The Problem of Evil and the Florida Lottery

In your literary wanderings, you may have come across this quote, attributed (perhaps wrongly) to the Greek philosopher Epicurus:

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?

The Epicurean paradox is an early version of the problem of evil. For thousands of years, people have been asking why an all-powerful deity does nothing to prevent disease, cruelty, and horrible deaths.

Pondering the problem of evil is challenging enough when good people suffer. It’s worse when good people suffer and the perpetrators barely do (or not at all).

And it becomes an exercise in pure frustration when this happens:

Timothy Dale Poole, a convicted sex offender, has won $3 million in the Florida lottery. The 43-year-old was arrested in 1999 and accused of sexual battery on a 9-year-old. He eventually pled guilty to attempted sexual battery in a plea bargain and is currently listed as a sex predator in state records. …

Poole was sentenced to 13 months in jail and 10 years of probation, but was sent to prison for 3 years when he missed his mandatory sex offender counseling sessions.

And now, in a big cosmic joke, he’s receiving a million dollars for each year behind bars. A celestial reward for raping a kid, and other criminality:

The Sentinel said he’s been arrested 12 times on charges that include grand theft and forging a check.

Commented a friend of Poole’s:

“He was flabbergasted. He couldn’t believe it.” … “He’s a very positive person. Very kind. Giving. I think that’s why he won,” Snyder said. “It’s Christmastime, and the dude deserves a break.”

Yes, for Jesus’s birthday, child rapists should get a break. And millions of dollars. It’s only fair.

Meanwhile, the victim is entitled to bupkis.

And while the morbidly obese Poole, who clocks in at 450 pounds, will be able to order any food he pleases for as long as he lives, and as much of it as he likes, this is what the Creator has in store for millions of His other children:

God is a standup guy, isn’t he?

(Bottom image via topnaz)

DC Rabbi Accused of Spying on Naked Faithful via a Hidden Camera in Temple’s Showers

You know what might tip a reasonable person off to something untoward going on in the mikvah, the ritual bath that orthodox Jewish women (and men) take to purify themselves? I dunno, maybe something like this:

Emma Shulevitz remembers seeing a clock radio in the mikvah. The rabbi told her not to put clothes in front of it.

For some reason, Shulevitz thought nothing of it at the time. But the rabbi, Barry Freundel of Washington D.C., was arrested this week when it was finally discovered that the clock radio — reported to be, appropriately, a Sony “Dream Machine” — contains a small camera. The pervy cleric had been digitally ogling unsuspecting women for years.

A rabbi at a prominent Washington, D.C., synagogue faces voyeurism charges following accusations he secretly recorded women in the changing and shower area there.

Dr. Barry Freundel was released on his own recognizance Wednesday under the conditions he stay away from the victims, the temple and the mikvah where, according to the police report, at least six women were photographed. …

Detectives [said] there could be more than 200 victims, some as far away as Israel.

Freundel’s lawyer, Jeffrey Harris, offered this statement:

“As you might expect, he’s in a lot of pain.”

So the rabbi is feeling deep shame and overwhelming remorse?

It’s not that, Harris clarified:

He has a back ailment, and I really don’t have much more to say than that.”

Watch this report from NBC’s News Channel 4:

New York Prosecutors Say Rabbi and Accomplices Stole $12 Million from Disabled Kids

In some people’s interpretation of religious morality, kids have to get fucked one way or the other.

Four men, including a rabbi, were indicted on Tuesday on charges they stole millions of dollars from a taxpayer-funded preschool for disabled kids.

Rabbi Samuel Hiller, Ira Kurman, Roy Hoffman and Daniel Laniado from the Island Child Development Center (ICDC) were busted for allegedly siphoning off $12.4 million of the institution’s $27 million state-funded budget between 2005 and 2012, using the money for themselves and for other business interests.

“The public funds provided to [ICDC] were earmarked for special needs pre-schoolers with disabilities but instead were allegedly used by the defendants for their own purposes,” said Queens DA Richard A. Brown.

State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli commented that the fraud demonstrated “a brazen disregard for common decency and the law.”

Jewish Journal explains that

Not only were government funds stolen but thousands of special needs children, who have no way to fight back, have had their services denied in a cynical, cruel manner.

Hiller, the rabbi, appears to be the biggest thief of the quartet. He allegedly diverted millions to summer camps and to a private girls’ school where he is the principal (none are affiliated with ICDC), but he also wasn’t above pilfering $30,000 to pay for a plumbing job at his Queens home.

Prosecutors say that the other defendants used stolen money to pay for weddings, bar mitzvahs, and home remodeling.

The four are charged with grand larceny, identity theft, and falsifying business records.

The blog Failed Messiah has more.

(Image via Shutterstock. Dreidel drollery by Terry Firma, with apologies to AC/DC)

Ritual Circumciser Slices Off Baby’s Penis

When a Jewish circumcision makes the news or stirs discussion, it’s usually a metzitzah b’peh, wherein

mohels, after cutting away the child’s foreskin and tearing the membrane with their fingernailsplace their mouths on the boy’s penis to suck away the blood.

Metzitzah b’pehs are responsible for at least a dozen cases of herpes transmission — and two child deaths — in the U.S. alone.

But there are other risks to ritual circumcision, as the parents of a Pittsburgh infant found out. They are suing their mohel, Rabbi Mordechai Rosenberg, because he accidentally amputated their son’s penis.

A local rabbi is being sued after allegedly botching a bris, the traditional Jewish circumcision ritual, and severing a newborn boy’s penis.

The incident detailed in the lawsuit happened at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill within the last year.

The Jewish circumcision ceremony was performed by Pittsburgh Rabbi Mordechai Rosenberg – who is also a mohel.

Sometime during the bris, according to the lawsuit, Rosenberg severed the baby boy’s penis.

According to CBS Pittsburgh, the body part was reattached during an eight-hour surgery requiring six blood transfusions, and the boy was hospitalized for two months.

It probably won’t be known for years whether all is right with his genitalia, and whether his sexual functions survived unscathed. A certain amount of permanent nerve damage is highly possible.

On his website, Rabbi Rosenberg says he is recognized as a “certified mohel by the American Board of Ritual Circumcision.” His site also says “a doctor’s medical circumcision, usually performed in the hospital, is not considered valid according to Jewish law.”

Remarkably, absent any regulated standard for training or certification of ritual circumcisers, Rosenberg continues to perform the procedure.

[file photo via]

Child Rape Scandal Expands at Australian Yeshiva

And you just know that somewhere there’s a pedo priest licking his chops. From Haaretz:

An ongoing child sex abuse scandal continues to rock the Melbourne Jewish community after a former security guard at an Orthodox Jewish school in the city was found guilty of child rape and multiple counts of molestation.

David Cyprys.

A jury at the County Court of Victoria last month found David Cyprys, 44, who worked at the Chabad-run boys’ school Yeshivah College, guilty of raping one boy five times between 1990 and 1991. Cyprys, who also taught karate at the school, pleaded guilty to abusing eight other minors during the 1980s and 1990s. He was convicted of indecent assault, gross indecency and attempted indecent assault for these offenses.

This factoid is especially rich: When the father of one of the raped boys went to the director of the school, Rabbi Yitzchok Dovid Groner, the man of God said there was no need to worry.

”He told me that [the boy] wouldn’t need counselling because [he] was under eight years old,” the [father] said in a statement. ”Rabbi Groner told me he had spoken to psychologists before and they had told him because the children are so young counseling would not be necessary. Since that day I never heard another word.”

In practice, that meant Cyprys was free to make more victims. Another parent who alerted Groner that her son had been abused by the child-rape fiend was told, “Oh no, I thought we cured him.

Jewish Fundies Attack Buses to Fight Girl Cooties

Fundies in Israel get violent trying to avoid girl cooties:

Two buses were stoned by a group of Haredim in Beit Shemesh on Wednesday after the police arrested a man and woman who had asked a female passenger to move to the back of the bus.

The incident began on a No. 497 bus from Beit Shemesh to Bnei Brak, which is run as a mehadrin line on which men and women sit separately. Under a ruling by the High Court of Justice in 2011, such seating is strictly voluntary.

Ultra-Orthodox protesters shatter bus windows after female passenger refuses to sit in back - National - Israel News | Haaretz

According to passengers on the bus, one of the female passengers asked a woman who was sitting at the front of the bus to move to the rear. While the seated woman did not object, the driver — who heard the conversation — summoned police, who detained the woman who had made the request and her husband, and the bus continued on its way.

When news of the incident spread, groups of ultra-Orthodox youth stoned two local buses. Moshe Schuman was a passenger on one of them, the No. 417 from Ramat Beit Shemesh to Jerusalem.

“The bus was full because of the vacation,” Schuman said. “When the driver stopped at a stop, four people in Haredi dress blocked the bus’ path and began to bang on the windows with a hammer. The passengers got upset, there were people there with babies. The driver tried to flee the scene but he couldn’t because they were blocking the bus’ path. Only after they’d smashed all the windows and ran away was the driver able to drive to a safe spot.”

NY Road Rage Rabbi Keeps Impersonating a Cop

It’s hard for believers to distinguish fantasy from reality. So a rabbi who thinks he can impersonate God or a cop at will — it just makes sense, I guess. Probably a case of You will respect my authori-tah!

A third victim has come forward with a claim that a Westchester County rabbi impersonated a police officer during a traffic dispute.

The 26-year-old Scarsdale man told The Journal News that Rabbi Alfredo Borodowski, the Rabbi of Congregation Sulam Yaakov in Larchmont,  pulled a badge on him and a friend after an incident on I-87 near the Bronx-Yonkers border.

The man claims that Borodowski pulled the badge and demanded that he pull over after he swerved into the Rabbi’s lane. …

He said that a passenger recorded the incident and turned the video over to authorities.


Borodowski has apparently been committing this felonious behavior for a while now.

Earlier this month a woman accused Borodowski of exploding in a road rage incident on Mamaroneck Avenue.

“The man was acting extremely aggressively and started shouting out his car window at her,” her attorney Richard Clifford said.

The woman said she was driving 20 mph — the posted speed limit in the school zone. The rabbi allegedly got mad at her slow speed and then is accused of flashing a fake police badge. … [Police] arrested the rabbi and charged him with criminal impersonation.

Earlier this week a second victim came forward with accusations that Borodowski was impersonating a police officer during a road rage incident.

Friday Religion Roundup

• Pastor slips 14-year-old girl a mickey, rapes her while she’s unconscious.

• Dying priest accused of sexual abuse evades court, looks forward to his rightful spot in heaven.

• Anglican archbishop who chides others for not loving the poor enough lives in splendor — in an honest-to-god palace (pictured).


• Four men claim to have been groped by Rabbi Yona Metzger in cases stretching back to the ’80s.

• Pastor accused of planting video cameras inside a women’s restroom at church will face child exploitation charges.

• Church member accused of building a radiation machine to kill Muslims.

• Priest fled scene of accident he caused; two people dead.

Group of ‘Youths’ Attacks German Rabbi

In Europe — in Scandinavia, Germany, Holland and France,  for sure — the media have taken to blame all kinds of street mayhem on non-descript “youths,” when what they mean is young Muslims. This appears to be another example:

A group of youths attacked a rabbi on Sunday evening in Offenbach, a city near Frankfurt.

Six to eight “Mediterranean-looking“ youths attacked the 39-year-old Rabbi Mendel Gurewitz. The youths pushed the rabbi and called him a “shitty Jew.”

The Orthodox rabbi filed a police complaint.

Is It OK To Shoot ‘Immodest’ Women Who Pray?

Via the Daily Beast:

A 17-year-old Jerusalem yeshiva student asked a rabbi in an online forum whether it’s permissible under Jewish law to shoot and kill members of the liberal prayer group Women of the Wall.

He doesn’t like the way the ladies dress, pray, and “play with the Torah scrolls.”

The rabbi, to his credit, alerted the police, and the young man was arrested.

Haredi Modesty Patrol Attacks Women, Cop Car

Even for the Haredim, that’s some crazy drek:

A group of ultra-Orthodox men attacked a police car in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Yisrael on Thursday, shattering its front and back windshields.

Police were called to the scene after the neighborhood’s so-called “modesty patrol” beset a car in which a group of ultra-Orthodox women were traveling, claiming that they were dressed immodestly.


Several ultra-Orthodox men broke the car’s windows, punctured its tires and poured fish oil on it.

After the attack on the police car, another group of police arrived and quelled the disturbance.

Informal “modesty patrols” have been known to operate in ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods and towns to enforce — sometimes violently — a strict reading of Jewish views on modesty and propriety.

[image via]

‘I Killed My Wife — She Cast Spells On Me’

From the New York Post:

A woman’s badly decomposed body was found in her Brooklyn home last night with a cryptic note found near her body that read: “I killed my wife, she was casting spells on me,” sources said.

The corpse was discovered at 10 p.m. in a predominantly Orthodox Jewish area of Midwood, after someone reported a foul smell, according to the law enforcement sources.


The 50-year-old woman had been stabbed multiple times in the stomach.

The body was found in the basement of the two-family house, and appeared to be several weeks old, authorities said

Police took her live-in boyfriend into custody after locating him at a psychiatric facility, where he said that she cast spells on him, sources said. He has not been charged yet.

He may have been committed by a relative.

Neighbors said the couple were observant Jews.