web analytics
March 5, 2015 / 14 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post


When Good People Cheat

handcuffs

Photo Credit: Abir Sultan/Flash 90

I truly hate writing about such things. The community of Satmar has many great things about it. Their Bikur Cholim Society is legendary. They visit their sick brethren and bend over backwards to see that all their needs are met. And they do not discriminate. Any Jew, Satmar or not; religious or otherwise gets the same benevolent treatment. They are also a very warm and welcoming community and are about as hospitable as can be to all guests.

Very few would ever doubt their commitment to Mitzvah observance. They go the extra mile to make sure that every ‘t’ is crossed and every ‘i’ dotted in every ritual they perform. And express great joy in doing so. They probably spend more time – and money – on Hidur Mitzvah than most any other segment of Orthodox Jewry.

And they go to great lengths to shelter themselves from all the negative influences of society. That is what being a Chasid is all about. Which is why the story in the New York Times is so sad… and why I hate writing about it.

But when a member of one segment of Orthodox Jewry messes up – it reflects poorly on all of Orthodox Jewry. So I must protest it when it happens. I do so again here.

The New York Times reports that Rabbi Leib Glanz, a prominent member of the Satmar community pleaded guilty to “stealing more than $220,000 over 15 years in housing subsidies from the Section 8 program, which is intended to assist low-income people.”

The question is the following: How is it possible that a man who is so intimately involved in Gemilas Chasodim – acts of kindness – capable of knowingly stealing from the government? People who are involved constantly in acts of kindness tend to be good people all the way around?!

The fact is that Rabbi Glanz is a Baal Chesed. He goes out of his way for the Jewish people. During his tenure as a chaplain for the New York City jails he had helped a religious inmate arrange a lavish jailhouse bar mitzvah for the inmate’s son.  I wrote about the incident at the time. I believe that the negative publicity of that excess is what led to his dismissal as a chaplain. But he saw nothing wrong with that. He saw it as helping a fellow Jew who was “Nebech” in prison.

I am not judging that particular event here. The point is that his goal was to help a fellow Jew that he saw in dire straits. And that was the goal with this fraud. He wanted to help his Yeshiva. From the New York Times:

Prosecutors had charged that the rabbi’s brother was approved for federal subsidies in the mid-1990s so that he, his wife and two children could reside in a duplex apartment at 85 Ross Street in Brooklyn. He listed his income at $6,630 and submitted annual paperwork certifying that he lived at the address, the government said.

But in fact, he lived elsewhere and Rabbi Glanz lived in the apartment, according to a criminal complaint filed last year by the office of Preet Bharara, the United States attorney in Manhattan.

The complaint said the housing subsidies were paid to the apartment’s owner, the United Talmudical Academy, where Rabbi Glanz worked and for a time was executive director.

In court, Rabbi Glanz told Judge P. Kevin Castel that in 1996 through 2000, he signed several contracts with the New York City Housing Authority, which administered the Section 8 program for the federal government, for benefits to be paid to the academy on the basis that his brother would live in the apartment.

Rabbi Glantz did this knowing full well it was illegal he admitted as much. He knew he was wrong and did it anyway.

I wish I could say that this is an anomaly. …that this is the exception that proves the rule that Chasidim from Satmar-like communities would never cheat the government so purposefully and so directly. This was not a simple tax evasion case. This was a fraud! But Rabbi Glanz is proabably not seen as a criminal in the eyes of his own community.

I’m pretty sure they will see him as a hero – who got caught. They will say that what he did was not so wrong since that money ordinarily gets spent on the ‘dregs’ of society anyway. Why shouldn’t ‘we’ get a chunk of it …by hook or by crook?! Why shouldn’t the Yeshivos of Satmar benefit from funds that would otherwise be wasted on unwed mothers, drug addicts, and other ‘low-lifes’?!

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.

Comments are closed.

Binyamin and Chaya Maryles, uncle and aunt of Emes Ve-Emunah author Harry Maryles.
Current Top Story
An Arab sheikh hands out flowers in a gesture of brotherhood and good will.
Haifa U Research Confirms, ‘Think Good & It Will Be Good!’
Latest Blogs Stories
Palestinian Authority Funded Terror

The Palestinian Authority, led by the “moderate” Abbas, and murderous terrorism are synonyms.

Obama Bedelia

Kerry…and Bide…and EVERY DEMOCRAT just happened to be unavailable to meet with Netanyahu.

Doug Goldstein

Why is it necessary to be accountable in business and in life? And how does it differ from guilt?

Americans have a more favorable view of Netanyahu than they do of Obama.

I’d rather you label me a concerned Jew, an Israeli. Someone who cares about the future of my nation

Goldberg chose to believe two impossible things before I had breakfast this morning.

The State Department claims Bibi revealing details of the bad Iranian deal to Americans would be a “betrayal”.

“Please stop shushing me” They kept shushing! Shushing seems to be how Leftists do Israeli politics!

Labor-Livni post-Zionist party’s campaign based on their claim they know how to keep the US happy

Mentioning genocide in the same breath as Susan Rice crosses a redline about Obama’s foreign policy

What are the ramifications of giving up your US citizenship? Would it effect your visiting the US?

Chasidim believe that Metzitza B’Peh (MbP) is an essential part of the circumcision ritual.

AMERICAN INTERFERENCE in ISRAELI ELECTIONS is IMMORAL and 1000% CHUTZPADIK!

Extremism from Jews is considered a “danger;” Arab extremism and anti-Jewish terror is “legitimate”

It was in fact Israel, not Palestinians or journalists, who began spreading the older photos, in order to generate credibility for the “slander” angle.

Next week we celebrate Purim, more relevant and illuminating in light of current events than ever

More Articles from Harry Maryles
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

Mentioning genocide in the same breath as Susan Rice crosses a redline about Obama’s foreign policy

brit mila at French jewish community

Chasidim believe that Metzitza B’Peh (MbP) is an essential part of the circumcision ritual.

Lapid is not anti-Haredi; He’s pro-Haredi in his way, wanting them to flourish. and join society

If Bibi is in the US already Pres. Obama MUST meet with the leader of America’s closest ally!

Sherut Leumi is the national service many women choose in lieu of military service-

My understanding of Footsteps is that they have no religious – or anti-religious agenda.

A violent confrontation between 2 groups erupted at the Ponevezh Yeshiva; dozens injured

There should be more information about intimacy disseminated to young people before they get married

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/haemtza/when-good-people-cheat/2012/09/06/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: