web analytics
January 26, 2015 / 6 Shevat, 5775
 
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post


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
New Yorkers are getting ready for another snowstorm...
Northeastern United States Gears Up for Epic Blizzard
Latest Blogs Stories
kiruv-shafran

Responsible Jewish outreach encourages BTs to retain and to enhance their relationship with parents

Caroline Glick

Israelis will vote for Likud because of Caroline Glick, but she’ll just be Right window dressing.

Doug Goldstein

What are the dynamics of running a family business and what are its impact on family relationships?

Paris anti-terror march

The Hareidi paper HaMevaser wanted to have their cake and eat it too: use the photo; lose the women

Producer Chuck Wang explains how you can learn from mistakes and move on towards success.

Chareidi women who want to run for political office don’t suit the full definition of “chareidi.”

France inviting Abbas to the “anti-terror rally” makes me doubt it takes Muslim terrorism seriously

How could a Jewish family hide on the 3rd floor of a hotel where the Germans were on the 1st floor?

No Charedi leader has suggested a change that would make a difference to a failing paradigm

What is the “rookie mindset” and what can new trainees offer to the workplace?

And now for MORE Muslim musings-Go Ask Ayman-

This terror won’t respond to reason or logic. It must be hunted down. Destroyed. No trial/No talking

Israel as the Jewish State insures freedom of worship and security of Jews here and around the world

The average Israeli may not fulfill all mitzvos but shops at the mitzvah “store” regularly

Obama-style diplomacy: “Kerry Brings Hugs and James Taylor to Repair Relations with France”

The Israeli phenomenon: The least known candidate gets a disproportionately high amount of votes

More Articles from Harry Maryles
kiruv-shafran

Responsible Jewish outreach encourages BTs to retain and to enhance their relationship with parents

Paris anti-terror march

The Hareidi paper HaMevaser wanted to have their cake and eat it too: use the photo; lose the women

No Charedi leader has suggested a change that would make a difference to a failing paradigm

The average Israeli may not fulfill all mitzvos but shops at the mitzvah “store” regularly

The rally tells me that the recent anti-Semitism in France isn’t representative of mainstream France

{Originally posted to author’s website, Emes Ve-Emunah} So now there is DNA testing. This is the point made in a Yated article (republished in Maztav) in its crusade to change New York City’s Board of Health requirement of informed consent – warning parents of the dangers of Metzitza B’Peh (MbP). From Matzav: This extraordinary program […]

12 months ago, 27 year old US Army Sgt Jordan Adams suffered a traumatic brain injury

{Originally posted to author’s website, Emes Ve-Emunah} I’ve have many times expressed my opposition here to the procedure known as Metzitza B’Peh (MbP). This involves direct oral suction of blood from the circumcision wound. I am opposed because it unnecessarily endangers the child when a Mohel has the herpes virus in the early stages and […]

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: