Comments are closed for this entry
View All
Favorites
Recency  | 
Popularity
Page:  « First  ‹ Previous  1 2 3 4 5  Next ›  Last »  (8 total)
05:33 AM on 07/17/2011
Why are you surprised, Rabbi? Jews are humans, no different from any other. Given to the same flaws and capacity for evil. And as we've seen in every religion, terrible violence is carried out by those who consider themselves the most righteous.

And lest we forget, the God commanded Abraham to kill his son. Whatever reason God had in testing Abraham is immaterial; what matters is that Abraham was ready to do it ... only because he heard a voice in his head telling him to. Can we not say that Abraham's act was evil, redeemed only by the fact that (unbeknownst to him) it really was God?

I deplore this crime of course, but as Jew, I give it no special privilege; it has no deeper significance because the perpetrator was Jewish. Such tragedies hold a mirror up to ourselves. You call Aron "a man without a soul, a spiritless hominid." There is no way to know who does and does not have a soul. Rather than say he is soulless, say instead: "This is what can happen to the soul." And that is everyone's soul, because the capacity for violence and evil exists within all of us. Who can say why some resist or succumb to it?

No, Levi Aron was a human. A reminder, a warning, a cautionary tale. An object lesson in the human struggle against dark compulsion that faith in God can either help us to navigate or to justify.
09:10 AM on 07/17/2011
Ah, but Jews are not just people. They are the chosen people.
HUFFPOST SUPER USER
forkuu
terrible typist-no patience- no political party
01:56 AM on 07/19/2011
excellent comment mr shapiro ... truthful and realistic...
photo
HUFFPOST COMMUNITY MODERATOR
realitytrumpsbull
Two 'alves of coconut!
01:36 AM on 07/17/2011
You can't trust anyone, anymore, and that's why parents, teachers, and community members have to kind of work together to ensure that kids are safe in society. Many laws have been written on their behalf to prevent various forms of abuse, but murder's murder, plain and simple, and hopefully this fellow will find his way to death row.
photo
HUFFPOST SUPER USER
SonyaInTx
Money doesn't buy class.....
03:43 AM on 07/17/2011
No death penalty in New York.

The best we can hope for is this child killer to be turned loose in Riker's Island general population.
photo
HUFFPOST COMMUNITY MODERATOR
LeftLeanWing
Do I Have to be Nice ?
01:10 AM on 07/17/2011
I'm sorry but BOTEACH articles are always Awful... regardless of the SENSATIONAL subject matter he writes about it.....


I'm mean...   Who pays this man to think about and write anything...... ?

Boteach's Claim to fame is that he was Michael Jackson's Rabbit..........
and has been milking that for decades....
10:34 AM on 07/17/2011
I always like his articles. I think he has much to teach all of us. I thought his theory about parents being afraid for their childrens safety, being a factor in childhood obesity was a pretty good observation.
photo
Boduognat
Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'entrate.
12:05 PM on 07/17/2011
A better observation would have been that parents drive their kids to school because they are scared it might be hit by a car when they allow it to walk or bike.

Kids are still a lot more at risk in traffic than they are of falling victim to some sort of predator.

On his statement: "Because Judaism, as a religion, commands the highest sensitivity to all life and even inanimate objects.", he's either wrong or fellow rabbi's have a different opinion:

http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/news/west-bank-rabbi-jews-can-kill-gentiles-who-threaten-israel-1.4496

"After the arrest of Jewish terrorist, Yaakov Teitel, a West Bank rabbi released a book giving Jews permission to kill Gentiles who threaten Israel.

Rabbi Yitzhak Shapiro, who heads the Od Yosef Chai Yeshiva in the Yitzhar settlement, wrote in his book "The King's Torah" that even babies and children can be killed if they pose a threat to the nation. "

In his last article, the rabbi applauds attacks on Libya, denouncing President Obama because he has not yet started a War with Syria and Lebanon: "as someone who has criticized President Obama in the past for showing weakness toward Iran and doing next-to-nothing about Syria, I strongly applaud his efforts to bomb the hell out of Gaddafi's..."

Levi Aron is indeed a human being, and in that sense reflects the evil that is potentially inside every one of us.
photo
HUFFPOST COMMUNITY MODERATOR
LeftLeanWing
Do I Have to be Nice ?
01:38 PM on 07/17/2011
I respect your fondness...  and can not and will not dispute it....

But He ALWAYS just rubs me the wrong way....

Maybe it was and article or two that did it... that has tainted any and everything else that followed...

But I AM DONE !
06:51 AM on 07/18/2011
Michael Jackson's 'Rabbit'??? I think you meant rabbi.
photo
HUFFPOST SUPER USER
Elecktra001
PC assassin
12:58 AM on 07/17/2011
Seems to me that the really horrible "beasts" that prey upon children are usually the religious ones.
10:24 AM on 07/17/2011
Just the opposite...they are the ones without religion.
photo
HUFFPOST SUPER USER
Captain Ron
Sí, se puede!
02:08 AM on 07/20/2011
Aron was an Hassidic Jew.
photo
HUFFPOST SUPER USER
Captain Ron
Sí, se puede!
02:09 AM on 07/20/2011
I'm sure you've heard of the priest scandals, too.
photo
HUFFPOST SUPER USER
myhomeo
Somalia - Small government in action
12:05 PM on 07/16/2011
Corrosive influences? Give me a break. This is a community that treats it's women like chattel and teaches their children that they are superior to those with different beliefs. It took 12 years of Orthodox schooling to turn me into an atheist, hopefully this article will do the same for others.
photo
HUFFPOST SUPER USER
Rachelvis
There is a difference between "your" and "you're".
11:02 AM on 07/18/2011
I have met a fellow Orthodox Jew turned atheist. Fanned and faved a million times.
photo
HUFFPOST SUPER USER
Rachelvis
There is a difference between "your" and "you're".
11:04 AM on 07/18/2011
Seems I have come across another Orthodox Jew turned atheist!! Fanned and Faved a million times if I could, just for virtue of that alone.
HUFFPOST COMMUNITY MODERATOR
ReasonIsMyReligion
Don't know much micro-bio-logy
08:26 PM on 07/19/2011
Me three!
This user has chosen to opt out of the Badges program
CrankyGal
My micro-bio itches like hell
10:27 PM on 07/15/2011
Rabbi Shmuley, while I generally enjoy your posts and agree with you on many things, I must take exception to one thing here.

It is often the case that when someone commits a foul deed, as this terrible man did, they are referred to as "Godless".

As an atheist, I consider myself Godless, but that does not mean I am a criminal or psychopath. I have never and would never harm a child (being a mother myself).

Please try not to make that generalization.
09:12 AM on 07/17/2011
Excellent point. One does not need god or gods to be ethical. All you need is the Golden Rule.
photo
HUFFPOST COMMUNITY MODERATOR
linfull68
...Lost in my Mind...
06:18 PM on 07/17/2011
perfectly stated CrankyGal...Thank you from another "Godless" mother.
HUFFPOST SUPER USER
CarlyHope
06:13 PM on 07/15/2011
As a Rabbi, what right do you have to claim Hashem made a man with no Neshama, no soul? A humanoid. While certainly it is a vile and unforgivable act, Levi Aron, ultimately will be judged by Hashem not you, and your words lack appropriate humility
HUFFPOST SUPER USER
forkuu
terrible typist-no patience- no political party
02:00 AM on 07/19/2011
very true .. how can this supposed man of g-d dare to judge the murderer? while his crime is terrible g-d is the ultimate judge not this fame seeker
04:50 PM on 07/15/2011
We are created b'tzelem elohim, each and every one of us, even a monster like Levy Aron. But within that Creation comes a charge of free will and a choice between the yetzer harah and the yetzer tov. In Gan Eden, HaShem charges Adam not to touch the Tree of Knowledge and the Tree of Life. If there is no free will, then this charge would not have needed to be made.

Levy Aron, like all of us, had the chance to choose between the yetzer harah and the yetzer tov. He had eight minutes in the dentist office, every moment in the car, every moment inbetween. We do not know if Aron is the tam or the rashah, but we do know that we should not look for HaShem in his monstrous actions.

HaMelech was with the community that poured out onto the streets of Borough Park, searching for one of their own. El Rachum V'Chanun held Leiby's soul tight when it was afraid. Tzur Yisrael stood behind Leiby's father at the podium at the funeral as his voice shook, and the wings of the Shechinah sheltered all who stood in the streets and listened in their homes, crying for a Jewish child who for a moment was their own.

HaMakom is not in the evil perpetrated by a madman. HaMakom is in the response of a tearful nation holding their own children to their hearts and working to ensure that Leiby Kletzky's memory will be for a blessing.
05:48 PM on 07/15/2011
Beautiful.
04:14 PM on 07/15/2011
We are not capable of understanding how such a thing as this has happened. These parents are not to blame. I pray they may find peace somehow.
photo
HUFFPOST COMMUNITY MODERATOR
lisakaz2
Da ministero dell'interno di Snark.
03:34 AM on 07/17/2011
A very tall order, I'm sure.
04:48 PM on 07/17/2011
Well said. Pray for peace.
photo
Ainsaade
Covered in bees
03:48 PM on 07/15/2011
With all due respect Rabbi, God did not kill Leiby Kletzky. Levi Aron did.
This user has chosen to opt out of the Badges program
photo
02:20 PM on 07/15/2011
Is there a reason the "o" is replaced with a hyphen in the word God throughout the article and even some of the responses?
jhNY
Mercy.
03:45 PM on 07/15/2011
Yes. Has to do with the sacredness of the name to some believers.
04:17 PM on 07/15/2011
Really it has to do with superstition.
Which is the basis of religion.
The Truth is the truth.
This user has chosen to opt out of the Badges program
photo
05:15 PM on 07/15/2011
no, it is not superstition. it is respect and sacredness, which to those who believe,
IS truth.
02:07 PM on 07/15/2011
Dear Rabbi, surely G-d is Weeping, possibly harder than the little boy's parents. And perhaps that is the only explanation G-d has to give us. That G-d, too, aches with us, to see G-d's Children behaving this way...to see G-d's holy creation, made in G-d's image, that had so much potential, misfire so profoundly...to see the safety nets of communities and resources that were given to us to compensate and protect for these misfirings fail so profoundly as well. Although I hate to anthropomorphize G-d, as a metaphor, any parent can relate to the profound grief of our children going astray, despite our best efforts. Although G-d is not limited by those restraints of human parents, perhaps we need a new paradigm for understanding G-d's omnipotence, for surely the literal one does not suffice.
HUFFPOST SUPER USER
GavurHanIm
12:12 PM on 07/17/2011
G-d knew about their encounter and its consequences. Why would he be sad? After all this is his decision.
photo
HUFFPOST SUPER USER
kmchafin
02:03 PM on 07/15/2011
If memory serves, Moses in the book of Numbers gives orders that the Midianite children be killed...certainly not a respect for life there. This unspeakable tragedt points out that nowhere is it safe for children...on the street, in the church, at school or in the home. HUmanity is such that people do horrendous acts. Our job is to try to prevent these acts, not hide from them. I can only surmise this murderer is deeply mentally ill, in a nation that does little to nothing about mental illness. We have lower cancer deaths, we have lowered AIDS deaths, now should be the time to campaign against mental illness (and the attached drug and alcohol addictions) as perhaps that way we may stop some of these heartbreaking stories. It's not God's job to save us, it's our job....He gave us this wonderful universe and it is up to us to nourish the garden.
photo
HUFFPOST SUPER USER
myhomeo
Somalia - Small government in action
12:10 PM on 07/16/2011
The old testament is one of the most hate-filled, violent books ever written.
photo
HUFFPOST SUPER USER
First Blast
res ad triarios venit
05:07 AM on 07/17/2011
The book speaks to the soul of the reader. A good man will be presented with love and peace, a wise soul will garner wisdom, a hate-filled violent soul will receive like.
01:46 PM on 07/15/2011
It may not be "any great loss" if Aron were to kill himself, but this is not a good justification for doing away with the suicide watch on prisoners. It would be just one more step in the erosion of the infrastructure of the American justice system. If we let Aron do it, the same would be true for any prisoner, even those being held on suspicion. And if someone, such as a guard, were to slip the prisoner some cyanide in his food, such a killing would be assumed to be suicide. It's a slippery slope. Even lifers who kill other lifers (such as Jeffrey Dahmer's killer) are held accountable for the murder, even if it just amounts to a 25-year sentence piled on top of a 50- year or life sentence. It's symbolic. It means that the convict has been sentenced to prison, not death, and we need to prevent murder, even if the murderer is also the victim.

A more important point, regarding the orthodox Jewish and other similar communities, such as the Amish, is the fact that just because people dress like you, speak like you, and follow the same daily routine as you, is no guarantee that they truly share your values or mental health. The Amish have had to learn this, with recent sex-abuse allegations reaching the mainstream media. I imagine the sense of betrayal the Kletzkys feel is at least equal to their grief.
photo
GracieGiraffe
I look down on other mammals
02:53 PM on 07/15/2011
You are exactly right on both counts!!

Regarding your first point, we do not yet know that Aron is a "monster". This may be a gravely ill man. I know that the first and foremost reaction is that he is a monster. Fortunately, our justice system is more humane than we are when we have such visceral, immediate reactions. Look, this man's actions were just unspeakable. We all know that. But we do not yet know the "why".

Secondly, yes on people who assume that those who walk and talk like them are good and trustworthy while others are not! I have seen this many times even in devout Christian communities. I can't tell you how many stories of people who were defrauded by those hired for various jobs, such as painting, repair work, etc, etc. The person defrauded is shocked b/c that person went to their church. They refuse to believe that people are not easily demarcated into neat little packages.
Kiz boy
Munchma Ouchi
01:36 PM on 07/15/2011
What happened to this young boy is evidence to the horror of being human. We all have it within us - the good and the evil. In this age of instant information, we do not have to look far to find more evidence of this every minute of every day. In fact, it finds us. But what I do not understand, and I mean no disrespect, is this: what has G-d got to do with it? I mean this both rhetorically and quite literally. On the one hand, there is no denying what happened to this boy. It was done, he suffered, and he died a horrible death. We are left to grieve and survive. If G-d was there, then what does that say about this G-d? If I was there, I know what I would've done. If he wasn't there, where was he? On the other hand, atrocities like this both grand and in secret have occurred for thousands and thousands of years and they will continue to happen. G-d has not stopped them and by the looks it, he never will. But WE must try to stop them, if we can. We must provide for safer neighborhoods. We must help people who need help by not letting them slip through the cracks. We must do everything we can to understand the mind. And we must not fool ourselves into believing that someone or something else will do this for us. We must at least try.
jhNY
Mercy.
03:46 PM on 07/15/2011
An excellent post on a most difficult subject. Thanks for writing!