On May 8, 2009, Rabbi Yisroel Moshe (Israel) Weingarten (YMW), a Satmar Hasid, was sentenced to 30 years of imprisonment following his March 11, 2009 conviction after trial on five counts of transporting his daughter in foreign commerce for the purpose of sexually abusing her. Reporting about the trial and conviction in VosIzNeias (VIN) infuriated Shimon Weiser a Satmar askan. He pointed to this story as an example of why he instigated the ban on VosIzNeias according to a story in the Jewish Star.
In recent weeks a pidyon shvuyim (prisoner assistance) fundraising campaign has been mounted on behalf of YMW with the support of prominent rabbis in the Hasidic world including Rabbi Tuvia Weis of the Eida Charedis in Jerusalem and Rabbi Moshe Green of the Yeshiva of Monsey. Two of the three major Yiddish weeklies, the Tzitung and the Blatt, ran feature stories blaming the conviction on the false testimony of a wicked daughter who is no longer religious. There are many false assertions in these articles, which I will talk about in future posts. Suffice it to say that the articles portray Rabbi Weingarten as a saint, his accusers as liars with malicious motives, and the judge as unfair and cruel.
Rabbi Green led a group of rabbis and askanim to visit YMW in jail in Virginia. Matzav.com reported the visit but claimed it was a visit to support all Jewish prisoners in that jail and left out any mention of YMW or the campaign on his behalf. I believe this campaign will intensify into a major fundraising and political advocacy effort with broad support in the Satmar community. I believe Yisroel Moshe Weingarten will become Satmar’s Rubashkin.
YMW supporters have started peppering Frum Follies with comments that are really briefs on his behalf. Gimple wrote a particularly long and ludicrous comment.
Yisroel Moshe’s brother, Leo (Lipa) Weingarten, asked me to post this reply.
UPDATE- January 14, 2010, 2 am. Since this post was written
the public campaign was UOJ and Failed Messiah posted copies of a call to support YMW with the signatures of Rabbis Weiss, Green and others. This flyer was signed Ellul, 5769 (August 21-22, 2009) three months after he was sentenced.
What is important is that at least five important Rabbis in Satmar circles did not sign. They are Bentzeion Wosner, Yechezkel Gold and Rottenberg all of Monsey. They have publicly supported the ex-wife who testified against YMW. Most important, the head of the Satmar community in Antwerp, Rabbi Chaim Yaakov Dovid Weiss, did not sign. How could he declare this man a tzadik when he forbade him to be alone with his daughter and when he heard Weingarten confess, a confession YMW later recanted. (See Stauber letter).
Guest Post by Leo Weingarten
Before I start to refute your assertions, let me challenge you to disclose your full name. As far as I am concerned, I put my name is out there and so should you.
Now before you assert that you “know for a million percent that this whole thing is one big lie” please allow me to point out to you and the readers that a negative is impossible to prove. You can never ever claim that you know that he is one million percent innocent. Therefore, from the beginning we know that you are using hyperbole to argue your view. On the other hand I know that Yisroel Moshe (YM) molested me. Therefore I can easily infer that YM also molested his daughter. In fact, the description of the molestation my niece gave when she testified in open court was eerily very similar to what he did to me. There is no way that she was able to figure out what YM did to me.
In regard to your second assertion, that there is, “NO EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER from anyone in the world for the other side, besides the girls own words.” To begin with, you gloss over what I am saying; maybe because I am not orthodox, therefore, I don’t count. Well then let me inform you, that there are four nieces and nephews who are married and belong to Satmar who claim that they were also molested too but did not want to testify in open court because of the stigma in the Chasidic community. Furthermore, can you explain to us, why my oldest brother, Yitzchak Lieb, never came to the trial to show any support for YM? And neither did any of his children or the husbands and wives of his children, in total, fifteen adults. Ask yourself why? It was because they knew who the true YM was.
You refer to the Stauber son who you claim was a student of YM after the removal of my niece. Either you are mistaken or you are deliberately lying. The fact is, that he was not a student at the time when my niece was removed from YM’s control. Therefore, stop arguing points that can be easily proven as lies. Moreover, you try to minimize the damage that the Stauber letter inflicted on YM, with this nonsense, “Everyone is pinpointing their fingers to Rabbi Mordchai Stauber’s letter, which itself is nothing more than repeating what the girl said”. Are you arguing that because the pedophile is smart enough to cover his tracks and we only have an accuser, we should never ever believe any molestation victim, because usually there is no other witness? Are you really claiming that it could not happen because you would only believe it if the act were done in public, for all to see, like the story of Zimri and Cozbi? Are you for real?
Your other argument is that there are no Rabbis who support the other side, meaning my niece. To begin with, If possible, let me try to reason with you. Do you expect YM to go to these Rabbis and tell them that indeed he is a pedophile? During the sentencing, the defense pointed out Rabbi Weiss from Israel, and that he came to show unequivocal support for YM. When the Judge started to announce the sentence he was going to impose on YM, he acknowledged Rabbi Weiss, and others who came to support YM. But, the Judge said, ‘it makes perfect sense, that these people believe 100 percent in YM’s innocence, because no sane person would go and tell other Rabbis, about his sexual prowess. Therefore, the judge continued, it is not extraordinary, that they are supporting YM.’ Well do I need to add anything; I say no.
Your other point was, that “ they all investigated and went thru the whole story, and didn’t find ANY evidence on earth that there is any truth in this story.” Well that is a lie. None of these so-called Rabbis ever talked to my niece or to me to ascertain what we had to say. Is it, because we were not Orthodox in 2008? You could say that about us. But how can they really claim that they investigated all the facts surrounding this case, when they never even made a courtesy phone call to either of us. In addition, in 1995-1996 when my niece was only 15-16 years old, she was an orthodox girl. At that point in time, why would she even contemplate a charge of molestation at the tender age of 15? There is no rational explanation, but, that it is true.
Furthermore, you are boasting, “I can go on and on, and write here [,] books of evidence that he is COMPLETELY INNOCENT,” but the fact is, that in this post you did not advance even one argument that actually points to his innocence. Enumerating how many Rabbis support him is not evidence of innocence. So please enlighten us with facts, or don’t try to advance an argument without real proof.
Additionally, you argue “Can you explain me why a Yid like him, a Yerei Shamayim in all Taryag Mitzvos, and known as a holy man by his entire family and Yeshiva, and had no molesting history at all.” Well if he is so holy, please explain to us, why YM was thrown out of the the Nitra Yeshiva when he was around 15-16 for sexual misconduct? Under normal circumstances, I would never equate the sexual exploration of a teenager with pedophilia. But since he was preying on children as an adult I can easily extrapolate that YM, was a pedophile in the making. The Nitra episode was not just sexual exploration.
To add insult to injury, you decided to put down the Beth Din of Rabbi Bentzion Wosner. It could be said, that if I am dismissing the Beth Din, well, I am not orthodox. But what gives you the right to go Beth Din shopping? That is what really happened. YM came to the Beth Din, but when he saw that they had the Stauber letter: YM stormed out and yelled out a NEDER [vow or oath], that he will not ever come to this Beth Din. So how can you claim, that the Beth Din, probably never saw him, when the facts are otherwise.
Finally, you make the bogus statement, “There are many sites on the Internet where you can listen to phone conversations of the mother, and what a low-life she is.” Please allow me to ask, how do you know that no one tampered with the tape. The fact is, that during the trial, YM tried to submit into evidence a tape in Yiddish, purporting to prove that he innocent. But after the US Department of Justice tried to authenticate it, they discovered that is had been tampered and spliced. His lawyers had to withdraw the tape and the Judge mentioned that, (see page 12 note 9 of the ruling of the motion for dismissal. So your argument that the tapes prove that his ex-wife is not religious, cannot, and should not be relied on.
In conclusion, I understand your motive but the fact remains, that you failed to advance even one single argument of fact that has validity. Literally, every point you try to argue is nonsense. Moreover, you expose your illogical critical thinking. I believe that, no matter what you are told, you will not reflect, and change your point of view. Therefore, Gimple, let me be crystal clear; I am writing this, not for you, but for the reading audience.
Leo (Lipa) Weingarten, January 13. 2011