Jewish Men Should Take Comfort in the Barry Freundel Voyeurism Case

For those who haven’t heard yet, some Jewish guy named Barry was arrested for installing a hidden camera in the women’s mikveh at a Washington DC shul that sports members like Jack “Secretary of the Debt” Lew and Joe “Let’s Bomb Everything” Lieberman.

Barry is the Rabbi of the shul. He’s been the Rabbi since 1989. Barry is also on a bunch of committees for stuff like conversion, Beis Din of America something, and he teaches as an adjunct professor for an ethics course or some other ironic thing. He converts women to Judaism. But not anymore.

He was caught installing a dream machine 1980’s looking radio clock with a hidden camera in it just outside the shower.

Dream Machine Hidden Camera Radio Clock
Dream Machine Hidden Camera Radio Clock

While installing this thing in the Mikveh right outside the shower, my favorite line in the article happened:

On Sept. 28, a woman in charge of the bath’s changing area and showers noticed Freundel “plugging in a clock on the sink inside the changing area, right by the shower,” an affidavit says. She told the rabbi that there was already a clock on the wall, according to the document, and he responded, “This clock will help with the ventilation in the shower.”

That gem has to go on a T-shirt.

Rabbi Barry Freundel is suspected to have secretly videoed hundreds of women over several years dating back to 2010. Deleted files containing women’s first names from his shul were found on his computers. The amount of hardware this guy had raises an eyebrow itself.

Police listed items seized from the rabbi’s home as six external hard drives, seven laptop computers, five desktop computers, three regular cameras, 20 memory cards and 10 flash drives. Police have said the camera in the bath and another found in the home were part of clock-radios in which the hidden device was linked to a motion detector.

I have one laptop in my home, and one in my office. That’s it.

Those reading this may notice I’m taking a humorous approach to this whole thing rather than an “Oh My God what a Chillul Hashem!” approach. It’s because I don’t trust Rabbis to begin with. That doesn’t mean I don’t trust any people who happen to be Rabbis. I trust my brother and my father, both Rabbis, but that’s because I know them, more or less. I just don’t trust anyone BECAUSE he’s a Rabbi, and I think the world would be a better place if people were more inherently skeptical of people with religious authority.

The less trust in power and authority that people have, the better. That extends to doctors, government officials, financial advisors, and anyone claiming to be an expert. With Google, you can check up on whatever anyone says to you these days.

This case, though, had me thinking of several things. First, the Tefila Zakah that men are supposed to say before Yom Kippur. This is one of those guilt-trip weird psychedelic compositions written by a sad soul about how many demons he gave birth to through chronic masturbation. Then my head skipped to a pasuk from Kohelet (Ecclesiastes) I remembered from Shabbos Chol HaMoed Sukkos about nobody going through life without sinning. I’d bet a dollar that Shlomo, or whoever wrote the book, had auto-erotic self stimulation in mind. These days the chronic guilt trip among men is coupled with internet pornography.

So all you men who klopped על חטא for watching porn and other common sins, put things in perspective. These sins would include seeing a prostitute, sex outside of marriage, homosexuality for the gay people out there, or any number of consensual sexual sins. The perspective is this: When you’re watching porn, you may be hurting yourself, but it’s voluntary and you’re not harming anyone against their will. If you’re gay and you have a relationship with another man, you’re not harming anyone against their will. You’re not getting off on invading the privacy of another.

But the line from watching women naked on a screen who have been paid and agreed to be filmed, or any other sexual sin, is very, very far from something like voyeurism, where you are deliberately invading, violently, the life of another. This is a sin against the Non Aggression Principle, and is entirely different in nature.

If Barry Freundel were a normal man committing sins that most men commit, he would sit at home and get off on regular pornography, or see a prostitute, or whatever. Not that this would be perfectly fine, but it would be excusable, at least to me, maybe not to his wife. But I’m trying to imagine the moment in Feundel’s head when he decided he was going to cross the line past the Non Aggression Principle and watch women undress without their consent.

There has to be something very qualitatively different about the brain of someone who decides do do this, something very different from your average everyday guy who masturbates to pornography. I believe I speak for most men when I say that if someone showed me a voyeur video of vulnerable women I would be sick to my stomach and I’d have the urge to punch the guy in the face who took it.

If I try to get into Barry’s head for even a second, think about what it would be like to take pleasure in seeing this kind of stuff, I can’t do it. Unless I pretend I’m actually an evil person taking pleasure in the vulnerability of these poor women.

The reason I have an inherent skepticism of anyone in the position of power like a Rabbi, is that anyone in a position of power is there because some part of him wants power over people. That automatically means he’s suspect.

So let this case infuse you with skepticism. It’s healthy. And if you’re a guy who commits the same sins that most guys do all the time, take it easy on yourself. You’re not a violent voyeur.

My wife includes this chiddush that I actually like a lot. When giving tzedaka, the highest form of tzedaka is anonymous, so neither the giver nor the receiver knows who got it or where it came from. When dealing with violence, or violations of the NAP, it’s almost the opposite. With rape, at least you are not cowardly enough to hide yourself from your victim. She knows who you are, you know who she is.

But voyeurism in some ways is worse. The victim doesn’t know who you are, or even that she is a victim.

CBD Cannabis Oil May Help You Survive Ebola, but It’s Illegal

There is indirect evidence that cannabinoids, specifically CBD, help treat Ebola by calming the immune system which overreacts to the virus, causing internal bleeding and death.

But since marijuana is a schedule 1 drug with no health benefits WHATSOEVER according to a group of politicians who have no medical expertise WHATSOEVER, it’s illegal, so all Ebola victims can bleed to death for all they care.

The Ebola virus also attacks the adhesions between cells caused by the immune Killer cells to release of VEGF (Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor) which result in the destruction of the Tight Junction between cells and causes a fluid leakage between cells until bleeding occurs. The inhibition of VEGF by cannabinoids prevent the cellular junctions from haemorrhage.

Cannabinoids Inhibit VEGF and inhibit Glioma brain tumors growth by this mechanism. (6) It is reasonable to predict that inhibition of VEGF and other Cytokines by Cannabinoids during an Ebola infection will help the survival of this deadly disease.  (6 and 7) Stopping the release of Cytokines will be a key feature of treatment of this deadly disease.

See more here.

Who’s really trying to blow up Al Aqsa?

For any government trolls or Shabak monitoring this post, I do not support the blowing up of anything.

With that out of the way, here’s the next installment of Adventures with Yishmael on Har Habayit.

Version 1 is here. Version 2 here.

Anyway, this week was Chol HaMoed Sukkot, the middle of the “Feast of Tabernacles” though I still have no idea what the hell a “Tabernacle” is. It sounds like a more scientific name for a bucket of chum. I woke up at 4:15am, meeting Feiglin and his driver to do the Mikveh thing where I baptized myself, so to speak, if we’re going to use the vulgar tongue here. After doing the whole prep the night before, cutting nails, shaving, flossing, pumicing (is that a word?), etc.

We went to the Kotel for davening where about 30 people joined us. The Kotel is one of Feiglin’s least favorite places, but he went anyway. It was a good davening.

This was the 5th day of Sukkot. For the previous 4 days the Arabs were rioting on the Temple Mount with explody type stuff and rocks. The police did nothing. Then on the 5th day, when everyone knew Moshe was going up, the police went up early and locked all the Arabs inside the Mosque with all their bombs and ammunition before they could do anything.

Here’s the video.

We went up in two groups. Five of us – Moshe, Shai Malka, Michael Fuah, me and another activist – went up first since we were going all the way to the center. Well, not all the way but up to the Dome of the Rock m’Din Kibbush, meaning the only way we are allowed there halachically is that we are under the pretext of conquering the area from the Arabs by treading on it, demonstrating ownership. Once the Temple is rebuilt I will certainly not be allowed to go there. So I guess I thank the Waqf for giving me the pretext to tread where I otherwise dare not.

I remember thinking up there, back to when I was just a kid in Miami, then a college guy at Brandeis, having studied at a bunch of Yeshivas surrounded by Jews and Rabbis all my life, how the heck I of all people ended up as one of the absolute few willing, as a “religious” Jew who does believe that one gets Karet for going up to the Dome of the Rock under normal circumstances, how I ended up here, at the center of the universe, with the future Prime Minister, with the mind of a libertarian anarcho capitalist, when nobody else surrounding me all my life did.

Anyway, it was a weird feeling.

But as for the place itself, here’s the funny part. Aside from the periodic massive explosions emanating from the Al Aqsa Mosque behind us, a building we have absolutely no interest in whatsoever, the place was completely dead quiet. No screaming women, nobody bothering us, nothing.

Why the explosions coming from the Mosque? Because the Arabs decided that even though they were barricaded in the place, they were going to set off their bombs anyway. If that sounds a bit nutty, it is, because when you’re locked inside a “holy” building, you don’t really want to set off bombs. It doesn’t really make any sense.

So while the Muslims were busy blowing up Al Aqsa with whatever riot accouterments they brought with them, we peacefully treaded up to the Holy of Holies and back out. That was about it. At some point the Arabs locked in the Mosque ran out of things to explode so the massive booms stopped.

The booms were loud enough to shake the air a bit, and that was at a long distance from the Al Aqsa itself. I can only imagine how deafeningly loud the explosions were to the weird – and now probably deaf and stumbling from blown out inner ears – people setting off the bombs from inside.

What the hell is wrong with these crazy people? I understand you don’t want us walking around. But why in the name of Allah would you set off bombs in your own Mosque when you’re barricaded in there? 

Well, maybe they really are that stupid.

I remember also thinking that the root kuf tzadi – קצ as in Al Aqsa, along with meaning “end” also means “gross” or “revolting” and “sickening”. As in ותאמר רבקה אל יצחק קצתי בחיי מפני בנות חת.

Let me put this clearly for any Arabs reading this. We don’t want your mosque. I suggest you stop blowing it up if you want to keep davening there.

Anyway, good Yom Tov everyone. We’re now two blood moons down, two to go.


Gold Alert

The Gold Alert is being signalled today. By Gold Alert I mean market down, dollar down, bonds down, and gold up all in the same day. I wrote about it when it happened in 2012. Since then I haven’t been following, but I will report from now on.

One day means nothing, but many days in a row and that means we’re in the final end game. So as of now, the market is down, bonds are down, the dollars index is down, and gold is up, but just barely.


Stop Bashing Muslim Countries and Look in the Mirror

I’ve never heard of Reza Aslan before, but he is awesome. His best points in this video:

3) Female genital mutilation, meaning cutting off the clitoral head, is a problem in Africa Christian countries, not Muslim countries. (Male genital mutilation, AKA circumcision, is discussed on this blog here and here. I am pro male circumcision and against female circumcision, and though that may be logically inconsistent to a degree, that’s the position I hold. For those who want to comment in defence of milah, yes I am fully aware that female circumcision is much more cruel than male.)

2) When somebody says “Muslim countries are bad” he really means Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan. The rest are on par with other Western States, more or less.

3) And this was the kicker: Saudi Arabia has beheaded more people in the name of Islam than ISIS. Yet the US bombs ISIS and pays Saudi Arabia. Why? Because of cheap oil. The US should be consistent, either bomb both Saudi Arabia and ISIS for beheading people in the name of Islam, or stop bombing everyone. Which would be my choice. That last part was mine. See the video. Absolutely awesome.

Statist old men in the locker room swooning over Netanyahu

One of the privileges of my job is that I set my own hours. That means I can go to the gym in the mornings when everyone else my age is busy getting stuck in traffic jams on government owned and controlled Route 5 trying to get to a crowded office somewhere near Tel Aviv or Petach Tikva. It also means that I’m usually the only, or at least one of the very few, youngish people at the gym in the mornings. Everyone else is an old guy post retirement hanging out and complaining.

I usually don’t join in the conversation in the locker room after a workout. This is because the subject matter usually has to do with nutrition, and my approach to nutrition is pretty much diametrically opposed to what these pensioners have been taught their whole lives. I eat large amounts of fat, cholesterol, and protein, they think I’m going to die young, and they eat “whole grains”. I don’t trouble myself with trying to convince retirees that they’ve been poisoning themselves for 60-80 years which is why they’re on so many prescription drugs and everything they’ve been taught is wrong, because if someone eats the wrong stuff that’s their business. I leave them alone. That and the conversation is in Hebrew and drumming up the strength to switch languages and get my brain into Hebrew mode isn’t worth the effort.

But today they started talking about how supposedly “difficult” the job of Prime Minister of Israel is. That it is the “most difficult” job and one has to be a genius to do it well. My stomach began to turn, because I could see where this was going.

One of the younger old guys drew me in to the conversation. He said, “I have such a high opinion of Netanyahu, I admire him SO much, the man is so X, so Y, so Z” where X Y and Z are all good amazing things. He fawned. My soul vomited slightly. If someone wants to poison himself, fine. But when you start loving people who control MY life and steal from ME, then I start caring.

So I took the bait. I don’t care about Netanyahu. Netanyahu is irrelevant. It’s the fact that someone can value a person because he rules over him that pisses me off.

I asked, “האם יש משהו שנתניהו יכול לעשות באופן תאורטי כדי שאתה לא תעריץ אותו?”

“Is there anything that Netanyahu could theoretically do that would cause you to stop admiring him?”

He thought for about three seconds, and then said, “I don’t think like you. I look at the good. I don’t look at the bad.”

“So there’s nothing he could do, he could kill anybody, steal from anybody, kick anyone out of their home and you would still love him?” I asked.

“I know your approach, I don’t agree with it. I try to find the good.”

Then I started paraphrasing some Chumash to him angrily. “How wonderful it was in Egypt when we sat on the meat pots and ate bread to our fill! They threw our babies in the Nile and enslaved us but we love the Egyptians! We look at the good side!”

Then the whole thing devolved into “What’s your approach” and me saying I’m an anarchist and them ganging up and saying the standard cliches like the rich will eat the poor and we’ll all kill each other etc.

Then I realized. The old people are a lost cause. They grew up in the state and they will die with the state. It’s the young people that matter. The ones that are pissed off, the ones that know it can be so much better if the rulers would just go away and get a job. The ones who understand that loving a political leader unconditionally no matter how much he abuses you and steals from you and kicks your family out of their homes, is insanity, Egyptian slave mentality insanity.

If you’re young and you’re reading this and you’re pissed off with politics, stay gold, as Ponyboy would say.

Secret Service Lets an armed convict in an elevator with Obama

Just to clarify, I have no problem with the Secret Service letting an armed convict in the elevator with Obama. I don’t care about Obama, and though I do not wish the man ill at all and I only hope he returns to private life as soon as possible, his safety is no concern of mine. So I am not writing this with a feeling of “how dare they”. More of a “they’re idiots”. In any case, here’s another screw up by the Secret Service that is being reported now.

From Fox News (no I am not a Fox News fan. I just go there for headlines out of habit from when I used to be a neocon. Though I have to admit it’s getting really annoying looking at even a small thumbnail picture of O’Reilly pointing at me with his pompous finger. Every time. That’s the pose they catch him in every time.)

President Obama shared an elevator earlier this month with an armed security contractor who has three felony convictions relating to assault and battery, in the latest report of a serious violation of Secret Service security protocols.

Multiple sources confirmed to Fox News the incident, which took place in an elevator during Obama’s Sept. 16 visit to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. The incident was first reported by The Washington Post and the Washington Examiner.

The latest embarrassment for the Secret Service comes after agency Director Julia Pierson told lawmakers at a Tuesday hearing “she took full responsibility” for a Sept. 19 breach of the White House. Pierson admitted that presidential security fell apart when a knife-wielding intruder jumped a White House fence earlier this month and sprinted untouched across the lawn, entering the first family’s residence through an unlocked door and making his way into the East Room reception area.

This was not a convict by strictly government definition, like a harmless drug user or dealer or insider trader or tax evader. This was a guy convicted three times of assault and battery, an actual, real crime that in a minarchist society would actually be government’s role to punish.

This is even more proof that there is no government elite. Almost all of them are dumb. The regulator bureaucrats and the actual government officials together. It’s all a show to make you think your rulers are more competent than they actually are, that they can put together a Jason Bourne to protect the world or something, when they’re all just a bunch of bumblers.

I would exclude from that any skilled worder who works in an industry that is monopolized by the government, like a doctor. Included though are most postal workers, cops, and Empire-maintenance soldiers invading whatever country they’re invading and inspiring the next terrorist group. I think the US is invading Syria now is it? Have fun.