Sunday, January 22, 2006

Shvantz Of The Week

This week's award is shared by the Agudath Israel of America and the Catholic Church, who are both working to undermine a NY State law that would require parochial schools to report abusive teachers.

Granted, that there is a far worse abuse problem in the Catholic Church than there is in religious Jewish institutions, nevertheless, I am embarassed to say that the Jewish institutions have failed just as miserably as their Catholic counterparts at self-policing, and self-correcting abuse in their respective educational systems. Any sane person would agree that this type of legislation would be unnecessary had these institutions acted with greater prudence and transparency.

All organizations have limited time, money, and manpower. One wonders, given these limitations, why are these organizations engaging the government about this particular issue, when so much good could be accomplished by putting these resources toward the goal of actually helping people? These organizations are to be seen as self-serving, rather than as community-serving.

Hat tip:


Stacey said...

How awful. I cannot think of one reason why this is a bad thing. Why would they oppose it?

JF, which branch of Orthodoxy do you practice? Ultra? Modern? Satmar? (I don't mean to be nosy. I am just so curious. I really respect that you are not afraid to be different and go against the grain, which must not be easy).

The Jewish Freak said...

Stacey: Thanks as usual for your comment. As for your question, I was raised what would be considered left-wing modern orthodox, although my high school rabbis were mostly right wing ultra-orthodox. I have long ago stopped the practice of accepting at face value what I am told. I like to examine truth on it's own merits. In other words, I am just trying as best as I can to figure it all out. But I know for sure that my mind will not accept nonsense, no matter how emotionally comforting it may be. I'm just not wired that way. As I see things right now, Judaism is most rewarding to me when viewed as a heritage, (and a proud one at that), not as a race, or religion - I learned that lesson from someone who is wiser than I am. So most of my posts have been on the theme of Jewish heritage, and that pleases me. But in the future, The Jewish Freak will also include posts on bible commentary, criticism of Jewish community practices, and faith vs. reason issues.

Avi said...

Many years ago I volunteered my time at Miamonedes hospital as an emt. One night they brought in a 16 years old Chasidish kid who had been beaten up by his rebbe. What was his crime? I dont know, maybe acting up like a 16 year old might do, or maybe not studying hard enough. Who knows or cares. The rebbeim in Chasidish yeshivas had carte blanch to do what they wanted. But to beat a kid so severly that he had to be brought into the emergency room? That rebbe should have been fired or at least put in a position where he could never hurt another kid. I honestly dont know if its any better today.

The Jewish Freak said...

Avi: Thank you for sharing that experience. I always thought that an assault on another individual was a crime. What do I know?

Stacey said...

JF: Thanks for giving some background. I am wired the same as you. I cannot accept things that make no sense to me (just ask my rabbi about the issues we've gone round and round about)! But I am a proud Jew and have found where I best fit and love living the Jewish life that makes sense to me. Your blog is awesome. I love hearing what you have to say. Did you go to college? My ultra-frum cousins just went off to study...not to real colleges. And perhaps someday you could blog about how your family handles your questioning. You have inspired me to write about something that happened in my own family...if I can find the words to do it w/out offending some of my frum readers.

Avi: What you have just written about breaks my heart. That is just sickening.

freethoughtmom said...

dovbear's post shows up on page 3 of google search "Agudath Israel of America"! I was trying to track down the legislation, it looks like an older story.

imagine siding with the catholics on this one -- wow.

BTW, thanks for adding in links :)

The Jewish Freak said...

Freethoughtmom: You're welcome.

Stacey: Thank you for your interest. To answer your question: yes, I went to college. I have an extensive Jewish and secular education, and I am thankful for both.

Stacey said...

I am not surprised to hear of your extensive secular education because your writing reflects that.
(Some of the Yeshivish blogs I read are unfortunately written with the poorest of English).

You seem very well-rounded. I look forward to reading more of your thoughts.