Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Am I The "Heimishe Scotty?"

Here's what Itzhak Schier writes:

This blog has become a heimishe version of Failed Scotty. We don't need an English version of Ponim Chadashos.

And you are attracting the same host of misfits and malcontents that Sad Scotty attracts, thereby giving them a voice and enabling them to spread and reinforce their loserschaft. What is more, this blog is considered legitimate and they use its veneer of legitimacy to validate themselves. Is this why you came to Lubavitch? To become the online English version of the Ponim Chadashos? It, too, dredged up garbage from every community and bashed everyone else out there in order to prove that Chabad is the best. In the end, Chaim Shoulson (the infamous and lamentable baal Ponim Chadashos) turned on Chabad and reported Chabad internal politics as well until, from what I understand, Eli Teitelbaum A"H, among others, showed him for what he was. Now, his sad broadsheets run off as they are on Xerox paper, are not even worth a laugh.

Every Chassidus, yeshiva and community has its problems. It's called golus (and some of the problems are the flip side of tremendous growth). Reporting on them and mocking other communities is no way to end this golus. Unless you can solve the problems, there is nothing gained in airing them to the world, 99% of whom, like myself, do not care about what goes on in Telshe or Chaim Berlin as we have enough dr-ck to deal with in our own immediate communities. Let the losers rant on. No one of any significance listens to them. Most are borderline mentally ill and need help R"L. The way to combat them is not to sink to their level. As the Lubavitcher Rebbe told Chaim Shoulson: "You should write good things about Jews for a change". You started out on the right track and then started to climb into the sewer. Time to climb out, and leave the rats down there to fight each other.

Until then, Saygec Arosz, Bacsi!


Anonymous said...

hirshel ,this writer is 110 percent right its time to fold your tent

Josh said...

I must respectfully disagree with the sentiments expressed by this commenter. Having read Panim Chadashos, this blog seems much, much milder in terms of ridiculing various people and other derogatory techniques. In addition, a lot of what you post re topics as diverse as Malochim, Chaim Berlin and Hungarian Rabbanim, is not only not lashon harah, but unique historical content that gives much more context than frum hagiography. I personally dont feel that my comments have all been insulting or lashon hara and I dont think this blog attracts such terrible people. In fact, it attracts luminaries like Schneur, who often gives us interesting topical insights from his vast store of historical knowledge. I would say that perhaps you have not defended Lubavitch so much as allowed people to talk about other communities in a more educated manner. But even if you havent reached your exact goal, what you have done is not insignificant.

Anonymous said...

Tsig -

I agree.
I liked your site in the beginning, now it's just not what it should or could be.
1- The Rebbe Z'YA needs no defense. And to those who are not happy with him, no defense or response will ever do.
2 - You really don't defend or for that matter promote the Rebbe or his cause by showing how low or bad others could be.
3- You have a lot to offer, your writing is great and you have a lot of knowledge - take the high road & be a bright spot.

Kiflayim L'toshiyoh !!

emes meretz tizmach said...

hey you Itzhak,

you are absolutely wrong,. the greatest brocha of our time is the internet where people can remain anonymous and be heard.

until YOU find a solution for all the corruption and manipulation that takes place, as the Rebbe said, at the very least az se tut vai shrait men.

the evil people don't listen because they are corrupt and anyones only hope is by making public their sham.

are you advocating we return back to the pravda. State run crap?

the lowlifes put out their garbage and lies constantly, thank G-d for the internet so together with all the sheker maybe some truth squezzes its way though.

friendly anonymous said...

How about an exchange: the Yated on-line closes down, and tzig does too?

Reb Dan said...

I think that, unfortunately, things being what they are, this blog serves a purpose and should not be shut down. The fact is that certain circles have made priorities of vilifying others (chabad, MO,and anybody not zoche to be on their particular derech). The internet has proven to be the great equalizer, and an uncensored source of information. Usually, these 'holy' critics are sitting on much worse dirt than any of their targets, and their own communities have proven unwilling or unable to keep things in check. Let's face it, if not for the blogsphere, Lipa Margulies, Elya Svei, and Aron Schechter would be terrorizing many more innocent yidden, so Thank G-d for the internet.

Shimon S said...

Well, he has a point. It's time to make this blog about the Rebbe and Chabad again...

Anonymous said...

I find it ironic that the creator of these websites,


and http://creedmoorer.blogspot.com/

is taking anyone to task for their activities on line.

B'nidun didon, Chaim Berlin Tragedy's comments alone are worth it. Public discussion of many of these topics can be poel yeshuos b'kerev ha'aretz.

Nu, veiter!!!

Chaim Berlin tragedy said...

Sure, and let's shut down the concepts of FREEDOM OF SPEECH, and FREEDOM OF THE PRESS, as well as FREE CHOICE and just follow in the ways of "Big Brother" (who will always be watching you) as in the prophetic book "1984".

Many things that get posted on blogs upset people, often because they touch many raw neves, and there are various responses. In Red China they employ millions of people to censor and block out the Internet, see "Internet censorship in the People's Republic of China" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_censorship_in_the_People%27s_Republic_of_China . In Meah Sheraim and Bnai Brak they ban and burn stores and devices that hook up to the Internet. Then there are those, like the poster that is upset here, who go online themselves and, while pretending to be high-minded, are actually engaged in a not so stealthy counter-offensive deploying all sorts of tactics. They may hire lawyers to seek legal grounds to shut down what they deem to be "offensive and insulting" websites and blogs. Some become "attack dogs" and engage in arguments to intimidate, insult and smear those whom they wish to shut up. They are just a variation on whatver it takes to "pull the plug" and "shut the mike" of the speaker or topic that has them climbing up the walls.

BUT they are waging yesterday's wars and lost battles because the world is now deep into the digital information age of the information super highway. Email and IM has long overtaken snailmail. We live in an era that Bill Gates revolutionized with his Microsoft Explorer and platforms for PCs working with microprocessors and all manner of chips, hard-drives and technical gizmos that also became hand-held devices for the masses, as it made IT people into the world's new professional elite, and one without a computer does not exist (not in a spiritual sense of course, chas vesholom), when Google is the center of the free search for information on the Internet while advertizers pay fortunes to be on it and stock holders and Google's owners are millionares and billionares. Torah Judaism cannot fight as if, and resort to tactics as if, it's still in the ghettos of Eastern Europe.

So let the barking dogs yelp away. If they are such tzadikim let them go to a bais medrash and learn Torah and not be batlanim and come here to give worthless and pernicious "advice" because there are tens of thousands of other Jewish blogs that posters can go to.

At this point it may be wise to review a few freedoms and concepts that ALL people SHOULD know about in America and in any Western countries:

(1) Freedom of speech http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_speech "Freedom of speech is being able to speak freely without censorship. The right to freedom of speech is guaranteed under international law through numerous human-rights instruments, notably under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, although implementation remains lacking in many countries. The synonymous term freedom of expression is sometimes preferred, since the right is not confined to verbal speech but is understood to protect any act of seeking, receiving and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used..."

(2) First Amendment to the United States Constitution http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution "The First Amendment to the United States Constitution is a part of the United States Bill of Rights that expressly prohibits the United States Congress from making laws "respecting an establishment of religion" (the Establishment Clause) or that prohibit free exercise of religion (the Free Exercise Clause), laws that infringe the freedom of speech, infringe the freedom of the press, limit the right to peaceably assemble, or limit the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances..."

(3) Freedom of religion http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_religion "Freedom of religion is the freedom of an individual or community, in public or private, to manifest religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship, and observance. It is generally recognized to also include the freedom to change religion or to not follow any religion. Freedom of religion is considered by many in many nations and people to be a fundamental human right..."

(4) Freedom of the press http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_the_press "Freedom of the press is the guarantee by a government of free public press for its citizens and their associations, extended to members of news-gathering organizations (journalists), and their published reporting. In many countries there are constitutional or statutory protections pertaining to freedom of the press..."

(5) Freedom of thought http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_thought "Freedom of thought (also called freedom of conscience and freedom of ideas) is the freedom of an individual to hold or consider a fact, viewpoint, or thought, independent of others' viewpoints. It is closely related to, yet distinct from, the concept of freedom of expression..."

(6) Censorship http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship "Censorship is the suppression of speech or deletion of communicative material which may be considered objectionable, harmful or sensitive, as determined by a censor. The rationale for censorship is different for various types of data censored. Censorship is the act or practice of removing material from things we encounter every day on the grounds that it is obscene, vulgar, and/or highly objectionable. Whether it is on TV, in music, books, or on the Internet, censorship is an inescapable part of human society..."

(7) Freedom (political) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_%28political%29 "Political freedom is the absence of interference with the sovereignty of an individual by the use of coercion or aggression. The members of a free society would have full dominion over their public and private lives. The opposite of a free society would be a totalitarian state, which highly restricts political freedom in order to regulate almost every aspect of behavior. In this sense ‘freedom’ refers solely to the relation of men to other men, and the only infringement on it is coercion by men..."

(8) Liberty http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberty "Liberty, in modern time, is generally considered a concept of political philosophy and identifies the condition in which an individual has the ability to act according to his or her own will. Individualist and liberal conceptions of liberty relate to the freedom of the individual from outside compulsion or coercion..."

(9) Economic freedom http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_freedom "Economic freedom is freedom to produce, trade and consume any goods and services acquired without the use of force, fraud or theft..."

(10) Blog http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blog "A blog (an abridgment of the term web log) is a website, usually maintained by an individual, with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse chronological order. "Blog" can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog. Many blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject; others function as more personal online diaries. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, web pages, and other media related to its topic..."


Blogging becomes mainstream

"By 2004, the role of blogs became increasingly mainstream, as political consultants, news services and candidates began using them as tools for outreach and opinion forming. Blogging was established by politicians and political candidates to express opinions on war and other issues and cemented blogs' role as a news source. (See Howard Dean and Wesley Clark.) Even politicians not actively campaigning, such as the UK's Labour Party's MP Tom Watson, began to blog to bond with constituents. In January 2005, Fortune magazine listed eight bloggers that business people "could not ignore": Peter Rojas, Xeni Jardin, Ben Trott, Mena Trott, Jonathan Schwartz, Jason Goldman, Robert Scoble, and Jason Calacanis."

Josh said...

Right now if I want to know about a din torah in 19th century Yemen, a fight in shul in 16th century Italy or a weird minhag in 18th century Lithuania, I know where to go. But if you chas veshalom want the same kind of info about dinei Torah in brooklyn in 2005, weird minhagim of Hungarians now or fights in shuls in Eretz Yisroel last motzai shabbos, the only resources are here and bechadrei charedim. What we need is not less lashon harah but more and more careful fact checking and history. What does disturb me is the idea that this blog is the antiPravda or the anti Elya or the anti Chiam Berlin. At best you will get a mirror image of CB, Elya, and whoever else if you do that, and that is why Shmaryah is such a doctrinaire idiot. History is about not picking sides. I encourage Tzig to be LESS Lubavitch oriented and not more, and to try and make a real history of this post war generation of Hungarian Orthodoxy. There is a real tachlis to this beyond exposing Yudi Kolko to derision, and that is for those who come after us to have more than the Fartscroll books as context into which to place their Judaism and themselves.

Anonymous said...

The short answer is yes, I can't believe you have doubts otherwise. Do yourself favor, there is no place big enough in gehinom for a choteh umachteh, kat baali loshon hora... and just imagine the rosh hachabura! Loshon hora etc. is loshon hora no matter what the excuse, and worse than all is loshon hora about talmidi chachamim, and there was plenty of that, what are you thinking? Don't listen to all the above begging you to continue, do you really think their reason are rooted in yiras shamayim? As is obvious most commenters have a bone to pick with someone, I'll give you a $100 for every, commenter that is leshem shmayim. People enjoy dirt, nothing more, nothing less. If you saw yourself in perspective you're no worse than a frum grocery selling porn to frum yidden, although it's their free choice to buy and participate, do you not think the seller will have a special place in hell?

And yes unfortunately I too enjoyed the rumors, gossip, and sometimes possibly true stories (but I'll never know).

If you'd have a rebbe I'd advise you to ask how to do teshuva for the past few years of chillul hashem birabbim, but you don't, find yourself someone to ask, because you have a long road ahead of yourself.

Anonymous said...

Much worse than Scotty, anyone with a half-a-brain can't possibly take his "reporting" seriously, the only one who still looks up to him as god is Hella Winston.

Zadok said...

I feel very strongly that it is time for this blog to stop all it's Loshen Horah and Machlokes.I used to like this blog, now it's like a mine field trying to avoid all the LH on it.Some commentators I know to skip since they exclusivly say LH/Motzey Shem Ra.I also have look at the post title to know if should avoid it altogether.

Those who defend this blog (above) are for the most part saying you should continue since there is LH/MTSR available here that is unavailable elsewhere.For your sake I hope you don't listen to them.

Avrumik said...

Tzigele, DON'T pay any attention to him. This is an open blog where ALL sides to EVERY story are posted. Keep it up!

Mottel said...

Tzig . . . Yes and no.
I personally have no interest in the CB parsha, but I definitely understand the attraction it presents to others. Reporting on it is fine -if you stick to the facts. Weed out the character assassination that tends to crop up in the comments and you'll be fine.

You seem to have strayed somewhat from the optimal purpose of this blog. The Rebbe does not need us to farentfer for him . . . but since the Internet has turned into such a rancid collection of vile hate, the truth should be out there. When a Frier Yid does a search on Chabad, the junk from these other sites should not come up on Google. By presenting the facts, kmo sh'heim, you help level the playing field.

Stay away from childish attacks, show the world what a Chossid Chabad is, and keep up the good work. Alle Sonim zalen plotzin . . .

Anonymous said...

Who is Scotty?

Minkatcher Ainikle said...

If not for this wonderful blog where could I have seen Chassidishe Yingelach swimming wearing chalatlech? (I don't scour the bechadrei forums)
Keep up the good work, great blog just tone down the Lishna Beesha.
More Magyar pics please.

The Bray of Fundie said...

Who's Scotty?

for IMO an example of a positive, high-minded, basically Lashon hara (kulon b'Avak) free J-Blog check out BeyondBT.com

Itzhak Schier said...


1) Actually, this is about three levels below UOJ. UOJ uncovered (or most probably publicized someone else's uncovering of) real issues. Molestation is a REAL issue, unlike these yeshiva battles that will probably just lead to breakaways and yagdil Torah ve'yaadir. But UOJ, who if the person who outed him is correct, is not even shoimer Shabbos, used language best fit for the NFL locker room and therefore turned off all but his own ilk.

2) Chaim Berlin and Telshe have very little influence nowadays. On the other hand, we in Chabad have serious and real problems that end up affecting the entire Jewish world and discrediting us. Disrespect for tznius, shlichus as a family business, kids going off the derech, infighting in Crown Heights, venal shluchim who have long since lost any connection with the meshaleach getting into all kinds of dirty political and commercial machinations with the most unsavory people in the former Soviet Union, E"Y, the EU etc - all of these problems are far more real than even the Satmar or Bobov succession crises. That is because Chabad is a real influence throughout the Jewish world, whereas these communities are more insular.

Hardly anyone knows or cares how many Vizhnitzes, Bobovs or Satmars there are - and I for one would like to see many more of each until Moshiach comes. But Chabad touches so many Yidden and even non-Jews all over the world, and real or even virtual damage done to us, whether by our own who do not live up to standards or by those who are out to vindicate their loserschaft by bashing that which is infinitely better than they are, hurts more people than you can imagine.

So, if you want to wash someone else's dirty laundry in public, well, the fact is that ANY tzibur is made up of tzadikim, benoinim and reshoim, and if you want to cover the reshoim, best to do it with satire as I did in the old days of Creedmoor (which mentions only 2 real people by name, both of whom happen to be in cherem, unless you count the parody interview of Lipa Schmeltzer which I am sure he laughed at himself because it was so ridiculous and absurd). Otherwise, you are just adding to the smell of the online sewer.

You really started out good; then you started to hit bedrock with your denigration of the Bobover's bekishe. I think that was the beginning of the end. Keep in mind that to the average unaffiliated Jew, our hats and jackets look as out of place as the Bobover's bekeshe or the Chassidishe campers' khalatlach.

Now, change the address of your blog. Tzemach has retired. Either continue to call it Circus Tent and let it be an informative blog with posts like the one about your family HYD or why you were attracted to Chabad, or call it Circus Elephant Dung and keep reporting the Chaim Berlin and Telshe shtussim.

But if you choose the second, don't be surprised when someone much brighter and saner than Failed Scotty starts retaliating by really covering the seamy underbelly of the "resh" of the Chabad tzibbur. And because our kedusha is so strong, so, too, is our klipa, and a sick loser with time on his hands and a chip on his shoulder can dig up plenty of juicy stuff, far juicier than the Rubashkin steak that the losers are trying to use to whip Chabad.

And in the end, all of this blogging is just "maasei y'dei Onan", as the Admou"r meCreedmoor would say. UOJ and Failed can convince themselves and their commentators (and the Backward, I mean the Forward) that they are being paid attention to. In reality, all they are doing is providing cheap entertainment and fanning the flames of the kanoim who would ban Internet for all of us.

In the meantime (especially with Creedmoor long since having run out of material :):):)), I have been inspired to start a new, POSITIVE news site for the frum community. As it is commercial, I will not even post the URL here (and no, I did not post what I did earlier to get it started. I came up with the idea after I posted the first post because a little light dispels much darkness and I need a lead-in to a major online chessed project that I have the zechus to be involved in). I can't wait to see the bashers have a field day with me when I launch the new blog before Shabbos IY"H.

OK. Once again, saygec arozs, basci until I see your all new blog containing real information that disproves bashers as opposed to bashing others.

Anonymous said...

they say that some gerrer chasidim told Shoulson back then, one more word you write against ger and we start taking off fingers. he never wrote another bad word against ger.

Anonymous said...

I say that this blog is the perfect mix of intresting, informative reading without crossing the line into shmutz and serious bezui talmidei chachamim a la uoj. this is performing a vital service to all of us. please please chazak ve'amatz.

Anonymous said...

> far juicier than the Rubashkin
> steak that the losers are trying
> to use to whip Chabad.

Speaking of which, Aarons Best is back on the shelves in my local store. And, yes, it's going in the cholent tomorrow! :-P

Camp Runamok said...

UOJ has long since ceased to be interesting or relevant. Initially, the messages there were discomfiting but germane. He served an important role in uncovering a major outrage in our communities and made it acceptable to express such outrage.

Of late, however, the blog seems to be infested with Peak Oilers, Sustainability freaks and other such converts to the Ch-rch of Earth G-ddess Worship who drone on about how frum lifestyles will arouse the furious wrath of Gaia vch'. I get enough of that from the secular blogs and the Greenpeace! nutballs outside my office building.

Camp Runamok said...

UOJ has long since ceased to be interesting or relevant. Initially, the messages there were discomfiting but germane. He served an important role in uncovering a major outrage in our communities and made it acceptable to express such outrage.

Of late, however, the blog seems to be infested with Peak Oilers, Sustainability freaks and other such converts to the Ch-rch of Earth G-ddess Worship who drone on about how frum lifestyles will arouse the furious wrath of Gaia vch'. I get enough of that from the secular blogs and the Greenpeace! nutballs outside my office building.

chaim said...

Schier is right.Stop 'defending' the Rebbe already,please.You are so busy defending him that people get the idea that there is a need for defense.

avi said...

There was a respectful debate between Chabads Brod and yeshiva guy Friedman that was posted on Shturem.net.
I think that it's a decent topic to post to see if we can respectfully deal with our differences.

Hirshel Tzig said...

I was away for a day and a half. I need to catch up on news and happenings. I'll take a look at the debate.

I thank you all for the kind words this thread brought out in the comments.

Hirshel Tzig said...

Lubavitch, Chassidim, Yeshivos, And The Jewish World At Large, With Some Current Events On The Side. We are Circus Tent, the big top for all things Heimish.

This is from the top of the page. That DOES leave some room to discuss other issues besides Lubavitch, no? besides, all issues come back to Lubavitch anyway....

Itzhak Schier said...


You started out discussing the history of various communities and other interesting topics. Now you are dredging up dirt and discussing disputes. That is the problem; nothing to do with having extended your purvey past Lubavitch but rather that The Circus Tent is now another LH/MSR/scandal/rechilus blog.

Anonymous said...

where were you hershel?

CHNYOCK said...

most of us come because we really DO enjoy LH etc.

The Bray of Fundie said...

go to Beyond.bt.com

לנשום קצת אויר צח

Anonymous said...

Am I The "Heimishe Scotty?"

No, that distinction goes to Yudel's Take. Nothing but angry negativity, distortions of facts and "I'm right, you're an ignorant dolt" arrogance in both those places.

You are the heimishe TA. It says so right at the top of the page. ;-)

moishboroparker said...

interesting to note that baal panim chadashos is back and on fire...cusing all sorts of trouble for gur these days....seems he got bored with satmar and found a new target...i actually know the fellow and honestly im not sure what percentage he really means lshem shamayim ie to expose the corruptness behind the people leading the sheeple and what percentage is his enjoyment of all the dirty politics...hes one of a kind i can tell you