Life Lessons with Judy Simon
Before making Aliyah to Israel, Tzvi Fishman was a Hollywood screenwriter. He has co-authored 4 books with Rabbi David Samson, based on the teachings of Rabbi Kook, Eretz Yisrael, Art of T'shuva, War and Peace, and Torat Eretz Yisrael.
In an international crackdown, stretching from Hollywood to Jerusalem, Israeli police arrested INN’s star blogger, Tzvi Fleshman, for being the alleged ringleader in a multi-million-shekel pornography racket which was distributing DVD blue movies throughout Israel. Police report that the dirty discs have labels proposing to be Torah lectures.
Early Friday morning, undercover police raided Fleshman’s home in Jerusalem and dragged Fleshman away with cartons of blue movies that were hidden in a storage room with Passover pots and dishes.
Covering his face with a Purim mask to avoid being recognized by neighbors, Fleshman refused to speak with the police as he was thrown into a police cruiser, then whisked away to the central police station in Jerusalem’s Russian Compound.
The sudden arrest has sent shockwaves throughout the Jewish world. In addition to his popular INN blog, read by tens of thousands of Israel lovers daily, Fleshman runs the popular website: jewishsexuality.com, which has been a revolutionary lone voice in cyberspace, raising the banner against the widespread pornography on the net – precisely what Fleshman was arrested for.
“Frankly, I’m not surprised,” said Hallel Fundel, INN news manager. “Fleshman always got under my nerves with his holier-than-thou attitude. I always knew it was a big act. But his blog brought us tons of readers, and sponsors, so we had to put up with him all these years.”
Sigmund Freud, INN’s prize-winning blogger, says he’s glad that Fleshman was rounded up. “Now I’m sure to get back all the readers whom Fleshman stole away from me.”
One question being asked at the INN offices in Beit-El is whether Internet talkbackers can ever believe in bloggers again.
“My faith in the Internet is shattered,” insists talkbacker “sk” from the USA. “I have blow-up posters of Fleshman on all the walls of my apartment. I guess you can say he was my hero, living out my dream of being a real Israeli. I don’t know if I will be able to go on without him.”
Many of Fleshman’s fans, however, are staying loyal to the superstar blogger. At a rally Friday afternoon outside the Jerusalem police station, one of his longtime fans, Moses Black from Dimona, said that even if Fleshman is convicted, he is going to continue reading his blogs from prison. “Tzvi is my man,” the half-illiterate, Brown Hebrew told us. “Dat website, ‘jeweeeshsexualiteee’ saved my life. I wasn’t makin’ any mony, and all of my kids were messed up in all kinds of sh**t, and then I read what Tzvi was teechin’ about bein’ holy with one’s wife, and not lookin’ at pooorn, and all da peeces of da puzzle felled into place. I got my act together and I’m livin’ on eezy street now, thanks to Tzvi.”
Ironically, one of the features at the jewishsexuality.com site is “Pornoholics Anonymous,” which has helped hundreds of thousands of Internet porn addicts kick the habit.
“I hope the judge will take Tzvi’s pioneer work in Internet porn rehabilitation into consideration at the trial,” said Baruch Gardon, INN founder. “While I’m totally against what Tzvi is accused of, you can’t blame a guy for trying to make a buck. We never paid him a nickel for all of his work at INN.”
Meanwhile, Fleshman is maintaining his silence. It’s another big blow for a country that has been taking a beating for the last four thousand years. A sign at the rally outside the jail seemed to sum up what all of his followers were thinking. “Please, Tzvi,” it read. “Tell us it isn’t true!”