Tuesday, May 1, 2007

who's fault is it anyway...

It amazes me how much thought people put into to trying to understand really horrible people? As Shmuel Boteach says in a recent Jerusalem Post article: "A particularly troubling aspect of the news coverage of the gruesome massacre at Virginia Tech is the fact that no one seems to hate the killer, Cheo Seung-Hui. Indeed, he is not even referred to as a killer or a murderer." Is it because we feel empathy for the accused?

Similarly, the Jewish community always worries about the guilty parties to the point where they abandon the victims. For instance, last month when another case of sexual abuse emerged in the Jewish educational community, it became obvious that the community had allowed this to happen. Even people who I consider sensible, think it's okay 'at times' to cover up an incident, to protect the guilty. For instance, when talking about the recent events in Baltimore, a popular Jewish blogger wrote: "the frum community tended to keep things under wraps, but genuinely take care of business. Rabbi Herman Neuberger ...could arrange that someone would never get a job in chinuch again without publicly embarrassing anyone, or so I thought." How could anyone consider any type of cover-up to be 'genuinely taking care of business'?

If someone behaves like a criminal, we shouldn't feel sorry for them, we should punish them. And we shouldn't be afraid to punish them publicly. If not, how are our children to know that they can turn to us for justice?

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