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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

More Hatzalah Happenings

I heard an update to this post that I found a bit distressing. (Word to the wise: read the original post first if you want to understand what I am discussing here). Apparently, a well-known and well-respected community leader was included on the letterhead of the Hatzalah ad, without his express permission. Not only did he not approve the ad, he was extremely upset at being mentioned in the ad, and publicly said as much at a community event this week. All fine.

However, he then apparently sent out an e-mail, urging people to boycott the Five Towns Jewish Times, as the editor of the paper contributed to the "bizayon" of a Rabbi in our community.

Sigh.

I don't even know what to say. I thought the Hatzalah ad was heavy-handed and unecessarily toxic in tone, but this latest installment is also more than a bit much. Talk about shooting the messenger here. I can understand the fact that the Rabbi who sent out the e-mail wasn't exactly going to call for a boycott of Hatzalah. (Though I wouldn't put such self-sabotaging pettiness past some other leaders - just not this one). But to call for a boycott of a local paper, because they printed an ad by a local organization? Things are waaaaaay outta hand here.

All of this political backstabbing and public gameplaying is not doing anything for our community. What should have happened here, is that Hatzalah should have started this off by contacting the Rabbi who made the original disputed comments, whether themselves or through an intermediary, to try and iron out an understanding. And then, another respected leader behaved in a similar fashion.

Why is all of this necessary? Isn't there some other way this incident could have been worked out without all of the name-calling and infighting?

54 Comments:

Anonymous taboo said...

A fair point you make, although any call to boycott the FTJT can't be all bad. Something like rationalizing for accidentally punishing the wrong kid - they may be innocent this time, but surely they've done plenty to deserve it in the past . . .

11:31 AM  
Blogger orthomom said...

A fair point you make, although any call to boycott the FTJT can't be all bad. Something like rationalizing for accidentally punishing the wrong kid - they may be innocent this time, but surely they've done plenty to deserve it in the past . . .

I hear, and I suspect that the editorial staff of the 5TJT knew full well that they were venturing in a snake pit with this ad, but still. This method of slash-and-burn retribution toward anyone that has done wrong is so not...Orthodox. No?

11:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What you did not mention is that the Rabbi who called for the boycott heads up a local school, and that the ftjt editor's kids go there! I wouldn't expect any major contributions from them in the future if this is what he thinks of their means of parnasah.

But seriuosly, good points. This whole thing has gotten out of hand. Maybe someone involved will read this and finally try to work it out. Or maybe they will ask you to be their mediator, LOL.

11:43 AM  
Anonymous taboo said...

Au contraire, my mammarian friend. Slash and burn has always been the "Orthodox" way - as far back as Deena and Shechem, Pinchas and Zimri . . . It's just a matter of degree, and the seeming veracity of the cause. No?

11:47 AM  
Blogger orthomom said...

my mammarian friend.

Um...do you mean maternal?

Slash and burn has always been the "Orthodox" way - as far back as Deena and Shechem, Pinchas and Zimri . . . It's just a matter of degree, and the seeming veracity of the cause. No?

Yes, but this type of unpleasantness seems so unecessary. Hatzalah is too important of an issue to start getting mired in he-said/she-said politics, namecalling, and backbiting.

11:51 AM  
Anonymous taboo said...

Um...do you mean maternal?

Uh, no:

Main Entry: 1mam·ma·ry
Pronunciation: 'mam-&-rE
Function: adjective
: of, relating to, lying near, or affecting the mammae
Source: Merriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary, © 2002 Merriam-Webster, Inc.
Main Entry: 2mammary
Function: noun
Inflected Form: plural -maries
: MAMMARY GLAND
mammary
adj : of or relating to the milk-giving gland of the female

11:59 AM  
Blogger orthomom said...

Oh. I knew what "mammary" means, I was just hoping you weren't referring to the actual definition. Whatever.

12:02 PM  
Anonymous orthofan said...

"Taboo", I know the Red Shul Chevreh likes to push the envelope, but is it necessary to obsess upon male and female body parts? Enough. Can't you just deal with the actual topics here? You're embarassing us.

12:10 PM  
Anonymous taboo said...

As you wish, orthofanatic. Far be it from me to take up space from your oh-so-enlightening observations. Although I get the feeling our hostess was kind of enjoying our conversation. I know I was.

12:19 PM  
Anonymous midwest gal said...

So the "red shul" really exists? I thought it was it was an ortho-urban legend...

12:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Personally, I am not a fan of the 5 Towns JT, and as some have pointed out, they may have put out even worse stuff before. However, I do not believe in calling for a boycott over an ad that should perhaps have been reconsidered. I can undestand that the rabbi is upset, as it is implicit that he approved the ad when he was not consulted. That problem would not be solved by boycotting the paper.
The more reasonable solution would be for Hatzlalah to spend even more money apologizing for the inclusion of a name that had not been asked for approval. The 5TJT could also print a letter by the rabbi mentioned in the ad, as well as the rabbi that upset Hatzalah members in the first place to clarify the issue. (And they should not have to pay for ads)

This does, however, bring up the issue of possible misuse of tzedaka funds. I have been a regular (albeit small) contributor to Hatazalah. Now, though, I don't think I will appropriate my tzedakah money for an organization that spends so freely on ads.

12:23 PM  
Blogger orthomom said...

I think a proper solution right now would be for the editor of the 5TJT to print a more balanced view of what actually transpired.

12:32 PM  
Anonymous mochassid said...

anonymous 12:23

I think Mom established last time that the ad was free. Am I correct?

Way too much gaiva in the holy 5 towns. and lots of rabbinic baggage.

12:39 PM  
Blogger orthomom said...


I think Mom established last time that the ad was free. Am I correct?


Actually, I'm not sure. Someone said yes, someone said no. I would hope so, because it would make me feel better about them spending Tzedakah funds on an ad. On the other hand, the ad was about more than just a public service announcememt telling area residents not to hesitate before calling Hatzalah on Shabbos, it took great pains to criticize a local Rav for allegedly saying something the Hatzalah members disagreed with. Is that part of the public service announcement, or just gratuitous bashing?

12:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Indeed, my busty friend, the answer to your question is that they are Jews and this is what we do best.

1:17 PM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

Why boycott one of the best Jewish community newspapers available (and for FREE, no less!!)?

Sounds a bit extreme and ungracious. If he doesn't like the paper, then don't bu..er, take it for free.

2:05 PM  
Anonymous taboo said...

Still (waters do not necessarily run deep):
"Best Jewish community newspapers . . ." Seriously?! The FTJT makes a bundle out of advertising, for that precise reason: it's FREE - the major selling point to the locals who pay decent bucks to advertise in it. That plus the intentionally "controversial" topics that are raised in this local rag. If that's the best you think Jewish journalism has to offer, I strongly advise you to splurge for the Yated, the Jewish Week, the Jewish Observer, among others. It'll be a revelation, although it may take a bit longer to read than your average bathroom break.

2:14 PM  
Anonymous mochassid said...

what we we line our bird cages with if not for the FTJT?

2:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Taboo

Yated: If no one dies and there is no important yahrtzeit's...they have nothing to say.

Jewish Obsserver: Can be summed up with the following topics: Teens at risk and ethics in the work place.

Jewish Week: Intellectually stimulating, but religously...for the bathroom.

I do agree with your FTJT assessmant though.

2:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ever hear of sarcasm, Taboo? Read still wonderin's comment again. Your previously sharp mind has been dulled by spending too much time trying to decode mysterious emails, I'm afraid.

2:50 PM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

Still (waters do not necessarily run deep):

????????????????????????

"Best Jewish community newspapers . . ." Seriously?!

Absolutely. Know anything about papers? I do.

The FTJT makes a bundle out of advertising, for that precise reason: it's FREE

No. Because it's a good paper with a broad reach that is reliably published and decently edited.

- the major selling point to the locals who pay decent bucks to advertise in it.

Actually, it's a lot more affordable or simply competitive with the reliably crappy Jewish Press, the reliably idiotic Yated, and the reliably clueless Jewish Week (Hamodia is a good paper, too)

That plus the intentionally "controversial" topics that are raised in this local rag.

And you certainly wouldn't accuse the Jewish press or Yated of grandstanding, would you??

If that's the best you think Jewish journalism has to offer, I strongly advise you to splurge for the Yated, the Jewish Week, the Jewish Observer, among others.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

It'll be a revelation, although it may take a bit longer to read than your average bathroom break.

A revelation? Or did you mean to say total Revulsion? That would be more accurate

2:56 PM  
Anonymous taboo said...

I'm afraid you've outsmarted yourself, anon. Our mutual opinion of the FTJT is not a self-evident truth to all.

2:56 PM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

"Ever hear of sarcasm, Taboo? Read still wonderin's comment again. Your previously sharp mind has been dulled by spending too much time trying to decode mysterious emails, I'm afraid."

Taboo may be smoking his own stuff but I'm actually serious. The Five Towns Jewish Times is a respectable paper that prints plenty of communal organizational crap, but along with it, tends to have original content and frequent analysis of five towns politics and Jewish issues in a reasonably intelligent and credibly journalistic way.

2:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, I guess I have. I idn't think such a position was possible (Still, please tell me you are being sarcastic).

3:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your grasping at straws......

3:00 PM  
Anonymous taboo said...

Whatever floats your boat, Still a.k.a Larry. What do you think I use to roll my joints?

3:04 PM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

Well, they say marijuana makes you a little paranoid and stupid. I can think of no other explanation of your idiotic assumption that the only person capable of liking the Five Towns Times is its editor.

And you certainly have no grasp of supply and demand ...an abstract concept that your pot-addled brain can obviously no longer grasp.

3:16 PM  
Anonymous taboo said...

See, anon - what'd I say about still's capacity for sarcasm . . .

3:20 PM  
Anonymous taboo said...

This whole thing is getting Ridiculously Silly. It's obvious I have No G-d given talents and I should probably try to stop being so Malicious and Fiery with you people. I think my holier than thou attitude is turning my new Young Friends off.

4:06 PM  
Anonymous taboo(the original) said...

The 4:06 taboo post was written by a taboo-impersonator - not the original. While I have no idea what it means, and why it was posted, I feel I should make it clear that it was not written by me - the author of the prior taboo posts. Let's be fair, guys.

4:15 PM  
Anonymous taboo(the original) said...

Very clever you dolescent Red Shuler...wait isn't that an oxymoron?

4:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you mean "redundant," you (a)dolescent (oxy)moron.

4:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wait a sec, who is who now? Or is it Who is Ortho?

4:29 PM  
Blogger glen roth said...

"However, he then apparently sent out an e-mail, urging people to boycott the Five Towns Jewish Times, as the editor of the paper contributed to the "bizayon" of a Rabbi in our community." Were did you get this email from. I heard it was only sent out to a select few.

4:41 PM  
Blogger orthomom said...

glen roth said...

"However, he then apparently sent out an e-mail, urging people to boycott the Five Towns Jewish Times, as the editor of the paper contributed to the "bizayon" of a Rabbi in our community." Were did you get this email from. I heard it was only sent out to a select few.


I received an e-mail from an anonymous tipster.

4:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ooh. Orthomom has her very own Deep Throat.

5:02 PM  
Blogger Who is Ortho? said...

Yes, the 4:25pm anon was me, “Who” (or “Ringo,” as some would say).

Did not intend to blog today because of my work schedule and my desire to attend a wedding tonight, but was e-mailed about some "anons" reverting to the old "Red Shul" mudslinging, simply for lack of a cohesive response.

What is it with you guys - is being on the outside looking in that bad? Do we appear to strike too good of a balance between family, spirituality, work and enjoyment? Most of the people who daven in YOUR Shul (wherever that may be) are wonderful, nice and productive -- why all the bitterness?

At the risk of exposing myself and the Shul at which I daven to harsh (but unfounded) criticism, can someone please tell me with specificity what exactly is the “beef” with the Red Shul as a whole? If you know me, you’ll also know that I'm not the biggest "defender" of the Red Shul, and the overriding issue is not isolated to the Red Shul; this is a general and consistent pet-peeve of mine – I have zero tolerance for individuals (no, not a specific, identifiable class of persons) who judge from the outside (and even the inside) and make ridiculous generalizations. Even Must, who I consider a close friend, was subjected to my mild criticism when (seemingly) acting judgmental towards the “Lawrence” crowd and “non-yarmulke-wearers.” And, to be clear, I don’t live in Lawrence, and I wear a yarmulke. So – can we cut the crap and move on, or do we need to hear more about adolescent Turks “invading” people’s blogs?

My apologies to any fellow Red Shulers on this blog who feel that this message is too “defensive” or only accomplishes dignifying certain remarks and stooping to certain levels (insert Red Shul joke here).

OrthoMom – please continue to enlighten us with your thought provoking and stimulating messages. And consider keeping a finger on the delete button.

5:07 PM  
Blogger Krum as a bagel said...

WIO,

This is just rich. While your defense of your shul is admisrable, your attempt to turn the tables on its supposed critics is fooling no one. Have you forgotten the string of posts of yesterday from luminaries like "orthoeiver" weaving groan-inducing double entendres and innuendo fit for American Pie 3?

It ain't bitterness you're seeing, Who, it's nausea.

5:56 PM  
Blogger Who is Ortho? said...

Excellent point, Krum. You really know how to hit the core of an issue with specificity.

In sum, Krum, we're simply 150 families who go to "band camp" to only purportedly daven and learn, but really all spend our time hurling double entendres and innuendo at each other? If so, and that is the leap in judgment taken by the others as well (if there are any others, Krum, anon or any other identity you may have), the mudslingers really do not warrant a response and are more pathetic than I eiver would have thought. Oh no, Krum - was that yet another Red Shul innuendo? Bunch of worthless Young Turks.

You should stick to the semi-funny stand-up comedy you do on your own blog, and not attempt to weigh in on an issue on which you’re clearly not qualified to opine. In fact, people may have legitimate gripes – don’t ruin it for them with your baseless remarks.

Using your logic(?), would it be fair of me to assume that your Shul is comprised of narrow-minded, judgmental, nauseous Krums?

6:20 PM  
Blogger Jameel @ The Muqata said...

You know something...after reading WIO's comments, it makes me realize that Teaneck doesn't sound so bad after all.

6:26 PM  
Blogger Krum as a bagel said...

Who,

I was making no judgment regarding the Red Shul. Out of fairness, I won't chalk your misconstruing of my comment to defensiveness but rather to the fact that you must be running out to a wedding and didn't give my comment as careful a read as you ordinarily would.

In fact, my point is very similar to a point you made on another post: that wearing a yarmulka in a law firm exposes oneself to the judgmental eyes of others who may (for better or worse) generalize one's behavior to the broader group of orthodox jews. Same here. While it may be inappropriate to make a generalization as to the entire red shul based on the peurile remarks of a few, the notion that such a reaction is borne of "bitterness" is silly. As for me, I have nothing against the Red Shul. In fact, some of my best friends daven there:)

And if you think I have made any unwarranted assumptions or leaps of logic, chalk it up to the fact that I am typing this on a blackberry while driving on the way to a meeting that I am late for.

7:06 PM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

Red Shulers, Young Turks, Taboo, oh, My!

There goes (went) the neighborhood.

7:36 PM  
Anonymous Haloscan on Blackberry? said...

krum, how do you get this stuff on Blackberry?

11:21 PM  
Blogger Who is Ortho? said...

Krum,

I'll shift my comments to Ma's most recent post, so we can all avoid the annoying blog flip.

2:36 AM  
Anonymous anonymous said...

WooHoo, still adding gas to the fire I see. G0od for you, because anti-semitites should'nt have to do all the work of makeing us look bad when we can do it for them.

12:26 PM  
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