Issue of August 14, 2009 / 24 Av 5769
To the Editor:
If the Orthodox Jewish community in general, and the Syrian Jewish community in particular, ever wanted greater evidence of the mire and morass it presently wallows in, it need look no further then the recent article by Rabbi David Bibi missive labeled “Don’t Point Fingers” (In my view; August 7, 2009).
The moral of the story evinced by Rabbi Bibi would be laughable if not for the sadism to our Torah that it breeds and champions. Does this rabbi actually believe that being an accomplice to murder is a true indication of friendship? To what end? What was the lesson learned? That the son can continue to get in fights at bars, kill those he chooses at his tainted discretion, taking solace with the knowledge that if he gets into trouble he can always count on his friends to hide the body? Friendship is not collaborating in a heinous criminal act. Rather, the son’s true friends would be those who would shun the son at first sight so that he may come to understand that violence, murder, and the breaking of the law are not to be tolerated on our world.
Rabbi Bibi rhetorically asks what crimes the rabbis committed in merely helping a man who pleaded with them that his children had no food on the table. In the first instance, if food was the issue, give the man food to eat — not money to launder. Moreover, if food was the only concern, why the 10 percent fee which was retained by those who engaged in the transaction? Lastly, we must instill in the hearts of all that the ends simply do not justify the means. Irrespective of whatever good cause exists, we cannot evade and violate the law (and the halacha) in the process.
Rabbi Bibi ends his ignominious epistle by directly fingering the “traitor among us.” To the contrary, without the “traitor,” these criminal and illicit actions would have remained unimpeded, and would have continued with no examination of the actions of the leaders of the community ever having been undertaken.
The fact that Rabbi Bibi has twisted and contorted the Torah to lend its imprimatur to these iniquitous actions is reprehensible for him. The fact that we as a community might allow Rabbi Bibi to remain in his position while he endorses such views is reprehensible for us. We can no longer afford to stand pat and must ensure that the honor and nobility of the Torah is restored. Silence, to the extent it ever was, is no longer an option.
Congregation Magen David of Belle Harbor
Rule of law applies to everyone
To the Editor:
If a friend comes to my door dripping blood and asks me to bury the body, a) He’s no friend of mine and, b) I’d call the police (Don’t point fingers; August 7, 2009).
What kind of nonsense are you pushing? The people accused of these crimes aren’t idiots or children. They knew darn well that what they were doing was illegal. They don’t live in Jew-hating czarist Russia where Jews had no choice but to game the system in order to survive. They live in a free county where the rule of law applies to everyone.
The courts will decide their fate on earth. G-d will deal with their souls. Your attempt to white-wash the entire matter is pathetic.
North Miami Beach
Missed key point on rebbe’s repentance
To the Editor:
Your excellent editorial “Required Viewing” (August 7, 2009) missed a critical point. The Spinka Rebbe NEVER apologized for his crime, aveirah [sin] and severe chilul Hashem. He appeared to wink, nod and almost enjoy the limelight he was receiving. There was no teshuva or recognition that he is an utter embarrassment to the Jewish community. I am sickened that he was given a prominent role at the Agudah’s legal symposium and was so warmly received. Baruch Hashem, Mr. Brafman understands the severity of the problem. In a heart wrenching speech, he described the seriousness of these issues. He outlined a multitude of problems with this disgusting behavior. Unfortunately, given the Spinka Rebbe’s speech, Mr. Brafman’s fear that there will be another gathering in one or two years discussing the same issues appears inevitable.
Tod J. Rothschild
Why is Seidemann so negative?
To the Editor:
We are fortunate to live in a country where our democratically elected President convenes a meeting with Professor Gates and Sergeant Crowley in a relaxed, informal setting at the White House (From the other side of the bench; Hope for the President; August 7, 2009). Adding Vice-President Biden indicates the importance that President Obama places on peace. The initial awkward arrest has been changed into something very positive. The event reflects the best of American values: optimism, flexibility and the can-do attitude. There is much our own community can learn from this episode. G-d bless America.
Elliot Pasik, Esq