Outrageousness: Kiryas Joel

Kiryas Joel. For those of you living in Orange County, New York (especially Harriman, Woodbury or Monroe), I’m sure you have pretty strong opinions about this ‘village’. So what is Kiryas Joel? As taken from wikipedia, “Kiryas Joel is a village within the town of Monroe in Orange County, New York, United States. The great majority of its residents are Hasidic Jews who strictly observe the Torah and its commandments, and belong to the Satmar Hasidic dynasty. There are about 20,000 people in the village. The village has one of the highest rates of poverty in the nation with 2/3rd’s of residents below the poverty line and about 40% of residents on food stamps”.

But what really is Kiryas Joel? It is a shining example of how you can blatantly and effectively abuse the system and manipulate the government to your whim. It is, in effect, a giant commune or cult of religious fanatics who have as many children as possible, get as many tax breaks as possible, claim poverty while at the same time making money and utilizing religion as a crutch and a means to further their expansion and greed. Now don’t twist my words and opinions please. I am not anti-semitic. I am anti-asshole and pro-truth. And the majority of Hasidic’s who live in Kiryas Joel are arrogant assholes who have no regard for other cultures, believe that they are superior, are cheats and liars, are obsessed with money and are a complete drain on the economy and the natural world. If they’re so horrible why are they able to flourish and succeed? Two simple things…money and politics. They vote in blocks. They have the power to sway elections with one phone call. Even former US President Bill Clinton has them on speed dial. Also, they’re extremely wealthy. As a giant community associated with all sects of Satmar Hasidic’s (those in Brooklyn and elsewhere), they have vast business enterprises and real estate holdings.

So why do I care and why am I writing a M.A.V.B.L.O.G. about Hasidics? It’s because I live in Monroe, New York. My family has been here for almost 60 years and has seen Kiryas Joel grow by leaps and bounds. I’d like our family to keep my childhood home and not be forced out because of real estate devaluation (a common practice of Hasidics). And……I’ve encountered deplorable Hasidic’s enough times to fill a novel. In my life, I’ve met one Hasidic man who I could identify with. ONE. He was present with other Hasidic families that were being unruly, irrational and heinous and he distanced himself from them. He apologized for their behavior. But just like in any organization……one good man doesn’t make up for 1,000 scumbags.

I applaud the fact that they appreciate education. An average Hasidic speaks several languages. There are frequently Hasidic’s going to the library, taking out books instead of movies, and continually learning and improving themselves. That’s about the only thing I can applaud though. As a community they have high rates of mental retardation, this due to the fact that they practice arranged marriages, those that are frequently incestuous. (Yes….brothers and sisters. 1st cousins. All that stuff). Quote below taken from.  (http://www.debrapasquella.com/2007/07/whats-truth-among-hasidic-community.html )

“For one, it’s been known that the Hasidic community intermarries for reasons of keeping the inheritance within the family or {klan}. They want to keep their genes pure, for reasons of heritage and keeping the family businesses intact. If they rely on the Old Testament, then why would they commit such an abomination? Or is it an abomination?”

What else makes me mad? Well…..they don’t add anything to our communities. They keep to themselves. You’d think with such a rapid population growth they’d open some restaurants and bakeries….or general shops. No. There’s nothing. Hasidic’s frequently utilize the parks and public places in Monroe……they purchased the entire main street and are happy charging exorbitant rents to small business owners. But they don’t open any business’s themselves. Why not? They’re essentially taking over the Orange County…..why not show off their culture and let us folks from other cultures get to know them through their foods or shops? Take Mexicans and Central Americans for example. Hard working people. Maybe you have an issue with them because they could be illegal aliens, they don’t learn English or they take jobs away. But they add something to the community. They open restaurants, bars and shops. They have great music. They have great food. They invite outsiders to enjoy their culture. That is great! That is proper assimilation for the benefit of everyone, regardless of your culture, religion or color of skin.

Now I know from experience that Jewish people are extremely touchy. I don’t say that as an affront, but I’m getting across that this has NOTHING to do with religion. It could be a village filled with Muslims or Buddhists, born again Christians or Scientologists. I don’t care. There’s a proper way to show your fellow man respect and common courtesy….and that is not present in Kiryas Joel. Do you know that there’s a welcome sign in Kiryas Joel that tells you how to dress if you’re going to their village? Excuse me!!!??? Do the residents of Monroe, New York tell Hasidic’s how to dress when they utilize their public parks and business’s in town?? Nope. But why shouldn’t they tell them to take off their overcoat and hat? I mean….they basically look like terrorists (in the traditional view of it), that’s a perfect justification. You know….The Patriot Act and all. But the residents of Monroe don’t do that…..because they’re not fanatical.

I’ve experienced and also heard multitudes of anecdotal stories about Hasidic’s over the years that shock me. Sexually frustrated Hasidic men who ask for hand jobs and blow jobs at respected spas and massage places, rebellious Hasidic’s who run away from home and drop acid and do hard drugs,  Hasidic landlords who cut corners and put their tenants through hell, Hasidic’s who smash their shopping carts into people’s cars because they dislike everyone else, Hasidic gangs who beat up people from other ethnicities, Hasidic men who consistently rape Hasidic women (and the women can’t do anything because they’re treated like animals)….etc….etc. They’re not exactly improving the community or the areas around their community.

I feel sorry for them (mainly the women who are treated like garbage). Hasidic’s live their live’s by a strict set of doctrines that represses their wills and probable desires to live an enjoyable life. They’re indoctrinated from a young age and have no choice to be free. They have no choice but to follow the rules of their fathers and grandfathers and so on. The women are treated worse than pets, they’re made to shave their heads and wear scarves, their sole purpose in life is to have as many children as possible. They’re a community of robots. They listen to their master and follow the rules, as irrational as they may be. Personally I view them as a cult……because I respect and admire the truth……..and that is the truth. (A community that keeps to themselves, has a fanatical and outmoded religion, hoards money, manipulates the system, has an outdated and brutal treatment of its women and feels superior to all others = CULT). At the end of the day, if the Hasidic’s continue to expand and devalue Monroe and the surrounding towns, I’ll simply move away and not have to think about it anymore. But a once quaint farming village……has rapidly been transformed to resemble a crummy area of Brooklyn…..and that is sad.

Again, for those of you reading who are extremely sensitive, those of you who make a habit of contorting people’s words, those of you who may have business interests with Hasidic’s, those of you who may work within politics or our government…….this has nothing to do with religion. NOTHING. It has to do with being a good person. Showing respect to all men. Living by the tenet that ‘all men are created equal’. I don’t care if you dislike someone…..you can still show them respect without being an asshole. So you wanna worship frogs and start a cult? You want to be a Mormon and wear sacred underwear? You want to venerate goats and live in a teepee? I don’t care. Go ahead. Do it. Do your thing. That’s your choice. Just whatever you do…….be a good person. Hasidic’s may wonder why there’s so much anger and frustration towards them and it’s because when you’re a bully…………..people tend to not like you. When you’re mean to others…..no one will care when tragedy strikes (just like their recent building fires). Kiryas Joel may be a money maker and a political asset……but it is a haven of fanatical, irrational people who disrespect and disregard all other cultures. If I were a politician and financiers threw a bunch of money at me to run for office in Monroe……I’d simply go under the banner ‘I’m not Hasidic’.

I’d hoped that in the 21st Century all individuals, groups and communities would transform into a higher design with qualities such as respect, mutual adoration, cooperation and acceptance. But to use the famous quote of our times…..’It is what it is’.

Thanks for reading this M.A.V.B.L.O.G. post. I hope you learned something new and became enlightened to this situation. As always, do a quick google search or go to the library for more information. Have a great day! And make sure you take care of yourself and your family! And be to good to others!

(as an aside- two nights after I posted this I encountered a very friendly and helpful Hasidic man who was a fireman. So that’s TWO nice Hasidic’s I’ve met. Maybe times are changing. I sure hope so.)

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