Yoel Zev: Japanese Compelled Me To Eat Treif In Prison

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The Goldstein family held a private seuda to mark Yoel Zev’s release from Japanese prison, opting to cancel a gala event that was planned in Bnei Brak. During the event, more or less a forum of family and close friends, Yoel revealed that in the Japanese prison he was compelled to eat treif. Japanese officials told him that if he does not eat the food served to him, he will be force fed. Yoel lamented that it was painful but he was left without an alternative. He described the harsh conditions of his incarceration, detailing the staggering heat during the summer months and the bone-chilling cold during the winter.

He spoke of his friend as well, Yaakov Yosef [ben Reizel] Gruenwald, who remains in a Japanese prison, telling the tzibur present his Yaakov’s present state is not good and he is having a most difficult time. The prison in which Yaakov is being held is known for its poor conditions and the prison guards are exceptionally harsh. He is only permitted four visits a month. Yoel called on everyone to daven on his behalf!

During the event Yosef Banda, who was released from a Japanese prison earlier arrived, adding to the high emotions that prevailed during the seuda.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)


11 COMMENTS

  1. Let’s concentrate on future potential Yiddishe victims.

    The Bochorum must understand, that doing something that is not 100% legal is Wrong & Wrong. Yes, wrong Klapei Shomayim.

    They must know that HKB”H has Tzaar from such activities even if you don’t get caught.

  2. Stop buying Toyotas and stop buying Hondas? Stop buying German cars? Stop buying prodyucts from Spain? Stop buying products from Europe? Stop buying products ………..

    Do we have any friends in the world?

    Let g-d take the revenge on the goyim and stop thinking that by you not buying a car will make a holy difference.

  3. ader(#1), it’s easy to bash others, what are you doing on the internet? I guess you need it for work, right?
    This boy grew up in meah shearim, no luxuries, small apartment, large family, no vacations.
    He’s offered a free trip to Lizhensk and Poland, in adition to earning $1000. It’s a once in a life-time opportunity, and he seizes it.
    How dare you judge him? Hasn’t he suffered enough?

  4. Let’s set the record straight.

    A Bochur knowingly smuggled goods into Japan, though he though it was antiques and it was really drugs.

    As a result he suffered for about 3 years in prison awaiting trail, and was eventually acquitted of the drug-smuggling charges.

    He did not loose his faith; he returned home with his payos intact.

    Apparently he spent every available moment learning or Davening.

    The rest is commentary.

  5. moi aussi says: it’s easy to bash others, what are you doing on the internet? I guess you need it for work, right? This boy grew up in meah shearim, no luxuries, small apartment, large family, no vacations.
    He’s offered a free trip to Lizhensk and Poland, in adition to earning $1000. It’s a once in a life-time opportunity, and he seizes it.How dare you judge him? Hasn’t he suffered enough?

    I would like to defend “ader” (#1) – I think that moi aussi’s comments are entirely wrong.

    ader is not “bashing” others by stating the obvious – he is 100% correct to state that Klapei Shomayim Yoel Goldstein and his friends acted wrongly (whether or not they were found innocent in a Japanese Court does not change the fact that these Bochurim were involved in illegal activities which caused a Chillul Ha’Shem – even if it was entirely unintended by these Bochurim) and of course HKB”H has Tzaar from such activities!

    By stating the above – ader does not infer that any of us are judging them or that we are more superior than them and indeed we may all have behaved in the same irresponsible manner ourselves had “we been in their shoes” – however surely nobody believes that these Bochurim deserve to be placed on a “high pedestal” within our ultra-orthodox Community for their “travelling” activities?!

    These Bochurim have clearly suffered enough, however the message to our own Children must indeed be one of teaching them to remain within the walls of the Beis HaMedrash and close to activities of Kedusha, rather than being coaxed in to travelling abroad without their parent’s consent (even if it means ending up in Lizensk!) by certain “dodgy” individuals within “our” Community.

    Some Gedolim have indeed made “judgemental” statements (Rav Chaim Kanievsky Sh’Lita said “Dina DeMalchusa Dinah” is the message to be broadcast to these Bochurim and other similar unsuspecting Bochurim!) that indicate that our Bochurim should indeed be told that Goldstein & his friends were both foolish & gullible and were not careful with the Halochoh of Dina DeMalchusa Dinah – all in Klal Yisroel are surely pleased that 2 of the 3 Bochurim are now free from their suffering, however their activity and the trial in Japan was certainly no great Kiddush Ha’Shem and we should never lose sight of the Emess in this extremely sad & distressing event which is now a part of our Golus History!

  6. It’s ironic how the Japanese consider their own manmade laws to be “kodesh kodoshim,” yet they had no problem forcing this Bochur to violate the timeless Laws of the Torah.