Many of you know that my father, Rabbi Eli Teitelbaum Z”L, spent many of his later years combating scams that plague our frum communities. It was not an easy job and despite his efforts new ones seemed to spring up faster than he could finish an article. I sometimes questioned why it was worth his effort denouncing every scam, when another one would just take its place.
Every once in a while I get an email or phone call from someone that wants to share a story with me about my father. Many have told me that my father saved them from investing in some fraudulent company. I guess every person my father saved from financial ruin makes it all seem worthwhile. My father would sometimes spent hours explaining to people what an MLM is and why to stay away from them.
Recently I took the liberty to upload all my fathers articles on scams and publish them on a website. A short time afterwards I received a thank you letter from an individual in Mesa, AZ. It was addressed to my father. It’s common for me to hear about someone my father helped while he was here with us but it seems that many times our actions can have an impact even after we are gone. Our writing certainly can. With his permission I would like to share with you his email correspondence.
Dear Rabbi Eli Teitelbaum,
My Daughter has recently graduated college (at last) and has been struggling to find gainful employment.
A co-worker at a part-time sales job referred her to a “Networking Get-Together” last night. When I picked her up from the “Networking Get-Together” I smelled a rat. It was actually a prospecting meeting for a firm called ACN (ooohh, the slippery gonnifs). Well, I was stupid and blind many years ago and dabbled in MLM (twice). I told her what I suspected, what she would hear, and what the realities were. I gave it my best shot.
My wife told me that she was up “stewing” at 3:30 this morning. This afternoon, she quit her part-time sales job over ethical qualms between her and both management and fellow workers. My family’s construction company of 45 years is all but dead due to some even bigger thieves, (I haven’t been able to draw a paycheck in 27 months, and the savings are gone) so our household could really use the money… but GOOD FOR HER!
When I got home, I looked up ACN. A little research showed that ACN is among the better of the MLM’s. But, that is like saying one of Haman’s ten sons is not as bad as his siblings… so what??
Then I found your writings on the internet. Specifically an article on whether MLMs, though “legal”, are kosher. This article’s combination of ruthless mathematics and straight-forward appeal to morality set her straight in an instant.
Aliya is growing into a fine woman. She will make a good wife and mother. Thankfully, this stupidity was short-circuited right out of the gate.
Thank you very much for the help.
Dear J A,
Thanks for your letter. Unfortunately Rabbi Eli Teitelbaum passed away a few years ago. I am his son Dovid and I run the site now. I liked your letter and was thinking of publishing it but there is personal info in it. Let me know what you think.
I am so sorry of hearing of his passing. It is a substantial loss to us all.
As a nice side-note, when I called the phone number on the website, it went to a nice gentleman (clearly Jewish) who was apparently not related to your family. In saying so, he noted that your father “must have been a very good man, because of all the nice people calling for him”, and by what they had told him of his works.
If you would simply redact our “English” last-names, (to protect against ACN acolytes giving me grief) we would be honored to have it published.
Best wishes to you and yours.
Visit the website: Scams that plague the frum world