Me 'n' Moish...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Me 'n' Moish...

...grappling with what OtBB feels is the fun­damental issue, in response to Mr. Tuchman's Comments of today.

Thank you for your clarification about the prominence of the number "18," Moish (if I still may).

In the broadest sense, I will accept your ad hominem characterization, the reason being that Rabbi Marc Schneier has, in fact, made this about himself more than anything else.

A review of this blog going back to late Febru­ary will reflect that it has tried to be supportive of the Synagogue's request for their eruv, but at almost every step the Rabbi and what is perceived as his ego, have gotten in the way.

Let me touch on some of your points:

  1. I acknowledged, you will note upon review, that my reproduction of the release from the Synagogue earlier this week was accompanied by "Perhaps it's just the way it's worded...." And I ex­plained in context my view of just how it sounded... less "a hue of ego" than "a call to praise."

    My personal sense is that in some­thing like that, if it is to be genuine, then it should be organic and not solicited. But perhaps I misunderstood.

"You do not support your assertion that the Rabbi has 'broken faith' with or 'snubbed' the interfaith council."
  1. You're right... this has been a work in progress since last weekend when I first became aware of some hard feelings.

    The Rabbi himself, in an off-the-record conversation over kiddush, raised the subject, and suggested I confirm the details with Eruv Committee member Clint Greenbaum. Realizing such con­firmation might not advance anything, and honoring the Rabbi's request to not "upset" the head of the Council, I deemed it best left alone.

    Then uninvited contacts were made, and a distressing history of "broken faith" with and "snubbery" emerged, and that will be forthcoming.

    It may be difficult for you to discover, but you may be unaware of just how many toes Rabbi Schneier has stepped on.

"It is noteworthy in this regard that your blog asked the Rabbi to go across the street to the country club while he was at Saint Marks."
  1. To be accurate, what OtBB suggested was that if the Rabbi really wanted to go into "the lion's den" to make his case for an eruv, he would start with the membership of Westhampton Country Club.
"(Y)ou keep asserting that the Rabbi misled people 18 years ago in asserting, logically, that 'orthodox' Jews do not drive and therefore will not need parking space for Saturday services."
  1. That would have been 16 years ago before the joint meeting of the Boards of Trustees and Planning, and I have always acknowledged that he stated that he would turn no one, on foot or in a vehicle, away from worship.

    It was I, as the invited Chairman of the Zoning Board of Appeals, who ques­tion­ed the Rabbi closely at that meet­ing. If I foresaw the potential parking problems, I'm astonished that Rabbi Schneier wouldn't have an inkling of what could, and did, happen.

    What I am asserting is that the Rabbi to this day misrepresents what oc­curred within this Village 18 years ago.

"And the quote that you refer to in wonder­ment about 'there never was a Syna­gogue...' was related to me, not by Rabbi Schneier, but other members of the con­gregation who were there at the time. (I was not, having moved to Westhampton Beach in 1994). Your attribution of the quote to Rabbi Schneier is unfounded."
  1. Well, Moish, I was here at that time, and I not only don't recall that quote, but have only seen it surface relative­ly recently.

    I was incensed that it appeared on, without attribution, and directly misrepresenting the facts of that time, all in the continuing ser­vice of giving Westhampton Beach a black eye, something I have been able to document Rabbi Schneier in the fore­front of as far back as 1992.

    To that end, in another work in prog­ress, I recently spent three hours un­earthing Westhampton Beach archives, interviewing current and former Village of­ficials, and researching records.

    It has always been my contention, from personal observation, that the Rabbi took a confrontation with a Village of­ficial and used that to build the Syna­gogue's congregation... at the expense of the Village's reputation.

    I feel I will be able to make that case, based not on opinion, but the records.

    One thing I'll address right now: during our kiddush colloquy after WEEEF, I broached the subject of that OtBB item with the Rabbi as part of an enumera­tion of the revisionist fable he has promulgated about the early '90s, objecting to the citing of an unnamed "municipal official."

    The words were scarcely out of my mouth when he responded:

    "That was Ed Kowalski."

    I was not so dumbfounded that I couldn't fire back:

    "O, you mean the dead guy."

    I believe that this will be put to rest shortly... speaking of which:

"I must put one 'comment' to rest. He never compared Westhampton Beach to Nazi Ger­many, although you keep asserting that he did."
  1. Your argument would be with reporter David Gertler who quoted the Rabbi in the Long Island Jewish World of June 20-26:

    "Schneier, on the similitude of this ad to those of early Nazi Germany, noted that he felt it was not merely coincidental that this ad came out the same week the Hampton Syna­gogue was honoring Joseph Garay, a Holocaust survivor...."

    Now you can take the position that the Rabbi was talking about the Alliance's full-page adv. and not Westhampton Beach, but he was the one who elected to invoke "Nazi Germany" and I'm in­voking Godwin's Law.

    The Rabbi likes to state that he is "offended" by different events and words, and that is his absolute right.

    I too am angered by many of the Rabbi's words, and it's my right to comment on them... which I will con­tinue to do as long as he continues to perpetuate a self-serving fiction about the events of 1990-92 in Westhampton Beach in respect to the founding of the Synagogue.

At the conclusion of our sometimes heated kiddush colloquy, Rabbi Schneier decided to put my feet to the fire and demanded to know what I would do if I were the Rabbi and want­ed to get the eruv in place.

He was adamant that I give him a straight-forward and succinct answer, so I did:

"I'd shut my mouth and get out of town for a year!"

Rabbi Schneier never hesitated. He drew him­self to his full height and stated:


You'll likely read that in a different way, but to me it signaled the essence of the issue that is the major obstacle to the establishment of the requested eruv: the Rabbi's ego.


1. Morris Tuchman said...

You still may.


Whew! Thanks.

Whether I'm still your favorite Westhampton Beach blogger, I didn't wish to rend the rapport.

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