The problems with the Lubavitch

In Swine Flu, Crown Heights Lubavitchers See Signs of the Messiah…You can’t make this up!
May 10, 2009, 1:57 pm
Filed under: Entitlement, Just plain stupid


The onset of swine flu has inspired all sorts of different reactions. President Barack Obama is telling Americans to do common sense things like not go to school if you feel sick (Thanks, Barack!) Rightbloggers and folks like Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio are using it to unleash anti-immigrant sentiment and attack the government for failing to seal the borders.Sara Kanevsky, a Hasidic woman we wrote about last summer, believes that swine flu may signify the hailing of the messiah.

For Kanevsky and thousands of others in Crown Heights who believe the late Lubavitch rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson (pictured) is the messiah, swine flu is yet another sign of redemption on earth. According to Jewish texts, in the time of redemption, all things that are unkosher (traif is the more-common yiddish word) will become holy.

“Why is the pig getting so much attention right now?” Kanevsky asked a Voice reporter. “There is great significance to this.”

Only animals that chew their cud (the digestive process by which cows and other animals regurgitate their food in order to digest it twice) are considered kosher. Kanevsky says she plans to begin making a round of phone calls to local farms to see if pigs have begun to digest differently. Of course, she will have to call non-Jewish farms, since Jewish farms are unlikely to be raising pigs in the first place.

(one below)

GiorgioNYC says:Proof positive that all religious nutjobs aren’t Muslim or Christian.

Posted On: Friday, May. 8 2009 @ 8:47PM


Hollywood’s problem with the Orthodox and helped by Chabad Lubavitch
May 10, 2009, 1:45 pm
Filed under: Entitlement, Real Estate | Tags:

Hollywood case asks: When is a chicken a pet?

Family says code enforcement is targeting Orthodox Jews with Middle Eastern surnames

HOLLYWOOD – On one side of the battle in upscale Emerald Hills is a Middle Eastern Jewish family who claims code enforcement is targeting their community for harassment. On the other, there’s a city still reeling from an expensive religious discrimination lawsuit.

In the middle, is Onyx the hen and her gaggle.

The Orthodox Jewish Kohn family, citing the city code, calls them legal “small domestic” pets; the city calls them illegal “fowl or poultry.” The Kohns say their religious tenets favor chicken over dogs as family pets.

“The real issue here is a government telling us what type of animals we can or cannot have,” said the family’s patriarch, Steve Kohn. “Our neighbor across the street can have a parrot, but we can’t have a chicken. Obviously there is no scientific research that shows that a pet chicken is more of a hazard than a pit bull or more of a nuisance than a screeching macaw.”

The city’s response is simple: You can’t have chickens within city limits, so chuck them or face the possibility of stiff fines.

A city-hired special magistrate, who can set the fines, is tentatively scheduled to referee the chicken fight on May 19.

But for the Kohns, it goes beyond cluckers. The Kohns, who are from Syria and Morocco, claim the city’s Code Enforcement Department is targeting them and other Jewish families of Middle Eastern descent. The complaints have captured the attention of the U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rghts Division.

City officials acknowledge they have some history with the Justice lawyer looking into the Kohns’ complaint. Sean Keveney partnered with the Chabad Lubavitch in 2003 to sue Hollywood over the city’s efforts to oust the synagogue from its Hollywood Hills neighborhood.

The city admitted no wrongdoing, but settled the case for $2 million in 2006. The city was ordered to keep prosecutors updated on efforts, such as employee sensitivity training, to avoid discriminatory practices.

City Attorney Jeff Sheffel, who went to work for Hollywood in 2008, admitted last week the city “simply forgot” to keep the Justice Department updated. He believes that’s the reason federal prosecutors are entertaining the latest complaint.

Federal prosecutors declined to comment, while city administrators insist there is no reason to be concerned.

“This is a city where the city attorney is Jewish, the mayor is Jewish and the commissioner who represents the district is Jewish,” said Sheffel. “I can guarantee you that any hint of anti-Semitism will be dealt with. My belief is that the Kohns are trying to create a big storm of controversy to distract everyone from the fact they have chickens in their property.”

The Kohns say they have proof, and have gone as far as launching their own investigation and filing a police report.

According to them, Irish Gardner, the code enforcement officer for their area, began harassing them before the pet chickens arrived in December, as far back as October. They say the officer parks in front of their home almost every day, warning and nitpicking about a wide variety of things. That includes chastising the family just two days after they moved into the house on North 51st Avenue for stacking empty moving boxes outside.

The family filed a police report on March 23 when the Kohns’ teenage daughter, who was sunbathing in the backyard, said she spotted two heads peering over a six-foot fence and taking pictures of the chickens.

City officials say it was Gardner and a supervisor acting on a complaint. They maintain case law allows officials to peer into yards looking for violations.

Soon the family began comparing notes with neighbors and members of their congregation. They began documenting cases they say unfairly target Jewish families with Middle Eastern surnames, while ignoring others.

Gardner declined to comment through city officials who cited city policy prohibiting employees from speaking to reporters. Clay Milan, his boss, rejects the family’s findings by pointing out Emerald Hills is predominantly Jewish.

On one occasion, Steve Kohn’s wife, Renee, saw and photographed Gardner citing the home of a Jewish neighbor who had just moved in. The home was cited for excessive mold on the roof, but two other homes across the street – – with just as much or even more mold – – went unchecked.

The Kohns have compiled similar incidents from other Jewish families. Members of two of the families did not want to comment, fearing retribution from the city.

Milan said he and Sheffel met with Gardner, who had received sensitivity training as required by the Chabad settlement, and saw no red flags.

“We found absolutely no proof that there is a problem,” said Milan.

Ihosvani Rodriguez can be reached at or 954-385-7908.

Lubavitch hip?
April 8, 2009, 6:03 pm
Filed under: Entitlement | Tags: ,

“Yes We Can!” Welcome Back “the Messiah” (The One From Brooklyn)

Monday April 6, 2009

For those collecting examples of amusing or interesting uses of the Obama-esque rhetoric, here’s one we saw in Manhattan this Sunday. This is a picture of Rabbi Menachem Schneerson, the Lubavitch leader who, according to some of his followers, is the Messiah. This signs suggests improving the world to welcome him back.

Obviously, if he is coming back it is on wheels….perhaps on Obamamotor

The Lubavitch and their tanks
April 8, 2009, 5:31 pm
Filed under: Entitlement | Tags: ,

Annual Mitzvah Tank Parade – Parade 59

Published: March 29 2009

Preparations are in full swing for the Annual Mitzvah Tank Parade. The Parade is slated to take place on Thursday, April 2nd, the 8th of Nissan, in honor of the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s upcoming 107th Birthday the following Sunday, 11 Nissan.

This year’s parade will feature fifty-nine fully decorated Mitzvah ‘Tanks’ corresponding to the years of the Rebbe’s leadership since 5710/1950. The ‘tanks’ are to depart from Lubavitch World Headquarters, 770 Eastern Parkway at 10:30am, and will travel across the Manhattan Bridge, down Fifth Avenue into the heart of Manhattan, and will then spread out throughout the New York Metropolitan area, bringing the joy of Pesach to thousands of local men women and children.

The “tanks” will be loaded, complete with Holiday articles including Shmurah Matzah and helpful Passover Guides as well as Tefillin and Shabbat candles, and other Mivtzoim brochures, with the hope of reaching every Yid, to hasten the revelation of Moshiach.

The Parade is a project of the Mitzvah Tank Organization. Parade Organizers are working vigorously ‘round the clock’ to ensure a smashing success. Rabbi M. Hirsh says, “We are excitedly anticipating this year’s Parade, and we are sure that B’ezras Hashem this will be a befitting gift for the Rebbe in honor of his Birthday”.

Some of the exciting innovations for this year’s parade includes, an improved children’s program, and a special system that has been set up to ensure contact throughout the year with those met on the parade, and to forward them to their local Chabad Lubavitch Center.

I happened to be in Soho that day with a friend having coffee in a Starbucks and watched another parade, all those “tanks” were loaded with young guys that would fan out in the street and ask “are you Jewish?” (only to other men) but I guess that these “tanks ” don’t have bathrooms(that would have cost extra) and they use Starbucks….god forbid they bought a cup of coffee!

Lubavitch map of Israel missing a few details
March 12, 2009, 8:26 pm
Filed under: Dishonesty, Entitlement | Tags: , ,

March 04, 2009

What do you notice about this map?

Israeli map sent out by Midtown Chabad

Israeli map sent out by Midtown Chabad

Jeff Blankfort got this map sent to him by the Jewish Week, as a form of email advertising for Chabad in New York by Joashua Metzger. Blankfort writes:
Like many other maps I have seen over the years issued by Jewish organizations, secular and religious,  for the Jewish community, there is no Green Line. No delineated West Bank or Gaza. It’s all Israel. When the Palestinians do this all hell breaks loose. When Jews do it’s the sound of silence.

Maybe someone should show this to Hillary Clinton?

Oh, by the way, here’s Chabad hosting Lev Leviev, the man who’s funded colonists on the West Bank. Who writes about this nexus–even as the 2-state solution goes down the tube?

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Maybe the Lubavitch are also suffering economically….couldn’t happen to nicer people!
March 1, 2009, 4:09 pm
Filed under: Entitlement, Greed in financial trouble?

It seems that, the de facto global publicity arm of Chabad-Lubavitch, is having some financial difficulty.

Though is not a chabad outpost, it is run like one, and like all other outposts is responsible for its own fund raising.

I have received the following email twice in the past 24 hours:

By the Grace of G-d

Dear Friend,

I value your time and will therefore get straight to the point:

We need your help to keep our virtual doors open!

The economic crisis has hit us crushingly hard and we are in an emergency situation.

Though we always keep our overhead low  (– our editors and writers do their jobs for comparatively little, as theirs is a labor of love), we’ve had to make some painful cuts.

Yet, we are still hundreds of thousands of dollars behind. Some of our largest donations were canceled due to the economic crisis. We simply cannot continue much longer.

So we appeal to you, friends and beneficiaries of

Please help us serve! Please partner with us to nurture Jewish souls, to help people who are hungry for meaning to find their answers.

Your tax deductible donation to may be the deciding factor in the life of a struggling teenager, a down-on-his luck business owner, a forlorn Jew in some forgotten place on the globe, or an educated professional suddenly interested in her Jewish roots.

You see, every single day hundreds of people in need of advice and a listening ear email us — and each month we serve up a broad and deep array of life-affirming Jewish content to millions of visitors:

College students who are struggling to create their identity as Jewish adults. Singles wondering whether they should marry Jewish. Traveling professionals seeking to affirm their Jewishness in the far-flung regions of the world. New parents learning how to raise a Jewish child. And anyone seeking support, compassion, advice and warmth for their questions, their struggles and their pain. For hundreds of thousands, young and old, IS their Jewish home.

So I appeal to you today: Please reach in deeply to your pockets and partner with us! Help us serve the Jewish People, including many who might be in even greater need than you.

G-d assures us each repeatedly in His Holy Torah that He will repay us many times over for the charity we give. And His currency is far more sustaining than money alone.

You can contribute securely online at:

While there, please consider setting up an automatic donation schedule for the coming year — at regular intervals, or perhaps to mark special dates in your family.

Or mail a check to: Campaign c/o CLMC
770 Eastern Parkway
Brooklyn, NY 11213

February 8, 2009, 12:30 am
Filed under: Entitlement, Ethics

Florence, Italy – Police: Last Weeks Bomb Scare At Jewish Center Is A Personal Feud Not Terrorisim

chbitlFlorence, Italy – It’s no anti-Semitism, it’s all about personal feuds between the Florence Jewish community and the Lubavitch, a few ultra-orthodox Jews attending the Synagogue in Via Farini only sporadically.”

An authoritative member of the 1000-person Florence Jewish community explains the motives behind the finding of a small camping gas bottle Saturday January the 17th in front of the ‘Chabad House’ in via de’ Pilastri 48 (the place the Lubavitch have in every important city to host their followers). It is the Holocaust Remembrance Day and he wants to shed light on the episode. An anonymous source, whose words are nonetheless in agreement with the detectives working on the case about the bomb found during a Jewish sacred day. At first the sleuths had thought about an anti-Semitic act in relation with the bloody Israeli military operations in the Gaza Strip. The ‘bomb’ had a rudimental fuse, unable to let the gas explode. The hypothesis was plausible, almost obvious, but was soon abandoned to follow clues about a personal vendetta. A vendetta unleashed by somebody who had disputes with the ultra-orthodox Lubavitch. No one claimed to be the author of the action, something odd if there had been political motives.

The Florence Jewish environment is extremely fragile: two ways to think about and practice Judaism coexist. From one side almost all of the community, led by Joseph Levi, the rabbi of Synagogue in via Farini. From another side, the ‘Hassidim’, the most rigorous Jewish denomination: during the Shabbat they do not turn the lights on and they do not use the lift.

In 2000 Eli Borenstein, one of the most influential leaders of the Italian Lubavitch, bought an old shop to open the Chabad house (inside there is only some old stuff). The location is strategic to attract potential new ‘Hassidim’. Problems in the few yards between Via Farini and via de’ Pilastri soon arose. These Florence Jews are called ‘Lubavitch’ or ‘Lubavitcher’, a branch of Hassidism, borrowing their name and their ancient traditions from the old Russian town of Lubavitch, destroyed by the Nazis in 1941. Black coat, payot, and black hat: they come from all over the world to meet their leader Borenstein, who, however, lives in Bologna (where he received another ‘warning’) and goes to Florence only once a week (on Saturdays, that is) to host and cater for his followers.

The Shabbat is a sacred day when it’s prescribed not to walk for long, not to prepare food, and not to do many other things. There is even a rule about not using the telephone: it’s because of this that, curiously, Borenstein warned the Police only after dark, when Shabbat was over, even if he had seen the ‘bomb’ already during the morning. “We hope to live together peacefully, but to see the Lubavitch proselytize with the Jewish American tourists in front of the Synagogue doesn’t seem to be very good for the community”: this was reported in the Florence edition of ‘La Repubblica’ soon after the arrival of the Lubavitch in town. A dislike that soon degenerated into a conflict between the two groups: this however is only the background of the intimidation act of Jan. the 17th. It could have been the result of personal motives.

The above article appeared ‘Il Firenze’ a Florence newspaper on January the 28th.