R’ Joel Teitelbaum spearheaded modern anti-Zionism, which is still alive today among some cave-dwellers, most notably in the groups led by his two great-nephews. The two nephews take time out of their weekly litigation schedules, where they’re locked in battle over who gets the title of chief caveman,  to attack Zionism in the tradition handed down to them by their uncle.  Who, having no brother to battle in court, had more time in his day for anti-Zionist rants. Toward the end of his life R’ Joel wrote a Der Yid paperback bestseller called Mein Kampf Gegen den Zionismus where he outlined his vision for a utopian Jewish future where all Jews would leave Israel and move to his new enclave in Monroe, NY.


But earlier this week, nephew Aron Teitelbaum minimized all of his uncle’s hard work by reducing the sin of Zionism. While the Jewish world mourns the murder of three Israeli teens, the Aroini faction of Satmar mourns its chief’s shockingly lowered standards. [click to continue…]

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hobby-lobby-500In the three years since the Supreme Court’s decision to allow Hobby Lobby to exempt itself from including contraceptive coverage for its employees, based on their professed religious beliefs, closely held Jewish corporations have used the court’s logic to allow themselves to steal from non-Jewish employees, stop paying sales tax, stop the paying FICA taxes they withhold from their employees’ paychecks and to stop reporting their incomes to the IRS altogether.

In a case that is widely expected to reach the Supreme Court, Goldie’s Scrumptious Delight argues that it should be allowed to take small change and iPods from employees’ pockets in the changing room. The local Brooklyn specialty shop, which makes cakes and pastries for over-the-top weddings and bar mitzvahs for the discriminating kosher consumer, has had the police called by irate employees multiple times over the past three years. In lower courts the kosher pilfering shop has argued that while most medieval halachik commentators agree that stealing from non-Jews is not allowed, some commentators have allowed it and this is their strongly held religious beliefs and the courts have no right to impinge on them. [click to continue…]

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Try taking a little time off from using the internet and social media and you may come to realize that you aren’t missing that much and no one is really missing you. You may also come to realize that much of what is going on, doesn’t really effect you, unless you choose to take part in it. Sure, I could create issues out of thin air or argue the issues of the day. It seems that every few weeks, some one hit wonder writer has to rewrite something of mine to be more coherent and more critical of those folks I bashed years ago. There’s the anti-agunah crowd, the anti-molestation crowd, and the all around anti-frum “but still frum” sort of crowd. Basically, out of the dozens of daily emails informing me each day about the terrible goings on in the frum community, only 3 things seemed to make a difference in my life and allow for more discussion. To put it bluntly, after not having blogged in a month, I only noticed 3 things worth talking about. [click to continue…]

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Today is the 8th anniversary of Frum Satire

who am iI found it fitting to come out of hibernation on the 8th anniversary of Frum Satire to explain where I’ve been exactly. I know that it’s a blogging and social media community minhag to announce vacations and any time someone plans to call it quits at something (in the fast paced internet world this could mean switching from 2 posts a day to one) yet I didn’t feel the need for some fanfare because it all just kind of happened. In the midst of a 70 hour work week I noticed that I just didn’t have the strength to sit down after a long day on my feet and blog. I missed the wife, my bikes, and getting up after 5:30am enough to put blogging on hold. I wish I could tell my Rav that I stopped blogging, but in reality, I just don’t have the time. [click to continue…]

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8 Reasons I Went OTD

The frum community is so beautiful, so full of chessed; why do people go OTD?

off the derechThere are two approaches to this troubling question in the classic sources. The Rambam maintains that the reason people go OTD is because they believed in silly superstitious Judaism in the first place and didn’t adopt his rational approach, but the Moreh Nevuchim says it’s because those people were molested by their rebbeim in yeshiva and they’re all emotionally unstable.

This machlokes has been going on for the past thousand years, going further back in history it seems that those who went OTD were simply killed, but for the past thousand years or so we’ve simply tried to psychoanalyze OTDers and mark them by boring their right earlobes.

I’ve done much research on this question and I have a new approach. It’s a hybrid of Nietzsche’s model of radical anthropologetics and L. Ron Hubbard’s dianetics. I synthesized these two approaches during the fourteen years I spent at the feet of my rosheshiva R’ Pinky Schmeckelstein at Yeshivas Chipass Emess.

  1. All the obsession with sex, whether it was couched as tznius talk, concern over the length of other people’s wives sheitels or the fear of getting aroused by 3 year-olds who weren’t sufficiently clothed up. I felt the need to get away from this sexual hedonism so I joined the broader human community which only talks about sex when it’s l’toeles.
  2. I believed in the concept of Da’as Torah but all the folks who possessed Da’as Torah were disagreeing with each other. I figured that by going OTD I’ll be able to pick my own OTD rov and not have all these conflicting opinions as to which rov has the approval of Agudah, or the Moetzes, or Satmar. I’d have the Da’as Torah, or Da’as Hitchens I need without contradictions.
  3. I wanted to be able to pop into Shomer Shabbos on a random afternoon in Boro Park and daven mincha without a hat; I couldn’t do that and remain frum so I went OTD.
  4. [click to continue…]

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Training Ex-Chasidim to Have Eyes

4401376_origWhen two people gang up against one it’s pretty obvious who the underdog is and in this case the dog down under is Dr. Marty Klein. The good doctor wrote an excellent satire on his blog, a blog which usually treats a much more serious subject.

Marty Klein is an internationally renowned expert on sexuality, what he’s less known for is being a keen-eyed observer of human nature, an excellent judge of character and a great writer. Well, great may be too strong a word, but a writer nonetheless.

Taking his cue from Heshy, Marty Klein wrote about his recent business trip to New York and mixed in his own brand of anthropology and satire of the frum community there.

The main focus of Klein’s post is the women’s eyes, which they don’t have, he correctly points out.  R’ Avigdor Miller has an entire lecture devoted to the posuk in Mishlei that Klein is referencing – hinach yafah rayasi, anayich yonim etc. Rabbi Miller points out that the eyes are the leaders, they show people were to go; the leaders of the nation are referred to as aynay ha’am (feel free to point out the source for that posuk). Are chassidish women in positions of authority? Are they allowed to for forward looking? Of course not; they’re not even allowed to drive because their eyes are so unreliable. [click to continue…]

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The Fable of the Rabbi Who Finally Made It

Once upon a time there were two students in the yeshiva who were trying very hard. The magid shiur, though, only seemed to notice one of them, he’d praise his gemarakup, his hasmadah and his good looks and he’d constantly remind the good bochur that he’ll grow up to be a rosh yeshiva if he continued on this path.

The second bochur, whose name was Kessler, just couldn’t seem to keep up with the masmid on any of these fronts, but he did so want to grow up to be a rosh yeshiva, certainly that was the best way he knew of succeeding in this world (and the next, of course) so he kept at it.

The masmid was on time for shacharis, had his tefilin on before brachos and davened for the amud three times a week.

Kessler tried to pay attention when his chavrusah explained the gemara for the fourth time but was out the door the minute he heard of a situation brewing in the coffee room. [click to continue…]

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