Friday, March 04, 2011

Believing What You Read in the Media

I find a recent post in Cross-Currents by Rabbi Yaakov Menken to be quite amusing. Therein he takes offense at Ha'aretz’s use of the term ‘Haredi rabbi’ as applied to Elior Chen (pictured in custody). To quote Rabbi Menken: He’s “Charedi” like Sun Myung Moon is “Christian”.

Actually, he is Charedi. He happens to be a sick human being but that does not make him any less Charedi than saying an abusive Catholic priest is not Catholic.

He looks Charedi, was raised and educated Charedi, and lives like a Charedi. You can't define him out of that just because he has been doing something very un-Charedi. He is a sadistic, sick human being who happens to be Charedi. That is the truth.

For those who aren’t paying attention, (I wrote about him recently) Elior Chen was sentenced to 24 years in prison for abusing and ordering the abuse of eight children, which included beatings with clubs and hammers, kicks to the head, severe shaking, burning, being handcuffed and stuffed in a suitcase, food and sleep deprivation.

What makes Rabbi Menken’s post even more amusing is that he has no qualms believing that Chen is guilty. How does he know that? Probably the same way I do. He read it in the secular media. The very same media he constantly blasts as biased against Charedim (which is once again the point of this - his latest post).

And who convicted him? The secular courts in Israel, the very same courts he said can’t be trusted because of their bias against Charedim. And yet he believed them here and does not criticize the court at all this time. I’m sure he would respond by saying that even a broken clock is right twice a day. And that this is one of those rare times they got it right.

They got it right? Really? Not according to the Edah HaCharedis. Ynet quotes an Edah HaCherdis official:

Rabbi Avraham Froelich, who represents the Eda Haredit, also defended the convict. "Chen is a naïve and delicate soul. The evidence proves he did nothing. This is a Dreyfus plot," he said.

Using Rabbi Menken’s oft used argument, how can anyone trust a media that is so biased against Charedim? And how can anyone trust a secular court system that has proven so many times how anti Charedi they are?

So I have to ask: Rabbi Menken, Why have you not challenged the verdict? Why do believe the media here and not elsewhere? Why do you not side with a Frum Jew who calls this a Dreyfus trial instead of the anti Frum secular media and courts that you so often disparage?

Using your standards you should be at the head of the line protesting the trial and the verdict right along with one of your fellow Charedi counterparts in Israel. You think this sentence is well deserved?! Who made you the judge and jury over a fellow Jew who protests his innocence? Maybe the media made the whole thing up just to get another Charedi Jew in trouble and make the whole Frum world look bad. Maybe the courts used this opportunity to once again ‘stick it’ to the Charedim.

And you side with the secular anti Frum establishment instead of an official of the Edah HaCharedis?! Have you lost your senses?