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YWN EXCLUSIVE: Lakewood Community Rocked By Non-Jewish Man Posing As Jew!

The Lakewood Jewish community is shocked after learning that a “Frum” man living in the heart of Lakewood, was anything but Frum.

A source tells YWN, that a family has been living in the Forest Park area of Lakewood, NJ for the past few years, sent their kid to a Frum Yeshiva, Davened (prayed) three times a day, and was not even Jewish!

Apparently, a man posing as Mr. Natan Levi contacted “Partners In Torah” a few years back, and was interested in learning more about his “Jewish roots”. Naturally, the fabulous organization set him up with Chavrusas (study partners) to teach him all he wanted to know. The man seemed sincere that he wanted to become Frum (religious).

Eventually, the man was “Frum enough”, that he moved with his wife and kids from Kansas, and purchased a home in a prominent Development in the southern part of Lakewood, NJ. He enrolled one of his children in a Lakewood Yeshiva, and could be seen in Shul three times a day.

His charade came to a screeching halt last week – when the FBI suddenly arrived and whisked him away in handcuffs.

The charges?

Mr. Ted Larry Floyd, a Christian, had stolen the identity of a dead person by the name “Natan Levi”.

Mr. Floyd’s wife had apparently undergone some type of Geyrus (conversion process), although it is unclear who performed it, and if it is totally Kosher. His oldest child is 6-years-old.

YWN has not been able to confirm where the man is currently being held, although sources tell us he has been transferred to Kansas.

(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)

294 Responses

  1. Big Deal! Did he really do something so terrible? He wanted to live a frum lifestyle. He should of gone for geirus though.

  2. Big Deal! Did he really do something so terrible?

    Yes he did.

    Identity theft is a crime. That’s why the FBI hauls people away for that.

    In addition, how many minyanim did he participate in where there were only 10 men?

    The Wolf

  3. Note the key statement near the bottom; the man is a Christian. There are a number of missionaries who are trying to penetrate our communities to proselytize us away from Hashem. I am a convert who was caught up in that mess for many years. I know what some of these missionaries will do, and I can assure you that there will be more. Sadly, we must be vigilant about who is coming into our communities.

  4. version i heard was that he was an arab terrorist involved in 9/11 hiding out here in lkwd.
    someone pls explain, what was his point? missionary? identity theft? drugs? pls explain.

  5. of course there are missionaries and we must be on guard, but doesnt seem that that was this guy’s motive. “Sof ganav leteliya”

  6. Crazy. Sounds good for us here. Now are we supposed to walk around thinking is this guy a faker? Which schools were his kids in?

  7. Crazy. Are we supposed to walk around thinking “Is this guy a faker”? Thats insane. And which schools did he send his kids to? Maybe partners in Torah should check out their people before pairing them up.

  8. uh-oh. now we have a “dudes pretending to be yidden crisis” on our hands. oh, the humanity of it all. when will this end?

  9. The entire LKWD is in major shock! Supposedly this guy sat & learnt for a few years in BMG!

    What really needs to be investigated is – what was his long-term plan. This imposter was mammash living in the heart of LKWD! Boruch Hashem, he was caught before he commited any more crimes….

  10. I heard that he was learning in a chasuva chabura in B.E.

    I don’t know how someone can pull it off with a 6 year old child, unless the child was being raised totally frum. If there were any other mixed messages in the home, it would be too risky for the child to expose. The wife could have been in on it as well.

    The question is, what if he started with unpure intentions, and then got inspired and wants to continue his journey? (Obviously, we have no way of knowing his true feelings, and we have to weed him out, bt if we did “know” what would be the right thing then?)

  11. what is scary is that if he never got caught, and continued his “frum jewish life” who knows who would have married his child! and wouldnt know that the parents are not even jewish which means their children are not jewish. What a mess that would be!

  12. # 11 you say he took $80,000 loan from a Gmach… which gemach in the world would give ANYONE (even a yid with yichus till moshe rabbeinu) 80K for a loan??? your smokin somthing?
    BTW: was he a a YWN poster? under what name?

  13. In light of the scorn heaped on non-frum Jews and the exclusivity of the level of learning at Lakewood, here was a non-Jew who could ‘pass’ at BMG and elsewhere for several years. One must question some of these premises.Perhaps less focus on the external superficial issues which seem to dominate and look to the essence.

  14. this is really scary!! we are really in galus! to think that someone could do something so outrageous like this! it hurts me so much to see how he took such advantage of us Jews and our wonderful organizations, like the fact that he stole $82,000 from a Gemach!! How dare he do something totally despicable!
    now please don’t blame “Partners In Torah”. They are a wonderful organization who does so much for the klal. They make matches Jewish adults who want to know more about their heritage with a friendly, knowledgeable mentor for an hour a week of Jewish study and discussion. It would be impossible for them to conduct a background check on each person that would want to join!

  15. i heard from someone close to the situation that this individual had a significant kesher with R’ Matisyahu Solomon shlita

  16. #27 “BTW: was he a a YWN poster? under what name?”

    that was really an interesting thought!! maybe he was that guy who posed to be “INSHIDDUCHIM” on Yeshivaworld! Now that would be really freeky!

    maybe they should start a Vaad Liyichus Yisroel, and make everyone list their lineage before getting into a school in lakewood!


  19. This is very strange. There is no such person listed in the Cheder phonebook for 2007 or 2008, nor under Excite or Verizon. Do you suppose he is unlisted everywhere?

  20. I wonder if the reason he did this was to hide from something in his past life.

    In high school I had a friend who lived alone with her old father. She was a fantastic frum girl, went to a good seminary and was starting out in shiduchim. As far as she knew her mother had died when she was very young. She even used to say yizkor for her mother.

    About a year after seminary her father told her the truth. He had been married to her mother who was a non-jew and they got divorced. When my friend was 4 years old her father kidnapped her during one of his visitations. He said it was well known that it’s easy to hide in the frum community so he became frum.

  21. this guys story was legit.the community he got involved with even checked his nameand family records.idont think the people are at fault.infact the only way the fbi gothim was bec they ran a check on a social the he used for his house and meanwhile the guy as fro 20 yrs.

  22. I personally know netan and his family very well. Unfortunately, this all doesn’t add up. This guy was one of the most eccentric figures you’ll ever meet. Having said that though, he was an extremely nice, polite and what seemed to be a straight up guy. In fact, this guy taught me a few things about hwo to learn a gemara my wife and I are in shock right now as Im sure the whole kehila is. When I started dictating this article to my wife though, before metnioning the name, she screamed out “Netan!”

  23. How come I don’t see a “Natan levi” in the Lakewood telephone directory? Was that the name he used in Lakewood? Or did he assume a third name for his life in Lakewood?

  24. im sure the guy couldnt help being impressed with how wARM AND GIVING jews are,and although a takalah couldve came out of this when his kids got older etc. i thank hashem for exposing the guy before any serious damage was done,but cant help feeling alittle proud about the kiddush hashem that was probably made.those yrs of learning definitly changed the man and will probably have long term results and that will be another story.

  25. From now on, no modern othodox or YU rabbi will marry anyone from Lakewood unless he or she can prove that he or she is Jewish. They will have to bring go back at least 5 doros to prove their Jewishness. Letters from Lakewood Rabbis attesting to one’s Jewisness with not help. In effect all Lakewood Jews are now in the freezer as far as marrying out to the MO community.

    The MO Rabbis will go to Israel to study how the Rabbis there ban people from marrying because of a chaehash that they are not Jewish.

    This is better than a belated Purim shpiel.

  26. Does anyone remember “Mrs. Drew” in London a few years ago? Mrs. Drew was actually a MAN [wanted for murder] who found himself a great hiding place as a “ba’alat teshuva” in the frum community & actually taught in a well-known Bais Yaakov school until the FBI caught up to him. Methinks that our friend Natan must have some similar secret & found a great hiding place in Lakewood… Scary

  27. And with a name like “Levi” he could have claimed to be a “levi” and gotten Levi aliyos. The kohanim who merited having him wash their hands before birchas kohanim must feel horrible and disgusted.

    The original “Natan Levi” could have indeed been a Levi.

  28. hold on every one
    before we get excited
    Lets find out if this is true at all

    then also lets find out why it was assumed he was jewish?
    did he or his kid get a briss
    Hagoan Rav Elyashiv shlit”a hold unless you know 100% that he is a yid, you may not perform a bris on him.
    lets take it easy till we have more details .lets not get high blood pressure before its warranted
    Either way, it is definitely possible for such a story to happen
    what are the kiruv places doing abut it in the future?
    Mr. Harry

  29. #35 – I know you’re being sarcastic but ayin the Gemarah in the 4th perek of Kiddushin which discusses lineage issues. Ezra pretty much did exactly what you suggest when klal yisroel went from Bavel to Eretz Yisroel. So your joke isn’t so funny, it actually happened.

  30. check out his interest on a forum he was a member of:

    Intel Imac, Intel Mac Mini, Intel Powerbook
    New Jersey
    Photoshopping celeb pics
    Digital Design

  31. #57, i wasn’t joking, i am actually quiet serious. i don’t know about you, but i am going to be extra cautious about who my kids play with.

  32. #8, Can you please elaborate what you meant by you are a convert that “was caught up in that mess for many years”? Are you personally familiar with the tactics and methods used by these missionaries? Were you ever accused of being such? Perhaps we can all benefit from your experience.

  33. #53, I just love the condescending tone: “Only in Lakewood”. Naw, it could NEVER happen in, say, London,….oh did happen, and in at least one other small city as well, many years ago.

  34. As I mentioned I know him very well he did not write any books or kuntress. He did make many siyumim, I think he just finished shabbos a month or so ago (goy sheshabbos chayav missa)

  35. I am very shocked that the people in shul did not catch on when he davened for the amud. and Skipped shelo asany goy!

  36. Now that everyone is fully steeped in this “excitement”, WHAT IF: he really IS Jewish, really IS Natan, but got involved with a Christian cult of some sort many years ago,(even before meeting his wife), and the missionaries helped declare Natan as dead so that he could “break away” from his Judaism, and gave him a new Christian identity (Ted Larry Floyd) and S.S.#? Then in later years he had Charata, went back to Yiddishkeit with partners in Torah, and assumed he could just pick up where he left off, hiding his past mistake — not realizing the FBI would detect his using a “dead man’s” S.S.#? Hmmmmm…Maybe, just maybe, we are all guilty of being mekabel lashon horah on a person who has a chezkas kashrus? Just food for thought for those of us who like to know the facts BEFORE condemning a person.

  37. I don’t understand why can it be that he is a ger (which means he was not jewish and now he is) and he did something wrong why is everyone saying that he is for sure not a ger?


    Utter lunacy.

  39. I once heard a story that happened by the Node B’yehudah. There was a Talmud that was a goy and learnt in his yeshiva pretending to be a yid.

    The Node B’yehudah got suspicious about it and confronted him. The goy admitted it. The Node B’yehudah later said that this was no ruach hokodesh but simply that a yid has a nature that he sways when he learns and davens and this person sat like a klutz with no movement whatsoever. That’s why he suspected it.

    Anybody recall this persons behavior?

  40. Kishke, please do not make fun of my comment.
    As you see from this story, you can never be too careful. What if YOUR son or daughter would be friends of his kids-would n’t you be afraid about what nonesense he was feeding your kids??!!! he was christian!!!
    Don’t be so naive as to think this story is an isolated one.

  41. to 68. goy sheshabbos chayav missa is only when he keeps 24 hours first the day and then the night.
    Since he probably made havdolo motzei shabbos it doesn’t apply, unless he went to a Rebbe’s tish till the morning.

  42. I am assuming the “facts” reported are correct. This is upsetting. It is always hard to learn you have been mislead, and there is yet a “new” sheker in galus- especially one which could have adversely affected our Yiddishkite practice(and that there may be others not yet exposed). But I would not suspect any of the additional plots I see listed here, without real evidence.

    1) The reason people bother to steal any identity is because they want to hide and it works. Despite all our computerization, it is not so easy to be discovered, unless the “real” person complains, or somehow the fact that the person is dead comes to light. This is a case where privacy laws unfortunately help protect the wrong people.

    2) There are many criminals who are very charismatic, and instead of putting HaShem’s gift to good use, they become con artists or the like. I have been interested in this, and in my reading it seems the almost single minded reason for choosing a replacement identity is that they can successfully slide into that role AND get more goodies as a result. He probably learned somewhere how generous frum people can be with each other. The thief may be hiding out of fear of their past, but they also usually enjoy the “game” of spending months or years fooling people and working up to running off with more money dishonestly gained.

    3) There is a very good chance that neither his wife nor child were in on this, and that they are also victims of major betrayal.

    We can do our best to protect ourselves, but we are not in control. We can’t spend our whole lives investigating everything and everyone.
    I got some of the best, basic self-protective information from the book “Stealing Your Life” (not a Jewish book & a library book) but beyond that, I tell myself my life has to go on, and that means risks included and that I need to remember to trust that HaShem will help me and all of us with the challenges we are sent.

  43. When someone tells a kiruv organization that he/she is jewish and they say their father and mother are Jewish what are you supposed to do? If someone wants to fool you they will fool you. I know someone who is this man’s chavrusa and he can tell you a shtikel torah like any other yungerman in BMG! Where he learnt for the last few YEARS!

  44. If you have info, give it to the police or the FBI. Not to some new reporter who will use whatever he has to be malshin in some way on the frum oilam. Even if the new reporter is savvy enough to find

  45. This is just weird if it is true as reported. But, it does to bring to mind this story I heard:

    The below story brings to mind an interesting shaila. A goy, in the process of converting, asked this one:
    He was told that until he becomes a Jew, al pi halacha, he is not allowed to keep shabbos. So, he is lighting a match (or, I guess, doing some other melacha) every shabbos so as not to keep it. But, d’oraysa, he is not really oiver on shabbos b/c it is a melacha sheeina tzricha l’gufo, and thus he is not mechayev.
    I believe that R’ Pam paskened that for a goy, a d’rabanan is good enough.

  46. I just found his myspace page and facebook. He lists his hobbies as learning gemara, and says he’s from Lakewood, but at the same lists the “Beatles” as his favorite rock group!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Someone should have known this guy had some issues.
    I found this all under his website, The website is no longer available, but the trick to getting the website to still come up is to put the website address into google search and then click on “Cached”.

  47. There was a question about a conversion for his wife. If she really is jewish (maybe it was a good geyrus and she wasn’t in on the fraud), then the kids are jewish. Will she or they ever get a chance to be part of a frum community with all these posts making fun of them on yeshivaworld? I hope everyone they deal with will reserve judgement until they know the whole story (especially for the children’s sake).

    We are not supposed to remind a baal teshuva about the aveiros they did in the past, I would assume that it certainly would be the case regarding aveiros their parents or spouse did.

  48. Yeah he was always Netan Levy…just he went under the name Ted Larry Floyd in Kansas to fit in…now that he is Lakewood he was able to reveal his true identity….

  49. This is the tip of the iceberg. Why aren’t there any checks made of the “kashrus” of a Chassan & Kallah?

    In the UK, the Bais Din insists on seeing ORIGINAL Kesubahs for verification. Here in the US, no one asks for anything, & my kids…they all married foreigners & no one cared enough to check if they were Jewish! (Obviously, WE did, but the Mesadek Kedushin didn’t ask any questions, except wanting to know if one of the aidim (a clean-shaven, MO family friend) could write his name in Hebrew.)

    So this kind of fraud is really easy to do. Why are you all so shocked??

  50. Is everyone sure that this is not a visa versa situation and this guy is really not a Jew and being persecuted and falsely accused? Just checking…

  51. Here is an example of his rantings and ravings: (Thanx #91 for the tip about chached.)

    A Day in my life… (rantings and ravings)

    Every day, I am less and less surprised by the utter stupidity which clouds itself in human form. From the richest of men, to the lowliest, stupidity enshrouds itself deep within the lack of intellect, and masquerades as self proclaimed common sense, completely fooling those whom heed its folly, into believing that it is an intellectual though process worthy of mention, and frolics around attempting to provoke though from those whom actually posses a form of intellectual stimuli.

  52. Now I understand, no one ever knew why he was the only one to be maikel on amira leakum letzoreich mitzvah, we are machmir. He held that it was amirah leamira, which he held to be a shvus deshvus bemakom mitzvah……..

  53. I davened with this guy… being a levi you can imagine how many times the last 3 years he went up to the sefer torah for an aliya … how many shem Hashem lashav’s there were, makes me shiver.

  54. WOW!!! What a mess…
    He may have made “Yayen Nesech” for much ppl. when he had a problem with an Air-Coditioner/light on Shabbes/Yom Tov, did he call in a goy???….
    his kids friend’s in Yeshiva may have changed a nosh wich may not be kosher.

  55. Sounds to me like this man is a textbook con artist. What better place for a man who steals the identity of a dead Jew than to hide out in the Jewish community? Why are people acting like this can’t happen? This man is clearly a professional, and I’m sure his unfortunate wife was completely unwaware. By the way, anyone in Lakewood who had any dealings with this crook in any capacity, including friends and neighbors, better check all of their financial records, credit cards, and credit reports IMMEDIATELY.

  56. #105 thats one of the good ways how the great Yeshiva World staff can serve us better, be updatet better, whats wrong if CBS will report this story?

  57. I know this guy as well as his family very well! I had a strong feeling about this whole thing.

  58. B”H

    I used to work with a anti-Messianist organization, and I used to lurk on the messianist e-mail groups.

    Your hair would curl to know that they are living in the heart of very religious Israeli cities and sending their children to Yeshiva.

    They live under-cover with the intent of having their children gain Smicha or marry rabbis–then turn their congregations to Messianist.

    There are no depths to which they will stoop. Wake up!

  59. SCARY!!!! Just a thought, if he could fool everyone in BMG into thinking he’s one of us, couldn’t a terrorist do the same thing Chas v’Shalom? Now that this incident and the tragedic massacre at Merkaz HaRav occured, perhaps our mosdos should improve their security. By the way, schools like Nefesh Academy that deal with Russians etc have staff members whose job it is just to do background checks on potential students to make sure they’re really Yidden. Unfortunately, due to the crazy times we live in, other mosdos might have to start checking too.

  60. any comment without substantial evidence(raya)
    means nothing to us all!!!
    every person has a chezkas kashrus period…
    The FBI arrest in the eyes of the oilam from this forum are all rendering him as guilty without a trial..In my eyes this is a travesty of justice….
    Even if he is guilty, still what shaychus does this have with being a yid??
    Lets all examine our own yichus before others!!!!

  61. #98:
    I wonder…if you read again the excerpt you posted, isn’t it interesting that it makes sense if you replace the words “common sense” with avodah zara/ yushka and replace the words “those who possess actual intellectual stimuli” with Yidden/ Torah? Maybe he really is or at least came to want to be a yid the more he saw what it offered?

  62. The message above directed to his youtube profile.

    I clicked the link at 6PM, and noticed this:

    Joined: July 26, 2006
    Last Login: 1 hour ago

    This means that someone logged in to his profile (as he!) at 5PM?

    Does that mean that someone accused of identity theft has just their youtube identity stolen, if he was in FBI custody at the time?

  63. Let’s all be careful and find comfort in Hashem’s gift of life to us. Another nisayon, another amazing story but gam zeh yaavor. We must learn from this. If he would really be a Christian and say he is a Christian, fine, so what? What is wrong with that? What bothers me is that he tricked people and caused distrust and pain.

  64. This whole entire situation is really unbelievable. It cuased so much trouble and anguish for so many who were hurt by his evil and nasty ways. And we can’t even put him in cherem cuz he is a guy!

    Chavrusa O Mesusa- i think that somone made up his profile just to get attention. Bec. from previous experience, i konw that when the FBI holds someone, they don’t really grant them internet access and especially YouTube access! (I heard reports though from a confident souce that they allowed him to see YeshivaWorld, so that he can see how much trouble he did? Can anyone confirm that report

  65. Why isnt this on any CREDIBLE news sites?? Nothing comes on on google. This leads me to ask the obvious, is it even true?

  66. #53- ur comment was completely uncalled 4 and untrue. actually, there was a missionary learning in the denver kollel a couple yrs ago, posing as one of the top learners there. unfortunately these stories can happen anywhere!

  67. #70 and #89. I was a friend of this guy, and he davened in a Sephardi minyan. We do not say birchot Hashachar out loud at the amud, so nobody would pick up on that. If he was a fraud, why would he be bothered by saying shelo asani goy? He and his family came here from Wichita Kansas. Do you actually know someone who went to his chasuna there?

  68. This is not something new. In the time of Mordechai, it says in the megillah, that many goyim dressed up as Jews to avoid being killed. He was probably doing the same, except he was trying to avoid being sent to jail.

  69. to all those “Did he have a bris?” queries: Please remember that this happened in the united states of america & we have the highest rate of nonreligious cirumcisions in the world in this country. Whether it was a bris or a circ is just a matter of semantics in this situation.

  70. This means that someone logged in to his profile (as he!) at 5PM?

    Just means someone’s using his computer and his info is saved. Maybe his work computer.

  71. To those who think we shouldn’t be friendly with those who can not prove yichus, you would force ALL baalie teshuva to be outsiders in the Yeshiva world! For every “Netan” there are hundreds, if not thousands of legitimate bts who can not prove to everyone that they are Jewish. Your “yichus” may be preserved, but the avon doing so would be tremendous!

  72. 139 comments and no one asks the source of this story? 139 comments and no one saying they are his neighbor, chavrusah…saw the arrest?
    ywn staff writer…fess up. or someone, tell us more.

  73. to number 143. I am a part of the congregation where he davened. Although I have not been there for a few weeks, (I live on the other side of town) I have verified this story with another member of the congregation. I was told that his wife and kids left town 2 weeks ago, and they must have been in on the plot, although I can not figure out what the plot is.

  74. does anyone know who this lee kushner is? i searched on the cbs website and google and came up with nothing. Is it a fake name? In yeshiva the reporter was asking people for info because he is trying to ”help the police”…

  75. does any one have any more info?

    i want to know if his wife and kid were in on this, or they also thought he was a yid

  76. #143 We trust Yeshiva World with News, and it was just borne today, give it some time it should spread.

    #53 when did you last hear a shame story in Lakewood befor? there was shame storys in:
    *Monsey [famus meat scandal]
    *Boro Park [a meat Dist. changed up Glatt kosher meat with non Glatt]
    *Florida [YWN has reported last month a chinese resteraunt Meat kashrus scandal]
    *Monsey [fish resteraunt non kosher fish scandal abaut chanukah time]
    *Bni Brak [a yeshiva bochur was caught steling thousands of dollars somewhere last year]
    Its the first time we hear such a thing in lakewood!

  77. chesed shel emes was called this winter, to help out with a jewish person who passed away. after a little research, they found out that the persons mother was not jewish, just his father was, he thought that it goes after the father…
    he got married to a jewish woman, he became a “BAAL TESHUVA” had a baby boy, he was frum his whole life.
    when he passed away, they located the son, who was not living with the father, he asked his rosh yeshiva, what to do, he said that he should be burried like regular goy…

  78. Are we paying attention? Nothing in this world happens without a reason. Maybe Hashem is signaling us that He is not pleased with how we decide who should be accepted into our schools. He showed us that this fellow and his family were accepted using our criteria, although it should not have happened. Nowadays, in too many schools Avrohom Avinu or Rivka Imeinu would be rejected. In some instances, school hanhalos reject children who live under difficult circumstances through no fault of their own. e.g. divorce, health challenges etc. Yet, they are placed chutz l’machaneh. Isn’t it sad.

  79. Chazal say about everyone “Kabdehu vechashdehu” one always has to be cautious when not knowing the other’s full background, Indeed, never judge a book by its cover!
    May Hashem protect us all from all harm.

  80. On his myspace, it is almost clear that this is a potential terrorist, at present unactivated (assuming). Look at the info, especially the ethnicity, and the spelling of “Yussef.” I’ve never seen Yosef Yosaif Yoisef et. al. spelled in the classic islamic fashion. This is the proverbial close call.

  81. forgot the myspace profile:

    Netan Yussef Levy’s Details

    Status: Married
    Here for: Networking, Friends
    Orientation: Straight
    Hometown: Sacramento
    Body type: Average
    Ethnicity: Middle Eastern
    Religion: Jewish
    Zodiac Sign: Aries
    Smoke / Drink: No / Yes
    Children: Proud parent
    Education: Grad / professional school
    Occupation: Graphic Designer
    Income: $100,000 to $150,000

  82. what a shame, he could’ve become the “shabbos goy” of lakewood. especialy having studied the laws of shabbos well in BMG.

  83. 71- Thank you for keeping us in perspective. We don’t have to beleive evrything we hear or read, even if its from a reputable source (anyone can be mislead)
    91- He never claimed to be a ffb. Living in a jewish comunities doesn’t make him not like his old favorites

  84. i heard from someone close to the situation that this individual had a significant kesher with R’ Matisyahu Solomon shlita

    Comment by zalmy — March 26, 2008 @ 1:23 pm

    Hard to beleive he managed to pull it over Rav Mattisyohu – I would immagine he would have seen to him the same way R’ yehuda ben besaira did in mesachta pesachim asking the goy about the karban pessach.
    “Chochom odif menovie”

  85. NEBACH!! OY, the Galus we are in is so deep and dark.

    Unfortunately, this is not shocking to me being on the “front lines” of kiruv. My husband and I have been involved in numerous situations where we have “blown the whistle”, and caused major tumult and uproar. In fact, the first question we ask EVERYONE, no matter what their name is, focuses on their yichus–the way we ask it is “How do you know you are Jewish?” Their is a huge contingency of people that take on “jewish roots” and are NOT JEWISH. (I.e.–believe in patrilineal descent, adoption without proper conversion, bad conversion etc.)

    I agree with those that suggested that it is imperative to check into the veracity of Jewish yichus.
    It is a very sensitive subject, but EMES must prevail when it comes to these things.
    Be vigilant if you have any doubts… and don’t be afraid to research. If you don’t know how, contact someone who can.

  86. Did he have close Freinds or a Chavrusa? how do they feel know???
    if he had kids while being in lakewood, can someone remember if he made a bris & maybe the kids never knew that they are goyim.

  87. This story broke this morning on YW. so far, now at 9:30 PM, no one else has reported a word about it. not the news sites. not the other jewish blog sites. google comes up blank about this. something here sure smells fishy.

  88. Maybe this goy guy will convert now? who says that he wants to stay a christion? maybe he likes the frum area so much that he will really want to convert now? true he did a terrible thing, how many people ate treif by his house,but we must move on with our lives now.

  89. I dont buy this story. period.

    Is there any other saurce for this story out there?! (besides YW).

    As they say…… not everything you read is true.

  90. since e/o is suspicous of ywn making this up -y dont we ask yw—yeshiva world how did u get hold of this story?


  92. #163- for your info. this story can still come up on fox news Next week, Yeshiva World has reporters in Lakewood, and this news is “YWN EXCLUSIVE:” it may still take smoe time or they won’t write it at all, YW just add its still an ongoing investigation.

  93. i saw a picture of his sons bris on one of his websites…i know people who ate in his house and someone who was involved with his wife working for a chinese auction and his wife was very distressed over the fact that one of the prizes was a sheitel, being that it might not best way to cover your hair.

  94. Out of town Rabbonim regularly check the Yichus of new members to the community. A typical out of town rav will not give shul membership, enroll in school, be mesader kidushin, or give a plot in the bais Hakevaros to anyone who cannot prove their yichus. There are established guidelines for this.

    I have personally been through the process with several people. Most were Jewish, one offered me a large sum of money, and one left town the next day.

    This issue is new and unusual to Lakewood, but it has been addressed effectively and with sensitivity in many communities.

  95. i agree wholeheartedly with #163. i googled netanel levy and nothing having to do with this came up. you gotta admit that something isn’t right. so maybe everyone (including myself, of course), should just let this sit for a week or 2, and then see what the REAL story is.

  96. My cousin lives in Forest Park. She knew him, she said they always tried to be extra nice to them (being that their baal teshuva and all…). She also said she always knew there was something odd about him, she just couldn’t pin point it!


    Maybe after all Mr. Ted Larry Floyd is really jewish and had legal problems so he got an other identity and became observant?

    can anybody proof that this is not the case?

  98. for those who are not sure enough with the story, why is his website out of service? try to call up his phone number!

  99. On his myspace, it is almost clear that this is a potential terrorist, at present unactivated (assuming). Look at the info, especially the ethnicity, and the spelling of “Yussef.”

    Yeah, these terrorists are so dumb, they would never think anyone would check myspace.

  100. Maybe this is a geshmaker post purim joke?!

    Maybe YW should tell everyone where they got this story from?

    Maybe YW is the only one in the world that knows about this story, and no one can confirm or deny it? (By the way, this story does not exist anywhere else on the web!)

    Maybe Im really Haimi Himelstien? (after all, its on YW)

    Maybe I really own the Brooklyn Bridge?
    And maybe you wanna buy it?

  101. I am so glad that this happened. its so disgusting how everything now has become a public forum and evreyone thinks they are daas torah. lets please stay to our basis of our religion tznius and bayshonym and mind our own business

  102. FBI has all his logins. They get it during interrogation. Don’t look at any of his profiles anywhere. They may trace it back to you, and assume you’re involved with him.

    I can’t say this for sure, but it’s definitely something to think about!

  103. I would like to thank the editor for all the news that is posted on the site. My question is why can’t the editor get the whole story so that we wouldn’t have hundreds of comments to sift through. As we see, people have spent hours speculating and it is a total waste. I have heard so many versions of the story that I don’t know anymore which one is correct. I would suggest for the moderator to contact the gabbai or rov of the shul where natan davened and get the real story from him. There are many people in the Forest Park Shul who were connected to the Levy’s and they would know the real story. Where they are now? Is the Mrs.a giyores? Why did he do it? I imagine that besides running away from the authorities there was some element of thrill and excitment here. It does not make sense for a total goy to live like a yid not even for a day or week. Let alone for years.

    I want to reiterate that the YWN does a great job getting us the news on time.

    Thank you,

    A lakewooder

  104. natan #176 this is for your Question

    Mr. Ted Larry Floyd, a “Christian”, had stolen the identity of a dead person by the name “Natan Levi”. This is what Yeshiva World writes, they didn’t choose chatohlic or any other religeon because they took this fact from there well source.

    was there any Arrests made in this story? where is Mr./rabbi Levi/Floyd now??? FBI needed a warent? does it go by court? does it get reported?

  105. Where is the FBI News Release for this story? I can’t find anything and agree with the others who think this is strange.

  106. I’m a little confused – YWN is reporting that Floyd posed as Natan Levi, while commenters are quoting Netan Levy’s website and Netan Yussef Levy’s profile. Are we sure everyone’s talking about the same man?

  107. Is it just me or does anyone else realize he is holding a “Chupah” @ a hachnosas sefer torah??? how does that work? What if he was under the chupah by a chasunah? or an AID?

  108. Channel 2 (CBS@ HD) just aired the story. They interviewed Partners in Torah, Rabbi Yehuda Jacobs, Lakewood Mashgiach, and a Lakewood PD chaplain (some guy Muller).

    Seems like YW beats the press once again!

    Click here.

  109. so i guess it’s not a YWN exclusive and I saw the CBS report – it was done VERY well. Although the FBI claim have gone unsupportted by the US Marshal’s office as of this evening

  110. actually, it is a yeshiva world exclusive.
    cbs got the story clearly from yw.
    see above when a cbs reporter commented here to get information.

    yw had this 11 hours before anyone else did

  111. I would personaly and publicly like to ask Mr. mechila for being choshed him, a talmud chacham and masmid, of using the internet for something other than devarim shebikdusha , which is reporting devarim biteimlim to the bnei hayeshiva.


    Haimi Himelstien

  112. Great Yeshiva World!!! you have did it again, you can add a slogan “the most trustable ‘Frum’ news website ever”
    Bruchoh Vhatzlochoh!!!!!

  113. Let Me Set This Story Straight.

    Ted Larry Floyd is a REAL CRIMINAL.

    He had NO good intentions.
    Hes a criminal with a stolen identity, who came to Lakewood to run away and hide from his past. He tricked everyone around him, just to cover up his criminal tracks. I knew him personally. He was very weird. He always mentioned how delicious pork was.
    I know first hand, that he stole money from many FRUM jews in Lakewood and Brooklyn.

  114. It’s a chutzpah of channel 2 to call him “a pillar of the Lakewood community” “prominent member”.
    The community tried to be mekarev him, but he was by NO means prominent.

  115. What really makes me shiver is this:
    Here you have a guy, a professional crook, and he feels pefectly comfortable moving to Lakewood…

    I’m only worried he’s gonna get off by turning states evidence.

  116. 4 whoever is bashing lakewood on here–stop bashing lakewood; its not anyone’s fault but this ‘natan levy’s’. dont make it sound like the whole lakewood did something wrong here.

  117. Of course there is something fishy about this story. This is what the talking fish was trying to tell us a few years ago, but we were all laughing and no one was listening. Next time a fish talks, pay attention!

  118. Currently Ted Larry Floyd is in a jail in Kansas.

    Get it through your heads.

    He Lied and cheated us all.
    We must make sure he and his family stays in jail forever.

    He is AMALEK – we must never forget what he did and wipe him out forever!!!!!!

  119. So, I was not far off in how I assessed what the coverage would be in comment #113. “One of the most prominent pillars of the Orthodox community is an identity thief with a criminal past.” That is basically their opening line, althogh it gets a bit friendlier as it goes on. We DON’T NEED to be covered in the goyishe media. It never comes out all that great for us.

  120. 211 How would you know Pork IS delicious?
    Well obviously since Ted Larry Floyd was not jewish he ate it all the time.

    Hashem also commanded us (and Goyim) not to STEAL, CHEAT, LIE, KILL.
    That didn’t stop Netan Levy, I mean Ted Larry Floyd.

    He is a real low life – don’t have any pity on him.
    We must make sure hes in Jail forever.

  121. YW never posts any news unless its true, why were people suspecting YW of a fake story. as we see its now on other news sources, but of course YW first. P.S. if YW told you where they get their news from, there will be competition!

  122. cholent101 how do you know he is in jail and also this story came out today, can you imagine what your’e doing when you say that he is from amalek. tomorrow the story is going to become more twisted all because of your ludacris comment.(think about it)

    #203 where did you here that this story came out 5 weeks ago?

  123. As stated in comment #113 and I predicted (but the YWN editor did not post,)the anti semitic goyish press has turned the story around to make Jews look bad. The comment posted by CBS on the story link above?

    “Pillar of N.J. Jewish community an ID Thief?”

    Guys, I’m really not comfortable. This is how it started in Germany.

  124. What makes you so sure his ultimate generic three-first-names name “Ted Larry Floyd” is the real name? That’s like saying my name is Robert Steven Allen. Give me a break.

  125. Here is a cut an paste from some computer programming code theory website using generic names to prove some numerical relationship. Guess which three names they chose? What a surprise!

    “1.2.3 Enumerated Tags
    Enumeration allows a series of constant integers to be easily assigned. The format to create a enumeration specifier is:

    enum identifier {enumerator-list};
    Identifier is a handle for identification, and is optional.
    Enumerator-list is a list of variables to be created. They will be constant integers. Each variable is given the value of the previous variable plus 1. The first variable is given the value of 0.
    enum {joe, mary, bob, fran};
    Creates 4 variables. The value of joe is 0, mary is 1, bob is 2, and fran is 3.

    enum test {larry, floyd=20, ted};
    Creates 3 variables with the identifier test. The value of larry is 0, floyd is 20, and ted is 21. “

  126. cholent101, I know pork is delicous because all four of my grandparents went off the derech during the 30’s and 40’s and as a result I went to public school not knowing much about Yiddishkeit. B”H I was lucky enough to come back through the tears of my forbears. But I guess all B”T’s will now be tarred and feathered and run out of town on a rail. Amalek is within us all, Torah U”Mitzvos are the antidote given to us by inzer tatten in himmel to rise above our teva and become the mamleches kohanim u’goy kadosh that he created us to be. A talmid chocham I’m most assuredly not, so forgive my source if it’s wrong, but I think Rashi says something about people who say chazer fleish is disgusting and not realizing the true reason for the 613 guidelines we all try to live our lives by – Hasem gezugt!

  127. with all these fake rumurs going around. we turn to YESHIVAWORLD to give us an updated version . exactly what is true and what is not.

  128. A big miracle occurred here.

    Imagine if this man eventually became one of the “Gedolei Hador”, and then got whisked off in handcuffs!!


  130. The one who should worry most about this story is none other than “lipa”! this guy might end up with more YW comments than he did! (and by the way, when it comes to identity fraud – NOBODY beats lipa!!!)

  131. How was he able to get his child into a Yeshiva its in possible to get a girl or boy into a school.
    At least know there will be one spot available in a Yeshiva.

  132. There are 227 comments and yet you haven’t added
    even one new bit of information. How come?
    BTW, I Googled only the name Natan Levi and one of the hits showed a natan levi and family picture as a chaplain with a picture of them.

  133. To Lakewooder: The Army story should have been a dead give-away. During the Iraq War there has not been any case where an entire unit, but one, was wiped out. There was a case in Afghanistan involving a four-person Navy SEAL team, but the survivor is well known, an author, and the winner of the Navy Cross. They must have assumed that people from Lakewood are so insular that they would never have known the story was so unlikely.

  134. Some years ago there was a case in Denver where a Christian missionary couple infiltrated the Orthodox community in order to build up their credentials to get subsidies to make aliyah. They intended to set up a missionary organization in Israel after getting there.

  135. ok I guess this story is true, but what happened??? Were all hanging here trying to figure out what the story is.

  136. How was he able to get his child into a Yeshiva its in possible to get a girl or boy into a school.

    Right. Absolutely impossible. All those schools in Lakewood are empty, b/c no one can get their kids in.

  137. first of all, the chuppah is at a hachnosas sefer torah, and he filled in an ois! Between that, and all other sorts of problems (yayin nesech, basur shenesalim min ha’ayin, etc..) there is going to have to be a whole beis din just for him.
    #183-What in the world are you talking about?! How can this make you happy? And while I don’t condone knowing everything about your neighbors, but how can this story actually encourage people to mind their own business- if anything it makes people more suspicious and defensive. Have I misunderstood you?

  138. BTW, I Googled only the name Natan Levi and one of the hits showed a natan levi and family picture as a chaplain with a picture of them.

    You’re looking at a picture of a chaplain advisor in the University of Glamorgan, in Cardiff, Wales.

  139. wow you come a little late to a story you miss so much. i am exhausted from reading all these posts, but i have been entertained so I thank you all. meanwhile the Tomchei Shabbos thing is bugging me. he may be a poor pianist but in lakewood he shoulda been able to get a few one-man band gigs. also how do i know those are even his hands in that youtube? hmmm? this guy cant help himself. impersonation, imhandsanation…

  140. I say lets make him in charge of FUNDRAISING. I’m sure he can bring in the gelt (and who knows what else)……………

  141. #228 – I believe that’s Rabbi Natan Levy that you saw, who lived in Israel and now in England as a chaplain – a real fellow!

  142. I do have some information on this as I am part of the kehila. At this point it’s not at all practical to divulge it being things r changing at a rampant pace and nobody even knows whats true and whats not. What I can tell you from netan is that he seemed like he did not have a heart. He never showed any emotion of any sort. he always waltzed into davening an hour late on shabbos, if he came at all. When I watched him during davening it never seemed like he was pouring out his heart. He seemed to just lack emotion. The day he was having his hanukas habayis he was so serious, I cannot confer to you the level of seriousness in his face. One of the guys said to him “this is a very happy day, you should smile a little”. I cannot convey enough the coldness he exemplified. I remember last purim he downed atleast 2 bottles of very strong wine and yet still he was stiff as anything. To tell you the truth, he was intimidating as anything.

    I will never forget his eyes. He could look at you with this stare that he gave and you could just feel this terrible feeling of uncomfort. I would see him at nighttime just walking around at 11 pm smoking, thinking. We always thought (or knew) he was just eccentric.

    At this point, I for one am just backtracking to see how many issurim I was oyver on. All the shem Hashem leshav’s, the food he served us, the food he himself made for us, the potential yayin nesech. Its all terribly unbelievable to say the least.

  143. “Apparently, a man posing as Mr. Natan Levi contacted “Partners In Torah” a few years back, and was interested in learning more about his “Jewish roots”. Naturally, the fabulous organization set him up with Chavrusas (study partners) to teach him all he wanted to know. The man seemed sincere that he wanted to become Frum (religious).”

    Something REALLY does not make sense here. Does anyone realize just how MANY years it takes to become knowledgeable enough to join a Bais Medrash in Lakewood, or any place else for that matter?? Unless, of course, it’s a yeshiva for Ba’alei T’shuva. Exactly how long did it take for Rabbe Akiva to achieve his knowledge of Torah? are you telling me that after a few months or a couple of years this guy was ready to be mainstreamed into a regular learning/Chavrusah “program” (for lack of a better word)
    perhaps someone mentioned this already, i haven’t had time to read all the posts, but we either don’t know the whole story or there is something VERY VERY WRONG w/ our society. how many times was he the 10th man at a minyan? I know that’s been mentioned –
    This story is almost as bad as the chicken guy from monsey, the great and wonderful ba’al chesed and tzedakah, mr frank perdue.

  144. I went to school with Lee Kushnir. For all those who are referring to Lee as ‘he,’ Lee’s actually a ‘she.’ I’m sure she’s just doing her job, but if you have an issue with the way CBS reported the story, why don’t you email your concerns to Lee at the email address she provided in post #84?

  145. this just the yetzer hora getting a hold of the soif zman lets get back to real work, torah i cant believe that 228 people read all this inaccurate info if your bored go raise some money tzedaka

  146. I don’t understand. Just because he took someones name doesn’t mean he is not jewish. Just because he has a last name like that doesn’t mean he isn’t jewish. If a persons mothers mother etc is jewish then they are. How do we know for sure that all this hate isn’t actually being directed at a jew.
    Also dear posters as many people are now looking at this site please hold back from off color immature “jokes” the humor isn’t worth the chillul hashem

  147. I’m reminded of an old joke:

    Two men learned together for many years. One evening one of them (we’ll call him A)invited the other (We’ll call him B) the coming shabbat to his schul as A was making a bar mitzvah for his son:

    A: Please come.
    B: Maybe if I can
    A: But I’ve reserved an aliyah for you
    B: Well in that case, I may as well tell you, I’m not actually Jewish. I just like the lifestyle and I love the challenge of the Talmud
    A: How can that be? I seen you keep Shabbos and “Goy sh’shovvas is chayev misa?
    B: I’ve never actually kept shabbos. I always carry my keys
    A: But we have an eruv so you can carry on shabbos?
    B: I don’t hold of the local eruv.

  148. I’ve been the field for 20 years. I’ve seen some great things happen as well terrible things happen in the kiruv field. The organizations, though they do amazing things, and many many people I know would not be frum today without them, have some draw backs. The organizations have become self capitalized and it is basically a numbers game. More people you make religious the more money is made. The organizations have become basically corporations. I hate to be so blunt, but I think deep down many will agree with me. I am not saying this is a bad thing per se, all organizations need money to run, but I think that if more caution is utilized by the organizations, situations like this, which believe it or not have indeed happended in the past – though not given the publicity like this case, may not occur.

  149. wow you have gotta love this comment:
    ” just found his myspace page and facebook. He lists his hobbies as learning gemara, and says he’s from Lakewood, but at the same lists the “Beatles” as his favorite rock group!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Someone should have known this guy had some issues…”
    Yeah he likes the beatles…. we should have known he wasnt jewish… hahahahaahahahaha thats insane… i like the beatles and im jewish.

  150. I personally know mrs. levy, and all 4 of her children and i think we should all take a second and not judge her. I know she is an amazing person with lovely children. For some of you people to say that its crazy that the kids were playing with your kids and make it sound like the end of the world is nuts the kids are innocent… they are children.

  151. If Rebbi Yehudah Ben Besira was around he would have known what to do. See Pesachim 3B.

    Also see Pesachim 3B. Tosafos “V’aano” “From here is no proof that anyone who comes forth and says that he is Jewish we should believe him…”

    Also, this reminds me of a famous story about the holy Belzer Rebbe, Reb Aherele Rokeach ZT”L, who while in Vienna needed a Minyan for Mincha. The Rebbe said; “we need a minyan”, and his Gabbai, said “Rebbe there is a minyan” as there were ten people there. The Rebbe repeated himself “we need a minyan”, and the Gabbai again repeated “Rebbe there is a minyan”. This went on four or five times. To every one’s amazement, in the end, it turned out that one of the people present was NOT Jewish.

    I guess they have no Belzer Rebbes in Lakewood! Or, maybe it was a similar person as the Belzer Rebbe who caused him to disappear.

  152. to #243 and others wondering ..remember the gemmorah p’sochim 3b bottom of blatt…the “urel” who ate the korbom pesach and then was bragging to Reb Yehudah Ben all out there these things happened already…

  153. I once heard a story about someone who was exposed as a goy posing as a Jew, because he did not “shuckkle” while davening. It sounds that all along this guy showed such signs of his non Jewish heart by what #242 says.Still it’s hard to believe that he was such a good actor that he actually knew all these things that we take for granted.

  154. Wondering what’s going come of this story. Quite elaborate and extreme for a person to go at such lengths to hide from authority (if this story holds true that is), He had to of been very talented to have pull this off, but at the same time, lakewood tends to accept people “dressed the part” a lot more quickly then someone wearing jeans or not wearing a black hat. I know that statement is sad, but it’s true. Great lesson we learn here. No matter how someone is dressed, or to what extent of the religion they keep, what matters most is, who the person is on the inside, how they treat other people and by just being a nice person. Or this can be a PRE April Fools Day Joke! lol

  155. In an out-of-town US city, there was a FBI/CIA type dude, a non-Jew, that went to hashkomoh minyan, and just sat in the shul during Shabbos/Yuntev davening. He may have been trying to gather information on one of the mispallelim, a G-man, who was investigated for spying for Israel. It was kind of silly because he would come on Shabbos completely clean shaven…

  156. to all those quesioning why he moved to Lakewood to hide in an “insular” Jewish community – perhaps he saw the movie in the early 90’s “A Stranger Amongst Us” and he got his idea from there.

    to #252 – maybe if he put down cat stevens (aka yusef islam or whatever) as his favorite music artist, it would have been a giveaway.

  157. Something is majorly wrong here and I don’t know why people are not picking up on it.
    1. Does his picture look like a midwestern Hick?
    2. Does his name Ted Larry Floyd go with his look? Or does the Name Netan Levy go more with his look?
    3.In other words he does not look like a hick from Kansas he looks middle eastern.
    4. Do you think there was a Netan Levy in Kansas where he picked up the name and it fit him so perfectly?
    5. In his my space he said one of his favorite groups is Pink FLOYD.
    6.In just a couple of years how did he learn to daven,learn,talk hebrew so well that he was able to fool everyone he came in contact with.
    Something is not adding up even with his supposed *real name*.

  158. I read these posts with a combination of puzzlement, sadness, and a degree of anger.
    Assuming that this guy is indeed a fraud, yes, it’s a terrible thing that he’s done. However, the community has gotten so wrapped up in appearences that we’ll automatically welcome anyone in a black suit, white shirt and black hat, while simultaneously scorning, staring at, and making unwelcome, a yireh shomaim who wears denim pants.
    I’ll ask further, the community is rightfully outraged at this man’s charade. Does an equal or greater state of outrage exist against “Frum” men in this community who are making their wives suffer as agunas? When will we all learn that H-kodosh boruch hu puts a higher priority on “bayn odom l’chaveiro”, than “bayn odom l’mokom”.
    The guy was a fraud and may or may not have caused other people to err innocently. He was caught and it’s over for him. I don’t know what will become of his family. If his wife a child are innocent pawns and are themselves proper geirim, will we help them to make it through a horrible crisis, or will we help them to feel even more like dirt than they already do. Will we help geirim, agunas and others that don’t have lives that are squeaky clean, or will we just continue with loshon harah, appearences, and not being “tocho k’vaaro”. It’s in our hands

  159. #249 Here’s a better one:

    At a nuns’ confirmation the archbishop looked into the crowd and noticed a bearded yiddel sitting amongst the nuns.

    The archbishop addressed the yid:

    “Excuse me sir, but what are you doing here?”

    The yiddel replied: “Ich been foon der chosson’s zide.”

  160. Hello. This is Zach Patberg with Asbury Park Press. We have posted an update on the story about Mr. Levi. We wish to pursue this matter and are looking to speak with anyone who knows Mr. Levi. Please call (732) 557-5739 or email [email protected] with any information.
    Thank you for helping shed some light on what could be a serious crime.

  161. #252 and #253: R U CRAZY???? all becuz she was nice and sweet to u it doesnt mean that shes not a rashanta? Where is your seichel? It seriously doenst even ‘post’ for a frum person to say something nice about these rishaim. Would you sat Osama Bin Ladin is nice? and p.s. What’s his name on my space and facebook?

  162. I have read of a leading missionary to Jews, Michael Brown, who is Jewish only by birth, who brags that he has been learning Gemara with a Yid from Lakewood through Partners in Torah. Does anyone in PIT know that he’s using them for this purpose?

  163. My colleague came into work this morning excited that she would have “what to do” at work today. SHe was disappointed that there haven’t been any comments posted in the past 20 minutes, so I am helping her out here, unfortunately I don’t have much to add to the story.



    A man who had been living as an Orthodox Jew here is now in federal custody
    in Kansas on passport fraud charges under the name “John A. Doe,” stirring intense curiosity among members of the close-knit religious community about who he is.

    Nathan James Levi was living on Forest Park Circle when federal authorities arrested him Feb. 21 on a 2002 warrant for submitting a fraudulent passport application in Wichita, Kan., according to court papers. A New jersey magistrate judge ordered Levi released on a $100,000 bail to return to Kansas to face the charges.

    On March 24, a U.S. District Court judge detained Levi after determining that he was lying about his identity, according to the detention order. At that hearing, Levi said his real name was Ted Riley Floyd and that “it appears that Defendant is not Nathaniel James Levi, and that Nathaniel James Levi is in fact deceased.”

    “We essentially told the judge we can’t trust he’ll show up every time in court
    because we just don’t know who this guy is,” Jim Cross, of the U.S. Attorney’s office
    in Kansas, said.

    Levi at some point visited Partners in Torah, a Lakewood-based nonprofit group that helps people discover their Jewish roots by matching them up with a volunteer mentor, Shalom Rosenberg, the group’s national follow-up coordinator, said.

    “We had no reason to believe he was being dishonest about anything,” said
    Rosenberg, who could not say when or for how long Levi was involved with the

    Rumors because circulating about an Orthodox Jew misrepresenting himself when the blog site, Yeshivaworld, posted a story Wednesday with the headline: “Lakewood Community Rocked By Non-Jewish Man Posing as Jew!”

    As of noon today, the story has received 228 comments from speculative readers. There has been no indication that Levi is not Jewish.

  165. 260: You remind me of when Sen. Lieberman was running for Vice President and his daughter was a student at the Hebrew Academy of Greater Washington (now known as the Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy). Some younger looking Secret Service agents came to the school hoping to “blend in” with the student body. They came wearing ripped jeans and other goyish wear. It didn’t take them long to figure out that they stood out like sore thumbs and that they were less conspicuous in business suits.

    And that reminds me of the story from the 1960s when, for reasons I never understood, Mosad got involved with a child custody case and “kidnapping” where a Satmar chasid took his child from Israel to Paris to raise the child as a hasidic Jew. Mosad tried to infiltrate the Satmar shul in Paris, but they couldn’t pass and were quickly made as outsiders.

  166. To the reporter from Asbury Park Press. We know you’re here reading our comments….


    PS: Wouldn’t it be nice if the APP would delete all the anti-semitic comments posted by Jew-haters on their website? Just a thought.

  167. Note the end of the AP Story “There has been no indication that Levi is not Jewish” that explains it and makes the story more understandable!

  168. I think that there is a very important lesson to be learned here. This fellow happened to be a non-jewish person masquerading as a jew. How many of us are actually not what we portray ourselves to be on the outside?? How many of us look as frum as “Natan” and then go home and speak Lashon Harah and slander others? How many of us look like “Natan” (or even MORE frum), and are not honest or upstanding in all our business practices? How many of us look like “Natan” and are definitely keeping moshiach at bay beacause of the horrible aveira of Sinas Chinam?? THAT, my friends should be a REAL issue. This guy fooled everyone. Granted, it’s whacky. But he had no real obligations of Tocho K’baro. We do. Let’s learn from this. Things do not happen in life for no reason at all. If you look like a Yid and you actually ARE one, act the part ALWAYS….

  169. I think the questions we have to ask is
    why was he here? who brought him here? How did he get here? How was he able to fool people so well.What was his purpose here. Was Lakewood in danger? How many years ago was 9/11 and when did he come to Lakewood?

  170. lkwdman101, I beleive the halacha is that if someone tells you he is a Jew then he is believed, so I am not sure if you really had a problem eating his food, perhaps ask a daas torah.

  171. 257 BasMelech wrote: “I once heard a story about someone who was exposed as a goy posing as a Jew, because he did not “shuckkle” while davening”

    Oh, was that Rav Moshe?

  172. wow this is gevaldig app bringing down yeshivaworld.this is what seperates yeshivaworld from the amateurs .great investigative reporting

  173. I have been thinking about this story a lot more since I left my previous post (#91).
    I am sure the whole story will come out sooner than later, but I do think that he seriously wanted to be part of the frum community and learn everything he could, because he seems to have gone to great lengths and was involved with his shul, even developing their website and taking pictures of his visit to a matzoh bakery.
    If he was trying to hide, he just could have sat back and tried to blend in more.

    Without knowing all the details, he appeared to be living as a frum jew and we should be supportive of him and his family until all the details are out.

    I feel terrible for his children. They are used to a frum life. Moving back to Kansas cant be easy on them. I pray that one day they will return to the community.

  174. I still would like to know if he is really Jewish or not- just because the FBI says something, we have to believe them? Isn’t lashon hara only true after it is confirmed? What are the rabbonim in Lakewood saying about this story?

  175. WOW! 288 comments in only 24 hours! Even the all time high, LIPA concert that got 353 comments, that took 10 days. At 24 hors there were only 160 comments!! Let’s set the record!!

  176. are you for real #288? He didn’t want to be frum,he was here to hide or to do bad things to the jewish community. HE”S NOT TED FLOYD AND HE IS NOT FROM KANSAS!!! Wake up! He was lying,his wife was lying and who knows what else he was doing. Oy! this is precisly why he came here and why he was able to get away with this shecker for so long.

  177. In response to comment # 254
    Also, the quote from the tosfos in pesachim 3b was out of context. Actually anyone who will look in the tosfos will see that the tosfos bring 2 proofs that we do believe anyone who comes and says “yisrael ani”. This is true L’halacha – see Aruch Hashulchan Y.D. 268 seif koton 14-15. In addition, this is true even w\o being Mevarer his Yichus, see Ibid. In addition, even if now HE is modeh, he is not ne’eman on his kids, and even on himself, he doesn’t have a real Ne’emonus, only a “Shavyeh Anafshei Chaticha De’isurah”, see Mechaber Y.D. siman 268 seif 11.
    Having said this, L’halacha we have to assume that this fellow is a Yid, and how on earth can we be soimech on the circumstantial evidence of the F.B.I.?? – Has it never happened that innocent people have been falsely accused?? Do these Goyim have any Ne’emonus???? What happened to the Halacha of “Eidim”?? Have we lost ourselves just a bit??? What would Rebbi Yehudah Ben Besairah say to our reaction??

  178. I have no doubt as a personal “friend” of netan and his family that his family loved the lakewood life. His wife spoke many times to young jewish girls telling over her (fabricated) story but at the end she always said how great it is to be in lakewood and live the yeshivish life- from what I understand from my wife who heard this speech many times- that part always seemed sincere.

  179. the more i think about this story, the more it doesnt make sense:
    why did the FBI take him? for false identity? how did the FBI find out about him? im sure he is not the only one living under false identity! did he commit a crime that he was taken away? what was he hiding from?
    does anyone have any answers because its just getting more and more confusing!

  180. #288. I think that you do not know what you’re saying1

    for your information my friend is being threatened by his wife!
    The community will NEVER TAKE THEM BACK! This guy was not a real shomer shabbos, he worked in his computer on shabbos, very often did not go to shul and on Purim he said he read the meguila in his house!! So don’T feel any sorry for them . They are just another crook goyashe couple that took everything they could from us!!

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