Monday, August 11, 2008

The Miracle of the Jewish Community

Observe therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples, that, when they hear all these statutes, shall say: 'Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. 7 For what great nation is there, that hath God so nigh unto them, as the LORD our God is whensoever we call upon Him? 8 And what great nation is there, that hath statutes and ordinances so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day? Deuteronomy 4:6-8

These few verses, which will be read in synagogues this coming Saturday morning, sum up beautifully the primary reason why I converted to Judaism.

Imagine a city about the size of Houston, Texas, but without murder, without drug addicts, without alcoholics or pedophiles, without abortions or HIV, with very little wife beating and very little child abuse or child neglect and without police. Can we imagine what a sensation it would cause if such a city actually existed in the United States? This basically describes the Orthodox Jewish community today. This is itself a miracle – a testimony to the divine authorship of the Torah.

How exactly do we accomplish this? We are not chopping off heads and hands like the Saudis or locking up a large percentage of young men like Americans. We educate our children from birth to respect themselves and others. Come and learn more.


blank said...

I dream of the same world. It doesn't exist. But instead of trying to convince you, I hope you never realize how wrong you are because at this point, you will only learn first hand and I would wish that on no one.

jewish philosopher said...

Yes, I know. There are Orthodox Jewish killers and Orthodox Jewish drunks. However I see a difference between one murder in 20 years and one every 2 days. I see a difference between 10 drunks and 10 thousand drunks. That's the difference between where I grew up and where my children are growing up.

Baal Habos said...

Good post. But how do we stack up crimewise compared to the Mormon society (not the Fundamentalist ones, the regular ones)?

jewish philosopher said...

I’m not too sure, however since Christianity is cloned from Judaism, I would think that it would have many of the same benefits.

I know of no statistics regarding the percentage of convicted felons who were active churchgoers at the time of their felonies, however I would presume it is disproportionately very small. I wonder why sociologists don’t study that? ;-)

Anonymous said...

its ironic that this was posted the day after a lubavitch girl in NY was found dead - OD'd on heroin - and a 16 year old frum boy was killed in baltimore due to a drunk driving accident.

Anonymous said...

"convicted felons who were active churchgoers at the time of their felonies, however I would presume it is disproportionately very small."

you are making his point!

why is judaism better than those others? because they are "cloned" religions? they would claim that they are "more-developed"

jewish philosopher said...

The more closely you follow Weight Watchers the more healthy you'll be. The more closely you follow Torah, the better person you'll be.

Anonymous said...

"The more closely you follow jesus, the better person you'll be"

its interchangable bro

jewish philosopher said...

Jesus was an Orthodox Jew, with an ego problem.

jewish philosopher said...

"its ironic that this was posted the day after a lubavitch girl in NY was found dead - OD'd on heroin - and a 16 year old frum boy was killed in baltimore due to a drunk driving accident."

To be exact:

"On Thursday, the 6th of Av, a daughter of a Crown Heights family died in her sleep. She overdosed on heroin. On Friday, the 7th of Av, a young man from a frum family in Baltimore was killed in a car accident. Both he and the driver were drunk."

Their FAMILIES were Orthodox. I doubt that they still were, but correct me if I'm wrong.

Larry Tanner said...

Are you suggesting that if you murdered, became addicted to drugs, regularly drank too much or beat your wife too frequently - then you would by definition no longer be part of the Orthodox Jewish community?

Would you no longer be part of the community before you started doing these things, in the act(s) of doing them, or just after their completion?

After one beat his wife, would he then return to being part of the Orthodox Jewish community?

jewish philosopher said...

I would define the Orthodox Jewish community as being those people who attend an Orthodox synagogue and who observe the Sabbath and Jewish dietary laws.

Anonymous said...

why are sabbath and kosher more important than the other 611 mitzvot?

and they were raised in an orthodox home! you are saying that once they stop observing the sabbath and kosher laws - who cares? they ain't frum anyway!?! so they dont count??!?! that makes no sense.

just a correction. the 16 yr old boy who died in baltimore was NOT drunk - his friend, an older (frum!) boy that was driving was....go figure. must be the influence of all the schnaps at kiddush/shalum zachur etc.

jewish philosopher said...

"why are sabbath and kosher more important than the other 611 mitzvot?"

I think this usually defines Orthodox.

"they ain't frum anyway!?! so they dont count??!?!"

They are not Orthodox Jews.

"his friend, an older (frum!) boy that was driving was."

Any source or more details? What kind of "frum boy" is driving around drunk on Friday erev Shabbos Chazon?

Anonymous said...

i do have details - but would prefer not to divulge - as it may constitute lashon harah - which in my book is actually worse than ripping toilet paper on saturday - but thats another discussion.

"What kind of "frum boy" is driving around drunk on Friday "


The miracle of the jewish community....remember!?!? its a bunch of hogwash - wake up and smell the horseraddish Jake!

jewish philosopher said...

I asked for sources. Was the driver intoxicated? Was he Orthodox? It doesn't seem like you have any.

So you claim that the level of alcoholism in the Orthodox Jewish community is similar to that in the secular community. I think any law enforcement professional familiar with the community would beg to differ.

jewish philosopher said...

bankman, I think your main points are:
1 - There are plenty of Orthodox Jews who are substance abusers.
2 - There are plenty of Christians who are sober.

I would respond by saying that yes, there are Orthodox substance abusers, however the percentage is minute compared to the secular society. And yes, there are many sober Christians, however everything good in Christianity has been borrowed from Judaism

Anonymous said...

So much bigotry against atheists.

I'd like to see you challenge Christians with the same tenacity.

jewish philosopher said...

If it's justified, it's not bigotry.

Anonymous said...

here is a lovely example of your utopia. so beautiful, so tolerant, so, so, so disgusting.

jewish philosopher said...

And that's your proof - an article in a liberal, secular newspaper including plenty of anecdotes and no hard facts and figures. There have been no arrest, indictments or convictions.

You should really speak to my adopted parents. They will tell you "all Jews are crooks", although they staunchly supported Nixon.

Anonymous said...

my brother lives in ramat beit shemesh and i have verified all of that from him (and more, if only you knew), first hand - so i believe it all after hearing a witness bear testimony (eid echad ne'eman beyisroel)

"and thats your proof"

i was not trying to prove anything, simply disproving your assertion that orthodox jewish community = utopia. far from it. And to use that as a "proof" yourself that the torah is true - is simply rediculous. Moerman, Amish, Indian, Budddhist - there are many that have more functioning communities than that - oh! their religions must be true!


jewish philosopher said...

The Orthodox Jewish community does have the lowest rate of violent crime and substance abuse of any similar sized community in the world to the best of my knowledge.

Just for example, I believe that currently there is exactly one Orthodox Jew in prison on a murder conviction - Yigal Amir, the assassin of Prime Minister Rabin.

Now of course there are all kinds of stories going around, and there have been for thousands of years, however that doesn't impress me too much.

Anonymous said...

"The Orthodox Jewish community does have the lowest rate of violent crime and substance abuse of any similar sized community in the world"

source? link?

also - i wonder how much crime goes unreported in the orthodox community becasue it might be loshson horah, or we wouldnt want to embaress the family, or its his parnassah! or must consult Daas toirah! or - the rav said to let it go (the rav happens to be married to his brother inlaw's cousin)

jewish philosopher said...

"source? link?"

Well, a little while ago I offered $500 to anyone who could find one American Orthodox Jew ever convicted of murder, rape or armed robbery. Someone was able to come up with one name of a modern Orthodox man who, ten years after becoming Orthodox from a secular background, was convicted of killing his ex-wife's father in Cleveland in 1984.

"how much crime goes unreported in the orthodox community"

I don't think that religious communities really get a free pass from law enforcement in this country. After all, anyone who wants to can leave the community and talk. Take for example Warren Jeffs.

Anonymous said...

man, i'm not sure where you live - but you clearly have no clue what a frum toiradike community looks like or acts like. you know what a bais din is? do you know what hasra'ah is? do you know what da'as toirah is?

also - i admit that murder a horrible crime and may be less prevalant in the frum communities for a variety of reasons - one of which could be (but unlikely) that the torah is true, therefore no one murders - BUT, what about stealing? what about ponzi schemes? what about cheating on taxes? what about laundering money....

What about ALL OF THE CASH BUSINESSES THAT ARE OPERATED IN BROOKLYN!?!?! i bet you the per capita cash (no taxes paid) per person in the frum communinty is the HIGHEST of any in the world!

of course i dont have a source, becasue it is NOT REPORTED INCOME. Is that a proof that the torah is not true?

jewish philosopher said...

"you know what a bais din is? do you know what hasra'ah is? do you know what da'as toirah is?"

What do you mean by that.

I didn't say anything about white collar crime. Some segments of the Orthodox community have a problem with that, however no more so than the general secular community.

jewish philosopher said...

I also want to mention that murder doesn't happen in isolation, usually. I would say for every murder, there are usually a hundred beatings and a thousand insults. Homicide is the tip of the iceberg. If, in the Orthodox community, there is no tip, there is probably very little iceberg as well.

Anonymous said...

"what do i mean by that"

i mean if there is a problem in the OJ community - people go the rav first - if their is suspicion of a crime being committed, generally everyone is hush hush - but if some brave soul wants to step forward and ruin his chances for his daughter to marry a great orthodox jew such as yourself, then that person could go to a rav, or a beis din - and maybe there would be a hazmana issued, maybe not, ignored 3 times - now that rarely happens. take someone to secular court!?!? hell no, forget about that shidduch. calling the police? forget the shiduch....tell the IRS? forget the shiduch.....husband wont give a divorce? cant take him to court! guess what that kind of "utopia" leads to?.....thats right - disaster

also, just to address your "there is no tip, there is probably very little iceberg as well." I 100% disagree with that. the OJ knows the boundries, he knows the grey area - he can walk the fine line - without crossing - he kvetches his way out of it. If there is a community in the world that can have a HUGE ICEBERG, without a tip - its the frum community.

jewish philosopher said...

I don't think the Orthodox community is more closed than the FLDS, but it didn't help Jeffs.

"I 100% disagree with that. the OJ knows the boundries, he knows the grey area"

I suppose we also know how to hide the bodies of the all Christians we kill for our Passover crackers.

jewish philosopher said...

Jews aren't more ethical, we're just so diabolically clever. I've heard that.

Anonymous said...

here is a question for you.

would it surprise you if someone provided data that showed more white collar crimes (or stealing, as i like to call it) occur in frum communities than any other community in the world?

i happen to think that these "white collar" crimes are just as bad if not worse than sticking someone up with a gun on the street corner. in fact, i think the toirah feels the same way - if i am not mistaken, the punishment for steeling in the dark, when no one can see is worse than steeling out in the open (geneiva vs. gezeila, cant remember which is which) becasue it shows that one is afarid of man more than he is afraid of G-d.

jewish philosopher said...

Maybe you could, if everyone involved in these scandals was part of the “frum community”. And what type of Jew is Martha Stewart?

It’s interesting to me how left wing modern barely Orthodox Jews are probably more hateful of real, mainstream Orthodox than anyone else is. It must be some sort of guilt issues.

Rachmuna Litzlon said...

JP; you're ignorance is staggering as usuall, just check out this story:

That's one that was reported to the athorities, a majority of insident's go unreported and are buried as soon as possible.

Drug addicts, alcohlics, and pedophiles, enjoy the same coverage, but their out there. Go to this page, select Rockland (county), and relish some of Monsey's finest.

Nudist/hippie communs have very low crime rates, does that mean we should all walk around naked, or stoned all the time?

Besides high crime rates is uniquely an American problem, most of Europe has nowhere near the level that we have, and yet Europe is a lot less religious than the US.

I could go on, but JP see's what JP want's to see.

jewish philosopher said...

"just check out this story"

He's the only Hasidic person ever convicted of attempted murder as far as I know.

"a majority of insident's go unreported"

True of the secular world too.

"Nudist/hippie communs have very low crime rates"


"Besides high crime rates is uniquely an American problem"

It's a black and Hispanic problem. Compare let's say the crime rate in Utah to the crime rate in England.

OTD said...

ya- by keeping them sheltered like crazy

jewish philosopher said...

Everyone agrees that certain things are not appropriate for children. Have you ever heard of R rated movies?

Anonymous said...

On the topic:
(If that URL gets cut short, here it is in two pieces:

jewish philosopher said...

First of all, I have never claimed that the Orthodox Jewish community is perfect. No human is perfect. I have merely claimed that the rates of violence and substance abuse in the Orthodox community are are far below that of surrounding communities and I stand by that. So is the rate of people, children or adults, having sex outside marriage. I don't believe that anyone has any statistics which contradict this and I don't believe that any law enforcement officials or rabbis would contradict these assertions.

We are not perfect, but we are much, much better. If an American city would have our statistics, it would be broadcast everywhere.

I do find it interesting however how certain bloggers seems to assume that in regards to any type of sexual crime, an Orthodox Jew (usually called a "rabbi" regardless of whether he has ever led a congregation) is presumed guilty until proven innocent. Apparently in America the old fashioned blood libels are no longer plausible so this is the new, updated, "ready for Oprah" version.

Anonymous said...

I absolutely Loooove the part about "not TOO much wife beating or child abuse". As if these things are ok in moderation. Sounds like a place I as a woman would not want to live or bring forth children. If it were me...i'd beat you back! You'd better believe it. Looks like as I continue to read your blog, we're going to be great friends. Just great.

jewish philosopher said...

P, watch your mouth. Don't make me come over there.

Anonymous said...

I'm squaring up to hit you right in the face. Ive been trained. Watch it.
I really cant believe you. Im almost thinking you're a troll...just trying to stir up things on the internet for the love of it. Id love to talk with you wife....or is she not allowed to use the computer or communicate with an "outsider"?

jewish philosopher said...

I think I'm ready to schedule a boxing match. Call my wife and arrange it.