Wednesday, September 28, 2011

"Chillul Hashem" Lawyer Maimon Kirschenbaum attacks Freedom of Speech

“I invented this business,”  Lawyer Maimon Kirschenbaum

In an op-ed piece in the blog the self righteous lawyer Maimon Kirschenbaum attacked people writing negative comments about his atrocious actions against
treif restaurants. 
Read his sorry letter than read some of the comments he doesn't appreciate
First see original article in Dus iz nies

Dear Readers:

As many of you have probably seen yesterday on this website, the NY Post ran an article about me and my business. The article certainly portrayed me and my business in a less than positive light. But I can live with that. My business is very controversial, and I have brought lawsuits against some very wealthy and powerful individuals. Therefore, it was no surprise when one of the defendants in my lawsuits succeeded in having a tabloid run a story about me containing many extreme exaggerations and misrepresentations regarding me and my motives, in an effort to clear his name in the press rather than in a courtroom, where law and reality govern. But the underlying merits of the article are not the subject of this letter.

I found it extremely difficult this morning to explain to my coworkers, colleagues, and clients why on a website geared towards members of my own community there are comments attacking me more viciously than in the general public. In all fairness, they were few as compared with quantity of comments on some of the other “hot button topics” addressed in this website. Nevertheless, over the years, I have seen too many community members, including shluchim, rabbis, and regular businessmen be viciously disparaged by commenters on the various websites. Given that I was the target this time, I will take this opportunity to share my feelings on the matter.

Rabosai, this has to stop. There is an astounding lack of perspective evident when people in a community anonymously sell out their own community members in a public forum. It is especially shocking when it happens in our beautiful community. The Crown Heights that I know is filled with people that would do anything in the world and have each other’s back at all times. Of course, there is machlokes in our community unfortunately, but on an individual level, we are a group of people with very strong loyalty to one another. Tzedaka and good deeds are the hallmarks of Chabad both in Crown Heights and throughout the world.

The negative vicious comments targeting our own people go directly against the grain of what we are. It is downright ugly. I am no spiritual authority, but from my perspective, the “negative internet comment crisis” is at least as troubling as the other crises lamented on this website. We are hurling cheap insults at our neighbors, families, friends, etc. Where on Earth does this come from, and how is not too disgusting to be allowed in our community? If there is some tenet of Chabad philosophy that supports this behavior, I personally request that a Rov or Mashpia explain it to us. Because, as far as I know, it goes against all that is Chabad and all that is Jewish.

I have very thick skin, and I am not very insulted by the comments. I am also very proud of my work, BH. I feel no need to apologize for my lawsuits, and I can handle this relatively negative publicity. In terms of the insult, we know what the Alter Rebbe said about David Hamelech and Shimi Ben Gaira, “For Hashem told him to curse me”. So I probably had it coming. But that doesn’t change that the people that engaged in bad behavior engaged in bad behavior.

There is a time, place and manner for everything. If someone disagrees, or wants to ”give me mussar” for what I do, it should be rather simple. Come sit down with me at a farbrengen and tell me your thoughts. My information is pretty easy to locate on the internet, and you can find a way to reach me and tell me what you think. This is the case with everyone else that you are thinking about anonymously lambasting in your comment. If you are simply too cowardly to voice your opinion directly and to stand behind it, you probably should not be making the point.

In short, there are several reasons to refrain from anonymous comments attacking members of our community: (A) Some people are deeply hurt by these comments; (B) You are letting the world know that you are willing to sell out members of your community (most of whom would never do that to you) for the cheap thrill of writing something nasty on the internet; and (C) It is cowardly to make a statement that you cannot stand behind with your name.

I would like my children and your children to grow up in a community where they know that everyone is looking out for each other. This will provide them with sense of security and confidence. They will in turn have a strong desire to remain part of the community. There is so much discussion about what causes children to drift, R”L. Please stop and think about what kind of effect open negativity and nastiness has on our community and what message it sends to our children about their community.

“Hareini mochel l’chol mi shehichis osi oh shehknit osy.” If there is one good thing I can do for my wonderful community this year, let it be to encourage people to stop trashing each other on the websites!

Ksiva V’chasima Toiva, and much success to everyone b’gashmiyus ubrichniyus. Barchenu avinu kulanu k’echad, as one!

Maimon Kirschenbaum

Comments from the crownheights blog

 Huh? wrote:

What a leftist weasel!
Instead of answering the allegations against him, he goes on to attack freedom of speech.

fact #1 - the workers in these restaurants were not chained to the tables. they were obviously happy to work for what they were getting.

fact #2 - kirschenbaum saw an extortion opportunity, based on his family's experience in the restaurant business, and convinced these naive workers to sue the hand that feeds them.

fact #3 - the restaurant cant afford the legal fees, and settles for a huge amount which forces it to close down. now the workers find themselves unemployed, with a little bit of money that wasnt pocketed by kirschenbaum, who is laughing all the way to the bank.

fact #4 - all the hard working productive people: the family that built the restaurant up from the ground and the employees (all of them, not just the waiters) are all penniless. the UNproduvtive parasites: kirschenbaum, sit on a pile of gold they did not earn.




This letter is a sorry and pathetic attempt to cover up a massive Chillul Hashem! Mr. Kirschenbaum, you are hurting the community you say you are part of. You have hurt many people and businesses through your work. You need to take a good long look at yourself and ask yourself the following question: “am I a good and proper Jew and is my livelihood coming from a good and proper source?”

-ANONYMOUS (I fear both for myself and my family your legal retribution, because knowing you, you will not peacefully sit down and discuss this at a farbrengen).

A concerned chosid wrote:

Maimon with all due respect to what you wrote, I feel that the “business you invented” is a dangerous business for many or perhaps most employers.

we live in a country where we are competing with china where workers get paid an average of $20 US dollars a month!

Additionally most workers in this industry would NOT work for only 40 hours a week, for that would give them a a gross pay of $290 a week and after taxes social security and medicare they are left with about $195 per week. So these workers ask their employers to give them more hours and don't expect their employer to pay them overtime.

They are happy with getting more hours, for without it they would need to work at another location which would also pay them minimum wage without overtime. And these workers won't be able to pay their rent in this expensive city.

If the food industry would have employees paid overtime wages you would be paying $3 for a small yogurt $5 for a half gallon of cholov yisroel milk and $9 for a tuna sandwich !

That being said I feel that you are doing a great injustice to our standard of living by pushing and encouraging people to take court action against an employer who has been there giving them work year after year. Remember, these workers were not forced to work there and were not forced to work overtime hours, they were simply happy to have a job and happy to have more hours at the same location.

By encouraging this behavior you will make the cost of living in this city go up, small business owners to close up shop and have these immigrant workers stand on the street on Fort Hamilton ave to look for work.

Although I would hope that you haven't gone after people in “Our Community”, your behavior and publicity will hurt other ehrliche yidden who are just trying to make a living and pay their bills.

Just like you display your concern for the sake of our community, it would be nice to see that your concern shows as well where it affects your business and the business of thousands of frum yidden in NYC

A Ksiva V'chasima Toiva

P.S. I wholeheartedly agree with you that there should be positive comments posted for the sake of our community and our own sanity. It would be nice to see achdus.

A concerned chosid #2 wrote:

In addition to what I wrote above, I would like to point out something else. many small business owners don't have the finances to hire a lawyer to defend their case against workers who don't have any skin in the game, for they don't pay the lawyer unless they are successful and then pay them a fee from their winnings.

As a result most mom and pop shops that are faced by litigation, the kind of which your firm practices, they throw in the towel, file bankruptcy or worse.

In our very own community there was a very successful supermarket owner, the first one to bring s a proper supermarket to Crown Heights, had a lawsuit filed against him by a group of his employees who wanted the “get rich quick method”, they together with their lawyer have single handedly put him out of business, he lost his house and all.

yes he could of hired lawyers to fight for his rights, but it would of costed him hundreds of thousands of dollars up front without any guarantee of success.

All I want to point out is that we must be careful with our mouth and our actions. you never know who you are teaching to do what. case in point Turkey's air force was trained by the IDF.

I wish you would of taken your profession to a place where youd help your own and not C"V the opposite.

A Gut Yor

Fed Up! wrote:

Just remember that it is muckrackers like Maimon Kirschenbaum that got Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin into trouble.

The difference is that those activists did what they did out of a misplaced sense of idealism (leaving out some of the real anti-Semites).

Maimon Kirschenbaum wrecks other people's hard-built businesses for GELT for himself. A clown like Maimon cost B and H Foto Electronics 4 million dollars that they earned more honestly than Maimon ever earned a penny in his life. I wonder about restaurants in his family and how he would feel if the clown who took on B and H took on his family's restaurants - or his legal practice.

And then he writes this sniveling, self-serving letter on CHInfo when he gets the kind of comments he deserves.

Maimon is a SHAME and a DISGRACE who should shave his beard and get rid of his yarmulke. He is another Roy Cohn, a true stain on the legal profession.

CH Resident wrote:


With all due respect, you have chosen law as a profession and more specifically shaking down businesses. Whether it's justifiable, I don't know, because I don't know the specifics of this case, but how can you assume that you can shake down a small business (we aren't talking fortune 500 businesses, we are talking restaurants which struggle for survival as most eventually fail) for many millions of dollars and be immune of disdain?

I don't think it's jealousy, because people seem to celebrate Ben Federman's immense success because he isn't hurting anybody as his means of earning his not so modest living. Perhaps it's the epitome of hypocrisy that you take on people struggling to take care of their families by offering a service (i.e. food service industry), and then when people get disgusted by that, you lecture people that they lack the decency to shut up. Do you not realize the thin line you walk, that you can be a savior to an abused class of people, or you can be the sleaziest scumbag shakeartist shaking down people for financial gain? You chose a career that tests your character every day, perhaps sometimes you fail to make appropriate judgement in which case to take and which case to reject?

I hope you were in good judgement in taking on this case, yet I think instead of knocking people who speculate on your job, perhaps you should demonstrate your case to the media on why your' pursuing this case was just. You can't expect to undertake a 30 million dollar lawsuit without people noticing and chattering about the case's merits or lack thereof. There really is no accountability of ethics of attorneys other than in the media. If that reality escapes you, is it possible you have chosen the wrong profession?

I do give you the benefit of the doubt so long as you don't plead the fifth and refuse to address the grievances of the middle class frustrated with the plethora of legal vultures. At this point I assume, hope and pray that you aren't one of them.

re # 2 wrote:

How dare you write this letter trying to make us feel bad about writing a comment! As the saying goes, “don't do the crime if you cant do the time”!
It is people like you who go after the essence of a community like ours. You write, you have ONLY gone after the “big boys” and now they got someone to write an article in a tabloid. But I read that tabloid and I know what’s next, we all know what is coming next….
Marmelsteins!!!!! Yes all the lawsuits to date were just a prelude of the one you really want, it was not good enough that you shut down the most important landmark in our community, the heart of what we stand for, the Moshiach Deli, no you now will go after our soul as well, and for that I cannot sit back and let you get away with it.
And to those that now want him to run in a leadership role, do you understand what a man like this is capable of, it is possible that he would go after a department that would then change the face of 770 itself, what if he actually decides that garbage should no longer pile up in front of 770, what would we do during weddings when there is no longer a smell, how will they take pictures when they can take of all sides and not only one direction???
In closing, we must keep the pressure up and talk bad about people on these websites, it is our essence, our being, and no one should try to take it away from us, because next they will tell us to allow old people and rabbonim to have our places in shul our macome kavuah, and not to step over people when climbing on benches. And g-d forbid anyone should tell us to make way or give up a seat for a pregnant lady. What a thought, it brings horrors to my being!
Chaim Light

Communist Raider wrote:

Nice try…but doesn't impress me.

Respect is not earned with pleads, but rather with virtuous acts. “The business I invented” is not a business but rather racketeering and robbing in the name of the law aka abuse of the law.

I would respect you, Maimon, if you practice Jewish Law and run a restaurant. Yes, go try to open a restaurant for a change, than pay your earning to a Shyster for the crime you not really sure you committed. But keeping in mind Sholom Rubashkin, you rather settle than deal with the US Court.

Communis dullards in the US Socialist Government (Larger than in late USSR) enact nonsense regulations that impossible to meet without going into bankruptcy. Than comes around a Shyster, or worse - Federal Agent and turns you into “Rubashkin Case” ignoring “presumption of innocence”.

The Law in this country has become a farce due to nice guys like Maimon turning the Law into “business invention”.

This is why C-Sections in this country way higher than in Europe (CS is a legal protection) and medications cost is astronomical (since the price includes potential settlements). This is why a lot of research is outsourced to India (since researcher don't take any chance with 150 pages regulations and how it will be interpreted by Shysters). And so on.

In summary, I have no respect for what you are doing, Maimon

Far Side of the Moon wrote:

Would Maimon's own immigrant mother ever have been able to start her business had she been faced with the kind of laws that Maimon now “enforces” and the constant threat of a predatory lawyer suing her out of existence? I wonder why she only operates as a caterer these days - could be the economy, competition or her own personal reasons, but she also has fewer health, safety and yes, labor regulations to deal with now.

Times were different back when Maimon's mother started (I know his parents quite well), and going back to those times as far as labor relations are concerned would force Maimon into using his entrepreneurial zeal and creativity to contribute to the economy rather than sapping its strength.

Regardless of whether it is legal, taking someone's business away and wrecking the very fabric of society under the guise of worker's rights, a guise that did so much physical and spiritual damage to Yidden for decades, is the very definition of a chilul Hashem and “naval birshus haTorah.”

And then to complain that people are criticizing him! If you can't stand the heat, stay out of restaurant owners' kitchens!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

MK, during Yom Kippur when you pounded your chest with your hand during Al Chet how deep did you dig. How honest was your Al Chet?

" You lie, you cheat, you betray".

Do not hide behind Chabad and your fellow Jews to justify your actions. Your are a thief and an opportunist. How can you daven in truth, with kavanah before Hashem.

Shame on your Rabbinc community to allow you to pray before our children Israel. You bring shame to all Jews of which I am one. We are all culpable of you dishonesty.

As the gates closed during Neilah and you prayed to be inscribed how honest could you be. How can your Rabbi wish you a "gmar tov".