Tuesday, July 07, 2009

What is the Matter with These People?

I hate to keep harping on the same subject. But I can hear the cries from heaven screaming out! It is only days away from Shiva Asur B’Tammuz - a fast day ushering in the three weeks culminating with Tisha B’Av - and I keep reading stories like this. I have a feeling we will have to observe many more Shiva Asur B’Tamuzes because God can be in no hurry to send Moshiach with this kind of thing going on.

What makes this particular story so egregious is that it isn’t only a Charedi thug who is guilty - a thug with a wife and 3 children. It seems to be establishment rabbis who are guilty here. In this case Sephardic Rabbis Yosef and Amar. I don’t get it. I have a high regard for these Rabbanim. How can they react the way they did?

Here is the pertinent part of the story from the Jerusalem Post:

(An Ethiopian woman - identified only as N) was the victim of a hit and run attack perpetrated by a yeshiva student aspiring to become a rabbinical judge.

At the time, N. was working as a cashier in a parking lot in Jerusalem. The haredi driver attempted to leave the parking lot without paying. N. blocked the car's exit with her body. But the driver proceeded, lifting the woman onto the hood of the car and carrying her 15 meters before knocking her to the ground.

The woman lost consciousness from the impact and sustained head injuries.

The driver attempted to deny the incident until he was confronted with video from a security
camera installed at the scene of the hit and run.

The yeshiva student, who brought to court recommendations from Chief Sephardi Rabbi Shlomo Amar and Shas spiritual mentor Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, asked Jerusalem District Court Judge Moshe Drori to be lenient, claiming that an excessively stringent ruling that said his offense constituted moral turpitude would block him from being appointed as a judge in the rabbinical courts, which is a public office.

In a controversial decision which is being appealed to the
Supreme Court by the state prosecution and might have ruined Drori's chances of getting himself appointed to the High Court of Justice, Drori ruled that since the young driver's apology had been accepted by the Ethiopian woman, there was no need to determine that the driver's offense constituted moral turpitude.

Again, my moral outrage cannot be calmed. As if it weren’t enough that excuses are flying left and right about the violence caused by the protesters of Chilul Shabbos. Of course every excuse included the disclaimer that they did not condone the violence. But the excuses were offered nonetheless.

What excuse can be offered here? We have a lying thief who put her on the hood of his car and drove off until he knocked her to the ground. And then he left the scene. Hit and run. And then he tries to deny it until the video of what he did was produced. Then he changed his story and apologized.

What was the reaction of two leading rabbis? Mercy. Why? Because they didn’t want to ruin his chances of becoming a judge!

I don’t know whether to laugh or to cry. Here is his sentence:

NIS 10,000 in damages to the victim 150 hours of public service that did not interfere with his teaching at a yeshiva. He argued that he had remorse and repentance by apologizing - and that the victim accepted the apology. The court bought it!

I don’t know how anyone else feels but to me this is basically a slap on the wrist considering that he practically killed this woman with his depravity, left the scene of the crime, and then denied he did anything wrong until he was shown a surveillance video.

This guy teaches at a yeshiva! And he expect to be a judge!

Is there any wonder why protests will produce violence? If these are the kinds of people teaching Israeli youth I am not surprised at all!