Times Of Israel has posted a follow-up story on the sale of failedmessiah.
Now Scott Rosenberg — better known as Shmarya Rosenberg — has signed off and sold Failed Messiah, his controversial blog tracking the foibles of Orthodox Jews. But Rosenberg is refusing to identify the new owners.
Suspicious readers want to know why.
In an introductory blog post, Failed Messiah’s new owners described themselves as “a group of people dedicated to protecting the reputation of the Orthodox Jewish community” – precisely those who used to be the target of Failed Messiah’s withering criticism. That has some wondering whether the site was purchased to silence criticism of the Orthodox.
So far, the buyer has been identified only as Diversified Holdings. Rosenberg said he passed along JTA requests for an interview, but JTA received no response from the company.
[Ed. note: — Shocker!]
A speculative blog post on the Orthodox website OnlySimchas suggested that the buyer is Orthodox philanthropist and nursing home magnate Shlomo Rechnitz, who was in the news recently for buying each of his employees a PowerBall lottery ticket. He stirred debate more recently in Orthodox circles for delivering a speech at a charity gala in Lakewood, New Jersey, that criticized Orthodox schools for turning away kids whose families don’t conform to Orthodox ideals. He apologized shortly afterward, saying he hadn’t meant to offend.
Rosenberg declined to confirm or deny whether Rechnitz is behind Diversified Holdings.
Rosenberg began writing critically about messianism among Chabad Hasidim, who were convinced that the rebbe, who died in 1994, was still alive.
In 2004, he was among the first to report charges of inhumane slaughter at the nation’s largest kosher meat company, Agriprocessors. The Iowa firm later became the target of a major federal raid resulting in the arrests of hundreds of illegal workers and the eventual conviction of CEO Sholom Rubashkin, whom Rosenberg says he knows personally, for bank fraud and money laundering.
In time, he broadened his focus to include other issues in the Orthodox community, such as sexual abuse and financial fraud. While Rosenberg has covered Orthodox misdeeds from Hasidic communities like Satmar and Belz to yeshivish and mainstream Orthodox communities, he has chronicled Chabad malfeasance with special fervor.
I highly recommend a careful read of this article. I have much to say on this, but a bit under the weather right now and opting for much needed rest. I just thought it was too important not to share this one.