Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Good Enough for Us, Not For You

The latest scandal to roil the J-Blogosphere: a mikvah inspector in Jerusalem witnessing rampant man-boy [relations] in a mikva in the main Charedi area of Jerusalem. Harry Maryles called the guy to confirm his story, which he did.

So.

Violent protests against the Gay Parade, which is primarily attended by non-religious, and doesn't actually feature any public lewd acts.

A non-sticky band-aid on mikvaot where Our Guys go, where lewd acts were witnessed. Where the Haredi courts can't do anything more because the guys who financially support the mikva are the ones alleged to be committing these acts. Money talks, after all.

I get it:
  • If it's fun Unzerer, OK.
  • If it's Thoze Guyz, well, we gotta yell and scream and damage property to let it be known how Evil Evil Evil THEY are.
It's OK for our guys to be Evil, but not for You Guys.

Maybe I should switch to The Black-Hat Uniform. It would let me get away with Abominations (toeivot): cheating in business, like the Shevach butcher in Monsey, or gay sex, like these guys in Jerusalem, or idolatry, like certain elements within Lubavitch. The Torah does use the same word (to'eivah, abomination) for all these sins.

Relative morality. That's what I love about Frummak Judaism. Not.

This is not to say, God forbid, that there is a link between wearing the uniform and tolerating, let alone committing, evil. 99-44/100% of guys who wear The Uniform are, I'm sure, many from personal acquaintance, terrific, learned, ehrlich people. But in wearing the Uniform, one is saying "Look at me, I take pride in my great level of Jewish committment and observance."

Which is why when one of them falls (Jack Abramoff, anyone?) it makes a much bigger splash about the moral laxity among Jews. Visible Jews doing wrong, create a greater chillul hashem than some lesbian gal in a tank-top, because the evil is seen as stemming from their greater committment to Hashem and His Torah. I won't say it's fair to those who choose to wear the Jewish Badge, but it's still a real perception.

That, too, I can say from personal experience. As in, before moving to Flatbush, and living among people who wear The Uniform, I too resented the Uniform-wearers for their trumpeting their frumkeit in their clothing. And thus, when I saw some of them morally fail, in various ways, my first response was "Zoo Torah vezoo sechorah? This is the end-result of a life of learning? Feh! I should throw off the whole thing, if that's the end result!"

Only when I learned to see the individuals under the Uniform, did that go away.

Hat tip: Emes v'Emunah

3 comments:

micha said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
micha said...

There is a causal relationship. When you get into the lazy habit of judging people by their uniform, you will inadvertantly play down the things by which they really can be judged.

Anyone who wears the uniform therefore starts out being one of the good guys, and his actions only move him relative to that basic assessment.

seaslipper said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.