Black Hats on Empty Heads
Seems that the Jewish community in Lakewood, NJ, was duped by a man named Ted Floyd, who stole the identity of deceased veteran Nathaniel James Levi. Floyd/Levi has pleaded guilty of identity theft. The whole thing is now a big scandal in Lakewood.
With that in mind, the following Letter to the Editor of Yated Ne'eman has come to my attention [Yated Ne'eman, 13 Nissan 5768 / 18 April 2008, page 8]. The letter writer, who, like so many, does not give his real name, signs it as "A Yeshivaman in Lakewood." For the uninitiated, Yated Ne'eman is a publication directed towards the more insular elements of the religious Jewish community, many of whom object to the garbage in the common English language tabloids (a position certainly not without merit).
Yated Ne'eman recently began posting photos of the authors of its columns -- the male authors, at least; there are many who fear that pictures of females will cause men to have impure thoughts, so there are no pictures of women in Yated Ne'eman (though a few years ago, I did see an advertisement that featured a photo of the Statute of Liberty).
The essence of "Yeshivaman's" letter is that Yated Ne'eman's use of the author's photographs has a salutary effect because "The photos of the writers who pen the opinion and haskafa [rough Hebrew translation: Approach to life, world view, etc.] columns underscore the background of the writers. When we see the noble Bnei Torah who the Yated entrusts with the holy mission of conveying the ideals and outlook the Torah requires of us, we are assured that the message is as authentic as the messengers themselves."
English translation: Like so many in the Lakewood community, this "Yeshivaman" will blindly accept the authenticity of anyone who sports a beard and a black hat.
Which is exactly why Ted Floyd was able to pull one over on them!