The professor who cannot stop his vicious self-hatred has been mothballed by DePaul. When he was denied tenure, it was only a matter of time. According to the Chicago Tribune, his class initially appeared on the class list and then was removed. DePaul placed him on paid leave for the entire year, but Norman will have nothing of it.

Finkelstein told the [Tribune] that he planned to wage his own campaign against the administration.

“I intend to go to my office on the first day of classes and, if my way is barred, to engage in civil disobedience,” Finkelstein said. “If arrested, I’ll go on a hunger strike. If released, I’ll do it all over again. I’ll fast in jail for as long as it takes.”

Classes start on September 5th. Assuming that Norman does go to his former office on Sept. 5th, he could in theory sit there the whole day until business hours are over. According to my humble interpretation of Illinois Compiled Statues (720 ILCS 5/21-3) (from Ch. 38, par. 21-3) a person can legally enter a public building, and if not bothering anyone, can stay. Ever if he were to stay there after they close, most likely the worst offense is a class A or B criminal misdemeanor. Hardly the kind of thing that gets you locked up in jail long enough to have a hunger strike.

In order to really get locked up for a longer period of time, he would have to do something more drastic and take a bigger risk than just trespassing. He could refuse to speak, and be completely non-cooperative. If there is a court order barring him from DePaul, and he trespasses, that could put him in more hot water. If he were to break into his old office, that would be even harsher.

I don’t really see him sitting in jail for more than a few hours, since they have better things to do in Chicago than allow this dude to make a hunger strike, when they have violent criminals that need cell-space.

If Norm is serious about a hunger strike—hardly the kind of thing to do if you hope to get hired at any school—then the hunger strike will have to be at DePaul to get any attention. And figuring that the arrest and release and arrest cycle plays out a few times, it could very be that come September 21st, Norm might be fasting somewhere.

The Halacha is Norm that if a person fasts on Yom Kippur without kavanna (that is Hebrew for conscious intent) that the fast is for Yom Kippur and repentance, they still receive the benefit of the fast.

Instead of seeking vengeance — consider doing some introspection as to why you ended up in this place. Instead of continuing to blame the Zionists and Dershowitz for your troubles, try taking some responsibility for your actions. DePaul didn’t give you tenure because of your unbecoming pugilistic nature, not respecting other views, and getting into personal and vicious arguments on the national stage. (And not because you lack language skills or poor scholarship.)


As we prepare for Rosh Hashanah, the gates of repentance are open to you at every moment. It is precisely when a person has reached a critical stage, that they are sometimes able to look and see the error of their ways.

About the author

Rabbi Yonah


  • Bad move, Rabbi Yonah! When Finklestein gets word of this article, he’ll intentionally eat a ham sandwhich and shrimp cocktail on Yom Kippur. He’ll most probably down it with a glass of tequilla with one of those worms in it, too.

    Should’ve kept quiet and posted this on Yud Aleph b’Tishrei.

    On the other hand, maybe not. 🙂

  • “The Halacha is Norm that if a person fasts on Yom Kippur without kavanna (that is Hebrew for conscious intent) that the fast is for Yom Kippur and repentance, they still receive the benefit of the fast.”

    “Agra d’ta’aniysa: tzedakah.” (Berachos 6b) Unless he gives tzedakah after the fast, no benefit. (We don’t necessarily pasken like this, but it keeps him from having to request the shrimp cocktail in prison.)

  • Oh no! The truth is out! Run! We have been found out! Damn you Walt and Mearsheimer! Ahem, anyway…

    My apartment isn’t too far from DePaul, so if Normie needs a place to break the fast (for Yom Kippur, not his act of “civil disobedience”) he is more than welcome to stop by. I’ll even make him my shakshuka.

    Imagine deciding to engage in civil disobedience at any job where you are found out to be incompetent and vicious? Somehow I don’t think this would work in an office building. In the meantime, I am going to have a sit-in on the northside at my school for not having any TA positions for me this semester.

  • For DePaul’s Catholics, fasting’s a good thing. Civil DISobedience, Normie, disobedience……

  • Does this mean that Finkelstein’s very own Monica Lewinsky, Richard Silverstein, will be fasting this Yom Kippur as well, instead of devoting the day as usual to promoting jihad and hatred of Israel and Jews, and instead of smearing everyone who does not promote his kapo agenda?