Jailhouse Rock: The Saga Continues…

The NY Times reported today on the colorful world of Rabbi Leib Glanz, the Satmar rabbi who arranged the now notorious jailhouse Bar Mitzvah:

To the uninitiated, Rabbi Glanz’s ability to pull off such an outlandish event may seem wondrous. Certainly, concern over how the celebration came to be authorized, as it was by top Correction Department officials, has resulted in multiple investigations.
But interviews and city records show that Rabbi Glanz has a long history of access and influence, of seeking favors and performing them, and of acting as a liaison between the insular world of the Satmars and elected officials.
For two decades, he has been something of a Satmar master of ceremonies, arranging official tours of the community, based in Williamsburg, translating Yiddish for political leaders, charming mayors and their aides with gifts, then soliciting money and support for his sect’s priorities.

One Jewish political operative defends Rabbi Glanz thus:

(Rabbi Glanz) is the kind of person who would go anywhere any time to help somebody – I would never question his motivations, even in this case.

Anywhere, any time?  Pardon my cynicism, but I’d say the salient point here is “…soliciting money and support for his sect’s priorities.”
The line between post-modern absurdity and shande fur de goyim continues to blur…

6 thoughts on “Jailhouse Rock: The Saga Continues…

  1. >>The line between post-modern absurdity and shande fur de goyim continues to blur…<<
    Then you have no understanding of U.S. politics at the retail level. Its all about votes. And in exchange for the goodies extracted from politicians, people like Rabbi Glanz deliver blocks of votes.

  2. Too Old,
    …and you have no appreciation for absurdity. Of course I wasn’t commenting on US politics. I was commenting on the absurdity of a hasidic rabbi secretly organizing a lavish jailhouse Bar Mitzvah party for a convicted swindler – and the further absurdity of ascribing pure motives to his actions…

  3. Having a party for your son has nothing to do with “the right to observe and celebrate their faith”. How many christian inmates get to have their entire families come in for a baptism or confirmation?

  4. As Amit says, there is a difference between prisoners’ religious rights and offering blatantly preferential treatment. One reason the NY authorities are taking this so seriously is that the rabbi’s egregious behavior risked serious unrest in the prison.
    As for the irony/absurdity: for me, at least, it resides in the account of a hasidic rabbi giving political favors to a rich convicted swindler by secretly arranging an obscenely over the top Bar Mitzvah party under the noses of the NY penal system…

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