Shmarya Rosenberg

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Shmarya Rosenberg, born Scott Rosenberg in 1958, is a blogger who publishes the blog FailedMessiah.com.[1] He became observent and joined Chabad-Lubavitch, but he later left the movement because of its stance regarding Ethiopian Jews and became critical of Jewish Orthodoxy.[2]

Biography

Rosenberg grew up in a Conservative Jewish non-observant family in Saint Paul, Minnesota, where his parents operated a beauty supply company.[1][3] According to his family's history, his great-great-grandfather was an important figure in Chabad-Lubavitch.[3]

Rosenberg was active in Jewish student politics at the University of Minnesota and served several years as an executive of the North American World Union of Jewish Students.[3][4] He became a baal teshuvah and joined the Chabad-Lubavitch movement as an ultra-orthodox Hassidic Jew dedicated to study, community and rigorous observance, abandoning his former ambitions, one of which was to become a songwriter.[4] He was an observant, ultra-Orthodox Jew for the next 20 years.[4] He also owned a kosher butcher shop in the Twin Cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis and studied to become a rabbi.[citation needed]

Rosenberg became disenchanted with the Chabad-Lubavitch movement in 2004 after discovering an unsigned and unsent letter addressed to him by Menachem Mendel Schneerson, responding to his request for Chabad aid in the effort to rescue the Jews of Ethiopia. This resulted in the creation of his blog, FailedMessiah.com.[4] Presently he describes himself as a secular Jew.[3][5]

Writing career

Rosenberg has written for the Jewish Daily Forward, Tablet Magazine, Moment, Sh'ma Magazine, Guilt and Pleasure, Jewish World Review, Jewcy, the Minneapolis StarTribune, the Daily Beast and Heeb.[6]

FailedMessiah blog

Rosenberg's writing career began with his personal blog, FailedMessiah.com, referring to the belief among Lubavitcher Hassidim that their late rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson, is the messiah.[4] FailedMessiah.com now serves as a news outlet with the motto Covering Orthodox Judaism since 2004. Rosenberg reports as a journalistic watchdog and whistle blower in “a combination of muckraking reporting and personal grudge into a must-read digest of the actual and alleged misdeeds of the ultra-Orthodox world. He has broken news about sexual misconduct, smear campaigns and dubious business practices conducted by or on behalf of stringently religious Jews.” Chabad-Lubavitch leaders claim that he has exaggerated the degree of messianism in the movement and that he is driven to settle scores.[1]

He wrote features on the slaughtering practices at Agriprocessors, a kosher meat plant in Iowa, during a 2004 scandal, and had his first scoop in 2008 when he discovered the sockpuppet scam of the public-relations company 5W Public Relations, hired by the plant owners.[1] [7] He also brought to the attention of wider media that Hasidic newspapers had photoshopped women out of the photograph that depicted President Barack Obama and his national security team watching the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.[8]

Shmarya Rosenberg has been used as a source by The Wall Street Journal, Columbia Journalism Review, PR Week and other media.[1] The Israeli daily Haaretz described Rosenberg as "without doubt one of the Jewish blogosphere's most respected and erudite commentators".[3] He was the only American Jew listed both among the Jewish Daily Forwards 50 and Heeb's 100 in 2008.[9]

Controversy

The NY Post referred to FailedMessiah as a "social media" site. Daniel Greenfield argued in FrontPageMag that FailedMessiah is an Anti semitic hate site, rather than social media — similar to Stormfront and other Neo Nazi sites.[10]

JP updates also presented an example where the Failedmessiah blog minimized evidence of a hate crime against a Hassidic boy, but rushes to judgement on mere allegations against Orthodox Jews.[11]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Samuel G. Freedman (January 8, 2010). "Muckraking Blogger Focuses on Jews". The New York Times. Retrieved July 25, 2012. 
  2. Shmarya Rosenberg (2008-08-02). "Shmarya Rosenberg". FailedMessiah. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Saul Sadka (February 20, 2008). "Jewish World weekly blogger profile: Shmarya Rosenberg, FailedMessiah". Haaretz. Retrieved July 20, 2012. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Anthony Weiss (July 24, 2008). "Blogger Focuses on Orthodox Foibles". The Jewish Daily Forward. Retrieved July 20, 2012. 
  5. Shmarya Rosenberg (October 24, 2006). "What I Believe". FailedMessiah.com. Retrieved November 26, 2012. 
  6. Shmarya Rosenberg (2014). "Shmarya Rosenberg". The Daily Beast. 
  7. Ben Harris (July 2008). "Agriprocessors' PR Firm Accused of Impersonating Rabbi". JTA. Retrieved July 26, 2012. 
  8. Melissa Bell (May 10, 2011). "Second Hasidic newspaper drops Hillary Clinton and Audrey Tomason". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 26, 2012. 
  9. Daniel Treiman (November 20, 2008). "Heeb Hundred and Forward 50 Agree — But Only Once". The Jewish Daily Forward. Retrieved July 23, 2012. 
  10. Greenfield, Daniel (January 6, 2014). "What’s Wrong with the New York Post’s Menachem Stark Story". Front Page Mag. Front Page Mag. Retrieved October 28, 2014. 
  11. Gestetner, Yossi (June 17, 2012). "CAUGHT IN THE ACT: Content Posted by ‘Failed Messiah’ to Minimize Crime Against 7-Year-Old Hasidic Victim Now Deleted". JP Updates. Retrieved October 28, 2014. 

External links