The Jewish inmates in Otisville make a very good attempt at trying to inject civilization into an environment that is anything but civilized. The Jewish chaplain and the Jewish organization called the Aleph Institute try, under difficult circumstances, to make the Jewish inmates feel like human beings, rather than rejects and outcasts from society. One attempt at trying to make inmates feel like human beings is to have weekly Sabbath services, which includes Friday night dinners and Saturday day dinners with prayer services. There can be a lot of drama with guys fighting over food and fighting over how to organize the prayers. But overall it is a good activity for inmates, even if most of the Jewish inmates care less about the religious aspect.
Every time a Jewish inmate leaves to venture off into the free world he will give a speech on a Friday night during the dinner. The week before Larry Noodles checked out of Otisville prison a guy by the name of Dr. Charles gave a parting speech. Dr. Charles was one of hundreds of doctors who were busted by the Feds for getting paid by blood banks for referrals. The blood banks leased space in the doctors offices and paid above market rent. The Feds locked up hundreds of doctors, most of them well into their 50s and 60s, for an average of 2 years with restitution orders of about $100K each. But since the blood banks used the doctor referrals to generate ten times the amount of the inflated leases, the Feds announced that the losses to Medicare were over $100 million. The Feds pick and choose who they want to lock up, depending on the publicity at the moment. Former US attorney Pickerstein recently got sentenced to 30 days in jail for stealing $600K from his client and then lying about it to cover it up. The doctors never stole a dime from anyone, yet still got substantial jail time. It would look bad for the Feds if they gave a doctor who was part of a $100 million dollar scheme probation or home confinement. The public expects Federal prosecutors and FBI agents to bust guys and throw them in jail, just like they do on tv.
Dr. Charles, or Chaim, as he was called in the Jewish chapel was a decent man. He practiced medicine for over 30 years. At first I didn’t get along with him. When he first came into jail he was my bunkie. He got nervous because a few of my enemies in the camp told him that they were going to trash my cube because I blogged about prison life to the outside world. Charles would be collateral damage. My enemies hoped Dr. Charles would complain to the blueboyz and get me thrown into the SHU (solitary confinement). It didn’t work. Charles tried to switch to a different bunk. But I beat him to the punch. I had myself transferred to a cubicle with a complete psycho who liked my blogs. My new bunkie was a guy by the name of Sonny. He respected me for standing up to inmates who complained about my blogs. Sonny put the word out that if anyone messed with our cubicle they were going to have to answer to him.
I still stayed in touch with Dr. Charles, he was right across from me. I couldn’t have many intelligent conversations with Sonny. A guy by the name of Chaz ended up bunking with Dr. Charles. Chaz used to harass an inmate by the name of “Shrek.” But Shrek didn’t like this nickname, so we oly referred to him as Shrek behind his back. Shrek was a giant, scary looking Russian guy. He reminded me of Mongo on Blazing Saddles. He looked like the character Shrek when he went outside and feed the deer that were always venturing into the prison grounds. Shrek would give the deer food and talk to them, just like the real Shrek. At one point during the Shabbat meal Chaz yelled out to Shrek, “Where’s the enchanted forest, Shrek?” After saying this a few times, bellowing with laughter, Shrek came over and raised his fist, which was the size of Chaz’s head, and was ready to slug him. Shrek’s Russian friends quickly came over and held Shrek back.
Dr. Charles’ parting words focused on self improvement, or “mussar” as the rabbis call it. He said that guys exhibit better behavior when they are in the chapel than when they are hanging around the prison getting into trouble. He offered words of encouragement and hoped that guys would be able to improve their behavior and respect one another more. It is easy to fall down the slippery prison slope, you start to behave like an animal when you are locked up in cages and treated like a waste of human cellular matter. Dr. Charles used to complain when the Litvish rabbi gave mussar speeches, and here he was giving the same type of speech. Most guys don’t like to be told that there is something wrong with them. The psychologists say to tell your child that the problem is in the acts, not the child, as opposed to prison where you are treated as if there is something inherently wrong with you. This is the reason many guys return to a life a crime. They were labelled a criminal by society, now they must live up to it.
Larry Noodles watched many guys leave the prison and give farewell speeches. It is a bitter-sweet experience. On the one hand you are happy for the guy. On the other hand you are sad that you are still stuck in prison while this lucky bastard just won the lottery. If the guy was a good friend, it can be tough to see him leave. One reason many long term guys refuse to make friends. When Larry Noodles gave his farewell speech he did not offer any words of self improvement and encouragement. Being locked up 24/7 gives a guy plenty of time to beat himself up, why should Larry Noodles add to a guy’s misery? Larry Noodles tried to entertain the crowd with a lot of jokes, but most guys were not in the mood to joke around.
Here are a few excerpts from the Larry Noodles farewell speech: I would like to thank the officers of the prison who tried to rehabilitate me: Officer Scaboni who tried to throw me in the SHU when I first arrived here because of my attorney’s clothing attire, or lack therof….. Officer Ferrari who wanted to throw me in the SHU because I was talking to my prison issued alarm clock that looked like a cell phone….. Officer Krandall who tried to throw me in the SHU for falling asleep on the baseball bleachers during count…. Officer Grogins who tried to throw me in the SHU for smuggling pasta into my cube from the warehouse….. Officer Babcock for trying to throw me in the SHU because he thought I was trying to steal a green prison shirt from the warehouse…. Officer Overton for trying to throw me in the SHU when I used his quanza hut as my personal office after I got kicked out of the warehouse for my blogs and was assigned to outside orderly…. Kitchen Officer Lincoln Continental for trying to throw me in the SHU for refusing to wash thousands of pots and pans coming from the medium after their kitchen got destroyed…. Officer Fiello for almost throwing me in the SHU because my son took pictures of the deer…. and finally Officer Rabbi Lucky Charms, the prison chaplain, who almost threw my minister of record, Rabbi Dov Greer, the son of the infamous child molester Daniel Greer, into the SHU for arguing with him about how my visits got suspended for 60 days as punishment for falling asleep on the bleachers during count. Apparently Rabbi Dov Greer told Rabbi Lucky Charms that he should treat a fellow Jew with respect, what kind of a rabbi is he anyway, mistreating a fellow Jew.
At the end of my farewell speech I made up a couple of funny songs. This song was sung to the Micky Mouse tune:
Whose the leader of the kosher VIP club that’s made for you and me? M-O-S-H-E B-U-T-L-E-R; MOSHE BUTLER
Hey there, hi there, ho there, you’re as happy as if the Mets won the World Series
M-O-S-H-E B-U-T–L-E-R, MOSHE BUTLER, gavid jewmark MOSHE BUTLER gavid jewmark MOSHE BUTLER
Forever man has held a coke bottle HIGH HIGH HIGH HIGH
come along and sing the song and join the jamboree, everyone now, LET’S GO, MOSHE BUTLER, MOSHE BUTLER…
I didn’t get many laughs with the Moshe Butler song. So I tried another song. I said the following: I want to give foot doc Muss a blessing that he find a woman. I known many inmates have made lame attempts to do this, such as setting him up with Lipa’s mother-in-law in the visiting room, making a shirt that proclaims his devotion to Charlies’ sister Amy, writing letters to African American women on the outside with six kids, and posting profiles on Russian Facebook singles pages, among many such stunts. There is one prominent inmate named Jacobowitz who has done nothing to help Dr. Muss find a mate. I implore Herman to help Muss, and sing this tune to the “Matchmaker” song from Fiddler on the Roof:
Dictator, dictator, make Muss a match!
Find Muss a find!
Catch Muss a catch
Dictator, dictator, make Muss a match
Make Muss a perfect match
I am not angry! Put it in El Libro!