Rabbi Naftali Tzi Weisz, a prominent rabbi in the Hassidic community -- also arrested for money-laundering in 2007 and again last week for tax fraud -- addressed a Borough Park symposium Tuesday to repent and assume responsibility for his crimes:
Nathaniel Popper reports:
"Unfortunately we have to admit in public that things happened that were not supposed to happen," Weisz told the men in attendance (women were not invited to the forum). "We must have to express our wish that these matters will never happen -- we have to commit that in the future this will never happen again." Weisz spoke in great detail about the compliance program that [his] board has entered with the government and he said, "Our community, baruch hashem, (thank God) is not lacking in smart experienced lawyers and accountants that are willing to teach the tzibur [community], how to conduct their communal affairs in a manner that is in compliance with the law in all respects."
The meeting was called in response to all the unfortunate publicity surrounding the apparently never-ending reality show, "When Orthodox Rabbis Go Bad." Those in attendance were seemingly receptive to Weisz's call for responsibility, though several demonstrators protested outside the building about the Jew-baiting media, calling last week's massive corruption bust a "pogrom." On the other hand, Rabbi David Zwiebel of Agudath Israel read actual excerpts from my earlier post about this crisis -- and no one booed. I'm big with the Hasidim, apparently.