The rolling stone gathers no moss.
Highly publicized cases of child sexual molestation within some segments of the orthodox Jewish world here and abroad have left many in shock and dismay; meanwhile others run for cover.
Last week's conviction and maximum sentencing of Nechemya Weberman, a member of the Satmar sect, was the bittersweet icing on the cake.
Though there may still be some post-trial stirrings about the gravity of his one hundred and three year sentence, it is unlikely that fifty-four year old Weberman will live long enough to serve even the first half of his sentence.
Yerachmiel Lopin of frumfollies.wordpress.com in a recent post commented the only way Satmar, which until just recently prided itself on its track record of making sweet deals with the district attorneys' office, will be able to get Weberman out of prison will be through its chevra kadisha, Jewish burial society.
With what seems to be a recent avalanche of similar cases together with the level of news coverage these stories urgently deserve, some may be left wondering where things have gone wrong because, as we know, where there is smoke there is fire.
Are we as vulnerable to wrong doing as anyone else? Do we have to redouble our efforts to insure that we remain a priestly nation, a light unto the nations?
However, what I find most disturbing is not that there are pedophiles/sex offenders who happen to be Jewish and may be prominent members of their communities.
No. That doesn't surprise me because Jews are human and, as such, are as statistically likely to fall into these antisocial behaviors as any other human group.
The considerable advantage many abusers abuse within the sometimes arcane world of orthodox Jewry is the power of the costume, hardly an inappropriate lesson for Purim, just around the corner.
What enrages me is to learn that rabbinic leaders of isolate Jewish communities are, all too often, advising people seeking their wise (sic!) counsel that they NOT call the police in cases of suspected child sexual abuse.
'Better we should not air our dirty laundry in public!'
The ineptitude of the logic is simply dazzling.
I would like to know whence these leaders derive such power to dissuade people from doing what is lawful and right? Their shameful secrecy and failure to rid our communities of criminal sexual abusers of children and their enablers is as despicable as the pablum they feed their followers or with which they threaten the future of their children.
The High Holidays are sure to be busy this year, let us hope ...