This is sickening, courtesy of the Jewish Press editorial board.
In the larger sense the story is primarily about those officials Abramoff corrupted and, of course, about Abramoff himself. But we feel a special sense of loss given that Abramoff identified with Orthodox Judaism. Though he wasn’t raised as an observant Jew and thus was not exposed in his formative years to the Torah’s rigorous moral and ethical codes, any time a breach of this magnitude occurs — and, sadly, there have been other similarly disheartening cases involving Orthodox Jews in recent years — it is a matter of great concern. It should trigger a resolve in all of us to work harder to see to it that such things never occur in our community by drawing attention to the risks of modern-day life and the need for strict adherence to the ethics of Judaism.Wow. I actually had to read the paragraph a couple of times before I could believe what I'd read. The Jewish Press just completely wrote off every single ba'al tshuva who becomes frum after his or her "formative years." Abramoff is corrupt because he didn't grow up observant and wasn't exposed to the Torah's 'rigorous moral and ethical codes'?! It is the 'risks of modern-day life', that ba'alei tshuva have grown up in, that are the problem?
It is a true shame that this paragraph was in the editorial - which was otherwise a sound editorial, questioning those articles that focused on the hat Abramoff wore. But however one tries to read this paragraph, it is impossible to understand it in any way other than a huge slap in the face to those who become observant later in life. A simple removal of those lines would have made the paragraph a very good one, lamenting the problems Orthodox Judaism faces and the need to deal with those issues. Instead, the Jewish Press took a low potshot at ba'alei tshuva and further increased the troubles they already have adjusting to the observant world.
It's too bad I don't subscribe to the Jewish Press. Now I have nothing to cancel.
Technorati tags: Abramoff, Editorial, Jewish Press.