Griffin's supposed copyright
Recent claims by "Mordecai Griffin" (not his real name btw but an internet persona) have caused us to respond to Griffin's recent claims. Below, we see a claim from Griffin claiming that he holds the rights to the name Lapid Judaism International.
Upon further research we have found that registration number 5,971,760 not only does not exist but no such copyright exists in the United States, and even if it did exist it doesn't supersede an international copyright. So as we can see from the fine print in this document what is actually copyrighted is a logo. Even though Griffin stole our logo we made concessions to put it into K'tav hebrew as shown above. But this is n to the only issue.
If Griffin wished to go after Lapid Judaism International he would have some major issues. First of all when it comes to copyrighted materials that go back way way way before. For instance the copyright of many materials that have the Lapid Judaism moniker. For instance. The Lapid Judaism Vimeo channel goes back 7 years.
Now Griffin claims he "created" Lapid Judaism back in 2014, this lie will become very apparent in a few moments. Because also there is the matter of the Lapid Jewish New Testament. When was the first edition copy-written? Well back in 2010.
There is also the matter of when the Official Lapid Judaism YouTube page was started and when Griffin's was started.
Then there is the matter of the Rabbinic Gospel of Mark published in 2017
When was Griffin's supposed copyright? Lets zoom in and see shall we?
Oh, January 28th 2020, way way way after the formation of this website, way way way after the printing of the Lapid Jewish Aramaic New Testament, way way way way after the formation of Lapid Publishing, Lapid Books, Lapid Judaism Television (which has been on the Roku official channel list since September of 2019, and Lapid Judaism Radio, the Lapid Judaism Vimeo Channel and the Lapid Judaism YouTube Channel. You cannot copyright an already established organization. We should also make note we announced in 2013 we were to become LapidMedia.com and later became LapidJudaism.com
How Was Lapid Judaism Really Established and When? And What is Griffin's Claim?
Back in 2015 I was approached by Mordecai Griffin to become a part of the Lapid Jewish sect. We had featured his teachings on Nashama Chochmah Television so we could get a sense of who he was. And considering he had interest in rabbinics we thought he would be a good fit.
So in his excitement he started proclaiming he was a part of Lapid Judaism. We set up a meeting with Rabbi Yossi through a phone call with Mordecai, Mordecai assured me he had rabbinic ordination and had been to school and graduated top of his class he claimed. Everything seemed to be going well. We helped promote his synagogue and helped him along the way. So we set up the phone call with Rabbi Yitzak Yossi.
Problems started to arise and we started to question things when we heard that Griffin was kicked out of the MJAA, we thought to ourselves it is extremely possible it may just be his theology didn't align with them, it has happened before and not a big deal. But then when setting up for his first phone call with Rabbi Yossi, Griffin said, "I need a translator". I was taken aback by this because as a person who went to rabbinic school myself and went through a full conversion one of the first things you learn is the Hebrew language. I found this extremely odd. Now, Griffin never told me where he went to school and I kinda figured at this point that he had gotten ordination through the MJAA because they don't put great emphasis on being good in Hebrew. But then the calls started and and I realized Griffin not only didn't know what Rabbi Yossi was saying but also that basic hebrew words he didn't know. We hung up on Griffin and told him I will call him back.
Rabbi Yossi and I spoke and we found the whole thing with his answers to be kinda odd also considering he wouldn't give his real name. That was alarming to us because it seemed obvious he didn't want us to look into his past to make sure he is a good fit and to verify what he said was true. So, we did a little research and found out that Griffin never attended rabbinic school, instead he gave himself one through his 501C3.
We could not have someone associated with Lapid Judaism International that has a problem with the truth. So Mordecai Griffin started the "Lapid Movement" for a few years. We didn't take too much issue with that because he wasn't using our name or anything. Then we started to see screenshots pop up online that were amazingly disturbing and new profiles being made online by someone claiming to be several Lapid Jewish leaders around the world claiming that they wanted to be a "part of Lapid". A quick IP search found all these profiles were made within days of each other and that they were coming from Texas, a place none of us had ever been.
Either Griffin or someone close to him (though we are 99% positive it was him) was making fake social media profiles. That was disturbing just still he wasn't using the Lapid Judaism name he called his thing a "movement" so we didn't worry too much we just decided "he is off his rocker".
Some time later around 2018-2019 he switched all his accounts from "Lapid Movement" to "Lapid Judaism" now we have a problem here because he was infringing on an established name. Using the Wayback Machine on Archive.org will show you this by pushing the button below.
Now the real formation of Lapid Judaism was in 2004 by Rabbi Yitzak Yossi, when in his 70s being a Messianic Rabbi for many years and studying under Rabbi Kaduri he saw that "judaism" was just a tagline for the Messianic faith in many respects. He saw the gap widening between Judaism and the faith many claim was the faith of Yeshua, a falling away from halakha and so on. So in 2004 Lapid Judaism was established under one congregation in Uganda. After a few years some congregations came to the same consensus as Rabbi Yossi ands wanted affiliation with Lapid Judaism International.
A vexing process was put into play as well as one-on-one training usually through phone or travel. A council was set up with representatives from many nations. Through years we have never had an issue with this, since I joined in 2009.
Ex-Members of Griffin's Synagogue
On a weekly basis we get messages from ex congregants of Griffin's assembly. Some talk about how his claims about himself do not align or are often contradictory, to his rage against congregants when they question him. One such individual was sent to Chile told he was going to "set up a Lapid House" and what happened is the promise of resources to do so never transpired and the gentleman was stranded there because Griffin saw him as a threat because of this gentleman's great influence and understanding and also questions he had about Griffin's claims. Griffin felt he could be challenged so he had this gentlemen be stranded in Chile and before doing so made him sign a NDA.
Others online said they went through his "conversion class". Now anyone who knows basic judaism knows you cannot be converted by watching YouTube videos that is not how it works. Conversion comes from spending hours every day on your rabbi's floor, studying and midrashing with him and actually arguing with him. You also have to write a Torah Scroll of one book of a Sefer Torah in most sects of Judaism (except for the Conservative and Reform). Griffin's model is to watch his videos and then pay him $2000 as a donation (a required donation) with the promise of making aliyah. Now, this "conversion" is not real in so many ways. Let's say for example that Griffin's supposed copyright it authentic. Well, that would mean that every "conversion" he did before January 26th 2020 is invalid because he didn't have the authority to do so.
Not only this, but we have been approached by many who paid the $2,000 to Griffin (btw donations went to his personal bank account and not the synagogue which many found odd) and after payment (cough cough I mean "donation") he would ignore their calls, delete them on social media and block them but remind them one of there documents he gave them was a NDA. He has stolen thousands upon thousands of dollars from people promising a conversion he could not do and also promising aliyah. There are several accounts of this.
One ex-member, whom we got a lot of info from who didn't sign an NDA set up a YouTube channel last year talking about his experiences with Griffin.
Our friend Justin has been in contact with many ex members and he alerted us of some things that were happening with Griffin trying to hack our website, and also trying to gain a following by creating a fake following. Below are some very disturbing screenshots from Justin’s video. Want to know how Griffin went from over 100 subscribers on YouTube to 3 thousand in less than 2 days? Well this is how. Another thing to note is the website suggested to him also allows you to not only buy views and subscribers but also likes. Has anyone ever seen a video that has 75 likes an zero dislikes anywhere on youtube? Of course not it is funny that most of his comments are the same number of comments, his likes are the exact same number of likes pin his videos and his videos are the same amount of views and yet he hasn’t gotten any new subscribers in closer to 5 months. To go from 160 to 3.4k over night and not grow again? Is that rather suspicious to anyone else? And isn’t it interesting that chances are he will get a drastic uptick after he sees this article and not before? And should congregants be upset he is using their money and those online to dishonesty prop up himself in the way Yeshua warned about in Matthew 23? Can such a man be trusted?
On top of this, he has successfully gotten the Official Lapid Judaism youtube page to be flagged for "hate speech" why? Because of the fact many have pointed out, like in the pictures above in the article in previous sections that our page was older than his by 3 years, which proves he is not being truthful. Especially considering that youtube was made 1 years before he supposedly "started" Lapid Judaism, this was damning evidence to his claim he started it in 2014 or 2016 (he has gone back and forth on the dates out of convinces. And finally, one last piece of evidence we are gonna show is asking the question, "if you started an organization and you do so much online, wouldn't you be the one to have the URL?". Anyone with an IQ above a dandelion would say "well duh".
We guess in Griffin's fantasy world 11/02/2016 is after January 26th 2020. Lets look at the copyright inquiry.
Ooops, if I were the person who gave him the money for the copyright I think I would be ticked when it is realized he faked a government document.
What Are We Dealing With Now And WHat Are the Differences in the Real and Fake Lapid Judaism?
Because of his buying YouTube videos and likes and comments, the youtube algorithm has pushed his videos more. And that would be fine if he wasn't using our name. Also, on a weekly basis we get horror stories about Griffin that has harmed the stellar reputation of Lapid Judaism International, because a very very small group think we are associated with him, which we are not obviously, he just decided to steal the name of Rabbi Yossi's sect. Before, Griffin started his make-believe history of Lapid Judaism and putting himself at the center of it as though he is some sort of Moshiach figure there were never any issues within the organization. Now, all our leaders are being bombarded with horror stories thinking it is reflective of the actual Lapid Judaism organization.
On March 9th 2020, we are convening with the other elders of the sect of Lapid Judaism. And we are brining this to a vote, do we want to use organizational funds to take Griffin to court? Or do we want to wipe our hands of him and own the stain of Lapid Judaism that was stained by his hands? This is something that will be brought to a vote by the elders. We may change the name to another name we won't give here because Girffin may try and steal it too, we may not, it depends. I would urge the other elders personally to go with the name change because our name has been damaged beyond repair because of all the people Griffin has stolen from, taken advantage of and lied about. Our positions and our halakha will remain in tact however if the name change does occur. And unlike Griffin, we will not beg you to pay for our new URLs and reprinting of our materials that have donned the name Lapid Judaism since 2010. Unlike Griffin, our leadership actually work, either as full time rabbis or in secular jobs and as rabbis, not as internet personas.
The fake Lapid Judaism has caused a rift just like the Hebrew Roots movement with the Christian sects. Our representatives have a good relationship with our Christian brethren. Though we couldn't be worlds apart, our people are actually trained in Judaism and know the difference between a Ger and a Jew and know not to mistreat the Ger. This is why when Beit Geulah was open we would have Christian churches visiting the synagogue often and we would also go to them when asked to train their missionaries when they would head to Israel. We had a great impact on Burke United Christian Ministries and helped the homeless in our surrounding area. A major part of observance of the Torah is lowering one's self, and being humble to those we don't even agree with and being a servant to one another. The fake Lapid Judaism headed by Griffin however is set up to make Griffin look like a Moshiach figure, his arrogance and the focus on "I" "I" "I" Me" "Me" "Me" has been seen by everyone. That egotism doesn't exist in the real Lapid Judaism, that kind of egotism exists with people like David Koresh or Do Applewhite or Yahweh ben Yahweh. Though Griffin has never donned the steps of a Chabad schul, he may not know that Rebbe Schneerson never put himself on the high level that Griffin does. He thinks he is following the model of Schneerson but he jus following the model of someone who locked people in a compound not to far from him in Texas. There are also several other differences, conversion is not a business for us in fact we do minimal conversions because an authentic conversion takes years and hours every day. I think Griffin gets his conversion idea from Sunday school classes and not judaism. We also realize there is a difference between mishna and gemara which Griffin doesn't in relation to halakha, Also.....well our people know fluent Hebrew, he cannot even master the basic hebrew or aramaic.
October 5th 2020 Update:
As you all know we changed the name of our organization because of all of this. But that hasn't stopped Mordecai Griffin. According to the Or HaChaim:
"A jew is afforded the chance to repent and make restitution for the forgiveness of his sins. The gates of heaven close proceeding Yom Kippur. But if the person is unrepentant and does not make his restitution, our has no intention on making restitution he is not afforded the time until Yom Kippur to be handed down the judgement. The truly unrepentant will will fake repentance and will not make restitution"
We were recently alerted of this:
The charges are sexual assault as found here and he was arrested a few weeks before Yom Kippur. As shown this man is not a rabbi. After some of his congregants have said on Yom Kippur he went into the old synagogue and told people they were obligated to immediately restore him or they are not real believers. Talk about going the opposite of basic halakha and the scriptures. There are zero rabbis of old or modern that say restitution doesn't need to take place, and from what we know there are thousands upon thousands of dollars of restitution that needs to be made from Griffin's various crimes.
Not only that, he tried to say immediately after his arrest he is a changed man. Well actions say otherwise. As Griffin tried to steal yet again. This was from 3 days after Yom Kippur of 5781:
Be in prayer for the people at Sar Shalom so he doesn't continue to take advantage of the good people there.
Theological Insights from Rabbi Eved Banah the North American Rebbe of Ani Judaism