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On Shabbos the rabbi stood outside neighbor’s house shouting F-you at his ‘Free Palestine’ bumper sticker

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Rich Siegel

Rich Siegel, the musician who lives in a NJ suburb that is heavily-populated by orthodox Jews, says he is being harassed again for his anti-Zionist views. The Teaneck Suburbanite’s Howard Prosnitz reports:

A well-known local activist for Palestinian causes has filed harassment charges against a River Road rabbi, who allegedly stood in front of his Elm Avenue home shouting obscenities.

The complaint filed by Rich Siegel against Rabbi David B. Schwartz is scheduled for a probable cause hearing in Teaneck Municipal Court on Dec. 7 at 9:30 a.m.

Police responded to a call from Siegel at 7:55 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 5 complaining that a man in his 60s, walking a large grey dog, was standing in front of his house yelling at him…

Reached by phone on Sunday, Schwartz declined to comment.

And here is Rich Siegel’s letter of a week back to a local rabbinical leader, describing the episode:

Rabbi David Bauman
Executive Director
Union for Traditional Judaism
668 American Legion Drive, Suite B
Teaneck, NJ  07666

Nov. 14, 2011

Dear Rabbi Bauman:

My family and I have been treated to severe harassment by a member of your board, Rabbi David B. Schwartz.  He has been stalking my house for an ongoing period.  I have observed him on several occasions standing in front of my house for extended periods, with his dog, leering at the bumper stickers on my car, [“Free Palestine: End the Occupation” and “Stop US Aid to Israel.”] which he clearly does not like.  They support the Palestinian cause.  I am a Jewish Anti-Zionist and supporter of Palestine and make no apologies for my position or for my right to free speech on the issue.

On one occasion my wife and daughter were in our front yard when Rabbi Schwartz and his dog arrived and they were unaware of his purpose there.  My daughter wanted to pet his dog. My wife asked if she could.  Rabbi Schwartz was non-responsive and then my wife understood why he was there.  On another occasion  Rabbi Schwartz stood in front of my house for an extended period, just staring, as I was preparing to leave the house.  He remained there, leering at me, as I locked the house up, got into my car, and started the engine.  Finally, as  I backed the car out past him and into the street, I asked out the car window,  ³May I help you?²  He responded,  ³I just wanted to see what an Anti-Semite looks like.²  I responded by telling him that I am Jewish.  He then went into a verbal assault which I escaped by driving away. 

On the morning of Saturday Nov. 5, at about 7:45, I heard loud shouts of ³Fuck You!² yelled repeatedly in front of my house. I went to the window and observed Rabbi Schwartz shouting over and over again ³Fuck You! Fuck You!…². My wife and 6 year old daughter were in the next room, and were extremely alarmed. I yelled out the window that I was calling the police, which I proceeded to do. Rabbi Schwartz took off. I observed the direction that he was heading and sent the police in that direction. The police caught up with him and interviewed him. He admitted what he did, and claimed that it was his right to free speech, this according to the police report. The police report also indicates that he agreed to stop walking his dog in front of my home. According to the responding police officer, Rabbi Schwartz stated that he did not know I that have a young daughter. He lied. I subsequently filed a criminal harassment charge against the rabbi./ This morning at about 10 AM I witnessed Rabbi Schwartz on my corner. Clearly if he intended to abide by the promise he made to the police to not walk his dog in front of my home, he was abiding by the letter but not the spirit of the promise. He was only two doors down from my home, about as close to my home as he could be without being actually in front of it. I told him to stay off my block or I would call the police again. He invited me to call the police again. I did. I understand they paid him a visit today./ I went on line to see who this David B. Schwartz is, and was shocked to find out that he is a rabbi. It is deeply disturbing to me to know that an ordained man of God is shouting ³Fuck You² at a house where he knows an innocent young girl is living. This is egregious on so many levels, it¹s not even necessary to point it out to any civilized person. But in addition, it¹s illegal, and will be dealt with legally, both criminally and civilly. I have tried to get a restraining order against Rabbi Schwartz, but have been informed that restraining orders are only applicable to domestic situations. I have been further informed that a ³do not contact order² may be granted, but that it has to be issued by the judge, and I have no access to the judge until the probable cause hearing, scheduled for Dec. 7.

I am bringing all of this to your attention because Rabbi Schwartz is on your board. I would like to informally request that you have an informal conversation with Rabbi Schwartz, and that perhaps the content of the conversation might touch upon how members of your board are expected to act in the community, perhaps additionally how any rabbi is expected to act. I do not know where Rabbi Schwartz was ordained, but it seems that there are some holes in his Jewish education, as he thinks it¹s OK to shout obscenities in the street on Shabbos, and to terrorize a little girl. Perhaps you as director of this esteemed institution might see the need for some re-education. I am also requesting a response to this letter. Thank you for your kind consideration.Sincerely yours, Rich Siegel

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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97 Responses

  1. seafoid on November 25, 2011, 10:04 am

    The Dude: Walter… what am I going to tell Lebowski?
    Walter Sobchak: I told that fuck down at the league office… who’s in charge of scheduling?
    The Dude: Walter…
    Donny: Burkhalter.
    Walter Sobchak: I told that kraut a fucking thousand times that I don’t roll on Shabbos!
    The Dude: Walter…
    Donny: They already posted it.
    Walter Sobchak: Well they can *fucking unpost it*!
    The Dude: Who gives a shit! They’re gonna kill that poor woman, man! What am I gonna tell Lebowski?
    Walter Sobchak: C’mon Dude, eventually she’ll get sick of her little game and, you know, wander on back.
    Donny: How come you don’t roll on Saturday, Walter?
    Walter Sobchak: I’m shomer shabbos.
    Donny: What’s that?
    The Dude: Yeah, and in the meantime, what do I tell Lebowski?
    Walter Sobchak: Saturday, Donny, is Shabbos, the Jewish day of rest. That means that I don’t work, I don’t drive a car, I don’t fucking ride in a car, I don’t handle money, I don’t turn on the oven, and I sure as shit *don’t fucking roll*!
    Donny: Sheesh.
    Walter Sobchak: Shomer shabbos!
    The Dude: Walter, how am I going to…
    Walter Sobchak: Shomer fucking shabbos.
    The Dude: Oh fuck it. I’m out of here.

  2. Avi_G. on November 25, 2011, 10:11 am

    Nice rabbi.

    Mr. Siegel should have videotaped him shouting obscenities and then posted the video on YouTube…..Or JewTube, whichever he prefers.

  3. seafoid on November 25, 2011, 10:24 am

    On the morning of Saturday Nov. 5, at about 7:45, I heard loud shouts of ³Fuck You!² yelled repeatedly in front of my house.

    Is this some kind of mitzvah ?

    • on November 25, 2011, 11:00 am

      It’s the rabbi’s greeting of those, who happen to have a different opinion.
      And then,the rabbi is surprised that nobody, ( except those from his clique) likes him.
      And then..the rabbi calls them anti-Semites, because they do not like him, because he harasess, insults, threatens and stalks people, who differ in opinion with him.
      The rabbi does not like it. Whatever the rabbi thinks ,everybody HAS TO think.
      How dare, they think otherwise. F—k them.

      • Potsherd2 on November 25, 2011, 11:37 am

        He should move to Israel and learn to spit.

      • WeAreAllMadeOfStars on November 25, 2011, 4:13 pm

        With all due respect to you Postherd2 … No he shouldn’t. Why the hell should he pollute Palestine whereas he should be at least fined in the US …

      • Potsherd2 on November 26, 2011, 9:57 am

        REPLY CENSORED

    • eee on November 25, 2011, 12:16 pm

      “Is this some kind of mitzvah ?”

      Yes, because the alternative would have been the Rabbi doing a flash mob, and you don’t want to see that.

      The Rabbi was just using the Human Mic method. It works also with one person.

      • Mooser on November 25, 2011, 3:02 pm

        “The Human Mic method”

        And of course, the Rabbi was incotrovertibly demonstrating the ethical superiority of Jewish discourse. Why, I can’t even imagine how many people were saying to themselves on hearing of this incident “Of course, now I know why those long-suffering Jewish people should have a state of their own, to show us the way to democratic values!”

        Of course, I need to keep in mind the Zionist point-of-view; Whatever might help convince people that Jews are not able to live in anything but a coercive society is a good thing. Hey, you never know, the government might decide to turn all of America’s Jews over to Israel. That wouldn’t be forced relocation, no sir, just “assisted aliyah“!

    • pnkfloid on November 25, 2011, 10:27 pm

      Why yes, didn’t you know, it’s a double mitzvah on shabbos.

      • DBG on November 29, 2011, 11:35 pm

        Why yes, didn’t you know, it’s a double mitzvah on shabbos.

        wow, talk about an anti-Jewish comment. MW is an antisemitic rag, the new moderators are making sure of that.

        Congrats Racists!

      • Cliff on November 30, 2011, 12:29 am

        Oh and of course, yonira/DBG, is more concerned with some anonymous person on the interweb and their supposed, antisemitism (if we accept yonira’s hysteria that is) INSTEAD OF Siegel being harassed by Rabbi David B. Schwartz.

        Because as we all know, Zionists think some Jews are more equal than others! Or that some people simply do not matter (when they aren’t Zionist).

        It’s great that even when you aren’t being explicitly racist, hypocritical and immoral like your political allies here (hophmi, eee, Witty), DBG/yonira, you are instead being implicitly racist, hypocritical and immoral.

        It’s the comments you choose not to make that say the most about you.

        Where were you to condemn the rocket attacks on Gaza that caused the miscarriage of the French consul’s wife? I won’t go further because there are simply too many other articles on MW that you ignore that could be used as evidence of your hypocrisy.

        I really sympathize with you though! I mean, it must be torturous to be chained to your computer FORCED to read MW everyday! Poor oppressed Zionist!

      • Hostage on November 30, 2011, 12:44 am

        MW is an antisemitic rag, the new moderators are making sure of that.

        All you are complaining about are MW commentators who ridicule Jewish bigots. No one here is persecuting anyone for their ethnicity or religious beliefs. On the other hand, the State of Israel raised the practice of antisemitism to the level of an art form a long time ago. Here is an example of antisemitism: Anat Hoffman, the women’s prayer group leader, was arrested for holding a Torah scroll in violation of a High Court ruling on prayer at the Western Wall. See Police arrest Women of the Wall leader for praying with Torah scroll and get yourself a little clue about real religious bigotry and persecution within your tribe. http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/police-arrest-women-of-the-wall-leader-for-praying-with-torah-scroll-1.301457

      • Chaos4700 on November 30, 2011, 2:09 am

        Was this before or after you and your cohort were gloating about gouging Egypt and chortling about illiteracy rates there?

        You and that foul-mouthed rabbi complete each other, DBG.

      • RoHa on November 30, 2011, 2:50 am

        “a High Court ruling prohibiting women from reading the Torah at the Western Wall”

        Are women permitted to read from the Torah in prayers elsewhere?

      • ToivoS on November 30, 2011, 2:55 am

        I try to be sensitive to antisemitic comments. But this one I do not understand. Why is saying “double mitzvah on shabbos” antisemitic. I understand it contains some kind of Jewish sexual joke, but otherwise I am perplexed.

      • Hostage on November 30, 2011, 11:09 am

        Are women permitted to read from the Torah in prayers elsewhere?

        Reform and other liberal streams have female Rabbis and have no problems listening to females singing or praying.

        AIPAC may be working on legislation to outlaw the practice and impose lengthy jail terms, but I haven’t heard about it. But hey, you can still get pepper-sprayed by antisemite Zionist activists for engaging in a whole range of legal activities. See for example, Pepper Sprayers Disrupt Berkeley Meeting of Jewish Voice for Peace http://berkeleydailyplanet.com/issue/2010-11-17/article/36746?headline=Pepper-Sprayers-Disrupt-Berkeley-Meeting-of-Jewish-Voice-for-Peace–By-Jesse-Bacon-Dana-Bergen-Jewish-Voice-for-Peace

        Here is an article that shows how seriously the Israeli authorities take their ban on women carrying a Torah and praying:

        In July 2010, Anat Hoffman, one of the group’s leaders, was dragged out of, and beyond, the women’s praying area and thrown into a police car after having the Torah ripped from her arms. Now, Hoffman faces three years in jail, all because of women praying in a group and holding a Torah.

        The reasoning behind these archaic rules, enforced by the Israeli government at a public place, is that the Wall is considered an Orthodox synagogue. Women are kept from most of these rituals and readings inside a typical Orthodox Jewish synagogue.

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/zachary-a-bennett/women-of-the-wall-gather-_b_818822.html#undefined

        The misogynists in the Rabbinate are trying to rally public support in Israel for a similar ban on women singing in public or at IDF events – all in the name of religious tolerance for the ultra-orthodox and their friends in Netanyahu’s coalition.

      • Hostage on November 30, 2011, 11:16 am

        P.S. Carlo Strenger has pointed-out the “New anti-Semitism directed at Israel’s liberals” http://www.haaretz.com/blogs/strenger-than-fiction/new-anti-semitism-directed-at-israel-s-liberals-1.398708

        He writes “It is quite fascinating to see the parallels between the anti-Semitic stereotype and the way the ‘small, pathetic group’ of Tel Avivis is portyaed by Israel’s right.

      • Mooser on December 4, 2011, 2:16 pm

        “I understand it contains some kind of Jewish sexual joke, but otherwise I am perplexed.”

        Well done.

  4. Les on November 25, 2011, 10:25 am

    How terrible are the times we live in when it is an act of bravery to put a “Free Palestine” bumper sticker on your car. Nothing newsworthy enough her for our 1% media..

    • seafoid on November 25, 2011, 11:13 am

      Israel is going to tear the religion apart. Everyone who matters has been bought but the forces exposing what Israel is doing are more powerful than group loyalty.

  5. seafoid on November 25, 2011, 11:42 am

    How much is a Jewish State worth? Is it worth global ostracisation? Is it worth a complete departure from Jewish ethics and Jewish history ?

    http://www.haaretz.com/weekend/week-s-end/the-necessary-elimination-of-israeli-democracy-1.397625

    Because of its inherent illegality, at least in democratic terms, an apartheid regime cannot allow opposition and criticism. The Gush Emunim ideology is obliged to eliminate the latter, and to prevent every effort to block its activity, even if that activity is illegal and even criminal, meant to maintain apartheid. The illegal activity needs to be made legal, whether by amending laws or by changing their judicial interpretation – such things have occurred before, in other places and at other times.
    Against this background, we are now seeing the campaign of legislation against, and the unbridled slandering of the Supreme Court, against human rights organizations and against the press, as well as the so-called boycott law, which is aimed at preventing the possibility of dealing with Israeli apartheid in the way South African apartheid was dealt with. It is against this same background that legislation has been submitted that is directed against the Arab citizens in Israel, such as the Loyalty Law and the proposal for a “Basic Law of Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People.” It is against this background that a campaign of incitement and intimidation is being waged against the necessary and justified critique being voiced by members of academia.

  6. dahoit on November 25, 2011, 11:49 am

    Who da Nazis?

  7. gazacalling on November 25, 2011, 12:04 pm

    I agree with seafoid. All the defenders of Israel have left is name-calling. It’s very sad.

  8. eee on November 25, 2011, 12:09 pm

    Where are all the hypocrites that if the tables were turned would be supporting the Rabbi’s freedom of speech? Nowhere to be found. You really can’t take what you want to dish out.

    • Woody Tanaka on November 25, 2011, 12:20 pm

      If you don’t think that the same people here would be denouncing pro-Palestinian people who stalk Israel supporters and who yell “Fuck you” at them in front of their children, then you’re a bigger fucking idiot than we all believe you to be.

      • eee on November 25, 2011, 1:19 pm

        Since you guys support shooting rockets at the children of Sderot, do you really want me to believe you don’t support shouting “Fuck You” at them?

        You are so blind, you cannot see how convoluted your position is.
        And Siegel is a PUBLIC figure. He is not a private person.

      • Cliff on November 25, 2011, 4:12 pm

        No one here supports shooting rockets at S’Derot you nitwit liar.

        Siegel is a human being and you don’t harass anyone because they are a ‘public’ figure.

        You are DISGUSTING.

    • American on November 25, 2011, 12:22 pm

      This isn’t a matter of free speech, it’s concerning an ‘act’, specifically harrasing/stalking an individual. The Rabbi can go free speak all he wants as long as he’s not targeting some individual.
      If the shoe was on the other foot the ADL would be insisting it was an anti semitic hate crime.

      • on November 25, 2011, 12:56 pm

        You are correct.
        If anybody stayed with a crazy dog, outside a rabbi’s house, and yelled obscenities at him , then he would be quickly placed on ADL’s the “most wanted” list.
        It would be a story of the month.

    • justicewillprevail on November 25, 2011, 12:29 pm

      What are you babbling about? This is classic Israeli behaviour in a nutshell.

      • seafoid on November 25, 2011, 5:24 pm

        If Siegel was in East Jerusalem Schwartz probably would have seized his house with the help of a few heavies from Ateret Cohanim. Siegel should be thankful for the US fetish with private property.

    • Hostage on November 25, 2011, 12:41 pm

      Where are all the hypocrites that if the tables were turned would be supporting the Rabbi’s freedom of speech?

      Please provide a few examples. Even your Christian Zionist friends here in the US have started reporting and airing videos showing Jews going completely nucking futs outside other people’s homes. Thanks to the MSM this video is the only thing many of them see about conditions in the State of Israel: http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/insideisrael/2011/March/Ultra-Orthodox-Demonstrate-against-Israeli-Believers/

      • patm on November 25, 2011, 1:09 pm

        “Yakim Figueras, pastor of one of the four congregations there, told CBN News that for years, religious Jews have subjected the believing community to sometimes daily cursing and harassment outside their homes.”

        I didn’t get past this para, Hostage.

        Perhaps I’m missing something, but I’ve always thought that in a context such as this the word “religious” was synonymous with the word “believing.”

        Israel is very very peculiar place.

      • Hostage on November 25, 2011, 4:28 pm

        Israel is very very peculiar place.

        Yes, this is State sanctioned religious persecution. The group in question petitioned the Supreme Court of Israel years ago to obtain permission to conduct these demonstrations outside the homes of the very same individuals mentioned in the recent reports. These gatherings have included as many as 700 protestors, e.g. http://www.compassdirect.org/english/country/israel/2005/newsarticle_3986.html

        I used to think that religious intolerance was not one of our so-called “shared values”, but the hysteria surrounding the mosque at ground zero and the anti-sharia ballot initiatives here have changed my mind. Ironically, the Christian Zionists generally harbor and support those religious prejudices.

      • MLE on November 25, 2011, 4:47 pm

        I went to Jerusalem on a day trip when I was visiting Israel and I remembered going to the Arab Quarter with my family on a previous trip and all the cool sights and how I screwed up my moms attempts to barter with the guy by whining that I really wanted it. Anyway, I had saved up all my shopping for gifts for people for this trip because I knew instinctively that the Arab market was where the cool stuff was.
        So the end of the tour of the Western Wall and they said, “OK we’re going to the market now”. Then they drove us to the Orthodox Jewish quarter, where there was a small food market- but no pretty scarves, or cheap shiny jewelry- just food. If that wasn’t enough, the people there were very unhappy to see us. Like mean, hateful glances. The guide was warning us we couldn’t talk to the men and we had to hurry because we had to get out of there before sundown. I thought, why did he take us to this shitty place when the Arab market was so much cooler, its like hes directing business away from the Arabs on purpose. Oh wait, he is.

        I’ve travelled all over the Middle East, and I have never felt unwelcome in any neighborhood except this. Everyone is very friendly and eager to sell you things and interact with you. I know they want to sell me things or sometimes I’m harassed, but I can walk up to a man and ask him a question without being chased out of the neighborhood.

      • Mooser on November 25, 2011, 5:37 pm

        “The group in question petitioned the Supreme Court of Israel years ago to obtain permission to conduct these demonstrations outside the homes of the very same individuals mentioned in the recent reports. These gatherings have included as many as 700”

        There’s your “Jewish Community”, eh “eee”? I know, I know, “Lynch” is not a Jewish name.

      • Hostage on November 25, 2011, 7:51 pm

        There’s your “Jewish Community”, eh “eee”?

        Yes, it’s not just the Ultra-Orthodox, even the Supreme Court is quite a few bricks short of a full load.

      • MLE on November 25, 2011, 4:23 pm

        Remember this guy:

        A drunken Jewish man who assaulted his Turkish neighbour – pouring beer on her and calling her a ‘terrorist’ – hid in a synagogue and tried to fight policemen when they came to arrest him, sources said.
        Hasidic Simchon Schwartz, 46, is said to have kicked out a window of a police patrol car as he sat inside, complaining his handcuffs were ‘too tight’.

        Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2009062/Jewish-man-Hasidic-Simchon-Schwartz-charged-hate-crime-Turkish-neighbour.html#ixzz1ekqeV5PN

    • MLE on November 25, 2011, 12:48 pm

      No- I have seen plenty of pro-Israel stickers, I’ve never felt the urge to deface the car or harass the owner and their family. When I see incidents where swastikas spray painted on people’s houses, I view it as a crime and expect the perpetrators to pay a fine and do community service.

      • Potsherd2 on November 25, 2011, 5:55 pm

        I feel the urge, strongly. But I don’t DO it.

    • MLE on November 25, 2011, 1:01 pm

      Actually, I think you’re simply being contrary. Because we all think that Siegel is in the right, you have to post in support of the Schwartz.

      If the bumper sticker supports anti-abortion, and I’m pro-choice- its a crime for me to deface the car.
      If I see a sign supporting an opposing candidate on someones front lawn, I can’t start harassing the owner of the house.

      There is an individual in my community who is a member of the Tea Party and he sets up a set of posters trashing Obama in front of the Post Office. He’s allowed to sit there all he wants. I’m allowed to come up and have a debate, but I’m not allowed to lay my hands on him. I can’t follow him to his house and scream obscenities at him.

      I can go stand in front of a Walmart and protest their non-unionization policy. I can hand out fliers to shoppers until Walmart asks me to leave. If I choose to continue to stay, Walmart can call the police and I might be arrested, and then your opinion of me being brave/reckless would fall on which side you think I’m on.

      I can go to a Michelle Bachmann rally, or a Pamela Gellar book signing and boo and heckle her, maybe even attempt to glitter bomb her, but I can’t act menacingly towards her. And when I’m asked to stop or escorted out in an orderly manner (no need to physical abuse), its the end of it. I can then post the video to YouTube and let the general population have its say.

      Get it- its public figures/public places OK, private individuals and their residences- Bad

      • eee on November 25, 2011, 1:21 pm

        Siegel is a public person and the Rabbi was on public space, the sidewalk. If he wasn’t he should stick to the sidewalk.

      • patm on November 25, 2011, 2:18 pm

        3e must always get in the last word; it’s another of his delusions of grandeur.

      • MLE on November 25, 2011, 2:32 pm

        The rabbi was not drawn to Siegel’s house because of his fame. He saw a bumper sticker and it sent him over the edge.

      • Cliff on November 25, 2011, 4:11 pm

        eee supports this Rabbi because he is harassing an anti-Zionist.

        Just as eee supports the settlements, the occupation, the apartheid, etc. etc.

      • seafoid on November 25, 2011, 3:52 pm

        You would never make it in Beit Shemesh, MLE.

      • Potsherd2 on November 25, 2011, 5:59 pm

        Neither would eee. In Beit Shemesh, they would throw stones at eee’s daughter and call her a whore. In Beit Shemesh, eee would not be a “fellow Jew.”

      • Mooser on November 25, 2011, 10:45 pm

        “In Beit Shemesh, they would throw stones at eee’s daughter and call her a whore.”

        Gosh, free advertising! What a generous culture.

    • Chaos4700 on November 25, 2011, 6:52 pm

      Can I call you anti-Semitic slurs then, eee? Isn’t that freedom of speech? Or not?

  9. American on November 25, 2011, 12:14 pm

    I’d say Mr. Siegel is being more tolerant and less confrontational than he actually has to be in accusing the Rabbi of simple harassment. Under the NJ stalking laws he could have probably have charged him with stalking.

    http://crime.about.com/gi/o.htm?zi=1/XJ&zTi=1&sdn=crime&cdn=newsissues&tm=13&gps=84_111_1021_442&f=10&su=p504.1.336.ip_&tt=2&bt=1&bts=0&st=10&zu=http%3A//www.ncvc.org/src/main.aspx%3FdbID%3DDB_NewJersey157

    Anyway I’d say Siegel’s side refusing to put up with this kind of thing is a step in the right direction toward letting the Rabbi’s side know they aren’t ‘entitled’ to act however they please.

    • Mooser on November 25, 2011, 6:00 pm

      You know, it’s funny, but I remember a long ago exchange at Glenn Greenwald’s Salon blog. A Zionist was challenged with the words of a Rabbi who made some Israel or Zionist critical statements.
      Of course, the ZIonist immediately replied that the Rabbi is just a “contract employee” and has no right to any moral opinions, he should just read the service and shut up.
      Ah, such a flexible religion! No, not Judaism, Zionism, that is.

  10. MLE on November 25, 2011, 12:37 pm

    The man (the rabbi) is disturbed and should seek immediate psychiatric treatment. My grandmother suffers from paranoid schizophrenia and this behavior is similar to what happens when she has an episode.

    I fully support my family’s method of dealing with the I/P conflict- rolling eyes, disappointed sighs, and taking a large bite of food if the subject nears too close to the “hot zone”

    • Mooser on November 25, 2011, 3:12 pm

      “paranoid schizophrenia and this behavior is similar”

      Someday soon, my “ziocaine” hypothesis, that long Zionist self-training and Zionist group reinforcement causes an actual change in the physiological balance of addicted individuals, will be vindicated. I’ve got it! An set of EKG contacts built into a teffilin and a wireless data transmitter in the batim. All you would have to do is follow them around with a waterproof lap-top while wearing a rain-suit.

      • seafoid on November 25, 2011, 3:49 pm

        Mooser

        There will be future academic conferences with hundreds of papers on your Ziocaine theory. There will be neoMooserists arguing late into the night with postMooserists. There will never be any unity.

      • American on November 25, 2011, 4:05 pm

        “my “ziocaine” hypothesis”

        Hey Mooser…if you invented an antidote or cure for ziocaine addiction you’d be a billionaire.

      • Mooser on November 25, 2011, 4:39 pm

        “if you invented an antidote or cure for ziocaine addiction you’d be a billionaire.”

        If I could invent Ziocon, (after Narcon) I would offer the process or drug to the world for free. After all, my sit-down comedy routines are sure to make me very rich someday.

      • MLE on November 25, 2011, 4:21 pm

        It’s not Zionism per say. Zionism is just a form of ultra-nationalism and racism. I had a friend who was from Bahrain. He was very into the Egyptian revolt but when the Bahraini Shi’ia went to Pearl Roundabout, I called to see if he was going too and I got a stream of garbage about how they were all Iranian agents and traitors and we love our king. I asked him, wouldn’t more rights and accountability be good, he started telling me how the king gives them everything and they’re all so lucky to be his subjects. When I brought up reports about Shi’ia persecution in the kingdom, that set him off on a rampage that involved how Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch were Zionist groups and the US, Israel, and Iran were plotting to overthrow the king. It reminded me of the nasty things that came out of my Israeli relative’s mouths when I went to visit them.

        Thats when I realized that it doesn’t matter who its against, its hate and people who hate do not listen to logic.

  11. Shmuel on November 25, 2011, 1:02 pm

    It looks to me like Rabbi Schwartz managed to violate every single one of the Union for Traditional Judaism’s fundamental principles – particularly “Love and Respect for our Fellow Jews” and “Love and Respect for Humanity and Creation”: link to utj.org

    I hope that Rabbi Bauman will live up to his movement’s religious philosophy.

    • eee on November 25, 2011, 1:23 pm

      Except Siegel is not a fellow Jew. You can have him in your new religion.

      • Shmuel on November 25, 2011, 2:02 pm

        Except Siegel is not a fellow Jew.

        Your delusions of grandeur are growing by leaps and bounds, 3e. It turns out that you now speak for UTJ and Satmar, as well as all of the larger Jewish sects and denominations.

        Besides, Siegel (not to mention his wife and daughter) still falls under the “Humanity and Creation” category – unless you also believe that a word from you is enough to banish someone from the human race and the physical universe itself.

      • on November 25, 2011, 2:34 pm

        If 3e had a power to do so, he would do it.
        Hopefuly, he doesn’t.

      • MLE on November 25, 2011, 3:27 pm

        3e really bothers me. I wonder if the anonymity of the internet brings it out of him, or he’s just naturally this unpleasant (which internet trolling is the perfect profession), but sadly I come across a lot of this attitude with whatever interactions are left with the Jewish community. From what I gather from my mom, people ask about me sometimes and go on about what a nice girl I was. Emphasis on was. I understand those interviews with people who are cut off or who are forced to cut themselves out of Amish or Mormon communities. It’s nasty and mean and it makes me so much less likely to ever “rediscover my Jewish roots”. I will gleefully have non-Jewish babies and be a proud member of the 50% of Jews lost to intermarriage

        I want an ex-Jew support group, where we can all complain about how much we hated Hebrew school, the desire for Christmas decorations as a child (I went all out on decorating my first Christmas tree- popcorn garlands!), and wonder how we can have our matzah ball soup and eat it too. The former Mormons and the Amish have their own support groups, but I couldn’t find anything but negative posts about people who abandoned their Jewishness or Jews for Jesus, which isn’t what I’m looking for.

        Since I know Hasbra well, I know the next response is going to be about how I would be one of those Jews in denial in Nazi Germany, those Jews who thought they were Germans. Damn right, I would be that Jew. I would rather be the cultured sophisticated modern Jew than a backwards peasant from the shtetl (my maternal grandparents were peasants from the shtetl, and they have nothing positive to say about it- so no Fiddler on the Roof whitewash!).

      • Shmuel on November 25, 2011, 4:42 pm

        I want an ex-Jew support group, where we can all complain …

        A kvetching group for ex-Jews! Delicious irony :-)

      • Mooser on November 25, 2011, 4:46 pm

        “I want an ex-Jew support group”

        I tried being an ex-Jew, too, but I woke up the next day just as much myself as ever. Apparently, under my shaggy coat I have a soft, Jewy center.

      • Mooser on November 25, 2011, 4:52 pm

        “If 3e had a power to do so,…”

        Now, now, “eee” (what, he’s seen a mouse?) makes it very clear he doesn’t do those things, it’s the Jewish Community which does the excommunicating.
        It’s an old tradition, first they all gather a minyan (or in “eee”s case, a mignon), clean and load their shotguns, and get themselves loaded on Manischevitz, than they ride out to your house and burn a Star of David on your lawn, and warn you about what happens to “outside agitators” who “disturb our local traditions”, while the crowd yells stuff like “Goyim-lover”….

      • MLE on November 25, 2011, 4:54 pm

        I know, we can all sit and laugh at the irony together.

        If I married another ex-Jew, would my mother be happy I’m marrying a nice Jewish boy?

      • Potsherd2 on November 25, 2011, 3:18 pm

        Eda Haredit doesn’t count you as a fellow Jew, either, eee.

      • Whizdom on November 25, 2011, 3:56 pm

        That is odious to the extreme. “Except Siegel is not a fellow Jew.”

        And this shabbos breaker Baumann is?

        gut check time.

      • seafoid on November 25, 2011, 4:30 pm

        Have you booked your seat at Masada, eee?

        The new religion will carry forward the Jewish flame after you and the rest of the fundis have gone through with the seppuku.

      • Mooser on November 25, 2011, 4:41 pm

        “Except Siegel is not a fellow Jew. You can have him in your new religion.”

        Wow, I think “eee” is going to reach Nirvana! I can hear the sound of one hand thwapping!

      • annie on November 25, 2011, 4:45 pm

        he finds empowerment in de-jewing. thwap thwap.

      • eee on November 26, 2011, 3:54 pm

        Yes, the “Jews” of Jews for Jesus, said the same things as you are. But the facts on the ground will prove me right and you wrong. “Jews” that are against the well being of Jews in Israel will find themselves not part of the Jewish community. The notion that you can claim to be Jewish while wishing harm to 50% of the Jews worldwide is too contradictory to survive, and Jews all over are realizing this. It is schism time again.

      • Hostage on November 26, 2011, 4:19 pm

        “Jews” that are against the well being of Jews in Israel will find themselves not part of the Jewish community.

        Nobody wishes them harm, we’re just fed-up and disgusted by their policy of de facto and de jure apartheid and the persecution of other ethnic or religious groups. We’ve already distanced ourselves from that degenerate community and are tired of your APAIC accomplices robbing our treasury to support it. Sheesh, you are the ones who are desperate, not us.

      • Mooser on November 26, 2011, 5:29 pm

        “It is schism time again.”

        Oh yes, I can see how it will be; the Jews of Israel and the US Congress against the Jews of America? Oh, I forgot, it’s the Christian Zionists who will cast the deciding vote in case of a tie?

      • Chaos4700 on November 26, 2011, 7:20 pm

        Remind me again, eee, who set those bombs in Iraqi synagogues way back when? Which Jews are harming which Jews?

      • Potsherd2 on November 26, 2011, 7:52 pm

        Howabout the Jews in Israel who are working against the wellbeing of Jews worldwide? Maybe they should be the ones run out of the tribe.

    • Frankie P on November 25, 2011, 6:54 pm

      @Shmuel,

      I can’t help but wonder why the Union for Traditional Judaism needs to differentiate.
      Aren’t fellow Jews part of humanity and creation? Why the need to separate? Something seriously amiss in the movement’s religious philosophy.

      FPM

      • Shmuel on November 26, 2011, 4:25 pm

        Hi FPM,

        I’d cut them some slack on that one. As a Halakhic movement, they strive to bring Jews closer to religious observance – which puts Jews in a separate category, without necessarily detracting from the universal obligation to love and respect all of humanity (and creation).

  12. James North on November 25, 2011, 2:07 pm

    My favorite line in Rich Siegel’s eloquent letter is this one:

    I do not know where Rabbi Schwartz was ordained, but it seems that there are some holes in his Jewish education

    • Shingo on November 25, 2011, 3:40 pm

      I do not know where Rabbi Schwartz was ordained, but it seems that there are some holes in his Jewish education

      Eee shares the same education as this rabbi apparently.

  13. seafoid on November 25, 2011, 4:30 pm

    The Teaneck Suburbanite

    What a name for a newspaper. Only in America.

    • Chaos4700 on November 26, 2011, 7:21 pm

      Come to think of it, we do have some weird names for newspapers in the US. In my old hometown, we have a paper called the Journal Sentinel. And it’s literally just the name of the two papers we used to have, crammed together when one bought the other out.

  14. wondering jew on November 25, 2011, 4:35 pm

    There is a minimum of civility required by society and that includes the freedom from harassment of people screaming near your house. So the rabbi is way off base.

    Even if Siegel is a public figure, his home is private. Interrupting his piano performances if they are in public is permissible. Yelling outside his home is not.

    Siegel has not resigned from the Jewish people by the fact of his opposition to Zionism. It may be simple to declare Siegel no longer Jewish, but it is simply not your province, nor that simple.

    • Mooser on November 25, 2011, 5:05 pm

      There is a minimum of civility required by society”

      ROTFLMSJAO! Coming from you, that’s hysterical. Mind telling us what the “minimum of civility required by society” demands of Israel? A complete amnesty for all past actions and consolidation of Israel’s colonial gains?

    • Mooser on November 25, 2011, 5:10 pm

      “Siegel has not resigned from the Jewish people by the fact of his opposition to Zionism.”

      Oy, thank God we have you to tell us this, or we never would have known. But I’m sure Siegel will send you a personal note of appreciation.
      And yes, we note the appropriate conclusion from your comments; now that you have offered a somewhat more moderate comment than “eee” all the fanaticism and bigotry of ZIonism is completely negated. So nice of you to step into the breech for “eee” at no cost to yourself.

      Self-serving presumption is Zionism’s most salient characteristic, when it doesn’t actually descend to criminality. So I guess we have something to be thankful for.

      • wondering jew on November 26, 2011, 5:33 pm

        Mooser – If that was political commentary, stick with humor. If that was moral commentary, stick with humor. When in doubt, stick with humor. When the humor is that weak, choose cancel reply.

  15. RoHa on November 25, 2011, 8:57 pm

    Sorry, what was it you were saying about those special Jewish values?
    I couldn’t quite hear for all the yelling.

  16. Justice Please on November 27, 2011, 4:32 pm

    Wow, very thoughtful words and actions from Mister Siegel. Now that is a role-model, not only for his community.

  17. richpiano on November 29, 2011, 11:02 pm

    I’ve enjoyed reading the various comments on the story of my misadventures in the little Zionist shtetl of Teaneck, NJ. I’m trying to figure out how it’s possible that someone considers me to be a public figure. I think public figures usually make a lot more money than I do, unless they become public figures in jail or by some other misdeed. re: the harassment charge- that’s all the police would allow me to charge him with. At the probable cause hearing I will discuss with the judge my desire to bring additional charges. As for being an ex-Jew or a Jew, it may seem like a contradiction, but I think it’s possible, and perhaps inevitable, for an ex-Jew to be both. I was actually recently ex-communicated by a rabbi. And he said he had the authority to do it. I thought excommunication was a Catholic thing. So it seems I really am an ex-Jew. Beyond the excommunication I think the proof is that I would never consider raising my daughter Jewish. I think I would rather give her heroine. It’s a cult. I left. I’m a cult-survivor. But even so, what is my heritage? What is my ethnicity? And who would welcome me back with open arms if I ever were to renounce all of my activism and re-join the “tribe”? They would sell me a house in Beit Yatir (West Bank settlement previously “twinned” with Teaneck before I put a stop to it) tomorrow! Why? Because I’m a Jew. A Jewish ex-Jew. Go figure!

    • RoHa on November 29, 2011, 11:24 pm

      “what is my heritage?”

      What do you mean by “heritage”?

      The original meaning of “heritage” was “stuff you inherited from your ancestors”. It was all the things that were bequeathed to you in your great-uncle’s will. That could be important!

      Now the term is used to mean things like “the culture, customs, and traditions of your ancestors”, and “the structure of your DNA” and “ethnicity”.

      But why should you give a hoot about the culture, etc., of your ancestors? That was the way they lived their lives, but you have your life to live. Good grammar and the culture, customs, etc., of the country you live in are much more important to the way you live your life.

      The structure of your DNA is what it is, and there is not a lot you can do about that.

      “Ethnicity” is not a particularly clear concept.

      “What is my ethnicity?”

      Human. Why bother with anything else?

    • RoHa on November 29, 2011, 11:44 pm

      “Because I’m a Jew. A Jewish ex-Jew. Go figure!”

      No, I won’t. It makes my brain hurt.

    • Mooser on December 4, 2011, 2:23 pm

      “Because I’m a Jew. A Jewish ex-Jew. Go figure!””

      Do you ride a motorcycle? Could you start? (Call the MSF) Cause The Litvaks are having a tough time making minyan for our Saturday rides.

  18. JuliaNoel on December 7, 2011, 3:22 pm

    Personal abuse is the hallmark of the rabid Zionists; it was just one tactic to try to prevent any criticism of Israel. However, it does not work anymore , thanks to brave, principled people like Rich Siegel and many others, some of whom are actually under grave danger in helping the occupied Palestinians on occupied land. ( Rachel Corrie and Tom Hurndell just 2 who were murdered by the occupation army). The advent of the internet has helped disseminate factual news from around the world and stopped the reliance on the self-interested propaganda from the mainstream media.
    I have had my more than a few personal attacks; at first it was like a slap on the face and I felt the need to hide. Now, however, I wear the personal insults as a badge of honour. If you are personally attacked by the Zionist lobby group you are obviously doing something right. It spurs a person on to become more involved.
    I would say that Israel has already lost- just witness worldwide opinion about this rogue state. It would be very good if Israel would just start obeying international law- and plain decency- but unfortunately Israel is being dragged kicking and screaming toward civilized behaviour and will not do it willingly. Pity the dead and bereaved that might be spared of Israel would just do the right thing without being forced to.

  19. JuliaNoel on December 7, 2011, 3:24 pm

    Just reread some of the comments and really need to say

    • JuliaNoel on December 7, 2011, 3:29 pm

      Just reread some of the comments and really need to shout out- WE ARE ALL HUMAN BEINGS.

      This talk of who belongs to what religious club or ethnicity are irrelevant. Race, colour and religion are not important; how we treat our fellow human beings is important. Israelis could be Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, Green, from the Moon- it is their actions that have caused them to be pariahs on the world stage.

  20. Basilio on July 4, 2012, 6:41 pm

    People should not be super shocked by the behavior of Israel and some fanatical Jews.
    Fanatical people are off-their-rockers regardless of their religion. At any rate, let’s not forget that many Jewish religious figures in Europe before the Emancipation of Jews in Europe were controlled the rank-and-file and often in a non-enlightened way. The social justice ideas come from Leftists not those types of religious figures, IMHO. They focused on the social aspects found in Judaism and in the Bible to help bolster their arguments. There is the idea of social justice, but there are also texts that help justify what Israel is doing, and this aggressive thinking that the rabbi represents.

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