Global, Politics, Religion

A Failure As A Jew

In light of recent debates here about the propriety of criticizing Orthodox Jews, Eliyahu Stern offers a breath of fresh air in an Op-Ed about Jack Abramoff and his Orthodox defenders:

I am sorry, but no matter how much you keep kosher and castigate Americans about sexual morality, if you support corrupt power and act unethically to other human beings, you are a failure as a Jew.
Abramoff’s hat signals the extreme lack of self-reflection in his religious life. Before the Bible says anything about black hats, abortion or kosher restaurants for Washington insiders, it says “Do not steal.” What can be more Jewish than that?
Hypocritical moralizing treats the public as fools and does a disservice to all those who take Judaism seriously. Being a frum Jew entails being an example for humanity. It means that we hold ourselves to a higher level of ethical correctness. If using an Orthodox yeshiva to launder ill-begotten money does not embarrass us, then what does?

The Op-Ed is a fierce condemnation of “morality”-touting Orthodox rabbis and intellectuals who have used their soapboxes to shill for liars and thieves. It is a reminder that all of us, regardless of denomination or affiliation, are shamed by those who defend the morally indefensible.
And yes, it is written by an Orthodox Jew. Baruch Hashem!
Full Op-Ed.

4 thoughts on “A Failure As A Jew

  1. there’s a weird thread somewhere here – from Mordecai Ben Noah and the failed Ararat project in the 1840s which attempted to re-unite Jews with the Native Americans as a lost Israelite tribe, to Bugsy Seigel starting Las Vegas on Shoshone land, to the tribal gambling donations to the yeshivah fund of the Abramoff scandal. Thankfully there are folks like Rabbi Gershon Winkler and Shefa Gold who have been in dialogue Native Americans and have been advocates on behalf of something other than an economy based on the greed of the casinos.

  2. ok, ok we get it. It’s also not cool to kick a yid while he’s down… yet it’s so easy because not only falls the weight of the sin but also the entire awesome weight of all that’s in the Torah, minhagim, responsa… as well as vicarious responsibility for several millenia of gentile oppression. It gets really messy when we start throwing the tablets around in a glass house. Esp. when there are bigger fish for us to fry, “Halas!”

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