David Chernoff Had A Heart-Attack
How It Feels To Hear Your Worst Enemy On Earth Almost Died
“There is no time limit on justice.” – Robert Delaughter, Prosecutor who hunted down and convicted Byron De LaBequith, murderer of Medgar Evers, decades after the crime.
“For justice, not vengeance.” – Simon Wiesenthal, Nazi Hunter accused of being vengefully unwilling to just “let anything go” and just “let the past stay in the past.”
I recently heard from a mutual acquaintance that you had a major heart-attack in September.
You essentially died on the way to the hospital – but placing a stent brought you back.
Having heard of your recent near-death experience, I write this in hope of literally saving your soul, and un-poisoning an international Jewish revisionist Movement you and your close-crew in the Finkelstein Cover-Up have been morally toxifying for the last two decades.
I had long wondered what my inner reaction would be when or if I ever heard news of your death – or misfortune. How would I react when or if I heard that the person who has done me and mine the worst unjustified harmful evil in our lives has died? I can tell you I found myself genuinely relieved you did not die.
Relieved because your chances to repent before your death are not gone. (2Peter 3:10)
I was relieved because Revelation 21:8 says, “All (unrepentant) liars go into the lake of fire prepared for the Adversary, and his adherents.”
I was relieved because Ezekiel 3:20 tells us, “When a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I place an stumbling stone before him (to break his momentum, so he can repent, but he ignores it) … he shall die in his sin, and his righteous deeds which he has done shall not be remembered.”
I deeply fear you might misinterpret – and thus, misuse, the opportunity God has graciously appeared to extend to you.
“My miraculous survival of this near-death experience is proof that Providence is on my side, and wants me to finish my mission.” So said a certain bygone era’s dictator of a nearly-successful attempt against his life. The way he interpreted his own survival led him to press his war against the world rather than repent of what led to it. The world paid a terrible price for this delusion of approval from On High. From the date of that attempted assassination until the end of the war he was pressing, more people died violently from that date forward until the war’s end than all who had died together in all the years leading up to the failed assassination’s point in time.
That despot did not understand the meaning of the branch of eternity creaking beneath him –– any more than Haman understood the experience of humiliation God put him through as a warning not to proceed with his plans for the Jewish genocide he was preparing. Despots are notorious for misinterpreting the gentle warnings Heaven sends their way. You, David, may be aware of your own despotism and may merely be, or have become, too much of a monster to care about it – and if you are, then no one can do anything for you; but if you are in some manner truly blind; then maybe this note about a possible “wake-up call” from On High might save your soul. With this note, I do my duty, as a Believer (per Ezekiel 3 & 33’s “watchman” provisions), to try.
You and I have not spoken face-to-face since August 1998 –after which meeting I called you to account in due process in the MJAA & IAMCS for your wrongdoings I describe here below. You simply dove underground and hid; and let your circle of sycophants insulate you from accountability for your actions.
Since March 1999, you and Joe Finkelstein – the person you were abusing your influence to protect from the consequences of his own massively serious sinning – have been fake rabbis – you two stole the last 21 years of your clergy standing by illegitimately fleeing due process in order to avoid the risk of losing your posts when or if found guilty; and Joe had already admitted verbally and in print he was guilty of every crime with which he had been charged. And doing so at my direct expense. Despite Joe’s direct admissions, and his statement in the same confession that my own history was “certainly noble” and I had “been above all, a faithful friend,” and affirming my standing as a Messianic rabbi (the 1Timothy 3 standard, the highest character affirmation possible, which you also affirmed in my two ordinations you signed) –– despite all these witnessed, sworn, signed and sealed facts of written record ––– you abused your singular influence to turn me in a virtual Alfred Dreyfus of the modern Messianic Movement; by which I mean I was falsely defamed to cover for the crimes of high officials – and sent unjustly into social and vocational exile – where I remain to this day, over two decades later.
This situation is not “in the past for me,” any more than Dreyfus’s exile was “in the past” for Dreyfus every day he woke up on Devil’s Island in exile, rather than in his Paris home with his lovely wife and children and his honorable career in normative progress.
Dreyfus awoke every day with the full force of Esterhazy and the high officials of France robbing him in present tense of all of his normative life, his social circle, and the fruits of his honorable vocation; even so for me – I awaken every morning in a wide “scorched earth” life you (and Joe Finkelstein and your brother Joel, and Jamie Cowen (Cohen in Israel) maintain every day with your silent perpetuation of your crimes of perjury and harm-doing from 1999 onward in the Joe Finkelstein Cover Up you fomented – and perpetuate to the present day.
In sum ––– you are, at this point in your life, as are Joe Finkelstein, Joel Chernoff, Jamie Cowen(now “Cohen” in Israel), and all who knowingly participated in the cover-up ––– an unrepentant extortionist, perjurer, false witness, doer of harm, abuser of office, and slayer of the innocent to cover for the guilty. Such creatures are headed for Hell – not heaven.
Scripture teaches us, “To God, the Lord, belong escapes from death.” (Psalm 68:20) I am relatively sure God was “in” your escape from death, but I greatly fear that you will misunderstand the meaning of it ––– and thus, waste the opportunity it gives you.
In the language of the Torah, you have wrongfully “stood against my blood” for the last 21 years in your cover-up of Joe Finkelstein’s years-long swath of sinning including embezzlement of ministry funds, false oaths on his office as an elder, perjury in due process, false witness, malicious harm-doing, and even intentional sadism –– all of which, Finkelstein confessed verbally and in print (see attached annotated photocopy of it here)–– after first trying to lie his way out, and only confessing when surrounded by so much evidence and eyewitness testimony, he could no longer sustain his attempts to lie his way out of it.
You would not face how wrong you were about Joe – and how wrong a guy he really was.
So, you have blamed me for the last 21 years for the self-admitted horrible sins of someone else – who happened to be a reliable yes-man for you in CBY and the MJAA. You had already publicly declared (referring to your own relationship with God as ‘proof’), that God, Himself, “just keeps affirming Joe” should be your next assistant rabbi: a post concerning which Finkelstein’s recent many years of sinning and unrepentant behavior when caught proved he was not Biblically eligible or qualified to be given.
Having already put your spiritual judgment back then on the line by declaring openly, “God keeps affirming (to you, devotionally) ‘this is the man’ (to replace Jeff Foreman as your assistant rabbi) … you appeared not to have the humility to say a simple, “Oops” and thank God for revealing a disqualified candidate before he was ordained …
… rather, you appeared to decide it was better to kill Finkelstein’s victims socially and vocationally: because, as the Mafia knows, if you kill the witnesses, the prosecution can’t make its case.
It seemed you decided, “I’d rather kill Bruce and Debi than see Joe destroyed by his own sinning.”
And in August of 1998, in the Sel et Poivre Restaurant on Lexington Avenue in Manhattan, just a few blocks from the synagogue I planted here in New York City –– you told me point blank, that unless I told the lies (your rewritten history of Joe’s sinning) you tried to extort me into telling: which were …
– that Joe is someone everyone thinks is a good guy who did nothing seriously wrong.
(Joe’s Confession stood in direct contradiction to the lies you wanted me to tell. Joe’s crimes were literal theft of ministry funds, false oath-making, multiple breaches of contracts, perjury in due process, slander, even sadism! All these were “nothing serious” to you? That, by itself, brings your ethical sanity into question. And in response to your statement, “I don’t know anyone who doesn’t think well of Joe Finkelstein” – And – I offered you names and numbers of people formerly close to Joe who do not think well of him, and you side-stepped it.
– You insisted the entire mess Joe’s sinning caused was somehow, in your imagination, my fault: it was “a division” Debi and I caused. You said “there truth” was somehow, “you (Bruce) did it all to yourself.” – with Joe’s written Confession, signed in witness by your own brother Joel long in your hands!
These are sins of extortion, false witness, perjury, and abuse of office, David.
You threatened (and have followed through, doing so) to abuse your singular influence you inherited from your father to make sure my career in the IMJA sphere was ruined. You would “speak up” any time my honorable and honored decades of service were mentioned as a predicate for putting me into MJAA office or service ––– and tell people you “could never put me or Debi on your or any bima because we were “someone I consider a slanderer of my elders.” Utter nonsense, and delusion.
FYI: “slander” must be falsehoods. Joe Finkelstein confessed everything of which he was accused by me was 100% true – by Joe’s own admission and your own brother, Joel’s sworn testimony & and signature! I said not one word about Joe Finkelstein that was not confirmed in due process as 100% true.
David – your 1998 attempt to coerce me under threat to tell the lies you wanted published in place of the truth was flat-out “extortion.”
Outside due process, you threatened me with harm you would inflict by abuse of your influence and offices, if I did not do your will, and speak the lies you had concocted to cover up for Joe Finkelstein, despite being entirely false, totally out of line with the confessed and witnessed facts on record.
Scripture commands us in 1Corinthians 6:8-10 (below) not to associate with, nor even to eat with an unrepentant extortioner, asserting “such do not inherit the kingdom of God.” Unrepentant extortioners and liars “for God” only think they are believers – but they are not. Heaven is not what awaits them in eternity: hell is. (Rev. 21:8)
David – you (and Joe) are still, 21 years later, unrepentant – exactly opposite to the New Testament standard of repentance given in the example of Zaccheus in Luke 19:8 (admit your crime openly, pay the penalties for the crimes, and make restitution to those you harmed). You and Finkelstein have lived with and off the profits of your sinning for the past 21 years.
1Corinthians 6:8-10 “You yourselves (as professing believers) wrong and commit fraud; and you do this even to your own fellow-believers. Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither … revilers (slanderers and libelists), nor extortionists, will inherit the kingdom of God.”
“What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and lose his eternal soul?” Messiah asked.
I write this Open Letter to point out to you, God seems to have given you a ‘Bonus’ Round: you are still alive.
As I wrote above – I am glad your chances to repent were not ended by your heart-attack in September.
You can still repent – if you do not misinterpret or misuse the opportunity.
The next time around, you may not be so fortunate.
One of the most terrible portraits of human self-deceit and pride is in the biblical Book of Esther, where God puts the evil viceroy (assistant king), Haman, through a tormenting exercise of humbling, as a warning against Haman proceeding in massively evil “business as usual” – but, Haman just didn’t “get it.” Haman goes on unchanged, just as he had been before, and pays the terrible price temporally and eternally for his choice to remain evil in heart and deed.
At the end of Saving Private Ryan, the main character, Captain Miller, dying of his wounds gained by rescuing Private Ryan – whispers the dying admonition to the rescued Ryan, “Earn this.”
I write this Open Letter to say this to you, David.
Don’t waste this.
Don’t miss this gracious opportunity God has given you.
Yes, repenting will cost you a great deal of prestige.
Admitting the horrific sins you committed against me and mine – just to cover up for a thieving, lying, harm-doing, cowardly sycophant – will likely cost you much of what you have been living for. You will lose face, lose office, lose standing, lose your ability to reap the full enjoyment of your ill-gotten gains (if you actually repent, which includes forsaking your profits and making restitution to those you harmed: see Luke 19:8).
It will cost you much – but you might just gain back your eternal soul. (Luke 23:40-43)
To the Biblical standard, I have not shunned my Ezekiel 3 & 33 obligation to declare to you the danger I see you are in, and give you clear warning about how you can rescue yourself from it.”
May Heaven grant you the repentance that (truly) leads to eternal life.
Below my signature, I offer you a simple model for genuine repentance. While I confess I have little hope you will repent – I offer it nonetheless.
Your aggrieved brother, still in an unjust Alfred Dreyfus-like exile by your contrivance and doing, some 21 years on into your massively sinful nepotistic cover up,
Rabbi Bruce L. Cohen
Founding Rabbi & Music Director 1993-present
Congregation Beth El of Manhattan • www.bethelnyc.org
Former Development Chairman, MJAA 1988-1993
Former MJAA Envoy to Israel, South Africa, & Russia for Int’l Outreach Committee 1984-1999
Former Acting Principal & Teacher, Chalutzim Academy of Beth Yeshua 1980-1988
Former Beth Yeshua “Cell Group” Leader/Teacher (2 groups, one local, one outreach)
Former Beth Yeshua “Discipleship” Teacher of New Members
Former Pianist. Composer, Arranger, Producer, Assistant Conductor: Beth Yeshua, choral group, Kol Simcha 1978-1991
Former MJAA Int’l Conference Stage Musicians Chairman: 1982-1997
Former Pianist, Guitarist, Composer, Arranger, Producer: Cohen & Rose 1991-1999
Former Stage Director, Hear O Israel Music Festivals in Russia (St. Petersburg, Moscow, Minsk)
Former IAMCS Yeshiva Instructor of Rabbis in Talmudic Literature
Former MJAA Conference Speaker & Teacher – International and Regional Conferences
Former Adult Yeshiva Co-Director & Teacher: Beth Yeshua
Former Ordained Teaching “Undershepherd/Deacon” in Beth Yeshua of Philadelphia (Martin Chernoff, ordaining)
Former Ordained Rabbi via Beth Yeshua of Philadelphia, (David Chernoff & Board, ordaining)
Former Ordained Rabbi via IAMCS (International Association of Messianic Congregations & Synagogues, ordaining (on which David Chernoff was a swearing signatory)
Person who brought your assistant, John Rose into the faith, and to Beth Yeshua
Person who kept Stan Barry (your niece’s father in law) from leaving you and Beth Yeshua.
And more …
How to Repent
- Confess. You have to admit clearly, accurately what you did wrong. No excuses. No justifications. As King David did to Nathan: “I have sinned.”
- Apologize. You must tell the people you harmed you are sorry, and will never repeat this kind of sinning.
- Make Restitution: correct the harm you did.
- Publish a letter on your website stating “Out of wrongful motives I wrongfully harmed the reputation and career of an innocent man in order to protect one of the people in my close circle from the consequences of his own wrongdoing. I abused my office and influence to exile Rabbi Bruce Cohen (with a broad portfolio of highly respected and impactful MJAA and Beth Yeshua service & responsible offices) and his wife, Debi Cohen (a former YMJA National Officer) from the sphere in which they served with distinction for decades, and rob them of all their social relationships as well: even people who are only in my circle because of Bruce’s influence, I abused my position to exile him from their lives, even as I reaped the benefits of their presence in mine. I r”eturned evil for good” – I smeared Rabbi Bruce as ordained clergy outside the bounds of 1Timothy 5:19-21 and the basics of good brotherhood. I have acted sinfully and shamefully, and I confess and repent of it openly, so any harm done to Bruce’s reputation can be repaired.”
- Openly re-enfranchise Use your influence to fix the harm you’ve done. Openly affirm Bruce & Debi Cohen to Beth Yeshua and the MJAA. Take responsibility for 21 years of unjust exile you personally caused, and end it, yourself.
- Pay fitting financial damages award for 21 years of vocational deprivation you caused, while you reaped as Bruce & Debi suffered exile, and all the damages that came from it; including loss of income from speaking and concert engagements, book and record sales, and support from admiring observers of the Cohens’ ministries in word and music – and Debi’s in dance; and “punitive” damages for the pain and suffering you and your sadistic underling, Finkelstein, caused the Cohens and their ministry. Own up to the harm you did, and do what you can (like Zaccheus) to repair it, and show your sorrow for lying and criminal harm-doing.
- Show appropriate respect for the nature of your crimes by resigning from all leadership posts and retiring from the active rabbinate. According to Scripture and all Jewish theology, a proven perjurer cannot serve again merely as a witness, let alone as a leader of community in righteousness. You and Finkelstein are both totally unfit to be spiritual leaders: your sins are not minor peccadillos, but “lying in wait to do harm” and “(attempting the) slaying of the innocent to protect the guilty.” The bedrock qualification for spiritual leaders is that they be “people of truth.” In light of 21 years of stolen rabbinate based upon lies and unrepented extortion – it is totally implausible for you to act as a leader in righteousness and spirituality. Your (and Finkelstein’s) own criminality has closed that window for you. It is time to step off the stage and own your consequences. Notice, King David did not tell Nathan, “Ok, ok – so I sinned: I admit it. But – you have to make this work out so that I get to keep all my power, wealth, and standing.” That was what King Saul said to Samuel: “Go out with me into the open, and affirm me before The People.” – Samuel’s response was, “The Lord has torn the kingdom from your grasp.” King David admitted his sin, and braced himself for God’s justice – and accepted the sentence God pronounced on him.
- The Zaccheus-model of Repentance in Luke 19 shows us a man who openly admitted his sins, flung his profits from his sinning away (gave 1/2 his goods to the poor on the spot) and promised manifold restitution to everyone he had harmed. David you cannot keep the profits of your sinning and actually repent.
- It is better for you to enter eternity less wealthy – than to go to Hell with all your ill-gotten gains enjoyed by you until your last breath. Remember – you never see the bullet that kills you. You got “a pass” this last close-call with Eternity. There is no guarantee you will keep getting them.
I do sincerely wish for you “the repentance that leads to life.”
May Heaven grant it to you,
Rabbi Bruce L. Cohen
Your wrongful victim these 21+ years