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Katzav’s Piety

If there is any truth to the mounting rape and misconduct charges facing Israeli President Moshe Katzav, it will be a sad day not only for Israel but all religious Jews. The truth is that at this point there is not much to say. Katzav is innocent until proven otherwise. That said, it does not look good for the President.

What is most pathetic about the Katzav affair is that right around the time these charges started to pop up, the president was letting it be known that he would not refer to Conservative and Reform rabbis as “rabbis.” So I guess it’s kosher to ogle some young women but to call a Reform Jew “rabbi” is sacrilegious. How pious!!


If any of these charges is true–and there are a number of them to reckon with–this is just another case of religious people giving religious people a bad name.

Its not that Katzav should be treated any more harshly than anyone else. It’s just that I wish religious people would stop being so concerned with mitzvot ben adam la makom (deeds done between man and God) while ignoring mitzvot ben adam lechavero (interpersonal religious behavior).

Katzav, just do us a favor: Before you go around giving us your religious assessment of other human beings, go worry about your own neshamah (soul).

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posted October 16, 2006 at 10:36 pm

Rabbi Stern, While agree with you, ultimately I hate to say it but this is actually a direct result of the compromises that David Ben Gurion had to make to get the Haredi Jews to accept a “secularly founded” state of Israel. If Israel were more “secular” and like the USA(where religion is seperate from Government), perhaps this wouldn’t happen where such an “authority figure” would have the ability to disparage other co-religionists. Then agan as the Rabbi said, they should not be as concerned with their relationships with G-d first, and more concerened about their relationships with their fellow humans.

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posted October 17, 2006 at 6:28 am

I am not Christian, but I call priests and pastors by their congregation’s title. A rabbi I will address as “Rabbi” (and the same for Imams of Islam, or whatever their respective title is). In the martial arts, I call the teachers and master by either their rank if I know them, or the all-known “Sensei”. It matters not whether I acknowledge your faith or title, I still show respect to you by referring you to your title.

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posted October 19, 2006 at 6:33 am

What about KING DAVID and Bathsheba,I know he was ultimantely chastised by G-d thru the words of Nathon the prophet,he ultimantely found forgiveness thru the great and mighty about us finding the same forgiveness in our heart for the president of ISREAL.REMEMBER that noones in office that GOD did”nt put in office.(signed onemans opinion.)

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