Windows and Doors

Windows and Doors


When Rabbis Cheat, Who Is To Blame?

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Rabbi Marc Schneier is in the news again, and it’s not a good story. The Rabbi was caught in a passionate embrace with a congregant with whom, it is alleged, he has been carrying on an affair and even gotten pregnant.
schneier_leiner.jpg
If the story is true, he is certainly to blame for betraying his wife, his own stated values, his congregants, the congregant with whom he is having the relationship, and too many others to list. But it’s also true that all those who have supported Rabbi Schneier while managing to miss what might be elegantly referred to as a complex personal history, should also be examining their own role in this saga.
It goes without saying that when a rabbi, or any other religious leader, betrays a spouse with extra-marital affairs it is particularly egregious. Nobody is perfect, and so it’s not entirely surprising that it happens, but it stings a bit more when a teacher fails to live up to their own teaching, and because it’s a story the media loves, we end up having to deal with the sting in public. But should it be, as attorney Susan Bender claims in the New York Daily News, “an embarrassment to Orthodox Jews”?


Why should an entire community be embarrassed by the bad acts of one member, even a high-profile one who happens to be a rabbi? Would Ms. Bender suggest that when an Imam does something wrong, the entire Muslim community should be embarrassed? I hope not. Yet with all that, Bender may have stumbled into a truth about the ways in which congregants abet the misbehavior of their clergy.
Like members of the Catholic Church who for far too long turned a blind eye to sexually predatory priests, and Muslims who ignored the impact of hate-mongering Imams, the members of this or any rabbi’s congregation are responsible when the simply ignore bad behavior because of the service they get from their chosen leader. While nobody is to blame for the sexual misdeeds of another, when a leader is allowed to lead despite serious moral or ethical shortfalls, it does reflect poorly on the values of those they lead.
Bottom line, it’s Elul and now is the time to be looking at ourselves at least as much as we do at anybody else. What Rabbi Schneier did with whom, is something which with which he will have to deal. How those who call him their rabbi will deal with it is something with which those people will have to deal. And how they do so, not what Schneier did, could be a source of embarrassment to the Jewish community. I guess we’ll see.



  • Vi Jesusberg

    rabbi’s make better lovers. let him be a man. women are gifts from god. that explains why they are so stupid. you can make women do what ever you want.have you ever seen a spoiled boy control his mom at the grocery store? same principle,women are not human. they are ignorant beast.

  • velvel in atlanta

    “Bottom line, it’s Elul and now is the time to be looking at ourselves at least as much as we do at anybody else.” I look at myself. But in fairness, if someone puts himself or herself in a leadership position, do you say with a straight face that we are not entitled to hold that person to a higher standard than someone who does not go into the leadership position? I have seen this foolishness too many times with philandering temple presidents, dayschool headmasters and headmistresses, rabbis, and when they act piously I wonder if their families are embarrassed or covering for them.
    Rebbe, anyone who makes excuses for a multiple philanderer, gonif, abuser, or murderer is a fool. Great guy, this rabbi. No, I don’t say he defames all the Orthodox, but I do say he is a shanda. A lesson to be gained is that Schneier and others pretending to be leaders or learned can have the morals of an alley cat and should not be allowed to make excuses.
    I say send Schneier to Mea Shearim to the International Davening, Shuckling and Jiving Competition and deck him out in sackcloth and ashes …

  • cosmo kramer

    the wife is to blame for not fullfilling the rabbis needs. bravo the rabbi is the man.

  • E.T.

    Schneier’s rabbinate is the Hamptons, for heaven’s sake! What do you expect from that uber-wealthy, bed-hopping crowd?

  • Bonnie

    Cosmo, you are an idiot. That excuse is at best a rationalization used by the cheating spouse to justify stepping outside the bounds of marriage when a moral compass no longer operates. At its worst, it shuttles guilt onto a spouse left to pick up the pieces of a shattered family unit.

  • Frank

    the skank is to blame for tempting the rabbi. This is why women need discipline and rules to follow in this mans world, cause its a mans world baby.

  • frank

    I must confess I have serviced myself 7 times with the help of this hot picture. What really turns me on is the perverted act of a man of god. Its like watching nun porn.

  • Babka

    Everyone is responsible for their own actions.
    This Rabbi had an affair because he wanted to.
    If you get mugged is it your fault because you were there when the mugger got the mugging urge?
    Are the kids also to blame?
    Bottom line – He screwed up his wife’s life – and any involved kid’s lives.
    He’s to blame and shame on the congregation that stands behind him,
    while not supporting his devastated family.

  • Norman

    I can relate to Rabbi Marc and this story.I’m a Rabbi for a small Jewish community we have in the Philippines. I can’t resist the temptations all around me.I will not go into details but let it suffice to say I have sinned…repeatedly.

  • Hector

    I call BS on Norman. If he had said a big Jewish community, like Chicago or Los Angeles, I might believe him. But not a tiny Jewish community such as in the Philippines. Try again, Norm. Jews who will delight in the President’s use of Hebrew,
    Read more: http://blog.beliefnet.com/windowsanddoors/#ixzz0zTmhvCI3

Previous Posts

More blogs to enjoy!
Thank you for visiting Windows and Doors. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Truths You Can Use Most Recent Inspiration blog post Happy Reading!  

posted 1:28:03pm Aug. 02, 2012 | read full post »

Apple's "Jew or Not Jew" App -- Should It Be Legal?
An Apple application that let users guess which French politicians or celebrities are Jewish was pulled from France's App Store. but its American equivalent is still available. French activist groups said the "Jew or Not Jew?" app violated bans on compiling information on people's religion and rev

posted 1:18:48am Sep. 18, 2011 | read full post »

Is God A Christian?
R. Kirby Godsey’s new book, Is God A Christian?, challenges what the author describes as the commonly held belief among many religious people that the God in whom they believe is “one of them”.  People, Mr. Kirby observes, too often confuse God’s religious identity with their own, leading t

posted 11:59:56am Sep. 12, 2011 | read full post »

Remembering 9/11 - Part One
The tenth anniversary of 9/11 brings up many emotions and presents some very real challenges, among them how to remember the past without being imprisoned by it.  This video, filmed at St. Paul's, the church closest to the World Trade Center site, is a wonderful example of rising to that challen

posted 2:40:58pm Sep. 08, 2011 | read full post »

Gilad Shalit, Still A Prisoner After 1,900 Days
Below is a copy of the Statement I got from the White House, and while I appreciate the words, I can't help but also ask, "Is this the best we can do?"  United States Mission to the United Nations Office of Press and Public Diplomacy 799 United Nations Plaza New York, NY 10017 (212) 41

posted 9:04:17am Sep. 08, 2011 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.