Friday, June 1, 2012

The Asifa Scam

How 60,000 Orthodox Jews Were Conned by a few Manipulative Askanim, Businessmen, and the Chareidi Press.

Important related posts to read:
This post is a follow up to my 101 Questions on the Asifa
My Position on Responsible Blogging
The Ten BIG Lies About The Internet

Preface and background: My intention for writing publicly was to try and give over only positive ideas regarding yidishkeit, as most of my articles do. I had hoped to express the feelings of today's youth in a manner that can improve our education system. Yet, as time went by, and more and more things became apparent to me, I realized there is no possible way to advocate for change without bringing to attention the very things that are causing the damage in the first place. Unfortunately, this sometimes may mean exposing fraud in our own circles.
My issues here aren't with the Asifa per-say, although I don't believe it is a smart idea my issue here is specifically on the fooling of the public. My post "An open letter to Ichud Hakehillos, re: Convention at Citi Field: was written in a very respectful and positive manner and it got a huge response, mostly positive comments from Rabbonim and parents and I would have felt honored had they implemented any of the ideas within. I believe it’s only because of corrupt individuals with a perverted agenda that none of those ideas were implemented and I therefore find it imperative to expose this information before we can make any real progress.
I have been encouraged by my personal rabbi to release this information for the benefit of the Klal. His name, along with everyone else involved will go unmentioned for privacy reasons. Unless someone legitimately tries to dispute any of my allegations, I will keep all evidence private. My hope is that with this information going public those responsible will be held accountable, but more importantly my hope is that something like this will never happen again. It's a depressing story, but there is a positive side, just knowing that this was a small minority of Jews behind this flimflam and that many Rabonim either didn't participate, or just went along not knowing the true intentions behind the organizers of the Asifa, might give us all a more positive feelings for our Gedolai Yisroel.
If there was someone else that would release this information, I would be happy to let them. The general press along with others are supported by ads and therefore can be blackmailed into what they can and can’t publish. While I could have posted this all anonymously, it wouldn't have the same effect, and may just cause more of a chilul hashem.
If I come across a bit too harsh it's because I am frustrated. I am frustrated with a system that is producing a distaste for yiddishkeit instead of a love. I am frustrated that I received hundreds of phone calls and emails from great mechanchim and Torah leaders that are being stifled from trying to improve things. I am frustrated that people are turning to me when it is the Rabbonim that need to step up to the plate. And I am frustrated with a system that blames all of its problems on technology instead of what really needs to be addressed. But most importantly I am frustrated by the manipulative and immoral Askanim, the moral mafia that have caused tremendous damage and disgraces our frum community!
I will not mention the people behind this fraud, I think it is obvious and I don't gain from making specific accusations. If the public wants to know, they can address those questions to the Ichud. I also don't know first hand who was aware of this con from the beginning, and I would rather not speculate.
Unintentionally, I got myself stuck in the middle of a huge scandal and because of that I was given all of this information bit by bit. Some from the inside and some from the outside. Some through anonymous emails and some from yiddish blogs. Some facts I put together from my blog stats and other facts I got through leaked information. Many people helped me along the way but their names are not important.
In politics they say there are three types of people. Hard core republicans, hard core liberals and those that choose to use their own heads. I’m writing for the middle crowd. I don't believe the true haters of religious Jews need my post to fuel their rage and I’m also not expecting to change the views of those that choose to follow the crowd, no matter where it might lead them. I believe we still have a majority of self-thinking individuals that will realize mistakes were made and we have been led down an erroneous path. And it's to them I address my post.

Below is my version of the purpose of the Asifa as best as I know it to be true:

Maybe it’s because I grew up in a home where my father, Rabbi Eli Teitelbaum Z”L, was known to expose many scams or maybe it’s because I read all the books about charlatans sitting around the house. Either way, as soon as I saw the first ad for the event at citi field, I knew something wasn't right. These are some of the signs I picked up that told me it was a scam. (Here are other sites that highlights signs of scam, and you will see very similar definitions. link one second link Third link)
  1. Too good to be true: i.e. The huge solution. The pill that cures all health. The life policy that doesn't end. The solution for longevity. This is the highlight of a scam.
  2. The big event. Most scams need the big crowd, the audience, and the frenzy. This gets people into the mood so they will jump aboard and accept what they are told, even spend more money than they can afford. A famous and charismatic leader on board.(My post "A Kidush Hashem! Seriously?" mentions how Hashem was extra careful not to have the Torah given this way. Moshe was also aral sifasayim, a bad orator, for this reason.
  3. Details withheld: Vague answers or none at all to key questions you might ask. i.e. not saying what the huge solution is. There will be hints leading up to the event so that it doesn't come as a big surprise, but no detailed information.
  4. The build up of horror stories! "In one extreme case, a couple in Korea would spend 12 hours a day away from home on the internet. They would run home once a day to feed their three-year-old daughter. She died of dehydration and malnutrition. There have been incidents of people who assaulted and even shot others for posting negative comments or embarrassing photos about them. One 15-year-old shot his own father after his internet privileges were revoked." - Taken from the  Asifa Booklet
  5. Not associated with any well established organization. The first ad just said Ichud without even any names behind it. Usually this has a recently opened bank account, so that if the scam falls through, they can just declare bankruptcy and the hoodwinks get away with it all.
  6. The person running the entire operation is left out of the picture and not mentioned by name so that his negative reputation and previous history is not known.
  7. No Verifiable References or Testimonials. Anyone can make up references or testimonials that would make you believe in the business opportunity. But can you verify them? Do they list real names for the people who supposedly were helped? There were no reference on ads as there still are none.
  8. Using photos that are not related to the topic. (many photos of Rabbonim speaking in the first article had nothing to do with the quotes below them. At that point they were unaware of Citi Field)
This was all noticeable to me in just the first ad. But every scam needs to make money, and unless I knew what the agenda was there was no way to alert the public. And so when I saw the first pamphlet of Ichud with the mention of filters I realized something was amiss. But there was still no mention of Kosher ISP filters.

I also knew the rabonim were not about to change their policy about the internet and there was no way a new private organization can force them to do it without a conference of the Gedolai Torah. This led me to write my article about filters not being effective which got a very positive response by both Rabonim and parents, and this was a big problem for the Ichud. I didn't realize this at the time but my article was very destructive to their goal. And this was the reason for their change in tactics.

Behind the scenes:
All one needs to do is read the transcript from the Agudah convention and you will hear a diatribe of blaming all our problems on the internet. Key Rabbonim were being challenged and questioned for the first time, on internet blogs and new-sites. There were complaints about the corrupt botai bes din and this was causing great harm to the system in place. Child abuse in the community was not being dealt with and many Rabonim were even covering up for them. There was so much hypocrisy within the system that the current leaders were losing all respect. Klal Yisroel was going through many difficulties, but the entire focus of these Rabonim was the modern technology. And although there was a ban on the internet, almost everybody was online and this was causing the Rabonim were promoting the ban to become “irrelevant”. Unfortunately all rabonim were being effected by this attitude and this was a HUGE problem.

The Chareidi press was losing readership quickly. The news blogs were taking over the news and the Torah blogs were taking over the Divrei Torah. The numbers were incomparable. With just one click of a button, my first blog post received over 100,000 hits in one week, this is not something any chareidi paper could match. In addition, Chareidi press costs money to produce and distribute. The Rabbonim that were bihind the ban did not allow them to take to the internet and this was causing them to lose business. They were also hostage to the advertisers. They needed the advertisers for money and therefore had to turn all their information pro-advertisers, pro-rabbanim and pro-community, whether it be truthful or not. The blogs didn't survive off advertisers and the ones that had, could do without. The Torah blogs also had the advantage of the comment system which creates a dialogue; something that the orthodox community needed. The real concerns were taken to the blogs while the chareidi press continued printing highfalutin stories about the horrors of the internet. At the end of the day the chareidi press needed a way to get online to compete.

Most families did have filters, but they used the new K9 or similar products. This was a free download and if configured properly more effective than any  Kosher Internet Provider. Kosher ISPs cost money and there was no use for them anymore. And so an organisation was created that will orchestrate an event to "fix" all these problems. The Ichud

The Huge Solution i.e. SCAM
The plan was to force people to sign up for kosher ISP providers. They will remove the internet ban both for home and business as long as you pay for this service. Except like any crooked deal this couldn't be told to the public. The Rabbonim gain because they were told that ISP filters will only allow what the Rabbonim want to get through on the ISP side and they won't have to worry anymore about being in control. The chareidi papers will now be able to go online and they of course will continue broadcasting the same propaganda, only this time cheaper and with no blog competition. The Kosher Internet Providers will make a fortune. Think about the numbers and you'll understand. 60,000 x $50 is $3,000,000 a month! That money gets distributed to all those involved. This will benefit everyone except the simple naive Jew who was unaware what was going on and thought he was listening to the gedolim.

B”H Things did NOT go as Planned:
Things were not as simple as they thought. Many Rabbonim caught on to this and didn't want to be a part of this fraud. Other Rabbonim wouldn't sign on unless they were told what the solution was. Many Rabbonim, while not pro or against the internet, didn't want to make the internet sound kosher, with some kind of huge solution. They understood that no matter how good the solution will be, the internet will always come along with problems. But the “solution” couldn't be publicized or the Rabbonim wouldn't support it, so instead they had to change their campaign.

It now became about an Asifa that all the Gedolei Hador will attend and you must also. A massive campaign went on trying to force as many Rabbonim and schools to make their constituency attend. Lots of Rabbonim realized they were being used, others were informed or picked up on this charade. Signatures were forged and that just got Rabbonim even more upset.  And so with all this effort there was just small progress. Many of the more moderate yeshivos weren't on board and wouldn't enforce the attendance. And so this didn't work as planned either. Although massive pressure was applied to all institutions, it just wasn't working, at least not the numbers they needed.

Chasidim to the rescue: ( More detailed info here "The back-story to the Asifa".)
There was only one group of Jews that can now save this event, the Chasidisha Oilem. If the Rebbe says to go then go they will. So a massive new yiddish campaign started and each Rebbe was asked to help out. They were offered many incentives and they started making progress. This was working but it also came with problems. Each Rebbe had his own ideas and they wanted to know what was going to be said at the Asifa. They also wanted to speak and say what they believed. But this wasn't the original plan except to make everyone sign up for filters. So as more Chasidish Rabbonim signed up things got messy. 

Signature paper
Not going as planned:
While the asifa was a huge success in terms of numbers the scam was not working. Because of outside pressure the expo had to be cancelled and with it the Asifa booklet. (The Asifa booklet is propaganda material to encourage people to sign up for Kosher Internet Providers. The plan was to have everybody at the Asifa sign the last page and give your word to sign up for the kosher filters). Instead, some Ichud speakers tried to emphasize the importance of filters but other Rabonim trashed the internet completely. The last minute Rabbonim that spoke had no outline and therefore no unified message went out. The Ichud had very little control over this.

The worst happened when Rav Wosner gave his psak, the internet was not to be used in the home with or without a filter under any circumstances! Furthermore, no school should accept any student who had Internet access, (even with a filter) in their home. This was against everything the organizers wanted! Businesses were not their goal, they were controlled by the company and home users were not allowed internet, meaning the Kosher Internet Providers and the Chareidi Press were losing out. To make things worse, R’ Wachsman said that whatever edicts were initiated at this event would be binding on all of Klal Yisroel. This was a disaster for the Ichud. But not to worry.

Follow up plan:
The Chareidi Press Goes Online
Despite the overwhelming disappointment by the crowd that was left with no message, the Chareidi press and the Ichud kept the fraud going. They just ignored or modified what Rav Wosner said, almost as if it never happened or as if he was talking to another crowd. All that was supposed to happen at the event needed to be done now through the chareidi press instead. Huge ads for  Kosher Internet Providers  were displayed in the papers with the usual haskamos from Rabbonim and insinuating that the asifa was all about filters once again. Very little was mentioned that one can download free filtering software that is just as good or better. And despite the Psak Halacha, the chareidi papers are all going online even though the internet was only to be used for business.

The Asifa Booklet
The Asifa Booklet that has now been distributed online and is making its way around, seems like a well meaningful handbook but it's full of misrepresentations. The dangers of the internet are grossly overstated. The horrors stories are mostly fabricated and hyperbolic. My post “The Ten BIG Lies About The Internet”, will explain this in detail. But most importantly the suggested filters are Kosher Internet Providers, with a small mention of free software! This is also completely untrue and my future post “Why home filters are better then Kosher Internet Providers” will explain this in detail. You will also notice ads for new “kosher phones”, another scam.

So Who and What is Ichud?
From all the sources I have I'm convinced there is a direct connection between the Vaad Hatznius, run by Rabbi Mordechai Blau another askin with personal and corrupt agendas, who tries to force yidden to his personal ways. Both of these organization are connected with NativeUsa a new filtering company that tries to sell a product, with fake endorsements of Gedolim who are unaware that this software is available for free and have also not given their haskama for its use except for business. There is much more corruption going on here, but I believe at this point the public can figure it out and those that don't want to hear wont listen anyways. Like the saying goes a sucker is born every second!

My conclusion:
Using the above information you can answer all 101 questions I posed to the Ichud. It also explains why the constant flimflam and incoherent messages of the Asifa. If someone has another explanation or has a sincere question you can comment below and I will try to respond. Please don't use names as this isn't about people but about a misguided event that took place.

Some will say the above is all true but why do you call it a scam? Don't people have a right to sell a product? I don't know the legal issues here but I do know that what was done is completely immoral and against everything the torah stands for. That this was done under “Daas Torah” makes it even more sickening.

I'm also sure they’ll try to pin this deceit and deception all on one person or just the Ichud organization, don't buy it. I believe all those involved should be held accountable, but I have done enough and would like to get on with my normal life. Pose your questions to the Rabonim involved. Let the people who attended the Asifa or those that bought these filters figure out what to do. Ironically they won't be able to read this post, but I'm sure it will make its way off the internet and into their hands. You can use the link on the bottom to email them this post or even better enter their email here to subscrbe them to this blog.

My Final Words:
I do believe that all the great Rabonim who spoke at the event were sincere in what they said. Whether they were fooled about the event, about the realities of the internet, or about the ambitions of the organizers is for them to say. Almost all rabonim I know personally are great and holy people that want the best for us. Despite this ordeal and what I have experienced these past few months, I have great hope for the future of Klal Yisroel. This episode of my life has given me a great opportunity to make contact with incredible mechanchim in Klal Yisroel. These are people who have no ulterior motives but to serve the community. I believe these Rabbonim will be the new leaders of Klal Yisroel one day. Some just need to learn how to blog!

Update: I didn't write this but its an interesting post. Internet Filter Scam Part 2

Important related posts to read:
This post is a follow up to my 101 Questions on the Asifa
My absolute respect for Rabonim
My Position on Responsible Blogging
The Ten BIG Lies About The Internet

“If you want to make enemies, try to change something." -Woodrow Wilson
 “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it’s time to pause and reflect.” -Mark Twain
"A man hears what he wants to hear, And disregards the rest" ~ Paul Simon


  1. Well written as usual.
    With all due respect to gedolim,
    I witnessed first hand how easily "askonim" manipulate, feed false information and just plain lie to them just to further their own agendas.

  2. Now that the asifa is over, & no solutions were given; the next issue is the newest big lie.

    How can one speaker at an event expect that what is said can apply to all those not there?

    The closed minded among the right wingers would absolutely LOVE for this precedent to take effect & that big lie to take hold. The implied clout for religious politics would be tremedous!

    All any askan need do is get a podium anywhere, & Voila! it is Daas Torah that must be obeyed by all people everywhere. Don't worry, based on what happened in the case of this asifa,c whatever comes out WILL be Daas Torah - a way will be found to get some Gadol or another to support it - one way or another. Just look how the authority of Gedolim was usurped for the purposes the asifa!!! ;-)

    Too bad that such an idea has absolutely no precedent in Halacha, & in fact the truth of how the system really works contradicts such an idea.

    Throughout Shas there are many sugiyos that belie that idea i.e. the concept of the status of one Beis Din superceding the authority of another can only occur when it's members are greater in Chachma u'minyan & NOT the power-play shittah of a yechidi!

    Or the fact that there is NO such thing as Rabbinical infallibility: see the gemara in Sanhedrin about "taa b'dvar Mishna, taa b'dvar Halacha"… , or throughout the gemara in Horiyos. Or how's about the fact that the Torah itself teaches us of haShem's will in this, there is a whole system of judicial hierarchy that came after Moshe Rabbeinu asked based on Yisro's advice…

    It would be the source of much potential strife within klall Yisrael if that big lie of "automatic & also remote Rabbinical jurisdiction were to gain any credence - especially when it was not part of a previosly approved haskama. We need true achdus, not more religious politics - beccause if you stop & think about it, religious politics should not be two words that go together…

    Maybe the travesty of the changing the direction of th. asifa from what the Gedolim originally signed on for will serve as an example to shed light on how the system is being abused & the original intentions of the asifa Gedolim were hijacked… because we will never be able to live with people misusing the authority t

  3. i do not use filters for business resons my rabbi in shull said that if a person dose not have a filter he is not considered part of klall yisroal 
    but to collect my 3000.00 for the year for his shull he will make an exception

  4. I'm reminded of a comment R' Natan Slifkin made in an article on being 'post-Charedi':  "When rabbinic authority is invested in yeshivah deans who are isolated from wider society, and often “handled” by various assistants, abuses of rabbinic power are inevitable."
    This comment was taken out of context and much maligned at the Aguda Convention in 2011. Seems like someone here was pretty prescient, actually...

  5. So is there an 'Ichud' email address that one can link this blog to?

  6. Horror stories from the Asifa Booklet. "In one extreme case, a couple in Korea would spend 12 hours a day away from home on the internet. They would run home once a day to feed their three-year-old daughter. She died of dehydration and malnutrition. There have been incidents of people who assaulted and even shot others for posting negative comments or embarrassing photos about them. One 15-year-old shot his own father after his internet privileges were revoked."

  7. Something that really sticks out in the Asifa Booklet are the horror stories. When someone is trying very hard to convince you to sign onto something, he will focus on all the bad stories out there and use scare tactics to strengthen the message. There are so many Frum Jewish families who are BH making a nice comfortable living on websites and related businesses. There are a lot more good stories online than bad. Take my cousin who met a horrible guy and was engaged to him (the old fashion way) he broke off the engagement (thankfully) and she met her current husband on a website. They are happily married BH. And there are so many other stories out there. Are you telling me we should ban the internet because a Korean couple abandoned their child due to internet addiction? are you kidding me?

    What about the people who "abandon" their families and sit in kollel and learn all day? If an addiction to the internet is bad because it keeps you from working and earning a living, doesn't the torah study do the same?

    If you wanted to ban anything, you can find abundant horror stories to support your claim. Baby strollers, cribs, cars, air travel and the list is endless! If you were to ban something good because of the bad that it inflicts upon people, might I dare say we ban Judaism because of the holocaust? I have no problem finding horror stories to back up this plan...

  8. keep it coming. maybe your blog will become an alternative to failed messiah .

    i like to read about the dysfunctionality of the system but not from that lowlife shemarya 

  9. Well written, and presumably well documented. Yasher Koach for all your efforts. Regarding askanim, I wrote the following in my blog "Keep Rabbinical Tendrils Out of the Artistic Realm" from March 10, 2008, when the whole 'Big Event'/Lipa scandal was going full throttle:

    "'And for all those who deal in community affairs faithfully, the Holy One, Blessed Is He, will pay their salary … '
    ~from the Sabbath prayers

    "The term askan literally means 'businessman' and is colloquially taken to mean someone of means who is involved in Jewish community affairs. This usage is undoubtedly derived from the above verse. Usually these askanim operate behind the scenes, away from the public eye, because of personal modesty; they work tirelessly for charitable concerns without any thought of personal gain or honor. This is in keeping with the high value placed on giving charity anonymously so as not to embarrass either the donor or beneficiary. As such, askanim receive no salary for their good works, and so we pray that G-d will pay their salaries, be they physical compensation or spiritual elevation.

    "But what we have seen here is a dark, cynical use of these honorable values to advance hidden agendas that ruin lives and livelihoods. Taking advantage of the usual back channels, out of the public eye, certain askanim approach prominent rabbis and present a distorted case. The rabbis know and trust these particular askanim, having dealt with them in matters of community and charity for many years. And so they think nothing of adding their signature to the askan’s document without checking the veracity of the claims therein, and voila! Now the hidden agenda can be brought out into public view, bearing a rabbinical stamp of approval.

    "In abusing the honorable values of giving anonymously, these askanim have been dealing in community affairs in bad faith. And as such, may the Holy One, Blessed Is He, pay their salaries in kind, measure for measure."

    For the whole article:

  10. Kevin_in_ChicagoJune 1, 2012 at 11:47 AM

    1.  Genevas daas +  daas Torah = genevas Torah?

    2.  It appears Hashem has a mischievous sense of humor.  The Asifa is organized to promote kashering of home internet by those who hope to profit, and Rav Wosner is inspired to declare home internet treif gamur!

  11. Thanks Dovid!
    To make proper use of the internet click this!

    Or to print

  12. I needed to edit your comment because you mentioned a name. You obviously didnt read my position on blogs. Either way argue the facts not the people.

  13. What can we do to make our communities scam-proof? (short of a scam filter!!) These things keep coming at us. We should be less gullible than people in general are.

  14. Kannoim who question whether the rav is frum enough are an old phenomenon.  See for example, Shu"t of the Rem"a (#124 as I recall--it begins "Va'eshma acharai kol ra'ash gadol... ") but a great rav does not let such people determine his p'sak. 

    Businessmen trying to get a p'sak to help their business are also not new, but, again, a great rav should not adjust his p'sak to suit them  There are 3 tshuvot in Iggros Moshe written to Rav Teitz about blended whiskey.  Sometimes small amounts of wine were used to blend the whiskey; a businessmen was making a plant to make the whiskey without any stam yeinam.  Rav Moshe was asked to say that the competing whiskey was treif.   Rav Moshe says this is a praiseworthy endeavor and offers a bracha to the businessman, but says the halacha is that the other whiskey is not treif.  And sticks to that p'sak for 3 tshuvot.  Rav Moshe says, by the way, that while he avoided drinking the blended whiskey when he could, he would drink a l'chaim with it if a ba'al habos offered it to him; he said it would look like Yuhara for him to refuse.  Which should give pause to all those who say it can't hurt to be more machmir; sometimes it can.

    It is necessary to be a great talmid chacham to be a manhig yisroel, but it is not sufficient.

  15. Sorry for my ignorance but what is "ichud"?

  16. We need to re-educate our children. When kids hear nothing but no's and all the negative aspects of something, they want to to do it more. Thats why kids go off the derech etc. Additionally, parents need to be better parents. You can't         hand your kid a blackberry or iphone and expect them not to explore. The only reason why i had a cell phone was because i went out of brooklyn for high school, and it was the most basic cell phone you can buy. As a college student the internet and technology has made my life easier. I dont mean copying and pasting from wikipedia but if want to register for classes i can do it in my own house etc. The point is that internet safety should be left to individual families. It seems as if nobody wants to take any blame so they just shove it onto the "evils of he internet".

  17. and just FYI this is the incident which officially pushed me AWAY from being frum. i have been on the fence for quite a while recently and with all the stuff int he news about child molestation and people lighting others on fire for davening in a different shul and the thefts and everything else THIS pushed me over. I've been frum for 31 out of the 32 years i am living but now i am done. I am not sure HOW i will make this work with my family but one thing is for sure. "orthodox" Judaism is not for me anymore. Good shabbas to all.... im out! 

  18. I dont agree with everything you wrote, because I do believe rabbis should be involved with all aspects of our lives. I just dont think rabbis have a right to say that they are the leaders. Every person can choose his own rabbis, who they respect, and follow them. As an aside you brought up the concert ban, which was a terrible chilul hashem. not surprisingly Rabbi Schur who was the askin behind the ban is one of the pushers of the internet ban. He will be speaking in flatbush this week. Sad

  19. Its sad that this Asifa has pushed you off. Trust me most Rabbis are not like the ones you saw at the Asifa, they just dont speak up. There is old line, dont judge Judaism by Jews.


  21. I admire your courage, you are 100% on target, I sew it coming and therefore I didn't even think of going there.

  22. Check out: The Asifa Song


  23. I'm no great fan of the community or from the asifa but you have to be very naive to believe in this conspiracy. I also know firsthand that the filter of choice that Ichud recommends for home users is Bluecoat K9 and not any of the kosher ISP's. If you're a believer in all kinds of crazy conspiracy theories then believe in this too.

  24. How can you say that when their asifa booklet clearly recommends Kosher service providers?! There is a link on my blog.

  25. There is a famous saying "Don't judge Judaism by it Jews"!!!

  26. and dont throw the baby out with the bath water.

  27. Sorry, but I think you've gone too far again. While some of your questions are good ones, and admittedly this asifah had some unclear issues, many people left happy and inspired, and some felt they had wasted some time and some money. Turning them into victims of a scam is a matter of perspective.

    You can claim that everyone who owns an Artscroll Shas was scammed by Artscroll who was just looking to make a buck. Sure they had (at least) some financial motivation, but if people are happy, who cares.

  28. Thanks Dovid, for helping this young man finally realize that Judaism is one huge scam.

    I hope that many others will also use Dovid's blog and finally leave Judaism. The Judaic religion is one huge scam, and Dovid Teitelbaum has proven it.

  29. Shoot the messenger. Typical!

  30. I wish you all the best, Dovid, I truly do. I think this has really sucked you in to the point that you're not making any sense. Too bad.

  31. Your a blogger. Why dont you try and answer the 101 questions I posed. O, I forgot you don't question authority!

  32.  Actually I would Dovid, but they don't make sense. they're not questions, they're answers.

    If you want to see what you look like to anybody outside your echo chamber take a look.

    Much of what you wrote is simply irrational, which leads me to believe that you are under tremendous pressure. I sincerely wish you all the best.

    ain lanu ela divrei ben amram. I'm in good company....

  33. I have to admit I did find your post funny. But you are still avoiding all the questions.

  34. Kevin_in_ChicagoJune 4, 2012 at 7:10 PM

     He has "proven" no such thing.  Shame on you! 

  35. Considering how the Gedolim 'signed on' to give their support for the asifa & then the ones running it changed the whole event & their was personal gain involved; which was NOT divulged; then there is plenty of reason to be unhappy.

    #1 the organizers for all practical purposes used the names of the Gedolim & changed the program seemingly w/every new ad.

    Aren't you concerned that those w/personal negios (vested interest) changed the event from what the Gedolim they claim supported them & the previously stated presentation?

    When Artscroll sells Gemaras, it is known up front what their personal interest is; can the Ichud claim an equal, intellectually honest approach? Seems not. The Ichud is a child organization of Technology Awareness
    Group, which by the wayis involved in the business of internet control software &/or services.

    It is of concern for the observant community if businessmen also working as Askanim twist what Gedolim have said & surprise, surprise the changes were in their own financial interests!!!

    That people felt good is only the result of having been involved in something they thought was done for the right reasons.

    Unfortunately, the good feeling they got was based on a false set of premises & at least diff fm what was told to Gedolim by organizers who sought their support.; if not contrary to halacha.

    An event that gave people smiles - based on inconsistent behavior towvrds the Gedolim was at best the result of people being misled
    i.e. have you seen the ad for the asifa touting how huge crisis requires huge solutions? Later it became a Yom Tefila & chizuk. How can you be mechazeik people who need guidance if you don't give them guidence on the topic of what the chizuk was, by definition, the intended purpose of the asifa i.e. educating those who don't know better what to watch out for & they didn't even give any solutions.

    By letting the organizers keep their vested interests swept under the rug & turning a blind eye to the obvious changing the rules in midstream, but nonet_eless claiming the support of the Gedolim that they misled, at least b'dieved, if not l'chatchila; we are opening the flood gates to zilzul of Gedolim on a continuing basis (anybody see the pre-asifa aryicles stating that it wouldn't be about banning tke internet, but learning how to deal with (by their own ad's words) something you can't live with, but can't live without.

    Where is the value in a short-lived good feeling against the loss to the whole observant community when prjmises were njt kept in terms of solutions & a presentation inconsistent w/what was represented to the Gedolim?

    This was a blown oppotunity compared to what it could have been ifthe promises were kept.

  36. Someone, if the free K9 was included in the Ichud 'arsenal'then they were either very irresposible about informing the client community they proport to serve. If t_ey knew about it- why not get the word out about sbmething that could kelp klall Yisrael better devl with the huge crisis; or they had other unspoken agendas & misled the hamon am & the Gedolim about their intentions.

    Ichud is an organization under the umbrella of TAG, which happens to be in the filter / filtering services business.

    When it came to donations to the Mishkan, Moshe Rabbeinu took pains to demonstrate his accountability to haShem & the people.

    Too bad we can't say the sam of those who had vested financial interests in the event that was supposed to present huge solutions & didnwas

    How they justify the way they used the Gedolim whose support they enlisted based on diff premises than were eventually presented & whose support was used to fuel the idea that everyone must attend this asifa is a separate & potentially tremendously damaging issue; rife w/problems worse than the technology for which they were supposed to offer huge solutions.

    If it becomes common practice, or even something that happens again (unfortunately this isn't the 1st time such a thing has happened - as others have noted); then we can never know how we can depend on what some people tell the Gedolim & that will truly be tragic in a way that a few smiles can just not justify.

  37. do you suggest/suspect that Rabbanim who endorsed the asifa received monetary kick-backs?

  38. I dont have any firsthand knowledge of that and so Id rather not speculate.

  39. You delete the name of FM because "no mentioning names here" but when you feel like picking a personal bone you have no problem mentioning the name of a choshiva talmid chochim who is a rav to many people.

  40. Can you specify. I actually do not see them pushing the jewish filters more than the others. I was pleasantly surprised at the the nice lay out they had on all the filters with the pros and cons. On the androids they seem to lean more toward K9 than Jnet

  41. Maybe a talmud chochom bus also a raving lunatic. It has to be said.

  42. Dear Rabbi

    I would like
    to bring out a different story then the one the Ichud and all Heimish media is
    feeding the public. As everyone sees, the only stories you hear from the internet
    are the horror stories, most of which are the imagination of some overzealous individuals,
    some of which could’ve happened but didn’t and perhaps a few that happened and
    were greatly exaggerated. Like chazal tell us “every liar knows that if he will
    not add some truth to his lie nobody will believe him”.

    I will also
    tell you a story about the internet but a positive one.

    In my family
    there was someone who experienced a very hard and difficult time going thru our
    chinuch system while not being the type cut out for it. As he grew older the
    problems just grew along with him. He tried getting any job without much success,
    not b’gashmius (monetarily) obviously degraded his ruchnious (yiddishkeit). The
    situation was at the point where he was simply fed up with life. As a last ditch
    effort to abandon his destructive thoughts he spoke to a very warmhearted
    individual who encouraged him to open a business on his own and borrowed him $5000.00.
    Not having the proper education and resources an internet based business seemed
    like the only good option. Today he has established a very lucrative and
    profitable internet based business. He not only established his business but with
    it his personal life, his financial resources and yes his yiddishkeit
    also improved greatly!!! He also employs’ several young broken boys,
    who with his warmth and good heart is helping them succeed in life too.

    Dear readers
    this is a success story due to the internet!

  43. The interested oneJune 7, 2012 at 4:40 PM

    If you want people to respect your position, then you must respect your own position as well. You have the right to fell that Rav S. is a raving lunatic, however, if your policy is no mentioning names, then you must practice what you preach. If you respect your own policies, then I am sure your readers such as PalmChusid would respect the policy as well.

  44. My policy is that commentators cant mention names because I have no way of verifying if it true information. That Rabbi S is a raving lunatic is verifiable

  45. Dovid, after visiting your blog I finally realized what this is all about. Your nonstop ranting raving is an attempt to
    draw attention to your summer program and get more kids to join. It's all about the money! Oh, and now that I exposed your true agenda, will you ban my comments?

  46. Thank god I'm full for the summer. You're going to have to come up with something better than that


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