In the wintry darkness 23 years ago on a back street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, a jewelry thief fleeing a botched robbery panicked and shot a Hasidic rabbi in the head.
Julio Acevedo, the driver of car in an accident that killed a young Chasidic couple in Brooklyn, was charged with manslaughter.
Cigarette in one hand and cup of tea in the other, Matisyahu sat down with JTA in his closet-sized dressing room during his European tour to talk about his life, his music, how he's raising his kids, and the recent changes in his religious outlook and physical appearance.
Chasidic counselor Nechemya Weberman was sentenced to 103 years in prison for sexual abuse of a teenage female patient over several years.
A Brooklyn fishmonger was indicted for allegedly throwing a cup of bleach in the face of a Chasidic rabbi who had accused the man's father of being a sexual predator.
Nechemya Weberman, a member of the Satmar Chasidic community in Brooklyn who practiced therapy without a license, was found guilty on 59 counts of sexual abuse.
As a gentle snow fell on the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center last Friday evening, some 85 people gathered inside a wooden lodge to welcome Shabbat -- half in a meditation circle in which Grateful Dead lyrics served as a kind of mantra, the other in a more "traditional" service where the Lecha Dodi prayer was sung to the tune of the Dead classic "Ripple."
The abuse went on for nearly three years before the schoolgirl told anyone that her spiritual adviser was molesting her while he was supposed to be mentoring her about her religion, authorities said.
The House Foreign Affairs human rights subcommittee will hold a hearing about the plight of a Chasidic Jew from Brooklyn being held in a Bolivian jail.
A New York mohel tied to the death from herpes of one newborn and to three others who contracted the disease, apparently tested positive for herpes, The Jewish Week reported.
Woody Allen will play a pimp who irks his Chasidic neighbors in a movie directed by John Turturro.
A lawyer for the man accused of killing 8-year-old Leiby Kletzky said his client has a mental deficiency due to inbreeding in the Chasidic community.
When Matisyahu, the 32-year-old Chasidic reggae superstar, appeared onstage for the first time since shaving his trademark beard, no one in the audience at the Boulder Theater seemed surprised.
The world's most famous Chasidic Jew has shaved his beard. With a declaration Tuesday morning that he was "reclaiming" himself, Jewish music star Matisyahu -- a.k.a. Matthew Miller -- shaved his signature beard and wrote, "No more Chassidic reggae superstar."
Dozens of Ukrainian nationalists protested the annual pilgrimage of Jews to the grave of a Chasidic rabbi in Uman.
For years, this leafy Chasidic village about an hour north of New York City has been a shtetl-like haven where residents could live their strictly Orthodox lifestyle far from the temptations and bustle of the nation’s largest city. Out of view of all but very few, life in this community of some 7,000 Skverer Chasidim has revolved around its spiritual leader, the Skverer rebbe, Rabbi David Twersky.
A member of a dissident congregation in the Chasidic village of New Square, N.Y., suffered severe burns after confronting a suspected arsonist outside his home. The Journal News reported that Aaron Rottenberg, 43, suffered third-degree burns on 50 percent of his body after he confronted a man carrying a rag soaked in flammable liquid outside his home early Sunday morning. During the confrontation, Rottenberg’s clothes caught on fire.
Surely the most unusual title among the finalists in the poetry category of the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes is “God’s Optimism” by Yehoshua November (Main Street Rag, $14). After all, the rarefied world of poetry rarely encounters a Chasidic poet who declares that his intention is “to restore the sanctity to language.” And in case the book won first prize, I was asked to be ready to read the author’s acceptance speech, because the prize ceremony took place on a Friday night, and he is shomer Shabbat.
A Chasidic paper in Brooklyn removed U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton from the White House photo of U.S. officials watching the deadly raid on Osama bin Laden’s hideout. The Yiddish-language Der Zeitung manipulated the photo of political leaders watching the May 1 raid in Pakistan from the White House “situation room.”
Stephen Colbert riffs on Der Zeitung.
A Chasidic man wearing traditional clothing was beaten in New York in what appears to be a hate crime.
As the High Holy Days approach, some Jews might dread sitting for hours on end in shul, crowning God as their King while their minds inevitably wander off to their missed calls, their mortgage payment or their next meal. Davening, the Yiddish term for prayer, may feel like a constant battle.
Chasidic reggae and rap singer Matisyahu just released his fourth album, “Light” — his first full-length work in three years. He discussed his new music, God, spirituality, sex, drugs and Israel in a phone interview with Rabbi Naomi Levy, spiritual leader of Nashuva and author of “Talking to God” (Knopf, 2002) and “To Begin Again” (Ballantine Books, 1999).
It's like a quadruple shot of cheap vodka that you drink quickly on an empty stomach. You feel disgusted and drunk at the same time.
Oded Turgeman, director of the new short film "Song of David," doesn't do things the easy way.
On Dec. 19, 2007, the U.S. Attorney General's Office filed an indictment in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California naming the Chasidic yeshiva and four other Spinka organizations, as well as eight people, in a multimillion dollar tax fraud and money-laundering ring that stretched from Brooklyn to Los Angeles to Israel and elsewhere.
On Dec. 19, Los Angeles authorities arrested six people, including Naftali Tzi Weisz, 59, the grand rabbi of Spinka, a Brooklyn-based Hasidic sect, on charges of creating a money-laundering scheme that worked through financial networks in Los Angeles and Israel.
When Baruch Meir Yaacov Shochet called Asher Klitnick into his office on that day in 2004 to discuss the growing crisis of poor Charedi families, the rebbe had more on his mind than just fundraising. This time, he was also thinking about jobs. He asked Klitnick and his team to prepare Charedis to join the working world.
"Jews are not cultured people," she complains. The other woman disagrees.
"They are cultured," she insists, "they are just different."
Mixing punk rock and opera may be about as heretical as it gets, yet that is precisely what Julien Nitzberg, librettist and lyricist of "The Beastly Bombing," has done.
Self-help books are essential tools.
Chaim is -- or was -- a Skver Chasid, born and raised in the ultra-Orthodox enclave of New Square, N.Y. His world until recently was Torah, family and a close-knit community.
But now he's entering the secular world.
While other photographers have sought to document Chasidism from more of an insider's perspective, Maya Dreilinger purposefully maintained her distance as an outsider. She wandered around the La Brea area dressed as she normally does and refused the occasional invitation to dinner at someone's home.
The lyrics are from "King Without a Crown" by Matisyahu, the sensational Chasidic reggae artist whose CD, "Live at Stubbs," is already No. 3 on the Billboard reggae charts. ("King Without A Crown" stands at No. 24 on Billboard's modern rock chart.)
Each night before retiring, the great Chasidic master Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav would make a list. At the end of a long day, he would write down all the wrongs he had committed -- against other people, against God, against himself. Nachman would read the list over and over again, with increasing levels of agitation and remorse, until he welled up with sorrow.
In this week's Torah portion, the Israelites are encouraged -- commanded really -- to write something down.
He's into rap, hip-hop, reggae -- and religion. He's not a Christian rocker; he's a Chasidic reggae/hip-hop musician.
Matisyahu is the artist formerly known as Mathew Miller -- until he found God, Lubavitch-style, almost five years ago.
Circuit; Fine Thing for Feinstein; The Stem Cell Circuit; A Visit from The Rebbe; In Memory of Hindy; A Dance for Barbara; Baby Love.
Given the sentimentality of much recent writing on the subject, American Jews might be forgiven for believing that no one with a critical eye, or without
For "Portraits in Faith," Robin Garbose's husband, Levi, adapted a novel by Marcus Lehman, a 19th-century German writer who is something of a John Grisham of the Orthodox world. His books typically are plot-driven, hard-to-put-down novels that are infused with messages of faith.
A group of Sephardic, Chasidic, Reform, Orthodox, Conservative, Reconstructionist, unaffiliated, atheist, right- and left-wing Jews were gathered at a private dinner -- and no one had to call security.
If you own a diamond, you can be 80 percent sure it's been to Antwerp, Belgium, at some point in its life. Perhaps it was graded there in the heart of ancient Europe -- or ground, polished, valued, bought or sold there.
Ask Mimi Feigelson a simple question, you don't get a simple answer. "So how do you like L.A.?" I ask, as we sit down for coffee and pastries at a Pico-Robertson cafe, thinking this is just the warm-up for the real questions.