Don't Cry Anti-SemitismPart I
Last Thursday presented a terrible chillul Hashem. A number of Orthodox Jews, as well as rabbis, in the Hasidic and Sephardic communities were arrested in N.J. on money laundering to the tune of $3 million.
There were a number of scandals involved, including the illegal sale of kidneys, reportedly buying them for $10,000 and selling them for $160,000.
New Jersey lawmakers were also charged for accepting bribes.
The sad part is that none of this shocked me.
It was embarrassing to watch footage of frum people hiding their faces in their hats, peyos neatly tucked behind their ears, etc.
I have a feeling that Rabbi Kassin was a victim of other people's greed, and was uninformed about the illegal activity.
People have been crying anti-Semitism. That Obama is behind this. What a load. First of all, the investigation began when Bush was in office. Second, these people were arrested because they allegedly did something wrong. Not because they are Jewish.
"What about Pidyon Shvuyim?" People ask.
My question is whether it is relavent for people who have so greviously violated halacha as well as American law.
These people are imprisoned for a reason.
The very same Torah that tells us that we must redeem prisoners also tells us not to steal, not to trick people, and to follow the laws of the land (all of which they have allegedly violated).
I understand that "two wrongs don't make a right." Just because they violated the Torah, it doesn't mean that we have to by not redeeming them.
But when the concept of Pidyon Shvuyim originated, I doubt that this was an example of a case in which we should do whatever's in our power to release prisoners.
I would say Gilad Shalit is a much more relavent example.