Will Failed Messiah Blog Call Out Cruz?

According to mega-church, televangelist Kenneth Copeland, Ted Cruz has been anointed by God to be the next president. Diversified Holdings, the new owners of the Failed Messiah Blog, say they will use the blog to do what Hashem (God) wants. They clearly feel as confident as some Dominionist pastors in knowing whether or not Cruz is the annointed (aka, Messiah, Moshiach).

Diversified Holdings, please let your readers know whether Ted Cruz is a false messiah.

When you are done with that give us some more clues about how you understand Hashem’s wishes. For example is Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson the Moshiach or not. When you write his name, will it end with shlita (a blessing for long life) or zatzal (a call for remembering the righteous)?

UPDATE 2/9/16-

The above was some irresistible satire occasioned by the news item that Cruz was anointed to be president. Of course I know that Diversified Holdings does not “hold” from that. But there are serious questions I wish you would answer. For starters how will you reconcile a Haredi understanding of loshon horah with you stated goal of exposing those who desecrate God’s name. You speak of wanting to do what Hashem wants. Since prophecy lapsed over two millennia ago according to Jewish tradition, what is your alternative channel. Presumably, it is Daas Torah. But which specific rabbi(s) do you intend to consult for Daas Torah?

The very name of you blog was an attack on the significant number of Chabad chasidim who consider their late Rebbe, the Moshiach.  No other orthodox group accepts the claim but some go further and refuse to deal with Chabad for that reason or won’t let them have any role in their institutions. Examples include the late leader of the Litvish world, R. Eliezer Man Shach. The late R. Belsky was also a vigorous opponent of Chabad as are others. So the retention of the name begs the question of where does Diversified stand.

I understand and appreciate that Diversified needs time to complete the transition, but it would be helpful if you could issue a substantial statement clarifying your intentions and the likely thrust of your blogging. Of course, in the end a tree is judged by its fruit and you will be judged by what you cover, how you cover it, and what you choose not to cover.

Similarly, Diversified needs a clear statement of you commenting policy. I agree that comments should be moderated so there is civility while encouraging constructive disagreement. Most frum news sites claim that is their policy as well, but I have regularly seen blatant and deceptive deviation from the claimed policy. I would urge you to struggle with the difficult task of authentically aligning your policy and practice.

As difficult as that task can be, whistle-blowers need to be supported and protected if Diversified is to succeed in exposing those who desecrate God’s name, which is one of your stated goals.

Just one final thought. I often think of Isaiah’s answer to the question of what God wants:

A people laden with iniquity… Children that deal corruptly… To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto Me?… When ye come to appear before Me, Who hath required this at your hand, To trample My courts? Bring no more vain oblations; It is an offering of abomination unto Me; New moon and sabbath, the holding of convocations— I cannot endure iniquity along with the solemn assembly. Your new moons and your appointed seasons My soul hateth; They are a burden unto Me; I am weary to bear them… Your hands are full of blood. Wash you, make you clean, Put away the evil of your doings From before Mine eyes, Cease to do evil; Learn to do well; Seek justice, relieve the oppressed, Judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.

If that is Diversified’s understanding and you consistently act on it, I wish you well, however much we may differ on specifics and tactics.

See also: My Jewish Ethos


Rules for Comments on Frum Follies

Readers sometimes ask me about my rules. They are the rules of commonsense for civil discourse and it should not be necessary to state them.  But since I have been asked, here they are.

Don’t insult others. Don’t hock away. If you have made your point and someone doesn’t agree, don’t dump the same thing ten times. You are just shouting in internet fashion. Continue reading

Whither Goes Rabbi Dovid Weinberger? (From the 2014 Archives of FF)

Rabbi Dovid Weinberger

Rabbi Dovid Weinberger

First posted on 2/27/2014. I was the first and primary source of this story on the Internet and it garnered over 30k views.


Rabbi Dovid Weinberger was fired by his shul in the Lawrence, NY, Shaaray Tefila, before Rosh Hashanah. They claimed he was on medical leave** but announced a search for a new rabbi shortly afterward.

Weinberger went off to Israel searching for another job but came back about a month ago. He should have been able to find a job because he is married to a granddaughter of the late “Gadol” Rabbi Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg. That he failed to find a job, suggests both a bad reputation and marital estrangement. If the Scheinberg family wanted to help him, he would have found a job. In those circles, allegations of molesting are no obstacle to rabbinic employment.

His return provoked consternation in the 5 Towns Continue reading

FROM THE SATIRE ARCHIVES: Panic Spreads in Rabbinic Circles Over Failed Messiah’s Purchase of Vos Iz Neias (SATIRE)

This post first appeared in January 2011 when the website Vos iz Neias was subjected to kol koreh (proclomation) banning the site. It is a timely reminder of how things can change. Now it is Failed Messiah that was bought out by orthodox bussiness people. Enjoy and laugh.

Panic Spreads in Rabbinic Circles Over Failed Messiah’s Purchase of Vos Iz Neias (SATIRE)

Jewish Financial Times– Exclusive Report by Zahava Gold

Shmarya (Scottie) Rosenberg, the blogger who operates the muckraking site, Failed Messiah, announced today that he acquired Vos Iz Neias, known for short as VIN. Goldman Sachs provided a $7.3 million dollar combined equity investment and loan to make this deal possible. The two sites will operate separately but Shmarya intends to make major changes in VIN. He said in an interview today with the Jewish Financial Times:

Jews are entitled to the same gossip as gentiles. The gloves are coming off at VIN. No more sanitized polite treatment of charedi miscreants. We will name molesters and crooks. The political interests behind every new ban will be exposed. Every rabbinic shidduch will be evaluated for its implications for the standing of a malchus. We will produce objective ratings of yeshivas just as US News and World Report ranks universities. We will also start ranking Jewish charities for their effectiveness and overhead, same as they do at Charity Navigator. Kiruv guys watch out. People are going to find out whether you really are having any effect. Brochures and propaganda speeches will no longer fool contributors. Families will no longer be able to dump their less capable relatives into jobs where they are ineffective. Orthodox Jews are hungry for the truth. I will make a ton of money feeding that hunger. Continue reading