Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Don't Cry Anti-Semitism

Part 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.

Part II
"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.

22 Comments:

At 7/29/2009 8:51 AM, Anonymous JMerl said...

Although it is a chilul Hashem. It also speaks volumes of good when a Jewish person is caught doing something bad that it makes the front page, first five minutes of the news & is discussed in every blog...unlike the goyim its news worthy because it is such an deviation from the norm because of our strong ethical teachings & standards.

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At 7/29/2009 10:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, the investigation began when Clinton was in office.

 
At 7/29/2009 10:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

who do u think prisoners were in the those times? ppl who didn't eat kugel on shabbos?

 
At 7/30/2009 5:45 AM, Blogger The Kosher Bride said...

I think it is a travesty that there is such behavior going on. A large part of the outrage can probably be attributed to the fact that many people in the Jewish community do not feel tax fraud is a crime. And tax fraud is largely what these people were arrested for (except for the kidney guy). How many times have you seen someone offer to pay cash so you won't charge them tax or neglect to fill out a marriage license after their wedding so their parents can still claim them as dependents and they mooch their parents healthcare? People need to realize that stealing is stealing, even if the victim is an amorphous blob known as the government.

On a side note - the fact that a Jew turned them in is unpardonable. We should make it clear that this is wrong and refuse to take part in it or associate with those who do. But ratting out rabbis to the police for money laundering to save your own skin after running a ponzi scheme is a huge chillul hashem.

 
At 7/30/2009 4:23 PM, OpenID josh0 said...

"I would say Gilad Shalit is a much more relevent example."

He has been kept from his family for far too long. May he be safely returned in full health today.

Also, I give thanks for not having to worry about being kidnapped and trafficked away from my home.
----
How much responsibility does the nation have to each citizen?

(I hope the topic of Part II isn't creating an instance of the topic of Part I.)

 
At 8/06/2009 6:19 PM, Blogger FrumCurious said...

I haven't read much into this, so I might just end up taking Kosher Bride's word for it:

Ratting someone out to save your own butt is not cool. They were all in the wrong and should all be punished for their crimes.

But I *do* see how it's front page news and *such* a big deal in the goy newspapers - because frummies are always seen as being such good, honest people (which in my mind, most are). It doesn't matter if you're a jew or a gentile, there's always people trying to skip over things and become victims of greed in every bunch.

It's just a big deal because now the perpetrators have payes. Jeez.

 
At 8/11/2009 4:45 PM, OpenID badforshidduchim said...

Er, shvuyim comes from a word that doesnt' mean "prisoner" so much as "captive." They're not captives. That is, they haven't been captured, and are not being held at ransom or sold as slaves. So I don't think that holds.

 
At 8/16/2009 10:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't hear anyone cry anti-semitism. neither have I heard anyone call out for pidyum shvuyim- and I'm not sure of it's relevance here as well (agreed badforshidduchim): how would one redeem them?? post bail money? if that were the case, there's nothing wrong with bailing someone out of jail. Jmerl- totally disagree- we're held to a higher standard, so one story like this makes us worse than the non-jews despite how infrequently jews are in the papers for wrong doing. though as of late, we've been well represented for criminal wrong doings- think madoff and all the jewish names sounding ceos of large banks, investment firms etc. all in all, this past year has been one that i think god will want to forget because of the shameless greed, wrongdoing, and every other activity that has put the jewish name and nation in the gutter. shame on us!

 
At 8/16/2009 10:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

con't- michelle, care to enlighten us with respect to who's been crying anti-semetism?

 
At 8/16/2009 10:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

con't- sorry not have put all my thoughts in one post.
kosherbride- the word is to masur on someone- yes, we know how evil one is who masurs one someone, hence the addition to our shmoneh esrey which lambasts them and wishes upon them every bad thing in the world.

 
At 9/06/2009 7:36 PM, Anonymous (n)mk said...

just popping in to say "hi"

 
At 9/06/2009 8:30 PM, Blogger harry-er than them all said...

gilad shalit would not be defined as pidyon shevuin in the classical sense.

he should be treated as a prisoner of war, and halachically decided based on hilchos milchamos (laws pertaining to war)as should all terrorists.

all decisions regarding freeing terrorists, getting shalit out, should be decided based on whether its good or bad for the war effort (morale included).

 
At 10/08/2009 11:01 AM, Blogger David5Ts said...

Mazal tov!

 
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