Monday, April 26, 2010

Rachmanim Bnei Rachmanim

Ugh.

Once again, the chareidi world is up in arms, stalwartly defending a member of their community. And once again, the person is a convicted criminal.

How many times are they going to do this? First we saw them campaign on behalf of the drug smuggling yeshiva bochurim. Then they rioted in support of a woman who tortured her own child. Then they moved heaven and earth to try to help a convicted cop killer. And now they're pulling out all the stops on behalf of a convicted fraudster. (Even though they're equally despicable, I'm not counting the instances where they also came to the defense of child molesters, since those were on a much smaller scale than these campaigns.)

Like I said regarding the Grossman case, regardless of how you think about the man's guilt or innocence (and in this case, his guilt is not even what's at issue, it's his sentence), the question remains: What sort of screwed up moral compass is directing this community that they continuously demonstrate greater concern for the criminals in their community than the victims of the crimes?

When are we going to see such a community-wide campaign - with tehillim, and kinuses (kinusim?), and political lobbying, and angry protests, and email chain-letters, and slick video productions - addressing the need to report child molesters and those who protect them?

Yes, they truly are a compassionate people. As the Midrash says, "He who is compassionate to the cruel will ultimately be cruel to the compassionate.” (Tanhuma, Parashat Mezora,1; Yalkut Shimoni, I Samuel, Chapter 121.)

14 comments:

chanief said...

I agree with you that it is absolutely ridiculous that the frum community keeps standing up so vociferously for criminals. It makes me sick. However, I think a sentence of life is disproportionate to his crimes. Granted, I hardly think he will actually get a life sentence, but if he does, it strikes me as a miscarriage of justice (which I would attribute largely to his refusal to cooperate but I digress...)

The Hedyot said...

I don't want this to digress into a discussion of Rubashkin. There's enough discussion out there about him. The point I'm making is not really about him. It's about the community.

But just to be clear, I agree that it does seem out of proportion.

TikunOlam said...

One of my favorite midrashim of all time. And so true.

chanief said...

I apologize for missing the point of your post - I guess I keep hearing about it to the degree that I see his picture and my mind just goes blank. ;o)

There is no moral compass anymore. Firs, the paranoia within the community has risen to such a degree, and the "us vs. them" mentality has taken such a firm hold that they can no longer see the truth of what is right or wrong.

Second, admitting that there is any problem, be it financial crime, pedophilia, abuse, etc would require a deep reckoning of the frum community and their leaders. Looking inward using critical intelligence and complete honesty about where the community stands would challenge some very deeply held beliefs. It would raise the consciousness of the community to the awareness that there is real and necessary change that must be done, but change is not something the frum community is comfortable with. Denial and distraction suits them so much better, and that is why they remain stuck and will continue to remain that way for the foreseeable future.

onionsoupmix said...

This morning I got three emails asking for me to join a tehillim-a-thon and to dress more modestly ( every centimeter counts!) and another one asking what is wrong with me that I have no rachamim on a baal chessed. UGH.

I never Post said...

Hedyot, for Rubashkin I think many of us do agree about his sentencing and plea bargains others got that Rubashkin did not get and there are many Secular Jews and Gentiles from different races that are supporting Rubashkin only based on his sentence, so it is not just Orthdox Jews, many people like me who did not support the cop killer Grossman nor support the child molesters, but Rubashkin is total different story I do feel Rubashkin should get a fair sentence just like other crooks many who are secular Jews.

Also you are supporting Rubashkin by the fact that you talk about him on your own blog this is what he wants and he got it.

The Hedyot said...

I explained this once already, but I'll say it again. This post is not about Rubashkin, it's about the chareidi community.

There is something pathologically wrong with a community that is more concerned with helping out the crooks and criminals of their community (and make no mistake about it - Rubashkin is most definitely a crook, just maybe not one deserving of such a harsh sentence), more than they care about the innocent victims of their community.

Anonymous said...

I think that most religious people, who are educated, generally choose to be or stay religious because they have underlying emotional difficulties. I work for an Orthodox educational institution in my area and did not feel this way before I actually got to know the families here. Not to pick on Jews, because this is also probably true in other more extreme faith communities as well.

Richard Suskind, MSW

JRS said...

R. Suskind MSW said: "I think that most religious people, who are educated, generally choose to be or stay religious because they have underlying emotional difficulties"

Off topic, also utterly inane.
Whatever one may think of religion, "MOST religious people," are [or stay] that way because...
A. the lifestyle suits them,

B. It doesn't, but they're not sufficiently motivated to leave the life they've always known, or break up their family,

C. a combination of A. & B, or completely different reasons.

Comments like that tend to undermine whatever reasonable points other might make in an open discussion of religion.

Dave said...

I Never Post:

Rubashkin is reported to have turned down two plea agreements. Just FYI.

Anonymous said...

This seemed to be a discussion of certain elements of the ultra orthodox community, and their motivation to defend the indefensible. This is not a PC comment, but to a secular person, many in the ulta orthodox cummunity do appear to suffer from a higher incidence of emotional problems. I do not necessarily believe that religion does this to them, but certain faith communities do appear to attract those who are searching for a sulution, and might benefit more from seeking the assistance of a mental health professional. I have regular contact with a bais chabbad in my area, and about half of the members of this group have a history of sexual abuse and/or serious substance abuse. I believe that this is a much higher percentage than one might find among the general population. I have talked with other Jewish but secular mental health professional in my group practice with many years of experience who have similar observations.
Keep up the good work. As an aside you are a very talented writer.
Richard Suskind, MSW

I never post said...

To Dave,
"Rubashkin is reported to have turned down two plea agreements. Just FYI."

We already know Rubashkin turned down the plea that would have given him a very lengthy prison time, unlike crooks many who are secular Jews got less prison time were given the chance to pay restitution. But not rubashkin.

Tova said...

Each new story of frum support for criminals and evildoers disgusts me more than the last.

The day that chareidim stop running around like chickens with their heads cut off in support of perverts, killers, monsters, thieves and sick fucks will be a beautiful one.

Shalmo said...

Why not just invoke antisemetism and threats of a new Holocaust - its always a covenient excuse!