Frum Watch as a Replacement for Failed Messiah

Frum WatchThe February buyout of Failed Messiah by Diversified Holdings left a gap. For almost 12 years, its previous proprietor, Shmarya (Scott) Rosenberg, kept tabs on all the misdeeds of the orthodox world mostly by locating and aggregating news from other sources, and sometimes with original investigation and reporting. His sources included public professional media, blogs, kol korehs (rabbinical proclamations), pashkavilim (flyers, often anonymous), and other leaked documents.

The orthodox world, especially its Haredi segment, does not distribute information that can embarrass it, except in the rarest and most unavoidable circumstances. So those wanting to understand its happenings benefited from Shmarya’s work. It now seems clear that the new owners of Failed Messiah bought it to shut down its criticism. In spite of early promises to continue to cover sex abuse problems, they have done zilch. However, at least the old posts are still up. Should they delete them, they are mostly copied over on the Internet Archive. Just plug in the no-longer working link from FM or any other source, and it will show up if it is on the Archive.

Frum Watch, a FaceBook page attempts to fill that gap and they do a pretty good job at the aggregating function. In fact, I would say they do a better job than Failed Messiah. There is less needless inflammatory language. They have a commenting policy prohibiting bigotry towards any group and they enforce it. They are a collective, including some Hebrew and Yiddish fluent members who occasionally translate and in any event annotate or synopsize material from non-English sources. They seem to post a good half a dozen or more stories a day. There is no muss and fuss. Sometimes they let the story title speak for itself. Sometimes they briefly introduce it. Sometimes, when needed, or when they have more to say, they add to it.  Continue reading

Lost Messiah Site Hacked but Restored

Update- 5/18/16 2 p.m. (EST): The Lost Messiah site is back up. The original title of the post has been corrected.

One of the sites that attempted to fill the gap by the takeover of Failed Messiah was Lost Messiah. Sometime last night or this morning visitors to the site encountered a screen which said, “lostmessiahdotcom.wordpress.com is no longer available. The authors have deleted this site.” Continue reading

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

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