Dec 10, 2010
Rabbis Fight Hate Blogs

Rabbis Avrohom Osdoba and Yaakov Schwei are fed up with the hate blogs trying to intimidate the Crown Heights community and its leadership.

Two senior rabbis of the Crown Heights Jewish community are fed up with the growing number of hate blogs on the web run by a handful of people who try to remain anonymous.

In a rare sign of unity, Rabbi Avrohom Osdoba and Rabbi Yaakov Schwei both signed an open letter addressing current affairs "impacted by people who have pursued a personal agenda to the detriment of the community."

Relations between the 71st Precinct of the New York Police Department and the Crown Heights community were "negatively impacted" due to ongoing attacks on blogs, the rabbis wrote.

Zaki Tamir, Chairman of the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council, told the New York Daily News the letter arose after an ongoing beef between rival civilian patrol groups in the neighborhood spilled into the public arena.

Shmira works with the 71st Commanding Officer Peter Simonetti, while the Shomrim only enjoyed the same status under the former Commanding Officer Frank Vega.

Tamir told the Daily News that the rabbis' letter was meant to stop people from going around leaders on issues that affect the entire neighborhood.

"No one should represent themselves as speaking on behalf of Crown Heights as a whole," said Tamir, a criminal defense lawyer.

New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind, a resident of Borough Park, was involved in the past in peace talks between the groups whose public spat has resulted in acts of Messira and 'spilling the beans' in the mainstream media.

Hikind said he heard from many Crown Heights residents the wish for the groups to unite or disband, denouncing the "Chilul Hashem which the entire community is suffering from."

Speaking to on Friday, Hikind said: "Not everything has to end up in the newspapers and on websites. When groups are fighting it is not a healthy or good thing. It's detrimental and can lead to bad things."

The veteran activist said it was "a small group that has issues with others, and people are (being) schlepped in (while they) don't know the details."

He added that "It's having a very negative effect and people (outside the community) know what's going on. I hate to use the word Sinah (hatred), but that's what is there."

Most Read Most Comments

Opinions and Comments
Simple man
And what Halacha is this base on?
(12/10/2010 2:13:02 PM)
its time!!!
nobody asked these people to protect us! they bring more harm with their fighting! stop stop stop! leave us alone!
(12/10/2010 2:13:15 PM)
You can always count on c.o.l. live for wholsome reporting and giving us both sides of the story.
(12/10/2010 2:15:47 PM)
the question is if they are going to listen to the BD

Those web sites are still up with all this non sende fight
(12/10/2010 2:28:58 PM)
to number 1
he mentioned that what happened over here is sinah
which mens the isur of sinas chinum
(12/10/2010 2:36:31 PM)
Where is Rav Braun??
Shouldn't they get the signature of our third Rov??
(12/10/2010 2:40:41 PM)
please explain
between a jew and the NYPD we must remain silent but from a jew to a jew we are allowed to go to court?!!!
(12/10/2010 2:46:13 PM)
Deal with the issues and we will obey these rules!
When the 3 bocherim were issued summonses for standing on private property (not that is should make a difference where they stood, why should they have been ticketed even if they were really standing on the sidewalk?), they first approached Zaki for help, he referred them to Eli Cohen who handles these matters.
Instead of getting assistance in this matter they were told by Rabbi Cohen not to rock the boat, not to spoil the “good” relationship the community has with the cops.
Fact is, some cops ARE abusing their positions and the community is suffering. The community council is not dealing with these concerns, all they do is thank the cops, slap them on the back and give them plaques for a job well done. The abuses are not being handled. Why did these 3 kids have to go to a TV station and a lawyer to get some justice? Why didn’t the Vaad handle it on the day and get these bogus tickets annulled?
If the community counsel cant/wont deal with the real issues as they arise, then us the victims have no choice but to turn to other avenues for redress.
(12/10/2010 2:52:06 PM)
Who are we kidding?
Since when does Yossi Lifshitz care about what the rabbis say? this drunk will keep opening blogs and smearing people day and night [mostly during the night because that's when he's on a "high"] This felon has no limits and has nothing what to lose from his miserable life
(12/10/2010 3:14:43 PM)
To 6
Why don't you go look for him if you're so worried.

Yasher Koach to COL for being "Fair and Balanced" as usual. The classiest of all the Chabad blogsites.
(12/10/2010 3:15:57 PM)
Community ticket fund?

If the JCC don’t want us to complain to 311 and the media when we get bogus trumped up tickets, and the JCC refuse to handle these issues and get them cleared up because they don’t want to ruin their “great” relationships with the 71st precinct, may I suggest that the JCC fund a program to pay for all these bogus tickets we are getting? No, you won’t? Then don’t complain when we fight back, though most of the JCC members are pretty well off, most of us are not, and we can’t afford to be silent when we are getting abused.
(12/10/2010 3:20:42 PM)
just my 2 cents
in my opinion this letter just caused more chilul hashem as its printed all over the media!
(12/10/2010 3:25:28 PM)
to #8
the rabbonim's letter is not about the police and that sidewalk situation which is really a problem and must be dealt with

the think is that the 3 bochurim who got summons are being used by the hate gang to continue attacking the police because they are not relevant anymore
(12/10/2010 3:25:38 PM)
chillul hashem and disgrace!
these websites that write so much loshin hara are a disgrace to our community
they should be stopped.
(12/10/2010 3:29:52 PM)
Kol hakavod Col
good for you for standing up for whats right!

you are the only web site that I go to for news.

keep on doing what you do and may you continue to have hatzlacha!
(12/10/2010 3:32:01 PM)
From a District Attorney
This letter is incredibly badly thought-out and written. The Rabbonim are clearly engaging in witness tampering and dissuation. This could subject them to criminal prosecution. It is harmful to prevent the freedom of speech under a threat of chirum. I cannot believe this actually was published. I call on the rabbonim to IMMEDIATELY withdraw this letter.
(12/10/2010 3:36:47 PM)
@ #13
Sorry, you are mistaken. Rules 1 and 3 (and I would say 2, but that’s debatable) are most definitely aimed at those 3 bocherim, they have nothing to do with the Shomrim/Shmira struggle!
(12/10/2010 3:53:29 PM)
Thank you COL for posting this!
Toishav hashchuna!
(12/10/2010 3:53:43 PM)
who takes the responsibility for this
(12/10/2010 3:53:55 PM)
So if they cann't even return a call then then how are we expected to get anything inwriting?
(12/10/2010 3:57:15 PM)
chaim herskop is the one behind the sites
Some one needs to talk to him a
(12/11/2010 10:30:27 AM)
what does this have to do with shomrim and shmirah?????????
(12/11/2010 10:54:00 AM)
its all over the media because these hershkop thugs who cause sinas chinum know the anti semite who works for the daily news and had her put it in to basically get back at the rabbonim
the truth hurts them they are mosserim
(12/11/2010 3:59:29 PM)
WOW rabbonim are starting trying to take control, K.H.K about time I would like to wish the rabbonim and Zaki Tammir Hatzlocho Rabo and if Rabbonim continue this way they will be zoiche to fullfil the Rebbes wish
(12/11/2010 5:36:31 PM)
Enough with Shomrim!
We have enough fights without them! We dont need a dedicated organization to ad to it!
(12/11/2010 6:12:48 PM)
B'H we have both Rabbonim signing on ONE letter, lets keep to it
(12/11/2010 6:39:40 PM)
IF as according to zaki says, the letter is talking about the hate blogs... Why didn't the letter clearly state that??
(12/11/2010 6:42:09 PM)
gag order
Is it not bad enough that the squabbling rabbis and the criminals that feed the feud abuse the community for personal gain and cover, but now they wish to gag their victims as well?!
You rip out our hearts, but we must not scream?
(12/11/2010 6:42:34 PM)
the fact is it was in the daily news on friday .it looks like everyone jumps to do things with out a BRAIN.
(12/11/2010 6:46:07 PM)
With all due respect to the esteemed Rabonim, can someone pasken that they should not fight with each other?
maybe then the people would have more respect for the Rabonim and for the Rabbinate in general.
(12/11/2010 6:55:35 PM)
C. G.
Wow. This is shocking. But it's good to see col's clarifiaction on the story.
(12/11/2010 6:57:07 PM)
shloime freundlich
Freedom of speech is the freedom to speak freely without censorship or limitation,we live in a Democracy not a Theocracy or Police state it is is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution The right to freedom of speech is recognized as a human right under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and recognized in international human rights law in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
(12/11/2010 7:03:56 PM)
What if someone has a complaint after they go to the community council? What do the Rabbanim suggest should then be done?
(12/11/2010 7:28:18 PM)
Why not just say it as it is? The Shomrim (read mosrim) have been screwing things up for WAY too long!!!
(12/11/2010 7:29:35 PM)
me and my dad
ok , if the letter has anything to do with the ticket they 3 bochurim got then it should be dismissed at once as rubbish. The ticket was totally on off the norm and should/must be dealt with strongly.
The officers involved at least the key, I believe will end up in desk duty once this is all hashed out. A stupid move on their part. That said , if the community council knew and was asked to help, and as mentioned they said bla bla bla about relations then shame on them.

The letter also was written poorly, I wish we knew better grammar.

As for SHmira and shomrim - this dumb shina is sick. Can't you guys just make up or something?? If you can't just split CH in half! Let Shmira take half and Shomrim take the other half and then be done with all this hatred.

SOme of you need to get a life .
(12/11/2010 7:41:12 PM)
Just for all your information this letter was writen in reponse to a artical that was posted on another site about hatzolah and police to stir up more trouble for the police and was a personl agenda of some trouble makers and was untrue and was writen by request of ch hatzolah
(12/11/2010 7:47:48 PM)
(12/11/2010 8:19:06 PM)
a duh
does anyone realize that this piece of paper means nothing in real life!!!
(12/11/2010 8:29:16 PM)
Cut through all the noise.
Lets get this straight, the letter is not about freedom of speech it's about member's of the shomrim gang trying to use their blogs to destroy any good will we may have with the police because they are no longer the police favorites. (yes its as immature and pathetic as it sounds)

this is not to say Shmira is any better, they both run to the police to report each other in any way possible and at the same time call each other - and anyone who is not on their "side" - a moisser.

at this point i think they both gotta be shut down, there is no doubt in my mind they do more harm then good.
(12/11/2010 8:54:52 PM)
to #6
There was no hachtara, he is not a rov (yet).
(12/11/2010 8:56:50 PM)
Try this little experment
Go over to someone who is not from crown heights and try to explain them the fight in our community between two rival "safety petrol's"
describe it in any way possible and 9 out of 10 times they will say something to the extent of "wow, that is the saddest thing I ever heard"
(12/11/2010 8:59:31 PM)
"A picture is worth a thousand words"
the picture says it all, I guess boys (with their busy walkie talkies) will be boys.
(12/11/2010 9:10:29 PM)
my point of view!
Not sure if this letter was the best way to go but we obviously can not have a few people destroying the entire community's relationship with the police and city officials for their own personnel agenda - although for the life of me I cant figure out what that agenda might be.
(12/11/2010 9:16:56 PM)
Expose them!!!
You say:
"hate blogs on the web run by a handful of people who try to remain anonymous:

If you know who they are why dont you expose them, put a big picture of these professional haters on this site.

they hide behind the internet to destroy peoples lives, why dont you return the favor.
(12/11/2010 9:24:12 PM)
to 19
why dont you ask the people who ran to the media with the letter, they shouldn't be to hard to find, Hint: they drive around in cars with big flashy lights,
(12/11/2010 9:29:59 PM)
The definition of hypocrisy
The same guys couldnt have loved the police more when Frank Vega (not exactly a friend of the community) was CO.

but the again, these are the same guys who only stop screaming Moisser on the top of their lungs long enough to moisser on someone else.
(12/11/2010 9:48:25 PM)
if they are worried about the precinct getting the messages "on behalf of the community from the wrong ppl" why don't they just clarify to the police who the spokes people of the community are. Then, everyone else is free to make private reports as private citizens?
(12/11/2010 10:07:25 PM)
GREAT! It made the NY Times
(12/11/2010 10:08:10 PM)
Let's figure this out.
there must be a way for ALL the kids with the radios to drive around in Cars with Bright lights and loud sirens with out destroying our community and making us a butt of a joke.
(12/11/2010 10:16:11 PM)
Not sure this is the best way
I am all for peace and pleasant relationships. But I am skeptical about an absolute rule which will end up stopping people from publicizing wrongdoing from a department that can abuse its power. I'm not sure that an attitude like this will be most healthy for our community in the long run. In America, history has shown again and again that it's the loud, unafraid voices that are heard and precipitate change.
(12/11/2010 10:32:45 PM)
is that chaim hershkop in the picture?
the irony
(12/11/2010 11:08:03 PM)
if you want the site to stop losing funding..
don't visit web sites that spew hate and fear in our neighborhood, and think they speak for us who live here,
(12/11/2010 11:23:14 PM)
Elie Poltorak
Having served on the CHJCC, I can tell you that all complaints of police misconduct are taken very seriously and addressed at the highest levels of the 71st Precinct, Brooklyn South, 1 Police Plaza, or the commissioner's office. If the NYPD doesn't address our concerns, there is certainly a time and a place for protesting loudly to the media etc., but B"H, for the past 3 years we have had incredible cooperation and sensitivity from the NYPD. In order to keep things moving in the right direction, we must show hakoras hatov and address the issues that inevitably do crop up (such as the bochurim who received summonses) quietly, behind the scenes. By crying wolf and making a scandal out of every mishap, the other websites and Shomrim are endangering this relationship that is so crucial to our community. Have we already forgotten where we were 4 short years ago?

One more point: Why is it that the very same troublemakers, who complain loudest about the police now, were the ones who stood up for the NYPD when the community was under siege and the police turned their backs on us? Where were they when Barry Sugar and other yungeleit (myself included) led protests against the NYPD? Might it be that they have their own interests at heart? Is it because the previous commander let them park their scooters wherever they wanted as he let the community bleed?

I for one applaud the current command of the 71st precinct for putting an end to special treatment for a violent group of troublemakers who refuse to submit to any authority and think they're above the law. We should not let them drag down the whole community.
(12/11/2010 11:39:59 PM)
ch resident
charity starts at home. First the rebbes should work on unity in the community and then they will get the respect they deserve. if the nypd respect us then there would be no need to knock them. in order to get respect it has to be earned.
(12/11/2010 11:44:01 PM)
What a foolish but telling letter. Ugh. where to start?

I'll allow for that the signers are not so foolish to delude themselves into thinking they have the authority and ability to create anything "binding" on "every individual in this community. At best, though, other hollow-brained folks convinced them (of the "importance") to write this. Doesn't say much about the Rabbis' intelligence outside of basic halacha either. Which is my point - that they were elected by the menfolk to SERVE. Answer when asked based on halacha.

(Does this edict apply to women? They were not part of the Rabbi election process).

Like some childish play about how life used to be in shtettle Russia.
(12/12/2010 1:09:33 AM)
do yourself a favor and continue to ignore them, they are evil bloggers who will destroy anyone that pay them attention, hamisavek eim hamenuval misnavel..... just continue to address the community needs and thats it.
(12/12/2010 1:58:00 AM)
the irony of it all
just a few years ago crime was up in the shcuhna, the police did nothing and the community was trying to protect.

Guess who was defending the cops then? the hershkops shomrim gang

just a few years earlier after gimel tamuz who led the violent fighting in 770, threw out the gabboim, slashed people's tires and spread fear in the community?

u guessed right? the hershkops - the modern eirev rav of crown heights
(12/12/2010 4:20:48 AM)
Who is it?
One comment says Yossi Lifshitz is running the blog the other says it is Chaim Hershcop, which one is it?
(12/12/2010 5:11:26 AM)
Enough already!
If we were a normal community, the Hershkops would have been put in cherem long ago!!!
(12/12/2010 5:22:31 AM)
a couple weeks back Aaron Hershkop proudly told the NY Daily News that he hired a private detective to go to Israel track down a Lubavitcher from our community in order to turn him over to the Authority's, but of course Shomrim is very against Messira.
(12/12/2010 7:07:09 AM)
The Hershkop/Shomrim Gang are violent group of Boorish Thugs incapable of formulating a comprehensive sentence, they therefore use a semi literate boy with very low self confidence as their mouth piece and propaganda arm.
(12/12/2010 7:20:30 AM)
Down with Shomrim and Shemira
The only ones this community need to be protected from are the immature, violent members of these patrol groups. They bring far more tzaros and violence to the community than they're worth. I'll take my chances with some thugs but when it's brother against brother there's little we can do to protect ourselves. BOTH groups need to be disbanded ASAP and the members barred from ever participating in future patrols.
(12/12/2010 10:09:48 AM)
Close down shomrim
I remember a few years back Dov Hicknd tried to bring shmira and shomrim together and if I'm not mistaken shmrom refused to compromise.

I think it's time to cut our loses and shut down this gang
(12/12/2010 10:09:56 AM)
its the same people
These guys don't care about ch they are on a mission to bring down others, and ch is the people that pay, the police see this and take advantage
(12/12/2010 10:34:34 AM)
@ Elie Poltorak
Just to point out once more, the 3 Bocherim did go to the vaad first. They went to Zaki, who referred them to Eli Cohen who told them to be quite, pay the ticket and stop rocking the boat because “we have a great relationship” with the cops.
I also remember that demonstration a few years back, it had its desired effect and we got a year or 2 of peace, perhaps it’s time to flex our communal muscle again and bring the whole are to a stop for a few hours, then the cops will start behaving again.
Eli you were voted out because you weren’t doing the job, so just pipe down.
(12/12/2010 10:48:30 AM)
Thank you
A family member had a complaint against the police and didn't know where to turn. Now we know that the community council will try to help if someone has a problem with the police. I hope they are successful.
(12/12/2010 10:59:03 AM)
I am disappointed at COLLive's bias
You posted plenty of attacks on the Hershkopfs & their blog, but you don't post anything that discusses the fundamental rights of the citizens (even non-citizens) in America to free speech.

I wonder why you choose not to post anything that can possibly smack of (dare I say it) criticism of the CHJCC/Vaad or the Rabbonim? I always thought COLlive was unbiased and open, but over the past year or so I see that you are just as one-sided as the blogs you allow (encourage?) posters to accuse of prejudice.

How sad is that? Let's see if you'll give me the opportunity (unedited!) to "speak." If not, I guess I & all the other Crown Heights residents who dare to have a different opinion will have no choice but to go where we are respected and allowed to speak calmly & reasonably.
(12/12/2010 11:25:58 AM)
to # 53
agreed with just about everything you wrote the problem is the NYPD went from one group to another. no0body should be treated any different and that is where the problem is ! shmira and shomrim should be put to a stop ASAP!! both groups are wrong in their own way and must come to a end right away enough with the finger pointing!
(12/12/2010 12:07:02 PM)
patrol elections
it should be only one patrol group and we need elections
let see what they propose, and who they are, and we can vote for them or not
(12/12/2010 1:16:32 PM)
to #62
i understand why the shomrim should be put down but the shmira have helped us alot , if you put them down the next time you get locked out of your car or need help who you going to call that will help you that fast, think about that before saying anything like that ,
(12/12/2010 1:26:20 PM)
When will CH finally deal with the Hershkopfs? Enough is enough!!
(12/12/2010 2:05:17 PM)
YOU SHALL BE ASHMAD TO POST WHEN u r the one who try to lock up shomrim 6. HISTORY HAS SHOWN THAT WHEN WE MAKE NOSE WE ARE HERD. stop being a suker and wake up. the police are having a ball with the CHJJC. they dont give a hoot about us
(12/12/2010 2:06:56 PM)
Who do you think sent this letter to the press in order to embarrass the Rabbonim and the community? Who do you think did it? We elected a community council, and who's thumbing their noses at our representatives?? The same troublemakers for 15 years....
(12/12/2010 2:43:39 PM)
start again with new group
The only solution in my opinion is close down both shomrim and shmira and start a new group under the auspices of the community council and nypd. this organization should be run efficiently and smoothly much like hatzola.
(12/12/2010 2:48:58 PM)
to 58
there are more then one blog
(12/12/2010 6:08:34 PM)
This is confusing
The letter was not clear about who or what it was addressing.
and it should have been given directly to the inteneded party. Obviously, no regular person should think of being afraid to voice any legitimate complaint.
(12/12/2010 6:44:45 PM)
#71 - so agree
i think many many good honest people who are too modest to make a hoo haa about this issue.But if the heads of the community are looking out for the good and wellbeing and the future of the community they will act swiftly,the nasty cyber loshonhora war that goes on is unacceptable and a busha.
(12/12/2010 9:13:10 PM)
very confusing.whats going on.
(12/13/2010 9:02:51 AM)
Why are we so capable at constructing and developing new communities with state of the art schools, programs, shuls etc. but when it comes to our own community we are so deep in the dumps that we can't see out of it. Why have we resorted to verbal attacks? When was mutual respect disowned? Why can't we offer our children a better future? Why are we content to live in discord?
It hurts in the deepest recesses of my heart that we can't stand together, and overlook our differences. We teach the world to forgive, accept, and love, yet our actions encourage grudges, rejection and hate. We are the agents of our own deterioration. We can proudly deny it, we can sweep it under the carpet, we can smile with cognitive dissonance. But what are our prospects? Where are we headed? What is the bigger picture?
I'm afraid that too few people are asking these questions. Chinuch above all else was a reason for someone to act like a mentch. Even if they didn't believe or didn't care, they sucked it up and acted civilly for the sake of the next generation. Now as those pretenses have been eagerly discarded, what are we left with? Savagery, brutism and unabashed arrogance. For a generation that focuses on the here and now, we have a bleak future ahead.
Of course there are those that will quickly dismiss such warnings with ignorant comments and defensive attacks. But stop for a moment and ask yourself, what do you believe in? What future do you want for your children? What community, school, shul, do you want to model the lifestyle that you choose?

I am not what you'd call "chassidish" and I no longer live in Crown Heights. But I wish we could get our act together, and prove to the world that we are what the Rebbe believes we are, not what we are made out to be.
(12/13/2010 12:09:27 PM)
Shlomie Freundlich (#32): You are right on on target.

We have the constitutional right to free speech.
The right to dress as we wish.
The right to eat what we want.
The Rabbis with their halacha are just restricting freedoms. Sometimes even with the simple halacha of listening to rabbonim.
(12/13/2010 3:13:18 PM)
what about 123?
cohen only knows about #4 ?!
(12/13/2010 7:37:04 PM)
What's Your Opinion? Post a Comment

Your Comment:

Comments must be approved before being published. Thank You!

Make COLive® your homepage | Contact Us
© 2018