The Rabbi Who May Bring Down Olmert

From New York Magazine:

Has a Threatening History


Photo: Getty Images

Morris Talansky is the ordained rabbi, former Great Neck macher, and sometimes successful businessman who may bring down the government of Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert. In May, Talansky told Israeli prosecutors that he delivered envelopes of cash to Olmert, which he claimed were for both campaign and personal expenses. Olmert insisted on cash, Talansky said. “I just didn’t really understand the system in Israel,” said Talansky, and so he acquiesced.But in cross-examination scheduled for this week in Israel, Olmert’s lawyers are expected to paint the roly-poly 75-year-old Talansky as an aggressive, threatening businessman who has long had a reputation as a bully. Talansky has characterized himself as a naïve lover of Israel taken advantage of by a cunning politician.

A transcript of secret tapes obtained by New York Magazine suggests that Talansky can indeed be willful and determined, and even threatening.

Twenty years ago Talansky invested in a Pittsburgh office building which quickly went bust. He felt he’d been fleeced by the sellers, among them a couple of Long Island rabbis.

About Luke Ford

Raised a Seventh-Day Adventist at Avondale College in Australia, Luke Ford moved to California in 1977. He graduated from Placer High School in 1984, reported the news at KAHI/KHYL radio for three years, attended Sierra College and UCLA, was largely bedridden by Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for six years, and converted to Judaism in 1993. From 1997-2007, Luke made his living from blogging. Living by Beverly Hills (, he now teaches the Alexander Technique (moving the way the body likes to move). Lessons cost $100 each and last about 45 minutes. In 2011, Luke completed a three-year teaching course at the Alexander Training Institute of Los Angeles. His personal Alexander Technique website is Luke is the author of five books, including: » The Producers: Profiles in Frustration » Yesterday’s News Tomorrow: Inside American Jewish Journalism
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