Sunday, July 17, 2011

Three weeks and tragedy

The three weeks are always a time to feel a deep sense of grief for the Jewish people. Last year at this time, we had a parade of "frum" people carted off to jail for money laundering. This year we have a striking incident of tragedy made even more painful by the revelation that the tendency to avoid secular authorities may have endangered other children. The article in the NY Post - whether true or not - so clearly sums up the Brooklyn mentality to call the Shomrim before the police.

NY Post Article on Orthodox rules shielding fiends

It is no secret that the Hatzolah and Shomrim groups display a disgusting level of bias and bigotry that would be a source of much outcry among the Jewish community if any other group tried to run around in fake police cars and uniforms. Covering up drunk driving and menacing non-Jewish drivers at car accidents are just normal operating procedures for these groups. Attending to victims at a car accident often provides an all too clear display of caring first for "one's own" (and in fact is required for membership in Hatzolah). Imagine if any other group did that?

Imagine if any other group sent members to a car accident to simply intimidate the other driver in the false notion that somehow the non-Jewish driver is always the one threatening the Jew. Imagine if any other group interfered with police investigations with an obvious bias towards one group of people. Imagine if any other group intentionally covered up for drunk driving. Is this really what we are about?

It is time for frum people to realize that G-d put us on this planet to be a "light among the nations" and groups that exhibit bias cannot be accepted within the Jewish Community. This is as bad as last years parade of money laundering topped off by a "Rabbi" selling body parts. We need to stop excusing bad behavior when it comes from "within" and judge everyone with fairness and honesty.

Finally, when there is any evidence of sexual abuse against children we need to ignore the biased advice from the Agudath Israel of America, who recently affirmed that someone who suspects sexual abuse by a community member must first consult a rabbi "with experience in these issues." We clearly cannot handle these matters "internally" and it would be better to become part of the system and work with ALL people of good will to protect our children.