web analytics
December 26, 2014 / 4 Tevet, 5775
 
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



Who Has The Moral High Ground?

Joe Paterno running out with football team

http://haemtza.blogspot.co.il/2012/07/the-moral-high-ground.html

Witnessing the fall from grace of Joe Paterno, the once iconic football coach of Penn State has been breathtaking. Not because I was any kind of college football fan. I’m not. But because he had a decades-long  status as a model for mentoring students as both football coach and life coach.  So iconic was he that he had a statue placed on the school campus to symbolize what Penn State was all about.

That statue has now been removed – right along with his reputation. The literally thousands of students who saw him as some kind if surrogate father figure that taught them valuable lessons about life are probably all dumbfounded. Except of course for those students of his that were sexually abused by his top coaching assistant, Jerry Sandusky, Who was convicted on multiple counts of sex abuse and faces spending the rest of his life in prison.

Paterno was not a sex offender himself. I would go so far as to say that his reputation for mentoring his students was well deserved in almost every respect if not for his part in the cover-up of the abuse. But that cover-up has destroyed any claim he might have had to being a moral authority. And it should remove any respect from him. How sad that a life time of good works can so easily be destroyed by some seriously bad judgement. Nonetheless his reputation deserves to be destroyed.

Which brings me to the parallel world of Jewish education. We too have our Joe Paternos. Only they are not football coaches. They are rabbis who have been just as guilty in cover-ups as Paterno was. In at least one case, a Rosh Yeshiva tolerated sex abuse by one of his Rebbeim for many years and did nothing about it. He knew it was going on and yet allowed that teacher to continue teaching and continue abusing his students. He is still around – as is his Yeshiva. His moral authority seems to not be questioned. I recently saw his name on a list of prominent Roshei Yeshiva promoting some event.

Is the Torah world on a lower level than Penn State? Do the non-Jewish officials at Penn State understand better the devastation caused by the cover-up of sex abuse than our own rabbinic leaders? It would seem so.

There was a time when sex abuse was not as understood as it is today.  There was a time where sex abuse was “swept under the rug”- thinking that the victim should just “get over it.”  But this is no longer the case.

With the exception of some hard core Chasidic enclaves, most of the Orthodox world understands that the sexual abuse of a child is tantamount to mental and spiritual murder! In some cases even actual murder when a victim ends up committing suicide because of it. How in good conscience can we permit a man who allowed this spiritual murder right under his nose continue to be given honor, let alone allow his Yeshiva to remain open under his leadership?

The Penn State situation has also taught us another lesson. One which explains why the Agudah Moetzes opposed the Markey Bill. That was a bill to allow a one time extension of the statute of limitations whereby a victim of abuse can sue an institution for covering up sex abuse and allowing it to continue. Victims could sue both their abusers and the institutions that employed them.

Penn State was hit with a whopping  60 million dollar fine (among other sanctions) by the NCAA! If the Jewish educational system was hit with these kinds of numbers in lawsuits by victims, it would destroy them.

So they are afraid…Very afraid! And are therefore vehemently opposed to the possibility of this kind of financial assault! Understandably so – especially considering the tuition crisis. If Yeshivos are running deficits in spite of record high tuitions, parents being squeezed for every dime and maximum fundraising – a financial blow like this could be beyond devastating to the entire Jewish community.

But that does not take away from the injustice to victims resulting from such opposition. Let me quickly add that there are States where a Markey type extension to the statute of limitations has not destroyed Jewish education at all. So fears about the destruction of Jewish education by passing that bill in New York may be a bit overblown. But understandable nonetheless.

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.

One Response to “Who Has The Moral High Ground?”

  1. Muriel Coudurier-Curveur says:

    So what? Aren't the children worth more that mere money?

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Binyamin and Chaya Maryles, uncle and aunt of Emes Ve-Emunah author Harry Maryles.
Current Top Story
The Al Haeche kosher restaurant in Paris had bullet holes through the front window. Dec. 24, 2014.
Parisian Kosher Restaurant Second Anti-Semitic Gun Attack This Week
Latest Blogs Stories
Stairway to success!

My stairs had been built, big and strong-BUT ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE APARTMENT!

HaTnua Party Meeting

Is his article satire? Or does Kai Bird really think Tzipi Livni heads a “center-right” party?

Shabbat Table

Much as I’d like to see the Jewish nation fully observant forcing Shabbat on people is NOT the way.

game of thrones

Loyalty seems to be a lost trait in Israeli politics, whether it’s to ideals, principles or parties.

Apartment hunting is kinda like dating: You go see anything that looks right on paper-and pray.

Latest headlines say that Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu’s Likud may only make third place if…

What are the roles of leadership and communication in running a “tight ship”?

Sabraman: Israel’s first superhero, combining the courage of the Sabra and the faith of Abraham.

Is Haredi open-ended learning on charity better than earning a living that would obviate that?

Hanuka is the miracle of emunah- belief in the L-rd of Israel and the light of our faith.

Limiting Jewish success and revival is that the anti-Jewish, anti-History Left rules here in Israel

The crisis in Jewish education is of existential importance. How should it be resolved?

BBC GUIDELINES ON TERRORISM: The word “terrorist” itself can be a barrier rather than an aid…

Discussion with entrepreneur William Heinecke on how he became a young, successful businessman

Did Cuba apologize for their spies the way Israel apologized for Pollard?

Nothing binds Jews together more than Torah observance; Or so one would think.

More Articles from Harry Maryles
Shabbat Table

Much as I’d like to see the Jewish nation fully observant forcing Shabbat on people is NOT the way.

Mir

Is Haredi open-ended learning on charity better than earning a living that would obviate that?

The crisis in Jewish education is of existential importance. How should it be resolved?

Nothing binds Jews together more than Torah observance; Or so one would think.

When Rabbi Shafran, Chief Spokesman for Agudah talks about his own battle with heresy, that’s news.

The shelf life of parliamentary government is about 2 years, hardly enough time to get anything done

Obviously, the better part of caution is to report credible reports of abuse directly to the police.

{Originally posted on author’s website, Emes Ve-Emunah} It seems so simple to me. So Logical. It makes so much sense. And yet it seems that logic is thrown out the window when it comes to the ways in which Charedi leaders in Israel view it. The ‘it’ I’m talking about is economically integrating itself productively […]

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/haemtza/who-has-the-moral-high-ground/2012/07/25/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: