web analytics
November 23, 2014 / 1 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



New Hit: Halachic Guide to Religious Jewish Prisoners

halacha for prisoners

I am often accused of focusing on the negative rather than the positive about the vast majority of observant Jewry. There are in fact a lot of good things the Torah world does. Much of it a Kiddush HaShem. We are indeed a light unto the nations in so many ways.

Just consider a Gallop survey that indicated religious Jews generally lead happier more fulfilling lives than secular people or people of other religions.  Consider the fact that family values define us; that our divorce rate is lower (although climbing); that we are usually considered more ethical and honest because of our beliefs – as was indicated by interviewing people about why Joseph Lieberman, an observant Jew, was considered a plus for the Gore ticket. And even our food is sought after. More non Jews buy Kosher certified foods than Jews!

There are also many individual cases where an visibly religious Jew will make a Kiddush HaShem as did a couple of people I wrote about a recently. There are many more instances of observant Jews making a Kiddush HaShem.

There is a reason that Judaism is the most admired religion. It isn’t because of the identifiably observant miscreants that are so often depicted in the media who often end up in prison – mostly deserving of it. And we have a lot of them, unfortunately.

The observant prison population not only exists, it is apparently big enough to a have Sefer (Halachic book) published for it.  It is  called Asurei  HaMelech by Rav Mordechai Agasi of Boro Park. I kid you not. From the Seforim blog:

(This) is a large two volume set, and the first half of volume one deals with the halakhot relevant to one who is serving time in prison (or as I told a friend, “the halakhot of being in jail”). The rest of the book contains words of inspiration, stories, prayers, etc. all of importance for the prisoner. As the author explains in his introduction, the book is needed because of the increase of haredim in the prisons.

If this is not a Chilul HaShem, I don’t know what is. Not the Sefer.  But that there is a need for one.

This is why I publicly condemn these people for what they did… and will continue to do so every time I see it!  Just as their acts in most cases were a Chilul HaShem, so too must there be an observant public voice saying so. And certainly not any voices trying to deny it; minimize it; or explain it away entirely. Or in some cases actually trying to justify it!

It is imperative to inform the world that despite the fact that these people are outwardly religious, that they do not act in accordance with the values of the Torah.  Just like a Kiddush HaShem should be made public, so too should the condemnation of a Chilul HaShem by bad or misguided Jews – especially those who are so overtly religious – be made public.

What is perhaps even sadder about this story is that this book apparently deals with rituals, inspiration, and prayers. It apparently does not address the reasons so many religious people are increasingly ending up in prison. It does not seem to address the any of crimes. It just deals with what to do once you are in prison. It is almost as if the author thinks that these religious convicts are innocent victims of an anti Semitic government.  That they have somehow been unjustly imprisoned.

By the author’s own admission the incidence of Charedim in prison is increasing. Why doesn’t he address it? Why are there so many observant criminals in prison? Why doesn’t he write a Sefer on the importance of following the law of the land? Why doesn’t he write about avoiding Chilul HaShem at all costs – even when an act is technically legal?

I am truly disappointed that such a Sefer was written. Not because I don’t want Jewish criminals to be as observant as possible. I do. But because it is an admission that so many of us have truly gone astray to the point of thinking we can break the law as long as we don’t get caught. And if we do, Nebech, it’s not our fault. Here’s a book that will tell you how to stay Frum.

Visit Emes Ve-Emunah .

About the Author: Harry Maryles runs the blog "Emes Ve-Emunah" which focuses on current events and issues that effect the Jewish world in general and Orthodoxy in particular. It discuses Hashkafa and news events of the day - from a Centrist perspctive and a philosphy of Torah U'Mada. He can be reached at hmaryles@yahoo.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

3 Responses to “New Hit: Halachic Guide to Religious Jewish Prisoners”

  1. Dan Silagi says:

    The chillul Hashem is that these ultra-orthodox "Jews" believe that if they don't eat a pork chop or drive on Shabbat, they're excused from punishment for committing all kinds of other crimes. An analogy would be the person who drinks a diet Coke to wash down a couple of Krispy Kreme doughnuts thinking he or she will lose weight that way.

  2. Dan Silagi says:

    The chillul Hashem is that these ultra-orthodox "Jews" believe that if they don't eat a pork chop or drive on Shabbat, they're excused from punishment for committing all kinds of other crimes. An analogy would be the person who drinks a diet Coke to wash down a couple of Krispy Kreme doughnuts thinking he or she will lose weight that way.

  3. Eva Feld says:

    I was amazed as to how many prisons there are in Israel. I am sure they are not all occupied by Arabs. They are occupied by Jews who transgressed. Israel is not a monarchy. the Jewish prisoner were not arrested by a king. They were arrested and tried and sentenced. Israel knows how to treat these prisoners whoever they are. This book is really Chillul everything.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Binyamin and Chaya Maryles, uncle and aunt of Emes Ve-Emunah author Harry Maryles.
Current Top Story
Herzilya's vertical cemetery vaults.
Police Disinter PA Arabs Sleeping Peacefully in Herzliya Graves
Latest Blogs Stories
jerusalem_flag

According to PM Netanyahu, the bill would enshrine full equality under law to all Israeli citizens.

Funeral for Druze policeman Zidan Saif, slain in a gun battle Tuesday with the murderers of Jews praying in a Jerusalem synagogue.

Master Sergeant Zidan Saif (Zt”L) a Druze from the Galilee, was shot and killed saving Jewish lives.

President Ruby Rivlin

President Rivlin’s recent statements are only half right, and that’s why he’s completely wrong.

i_love_jerusalem

This is our song “Learn to Love;” May joy and light be restored to Jerusalem speedily in our days.

I have a dream…President Obama will go to that prison, Pardon Jonathan Pollard and set him free

The burden of proof that a person is against Israel but not anti-Semitic rests on that person.

Bibi’s promising a good battle, not a victory in the war; We need to WIN the war against terrorism!

For 1000s of years it was perfectly OK for Jews to pray on Herod’s Extension of the Temple Mount.

The focus on the “Occupation” since 1967 is yet another invention to justify hatred and murder.

It should be clear Israel’s existence is not the real issue; the issue is Islamic fundamentalism.

But I am not afraid.I know this is Jewish land, not because of UN/foreign gov’ts saying we can exist

A grassroots initiative of hundreds of Chareidim from Har Nof is underway to attend the funeral of Zidan Saif and to pay their respects to the fallen policeman and to the Druze community in the village of Yanuch-Jat in Northern Israel.

Discover the world of NY high society and its intrigue.

A Jew is no more exempt in this war by living in the US or UK than I am enlisted by living in Efrat

Officer Zidan Sayif saved lives in the Har Nof Massacre, but was shot in the head and is now fighting for his life.

“Y.E.” a United Hatzalah paramedic was injured while treating the wounded under fire in the Har Nof Massacre.

More Articles from Harry Maryles
Funeral for Druze policeman Zidan Saif, slain in a gun battle Tuesday with the murderers of Jews praying in a Jerusalem synagogue.

Master Sergeant Zidan Saif (Zt”L) a Druze from the Galilee, was shot and killed saving Jewish lives.

Rabbi-Twersky-112114

The burden of proof that a person is against Israel but not anti-Semitic rests on that person.

It should be clear Israel’s existence is not the real issue; the issue is Islamic fundamentalism.

Artifacts are not what make the Jewish people great; it is our conduct that does.

The RCA stated their review will add protection for the convert and not tamper with Halacha.

It undermines the tenets the rabbi preaches to his congregants when his wife does not live by them

Argue with Rabbi Gordimer on the merits;Go ahead. What Rabbi Katz did went well beyond the pale.

Fiddler on the Roof moved some Jews to explore their roots; it actually led some to become observant

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/haemtza/new-hit-halachic-guide-to-religious-jewish-prisoners/2014/01/15/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: