Chosen: Crimes and Misdemeanors

By Shmarya Rosenberg

The Weekly Blotter

A leading Israeli Orthodox Zionist organization endorsed setting up “death camps” to exterminate descendants of the biblical nation of Amalek. While there are no known descendants of Amalek, the term is frequently used in right wing circles to identify certain enemies of the Jewish people or the State of Israel. Included in that list are Adolph Hitler and the Nazis. But also sometimes included are Palestinians and other Arabs. The organization is co-headed by Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, the chief rabbi of Sefat and a proponent of racial discrimination against Arabs. (The organization was founded by his father, the late Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, a one-time Sefardic chief rabbi of Israel who was, in his his youth, part of a terrorist group that tried to overthrow the democratic government of Israel and install a rabbi-led religious theocracy.) (Ha’aretz)

Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox Israelis think the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, is too democratic and too un-Jewish. (Ynet)

Rabbi Leib Tropper, the disgraced former head of Eternal Jewish Family and Kol Yaakov yeshiva, was given a warm welcome by members of Jerusalem’s ultra-Orthodox community. Tropper also visited leading ultra-Orthodox rabbis and discussed Jewish law with them. Tropper was the key protagonist in a recent sex scandal that saw him allegedly extorting a potential convert into having phone sex and other sexual encounters with him, with his wife, and with others. (Failed Messiah)

A riot broke out when Rabbi Amnon Yitzhak spoke in the West Bank ultra-Orthodox community of Emmanuel. Yitzhak, who has tried to ban music and other things he considers to be immoral, was speaking when opponents began to play music. Yitzhak’s followers sprayed tear gas and Yitzhak left the scene. (Israel National News)

An ultra-Orthodox woman was arrested by the FBI at a family wedding in Borough Park, Brooklyn the Israeli ultra-Orthodox news site Behadrei Haredim reported. The woman is linked to the Spinka Rebbe, who was arrested three years ago and who is now serving time in a federal prison for money laundering. Behadrei Haredim says the woman is the victim of an “informant” and sent a reporter to ask hasidic leaders why this informant and others like him continue to “sit at the east” (meaning, sit up front in the good seats) of the hasidic movement. The answer, according to Behadrei Haredim is that hasidic leaders fear these men. (Failed Messiah)

Shmuel Weisfish, a leader of an ultra-Orthodox modesty patrol, was sentenced to two years in prison for brutally attacking the owner of an electronics store located in the ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Geula in Jerusalem. Weisfish also drove away customers and threatened to burn down the store, all because the shop rented chaste movies to ultra-Orthodox community members. The judge attacked ultra-Orthodox leadership for doing nothing in order to prevent the violence. “It’s a shame that the leaders of this bunch of thugs to which the defendant belonged, who sat hidden in their homes, couldn’t make it clear to their followers that there was a line that shouldn’t be crossed.” (Ynet)

A kosher milk and dairy plant was closed by New York State because its products were found to be contaminated and adulterated. The plant manufactures products under the supervision of various kosher certifying agencies, including Chabad’s Crown Heights Kosher, New Square, and the Orthodox Union (OU). (Failed Messiah)

The plant also owes hundreds of thousands of dollars in utility bills, back taxes, and rent. (Watertown Times)

The right wing Orthodox Lehava organization, which bills itself as being anti-assimilation in the Land of Israel, has decided to give kosher certificates to restaurants that do not employ Arabs. The certificates will read,  “This Certificate is Hereby Granted in Assurance that the Proprietor of This Business Employs: Jewish Workers and No Enemies!” (Failed Messiah)

Shmarya Rosenberg publishes His reporting has been cited in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Columbia Journalism Review, Ha’aretz, Jerusalem Post, Forward, JTA, Village Voice and many other publications. He was named to both the Forward 50 and the Heeb 100 in 2008.

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About The Author

Shmarya Rosenberg

Shmarya Rosenberg has been published in Newsweek/The Daily Beast, Moment Magazine, the Forward, Tablet, StarTribune, Jewcy, Sh'ma and Heeb, and was profiled in the New York Times, Ha'aretz and the Jerusalem Post. His work has been cited in dozens of newspapers and broadcast media sources worldwide, including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, New York Daily News, New York Post, New York Observer, AP, Des Moines Register, Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, and CNN and CNBC's America Greed. He is the publisher and editor of

2 Responses

  1. Yoel

    “having phone sex and other sexual encounters with him, with his wife, and with others. ”

    In the same time ? or in different time, different combinations ?


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