Friday, September 19, 2008
[Simon of Trent, allegedly murdered by Jews]
One topic that seems to be very controversial is the issue of crime and substance abuse within the Orthodox Jewish community.
To the best of my knowledge, these problems are far more rare in the Orthodox community than they are in American society in general.
In regards to violent crime, I posted several months ago a request for information about Orthodox Jewish homicides in the United States. I was able to find only one confirmed case of an Orthodox Jew ever convicted of homicide in the United States; a man in Cleveland who over twenty years ago shot his ex-wife’s father during a dispute. The perpetrator was modern Orthodox and had become Orthodox as an adult. In the United States as a whole, 8,400 Americans were convicted of murder in 2004 from a population of about 300 million. There are about 600,000 Orthodox Jews in the United States. Proportionally, there would be 17 homicide convictions per year in the Orthodox community. I would suggest that a very low rate of homicide is an indicator of a very low level of violence in general since assault often escalates, intentionally or otherwise, to homicide. This applies to child abuse and spousal abuse as well.
In regards to sexual abuse, in the National Sex Offender Registry, there are several people who appear to be Orthodox Jews. However, bear in mind that there are over 491,720 registered sex offenders in the United States, meaning that about one in every 620 Americans is a registered sex offender. Proportionally about 970 Orthodox Jews should be registered sex offenders. I don’t believe that there is 1% that number.
As far as substance abuse is concerned, I am aware of only two Sabbath observant residential rehabilitation facilities in the United States - Chabad Residential Treatment Center For Men in Los Angeles, California and Yatzkan Center in Brooklyn, NY for addicted teenage boys age 14-19. Both these centers seem to be very small and serve non-Orthodox as well as Orthodox. When I called, Chabad told me that they have 35 beds and accept non-Jewish patients as well. Over 1.46 million drivers were arrested in 2006 for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics. This is an arrest rate of 1 for every 139 licensed drivers in the United States. I am not aware of any Orthodox Jew ever having been arrested for driving while intoxicated, although proportionally it should be about 1,000 annually.
The rebuttal to this seems to be: These facts are deceptive. In reality, Orthodox Jews are no different than their neighbors, however they succeed in evading detection for wrong doing because they will not report each other to the police. Jewish law allegedly prohibits contacting or cooperating with the authorities and the Orthodox community will shun anyone doing so. Therefore, few outsiders are aware of the actual level of crime and substance abuse within the Orthodox community.
In my humble opinion, this is ludicrous.
Jewish law does not prohibit cooperating with the authorities in regards to violent or sexual offences.
Many people leave the Orthodox community annually and would certainly have no compunctions about reporting any complaints to law enforcement.
Homicide would be impossible to completely conceal. Large numbers of people cannot easily disappear without law enforcement becoming involved. It is difficult to dispose of bodies without attracting any attention or leaving any traces.
Law enforcement officers would directly detect drivers who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
In my humble opinion, this charge that “Orthodox Jews merely appear to be so good however in reality are evil” is an ancient anti-Orthodox, if not anti-Semitic, canard.
Jesus is quoted as saying (Matthew 23:27) “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.”
Martin Luther wrote in the “The Jews and Their Lies” chapter XII: “They deny just as brazenly as they lie. And wherever they can secretly curse, poison, or harm us Christians they do so without any qualms of conscience. If they are caught in the act or charged with something, they are bold enough to deny it impudently, even to the point of death, since they do not regard us worthy of being told the truth. In fact, these holy children of God consider any harm they can wish or inflict on us as a great service to God. Indeed, if they had the power to do to us what we are able to do to them, not one of us would live for an hour. But since they lack the power to do this publicly, they remain our daily murderers and bloodthirsty foes in their hearts. Their prayers and curses furnish evidence of that, as do the many stories which relate their torturing of children and all sorts of crimes for which they have often been burned at the stake or banished. Therefore I firmly believe that they say and practice far worse things secretly than the histories and others record about them, meanwhile relying on their denials and on their money.”
Therefore the accusation of secret Jewish criminality is far from original. Through out the Middle Ages, Jews were constantly accused of murdering Christian children and abusing communion wafers. As recently as 1989, a woman appeared on Oprah claiming to have participated in Jewish human sacrifice. The woman, according to some websites, was in fact Vicki Polin, who now operates a website dedicated to alleged rabbinical sexual abuse.
Posted by jewish philosopher at 12:34 PM