The Catfish is Really Out of the Bag for “American Jewgolo” Poseur Rabbi Yosef Paryzer
Rabbi Yosef Paryzer, aka Jake Segal, has certainly put the “sin” back in synagogue. Thirty-two deceived women and many more Tinder dates later, and one has to wonder: was there a parasha on prevarication that Rabbi Paryzer skipped?
In the deceptive world of online dating, where bios are hardly ever honest (seriously, does everyone love hiking that much?), Paryzer took lying to a whole new level. “Single, secular, and a seeing-eye dog trainer,” he claimed. And while we can’t deny that sounds pretty appealing, his profile was as authentic as a $2 Vuitton bag from a street vendor.
Surely there must be a commandment about not pretending to be a dog whisperer when you’re actually a yeshiva teacher.
But let’s give credit where it’s due: It’s not easy juggling multiple relationships. Most of us can’t handle one, let alone thirty-two. We can only imagine his Google calendar: “Date with Sarah at 5. Teach Torah at 6. Date with Rachel at 7. Explain to wifey where I was at 8.”
And let’s not forget the tragedy of his humiliated wife and two kids. Was she under the impression he was just really dedicated to his seeing-eye dog training, disappearing for nights on end? Despite his fondness for cat-fishing, some of his victims reported that he was a fan of doggy style.
So, as the investigation continues, there’s one thing for sure: this is one rabbi who’s bound to have a lot of explaining to do on Yom Kippur.
In the meantime, we recommend staying wary of those online profiles, folks. Especially if they say they can train dogs and lead a religious congregation.
But, Rabbi Jake jokes aside, the reality is that this situation is no laughing matter. These nice Jewish women were deceived and their trust exploited. Some of them are now accusing the disgraced and defrocking rabbi of rape by deception, a most serious charge.
In Israel, it’s illegal to have consensual relations obtained by deceit with respect to one’s identity. But what does Judaism say about this? While classical Jewish texts do not address “catfishing” directly, deceiving someone to secure their consent would certainly be frowned upon. A relationship, or even a One Night Stand, built on a lie contradicts the core Jewish values of trust and integrity.
As the parasha of “Jake Segal” continues to unravel, let’s remember that behind every headline is a very real human cost. And as for online dating, let’s just say: maybe keep a seeing-eye dog on hand to sniff out any potential Tindler Swinders.