The Yeshiva World News network has suggested that Michael Cohen became frum, ie., religious in Otisville. The Yeshiva World News posted pictures of a Kedem grape juice box that Cohen used to shlep his personal belongings out of the prison. The Yeshiva World news also posted a picture of Cohen carrying his tallis (prayer shawl) and tefillin as evidence that Cohen is now a frummie. Nothing could be further from the truth! FAKE NEWS!
Every Jew who checks into Otisville brings with him his prayer shawl and tefillin. Before you check into Otisville you sit down with the guys at the Aleph Institute, the Jewish prisoners’ advocacy organization. The guys at Aleph will advise you that if you bring your tallis and tefillin into Otisville things will be much easier for you in the Big House. The Aleph Institute has connections with the Bureau of Prisons. The chaplain at Otisville, ie., Rabbi Richter is close with Aleph. The fact that Cohen brought home his tallis and tefillin is not evidence that he became frum. The guys who run the Yeshiva World News have obviously never did any time in Otisville. If they did time in Otisville, like myself, they would have known that the first thing every Jewish inmate does when he leave Otisville is to throw his yarmulke out the window on Two Mile Road, the road leading up the hill to the Otisville prison. There is a big pile of yarmulkes next to the woods along Two Mile Road. Some of the yarmulkes belonged to famous Jews who “became frum” in the big house. You will find Hollywood accountant to the stars Ken Starr’s yarmulke in that pile. You will find the yarmulke once worn by billionaire art dealer and playboy Helle Nahmad in that pile. You will find the yarmulke of Sam Antar, the Syrian scammer whose uncle was Crazy Eddie, another Syrian scammer. The yarmulke of Brooklyn political boss Carl Kruger is in that pile. Carl’s boyfriend and mother used to drive up every weekend in Carl’s blue Bentley to visit him donning a scull cap.
I would estimate that a good percentage of the yarmulkes in that pile belonged to Jews who grew up frum, fried out, and then ended up in Otisville as Divine punishment. Another large percentage of the yarmulkes in that pile were once worn by the fried out guys. The other half of yarmulkes were worn by Russian and Ukrainian Jews from Coney Island, ie., doctors and guys in the medical field, who were locked for medicare fraud. They didn’t even know what a yarmulke was before they checked into Otisville.
Michael Cohen was locked up with Rabbi Mendel “The Prodfather” Epstein, who ran the shul. Epstein directed his associates in Lakewood to put cattle prods on the betzim of guys who wouldn’t sign a bill of divorce. Women were chained to their husbands and were thus forbidden to remarry. These women raised tens of thousands of dollars, which was paid to the Prodfather, who kidnapped the husbands and forced them to sign bills of Jewish divorce. Epstein was not popular in Otisville. Cohen would not have been inspired to become religious after having met Epstein. Epstein ranted about immorality in America, such as the prevalence of unmarried couples having children, whom he referred to as “baby daddies.” Epstein was not friendly with non religious Jews, as opposed to the Rabbis who ran the shul when I was there. Rabbi Pinter, a lightning rod of a Litvisher, was not well liked but he taught the Russians aleph beis. Pinter may have stirred things up but he would never turn anyone away. Rabbi Ben Haim was Pinter’s nemesis. Syrian Rabbi Ben Haim, from Deal, was similar to Pinter in many ways of religiousity, except that Ben Haim was a softie. Some guys walked all over him. He trusted too many people. You can’t trust criminals locked up in jail. I remember when Ben Haim’s friend Roman stole a whole tomato right out of Ben Haim’s plate. Ben Haim probably paid two bucks for that tomato to a guy who smuggled it out of the kitchen. Roman ran away after he grabbed the tomato. Ben Haim couldn’t get up and chase him because Ben Haim weighed in at 350 pounds.
The Yeshiva World Fake News noted that Cohen had his personal belongings packed in a box of Kedem grape juice. Big deal. There are empty boxes of Kedem grape juice all over the place in Otisville. It’s not like Cohen was drinking bottles of Kedem grape juice while he learned the Daf for hours on end. Cohen looked like he lost a few pounds. Most guys lose weight in Otisville. I lost about 15 pounds. Some really heavy guys lose 50-60 pounds. You put the weight back on within 6 months of getting out. Cohen didn’t seem to take much home with him from Otisville. Cohen had two mesh bags, and a couple of boxes. The mesh bags you get in Otisville. Everyone has a mesh bag in prison, for security reasons. The guards can see right through the mesh. I saved my mesh bag. I don’t know why. Some guys leave Otisville with giant boxes of stuff they accumulated over the years in Otisville, if they had long sentences. Stuff they hoarded in their lockers, or hid and hoarded where they worked in the prison. Stuff they purchased on the commissary such as sneakers, sweats, food, etc… I didn’t take much. I gave away most of my stuff to the other inmates before I left. One guy named Chaim took his spring mattress home with him. Inside joke!
If Michael Cohen had become frum in Otisville, a Rabbi from either Aish or Chabad would be featured on Yeshiva World Fake News taking credit for it. That hasn’t happened! Did Moshiach make Cohen frum? Yeshiva World Fake News should interview Moshiach NOW!!
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Rav Elyashiv rules that if a wicked man, or wicked goat, dies on Shabbos and his corpse is lying in the sun in shame, one should move the corpse by placing a child or loaf of bread on the corpse. Although one is permitted to agitate a wicked person while the wicked person is alive, now that the wicked person is dead and his nefarious activities have ceased, one should offer the wicked dead person a respectable burial. Larry Noodles is very machmir in the mitzvah of agitating a living wicked person or a wicked goat, as the case may be.
Rav Ula once said, “if you did something evil, making you a little wicked, you should not do more evil and become very wicked, just as one who got bad breath from eating garlic should not then continue to eat garlic and make his breath worse.” Shabbos 31
Rav Abele, the famous dayan of Vilna, as a seven-year-old, was once ill and in bed. The doctor saw that his mouth was full of blisters. Turning to the boy’s parents, the doctor explained that if the tongue isn’t clean, it’s a sure sign of a malfunctioning stomach. “Is there anyone who can truly say his mouth is clean?” retorted the sick child. “Chazal tell us in the gemara Bava Basra that most people are guilty of theft and everyone of loshon hora!“
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