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Online Warrior

by Yori Yanover

This website is mostly about local information and local color. It rarely takes up issues in order to piss off anyone. Like its print sister, the Grand Street News, it has virtually no natural enemies, mostly because it never refuses anyone wishing to promote positive stuff around the neighborhood.

To be completely honest, this has been a totally new experience for me. All my professional life until three years ago I had been entangled in multiple-front wars, juggling my leftist politics with my religious-Jewish convictions and making great friends and great enemies at a moment’s notice. Not any more.

Running a magazine and now a website dedicated to discovering the next great vintage store on Ludlow Street has made me a peaceful and relatively content man. My righteous outbursts now revolve around traffic lights and potholes, park renovations and grant allocations. I’m a changed man.

So when this website is at the focal point of a controversy I usually get nervous, not because I dislike the inevitable higher ratings, but because I don’t want to go back to the trenches of online warfare.

This week, our website attracted an online warrior, the type who derives oodles of joy from the e-fight for e-fight’s sake. He identifies himself as Menachem, and after dueling for a considerable time with the good folks of the Stanton Street shul he went on to do battle with the Chasam Sopher synagogue next-door and with the dubious history of the candy store on Grand and Madison – all seeded by articles on this website.

Some people at Stanton Street incorrectly identified Menachem as the owner of the colorful blog Sultan Knish. This is because of a eulogy that's been published there for the late Rabbi Yosef Singer, who for several decades presided over the Stanton shul. There were a few inaccuracies in the text (he writes “Rabbi Joseph Singer will never be the subject of biographies or hagiographies," probably unaware that the mysteriously sweet rabbi is a central character in the late Paul Cowan’s An Orphan in History).

I knew and loved Rabbi Singer, as did my wife. I hated going to his shul in the 1980’s because it was dank and drafty and full of old Jews; but we schlepped there on this and that Shabbos because Rabbi Singer insisted.

He was personally instrumental in several key events in our lives and we adored him.

When the controversy began around his shul, we stayed as far away as we could. I probably could not have come back to rediscover Stanton had the sweet rabbi not returned his soul to his maker on Kol Nidrei night past. I run into the occasional reminder of the controversy, but I am still careful not to go near it. His memorial service will be held at the Young Israel synagogue this week – I trust it will be poison free.

So, anyway, I continue to check out Menachem’s supposed blog (It actually isn't, as was clarified by the real - and justifiably irate - blogger). It’s a bit of a relic. The sentiments and political vocabulary are out of date. I like that. He’s engaged in a forever war against the mythical left, the liberal media, the Democrats. Nothing new here. He sees Syria as the next big threat to Israel – I totally agree. He cites the Arutz Sheva website and former pirate radio station – I was the same station’s first DJ. He supports Giuliani for president – I say we’ve already had a thug in there for six years, maybe we should try a thinker next time.

See? See how he gets me going?

To conclude, the good thing about Menachem is that he creates a wide interest in our website and brings in new readers. The bad thing is that he’s only one guy, and after a while his voice gets shrill and the discussion dull and repetitive.

Bad boy, bad boy, Whatchagonnado. It’s amazing how few women’s voices ever get caught up in these online wars. Females are so much more sensible, it’s disgusting.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can you put a weblink to the blog?

11/28/2006 7:11 AM  
Blogger Yori Yanover said...

There's a link in the body of the story and the image is clickable.

11/28/2006 8:33 AM  
Blogger Blogbaby said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11/28/2006 6:22 PM  
Blogger Sultan Knish said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11/28/2006 6:23 PM  
Blogger Sultan Knish said...

I just got back from Central Park to find my sitemeter lit up with clicks from this site and comments claiming that Zionism will result in a global holocaust, so thanks for the free traffic.

I'm baffled why though since I've never read your blog or even knew it existed before today.

If you're hoping for a link back and a blogwar, sorry but I focus on political issues and serious matters, rather than answering back some local blogger over a mistaken identity blogwar of all things.

11/28/2006 6:25 PM  
Blogger Yori Yanover said...

Boy, do I have egg on my face. I've been misled by two different men who shared with me their suspicions that SK and our Menachem were one and the same. Sorry, won't happen again. I'll keep the story on, though, so I'll learn something from it for the future.

11/28/2006 8:16 PM  
Anonymous sultan knish said...

Thank you for that acknowledgement but it would be nice if you modified the post itself to reflect that since most people don't read comments.

11/29/2006 9:27 AM  
Anonymous sultan knish said...

Thank you

11/29/2006 5:44 PM  

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