Thursday The ‘Rabbi’ Got Fooled


rabbi-brad-hirschfieldBy Moshe Phillips, Newscenter

Rabbi Brad Hirschfield (seen at left) can be counted among the foolish people who thought that they knew Muzzammil Hassan and what he stood for. “Mo” Hassan is the Islamic TV executive who confessed to murdering his wife and leaving her decapitated body in the offices of the Bridges TV network they created together. Rabbi Hirschfield was fooled by Hassan into believing he was interested “fostering understanding between cultures and diverse populations.”

Rabbi Brad Hirschfield is a foolish rabbi. Rabbi Brad is the president of the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership (CLAL) and wrote the foolish book “You Don’t Have to Be Wrong for Me to Be Right: Finding Faith Without Fanaticism.” In that 2008 masterwork, Rabbi Brad attempted to overturn thousands of years of Jewish Thought and proclaim that there is no absolute truth. Foolish book. Foolish Rabbi Brad.

Rabbi Brad foolishly decided he wanted to be a TV star. His foolish show is called “Building Bridges: Abrahamic Perspectives on the World Today,” which began airing on an American Islamic TV network called Bridges TV in 2006. The foolish show is described as “Rabbi Hirschfield is joined by Christian and Muslim leaders to look at world events from their common Abrahemic Roots.”

Foolish Rabbi Brad thought that he was working with “moderate” Muslims. On February 12, 2009 Muzzammil Hassan, the founder of the pro-Islamic Bridges TV network, beheaded his estranged wife Aasiya Zubair Hassan. “Mo” Hassan had been violently abusive when he and his wife were married.

The controversial Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) organization presented Muzzammil Hassan with an award at the first banquet of their Pennsylvania chapter on April 7, 2007. CAIR National Chairman Parvez Ahmed posed with Hassan for pictures at the Hilton Hotel in Philadelphia. Investor’s Business Daily in a March 6, 2007 editorial declared CAIR to be “the PR machine of militant Islam.”

A second TV series called, American Pilgrimage, was created by Foolish Rabbi Brad for Bridges TV in 2008. It was described as “bringing viewers into the homes and mosques of Muslim leaders across the country…”

Rabbi Brad most not have cared about CAIR.

One wonders what Foolish Rabbi Brad thought of the abuse in the Hassan family’s home.

Foolishly, Newsweek magazine declared Rabbi Brad to be “one of the nation’s 50 most influential rabbis.” Rabbi Brad has a weekly radio show and has been on PBS many times.

On PBS Foolish Rabbi Brad criticized the “extremist” Jewish Settlers in Judea and Samaria (that he foolishly referred to as the “West Bank”). PBS spoke to Foolish Rabbi Brad for their Frontline pogrom, er program, about the September 11th Islamic terrorist attacks.

For PBS Foolish Rabbi Brad stated: “It’s just that when I look at those terrorists, I don’t see something wholly “other,” because I know from my own life experience what it means to allow your most deeply felt beliefs to motivate you to do violent things to other people.

Now, it’s true, I haven’t done anything even approaching that. I don’t even think that Jewish terrorists have done — and there are Jewish terrorists who are using the traditions I hold most dear to justify and to motivate their terror – have done anything approaching that. But I’m not going to sit here and pretend it’s wholly other, because it’s not. When I look in their faces, I do see the shadow side of what were once some of my dreams and aspirations, and continue to be for some of my teachers from that time.”

Foolish Rabbi Brad compared the 9/11 hijackers to fellow Jews. Now that’s not just foolish; that’s what our forefathers used to call beyond the pale. reported on Feb 17, 2009 that Foolish Rabbi Brad stated the following on the day of Aasiya Zubair Hassan’s funeral, “I will only say to those who leap to the conclusion that this kind of thing is intrinsic to Islam, ask yourselves if you think that drunkenness is intrinsic to Irish Catholics, or cheating in business is to Jews?” The statement came from Rabbi Brad’s foolish “Windows & Doors” blog.

How can one even begin to respond to such foolishness?

Jews in America have a choice. Be foolish and allow Rabbi Brad to participate in organized Jewish life or shun him as the fool he is.

Moshe Phillips is a member of the Executive Committee of the Philadelphia Chapter of Americans For a Safe Israel – AFSI.  

{ Newscenter}


  1. There seems to be a non sequiter here. Wife abuse – and murder – is a problem which occurs in all ethnic groups and religions, all social classes and all regions. Unfortunately, as Jewish, and also Frum, family aid groups and mental health professionals will tell you, even the Frum community isn’t immune. There are now kosher “safe houses” for wives living in fear of violent husbands. Some of the “nicest” seeming and most respected men turn out to be not so nice at home.

    Whether or not Mr. Hassan abused his wife is irrelevant to the rest of the comments on Rabbi Hirschfield. Most wife abusers in all groups are very careful that outsiders shouldn’t know what happens at home. Rabbi Hirschfield’s views may be controversial in the frum community, but Mr. Hassan’s actions are irrelevant to them.

  2. What a really foolish comment to lump frum families with the rest of society. Sure, societal problems affect us as well. The difference is in the numbers and percentages. Only a fool would not see that.

  3. “Wife abuse – and murder – is a problem which occurs in all ethnic groups and religions, all social classes and all regions.”

    RACHEL R- U R WRONG, beheading as a murder mode is singularly a Muslim act.
    Foolish Rabbi Brad can be joined together with the many ‘Foolish Rabbis’ who believe that cooperation, compromise and camrederie is a possibility with the Muslim community. It may have worked in the past, but it is a NO BRAINER for today. The Charedeim in London are joining community boards with Muslim leaders, beware they are playing & will CVshalom be BURNT with fire. The final battle against the infidel Jew is on the burner for the Muslim soldier. To believe and welcome aboard a Mr. Hassan is the peak of foolishness.

  4. I look for your comments, I enjoy them immensely. I guess you stumbled on and found a place to inscribe your interesting viewpoints, and we get to enjoy them!

    It’s hard to say you have an agenda, because your comments are so automatically in opposition to every article, and represent a colorful multiplicity of ideas and perspectives which run the gamut of diversity from all conceivable angles. Or is it just a natural contrariness that compels you to respond in like fashion at every feasible occasion? Thanks for the humor, regardless of etiology.

  5. To whoever accidentally hijacked my name :-). You’re not looking – I do occasionally make a positive comment! You will notice, however, that I don’t comment on most articles, although I guess I do tend to take issue more often than I praise.

    That said, we out-of-towners think New York could do with a little more diversity, and a little greater tendency to think things through rather than go for the easy ridicule-and-sarcasm type of commentary.

    Anyhow, you missed the point. The point is that violence in the family is now a serious issue by the frum, too, as any mental health professional in the community can tell you. If our rates are lower, that just makes it more difficult, because fewer people are liable to believe the victims.

    I have no opinion whatsoever on Rabbi Hirschfield because I know nothing about either him or CLAL, and as it says in Avos, when you don’t know about something say that you don’t know.