Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Final Thoughts

Barry Freundel
When a prominent figure so recognizably Modern Orthodox and so highly respected by even the secular world - is found out to be a devious person whose prurient interests supersede any sense of morality and integrity, the Chilul HaShem is massive. I can just hear the laughter by his peers at Georgetown University and the NIH...

Freundel had to know the repercussions of being caught... and what kind of Chilul HaShem that would create. But in his infinite arrogance he thought he could get away with it.

This isn't some teenager who peeps into his next door neighbor's window and sees the lady of the house getting undressed. This was premeditated, planned, and executed.  He used every opportunity to peep at the women that used his Shul's Mikvah - even inviting non Jews to try it out... so that he could get his jollies.

The repercussions of what he did are still reverberating. He violated the privacy and the trust of all the women who used that Mikvah, many of whom were probably traumatized by this revelation. He violated the trust all that knew him - put in him. He embarrassed his family; embarrassed his Shul; and embarrassed his people. 

His deceit casts here casts a pall on every communal activity he participated in. His Eruvin are now suspect. His conversions are too. (...although Rav Gedalia Dov Schwartz issued a ruling that they are to be considered valid). And his actions casts a shadow on Mikvah use. No one in his Shul will ever see Mikvah use the same as they did before. Every time you will mention the Mikvah, you will think of him and what he did. I can just imagine a woman who might be on the fence about using the Mikvah being totally turned off by it now.

I am truly disgusted by this man... whom I once considered one of the bright lights of Modern Orthodoxy. 

I wonder how two of his more prominent congregants - former Senator Joseph Lieberman and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew - feel about this.

I have been told that all of Freundel's religious involvements prior to these revelations that were deemed Kosher - remain so.