not be allowed hidden protections of LLC’s, foundations, trusts and other corporate structures, to either prevent a cross referencing of ownership for licensure purposes or to manipulate the math when homes go sideways. There must be complete transparency and personal accountability and liability.
The ownership of many of the most deplorable homes is difficult to decipher and cross reference. Many of the worst run homes have a joint group of owners some of which are comprised of attorneys and other professionals with different percentages throughout each of the cross-owned homes. First, owners and operators who are also licensed professionals should be held to higher standards of care or some form of specific registration should be in place that distinguishes these professional-owned homes from others. Second, their professional licenses should be at risk when they fail to provide adequate care. Third, professional firms that have partners who own and operate nursing homes should not be permitted to donate to political or judicial candidates or campaigns. Nursing home neglect should not be a lobbying cry. If owners and operators, particularly professional owners and operators can curry favors with politicians and judges, patients are simply not safe.
To the victor goes the spoils and for-profit nursing care is rarely an altruistic endeavor. Humanity should come before profit.Continue reading
“A billionaire French-Israeli diamond magnate, Beny Steinmetz, has appeared in court in Switzerland to face trial over alleged corruption linked to a major mining deal in Guinea.
He has always denied his company, BSGR, paid multi-million dollar bribes to obtain iron ore mining exploration permits in southern Guinea in 2008.
He travelled to Geneva from Israel for the two-week trial.
If convicted he could face up to 10 years in prison.
Steinmetz, 64, was previously sentenced in absentia to five years in prison by a court in Romania for money laundering.
Swiss prosecutors say Steinmetz paid about $10m (£7.4m) in bribes, in part through Swiss bank accounts, to gain the rights to Guinea’s iron ore deposits in the Simandou mountains.
The area is believed to contain the world’s largest untapped iron ore deposits.
His lawyer Marc Bonnant says “we will plead his innocence”.Continue reading
Considerations for Deciding on a Sentence – A Deficiency of Education? Really…
Zalmund Zirkind is charged with the laundering of funds derived from drug trafficking. There are numerous victims, including those who have fallen victim to drug abuse, overdoses and death for whom Zirkind, whether directly or indirectly, provided a pathway to use. His laundry operation was clever, considered and committed. And excusing this behavior on the basis of a failed education is a travesty.
If Hasidic education is inadequate it should be acknowledged as a failure and fixed. If the Hasidics are fighting any effort to provide them with an adequate education, they should not then be excused from the accompanying failures with respect to abiding by civil laws. The Zirkind family ascribes to their belief system, indoctrination of educational neglect, the accompanying insularity and community centrist religious practice. They should not be rewarded for their choices when running afoul of the law.
The community with which Zirkind identifies is entirely opposed to secular education with rare exception. They claim that their Torah education is superior to civil education, a claim echoed in the United States, Canada and throughout Europe and Israel. Rabbi Zalmund Zirkind is a rabbi, a person held in high esteem and regard, a person of allegedly moral superiority. He is supposed to be exemplary and pristine, setting an example for his followers.
The religious community has fought in courts the world over to prevent the imposition of civil education. There are claims in lawsuits wherein Torah education is described as “superior” and “secular studies as morally challenged.” If Torah education, absent civil studies, is superior are we to reward its failings? Is Zirkind, then, by virtue of the educational environment in which he was raised superior or is he morally challenged? He can’t have it both ways with the above letter also being evidence of reasons for leniency, a shield protecting him for the charges for which he has pleaded guilty.
While the person who wrote that letter claims to have fought the religious educational system for years, his fight is irrelevant. If Zirkind himself believed his education inadequate, why allow his own family members to follow suit? Perhaps so they will later have an excuse to claim that their deficient understanding of the world should yield the benefits of diminished sentencing when they commit crimes? That is an absurdity.
Rabbi Zirkind was to have been a pillar of his community, an example. His affinity for decency as expressed in the above letter does not mitigate the crimes he committed or the responsibility he had to provide a pristine example for his congregants. Were we to be lenient what message would that send to his followers?
The following are pages from the Government’s position on the Zirkind sentencing which can be found on the court docket. It is not to be deemed as complete.
If Vaccinations Cause Homosexuality, Can they Then Cure It?
There are no words to describe the the following article which almost feels like it should be satirical, if it were not such a serious and perilous approach to both vaccinations and homosexuality. Rabbi David Asor, who has tens of thousands of followers has told his followers that vaccinating against Covid-19 using a vaccination that has an embryonic substrate could cause homosexuality. It is important to note that leading religious leaders have supported vaccinating their communities. But Asor’s positions are dangerous.
Fervently religious observers of all faiths, sports fans, rioters and many protestors have put their followers, fans and fellow supporters at great risk. They have spread that risk to innocents, civilians with whom they come into contact following their acts of Constitutionally protected speech and assembly. Thousands and thousands have died or been sickened, some losing their livelihoods, some losing their homes, some spending months in and out of autoimmune flare-ups, not because they made a choice to be a proverbial conscientious objector. How Constitutional freedoms even have a place in a world that has been wholly upended due to Covid-19 remains a point of scholarly debate – but that’s an article for another day.
It may be that the only path to normalcy is vaccination, a point many religious leaders have acknowledged. But Azor is afraid of injecting a homosexuality gene? Huh?
Rabbi David Azor believes – and has preached his gospel – that Covid-19 was spread to cull the population, that Bill Gates is “trying to establish a new world order,” that a number of US governmental organizations are trying to create a “brutal arm” and that the vaccinations against Covid-19 can cause homosexuality. Let’s just say for a second that all of those assertions are correct. Ask yourself to define “organized and zealous” religious practice. Is it not similarly a way of controlling fellow followers, creating a religious world order? All organized religion, protest, cronyism, following is a form of control – whether it is control of religious belief and activity, methodology in protest, cronyism to political parties – it is all about control and some sort of vast organizing of the controlling body versus the controlled populous.
While many would disagree, sexual orientation and preference is not a choice. It is as much a part of a person’s being as their DNA. And it should be embraced like blue eyes, red hair, height and everything else there is about a person. We don’t need to love it or even approve of it, but acceptance and tolerance should come without question, it should be part of this “world order” to which Asor ascribes. To assume homosexuality can be “cured” by prayer, conversion therapy or some other form of demeaning and dehumanizing practice is to engage in abuse. Full stop. To assume that it can be spread or somehow injected is an absurdity.
But, let’s assume for a second that Asor is correct, that a virus based in human embryonic substrate can somehow cause homosexuality – only for the purposes of academic argument, we ask Rabbi Daniel Asor if the converse is also true.
If vaccinations can cause homosexuality then is the converse also true? Can vaccinations then cure homosexuality? Certainly it must work both ways?
In addition to purporting a false link between vaccines and homosexuality, Rabbi Daniel Asor also claims that both the virus and the vaccines are the work of a “global malicious government” trying to “establish a new world order.”
Rabbi Daniel Asor’s assertion goes against decrees issued by leading rabbis in Israel and around the world, who have called on ultra-Orthodox society to take every precaution against the global pandemic, including getting vaccinated.
The Haredi community has recorded extremely high morbidity rates due to repeated flouting of social distancing directives.
Asor, who has tens of thousands of followers on social media, is no stranger to controversy. In his latest online sermons, he argued that “any vaccine made using an embryonic substrate, and we have evidence of this, causes opposite tendencies. Vaccines are taken from an embryonic substrate, and they did that here, too, so … it can cause opposite tendencies.”
In addition to purporting a false link between vaccines and homosexuality, Assur also advocates various conspiracy theories about the coronavirus, claiming, among other things, that both the virus and the vaccines are the work of a “global malicious government,” comprising the Freemasons, the Illuminati, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and others, who are “trying to establish a new world order.”
He further argues that the virus was released to “cull global population” and that the vaccines seek to further this agenda.
Asor calls the World Health Organization and pharma giants Pfizer and Moderna “criminal organizations” that have deliberately mislead ultra-Orthodox leaders into supporting vaccination drives by presenting them with false data on its components and efficiency.
Further spinning his conspiracy theory, Asor claims that the US Federal Emergency Management Agency, a Department of Homeland Security that has joined forces with Israel’s National Emergency Authority to battle the pandemic, maintains a “brutal army” in Israel that will be secretly embedded with local law enforcement to further the global government’s nefarious agenda.
It should be stressed that leading rabbis in the Sephardi and Ashkenazi comminutes have deemed COVID-19 vaccines to be safe and are urging their followers to be immunized.To continue reading, click here.
Holding Nursing Home Magnates to Account for Their Flippant Handling of the Covid-19 Pandemic
From our perspective, it is about time that nursing homes in the State of New York are being held to account for their reporting of nursing home deaths. To this point, many have been poorly managed and the oversight of that management has been staggeringly absent. The reason? Well, Governor Cuomo, Tish James and many political candidates in both parties have nursing home owners, their lawyers, their vendors, their advocates all supporting political campaigns. Either that support comes in the form of direct check-writing or through Super PAC’s, courtesy of Citizen’s United. Trying to hold the same people who got you elected accountable for the horrors within their nursing homes is a risky gamble when it comes to a political future.
And then there are the lobbyists. You know. The ones who lobby the government for leeway, some wiggle room. This applies both to standards of healthcare, or rather, standards of moral human decency and financial accounting methods. That accounting is also Medicaid, Medicare and Private Insurance companies who are being defrauded time and time again. Why they have not thrown the breakers on eludes us.
Mer, Kabila, the Congo, Dan Gertler and… Rudi Guiliani… and then There’s Magnitsky
This opinion is written following a brillliant article that came out in Buzzfeed on December 30, 2020 and should be read in the context of that article entitled:
A Secretive Company Needed To Convince Washington That Congo’s Election Would Be “Free And Fair.” It Found A Friendly Ear Among Trump Allies.
A BuzzFeed News investigation, based on thousands of pages of documents and more than 100 interviews in the US, Congo, and Europe, provides a first-ever look inside Mer’s aggressive campaign to influence the Trump administration and serve Kabila’s interests. It shows how such efforts can shape foreign policy in ways unbeknownst to both the public and senior government officials, through meetings and phone calls that leave few witnesses and little trace of the private influences involved.
In this case, the most powerful nation in the world swept aside authoritarian abuses — even when many of its own top diplomats thought such a decision flew in the face of US interests.
Despite all the promises that Kabila’s proxies made in Washington that year, Congo’s election, ultimately held in December 2018, was neither free nor fair. Citing voting data that leaked after the election, international observers said that it was brazenly rigged in favor of a candidate with whom Kabila had struck a secret power-sharing deal. Kabila would officially step down, but he would still command Congo’s security forces, his allies would still hold top Cabinet positions, and his party would still wield a legislative majority.
Within days of the election, the leaked voting data sparked protests across Congo. Heads of state in Europe and Africa called for an international investigation. The US echoed the denunciation.
Mer’s efforts in Washington looked doomed.
But a month after the election, in January 2019, the Trump administration suddenly dropped its objections and instead praised “Kabila’s commitment to becoming the first president in DRC history to cede power peacefully through an electoral process.” The decision to reverse course came from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, BuzzFeed News has learned. But it shocked veteran diplomats and rank-and-file State Department officials who had crafted the initial policy. And it put an end to the international coalition that was forming to examine the election.Read the Buzzfeed article in its entirety here.
Let me refresh your memory, on November 7, 2019, in a follow up to an article I posted on November 6, 2019, I published an opinion piece entitled “Dan Gertler and the OFAC Sanctions – Someone Had to Have Been Negotiating with Glencore” wherein I corrected the record as to dates from the previously posted article and presented my theories. The relevant corrected dates of that article, however, only serve to substantiate my theory, that there were a series of well-timed announcements, one corresponding though seemingly unconnected to the other and all subtly buried in a haze of smoke and mirrors. Then came the pandemic and any modicum of an investigation into the activities of the relevant players fell to the wayside.
I maintain that there were lobbyists behind the scenes negotiating on Gertler’s behalf with respect to the Magnitsky Act Sanctions and corresponding payments from Glencore allegedly due to Gertler. Gertler’s proven connection to Kabila providing a backdrop. In 2019 I did not complicate matters, however, by adding in the Congo/Glencore connection because I had fully intended to fill in that piece at some future date. Suffice it to say that the sanctions were imposed upon Dan Gertler (and his related companies) by the United States for his mining activities and human rights abuses in the Congo. While both the US, for formality’s sake, and Gertler and his associates now deny the allegations of abuse that triggered the imposition of the sanctions, The Africa Report, Global Witness and Bloomberg to name a few, have made direct and undeniable connections between Gertler and those abuses. They have also directly connected Gertler to Kabila and Kabila to Gertler. While they have not necessarily tied Gertler to Kabila’s reelection, or rather re-positioning of power, the connection is largely undeniable; and we maintain the whole show was being negotiated by Guiliani and/or his associates and Mer.Continue reading
The name ParCare is flying through the news media and blogosphere like wildfire. There are dozens of links, each regurgitating much the same story – that ParCare either fraudulently obtained and distributed Covid-19 vaccines or that ParCare legitimately obtained the Covid-19 vaccine but fraudulently distributed it to places for which they were not licensed to distribute and to people to whom they were not permitted to administer it. There are also variations in between. Sadly, however those two versions of the same story cannot co-exist.
Did ParCare obtain the vaccine legally or did they not? Simple question. One would think there is a simple answer; but no one is really demanding the answers from the State of New York, which has historically lacked oversight in all areas of healthcare and medicine. ParCare is allegedly cooperating with the investigation and has returned unused vials of the Moderna vaccine.
The most irking question is why is the very community that has flaunted unabashedly an aversion to the laws, even to the braggadocios conclusion that the group is not comprised of Americans and therefore not going to follow US laws, were some of the first to be granted access to a vaccine. Okay. If you are not going to follow the law then why should you be afforded the benefits that the law allows? How can a community so openly unwilling to cooperate and to do what’s right for the preservation of human life be granted first rights to healthcare and vaccinations supplied by the very same laws they refuse to follow? This is not about religion, it is about the sanctity of human life and a group unwilling respect it.Continue reading
Our theory is that someone in Trump’s government or advisory group is in the process of going into business with Philip Esformes and the commuted sentence helps to facilitate that. Just a theory…
Suffice it to say, we have no other statement than that this is a disgraceful decision. It is everything wrong with the Presidential pardon power and a shining example of Trump’s failures as a human being, setting aside his failures as President. Yes. Some would disagree.
It is hard, however, to make a case for commuting the sentence of Esformes, though some have done it and we question their judgement. It would be like setting Bernie Madoff free. That, at this point, would come as no surprise.
Esformes spent years perfecting the craft of defrauding the healthcare industry and patients in nursing homes paid the price. He is a godless creature of habit and no amount of prayer in our view diminishes the harm he caused to vulnerable people and the healthcare industry at large. This opinion is yet another condemnation of the lack of nursing care oversight in the United States.
We submit that Trump should spend a few months in one of Esformes’ worst homes and see what he thinks afterwards. It could be almost like “Undercover Boss.” Trump would be forced to allow no one to know he is the President and get treated like other patients. If only…
Philip Esformes – Today, President Trump commuted the term of imprisonment of Philip Esformes, while leaving the remaining aspects of his sentence, including supervised release and restitution, intact. This commutation is supported by former Attorneys General Edwin Meese and Michael Mukasey, as well as former Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson. In addition, former Attorneys General Edwin Meese, John Ashcroft, and Alberto Gonzalez, as well as other notable legal figures such as Ken Starr, have filed in support of his appeal challenging his conviction on the basis of prosecutorial misconduct related to violating attorney-client privilege.
While in prison, Mr. Esformes, who is 52, has been devoted to prayer and repentance and is in declining health.To read the article in its entirety in Yeshiva World News, click here.
Covid-19 is a pubic health disaster.
But, so too are most nursing homes and rehabilitation centers. Many of them represent the greatest constitutional violation of life, liberty, happiness and dignity for those most vulnerable who are confined to many of the nations homes.
There are very personal reasons why this blogger knows so much about them and their deplorable conditions. Setting aside visits to upwards of 45 different nursing homes and rehabilitation centers throughout New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania and being asked to negotiate a bid on Personal Protective Equipment by an unsuspecting client, research on homes and their owners has made the entire industry stomach-turning. That client did not realize at the time that the equipment he was asked to broker had been taken from a nursing home (paid for by Medicare, Medicaid or private insurance) and warehoused in New Jersey. Someone else likely did the deal, the client walked away.
So, perhaps Covid-19 was necessary to open people’s eyes to the dangers of nursing homes and rehabilitation centers and to provide much needed incentive for the government to oversee them with vigor, zeal and a passion that reflects our need to protect the elderly and most vulnerable.
Well, this might just be wishful thinking.
Suffice it to say, most owners and operators are looking to the bottom line. It is about the money, the profit and loss, the quasi virtual auction of human life by social services, guardianship, social workers in hospitals and the individuals that make the wheels of the human life industry turn. Many are morally bankrupt and the more their pockets get lined the more soulless they become.
More to follow. For now, The Wall Street Journal:
The pandemic is reshaping the way Americans care for their elderly, prompting family decisions to avoid nursing homes and keep loved ones in their own homes for rehabilitation and other care.
Americans have long relied on institutions to care for the frailest seniors. The U.S. has the largest number of nursing-home residents in the world. But families and some doctors have been reluctant to send patients to such facilities, fearing infection and isolation in places ravaged by Covid-19, which has caused more than 115,000 deaths linked to U.S. long-term-care institutions.To continue reading in The Wall Street Journal, click here.
“We should be able to provide more services in the home setting that can enable somebody to be independent,” said Seema Verma, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. “Covid is going to force a national conversation about how we take care of our elderly, and clearly there are issues in nursing homes that go beyond infection control,” she said.
During his campaign, President-elect Joe Biden promised to spend $450 billion to make sure people who need long-term care can get support in the home and community.
They had survived so much already — war and dust storms, cancer and poverty, lost eyesight, lost spouses, lost memories — and still went on to find moments of grace inside the corridors of America’s nursing homes.
In Windsor, Conn., Johnny James ate chocolate bars with his visiting great-grandchildren. In Lewiston, Idaho, Edna McBride celebrated her 100th birthday. In Providence, R.I., Florence Tilles, who had two knee surgeries, liked to joke she would one day die at the 18th hole of her favorite golf course.
One day came on May 30, when 98-year-old Tilles fell victim to covid-19 amid a soaring death toll that included James and McBride and would soon grow to more than 80,000 residents in nursing homes across the country. They suffered alone, in homes locked down to visitors, peering at the masked faces of weary nurses and aides who risked their own lives to be there.
The industry and the government could have done far more, watchdog groups have said from the beginning, shoring up infection-control protocols and staffing, delivering stronger oversight of troubled homes and ensuring that coronavirus stimulus payments reached patients and caregivers rather than corporate owners.
Instead, 10 months later, thousands of families are learning to live without goodbyes.
The 51 residents whose stories are told here, one from every state and the District of Columbia, left behind at least 129 children, 230 grandchildren, 210 great-grandchildren and 41 great-great-grandchildren. Some blame the nursing homes for questionable care. Others say they are enormously grateful for the work of caregivers.To continue with The Washington Post, click here.
Law Firms prized for their Knowledge of Elder Care and Novel Approaches to Protecting the Elderly, and the conflicting interests of the Partners and Associates who Own Financial Stakes in Subpar Nursing and Rehabilitation Centers [OPINION]
The right to “sepulcher” in the law is the “right of a family member or next of kin to find solace and comfort in the act of burying a loved one.” Protecting this right alone can be the basis for a highly respectable and extremely lucrative boutique practice for attorneys. A lawsuit based upon that right can be relevant in situations where fallen soldiers are not returned home, victims of terrorist attacks are not returned to their families; and during the Covid-19 pandemic, bodies are improperly buried or even lost. A recent example is the case of Elayne Boosler, wherein a family members was buried at the hands of a guardian’s signature in the wrong cemetery at significant cost. That case is eliciting calls for an investigation. Her story is gruesome and complicated by a system of guardianship that itself is enshrouded in secrecy and disenfranchisement.
In the United States many law firms with highly intelligent and respected attorneys and practices focused on elder care, geriatric medical abuses, estate planning, insurance and disability, medical malpractice and related practices, simultaneously represent some of the worst offenders in nursing home care abuses. Many of the partners in these firms also own financial stakes in nursing homes, either with their clients or not. It is our opinion that these are diametrically opposed practices; and it is nearly impossible for a law firm to maintain the integrity of one practice area while being paid millions to represent the others. That is an opinion premised on what may be a debatable notion of ethics and moral integrity.
Admittedly, Covid-19 has created a mitigating factor in recent history. But our opinion is unwavering: the lack of care for the welfare of the elderly, the lack of interest in dignity and humanity has governed, with a wholehearted disregard for humanity, particularly in law firms with competing interests. This has occurred throughout our entire system of care and of justice. With respect to dignified and responsible elder care, the Covid-19 tragedy has denied the right to tens of thousands of families of nursing and rehabilitation homes’ patients to be physically present for their loved ones in life and, in many cases, to bury those same people who have had their lives taken by the virus.
We would argue that the fault lies though not entirely, with the owners and financial stakeholders of many of these nursing homes and rehabilitation centers. We would posit that they did not take proper precautions during the pandemic, choosing instead the path of least cost routing. Precautions would have undermined owners’ bottom lines. We maintain that the owners and operators were looking at their P/L Statements (Profit and Loss), and ignoring the potential loss of human life. Some nursing homes carry life insurance for their patients and are themselves beneficiaries of those policies. They therefore profit whether their wards live or die. This makes the situation all the more unpalatable.
For those owners whose real life profession is an active and lucrative legal practice, one which focuses on elder care, the rights of the elderly, estate planning and healthcare services, in our view there has always been a weighing of financial averages and significant conflicts. Moreover, the pandemic has increased the value of lobbying governments to reduce nursing home and even medical accountability, a conflicting premise if you are an elder care lawyer.
To add another wrench in the cogs of a lucrative attorney practice that plays both the elder care and nursing home ownership game, it is less expensive to lobby the government for Covid-19 related immunity provisions which protect owners (often themselves) from liability than to save lives and actually engage in “elder care.” It is a simple financial calculation. And at the end of the day, the elderly lose and the attorneys win.
A reasonable analogy would be a car company that hides known and foreseeable danger in manufacturing because the cost of reimbursement for the death of drivers and passengers is less expensive than recalling the vehicles in question. The outcome is based upon purely financial decisions which will continue status quo unless and until significant financial accountability is mandated.
In our view, both in the nursing home context and in the vehicle scenario, conscience and morality simply do not a play a role in the decision-making of owners and operators. In both instances manipulating political clout to obliterate the chance for families to seek financial compensation for loss of life or consortium has made and continues to make the most financial sense. In both analogous situations, if the people in charge are not held to account, both civilly and criminally, these financial equations will take precedent over the value of human life and lives will be lost.
And please remember, in the situation where the lawyers are the owners and operators of nursing homes, they make money either way. Their legal representation on behalf of owners generates bills for tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars in yearly billables. The nursing home ownership is gravy and the more immunity they obtain for themselves and their clients (who are often partnered with them) from liability the richer the returns on all fronts.
The nagging question is this: how can a law firm, any law firm, simultaneously have a blossoming and distinguished practice of elder care, “rights of sepulchre”, estate planning and other related practice areas and at the same time represent owners of some of the most deplorably run nursing homes in the country? We do not think that it is possible without an inescapable conflict of interest, setting aside the ethical and moral obligations to clients within those practice areas. As a securities matter, we would argue that the LLC interests associated with nursing home ownership represent securities interests and that it should be possible to implicate the SEC and its trading regime. That’s just a thought.Continue reading
An SEC receiver appointed to preserve assets of the defunct Platinum Partners funds claims that the manager, Mark Nordlicht, of New Rochelle, owes the funds $220 million.
Melanie L. Cyganowski sued Nordlicht Dec. 7 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, White Plains, to stop him from using bankruptcy to get out of paying back creditors.
Nordlicht omitted information and made false statements in bankruptcy documents, the complaint states, as “part of a fraudulent scheme by the debtor to conceal estate assets from the Chapter 7 trustee and his creditors.”
Nordlicht’s bankruptcy attorneys did not respond to a message asking for their client’s side of the story.
Nordlicht co-founded Platinum Partners in 2003, and at one point managed $1.7 billion in assets. But by 2016, the funds were nearly insolvent.
The federal prosecutor in Brooklyn indicted him for securities fraud and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed civil charges. Both cases are pending.
Cyganowski was appointed to marshal assets of several Platinum funds, on behalf of the SEC.
This past June, Nordlicht petitioned for Chapter 7 liquidation, declaring assets of $137,052 and liabilities of more than $206 million.
But according to the Cyganowski complaint, Nordlicht should not be allowed to use bankruptcy to discharge debt because he engaged in a “long-running pattern of fraudulent conduct, by filing false schedules, lying under oath and knowingly deceiving the Chapter 7 trustee.”
A bankruptcy schedule, for instance, shows that Nordlicht and his wife, Dahlia Kalter, receive $25,000 a month from his mother for tuition and other expenses. But Nordlicht’s mother actually wrote them one check, according to the complaint, for $1.4 million.
Nordlicht allegedly did not disclose ownership of a luxury condominium on Manhattan’s Upper West Side or the use of shell companies to conceal assets, as “part of a larger scheme to frustrate a recovery by his creditors in this bankruptcy.”
Cyganowski links the alleged bankruptcy misinformation to Nordlicht’s management of the Platinum funds.To continue reading click here.
“THE CORRUPTION IN THE BROOKLYN DEMOCRATIC PARTY IS LEGENDARY AND I THINK IT HAS NEVER, EVER BEEN WORSE THAN WHAT HAS HAPPENED TODAY. IT IS OUTRAGEOUS. YOU ARE HIDING THE RESULTS OF A VOTE THAT YOU KNOW YOU LOST. JUST COME CLEAN. YOU LOST!”
Lost Messiah has been publishing articles for nearly 5 years as a labor of love, without the benefit of financial gains or advertising. The reason: WE DID NOT WANT TO BE BEHOLDEN, NOT TO POLITICS, NOT TO MONEY AND NOT TO HALF-TRUTHS OR MISPERCEPTIONS. Lost Messiah’s blogger needs your help defending a defamation lawsuit wherein the Plaintiffs are represented by partners at the law firm who are, in large part, responsible for choosing the judges who decide these cases. The case is about a lot more than just freedom of speech and press and the rulings could be used to set precedent going forward.
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You may ask why this is relevant. Well, the Kings County Democratic Committee largely decides who is given the opportunity to run for political, legislative and legal positions which include Judgeships, if they want to run on the Democratic ticket. Given the history of allegations of corruption, the lack of transparency and the lack of “full disclosure.” Something has to give.
Democrats generally win in Kings County, particularly on the judicial slate.
It should be clear to anyone reading this that if you control the legislative branch and the judicial branch of Kings County, New York, you control the county. If you are a leader in the KCDC, you have significant power in Kings County, power that is not illegal but highly political and may raise questions of conflicts of interest. If you are also head of the Bar Association, you are effectively a “Macher” – a Rainmaker, a god among men in Kings County.
Many of the people responsible for the decisions regarding who gets a political, legislative and judicial presence on a Democratic ticket are attorneys who practice in Kings County in the very same courtrooms, before judges whom they were responsible for choosing. They work with the same legislators in creating legislation, which includes but is not limited to the most recent “Granny Killer Immunities” that prevent nursing home owners from any liability for their acts, conducts and omissions which led to the death of thousands of nursing home patients. The list goes on and on. But these are the issues that grace the pages of this blog.
While the somewhat incestuous relationship between the members of the KCDC and those who they determine will sit on the elective slate has been going on for years, it is the opinion of this blogger that there is no way on this earth that victors from the slate can avoid feeling beholden to those who made certain that they were elected for their seats. This blogger contends that there is no way that legislators do not favor those who gave them their political place on the Democratic ticket, it would be highly surprising if judges did not feel beholden to those who seated them, if not uncomfortable with the backlash were they to rule unfavorably; and there is no way that the system is fair and just, not for litigants, not for residents of the county and not for the ordinary people who need a fair and just system.
To compound this binary relationship between attorney members of the Kings County Democratic Committee and the judges chosen to run for judicial office, the hierarchical placement of judges is also decided by the KCDC, and many of the judges have allegedly given the attorneys who got them seated a padded caseload of guardianship cases, housing cases, foreclosure cases and others for which an attorney is appointed and there is a lot of money to be made.
Lost Messiah leaves you with this final thought – something to munch on: it is the opinion of this blogger that the alleged corruption plays a role in the trajectory of many lawsuits, particularly where big money and power players are involved.
It is the opinion of this blogger that the seemingly incestuous relationship between party politics and judges in Kings County must change; so even an inkling of impropriety would be utterly unheard of.
‘LAUGHING STOCK OF THE CITY’: BK DEMS’ FIRST FULL VIRTUAL MEETING DEVOLVES INTO 13-HOUR ZOOM CALL FROM HELL
Brooklyn state Justice Edgar Walker ruled that party chairwoman Rodneyse Bichotte and the executive board violated election law by unilaterally appointing Democrats to newly created positions as well as other existing committee vacancies.
He nullified the 2,400 appointments.
There are 2,100 elected members on the county committee whose views were ignored, the judge said.From The New York Post
“The Brooklyn Democratic Party has been abusing its power, undermining democracy, and violating the Election Law. It’s time for this to stop,” said Ali Najmi, the election lawyer who represented 11 plaintiffs in the case.From The New York Post
Division Within Brooklyn Democratic Party Apparent As Former Party Boss Says “F—ing Progressives” Should Be Overcome
On Monday, the Kings County Democratic County Committee sued the state in Brooklyn federal court over the court order forcing the county committee to hold an organizational meeting, alleging that forcing the party to follow election law by holding a virtual meeting “restricts and limits their discretion in how to organize themselves,” and “infringes upon the party’s right to free association.” (The same day, however, the county committee sent a notice to members that a a virtual organizational meeting would move ahead on December 16th at noon).
The latest lawsuit comes after months of divisions—centered on members pushing for more inclusion within the party’s county committee—that intensified last week during heated discussions over recent rule changes. The most recent changes have resulted in accusations of a “power grab” among district leaders, leading Frank Seddio, the former party boss who still functions as a district leader, to say out loud what his critics have long accused him of doing:
“We need all of the county committee members we can get to overcome these fucking progressives when we have the meeting,” Seddio said at a December 2nd meeting.From The Gothamist
Mayor de Blasio ducked questions Friday about the firing of Ricardo Morales, the whistleblower who’s suing the city for his termination in the wake of the Rivington House scandal.
Morales was canned from his post at the Department of Citywide Administrative Services in 2017, a year after the scandal first came to light.
The controversy centered around the city’s lifting of deed restrictions on a Lower East Side nursing home, which eventually paved the way for its sale to a private developer for $116 million.
At the time, de Blasio denied any involvement in the firing of Morales, who has maintained that City Hall was directly involved in the removal of the deed restrictions. Morales filed his lawsuit in February 2018, claiming that he was terminated because he wouldn’t go along with covering up City Hall’s involvement.
More recently, documents filed in Manhattan federal court suggest there’s more to this story.
In a March 25, 2016 email submitted as evidence in the case, de Blasio wrote to top advisor Emma Wolfe about Morales.
“I spoke to Dom,” de Blasio wrote at the time, referring to advisor Dominic Williams. “This is about the riccardo morales issue. Pls follow up with Dom.”
Around that time, DCAS Commissioner Lisette Camilo was emailing with Williams about Morales’ fate at the agency, court records show.To continue reading at The Daily News, click here.
Israel’s Justice Minister said he has signed an extradition order to send former Melbourne school principal Malka Leifer back to Australia to face 74 charges of sexual abuse.
Justice Minister Avi Nissenkorn said that after a years-long legal saga, it was Israel’s “moral responsibility” to extradite Ms Leifer.
Mr Nissenkorn signed the order a day after Israel’s Supreme Court rejected what appears to be Ms Leifer’s final appeal.
Ms Leifer, an Israeli citizen, is accused of abusing three sisters during her time as headmistress of the Adass Israel School between 2001 and 2008.
She allegedly fled Australia for Israel in 2008 when she learned the women were planning to file a complaint with police.
Australia lodged an extradition request for Ms Leifer in 2014, but the case has been repeatedly delayed.
In January, a panel of psychiatrists concluded the 54-year-old was faking her mental illness to avoid extradition, which led to the finding in Israel’s District Court.
Ms Leifer maintains her innocence and the six-year legal battle surrounding her extradition has strained relations between Israel and Australia.To Continue on ABC Australia, click here.
In October, Elliott Broidy, once a top fundraiser for Donald Trump and the Republican Party, pleaded guilty to charges that he conspired to illegally lobby the Trump administration for a fugitive financier and the president of Malaysia. The plea continued the descent of a controversial businessman and political operative who stepped down from a top Republican National Committee job in 2018 after the news broke that he had agreed to pay $1.6 million in hush money to a Playboy model whom he had impregnated during an extramarital affair.
Now there’s a new wrinkle to the Broidy case. He faces up to five years in prison in part because of what in retrospect seems to have been a dumb mistake. Broidy voluntarily gave the FBI emails from his and his wife’s accounts while seeking the bureau’s assistance in pursuing hackers who he claimed had stolen this material and leaked damaging details about his business dealings to the press. According to a just-unsealed ruling issued in June 2018 by Beryl Howell, the chief US District Judge in Washington, DC, nearly 1,400 pages of emails that Broidy provided to the FBI were subsequently used by the bureau in the investigation that led to Broidy’s guilty plea. Following a secretive legal process, Howell ruled that Broidy had surrendered the material to the FBI and after doing that—when the bureau wanted to exploit the documents for an investigation of Broidy himself—could no longer claim the information was covered by attorney-client privilege or spousal privilege.
A Broidy spokesman did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday.
Here’s what happened. Broidy owns a company, Circinus, that sells what it calls “open-source” intelligence services to foreign governments. In 2017, while the firm pursued a contract with the United Arab Emirates, which it later landed, Broidy emerged as an outspoken critic of Qatar, a regional rival of the UAE. Broidy helped to finance conferences and opinion pieces attacking Qatar as a sponsor of terrorism. That criticism dovetailed with attacks on Qatar by the UAE and its close ally, Saudi Arabia, which resulted in those and other Gulf nations imposing a blockade on Qatar in June 2017.To continue reading this in Mother Jones, click here.
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Yes keep them chained in poverty and in ignorance ……so that we keep shnooring for them ….
At a recent meeting of the Organization of Principals of Haredi Seminaries, the Vizhnitzer Rebbe expressed his strong opposition to haredi girls learning in university, likening advanced academic studies to the “Greek wisdom” that Torah sages have been traditionally opposed to throughout Jewish history, and asserting that the underlying purpose of introducing haredim to advanced university studies is to “implant ideas of heresy” into their minds.
“We are now approaching the festival of Hanukkah, and as is known, one explanation for the Torah verse describing how the ‘earth was empty and formless and darkness was upon the face of the deep’ is that it refers to the rule of the Greek Empire, and the attempts of the Greeks to cloud the vision of the Jewish People via their decrees,” the Rebbe said. “Their sole desire was to teach the Jewish People their Greek wisdom and to separate them, G-d forbid, from the Torah of G-d. Therefore, we use a specific term that hints at this ‘darkness’ when we refer to their attempts to make us forget our connection to Torah, because being connected to G-d and His Torah comes from a place of light, whereas the opposite comes from darkness.”
The Rebbe then linked his words to the current trend of university learning, saying, “I came here in order to arouse the listeners to the urgency of this matter of advanced academic studies which are forbidden, and indeed it should be obvious that such studies are in opposition to the wisdom of the holy Torah which enlightens mankind – they achieve the opposite effect and bring about only darkness.
“Such is the situation today as well,” the Rebbe continued, “in their attempts to convince us with nice-sounding phrases and persuade us that this will enable us to earn a respectable income, and from there things just deteriorate.”
Referring to the commonly made claim that having a degree enables a person to earn a higher income, the Rebbe said that given that this is accompanied by a decline in a person’s spiritual level, it should not be a matter for serious consideration, as “no G-d-fearing person wants his spiritual state to decline, regardless of possible material gains.
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Hard Money (a/k/a Predatory) Lenders are More Likely to Sink you Than Save You! Avoid!
We could warn you off hard money lenders until the moon turns blue; and some of you will be convinced, nonetheless, to take out a hard money loan. These are also referred to as predatory Lenders who offer Predatory Loans. In times like Covid-19 when people are in financial dire straits, it may seem like the best possible option. It is not. This cannot be emphasized enough – these loans are not worth it. They are expensive and will most likely cost you your current business and a chance at a future. Inevitably these hard money loans end in a loss, regardless of best efforts, and often that reality takes months to set in, when finances have already been largely dissipated and the agony prolonged. And, when you are at your darkest, another offer will come into your “Inbox” providing the euphoric feeling that you have found an option. You have not.
The following is a warning and is intended to serve you well. “Dealstruck”
We have a spreadsheet of names of companies that offer hard-money loans, their top tier officials, their investors in some cases, their attorneys and collection agents and how many of these companies are interconnected. Many of these companies are represented by a cadre of collaborative attorneys who communicate with one another, so where someone has defaulted on one loan, there is another waiting in the wings.
That spreadsheet is available upon request.
Hard money loans are generally provided absent credit review, making them attractive to desperate borrowers with lousy credit. Depending upon the amount requested, the review is one that requires submission of bank account statements and receivables, nothing else. It seems too good to be true because it is too good to be true.
As an illustrative example using very simple numbers, you are short $20,000 and need it quickly. You take out a hard-money loan because they guarantee you an interest rate of 1.5% and immediate cash. Right at the outset, you get stuck with a fee usually referred to as a processing fee, an implementation fee, a finder’s fee or some other name making it feel acceptable. The lender promises this fee will be taken and capitalized from the top of the loan so you will not even notice.
In other words, the fee can be $2,000, $4,000 – any number but it feels palatable because there are no “closing costs.” Let’s assume for illustration that the fee is $2,000 or 10% of the total loan. You now owe $22,000.00 but have access to $20,000.00 of that money. You have already paid 10% on the loan before even getting started. Now for the sake of ease, the payback term is 10 months (these are generally short-term loans) and also for the sake of ease, lets pretend that this is a 0% interest loan – to make the numbers easier. Remember, you have already paid 10% capitalized on the top or 1%/month over 10 months. In essence that is 12% per year.
Now, lets assume that your monthly draw is $2,200/month (ease of numbers). This means that they withdraw $2,200.00 from your account each month. But, they tell you that for each draw, they are going to take another $110.00 for servicing fees. That means they are actually taking $2,310.00/month. That’s actually 1.55% each month. This adds up to $3,100.00 over 10 months or 15.5% over that same 10 months and that is without including what we said was the 1.5% interest fee that you agreed to. Consider how much this would be if we had calculated in the 1.5% interest rate you were offered as a “low interest loan”. You are being taken for a financial waterboarding and not even realizing it.
To add insult to injury, most of these companies require you sign a personal guarantee and a Confession of Judgement. This COJ means, if you fail to make a payment – or default on the loan – the Lender can submit the confession of judgement and you can be held to account for the entire debt even if you have completed 1 payment or 9 payments, it does not matter. In the simple example above, you are responsible for $23,100.00 without even considering the interest rate. To put it bluntly, you are generally on the hook for the entire amount of the debt until it is fully paid off.
Last year the State of New York implemented a law that precludes the use of COJ’s as a remedy. It has not stopped many of these Lenders because a COJ is legal in other states even if it is not legal in New York. So, many of these companies get around that by changing the forum and jurisdiction of both the agreements you sign and the place of adjudication. The combination is toxic.
For today we are going to warn you against the following company: “Dealstruck.” We have chosen this company because they are impossible to avoid once they get your email and/or telephone numbers. The emails hit your inbox daily, if not more than that, and it may seem like a worthwhile idea to look at the company and see what they have to offer. It is not. After multiple emails and telephone requests, they have not removed at least one person’s information from their registers.
The following is a text of their email. This company has been reported to the authorities for their harassing tactics. We offer a warning against using this company and companies like it, which are all some form of predatory lenders offering hard money loans.
In the interest of protecting a modicum of Dan’s privacy, we have removed his cell phone. The rest of the email is the actual text of what you might see coming into your email box. It is entitled “As you wish” or “More As you Wish” in its most recent iteration as follows :
I wanted to introduce myself and go over a few available funding options we have for you. Our rates start at 3% and we just started offering monthly payments. It would help if you could answer the following quick questions:
How much are you looking for?
Are you seeking short or long term funding options?
Do you have any open balances? How soon were you looking to get funded?
Do you have any current competing offers you would like us to beat?
Looking forward to your response. Alternatively, feel free to reach out to me on my cell to discuss open options.
Best Regards, Dan Rubin
Dan Rubin VP Of Sales
The Grand Rabbi of the Satmar Hassidim community of Williamsburg, New York, Rabbi Zalman Teitelbaum, has said that his hassidim should not consider themselves as American but rather as Jews in exile.
The rabbi made his remarks on Sunday night during an annual commemorative event for the rescue of Satmar founder Rabbi Yoel Teitelbaum from the Nazis on the Kastner train in June 1944.
“Jews were drawn to American politics and greatly broke the distinction between Jews and the nations,” said Teitelbaum in comments first published by KAN News.
“We need to understand that we are in exile, we live here but we are not Americans,” the rabbi asserted.
To continue reading in The Jerusalem Post, click here.
This blog takes on issues and stories that the local newspapers in the United States and elsewhere are frightened or too intimidated to cover. The subjects of these stories believe that a Moser – a “snitch” is worthy of a death sentence sanctioned by Jewish law. In the absence of using internal methods at silencing detractors, they have taken to using a judicial system, to which this article suggests they do not even espouse loyalty, to judicially abuse those who speak out against them. The ONLY way to scrutinize the activities of the Satmar and fundamentalist Jewish groups like them, without fear of being labeled an anti-Semite or internal reprisals, judicial terrorism and other more nefarious methods, is to support bloggers like LostMessiah and others who have taken to speaking out.
As such please donate to the site on its donation page. That money goes to supporting the efforts to obtain information, either by FOIA request, other journalists or people within the communities. Alternatively, please donate to help defending an abusive lawsuit playing out in Kings County, New York, a Satmar stronghold, and simultaneously the Appellate Court in Kings County, a largely Chabad supported stronghold.
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A Brooklyn synagogue that was stopped by the state before it could host a massive wedding in October finally succeeded on Monday in pulling off another potential super-spreader event — a jam-packed funeral.
The Congregation Yetev Lev D’Satmar went coronavirus rogue for the funeral of 94-year-old former chief Satmar judge Rabbi Yisroel Chaim Menashe Friedman — with up to an estimated 5,000 people cramming the house of worship at 152 Rodney St. in Williamsburg.
Bodies were pressed in on all sides and spilled out onto the sidewalk as just a fraction of the Hasidic crowd was seen wearing masks.
Five NYPD officers were seen standing nearby outside the house of worship — where a crowd of men and boys failed to socially distance, many also maskless or with their masks down around their necks.
“Normally, we would avoid having such a crowd unless it was for something very, very important. This was one of those times,’’ said an attendee whose first name is Lipa.
“This man was a giant,’’ he said of Friedman. “He was there from the beginning, when the community was rebuilding after the war. A very, very holy man. For someone like him, you couldn’t keep people from coming even if you wanted to.”
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Breaking news tip happening NOW!
It is with deep regret that New Yorkers have additional concerns. We have been informed that Governor Cuomo and Mayor Bill De Blazio will not disperse the huge crowd, of their very lucrative bloc vote, forming as this gets typed!
We have been advised that a massive funeral taking place now at 152 Rodney Street, Brooklyn, NY 11211 which is then heading at about 3:00pm pm to the new Kiryas Joel Cemetery at Rawood Rd or or Rawood Drive to the Zalman-Brooklyn Satmar faction plot in the rear of the old cemetery where the the followers of Aron Teitelbaum will historically not permit the followers of Zalman Teitelbaum to be buried.
We are being advised that this funeral is for a very popular and influential rabbi who was the rabbinical advisor to the younger brother in Brooklyn Rabbi Zalman Teitelbaum who helped orchestrate pushing out the older brother, Rabbi Aron Teitelbaum, from downstate Satmar leadership, thereby making room for Zalman Teitlebaum to take control.
The deceased was 94 years old and tens of thousands of Satmar Hasidim are expected to show up mask-less and pushed together for the funeral. It is anticipated, given the numbers that they are likely to infect and potentially to kill off the sick and old from the Covid-19 pandemic, who are both the most vulnerable and the most likely to have family members in attendance.
BD”E: Harav Yisrael Chaim Menashe Friedman, Zt”l, Satmar Dayan
NEW YORK –
The Satmar community of the Rebbe Harav Zalman Leib Teitelbaum, shlita, and the Chassidic world at large, mourn the petirah of the Dayan Hagaon Harav Yisrael Chaim Menashe Friedman, zt”l, on Monday morning.
Harav Friedman was 94 at his petirah.
In recent years he was weakened and hospitalized. On Monday his condition deteriorated and many tefillos were held for his refuah, yet the gezeirah was sealed and his neshamah was returned to its Maker.
Harav Friedman served as Rosh Av Beis Din of Satmar for many decades, and he left his mark on the world of dayanus. He was notably niftar on 21 Kislev, the day of the saving of the Satmar Rebbe, Harav Yoel Teitelabum, zy”a, from the Nazi regime.
The levayah will be held at 12 midday from the Satmar beis medrash at 152 Rodney St. Williamsburg.
Yehi zichro baruch.
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The Kiryas Joel Satmar Grand Rabbi Aron Teitelbaum held a massive gathering yesterday, a dinner fundraiser, not promoted on social media nor in their newspaper Der Blatt – only the last minute as u can see here the time stamp of their Yiddish twitter feed a post about it last night 10:45PM, mere minutes before his speech.
So the fake media like The Forward or the NY Times or The Post or the JTA News or The Times Herald Record or News 12 or the British Daily Mail or The Daily Beast or the Larry Noodles blogger etc. could not attend. The rabbi said he will not give an inch to governor Cuomo’s demands re Yaffed . org’s lobbying that the Hasidic schools should give our kids an education. Last week his younger brother rabbi Zelman Teitilbaum who heads the Satmar faction in Brooklyn has said we have to make deals with the governor, their his group called Pearls.org headed by rabbi David Zvible of the Agudah and rabbi David Niederman of UJO of Williamsburg – if not we will go to jail, the older brother tries to be more religious so he says we must go to jail and not give in an inch to the government.
Tonight, Sunday December 7, 2020, will be a dinner in Brooklyn 14 Hooper St.
There are 6 undercover shomrim guards with walkie talkies on the block between White and Kent Avenues on Hooper Street making sure nobody stands outside. I drove thru 14 Hooper St right next door to the fire house seeing multiple people entering, no media there at all due to its being Sunday night so the police won’t open the doors to see the thousands dancing packed mask less.
I called 311 they told me they usually takes 7 days to check on complaints. They told me I must call 911 to get an immediate response; but the local police and law enforcement all bribed by the leaders not to respond.
This is the bloc vote power where our politicians become so enslaved to their reelections not to enforce the law equally.“
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“Huge Satmar event in Brooklyn marking the 21st of Kislev, held a couple days early to throw off city inspectors. No masks or social distancing. 21 Kislev marks the day the original Satmar Rebbe, Joel Teitelbaum, was saved from the Holocaust by a Zionist, Rudolph Kasztner.”
“The Satmar Rebbe Joel “Reb Yoelish” Teitelbaum was a leading anti-Zionist. Upset that Zionists saved him, Teitelbaum spent the rest of his life lying about it and attacking Israel. Satmar has continued promoting those lies and attacking Israel to this day.”
As a point of explanation – to those who read this and are not clear, the Satmar is anti-Zionist. It is believed by this group that the State of Israel is hampering the coming of the Messiah. The Satmar promotes lies and attacks Israel amongst themselves and donates millions to similar anti-Israel radical Jewish groups located in israel. While they accept social services while living in Israel, they do not send their children to army service like all other children, they do not learn subjects that would allow them a future outside of their community and many live in poverty while the Great Rabbis enjoy prestige, wealth, political clout and control.
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The following is being posted in its entirety with permission of the author. It is a brilliant statement of our future, bipartisan unity and the importance of building bridges. The permission granted should in no way imply that Mr. Friedlander endorses this site. He very likely does not. His authorization speaks wholeheartedly to his efforts at building bridges; and for that this site is grateful. – LM
|Bidding Biden Well: Being Bipartisan is Better for Our Community |
Op-Ed By: Ezra Friedlander
|Download article in word format and photos here|
Now that the election is behind us, the contentiousness and tension of the campaign and election seasons should too be left behind. It is of the upmost importance to share our perspectives on the conduct of the election and how to move forward.
This should represent an opportunity to reckon with ourselves and our conduct throughout the campaign. Before anyone gets heated allow me to explain, we should recognize what is beneath the façade of militant identification to a candidate.
In the aftermath of the 2020 Election, I feel a conversation with my fellow Jewish brethren is warranted. I would like to make clear: this is not in any way partisan nor meant to admonish anyone, rather to remind each other of the proper Jewish conduct in the general public, especially in the face of the most contentious Presidential election in our nation’s history.
What is most troubling and worrisome is the potential long-term ramifications and the probable negative fallout this past campaign will take on the Jewish community.
Allow me to elaborate; while engaging in the political process and the subsequent discourse regarding which candidate would be a better president is “as American as apple pie” and ought to be encouraged, there is a line that when crossed could negatively impact the welfare of our Jewish community today, and even more so in the future.
Having the Jewish community engaged in political campaigns on both sides is beneficial. We all have a right, as individuals, to our political viewpoints, and to engage with them. In fact, we should be encouraged to do so. However, what I and many of us witnessed this past year was cult-like behavior. The cult-like behavior expressed itself in messianic terms, framing the candidate in idolatrous proportions, clouding our judgment in evaluating the candidate and his policies and inhibiting his followers from practically assessing the opponent.
This behavior is an amateur manifestation of how to engage in the political process, it doesn’t bring support to your candidate, it actually diminishes the importance of the election and why you should support that candidate in the first place. More compelling to us, it exudes unwanted attention to our community.
Yes, unwanted attention is a negative byproduct of such idolatry-politics.
While others may counter my argument saying that this is simply how the campaign in the general public was run, that should never be an excuse for Jews; for better or for worse we are held to different standards.
Another negative aspect I’ve witnessed is the denigration of the opposing candidate to the extent that it can cause lasting damage to building relationships.
In this age when media can be transmitted to literally millions of people instantaneously, the imagery coming out of our community in the months leading up to the election was reminiscent of demagoguery. This persisted to the point where the image of our community being led by and consisting of active proponents of such idolatry became widespread. This portrayal is diametrically opposed to our values and how our community actually behaves.
Granted, it is only a few, but because of our distinct dress and behavior this is easily manipulated by those who don’t share our interests and who seek to negatively portray us. If not addressed thus could become more widespread within our community.
As someone who is in constant interaction with the secular world at large, I can tell you that the noise our community created pertaining to the election was nothing short of the complete opposite of what our community should portray itself as and the complete opposite of what our community has historically portrayed itself as.
Especially as someone in the government and public relations fields, I can tell you with absolute confidence this is detrimental to our community’s security and political influence.
I know the prevailing argument in the street is “so what who cares?”, but honestly (I reiterate this 1000000 times) only by building bridges, by establishing relationships with and engaging others, especially those with different viewpoints, can a minority community like ours survive. By staying in our little cocoon, we will never be able to achieve the results we so desperately need.
Now that Joe Biden is the acknowledged President-Elect, we as Jews have a moral obligation, to pray for his success as we did for our outgoing President, Donald Trump. This is the Jewish way.
Even if you did not vote for Joe Biden and wished for him to lose, understand that you and your community’s survival and success is dependent on the nuance of our political maneuvering and the democratic process.
I firmly believe it is in the interest of our community to promulgate bipartisanship; the existence of our community is contingent on bipartisanship. A pertinent example: President Trump’s commutation of the unjust and outrageous sentence of Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin. People did not realize that there was an inconspicuous effort to secure the support of prominent Democrats to support the commutation, including the liberal icon then House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.
This show of bipartisan unity was not only a vital piece in securing Rubashkin’s commutation, but in fact was even highlighted by the Trump White House. Even in an additional case, the Nachmani case (another travesty of justice), it was Democrats who at direct request of the White House threw their support behind commuting her sentence.
I am not trying to diminish President Trump’s role in these commutations, in fact he deserves the lion’s-share of the credit and then some, rather I am trying to emphasize that it is behind these casual observances of bipartisanship that amazing feats of politics are achieved. It is the best strategic move to maintain a foothold in both parties. We must cross the aisle continuously.
In no way am I saying that I do not want anyone to criticize the incoming Biden administration. We must criticize the President when he makes a mistake, whomever he may be. It is vital to the democratic process, but the matter in which we do it makes all the difference.
Today’s allies are tomorrow’s adversaries, and today’s adversaries are tomorrow’s allies.
It may seem like we are in one camp today, but this could all turn on a dime, hence the critical need to understand that as American society changes — and it perpetually does– we as members of the Jewish community must acknowledge this and pursue policies and behaviors that reflect this.
We all hope that the next four years will be productive and bring us and the whole nation progress, growth, and unity. We pray that the President should receive divine inspiration to govern correctly and efficiently and do the best for America and our community.
Ezra Friedlander is CEO of the Friedlander Group, a New York City and Washington D.C. based public policy consulting group.
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Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. – First Amendment
I write this in response to an Op-Ed posted by Rabbi Avi Shafran of Agudath Israel regarding the recent decision of the Supreme Court in which the Archdiosese of New York and Agudath Israel were a party. It is written with the utmost respect. The Op-Ed in Haaretz is entitled, “Why Are Jews Flinging anti-Semitic Libels at Jews Who Simply Want to Pray in Synagogue?”
I value our Constitution and the principles it purports to enshrine. Freedom of Religious Practice and Assembly being two of the great rights supposedly guaranteed under the First Amendment to that Constitution. But, I propose this: Is the freedom to not practice a religion, the freedom to be free from the religious whims of another also enshrined in the First Amendment? The Supreme Court, in rendering its decision in this case, seems to think not.
The basis of the Supreme Court decision was, indeed, draconian restrictions on religious practice by Governor Cuomo, wherein he color coded certain areas of New York and within those zones restricted gatherings of, in this instance, greater than between 10 and 25 people. That number was arbitrary. It had some basis in reasoning from public health experts; but it ignored indoor space size and in effect was not even-handed. That being said, it was not as proposed by the Plaintiffs intended to single out the Orthodox Jewish synagogues and religious churches but rather to provide a voice of reason to religious adherents who have been congregating in large and maskless numbers. Unfortunately, that brush painted with broad strokes the religious Jewish community.
Governor Cuomo’s mandates admittedly would have made far more sense, and been far more palatable and even-handed, had the restrictions been fluid with the size of any space. In other words, if the capacity of an indoor space is safely 1000, the limit of gathering within that space should have been 10% or 15%. Similarly, if the limit of capacity of a location is 100 people, 10% or 15% would have been a fair and uniform method of keeping attendance at any location to a minimum while Covid-19 is spreading. Governor Cuomo’s restrictions were not consistent and uniform and that may have been a problem, but it was not the focus of the Supreme Court’s decision.
Rather, the protected class within the context of the ruling related to the definition of “an essential business” and whether the practice of religious belief is “essential.” In response, I similarly ask if the decision to not practice religion is also “essential.” The comparison used by the litigants in the case was that of synagogues and churches to liquor stores and bicycle shops, the latter of which were not restricted in the same or similar manner under Governor Cuomo’s restrictions as the former.
I maintain that comparing liquor stores and bicycle stores to synagogues and churches is not an apples-to-apples comparison in terms of how each is “attended” by the general public and thus how each is affected by the Covid-19 contagion. The numbers in New York have quantifiably proven that the pandemic adversely affects large numbers of people enclosed indoors for extended periods of time in far greater numbers than those who go to purchase items in stores. In other words, the results of walking in to buy a bicycle or a bottle of wine is far different than the results of congregating for long periods of time in a synagogue or a church. And, it is upon that basis that the Supreme Court should have ruled.
In wine stores, bicycle stores and other stores, people enter, look around, purchase something or not and leave. The ingress and egress are not all at once but sporadically; and liquor stores and bicycle stores generally do not attract crowds of people. In churches and synagogues people are in attendance in large numbers for hours. They come and go at generally the same time and congregate and talk amongst themselves before and after services. Attendees dance and they sing and they are indoors together in a closed (and sometimes poorly ventilated space) for lengthy periods of time. This is an important distinction that should have been made by the majority of the Supreme Court; and the one Justice Sotomayor made in her scathing dissenting opinion.
What was ignored both in the litigants’ papers and in the ruling itself is that mask and social distance restrictions are, have been and continue to be ignored by much of the religious community, at least the religious Jewish community. The photo above says it all “We will not comply”. That is the attitude that has been taken since the Covid-19 pandemic began and one that puts everyone at risk.Continue reading
Thousands of people took part in a Jerusalem funeral procession Thursday for a senior ultra-Orthodox rabbi who died after being infected with the coronavirus, with many disregarding Health Ministry social distancing rules.
Rabbi Aharon David Hadash, who died overnight Wednesday at the age of 93, was the spiritual leader of the world-famous Mir Yeshiva, one of the largest and most famous Talmudic colleges. He reportedly was diagnosed with COVID-19 two months ago and, although initially thought to be making a recovery, his condition recently deteriorated.
Funerals are currently limited to 20 people under government-mandated restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Yeshiva representatives were said to have reached an understanding with the Israel Police to enable a larger number of people to attend the funeral– with participants separated into groups of limited numbers that would maintain social distancing among themselves.
Minor scuffles broke out as police tried to block mourners taking part in the funeral procession from advancing beyond the Kikar Hashabat intersection, according to video aired by the Kan public broadcaster.Continue reading at The Times of Israel by clicking here.
Intrigue surrounds NYC judge’s withdrawal from case against hedge fund founder who fleeced correction officers’ union
A Manhattan federal judge has abruptly withdrawn from a case involving a crooked hedge fund founder who screwed the correction officers’ union out of $20 million — and sources say it’s due to the judge’s close relationship with an executive who testified about the fund swindling investors.
Judge Alvin Hellerstein, 86, transferred Murray Huberfeld’s case to another court Tuesday without explanation. The move came only weeks before Hellerstein was to re-sentence Huberfeld for his role in a bribery scheme involving former jails union boss Norman Seabrook and notorious Mayor de Blasio donor Jona Rechnitz.
Sources say that behind the scenes, defense attorneys argued Hellerstein should not be on the case because he is close with Andrew Kaplan, a former executive at Huberfeld’s hedge fund, Platinum Partners. Huberfeld recently hired a new attorney, Andrew Levander, records show.
“One of the defendants in the Platinum case … is Andrew Kaplan. I have known Andrew Kaplan since he was born. He and one of my daughters grew up together, went to school together, were friends together. His sister and my eldest daughter remain close friends. His father was a good friend of mine but passed away about five, six years ago, and his mother remains a very good friend of mine, so there is that relationship,” Hellerstein said at a 2018 hearing. “I can’t see that whatever happened, whatever conduct occurred at Platinum affects the issues of this case, which is an honest services issue.”
Online records show Kaplan and Hellerstein’s names on newsletters for The Jewish Center synagogue on the Upper West Side, as well as other charities.
The revelation came after Huberfeld pleaded guilty but had not been sentenced for his role in a $60,000 bribe to Seabrook in December 2014 in exchange for a $20 million investment of union money in Platinum Partners. The union lost its money when the hedge fund went bankrupt. The Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association is still fighting in court to recover the loss. Seabrook asked last week to serve his 58-month sentence in home confinement due to the coronavirus pandemic.Continue reading in the New York Daily News, click here.
By: Rabbi Yossi N.
Growing up in Crown Heights, I seldom heard the Holocaust mentioned. We had no Holocaust Day in yeshiva. Needless to say, we learned no Holocaust history either. My first real exposure to the Holocaust came from reading a copy of Night, by Eli Wiesel, that I found in our dilapidated basement. The question remains, why does the chareidi community ignore the Holocaust?
One could argue, the chareidi community’s aversion to teaching about the Holocaust is no different from their aversion to teaching history in general. As Yosef Chaim Yerushalmi famously explained in his acclaimed study, Zachor, rabbinic Judaism has exited the confines of “history” following the destruction of the Second Temple. The historical events following the Churban Bayis Sheini, Jewish or otherwise, have no bearing on rabbinic Judaism. All the frum Jew has is the daled amos shel halacha. This being the case, as a historical event, the chareidi community’s neglect of the Holocaust fits perfectly well with its general neglect of history.
However, I would argue that there is a deeper reason for the Holocaust neglect in the chareidi community, mainly, that the killing of 6 million Jews poses an existential threat to the chareidi ideology and belief system. Chareidim are taught to believe that they are God’s Chosen People, Uvanu Vacharta Mkol Am Veloshon. If indeed this is true, how could Hashem have allowed his chosen people to be slaughtered in such a manner?
However a chareidi may choose to answer this question, the question will always remain stronger than the answer. For this reason, the chareidi community has decided that the best way to deal with the Holocaust is to simply ignore it. The great irony is, the Jews who prize Jewish continuity the most, are the ones who least want to discuss the Holocaust.
This does not mean that chareidim are totally unaware of the Holocaust, rather, they generally learn about it through heroic tales of pious Jews who self sacrificed to observe the mitzvos even in the concentration camps. For example, in the Chabad community the most famous Holocaust survivor is Rabbi Nissan Mangel. If one listens to his five hour lecture series on the Holocaust, titled, “Where Was God in the Holocaust?” it will become apparent quickly that the answer to this question is rather straight forward: God was with Rabbi Mangel. All the heroic Holocaust tales repeated in the chareidi community add up to the same message, God was with the pious frum Jews who clung to the mitzvahs even under the most dire circumstances. That God was not with the 6 million Jews who were gassed and went up in smoke is completely ignored. The upshot is, the pious heroic tales allow the chareidi to learn about the Holocaust in a non-threatening manner. After all, Rabbi Mangel is still alive and a frum yid, clearly Hashem still cares about the Jews.
I still remember the devastating effect the “Schindler’s List” film had on me in my early 20’s. At the time, I was attending the Chabad smicha program in Melbourne, Australia. I always wanted to watch Schindler’s List in order to see for myself what really happened during the Holocaust, but never managed to get hold of the film. Then one day, through a series of events, I obtained the film from a local Blockbuster. With film in hand, I paid the night watchman at a local hotel to allow me to watch the film in one of the empty hotel rooms. Alone, I watched the film from beginning to end. About half-way through, I couldn’t stop crying. It was at that point that I understood, like never before, why the chareidi community ignores the Holocaust.
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With 242 residents who have tested positive, Father Baker Manor in Orchard Park has the most confirmed Covid-19 cases among all nursing homes statewide, according to a Buffalo News review of federal data.
But fewer than half that number of Father Baker Manor residents actually had Covid, according to Catholic Health, the facility’s owner.
Four other Erie County nursing homes also are in the top 25 in the state for total confirmed coronavirus cases: Absolut Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in East Aurora; Harris Hill Nursing Facility in Lancaster; Garden Gate Health Care Facility in Cheektowaga; and Beechwood Homes in Getzville. They each reported 112 or more total confirmed Covid-19 cases among residents at their facilities through Nov. 15, the latest data available from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Covid-19 at nursing homes across the country – including 617 across New York State and 70 in Western New York – is being monitored weekly by the federal agency, which in May began requiring nursing homes to report coronavirus data.
There were 14,982 nursing home residents statewide who had the virus; another 7,786 were suspected to have contracted Covid-19. In Western New York, 1,963 nursing home residents were confirmed with Covid-19, 13% of all confirmed nursing home cases in the state.
“In this case, it is the leadership in Satmar making this wedding.”
“They are literally endangering the lives of people.”
“What kind of Judaism is this?”
“This is beyond comprehension, beyond understanding.”
“It is not sanctifying G-d’s name. It is desecrating His name.”
The lack of care for the potential spread of Covid-19 is staggering. The optics are stunning in their selfish and almost malicious disregard for the potential to spread Covid-19 beyond the walls of the Atrium in Monsey, New York. This is or should be labeled a form of bio-terrorism.
Just to throw a few numbers at you – 7000 Men = between 140 and 350 Covid-infected men in one place for hours, dancing and singing shoulder to shoulder
7000 people – 2% Infection Rate = 140 infected people best case scenario
7000 people – 5% Infection Rate = 350 infected people – conservative estimate
Here’s for the humor (or not)
7000 men (and children) = Approximately 5000 Shtreimels
1 Shtreimel = approximately $3,000
5000 Shtreimel = $15,000,000 – There is about $15M in Shtreimels at this wedding
Updated to reflect comments 12.1.20:
1 Shtreimel = 500 Minks; 1 Shtreimel = 36 Minks or 1 Shtreimel = 300 Minks
5000 Shtreimel = between 18,000 and 2,500,000 minks – There are somewhere between 18,000 about 2.5M minks attending this wedding – depending upon who’s explanation of Shtreimel making is accepted.
Some of the Countries Represented at Wedding:
KIRYAS JOEL, N.Y.—Plans for a huge, rule-busting Hasidic wedding here were thrown into question Monday after the state sent a cease-and-desist order to the synagogue that was hosting it.
But as of mid-afternoon, the scene outside Congregation Yetev Lev synagogue on Garfield Road did not exactly suggest the community was throwing in the towel.
A steady flow of bearded, black-hatted people going in and out of the enormous synagogue were all unmasked. Large white tarps stretched from the overhang at the top of the stairs down to the floor, blocking passersby from seeing inside the venue.
Around the back, several workers were bringing pallets of bottled water into the space, along with stacks of banquet chairs and assorted staging materials. A number of rolling metal racks for holding food trays sat nearby.
An hour after The Daily Beast published a story about the Monday wedding plans, the state health commissioner took the first step toward nixing them by issuing an order to Congregation Yetev Lev in Kiryas Joel, a spokesperson for the Orange County Health Department said. A spokesperson for the State Department of Health subsequently said that the order, a copy of which was obtained by The Daily Beast, called for the congregation “to cancel the wedding ceremonies unless they can be held in strict adherence with safe social distancing protocols.”
“In the event that the ceremonies are not canceled, the order requires that social-distancing and face-covering protocols be enforced,” the spokesperson continued. “With respect to the two receptions, it requires that they be limited to 50 people or canceled.”
An invitation being widely circulated had beckoned members of the Satmar community to the village an hour north of Manhattan for the Monday evening union of two members of prominent ultra-Orthodox families.Continue with The Daily Beast, click here.
Larry Noodles Comments 0 Comment
A huge Satmar wedding expected to draw ten thousand Satmar Hasidim in Brooklyn was scaled down to a virtual wedding back in October after Governor Mario Cuomo was informed about it. Cuomo reached out to the Hasidic voters who put him in office and they agreed to scale it down. A huge Satmar wedding expected to draw ten thousand Satmar Hasidim in Brooklyn was scaled down to a virtual wedding back in October after Governor Mario Cuomo was informed about it. Cuomo reached out to the Hasidic voters who put him in office and they agreed to scale it down.
Last night I received a wedding invitation for a giant secret, maskless wedding to be held tonight in Monroe, New York on Garfield Road in Kiryas Yoel, a township run by the Satmar Hasidim. I was honored to receive a wedding invitation joining two prominent Satmar families. The wedding is being held on land owned by Sholom Weiss, a financial fraudster and money launderer who is doing 835 in the Otisville medium. His original sentence was 845 years but he appealed it and got ten years knocked off. I never met Weiss when I was locked up in Otisville. The camp criminals were not allowed to fraternize with the real criminals in the medium.
The wedding invitation I received states the following: “I would like to invite our family, friends and followers to the wedding of my grandchild the great scholar the groom who is filled with Torah and the fear of G-d Rabbi Levi Yitzchak, should he live a long life, the son of my son in law the great scholar Rabbi Shimon Zev Meizlish, the rabbi of Yismach Moshe in Kiryas Yoel, the son of my majesty in law the great Rabbi of Seagate, to the respected bride Henny Zisel, the daughter of Rabbi Aron Shimon Taub, the Kalover Rabbi in Boro Park, the son of the holy Grand Rebbe of Kalov, may he live a long life and son in law of the holy Grand Rabbi of Zichron Mayer in Bnai Brak.”
I am hesitant to RSVP as I have yet to find a ride to Monroe, New York. Apparently there are no subways that run from Brooklyn to Monroe. Plus I don’t have a streimel. You need not wear a mask to this wedding but streimels are required. If you don’t wear a streimel the Satmar police will lock you up and water board you in the mikveh. If you have an extra streimel that I could borrow and would like to drive me to Monroe tonight in order to join in the maskless festivities please RSVP Larry Noodles ASAP. I would hate to miss this simcha filled with holiness, joyousness and germiness. Is germiness a word? Ay gevalt!From the blog of Larry Noodles. For the link to the original article click here.
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This opinion piece is being posted with full permission of the Author, Rabbi Yossi N. Minor edits and formatting changes have been made from the original which can be found on Facebook, here.
One of the most troubling aspects of today’s ultra-Orthodox community is the systemic fraud perpetuated by so-called frumme Yidden. This fraud, aka geneivishe shtick, comes in many varieties and flavors, but the common denominator is that it’s all illegal. The most prevalent of these frauds are those perpetrated against government social welfare programs.To the extent that there is welfare abuse within the hareidi community, one may ask, what makes it systemic? The answer is simple: the various Hareidi community councils (BP, CH, Willie, etc.) actively encourage and assist community members to sign up for every welfare program available. Now, it is true that many of these individuals were eligible for the programs at the time they signed up, but as their income grows, they become ineligible. However, once a hareidi individual with little secular education is dependent on government welfare, he will be reluctant to give up welfare benefits.And this is precisely the Hareidi communities’ game plan from day one. In other words, the community consciously regards the government’s social safety net — food stamps, medicaid, wic, section 8, etc. — as part of their budget, not as a last resort for a few struggling individuals. Every year, hundreds of Hareidim get married with the intention beforehand of relying on government welfare to make ends meet. The Crown Heights Community Council and the various other Hareidi community councils in NYC were established with the purpose, among others, of filling out welfare forms for community members. Thus, to use yeshiva language, welfare for Hareidim is not a believed, but rather a lechatchillah.An integral part of the welfare fraud and abuse within the Hareidi community is the wide-spread phenomena of working off the books, or under the table. Without working off the books, families’ income may increase over time to the point of risking losing welfare benefits. This is the reason that most, if not all, yeshiva teachers, rebbes, and administrators work either completely off the books or half on and half off. By working off the books, the Hareidi community also ensures that their taxes will be lower than otherwise – or that they’ll pay no taxes at all. In short, as the Talmud teaches, aveirah goreret aveirah, a transgression brings another transgression in its wake.
This is how Hareidi welfare fraud leads to tax fraud.
One might assume that welfare fraud would be more likely to be committed by the 40% of Hareidim who live below the poverty line. But Hareidi fraud is not confined to the poor alone. On the contrary, as you climb up the food chain, the fraud only gets larger and more pernicious.
Rubashkin from Crown Heights and Samet from Kiryas Joel are perhaps the most colorful and well-known criminal defendants within the Hareidi community. However, the minyan at the Otisville Correctional Facility is large and ever-changing as new members join and old members leave .This is not to say there is no fraud within the Modern Orthodox Jewish community.
The implosion of Platinum Partners — the shady hedge fund run by Murray Huberfeld and Mark Nordlicht — is one example of fraudulent activity perpetrated by members of the MO community. Overall, though, MO fraud is not a community organized activity. An MO council to help individuals apply for welfare does not exist in Teaneck. The same cannot be said for the Hareidi community, where the fraud is wide-spread and systemic and where many members are semi-literate at best in English.
One may ask, how can systemic fraud be so prevalent in ultra-Orthodox communities? Aren’t they meant to be the ones upholding the Torah, which directly forbids stealing?
The answer is rather straightforward: stealing from the government, ie. gentiles, is not considered stealing. The logic behind this notion goes something like this: the Talmud rules that one need not return the lost object of a gentile or excess money paid for goods by mistake. Welfare benefits are akin to a lost object or excess money – and thus need not be returned. This is where racism also comes into play. Hareidim claim that welfare fraud is pervasive among other minority communities, so why shouldn’t we also get money from the government? At least we’re using it for Torah and Mitzvot!
It’s only a matter of time before the government wakes up and realizes the systemic nature of welfare fraud within Hareidi enclaves. When that time comes, which it will eventually, Hareidi society will have to begin preparing its youth for the real world. Until then, the fraud continues.
By: Rabbi Yossi N.
When the established rabbis go silent, others, including civic-minded philanthropists and charismatic outsiders with inflammatory social-media presences, fill the void.
The events this autumn in Brooklyn’s ḥaredi (Orthodox) communities have been quite extraordinary, even revelatory. Contrary to popular hope, herd immunity to the coronavirus has not been achieved; the city government’s response to the new second wave has been heavy-handed and possibly discriminatory; and in turn its legitimate attempts to enforce closures, social distancing, and mask wearing have been spurned rather than obeyed, thanks in part to the emergence of the since-arrested agitator Heshy Tischler as an outspoken voice for what he hopes constitutes the silent majority of the ḥaredi world. That this convict-turned-politician-turned-radio-host-turned-riot-inciter has found significant—though by no means total or even majority—support for his combative message reflects important and overlooked changes in the ḥaredi community in recent years, most notably the appearance of a serious crisis of authority in its ranks. This is most revelatory of all. As America at large is dealing with the hollowing out of institutions and the rise of politicians with inflammatory social-media presence, the ḥaredi world is too, even if the institutions are rabbinic and the social-media platform is more likely to be WhatsApp than Twitter.
Ḥaredi attitudes toward leadership have long differed from those of their surrounding communities, Jewish or gentile. Much of the community subscribes to a theology of Daas Torah (“knowledge of Torah”), whereby leading rabbis—those with the greatest degree of Torah knowledge and therefore the greatest degree of insight into the divine mind—are empowered to make all major communal decisions. We see this approach very much in effect today in Israel, where the two senior rabbinic authorities—Rabbi Gershon Edelstein and Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky—are engaged in political negotiations through the ḥaredi parties, in determining when to reopen yeshivas, and simultaneously in messaging to their communities on how to proceed. The two rabbis having often been at odds with each other in recent months notwithstanding, the fact remains that the prevailing ideology of Daas Torah dictates that these rabbis (and their courts and handlers) make policy on nearly every issue for their ḥaredi followers. In America, a similar rabbinic seat of authority rests with the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah, the council of great rabbinic sages, which is affiliated with the Agudath Israel of America. (The organization lost its leader, Rabbi Yaakov Perlow, “the Novominsker rebbe,” to COVID-19 in April, added several members in September, in a move towards relative youth, and lost Rabbi Dovid Feinstein, one of its elder statesmen, just two weeks ago.)
For as long as there have been rabbis, those possessing expertise in Torah knowledge have been consulted on issues large and small in their areas of training—Talmud and halakhah (Jewish law). Daas Torah goes well beyond that, into a presumption that their training in Torah qualifies leading rabbis as experts to be consulted on all worldly issues. There is some controversy as to when exactly the approach took hold. Lawrence Kaplan and Jacob Katz, two historians of Jewish law, have argued that this is an innovation of the modern period, possibly stemming from the 18th-century revolution of Ḥasidism. Others, like the rabbi Alfred Cohen, have argued for roots in the pre-modern period.To continue reading in Mosaic, click here.
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Politics Makes For Very Strange Bedfellows…
Chief Rabbi of Russia Berel Lazar paid a visit to the Kiryas Yoel meat processing plant on Sunday, in the town of Palm Tree, New York, in a visit arranged by Chabad mechanech Rabbi Zalman Leib Markowitz. They was escorted on their tour by the Satmar Rebbe Harav Aaron Teitelbaum.
Currently in New York for the Kinus Hashluchim, Rabbi Lazar decided to utilize his visit for kashrus purposes as well, as requested to personally check the shechita process in the Kiryas Yoel meat processing plant. Rabbi Lazar was received with great honors, and the Satmar Rebbe himself chose to don the protective clothing and headphones needed in a meat processing plant and show the Cheif Rabbi around himself.
The visit was arranged by Rabbi Markowitz, a leading Chabad mechanech and mentor, who had grown up in the Satmar community and had attended the Satmar yeshiva where Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum was the Rosh Yeshiva.
[END QUOTE] to continue reading article click here.
We leave this to our readers to judge for yourselves.
Please, as you consider his words, keep in mind that the Congolese people have received little or nothing from Dan Gertler’s mining activities in the DRC.
Dan Gertler has had kosher food carted by private plane from Kinshasa to his locale at a cost of upwards of $20,000/day if that number still stands.
Dan Gertler has been the subject of Magnitsky Act sanctions for bad acts and conduct, not for his alleged generosity.
Judge for yourselves.
As many of you know, I have been involved in litigation for defamation for upwards of 2 years and 3 months. The case should have been dismissed for Statute of Limitations reasons at the outset. For reasons of locale and G-d only knows, they were not. A blogger should never have been unmasked.
The current pleadings of the Plaintiff, filed last week, have basically asked the court to deny me a defense, having never provided me with any responses to discovery. Since I suspect, given the locale of the case and the course it has taken thus far, I may not be able to defend myself, I want to put this out there for readers, bloggers, journalists and anyone willing to listen.
THIS CAN HAPPEN TO YOU TOO!
The purpose of this post is to state clearly and unequivocally so that there is no further mis-identification that this blogsite and the associated blogger has/have nothing to do with WebActivism, a blogsite I know nothing about. I have never known anything about that site. I have never posted or reposted to that site. I have never directed anyone else to do so. If the Plaintiff needs to create a false narrative to win, it is not a win, it’s a cheat. And that’s not victory.
Any false indentification or association that would inherently be given credence, if Plaintiff’s motion is accepted, is false. It is the same as convicting a criminal on a mis-identification and should be understood in that light.
Facts cannot nor should they be engineered to create a dishonest narrative that is convenient, but little more than a lie.
Please be clear that this site has rested on its integrity, good faith, and attempts at honest opinions and analyses and will continue to do so until such time as a Court Orders silence or a decision is made by the blogger, me, to close up shop. Until that happens, I may need a break for some time but will not be silenced.
There is a donations page. Your donations are appreciated. In any event where donations are unnecessary or returned to us we will gladly return them to you. Again, honesty is everything here. https://lostmessiahdotcom.wordpress.com/donations-to-lostmessiah/
This is being written to you by the attorney, not the blogger.
Judicial terrorism is a term being coined for a situation when the courts are used by abusers against abuse survivors. The article below relates specifically to that use of the term.
Abuse victims and assault victims, who find the courage to seek legal assistance are by their very nature unique. The decision to confront an abuser is already crippling. And then when that abuse victim walks into an attorney’s office with an inherent feeling of being vulnerable and isolated and is told that he or she must come up with a huge retainer, which could, and does, skyrocket into exorbitant fees, it is a slap in the face. It is an untenable position to face.
When the courts then allow abusers to continue to litigate and re-litigate and engage in endless motion practice, it is not judicial adherence, it is terrorism. And it is judicially sanctioned. The court becomes a weapon, not the protective shield it was intended to be.
This blog was started, in small part, because an abuse victim came to me, a finance attorney, and asked for help, not caring that I had no idea how to navigate the family court system and simultaneously deal with domestic violence as an add-on. She said that those who specialize in abuse were too expensive and she knew I would do everything in my power to fight for her. She had been religious. She had many children and her abuser was denying her access to her children, one of whom was quite ill.
I could not help except to try and steer that client to someone who might assist as a pro bono matter or on reduced fees.
Since that initial client, multiple clients have come to me in the same or similar circumstances, some of whom I was able to navigate through the courts for, and some of whom I just could not help. What I have came to realize, however, is that Judicial Terrorism is not unique to the family/domestic violence context. It is an existential threat to our legal system in all areas of the law. While the below may be a step forward for abuse victims, judicial terrorism will continue to be a threat until judges decide that they are not going to continue to rule on meritless actions, in all areas of the law.
There is a new push to help survivors of domestic violence and raise awareness to a little known, but common, form of abuse that happens after the victim leaves.
It’s a tactic called judicial terrorism.
“It’s more about the non-violent tactics of abusive control – isolate, intimidate and invoke power within the confines of litigation,” said Donna King, director of Victims Safe Harbor.
Victims Safe Harbor is a nonprofit which specializes in court-sanctioned domestic violence, where an abuser uses the legal system to intimidate, harass and financially drain a survivor.To continue in Westchester News 12, click here.
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On Tuesday, November 10th there will be a “Special ERCSD Board Meeting” at 7:30 via You Tube with a presentation by the search firm seeking a permanent Superintendent for ERCSD.
The following is a small excerpt of an op-ed posted in Religious News Service by Rabbi Avi Shafran, director of public affairs of Agugath Israel. While our views are not necessarily aligned with those of Agudath Israel (and likewise the reverse is probably true), Rabbi Shafran’s comments here are worth a review.
Our objectives of keeping people safe do align, even if we do not agree with how strict restrictions should be or how they should be imposed and implemented. While we agree that there are many within the Haredi community that did follow the rules, those that chose to flout them did so with inglorious detail and the optics have been bad.
Like Rabbi Shafran, we have stated that we do not believe Covid-19 mandates to be anti-Semitic or anti-Jewish. However, we also do not believe them to be misguided.
(RNS) — Rightly or wrongly, many in New York’s Haredi, or “ultra-Orthodox” Jewish, community have concluded that Governor Andrew Cuomo has not engaged in a good-faith effort to balance the needs of their families with his responsibility to keep them and all New Yorkers safe.
Some members of Haredi communities, to be sure, have acted less than responsibly at times, but they are not alone, even among religious groups. Yet the governor (and New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio) has repeatedly and exclusively focused on Haredi neighborhoods, saying things like: “What’s happening there is the rules were never enforced… they never followed the first rules.”
Most Haredim, like most members of other religious or ethnic groups, very much did follow those rules.
Anger at the governor’s statements has fueled two nights of loud protests in Brooklyn, which, along with a much-videoed rabble-rouser’s ugly words and threats, garnered national attention.
The new rules, despite the governor’s claim, were widely perceived as an attempt not to protect but to punish. He shut down not only entire Jewish schools, but also, in some Haredi neighborhoods, limited houses of worship, no matter how large their space, to a 10-person maximum occupancy.
However, establishing a limit of 10 people to all buildings used for a specific purpose, no matter how large they might be, is something short of scientifically sound.To continue reading in the Religion News Service, click here.