New Square, NY – VIN Exclusive: Skverer Rebbe Speaks Out in Ami Magazine


    Rabbi Frankfurter spent several hours this week in New Square this past Sunday night with Rabbi Twersky and community activists who are still reeling from the alleged arson attack. Photo by Shmuel Lenchevsky for Ami magazineNew Square, NY – An upcoming story in this week’s Ami Magazine hitting newsstands on Wednesday will present an exclusive interview with the Skverer Rebbe, Rabbi David Twersky, who speaks out in depth about the horrifying events that occurred in New Square less than two weeks ago.

    Rabbi Yitzchok Frankfurter, editor of the magazine, spoke at length with the Rebbe who denounced the actions of one zealous individual saying, “I condemn in the strongest possible terms any violence or coercion under any circumstances. The use of force violates the very precepts upon which this community was founded. My father was willing to sacrifice his life for peace. I have tried to instill this trait in the entire community. This is a sad episode for all of us. We must also pray for the speedy recovery of all those hurt in this incident.”

    Rabbi Frankfurter spent several hours this week in New Square this past Sunday night with Rabbi Twersky and community activists who are still reeling from the alleged arson attack.

    “This is a peaceful, loving, selfless community,” said Rabbi Frankfurter in an exclusive interview with VIN News. “This is a terrible episode and no one in the community is condoning what happened here. We have to put a stop to this. Jews of all stripes have to start living together in harmony.”

    Ami Magazine’s interview with the Skverer Rebbe will be featured exclusively on Vos Iz Neias this coming Sunday.

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    1. I am personally glad that VIN posted a story about Skver that reflects the chasidus as it was intended. The commenters on other threads unleashed enormous amounts of vicious, hateful comments, suggesting that the atrocities are consistent with the derech of Skver, and even sanctioned and approved by the rebbe. Nothing can be further from the truth. Even the most luscious fruit can have pits. Perfection is not a trait expected from humans. Every so often, Hashem displays the imperfections for all. That is our personal message to never take spiritual life for granted, and to make the mission of existence in this world to remain ever conscious of His will. I have not read the article either, but I do know the rebbe. I fear that the same vengeance that led to the horrific accusations and blind judgments will repeat themselves in the comments on this thread.

      There is no derech of Avodas Hashem, not the many branches of chasidim nor the yeshiva world that are blemish free. Does Lakewood’s freezer make sense? Does only the Rosh Yeshiva getting Sidur Kidushin make sense? How about the many splits between families in Satmar, Bobov, Vizhnitz,etc? No one condones horror. Achdus!

      • Yes, the comments on VIN about the incidents were”vicious, hateful comments”, but the arson and attempted murder are simply “a slight imperfection”, as “even the most luscious of fruit can have pits”.

        You are a very delusional person, and an apologist for animals.

    2. Was wondering what toke them so long, I know they have a good PR machine, But let’s see if they gana be able to fix the damage, time will tell

    3. We await the rebbe’s side of the story. With that said… I will be looking for a few key pieces of information.

      1) Are residents allowed to pray at a different shul than that of the rebbe’s. If they are not, how is this not coercion?
      2) Did the rebbe ever rebuke his people when they damaged cars and other property of the assaulted individual?
      3) When protests were held at the assaulted individual’s house, what was the purpose? If this was not encouraged, why did the rebbe’s son pass by in a car and not tell the people to stop harassing this person?

      • I will be looking for a few key pieces of information.
        Who are you to look for this? Who is even interested in what ur thinking about this whole story!!!?????

      • Allow me to explain a bit:
        1)the Rebbe’s father ZT”L sacrificed himself to build this community for the sake of yiddishkeit. He made takanos and the Skever Rebbe follows it strongly. If you do not wish to abide by those rules, no one is stopping you from moving out!
        2)The couple of times that I have been zoche to meet the Skvere Rebbe, proved to me what a soft hearted person he is with love for every jew. I cannot imagine that if he did hear about an incident as you discribe, that he would not react.
        3) You cannot prove the details of the media, true or false, as, much of the information was not accurate since they were coming from individuals who resent the community due to personal issues…

        • Thanks for the explanation. It still does not sit with me though. For one, the Rebbe does not own the entire town so he cannot force people to pray at a certain venue. If the Rebbe does not know what is going on in his tighknit community, is he still fit to lead? These are people that consult the rebbe, for most decisions right? I imagine that your correct, that there are people who resent the community.At least some people must be justified. Like the gentelman who was burned.

        • They are known to be nice and warm to outsiders who come on occasions such as before yom tovim and simchas for brochos. But to be a real insider and part of the community you better follow all the rules or they will encourge you to leave.

        • In reply to poster #14; your comment in 1) that “if you do not wish to abide by those rules, no one is stopping you fr moving out” > that is simply NOT TRUE.
          Yes, he could have moved but nobody would have purchased his house or only for a small fraction of its’ actual value. (This was the talk in informed circles).
          In response to your 2) statement; I was once or twice by him for a ‘Broche’ many years ago. My personal experience was negative; I was very unimpressed!
          All I got out from it was that shortly after my visit (I went for personal requests, not just for fun) I got a visit by two of his towns’ folks who wanted to shake me down for a large sum of money for their institutions; (I prefer to keep details private). Needless to say that I was not in a position to comply; that’s why I went to seek a Broche fr him!
          Just a few years ago some Skverer folks ended up in jail because of the ‘PelleGrants’ or moneys that the Government shelled out to private institutions. Skver was caught with their hands in the cookie jar and others sat in jail by shielding the Rebbe (use your imagination!). Get the message?

      • I would suggest you don’t even start looking for these points, as it would be a brocha levatoloh.
        This whole idea of this is to stop people from associating skver with this attack and draw their attention to the good aspects of skver. I doubt there will be a in depth discution of this whole story.

    4. I think this is a bit of damage control in response to the overwhelming condemnation of both the attack itself and the subsequent failure of the rebbe to speak out more forcefully. I’m even more surprised that Rav Frankfuter needs an interpreter to communicate with the Rebbe. I had assumed, perhaps incorrectly, that the rebbe would be fluent in English. However, its really a shock that the editor of Ami wouldn’t be able to speak in Yiddish and needs the guy in the middle to interpret.

      • Why in the world do you assume the guy in the middle is an interpreter? I’m quite certain the rebbe speaks English and Rabbi Frankfurter speaks yiddish. The third person is probably a gabbai or one of the rebbe’s minions who also took part in the conversation.

      • I Know Rabbi Frankfurter very well for 30 something years and Yiddish is his mother tounge. Check your facts before commenting on a photo based on your assumptions and speculation.

      • The Skevere Rebbe speaks English very well. The man in the middle of the picture is Reb Shaya, the Rebbe’s gabbai. They are probably just sharing a remark together. I don’t think he’s translating. I have spoken with the Rebbe a few times and never needed a translator.

      • You are utterly ignorant!! The Rebbe is an American boy so to speak. He went to elementary school with my father a’h. His English is probably much better than YOURS! You probably have this mishigas in your mind that chasidim can’t speak English & if they do they thpeak it vith ah lithp. Well if that’s the case you are nothing more than a glorified tipish!

    5. Some of the commenters here are doing exactly what #1 said would happen. I want to know how these hateful people who trust no one but themselves, considering it okay to incriminate an entire community they don’t know are any better than the people they complain about? My therapist talks about “displaced anger”. I think that would explain there commenters.

    6. The rebbe who is the boss of the town knows when the guy down the street sneezes. It is impossible for him not to have known about the ongoing situation which led to this attack. There were numerous other attacks that the rest of the NY area knew about so there is no way any sane person can say the rebbe didn’t know. There were many opportunities to stop the terror. The rebbes word becomes law. The rebbe by not stopping the terror enabled another person to carry out an act that would have resulted in mass murder. Nice attempt on his part trying to spin this one.

    7. For various personal and professional reasons connected to a number of prior episodes involving the Skvirer leadership (the details of which need not now be publicly aired), I inherently am personally very, very skeptical regarding the Skvirer Rebbe.

      That said, I really, really want the Rebbe to have a fair opportunity to present his sfora, because until now, there has been much speculation and suspicion. Accordingly, I look forward to reading the Interview when it posts. Perhaps it will shed some light onto a subject now in dire need of illumenation.

      The two burn victims are not the only ones ailing from the incident. The Interview may well leave me and others with unanswered questions. But maybe it will help to facilitate a much needed healing process. I, for one, am willing to give it a chance.

    8. The truth is that those saying “I want to see a response to this and to that” do not care in the least what the Rebbe says. They have already mad up their minds. As small as those minds may be.

      No matter what will be said, the Rebbe should have said this or said it in such a venue or come over to me personally.

      And that is the truth.

      Many times people are not looking for answers, they are happier with their “questions”. And that is what all the commenters demanding specific responses really are.

      I don’t understand what exclusive to VIN means, won’t this be published in AMI magazine?

    9. in his last interview with the Mishpacha Magazine the Skvere Rebbe exclaimed that there are no dropouts in Skver. (like Ahmadinejad claimed in an interview that there are no g••s in Iran)

      Last time the interview with the Skvere Rebbe appeared right after the pictures with the Clintons were publicized and it was a clear PR stunt to switch the topic. Rumors were circulating then that Skver spent $20k for that PR stunt.

      In my humble opinion skver is doing the right thing by going public with its denunciation, and I hope it’s a real strong message for Skver and for non Skver alike.

      As my mom always used to say “Better late than never!”

    10. People should give the rebbe the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he is I fact innocent and didn’t know that his house bochor was going to pour a flammable liquid on a fellow Jew and then set him on fire.
      Maybe he didn’t know gAsoline is flammable either. He is a big tzaddik. He doesn’t get involved in little gashmius things like we do. Show some bitachon rabosai.

    11. “If you do not wish to abide by those rules, no one is stopping you from moving out!”

      Sounds like a threat to me. A hate crime is a punishable felony in this country, which is not Jewland. Let them correct the money laundering issues before pointing fingers at others.

    12. “Alleged” arson attack??? Is anybody denying the fact that rottenberg was attacked?
      After such an introduction I already can tell you that the whole article will be just to improve the image of skver and 95% will talk about the chesed and torah of new square.
      It’s true that new square is rich in torah chesed and ehrliche yidden, but on the other hand it sends the wrong message when problems are ignored and shoved under the carpet.

    13. We must “also” pray for the speedy recovery of all those hurt in this incident.”???????

      Why can’t he say directly I am praying & we should all pray for the VICTIM.

    14. The story comes to show how low people can be, people who have no idea about Skver they do not know any details of the rabbi and his views, they did not know who Rotenberg was and how much tzar and trouble he caused the rabbi, yet they are happy to comment, texting jumping with all kinds of non sense and Lushen Hora and bezoin talmud chachumim. no! your not better then anyone your trying to condemn in fact you’re much worse, since you’re considering your self educated.
      This Story should have not happen no question about it, but yet the details are unclear, what the media says is 100% not true as we see all the time, we all know what the media likes, and we all know to whom the media spoke, a bunch of Bums.

      • yes the media always lies 100% .not really it is you who just thinks they do because you think skver and others simply can do no wrong. I guess the million dollar scams the media reported on was false too. Of course it was.

        If the media lies 100% them maybe you think there is no burn victim

        Oh the pain the Tzar Rottenburg gave to the skver rebbie not davenning in his shul.
        The tzar to his kovod or his ego must be very painful according to you.

      • wow youre some piece of work youre so out of touch with the real world that you dont even know how foolish you look writing such baloney, there is nothing to know we dont have to be brain surgeouns to see what happened here, the media says what it sees but you are in tottal fantasy youre the one who is 100 per cent in denial and you lie to youreself but you cant even see that,i can tell you this over 20 years when 30 million dollar theft took place there in new square the feds were scared to go in there they said this was in the new york times i read it myself that they are being sorrounded by the people there when they try to hand summons they the feds were physically threatened by a bunch of guys so you see square is a place of insanity and terror you better wake up before its too late.

      • I know this Rottenberg and his family and he is not what they would like to portray him. Shame on them for trying to character assassinate him? It’s a shame what they said on the family when everyone knows that his mother is a tzadeikes and his father was an emessa Ehrlicha Yid, who didn’t chepa a butterfly. Pray tell me what tzar and trouble he caused the rabbi for Davening in an old age home outside of Square?

        The question remains: does someone living in Square have a right to Daven outside the town? Yes, or no? If that is a Takuna, then it should be changed; no one owns anybody.

        • the takuna in skver is that people living there must daven shabbos with the only minyan.
          al pi halacha a kehila has the right to make a takuna and it must be obeyed.
          the poskim write about a town where there was a takuna that you must buy matzo from the kehila, that those who buy matzo from elsewhere may not make a brucha because of the halacha of “Botzeah Beirach…”.
          you may chalenege that this is not democratic, as you could chalenge many halochos.
          after all the torah is not always according to the democratic rules.

          • Yes a Rov has a right ahl pi Torah to asser shchitas chitz, and even matzah from the outside, but he doesn’t have a right to tell you where to go or not to if that is ok ahl pi Torah. No Rov is going to tell you that going to an old age home to daven is against the Torah. But one question I have to you; let’s say you’re right; do you justify intimidation? Please tell us what is allowed and what is not, in order to get him out of there.

            If you don’t have the answer then the bucherim surely don’t, and you owe it to them so that they know if they can burn down houses or not. The way Skver has reacted by putting the blame on the victim and character assassinating him; no Skverer bucher would know not to do this again. All I’ve heard from you is that the victim is this and the victim is that. What concerns me is that there be no more victims, and if that requires changing the takuness then it’s high time to do it.

          • The reason why a rav can aser things like shchitei chitz is because of hasugas gevul (the local shochtim lose business) your claim would be akin to asur eating shcitei shitz in a different city, which no rav can aser

      • You are very funny: The VICTIM caused the REBBE tsar? How? By not davening in his shul?

        The media spoke to NS chasidim, as seen is the VIN video posted a few days ago. bad enough that NS chasidim are illiterate in English, but it is clear that your rationalization doesn’t hold up -your “talmidei chachomim” are simply terrorists,much worse than al queda, as al queda attacks their enemies, not their own kind.

    15. Mr. Rottenberg should have a speedy refuah shelaima and the accused should also. I think the link of Mr. Rottenberg speaking should be posted for all to see, he wants peace and ahavas yisroel too.
      The fact remains there are 3 sides to every story and to date we have only heard one side. New Square and The Rebbe did not come out and tell their side to the story and the Rottenbergs never released the surveillance tape of what actually took place. so before we all become the prosecutor, judge and jury all in one one, let us be torah following Jews and in the mean time believe and practice the words in the mishnah ” hevei dan ess KOL ADAM LKAV ZCHUS”

    16. the skver rebbe should take a lesson in PR from the Spinka rebbe. the first step is to admit fault for what has caused this terrible act, not to deny persecuting dissent.

    17. I’m reading VIN for a nice couple of years. And following this news what happened in Skver from the beginning. Saw all the comments of all type of people. But… What makes me throw up is the few people who’re bashing all the Chasidem for this or any other story. From the comments they write I see that there is the same few people thay when ever it comes up an issue of Chasidem they’re up and about…

      Let me ask you a few questions.
      1) I know their are fights in Satmar, is there any other Chasides or even community in the world who is doing soooo much Chesed for someone else??? When it comes to help there will be not even one Satmar Chused who will look which Chused he is. They’ll even help any Tziyoini who cursed them out on any blog or site and titled them as Sonei Yisroel… I’m not gonna say that this makes them right. But, don’t talk with such a big mouth against the whole issue of Chasides! Don’t come up that not this was wanted by the Baal Shem Tov Hk’, I’m sure that what you do especially talking and knocking hundreds of thousands of Yiden was also not wanted by your Gedoilem & the Gr”u ztz”l.

      2) Let’s look into your circle. There was major fight in Ponvitz Yeshiva, not Chasidem! Were you also there to condemn the incident? Or you closed your eyes? Did any of the Rushei Yeshivas or sides come out to say that we did a big mistake? They also went to court & fought non stop, wasn’t it such a Chilul HaShem as when any Chasudes went to court?

      3) Yes! Problem happens all over. But… As long there is a benefit for others (the competition in Satmar brought us Chasina Takunas & high standard of Kashrus & many more) just sit aside and watch. So far fights between the modern people & Litvisha didn’t bring anything to Klal Yisroel!!!

      Thanks for listening… I wanted to write this so long ago, but now I felt I have to…

    18. I have a bigger issue with Rabbi Frankfurter making comments about how wonderful Skver is. A reporter needs to be objective and should let his opinions influence his/her reporting, otherwise he is a columnist/opinionator. In this case he should report what the Rebbe and whomever else he’s interviewed said . His comments suggest that they were the condition for him being granted the interview with the Rebbe that will surely guarantee the selling out of the issue. I’ll take the gamble and say now, before i’ts been published, that Ami will portray Skvere, The Skvere Rebbe and shtetl as the perfect and ideal place on earth to live,

      • I have criticized Skver when they try to intimidate people living there, but at the same time we should also admit that barring that, the Skverer shtetl is the perfect and ideal place on earth to live.

        My problem is not with their Torah, chassidus or their chesed, which they can be very proud of; my problem is when hubris sets in and his Chassidim forget that he is only a Rebbe not God.

        The same problem I have with Satmar too, trying to intimidate everyone in Williamsburg not to carry with the Eiriv. Who gives them the right to chepa Yiden who disagree with them?

      • What a self rightoues person you are! Suddenly you are looking for the truth (?) Where have you been until now when the media has unabashadly repeatedly portrayed the whole story ONE SIDED!!!

        • “a_one Says: “ What a self rightoues person you are! Suddenly you are looking for the truth (?) Where have you been until now when the media has unabashadly repeatedly portrayed the whole story ONE SIDED!!! ”

          really? What’s the OTHER side? That there was no arson attempt? That the rebbe had “tsar” from Rottenberg? That therre are “takonones” in place?

          There IS no other side to this stupidity by simpletons who think they are being frum by violating every odom-le’odom mitzvah that exists.

          They should re-name New Square if they are so insistent on their honesty and call it “Chelm” instead. At least then other Jews would know what they were dealing with.

    19. It looks like the the Rebbe is doing the right thing. The only thing I would like him to add is to make the bochor who set this fire to visit his victims in the hospital. I have personally seen someone hospitalized from severe burns and I think if he sees with his own eyes what he did to another Yid it will be the last time he ever hurts someone.

    20. How can Skver be considered a peace-loving community after the way they treat Breslov?
      Skvere Chassidim consider the word “Breslov” a dirty word. When forced to refer to Breslov, they call it “Beh”. Try it on any Skverer and you will see.
      This Skvere Rebbe made the lives of a few known Breslover Chassidim in Monsey a living hell. Their families still remember how they were stalked by Skvere Chassidim, threatened and coerced into divorces, property damaged, etc. for the crime of one of them having joined a Melaveh Malka in Skvere. Anyone can do a little research by the Brelovers in Monsey and confirm this.
      When Reb Luzer Kenig, the Breslover Rav of Tzfas, went to visit the Skvere Rebbe, his meeting wasn’t reported in “B’Chatzros Kodsheini”, the Skvere weekly which reports on every “Rav” who visits him. Ask any Skverer for back issues and you can see for yourself.
      Whenever the Skevere goes to EY, when he visits the Kosel or Meron his chassidim gather all of the Breslover seforim in sight and burn them. I have spoken to people who remember how when he was in Meron in the 1980s he presided over a bonfire of Breslover seforim.

    21. I agree with #1, #28, & #30. Bottom line: a human being was set on fire. Don’t try & excuse it as an unfortunate accident: the lunatic was trying to burn the house down while people slept. Either way, he intended this family serious harm & he succeeded in harming Mr. Rottenberg.

      I just don’t get what’s wrong with the rest of you. Have you seen the video? Have you ever been to a burn unit & seen (& heard) the screams of agony from burn victims when their dressings are changed? I have.

      Whether or not the Rebbe knew is another issue. I don’t think we’ll ever know but speculation is rife. Meanwhile, I too have a hard time with anyone equating the victim & the perpetrator. The term “alleged” assault?? How much more proof is needed?

      I wish this Spitzer a refuah shleima, then he can rot in jail for 20 years. I honestly believe this is a case of collective community responsibility. No one has come forward to speak out in support of this family. Is there a gag order? What help & support is the family getting? Are they getting anything? Or are people saying it’s their own fault & they are still treated as pariahs? Glad I don’t live there. Ahavas Yisrael, anyone?


      • Whether or not the Rebbe knew is another issue. I don’t think we’ll ever know but speculation is rife. Meanwhile, I too have a hard time with anyone equating the victim & the perpetrator. The term “alleged” assault?? How much more proof is needed?

        they always use alleged assault I guess for legal reasons.

        whether the rebbie knew or did not know might be an unknown. however, what is known is that he created an atmosphere . of oppression that lead to this event. And he still does not address that issue.

        • I’m not a lawyer, but I believe that the term “alleged” is required for use when referring to a suspect. That is because he has not been convicted in court. That would be needed because otherwise we, who write about him in the media or cyberspace are essentially convicting him, and he could not get a fair trial later. There may also be the potential for lawsuit against the writer. However, the “alleged assault” or “alleged arson” should be unnecessary. Leaving out the “alleged” does not convict the suspect, just speaks about the event, which is not disputed. Even testimony in beis din does not convict until a psak is issued.

          I agree that the atmosphere which permitted this event to occur must be addressed. maybe the rebbe speaks about it in the article.

      • I feel I have to say it even if some will pounce on me for saying it; so be it.

        Call Spitzer any name you want and I’ll join the chorus, but no one in his right mind believes that he wanted to burn down a house with all its inhabitants. After all, what he did shows how shallow he is, not to see the consequences his actions might cause. I truly believe that he wanted to burn down the house not its inhabitants.

    22. To be “dan lkaf zechus” does NOT mean to deny that a crime or aveiro occurred. That is simple denial and self-deception. To infer motives, to suggest conspiracy theories, etc. is the area where we are applying judgment, and that requires us to be “DAN lekaf zechus”.

      Having stated this, my take is that we know limited (but painful) information. We know about the tragic assault (not alleged but actual). We presume we know the perpetrator (in light of no denial of that fact, I accept it as truth). We have no factual knowledge of who was behind it, what was intended (beyond that it was to damage), who else knew of the assault, who is defending it, the role of the rebbe, etc. It pains me to read the rage and vengeance written here based on assumptions and beliefs. Questions are indicated. The accusations, the foregone conclusions, the pronouncements are not.

      We have fools who wish to tell a magazine what to write. We have more fools concluding that chassidus is equal to arson, violence, and hero worship. We have fools that justify horrific crime. And there are too many angry people who are directing everything at Skver without looking into their own mirrors.

    23. Ami magazine is just spewing more Kool-Aid for the masses. The bottom line is that for years there have been notices sent out promoting and inciting action to be taken against those who do not follow all of their rules. Forget about a “peaceful, loving, selfless community.” There have been so many civil rights violations in New Square over the years without a single word against it from the rebbe, it is hard to believe his sincerity now.

        • the only sonna is you youreself or they themself are their own worst enemy here that is the squarers they bought this unbeleivable hillel hashem on themselfs this is america not prewar shtettel where even there no such nonsense happened theese squareres have it too good if they would wrok hard for a living they would;nt have the appetite for such stupidity.

      • There are many reasons possible. Who says that Rottenberg wants a visit? Who gives you the right to pasken what needs to happen? Are you the dayan or posek to determine who is responsible and what they need to do? If the rebbe would make that visit, would you and the other angry people here find some verbal expression to dismiss it as an insincere display for the public? Answer this to yourself honestly.

    24. Reply # 59 I wanna understand what your saying, rav pollack was willing to give away his olem habo but not let him sell the house. This is quite contradicting.

      • who didn’t let him sell the house? this is totaly false! he was offered $350,000 for his small house, way above the market value, and he only wanted to get $500,000.
        originaly when he bought this house, he signed a document that since its near the mikva he will not be able to expand his house or to build on the adjacent lot. thats why he got this for a bargain. now the kehila took down this restriction, so he was able to sell it for much more than what he originaly paid. he had no interest to have things settled peacefully…

        • What bargain? He bought it from a Skverer who left to settle elsewhere and be a free man. With the buyer he sure didn’t sign any agreement, and with Skver he didn’t have to sign because he won’t get the permits anyway if they think that he shouldn’t build. A person should have a right to sell his property for whatever he thinks its worth. His was prime property between the mikva and the beis hamedrash. He had a right to refuse only $350,000; I heard he was only offered $300,000.

          • by the way this is the amount the bail for the buchur was what a shame they could have given it to him and saved themselves all these bushas

          • both could be true, someone offered $300,000 and someone offered $350,000.
            the bottom line is that he had no restricions on selling his house if he was realy interested…

            • Selling it for $350,000 when it’s worth at least $500,000 means to you that he wasn’t interested in selling? Again blaming the victim.

              I have news for you. He doesn’t have to sell it if he doesn’t want to; that’s his right under the constitution and lehavdil ahl pi dinei Torah.

    25. What the Skverer and their supporters and yes men completely fail to understand and comprehend with their this was terrible, BUT, OR HAVING SAID THAT, ETC…
      They are not living in back in a little shtetl in pre nazi europe. America has it’s rules and regulations and those include FREEDOM OF RELIGION. That means anyone can pray in ANY SHUL that they like. Skverer are about to find that out the hard way.

    26. The Rebbe should have taken Damage Control 101.
      Lesson #1: Condemn a despicable act immediately and without ifs, ands or buts.
      I hope the Rebbe learned his lesson now.
      He really blew it.

    27. A man is in critical condition in the hospital. Video footage in cyber space and police documents of prior incidents exist. Al this and NS is in spin mode. Disgusting. I can only hope the Rebbi is truly clueless of what those that surround him do to people in NS. Otherwise, he is not being truthful and that is beyond unthinkable.

    28. I want to add one important point to No one, Why when someone buys a house in Skver he pays more than its value and when Skver desides he must go he gets less than nothing?.

      • there is no such a thing “Skver decides”…
        everyone who moves into Skver knows beforehand the rules and regulations, and if YOU decided to live there it means that you feel that you could go along with that. if you decide later that you want to change your lifestyle and move out, you should not have a problem to sell your house for the market value as there is a shortage and people are looking to buy apartments. just because you decided to sell an old house for a specific amount and no one is intersted to pay that enormous price, you cant blame Skver…

        • Most people living there today were born there; therefore the “knew beforehand the rules and regulations” does not apply. If you want to go that route then those who first settled there thought that the previous Rebbe will make the rules and they had no problem with that; but they didn’t wave their rights to his son, and surely not to his grandsons, which they had could have no idea how they turn out..

        • we wont blame skver because if u dont abide with any of the rules we will terrorize u until u move. Thats probably the peace people that the rebbi is talking about. If u abide its fine but if not will make you and your families life miserable.
          and dont forget the bochurim in yeshiva what mesage is this for them. If the khal says they deserve the act they will be permitted to do anything cuz they dont abide by the rule. OY VEY

          • No the reason he couldnt sell his house was because the rebbe built a mikva next door afterwards and now refuses to let anyone buy it and build there, because it would overlook the mikva. Other houses are allowed to but as punishment his wont be.

        • just because mr rottenberg decided not to sell his beautifull and sought after house for the specific amount you cant blame him, and he does not deserve to be burnt alive because of it

    29. “everyone who moves into Skver knows beforehand the rules and regulations, and if YOU decided to live there it means that you feel that you could go along with that. if you decide later that you want to change your lifestyle and move out,”

      NS is an incorporated village in the State of New York in the United States of America. It is NOT a private country club. The Bill of Rights and civil liberties rule personal choices not dicta from the Rebbe. US Constitution 101 holds all the answers.

    30. I AM NOT SKVERE BUT I HOLD OF ALL FRUM YIDDEN. From what I understand the one making the fire did not know anyone was home because they were away for Shabbos and came home at 2 am. So I dont think anyone would burn down a house with people inside. If the victim would of just gave a loud yell the kid would of run away and nothing would of happened but instead he confronted the kid and tried pulling away his scarf to get his identity. This caused both of them to get injured as in any fight both sides get hurt if there is a physical confrontation.. The Rebbe never told anyone to burn down a house ,certainly not a kid who just turned 18 years old that day. No one would trust a kid to do such a job. SKVERE HAS DIFFERENT LEVELS OF PEOPLE LIKE EVERYWHERE ELSE. They need to create another skvere community to seperate the elite chassidim to the more materialistic types. Just as there is a marines and navy seals as elite units compared to the regular army which is less elite. Maybe just maybe a shidduch could be made with the victims daughter and the 18 year old and that could of been the purpose of this unfortunate incident.

      • What is elite in your eyes might not be in the eyes of Hashem; who is to decide who is better and who is worse. Yesh koineh oilumoi beshu achas…

      • so you found your way into this article and you post your shtusim for the third time.
        first, please explain what “I HOLD OF ALL FRUM YIDDEN” means in simple English.
        second, you say they need to seperate the elite from the non elite. my question is, where would you put the alleged would be murderer, whould he qualify for the elite? or H B who was convicted of molestation, does he belong amongst the marines or the navy seals?

      • Tzvi, again with the elite and navy seals?? I think it’s best if you would just shut up; you’ve proven many times over what a shoiteh you really are. Remember, syag lechochma shtika. in your case, these words are golden.

      • As William Shakespeare (almost) wrote: “Methinks Tzvi doth protest too much”.

        FWIW, I am, beginning to think that Tzvi #85 has begun to display an unhealthy obsession over Marines and Navy SEALs. Is there a psychiatrist in the house?

      • “Maybe just maybe a shidduch could be made with the victims daughter and the 18 year old and that could of been the purpose of this unfortunate incident. ”

        Just what planet did this Tzvi come from? Where did he conceive such a crazy idea?
        Does our Tzvikale really believe that Mr Rottenberg (he should be healthy and well) and his wife would ever even THINK of such a cursed union?

        I am really boiling over with anger at Tzvi’s crass idiocy and rank stupidity. Can nothing be done about him?

      • “They need to create another skvere community to seperate the elite chassidim to the more materialistic types.”

        Let me think, where have I heard that idea of social separation before? Oh yes! It was standard practice in Germany between 1933 to 1945.

        This Tzvi is not only foolish, he is DANGEROUS.

    31. Reply to # 76 I know for a fact that they give problem for anyone moving out from square, and I know of dreidlech they do with people that wanna move out from square and they have section 8 and most of the time they are forced to stay if they don’t wanna lose there section 8 that’s with plain people and for someone that davens in a different shul they really give you big problems to sell your house .

    32. you have no idea what the h%&@ your talking about.
      Mr. rottenberg loves his children just like anyone else and want the best chinuch for them. the fact that one of them aren’t leading the same life style as main-stream skver is unfortunate, but he’s doing the right thing and still has a close relationship with all of his children. but do you know that there are many new square families who have drop-outs? yes including one of the rebbes children.
      i wouldn’t go into explaing my phylosiphy as to why there are so many drop-outs there but that’s the fact.

    33. Number 59 was rightfully deleted, who is this rabbi pollack who is so sure he has oilom habu in these days, and he is so readely prepared to give it away while he is trying to push mr rottenberg out of skver and make him lose his house, I think if he will help mr rottenberg he may gain some oilom habu

    34. He is different.
      He does not follow the rules of the community.
      He does not belong.
      We need to get him out.
      We will do whatever is needed.
      No one cares about him.
      We’ll use fire to get rid of him.
      That will also teach others.
      Final Solution in NS.

    35. No. 91 you are comparing heaven to earth a kehila can force it members to buy matzah from them but can not force them to daven where they do not want as long as it is al pi haloche

      • Its against civil rights and democracy to force anyone which matzah to buy. As long as you reside in the democratic USA you may not say anything to anyone.

        • That is not true. It is against civil rights to deny a woman the right to initiate divorce against her husband. But the Torah law is clearly different. Any kehila can establish its own takunos. It is a concept that many find hard to understand because the concept of kehila is almost foreign. Some parts of the Sephardic community have a kehila, and in some of these kehilos they do not recognize any form of geirus. While not practiced today, bigamy is optional for many Sephardic kehilos. Our shuls have separate seating with mechitzos. Women may not daven for the amud. A Kohain preceds a Levi who precedes a Yisroel. These are direct violations of equality, and are forms of bigotry according to American Law. Kehilos may say quite a bit, and membership in that kehila is voluntary – but you accept to follow the rules. I accept on myself Tarya”g mitzvos every day. I respect the Constitution, but Kabolas HaTorah is not superseded by civil rights or democracy.

          No, I am not in any way defending arson, murder, attempted murder, bullying, or harassment. One can wish that certain takunos were revisited and modified, but kehilos do not need govt approval.

          • “No, I am not in any way defending arson, murder, attempted murder, bullying, or harassment. One can wish that certain takunos were revisited and modified, but kehilos do not need govt approval. “

            Yes, they do, as will be seen when this arsonist is prosecuted. Yes, they do, when they violate a person’s civil rights.

            You seem to forget that NS is not a free nation, but a town under US law and legal system, and subsisting mostly on US taxpaid programs like food stamps and housing and more.

            MOST IMPORTANT is your statement that [condoning] arson, murder, attempted murder, etc., are takonos that we might wish to have revisited and should probably be modified, but they are what they are and don’t need government approval!

            It is shameful when simple huminty and decency has to be based on government law because self-described “tzadikim” find a heter to terrorize, burn and try to kill other kill.

            • How dare you infer that I find criminal behavior tolerable! NEVER! There is NO HETER to terrorize, damage, or harm anyone. Not them, nor their property. I said no such thing. I responded to the insinuation that takunes of a kehila must adhere to goyishe ideas. All I said was that kehilos can assur things that other kehilos do not. That is their option. Joining a kehila is becoming a member in a club – one accepts the rules. A kehila does not have the right to create a takuna that violates halacha. Included here would be harming another person or property. No individual can overrule halacha, nor can a kehila. If a kehila requires their members topatronize their own, they may, and do not need to look to US civil rights law to guide them. I have not forgotten that NS is incorporate under US law. But it is a kehila. I will never excuse crime, and I am watching to see the perpetrator prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. That has nothing to with takunos.

            • Absolutely not! There is no excuse. That does not mean a kehila can’t make takunos. These are separate issues. Takunah is not a reason for crime, and the consequences should not be diminished in any way because of the takuneh issue.

            • the kehila can make any “takuneh” it wants, and the individual can choose to follow the takuneh or not.

              #137 is 100% right, #136 is 100% wrong, and anyone who can’t see that is 100% am oretz.

            • A jewish kehila can not make tekones agaist toire, and if they do no one should listen, and if any one supports these tekones they are going against the toire and if they try and inforse it they will have to pay the price, especaily when they use methedes like these, GENIVE and RETZICHE

      • Somehow I think that Skver had already hurt and shamed itself without any assistance from Michael in Seattle – or anyone else, for that matter.

      • right now, skver needs no help in being shamed. they’ve done a very good job on their own. I think it woud be a great idea if all those who live in NS and do not like the rules to get together this shvuous and make their own minyan. Lets see who opens a mouth.

    36. To the one who posted comments about Rottenberg’s family and his kids, I hope all your kids grow up to be tsadikim and you should never no about all the stories going on today. His kids looked Yiddish to me, what degree of yiddishkeit is none of our business, they sure don’t look like the type who would burn a person alive.

    37. (Reply to #105):
      Actually, #103’s comment is quite accurate and insightful. Conceptually, #103 shows that scapegoats, in ANY context, are subjected to a pattern of treatment.
      First the victim is intimidated, then demonized, marginalized, ostracized, and eventually attacked and dealt with violently. In psychological terms it’s called “scapegoating.” It can be seen throughout history. It happens in schools, families, and workplaces every day. It happens in both religious and non-religious communities. And now it happened in Skver.
      It doesn’t happen overnight. There’s always a buildup. We need to understand how human beings operate in order to eliminate this type of bullying and intimidation in the future. Those who keep silent as they witness this behavior are just as guilty as the perpetrators.

    38. it seems that many here seem to forget this is not a one time incident. There has been other complaints from other people about intimidation

      and what happens if one misses a tish the rebbies muscle comes and tell you I think it would be better if you come next week.

      this is not the way of a rebbie it is the way of a dictator. Good thing he does not run a country.

      He was born into the rebbie position. Just because his father was a tzadduk and a good rebbie does not mean his son will be.

      a rebbie position should be earned not an inheritance.

      The rebbie simply should step down for the communities good if he really is lasam shmeiam that is what he would do

    39. Happy 18th birthday, Mr. Spitzer. Now that you are legally an adult, you can be tried as an adult. Get ready for a nice long time in a cell with Leroy, Jamal & Bubba.

    40. Once again, it is sad to see many posts here blaming the victim and/or referring to fanatics as “elite.” Really people?! While chassidus can be a wonderful thing, and I would never disparage any particular righteous chassidic individual, this tragedy underscores a problem with the very basis of modern day chassidus (which is not what former chassidic masters had in mind; in fact, they would probably be rolling over in their graves right now if they saw what their movement has become.) These are plain and simple religious fanatics, kept under the rebbe’s iron fist through poverty and lack of education. Those that see it for what it really is are intimidated, ostracized, and subject to violence and attacks. And to all those that think that these New Square rules and regulations are somehow justified because it is their community: Shame on you. The same privilege given to us by the United States of America that has allowed us to practice our religion openly and without fear should be accorded to everyone, and everyone should have the choice to daven wherever they want without having to fear for their safety. Shame on you. Your bigotry and double standards have no place here.

    41. Going back to last week, and that unfortunate televised confrontation outside the Rottenberg house, I had always thought that “Jewland” was Medinat Yisrael.


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