Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Of Moral Stupidity and Conspiracy Theories

After reading this article in YWN, I am as convinced as ever about the radicalism and moral stupidity of an entire community of Jews. I am talking about the Toldos Aharon and Edah HaCherdis community of Meah Shearim.

They simply are not living in this world. They seem to feel that anyone and anything secular is Treif Passul - and may be treated accordingly.

And yet some Satmar Chasdim from the United States want to buy a hospital in Jerusalem and turn it into a state-of-the-art Charedi hospital:

There are reports which are unconfirmed by Bikur Cholim Hospital officials that some 25 Satmar askanim in the United States are working to purchase the financially ailing hospital, which they plan to convert to a state-of-the-art chareidi medical facility, delivering a final blow to Hadassah.

If it weren’t so sad, this would crack me up! They want to destroy the finest hospital in Israel by creating their own state of the art hospital.

State of the art? How do they propose to do this? By sending their youth to medical school? By only hiring Frum doctors who have tainted their Yiddishkeit by attending secular universities? And even if that were acceptable -are there even enough Frum doctors of every specialty that can fulfill all of their needs? And even if they exist – are they all the best of the best? They will probably have to hire at least some secular doctors.

And what happens when one of those doctors discovers abuse? Will they support him? Or will they say he isn’t trustworthy either?

The idea of boycotting Haddasah hospital is sheer stupidity. This is not just my view. It is also the view of R’ Moshe Sternbuch. But stupid is as stupid does:

Hadassah staff members are reporting the boycott is evident, with less chareidim coming to the hospital, and reports that boggle the mind confirm that some people insist they be taken elsewhere, even at the expense of compromised medical care, all to drive a point home.

But stupidity isn’t all they are guilty of. Some of them – with their Kapotes, long beards, and Shtrimels are closer in spirit to the Mafia than they are to Yiddishkeit:

Senior Hadassah official Dr. Yair Birnbaum has received death threats, as has Ruthie Shapira, who heads the city’s chareidi department of the city’s social services, blamed for calling the mother which led to her arrest. In one threatening phone call she received, the caller stated, “We are going to get you, your husband and your children. We know where you live”

Where did these Meah Shearim-Mafia gangsters get their Chinuch? Who taught them that this cause justifies these kinds of threats?

What about the video evidence? It’s there - available for any involved party to view. How does the Edah leadership deal with it?

Rav Weiss Shlita has refused to see the footage which (hospital officials) are confident will prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the child’s mother did indeed sabotage his medical care.

In other words, don’t confuse me with facts!

What about the mother’s fitness as a parent. At the very least she should be psychologically evaluated by professionals. The Chashash of Pikuach Nefesh demands no less. Even if one is sympathetic to the mother’s version of events – common sense should tell you: better to be safe than sorry. What was the Edah’s reaction to this?

The mother, Yenta bas Yocheved, has finally met with the psychiatrist, Dr. Weill, who stated he needs to see her at least another one or two times to formulate a professional opinion as to her mental status. Chareidi officials have indicated it will not happen, that mom has complied with the court, meeting the psychiatrist.

Why will they not allow this to happen? Why are they so certain this woman is innocent? There are none so blind as those whose prejudices prevent them from seeing truth. There are none so damaging as those whose prejudices cause harm to innocent people. In this case potentially a child.

There are some defenders of these people who keep insisting that the mother is telling the truth. This is based on the idea that one must trust religious Jews to be telling the truth when in dispute with those who are not religious. Religious Jews have a Chezkas Kashrus – a presumption of truthfulness - not automatically granted to the non religious. Hence if a religious Jew is in dispute with a non religious Jew - one must believe the religious Jew. And since this dispute is in large part a 'he said - she said' we must believe the mother.

With this kind of thinking one can justify giving the child back to her - God forbid. One must believe that this mother is innocent and return the child. The testimony of irreligious Jews may not be believed in the face of her testimony to the contrary.

Add to that the belief that secular Jews have a supposed history of being anti Charedi. And what you get is conspiracy theories. The government, hospital officials, and the media have conspired to destroy a Charedi family. They have done so even while risking the wrath of that community.

Why? For absolutely no reason other than to cover up the supposed mistakes the mother has accused them of.

We are asked to believe they would rip a child out of the mother’s loving bosom all because they are anti Charedi and need to cover up their mistakes. We are asked to believe they would never cover up an error this way if it was a secular family. We are asked to believe that these medical professionals at Hadasah Hospital are so evil that they willingly conspired to cover up a supposed misdiagnosis in ways that they knew could have killed the child - and then blame the mother!

I am beginning to wonder if the conspiracy theory that the Mossad was behind 9/11 came from this group!

R' Weiss can cry wolf all he wants about the police or the government or the hospitals. I don't trust his judgement. As far as I'm concerned he is as much at fault for this behavior as the rioters themselves. Because it is him, and others like him that teach their young to hate the secular establishment with a religious fervor and venom that they look at them all like Nazis. And once you've identified 'the enemy' as Nazis... well all's fair.