Sunday, September 7, 2008

Seen on the Scene

Chaim Berlin Tragedy commenting on The Boys of Am Echad

News flash!

Those of us "on the outside" who have been wondering from a distance what ever happened to Isaac Hersh after he was rescued from Tranquilty Bay in Jamaica, finally got a small answer. Seems, last week he was at the chasunah of the Kamenetsky Family.
So thanks to a public photo, Isaac Hersh shows up in person in the YATED NE'EMAN of 5 Elul 5768/September 5 2008, Center p. 17. Wow! Months have passed since the rescue of Isaac Hersh from Tranquility Bay, and the uproar that surrounded the whole fiasco, and since his return it's been quiet with people scratching their heads. Last heard, an agreement was reached and he was in the "custody" of a friend of the family in Brooklyn. But now, in the colorful center page of the latest YATED, in the bottom right page, "At The Kamenetsky-Rosthstein Wedding" is none other than "Isaac Hirsch" (sic) in between Rav Sholom Kamenetsky and Rav Moshe Feurst, who is next to Rav Tzvi Basch.

I always look at the photos of the YATED and MODIAH very carefully, in the spirit of "Kremlin watching" because they often reveal more than most of the articles, in the spirit of "a picture is worth a thousand words". I had to do a double take. Was that really THE Isaac hersh that split the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah against RAS? I looked closely. Who else could it be in casual wear, blue leather yamulka and the face that matched all the ones I had seen of Isaac Hersh till now. Yup, it was him alright. But what was he doing at the wedding of Rav Mordechai Kamentesky's daughter's wedding, with the entire Kamenetsky clan? Out of six photos devoted to this wedding in the YATED, three of them have several Kamenstskys in them. There is Rav Binyomin Kamenetsky, brother of Rav Shmuel and father of Rabbi Mordechai. RSK is not pictured. One connection, and it is intrigueing is that Rav Yacov Lipschutz who is also pictured is also a zeidah of the kallah, and he is the father of the YATED's editor, Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz, so that it seems that the Lipschutz family shares both family and perhaps even some communal concerns with the Kamenetsky family and that PERHAPS Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz is doing has share for making "shalom beYisroel" in keeping with RSK's open warfare against, and defiance of RAS on the Isaac Hersh matter. And it therefore seems that RSK does not stand alone and that his entire family, and by the implication of these latest pictures in the YATED, RSK's extended family and some of their mechutonim and family friends support him (RSK) to the hilt against the hard line views of RAS who backed the father of Isaac Hersh in exiling Isaac Hersh to Tranquility Bay in Jamaica in the first place.

So this is it then, the Kamenetskys have been healing Isaac Hersh it seems. Maybe he is going to one of their yeshiva day schools. The one that was founded by Rav Yaakov ztk"l and is headed by his sons Binyomin and grandson Mordechai is the Yeshiva of South Shore, part traditional yeshiva and part modern Jewish day school, a perfect kiruv yeshiva that bochurim like Isaac Hersh could use if they could fit into it and make it work. (Interestingly in the same edition of the YATED there is no photo or mention of RAS, but on the other side of the Center page, p. 16, top left, there is photo of Rav Shach's son, the known Religious Zionist educator Dr. Efraim Shach at a family wedding. Have to give the YATED credit for doing some interesting things and for making the "Kremlin watching" worthwhile!)

Meanwhile, over at the recent edition of the HAMODIAH, in what may a be a case of grand scale divine co-incidence, on the front page of the Wednesday, September 3, 2008 edition, there are two photos, one of Yeshiva Rabbi Chaim Berlin and an inset of its Rosh Yeshiva RAS under the heading "Beginning of the Zeman" with the caption: "The bachurim of Yeshivah Rabbeinu Chaim Berlin listen as Hagaon Harav Aharan Schechter, Rosh Yeshivah, delivers a maamer in conjunction with the pesichas hazeman. (Inset) The Rosh Yeshivah speaking." So as the green lady in the Wizard of Oz said: What a world! The YATED, takes pride in finally show-casing Isaac Hersh to the world surrounded by the warmth of the Kamenetsky family, and the HAMODIAH showcases Yeshiva Chaim Berlin and RAS in the same week's editions. There must be some Divine irony in all this. Maybe Moshiach is closer than we think. A Kesiva Vechasima Tovah!


Anonymous said...

Tzig try and be mekarev Tzemach. He seems to be slipping from yiddishkeit as he posts on his blog. I think that blogging can have a detrementil effect on someone because they start to live in that identity.

Anonymous said...

this is great. bingo! poll; who is the most photgraphed figue in the wider charedi world now that r shmuel birnbaum is gone?

Anonymous said...

Pinny Lipshutz is an avowed Kamenetzky man so it makes sense, except that his mechutan is a huge CB'er. Also, the main player in the Hersh story was Shereshevsky the ganev.

As for the poll; the winner is ....'Aron Teitelbaum.'

Anonymous said...

Poll; Nikolsburger Rebbe

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

poll: Reb Chayim Stein

Anonymous said...

CBT comes back sounding more twisted than ever. Trying to make something out of the fact that RAS was not in Yated yet graced the cover of Hamodia, get real!

Don't think we forgot that you defended oso ha'ish, who was just assrested and indicted for a few federal crimes, when he was one of the ringleaders of the RAS smear campaign surrounding IH.

I'd love to hear you defend him now!

Anonymous said...

poll:... I dont agree that r' shmuel zt'l was the most photographed while he was alive.

Anonymous said...

Eilu manhigecha yisroel.... Telz is history, Ponevezh is self-destructing, and the superego's that have been dancing naked in Chaim Berlin are finally being exposed for what they are. A rotzeach like Lipa Margulies destroys kinderlach in TT, and thinks he can escape by re-incorporating in Lakewood. What do all these 'gedolim' share in unbelievable lack of ahavas yisroel. What I mean is a selfish and manic focus on themselves at any and every cost (including, tragically) their talmidim. Torah mah tehei aleha ?!!! Gevald !

Anonymous said...

Poll; Reb Malkiel Blue-eyes.

Anonymous said...

My Poll Response. Kossover Rebbe in Hamodia.

Anonymous said...

Pinny loves Rabbi Levin and never misses an opportunity to showcase him.

Anonymous said...


suprised you didn't pick up on the letter in this weeks Yated complaining that Lubavitchers aren't identified as such. Writer gave three examples

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

I heard about it! But as of now I don't buy it. Maybe I should start...

Can you send it to me?


Anonymous said...

HT said "Maybe Moshiach is closer than we think". Maybe?!! What type of lubavitcher are you?

Anonymous said...

Welcome back "vus nisht" with your nisht-tzum-zach-narshkeiten-responses.

Let me just cut and paste what you state and see how idiotic you sound:

"CBT comes back sounding more twisted than ever. Trying to make something out of the fact that RAS was not in Yated yet graced the cover of Hamodia, get real!"

What's "twisted" here besides your twisting of my words, past and present? My latest post here was only a description of an interesting coincidenece in last week's two major New York Charedi weeklies. No getting twisted and don't attribute any dramatics to me that only show what a smear artist you are.

"Don't think we forgot that you defended oso ha'ish, who was just assrested and indicted for a few federal crimes, when he was one of the ringleaders of the RAS smear campaign surrounding IH."

Who the heck is "oso ha'ish"? I though that term is used for Jesus exclusively? But when did I ever praise Mr. Sherevsk, if that is who you are talking about? I don't know the guy from Adam and I never said anything about him AFAIK. He gave the rescuers of IH use of his corporate jet and that's about it. If you can go back and show me where I speak about him I would appreciate it.

The ONLY people I may have praised in the whole dramatic IH tragedy that ahs haunted me from the instant I read about it, but it seems to have meant nothing to you, was Dr. Pelcovitz from YU and Rabbi Wolbe from the Houston Kollel who were the main people in the rescue team that personally flew to fardorbenne Jamaica to grab IH from the jaws of hell (you do agree that Tranquility Bay is hell don't you?) and my main focus has always been ONLY on the rabbonim involved in this sad saga. (I am very focused on all rabbonim and their deeds, as any talmid of the rabbonim should be), Such as on RSK and RDF as they stood up to RAS's meshugasen in backing up Michale Hersh in this bizarre situation that in my mind is no less than the pilegesh bigiva'ah case of CB and RAS.

Oh, and by the way, would you care to eloborate who "we" is when you say "we have not forgotten"? Do you speak for CB? then please, kind sir (you are kind I hope) identify yourself or at least tell the cyber-audience reading this thread of comments what kind of KGB-type paranoid-inducing aparatchik you may or may not be since you implky by the "royal we" that you speak for CB. Such guile and gaul!

"I'd love to hear you defend him now!"

I am not here to defend any crooks and I have never "defended" anyone here except for speaking out on behalf of Isaac Hersh and myself. Oh and initially, believe it or not, check it out for yourself, I spent a lot of time even defending RAS when the owner of this blog started posting his first comments about RSC proving that I can be objective and even-handed.

But you know, you better watch yourself because CB has PLENTY of skeletons in its own closet and I would actually not like to start down that ugly slope (but since you dare me, I will just throw you a few recent CB crooks), its own in-house crooks that it defends and protects such as the notorious David Schick Esq, a publicly-known crook who is in jail for stealing over $350- million, yes that's three hundred and fifty million dollars from mostly frum people and CB honors all the meners of his family, takes good care of his kids and family members and it has not harmed his standing there one iota. Or some of its other supporters over the years who have been indicted and even jailed for various crimes such as Mahir Reis (money laundering and drug running) and Israel Englander who has faced all sorts of charges in his finacial dealings but it never stopped CB from taking millions from all these people and keeping them as "friends".

But please understand, I have no interest in these people, nor in all this negative behavior by CB or anyone else, they are such bores and two wrongs do not make a right and many balebatim and people in business all over are up to no good, and it does not get into the news.

From what is known, Sherevsky gave a business jet to get the rescue team down to Tranquility Bay and back and that is NOT a crime as far as anyone knows and he has not been indicted for that specific set of actions, so get real please and stick to the point that cannot be ignored: RAS's ruthless callousness backing up Michael Hersh against his own flesh and blood son Isaac Hersh.

If you think about it (you do think for yourself don't you? that is when you are not saying over CB party lines online that is) Shrevesky must have had better things to do for himself than to think about RAS's persecution of innocent kids like IH that started way before anyone ever heard of Sherevesky. IH was commited to Tranquility Bay for a long time before Sherevesky got involved (and RAS was in on all the scheming behind IH kidnapping to TB according to people who know what was happening) so to put any blame on Sherevesky for what are really in this case RAS's failures of sechel and leadership, and simple rachmonus, altho he has little of that quality quite often, is ridiculous. You may as well put the blame on IH for what RAS did and that is known as blaming the victim, a very trashy and illogical move, for acts that were done by others, and people in the know know the facts full well, that it was balebatim and rabbonim in NYC who were behind the IH rescue. In any case, this is Elul and HKB"H judges fairly. For what Sherevesky is guilty he will face charges and for what he has merits he will be rewarded, and one does not negate the other.

To Anonymous of Monday, September 08, 2008 11:32:00 PM who asks: "What type of lubavitcher are you?" The answer is I am not a Lubavitcher of any kind whatsoever, but I do believe in the coming of the Moshiach, doesn't every good Jew?

Anonymous said...

Typo: "that ahs haunted me from the instant I read about it" should read: "that the IH saga haunted me from the instant I read about it"

Anonymous said...

AHHH...what a pleasure to read Tragedy's comments again. He truly has a koach, though he has not managed to shake off the preachiness of his CB Rebbeim.

Shereshevsky got involved because one of the prime saviors of IH, was Tzvi Gluck ben R Edgar and he was an amployee of JS and got him into it.

Anonymous said...

Why only discuss cb dont make telz feel left out...

Anonymous said...

remember the community took the mesivta away from benyumin kamenetsky and we all know why

Milhouse said...

As far as Shereshevsky, people think it's easy to do chessed with stolen money, but the truth is that the same yetzer hora that persuades you to steal money with the excuse that you'll do good things with it, once you have the money that same yetzer hora comes to you every time you have a thought to give it away, and persuades you that the cause is not worthy and you should save the money for a "better" cause that will come along later. It would have been easy for him to convince himself that since RAS was involved it must be kosher, and he shouldn't interfere; he deserves credit for having resisted this temptation and helping anyway.

Anonymous said...

Is it fair? How not to deal with the shiduch and tzedaka crisis!

Well, the centerfold photos in this week's English YATED NE'EMAN (issues of 12 Elul 5768, September 12 2008) page Center 17 on the top right has no less than half a page of photos devoted to the "Respler-Wolf Wedding" (with not a single Kamenetsky is sight at that wedding with 9 photos, altho RSK gets 2 photos of his own at the bottom of the page at another wedding) with a picture of RAS talking to Rav Yitzchok Feigelstock, sol genzunt zein (he is in a long recovery from a serious stroke and has come a long way, B"H) at the wedding of a granddaughter of Rav Yosef Fruchthandler (RYF) magid shiur of RAF, and together with their entire family they are one of the wealthiest families of frum Jews in the world, reputadly billionares mamash! RYF esteemed and beloved maggid shiur for over 30 years at the Yeshiva Rabbi Chaim Berlin (CB). RYF is a huge masmid universally beloved by all his talmidim in CB year after year and who, even though it is "his" simcha, like in real life at CB, he is bounced aside to the right by RAS to be in a picture off center to the right in the YATED too.

None of this is important really, it is just another week in the life of the YATED, and the MODIAH trying to sell newspapers to the English speaking Charedi public mostly in Brooklyn. But has anyone really thought about how unfair these type of photos really are, week after week, year after all being the same theme? During the same time, how many thousands of Torah-true homes married off their sons and daughters and how many good and worthy rebbeim and morahs married off their their kinder and would never qualify for the YATED and MODIAH's center page?

Things have gotten out of hand that if you have money, and the more you have the greater the chances of your kids or grandkids weddings being graced by the the roshei yeshiva and rebbes and in their trail will come people who will make sure to send on the photos to the YATED and MODIAH as a "status symbol" more of arrogance than of pure simcha.

To their credit, the YATED and MODIAH do accept announcements from ordinary folk and will publish them for free as in a "Spreading Simcha" section that allows for standardized announcements of Births, Upsherins, Bar Mitzvahs, Engagements and weddings (as on Center pages 30 & 31 in this week's YATED) but when was the last time the big simchas of rosei yeshiva, rebbes and big gevirim was announced in those columns?

Almost never.

Because you see that is for the "poshutte mentschen" the common folk, who after all are the main ones who buy the paper and support the advertisers and even maybe read some of the articles.

Real gedolim get their simchas announced on a "grander scale" similar to those dispatches about world and Israeli news (not bad for an Agudist paper to write about Israeli politics, why don't they try writing about Agudist and Charedi politics instead of leaving it to UOJ and other bloggers they hate, maybe because it's just as ugly, but that is another discussion.)

The real roshei yeshiva and rebbes will not be seen in the silly "Spreading Simcha" sections they will get their simchas announced as if they were Earth-shattring events like on Page 66 of this week's YATED where, as if it was special "chelka" in a bais olam lehavdil, on the "From Here [and There]" page, readers are informed as from atop Mount Sinai: "Bris of Great-Grandson of the Rachmistrivke Rebbe in Boro Park" or "Wedding of Pshevosrker Rebbe's Daughter" or "Seret-Vizhnitz-Modzgitz Shidduch Announced" as if anyone really cared and is if it makes any difference to anyone's life because in any case Chasidim of those rebbes or talmidim of roshei yeshiva will find out about it from their own kreisen in any case, so who needs it, but on and on it goes.

Don't the editors and manipulators realize that if you read these papers week after week you will also read about THE SHIDDUCH CRISIS and the ongoing FINANCIAL TZORES OF SO MANY FAMILIES as proven by all all the articles, and ads and letters to the editor concerning the terrible matzav of all the Jewish singles piling up like heaps of discarded korbanos and their families who are living with broken hearts not being able to marry off THEIR precious kinder while the YATED and MODIAH blindly does an in-your-face-you're-a-loser, as nebech those who cannot find and mainly CANNOT AFFORD shidduchim for their kids are forced to look as like hungry kids from outside the store-front looking into the goodies inside the stor that the rebbes and roshei yeshiva are enjoying with all those big-wig balebatim?

And how about all those ads and appeals for yesomim, almonas and almonin, and poshutte aniyim, with appeals often signed by the same gedolim who are then seen wining and dining and hob-knobbing with the machers-mit-gelt, what are the middle classes, not to mention the struggling classes to think, when they see the hypocrisy?

While they may not always want to verablize it, they see it in front of their eyes every week by supporting these type of papers that the gedolim themselves tell them to buy, what are the plain Jews to think and do when they see those flashy COLOR photos of roshei yeshiva and rebbes sitting in the fanciest halls and behind the fanciest tables hob-nobbing with the classiest Charedi and Chasidishe millionares and billionares?

This has been bothereing me for a long time.

That the YATED and MODIAH do not see the obvious contradiction and hypocrisy of publishing photos of the leading rabbonim in full color photos while at the same time they act like fake Robin Hoods pleading with their readers to support yesomim and aniyim, oh and of course we have all heard of the famous takonos, but that does not stop the rich among us from serving the finest foods and ironically limiting attendance to yet an even smaller group of elitist. OH yes, the YATED and MODIAH also spend time teaching the ins and outs of Da'as Toirah and the greateness of past rabbonim who lived in huts and lived off bread and water (ever heard of the Chofetz Chaim? That's how HE lived!)

This modern matzav of flaunting materialistic conspicuous consumption and fake status like in a Sunday edition New York Times "society" column where
pictures of millionares who are really nobodies are seen at dinners and cocktail parties or at events like opening art displays, this is what has become of the YATED and MODIAH too by over-exposing how one class is living while another class (the vast majority) seethes at the arrogance or suffers in silence.

It is not good. It looks and feels a lot like the eve of the terrible French Revolution of 1789 when while the King and the Nobles were wining and dancing at their balls and palaces 24/7 the poor folk were thrown a few crumbs and told to get lost. And we all know what happened in the end.

Since it's Elul, this may be agood time for everyone to do a din vecheshbon.

Anonymous said...

Follow up to my above most recent post of Friday, September 12, 2008 2:59:00 AM I came across something that I thought was in the same vein on the blog of Rabbi Jeremy Rosen, a very interesting Orthodox rabbi:

Jeremy Rosen's Blog

September 10, 2008


The story of the Cantonists is one of the most reprehensible examples of how Jews behaved to other Jews. The rich, the powerful, the religious authorities all took unforgivable advantage of their positions to get themselves off the hook at the expense of the poor.

Russia included the majority of the Jews in the world in the nineteenth century. Czar Nicholas 1st, who came to the throne unexpectedly in 1825, was a crude anti-Semite who wanted to rid Russia of its Jews. He devised a system that would use military service as a way of cutting young Jews off from their families and communities and converting them to Russian Orthodoxy. In 1827 he introduced compulsory military service for all Jews from age twelve to twenty-five to serve for twenty-five years!

All conscripts under the age of seventeen would be assigned to Cantons, military schools inside military camps originally set up a century earlier to train young recruits, before being sent to regiments. Whilst there, they would be denied Jewish requirements and subjected to a harsh and intensive conversion regime. Life would be made easier for those who converted, and progressively tougher for those who refused. These kids were called Cantonists.

Almost a hundred thousand Jewish children suffered under the system before it was abolished in 1855, after Czar Nicholas died. But of that number the vast majority died or disappeared under the most cruel and harsh of conditions. Conscription continued, but equally for all citizens and many Jews served in the Russian army, including my grandfather. Even into the early twentieth century many Jewish young men voluntarily deformed themselves or removed their teeth to avoid the agonies of conscription. But nothing could compare to the sadistic regime these thousands of little Jewish Cantonist children were put through.

But there is another dimension to this episode that is in some ways equally disturbing. Government set a quota of conscripts for each community and it was up to the Jewish authorities to fulfil these quotas on pain of fines and imprisonment. Naturally, no Jewish parents wanted their sons to go through this ordeal, which was usually a death sentence. The Jewish officials were in a difficult position and open to inducements. The rich and the influential got their children off, by bribery or persuasion. This meant that the poor and the weak, suffered inordinately.

When community officials could not meet their quotas, they employed chappers (from the Yiddish "to grab"), Jews who were paid to bring in conscripts, rather like the British naval press gangs. They would act like a cross between bounty hunters and gangsters. There are documented reports of mothers running behind the carts that carried their kidnapped children in cages, begging for their release, sometimes of an only son or the sole provider for a poor widow.

One of the worst aspects of this was that the rabbis, whom you might have thought the poor and the weak could have turned to for support, were themselves only too willing to protect their own. There are records of debates as to whether it was right to send of a young man who was not religious instead of one who was, or the son of a poor Jewish peasant rather than the son of a rabbi. There is plenty of research on all this. An example is a small, easily accessible book by Larry Domnitch called The Cantonists.

But I want to take the matter further and argue that this sort of discriminating attitude is still with us, although of course not under quite the same circumstances. Too many of us still think that if I can buy or fiddle or bargain myself a privilege at the expense of someone else, then why not? Who cares about moral arguments?

When casualties of the Lebanon War came out, it became clear that most of them were from poorer, disadvantaged families, predominantly new immigrants. And of those who were Ashkenazi, a very high proportion were religious Zionist young men who had studied in yeshivot and were ideologically committed. But more and more of the Tel Aviv beau monde, the Shenkin elite, the privileged children of the wealthy were skipping the draft. Let the poor put their lives in danger, not us!

As for the ultra-Orthodox, there are now over thousands and thousands of able-bodied young men, not all particularly interested in study, who are given automatic exemption. When the Chazon Ish, the great rabbinic figure in Israel when the state was founded, persuaded Ben Gurion to exempt yeshiva students from military service, there were a few a hundred involved. Now it is approaching 50,000. This cannot be morally justified.

I agree that scholarly types, the academically exceptional, might claim and merit postponement or exemption. But sixty years ago ultra-Orthodoxy was hanging on by a thread. Now it is powerful, rampant, wealthy, and growing. If it insists that only the non-religious, or those it disapproves of, go into battle, then there is something morally and ethically wrong. Even if I agree prayer and spirituality matter as well as fighting men, nevertheless one still needs trained soldiers ready to fight.

The trouble is that everything in Israel is a political crap game of wheeler-dealing negotiation that starts from a tough, seemingly immovable bargaining position in order to squeeze as many concessions as possible. Everyone does this, regardless of party. This means ethics or morality doesn't get a look in. I no longer expect the Knesset to be moral, but I do look to religious leaders at least to make the effort.

Israel today reminds me of the unholy alliance between the Rich, the Rabbis, and the Chappers, all taking advantage of the poor and the weak, buying or bargaining for privileges, sending some into the army risking death, while others sleep soundly in protected beds. O Isaiah, where are you now!"

(Rabbi Jeremy Rosen received his rabbinic ordination from Mir Yeshiva in Jerusalem. He studied philosophy at Cambridge University, and also holds a PhD in philosophy. He has worked in the rabbinate and Jewish education for more than forty years, in Europe and the US.)

Anonymous said...

The new "ma'aser": The cruelty of those willing to live with throwing out their own "off the derech" children.

The terrible story of how Isaac hersh was kidnapped and sent of a prisoner to far off Tranquility Bay in Jamaica and the dramatic story of how he was rescued and many of the parties involved, touched raw nerev in the frum world. Why? What are some deeper fears and frustrations it reveals about the frum world?

There were many people involved in this sad saga that pitted roshei yeshiva against each other and filled the Jewish media as it caught the attention of many people.

The arguments back and forth are known by now. But there is perhaps something deeper about this entire affair in the context of the "off the derech" (OTD) phenomenon that is afflicting all Orthodox, Charedi and Chasidic communities, of which the Isaac Hersh story is a good example of a core evil that many do not recognize and if they do they refuse to face it and certainly they do not fight it.

One hears more and more real-life stories of frum kids who are going OTD. It is every frum parent's nightmare, that one of their precious kinderlach, within the mishpoche that they have built and are moser nefesh for, will ch'vsh at some point start dropping out.

In the frum world we all know of people near and far who are experiencing this. The old bitter joke about every secular family has at least one person who has intermarried r"l and one who has become a Baal teshuva now has its counterpart in the frum world that every family has it least one section with lots of kids and one that has at least one OTD kid.

People in the frum world have made peace that families will have OTD kids as much as secular Jews have "made peace" with the fact that they will have intermarried members with some who became Baalei teshuva.

It was much the same situation when Jewish kids in Russia were grabbed by "chappers" and thrown away to the Czar's army to become Cantonists. Todays OTD kids are in some ways like the Cantonist kids of Russia, victims of a dangerous society, both from the goyishe outside and the Yiddishe inside: In the times of the Cantonists, there were frum well-connected families, often working in tandem with local rabbonim, making pact-with-the-devil decisions to "save" their own kids as they plotted and hired thugs to kidnap and send away the kids of poorer and vulnerable Yidden to Siberia that was another form of perverted "ma'aser la'Azazel" that claimed about 100,000 good Jewish boys till it ended in the mid-1800s and it swelled the ranks of Jewish revolutionaries who rejected Yiddishkeit and eventually brough down the Czar and introduced Bolshevism in Russia, because all actions produce counter-reactions.

This is all a huge tragedy.

The parents of Isaac Hersh and the rabbis who abetted them and who came up with the unheard of hair-brained idea, in the supposedly "kinder and gentler" frum world yet, to send their own flesh-and-blodd son to a jail on a far off island (to "reform" him, sure, while he could have drowned in his own vomit over ther) are part of a new and dangerous "pattern" in the frum world:

A new type of insiduous and venemous preverted "ma'aser" that has as it's sick unspoken de facto operational rule that while frum young families now, Baruch Hashem, are blessed with large families of eight, nine, ten or more kids, if one kid starts to show signs of hashkafaic or emotional weakness, the exasperated and frantic parents don't know what do, they may run to therapists and rabbonim and rebbetzins but nothing helps as "Chani" or "Chaim" slowly but surely (or sometimes very quickly) turn into a "shkotzim" and "menuvalim" often accompanied by rejection of the Charedi dress code and at some point in that breakdown process the parents run to a rov or rosh yeshiva or posek or rebbe who "paskens" for them that the "rebellious" child in question, the infant terrible, is now to be viewed as a "rodef" endangering the spiritual welfare of the other children and the entire stability of the family and that if nothing else helps (like what? beatinsg? electro-shock? medication?) then there is only one solution: Throw him/her out on the street: "Varf em arois und treib em avek"!

Welcome to the new perverted "ma'aser" whereby yet another Jewish child from yet another fine frum family is tossed heartlessly onto the streets to fend for themselves and literally to the wolves where they can easily join the immoral world of drugs, prostitition, missionaries, and all sorts of teenage rebel ills.

This was not the way the frum American dream was supposed to turn out!

How on Earth can a frum community that praises the power of kiruv rechokim, Ahavas Yisroel, and positive chinuch and encourages and teaches good "classroom managemenet", promotes all sorts of outreach organizations and fund raising to help secular Jews and children in America, Russia and Israel yet AT THE VERY SAME TIME participate in the SPIRITUAL INFANTICIDE of its own children?

Religious Jews rightfully like to point to the failure of the secular establishment that has resulted in a SPIRITUAL HOLOCAUST by not being able to stop mass assimilation and intermarriage. But how about the new frum spiritual Holocaust in America and Israel of OTD kids and the pushdakim in Israel where they even go so far as to join Arab gangs and marry Arabs and live in their villages and have children fathered by the Arabs (in America abortions are more popular.)

But this one of the core raw nerves that the Isaac Hersh saga touched for an instant with lightning and thunder power, and why it found such resonance and traction because every kid in the frum community could become an Isaac Hersh or variant thereof and start going off the derech, make the parents crazy, and they then run to rabbonim who are not equipped to handle such issues and bad decisions are made.

IT'S ACTUALLY A SIMPLE DECISION FOR THE RABBONIM IN THESE KIND OF SITUATIONS: IS THE CHILD A SO-CALLED "RODEF" OR NOT? IF THEY "PASKEN" YES, IT'S "OFF WITH HIS/HER HEAD" AND THE KID/S GET THE HEAVE HO ONTO THE STREETS OR WORSE, AND THERE IS NO REMORSE, IT'S ALL VERY COLD AND CLINICAL -- but this "solution" is actually more evil and damaging than the problem, because then the rabbis who are the leaders in the frum world becaome part of the problem of OTD kids and not of its solution and they are seen as not REALLY coming to grips with the great social evil and its root causes in their midst and its sustaining factors, and it even happens frequently that the same rabbonim will have family members with this problem of OTD kids or kids who are scating on thin ice and getting close to being OTD kids.

So instead of getting the real kind of literal HATZOLAS NEFASHOS that's needed here, kids are scarficed "to the street" like perverted "ma'ser" not to kohanim but to the truly evil people who prowl the strees. When there are ways to solve all sorts of problems, they revert to becoming shochtim in the guise of doctors as they literally cut out people from the guf of Klal Yisroel -- literal richuk kerovim instead of kiruv kerovim.

By now there are tens of thousands of korbanos, and the numbers climb all the time (every mental professional and rabbi knows of many cases on the boil and most are not coming for the help that they need in time), and its accepted as a kind of "battlefield necessity" by frum families who in turn make peace with the fact that they must toss out one in every kids in their families if required as a kind of "korban to Azazel" instead of finding ways to bring the kids back.

Here is one positive suggestion:

Since the Agudah world and much of the Chasidic world admires Baalei teshuva and the rabbis and workers and professionals of the kiruv organizations, why not set up a supreme advisory and ACTION committee of those people in every communbity to help the Frum From Birth (FFB) world deal with its growing drop-out problem in a no holds barred way, AND PAY FOR IT like they would for any type of therapy?

It's well known that RAS, the advisor of Isaac Hersh's parents is close with many kiruv people. For example, a leading Kiruv expert is Rabbi Nate "the great" Segal, who is already a legend in his lifetime in kiriv (at least as far Yeshiva Chaim Berlin is concerned). Question: Was he ever brought in to deal with the case of Isaac Hersh? If not why not? And it's not too late to bring him to advise on such matters. After all, NCSY and successful kiruv organizations do many people a lot wilder kids than Isaac Hersh and NCSY has turned these type of kids around, so why is a NCSY strategy not being tried more seriously rather than just writing narishkeit articles about kiruv-pie-in-the-sky to make the frum world feel better and self-righteous about itself while it creates and then overlooks its own richuk kerovim actvities?

Yeah I like that, IT'S TIME FOR A NCSY STRATEGY to deal with the OTD kids in the frum world. As my mother used to say, it's a lot easier attracting bees with honey than with vinegar!