The Rabbi’s Chapter Seven Bankruptcy Filing As A Literary Genre

A week ago, I posted about the $7.25 million fraud judgment against Antony Gordon (attorney, hedge fund king, motivational speaker, Orthodox rabbi) and his Chapter Seven bankruptcy.

I’ve never had any money and given my WASP background, I’ve never been comfortable with the buccaneering approach to finance so I’m totally out to sea when I try to understand how the plucky roll.

My interest here is primarily poetic. I want to understand the Orthodox Jewish bankruptcy filing as a literary genre. You don’t read a love note the same way you read a gas bill and you don’t analyze a rabbi’s Chapter Seven filing the same way you would a Federalist Paper.

Before I begin, let me just say that it would be for the best if the goyim read no further.

Now, let’s say you have five kids in Jewish day school and you roll up $400,000 in credit card debt living like a mentch. You find yourself in a bit of bother and you’d like a clean slate. As a God-fearing Orthodox Jew, you have a divine obligation to live as well as you can, to provide for your family and friends, to donate to Torah and to express the light of HaShem wherever you go. This costs a pretty sheckel and business does not always go well and so you might find yourself on a sticky wicket with 18 runs to chase and just three balls to go before the end of the match.

So you pray to God, you meditate, you get in touch with your feelings, you find your conscience, you consult with the wisdom of your ancestors, you seek guidance from the sacred text and you talk to the various rabbis you’ve supported over the years and you begin to see that you did not accumulate this outrageous amount of debt, God did. You’re the victim! Now the heavens part and you see opportunities in a well-done bankruptcy. The gematria of “bankruptcy” is “redemption.”

You have assets but you want to be rid of your creditors. What’s a Yid to do?

Let’s say you have $500,000 in assets but $1,000,000 in debts and you want to keep some of the good things you own. So when you report your debts, you list off all these Orthodox Jews you owe money to so that you inflate your debts to, say, $6,000,000. Now your goyisha creditors think, “Ohmygod, this guy is really upside down. We’ll take any deal he offers us.” So you defraud your creditors by inventing debts you hold to friends.

You’ll notice on Antony Gordon’s bankruptcy filing that many of his creditors are Othodox Jewish friends such as attorney David Schwarcz, Richard Horowitz, Tony Namvar. I am sure Rabbi Gordon is on the up and up, but less ethical people are prone to abuse this process.

The judge in his case is named “Deborah J. Saltzman.” How wonderful are the ways of God!

The one thing, however, that bankruptcy cannot discharge is a fraud judgment.

Rabbi Menachem Gottesman of Harkham Hillel fame has a son who declared a bankruptcy about a four years ago (with credit card debt around $300,000) that was a thing of poetic beauty only equaled in the Jewish tradition by the prophet Isaiah.

In the late 1990s, accountant and real estate developer Brian Dror, an Orthodox Jew in Fairfax – La Brea, was rocking and rolling. He ran in the David Rubin crowd. He put his house in a special trust in the late 1990s. Then he went bankrupt in circa 2008 and creditors were not able to get his home. There was a big pharmacist in the Los Angeles Orthodox community who was arrested in 2011 and Brian Dror put up his home for her bail.

Chaim Amalek writes:

When Moshiach comes, all the goyim we owed money to will bankrupt themselves for the honor of cancelling that debt and repaying double it to us. Just so that they might boast to the goyim they know, “I gave money to a Jew.”

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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