Op-Ed: My Brother-in-Law Menachem Stark Leaves Seven Children and a Wife Who Miss Him

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My brother in law, Menachem Stark was killed this weekend. A 39-year old father of seven, he will be missed by his wife, children, friends, and so many others. He had so much ahead of him and his loss is a tragedy for all of us. He left home Thursday, and simply never returned home. To our shock and horror, he was kidnapped, his body burnt and dumped in a garbage dumpster. We are in shock, our lives forever changed. Indeed, with that as we have seen throughout history, another Jew has been killed.

My brother-in law and friend Menachem was a great husband and great father. He smiled and was a man who was involved with his children and never missed a chance to spend time with them – and help others in the community. He spent hours weekly with each of his kids, and gave charity. His children will never again hold their fathers hands, and he will never be able to dance at his children’s weddings. Menachem “Max” was someone who always made the people around him smile, and was so good to so many.

His murder by the men who killed him is a tragedy which will haunt and affect all of us. He was murdered a second time by The New York Post who ran his picture with a front-page headline “Who didn’t want him dead?” Their sick, despicable and untrue story was character assassination, providing justification for the murder of Menachem. Terrible untruths against a man no longer able to defend himself, against a family who doesn’t deal with the outside world. Indeed, we cannot even repeat the words of their headline. We miss him and love him and our hearts ache.

Despite media allegations and innuendos, Menachem Stark has never been arrested, and never charged with any wrong doing. While he has had some business difficulties in the last few years, these last few years in the real estate market have been tremendously challenging for so many Americans. No one in the media spoke to the many tenants who will sing his praises.

Media implications that murdering a landlord is acceptable is horrific. What happens if the next victim is a Jewish lawyer or doctor? Or an accountant when it is tax time? Menachem was a good man who tried his best – and for us, he was someone we loved. A family member, a father, a brother.

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The old adage of two sides to every story clearly doesn’t apply when it comes to a Jew wearing Hasidic garb. There are Jewish orphans throughout history who have seen their fathers killed with impunity. The media has sent the message that Jewish blood is cheap.

As we sit Shiva, in mourning, we sit in more pain due to the hateful newspaper headlines. We don’t read The New York Post or other secular newspapers, and we don’t watch TV. What we do know is that we don’t deserve to have his murder sensationalized at this time of tragedy.
This story encouraged anti-Semitism and violence, and hurt us tremendously.

At times like these, we continue to put our full faith in the almighty, and trust that Menachem’s soul is at peace. Menachem: We will miss you and we love you. Baruch Dayan Emet.

Abraham Buxbaum is married to Menachem Stark’s older sister. They are brother-in-laws, and spoke multiple times a day.

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10 COMMENTS

  1. Heartbreaking yet perfectly said!!

    A Situation like this enables anti Semitism to rear its ugly head!!! Never mind those headlines, even the normal articles are full of nasty anti-Semitic comments. How low can they stoop?

    Hashem yimkom es damam!!!

  2. Absolutely outrageous, the despicable NYPOST headline!! And quite scary! What Chutzpa! To print such trash! And as a cover story! PURE GREED! What a sham of a paper…it was meant to deceive and incite and I find it morally reprehensible to put a headline like this out there while an entire family in utter grief and anguish! They should be sued for defamation and certainly boycotted by every decent human being.

    An appalled New Yorker

  3. MAY IT PAYS TO INVESTIGATE IF THE WRITER OF THIS DESPICABLE N FALSE ARTICLE WAS PAID BY THE SAME LOW LIFE WHO HIRED THE MURDERERS PERHAPS IT WOULD BE A LEAD , THE ONLY THING I CAN THINK WHY SOME ONE WHO IS SUPPOSED TO BE A PROFFESSIONAL CAN SINK SO LOW

  4. A picture is worth a thousand words.
    these pictures show the zeeskeit of this beautiful family. It is a tragedy for all of Am Yisrael and we mourn along with the family.
    Only Mashiach will rescue from these difficult times, may he come soon.

  5. suing a paper like the NYpost would be a very long, expensive and hard job to do. But I think once and for all the chareidi community has got to do it. If you go back to older issues from the minutest situation in any frum community. they right away write about it as if it’s headlines and blame an entire community. Most of the time it is made up by “anonymous sources” the city should summon the NYP for investigation like the Parliament in England did to the News of the World: also one of many Rupert Morduch”s news sites and channels. Even to so many none jews; unaffiliated with anything jewish; NYPost has lost its credibility.

  6. May you be comforted along with the mourners of zion and yerushalayim and may this korbon and even the besmirching in the paper be a kaparra for Klal Yisrael for our sins such that Hashem should deem us redeemable and send a new light into the world. Sharing your pain deeply!!!

  7. Has anyone considered that the perpetrators might be “one of our own”

    This guy was not only a slumlord, but a loan shark as well.

    But it’s much easier to cry “anti-semitisim”

  8. Stop the defamation! On what do you base this “loan shark” claim, and to fellow Yidden no less? From what I’ve heard he was extremely charitable and gave people interest free loans. But since the non Jews don’t have such a concept it’s been twisted to “loan shark”. How sad that supposed Yidden believe this nonsense, even when they see their is a concerted campaign to besmirch his name.