Rabbi Broyde Said To Have Created Yet Another Fake Jewish ‘Expert’; This One May End His Career

Earlier this month, it emerged that prominent rabbinical judge and law professor Michael Broyde invented the character of an older rabbi who would go online to praise Broyde’s scholarship. The comments left by this fictitious elder were really left by Broyde himself.

After Broyde admitted as much, he lost his seat on the rabbinical court, but not his professor job at Emory University.

Now, Emory may be forced to reconsider. It seems that Broyde created, out of thin air, yet another elderly religious scholar, Rabbi David Tzvi Keter. According to the tenacious Steven I. Weiss at the Jewish Channel, Broyde, posing as Keter,

…alleged he’d had conversations with now long-dead sages in the late 1940s or early 1950s. The alleged conversations were used to produce a manufactured history of statements from long-dead scholars that buttressed an argument that Broyde had made in a highly-touted article published in a peer-reviewed scholarly journal. Broyde, in a later publication, subsequently quoted this second identity’s alleged findings as further proof of his original argument.


Now we’ve crossed into new territory — that of fraudulent scholarship. Broyde’s previous fabulation was shameless but not that shameless. This new one, if it checks out, would appear to be the academic equivalent of suicide.

If Broyde created this second identity and alleged historical evidence, that would “clearly be false scholarship” and “clearly require disciplinary review,” according to Professor Celia Fisher of Fordham University, where she is director of the Center for Ethics Education.

For a man who was a top candidate for the U.K.’s Chief Rabbi job just last year, Broyde’s fall from grace is a stunner.

Anyway, the ball’s now in Emory University’s court.

[hat tip: Failed Messiah]

Paris Knife Attacker Screamed ‘Allah is Great’

The assailant had severe mental problems. Not sure how that sets him apart from other Allah worshipers who sow mindless death and destruction.

An Iranian screaming “Allahu Akbar” on Tuesday attacked a rabbi and his son with a knife as they were entering a synagogue in Paris for the morning prayer.


The 50-year-old rabbi, identified as Philippe Baroukh, suffered cuts to his throat while his 18-year-old son was stabbed in the back. They were immediately transported to the hospital to undergo surgery and are out of danger.

The attack took place in the Beth-El synagogue on rue Saulnier in the 9th district of the French capital. …

“This man had escaped on April 16 from a psychiatric hospital,” a police source said.

On Religion: Frik Vermeulen, Unsung Genius

Finally, someone sorts through the world’s major faiths and helps us figure out “which Religion is right.”


We applaud South Africa’s Frik Vermeulen and his fearless decision to “way in and hopefully bring some sanity to the tables.”

Assault Charge For Baby-Dick-Sucking Mohel

[Attention — first three links in German]

A German children’s advocacy group called MOGiS and Friends is pressing assault charges against a Jewish orthodox circumciser.

Last month, at the bris (circumcision ceremony) for the son of Berlin Rabbi Yehuda Teichtal, the mohel practiced metzitzah p’beh, which involved him placing his mouth on the baby’s freshly-mutilated genitals to suck away the blood. The ritual is controversial, in part because hygiene is by definition poor, as the mouth-to-penis contact can transmit STDs such as herpes.


The chair of the European Rabbinic Conference, Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, advises against mouth-suctioning and recommends that mohels use a medical pipette instead.

He says that some orthodox Jewish communities erroneously believe that they have de facto immunity against herpes and the like, because

they don’t practice pre- or extra-marital sex, nor homosexuality, nor do they use illicit drugs. But some of their own violate these communal rules.

In the U.S., since 2000, there have been at least 13 cases of herpes associated with metzitzah b’peh, including two infant deaths. Two other babies contracted herpes infections that led to permanent brain damage.

[image via Berliner Zeitung]

False-Identity Judge Kicked Off Rabbi Court

Breaking news, via JTA:

Rabbi Michael Broyde, a prominent Orthodox rabbi who admitted to creating a fake alternate identity, was suspended from the Beth Din of America.

Broyde, who admitted last week that he had used a false name to gain access to a rabbinic email list and to write letters to various journals, was placed on “an indefinite leave of absence” from the rabbinical court, Tablet magazine reported.


“Rabbi Broyde has admitted to behavior that the Rabbinical Council finds extremely disturbing,” said Rabbi Shmuel Goldin, the president of the Rabbinical Council of America, the court’s parent body. “We have determined and announced by the Beth Din of America, our affiliated rabbinical court, that he has ceased to serve as a dayan [judge] immediately and indefinitely.”

A law professor at Emory University and a senior fellow at the Atlanta school’s Center for Law and Religion, Broyde is considered one of the Orthodox world’s leading judicial authorities and an expert on the intersection of religious and secular law.

See here for more on how Broyde got into hot water.

[image via prayerthoughts.com]

Justin Bieber Woos Dead Jewish Girl

We were told earlier this week that Justin Bieber’s “spiritual roots go deep.” The Canadian teen idol was praised extensively by his pastor, Judah Smith, who called him “a spectacular young man.” Smith, who’s been peddling a new book called Jesus Is that, coincidentally, was endorsed by Bieber, says that the two “bond over the Bible” and “share Scriptures on a regular basis.”

That’s sweet.

Bieber’s spirituality was on full display yesterday, when he visited Amsterdam’s Anne Frank House and summed up his reverent thoughts in the guestbook — as follows:

Truly inspiring to be able to come here. Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a belieber.

German fans are awaiting Bieber’s arrival for a concert in Berlin, where he is expected to re-enact John F. Kennedy’s famous speech, “Ich bin ein Belieber.”


Oh, also:

Haredically Sealed For Their Protection

Did you see this picture of an Orthodox Jew on an airplane, who sealed himself in a plastic bag?


For his sake, we can only hope he didn’t eat a kosher bean burrito before the flight.

He is evidently a member of the Haredi sect, and although the Haredim go to ridiculous extremes to avoid contact with women, that wasn’t the motivation in this case.

First this: the fast-growing sect is creating huge problems in Israel, where their hobbies include vandalizing advertisements and spitting on women who dare to dress normally. Actually, it’s not limited to women — there are cases of Haredim spitting on girls as young as eight. That’s right; they show their godliness by hocking loogies at little girls.

Now, about that bag. Haredi high priests are not allowed to have any contact with dead bodies. Merely walking through a graveyard is prohibited. And they extend that proscription to flying over a graveyard. The plastic bag provides magical protection from any dead-body contamination that might somehow waft up 20,000 feet and pierce the airplane’s aluminum skin.

Pilots, surprisingly, are not too thrilled with this practice. For some reason, they’ve concluded that it’s not safe for passengers to travel in an air-tight plastic bag.

Although I usually oppose acquiescing to religious superstitions, in this case I think the airlines should not just allow it, but encourage it, as long as they put one rule in place: the bag must remained completely sealed for the duration of the fight.

I suspect that eight-year-old-girls who’ve received a facefull of Haredi phlegm would agree.

[image via Digital Journal]

Rabbi Creates Fake Elder to Boost His Career

On the day that the plagiarism and lies of French top rabbi Gilles Bernheim led to his resignation, a highly-placed American colleague of his had to face his own lies and fabulations. Here’s the story.

An elderly Jewish scholar and rabbinical authority by the name of Herschel Goldwasser frequently cited the work of Michael Broyde.

Michael Broyde was a student of mine many years ago

Goldwasser wrote at one point

and he was a one-in-million [sic] high school student back then. He was diligent and smart and he tried harder than anyone I have ever met.


That must have been nice for Broyde to hear. Broyde is a judge on the largest rabbinical court in the United States; he’s also a law professor at Emory University, where he is a Senior Fellow at the Center for the Study of Law and Religion. He was recently a frontrunner for the Chief Rabbi job in England.

Over the course of almost 20 years, Broyde received many public plaudits from Goldwasser. Goldwasser quoted appreciatively from Broyde’s work countless times, in Jewish journals and online forums, and no one seemed to notice (or mind) Goldwasser’s hermit-like qualities. No one knew what he looked like. No one even remembered meeting him.

Now, thanks to the sleuthing of a journalism website called the Jewish Channel, it’s clear why:

Rabbi Michael Broyde, a leading Modern Orthodox figure, confessed to using a fake persona to infiltrate a rival rabbinic organization and herald his own work in scholarly journals.

lengthy exposé on The Jewish Channel on Friday detailed how Broyde, a member of the Rabbinical Council of America who once was said to be on the short list of candidates to become the next chief rabbi of the United Kingdon, used the fake persona “Rabbi Herschel Goldwasser.” As Goldwasser, Broyde joined the International Rabbinic Fellowship, a rival to the RCA, heralded his own scholarship and corresponded with other rabbis.

Broyde at first denied the allegations, but then confessed on Friday shortly after The Jewish Channel piece was published.

Pedos For God

It’s a sad state of affairs when you run a site like this one, and have to decide you’re just going to pretty much stop covering child abuse by clergy … because there’s too much of it. No joke: every day I see news articles about yet another child-molesting pastor or priest. Not one case per day, or two, but half a dozen or more.

And those are just the ones that

• involve a victim (or others familiar with the abuse) who went to the police; and
• involve an arrest and a charge, and
• get reported in the press, and
• somehow make it into my news stream.

No one knows how many holy-men childfuckers have never been found out. It must be a staggering number.

I feel a bit sick, and a bit guilty, just realizing that the volume of new sex-abuse offenses by clergy is such that I worry about Moral Compass getting depressing and repetitive if I try to chronicle it all. No child deserves to be willfully confused, spiritually deceived, and sexually accosted by pedos. Extra scorn and disgust is due those who do this while brandishing the title of priest of pastor or imam or rabbi, and thus claiming to be authorities on what god wants.

If you only see sporadic stories on Moral Compass about these hypocrites, please know it’s not because they’re few and far between. It’s because there are too many for me to write about without it destroying the variety of the blog, as well as my belief in the goodness of others.

I sincerely hope that you, and the nameless children whose tormentors won’t be called out on this site, will forgive me.

Eew, Eel! Don’t Tell the Anti-Gay-Marriage Crowd

I’ve frequently heard from rightwing Christians that if we let men marry men, and women marry women, we’ll have to let them marry chickens and dogs too, and soon they’ll all be having butt sex with hippos, or something.

Here’s a cartoon that yuks it up in that regard. Pretty sure I recognize the hand of the reliably dreadful New York Post cartoonist Sean Delonas.

Delonas artoon

In this charming worldview, gay people are on a par with molesters of livestock; and the notion of equal rights for all men and women is as preposterous as a sheep wearing a bridal veil.

The idea that this is not an intellectually legitimate way of looking at the issue was only slightly undermined the other day, when a tellingly unmarried 39-year-old man in southern China had relations with an eel. That is, he introduced the eel’s head to his rectum, and there was, let’s say, a love connection. So much so that the eel, perhaps hungry for a post-coital snack, ate through his BFF’s colon, and doctors had to operate. Here’s the story. And via the Huffington Post, here’s a picture of the eel, who, we’re told, didn’t survive the extraction:

FUNNY EELING - Porn stunt With Live Eel Backfires

Please nobody tell Sean Delonas or the Post, or we’ll never hear the end of it.

Rabbi With Sense of Shame Leaves One Without

Telling lies is dirty work. Being asked to lie on someone else’s behalf is harder still. Not everybody can — or wants to — do it.

The spokesman for the chief rabbi of France, who has refused to quit his post despite admitting to plagiarism and lying about his qualifications, quit himself on Wednesday, French news agencies reported.

The spokesman, Rabbi Moché Lewin, did not give an explanation for leaving his job and did not comment on the case of the chief rabbi, Gilles Bernheim, though he praised him for his work in creating “a Judaism of openness.”

bernheim again

Openness in all respects, except for coming clean about his thievery and deception. Quick recap:

• Bernheim plagiarized parts of a book;
• smeared the deceased writer he plagiarized from, by saying the dead guy had copied him;
• lied about it until the lie was exposed in the press;
• without giving particulars, then cowardly blamed the affair on an assistant or ghostwriter who had supposedly hoodwinked him (notice a pattern here?);
• lied about having earned a particular Sorbonne University degree; and
• plagiarized an essay on the immorality of gay relationships.

There are credible allegations of additional literary theft on Bernheim’s part. We’ll find out more, I’m sure.

Yesterday, Bernheim went on Radio Shalom and opined that he had made “mistakes,” but had not not “committed fault in the exercise of my functions.”

“To resign,” he said, “would be an act of vanity and desertion.”

To resign would be an act of vanity? Are you sure you’re familiar with the definition of vanity, rabbi? Unlike you, I’m not paid to be a beacon of moral authority, so please forgive me, but I would have thought staying might be more vain.

Staying, in this case, is the mark of a man with an inflated sense of self-worth who values his own interest more than his followers’. And that man, possibly for years to come, will make those followers gaze in pained embarrassment at a false accuser / con man / thief / fabulist / liar who still claims the authority to tell other people about right and wrong.

Dommage, ça.


UPDATE, Friday morning: He’s gone.

[image via lavie.fr]

Buy This and You Too Can Be a Ritual Circumciser

I’m a really good shopper. Just this morning, I was reminiscing about the most holy circumcision practice called metzitzah b’peh, wherein babies get their tiny bloody penises sucked by a possibly herpes-carrying Jewish mohel, and I realized we ought to try a little Amazon.com therapy and help them.

Not the babies (well OK, them too). But I was thinking mostly of Brooklyn’s vital mohel industry. To clean up the Jewish-baby-hummer profession which has been so needlessly maligned, we ought to get rid of the mohels who bestow the gift of STDs on infants, and replace them with new practitioners.

So … Want an exciting new career? This is your chance if you’ve always wanted to slice into defenseless baby boys’ genitals and suck their dicks for a living.

Ready? Just go to Amazon and buy this infant circumcision trainer.

Infant Circumcision Trainer, White_ Amazon.com_ Industrial & Scientific

Then also add this to your cart

Soft-Grip Snap-Off Utility Knife with 6 Blades - Lifetime Warranty - Amazon.com

and don’t forget this,

bloodand Baruch’s yer uncle.

Now just pucker your lips and go to town. Practice, practice, practice. The salary isn’t great, but you’ll get plenty of tips.

[tip of the yarmulke to Balto Dash]