The Anti-Chareidi Blogger Who Forgot to Find Out the Truth

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By G. Kulik

Chareidi bashing is nothing new. Lakewood bashing is nothing new. The question is why people aren’t embarrassed to shoot from the hip and reveal their total ignorance.

Yesterday, a chareidi basher displayed his complete ignorance in a blog post, as he once again bashed frum people and the Lakewood, NJ, community in particular.

The blogger starts off his post with this: “The truth is that I know very little about the village of Lakewood, New Jersey.”

Despite knowing “very little,” he then goes and spews accusations of blockbusting reported on some anti-frum, anti-Jewish news sites. The problem is that Agudas Yisroel and others, as Matzav first reported, have strongly responded to the baseless, fallacious and uninformed accusations, but the blogger didn’t bother finding out the truth or doing his homework. Quick to the trigger, he accused those purchasing homes in outlying neighborhoods to be engaging in “blockbusting.”

The blogger, whose hatred for bnei Torah and chareidim is so transparent, then lectures Lakewood: “In my view, if this aggressive tactic is being countered to the extent that the federal government has been asked to get involved, then I think it should stop. Might (via a large and now powerful religious group) does not make right. It might instead be making a chillul Hashem.”

The chillul Hashem here is that a blogger has taken false claims of the media as truth and has run with it.

The chillul Hashem is that he didn’t bother doing a modicum of research that would have revealed the truth.

But that wouldn’t have allowed him to express the hatred he has for the Jews of Lakewood and other Torah cities.

Why bother to find out the facts when the lies you read fit your agenda?

This blogger is going to wax poetic, and perhaps already has, about how claims that he is anti-chareidi is not true and how what he wrote is not objectionable. He is going to say that he’s just making observations and wishes to remind people about how to behave and how to be nice and how to interact with our neighbors and all that.

But he’ll still have to admit that he knows nothing – nothing – about the issue. He hasn’t spoken to anyone about it and hasn’t bothered being in touch with those who know the truth.

So what does he know? He knows what he reads online. He knows what he reads in the secular media and the left-leaning JTA. He knows what he reads on blogs.

In fact, he writes, “I don’t know exactly what kind of tactics are being used.”

He doesn’t know. So why is he writing about something he doesn’t know?

Isn’t it appropriate to know about something before writing about it?

He writes that “Orthodox Jews have become so dominant in that town that its democratically elected mayor is an Orthodox Jew.”

No big deal, but, since he doesn’t know much, someone might want to let him know that the position of mayor in Lakewood is a ceremonial one. It is no different, save for a few exceptions, from the position of the other four committeemen. Again, no big deal, but for a man who wishes to address the issue, he might want to be informed.

Then he gives us the obligatory “God bless the Jews who have chosen to make Lakewood their home.” 

The Lakewood Jews just breathed a sigh of relief. We can be sure they appreciate your blessing.

He writes, “I think it obligates them to be more sensitive to their needs [of other communities] than ever. One cannot just move into town and take over at the expense of the minority.”

Does Mr. Blogger know that the Jews have Lakewood have not been sensitive? Why would he insinuate that? Because he read it in the APP? Or in the JTA and The Forward? Has Mr. Blogger bothered visiting Lakewood or speaking to the people who know the truth and don’t rely on the anti-chareidi media?

Mr. Blogger says, “I often read stories where this seems to be a problem in communities that have had a rapid increase of Orthodox Jewish residents and have become the majority.”

That’s his problem. He “often reads stories.” He bases everything he knows, and his blog posts, on what he “often reads.” Maybe he should stop reading blogs and actually find out the facts.

But at least he admits he really doesn’t know much: “Frankly, I don’t know enough about the specifics of those claims to say whether they are legitimate or not.”

There you go.

Yay. He admitted that he doesn’t know.

And then he throws Lakewood a bone: “I have heard that the mayor of Lakewood is very sensitive to his town’s minority non-Jewish and non-Orthodox population.” Great. Now that he’s praised the mayor, he’s free to discuss how everyone else’s behavior overshadows this. And how does he know? Because he read an “article in JTA that accuses Orthodox residents of Lakewood seeking to expand their borders by means of a ‘blockbusting’ tactic.”

The same blockbusting tactic that, as mentioned before, was proven to be a libel.

The only true claim in this blogger’s diatribe is his first assertion: “The truth is that I know very little about the village of Lakewood, New Jersey.”

It was an opportunity to bash chareidim. How could he pass that up?

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  1. I would like to make you aware of the fact that some of the so called chareidi websites that go with chareidi type titles or names are as well run by pple that cannot be trusted. Some of them are angry alumni of our yeshiva system that use titles to their websites that seem to present a frum torah personality behind it but do it just to lure their readership onto their sites; while in reality the person/s running it can be oiver on terrible aveiros; some can be detected by their moderators notes and other comments they post to their readers…. when they do that you can find them being mevazeh pple, talking lashon horah, being extremely angry individuals and even hashkafically crooked,
    I have done research and oh my are we in trouble if these are the kinds of people we are allowing to inform us on frum news in the torah world……
    In some cases these writers don’t even have a problem advertising their readers personal identity to shame them. I have resorted to read only matzav at this point since : while I do not know who stands behind it. I do know that these torah portions and vorts by such great pple and sefarim must be a reflection of pple/person that are looking to spread gods word over their own; hopefully….

  2. The blogger in question in the true tradition of the chazir (who seeks to make a show about his mafris parsah), posted a new post today (possibly in response to this post on Matzav) about how disappointed he is when he is accused of bashing chareidim and that he is just a “truth teller”. He is as much as a truth teller as CNN fairly represents the conservative point of view or as Fox News fairly represents the liberal point of view. At best he is a “truth teller” who focuses on the “truths” he wants to see at worst he is a “truth bender.” As Matzav noted, he also has an aversion to checking into facts so not sure how he can claim to be a truth teller when he doesn’t even know what the truth is. Perhaps he can be best described as someone who repeats everything that could possibly be true. In more traditional terms, we would refer to that as rechilus.

  3. Dud war.

    Right bug wrong day.

    Loner likely but that is different than burdened. Miss him often ot did the blog have meaning. One should fear G-d and daven for the blogger to do teshuvah.

    Until we clear our own narishkeit if any, we are easy targets. More thrills for the antisemite.

    But report is a sign of the times.

    Nursed curious hate. Hide.

  4. Dear Mr. (or Rabbi) Harry Maryles
    Please remember that ahavas yisroel applies to chareidim too even if you disagree with them. It is imperative to be dan l’kaf zchus before posting a blog and not criticize an entire community as in a sarcastic “Another display of truly remarkable Chesed and understanding that the community is so well known for” just because your words are criticized by a chareidi blogger

    • You misunderstand my intent in saying this Anonymous. My point was that Lakewood is filled with exemplars of Chesed. The sarcasm was directed to only G. Kulik, the author of this rant against me. I was trying to p out that he is NOT representative of the Chesed and undertstanding that I know the community of Lakewood is all about. By syaing his tirade was an example of that Chesed – ot should be obvious that it was not.

      It’s OK to critcize me for my faults. It’s true that I did not research the facts in this case. In my defense I simply don’t have the time to do that. But I felt that as an Orthodox rabbi, I should speak out about what this community has been accused of – and relied on the inegrity of the JTA – which is nothing more that a news gathering and distribution agency with no special bias against Frum Jews.

      One may argue that I shouldn’t have said anything if I couldn’t ascertain all the facts. That is a legitimate complaint agaisnt me (although I would disagree for reasons I have explained many times on my blog).

      It isn’t that kind of criticsim of me that I object to. It is the venom against me that is threaded throughout the post here… and believing the worst possible motives on my part. Bashing Charedim is not my mission or goal.

      Kulik has in effect done exactly what he has accused me of via a mischaracterizing my post and then making assumptions about me without checking the facts. But I have no ill will against him. I don’t think he is an evil man. I just think it is an honest mistake.

      And I certainly have no ill will against the people of Lakewood at all. I actually admire them for the sacrifices they make for the sake of learning Torah L’Shma. That dedication and sacrifice has no doubt has no doubt been generated by the very Torah they learn. …to live their lives filled with Torah, Yiras Shamayim, Tzedaka and Chesed.

      • A rabbi has the responsibility to research the facts before he ever shoots from his hips. Not researching the facts is highly unethical and, of course, a true chilul Hashem. What you are doing is furthering distrust of Modern Orthodox rabbis. Now, whenever a Modern Orthodox rabbi as yourself makes a claim, it is highly suspect. You not only do not do proper and ethical research; you continuously justify it as just and correct.

        The same applies when there are publicly available Court orders and rulings that you misquoted. You claimed to rely upon the now extinct Failed Messiah blog. Again, you should have read the material yourself. You didn’t. You never apologized.

        The same applies when you selectively choose to delete comments that quote true research that counters your slander.

        As an aside, when you post pictures of Torah-true Jews, why does it usually include a grafity background on windy day, with garbage cans turned over?

        • Except that I don’t do that. What you have done is the classic, ‘Have you stopped beating your wife?’ comment. The question implies that everyone knows the person you asked the question to beats his wife (and if they didn’t they should have). And only wants to know of it has stopped.

          One more thing.. I never claimed to rely on FM. I don’t know where you get that from. I never used him as a source and I defy you to find one post of the over 3000 I’ve written that linked to his blog.

          You are entitled to your own opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts.

  5. I think the video of Rabbi Lefkowitz’s speech was about 11 minutes it definitely took this blogger much more then 11 minutes to write his trash. He could have saved much time by watching the video first. Just for the record I think Aguda should be suing Jackson township and particularly Mr. Nixon for putting forth blatantly false information about Aguda and Rabbi Lefkowitz. They should also get a better translator that knows what shtikel means.

  6. Matzav seems to be the only website that ever bothers to stand up for the frum community
    no one else seems to even care

  7. How can he be “anti-charedi” if he is “charedi” himself? You’ll say he’s modern orthodox, or mizrachi, whatever…But l’maseh that’s also “charedi” … Aren’t all these people also “chared l’davar HaShem”?

  8. Shame on the author of this tirade! Rabbi Harry is no charedi basher. He generally only criticises where their is legitimite reasons todo so! Shame on you for painting with broadstrokes. And deflecting the issues!

  9. Although the blogger may be a hater, that doesn’t mean there is no lesson to take from his words. Perhaps not enough sensitivity is being given to our status as neighbors of the surrounding non Jewish localities. They are clearly not happy to have us in Toms River and Jackson. Maybe we are still in Galus, and we should keep our heads down. Am I allowed to suggest that?

    • used to not wear their tzitzis out because of living in galus You dont gouge the eyes of the goyim! Boy has judiasm changed!

  10. “Blockbusting” was used to scare white homeowners to sell their houses cheap before the blacks “took over the neighborhood”.When orthodox Jews start moving into a neighborhood the prices GO UP and people who want to sell their homes get a lot more for them,there is usually less violent crime because Orthodox Jews are typically law-abiding .These cities should be welcoming the Jews with open arms.

  11. This article is amateur hour!matzav should stick to reposteing articles from real news outlets! And post less of these infantile diatribes!


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