Friday, September 19, 2008

In Response

In response to the post below, commenter Garnel Ironhart wrote (in part):
"This is a lost cause. Sorry, but it is... Is anyone really going to risk being ostracized over this? When they knock on your door, are you really going to call the police and have them arrested? The only solution is to leave communities like this and go elsewhere to build normal, sane ones."
I felt that Garnel's comment was important enough to respond to in a separate post. Far too many people are unwilling to stand up for what they believe in because they fear social retribution. In fact, that's exactly what these extremists are counting on. It's a form of social terrorism; they frighten the community into remaining silent so that they can carry out their agenda unopposed.
So my response to Garnel is as follows:
You asked, "When they knock on your door, are you really going to call the police and have them arrested?"- ABSOLUTELY! If anyone harms or threatens me or my children, I would go straight to the police with no hesitation whatsoever. (I actually have done this, but that's a story for another time). This mistrust of the authorities and prohibition of being a moser is a relic from another time and place, when Jews really did have to be afraid of the local government authorities. That is absolutely not the case here in New York, and I am tired of this outdated mentality contributing to the cover up of criminal actions that are committed by Jews. We need to stand up and send a message: if you break the law, you will suffer the consequences. We will not cover up for you any longer. If you harm our children, if you abuse your wife, if you embezzle money from our shuls and yeshivas and organizations, we will turn you in. If you choose to do the crime, rest assured that you will do the time. It is not those of us who own televisions or don't cover our hair or allow our sons to play sports that are polluting this community. It is the disrespect and arrogance of those of you who think you can do whatever you want to simply because your outside appearance screams "frum". In Israel, the Ultra-Orthodox are called "chareidi". The word means "one who trembles before God". If you are harming others and breaking the law, you are not "trembling before God". You are a sinner, and should be treated like one.
Note: I thank Garnel for bringing up this important point. My response is not intended to be hostile toward him, but rather to express my disagreement with his comment.
Also, my remarks are aimed solely at those who engage in criminal behavior, and not at the frum community at large.

9 comments:

Garnel Ironheaert said...

Hey Raizy,

First of all, I didn't detect any hostility so don't worry. It's always a pleasure to interact.

Actually I think my meaning wasn't so clear. This is the scenario I meant: Two "askanim" knock at the door and tell you that if you go to the police and tell them what you heard about Rebbe X, then they'll make sure Supermangirl and Wonderwoman never find a shiduch in the metro NY area again and that Flash will never be accepted into any "real" yeshivah here or in Israel. No threat of violence, just the use of social pressure.
Now, you seem to be a clear minded and very self-confident person. Wonderful. We need more like you. But I still feel that the vast majority of people, when confronted with social pressure like this, will back down and not make a fuss not because they think it's the right thing to do but because they know the inmates are running the asylum.

Maybe it's because I live in a small community but I am perplexed as to how this works so well. After all, if they were to threaten that my daughters couldn't get shidduchim in their community, I would think: who wants to marry creeps like you anyway? Why would I want to send my boy to a yeshiva that tolerates pedophiles? But people do. Is it because they don't know there are alternatives?

I say again: those of you who are not yet absorbed into the weird culture need to get out and start again elsewhere. There's a huge Jewish world out there and options for people who are sick of the situation but want to continue to be observant.

ilanadavita said...

I like the tone of your post! There is no excuse for any of these behaviors.

ProfK said...

You go girl! Not everybody has the option to leave here to get away from the craziness sometimes exhibited. The only right choice is to take a stand and fight back.

Leora said...

Good for you for posting on this difficult topic. And the idea that your kids won't have a shidduch because mom sticks up for what's right? There are plenty of parents who would appreciate such a match.

Someone once said the loudest person in the room isn't always right.

rickismom said...

I decided years ago that there are TONS of reasons my kids will never get a good shiduch, so when I had to threaten the mefakachat of the chinuch atzmai with a trial (over not placing Ricki where she legally had right to be...), I put my "shiduch" fears aside...
-Ricki got her placement
-my three oldest got fine shiduchim

There are enough good people out there... the "no shidduch" won't work.....

SuperRaizy said...

The whole "your kids won't find a shidduch" thing doesn't apply to me. I'm modern orthodox, and I fully expect my kids to find their own spouses. No shidduch dating here.

A Living Nadneyda said...

Go SR! Your kids will be that much stronger, not to mention better spouses themselves, having grown up with such a strong SuperMom who knows what's really important.

Why, oh why, are people so worried about the status of the shidduch, over that of the mental and physical health of their own kids? Way beyond me...

Strong, healthy kids, with a strong healthy support system, make for strong, healthy spouses and parents, and a strong community.

DYS said...

Hear Hear!

The Babysitter said...

The part that sounds so wrong about the whole concern over shidduchim is, that both stem from a concern of what is best for the children. But the shidduchim one is a superficial one, where outsiders look at your children. The molesters one is a real concern that is a inside issue, of the child's safety. And people are more concerned about what people "think" of their children, instead of what is actually happening to their children.